Simple Things for Solo Parenting

With Justin’s work travels lately, Jack and I are becoming pros at life as two.  He’s been very gentle with me, but wakes early asking for Daddy and is overly pouty whenever I leave.

As I juggle daily responsibilities with instant single parenting & a clingy toddler, I’ve realized there are a few things that could make our team of two time easier:

Preset the coffee machine the night before
Learned this morning. Don’t expect time to brew yourself as a solo parent with two dogs. I warmed up a cup from yesterday, delish! 

Fill up the fridge & supplies
Stock up on easy meals and packable lunches. Homemade pizzas, ravioli, rice/beans recipes, chili, any pasta dish, etc. are all easy-to-make dinners. I’ve also stocked up on ham/cheese, apples/peanut butter, muffins, fruit, crackers & some of our other cold lunch favorites. What I forgot was to check the cleaning supplies & toilet paper.

Plan extra-special snuggle & play time
I made sure to have all the house chores & laundry complete by the beginning of the Jack-n-me time. Pulling my thoughts from the baby/toddler room remodels, I decided to spend the entire day at the lake with Jack, even napping together in the shade of the pines. We hadn’t been there in a few weeks and he’d been asking about Nonna’s boat/fishing since the big catch (see A Sunday To Remember post).

Filling our time together with fun adventures & activities instead of chores & the usual games has made the “Dada’s on a Trip” time easier for us both. Jack’s happier, less demanding. I’m relaxed, less stressed. If the dishes don’t get done, then there’s always tomorrow, right? Cuddling on the couch is much better.

Stock the treats & surprises
Having something unique for Jack regularly has helped keep his mind off the fact that Daddy’s been missing. We visited the Borders liquidation sale – big disappointment btw – and Jack picked out some new books & toys. I stashed some fishing lures (Jack’s ultimate favorite “toys”) in my car and hid new colorful Popsicles in the garage freezer (where he wouldn’t expect them).

Planned visits & sleepovers with a few of his favorite people has kept him anticipating fun times. We made the spare bed for Aunt Jess & talk of a boat ride with Nonna & Papa. A surprise-painting project is also looming.

Pack lunches the night before & wake up early
I’ve realized our mornings flow much smoother when I pack our lunches the night before work/daycare days.  Also waking up a half-hour before I normally do allows me to pick up the extra slack & squeeze in more Jack-focused time in the mornings.

Properly use lunch breaks & nap times
By utilizing my lunch breaks at work & nap times at home to catch up on overdue phone calls (switching insurances, paying bills, making appointments, etc.) or run errands (prescriptions, that cleaning spray I mentioned), it’s freed up the time I would normally lock myself in the office or cart Jack around to places he’d rather not visit.

My feet are still drenched wet in the single-parenting area. By no measure am I an expert or come even close to one. I’ve discovered a few things that have made this life easier and believe there are many more ideas to be found. Please share!


Bear Room Phase 1: Baby & Blue Gone

Tears collected in my eyes as I watched Justin roll whistling wind green paint over the Carolina blue walls of Jack’s room. For the first time I felt the reality of my snuggling baby sweeping away into the running independent world of childhood. I’ve been so busy absorbing the greatness of toddler Jack that I missed the disappearance of baby Jack.

Cinnamon and dirt smells replaced lavender and fresh powder. Soft dimpled hands and  are covered with markers and cuts. Chubby smooth legs are now lean, tall and speckled with scrapes and bruises. Baby coos swapped for real conversations.

As I watched Jack’s baby room disappear, I reminisced of those new days. Nursing in the glider, sunlight keeping us warm, Jack comfortably enjoying lunch, a tiny hand tucked regularly on my ribs. Changing clothes, singing Jack Johnson’s “Banana Pancakes” with my baby blissfully joining in. Rocking to Alison Kraus’ “Now That I Found You," humming in his ear. Socks that fit on my fingertips. Puppy-soft hair. The way he watched my every move. The concentration when he started to crawl. Baths filled with splashes. And naps on the couch with Jack nuzzled on my chest.

Amazing how I blinked and my baby became a boy.

Here's a few "before" shots of Jack's baby nursery. 

And now the transformation begins...
Jack's also in his "big boy" pants here. Happy day.


