Baby Presson

My friend Rebecca had her baby on Monday, and it's a girl!! Caroline Ann was born at 1:44pm and weighed 9 lbs., 2 oz. I had the pleasure of meeting her on my lunch break today, and she is absolutely precious! I wanted to share some pictures of sweet little Caroline:
Rebecca is doing great, and they will be going home from the hospital tomorrow or Friday. So exciting to have another baby in our lives!

Jack said he's glad it's a girl - he doesn't know how to play with boys since he is surrounded by girls everywhere he goes!


Cuts & Cocktails

Most of you know, but some may not, that Jason's mom Darlene was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in December. She had a lumpectomy in January followed by some intense radiation 2x/day for a week. She has now completed her second of four chemo sessions and started to lose her hair. Enter her wonderful work friends (she works at a firehouse), who planned an awesome party for Friday night. The theme was "Cuts & Cocktails" and several beauticians donated their services to shave Darlene's hair, along with anyone else who wanted to shave their heads in support. Several firefighters quickly volunteered (I'm guessing maybe 12 of them), along with Mert (my father-in-law), Jason and Todd (my brother-in-law), a few other friends and even some kiddos. Turns out they all look pretty decent bald!

It was a fun night with a great turnout - I think the guest of honor had a good time. The night started for her with the big pink fire truck from Wentzville picking her up at her house as a surprise. So fun!

Everyone wore pink shirts in support. Our family had some very fun ones:
Darlene's: Cancer Sucks
Mert's: Save the Racks (with a picture of deer antlers)
Jason's: F Cancer (of course that's what he picked)
Todd: Support Second Base
Jack: I'm Not a Girl, I Wear Pink for My Grandma
Mine: Fight Like a Girl
Cyndi's: Lots of different words for breasts (i.e. Bazookas, Boulders, Gazongas, Guns, etc...)

Darlene is doing great - she's handling the chemo like a pro and so far has just had a few days of "ickiness" after each treatment. She'll be back to normal in no time!!

Here are a bunch of pics from the party.

Darlene's chariot:
Clayton family w/the pink firetruck:The fun cake:
Party favors:Let the shaving begin:Almost done!
Mert's turn:Jason mid-shaving - nice strip down the middle (and notice the fallen curls on his shoulder):
Todd steps up:Jack getting in on the fun:Family Clayton post-shaving (Annie, Jack, Jason, Darlene, Mert, Cyndi, Todd):The baldies (Todd, Jason, Darlene and Mert):
Our friends who came to support Darlene (Renee, me, Melissa and Shea):Greg, J and Ryan:Cyndi & Me:
My handsome boys:


Haircut! And Other Updates

I finally broke down and cut Jack's hair. A couple months ago, Jason desperately wanted to cut it and I wouldn't give in - who cuts their 5 month old's hair?? Finally, a few weeks ago, I resigned and said I was ready at which point Jason had changed his mind. It's laying down a lot better now, so why bother? But the long pieces on top were REALLY starting to bother me, and now that the rest of his hair is coming in, I decided it's time to shorten the long baby hairs on top. I was fully planning to take him to one of those cutesy barber shops made for kiddos (and still will for his first official haircut), but I couldn't wait any longer. SO, I got out the scissors! I have to say after just a few snips, it is a VAST improvement! I still have some touching up to do, and as I said, he will need a professional haircut one of these days, but for now, I am satisfied.

After (you probably can't tell a huge difference, but trust me, it looks better!):
Freshly cut 'do:
Let's see, what else is new with Jack. He has tried a few new foods: pears and peaches. We also found the first food he doesn't like - avocado! He was not a fan, and neither were several of my friends' babies. They'll come around when they discover guacamole I'm sure. We tried Puffs for the first time the other day and he made the funniest face - I don't think he knew what to do with it! We'll keep practicing.

Puffs face:
Still no progess in crawling - as I said, he rarely stays on his tummy for long stretches, so I'm pretty sure he'll be a late crawler. I have been holding him by his hands and letting him walk, and boy, does he think he's a hot shot! Just smiles and giggles the whole time. He's of course very wobbly and not close to walking on his own, but it's still fun to practice.

Jack has now gone to three swim lessons and he's loving it. He figured out how to stand in the shallow water (the first day he just kept letting his feet float instead of pushing them down to the bottom - not sure he realized there was a bottom). He likes to splash and is getting good at reaching for a floating toy when he's on a kickboard on his tummy. Mommy is having fun too. I decided last week to try dunking him. The lifeguard told me to blow in his face so he'd hold his breath, then dunk him. So, I did, and he was not a happy camper. He got this horrible frowny face and let out a cry! It only lasted a second, but I still felt bad. Apparently not too bad though, because I tried it again and this time he just had the frown face but no cry. Baby steps!

He also finally had a couple good play dates with his friend Addison. We realized that until now, every time we've gotten them together it's when we're hanging out for the night and the babies get to play for maybe half an hour before they have to go to bed. Last Sunday we watched the afternoon Mizzou basketball game (boo!) with the Ashers, so Jack and Addi got some quality play time in. It was really fun to watch them. My favorite was when Addi tried to pull herself up on Jack not realizing he's not quite as sturdy as the couch or ottoman that she's used to. They both toppled over. I took pictures and videos, which are on the other computer (with Jason at Tablerock Lake), so I will have to post them later.

