Day 8 {if you’re happy and you know it}

There are A LOT of these moments during the day.

I don’t have many of these pics because I’m usually too busy trying to find the next activity to calm her down. She has tons of shirts here with her, but REFUSES to wear any of them but one – Wonder Woman. Appropriate for her.

The truth is she is pretty happy most days…as long as she is entertained. Thankfully she has 3 big brothers who stop by and make her very happy. I mean seriously, who can’t have fun in a hospital crib when you have a 5 year old with a gummy lizard in his toes in the crib with you? Can I just say, I really love having boys.

We do a lot of tickling and laughing. Bubbles…GENIUS gift and idea.

One of my favorite pics from the weekend.

We took her on a “walk” around the floor. I thought she’d like to look out the windows at the cars. Nope, she just wanted us to keep walking. Now she daily points to the door of her room and says, “Go Mommy!”

About 10 times a day we play with stickers. About 20 times a day she wants to sing “If you’re happy and you know it”. The doctor came by one day and she was yelling at me “HAPPY MOMMY”…her way of telling me it was time to sing again.

I arrived with her at the ER 9 days ago and have not left since. I have the luxury of being able to be here with her around the clock. There are moms all across this globe who have children in far more heartbreaking circumstances than my daughter and for numerous reasons they can’t stay by their child’s bedside. My boys are very well cared for and I get to see them often. It is a luxury for me to spend the last 9 days here with her. I don’t take it for granted. She has a really bad broken bone, but it will heal. She is in a clean, safe hospital with the best care available. For the majority of hurting & sick children that is not the reality. That breaks my heart. So, I begin this week here in the hospital with my girl. Grateful for all we’ve been given. Grateful I can meet her needs. Grateful I can say, “Sister I’m right here” when she cries out “Mommy”. Her soft skin is covered in stickers, she’s happy and she knows it.

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  • Sarah - Your attitude and perspective are amazing, Ashley. My heart hurts for you because I know it’s SO hard to see our babies in pain, but you are handling everything like a champion. Praying she heals quickly and that God continues to sustain you.

  • ryanne - What a wonderful mommy you are! Your little wonder woman looks loved and well cared for.

  • Jill R - She is such a sweetheart! Think of how far you have come since LAST Monday. Hooray for week 2!

  • Phyllis at All Things Beautiful - I love the photo of brother and sister together. You both are Wonder Women in my book.

  • Sarah Frost - such a precious post….it truly is a gift from God when you can realize all the blessings we have…your sweet girl is certainly in the best of situations for her right now….time for healing, time for reflection and time for love…continue to stay focused…half way there!!

  • Danielle Jeanne - What a great mommy you are! Your last paragraph broke my heart. I could not imagine being in the hospital with my baby for a broken bone, let alone something worse.
    I admire you πŸ™‚

  • Corrie Decker - I have been following your blog for awhile now, I was first directed here from Apt. Therapy, I think, and was looking at your great decorating style. Then I started looking at the beautiful pictures that you take of your family, I admired the photography greatly, but then got to know their faces a little too! I felt compelled to write to you and tell you how much your daughter’s injury and hospitalization has touched me. You write with such clarity the feelings of helplessness, heartache and overall hope that all we moms feel for our babies. These feelings also come out in your photography, and the pictures make it all so real and compelling. There is a bond between all of us moms- that comes through in times like these. I’ll hug my two little girls extra hard today and be thankful for their good health. I wish you all the best as you wait with your little darling- and I’ll wait in anticipation to see those pictures of her going home and her eventual recovery. I wish peace and comfort for you and your family.

  • Kari - I read your blog every day, this is my first comment. I have to comment because every day I’ve been reading about your baby girl and I tear up. I want to commend you because of your positive attitude and just say that you and your girl and in my thoughts and prayers. You are a really good mom and good example. Thank you! Sincerely, mom to an 18 month old boy.

  • andy - wonderful. glad you have been able to be with her for this and that she is happy. keep up the good work

  • amanda torres - You always have a way to put things in great perspective. The picture of Chris and FC is great. She look so much like this little girl who stood next to me in gymnastics.

  • Nicole - Great way to start the week, and amazing perspective- very admirable. Cute photo of those little piggytoes in that little pink cast! Happy Monday!

  • amy cornwell - This makes me cry! I’m so glad you get to be there 100% of the time. I’m glad she’s doing so well. I love seeing the joy in your faces even despite the circumstances. Praying for her healing!