Filling Up On Books

We’re managing the battle with our “prepare for baby” to-do list.  I’m ridiculously over-organized; therefore, my desire to have the house complete is in overdrive. Some call it nesting. At 26 weeks pregnant, I prefer to say it’s my obsessive need to feel in control.

Justin’s in the midst of a three-month training for his new job. So he’s traveling cross-country constantly. Our remodeling to-do list time is limited. I set a goal to have Jack’s big boy room completed by his birthday, Sept. 16, which is approaching at warp speed.

Over the weekend we finished our hallway modifications with furniture, upgraded my closet (so we could remove my dresses from baby’s closet), picked & purchased the paint & supplies for Jack’s room and reorganized Jack’s closet (removing all baby items).

In our weekend overhaul, I realized we don’t’ have nearly as many classic books as I imagined. Naturally as a writer, I love to read. Fortunately, Jack shares my passion. He enjoys hearing stories, naming objects & flipping pages. Since he was born, our nighttime ritual has always included a bedtime story (currently Cat in the Hat). With number two on the way and Jack’s love for books rising, I decided it’s time to visit Border’s liquidation sale. The next Saturday morning shopping trip is planned.

Knowing our kids will share books and wanting to keep the bedtime story tradition with the new baby, I decided to combine all the books in one easy-to-choose location. Both bedrooms and their bathroom are steps away from each other, so we fitted the hallway corner with a bookcase (purchased at Ikea). I’ve been wondering what to do with that corner since we moved in….  

Board books on bottom, rip-able books higher.

Here are a few of our favorite & must-haves reads:

Goodnight Moon
Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See
Pat the Bunny
Dr. Seuss Hop on Pop
Richard Scarry’s Best Story Book Ever
The Very Hungary Caterpillar
Runaway Bunny
Go, Dog, Go
Caps for Sale
Curious George
The Little Engine That Could
The Tale of Peter Rabbit
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
Fox in Sox
Where the Wild Things Are
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
The Napping House
Polar Express
Love You Forever
The Mitten
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Guess How Much I Love You
Good Night Gorilla
Mother Goose
Frog and Toad Are Friends
The Cat in the Hat
Mr. Popper’s Penguins
The Giving Tree

Am I missing any?


A Sunday to Remember

Sunday was a monumental day in Jack’s world.

He caught his first fish one year exactly to the day that he started walking. In our family’s outdoor-loving life, this was a big moment. As we paddled along, Jack held my rod – “mine, Momma!” – trolling for fish. The line snagged, I thought seaweed. We reeled it in to discover a small bass.

“I caught it!” Beaming proud.

Of course, we didn’t have the camera. But Jack closely examining his fish, carefully touching its gills, our boat leisurely rolling over the tiny waves, the late-summer breeze reminding us of fall – all remains a snapshot in my memory.

Since then, Jack has been reminding us of his catch. Reliving the moment.
“Bishy (fish). I caught it! Boat!”
He now sleeps with unhooked lures in each hand – “bishies!”
They go where we go.
Guess its time to purchase Jack his own fishing pole.


Stylish & Sensible Lunch Boxes

In honor of the approaching school year, I’ve compiled a few of my favorite trendy-yet-sensible lunch boxes. You may already know, my toddler’s been munching packed lunches since he was in baby class (see It’s All in the Lunchbox post). As fan of uncovering unoriginal, I’ve recently focused on updating Jack’s lunch container. From eco-friendly bento’s to award-winning cold sacs, here’s a few fun, hip & practical choices:

OOTS Lunch Box

Laptop Lunch Boxes: Simply-stylish bento boxes with no lead, BPA, phthalates or PVC. Easy to clean and all containers are made in the U.S.

OOTS Lunch Box: Durable, eco-friendly contemporary box with its own containers. Easy to clean with a lid designed to hold a water bottle in place.

Pottery Barn Planet Box

Personalized tin boxes to stainless steel boxes with various compartments. The Planet Box is my absolute favorite lunch box invention.

Bobble Lunch Box:  Affordable, modern lunch box known to keep food cold or hot. A mini-water bottle is included.

My Sweet Muffin

My Sweet Muffin: Designed by a worldwide-acclaimed Japanese artist, whimsical & playful designs offer a unique take to the lunch box. Another great gift for parents, new babies, birthdays, etc.

Land of Nod Animal Lunch Bag

Animal Lunch Bags: Super adorable, tiny lunch backpack from Land of Nod featuring animal motifs. Good to keep food cold or hot and easily clips to other backpacks.

