Monday, June 29, 2009

Words to live by....

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will.. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone for everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's,we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

23 week gestation...a true miracle of life

What a crazy week! We started it off on Tuesday, going to a new PT at a new facility. It was so wonderful. I love Kenny's new therapists! They couldn't get over that he was a 23 week-er! They were amazed that he was doing as well as he was! The one therapist never dealt with a 23 week-er while the other has one other patient...she is nine now. I told her that I was frustrated about what to do for Kenny, where to go, and what to expect from him. She told me that I have to take it a day at a time with him because there are not too many actual "23 weekers" alive. Yeah...24 and 25 weekers, but to be a 23 week-er....17 weeks early....truly a miracle. To ask a doctor what is wrong with him and how we can fix it is hard because honestly, they don't know. Yes, he could have CP, Autism, etc... but when it comes down to it, he was born at 23 weeks gestation...there are going to be problems.

What makes a 23 week gestation preemie different from any other preemie?
The unknown. Not too many babies born at 23 weeks gestation survive... there are a lot of unanswered questions as to what to expect from a baby that was born at 23 weeks.

So...we are going to focus on not what he HAS, but how to help him make his life productive. We are going to help him learn to be a happy, healthy, loving person that will contribute greatly to society and be the best he can be!

His legs are stiff and very sensitive to touch, his "gait" is wide and his walk is very very sloppy with standing on his toes...we are only using his gait trainer to give him a break from crawling and not for learning to walk. It will be a while before he is ready to walk...I am sad for him but we will work with what God has given us.

We are to stimulate his legs and feet with a dry washcloth to desensitize his muscles...he literally spasms when we do this...I was told that it does not hurt him...even though it looks like it does...I hate doing this, but in order for him to walk and have "normal" feeling in his legs and feet, we have to do this.

We are using signs more, using pictures for him to "choose" what he wants...haven't started that yet, but hoping he pics up on that quickly. It's hard because he doesn't say anything, show us what he wants or communicates with us...yes, he points and smiles but that is all. I just have to find how to communicate with him...and...I will! are starting this new PT two times a week. Next week I take him to the same place for OT...and that too will probably be 2 times a week...I THINK I am going to be a little busy! LOL!

You have to see me...I take some or all of the kids with me and I get,"wow...are they all yours?" or "I don't know how you do it."...and my favorite...the counting out loud behind my back! LOL!!!

I just have to laugh. I just do what I have to do. I don't think I'd know what to do with myself if I only had one or two kids!

On another husband and I FINALLY got out for the weekend WITHOUT kids. His cousin got married and we stayed at the hotel where the reception was. It was the best "overnight" ever! We regrouped and were refreshed when we went and picked up the kids over my nieces house. The kids were great for my nieces and my sister (thank God). I feel like my old self again...ready to tackle what life has to dish to me!

I also want to send my condolences to the friends and family of Farrah Fawcett at Michael Jackson. May they rest in peace and the families have the strength to make it through this hard time. They both struggled with their own lives, Farrah with her strength and courage battling cancer with dignity...and Michael, with all the sadness, tragedy and accusations and secrets that entailed his life. No matter what the situation...a mother and father still lost their child, siblings lost their brother/sister, children still lost their parent and friends lost people that meant something to them. Never an easy thing. God bless this world...may there be peace, love and happiness.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A father X's 8

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads, ,Grandfathers, God Fathers and soon-to-be Dads!

Funny how when you are a kid, you don't think that you will ever be called a "mom" or "dad"...but when you hold your child for the first time....your heart is theirs forever!

Being a dad is so much more than giving you child life. It is about being loving and responsive to your child. Take time from the busy life you lead to spend doing something...anything...even read a book to them. Being a dad is about having rules and guidelines, to show boundaries but also teach your child that they can and should be a kid and that it's ok to make mistakes. To listen and really hear what your little one is telling you and to let them be able to grow into their own personality.

There is nothing better than to hear a child laugh and tell you they love you...hold onto that because when they start the preteen wont hear it for a while....and if you do, it is not all that do know they love you even if they don't say it!

