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So sorry for being so MIA.  Like Jack, I really haven’t been myself lately—more on that next week.  My last day of work is next Wednesday.  It’s bittersweet.  Onward and upward.  Speaking of which, have you met my 1 year old?

My sweet, sweet little boy.  How did you get so big so damn fast?

These days, I’m completely exhausted.  I’m tired from wiping snot, exhausted from chasing this boy, doing dishes by hand, picking up wooden blocks, chasing this boy and fishing random objects out of his mouth.  I’m sure there’s more, but I’m too tired to think.

Oh dear God.  This child is into everything.  Anything that was of importance, uh, is no longer important.  He continues to destroy everything.  This weekend, we discovered that our DVD player is no longer working, and it has our WI trip slideshow in it!  Yeah.  Guess whose little fingers like to poke at the DVD player? uh huh.

When he’s not breaking electronic equipment, Jack can be found climbing furniture and TOYS.  Note to self:  leave all plastic toys that double as ladders at mom’s house in VIRGINIA.  Together with the climbing, he is walking– yay!  As of early last week, Jack’s been walking about 85-90% of the time.  He showed off a few of his skills for family and friends when we were back home, but now he’s really on the go.  He gets a big kick out of it when we cheer and clap once he’s made his destination.  He totally “gets” the whole walking thing!

Now that Jack is officially everywhere, he’s also become extremely conversational and sociable as well. No real words, just made up ones.   When I call for him, he’ll try to say his name (DDDDaaat!) or just lots of mamamamama right back at me.  When we read, his “words” are much MUCH louder than mine nowadays.  His signing has really flourished.  More, eat, drink, book, dog, hot, sleep and thank you are the main signs that we use for now.  It was so cool when he finally grasped the signing and would tell us what he needed without us even initiating.  Jeff said, the other day while I was out shopping, Jack was in mid-play then crawled over to him, signed sleepy and curled up on his daddy’s shoulder.  Too cute.
12 Months
Jack’s social skills are flourishing so much more now, too.  He flirts and tries to befriend kids of all ages every chance he gets.  Last Sunday, he freaked out the poor little girl behind us because he was trying to touch her hand to make nice. haha.  I definitely attribute his friendliness and outgoing nature, not only to family, but to the great teachers at his daycare.  He loves the other kids and teachers, it’ll be sad to say goodbye for now.

Jack’s size has pretty much stayed the same from last month.  He’s mainly in 24m, but still wears some 18m clothes.   The belly never seems to fit–poor guy.  He’s still in size 4 diapers, and I assume he’ll stay in that size for a few more months.  He’s still heavy, teetering in the high 20s.  We missed his 12m appointment, so we’ll have to update those stats.

The boy likes to eat, but it has to be timely.  If we get home too late from daycare, he pitches a fit and goes on strike.  He eats any and everything, with pizza, pasta, chicken, mango, bananas and peas as his faves.  We just started giving him juice a few weeks ago, but milk and water are still #1.  We have yet to switch over to cow’s milk at our dr’s suggestion.  Jack’s still trying to fight off that upper respiratory infection, so until he does, we were told not to change his diet too drastically.

Separation anxiety is big right now: he’s still a mama’s boy and loses his mind when I leave the room. He started with the toddler tantrums a few weeks ago. It’s so hard and frustrating, but signing has really helped us out. I heart baby signing.

In spite of the meltdowns (from both him and me)  Jack is such a handsome, active, lovey and bubbly little dude.  Those little boy hugs remind me how much I LOVE love LOVE being a mom.  Now that I’m closing one chapter and Jeff and I are both embarking on our own separate and new(ish) professional journeys (new responsibilities for him and freelance for me), it’s only fitting that it coincides with another year of Jack’s growth.

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I haven’t done Wordless Wednesday in awhile, so I thought this week would be a great opportunity to share an image that my friend passed along to me.

on track

on track

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As I shove a handful of Golden Oreos into my mouth for dessert, it’s so fitting that I stumbled across this insightful article from the yesterday’s Times: 6 Food Mistakes Parents Make.

The Times highlights the mistakes as:

  1. Sending children out of the kitchen
  2. Pressuring them to take a bite
  3. Keeping ‘good stuff’ out of reach
  4. Dieting in front of your children
  5. Serving boring vegetables
  6. Giving up too soon

As I quietly tell myself, stay away from the cookies, for all moms and dads of good and picky eaters alike, I highly recommend reading the article in its entirety.

