Monday, December 22, 2008

Getting ready for Christmas...

The first Christmas is a big deal. So in an effort to prepare for this momentous occasion, we decided to get our Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving...a little early and it was a little freezing and rainy, but we persevered. We usually cut down our tree, but this year, it was too cold.

So for the sake of the "first tree", Tim still had to pretend.

We choose our tree in about eight minutes, had a quick photo shoot, paid the man for the tree, threw it on the top of the Forerunner, and were back in the car four minutes later.

Canaan was not sure what had just happened.

After enslaving Tim to take all the boxes and trunks full of Christmas stuff down from the attic as well as checking and untangling hundreds of lights, the tree was up by December 1. THAT was a first for us. We wanted to make sure that Canaan had plenty of time to enjoy her first Christmas tree!

She loved it.

She especially loved the fact that her mother refused to vacuum up any more pine needles after the seventh time of vacuuming in only three days. Canaan grew to love playing on the floor ridden with poky pine needles as well as being careful not to eat the pine needles that would get stuck in her stuffed animals.

That's why it takes more than eight minutes to pick out a good Christmas tree--questions like, "Does this tree shed a lot?" are good to ask.

That was Canaan's FIRST lesson in choosing a Christmas tree.

And what Christmas would be complete without attending a Tacky Sweater Party? Hosted at Dustin and Angela Lyle's, Canaan was adorned in her own felt-Christmas-tree-sown-with-a-gold-star-at-the-top-tacky-red-sweater. Tacky sweaters are kind of cute on a baby--not as cute as a sweater vest on her father or a Scottie-dog-complete-with-shoulder-pads sweater on her mother, though.

Finally, the time came for Canaan to visit Santa Claus. We leave right after church to try and beat the mall lines. Apparently, people start standing in the Santa line at 5:30 in the morning. So, no Santa that day.

We then decide to take her to a more remote location where Santa has his own little house that kids come and visit with him. Waaay cuter anyway. We head off on a rainy Tuesday night only to find out that he only sees kids on Mondays and Thursdays.

So, for Santa attempt number three, we load up on Thursday to arrive and find zillions of kids running amuck in the front yard of this little Santa house. We put our name in, thinking we'd be called 20 minutes later. Instead, three hours later, at 9:45 at night, hours after Canaan has fallen asleep in her car seat, after eating dinner at Tim's parents house (thankfully only five minutes down the road), and catching 30 minutes of a Christmas movie on TV, our number is called to see Santa. This had better be good.

And he was! Not only was he FREE, but he had a real beard and the Santa suit wasn't so polyester-looking!

Canaan was thrilled to tell Santa what she wanted for Christmas...her two front teeth.

Seriously. So that her parents can finally sleep through the night again.

She tried to show Santa where the teeth would go. Preferably two straight teeth.

She was a little upset when Santa told her he didn't work in that department. A cute doll will have to do.
Of course, we caught it all on video! We also filmed her rendition of "Away in a Manger", a family tradition we'll do every year--the kids singing that song in front of the tree. This year, Canaan was only interested in the ornaments on the tree.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

First Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving 2008 was a day filled with pictures. It actually began the day before with her Uncle Kevin (Tim's brother) getting sworn into the Army at Pop Pop's church. So here's the beginning of thousands of pictures of Canaan at Thanksgiving.

I think the sergeants were a bit flustered that Canaan was "boneless" instead of "at attention." Uncle Kevin's collar bone was broken (biking accident with Uncle Aahron) so that's why he was holding Canaan's dress with his left hand--in case he dropped her. That would be a bad start for a "medic" in the Army. So we were THANKFUL that Canaan wasn't dropped at the swearing in ceremony.

After a lovely Thanksgiving at my aunt's house (eight aunts and uncles, fifteen cousins, five second cousins, one sister, one brother in law, one husband, and one five month old), we traveled to Nana and Pop Pop Goodwin's house for Thanksgiving and more pictures.

Aunt Beth, mother, and Canaan.

Canaan is beginning to show signs of "discomfort" with the paparazzi. You can tell by the slobber on her dress's collar that she has tried to self-soothe, but to no avail.

It's only getting worse. Now someone took a picture without Canaan even looking. To top that off, Canaan's tights were bunching--and Elephant Ankles at Thanksgiving is extremely inappropriate. So her naked diaper was showing.

As if that weren't enough, sometimes Canaan got confused about who her real mother was since her Aunt Beth's looks are so deceptive. If not for the brown hair, Canaan might have gone home with the wrong person.

And then, the world was coming quickly to an end. Another picture. This time with her father and mother. At this point, not only was Canaan seeing spots, but her boots with the fur were missing. I'd like to say it's her own fault for kicking them off, but maybe it's mine--I have no idea how to "size" infant that her toe I feel or just the arch of her foot? I don't even know. Tight boots or not, she sure looked cute on Thankgiving Day.

And then, the final picture with Uncle Luke and Aunt Beth. That was it--Canaan was no longer thankful for anything anymore. At this point, Thanksgiving was nothing but flash photography, bunchy tights, boots that didn't fit, a slobbery dress, and her Uncle Luke who wouldn't even divulge any of his secret military tactics when he was a paratrooper in the Rangers...seriously he was. And he seriously wouldn't tell us about his secret tactics. I was not thankful for that.

