We have a 2 year old!

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Friday, December 30, 2011

That's A Foot!!

So today, at 16 weeks 5 days, Cael discovered he has feet! When I was taking a picture of Cael this morning, I got one of him looking at his feet, like "Hey there! What are you guys?". I figured that it would be a while longer before he would be able to grab his feet, but nope. He did it after his bath, while I was trying to put a diaper on him. He lifted his legs up to his hip level, grabbed his foot, and brought it to his mouth. It was the cutest thing ever! Next to his laughing, of course.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Now *That* Was A Laugh!!

Cael did a belly laugh tonight for the first time! It was the cutest thing ever. I gave him a huge hug after the second, and final, laugh. And the best part? Matt was sitting next to us on the couch when he laughed, so he got to hear his first real laugh too! I was making funny noises, and he just let it go. Up until tonight, he would start a laugh while inhaling, but would never "let it go", as Matt puts it. Well, he let it go tonight, and it was the cutest thing ever. Totally made my day.

Monday, December 26, 2011

16 Weeks Old & Merry Christmas!!

Ho ho ho!! It's Christmas day, and Cael is also 16 weeks old today! It was a rough day today, though. Cael was extremely fussy. For the first time in a long while, Cael was up at 3 am to eat. And then again at 7. But he didn't fall right to sleep like he usually does. He stayed awake, overtired, and cried. And cried, and cried. And he did the same thing for most of the day. I have all these happy pictures of Cael because I know how to time them. He gave us a few 10 minutes spurts where he was in a good mood, and those were my windows of opportunity. 
He didn't hate his Jolly Jumper, which was his big Christmas present today. But he also didn't love it. Actually, his cousin Briley LOVED it! She jumped around for more than 20 minutes in it. I can't wait for Cael to enjoy it just that much. Anyway, I'm happy that Laureen was around, because she took him several times today while he was crying to give us a break. He was really testing my patience today, as I'm still not feeling well. I feel horrible getting frustrated with him, but a person can only take so much crying. Hopefully he sleeps through the night tonight. 

And now a non-Christmas update. We had Cael to the pediatrician on Thursday to check his circumcision. The doctor saw what I was talking about, but thinks it may be the way his circumcision was done. His words were, "it looks like the circumcision took on the top, but didn't so much on the bottom." He said it could be adhered on the bottom (underneath part), but he didn't want to mess too much with it. He said it's not bad, and sometimes they don't take enough of the skin off, and it can re-attach to the top (glans), and that this wasn't the case here. We told him we were concerned for when he was older, if the skin would be too tight, and he said it shouldn't be a problem. As far as the white fiber that in his skin, he said to leave it alone, and it should work its way out. He didn't want me to try to do it because it could irritate it or cause an infection.

So basically, it was not as bad as I thought it was, thankfully! He gave us a cream to use twice a day for 2 weeks on his penis. He said that if the skin was adhered, that the cream would help separate it. And that if its just the way the circumcision was done, then it wouldn't help, and we wouldn't see a change at all.

Oh, and Cael weighs 13 pounds 8 ounces (just under 25th percentile), and he said that his weight is good because he's following the curve. Overall a very good appointment. I'm so happy and relieved that the pedi didn't need to do a procedure, or pull the skin back.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

3 Month Photoshoot

Done by me, that is. I wish we could have afforded to get them professionally done, but we couldn't, so I attempted them myself. I am happy with how they came out. Not bad for a complete amateur.

And So It Begins

I have my first cold of the season. Fabulous. I feel like a bus ran me over. I'm stuffed up, yet my nose is running; I have a headache; my body aches; I have the shivers; and my throat is on fire. I'm hoping that I don't give Cael the cold. I would feel horrible. But I also hope that this doesn't turn into a sinus infection, like it usually does. I'm just so happy that Cael has been such a good boy today. He hasn't been fussy like he usually is. We even took a 2 hour nap together on the couch, which I really needed. And I really appreciate it.

