Wednesday, December 21, 2011


‎6:55... I'm done going to bed an wishing this, this holiday, the whole freaking year would end rather quickly. Screw making cookies. Sucks because i loved Christmas time and now too down to even care.
Always stuck at home, only to go to dr. Appts, therapies...etc. I know this is the life god chose for me...but kinda blows! I have PTSD from the death of my child and the ups and downs of Kenny's health struggles....I don't get to hang out with friends...ever, and I really want my life know, making T-shirts for micro preemies, making headpieces/jewelry, drawing...I lost it all. Has nothing to do with how many kids we's about being a caregiver to a sick child with so many different needs...from Autism to feeding issues to giving him his Meds.. My life right now is his life. I love him and all my children with all my heart and soul....and would and have given up everything for them...but I'm just bummed. I wish I had my twins here. I honestly miss my nick so much. It wasn't fair that god called him back so soon. I wanted him and never had the chance to be his mom! This is the first year that I didn't put up my angel tree...not that I didn't want too...but as I was getting all the ornaments from the container...all the angels were broken. So was my heart.
I know this post is a Debbie downer, but I have always written what I feel.

Hen a huge shout out (NOT) to Toys For Tots. just have to say...the system sucks!!! There are tons of people abusing it when there are true people in need!
Something is just not right when people standing in line to get a few toys for kids, who are supposedly too poor to buy their own, pull out iPhone, etc. The conversations that were heard were about how this one woman was getting gifts for her 10 grandchildren (whom doesn't even live with her), another guy was on his phone getting SSN from whoever and writing them he was telling the person on the other end that he was going to get these toys so he could sell them!!!! This has got to change! Oh...and these people were every year regulars! They know exactly what to do...even brought big garbage bags to put the toys in!!!! shouldn't there be a limit? Shouldn't they look at the documents of income, birth certs, proof of residence...etc like they ask you to bring? I don't think I can ever get myself to donate to anything like this ever! It has really ruined my outlook on things! I tried calling the head of the organization AND the news stations but no one cares. It's another reason why I have lost my holiday cheer!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Gingerbread house building 101

Kenny's class had their annual Gingerbread House Party where the kids and their parents make gingerbread houses together. It was a great opportunity to get the parents and kids together for the holidays and also great to show us the skills they have learned...opening wrappers, frosting and pressing...what a genius his teacher is! Thank you Mrs. Schneider for another wonderful class/family day! We missed it last year because Kenny was in the hospital, so this year was even more special!

Daddy putting Kenny's hearing aids in... Gina showing Kenny's teacher that she is soooo ready for preschool...maybe even kindergarten with her frosting spreading skills...
The houses are finally taking shape! Kenny was a little preoccupied by everything other than the gingerbread house haha....

Time to put the candy and decorations on the houses!

Kenny really liked the taste of the mean...pretzels...

Showing off the finished houses! True masterpieces!

Mommy's and Gina's house...

Daddy's and Kenny's house...
They turned out rather cute for first timers on gingerbread house building.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Photo Card

Faith Love Family Religious
Shutterfly cards for Mother's Day, Valentines Day, Birthdays & more.
View the entire collection of cards.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

An angelversary poem

It's been so long since we saw you last...
It makes it so hard to think back to the past.

The family is not the same since you went away
We were lost, sad and helpless on that angel day.

Even after this length of time has gone by...
It still brings me to tears and I start to cry.

Oh what would you look like, where would you be...
If you were still here for all of us to see.

I think of you always, and I hope that you know...
Life here without you for surely can blow.

I know your an angel with halo and wings...
With family and friends, and know many things.

There's one thing that I want you to know today..
I will alway love you, miss you and wish you could have stayed.

Happy angelversary to my brother John.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Update from Kennys PICU/hospital stay...*sigh*

Wish I could sleep. I'm at home now from a very long and scary day with Kenny. After many breathing treatments and being on oxygen, his was pulse oxing in the low 90's all day...on top of wheezing. They even tried a vent vest (a vest that is uses to break up mucus in the lungs) because his lungs are just not getting better. I've got a couple sick kids here, laundry and dishes. When I left the hospital, I had to pry a sleeping angel from my arm that he was hugging. He was pulse ox-ing at 87 so the nurse had to up his oxygen even more... I called to see if Kenny's stats went up after I left and...well...he just got done puking...everything...everywhere. So he didn't like the bath he got from his nurse and they are giving him zofran and pepcid and holding off on his feeds for a few hours....if this doesn't work, I'm afraid that tomorrow will be an iv and another chest x-ray. Pleeeease keep him in your prayers. I'm so worried about him on top of feeling helpless and neglectful to the other kids(because of being at the hospital all day with Kenny). Also say a little prayer that I can get through all of this. I am so afraid of losing my little guy. Being a grown up sucks.

D@mn extreme prematurity!

I thought we were out of the woods, I mean...four and a half years later, I thought we wouldn't have to worry about too much...boy was I wrong! I do know that when a preemie gets sick, it happens hard and fast, so Monday when he was up all night long wheezing and had a fever, I knew he had to get to the hospital. We get there and the "doctor" that took care of Kenny heard he was wheezing...his pulse ox was 93 as well so they gave him a breathing treatment, still wheezing...and sent him home with prescriptions that couldn't be filled because of something written wrong on them. Fast forward to yesterday morning when he woke up and just looked very sickly. After me being up all night with breathing treatments and Tylenol/Motrin to keep his fever not to cause a seizure...the wheeze was still there. I called and they got him right in for a chest x-ray and office visit. In the office, he was pulse ox-ing the very low 90's...when the doctor listened to his lungs, he wasn't moving any air at all. At that time, they ordered back to back to back albuterol treatments...7 total and he was still stating very low and having a hard time breathing. They decided to admit him to the pediatric intensive care unit where they can keep a better eye on his lungs. He, at that point, was put on 2 liters of oxygen...and he was STILL pulse ox-ing in the low to mid 90's. The flood of memories and emotions hit me like a Why? After all of the struggles he has been through...why does he have to battle massive lung issues that could kill him. I lost nick to bad lungs and I really thought we were out of the woods with Kenny...but I guess this will always be an issue.
Today he has been sleeping, much more than yesterday...and I am sitting here so mad at the fact that the doctors on Monday, didn't listen to me...his mom...who knows her son. And also mad at prematurity!
It has robbed me of my twins, it has robbed my Kenny of a normal childhood and it has robbed my emotional state and way of looking at life.
Please keep the prayers coming..he is not out of the woods.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tales of a pre-lit nightmare!

