Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Busy Girls!

Life with two girls becomes busy quickly. In this picture, Canaan is busy watching for the "plane show"--every plane with a smoke trail she sees shooting across the sky happens to also be a plane show, like the one we saw months and months ago. So living within 20 miles of Dobbins airport keeps her busy.

Shiloh, at two months in this picture, is busy looking at Canaan. And because Canaan is constantly busy, just watching her busy-ness will wear you out.

Thus the reason for sleeping much of the day. It could also be that the rate of hair-growth wears a sister out. Look at that chicken fuzz hair!

So what does a parent of two children do to expend energy? Harness your two year old to a bungee cord, dangling her over a trampoline. Solving two issues: 1.) She can jump her little heart out and have expended enough energy to be ready to walk and enjoy the rest of the fair without us having to give chase through crowds of thousands saying, "STOP! Stop running right now! Come back!!! No more rides for you, young lady, if you don't get BACK HERE!!!" 2.) Daddy, Shiloh, and I can go get a funnel cake or a cup of coffee or something and relax for about 20 minutes since she can't really go anywhere.

A two year old can also get the busy-ness out by playing with other two year olds! Here, Canaan is enjoying Mountain Day at Berry College with old neighbor, Caroline Swafford.

Here, Shiloh is enjoying floor-time with her friend Isabella Lyle, three weeks older. The energy of a two year old and the energy of a two month old varies in intensity--these girls are extremely busy at bone-growth, working on double chins, keeping the bow positioned properly, etc.

And for a lot of busy-ness, we go to the girls' favorite friend's, the Clark's!! Andre, busy looking for pirates in his toilet-paper-tube-binoculars, Selah busy eating a condiment of some sort, Shiloh busy eating her hand, Canaan busy thinking about jumping up and "freaking out" after the picture is taken. Which she has told me while jumping frantically on the bed, "Mom, I'm freaking out!!!" I'd freak out too if I had that much energy coursing through my veins.

Another plane show--and a freak-out session by little sister. For all Shiloh's laid-backness, when she does get agitated and starts screaming, it's so intense it makes me think every time, "It must be her appendix that's ruptured. Surely a poopy diaper isn't this bad."

And another picture with the girls! We're always busy trying to capture sweet memories--like Canaan and Shiloh trying to make the same squinty-eyed, awkward-smiley face.

Amidst the busyness of our lives, Tim and I do still have date nights and conversations that don't consist of singing "To-MORROW, to-MORROW, I LOVE YA, to-MORROW". While they're fewer than the days Before Kids, we appreciate them even more. Just like we appreciated all the wine we drunk after visiting this vineyard.

With Halloween comes the annual Picking-Of-The-Pumpkin. Here, Canaan is "holding" Shiloh while Shiloh is desperately trying not to slip into the scratchy hay underneath.

Afterwards, we get busy carving those pumpkins. And not your typical smiley-face pumpkin, but a really unique one, which Tim is ever so excited about "carving what into that little pumpkin?"

Shiloh is excited about her first pumpkin-carving experience. She's busy holding the tiny pumpkin for us while we get to the other ones.

Canaan is busy scooping out the "pun-kin guts", having to resort to scooping-blind since the pumpkin guts have sealed her eyes shut, her hair to her forehead, and her shirt orange-stained forever.

Shiloh is much cleaner and much more efficient. The only casualty here was a stray seed.

Alas, the pumpkin of Halloween 2010 is finished. Shiloh is mesmerized, Canaan is ready to spring back into action as soon as the picture is finished, and the Pumpkin Guy is posed to welcome the three trick-or-treaters we get since we're miles away from the entrance to our neighborhood and technically in "The Bridgemill Ghetto."
In preparation for Halloween, Canaan's cousin Courtney teaches her a classic Halloween dance: Thriller.

For Halloween, Canaan and Shiloh matched (of course) and were monogrammed (in case someone forgot their names). They were "Pink and Green Tinkerbell."

After much deliberation, we chose Tinkerbell since tu-tus are really cute, who doesn't love to wear wings, fairies make for darling pictures, I already bought the stuff by the time Canaan changed her mind and wanted to be Tiger Lilly instead, and ultimately, I'm the boss around here.

Shiloh, an extremely happy and content baby,
was okay with being green Tinkerbell. Really, she's okay with anything right now. Actually, she's not okay with Canaan trying to "nurse" her or with Canaan trying to get her Uncle Michael to "nurse" her. Other than that, she's okay with everything else.

Not being as busy as her sister, Shiloh sleeps through most of Halloween, content to let her good friend, Selah the Elephant fill her in on the action she missed while sleeping in Dad's arms.

Some of that action included a sword fight between Captain Feathersword and Red Power Ranger. Canaan was busy simply eating all her Halloween candy, knowing it'd be a full year before she ate a Butterfinger again.
After trick-or-treating with Andre and Friends on Saturday, we trick-or-treated in our neighborhood on Sunday. In this video, Canaan is busy trying to tell us what is special about this day while thinking, "How fast can I run from one house to the next while still keeping my hair in this cute bun?" Shiloh is busy thinking, "I love my mom. I love food. I love clean diapers. I love my mom. I love sleep. I love my mom."

