Caleb’s Officially One!

I officially have a one year old.

I can’t believe that it has already been an entire year since I was able to finally set eyes on the being I grew. Someone recently shared with me an article “6 reasons December babies are special, according to science” – and while I think that all babies are special, it was a joy to read that article. I have felt so truly blessed to have Caleb in my life. It’s funny, even though he hasn’t existed that long, I cannot imagine my life without him.

The birthday boy all ready for daycare this morning.

There have been bad days, of course, but the good days outweigh the bad days a million times over. I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything.

We don’t give Caleb a lot of sugar but I did let him have a couple of bites of a cupcake. He enjoyed it a lot.

That being said…  I’m giving my two weeks notice to my job. I returned to work when Caleb was exactly 3 months old with the short-term goal of being able to stay home with him. My self-imposed deadline kept getting pushed farther and farther back. We are now at the point where I am able to stay home with Caleb and I want to take that opportunity. The toughest part of all of this was letting Caleb’s daycare know (it made me a little misty-eyed). They’ve been with him for 9 months and have watched him grow so much. We went with that daycare because it had the feeling of taking Caleb to grandma’s house and we couldn’t have asked for a better family.

That face! <3

So this is my birthday present to Caleb in a way. Sure, it will be interesting setting up our routine, especially as I will be working some from home, but I look forward to the opportunities that we will have together. There is always that doubt in my mind if this is what is best for Caleb, for our family, but I’m comforted by so many fellow moms (even some who have children that are now in their 30’s and 40’s) telling me that they do not regret staying home with their children for the first few years.

“We are reminded that, in the fleeting time we have on this Earth, what matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame, but rather how well we have loved and what small part we have played in making the lives of other people better.”

– Barack Obama

The birthday boy is OUT!

We celebrated his birthday today simply. A cupcake, a song (followed by the playing of the Captain Zoom birthday song – a tradition my mom started many years ago), and that was it. We’re having a few people over on Saturday for a little birthday party but nothing big.

How To Look After Your Kid’s Teeth

We all want our kids to have pearly white teeth. Instilling good dental habits into your kids early and watching their sugar intake can help your kids to keep their teeth healthy long into adulthood.

Here are just a few tips to consider when looking after your kids’ teeth.

  • Start brushing early – It’s good practice to start brushing your kids teeth early to make it a habit. Some parents start brushing as soon as the first teeth come through – this generally isn’t needed, however
    once they start moving beyond milk and onto solid foods you should be starting a brushing routine as this is when they’ll start to get plaque. Your kids can start brushing their own teeth usually around 3 or 4, but you’ll usually have to supervise them until they’re 5 or 6 as they’re
    unlikely to brush very well on their own.
  • Use the right toothpaste – Infants shouldn’t be using fluoride toothpaste, you should start infants off on an infant-friendly toothpaste. In fact, your kids shouldn’t use regular toothpaste until they reach
    7 years old. For infants you only need a pea-size drop of toothpaste. There are also infant toothbrushes available from companies such as Brush Baby that are smaller.
  • Make brushing fun – Kids may view brushing their teeth as a chore – try to make brushing fun so that they’re more willing to do it each morning and night. As you’re getting your kid to brush their teeth
    themselves, you could try brushing with them and even possibly doing it to music. There are now apps such as Brush DJ that play music for 2 minutes to encourage kids to brush for that length time. Also consider letting them choose their own toothbrush – many kids’
    toothbrushes are creatively themed around Disney movies or made to look like cars and your child may have a preference.
  • Cut back on juice – Juice is full of sugar that will rot your kids’ teeth. It’s worth holding off on juice as long as possible – once your kids develop a taste for it there’ll be no going back. If you kids are already hooked on juice, you could try substituting for a low sugar flavoured water such as Hint water that will be much better for your kids teeth whilst still giving them that fruity taste. Kids may resist water and milk once they start drinking juice, but it’s important to try to encourage them to keep having these healthy drinks.
  • Be wary of other hidden sugary foods – There are other obvious foods and drinks that you should give to your kids in moderation
    such as soda, sweets and cookies. However, there are other foods which can contain a lot of
    sugar which many parents don’t know about. For example, kids’ lunch hams and cheeses
    are often sweetened. Meanwhile, crisps are often full of sugar (crisps also often get stuck in
    the molars making them particularly bad for our teeth).

