Thursday, November 30, 2006


serious playtime!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

part two

we added the option toy bar on akellos baby bjorn bouncer. he loves those little bears and immediatly took to it. you cant get his attention once he gets going spinning them bears around. if T and i have to concentrate on something, then we put the bears on the seat and that will give us at least 5 minutes to have an important conversation or unload groceries.

oh goodness. long time no talk too. things are getting busier as akello is getting older. gone are the days of him just eating or sleeping. now he demands a lot more attention. so it is much harder to blog these days. its funny too, because i will come up with sooo much to say during the day, but by night time those juicy tidbits are long forgotten and im pretty much beat.

tummytime together
look at daddys watch!

akellos sleeping has been of our utmost concern these days. we are really trying to get him on a sleep schedule for naps as well as night time. T and I are busy reading the same book. "the no cry sleep solution". we both have a copy and try to read on it whenever we can. we are trying for a 9:30-10:30 nap, a 12:45-1:45 nap and a late afternoon nap, like around 4 or so. we used to start winding him down about an hour before his bedtime at 6 with him in bed at 7 but now we are going to start to push that back an hour.

lately he's been waking up in the middle of the night, like at 3 or 4 and its been tough on us. he used to just wake, nurse, and it was back to bed. now his sleeping is just all over, so were really trying to re-establish routines that got busted up by the holidya. this means that T is not going to any of her groups that meet at 10. she tells me that it seams as though every body meets at 10, for whatever group. this is just until akello can re-establish his naps again.

well getting back to thanks giving. ive never heard so much advice. much of it wivestales. wives tales, thats a funny word. its good to be well read on facts and science, otherwise theresa and i would be second guessing ourselves at every turn.

people only mean well though, and its nice that akello has so many people that love him and wish him the best.

heres are some pics from that week.
grandpa reading a story

grandpa giving him some superman time

akello and Vincent showing off their soccer outfits

akello laughing at sams latest idea.

lil jazzy after giving up on getting akello to play nintendo with her.

with Great Grandpa Santiago

at vals house for thanksgiving part deux!

Lately i have been loving on texting via cell phone. its a great way for me to communicate with everyone when my hands are tied up with AK. id email but AK HATES the office. you cant do anything in there with him. He knows that attention wont be on hime once we step into that room. He has to be nursing, thats the only way. and a lot of times he asleep in my sling. so when i get a moment to talk, i cant or ill wake him up. and i have to communicate as soon as i have the idea that i got to talk to somebody, becasue if i wait till theresa takes over, i forget . in fact i have to email or text theresa all the time. because if i wait to tell her some news at dinner i just forget and we just talk about akello.

so i text. i wish everyone texted. the majority of people dont do it. because there old. they have no use for texting. i can hear my dad at the store right now....

salesman- "this phone comes with a cool text feature as well, its called smart type. it finishes the words for you so that."

the salesman is interrupted by gils dad

gils dad "but i cant.... i cant even...wait a second!"

at this point gils dad puts on his glasses and begins to make awkward faces at the diminutive phone. he turns it upside down and begins to hold it up to the light to try and get a better view of its screen. he brings the phone close, and then pushes it back again, trying to find the right focal length to see this "text" thinga ma jig.

gils dad - "i cant even see the damn thing. "does it come with a case? i need to have a case. oh! and does it have cilantro in it? because im allergic to cilantro.
not really allergic, but i dont like it."

the salesman takes a few steps back.

salesman- "well there are tons of case options....none of which have any cilantro in them."

i have so much to talk about that i cant even start. so im just going to post pics. thats all you want anyway, (if your my sister)

oh yeah, soon i will have more design stuff to talk about as the IKEA is minutes away from my home. i have been once a week since it opened im sad to say. but i got some ideas! i highly recommend going in through the exit, all HEB style, and starting with a cinnamon bun and a coffee. THEN shopping. and FYI, all the real shopping carts are kept in the middle of the store next to the resturant. so grab a cart on your way in from the parking lot. dont be surprised at the coffee. its not the greatest.,i think because it has lingonberrys in it or something. but anyway i could go on and on and on.