Tomorrow is Cael's pediatrician appointment to check his penis. I really hope the appointment goes well, and Cael is OK. Matt was able to get off work tomorrow, so he can come with me. I'm so grateful for this, because if the pediatrician needs to pull back the skin, I would want him with me. I did fine with Cael's 2 month shots; better than I thought I would. But I know that I wouldn't be able to handle this. :::All will be fine. All will be fine:::

My trip to Long Island was nice. Although my mom started working the day I came down, it was nice to see everyone. We also went to my brother S's house so that Cael can meet everyone. I can't believe how big my nephews got! My other brother R came as well. I got an awesome picture of all of us, which I wanted, because we're all that's left from my dad's side. I think it's my favorite picture.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

15 Weeks Old!

After several days of improvement, Cael has gone back to his fussy self. We've been on Long Island visiting family since Thursday, and we'll be leaving on Tuesday. This is our "holiday" time here, since we won't be coming down at Christmas. Yesterday and today, Cael was a wreck. We visited my best friend Lindsay and her son Liam yesterday at her parent's house, and he cried for most of the time, fighting sleep. He did the same thing today, while we were at my older brother's house. He gets really cranky, because of either gas or other reasons, and then gets overtired, and fights going to sleep. On the way home from my brother's, he screamed in the car for 45 minutes out of the hour long car ride. I wanted to jump out of my car. At least he took a quick, 15 minute nap this evening while we were eating our late Thanksgiving dinner at my brothers. I can't remember the last time I ate a meal without holding Cael, or listening to him scream. It was really nice.

I can't believe how big Liam got! He's 7 weeks older than Cael, and they said he weighs close to 20 pounds! He's in the 95th percentile for height and weight, and he's a beast (I mean that in the most loving way possible). The pictures we got of him and Cael next to each other are great. Cael was screaming (of course), which set Liam off as soon as we put him next to Cael. So basically, every picture we have of them together, they're both crying. It's adorable though.

I weighed Cael yesterday, the 17th (14 weeks 6 days) on mom's digital scale, and it says he weighs 13.8 pounds, which is equivalent to 13 pounds 12.8 ounces. According to the app I have, that puts him in the 25th percentile. I'm assuming his growth is slowing, but I was waiting for that plateau to occur - which I think happens with all breastfed babies at some point.

Cael is also able to sit now assisted. As long as you let him hold onto your fingers, he can hold himself in the sitting position. I'm not ready for that, but it's coming whether I'm ready or not. He's just developing so quickly, and it's flying by before my very eyes. It makes me want another one. Wait, I just slapped myself for saying that. I'm 99% certain Cael will be an only child, and I'm ok with that. This whole parenting/rearing thing is a lot to deal with. I would never trade it for anything, and I feel really thankful that I have Cael, but I'm not sure I want to go through it again. And I know Matt is done with kids. So unless he has a change of heart at any point, we're one and done.

It was so nice to see my older brother, sister-in-law, and nephews today. I haven't seen them since my shower at 28 weeks pregnant, and even then, I only saw my sil. I didn't see my brother or nephews. I am in utter shock as to how big they got. My youngest nephew, J, is going to be 3 in February. It just flew by in the blink of an eye. I missed most of him growing up, and I'm upset about that. He's a complete little person, and can speak in perfect sentences. The last time I saw him, which now that I think of it, was last Christmas, he was barely speaking at all. And B, my other nephew, is just getting so big! He'll be 6 in April. He's in kindergarten, and is turning into quite the young man. He's so dramatic when he tells stories (especially about his nut allergy), and I love when he says "Aunt Joanne, Aunt Joanne!!" It melts my heart. My third nephew, A (not blood related) is also getting big. He's doing good in school, and is always so excited about everything. And not to mention very polite.

My younger brother R came as well, which was really nice to have us all together. I wanted to get a good picture of us all, since we're all who's left on my dad's side. Brothers, sister, nephews, aunt, uncles and cousins. I absolutely adore it. And I'm the only girl out of us, so it makes me feel special :) Cael cried most of the time there, but it was so nice to have my brother, sil and nephews meet him for the first time ever.

A Problem I hope Isn't As Big As I Think It Is

I'm going to copy and paste what I wrote on the Sweet Peas FB page, so that I don't have to re-write the whole thing.

I really need to vent because I feel like a horrible mother, and a failure. And I'm very upset right now. I think Cael's circumcision re-adhered :( I'm going to warn you, this is going to be long.

Let me start by saying that neither of us were told that we had to pull the skin back after the circumcision healed, as to prevent a penile adhesion. And after doing some research tonight, everything says that the parents should be taught to do this so that they can properly care for the circumcision, and prevent adhesion. Yea, major fail there on the hospital and pediatrician's part. And I've only started pulling the skin back a few weeks ago after reading something on here. Cael is 15 weeks old tomorrow.

