Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year's eve...

May you all be blessed with much love, happiness, great health and togetherness of family and and old! God bless you all...and remember those that couldn't be here to celebrate bringing in the new year...a new year of hope!
(please read my post before this one)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Goodbye 2010...and good riddens!

The year is coming to a close. There has been so much happening this past just seemed to fly by! The picture above pretty much sums up our year. But notice...we're still smiling!

So much has gone on this past year...

There was us trying to sell our house then taking it off the market (which was a great idea because now we owe much less and it will be paid off before we know it).

There was us trying to get EM:HE to come to help our family then we ended up helping the family that was chosen (and had a great time).

Kenny hospitalized 7 times, 2 surgeries, 2 seizures, feeding issues, viruses, infections, RSV.


There were birthdays, births, weddings, vacations (not really ours, but...), and deaths.

There were family get togethers which were so much fun.

There was lots of heartaches with different life issues.

There were family and friends that we lost and miss terribly.

There was our ant issues, our broken appliances and...oh...the maggots (ewww)

...and laundry

There was the Cystic Fibrosis events, DreamNight for chronically ill kids and family, the March of Dimes walk (that Kenny was hospitalized during), Mom's nights out as well.

There was Kenny learning to walk...which is still so amazing to us!

There was the whole G-tube issue and now we are pros at it (see it wasn't anything to worry about).

There was the first day of school...Kayleigh started Kindergarten!

Did I mention...laundry?

So...this year I am sure there is going to me just as much excitement. I am actually looking forward to ending this year and starting a whole new one. One that is sure to bring much excitement, joy, interesting trials, fun times and growth!

We are having a communion for Sydnie, a wedding for my niece, a graduation for my nephew, a few new babies (of nieces and, my husbands business is expanding (yay) in every way (see...hard work and dedication really does pay off). And Kenny will be doing more and more....getting stronger and stronger!

I say...

bring it on!

Goodbye were good, full of hope. You blessed us with many things but also had many disappointments, health issues and many problems throughout the year.

With this new year I am hoping that it brings even more hard work for Tony and I (did I really just say that?!). We are here. We are strong, happy, and full of faith that this will be a great year for our family and for our friends!

We have many interesting avenues lined up along with loving and caring family and friends. This will be a great year!

May God bless and thank you those near and dear to us. Our family...near and far. Our friends...old and new. Those we never even met but have been rooting our family on this past year.

A special shout out to The Joyce have shown us what a wonderful, great hearted, loving, amazing family yours is...thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We can only hope that we can follow in your amazing family's footsteps with the joy and kindness and generosity you all have shown our family. You will never know the gratitude that Tony and I have...the love that we have for you all. Thank you soooo much.

All of my friends that have been there for us this past year and the years before. You all have been there for us rooting us on. Giving us the encouragement when life was blah. Thank you, thank you...thank you!

I thank all of my readers of my blog for making my blog what it is today. I started it to keep my family and friends updated on Kenny and had turned into a blog of what life is like in our family. What we deal with on a daily basis...from what the kids have/are doing to what is happening with Kenny and educating those who are new to the micro preemie lifestyle and all that it entails. To remember our precious Nick and help to give encouragement for others to keep going.

This year, Milestones for Micros are going full force, our family has many new and exciting things happening and so does our blog!

Stay tuned

...this year is going to be a great year for all.

Have a prosperous and joyous New Year!

(and don't forget to sign the petition for EMHE...send it to all of those you know!)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Stupid stickers!

I'm gonna jump in here and just bring up one of my BIGGEST pet peeves...
Produce stickers!!! a house full of kids...these pesky things just so happen to stick themselves to anything and everything that is around! I've asked each kid if they knew who...or what...put these stickers in various spots...over a period of oh...say...a few months...and no one know! So it is safe to assume that we are no longer having a problem with has turned to a sticker problem. I want to think that there is something I can do to stop these irritating things from adhering to things and places in my home...but have not found the solution. Sprays and traps don't work and the vacuum sometimes can suck them long as the stickiness is mostly gone...
I did notice that they seem to lessen in places when the fridge is bare of maybe...just maybe....
I have captured these critters in their full glory over a period of a few months...enjoy!
Ahhh...this one gets the prize for the closest to the garbage...without getting in!I wonder how long it sat here before I noticed it. tee hee This one didn't even make it out of the refrigerator....
I do believe this one belonged to a grapefruit. A favorite spot for these pesky things to show up at, is the dishwasher...
They seem to migrate to the kitchen...hmmm...

