Sunday, December 22, 2013


Currently in his second year of law school
Interned at the child advocacy center this past summer
Drove over 8 hours and braved a torrential downpour to attend a BYU football game in Virginia
Currently serving with young women ages 12-18 at church
Trying to learn how to be a mom to a two year old
Made an appearance on the jumbotron at the Oregon vs BYU game (check that off the bucketlist!).
Currently perfecting the terrible twos
Learned some of his numbers, animals, and Mickey Mouse character names
Enjoys singing, drinking smoothies, and running around

Have gone to the zoo 5+ times
Had the opportunity to see all of our siblings and parents this year
Excited to see what 2014 brings.
We hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Love, the Stephens

Friday, November 15, 2013

Lions and Tigers and Zoos; Oh My!

Since we are a zoo loving family, I thought it would be fun to have a zoo-themed birthday party for Jackson. Here is what I came up with: (Prepare yourself for picture overload.)

Jackson woke up to these balloons. He kept saying "Woah!" and pointing at them. At first he was too afraid to go under them. He warmed up pretty fast and started hitting them. Poor kid, later that night when we put him to bed, I took all the balloons down. When he didn't fall asleep, I brought him back out and he was heartbroken that his precious balloons were gone. Oops. If I had known he wasn't going to bed, I would have left them up!

A quick video that morning. Check out his awesome bedhead!

He didn't stay sad for long though...


More balloons on the front door
Jackson is one loved boy. There were 2 more presents that aren't even pictured! I thought Jackson would love tearing into the wrapping paper, but he was a bit nervous to open the presents himself. He watched Dad open them instead! We took a break halfway through the present opening, so Jackson could play with some of his toys. I think it helped him feel not as overwhelmed.
We went to Chick-Fil-A for Jackson's birthday dinner--his favorite! We then came home and played some games.
A little twist on the Pin the Tail on the Donkey game.

Jackson won (he was allowed to look). Grandpa came in second place.
We then colored and cut out these elephants. Stick a party blower in there, and you have an elephant trunk! Jackson thought they were pretty funny.
Our zoo animal display. Jackson kept sneaking off with the animals throughout the day.

The picture bow
These kabobs were a bust. They wouldn't stand up on their own!

Jackson thought these masks were hilarious. He refused to wear them at his party though!

Happy Birthday, Jackson!!! 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Jackson is 2!

Can you believe our little boy just turned 2?

Jackson is such a joy in my life. He keeps me laughing with his fun sense of humor, melts my heart with his sweetness, and frustrates me at times with his stubborness. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Fun Facts about 2 year old Jackson:

--He still loves his Tiger and Blankie. He doesn't carry it around with him quite as much, but they are still his pals and he sleeps with them every night.

--Jackson loves animals. He is really good at saying the animal noises. My favorite is when he does a duck noise. He says, "Duck! Duck!" instead of "Quack! Quack!" and I think it's really cute.

--His favorite show is Mickey Mouse. He used to love Leap Frog videos, but he has since been converted thanks to the Disney store and Grandma and Grandpa's Mickey room.

--He is still my shy little guy. Jackson will hide his face in his hands or my shirt if a stranger is trying to talk to him. This makes for a tough time taking family pictures.

At the puppet museum

--He loves to sing. Loves it. We have an Elmo CD in the car with 5 kids songs on it. He knows them all and will sing loudly in the back of the car.

--Favorite foods: smoothies, french fries, chicken nuggets, apples

--Talks a lot more now. He has trouble enunciating sometimes and as a result, sounds British.

"There it is"

--We have a family zoo membership pass and have been to the zoo several times. Jackson is in awe that animals are real. The other day the lion was roaring from the top of a rock, and Jackson (and Ryan) thought it was the coolest thing ever.

--We took Jackson to the doctor today, and to say Jackson was upset was an understatement. He fought the doctor as hard as he could. It took the doctor, Ryan, and me to hold the little guy down, and he still broke the doctor's light tool. Jackson's doctor said that Jackson was the strongest kid in the world. We'll be sure to add that to his resume when he's older.

--Had a small obsession with shoes for a little while
He thought it was funny to put shoes on Tiger

Ain't nothing wrong with a boy in leopard print
Boots...and yes there's a video to go along with this

--The first thing people say after they find out how old Jackson is is, "Wow! He's big for his age!"

--Loves duplos, Little People, trains, cars, books, and animal figurines

Jackson's 2 year old stats:

Height: 38 inches (Greater than 99th percentile)
Weight: 33 lbs (96th percentile)
Head Circumference: 51 cm (98th percentile)

I never did post Jackson's birth story. I typed it out, but for some reason never shared it. In honor of Jackson turning 2, here is a little snippet I wrote just after Jackson was born.

"Jackson Ryan Stephens was 9 lbs 11 oz, 20 inches long (not sure how accurate this was, we think he was longer). He was born on Sunday, November 6, 2011 at 3:23 pm. When I saw him, he looked so big! My mom had said she thought he was going to be 9 1/2 lbs and the dr laughed at her! He said that if there was a 10 lb baby then the dr needed to be smacked. When the baby came out, the dr was like, "Uh oh, looks like I need to be smacked!" It was crazy to see the baby and to think that he was actually MINE! He was perfect. He wasn't blue or white at all, he was rosy pink and the size of a 3 month old. They put him on my chest and he stopped crying and listened to my breathing and heart beat. I loved the little guy!"

