Christmastime >PLAY!

Christmas Music...Christmas Lights...Let's Start the Season!

Our adventures used to be a little more grand ;) but the thing is we are still having them despite all the chaos! Today I gave E 4 clues to a surprise...1.)He could wear his pjs, 2.)It would be at nighttime, 3.)We wouldn't leave the car, and 4.)It was going to be super-fun!

There is a massive home...ok mansion...owned by a landscaping company near here. It's absolutely beautiful from the outside anyway. They have a bazillion lights all set to music (the link to a live feed is below). I am sure we'll visit again, but a very fun way to start the season!

Aiden got to go with since he was the only brother fed and ready! We'll have to wait for that bigger vehicle to go together.

E asked if we could move there ;) Now that would be an adventure!

Next stop...trying to find the home with the leg lamp from A Christmas Story!

Ready for the surprise!


http://www.countywidelandscaping.com/main.html (click on Christmas lights for a live feed!)

Happy First Thanksgiving Liam, Griffin, Aiden, and Beckham!

(looks like Liam is knocking out Griffin ha!)

(Thanks to Nancy Hahn for the "I'm Stuffed! Bibs...soooo cute!)

Happy 5th Thanksgiving E!

We enjoyed a quiet...no wait it wasn't quiet! We enjoyed a laid-back Thanksgiving at home, which Ethan declared the best Thanksgiving ever! While we missed our extended family...thanks to Skype we got to chat, we did have a very memorable and peaceful day!

We give thanks to God for all of our blessings and are grateful every second of the day!

E's Photography Skills

Ethan was taking a picture of Aiden, and he got more than he thought...look at cute Griffy with his big ol' grin!

Sleepy Daddy. Sleepy Babies.

Liam @ Childrens

Our little sweetie @ Children's Memorial. The cover on his arm is hiding the IV, pretty smart.

brave little guy.

Sneak Peek

Here's a sneak peek of our photo session with Tammy of Tamara Thomas Photography. We have been having her take E's picture ever since he was a year old. She does beautiful pictures.

Adorable eh? Of course Liam is always awake! ;)

And this is not an official professional photo, it was either Matt or my mom taking a photo of the photo...



When setting up the blog, I had given some thought to making it private. Unfortunately, there is a limit if you do to how many people can view your blog and you have to receive an invitation to view it. I know our blog address has been forwarded on and I think it is great to have those who have prayed for our family be able to check in if they want and see what is going on.

So I am able to feel a little more comfortable about who is coming to our site, I would appreciate you becoming a "follower" of our blog if you check in regularly. It just helps me know that those who are checking in on us are extended family and friends. I post pictures of our kiddos here and details of our lives and just want to feel better about who is keeping updated on us.

Thanks a bunch!!!


To God's Ears

Sweet story to share. Ethan said his usual prayers before breakfast this morning, and I overheard him add a prayer for Liam's heart. Every day he continues to amaze us!


Meeting of the Minds on Liam

Dr. Kumar called earlier this evening to let us know the update from the discussion of Liam's heart in their conference today at Children's Memorial. Here's what she had to say:

*The anomaly and anatomy of Liam's heart is very concerning and rare (she has only seen 1-2 cases in her entire 20 year career and the same can be said of her colleagues) is that this type of anomaly is typically seen with congenital heart disease. They do not usually see this with a heart that has nothing wrong with it aside from this anomaly. So, they want to be thorough in their understanding of how his heart is functioning and the anatomy of his heart itself. It is possible this is the only issue in which her words were that "Liam would be one lucky guy" however it would be something they hardly ever see. We already know Liam is blessed and God has His hands on him.

*There are a couple other things they noticed - a small leaking of the mitral valve and a small narrowing of the pulmonary artery. These could both be normal, but when found with another issue, raise eyebrows a bit and require some more confirmation. The mitral valve leak could mean the muscle is not getting enough blood supply.

*From what they believe to have seen from the echocardiogram, Liam's coronary artery is not passing through any narrow pathway. This is good, it appears to have found a good path, but they want to confirm.