Chic Lunch Sacs: Reusable lunch sacs with cute & stylish designs by Katie Kouture on Etsy.

Dwell Studio

Dwell Studio Lunch Boxes: Known for their various modern designs, Dwell’s canvas-covered, simple boxes are insulated to keep food cold or hot.

Taking the environmentally-friendly idea to another level. Here's some hip accessories for the box:

LunchBots: Stainless steel lunch, snack & bento containers with stainless steal lids. You can’t get more eco-friendly then this.

Sandwich Kozies: Replace plastic bags with reusable & stylish food kozies. A set of five is only $25.

LunchSkins Sandwich Bags: Eco-friendly, easy-to-use & chic children designed food pouches. Also have snack bags & sub bags.


The Shoe That Fits

My and my husband's addiction to comfortable & attractive shoes wasn’t forwarded to our toddler. Total bummer.  He refuses to wear anything but his Crocks. Good choice. But the world of shoes is so colorful. Maybe someday he’ll expand his horizons. Or maybe he’ll remain a simple guy. Practical shoes. One-pair-per-season.

Baby shoes are ever-so adorable. Pint-size shoes, who wouldn’t want millions? When Jack started pulling himself up and around, I bought seven pairs of shoes. He wore three. Today, the two-year-old has two pairs. Wears one, as mentioned. Kid feet grow at an abnormally fast pace, and it’s recommended to have your baby/toddler’s foot measured every three months.

Unfortunately for Jack, his feet resemble mine. Wide & pudgy. Ever since we began fitting his feet, he was in need of shoes with a wide width. Now he’s in a double wide. With more than a year of footwear searches, I’ve discovered a few choices that don’t sacrifice style for comfort.  Here are a few of my favorite youth shoes:

Crocs. Aka Jack’s ultimate favorite. Cheap, easy to clean and surprisingly durable. The perfect summer shoe. They come in basic sizes, but the open style fits almost any foot. Even Jack’s double wide. Zulily is currently having an amazing sale on kid Crocs, up to 55 percent off.

Stride Rite. Wide range of comfortable, stylish, sturdy shoes. We’re lucky to always find a fun fit in Jack’s extra-special size. 

Tiny TOMS. Awesome prints, stylish varieties, simply adorable. The website also helps you find a location near you. Also unique & trendy gifts for baby showers, birthdays, holidays, etc. 

Pediped. Their shoes are based on a child’s mobility & development. Baby/Toddler shoes include infant/walking beginner, active toddler & confident walkers. They also have a great selection of youth shoes. They only come in regular sizes, no wides/double wides.

Sanuk. My favorite shoes of all-time. The yoga mat bottom makes them the ultimate shoe of comfort.  Flip flops start at extra small sizes (8/9 youth) and shoes for age 6 and up.


Toys in the Mix

Oh my helpful Jack. I can’t fault him for being so cleanly – it’s in his genes. Even when it takes him triple time to pick up his books, blocks or trucks, I still let him do it. My heart beats proud. And the satisfaction smile he flashes me afterwards is worth millions.

Friday we were in-sync. Cleaning the house for a family BBQ we hosted Saturday. One of my favorites of toddlerhood is Jack’s ability to know where things go and how things work. Not only does he put toys away in the random spots I’ve made their homes (explained below) and keeps sippy cups in the kitchen, but he puts Dad’s hat in his closet, magazines in the basket and loose change in the drawer.

If there’s a bit of dirt left on the floor, he swoops it up. “Dirt,” he observes and takes it to the trash. Our dogs aren’t allowed to lick up dropped cheerios and the pillows must be placed on the bed shortly after we wake. My tidy little guy.

Such a trait in Jack doesn’t come from my husband. It’s one of a few similarities Jack and I share. While my husband enjoys a clean house, he’s not the one that put it together. Justin does the cooking. I do the cleaning and laundry. Jack helps with it all.

As we clean for the weekend company, I realize how I’ve intertwined many of Jack’s belongings within our earthy-style home. We don’t have the luxury of a playroom – yet anyway – so all our living, dining and kitchen areas (all openly connected) serve as our play/live spaces.

When baby Jack began romping around toy-to-toy, I decided I didn’t want his overabundance of things to clutter over our family space. Instead, I incorporated his toys and books into our home.

A decently-priced storage ottoman (this one from Target) holds most big items and is easily accessible in our living room.