Life with a 10 Month Old

I haven’t done just a general update on Caleb in a long time and I’ve had quite a few people asking me for one. Even though Caleb doesn’t turn 10 months officially for about 3 more days, I’m calling this his 10-month update.

It amazes me how quickly Caleb’s first year has been going by. In just a few short months, I’ll have a one-year old on my hands! Caleb started walking not long before he turned 9 months and since he figured out how to step those short little steps, there has been no stopping him. He has been walking here, there, everywhere around the house. It amazed the ladies at daycare how quickly he started walking and how well he walks. I think I have a determined – headstrong – little boy on my hands.

Just about three weeks ago, I felt Caleb’s first tooth poking through his bottom gums. A week later, another bottom tooth poked through. Then this past Friday, an upper tooth popped though! So it seems like he is averaging one tooth a week.

Most nights he sleeps through, or maybe will wake up once during the night. He’s easy to put back to sleep though for the most part with just a few minutes of nursing. His biggest issue is that some mornings, he will start tossing and turning at about 5-5:30 a.m. Once he starts to toss and turn, I find myself wide awake. I recently switched out one of his bottles that I send to daycare with some food and he is loving it. My goal is to offer breast milk to him as long as he wants but I’m not putting the pressure on myself to maintain a rigorous pumping and feeding schedule. It is less stress on my end.

Caleb loves to eat. Anything and everything. I try mostly to stick with whole foods – green beans, blueberries, and cucumbers are his favorite. I try to give him very little items with processed sugar simply because I don’t want him addicted to those kind of sweet treats. He loves it but just because you love something doesn’t mean you should have it!

This past weekend, we all went to a local farm festival. We went to the same festival last year when I was 29 weeks pregnant.

29 Weeks Pregnant

As long as we are in the area, I think we are going to try and continue the tradition of having our photo taken in front of this piece of farm equipment!

The farm festival, along with a trip on Saturday to a craft show and farmer’s market up in Wanchese, served as sort of my birthday adventure. I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. Caleb made quick friends with a little pig, though he didn’t seem very impressed by his new friendship. Or with any of it really. 😀 I will say that he did love getting the opportunity to sample the food inside of the market!



The Global Big Latch On

This past Saturday, I found myself breastfeeding in public for the first time. Well, public in this sense. I have breastfed Caleb in the car many, many times when we have either been coming or going somewhere. It’s not like I have been avoiding breastfeeding in public, it’s just one of those things that never needed to happen. When I’ve gone somewhere, typically I will feed Caleb before leaving. Now that he’s a little bit older, we usually are able to give him a little something from our plates.

On Saturday, however, a local coffee shop welcomed a group of breastfeeding women as part of the Global Big Latch On.

Global Big Latch On events take place at registered locations around the world, where people gather together to breastfeed and offer support to each other. 20,562 children were counted as breastfeeding during the one minute count (and quite many more were attending but snoozing during that moment). The purpose behind the event is to promote and support breastfeeding families. There were a couple of lactation consultants attending this event available for question.

All in all, there were 17 babies attending this event with about 12 breastfeeding at the same time. Our local newspaper was present to cover the event and we even had someone taking pictures of the moms and their babes. It was great getting to meet with other women and share our experiences with one another. It’s been hard for me to find other moms to connect with in person since this is a small town. There typically aren’t a lot of opportunities out there for connecting.

These photos were taken by Amanda Kielar Photography. She took a ton of great photos that you can view on her Facebook page. These are just some of the ones featuring me and little man (there are a couple more on her page).

I’m so glad that I was able to attend this event. I had a hard time breastfeeding when Caleb was first born. To be honest, without Robb encouraging me and pushing me, I think that I would have given up. Yes, I do give Caleb formula on occasion at daycare (when I’ve had a stressful day at work and just can’t pump much) but at home, he is 100% on the breast. I use a special organic formula sourced from Germany that I’ll feature in another post.

