Trip to Rochester

Jack and I are back from his first vacation - a trip to Rochester, NY to visit my sister and Greg. We had a great time doing lots of fun stuff and just hanging out with Aunt Kelly, Uncle Greg and Otis! Jack had lots of firsts on this trip, so I'll try to include them all.

First and foremost, this was his first time flying. There are no direct flights to Rochester, so we had 4 flights in total. On the way there, Mr. Jack was an angel baby - he slept on the first flight and made friends with our seatmate on the second, playing peek-a-boo and just being generally cute. The flights home were not quite so easy - we first had to wait in line at the airport for an hour to check into our 2-hour-delayed flight. Then we boarded the plane and sat on the tarmac for over an hour - not fun with a squirmy guy who is up past his bedtime. Luckily the woman next to us enjoyed Jack (who wouldn't??) and even let him use her headphones (or try anyway) to listen to her soothing John Coltrane music to help him fall asleep. We practically had to run to our next flight in Chicago and when we got to the gate, they were in the process of giving up our seat (don't they communicate with each other?? Seems they should have known we had just landed on the opposite side of a very large airport and would need a few minutes to trek over there, but I digress). Luckily we got on the flight because it was the last one out Sunday night. Jack handled all of the waking and sleeping and getting in and out of his car seat like a champ. Quite a trooper, that little guy.

This is how we traveled through the airport - with his car seat attached to the Travelmate, which is basically a plate with wheels and a telescoping handle that turned his car seat into a stroller (we checked it at the gate for each flight):Killing time in the Cincinnati airport:
First time on an airplane:
Now, on to the good stuff. Aunt Kelly, always the awesome hostess, had lots of fun stuff planned for us to do. Thursday we went to Parties in the Park and saw the first few songs of the Eddie Money concert before going home to get Jack in bed. Friday we tried to have a beach picnic, but that only lasted a few minutes. We were a little turned off by the huge gusts of wind that blew sand in our faces and made our cheese and sausage picnic rather gritty. We moved to a grassy area and had a nice meal, then we walked around the festival that was going on. It was there that Jack experienced his first carousel ride. He loved it! He was like an old pro - sitting just right on the horse, holding onto the bar, and even moving his body back and forth to try to make the horsey go faster. Inexplicably, I got choked up when we got on - I have no idea why. Thanks again Mom for your genes in this area. :)

Aunt Kelly & Jack picnicking:
Mommy & Jack on the beach (please disregard my hair - did I mention it was windy??):
Carousel ride!Friday night we went out for a delicious dinner, and Jack was very well-behaved in the nice restaurant.
Saturday we went for Jack's first bike ride (and my first in probably 15+ years!!). We rented a bike for me and a bike trailer for Jack. I was pretty wobbly at first, but after awhile I got my confidence up and did fine. Jack was a happy camper chomping away at his snacks and even fell asleep for the last portion of the ride.
Saturday night, Greg's dad came over for dinner. It was really sweet; he brought Jack a book and a t-shirt and even read the book to Jack. So nice of him!

Sunday we checked out the Strong Museum of Play. It was so much fun! There was quite a bit for Jack to play with, and we checked out the Butterfly Garden. The highlight though was Jack's first train ride. He had fun!!

Jack with Uncle Greg and Aunt Kelly in front of the Sesame Street steps:
The Berenstain Bears and us!
Train ride!What's up butterflies:
This lasted about 3 seconds - Jack thought the sand would be a nice snack so we quickly got out:
Some more pictures from the weekend:
Aside from all the new experiences, Jack also developed a few new skills on the trip. First, he demonstrated his ability to talk on his cell phone:
He quickly learned how to feed himself snacks out of his Snack Catcher - what a brilliant invention! The lid keeps the snacks from spilling, but allows little hands in to pull snacks out.
Also, he can now stand on his own for a few seconds without holding onto anything. He even carefully lowered himself to the ground after standing a few times. Big shot!

And finally, Jack officially has two top teeth (not the two middle ones, but the middle right and the one to the right of that - funny). The other middle should be breaking through his gums any day now.


Father's Day

Jack and I had a special surprise for Jason for Father's Day. We (with the help of Grandma and Grandpa) went a few weeks ago to Creve Coeur Lake and did a photo shoot of Jack "fishing," which is his daddy's favorite pastime. I was really happy with how they turned out, and Jason liked them too.


Feeling Better

The little guy is starting to feel better after almost a week of his 3rd antibiotic (Augmentin this time). He's still not back to his normal self - not quite as smiley and happy - but he has made vast improvements. He's sleeping great, but not eating quite as much as usual. AND his poor little tush is red as can be again. Darn diaper rash! Still smiling, just not as constantly as normal:
Some other updates:
We went to Race for the Cure last Saturday, and Jack was a real trooper. It was VERY hot and humid, but the little guy just hung out in his stroller drinking his sippy cup of water and munching on Cheerios and Chex while we walked the 5K (which takes forever when there are 70,000 people). Towards the end, he got a little worn out, so we laid his stroller seat back and he zonked out. He was an angel baby.

Our family pre-race:
Lades (Julie, Chrissy, Reghan and Darrin):
Mr. Energizer Bunny:
Cool in his shades (for about 30 seconds):
Miss Maggie Neu:
Miss Addison:
Jack passed out at the end of the race:

Jack has learned how to throw mini temper tantrums. I know I won't be saying this for long, but right now they're pretty cute. He desperately wants to play with the TV, DVD player and satellite box and when we tell him no, he's not a happy guy. He throws his body back and/or rubs his face on the carpet. Here he demonstrates option 2:
Swimming at Grandma & Grandpa Lang's house:

Jack and I are preparing for his first flight this Thursday (well, I'm preparing; I'm not sure he's fully understanding what I've been telling him). He and I are going to visit my sister and Greg in Rochester, NY for the weekend. I'm a little nervous about the solo travel with him (Jason is staying here to hold down the fort), but I'm sure we'll survive. I've been getting lots of tips (thanks Al!) for traveling with a baby and have been making lists galore to make sure I don't forget anything. We'll see how it goes!

Here are some fun (& messy!!) eating pictures:
This is Jack's favorite expression these days - we're guessing he likes feeling his bottom (and only) teeth, but it's too funny:
Another play date with Addi. Are these two not the cutest things??? (Thanks for the pictures, Mel!)

And some non-Jack updates:
Maggie has been shedding like crazy, which, when combined with my neglect for housework, has resulted in a very fuzzy house. SO, this weekend we got her shaved, which is a first. Much to my surprise, she really doesn't look much different. It was the right choice for sure!
Also, I FINALLY got the big wall in our living room decorated, and I'm really happy with how it turned out. Observe: