Ashe Background

Ashe Background

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

The kids loved going to the pumpkin patch and frantically looked for the perfect pumpkins. Gracie had a hard time picking up most of them and kept saying "It's heavy!". For some bizarre reason our kids liked the pumpkins that had warts all over them. They kept wanting to play with them.













Thursday, October 22, 2009

HOPE


Many of you already know our story and many of you don't. This is just another post on our family blog which happens to be another chapter in our life. Seeing how it is life; it has it's messy moments so we need to cherish the good and maybe the not so good moments to realize what is really important.

When we found out we were having a little girl we also found out our little one has hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is basically when there is too much fluid present in the brain. When we found out, we were at 14mm of fluid which is considered moderate. At the last ultrasound we found out we were at 24 which is significant. It can go up and it can go down. However the more liquid that accumulates, the more that her brain tissue gets pushed further and further against her skull. This is when it gets serious because it could be causing brain damage. The doctors cannot go in and fix this problem. It is something that has to addressed at birth. She will most likely have a shunt inserted in her brain either the day of her birth or a couple days after and it is to help the fluid drain. We were basically given a 50/50 chance. Seeing how this can affect each child differently the doctors basically shrug their shoulders and say "You may leave with a perfectly healthy child or you may leave with a vegetable." You really can't tell how much her brain will be affected till she is at least 18-24 months. Because of all of the fluids, her head is growing more and more to accommodate it. The chances of her being born with an abnormally shaped head are pretty good. However, like anything we have encountered in this process it is 50/50. She may come out looking and acting perfectly normal or not. You just never know. I will most likely have an ultrasound every 2-4 weeks and the more we keep watching this, the better will be prepared on what we are dealing with. Typically, hydro babies are born via c-section and usually between 32-36 weeks. Due to the size of their heads very few go to 40 weeks. I am going to try to keep her in as long as I can because I feel that a preemie baby just has to survive but a preemie hydro baby has to do that and more.

There is no one to blame and when you roll the dice on becoming a parent you are never promised a "perfect" baby. I have joined a Hydrocephalus board online and it has helped us prepare for what is to come. I enjoy reading their stories and seeing their children grow. It gives us hope and hope is pretty much what we have to hold on to right now. We can only hope that she is not in pain and that she will be a perfectly healthy child. I think as soon as I can see and touch her, the more prepared I will be to help her. She is counting on us to be there for her and we as a family will have to adjust to our new life. I love our doctor and feel very confident in our quality of care. He is a father of five so he knows how devastating this is for us.

Our family and friends have been really supportive and it make us thankful that she will have us and them to lean on.

**Lexie was born with severe hydrocephalus and is missing about 1/4 of her brain. Besides those two things she is doing reasonably well. Her hearing and eye sight seem to be fine and she is developing about 4 months behind. She is is the happiest baby and brings joy to everyone**

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sea World with our Playgroup

Ethan throwing in a fish to the Dolphins


Ethan touching the Dolphin's nose


Looking at the Sharks

Jeremiah and Ethan


Ethan, Jeremiah and Ellie (she has a little crush on Ethan)


Ethan, Ellie, Jeremiah, Gracie and Anna

Gracie is busy watching Shamu


All on a ride

video

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My little busy bodies

Well, we are swinging back into our routine and just as busy as ever. We have playgroup, birthday parties, soccer games, and practices keeping us busy this month. Just when it looks like a relaxing weekend at home, something seems to come up. Oh well, we better get used to it because I doubt it will start to slow down once this new little girl comes along.

Ethan is loving soccer and is doing pretty well at it. The games are hilarious though because the kiddos don't know how to keep the ball in bounds yet but it is a good effort. He is also doing really well at preschool. He likes seeing his friends in a school setting and he comes home with all types of new things to show and tell me. I ask him if he would rather stay home with Mommy but he says no. He is in the process of learning his letters and numbers. He gots a lot of them down but still needs help with quite a few. It is so ironic though how I can try teaching him one letter one day and it is not sinking in but when the teacher covers that letter he gets it. I think it is just the fact that she is not his mother. Who knows why? He is still really great with Gracie but was a little upset when I told him we were having another girl. He looked at me and said "I don't want another Gracie". I laughed so hard and told him that his new sister is not Gracie's twin. She will be a different person. Once he figured that out, he seemed more excited and even suggested a few names: Mr. Incredible, shovel, and car. When I say goodbye to him, he will even kiss my stomach and say "Goodbye baby". It melts my heart knowing he is such a caring little boy.

Gracie is growing so fast and all I do is just try to keep up with her. She is still in the stage of learning how to share but she is getting it. Majority of the tiffs between her and her brother are because she likes getting her way without asking but we are working on that. She loves to count but always leaves out 4 and 8 for some reason. She will say some of her abc's but only parts. One moment she says "abcdefg" and then 5 minutes later says "lmnop". She loves putting her own shoes on but only gets them on the right feet a couple of times. She loves to play outside and could literally be out there all day. She screams when I tell her it is time to go inside. She does this cute expression with her face that I have yet to catch on camera where she pouts her lip, tilts her head down, and looks up at you. It makes suckers out of us every time. It is too cute. She is still fascinated with Dora and loves to dance to anything. She doesn't quite get that I have a baby in my stomach but is constantly pulling up shirt to look at my belly even in the most inappropriate locations. We will be at a store and if I don't let her pull up my shirt to see my belly she screams "BELLY, BELLY!!!" She is talking like crazy and will even put words together like: "More Milk please", "No, Mommy", Stop it Ethan", and my favorite " No Monkey's jumping on the bed". She loves that song and requests every time her and Ethan start jumping on the bed. Ethan will even sit with her and tell her to repeat words after him and she will. He will even try to trick her a couple of times with hard words but she tries her best. She is both a tomboy and a girly girl. She loves carrying purses and putting on lipstick but loves playing soccer with the older boys and will even kick it towards them. She has no problem getting dirty.

