This just in….? Hold on.

I might need more paper! — July 8, 2022

I might need more paper!

7 Months, 6 Days, 22 Hours, 6 Minutes and 39 Seconds.

That’s how long it’s been since my last blog entry ( I have written and deleted that line about 10 times already). Since then I have added a lot of chapters to my story. For the sake of my brain, below you will find my review of each chapter. Sit back, relax, and enjoy my turbulent stream of consciousness.

Nick Is Diagnosed With ILD (Interstitial Lung Disease)

Rating: 1 out of 5.

32-year-old male was admitted to the hospital for high blood pressure and chest pains. The assumption is this is stress-induced. PSYCH!! — He has Pneumonia. Okay, wait, actually, no, it is Interstitial Lung Disease. [I googled it immediately against my better judgment]

We now live a life of oxygen machines, doctor’s appointments, and a large dose of uncertainty.

Not gonna lie, I am still in a good bit of denial. Is it healthy? Probably not, but it gets me through the days and the weeks and the months. We are now settled into a pretty good rhythm of doctor’s appointments (Pulmonologist, Rheumatologist, Bari—oligist?? [um Bari-otrition??], transplant teams), and we tend to have a good 2-3 month window without getting any bad news. It’s very cyclic and very exhausting. During that time, it is easy to forget how serious things are, and forget that we may not have as much time as we had originally hoped. [Enter the antagonist] But of course, that doesn’t last long, because we go see some “-ologist”, and I end up leaving on the verge of a panic attack crying.

We then get all of the “Just hang in there”, “You can beat this”, “Just be positive” comments, or the “have you tried blah blah blah..” and to be honest…ughhhhhhh!!! I can’t. There is no cure, there is no good outcome to this. It sucks, it’s a big ol’ suck sandwich, and it’s okay to say that. My husband, my best friend, the love of my life, has to live every day wondering if he will see his kids grow up, or worry about leaving me alone, all the while struggling to breathe and dealing with the shame of having to wear an oxygen tank at 33. It sucks.

I don’t always hate the world though. I do eventually get back to normal. Back to the denial, because I see my husband, healthy (needing oxygen, yes, but it’s easy to forget it is there), happy, and I continue to dream. Dream that some miracle is going to happen. And my delusion and I will continue to dream until we can’t dream anymore.

I’m Diagnosed With Autism

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Yes, you read that right, I give it 3/5 stars. Being diagnosed with ADHD the previous year made a lot of things from my past start to make sense. I continued testing and after the most painfully exhausting 4-hour-long exam the results were in.

Aspergers ( or I guess in 2022, since Nazis aren’t really in style anymore, we call it High Functioning Autism)

So, yeah, that makes sense! I remember always having this irrational fear growing up that I had autism. I don’t really remember why I thought that or why I even knew what autism was in elementary school. I knew there had to be a reason why —

  • Why do I not have a lot of close friends?
  • Why do I feel paralyzed in public, but the second I am at home or in my comfort zone I am outgoing?
  • Why do I have a physical reaction to the sound of someone chewing or breathing?
  • Why do I barely remember my childhood?
  • What is wrong with me?

Needless to say, I have spent a lot of time getting to know myself. I had an “aha” moment, I deserve a Golden Globe for my role as “girl who molds her personality to hide the fact that there is something neurologically wrong with her”(If you could please be sure Leonardo DiCaprio presents it to me).

I hid behind a mask, and I was pretty damn good at it. As long as no one got too close to me, I seemed perfectly normal. But I wasn’t happy. The overstimulation I experienced my whole caused serious anxiety. I was trying so hard to make myself fit into this society’s idea of normal. To this day, when I realize my mask is starting to fall, and I am disappointing people, I go into a full-blown anxiety attack.

I find myself thinking do I wish that I could know then what I know now. That I wasn’t just shy, or crazy, my brain just worked and processed differently. I wonder, would I have more friends if I knew? If they knew?

BUT, there is no point in living in the “what if’s”. I have so much to be thankful for. I am healthy and thriving. I have a beautiful family, a career I love, and a plethora of skills from all of the hobbies I have obsessed over through the years.

