Jack had a very nice first Thanksgiving. We went to my Aunt Jan and Uncle Lynn's house for lunch, then went to Grandma & Grandpa Clayton's house for dinner. Jack was a good boy despite being toted all around and missing one of his naps!

He is just getting more fun each and every day - the latest development is his laugh. He's been laughing out loud for several weeks now, but just in the past week he's really started to belly laugh. It is the cutest thing we've ever heard! The littlest things just make him crack up - so fun!

Cyndi and I braved the stores on Black Friday, as we do every year. It was a looooong day of shopping - we started at 5:00 am and got home after 3:00 pm. It was worth it though, I made some great progress on my Christmas shopping, and got a couple good deals for myself too!

Since we had a beautiful 70-degree sunny day yesterday, Jason got the Christmas lights put up and got to wear shorts while doing so. Crazy! Hard to believe we had that weather at the end of November, but we'll take it! I had grand intentions of getting out the Christmas decorations this weekend, but with Sunday coming to a close, it's not looking too promising. Maybe next weekend...

Jason gave me my Christmas present early - a new camcorder!! I am so excited! We've taken a couple of videos to test it out, and we hope to document all of Jack's upcoming milestones!

Here's a video of Jack's morning wake-up routine. After we unswaddle him (if he hasn't done so on his own already), he stretches and rubs his eyes and then just smiles and smiles at us! Mornings are fun - even though they start at 6:30!


3 Month Pictures

We got Jack's 3 month pictures taken today. We went to Portrait Innovations in Chesterfield Valley. The pictures turned out really well, but they were running an hour late and the place was a madhouse - not a good combination with a 3 month old and an impatient husband. It was not a great experience. However, like I said, the pictures turned out very cute, so that's good at least.

Here's a sample:



First, we did an unofficial weigh-in and length measurement of our little 3-month old Tuesday night. You'll never guess how big he is now....21 pounds and 26"!!! Holy cow! To give you some perspective, here are some other stats from the past week: Giana Marciano (also 3 months old) = 13 lb., 4 oz.; Addison Asher (6 months old) = 20 lbs. 9 oz.; and Lily Knichel (15 months old!!) = 22 lbs., 8 oz. Yes, our son is a very big boy!! We love his big cheeks and his cushy little body. He is such a snuggle bug! Plus, I'm confident my arms are now stronger than they've ever been! Jack is cruising through the clothing sizes - he's been in 3-6 months/6 months for at least a month now, and he can almost wear 6-9 month/9 month clothes in some brands. Wow!

Now, for the subject of this post. We discovered awhile ago that Jack is a big fan of music (as most babies are). Jason loves to play the Black Eyed Peas for him and has even showed him their videos on youtube. We've switched from his regular lullaby CDs to Dave Matthews Band and Amy Winehouse and 311 (more for our sanity since we listen through the monitor, but Jack likes it too). BUT, the song that is the most soothing for him is from my Chi Omega days...Shades (you Chi-Os know what I'm talking about). I happened upon this when I ran out of songs I could remember all the words to without the music - you can only sing the ABCs, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and Mary Had a Little Lamb so many times. So I sang Shades to him and he fell asleep! The next day, same thing! And now, almost every time he fusses I can calm him by singing that song. The most shocking part about it is I'm completely tone deaf, but somehow I manage to soothe him by singing. Hey, whatever works, right?


One Week Down

Well, we all survived my first week back at work. I cried a lot on Sunday, but was relatively tear-free during the week. That is, aside from Tuesday night when Jack refused to smile at me when I got home - that brought on some tears. He's learning though - I received smiles galore when I got home Thursday and Friday! I've got a lot going on at work, so that certainly helps to make the days go by quickly. Jason spent a lot of time home with Jack this week and he is now on my bandwagon praying we win the lottery so we can stay home with our little man!

Jack is doing very well - he enjoyed all the extra time with his daddy and grandparents this week. He's really starting to use his hands more and more - he grabs onto anything he can reach: the bottle, my shirt, his burp cloth, toys, etc. He's also making some more sounds - I've been hearing the 'O' sound a lot more - though he still loves that gurgle!

We currently wrap him in a Swaddle Me blanket every night and during naps, but lately he finds his way out of it almost every time. The other night I went in to calm him down, and this is what I found. Silly little man. It's probably time to start weaning him from the swaddle. The problem is, he seems to wake himself up more if his arms aren't confined in a swaddle. We'll have to gradually get him used the freedom I suppose.

Three nights this week, Jack slept the entire night (about 8:30pm - 6:00am) without waking up at all!! Usually he needs a pacifier replacement once or twice. That was quite a blessing during my first week back!

We tried out his new Baby Einstein video this morning (thanks Grandma Lang) and he liked it, but was not mesmerized like I expected. I think he was getting sleepy when I turned it on, so maybe another day he'll pay more attention.

Hard to believe Jack will be 3 months old Tuesday!! Time flies!



Jack had a new first. We were at the Minchers' house last night for their annual friends Thanksgiving and Jack tried out Nathan's jumperoo. He loved it!! Didn't do a lot of bouncing just yet, but he had this expression like "whoa!" I brought his exersaucer upstairs this morning because apparently he's ready for it, but I'm thinking we might have to ask Santa to bring him a jumper too.Here are some more pictures from the Thanksgiving party.

Ryan & Nathan and Jason & Jack:
Jack and Addi:Little chubby cheeks man:Our family:
My maternity leave has come to an end - I go back to work tomorrow. It has completely flown by - I wish maternity leave was a full year long like it is in parts of Europe. I really wish I could stay home full time with Jack, but at least I know he will be in good hands (Grandma & Grandpa Lang 2 days/week, Grandpa Clayton 2 days/week and Daddy 1 day/week or more as his schedule allows this winter).

In other news, Jack was on the front page of stltoday.com on Friday! At the suggestion of one my mom's friends, I submitted a picture of him in his Marine costume to the paper. It was the "featured photo" on the front page for almost the whole day. Our famous little man!

You can see him in the middle of the page in the screen print below.
If you open his picture on the website, you can see the comments that people have made - people were saying things like "my brother is a Marine - he would love this" and "Jack you look so cute in your Marine costume." So fun!


Jack & Addi

We also went to the Ashers' house last night, where of course we had another baby photo shoot. Jack has almost caught up with Addi size-wise!! If you remember, she looked so much bigger than him when he was born as she's 3 1/2 months older than him!

Then (August 27th):
Now (October 31st):

First Halloween

Jack's first Halloween was a big success! We surprised Grandpa Clayton with a Marine costume and he loved it! Jason worked hard on putting the outfit together - found the jacket and shoes online and made the hat, the belt and the "badges" for the sleeves. Grandma Lang made the pants and Grandma Clayton sewed all the buttons onto the jacket. He looked so adorable!

Our dapper Marine:
Grandpa seeing him for the first time:The two Marines:All the kiddos: Lily (Cowardly Lion), Mia (Dorothy), Jack (Marine) and Paige (Devil):Mia & Lily looking cute!