Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Eli's Heart Procedure

For those of you who don't know, Eli has an ASD, which is a hole in the upper chambers of his heart. He was diagnosed with this when he was just two weeks old. At that time we were sent to a pediatric cardiologist and were told that most of the time these things heal themselves and they would just check it again when he was a year old. Well, we went back when he was one and were told that it was not healing itself and had actually gotten a little bigger and that they would need to fix it but not until he was about three. So for the next two years we went back once each year to have it checked. He had no side effects from it, which is common at his age, but if not fixed it would cause problems when he was older. Then last year he turned three and the cardiologist told us they could do the procedure the following spring or summer. We opted for summer and scheduled it for June, which worked out great because our move brought us four hours closer to his cardiologist.

So, in June he had a procedure during which he was sedated and a device was placed over the hole in his heart. He did not have to have open heart surgery, but instead they were able to go in through a vein in his groin and use a camera to place the device. He was so brave during the whole ordeal! Everything went well and he healed well also. This is usually an outpatient procedure, where the patient is sent home later the same day. However in Eli's case they did keep him one night, simply because the hole was larger then they had anticipated and therefore a larger device was used so they wanted to monitor him for a little while longer afterwards. I was able to stay over night with him and he was released the following morning.

We were told that it will take about six months for his heart tissue to grow around the device and completely seal it, so until then he has to take one baby aspirin everyday to keep blood clots from forming. We bought flavored chewable aspirin so he has not had any trouble taking it. He had a follow-up appointment a month after the procedure and everything looked great. He will have another one in January and will hopefully be told he no longer needs to take the aspirin. After that he will only need to be seen once every three to five years just to make sure everything is still ok.

We Moved! (A.K.A. Eli Get's Sick)

I'm still trying to catch up on our families happenings for this year, so forgive me if I'm still a little behind. I wanted to post briefly about our move, which happened in April. We moved for The Mr.'s work and though I was reluctant to leave our previous home, mainly because I had made some really great friends, I'm glad we did! I still miss my friends a ton but we are in a better place for our family here. The move itself was a little crazy. I reserved the truck for us and I guess I am a bad judge of size because it was too small! I think I got a 16 foot truck and we probably needed a 24 footer. Luckily The Mr.'s parents drove over for the weekend to help us out so we had three cars we were able to fill with all of the stuff that wouldn't fit in the truck. Unfortunately during the drive The Mr's mom was behind a truck that lost a wheelbarrow on the freeway and it smacked into the front side of her car. No one was hurt but there was cosmetic damage as well as a flat tire. But in the end everything worked out and we got to our new home safely!

On another unfortunate note, Eli got very sick about a week after the move and had to be hospitalized for pneumonia. He had to have an IV (which he hated) and lots of unpleasant medications. Luckily he was sent to an awesome children's hospital and I was able to stay by his side for the whole three days he was there. And of course now he is better!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Eli Speaks

This morning Eli told me that a few Sundays ago there was a little boy in his primary class who was "terrannoying" him. I'm pretty sure its a combination of "terrorizing" and "annoying." I love when he makes up his own words!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

DJ Play's Soccer

In the spring DJ played kinder soccer. He loved it! He had actually played for the first time the previous fall and when we asked him if he wanted to play a sport in the spring he requested soccer again. Kinder soccer just meets once a week for an hour on Saturday mornings over the course of about eight weeks. The first 30 minutes they spend practicing with their team and the last 30 they spend playing against another team. I love kinder soccer because it is super low key and easy going. No one keeps score and there are no referees or goalies, just the kids, the ball, the coaches (which are all volunteers) and the parents cheering of course. DJ started out in the fall feeling a little timid, but by the end he was very comfortable on the field. We weren't sure if he would start out timid again in the spring, however he was able to start out with the same level of confidence he had ended the previous season with. His coach even came up to us afterwards one day and praised DJ for his willingness to stay on the field (there were a couple of kids on his team who would either refuse to go out on the field at all or would give up after a short time) and the fact that he always does his best with lots of enthusiasm. We love you DJ!
DJ takes the field.

He loves his water!

Eli wanted a picture too.

DJ chats with his coach.

I loved the way they would all huddle near the goal and wait when the ball would get caught in the net.

And soccer always ends with a snack!

Happy Easter!

I know it is way past Easter now, however I just unloaded all of the pictures that were on my camera (there were over 300!) and they dated all the way back to the beginning of this year so I thought it would be a good idea to go back and post about all of the fun things that happened this year. So, here goes...

The day before Easter our ward had a pancake breakfast and Easter egg hunt at the home of one of the members.
I tried to show Eli how he could wear the ears straight up, however he insisted on wearing them down in his face.
DJ is excited about the prospect of candy filled eggs.

They enjoyed the breakfast!

DJ with one of his best friend's.

He was excited to show me his loot,

as was his brother (I love how the ears are now completely covering his face).

Easter morning at our house. The boys were happy to find their Easter baskets, but were still a little sleepy.

The boys each got a new outfit to wear to church which included bow ties made by mommy.
Instead of having regular rolls with dinner we decided to try making resurrection rolls. Before baking we placed a large marshmallow in the center of each one but when we ate them the marshmallows were gone and they were hollow inside, just like Jesus' tomb. It was a really neat recipe!
We were all very surprised by the missing marshmallows..

