Solid Foods!

Jack hit a big milestone Sunday - he started solid foods! He got his first taste of rice cereal and he did pretty well. I'd say about half of the 1 tablespoon made it into his belly, with the rest landing on his chin and bib. He looks so stinking cute in his high chair. It was a shower gift (thanks Lisa, Amanda and Alison!), but we just put it together for the occasion. He has started every morning since Sunday with 1 tbs. of rice cereal and I have to say he's getting better and better at keeping it in his mouth. He even opens his mouth when he sees the spoon coming.

After about a week of the rice cereal, we'll make our way through the other cereals (oatmeal, barley, wheat) for about a week at a time, working up to 3-4 tbs. at a time. Then we'll start introducing vegetables and then fruits. Fun times at the Clayton household! Our little baby man is growing up so fast!


Jack's First Christmas

Jack had a great first Christmas! We got to see a lot of friends and family, and spent a lot of time with my sister and Greg, who were in town from New York.

The first holiday event was a happy hour with the family friends for the Mizzou/Illinois basketball game. We didn't make it to game time (8:30 pm) since it was Jack's bedtime, but we did spend several hours hanging out with our friends. Laura & Paul were in town from San Francisco, Jules was in town from Chicago and Angie & Eric (and kiddos) were in town from South Carolina. And Jack met a few people he hadn't met yet too. It was a fun night.
Future beer drinker - it's definitely in his genes:
On Christmas Eve we went to my parents' house, first to just hang out and exchange gifts with my parents and Kelly and Greg (Jack slept through most of this), then for the Gibler Christmas (my mom's family). Again it was a fun night - Jack took a good nap despite the noise and played with his new toys, including a football and a floor mirror.

Family photo - yes, Jason had on a Hawaiian shirt - he had a little cream soda incident and had to take his shirt off. He raided my dad's closet and this is what he found. (I think the Woodford Reserve whiskey he had been drinking had something to do with his selection):Jack's new football from Aunt Kelly & Uncle Greg:
The new floor mirror from Great Uncle Mike and Great Aunt Kathy:
All bundled up and ready to go home:Christmas morning, we went over to Jason's sister's house to watch our nieces and nephew open their presents. The morning is always chaos, but it is so fun to watch. My favorite was Mia's enthusiastic "Oh my gosh!" as she opened each and every gift. It was a hoot. Jack had a good time too - spent some quality time with Grandpa and Grandma and was a happy man even though we woke him from his nap to go there.

All the grand kids with Grandpa and Grandma:
Daddy and Jack watching Grandpa's train:After we went to Grandpa and Grandma Clayton's house to exchange gifts and play with Grandpa's train, we went home for a few hours. Jack got a little nap in and he opened his presents from Santa. He was in such a happy little mood and loved to eat the wrapping paper. So fun!

We headed to my Uncle Jim and Aunt Ree's house in the afternoon to celebrate with my dad's family. Again Jack got to meet a few of my uncles and cousins for the first time, which was fun. We skyped my cousin Sarah and her husband Phil who are living in the UK for a year while Phil obtains his MBA from Oxford. It was cool to catch up with them and they got to "see" everyone, including Jack. Instead of exchanging gifts with the Langs, we adopted a family and then just played rob your neighbor. This year's theme was funny hats, and there were some good ones!!

Me holding Jack in front of the webcam - look at Sarah & Phil's faces on the big TV. Too cute!
All the cousins (and spouses) displaying our new hats:Jack wearing Daddy's "hat":We ended the night with dinner at the Claytons' house. Jack received a very special gift from his grandparents - his first train! It is an old classic Lionel (older than Grandpa, they said) and they gave us a nice wooden chest to keep it in, complete with custom-made (by Grandpa) trays to hold each train car. We can't wait to put it up next Christmas - Jack will love it!
Jack in his train conductor's hat:
Saturday, we met up with my college friends. Alison, Mike and Giana were in town from New York, so we saw them, as well as Lisa, Michael and Ella and Emily and Adam. It was a fun night. It's always fun seeing the babies together. Jack and Giana were even holding hands for awhile. So cute, future husband and wife.All in all, we had a great holiday. Jack is a lucky little man - he got a ton of fun toys and clothes, including a Nike, a Puma and an Adidas track suit and a Mizzou sweatsuit.


4 Month Check-Up

Jack had his four-month check-up Wednesday and all is well. He weighs 20 lbs., 13 oz. (99.7th percentile), is 27" long (97th percentile) and his head circumference is 16 3/4" (50th percentile). The doctor said he's not overweight for his length, so nothing to worry about (we weren't worried). He said developmentally he's right on track: he's talking and gurgling, grabbing for things and bringing them to his mouth, smiling and laughing, etc. He also gave us the green light to start introducing solid foods. More on that in a later post.

Jack had to get 3 immunizations - one was a liquid squirted into his mouth and the other two were shots. He took them like a champ and barely cried. A vast improvement from the last time when all three of us cried! He was a little fussy that night, probably from the shots, but a little Tylenol cured that!

