Friday, November 6, 2009

A few wonderful days...

(February 1, 2010)

We begin this extremely long blog by starting with Halloween. Of course, we have the annual pumpkin-carving on our kitchen table. Canaan is old enough this year to "help", after conquering her disgust of the pumpkin-guts, she dives in.

To celebrate Halloween this year, we decided to also celebrate the Georgia-Florida Game! So we load up the car with all our tailgating gear and trick-or-treating paraphernalia, and head to Florida. Canaan (thankfully) busies herself by catching up on the latest kid-gossip and coolest gear.

We make a stop at our good friends, Rich and Lela Jones' house--to eat spaghetti and hang out! Marin, as pictured here, has learned the fine art of eating spaghetti with minimal causalities, whereas Canaan is still practicing.

Next stop, the biggest Tail-gating Party in the South. Yes, Georgia Fans, Canaan knew how to say, "Gators wear jean shorts" (although it was a bit garbled, real fans knew what she was talking about.)

Then after explaining to Canaan that next year will be quite different seeing as how Tim Tebow will (finally) be gone and that we will really show those Gators how to play football, we left Gainesville to meet more friends, Jonathan and Jennifer Overholser and their new baby Joanna. It was there we dressed the girls up, Canaan sporting a lovely shade of red and black while delicately flitting around as a lady bug. Joanna was a peanut--last year Canaan was a roasted and salted peanut (with an orange bow) and this year Joanna was a cocktail peanut, in honor of the Big Game.

And here we are at 7:30, ready to trick-or-treat for 5-10 minutes, take a hay ride at the local church, and be home by 8:00 for a nice glass of wine. I only hope every Halloween will take 30 minutes. I'm sure when they're 12 or 13, they only want a few candy bars anyway, right??


With Thanksgiving comes cute pictures in the front yard underneath our one tree.

What a cutie little kid! She thought it was funny that I kept throwing leaves at her and yelling, "Look up here! Up here!! UP HERE!!!!!!"

In November, we got sick of changing poopy diapers, so we bought a little potty seat and have now begun sitting her on the potty before she goes to sleep and when she wakes up and GLORY BE TO GOD, she actually poops in the potty. I would say 9 times out of 10. The 10 happened last week when I went to check on her (after she squirreled around in her bed for an hour), and lo-and-behold, she had not only pooped in her diaper, but taken it off and smeared it in every forsaken crevice she could possibly think of. Including inside a drawer that was next to her crib. And then shutting the drawer so I didn't actually find that poop until much later. And I was so flustered by the shear smell and volume of poop, that I actually washed the diaper with everything else, leaving Tim to clean up that mess in the washing machine. SO, suffice to say, the potty works most of the time.

Thanskgiving was celebrated with my sister, Aunt Beth, who came down from North Carolina to spend it with our family! She's actually a supermodel. Just kidding, she works at a vet office, but she could be!

We stopped by our mother's side of the family to eat our first dinner of the day--there were 5 girls (our aunts), each having 2-3 kids which totaled 13 cousins, who got married and now have kids of their own so here's Canaan playing with a few of the 2nd cousins (Laine, Reilly, and Gaines!)

Next stop on the Thanksgiving Day Express, the Goodwin's house--Josh and Sarah's. Here's a picture of Tim, his brother Josh, his daughter Courtney, and Canaan. Note Canaan's eyes diverting their attention to Courtney's luxuriously soft hair.

Next picture, contact has been made.

Canaan emerges victoriously while Courtney is nursing her scalp (and lip??)

And finally, one big happy family, minus a handful of hairs.

Our last stop for the day, the Mountain House to celebrate with the Trane's (my dad, brother, and step-mom.) We go for a hike the next day, and here we are--Grandpa, Daddy, Uncle John, and Canaan who seems to be looking elsewhere (at what? A tree or a rock? Rarely does she actually look when I'm taking her picture. Any suggestions, please email or call me.)