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Oh the kindness of strangers!

So many posts, so little time!

I wanted to take a moment to express just how much the kindness of a stranger can make someones day (my day to be specific)! On Friday I got up bright and early to drive my husband to work. We share a car and I had errands to run that day so we loaded up the boys and headed out. I got the Mr. to work safe and sound and then headed over to the office of the management company we rent from because our dishwasher was not working and I needed to fill out a work order.

P.S. Having your dishwasher stop working immediately after you have dumped the five tons of fish and potatoes from your children's plates, which they refused to eat, really stinks! Literally.

Then suddenly the car's battery light starts flashing. I have no idea why this is happening and what I can do about it. I think, "Hey the car is running right now so the battery's not going to die, right?. I'll just get us home and then stop by some where later and have the battery checked." Makes sense, right? Well, I was wrong. A few minutes later all of the lights on the dashboard go out, then an airbag light comes on (I was so afraid an airbag was going to pop up in my face). I then stop at a light and the car stops running! I am sitting in the middle of a lane, downtown, with a now green light and a truck behind me. I try, unsuccessfully, to revive the car. I then get out of the car and wave the guy behind me around because my hazard lights won't even come on. I then proceed to FREAK out because I know NOTHING about cars, my kids are in their PJ's and asking for breakfast and I am in the MIDDLE OF A LANE at a busy intersection and there is a green light.

I finally calm down enough to start attempting to develop a plan of action. I think, “Maybe I can put the car in drive and let it roll through the intersection at the next green light and to the side of the street over there.” I was facing slightly downhill and was hoping there was enough of a slant to allow the car to roll through, though at the same time I am picturing the car getting to the middle of the intersection and then stopping and not being able to push it the rest of the way. Wouldn't that just be aweful? Anyway, I am sitting there, crippled by indecision with my boys in the backseat asking if I have any granola bars in my purse (can you believe it was like the ONLY time I had left the house without any snacks or diapers?) when a man jogging past sees my distress and asks if I need any help. Que heavenly music. I quickly tell him what's happened and quick as a blink he tells me to put the car in neutral, get in and shut the door. He then waits for a green light and then pushes us and our car across the intersection and to the side of the road. Then he made sure I had a phone and someone to call before he continued his jog. Mystery man, I cannot tell you how thankful I am that you put your own busy life aside for those few minutes to help me.

And the kindness didn't stop there. The tow truck driver who came to haul us to a shop was friendly and patient while I unloaded my kids and their car seats from my car and into his and again when I unloaded them at our destination. The guys at the shop were friendly and helpful too and a woman who worked there was also nice enough to not only drive me and the boys home, but she helped me buckle and unbuckle the kids and the car seats too and carried one of them to the porch for me when we got there!

The shop took a look and determined the problem (the alternator) and had it all fixed by the end of the day. My husband got a lift home from work and my friend took me by the shop the next morning to pick up the car.

So, what had the potential to be an epically horrendus day turned out to be almost easy breezy thanks to so much love and help from strangers. Thanks everyone!

And now a challenge, take a moment from your busy day to help someone. It could be something as simple as a smile. Let me know how it goes. I promise I will too.

P.S. No fear, the dishwasher got fixed too. A measuring spoon was lodged in the gears, my bad.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Baking a big batch of chocolate chip banana bread with this little guy licking the beaters and wordlessly begging for chocolate chips every few minutes. Adele and some other soulful sisters, and a little Matt Kearney for good measure, blaring in the background. Big brother and Daddy in the living room bonding over a little game of Batman Lego.

I finally gave in to the boys charms (and the fact that he was dripping batter on the living room carpet) and set him up in his very own chair with a cup of chocolate chips all for him, though he did insist on sharing them with me. So sweet!

And even though this blissful, peaceful moment quickly melted into exclamations of "Mommy no sing! Only boy do that!" (Matt was offering up a little "Ships in the Night" at the moment) and big brother crying loudly over the end of his game and being faced with the duty of setting the table for dinner, it was still precious while it lasted.

If you'd like to bake up your very own loaf of Banana-y goodness here is my all time favorite recipe...

World's Best Banana Bread
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (melted works too)
2 cups mashed banana (you could put more or less, whatever you have on hand, I like more)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips and/or nuts to taste (optional)
In bowl, cream together sugar and butter. Beat in banana, eggs and vanilla. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Fold in chips and/or nuts. Pour into greased loaf pan. Cover loosely with a tent of foil (this part is important!). Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for about 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

To be honest I'm not sure where I originally found this recipe (foodnetwork maybe?) but hands down this is the best banana bread recipe I have ever tried. I like it with LOTS of mashed banana. Tonight I made it with milk chocolate chips, but semi-sweet are also good as well as pecans or walnuts. Its also great without any chips or nuts at all. Sometimes I also bake it in muffin cups, if you do that bake them at the same temperature but only for 25 minutes. Also, I have a large loaf pan (I actually don't know if you can buy small loaf pans anymore) so it often takes longer then 60 minutes to bake, maybe 15 or 20 minutes longer depending on your oven and how full you fill the loaf pan (I may or may not cram as much batter into the loaf pan as is humanly possible).


P.S. the crock pot chicken recipe I tried last night was just o.k. I'm on the lookout for another one to try sometime soon so if you have a good one send it my way. Thanks!