  • Susanne - You’re in the home stretch now! I’m amazed at your ability to see the good and turn this into a blessing and a lesson in true gratitude.

  • Celia - Oh goodness… the last paragraph of your post made me tear up! So glad the Lord has met all of your needs during this time. Pray this week goes quickly for you all. Take care!

  • Katie Sellers - Just wanted to let me you know that we are thinking about you and your little girl. We take for granted our healthy children too often. Thanks for keeping your followers updated with Firecracker’s progress, we really are interested in how she is doing. Best of luck today and your next days in the hospital.

  • Jodi - I know your heart breaks for her! But she is lucky to have you as her momma!! Keep up the great work!

  • Nori R - Your attitude is positively amazing… and is a wonderful lesson for her too. So glad you’re finding things to entertain you, and how wonderful that you can be there. Strength to you and your whole crew! Thanks so much for sharing. Your pictures and words bring tears to my eyes. Such joy out of pain and sorrow. Truly inspirational. Thanks again!

  • Lanny - can’t wait for her to get home ! praying for you all πŸ™‚

  • Jessica - amazing amazing perspective. that kind of hope can only come from the grace we’ve been given πŸ™‚ awesome testimony!

  • Sarah @ Handbags*N*Pigtails - Grateful is such a good way to look at things. So many have it so much worse. I LOVE all the pics but that second one made me laugh right out loud.:) Its hard (for me) to believe its been 9 days already but I know its a much different story for you…the ones living it. I so appreciate your good outlook on all of it.
    Praying for a thorough healing of that bone.

  • Jenny Joy - I’m blowing kisses in Firecracker’s direction. Sweet girl. And I’m praying that God will help her heal quickly and completely so she can have new adventures sooner than later. (((virtual internet stranger hugs)))

  • meg duerksen - oh that little crib! breaks your heart!
    good for you for staying.
    i am pretty sure i would cave.
    when annie has to do her cardiologist appointments they blow bubbles during ekgs. so cute….and it works!
    HUGS for ashley!!!!!
    i will sing happy and you know it for you today.

  • Lori - Your perspective is great! thanks for making my monday a thankful one…with a to do list a mile long…it’s nice to just take a breath and think, well, at least i get to drive around and DO a to do list. You’re awesome. I love the lizard toes pic. that is too funny. hang in there.

  • Sheila - I also want gummy lizards to put between my toes – it looks like fun! lol. Well done on keeping up with your posts, and for sharing this with us. Your photos are gorgeous (as always) and your words are so positive. Well done to all of you πŸ™‚

  • BriBedell - Looks like Firecracker is coming right along πŸ™‚ the gummy in the toes was priceless, my firecracker (red hair, almost 2) just found out she could grab things with her toes!

  • Rebecca - Love the pic of her piggies.

  • Molly - prayers for peace and comfort for your whole family….it has to feel good to be on the down hill side of your stay. i would stay too:) oh and the lizard in the toes made me laugh! take care

  • Sheena - Felt compelled to let you know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Keep it up, it’s all downhill from here…in a good way:) Cant wait too see firecracker running around again and playing with her bros.

  • Jill - What a great post, once again, Ashley! So glad you are starting to feel a little better. It is great to hear that you are over half-way done at the hospital and so heart-breaking to think of others who are not and will never be. I hope you gals have a better week that Firecracker can make it until she’s out of there!

  • kim - praying for you all, and well this post brought tears to my eyes because you are right. So many mom’s can not be there for their children. Also, there are kids that are in awful sitations.
    love that i can be with my healthy daughter.
    THANK YOU for reminding me whats important.

  • christina larsen - Glad the bubbles were a hit. If you need more, send me a message. πŸ™‚

  • Anna - I love your attitude. Sadly, most people I know in this situation would yell out “why me?!”. You still proclaim that but in a more positive “why me?” grateful praise. You are awesome!

  • Melissa - Ashley,
    I learned about your blog via Courtney. Last Monday she showed me your beautiful daughter and trying situation. I have followed you ever since. Thank you for sharing your story and for the pictures. I absolutely LOVE the picture of your son with the lizard in his toe. πŸ™‚

  • Dana Horton - Oh Ash! This post got me. Love your perspective (it’s all about perspective, huh?) Love the heart you have for your family, and I’m praying for your little family! I’m pretty sure you have the sweetest heart around…

  • The Old Block House - I smiled this time instead of tearing up at your post. So glad that you’re all doing well.

