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I've been waiting to give an update until we had some answers. Jax had an endocrinology checkup for his growth last Monday,  and we had to stop into the nutrition clinic for a weight-check regarding his tube-free trial. The endocrin-appointment went well with Jax's height hitting 23% now, which is great! But the doc could see that his weight gain has slowed down. I was nervous for what the nutrition team was going to say.

The dietitian called me Tuesday to discuss the growth and as expected, she's a bit concerned that he's growing taller faster then his weight is moving (his weight is around 5-10%), so she doesn't want him to slide down the slippery slope. We discussed his diet and have decided to replace 3oz of his whole milk mixed into the Carnation with heavy whipping cream. I'm going to try it all in his dinner drink and tell Jax it's a shake.  We push his meals so much the way it is that I have a little anxiety that he won't be able to sustain all this milk drinking he's doing (30oz). I want this so bad for him, but if he's not ready, then I'll have to accept that. But for NOW, he can try the next two months again, so we will continue to TRY!
Here's to hoping!

Since he's been disconnected from that machine for awhile now, he's been working hard on using the bathroom at night! He's doing decent if we wake him once through the night to go. He's wearing underwear and is more aware of himself, but he's not waking himself up so I'm not sure if that will just pan out on its own or what. For now, we keep waking him ourselves...

In other news, we had Jax's annual IEP meeting at school recently and they're keeping the same amount of intervention for his writing and spelling (5x/week) along with all the testing accommodations. I asked them if they felt we should take Jax back to the neuropsychologist for learning disorder testing - specifically for his writing issues. They all agreed we should. Last year Jax was dx'd with ADHD from the neuropsychologist and she saw all the flags for the learning disorder called 'Dysgraphia', but he needed to have half a year of 3rd grade under his belt for an actual diagnosis.
I took him back for re-testing and he was in fact diagnosed clinically with this learning disorder.  The doctor reviewed her testing from last year and could see that he did improve with all his interventions from the past year, but it's not closing the gap (he is at a 1st grade level in writing/spelling and almost 4th grade level for reading - massive disconnect for someone with an average IQ).

Jax struggles with thought-to-paper, which is similar to apraxia in that he knows what he wants to write, but he just can't organize a thought to do it. Nor can he even copy a word that's in front of him if he has to arrange it into a sentence.
It's a very complicated disorder, and slightly different for everyone, but our first inclination that something wasn't right, was his refusal to write for a long time and he would break down with spelling words in 1st grade. He had to be removed from spelling up until this year and even now, it's extremely obvious he memorizes the spelling without any actual mechanics of how or why it's spelled that way. Like... if you ask him how to spell 'chair', he'll say, "c-l-r". And we'll say, "chaaair" slowly for him to hear some of the letters. He says, "c-r-l". Nope. We tell him how to spell it, he memorizes it, but doesn't actual sound out the word in his head to recall letter sounds. And oddly, he reads just fine - see the disconnect?

So what does this mean??
The doctor had a long discussion with me  about how he's covered well currently with interventions in elementary school, but accommodations in middle school, high school and hopefully college will be extremely necessary. She said he continues to score deep into the charts showing that his brain isn't processing properly given his IQ and reading skills. Jax will need to get his speech articulation a bit more under control (he still sounds like a Boston gangsta with his 'r' pronunciation) so he can start dictating his thoughts on a computer for writing, and then going back and doing the punctuation himself. Other things like getting the lecture notes from the teacher/professor when he gets to that point. His ability to listen, process, type and focus is probably not going to be a reality. We need to seek out a tutor for the summer months to give him the best chance academically. We will have to find a way to make it not seem like a punishment for the disorder.


This news isn't shocking to us since he's been 'treated' for it at school in special ed for a few years (and the doctor put it on our radar last year) but it's still a hard pill to swallow when it's in front of you and going into official reports. I've been down about it all day, only because it's official and I know this will be with him for life. I do however feel, like this is possibly the last testing/diagnosis possibility for him for the foreseeable future -which is a welcomed break.

I spoke to Jax about it and so far he's okay with understanding it a little bit. He knows he struggles greatly with it and I don't want him to feel dumb or inadequate compared to peers. I'm glad we're able to identify this for him and get him all the tools he needs to succeed. I told him that all we want from him is his best effort always.

