Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cardiology Check up

The day after we got back from Disneyland we had Jack's semi-annual cardiology check up.  Dr Puchalski gave him and A+ and said to come back in another 6 months.   We thought we might start discussing the Fontan, but his sats were 83 (after he stopped crying long enough to take a breath) and Dr P said that as long as they are that high we can wait. He expects his sats will start to drop within the next few pounds that he gains so surgery could still potentially be late next summer, but as long as he keeps doing well they think we might even be able to push it off another year. Wouldn't that be nice!  He is now 28 lbs, so that is kind of the magic minimum weight they want kids to be before they do the Fontan, but bigger is better and it looks like we've got room and time to grow.

It's also really nice to have more time before we start planning his surgery because this summer is going to be a busy one for us as we are expecting baby #2 at the beginning of June.  If you ask Jack, he insists that he wants a baby sister. Not sure why, but we'll find out for sure in a couple of weeks. We're a little nervous but hopeful that things will be less stressful with this pregnancy than the last. And for those who have seen me recently and thought "Boy, she's overeating this holiday season," the answer is yes, yes I am, but thankfully I also have another good reason for my getting-fatter-by-the-day tummy.

Disneyland 2010

Last week we had the wonderful opportunity to go to Disneyland. We had the best time ever. I can't think of a single thing that would have made it any better.   Jack still asks every morning "We go to Disneyland?"

Thanks to recommendations from some of our heart friends we got Jack's stroller designated as a wheelchair.  That was fantastic. For some of the rides it let us go in the exit and skip the germ filled lines. For others it allowed us to take his stroller into the line with us so we didn't have to carry him the whole time.  The lines were really short on Wednesday and Thursday anyway, but this really made it possible for us to do everything we could have wanted while there.  He was still exhausted at the end of the day, but I know he made it a lot longer than he would have without it.

I wasn't sure what Jack would think about all the characters, but after meeting Pluto on our way into the park he was sold. Every time we would meet a new character he would ask me with a grin on his face, "I give them a big hug and Mommy take a picture?" It was magic.

His favorite rides were #1) Pirates of the Caribbean. He would hold on for dear life down the hills, then ask to do it again. And he enjoyed searching for Captain Jack.  I think we went about 7 times.  #2) The Ferris Wheel with the swinging gondolas. He spotted the big Mickey Mouse ferris wheel at California Adventure and I agreed to take him on it, but I got in the wrong line and didn't notice until we got to the front that we were all set for a swinging car. I was a little nervous to take him up but he LOVED it.  The whole way around he would giggle with joy and say "Let's roll!"  #3) He also liked Small World and as we were going through the tunnels and the tune changed to "Jingle Bells" his face lit up and he exclaimed "I know that song!" So cute. #4) And Dumbo was a big hit. He was on it with Hardy and kept saying "We flying! This is so fun!"

On Saturday Jack's cousins came down to spend the day with us.  That made it lots of fun. Thanks for the fun day Matt, Gwen, Paige and Seth!  We will miss you at Christmas.

The first night there we went to World of Color. The next night we watched the fireworks and ejoyed the fake snow they do on the way out.  Both shows were great, but on the weekend all the shows moved to 9:00 which was way too late for Jack. It worked out though because we stayed at the California Grand Hotel and we could watch the fireworks from our balcony. He and I would snuggle in our pajamas, wrap up in a blanket and enjoy the show before bed. A perfect way to end an evening.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Super Letters

I know I'm biased, but I just think he's so darn smart.  He loves to point out letters whenever we are in stores or restaurants, but my favorite is when he sees letters in his food.  Mostly he finds the letter L when he takes a bite out of a sandwich, or if he eats from the edge it sometimes makes a P, but 2 bites makes an M. Such a clever boy. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween 2010

This year for Halloween Jack was a tiger. We had lots of parties and opportunities to wear his costume, but all I have is a million photos of the side of his head as he would run by, so this grumpy tiger picture is the best I've got.  It was warm, comfortable, and easy to put on so it was a perfect costume.