  • Brooke Whitis - Such a sweet girl. Such a sweet momma too. Some day she will read this and think, Wow, look at what a fun time I had…with my mom. It’s probably the longest stint of intentional time you have had with her minus the boys…so praise God for that little blessing in the midst of all this hard stuff. You are doing great, keep it up….the attitude is awesome! πŸ™‚

  • Brooke Leigh @ First Avenue - First off, the second picture of your son with the lizard between his toes is priceless. I absolutely love it. It shows how great of a bond your children have together & it amazes me. I can barely get my kids to sit on the couch together for a picture, let alone – help each other through something like this. I guess as they grow older, this may change – I’ll be here looking for inspiration on how to achieve this goal everyday. You are such a great mother.

    I’m so glad you get to stay every day with her. I’m not so sure my job would allow me to be there the way you are. Simply lucky. & I am so glad you realize it. =)

    I’m wish you all the best recovery. & hope that you can still be carefree when it’s over & let your children explore – I know – I’d be hovering over them for months if something like this had happened.

  • Jenny - This made me cry… It seems I could cry on demand lately. This is really so sweet though. Precious moments!

  • mandi@herbanhomestead - precious, precious post. you are so right. so much hinges on perspective. so happy that she’s happy!

  • Alice H - You have such a way with words. Such a great way to look at life. You are so positive. If me reading your blog can give me just an ounce of your positivity, then I will take it. You are a wonderful mother.

  • Kirsten - Absolutely beautiful. Touches the core of a mother’s heart. My little lady had her first hospital visit when we were down in Nicaragua on a 2 month missions trip… it was awful… God was in control, but it still was hard in so many ways. She looks like she has a solid Mommy keeping her happy! Ya’ll should ask to see if the doctors could “cast” up one of her dolls or something to match hers… might be fun!

  • Rhonda Steed - Lovely. All of it! Hope the rest of the time goes quickly and well!!!

  • Amanda - so perfectly spoken from a momma full of love. bless you. god’s speed!!

  • giozi - Ohh she is so pretty. God bless her and yor family. Love whe she is with her brother

  • Laurie J - I’ve been praying for you guys, Ashley. I esp love the pic of big bro w/the lizard in his toes. I, too, LOVE having boys and my little girl, too. How can a little girl not feel protected w/3 big bro’s?!

  • Stacia - Hi Ashley! I never comment but am a blog stalker. I have 3 boys and a girl and while the big boys were out of town with Daddy this weekend I had just the girlie and the baby. My daughter asked to have her fingernails and toenails painted(she’s 3 and that is not something I regularly do) but it kept her occupied for at least 5 minutes and I thought of you. I know every minute trying to find something to do has got to be hard so I thought I’d share. Thanks for reminding us today of all the things we have to be thankful of.

  • Erika - Still trying to figure out what that poor girl did to herself. Lucky girl has a lovely mommy to keep her company. Not too much longer!

  • Emily - Have I mentioned lately what an inspiration you are? And I bet the sight of that crib gives a lot of other patients a reason to smile as it cruises down the hallways with it’s happy girl and it’s cheery bunting.

    Thank you for reminding us how blessed we really are.

  • Amber - She is precious. And such a cute stinker! Wish I could squeeze her…so glad the Lord is still speaking to your heart. That you’ve held out hope & not given into fear or worry or doubt. You know His promises & you’re living them out for your sweet girl & family, & for that I know you all will be so very blessed. Still praying for you all!

  • crystal - This is heartbreaking and sweet at the same time. I’ve been reading your blog for about a year now and LOVE it. Thanks for reminding me how important family is. I’ll hug my little angel a little tighter and longer tonight. I’ll be praying that your firecracker makes a speedy recovery.

  • Jessica @ My Ardent Life - My 17mo daughter has been sick with some kind of stomach bug for about 5 days (and this is round 3 in 4 months). She is so miserable and this very pregnant mommy is exhausted (and so hoping not to catch it again!). I appreciate you sharing this journey on your blog, as it has given me some perspective on what we are dealing with. I am so grateful that my baby girl is otherwise in very good health and I know this will pass, and I am sure both of these thoughts have occurred to you as well. Your optimism and joy is a powerful witness to your children.

  • Katie P. - Love the daily posts! I also appreciate your positive outlook on the situation. I certainly want to do the same things for my daughter if she is ever in a situation like this.

