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A New Diagnosis: Hip Dysplasia

Ever since Em was young, when she first started PT at nine months old, hip dysplasia was a looming thing that the therapist constantly talked about. For kids who don't bear weight on their legs by either walking or standing, it leaves a lot of room for error when it comes to the development of the hips. Pair that with the fact that Em "w sits", instead of sitting correctly, and well, she basically put her already compromised hips in a worse position. 

No one in Georgia ever felt the need to do x-rays to check on Em's hips, so we don't know for sure how long she has had this or not. A few weeks ago though, we went to the Dr because Em wouldn't stop throwing up, and they did an x-ray to make sure her stomach was okay, and as a bonus, they found the hip dysplasia, and determined that her right hip was 50% subluxated, or basically on it's way out of the socket. (I think that's proper layman's terms).

At this point we were already in the process of switching Em from Primary Children's Hospital to Shriner's hospital to reduce medical costs for our family, so when we got to Shriner's a week later, they confirmed the diagnosis with more x-rays and gave us three options. 

The first option is botox. There is a chance that they can inject botox into her tight leg muscles, and once the botox kicks in, it will cause the muscles to relax, and put less strain on the hips.  If the hips aren't being strained by the muscles, there's a chance that the hip will go back to where it should be. 

Option two involves going in and cutting the muscles that are connected to the hips. Doing this would mean the same thing as the botox, cut the muscle, less pressure on the hip, everything goes back to where it belongs. The only problem is that this is the surgery they do on babies born with hip dysplasia and since Em is 3 1/2, they think that she might be too old, and her bones and muscles might be too developed, and this surgery might not be successful. 

Option three is a lot more complicated. I honestly haven't looked into all the details because I'm just not mentally ready to take my brain to that place, but it involves cutting her open, and then sawing and cutting bones and putting them back where they should be, putting her back together, and then her being in a body cast for three months. There are four reasons why we don't want to do this surgery, and they're as follows: 

Em has never been under anesthesia for that long before, and I worry about what potential adverse reactions that could have on her brain. She is so prone to having seizures (and thankfully has made it this long without having one!), that I worry about any new medication or thing being given to her, because I don't want it to be the thing that tips off the seizures and sends us down that road. 

Likewise, if she has the surgery she'll need to be on strong pain meds and I worry about them causing seizures and being too much for her as well. 

I also worry about me being able to care for her in a full body cast. Our home is four floors and I worry about carrying her up and down stairs all day long and what our lives will look like for three months as she recovers. 

Most importantly, for three months she won't be able to walk in her gait trainer, or crawl around our house. She will likely lose skills in that time, and I worry about how long it will take her to gain them back in PT after surgery. It took her three years to learn how to sit, crawl, and walk in a gait trainer, and I don't want to take that away from her if I can help it. 

Where we're at right now is this: If her hip stays right where it is right now, or gets any better (as in going back in towards the socket), then she is fine and won't need surgery. She starts botox on March 19th to see if this non-invasive approach will work for her or not. She is also currently seeing a chiropractor. I hesitate mentioning this because people can be so judgemental when you mention that you're seeing a chiropractor, but I love the one that we go to and fully trust and believe that he knows what he's doing, and I believe he would tell me if he didn't think he could be a benefit to Em. 

We went to the chiropractor for the first time today. He looked through Em's x-rays and saw that part of her pelvis was not in alignment with where it should be, and he adjusted her and essentially put it back in place. He then told me that the adjustment won't be worth anything really if Em doesn't continue with PT, standing in her gait trainer, bearing weight on her legs, and sitting correctly. He hopes that his adjustments can be an aid to the recovery process, but certainly won't be the end all be all. We will likely go in for adjustments every two weeks until further notice.

A few days after our initial visit at Shriner's we saw our PT who told us that with botox, and sitting correctly, there is a good chance that we could correct the hip dysplasia without surgery. And this seems to be the same message that I'm getting from the chiropractor as well. I truly believe that with each of these doctors, and each of their specialties, that Em has the best shot of beating this whole hip dysplasia business and that we'll be able to keep her out of surgery. A lot of it is diligence on our end to make sure she sits correctly while playing, and then helping her with standing and walking as well. But I truly believe that the right people have been put in our path to help this little girl, and together, we will fight. 