A soft bin holds all Jack’s favorite little things on the bottom shelf of our living room shelves. Easy for him to drag out. Above are usually books, blocks and puzzles. Anything too large for the ottoman or bin.

As most, we rarely use the dining room, but it’s situated off the kitchen and foyer, and usually trafficked often. It’s also the home of our bookshelf. When Jack started walking, he discovered the bottom two shelves. So, I removed the breakables and easily torn books and replaced the space with Jack’s toys and books.

Toys, books and other items in “Jack’s spaces” are rotated monthly-ish with others stored in his room. It keeps things fresh. For Jack. And for us.


Fishing Around Party Ideas

Jack’s 2nd Birthday is less than a month away. In the new baby hoopla of revamping bedrooms, doors, bathroom, the office and hallway, I misplaced my party-planner hat. I could drive easy street to Party City, but how creative is that?

Sipping my only allowed cup of caffeinated coffee this morning, I started brainstorming inspiration:

Whimsical. Chic. Modern. Trendy. Loving the Three Bears theme, I thought of Jack’s current favorite books. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish. Blue Fish. An absolute favorite.

Theme. Check.

No. 2, decorations: Seuss Land & craft stores
Combine One Fish Two Fish cut-outs & stackable blocks with a few of my own story-inspired crafts and the quirky story should come to party.  Other possibilities include funtocollect.com, fish-a-a-bag soaps from Etsy. Thanks to one of my favorite blogs – hostessblog Seuss’s Happy Birthday to You book will be out for guests to sign a message for Jack.

D├ęcor. Check.

No. 3, treats: Family Fun recipes & such
Who knew there were so many ways to incorporate fish on dessert? I’m thinking some School-o-Fish treats from Family Fun, cupcakes with red & blue icing and various fish candies.

Sweets. Check.

No. 4, food: Fishy style
My own thought is tiny tea sandwiches, cut into fish shapes. A set of homemade tuna salad on wheat & set of chicken salad with grapes on white. Sides of red and green tortellini pasta salad, appetizers of ham/cheese pinwheels and veggie tray.

For a party-themed drink I’m thinking pink lemonade with sliced yellow lemon and squiggle straws. 

Eats. Check.

No. 5 & Final, favors & gifts
I’m still considering the fish-in-a-bag idea. But, here’s a few others I’m tossing around:

Tiny fishbowls with colorful candy
Deck of Go Fish cards
Swedish fish tied in a bag

Gifts. Well, sort of check.


"From there to here,
from here to there,
funny things are everywhere."

- One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss


Love Letters: Nana's Little Jack

Today features another post to my “Love Letters" series. Capturing thoughts, advice and memories for Jack and his soon-to-be new baby sister. The series is randomly posted and sprinkled among my typical discovery blogs. All from family and friends tied to Jack ‘n baby. All assorted thoughts of love and hugs. Today is featuring a note from Nana T., my mother-in-law.

My Dear Little Jack,

Watching you grow is a wonderful teary eyed trip down memory lane for your Nana. I see a little clone of your daddy with an extra added spice from you Jack. It is heart warming to experience all the mischief that you have already gotten yourself into (all of which has been mostly harmless, although I am beginning to wonder about the "jumping down" from various objects). At least you haven't figured out how to get to the top of the mantel yet and mommy and daddy don't have hanging plants for you to swing from. Every family needs a clown and you are definitely the guy for the job!

I know you will be your gentle little self with your new baby sister. And you will keep her safe from all of your shenanigans. Just let her observe her brave big brother and please, take it easy Mr. Daredevil, Nana isn't as young as she was with your daddy. I love you, little hooligan!



An Itchy Situation

My feathers are rarely ruffled when it comes to my toddler’s life/health/happenings. He’s almost two. Speaks his own language. And is a walking & running germ-attracting daredevil.  Skinned knees, mysterious scabs and penny-sized bruises are just a way of life for Jack.

Several weeks ago, Jack began sporting a small, dry, red itchy-looking patch on his chin.  A few weeks later, we spent three consecutive days on three different lakes. By day three – Sunday – a dry, red, bumpy rash began creeping up his back.  My sister-in-law and I both thought eczema. That night, he complained of “ichies” and tugged at his back. We bathed and lotioned him before bed. Monday morning his back was unrecognizable. Our pediatrician scolded me with his eyes as he quickly concluded it was poison ivy. Five days of steroid by mouth. 

