6 Ways to Use Huggies Wipes Way Beyond the Baby Years!

My son Jack is way past the diaper stage now, but I still carry Huggies® Wipes everywhere we go. Oh yes, yes I do. I love being that over prepared mom who breaks out a package of  baby wipes to save the day on the playground. Okay, saving the day might be an overstatement, but still… Everyone likes being clean and breaking out a pack of Huggies® Wipes to wipe down the kids’ messes is usually met with smiles by everyone else. It’s not just kids making the messes I need to clean though – there are plenty of adult messes I’m wiping up! Here are a few of my favorite ways to use baby wipes – bet you didn’t know the theater one!

Huggies Wipes NYCJenny

Backstage at the theater: Full confession, I used baby wipes long before I ever had a kid. They are indispensable for me at the theater. Baby wipes should be on every dressing table backstage at every theater. They can be used to wipe off make-up after the show when you don’t have time or the space (hello crazy Off-Off Broadway theater, I’m looking at YOU) to wash at a sink. You can use them to fix mistakes as you apply make-up too. I’ve saved many a botched eyeliner job with a baby wipe. I’m not lying, a nice, thick Huggies® Wipe will take that make-up right off! In those really tight quarters backstage they are handy to “wash” hands, wipe spills, clean a prop or anything else that might come up last minute when there is no way you have time to get to the sink before running on stage.

City feet in the summer: I can’t believe more people don’t do this one. Keep a pack of baby wipes by the front door and wipe your feet down after coming inside! Sandals + NYC Summers = Major YUCK. No joke, the bottom of your feet can get black with dirt and God knows what else during the summer here. I have no idea why we keep wearing sandals, but we do. I know some people who head straight for the bathroom to wash their feet in the tub, but that isn’t always practical and you’re still tracking that grossness all the way inside your home! Best to just keep some Huggies® Wipes on hand and take care of that nastiness before you get any further inside! I’ve made a lot of baby wipe converts with this tip.

Dining out: I always keep a travel pack in my purse. Kids are messy, but sometimes so are grown-ups! This past weekend we were out with family and our server was way off her game (to be polite about it) and didn’t see fit to bring out extra napkins or wet-naps with our messy meals. With one person ordering ribs, another peel and eat shrimp, and yet another having a pot of mussels… my pack of Huggies® Wipes was a welcome help at the end of that meal. Ever tried to feed the baby pasta while out and about? Classic.

Around the house: In a pinch a baby wipe can pretty much wipe down any surface in your home and make it presentable for last minute company. The floor, tables, those dusty baseboards I keep meaning to REALLY clean…

Traveling: How many times have you accidentally spilled something while driving? Or worse, while on an airplane? Whose laughing at me now for packing the baby wipes?!

At the beach or playground: Ice cream is always sold at these places. Enough said.

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I could keep going, but I’ll leave you with that mess about to happen!

If you aren’t a convert yet to baby wipes post diapers, Huggies and Wal-Mart have the scoop on Baby Wipes 101. Now you tell me, what are some of the different ways you use Huggies® Wipes?

Pixar’s ‘Inside Out’ Review!

Last Friday I had the incredible good fortune to sit in on an intimate screening of Pixar’s latest film, “Inside Out” thanks to The Moms. Denise and Melissa even brought Bill Hader to us for a bit of a Q&A session before we saw the film! He was charming and funny – had the whole crowd laughing before the film even started!

 

I’ve been waiting for a Pixar movie to make me gush since “Up” back in 2009. The first ten minutes of that movie had me ugly crying into my popcorn and remains one of my favorite animated movies ever. “Inside Out” is here to give it a run for its money.

The film tells the story of Riley, a hockey loving little girl whose life is turned upside down when her family relocates from Minnesota to San Francisco. We spend most of the movie inside Riley’s head with the emotions that are guiding her through this experience and life in general. Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust. They reside in Headquarters, a kind of mission control for Riley’s mind. We learn how memories are made and stored, and how our emotions sometimes war for control over us. I burst out laughing when Anger takes over with threats of making Riley use the one bad word he knows – I remember far too well the summer my own kid knew just one bad word…

I also remember being the new kid in town (3 separate times). I remember my imaginary friend (oh God, get your tissues out for that moment), and I remember how frightening and overwhelming things were a lot of the time growing up. Riley, we all feel for you because we’ve all BEEN you.