It’s so coincidental that this article should come out just days after a recent discussion with girlfriends about kids and picky eaters.
Spaghetti face
Is my kid picky? Not sure yet–too early to tell. What I do know is, not too long ago, I read that I was already feeding Jack one of the “kid foods to avoid.” Despite the due diligence in trying to feed healthy alternatives and steer clear from over-processed crap, it feels like my learning curve is waning a bit. What else am I doing ‘wrong?’ Sheesh.

On a regular basis, Jack’s diet consists of waffles or oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, steamed peas, spinach, brocolli or carrots and a protein for lunch; grapes, bananas or melon for snacks; and whatever we’re having for dinner, which ranges from pasta to chicken breast to stir fry.

Lately, when I try to introduce something new, the guy has this new thing. If he’s unsure about the new food he’s eating, particularly if it has a new texture, he’ll give a blank look, open his mouth and simultaneously reject the food with a very discriminatory “Eeehhhhhhhhhh.” In slow mo: feed boy, open mouth, looks at mom and releases.

It takes some convincing—often at the his dad’s taste buds expense—to assure him the new food is just as delicious as the peas or pasta.
For the most part however, he’s generally a good eater–sometimes too good. When I take him out of his high chair, before I can grab those pieces of dinner he’s purposefully thrown on the floor…he’ll vacuum them up with his own fingers.

Like Jack, I’m still learning here. I’m so sure I’m not the only one still trying to figure it all out. There are many mistakes to be made, in terms of fostering healthy eating habits. Along with my older brother (who I like to compare to Drew Barrymore’s brother from 50 First Dates minus the lisp and steroids) as someone who habitually hid boxes of Twix in my mom’s grocery cart when she wasn’t looking, um, I’m aiming to fine tune my eating AND feeding habits, in hopes that my kid’s trapdoor release reverses itself or stays shut when the good stuff goes in!

On September 5, 2003, my parents’ house was riddled with hot pink roses, pearlescent papers inscribed with my favorite quotes, trays upon trays of food–not to mention countless giggling out of town guests.

On the day before our wedding, as various finite details were attended to, I sat on our desktop computer, perched upon a tv tray, finishing our wedding programs in my grandmother’s old room.  As if wedding planning didn’t consume my life already, we planned our wedding from 350 miles away, laden with a lot of mounting pressure.

vowsagainI wanted nothing more but a picture-perfect wedding day, just like any bride.
After almost 2 years of planning, not everything came together the way I had envisioned:  Red plastic cups for beer, margarita glasses instead of martini glasses, roses inexplicably displaced from centerpieces, electrical outages in the art center’s kitchen.

Perhaps a foreshadowing of our journey ahead, our day was imperfect and turbulent at times, but it was still a gorgeous day.

Absolutely gorgeous.

For 5 long minutes, in front of 250 of our closest friends and relatives, Jeff serenaded me as we danced our unchoreographed first dance.  (Ok, so he mouthed the words and we might have swayed around in circles. “Serenaded” sounds much more romantic!)  Our surroundings were muted and time stood still.  I cried for joy and like he does today, he wiped my tears.  I still remember so much of our wedding day, but our dance was byfar my favorite moment.

Like I’d known all along, with idyllic moments like that as proof, I made the best decision of my life to marry this man.

The  pork loin that was never served or the frat party-like cups. or the blurred career trajectories or any meaningless fodder…none of that matters.

one fine day

Our gorgeous son and long Sunday family afternoons are my stand-still moments.  They’re the moments that make us 5 years strong.

Happy Anniversary, babe!

**

Even though our anniversary is on Saturday, I was feeling nostalgic today.  Surely, I’ll be doing glamorous activities like scrubbing the tub and doing laundry–in my wedding tiara, of course!  🙂

It is estimated that a baby uses six to ten diapers each day, which translates to about 2,000 to 3,000 diapers each year. That’s a lot of diaper changes.

When Jack was a newborn, I previously reported that we ran the gamut of various conventional diapers. Thanks to gifts from friends and family, we had the opportunity to try out all the big brands like Huggies, Pampers and Luvs. But unfortunately like many newborns, Jack exhibited the traditional signs of super sensitive skin. After those endless diaper changes throughout the day, I’d notice that his butt was bright red by evening. I knew it wasn’t just a diaper rash; I was convinced it was more. Could it be the long list of chemicals in those conventional brands?