So that was it. Just when we thought Thanksgiving was a flop, Pop Pop saved the day.

With Canaan's first bite of Thanksgiving Turkey. Suddenly, the world seemed brighter, our hearts were truly thankful for our friends and family and a healthy baby, and the taste of polyester turkey lingered in our mouths to remind us how wonderful Thanksgiving really is.

And to check out the other food Canaan ate for Thanksgiving (green bean casserole...just kidding. It was broccoli again.) Check out the video!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

First Food!

Choosing the first food your child will have is cause for deliberation: should we feed her oatmeal cerael or go the route of rice cereal? Organic or Publix brand? Baby food from the jar or the Majic Bullet?? Veggies or fruit? So after much discussion with Bonnie (Canaan's future mother-in-law), we decided broccoli. One might wonder why broccoli and there are many reasons: it's a vegetable and I think vegetables are better than rice. And that's maybe one of the only reasons I can think of. But we decided to go for it.

So after steaming, food processing, and sticking the leftovers in the ice cube tray like Martha Stewart tells you to do, Canaan was ready for her first "real" food experience.

Canaan was anxiously awaiting the first taste of broccoli.

The camera is rolling, the silver bowl that she'll probably never eat from again is filled to the brim (as if she's going to eat an entire serving of broccoli...), she's propped up in her grandfather's antique high chair, the Georgia bib is proudly displayed, and we hold our breath...

She's not sure what hit her.

She desperatly tries to hide the broccoli underneath her high chair tray in an attempt to fool us..."What?!? I ate it all! I swear!!"

So after most of the blessed broccoli ends up on the bib and in the folds of her neck, we decided to try bananas. Two days later, after the organic bananas were freshly prepared, we were ready for round two of "Canaan's First Food."

"Not bad," she thinks. "I can smell them better than I can taste them, seeing as how my mother got most of them in my nose."

She decides bananas are actually better than broccoli--better smelling when they're shoved in my nose, better feeling in the folds of my neck, I don't have green things stuck in my teeth (gums)...I can handle bananas.

And for dessert--my bib.

And for more broccoli-action, click on the video below to watch Canaan's actual gag reflex kick in when she eats the broccoli for the first time!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Playground time!

Canaan received a mini-playground set from her Nana and Pop-pop so we set it up in the backyard, bundled her up, and invited Andre over for a little playground action!

Literally bundled up--the poor kid could barely move her head to a comfortable position while enjoying the swing. That's why the pacifier was in place...getting a "Who" hat on (like the Who's in The Grinch Stole Christmas--that's what she looks like), shoving her hands in the "mittens" (not really mittens, Bonnie thought they were maybe socks. Mittens means thumbs in these puppies), putting shoes on so the feet don't get cold (I really don't know how to tell if shoes fit her...I can't feel her toes in there), and strapping her into the swing was not a fun experience. But her mother is an advocate of being tough--no one ever died of crying in the swing because their head was cricked to the side. So the pacifier became an essential outdoors accessory.

While Canaan was enjoying her very first swing experience (which she eventually did), Andre was checking out the slide. The 2 foot tall slide complete with a steering wheel attached to the "central station" part of the playground thing. Just in case anyone wanted to drive around the back yard. Hopefully they'll really enjoy this when they're one or two. Bonnie and I didn't feel like they were truly appreciating the thrill of a swing that only goes about a foot or so in each direction and a slide that the poor kids couldn't even sit up to slide down. So we mostly just had to pull them down the slide.

Andre, though, was ready for the time of his life on that slide. Complete with mother's assistance and Canaan looking on.

So after some fast-paced sliding and really-high swinging, the kids were ready to take this playground thing to the next level.

It was time for the Train.

Unfortunatley, the Train wasn't as fun as Andre initially imagined. Canaan thought maybe if he was the engine next time, he'd be okay with it. She didn't mind being the caboose.

Not sure if Canaan was just enjoying the ride or simply couldn't move her arms and head back to their rightful position after the fast-paced trip down the slide.

I think she likes this new playground--the feel of wind in her hair, the screams of joy from Andre, the thrill of the swing...Canaan's middle name just might be "Adventure."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Canaan's First Halloween!!

Halloween began this year with a family picture on Sunday at the Goodwin Big Family Night--Tim's mom and dad (Nana and Pop-pop) host the big family...Aunt Sarah, Uncle Josh, Uncle Kevin, G-Pop, random people, Jenny the dog...

And of course, her cousin Courtney, born on the SAME day, only nine years earlier. This is a particularly sweet picture due to the fact that emotions have been quite turbulent between the two of them. Initially, Courtney was not too excited about sharing her birthday with her only cousin after realizing that having a new baby in the house will take some of beloved spot light away from Court. So after Canaan was born, Court quickly fell in love with the little peanut, constantly wanting to hold her. (And kiss her and squeeze her and hug her...) So the tides turned. Canaan was not too excited to have Courtney around--typically there's lots of screaming involved when Court holds her. This picture, though, captures the true love between two cousins who have come to peace with one another's existence.

