Round 2 – Day 5, I’m Still Alive…and Then Some.

So this post is long overdue…Day 5 of Round 2 happened almost two weeks ago. I guess I was just so excited to get out for Christmas Eve, that I lost track of time.

Okay, let’s be real. It has nothing to do with losing track of time. It has everything to do with the fact that I have felt like I got hit by a truck since Christmas. I may have, in fact, actually gotten hit by a truck, without even knowing it. I have been hurting in places I didn’t know existed…it has been magical terrible. Alas, I am okay. I’m still living and breathing…and maybe, just maybe, finally on the mend from Round 2.

So rewind to Friday, December 23. We met with the doctor around 7 in the morning and he said things were looking good for me to get discharged later that day.

Friday was a lot slower than the other days, and I’m thinking that was probably a good thing. Apparently I needed rest…I napped off and on for a good part of the day. Maybe I was dreaming about being home with my babies…who knows.

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These sweet loves came up to see me again on Friday. They delivered the Donut Kitchen fundraiser check and a few fun surprises. Love these boys so much.

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My sweet manager from when I worked at Bahama Bucks in college…ten years ago…called a local store and had them bring up shaved ice, several flavors, and all the necessary supplies for snow cones. What an incredible surprise it was! I haven’t talked to her in almost 10 years…but her gesture meant so much to me. Xana, if you see this, I cannot thank you enough for thinking of me.

Got my stuff packed up, Danny loaded the car, and we waited. And waited. And waited. Surprisingly, roles were reversed a bit for Danny and I. Normally I’m the anxious one who is chomping at the bit pacing back and forth and Danny is the chill, relaxed one just waiting for the right time to come. Today (or that day, I suppose), was a little different. I was just thrilled to actually be leaving…I didn’t care what time it happened to be. Danny was ready.to.go. There was pacing.

At about 6:30, I finished the 24 hour medicine and then they let it run a little longer because it wasn’t quite empty. I mean, how important were those last little drops? I’ve been getting this same drug for the past 96 (no exaggeration) hours. Around 7:30, they put the last medicine on. We had been told this one would only take about 30 minutes…we were on the home stretch!

The nurse, Michele, (who was A-MAZ-ING, by the way) came in and said she was supposed to call the doctor once I finished up the last medicine, and then he would give orders for discharge. Simple enough.

The nurse was in and out several times while the medicine was finishing up. Once it was done, she put in a call to the doctor and we waited some more. Danny seemed to think that there’s a chance she forgot to actually call when she said she did. (*Side note: Michele, if you ever read this, I totally don’t think you forgot…that was just Danny. He got a little antsy in the pantsy.) Yep, I just threw him right under the bus.

Once we were able to leave, I ran outta there like I ready to run a marathon. That’s a total lie. I don’t run, but I really wanted to. They made me go out in a wheelchair. I had been so happy and relieved all day…and then on the drive home, I got bit by the emotional bug. Tears on tears on tears. I cried quietly though, I don’t even think Danny noticed. I didn’t want to talk about it…I was just so grateful to get to be home with my babies and my family for Christmas (Eve). I feel like I have been so blessed throughout this process, I was just overcome with gratitude that everything went according to plan and I was able to go home.

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And guess what? You’ll never guess who was there when we got home. Those darn neighbors I keep talking about. Melt my heart. Hugs never felt so good. By the time we got home, the babies were sleeping and despite my efforts, Harper was not waking up until the sky was awake (Shout out – Frozen). I finally just Let It Go. (You see what I did there? Two Frozen references in two sentences.) Bet you can’t guess what we watch frequently at our house…

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Christmas Eve morning came quickly. We ended up not going to lunch with my grandparents and extended family like we normally do on Christmas Eve…it was just too much at the time. None of it has to do with the fact that I hate El Fenix. None of it at all. Grandma, if you see this, I love you, and I’ll go every year, but I just do not like that place. Not even a little bit. [Lauren Boyd, don’t hate me. ;)] As much as I don’t like it, my grandparents LOVE it, so we go. And we’ll go again. But this year, I just couldn’t quite do it. Next year, we’ll be there with bells on. And maybe a sign that says “#Chuys2017”. Totally kidding.

We finished wrapping a few last minute gifts–shout out to Lindsey Winget for helping Danny with his procrastination…we appreciate you taking the time to run errands for him.  We are blessed by you!

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My family–mom, Mimi, Lexi, and Landon came over that afternoon. Normally, we go out to eat on Christmas Eve, but this year, considering the circumstances, we decided to hang out at home and cook Chili. And I have to say, I really, really liked that plan. Some of our neighbors are from Iowa and they had been talking that every Christmas Eve they have chili…and cinnamon rolls. Not separate. Not like, cinnamon rolls for breakfast and chili for dinner. They have them both for dinner, together. Eww. Said neighbors, and several others ended up coming over for a bit after dinner and just relaxing together…seriously. We’re better people because of our neighbors. They.are.the.best.

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Having a little fun with my people at Kroger.

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My sweet girl and my bald head.

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This girl can get her Daddy to do anything…especially on Christmas Eve.

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Don’t mind my awkward stance or mismatched socks…this was the best that we could get.

 

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Sweet boy with his hair combed over…insert Heart Eyes.

 

 

When it came time to start winding down for the night, I was getting a little anxious because Harper was wanting to sleep upstairs in the playroom…which overlooks the fireplace. Catch my drift? Normally we I would say no, but that sweet girl was so excited about finally being home at her own house, with her own toys, doing her own things. So we let her…until she wouldn’t fall asleep. She then came into our bed while we made sure Santa came, ate the cookies, left the toys in an organized manner, etc. I was beat by this point. Absolutely exhausted.

Sweet Love Bug ended up waking up in the middle of the night whimpering that her leg was hurting on the inside. She’s done this several times…we’re assuming it’s growing pains. However, that was not the answer she wanted to hear at 2 in the morning. She started wailing. Loudly. So, Dad of the Year (that’s a legit award), took her upstairs and laid in her bed with her until she was back asleep.

Christmas morning came real early. We ended up waking up Harper around 7:30. She was completely out…and then I asked, “Do you want to go and see what Santa brought you?” And she was up. Sleepy, but awake.

We enjoyed our “normal” Christmas morning at home with our two precious babies one tiny four year old and one big huge baby boy. Oh how I love them so!

We then went to Danny’s mom and Stepdad’s house for brunch. This was another part of our Christmas Day tradition we were hoping to keep. Jim (Bimmo) always makes Eggs Benedict which is just heavenly. I’m pretty sure he only makes it because Tara and I would probably cry if he stopped…which is true. Never stop, Bimmo, never stop. We opened presents, ate breakfast, and the kids played together for a while…then we headed home for a nap before we went to my grandparents on my Dad’s side. So far, so good for the Christmas morning traditions. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a picture of all of us together. But we did get a picture of two good men wearing their #TeamAshley shirts.

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Later that evening we headed to Dallas for Christmas dinner. I didn’t leave the recliner except to wrangle Hud, and I didn’t eat a bite of dinner because I didn’t have an appetite, but I sure did love spending time with my family. Because my dad and stepbrother live in Austin, we don’t get to see them much, so it was nice to be able to catch up and for them to get to spend time with the kiddos. Fortunately, my cousins and I are extremely close…but we don’t get to see each other enough. They are both married to pretty phenomenal men, so we enjoy any time we do get to spend with them. Not to mention, one of them has a little boy who’s pretty darn cute…and we have matching bald heads. I appreciate your support, Coy, I do. 🙂

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Side note: For my grandparents, for Christmas, we had family pictures done…something we’ve never done before. A friend of my, Ashley Sanderson, took the pictures for us. We loved how they turned out. Our two kids weren’t cooperative with the pictures we took outside at first…but we got some much better shots inside. Ashley, thank you for capturing some beautiful moments of us all together. Here are a few of our favorites:

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After dinner, we hung out for a bit and then headed home…I didn’t have much energy to begin the day with…so I was completely spent at the end. Both kiddos fell asleep on the way home, which meant for an easy bedtime routine. And our neighbors happened to all be hanging out, so we were able to celebrate Christmas with them for a bit before we called it a night.

