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Monday, December 31st
We stayed home tonight so that we could celebrate the New Year with our New Kid.  I made a special dinner and we watched the Dick Clark thing on TV (ok, isn’t it kind of sad that he’s still trying?  I mean, come on).  Then, we woke up Caden just before midnight and celebrated 2008 together.  He did great and seemed to know that there was something special going on.

2008 will be a special year, no doubt!

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Tuesday, December 25th
Merry Christmas!

We had our first Christmas morning together as a family this morning.  Caden opened a couple of presents from “Santa” and, well, isn’t this what being a family is all about? 

It’s off to John’s parents for the rest of the day.  More presents to open and then dinner.  We’re so blessed that both of our families live close by so that we can spend our holidays together.







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Monday, December 24th
Merry Christmas!

It’s always been our tradition to spend Christmas Eve with my family and Christmas Day with John’s family.  It works out pretty good!  We really had a wonderful evening tonight.  Mom (Grandma Zenker) made a great dinner and we all shared a nice time. 

John and I and Caden went to the 11:00 pm candlelight service at our church.  Caden was half awake and half asleep.  Big day for this little one.  And another big day tomorrow too!






As you can see from the video, Caden had a fabulous time!


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Sunday, December 23rd
We belong to an online forum of adoptive parents where people can post messages and chat about pretty much any subject matter related to kids and adoption.  It's through our agency.  Anyway, one of the adoptive parents that we know mentioned that she put together an iTunes mix for her baby.  Yep, this is 2007; you can download music in an instant and have your own CD ready to play for your kid!  What a great idea.  She made hers with all lullabies.  I decided to make one for Caden with a variety of music.  The music you hear in the background on this video is one of the songs.  Whenever we put it on, he immediately recognizes it and then usually relaxes and just chills or rocks out depending on the song.


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Thursday, December 20th
T minus four days and counting.  And we still have a ton of Christmas shopping to do.  John and I decided to meet at the mall tonight after he got off work.  Apparently we weren’t the only ones with that idea.  Tons of traffic and parking was horrendous.  I was circling around a long time to find a parking space when finally I spotted a couple walking out of the store.  I followed them all the way to their car and sat there with my blinker on waiting for them to leave.  Just as they were pulling out, this woman in an SUV in the opposite aisle guns it and flies into the space, stealing it from me.  Um, did that really just happen?  I’ve been sitting here for two, maybe three minutes with my turn signal on and this woman who just happened to be driving by decides to steal my space.

First I honked and then I rolled down my window and said, “Uh, excuse me but I have been waiting for that spot for several minutes”.  And her reply?  “Too baaad beech!  I gaht eet. I gaaaht eet!”

Do I really look like someone you want to call a bitch?

So, I said again, "That’s my space, please pull out", blah blah blah, "I’ve been waiting", etc.  I get back the same thing.  Same vulgar reply.  WTF!?  She got her purse, closed the door to her SUV and started heading into the mall with her young daughter!

Now my voice was considerably raised and I was yelling.  “Get the out of that space lady…” blah blah blah.  Then Caden started to cry.  Oops.  That's not good.  No parking space is worth making my kid cry.  I drove off.  But I was pissed.

I eventually found another space and met John inside.  I was so mad that there might as well have been blood shooting out of my eyeballs.  I mean, this is Christmas for God's sake.  Who acts that way?!  We made the best of it and got some shopping done.  A couple of hours later Caden was getting tired and, if my nose was detecting things correctly, I think he pooped.  We definitely needed to go.

We got back out to the car and I changed his diaper.  Oh my.  Big poop. 

Out of the corner of my eye I can see that the lady’s SUV is still parked there – in what was supposed to be my space.  Now you know what’s coming next.  Perhaps the only thing you don’t know – which I’ll fill in for you now is – I’m not a “get mad" person.  I’m a “get even" person.  Life's too short to get mad.  Getting even helps you live longer.

I won’t give you all of the gory details but lets just say that Caden’s poopy diaper came in real handy and I don’t think that lady will ever look at her SUV the same way again.

