Jasper’s Second Week

I have maybe 5 seconds before Jasper gets bored of the swing and starts screaming, so if this post gets cut of half way, you’ll know why!

Some highs and lows of our second week…

Highs:

Bath Time

Bath Time

Jasper’s umbilical cord finally fell off! We celebrated by giving him his first real bath, which he loved (much to my relief!)

Jasper got to meet both my sister (auntie Roxy) who came to stay with me because Jeff had to travel to Hong Kong and his great Auntie Diane who came to meet him all the way from Scotland!

Jasper and Auntie Roxy

Jasper and Auntie Roxy

Jasper also got to meet Mike, Tracy and Gemma for the first time..

Lows..

Jasper has developed pretty severe colic. He grunts, turns red and cries even in his sleep and it breaks my heart to see him in so much pain. He even does it at the breast and pulls off while eating. It also means I haven’t slept in days. In fact I didn’t realize it was even possible to function on such little sleep!

I cut out dairy about a week ago, it doesn’t seem to have made any difference yet. In place of the dairy I substituted soy (soy milk, cream cheese etc.) but have now cut that out too.. and even anything that could promote yeast like beer, or sweets. Basically I’ve become a breatharian. I’d do anything to make it better, but unfortunately it’s almost impossible to pinpoint what is causing him such distress.

Fortunately our little guy is superbaby – and is still thriving despite all the pain and lack of good quality sleep:

Super Baby!

Super Baby!

His cryptonite is gas pain – (or reflux?)

If anyone has any suggestions on fighting colic, please let me know. We’ve tried cocyntal, gripe water, cranial sacral therapy and mylicon with no luck. At his one month appointment we’ll try baby zantac.

In summary, the second week has been HARD.. terrible twos indeed!

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Lisa says:

Thank you for your posting and the beautiful pictures. My baby is almost 5 weeks old. I don’t think he has colic which one book describes as crying at least 3 hours, 3 days a week, but he does grunt, turn red and cries after being fed and in his sleep. It often wakes him up. He sleeps from midnight to 3 AM and then wakes up, I feed him and then he goes back to sleep until 6 AM. From 6 AM – 7:30 AM, he constantly wakes up, is fussy and has a lot of grunts and spits up considerably or vomits. The Ped said that he was gaining weight and she wasn’t too concerned. All of the books and internet sites have different recommendations. I’m breastfeeding and I tried a non-dairy diet and it didn’t make a difference. The Ped gave me Ranitidine, which I’ve been using. Not sure it makes a difference, but I’m going to continue using it until our two month appt. He also had baby acne which went away. The one thing that I think helps quite a bit for the sleeping part is the Snuggle Nest Incline Supreme. It reclines him while he is sleeping so there is less spit up or reflux. He sleeps longer and it’s got small walls in case you want to sleep next to him in it in bed. I had it in the crib, which worked fine, but it was a pain to go there whenever I heard him grunt since there was considerable spit up associated with it. He now sleeps next to me in bed and that works fine. I have no worries about rolling over on him or having the blankets covering his nose or mouth. I highly recommend this product. I am considering using formula or pumping at night so that I don’t have to position him and feed him which takes up precious sleep time (I haven’t been able to breastfeed him lying down). I’ve heard that Nestle’s baby formula is gentle on their stomachs, though I haven’t tried it.

I guess instead of trying to rule out allergies through my diet since it’ll probably take more time and energy and may not be conclusive, I’ve come to the conclusion that time is what I have to wait for…He doesn’t cry for hours and hours, so I’m thankful and with the spit up and grunting/other pains, everyone says that in time it’ll work itself out…

Stephanie says:

I’m not a doctor, but based on my own experience(s), I wouldn’t be too worried about pimples on the cheeks (baby acne isn’t uncommon) but I would watch the redness on the inside of his elbows and definitely take note if you notice other red patches popping up anywhere. That could be eczema and it could be food-related. But it might also be nothing. Definitely worth watching though.

As for probiotics that are “safe” you might try Flora Baby by Renew Life (yeast, wheat, gluten, soy & dairy-free). Most (not all) probiotics are grown on whey, so if you are taking a dairy-based probiotic and he is dairy allergic, your probiotics *might* not be tolerated well by him.

