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.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Summer Activities: Part One

The summer activities of a one year old are numerous. On top of the list of fun-filled activities are: hanging out with friends.

Andre, Canaan's favorite neighbor she's ever had, enjoys swimming with her, discussing tactical maneuvers for shoveling sand--

--and driving her three-wheeler in only his skivvies. It's a difficult task seeing as how Canaan always fluffs his hair whenever she's sitting behind him. Andre tries to tell her to just simply hold on while he attempts to show her how he can drive with no hands.

Lunch with friends. Canaan enjoys talking with her mother's college buddy, Amy Morrill Younkins, and her little guy, Grant. She's mostly interested in the foundation Amy uses--wow, her complexion is fabulous!

Best girl friend: Gracie Bardin, youngest girl of Greg and Esther Bardin, also college friends. Gracie and Canaan enjoy sharing hair products--Canaan obviously did not use any hair spray that morning, while Gracie straightened her hair quite nicely. They also enjoy pretending the Lion Push Along Toy is a shopping cart at Super Target. All girls love that place.

One of Canaan's favorite girlfriend activities: getting the ladies together to play a little Bridge. Actually, that won't come for another few years. They do like to sit around and talk about how it would be fun to play Bridge, though.

Girlfriends: Joy Bardin (in the chair), Marin Jones (in the blue shorts), Hope Jones (laying on the floor), Gracie Bardin (Tim's lap), and Canaan (Baby Power.)

Finally, one of the youngest of Canaan's circle of friends, Isaac Robertson, son of Nicole and John Michael Robertson from our church's small group. Canaan enjoys giving Isaac the "Stink Face" until she realizes, it's her own diaper that stinks. How embarrassing.

Canaan also enjoyed the occasional risk this summer. Sliding down a twenty-foot Bounce House Slide (thanks to Sierra Potts' kind invitation), on her belly. We like to mix things up during the summer.

Besides playing with friends and taking risks, Canaan also spent the summer playing with her toys. Particularly those toys that provided props for her and her mother's favorite pretend game, "Desperate Housewives." So after her Grammy from Minnesota sent her every pretend food item you could possibly imagine (including but not limited to: leeks, tangerines, donuts, whole chickens, croissants, hot dogs, celery, etc) and the All-Clad-mini-pots-and-pans set, Canaan was ready to play.

Of course, she had to taste everything. (And here I am thinking the "tasting everything stage" ends at a year. No, not really.)

And what Desperate Housewife would be complete without her baby in it's very own, life-size, American Girl Doll stroller? (Thanks again, to her Grammy, my Aunt Beth, the "Original Desperate Housewife.") In the following video, Canaan's patience wears thin after a full day of cleaning, preparing food, running errands, taking the kids to soccer practice, and finally, the icing on the fondant cake occurs when her stroller crashes into the baby gate. Who, in their right mind, would put a baby gate at the bottom of the stairs?

After that kind of day, we both like to end our summer night with a good "Lucky Stripe" cigarette. Also thanks to the family in Minnesota. (Particularly my cousins, Peter and John, who introduced me to the "Candy Cigarette" when I was only three. I would like to thank them for the positive influence they've had on my daughter and me. Thank you, Sweet Peter and John for teaching us how to relax after living another summer day of being a Desperate Housewife.)

And before you call DFCS on the Goodwin Gang, know that we quickly ate up the rest of the cigarettes so as not to teach her any bad habits.