    Rock on Little Firecracker!!! You’re doing great!!

    So are you Mom! πŸ˜‰

  • Tune - Your positivity is inspirational…it reminds me when days get rough that I need to look at all the blessings and positive things in my life instead of the negative. Thanks for the reminder!

  • tamara - Many more blessings to you and your family! You are a true inspiration and I love the memories you have created for your family. Praying for your little firecracker/wonder girl

  • Mirys from Brazil - ItΒ΄s so important to be GRATEFUL!

    People think IΒ΄m “crazy” when I say IΒ΄m a grateful 35yo widow with 2 little ones at home. But I am! I know IΒ΄m lucky for having a loving husband for almost 12 years + a perfect father for my kids + 2 adorable and healthy and behaved children at home + a HUGE family + a thousand friends that I can call “bros” and “sis”.

    IΒ΄m blessed. IΒ΄m grateful. But sometimes I must be reminded of that! Thank you for your little note of “remember Miriane! Just remember!”.

    Kisses and blessings.
    (from Brazil)

  • Kari - It’s because of you that I’m running the Warrior Dash in September…in Tulsa. So even though you’re stuck in a hospital taking care of your little piece of pumpkin pie, just know that you’re still inspiring people everywhere.

  • Jemm - Ashley, you are such a wonderful mom. Keep up the great work. I hope you are taking care of yourself too. God’s grace is amazing.

  • Robyn - what an amazing outlook and sense of strength you have! i admire your ability to see the blessings and silver linings. although…its ok to be sad/mad/overwhelmed too. just because many other peoples realities are worse than yours, doesn’t mean yours doesn’t suck for you, in this moment! keep on keepin’ on!

  • Stacey Ball - I fall more and more in love with your family with every hospital post. I hope I am at least half of the mommy you are!

  • FeFe - These pictures (as sad as they are) are so sweet and beautiful.

    I know you’ve probably thought of it already but just in case…if there is anyway to keep the back of her head brushed and detangled, do it. When my daughter was 3 we had a hospital stay and she had the biggest knots in her hair. I had been brushing but not well b/c she would get so upset with me. That was quite a task when we got home to try to work them out.

    Hoping the rest of your stay goes well and that she heals up beautifully and fast!

  • Ana - Yay for big brothers!! I always wanted one…

  • Tonia - 9 days is more than halfway through! Whoohoo! Hang in there! You may have already answered this question but have any of your boys broken a bone before? I have three boys and then 2 girls and no broken bones yet, but I always say it’s gonna be my girl who does it! Praying for you both!

  • ashley jensen - I think you should make her a “Stunt Girl” t-shirt to go along with H’s.

  • Kimberly - Over Half Way! LOVE all the pics and THANK YOU for sharing your family’s personal story through this with all of us. This will be a way for you to show FireCracker everything she went through when shes older. Prayer for all of you! ((HUGS))

  • Tina I. - Sometimes its all about perspective. Praying for a speedy recovery for you little one (and you!). God bless.

  • Kenna S - So glad that you’re nearing the end of Firecrackers hospital stay. It’s awesome that you have such great friends and family to help. God has his hand on you both as you walk (or lay, as the case may be) through this temporary trial. I’m praying for your family.

  • sarah j - your positive attitude and your ability to put things in perspective is one of my favorite things about your blog, ashley. decorations and DIY crafts aside, i so appreciate the breath of fresh air you bring to my life through your humble, thankful attitude. i KNOW God’s heart is so blessed by it.

  • Stoich91 - Gosh, I almost cried. That was the sweetest thing ever! Bubbles, yes, gift from above for kids in the hospital. What a sweet little thing. We are all cheering you on!

  • maggie McKenney - just got choked up…you are a wonderful Mom Ashley…what a story she will have later on..with photos…xo~

  • Jess - I’m relatively new here, but I’d like to say what a blessing you are to your family, and to me. Thank you for sharing your perspective. God bless you.

  • rachael - That’s so awesome, so great to keep it in perspective. I think about the children around the world often, especially when I am tucking my kids in at night, thinking of those who are sleeping on the floor, or are going to bed hungry. We have so much to be thankful for. I am so happy you only have a few more days to go πŸ™‚

  • Kim Sanders - I have been reading your blog for about a month now, and I always look forward to it every morning!! i love your positive attitude even in the hard times!! I love the fact that you share some beautiful moments with us and you take beautiful photos of your family!! You are very fortunate to be doing what you are doing with your daughter and you deserve a huge pat on the back… it must be hard at times, but good for you!! i find it hard to entertain my 3 year old on the best of days… cannot imagine what it is like in a hospital. You are a wonderful mother, keep up the GREAT work!! You truly are blessed!!

