Thursday, October 25, 2012

God is Amazing

With everything that life threw at us these last 6 years (I'm including the time I was pregnant with Kenny and Nick and even before that when I lost a baby) I have finally come to the peaceful place I am at (at this moment anyways) right now...I feel very blessed. The realization hit me like a ton of bricks after dropping Kenny and Gina off at preschool today.
 Oh, that's right...I forgot to post that Gina started preschool at the same school as Kenny. She is going as a peer model student. A peer model student is one who has normal development that is in the classroom with kids with delays or special needs. She is there to help the kids learn social skills for kindergarten. Anyhow, she loves it! It was one of the best decisions we've made. Yeah, its crazy for me to make sure all 7 kids up and ready for school every morning, but...hey...I'm one to live for craziness...I had 8 kids!, anyhow...back to my revelation...
as I pulled up to the door to drop off Kenny and Gina for school (Gina has been going there for 3 days at this point), the drop off lady (I don't know what they are called) opened our van door and helped Kenny and Gina out of the van...all of a sudden, Kenny grabbed Gina's hand and they walked in to the school together. I asked the lady if she told them to do that and she said no.
OK, so as I am pulling away, I can see the two of them walking through the gym holding hands. It brought a cried like a big baby on the way home. I thanked God that he gave me such all the kids I have, two...for Kenny because he honestly shouldn't even be here. For all the odds were against him...but he made it. And three...for Gina. God gave us Gina to help Kenny. To be the close sibling that he missed with Nick being in Heaven. Its hard to explain. I feel blessed in so many, many ways. Yes, I went through so much pain and suffering...and I still hurt...a lot, but I feel extremely blessed knowing that Kenny will grow and thrive, that Gina has a special place in her heart for her best friend and buddy, Kenny and I know Nick is looking down and watching over us.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The milestones of a micro preemie keep coming!

Who would have thought that I would be posting posts of so many milestones in such a short time! I am so blessed with the fact that my 23 weeker, one who was not expected to make it, is doing so much! He took his time...but now he is just blossoming into such a fun and exciting little boy!
He learned something new last night...
the eve of our lighting a candle in memory of his twin brother, Nick whom I seriously feel gave his life to be Kenny's guardian angel...
On top of eating...which he's getting pretty good at, he has been trying to color in coloring books, play with his dolls...he loves his babies. They have to sleep next to him, wake up with him in the morning, and go in the car whenever he goes in the car. I am actually trying to find a boy doll (similar to an American Girl doll) so if anyone knows of such doll...please let me know.
He is learning to feed himself, put his shoes on by himself and drink from a cup. So why should I not be surprised that last night, Kenny learned to do a somersault! He was having more fun with Morgan rolling over and over! It was so nice to see him come out of his shell from only playing with lining his cars and cans up. He is actually in a new developmental stage of play and I am loving every minute of it!
 I love the fact that this little boy whom the doctors told me he'd never walk, is doing so much! I prayed for the last 5.5 years that he would be as normal as he could be...and he is really trying! I am so proud of my 1.7 pound miracle!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Happy 15th Birthday to my oldest!

Fifteen years ago today,
my life was changed in an incredible, amazing way.
I spent 5 weeks in the hospital on bed rest. My water broke at 29 weeks and my doctor was determined to keep you in for as long as possible.
5 weeks...
5 weeks of not walking into our home.
5 weeks of not being able to go to work.
5 weeks of not knowing if you were going to be born to early for us to enjoy our first born child, in a way that every first time parent experiences.

I was so happy when I found out I was pregnant for the very first time!
I painted your room with love and care.
I had dreams of what you were going to be...yes, I knew you were going to be a boy, even though we didn't find out on the ultrasound...I just knew.
I had such a connection with you from day one.

When that day came, when my water broke.
I was so scared but honestly didn't have a clue what was happening.
I didn't know too much about were my first.
When the doctor told me I was on bed rest at the hospital for the remainder of the pregnancy I didn't know what to think.
I followed their instructions. Only to get up to use the bathroom.
Monitored several times a day...everyday
ultrasounds several times a day....everyday, to make sure the fluid around you was sufficient enough to keep you safe.

