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Thursday, October 30th
It's been a little crazy around here with all the wedding preparations.  T minus 41 hours and counting!  We keep saying that we're determined to have a fun, stress free and relaxed wedding.  I'm sure that's what all these people said too.


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Tuesday, October 28th
We've been having computer problems like crazy!  Sorry about the long drought of blog posts lately.  I won’t go into all of the gory details, but it looks like we finally have everything working again.  The good news is that I’ve still been writing blog posts so nothing is lost.  You’ll have to go back and review everything that I back-posted this month.

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Monday, October 27th
Freedom is a powerful instinct.  Hilarious.


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Sunday, October 26th
We went to a Halloween party today at a friend’s house.  Amy pulled out all the stops and had some great party activities and fun stuff for the kids.  They had pumpkin decorating, caramel apple making, a parade, trick-or-treating, and lots of party food.  Caden had a great time.  I think he ate about 10 cupcakes.  He was particularly enamored with the ball pit.  We couldn't get him out of there.

   

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Saturday, October 25th
They had a Halloween event for little kids yesterday afternoon at John's work so we took Caden in his costume.  He loved it.  We explained to him the concept of trick-or-treating.  He caught on a little faster than we would have liked!  He never actually said the words "Trick or Treat", but he became quite proficient at accepting candy and stashing it away in his bag. 

   

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Friday, October 24th
There are three neighbors in our neighborhood that have Yes on 8 signs on their lawns.  I personally know one of them.  I’m really sad to see this.  Sad enough that I decided to write to each of them.  Here it is if you want to read it.  I doubt it will make any difference but at least they know their support of Proposition 8 is directly impacting someone only a few doors away.

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Thursday, October 23rd
Proposition 8 in California is getting pretty scary.  If passed, it will eliminate our marriage.  Every time I drive down the road and see a “Yes on 8” sign, I just see intolerance and hate.  I don’t understand their argument.  So far, all of their advertising has been based on misinformation and lies.  Seriously.  Nothing they’ve said so far can be substantiated.  If they actually said something truthful, I might be able to respect their argument, but so far it is nothing more than an attempt to deceive the public.  And the sad this is that it appears to be working.  Where the proposition was losing several weeks ago, polls show that it is now winning.  I can’t believe it. 

One big worry is that the presidential election could actually negatively impact the outcome of Proposition 8.  Here’s how:  If Barack Obama starts winning in a landslide on the east coast, people on the west coast may decide not to go to polls and vote, thinking it won’t matter.  Those same voters will likely have voted No on 8.  The conservative voters will probably still show up.  Just these few votes could make a difference.  So, we need to encourage people to vote before noon that day to keep this potential from becoming a reality.

Click on the link if you can donate to the No on 8 campaign.  They really do need the money in order to counter the millions of dollars being donated by the Mormon Church.  There was information released today that estimates that nearly 70% of the funding behind the Yes on 8 campaign is coming from the Mormon Church.  Amazing.  Aren't these the same people who broke laws for decades regarding marriage laws?

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Wednesday, October 22nd
John is finally coming home from India today.  I’m sure 24 hours on an airplane is going to take its toll, but hopefully he won’t be too pooped out.  Caden will sure be glad to see him and I doubt John will want to put him down for the first hour.

They did do a little sightseeing while they were there.  I got this embarrassing photo of him to post.

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Tuesday, October 21st
Caden has TWO Halloween costumes this year!  We bought him a monster costume (see previous video) and our friends Patsy and Chris got him a Bee costume.  He loves to dress up in stuff like this.  We’ve always done silly things with him with funny hats or shirts, so he thinks it’s funny to walk around like a goof.

He’s has enough Halloween events to go to this year that both costumes will get plenty of use!



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Monday, October 20th
I had to take Caden to see the doctor today.  He has a boil.  Doesn’t that sound lovely?!  It started out as kind of a small pimple on his upper thigh last week and then it grew, got uglier and now it’s the size of a golf ball.  It’s red and angry and painful.  Some yucky pus came out of it yesterday.  With all the concerns about MRSA these days, I didn’t want to take any chances.

He was really good at the pediatrician’s office.  The doctor said that boils are actually really common in little kids and it’s important to treat them with antibiotics.  He didn’t think it would need to be lanced or drained, which I was glad about because that would have been a nightmare to maintain on a 16 month old.

Anyway, we’ll start the medicine and hope this ugly thing goes away soon!

