3 years old

It's been a while since I've posted anything. Ashton is a trooper. Although he still doesn't walk and stopped the little bit of talking he was doing, he still remains extremely happy. Like all babies, he has his moments. He smiles most of the time. 

When my kids were small they loved to watch movies. One of those movies was Ice Age. I remember this movie and the part when the Sabertooth Tiger (Diego) is trying to talk to the baby to cheer him up. He says," Where's the baby". In the movie it actually scared the baby. I say it to Ashton all the time and every time, he jumps, looks shocked, and waits for me to say there he is. If he's in a bad mood, this cheers him up. If I'm on the phone with his mom (my sister) he has the same reaction. 

Growing and personality

Ashton is getting bigger and has so much personality. He is still full of smiles and laughs. His condition remains the same. He has his therapy weekly and is making progress. He turned 2 in August and is a little further behind then most kids his age, but he is progressing nicely. He is trying to crawl, and even though he hasn't master crawling yet, he gets around by rolling to what he wants. He loves his floor time and also loves to play with his big brother and big sister. He loves to clap and laugh as his mother sings to him. He also really loves when I say "where's the baby" "There he is" for Ice Age. He jumped a little bit the first time I did it, but now he waits in anticipation for the "there he is" part=) 

Getting so big!

Although Ashton is still pretty small for his age, he is getting so big! He has come a long way in such a short time. He may have a a serious heart condition, but you would never know it by meeting him. He has such a great personality already. He loves to have visitors. Every time I see or visit Ashton, he opens his big blue/green eyes really wide and smiles=) He is happy most of the time and brightens my day as well as everyone else who has met him and many that have just seen pictures. His smile is contagious. He loves to smile, mostly at himself when taking selfies, most of the time. Soon he will find his hero as many have before him. He will thrive with his new heart. He will grow, learn to crawl, speak, play with his brother and sister, learn to walk, give his parents a hard time, go to school, and live an awesome normal life. He will get so much bigger, and probably be taller than me by the time he's 10. I love you Ashton=)

Will today be the day?

I am sitting here, wide awake, thinking about how lucky I am. I am lucky, and very thankful, to have such a wonderful family, friends, and overall support system. If I didn't have each and every one of you, I would not be doing nearly as well as I many different ways. THANK YOU, EVERYONE!!!! Most of all, thank you to my AMAZING sister, Sarina, for doing everything you are doing, and simply for being who you are. I love you, and I appreciate you more than you know.

Ashton continues to do very well. He is getting bigger, and more full of personality every day. Despite the fact that he is eating a LOT better than when he left the hospital (thank you Pediasure), his feeding tube will not be going anywhere any time soon. He is eating more and more fruits and vegetables every day, and even had his first taste of mac and cheese yesterday for dinner. Little by little it is getting better!

Chili's for COTA for Ashton R

We set up an on going fundraiser at Chili's! This fundraiser takes place at ANY WISCONSIN Chili's location from April 21st until July 21st.

The way this fundraiser works it that whenever dining at Chili's, just mention you are dining for the Fundraiser COTA For Ashton R. When you receive your bill, your server will give you a point count for the fundraiser. If they forget to give you a point count, just ask if it was applied. Chili's donates 15% of Dine In and Carry Out orders before tax.

We were complimented on how many people were already using the flyers and participating in the fundraiser. Thank you everyone!

Pick N Save Brat Fry for COTA

We hosted a Brat Fry at Pick N Save on Sunset in Waukesha on May 10, which was the Saturday before Mother's Day! We had great weather and a great volunteer group that made the event flawless.

Pick N Save provided the brats and we had to buy everything else from them. We sold so many, Pick N Save ran out of the hot dogs we were buying. We had to go back into the store on many occasions to buy more hot dog buns.

We sold brats, hot dogs, chips, soda, and candy bars. We also handed out flyers to the customers for our on going Chili's Fundraiser, with a list of upcoming events on the back. 

Thank you to everyone that participated! None of it would be possible without our supporters.

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt (1st month at OrangeLeaf 2nd Fundraiser)

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt in Waukesha was our second fundraiser (we actually have them set up every other month at this location).

Orange Leaf has 2 different types of fundraisers, 20% of the days sales for guests that bring in a flyer, or 10% of ALL sales between 4pm-9pm. We decided on the 4pm-9pm.

We set up a table by the door and greeted every guest as they walked by. We thanked them for coming in, informed them that they were supporting the Children's Organ Transplant Association just by being there, and that Orange Leaf was going to donate 10% of their purchase to COTA in honor of Ashton. Each person smiled and continued to the yogurt flavors.

Buffalo Wild Wings (3rd Fundraiser)

On May 4th, we hosted a fundraiser at Buffalo Wild Wings in Brookfield. This location is one of the larger locations, complete with a separate room that we held a silent auction.

We had the space from 11am-11pm (open to close) that day, but we were only able to start setting up 15 minutes before the location opened. We started unloading the cars with our auction items and brought them into the room to find we still needed to move all the tables in chairs. This took us much longer to set up, but we worked together and made our displays. We had so many items that we had to bring more tables in from the outside patio. 

Half way through setting up, our local Channel 58 news reporter (Lane Kimble) arrived and did a 5 to 10 minute interview with me. He then proceeded to get coverage of the auction items and the Buffalo Wild Wings location (coverage aired on the 5:00 and 10:00 news). 

Red Robin Fundraiser Night (1st fundraiser)

We hosted a fundraiser at Red Robin back in April. Each of our supporters had to bring in a flyer or mention they were dining for the fundraiser to their server. The manager on duty allowed us to place a table near the door that each guest would have to walk past. On the table was COTA information, information about the COTA for Ashton R campaign, a collection box, a picture of Ashton, and a sign for awareness bracelet sales. Over the course of the night, I thanked everyone that came for the fundraiser and I spoke with many people that I didn't recognize about the COTA campaign. Gave each person information about COTA and how to find other events in our area to support COTA. Overall, this fundraiser was a success. The servers and managers that were on duty said it was one of the busiest fundraisers that they have hosted. Thanks everyone. 

First Ashton Blood Drive

We hosted our first Ashton Blood drive on Monday, June 2, 2014. We had 27 people registered to donate and 21 were able to give the gift of life.

Below is the thanks we received for our efforts! 

Thanks for coordinating the blood drive yesterday!    We had 21 family and friends of Ashton registered and ready to roll up their sleeves to donate and received 18 gifts of life.     Out of the eight commonly known blood type 11.1% were O+, 22.2%, O-, 33.3% A+, 11.1% A-, and 22.2% were B+.   Because of your efforts and the kind donations from family and friends of Ashton, 54 patients and their families will share another hug, another smile, and more importantly another chance at life.

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