Please tell me that there are others out there that have this problem. LOL!

*No fruit was hurt or harmed in the peeling off of these least, I dont think so?*

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Memories old and creating new

Years of past, I remember sitting at the top of the steps, in our Cleveland Hts. center hall colonial, waiting for my parents to be done drinking their morning cup of coffee. My brother and sisters and I got an early start to Christmas morning. We'd start the festivities at my grandparents house on Christmas eve with a big Italian Christmas eve dinner with family, only to come home at night and go right to bed with a radio in our room playing Christmas music to fall asleep. The three of us slept in the same room so sleeping wasn't an option in our eyes. During the very, very early morning hours, whoever was up would wake the others up. We'd take turns sneaking downstairs where a living room was turned into a sea of brightly colored, beautifully wrapped packages! With our bed hair and our sleepy eyes, we would look through to see the different shapes and sizes of each and every one.wondering what could be in this one...or that one! Santa would usually leave us each a stuffed animal which we would quickly name before the morning officially began. We'd usually have an orange and some other little things in our stockings hung over our wall to wall mantled fireplace, so we'd peek into those as well. My brother slept in the last bedroom before the steps going downstairs...and of course he'd be up we would sometimes hang out in his room and watch TV with him until the sun came up.
Finally morning would show and mom and dad would go downstairs. They'd have their coffee and relax until they would hear three little kids sitting at the top of the step yelling down, "can we come down yet"? We'd sit there waiting, getting more excited as the minutes went by...finally they would come to the steps and say Merry Christmas...and the morning began! When it was all said and done, the whole room would be filled with ripped up, crumpled wrapping paper and bows. All of us kids would be sitting and playing with one toy or another. It would be followed by either a great big Christmas dinner at our house or visits to our grandparents houses. As the years passed, those Christmas mornings turned to some of my favorite memories of my childhood, living in that big old house on Cedar.

I miss so many parts of my past...of my childhood...its hard to believe we are creating memories like this for our kids. I can only hope that when they grow older and have families of their own, that they look back and remember our Christmases that we had...decorating the tree, our annual Christmas picture for the Christmas card, the stockings, the baking cookies, Going to church, the excitement of seeing presents under the tree, visiting family and big holiday dinners.
Santa was very good to us this year...
It had to be because of the cookies and milk (and note) left for santa ;)
This is the nativity that Tony and I received as a wedding present 15 years ago
one of my most prized possessions for Christmas. I put it out this year in memory of all our loved ones that are celebrating in heaven...
This is the girls waiting anxiously to open presents...
Kayleigh testing out her new bike...A crazy morning opening gifts...
Taylor with her new art bag FILLED with all sorts of art supplies (she is a mini me)Because Tony wants to be a firefighter, he really wanted this Lego kit...His smile is priceless :)Being cool with the drum sticks he got....A little Gina loving her vacuum cleaner (actually, her and Kenny are sharing it)Kenny working his hand muscles and hand/eye coordination with these pegs...he LOVES these and feels so accomplished when he puts them on the right ones (yes..he is still working on the color to color idea) Notice the tongue...
We feel so extremely blessed with everything we have this Christmas. The kids were so excited and happy...and so were we.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Small miracles this Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas to all my friends, family and readers! With all the hustle and bustle of the last few weeks there have been little miracles and special "things" that have been happening...some of which are very unexplained and some that are very real!

I first want to say that this year has been very humbling for me. Not only did I have to put my hands up in the air and fall to my knees and ask for help and guidance with what to do and how to do it with Kenny, but also trusting God that He is in charge and we are to follow what He wants of us....perfect example...the Home Makeover. We were thisclose...I mean, we really thought we had a chance..and we did (as we will next year), but we chose to help the family that did get it...and you know what? It felt great! I am OK with the way things turned out. The same goes for Kenny. I was so worried about if he should get a feeding tube...and it turned out just what he needed. He is now even starting to eat.