I've thought for a while now that it didn't heal right, but his penis doesn't look "abnormal", so Matt and I thought nothing of it. Plus, we didn't know any better. Well, during Cael's bath today, I had my mom look at it on a whim, just to see what she thought (I have 2 brothers). I asked her if she thought it healed funny, or looked partially fused, and she agreed. I then told her that I was never told to pull the skin back to clean it, and she gave me a look of slight shock, and said "what? I thought you knew that. I didn't think to tell you because I thought you knew." I could tell she was being gentle because she didn't want to upset me. She just said to ask the pedi about it at his next appointment.

So I took him in the room after his bath to dry him off, and I decided to further inspect his penis. This is when I found another problem, and I'm more upset over this. I don't think Cael's penis entirely adhered, but only partly, from a little more to the side of the middle, then around the rest of the penis. I can retract the skin a little on the top and to the other side, but then where it starts to fuse, it stops being able to retract rather bluntly, instead of gradually (if this makes any sense).

Now the worst part. Where it bluntly fuses together laterally, there is something stuck. It must be a piece of debris or fiber from a disposable diaper, and it has to be from a while ago, because I think it got stuck there when the circumcision was healing. His skin must have healed around this fiber because I didn't know to pull back the skin. It feels semi-rigid (not soft, and only a little flexible). It sticks out a little and I maybe noticed it last week, but thought it was some of that white stuff the body produces (smegma?) that you wipe away with a wipe, or in the bath. It's sticking further out now than it was then, so that makes me believe his body is trying to get it out. I can see it continue under his skin. To give a visual, it looks like a splinter would - where a little piece of the splinter sticks out of your skin, but you can see the rest of it continue under your skin. It looks just like that, but white. And it sticks out right at the junction of where it's re-adhered.

My mom and I tried to see if we could work the fiber out, or grab it. With me doing that, it looks like it came out a little more, but only *slightly*. I tried using tweezers, but after GENTLY pulling it, and it not budging, I stopped. It must be stuck there with the new skin that formed. I didn't want to hurt him, or cause an infection.

I'm going to call the pediatrician on Monday, and see what they say. He doesn't go back until Jan 12th for his 4 month visit/shots, but I want to make sure this gets taken care of sooner rather than later. I feel so horrible for Cael. I have a feeling they're going to have to do some procedure to fix it; or at the very least, to get that fiber out. I feel like a huge failure, and that I caused this, and I just want to hold him tight and cry. What's good is that it doesn't seem to be bothering him. But I don't want him to have a scarred or abnormal penis, so I hope it's not as bad as my mind it making out to be. But I can tell that if he gets a erection, it's going to pull the skin tight, and possibly hurt him. Even more, I'm so upset with the hospital and pediatrician for not telling us to retract the skin in order to prevent this from happening. I'm really beating myself up over this. I should have known, or researched it.

My poor Cael :*(

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I'm Going To Have My Hands Full

My son is going to give me a run for my money, that's for sure. I had him in his Bumbo chair today, and after about a minute, he turned his body, and started leaning over the side. He was trying to escape from his Bumbo! I couldn't believe it. While still staying within an arms-reach, I grabbed my camera phone, and took a picture of my very own Evel Knievel. In the words of his father, "He's going to be trouble."
Tomorrow, Cael and I leave for Long Island for a few days. I'm excited to see my family again, and I know they'll be surprised by how big he got. I know I am every time I see him. I'll also finally get to introduce Cael to my brother and sister-in-law. I can't wait for them to meet their nephew. And I can't wait to see my nephews again!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Rollin', Rollin' Rollin!

Cael rolled over this evening! From his back to his belly! I'll be honest, I cried. I had him on his back on his playmat, while finishing dinner. Matt was on the couch, I walked into the living room, and he was on his belly! I looked at him shocked, and Matt asked me what. He didn't see it happen because our fold-up table was in his way. So I grabbed the video camera, put Cael onto his back again, and started recording. He got really close several times, but couldn't get his arm out from under him this time, so he just rolled back. It was so cute, and he tried so hard. Warning - He is whining a lot in this video :)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

14 Weeks Old!

Cael is becoming much more vocal now. He looks right into my eyes as I talk to him, and he babbles right back to me. Even with the pacifier in his mouth, he tries to babble, and smiles. I absolutely adore it with all my heart. He also needs to keep moving around. He can't stay in one place for long, or he gets bored and starts crying. So I started doing "stations". I'll move him around from the crib, to the walker, to the playmat, to the Moby, to looking out the window. He also loves the fish pond upstairs. According to Matt's mom, Matt was the same exact way when he was an infant. Fun times. However, I think he's starting to get much better :::knocks on wood:::. He's taking more naps in his swing or crib, as opposed to me. Which I enjoy. I'll still let him sleep on me a couple of times during the day, because, let's face it - I love the cuddle time. But I also like having some time to myself during the day. He only sleeps for about 30 minutes in the swing/crib, but it's a start.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Pictures/3 Month Pictures

All taken and edited by Yours Truly, on December 8, 2011.

