Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A little bit of this and a little bit of that...

Today was a BIG day. And I am sorry for another long and boring post. I typically try to keep the writing short and the pictures flowing, but lately have done a lot more writing...keep reading though. ;)
Today was Brayden's annual EKG and heart echo with Dr. Cowley at Primary Childrens Medical Center. Brayden was born with aortic stenosis and a bicuspid valve instead of a tricuspid valve. This is NOT from prematurity, it is actually genetic and thank heavens the other boys don't have it. Soooo, what does all this mean?
The bicuspid valve does not affect Brayden negatively at all. We don't consider it an issue, and all is well in that area. The aortic valve in the heart is the main artery that blood flows through from the body to the heart. Aortic stenosis is when that artery is pinched. It is too narrow and the blood flow is not what it should be. Right now, it does not affect Brayden negatively. They have special ways through EKG's and heart echos to tell what the blood flow is, how strong his valve leaks (I guess I forgot to mention his valve also leaks) and to make sure the heart is currently operating correctly...or at least correctly for him. When he was just barely out of the NICU we drove twice from Boise to Salt Lake believing he was getting a balloon procedure done to widen the narrowing. Both times, the reading stated one thing, but when the doctor (this same Dr. Cowley) got inside to actually do the procedure, it was totally within a normal range of flow and the procedure did not need to be done.
A big WHEW for us, especially because the first time Brayden was around 10 pounds I think...Can you imagine having a baby that small needing surgery??? On his heart..... VERY SCARY. Since then, his readings have been great and there has been no talk of ballooning the valve or anything until YEARS from now.
Today...well, I learned that although things arent terribly different from last years visit, the changes are enough that ballooning the valve is no longer an option. There is a leak (its always been there) in the same place where they need to increase the blood flow. Soooo, they balloon it and the leak will just get worse. The small change from last year to this year in leakage is just enough that they would no longer do the balloon procedure. I don't know why I was so disappointed by this, but I was. I mean, he is fine for now. And probably for at least several more years. But the balloon procedure would have bought us more time and many more years (we had hoped) before he would need a more major surgery. But surgery is in our future- Not now and hopefully not for at least a few more years...they will first try to stop the leak. If that is unsucessful, they will replace the valve. Which doesn't grow with him. So if he has it done when he is still growing (not an adult, in other words), than he will have to have it done again...and again with growth. This made me so sad. We had been told from the very beginning that valve replacement was probably in Brayden's future...but I had always thought the ballooning would come first, and like I had said, buy us more time. I shouldn't have been so surprised or upset by the news, but I was. I didn't burst into tears or anything, I just kept saying "Wow," to the doctor and explained my concern for him leading a normal life.
Which brings me to the next saddness...he made the comment that Brayden seemed really active and I said, "Yes, basically a monkey 24-7" and told him I am glad I don't have to keep him playing it cool right now because I can't get him to NOT be active. He said that was great for now but in high school he probably wouldn't want him going out for football or lifting weights...I think I already knew this in the back of my mind...I had always been asking if he could lead a normal life, but never had been told this part of it. So I was definetly sad to have that confirmed to me.
Cortney cheered me up a little. He did not seem surprised with what Dr. Cowley said, which lead me again to believe that maybe some of this I deep down knew but it wasn't actually brought to the surface yet. I have put many hours of prayer into Brayden's life and know that everything will work out how it is supposed to. I know that Heaven;y Father is watching over and protecting our family. I KNOW IT. We have had too many miracles so far to deny that.
So I am putting my trust and faith in Lord to get me through all of this. I know, for right now, Brayden is fine. He can lead the best life, right now. So I am not going to let my mind fill will worry about the things I have no control over and can't change. I am going to focus on making his childhood the best it can possibly be and letting the Lord take care of the rest.