ACK! Yes, I did just say, "ack"! This time of year is my all time favorite. From Halloween to New Years Day, I love every bit of the holiday season. I started off this season way back in October, listening to Christmas music and burning fall candles...and now...more Christmas music (its easier to find now), cinnamon and holly scented candles, lights, lights and more lights...and decorating the house for Christmas...Cue the music....dun dun dun...

A few years back, we bought a pre-lit Christmas tree. It was perfect in the store. It looked so was full, had tons of beautiful white lights on it and it even had the pine cones to make it look even more real. It was love at first sight. I much better could it be? I would never again have to string lights on a tree. It was all done so I could spend more time with other, more important was perfect for us.

That is...until the following year when the whole middle section of lights went out. I called the place I got the tree from, and after a long day of fighting on the phone, I ended up having them replace the tree for me. Score 1 for Michele!

That is....until the following year....

Yes, last year was another headache from heck with the tree. Again, there was a whole section of lights out. Somehow, I got it working...and the areas that I couldn't get lit, I added my own lights. It was more hassle than I bargained for. Who has time to mess with burned out lights or fuses when you have 7 kids...especially one who has special needs...not me.

So then we come to this year...Like years past, I get so excited to put the tree up that I made Tony drag up the monster of a box, that looked like its been through war after was a pain, but a good pain. As we were struggling with the box on the basement steps, we noticed that it didn't escape the mold and mildew that took over our basement from the long wet spring and summer we had. It stunk so bad that we had to unload the tree from the box right on the steps. I thought to myself that it was going to be alright...praying all the while that the smell didn't get to the tree itself. So we finally got the last of the tree into the living room where I was going to perform my Christmas magic on was going to be easy this year.

As I got the first layer up I was getting excited that maybe his year...just maybe...the tree would go up without a hitch...

First layer, up. Now for layer number 2. Put it on top of the first layer...plugged it in...aaaand...all but one section lit. OK...looking at the problem....the bulbs were all burnt out. So off to the specialty store where I bought the tree from...because, of course you can only use THEIR replacement bulbs in THEIR trees. When it was said and done, we spent $30 on bulbs. Because of the stress from the kids screaming and the stupid tree, I had one heck of a headache by the time we left the store. So putting the rest of the tree up would have to wait overnight til Saturday so I had time to get rid of the headache that was taking over my brain.

Saturday morning came and I was feeling much better. Nothing better than a good nights sleep to clear the mind! I started right away with the exchange of bad bulbs to good on the strand that was darkening my Christmas spirit! With each bulb change, my outlook started to grow wasn't going on! Finally, the last new bulb in place and still nothing! GRRRR! OK...think, think....maybe the fuse was blown. So I put new fuses in...and still nothing. I got so upset that I took scissors to that one line of lights, I mean, It was only three branches and did have an extra strand of white lights from last year that I never used on the garlands for the outside. It would work...I was going to make it work! Took some time unraveling the branches, but I did it...and it looked good with the new lights on. Finally! I can start to get excited again. I reached down and grabbed the third layer of the tree, placed it on the restrung layer, and plugged it in.


At this point, I just walked away from the whole mess. I didn't want to do something that I would regret one day. Then, after looking around and listening to all the chaos that was my home (the kids fighting, Kenny screaming, toys thrown everywhere, pillows and blankets from the kids sleepover on the couch and floor), I took matters into my own hands...

The scissors came out once more and I made a phone call to Tony (hoping he'd talk me out of the irrational move I was about to make)....the phone call went something like this: Me: Hi ,Tony. The lights don't work and I'm cutting all of them out of the whole tree. OK. Love you. Bye!

And the stress relief was in progress! I cut, and unraveled...unraveled and cut. And finally....on Sunday morning, It was done!

Never EVER buy a pre-lit tree...ever! What a waste of time, but I do feel wonderful for taking matters into my own hands. I may just have to give the store their lights back in a garbage bag with a note that thanks them for showing me that buying a pre-lit tree and spending a lot of money on a tree (that is supposed to last years and years)...isn't worth it! They suck you into thinking that pre-lit is the way to go...yeah...down the toilet!

Think of this as a small public service announcement ;)

Now to get to the store and buy colored lights and twinkle ones for a multi-colored tree this year! Oh, and the moldy/mildew smell? Yes, the tree is a little stinky, but nothing that ScentSicles won't take care of.

I have so much to be thankful for!

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Prematurity Awareness and what it is all about...

This month is all about Prematurity Awareness and today is World Prematurity Awareness Day...
I could write a book about what this is all about...

Prematurity is all about being cheated out of a full 40 weeks of know, the part of the pregnancy where women complain about...yeah...thats the part prematurity skips...I always wanted to be that pregnant woman complaining of her swollen cankles, her sore back, hips, etc...

Most of my babies came at 34 weeks...the longest I ever got to was 36 weeks...still early, but not as early as my twins whom I was cheated out of just about half my pregnancy. Pretty much the whole third trimester (with a little bit of second trimester)...17 weeks early. I missed out on everything except to feel the two of them moving around in me. Prematurity robs a mommy to be of her special time and its a very hard thing to take in.

Prematurity is about having your baby early, not being able to hold your baby right away...sometimes even for weeks.

...Its about being thrown into the whole NICU experience, be it either for feeding and heating issues or more, much more serious issues that mean life or death.

...Its about leaving the hospital without your baby...worried, scared and sad.

...Its about putting your baby's life in the care of the team of doctors and nurses in the NICU.

...Its about praying to God you don't get THAT call from the hospital to come right away because...well...they don't want to worry you...they'll tell you when you get there. Worry, pray, cry, worry, pray, cry....

...Its about finally being able to take your baby home, but not without infant CPR classes and car seat checks to make sure your little one can handle sitting in a car seat without change in oxygen sats or heart rate drops.

...Its all about learning how to use home health care equipment...apnea monitors, pulse ox monitors....when the alarms go off...what do you do? Worry, pray, check to make sure its nothing...then, go cry into your pillow.

Its about medications, doctor visits, therapies, feeding issues, hospital stays, RSV, being on house arrest from October to April for fear of your preemie getting sick.

Its about delays in development, hearing loss in some, eye problems in others.

Its about looking to the future but not being able to because of the fear that grips you at the thought of it.

And finally...

Its about many times, not bringing home that baby that you carried, had big dreams for, prayed over, cried over...loved.

