Aquarium and Zoo with Cooper

We went to the aquarium and zoo with Aubrie and Cooper recently.

Sorry, the pictures are out of order and I'm too lazy to adjust them....
 I just love watching these boys having fun together!


The Mish Mash That is October (so far)

Ready for a picture overload?

I didn't think much has been going on this month other than losing one of the sweetest girls I have known, and then going to her funeral.

After looking at the pictures I have taken throughout the month, I was happily mistaken. This makes me wonder if this much fun little stuff happens all the time and I'm missing it. I'm sure it does but I'm being too hard on myself for thinking I'm missing it.

Since I am so trigger happy with my camera I know I have many moments documented. I just want to get better at actually writing about it since I know I won't remember all the details years down the road by just looking at the picture.

Anyway! On with the show!

One day I was getting ready for the day and Tanner was roaming the house. Don't ask me how (since it's not a big house) but I lost him! I was trying not to freak out since I know he doesn't know how to get outside (YET) and there really aren't many places in the house he could hide.

Looks like he found one though. If he really wanted to he could squeeze behind my shirts and just sit on that shelf. No one would ever be able to find him. I only know this because I did this in my dad's closet behind his slacks when I was younger. It was the best hiding spot ever!
We found this awesome onesie that had a pirate skull on the front that says "ayyyy maytees" on the front, the sleeves have little black skulls and crossbones and then THIS on the butt! We didn't even notice this part until we got home with it. I think it is my favorite shirt on him right now since I just bust up laughing every time I see it.
Sorry, but I had to add this. I have been looking for "wedge sneakers" for probably close to 10 years. They were in style that long ago and I never got any! Then they disappeared. I heard recently that they were making a come back and I once again resumed the hunt. After about 10 different shoe stores I was finally successful! You may think they're weird, but I am in love.
Just strolling through a parking lot capturing Tanner's shadow.
Tanner has been starting to use Kollin and me as jungle gyms recently.  This one was funny and I had to get a picture of it. Tanner was bouncing up and down on Kollin's bladder and I couldn't help but remind him that he knew how I felt for a good 5 months of my pregnancy!
We were also able to catch a video of this little trick that he likes to do right now.
Ever since we put Tanner in his toddler bed he has been pretty adventurous in his room. Many times he will get all of his toys out, take everything off his bed and pile it all up at the door. And then proceed to fall asleep there. That is pretty interesting when I go to check on him and I can't even open the door wide enough to get my head in.

He has climbed up on one of his diaper boxes, couldn't figure out how to get back down and just cried until I saved him. 

He climbed up into one of his shelves one morning and thought it was pretty cool. That is until he couldn't lift his head up and then freaked out. He kept doing it over and over again though. I don't get it?
One day when he was supposed to be napping he did this little number to his room. He took the Diaper Genie apart, emptied his laundry hamper and put his toys in it, emptied the drawers of his dresser that he could reach so there were clean and dirty clothes all over his room and stripped the sheets off his bed. Which I can't figure how he did it since they are hard enough to put on the bed let alone get back off!
I got strep and tried to rest and get better for a couple days. Ha. Ya right. Tanner must have sensed this, since he decided to use me as a landing pad as he jumped off the arm of the couch onto my stomach and legs. Multiple times.
I finally got a picture of one of his scowls! This isn't the best scowl he does, but close enough!
My friend Corey got him this awesome doll from one of those crane game things where she works. Thank you for thinking of my little Tin Man!
Since Tanner has been into completely running amok in his room while he should be sleeping, he eventually found Jaedyn's bike that my parents got him for Christmas the year I was pregnant with Tanner. Of course it had to be a rainy day, but he didn't care. I think he made me go outside to ride it at least 4 times that day. 
He ate grass right after I stopped recording. So sad I didn't catch it!

Sorry Kollin, but I couldn't resist.
We went to my Sava's parents' (other Grandma and other Grandpa's) house one Sunday for dinner to celebrate her birthday. Tanner heard the dogs in the back yard and had to go out and play. He had so much fun playing fetch with them and would actually throw the ball instead of just trying to keep it away from them like what happened the last time we tried this. It was so cute! 

I don't know why but I suddenly got the idea to make a fort one day.
Tanner loved it. We spent most of the day in there playing with his toys and watching movies. Daddy even got in there with us when he got home from work!
This one was out of the blue. I went to get him up for the day one morning and this is what I found. Ever since then he has done this every day, multiple times a day. Pretty funny.
Check out my tongue ring! As well as my very mean wisdom teeth that like to hurt me. Needless to say, they're coming out in a couple weeks. 

Tanner came with me to my dentist appointment. He was so into playing with the train set that they had in the front lobby he didn't want to come with me when I got called back. The Jodi (receptionist) was so sweet and willing to watch him (I felt so bad).

Once he realized I was gone he started to wander up and down the hallways to find me. Jodi showed him what room I was in, but he wasn't trusting her. I tried calling to him but he wouldn't come since the stranger lady was still between me and him. Once she moved he came forward so I could see him. The only problem then, was the dentist was then between him and me.

He eventually warmed up to Jodi once he figured out she had cool toys and ended up following her around like a puppy dog.

A couple days before this though, his new favorite word has been "no." He's said it before but it was just a few times and then never since. But now? All. The. Time. So before he got to know Jodi I could hear him constantly telling her "no" when she would try to show him where I was, when she showed him the "goody box" and even when she said she was going to go back to her desk and let him be. It was so funny that both the dentist and I were laughing so hard we couldn't continue with my appointment until we were able to stop!

Tanner has been wanting to do more and more things All. By. Himself! 

