Ashe Background

Ashe Background

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Before I bombard you with pictures, let me tell you how our weekend went. This weekend we meet up with my family for one big family vacation. We were treated to a wonderful vacation at Great Wolf Lodge, rode the Grapevine vintage railroad to the Stockades and even got in a visit with some really good friends of ours. It was a really busy four days but we came home with one exhausted family so I guess that means the kids had fun. I have a feeling this may be the last vacation of this magnitude for awhile so it was nice to enjoy seeing all the little ones together.
Thanks Mom and Dad...we appreciated it!!

One BIG family picture!!

Our family

Enjoying the kiddie pool

On the train

Isn't she cute!!

Now that is sibling LOVE!!

Gracie with Cousin Donivon

All the other cousins

This balloon guy was really sweet.
He even made sure that we didn't leave Lexie out of the picture.

Ice cream time

The wizard game at Great Wolf Lodge
(money pit in my opinion)

I stumbled upon Ethan and Gracie playing Air Hockey.
Even though they had their cousins around, they still enjoy playing together.

We meet up with the Bolin family and this is the best snapshot we could get.

Monday, September 27, 2010


I love hearing stories that defy the odds. Especially the video of Michelle Mack who was born with half a brain. It is a must see!

Monday, September 20, 2010

9 month Check-up

This past week we had two doctor visits. One with her Neurologist and one with the Ophthalmologist. Her Ophthalmologist is still very happy with Lexie's eyesight and is actually surprised by it. She explained, "I know this sounds bad but every time I look at Lexie I am expecting the worse. Like some kind of damage but it just looks great." So we were thrilled after that doctor visit despite the three hour wait!

Next was the Neurologist, Dr. Faux. From the very beginning Dr. Faux has been wonderful. He will tell it like it is but just has such a carefree; seen it all before kind of attitude. He has never been negative and I have enjoyed having him as her doctor. That day he did not disappoint. His EXACT words were, "I am just amazed by how well Lexie is doing." He said that with the amount of damage in her brain he had predicted that she would have been scissoring by now. Scissoring is when the arms and legs go stiff and kind of go inward. I replied with, "I owe it all to the Stem Cell Infusion." I know he will probably never 100% agree with me but he can't disagree with me either. Thankfully, Lexie's arms and legs are not stiff at all. We seem to be on the other side where there is low muscle tone. She will not put any weight on her arms. She's almost gotten independent sitting down but will not use her hands to tripod herself. She will just keep falling forward. She does have more tone in her legs but will only stand for a couple of seconds then just collapse into your arms. These things are currently on the therapy list that we do everyday.

Here are some picture of Lexie during bath time. I forgot to mention she weighed in at 18.5 lbs!!
Hard to believe that she was a preemie!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Lovers of Pizza!

I should say that our family really LOVES pizza! I mean, we could eat it all the time. Eric always makes me laugh when he references us to being like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles because when it comes to pizza, our family will eat it like it is going out of style. You can totally tell what decade we grew up in. Anyways, the one thing that I love is when we eat pizza I never have to say over and over again as I seldom do around dinner time, "Sit down and eat your food!!!". I forgot to get pictures of what our creations looked like after they were cooked because we had friends over but everyone ate it so that is always a good sign.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


One year ago today was the day that we found out our youngest daughter had hydrocephalus. I hope to not always remember the date but unfortunately that day's events will be etched my mind forever. Eric and I bounced all the way to the radiology department in Wilford Hall to found out whether we would be having a boy or girl. 20 minutes later I would quietly beg to go back to that happy; blissful moment. Where I thought as long as Eric and I were good people, great things would happen to us. I remember laying on the table when the technician told us that we were having a girl. We started to laugh and immediately started talking about Ethan and how disappointed he was going to be that we weren't having a boy. It was then that the technician excused himself. I distinctly remember Eric asking "Is it normal for him to go get the doctor?" It was at that moment that I knew. I knew that our lives were going to change but I only reassured my husband with, "Yeah, I am sure everything is fine". It wasn't fine. Two doctors and the technician explained that our daughter had hydrocephalus and her brain was being compressed due to all of the pressure. I really can't remember anything else that was said after that. What I can remember is that the doctor had really blue eyes and I just kept looking at him like he was lying to me. He had to be lying to me. This wasn't how it was supposed to be for us. I could feel his uncomfortableness as I started to cry but I couldn't stop staring at him. I needed to know that I wasn't in some horrible dream. I was in such a shock that even when he left, I who never stops talking, couldn't even mutter a word. We were asked to wait in the waiting room until an appointment with the OB/GYN could be made. I remember thinking how cruel they were. We had to go out into the waiting room where other pregnant parents waited impatiently to find out the sex of their child and not learning the most dreadful news they ever heard. I have never wanted to trade places with someone else more in my life than at that moment. Of course, I was still crying and having to even sit in the same room as them made me want to hurl. I wanted to scream that we were cheated and it just wasn't fair! After what felt like a lifetime in the waiting room, the technician returned to inform us that we needed to make our way upstairs to the 5th floor where Dr Faucett, the High Risk OB, was waiting for us. When Dr. Faucett appeared in our room, I remembered that this was not the first time I had met him. I met him at the parent orientation that every pregnant woman must attend when delivering at Wilford Hall. I had tried to get out of it by telling the nurse, "I have had two kiddos already, I know what happens". However, she didn't relent and I attended the class. At this orientation he discussed the future care of our pregnancy, nutrition and spent an unusually large amount of time going over genetic issues that may cause problems in utero. I grudgingly sat through it and have no problem saying that I thought the classic thought 'it won't happen to me'. Well back to our second meeting, you could say I felt he jinxed me. If I wasn't forced to go to his class, I wouldn't be one of his statistics. I didn't want to know him. Unfortunately for me, Dr. Faucett is one of the nicest men I have ever met. As soon as I was placed on the table, he grabbed my hand and asked me what we had been told. I immediately started out with "The people downstairs said our baby has hydro....." I couldn't even finish the word. More tears started to roll and I immediately looked at Eric who jumped right in and rescued me. He explained everything to Dr. Faucett and we started another ultrasound. There has never been a word that could bring me to tears like the word hydrocephalus. Even months later, it would take everything I had to not start crying as soon as the word would spill out of my mouth. Lexie hated the ultrasound machine and made it known that time and many times afterward that she was not going to sit by and have them examine her. She was a belly fighter! Although it was at that examination that we were told more details about Lexie's conditions and what possible outcomes we could expect. Throughout this entire meeting he seemed so positive. Somehow by the end of the meeting, I felt a little better. It sounds odd for me to even write that I had that feeling but he has that kind of energy where positivity beams and I have later found out is quite rare for doctors. It is not like he sugar coated it at all but he didn't act like it was the worst thing in the world either. As we started to leave I remember him saying, "I will say this and only say this once, some people choose termination". It was at that exact moment that I realized the severity of our situation. From all of the discussions that day it never once popped into my head that people would choose that option. My first thought was "Ughh I am not some 15 year old that got knocked up and couldn't handle it." I was an adult, was sure of myself and all of my decisions. However, just that little sentence would soon cause so much chaos in my thoughts that I still feel will follow me past my judgment day. I am of course, my worst critic and that guilt will never ever cease.