Part one of my twin pregnancy video

Part two of my twin pregnancy video
Premature infant
A premature infant is a baby born before 37 weeks gestation.
At birth, a baby is classified as one of the following:
Premature (less than 37 weeks gestation)
Full term (37 to 42 weeks gestation)
Post term (born after 42 weeks gestation)
If a woman goes into labor before 37 weeks, it is called preterm labor.
Often, the cause of preterm labor is unknown.
Multiple pregnancy (twins, triplets, etc.) makes up about 15% of all premature births.
Health conditions and events in the mother may contribute to preterm labor.
Examples are:
Heart disease
Infection (such as a urinary tract infection or infection of the amniotic membrane)
Kidney disease
Different pregnancy-related problems increase the risk of preterm labor:
An "insufficient" or weakened cervix, also called cervical incompetence
Birth defects of the uterus (which is what I have)
History of preterm delivery
Poor nutrition right before or during pregnancy
Preeclampsia -- the development of high blood pressure and protein in the urine after the 20th week of pregnancy
Premature rupture of the membranes (placenta previa)
Other factors that make preterm labor and a premature delivery more likely include:
African-American ethnicity (not related to socioeconomic status)
Age (younger than 16 or older than 35)
Lack of prenatal care
Low socioeconomic status
Use of tobacco, cocaine, or amphetamines

A premature infant's organs are not fully developed.
The infant needs special care in a nursery until the organ systems have developed enough to sustain life without medical support. This may take weeks to months.
A premature infant will have a lower birth weight than a full-term infant. Common physical signs of prematurity include:
Body hair (lanugo)
Abnormal breathing patterns (shallow, irregular pauses in breathing called apnea)
Problems breathing due to immature lungs (neonatal respiratory distress syndrome) or pneumonia
Lower muscle tone and less activity than full-term infants
Problems feeding due to difficulty sucking or coordinating swallowing and breathing
Less body fat
Soft, flexible ear cartilage
Thin, smooth, shiny skin, which is often transparent (can see veins under skin)
Not all premature babies will have these characteristics.

If the infant has breathing problems:
A tube may be placed into the windpipe (trachea). A machine called a ventilator will help the baby breathe.
Some babies whose breathing problems are less severe receive continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) with small tubes in the nose rather than the trachea. Or they may receive only extra oxygen.
Oxygen may be given by ventilator, CPAP, nasal prongs, or an oxygen hood over the baby's head.
Nursery care is needed until the infant is able to breathe without extra support, feed by mouth, and maintain body temperature and a stable or increasing body weight. In very small infants, other problems may complicate treatment and a longer hospital stay may be needed.

Possible complications that may occur while in the hospital include:
Bleeding into the brain (intraventricular hemorrhage of the newborn) or damage to the brain's white matter (periventricular leukomalacia)
Infection or neonatal sepsis
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome, extra air in the tissue of the lungs (pulmonary interstitial emphysema), bleeding in the lungs (pulmonary hemorrhage)...this is what took our Nick to Heaven.
Newborn jaundice
Patent ducturs arteriosus this is what Kenny had to have surgery on when he was 7 days old.
Severe intestinal inflammation (necrotizing enterocolitis)
Possible long-time complications include:
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD)
Delayed growth and development
Mental or physical disability or delay
Retinopathy of prematurity, vision loss, or blindness

One of the most important steps to preventing prematurity is to receive prenatal care as early as possible in the pregnancy, and to continue such care until the baby is born. Statistics clearly show that early and good prenatal care reduces the chance of premature birth.
Premature labor can sometimes be treated or delayed by a medication that blocks uterine contractions. Many times, however, attempts to delay premature labor are not successful.
Betamethasone (a steroid medication) given to mothers in premature labor can reduce the severity of some of the prematurity complications on the baby.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

U.S.S Kenny

(Ultra Super Special )

Last week was picture day for Kenny at his special needs preschool. It's been a very emotional day for me. At one side, I am so excited that he is healthy enough to be at school to be getting his picture taken..actually...I should say, am extremely blessed that he is here at 4 years old, in a special school and getting his very first school picture taken.
And on the other end, I am so sad at the fact that...again...another first that his twin, Nick won't be experiencing. I guess this life of being a bereaved mother with a surviving twin will always be a bittersweet one.
Because of this, I made a pin for Kenny to wear on his shirt. It's an angel pin with a very tiny prematurity awareness ribbon dangling from it.
I sometimes think that it's not fair that I try to keep nicks memory alive through Kenny, but it's how I am dealing with this and Nick will always be Kenny's Twin....
On another note, Kenny got his new hearing aids...YAY!!!! They are different than the last ones he had, lost and broke (haha). They are made so the teacher can just talk into a microphone and he will be able to hear it where ever he is and whatever he is doing...rather than having to sit right next to an FM speaker. He was denied several times from Medicaid but with the help from all of his doctors, specialists, teachers and us...we finally got them!
Kenny's health has been so-so, (knocking on wood) he hasn't been THAT sick to end up in the hospital...just the typical coughing and runny nose.
We got his report card today...he has really excelled in school! He is really working on trying to meet all of his goals from his IEP. He is starting to play with other kids, vocalizing more (not words...just a lot of sounds...but we'll take it!), just all around really starting to act more of a 3 year old! I'm so very proud of him!

On another note...I had to put my Milestones For Miracles on hold last month and part of this month due to personal reasons. I am sorry if I didnt get some shirts out to those that needed them...I promise to make it up to you all. Its just that I had some pretty bad luck (things happen) lately and I had to put things on hold. I WILL be starting up again this weekend...I PROMISE!

Crazy, crazy last couple of weeks...part one

How proud can a mom be? Very. Watching your oldest daughter and her cheer squad completely proud! They did a great job...didn't win, but did an awesome job anyhow!

The day started at 5 in the morning....oh wait...let me back track a little....

It was the start to the very busy weekend ahead, Kenny's PTU Halloween family fun night. Thursday was Kenny's Halloween party, and Friday was the day to start my 300+ cupcakes for our churches Spaghetti dinner. During the day, I dealt with a very crabby Kenny, a day out of shopping for cupcake stuff and then picked the kids up from school, did a few more errands and then started the cupcakes. I got 13 dozen cupcakes made (6 dozen red velvet and 7 dozen apple/ scratch). I was working on the chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes when the apple/bananas were done. I grabbed them out of the oven, and closed the oven door. All of a sudden the entire top (control panel) of the oven/stove sparked...A LOT...and burned all the dials and wiring! freakin exploded. So...what was I to do? After crying I laughed at what else could go wrong? I mean....its been one thing after another...It has been almost comical!

