Saturday, April 24, 2010

Ben's 1st Photo Shoot - 2 Weeks Old!

Ben had his first photo shoot yesterday. Except for the fact that he soiled every blanket we own in the process, he was a natural. He is such a handsome little guy! I can't stand it! I'm so happy with the way that the pictures turned out--thanks to my great friend/photographer, Liz:)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fun at the Locks

Can you believe I've been a Seattle-ite for 5+ years and have never visited the famed Ballard Locks? (I'm not totally clear on what the Locks are exactly, but it has something to do with a waterway that connects Lake Washington to the Puget Sound...its cooler than it sounds) On Saturday we decided to check it out. We had a blast! We watched as several boats entered the locks and the water was raised to lift the boats up to the water level. Hank loved watching the boats enter and leave the locks, and Max waved bye-bye to each one.

One Week Old!

Its strange that it seems like my pregnancy lasted for an eternity, but, now that Ben is here, time seems to be flying! If I think about the fact that my tiny, precious little baby is growing bigger and older every minute, I get a little teary. If only there was a 'pause' button on life.
Those dimples kill me! I can't wait until he learns to smile--I could look at that cute little mug all day long.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Today I feel like I truly received an answer to prayer in a tender mercy from the Lord. After having a bit of an emotional meltdown yesterday when my mom returned home, Aaron went back to work, and I was left to sort out life with my three boys, I NEEDED to have a good day. I guess there really wasn't anything great or unusual about today, I just went about my normal day, and it felt normal. I got the boys dressed, fed, and ready this morning and dropped Hank off at preschool. Then I took Max and Ben on a couponing run with me and did a little housework afterwards. We had a nice lunch together and then, most remarkably, everyone took a nap (including me!). We played in the backyard, we read stories together during feedings, I had great one-on-one time with each, and I survived! I know life is going to be one giant adjustment over the next few months, but it was confidence boosting to have just one normal day today.

Much Love

My boys are so lucky to have such wonderful grandparents who love them so much. I am so glad that my boys have such special relationships with their grandparents.

Not wanting to miss the big event, my mom came and stayed with me for the week before Ben arrived. She was a HUGE help. She did my laundry, cleaned my house, fixed fantastic meals, played with the boys for hours so I could rest, and walked with me for miles to induce labor, and held my hand while I was in labor. I LOVED having her here--mostly just her company. I had a small panic attack when she went back home yesterday, worrying that she spoiled me and I wouldn't be able to manage on my own. If I could afford to pay her, I would hire her permanently. Thanks for all your help, Mom! I love you!

Wee One - 4 days old

Every day it seems like Ben's looks change. As the swelling from birth goes down, he just seems to get cuter and cuter. Such a handsome little man!

Ben is an eating machine. If he could, he'd just eat around the clock. Sleeping...not so much. One of his best traits is that he is extremely tolerant. Ben doesn't seem to mind all of the "love" that his big brothers like to give him.

Daffodil Parade

We have enjoyed the local Daffodil Parade for the past three years, so even though we were all feeling a little worn out with a three-day-old baby, we couldn't miss out on the fun. Hank and Max had a blast. Hank loved the firetrucks and the tractors. Max was kind of mesmerized by the entire procession and just watched in a little daze. Ben thought the parade was a snoozer. Literally. He slept straight through the marching bands, firetruck sirens, and cannon balls.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Our New Addition!

Benjamin Z Grover
Born on April 7th, 2010 at 9:29 p.m.
weighing 8lbs 12oz, measuring 21 inches long
Feeling tired of waiting for my sweet baby to arrive, I chugged a castor oil cocktail on Tuesday morning, hoping to induce my own labor. Like clockwork, contractions started a few hours later. Unfortunately, the contractions were sporadic and relatively mild in intensity. I used every trick in the book to try to get the labor to speed up, but it didn't seem like I was making much progress. I woke up on Wednesday morning feeling much more serious contractions, but still only coming every 8 minutes or so. Because most doctors and hospitals require the contractions to be in five minute intervals before they will admit you, I waited all morning and all afternoon for the contractions to speed up. I read a book, I walked, I ran a few errands--I felt fantastic. Bored, anxious, and frustrated--but fantastic. Finally, around 6pm, we decided to just go to the hospital and see if they would admit me, eventhough the contractions were still 8 minutes apart. When we arrived, I was half-afraid they would examine me and then send me back home, sneering at me like I'm a rookie mom or something. Actually, the nurse checked me and I was already dilated to a 7! I was ecstatic and in total disbelief! At that point, things happened really quickly. The nurse rushed in the baby cart, called my doctor, and I ordered my epidural immediately. Once I had the epidural, my doctor arrived and broke my water. Minutes later I felt ready to push. Three pushes! Things seemed to happen so quickly I didn't have time to process any of my emotions. As they laid the freshly born baby on my tummy, I just laughed with sheer astonishment and joy. I am often mocked for being a bit of a planner, but I could not have planned any better of a delivery.
This picture is the definition of relief. When I held my sweet newborn son to my chest, just seconds old, I felt such a rush of relief and gratitude for the true miracle that just transpired.