I just have to remember that he's healthy and happy, and we're working hard every day to keep it that way.


Getting some math homework done waiting in the lab to get a blood draw. Just another Monday!


Sometimes Brady just really wants broccoli with his pancakes...

Jax looking like an old man reading a Sports Illustrated during a break at the neuropsychologist's office. 

A great representation of their different souls...

Uncle Adam got married in Februrary

Jax has some magic skills...

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It has taken 9.5 yrs to get to this point, but we are HERE. I had Jax at Childrens Hospital on Tuesday for his yearly check in with the Rehab Clinic for his muscles, so we stopped in the Nutrition Clinic for a weight check since we cut his tube-feedings in half last November.

He gained (1.5 lb) since then with less feeds AND had the flu in there, so I thought it was worth asking for a trial with no tube. So I emailed the team and anxiously awaited their response. They responded today that we can do a 7 week trial of no tube-feeding, but Jax has to drink his carnation-milk before bed, which equals half of the overnight feed he's getting now. That means he needs to get in 30oz of his carnation milk every day, and hopefully with less food overnight, his hunger will get better to EAT more food during the day.

This is a challenge. I'm on him all day every day about food. His hunger and volume has gotten better since reducing his overnight feed, and even his feeding therapist agrees. But he still struggles. I'm hoping this trial will give him a sense of what he needs to do. He's taking a lot more responsibility this year with his age.

We'll need to find a way to not feel total defeat or devastation if on March 19, they say we need to go back to using the tube. We've never had a trial like this before and the weight of the trial feels slightly overwhelming, but hey... we've got to try!


3rd grade b-ball studs


I'd like to point out that I said NOTHING watching Jax wipe his face between shots... 

Teacher in-service day = pajamas and Christmas gift usage.

Some cool hats from Uncle Adam and Aunt D

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Hello 2018!
We had a pretty great year of health and development for these kiddos. We had a super busy December that I'm still trying to recover from!

The boys played Joseph and a shepherd in the Nativity Christmas play, which was beyond cute. This was their last year for the play, so I soaked it up. We had Christmas celebrations back 'home' a few hours north a couple different times, so that was some driving back-and-forth on 3 different occassions. We had a really nice Christmas eve with cookie baking and a viewing of Home Alone, but then back up 'home' Christmas day. My brother and his fiancee' came from Portland Oregon for the week, while we also had a get together with friends and godchildren, a neighborhood party and then it was New Years! Thankfully we stayed in!

We've been looking for someone to fill the role of vacation-nanny for us when we're away on trips, or if gone overnight. The ladies we've had over the years have all gone on to get married and have children. Finding the dependability and comfort in someone else was giving me anxiety! My friend uses care.com with great results, so I gave it a try. We got SO lucky. A woman who recently retired as a college professor was looking for a couple families to care for on an as-needed basis. Her daughters moved out of state and she wanted to enjoy retirement, but still wanted to be needed. She is WONDERFUL. The boys liked her and we really enjoyed our time with her. Her references were very impressive and she's local... I'm so happy we all found each other! She had researched g-tubes and injections before coming as well... pretty cool. She's not intimidated with his medical care at all, (siiiiigh of relief!)

Jax has been doing really well with his feeding and the lowered amount of his tube feeding. I think he's gaining weight, so I'm optimistic about his weigh-in at the hospital in a couple weeks. I have lofty goals/requests to the docs if he does show a nice gain. I'm definitely getting my hopes up!
I had to change the product he uses for his milk drink during the day. I've finally just realized I can mix chocolate Carnation powder with whole milk to provide the calories and vitamins. Since his diet is better as well, I stopped fighting it. It turns out he loves it. I'll call that a win.

I'm hoping this sudden bout of the FLU with Jax doesn't mess up the weight gain.. yes, he has influenza A...boooo. He had started a cold on Thursday so I had the school give him his inhaler, and he even went to basketball practice later that evening. That night I realized he was a little warm during our bedtime hug. He was just under 100, so I was thinking, "hmmm". By the morning he was definitely down for the count and his temp spiked to over 102. His coughing wouldn't get better with his breathing treatment so I popped into his doc to check his lungs with his asthma that afternoon. The doc said he was doing really well, but with his fever (he rarely ever gets a fever, it's been years) and his achey legs, she wanted to swab him for the flu so we could treat him with Tamiflu and steroids just in case with his history.
Sure enough, it came back FAST with flu-A. The doc thinks he doing well because he had the flu shot, but who knows. Flu A is supposed to be the worst of the flus, so I'm slightly shocked how well he's doing.
He's continued to eat small meals and take fluids by mouth. The fever is relentless, but his lungs are doing well. We're on day 2 and I hope it stays the course and doesn't get worse - wish us luck! It's been 3 years exactly since such an illness has hit, but I can honestly say he is such a stronger kid this time around!