I remember the one ultrasound that did me in.
I was looking at the screen, and the doctor showed me the one area of fluid
she told me that this is what is keeping you safe. Just that one small.
Then, when they saw that you weren't growing any more,
they decided that it was time...
time to where you were not safe in my belly anymore
they could take care of you in the NICU

The pain of labor was not what I expected.
it was really hard and very painful, but thanks to modern medicine...I really was OK.
I remember daddy so very excited, telling me that you were a boy.
Then them working on you to get you to breathe a little better.
You were tiny...all 4 pounds 8 ounces of you
but you were here, and you were healthy.
You were perfect!

I remember seeing your little round head
your squinty little eyes
your perfectly arched eyebrows...which you still have.
Your little nose, I knew right away that you had that Kowalczyk nose.
and a leg that bent over your body because that's how you were inside of me.

Happy Birthday Tony

You were born today, 15 years ago
You changed me from just being Michele, to being a mommy.
You showed me what unconditional love was all about.
You make me smile every day with the funny things you say.
When you started talking and naming all the Indians Players names off when you were only 10 months old, I knew you were something really special.

You have grown up to a wonderful 15 year old...minus the talking back
but I hear that is all to common :)
You have made dad and I very proud of you. With all that you have done these last 15 years.
All your firsts.

You are a great all are great kids.

Your sisters and brother look up to you.

You are a big brother...a big job for a 15 year old.

You lead the way to which your sisters and brother follow...

but I know you can handle it. You are a great kid.

I am so very, very proud of first born son.

Thank you very much for being in my life.
I thank God for you every day.
I pray he watches over you for the rest of your life.
To show you right from wrong
To keep you safe from harm
and to just make you happy with you being you.

So, again...Happy Birthday Tony
We love you with our hearts and soul!
Thank you for making the last 15 years amazing...a little crazy, but amazing!
Please be gentle on us these next 15...we're begging you. tee hee

I love you

Another GREAT accomplishment on top of another!

I just want to share Kenny's newest accomplishment...aside from putting his own shoes on this morning which is another HUGE milestone for this 1.7 lb....23 weeker preemie!
I posted last about how he is a lefty...well, here he is, lefty and all, in action...drawing a circle...
This kid is just jumping hurdles left and right!

Friday, October 5, 2012

We have a lefty!

Today I decided that in between the screams and the tantrums of Kenny, I would sit him and Gina down and have some structured coloring time. Come to find out a few things during this actually very fun and quiet time with my two youngest...1) that I thoroughly enjoy...I mean...really love to color. I think it is right up there with making headpieces, beading jewelry and drawing/painting for me. Its a very relaxing experience (especially when your at your breaking point).

And 2)Kenny is a lefty! Yep, he falls right along side my brother with this one! After all this time of holding a crayons, pencils and pens with his whole fist, he is now developing the right way to hold a writing utensil! I am so proud of such an accomplishment! And it took just 5 short years to learn to do this!!!

Please don't mind the little girl without a shirt on...she was playing "army guy" and chose to not wear one...haahaa!
Gina concentrating on a very colorful and really good (in the lines) coloring job... in this one he decided to hold crayons in both hands!
Little things in life are so precious...time of nice and quiet...playing (or coloring) with my kids are so worth it! I am just so excited to share how far Kenny has come...even from just a few months ago!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Touching the lives of others...

Who would have thought that our sorrow, our remembrance of our Nick...and well, just the whole pregnancy and infant loss remembrance month sign would bring someone to leave this...
To the person that left this folded up and placed right by our sign about Pregnancy and Infant Loss...
Thank you for taking time to write about your nephew and acknowledging the loss of our baby Nick. I know you are hurting...your whole family must be...from the loss of your nephew. My heart is breaking for you but I also feel the compassion you have. If we can just remember that our families losses are never going to be forgotten, then that makes it just that much easier. Our Nick and all of our babies we lost from miscarriages will always be part of our family and in our hearts until we (hopefully) meet them in Heaven.  Always remember those we lost. Always do things to help others and be kind to everyone you come across because you never know the pain in their hearts, the loss in their lives or the battles they are facing or have had to deal with in their lives.
Thank you for taking the time...just thank you.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