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Sunday, October 19th
Caden and I went to church today and there was a baby being baptized.  At the beginning of every service, our Pastor invites all of the kids to come to the front for a children’s talk.  Caden loves going up there.  He really pays attention.  Some kids act very shy.  Some kids seem like they’re in another world.  Caden is all ears.  People have come up to us after church to comment about how much they love watching him because he gets into it so much and follows the routine to a tee.  Anyway, today Pastor Bea talked to the kids about the baptism.  She asked them about the water and where it will be placed on the baby.  She actually let the kids put their hands in the pitcher that held the baptismal water to see if they felt that it was too hot or too cold and whether it was ready to be used. 

The kids loved this of course.  Caden didn’t do it though.  She then made a couple more statements and walked across the stage to get some cards for the kids to color.  They all followed her.  Except one.  Guess who?  Mr. Smarty Pants realized he’d missed his chance to stick his hands in the pitcher of water so he marched across the stage (stomp stomp stomp with the feet) and proceeded to plunge his hands into the pitcher.  Before I could even get to my feet, I could see it teetering off the table.  Thankfully, I was able to grab it in time before it crashed to the floor, while everyone in the congregation was laughing.  Pastor Bea said, “I think the baptismal water has been approved,” to even more laughter.

Little fart.  He doesn't miss a thing.

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Saturday, October 18th
I hate computer problems!  And our computer technician is out of town until next week, so I’m left here to fend for myself.  Wouldn’t you know it, as soon as John goes out of town on business, everything goes to hell in a hand basket.

Our internet connection went down yesterday and I tried everything I know to get it up again.  I finally decided to call tech support.  I was on the phone with them for TWO HOURS!  They ultimately decided that it was just a bad cable and needed to be replaced.  Oh geez.

And what do you suppose Caden was up to the whole time while I was trapped in the office on the phone?  Based on what I could “hear” was going on in the rest of the house, I was actually afraid to come out of the office and see what things looked like.  My fears were justified.  He managed to open every cabinet and nearly every drawer and empty them.  You would have thought we’d been hit by robbers and ransacked.  Ransacked by a little monster!  I hope he had fun.

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Friday, October 17th
I've felt kind of sorry for Caden this week because he's been really bored.  With John out of town and me being a single parent, Caden hasn't had too much stimulation while I'm busy preparing  for wedding stuff and other household chores.  I thought he might have fun going to see Disney on Ice this afternoon.  I wasn't quite sure what he'd think since he's not really that familiar with many of these characters yet.  He knows Pooh and Tigger and Mickey Mouse. 

For the first 60% of the show, he had what I'd call the "Positive O sign."  You know, where the lips are in the shape of an "O" and he's got that somewhat astonished look on his face.  Then toward the last half, he started to interact more, point at all the characters and smile and laugh.  It was pretty cute.  The best part was this: at the intermission we went out and bought a bucket of popcorn.  Watching him sit in that big stadium seat and shovel in the popcorn while his eyes were glued to the stage was priceless.
 

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Thursday, October 16th
It’s really what it comes down to after all.



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Wednesday, October 15th
Since John is out of town, Caden and I have been going to the hockey games without him.  Caden LOVES having his own seat.  He usually has to sit in our lap.  I took along his little portable high chair last night and strapped it to the stadium seat so he could be propped up a little higher.  He was in heaven.  A pig in mud.  And I was pretty happy too for a couple games not having a squirming toddler on my lap!

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Tuesday, October 14th
We’re getting married.  Huh?Yeah, it sounds weird.  When you’ve been together as long as we have, it seems a little backwards.  But it’s finally legal and we’re not going to let this historic opportunity pass.  Here’s the letter we sent our family and friends.  Let the wedding planning begin!  18 days and counting.

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Monday, October 13th
These are funny.


 

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Sunday, October 12th
Caden has his Halloween costume picked out.


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Saturday, October 11th
John is going to India for work.  He is going to be there for ten days.  A lot of high tech firms, including his company, have offices and do business with firms in India.  He’ll be there for meetings with other high tech-like people.  I’m not crazy about it.  I don’t think it’s the safest place in the world, but then again I inherited the worry gene from my mother (thanks mom).  It takes 24 hours to fly there.  He has to connect through Frankfurt and then arrives in Bangalore.  Oy, I thought flying to Australia was bad.  Twenty four hours on a plane might make me nuts.  What if the person next to you smells?

