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!