Big B on the court

Santa and his elf ready for the holidays

My fabulous niece Marley

The Bonin & Berger Bunch kiddos

Christmas program




A common scene at our house over a 10 day period

A couple of uncles and Jay hanging at a party

Jason and Uncle Adam showing the boys some cribbage skills at a downtown lunch outting

Brady modeling some Harry Potter pjs from Nana

 A pj-NYE night!

Christmas morning scene

Grandma Laura with the elves

Jax still wore that elf hat to bed most of the season


This little video cracks me up. It's Jax trying to make some free throws. His reaction at the end is my favorite. 

You're welcome.

Jax got nervous and then realized Santa's hand was on his tube. He asked Santa to make this his year to be done with the tube... I'm not crying, YOU'RE crying!

Harley Museum fun with Uncle Adam and Aunt D

BINGO fun with the Bonin kids!

Holiday taco party with the Spielbauers!

Jax and these turkey legs from Uncle Dave's house. Funny how those are at MY house now!

Brady runs a tight ship.
A cribbage playing motley crew with Adam and Danya visiting!

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We are deep into the holiday season, and the boys are filled with the spirit of the season for sure! They really wanted a family dinner for Thanksgiving - sometimes it's just the four of us at home going out to dinner since other family is usually tied up and out of town. We headed up to my mom's house up in Green Bay since my uncle was home from across the country and had a nice little dinner.
You can bet that Christmas threw up all over our house the next day and the boys couldn't be happier.
The only Black Friday shopping that we did was for a washer and dryer to go into the mud room when it's finished. I've found that online deals have been better than in-store shopping. I don't enjoy crowds and running around like that anyway so it's been a win/win for years!

We're trucking along pretty well this season. Our decorations are up, cards are sent and presents complete - just need to WRAP them ;)

The boys had a small holiday concert at school where we watched Jax sway back and forth throughout every single song. It was so cute to see that one kid rocking, so it was never hard to spot him.
They are now preparing for their Nativity play at church. Jax is pumped to play the role of Joseph and Brady is a shepherd and a narrator (as requested). I just found out that the Sunday School director has a family emergency out of state, so I will be directing the play with other teachers (OMG). Pray for us... lol

Jax is doing pretty well with his altered tube-feedings. He has some pretty decent days of eating, which is promising. But he definitely still has some lousy meals too, so I try to not get my hopes up too much. By our weigh-ins at home, he seems to have possibly gained some ounces so far. I'm not sure how accurate that is, but we do know he hasn't lost any weight. He'll be officially weighed in at the hospital on Jan 23, so hopefully that proves to be hitting some weight-goals.

We're looking forward to a very busy couple of weeks here with St Nick visiting tonight, a basketball tournament, holiday parties and the play. We hope you all enjoy the hustle and bustle of these next couple weeks leading up to Christmas!


Jax didn't enjoy the quiet outdoor time, but it sounds like Brady did.

Helpful boys!

I still find them cuddling.

And sitting around like this...

And visiting the guinea pig like this...

Thanksgiving at Nana Jayne's


Aunt Jessica was trying to help with Jay's sore back.

The boys love getting their annual lego Advent calendar from the Bonins

These two upset during the Steelers/Packers game.

Such a turkey

Brady playing the bells at his concert.

We always catch Jax sleeping with that ELF hat each year!

Jameson and Santina's birthday party!

My studs looking sharp for their concert.

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We finally have the green-light for the first step of weaning from the tube at night!