One of the small miracles I mentioned above is the fact that tonight...and the last couple of days, he's been eating more solids. Tonight he had stuffing and small bites of turkey! To me...well, to us, it is a blessing, a miracle!

We had a wonderful time at my brother and sister in laws house for Christmas Eve. It was very relaxed with great food and amazing family! The little ones were all playing...and it was just so nice. My kids look forward to Christmas Eve at their Auntie and Uncles house to see their cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. Its what memories are made of.
Before the family get together we went to church. Of course its the most crowded that the church has been since...well...Easter *haha*. So many faces that I didn't recognise *and that's because this is probably the one and only time during the year that they went to church*. There, Kayleigh and Sydnie were angels in the nativity play they did and Tony served as alter boy. Kenny was actually perfect there as well. No meltdowns or anything! I consider this yet another miracle.
Then, on the way to our family get together, we encountered several streetlights that decided to go on and off just at the moment we would get under them. This has been going on for me ever since my brother passed away...but tonight, it was just so much!
And finally, If you all remember me talking about having the urge to look at a digital clock at precisely 11:11 or 1:11...well, I really feel that it means something more than just habit or whatnot...It has started happening with my kids and husband now...a lot!
So anyhow, these are my miracles and special things.
May you all have a wonderful Christmas day.
Until tomorrow....good night!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas eve is upon us...

It is finally here. Christmas eve day. I want to wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas. This has been a very...mmmm, shall we say...interesting year, but all in all we survived and we are happy. I am so grateful for all of you and the prayers and well wishes you have given us throughout these years! So far...knock on wood...everyone is for the most part healthy...and no hospital stays this month! WOO HOO!
The cookies are made...well, sort of. The clothes are all washed and put there is no baskets of clothes laying know how rare this is...VERY? The house is finally free of laundry clutter (hahah)! The gifts are bought, the chocolates/cookies are delivered (the fire dept. and the hospital), and the clothes for today and tonight are laid out waiting for a super busy day!
I have to tell you something that Kayleigh said to me when she woke up this morning...She didn't say that Santa was coming tonight...she said to me...Mommy, its Jesus' birthday tonight. Wow...for a 5 year old to say that really opened my eyes. I am so proud of my kids and what we have taught them. What they have been through (with Kenny and losing Nick, getting excited about the Home Makeover, etc...) yet they are pure hearted little souls. They find the strength to carry on and have faith...a deep, real faith which I find so awesome. God I love them!

Sure, tonight Santa is coming...and we'll be putting out cookies, milk and carrots for the reindeer...but we will also be going to church and watching the children participate in the Christmas Nativity along with little Tony serving at a very special mass. Then it is off to spend the evening with family.
I feel very blessed to have all of my readers, family and friends in my life. This has been a rough year with Kenny and other things...but I am so very blessed...WE are very blessed!

In closing...until tomorrow when I post all about our Christmas, I want to share with you a story I came across...Merry Christmas everyone and God bless...

Teach the children...

Late one Christmas Eve, I sank back, tired but content, into my easy chair. The kids were in bed, the gifts were wrapped, the milk and cookies waited by the fireplace for Santa. As I sat back admiring the tree with its decorations, I couldn't help feeling that something important was missing. It wasn't long before the tiny twinkling tree lights lulled me to sleep.

I don't know how long I slept, but all of a sudden I knew that I wasn't alone. I opened my eyes, and you can imagine my surprise when I saw Santa Claus himself standing next to my Christmas tree. He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot just as the poem described him, but he was not the "jolly old elf" of Christmas legend. The man who stood before me looked sad and disappointed, and there were tears in his eyes.

"Santa, what's wrong?" I asked, "Why are you crying?"

"It's the children," Santa replied sadly.

"But Santa, the children love you," I said.

"Oh, I know they love me, and they love the gifts I bring them," Santa said, "but the children of today seem to have somehow missed out on the true spirit of Christmas. It's not their fault. It's just that the adults, many of them not having been taught themselves, have forgotten to teach the children."

"Teach them what?" I asked.

