Sunday, February 26, 2012


I am a
and I'm...
Tough * Blessed * 1 in 100 * Inspiring * Pushed to the Limit * Prepared * Knowledgeable * Compassionate * Brave * Special * Tired * Grateful * On an Amazing Journey * a Germaphobic * Fiercely Determined * Selfless * Aware of What Really Matters * Amazing * Hopeful * Strong Beyond Measure * Courageous * Seeking Miracles * Sleep Deprived * an Ordinary Woman Caring for an Extraordinary Child * Living for the Moment * Taking Nothing for Granted * Doing What I Think is Best for MY Child * Loving * Willing to do What's Required of Me * "Okay" * a Cheerleader * a Warrior * Worried * an Example * Strength Personified * an Advocate * in Survival Mode * a Student * Lucky * Pleading * Following My Instincts * Nervous * Stressed * Stronger than I know!

Heart Mom Dinner at Rickenbackers

The other day we had a Heart Mom dinner up in Ogden at a great restaurant called Rickenbackers.

There were about 100 of us that came and I am so happy that I was able to meet and see so many beautiful and strong women in one room.

A wonderful mom put this all together which I'm sure was stressful. It turned out so great!

There were also a few amazing speakers.
One of them had us all stand up and link arms as she spoke.
 She described how we are all there for each other and are there to hold the other up if the floor falls out from under us.
 Some wonderful pictures were taken throughout the night. Theses ones are some of my favorites...

I am so happy that I can be a part of a group like this although I never wanted to be put into this world. All of the support and love that we provide for each other is indescribable. None of us have been through the exact same experience, but we all know what each other has been through that no one else would ever know.

Love you ladies!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Home is so Sweet

One year ago today we were finally able to bring our 20 day old baby home for the very first time.

I remember being so excited and sending posts to FaceBook as often as possible to let people know our progress on the journey home.

Our journey to get home started with waiting for the shuttle to come and pick us up from the Ronald McDonald House in LA to take us to the airport. It showed up pretty close to on time and we were on our way!

The driver was kind of crazy, but I guess that's normal for LA drivers? I remember I kept lurching forward to make sure Tanner was ok with every swerve or break the driver did.

We got to the airport and to the gate with no issues at all. Going through the security check with Tanner and the car seat was a bit of an adventure though. I had to take Tanner out of the car seat and carry him with me through the metal detector. It made me worry since his car seat canopy was my shield for him from any germs, so I had him completely covered up with a blanket. It probably looked like I was nursing him.

Only his little feet were sticking out. Some of the security ladies saw them and commented how tiny he was and asked how old he was. I told them he was one day short of being 3 weeks old and we are finally going home after him having open heart surgery. They were so helpful in getting his car seat through the scanner fast so I could get him back in it and shielded again! The only issue is that the guy that put the car seat through put it upside down with the inside of the canopy touching the belt. grrr

Once we got on the plane I just held him with a blanket covering him the entire flight. And he slept the entire time up until we were coming in to land!

Then we drove home and were finally able to relax and snuggle our baby.

Home Sweet Home!

Friday, February 17, 2012

"Bit" of an accident. (pun intended)

Today while I was pumping Tanner walked out of the room I was in. I didn't think anything of it since I pretty much give him free reign of the house.

The next thing I heard was a crash and then screaming and crying. I rushed into the kitchen were he was and he was sitting on the ground with blood all over his face and hands. I had no idea where he was hurt because of this!

After I was finally able to get him cleaned up and calmed down, this is what I found....

Poor little guy had bitten his lip somehow. He wouldn't let me look inside his mouth to see if he had gotten the inside as well.

I called Kollin to see how soon he'd be home and luckily he was already almost here. When he got inside he took at a look at Tanner and neither of us were sure if he needed stitches or not. Neither of us really thought so, but still wanted to take him to KidsCare to have him looked at and just be on the safe side.

When we got there we waited for about an hour and then were finally seen. The Dr. said that he didn't need stitches (yay!) and gave us some antibiotic ointment that you could just get over the counter.

I am so glad that he is ok and didn't needs stitches. It just sucks that we had to pay the $40 copay just for some ointment that we could have gotten for a few bucks at a drug store.

Oh well. Better safe than sorry! I just hope it doesn't scar. We'll see!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

1 year + 1 week appointment

Tanner had his one year pediatrician appointment last week. He had been sick, so his weight was pretty low. So our Dr. asked us to come back in this week and have him weighed again and get his flu shot since we didn't want to hit him while he was already down.