I did take Jack out trick-or-treating around the block on Saturday night with his best buddy Caroline. She embraced the holiday and would run from door to door knocking and grabbing handfuls of candy. Jack kept making me carry him between houses then would stare at people and couldn't have cared less about the candy.  Throw in some cold rain and the Utah football game playing at home and we didn't stay out too long.  Thankfully he's young enough that passing out candy is as much fun if not more so than collecting it.

Sunday night we had a Halloween party at my parents house with his cousins. The kids got to trick or treat from door to door in the house and got fun trinkets. Then my brother in law came up with a bunch of Minute to Win It games that were fun.  It was a good Halloween.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Boys will be Boys

Last night after dinner we were hanging out in the kitchen.  Hardy had something in his mouth and spit in the sink. Well, Jack thought that was great and with a big grin on his face immediately hocked a loogey on my floor. "No Jack! Daddy spit in the sink. We don't spit on the floor,"  I told him as shocked as could be. He promptly ran over to daddy, asked to be picked up and continued spitting into the sink for the next few minutes. Hardy and I could hardly contain our laughter. Seriously? Such a boy.

Some of my favorite things he says lately are, "Come out, come out where you are" when he's looking for me.

If I make a suggestion that he likes he happily exclaims, "Thassa good 'dea. Less do it!" (That's a good idea. Let's do it)

He surprised me a few weeks ago when he started counting by tens. Uh, where'd he learn that?

He also loves to sing really fast. "Baa, Baa black sheep" and Barney's "I love you" are his favorite in super speed mode. He also loves to sing the original Mickey Mouse song. So cute. I'm trying to catch it on video but he keeps wanting to watch before he gets done.

We are going to Disneyland in December and I know he is going to LOVE it. Last year was good. This year he is totally going to get it and have so much fun.  I'm already giddy with excitement.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Utah State Fair

Last week Jack and I went to the Utah State Fair with HopeKids.  We had the best time. Who knew the fair could be so fun?   He kept asking to ride the cows and goats and thought they were really fun to pet (note the huge grin on his face below).   We also got ride passes and boy did we have fun. I wasn't sure if he would after his so-so performance at Lagoon. Well, he's a big boy now because he had a blast. He loved the fun house with the crazy fast slide at the end. He loved spinning in these weird dragons (kind of like tilt-a-whirl), and his favorite was a speedy little car ride that he kept asking to go on but I thought he would hate. Once we got on he refused to get off.   We even ran into our buddy Daxton. We run into them everywhere. :)  And thanks grandma for coming and taking photos.

I also had to throw in these cute pics of Jack and his girlfriend Caroline dancing at our Stake party the other night.  They were SO adorable.

Monday, September 13, 2010

More Catching up - September

A few more pictures to get all caught up. At the end of August we went with a group of friends to the zoo. We always have fun there. The kids of course loved the big water ball near the entrance. Owen kept trying to climb in and got all wet and Jack kept trying to drink it. Gross!

For Labor Day Weekend we went to my parents cabin in Heber. Jack loves to feed the squirrels, but he gets a little too friendly when they get close and starts to wave and say "Hi squirrel!" Not the best technique, but super cute. He was also a big help moving wood inside for the winter and was fascinated watching grandpa chop wood. But the highlight as always was the four-wheeling. We always go slow and careful with Jack on board. In these photos he was just playing on the machine hence the lack of a helmet. On Monday morning we decided to go for a ride before lunch and were going to leave shortly after. Well, Jack fell asleep on the ride so we decided to just go home. I ever so gently transferred him into his carseat once we were all loaded and his head jerked up and he exclaimed "four wheeder?" Well, sweetheart. You missed it. My other favorite story was at night after Jack was fast asleep. Hardy and I were just climbing into bed and chatting when someone passed a little gas. Jack started giggling so hard in his sleep. It was hilarious. I guess farts are inherently funny, even in your sleep.

This past Saturday was the Intermountain Healing Hearts Walk. We loved meeting new people and seeing our Heart friends. Jack and Teagan were too focused on their apples at the end of the walk to pose, but they at least looked up when Paul came over to say hello.