Santa's kind old face became soft, more gentle. His eyes began to shine with something more than tears. He spoke softly. "Teach the children the true meaning of Christmas. Teach them that the part of Christmas we can see, hear, and touch is much more than meets the eye. Teach them the symbolism behind the customs and traditions of Christmas which we now observe. Teach them what it is they truly represent."

Santa reached into his bag and pulled out a tiny Christmas tree and set it on my mantle. "Teach them about the Christmas tree. Green is the second color of Christmas. The stately evergreen, with its unchanging color, represents the hope of eternal life in Jesus. Its needles point heavenward as a reminder that mankind's thoughts should turn heavenward as well."

Santa reached into his bag again and pulled out a shiny star and placed it at the top of the small tree. "The star was the heavenly sign of promise. God promised a Savior for the world and the star was the sign of the fulfillment of that promise on the night that Jesus Christ was born. Teach the children that God always fulfills His promises, and that wise men still seek Him."

"Red," said Santa, "is the first color of Christmas." He pulled forth a red ornament for the tiny tree. "Red is deep, intense, vivid. It is the color of the life-giving blood that flows through our veins. It is the symbol of God's greatest gift. Teach the children that Christ gave His life and shed His blood for them that they might have eternal life. When they see the color red, it should remind them of that most wonderful Gift."

Santa found a silver bell in his pack and placed it on the tree. "Just as lost sheep are guided to safety by the sound of the bell, it continues to ring today for all to be guided to the fold. Teach the children to follow the true Shepherd, who gave His life for the sheep."

Santa placed a candle on the mantle and lit it. The soft glow from its one tiny flame brightened the room. "The glow of the candle represents how people can show their thanks for the gift of God's Son that Christmas Eve long ago. Teach the children to follow in Christ's foot steps... to go about doing good. Teach them to let their light so shine before people that all may see it and glorify God. This is what is symbolized when the twinkling lights shine on the tree like hundreds of bright, shining candles, each of them representing one of God's precious children, their light shining for all to see."

Again Santa reached into his bag and this time he brought forth a tiny red and white striped cane. As he hung it on the tree he spoke softly. "The candy cane is a stick of hard white candy: white to symbolize the virgin birth and sinless nature of Jesus, and hard to symbolize the Solid Rock the foundation of the church, and the firmness of God's promises. The candy cane is in the form of a 'J' to represent the precious name of Jesus, who came to earth. It also represents the Good Shepherd's crook, which He uses to reach down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like all sheep, have gone astray. The original candy cane had three small red stripes, which are the stripes of the scourging Jesus received by which we are healed, and a large red stripe that represents the shed blood of Jesus, so that we can have the promise of eternal life."

"Teach these things to the children."

Santa brought out a beautiful wreath made of fresh, fragrant greenery tied with a bright red bow. "The bow reminds us of the bond of perfection, which is love. The wreath embodies all the good things about Christmas for those with eyes to see and hearts to understand. It contains the colors of red and green and the heaven-turned needles of the evergreen. The bow tells the story of good will towards all and its color reminds us of Christ's sacrifice. Even its very shape is symbolic, representing eternity and the eternal nature of Christ's love. It is a circle, without beginning and without end. These are the things you must teach the children."

I asked, "But where does that leave you, Santa?"

The tears gone now from his eyes, a smile broke over Santa's face. "Why bless you, my dear," he laughed, "I'm only a symbol myself. I represent the spirit of family fun and the joy of giving and receiving. If the children are taught these other things, there is no danger that I'll ever be forgotten."

"I think I'm beginning to understand."

"That's why I came," said Santa. "You're an adult. If you don't teach the children these things, then who will?"

(Author Unknown)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Tomecko Echo: A few days before Christmas

The Tomecko Echo: A few days before Christmas: "A few days before Christmas and all through the house... all the kids were going stir crazy, not quiet like a mouse. the stocking were knoc..."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Our anniversary...15 years...and more!

Whew...what a week it has been...

