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Tuesday, April 29th
There is this strange phenomenon that I'm at a loss to explain.   At first I thought I was just crazy but then I was talking to another stay-at-home dad a couple weeks ago and he was relating the exact same experience.  It has to do with some mothers and their "behavior" around us dads.  It's nothing overt; in fact it is rather subtle.  Caden and I have taken a number of classes (swimming, gym, infant massage) and we've also attended a number of community activities (at the mall, bookstore) and regardless of the venue, it seems to be the same thing.  It's a little hard to explain, but some mothers have this strange way of treating you like you're not even there.  They look right through you and won't smile or engage with you at all.  It's very weird.  They come across, well... uptight.  They have no problem engaging with each other and regularly make "mother talk" with each other, but you'd think I was from Mars or something.  

Men are very different.  If there is another dad in the class, the interaction is quite the opposite.  It's just understood that you acknowledge each other.  The conversation is usually simple and goes something like this: 
"Dude... taking a class with your kid?" 
"Yep. You too dude?" 
"Should be cool. Have fun guys." 
"You too man."

I have lots of theories in my head about why these women act this way but I'm still at a loss for the real reason.  I don't let it bother me; I just find it fascinating.  The funniest part is that, because I'm almost always the only dad in these classes, the kids gravitate toward me.  They apparently think I'm from another planet too.  In Friday gym class, there are a couple of kids that regularly hang out around Caden and I.  He loves it of course because being around the other kids is great.  The mothers, on the other hand, seem a little irritated by it.  My other stay-at-home-dad friend says the same thing happens to him.  Do these kids not have involved fathers at home or something?

Maybe I just need to accept that it's going to be like Venus and Mars.  But what I really want to say is: take a lesson from the dudes and lighten up moms.  At least allow yourself to crack a smile.   

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Monday, April 28th
Mark this day!  Actually yesterday.  We were getting ready to go to the hockey game last night and I walked by Caden and casually said, "Can you say 'Hi Papa'?".  And he did.  I about fell over.  So I asked him again and he repeated it again.  He's been jabbering for quite some time now and about the only comprehensible thing he says is "Hey".  But this was definitely more deliberate.  Then I tried to get him to repeat it for John (who of course doesn't believe me about anything) and Caden said it again! 

Sorry John, you lost this race.  He said "Papa" before he said "Daddy".  We're actually surprised that he didn't first say "Cheerios" or "LuLu" (our cat)... his real true loves of the world.

Just to have proof, I caught him on video.  It ends with him indulging in one of his true loves.  Just look at his face.

 

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Saturday, April 26th
I'm all caught up!  After getting horribly behind in updating the blog, I think I'm finally caught up.  All of the photo galleries and blog entries have been updated!  Whew!

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Friday, April 25th
Caden has a new tooth coming in.  It's a big ol' upper central incisor.  He already has two lower incisors that came in without too much trouble but this one is a lot bigger and seems to make him much more aware of his teething discomfort.  I guess I need to qualify that.  Teething pain for Caden means this: usually one cheek turns red, he becomes a little quiet, and he may not smile as much.  That's teething for Caden.  No screaming and hollering.  No endless crying.  Just a little quiet, that's all.  He's such a trooper.  We've never seen him really fuss when we know that he must be in pain from his tooth smushing through.

Speaking of teeth... we are brushing his teeth now!  I know it probably sounds crazy - at 10 months old - to some of you old timers (both of his grandma's looked at us like we were nuts), but it's never too early to start taking care of their teeth!  And the funny part is that he loves it.  Every night before he goes to bed, we have this ritual where we put a tiny bit of kids toothpaste on a kids toothbrush and Caden "brushes" his two baby teeth and gums (with a little help from his dads).  He takes it very seriously and it's pretty cute to watch.  He's very proud of himself when it is all finished.  Good habits start early, right?

