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.


Birthday Boy!

We have a toddler folks!  Yesterday we celebrated Jack’s birthday with our families.  It was a great time.  He, of course, received more gifts than can be imagined.  I think we will be on the “every other year celebrating birthday” plan because Jack will need nothing new for at least 2 years.  Thanks to everybody for the gifts!  But mostly thanks for coming to party with us.  We loved having you!


Here is the Elmo cake I made.  Those who know me know that I do not have the patience to be crafty at all.  But for my first try, I think it turned out ok.


We spent as much time as we could outside yesterday ’cause it is Jack’s favorite thing to do and you see, it was the “warm before the storm” as they like to say here in Utah.  It was something like 87 degrees yesterday and today the forecasted high is 49 degrees.  Boo hoo…winter is here!


So there are a few of the birthday photos.  He was adorable to watch.  He is the sweetest baby and we love him.  Tomorrow we are off the doctor so I will follow-up soon with the “What Jack is up to at a year” post!


A little reunion!

This past weekend I was able to go home to California for my 10 year high school reunion.  I was so unsure about it from the beginning since, well, an open bar and party are not really my scene :o).  But I finally decided to make to trip.  And I will never ever regret that decision.  I had the BEST time.  Seriously.  It was fun to be with my parents for an extended weekend vacation as well.  Jack was a good boy.  He even cut his 4th tooth on the trip!  So big.  We took time to go to the Kern County Fair.  Jack was in heaven.  He loved the people, the animals, the lights, sounds and smells of fair life.


This is what happens when you decide to sit in the puddle you’re playing in.  And look at Jack wanting to learn how to smoke meat already.  Smart boy!


He’s not bleeding folks.  Its just shaved ice which he loved!


We had a small early birthday party for Jack.  Thanks Grandpa and Grandma!


Here I am with some of my greatest HS pals. It was just like old times.  I felt so comfortable like we hadn’t even missed a beat!  But really it has been 10 years since I have seen most of them which is so crazy to me!


On Sunday I went to my good friend Amanda’s house to meet her sweet baby Aaron.  Jack and Aaron are only 2 weeks apart.  They had fun together.  And I had to best time having more time to talk with Amanda, her family and our good friend Matt, or Mateo as I like to call him!  I hope its not 10 years before I see these wonderful friends again!


Oh Cougars!

I wonder why me and the Cougars of BYU are such loyal friends.  They always, always break my heart.  Really and truly.  I cannot remember a season where I haven’t felt let down at some point.  That point came on Saturday.  Not that I should be surprised.  I mean, the opening drive was a pretty good clue of how it would all go.  But alas, I am sad and often sit and reflect on what could have been if we could have just made it past FSU.  But you know, Jack came with us to the game and that made it seem not so bad.  He was so cuddly and snuggly because he was terrified of all the sudden cheers and boos from the crowd.  I finally got to snuggle my wild monkey and that made life alright!


And after a super long weekend of not getting enough sleep, we finally got to take a classic shot of Jack…


All tuckered out and falling asleep in his highchair during lunchtime.  Never thought it would happen, but here’s the proof!


Marriage for Eternity…

…blesses my posterity.  Dan could not stop singing that cheesy seminary song the whole day of Brittany’s wedding.  We had a fun time celebrating with Brittany and Ben.  We are the happiest for them.  Here are a million photos from their happy day!


We failed to take a family photo so here are all our individual shots.


Here are Brittany and Ben with the Grossen niece and nephews.


And here are all their nieces and nephews combined, including one set of triplets!  So cute.


My sisters-in-law.


It was really lovely.  We had the best time and are super excited for Ben to be part of our family forever.

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Q-Tip Disaster

This was what I saw when I pulled open the shower curtain this morning…


Jack found the Q-Tips in Dan’s bathroom drawer.  He looked right up at me as if he knew he was gonna get busted.  When he saw the camera, he smiled the cute little smile and tried to look innocent.  Funny boy.

Here are a few random shots that I wanted to put up in old posts, but forgot.


Jack loves Daddy’s golf clubs which makes Dan super excited about the future with his son.


Here is Jack with his mohawk and his favorite tree.  Because of said tree and dirt pile, Jack is constantly climbing up the stairs and standing at the front door while saying “Side, Side.”  We walk all around the neighborhood.  And, you know, we do have to stop every 2.1 seconds to look at every new rock, flower, stick or crack in the sidewalk.   He is still the most observant child ever.  He notices everything.


And finally the new carseat is in!  In a couple more weeks we will be able to put him forward-facing.  I know he has no idea what is coming, but I know that he is going to love it!  This was his first ride in it.  About 20 minutes down the road he started crying hysterically, which is really weird for him.  I tried to give him his drink or his book.  He wanted nothing.  So I just said “Oh well, I guess you have to cry.”  About 30 seconds later, he barfed everywhere.  Poor baby.  Who knows what it was.  We haven’t had any trouble since, but sometimes I wonder if he gets a little motion sick like his Mommy.