One other web site that might be helpful for you is the POFAK (Parents of Food Allergic Kids) site:

http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/community.html

I am keeping my fingers crossed that your let-down theory is on the money and that you don’t end up having to deal with any of this food allergy stuff. :-)

ariana says:

Stephanie, thank you for sharing your story. I’m sure I’m not the only one that will benefit from your experience. And wow, sounds like you really went through the ringer with both children!

Jasper does have some skin issues that just started developing, little pimples on both cheeks, and bumpiness on forehead, not sure if its just regular baby acne or an allergy though? He does also have redness on his inner elbows, which both the pedi and cranial sacral lady said was indicative of allergy/sensitivity.. so I’m just not sure!

I do take a probiotic, and Jasper was on baby dopholous until two days ago when we read the label and saw it said it could contain traces of milk (you are so right about the labels!).

I’m hoping the zantac helps, otherwise, will take your advice and look into a pedi GI, that’s a great idea!

Stephanie says:

I’m so sorry, Arianna. Both of my girls are allergic to both dairy and soy and had/have terrible reflux.

My older daughter, Chloe, had FPIES (food protein induced enterocolitis syndrome) and was hospitalized three times as a baby as a result. She is now five and the reflux is long gone, but she is still allergic to dairy and soy (as an older child, this manifests itself as hives and labored breathing within minutes of eating anything containing dairy or soy, followed by days of bloody poop and patches of eczema all over her body which take weeks to clear up.)

With babies one of the first signs of protein allergy can be projectile vomiting. With my older daughter, she would throw up so violently after nursing that breast milk would shoot out her nose or would clear the entire length of her body. I’d have to change her clothes every 1 – 2 hours because she’d be soaked from her chin to her knees with throw-up. We’d have her sleep propped up at a 45 degree angle, but she’d still throw up all night long and wake up with throw up in her hair (even after she started on Zantac.) Not exactly your run of the mill baby spit-up.

Other signs to look for are a red bumpy rash or patches eczema (on the face or body), mucousy or bloody poop, and a diaper rash on the baby’s bottom that looks like an acid burn or sunburn rather than a bumpy rash.

If Jasper really only seems to have tummy pain but his skin is clear, he’s diaper rash/burn free and doesn’t have any blood or mucous in his diaper, that would point more toward reflux than protein allergy, although he is still quite little and sometimes symptoms take awhile to develop.

I tried doing the elimination diet with Chloe, but ultimately (after her third hospitalization) gave up on nursing – she just kept getting sick (losing weight, blood soaked – and I mean soaked – diapers, dehydration, anemia) from my breast milk, and we couldn’t figure out what else to eliminate, so we ended up switching her to Neocate. Neocate is a hypoallergenic formula, only available by prescription (via your pediatrician or a pediatric GI doc), manufactured specifically for babies who cannot tolerate the proteins in dairy and soy. It’s an amino-acid based formula that can be absorbed by the body without needing to be digested first – in fact, it’s what they feed babies and children who are on feeding tubes. A couple of other manufacturers make similar products (also prescription only) – one is called Elecare. I think the other is called Vivvonex (but I may have the spelling wrong.)

What we tried with Chloe (that didn’t work for us, but has worked wonderfully for other people) is having her drink nothing but Neocate for a week, while I went on a severe elimination diet and pumped and dumped my milk (they say it takes week for all traces of dairy and soy to be gone from your milk.) Then we tried to let her go back to nursing, but each time, within a week, she was bleeding again and needed to be readmitted to the hospital. (This is highly unusual and just to put your mind at ease, she was a preemie and had other food allergies in addition to dairy and soy – usually, a short amount of time on Neocate will give the baby’s gut a rest/chance to heal and will give the mama’s body enough time to work the allergens out of its system, so that when you go back to nursing, everything clicks.)

If you would like to learn more about Neocate, there’s an excellent parents message board on Yahoo – just go to Yahoo Groups and do a search for Neocate – super helpful.

Having had the experience I had with Chloe, I went into my second pregnancy with a lot more information. I gave up dairy in my third trimester and nursed while on a dairy and soy free diet. When it eventually became necessary to supplement due to supply issues (I made lots of milk – pumped 40 ounces a day, but Ginger’s reflux was so bad, she threw up half of what she drank), we only supplemented with Neocate – one bottle a day. I was able to nurse until about a week before Ginger’s first birthday, when she decided she had had enough with nursing and was only interested in the sippy cup. I tried eating cheese twice over about a year of nursing. Both times, she broke out in a severe rash all over her body. She is, unfortunately, still allergic to dairy and soy, but never had the bleeding, anemia, failure to thrive, rashes, eczema or other issues her sister had, so it is possible to successfully nurse a baby with protein allergy – in fact, compared to the seven weeks of nursing Chloe got which included two weeks in the NICU and three additional hospitalizations, nursing the second time around was an absolute success.

The elimination diet is very difficult to stick with if you have to do all of the top eight allergens. I was “fortunate” that eliminating dairy and soy was all that was necessary while nursing Ginger.

The tricky part with the elimination diet is that you really have to read the ingredients on everything you eat. You’ll be shocked to see how many foods contain both dairy and soy. Soybean oil is in most commercial bread and cracker products, for example, so you really have to hunt for baked goods that are “safe.” And there’s a surprising amount of dairy out there, and it’s listed under other names than “milk” or “dairy.” So when reading labels, you can’t just look for “milk.” You have to avoid anything that contains milk, butter, yogurt, cream, casein (milk protein), whey (the liquid component of milk), curd, lactalbumin, lactalglobulin, almost any ingredient that contains the word “lactate” or the prefix “lact”, lactose (the sugar component of milk), or any kind of “dry milk,” “milk solids,” “milk fat,” or anything containing the word “caseinate.” (There may be others I’m forgetting.) Take that list to the grocery store and you will be SHOCKED at how many foods contain dairy or dairy derrivatives.

So, a couple of other comments:

First, lactose intolerance (which babies can also have a problem with) is different from protein allergy. With an intolerance, a baby has trouble breaking down the lactose portion of milk and can have gas, cramping, bloating, diarrhea and general tummy discomfort. Protein allergy is quite a bit different – the baby is actually allergic to the proteins found in milk (and a large number of those babies are also allergic to the proteins in soy) – an allergy can actually become dangerous/life-threatening if left untreated. The majority of babies with protein allergy outgrow it by age 1 (I want to say it’s over 90 percent, although my five year old is still allergic, so outgrowing it isn’t guaranteed.)

Second, a baby can just have reflux and not have an allergy, just as they can have an allergy and not have reflux. Vomiting and tummy pain alone don’t conclusively point to one or the other. Or you can be really “lucky” like I was and your baby can have both. Zantac, Prevacid or similar medications can make a world of difference when nothing else works. I was reluctant to go the medication route with Chloe initially, but once her reflux was treated, she was like a whole new baby – smiling, happy, good sleeper – amazing. Also, her asthma disappeared – turned out she’d been inhaling stomach acid when she would throw up in her sleep. Ginger also has terrible reflux, but after screaming for her first month of life, she started on prevacid and is now a happy, smiley little thing who sleeps fairly well (even though she does still spit up at age 13 mos.)

Some babies don’t notice a difference with Zantac, but do really well with Prevacid and vice-versa. So if you don’t notice a difference with one medication, don’t give up without investigating others.

Some parents swear by the Tucker Sling for reflux: http://www.tuckersling.com/

Holding the baby upright for about 20 minutes after a feeding really does work. But when you’re so sleep-deprived you can’t stay awake an extra 20 minutes, letting the baby sleep upright in the car seat while you take a nap also works. (And if they’re upright, they are less likely to choke if they spit up in their sleep.)

Soy lecithin is an ingredient found in an astonishing number of foods – it’s an emulsifier. It’s so highly processed that the soy proteins are pretty much obliterated and studies have shown that well over 90 percent of people with soy allergy can actually tolerate soy lecithin – that is the case with both of my girls.

Some pediatricians recommend thickening breast-milk with rice cereal and feeing the baby by bottle or cup – it’s harder to throw up the thickened milk. We did this with Chloe, it wasn’t necessary with Ginger, but it’s something to explore. Unfortunately, many brands of infant rice cereal contain soy (Gerber, for example.) Beechnut and Healthy Times are good bets.

There is some evidence that giving your baby a probiotic or taking one yourself if you are nursing, can help babies with these issues. I didn’t give one to Chloe, but I did with Ginger and her issues have been much less severe – couldn’t tell you if there is a connection or not.

Many pediatricians lack experience when it comes to treating reflux or protein allergy. If Jasper is really struggling, you might want to consider taking him to a pediatric GI doctor.

I tried mylicon drops, gripe water, cranial sacral therapy and an elimination diet with both girls and nothing made much of an impact until I finally broke down and went the medication route. Zantac didn’t work too well for Chloe (minor improvement) but Prevacid worked wonders. It’s worked very well for Ginger too. I know it’s difficult to decide to give your baby medication, but when the alternatives are lesions in the esophagus, asthma, rotten teeth and/or surgery, medication is much more appealing!

So, this is much longer than I intended – I hope it’s helpful though. It sounds like you are doing everything right – I’d say continue to avoid dairy and soy and give the zantac a chance. If he does really well with the Zantac, try reintroducing soy and see what happens. If you get through a week without any problems, try reintroducing dairy. With any luck, it’s “just” reflux and soon you’ll all be sleeping much more peacefully. Good luck, and feel free to email me if I might be able to answer any questions about reflux or protein intolerance. One thing I can tell you is that it ABSOLUTELY DOES GET BETTER.

He is adorable, by the way!

Kayla says:

This has nothing to do with colic (been there, done that, totally sympathize. Ours was a formula problem though, so I don’t really have any advice!), but it looks like your camera is serving you well. That picture of Jasper with your sister is GORGEOUS.

Laura says:

Definitely sounds like allergies. Our son (who is 7-years old now) suffered terribly with colic, the later with some pretty serious behavioral issues (diagnosed ADHD and borderline Asperger’s). It took us seven long years to finally discover he was allergic to wheat, milk, soy, and eggs, among other things. He doe snot have a symtom since we got his diet cleaned up. Not to be nosy, but did little Jasper receive any vaccinations or a vitamin K shot in the hospital or at his first pediatrician visit? There seems to be a relationship between the allergies and the shots, especially because of the number and frequency of them. If so, it is certainly worth doing some research there.

Dawn says:

Lots of great advice and amazing women here! I love blogs! Anyway, to answer your question it was process of elimination. As the nurse above described we tried different things for stretches and the special formula was the only thing that helped. And by helped I mean gave me the baby I thought I was supposed to have. It was like the sun came out. Good luck!

Yvonne says:

My first son had colic for about three months. Not fun, but at least it went away. I used to prepare a warm (not hot!)water bottle to put on his tummy. It also seemed to help if I pedaled his legs gently, trying to reach his knees as close as possible to his stomach. Ultimately, though, it just had to work itself out on its own. Good luck!

Michelle says:

Sounds like reflux to me. I would call the doctor and talk about Zantac or other meds for it.

Mom Quixote says:

Bah on the colic: if only I had some advice!

I don’t, but I can say that Jasper looks like a dream (even though you are not sleeping dreamy) and your pictures are absolutely beautiful.

Sorry Mom Quixote hasn’t been updated of late. All is good ’round our parts and the end of the first trimester nears: yay. Just too tired with work now after the summer to find the time and desire to blog. I didn’t think I could keep it up — if not now, then certainly not with a baby!

Amanda says:

Hey there,
The only suggestions I have are as follows…
-try feeding Jasper as upright as possible
-keep him upright for 15-20 mins after each feeding
-when he is crying from tiredness or gas pain put him in your arms on his belly, kind of like airplane, and put pressure on his abdomen with both hands. Then walk around the room to distract him and add a slight bounce to your steps (That would make the gas fly right out of Stella!)
Amanda(Rox’s friend)

Chantal says:

have you read harvey karp’s book “happiest baby on the block”? apparently it’s a video too… it’s all about colic and how to prevent it. he says, basically, to do the 5 “s’s”: swaddle, swing, suck (a pacifier), shush (go shhhhh in his ear) and one other thing i can never remember. my daughter isn’t colicky, but when she fusses we do these things and it works like a charm. good luck!

Wendy says:

Both of my boys had colic that was especially bad at night. This might sound crazy but have you tried letting Jasper sleep in his carseat next to your bed at night? We found that was the only thing that worked for our boys.

I moved an armchair from our living room and put it up against the bed, almost like a co-sleeper and then would put the carseat in that so it was safe and snug and within arms reach.

