My absence has really been felt lately and for that, I am sincerely sorry!  The truth is we were up at Dans’ parents house for a good portion of the weeks surrounding Christmas and I forgot my camera there.  But now that I have it back I can post a few photos from Christmas and give a much needed update!

My parents were able to be here for Christmas this year which was awesome.  I sometimes get sad when I think about how little they get to see the boy so I am super happy when they get to come up or I get to go down.  We had a celebration with my parents on the 20th since technically it was Dan’s year for Christmas.  It was fun and Jack loved the wrapping paper.  I believe we took video that night, but not pictures, so you can visit my sister’s blog to check out photos. ( )

The rest of the holidays we spent with Dan’s family.  It was very fun to be all together.  We were able to see a few movies, do 4 puzzles (my favorite!), and ski a few days.  But most of all, we just got to hang out which is my favorite thing.  Christmas was fun.  I realized browsing through the photos that they are all of Jack.  Were me and Dan even there?  I guess he is the most important!


Jack on Christmas Eve with the big pile of presents behind him.


Jack loved the presents for about one minute.  Then he just played.  And once he was bored with that, he ate cereal the rest of the time.  I think I opened about 90% of his gifts.  But, of course, he loves everything.  And we think he is pretty cute reading in his Elmo chair.  He has really taken to the whole basketball thing which is fun.  He cheers every time he dunks the ball.  And since he fell in love with Tommy’s magnadoodle on Christmas, we bought him one of his own with some money from a few Christmas returns.  It was a good holiday despite Dan having to work WAY more than he thought he would.

Soon after Christmas, Jack got really sick and it was sad.  We took him to the ER one night at like 2 am with a temperature of 104.5.  Scary.  He was super sad the whole time.  They had to give him a chest x-ray which made me cry.  So sad.  Turns out he had bronchitis and and ear infection in both ears.  He took about 5 days to be his normal self.  He was super cuddly and really only wanted me which is REALLY rare!  But I loved to hug my boy lots and appreciate so much those who watched him for me for a few hours here and there so I could have a break :o).  Another plus…he slept SO much.  More than he has in his entire life.  We’re talking close to 13 hours at night and two 2 hour naps each day.  I was loving that.  But don’t worry, he is back to his old ways, and I am thinking that transitioning to one nap is just around the corner!

Here are a few more pictures from the holidays.


This is us trying to capture Jack when we say “time for prayer.”  In the first photo, Dan is ready, Jack is not.  In the second you can see his cute closed eyes.  It last 2 seconds, but is cute nonetheless.  And, of course, giving Daddy kisses.


Look at my cute niece and nephew.  They are such good kids and we miss them every second that they are away.


A few shots from today since Jack looked really stylin’ in his new shirt from Aunt Kerri.  And a spaghetti shot since today was the first day that I just let him go at his spaghetti.  Not too messy!



I think toddler-aged kids with Santa Claus is hilarious.  I remember when I worked at the daycare watching the toddlers completely spazz out when Santa came to visit.  They acted completely abnormal.  Like nothing I have ever seen really.  And sadly, I did laugh.  This week I have seen several blog postings of my dear friends with their toddlers visiting Santa and they were screaming hysterically.  And I was laughing hysterically looking at the pictures.  So yesterday I thought it would be a good time to take Jack to see Santa to see what his reaction would be.  And I was not surprised at all by the following photos…


He was perfectly fine.  I doubted for a second when the twin girls in front of us in line completely lost self control, but he didn’t mind a bit just like I knew he wouldn’t.  I don’t know if I should feel worried or ok about that, but I am going to take it as a sign that he is well adjusted.

Here are just a few more random shots from the week.


This kid has serious love affair with books.  The first picture was taken because he stopped mid-stair to read his book, and we thought it was pretty funny.


This kid also loves his blankie.  I am usually a Nazi mom about letting him take it out of his room, but this day we dragged him early in the morning to go get some donuts for breakfast so Daddy let him take it in the car with him.  We captured these priceless photos with a cell phone.