My husband and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary! I cant believe 15 years came and went THAT fast! I mean, in some ways, I can remember every detail...even when we were dating....yet in others ways, there are so many loved ones that were there celebrating our new life together, that are not around anymore. Its so very sad. To me, 15 years is not that long...but then again...I have a 13 year old...and 7 other kids in those 15 years! We have been through more than most couples and love each other more than ever. If there is any blessing from the hard life that we have is that we are stronger as a couple. We know each other so much more. We know that life is precious and that we are in this together. We help each other when one cant, or just needs a break. We are there for each other. It was fate when we met and fate that brought us together. December 16th, we said those vow in front of God and our family and friends. It was the happiest time in my life. I was so excited to start a new life with you (even though we didn't really go on a honeymoon...well, Middleburg Hts Residents inn was perfect...minus the flu I got the next day...hahaha!) With all the similarities in our life, we have made our own beautiful family and memories. Sure we don't have much...but you know what? Its just enough. I love our life. I don't mind struggling a little when I know that it will eventually be worth it...and so far, it has! We have our love, our friendship, our devoted passion for each other that cracks me up sometimes...after all these years...after all these kids...

And now 15 years later, we had leftovers and spaghettio's for our anniversary dinner (until Andrea, my sister, saved us on Saturday), because of sick kiddos...stressful yes, especially not knowing if Kenny will be hospitalized yet again, but you know what? I love our life. I love what we have created. I love what we share and couldnt see it happen with anyone else.

OK...enough of the mushiness...

So its only 2 days before Christmas eve!!! I've baked...and baked...and they've eaten and eaten! So I guess its gonna be sugar cookies and more spritz cookies today and tomorrow...and hopefully we'll have enough for Santas big arrival on Friday night!

So last year, Kenny's Christmas gift to me was him walking! LOVED IT! This year...he has already started something new. He takes the dinner plates from the table and puts them into the sink! Yesterday I was loading the dishwasher when all of a sudden he come walking over to me with a dish and puts it IN the dishwasher! Yep...that was another "tear in the eye" moment! I cant believe that he is actually understanding things! He really know!! He really knows!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Broken dreams

I woke up this morning from a bad dream.

I was at a library of a school with Morgan and Kenny but they were older.Morgan was in her early 20's and Kenny maybe 15-16.
Kenny was acting the way he acts now...unable to talk but was babbling up a storm...but really loud. I was trying to tell him to shhhh...keep it down, we were in a library. I was holding his one hand, and Morgan the other. We started to walk with him, when all of a sudden a group of kids (his age), started mimicking him and making fun of him.
...I woke myself up from this nightmare...
But was it? So far, my biggest fears have become reality, what happens if my secondary "biggest" fears become true? What then? I wanted to tell the group of kids all the spectacular things that he has accomplished. I wanted to tell the kids that he has come such a long way since the 1.7 lbs in the NICU. But all I felt was my heart breaking in half with a huge lump starting to form in my throat. I remember (in my dream), looking over at Morgan. She has that really sad look in her eyes as if to be saying, "mommy, make them stop being so mean." This time, mommy couldn't help.
You know, this is all to common. My oldest son and daughter just got glasses (I have to say, they look adorable). My daughter LOVES son...the opposite. He is starting to wear them around the house and has told me that he can actually see detail to everything (yes...he is very nearsighted...almost as much as I am). But he is so afraid that he is going to be made fun of at school. He has told me straight out that he refuses to wear them there. Again, my heart is breaking for him. I remember when I was in elementary and Jr. High school, my twin sister and I were made fun of on a daily basis. We had glasses and we everyone eyes...nerds. We had each other and a couple of really close friends which I really think saved us and our self esteems. I hated the daily snubs, name calling and the laughing behind our backs at us...I hated it. And now, my kids are worried about it and I am having nightmares about it for my kids. If the kids make fun of someone because of glasses, what are they going to do when Kenny goes to school? Kids wont care how much Kenny has accomplished in the years that he has been alive, just like they wont care that glasses on Tony's face will finally help him see the board from his seat!
Who has a right to judge, to make fun of? Why do kids (and adults) have to be so cruel?
You know when you wake up from a dream and the feeling you felt quickly goes away with the dream...not this one, my stomach is still upset from this. I just want to protect my kids from all the bad in this world. From all the name calling, trying to be popular, trying to fit in...but I know I cant. I just have to take a deep breath and pray that my kids are strong enough to make it through...and come out better for it.
....It was just a dream, a bad dream...a broken dream.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Whimsically Worthwhile Wednesday