This is Brayden in the middle of the night asleep on the bathroom floor. I think he came in here to go potty and just couldn't make it back...he even left the light on. So silly. That boy drives me NUTS half the time, but what would life be like without him in it?! I am so grateful to Doctors and the time they take to go to school and educate themselves to help my children. Nurses, secretaries, all that work and/for/with doctors to help my children.
So there you have it.
OH! P.S. Did I tell you Keaton is still 18 pounds and the average size of a 7 month old? YUP, but on a brighter note with that, he IS getting taller and is now 10% on the charts for that is's funny the looks I get from people when he does something that someone his age (20 months) would do, but not what let's say a 12 month old would do (which is typically the age people guess he is). It's awesome. One of these times I should say "Actually yes, he is a year old and a baby genius." HA HA!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Event Of the Year

Do You like a good Girls Night Out? Do you like a break from the kiddos? What about fun and fashionable purses, jewlery and more at fabulous prices? Do you want to get yourself (or buy it from your hubby to you) an awesome gift for Mother's Day...What if you were to combine the all these things in one...You would GET:

My friend and neighbor Amber's Mother's Day Fashion Boutique on Monday, May 3rd from 6:00-9:00pm. If your like me, Monday nights are Family Home Evening. If your like me, from start to finish it lasts about 10 minutes because that is the attention span of your children. So have your dinner, then your FHE, then head on over. Get yourself out of the house and at an awesome girls night. For those of you who have not been to one of Amber's Boutique's before...she has the latest and greatest fashion items at a fraction of what they would cost anywhere else. AND you hve fun getting a girls night out!!

Check these bad boys out:

I mean seriously, do I really need to convince you to come now??? These purses speak for themselves. Check out other items she has at and COME!!
Oh, and did I mention I will be there will my wipey cases and a sneak peak at a few other fun items I am going to be selling??? Okay, I knew I had you right there!! Come!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Good times

Soooooooooo much to talk about. I will try to keep it brief! First and foremost...I am 15 pounds lighter baby! The diet has been going fabulously well. (is fabulously a word?) Today I can technically start Phase 2 of the diet, which means there are a few carbs I can introduce back into my diet slowly. Not all at once. Can I tell how bad I was eating before? I had NO IDEA! Seriously, until you go without for a while, you don't realize how things were before. How there is sugar in EVERYTHING. How much crap is in EVERYTHING processed. So when I say I am did this diet to lose weight...well yes, I did. But I also knew that clearly if I was exercising AND eating right, I would be able to lose weight. Yes, I took a drastic measure by completely stopping all carbs for 2 weeks, but I had actually been to my doctor to discuss options before starting it. I have been seeing him for several months to determine exactly why I couldn't lose weight because I have never had this problem before...and I thought I was doing all that I could to lose it. Unfortuntely I can work out 5 days a week full intensity, but it aint gonna do a thing for me unless I change my eating habits.

I did not cold turkey stop the carbs...I first lowered my portion sizes for about a month and felt comfortable with where I was at....then made the decision I needed to drastically change things and then slowly introduce the appropirate carbs and appropriate food items one at a time. And seriously, it's awesome. I thought it would be much harder than it actually is. And I really don't crave things anymore. I see a huge burger or baked potato (both weaknesses of mine!) and it doesn't phase me. Sure I would love it someday...on occasion, but not like before. So I have not done anything new yet today. I worked out killer this morning, had my protein shake and my salad for lunch. I think I will have an apple later as my new introductory food. I love apples. It's still healthy and I will try it for a few days and see how things go. Yes, I am terrified of adding in certain foods too much because I DON'T want to gain anything back, I still need to lose some more weight before getting back to my prepregnancy bod. But if I go slowly, I think I will be in good shape!!

Now, onto other funness. Remember my sister coming to visit me two weeks ago? Well she took some awesome photos that I had to share....

We went to Chuck E Cheese to play with the boys when she was here...this is her hubs beating the heck out of this machine (you know the one where the thing pops up and you wack it back down)...Well he takes this game very seriously and uses both the hammer type thing to hit it with...and his fist...and please look in the background at my hubby with his fists up- it's AWESOME!
Seriously one of the cutest pictures in the whole stinkin world! My little man had just dumped an entire bag of cereal in the middle of the floor.
My kids have problems keeping their pants up. They all wear sizes way smaller than their age and still have seen here with Keaton...