A Miracle

My son is currently sleeping in his crib! Yup, you heard me right. Sleeping in his crib. And the best part? He put himself to sleep. I tucked him in really well, including his hands, played the mobile, gave him the paci, and within 10 minutes, he was out. That was 20 minutes ago. I honestly have no idea what to do with myself. It was suggested by a friend to just sit, and have a cup of coffee. So I'm sitting on the couch, listening to Tyson snoring on the ground, and drinking some tea. I can't do dishes, because the kitchen is right next to his room, and I know any banging noise will wake him up. So that can wait until later. Maybe I'll go upstairs, and see if they want to watch him for a little while after he wakes up and I feed him. This way I can do laundry (first load of soiled diapers), dishes and vacuum. But I really need this time right now, because I have a splitting headache, and I know I wouldn't do well with high-pitched squeals. And I'm not sure what I can take for it, so I took 2 regular strength Tylenol.

What makes this even more a miracle, is that we slept until 11:10 this morning! He got up at 7:30, ate, and didn't fall back to sleep until 8:45, and then ate again at 10 and 11, but fell back to sleep after the 10 o'clock feeding. I feel very rested, but this headache is putting a damper on it. But I can't believe he's sleeping again after sleeping for 14 hours. But it makes this mommy very happy. I'm trying to fight the urge to go in and check on him, to make sure he's quiet because he's asleep, and not something else. But I'm fighting it, and I'm sure he's fine.

So after washing the cloth diapers last night, I decided to test them overnight, instead of waiting until today to try them. It was a success! No leaks at all. Although, he had a hard time while he was eating last night. He kept coming off my nipple every 5 seconds and screaming like he was in pain. I thought maybe the diaper was possibly bothering him, or pinching him, so I went into the bedroom, unswaddled, and undressed him. I couldn't find any reason that he would be bothered by the diaper, but it was already soaked. So instead of letting him sit in it, I changed him.

I originally put him in the Best Bottom diaper after his bath, but I don't think I'm too fond of it. It has this elastic, cinched part in the front of the diaper, and because it's cinched, it pulls down low on his belly. The diaper just doesn't seem to fit him well. So when I changed him, I put him in the Flip diaper. I think it fits him much better. The only thing I don't like, is that with the Flip diaper, the inserts don't snap in, but just lay in the cover. So when Cael is squirmy, it makes it difficult to get the diaper on him while keeping the insert in place. But I'm sure with time and plenty of more diaper changes, I'll get more used to it, and will be changing diapers like a champ.

And now, after 30 minutes of Cael sleeping, I just heard him on the monitor. I think he may be waking up. Thirty minutes isn't that great of a nap, but it's a very good start considering he fell asleep on his own. It gave me some me time, and allowed me to just relax and clear my head. He only made a noise once, but I'm sure he'll be up soon. Good job, Cael! I'm so proud that you fell asleep in your crib, and not on me! <3

Friday, December 9, 2011

Craptastic Unawesomeness

Those are the only two words that I can think of to describe the last few days. It has been very stressful indeed. It all started Tuesday night (which was actually after midnight, so early Wednesday morning) when I found out our checking balance was $0.00, and our savings balance was only $130. I tried paying our Verizon bill, but it couldn't be processed, so I checked our bank account. Turns out, where I thought we were ahead financially, we were actually behind. I take responsibility for not keeping track of our financials, but at the same time, I got screwed. My *previous* employer decided to cash both a $500 and $300 check at the same time, which cleaned out our account. This was for our health insurance, to keep it active. Like I said, I didn't
account for those checks, but at the same time, the $500 check was given to them in October. So I guess I forgot about it, thinking it was cashed.