I can rule out a big glass of wine because of the heartburn it has caused me in the past. Maybe a long trip off of a short many people counting on me and would miss the maid work...haha. So I just had to say screw it. screw the broken oven, the electrical in the house that makes every light bulb blow every week, the broken doors, small apartment sized refrigerator, the ants, the water seeping in the basement, the cement blockade that I hit with my van, and the screaming/crying fits from a beautiful little boy who cant help it and from my other kids who can. Screw the giving up my life as an artist, wanting to be a bridal/headpiece boutique owner, wanting to,, for once be a "high maintenance" type of person.....

...I'm just gonna remember that my life has a path of its own. I've tried and tried and tried...its almost like George Bailey in Its a Wonderful have a whole life planned out and it went completely in a different direction.

S0 after my small pity party, I went to bed to only wake up every 2 hours to Kenny. Knowing that we had to be out of the house at 7 for Taylor's cheer comp. in Akron.

The morning went with the usual fighting (waking a bunch of kids up a 6 is never a good thing). Oh...and by the way, I now know why we need more than one and a half bathrooms in the house. Taylor's hair was in a perfect high ponytail and she looked like the perfect cheerleader...while we were all dressed in the school colors to cheer them on! Finally, we all piled in the car...while some of the kids were still fighting...and headed out.
Getting there at just the right time...not too early and not late at all...yes, that was an amazing feat for us, we're always late!
There were a sea of different cheerleading outfits (girls included) walking around and practicing for the mind you, this is a middle school catholic cheer booty shaking and not a whole lot of acrobats.
The girls did a great job, they were all in sync and worked hard to perfect their cheer/dance. What was really surprising is that the football team was there to cheer on their cheerleaders...
What a great time we all had. The girls didn't win, but they won because they were amazing to us and to themselves! We'll get 'em next year!

Here is the link to the Video I made of the cheer:

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Artwork from Sydnie...

Sydnie made this for all Souls Day at school...Sydnie is looking up at Nick in the sky (as an angel). She made wings on the "N" and a halo over it. All her idea. Brought tears to my eyes.

I love my kids so much and wish they never had to experience the death of their brother.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fever or the real thing?????

Mommy, I see guys in our room...don't you see them? They're right over there (pointing by the bedroom door). As the night went on, she still was waking me up to tell me that these guys were scaring her. Feeling her head, I knew she was delirious with fever so I took her out of her crib (which is in our room), and took her downstairs to get her some Motrin for the fever. I brought her back in bed with now in our king size bed, we have Kenny at the far right, my husband, Gina and myself with just about 3 inches of bed before I hit the floor.
By now it was 4 in the morning and I have been up for 2and a half hours trying to convince my 3 year old (and myself) that there was no ghosts in our room let alone, in our house!
As she was laying next to me, she pointing towards the door of the room insisting that someone was standing there. I told her to tell the ghost to go she was yelling at it to go...then I pulled the blanket up closer to us with the iPad on for a night light (playing soothing Christmas music). It seemed to be working...she dosed off for about 4 minutes...then I see her stating at me...well...past me. She said, mommy....the guy is right next to you, don't you see him? He's right there. this point, I am freaking the heck out! I pulled the blanket up over both of our heads and was trying tho wake my snoring husband up from his deep sleep...which he so badly deserved after working all hours of the day and night.
So we both finally fell was probably from lack of oxygen due to the blanket covering our heads...haha...
Morning came, and she woke up taking about the people she saw in our room. Taylor nonchalantly was asking her very general questions, as to not put ideas or words in her head....questions like....How many are there? (answer: 3). How old are they...are they like my age(12), mommys age or grant as age? Her answer....a guy mommy's age, Kenny and a little girl with brown hair. Hmmmm.... Now I have to the one that she says was Kenny...was it Nick? I guess if you believe in this kind of stuff, then it is very interesting...especially wit hthe odd things that have been happening around here lately. But, if you don't believe, then I guess you could chalk it up to being delirious with fever or something real logical. I'm not sure what believe...all I know is that she was very sure and positive that there were people in our room...and it wasn't us. To top the whole thing off...this was the second time in 3 days that she has freaked out about these people in our room...and coincidently, the last episode happened in 11-1-11 (all Saints Day). I am a very strong believer in the powers and meanings of 11:11. 11-1-11, or anytimhpg that. Eeeeeeek!

Everyday is something new yet constantly the same

It's giving the same feeds and meds...
Trying to feed the same foods, the same way.
It's the hoping that this day will be THE day that you finally get the whole eating thing.

It's praying that he cough Kenny has doesn't land him in the hospital...even 4 years later (after his early birth)
It's the loving him, that beautiful smile...the knowing what he's been through and wishing nothing but great things for him.
It's knowing that his life will be a struggle harder than some but a little easier than others.
It's the battle of wanting to have a life outside of just being a caregiver mommy but knowing that it's impossible. And honestly, It is a hard pill to swallow at times, but OK at others.

It's getting the dirty looks in stores, restaurants and wherever else we go as a family because people just don't understand the loud screams and tantrums of a child with autism and hearing loss.
It's the nonstop day (and night) that I breaks, no respite and unable to quite understand what my child wants and needs.

The newness is when he comes home from school with a new art project the teachers helped him with, a new sign that he uses at times when he really wants something, or even this past trick or treating when he ran from house to house opening his bag for candy...then doing the sign for "more". He'll never even eat the stuff, but for him, the fun of it all was going door to door!
It's the feeling if praying that the cold he gets doesn't turn into something even more. Holding my breath at every cough, breathing treatment and fever.
It's also the feeling if trying to juggle 6 other kids with their wants and needs. Helping with homework, breaking up fights between a few, trying to them to help out but knowing very well that they won't. The laundry, meals, dishes, picking things up....yep, all on me. They have totally used my weakness of having to take care of, and watch Kenny 24/7 to their advantage!
I'm living a nightmare whom not many would want. but many feel that I brought it on myself for having so many's to those that say/think that...

My husband and I decided to have a big family...every child very welcomed. The fact that we have a special needs child was something that we were no expecting but are doing lour best taking care of him (and the rest of the kids). Its not what many people experience in their lifetime....having tons of kids, losing a child and having a child with many extra medical and special needs.

So onto the bad luck we've been having...ha ha...

The oven blew up On Friday night while in the process of making cupcakes for the no stove. My daughter Gina is seeing dead people in our room at awkward esp. On 11-1-11, we have several birds living in our, and the electrical throughout the house is slowly....whats the word...dying.

