Ugly Sweater Party

Chase and I hosted this year's Ugly Sweater Christmas party. Everyone - minus Mike and Julie:) - was looking pretty ugly!!
The whole 'ugly' group
Heather and her adorable pregnant belly in her holiday formal wear, Steve, Chase, Ben, me and my broach
An action shot.
Thank you Jimmy for wearing those pants.
Steve taking a nap, Ashley, Anna, Julie, and Andrea
Could he get any cuter?
Jax didn't make it to the party.
He's a little too out of control. :)
Me and Ben.
I could only hold Ben on my left hip all night due to a very oversized Christmas broach.

See you all next year!
Happy Holidays.

5 GrandSONS

First things first, Ben is using the walker!!
Big boy!!
My mom and dad have 5 grandkids...and all 5 of those grandkids are BOYS!!
Katie's little boy Zac is the newest addition. He is so tiny. He makes Ben look HUGE!!
Jax, Milo (Amber's), Ben, and Zac (Katie's)

The whole crew
Roen - 3 (Amber's), Jax - 23 months, Milo - 14 months (Amber's), Ben - 6 months, Zac - 6 weeks (Katie's)

Ben...showing off his wingspan - and his topsiders! :)


Our Happy Place

This face is evidence that Jax has found his happy place!

There are some places that just make me happy.

Smart Cookie.

The airport.

The movie theatre.

The car wash.

But, to truly go to my happy place all we have to do is drive ten minutes and pay a mesely $3.20.

Kangaroo Zoo - I l.o.v.e. you!

This place is heaven on earth as far as Jax in concerned.

Chase isn't going to be a fan of this picture, but how amazing is Ben? He is the cutest, squishiest thing ever!!
Me and Jax
This picture made the whole trip worth it. I was DYING laughing after I saw this. Chase is obviously loving the slide...maybe more than every kid there. And yes, he did sneak on even though he exceeded the 150 pound weight limit.
Chase again...I promise we went for our kids' enjoyment and not just our own.
Climb, baby, climb!!
Jax has got MAD skillzzzzzzzzz!!!
It really is as big as it looks!
Jax and I having a blast.
We are best buds.

I enjoyed me some slide too!
See, I told you Jax played too!
He's so handsome!!
Obviously, I'm not biased at all.



Today was a BIG day.

Today Chase became a college graduate.

I am so so proud of him.  It has been a long road.
There have been a lot of late nights for both of us.  He's had late nights at school after a full day of work.  I've had long days of being alone with my kids until 9:00 at night.

We are both so happy that this day has come.

Really, I feel so proud of him.
He's the man!!!



Thanksgiving has come and gone, but I am still allowed to be grateful for things even after the holiday.  As I have gotten older (a whopping 25 years old:) and become a wife and mother, my gratitude for the people and things in my life have grown ten fold.

I am grateful for

Chase.  What would I do without him?  He is perfect - perfect for me.  I was in love after our first date.  I never thought my love for him would grow so much.  He is such a great husband and such a great dad.  He is so concerned about our two little boys.  He will hover outside the nursery door looking through the peep hole to make sure Jax is alright.  It is pretty sweet.  He can't keep a straight face when he looks at Ben.  That little boy makes him melt.  And, I would be lying if I didn't say he was also sweet to me.  And, he is one hot boy!!

Jax.  Oh, my little Jax.  If there is one person in this world that reminds me I am alive, it is this little boy.  He might be the most hyper, active, curious, (disobedient) child to walk the planet.  I love him so much.  I am so grateful to be his mom.  When this little boy runs to me, gives me a giant hug, and grabs me by the cheeks to plant a big kiss on my lips I melt.

Ben.  This little boy is the happiest, squishiest thing alive!  All you have to do is look at him and smile, and he lights up with a huge grin and a giggle.  If anyone can make you smile, it is this little dude.  I am so happy that this little baby came to me.  He is so sweet and patient.  There is nothing like a sweet, innocent baby to remind you of heaven.

