Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Fourth of July!

Canaan's (second) Fourth of July consisted mostly of this face: pure astonishment.

We begin our Fourth of July celebrations on the Third of July...why not have TWO days of fireworks, danger, and the commemoration of our country's Independence? So we head to Rope Mill Park with our fireworks in tow (obtained illegally across the border...I mean, we bought them at Kroger). First up, a seemingly harmless display of sparkly sparkler things. Or so we thought.

With the camera rolling, Canaan only four feet away (what harm can a sparkler firework do), and Tim lighting the fuse, we soon encounter the kind of trouble that is so rampant on Fourth of July Celebrations--not reading the directions.

As frightening and "Blair Witch Project" as this video seemed, there were no eyes shot out during the firing of these mortars. Canaan's look of astonishment told us, "Just how can you mistake a harmless show of sparklers with mortars that shoot twelve feet in the air, complete with booms that have the reverberation of Civil War cannons??"

So we lit the actual sparklers instead. Canaan, her parents, and the Cherokee County Fire Department were much happier.

Next on the Fourth of July Agenda, an authentic Fourth of July Parade! Complete with friends to watch the parade with (Casey and Angela Smith, Kaitlin and Ethan), real high school marching bands, two fire engines, thousands of plastic American flags courtesy of the local "Lion's Club", and a fantastic show of every "Miss something or other" riding in her convertible that you could possibly imagine.

Canaan's look of astonishment at the ninth Mustang convertible with some girl aged four months to eighteen years old wearing a crown, waving to her assembly of on-lookers, also astonished at just how many "Miss Teen Marietta" and "Tiny Miss Cobb County" and "Little Junior Miss Georgia" and "Teeny Tiny Miss Little Preschool Down the Street" there are.

Here, Canaan is proudly "waving" her American Flag while the veterans walk down the street.
She's thankful her Uncle John, who was stationed in Iraq for many years, is back home safely and for good!
She's secretly hoping her Uncle John will let her ride in his Mustang next year and that she will be chosen as the 2010 "Little Miss Peanut of 408 Redwood Trail."
We love the Fourth of July!
Finally, it's time for a cook-out with Kate, Andy, and Sierra Potts and a real fireworks display!

After a pig roast and many cookies, everyone hurries to find their place in the back of the truck. Canaan's hoping these fireworks are less scary than the mortars, yet more remarkable than the sparklers.

And they are!

(Just a side you see that curly hair?? On both husband and kid?? I'm astonished at how cute they are.)

And finally, Canaan's second Fourth of July comes to an end...fireworks were wonderful, cookout was yummy, friends are awesome, parade was amazing, and Sierra's look of astonishment told Canaan that you can have a fun-filled day, with no naps, eat lots of chocolate (as evident by Sierra's chin), and hang out in the back of someones truck watching fireworks until ten o'clock, and STILL ensure that your cute bow or hat stays on all day.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Canaan's First Birthday!!

We begin June 26, 2009, Canaan's FIRST birthday, with a birthday breakfast and some presents!

Canaan's favorite present--her very own cell phone. Now, she can not only call Andre whenever she wants, but she can also text and take pictures.

Just to make sure we haven't given her a knock-off rocket launcher for the pool, Canaan has to taste it to ensure it's authenticity.

Yes, it's a genuine rocket launcher.

Actually, her favorite present may be a tie between the cell phone and the turtles. Simon and Myrtle, thanks to Uncle Michael and Aunt Amy. Canaan was thinking about feeding them the tiny apple she has in her hand.

Next on the birthday agenda, a little picnic at her friend Sierra Pott's pool. (Thanks Pott's!) Here's Canaan digging into her peach. If it seems like she eats a lot, let me assure you that she does. We're priming her for the hot-dog-eating-contest when she grows up. After all, what parent wouldn't want to exploit their child's talents in order to make a pretty penny and buy an RV so we can retire at age 43?

After waiting 20 minutes for the food to digest (just kidding...that's an old wives tale. We jumped right in when Canaan was finished with her peach), Tim took Canaan down the waterslide! Canaan wanted to go down head first, but we were concerned that her light-weight body would launch right off the slide, so in the end, Tim kept sliding down with her in his lap.

That afternoon, we started a new birthday tradition! One which will bring tears to my eyes every year. Tim and Canaan danced to Carrie Underwood's song, "All-American Girl." Every year, they'll dance to the same song and when she gets married (hopefully...), we'll edit it all together into one video. And maybe she'll "choose" to dance to that song for the Father/Daughter dance! "Choose" is in quotation marks because when you give birth to a kid after 17 1/2 hours of labor and no pain medication, you earn the right to influence your kid's decisions. Including what song she will dance to with her dad at her wedding. No song, no wedding. Sometimes you just have to sacrifice freedom for a cute photo op.

Finally, on the June 26th agenda, the RODEO! Yes, we brought Canaan to a real rodeo for her birthday!!

And how could she attend a rodeo without Cowgirl Attire?
Her Grandpa is helping her fit the cowboy hat nicely over her bow.

It was a for real rodeo. Cowboys riding bucking broncos...

...and little girls riding mechanical bulls.

Finally, the actual birthday-day was complete. But when Sunday rolled around, Canaan realized that the birthday celebrations were far from over!
First stop: Andre's birthday! Andre, who is two days older, bigger, and bluer than Canaan, had a BLAST at his pool party! Thanks for being our favorite neighbor and friend, Andre! And maybe boyfriend one day, too...if you can wait till Canaan's 37.