I am very blessed to have an amazing husband who is my best friend. He is a very hard worker and loves spending time with the kids. Now if we could just find a date night (OK...make it a weekend), it would be awesome!

Its been one heck of a few months in which I really need(ed) to regroup and come to realize that sometimes dreams don't come true and that if you want something badly...sometimes you just cant get it...So basically, I'm drained and honestly have no fight left. Ive been through way more than I ever thought of and can't really handle much more. Ok stepping off the pity party podium.
Btw....thanks again EM:HE for helping us, it was so worth it...haahaa! I just need to rest my mind and soul and self.
Sometimes I miss my old life, but love my new life even though I sit and complain (again...this is why I write this write out all my feelings...positive & negative).

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween party at preschool

Thursday marked the day of Kenny's school Halloween party. We skimped out on costumes this year, just because the money situation hasn't been the luckily I found these cute glow in the dark skeleton PJ's for Kenny AND Gina! Perfect for a school party!
Gina jumped right in and was part of Kenny's class, enjoying snack time with her big brother and his friends & teachers...

Then it was time for trick or treating throughout the school...and following that...the class picture *yes, Gina was in the picture too.

In his classroom, I noticed these cute little bats that the kids made...

And this fun sensory/therapy pumpkin. It was teaching the kids with special needs to hammer the golf t's in the hallowed out pumpkin...

After all the class time and trick or treating, it was gym time. Kenny loves to go down the slide.
Here...his teacher was helping him on the obstacle beam...

Gina showing off to everyone that she could balance rather well...and look cute doing it!

I HAD to get a picture of my two skeletons. I just love these two! They had more fun!!!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I light a candle tonight...

Today is National Pregnancy and Infant loss Awareness Day.
Please light a candle at 7:00 pm.
In honor of Nick, our many miscarriages and for all of those that has lost a pregnancy or child.

As I light my candle tonight, I pray that all of our angels are together and that we find peace in knowing they are together with God and all of our relatives that have passed on. I pray that no mother, father, grandparent, aunt, uncle or siblings have to experience such a painful loss that hurts well beyond any one's imagination. I pray for every woman who has experienced the joys of finding out that your going to be a mommy only for it to turn to devastation when you hear, "I'm sorry, there is no heartbeat" and then have to bare the burden and guilt of "why me...why couldn't I carry this very wanted baby". Then having to see and be around pregnancy everyday. I pray for the husbands, significant others, and best friends who try to comfort a mommy who has lost a pregnancy or child. And finally, I pray that one day, they can find a way to stop premature labor. I pray that one day, they can save even the sickest and smallest babies.

Tonight I'm lighting a candle for my sweet angel baby, Nicholas and my many miscarried babies that I never got a chance to meet or hold, but still love as much as if I did.
To my sweet son Nick, Mommy misses you more and more each day. I thought as time goes on, it would get easier, but it doesn't. I don't ever want to forget how you smelled or looked. Those 2 1/2 days that you were with us, were the happiest days of my life. I had my twins. I was a mommy to twins. I don't know why God decided to take you...I am still trying to figure that one out, but I can only hope and pray that Uncle John (my brother who passed away at age 24) is with you. As you were dying, I told you to look for Uncle John...I hope you found him. You were a beautiful little man who I wish you could have stayed and been part of our huge, crazy family with all your brothers and you ARE a big brother to your sister Gina. Kenny, your twin is doing great. But you already know that. He has some major lung issues, hearing loss, epilepsy and developmental issues but I tell him every night before he goes to sleep that you are always with him (so you better be!) LOL!!It's so hard sometimes because with all the craziness of life and the doctor appts, PT/OT and any other appts. that Kenny has, I just look at him and see you. Sometimes its really good, but most of the time, it is really hard. I think, wow...I would have had 2 beautiful little boys doing this or doing that. It really sucks sometimes. I also hope that one day we will meet again, and you will know that I am and always will be your mommy who tried to keep you inside of me for as long as I could. I am so sorry that I went into labor with you guys. I am feeling tons of guilt over it...still trying to figure things out. Anyhow, sweetheart...Mommy loves you very much! (not a day goes by that I don't think about you. I miss you terribly)
So please join me tonight at 7 and light a candle for all those babies who have passed and for pregnancies lost.

I light my candle with my head held high to honor my miscarriages and my Nick...I thank God that he gave me you all, even if it was only for a very short time.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Finally a needed break...haha

So I finally had my free time. A little time away...just my hubby and I. We did a lot of walking and talking, enjoyed some wine and just regrouped and reconnected. We didn't have to worry about the kids...they were in good hands. Even Kenny enjoyed his time. He played with toys that he loved. I was hoping he'd do alright since I never had them watch him before. I asked if they were capable of watching a special needs child. One that cant hear, cant talk but loves to gather and group and loves people. When I picked them up, he was happily working on filling a toy shopping cart with everything and anything that was in that play room with him. Tony and I people watched, you know...there are so many different people and tastes in this was pretty neat. We got our dinner for the night and we were kid free! I thought to myself that I could really get used to evenings out like this...

...then reality hit. It was time to get the kids and put the groceries in the car...
who thought grocery shopping could be a date?

I would like to thank the Eagle's Nest Child Care at our local Giant Eagle grocery store for taking great care of 5 of my kids for the hour and a half that we had to shop. I would also like to thank the sales rep for Barefoot Wines for letting me test a few different wines (albeit, they were just a tiny medicine cup full, I thoroughly enjoyed the .50 worth (.25 per cup)...and I found a new favorite...sweet red! tee hee

Ah, the special little moments of getting away from it all.

Now back to a very sick Kenny and round the clock breathing treatments :/

Friday, September 30, 2011

Frawsomeday (awesome Friday)

So, how can you get mad at a face that looks like this....
For doing...something like this....After he came home from school with this.... Oh yeah...what a day its turning out to be. Happy Friday everyone!

Just in: adding to this wonderful Friday...its pouring rain, its cold out and now the school just called and we are picking Morgan up from there...she's got a fever.

It's that time of year....again.

Its that time of year again...cooler, wetter weather means the start of the cold and flu season...and that is exactly what we are starting to feel over here at the Tomecko house. It started out with just me having the coughing and runny nose...a few weeks ago, and now the stupid coughing has spread to Gina, Taylor, Morgan, Kayleigh, Kenny and I even heard my hubby coughing quite a bit last night. Gina is by far, the worst out of everyone (knock on wood that no one else gets as bad...mainly Kenny). She was up all should say that WE were up all night long with the coughing and puking (from mucus). Then this morning she woke up with a fever and a really hard time breathing. So its off to the doctor today. I'm sure its an upper respiratory infection..she is really breathing hard and fast with a rattle in her chest. I pray, pray, pray it doesn't get to Kenny, who already is coughing much more than normal.