We went in today for his follow up and he weighed 17 lbs 3 oz last week. 9 days later he weighs 17 lbs 15 oz! That is a gain of 15 oz!

I asked the nurse if that was good and she said it was very good, that the Dr. looks for a gain of an oz a day. So Tanner did great!

Then he got his flu shot and was a total trooper. But now he's got a fever because of it, so I better go!

Night night!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

CHD Awareness Week: Day 8.

Every 15 minutes a baby is born with a congenital heart defect . 4,000 of them will not live to celebrate their 1st Birthday . I pray and hope just like every other parent who has a child born with a congenital heart defect that more awareness comes soon . There are no cures only repaires or broken hearts !

Although a child is born every 15 minutes with a CHD, research continues to be grossly under-funded in America. Of every dollar the government spends on medical funding, only a fraction of a penny is directed toward congenital heart defect research.

We Need More Awareness for our Babies and families ....

Monday, February 13, 2012

CHD Awareness Week: Day 7.

* There are 35 different types of congenital heart defects. Little is known about the cause of most them. There is not yet a cure for any of them.

* In the U.S., twice as many children die from congenital heart defects each year than from all forms of childhood cancer combined, yet funding for pediatric cancer research is five times higher than funding for CHD.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

CHD Awareness Week: Day 6.

* The Children's Heart Foundation has directed almost $2 million to 24 different congenital heart defect research projects.

* More than 50% of all children born with a congenital heart defect will require at least one invasive surgery in their lifetime.
I love this video. A fellow heart mom made this for CHD Awareness week this year and put a bunch of our little friends in it. Tanner is 2:45, but all of these babies are so sweet and strong!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

CHD Awareness Week: Day 5.

* The Children's Heart Foundation is the only organization strictly created to fund congenital heart defect research.

* In the last decade death rates for congenital heart defects have declined by almost 30% due to advances made through research.

Friday, February 10, 2012

CHD Awareness Week: Day 4.

* Only one penny of every dollar donated to the American Heart Association goes towards congenital heart defect research.

* Of every dollar the government spends on medical funding only a fraction of a penny is directed toward congenital heart defect research.

One Year Ago

One year ago today I handed my 7 day old baby to doctors to save his life.
We were in Los Angeles and Kollin was home in Utah working.
My father was by my side.
I could also feel my mother all around me filling me with her love and comfort.
I had never been so frightened in my entire life.
I put all of my faith and hope in Dr. Starnes and knew that his hands would be guided.
This past year has gone by so quickly.
Looking back I cannot believe that so many things happened with Tanner in the first few weeks of his life.
I am so thankful that we had this experience though.
It has made all of us so much stronger.

When I look at Tanner, sometimes it is hard to believe that the beginning of his life was so crazy.
He is now a healthy (knock on wood), thriving little boy.
Other than being such a pee wee he is so "normal."
He hit all of his milestones around the time when "normal" babies would. Some even earlier.
He is so smart.
He is such a happy, mellow, content and even tempered little guy.

He has some physical scars that I hope and pray that he will always be proud of and not ashamed.
Everyone else has mental scars of what we all went through with this.

I am so overjoyed that we have so many wonderful things that we all have been able to learn and take into our lives from having these experiences and knowing Tanner.

It is like he has two birthdays to celebrate!
Happy 1 Year Heart Anniversary my little warrior!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

CHD Awareness Week: Day 3.

* The cost for inpatient surgery to repair congenital heart defects exceeds $2.2 billion a year.

* Congenital heart defects occur frequently and is often life threatening, yet research into them is grossly underfunded.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

CHD Awareness Week: Day 2.

* This year almost 40,000 babies will be born with a congenital heart defect. 4,000 of them will not live to see their first birthday.
* 91,000 life years are lost each year in this country due to congenital heart defects.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

CHD Awareness Week: Day 1.

* Congenital heart defects are America's #1 birth defect. Nearly one of every 100 babies is born with a CHD.

* Congenital heart defects are the #1 cause of birth defect related deaths.

Friday, February 3, 2012

One Year Old

 You'd think he'd be a little happier it's his birthday?
 Almost 1 year since his surgery. His chest looks amazing!
 We have never been happier.

Thank you for joining our family you little miracle!