Lily Had Her Pony Birthday

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Every day for 5 months, Lily woke up in the morning and said “Is today my Pony birthday?!”. She was referring to her 4th birthday party that HAD to be My Little Pony themed.

“Nope, not yet baby. That is not how birthdays work” [Queue the historical fit]

This went on, everyday. Somedays, it would be a whole day affair. Nick and I were so very happy that on the morning of July 3rd we were finally able to put this chapter behind us…or so we thought.

So here we are for the next 360 days – “Is today my Barbie birthday?!”

Leo May Actually Send Me Over the Edge

Rating: 2 out of 5.

The love between a mother and her son is priceless. This boy is all hugs, cuddles, and kisses. He loves to tell me how much he loves me. Ohhh, but he sure does take a special kind of pleasure riling up his sister, and he is SO good at it. He does it with a little grin on his face and giggle in his heart.

Well, that is the short version of the last 7 Months, 6 Days, 22 Hours, 6 Minutes, and 39 Seconds. We are truly loving life though, no matter what get’s thrown at us. I like to remind myself not to mourn or stress over things before I have to. There is no sense in going through it twice. So we laugh, and love, and try our best.

Hi! — September 28, 2021
One…two…free…bour……SIX! — February 25, 2021


IM BACK!!!! (Maybe if I could be a bit more consistent, I could try a different start to my blogs).

It has been a good month since I have even felt the drive to get on here. It just reminds me of the remnants of myself that were motivated. That weren’t overwhelmed by the workload of a full time job (starting in a brand new department) and raising two toddlers (who decide to crank up the hard mode everyday – Have you ever played Diablo? Its like on “Torment” level now!). The biggest drop in this, is, I just can’t handle the medicine. I don’t like the feeling of being on Adderall or Ritalin. I didn’t feel like myself. I felt like I was losing myself each and everyday. No one was getting the best version of me. So….I decided to find natural ways to handle my ADHD ( this makes it sound like I found them, but I haven’t…it’s a work in process). I still feel like an imposter as a wife, mother, Customer Success Manager (ya girl got a promotion!!), and just person in general. Then, I had someone tell me “You don’t have to be great at everything now. We all have seasons, and you are just in a season of your life where things are hard.” <- Not those exact words, but along those lines. It was EVERYTHING I needed to hear.

Let me stop with the serious stuff and give the audience what they really want.


What?! Me?! I have been to the doctor A LOT lately (mostly because I caved and things that have been wrong for a while, my husband talked me into getting check out).

Can we all agree Doctors are a little camera crazy?! I feel like every appointment I go to now they just casually say “I’m going to stick a camera attached to a long, thick, snake like rope up/down/in you” LIKE IT IS NORMAL!!

People!? We need to unite. They can’t just do this to us. At the very least I want the respect of being told BEFORE my appointment that a camera is going inside of me.

I’m not even sure which was worse… the nasal endoscopy or the [TMI Warning] —— Anoscope.

I’m perfectly fine by the way. Apparently I just have really bad allergies that lead to chronic sore throats and birthed a baby with a large head that now leads to chronic fissures in my butt ( I may have put the TMI warning a bit too soon). NO. BIG. DEAL.

I’m done.


I have to set this girl straight so much that now she is doing it to her brother and dad.

One night, Leo was playing with something he shouldn’t have (shocker!) and I look to see Lily there with 4 fingers up going “Onnneee….twwoooo….freeee….bouurrr…..SIX! UH-UH LEO!”. I about died one because that was the first real indication that I am turning into a mom, and two what happened to five???

She is so bossy. She can beat up on her poor little brother all day, but if Leo cries because he doesn’t want his diaper changed she will yell at her dad and I to “STOP”.


Pure destruction and cuteness. That’s all that needs to be said.

When my husband and I said “How could it really be worse” when Lily was in the middle of her toddler phase, the universe decided to show us how. He gave us Toddler Leo.

He actually reminds me a lot of my youngest brother David. So charismatic and uses it to his advantage. I like to think of my self as a pretty smart individual, but he gets me every time.

Ice cream? Mental breakdown? Who knows? — January 21, 2021

Ice cream? Mental breakdown? Who knows?

I have been struggling with an assignment at work lately : 3 goals for the year. I start going to the obvious, building skills, working towards a promotion, moving into leadership, become stinky filthy rich!!! Then once I think about actually being in that position I stop. I stop and I think, “ I don’t think that would actually make me happy or fulfilled”. Then I sit around,stressing, wondering “ well, then what would make me happy and fulfilled”.

It is now 2:41 am and I am having one of those nights where insomnia and anxiety decide they were more important than sleep. Then it hit me. So here I am, phone in hand jotting down my thoughts while everyone sleeps peacefully.

I am fulfilled. I’m in a place in my life I never thought I would be. Do I want to make more money? Feel the pride that comes with saying you have achieved some high rank at work? OF COURSE! But I have come to the conclusion that I am at the rainbow sprinkle stage of my life. Hear me out:

I spent years in the empty bowl faze. Growing up, trying to figure out what kind of ice cream I wanted to fill my bowl with. Did I want to be a marine biologist, or a doctor? Live a lavish life as an Executive living in some big fancy city? Did I want to be a dancer? 

I convinced myself that my bowl could never be filled. Then I got to a point where I thought I ran my clock out and I wasn’t going to get ice cream in my bowl. I was ready to settle for dry cereal. (You guys are probably purchasing a straight jacket right about now…I look best in jewel tones btw). I mean, at least there was something in my bowl, right? I never thought I would be at a point, deciding on sprinkles. You can’t even put sprinkles on cereal! (You technically can but you catch my drift). 

I guess I just always thought my ice cream would be successful, and rich flavored. The best of the best flavored and when I couldn’t get that ice cream (I totally could but I told myself I couldn’t) I settled. For dry, no sprinkled cereal. Little did I know that at what I thought was my lowest point in life, I was actually adding my first scoop of creamy Mint Chocolate Chip (the green kind is the only acceptable kind) ice cream to my bowl. It was “love flavored” (even I am starting to see how this is getting weird but I swear I’m almost to the point) in the form of my daughter, Lily.

Once I had that first scoop, I was like “hmm, maybe I can have ice cream” and I could! I got that second scoop (it’s Nick. Yes, Nick is my second scoop. He’s like the cookie dough ice cream that is just too sweet but I can’t help but love). Then of course we all know I topped it off with one big, mommy loving scoop right on top, my little boy. As mothers and women we are made to feel guilty about our life’s passion being our family or for us to consider our family our purpose, or let’s say our “ice cream”. 

I’m not going to stop there,I’ve cream toppings make everything better, but I’m not doing it for purpose anymore. I don’t want to try so hard to get sprinkles that I let my ice cream melt. The ice cream is the main event anyways. It’s the best part! 

But we all know…sprinkles are pretty dope and I am tired. 

The end. *curtsy* 

Extra rainbow sprinkles please! 

New year, same ole me. — January 11, 2021

New year, same ole me.

Hi! So today I am writing to you, get this, from a Panera Bread! In Winter Park. All by myself, because as I have mentioned before my husband is a saint. Its just me, my muffin, some hot coffee, and a handful of old retired people who probably do this on a regular basis.

Panera Bread was not my first choice however. Since I was in Winter Park (having to wait for my mom to complete her knee surgery) I was going to go to one of those really cool, hipster coffee houses you see all over Instagram. “When in Rome..” they say. I pulled into the parking lot of Foxtail Coffee and saw the swarms of 20-somethings walking in, wearing their plaid button up shirts, cool dark rimmed glasses and I was like…”nope”. My black leggings, Mama Bear hoodie, messy bun, are much more suited for Panera Bread. So here we are.


Remember, Blanket? Michael Jackson’s son that he every so carefully dangled over the balcony? Well, when I saw this picture my husband took I was shook. I was sure the tabloids were going to catch hold of this and my son would be named “Chair” and that we would forever be seen as terrible parents. [Brace yourselves]


What the actual hell Chair!? This kid is climbing….everything! Can he walk on his own yet? Nope. Could he probably climb Mt. Everest? I would bet my life savings that he could! (That’s not really a lot but for the sake of this imagery let’s pretend).