I forgot to mention on here last week about Gina cutting her hair...well...maybe I did, but I didn't show pictures of it! haha. Oh sure, I can laugh now....but when she did it, I was mortified. She comes walking from the kitchen into the room that I was sitting in...and as she was walking, I noticed some of her beautiful yellow blond curls were falling to the ground. It didn't register with me as to what was going on until she said that she cut her hair. WHAT?!!! I looked at her and noticed that some of the hair that used to be covering her eyes were gone...but that's all I could really concentrate on because of the shock! I ran into the kitchen to see what and where she did this, and sure enough...there was the pile of curls! I saw how big the pile was so I had to assess the damage that she did to her head. I grabbed the brush and started to brush her messy hair only to see clumps of hair stuck to the brush. OK...a little stunned at this point...I was just praying that it wasn't a huge chunk taken out. she took the whole front part of her hair down to maybe a half an inch and then she gave herself layers in the back...still leaving the length. THANK GOODNESS! So now it just looks like she has very short bangs or that her hair is brushed and parted off to the side. I am so happy it wasn't like when little Tony cut Taylor's hair when they were little (I should have known that those two would have issues with each other growing up)...and especially when Morgan cut her hair...I swear, that girl thought she was Dora or something!

So off to take care of Gina who is having a hard time breathing (as I type this) and waiting for Kenny to come home from school...I just hope he is feeling alright...I'm waiting for the bomb to drop.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bad Mommy Award goes to...ME

And the Bad Mommy Award goes to.......ME! I should have saw it coming...Gina's nose started to run a little bit last night but I didn't make anything of it. I was so determined to find this darn white (or cream colored) sweatshirt or long sleeve t-shirt for Kenny. His preschool class is making leaf shirts at school with a family member and he needed one for today. As the days are going by, we have not been able to find any plain white(or cream colored) sweatshirts or long sleeved t-shirts for that matter! Its been so freakin frustrating. Anyhow, yesterday we went to 4 different stores, desperate to find ANYTHING...and still...nothing. Last night I finally concluded that we were just going to use just a plain white t-shirt for him. I mean...he's just a kid, he'll probably only wear it once...maybe two times before he stains it all up. So that was my decision and I was now getting excited about his craft with a loved one day at school. Oh...let me add that I was also going to be bringing Gina to also make a shirt because Tony had a big job he had to get done for this morning.

The plan of action for this morning was to get everyone up and ready for school (easier said than done). I had my share of kids fighting with each other, and then actually yelling at me! uuuurg!!! Yes...that word....or for those English really showing my frustration from the morning from heck!

The camera was already put strategically in my purse last night so I could just whip it out and start the picture taking of Kenny (and Gina) making their shirts. Yeah...well...massive change of plan. During the night, Gina decided that she was going to start coughing. Not just a small cough that lasts for just a short time...oh no...she had to go to the full extent of sounding like she was a barking seal...ALL.NIGHT.LONG! So this morning, she wakes up...fever, cough and runny nose. LOVELY! So now what am I supposed to do? Its like a deja vu from last year when Kenny was to make a Christmas shirt with a loved one..and Gina was sick. The first thing that I thought of was...medicate her with Benadryl, Triaminic, Vicks...anything that would hide her symptoms...but as the morning is going on, I just cant do that. I would feel very guilty if someone from Kenny's class gets really sick from her. Its bad enough that Kenny is already starting to cough. So...the award for the Worst Mommy In The World goes to...ME. I wont be able to go to Kenny's school and be with him, making his shirt. All the other mommies will be there and my poor Kenny will be by least without a "loved one". I am hoping that Kenny forgives me for not being there for him. The guilt I have over this really blows! It just adds to the past few weeks of events.

I think I'm going to make a huge pot of beef stew...its supposed to be a comfort meal...and boy do I need comfort after this one!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happy Birthday to our Kayleigh...

Happy 6th Birthday to my first c-section baby...Kayleigh! What more can I say...just look at that beautiful face! She has made me smile, laugh, and sometimes even scares me from some of the things she says and does. She is my daredevil and my cuddle buddy, and now she's 6. The scar I have on my belly...well, the one with a little curve to it (yes, I can differentiate between Kayleigh's c-section scar and the twins scar) will always be a reminder to the wanting a natural delivery of a breech baby by my doctor and myself, but having to have a c-section because of hospital procedures...darn those other doctors/nurses in the room who made me feel scared of trying a vaginal breech delivery. I was so up to try it. I had THAT much faith in my OB. Ha ha...I think, as long as I am of child bearing age, he'll always try to get me to have that type of delivery. tee hee.
I'll be taking cupcakes to her class in a little bit which is always the best. I love seeing the faces brighten when I walk in! Hmmmm....I may just have to bring cupcakes to Tony's class next week for his 14th birthday *wink wink! yeah...he's gonna kill me!
I know this is a very short (but sweet) post, but I've been feeling a little down lately so this is the best I've got (for the time being). So, until tomorrow when I go to Kenny's school and help make fall shirts with them (pictures to follow)....

Monday, September 26, 2011

A tornado ripping through my mind

Hi, I am Michele... a mom who is more than just a mom to many kids...I am also a caregiver to a child that has needs beyond the normal, healthy child. I am also a human being that is tired. The checklist says it all.

This has been a very interesting and emotional start to fall. So far, I've had outpatient surgery...and have been very emotional about that whole thing...I really don't want to get into the specifics about it...just that...getting older sucks and I have a lot of healing...emotionally to do. Kenny had been back and forth to his therapy appts, doc appts, and school...some of which are going great, physical therapy for instance, he is exceeding what I though he'd be doing. He tries everything they give him to do...and follows directions quite well. He love jumping on the trampoline, kicking the soccer ball into the net and standing on a cushion while reaching, catching and throwing things. He needs a little bit more help on his floppy muscle tone in his he can learn to ride a tricycle...but other than he's doing great. Some other appointments...not so great. He is not gaining...he actually lost some weight. He is starting to not want his backpack on for his tube feeds, so there is some defying that is taking place. Our next step is to find a high chair that can hold a 4 year old for his feeds...yes, we are reverting back to the old ways of when he first got his tube in...he will be sitting for an hour while the feedings take place.