Jax had his GI/Nutrition follow-up at Childrens last week and I wanted to ask for a trial without the pump to see how Jax would do (the pump is the machine that Jax is hooked up to at night while he sleeps that feeds him). I knew in my heart that I would not be granted permission given his current weight (52 lbs), but I certainly expressed my yearning to try something. I thought of this when we were up in Green Bay staying at my mom's house a few weeks ago. I put Jax on the pump and forgot to take the clamp off. The machine didn't stop and alarm, but rather blew the extension right off and fed the bed all night instead of Jax.
In the morning, he was hungry! He ate two pancakes! So I thought that maybe he is ready to start taking all his food by mouth now, but we're making him so un-hungry each day with being fed all night. Possible?

The doctor and dietician agreed, although with him still being so thin, and growing taller each day, his BMI wouldn't allow us to just take out so many calories each day. So, we made a game plan to try. We cut his nightly tube-feeding in HALF, which may not seem like a big deal, but to us, it's HUGE. It allows us to do a few things:

1. Jax is only on the pump now for 2 hours, so I remove it before I go to bed. This lets him wake up not connected to a machine each day - freedom!
2. Jax can start working on overnight potty training now. While it's tough that he'll be fed for 2 hours while sleeping, which will make him most likely have to pee, he at least can work on getting UP to use the bathroom. Have you ever potty trained a toddler by filling their stomachs with liquid and then going to bed?? :) Crazy train for one please!
3. He can possibly be HUNGRIER now to eat his calories that he didn't get overnight.

We have to increase the potency of his protein drink (less water, more powder) and also change the way he drinks it at school. Snack and lunch and no in between!
I have to weigh him every few days at home to be sure he's maintaining and then starting to gain, and he also has to have an official weight check on record in 2 months at the hospital to stay on top of his weight/health while we do this.

This is one area of parenting a child like Jax that a lot of people don't understand. We, Jason and I, aren't allowed to make these judgement calls ourselves. It's hard wanting to try different things, but knowing that we need clearance from the hospital to do it. If I just cut his tube-feedings in half to try it and for some reason, he got sick, or lost a bunch of weight, we would be held liable for not providing his medical needs.
It's a line we have to walk as parents to get things cleared and wanting to push things forward. Everything we do is for Jax to live the best quality of life he can, but we have a team of people that all have to agree before any moves are made. Sometimes, it's hard to sit and wait for an appointment and then to feel like you're asking permission, and then to know that the trial is totally on your shoulders to 'work'.
We've been having a ton of talks with Jax so he can take some personal responsibility and to know what's on the line. I find myself stressing with each meal, and reading every single label for maximum calories at the store.
The plan in my head, is that we crush our goal with this half feed, and then the docs let us cut that in half (that would be about 6 months from now), and then if he could crush that goal (6 months from then), then maybe... they'd let us try no tube. Jax has to go one full year without ever using his tube - even through sickness, in order for it to be removed. So, you see, if Jax starts phase 1 right now... he has a chance to have to live tube-free in 2 yrs if it's seamless. It's a process, and I've always known that. I explained it to Jax yesterday that there's a long-process that he's literally just begun.

I know there will be set backs, so I try to not get my hopes up too high, but I just keep thinking - age 12. I'd love for him to get it out before his official 'teen-years'. I don't know why, other than I'd love for him to worry about totally normal teenage stuff and not this.

So here we go... and we are 4 days into and so far, he's crushed it :) Turns out he loves 260 calorie kid-cocoas from Starbucks...


Eating!

This kid took school re-take photos without us knowing!


Ouch... the teams mix up for the next tournament, so there's hope :)

Fun night to a comedy show and dinner with the Niagra crew!

Slowly but surely, coming along.

The official sink cleaner for toothpaste. After walking in and finding Jax cleaning the sink with his own toothbrush ::SHUTTER::::

Afternoon with Jax running errands, yes he walked around like this

I 'caught' him making a phone call to Santa (MELT!). I guess this phone has Santa speaking in it.

I'm going to really soak up this year's Santa with them... 

Apparently you can't heat milk up in a tea kettle....

Trick or Treat!
First buck with his bow. The boys go up with Jay next week and will sit in the stand for the first time one afternoon to get a taste of it! Hunter-safety next year already, wowza!
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October has been pretty cool (and cold, ha).