oh, so i now use flickr. i used to use photobucket. but it seemed that all the cool kids used flickr. now i see why. so , you can go there if you like just to see all the photos of akello since birth. do it!! do it now !! well , not all. but anyway, flickr is an image hosting sight that allows me to post pics on this here blog. but whats neat is that i can export the pics directly to flickr via a third pary plugin versus exporting to the desktop and then uploading to photobucket. okay, now that i have lost half of you, lets go on to talk about my latest love,,,,,,LISTPIC!

listpic is awesome. if you are a craigslist hunter such as myself, dont waste time combing through all posts looking for that fave piece of furniture, because most people dont know what the hell they have anyway. dont get me started on people that post "modern" sofas, that are from Rooms to go! i said dont get me started!!!

anyway. just go to the website. click on your city and then click on whatever link you like, and then just peruse the pictures. the biggest time saver ever!.

nobody puts baby in a corner

oh, one last thing. i gotta give theresa props. she came up with this cool way to re-arrange a gym matt that Michelle had given us. it used to be a dome where the bars were bent into a half circles and attached at a diagnol to the matt forming a criss cross pattern. well theresa rigged this up. now, i can sit on the chair, and secure the bars with my hands and move the bars and play with him. theresa turned the matt over so that it has the simple white surface so when he does tummy time, we can put a ball or toy in front of him, and it doesnt get lost in the craziness of the design on the matt. he didnt really care for the soft gym before, but now he loves it.

black and white and fun
gym rig

thank you and good night!

slobber smile

Saturday, November 25, 2006

thanksgiving part 1

bouncy smile

here is a quick vid of great grandma chivela and akello!

well this past holiday weekend has been great. Akello is 3 months old and we can definitly see the difference. He has turned a corner. crying is limited to:

1. im hungry
2. im tired
3. take me out of this car now!
3. your "coochicoos" have become tiresome. please pass me back to theresa.

it has always gotten easier since the day he was born, each day better than the rest but i think this 3 month b-day is a big jump. i got to tell you though, nothing sucks more than being in the car with akello and having him cry his little lungs out while all you can do is drive. oh, i know something worse. sitting in the backseat with him while someone else drives, and not being able to take him out of his seat to console him, while he just looks at you , crying, to the point of coughing, to the point of a redface and a soar throat. yes. nothing is worse.

we have been taking many trips lately with the holidays and all. an hour trip to san marcos back and forth. that was rough.

the car has been a mystery to us. we have been trying to figure out why he hates car trips. its not his car-seat. he is comfortable until he gets put into the car.

its seems that other babies love the car and fall asleep. well he did too for the first 2 weeks or so, but today is a different story.

we have expiremented with all variables possible, radio, static, quiet, you name it.

more on thanksgiving on the next post. gotto go to bed.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I don’t recommend seeing James Bond...

.....with akello at your side. Wha? Wha?

Well get this. Theresa comes home one day from one of her mommy groups to report that Tuesdays are “bring your baby to the movies” day at the Alamo Drafthouse village location on all movies that play before 2pm

This was thrilling news because I am off on Tuesdays and that location is showing the latest bond film, “Casino Royale”.

Well Tuesday comes around and off we go! Theresa had to meet us their because she was at work, oh yeah for those that don’t know, Theresa has found a small part time job working as a pre-school fitness coach for a company called stretch and grow. She only works on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the days that I am off, so it works out perfect! She also only works in the mornings, so I can get a break in the afternoons.

instead of waiting for Theresa at the ticket booth, I buy my ticket and head on in to the theater, armed with all the baby essentials. There was a guy in front of me with a smaller baby than akello. Her turns to me to ask what im going to see. “Bond, james bond!” I reply, to which he gives a nodding approval.
I head on in, and there are two dads with babys all set in the back row already with babies set up in their car seats facing the screen.

I was like, hmm, well I know akello does not like the car seat so I didn’t even bring that in, and I was thinking that akello should look at the screen too. Because he gets boared looking at my chest.

