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!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Canaan Turns Two!

Canaan turned two on June 26! As family tradition goes, Canaan awakes to find the living room loaded with presents! Like Santa only it's hot outside! She comes running towards the booty--or towards the cat (she's excited and running towards something).

Next, cake for breakfast! You may notice Canaan has an absurd amount of chocolate on her face--in the span of a year, her eating habits haven't gotten any cleaner. At what point does a mother worry that she doesn't use her fork or napkin? When's she's going on her first date at 16??

After a hearty breakfast of cake and blueberries, we head to Tanglewood Farms--a miniature farm that Canaan's been talking ever since. "A farm! Let's go to the farm, Mama," "Not today..." "A farm! Go to the farm, yeah?" "Maybe later..." It was at this farm that Canaan fed tiny goats and sheep and pet tiny pigs and mules. She loved it!

Amongst her experiences, riding a pony for the first time! Helmet donned, camera rolling, Canaan rides around the "rink" like a champ. Waving to her spectators, talking to the horse, thinking to herself, "Being two is a big responsibility. I've really got this thing covered now."

As Canaan looks back on that day (and asks us all the time to go back), I've said to her before, "Canaan, what was your favorite part about the farm?" She seriously thought for a second and told me (word for word), "NOT the llamas." You can see why the llamas wouldn't be any one's favorite. Or maybe we just caught them on a "bad shearing day."

Next on the Birthday Agenda: Chuck E. Cheese. Never having experienced it, we thought she should have a little pizza and "games" for her birthday. "Games" is in quotations because a two year old doesn't actually know that she's not controlling the car racing game, but is simply just sitting there while the demo is playing. She's still having a blast and we don't have to spend $38 on tokens! We're hoping she never catches on...

Finally, a week later, we have her birthday party, "Fourth of July Style" complete with sparklers (of which she received her first sparkler burn that initiation of sorts into the Goodwin family, since fireworks are an integral part of every great Goodwin Party.) In case the sparklers got out of control, we did have the fire truck show up. Canaan is absolutely in love with firetrucks. A firetruck being one of the two "manly" toys in a house full of dolls and accessories. And she will race that thing around, stopping only to change Barbie's outfit.

Present at her birthday party, one of Canaan's favorite people in this world: Grandma. Grandma who is on speed-dial on Mama's phone so we can call her almost every day, "Hi Grandma. Sing the Moon Song!!" She'll say--a song that Grandma taught her during the week we were at the beach, a song that I apparently botch every time I sing it, and she quickly lets me know by shouting out, "NO--different song. Call Grandma," whenever I attempt to sing it for her. My feelings would be hurt, but I'm not ashamed to say I tend to be a little flat. Plus she's two. Plus it occupies her for about 7-8 minutes while we're dialing Grandma, waiting for Grandpa to answer, ask to speak to Grandma, ask how she's doing and then listen to Grandma's rendition of the "Moon Song" while on speaker phone. So, we're glad Grandma came to the party to sing "The Moon Song" live.

Also in attendance, Pop-pop, who never fails to give Canaan all the sugar she could possibly want. When we're at Nana and Pop-pop's house for dinner, she no longer asks me for juice (knowing that the only juice she has at our house is organic fresh-squeezed with no added sugar or preservatives, and that we're quick to say, "How about yummy water instead??") She'll ask Nana. And when we finish our three bites of dessert, she'll strategically go sit next to Pop-pop to ask him for "More cake/ice cream/blueberries/dessert, Pop-pop! Please!!" And Pop-pop can't resist.

That's why kids have grandparents--because life wouldn't be as much fun with a limited sugar-intake diet and no "Moon Song" sung properly.

Best friends, Gracie (left) and Joy (center) Bardin were there, too. With the arrival of the new baby sister, there will be four cutie little girls to take prom-dress shopping, and get manis together, and go to the American Girl Boutique, and pick out wedding flowers with. I save pictures like this in a folder on my computer titled, "Senior Picture Slide Show" for when they graduate.

At least I hope so.

Cousin Courtney also made her appearance. We're thankful for Courtney's "energetic nature" because now Canaan has someone who can really keep up with her and not have to have a stiff drink and watch a mindless TV show at the end of the day in the hopes that there will be enough energy tomorrow to start all over again. And by stiff drink, I mean Pregnancy Tea.

But that is the life of the parents of a "Spirited" two-year old. We love her to pieces, as much as we continue to pray that baby #2 will be the type of kid who enjoys sitting quietly in the car, while looking out the window and enjoying the talk-radio station her mother likes to listen to, or will just say, "Mom and Dad, you go ahead and have an adult conversation. I'll just read my book back here."

In this video, you can see what a typical car-ride with Canaan looks like: a song-request, a little negotiation as to which song that would be, and then a small amount of trickery to get Canaan to sing my favorite song, "Jesus Loves Me," of which she hits perfectly. Even with a cashew in her mouth.