Exactly one week later, the rash returned. Same scenario. Outside for two days straight. Last day in the lake waters. Inflamed back Monday morning. This time, with a little less attitude, the pediatrician claimed an allergic reaction to his sunscreen. Before I can explain that we’ve used the same hypoallergenic sunscreen since birth, the doctor writes a topical cream script. Benadryl for the itching. Sigh.

This time it takes five days for the rash to subside. By day six it had started to linger around his diaper and completely surrounded his mouth. A different pediatrician at the practice was baffled that it hadn’t been properly diagnosed sooner. As we all thought – eczema.

Despite all the signs I pointed out to the doctors on numerous visits, it still took almost three months to diagnosis a condition that 90 percent of kids develop before age 5?!!? (Babycenter.com) I had suggested eczema at the very first  itchy rash visit!! I’d even mentioned it in the winter when Jack struggled with dry patches. “Just dry skin,” the doctor said.  How many other health conditions were misdiagnosed?! We’d visited the pediatrician every 10 days for six months this past winter (Thank you daycare)!

Frustrated with the itchy irritant dilemma, I turned to my trusted mommy friend, Carly. She's my go-to resource guide with two boys, almost 5 and 7, the youngest still coping with small bits of eczema. When he was a baby, Carly and her husband constantly battled eczema breakouts (he’s since been diagnosed with food allergies). I knew she’d have the best advice. The doctor gave us a box of approved lotions, body washes and ointments. Told us to switch his beloved milk to soy. And prescribed a topical steroid for flare-ups.  I knew Carly would have something better. Been there, done that advice:

“The first thing I learned about eczema, with everything else medically related, is to avoid only treating the symptoms.  For almost one year straight we were prescribed a higher level of hydrocortisone cream.  

One time, Asher had an oozing eczema patch on his arm. We knew there had to be something else we could do. Although this was a few years ago, food allergies were not the first thing they had considered testing him for. 

Once we knew he was allergic to certain foods, like eggs, the eczema got better - but not all the way.Now approaching 5, Ash still has dry patches of skin on his scalp – not to be confused with cradle cap – and gets patches on his arms. 

A favorite we did – especially when he was little – was Aveeno Oatmeal Baths. Quite messy, but it takes the redness and itch out. 

 We swear to this day by Aquaphor.  It’s sticky and sort-of oily, but one coat before bed will do the trick for the entire next day.  There are SO many lotions out there that help with eczema, but they do not cure it.  Aquaphor lasts a long time and a little bit goes a long way. 
I also avoid aerosol sunscreen and bug spray.  It is convenient, but stings dry skin and the sunscreen leaves a yellow residue on clothing. 

Short story: avoiding irritants on the skin, really find out what is causing the allergies and avoid treating only the symptoms.” 

Our doctor also recommended Eucerin (which makes Aquaphor) to use as Jack’s regular daily lotion. 

For more information on eczema, visit the National Eczema Association and speak with your doctor if you suspect your child has eczema.


Before Newborns Unravel

Best friends of ours met their baby girl last week. Their first child, the two were beaming with proud new parent euphoria. On Thursday, our family of three celebrated my birthday by snuggling with one-day-old Lucy Mae. Downy hair. Dimpled chin. Curled into an itty bitty ball.  An overwhelming peaceful quiet.

As I inspected Lucy’s newborness, I reminisced about Jack’s (now weeks away from two years old). Tucked legs and fisted hands of cute only last a handful of weeks. One of the most important elements of your child’s life is capturing those first moments of life. Quickly. Before they disappear into running, jumping and climbing toddlers. Make sure to choose a good photographer too, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime.

Here’s a few of Jack’s newborn photos. He was 4 weeks old. Taken by our very favorite wedding/family/baby photographer, Stela Zaharieva Photography. She’s got a unique way of capturing life.

I’d love to see your baby! Please post a link or share your newborn photos in the comments below. 


Real Nursing Need to Knows

We haven’t done much prepping for the arrival of our second child, expected end of November. We know it’s a girl. Purchased a few pink outfits. Considering purple or pink paint. That about sums up our “new baby” progress.

One thing I know I’ll be better prepared for this time is breastfeeding. I nursed Jack - now a healthy toddler who enjoys whole milk - for the first four months of his life. I would have continued longer, shooting for the first year, but multiple factors forced me to surrender to formula (which doesn’t help them sleep btw). 