He has also refined the art of really getting under his sister’s skin. She will lay down, all nice and quiet to watch a movie, and then BAM! baby Leo in her face! and then BAM! Lily turns to her human instinct….fight. My husband and I just stare at the chaos he is wreaking and have NO. IDEA. WHAT. TO. DO.

We can’t really give a one-year-old consequence but then we feel like we can’t keep putting her in time-out for reacting. While yes, we get the reaction isn’t great but she is also learning how to handle her emotions.

So that is how life with two toddlers is going. For anyone who says it gets better…just, don’t. Unless you want to hear the sweetest little boy say “mommy” 100 times a day [which will never get old…hopefully].


My sweet, sweet, Princess. I never thought I would see the day where she was our well-behaved child.

We have started working on some Pre-school level activities with her lately and my god is she so much smarter than I even thought. This kid literally wakes up every morning with a new set of conversational skills.

My favorite is the real sass she is developing. She will walk around that house tooting up a storm, but god forbid someone in the house burps. She will whip her head, look at you like you are the most disgusting person in this world, and say “Excuuuuusssseeeee Yoouu! You’re welcome.”

( I swear that was a fake burp sound)

It’s not all manners these days. We are still fluent in “oh, shit” and use it with such flawless execution. If I weren’t so terrified of her going out in public and blurting it out, I would almost be proud.


My dear husband. I figured it’s about time he was added to this narrative. After all, he is my partner in crime, my other half….my third child.

He really is a superstar though. Again, today would not be possible without him. I am sitting in a Panera, all alone, enjoying some quiet, and getting to do WHATEVER I want.

He has always been such a good dad, but he is starting to get to an irritatingly SUPERB level. He is working on “father of the year”, Baby Shark dance pro, Trolls super fan. Me on the other hand I am just trying to get my hair and teeth brushed every day. It’s like he has learned to really read me and the kids, and knows the exact time to take them into the other room. No amount of stress, or being overwhelmed can help me from laughing and melting when I hear him in the other room singing with Lily and Leo.

10/10 would recommend (but I am going to hang on to him).

Let’s end this…

Alright, so if you haven’t noticed, I spent the better part of the week “rebranding” as the hipsters at those coffee shops would say, but again, I am a Panera Bread gal, so I will just say I spent too much time figuring out how to make a new logo and Facebook page for my blog.

I would love to get this out to as many people as possible, but am trying to learn the art of shamelessly promoting myself. (So you know, share this, subscribe, all that good stuff 😀 ).

Who knows, maybe I will put this all into a book one day. (but if you have learned anything from my blog so far you will know that I will just put that off)



Y’all gunna make me lose my mind! — December 30, 2020

Y’all gunna make me lose my mind!

Hi, Y’all! Thought I was done?….Nah. I just have ADHD and that’s what I do. I get really into something and then stop because I work it up in my head, and that makes me tired, and then it’s just not fun anymore…but NOT TODAY TIME SATAN!

Speaking of Santa…what the hell just happened? Was that Christmas? Is that what the holidays are really like? The pharmacy of pills I have to take every day couldn’t even calm the anxiety. But you know what? That’s how I knew I did it right! That’s how I knew I created magic for everyone around me like my mother did when I was a kid, and her mother before. It’s hard work making Christmas magical. I used to be terrified of elves when I was a child but what I wouldn’t give for a good tribe of elves (what is a group of elves called? It should have a cool name.) There was one causality from Christmas though, and that was…

MY HOUSE!!!!!!! I still haven’t recovered. but let’s not act like it was great before Christmas either. I just need a scapegoat and well… ‘tis the season, so.

We all know what we are really here for, Lily and Leo stories. So, I won’t keep the masses waiting (and I have PLENTY).


Lily has become a little parrot. She repeats everything I say and do. Let me repeat (why did I have such a hard time spelling “repeat”?) that…EVERYTHING I SAY AND DO! Now, you may think “awww that’s cute”. And it totally is when she calls her brother “big boy” or goes up to him when he is crying and says “You’re okay”.