Awww...I wuv my sista! And seriously, I am naturally brunette and she is naturally blonde. And finally, Sadie the dog. Can you tell Keaton especially just loved that dog?

So now a new week has begun. I am obsessed with the new Eclipse Trailer...if you haven't seen it, SEE it. I have a clean house. I have worked out AND showered AND fixed my hair...I have two boys sleeping...load of laundry done, dishwasher running...this is a beautiful start to the week.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


A few weeks ago, as a family, we went to a March of Dimes Team Rally. It's to get us reved up, pumped up in the march of Dimes walk, which is coming up in a few short weeks.

I have walked for March of Dimes for 3 years, this will be my 4th. I have learned sooooo much about their cause, but even some important things about myself. Like the fact that I need support. I need people surrounding me who have been through the same things I have, with many even worse situations. It is so wonderful to know that I have friends without even knowing it. I have people I can turn to to help me through the questions I have about what I have been through and why.

But even more importantly than that? It's knowing there are people out there, the March of Dimes, dedicated to helping SAVE LIVES.

I have recieved several calls in the past few weeks asking for donation for various organizations. All of them are valid, all of them need help. I recognized that if I could, I would give and support every cause in need that helps someone else in some way. Obviously, we can't all do that. So many families are struggling with no job or insecurity about their job. Some families are doing okay and others are just great. No matter what the status, don't donate if you can't. But if you CAN donate, even $5 helps go towards SAVING our sweet BABIES. Go to the March of Dimes website. Check it out. Get quesitons answered. See how you can help. Walk with me on my walk. Be my friend and support me.

I have been so blessed. Even though two of my children were very premature, and stayed in the NICU for over 6 months between the two of them, they are healthy children. We are so blessed. And I am forever grateful to the March of Dimes for what they do to make a difference for ME. It's amazing how we don't realize how important a cause is until we are in a situation where we need them. Click on the link on my page and make your donation if you can. If you can't, go to the website anyway and check out other ways you can help support the March of Dimes. As always, thank you for the support you are to me, especially during the times when I have really needed help with my kids, dinners, babysitting, just a listening ear. Love to you all!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Last Friday was AWESOME. It was one of those days where the stars aligned, everything in the day was nice, the kids were pretty good, errands were run, goals were accomplished. It was a plain ole' good day. That night Cort and I got to go on a date! We swap with friends but hadn't been able to swap for over a month, so we were ready to get out. We chose to go to the Temple. It was nice. When we were walking to our car after, I turned my cell phone back on and had 3 missed calls from my little sis and a text saying "Call me ASAP." Now what would YOU think if you had that??? I was worried. I called her. She sounded fine, even excited. I asked her what was wrong, telling her I was at the temple and just now got back to my phone. She tells me that her and her hubby were bored and wanted to take a little get-a-way for the weekend...she says they decided to come to Utah to visit us! YYYYAAAAYYYYY!
I will have a lot more of what we did later, but this particular post I want to talk about WHO she brought with her on her trip....soooo...after she asks me if it's okay they come, and of course I say OF COURSE, she then asks if they can bring their DOG Sadie with them...Sure I say! Then she says "Well I am glad you said that cause we're already on our way and Sadie's with us!" HA!
Sooo...about dogs. I like dogs. We had a dog growing up. We also had guinie pigs (I know I spelled that wrong), bunnies, and birds. I am not opposed to animals really. it's just that the older I get, the more I clean, clean, clean with 3 kids. And animals shed. I don't care what anyone says about an animal not shedding, cause ALL of them do. Yes, some less or more than others, but they all do, even just a little bit. So, combine that with lots of drool, keeping the kids out of the pets food and water, and I just am not at a point in my life when I can do it. I also have a little germophobia or something because everytime I pet an animal, before I touch my kids or anything, I have to wash my hands. So let's say your sitting out the couch with an animal on one side and a kid on the other....yeah, not for me right now.
Now can we also add that my mother in law is VERY EXTREMELY allergic to animals. Seriously. My brother in law tried having a dog once that they sent to a neighbors house when the mom came to visit, and even though she had cleaned her house entirely to rid the animal hair from the home, my mother in law ended up staying at a different house during that stay because she had such a hard time with her allergies. Soooo, we live about 7 minutes away from them. We have known as long as we are living close to them, we cannot have any pets (except maybe a bird??) :) in-laws are currently in Africa on a mission assignment, so my sis bringing the dog worked out well.
After all this animal bashing...I COMPLETELY LOVE my sisters dog Sadie! She was wonderful. She obeyed! She was sweet. She did not shed enough for me to see. I did not sit on the couch and then have dog hair stuck to me. She was fun and great with the kids. She was WONDERFUL. She drooled the biggest pools of drool I have ever seen, but I didn't mind so much because she really was just so good. Sweet little Keaton LOVED Sadie and could not get enough of him!
Take a look for yourself and tell me you can't love this beautiful dog????
Uh, sorry about the cleave in this one...I can't help it ;)
Me wanting a picture with a dog? Who knew!

