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.
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!!