Thursday, May 24, 2012


I'm overwhelmed. It is impossible to pack a house with a 21-month-old and a 2.5-month-old....and a 24-year-old. Impossible I tell you.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Long Post Coming

Give me maybe 2 weeks and I promise I'll write a nice long post. Okay, I can't guarantee that it will be long, but it will be detailed enough to catch up on our lives the past month or so. Things are really good, just crazy busy.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Those of you who have been around Axel, even briefly know that he is wild and rambunctious. He's almost always on the go and nothing get's past him. Some days, he can be really hard to keep up with and definitely makes me work hard. Then there are the moments where I realize he's been a little too quiet in his bedroom unsupervised and when I go in expecting to see chaos, I find him quietly "reading" books, completely content in his own little book world. I love when this happens. I try not to boast too much about him, but I have to say that his passion for and love of books makes me very proud. Or there's moments like the one I captured today. He recently figured out how to climb up into the window ledge without using my body as a step-stool. This seems to be his new favorite place to sit. He climbs up to his perch to watch Sesame Street, eat a snack, read a book, scare his mother and sometimes he climbs up to quietly look out the window and think little Axel thoughts. He stayed up here for about 10 minutes just staring, thinking, and watching. These moments make me want to freeze time and keep him like this forever. It is too precious and tugs so hard on my heart! I love you Axel!

Monday, April 16, 2012


Yes, we are alive. Alive and doing well. I promised myself a million and one times that I would update my blog and never got around to it. I had it all planned out, down to the witty remarks, but.. sigh.. I am only just now getting to it!

It's been about a month since I posted about our newest little bundle, Bentley. On Saturday, the 14th of April he was officially a month old. A MONTH! Already! Crazy how time flies, although it already seems like he's been a part of our family forever. How lucky I feel to have such an easy going baby. He may look like his big bro, but his temperament is completely different! He only really cries when he needs something (which is usually to pass gas, oh boy... this kid..) and he is a great eater, which is going to save us lots of money on the formula we ended up needing for Axel. Now I'll get to savor the sweet smell of breastmilk breath even longer! Axel, you deprived me of this cheap thrill. Don't act grossed out, you know you love it.

Speaking of Axel, now that we've had some time to get used to Bentley being here I have to be honest. He did have a tough couple of days. Not right at the beginning, but around two weeks in, he struggled a little. There were two long days of him acting like he absolutely hated me and Jordan. It was really hard, sad, and heart-breaking. I tried everything I could to make him feel loved, needed, appreciated, and accepted but it wasn't enough. The change was taking it's toll on him. I knew what would help, and that was one-on-one attention with no babies around. So I called in the big-guns. I realized how much he loved having Grandma Ripp around and decided the answer would lie in the power of Grandma's. So it was off to Grandma Stanley's for little Ax. At first I wondered if I was like, shipping him off. But he spent an entire Tuesday and an entire Thursday with her and it made all the difference. He was showered with fun and attention and was happy to come home and be with Jordan, Bentley and me. It really did the trick. We're so lucky to have so many people around who love our boys so much! Since then, Axel has been his usual self, and seems to be growing up so much! He is such a great helper with Bentley and is always giving him hugs and kisses. He is obsessed with Bentley's feet and loves to take his socks off and (try to) put them back on.

Our Easter was really relaxed and nice. We went to Church (Bentley's big debut!) came home for naps, and then we went to the Stanley's for Easter dinner. Jordan's sister Kelly and her new hubby Steve were in town visiting so it was nice to see them. I hadn't met Steve yet so that was cool too. They are a very sweet and loving couple.

Headed to Church..

Sorry for the freakish close-up.

The weather hasn't been fantastic like it was when I left the hospital but it is warming up a little and we've had a blast going on walks and going to the park.

One day last week the three of us went for ice cream and then to the park. We hadn't been out of the house in so long so it was really nice to get out and be out! We were gone for a few hours and pretty tuckered out by the time we got home. Axel was such a big boy eating his ice cream by himself. Down the street the middle schoolers had just been released and a few of them came for ice cream. In this picture, Axel was charming the girls. It was really funny.

He also enjoyed running around in the sand at the park.

