At home recovering.

Hello from home!

We’ve had a home-bound filled few days, so I thought I’d share a little.

In May, both Smith’s doctor and Ashby’s doctor suggested they each have surgery over the summer.  Thanks to inheriting his mama’s gigantic tonsils (and the multitude of problems that come with them), Smith needed his tonsils and adenoids removed.  Ashby on the other hand, began her first of most likely six vascular procedures to shrink her veins in her affected area.  This series of procedures have been discussed in great detail by her physicians at each appointment over the last 18 months.  All three of her doctors (hand surgeon, radiologist, hematologist) feel this is the best measure to (hopefully) prevent future blood clots and/or aneurysms.

Obviously, I felt more familiar with Smith’s procedure (since I had my tonsils removed just a few years ago), but Ashby’s procedure scared the heck out of me.  There is just not a lot to do for kids with Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome, and we’ve tried as many things as we could that were less invasive.  KTS is different with every patient and a lot of it is trial and error.  So, after 18 months of trying our options, and one surgery to remove an aneurysm and another to de-bulk the veins, we (along with the doctors) decided this was the obvious next step.  The thing is…once you start these procedures, you can’t stop (or it will hurt her health)…so, we were committing to a six month period where once a month, our kiddo will go to the hospital, be put under, have her veins poked on, be in intense pain and have to wear a bandage for 10 days…and then we start over again 20 days later.

Being a parent is hard.

Decisions like that one aren’t easy.

So, we decided to do these things back to back and have one big recovery time at our house.  We’ve been counting down to these dates since May and boy am I happy to have them over with!


On Wednesday night, we had a “last supper” for Smith.  Since it was his last meal to eat and enjoy for a while, we let him pick and he said Japanese Hibachi with Nixon.  #goodchoice  My mom came and got Kensington for two nights so that we could focus on the little two, so it was just Andrew, Smith, Ashby, Nixon and me for our last supper.



I just wanted you to see how much Ashby loves her some Nixon.  Let’s be real…Ashby loves all of the Slaughter boys ;).


The last supper :).


The next morning, Smith went in bright and early to have his tonsils and adenoids removed.  I don’t have any pictures to post (because they’re all a little embarrassing), but here I am next to the patient that afternoon as he recovered.  He was a champ!  He didn’t cry…he was just sad that he had to do it.  The fun part though?  Coincidentally, one of his favorite friends from kindergarten had his tonsils removed by the same doctor right after Smith, so they were both in there together.  This made Smith’s day!  It’s good to know your buddy is about to suffer too ;).


Then the next morning, this one was up bright and early for her procedure.  We had been talking about this all summer long, so she knew what was going to be happening.  Not going to lie, I was really nervous about this one.  I knew that we weren’t committing to just one procedure but possibly six…and that’s a big commitment.



And here we are later that afternoon.  This whole process was a family affair.  My dad was out of town, so my mom took care of Kensington, I stayed home and took care of Smith (who had a hard day two himself) and Andrew was with Ashby (and my grandparents came too!).  My grandparents gave her that pink pony and she’s been holding it ever since.  The procedure took two hours and they were home by 3:30.  I couldn’t wait to snuggle with my girl and Andrew was ready to snuggle with Smith.


At 4:00, my mom came over with Kensington…and milkshakes.  This totally perked up both kids!


A smile for day two.


A random picture of Poppy and me…because we’ve been spending a lot of time together :).  She goes to work with Andrew every day, but since he didn’t work Thursday and Friday, she was home hanging out with me.  I must admit…she’s the softest and sweetest little thing.  (A Coton de Tulear for those who care.)


When you’re the only one without a problem…life is easy.


Speaking of the easy life…after caring for our two all day on Saturday, we took a little break late in the afternoon for a pedicure while dad watched them.  They were napping, everyone was nice and quiet, so Kensington and I treated ourselves to pretty toes.


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This pic was on Sunday…speech therapy doesn’t stop just because you can only use one hand ;).  She LOVES speech therapy games!  Love, love, loves them!