My family and Chase's family (my second family).  We have been so blessed with the greatest families ever.  I don't think I ever leave either of our parents house's empty handed.  I am always taking home food, clothes for my kids, clothes for myself, Christmas trees, cribs, you name it!  And, both of our parents are so helpful with our two crazy kids.  They are so willing to help and spend so much time watching our little boys when I am tutoring.  It is such a blessing to know that we have families who love us, love our kids, and sacrifice so much to help us.

My Savior.  The older I get, the more I understand my Savior, His love for me, and His Atonement.  It is through Him that I have learned unconditional love.  It is through Him I have learned to forgive.  I am so grateful for an older brother who gave His life for me.  I am so grateful that I know Him and that I know His gospel.

I am so grateful for a time of year that leads me to sit back and think of all my blessings.  It is so easy to forget how much I am blessed with.  I am so thankful for this time of year.


GI Doctor's Orders

Yesterday Ben had an appointment with Primary Children's gastroenterologist Dr. Pohl.
I made this appointment about 6 weeks ago.  
I've been a little nervous for this appointment for the last 6 weeks.
Ever since Ben was about a month old he stopped having bowel movements.  He NEVER went.  Literally, never.  After talking with the pediatrician, we tried everything - suppositories, prune juice, rectal thermometers, apple juice, and even a little baby massage.  

For the last 3 months I have been using a rectal thermometer to make Ben go to the bathroom.  I have literally watched and caused every bowel movement Ben has had in the last 3 months.  Great job, I know. :)

So, yesterday was a much anticipated day.  I was a little nervous though.  It does seem like somewhat of a big deal to never go to the bathroom.  Dr. Pohl was WONDERFUL!  After an exam Ben was sent to get an x-ray.  The poor little guy had to also get an enema during the x-ray.  He did SO well.  He didn't cry at all.  It was so sad to see my tiny little baby on the x-ray table.

Luckily, his anatomy looks perfect.  I was SO relieved.  So, he is now on a HEAVY, HEAVY dose of prescription stool softener.  It is a thick syrup that he totally hates, but hopefully it helps.

After having the enema and his new medicine yesterday, he went nuts.  He has never had a blowout in his life - obviously, if he isn't going to the bathroom.  Yesterday was a different story.  He had to have multiple wardrobe changes.  He went through

Not one,
Not two,
Not three,
Not four, 
But FIVE outfits!!

I was shocked!  I was so unprepared for that because it is so not like him.

In addition to the stool softener, Ben was showing symptoms of cow's milk allergy.  Apparently when you are breastfeeding cow's milk has some protein that stays in breastmilk and can cause some problems for the baby.  So, I am no longer allowed to have any cow's milk of any kind.  No dairy at all.

At first it didn't sound too difficult, but I don't think I realized how much food is prepared with butter!  I didn't think I ate much butter, but it seems that so much has butter in it.  So, no milk, butter, cheese, ice cream, yogurt, chocolate :(,  no dairy period.

I am pretty sure Dr. Pohl put me on a diet! :)  Which, I think, is pretty sweet - doctor's orders not to eat fattening foods.  Talk about a motivator.

Hopefully Ben will be cured soon.  His doctor said that he would most likely be on the stool softener until he was at least 1.  But, if that and a milk allergy is all this little problem is, I'll take it.

He's a dream boat!


Happy Birthday Char!

My cute and SO very smart niece, Char, turned 2 on Saturday.  We love little Char!  Tigh and Jacque had everyone over for a fun little birthday party.  Jacque made us all a super yummy dinner, an adorable fondant cake, and some delicious cupcakes!!  It was a par-tay!!!
Jax, Ben, Me, Skye
Jacque, Char, and Tigh
Char, Chase, Jax
Me with Jax and Char.
I think these two look like they could be twins instead of cousins.
Char got SO SO excited when Jax showed up to her party.  It was so adorable.
Char got this absolutely amazing train set for her birthday.  Her and Jax (who kinda just tried to destroy it) were in heaven.

Happy Birthday little Miss Charlotte.

PS Why is the right side of all my pictures cut off?  Sorry to anyone who only has half a face!!