While trying to get acclimated to Riley’s new home in San Francisco, Joy and Sadness get lost, Riley gets all turned around as a result and there’s a race against time to get it all together. Poor Riley is so confused and missing her old home, but all the grown-ups keep telling her to be happy and smile. Joy up in headquarters just keeps trying to put Sadness in a tiny little circle – repression anyone? This is Pixar though and it all comes right in the end. With not a dry eye in the house, mind you. Later that night when I tried to explain the movie to Roger, “no no no – it turns out that we NEED Sadness because you see…” and then I literally started crying again.

Bring the kids (the ones around me loved it!), bring your spouse, bring your mom, your sister, your best friend…this is a movie for everyone. Be sure to pack a box of tissues to share. It’s a good cry though, I promise. The ending is just so beautiful.

Pixar’s “Inside Out” opens on Friday, June 19, 2015.

The End of a Great Year…

So just like that Jack’s first school year is over. In a flurry of end of school performances, stacks of “artwork” sent home, scuffed up white uniform sneakers, outgrown “just in case” clothes found in the back of his cubby, signing for a report card, hugs, high-fives, tears, and extra gift cards for the teachers because I wish I had gotten around to reading to the class just once and now I have GUILT…  it’s done.

Year one is in the books, and I couldn’t even get an in focus picture to document it.

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On the left is the first day of school way back in September. On the right is the last day of school. Same uniform shorts and pants – look how he’s grown! I think the last vestiges of baby fat melted off his cheeks while I wasn’t looking. He’s so tall now. And those are his second pair of uniform shoes on the right…at least a full size bigger than the one’s he started with. He’s grown out of fighting over every toy. For the final quarter he FINALLY got the highest mark for “Waits turn while speaking in a group”.

Funny he still can’t wait his turn when it’s just us three at the dinner table…

I cried. I did not cry on the first day of school, but I cried on the last. I cried because it was everything I thought it would be. Oh so much growing was done this year! It’s entirely possible that I was also shedding a tear or two because now it’s summer, and I work from home and what on Earth are we going to do before summer camp starts?

That my friends, is another post. For now I’ll take a rare moment to take a deep breath and look at how much my child has grown. I’m so proud and happy right now. I know the school years won’t always be as great as we imagine them to be, but this first year? It was perfect.

 

Book Review: Home Is Where Your Boots Are

I received a copy of this book in exchange for this review. As always, all opinions are my own.

With the long Memorial Day Weekend behind us, it looks as though summer has finally arrived! The temperatures are soaring into the mid-80s here in NYC, and it’s clear that everyone has summer on their minds. One of my favorite things about summer? Beach reading! I’ve been reading through a bunch of fun reads that I think are perfect for your summer reading list and here’s my first review for you!

Home is where your boots are nycjenny

Home Is Where Your Boots Are by Kalan Chapman Lloyd is a fun read loosely based on the author’s own experiences in her small Southern hometown. Having grown up in the South myself, I can vouch for the authenticity of the picture she paints of life in a Southern small town. The crazy characters, dirt roads, heading to church on a Sunday morning come hell or high water, and the fierce loyalty small Southern towns breed. There’s just nothing else like it, and I loved revisiting that part of my life even for just a little thanks to this book.

The main character, Lilly Atkins, left her hometown of Brooks, Oklahoma to be a big city lawyer in Dallas. When she discovers her fiancé cheating on her with his secretary, she packs up her things, and runs back on home to Brooks. With the help (and love) of family and friends she sets up shop in Brooks, and starts life fresh. When her ex-boyfriend comes to her for legal help with his divorce, trouble with a capital T erupts! This isn’t a romance novel, but there’s a bit sprinkled in – there’s a big mystery to solve and a healthy dose of laughter along the way.

In short it’s a perfect book to start the summer with. I can’t wait for the next installment in the series, These Boots Are Made For Butt-Kickin’ due out June 2015. I am very much looking forward to my next visit with Lilly and Brooks, Oklahoma!

Home Is Where Your Boots Are is currently available on Amazon.