At this point, the surgeons do want to have the angiogram. There are risks with inserting the catheter. No procedure from this point forward is without risk. Liam would also undergo general anesthesia again.

As long as things progress well in his checkups, which will be every month an EKG and Echo along with continuing to wear the heart monitor, we will wait until he is 10lbs. OR 6 months old. Coming up on 3 months (12/8), he is 7lbs. and change, so we are thinking January/February for a timeframe.

Then, depending on what they find on the angiogram, would determine if he would need open heart surgery (and the arteries they are operating on are mere MILLIMETERS in size - think I am going to have a heart attack myself!). If they decide to not intervene, then Liam would have regular EKGs, ECHOS, stress tests, possibly limited activity for the foreseeable future. Of course this is the option we are praying for and ask you to join us in prayer.

Liam's next appointment will be in December and we will update then.

Please hold Liam in prayer.

When we look at our little sweetheart and he smirks and smiles at us, we cannot imagine him having to endure anything more He has already done so much in his short little life. Liam was not supposed to make it past the first few weeks in my womb, the odds were stacked against him, we were advised to not continue his life, yet he thrived in my womb despite being restricted. He came out a mere 2.9 lbs. but with the most developed lungs and was on room air by day 2! He had a grade 1 brain hemorrhage yet is so aware and alert that you swear he knows exactly what you are thinking. We can just see the future with his schemes and plans, getting his brothers involved to help carry them out. We know God has one great, big, exciting plan for him and we are so privileged to get to nurture his plan.

We are grateful, we are thankful, we are blessed!

Keeping Healthy

By now I believe everyone knows we have limited our visitors here. The only "regulars" here are our immediate family and special helpers. And can you believe that not all of our immediate family has met the boys?! It is true. We just cannot be too careful and some of our family has been exposed to the H1N1 virus.

If you think we are being overcautious you are probably right! I would ask you to imagine staying in a hospital for 8 weeks away from your child and husband to try and get your babies here healthy and safe and then once they arrive to only be able to visit them as they live at that hospital for 3-6 more weeks. We certainly do not want to go back and will do whatever it takes to keep everyone home and healthy. The policies at Rush and Children's Memorial are to allow only parents in the NICU and no visitors under 18 at Children's.

Of course this does wear on Matt and I as we have had to turn down offers of help. Most of our friends have children, little ones we adore and miss seeing! Unfortunately, we are not able to have them visit at this time and really need to limit all visitors to those only necessary for us to accomplish our daily needs.

Also, anyone who does visit must first be completely healthy, have not been in contact with anyone ill for at least a week (at least a month for either the seasonal or H1N1 flus), have not been exposed to any illnesses, and have had both the H1N1 and seasonal flu shots (these vaccines will help, but are not a guarantee). Our children have absolutely zero immunity right now, so we do need to be vigilant. I know it can be difficult to understand, but we ask that you please do and just run through the situation and possibilities in your head. I am sure you'd make the same decisions.

Aside from the flus that are making their way like wildfire, we also need to be careful about RSV. If your child has ever had it, then you know how serious it is and adding to the equation that our kiddos were 7 weeks premature AND imagine 4 kiddos sick with it and hospitalized.

We have taken precautions as a family. We are not attending any Thanksgiving or Christmas celebrations - we are in lockdown mode and while Ethan will return to school (after having both the flu and H1N1 vaccinations), he does keep his distance from the boys and wears a mask around the house if he is feeling ill.

Here is link to a letter from the MOST (Moms of SuperTwins). It is a key organization for moms of multiples and it outlines the dangers of RSV:


We appreciate your concern for our children's health and your understanding!


Update on Liam

We first want to thank everyone for your prayers and love.

Liam is now home for the time being and it feels so good to be all together. Hoping to put "2009 the year of the hospital" behind us soon.

I spent last night with Liam as he recovered from the anesthesia. He slept quite a bit, ate well, and even played for an hour with his favorite little lion.

