To James Walker on your first birthday

Our sweet James Walker,

What a year it has been. When you were born a year ago, we never imagined all that would happen in your first year. But we did know immediately just how much we loved you. You stole my heart from the first moment I saw you.

I cried and cried and laughed and cried some more. Seeing your sweet cheeks and listening to your little grunts. Hearing the doctor announce your mighty weight and seeing your daddy hold you. I knew you were our last precious baby and that these moments were so precious.

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Our time together in the hospital was full of sweetness. So much of that was because I knew what to expect and had learned after two previous stays how to be my own advocate and your advocate. I soaked up as much of you as I could without a worry about any of the things that worried me with your brothers. Our first weeks at home with you with KK there to help us were peaceful and fun.

You have been such a sweet, easy baby. You picked up a schedule quickly. You were sleeping 12 hours at night by 3 months old and have been so adaptable and being on-the-go as the third little boy in our household. You love people. New people, people you know, people you don’t know… you love them all.

You are always smiling and laughing and watching. You take it all in and we have all loved watching all of your firsts. You weren’t just my baby or your daddy’s baby. You were Hudson and Hayes’s baby, too. We all gather around to watch your bath or watch you taste a new food. When you sat up or crawled, you had a full audience. Having you here has been so sweet and exciting for all of us. You’ve united us in love.


You laugh and smile all the time except when you’re starving or sleepy. You will eat anything we offer to you and are already a much better eater than your big brothers. You make me feel pretty good about my cooking!

When your daddy comes home from work you crawl as fast as you can to the backdoor to see him and can’t wait for him to pick you up. You are constantly looking for your big brothers and you think they’re hilarious. But you also let them know when they’ve taken something that belongs to you or they’re bothering you. You’ll hold your own just fine!

When I think back over the past year as KK was with us celebrating your life and helping care for you and for me, I’m so thankful for those first couple of months. She loved nothing more than to be able to hold and rock you and your brothers. And in the months where her health started to decline and we saw less and less of the mother and grandmother she had always been, your sweet spirit, James Walker, was what kept my spirits high. You were the sweetest distraction from the hard, hurt places. A bright little light in my day that always gave me so much joy as I was grieving.

Even still as I watch you grow up and learn new things, I’m mourning not being able to share that with my mother and your KK. It’s beautiful that life goes on, but also such a hard reality when someone so important isn’t there to share it.

The blessing of being able to teach you and hold you and love you has been the biggest gift to me in the hardest, sweetest year. When I tuck you in at night, I linger a little longer as I imagine what it must have been like for my own mother to tuck my brother and me in. I rock you a little longer, I hold you more, and I’m always so aware that you’re our last little one.


You’re my little sidekick, my buddy. You babble all the time and have about six words that you say regularly. You’re not walking yet, but I don’t think it will be long. We’re not in any big rush– we just love you so much.

James Walker, we all love you so much. Introducing a baby to the family isn’t always an easy thing, but you, my dear one, have been nothing but a joy. You have added so much to our lives. We are all absolutely wild about you.

We pray daily for you and that God will guide us as we raise you. Your daddy and I love you so much, J. Dubs. Our sweet baby boy.



Quinny Zapp Xtra Stroller Review

I was contacted by Quinny a few weeks ago about reviewing the Quinny Zapp Xtra, and after looking at all of the bells and whistles, I decided that I definitely wanted to test out this stroller! I was excited about trying out a single stroller that was as compact as the Quinny, and I love the fun bright blue and lime green colors for the limited South Beach collection. So fun!

I knew we’d be flying to Colorado and would need something that was small, but had a nice, comfortable ride for James Walker.

This stroller is absolutely perfect for small children. It has about the same amount of space as a MacLaren stroller, but has more options for seat positions and has a smoother ride. The seat can recline all the way back and it cradles James Walker perfectly and he falls right to sleep. I’ve been taking the stroller to the pool and when it’s time for him to nap, I cover him with the shade and a blanket, recline him all the way, give him a pacifier and he goes right to sleep.


I love that he can nap on the go and sit up straight to see what’s going on around him. He can face forward or face me, but the stroller can still be collapsed in a super compact position without removing the seat.


The Quinny Zapp Xtra comes with a car seat adapter for the Maxi Cosi carseat. We use a Graco carseat and don’t have an adapter for it, but there is one available that can be purchased separately. You can also purchase cup holders, rain covers, and a parasol.

The accessory we purchased, though, was the travel bag. We checked the stroller on the airplane and wanted to protect it, so we got the travel bag.

The stroller is definitely on the smaller side, which is what makes it so great while we have an infant and what makes it so great for travel. The basket underneath is small and not easy to access, but there are handy snaps that make it a little bit easier to get things in and out of it.


The Quinny Zapp Xtra is super easy to collapse. I can close this thing with my eyes closed. But it’s a little bit harder to open up after being folded. I know with more practice it will get easier, but I definitely can’t do it one-handed and just wish it was a little bit easier.


