Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas...

From our family to yours, may your Christmas be filled with love, hope and faith. God Bless.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

This year...we use tinsel!

Static tinsel fights with my family (by rubbing feet with socks on the ground and holding the tinsel until it starts to rise from static...then go up to a family member and shock them), blowing the tinsel ever so gently to the top of the tree that couldn't be reached, and laying under the tree when it was all done...just staring at the lights and the shiny sparkle of it all. Hoping and dreaming of what Christmas would bring to me.
This month, I feel like I'm reverting back to my childhood...hoping and wishing. I'm even throwing in a few prayers and novenas. Oh how simple childhood was.
This has been a crazy and very stressful month. I say this with a smile (fake but still a smile for the kids) and my blood pressure sky high. This year we have no cookies made, no stockings hung or even any ornaments from past years on our tree...which by the way is a real tree this year and not our pre-lit (with the lights cut out) fake tree that we've had for years. See...everything we have is in boxes...that of which I just mentioned and then there is everything in my kitchen...spices, baking supplies, dishes, cups...everything. Everything from basement to bedrooms is packed up and most is in a pod sitting in our backyard...closing us money daily. Now...mind you, it has been a tedious task packing up 9 people's belongings and 18 years of living in this house, but it has also been something we are all excited about! We all want to start a whole new adventure together...that is...until this past couple of days.
Everything was going great. We had a closing date of 18th and the buyer was supposed to take possession of our house on the 23. That never happened. Instead, the buyer was to go to another lender and get approved. We signed yet another purchase agreement for a closing of or around the end of December to Jan. 3rd. Ok...we can deal with it...so now we can get a small tree for the house and kids and relax a bit for Christmas.still, not cookies to be made because of everything packed away...but it's ok...we're still moving.
At this point I decided it would be a wonderful experience...and memorable one to go pick out a real tree at the tree lot...with all 7 kids. It the freezing cold...10 degrees evening hours. In the van, our pre teens and teenagers have their earbuds plugging up their ears so they're silent except for our oldest who voiced his opinion of how stupid it was for all of us going (see, he is at the age where having a big family is embarrassing, were embarrassing, the 12 passenger van is embarrassing, going anywhere is embarrassing...I get it...so I just smile and keep saying to myself, "this is what memories are made of" as he bluntly speaks his teenage attitude point of view quite loudly, "this is really stupid. You and dad should have just gotten a tree earlier today...by yourselves...without us...when it was lighter...and warmer!"  Haahaa...he was probably right...but I didn't want to give him the satisfaction of letting him know that.
So...we get there and all pile out of the big green machine, and scatter about the tree lot. It took about a full 3 minutes before Tony and Taylor (16 and 14) were back in the van freezing their butts off. My husband is looking at trees that looks like bushes or at least in my eyes, and I'm looking at these monster trees that would be perfect in a a house triple the size of ours. Alas, we found one that was a perfect fit. A seven foot Douglas Fir. Not too big but not too small. The guys at the tree lot netted it up nice and in a little bundle and Tony brought it over to the van. At this point, we were all frozen solid. Tony opened the back...nope..didn't fit. Brought it around to the side...just a little too big...by about 3 feet! What to do? What to do? Morgan and husband walk over to the workers, explained to them about our dilemma. The one kid offered to drive it in his pickup truck back to our house. Finally...some Christmas spirit in someone! Nicest.thing.ever!
