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Friday, September 26th
They say this is the age when toddlers start to exhibit separation anxiety.  I can't say we've really seen it with Caden yet.  In fact, in the past few weeks when I've dropped him off at my parents house before heading off to teach, I would hand him over to my mom and Caden would start waving goodbye to me as if to say, "Don't let the door hit you in the rear on the way out Papa."  He seems pretty secure in himself.  Same thing at the supermarket and other places where we get separated from each other.  He has no problem sitting in the shopping cart by himself while it gets pulled through the checkout line.  He enjoys flirting with the employees.  I've seen other kids come unglued as soon as they realized their parent is out of reach. 

So we're glad in some respects that Caden doesn't have huge issues with separation anxiety.  That doesn't mean he isn't clingy sometimes, especially when John gets home from work.  He just won't let John put him down.  And he's been quite a love bug lately, giving everyone around hugs, hugs and more hugs.  He grabs you around the neck and squeezes tight and lets out a loud "Ohhhhhhh."  It's worth a million dollars.

He's even been trying it on the cats lately.  While they're all pretty tolerant of him and enjoy hanging around with him, about the only one who will stick around for a Caden hug is LuLu.  It's because she's so in love with him.  At least four or five times a day he's got her in a bear hug.  She just purrs even louder.

On a side note... isn't the election stuff getting entertaining?  It's going to be a very interesting month ahead.  The more Sarah Palin gets exposed to the world, the more I want to sit down and watch it all.  The recent interviews with Katie Couric really have to be seen to be believed.  And I saw something today that I never - in my life - thought possible: an article from the National Review (a very conservative news journal) actually questioning the McCain ticket.  It's very entertaining reading.  Despite all the spin, entertainment, right/left, red/blue, there isn't a night I go to bed these days without saying a prayer for the huge mess our country's in and hoping for more peace, more truth and better times ahead.  And less Sean Hannity.

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Wednesday, September 24th
Hello?  Hello?  Anyone there?  Ahem!  Yes ... we're back!  Sorry about the temporary absence there.  It's been a little crazy around here.  I've had my teaching gig for the past five weeks and it always seems to burn up way more time and energy than I expect.  Even though I teach every Spring and Fall, it's a pretty intense time including getting Caden to my parents house early enough in the morning to make it to the school on time each day.  Anyway, today was my last day of teaching A&P!  I'm glad it's done.  I really enjoy doing it, but I'm glad it's wrapped up for awhile.  John's been very helpful in in the past couple weeks getting things done around here while I've been busy preparing school work.  We're both looking forward to life getting back to normal now.  And more blogging.  I think the only ones sad to see me done teaching are my parents!  They love babysitting and have been in sheer bliss the past month watching Caden.

Last night the San Jose Sharks had an exhibition hockey game for season ticket holders.  Kind of a scrimmage before the actual season starts.  Some of the players were available for autographs and they had some games and activities for kids.  We took Caden for a little while.  We're not really autograph seekers but we did get a photo with the Sharks mascot.  In the past, Caden has screamed in horror when he (it?) approaches, but this time he mostly just froze in catatonic silence.  We stood and watched him for awhile so I think Caden is starting to warm up to Sharkie.  No horrified screams this time at least.

When we walked in the door to the arena last night, I saw this couple wearing matching t-shirts that said "Who's Side Are You On."  I did a double take.  I certainly didn't win any spelling bees as a kid but I thought to myself... "Oh how embarrasing. They went to all the trouble of having t-shirts made up and they don't know how to spell."  And then I realized that those were the free t-shirts that the Sharks were handing out to the fans!  OOPS.  They apparently printed thousands of these shirts and forgot to spell check them first.  It's ok; I'll still wear it.  It was free after all.

Caden sure had fun watching the game.  He is very different this season compared to last season.  He was really hooting and hollering and pumping his fist in the air.  We weren't quite sure what any of it really meant but it looked quite impressive (and funny) nonetheless.  He wore his "I Love Nabby" shirt (Evgeni Nabakov is their goalie) and he even made it up onto the big Jumbotron for a few seconds.

The real exhibition games start tonight and the season opener is in two weeks.  82 games, here we come.   

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Saturday, September 13th
The three of us were enjoying a leisurely Saturday morning this morning sitting around having breakfast and reading the paper.  Caden was doing his part "reading" some of the more interesting parts of the newspaper.  And then we came upon the Toys-R-Us advertisement.  He looked at it for quite awhile as if he was already plotting his Christmas haul.  He seemed like he was really comparing and contrasting each item.  We got a pretty good chuckle. 