He is getting pretty good with utensils as long as it is a fork and the food is stuck on there really good. He just recently got really good with a spoon and not spilling stuff all over while trying to get it to his mouth. The weird thing though? It's with his left hand when everything else he has ever done is with his right!
October is Intermountain Healing Hearts' birthday month. So we had a birthday/costume party! We went as a family of vampires. We wanted to have Tanner be Iron Man because of his heart and since our last name is Stark! But everything The Avengers has been sold out. So we decided to just make him a baby vampire.
Tanner has been starting to get more and more social which is so nice to see. I knew that he probably wouldn't be extremely social since he is an only child right now, but it makes me very happy to see that he is starting to acknowledge other kids and have fun with them.

At this party he was running up and down the hallways with a bunch of other kids just laughing and having a grand time. He even found another baby vampire and was twinners with Parker all night!
Here is Cooper and his Mommy and Daddy! This is the first time we have seen him since they got back from Mayo for his open heart surgery last month. I was so happy to see them, just wanted to squeeze him! (Cooper was a doctor!)
On our way home from the party one of our little heart friends that has been waiting for a heart got "the call!" It was so amazing to get this news and to think that I had just seen him at the party dressed up as a little Cars character!

One of our Heart Mom friends was on a dairy free diet for a long time so she could still nurse since her baby has a dairy allergy. She finally was able to eat dairy again so we made a day out of it and went to the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate!
This month has had it's ups and downs. More than any time I can remember recently. I am so happy for our friends that have had their prayers answered. But also so heart broken for other friends that are suffering through the unimaginable.

All of this makes me so much more grateful to have the beautiful family and friends that I have. I wouldn't change any of it for the world.


Mia's Funeral

Today I was honored to attend little Mia's funeral in Midway.

It was just over an hour drive from Salt Lake, but we Heart Moms didn't care. Many of us carpooled from all over. Some came from as far north as Logan, and even as far south as St. George.

The funeral was beautiful. Mia looked like a little angel. She had a white coffin that was even lined with purple. So sweet!

There were a couple musical numbers. One was Paul Cardall. He is a pianist who is also a recipient of a heart transplant. The other was one of Mimi's friends Cristi who sang.

Paul played his own beautiful version of I Love to See the Temple, and Cristi sang He'll Carry You. Music always touches my heart and I was bawling during both numbers.

Mia's grandmother was one of the speakers. I was so touched with her words. There was one part where she started talking about the Heart Moms. She said that we were "a sorority appointed by God." It is amazing the strength and power we have when we band together to hold each other up. 

At one point during her talk, she asked all of the Heart Moms to stand. This was the strongest and most spiritual part of the entire funeral to me, and many other Heart Moms. There were 30+ of us there that stood with tears running down our cheeks. Wearing red to show our love and support for Mia and her entire family.

After the funeral all of us lingered after to visit and discuss the powerful words that were spoken by Mia's family, Bishop and Stake President.

We decided to take pictures.
Paul hung out with us for a while as well so we stuck him in some pictures with us.
I am so grateful to be a part of this beautiful group of strong women. We are always there to support each other. To link arms and hold one another up when the floor falls out from under us.

It was my pleasure to attend this beautiful service for such a special little girl. I am grateful that I was able to know her even for a short time. I will always honor her memory and rejoice in my knowledge of eternal families.


Miss Mia

This heart world that we are in can be full of miracles. I live with one.

It can also have many tragedies. 

Mia and her mother Mimi are some of our sweet heart friends. Both of them were born with the same heart defect. Mia required a complete heart transplant. At 4 months old she received this ultimate gift from a sweet angel named Jacob.
She is now 4 and has been doing so well.

Recently she was granted a wish by the Make-A-Wish Foundation to meet her idol, Minnie Mouse. Mia and her family were granted a trip to Florida to go to Disney World so she could finally meet Minnie.
Mia had been a little under the weather a few days before they left, and everyone was assuming it was just a cold. When they got to Florida she had gotten much worse and was hospitalized in Orlando thinking it was pneumonia. After an echo it was found that she was in rejection (her body was rejecting the transplanted heart) and her heart was functioning at 40%.
They took her in to do a biopsy of her heart and during this procedure her beautiful little heart stopped. She was put on ECMO (life support) and was transported to the All Children's Hospital in Tampa to their transplant team.

After a few days they were hoping that she would open her eyes and show brain activity. This devistatingly didn't happen. She had been deprived of oxygen for too long.

The doctors told her family that there was no hope and nothing that could be done. Her family was forced to say good-bye and they decided to take her off of life support on October 8, 2012.

She never got to meet Minnie.
I always knew that being in this heart world I would eventually be going to children's funerals. Children who are friends with Tanner. But I never expected to be attending Mia's funeral. 

Not this way.

She was doing so well! She was such a strong and spunky little thing. Her cardiologists were happy with how she was doing. It is so scary on how fast this happened. It has reminded all of us how fragile our heart babies really are.

My heart is breaking for Mimi, John and her brothers and sister. 

On the day her family released Mia back home to Heavenly Father we all wore red and release balloons in her and Jacob's honor.

We did 4 red balloons. 1 for each "extra" year that she was given because of organ donation and the compassionate decision that Jacob's family made. As well as 1 blue balloon for Jacob.
Mia will never be forgotten. 

She has touched so many lives. 

I had the privilege of meeting her at heart camp. Her laugh and her smile were contagious. You were just drawn to her perfect little spirit.

This world and our heart community now feels empty because of the loss of sweet Mia.

Heaven is now sweeter. Fly high little Miss.