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Thursday, April 24th
The whole notion of baby bottle safety is getting scary.
It's really been in the news this last week.  Actually, ever since Caden was born, we've been hearing various warnings about the safety of baby bottles.  Because of that, we've never heated anything in them or put them in the microwave.  Just recently the safety issue has gotten more intense and thankfully, more press.  The issue is a chemical called BPA that is used in certain plastics, especially with recycle symbol #7.  It can leach out into milk or food. It is commonly found in plastics used to make baby bottles and, come to find out, all of the modern plastic packaging used to hold baby food!  I went online early last week to check the Playtex (our baby bottle) and Gerber (baby food) websites to see if there were any statements or warnings from them.  Everything basically said "don't worry... all of our products are safe."  Well, we weren't convinced so we went out this weekend to shop for something safer.  And as you can imagine, the shelves at the store were practically empty.  We're not the only one's replacing baby bottles right now.  There are a couple of brands on the market that are BPA-free and there are also a limited supply of glass bottles still available.  None of them are cheap of course; it's going to be really expensive to get all new bottles and nipples.  The good news is that Caden is transitioning soon to a sippy cup, which also needs to be BPA-free of course!

Consequently, within a matter of days and thanks to the power of the media, the big manufacturers quickly changed their tune.  By Friday, Playtex announced that they would stop making baby bottles with BPA.  The Canadian Government also announced a ban.  What a mess.  Who knows what the next scare will be.  But then again, I suppose every generation has their share of scares about what's going to kill them.  I seem to remember something about trichinosis in undercooked pork when I was growing up.  Isn't that why our mom's cooked pork chops until they were the consistency of shoe leather?  Shoe leather and apple sauce.  Yum.

Because we're now somewhat limited on the baby food we can buy, it pushed me to finally make some of our own.  I've been wanting to do it for some time, but just never got going.  It was easy!  Over the weekend we made a huge batch of green beans and sweet potatoes.  We put them in little ice cube trays and froze them.  I think Caden likes them more than the store bought stuff.  I need to experiment with some more foods next.  (Although I read somewhere that you're not supposed to prepare your own carrots; always buy them from a company like Gerber or Earth's Best.  The reason is that a lot of carrots from the grocery store have high levels of nitrates and, as a home cook, you can't really remove them.  The big baby food companies buy their carrots from special growers specifically for baby food.  Believe it or not!). 

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Tuesday, April 22nd
I
didn't get as much uploaded onto the site as I wanted to today.  The video processing is really sloooow.  I hope to have the rest uploaded over the next few days.  In the meantime, there is some new stuff in the August, September, October and April blog.

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Friday, April 17th|
The next thing we know, we'll have to start playing country music in this house!
Our friends Chris and Patsy bought this for him at Christmas - to grow in to - but he's only now able to sit on it unassisted.  Well, kind of.

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Wednesday, April 16th|
Life pretty much changed back in February when Caden started crawling.  I keep trying to explain to John that it really is hard to get anything done during the day when you're spending your time chasing a baby around the house ... or wondering what they're getting into.  And these days, he's getting faster and sneakier.  In reality, you can only "baby-proof" your house so much.  You still need to have power cords on the floor and soil for your plants and, well, the cats didn't want to give up all of their toys.  So, once this little fart became mobile, I might as well have cut my productivity in half.  I don't want to lock him in his high chair like a prisoner.  I'm certainly not going to stick him in front of the television either.  But I have to admit that it's funny sometimes to see what kinds of things he can get in to... and in only a matter of seconds.  The other day he managed to unfold a pile of completely folded laundry.  I think in about 12 seconds flat.  Here's what he learned to do today.  Almost a whole roll!  Thank goodness we buy the cheap stuff.

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Tuesday, April 15th|
Have I said yet that we're hockey fans?  Ok maybe only 20 times. There's a big playoff game tonight between the San Jose Sharks (our team) and the Calgary Flames.  Let's just say that Caden's shirt says it all.

Go Sharks!

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Sunday, April 13th|
I'm still doing a lot of stuff behind the scenes to get the new site working so I apologize that there haven't been many new photos or updates.  We finally figured out how to get video to load on the site, so now that we've got that down, we'll get some of our better videos up for y'all to see.  I posted one of them up in the March 2008 archive as an experiment.  Please be patient... lots more coming soon!

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Friday, April 11th|
This crazy kid is coming up with some hilarious facial expressions lately.  Especially when he's sitting in his high chair eating.  But if he gets in a silly mood, he can melt your heart by looking over the top of his eyes at you or cocking his head to one side.  How can you not say "Awww"?
 

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Thursday, April 10th
We've redesigned the site!  There isn't too much here yet but I hope to get all of the content filled in within the next few days.  I've been meaning to get the site updated for some time (as many of you have been patiently and painfully aware!) because the updates lately have been few and far between.  I'm sorry!

The new design is much more blog-like and will actually be a lot easier for me to make quick updates and post stories, photos and videos.  The old site was getting too cumbersome and complicated, so hopefully this new design is going to make it easier and help us keep up with consistent and regular updates!

Don't worry, all of the old content and photos will get transferred over so nothing is going to get lost.  It just might take me a week or two to move everything.  But in the meantime, I wanted to at least start with some new updates and photos.

This middle section will have blog entries, photos and videos.  The upper portion of the home page will always have a variety of thumbnail photos that you can click on to see larger versions.  We'll update those often.

Let me know if the new site is not showing up well on your computer, i.e., if the screen is too wide or if the fonts are getting screwed up.  That way I can try to fix the bugs early.

Anyway, that's it for now.  Look for more soon!!

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Wednesday, April 9th
After we finished our lunch with both sets of grandparents yesterday, we decided to take the rest of the day and visit our local zoo.  Yes, there is actually a zoo in San Jose.  It's called Happy Hollow and it's more of a children's park.  They do have some pretty cool animals though.  Caden liked the Meerkats the most.  But they also have a Jaguar!  She's beautiful (we didn't of course throw anything at her or provoke her to jump out and eat us nor did we witness any such shenanigans).  This'll be a fun place to come back and visit over and over again as Caden grows up.
 

   

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Tuesday, April 8th
Today was a very important day.  We appeared in court today to finalize Cadens adoption.  This is that day that all adoptive parents wait for.  Its the day when Caden officially becomes our son and nothing can happen to reverse that.  After the court hearing, a new birth certificate will be generated to show John and I as Cadens parents.

We invited both of our parents to come with us.  The judge holds these hearing in his chambers instead of the open courtroom.  We were told to expect it to be short and sweet.  It would be a matter of answering a few questions, signing a few papers and that would be it.  We all got dressed up and, as promised, the appearance was short and sweet.  Caden was Mr. Charmer and had all of the court reporters and assistants smiling.

We went out to lunch afterwards with both sets of grandparents and celebrated the big milestone.  What a great day.

You want to know what I was most worried about this week?  With our luck, I could just see Caden falling down and gashing his head and us walking into court with a big bandaid on his head.  That would have been fun to explain!

This morning when we were getting ready and I was feeding Caden breakfast I said to him, "We're taking you to court today Caden... and that better be the LAST TIME in your life that I ever say that!"  He smiled.

     
 

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Friday, April 4th
They started a new gay dads group here in town that we decided to attend.  Weve been hoping to connect with some other dads locally so perhaps this would be our opportunity.  For being the first meeting, it was pretty well attended.  We knew several other people there so it was pretty easy to get the conversation going.  It was nice to be able to share and compare stories about how we became parents and how we adopted our kids.  It was also interesting to hear from the dads of the older kids some of the things we have to look forward to.

One of the funnier stories we heard was from two dads that have a 6 year old daughter.  Like us, one of the is "Papa" and one of them is "Daddy".  I guess one time Papa took their daughter to a local park to play and after awhile she started behaving badly and had a tantrum.  Not wanting to deal with Papa's directions, she started to loudly yell, "I WANT MY DADDY!!"  People around the park started to stare.  He realized that someone could have easily mistaken it for a child abduction if they didn't know the difference.  Later, after she calmed down, they had to explain to her that she just can't do that kind of thing, given their situation.  It could lead to some real trouble!

I hope it turns out to be a good group.  At least an opportunity once a month to BS about fatherhood with other dudes who can relate.

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Tuesday, April 1st
Caden tried feeding himself avocado for the first time today.  Now I think I know how they made Lou Ferrigno green for the Incredible Hulk show.

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