According to the Journal of Pediatrics,

54% of one-month old babies using disposable diapers had rashes, 16% had severe rashes.

I’m neither a scientist or an experienced mom, but in my effort to be both, a hypervigilant parent and educated consumer, I wanted to seek out the alternatives.

According to ecobaby,

the super absorbent chemical in disposable diapers, sodium polyacrylate, absorbs and holds fluids in the diaper.

Wired reported that

Sodium polyacrylate was removed from tampons in 1985 because of its link to toxic shock syndrome, a bacteria-caused illness. But no such connection has been proven for outerwear, including diapers, incontinence products and feminine napkins, which all contain the super-absorbent gel, said Celeste Kuta, an environmental scientist with Procter & Gamble, the leading seller of disposable diapers in the United States.

Grasping the environmental impacts of diapers, even before Jack was born, I was adamant about using eco-friendly diapers– including going the cloth route. Diapers made up 3.4 million tons of waste, or 2.1 percent of U.S. garbage, in landfills according to older stats from the Environmental Protection Agency. Like other new conscientious moms, I wanted to at least attempt to balance environmental impacts with convenience and baby’s comfort.

But given our apartment dwelling scenario, cloth diapering and its requisite frequent laundering would be quite trivial. So, following Jack’s cousin’s lead again, we set out to try out the many alternative diaper brands.

So I decided to post our experience (in installments) with the various brands we’ve tried, including cloth diapering. Since we were welcomed home with a big box from Tendercare last night, I’ll start with those.

**

Tendercare Diapers
A few weeks ago, our favorite baby store was out of our usual diapers in Jack’s size, so we decided to pick up a pack of Tendercare diapers. When we visited Jack’s cousin earlier this year, Katarina was wearing Tendercare diapers. I think Karen and Nick told us they were just trying them out.

On initial appearance, the diaper was thinner than the other brands we’ve tried. I liked how it was much softer in texture as well. The Tendercare diapers have the refastenable tabs, which is key for Wiggle Mcwiggleson. I think I have to refasten diapers at least 5 times before I can get it right, since this child flips and wiggles like a fish out of water. More on the refastenable tabs later…

I like how the Tendercare brand uses non-chlorine bleached woodpulp from sustainable, renewable forests. The fit on Jack, however, wasn’t as snug as other diapers. It turned out, he leaked right through the diapers a few times, too. On the otherhand, Jack IS a heavy wetter. Quite honestly, I’d much rather do extra laundry and deal with a few leaks than make him wear diapers filled with chemicals that irritate his skin.

The fact that these diapers are Chlorine Free is quite significant. The presence of dioxins in conventional diapers has been linked to a laundry list of side effects. Eco baby says:

Dioxin, the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is a byproduct of bleaching paper. Even in the smallest detectable quantities, dioxin has been known to cause liver disease, immune system suppression, and genetic damage in lab animals.

Back to the refastenable tabs, the second time we bought a pack of Tendercare diapers, we had the misfortune of picking up a bad batch. Basically, every single diaper in this pack had some sort of problem with the tabs– either the tab was hanging off or it was detached all together. The day after bringing home that pack of diapers, I forgot to replace the bad batch. So when I went to change Jack after dinner, he was sealed shut with packaging tape. Apparently, my mom refused to let the bad diapers go to waste and found the packaging tape (and went to town.)

Yes, Jack was wrapped like a 27-lb. package ready to be delivered– in a bad diaper with faulty tabs, no less.

Since an opened package of diapers can’t be returned, Jeff called the company to tell them about it. After a nice conversation with a lady in customer service, she asked Jeff to send the batch number and they would gladly replace them.

We got the box yesterday, a week after calling. They not only replaced the diapers but they gave us another pack and wipes too. Needless to say, we’re pleased that they promptly rectified the issue and with their stellar customer service.

The company touts other Tendercare features such as,
♥ Moisture Barrier Cuff
♥ Refastenable Tabs
♥ Breathable Sides
♥ Latex-Free
♥ Perfume-Free
♥ TBT-Free
♥ GMO-Free
♥ Hypoallergenic Top Sheet
♥ No Recycled Materials

The large size was $7.99 for 22 diapers, which calculates to about .36/diaper.

Despite the tab issue and the occasional leak, we’ll definitely use these diapers as often as we can. Tendercare diapers can be purchased at Amazon, Diapers.com, Buy Buy Baby, as well as other locations.