Here, she's actually looking at a waterfall. Hopefully thinking to herself, "What a Thanksgiving! Each year definitely gets better--this year I could eat whole foods, play with toys and cousins, and hike to a large waterfall. And I poop in the potty. Most of the time."


And now to a whole other celebration--Santa time. This year, not only could Canaan say "Santa" (referring to every old man with a beard...she really does believe in the magic of Christmas!!) but she could also wait patiently for two hours in line to see the Man Himself and as soon as we arrive for picture-time, she forgets that Santa is a magical and wonderful old man and begins relentlessly screaming. SO, this is the picture on our "2009" frame on our tree this year.

Speaking of a tree, we made our annual trek to the tree farm, to pick out the tree of our dreams, pretend to cut it down, then take off the red flag indicating it was on sale, and finally drive it home to decorate!

We quickly learned with an 18-month old that diversion is a parent's best friend. So here's Canaan decorating her tree while Mama and Daddy quickly decorated the big tree.

This year, we began the traditional cookie-making at the Goodwin house. Thanks to my Aunt Beth's sugar cookie recipe, Canaan was able to partake in mixing the dough--her favorite part not being licking the beaters like one would imagine, but pretending to break the eggs into the batter--"EGGS EGGS EGGS!!!"

She also rolls dough.

And finally, we bake it, decorate it, and she eats it. In her apron, of course, to save her outfit from the green sprinkles.

Her favorite present this year came from Nana and Pop-pop in the form of a real-live kitchen, complete with pots, pans, spoons, and food. NOW, she can break all the eggs she wants. That's probably what she was thinking in this picture as she saw her Nana and Pop-pop present her with the kitchen.

"My very own microwave!!" she exclaims.

"Thank you, Nana and Pop-pop. You have made my every culinary dream come true."

For Christmas, we also made our annual trip to Minnesota to visit the fam! Here's a snowy picture of Canaan with her cousins (actually, my cousin's kids), Mattie and Lainey, who were more than happy to entertain Canaan until the negative 47 degree temperature overtakes Canaan and she simply falls to the snow, nearly passed out with the lack of oxygen in her body and the immenant frostbite on every external surface of her body. Just kidding...the cold wasn't that bad. Snow does make for great pictures, though!

In the following video, Mattie and Lainey take Canaan across the frozen lake. Canaan stops after eight feet or so, walking in snow pants is difficult for her peanutty legs.

And of course there are thousands of presents to open. Canaan tires after the second one.

Finally, we take our Big Family Picture at the nursing home with Great-Grandma, who's still not sure who I am or Canaan is or anyone for that matter. But Great-Grandma is in a state of pure medicated Christmas Bliss! Just happy to have 15 people eating Christmas dinner and taking pictures with her!


Now we are up-to-date. January is Canaan's official 18-month-mark, and so she advances in her education, from pooping in the crib to saying "ABC, ABC, ABC." In this video, I have documented her trying to point to the letters in order. It's really luck-of-the-draw: sometimes she points to the A and says it, other times she points to the walrus and says, "A."

Canaan is also learning how to dance to Keisha's "Tik Tok." First, we work on spotting while turning in graceful circles.

January also brings the Big Snow--so Canaan learns the difference between Minnesota snow which could freeze a grown man in seven minutes and Georgia snow, which will be melted by the 65 degree weather the next day. So we enjoyed it while it lasted!

Canaan is learning to enjoy a nice piece of fruit, while lounging in her rocking chair and sharing good conversation with her mother. They grow up so fast!

And finally, to close this longest-blog-I've-ever-written, Canaan learns one last important lesson in January--that this tiny picture in her hands will grow up to be her tiny brother or sister soon! Yes, Canaan is going to be a big sister on August 17th! Yeah!! It was truly a wonderful day when we found out our little family is growing!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

We've Been Busy!