We left the Heart Walk just a little early to head up to the U for the big pre-game tailgate. Is this a proud papa or what? I love these boys so much. Jack is well trained and will give a big "Go Utes!" on cue or sometimes just randomly throughout the day.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

August Catch up

Hardy's work Lagoon Day happened to fall on Jack's birthday this year so we had a fun way to celebrate his special day. He likes the boats and playing in the water, HATED the airplanes and the cars, made us take him on the Merry-Go-Round about 50 times, then discovered the joys of Bulgy the Whale and we just watched him go on that the rest of the night. It was a really fun day.

The next day Jack and I went with HopeKids to the Utah Museum of Natural History where he got to dig for bones and look at bugs. The highlight was the dinosaur show where they have the kids help recreate the time period when the dinosaur lived by making noise and dressing up as bugs and plants, then they brought out a very real looking dinosaur that walked around. This thing walked right past us and Jack jumped off my lap and ran toward it excitedly asking, "I ride it?" Hmm...I don't think the poor person in the costume would like that very much, but he did get to pet it and had a great time at the museum.

To celebrate the end of summer we hosted a little 'Homemade Ice Cream" party at our house and invited a bunch of our neighbors. I made my favorite Key Lime Pie Ice cream, my friend Shiloh made a fruit filled sherbet, and Heidi made a big batch of vanilla. We asked everyone else to bring toppings. It was lots of fun and we may make it a tradition.

Jack and his buddy Jenna loved their ice cream cones.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Happy Birthday Jack!!!!

Can my baby really be 2 years old? I can't believe it. He is such a big boy now. He is a total chatter box and makes me laugh everday with the funny things he comes up with. We had a little birthday party last night with his cousins and he had a blast. Today we are going to Lagoon with Hardy's work so it's a fun way to celebrate his birthday.
A few things about Jack at age 2:

- His favorite songs are "I'm a Hammer" sung by Pat the Hammer on his Handy Manny CD, "I am a Child of God" followed closely by "Three little speckled frogs."
- He loves books and lately when I can't find him it's usually because he's in his room reading stories to himself. I love to eavesdrop and hear what he comes up with. He also loves to help me cook which is always interesting.

- He is very polite and always says "Nank You!" He also likes to tell me to be"Careful Mama" when I'm cooking or doing anything he deems dangerous. His dad has also taught him to say "Outstanding" when he does something especially great.

- He LOVES babies, especially his cousin Kate. Anytime he sees a baby he gets a dreamy look in his eyes and gives a loving "Mmmm" while either giving the poor baby a hug or pretending to give a hug if he's too far away. It is quite sweet.

- He is still my little snuggle bug. My favorite moments are when he has on his jammies, gets his blanket, climbs up on my lap, wraps my arms around him and says "So nice" as he snuggles into me. Yes son, it is so nice.

- He thinks his dad is the funniest person ever and loves to grab his hand and drag him downstairs or outside to play. No one gets him chuckling the way his daddy does. They are best buds.

- He is really into sports right now. He had basketball cupcakes for his bday party and we got him his own basketball hoop for his birthday. He could hardly wait for us to get it out of the box before he started shooting hoops. He also got a little golf club set from his friends and the first word out of his mouth this morning while daddy was still singing Happy birthday was "Outside!" because he couldn't wait to play with his clubs. I barely talked him inot putting clothes on before we went out. Look at this face. He is in heaven.
He is also a huge fan of his new lawnmower that he got from Aunt Heather. We were at the zoo on Tuesday and he kept asking to go home and play with the lawnmower.

- His best buddies are his cousins Josh and Rachel, next door neighbor Caroline, friends Boston and Avery, and his girlfriends Paisley and Jenna. He loves to go to nursery and play with all the kids on Sunday.
We are so grateful for this sweet little boy and the joy he brings into our lives.
Happy Birthday Jackson!

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Summer Bug

Unfortunately this is not a fun colorful, fuzzy bug that my little boy has picked up. It is a little coughing, snot producing, feverish kid of bug.