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week (Aug 1 –7) I’ve decided to outline the “must knows” of breastfeeding.  What I didn't know, but discovered through the process.

My Mom is the former coordinator for the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program in Oakland County, Mich. Whether I wanted or not, I had brochures, pamphlets, videos and abundances of community resources on breastfeeding. To her, breastfeeding is not an option – it’s the only choice. My list isn’t going to tell you why it’s important, you already know. It’s not for the facts, stories, foods to avoid and all the other usual advice. This list is more of a “what I found out” list. To help prepare and make the oh-so wonderful joys of breastfeeding last.

Nursing Need to Knows:

Two seconds old and it’s go time. After a quick glimpse at your new arrival, nurses will prompt you to start breastfeeding. Sometimes it’s difficult. Don’t give up. If baby doesn’t “latch” right away, there are other options that you may not know about. Immediately start using the hospital’s supplied double pump. It’ll get that colostrum flowing, what experts refer to as “liquid gold.”  The most important nutrient for baby. We fed Jack out of syringes and teeny-tiny bottles for the first few days when he wouldn’t latch. Even mixed the gold with formula.

Lactation consultants are key ingredients. Most hospitals have a lactation consultant that will visit you within hours of delivery. Even if the two of you are working perfectly together, she may have advice to help your techniques or other great advice. My nephew was a nursing king, but his latch was apparently hurting. The consultant put the issue to ease. Jack and I weren’t meshing at feeding time, in fact not at all.  Our consultant offered me a nipple shield, a silicone device that allowed Jack and I to master the art. If you aren't delivering in the hospital, or one is not available, your county health department may supply a complimentary visit from a nurse practitioner. Also another great newborn resource.

Not just a pump, your lifeline. I registered with my mom, a 26 years ago nursing veteran. To us, the pump options seemed ridiculous. I registered for a hand-held, it wouldn’t be that hard right? After sailing that ship, the extensive choices are deemed necessity. A day after returning from the hospital, I purchased a single-pump. Today, fully preparing for round two, I have a double-pump. I highly suggest the double, because it’s quicker. I returned to work two days a week and wasn’t able to pump enough to last for all the feedings. I mean three times a day I pumped, 20 minutes. Even if you have 40- 60 minutes at work to pump, who wants to? I would answer emails do work in my office, but wait til you hear the vibrating loudness it produces. Check with your insurance – pre-delivery - to see if they cover the one provided by the hospital.

Just got home? Start pumping! In the first few weeks after delivery, your body (and baby) are not yet on a feeding schedule. Meaning your girls are producing milk 24-7. Once that little joy gets on a typical schedule, so will your body. You won’t produce between feedings. By the time I started pumping for evenings out, Daddy late-night feedings and returning to work, the job had gotten exhausting. While Jack nursed, I pumped the other. Squeezed some out during naps or skipped feedings. It took me weeks to have enough to return to work. Start pumping early. Stock up what you can in the freezer (it’s good in there for months). You’ll be ready for that first beer soon so might as well prepare for several drinks. It also helps prepare for emergencies – stuck in traffic, sick, spicy food reactions, last-minute plans to get out, etc. 

Relief at the 4-6 mo. mark. At 4 months old, Jack was eating 5 – 6 oz. of breastmilk every 3 – 4 hours. I was only pumping 5 oz. each single-pump session at work. Thinking his appetite would only increase, I stopped. A few short weeks later we were given the thumbs up to start cereal. Two weeks later, he was regularly eating baby foods. His milk cravings simmered to meal times, a light afternoon snack and a bedtime cap totaling – at most – 21 oz. By 6 months, Jack was drinking formula or water from a sippy cup and eating small bits of food. This time, I plan to make it passed the 4- or 6-month mark when foods are introduced. It really does curve the appetite. 


Summer Love

Just a few of my favorite summer moments with my curious Jack...
The Artic Circle at the Detroit Zoo.

Scraped & bruised, Northern Michigan.

Playing "sky" with Dad.
Buckets and Sandcastles.
Rockin' cousin Milo, his little love.
Popsicle & Pool. Pure Happiness.
Sparklers & the Fourth of July.

Squirt guns & hidden lakes.
My favorite of all. Simple sprinkler fun.

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