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Tonight was Jackson's first trunk or treat! I thought long and hard about Jackson's Halloween costume. He's at the age where he refuses to wear anything crazy. Hats, bandanas, funny shoes--all out of the picture. I also wanted to get something that he would be able to wear again.

So this is what we decided on:

Skeleton pajamas! He was really excited to put them on when he saw that Mom and Dad had matching shirts.

A family of skeletons.

I exclaimed that we were a family of bones! Ryan asked me what bone I was. I didn't really get what he was saying, so I said, "I'm Mama Bone!"

In which he replied, "I've never heard of that bone before."

I told him he was a "funny bone".

Jackson had a good time at the trunk-or treat. We arrived near the end thanks to the BYU game. Jackson was a little shy, but soon perked up when he realized that people were handing out CHOCOLATE. He had this small little pumpkin basket that we bought at Target last year for $1. He had that thing in a death grip all night.

There was this one kid, probably around 7 years old, that wanted to give Jackson candy. He reached out and tried to put it in Jackson's basket, but Jackson kept desperately pulling away. The poor kid tried 3 or 4 times to give him a Snickers. I'm pretty sure Jackson thought the kid was trying to steal his candy.

By the time we were done trunk-or-treating, most of the kids had left. We hadn't even gotten our huge Costco-sized bag of candy out yet.  So we put Jackson in a wagon and went around giving adults handfuls of candy.

At one point, I had put the half-empty bag of candy next to Jackson, and he started frantically stuffing chocolate in his basket. When I tried to give the missionaries chocolate, Jackson did not want to give me the bag. I think he was worried that I was going to give all the candy away. Poor kid--he has no idea that his Daddy will probably eat most of his candy while he's sleeping anyways. :P

When we put Jackson in his car seat, he refused to give up his chocolate stash and kept his prized basket of candy next to him all the way home.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How NOT to Cook Butternut Squash

A couple days ago I tried to make a butternut squash and leek pasta sauce.

*Disclaimer* I have never touched an uncooked butternut squash in my life before this attempt (or a leek, but that's another story).

It began when I went to the store to buy my butternut squash. There was a whole pile of different kinds of squash. I could have chosen the wrong squash, but I didn't. 100 points for Gryffindor!

What I did do, however, was not read the recipe more carefully. I should have bought a prepeeled, presliced squash. That would have saved me from a whole lot of trouble, but I didn't. Who knew such a thing existed in stores? Not me.

I got it in my head that I could make my own peeled, sliced, squash.

Lesson #1: Do not try to peel your squash with a potato peeler.

Bad idea. I had no idea the skin was so deep.

After I sort of peeled the squash, I came to the harsh realization that in order to slice the squash into squares like the picture in the recipe, you have to be a world class weight lifter or someone equally as strong.

So I thought that I would be smart and partway cook the squash in the microwave to make it softer. With my super strenth, I sliced the stubborn squash in half and put it in a casserole dish with water and stuck it in my trusty microwave.

Caution: squash is hot after it cooks.

Result of the half cooked squash? That brings us to

Lesson #2: A half cooked squash is still super hard to cut, but it is also even more slippery due to cooked squash juice. Fail.


Lesson #3: Do not...and I repeat, do not attempt to cut a half-cooked, semi-peeled squash with dull kitchen knives like I did. After discarding 3 knives, I finally got a long, serrated kitchen knife and started sawing the thing.

I probably should have quit when I accidentally caught my thumb with the knife. Ouch Charlie.

BUT I DIDN'T! I was like the little engine that could.

After several minutes of subpar sawing and much complaining, my husband took the knife from me, distanced me from my enemy, and sawed through the dang squash like it was wood. I was afraid he was going to cut his thumb off the whole time.

Then, I boiled it.

When it was soft, I shoved the squash pieces into my blender (Lesson #4: use food processor instead) and pressed the on button.

*Cue Jackson running in in excitement, grabbing a spoon, and begging to be put on the counter*

Yes, my child thought it was a delicious smoothie. He was in for a big disappointment.

The stubborn squash clogged my blender, and required extra love and care for it to liquify.

I finally added leeks and seasonings, put it on my pasta, and after much blood, work, and Jackson's tears (just kidding, he didn't cry) I took a bite, ready to savor my hardwork...until I came to the harsh realization that I had forgotten one important detail.

Lesson #5: I don't like squash.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Super Mom Moment

I was about to introduce you to Jackson's #1 best friend...but then I remembered he's already made his big debut on this blog.

Remember THIS post?

Jackson and Tiger have made gigantic strides since that post.

I am happy to report that they are now the best of friends. Tiger goes everywhere with Jackson...and I mean everywhere (story time, nursery, the airplane, you name it). While Jackson has gotten bigger and stronger, Tiger...well, he has seen better days.

Because Tiger is more adventurous than most tigers his age, he was in need of a good washing. He was pretty dirty. Ryan and I decided it would be best if Jackson helped with the bathing process. We had Jackson ceremoniously drop Tiger into the washing machine. We poured the soap in and closed the lid. Jackson thought it was great fun until he realized Tiger was stuck in the washer and was probably drowning. He was so upset. He kept grabbing our hands and leading us to the washing machine insisting we take the poor creature out.