And this was Smith on Sunday afternoon…in Ashby’s car, watching a movie, wearing house shoes on both his hands and feet.  He’s doing GREAT!

Whew!  So, that’s what we’ve been up to.  Again, thank you so much for the prayers, emails, comments and messages of encouragement.  Words simply cannot express how much they mean to me.  And to my lovely girlfriends who brought us stuff, texted us, called us, provided milkshakes, books, movies and loads of laughs…thank you.


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  • Laurie August 2, 2016 at 5:26 am

    Prayers for a speedy recovery for both! We did tonsil surgery this summer too and Smith makes it look easy 🙂

  • jamie August 2, 2016 at 5:48 am

    golly, shay. i’m sure glad all that is over! my mama heart felt all your words! prayers continue as you move ahead with ashby’s procedures. and i spy a book i’m going to check out. thank you so much for your sweet loving jesus heart inspiration as you share pieces of your life.

  • Sheaffer August 2, 2016 at 6:03 am

    So happy your patients are doing well. They are both troopers! And that girl of yours is so so brave.

  • Kimm August 2, 2016 at 6:27 am

    Glad everyone is on the mend. Praying for ashby over these next few months

  • Ashley Pate August 2, 2016 at 6:31 am

    I still can’t believe Smith and Talon had surgery only a few minutes apart! We couldn’t have planned that better if we tried! I know the boys are excited to have their tonsil-less, popcorn-less, movie play date!

  • Beth M. August 2, 2016 at 6:40 am

    I had my tonsils out at 21, and it was horrible!!! How do kids bounce back so quickly?? But I’m so glad they do! I finished Before the Fall a couple of weeks ago. The ending disappointed me, but I really liked the rest of the book. You’re probably already finished and on to the next one! Glad the patients are healing well!

  • Narci August 2, 2016 at 6:52 am

    So happy that your patients are doing well! We have been praying for their surgery and recovery!!

  • Erika Slaughter August 2, 2016 at 7:00 am

    Every single time we’ve gone somewhere since Friday Bowen asks if Ashby will be there. He misses his girl! And Nixon thoroughly enjoyed his hibachi dinner! 🙂

  • Rebecca VanDeMark August 2, 2016 at 7:17 am

    I can’t even begin to imagine what a difficult decision it was to make this choice for so many surgeries. You are one strong mama!! Continuing to pray for peace, for quick healing, and for LOW pain in these days and months ahead and for grace and strength to meet you each day mama. You are amazing!

  • Sarah @The Teacher's Wife August 2, 2016 at 7:32 am

    Oh gosh, it’s so hard making tough decisions like that, but hopefully they will help little Ashby! I will keep y’all in my prayers as you face the next round of surgeries!

  • Sarah Shaneyfelt August 2, 2016 at 7:47 am

    Prayers as your two babies continue to recover! And your mama’s intuition made the right choice for Ashby-it might not always be the easiest but you did the right thing! Praying for the next 6 months to go smoothly!

  • alexis August 2, 2016 at 7:52 am

    So happy to see your babies are doing well, what brave little warriors you have. I must know where you got that blanket/pillow combo that Kensington is laying on next to her dolls, looks SO comfy!

    • Mix and Match Mama August 2, 2016 at 7:55 am

      It’s a sleeping bag from Pottery Barn!

  • Meagan Ruse August 2, 2016 at 8:20 am

    So glad every one is doing better! Love you and those sweet babies ????

  • Angela August 2, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this post with us. I teared up as I read it and the fact that poor, sweet little Ashby has a possibility of monthly surgeries for the next 6 months, but God doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle. Sending you guys constant love and prayer. And next time I have surgery, I’m recovering at your house! A “drive-in movie” and milkshakes? Yes please! 😉 xox

  • Jenny August 2, 2016 at 9:13 am

    I’m so glad they are both doing better.

  • Angela Ellingson August 2, 2016 at 9:16 am

    Oh Shay, wish I could give you a big hug! You are such a wonderful mama! Praying for your family.