Dee says:

Ped nurse here: Are you eating a lot of vegetables? Things like tomatoes, onions, broccoli etc. can cause really bad gas in babies. It doesn’t have to do with a llergic reaction as much as it is just that his system isn’t able to properly digest some of the compounds from vegetables that pass into your breast milk. Most people never think about it because veggies seem so safe. As horrible as it sounds you might want to try a total elimination diet: just rice and chicken (boiled with nothing on it) for a week or two to see if it gets better. And also milk proteins stay in a baby’s system for a while so it may take a week or two before you can tell if it’s working.

Another option is to pump for two weeks and give him allergen-reducing formula (I think NeoSure is one brand) to see if there’s an improvement. That way at least you’ll know if it’s something in your milk or if its just true colic (which is fussiness that has no cause). I know that’s not ideal because of nipple confusion, but being able to identify what is actually wrong could really improve the quality of life for both of you (and facillitate better nursing) and most women are able to return to breastfeeding after such a brief reak. Good luck!

Kaz says:

There are some great homeopathic remedies specifically for baby’s colic. My girlfriend was using a little every day for her wee one, and it helps immensely.

~ Stay strong Ariana.. even hearing about colicky babies won’t deter me from still ttc!

Rachel says:

Please don’t give up on breastfeeding until you’re sure it’s not reflux. If you’ve cut out dairy and he’s still colicky, I bet you anything it’s reflux. I had exactly the same problems with our daughter– she had to be swaddled 24/7 with me, and I tried cutting out dairy, all gassy foods, giving her Mylicon, gripe water, etc. At month one she started taking zantac and it really was like she became a new baby…

I’m not speaking from experience here, but it will get better!

In the meantime, thank god you have a gorgeous, handsome baby boy. He really is a looker!

Jennifer says:

Just trust your gut, and know that you are doing and will do the right thing for your new baby. I think that you will look back with such pride on having gotten through this rough patch together with him. He is already soaking up the love and attention his “neediness” requires from you. I think it’s a super important bonding time for both of you. Hang in there!

Monica says:

Love your “super baby” picture … so cute. All your photos are beautiful. Don’t know if its you or your camera, but great job! You’ll treasure these forever. A friend and I were just discussing colic the other day and she said her chiropractor was able to give her baby almost immediate relief. Don’t know if this is a route you would consider taking, but just thought I’d throw it out there. Good luck and hang in there. You already sound like a pro and Jasper’s lucky to have you for his mommy!

Emily says:

ariana-it will end for your last few weeks and once it ends, you will not remember it as vividly but yes, it is so present and such your life right now that it’s hard to think of anything else. the curse of breast feeding is that you can’t drink to excess (i’m semi kidding here) so you can’t even really get enough wine in you to take the edge off.

with my son at around 4 or 5 weeks we actually started to swaddle him, put him in the swing, and one or the other of us would sleep in the living room for four hour stretches. he would sleep swaddled in that swing like a champ.

good luck!

Melanie says:

ditto the other girls. my friend who had a similar problem ended up trying zantac which did not work, it turned out to be an allergy and she had to put her on special formula. i hope whatever it is, they figure it out soon so you can have a happy baby!!!

ariana says:

Oh, and Ali, I also have heard that the nestle good start is the best formula – I think it has probiotics or something that makes it great for delicate tummies.

ariana says:

Thank you ladies for your advice!

Dawn, I remember you telling me that about Noah, I’m beginning to suspect a similar issue with jasper. How did they diagnose the lactose allergy?

Emily, thank you so much for your suggestions. We are currently doing most of those things as well, the bouncy ball is the best! It quiets down even the most angry cries almost right away.. I don’t know what we’d do without it. I swaddle him all night and had even started doing it all day too, but then I stopped during the day because I want him to actually use his limbs a bit.. if I swaddle him 24 hours a day its too tempting to let him nap after every feeding instead of play and interact if he’s not in too much pain. Our witching hours are between 12am and 6am.. I dread the nighttime too!

I know someday this will be a distant memory, it’s just so hard that its my reality now and in all likelihood will last the entire time that I’m on maternity leave with him – our “bonding” time!

Colleen says:

My cousin took her son to a chiropractor and it was resolved quickly. I am not the kind of person to believe those things but have been going to a chiro and getting help for neck pain traditional medicine couldn’t solve.

Apparently birth can do a number on the baby’s spine and sometimes they just need a little readjustment to get past colic.