Basketball Game Fun For Kids With Goldfish

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias Inc, and its advertiser. All thoughts and opinions are mine alone. #GoldfishGameTime #CollectiveBias

Click on this image to purchase Goldfish crackers at Walmart.
Derek and I don't really love any one major sports season, but basketball is one that we really get into. Each year since we've been together we've gone through the process of filling out a bracket, watching the games, and in more recent years, getting the kids in on the action too. Our preparations always seem to involve a trip to Walmart to stock up on snacks like Pepperidge Farm® Goldfish® crackers for the kids, and anything else we might need to make our viewing experience more enjoyable. The 30 oz. Goldfish crackers are exclusively on rollback for $6.46 at Walmart ( in store only)right now!

Sometimes watching a basketball game isn't as fun for the kids as it is for the adults, which is why I love to make sure we have snack on hand and other fun activities to make sure that they're having just as much fun as mom and dad are.

I feel like I'm much more inclined to be a fun mom for the kids if I can make a fun little game for them to play with at home, if I already have all the supplies on hand (or can easily be grabbed at Walmart). For this fun basketball game, I used some items we had around the house (cardboard box, scissors, tape, construction paper, online printable etc...) to make a mini basketball court that the kids could play with to shoot some hoops with Goldfish crackers. Goldfish crackers have been a long term parenting staple that we keep on hand at all times, and they're fun orange color makes them perfect for basketball season. You can never go wrong with Goldfish crackers Cheddar but we also really love having the Whole Grain variety in the house as well!

Basketball Court Construction Instructions:
1 Disposable Cup
Construction Paper
Small Box
Kabob Sticks
Backboard Printable, Available Here

Start off by covering your small box with the construction paper. Once covered, stick the two kabob sticks down into the box, and then tape your backboard printable to the sticks. Cut off the rim of the the disposable cup, and tape onto the backboard to use as a rim, and then bust out the Goldfish crackers to see how many points your kids can get before halftime!

Do you love making fun projects like this with your kids? I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments below! Be sure to head on over to Walmart before game day to pick up all your basketball season needs, and some Goldfish crackers to make this fun project with your kids! Need more inspiration? Visit this website for more games!

What You Need To Know When You Sign Up For Your First Marathon

When I signed up to run my first marathon in November I had false illusions of what that training would look like. I imagined myself logging onto Hal Higdon's website, picking a training plan that looked good... start my training, and basically have no flaws or hiccups the entire time. In a perfect world, that would have been the case, but I've learned that universe is no respecter of persons, or goals, and signing up for a marathon is no exception. 

Since I signed up for this race, I have encountered numerous ailments that I never would have been able to predict happening. I came down with an awful case of bronchitis, then the stomach flu struck a few weeks later at Christmas. I strained my hip, and then did further insult to injury when I fell over Em's gait trainer while bringing her into school. We then got round two of the stomach flu, and while round two was happening I got anal fissures. Yes, I'm admitting to getting anal fissures. And if you want to know, the discomfort that they brought to my life was 10 times worse than natural childbirth. I can unfortunately say that I now have reference to both things. And as if all that wasn't enough, I now have a death cold. 

My point in sharing this is not to complain, but to say that you likely won't have a perfect training cycle leading up to a marathon. Most training programs run about 20-30 weeks, and there is no way that anyone would ever be able to predict the things that could happen to them in that time frame. 

I was talking to someone a few weeks ago who told me that they were planning on running the Salt Lake Marathon (which is the one I'm doing), but that they'd gotten sick and decided to drop to the half. I know all to well what that is like because I was signed up for the full, dropped to the half, but then ultimately decided to upgrade back to the full again. 

My reasoning for going back to the full was because I realized that there is no such thing as a perfect training cycle. Life is always going to get in the way, there is always going to be a voice of doubt in your head telling you no, but the important thing is to just lace your shoes up and get back out there when you can. If you get sick, take the time off, but then get back into your training plan, and pick up right where you would be, had that hiccup not happened. There is no use crying over lost miles, you can't get those days or that training back, but you can get out there and keep going.  Just in the last seven weeks, I've missed eight runs, and I don't feel any more or less confident in my ability to run a marathon in just six weeks. In fact, because I listened to my body and took time off when needed, I'm certain that I'll perform better than I would have if I pushed through illness or injury. 

If you're looking to get out there and run a marathon, just know training will never be perfect. Things will get in the way, but you just have to rip off the bandaid and get after it. Do what you can. Don't worry if you're slow, just go and do, and be proud of yourself once you finally reach that goal! 

Nationwide Promo For Soccer Camps!

