Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Parting of the Seas...

My mom reminds Aaron and I that we have been the recipients of countless well-timed blessings by joking that "the red seas always part for the Grovers." It seems that the red seas may again be parting for our family in a very big way. With baby #2 due to make his appearance in only 6 short weeks, Aaron and I have been very anxious about adjusting to a single income lifestyle. We have been praying that an opportunity would present itself whereby I would be able to stay home fulltime with our babies and Aaron would be able to continue to provide for our growing family. I think we may have gotten our answer. We've been hesitant to count our eggs before they've hatched, but I think its safe to announce that Aaron has been given a major promotion that we hope will solve all of our financial worries. Beginning August 1, Aaron will begin training as the National Sales Manager/Marketing Director for his company. Currently, Aaron bids projects for concrete pumping services within the Seattle market and then services those accounts. Under his new position, he will no longer be associated with the Seattle branch (he's moving to the corporate headquarters office right next door to his current Seattle branch office) but will open accounts and bid projects on a national scale. Aaron will also get to handle promotions and marketing for the company's 58 national branches. Aaron feels like this is his dream job and I am SO proud of him. We're expecting the new job to present a huge challenge and increased responsibilities, but we're approaching it with excitement. The timing of this promotion is so perfect that I think we both still feel like we need to knock on wood. I am crossing my fingers that this job turns into everything that Aaron has hoped for and I'm saying my prayers of gratitude for this huge answer to our prayers. I can't think of anything that would make me more happy than to be at home with my babies. Hallelujah!

Long and Lean

Our pediatrician is so busy that today was the closest appointment we could book for Hank's 2 year visit. I considered looking for a new pediatrician, but I think it was worth the wait because I really like Dr. Johnson. Hank weighed in at 26.8 lbs (25%) and measured 37 inches (80%). Hank had his big toe poked and blood drawn for a CDC test and got one shot of vaccinations to his thigh. I felt like such a rotten mom holding him down while he got stuck with a needle. He was such a trooper and didn't even cry but it broke my heart to see him so scared and nervous, wearing nothing but a diaper on the exam table. I thought it was awful to watch Hank get shots when he was a baby, but its much more difficult to watch him get shots now that he is aware enough to know what is going on and clings to me out of fear. The good news is that his vaccinations are current and he won't have to have any more shots until he's ready to go into kindergarten. Hank left the office happy because the nurse gave him an extra bugs bunny band aid to put in his pocket. I love that boy.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Chicken Balls ala Aaron Grover

For our Sunday dinner, I planned on preparing a bacon-wrapped chicken dish that I saw on 30 minute meals. Bacon? Chicken stuffed with cheese and garden-fresh basil? It sounded like it would be an instant hit with Aaron. As a vegetarian, I don't enjoy handling raw meat, so I enlisted Aaron's help to stuff the chicked with the cheese/herb mixture. I gave Aaron explicit instructions on carving the chicken in such a way as to create a pocket for the filling without causing any leakage...but Aaron's knife skills seem to be lacking. After puncturing the chicken breast (not part of the instructions), he opted to try and "butterfly" the chicken. This turned out to be a disaster...instead of carving a small pocket, Aaron masterfully butchered the chicken to bits. I was completely grossed out at this point and suggested that he just toss the chicken and start fresh with a second peice but Aaron was determined to prove his culinary skills. Using his ingenuity, Aaron smashed the bacon-wrapped, cheese covered mess, into a ramiken and threw it in the oven. 45 minutes later...voila! One chicken ball coming right up! Aaron was so pleased with himself and his final product. He turned the chicken out of the ramiken and it held the shape of a molded ball. Mmmm. He savored every bite, insisted it was delicious, and is talking about making his new chicken creation for dinner again. Anyone want the recipe?

the Bite

After working around the house and running errands all morning, we thought it would be fun to check out the Bite of Seattle and get our grub on. The Bite is an event that takes place in downtown Seattle every summer where a bunch of food vendors gather and offer yummy samples of food. You know me, I don't pass up good food so this event had my name all over it. I sampled some gnochi, carribean tofu and chickpea curry, and a shaved ice. Aaron went for the more traditional barbequed ribs. Hank enjoyed the bands playing music and people watching but Aaron and I were constantly paranoid that Hank would run off or get snatched so we had to keep him under close surveillance at all times.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Baby News

On Tuesday I visited my doctor for my normal 32 week check-up and got weighed and measured. According to my doctor, I'm measuring small. I would beg to differ. Anyways, supposedly your uterus should measure the same number in centimeters as you are in gestational weeks: I'm 32 weeks but was only measuring 27 cm. So, my doctor was concerned that there may be an issue of interuterine growth retardation and sent me out to get another ultrasound. Judging from my size, Hank's birth weight, and Aaron's height, having a small sized baby is the least of my concerns so I really just looked forward to the ultrasound as a fun opportunity to take a sneak peak at the baby. Aaron opted not to go to the appointment because he thinks its cheating to see the baby early. So, I had my ultrasound appointment today and there seems to be no explanation for why I'm measuring small because the baby is actually really good size (4lbs 4 oz right now - average at this age is 3 lbs 15 oz). Hooray for a healthy baby! After the ultrasound tech took all the measurements she needed, she used the 3D equipment to take a look at the baby....it was amazing. I think he looks just like Hank with less hair: Aaron's forehead and my lips. I can't wait to hold the real thing!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


(In this picture, Hank is experimenting with a combination of peanuts and chocolate pudding as styling products for his hair)

