Happy Thanksgiving

We had a very nice Thanksgiving week.  Aunt Kelly and Baby Parker got to St. Louis on Sunday and spent the whole week here (Uncle Greg arrived Wednesday).  We had lots of quality time hanging out.

On Monday we attempted to surprise Grandma with a professional picture of the three grand kids.  Unfortunately the eldest was in full-fledged two-year-old mode and refused to participate.  SO, the babies it is (I don't have an electronic copy so this photo of a photo will have to do):
Jack loved meeting baby "Parper" and wanted to shower her with kisses as he does with Charlie.
 Isn't she a doll??
 On Thursday we had a jam-packed day of family gatherings. We started at my Aunt Jan & Uncle Lynn's house for lunch.  It was a nice visit.
Charlie spent the majority of the time snoozing in his car seat
Jack & PaPaw played with Uncle Lynn's remote-control boat in the pond behind their house
Greg has the magic touch with his baby girl!
Cool dude kept his shades on the whole time we were there
Our family
Whole Lang family
Aunt Kelly, Parker and Uncle Greg
Jack & Uncle Greg feeding the ducks
At about 3:00 we headed to my Uncle Steve & Aunt Lori's to visit with my dad's side of the family.  Luckily, Jack fell asleep on the way there (we were not looking forward to a nap-free day), so Daddy dropped Charlie and me off and drove around for about 45 minutes to let Jack snooze.  We had fun there too - Jack discovered a new talent...playing ping pong!  He and PaPaw were downstairs playing and when I went down to check it out he wanted me to leave.  My aunt and I convinced him to let me watch him hit the ball two times, but as soon as he hit it the second time he ran over and started pushing me out of the room.  I guess he's independent...
Another Charlie & Parker photo op
 Then our third and final stop was at Grandma & Grandpa Clayton's house.  We had a delicious dinner there and Jack had a blast (as always) playing with his cousins.
Charlie & Jack showing off their Thanksgiving jammies
Charlie, Jack, Mia & Lily


Jack at 2 1/4 Years

I thought I'd give a quick update on Jack.  He's 1/4 of the way through his third year and growing up so fast.  The most noticeable change has been his vocabulary.  I know I said this in a recent post, but I can't say it enough - the boy just keeps adding to his vocabulary!!  He talks and talks and even says sentences of 5-6 words!  Sometimes we need to translate what he's saying for others, but we can understand 99% of what he's saying.

He's made some vast improvement on his ABCs in the month since I posted the last video.  He now sings the whole song and gets many of the letters right.  We're working on identifying the letters, but we're not there yet.
And here's a video of his counting.
His little personality is just a riot.  He loves for us to play with him (usually choo choos or balls) but will play by himself for some time as well.  He's recently discovered Little Einsteins and Jake and the Neverland Pirates, which are two cute cartoons on Disney Junior.  They are somewhat interactive and it's fun to hear him respond, for example, helping Jake count the coins they've earned or patting his legs to help the Einsteins' rocket take off.
Silly guy "wearing" Mommy's earrings

When we do play together, Jack tends to be rather particular.  If we're playing ball, he likes to specify where each person needs to stand and insists that you use two hands if you're holding the bat.  If we're playing choo choos, he always uses the green choo choo and usually "lets" us use the red choo choo, but of course that varies with his mood.  He always wants to take his shoes and jacket off when we get home and now insists that we take ours off as well.  I have recurring discussions with him about why I want to keep my slippers on while we're playing.

Jack plays pretty well with his friends.  Sometimes we have days/nights where he just isn't sharing well and we have to pull him aside and give him his options (i.e. share or we go home), but in generally he loves playing with his buddies.  Jack can't get enough of his BFF Addi.  They are so cute together, chasing each other, squealing and making each other laugh.  We have trouble sharing, but really only occasionally.  Here they are the other night - Addison was reading a book to Jack.  Love it.

A new-found love for Jack is "poppets" (pockets).  He LOVES his new winter coat because it has pockets for his hands and the first night he wore it he didn't want to take it off.  I finally got him to take it off by taking mine off as well, but then he insisted I leave it in his bed next to him.  Silly guy.

Jack loves his baby brother and is always giving him kisses.  When we're in the car he updates me on Charlie's status: "Babycharlie looking at me," "Babycharlie sleeping," etc.  If Charlie gets sad, I tell Jack to sing him a song to cheer him up - he usually chooses his ABCs.

My favorite time of day is first thing in the morning listening to him over his monitor.  He usually sings a song, either the ABCs or the Bumblebee Song ("I'm bringing home a baby bumblebee...."), he talks to his lovey, Blue (this morning he told Blue he was sorry), he calls to us "Moooommmmyyyyy, come get me,"  "Dadddddyyyyy, where are you?"  Man, it's cute.


Several months ago my friend Rebecca introduced me to Pinterest.com.  For those who are unfamiliar, it's a site where you can bookmark and organize ideas that you see on the internet.  It saves the picture as well as a link back to the original source so you can refer back to it later.  You can also "follow" your friends and see what things they're "pinning" and save those for yourself as well.  I have accumulated a ton of fun decorating ideas, kid activities, recipes and LOTS of do-it-yourself projects that someday I'd like to try.  Of course the site isn't useful if you don't implement any of the ideas, SO....here are a few of the projects I've done that I found on pinterest:

Pumpkins - This was a fun/easy new take on pumpkin decorating.  I used round stickers (garage sale price stickers I had leftover) and stuck them on the pumpkin, spray painted the whole thing black and then removed the stickers.  Fun!

Wreath - I bought a large cardboard letter from Joann Fabrics, covered it in moss (moss sheets adhered using my hot glue gun) and hung it on my front door with a big ribbon.  Love it for the fall!