  • Monica Shaeffer - When my infant daughter was in the NICU for nine days (she was full term and healthy but got RSV which is respiratory virus) I remember after the dust had settled in the first couple of days and my tears were drying up, I thought of how much I just cherished this uninterrupted time with her. I have two older children at home and knew that this was such special, special time. We even got to “watch” our first Miss America together in the NICU which is a tradition in our home(well, she slept!) Special memories that can be cherished!

  • Vanessa - And yet another reason why my daughter is SO much like your firecracker. While trying to entertain her in the car if I sing anything other than “If your happy and you know it” she’ll say “No, No, No, HAPPY!”. And I can’t imagine keeping her still for 2 weeks!

  • Molly - ok…so I have a logistics question and it may seem really silly but…how did you get your clothes? I mean I know someone probably brought them for you but that is impressive! God bless his heart I don’t know if my husband could figure out the right stuff to bring for me!! sorry I was wondering and just had to ask:) hope your day was cheery!

  • Heidi - Beautiful post!

  • Kristin S - The gummy lizard moment captured perfectly. That will be scrolling at a rehearsal dinner I predict.

  • Jennie - I just love the pictures and your ability to find the positive if a tough situation is truly inspiring! I started following your blog about two weeks ago and you have really encouraged me to enjoy my daughter to the fullest!! Thanks for sharing your life with us!

  • stefanie arnold - I love your perspective through all of this! And the sweet pics of your husband with her are completely priceless. So cute. Praying for you all!

  • Marie-Claire - gummy lizard in the toes….gotta love it. My girl is so smart, talkative, funny, adventurous, strong willed, determined and much much more…but that’s no defence to her little brother (18months younger) who makes her smile, even when she doesn’t want to!

  • Susan Caing - you’re an amazing mother!

  • tracy ashley - oh ashley…i haven’t checked the site in a few days! (8 days to be exact). i’m so sorry to hear the news. i can’t imagine all the ways this has been hard for you guys. praying for her healing and continued entertainment! thanks for being so honest in all your posts…your first post about this adventure (if you can call it that) made me cry!

  • Ashley Smith - Great post and great girls!!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Someone has to say it…. you guys just make beautiful children. That’s all there is to it.

  • cheryl - I’m so glad you are doing well. You will look back at this time and smile, I believe. You are growing in ways you never knew you would. πŸ™‚ God is so good.

  • Cooper's Mom - This hospital scene look all too familiar to me. You are an amazing mother. And i do look forward to see your baby recover. I actually just got back from the hospital after being there for 6 days with my son who suffered from a horrible rotavirus (stomach flu)… but because my 3 year old who is also battling Leukemia right now, this simple stomach flu hospitalized him for days to recover. I watched him not eat for 3 days and he had no energy to play at all so I am so glad to see your baby have that energy to play and have the chance to play with her brothers too. We did not get that privilege as my son wasnt allow to see his big brother because his big bro was under 10. And due to his contagious illness we weren’t allowed young siblings. I completely feel and know what u r going through now, and my thoughts and prayers are with u and your baby girl. You are being a wonderful just being besides her. Take care. Love, Cooper’s Mom (

  • Melis Mataraci - Best wishes from Istanbul.I ve been reading your blog few months ago and I want to say that you are a lovely mom and your children are so lucky to have you.You changed a hospital room to a circus and a place to have fun and feel safe.Your daughter will get well soon with your love and positive energy.

  • HannahM - Beautifully written Ashley! Hang in there! Praying for your sweet baby girl’s healing!

  • Evelyn Ciskowski - Ashley, So sorry to hear about your little girl’s accident but I can see you are handling things exactly as I would expect from you. I am so proud of you. Hope you get to go home soon.

  • kari - I haven’t been on your blog for a while – I have miss all of this with your daughter. I hope your beautiful little girl feels better soon! Prayers for you all!

  • JRondeau - I haven’t been on your blog in awhile and read about firecracker. I’m so sorry – this has touched me tremendously. I have a feisty 1 year old who loves “If your happy & you know it.” This post is beautiful and you are such an incredible mom to make this time peaceful & happy for your baby girl. Hang in there and sending prayers your way!