We're the parents who are desperate to get their kids into sports and liking them. Jay has already proved once to not be into soccer, but that was when he was younger, and much more shy than he is now. Kindergarten has been so so good for him. We recently learned about Challenger British Soccer Camps, which are soccer camps taught by elite athletes that give students the opportunity to learn the sport from people who have been playing their entire lives. I love this because most rec teams are taught by parents for the same cost, and most of the parents haven't played in 20 years and are flying by the seat of their pants (which was our experience in Georgia, and what I would totally do if I was the coach). 

Photo circa 2016

British Soccer Camps are the most popular soccer camps in the US and are available nationwide! Below is more information about the camps, but if you sign up using the code: BSC18 at checkout, you'll get a free Jersey, T-shirt, Ball, Certificate, and Poster at the camp when your child participates, which is an awesome deal! 

British Soccer Camps are the most popular soccer camp in the US. With an innovative curriculum that develops skills, speed and confidence in players ages 3-18, The British Soccer Camp provide boys and girls with the rare opportunity to receive high-level soccer coaching from a team of international expert's right in the heart of their own community. In addition to teaching new skills and improving game performance, each British Soccer Camp provides lessons in character development, cultural education and is the most fun your child can have learning the sport they love!

Enroll in the most popular soccer camp in North America! British Soccer Camps have programs for all ages and abilities and feature an innovative curriculum full of skills, drills, and thrills! Register now and you will not only get your free British Soccer game jersey (value $34.95) shipped to you for free immediately, but you will also get our brand new skill development App and 20 videos to help your child practice at home. Your soccer ball, T-shirt & poster will be given out at camp. USE CODE BSC18 at check out to get free shipping.

March Madness Half Marathon

In November I made a rough outline of all the races that I wanted to run this year. I like to run about one race a month. I find it keeps me motivated to continue with training, and I love doing races. My friend Jen told me about The March Madness Half Marathon in Bountiful when I was signing up for other races during Black Friday sales (ps. you know your a runner when the only thing you buy on Black Friday are race entries), and since this one was close to home and only $30, I went for it!

The tricky thing about this race was that since I'm training for the Salt Lake Marathon, I needed 16 miles on Saturday instead of just 13.1. I had a lot of advice on what I should do. Some people said to run the extra 3 miles after the race, some said to run 1.5 before, and 1.5 after, but I decided to just run all 3 before the race, that way when I crossed the finish line after the race, I really could be mentally and physically done for the day. 

I got to the race at about 8:15am. I checked in, and then ran my 3 miles. I had just enough time to run the 3 miles, use the bathroom, find Jen, and then head to the starting line. Jen was chasing a sub 2 hour time, so I knew I wouldn't be running with her for the race since I had already run 3 miles, and this was more of a training run for me, and not an all out effort. 

The gun (or whatever loud noise they actually used), went off and the race began. Jen quickly took off and I settled in to find my comfortable pace. During the first mile I saw one of the girls that I ran most of the race with during the Sun Half Marathon in St. George last month. We talked for the first mile, but I knew she was chasing sub 2 as well, and so I said bye and sent her on her way. (Funny side note, she wound up getting sub 2 and in the race pictures I saw she finished just barely before Jen! So fun to see my friends hit their goals like that!) 

I had found a good stride around mile five and just kept plugging away. I was constantly torn between wanting to conserve energy because I had to do sixteen miles, and wanting to go for it because I was feeling so well. I wound up passing quite a few people before the half way turn around, and every time I looked at my watch, I was shocked to see I was a doing a low 10 minute or high 9 minute pace. 

Once I hit the turn around point though, I was basically in no-mans-land for the rest of the race. There was a big pack of people that were all chasing that sub two mark, and then I'd already passed a lot of people who I assume were doing about 2:20:00, and so I was just floating in the middle all by myself. I actually liked that since it made the run feel like an actual training run instead of a race. I saw two more people that I pushed hard to pass in the last two miles, and then I just had to hang on for as long as I could to the finish. 

My legs were definitely tired by the time my watch said 13 miles, but since I was doing 16, I still had a lot more running to do. The main goal for this run was to be able to finish hard on tired legs, and I feel like I did a great job at accomplishing that. My goal time for the race was to finish in 2:20:00, and I actually wound up finishing in 2:11:18, which is a lot faster than I thought I would do. I ran a 15 mile training run last week, and I actually wound up running my 16 miles this week, 8 minutes faster than I ran my 15 miles the week before. 

