Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart



It's done! We did it(with a little help from Blake, Allie, Grandma, and Nan). We have successfully built a life sized version of the preschoolers game "Candy Land". It is wonderful, and amazing, and magical! I am so excited!

I can't decide which area is my favorite. The peppermint forest looks like something out of the pages of Dr. Seuss. The trees are perfect! Exactly what we wanted. I think Ashley Kate may have a crush on Mr. Mint. Each time she sees him she smiles and claps and reaches out to touch this giant, peppermint clad man. The lollipop woods are so cute! Giant, life sized lollipops and a little fairy named Lolli. I think this may be one of my favorite scenes (if I had to choose). Gramma Nut looks incredible! Dave's mom took on the task of painting her as long as she didn't have to claim the name at the party. Peanut Acres is where she lives and cares for her peanut bushes. They look pretty good too. Lord Licorice stands in the middle of our life sized game board threatening to make you loose your turn if you accidently land on one of his sticky, licorice spots. Snow flake Lake is so magical. It is going to be lined with real cotton candy and you can actually see the patterns on the ice where Queen Frostine has skated. She is a beauty! By far the prettiest of all of our characters. Her dress sparkles with glittery snowflakes. The chocolate swamp is another one of my favorite areas. Dave and Blake created Gloppy. He looks so good! The swamp has the cutest fudge sickles growing in it. They look just like the ones on the game board! The Gumdrop Mountains and Jolly were created by our Allison. He is a funny little creature! Finally at the end of our game you will find King Candy and his castle. Once you make it there you get to enter into the castle where the most wonderful candy "store" awaits. Jars and jars filled with yummy candies and scoops ready to fill up the treat bags of all of our guests. The entire room will be transformed into the game and the guests will actually be their own playing piece. As they travel through Candy Land they will have great adventures in each area and will face an obstacle or two along the way like hunting for peppermints in the forest or tossing rings into Snowflake Lake trying to win one of those freshly made cotton candies. The colors are so beautiful and Ashley has had so much fun playing in the shop and watching it all come to life right before her eyes. We are all so excited we can hardly wait.

My sister is making one of her magnificent cake creations. She is incredible! I can't wait to see what she designs for the party. Dave and I will be working to set everything up once we arrive Friday evening and then on Saturday morning we will be making cotton candy and filling a hundred balloons with helium and tying individual bags of gumballs to them. They will be scattered all throughout Candy Land transforming the room into a magical place.

Ashley Kate will be pulled along the path in her wagon as we play the game and she will have the opportunity to giggle and play the whole afternoon. Based on her reaction to what she has seen so far I just know her eyes are going to twinkle.

What a joy it has been to work together on creating this. My most favorite thing in the world is to make our children's dreams come true and this party is definitely a dream come true. Not only will we be surrounded by the colors and the characters Ashley loves but we will be surrounded by the people she loves. That is the most exciting thing about this whole weekend. I can't believe our baby is going to be three years old. We are so blessed!!!

We are still facing a tricky little issue at the hospital on Wednesday morning. We have to make it through this before all the fun begins. The procedure itself should only take about 10 minutes. Its the whole sedation, intubation, and bleeding that makes it tricky. She will require an IV and lab work before the surgeon can touch her and that makes my stomach hurt when I think about it. Hopefully they will find a usable vein quickly and then hopefully her blood will clot once the line is pulled and all will go well. Your prayers for our little pickle would be greatly appreciated. We have to be there by 6:30 that morning so its probably going to be a long day. A little while in recovery and then a few hours in post op, then we should get to go home.

Still no pictures to share because my computer won't recognize them. So disappointing. I will be sure and post some of her party at my sister's before we leave to come home so you will be able to see what it all turned out like. Hope you guys had a great weekend. Talk to you soon. Trish

Just in case you were wondering...
Ashley Kate has never had ANY sugar in her diet. She can't and never will. Her intake is limited to only 4 grams per serving. Try finding a food that contains less than 4 grams of sugar per serving. It isn't easy. She has only ever eaten organic foods and probably always will. She has only ever had water to drink. No dairy, no juice, no soda, etc. There will never be a happy meal, a processed meal, a fast food meal for Ash. We need to know where her foods come from and how they were prepared so as to keep her from getting a bug or a virus that could make her very sick. Bowel transplant patients are very sensitive as to what foods they can and can't tolerate. Sugar is not included on their list of possible foods. I have never really discussed her dietary restrictions on the blog because she hasn't really learned to eat yet. Ash doesn't know what candy is and doesn't comprehend what a birthday is, so this party is for fun. Blake and Allie know that she will never be allowed a piece of her birthday cakes, an ice cream cone, a soda, a candy cane, etc. We take her transplant very serious and will never do anything to intentionally jeopardize her grafts. Its just part of transplant life.

Ashley Kate loves the bright colors and the characters on the game board. This party is just a celebration in her honor and since she doesn't feel like she is missing out anything we are going to have a blast throwing this party for all of our family and friends as we celebrate her 3 years of life.


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