  • ej August 2, 2016 at 9:33 am

    Shay – I had my tonsils out around the same age as Smith and my mom played me the Bill Cosby ‘Tonsils’ record for me over and over. Best recovery ever. Say what you will about Mr. Cosby, he is funny guy. I found this YouTube link should you want to share with Smith.
    I’ve been home for 8 weeks with three broken bones in my ankle and I do not envy you and your hospital ward! Good luck!

  • Katie Harbolt August 2, 2016 at 10:01 am

    Wow what a tough momma you are! I am studying to be a nurse and can relate how hard and scary it can be to watch your patients have surgery. Especially little ones. Praying that ashby’s 6 surgeries go well, and that smith recovers smoothly as well. Way to go momma, for taking care of those little ones of yours!! It can be hard work!! 🙂

  • Corbie August 2, 2016 at 10:06 am

    So happy to hear an update!! What a good nurse you are! So glad to hear that everyone is on the mend. Ashby is one brave girl. Parenting is hard! Sometimes we question the decisions that we have to make that we know are the best but it is still hard! I’ve been thinking about you guys and will continue prayers!!

  • Karen August 2, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    Awww ~ so much for a Mama heart! Glad to hear they are recovering nicely. I will continue to pray!!!!! Speaking of Poppy ~ does she do well with other dogs? We were set to get a Coton last year but circumstances changed and we now have a Labradoodle, but she needs a companion and I am not up for another rambunctious dog……..ha ha thx

    • Mix and Match Mama August 2, 2016 at 12:17 pm

      Poppy LOVES other dogs! My kids want us to get another one for her. Poppy loves everyone :).

  • Ashley Whisenant August 2, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    My 2 year old had his tonsils out back in February. Our ENT doesn’t like to do it on kids under 3, but he couldn’t get over strep. The recovery was AWFUL, mostly because he was too young to understand and refused to eat or drink anything. We had to hold him down to give him his medicines. I am so glad to see Smith bounced back so quickly! Our little is still getting sick a lot, but hopefully it will pay off in the long run.

  • Regine Karpel August 2, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Thoughts sweet friend.

  • jamie August 2, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    just read the goodreads book description of the book in this post?!?!?! i hope it’s as good as it sounds!

  • Kara Smith August 2, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Oh friend! You’ve had a rough couple of days! Prayers for those sweet kiddos to get better. Love ya.

  • Shelly Janac August 2, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Oh goodness! Lots going on for the Shulls. Prayers for a speedy recovery!

  • Whitney Pegram August 2, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Girl, you have been busy! Praying both kiddos recover quickly!

  • Maria D. August 2, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    I’m so glad that everything went well with both surgeries and that both kids are home and recovering well. I will continue to pray for Ashby’s situation and her procedures as they come up – will pray all three kids stay healthy during the school year too! Great testimony of your faith too.

  • Jeanie August 2, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    I’m glad the littlest are doing well. I’m not sure if I’d like to have two down at the same time or not. I’m afraid I might just pull my hair out. I’m happy it worked for you, though. I’ve told you before how cute your kids are. Now I have to add Poppy to the list. Adorable! I would have guessed she was either Maltese or Maltese and Shih Tzu. I love that she goes to work with Andrew.

  • Bethany August 2, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    So glad all is well! Prayers will continue!

  • Jaren August 2, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    I know that must have been a tough few days! Continued prayers for all the future procedures!!

  • Erica September 14, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    Hi! Someone liked your blog on Facebook and I happened to click on it tonight. My husband and I adopted our sweet daughter in 2013 and so that’s probably what drew me to it to read! Anyway, as soon as I saw your darling Ashbys arm I knew she had KT! I do vascular ultrasounds and used to work with KT kids mapping their veins with ultrasound and helping to decide which to take and which to leave. I worked at the university of Utah hospital which is connected with Primary Children’s hospital in Salt Lake City. I had to leave a few years ago as we moved for my husband to attend medical school but there is still an awesome team there. Good luck to your family, you’ll be in my prayers!