Chuggington LIVE at the Beacon Theatre NYC – Giveaway

Heads up, NYC area parents, if you have a train loving little one like I do – you’re going to want to head over to The Beacon Theatre the weekend of May 16th and 17th for the North American premiere tour of CHUGGINGTON LIVE! The Great Rescue Adventure. My son, Jack, loves Chuggington and he’s so excited to see it live on stage!

Chuggington Live Cast

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve partnered with MSG and The Beacon Theatre to give away a Family 4-pack of tickets to the May 17th 2pm show to one of my readers! Just follow the steps in the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post to enter.

Don’t want to wait to see who wins? There’s also a special 25% off discount code for my readers at the end of this post!

The North American premiere tour of CHUGGINGTON LIVE! The Great Rescue Adventure, produced by Life Like Touring and Ludorum, rolls into New York City’s Beacon Theatre on Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17, 2015.

The live-action, musical children’s show, based on the popular TV series, gives young fans and their families the opportunity to experience the train-tastic adventures of the Chugginton trainees, Wilson, Brewster and Koko.

This brand-new production features impressive trains with working features and movements that bring the Chuggington TV series characters to life on stage. A fun, two act musical, this live show is presented before a giant LED video wall featuring animated locations and background action sequences from the popular TV series.

In CHUGGINGTON LIVE! The Great Rescue Adventure the trainees are eager to impress their mentors by mastering new roles that test their courage, speed, and determination. When Koko finds herself in trouble at Rocky Ridge Mine, it’s up to her friends to help her. Do the trainees have what it takes to put their newly learned skills into practice to save Koko?

First launched on Disney Junior in 2010, Chuggington now airs in more than 178 countries and is translated into 36 different languages. In the United States, the TV show is seen 22 times per week across Disney Junior and Disney channels, with an estimated 2 million viewers every week.

The Great Rescue Adventure will be at The Beacon Theatre at the following dates and times:
Saturday, May 16, 2015 with shows at 11:00AM, 2:00PM and 5:00PM

Sunday,May 17, 2015 with shows at 11:00AM and 2:00PM

Use the code “FamChugg” when ordering tickets to get 25% off regular priced tickets!

Tickets are on sale now and will be available through Ticketmaster Charge By Phone (1-866-858-0008) and all Ticketmaster Outlets. Tickets are available in person at MSG, Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theatre Box Offices. Full event details at: http://www.beacontheatre.com/events/2015/may/chuggington-live.html

Jack and I hope to see you at Chuggington Live! There’s nothing like taking your child to experience the magic of live theater!

Here’s that Rafflecopter form I promised. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Trollbeads Mother & Daughter Event With Vera Sweeney!

Looking for something fun to do this Saturday? Join Trollbeads for a Mother & Daughter Event hosted by Vera Sweeney from Lady & the Blog and TLC’s “What She Said.” Guests will receive a custom flower crown designed by Rachel Cho with every purchase (while supplies last)!

Trollbeads Event Vera Sweeney NYCJenny“What She Said” is set to air on May 10th and features some of the country’s foremost female comics commiserating, venting, and speaking the truth about being mothers during these crazy modern times.

When: Saturday, May 2nd 1-4PM
226 Columbus Ave, NYC
646.692.3113

RSVP to veryvera@gmail.com to guarantee VIP gift!

Chuggington Fire Patrol Rescue Is Here!

Attention all Chuggington fans – this week a brand-new Chuggington DVD was released! Jack and I were lucky enough to attend a special event here in New York to celebrate it, and we’ve got the inside scoop for you! The latest Chuggington DVD, “Fire Patrol Rescue” was released on March 31st. It includes 6 episodes, special features, and introduces a new Chugger to the world – fire engine Asher!

chuggington dvds nycjennyWe spent Saturday morning at the New York City Fire Museum learning about fire safety and getting a sneak peek of “Fire Patrol Rescue”. The kids were invited to explore the space, playing with blocks and tunnels. There were coloring pages of Wilson and Asher and a fun color your own paper fire truck craft. The DVD includes the Chuggington coloring pages as one of the bonus features, and this mom is so glad because Jack could not get enough of the coloring!

Chuggington Coloring Pages

After much coloring and giggling and decking themselves out in their own fire helmets, the kids got to see a sneak preview of two of the new episodes. Jack was completely enthralled as you can see by this picture I snuck with my camera phone during the screening.