First, Canaan had to change into her party outfit.

Then, we had to do a video documentary of the kid, cake, people, and backyard beach!

Next, a quick change into the birthday bathing suit (not to be confused with her actual birthday suit), a little song to celebrate Canaan's first birthday, then the cake!Due to the fondant icing (which I hand made! And I made the fish and the rest of the cake...finished it up at midnight the night before. What mother wouldn't make the fanciest cake imaginable for the most memorable birthday a kid has? Everyone remembers his/her first birthday, right?!?!)

Due to the hard icing, Canaan chose simply to eat the fish and not dive into the cake. So I helped her.

You can see she loved every bite of it! Including that squishy bite in her mouth.

This is also a good shot of her two front teeth. After months and months of endless "teething", four pop in. Then, we're waiting for the rest of them to appear--incisors, molars, etc. Apparently, they don't get those until they're two? Another year of rabbit-chewing with four front teeth??

It worked for the cake, though.

And the video documenting the cake experience. Note her confusion with the fondant icing, then her decision to just go with the pink fish.

The party was a blast--good friends and family were there. Uncle Michael Williams and Mackenzie Thornton (who are best friends, according to Mackenzie) were just a few!

The whole crew took a quick dip in the pool after cake and ice cream.

Finally, the end of the party draws near, and Canaan thanks her Mama with a big smooch. She felt like her first birthday was not only memorable, but filled with educational experiences (she sure taught that mechanical bull a lesson), fabulous cake (and fondant fish), wonderful friends (we missed Gracie and Joy Bardin!), unbelievable family (thanks for helping!!), and a very blessed life (Thank the LORD!)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Summer is a BLAST!

Summer activities of Canaan: finger painting.

Mix some pretty colors, spread some newspaper on the grass (although I'm not sure why I was trying to keep the grass clean), put a gigantic paint shirt on Canaan (I'm sure Target makes kid-size paint gear), give her some paper and we're ready for a Norman Rockwell.

In this video, you can see that Canaan realizes in order to produce a quality finger painting, one must first evenly spread the paint all over the place. Including the sleeves of your paint shirt.

Soon, Canaan is side-tracked by the glorious squish of paint between your fingers.

And of course, no experimentation is complete without the ole' trusty "Taste Test." Crayola blue paint: non-toxic for sure. Taste tested and mother approved.

And for our final finger painting video, you get to experience Canaan's ultimate product.

The next summer activity for Canaan: getting a "big girl" car seat. While I think she's still too peanutty for this seat, apparently, she's ready. According to Consumer Reports. You can see in the following video that Canaan enjoys some leisurely reading while riding in the car. Until she gets frustrated that the free Chick-Fil-A book doesn't have any information to contact the publisher in regards to the text being upside down.

And thankfully her attention is quickly averted to the new car seat button. Crisis managed thanks to the bright red "release" button.

Summer activities continued: getting dressed up and throwing a tea party with the "girls."

Donning her purple tu-tu and tiara (thanks, Nana), Canaan is ready to get out the Bunko game and relax with a spot of tea.

Any proper hostess knows you first serve the cucumber sandwiches then the you offer the dinner mints.

"Is this the Earl Grey or the Passion Fruit tea from Starbucks?" Canaan is wondering while admiring the real pottery tea set her Grammy from Minnesota gave her.

Finally, it's time for one last Bunko call and then the clean up. Canaan is very efficient in cleaning up. Disclaimer: nothing was broken in the filming of this scene.

Not knowing what to do with the sugar cover, Canaan resorts to eating it.

Injuries come hand-in-hand with summer time. Bike crashes, bee stings, skinned knees, and falling off the bed. Actually, rolling out of the Bumpo seat which was strategically placed in the middle of the bed (for safety while I was vacuuming...of course.) Then, rolling off the bed, hitting her lip on the side table, and having it bleed only slightly. Then, an intense amount of swelling which went down after some miraculous application of the Boo-Boo Bunny. You can see the right side of the lip is slightly more "puffy" than the left. At first, I wondered if I was a bad mother, but then I realized I've just joined the ranks of millions of mothers whose kids have fallen off the bed and still live to see the day they graduate from college with a 3.78 GPA--no brain damage evident.

While the summer hasn't consisted of bike crashes or bee stings (yet), what summer would be complete without a little midnight trip to the ER? After two days of high fevers, a trip to the pediatrician who signs us off with a clean bill of health (except for the mysterious high-fever causing virus that's ravaging her little 18lb. body), we return home, put her to bed with a 100 degree fever, and an hour later, she wakes with a 105 fever!! Good LORD! So here we are, soaking her with tepid-water, praying for no brain damaging febrile seizures, calling the pediatrician's midnight hotline every 26 seconds, and finally, decide to take her to the ER. After double doses of Tylenol and Motrin, the fever goes back down, and by the end of the night, she's literally jumping on the bed and squealing at her roommate who's suffering from some mysterious pain in her abdomen. Next day: fever free and healthy as an ox.

Midnight trip to the ER: $1,259. Krystal's burger and fries after the most scary experience in your life: $6.89. Having a kid who is healthy and normal and enjoying every bit of her first summer: absolutely priceless!