We also have been denied for the 3rd time for his hearing aids. Its been since May that he lost his one hearing aid in his little autism tantrum he had in church, at Sydnie's communion. And just a few weeks ago, he came home from school and went right to playing. I thought he unhooked his hearing aid and threw it in his toys...but nope. The next day when he came home from school on the bus, they handed me an envelope with his hearing aid in it...broken. So yeah...trying to get Medicaid to supply a new set of aids to a child with moderate to severe hearing loss has not been easy. We are getting frustrated and told by his teachers/therapists that he really need them...noooooo kidding!

Also, its cold & flu season, and I am besides myself. I am hoping that this season is gentle on Kenny. He is already starting the coughing and throwing up mucus...which is always pleasant. It is a continuous battle of my thoughts when it comes to this time of year. You know...the thoughts that pop into your head and start swirling around like a tornado that doesn't stop...just gets bigger and bigger and picks up steam until you cant sleep for hours on end...yep...thats what is happening. Thoughts of Kenny getting sick, seizures, him losing weight because he doesn't want to eat for me. The possibilities of losing him. Heck, thoughts of all the babies that I've lost. Thoughts of my living children and their lives...should Tony be going to a Catholic High School (that I really want for him) or a public one. Thoughts of Kenny having to go to a public elementary school around the corner from us...and I wouldn't even send my older kids there because its THAT BAD, yet, I'm going to have to send Kenny then I think that we have to move...and the money thoughts pop up.

See what I mean? Like I said, the thought tornado just sort of builds to an F5 from all the grief, sadness, exhaustion and stress....that destroys the whole sleep, functional and emotional state of me. There is no doubt in my mind that I will get through this. I just have to wonder why. Why is it that you do what is supposed to be the right things in life, and nothing goes right. Nothing. I swear, I have a curse bestowed upon me. Its bad enough that I have dealt with the loss of a child, the loss of multiple pregnancies, a child that takes 100% of my time and energy because of his special/chronic needs, a house that is falling apart in front of my eyes, and now teenagers and their ways. And all the while I try to keep a happy demeanor. Being kind, giving and loving to those around me when honestly, all I want to do is scream, break things and hide under the blankets in my bed and never come out again. I know I cant do that, so praying and hoping that God hears my pleas to give me a better life...or at least the ability to deal with what was given to me will have to do for now.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

school pictures and another birthday!

What a morning! Why is it that when you see the words "picture day" on the calendar for school, you think...oh, OK...plenty of time. Just pick an outfit out and there ya go. WRONG! The kids picked their clothes out yesterday an by this morning, all you know what hit the fan! One outfit wasn't good dress looked too short. Then then shoe issues arose....the dress shoes we just bought Tony for school...for his uniform...too small. Would someone tell these teenagers to just stop growing. Then the younger ones wanted to wear white sandals and dressy flip flops (with stockings). I finally gave up. I told them to wear whatever they wanted to wear, on their feet. I figured the camera only takes the picture from the chest that's what really counts. Wish I could be like those parents who just don't do picture day...well...don't order pictures. But I can't. We have a tradition going and to see the transformation from kindergarten to the present's just something that I really can't pass it's the cheapest picture package deals for all...eek.
It was complete chaos this morning..picture me trying to help put the last minute outfits together, help Taylor with her conservative makeup....very conservative...almost non at all, curling and straightening 5 girls hair...all of which wanted a different style. Making sure they had their backpacks full of homework and school stuff together, trying to find the right stupid pair of shoes for the girls, getting Kenny up and ready for school...while he is screaming at the top of his lungs...I'm sitting thinking to myself....why couldn't I of had all boys. They,d all have short haircuts and not have to worry about hair, makeup and what they look like. I swear, having girls is one of the hardest jobs! But, they finally are all at school, good to go....I even got an I love you from them!
Which brings me to my next's my Sydnie's 8th birthday today! When she was born, she had a true knot in her cord (so did her sister Kayleigh...we'll talk about that next week for her birthday). I thank God everyday that she came 6 weeks early because if she didn't, she could very well not be here today. A knot in the umbilical cord while the baby is still inside the mommy, is one of the big reasons for babies to die in utero. I remember the doctor being in awe of the knot...yes, I have a picture of it...haha. She was one of my healthiest born babies and i just love my little big eyed, blond City Chicken, Beverly D'angelo (her nicknames) look alike! She is such a blessing to us...I know being the middle child of this crazy family, she sometimes gets lost in the crowd, but she always shines through, making our lives that much complete! She makes us laugh all the time with her funny little things she says and does...her sense of humor....holy can pull a joke or say something to her and she just laughs and laughs! She is very smart...using all sorts of words that I would never think a little girl her age would use...her new favorite is "awesome" Sydnie, have an Awesome birthday my little miracle.
Her request for today was to have chocolate that is what she is getting!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Thoughts about our kids...

I'm changing it up a little with this post. I've been up, unable to sleep, these darn mosquito bites on my legs and feet are itching to the point of wanting to scratch them till they bleed, and then pour alcohol on them...yes, they itch THAT bad! Anyhow, Ive been thinking about all my kids and how we've shaped and moulded them into who they are today, and who they'll be in the future. Since there is no handbook as to how to raise a child (let alone, 7), it's all just a "hold you're breath and do you're best" job.
Why is it that some young teens act older than they are? Is it a bad thing? Is it alright to let a 13 year old swear or a 12 year old to wear makeup? I guess everyone has their own opinions and ideas about this, which is fine...I mean, this is why people are different...the variety of life I guess. It's called, letting your child find himself. It like getting your child into a sport, music or something else. But what happens when you're child doesn't have a certain one (or many) things he/she is good at? What happens when the social skills are slightly off and your child has never been able to find a niche where he/she belongs? Some kids are blessed with the ability to have tons of friend, even a few best friends...sleepovers, phone convos til they don't have anything else to talk about but stay on the phone just because. Some are great in a sport, music...whatever. Parents pour hundreds, sometimes even thousands of dollars into lessons...and some just can't...or the child just doesn't want to. Does that affect their future? Does it affect who they will or could be in the future?