I want to wish my dad a very happy Father's Day. You live far away but I love you with all my heart. I remember growing up and being so proud that my daddy was a mail man! I mean, how many kids can actually say was right up there with police officer, firefighter, get the idea. I saw how loving you were to mom and to all of us...but also I saw your strict side when it came down to it. Growing up, I saw your strong, patriarch of the family side and when John died, I saw how you needed to be comforted. To be able to understand life, you have to live it...and feel it...and that you did. Thank you for being the best daddy ever. With everything you and mom have been are still compassionate, loving, understanding, funny and there for us kids when we need an ear.

My husband always told me...from when we first stared dating (and still tells me) did your dad do it? How the heck did he raise 6 girls? I have to answer that with...he let us be us...with a little encouragement and discipline.

I also want to wish my husband a very Happy Father's Day. I still remember the day I told you that I was pregnant for the first time. I was so scared and nervous. It was a whole new life for you and I. You sat with me at the hospital, every night after you got out of work...for 5 weeks...that is when you became a dad.

You take time out of your busy work day to help me with one of the kids or to play a little bit of basketball with one of the coach baseball for two teams...and still manage to get your work done. WOW. I am so glad that you are in my life and our kids lives.

We've been through so much...kinda like my parents...funny how our lives are parallel. We never expected or ever thought that we would have so many sometimes throws in a curve ball....but I am so glad that we are in this together...yeah, we have our moments, but so does everyone. I think that if we could make it through 8 kids, NICU life, death of a child, financial setbacks (I say this term loosely...or maybe I should have said, "economic death-drop". LOL...Hey... I think I made up a new term! USING IT!!! HA!), raising a child with multiple problems and still have time for each other, we will make it through anything.

You are a strong, loving and devoted man, husband, father, son and friend. I want to thank you for being in my life. I want to thank God for giving you to me. And I want to thank your parents for giving you life and raising you to be the person that you are today. I am very proud to call you my husband and the father of my kids.
I want to give you the world, but my heart will have to do!

This shirt says it all (I just had Gina added yesterday)! all you Dads, Grandfathers, God Fathers and Soon-to-be-Dads...Have a very Happy and Blessed Father's Day. Thank you for being part of one of Gods greatest

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Random pics Thursday

Bumper cars on the deck....what better way to spend the morning! The deer that keeps going after the garden...where is the fox when you need him?! Cute, but eating our watermelon and bean plants.
Just a random pic of Sydnie and Kayleigh.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Today, the little things...tomorrow, the world!

So...with all the posts that have been sad and disappointing, the feeling of why is this happening to us. The being exhausted because of the raw reality of everything...I figured that tonight I am going to write a post with positives. Today was a good day, it really was! Yes, there was the typical Kenny banging his head on the ground, the "UUUHH" that he says...all the time...he reminds me of a caveman...kinda funny yet sad and irritating *yeah..I said irritating, because it is*. I would be so happy if one day he would just say a word...any word would do, to just say a word and mean it. But...that will come in due time...I know that.

Tonight was a big milestone for our little Kenny. Tonight, for the first time in his 25 months of being on this earth, Kenny swallowed a pea and a carrot (canned, because they are softer). Tony and I had tears in our eyes. We were all sitting around the table eating dinner...we had BBQ pork chops with mashed potatoes, corn and peas and, I gave him some on his tray and he is putting them in his mouth, like he's been doing but he usually spits out or saves for 2 hours, and then the next thing I see, is the carrot slice and a pea...gone...not on the ground, not in his lap or chair....DOWN HIS THROAT!! There is a God...and he is good!

He didn't even throw up. We all then started to clap and make a big production out of it. I mean...for months I've been cleaning up throw up ever time he eats...tonight was different! I am so happy for him. You should have seen the look of accomplishment on his face...smiling from ear to ear and pointing at we were clapping for him! I know we are a long way from normalcy, but it is a great start!

So, then...the next little excitement that I have to share that Kenny AGAIN amazed us with tonight...
he put the stars ON the toy...he has been taking them off, but tonight, he used his coordination to actually put something on...almost stacking them! I am telling you...the little things in life are the best, these are the things that matter in life...not cars, houses, money...just the little things!

My son, Tony came home from his Boy Scout meeting last night with pink and white carnations for me...Melted my heart! Still has an attitude, but he wouldn't be Tony if he didn't have one.
Taylor and Morgan both wanted their hair high my sister did it for them...UGH...I am in trouble! They are little ladies in the making! Beautiful! And they LOVED being pampered!
And lets see...Sydnie and Kayleigh are loving the blow up pool we got for the deck...they are in it all the time! Kayleigh is excited because she found the first tomato on the many plants we have...very happy...see...the little things...