The next day, I put it up. It's very nice. Plain because there are only a few ornaments from the kids this year on the tree. Everything else is, like I said, packed up in the pod. We don't have anything else out except the tree. Nice, but not enough to bring on the Christmas spirit...because after we got the tree up, we were told the buyer of our house wanted to back out. After a few different contracts for closing dates have been issued! I've spent a few nights and days sick to my stomach with a horrible stress migraine. We have EVERYTHING packed in boxes. We have Kenny's busing and schooling set up for when school  resumes in January. We paid the house insurance , the pod, the earnest money, and other expenses on our current house that the buyer wanted/requested AND on the house we're buying! We have to much to lose at this point in the game! In order for us to buy our dream home, we had to sell ours...which was to happen...the closings were to happen on.the.same.day! So now what? Some say not to worry, was was meant to happen will. we so badly want it and need it to happen. We busted our butts to make it happen. Our house looks great, everything...I mean everything is packed up. We need the buyer to realize that this is affecting our entire life! We've envisioned our new year in a new house, a fresh start. The kids were excited to pick out the colors for their own rooms, they would be close to the schools, the police, fire and rec center is right there too.  I was excited to make it our home and my husband was excited to finally have a nice amount of space to expand his business. We wanted this more than anything for the new year...and now, it's teetering on someone we don't know but pray that he will buy our house as promised on the contract.
That's where we stand...a few days before Christmas. 
The tree is up and I just wish Santa would bring us the buyers closing and the closing of the home that we are so very close to having. Not just my selfish wants but for our family to have a fresh start. We don't want to be on top of each other and in each others personal space any more. yThe kids are getting older and they had dreams of this house. I want to make it a reality for all of us. So come on St. Joseph, patron saint of house sales...grant us some help. A closing would make our Christmas that has been torn upside down...something we can all love. I know it's a materialistic want. I am not a materialistic person. But for once in my life, I...we (Tony  and I) have worked so hard, given up so much....that is would be such an adventure for us.
So, as I sit here looking at our perfect but not so perfect Christmas tree decorated very lightly with only lights, gold garland, some ribbon and tinsel...I am reminded that we will make the best of  this situation because, our family is much like the tree...we are big (the number of us), we are simple...We don't have a lot, but our faith, hope and dreams are much like the tinsel on our tree. 
It is capturing the colors of the lights, making our tree the most beautiful we've ever had...we will shine brighter than any negativity, major trauma or bad luck that we've faced for years. We will keep the faith.
So this year, we won't have cookies. We won't have stockings hanging and we won't have our new house...yet....but we will, for the first time in 18 years...have tinsel!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving eve projects