The other day we went to a park we haven't been to in awhile and we were the only ones there. Five minutes later a big group of pre-schoolers just a little older than Ax showed up. My oh my was he in heaven! He made some friends and had a fun time playing with all the kids. One girl was cracking him up as she'd chase him around the structure and when she'd "catch" him she would say "ding-dong!". Belly laughter ensued. It was adorable. I can't wait for Bentley to be old enough to play with him like that. Not that I'm rushing things, but it will be fun when the time comes.

Off we go!

"Ding Dong!"

Bentley had his one-month well-baby check-up (I like words with dashes. Call me over-zealous). Our eyes do not deceive us, he is growing like a weed! At 4 weeks old he weighed in the 98th percentile at 12.5lbs and has grown an inch! I guess these major babaloos I've acquired are doing some good in the world.

Milk drunk baby..

Sweet Handsome Boy..

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen, Bentley Knox

On Wednesday, March 14th we finally got to meet our sweet baby boy! Jordan and Axel took me to the hospital around 9am and I checked in while Jordan and Axel went home to wait for Grandma Stanley to come watch Axel. I got all checked in and enjoyed chatting with the nurse. About an hour later, Jordan arrived and shortly after that things started moving.

At 12:28pm, Bentley Knox Stanley was officially welcomed into the world! When he first came out everyone exclaimed what a big boy he was. I heard one nurse guess around 9lbs and another person guess around 7lbs. Bentley ended up weighing 9lbs 2oz (bigger than Axel was!) and 21.5 inches long! So he was almost a full pound AND full inch bigger than his big bro. I definitely didn't see that coming. Our Branch President actually assisted with the delivery and as soon as Bentley was out, President Aamodt said, "Hey, I've seen that face before!" and then I heard Jordan say, "he looks just like Axel!". Indeed, he certainly did look just like his big brother! The first moments of Bentley's life were so sweet and special. As soon as he was put on my chest and heard my voice he stopped crying. It is so cool to be recognized like that. It was such a special experience.

My recovery in the hospital was quite quick and I was able to get a lot of rest. The nurses were absolutely wonderful and I am so thankful for their care! Our first few days at home were pretty basic and easier than I thought. I had the help of Jordan because it was the weekend, so that was great! The following Monday and Tuesday I was on my own but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I don't know if it was a combination of the amazing weather we are having so early (it's been in the 70's and 80's!) mixed with the fact that I am no longer pregnant, and also because I am just so happy to have my sweet boys.. but it isn't as hard as I thought. Challenging, oh yes. But not as hard. Bentley is such a good, easy baby! He hasn't had any problems nursing (yet) which is a huge change from our struggles with Axel, and Bentley also sleeps and hardly ever cries. Poor Axel had colic and acid reflux so he never slept and always cried. The change is definitely a breath of fresh air. I hope things stay this way! I guess Ax was just preparing us for the hard stuff.

On Wednesday last week my Mom came to stay with us for a few days. She was such a big help! She bought us groceries (and candy, yum!) and was just great company to have around. It was nice to just relax with her and my boys and spend time together.

I'm kind of behind on this post so it's going to be short and sweet. Overall, everything has been wonderful so far and I am so happy to have my three boys!

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Two things:

1. Today is the three year anniversary of the day Jordan proposed to me... In the parking lot at super walmart.

2. I just received the most beautiful and comforting blessing Jordan has ever given me. I wish I could give him one! I am so grateful for his testimony and the honor in which he carries his Priesthood power. What a difference it makes having that authority in our home. I didn't have that growing up and the Spirit of love and security is so strong!

I am so in love with my husband and so grateful for all that he does for our family.

Thank you my sweet. You are simply the best.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Things are happening. A lot of things are happening! First of all, I'm pretty pregnant and as of tomorrow I will officially be full-term! Wahoo! And I'm big. Real big.

Those pictures were taken this weekend. I'll talk more about pregnancy and babies in a moment. We had a very busy, but enjoyable weekend. On Saturday my sister came over to spend the night. I absolutely love when she comes over, and so do Jordan and Axel. We wish she could live with us. She is so much fun to have around. Although I felt like a terrible host. Before I went to pick her up, I spent the entire morning cleaning. I only cleaned the kitchen and living room but somehow got caught up in what I was doing and really cleaned. Scrubbed the floors, cleaned the cabinet doors, behind the fridge, etc.. Although it felt great to have it done and sparkly clean, by the time my sister was here I was pooped! I was trying so hard not to fall asleep just sitting with her. She was pretty understanding though and I think she just enjoys being out of the house, even if that means sitting around ours.

