Friday, December 30, 2005

Busy as a Bee

So far no relatives have coughed up more Christmas photos, so we will continue with Jack's social life this past week. We met our friend Jeff out for breakfast on Wednesday morning and Jack proceeded to color, with the crayons facing the right direction, and he didn't put them in his mouth. See for yourself:

Then later he had lunch with me and my parents, where I gave him Jello for the first time. It was quite funny and he liked it a lot. First he smashed the squares up, then he put all the Jello on the table, then back in the bowl, then he ate it. Here he is trying to figure out where the rest of the Jello might be.

Thursday we skipped town and headed to the mountains. We've been planning this trip for months and were very excited to show Jack snow for the first time. Unfortunately it seems there has not been a flake of snow in the area so far this winter.

Our first order of business was to take a small walk through a resort called "The Lake of the Woods". Joe used to come here every summer when he was a young lad, and he wanted to show us around. Here we are on the pier – you can see one brave soul trying to fish in this cold weather:

Here we are posing near cabin 23 where Joe remembers staying:

And these are the waterfalls Joe explored with his brother:

(my arms are crossed because I was starting to get a little chilly. Jack refused to wear a hat or mittens, and when we got done he was freezing.)

We took a little hike back by the stream:

It was a great little walk and Jack liked all the new things he got to see. Back at the cabin, he relaxed by selecting a book to read:

Or, really, just pulling the books out of the shelf:

Then he had a bath:

He went to bed and slept for 12 and a half hours. It was heaven.

Today we celebrated Joe's birthday at a local diner. Jack was pleased to sit in the booth like a normal boy:

For those of you who know him well, you probably recognize the look on his face. He's saying "ohhhh. Ohhh. Oh. Ohhhhh." He is very expressive with his Ohs.

Unfortunately today was a one-nap day and Jack is not ready to be a one-nap baby. He was unbelievably tired and went to bed at six p.m. Tomorrow is another exciting day of driving around and searching for snow, and ringing in the new year here in our cozy little cabin.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Jack's New Chair

I don't have a huge number of Christmas pictures right now - they are all in other people's cameras. So if you are a family member of mine with pictures worthy of the blog, please send them my way. I don't know what I was doing the entire holiday, but apparently I was NOT taking pictures.

Here are a few cute ones from Christmas Day at Gloria and Tom's house. Jack in his new fancy chair:

These were taken shortly before he stood up and toppled over backwards. Luckily it was on carpet and he didn't really hurt himself.

He spent some time outside with his Great Grandmother and his Godfather Michael. He loved telling everyone about the dog. He was talking talking talking. Unfortunately it appears he's learned a language other than English, because he jabbers on, pointing around him, looking like people are supposed to respond and no one has a clue what he is saying.

Later we opened some crackers (you know, those English thingies that pop when you pull them apart?) Everyone was lucky enough to score a super-cool paper hat. Here the cousins are showing theirs off:

And Joe even wore his for a bit:

It was a wonderful holiday. We are very blessed to have so many family members in town, and so many coming from far away to visit.

We are leaving for Pinetop on Thursday to celebrate Joe's birthday and New Years up in the cold. I will try to get photos of Jack playing in the snow, although I'm not sure how much snow there will actually be!

Happy New Year everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Jack and the Melon

Jack is sick. And so am I. Neither one of us is sick enough to warrant lying in bed all day while someone brings us tea and places cold cloths on our heads (although I seriously can’t imagine Jack lying in bed all day), but we are sick enough to be grouchy and feel yucky most of the time.

To appease him (and, to be honest, me), I will let him get away with almost anything right now as long as he’s not whining. So yesterday while we were waiting for Joe to come home, he located a cantaloupe amongst the groceries. He was so excited about this melon I can’t even begin to tell you. He carried it around the house, he picked it up and stood there, he tried to put it places, he tried to make it bounce. Of course I took a million pictures, so you’ll have to bear with me here.

Jack, posing with the melon:

Jack, struggling to remove the melon from the colander, and crying in the process:

Jack, rolling the melon on the stereo shelf, after having successfully lifted it:

Jack, in a Sisyphean struggle to place the melon on the couch:

And, finally, success.

I believe he is exhibiting remorse for having lost his cantaloupe. Poor guy.

This afternoon Jack visited his first gun shop. He was fascinated. He couldn’t stop staring at the guns on the walls, and was enthralled when the bullets were displayed for us to view. I did not take pictures inside, but here he is with Joe waiting to go in:

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. For me, this was the most magical day of the year – more than Christmas Day, I have always loved Christmas Eve. Jack is still too small to get it, but I know one day this holiday will bring him that same sense of magic and joy, and I can’t wait to experience it all over again. I can promise lots of pictures!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Put One Foot in Front of the Other

Yesterday afternoon Jack took two steps completely unassisted. He was holding on to the chair I was sitting in, he let go, took two steps and grabbed on to the couch. Then this morning he was standing next to me in the bathroom while I was putting on my makeup, so I leaned down and held out my hand. He took one step toward me and then held my hand. It’s progress of a sort, and I’m sure he’ll be running around in no time.

Today we did some more Christmas shopping, which is always tiring. I tried to get a picture of Jack before he fell asleep with his eyes at half-mast, but I wasn’t fast enough. By the time I got the camera out his little eyes were completely shut:

But notice how he’s sitting up in his forward-facing car seat, just like a real boy. We flipped him around on his birthday but apparently forgot to adjust the recline bar, so he was still lying back. Now he sits up completely in the seat and can look out the window. He prefers this situation and can’t understand why we took so long to position him correctly.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Out to Lunch

Today is a banner day here in the Howisjack household. Around 6:30 Joe and I both woke up without our usual little alarm clock yelling from the next room. We whispered “Where is Jack?” “Do you think he’s okay?” A full half hour passed before we heard his little voice from the next room. Seven a.m. I think that’s a record.

