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Monday, December 30th
John is off work this week so we took Caden to the Children's Discovery Museum in San Jose.  It's a pretty cool place.  I think everyone else is off from work this week too, because the place was saaawamped.  But we still had fun.  They have a lot of cool, age-appropriate exhibits for kids, they have story tellers, a fire engine and ambulance, and plenty of things with buttons.  Buttons for toddlers who love to push buttons.

They even have a water play area where kids can throw plastic balls into a system of running waterways.  They provide you with these little plastic aprons for your kid to wear, but it's a hoax because your kid still gets completely drenched.  You have to remember to bring a change of clothes (we did - from experience).

Caden goes into his own Zen state whenever we come here.  And usually catches a virus.  But it's worth it.  There are a couple of photos and a short video below.

Click to play Discovery Museum
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Saturday, December 27th
I'm not sure who has more fun at Christmas time: us or the cats.  Marge has figured out how to sit inside the middle of the Christmas tree and they've all been having a heyday with the empty boxes.



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Friday, December 26th
We had a great, exhausting couple of days.  We spent Christmas Eve with my family and Christmas Day with John's family.  Considering the lack of sleep and the amount of "input" Caden had into his little brain over 36 hours, he did remarkably well.  Thank you so much to everyone for making his second Christmas so special.  Here are some photos of the last couple days.

Click to play Christmas 2008

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Thursday, December 25th
Because I'm weird (you knew that already) and because of my new favorite word (hathos*), I couldn't resist posting this.  It's so hathetic, I actually had to watch it twice.  I especially like how Myrna never makes eye contact with the camera.  This is pure hathos.  Merry Christmas.

*Hathos, a noun. Hathetic, an adjective. Meaning: something so unpleasant you can't help but be riveted by it. As in Paris Hilton, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and the smell of one's own farts.

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Wednesday, December 24th
Merry Christmas!  No one has better explained the meaning of Christmas than this person.  And don't forget to track Santa's progress here.
 




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Tuesday, December 23rd
The obsession continues.  Caden spends more than half his time playing hockey around the house.  And if there isn't a hockey stick available, he'll create one.  Since I wrote about this in last month's blog, his shot has gotten pretty impressive.  It seemed like one day I looked up and all of the sudden he'd developed an actual wrist shot.  What the ... ?



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Monday, December 22nd
When it gets quiet for even a minute in this house, you know someone must be up to no good.  Guess who figured out how to climb up and get into the Christmas candy?  There was chocolate and foil everywhere.  Looks like a bad booking photo. This subject must have been hauled in for being under the influence of cocoa beans and foil bits!

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Sunday, December 21st
Everyone needs a little revival music in their life.  And I think these cats would do anything if it made Caden laugh.



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Friday, December 19th
Houston, we have a problem ...



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Wednesday, December 17th
Before we had a kid, I remember being out in public and overhearing parents threaten their kids with the whole "naughty/nice" theory around Christmastime.  You know ... "he sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows when you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!"  I remember thinking to myself that parents should negotiate with their children more directly and shouldn't resort to such fantasy-laden tactics for getting their kids to be good.  Yeah ... well, guess what?  We've been singing that song just about everyday around this house!   

Coincidentally, our dear sweet wonderful little Caden seems hell bent on commencing terrible-two-like behavior in earnest lately.  It's not universally bad behavior, just a couple of really bad habits.  Like throwing food.  And now that he has developed a pretty good throwing arm, he can really pitch the stuff.  Caden and I went for a quick lunch after swimming lessons today and he hit a lady at a nearby table in the back of the head with a piece of chicken.  And he decided to holler the whole time.  And spit out his food after he'd half chewed it.  How embarrassing.  I ate half my lunch, called it a disaster and we left.  So who says you can't use a few Santa threats to manipulate your children?

So you might ask, just how does Santa know who's naughty and nice?  He has the Elf on the Shelf working for him, that's how.  We recently had one move into our house.  Every day he shows up in a different spot in the house.  Always watching, taking notes and keeping an eye out for good and bad behavior.  And every night after everyone has gone to sleep, he reports back to Santa.  All in an effort to promote good behavior.  Based on Caden's behavior lately, I hope this little elf has a lot of cell minutes.

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Tuesday, December 16th
Caden had his 18-month old doctor's check-up yesterday.  John took the morning off from work so we were both able to go, which was great.  Everything looks good and Caden only had to get two shots, so the appointment wasn't too terrible.  He's still tracking along in the 75th percentile for height and the 25-50th percentile for weight.  He's been eating like a bird lately so I'm not surprised.  As far as the percentiles it means that, for example with height, 75% of kids are below his height measurement right now and 25% are taller than him. 