We've been busy since the last blog! Since Canaan has learned how to walk, she's been very busy. And so have her parents. I've documented a few of the busy times in September as well as a few lessons I've learned after having an "angel" baby for the first two weeks of Canaan's life, followed by a "crabby" baby for the next three months, then the "spirited" baby until 12 1/2 months, whereas Canaan became the "busy" baby.

September began with Uncle Josh Goodwin and Aunt Sarah getting married--here's Canaan (the flower girl) with her cousin Courtney (also a flower girl...more like a "flower pre-teen").

Canaan kept busy trying to 1.) keep the 2 pound bow on her head, 2.) keep Courtney from picking her up, 3.) walk in a straight line down the aisle,

and 4.) learn how to dance with her Daddy!

I learned an important lesson that day: hold Canaan as much as I can, kiss her often, take lots of pictures and videos, and enjoy every last second of her little-ness because there will be a day when she's dancing with her Daddy on her wedding day!

And I don't want to think, "If only I..." I want to be thinking, "Thank the Lord I..."

Canaan also enjoyed spending time with her second-cousin, Austin Woodger: Tim's cousin's three year old son. Talk about busy--Austin took it to a whole new level.

Thus, the "action shot" where they're planning on where to run next--the hotel lobby, up the elevator, or under the buffet?

And speaking of weddings: Canaan has been busy hosting Andre at her house for "juice and finger snacks."

Here, the kids are watching a movie while munching on snacks. Note that Canaan is eating out of Andre's snack cup, while Andre is snacking out of Canaan's cup. Sharing is a big deal--however, we do draw the line at sharing kisses--that's why "movie dates" are supervised, rated G, and random hand checks are preformed (just to be sure there's no hanky panky, "Oh, that's your hand? I thought that was my sippy cup"...right.)

In the following video, you'll see Canaan busy drinking from Andre's cup while he's eating from her snack cup. We try not to share germs, but another lesson I've learned as a parent: I do what I can to keep Canaan healthy--don't put that in your mouth, where did that crayon go, don't eat that cracker that's been shoved in your car seat for a week, don't drink after other kids, etc.--but I've learned that 100% of adults have gotten sick as kids and have made it out alive. I have to realize that I can't be a perfect mom because God is a perfect Dad and Adam and Eve still disobeyed him. So, how in the world can I assume if I do everything just right Canaan will never get sick, or mess up, or make a bad choice?? That's what grace, mercy, forgiveness, and unconditional love are for!

And this is what soap's for: letting Canaan eat chocolate and really enjoy it.

And in this video, you can see that Baby Signs really do work: when asked if Canaan wants more chocolate, she doesn't hesitate to use the "more" sign--and quickly. She also tries to tell me how wonderful chocolate is and why hasn't she eaten more of it until now? We've been busy teaching her how to communicate with Baby Signs in the hopes that we can by-pass the terrible twos (after all, if she can communicate, she won't get frustrated, which means no tantrums). We'll let you know how that turns out--does stomping your feet, throwing things across the room, aggressively squishing the play-dough through her fingers when it doesn't roll into a ball correctly, and squealing so loudly and at a decibel that only dogs and whales can hear when I tell her we're "all done with ice cream", does that mean that we're on our way to by-passing that terrible-twos stage? That's a lesson we've yet to learn.

Canaan's also been busy cheering for the Dawgs this season (to no avail, apparently.) Here, she's intently watching the game with her Aunt Cassie's almost-step-kids, Paige and Nathan.

Canaan is wishing the defense would get busy doing their job and hold the line.

And finally, September ended with the ultimate in busy-ness. I found Canaan butt-naked in her crib after a nap.

When Canaan is "not tired" because she's been "so busy" (or so she thinks), she'll entertain herself by throwing everything out of the crib and commentating on each item and where it landed.

So one day, before church, I take off her dress to clean it (she was busy squishing strawberries on her nice white dress at breakfast) and lay her down for a nap.