Monday and Tuesday were the first (and second) official snow days of the season. Yep, snowed in with freezing wind chills, tons of snow brought on by lake effect. We were getting pounded here in Cleveland! I was up much of Sunday night, keeping an eye on the news to see how the weather was and if the kids school was closed...and finally, at 6:00 pretty much all of the schools in NE Ohio were shut down.
They were calling for this massive snow storm Sunday night to we waited and waited. It was raining for the first half of the day on Sunday, which was great because I really wanted to get to the cemetery to see Nick. I had to fix his grave up for Christmas. I'll tell you what, If I could, I would put up a huge tree with tons of decorations on it for him...God I miss him. I really hate this time of year because it just brings up so many feelings of having a big void in our family. Its all so bittersweet knowing that Jesus was born on Christmas to show the world everlasting life in which my son knows all so well. Merry Christmas Nick
We were able to get to the cemetery Sunday but just as it started to snow and get cold!!! We put the nativity set that the kids made a few weeks ago at church on his grave along with a small Christmas tree. So now, no matter how much snow is covering the ground, we will be able to find where he's at with this beautiful cross marker that my FIL made a few years ago!
Here is what our backyard looked like at around 7 in the morning on continued to snow ALL day. The roads were horrible, but it was so peaceful and beautiful to watch (as long as you didn't have to drive in it).

I had to post some pics of what makes me keep going...We'll call this:
Whimsically Worthwhile Wednesday!

First off, the goofiness of Gina. She was in her pj's then the next thing I know, she has Kenny's boots on and a snowsuit on...then topped it off with a tu-tu! This has been every day for 4 days already. First thing in the morning to right before bed...lord help me (tee hee)

Next, the small tree with Nicks foot print ornament that the NICU made me and all sorts of beautiful ornaments that were given to us in memory of Nick...including one with Nicks name on it! Our way of remembering Nick during Christmas.
the true smiles on my two oldest kids faces! God I love to see them play and melts my heart! And finally....
My Whimsically Worthwhile Wednesday is topped off by...
My son Kenny, whom is finally starting to communicate with us as to what he wants. Sydnie was sitting by the heater (yes, THE heater that they fight over all winter long...see back posts about this), when all of a sudden Kenny went over to her and was pushing her to stand up. He then grabbed her hands and walked her into the dining room. He then proceeded to pull her hands downwards(as if telling her to go to the ground). When she didn't do what he was trying to show her...he let go and went to the ground on his hands and knees and then looked at her...He wanted her to copy him. She then went on her hands and knees (like he was). He got a huge smile on his face and started to crawl around. He wanted her to play "crawl on the ground" with him!!!! This is the VERY FIRST thing he has EVER done to show what he really wanted! I am so proud! Yes, I had a tear in my eye!! He is such a blessing. All my kids are such a blessing. I thank God every day for them!
They make it all

Friday, December 10, 2010

miracles in every day life

I have had so many interesting things that have happened to me these last couple of months....ah..ok...years! It started when my brother passed away...that's when the street lights would just start either going off or on right when we'd be under it. Then just recently 11:11 or 1:11 on the clock...I'd get a strange urge to look at the clock at that exact moment. A few weeks back, I was on here reading Kenny and Nicks birth story...when all of a sudden the screen went white. I looked at the time...11:11! It may just be a coincidence, but I want to think that it is something more.

I want to clear some preconceptions that some people may have made towards myself, my husband and our decision to have so many kids. I don't feel I should have to explain ourselves, but I feel I need to because there are certain people that feel so strongly against how many kids we have and the idea of us having anymore.