Revenge sucks Beech.

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Wednesday, December 19th
Today was our rescheduled appointment at the doctor after Monday’s cancellation.  Because the doctor was booked, we had to see the physician’s assistant (PA).  I usually don’t mind this but on such a milestone birthday, I really wanted him to see the main man.  Oh well.

Things checked out well but the PA is worried about Caden’s head size.  She thinks it is too small.  Up to this point, he as been in the 10-25th percentile.  Today, he is in the 5-10th percentile.  I’ve always known that Caden has a small head.  Actually, I think he has a perfect head; well proportioned.  It is the reason he is so cute.  It is all of the other babies in the world who have massive heads.  She wants us to return in one month to have it measured again.

He got a bunch more shots today including a flu shot.  I really believe in flu shots.  I think they help a lot.  We’re also cleared to start solids in earnest now.  Here comes the rice cereal, green beans and apple sauce!

Here are his measurements for today:
Weight: 17 pounds, 3 ounces (50th percentile)
Height: 26 ½ inches (50-75th percentile)
Head Circumference: 42 cm (5-10th percentile)

This afternoon we had a little play date with our friends Shannon and Duncan and went to the mall.  We decided to have a Santa photo taken even though Caden was starting to feel the effects of his vaccinations from this morning.  He wasn’t in the greatest mood.  But he sat on Santa’s lap like a trooper and still tried to smile.

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Monday, December 17th
Today was Caden’s six-month doctor’s appointment.  I’ll spare you all of the details but everything that could have gone wrong this morning did.  We were running late and so I called the doctor’s office and told them that we might be a couple of minutes late.  They told me to come in anyway.

We got there 5 minutes late and signed in.  They charged us our co-pay and we waited in the waiting room for about 10 minutes only to then be informed that, because we were late, we could no longer be seen by the doctor today.  Huh?!  You mean to tell me that after all that I’ve been through this morning; you’re now going to turn us away?  Yep.  “You’ll need to reschedule for another day.  Oh, and the doctor is booked for two months.  You’ll need to see the PA”.  Lovely.

I knew I needed to keep my cool.  I couldn’t get mad.  First of all, it was my fault that we were late, not theirs.  But they should not have told me to come in.  But mostly, I didn’t want to get mad for this reason:  doctor’s offices remember.  Did you ever see that hilarious Seinfeld episode where Elaine gets “difficult” written in her chart and then spends all this time trying to get it expunged?  It’s true!  They love writing little notes like that about their patients.  Trust me, I know what's inside those medical records!

Anyway, I just zipped my mouth, rescheduled our appointment and left.

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Sunday, December 16th
We always do a gift exchange with our friends and, of course, we spoil each other’s kids.  During all of those years when John and I didn’t have a kid, we always loved buying things for our friends kids that were either (1) plastic, or (2) massive.  Well, payback is a bitch.  Now that we have a kid, we know what we’re in for.  When Chris and Patsy walked in the door Friday night, along with them came a massive stuffed sheep dog for Caden… with them laughing all the way.

Caden loved it of course, but where the heck are we going to put this guy?!

Marge likes it too!

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Saturday, December 15th
Last night we were showing our friends how Caden laughs when we makes the cats jump.  We have this feather toy that the cats love to chase and they sometimes fly through the air.  When Caden sees that, he has this great belly laugh.  That, in turn, makes everyone else laugh and usually makes the cats jump even higher.

We went bowling today with our friends.  Of course, everything is for a wager.  John and I suck at bowling so I’m not sure why we always agree to bowl for money.  We always lose.  We still have fun though.  I actually love bowling.  If I can break 100, I’m feeling pretty proud of myself.

Caden had a blast.  He’s getting more attention this weekend than he knows what to do with!

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Friday, December 14th
We have a big weekend ahead!  Every year at Christmas time, we spend one weekend with our good friends.  We sometimes rotate around the venue and this year it is at our house.  We’ll be having 11 people this weekend!  We always have such a great time.  We eat way too much (imbibe a little bit too), play games, exchange gifts and just have some good bonding time.