Goldfish Recall – Will My Kids Be Ok?

In light of the recent Pepperidge Farm Goldfish cracker recall, I thought that I would bring you this guest post from Candess Zona-Mendola, Senior Trial Paralegal at The Lange Law Firm who also runs MakeFoodSafe.com.


I sat down to read my morning news this morning to find out that a snack I packed in my kids’ fieldtrip lunchbox was recalled for Salmonella. What?!

As a food safety advocate, panic immediately set in. I called my kids’ summer camp to get their camp counselors to remove the offending fish from my kids’ lunchbox. I interrogated them to ensure that my toddler had not snuck a snack before lunch. Five deep breaths later and two pictures of intact Goldish boxes later, I am back to my normal self.

But honestly, I had nothing to worry about anyway. The type of Goldish that were recalled were not the ones I packed for my kids this morning. But I did not take the time to read that. I went directly into “momma bear mode” – protect the young, now!

So, I want to do for you what I should have done for myself. Give you a little bit of info so you can breathe a little easier, and decide if you need to take further action.

Here’s the Lowdown

Pepperidge Farms initiated a recall on these popular kids snacks just yesterday. So, if you did not know about it until just now, it is not your fault. I am just a paranoid foodie who reads the food news every morning.

Here are the quick facts for you on this recall:

  • There is no outbreak of Salmonella linked to Goldfish at this time.
  • The recall is only “out of an abundance of caution.” This means there is likely only a small batch of contaminated products, but lots of products recalled.
  • No kids are confirmed sick with Salmonella from eating Goldfish crackers at this time
  • The recall is on only four Goldfish products, which are:
    • Flavor Blasted® Xtra Cheddar
    • Flavor Blasted® Sour Cream & Onion
    • Goldfish® Baked with Whole Grain Xtra Cheddar
    • Goldfish® Mix Xtra Cheddar + Pretzel
  • No other Goldfish or Pepperidge Farms products are subject to the recall.
  • These products have different packaging depending on sizes, flavors, etc. You can visit the link here for a list (with pictures) of the recalled products.

It is important to mention that the recalled products were distributed in all 50 states. This means that they could be in your home, your friend’s house, at the daycare, at the summer camp your kids attend, at church, at grandma’s house, etc. Let the other people in your life who feed you kids know about the recall, so they can get rid of the products.

What Do I Do Now?

The first thing is not to panic, like I did. Check your pantry and see if you even have a recalled product. If you do, do not feed it to your kids – even if they have already eaten some of the fish inside. You can return the recalled products to your nearby grocer for a refund.

After that, just keep an eye on your kids. The telltale signs of a Salmonella infection are:

  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Vomiting

In the more severe cases, there may be some additional symptoms, like bloody diarrhea, headache, chills, and body aches. It is highly recommended that you take your kids to the doctor if they are showing any of these symptoms, and ask your pediatrician for a stool test to confirm if they have Salmonella.


Like all mothers, Candess wears many hats. With 15 years of paralegal experience, she has worked on many different types of litigation.  Candess began her career helping people in family law, civil rights, and employment cases and became a paralegal in order to help people.  When Candess learned that millions of Americans each year were becoming sick from food contaminated with pathogens, she wanted to do something about it. Ever the problem solver, Candess began by finding ways to get more helpful information about food safety concerns and solutions to families (especially other mothers) in a timely fashion.

MakeFoodSafe.com is Candess’ third food safety blog.  Her first food safety blog has won multiple awards and has been recognized as a: Top 30 Food Safety Blog; Top Mommy Approved Blog; Top 10 Blog Posts by Texas Bar Today; and the Blogger Recognition Award.

Candess works closely with Jory and the food safety team to develop and cultivate the firm’s food safety cases. From intake to trial, Candess ensures everyone gets what they need when they need it, even the most challenging matters.

A mother of two, Candess lives in a suburb of Houston with her husband, Tim.  When she is not saving the world one deadline at a time, Candess can be found channeling her inner chef or with coffee and a book.

You can follow Candess and MakeFoodSafe on Facebook