Last Wednesday Jack woke up with a fever of 101. Not too serious and easily controled with Tylenol or Motrin, but it lasted for 3 days. All he wanted to do all week was sit on my lap and watch Caillou over and over and over again. So painful for Mommy (watching Caillou, not the snuggling - that I enjoyed). By Saturday morning he finally broke his 3 day fast with a big waffle and a request to watch Mickey Mouse so I thought he had turned the corner and was on the mend, but come Sunday he stopped eating again and began coughing and requesting Caillou, so that's where we are again today. Throughout the week he's been drinking lots of milk and will eat some watermelon and occasionally a bite or two of food so he's not totally starving or dehydrated or I would have called the doctor, but he's definitely lost some junk in his trunk, poor kid. I'm dying to take him out swimming or to the park or something to get us out of the house to enjoy the summer and interact with people, but alas, here we sit - me, Jack, and dreadful Caillou.

I am grateful that he is doing fine though, especially considering how many of our heart buddies are in the hospital right now. (We're thinking about you McKay, Teagan G, and Mariska!) Hopefully just a few more days of rest and he'll be able to shake this darn bug.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Yellowstone 2010

As if the previous two weeks of cousin fun weren't enough, this past week we went to Yellowstone with Hardy's entire family and Jack got to enjoy lots of time with his adoring fan club on the other side of the family. He's the youngest on this side by about 6 years so all his cousin's think he's pretty entertaining, and he adores them. He'd wake up each morning and ask to go see the "big kids."

Poor Alli and Abbey were forced to play ring-around-the-rosie about 50 times standing in the hallway outside the bathroom at a pizza place one night (obviosuly Jack chose the location, not the girls). After they would "all fall down" Jack would jump up, grab their hand and say enthusiastically "AGAIN!" What troopers they were.

We drove to Mammoth Springs one morning.

Another day we went to the Upper and Lower Falls, and of course we visited Old Faithful. As it was going off Jack declared "It's big! It's hot!" Excellent observations, my man.

Jack really loved seeing all the elk and buffalo and on the ride home any time he would see cows he would shout "Buffalo!"
Not surprisingly, Jack's favorite spot was of course the Firehole River swimming area. He found himself a nice little alcove where he sat and threw rocks for a long time.
On Wednesday we had a special reunion and birthday celebration for Grandma Strong. Amazingly all 93 of her decendants were able to make it to the reunion. How grateful we are to her for making this trip possible.
Towards the end of the party they gave everyone a marshmallow gun for a massive marshmallow war. Jack didn't quite get the hang of it but enjoyed eating his bag of ammo.
Jack did amazingly well in Yellowstone. We weren't quite sure how he'd react to the high elevation, but other than needing two naps a day in stead of one and a little blueness in the pool, he was pretty normal. He did get quite cranky as we drove near Yellowstone Lake, but when I looked at the map and it said the elevation was around 8400 ft we decided that he got a pass on his crankiness.
What a fun trip full of great memories!

A Cousin Visit

A few weeks ago my sister Erin and Jack's cousins Jake and Alex came to stay with us for a couple of days. It was so fun to have them come visit.

We took them to the splash park one day, and Jack and Alex had the best time driving Erin's minivan together in their matching shirts.

The next day we took all the kids to my sister Emily's house and let the kids play in the gentle stream that runs though their back yard. Jack thought it was great and i have the feeling we will be back often this summer.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cardiology Visit

Jack had a cardiology appointment yesterday. He screamed the entire time and kept saying "all done" and "home," well, at least until he finally fell asleep exhausted in my arms while we were talking with Dr. Puchalski. Then we were finally able to get a good blood pressure reading and Dr. P could liten to his heart without trying to hear past the wailing.

His xray and EKG looked great and even with all the screaming his sats were in the low 80's so we don't have to go back for 6 more months. Dr. P still thinks we're on track to have his Fontan sometime next summer or fall.

Keeping busy

Hardy has been out of town a lot for both play and business the past three weeks so Jack and I have been working hard to stay busy to avoid going crazy.