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The next several days were a blur…I did a whole lot of sleeping and laying in bed…which meant Danny was left to wrangle the kiddos on his own. Bless that man. Throughout the next few days, my family, as well as Danny’s mom came over whenever we called for some relief.

We have had so many people volunteer to come and help with the kids since they were out of school for the past two weeks. We were able to take some people up on that offer for Harper, but unfortunately, Hud is at a stage where he is really only wanting his mommy and daddy. We didn’t feel good about sending him to someone else knowing that there was a good chance he would spend a good part of the time screaming. It’s possible he still wasn’t feeling 100% as well. Within the last two weeks, he had Ringworm, Hand Foot Mouth, a cold, and got two new top teeth…which came with a fever. And on top of all of that, he hasn’t been sleeping well either, yuck. The sweet boy can’t catch a break. Praying his little body can find some relief soon.

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Absolutely pitiful.

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Her new Gecko costume from PJ Masks.

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Yep…Nana put him in a pink vest.

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Watching the laundry.

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We have differing opinions on laundry apparently…

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I LOVE the joy on his face when he sees his sister.

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Oh, heavens!

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“Look at my super Gecko strength!”

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A visit to the dentist.

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He can’t stay too far away from his sister…

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My little ham.

Throughout the week leading up to New Years, I was able to accomplish something that seems mundane, but was actually a big feat for me. I was able to shave my head by myself, in the shower. This means I didn’t need Danny or a neighbor to help me…hooray! AND, I didn’t cut myself, not once!

On Thursday, some of the guys in our neighborhood took Danny out to get his mind off things. They went bowling, had some drinks, and just had some guy time. Danny needed that…and I’m so thankful they took time out to focus on him. While they were out, my mom and some of our neighbors came over, we got McAllisters take out, and just hung out.  It was a nice, low key night.

Overall, I felt pretty crummy terrible since the Monday after I finished treatment…but I’m hopeful things are going to get better.

For New Years we took it pretty easy and went to a party at our neighbor’s house. Garrett and Lisa, you know how to host a fancy party! All of the food was Italian themed…our M&M cookies didn’t fit in…but, I suppose they eat chocolate in Italy…

Since I hadn’t been feeling well, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it until midnight…but I was able to power through and celebrate to ring in the new year.

This New Years was different than years past. This year, I have a much different outlook on the upcoming year. Things that were “important” to me in the past, don’t seem so important anymore. Instead, I’m focused on healing. Spending every possible moment loving my babies and teaching them about life. Worrying and stressing less about work. Really being intentional with my friendships. Taking the time to really tell loved ones what it is I love about them and what makes me thankful for them.

2017 is going to be different. But a good kind of different.

At the party, our very talented next door neighbor gave us a huge wooden ribbon she made for us with the #TeamAshley “motto” painted on it. Each of them had wrote some words of encouragement on the back…these people. I’m telling you. They’re incredible.

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I know I’ve mentioned several times that I’ve been binge-watching Parenthood…oh.my.word. I plan on posting at some point this week about the connections that I’ve had with the series thus far. I knew I loved this show the first time I watched it, but man. This time around, it is so much more relevant to my life right now. There may be tears…during most episodes. Don’t judge.

Thank you for the continued prayers…they are felt and appreciated.

 

 

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One thought on “Round 2 – Day 5, I’m Still Alive…and Then Some.

  1. Love all of these wonderful pictures of you, your family and neighbors! Thank you for sharing your journey Ashley. This is so inspiring and you are so VERY amazing and So VERY strong. Praying for more good days, strength and peace. Know that we are here for you and love you❤

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