Merry Christmas!

We has a mostly merry Christmas this year. It was very hectic and spread over 4 days (Jack didn't open most of his gifts from Santa until the day after Christmas and didn't open his presents from Grandma and Grandpa Lang until last night). We saw a lot of family, including my sister and her husband, so it was great. Our one negative moment was when Jack fell down the wooden stairs at my parents' house on Christmas day. I'm pretty sure Jason and I stopped breathing for about 10 minutes until he finally calmed down. We were very lucky - he is fine, aside from a few bruises - but oh man, that was scary!!

Jack got LOTS of new toys and he is one happy camper! He is literally playing with EVERY one of his new toys, so I'd say generally his 2nd Christmas was a big success!

Here is a summary in pictures:

Our outrageous number of presents purchased (only a handful of these were for Jack, don't worry!!)
Jack walking into his toy room to see the two big things Santa brought: a tool chest and a table and chairs set:The tools are a big hit:And so is the table:
New train table from Grandma & Grandpa Clayton:
Jack loved his cousins' new Barbie car:
A new truck (he got lots of cars, trucks and trains):
Digging in to his stocking from Grandma & Grandpa Lang:
A new fishing rod (we have since put this away for a few months as he was whipping everything in sight with it):
First attempt at a family photo - not too successful:
Improved, but after Jack and Daddy got into their comfy clothes:
Jack with his cousins Lily & Mia:Grandma & Grandpa Clayton with three of their five grandkids:Cyndi, Todd, Mia & Lily:Kelly & Greg, the newlyweds!
Thank you hugs for Grandma:And Grandpa:Jason and I both also got lots of goodies for Christmas. I received the big zoom lens for my camera - can't wait to use it - and the Twilight movies, a watch, some clothes, stemless wine glasses (no more hand washing my wine glasses - a dreaded task!!) and some other fun stuff. J got lots of fishing stuff, rain gear, a jig-tying kit (which he is using as we speak to prepare for tomorrow's fishing trip), a steam cleaner (the Little Green Clean Machine) and some fun gifts from my sister & Greg, including this beer holster:



Well, it's official. Our son shares his grandpa Clayton's love for trains. You may recall that last Christmas Jack received a very special gift - his very own Lionel train. We put it under our tree this year, and he LOVES it! The first day or two, he was unsure of the loud noise and wanted to be near us while it was on. Now, however, the minute he wakes up in the morning or gets home, he immediately goes in and turns it on. He turns it on and off all day long and blows the whistle. Even when he's in the other room and Jason or I nonchalantly turn it off, he darts back in there and turns it back on again. Here's a demonstration:

Here's a picture from Friday (when Jack turned 16 MONTHS OLD, by the way) while Grandma and I were wrapping Christmas gifts. Such a helper!
While I was in out of town for work the week before last, Jason accidentally taught Jack to stand on this plush toy block to turn on the lights, and it wasn't working out great for him, as you can see here. It's a little long (2.5 minutes) but worth it if you get to the end (in my opinion anyway).

So this weekend I bought him a stool so he can accomplish his favorite task (turning lights on and off) without all the risky effort.

Ah, much better!


Santa Visit

Jack visited Santa and Mrs. Claus this weekend. Let's just say he's had better days.Poor baby.

We got a couple of inches of snow last night/this morning, so Jack and I got bundled up and braved the cold for 3 minutes in an attempt at getting a Christmas-card-worthy picture. This was the best we got, so we went to plan B, but doesn't he look cute in his snow gear?

Ms Mia

Yesterday our nieces Paige and Mia had their semi-annual dance recital. They both did great in their one dance each and most of the other 33 dances were entertaining as well. No pictures or videos are allowed, so I didn't take my camera, BUT Ms Mia is on the "competition squad" and they also performed today at the mall. Here she is all dolled up:
Jack didn't recognize her with all her make-up. It was cute, she kept saying "Jack Man, it's just Mia."

Here's her dance - pardon the poor videoing, especially at the beginning (I was holding Jack in one hand and holding the video camera up in the air to get over the crowd with the other hand). Mia is in the back left - not too shabby for a 4 1/2 year old, eh??

I'm one proud aunt!



Darrin and Reghan came over last night to eat the fish the daddies caught on Friday. Yes, it was 30 degrees on Friday. Yes, they are nuts. BUT, the crappie was yummy.

The kiddos had a nice time together once they warmed up a bit. They're still kind of in the "parallel play" mode, but they still shared the toys very well. Reghan borrowed some jammies to wear home, so I put Jack in the same ones (he has them in two sizes). Aren't they cute??Check out Jack's belly in this one.
Aw, giving each other some lovin'
Earlier in the day I captured one of Jack's favorite pastimes - wearing Daddy's shoes.



Jack got a haircut just before Thanksgiving, and I swear it added about 3 years. I almost cried!