Gina has now been trying to stand without you just born a few months ago...oh's been almost a year! Where has the time gone? Have I been that wrapped up in Dr. appt., therapy appts., school functions, bills, house cleaning, laundry, everyday life to just not see where these 11 months have gone? I must make note to self to really try to stop and take in everything that this life has to offer me. My kids are growing up before my eyes and I want them to know that I love and appreciate them for being them. I love their little quirky things that they do and say. Yes, I do wish that they wouldn't fight so much, and that they would help me clean the house, but they are kids, my kids and I love them no matter what...Our house is very loud...let me tell you...we have got to be the loudest family on the street...we have to close our windows sometimes when the kids fight...Its the Italian coming out in them...LOL!!!

Anyhow, today was a good day. A day that I needed to sit and see everything that I have in front of me...a great husband, wonderful(most of the time) kids who always keeps me busy, on my toes and my mind working....and a fantastic support system of friends and family.
*and still praying for Extreme Makeover Home Edition to come our way! LOL!!! *

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Your Gonna Miss This Moment....

Pam at
Has a great little Carnival going on...check it out! It's Your Gonna Miss This Moment and show a pictures of what you are going to miss with your kids growing up so quickly. It makes you stop and think that this life really does go by way too fast and that you should just stop and reflect of what is really and truly important...the little things in life. The little things that you take for are some of MY moments that I am going to miss (will be posting more when I can download them)...

Little Tony watching his daddy play baseball... Now He's playing!
My first born child's first day of school...Look at that innocent smile...
He is now starting 6th grade!
Having only 2 kids in school....
Tony in 1st grade, Taylor in kindergarten

Kayleigh's toothless smile...

Gina smaller than a watermelon...

Me at 21 weeks pregnant with Kenny and Nick...what an experience to carry twins!

The kids actually excited about gardening...Our beloved Pepper. He was part of our family for 14 years. We miss him very much. He used to love to lay on the table or back of the couch and look outside. Life was so simple with only 3 kids~ but wouldn't give up ANY of them for anything!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


To my Aunt Bev.
My heart, prayers and thoughts go out to my cousins for losing their mom at such a young age. Also, to my Mom and uncle for losing their sister.
I remember going to her house for family parties and sitting under that great big weeping willow tree. She would play her piano for us kids too.
She will be deeply missed but I know that my Grandparents, my brother and my son welcomed her into Heaven and are having a beautiful reunion up there.
Don't take this life for granted, because it is only a blink of an eye.

Thank you all

I want to thank every one of you that took the time out to write and send in our family's nomination for EMHE. Now all we can do is wait and pray. Thank you for signing the petition as well. I sent that in to them too. Only time will tell.

Lets see...on to what has been happening here at the Tomecko house...

School has let out for Summer break for the kids. I surprised them on the last day with this...

They had no idea that their mom would actually write all over our van...ha....showed them! So now they are home for the summer. This is the time of year that I sit and tell them AND myself that we are going to do a page of schoolwork(review) a far...I have moved their papers and books from one spot to another...without opening them or looking at them...oops. I need to get my butt in gear with this stuff! They do want to go to the library one of these days, so we will be taking a "field trip" down there soon.

It seems like Kenny is getting more and more of a hand full for us. He is CONSTANTLY banging his head. He's got black and blues and big knots all over his head. So in order for him NOT to hit his head, I have to hold him...all the time...not good! I don't know what to do. He is going to hurt himself one of these days. The doctors are looking at a couple of different things...I strongly feel that he is just getting frustrated and cant express himself. I thought it was because he has had ear infections in the past, but I took him to the doctor and they said his ears are clear. He wont wear his hearing aids anymore...I have been trying and trying...between the banging his head and the pulling the hearing aids out, I think I am going to just have to suck it up and hold him 24/7... but then, what about Gina, or cleaning the house, or making dinner or helping my other kids (who is probably feeling a little left out). I cant center all my attention on just Kenny... I physically cant. I am one person with 2 arms. UGH...I am so upset over this.