Well I tell you what, we take one step into that theater and akello takes one look at that screen and one listen to the loud music from those crazy Alamo style previews and he just bursts into tears. I barely had time to put my stuff down and start to soothe him when I had this lady in the row in front of me give me the “why the hell did you bring your baby to this movie” eye. To which I replied with the “its baby day lady” eye.
But even so, I felt so weird in there, so I walked out. That’s when I saw Theresa drive up.
I told her what happened, and she said, “well, its time for him to eat, I thought you were going to meet me out here so I could feed him in the car?” “did you keep him awake so that he sleeps during the movie? How many naps did he take?” “two” I sheepishly reply.

Well, I go back into the movie feeling like an idiot! I still had interest in the movie but I felt kinda bad that I pretty much fu**ed that whole thing up.

Well Theresa came into the theater about 10 minutes later to my surprise with akello wrapped in her sling. I was so happy and surprised to see them as she told me that they were going home.

Akello did great throughout the movie, but I was on edge the whole time and the slightest peep from akello pulled my attention from the movie. you have to pay attention in those movies to get the whole deep story arcs. So I don’t think movies and akello are a good mix for right now. Even if he was fine the entire movie and slept through it all, I wouldn’t do it again. It stresses me out way too much.

I was feeling really bumbed about the whole thing, about how I made so many mistakes along the way. Theresa tried to cheer me up, “don’t feel bad. I make mistakes like this all the time. Its just part of learning and growing. I used to feel bad about stuff, but the ladies in the mommy group helped me to realize that these things will happen. Forgive yourself, look, akello is all smiles now and has already forgotten the whole thing!”

That helped me out a lot. I guess things like this will happen.

I was so stressed that I left my debit card there, so after two hours at IKEA the next day, I had to tell the checkout lady, “wait a minute! Wheres my debit card!!!”

i took this pic in the theater. i was like, im at least taking a picture dammit!

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here are some pics of T playing with akello!

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Addicted to Mommy (groups)

from the desk of Theresa:

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I am addicted to mommy groups. It’s embarrassing to admit but I am constantly in search of that perfect group of like-minded women raising children of similar age living in close proximity. I have not found my “ideal” but what I have found is even better. Women of all different backgrounds (race, education, economic status, politics, etc.), with children of varying ages (4 weeks to 18 months), living all over Austin and the surrounding areas (Georgetown, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Hutto, Leander) who are all striving to be good parents and give their child/children the best start while trying to take care of themselves (mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally) in the process.
I love these women.
I need these women. Sometimes even in the privilege of being able to stay home with Akello, it can sometimes feel isolating. I have sat in the house contemplating my parenting choices, ‘Is this right, is this wrong, should I, etc.’ They have helped me embrace motherhood, feel more confident and see that there are so many ways to do it. We all have our child’s best interest at heart and ultimately that is what’s important. There is not one way to parent and there is NO best method. There is what works for you and your family.
I have learned so much in the past few months from these women and I have learned so much about myself. I think my continuing search for mommy groups has become more about building community. You’ve heard the old African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” In western society the village as it once was no longer exists, there are no clans or tribes (very few), most people tend to live far from their extended family and in general most of us lead very busy separate lives (work-home-back to work). So, we create these sister circles to provide support, comfort, knowledge, fun, laughter and community, our own little villages of sorts.

I want my son to have a sense of community. The feeling that he is part of something bigger than himself and that he doesn’t have to go it alone if he doesn’t want to. I want him to have a sense of being connected to the people and places around him.

This past Sunday at our church there was a blessing of the new church site. It was wonderful. We had enough people there to surround the perimeter of the building, hold hands, and say our prayers. We blessed it with baptismal water, incense, and with the dirt from all our homes and all over the world. A wonderful prayer was written for the occasion. Here is just a portion,
“God of Creation, Maker of Heaven and Earth, you have given us this land on which to build and grow and flourish, soil in which to plant ourselves to be a blessing for this neighborhood and the larger world that surrounds us.”

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I felt so proud to be a part of this community. The idea of building, growing ad flourishing is a part of life’s lessons that I want Akello to experience. Whether in a playgroup or a church group I want him to grow up with a sense of belonging and community. That he is a part of a family, a neighborhood and the larger world. No one is alone.