Handsome guy (with self-inflicted scratches all over his forehead):

Love those cheeks! And you can kind of see his "before" hair here too:


7 Months

Jack is 7 months old today! Hard to believe!

Our latest news is that we're are officially supplementing with formula for one feeding (out of five) per day. I am a little bummed, but I made it past my goal of strictly breastfeeding for 6 months, so I can't complain. Lately I am struggling to pump 3 bottles-worth of milk per day, so starting Sunday, we have replaced his lunchtime bottle with formula. I don't think he's even noticed a difference, which is great. Hopefully I can continue with breast milk for the other 4 feedings/day for a few more months because I am really enjoying my daily cookie from the cafeteria and without the extra calorie burning, I might be forced to cut that out.

I shouldn't even be writing this because I know I will eat my words, but so far the tooth has not clamped down on me yet. Knock on wood!!

That's it - just a quick update.


Swim Lesson!

Jack had his first swim lesson today, and I think he liked it!! The water was a little chilly, but he didn't complain. We had some play time, then went around in the lazy river practicing different things - floating on the kickboard, floating on his back, etc. Then he got to go down a little slide (though it wasn't very slippery, so it was more Mommy yanking him down). Turns out it was kind of a workout between lifting him up and down and half squatting to stay low in the not too deep water. I bet I'm sore tomorrow!! It was fun, and I look forward to next week!

Jason humored me and took the requested 40 pictures, along with some video. He even rolled up his jeans and waded into the water to get closer (I think he just wanted brownie points after he arrived a few minutes late, and it worked - he was quickly forgiven).

The video is kind of long (almost 4 minutes), so feel free to skip over it (I'll never know!!):


First Tooth!!

Jack cut his first tooth on Tuesday!! We've suspected teeth have been on the way for months now, and now the bottom right middle one (sorry Mom, I don't know the official name) has finally made an appearance. Big day!

That's my only update for now, but here are some new videos.

1. Daddy is so hilarious (I'm sorry if you get tired of watching videos of Jack laughing, but I just can't get enough of it and I'm in charge here!):

2. Basketball superstar (this one is for my Uncle Lynn) - please ignore my obnoxious voice, but pay special attention to Jack's adorable arms:


Sick Baby

Our little guy is sick. He has his first cold with a runny nose, congestion and this horrible cough, which we refer to as "daycare cough." He also has an ear infection in one ear, and judging by the white lumps on his gum, is working on a tooth or two as well. Poor little man! He's been quite a trooper though - still sleeping very well despite the annoying cough and he is only occasionally fussy. He started amoxicillin on Saturday, which he will take for 10 days for his ear infection. Unfortunately, we had to just ride out the cough/cold, which could take another week or so.

We had to skip our first swim lesson (doctor put the kibosh on that). Addison and Melissa went and had a good time, so Jack and I are looking forward to next Saturday.

Jack also didn't get to see his girlfriends Giana and Ella. We had a change of venue and went to Lisa's house instead of ours and Grandma Lang came and watched Jack so I could still go. It was nice to see everyone - Giana and Ella are getting so big! - but I was bummed Jack didn't get to have his play date. I'm not sure when he'll next see Giana, which is a shame.

We did have another play date on Friday night though - Jack met mommy's cousin Julie (the last one he hadn't met) and her daughter Maya and also played with my cousin Cindy's daughter Sam. I did a google search and determined that Maya and Sam are Jack's second cousins; Cindy and Julie are his first cousins once removed; and Maya and Sam are my first cousins once removed. So complex. We tried to have a photo shoot, but it's a little difficult with a 6-month-old and two 2-year-olds.

Sam, Jack and Maya:
Jack and Maya:Jack and Sam - Love this one - she moved that baby away from him so fast!!St. Louis has been having great weather this weekend - 60+ degrees! - so Jack, Maggie and I have gone for two walks. Jack seems to love it - he kicks his little feet the whole time and just looks around, completely ignoring the toys that I bring along for him. Today on our walk, Jack debuted a new accessory - a baseball cap! I was literally giggling out loud (yes in public by myself) at how darn cute he looked with his little shoes, his Cardinals cap and his kicking little legs. What a big boy.
I tried to take a video this morning of him shooting a basket and was unsuccessful. I will keep trying - he has made at least three baskets that we've witnessed. Anyway, in the meantime, he displayed his lovely cough for the camera, so I thought I would post it.

Isn't it so sad??


New Skill

Jack has another new skill. I've learned that he does not enjoy tummy time....that is, unless he's in only a diaper. So every night we spend about 10 minutes lathering up his eczema and hanging out on his tummy in only his diaper. So now to the new skill...he can spin! He's been turning 180 degrees when he's on his tummy. It's not crawling, but it's at least the start of mobility. Almost time to baby-proof the house!

Jack has added a few more foods to his menu options: applesauce and bananas. He loves the fruits as much as he loves the veggies! We also tried green beans about 3 weeks ago, and he ate them fine, but he was very spitty and fussy that afternoon/evening, so we haven't tried them again.

We're looking forward to two big things this Saturday: 1) our first swim lesson and 2) a visit with my girlfriends and two of Jack's girlfriends (Giana Marciano and Ella Cozad). Daddy is going to the swim lesson to take pictures and videos, and I'll definitely be taking pictures at Jack's play date. Stay tuned.

Here are some other recent pictures.

Trying on his new mittens:
Little train conductor man:
Snuggle time with Daddy:Lily, Mia and Jack: