Friday, September 29, 2006

another day

Today's Akello pic!
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while not evident in this picture, we noticed that akello is starting to smile! its so cool when he does it, because we now know that he means it. fun fun fun

While i appreciate everyone voting on the doors, there was really only one vote that counted, and that was T's. She has chosen option 6, so green it is!
everyone seemed to express a like for the green, it was the definite favorite. and ALL of my co-workers picked it, and I think thats a first. I like it too of course..i submitted it.

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Now then,

getting back to the front porch. Yesterday i told you about the glue-lam option...
here is a picture of a glue-lam bench outside jO'S COFFEE
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Nice and sturdy, it would be better than the fence in that it could provide some extra seating as well act as a privacy barrier. still have not found a supplier or price for it though. (yes, i asked the jo's people! what do you think!, they still havent gotten back to me.)

today i found another option. While driving on South Lamar right passed oltorf to get my oil changed at Lube pitstop, BTW, dont get your oil changed at jiffy lube, whatever you do. I equate it to buying produce at the Exxon mini mart.

anyway i spotted these cool benches outside the newly renovated shopping area that houses Birds barbershop, Roost, Downstairs, and some sex shop. i forget which one, but these benches looked rad!

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I was all up in'em taking pics and seeing how they were made. im thinking i might even make those lids come off so as to store garden hoses and what not

Now I know that these are do-able. Now the quote to get the little fence done for the patio was $600. Im thinking i could get theese benches done for cheaper

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

things have been very busy

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Theresa and Akello have been busy! In their baby play group last week they went to a class on "infant massage" i know. only in austin. whats next? baby pedicure and facial?

just kidding, im sure they do this everywhere. but i was surprised this existed.

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Theresa also found a new moms group on and their first outing was to the lady bird wildflower center. They had a good time, nothing to do really but for moms to get fresh air and meet each other.

Theresa amazes me. She is such a great mother. Not because she knows everything or she can quiet akello with a whisper, no. But because she just works so hard at it, she is so selfless and just so committed, sleepless, paient, and centered. She amazes me everyday.

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another long and tiring day. Tommorrow I go back to work, which i now consider to be my "days off" because work ain't nothing compared to the work that goes into soothing a crying baby or staining a cedar fence. I went through a whole 5 gallon bucket between yesterday and today. I am 2/3 of the way done at this point. Now i have to stain my neighbors side of the fence. and he has a dog. so that will take some coordination.

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This staining is expensive. Each one of these buckets costs 119 dollars. and by the time im done i will have gone through 3. Thats $360! i could buy a cheaper brand yes, but that means ill be back out there sooner having to restain the thing. I prefer to go premium and not have to restain it again for 7 years. that way Akello should be old enough by then to do it. HA!

Now, in order to stain & waterproof a fence you need

1. stain
2. stain brush
3. something to hold the paint in
4. gloves of some sort

5. protective eyewear

i cannot emphasize protective eyewear enough, for painting, and yardwork. all it takes is one little drop of paint to get flicked up accidentaly in your eye, and your day is ruined.

Staining is very hard. you have to be sure that you have no drip stains, and painting on the sides of the picket is very difficult and time consuming. if you plan to do this on your next fence you should stain the pickets before you put them up.

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I am on the hunt for these Adirondack chairs. THey are nowhere to be found in austin!
The usual suspects have for some reason quit carrying this green color! i dont want white or taupe, i want green!


None of them have them. I will give a reward to anyone who can tell me where i can buy more of these. I cant even find them online. I want the $14 plastic version, just like this one above. i need 6 of them! Be on the lookout! any costco or sams club members out there? holler!

So i have a new idea circulating for the backyard. I want to put a big wooden table out there and some benches, all San Jose Hotel style. i want to
relocate the flowers in the white rock flower bed, give away the gravel on craigs list (the way i got it) and lay down some decomposed granite. THen i think i will put my grill on that...

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should i relocate the flowers, give away the gravel, lay down the granite and put a couple of lounge chairs there and maybe a fire pit dug into the ground
and relocate the grill to where you see it now.. on the side of the house.

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hmmm..let me know your thoughts.

now, getting back to the front. i want to paint the garage door. its a faded brown which isnt bad, but it clashes with the new color of the fence and its driving me crazy. I am thinking a deep dark blue, or green. Theresa is not feeling it though.
But she is open and has asked for a pre-visualized computer aided rendering. I have to do this with all my ideas for her. It helps me too though and sometimes i change my idea once i have done one. My readers thoughts are welcome.

NOw about the front patio... we cant afford it now, but soon we want to put up a two foot fence on that patio and throw some adirondack chairs out there. I was thinking of maybe using GLu-Lam benches instead, a la Jo's Coffee on 2nd style. i could use two of them to make the "L" and they could act as a barrier as well as extra seating. I would stain it the same color as the fence. possible? i dont know.

Ok, here is a stitched photo of our current condition. You see my point about the brown garage door.
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now lets add the fence, i have a feeling glue-lam is expensive so we will not render that right now
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ok, now then lets start the voting shall we!

option one
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option 2
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option 3
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option 4
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option 5
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option 6
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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Here's looking at you kid!

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Its tough to capture this look on the camera, but this is how he looks most of the time. Alert and in careful study of my face, or whoever holds him for that matter.

Today i was using the pressure washer to clean the vynil siding on the house as well as the mildew and grosseties that had collected on the rock fascade facing the street.

If you look at this file photo you mignt be able to tell that the rock under the windows is a little darker than the rest. Thats mildew growth due to the bushes that used to be there.
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Now with the bushes gone, i was able to get in there and blast it off. I love the pressure washer because it is so powerful and easy to use. you see instant results and it can be addicting. everytime i get the thing out, im looking for something new to use it on. Like today!

i had gotten it out to blast off the mildew that had collected on the unstained portion of the fence. that, and the low end of the fence close to the ground had gotten dirty with rain backsplash because of the lack of grass on the ground. so the fence was just caked in mud. So after i handled the fence, the siding, the mildew on the rock, i was still hungry.

Ahhh the mailbox. it sits under a tree and had a ton of mildew all over it. Well
the pressure washer took that mildew right off! and the paint along with it!
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i was like (in keanue reeves voice) "Whoa"

I just kept on spraying and decided to remove all the paint. but the paint didnt all come off. Now the thing just looks ghetto!
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Now I have never been to crazy about this mailbox, with its curly Q support pole and all. I already have in mind what i want from lowes. i had picked it out a long time ago but never even dreamt about submitting that project proposal to the boss because i knew it would never pass, being that it was purely cosmetic. So i have asked theresa if i could use any moneys that would have been spent on my birthday for a new mailbox.

G - "i screwed up the mailbox with the pressure washer"
T - "I thought it looked different for some reason"
G - "so i want a new one for my birthday"
T - "a new mailbox?...for your birthday"
G - "well will you let me replace it"
T - "no"
G - "then yes, a new mailbox for my birthday"
A - whaaahh! reading what i just wrote i realized that i could just paint it.

mmm. Nah!!!

Monday, September 25, 2006


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Sunday, September 24, 2006

One month old

Akello is one month old! Theresa and I were both thinking that its feeling that we might be able to take him to church. We have decided that we are going to try in two weeks.

I'M not sure if i spoke to this already, but one thing that we realized is that Theresa and i were totally thrown off as soon as we got home from the hospital.

Theresa had spent all her time reading books on pregnancy and no time on reading books about once the child gets here. We didnt think about that. In hindsight i would have read a book that dealt with the first two weeks of life, so i would know what to expect and all.

Theresa got a good tip from a friend to lay a hand on akello as soon as she lays him down so as to still give him that human touch, without having to hold him. This way he doesnt wake up 2 seconds after putting him to sleep.

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Things have been busy. lots of people coming to visit, bringing food, and my freind tony even came over to help me finish staining the fence. It was raining though so the staining is going to have to wait.

That's one thing thats nice, a little man help. it free's up time so that i can give theresa relief, company and time, thereby helping the baby. The fence is a time sensitive issue. It needs to be stained as soon as possible, but the weather conditions have to be right.

I got to say if your a man or woman and you are about to have a kid...start working out your shoulders! my shoulders are always tired, and while your at out your middle and lower back. Holding akello as light as he is can be hard work.