So we did (he wasn't even wet yet!).

Ryan and I then decided to hand wash the poor animal. We washed him in the bathroom sink with Jackson supervising on the countertop. The moment we put Tiger in the sink, the water turned black. Really gross.

The bath was a success even though Jackson had to be separated from his best friend while Tiger dried in the dryer.

Tiger is now whiter than he has been in months, and sometimes I think I see a sparkle or two.

Fast forward to this afternoon. Jackson and I went to Michael's to return something, and I happened to buy Jackson some plastic animal figurines that were on sale for a dollar. He was busy playing with those while I walked to the car. I got Jackson all buckled in and as I was backing out of the parking space, I saw something in my rearview mirror. An orange and black striped something in the middle of the road!


I immediately pulled the car back into the parking spot, got out, and rescued Tiger.

Jackson had no idea that we almost abandoned his best friend. That would have been disastrous. Super Mommy to the rescue!

In other news, today:
  • I dropped a frozen chicken on my foot. It hurt really bad. I asked Ryan, "Why did the chicken fall on my foot?" (Kinda like, why did the chicken cross the road). Ryan's response: "Gravity".

  • I ate entirely too much chinese food today. Now my tummy hurts.

  • Ryan and Jackson were eating a smoothie tonight, and I thought it was really cute. I sneakily recorded some of it, but at the end of the video I accidentally captured a "Happy Feet" moment and had to share. Notice how I am providing free advertisement for whatever is playing in the background.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Reset Button

Today has been one of those days.

You know, couldn't fall asleep 'til 4 am, 7:15 toddler wake up call, forgot my Young Women's lesson at home, spilled boiling hot food in my lap, whiney child kind of day.

Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if I could just hit the reset button and start these kind of days over.

And then I got to thinking...Hey, I may not be able to hit the reset button on my day, but I can hit the reset button on my attitude.

It's amazing how perspective can change the way you feel in an instant.

I was tired, cranky, and ready to call it a day when I realized that despite the difficulties, I am blessed with so much. I am blessed with a healthy child who smiles when I get him from his crib in the morning. I am blessed with a loving husband who will run home and get my lesson for me without a word of complaint. I am blessed with a cupboard full of food when many people are without. I am blessed to be alive.

When I thought about that, a weight of frustration was immediately lifted from my shoulders and gratitude filled my heart.

My day didn't seem so bad anymore.

I mean, how can I be upset when I have this little cutie keeping me company all day!

And let's not forget this one...first day of school as a 2L. 

Jackson and Mommy playing with blanket forts.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Letter for the Future

Dear Teenage Jackson,

As a toddler, you had many talents. One talent you had was leaving behind a path of destruction everywhere you went. You were like a tornado and should be very proud of your toddler mess-making skills.

However, despite your mess-making skills, you actually, on occasion, thought cleaning was fun (especially when Mom was cleaning)!

I'm not lying!
Are you still breathing?

Some of your favorite chores included: sweeping the floor, dustbusting the carpet, magic erasering random household objects, wiping down surfaces, putting away the dishes, and folding laundry.

You were a pretty good helper (as good as a 21 month old can be anyways).

But wait! There's more, Future Jackson! You would actually just start cleaning out of the blue, without being told to!

For example, in this video, I was lying in bed watching you magic eraser the furniture with no prompting from me whatsoever.

I guess the bedframe wasn't clean enough for your satisfaction. You had to take matters into your own hands.

And another:

Getting your morning clean on while watching Elmo.

Hopefully, I encouraged this behavior.

So Teenage Jackson, some day when you tell me you don't want to clean, I have proof that you not only cleaned without being told to, but you actually LIKED it!

It can't be all that bad, right?

Now go straighten up your room.


Thursday, August 1, 2013


Today is a day of celebration!

Today is the last day I have to take 10 pills a day! Hurray! (And if you know me, you know I hate taking pills. Blah.)

I haven't really talked about it much, mainly because I don't want to seem like I'm complaining, but I've had a lot of health problems this year. Ranging from a weird skin virus to back injuries to, most recently, a bacteria in my stomach.

For almost 8 months now I've been having intense pain right under my ribcage and horrible nausea off and on. It started out in bouts happening maybe once or twice a week, usually at night. However, it started to get more and more often and more severe.

In February, I came down with Pityriasis Rosea. It's my fun skin rashes I had all over. I thought maybe my stomach problem was a side effect of this virus, so I kind of brushed it off.

And then in May, I went back to a doctor and was diagnosed with Gastritis and a bladder infection. Again I thought the pain and nausea was due to the infection, but again it didn't go away.

So then I went to a specialist. They had my blood drawn. Never get your blood drawn when you haven't eaten anything in 18 hours. I didn't really think about it, and I wasn't hungry. (Food has been my enemy lately).

I felt bad for the poor lady drawing my blood. I felt fine, but after a little bit I started feeling woozy and seeing spots. I was almost certain I was going to pass out. The tech kept yelling, "Don't pass out on me! You're fine! You're not going to pass out!" And I kept saying, "I'm so sorry, I don't know what's wrong with me. I think I'm going to pass out. I'm going to pass out. I'm so sorry. I'm usually not like this." And then there was a lady waiting in the front office yelling that she had been waiting far too long and wanted to be taken care of immediately.