Saturday evening we had some of our neighbors over for pizza. Jordan makes delicious home-made pizza and we have made great friends with a few of our neighbors. There are 3 floors in our apartment building and on our floor alone there are 6 little boys! All of them except one (who is only two weeks old!) are just about the same age, give or take a month, so the moms try to get together often to let the kids play and have some grown-up chatter. We all enjoyed the pizza and had a nice time talking and watching the kiddos run around. I had to take a picture of the boys in their high chairs. It was too funny.

The two boys on the far right are Brayden and Silas. They are such sweet, calm, boys. Axel and his friend Christian (to the right of him) are one in the same. They both love to make mischief and have a little problem with hitting that we (the mommies) are working on. They are cute together though.

On Sunday we went to Church and relaxed in the afternoon. I took Lucy to meet up with my dad (we meet half-way so the drive isn't too long for either person) and then got ready to have people over once again. Once a month our Branch President and his wife hold a fireside for the young married couples in our branch. There are only a few of us, but it is nice to just get together and talk to other adults about ways that we can improve and strengthen our marriages. It's always very uplifting and makes my heart flutter for Jordan. It's a great reminder of how lucky I am to have him. Anyways, we take turns hosting the fireside and this week it was at our house. Once everyone left Jordan and I basically fell asleep standing up, as we were both so tired after the busy weekend. I forgot to mention that on Saturday, he got up to go to work at 3am, came home at 10am and aside from when we were hosting our little pizza soiree, he was working on homework until midnight! I don't know how he does it!

On Monday I had my weekly OB appointment (yes, I'm down to weekly appointments!) I mentioned to my doctor that I had been feeling a lot more pressure than normal and having a lot of braxton hicks that day. He measured my stomach and said that the baby is probably somewhere around 8lbs right now (which is pretty big for being just under 37 weeks). Of course, they can only estimate so he could be off, but the baby does feel big to me too. Then he checked me to see if I was dilating. The last time I was checked was at about 35 weeks and I was at a 1. Yesterday when he checked me I was still at a 1, but he said he noticed something abnormal happening with my cervix. I'm not really sure how to explain it, but he drew me a picture of what is going on. He said it's nothing to be really concerned about, but it's also something he doesn't see very often and it's not necessarily a good thing. A broad explanation would be that while my cervix is changing, it's not changing into the right shape (???) so the baby is going to have a really hard time getting out. He said to come in and get checked again if I am having more braxton hicks, and that he will definitely check me again at my next appointment (which is next week). Once I get to 2cm he said it is best to have the baby. With the size and cervical funny business it will do more harm than good to keep him inside. It's exciting news, but then again I could go to a 2 today, or it could take another 2 weeks (although if he continues to grow for 2 more weeks, that's another 2lbs he could gain. I can't imagine having a 10 lb baby! yikes!) We shall see! Either way, I am sooooooooooooooooooooooo excited to meet this sweet baby boy! Of course I will miss having him tucked inside me nice and safe and warm, but I can't wait to hold him (and breath, and bend, and sleep).

Last night we went on a nice long walk. It wasn't as long as I would have hoped, but with how low the baby is sitting it was getting pretty painful, and Ax was getting cold. Still, it felt great to get outside and get moving!

And of course I have to share a little about our amazing Axel. What's new with Axel you ask? Well, he loves to be naked! I let him run around naked for awhile yesterday and right after I took this picture, he pooped on the floor. Oops!

He also loves to eat cereal out of the box. I was a little nervous to just let him go crazy with the box, but he does much better this way. If I give him a cup or bowl with cereal he thinks it's a party and throws it everywhere and then steps on it. Real fun for Mama.

I'm having so much fun soaking up my days with just Ax before the babe comes. I know he will be such a great big brother, but I want to hold on to these last few days alone with just him and I. He is my number 1 and I have a hard time imagining how I will make room in my heart to love another child as much as I love him. It is an indescribable love. He is my everything. I really can't fathom how fulfilling and almost overwhelming it will feel to love TWO boys so much!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Spring Planning

If you've ever looked at clothing on pinterest, you may have noticed an awesome website called Polyvore ( This has got to be one of my favorite new websites ever. It is simply genius. It allows you to put together an outfit from thousands and thousands of clothing options. Not only that, but if you really like something it will give you the price and link to purchase the item. Sadly, everything I have put together is way out of my price range so I've never purchased, but sigh.. a girl can dream.