We've been lucky so far in toy stores.  No demands or tantrums yet.  He's still pretty distractible so we've avoided any melt-downs.  Plus, I've been using this line on him about how certain toys "live" on this shelf or in that box and we need to put them back after we look at them.  Or they might not be happy if we didn't put them back where they lived.  Isn't it terrible the stuff we make up and feed to our kids?

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Friday, September 12th
There's one day of the week I'm off the hook to cook: Fridays.  It's John's responsibility to plan something.  I don't really care what it is as long as I don't have to cook.  John got stuck at work late tonight so he offered to spring for dinner out.  Caden and I met him at Chili's.  Because we all got there kind of late (and because there are no stinking restaurants on our side of town), there were mobs of people waiting to be seated when we arrived.  The wait for a table was at least 45 minutes.  We worried about how long Caden would last without food so we looked for a place to at least order a snack.  It just so happened that three spots opened up right at the bar so we grabbed them. 

Caden was being very charming and charismatic sitting at the huge bar.  He looked very tiny in the huge bar stool.  I wasn't sure they were going to let us sit there with a little kid but the bartender walked over and enthusiastically asked Caden whether he wanted a shot of Jack Daniels.  I figured we were OK (we ordered milk).  Given how hungry we were, we decided to just stay and eat right there.  For the next ninety minutes or so, it turned out to be quite an entertaining evening just watching Caden belly up to the bar, bounce between watching sports on each of the many televisions, and flirting with all the other patrons.  He gorged on macaroni and cheese, French fries and milk.  Baby bar food bonanza!  We taught him how to dip his fries in ketchup which he thought was really cool.  He "dipped" his fries all night long as if he'd been doing it for years.

Quite a natural acting like "Mr. Cool" at a big boy bar.  I'm sure no one noticed that not a single one of his fries ever actually landed in the ketchup when he dipped them.  

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Tuesday, September 9th
We went to the beach on Saturday.  It just so happened that there was an Art and Wine Festival at the Capitola Beach, and well, you know what boozers we are.  We admired the art (aka: imaginative crap you'd never really buy) for a little while and then we took Caden out onto the sand.  He wasn't so sure about it at first but then got used to it pretty fast and really dug his feet into it.  He was really impressed by the waves.  He couldn't stop laughing at the kids jumping and riding them. 

I wanted to get a picture of Caden and John walking out in the very shallow water so I encouraged him to walk Caden out a few feet.  Unfortunately, he wasn't really paying attention and before he knew it, Caden was soaked by an incoming wave and covered in sand.  Nice.  We had to go buy some dry clothes because like idiots we hadn't made provisions.

For being people who live 45 minutes away from the ocean and go there all the time, we sure acted like we were from Minneapolis.

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Monday, September 8th
We went to a little birthday party the other night at our friend's Shannon and Calvin's house.  Their son Duncan just turned two.  When we showed up, we were kind of surprised to see that Caden and Duncan were wearing the same shirt!  Oh well, I guess the two papa's just have the same good taste in clothes.  It was fun to watch Caden play and interact.  It's always interesting to see how kids manage themselves at someone else's house with a whole different and new set of toys.  He was in dreamland.  Duncan has some cool stuff!  Anyway, the adults had fun visiting too. 

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Thursday, September 4th
What's this?  Looks political.  How does the old saying go ... two things you never want to see in action: making sausage and politics.  Yes, but there is so much happening in our country and the world right now.  The current political issues have never been more important - in my generation at least.  And thank God we only have a short time to go before new leadership takes over our country.  Click on the image below and wade into a little political perspective.  I promise it will be entertaining.  Or you can just admire the pretty colors, skip the politics and we'll be back to baby talk tomorrow.

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Wednesday, September 3rd
We went to the Oakland Zoo on Monday.  It's a pretty fun zoo.  It's not too big, making it good for people with little kids.  They have the usual lions and tigers and bears as well as elephants, giraffes and zebras.  Some of their more unusual animals are the Lubee Bats which are massive, about the size of a dog and a six foot wingspan.  Creepy!  They also have a kids petting zoo with a variety of very tame goats.  I think they must just put Ativan in their feed or something; the goats all seemed like they were in their own calm little world.  Caden really liked the petting zoo although, as you can see in the video, he gets a little distracted by other kids (not sure which is more entertaining).  We know he has quite a conscience already because before he does something he knows is off limits, he shakes his head "no" first (and then does it anyway).

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