Lifetime of farting

Originally uploaded by jen_rab

With my head buried in my hands, I could feel the shower of saliva on my toes. No, it was a WATERFALL of saliva. Make that monsoon.

Why?

Let me tell you why. Jack, like other babies his age, loves to blow raspberries. He just so happened to be sitting at my feet during his latest raspberry blowing frenzy. Sometimes, after he purses those lips together and lets the drool fly, he has no idea what he’s done. All he knows is that it feels good on his sore gums and he makes us crack up. Sometimes he’ll forget this cool trick and then surprise himself by remembering the coolness of it all. And then the endless raspberry blowing ensues.

Enter my husband. My darling husband has many idols including Albert Einstein, Leonard Bernstein, George Hopkins, Lenny Dykstra and Doug Heffernan.

Yes, I said Doug Heffernan–the overgrown manchild portrayed by Kevin James in the now defunct show, “King of Queens.”

Doug Heffernan is this overdramatic, very opinionated, sports-loving dude’s dude who always seems to find himself in the most obscure predicaments. Perhaps this is why Jeff strikes a chord with his fictitious hero, but every episode, Doug’s angsty wife yells at him for well, being Doug.

In the show, Doug disagrees with Carrie A LOT. He always has a way to punctuate his point, but most notably, he loves to fake flatulate with his hands.

WITH HIS HANDS.

So, let’s do the math folks: Jack loves to blow raspberries. Jeff loves to imitate Doug Heffernan. Jack loves to imitate his daddy. So what do we have?

Lots of fake farting.

Jeff summed it up best, “You better get used to it. You have a lifetime of farting ahead of you.”

so true.

I’ve accepted the lifetime of farting, which makes me love my fake-farting duo even more.

Happy Monday, all.  Despite the rain and unbearable humidity, it was a nice weekend all around!  As usual, I didn’t finish half of the chores on my ongoing weekend list, but we did get to see some girlfriends from home and enjoy a nice day in the City.

Jeff’s request for nothingness allowed for a lazy Sunday filled with intermittent naps while we hid from the rain.  By the end of the day, Jack and I were both whiny and cranky, but nothing a trip to the park couldn’t cure.  Jack must be getting another new tooth  very soon because he keeps grinding his teeth and was especially irritable yesterday afternoon.  While the crying and restlessness is nothing new, combine that with futile attempts at sleep training and you get one bitchy mama.  Though I missed celebrating with my own dad, Jack and I did what we could to ensure Jeff had a nice first Father’s Day.

And the Pièce de résistance of the weekend… Anyone a fan of Jackson Pollack?  Wouldn’t you know,  we have our own expressionist artist also named Jackson.
Jack “made” Jeff a shirt for Father’s Day.  Inspired by something I saw online, I thought I’d channel my forgotten dreams of being a studio artist through my son.  Letting an 8month old go nuts with some fabric paint is always a good idea. He likes to destroy things anyway, so why not capture it on a t-shirt.  Since Jeff bleeds NY Mets pride, we chose a fine spectrum of blue, orange and white. As someone who was only allowed to play with Play Doh in the kitchen, it was liberating (and crazy), I must say.   It was fun letting the kid get filthy in the name of “art.”  That’s what baths are for, right?

In between snatching the non toxic paints OUT of his mouth and thus, getting the paints on my fingers (legs and hair, too) and avoiding disaster on our already stained carpet, most of the pictures are blurry.  I forgot to upload all the pix and the final outcome, but I’ll be sure to post them tomorrow.

Jeff smiled and politely thanked the baby artist “Aw buddy, this is exactly what I’ve been looking for.”  I’m completely biased, but the final result was chaotic perfection.

Admiring his work

When I was reading the Sunday Times last weekend, I found an amusing little piece in the Styles section. The Styles section, usually my most favorite part of the Sunday Times, always has these interesting human interest pieces or man on the street sort of photo montages. Since it was the weekend before father’s day, they had a half page photo spread on famous dads and what they were hoping for for Father’s Day.

Among those featured were famous directors, financiers, clothing designers and other well known celebrities. These famous dads that were profiled hoped for luxurious vacations, overpriced gadgets and unattainable sports memorabilia. You know, the things that are just a little over my budget. Just a little.

I may speak for myself here, but I love reading the Times Style section to see how the other half lives. I’ll color it as curiosity and admiration, rather than the greenish shades of jealousy. It’s not about what you don’t have, but it’s about what you DO have.