Anyways, with a new baby coming in only a few weeks I have been thinking a lot about the family pictures we are hoping to have taken this spring. We have the spot all picked out (wouldn't you like to know... not telling just yet.. but it's pretty cool - at least to us). Anyways, Jordan makes fun of me to no end but I am already planning our outfit options in my head and thanks to polyvore I have put my ideal clothing set into one look!

Family Pictures '12

You should try it!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Lovin&apos; the Love

Happy Valentines Day everyone! I will warn you now that this will post will probably consist of some bragging, so if you're not into it STOP READING!

Last night Jordan took me out on an early Valentines Day date (to avoid the crowds.. Yes, we're old farts). He had the whole thing set up! We took Axel to Grandma and Grandpa Stanley's house where he had a blast playing with his Uncles and Aunt. Then Jordan and I headed off to Madison. We stopped by Jamba Juice downtown and then headed to the movies and saw The Vow. The whole thing was a surprise! I can't tell you how much I love that he is into girly movies! It's the best!

We had such a fun night and really enjoyed some one-on-one time out of the house. I was so bummed that we forgot to take any photos the entire time, so I made Jordan smile for a picture right before we went to bed. I look like a doofus in the picture but oh well.

Then, this morning when I woke up I found a surprise Jordan had left for me! Some yummy candies (he knows me well!), a cutting mat for my sewing projects - which I've been wanting for months, and a super sweet note which I had to cover up in the picture because my husband can be a bit perverted. Still, it was super thoughtful and sweet and I didn't expect it at all! I felt so bad because for once, I didn't have any surprises planned for him! Thankfully I can cook a decent meal (not as good as my Mother-in-Law, who is seriously the worlds best cook), but my skills still came in handy. I wanted to make him a "guys meal" and since he went to a "Courtney restaurant" last year I had to go with something he would love. Jordan is a big fan of Wingers Sticky fingers, but we don't have a Wingers here in Wisco. I did find a copycat recipe though and it turned out really yummy! I also found an AMAZING French fry recipe on that Pioneer Woman blog. Seriously, if you're going to make home-made fries, use her recipe.

Now we're just winding down and enjoying some peace, quiet, and Teen Mom 2.

I am so so so incredibly grateful to have found, and married such an amazing man to spend eternity with. He is absolutely perfect for me and I do not deserve him! He is so uplifting and supportive, even when he doesn't have a clue what I'm freaking out about, haha. He is such a good dad to our sweet boy and so attentive to us both. I love him for being such a hard worker, and as cheesy as it is.. for being so sensitive. He really is my best friend.

Happy Valentines Day Friends!

Ps.. Axel was my Valentine while Jordan was at work. I'm so lucky to have such sweet boys!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Indoor Activities

As many of you know, we only have one vehicle at the moment. During the warmer months it isn't a big deal, but in the winter months it gets a little rough. Ax and I are stuck at home while Jordan is working and we both start to get pretty stir crazy after awhile. Luckily, this winter hasn't been too harsh, but still with Axel's respiratory issues, I certainly don't want to take him for walks and things when it is so bitter cold.

I've been trying to stay creative and keep him entertained by playing games in the halls, experimenting with different foods and textures, and lately we've been spending a lot of time playing cars (his new favorite thing, after his beloved books of course).

Today, we had fun with a couple new activities! I took an empty diaper box and royally dubbed it our "activity box". Then I went through the house gathering random items that Axel might enjoy. I put in a picture of Jordan and I, his cup with juice, an empty cup, a muffin tin, a cell phone holder, a closed container of goldfish crackers, and some alphabet magnets from our fridge. I shook the box to catch Axel's attention and set it down next to him. He got up, looked inside and said "oooh!". Then he sat back down and returned to his book. Hmmm.. Not the reaction I was expecting. I let him continue and watched from the side to see if the activity box would ever entice him. It did! He wasn't interested in all of the contents but we spent about 30 minutes putting the goldfish in the muffin tin (and our mouths!) and back into their container. It's amazing how such a simple game can hold a child's attention for so long! And it's fun to watch him think and sort.

