Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Last night as I was talking to my mom, she asked what I had had for dinner. I told her Todd brought me Taco Time. She quickly responded, "I'm telling Ryan you're having an affair." This is untrue. I had to then explain to her that Todd is Ryan's alter ego. Todd is who I get mad at since I don't like to be mad at Ryan, but Todd is also the one who makes me late for things because "I have to work out!" Think I'm lying? Check out the muscles on "Todd the Bod." See, the name fits. Now, Todd is not to be confused with Ted, which is his right foot's name. That's another story for another day.

My mom then said to me, "I need a name for your dad when I get mad at him" to which I quickly replied, "oh, his name is Deebin, Deebin Dunn." What? Where is this coming from? So then I got to thinking.... I have a nickname for almost everybody in my family and I didn't even realize it!

Josh: "Jizz McNizz" Where did this come from? The only place I can think of is a while ago when "izzle" on the end of the words was "in." Josh used to always make me say, "From Hollywood Homisizzle, here is Harrison Fizzlezord and Jizzle Hartnizzle."

Then we have Nathan. He's "The Natorator" or "Jimmy Natron." He thinks I call him Jimmy Natron because he has a big head like Jimmy Neutron, but that's only part true. I just really like Jimmy Neutron.

Oh, and Tina. Her name is Chino, like the pants.

Bella often gets called Bells Manells, Bellaroo, Boobalies, and just good ole Bells. She knows herself by all of those names. She can also ollie for one of her tricks. See, she's the smartest dog ever.

Who else? Oh, of course, the babe! Scarlet has many, MANY names. Her very first name was Beautiful. We called her Beautiful the entire time in the hospital. It kind of holds a special place in my heart. Josh, or Nunkie Josh as Scarlet calls him, calls her Sweetness. I love it. She also goes by: Stinky Pinkerton, Snotty Snodigran, Sleepy Pants... pretty much we just take an emotion and/or whatever she is doing and turn it into a name. Her pacifier is also named Mr. Binks.

Am I excluded from the nicknames? Oh, totally not even. My name my entire life has always been Babe. My Christmas stocking even has "Babe" written on it. I think my little brother didn't even know my real name until he was about 7 or so. He just always called me Babe. Now, my niece and nephew, I'm not sure they know my name. They have always called me Aunt Sissy. I don't know if I have EVER heard them call me Ashley, but that's okay. Apparently I like nicknames.

Does anybody else just randomly name people? Is it just me?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dear Scarlet -- 4 months

Dear Scarlet,

Have I told you lately just how much I adore you? You have such a beauty about you. Over this last month, you have really become quite a "talker." It's so much fun to listen to you talk about your life, or whatever it is you're talking about. You have also become super smiley. Since you now like to smile, we have discovered two very cute dimples just above your lips. So cute!!

I cannot believe you are already 4 months old! The time is flying. Before I know it, you will be a year old. It saddens me that you are growing up so quickly, but at the same time, I am enjoying you more and more each day. You seem to be learning something new all the time. You have discovered your hands. You will only suck on your left hand for some reason and you usually try to talk to it as you are sucking.

Remember how I told you that you would have beautiful blue eyes? Well, it's true. They are dazzling. They are the most beautiful blue.

You are still really tiny. I think it's hilarious, but you still wear newborn size clothes. I'm trying to transition you to 0-3 month size, but it's a bit of a stretch. You weigh 9 pounds 8 ounces and you are 22-1/2 inches. That means you have gained almost 6 pounds and grown 6 inches since you were born!! You are still in size 1 diapers. Your hair has also decided to grow just a tiny bit. It's gone from completely bald to fuzzy.

You and I had a special moment not too long ago. You love to dance. I was holding you and dancing and singing, like we do almost every day. I looked up and there we were, dancing in the reflection of Kingston's photo. It was almost as if the three of us were dancing together, just the way it always should have been. We sure do miss having him around.

I attempted to put you in the bumbo chair a couple of weeks ago and this is how it turned out. Let's just say you didn't like it. You look so cute in it though. You are doing so well holding up your head. You also did something else pretty amazing this month. You slept an entire night, a full 11 hours! Thank you!! I woke up feeling absolutely amazing. See, I hadn't had a full night's sleep in quite a few months, so it was quite a little treat for me.