The half that we do know, namely, Jeff, is the antithesis of those other dads.
at Shea

Jeff laid the law even before we turned the calendar to June and demanded that he wanted “nothing” for his first Father’s Day. I was compelled to plan a family outing to a ball game or City trip to somewhere he’d enjoy. But alas, Jeff wants none of that. Nada.

From heeding to my every beck and call last summer at my most pregnant state, to the encouragement in between contractions in the delivery room, to not skipping a beat when my body was in so much anguish after the 20-some hours of labor and the subsequent c-section, to acting as the resident therapist/firefighter as the hormones flared and the flames spiraled around him, to the instant bond and lifelong friendship with his son, to the over-protectiveness and anal tendencies where safety is concerned, to making sure our family is alright, Jeff has superseded every vision I’d ever had of him in this role as dad.
Jack and Jeff

It was a given that he’d be a natural at fatherhood because Jeff is, like those who know him best know, great at everything he does. Undoubtedly, from the beginning of my pregnancy to all the trips back home, much of the focus has always been on Jack and me. Like most dads, Jeff is always standing strong in the background in that stealth-like way the best of them do.

Jeff’s triumphs as a dad are best characterized every evening in between 6:35 and 7:00 p.m. Every time the door knob jingles and Jeff flings that door open and says, “hey buddy!” even though he can’t walk yet, Jack practically jumps out of his seat with every intention to run and hug his dad. Those few seconds of our daily routine showcase the love our son has for his dad.

That enthusiasm and joy transcends the stress of life, the sleepless nights and everything in between.

I know we’re only into his 9th month of fatherhood, but in our eyes, he’s one awesome dad.

So, yes, how does one show gratitude for someone who expects nothing but has done absolutely everything?

Per usual, I have a few tricks up my sleeve 🙂

Jack and daddydaddy and jackJeff and Jacklike father, like sonthe master assembleryawningdaddy and his boyJeff and the boy
Happy first Father’s Day, Jeff.

And of course, Happy Father’s Day to my own awesome dad and Jeff’s dad too.

I just wanted to emerge through this ridiculous pile of papers that, sadly, is to blame for my continued absence this week.
Happy Friday, all! It’s supposed to be a scorcher in our area this weekend. It’s not even officially summer yet and we’ll have our ACs on high, for sure. Let’s just hope my flammable husband or the equally combustible heatbox baby both stay cool. I hope everyone else stays cool, where ever you may be!

Anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve done a product review, so I thought I’d take the chance to free my mind from my “real” writing and discuss something yummy.
While we were home the other weekend, one of my girlfriends came over to visit with her baby. Jack and Gavin are typically in similar developmental categories. And so, Tanya and I love to share with each other new finds. When Jack wasn’t trying to shake Gavin out of his carrier or pummel him with kissies , he was snatching poor Gav’s snack out of his hand. (Crikey. Sorry, buddy! We’re working on our social skills.)

I noticed the snack was something I’d never really seen before. Its white packaging resembled something I probably would have found at our local Japanese grocery store. It was small, flat and portable, somewhat similar to a shorter version of a fruit roll up package. When Tanya opened the package up for Gavin, it was an interesting snack that looked like a flat, airy half of a Milano Cookie (minus the chocolate) or cracker-like surfboard. “It’s a rice rusk and he loves it.” she told me. She went on to tell me that she found the package at a store we no longer frequent.
damn!

But lo and behold, last weekend, when we went to our neighborhood organic grocery store, I found a green box–vegetable flavor–that looked strikingly similar to Gavin’s snack! sweet!

babymummum

After we picked up diapers, some fruit and cereal, Jack and I started the walk home. Since it was just about time for a mid morning snack, I pulled out the Mum-Mum rice rusks to entertain him for the 20 minute walk. I normally don’t let him eat in his stroller because, well, he likes to make art out of it. But thankfully, it was virtually impossible for him to paint any new masterpieces with his snack because 1) the rick rusk was practically crumb-less and not mushy like other teething biscuits 2) he devoured the rusk in the blink of an eye.

I knew it had to be a good if the snack since it had a mom-friend’s approval. But even better, it has the kids stamp of approval, too!

As I’m trying to foster positive eating habits, in hopes our kid won’t inherit my horrible sweet tooth and snack addiction, I try to stay away from all those big brand, markety snack-pack for babies and kids. {We’ll package this product all pretty and convenient for you and charge double or triple than what you can get on another aisle.} For the most part, I consider it consumer brainwash. I have a hard time paying extra for convenience when in most cases, that convenience is the antithesis of being green. So, I tend to pack a banana (best snack ever since it has it’s OWN natural packaging!) or whatever frozen fruit we have onhand.