Yesterday afternoon we heard a few different possibilities. An angiogram was scheduled for Monday morning and is now being delayed for a little bit due to Liam's size. While he is over 7lbs. (yes!) and has tripled his birth weight, he is for all purposes the size of a newborn. If they felt Liam was compromised in any way, they would order the test and take the risks, but they do not feel we are exactly at that point yet, which is a very good thing. It may just be a matter of getting him to 10lbs. before performing the procedure. While they would use the smallest catheter possible, any catheter is large for Liam's size.

In the meantime, we are to bring him to the ER immediately should he exhibit any unexplained irritability or difference in his usual demeanor. The major concern with his condition is a heart attack.

Pictures from the sedated echo were able to give them some confirmation of what they believe to be happening with his heart, but only the cardiac atheterization/angiogram will tell them 100%. If he were over 2, they could give him a CT angio, but with his size there is only a 50/50 chance it will work and could lead to unnecessary exposure to radiation if we have to order the angiogram anyway.

So we are taking things one day at a time...our motto for 2009 ;) We are grateful to have Liam done well with the anesthesia and to have gained a little more information. We know it's just a matter of time before the angiogram will take place. Liam's coronary arteries are coming off of one opening instead of 2. We will learn more about what this means in the next few days. The official terminology is that he has an anomaly of his coronary artery.

We are just plain pooped. We thank our family and friends for helping with the rest of our boys so we could both be at Children's with little Liam for his procedure. Please continue to keep him in your prayers. While his condition is still a serious one, we have a victory in that we were able to get more images and more detail to understanding his heart. While his heart make work differently from ours, that maybe just fine and is our greatest hope for Liam.

We should learn more in the next couple days. There is a team of all different sorts of doctors related to cardiology functions reviewing his echo pictures and they will meet to decide what to do next. We appreciate this as one doctor may believe the angiogram is necessary ASAP, but another may balance the rationale by citing the risks associated as being to great right now unless Liam's life were in immediate danger. This system of discussion is why we have our child at Children's Memorial.

God has his hands on Liam, I will continue to say this and he has his hands on us. Miss Cheryl and Miss Shirley you are great examples of this, providing us the familiarity we needed the past few days at Children's and the compassion only good people have...we love you both.

We are blessed to have such special and caring family and friends. Everyone at the hospital commented on how it must have been difficult to be there and have 3 newborns at home. While it was difficult to be away from them, we could not have had Liam get the urgent care he needed had it not been for our support system. We love you all.

We are grateful for all of your prayers and taking us into your hearts and concerns again.

Will update when we have more info.

Liam's Echo

Liam had a good night of sleep after all of the commotion yesterday. His IV was put in and he was last able to eat at 2am. This morning he was hungry, but handling it so well. He even gave me a few of his trademark smirks. ;)

When Matt & I came down to the prep area, the anesthesiologist met us to talk about general anesthesia. Both last night and this morning we were told he would only need an oral medication and that the echo could have been done bedside. Well, they need the "perfect echocardiogram" so they decided the general was best. we just handed our little boy over and are now waiting for the update. They promised to closely monitor his apnea and bradycardia.

Please pray Liam will handle the anesthesia well and that the echo will give us ALL the information we need. That they will be able to determine the paths of blood flowing to and from his heart and that he will need no more tests or intervention. We pray Liam WILL NOT need the cardiac catheter. More complications with this test. I have been witness to my father having these tests, and now my little sweetheart.

We pray that although Liam's heart may be working differently than ours, that it is healthy and he will not need open heart surgery. We ask this all with such thankful hearts for his health so far and for the blessings of our boys.

I am so proud of all of my children for their bravery.

Will update as we can.

Detours of the Heart

Ethan: Mom, does Liam have a broken heart?
Me: Well, kind of sweetie, his heart doesn't work like ours does, but we are going to get him to the doctor and try to fix that heart of his.