I think the beer hat was not invited by a lazy drunk, but by a parent!
i always catch myself saying.."man, i wish i had a beer hat right now"

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I always need another hand. I almost put the mouse for the computer on the floor, and was going to start using my foot to surf the net while i hold him. ummm yeah. fOAM! IN MY BRAIN!

i have added some new links on the right hand side. My freinds blogs, as well as some links to some design blogs. stay tuned for some montessori links, as well as some baby links and links to cool baby gear sites.

another thing. Im crazy for writing this blog everyday. I am going to be more disciplined about getting more rest, so i will probably be updating maybe 3 times a week or so, well, im just not going to worry about updating the blog if im tired. lets put it that way. I will try to at least give you a picture everyday. thats a little easier.

Visitors this week included Grandma and Grandpa.....

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Tony and Natascha (sp) with little Marisol
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and Mi Kim dropped by too and brought dinner with her!

Oh, i got to say, I like greek food yeah, but i just now after living in Austin for 8 years have just tried Athenian Grill at 7th and colorodo. Go there. ITS AWESOME!!!

Also. I would like to recommend the new milkshakes at chick-fil-a. That is all

oh. i almost on our walk around the neighborhood, (in awesome weather i might add) we spotted this cantelope growing in the most unlikely of places.

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Friday, September 22, 2006

Pinche Computer

The stupid computer is still broke! Yes, i just called a machine stupid. Thats the level of frustration that i am feeling right now. I bought the backup drive and formatted and partitioned it and have been backing up my files. The problem is that the thing shuts down before i can back it up!

so i put a fan right up next to it to try to keep it cool. so far its worked, (knock on melamine)

it takes forevor to back up the files. I have 102 gigs that needs to be backed up. i think it might take an hour or two.

Theresa and Akello have joined a Parent baby playgroup at Connections.

They will be going to one class once a week where they teach you stuff. all free.

On Thursday the class was called "introduction to emotioanl coaching" Theresa gave 2 thumbs up!

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Akello is all-terrain!

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Theresa likes to walk around in the backyard with akello. He looks adorable in his little hat!

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Well, i picked up the umpteen proof today from KINKOS of the baby announcement. I walked in, looked at it, and in the words of Kris Swift said, "Unacceptable"

the kinkos guy just said, "look, i dont know how those dots are getting on there. i can try it again, but i already had the tech come out and look at it. listen man, these are just copying machines were working with here, there going to put an occasional dot, or red line through stuff."

Well, my friend Caroline suggested Burkes Reprographics on 6th street, so tommorow i will try them!

I dont know what i was thinking. i know kinkos sucks, and like a fool, i just keep going back there.
but not anymore. this is the last straw.

ok! the blog is up to date! whew! scroll down for other updates you might have missed.

League of Extraordinary Leche

Here it is ! i finally caught one of akello's darling little sneezes on tape!

Now that theresa is off the anti-biotic we are back to full breastfeeding mode. Pictures like this will not be so common
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our counter top was starting to get a little crazy with all the bottles and such.
hmmm this picture illustrates the essentials pretty well.

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bottles and bottle accesories,

For those that dont know...formula is EXPENSIVE! i forget how much it costs, because we have not had to buy any of it. Yes, we took a whole pack from the hospital and that held us for about 3 days, and then the hospital gave us an ENFAMIL gift pack upon our leaving, complete with gift bag and two cans of powder to make our own formula. the nurse handed it to me as we were getting into our car.

I was all, whats this? is this free?

It was like a GWP. (gift with purchase). Spend $3000 or more and receive two free tubs of enfamil powder and this handsome carrying tote.


two more tubs come in the mail! we're on the list! Theresa tells me that they are giving the stuff away because they want us to buy their formulas which are expensive! again, i dont know how much..theresa told me but i forgot. But its safe to say that if its locked up behind the glass at Walgreens then it must be pretty pricy.

I usually make all the formula. so many scoops for so much water. pretty easy to make. I find that stirring the formula instead of shaking it produces less bubbles, and therefore less gas in baby. thats my theory anyway. There are all these rules with formula as far as storage goes, can only be refrigerated for so long, has to be used within an hour at room temp and so on.