Friday night finally arrives...Halloween is here. Canaan is getting pumped up. Thoughts of candy, Andre, trick or treating, and a nice bowl of chili are swirling in her head.

She simply didn't realize that Halloween meant actually getting into a costume. A peanut costume at that. A peanut costume that had a big orange bow on the "head" to show that she was clearly a girl. With orange socks to match.

But as soon as she saw Andre and realized that he too had been subjected to a costume, she forgot her humiliation. After all, Andre was The Incredible Hulk. How perfectly fitting for her boyfriend to be the strongest and most handsome man on the planet. Aside from her father, of course. Andre was a little embarrased about the whole costume thing--he tried to look tough, though.

So after yet another family picture...with me sporting my Georgia colors and Canaan sporting her peanut getup. And Tim just sporting his whiskey.

And a picture of the moms and kids...(we're really just loading up on baby pictures for Canaan and Andre's rehearsal dinner slide show.)

The kids were strapped in their strollers and ready for their very first trick-or-treating experience. We expected to hit up at least two or three houses. It was going to be a monumental night.

This is the first house. Right across the street. Joel and Donna--Donna who thought they were too cute and Joel who thought that Canaan was a tortoise. What tortoise wears a bow is my question.

So after visiting Caroline Swafford, the pumpkin (who was born four days before Andre--I think there really was something in the water around here), it was time to hit the road again.

The dads were out of whiskey and Andre's grandpa was getting a little crazy. So after the third house, we called it a night.

So finally, after one more family picture, we headed back home to eat chili and hand out candy, since it was really only 6:45. But check out the kids' loot--look carefully, Canaan got a Reese's cup and some peanut (fitting!) M-n-Ms, and Andre got some M-n-Ms, too.

First Halloween: success.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Punkin' Patch!

On Sunday, we went to the Punkin' Patch with Canaan's future husband--Andre Clark and his parents (Bonnie and Keenan...strikingly close to "Canaan" that Divine Providence?) The Goodwin family wore matching outfits (of course) so that we would be ready to pose for many pictures with the punkins.

Picture #1: Canaan focusing on the dirt that got on her cutie knit tights.

Picture #2: She got the blade of grass off of her tights finally. Whew. Now we're ready for pictures.

Picture #3: Andre trying to tell Canaan that it's cool to have dirt on your tights. And that it was a good thing she wore her bow cause people would think she was a boy since he has more hair than she does.

Picture #4: Andre trying to take Canaan's bow off. It was poking him in the eye and that was not very comfortable. Besides the fact that this was actually picture #76 and he was tired of just sitting there with a girl...whether it was his future wife or not. It was simply not cool anymore.

Picture #77: Canaan did not think that was very funny.

So after a little snuggling with mom...

Picture #78: We're back at taking pictures. (Note the cotton stalks in the year, in celebration of the North winning the Civil War, we'll be taking the kids to pick cotton and explaining how thankful they should be that the North won and we don't have slaves anymore.)

Picture #294: Finally, we pose for an extended family picture--Andre cashed out, Canaan apparently starving because she's eating her hand, and the parents ready for a margarita.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Canaan's First Georgia Game!

Canaan's first Georgia game was (unfortunately) when Alabama (barely) beat Georgia. She was prepared to show her Bulldog spirit with her cheer leading uniform, though. And sometimes, fashion is really all that counts.

We went to Athens to visit Grandpa and Grandma
(my mom and dad). So first thing a Georgia fan does is go to Strickland's for breakfast. Home of the best bacon and eggs and sausage and grits and coffee in the SEC conference. Canaan was upset that she couldn't have any biscuits and gravy. Or maybe she was just upset that her mother didn't pack a red and black bow--the black ribbon actually had small orange dots and no respectable Georgia fan would ever wear orange on Game Day. No matter how small the orange dot.

After a little breakfast, it's home again to get ready for the game. Here, you can see Canaan revving up her arm for the famous GA cheer, "Goooooooooooo dogs!!!! SIC EM! Woof woof woof woof!!!" Grandma has to hold her steady because her balance is thrown off a bit when doing all that arm pumping.

After leaving Canaan with Grandma and Grandpa, we're off to TAILGATE! It's purely out of a sacrificial heart that we decided to leave Canaan with her grandparents while we went to eat Chick-fil-A nuggets (thanks, Sarah) and Cassie's famous buffalo chicken wing dip and yell and throw things at Alabama fans and wear black to support our Dogs and ask around if someone may be selling their ticket for under $450 so that maybe we can actually get into the game. No luck with the tickets. Thankfully, it was wonderful company...pictured left to right--Allison (best friend from high school), me, Anna (another close friend from high school), Sarah (Josh's future wife, my future sister-in-law and co-conspirator of fabulous family night extravaganzas), and Cassie (my best friend from sixth grade and Canaan's Godmother!)

And after the game, we return home to a smug-looking dad whose contemplating our humiliating day with Canaan, who is pensively looking out the window, thinking, "Man, that defensive line was simply over aggressive after falling behind in that first half and when the defensive ends rush right into Alabama's cut-block scheme, it only worsens the issue. I should call Mark."