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Image: The Incredible Lobster Boy!
There are many great things about working at home, but my favorite is being able to take a break and spend time with Jen and Declan when the moment's right. The other day we took advantage of this by walking to the loop for lunch the day after the big ice storm. Ice was coating everything and made for some great shots.

We didn't yet have gloves for Declan so we put some ski mittens on him instead... he seem to enjoy having such oversize paws with which he continually "patted" me upside the head as he rode along on my back.
Image: Overprotective Much?
Ya see... babies sleep on their backs now as it's believed to be effective in preventing SIDS. But in doing so, they can develop what's called a flat head. Think of taking a ball of playdoh and dropping it from a couple feet up, that's Declan's head. Flat in one spot on the back of his head, and a bit mis-shapen overall. That's what the helmet is for. It lets it grow to fill in the flattened spots and prevents growth where it's too big. He'll be wearing it for 4-6 months.

Luckily, he doesn't seem to mind it.
Image: Solid Food
One of my favorite things to do now is feeding Declan... I was amazed at how fast he was able to figure the whole thing out. I had my doubts for the first couple days as he didn't seem to get the "open your mouth" concept, his tongue served as more of an output device rather than a swallowing device, and bibs were an absolute necessity. But within a few days Declan had it down, he opens his mouth when ready for another bite (whether we're ready or not), 95% of the food actually seems to make its way down his throat, and he just generally seems to like it. The only issue really is distractions, people moving around, favorite toys, belly button lint, ... all can cause him to suddenly jerk his head so that what previously was just about in his mouth instead suddenly gets stuck into his ear.
An old friend from New Orleans was on NPR a few days ago... she runs a SnoBall (aka sno-cone) stand her grandparents started in New Orleans.
Image: 6 Month Old Prepares to Summit Mt. Rainier
We just returned from a nine day trip to Seattle, Portland, and the surrounding areas. It's truly beautiful up there. I'd love to live there for a couple months at some point though St. Louis is definitely my home.

We had fabulous hosts in Dan and Kai (of Metropolis fame) in Seattle and Noel (one of my college roommates) and Stacia in Portland. It was particularly cool staying with Noel and Stacia as they have a son that's 4 weeks younger than Declan (and a fabulous 2 year old daughter too!).

We didn't get in as much outdoorsy stuff as usual due to the Declan factor but still managed to get in a bunch of day hikes and saw lots of beautiful scenery.

Declan did great overall. He had no problems on the plane rides (other than an inconvenient diaper blow out on the way home) and everyone commented on how good he was. He slept though chunks of the hikes but enjoyed them otherwise. The car rides were the most difficult (he's usually very content back there) and required several hundred rounds of 'Wheels on the Bus', lots of backseat riding, and several stops. But all in all, he was his usual cheerful self, though he's happy to be home.

He's Just started giggling... it's awesome.
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