Poor baby, though not for lack of trying, Aaron and I did not have a name picked out when we arrived at the hospital. Minutes after he was born, I asked Aaron if he knew what the baby's name was. Holding him in his arms, Aaron knew. He gave the baby to me, let me look in his face, and we agreed that the baby's name was Benjamin. We didn't name him. That was just his name. Baby Ben. In honor of his family tradition, Aaron gave Ben the middle name of "Z." Beginning four generations ago, with Aaron's grandfather Don R. Grover, Aaron's father Robert W Grover, and Aaron A Grover, the middle name is given in honor of the mother's maiden name. Because Aaron's mothers' maiden name was Alder, Aaron's middle name is "A" As my maiden name was Zollinger, Benjamin now carries the tradition forward, bearing the middle name "Z."

My heart is full. There are no words to describe my joy in snuggling my brandnew son. The afternoon of Benjamin's birth, Aaron gave me a powerful priesthood blessing in which I was told that Benjamin was a special spirit, chosen especially for our family. I loved him instantly and I will love him forever.

Oh how blessed I am! Happy!

This picture makes me teary--my favorite people in the whole world!

It was so exciting to see Hank and Max's reaction to thier new baby brother when they met each other for the first time. Hank was so SWEET. Hank rubbed Ben's cheek and kissed his head and asked millions of questions (some that we had to answer creatively). Max pointed at all of Ben's body parts, then touched his own, and laughed. I'm sure there will be adjustments to be made, but I know Hank and Max will make great big brothers.

Our Family of Five!

Ben is adorable! He looks just like Hank and Max: gobbs of dark hair, big wrinkly forehead, little button nose, and pouty red lips. Ben does have one cute attribute unique to himself: dimples! I can't wait until he learns to smile so I can see more of those cute little dimples.
Only one day old, I am already in love with baby Ben. There is so much to look forward to, watching Ben grow each day, but I just want to hold my baby tight, love him to peices, and savor each moment. I love you Benjamin!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Epic Easter 2010

What a fantastic Easter! Easter egg hunt, dying Easter eggs, Easter baskets, Easter feast and Easter goodies, family gathering, and general conference. Perfect!....almost....except for the fact that I am still (very) pregnant at this moment.
Saturday morning we took the kiddos to an Easter egg hunt. Can you believe the turnout? The race for eggs is pretty intense. Fortunately, we came out victorious! The kids' baskets were brimming with eggs at the end of the race.

Sorting through the spoils. Max was thrilled to have scored a Smarty candy.
On Saturday night, we all helped Hank dye eggs. As per family tradition, each family member creates their namesake egg. Later, we crack our name eggs in an "egg war" tournament, using the cracked eggs to make deviled eggs for the Easter dinner.

Hank decided to get down and dirty and used his hands to lift the eggs in and out of the dye.

I'm glad I took a picture of the kids' Easter baskets the night before, because Hank didn't waste any time tearing through his basket on Easter morning. Initially, Hank was a little disappointed that the Easter bunny brought him a green sweeper truck, and not the red sweeper truck that he had asked for. I tried to explain to Hank that the Easter bunny probably searched really hard to find a sweeper truck and maybe the Easter bunny couldn't find any red sweeper trucks.
Max was elated when he discovered that his Easter eggs rattled when he shook them--you should have seen him when he discovered that the rattling noise was made by the candy inside!

I failed to get a picture of the Easter feast. It was amazing. We stuffed ourselves like happy little piggies. The boys loved having both their Nanas and Papas here to celebrate and went from lap to lap just lavishing the attention. A special highlight to the weekend was being able to listen to our prophet speak during general conference. It seemed like the speakers made special mention of the importance of mothers in raising their children righteously. Listening to the inspired messages about Christ, His ressurection, and His beautiful plan of happiness, on Easter Day, while expecting my third baby, was a special experience to be sure. My testimony of my Savior was reaffirmed and my gratitude for my sacred role as a mother was deepened.
Easter was I'm just waiting.........