Once that got old we hung out for a bit, had a snack and found a new game. Axel LOVES playing with water and will come up to me with empty bottles and cups that he finds, hand them to me and say, "couuuu?" which in his language means "will you please put water in this cup?".

I laid a towel on the floor and got out a few storage containers and some baking pans, filled some of them with water at different levels and set them on the towel. Axel was stoked! We took his pants and shirt off (because any time he gets water he gets wet.. Go figure right?). Then we played in the water forever! He had sooo much fun! Finally I had to end it because I could tell he was getting cold (but didn't care) and didn't want him to get sick.

Again, it's so amazing how such simple activities can keep him entertained for such a long time! I'm super anxious for spring and summer so we can spend all day outside, but for now I suppose we make it work.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

January in Wisconsin

This year we have been soooo lucky to have such a mild Wisconsin winter (thus far... *knock on wood)! Moderate snowfall and pretty decent temperatures. This is all more than fine by me because I've grown to really hate harsh winters! Mostly because of the irresponsible drivers. Anyways, my rant is over. We spent the morning playing and Axel took a super long nap - 3 1/2 hours!

What is it about little ones that makes running around with no clothes on so exciting? Axel jumps at the chance to be naked! He had fun playing with his cars in his skivvies.

When Jordan got home from work (don't mind his dirty work clothes), we went for a winter walk and fed the ducks. Axel wasn't quite sure what to think of them and instead of throwing bread to the ducks he ate it himself, haha! But thanks to Jordan and I, the ducks still got a little snack.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Something in the Air - Updated with a Video

As my due date draws closer, I've been trying to slowly get all of our ducks in a row to prepare for the arrival of Baby Brother. This has included everything from nesting and organizing to preparing Axel for the change that is about to happen. Luckily I have a handful of friends who have dealt with the same transition in just the past couple of months. Even down to the same age gap. This has been extremely enlightening for me and I am so grateful that I've been able to pick their brains and receive helpful foresight and advice.

One of the biggest and most important things I keep hearing is that Axel and Jordan will need to become Best Buds when the baby comes. Now don't get me wrong, Jordan is an AMAZING daddy. I mean, world class, top notch, wonderful! But, Axel and I have an extremely deep and close bond that I pretty much consider untouchable. Those of you who are mothers will know exactly what I am referring to. Parents are parents and I know Jordan loves our Ax Man as much as I do, but a mother has this odd almost psychic connection with her child/children that a father can't touch. I've been wondering how Jordan can pick up on these things and take the reins so that if my attention shifts to Baby Brother, Axel won't feel left out. To be honest, I was doubting Jordans (or anyone else's) ability to be Axels best friend. Because I AM his best friend.

But, as is always the case.. I've been (softly) slapped in the face with something truly beautiful, and a reminder how how powerful families are...especially the power of fathers. In the past week or two Jordan and Axel have had this bizarre natural pull towards each other that I really can't describe as well as I'd like, but it's different than anything I've seen with them before. It's really as if nature is sensing the impending change and is guiding them to each other. It is the sweetest thing ever. When Axel wakes up he always gets so excited to see me. He does a little dance and wraps his arms so tightly around my neck when I pick him up from his crib. He still does all of this but now he also puts two hands on my cheeks, and asks "Dada?" or "Daaa-eeee?" (daddy).. Wondering if Jordan is home. Which, sadly he's already at work when Ax wakes up.

There are so many other examples I could record but I think the point is pretty clear. I am so grateful for our Eternal family and for the strong connections we have in this home. I am so grateful for the balance that Jordan and I have when it comes to parenting and our preferences.

I know that having two little ones will be a challenge as our routines change and we all adjust to having a newborn around, but I also know that the blessing of having children, and the sweet spirits they are in our home is the most fulfilling thing in the world. I am so grateful for my amazing family and am so excited to see how the next few months unfold for us!

I had to add this video to the post. You can't really see what's going on (other than the clutter on our living room floor.. ), but you can hear it. Jordan is pretending to run into Axel's feet. When I try to play this game, you can hear crickets. When Jordan plays it with Axel, well.. you can hear the reaction. I love this belly laugh!