Here's my innocent little toddler with sweet wispy hair:OK, it might have been a little long, as evidenced in the blowing wind:
BUT REALLY?? He looks 4 years old now!!
Big boy with Daddy:
I like it now and he looks devilishly handsome, but it took a day to adjust to how grown up he looks!!

Here's the sole picture from the play date I mentioned in my last post. Unfortunately, Ella had to take her nap shortly after we got there, but it was still great to visit with Amanda, Lisa and Maci!
Jack had his first "Daddy Day" yesterday. With the grass officially dormant, Jason has some extra time on his hands, so he's going to be watching Jack on Wednesdays now. They had a good day, but I think Jason was a little overwhelmed. Jack is a busy guy and it can be exhausting to keep him out of trouble all day. I suggested in the future they take some little field trips to prevent them from going stir crazy (mall playgrounds, story time at the library, playing with our nieces at Grandpa's house, etc.). I think they're going to really love their full days together. I'm not going to lie, I wish it was me staying home with our son one (or two or seven) days a week, but instead I will just focus on how great it is for Jason and Jack.

Jack really enjoyed my hat when I got home from work last night.
So far he's doing pretty well wearing his own new winter hat, and he looks adorable in it. I hope to snap a picture of that this weekend before he decides he's not wearing it anymore!

Last but not least, here is a little video from a few weeks ago of Jack "helping" Grandpa rake the leaves. Love it!


15 Months!

This blog is belated because we've been busy! Lots to catch up on. First, Jack is 15 months old now. He had his check-up today, which meant two more shots (chicken pox and MMR). He also had two rounds of the flu shot over the past month and a half and did great both times - no tears! Brave little guy.

At 15 months, Jack is 28 pounds, 14 ounces (92nd percentile) and is 33 1/4 inches tall (95th percentile). He has 12 teeth (the front 8 and all four of the first molars). He wears size 18 months pants and 18 or 24 month shirts and jammies, and he wears size 6 shoes. Phew! He's cruising through those shoe sizes. He's in between a size 4 and size 5 diaper, with the 4 getting a little snug and the 5 just a smidge too big.

Here are some bath-time videos displaying some of his skills.

(please disregard my melodious singing voice in this one)

By the way, when Jason viewed these videos (and the other 5 or 6 that I've taken over the past month), he said "he's like your circus monkey" and "you're worse than those moms who put their kids in pageants" and "of course he wouldn't touch his belly, he hadn't been given his union-mandated break yet." Ah, men. They just don't understand how precious these teeny milestones are. And just for that, against his wishes, I am posting this adorable video of my husband and son reading together.

Here's a picture of Jack enjoying his first Dum Dum sucker. We discovered these are nice bribery when we need to trim his fingernails or the hair around his ears. He LOVES them.
A few weeks ago, we had a play date with Giana (in town from New York), Ella and baby Maci. It was a lot of fun! My friend Amanda even got in on the girls' night from San Antonio (via Skype, such a brilliant invention). Here's Jack and Giana:
Miss Maci:
Ella and Jack watching Giana and Alison leave. Does it get any cuter??
We also visited the Magic House again a few weeks ago. Last time we went there, Jack wasn't walking yet, so it was nice to let him explore more this time. He had a good time. Loved shopping in the grocery store:
And would have played with the big water table for hours if we'd have let him.
And of course, as I said last time, you can't visit the Magic House without doing the electricity ball. This time was more fun because he has a lot more hair.Oh, and those who know my dad will recognize this as the standard Grandpa Lang stance. I'm telling you this child is a mini-Tom!
Just looking cute in the bath:
Coloring some Thanksgiving pictures. He still thinks crayons are a yummy snack, so we only color in small doses.
Saturday night we went to the Minchers' annual friends Thanksgiving party, which was fun. Sadly, I didn't get any pictures of Nathan, Addi and Jack together, but here are Jack and Addi hamming it up.
Sunday, I tried to take Jack to the park for a nice fall photo shoot and I quickly learned that is no easy task solo with a 15-month old. Not exactly the nice "playing the leaves" pictures I imagined.
We left the park Sunday because I started to feel kind of crummy, and I'm glad we left when we did because almost as soon as we got home, I started vomiting and had diarrhea. Luckily, Grandma came and picked Jack up (Jason was a couple hours away fishing) because the fun continued every 5-10 minutes for the next 6 HOURS until Jason came home and took me to urgent care. They said I just had a bug, and gave me some anti-nausea meds and then (after 4 tries of pricking my severely-dehydrated veins) gave me a heaven-sent IV, which finally made me feel better. Phew! That was a rough day! I'm back to 100% today, and so far (knock on wood!!) my boys haven't gotten sick. We did take Jack's temperature Monday after he awoke from a nap inconsolable. Luckily, no fever and he snapped out of it after 20 minutes or so - we think he may be having nightmares because this is not the first time. He did help us by taking his own temperature later on. Not to worry, still no fever.
Well, I think that's everything from the past few weeks. We have a play date tomorrow, and of course Thanksgiving, so I'll be sure to take my camera along (did you have any doubt??).