a junk drawer marker...and a curious little boy

The first mistake is leaving a marker in the junk know the drawer...its where everything ends up that doesn't really have a real place to go. Well somehow, said marker ended up the overly crowded little drawer tucked away in at the farthest corner of the kitchen. There, mixed in amongst the screws, pennies and battery chargers, was this dreaded marker that should have been in one of the kids pencil pouches for school...but had to be where it was when my son decided to stop lining up his matchbox cars and take a break from his usual daily routine and see what he could get into while mom went to the bathroom for 52.3 seconds.
As fate would have it, he spotted that beautiful bright red marker and decided to copy what he has seen his sisters do several times during their "lets practice applying makeup" times. Yes, my five and a half year old developmentally delayed, hearing impaired...and chronically ill micro preemie finally figured out how to apply lipstick and eye shadow. I love the fact that he is actually doing things...but I can think of better things to do...lets say...potty trained or speaking words...but hey, its a start!
God help me.
Today, applying marker...tomorrow, many more smiles and laughter!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Welcoming in October 2012

Finally, a fun filled weekend that kept all of us busy and tired out by Sunday night! Friday night was my son, Tony's homecoming game for his high school. Yeah...we lost, but the stands were filled with a great group of kids and their families rockin out to the marching band (yay...proud band mom moment) and the Dazzlers (marching bands dancers) and the beautiful cheerleaders (yay...proud auntie moment). They started off with the parade to the stadium then went into the game. The whole thing brought back memories of when I was in High School. Yikes, I'm that old!

We made sure we sat away from the band, even though I wanted to sit right by the drum section (again...yay, proud mom moment), I knew it would be a disaster with Kenny. He usually has major meltdown halfway through the we tried something new...sit AWAY from the noise...and guess what? It worked! So anyhow, no...the school didn't win but it was so much fun anyhow. I tried to talk my son into going to the dance on Saturday, but he didn't want to go (until last minute, when he had second thoughts about wanting to go...and by that time, it was too late). Next year, he better get his butt in gear and goooooo!

Onto Saturday Morgan and Sydnie cheered for their schools football team really early in the morning...I stayed home with the little ones because they were still really tired and crabby. I got so much cleaning done...the laundry that was creating a mountain on my living room couch was finally bulldozed and put away and the yard was cleaned up. We had a relaxing evening watching Father Of The Bride (I want that house by the way), and that was that.

Sunday was a very fun. We really don't get out much as a family...doing something really fun. Yeah...we have the girls in cheer leading and Tony in the band, but I mean...other than something pertaining to school. So Tony and I decided that we were going pumpkin picking. Something we used to do when the older kids were smaller, but after Kenny, we just stopped doing everything. We packed up after church and went to McDonald's, got everyone breakfast and off we went! Red Wagon Farms, here we come!
Tons of pumpkins to choose from...
Don't you just love farm markets?!

My love, my partner in crime and I...
The hay maze and play area...very fun...except to a little boy with sensory overload


Haunted Hay Ride!!!!
It was cheesy but very fun!
The group...we had a crabby kid (in purple) pouting...but we still took the pics!

9 people, 4 very large pumpkins, t big hay bales and 3 very large corn stalk groups = a very cramped and funny ride home...
Unloaded and putting should see the hay all over the car...ewps...
My hubby (a.k.a...the best sign guy around) made vinyl numbers to put on the pumpkins...
Finished and it turned out exactly how we wanted it to...

And it at, keep in mind, the two top windows have orange lights in the flower boxes and the two trees on the porch have them too...
And Finally...
In 1988, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month throughout the United States noting that, “National Observance of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month offers us the opportunity to increase our understanding of the great tragedy involved in the deaths of unborn and newborn babies. It also enables us to consider how, as individuals and communities, we can meet the needs of bereaved parents and family members on work to prevent causes of these problems….”
Subsequently, the resolution to declare October 15 Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day passed the United States House of Representatives on September 28, 2006. In honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, it is suggested by many bereavement groups that grieving parents light a candle at 7 p.m. in their respective time zones to create a wave of light around the world in memory of babies lost to pregnancy and infant loss.
So as a mommy of angels in heaven...both from infancy loss and from multiple miscarriages, I am and will always be a grieving mommy but stronger knowing that I have made it through the saddest, most horrible thing that as a woman...a mother could ever imagine...the loss of her child. I know I have my angels looking down and watching over us...but I really and truly miss my Nick and the pregnancies that I have lost. This is another reason why I loved Ronald Reagan as President! I will be lighting my candle on October 15 in remembrance of my babies...especially my Nicholas...please do the same!