You should have been there. It was quite a scene.

I asked for some crackers, but they didn't have any. One of the workers went to the break room and came back with some sun chips. I felt pretty guilty eating a random stranger's lunch. It did help me feel better though! I stopped seeing spots and apologized about a zillion times. The nice lady said not to worry that it happened all the time, usually to men. I think she was just trying to make me feel better.

Next time I will make sure to eat breakfast. Lesson learned.

Anyways, one of the things they tested me for was for the H. Pylori bacteria. The test came back inconclusive meaning I am in between normal and not normal. They told me that if I had been taking antacids or acid blockers (which I had been) it may alter the results.

They are pretty sure that's what I had, so instead of taking me off medicine for 2 weeks to test me again, they prescribed me 2 different kinds of antibiotics and another acid reducer. I had to take 10 pills a day for 2 weeks. I am grateful for modern day medicine. Even though it is a pain to take, I'm glad it's going to help me feel better. It does make me feel bad though that there are people who have to take that many or more pills every day for the rest of their lives.

Darn you H. Pylori for camping out in my stomach! I am crossing my fingers that my stomach problems will go away.

But in the meantime, I am celebrating my last day of taking pills! Wahoo!

Yummy yummy breakfast and late night snack.

It's no fun being sick.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Chuck-E-Cheese, Harry Potter, and Other Ramblings

First of all, I would like to say a big happy birthday to Mr. Harry Potter.
Nerdy? No. Awesome? Yes!

Anyways, moving on...

Did you know that I have this giant checklist on my phone with all the things I want to blog about and not forget. I also have about a million pictures and videos I have been meaning to post, but haven't. I feel like a world class #1 slacker when it comes to blogging. Hopefully in the next couple weeks I'll be able to catch up!!

We took Jackson to Chuck E Cheese for the first time a couple weeks ago. He loved it. He was content playing on the little playground and watching people. We probably didn't need to get any tokens at all.

Here is Jackson dancing to the music.

Jackson was a little nervous to ride on the ride on toys. He rode his first one at the mall. He hated it! He started panicking and begged to get off. Goodbye 50 cents! We tried again at Chuck E Cheese, and he took it a little better.


Ryan had fun competing with the other dads at skiball. They take it pretty seriously.

 Jackson was Ryan's ball boy.
We saw Chuck-E-Cheese, but Jackson could care less about him.
Other news: Jackson loves to push his push toys down the hall. Not so sure if the neighbors love it though...

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Jackson knows the cat food is off limits. Unfortunetly, playing with Meow Mix is one of his favorite pastimes. He loves making kitty stew by putting the cat's food into the water. What can I say, he's a natural chef.
Whenever I see him sneaking toward the cat food, I always say, "No, no!" I guess I have done it so many times now that when I catch him in the kitty food, he looks at me and says, "No, no!" before I can. Little stinker.
One day, I walked around the corner and discovered Jackson trying to clean up the mess he made. He looked at me innocently, pretending like he didn't touch a morsel of food.

From the looks of it, he grabbed a kitchen towel, shoved as much kitty food in it as he could, and hid the rest under the tarp. It might've worked if the tarp hadn't of been see through.


Also, just for funsies, here is a video of Jackson playing with his new kitten. (Just kidding....He wishes!) This was at the pet store, and no the kitten didn't make it home with us.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Rainy Times

It has been a very rainy summer here in Georgia. I joke with Ryan sometimes and ask him if it feels like home (Washington). He claims to love the rainy weather and cloudy skies. For me, it's hard to go out and do any summer-type activities with Jackson. We tried going to the pool yesterday, and swam for about 15 minutes before we had to go running back inside due to a down pour. Poor Jackson didn't quite understand why we had to end our fun early.

It was really funny because on Friday, construction workers were on the temple roof fixing something and it kept raining off and on all day. It would stay sunny and out of no where, it would start pouring. They would scramble and get everything under this giant blue tarp and hide out for about 10 minutes until the rain stopped. Then they would come out from under their temporary hideout and work as fast as they could before the next downpour.They did this 5 times at least. It probably delayed the completion of their project because they were still up on the roof at 10 pm. I guess if they waited until the rain stopped completely, the roof might not be done until Fall.

About a month ago, Ryan went hometeaching. Jackson wanted to get out and do something, so I took him to Target. I let him play in the toy aisle for awhile and then put him back in the cart to get some stuff we needed. I was almost done when the lights started flickering eerilyand then went off completely. I felt like a hush spread throughout the store as if everyone is holdind their breath. Everything was silent, until a couple seconds later the lights turned back on. Then everyone released the breath they were holding and continued on.

This lady next to me started exclaiming to her friend that they better hurry or they'd get stuck in the bad storm. Storm? It was sunny when I got there...

As I was checking out, the Target employee was asking me if I drove. Puzzled, I said yes. She exclaimed, "Oh good! The storm is so bad out there! Buggies are flying everywhere!" I had no idea what she meant by this and just nodded like I understood what she was talking about.

As I was walking to the exit, a different Target employee stopped me. "You can't leave, we are sending everyone to the freezer section." What? Okay...

I turned around and watched as other people were herded to the land of frozen food, when again I overheard a conversation. Someone was saying that tornadoes were spotted in the area. I glanced out the exit and saw a downpour of rain, lightning, and a pitch black sky that only an hour ago was bright and cheerful.

