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Our little Jack is growing up so fast. When we got him dressed this morning, we could not believe how much he was starting to look like a little boy instead of a baby...except for the issue of still not having any hair that is! He is so close to walking finally. Of course he has been cruising around the furniture like nobodies business for quite a while, but now he is standing by himself and holding our hands to walk.  Any day now we are in for some big trouble I'm afraid!


We don't want Jack to be the only 5 year old in Kindergarten who can not use a spoon, so we are giving in to Jack's desire to feed himself.  Here are the results!


Today we went to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.  Jack did not enjoy the giant Sea Otter guy...but he did enjoy the Seagulls flying around begging for food outside!



Here is Ellen's best friend Wendi getting ready to blow out her birthday candles!  Our friend Lindsey from Northern Cali. was also visiting us today.  She was thrilled to finally meet Jack and he loved playing with her shoe!


Jack's first Presidential election!

Halloween - BABY ELVIS!



If there is one thing Jack loves, it is bath time!  Daddy created a soap bubble mohawk and Jack knew just what to do.  He flashed us his perfect Sid Vicious snarl!  "God save the Queen...we mean it man!"


"Daddy decided to make a cake tonight and I got to lick the batter off the beaters!  I had fun getting all messy and the batter sure was delicious!"


It's time to leave Iowa and go home to California.  Jack is obviously exhausted from all of the visiting and playing with family and friends.  We all had a great time though!


Today, Jack was baptized in the little church down the street from Grandma's house in Shelby.  The pastor who baptized him actually travels to Israel to collect water from the River Jordan to use during baptisms...that was a quite a neat surprise!  After the baptism we all went to Elk Horn, Iowa to the authentic Danish Windmill and restaurant for a wonderful buffet dinner.  Jack and his cousin Maddie became best chums instantly!  Jack also loved meeting his 2nd cousins Shelley, Stacey, John, and his Uncle Earl.  We tried to capture the three generations of the Carstensen men, but Jack was too busy flirting with all the cute Danish girls to be bother with pictures.  Later that evening, we went to Missouri Valley, Iowa to visit our good friends Loree, Mike and their beautiful daughter Hope.  Hope is 19 months old and was happy to show Jack some of her cool tricks.  It was so great to see Loree and Mike and to meet Hope...Thanks guys!


We had a very nice surprise while we were in Iowa.  Turns out Ellen's Aunt Anne and Uncle Bob Feller were doing some publicity at Bob's hometown museum in Van Meter, Iowa about 90 miles from Shelby.  Aunt Anne was dying to meet her sister's Grandson, Jack Alban, and Eric's dad, Jon, was dying to meet one of his childhood baseball hero's, Bob Feller.  So, we all piled in the car drove to Van Meter.  We all had a wonderful visit and got a few baseball's signed and took pictures and video.  Of course, Jack was his usual charming self and made everyone he met smile!  Later that day back at home, Eric's brother Eron and his girlfriend Sarah came over and brought Jack a bunch of darling clothes including a very stylish Iowa State Cyclone's jersey (which just happens to be Eron's alma mater!)


Jack made himself right at home at Grandma & Grandpa's house in the small town of Shelby, Iowa!


Jack took his very first airplane ride today and it was very you can see by the first picture!  Luckily, he passed out during the middle of the first flight and stayed asleep until we landed in Omaha, Nebraska.  At the airport, Jack met his Grandma Rae for the first time.  They were both thrilled to finally meet in person!


Big 1st Birthday Party for Jack today at Mother's Beach in Naples.  Lots of wonderful friends and family came to celebrate with us.  We had a cute and delicious Elmo cake; one for Jack and one for everyone else!  He was a crazy man!  Jack, of course, loved all the attention and took a quick dip with Daddy in the ocean for the very first time.  Thank you from all of us for joining in the festivities to commemorate this joyous occasion...we all had a great time!  Thanks also for being there in spirit to all who wanted to but could not make it!


"HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY JACK!"  We are stunned and thrilled that our little guy is 1 year old today!  People who have children always tell us to enjoy every moment of Jack because the time flies by so quickly.  Truer words were never spoken!  We can not believe it has been an entire year since all the drama of welcoming little Mr. 3 Months Early Man into his life.  Look back at his very first pictures and it's overwhelming to remember how tiny he was hooked up to all of those wires and tubes.  WOW!  We are so blessed to have such a healthy, smart and sweet little dude.

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