Jack has had such a busy time this holiday season. Yesterday he had lunch with lots of friends. Mac was there with Julie and my mom:

Jeff and Parley were there:

And we were there:

Now, he wasn’t this angry the entire meal. But for some reason when I set the camera off to take our picture automatically, he started to scream and wiggle. It was amusing. He was back to his happy little self once I stopped making him pose with me.

I have two random pictures from Saturday as well. Parley and Jeff came over that day too, and Parley took these. The first is with one of Jack’s favorite toys, the remote control:

And the second is with me. There are very few pictures of me with Jack, because I’m usually the one with the camera.

Today Jenna is coming over so I can get a little bit of work done and do some laundry. It’s getting more and more difficult to get things finished with little Jack around – he is a very curious little guy. Last night I was trying to wrap some gifts and he kept coming over and tearing the paper off.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Again with the Santa

Yesterday’s plan included two parties, but we ended up going to three! Jack was a trooper, but he was sure tired when we got home. We started out at Grandma Gloria’s house where Great Grandma Connie was celebrating her birthday. Here is the guest of honor with our little Jack and his Grandma:

Check out his new fancy chair he got as an early gift:

He wouldn’t really sit in it, but I know once we get it home and he has a chance to figure it out he will be pleased with his little Jack-sized chair.

He was nice enough to help open gifts:

And blow out candles:

It was a great party. Jack was the center of attention as always – he just sat and basked in the glow of everyone’s good will.

We left there and headed over to Julie, Dave, and Mac’s house for a final visit with Santa. He’s still not a fan.

That was the best face Santa got. It was all downhill from there. Even when Santa was nice enough to give Jack a little gift, he was curious but still angry:

And then he just wanted down.

We rescued him just in time, and he was happy to have the Santa torture over for another year. He did get to spend some time with his old friend Harrison:

Harrison is only a few weeks older than Jack but he’s already walking and talking up a storm. It’s so funny to see someone so small moving around like that. He’s 3 inches shorter than Jack but much more mobile.

Today is more excitement. We have a lunch date with Julie, Mac, Parley, Jeff and my Mom – what a party that will be. We also have to get our Christmas shopping finished up so I can start wrapping.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Party Animal

Jack had quite a busy day yesterday. He spent some time alone with Joe for some father/son bonding that mostly consisted of eating lunch and playing with trucks. Then his Uncle Travis came over for a visit and they watched Sesame Street together. Jack loves Elmo, and here you can see him peering at the TV set:

Then he went to a Holiday Party where there we tons of kids and lots of food. He was up way past his bedtime, but he had fun anyway. At this same party last year he was just a blob in a car seat, so it was fun to see him actually moving around.

He really does seem like he could walk any day now. Check him out as he’s heading toward the fireplace:

Today we’re heading down to Chandler for more parties and fun. I’m sure we’ll have lots of pictures of him screaming at Santa again, so I’ll try and get those posted tomorrow.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Another Day at the Zoo

Jack made some new friends this week. Jenna took him to the zoo with her sisters and two other children. He had a wonderful time. He took a 2 hour nap when he came home (completely unheard of in Jack land), so I know they did a good job of tiring him out.

Here he is in a double-wide stroller with his new little friend. Even though they were 3 years apart in age, they got along quite well.

He rode the carousel with Jenna:

Although once it started he did try to climb off:

He sat on a tractor:

and also with his little new friend:

I find this amusing because when I took him to the zoo a while back, he absolutely REFUSED to sit on the tractor. Or stand in the hay. Or even smile at me. I suppose this time he was in a better mood.

It is very funny to see him interact with other children. Here his friend is playing tour guide:

And teaching him how to relax:

(You can see Jack trying to pull off his socks. He refuses to wear anything on his feet, even if it's freezing cold outside.)

We have a busy weekend ahead of us. Uncle Travis is coming for a visit, we have a holiday party tonight, a birthday party tomorrow afternoon for Great Grandma, and a Santa Claus party tomorrow evening at Julie and Mac's house. I don't anticipate he will like Santa any better this time!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Santa, baby? No way!

Jack has now had two Santa visits. Suffice it to say he is unimpressed. The first Santa merely disturbed him a little.

Even though we approached slowly:

he was not convinced:

This was the best we could get out of him:

He was quite glad when Grandma rescued him.

The second Santa was far worse. Every time the man would talk, Jack would screech in abject terror. He was not amused. Unfortunately the only picture we have is a Polaroid, so I guess I’ll have to scan it somehow.

As you can tell from my lack of posting, we have been quite busy these days. Jack spent some time last weekend with his Grandparents, and he was there again this weekend! Here are some cute pictures of him from his last visit.

Here he was inspecting a wreath with Great Grandma:

And looking at pictures with Great Grandpa:

And here you can see how happy he is about his Little People Santa set:

That is the face of true happiness. He also loves his new tricycle that he got as a birthday gift from his Grandparents:

He is very talented – he can get on and off the trike, push himself around, and he can almost ring the bell. It’s quite exciting.

Last night Jack had a sleepover at his Grandparents house. Everyone loves a sleepover. Joe and I actually went out in public dressed like normal people and had a wonderful time. See how happy we look?

I think I’ve finally caught up on my sleep from the first 9 months.

This week will be another busy one for us. Jack is going going going all the time. Joe has a theory that the energy level in the house is exactly the same as before the baby, but now all the energy has been transferred to Jack. So the two of us just look on slack-jawed and wonder how one human being can possibly move so much.

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