He’s going to really miss Caden.  But we’ll be able to talk on the phone quite a bit.  India is 12 hours ahead so it’s evening there when it is morning here.  Should be an interesting trip.  He’s looking forward to it.  It will be cool for him to see that part of the world (on someone else’s dime).

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Wednesday, October 8th
Shortly after we moved into our house five years ago, we noticed a litter of tiny kittens across the street near the wooded creek that runs along our street.  They were definitely feral cats and their mother didn't appear to be around anymore.  They would never let us get very close.  They were adorable and of course, being the softies we are, we offered food and water.  Five years later, we're still feeding them.  Happily.  We call them our "AlleyCats."  We did a little research about feral cats and found out that it's best to trap them, have them fixed and then return them to the same environment.  That way, they establish a stable colony and no more babies will be born season after season.  There are veterinarians that will do the surgery for free!  It took us a couple of weeks to capture all of them, but we got it done and they've been living happily ever after.  Even still, the lifespan of a feral cat is pretty short; they typically live five years or less. 

Our little guys show up for dinner like clockwork every evening and sleep on our front porch.  They're really friendly now and let us hold and pet them.  During the day they do whatever they do - feral cat things.  Anyway, our friendliest cat, Fluff, stopped showing up last week.  It's not unusual for one to not show up for a night or two, but this is unusual.  So we can only think the worst.  It's a huge bummer.  He was such a good guy.  Always sweet and looking for love.  You could hardly walk out the door without being tripped up by him cuddling under your feet.

We hope something good happened to him and perhaps somebody took him in.  He was definitely the friendliest of the bunch.  Either way, we sure loved him while he was here and we're glad we were able to offer him a better life.

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Tuesday, October 7th
Maybe I’m weird but I love watching the presidential debates.  I love to watch how they try to manipulate their answers and banter back and forth.  And to watch whether they’re going to create “YouTube” moments or not.  I’m actually going to be disappointed when they’re all over with because there won’t be that many more chances for both candidates to be in the same room at the same time.

I loved McCain’s comment about Obama being “That One.”  For the record, we’re supporting That One.

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Monday, October 6th
Caden’s birthmother Candice and her mom Erin came up to our house this weekend for a visit.  They live in Southern California.  We haven’t seen them since November of last year, so we were definitely overdue for a visit.  We’d like to establish a tradition of getting together at least once a year, if not more.  They do get to see Caden grow up through the photos, videos and stories on this site, but there’s nothing like the real thing and visiting in person. 

We had a really fun weekend.  They stayed with us, which was great because it allowed us to spend more time visiting and spending time with the little munchkin.  We went to San Francisco on Saturday and did some sightseeing.  We drove down Lombard Street and went to Fisherman’s Wharf.  Caden had a great time seeing all the fun stuff too.  On Sunday we relaxed and had an easy day together before they flew back home that evening.  Candice had to be to work early the next morning so it was probably good that we didn’t put them through the full gauntlet of tourist attractions.

Caden was so sweet, warm and funny all weekend.  What a little gentleman.  He had so much fun.  He got so much attention this weekend; I’m not looking forward to the next couple of days because he always has a hard time “coming down” from getting so much attention.

 

 

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Thursday, October 2nd
What it looks like when a military hero comes home from a long deployment at war.  And the reaction of his best friends. 

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Wednesday, October 1st
There are lots of theories out there about how to discipline your kid.  It's certainly becoming more of a discussion point in our house these days now that Mr. Caden is becoming Mr. Will Power.  It's really quite amazing how far a little tiny kid can push your limits and send you right to the edge.  Kids are much smarter than we give them credit for.  I've always believed in treating kids for the intelligent beings they are.  So many parents talk to their kids like they're idiots, as if they could never comprehend what's going on.  They're just creating idiots. 

I find my biggest frustration so far with Caden has simply been in getting his attention when he's doing something wrong or dangerous.  Once we can explain the consequences of something, we find he listens pretty well and seems to grasp what we're telling him.  It's just getting him to stop and listen that's the problem.  Which is why I think many parents probably resort to hitting, swatting and spanking.  It would be nice to have a little reset button on the back of their head.  "Reset Caden Now."

I've always admired the philosophies and techniques of Super Nanny.  No smacking.  Pretty straightforward approaches that get kids to stop and think about what they've done.  It always ends with hugs and you always put the whole thing behind you.  Never any grudges. 

Then of course we've got all of the other punishment techniques to look forward to as Caden gets older, like taking away things or grounding.  Not sure what we think about any of that yet.  There's always this approach. 

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