Anyhow, after they left, yes, I admit, I disinfected the house. I vacummed every square inch and swept and mopped. But it wasnt because I was grossed out by the dog or feeling gross in my own home. I did it because the entire time they were here, I let it all go- the drool and everything and just had fun. She really is an awesome dog. And if I ever do get a dog, I would want one just like Sadie!!
Thanks again to my little sis for coming! We had an awesome weekend and I will post some fun pics of what we did later!

P.S.- I had laryngitis starting Saturday morning when my sis got here...and it is mostly gone, but weird. My kids were happy because I could not yell at them! ;)
P.P.S.- I have lost 15 pounds since starting no carbs...WOOOWWWWW!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Carbs Schmarbs

Sooooo...I am typically not a whiner or complainer about life in general. I try not to be anyways. I try to look at the glass as half full. I try to look at things in a positive light in all situations as much as I can. But there has been one thing this past year that has truly challenged me. And that would be my weight.

First of all, my third pregnancy, I gained the most I'd gained with any pregnany, and that was only making it to 7 months pregnant. So naturally, I had more to lose. Typically I hang onto a lot of weight while nursing, but once I stop, I shrink. Like 20 pounds in two weeks shrink. So when that didn't happen after I stopped nursing Keaton, I was disappointed to say the least. I don't want to put the blame anywhere but me, but I haven't been able to help thinking it's all related to having no thyroid, and not having the appropriate dose of thyroid medication. Your thyroid controls your metabloism- and your metabolism is a big deal when it comes to your weight. I mean I trained for and ran a half marathon and did not even lose 1 pound in the that even right???

But since my blood work shows I am on the correct dose, there is no changing the medication at this point. So something else has to be done. I am NOT giving up.

For the past 5 weeks I have really uped my game. I changed my workout routine from working out 3-4 days a week to 5 days a week. I have incorporated more strength training into my workout and I don't eat after 7 at night. I splurged a little on sweets on Easter, but every other day don't consume any chocolate or sweets.

Soooo, after 5 weeks and not a single pound of weight loss yet again, I know that I am at least getting more toned and firm. But that is not enough for me!! I need to lose this extra weight! I just want to be what I was before getting pregnant, I am not asking for a miracle!!

So, after talking with some family last week, it was determined that I need to do something drastic with my diet, combined with what I currently do for working out, and see what happens.

So Monday (yesterday) I have started two weeks of no carbs. And it is HARD, but at the same time, not as hard as I thought it would be. yes, I am only day 2, but I did not starve yesterday. This morning I felt very weak and know that I need to eat more protein, but I think we are on a good path right now. About 1/2 hour after breakfast I really felt better.