This morning I took Liam to the cardiologist, Dr. Kumar, at CDH Children's Memorial. Dr. Chris, his pediatrician wanted to follow up more closely on his heart murmur noticed first at Rush. I thought, quick trip over there, leaving Matt home with triplets and a little helper named E. Having had a harmless heart murmur myself, I didn't think it would materialize into much, although I was interested if it would help explain his A's and B's (apnea and heart rate drops).

Liam was a little trooper for his exam and EKG. After talking to Dr. Kumar and going over his brady episodes and the times he has looked a bit "dusky," she order an echo. While it's not typical to give the test, she felt all the details we discussed warranted a closer look. It certainly would have been nice to know the test was going to last about 1.5 hours, with Liam having to try to lie still as much as possible...not easy for a 2 month old/3 weeks corrected age. He did so good and as we were nearing the end of the test she noticed an enlarged right ventricle. After a full 90 minutes of testing, Liam decided he needed a break. Dr. Kumar really didn't want us to leave until she was able to verify that the enlargement was not due to any other issue. After a break, we tried again and Liam did a great job staying still do get the pictures we needed. Shortly after she wrapped up with the echo, Dr. Kumar gave off an anxious energy asking me to talk with her in the next room. Of course, I felt it was something serious and had flashbacks to a similar moment when we were told of Ethan's tumor. I was feeling the exact same thing and wondering why in these moments I am always alone with my child! (Then quickly reminded myself that I am never alone and God's hands are always on me and my children).

Dr. Kumar explained what she believed could be an issue with Liam's heart. He was missing a coronary artery. One artery supplies blood to the body from the heart, the other vice-versa. Well, how could one artery be doing both jobs?! Thankfully, the muscle itself appeared to be just fine and without damage. Concerns filled my head as I was told how serious this condition is and we would need to get more tests ASAP to better determine what was happening. Of course I asked a million questions that went unanswered until we had more information. More than anything it was difficult to not have confirmation that this would be ok, that it wasn't life threatening. It is rare, it could cause Liam to have a heart attack and that's all I would know...

We waited a couple more hours for coordination efforts and were ready to take an ambulance to Children's Memorial in Chicago. Thankfully the transport team was already out and it would be a few hours before they returned back so Liam and I were able to head back home, pack up, get things ready for family and friends taking care of the rest of our boys, and head down to the city. It was somewhat of a blessing that we had spent lots of time at Children's before for Ethan and we knew where to go and what to do.

Liam was admitted to the Cardiology Unit, and I am typing from his bedside now. He has had a LONG, LONG day. Oh, what brave boys we have, so proud of him. We grabbed Matt from home and he's trying to catch some z's before we switch duty ;) The doctors here did a thorough job answering our MANY questions as best they could. Essentially, Liam's heart is operating off one coronary artery. I said to the doctor, it sounds like his arteries made a detour and he said that's exactly what we think is happening.

The scenarios are that there is only one coronary artery. If this artery has a clear flow and clear path, we would need to continue to monitor him closely, there may be a few restrictions in his life, and he would really need to watch his health especially as he got older given the history on my father's side of the family (his sudden death from a 3rd heart attack 5 years ago and my grandmother's/his mother's as well). If the artery is restricted in any way it may mean creating a new path through surgery. The final scenario is the artery is feeding back into itself so to speak in which oxygen-poor blood is being circulated through Liam's body. This would require immediate action and be the most concerning of all.

In any case hearing something is wrong with your child's heart is in itself heart-breaking. After working through Ethan's cancer, testing, surgery, etc. and the boys' time in the NICU, we hoped to never visit a hospital again, yet we are thankful to have such great hospitals close to home.

Tomorrow morning Liam will have another echo with sedation. We hope we can get ALL the information we need to confirm that while he does only have one main artery, it is flowing well, clear paths, and his heart muscle is not damaged in any way. If we cannot confirm it through this testing then he will require full sedation under general anesthesia and a cardiac catheter, a much more invasive procedure in which a catheter is fed through his main artery. There are many more complications possible for this procedure.