One thing that was a struggle was this. If i made all the formula for the night and put it in the fridge, when theresa got up in the middle of the night to feed him, she would have to

walk downstairs (with baby) come to the fridge, warm up the formula wich took 5 or so minutes. (a lifetime when baby's crying) back upstairs..resituate herself in her favorite Chaise. and feed him. all with one free hand. repeat every two hours.

we went to babysrus to buy this thing that warms up the formula, which is cool and all, and will come in great for trips. but

what i started doing was putting the right amount of powder in each of the bottles and then placing them by the bedside table upstairs with the lids barely on. next to the bottles, i placed a decanter with enough water for all three bottles. Now all she had to do was reach over, take the nipple off the bottle, pour the correct amount of water in, screw the nipple back on, and shake the thing. whalah!

fresh formula.

man, it is nice not having the computer shut down on me randomly. i'm almost already out of the habit of saving my blog "as draft" every 2 minutes.

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So one of my readers from germany, (thats right. The M.M.A. is international!)
sent a lovely note to suggest the book entitled "the womanly art of breastfeeding" that La Leche League puts out. Well, i have to say that it is art and the art is beautiful. Thanks for the tip Anja.

Well Theresa has the book and in fact on tuesday she went to her first L.L.L.
Meeting, with other moms like her. She really enjoyed it and will be going to those once a month. its cool because there is a north side chapter, so she doesnt have to go far.

The first time i heard the words "La Leche League", i was all, "oh, cool. must be an austin thing. cool name and all" little did i know.

they are a great group of people that promote breastfeeding to the fullest and a great resource for women who are breastfeeding

I was tooling around on their site and came across this!
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theresa and i had seen these stools everywhere, in hospitals and such and thought it would be nice to have but couldnt find where to buy one. Not that we were looking that hard. We just use phonebooks. i think this stool would look A LOT better though
get one here

Theresa said that there was a lady at the LLL meeting that was wearing this t-shirt
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oh, heres another video of akello being fussy. Its cute, funny, and sad, all at the same time,

the foam has gone straight to my brain

Do you remember that commercial for Dads Rootbeer? or was it another brand?
anyway, the tagline was "the foam goes straight to your brain!"

thats how i feel. I cant remember stuff, i have trouble concentrating, and all that.
on top of that, i lack the energy to blog, and when i do blog like last night, im at a loss for words. Bloggers Block? heehee.

But i dont want to get behind on the days so i blog on.

Now when i started this blog I sent out an email to all my freinds with the link to the blog and a clause stating that i am a horrible speller. Horrible. And that i wouldnt be crossing my t's and dotting the I's. Sometimes i use caps , sometimes i dont, i am aware when i make those grammatical mistakes. But i dont care. for the time it takes to go back and correct takes all the fun out of it.

so here it is to you, strangers and freinds who never got the first email.

there will be days when i so grossly mispell such a word as Quice, well, im sure thats not even the right way to spell it. but i do now know that Quice the food does not begin with a K.

So thats just how it is with me.

Now that thats said lets move on. While im still lucid.

lets recap monday,

Tony Ramos was in town for the ACL festival and came to visit during the day while i was at work. Tony and I go way back. Its crazy to think that both of us have a child now. I couldn't imagine it ever happening at the time when we were playing Drunk Frisbee in the Best Buy parking lot at 3 'oclock in the morning. But here we are. All grown up.

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Now since tony is a parent he brought over some parent gifts. No toys, just diapers, wet wipes, patsys, and the such. Speaking of pacifiers, we have found that Akello likes the Avent Brand. I like it too, because its just clear, no pastel colors or cartoony animals on it.

Monday was also Pearls last day with us. It was also her birthday and we celebrated with carrot cake!

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Akello kept on opening his mouth for some too. It was cracking us up!

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Oh, so for Pearls gift, we gave her a brag book, just in time for her to take on her Good Sam camping trip wih all her freinds.

It was kind of tough putting it together though because

1. we came up with the idea at the last minute.
2. we wanted to keep it a secret so i didnt want to print and trim the pictures at home.
3. At the time, my computer was still at Comp USA getting fixed, so i was limited to the pictures that i took during our 3 days in the hospital. because i had downloaded all of those to my laptop and hadnt deleted them yet. But , and i didnt have time to do this, i was thinking....what if i had lost all my data on the computer?

between the laptop and this blog, i wouldnt be out that much, because i have uploaded all my favorite pics to the photo server and could simply copy them back to my computer. whew!

ok, anyway, what i want to talk about is how far we have come as far as getting photos developed.

I had burned all the pictures for the brag book onto a CD so that i could drop them off at CVS DRUGSTORE on my way to work, and pick them up after work on my way home.

wELL! i walk in there, and tell the guy what i want, and he just points to a machine.

