Friday, January 23, 2009

Cultural Canaan

In an attempt to "culturize" Canaan, we make every effort to introduce her to the American way of life.

Of course, one of the most important aspects of our society is Patriotism--so after having a conversation with Canaan about relevant social and political issues such as the free market, capitalism, ACORN and the debilitation of the mortgage market, we felt like she was ready to vote.

Don't let her looks fool you--she was more than happy to get her "I voted" sticker.

We also felt like it was important for Canaan to experience the "cun-try". So last fall, we took her to the North Georgia Mountain Fair. How to build a log cabin, how to make pork rinds, and how to drive a Harley were all the lessons Canaan learned that day.

At Halloween, we thought we'd let Canaan undergo what every American experiences on October 30--quickly carving the pumpkin so our $20 pumpkin doesn't go to waste and so that all 5 neighbors will see it if they decide to make the two mile trek into our neighborhood to trick or treat at our house while bypassing all the "big" houses that give out "life-size" candy bars instead of "fun" size.

While she appears to be upset at being put in the pumpkin, she was merely trying to tell us that there was pumpkin-gut on her Halloween tights.

Tim was trying to console her--bless his heart.

An appreciation of art and history is an aspect that grows one's character and love of country. So we brought her to the High Museum of Art for the Last Emperor's Terracotta Army exhibit. Fascinating!

Especially after realizing that people don't bring babies to the High often and that there's a strong possibility we may be asked to "come back another time."

But not with Canaan on board. Whether it was the terracotta figurines in the gift shop that peaked her interest or the fact that her mother had to sneak in a picture because I'm not sure if you can actually take pictures at an art museum, Canaan did not make a peep the whole time.

We were not asked to "quietly leave the premises."

Canaan was excited to learn the process of actually creating a few thousand member army made out of terracotta.

She was fascinated to discover that the Emperor was afraid of the after life and so built this army. Thank heaven for heaven, Canaan thought. Literally.

She was thrilled to try her first wonton.

She was delighted to pose in front of yet another statue for the 32nd "illegal" picture in an art museum.

But, Canaan did learn to have an appreciation for both art and history--another cultural event checked off the list.

Canaan also eats at fancy resturants. This weekend while on a little trip with our friends Chris and Anna Walters and Dustin and Angela Lyle, Canaan eats her first lemon. A highly culutural and sophisticated fruit to eat. One that her Aunt Amy enjoys. So we caught it on video. Pay close attention to her face after tasting her first lemon.

Nothing--she's not even fazed. Should we be concerned?

And finally, after "culturizing" her at the restuarant, we decided it was time for Canaan to experience yet another important aspect of our society that nearly every American 21 years and older appreciates--

wine tasting.

Definitely a drier Merlot aged in oak barrels, Canaan decides.

She may look like she's had too much to drink, but she's actually focusing on the aroma of this particular variety.

Soon, Canaan will be ready for the whiskey. Just kidding.

We are responsible parents.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Canaan's First Christmas Vacation!

Canaan's first Christmas was a blast! And since she's a Goodwin and a kid after our own heart--we were on the GO the entire Christmas Vacation!

First stop, Babyland General Hospital in Cleveland, GA--home of the original Cabbage Patch Kids. The place where her mother went when she was a little tyke and the same place where Canaan would receive her first CABBAGE PATCH KID for Christmas! During the tour of the "hospital" while looking for the perfect doll to purchase for her, we thought it would be funny to play "Where's Canaan?" It's like "Where's Waldo?" but with a life-size baby hidden among life-size dolls.

Canaan was excited that all the Cabbage Patch Kid clothing and accessories actually fit her.

Although she wasn't technically supposed to see her Christmas present before Christmas day, she peeked.

Daddy didn't appreciate Babyland General Hospital and the experience of purchasing Canaan's first Cabbage Patch Kid like Canaan or I did. After making the purchase, he wasn't too excited about looking at all the accessories and taking more pictures. He was ready to go.

Next stop, the Mountain House, where we spent Christmas Eve with the Trane family--Grandma, Grandpa, and Uncle John. Here, you will see Canaan opening her very first Christmas present ever--a cutie little book complete with tasty wrapping paper.

Then for Christmas day, we're off to the Goodwin family household--Nana, Pop Pop, G-Pop, Uncle Josh, Aunt Sarah, Uncle Kevin, and her cousin Courtney. Imagine Canaan's surprise when she opens up...her very first Cabbage Patch Kid! This looks familiar, she thinks.