Chuggington Watching DVD NYCJennyJack has long been a Chuggington fan, but this new character, Asher, is like the perfect storm of preschool entertainment. It’s a TRAIN that’s also a FIRE TRUCK!!! Jack loved all the fire rescue action going on, and I loved the fire safety messages that were seamlessly and age-appropriately woven in to the story line. We’ve had a lot of bad news stories lately in NYC involving fire and it’s led to a lot of scary, but necessary conversations. While Jack is completely entertained by these new episodes, I really do think he’s getting some valuable information to back up what we’ve been trying to teach at home.

Another special treat? The director and head writer of Chuggington, Sarah Ball, was in attendance! We got the kids to stand with her for a quick group shot at the very end – Jack was totally out of his mind with joy because the DVD he’d just been handed also contained a toy Asher to take home.

Chuggington Group Sarah Ball NYCJennyAt a suggested retail price of $16.98, I’m going to call this Limited Edition “Fire Patrol Rescue” DVD and train box set a total steal. It’s a heavy die-cast metal TOMY train, definitely quality and with 6 episodes (total run time of 62 minutes), the DVD is packed with excitement and learning. Jack is currently keeping his Asher right beside his bed with all his other “treasures” and the DVD is in heavy rotation. A definite hit in this house!

We received free samples to facilitate this review. All opinions are my (and Jack’s) own. 

Our Cars Party + Giveaway #disneyside

I received free products in order to host a Disney Side @Home Celebration – no other compensation was received. This post contains affiliate links. The opinions expressed here are 100% my own. 

After having such a good time throwing our surprise Disney Side playdate party last winter, Jack and I were super excited to be chosen to host another Disney Side party this year! Last year’s Mickey Mouse theme was fun, but we had no idea how much more fun this year’s theme would be – Disney CARS! The timing couldn’t have been more perfect – it’s like Disney KNOWS what’s going on. In February Jack’s Nana treated him (and all of us) to his first trip to Disney World, and guess where we stayed???

art of animation resort Disney NYCJennyThat is the Art of Animation resort at Disney where one entire section is devoted to Cars. It blew his mind. After a few days of warmer weather and time with family we flew back to snow and regular life. Luckily we had some pixie dust magic in our Disney Side box to rescue us from regular life doldrums!

The hotel was Jack’s favorite part of the entire trip. Carrying that magic on into our home with all the fun party things available was easy. I’m not big on recreating things from Pinterest tutorials, I rarely get enough sleep for that kind of action. I like that everything we received coordinated and was easy to use. The shiny, curling decorations that we hung from the ceiling were Jack’s favorite.

Disney Cars Party NYCJenny

Since we’d just come out on the other side of a small surgery for Jack, we kept things very simple. I let Jack steer the ship on this one basically! I wanted healthy snacks – he voted for cupcakes, donuts and cookies. I threw some applesauce in the mix and called it a day. Our party kit included this cupcake stand which is my new favorite thing. Assembles in two seconds, looks adorable, AND decorates the table. Score.

Disney Cars Cupcake Stand NYCJennyI love the pile of donuts. That’s the ONE Pinterest thing I did. All over Pinterest is this idea of a pile of donuts representing the stacks of Luigi’s tires. Jack just thought it was too perfect. After all he spent a solid half hour taking pictures of the stacks of tires at the resort just a few weeks previously! Spy the tiny Jack?

art of animation disney tires nycjenny

We served up our cupcakes and apple juice in themed plates and cups – we even had little treat baskets to send home with Jack’s little friends. Jack insisted that everyone would like “a fruit snack, one lollipop, and two Hershey’s Kisses oh and some stickers”. I’m telling you, have a four-year old plan a party and you’ll spend all day laughing. Nothing demonstrates friendship more than a shared fruit snack apparently.

Disney Cars Party Plates NYCJennyWe broke out Cars Bingo – which is actually one of our go-to family games now – but they just wanted to play race cars instead. Which I totally understand. It’s hard to talk about race cars without wanting to have a race yourself!

