pen pal

This is Hank.
Hank and I are pen pals.
... It all started with a casual suggestion I made to Annie when she was asking me about ways she can get Hank to practice his writing this summer (such a good mom).
I thought I'd help a sister out...write a few letters...keep Hank entertained by the whole thing.
Turns out...I'm totally and completely entertained by the whole thing.
I mean...really...is there anything better than finding in the middle of boring mail...a handwritten letter?
Especially when you open it and it looks like this:
Dear Sarah
Can I sleep
at your
house this
Or this one...which came in response to my telling Hank who mine, Brett, and Jack's favorite Star Wars characters were.
(Hank definitely loves himself some Star Wars banter)
Dear Sarah
Jack needs to be jb oopsies jawa
so he can be on
the dark side
Max is Darth Maul
Who do you want to be?
heart, Hank
Apparently, the Jones family wasn't up to speed on the whole Dark Side rules concept...
so we revamped our answers, and sent a family picture of us in our new Dark-Side- Star- Wars roles.
I chose Jabba-the-Hut.
so perfect for how I look today
Still waiting on Hank's response.
And I kid you not when I say...I can't wait.
You can bet your boots that I check the mailbox religiously now.
And frequently google Star Wars info.
If you don't have a pen pal...
Get one.
And make it a 5 year old one while you're at it.
You won't be sorry.


prepare yourself...

In keeping with my current (or constant) blog theme of "all things Jack" I thought I'd share with you some of his one year photos I got back today.
Pretty sure you'll be glad I did....
... ...
.. to clickclick to enlarge
..... click to enlarge.
Yeah. That's my kid.
*photos by Brooke Jackson


It's a Yo Gab Birthday!

I might have had a stint with postpartum depression (a year late) after Jack's birthday.
And....I'm still tired from partying it up.
But, I can't not post these adorable pictures of my shnookums turning 1.
I must say that keeping track of the camera during the whole event proved to be quite the task.
But, someone managed to snap some birthday goodness in the midst of it all.
So (deep breath), here we go with more birthday blogging.
Here's Jack Sunday morning as he woke up to a pile of new toys to play with.
He literally jumped from one thing to the next...totally fascinated...
We spent most of the day at home, getting ready for his party, and playing with his new stuff.
Late afternoon came, and my house was officially Yo Gabba Gabba'd.
The party decor...
The birthday outfit.
(and amazing new trike from grandma and grandpa)
The people...
(and there were lots)
We had over 40 people come to wish this little mug a happy 1st.
If only I had a picture of every last one of them to post and say thank you to.
One thing we definitely do not lack is support.
Our families are so the best.
Jack got so many adorable toys and clothes.
Thank you thank you thank you everyone.
One of his favorites were these Yo Gabba character cutouts that Isabel personally made him.
Let it just be known, that girl is a dream.
Amidst the chaos of practically having a school of kids and their parents all in my family room at once, Jack managed to enjoy playing with each gift as it was opened.
I didn't get Jack the traditional 1 Year Old cake to destroy...but got him a giant cupcake instead.
He's a pretty tidy kid, so I didn't think for one second he'd dig right in.
I was wrong.
Then he practiced a new trick with my grandma and cleaned it all up by putting all the smashed up cake into a cup.
Kept him entertained forever.
Then, he dumped it all out again.
Next, came a bath which proved to be great entertainment for the remaining party-goers.
Then it was jammies, and some serious happiness with all his toys and balloons.
I think everyone had more sugar than should be ingested in a day, and an overall great time.
I still apologize to all of you who were holding out on my imitation of DJ Lance.
Gotta leave you coming back for more next year....
And in other Jack news....
We had his 12 month followup appointment with his spinal surgeon at Primary Children's on Monday.
All is well. (ahhh.)
(especially when Jack wears tank tops)
And he has officially graduated to the forward-facing car seat....
Such a 1 year old.


june 6...gasp

king of the speed crawl
nose diver
eternal napper
brett the second
The end.
There you have it. Jack's first year.
It's interesting how what feels like not long ago, I sat at the computer blogging- far too late at night, much like I am doing now.
Just a short few hours later, I found myself at the hospital.
And then, came Jack.
One year ago.
It's official now.
It's my baby's birthday.
And...no kidding...I cry as I write this.
Oh, my sweet Jack.
Words don't do him justice.
I sure love this kid.
I love how he cuddles up to me and lets me kiss and smother him without pulling away.
I love that he crawls up to me just like a little puppy.
I love that he looks just like his dad.
I love that he flaps his arms when he gets excited.
I love that he plays with my face when I rock him.
I love when I catch him playing peek-a-boo with his crib animals.
I love the way he has always so passionately sucked his thumb.
I love how his cheeks are made up of the perfect consistency of juiciness and firmness.
I love when he goes wild in the tub and drains it from his splashing.
I love his gut laugh. It's pretty much famous.
I love the space between his two front teeth.
I love his obsession with Brett.
I love his personality's winning combo of ultra-sweet, and just a pinch of mischief to keep things interesting.
I love how he gets over traumatic things (shots, toys stolen, etc) in approximately 13 seconds.
I love his love for soft things & how he can't NOT suck his thumb when touching them.
I love that we make each other laugh when it's time to go to sleep.
I love that he follows me around the house all day.
I love the way he chews.
I love his little body.
I love his silly hair (and lack of it).
I love that he's a sleeper.
I love his love for bathing.
I love his bum in short pajamas.
I love that fact that for the past 365 days I've had him to love.
I wouldn't take back a minute.
I know he was meant to be ours.
And any confusion I find myself having about life,
is made incredibly simple when I think of just that fact.
Life is good. Life is blessed.
Especially when you're Jack's mama.
Now it's officially time to celebrate.
Bring on the Yo Gabba Partaaaaay!
(i'm sure it'll beat going through labor.)
the invite.
(more details to be blogged after the party)