So after hours of present-opening, we get the cutest picture, quite possibly, of Canaan's entire Christmas Vacation--she and Courtney donning Santa hats, trying to decide which of the nineteen cameras to smile at.

And after a long hard day opening hundreds of presents, Canaan is cashed out on the sofa with Uncle Josh (left) and Uncle Kevin (right). Her mother did not think it was very funny that they strategically place a beer bottle in her hands. I am not an advocate of under-age drinking.

Next stop on the Christmas Express, the airport where Canaan gets ready to fly to Minnesota to visit the Extended Trane Family.

Her first airplane ride is a big deal. She practices flying with her Uncle John.

When I say "extended family" I'm serious. This is a BIG family tree--Maureen's dad (Grandpa Fred Trane) has two sisters (Cindy and Aunt Beth) who have kids and whose kids have kids. Left to right on the bottom row: Mattie, Payton, Alex, Lainey, Cody. Next row from right to left: Canaan, Maureen, Uncle Roy, my cousin Peter, Great-Grandma Virginia, Aunt Beth, Grandma Kathryn. Last row, left to right: Aunt Cindy, my cousin Paula, my cousin John, Uncle John, Tim the father, Uncle Babe, and Grandpa Dad.

And here's four generations--starting with Canaan's Great-Grandma who tried to tell me that she has a puppy at the nursing home who won't eat much, despite the food she shoves in it's face. This puppy, we later find out, is a fake puppy who "moves" with a push of a button. Poor senile Great-Grandma. Next, my Aunt Beth (who is like my mother), me, and finally Canaan who was thrilled with Great-Grandma's fluffy hair and leopard-print shirt.

Canaan's absolute favorite part of the Minnesota Christmas Vacation were her cousins--Cody, Alex, Mattie, Lainey, and Payton. They were a source of constant entertainment and cute pictures--one such picture: matching red pajamas for everyone! Thanks to Aunt Beth. The following video shows the difficulty of getting all six kids to smile at one camera at the same time.

On top of experiencing her first set of matching P.J's, Canaan also experienced her first snow. Major snow, I might add.

In the following video, you'll see Canaan, immobile in her snow suit, and Payton throwing the first "snowball" which is actually a "snowfluff", purposely meant to explode in the air before it actually hits her. (Good thinking by her mother). But Payton didn't think that snowball was good enough, so she took it upon herself to throw a bigger snowball, one that's the size of half of Canaan's body. So you'll hear me yelling to her, "NO NO!! That's TOO BIG!!!" Luckily, three year old Payton didn't have the greatest aim.

And after a cold romp in the snow, a nice bath in a tub crowded with four girls with two other girls supervising is always a relaxing way to end the day. Especially when I have to keep telling Lainey, "Hold on tight. Really. Hold on tighter than that. I'm not kidding--she's really slippery." At the same time I have to keep reassuring Mattie (the one with glasses) that Canaan won't pee or poop in the tub--not that I can guarantee that, but I had to tell her that so she'd stop asking me. All the while, I'm monitoring Payton (in the front) as she's "helping" me wash Canaan's hair--"Don't keep pouring the water on her face. She has to be able to breathe!"

Six girls at bath time is a lot.

After a week at the lake house, Canaan reluctantly leaves her cousins to fly back to Georgia. But before we leave the great state of Minnesota, we take a quick trip to the Mall of America. She is utterly amazed at the amusement park inside the mall. So Canaan gets her first ride on a roller coaster!

Just kidding.

Then we visit Grandpa's best friend from childhood--Paul Swan and his family. By this stage in the game, Canaan is having a tough time remembering all the names of the people she's met for the first time. But she takes comfort in knowing that whether she's in Minnesota or Georgia, at least she can still ride around in the Baby Bjorn.

We've been drawing family trees at home to prepare her for next summer when we go back to Minnesota. She'll be well-versed in the family history and how everyone is related to someone. It's a tough job for a six month old, but we are raising a tough kid.

Finally, it's time to go home. Canaan relaxes on the flight back to Georgia. Ready to get back to Andre and Gracie and Joy and Sierra and Marin and Mackenzie and all her other friends. Ready to see grass on the ground again. Ready to just wear her pink jacket and not have to be shoved into a big snowsuit again. Ready to go to sleep in her own bed. Ready for the next Christmas Vacation!!

Thankfully, Delta is truly the most comfortable way to fly.