The biggest reason I love running races is because I feel like each race holds a special memory, and this one's big take away memory was that I can actually train hard and fast, and this was the first time where I felt like I really could run a marathon in April. So here's to hoping the rest of my training goes as well as it did yesterday. 

Master Bedroom Tour

Whenever we move into a new home, I feel like if our living space is finished, and our bedroom, I really don't care what the rest of the house looks like. When we moved into our new rental home in Utah back in September, I was quick to get the upstairs living room done, but it took some more time for our bedroom to really feel finished. 

We had bought a new queen size bed when we moved in, but then the end table we bought got damaged in shipping, and then I never got around to ordering a dresser, and the room just sat messy and unfinished for months. This bothered me quite a bit since I work out of my bedroom each day, and working in a messy environment really drives me crazy. 

When we got the offer to do the post with LulaaBED a couple months ago, I knew that it was the perfect time to go ahead and get this room just the way we wanted it. Since we were upgrading to a king size bed, we moved our new queen bed to the empty guest room, and then bought this navy bed frame off of Amazon. (Side note: 100% of the furniture that we've bought for this house has come from Amazon, Overstock, Walmart, or Target, and we've had zero problems so far.) 

My favorite space in this room is definitely the dresser. I've been loving the mid-century modern look lately, and I feel like we executed it really well here. The circle mirror was purchased from Target (and about half the price as a similar one from Ikea!), along with the black and white letter board that was only $15! We added a small basket in front of the letter board to be a "catch all" place for headphones, keys, wallets, etc... so that the surfaces in the room would stay clean. On the other side we added a wedding photo, a fake plant (which is my go to decor, always!), and a candle that was in a super cute container. 

Another thing that I'm really proud of are the two baskets to the side of the dresser. Derek has about 1,000 pairs of socks that won't fit in the dresser, and I have tons of sports bras, socks, headbands, and other random things for running that wouldn't fit in the dresser. I found these two small baskets at Target and they fit perfectly in this little corner and contain everything that they need to. They're 90% responsible for the overall cleanliness of our room. Definitely one of those small things that make a big impact in your everyday life. 

The last noteworthy thing would be my nightstand. Derek opted to not have one to save money, and because the only thing on his side of the bed is whatever book he is reading, and the cord for his phone, both of which he stores on the floor, and you can't see it when you walk in the room, so it was out of the way enough to not worry about it. 

This nightstand was incredibly inexpensive from Amazon, and I'm amazed by the quality, and how easy it was to put together. I use the nightstand to store my laptop when I'm not using it, along with my external hard drive, my planner, and a few pens. On top of it I just added a few decor items: two books that Derek gifted me for Christmas, a small fake plant from the Hearth and Hand line at Target, and a gold lamp that still doesn't have a lightbulb, and has never been used. 

Products Mentioned: 

The New Addition to the Master Bedroom

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This post is sponsored by LulaaBED, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

When Derek and I first go married I remember in all seriousness asking him if we could get a twin size bed. My reasoning was that we were so in love, if we had a twin size bed we could cuddle together all night long, every night, for the rest of our lives. That was not Derek's idea of a long and happy life, and so we went with a queen size bed.

Fast forward seven years, two kids, different sleep patterns, tossing and turning, bumping into each other, and literally almost knocking each other out of bed a couple times, we were more than ready to make the upgrade to a king size bed this year.

We decided to go with the LulaaBED from Sam's Club because of it's easy delivery and setup. Simply order the bed, and have it delivered, then you open the box, cut the plastic around it, set it on a solid surface, and watch your bed inflate before your eyes. As parents with messy kids, we also love being able to unzip the LulaaBED cover from around the bed, and wash the cover in the washer whenever we need to. It's such an easy and worry free bedtime solution.

The thing that I've come to love the most though is the comfort of this bed. LulaaBED is a family owned business that has been in the industry for over 20 years. Their memory foam works to relieve pressure points, improve circulation, and support the body for neutral spine positioning. I've noticed in my marathon training that I feel more rested and recovered, and ready for my next run after a good night's sleep in our LulaaBED.

It's hard sharing a bed with someone else because what my body needs is different than what Derek's body needs, so the memory foam really works to give us each a customize sleep that is 100% adapted to our bodies and sleeping habits. As a parent, it's always been my dream that our bed would be the gathering place for our kids, and a place where we can all cuddle and connect with one another. It's so fun to see that becoming a reality now that our bed is a comfortable place where our kids always want to be.

Thank you to LulaaBED for sponsoring today's post, and thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.