We went to Lagoon with my parents and sister and her family on Stake Lagoon Day so we got in free to walk around then paid a few dollars to go on a few rides. Jack LOVED the boats and could have happily stayed there the entire night.

Then last week my sister Heather called and said her husband was leaving town for a few weeks and that it was too bad Jack and I couldn't come to visit while we were both husbandless. Well, we found some skymiles and Jack and I flew to Seattle for a few days. It was so fun to see my sister and Jack loved playing with his 2 year old twin cousins, Breydon and Bethany (and 10 year old Brienna too :)

One morning we went to a rocky beach where the three little ones perfected their rock throwing skills and got to watch a real train go by.

They had so much fun together at bath time playing in the water. Unfortunately for the twins though, Jack discovered their bath tub basketball hoop and it was all over. While the kids splashed and played, Jack shot hoops (as you can see in the background, he's just like his father, very focused). He did not think it was very funny when they put other toys in the hoop or tried to cover it. No, he insisted that he only use the orange ball and made shot after shot. He was in heaven and requested a bath morning and night while we were there.

Group hug.

We had so much fun, but it's good to be home. I'm not a huge fan of flying with a 1 year old all by myself.
This past Saturday Jack and I went with his buddy Caroline to the South Jordan parade and festival. Here they are catching candy on the sideline.

Then Jack conned my friend Tari into holding him up so he could shoot some hoops for a while. Can you tell he's into basketball these days? She was his new best friend.

He also got a pony ride and a few other rides at the carnival.

He even got to go to the fireworks that night after he surprised us and decided he needed a 5:00 nap. It was great. We let him sleep for a while then got him up, went to the show, came home and he went right back to bed and slept through the night. What a good boy.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Weekend

This Memorial Weekend Jack and I went to my parents cabin in Heber City while Hardy was off coaching at a basketball tournament in Reno. My sister was there with her 5 kids so Jack was in heaven following all his cousins around, learning lots of new tricks.

We had a marshmallow gun fight, which Jack wasn't too sure about until he discovered we were shooting marshmallows. He spent the rest of the time filling his mouth with ammo and asking for more.

He was in absolute awe when he discovered that Grandpa is really Handy Manny in disguise and Jack got to "help" build a new stair railing.

Jack loved feeding the "skirrels" (squirrels) and "mitmunks" (chipmunks).

We went on lots of rides on the four wheelers. Jack loved it and would refuse to get off once the ride was over, staying to push the buttons and pretend he was driving.

What began as dipping his fingers in a little puddle...

Soon turned into standing in a deeper puddle...

Which became sitting in a big, wet, deep puddle.

He was so wet we had to strip him down so his pants could dry before we rode the four wheelers home. Look at those cute chicken legs. :)

We came home from the cabin on Monday and Jack was very excited about all the flags that were out for the holiday.

Monday evening Jack and I went over to our neighborhood BBQ where Jack had a grand time with his buddies.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Just a few things we've been up to lately.

- We went sliding at the park with daddy.
- Jack's found plenty of trouble to get into.

- We went to the Dinosaur Museum where we played with crazy blocks,

and splashed in the dirt and water.

- We went to the Renaissance Festival thanks to HopeKids and got to watch real live jousting.

Jack was inspired and found a stick to poke at things the rest of our visit.

He LOVED the guinea pigs.

He did NOT love Captain Jack Sparrow (unlike his cousin Josh).

- And today we went to the Children's Garden at Thanksgiving Point where we got to hang out in a bear cave

and play in a caterpiller (among other things).

We also had the IHH Family picnic last Saturday (I totally forgot to take a single picture while I was there, but luckily I asked some of the young women who volunteered to help us to take some pics so hopefully I'll get some from them.) I was in charge so I've been stressing out about it all week (saying lots of prayers about the weather, people showing up and having enough food), but it was a great success. It is such a wonderful support group for families with Heart kids and is a great reminder that we're not alone in this battle. I met an awesome 8 year old girl with HLHS who is so smart and cute and completly normal and a total inspiration to me about what I hope the future holds for Jack. We had about 150+ people this year and it was lots of fun. Thanks to everyone who came.