He was a good boy but quite a busy body and entertaining the doctor the whole time.  He had to get down on the floor and show him how well he swings a hockey stick.  Of course, we didn't have a hockey stick with us, so he used one of our umbrellas and a crumpled up piece of paper to demonstrate his slap shot.  Crazy kid.

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Monday, December 15th
Over on Andrew Sullivan's blog, the Daily Dish, they're running a funny contest called Christmas Hathos* for the worst possible Christmas song and video out there.  I like the one below.  And there are plenty more, but they're hard to watch for more than a few seconds...


*Hathos, a noun. Hathetic, an adjective. Meaning: something so unpleasant you can't help but be riveted by it. As in Paris Hilton, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and the smell of one's own farts.  (I love this word, naturally).

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Sunday, December 14th
We did our annual shopping trip to San Francisco this weekend.  It's kind of a tradition that John and I started many years ago and we first included Caden last year.  We stay overnight somewhere near Union Square and just take in the lights and holiday spirit.  We actually get very little shopping done, but I guess that's not really the main objective after all.  The weekend apparently also coincided with some tradition in the City where people dress up in Santa suits and go out shopping.  Sounds weird, but it was actually quite funny.  You would see car loads of Santa's driving down the street or walking by.  I think most of them were half lit.  But everyone was in a good mood and the holiday spirit was running high.

Last year I wrote about how we had a heck of a time getting Caden to wind down and go to sleep in the hotel room.  This year was no exception.  He finally fell asleep about 12:30 am and ended up hogging our bed with us.  Little fart.

We did find a cool pair of slippers for Caden.  He loves wearing them around the house and they're pretty darn cute.  There are more photos of our trip to the City here (I found a new slideshow program; hopefully this one is better.  After you click play, it will open a new browser window and then you can watch it full screen if you want to see the larger version of the photos).



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Saturday, December 13th
Eating blueberries.  Aside from pickles, they're a must-have food in this house.

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Thursday, December 11th
When bad things happen, I think I don't deal with them very well.  I try to put on a good face and pretend like everything's fine.  John's the same way in many respects so we probably just double down the problem.  I remember when our first adoption match fell through in 2006, just days before the baby was born, it wasn't until months later that we realized how much it impacted us.  We were telling everyone that things were just fine but we really weren't.  I dunno, it's just our nature to process bad news that way I guess.  Well, now a month later, I think I underestimated how depressed I got after Proposition 8 passed.  More than anything, it all just felt very personal to me, especially seeing neighbors with yard signs knowing they were voting against us only days after we got married.

But I'm hopeful that reason and logic will prevail someday, and sooner rather than later.  Perhaps the good side-effect of the measure passing is that it's brought much more awareness to the issue and generated many more thoughtful conversations.  And in the end, I think this is how the hearts and minds of people will change.  Not through millions of dollars spent on television advertising.  So it's going to take some time and we need to be patient.  Some of those conversations are getting very interesting though.  For example ...

Former preacher and conservative presidential candidate Mike Huckabee appeared on the Daily Show with John Stewart the other day to promote his new book which espouses that the way to a better world is for everyone to practice basic virtues like being nicer to each other and "doing unto others as you would have them do unto you."  Sounds great.  And then John Stewart asks him about conservative positions on homosexuality and marriage.  Classic hypocrisy worth watching.  Thanks John Stewart for espousing basic virtues that will make the world a better place.  You're leading us there faster than Mike Huckabee.
 
Comedienne Wanda Sykes appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno last night.  She said some great things despite Jay acting like a dork for much of the interview.
 
A reporter from Newsweek actually spent a good deal of time researching the Bible for everything it says about marriage and homosexuality.  She profiles her findings in an interesting articleAnd the people who voted for Proposition 8 based on "what the Bible says" should probably re-think their position.  Either that or actually read the Bible. 
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Wednesday, December 10th
We got our wedding photos back today.  They look great.  I'm trying to figure out some way of displaying some of them (John hates that Slide.com thing I've been using).  As soon as I have some ready for display in a better slide program, I'll post them.  For now, here are a couple of cool shots:
 
    
  
   

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Tuesday, December 9th
I think Caden had a short circuit today.  His frontal lobe apparently took the day off.  Ask any anatomy "instructor" and they'll tell you the frontal lobe is responsible for (1) interpreting right and wrong, (2) assessing consequences, and (3) overriding unacceptable social responses.  Let's just say, IT WAS A CHALLENGING DAY.  By late afternoon, there was breakfast, lunch and dinner all over the floor, a small pile of rubble below the Christmas tree that was once a collection of beautiful ornaments, and two (2) time-out's under our belt for the day.