At this point, Jackson was starting to get restless, so I let him out. He decided he wanted to play with dog food bags. Whatever keeps him happy, right?

After awhile, I looked around and noticed that we were the only ones in the freezer section. Everyone else had left. I asked a worker if it was safe to leave, and they said it was.

I went outside and the sky had a weird yellowish haze. It was still pouring and lightning. I didn't have an umbrella and was a bit afraid of walking all the way to the car. I didn't want to wait around though just in case the storm get worse. I looked at Jackson and asked if he was ready. He just looked at me with his big brown eyes.

I took a deep breath and ran outside. I didn't make it 10 feet when a gigantic lightning bolt hit right in front of me. (It felt like it was right next to me, but it was probably pretty far away). I felt the warmth of it, and it felt like my hairs were standing from the static electricity. I turned right around and ran back inside. Jackson was crying. I called Ryan, who was still hometeaching, and told him I was stuck at Target.

He was having fun, hometeaching with flash lights (the power was out), and telling ghost stories. Just kidding, they were just chatting, but I felt like ghost stories would have been more fitting.

About 45 minutes later, the rain stopped and the lightning could only be seen in the distance. I was still weary, but walked out to the car. Luckily, we were not struck by lightning. As I walked through the parking lot, I understood what the Target worker meant when she said the buggies were flying. It was like a shopping cart graveyard outside. They were every which way and some were even smashed up against cars. My car luckily was unscathed, and I hurried and got us in the car.

On the way home, lights were out, wooden panels from construction projects were scattered on the street, its nails poking upwards, tree branches everywhere, etc.

When we made it home safely, I finally breathed a sigh of relief. Ryan had a little more trouble getting home due to fallen trees in the middle of the roads. He had to take some detours, but got home as well.

I'm glad the storm was pretty fast moving and that we weren't swept away in a tornado. I guess if I had to be stuck anywhere, Target is a pretty good place to be!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Mama Bear and the Chick Magnet

Yesterday we went to the mall even though Ryan was really tired. That Ryan, he's such a good family man. He stays up late watching tv or reading books with me, wakes up early to go to work, works all day, and comes home and hangs out with the fam. Then the cycle continues.

I usually offer to take Jackson out so Ryan can take a nap, but he won't have it. He wants to spend as much time with us before Jackson's bedtime. I married such a good guy!

Anyways, back to the story. Jackson loves the mall. He loves the Disney Store with it's tunnel display and princess castle. He also loves this tv display on the ground that is like a video game. You step on it and it responds to your foot. It's pretty cool.

Well, we were walking, and Jackson, without any prompting, started waving at these women. He's usually really shy around strangers, so I was pretty surprised he was initiating a greeting. The two women stopped and waved back at Jackson, exclaiming how cute he was and asking him what his name was.

We continued on our way. Then Jackson waved at the next lady he saw! She smiled at him and waved back. Jackson broke out into his dimpled grin. He never realized what kind of power he had until now! He continued waving at the ladies that passed having the time of his life. I think he has a thing for older women.

We then went to the Disney store. Jackson figured out that if you wave a princess wand in front of the mirror in the castle, it comes to life and you can watch Disney princess clips. He kept doing it over and over. This little girl came over and was trying to figure out how to do it too. Jackson was pretty confused as to why this girl was waving her hands in front of the mirror like a maniac. Jackson was trying to help her with his wand, but she turned and shoved him out of the way. She pushed him so hard he fell on the ground.

That's when my mama bear came out.

Her parents were no where to be seen. I couldn't really do much in this situation since she wasn't my child, so I grabbed Jackson's hand and said in a loud voice, "C'mon Jackson. Let's go to the nice side of the Disney store where there's not mean girls that push you."

I'm not really sure where that came from. I'm not normally a confrontational person, especially with little kids. I guess it's a mother's instinct when someone is bullying your child. Ryan got a kick out of it I think. We walked away and I muttered under my breath to Ryan, "Good luck trying to figure that mirror out."

Poor Jackson had no idea what was going on.

Later on, we went back to the castle and Jackson had a bunch of fun. The mean girl was gone, and he had four nice girls to keep him company.

It's funny, he's scared of girls his own age, but he loves the ones that are older than him. Whenever he plays at a playground, he always finds these girls that love him and coddle him.


This was a random girl in Savannah that came up to Jackson and said, "I love babies!" then led him away. So funny.

I guess I need to watch out, Jackson's already a chick magnet!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

19 Months

I was going to do an 18 months blog post for Jackson, but somehow time has escaped me. As of today, Jackson is 19 months old.

Sometimes during the day, I'll look at Jackson and realize that this kid isn't a baby anymore! It weirds me out a little.

Interesting facts about 19 months old Jackson

--Loves music. He is a great dancer! His favorite song right now is the ABC's. He will even stop mid-cry to sing along when he hears it.

--Can say all sorts of words now "Hi, Bye (they both sound the same--"ay!" and then he'll wave), Mama, Dada, kitty, Hi Kitty, Here Kitty Kitty (hey kee kee and waves for the cat to come towards him), shoes (soos), go, uh oh, this, no (na!), thank you, hello, etc. The other day, Ryan jumped in front of the car window to scare Jackson, and instead of being scared, Jackson smiled and said, "Hi Da-ee!" (Hi Daddy!) It was pretty cute.