These photos are just because I think he looks super cute in this sweater especially with the hood on.


Deer and Snow

As most of our readers know, we hit a deer on Friday night.  It was scary and, let’s be honest, I bawled my eyes out for about 5 minutes afterwards thinking of the cost of the repairs.  But everyone is fine.  Jack didn’t even react even though Dan and I were screaming.  Let’s face it, deers are really stupid.  I mean honestly.  Anyway, there was no time to react, I didn’t even see it until it was into the side of the car, and then again when it came falling back down onto the windshield after being thrown in the air.  Perhaps the worst part is that we were a mile from our house at most and now every day since the accident we have see our idiot of a victim lying dead on the side of the road aloof to the headache he has caused for us.  Oh well…its just time and money.  That’s what I have to keep telling myself.


These are the best photos of the damage.  I especially love the patch of deer hair stuck in the headlight.  Disgusting.

Well on to happier things, I suppose.  It is snowing.  And we discovered that Jack loves the snow.  Thanks to my Aunt, we inherited this super warm snowsuit.  But it is size 24 months and so, a little big for our Jack, Jack.  But its the best we got so I figured I could make it work.  And it did just fine.  But I was dying.  If I thought his new green coat made him look like a marshmallow, you should check this out!


HAHAHAHAHA!  So funny and so cute.

And just one more picture for good measure.


Jack in his new favorite chair.  He loves it cause he can climb into it on his own without help using the footrest.  And from there he can climb onto the couch.  It is a real win-win situation for him.


Tis the Season

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  We had a great holiday weekend together.  It was super fun to have Dan home for 4 days with us.  We wish every week was a 3 day work week!  We didn’t do anything out of the norm for Thanksgiving.  We spent time with family and ate good, good food.  We spent some time on Friday browsing the online sales, but bought nothing.  On Saturday we watched a very stressful BYU game, but are thankful for a Cougar victory after some very poor Cougar execution.  And on Sunday we had a family dinner with the Grossen side where we opened our new Christmas ornaments for the year.  It was lovely.  Here are the 2 photos we took all weekend!


On Monday we went and got our Christmas tree when Dan got home from work.  It was the first time that Jack wore his winter coat.  I was dying of laughter cause he looked like a marshmallow.  It was seriously killing me.  Until he fell face first into the dirt and busted open both of his lips.  Poor baby.  Needless to say, we didn’t let him walk around without holding one of our hands after that since he was obviously having stability issues. We love our tree and the piney scent in our house.


We had to go buy some extra lights yesterday cause the tree is much larger than we realized.  After I was done stringing the new lights, Jack thought he would decorate by adding some special ornaments of his own.


Legos and stacking cups.  He is so creative and smart.  Last night, we hung the ornaments, but only took video.  Perhaps a photo shall come later of our glorious tree!


Oh Happy Day!

With only one more day between me and Thanksgiving, I am feeling really jolly at this moment.  I love Thanksgiving.  I think it is my second favorite holiday after Christmas.  And I think that is because it is so family oriented.  We are super excited for Dan to have a 4 day weekend so we can play and play and play.   You know what else I love?  In-n-Out Burger.  I have had a love affair with it my whole life really.  It is that good.  And the greatest thing happened last week here, In-n-Out opened its doors a mere 5 miles from my house.  Hooray.  We were going to avoid it like the plague since the lines have been crazy with policemen having to direct traffic.  But we were feeling lazy on Saturday night and Dan was craving a burger.  I told him now that In-n-Out is here we can’t get a burger anywhere else.  It just wouldn’t make sense since it is the best.  But as some of you may know, Dan hates crowds.  I tease him that it makes him uber grumpy.  So I told him I would venture down on my own and pick it up.  And my wait time was only 25 minutes which I consider well worth it.  Plus we have to start training the next generation what this goodness is all about!


Jack loved it and kept taking bites and then saying “Mmmmm.”  So cute.