Saturday, November 18, 2006

happy sunday

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Kisses from Mamma T and Baby G!

Friday, November 17, 2006


akello does this little sucking thing when he sleeps. its pretty funny. Here it is on video

theresa goes to alot of different mommy groups and classes. Kinda like edward norton does in "fight club" Here a group, there a group. im just kidding though. She stays busy though but doesnt like to take akello out of the house more than 2 times a day.

She took this pic at one of her meetup play groups. akello got a hit of some of that "baby crack" as i like to call it. tons of colors and what not. way too busy for us.
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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

this will hold ya.

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once again i find myself being inspired to write when it is well past my bedtime.
i have a benefits meeting (ala conference call) tommorrow morning that i dont want to miss.
things like that actually mean something to me these days.

these past two days have been great. its sooo neat for akello to get more and more enjoyable with each passing day. his attention span is growing, and its a little easier to figure out what his crys mean.

i have been using my sling more and more. He is just so heavy and Its really taxing my back to hold hime for any length of time (an hour or so). so i use the sling. and i wouldnt say its hands free. but it is definitly easier to hold him.

Heres a picture of tummy time when its going well
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and not so well
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he is to the point to where he realizes that he has hands. He can bat and grip. we have batting practive once or twice a day by holding something for him within arms reach right above him. Theresa has some good ideas about rigging something from the ceiling. stay tuned for that.
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My parents are know for their Collection of Native American art. you'd think some tribal elder died and put them in his will. im serious. while thats not the case, it has in some way rubbed off on myself, and i have a penchant for N.A. art and myth to a degree.

So it was only a matter of time that my parents would buy him something off the rez.
Actually it was at the latest PowWow here in austin.

Since Akello is a little turtle, they picked up this little peice of cedar carved into a feather and then painted with a turtle. it is very fitting for our little guy.

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theres a book that i read to akello often called "the leapords drum" a great story about how the little guy outsmarts the big guy. the hero is a turtle! its so funny, because today i was reading it to akello and he was attentive and reading along. when i got to the climax of the story he squealed with delight when the turtle outsmarted the leapord. i was like, "thats right!" and then i got excited.

He does that all the time. he will say something at the weirdest moments that make us think he knows whats going on.

another funny moment today..,
i was holding him in the sling and he was just chilling out. not saying anything, just sucking on his hand, and i pull up my thermos to take a sip of coffee.
i take a sip and pull the thermos away and spy akello looking at me with the blankest of stares. Not moving a muscle.
kinda like as if to say "you told me that we were out of coffee!"

i laughed so hard, but softly and lightly. he then laughed b/c i was laughing. so i laughed even harder! and then he laughed harder. it was definitly one of my fav moments with him to date.

its getting colder, and he's liking his little hat!

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

birth announcements

Theresa and I have finally come close to finishing up the birth announcements! its taken us forevor b/c you know how we do it...and if you don't you will soon see!

Well lets start with the latest on akello! He just gets cuter by the minute! the other day i woke up in bed and looked over, expecting to see The back of theresa's head, but no, i saw little akello, all smiles and giggles just wigglin and stretching. Nothing will wake you up faster than seeing your baby wide eyed, bushy tailed, and all smiles.

We have been going to the park on wells branch a lot, almost every free moment we have. Today theresa showed me the fishing pond. it was so beautiful, there were families all around and it seemed very Norman Rockwell-esque. walking at the park has become a favorite thing to do, and we cant wait for akello to be able to run around the playscape and what not.

Akello is really starting to find his hands and is working on self soothing. he trys to suck on his entire hand sometimes and hasnt quite figured out how to just suck on some of the fingers. Here he is trying to suck on his hands while Ella holds him!

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last week We took akello to my sisters house in San Marcos for a tasting party for her new business, sugar and spice quourmet desserts. The funny thing was, is that theresa and I had forgotten to eat dinner. We had even said that morning as we were planning our day,...."hmm, gina is only going to be serving dessert, so what are we going to do for dinner?" "oh, well get something on the way."

well we forgot to do that, but luckily my dad hadnt shown up yet, so we sent him to DQ to get some burgers.