But do you guys really think I watch censor myself at home? I should, yes. But it is so hard. I have already come to the realization that Lily can just never go to school. She might drop her book and yell “Oh, shit!” or hear some music playing and start dropping it low. This little girl will not repeat the word “please” but god forbid she do anything remotely stressful she just rips out “Oh, shit” like a trained professional.

The worst part is…I can’t NOT laugh. So she thinks it’s hilarious and does it more. I’ve ruined her. She was a blank template and I ruined her. I mean, sure, is saying shit going to ruin her life…probably not, but I want her to go out in public and have people think I am at least be a decent role model. I am slightly proud though because she always nails it. She uses that phrase at the right time and in the right situations. Come at me Instagram moms…I am trying!


(I am pretty sure since the last time I have posted he has turned one. He DID turn one, I just am not 100% sure when I posted last.)

Oh, Leo. This boy is so sweet and loves mommy so much. Like ALOT. he will definitely be made fun of in school for being a mommy’s boy. Should I not encourage this? Probably? But do I? OH. MY. GOD. YES! This little boy will barrel through any barrier just to get to me. He will pull his sister off my lap. I just have to say the word “kiss” within earshot of him and he goes for my lips.

He’s teething though. Or at least we keep using that excuse for his behavior because he is Leo, he is a good boy. he has been in an awful mood for about a month now and we are finally just now starting to see the teeth come through.


Yeah, here’s a curveball. Never brought up Simba before. Simba is the anti-christ in kitten form. I was desperate for something cute and cuddly because my baby was growing up so fast. Plus, I figured a new cat would calm Mr. Mancatthan down a bit (which it totally did).

That show, “It’s me or the Cat” or something like that, I always thought…” what a dumb show”. But that’s because I had never met Simba. The cat who chews up all of Leo’s binkies (that he is still VERY much attached to), and chews the nipples of bottles. That alone would be enough to drive a person crazy, but no. He doesn’t stop there. He gets away with it though. He’s cute. So, just like the kids…we take it.

Poop-a-geddon — November 20, 2020


You ever just have one of those weeks. One of those weeks where all of a sudden everyone forgot about bathroom etiquette (and that bar is set really low considering half of this household uses a diaper). I feel like everyday we woke up this week, the nightmare got worse. These children found new and inventive ways to really test our it’s-all-over-the-place-how-are-we-going-to-clean-this disaster protocol. For the sake of organization, below, I will tell each child’s story but please keep in mind these happened at the SAME TIME!


Let’s just start here…there is really no good way to start this. Leo has now learned a trick his sister is all too familiar with, removing his diaper. We found this out the hard way one lazy Sunday morning.

The routine goes…baby wakes up around 5/6am, we get him and bring him to the pack and play in the living room. Said baby then has his morning bottle and continues to laugh and scream at the top of his lungs, so as to wake up not only the house, but the neighborhood. Except for dad and I, we are able to lay down on the couch in the living room and sleep right through it.

Anyways, I wake up from my “morning nap”. My husband has already been awake, picking up the house, the usual. I spell poop in the air…the usual. So I pop my head up to say “hi” to the cute, adorable, baby Leo in his pack and play, and what do I find? A baby, with no diaper. He just…took….the diaper off. (It gets worse, just wait). So I pray to whatever god/deity/celebrity that would listen, and I prayed that he hadn’t peed….HOW NAIVE. You will be happy to know he didn’t pee, but he did however manage to smear the poop that was in his diaper alllllll over himself (it brought a new meaning to the phrase “shit eating grin”), the pack and play, his poor stuffed hippo. RIP stuffed Hippo, we loved you.

I stood there in shock. No one has ever taught me what to do in this situation. I am 2.5 years deep into motherhood and this has never happened to me. So naturally, I yelled for Nick, thinking maybe he had some ideas (or maybe he would just make it disappear?). We did the only thing we could think of, and that was to put him the bathtub…that was the wrong idea. I instantly realized that now he was bathing in a tub of warm water, and doo-doo. So at wits end, I ask Nick again, “what do I do?” His solution? Me getting into the shower, while holding the poop covered baby, and clean him that way. I never thought that I could one day say I had poop water rolling down my body. I had never felt so dirty. (I plan on never letting him live this down).