Emily says:

Ariana,
My son struggled in a similar manner from weeks 2-9 or 10. It was the hardest time of my life. And then one day something righted itself. Here is what worked for us…

A lot of holding and movement, if we could start it just before his witching hour, all the better

Swaddling

Slinging (I had a hotsling)

bouncing lightly on our yoga ball

Extended burping sessions

Leg bicycling shortly after eating

Extreme patience

I found it very difficult to enjoy these weeks as I felt extreme stress over if he’d be like this forever. When the clock struck 5 (which is when his crying jags usually began) I would get a sense of dread in my heart that I had never felt. I spent some of these days thinking I had made a mistake and that I was not cut out for being a mom. In retrospect, I would have or should have gone easier on myself. I should have praised myself for my innate and immediate response to his cries. And on a few occasions, I should have said to my husband or a friend or whoever was there, I need to go outside and take a walk and clear my head (even if that was the last thing I felt like doing).

We went with Zantac at one month. It did not make a clear difference but it made me feel a little bit better. The hardest thing for me to understand at this age of infancy was how temporary it was. My son will turn a year on Tuesday and those early days seem like they happened centuries ago. You will make it. Sleep will return. He will settle. I promise. In the meantime, break out your yoga ball, swaddle your little guy or put him in the sling and just bounce on the ball ever so slightly. Ask your family and friends for support (and take it) and know that just when you think something is permanent, motherhood teaches you that change is the only constant.

I did not try the elimination diet. Our pedi and everything I read suggested it was not the best route (for me) and, frankly, I was starving with all the nursing I was doing. I did try feeding him as elevated as possible and shorter feeds (which meant I was nursing all the time).

Good luck!

Emma says:

Ariana,
Our friends had the same problem, it finally got so bad they took their little one to the doctor. It turns our she was allergic to all dairy, they ended up switching to special formula which helped dramatically. The little one is close to one now, but has to be on special formula because of the allegry. Hope this helps, ask your pediatrician, maybe Jasper has allergies.

Ali says:

I can really empathize with your struggles! I hate to say it, but even at almost 4 months Miles still “struggles” with feeding. Similarly, we tried it all: gripe water, colic calm, mylicon drops, abdominal massage, manipulating mom’s diet…to no avail. But, with time, it appears to be getting better. My intuition is that for Miles, it is more about the need for his digestive system to mature rather than an allergy. He is growing, and shows no other signs of milk allergies(not to say that it isn’t allergies, but that is just my sense). We are still only working with breast milk, but as time progresses, his grunts and red face while eating and pooping has diminished. I can still tell that the second milk hits his belly it is an “uncomfortable feeling,” and he rips off of my breast when eating quite regularly, but it is getting better. Much like his inability to sleep through the night, it seems like a matter of maternal endurance and patience.

In terms of formula: we have been toeing the line of formula for a bit, more because I am struggling to work full time and pump enough for the little nugget, but I did ask my ped about formula that is good for a baby with a sensitive digestive system. She suggested the Nestle Good Start (or the Neosure due to his being a preemie) because the proteins are the easiest to break down. I have no first hand knowledge of this brand, though.

Reflux is also a consideration, and I imgaine your ped will be a great source of information and guidance.

I hope that others have some additional insight as well. Every baby is different, but please know that you are not alone. Continue to love on him and be sure to take care of yourself as well.

monica says:

Oh I am so sorry to hear about the colic. He is so gorgeous! Glad he likes bath time.

Dawn says:

I’m so sorry you’re having such a hard time getting him comfortable! The “colic” sounds a lot like what Noah had which was a lactose allergy (which isn’t only in dairy). Some children also have a milk protein allergy. My doctor basically told me I could only eat baked or boiled plain chicken and rice for as long as I wanted to breastfeed. Thank God for us they make lactose free formula but I know that route isn’t for everyone. You may want to google the two allergies and see what else lactose and milk proteins can be found in (because it’s surprising things like bread!). I know several babies with reflux issues too though and zantac seems to be a saving grace for them. Babies can be so hard to figure out!

Sorry Jeff had to travel already but how nice to have your family, all from so far away. Roxanne looks beautiful as always. And I can’t help but notice how much Jasper looks like Jeff in that bottom photo!

It’s great to “hear” from you!

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