Not to mention, he's been waking up every night coughing and throwing up started about 2 weeks ago...and now it is every night! So...I have to wash his bedding and ours, because we bring him into our bed. We give him his breathing treatments every night and I also give him his Singular...thinking that maybe its allergies that produce the mucus that runs down his throat and makes him cough and throw up... nothing is working...I am wondering if we have to put him back on oxygen at night. If we do... how will we keep it on him? He will be going to his Comp Care next week...I'll talk to them about it.

Someone finally called me back from one of the many waiting lists that he is on for PT/OT/Speech Therapy, He is going next week for the initial visit and from there we will be setting up a therapy program for him. It is about 30 minutes away, but who least he will be getting in somewhere!!!

Reality is hitting us in the face. I told the doctor that with everything that is going on with my little guy, I feel guilty for keeping him alive in the NICU. Did we do the right thing? Did God want us to keep him alive? I don't know. We are doing everything we can for him...but it just doesn't seem enough. So please keep us in your give us the strength we need to help Kenny become the strong, confident, healthy and happy person he should be. Pray that we can do all of this and still have time for our other kids. I want them to be strong, caring, independent, healthy and happy can we balance all of this? How do we make time for the other kids with Kenny being so needy? If any of you out there knows, please let me know. I am slowly feeling like I am failing ALL my kids because I am being pulled in every direction.

Ok...enough of the self pity party...

What do you get when you take a kid that is having breathing problems to a wedding? Throwing up because he is coughing so hard? Well...I'll tell ya.... guessed it! Every 3 hours!
We had a blast otherwise

This past weekend, my niece, Shannon married her long time boyfriend, John. I wish them the best that their future has to offer! The wedding was beautiful. They had a few wrenches thrown into the day but they never let it ruin it for them. Yes, there was the typical issues...some not so bad and then there were the very bad...John's dad in the hospital recovering from a stroke and then Great Aunt Mary (Shannon's dad's aunt) passed away, unexpectedly at noon on their wedding day. I am praying that the family has peace trough all of this. She was a lovely woman who loved her family. All of these could not stop the party from happening...yes, we were sad, but Aunt Mary wouldn't of wanted to ruin their day and also, since John's dad was in the hospital...they had live web cast of the wedding ceremony for his dad to "be there" with them.Their lives together are just starting. There are going to be some good and bad things happening in their lives together....hopefully... mostly good. But those "bad" moments are what strengthens a marriage (or could break it). When Tony and I got married, I would never of thought that we would still be living in our first home...14 years later, have 7 living children, experienced 2 miscarriages and the death of our baby, Having a child with many medical issues, unable to have this or do that...oh the list goes on and on. But I am glad for the very happy moments...marrying my best friend, Tony starting a business that he loves, meeting many, many wonderful people in our married life time, Having and watching every one of our kids grow, and going through ALL of the bad together.I feel that we are being tested...I am not sure why, only God knows... I hope that we are passing the test.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Extreme Makeover Home Edition Update!!!!

Please, everyone....please help us!
We already sent our nomination in for Extreme Makeover Home Edition....
we now need EVERYONE's HELP!!!!
Go to the e-mail and NOMINATE US, PLEASE!!!
The deadline is JUNE 9

The more people that sent in our nomination via e-mail....the better chance we have!
This is the actual nomination...not the petition!!!!
Please send an e-mail with ages, and why to:

Also....pass this on to all of your friends!
Thank you so very, very much!!