--Loves to go places! I'll take him to the pet store, Barnes and Noble, the Disney store, the park, and Target to run around the toy aisle. He loves to be out and about and begs to go places.

Cute kitten at the pet store = Jackson heaven 

First time on a Merry Go Round
Part I

Part II


--Favorite foods are mac n cheese, smoothies, spaghettios, and fruit. He can pretty much eat anything we eat now. For awhile he didn't like eating from his high chair. He wanted to be a big kid and sit in a real chair. Unfortunetly our chairs are really high, so we compromised and instead of putting the tray on his high chair, we put him directly in front of the table. He is a lot happier now. He likes to feed himself and even tries to feed us. A lot of the food ends up on the floor. Thank you splat mat for easy clean ups!

--Loves to play with stickers! He also likes to color.

--Is attached to his tiger and green blankie.

Regretting his decision of throwing Tiger behind the fireplace screen

--Still drinks from a bottle. He drinks whole milk Lactaid.

--Loves it when we clap for him. Sometimes he'll clap for himself and then look at us like, "Why aren't you clapping?" Also, if he hears people clapping on the tv, he will usually clap along.

--Can point to his eyes, nose, mouth, cheeks, ears, hands, belly, and feet.

--Wears 3T tops and 2T bottoms. Size 5 diapers. 12 teeth. His teeth grow so slow, and he takes teething pretty hard.

Thanks for taking out the trash, Jackson!

--Used to bang his head on the ground when he was throwing a fit until he gave himself a bloody nose. He learned his lesson and now hits the ground with his hand instead.

Jackson loves to play with this little train.

18 month checkup stats:

Height: 35 inches (greater than 99th percentile)
Weight: 30 lb 5 oz (97-99th percentile)
Head circumference: 50 cm (97th percentile)

Ryan won this at the claw game. He was so proud of himself!! Jackson clapped for him.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Well, Jackson has reached the magical age of 18 months. That means he gets to go to nursery at our church!

Let's just say that this picture pretty much sums up how his nursery experience went.

See, I thought it would be cute to take a picture of him with that sign. Unfortunetly, his picture taking cooperation has dimished somewhat since his monthly block pictures.
He would not hold the sign.
When I turned it into a necklace, he wanted nothing to do with it. Figures.

Finally, Ryan picked him up, and we managed to snap this shot.
Better than nothing, right?
 He then decided that the kitty needed the sign more than him.
What a nice guy. 

Nursery is great, right? It has lots of toys, snacks, and songs. What's there not to like? Well, it is a downer if you are afraid of the other kids.
Ryan dropped Jackson off at nursery because I had to teach. I told Ryan to stay with him the first week because I knew he would be scared, but the nursery leader kept hinting that Ryan should leave. Ryan did tell me a couple stories that happened before he left.
1. They fed Jackson goldfish and raisins. Jackson is pretty shy, so he didn't eat much. However, later that day, I pulled out our own bag of goldfish he had never eaten before. He stuffed his mouth full, said, "Mmmmm!!", and started clapping. He shoved more and more goldfish into his mouth before he even chewed the ones he had. I think he really wanted to eat more goldfish at nursery, but was too shy.
2. He doesn't care if kids steal his food or crayons.
3. During the lesson, the leader had a coloring book page of Jesus. She kept saying, "Jesus" and pointing at the paper. Jackson has always learned that "Jesus" is the man in the painting on our living room wall. He was really confused and kept looking around the walls of the room. He then would look back at the lady like she was crazy.
She then said, "Jackson, say Jesus." He glared at her. Everyday this week, Jackson has come up to me, points to the picture on the wall, and says "Jesus" just to prove a point. I always say, "That's right, Jackson. That's Jesus!" and he smiles.
4. When we went to pick up Jackson, he was sitting on the nursery leader's lap. When he saw us he started crying and panicking. Poor guy. The nursery leader said he was fine as long as she was holding him. There are scary nursery kids in there. (Not really, Jackson is the biggest one there. We have a Junior nursery and Senior nursery). Since nursery, Jackson has been really insecure and extra cuddly. He even held my hand the entire drive home from church. Unfortunetly, he was really mad at Ryan for leaving him and held a grudge for a little while. He's all better now.
All in all, it went pretty much how I expected. Hopefully next Sunday will be better!!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Resume Booster

Remember this post?

I thought I would update you on this bizarre attraction cops have for Ryan.

Believe it or not, since that post was written, Ryan has had about 3 more cop encounters. And he rarely ever speeds.They just love him!

A couple months ago, Ryan and I were driving to my parents house. We had just made a left turn, when I saw a pair of headlights tailgating us. I think tailgaters are really annoying and for some reason, this made me think of police officers.

Me: That guy is on your bumper. So annoying! I hate it when people do that. Do you think police officers tailgate people so they'll speed up just to pull the poor person over?"

Ryan: "I don't know. I wouldn't be surprised."

That's when I saw a light reflect off the top of the car. A cop car.

Me: "Well, you better not speed because that's a cop behind us.

Ryan: "What! I thought this was a hypothetical situation!"

Me: "Me too."