One of the best pieces of advice I've always followed on days like this is ... put water on it.  In other words, put the offending child in the bathtub, shower or swimming pool.  It solves everything.  So by evening time, I was more than ready to draw the bath!  I gathered some bath toys and got Caden undressed.  Before I could even get him into the water, he pee'd like a fire hose across the bathroom floor emptying his entire bladder. Great.  While I was busy cleaning that up, he proceeded to throw two nice fluffy clean bath towels into the bath water. 

Ok ... deep breath.  Deep breath.  Keep your cool.  Your child has no functioning frontal lobe right now ... put the baby in the water before someone loses it! 
Once Caden was in the warm, bubbly water it was like his brain had re-awakened.  He suddenly looked up at me with those big brown eyes ... as if he hadn't seen me all day long.  "Paaaa Pa!"

Peace at last.  I should have done this at eleven o'clock this morning!

P.S. I couldn't resist using this photo.  I love it.  He was only 18 days old when this photo was taken.  We hardly ever take any pictures of him when he's fussing or mad; we need to take more.

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Monday, December 8th
We went to the San Jose Holiday Parade yesterday.  You might ask ... "what?"  Yes, San Jose actually has a holiday parade.  Despite the fact that we make fun of our fair town and the fact that it's now ... wait for it ... drum roll please ... the 10th LARGEST City in America!  Whatever.  Sorry but there's nothing too exciting going on in San Jose.  But they do have a holiday parade.  And they actually have a couple of those big giant balloons like the Macy's parade.  So with all this information in hand, we decided to go.

First off, you would never attend this thing unless you had a kid with you.  Or if you were mental.  It's a nice attempt at a holiday parade but we basically spent the entire time pointing out kid things to Caden and otherwise cracking jokes on the side between ourselves while listening to the woman behind us read every single sign and narrate the entire parade (Thanks lady. We really appreciate it.  After all, we can't read for ourselves).  The most exciting part of the parade was (1) watching the balloon carriers try to maneuver the Strawberry Shortcake balloon around the traffic signal poles and (2) watching the Coca Cola Bear dash through the crowd off the parade route to go throw up. 

Anyway, Caden enjoyed seeing some of the cartoon characters and the marching bands.  But I think it's the kind of thing you attend every five years or so until you forget how much you hated it the last time you went.

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Friday, December 5th
This is funny.  Look for the familiar faces among the cast.


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Thursday, December 4th
Last month I wrote about Caden freaking out when the Sharks mascot showed up right next to our seats and started cheering.  It probably startled him and, well, he's been pretty tentative about coming to the games and spends all his time peeled for the location of Sharkie ever since.  So being the good parents we are, we wanted to reduce his fears of the big fuzzy shark.  After all, we have at least 30 more games left this season.  So we arranged for Sharkie to make a special visit with Caden at the game Tuesday night.  I prearranged for him to keep the physical contact as minimal as possible, deliver a few toys, and not stay too long.  Well, it didn't exactly work out that way.  I think if Sharkie had left about 10 seconds earlier, Caden would have been fine.  But as you can see, it turned out to be a little overwhelming.  The look of terror on his face was pretty notable while Sharkie was holding him.  The things we do to our children, all to make them feel better!

Once it was all over, Caden seemed pretty happy with it all and we've been talking it up a lot.  He's got some cool new Sharks toys to put in his room.  But we'll see if the Sharkie hunting continues...



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Wednesday, December 3rd
The Xerox Corporation is sponsoring a cool program called Let's Say Thanks where you can go online and fill-out a thank you card for an American military person serving overseas.  You pick the design of your card, write your own message, and then they'll print the card and send it.  You don't get to choose who receives it, but I'm sure they have some process for distributing them around equally.  Anyway, I thought it was kind of cool.  I think our country has lost much of its awareness of the poor service people still trudging through the trenches overseas, and we can't forget the sacrifice they're making.



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Tuesday, December 2nd
I finally got the last couple of months of photos updated (see right).  I also got the wedding photos posted that were taken by my brother and by John's dad.  You can see them here.  We're still waiting for the professional shots to be available.  He says it should be any day and I'll post those when they're ready.

A laser pointer, a couple of cats, and a toddler.  What could be more fun?



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Monday, December 1st
We knew it was coming.  It was only a matter of time.  Caden's favorite word is suddenly ... no.  It doesn't even matter if he has a context to say it, he still loves to say it.  And he doesn't just say it, he gets into saying it.  It's more like NEEYYooo.  It makes you laugh every time because it's so cute.  Something tells me it isn't going to be too cute for very long.




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