We got up to Green Bay to see some family for my grandma's birthday, so that was nice to see everyone and not have to wait until Christmas!
On our way up, we stopped at the dermatologist to have a spot on my arm checked out. Ugh. I had to have a quick procedure to have it removed. The doc was pretty confident that it was a keratoacanthoma, a type of non-aggressive skin cancer. Now if getting this done, while on your way back home to attend your 20 yr class reunion doesn't make you feel old... HA! Oh, life.
So, I get the stitches out this week and the doctor has already called to tell me that pathology has come back positive for a keratoacathoma. The good news is that it's not worse, but the bad news is that it was positive, so I will now see the derm every 3-6 months for life now. Such is life with fair skin.

Jason and I hosted a customer appreciation event at an apple farm (Apple Holler!) last weekend and even though it was super cold, it was pretty fun. We had a campfire with treats, apple and pumpkin picking and tons of farm fun - a great family fall day for all!


20 yrs!


Working on turning over the playroom to a man cave.

Weekly Sunday night bb practice.

Getting a ride from cousin Nate during Grandma's birthday lunch.



A promised lunch-treat for running errands with me on a day off of school! (They're watching basketball, of course) 



Kids during our client appreciation event.



Jax-man with me!

Framing on our addition has begun!

Pumpkin carving with their babysitter


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Well, there went September and we're knee-deep into October already! We seem to have a busier than usual fall this year. September had me out of state for my cousin, Alyssa's wedding in Wichita. The following weekend we were out of town with the boys for Jason's cousin, Nick's wedding.
Jay and I were able to sneak away the following weekend for our 10 yr wedding anniversary. We went downtown Milwaukee to just spend a little time together, and it was really nice. And that wrapped up September!

October is proving to busy as well, but I think November slows down a little bit - so far :)
This weekend we'll be getting our family pictures done. We did them during winter last year, so we're trying to mix it up between fall and winter every other year. The following weekend is my 20 yr class reunion back home in Green Bay, and then we end the month with a big client event that Jason and I are hosting at a large apple farm. What a fun fall, y'all!

Jax had his 6 month checkup with the Endocrinologist to check on his growth and adjust his hGH medication. Jax officially caught up to Brady in height! The doc was so happy to see them the same size and said Jax will probably pass him up a little bit when all is said and done. Brady's growth was stalled at birth - meaning he was small for his gestation, but since he never had GI/Feeding issues and stayed on his skinny curve, we didn't have to intervene. But that also means, he may come in under his intended final height, whereas Jax has the hGH to give him the best chance at his intended final height - so we shall see how that all shakes out. Either way, they are HEALTHY and that's all that matters.

Jason and I did the hearing for the Medicaid coverage a few weeks ago. I don't have a good feeling about it, but we shall see. We worked so hard to get Jax on Medicaid, and half the reason he was accepted was because he's dependent on a feeding tube, but then they don't want to cover feeding therapy (to continue trying to getting OFF the tube). So, if they don't cover it, we will still provide it, which would make it pointless to have Medicaid if we're blasting out our 'OOP' max on our private insurance (sigh) we shall see. What upsets me most is that there are many kids out there who don't get therapies if not covered by insurance... so a kid like Jax wouldn't get the opportunity to rehab to a full eater some day. Will he? We hope so, but it's the therapy that keeps the hope alive!

Anyway...the boys are plugging away hard at school. Jax is doing a spelling test each week. A few of the words are with the class, but most of them are with his special teacher. He really struggles on some words with mixing up the letters or inserting letters that don't have any sound to the word at all, but with repetition and only two words a day, he's been getting all 100%. Which I tape on the wall next to his bed so he feels pride for it.

So far 3rd grade is a big hit and I hope it continues!


A family wedding
The boys with the Endocrinologist.

3rd grade pics - Brady told Jax he looked 'creepy'.

Nana and Papa with the boys at the wedding.


I still find them wrapped up in each other when watching TV or the iPad.

Us sitting in the corner of the gym trying to stay awake since the boys didn't want us following them around during the sock hop.

The boys kept running to us to show us the prizes they won.

Jason and a friend took their boys on the train down to Chicago for the Bears vs Steelers game.

Memories for life.

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Summer is done! We had such a fun and eventful summer, so we definitely feel full and are ready for the next season of change.
The boys have settled easily into 3rd grade so far and seem like pros. Jax isn't too bad in the mornings, but I can tell we need to work on a few things again as we get back into the routine. We are so lucky to have decently easy mornings since the bus comes just after 8am.