Well, Ryan made sure to go the speed limit. However, the cop was following us every turn we made. We got to a 2 lane road and I told Ryan to change lanes and let the cop pass us. He only followed us closer.

I'm pretty sure Ryan was sweating. He was concentrating on abiding every little traffic law known to man (and woman).

Me: "Wouldn't it be funny if he pulled you over?"

Ryan: "No."

Me: "Don't worry. He'd have no reason to."

That's when we saw the lights flash behind us.


We didn't do anything wrong! He couldn't be pulling us over! I could hear my heartbeat in my ears along with the tune of Elmo's World, thanks to Jackson's mini dvd player. Jackson was happily watching a show in the back of the car oblivious to the situation.

We pulled over and the officer approached our car, shining his flashlight directly in our eyes.

I waited for him to say, "Do you know why I pulled you over?" so Ryan could say NO! but....that question never came.

"Liscense and registration please."

Long story short, the officer informed us that our registration had been cancelled a month earlier.


We had no idea how or why it had been cancelled. I let the officer know that and hoped he would let us off with a warning since we were clueless we were breaking the law. Plus we had a baby in the back of the car that watches ELMO!! (Haha, it didn't help). Ryan never gets warnings. He ended up with a ticket.

The police officer kindly told us to go to court. "It helps!" he responded cheerfully. "You folks have a great night!"

I wanted to throw the ticket in his face. Okay, not really, but I was upset. Ryan cannot catch a break. He was pretty sullen. I told him to go to court and maybe they would write the ticket off. He kind of laughed and said they never do that, but maybe they would reduce the charge? However, it was during school and Ryan couldn't afford missing classes to show up in court.

The next day, I called Utah's registration place to ask why our registration had been cancelled. The helpful receptionist was not surprised at all.

"Oh yeah! That happens all the time! We have a third company business that checks to see if people sell their cars or if the car is registered in another state. Sometimes they make mistakes and accidentally cancel registrations that aren't supposed to be cancelled!"

Huh. Interesting.

So basically his was not our fault at all! Plus, we were never notified of the cancellation, so we couldn't have done anything about it.

Ryan had told me that he would take care of the ticket and that I wouldn't need to worry about it. Weeks passed and Ryan was pretty busy. The night before the court date, the day before we needed to pay the ticket, I couldn't wait any longer. I grabbed the ticket. There on the page it said that it was REQUIRED for Ryan to go to court. Usually it's not, so I was really confused. It said if he failed to show up in court, there would be a warrant for his arrest.

I typed the ticket number in the computer anyways to see if we could just pay it...maybe I had misread the ticket. The computer processed my request and there it showed the cost of the ticket.

A whopping 800 dollars.


I had thought maybe $200 tops...but $800?? And sure enough, Ryan HAD to go to court. He was not a happy camper and was stressing out about missing class.

Fortunetly, court went well. Out of all the people there, Ryan and one other guy got their tickets written off. Ryan talked to the judge and the judge was really excited to find out that Ryan went to law school. They chatted and the judge even said, "I have never heard of this happening before! Usually a revoked registration is due to criminal activity, drug dealing, that kind of thing. It is a very serious thing. Actually, protocol is that the police officer should have arrested you on the spot. He probably didn't because your wife and child were in the car with you."


Could you imagine Ryan getting arrested? I guess it would have made a better story, but then he would have had to explain why he had been arrested on all his future job resumes. *Phew*

I was thankful we didn't have to pay the $800.

Later, Ryan told his professor why he missed class that day, and she exclaimed, "You won your first case! You can now say on your resume that you have won 100% of your cases!"

Who knew that this hectic experience would be a resume booster?

Poor Ryan. Being attractive to cops is not fun, but at least he has good stories to tell!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Oregon Duck Kisses

Jackson likes his Oregon duck his Great-Grandma gave him. He plays with it in the bath. It's funny because it's supposed to be a duck football player. He then has 2 other rubber duckies that are yellow with eyelashes. It reminds me of the Oregon duck's cheerleaders or girlfriends or something. It's one big happy duck family.

Anyways, this is a fun video of bathtime with Jackson.

Friday, April 12, 2013

La Vida Loca

Jackson has recently fallen in love with a blue frog that sings "Living la Vida Loca". He asks us to play it ALL the time. He loves to dance to it and has come up with all sorts of dance moves, including the foot stomp, shoulder twitch, and rocking back and forth.

This video he was favoring the spin in circles move. It's funny because he'll get really dizzy and fall over. Then he gets really confused as to how he ended up on the floor. Silly boy.

Luckily, said frog lives at Grandma's house, so we can escape it's singing for several days at a time.

Jackson did, however, make me play this video 20 times in a row. Not even exaggerating. Whatever makes him happy I guess!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Monkeys in Trees are Fun

Jackson has gotten really good at the movements for this song. Of course he doesn't do it as well when anyone new is watching him or when we whip out the camera. Oh well. The video is still cute.

Sometimes I will catch Jackson babbling in the back of the car doing the hand movements. He is very animated when he does it all by himself. It's a sight that warms this mama's heart.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Message from Jackson

This video is a message from Jackson to the Blogging world.

Actually Jackson was just watching himself in the phone. Speaking of phones, whenever the phone rings now, Jackson will automatically pick it up and say, "Hi Dada." It's pretty cute.