part three

puller upper
sitting still, no thank you
infecting ears
tub splasher
cry it out
new & improved schedule
stair climber
crib lover
little fish
yo gab
take a knee sitter
gut laugher
bottle holder
5 teeth hold up
sippy man
dove love
zions player
cows milk
dad obsessed
veggies suck
hand stander
straw sipper
And so...today...I spend the day relishing in the fact that my baby is still under the age of one.
364 days old.
11 months and 30 days.
But not 1, yet.


part two

The tribute of Jack's first year continues.
Today... a look at months 4-6.
It's hard for me to go back to these months.
It was during this time we learned that Jack had a tethered spinal cord.
Something that could eventually lead to severe nerve damage and severe physical impairment.
Jack endured spinal surgery to correct the problem at 4 months old.
His spine was cut into and repaired.
And it was as scary as it sounds.
It's definitely a time I could have gone without experiencing.
However, it changed me forever.
As a mother.
As a person.
It solidified me, and Brett, and Jack's bond.
Our family.
All went well, and Jack rebounded like the champ he is.
Of course I'd love him endlessly surgery or no surgery.
But, it definitely makes a birthday seem all the more worth celebrating, knowing what he had to overcome in his young first year.
So proud of my little pal for enduring such a big trial so early in life.
He couldn't have been more brave.
I've got a strong one on my hands.
He really is something.
v And so...we continue.
3 more months of this champ.
San Francisco tripping
plane riding
13 hour a night sleeper
book lover
general anesthesia round 1: MRI of spine
rolling fool
Tethered Spinal Cord Surgery: Primary Children's Hospital
trooper of all troopers
halloween lion
cereal & fruit muncher
chewer of everything
rest & recovery
car ride soothing shenanigans
no thanks, veggies
mover, shaker, and scooter
we can breathe again
crib adorer
and still
happy, happy happy.


Last year right around this time, I had just walked out from the last day of school- classroom entirely cleared out- with my mind on one thing: having a baby.
I spent my days trying to picture what he'd look like, how it would be when he came, and when he would make his arrival.
This year, I am running around, gathering the goods for a birthday party.
For that same baby.
One Year.
I can hardly believe it.
I love where we're at right now.
Almost walking. Sleeping like a champ. Laughing. Playing.
But I loved the day he was born, too.
Sometimes I want to go back and start all over again.
And again.
And again.
Just so I can relive it all a bit slower.
Despite the insaneness (totally a word) of the day Jack was born,
it was by far, the absolute best day of my life.
A wonderful setup for what has been nothing but the best year I could imagine.
There is something so sentimental for me with him turning one.
It's the anniversary of Brett and I being thrust into parenthood.
It's the time of year that brings back such vivid memories of anticipation, excitement, and newness.
And it's a milestone that confirms the inevitable...that time really does go by (and fast!).
At the end of this year, I can honestly say that
Jack has been nothing but pleasant surprises.
Everything about him has been a first for us, and will be that way forever.
Obviously, he is our first baby.
He'll be the first to go through getting teeth, growing pains, and potty training.
And the first to head to kindergarten, high school, and college...
(but, I'm already about to lose it with him turning one, so we won't go there).
Looking back at our year of parental "firsts," I genuinely hope that the years to follow can bring just as many delightful firsts as this one has.
Something tells me that with Jack involved, I won't be disappointed.
I genuinely feel like it's quite an accomplishment for Jack to have survived this first year.
So, rather than be sad my baby is growing up,
I'm going to celebrate.
I get to go into his room, right now, see his goofy little bed head, and spend another day eating up his every move.
Totally worth celebrating.
So, in honor of this approaching first birthday of his...
I now present:
A Look Back at Jack
12 Months
born june 6, 2009
7 lbs 10 oz -19 inches
no pooper
thumb sucking
movie goer
tummy aches
all night sleeper
first time swimmer
cabin dweller
tub loving
learns to roll over
buzz #1
Jango fan
spine marker discovery
weekly grandma visits begin
tummy please
happy happy happy
(to be continued each day leading up to the big day)