Jun 21, 2014

Fast for Ashton

Hey all! So I'm way behind in posts (like our awesome trip to Nauvoo last month!), but before I start playing catch up, I wanted to let everyone know that Ashton will be having surgery this Tuesday, the 24th, to have his branchial clefts on his neck removed. We are going to be holding a fast tomorrow (Sunday) and would be so grateful to anyone who wishes to join us. Prayers are always welcome, too!!

The surgery will take anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours, depending on what they find when they get in there and how much of a tract, if any, they have to take out. They don't anticipate him needing to stay at the hospital overnight (hopefully!). We are so lucky to have the seriously AMAZING Dr. Vaughan performing the surgery. He's been with us since the early NICU days, and I wouldn't trust anyone besides him doing this surgery. Honestly, Ashton has the BEST doctors!

Apr 13, 2014

hey there, 18 months!

You know that one saying, "Oh how the time flies"? Or how about "Where does the time go?" Those sayings are 110% true. Seriously. Ashton is 18 months old! What?!? How?? This is not OK! My baby is growing up :-( But it really is a great thing, and it is so much fun to watch him grow and learn and explore his ever-changing world. Here are some recent pics of the little cutie...

18 months has turned out to be one of the hardest months yet...Ashton has lost a little weight and refuses to eat, with the exception of less than a handful of foods. He won't touch pasta, rice, bread, fruit, vegetables, or meat. Not even chicken nuggets. What kid doesn't like chicken nuggets?? He will, however, eat oatmeal and other hot cereals. And yogurt. He really like yogurt. So we've had to give him Pediasure so that he can at least get some nutrients and calories. It's so frustrating and emotional when your baby throws every food you offer him onto the floor. I just want him to eat! Eat, Ashton!! But I still love you, even though you and your apparent food phobia can drive me absolutely crazy sometimes.

Mar 19, 2014

good news + first trip to the dentist

Kirk and I were recently tested to see if one of us carried the mutated gene that caused Ashton's syndrome. And it turns out, both of us tested negative!  We're so excited--this means that we don't have to do PGD/in-vitro for future kids, and that was a huge financial burden that we don't have to worry about anymore.  So since we tested negative, it means that Ashton's gene mutation was just a random occurrence that *most likely* won't happen again (I love how they always have to put that disclaimer in there).

In other news, Ashton had his first dentist appointment today!  And he was a trooper.  That poor kid has to endure so much poking and prodding on a regular basis, but he is strong and tough--much more tough than his mom.  I have to take my mind to another place every time I have to help hold him down for the doctors to work on him or else I lose it.  As a mom, you hate seeing your child suffer and wish you could just take his place so that he will never have to experience pain.  But that's just part of life, and we all have to experience trials--some more than others.

Feb 18, 2014

update on Ashton

First, I'd like to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers on Ashton's behalf. Ever since Ashton was born, Kirk and I have been amazed at all of the love and support we have received, and we have been so happy and thankful that Ashton is so loved. But let's face it, how can you not love that kid?? He's perfect.

As most of you know, Ashton was born with BOFS, a syndrome that mainly affects physical attributes and growth. He has had clogged tear ducts since birth, which is pretty common for a lot of kids, and so he went in yesterday to have the procedure done to fix it. With his syndrome, though, there was an added risk of him possibly not having a passageway from his tear ducts to his nasal cavity. That fear was not only confirmed yesterday, but it turns out that Ashton doesn't even have a nasal cavity--it hasn't formed yet. The stent they would have put in to open up his passageway would have had to connect to his nasal cavity, so they couldn't perform the procedure. For those of you who are visual learners and want to see what I'm talking about, click here for a picture of the anatomy of the nose. Also, I was trying to console an I-just-woke-up-from-being-under-anesthesia-so-I'm-very-cranky-and-confused baby while the doctor was explaining all of this to us, so forgive me if I got any of that medical science stuff wrong.

Getting ready for his go-to-sleep drink!

Sad that he had to go through that whole experience just to find out he couldn't have the procedure done, but at least we know what to expect now.

So what now? Ashton will have appointments every 3 months to have the doctor check to see how his nasal bridge and cavity are growing. Just like his ear canals, his nose will grow as he grows and so in a couple of years, they will hopefully be able to go in and do surgery. By the way, did I mention that his hearing is pretty much normal now?? Yep, his ear canals have opened up and he doesn't have to wear a hearing aid anymore! Yay! Let's hope this new setback turns out as great.

Again, thank you all for your concern and support. We love and appreciate all of you and know that it's because of your prayers and fasting that we have seen miracles happen with Ashton. We are so blessed to have him in our lives. 

Feb 13, 2014

me and my wheat grinder

I have always had a desire for my family to become more healthy and to be self-sufficient. I want to grow our own fruits and veggies, obtain/grind/prepare our own meats, build our food storage supply, and make my own bread and other flour items from my wheat storage. But as a young family with a husband going to school, it's hard! I always thought it would cost so much money and take so much time, and let's be honest...growing my own garden isn't happening at this point in my life. BUT what I didn't realize is that I can start doing small things right now that will get me going in the right direction.

So last week I bought a manual wheat grinder off of Amazon (oh how I love my Amazon Prime...I seriously get everything from there).

mmm...look at those yummy wheat berries

I can't afford the luxury of an automatic grinder, but I decided that a manual one is perfect for me right now, plus if the electricity ever goes out I can still use it! The other night I finally had enough time to experiment with it and I knew the first thing I wanted to make was cracked wheat. I grew up eating that cereal and I'm a little obsessed with it. And oh my goodness, it tasted delicious! And I couldn't believe how easy it was to make. The best part? Watching Ashton eat it for breakfast the next morning and knowing that he was eating something I made for him that was all natural, 100% good for him.

it only took about 5-10 minutes to grind this...easy!

the finished product....you HAVE to add in coconut milk and agave (my faves)!

Next up is homemade bread (I'm a homemade bread addict...it's serious). Yay for being a little healthier!

Jan 31, 2014

we took a walk

It rained last night here in beautiful St. George and the weather this afternoon couldn't have been more perfect. There is something so serene and refreshing about the earth after it rains, don't you think? And rightfully so, since water is often used in the scriptures to represent purification and rebirth, among other things. So with that in mind, it seemed only fitting that Ashton and I take the short walk from our house to the Temple. Plus, we've been battling a cold all week so I figured some cool, fresh air would do us a lot of good!

As you can tell from Ashton's squinting eye, it was pretty bright outside. We had a lot of fun, though, and I really hope we'll have more outings like this!

Jan 26, 2014

a (very) late Christmas story

Although this may come a little really late, our Christmas was just too fun not to share with you--no matter how long it took to finally post! So as I mentioned earlier in this post, we spend Christmas Eve with the Esplins every year for a fun-filled fondue fest, and then hurry over to my parent's house to exchange sibling gifts. Christmas was spent bouncing back and forth between our families' houses, which is hard sometimes but we're also so thankful that both our families live in St. George! Ashton got a lot of great toys and cute outfits and loved spending time with all of his family!

Ashton REALLY doesn't like hats...

Look at this AMAZING, super cute quilt my Grandma Welker made for Ashton!!

Seriously tho, how cute is this quilt??