James Walker loves this stroller. He loves to nap in it and look around while we’re on walks. And he looks pretty cute in it, too! I love that I can take it in small spaces and that it doesn’t take up a lot of room. It has a smooth ride and I just love the size of it.


The reclining positions are a huge perk and the way it cradles James Walker makes me love it even more because he falls asleep so easily in it!

I would absolutely recommend it to someone with an infant or someone who lives in the city and has a child who is constantly in and out of the stroller and needs a stroller that doesn’t take up a lot of space. The size of it is definitely a bonus and the way the seat cradles a baby is a big plus. We use it multiple times a day and take it with us everywhere!

newborn favorites

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newborn favorites


So with our third baby, I feel like I know a thing or two about what I really need to get through the day. And, shocker! It’s not that much.

My little munchkin loves to be held and loves to be swaddled. We have a good bit of baby gear that we’re not even really using right now because he just doesn’t love it or he’s not old enough for it. Things change month-to-month (or day-to-day really) with a baby, so the things we’re loving will change, too. I thought I’d do a post every couple of months with the favorites and then see how things have changed.

We have a Mamaroo for the first time that my mom gave us. I love that it doesn’t take up much space and kind of blends in with the wall, but unless James Walker is practically asleep, he doesn’t love it. I’m thinking this will change over time. Or at least I hope it does!

We also have a fun play gym/activity mat that sits in our family room floor, but he tends to cry within five minutes of being on that thing. I’m also hopeful that this changes over the next month. He does love tummy time and that’s a good place to do tummy time.

But as for the favorites? Here they are!

Kissy Kissy Convertible Gown

I love gowns in general for newborns. I especially love them at night. And I tend to keep my babies in gowns at night for six months just to help with the ease of diaper changing. These convertible gowns by Kissy Kissy don’t have to go over their heads. It’s easy to get their arms through the arm hole, and they can snap up like a gown or switch to a playsuit with legs. It’s basically like two outfits in one.


Three cheers for baby wearing! I probably use the Ergo four or five times a week. I have worn him in the movies. I wear him while I cook supper. I wear him to take walks with the big boys and I wear him to the big boys’ soccer and baseball games. And I know this awesome product isn’t just for teeny babies and I’ll get much more use out of it over the next year.

Puj Bathtub

This is one of our new purchases for James Walker and it was a good one. This super simple design for a baby bathtub is easy to store. It’s small. It fits right in the bathroom sink so you don’t have to bend over or handle a slippery newborn. I just love it. It may be my favorite thing of all the favorite things. And James Walker loves his bath. He sits totally content in this thing for 20 minutes while warm water runs over his belly.

Snugabunny Bouncer

This is an oldie but goodie. It was a favorite with the other babies, too. And James Walker loves it just as much. It has the perfect shape for hugging and cradling a tiny baby. It vibrates. It bounces. It’s soft. It comes in most handy when I take it into the bathroom while I shower and dry my hair. James Walker starts off awake and soon dozes off while I get ready. Love this thing!

Wubbanub Pacifier

Oh, the hugeness of the Wubbanub. I used to think these things were so silly looking before I had babies, but I love that it helps a newborn keep the pacifier in his mouth. Big fan of the Wubbanub. And it’s nearly impossible to lose it like we do with other pacifiers.

Swaddle Designs Blanket

This has been my favorite thing since Hudson was born. There is no better blanket for doing a good, tight swaddle. (Follow Dr. Harvey Karp’s Happiest Baby on the Block swaddle method for a good swaddle technique.) My babies love being swaddled and I love that this blanket keeps them warm, keeps the swaddle in place, and it’s a nice tight swaddle. James Walker will soon be too big for these blankets and we’ll either drop the swaddle or move to the Woombie or Swaddle Me, but this is what I love for newborns!

So, those are my favorites. And this is just about all we ever use on a day-to-day basis. Would you add anything to the list?

printable daily feeding log for baby

printable daily feeding log for baby

A few years ago, I shared this daily printable that I use for keeping track of how much my babies are eating, when they’re napping and for how long they’re napping. I never shared it as a printable, so thought I’d make it a little easier. If you’d like a copy you can just print it out and you don’t have to wait on me to email you a Word document.

I know there are probably some more efficient, eco-friendly ways to keep track of feedings, diapers, and naps electronically, but I am a pen and paper kind of gal. I still have the feeding logs from Hudson and Hayes and have even looked back on them to see what they were doing in comparison to what James Walker is doing. (I promise that I’m not a pack rat!)

So if you’re a pen and paper kind of gal and you’re trying to keep track of how much your baby is eating or how often, feel free to print this bad boy! There’s a spot to write how many ounces of a bottle they take, how long you nurse on each side, when they go down for a nap and when they get up. And of course wet and dirty diaper tracking, too.

Click here for the PDF for the Printable Baby Feeding Log for Breastfed and Bottle-fed Babies

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