Well, I busted out the Christmas decor last week.  I couldn’t wait any longer.  People can say what they want about my type of person that “skips right over Thanksgiving to celebrate Christmas.”  That is fine and their opinion.  But I don’t buy it.  I listen to Christmas music year round.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with it.  And I don’t think I am neglecting Thanksgiving (refer to my above diatribe).  I still look forward to it and love it just as much.  But it is fun to be Christmasy for as long as possible, in my opinion.  And Jack loves everything.  I am super excited to get the tree in here sometime next week.  I think he will be in heaven since he was already in love with the garland.


He grabbed a book and plopped right in the middle of it and started reading.  And every time he sees it he says “Tree, Light.”  It is very cute.  Forgive the booger nose.  He can’t seem to overcome this cold bug.

And finally in the spirit of Christmas, Jack has been dubbed the new Kevin McAllister (you know, from the Home Alone movies.  On second thought, if you don’t know that, shame on you.  They are some of the greatest Christmas movies EVER).  He loves to set up traps with his toys.  He meticulously takes his blocks, puzzle pieces, balls, etc. and places them in the most inconvenient places for mommy and daddy.  Dan was victim to one such trap on the stairs.  This morning he lined them all up where the linoleum meets the carpet.  He was pretty proud.


Sorry that his head is cut off.  He is always on the move especially when he sees the camera!



We have been on hiatus due to Jack being sick all of last week.  It was by far his worse sickness yet.  We went to the doctor and she would not confirm that is was H1N1 just saying that he had similar symptoms but so does every other influenza bug.  So whatever, he had the flu I guess but she said his body was handling it really well.  He is on the up and up now with a slight hackers/smokers cough still.  It is sad to hear him in the night coughing up a lung.  But he is almost better and his mood has improved leaps and bounds.  So needless to say we never left the house last week and therefore did not do much of anything.  But we were still able to snap some cute photos of the Jack Jack.


Do you think Jack watches me do my hair?  I died when he knew exactly what to do with the straightener.


Cleaning out the kitchen drawers is a daily game we play.  He thinks he is so funny.  But you know what I think is not so funny, the fact that Jack somehow learned how to undo the safety fasteners we have on our kitchen cupboards.  I don’t know how he figured it out and at 13 months no less.  I fear the next fastener he will learn how to undo is his carseat buckles which could open up a whole new can of worms.  He is TOO smart!


Jack loves the games Daddy plays with him.  He thought being in the laundry basket was the funnest.  He looks pretty cute too.


And finally from this morning.  He loves the read the In-n-Out burger location guide I picked up while I was in Las Vegas.  I was trying to get a good shot of In-n-Out love starting early in life, but right as I took the picture, he turned his head and yawned.  I thought it was cute.  And a side note, In-n-Out joy is almost here among us.  According to my sources the In-n-Out in Orem opens in 3 days which means the one by our house can’t be that far behind!  Wahoo!


This is Halloween…Halloween…Halloween

Well I guess the saying is true…life is just more fun with kids.  Seriously.  What did we ever do on Halloween without Jack?  It had to be incredibly boring!  Just kidding…but we had to the best time watching him trick-or-treat as the Amazing Spiderman!   He was so cute and even attempted to say trick-or-treat, but mostly just got the voice inflection right while saying his gibberish.  He did, however, learn the word “moon” that night.  I’m convinced that he has never seen the moon since he is always in bed before it even is out so he was enthralled by it.  It was cute.  Thanks to the Munks for a fun, festive holiday.  We loved watching out little super heroes have fun on this spooky holiday!


We carved our pumpkins on Friday night.  Jack loved to gooey pumpkin innards.  Can you tell which pumpkin is mine and which is Dan’s?  I laughed when I saw them side by side.  Women like the jolly, cute pumpkins.  Men like spooky, boo-boo pumpkins.  I had fun roasting the seeds as well.