"there, use that. We only process film."

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I looked over and it was one of those do it yourself photo kiosks. Now i knew these existed but i just have never used one. I stepped over and was impressed with the options on it as far as the media storage sources it could take. Had i known, i could have just brought my pics on a media card, and skipped the whole CD part.

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These machines have come a long way.

I put in the Cd, selected all the pictures, selected the size, and then hit print.
It then started printing the photos at a rate of 1 photo every 15 seconds.

I had 27 pics, and was out of there in minutes and paid $7 something for great looking pictures that i didnt have to trim.


Oh, this just in! Ikea to open November 15th! sweet. No more trips to houston!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

What day is it?

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I feel myself constantly saying, "whats today, tuesday?" I never seem to have a handle on what day it is these days. Theresa and I were walking akello in the stroller and she said that it feels like time flys and time stands still, all at the same time. I second the motion. He will be 4 weeks old on thursday. Crazy! and yet...not so crazy.

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Sunday was theresas last day on the antibiotic. we are super happy. now she can go back to breastfeeding him full time. yay!

Sunday was choc full of visitors. Linh and Doug brought over some home cooked food.
Gumbo, Keish (sp) and beer. Hooray beer! Its kinda weird that theresa can drink alcohal now, (even though she isnt right now). i had gotten so used to not asking her what she wanted to drink, since she always drinks water.

Anyway, we have been eating on that keish for a couple of days now for breakfast. its so much better than ceresal.

Im so behind on this blog. This whole parenting thing gets in the way sometimes.

Oh, so i got the computer back from Comp USA. they were able to save all of my data, (which i had not backed up) i bought a backup hard drive while i was there, i learned my lesson and would hate it if i had lost all the pics of little akello.

I just never thought about it. a back up hard drive. I recommend getting one. The one i bought was $160 for 250 gigs.

so back to the visitors. Dee and Simone came by later and the day as well.

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Sunday, September 17, 2006


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I love love LOVE the sight of my babies sleeping together. Nothing is better and i can take umpteen pics from umpteen angles. Then when I get close, I can hear his little breaths and he will usually chirp and squeek, (yes he squeeks in his sleep) and he will slowly move his little fingers. Pretty adorable.

Akello's eyes are very sensitive to camera flash and bright or sudden light changes.
This brings me to some tips. I found that when taking a picture, my camera shoots out a infared focusing ray to the subject, well if this hits his eyes, even if he's asleep, he will grimmace and if done enough he will ultimatly stirr and wake up.

so what i do, is depress the camera button in order to focus, but i will start at his tummy instead of his face, then i will lift the camera and shoot. That way i still get the right focus length without bothering him.

another thing about light...

I found myself walking with him, trying to calm him to go to sleep, i would walk all around the house in a big circle pattern. He likes movement, and soothes well when you walk or dance with him. if you sit down, he cries.

well i noticed that every new room i walk to, he has something new to look at. it peaks his intrest and it only keeps him awake, so i now only stay in the middle of the living room, far enough away from the walls so that a painting doesnt catch his interest. This new method helps a lot also because its the same amount of light, rather than walking from room to room with varying degrees of light

One thing that we realized is that lights in the house are too bright, any of them, all of them. Its quite difficult to walk into the bedroom at night, or kitchen, or whatever and have a free hand to turn on a lamp. shure you can use your elbow or chin to turn on the overhead light switch, but that light is too bright anyway.

Might i suggest...the Lytegem

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These little lights are the perfect fix. Once night falls we like to keep all the lights in the house on low, so as to attune the baby to night and day. These little lights stay on all the time. There is one in the bedroom and two in the nursery. the amount of light is perfect and even has two settings of brightness. They run off the same lightbulbs that are used for tail lights, those little 12v/s with the nubs on both sides.

I got mine from Design Withing Reach, in fact, I think thats the only place you can get them.

Even I myself am now very light sensitive now, i used to be able to sleep with whatever light on, now i cant even sleep with the closet light on and the door barely cracked.

Saturday was a busy day for visitors.
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Theresas sister Bridgette paid a visit

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as did Theresa's cousin Valerie

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Val's daughter Jazzman

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And Val's other daughter Andrea, who held a baby for the first time that day!
and then quickly graduated to feeding him.