So after checking my account, I realize that I didn't get my unemployment payment for the previous week. Not getting that payment also set us back. I thought maybe that I didn't claim my benefits for the previous week, so I contacted the NYS Dept of Labor. Are you ready for this crap!? I did claim my weekly benefits, but my claim is under review. Why, you may ask? Well, it turns out my *previous* employer told NYS that after my short term disability ended, that I chose not to return to work. Haha! I'll repeat that: I chose not to return to work, so therefore, I shouldn't be eligible for unemployment. Isn't that a crock of bullshit? Well, to make a long story short, I spoke to the HR department and told them the real story. That my position was posted and filled while I was out on maternity leave, so I didn't have a position to come back to. So it was chosen for me to not return. I also told him how unhappy I was with how the whole situation was handled, and how I thought it was shady. He agreed that I have every right to be upset, and he was going to talk to some people, and find out what's going on. I should be hearing from him on Monday. We shall see.

To top it off, Matt's windshield is cracked all the way across, so we have to somehow come up with the money to fix that. At least $500. I have no idea where that is going to come from. We'll have to figure it out, I guess. At least I went food shopping, and that cleared. And thankfully Cael is breastfed, because we wouldn't be able to afford formula. I'm going to see if I can try to apply for WIC. It would definitely help us out.

Cael has been super fussy the last few days, too. It's really taking a toll on me, too. The constant crying, not wanting to be put down, not taking naps anywhere but on me. It's very taxing. And not to mention exhausting. Matt also left for Long Island yesterday, so not having him around in the evening is also hard on me. But he needed to get away, and I can't blame him. He has been going non-stop since the summer, when I was put on bed rest. He needed a break, and I can't say I blame him. Hopefully he'll come back feeling relaxed and refreshed.

But anyway, back to Cael. I'm not sure what to think. I'm hearing that you can't spoil an infant at this age, but then people tell me you can. I talked to my mom about it, and she looked up some things on the internet. She found a site that talked about a mom with a similar situation. She attributed it to her baby being breastfed. They take comfort in breastfeeding, and therefore fall asleep while on the breast, and get used to sleeping on you. It makes sense, and could explain why Cael will only nap on me. The lady suggested trying to keep your baby awake while breastfeeding, and then put them down in the crib for their nap. I know it's going to probably take some time, but I'll have to work on it. At least it gives me some hope that I'm not spoiling him, and that it's because he's breastfed.

Onto happier things. I got Cael to chuckle yesterday. It was *the* cutest video ever. He's also trying to roll over from back to belly. He's getting really close to doing it, and I wouldn't be surprised if he rolls within the next week. He's getting so big, I can't take it. We also started cloth diapering tonight. It's going to be interesting to see if he soaks through everything in the morning. I guess if you're going to test them, overnight would be the time to do it. We're really low on disposable diapers, so I'm glad that I got the detergent today. I really don't want to/can't buy more diapers, so I'll be doing a ton of laundry. I only have enough inserts for 7 diaper changes, so I'll be doing laundry probably twice a day to reuse the inserts. Wish me luck!

In other news, we had 6 inches of snow on Wednesday night. It was Cael's second snowfall. So Thursday morning, I put Cael in his cute bunting, took him outside, and sat him in the snow. I took some pictures (of course), and he was so adorable. It was cold out, so I didn't spend too much time outside.

I was also given a Moby Wrap by a friend of mine. I am so thankful for such a wonderful gift. Cael loves it! And it's so comfortable too - much more comfortable than my Infantino carrier. I can't wait to wear it out in public.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Just Writing

As I'm writing this, I'm finishing a nice glass of wine. And I have to admit, that I'm nicely buzzed. It's been a while since I've been buzzed, or drunk for that matter. It's almost 1 am, and I'm still awake - as I do almost every night - but I will be going to bed shortly. I find that the only time I get to myself is after 10-10:30pm, when both Matt and Cael are in bed. So therefore, the last few nights, I haven't gone to bed until about 1am. It's nice to have *me* time, I must say. I love being home with Cael all day, but I also need time for myself.