As you know, Hank has a texture aversion issue so mealtime is always a struggle. We've been seeing a therapest for the past month who is helping Hank overcome his intolerance to texture. She encourages Hank to "make friends" with his food by using his fingers and getting messy. At dinnertime, Hank definately succeeded at getting messy, but I can't decide if I should celebrate the fact that Hank smeared chocolate pudding head to toe, smashed peices of peanuts into his hair, and ended up with more pudding on the floor than in his tummy. It is taking some serious restraint on my part to allow such madness to happen at the dinner table. Afterwards, we sent him straight outside to hose himself off with the sprinkler.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


With his rapidly expanding vocabulary and comprehension, we're finding Hank to be a clever little boy and we're enjoying his developing quirks and emerging personality. Here are just a few funny moments we've had with Hank lately:

1. Hank is not the best eater and meals are often turned into power struggles with Hank thrashing about flailing food and me doing a song and dance routine to try to distract him into eating. At one point, we resorted to having Aaron hold Hank's head still (so that Hank can't face plant into his bowl or use his mouth as a moving target) while I shovelled in the food. Eventually, Hank considered this too a game and began to really enjoy having his head held still during meals and would ask for us to hold his head still while we fed him....making the mealtime process a 4-hand job (2 to feed and 2 to hold). One night, we asked Hank if he could hold his own head and he agreed! So now everytime we eat, Hank likes to use his own hands to hold his own head still. Whatever works, right?

2. This afternoon I woke Hank up from his nap and we enjoyed a little cuddle time together. I love his cute little toes and so I started playing the 5 little piggies with him. When I get to his pinky toe, I wiggle the toe and say, "this little piggy went wee-wee-wee all the way home" and then I tickle the bottom of his foot. Like any true 2 year old, Hank wanted to do it all by himself. So, he proceeded to wiggle his own toes, say "wee-wee-wee home," tickle his own foot, and then giggle.

3. Hank's all-time favorite song is the Wheels on the Bus. He knows all the actions and loves to sing the song over and over. Tired of repeating the same verses, I often make up new verses and ask him, "what do the monkeys on the bus say?" or "what do the fireworks on the bus say?" and let him make up his own noises or actions. Its fascinating to play word association games with a 2 year old because sometimes Hank's responses can be so thoughtful. Yesterday I added a new verse to the Wheels on the Bus song, asking Hank "what do the papas (grandpas) on the bus say?" Hank responded by slapping his chest and clapping his hands and said "dust it off." Whenever he visits Papa Grover, Papa always brushes sawdust off his clothes (from woodworking in the garage) before he picks Hank up so Hank associates brushing off sawdust with his Papa Grover.

Big Boy Bed

For the last few months I've been battling conflicting emotions: on the one hand, I'm feeling an intense need to "nest" so I've been anxious to graduate Hank from the crib to the "big boy bed" in order to free up the crib for our new nursery, yet, on the other hand, I've been dreading moving Hank out of his crib for fear that the change in his sleep routine would mean no sleep for me. Well, this weekend we decided to tackle operation-big-boy-bed and moved Hank out of the crib and into his very own, Mariner's be-decked bed. After tucking him into bed the first night, Aaron and I stood guard outside his bedroom door, just waiting for Hank to protest and come running out of his room. Surprisingly, Hank took an instant liking to his bed and went right to sleep. Unfortunately, a few hours into the night, Hank discovered that his bed lacked the four walls of the crib, and he fell smack onto the floor. We remedied the problem with bedrails the next morning and Hank has been sleeping like a champ ever since! Hooray! So far, it seems that Hank hasn't yet discovered that his bed allows him to come and go as he pleases...in the morning he will lay in bed and yell for me until I come get him, rather than get out of bed himself and come find me. I'm sure not going to clue him in.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

God Bless America!

Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays - I love all the down-home celebrations: the barbeques and neighborhood parties, picnics in the sunshine, watching fireworks on blankets, etc . This is really the first year that Hank has been old enough to appreciate some of the patriotic traditions so I was really excited to spend the day together. We met up with Bob and Sue yesterday afternoon and went to the Tall Ship Festival in Tacoma. We walked along the marina and watched all the old pirate ships floating along the dock. On the way home, Aaron stopped at a reservation and made a small donation--we enjoyed a small firecracker display at home. I was paranoid that Hank would burn his little fingers, but he managed to light a few sparklers without incident and seemed to be pretty entertained by them. Finally, that night we went to a little fireworks display in our town. I think Hank was exhausted by then because he really wasn't all that impressed...after waiting two hours for the display to begin and finally watching about three fireworks Hank kept repeating "bye-bye, bye-bye." Oh well. I'm sure it won't be too many more years before Hank will be trying to blow up popcans with M80s and whatnot so I'll just enjoy his mellow attitude while it lasts.

"Master Jam-Maker"

Every year my mom makes fantastic strawberry freezer jam and Aaron and I make a special trip to her house just to raid the jam. This year, when the farms nearby posted signs for strawberries, Aaron couldn't resist trying his hand at jam making. I was so impressed with Aaron - considering the fact that he specializes in boiling hotdogs - he made the jam all by himself! The other day, he gave away a precious jar of jam to his mom, calling himself "the master jam-maker."

Catch Up...

I've been slacking on my blogging lately, so I need to do a little catch up posting. Last weekend the temperatures hit the 90s so we busted out the backyard sprinklers on Friday and then headed to the waterpark on Saturday to keep cool. Hank had a blast and Aaron and I have had fun watching Hank get wet and wild.