We have yet to pick out a name for our little one but we always seem to wait till last minute anyways. I want to make sure it is the right one that fits her because I strongly think Ethan and Gracie have names that fit their personalities. I couldn't picture them named anything else expect Ethan and Gracie.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ethan's 1st Soccer Game

Yesterday afternoon was Ethan's 1st soccer game. He was hydrated by Gatorade, looked like Umbro's poster child and was being pumped up by his Dad who has practiced with him all week and was joking around with sayings like"Second place is first loser". After all that Ethan looks up at me and says, "When do we get to have snack?". Ah, the mentality of the three year old athlete, he came to play but is really looking forward to the snack that was brought to be given after the game. It was hilarious! I laugh looking at all the other kids whose parents are loving every second of it and wishing they were out there playing while their little one picks flowers and jokingly points out when another player farts. Heck, we were loving it and as Eric said "This is on of the perks about being a parent, watching them play in sports". I have to admit I was nervous for Ethan, like does he remember not to touch the ball with his hands, not push people for the ball and even remembering which net to go to since they change it up on them. However, he loves soccer and went out there and had a great time. He even scored the first goal of the game. I was practically jumping in the air for him as he was running toward it, and once he made the goal I wanted to run out there and give him a huge kiss but I didn't want to embarrass him or myself as a mother who smothers so I gave him a thumbs up and he was smiling from ear to ear! We can't wait for the next game, GO DRAGONS!!!!



Here is Ethan (in the white head band) practicing before the game.

Ethan who is #9 and his buddy Jeremiah #7 running for the goal.

Here is the picture of my baby kicking the ball in the goal!!!


Soccer Buddies - Ethan and Jeremiah
Ethan setting up to defend his net


Ethan doing a corner kick

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Our Magical Vacation

We were lucky enough to spend the past week in Orlando at Walt Disney World. We have been needing a vacation and we couldn't think of a better place to take the kiddos to. We spent 5 days there and had so much fun that we were all exhausted by the time we got off the airplane. However, it was all worth it because watching the excitement on the kids face as they met Mickey was priceless. Ethan loved riding all of the rides and meeting all of his favorite characters. His favorite rides were the River Rapids because he got all wet and Soarin because the chairs basically turned into a hanglider. Gracie's favorite part was meeting Mickey and watching Playhouse Disney. Mickey was even nice enough to personally walk her out and she looked so cute holding his hand. Ethan and her both loved riding on the Toy Story ride. I could hear her yell out "Yay Gracie" every time she pointed the gun at a target. It was too cute. She is just like her brother and doesn't seem to show fear. She went on every ride she could go on even the Pirates of the Caribbean which got really dark. She didn't look phased at all. It was a great time and I know we will definitely go again in the future.

P.S. I have more pictures and video to go through so hopefully I can post them sometime soon.


Sitting in front of the fountain at our hotel


About to get some dinner at Planet Hollywood

On our way into the Magical Kingdom

Ethan waiting for the Mickey 3D show to start

Showing off his new hat

Ugh, yeah Gracie likes hers too!


Ethan riding Dumbo with Dad and Gracie was riding with me

My crazy animals!!

Ethan and I on the boat safari

In front of the Magical Kingdom

Ethan controlling the wheel in his own race car

Waving to his biggest fan - Mom

A picture with Mickey and Minnie

Us in front of the kingdom

Us at Animal Kingdom in front of the Tree of Life

Ethan taking his picture with Eeyore and Tigger.
(By the way, I bought this new filter for our camera and can't believe how it pops the color)



Ethan with his buddy Leo

The boys after the conquered the Tower of Terror
Ethan said "Mom, they had ghost all over the place but
don't worry I wasnt scared because they were just puppets."

Us with Mickey, notice how Gracie is leaning her head on him. Just adorable!

Here he is walking us out.

My favorite part was meeting these guys. Ethan loved it
especially since he is going to be Mr. Incredible for Halloween.


Toy Story Gang

I had made reservations at this restaurant because I heard that all of the Einstein Characters were going to be there and we would get to meet them all but had no idea that Ethan would be able to dance with them and one of my favorite yoga gals, JOJO!

video

Eric's 10 year reunion/ Family Visit

Here are the picture from when we were back in our hometown. I know it is pretty late but better late than never, right!!!! These are from about two weeks ago. It consist of pictures with the family, pictures taken at White Sands and finally ending with pictures from Eric's 10 year High School reunion. As always we had a great time visiting with family and really enjoyed meeting up with old friends. I know Eric loved seeing his buddies which hopefully means he will be better on keeping in touch with them.



Gracie at the playground

Ethan going the wrong way on the slide


Cousin Vance on the swing

We tried to get a picture with all three of them but the sun and the kids just
weren't cooperating so this is the best we could do.

Eric and I out at my 27th birthday dinner

Cousin Vance or as Gracie calls him "Van"


Gracie's reaction to White Sands

I think I may have put into my children heads that sand is bad.

Ethan didn't care, he was off to go down the dune!

My risk taker


Gracie bouncing at the family day for Eric's reunion

Ethan got his face painted with the coolest spider man mask.
I can't believe he sat still long enough for her to do it.

Ethan Bouncing

Eric and I at his reunion

Eric and a couple of his buddies at the reunion


Below is a cute video of Gracie dancing

video