Please join us in praying for the best scenario possible. Although we have heard the worst possible news today, please pray for the best outcome. Please pray for our strength.

We know God is with us, we have no doubt. We know His hands are on Liam.

Tonight when we arrived we saw a friendly face. Miss Cheryl, who we got to know on the 4th floor here with Ethan (has now moved to the 5th floor) and haven't seen in over a year was sitting at the desk. We caught her up on the quad news, new pictures of E, etc. I know God put her there for us.

We will update here as we can. Thank you for your prayers.

If you would like to leave a prayer or note for Liam, please do. We will save them for him to read one day with his healthy heart ;)


Our Pumpkin Patch

Attempting a picture with 5 little pumpkins all clean, fed, and happy was interesting to say the least!

I knew our pumpkin hued wall would come in handy some day.

Shout out to Miss Lynn for those fun hats!

Happy Halloween and Happy Fall!

A Magical Halloween

"Ethan the Magnificent"
memorable quotes:
*I make candy disappear*
*A magician never reveals his secrets*
*Mom, can you take off my mushbeard?*

Kuipers Pumpkin Farm

On Halloween, Ethan and I made a quick trip to Kuipers Pumpkin Farm. We couldn't not go this year. Thankfully, we were the only ones there really (couldn't believe it). Hence no germs and just fun to be had!

Way too tall!


Pictures of each of our boys...

Liam & E

Liam - see the little monkey feet?

Silly Aiden, never still

Beck-A-Boo, sweet as sugar

Griffin...Future Linebacker and muscle for Team Krol

My New Sling

Love this sling for carrying one babe so I can have my hands free and spend some QT with each one!

Sweet Treats

Fall always makes me want to bake. Glad we were able to squeeze in some time for it and I was happy to have some help from my little sous chef and best taste-tester this side of the Mississippi! :)


I love our boys nursery, bright & cheery. I figure they'll have those typical boy blue rooms later on. Decorating on a budget is my specialty!

Made for our Wild Things...

Purchased these off ETSY aren't they adorable?

Organization is key to sanity!

ETSY again, inexpensive and cute!

Not usually a fan of wall decals, but love these from Zoology

Love the giraffe-inspired rug!

Where the Wild Things Sleep...

All color-coded to match their bottles!

Adorable mod zoo sheets


E & Griffin making plans...

The Littlest Boy with the Loudest Roar

Little Liam and his Lion
(Ethan's absolute favorite baby toy ever and so nice of him to share!)


We are blessed to have my Grandma and Grandpa LaFever here with us at 90 and 91 years of age! They have been so important in not only my life, but in Matt's and Ethan's as well. They are the absolute best grandparents anyone could ever ask for. I only hope when the time comes I can provide the same unconditional love, wisdom, humor, and support to my boys' children.

We were unable to attend my Grandparents 70th wedding anniversary. Yes, 70 years of marriage, something surely to celebrate! While we missed seeing everyone and enjoying the party, we are on "lockdown" until May to avoid swine flu, seasonal flu, and RSV. All potentially dangerous especially for 4 newborns and especially for preemies. Anyone with higher-order multiples knows the term lockdown well. :(

Our grandparents were able to come visit the next day. It was so very special for them to hold our boys! They were so happy to see them and take in their sweet little baby boyness ;)

Grandma Marion and Becks

(and no we don't usually have the pack-n-plays by the front door).

Grandpa Jack and Liam Jack

First 4 Adventure

We no sooner came home than took all the boys back for their eye appointment. Wish someone would have told us about the sharp instrument they used to prop their eyes open...looked like something out of a horror movie! Then sticking a long q-tip into the eye...ugh! They were all troopers though. We did cause quite the scene and heard throughout the hospital - 4 babies!...whoa 4!...quatro bambinos! (ok we made that last one up).

Their eyes all look good - yes!

Thanks to Aunt Nicole for taking the day off and meeting us @ Rush and playing @ home with E. We survived our first trip out of the house! ;)

(pay no attention to Matt in the background)


Bottles...1/2 day worth...yikes!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...