We had an interesting little loop of events with Jax and his leg. Last week he had complained that his left calf was hurting him and he'd hobble when he'd run. I kept telling him to just wait it out and it would feel better soon. Once we got to the week-mark, I called the pediatrician and she had us come in for an exam. We ended up going in for an X-ray the night before the first day of school. The results from that were good, so after Jax got off the bus that day (still hobbling) we had to go in for another X-Ray of his hips to make sure his growth plate didn't slip (being an hGH). That also ended up being good. So, we assumed it was a pulled muscle and wanted to see how he was after the holiday weekend.
Enter Monday/Labor Day... Jax came in the house late morning unable to WALK! Jason and I were shocked and finally worried. I had my pediatrician paged and she had us go to the ER. Once we were there the doctors were concerned as well, so they did a full blood work up and more X-Rays. After about 5 hours, the doctors and I were able to get the story from Jax (a bruise formed on his knee) that he was running in the yard and fell and hurt his knee.
(sigh)
So... while his calf was still mildly sore, he fell on his knee causing the inability to walk - two different (most likely) benign issues.
With a little ibuprofen and a night of staying off his leg, he was FINE for school in the morning. He is still hobbling slightly from that darn calf, but we're not very concerned. The ER doc assumes Jax's muscle was pulled and his muscle tone is just taking a long time. Jax will see his endocrinologist for his 6-month check in 2 weeks, so we will certainly circle back around to him.

This kid.

So my little boys aren't so little anymore. At dinner, I asked them all about the kids in their class, and who were old friends, and who were new friends. I asked if there were any cute girls, and Brady's response,
"Mom, that's so inappropriate to ask me. I'm not ready to talk about it."

((blink blink :::stare:::))

Ok then.



I cleaned out the supplies and made a large donation to hurricane Harvey kiddos - we hope it helps!

The boys enjoying some go carts on the last day of summer (it was chilly outside!)

Trying to see the darn eclipse on the cloudy day!

Last days of summer fun.

We saw an awesome Lego display at the mall. We toured the entire place and saw tons of different US buildings!

Jax got a new pair of eyes!

A super cool birthday party!

Talk about a neat birthday party!


There was ONE sunny warm day to see the pool!

Brady at his open house!

Big boy desks!

First day of 3rd grade

They were pretty excited


So were we!

New fro-yo place across the street!

Fun annual Labor Day party. We found all the kids watching a movie projected on the garage door!

Jax and that darn leg.

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The kids are really enjoying the last part of the summer. We always keep our goals in mind as well, which we seem to be on a decent pace with.

Goal 1: SWIMMING
The boys have started level 3 swim camp this week, so they're finally 'learning to swim'!! It's kind of a pain to haul them (and shower them) every single day, but it's really the only way I see them learning. They've always needed constant repetitive coaching for many of their developments and this is certainly one of them.

Goal 2: Learn how to tie shoes
I've got one out of two kids tying shoes now :) You can probably assume which one has caught on. The other kiddo is struggling pretty badly, but with his fine motor issues, it's not surprising.

Goal 3: Read the 3rd Harry Potter book
We are also half way through the book! We are on pace to get to be able to watch the movie before school starts!

Goal 4: Jax's eating
Well... I hate to ever make this goal, since I have little power over this, and it's also not just a kid having a discipline issue. But, we also always want to keep up the effort to some day hit the ultimate goal of being a full-time eater. We attend feeding therapy every single week and also continue with the plant based tube-feeding food. Jax was REALLY doing well and I feel like he's sliding back just a bit again, but we will continue to always try really hard and hope for the baby steps to continue.

I've also reached a personal goal. I wanted to find a part time job this fall/winter (other than doing bookwork and HR duties for Jason from home). Last month, a past work colleague referred me to an open position for contract work with a small non-profit looking for help with their operations/marketing/admin. I didn't want to pass up the opportunity, so I submitted my resume!

I met with the board of directors and we really clicked. It's for the Shaken Baby Association, so the subject matter of children with disabilities (and really preventative this is) really pulled me in. I was offered the position this past week, and I accepted! I'll begin in mid-September. It's a tall order as a part-time home based position, but I'm ready for the challenge.

(Whew!)

Enjoy some end-of-July and early-August photos!