Michele, Tony and kids
A dear friend pointed out that you all need the names and ages of all in the house...
Anthony (Tony) Sr. 43
Michele (me) 39 (shhhh.)
Tony Jr. 11
Taylor 9
Morgan 8
Sydnie 5
Kayleigh 3
Kenny 2 (surviving twin to Nick)
Gina 10 months
This is what we sent for the nomination...
I am hoping that someone could help us. My name is Michele. My husband Tony and I had a set of twins in May of 2007. They were born at 23 weeks gestation...that's 17 weeks early. The doctors told us that if they came just a day prior, they would not be able to try to resuscitate them...but to Gods grace, they both made it into this world...for two days we were the proud parents of twin boys...both weighing just 1 lb. 7 oz....2 days later, our world came crashing down all around us. We watch as the doctors and nurses in the NICU at MetroHealth tried to work a miracle and keep our precious son, Nick from dying. With all the praying, wishing and hoping, he passed away...on May 4, 2007. We will always have a hole in our hearts and feel an emptiness that no parent should ever feel. Our surviving twin, Kenny is doing as well as he can. He is such a little miracle! He has very bad lung disease caused by months of being on the ventilator, which require oxygen and meds several times a day, so every time he gets sick, he usually ends up in the hospital. He also has developmental delays, feeding issues and moderate bilateral hearing loss and now a diagnosis of autism and Cerebral Palsy. He doesnt walk, talk (words), eat solids, hear or communicate very well. He bangs his head on everything! It is beyond comprehension. A mom should be able to help their child, and I cant. We are a family with many children...7 (living) to be exact...We love it and wouldnt trade it for the world. Our family includes... Myself 39, Tony my husband 43, Tony Jr. 11, Taylor 9, Morgan 8, Sydnie 5, Kayleigh 3, Kenny 2 and Gina 10 months. It a chaotic house, but I love the challenge! LOLOn top of juggling all of Kenny's doctor appts., PT/OT and his daily life routine of meds, We don't really get to do much as a family because Kenny cant be around too many people because of RSV season. So that is why most of the time, I am stuck in the house with the little ones, while Tony takes the older kids to things. It is a life that we never dreamed of having...nor wish upon anyone. Tony has his own sign business that he works out of our detached garage...he has been in business for about 10 years now. He has done work for the malls, police departments in several cities (our house is the one on Snow with the signs for the fallen police officers and the one to thank a police officer), the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, American Heart Assoc., local churches and schools and many, many local businesses. He puts his heart and soul into all his jobs and his clients. He is such a great guy. He is always thinking of others before himself. That is what made me fall in love with him! He has taken time to do things with the kids, go shopping, stay at the hospital when Kenny needs to be hospitalized, etc...on top of trying to make his sign business succeed. The economy and taking time for Kenny's appts, is taking a toll on his business. When I get a chance, I volunteer with the March Of Dimes at their events and help out at our school and you kinda know the background...WE WANT TO NOMINATE OUR FAMILY for the show Extreme Makeover Home Edition. Our house is a little 1100 sq. ft. 3 bdrm home here in Parma, Ohio, that is in need of repairs and more space. It's just not very healthy for Kenny who needs space and special needs...not to mention how crammed we all are. He has a Gait Trainer that is helping him learn to use his leg muscles and between that and Gina's feels like bumper car central. His oxygen tanks are thrown in the front door area. There just isnt any space.We have used everything. The house is old and drafty, the walls are not insulated, the plumbing is cooroded, the wood on the outside of the house is rotted, the windows have mold and are broken, the floors inside are all broken, so we get splinters from the wood floors and cuts from the ceramic tiles that are shot. The lot floods in the spring and during rain storms, which mean his business (the garage) gets flooded all the time, on top of many other problems. The kids share bedrooms...2 bunk bed in one room a bed and a crib in another. In our room there is a crib and our bed. There is no where for our kids to have their own space or a place to play. Because we are on top of each other, they continually pass colds back and forth which could be life threatening for Kenny. We want the best for our kids, and because of the hospital bills and the constant care of our micro preemie, it is a tough thing to do.I sometimes wonder if the daily struggles are worth it, then I look at my son, who beat the odds, and think to myself that if he can do it, we can!
Please read our family's blog, the whole twin story with pictures...well, pretty much our life story is on there. What we go through day in and day out.
There is a petition online going to try to get our story on Extreme Makeover Home Edition (I know some say that it doesn't make a difference, but to see what others in the community and from all over have written, has to help in some way). It has over 800 signatures on it including the Mayor of Parma and many others.
We also have already filled out the application. We are hoping...well praying for a miracle!
Thank you very much for your help!
We just want to get the story out to let others in our community know that we are trying to get on EMHE and to let people know that micro preemies that are born at 23 weeks CAN and DO survive. the doctors say that it is not how much a micro preemie weighs, but their gestational age...that makes it so dangerous and poor outcomes. But there are a lot of special needs, devotion, time, clean and healthy conditions, and much more that is needed...and in these times, raising a family with 7 kids, keeping a small business going and making sure our sick baby, who was was only given a 17% chance of survival (if that) has the best chances of having a healthy normal life, is very hard to do..Finacially, emotionally and physically!
Please read the blog and help.
We are in real need!