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Image: Adding to our clan - Gavin Finnegan O'Leary - 2/8/08
The newest O'Leary decided on Thursday that he was feeling a bit cramped living within his Mom... something about wanting more space, being able to make his own choices about where he goes and what he wants to eat...

Baby Stats:
Born: 2/8/08 at 12:28 pm (15 days early)
Gender: Boy
Name: Gavin Finnegan O'Leary
Weight: 8 lbs 8 oz
Length: 20 inches


Things went quickly at first and then we pretty much had a repeat of Declan's birth except, instead of 10 hours of labor into an emergency c-section, Jen labored for 14 hours and then a much more well considered c-section.

Gavin and Jen are both doing great. Jen got all her tubes and wires off yesterday and got to take a shower today. Gavin will hopefully start packing on some pounds today now that it seems Jen's milk has come in.

Declan has been spending the last few days with Jen's parents and seems to be handling all the oddities and changes in good stride. Each time he meets Gavin he gets a bit more playful with him; the beginnings of a lifelong friendship we hope.

We head home tomorrow and can't wait to get settled into our new life as a 4-person family. Now we just need to get our basement project started and completed so Efficion can move out of the baby's room!

Declan's 2nd Halloween. Funny how much he liked all the scary stuff around the house. He really enjoyed the ghoul hanging from the foyer light along with our graveyard and the pumpkins.

This was his first year really trick or treating. At first he seemed confused by it all but then he started getting the hang of it. He seemed to prefer getting to climb people's stairs over getting candy. Once he got going he didn't like it when the routine was interupted: go up sidewalk, climb stairs, ring doorbell, stare at candy bowl until candy is placed in plastic pumpkin, say bye, go down stairs, repeat. There were a couple houses he just wanted to stay and climb the stairs over and over. Both had boys slightly older than him who wanted to give him candy every time he came up. There were a couple times he worked up the nerve to grab the candy himself but then he didn't seem to get the "only a couple pieces" concept.

Zoe joined us for the last couple houses and then we went back to our house and gave out candy with Grandma and Grandpa Capstick and Brian.

Used to be, Declan would wake up around 5 or 6 AM every morning, I'd go get him, bring him to our bed and Jen would feed him and we'd all go back to sleep until 7:30 or so... Not sure whether it's because it's getting light so much earlier or that he's just older, but he's stopped going back to sleep now. And so the last couple mornings, Declan and I have been getting up early... and it's the best thing I've done in a long time.

Yesterday, we went for a bike ride around Forest Park, which I haven't done in a surprisingly long time. Today, we went hiking in the amazing Oak Savanna in Forest Park and then went to the Market in the Loop and stocked up on fresh fruit. Declan eats an amazing amount of fruit. We go through a cantalope, a pineapple, a big bag of grapes, and lots more every 4 days or so.

Walking through the savanna this morning reminded me of my mornings when I used to work at Miniwanca and how much I miss it. I just feel so much more connected and balanced when I'm there; spending all day every day outdoors, exercising constantly, interacting with and leading groups of open-minded folks who question everything, discussing philosophy and spirituality and the true meat of life. To be able to spend two months a year in that world was such a blessing. It grounded me and gave me a chance to see my life from another perspective and examine my path.

Image: Declan's First Haircut

Jen and I have really enjoyed letting Declan's hair pretty much determine it's own path. Even during the times where his hair seemed to be an imperfect combination of a mullet, a Donald Trump-esce comb-over, and the oh-so-flattering rat-tail, he still managed to be exceedingly cute.

We came to the realization that it might just be time to impose our structures upon nature's whim when folks, upon first meeting Declan, referred to him as a her. And while he brushed it off like it didn't even phase him, it was the final cue indicating that perhaps, the time had arrived.

Slaving away at the office

Eric Berger was foolish enough to sign on as employee number two at my Web Development company, Efficion Consulting. Eric's been friends with Jen and me for years which is great since he's working out of Efficion's world headquarters (aka, the middle bedroom). In addition to administering regular footrubs to the other Efficion employee's (that's me), Eric will be doing HTML/CSS, PHP, DotNetNuke, ASP.NET, and lots of other things that probably won't mean much to most people but result in great websites.

Image: New pics up
As most people know, Google makes some really cool stuff, and most of it is free. I've been using their free photo browsing/editing/organizing Picasa for quite awhile now as it's the best thing I've found for doing that type of thing. And now they've released Picasa Web Albums which integrates seemlessly, gives you quite a bit of storage for free, and a huge amount if you don't mind paying a bit... I haven't yet decided if I'm going to abandon my current photo gallery software and just use Picasa Web Albums instead, but I'm leaning that way.

For now, anyway, I'll be uploading new stuff to both until I decide. Which way should I go?
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