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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  • 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! ;)

  • 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 - It´s so important to be GRATEFUL!

    People think I´m “crazy” when I say I´m a grateful 35yo widow with 2 little ones at home. But I am! I know I´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”.

    I´m blessed. I´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 :)

  • 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. :) 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!

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