He was a good sport about the costume.  He hated the little mask and cried every time we tried to put it on, but he left the little skullcap on so it was ok.  We went out for about 30 minutes.  He loved reaching into the bowl of candy to get a piece and then putting the loot into his trick-or-treat bag.  Too bad he hasn’t got to enjoy much of his goods.  It has mostly been eaten by Daddy and Mommy!  Oopsies!  We are good parents…right?  Well…Happy Halloween everyone!  We hope you had a safe and fun holiday.

Oh wait…I had to include these cute photos even though they have nothing to do with Halloween.  Aren’t they cute?  I hope he loves the scriptures forever!



Homer Alone

Dan here. Any Simpsons enthusiast will know that the title of this blog post is the same as one of the earlier episodes of The Simpsons. In Homer Alone, Homer finds himself alone with baby Maggie while his wife Marge goes and vacations in “Rancho Relaxo”. Marge returns home to find her family is a mess and Homer telling her over and over, “never leave again”.

That is what I compared my experience to, and to be honest, I live my life referencing Simpsons and Seinfeld episodes.

Amy left Jack and I at home last weekend to go to a friend’s wedding in Vegas. It all started early Saturday morning at 6:00 AM. Typically Jack, doesn’t get out of bed til 6:30 AM the earliest, but Ame seemed to think it was OK this time around to get him out earlier. She also coincidentally left, right when Jack fell into the car door and was crying. Thanks Ame. After Ame left and introducing Jack to a new addiction of Lucky Charms, Jack and I went to Provo for the ESPN College Gameday show. It was fun to be a part of the atmosphere of a show I used to watch so faithfully on Saturday mornings. It was a little cold but Jack didn’t seem to mind, even if his hands were freezing. His favorite part was playing in the piles of leaves in the grass.

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I would kick the leaves up in the air or kick them in his face and he loved it


After the show we came back home for nap time and then back down again for the game. Unfortunately we lost, and after running around all day as loyal BYU fans, I felt like I had put in more effort than my team did that Saturday.

Then came Sunday. Sunday can be perfectly summed up with the following story. I was standing outside in the hallway with Jack squirming in arms, 5 minutes before church had ended. At that moment someone walked by and said, “I can tell you’ve had it, you’re shirt is untucked, and you’re ready to go home”. Wonderful. How long had my shirt been untucked? Anyway, we survived, and made it home and lasted until Ame came home around 5:00 PM. But not without scattering toys everywhere and building a fort with blankets on the couch. The room was a mess.

Since Amy’s return,  we’ve seen our first snow fall of the year which makes Jack’s favorite activity- ‘side (outside) more difficult. Ame introduced him to the snow, again, and he seems to like it! That a boy.



Fall festivities

I love fall.  It is my second favorite season.  Or maybe it is tied for first with Spring.  I love the colors, the cooler temperatures, the smells of cinnamon and apples, the pumpkin treats, and the need to snuggle in a blankie in the morning.  We have been trying to be super festive so that Jack can be introduced to all the fun Fall brings.  And let’s just say, this kid is a festive kid.  He has loved all of it!


First we had the annual cookie decorating day at Grandma Grossen’s.  The Grossen side of the family decorates cookies for all holidays.  I learned early on that I am very behind on my cookie decorating skills.  I don’t have them is mostly what I learned.  Good thing we can start Jack young so he can be a pro one day like his aunts and uncles.  Jack also loved all the treats Aunt Brooke was giving him and it showed… all the way down his chin.  Jack also got his second haircut from Aunt Brittany.  He looks like boy again!  J/K.


Next we went to a pumpkin patch.  Jack loved the tractor ride over to the patch and as soon as he spotted all the pumpkins, he could not stop saying “Ball, ball.”  It was like a dream come true for him.  A field full of balls.  He loved it.  Thank you to the Munks for inviting us to join their family tradition.  Too bad no one told me that my whole eye was covered with my bangs in the last picture.