Visit with cousins before they went back to Texas

Jason and the boys caught a Brewer game one afternoon

Attending a petting zoo at a client's veterinarian clinic.



The boys won figit spinners, and you'd have thought they won cars.

Loving up on Piper

Baseball with Aidan at Nana and Papa's

And basement-ping pong

And dinner games

Jay and I FINALLY got to a fun summer-night dinner with friends

My Nanners the Shanners

The boys picking out some end-of-season flowers with me to replace some overgrown pots. They seriously crack me up.

An example of Brady's Lego talent. He put this together rather quickly after receiving it from us for his birthday.

This was Jaxon's which they started at the same time. Brady was so annoyed that he disassembled this and plans to rebuild for Jax. I told Brady that everyone has different things that they're better at. Small parts with instructions requiring patience is not high on Jax's list of enjoyment. 

Fair fun!











Jax made it half way up this year - big improvement!


Brady danced NON stop!

Jax throwing diving rings into the pool for the kids to race and get. I love that so many neighbors belong to this gym to play in the summer!

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The boys are officially 9 and with a 8-day baseball tournament that wouldn't end, the celebration was pushed back, making for a looong drawn out weekend!

The boy's little league team kept winning thru the week, which made me worried it would run into their bowling birthday party on Friday night. Well sure enough, it did. I had to go on a search to try and find the information of the parents who the kids gave invites to back the last week of school!

I was able to find most of them, and crossed my fingers one of them didn't show up. The kids and I ran and got cupcakes to bring to the game to mark the occasion at least that night. They were in heaven!
The next day we had to leave for a 2 hour drive up to a family event, but the kids made it to the championship game that morning, so we literally had to leave straight from the field in their uniforms to not be too late! The great news is that the boys won, so they were on cloud 9 and not putting those trophies down.

I was able to move their bowling party to Sunday afternoon, and even able to still scrape some kids together to attend. Thank goodness for neighbors to fill in the holes :)

The boys had their 9 yr old physicals last week, and all is good! Jax has a few cafe au lait spots (one on his lip to always look like he has food on his face), and he's really destroying his finger nails being fidgety, but otherwise the boys are growing nicely.

They weigh the exact same weight at 48.5 lbs! Jax has almost caught up to Brady in height, which is amazing given the fact that Brady has a beautiful growth curve (50.5" and 50"). So the hGH is working really nicely.
Brady needs to work on drinking more milk with meals, but otherwise, he eats a lot and isn't picky, so it's the only thing we can think of for now. A lot of genetics at play there it seems!
Jax has been eating pretty great lately. It seems that the new plant-based tube food at night may be helping his hunger during the day. He's been eating about double the amount he ever has, which has us and the feeding therapist SO hopeful! Our fingers are crossed and my heart is praying that it continues.
The checkups were great, we love seeing the doc (who we see much less of with better health!). The only snafu was that the boys each have a bit of a vision issue. They need to see the eye doc - boooooo... I'm hoping so much that they don't need glasses already (Jason and I had glasses as children and are both equally blind as adults) - so we'll see where that all goes. ugh.

The boys have graduated to level 2 for swimming (omg it took a YEAR) and Brady is tying shoe laces now :) I'm working with Jax, but it's so frustrating for him, that we'll be working on it for awhile. I think Brady could've gotten it sooner, but I haven't gone back to teach him in so long! (my bad)

We are going to enjoy the rest of July with a lot of swimming, backyard play, getting into the next Harry Potter book and loving the weather!


Does this cake scream 9 yr old boys or WHAT?

EATING




The day before their birthday, we had an awesome lunch with the Bonins!


CUTE

Special

This kid. With being out of school, he's started picking his fingers more than usual. He got a lecture from me and the doctor that he can easily get an infection!

Birthday afternoon fun with dad during lunch

Birthday evening baseball game with some cupcakes for the kids


Champs!



They never put the trophies down during the 2 hr ride!

Nana brought cake

Aunt Denise is a new grandma! Ryan and Brittany had a baby, Aria!




Klassy guys

Birthday bowling

I thought the boys on the end were hilarious trying to focus on their lunch with a game on the TV.

I may or may not have given the boys a game that I wanted for myself... bottle bash!

The boys learned how to pit cherries!

Pool fun with the neighbors

My dining table has turned into a lego station for the month.
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