It's official!  We've been SWINED...again!  Poor little Jax has the Swine Flu.  Chase had it in July.  Jax, Ben, and I were all lucky enough not to get it from Chase in July, but Jax picked it up somewhere this weekend.

Monday was a terrible day.  He fell asleep earlier than normal for his nap.  When he woke up he was just crying, SO hot, and wouldn't let me put him down.  I called and cancelled all my tutoring for the day.  I took him home, and he only got worse.  He puked and then just laid on my bed crying.

I tried FOREVER to get through to the nurse at the doctor's office.  I started calling the nurse at 2:30pm.  Finally, I talked to someone at 7:45pm.  I told them about the symptoms and they told me the after hours closed at 8:00pm.  So, I had 15 minutes to get Jax out to the car and drive 10 minutes to the doctor's office.

We made it in time.  They tested him for Swine Flu.  It was positive.  He had a temperature of 103.  We started him on Tamiflu as soon as we could.  It is the nastiest medicine ever.  The pharmacist told me that they haven't had time to really make a good liquid form of the medicine yet so, they just smash up the pills!!!  So sick!  Jax threw up twice after taking it.

Jax has been curled up, watching some of his favorite movies to rest.  The first day or so was terrible.

But after 24 hours of Tamiflu...he was back to his old self!!
He's even had some spare time to practice taking his own picture!!!
He's feeling SO much better now.  His fever is gone, and he is as happy as ever.  Once again, Ben and I were able to steer clear of being swined!!



This year we went trick-or-treating at the mall.  We decided this would be a little easier for Jax.  And, we also thought it would ensure that he didn't get lost running through neighborhoods...as I am sure his active self would.

There were SO SO many people at the mall!  I couldn't believe it!
**Although it is hard to know for sure, I would bet that this was the location where Jax caught the dang SWINE FLU!!

Here are my 3 boys.  Chase rocking the double stroller and my two twinner giraffes.
Jax is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!!  (I didn't get a solo picture of Ben, but he is equally amazing!)
Hope you had a 


I turn my back for 5 seconds...

And mischief happens!!

I got the tub water ready for Ben yesterday morning.  I quickly walked into my bedroom to get a naked little Ben off my bed to be put in the tub.  The walk from the bathroom to my bedroom and back could not have taken any more than ten seconds.  This is what I found upon my return.

Who cares if you are still fully dressed?  If you want in the tub, hop in!
I turn my back for 5 seconds...

And this little man is 4 months old!  I can't believe it.  At his 4 month check-up he was 15 1/2 pounds (63%) and is 93% in height!  He's my tall, skinny, old little baby!!
I turn my back for 5 seconds...

And this evil, malicious, teeth gritting boy...
Tries to attack his little bro!!!


Just Because...

I LOVE these three!!
Jax and Grandma Jana snuggling to Fox and the Hound.  This might just be Jax's favorite movie as of late.
I know I am cut out of this picture a little...which is just fine.  But, please check out the line of hair missing from the middle of Ben's head.  Poor guy!!  This goes ALL the way around his head!


15 Weeks

15 weeks ago this little gem entered my life.
He is so smiley these days.  I can't believe I have had this little guy for that long.  
I love, love, love him.
I just want to snuggle him all day long.
Aren't these two so adorable?  I love them.
Ben is such a little guy with MAN hands and feet.
P.S. Chase is a Tom Brady look-a-like.
My little brown haired baby is losing his hair...just around the bottom of his head.  Chase tells me that it looks likes I gave him a bowl cut.  It looks even funnier because where it is growing in it is coming in blond.

He is a dream come true.


A Little Taste of Family Pictures

My dear friend Brooke did such an awesome job with these family pictures!!  If you need a photographer you need to visit oliverminiej.blogspot.com STAT!!

I can't believe I am the girl with TWO kids.  For some reason it still seems surreal to me.  And, family pictures are quite difficult with little kids - that is for sure.

Beau, Chase, Kent, Tigh, Drew, Paul
Jana, Ben, Char, Jax, Kent
Me, Jax, Drew, Chase, Ben, Kent, Jana, Tigh, Char, Jacaue, Beau, Paul, Skye