Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas with the Domec's

Have you ever seen the movie Christmas with the Kranks? One night last week, Guy said that he was recording it on our DVR and I said I don't think we liked that movie. So I checked how many stars it had for a It had one star. It really is a terrible movie. Needless to say we stopped recording it.

I love our house during Christmas. I love keeping the Christmas tree lights on ALL DAY LONG! Even when it's light outside. I thought that Austin would be a little Christmas monster and terrorize our tree but surprisingly he leaves it alone. He just squirms on pass it and starts climbing the stairs. Yes. 2 weeks ago he started climbing the stairs. What 8 month old does that? Crazy kid. He is so much fun but he is our wild child. And he is such a momma's boy. I love it! One day when he's a teenager, he will not be. :)

We are looking forward to lots of Christmas parties and time with family and friends. We'll probably go to the Festival of Lights and the Christmas trains at Union Terminal. Fountain Square has a Santa that repels down Macy's and they have free carriage rides. We try to down play Santa and talk more about the gospel with Braylen. But I really love all things "secular" Christmas. I love all of those dumb claymation Christmas movies and the Grinch and Charlie Brown.

Aside from all of that, I am so overwhelmed with thankfulness and joy over the status of my mom. She is cancer free! She is healthy and wonderful. We are so completely thankful that the Lord has healed her. We are thankful for life! She is part of the reason I love Christmas so much. Love you mom!

Chubby baby legs and diaper wedgie!

My dad sporting his ugly Christmas sweater! 


Hating the grass. But outside with short sleeves in December? Crazy. 

Merry Christmas! 
Love, The Domec's

Sunday, November 4, 2012


This year for Halloween, we knew that Austin would be wearing his little blue helmet and we wanted to find a costume that would go along with it. Someone suggested that he dress up like Captain America! Yes! I tried looking for a vinyl letter "A" to go on his helmet but I couldn't find one and then we just ran out of time. I think he still looked adorable.

Braylen wanted to be Batman this year. He was so cute with this costume. Every time he wears it, it's like he poses like a super hero. These poses were completely unplanned which make them 100 times more awesome. There are truly no words for how great this picture is. 

We went trick or treating a few times before Halloween and loaded up on candy. Halloween day was freezing! So we ended up at First Church for their fall festival. It was pretty fun for Braylen. 

It's so fun to be with the boys all dressed up. Braylen kept asking what I was going to be for Halloween. I just told him a mommy. He told me that I should be cat woman. Maybe next year buddy. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Austin Has Plagio......what??

Austin started his little journey the exact same day that my mom started hers. The day we went to the hospital to be induced was the same day that my mom went to the hospital for her ultra sound. I wrote about Austin's birth story here. He came out all bruised and swollen from his delivery. He was a perfect little sleeper, which we later found out was due to his torticollis. Babies with torticollis tend to sleep longer because it's so hard for them to turn their heads. Around 6 weeks I noticed that he never had his head to the left. I tried to get his to turn his head but he just wouldn't do it. When I brought it up to our doctor, she said he has torticollis and plagiocephally-which is flat head syndrome.

This was at 2 weeks old. He is loving that right side. 

Fast forward to mid-August, and we went to Austin's first helmet fitting. The only way to repair torticollis is through physical therapy (which he is still going to every other week). And the only way to repair his little head, is to wear a helmet. 23 hours a day, for 3-4 months. Austin is rocking this helmet. He is so cute and it does not bother him at all. In the beginning, it was tough. I would try and cuddle with him and end up kissing the helmet over and over out of habit. Austin would pull on it here and there, and get a little frustrated. He does great with it. And his head is improving greatly. We have probably 5-6 more weeks and then he will "graduate" from the helmet.

As much as I would prefer it if my baby didn't have to wear a giant, blue, football-looking, smelly helmet, I am thankful for the experience. I know that our experience is no where near other families who have children with diseases, cancer, and special needs. But now I know what it's like to have complete strangers stare at you when you're walking by! You can see every single eye turn towards Austin and his helmet. Most have this sympathetic look as if to say, aaaawwwwwww and they'll give you a little grin. Others just stare. Kids are the best because they're like "mom, did you say that helmet?" ha. I am so thankful when people come up to him and talk and smile. I love it when someone asks me about the helmet. I guess most people don't bring it up because they're polite and don't want to offend me. I'm just not sure how they don't "notice" it.  So I usually say something like "have you ever seen a baby with a helmet before?" I feel that I am a little more empathetic towards people who struggle with disabilities or special needs. I am learning that it's okay to talk to anyone who looks "different" and to ask their caregiver how they are.

 Look at that beautiful, round head. 

First time swinging

First time bowling 

 He is all over the place

 Look at the camera Austin!