The day we wanted to bring you home from the hospital, the doctor found a murmur in your heart. It was finally time to venture out to the cardiologist to see if your little heart was healthy. They hooked you up to all these leads and did an EKG to see the rhythms of your heart. The good news is, your heart is totally healthy! It was so nice to finally hear good news from a doctor.

Well, my little 4-month-old beauty, I sure do love you to pieces. You brighten my day.

Love you forever,


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

To my angels....

With the recent holiday of Thanksgiving having just passed, I feel I need to share something that I am indeed grateful for this year. When we found out that our little Kingston wasn't going to be living for long, we were referred to a group of counselors and nurses that IHC provides called Angel Watch.

Angel Watch so graciously came into our home and got to know us on a couple of occasions. They would just come and listen to us talk about our life and our feelings. It was very difficult, but also very beneficial. They also asked us what our hopes were with Kingston. I remember telling them through very teary eyes and thick emotions that all I wanted was to hold my son, bathe him and put a diaper on him. I wanted to know that he was mine, that I was his mother. I also told them that I really wanted a picture of the twins together so that Scarlet knew she really was a twin.

We knew very early on that the reality of Kingston living long, just wasn't reality. We knew we would be lucky if he was born alive, and if he was born alive, he probably wouldn't live to his first birthday. This in and of itself was a hard fact to accept. We did our best to accept it though. We enjoyed every day we had with him.

Towards the end of my pregnancy, I knew Kingston was struggling. I was afraid that every time we would go in for a non-stress test that they would not find his heart beat. I prayed harder than I had ever prayed in my life that he would still be there, that I would still get to hear the precious beating of his heart.

August 9, 2010 or 8-9-10. I told everybody that this was the day I wanted to have my babies. I wanted them to be born on a special day. Well, as 8-9-10 was coming to a close, I prayed to my Heavenly Father. I told him that I was ready to say good-bye. I was exhausted. The unknown was literally killing me. I cried all the time. I just needed it to be over. I told him that if Scarlet was healthy enough to be born, I was ready to go through the next trial that was coming our way. I also knew that Kingston was not doing well as I no longer felt him kicking inside me. I knew he was weak and very, very sick.

August 10, 2010, I went in for a routine non-stress test. Kingston's heart rate was bad. Every time I would contract, his heart rate would drop significantly. I sat there watching the monitor and just waited for it to pick back up. This couldn't really be the end, could it? When the nurse left the room, I looked at my mother and said, "I don't think I'm ready for this" (even though just the night before I had so bravely told my Heavenly Father that I was). My sweet nurse, Denise, must have been in tune with the spirit that day. She had been seeing me twice a week for a month, so for her, this was hard too. She sent me straight to labor and delivery to be monitored.

When I arrived at the hospital, everything was fine. I had numerous people watching my babies' heart rates. I talked to so many doctors that day, my head was spinning. I thought for sure that I would be going home that night. Much to my dismay, my doctor thought otherwise. He also was listening to a very strong voice telling him to make me stay.

The next morning, August 11, 2010, I delivered my son. He was obviously weak and we knew he wouldn't be here with us for long, but we were beyond thankful that he got to take a breath of the sweet air that surrounded him. Just as our camera died in the OR, here came Heather, of Angel Watch, with her camera. She captured so many priceless moments of us with our son. Kingston with daddy's ring on his arm.

After Kingston passed away, Heather was there to bring me a basin of warm, soapy water and cotton balls so I could bathe my son in my bed. She brought me a little tiny diaper to put him in and also the most perfect little blue shirt. She also made hand and feet molds for us and a set for Scarlet (notice his little elf ears, SO CUTE). After we got Kingston dressed, she rolled me into the NICU with my son to see my daughter. She softly scooted Scarlet over in her bed and laid Kingston next to her. This was the last time my babies would be together.

This is what I am most grateful and thankful for at this time in my life. I could not believe that this angel would drop her own personal life to meet me in the OR and literally hold my hand as my son passed away. She so selflessly spent her day with me and helped me enjoy the most precious moments I had with my son. Thank you, sweet, sweet angel. Everytime I look at the picture of Kingston hanging on our wall, I am thankful we have it, thankful to a woman who took her time to take hundreds of pictures for us. Words cannot even express the gratitude in my heart for this service. She took an unfortunate situation and made it beautiful. What a blessing. Thank you so much!