Jack is with Grandma Sue and Pepere today, so I'm taking advantage of the downtime to update the blog. I have a lot to cover: Christmas, birthdays, mini-vacation, new job, and I'm sure a few other items I will think of as I write. Read what you like, enjoy the photos, and hopefully by the end, you will be caught up on Barrett Family Life.
Christmas was a lot of fun this year. Jack learned about Santa Claus (we are still singing Santa Claus is Coming to Town before bed; it's March!) and Jesus's birthday. I think he was pretty impressed by it all. We had our first Christmas celebration with the Watts side of the family the weekend before Christmas. Grandma Sue had a birthday cake and we sang for Jesus. As far as Jack was concerned, that was the highlight. Oh, that and the boots Grandma Sue and Pepere got him. He wears those all of the time and can even put them on and take them off by himself.
We celebrated Christmas Eve with the Reilley side of the family at Aunt Sharon's house. Since it was just us and the aunts and Nannie, Jack was spoiled with attention. He ate it up. I think the highlight of the night was watching Jack roll his new luggage from Nannie around the house. He also received "If You Give a Moose a Muffin" from Aunt Sharon, and that has become one of his favorite books.
Christmas morning was spent at our house. Auntie Bubbles slept over the night before so she could be with us in the morning. Jack had lots of fun on his new bike that Santa brought for him. He was even good about telling everyone about the new bike when they asked what Santa gave him. Christmas afternoon and evening was spent with the Unger side of the family at the Carlson's house.
Jack collecting Auntie K's candles to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.
As soon as Christmas is over, we start thinking about Jack's birthday. On his actual birthday, Steve and I took Jack downtown to the Shedd Aquarium. What a blast! Since his birthday fell on a Monday, there were hardly any people there right at opening. We felt like we had the place to ourselves! We got to see the new show in the Oceanarium, play in the penguin area, and see all kinds of fish and sharks. We all had a really great time. While we were in the city, we met up with Steve's cousin Michelle for lunch. Needless to say, Jack slept pretty well all the way home that afternoon and that night.
This year we decided to have a Thomas the Tank Engine party with family. A couple of my students from Wheeling helped me make cardboard box Thomas and James engines. Both Jack and Nicky loved them. The engines didn't make it through the entire party, but the boys had a great time with them.
And now that Jack is two, it is hard to believe that he was ever a baby who sat quietly cuddling on our laps. Now, he talks up a storm, wants to play all the time, and is just and endless bundle of energy. Steve and I got Jack a bunch of sporting equipment for his birthday: a tee-ball set, a soccer goal and ball, a golf club and ball. Since his birthday, he's been playing with the golf club (which he calls his hockey stick) inside. Last weekend, when the weather was a little warmer and the sun was out, we actually got to play outside. We actually got to play tee-ball and hockey on the drive-way! It was awesome!
In February, we had the chance to spend President's Day weekend at the Grand Geneva in Lake Geneva with Shayna, Dick, Shane, Emmett, and Nannie. We took the opportunity to get a little skiing and waterpark action in. It was awesome. Unfortunately, Jack is still a little too small to ski (next year though, look out!), but he had a great time playing with Nannie and Aunt Shayna and Emmett while Steve, Dick,and I took Shane out on the slopes for the first time. Jack really loved the indoor waterpark at Timber Ridge the next day. He just wanted to be in the big pool swimming around and watching Shane.
In the midst of all of our winter fun, Steve got a new job. He is now working for a company called Model Metrics. He gets to ride the train downtown every day, which isn't awesome, but he does like working in the city again. Of course, Jack is incredibly jealous that Daddy gets to ride the choo-choo. If he only knew!
So you can see we've been busy and having fun. Jack is growing up like crazy. He talks all of the time, and I am constantly amazed at his pronunciation. Just ask him to say enchiladas, and you'll see what I mean. He has also started to enjoy watching movies with us, so we have started the Disney/Pixar collection. He really likes Up and Monsters Inc. Those are the only two we have right now, but at least he likes the balloons and the monsters.
He has also recently learned to "fix" things. One of his Christmas presents was a Handy Manny radio repair kit (from Aunt Shayna and Uncle Dick). It came with Felipe, the phillips head screw driver. He carries that thing everywhere and fixes any screw he sees. I think I've put in a good couple of hours fixing the crib.
Okay, I'm sure there is more that I have forgotten to include here, but that's life these days. Feel free to check back soon for another update. I realize that three and half months is a long time to go without an update, so I will try to be better.