Yarn letters - Again cardboard letters, but these were from Hobby Lobby.  I covered each letter in yarn to hang on Charlie's wall.  He loves to look up at all the colors as I change his diaper.

 And my favorite project - belts for Jack!  My friend Rebecca (thanks Reeb!!) saw THIS tutorial on a blog that she reads and saved it to pinterest.  When I saw it I was excited because I have literally been searching at every store I go to for a fabric belt for Jack to hold his pants up (he's between sizes).  I can only find leather belts for toddler boys and that's too fancy for my t-shirt-and-tennies-wearing boy.  Anyway, I thought I'd give it a try during nap time yesterday and voila!  Two new fabric belts!!  Piece of cake!  And they attach with velcro so Jack should be able to handle it on his own when we start making more progress with potty training.

 I had to include this picture because I thought it was funny.  I asked Jack to lift his shirt so I could take a picture of his belt..


Charlie at 2 Months

Well our little baby is now two months old.  He is growing so fast!  We had his check-up yesterday and true to Clayton form, he's a little on the large side.  He weighs 14 lbs, 14.5 oz, which is in the 97.65th percentile.  His length is 24.25" (89th percentile) and his head is 16.7" (96th percentile).  Big guy!  Of course that's nothing when you compare him to his big brother at two months: Jack was a whopping 16 lbs, 14 oz!!  Hard to believe!

Charlie had to get four immunizations yesterday - three shots and one oral.  My poor baby was so upset - I saw his first real tears.  That is one thing that doesn't get easier the second time around.  He also wasn't a fan of the doctor poking around on him, so the visit was just overall a rough one!  The doctor was impressed with Charlie's head control and his strong legs.  The other day I tried to have him do a baby sit-up by slowly pulling his arms towards me while he was laying down (practice for neck/head control) and the little peanut popped right up to his feet instead of sitting.  Funny guy.
Charlie is quickly making his way into 3-6 month and 6 month clothing, with several of his 3 month outfits getting a little too short for his torso.  He's wearing size 2 diapers, but we have to buy the Snugglers or other smaller brands - the regular size 2s (like the Target brand we use for Jack) are a little too big.
We're still getting decent sleep at our house, but not quite sleeping through the night consistently just yet.  For a solid week he went 8-9 hours between feedings, which was essentially sleeping through the night in my mind (I don't enjoy getting up at 6:00am, but that's going to be the norm in a few short weeks when I'm back at work anyway).  But ever since we returned from our trip to New York and turned our clocks back for Daylight Savings Time, he's been going more like 6 hours.  I figured out (I think - I'm still experimenting) that he's ready to go down for the count after his feeding that's usually between 7:00pm-8:00pm.  I have been waking him 3 hours later to try to get one more feeding in him in hopes that his 8-9 hour stint would start later.  That doesn't seem to be working because (at least this week) he's been still waking at 4:00am (about 6 hours).  If I just put him in bed after the 7:00pm feeding, he generally will go to 4:00am as well (more like 9 hours).  SO lesson learned: stop waking him and just make an effort to push that 7:00pm feeding a little bit.  We'll see how that goes!
Breastfeeding is still going great - he eats about every 3-4 hours during the day.  He has taken more bottles now and does great with them.  We've still been using the Dr. Brown's and haven't tried to go back to the Avent bottles yet.  When he takes a bottle, he eats about 5 oz.  I've had some extra supply so I pumped about once/day for several weeks.  I counted the ounces in our deep freezer a couple weeks ago and I had 200 ounces saved.  Sounds like a great start until you start doing the math...5 oz/feeding, eating about 6 times/day = 30 oz per day.  That means that all that milk will only feed him for 6 days.  Yikes.
Charlie is smiling all the time now and loves watching us when we talk to him, especially his big brother.  He's cooing a lot too and loves to just lie on his back and talk to us.  Fun!!

Here are some side-by-side comparisons - he's grown a lot in one short month!


Meeting Baby Parker!

Charlie and I returned yesterday from our trip to Rochester to meet Baby Parker.  What a little doll!!

We had a nice visit with Aunt Kelly, Uncle Greg and Parker.  It was a low key visit since we had the two babes in tow, but we got in lots of snuggle time with each other's newest additions.  We also hit the outlet mall for a five-hour shopping spree!  It was clear we were two women on a mission, having recently endured nine months of maternity clothes!!  Both babies were great during the marathon shopping.  We took a break mid-way through and had a dual nursing session in the car - I'm sure that was a sight!

Parker is quite a peanut next to her cousin.  Granted, he is three weeks her senior, but still.  We struggled to get a good picture of them side-by-side because it seemed when one was awake and content the other was sleeping, eating or fussing.  BUT, here are a few...

(this one is my favorite)

I think they're saying "Enough already!!" in this one
Charlie did great on his first flight - well first four flights actually (there are no direct flights so we had two each way).  He mostly slept on the planes which was easy.  We were lucky and had a full row to ourselves on three of the four flights.  The fourth and final flight was the roughest because it was a totally full flight.  I was surrounded my men who appeared rather uncomfortable when I had to feed Charlie twice.  I was discreet with my nursing cover, but it's still obvious what's going on and my seat-mate deliberately stared out the window the whole time.  Sorry buddy, baby's gotta eat!  We also had diaper blowouts on the first and last flights, but I was prepared for those with spare outfits, so no biggie.

Charlie's first flight:

 Uncle Greg & Charlie
Kel & Parker
Jason and Jack picked us up at the airport and Jack ran to me and jumped into my arms.  Love it!  Then he couldn't stop leaning into Charlie's car seat to kiss him.  It's clear he missed his baby brother!!

Parker will be venturing on her first flight in just a few weeks when she and Kelly come home for Thanksgiving. Greg will come a few days later.  We can't wait for their visit!