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Thursday, December 13th
We put these reindeer ears on his last night to try to get a cute picture.  They are actually meant for a cat.  If it looks like they’re too tight and he’s being choked, well, he was.  But we needed the picture!

We were about as successful putting these on Caden as we were putting them on the cat.

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Wednesday, December 12th
Caden is getting pretty independent about holding his own bottle.  In fact, if he’s really hungry, he pretty much snatches it out of your hand and shoves it in his mouth!




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Saturday, December 8th
We decorated our Christmas tree tonight.  It was really nice.  We figured we’d better enjoy the peace and serenity that we had this year because next year will likely be sheer chaos.

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Friday, December 7th
We bought our Christmas tree tonight and brought it into the house.  Perhaps it was my imagination, but Caden looked at us like we had lost our minds.  As if to say, “Uh, what the heck are you doing bringing a tree in the living room?!”

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Wednesday, December 5th
During the holidays, our church has what are called “advent services” during the week.  It’s kind of like an informal church service but it is held on a Wednesday night instead of a Sunday.  Caden and I decided to attend one tonight just because it’s been years since I’ve gone and I’ve never attended one at our new church.

It was pretty small and pretty intimate.  By intimate I mean that there were only about 15 people there.  That’s Ok with me except when one of the 15 people is a 5 month old.  He’s not so good about being quiet these days.

The pastor was going through the service and, predictably, Caden started doing raspberries.  I think I probably stiffened up like a board and stopped breathing.  What’s worse is that at least two other people there got the giggles and so pretty much all hell broke loose.  I felt terrible.

Let’s just say that Caden and I won’t be attending any more advent services unless they’re a lot louder and better attended.

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Tuesday, December 4th
When we were in San Francisco last weekend, we bought Caden a pair of high top sneakers.  He looked so cute in them today that I wanted to take his picture.  I stood him up and… he kept standing there.  I think he was amazed too because he started laughing.

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Sunday, December 2nd
We stayed overnight last night in San Francisco and, given our difficulties getting Caden to go to sleep at the hotel in Lake Arrowhead last month, we decided to bring his own Pack-n-Play this time.  Maybe we’ll have more success with something he’s more familiar with?  Think again.

We got back to the hotel last night around 8:30pm and you would have thought that this kid had been giving a bottle of uppers.  He was full of it!  It was pretty funny actually.  He had so much energy and was being so silly.  We set up his crib and tried to start winding him down.  We put him in the crib with all his favorite bedtime toys, covered it with a sheet and hoped for the best.  Here's pretty much how the rest of the evening went:

  9:00 pm: Everyone wide awake
10:00 pm: Caden and Dave wide awake, John snoring
11:00 pm: Caden and Dave wide awake, John snoring
12:00 am: Caden and Dave wide awake, John snoring
01:00 am: Caden and Dave wide awake, John snoring
01:01 am: Dave throws in the towel and brings Caden into bed with us
01:15 am: Caden and John snoring, Dave half asleep worried that Caden will fall off the bed
02:00 am: Caden and John snoring, Dave wakes up whenever someone moves worried that someone will roll over and smash Caden
03:00 am: Dave finally snoring
04:00 am: Caden crying for no reason, John still snoring
05:00 am: Everyone sleeping again
06:00 am: Everyone still snoring, Thank God
07:00 am: Caden awake, Dave awake, John still snoring
08:00 am: Caden and Dave still awake
09:00 am: John wakes up and says, “Hi Caden... when did you come in bed with us?”  Dave rolls his eyes and asks to be shot dead with a gun.

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Saturday, December 1st
One of the traditions that John and I have always had since we’ve been together is that we always spend one weekend in December up in San Francisco for a “shopping weekend”.  We seldom ever do that much shopping but the point is to see the Christmas lights and visit the big department stores and go out for a nice dinner.  Anyway, this was going to be the first year that Caden would join us.  Our tradition would now include him!

We had a great time today.  Navigating through throngs of holiday shoppers with a baby stroller is always interesting, but we did well and Caden had a blast.






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