"Will you accept children lovingly from God, and bring them up according to the law of Christ and His church." That was one of the vows that Tony and I agreed upon when we were married. Before then, I never wanted children. I was scared, I was young and I was not married. I had not taken those vows which have become very important in our lives. Its right up there with Honoring each other as husband and wife for the rest of our lives. We hold our vows very near and dear to our hearts. I am not addicted to getting/being pregnant, I know I have a bicornuate uterus but my doctor felt that it wasn't something to be operated on or fixed. Through each pregnancy, I have been monitored very closely...the babies have been monitored and they have all been born(minus the twins) for the most part, healthy. To tell Tony and I that we are wrong in having our children, or to not have what we wrong. I do not judge, my husband doesn't judge. Having Kenny and Nick was a natural fluke...I want to say a blessing from God. I was told I would years ago that having twins would just not happen within my body...and yet, it did. I did not go and seek IVF to have them implanted inside my womb. So to tell us or shun us about this is just wrong. I don't go around telling anyone...not anyone how many kids they should or shouldn't have. I would never question why some people choose to have just a couple kids...or even none at all. I would never question if a woman chose to have her tubes tied or what kind of birth control was being used. My husband and I are very happy. Our children are very happy. I asked them yesterday if they felt bad in anyway (and to be honest) that they come from a big family living in a small know what they told me...each one said "NO" Not at all. They enjoy each other and even though they get on each others nerves, like all siblings do, they love having each other.

Am I worried about Its as simple as that. When the time comes for them to go to college...they will work to put themselves through. In this day in age, barely anyone has $$ put away for their kids college funds. We are sending 5...yes 5 kids to private school, in the process of paying off our house in a few years and never ask ANYONE for help in any way (except for the home makeover)! We have gone without the wants and stuck to the needs and you know what? It isn't that bad. My kids are not "without".

With Kenny being a special needs child...I have heard, well haven't you learned from having him? Ummm...I've learned that I have more love to give to all of my kids. I have learned to not take life for granted. To accept what happens in life...through having a chronically ill child who needs round the clock care to the hospital stays...but most of all...the smiles, hugs and small accomplishments that he makes. I have also heard, "aren't you scared of having a child so late in life...what about downs syndrome? For that question I say, If my doctor felt that I was in danger or my unborn child (if I was pregnant, which I am not) was in danger...I would definitely NOT get pregnant...but there is no danger. If I had a child with Down Syndrome...It would not change anything. As an eye son, Kenny is DEVELOPMENTALLY years past, it was known as retarded. My son goes to school with several beautiful kids with downs...I don't see it as a problem, a bad thing...I have been there...I see how beautiful and loving these children are...there is no real difference between downs and a child like Kenny. So no, I don't think of this.

Another one is that I don't have enough time or love to give to all of my kids...well, for that...I just have to say...You are not me or my husband. You do not see the time spent with each one of our kids. They are helped with their homework, taken to clubs or sport events, have sleepovers, and are spent with quality time by my husband and myself. We even volunteer help others.

It seems that the people that are not or never have been in a certain situation are the ones to judge and condemn the most.

We are a strong husband and I are very close and the love shows through to our children. I have never regretted having any of my kids. They are all made because of the love my husband and I share. This month we will be married 15 years...on top of knowing each other for several years before we do, is for ourselves and not for others to outspokenly judge, condemn, make up lies, try to break us down. I have this blog because I have many friends and followers who have been in my shoes with a micro preemie or a loss of a child. I love writing and will not stop. I write about my family, poems that I think of pertaining to my life, and our daily life as a huge family so family that lives far away can keep updated. If you are only here to pick apart and "tattle" on can just stop because it doesn't affect us in any way, shape or form. To those that of whom I am speaking of...You were know you are wrong...and we are not affected by you. We will never be. Right always prevails wrong and your actions are proving it. So now you can do what you promised (and stay away) because we are living our life and have no time, room, space or care for drama.

On a lighter note...we are soooo looking forward to Christmas eve and Christmas day. The younger kids are in the nativity play at the church on Christmas Eve and Tony will be serving! Not to mention the cookies that we will be making...I have been getting one or two things of sprinkle and frostings everytime we go shopping...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Someone to be there...

I am going to jump into something here that I have been thinking about for about a year now...

What makes a person want to help others? Be there for someone for moral support? Want to go full force with a cause that is near and dear?

Well, I think I can answer that.

When Nick was dying in the NICU, we had a person from the Hospice in the room with us. She introduced herself to Tony and I and asked if we needed anything. I honestly don't remember her name or anything else about her, and at that point, it seemed very irrelevant...but I do remember her kindness and support along with all the nurses that were there to help us through the whole "process".