And since Halloween was a month ago, I've included this clip of Canaan's most recent two-year-old busy-ness. Her doll, Annie, got the brunt of that busy-ness when Canaan found a ball point pen.

And because God knows how much busy-ness a parent can handle, He gave Shiloh to us: sweet, happy, chilled-out Shiloh. Here she is at three and a half months old!

Life is certainly busy with little ones, but we keep reminding ourselves, they're only this little for a short time and enjoy those little blessings while we have them!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Shiloh Elizabeth

October 1, 2010

Finally, the wait is over! Shiloh Elizabeth Goodwin arrived on August 7, 2010 at 8:08pm after 5 miraculous minutes of pushing...Praise the Lord. In this picture, Canaan meets the long-awaited Shiloh for the first time! "At last. All the preparation of changing Annie's (her Bitty Baby's) diapers and clothes and using up all 126 wipes in the container was worth it. The REAL baby is here."

And now, Canaan is even more prepared...she knows how to "nurse" her baby (which we hope she never does in public) and still uses all 126 wipes in a matter of minutes (which is why many of the wipe dispensers don't actually dispense wipes--they're shoved full of crunched-up and "used" wipes, thanks to Canaan trying to "wipe Annie's poop.")

Family picture #1 of zillions. Peanutty Shiloh weighed in at 6.1, 19 in. Mama weighed in at 297 lbs. Just kidding. Not really.

All those extra pounds and contractions and decreased bladder size: well worth it.

Shiloh's first bath experience: slightly successful. Her hair did get washed (her hair is now growing in blond so it looks like a bad dye-job--light roots, dark tips), the umbilical cord did get wet (and no infection ensued--she now has a normal belly button), her lungs did get a work out (we had forgotten the amount of screaming involved with an infant), Canaan did try to pour water on her face (it's a wonder the 2nd child survives infancy), and we were successfully launched back into infant-hood ("Yes," we remind ourselves, "it's worth it.")

It seems as though your brain conveniently "forgets" the early months of having an infant. I imagine it's so that the human race doesn't just die off because everyone only has one kid.

While it takes some re-adjusting, moments like these make it worth it--big sister holding her little sister, smiling while she imagines, "What would my mother do if I just plucked this button right off Shiloh's dress then quickly popped it into my mouth so she'd have to finger sweep it out while trying to take this cutie picture and supporting the baby's head all at the same time?"

This sweet little face makes it all worth it when it's 4:30 in the morning and we're thinking, "14th day of sleep-torture: fall asleep for 15 minutes, then wake up to yelling baby. Rock the baby. Fall asleep for 15 minutes, then wake up to yelling baby. Change the baby. Fall asleep for 15 minutes, then wake up to yelling baby. Feed the baby..." We are now sleep-torture pros, bring it on Commies--we won't tell you nothin'.

While Canaan came out of the womb as "Miss Independence and full of business," Shiloh came out "Miss Congeniality and full of snuggling." Maybe it's the Second-Child-Phenomenon: I could hold her all day, knowing that this tiny stage doesn't last long, so I have to eat it up while I still can. It's worth it to slow down and enjoy this.

Here, Shiloh's looking at Moses Bardin thinking, "The man's working on two wrists while I've barely got forearm fat. But he sure is cute."

Here, we tried to trick Canaan, "Where's the real baby?"

While a favorite expression in our house is, "Woah!! Gently _____ Shiloh." Fill in the blank with "touch," "kiss," "play with," "place your Barbie next to," "move the firetruck away from," "remove Annie's bottle from". Canaan does love her sister.

Shiloh's first visit to the Mountain House was met with the whole family: Luke and Beth (my sister and her husband), Tim and I (and little muffin-head-Shiloh), Grandpa and Grandma, "Unka John" and Canaan.

While at the Mountain House, we visited a little shop where Tim found his first purchase in preparation of having two beautiful little girls. A pink shotgun. Pump-action. With an orange nozzle.

To welcome Shiloh into the world of ladies and tea, best friends Cassie, Amy, and Bonnie gave us a "Sip-n-See"--the epitome of Southern Tradition, complete with cute dresses, big bows, monogrammed gifts, cucumber sandwiches, and sweet tea.

The ladies! Our house is officially chock-full of estrogen. Poor Tim.

And with estrogen comes gymnastics--including a leotard with panties sticking out. This is first of many girl-things: cheerleading, dance class, tu-tu's, prom dresses, manis, sensible pairs of shoes, boyfriends, and drama.
But girls are worth it!

Proud grandparents: Grammy (my Aunt Beth from Minnesota who stayed for two weeks--I'm thinking of hiring her as our live-in-nanny), Grandpa (my dad), and Grandma (my step-mom). Shiloh thinking, "Will my head ever grow to be as big as Grandpa's hand?"

Cousin Courtney at the lake. And lots of pink.