I also realized yesterday that I must snack more than I realized. There were several times when I was cleaning up the kids snacks yesterday that I felt the urge to eat a cheerio or cracker that was left out and realized that typically I would have done so. But because of my diet, I did not. Therefore, I must be snacking a little here and there from the kiddos snacks without even paying attention. I am so glad I noticed this yesterday so I can change it!!'s to two week of heck...I LOVE potatos, so this is going to be very good for me to cut back, and maybe this is the answer? Bring on the weight loss baby!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


So the Saturday before Easter our ward had their Annual Easter Egg Hunt at a neighborhood park. Last year I did not go because Keaton was just barely home from the hospital. So Cort took the older boys. This year we all went together and it was awesome...but FREEZING. I put triple layers on everyone, plus hats and gloves and we were all still freezing.
So if you thought your ward was big, try 350 people (no, our ward actually has 700 people in it, almost 300 in primary children alone, but this activity around 350 people came) all running for eggs!...Obviously this picture only captures a fraction of all the people, but so fun!
The super fantastic Kyler!
The super amazing little bug Keaton with Cort.

The super fantastic Brayden!

Easter Sunday was awesomly amazing. It was a little sad not getting my kids spiffied up in adorable matching tie suits for church, but at the same time, so nice to not have to get dressed up. We had a very nice day listening to conference, and the kids were actually pretty good during. The next day...Day 1 of Spring Break...we had LOTS of SNOW! All winter I let Keaton play in the snow once or twice, but he never really liked it. This day was no exception...
He seriously looked like a giant marshmellow, or sumo wrestler.
And he would not cooperate for pictures, so this is the best I can do.

Either way, it was a fun and crazy busy week, my next post will explain the second half of Spring Break.

Monday, April 5, 2010


I get asked ALL the time if this little white haired boy belongs to me. Now, if Cortney and I are out together, they see him and can put it all together. But when I am out with the three boys myself...they don't see where this guy gets his looks from...

It was funny because someone in our neighborhood who knows me saw me at the store with him today and actually said, "Now whose kid is this that your watching?" I was like...hello, he's mine. And if you don't believe me, ask the doctor who I was screaming at while I was in labor with him with no epidural...yeah, I remember too much about his birth story...anyways. It was funny. Now is there a point to all this rambling...? Yes.
Cortney and I have talked a few times about future children. I know Cortney and I cannot go through the whole NICU thing again, and neither can our kids! But I don't feel our family is complete yet either...only time will tell. But we have talked about the possibility of adoption. It's waaaay too early to think about it right now, I know we will cross that bridge later down the road when I have a better situation going on with my current mischevious children... but I just can't help thinking about all this lately when I know if I could have a healthy full term baby, I would actually be wanting to be pregnant right now. I am not baby hungry, definelty not toddler hungry...sometimes I think I just anxious to know what my future holds. Who is missing from this wonderful family? I don't necessarily feel like anyone is missing right now at this moment...its more that I just don't feel it's completely complete...

Only time will tell...lots of prayers and lots of time...and more prayers...and more time...and, well, you get the idea.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


I LOVE these men! What an amazing inspiration they are to me in my life. Listening to General Conference today has brought me to peace. The things that were spoken of truly showed me that the Lord is looking out for me and knows of my needs. There were things I truly needed to hear today.

There were things I needed to feel and I felt them. I feel so at peace, and at great comfort knowing that I have such a wonderful Prophet and his councilors who are looking out for me. I love General Conference, but todays was so inspirational to me. I needed to hear the words that were spoken to me today, and I hope those of you who listened felt them too. I am truly blessed.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Jokes on Me!

Aprils Fools Day is here again. Every year I manage to somehow get my mom and usually at least one of my sisters, if not both with a clever prank. It's awesome.

Two years ago was the best when I was pregnant with Keaton. I called my sister's house and my other sister was there and answered the phone. "Bekah," I say..."So I just had another check up with my doctor and everything with the pregnancy looks great, but there was a funny sound when we were listening to the heartbeat....We actually could hear two heartbeats." Pause. My sister is quiet, like she is figuring it out in her head. "Bekah, I am having twins," I say. "NOOOO WAYYYY. Ohmygosh, I can't even believe it, I am so excited." "LIZ is having TWINS" she shouts into the room. I hear my other sister screaming in the background, I hear my niece screaming and clapping and a male voice (one of my nieces physical therapists) talking excitedly about the news. My older sister then says in the background "I knew someone in our family would have twins. It's in our genes! I knew it! I knew it" WOW. All this excitement and I started to feel bad. I then explain that it was April Fools joke and she was totally stunned and told the others. I heard a sad sigh in the room, a few "Liz, wow you totally got us," and then heard the therapist (who I know and have met many times) say "Oh thats just not right!" It.was.awesome. Now I know this isn't like any huge thing, but the point is to do something that is not super hurtful, that is totally realistic and believeable and FUN!