Then, every week for 2 years we had a counselor from the pediatric dept. of the hospice come and just talk to the kids and us. I really felt that we were not alone in losing a child and my kids losing a sibling. She was a friend to the kids. She got them to talk about and honor Nick's short life. She help the kids through all of Kenny's issues and she was there for my husband and I. Gave us moral support in the grieving process. Told us it was normal to feel what we were feeling... of a couple of days ago, I registered to be part of the hospice as a Support Parent. I will be receiving training in January to be a person that can be there for a family that has a child with a chronic illness or who have just lost a child. To answer questions, to be an ear if they need to vent and to help them from a "parent who has been there, done that."

I really feel that between this and volunteering with The March of Dimes, that I have found what was supposed to be. I want to make what we have been through easier on other families who are just going through the whole born too early, NICU stay, death of a child and dealing with a child with a chronic illness. Its the path that I feel that I was meant to take. I know I am strong enough now and to help others, I know God will be there backing me on this. I have been through more than most...and I am here. I am happy. I am healthy. I did not curl up in a corner like some thought I would. Life has gone on and yes, I miss my Nick and grieve for him every minute of every day...but he wouldn't want me to not go on with kids, husband and family don't deserve it and I really want to show him that his loss is not in vain. I am stronger because of losing him...I don't like it, but feel good knowing that he will never be forgotten!

So...with this...I will go forward with life and turn all the lemons that have happened to us into the best lemonade made with love, compassion, hard work and determination.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Snow Angels

Yes, I'm back...trying to find time between the kids, the housework and potty breaks to get my butt back in gear to write. I have a lot of catching up to do! Seems like this last month has been cut short in terms of hours of the day! I'm still not at par with this whole "time change" schedule...neither is Kenny and Gina. By 7:30 these two are way past ready for bed!

So these last few days have seen many things...the first measurable amout of snow...and yes, it caught me off guard. I had to go down to the basement, rummage through the rubbermaid bins of shoes and boots to see who still fit into the boots we had. All I have to say it, thank God for hand me downs...the only two that I need to really buy for is Tony and Gina! Woo Hoo! In the meantime, Tony has been wearing my boots...yes...he is fitting into my boots...and I do have horribly large feet! HAHA!

Gina has been wearing Kenny's boots because he wont step one foot into the cold, wet stuff! He actually freaks out everytime I get him to walk from the house to the van. Its the sensery issues coming out in full force for him. Gina, on the other hand, will spend hours just playing on the deck...she came inside to show me how she made a snow angel...very cute!

So yeah, winter is here...the tree has been up since Thanksgiving...and believe it or not, there have only been a handfull of times when Kenny and Gina wanted to mess with the feather garland is half off and the candy canes that were on there...well...they somehow dissapeared...just so happens that as they *poof* dissapear, each one of my kids has pepperminty breath! Not to worry...10 boxes of candy canes sit in the back of the van for this very reason. Hey, its the holiday season, right?!

Which brings me to another neat thing....Kenny! Yep, Kenny....he's been working on eating lunch meat! Woo Hoo! He has finally learned to chew and swallow thinly (pretty much shaved) sliced pieces of turkey lunch meat! It started off when we were shopping. Gina usually wants a piece of lunchmeat as we are shopping...well this time, Kenny wanted a piece. We thought he's throw it on the floor, or spit it out...but nope. He chewed and swallowed it...not grant it, it took him a while, but he did it. Then, he wanted another piece...and another piece. Before we knew it he had 5 pieces of lunch meat in the store! I so badly wanted to get on the overhead speaker and tell the entire store that my son is eating lunchmeat...but I think I'd be taken away for being a bit of a loon, so Tony and I just kept the small celebration to ourselves! Since then...its been a hit or miss with his eating...I've found chewed up lunchmeat all near his highchair! What a lovely sight! haha!

Last Sunday, we went to a chuch was a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon as a family together. We made a wooden block nativity that was blessed by the priest at the end of the day and also made cards and crafts for the homebound. I just love church events that bring us all together! I love the friends we have that go there...and just the whole experience. I am so happy that my kids are learning the true meaning of family, friends and helping others.I feel very blessed in my life to have such amazing family, friends, and faith...and if you look on my left shoulder (the same side Nick was on inside of me), I also very blessed to have my very own guardian angel