Speaking of Cael, I'm looking back on pictures of him, and I can't believe how fast he's growing. He's holding his head up, looking around, follows objects with his eyes, and looks in the direction of sound. He smiles when he sees me, and it makes me so proud to know that he recognizes me. It makes me feel loved. I grow really sad at the rate that he's growing. I feel that he'll be going away to college before I know it, and it makes me cry. I don't know what I would do if I were working right now. I'm still looking for jobs - which there aren't any around our area - so that I can work, but I can't imagine leaving him everyday, and having a daycare raise my son. They would most likely experience every "first" of his. The first time he smiled, the first time he sat unassisted, the first time he reaches for an object, or his first word. It breaks my heart to think that I would miss all this. I feel horribly bad for all the mamas that have to experience this. I take it as a blessing that there aren't any places hiring for a sonographer around me, because it allows me to stay home with Cael, and experience his firsts.

I love my son so much. More than I ever imagined that I could. Knowing how much I love him makes me regret and feel so guilty for the way I felt the first 3 weeks of his life. I can't believe I felt the way I did. But I love him more than words can describe, and I think that's all that matters now. I just had to say that. I'm finding myself growing tired, so I'm going to end it here.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

3 Months Old!

How in the heck did 3 months fly by so quickly! I've said it before, and I'll say it again, it makes me really sad. He's getting so big, and is developing so rapidly. He's to the point now where he can sit up if you hold his hands with yours. But his head still bobbles around a little, but he does a very good job of holding it up.

Yesterday was a horrible day for Cael. We went to go visit a friend in the Binghamton area, that I went to middle school with. She came and visited me in the hospital when I had Cael, which was very sweet of her. Before that, we hadn't seen each other in YEARS! Since 8th grade, that is. She just had twins 2 months ago, so it was nice to visit her and see her little munchkins. Well, I was there for about 3 hours; 2 hours of which Cael was screaming bloody murder. It was his pain scream - high pitched frantic wails and screams, and they just break my heart. He had some horrible gas, and we got him to burp several times, until he eventually spit up a ton of foamy, frothy spit up. Poor little guy. He eventually started feeling better, and fell asleep in my arms. I'm so happy he was feeling better, because then we actually got to talk to each other.

I take it his gas is from my increased intake of caffeine. I've been having a cup of tea a day, and I'm thinking that is the problem. So I'll cut back on the tea, and see what happens. I haven't given him his reflux medication in about a week, and I haven't really noticed a change. The medicine didn't really seem it was working 100% anyway. However, he is spitting up less. He still gets the hiccups every now and then, and after he burps, he does this slight heaving motion like he wants to spit up, but he doesn't. It seems like his digestive system is finally maturing, thankfully. But he does still seem to have a lot of gas/farting, so we'll see how he feels over the next few days with my decreased caffeine intake.

Cael took a bottle today...twice! I'm really trying to get him to take a bottle so that Matt and I can go out for dinner, a movie, or anything. Initially, he only took 1 ounce, and then I gave him the breast. Then, before his final night feeding, he took the remainder of the bottle, which was 3 ounces. He was still hungry after, so I gave him the breast. I figured out the trick to him taking the bottle. He needs to be on the Boppy, similar to how I breast feed him. I'll try another bottle tomorrow, and hope he takes it again.

I'm super excited about starting to cloth diaper. I got my "fluffy mail" on Friday. However, dummy me didn't order the detergent at the same time, so I can't use the diapers until I get the detergent, and wash them first. It should be here on the 8th, which is Thursday :( I guess I'll just have to wait. I also can't wait to get more cloth diapers, and use them all the time. Right now, I only have enough for 7 diaper changes, so not even a whole day.

Friday, December 2, 2011

O' Christmas Tree!

Today was a great day! Matt left work early today so that we could take Cael to the mall to see Santa. Matt was convinced that he would scream, but I told him that he wouldn't cry. Cael doesn't mind meeting and being held by strangers. Plus, it helped that he had just woke up from a nap. We got to the mall at the perfect time - there was only one family ahead of us, so we were immediately next in line.

It was a little frustrating, though, because the family in front of us - who had twin girls about the age of 2 - were taking a ton of time. They were afraid of Santa, which is fine. But they took about 10 minutes trying to get the girls even close to Santa. Matt and I were getting annoyed, because we knew that Cael's happiness was probably fading the longer we were waiting. Finally, the girls' grandmother suggested letting us go ahead of them, so we did. I was thankful for that, because we got some great pictures of him and Santa while Cael was still happy.

When we got home, we relaxed for a bit, and then put the tree up. I was so excited, and Cael was surprisingly happy sitting on the couch while we put the tree up, and decorated it. I got some good pictures of him under the tree too. I used to lay under the tree with my grandma looking up the tree at the lights, so I want to do the same thing with Cael.