Last year was not nearly as successful, but definetly fun none the less. Keaton had been home from the hospital only 4 months, I had had my thyroid surgery 2 1/2 months after that and had a lot on my plate. I knew that I could not get my mom with many things, but there was one thing I thought I could get away with. And I did. I called my mom and we chatted for a few minutes, then I casually said, "You know how much I want a girl mom. And well, theres a teenage girl in our neighborhood who got pregnant and decided to give the baby up for adoption..and...well, we decided to adopt her." To my surprise, my mom became very excited! "Liz, that is so wonderful." And I could tell that she really meant it. I decided not to let this joke go on too long and told her it was April fools. She was truly dissapointed! I felt bad, but always love being able to get my family with a good joke! I think I tried that same joke on my sister later that day, but cannot remember the outcome.

So this year comes...and I did not even get the chance to pull an April Fools joke on anyone before everyone got ME!

It started almost a week ago when my brother and his wife have the ultimate surprise for us. We knew my sister in law was pregnant with a baby girl. She went into labor and we were waiting for the call about the new baby coming. I get a text that night from my brother. "Hi Liz, Ok, so Clarisa and I r pleased to surprise you again! We had triplets today! Mary, Patricia and Jane! All healthy, call mom 4 details." WHAT!!!! I am totally shocked. I call my brother. I was YELLING into the phone. "Tim, NO WAY. Are you serious?" I must have asked Are you serioius at least ten times during the conversation. "Yes," he tells me. I told him that I could not believe that his wife made it to 36 weeks with triplets, that I could not believe she wasnt on bedrest the whole time, that they were so lucky. I went into detail on all the things they would need for triplets (because, you see, being a NICU mom and volunteer, I know a little more details than the average person on mutiple births, etc.) Anyhow, I don't think my voice lowered the entire time. I was shouting. I was pacing the room, jumping up and down, literally. After about 10 minutes of us going back and forth, he finally confesses. "Liz, mom and I were talking and...well...we were supposed to be enduced on april fools day so we came up with a plan to get you back for all the times you get mom." "WHAT," I say, "This is a joke? Did you have triplets??" "No Liz, we had twins, for real!" WOW! Identical twin girls and they kept it a secret the whole time from everyone, including their own kids. The crazy thing is he had sent a picture announcing the twins births to everyone except me, because everyone was in on the joke to me. Everyone knew to go along with the triplets story. A totally thought out and perfectly executed plan. WOW!

I could not believe I had been had so WELL. He got me good. I then called my mom and let her have it. So this kindof made me think I couldn't pull off a joke this year. I mean, I figured my mom was paying attention to the date. And so I put it out of my mind, which meant that I had my guard down and was open to be had yet again today. And by my own MOTHER! Yes, she got me. you see, a year ago my mom fell and broke her arm really badly, surgery, pins, screws, the whole works. So she calls me today and it sounded like she was crying. She told me not to panic, that she just wanted to let me know that she was on her way to the hospital. That she was working out this morning and slipped. Totally believeable! Hello! I wasn't even thinking about April Fools Day. I told her I was so sorry, I hoped she would be okay and was worried about her. She starts laughing. "Liz, I can't believe I got you." I can't believe she got me again! WOW, I have totally let myself go I guess!! My little sister tried the "Im pregnant" card on me today, but I seriously knew she was trying to get me. I never believed it and wouldnt even plan along for a minute! My sister finally caved and it was really funny.

My only glory today was trying to get everyone on facebook with "I totalled my Durango. Nice" And anyone who really knew me, knew it wasn't true. But I did get a call from a friend, truly worried, and a few "are you ok" messages. Not a great year for me, but still so much fun!!

Next year, watch out. I better have something good to tell, but for this year, I will truly remember always as the year I totally got taken!