With Halloween approaching, the "big question" (not really) has been what should Austin's costume be? The obvious answer is football player. I'll have to post pictures after Halloween, because it's going to be the greatest costume ever. Mmmmwwwwwhhhhhaaaaaaa............. (creepy Halloween voice).

Washington Park

This was from the summer but there are so many cute pictures not to post! This past July, the Meiman's came to visit us for a whole week! It was the perfect week! Not only did we spend lots of time catching up but mom had her "off week" from chemo so she was feeling great. We celebrated Kaleb's first birthday, went swimming, went to a wedding and had lots of cousin time. One evening we all went out to dinner to Buckhead's on the river and then drove over to Washington Park. It was so much fun. It is such a beautiful park! Perfect scenery, easy to get to, and lots of fun things for the kids to do. The boys LOVED the fountain. Austin will love it next year.

It always takes Braylen a little bit of time to warm up to certain situations. He's very careful to get "involved" until he becomes a little familiar with his surroundings. Kaleb on the other hand, jumped right in. I'm pretty sure that this night was one of the greatest times of his life. :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Team Linda & Best Day Ever

Sorry for the lack of posting lately.There are so many great things to report! So thanks for coming back and checking it.

2 months ago we participated in the Cincinnati Ovarian Cancer Awareness Run/Walk 5K. We created a team in support of mom (Team Linda) and we were so thrilled to have over 75 friends and family participate in this race with us. Seriously. 75 people came out! People we knew and loved, and new friends that we had never met before. One of my mom's clients and friends donated our Team Linda tshirts and all the money we raised selling them went towards my mom's medical bills. We raised around $800 for her bills. We are so thankful for that day. My main goal for this race was to get as many people as possible to join our team, so that on the day of the race, my parents could look around and see some of the people who have been loving and praying for them. It was a very special day. Right after the race, I had made reservations at Sky Galley restaurant for anyone that was able to stick around and eat with us. We had about 25 close friends and family members eat with us.

The day before the race, mom received a phone call from one of her nurses in the cancer center. They knew she had a special day planned and they wanted to let her know that her scan came back clear. My family knew going into the race that things were looking pretty great for mom. That definitely made our day even more wonderful.

On September 17th, we received the official news that my mom is CANCER FREE!!!! We are so overjoyed by this news and so thankful to our Great Physician that he has allowed her to overcome this disease. We were all packed into the little check-up room when Dr. Shellhaus came in with the nurse. He said that her scan couldn't have looked better. It came back clear and the cancer is gone. Wow. He said a few other things and then he left. I was like, okay. That's it? I asked the nurse if this means she is actually cancer free and she said yes! Yes it does. Praise God. The 4 of us (mom, dad, Jess and I- Austin was there too but he was asleep) all stepped outside the cancer center and hugged and cried. What a journey. 

**I love this picture of Braylen running to the finish line. He actually believed that he won the race.** 

Thank you to everyone who participated with Team Linda. Thank you to those who sacrificed their time, money, made dinner, sent letters, emails, donated tshirts, etc. You have all played a huge role not only in the healing of my mom's cancer but also in her state of sadness and anger throughout this experience. When she was feeling bitter or sad, you would send her a note in the mail saying that you were thinking and praying for her. When she was sick and couldn't find anything to eat, you gave her Graeter's and brought her cherry icee's (that's for you dad!). When she was cold, you  made her lovely blankets and brought her warm socks. When she was too sick to be outside, you brought her beautiful flowers. When she was restless, you would be praying to our Heavenly Father to heal her body and heart. THANK YOU! God used you in my parents lives and we will all be forever changed by your servant hearts. 

Today is the final day of mom's chemo treatment. After this treatment, she will begin another treatment that is similar to chemo but not as hard on her body. This will be another precaution/prevention tool and she will be on this medicine for about a year. As of now, her insurance company has denied the request of using this particular medicine, but her doctor will continue to submit the request until it is approved.

The journey is not over.

There are still hoops to juggle.

There are still things to process.

But one thing we know is God is present, constant and the creator of all things. Even cancer. John Piper says in his article "Don't Waste Your Cancer," that you will waste your cancer if you do not believe that cancer is designed for you by God. He says, "What God permits, he permits for a reason. And that reason is his design. If God foresees molecular developments becoming cancer, he can stop it or not. If he does not, he has a purpose. Since he is infinitely wise, it is right to call this purpose a design. Satan is real and causes many pleasures and pains. But he is not ultimate. So when he strikes Job with boils (Job 2:7), Job attributes it ultimately to God (2:10) and the inspired writer agrees: “They . . . comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him” (Job 42:11). If you don’t believe your cancer is designed for you by God, you will waste it."

That is equally comforting and hard to hear at the same time. I choose to trust because the opposite is choosing to believe that God would be out to destroy. I know that's not true. If you have time, go here and read the rest of John's article. It will greatly change your perspective of cancer.

Thanks for reading! I hope to start updating more often.