Back to the Mum Mum rice rusk. The company originates from Taiwan and has permeated to other asian countries. Their presence in the U.S. and Canada seems fairly new, but I think they’ll do well against the big name baby brands–especially at the inexpensive price tag. A box of Baby Mum-Mum rice rusk runs about $2, and that’s here in northern NJ. Like I mentioned before, we bought ours from our local organic store, but I also saw them at a gourmet grocery store and at Whole Foods for about the same price.

The ingredient list is as follows: Japonica Rice, Sugar, Skim Milk Powder, Salt

the company touts the mum-mums as

  • dissolving easily
  • no artificial colors or vlavors
  • no preservatives
  • wheat, egg and peanut free
  • cholesterol free
  • baked, low in fat & no trans fat
  • no added fats or oils

The downside, to me, is the excess packaging. Two rice rusks are paired and packaged as individual snacks. As convenient as it is, I could do without the individual packaging. Other than that, the mum-mums don’t offer much sustenance. But from experience, I can tell you, they’re great as a time-killing distraction for a bored baby or a great way to keep them occupied until meal time. Considering these are the only snack that Jack can feed himself without destroying his clothes in the process, I consider them a mainstay in our diaper bag.
They also offer Toddler Mum-Mum, SuperSlim Brown Rice Crisps, SuperSlim Rice Crisps and Rice Crisps.

Like I playfully chant to Jack, “yum yum for the bum bum.”

I’m so behind in so many facets in life, it’s not even funny! One thing’s for sure, those back to back vacations were just what the dr. ordered!

Even though it’s Thursday, we just got back from our trip to Va. on Tuesday night. Spending a long weekend in Va. Beach was a great way to kick off the summer. And like always, after a nice visit back home, I always feel nostalgic and sentimental.

Jeff and I both have such fond memories of our childhood in VB. From swimming all day and night to playing out in our yards until the knees in our jeans dissolved. Home is where our hearts are…

As we made our way south down the turnpike, we were greeted with next to no traffic. Perhaps the mounting gas prices were to blame. And to think, NJ, of all places, not too long ago reportedly had the cheapest gas prices. Now we’re hovering right around $3.89/gal. I don’t blame a lot of people for staying local. For once, it was nice to have the road to ourselves!

Cousins!
Our time back home, as always, was fun. We spent time with Jeff’s family BBQing and watching the kids play together. It makes me feel old to see Britney- who was a baby when I moved up north- lugging my kid around. It’s so sweet to see how the bigger kids dote on Jack. I can already envision him running after his big cousins this time next year.

Per usual, we timeshare our visits with our two families and friends. On Sunday, we had a family friend’s baptism to attend and then another BBQ at home. Jack was able to give his uncle Jeff and uncle John drooly open mouth kisses, in between their crazy schedules. However, my favorite part of the weekend was, undoubtedly, sitting in my parents backyard– picnicking with the family, Jack swimming in his kiddie pool, laying on the grass with my boys and watching my parents enjoy being grandparents.

waiting to swimEvil KnievelAs my dad loves to remind me, “you can’t buy a backyard like this anymore.” To me, his statement translates to: the fruit of his labor, in a sense, is symbolized by their home and yard. Many memories were made there. Without a doubt, many more memories are upon the horizon.

I’m incredibly blessed to be able to share such an important part of my youth with my kid, even if it means driving 600+ miles in a weekend to do so!

For all those who wonder how we do that drive so often, that is why.

Since we literally and figuratively grew up at the Beach, it’s so inherent that we immerse our kid there, too. Honestly, it’s no surprise Va. Beach was tapped as one of the best areas to raise kids, according to Best Life.

Swimming time!

Dreams and careers are what landed us in the NYC area. At a time when joblessness is at a high, a flourishing career is what will keep us here. It’s hard being away from family and friends, especially after fun weekends. But, as they say, there are trade-offs for everything in life.

Much to my dismay, Jeff once said to me on the eve of my departure to chase the unknown, “NYC is a great place to visit, but not a place I want to live.”

At this point in our lives, I’m going to put it out there: VB is a place we’ll always visit, but NJ/NYC is our home.
Congrats on your promotion, Jeff!

(I’m so glad you changed your mind.)