I love Lexie as well as my other children with all of my heart. I can't imagine my life nor would I want to without them. However, that day all I could feel was "God,why me?" I wanted our lives to go back to how they were. Where I was trying to the best mommy to Ethan and Gracie. I remember I kept saying "I was their mommy first and now all of my time, energy and worry will have to go to just one child". It wasn't fair to us, to Ethan and Gracie, and especially to her. She was robbed and nothing could be done to fix that. When we left his office, Eric and I literally had to put our happy faces on. We had family visiting us and we were throwing a party. It was such a happy time that we didn't want to ruin our families happiness and to be frank we just weren't ready to talk about it yet. We needed to soak it in before we told anyone. I remember I couldn't fall asleep that night. The tears just wouldn't stop. I woke up sometime during the night and helplessly tried convincing myself that it was a horrible dream. But, like all things reality set in once again. I remember Eric reaching for me and we just held each other. It was horrible to watch each other suffer during this time but there was a sense of comfort knowing that I wasn't alone. It was by far, the longest night of my life. When I look back at that day and all of the days following, I punish myself for what I have thought and felt. I see it all different now and know it will continue to be that way. Every time, I look at her, I just can't get enough of her. I think how we are so lucky to have her and I don't want to ever take it for granted again. Because of that I sometimes fear that God will take her from me as a way to punish me for not embracing her from the beginning. I know it doesn't work like that but the fear is still there. I don't know how long any of our lives are but we are going to make the best of it regardless what has been or continues to be thrown at us. I smile whenever Eric says that he just wants to squeeze her real tight so she will never leave him and that is exactly how I feel. As soon as we started sharing Lexie's condition with our family and friends, I was prepared to hear everyone's opinion. I have never let people's opinions bother me before so it really doesn't bother me when people speak before they think. They have no control over my life so I never give it any weight. Another thing I expected was how I would be changing. I can't deny the fact that Eric and I are just not the same. Is it for the better? I feel that as long as I continue to be the best mother, wife and person than this change must be for the better. Now, what I was not prepared for was the amount of friendships I would gain and the ones that would slowly fade away. Eric replies with "If it is not in their immediate world, people would rather not talk about it nor see it." I know they would never come right out and say it but I feel that there are some people that do find it difficult to be around us or to hear about Lexie's medical needs. I am not like a broken record and only talk about Lexie's condition even though my life sometimes feels consumed by the therapist and doctor's visits but sometimes it just has to come up. So too bad!!! My world is my children and I will talk about my world. Now that Lexie is about to be 9 months old and is loved by everyone who holds her. I can only say that we are happy with our lives and are enjoying it to the fullest. I thank God everyday for bringing her to us and I only hope that I continue to make him proud of his decision. Lexie is not in any way our punishment or a reason for other people to pity us. I get to spend more time than anyone else holding her, loving her and just being in the same room makes my heart want to sing. I enjoy everyday with my children. Even more so now that we have Lexie because she has showed us life can change in a instant!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Soccer Mania

Soccer has officially started in our corner of the world. Here are some pictures from our first game. At first Eric wanted Ethan to try a new sport but Ethan had his heart on playing soccer again. Although, they have made an agreement that I think suits them both- soccer in the fall, baseball in the spring. I am loving how athletic he is becoming.

Ethan going towards the goal!

You can't tell but he is even being pulled by the arm
and yet still keeps going towards the goal.
Enjoying his snack and cooling off!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Happy Grandparents Day

With a little help from a fabric marker and a standard oven mitt we made ourselves a grandparents gift that is cute and functional.
We hope that you love them!