For 10 years this door handle has been broken...

no lock and a big hole that we had to cover with duct tape (don't judge). We finally just got a universal door handle that we didn't even think would fit (thanks to the door specialist at Home Depot telling us years ago that we could only special order one that fits exact...which would cost us at least $100).

 Well...I decided to put my subscription to Family Handyman to good use (again), and attempt to make this door easy to open and close...and lock for the family that so graciously bought our house of 18 years from us in our bid to move to something a little more fitting for a family of 9 (living). And guess what? Heehee...I did an AWESOME job!

It locks and everything! Yay me!
So...that puts another thing under my belt of things that I now know how to do. 
A few weeks ago, I decided to try and replace the cracked floor tiles in attempt to make the house just that much more appealing to perspective buyers...and sure as there is always a tomorrow, a today and yesterday...it turned out pretty nice. 
I even painted the basement from walls to floor!
I plan on taking on many new projects in our new home!!!!
...now...back to baking chocolate and pumpkin pies and start the bread cutting for tomorrow's Thanksgiving feast!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

To my friends and family....

To all of my family and friends...yes, even those who I know have hid me on Facebook ;) , I've been exceptionally busy trying my hardest to fix up (paint, clean, declutter, fix walls, doors, floors, and pack) our home of 18 years to sell so we can get a home tony and I fell in love with. To give our kids and ourselves some extra room (or just room in general), a better life, and just want to take that next step out of our comfort zone...because that is what I heard you're supposed to do...always go beyond your comfort zone, right? My husband has been working very long, hard hours as well. Not because we are desperate for money, but because he's good at what he does and the work is pouring in...a Godsend and a curse at the same time...a curse, only because he is swamped with work and  I can help him because I'm busy working on the house stuff and kids.
Anyhow...we are doing this all on our own and trying our best to still live life. I'm apologizing now for not being very attentive to my family and my friends...sorry for the lack of calls, small talk, Facebook  responses, and what seems like ignoring or disinterest by me...I don't mean it at all. We have a lot on our plates and we really want to make this happen. I promise that after this is all said and done, I will be a better friend, sister, daughter, aunt, acquaintance...person. So if I seem scatterbrained and aloof to you...please know...it's not you, it's the situation...it's me, and I am truly sorry. I want to meet my friends for coffee or just sit and talk. I want to talk on the phone but between the house and the kids...eeeek..  Getting a house full of 18 years of memories...
...and 7 kids...
is really difficult...but extremely exciting! So please keep this house sale, tony, the kids and myself in your prayers and the purchase of our house we want even more in your prayers...
and pray its not a money pit...haahaa...worst.fear.ever! Pray we're doing the right thing!!! We are leaving it in Gods hands and I truly feel this is the right thing and it's meant to be!
Love you all and again...sorry for not being up to par with you all. I'm struggling with guilt from it...big time.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

We're actually doing it!

It was a spur of the moment thing...but not really. We've been keeping an eye on the real estate in the area...hoping one day we'd find something that fit our family and our needs. Well...we finally found "the one"!

It's a foreclosed house in the area we love...and need! The schools there, the police and city hall are on the same street...actually they would be our neighbors. The rec center is across the street, and the fire dept. is down the street (just in case we need them for Kenny! The price is perfect, the size is perfect...the kids would have their own rooms...and so would Tony and I! It's the layout we both have been searching for and the yard is great and fenced in!!!
The only thing standing in our way is our house. We NEED to sell our current home in order to be able to put an offer on our not so perfect, but perfect for us, dream home! So please share and tell anyone that wants to move in before the holidays...to a wonderfully cared for and beloved family home, that will bring you many years of happiness and memories, just as it did for our family! Our home (for sale) has a newer complete furnace and hot water tank (last year), newer roof, newer custom kitchen with all appliances and garbage disposal, new carpet (were installing this week), every room painted to today's colors, two gas ready fireplaces, a fenced in yard with an amazingly deep park like backyard with beautiful wildlife and serenity, a huge deck to have awesome parties. 5010 snow road has a look and charm that will be perfect for anyone who needs 3 bedrooms, a rec room, dining room and a living room perfect for the holidays! Set up a time to come see this house! Eager to sell so we can make an offer on a house that needs the same TLC as this house did when Tony and I started our married life together. It was a diamond in the rough that we perfected...and now it's time to start a new chapter, and a make new memories in a new place to call home!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Picture day for Kenny

Kenny had picture day today. His teacher wrote in his journal that he took a great picture the very first try! This picture was taken before school. He wanted to take it with his babies...shhhh...he lives his babies. <3
And yes, of course he wore his Nick angel/prematurity awareness pin that he's worn for the last 2 years. It represents his twin brother, Nick and the fight he fought and continues to fight...being born early. I'm so proud of him and my all other kids! 

And finally...since I've been busy filling orders for cupcakes this week...
Strawberry cassata cupcakes:
Banana hazelnut:
Mocha toffee truffle:
And more! I've been busy but it's been so nice being able to bake with no kids pulling at me...don't get me wrong, I do miss them but I am finally enjoying being me and doing things that make me...well..feel like more than a caregiver! So if anyone wants/needs high calorie, very fattening cupcakes...I'm taking orders! Facebook me!
I have to go unclog a bathtub so...until tomorrow...enjoy the weekend everyone!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Seven kids in school...