We've been busy getting ready for the holidays. Jack sat on Santa's lap again, this time at Bass Pro.
He also helped Mommy bake cookies one day.
Our little rascal:


Catch Up

I've been on a blogging hiatus for a few reasons. First, December is a busy month for me at work. In order to still spend as much time as possible with Jack before he goes to sleep, I've been leaving work at a normal hour and then getting back on my computer after he goes to bed to finish up some work. That doesn't leave much time for blogging! Also, Jason had all but hijacked the laptop in his massive search for a bass boat. He seriously spent about 2 weeks straight scouring the Internet looking for a perfect boat for Steve and him to buy. Thankfully (I think) he finally found one, which he's going to pick up next weekend, so I can now use the computer at will again.

Anyway, let's review what's new with us. Jack is doing great. He's been a little congested lately - I think I gave him the cold I had a few weeks ago. It doesn't seem to be bothering him, but I have gotten really fast at using the dreaded nose aspirator bulb thing to clear him out. He also had a rash on his forehead two weeks ago, so I took him to the doctor to get it checked out that Friday (12/4). He said it's nothing - just the face equivalent of cradle cap (it has a real name, but it's long and technical and I can't remember it). He said it'll go away on its own, or I can put Lotrimin (yes, the ringworm anti-fungal cream) on it. It is pretty much cleared up with the cream, and I'm glad to know it's nothing to worry about. While we were at the doctor, Jack got weighed. For sick visits, they weigh them with clothes on, so it might be a few ounces off (I have no idea how much clothing weighs), but he was 20 lbs., 10 oz. I'm sure that's still off the charts, but I have to say it's a little smaller than I expected after his unofficial weigh-in showed 21 lbs. 2 1/2 weeks earlier.

Jack is on the verge of rolling over - he can get onto his side, but then he just hangs out there for awhile and rolls back to his back. He hasn't rolled tummy to back yet, which they usually do first, because he really still despises tummy time. I think I mentioned before, the doctor told us at his last appointment that he might take longer to roll over because he's such a big guy. We're in no rush, but I always have the video camera nearby just in case. :)

He's still smiling all the time and laughing out loud at us. He loves to grab at things and bring them to his mouth. He really gnaws and bites on things now, so we suspect teeth may be in the near future (or maybe not - you never know). New this week, he grabs for Maggie when she comes near - it's pretty cute, but inevitably ends with Maggie trying to lick Jack's face.

He loves to watch football (can we say Daddy's son??) and still loves to gurgle and talk. He's found some new sounds, but I wouldn't say he's making consonant sounds just yet (should be soon according to the books). Can't wait for that first "mamama" and "dadadada" even though he won't know what he's saying just yet!

He's still eating like a champ. He has five meals of breast milk per day - I nurse him in the morning and at night, and he gets 3 bottles during the day, usually about 7 oz. each. He goes to bed pretty routinely at about 8:00 pm each night and sleeps until about 6:00 am or 6:30 am, but still wakes up occasionally when his arms come unswaddled and/or he loses his pacifier. He takes two solid naps per day (morning and afternoon), usually about 2-3 hours each, with a few cat naps mixed in. He hasn't been napping great at Grandma & Grandpa Lang's house (Mondays and Fridays), but Grandpa has apparently found a cure for that: In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. For those who don't know, my dad is known among his friends and family for loving this 18 minute song by Iron Butterfly. Well, apparently my son likes it too - Grandpa and Jack listen to it almost every day and that's how Jack falls asleep for his nap. Rocking out to Iron Butterfly on Grandpa's lap.

I signed us up for swim classes starting March 6 (he has to be 6 months old first) - I can't wait! Maybe that will motivate me to exercise more since I'll have to don a bathing suit and get in there with him. Melissa & Addison are signing up for the same class, so it's going to be a lot of fun!

We finally got our Christmas tree yesterday - we planned to go cut one down, but in the interest of time decided to go to a tree lot instead. Turns out, trees are pretty picked over on December 12. We got one that is fine, but now we have to wait for the branches to drop before we can decorate it. We won't be waiting this long to get our tree next year - it doesn't feel right that we won't have a completed tree until mid-December.

Yesterday, Paige and Mia had their semi-annual dance recital. It was cute as always, and I used my new video camera. I didn't know until afterward that I was breaking the dance studio rules - no video allowed. Oops!

Here are some pictures of Jack from the last couple weeks:

All the cousins on Thanksgiving:
Addison & Jack meeting Santa at a Parents as Teachers meeting:Jack and Santa (he was neither scared by nor interested in who was holding him):Our little tiger:Almost rolling over:Snoozing in his car seat all bundled up in his adorable hat - I couldn't get the camera out fast enough - right before this he had a death grip on one of his toys.Here's a video of Jack laughing. It's the cutest sound we've ever heard:

And here's one of him just being cute playing with his toys. At the very end he whacked himself in the face with a toy and scared himself, so we had to cut the video short. :)