Disney Cars Bingo NYCJenny

Boys Playing Cars NYCJennyAll in all, this was a really sweet way to prolong the magic Jack experienced at Disney. Lightning McQueen, Mater, and the rest of the gang are as familiar to my son as his closest friends – he was so excited to have a party with them. A party for no other reason than, “oh my stars this winter has been SO LONG!”  We’ve made it through walking pneumonia, three ear infections, a never ending sinus infection, and an adenoidectomy & ear tube surgery. A little fun for no serious reason was a great way to spend the morning.

And now I have something for YOU! Disney and MomSelect sent us this super awesome, brand new, Wilton Mickey Mouse Cake Pan. Seeing as how I’m really more of a cupcake girl. I’d like to pass on this cool cake pan to one of you! It’s always fun to share the love and Disney Side magic. If you’d like to win it, enter using the rafflecopter form below! Good luck!

Disney Wilton Cake Pan Mickey NYCJenny

This giveaway starts at 12AM EST on Saturday March the 21st, and ends at 12AM EST on Saturday the 28th of March. It is open to the USA only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received free products in order to host a Disney Side @Home Celebration. The opinions expressed here are my own. This post also contains affiliate links. 

Discover Leonisa Shapewear + Giveaway!

I am so excited to be hosting another fabulous giveaway in collaboration with Willy B Mum, and sponsored by Leonisa – makers of high quality, helpful and comfortable lingerie and swimwear. This giveaway is especially of interest to new mothers, as Leonisa makes nursing bras, postpartum belly shapers and post pregnancy girdles. However, this giveaway is not limited to mothers, as Leonisa also makes the most gorgeous bathing suits you have ever seen, as well as regular lingerie.

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Postpartum panty with
adjustable belly wrap

Postpartum Tummy

Ah, the joys of giving birth are many, yes you are holding a beautiful bundle-of-joy in your arms, but let’s face it, you are probably going to have a bit of a bulging tummy too, at least for a while. Completely worth it of course, however even if your weight is back to normal, your stretched and weakened abdominal muscles, can leave some mothers with anxiety as to whether their body is ever going to return to normal.

Thankfully, Leonisa makes a range of postpartum pieces, which can boost confidence by making a woman feel supported, tucked in all the right places, and most importantly comfortable.

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Whether this is by wearing one of their lightweight nursing bras (which cleverly come with a clip-on strap so you can keep track of the last breast with which you fed your baby), a postpartum panty with adjustable belly strap, a high-waisted girdle, slimming cincher or one of their various kinds of body shapers. No matter your need, Leonisa has you covered.

So, what makes this brand fabulous? Well, they have a whole range of features in place, which have secured them as a favorite all over the World. Try their anti-slip bands built-in, a variety of choices of bra straps – halter, strapless, classic, one strap or criss cross, PowerSlim™ technology, seamless items (so no one will be able to tell you are wearing help underneath your clothing) and compression, push up and contour support, to name just a few.

PowerSlim™ is a powerful elastic material that has multi directional reducing strength due to its hexagonal thread pattern. A garment that has PowerSlim™ feels like it fits perfectly to your body with inherent slimming properties that shape, control and support like no other.

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Maternity support panty

I also appreciate Leonisa’s maternity panty by the way, which is suggested for use in the advanced months of pregnancy. This panty helps supports a Mother’s growing belly, aids in back pain and is comfortable enough to sleep in.

As added incentive, by supporting Leonisa, you can be assured that you are behind a company who gives back; since 2005 they have actively been raising awareness by sending educational messages, in regard to the prevention of breast cancer in women.

Did you know that the best time to give yourself a breast exam is 8 days after the first day of your menstrual cycle. Visit HERE to see how to learn how to do this exam in 4 easy steps.

Leonisa, is definitely one of those companies that grows with you, through your journey of before and after becoming a Mother.

GIVEAWAY TIME

Leonisa shapewear nycjenny

We are giving away, to 2 lucky readers, gift certificates to choose whatever you want from the Leonisa website. The first prize winner will be awarded a $75 gift certificate for any 2 items, and the second prize winner will be awarded a $50 gift certificate for any 1 item. Perfect timing for a new swimsuit for the upcoming warmer weather. Or, a pair of slimming leggings perhaps? There’s so much to choose from!