Seven kids in school...there was a time when I thought that would be the greatest days ever, I do...but it als comes with a hearty price tag...dun, dun, dun...HOMEWORK. Lots and lots of homework.
While I was helping Gina with her homework I noticed her Spanish binder with a name written in black sharpie...Nicolasa. I asked her and the other girls what it was and here it's her spanish name that her teacher gave her. Another small coincidence? Maybe...but I'd like to think of it as a little reminder from nick :).
Speaking of Gina, my youngest is turning into a real artist.
I never thought I'd see a kindergartener color so precise and in the lines...Im truly impressed with this little product of Tony and myself! Heehee.

Now...onto Kenny! Seems like his speech therapist, Miss Kate really is making HUGE progress with getting through to this little boy of ours! He has finally learned to sound out "noooooo" and also..."dad". Not only that...but this little guy has put two words together! Woo hoo!!!

 Kindergarten has been going pretty well for both Kenny and Gina. They get homework...well, Gina gets most of the homework while Kenny comes home with a journal of what transpired during the day (diaper changes, food eaten and tube feeds which usually cause a need for a change in his clothing). I'm trying to let go and let Kenny become a kindergartener in his own way, but I am faced with years of being an exclusive caregiver to my son which means, I am very weary of people and how they will be caring for my son whom I've almost lost a few times. From diaper changes not being enough throughout the day to making sure he is learning to the fullest potential...I have been going crazy worried. I am, however, getting much needed quiet/down time which lets me clean, do laundry, bake my cupcake orders and...believe it or not...I am actually helping my hubby in the sign shop! I love spending quality time with him. I'm actually feeling a little more human lately...yay me...yay school!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

School worries...take one!

Need to vent. I know today is unbearably and uncommonly hot for a September day, but having a child with special needs (and chronic illness) that has started kindergarten in a small special Ed class....with only 2 smaller fans, and 1 window, has been very upsetting for me today. He came home with his body temp high...ears and cheeks red, hair soaked...and to top it off...his diaper looks like it wasn't changed for hours. Also, i read his teachers note to me. kenny was being goofy, i had to give him a time out. ok...so what did he to to deserve this "time out"? She could have enlightened me with what he actually did.  grrrrr... When I called to complain no one was in! I am thisclose to pulling my son from that school. Times like this, I wih my son could talk and tell me what happened during the day....or...be a fly on the wall and see the day myself as it gets played out. At least when he's home I know he's cooled off, drinking plenty of fluids, not getting in trouble and getting his diaper changed. I'm so mad!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Six years in the making...err...uh..make that 15 years!

Today marks the day that after 15 years of having a child home...I am FREE! All the kids...yes, you years me right...all 7 kids are officially in school...all.day.long. No more 2 hour days..nope! The younger kids started last Thursday, my two high schoolers started Tuesday and Kenny started today! Am I sad? NOPE! I am nervous for Kenny because I'm the one that has been his primary caregiver throughout the day but now the teachers, the school has him for 6 hours. He will be in a class with other kids with multiple disabilities. I am sad at the fact that reality hit and I DO have a multiple special needs child. My new job is to make sure the school follows his IEP and help him with any issues that arise. So I'm holding my breath and letting go...which is very hard for me considering the fact that we almost lost him several times throughout his six years here on earth.
Gina? Well, I know she can hold her own. I am just a little sad that I missed these 5 years with her because of Kenny's needs. I am going to miss watching PBS kids and Nick Jr. with Gina, but I love the fact that she is making friends and has her older sisters with her at school.
My high schoolers? Well...my only hope for them is that they do awesome in school and are not overwhelmed with anything...life, school or grades. 
So...in this day of celebration...15 years in the making....what am I going to do? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING (and worry about Kenny)!
I am feeling very proud right now.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Another thoughtful Thursday (more produce stickers)!

This goes back to my never ending post of produce stickers. I must be the only household where I find them anywhere and everywhere! 
Perfect examples taken within the last few days:
Not to mention the one that's been stuck to my dining room floor for weeks because I'm trying to see if anyone but myself will scrape it up...so far...no one!!! 
Even with company coming over and visiting! I'm sure this darn sticker was like a neon sign blinking in the midnight darkness to anyone that has come to visit...for that...I'm sorry.
I'm so glad harvest time is right around the corner from us and I won't be finding many more of these hanging around. Heh...who am I kidding! There peaches today...but apples, oranges and even pomegranates...tomorrow (or...within the next few months).