Finally last night we went to the Scarecrow Festival.  It was the windiest time of our lives, seriously.  I kept looking around for a funnel cloud because surely we had to be in a tornado.  But Jack didn’t seem to mind.  He loved the toddler-sized bouncy house and going down the blow up slide with Daddy.  He even went through the junior haunted house.  I was terrified but Jack loved all the lights in the dark room.  And to top it all off, Dan shared his cotton candy with him and he kept saying “Mmm, mmm.”  We are excited because with Halloween right around the corner we know there are more exciting times ahead.


A final picture that just couldn’t be passed up.  What a funny, funny face.


The Update

I have been really slacking since the big birthday bash with taking pictures.  I suppose there hasn’t been anything picture worthy maybe…but that can’t be possible when you live with Jack.  So I’m not sure what it is.  But we did make it to the doctor twice in the last week.  The first visit was for Jack’s 12 month visit.  His stats are:  22 lbs 6 oz. (45 %), 30 1/2 in. (70 %), 49 cm. head (100 %).  Well we knew there was a big brain in there cause he says a lot of words for his age.  The doctor was really so surprised.  I told her I wasn’t sure why…its not like I sit down with flashcards and teach him how to speak.  He just has learned them somehow.  So here is the list (I know I have mentioned most of these before, but it is good to consolidate): up, mama, dada, grandpa, light, fish, hot, clock, rock, shoe, no, plane, cheese, string cheese, woof woof, achoo, tree, eye, outside, ball and hop on pop.  I’m sure I’m forgetting some because it seems like he learns something new everyday.  But that will do for now.  His new favorite thing is bathtime so we have been doing more baths at night.  He loves to splash.  He is still taking two naps per day.   This past week he has been good about fighting both of them.  Not sure why.  I am convinced it’s because I was starting to feel confident that he liked daytime sleeping.  He had a really good ten day stretch of napping which made everyone happy.  But now he is back to crying lots and lots.  Silly baby.  But he does sleep great at night so I can’t complain.  7-6:30 or so.  Love it!  Let’s see…he still loves daddy a lot and can’t wait for him to come home all day.  He is starting to bring us his books and then sit on our laps so we will read him a story.   It is really cute.  He is completely weaned without any problems.  Let’s be honest, he never really liked breastfeeding to begin with so he was probably relieved when it ended!  He is on solid foods of all kinds.  He is good eater for the most part.  He is starting to resist vegetables a little bit but I can usually force a little bit down him.  He LOVES fruit.  I struggle with ideas for lunch.  Does anyone have any good ones?  I fear he will start to despise cheese bread of quesadillas before too long if I don’t come up with something soon!  All in all, he is a growing boy and we love watching every minute of it.

Our second visit to the doctor was to get an ultrasound.  Jack was born with a sacral dimple.  For those who don’t know, that is a small hole a little ways above his bumhole (sorry there isn’t a really good way to say that…anus, I guess, but I hate that kind of) that can be a sign of Spina Bifida.  We learned about the hole the day he was born, and we were kind of concerned.  But as I have watched him grow, I have kinda put it out of my mind since he obviously has had no problem with his lower limbs (walking at 10 months!).  Well I mentioned it to the doctor and she suggested that we do the ultrasound to see how deep it goes.  So according to the ultrasound lady it appears to have an ending point and it doesn’t go into the spinal column so it appears to be a dimple and not a hole.  Thank goodness!  I wasn’t too nervous, but you never know.


See he loves strawberries so much, he decided he would spread them all over his face.  I especially love the one on his eye.


He loves bath so much that he thought he should climb in this morning while my shower was warming up.  I was brushing my teeth and gathering my unmentionables (hahaha…I hate that I said that) to take a shower when I heard a little cry.  I came around the corner and Jack was sitting in the tub with the shower water coming down on him.  I am dying of laughter right now just thinking of his face!  So funny.  I am not sure how he got in.  I don’t think he is big enough to climb in and I didn’t hear a loud thud or anything like his huge head propelled him over the edge.  But somehow he ended up there which means there is just one more thing I have to watch him closely around.  But, really it was hysterical and he was fine.