Thirty minutes later, after I hear many crashes and lots of chatter and laughing, I arrive in her room to find everything on the floor, including, to my surprise, her diaper. So, afraid of finding poop, I peek over the side of her crib, thankfully finding only a puddle of pee. Canaan points to it and laughs, her naked booty shaking with her.

Lesson learned: the joy of parenting vastly outweighs the messes I clean up, the frustration of washing the fourth set of sheets in one week, the headache I get when I've been drinking de-caf coffee for three days even though I thought it was caffeinated and I kept wondering why I was still so tired in the morning and then I think, "Maybe its cause Canaan was up three times last night with her teething (again)." But despite all the "other things" that come with parenting, when your baby says, "MAMA" and laughs and smiles and asks for "more" when she sees you, it's all worth it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Summer Activities: Part Two

More summer activities for Canaan included the realization that mobility equals freedom.

For example, "If you can get to the tomato fast enough while mother isn't looking, you have the freedom to eat the tomato," was Canaan's mantra during the many summer afternoons we spent outside.

While on a family picnic at Piedmont Park, Canaan realized that the freedom experienced while being launched into the air by her dad was an exhilarating type of mobility. Despite her mother's constant gasps and her attempts to "spot" these dangerous tosses into the air, Canaan loved it.

Another type of mobility Canaan experienced: the ever-faithful, "Tube the Hooch" with Uncle John, Grandpa, Dad, and Mom. While we enjoyed learning how to ram other tubers who were stuck in five inches of water, this was, by far, the most inefficient way to quickly move down the river. And Canaan enjoys both speed and efficiency.

In an effort to teach Canaan other ways to mobilize yourself, we brought her to the North Carolina Country to see her Aunt Beth (my sister) and Uncle Luke (her husband). This is actually her Uncle John (my brother)--note the "Uncle John" t-shirt.

One type of transportation experienced in the country: riding cattle. Just kidding...they don't actually do that. Canaan did enjoy feeding the cows, though. The freedom of moving had to be carefully monitored, though, so as to prevent Canaan from eating the cow's food or being trampled. There's much responsibility involved in parenting.

A real type of mobility we DID experience: the tractor pull.
Yes, we did get to watch a real tractor pull.

Here, Canaan practices on her own tractor. Ahhh, the freedom to drive wherever I want going only 6 miles per hour.

And the following video documents what actually happens during a tractor pull. Note every one's "drop-jaw" look. It was stunning...the strength of the tractors and the masculinity displayed when some one's tractor could make it all of 50 feet down the dirt track.

One type of transportation Canaan discovered this summer: the box. Here, Canaan realizes that not only are you rendered immobile if the box does not have wheels, but it's also a little tight around the leg-area. So, this was NOT Canaan's favorite mode of mobility.

Conducting a train, on the other hand, was.
At her "One-Year Old" photo shoot (thanks to Chris and Anna Walters, fellow small group friends) at the Marietta Square, Canaan realizes that driving a train is not only a blast, but also a quick form of transportation.

Here, in the "Classic Canaan Point", she is trying to tell us, "After I check out these flowers behind me, I'm going to take my doll and run over there to the other side of the Square. So see if you can keep up."

And here, Canaan is pointing to the stairs, telling us that yes, she can also climb stairs. Dangerous brick stairs, no less.
When people tell you to enjoy the days when you can put your baby in one place and she stays there, they aren't lying. Now, our days exist of lots of coffee, anticipating dangerous corners, and exploring everything two tiny hands and feet could possibly find.
And the ultimate in mobility: walking! Canaan has officially graduated into the class of "Toddlers." In this video which was filmed weeks ago, we catch Canaan practicing this new-found mode of transportation. Now, she's nearly running. With her doll, Hayden, of course.

She finds it funny that she can go wherever she wants, climb anything, make her parents run really fast, and especially have the freedom to explore the world!

And 117 pictures later, Canaan is "all done" with kissing, photo shoots, and sitting.

She's out of here.

These Mary-Janes are made for walking, and that's just what they'll do, sister.