...no cats were hurt in taking the sticker off. I swear ;)

Kenny has a surprise for us...

Kenny came over to me with his bag. I thought he had it filled with his usual stuff...everything small in his toy box....only for him to show me this surprise he had in there!!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

It's been five years....

I can't believe it's been five years since our last child...wow. Where has the time gone!! This year marks a milestone...all five kids in school all day long!! Woot woot! 
Today also is my last child's birthday..HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our sweet Gina! She is truly a one of a kind! She loves army stuff, guns, army guys, baseball, wrestling and dressing p in boy clothes....she also loves nail polish, kittens, fancy dresses, and cuddles! My little Tom boy who is a very sweet hearted, smart beyond her years little cutie pie! 
So, here is a poem I wrote for her....I love you my rainbow baby!!!

A rainbow is a gift, a sign all will be good...
It's that joy after a storm, that is sometimes misunderstood.
God gave us a rainbow for our family to cherish...
One when all hope and faith was ready to perish.
These last five years have been such a blessing,
They have healed the wounds, really has been the dressing.
Thinking back on everything and what this has meant...
The walking, the talking, and encouragement.
You were given to us for a reason we see,
And only God really knows...he holds the key.
God gave you to us because he felt all our pain...
The sadness, the emptiness....its hard to explain.
Losing a child and then, another so sick,
Hoping and praying...nothing did the trick.
When out of the blue, a test came back...yes
Mommy sat and cried, I didn't want this mess.
I lost a child, why didn't God keep him here...
Why give me another, it seemed so severe.
The thoughts of replacing him was scary and sad,
But God showed me something, I stopped being mad.
I thank God every day that he felt we could cope,
A loss and a sick one...we were at the end of our rope.
I wasn't replacing him, I was gaining a child...
Who is strong and resilient yet sweet, caring and mild.
You have help your brother and family to heal...
Our hearts and hope you have quickly come to steal.
Kenny needed someone close, his twin couldn't be,
The bond that you created is so special, you see.
Teaching him to walk, to play and to act like the rest...
Honey you simply are truly loved, youre the best.
Yes we miss our Nick, and nothing will replace him,
But being here with us, has lightened the dim.
Some said we shouldn't have had any more,
But look at our life, its amazing...top score!
You have opened our eyes that God in in charge,
Our lives are worth living, his miracles...quite large.
So Happy Birthday to you, our gift from above,
You have given us pride, hope, joy and love.

written my me (michele)

Happy 5th Birthday Gina. Mommy and Daddy love you more than words can say.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Well...I did it!!!!

 I got my tattoo of Nicks footprint with a crooked halo (boys will be boys) with the bible verse 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted...it just so happens at my son also died on 5/4...so it was meant. his footprint is on my left foot because that was the side he was on inside of me and I wanted him to always be walking with me :)

I have a few things I need touched up on it..like I want the halo to be brighter yellow/white and not so much orange..and I'm thinking I want to add a shadow to make it look almost like he's slightly lifted off of me. 
I love it, I love it...and Ron at Gen X tattoos is one amazing artist!!