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Grandma drove in especially to see akello! he didnt dissapoint and even gave her a high 5!

Gina's treats didnt dissapoint either, and we were stuffed by the end of it.
Gina makes awesome desserts with an emphasis on customization and presentation.

prices range from 25 bucks for a box of cookies, to 45 for a cake or pie.
Sugar and Spice Gourmet Desserts. Recommended.

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more hand sucking while looking at grandma

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Last tuesday i drove akello to Family Connections so that we could go to a Nino Meeting. this group is all about promoting baby wearing, or should i say, carrying a baby in a sling or wrap of sorts. Theresa met us there midway, and we both had a chance to try on all the different types of slings. i found this one wich i checked out for a month. then i will return it, and if i like it ill buy one. its from kangarooKorner. i like it b/c there are no adjustments on it other than the sizing buttons. its just a pouch. very cool.
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Thursday, November 09, 2006

a post from theresa!

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And now for your daily zen…
When I walked in to the room the lyrics to the classic Jim Croce song, “Time in a Bottle,” immediately came to mind:

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I'd like to do
Is to save every day 'til eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you.

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I'd save every day like a treasure and then
Again I would spend them with you.

It is in these quiet moments that I truly appreciate and understand how difficult it must be sometimes, for Gil to go off to work. Akello is growing and changing so quickly. It is an amazing honor to be a part of his unfolding life whether he is laughing, crying, in action or in slumber. This moment frozen in time reminds me that it is important to treasure all the time spent together no matter how short or how long. I am thankful for this day and this moment.

Monday, November 06, 2006


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thanks for your patience. i know its been a while.

Lately our main focus has been on establishing a sleepytime routine and getting him on a sleep schedule. Theresa usually starts the routine at 6 and if im lucky i get home by 6:30 to catch a glimpse of him before theresa puts him to sleep.

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theresa doing sensory time during bedtime routine.

sometimes i arrive just in time to put him to sleep. he has been doing pretty good about sleeping for 2 to four hours at a time and waking up to nurse and then up and at'em at around 5:30am.

This is his most alert time. from 5:30 to 7:30

at the same time that we started the sleep routine, we started co-sleeping. It's nice to all be sleeping together but at the same time i dont get the consistent sleep that i used to with akello and theresa sleeping in the nursery. But i still prefer the co-sleeping. I like the fact that i am close by readily available should they need me.
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with bedrail

i think this has a lot to do with my not updating the blog so much. i do it at night, and the past week since we started co-sleeping, i am ready for bed at 8 or so. its 10:13 right now, but i had to update!

so i will keep it short.

since we started the co-sleeping, we added a bed rail for safety. akello sleeps on the end, theresa in the middle, and then me at the other end.

a while back he was getting congested at night and would wake up coughing. My mom had given us a humidifier, so we busted it out. no direcs. so i went to the website. no direcs there either. so i went to walmart to buy a new filter, and to open up a humidifier to read the directions. pero alas....they were out of the one we had. we put it close to the bed and its a nice bonus that it makes a white noise! akello needs that in order to sleep for long periods. it drowns out all the kitchen noises and such that go on once he goes to bed at 7. well it seems to be working. now he only gets congested at 5 instead of midnight. so he sleeps better longer.

this week has been "break week". the lawnmower didnt start...the TV upstairs didnt start either. LAME!

Another trip to work!
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i caught theresa playing with Akello the other day. She has such a knowlege of kid songs and games from being a teacher. everytime he starts crying theresa is there with a new song, or when its playtime theresa has a new game or something. If he starts crying on me, i start making up words to whatever song is in my head. ususally there is no song in my head which doesnt help.

i always blank at this moment and can never think of ANY song i have ever heard in my entire life.

He sure is babbling a lot these days. its so fun. he will say something, and then i will say something and so on. we had a very deep conversation about my jeans the other day

grandparents came for a visit last week too!
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now you listen here.

everyone around us is pregnant these days. Theresa had breakfast with some of her freinds. can you guess which ones are pregnant?
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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

happy halloween

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Its Halloween tonight and I come to you live from my front porch. We didn’t want the doorbell ringing all night with the baby and all, so i'm christening the front porch by myself as theresa gets akello ready for his night time routine.

I am fully camped out. I have my jar of peanuts, rum and coke, cigar and bowl of candy.
Oh and the laptop of course. Which kinda' lights up my face for people walking on the street. I’m thinking this should be a tradition from now on. Party on the patio. But next year I will do it all ghetto style with a grill going on in the front yard and all.

I got to say, the kid’s conduct is a lot better this year. But maybe that’s because there are more parents with their kids this year, OMG, I just had two teenage girls walk up dressed in their soccer uniforms! Like they must be 16 or something. I think they were just bored or something.

Anyway. So i'm so excited! My sister is starting a business called sugar and spice! She makes custom baked goods and the what not. I can’t recommend her yet because I have not sampled the wares, but I do know that everything she cooks has manteca in it and is delicious! So i'm sure her treats are no different! Anyway, that’s not why I’m excited, I’m excited because in talking with her the other day about her new business, I was sure to make sure that she had bought her domain name and all.

Gina: “duh”
GIL: “just checking”

Now the 10 year old gil would have gone out and bought and then sold it to her. But I have since married Theresa and am not the boy I used to be.

Gil: “ well what about a website?”
Gina: “I don’t have time or money to deal with that right now. Besides I can post pics on blogger and in fact, blogger can do everything a website can do…and its free.
Gil: “well if you own you should set it up to where when people go to the site, it relays to your blogger address. Because putting the entire blogger address on a business card is tacky and unprofessional.”

So while I’m talking to her I’m thinking..”hello! like is easy to remember! And I own! duh!

So I’m excited to say that going forward you can now access the blog by simply typing . How cool is that!

hmmm...maybe i should buy manteca&

That will make it much easier for when I make his calling cards. He’s gonna be making play-dates soon and will need a card. Complete with website address, email and cell phone. Hmmm I might wait on the cell phone and just put our home phone since he can’t talk all that well yet.

It so funny, I see a lot of kids, like one or two year olds, playing with their parents cell phones, pretending to be talking on them. In the store this past weekend, I saw a kid in a stroller who could barely talk …but he had a cell phone in his hand.

Kid: “gramah!.....gramah!! Can you hear me now?!!”

I’m serious. He was on the phone. Even moving in the stroller in order to get better reception. It was hilarious. Then he passed it to his mom

Kid: “I cant hear grammah!”

And his mom took the phone and just strolled along, talking to grammah.

Ok, back to akello.

Man he’s getting heavy; he must weigh 14lbs or something. It’s always great to hold him but it’s getting harder, and he’s only 9 weeks old!

Theresa has been staying busy, taking him on outings and to classes. She has a few mommy groups that she has signed up with that have provided great support and adult companionship.
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This Sunday she took him to his first Party! A Halloween party hosted by natascha and tony. He went as a chili pepper!

They set up this awesome little set so that all the kids could have a photo taken, and then they printed out the photos on the spot and made frames for them!

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How cool! It’s the first thing worthy of gracing the front of our fridge.

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Today we went to Katherine Fleischer Park. This park rocks. Its up on wells branch parkway which is just a little bit further north than us and takes about 5 mins to get to.
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I ran along the trails and Theresa and akello walked. It’s an awesome park complete with swimming pool, playscape, soccer and baseball field and tennis courts.
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I had no idea it existed until T told me about it. No more driving to Town Lake for a run that’s for sure.

Check out these little shoes! shoes are the cutest! whats funny is that they have no use whatsover except to look cute.
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thanks Maria!

We made great progress today with tummy time! we are doing it a lot more agressively since hitting the two month stage. Today he really stayed up for a while, and started flipping himself over. it was so fun for us.

Today we went to see our financial advisor to set up a college fund for akello. We took all the money that was given to us after his birth to get him started, so take heart in the fact that your money will one day buy him a semester at school!. For Christmas we are asking that all gifts take the form of money for the first couple of years so that we can put it into the college fund. Thank You and goodnight!