What happens to the preteen and teenager who tries so hard to have friends, that it's seems like they try too hard. And when they think they finally have someone that they can connect with...something bad happens..a fight, a misunderstanding...something.
What happens to these kids when a mom or dad can't help them? A parent of an older child can't very well make play dates like we used to do in kindergarten...we can't really talk to anyone (the other kids parent, teacher) because then our kid gets looked down upon and made fun of. What then?
When you sit and wonder what your child is all about, can you really do it? Does your child have their niche in life? Confident? They are their own person? Something to be proud of? I know we have done the best we could do...but honestly, I'm pretty scared. I pray that I/we gave them enough in their childhood to shape and mould them into their own self...confident...with a sense of dignity and respect for themselves and others. I pray that just because we didn't have lots of money for lessons for this and that, that it our children will still find their "thing" in life. I mean, my hubby and I were artists...I started drawing when I was just 5...I knew what I was all about. I am holding my breath, hugging my kids (even though some days are tough with their attitudes lately) and always telling them that I love them and are proud of them.
Gotta love these teenage years.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

...10 years later

Where was I ten years ago...that seems to be the typical blog posts for I guess I'm jumping on the bandwagon here...

I remember that morning like it was yesterday. I was sitting on my couch feeding Morgan (she was just a baby) and talking to my twin on the phone. It was a typical morning in our house...come to think of it, it was also a nice and quiet morning. Looking back, having only 3 thought of anything bad that was about to transpire. It's so weird to think of how simple life was before that moment the first moment the second plane hit the second tower. I say that, because when we heard that a plane hit the first tower, we all though (well, hoped) that it was a fluke...a plane that had an accident. As we were watching the news the thought crossed our minds that maybe it wasn't a fluke, maybe it was terrorist...but no...we just couldn't fathom the idea that all those people were trapped from the 80th-something floors on up. I kept wondering how they were going to save those people...there was no way. All those people...then the thought of the people from the plane....gone...what were they thinking...feeling. we were watching the morning news, as the cameras were pointing up on the twin can see a big second plane coming into view...OH NO...I screamed. Then BAM. we witnessed the second plane hitting the second tower. It was like watching a make believe movie on TV...but it was so real. At that point, we all knew. We knew we, America, was under attack. Then the reports came in that the pentagon got hit...Was it world war 3?

I was calling my mom/dad & sisters crying...wondering what would be hit next. Then word came that there was a hijacked plane that flew over Cleveland....OMG...thats right over us! I called my sister, who lives in PA and told her to be careful because the plane was heading towards PA. What was next? I remember trying to keep calm in the mist of everything going on because of the kids, but it didn't really work. I remember the news reports of one thing after another...then they showed the airways of the united states....not a single plane was in the air....this way, they could see what plane(s) were being hijacked. I remember being afraid to go outside...but Tony and I did. I looked up in the sky and there was silence. Not a plane in sight...and we live not to far from the airport. What was happening? What was going to be next? Then...watching the towers burn on TV and noticing that the smoke billowing out of the top floors looked different then before...I told Tony that I thought the building was going to collapse...minutes later, before my eyes, the first tower started to fall. All those people, all those innocent people. People that went to work that day not knowing that that was the last day of their lives. All those emergency workers, police officers, port authority, women who were mothers, wives, sisters who were fathers, husbands, brothers, sons....what if there were pregnant women killed? what about those that were planning their weddings? What about those that had to take care of a special needs child? Gone just like that. It was the longest day in my life. I was upset about all those people on the planes that were traveling without a thought....the evil that took over those planes had no thought about human life. They were pure evil. To take over the planes the way they did...all those innocent people...and God know what they all went through on those plane rides to their demise. Those people that were in their offices at the pentagon and the towers...when those planes hit...what He** they went through either trying to escape or being trapped...and then finally...the heroes on flight 93 that went down in
My/our lives has drastically changed from this horrific day ten years ago. Since then, we've had 5 more kids, I became a stay at home mom, lost a child, and now raising a child with many special and chronic needs. I have come to appreciate life and understand that life is short. I respect and thank often police officers, firefighters and anyone who is or has served in the military.
Life has moved on and has gotten more complex but more complete since that day. America has changed. I notice that there is more point and blame and a lot less God. Which to me is not what our founders of this nation or the victim of 9-11 wanted or ever thought would be possible. If we allow our nation to be split into groups and have no mention of God...any God...we are letting "them" win. Our country was based on diversity of cultures and ideas...but our basis for everything was/should still be...God.
I want our kids to grow up in a great nation...not one of conflict, fright or hate.
And no...I have not been on a plane since then...

Friday, September 2, 2011

My niece is married...oh what a party it was!

Nothing better than a long weekend wedding with a huge family! Yep, my niece got married to the love of her life on August 12th. I cant believe that not to long ago, we were taking her to go see The Little Mermaid at the theater and making her communion headpiece...and now, I had the honor or making her bridal headpiece. She is all grown up, beautiful and married! After a year of planning, everything fell into place and was simply beautiful! My twin sister and her family came in. My parents, who came in from Arizona...and whom I haven't seen in 4 very long years, looked the best they've looked in years (who would think they are both in their 70's...try late 50's!!!) Gosh I really missed my parents, sister & her family and my uncle and cousins!

My sister & her husband (parents of the bride) looks AMAZING! Her dress was stunning and brought me back to when I was little and she was going to prom...or was it homecoming...well, whichever it was...the color she picked out for her dress was perfect for her! They were radiating happiness!

Kenny and Gina were the Flower Girl and Ring Bearer. How did they do? ummm..well...pretty good for having stage fright! They did fine at the rehearsal, but when they saw all the people sitting on both sides of the isle...they both wanted to hold my hand and wouldn't walk down the isle without me.But they did walk down! tee hee

My niece looked like a beautiful princess walking down the isle. Yeah...I have to admit that I had flashbacks of when she was little, and it brought a few tears to my eyes. OK...OK...I cried like a big baby when I saw her in the back room of the church...with her veil and gown on...I mean....I just make her communion veil a few years back...and now she is all grown up and getting married! Where does the time go? I'll tell you one thing...our family knows how to party through the weekend! My uncle and cousins whom I haven't seen in...oh gosh...15+ years came and it was like we never missed a beat! There was tons of dancing by parents (who are in their 70's) were dancing up a storm much of the night!

The cake was beautiful...Tony and I walked the kids onto the dance floor when they announced the bridal party...Look at my handsome guy...The father/daughter dance again...brought tears to our eyes. My husband even got choked up during this...It was because he

It was so nice to just get away from the every day life we live. One thing that I didn't care for was all the packing of all the medical equipment/medicines, etc...that we had to bring. I didn't realize how much stuff we actually use for Kenny. And also the consumption of time that Kenny takes up. I barely had a chance to talk to family because I was so busy running around after him.

The only thing I wish I would have done was taken a family picture of all my kids and husband. We all, believe it or not, cleaned up pretty well that night! tee hee.

What a great weekend! I am so blessed to have an amazing and large family!