Okay, maybe hers isn’t as bad, it was just pee but it’s more the circumstance. If you have gotten to this point you already know what is currently going on. I step out of the shower with a clean baby, and no more dignity. I get him dressed and think, alright, let’s get this Sunday back on track. Remember earlier, when I told you this was all thank you to a trick sister taught him? Oh yes! The story is going there.

The night before she had peed her bed so I had to remove the sheets and mattress cover and saw that I had no more clean mattress covers. I knew in my gut that it was a bad idea to just raw dog it and put sheets straight on the mattress. I knew better. But did that stop me? Of course not!

Anyways, back to that infamous Sunday morning. I go into her room to get her and see it. Lily, laying there in bed, no pants, no diaper…in a puddle of pee. How much does one person deserve really? Then it instantly hits me. THERE IS NO MATTRESS COVER!!!!!! Folks, there is no user manual for these children. What do I do now? Her mattress is soaked. Do we burn it and buy a new one? Hose it down? Air dry it? Cry?

Moral of the story

Shit happens. Kids are gross. But not having all the answers and not knowing what to do doesn’t make you a bad mom/dad. I never thought that I would love two people so much, that I would spend a Sunday morning, cleaning up their poop/pee, and still be able to look at them like they are the most perfect creatures on this earth. I just now have a REALLY funny story to tell at both of their weddings one day ❤

Let’s set the stage. — November 16, 2020

Let’s set the stage.

I was never really a “hyperactive” kid….on the outside. But I was never really able to express the circus/Broadway production/rush hour traffic happening in my head 24/7. My mind seemed to always move a mile a minute to the point where…nothing could really come out. Was I smart? (I guess I should rephrase that…Am I smart?) Of course! But I have lived my life so overwhelmed that I have really never had the energy to meet that potential.

After I got off the phone with the Psychiatrist (who has a striking resemblance to my mother-in-law) she told me the good news. I SCORED A 100% ON THE ADHD EXAM!!! (Please hold your applause. You are too kind.) Then came the “treatment”. You want me to take how many pills? Adderall?! Excuse me ma’am but are we just going to skip all the gateway drugs? Does this mean I do…drugs? I can’t live on the streets! Noooo, I like my teeth! Clearly, I had no clue how to feel.

On one hand, yes, we finally knew why I never felt “normal” (or as they like to call it, Neuro-typical). On the other hand though, if I had known about this earlier could my life have been different? Could I have been successful? Could I have been happy?

This is where that age old question of medicine vs counseling comes into play. It wasn’t one that “fixed” me (I am no where closed to fixed btw). It was a combination…a team effort if you will. Does the medication make me feel like a normal person on a very sadly level? Yes! But counseling has showed me I am silly for thinking my life could have been any better. Can I be happier? I mean…I am already disgustingly happy. I now appreciate the person that I am. I wouldn’t be the Quirky, awkward, funny Ashley if my brain were never this way. The girl who has crippling social anxiety and can’t make friends but give her an audience and a stage and she will shine. ( I am sure some stories of me being a Skipper on the World Famous Jungle Cruise will come up).

I will always remember the time my husband told me, when I was feeling really low about the “diagnosis” that I was the most unique person he had ever met. It all clicked then. He was right. I am weird (sooo weird), and my brain is wired different than most people. But isn’t that what makes us great? Not necessarily all the accomplishments we can achieve, but the personalities we develop. I watch my kids, and fall in love with their personalities daily. Then I realize these kids are me. I beat myself up day I and day out for he things I didn’t accomplish when what I did is so much more!

Moral of the story folks is your story is never over. And if your story isn’t some grand fairytale, it doesn’t mean it isn’t great for you. I fell in love when I was 29, got pregnant with my first child at 28, and started my career at 31. I have finally realized that doesn’t make me less, I just had more to overcome…and I did!!