This giveaway starts at 6PM EST on Sunday March the 1st, and ends at 6PM on Tuesday the 10th of March at 6PM EST. It is open to the USA only.

I wish you all the luck in the world on winning this giveaway… it’s a really good one!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**NYCJenny is not responsible for fulfilling sponsored prize obligations; prizes will be shipped directly from the brand. If you are a winner you must respond to your notification email within 48 hours or we will choose another winner.

The Winter You Turned Four

Today Jack turns four. I never manage to write a birthday blog on time – I’m kind of the worst mom blogger in town on that score. The draft for his three-year old post is still sitting in WordPress never to be published…oops. But this year is different! We’ve already had cupcakes at school and Jack’s present is bought and wrapped. I have a few hours to sit by myself with no deadlines looming so let me ramble on about the joy of four.

The miracle of four. I love watching my kid grow up. You have to excuse me and Roger sometimes for the single-minded focus we can have. Separately we wished for this kid, prayed for this kid in our very individual ways. Then somehow those wishes and prayers were granted and all the years of waiting washed away. I’ll never say, “please don’t grow up”. I waited too long to have the chance to watch you grow, child of mine.

What an adventure this year has been! Jack started school which is AMAZING. You think you’ll never to get to school age and then you do. Huge step forward this year, kiddo. Sometimes we get to visit the classroom like when I brought cupcakes in this morning. He could barely sit still for me to take a quick birthday cupcakes picture:

this many NYCjenny

I love these looks into his independent life. So funny to go from 24/7 togetherness to a 8:30-2:30 school day. I think we’ve all adjusted brilliantly, if I do say so myself.

There are days when I walk down the sidewalk and every wobbly, little toddler I pass makes me sigh.  I remember those long days. Days of taking little walks around the neighborhood just for something, ANYTHING to do. Walking down to Second Avenue to stare at the subway construction was as good as any monster truck show you could pay money for. But man, those days were long and unrelenting. I pass these tiny, little kids now and I look at their mom or dad and I know how long their day is. It is so long. SO. VERY. LONG.

But there was so much sweetness in it I must remember. We’d curl up together for naps. I miss naps. Last night I was tempted to go sleep in Jack’s room. Not because I’m some weird-o who can’t let go, but just because I miss him being small and sweet and cuddly. He’s so tall and full of opinions now, and sometimes far too much sass for his own good.

I miss him being little.  It happened so fast and yet so slow. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the endless days of toddler tantrums and questions and woe. Those days were so very long. I don’t miss that part. No sir. It’s safe to say, preschool is pretty much rocking our world. Jack loves seeing his friends every day and learning new things. He’s fascinated with math concepts right now and that’s cool by me! The endless days of toddler woe and sunshine, flip-flopping faster than you can bribe with a fruit snack seem so long ago!

I must have been brooding on our endless days together because Mother Nature gave NYC the threat of a “historic blizzard” two weeks ago. It turned out to be a complete dud, but we were given a day off from school and instead of panicking I was ready to hang with my boy all day. I had stocked up on baking supplies and a fresh box of crayons ready. We were supposed to be stuck inside while a blizzard raged outside. Instead we woke to relative calm and 8 inches of snow. Snow that demanded sledding.

snow carl shurtz park nycjenny

So we did. We met friends from preschool on our nearby pedestrian street and when that got old, we hiked to the riverside for sledding in the park. For hours we played outside.

snow friends nycjenny

snow east river nycjenny

I hope he remembers the winter he turned four and the day we hung out sledding for hours. I hope he remembers that his dear old mom rode the sled down the fast hill with him, both of us shouting for joy. I hope he remembers finding the only deli open for blocks and how we had chocolate milk and cookies while sitting in the snow.

snow snacks nycjennyJack and me? We were having the best day.

snow selfies nycjennySnow days are news days though, and when your dad is a reporter…sometimes you get put on the news. Remember the winter this happened, Jack? I remember you shouting, “Oh my GOD that’s ME!”

Jack on NY1 NYCJennyYou’ll only have one winter you turn four, and we’re so lucky that we get to have days like these. Days to just be together and play. The winter you turned four, Jack, has been pretty amazing. Happy Birthday, kid. We love you more than we’ll ever be able to describe.

Jack Birthday Cake NYCJenny