Wondering about wandering

No one told me how hard a child with autism along with developmental issues, lung issues, brain issues and feeding issues, hearing issues and nonverbal would be. Yesterday I heard chopping I the kitchen...Kenny has a huge butchers knife chopping a cucumber! He is non stop running/wondering...the other day, he was ten houses down the street...i just went to the bathroom!!! now...I'm really scared and feel like a failure as a mommy. We are trying to get a fence put p but the idiots next door wont sign the consent...and we don't have $600. for a survey....(our washer broke, our basement is flooding and we need a new driveway). We've asked the city to help and their hands are tied. so all day everyday I'm chasing him into the front yard or in the backyards of neighbors thatdon't  keep their backyards cleaned up. I'm not super mommy. I just can't....
It's getting harder and harder and we have absolutely no help...sure, people say they want to help, but no one does. I have lost close contacts with good friends because of the stress I have and no time to escape for a few hours...and I'm truly sad over this.
It's a very isolated, high stress and no way out lifestyle. I love my children with heart and soul...but I'm so scared and exhausted.
We can't go anywhere without a meltdown, the beach, the city pool the playground, a restaurant, shopping...everything is off limits.. I don't need the stress and the dirty looks from strangers.
Sometimes I really wish....no...no I don't..but I just hate this never ending stressful everything. And no...please don't say you understand...because no one understands. I pray, and pray for guidance and compassion...and nothing. I do unto other as I would want for myself and I truly feel that God forgot about us.. I'm not expecting ANYTHING, nor do I feel entitled...at all. I am just throwing my feelings out there. 

So if there are other parents out there that have no help whatsoever...please let me know that it will be alright...because I am seriously at my lowest.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Summer is upon us...please be careful.

While driving, please keep a careful watch on motorcyclists. Yesterday while I was waiting in a doctor. Office...ok...a podiatrist..aka..foot doctor...#gettingoldwitharthritissucks, who's office is on the ground floor with windows and door right by the street, I saw a white work van cut off a motorcycle and kept going...while the cycle lost control, spun and slid on the street. The waiting room I was in was full, there was a lot of traffic...and I was the ONLY person that ran to help him. Thank god he only had a bad scrap on his whole forearm (not even the nurses came out with bandages or anything...i had to go in and ask for some!!) and had a couple of things broken on his new bike, but he was able to ride I home. It could have been a whole lot worse!!! 
I just can't get over that
1) the van never stopped.
2) no one helped this stunned/hurt guy
And 3) he wasn't wearing his helmet which was still strapped to the back of the bike as he left!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

End of the school year...beginning a new...

So yeah...it's hitting me hard that as of tomorrow, I will have 2 kids in high school. 
My oldest daughter, Taylor is graduating middle school along with her peers whom we've known since kindergarten!
 Us parents became great friends sharing the joys and pains of our kids growing up...right before our eyes, yet...how did this happen so fast?! There were field trips, concerts, sleepovers, holidays, class parties and fish fries...didnt we just celebrate their communion...oh wait...that was 4 of my children's  communions ago! I tried "taking it all in", being a hands on mom like everyone said, and yet...it still haunts me that I somehow missed her getting from a little girl just starting kindergarten...to here...graduating from 8th grade!
I am so proud of my daughter for becoming such a great kid (minus he talking back and the messy room and the grades...well...lets not talk about that...but I hear that is very normal). She has really turned into a blessing to us. I can't wait to see what these years ahead will bring (oh God, please be gentle).
As she takes this next step in her journey called life, I will be there for her cheering her on! I want to thank her for giving me a little...well...A mini me. Thank her for being the sweet, friendly little blonde girl that loved everyone and hated nothing (ok...so I'm talking about her BEFORE the onset of
hormonal crankiness).
I want to thank her for making me laugh, having a great mom/daughter relationship and being a test tube type of daughter...you know...she's the oldest girl so I'm using her as what works and what doesn't...my test tube daughter. LoL. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't of met such wonderful friends whom we shared turning 40 together, girls nights out, them visiting me and cheering me up when I was in the hospital on bedrest with Kenny and Nick, and watching our babies become young adults! I will always cherish each and every one of them! 
So tomorrow we will watch as our second child graduates out of St. Francis. Such bittersweet feelings along with only the best of luck to all of them as they go off to high school. And for the teachers who have been there for them all these years...a huge THANK YOU, THANK YOU and THANK YOU!