Our friends, Lindsey and Justin Neal's "little" boy, Alexander. How could a sister not feel safe with a big burly guy next to you, while laying on a fluffy giraffe, surrounded by every doll and stuffed animal imaginable?

The following video chronicles the love between sisters: from giving a false name to protect her identity ("No, sir. My sister won't go on a date with you. Besides, you have the wrong girl. Her name is...uh...um..."), to fibbing about her real age ("Of course we're still 37. This is our 10th anniversary of being 37."), to giving take-your-breath-away-snuggly-hugs. This is REAL love!

And what decent Georgia Fan would let the season pass by without dressing the girls up in cheerleading uniforms and taking lots of pictures? Not this one. Canaan telling her sister, "Just buck up, lady. We all have to wear bows around here and heaven forbid if you spill sauce on your uniform." Shiloh's look of resignation to this fact.

Canaan's look of astonishment at the poor season thus far.

And Daddy's look of peace, "Parenthood? It's worth it."

Monday, July 26, 2010

She's Getting Ready to Be a Big Sister

For months we've been preparing Canaan for the arrival of her baby sister (who should be here, Lord Willing, in the next one or two weeks!!! PLEASE Lord!) Canaan, who is absolutely infatuated with dolls and doll accessories, has been thrilled out of her mind. In fact, the motto around our house is, "No doll left behind." Poor Tim...the oldest of three boys. Sometimes he's so lost in the world of dolls that all he can do is change Annie's outfit for the 17th time and then say, "Oh, this one looks great."

Canaan's been busy preparing for the arrival of a new baby at our house. First, she intends to have a conversation with everyone who's attention may shift slightly when a new baby arrives, "G-pop, just to let you know, I've always loved you the best. In fact, I want you to have this small soccer ball as a token of my affection."

Tim and I constantly assure her of our undying love for her. For Father's Day we went to the lake for a little BBQ and swimming. Canaan is thinking, "Next year, I can bury my sister in the sand! This will be GREAT!"

At Andre's birthday party, Canaan has a heart-to-heart, "Andre, love of my life, soon there will be changes. It may involve a younger woman, but I want you to know that I will always be here for you. Here to wipe the icing off your face when you get an icing-mustache."

She's confident that Andre couldn't resist a face like this. Or icing this flavor.

We realize there may be sibling rivalry, but we hope to foster an environment of unconditional love for each other. Canaan practices her "unconditional love" game face with good friend, Ava Harrison. "While my sister may be screaming her eyeballs out, I will still love that little squirt-ball and smile for the camera. No matter what."

We've been telling her that she'll have to teach her little sister many things. Like swimming--here Canaan is at her first day of swim lessons. "Baby sister, you'll first learn that while our parents may look like they won't drop you in the deep end (128 foot, I might add), they won't hesitate to throw you off the diving board, in the hopes that you re-surface after 15 minutes of being under water and clap for you as you desperately try to swim to the side, gasping for breath all along."

Lesson number two: we paint a lot around here. Paper, hands, faces, noses. We'll paint you in a heart-beat--as soon as you get out of that belly.

Canaan looks forward to teaching her sister about wildlife. "Don't get too close to the ducks at Piedmont Park. You just can't trust a duck that lives in bright green water."

Another lesson about wildlife, let Barbie touch the turtle first, just to see if it's really as safe as Daddy claims it is.

Canaan is excited about teaching baby sister a dance move or two. "The important thing to remember is to give everyone a chance to show their stuff--Annie, Hayden, George, Pokey, the whole crew. Then, we'll work on choreographing a dance to Josh Turner's new song."

And since we're working on potty-training, (day 11 and only one accident today--on the floor of the "Funky Monkey", will that be the last accident? Not sure...never did this before) why not being teaching all her dolls? It's good practice for when Canaan will be potty-training her sister because after this, her mother has thrown in the towel with potty-training. Tired of lugging the green potty in the back of the Highlander and pulling over whenever Canaan yells, "I HAVE TO POOP!" I'm hoping Canaan will teach our other children how to go on the potty: sit down, read a book, etc. etc. etc.

Canaan will also be quick to teach her little sister about kissing: "Affection: Occasionally I enjoy being hugged and kissed. I stress occasionally. I will not be pelted with wet-mouthed assaults on a n hourly basis. Should you feel the need to hug or kiss, you must provide me with a written request. And then wait for me to offer my pudgy cheeks." (Taken from Parent's magazine, July 09.) A perfect interpretation of Canaan's face at our "Sunflower Photo Shoot."

Canaan is really excited about the arrival of our new baby. We've read book after book, she talks to "baby sister" all the time, she hugs my belly, she kisses it, she offers her sippy cup to my belly button, I think she'll really love having her sister in her life. I love mine.

"Sisters: she is your mirror, shining back at you with a world of possibilities. She is your witness, who sees you at your worst and best, and loves you anyway. She is your partner in crime, your midnight companion, someone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark. She is your teacher, your defense attorney, your personal press agent, even your shrink," (Barbara Alpert), sisters are special. I'm thankful God gave Canaan one!