(Note the scratch on his nose. This was happening too often as of late, which is why poor Lily had to get declawed.)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Basketball Allstar

Jackson loves his basketball hoop! He could play with it all day. He is a pretty good dunker.

His talent doesn't just involve balls. He has been known to dunk his stuffed animals, blankets, and shoes. Now that the cat doesn't have claws, she needs to watch out or she might find herself in a pile of net!

Monday, April 8, 2013


I think it's about time for another Jackson week. I couldn't find my computer, so I'm updating this on my phone. We'll see how it goes!!!

I have been counting to three in front of Jackson for awhile now, and lately he has been trying to repeat numbers back. Here is a video of Jackson "counting" to two!

Don't you love the pink stuffed animal alien thing that Jackson is playing with??

Sunday, March 24, 2013


As I was perusing Pinterest, I came across this quote that I love.

"Whenever possible say yes, they are only kids once!" -Marjorie Hinckley

Now, ever since I have been married to Ryan, he has taught me to be a skeptic.  Did Sister Hinckley really say this quote? Was she quoting someone else when she said this? I tried to research the source, but couldn't find it. Regardless of who said it, I still think it's good advice.

Jackson can't even talk yet, but I still feel like I say no a lot. A lot of the times it's for his safety, like when he tries to stick his finger in outlets or when he finds a fork and carries it around precariously close to his eyeball. In these situations, a good parent should say no. But other times I feel like I say no when I don't have to--perhaps out of laziness on my part, feeling like I'm too busy, or other various reasons.

For instance, a couple weeks ago, I was doing a project and needed an empy 2-liter bottle. We emptied the soda from the bottle into a tupperware and put it in the fridge for Ryan to drink later (just so you know, this does not work. The soda went flat in about 2 seconds. I might be exaggerating, but it went flat really fast. Oopsies!) I propped Jackson up on the counter by the sink, and we rinsed out the bottle and played with it for a couple of minutes. I stopped play time because I was eager to get started on my project. However, when I went to take Jackson down, he started crying and saying, "Dis! Dis!" frantically pointing at the empty bottle.

I thought back on the quote and decided, what the heck! How often do we have an empty 2 liter bottle? And how much longer is my precious little boy going to think things like soda bottles are the greatest thing in the world? He is only going to be little for a short time.

I took off his clothes, put him in Mom and Dad's bath (which is way more luxurious than his), and let him play and play with the empty bottle and running water. The whole time he had a huge grin on his face. I sat there for almost an hour watching him splash around, showing off for me. He loved that he had my full attention. He had so much fun, and I'm glad I took that short amount of time out of my day to play with him instead of saying "no" and missing out on this sweet moment.

Before Ryan and I had Jackson, I used to tease Ryan and say he was going to be the softie out of the two of us and that I was going to have to be the disciplinarian. Jokes on me, because it is the opposite. I know I need to learn how to say "no" to my children, but I also need to remember that is equally as important to be able to say "yes" as well.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

16 Months

(Pictures in this post are from my phone, sorry they are a little blurry!)
Jackson is no longer a baby. He is a full blown toddler and can be found walking everywhere these days. It took him a long time to get over his walking-phobia, but after his 15 month doctor appointment, he really started walking well. I guess the doctor told him it was time to stop crawling in baby language.

Interesting facts about 16 month old Jackson:

--Starting to say words. He can say no (more like NO!), done, dada, denn-denn (Jenn-Jenn), Jesus (can point to Jesus), this, that, and touch.

--When he's done eating, he will push against his tray and yell, "Done! Done? Done!"

--He tries to put on his socks/shoes by himself when he wants to go somewhere. He then gives up and heads straight to the front door to try to open it. Sometimes he'll see me put my shoes on and run to the front door.

People watching at the playground

--Walks everywhere.

--Favorite foods: Noodle soup, macaroni and cheese, strawberries, and smoothies.

--Loves to sit on the counter in the kitchen and "help" me cook.

--Loves animals. I take Jackson to the pet store for fun. He loves walking up and down the puppy aisle. The place we go has no kitties. Sad, butI guess we already have a kitty he can see at home.

--Climbs on things.

He climbed in his stroller all by himself
--He is a big copy cat. He was looking at my Kindle today and Ryan clicked on something with his foot. For the next 5 minutes, Jackson was trying to navigate my Kindle using his big toe.

--Loves to give kisses and will actually kiss us if we ask him to.

He was giving me a kiss through the shower door.
--LOVES the phone. I can't talk on the phone without him clamboring all over me. When my phone rings, he'll put it up to his ear and say, "Da da???"

--Plays candy crush. He doesn't actually understand the concept, but he does know that if he clicks the upper left corner of my phone, a message will pop up asking if he is sure he wants to buy a $40 candy. He then will press purchase, but lucky it doesn't go through since my account is not set up. Stinker. He does it every time!

--Loves to play with water, rearrange items in the fridge, pull his books off the shelves and "read" them, and open the dish washer and pull dishes out.

--Is attached to a stuffed tiger and his green blankie.

--Is in the 99th percentile for weight, 97th percentile for height, and 99th percentile for head circumference.

Jackson is so fun! He really tries to communicate with us by babbling. Sometimes it sounds like he saying actual words, it's really cute. I can hardly believe he will be in nursery in 2 months. Love my little guy!