Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Holidays

The holidays have been good so far. I thought I'd post a few pictures and give another short update of our family time!

Christmas Eve we opened stockings with my Mom and Dad (Kirt and Nancy) over Skype. They had sent us our stockings filled with fun toys and little things we can't readily get here. In the picture, Canaan is wearing one of his stocking stuffers, the Lightning McQueen hat, while he digs through the rest of the stocking. The other picture is of my parents on the computer (what we see). In the bottom left corner there is a small box of what they are seeing-us. (Click on the picture to make it larger.) Then there is also a picture of Canaan talking to them.

Christmas morning Canaan got us up, not too early. Brandon and Katie Price were visiting and joined us while we opened gifts. (We will write more about their visit on another post.) Dougle and I got each other a few small gifts, so we opened those first, since Canaan was occupied playing. After we opened each others, we tried to direct his attention to the gifts under the tree. We told him to look at the tree (trying to get him to notice what was under it) and he just looked at the ornaments and lights. He loves watching the lights as they change colors and blink! After we got down and pointed out the actual gifts, he got excited because the first thing he saw was a tractor-trailer. He was very excited about this new vehicle and started playing with it immediately. After he played with it a bit, we prompted him to open another gift. This is how it went: he would open a gift and play with it for a while; then we would direct him to open another! I think he had fun. He got some puzzles, books, cars, and all that fun stuff that kids love!

There is also a picture of Canaan walking in the snow, which he loves. He looks outside and says, "There snow on the ground!" When we go out walking, he loves to tromp through the deep snow that hasn't been walked through. He did this a lot yesterday, even falling some, but his boots and snowsuit/coat kept him very warm and dry! He also slid down the slide a lot. He thought it was so much fun because he went down really fast and landed on his back or bottom. This just made him laugh! I guess the snow slickened it- or there was ice, and he loved it!

The last picture is of Canaan in the car. He has been enjoying riding around in it, as have we!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you all! We hope that you have had a Merry Christmas this year! We actually had a white Christmas! It started snowing about 4 days before. We have a couple inches on the ground now, which was a great gift to us all! Snow makes the cold so much more bearable!

We had a wonderful Christmas this year. We had our little family Christmas on Christmas morning and spent the day with the Hindman family and Brandon and Katie Price who are here visiting. We had a great time. Christmas Eve, we were able to Skype my parents and open some gifts through Skype! It was neat because they were able to see us and we could talk to them as we opened the gifts! The internet has been such a blessing for us! God is good.

We hope to post more soon. We've been busy, but doing very well. We have pictures and stories to share in the next few days. God bless you and your family during this holiday time!

The McDougle Three and a half

(picture courtesy of Brandon Price)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Silver Car

For more "real" info on the car, you can check out our family blog: and I'll try to post pictures soon. We just keep forgetting to take them during daylight hours (before 3:30pm)!

Guess what? We have a car! It took a while waiting around for Mommy and Daddy to do some paperwork, but we finally got it. When we took our first drive, I was very excited!! I could tell Mommy and Daddy were very excited too. The fun/scary part was that our first drive in our new car was at 4pm, when it is already pitch black! "It dark out here," I said. We went outside and Daddy put me in my car seat. "Get in car seat!" I said. "Buck up!" It is a good thing Mom and Dad brought my car seat to Ukraine! Then I pointed to the seat in front and said, "Daddy sit here." I just know lots of stuff and like to show it off. I was really excited as we all got in the car and bucked (buckled) up. Then we started going. "Daddy driving," I said. I play with cars and trucks enough to know what was going on. Normally I am not this excited to ride in a car (I have ridden several times in taxis), but I felt Mommy and Daddy's excitement and it made me all giddy too!
I think Mommy and Daddy were a bit nervous, since they don't know all the rules here in Ukraine yet, but Daddy did great. At one point we started to go and I encouraged him with a "Go faster!" They just laughed. I think the speed limits are slow here.
We went to two places in one night. When we were finally going home, I said, "Canaan, Mommy, Daddy ride in black car!" over and over. Then they told me it was not black, but silver. That is a new color for me. Plus, it was dark and looked black! But, I finally agreed and now I talk about our silver car. Then I said, "like fun!" (I think it means, I like to have fun.) Later that night, Chi and Silas came over to take baths (they didn't have hot water for 3 days). Then Daddy took them home in my new car. I said, "Canaan go in Canaan's new car!" But Mommy said tomorrow I could.
Our new car is great! It keeps me out of the cold and makes Mommy and Daddy so happy, just like it makes me. And now, sometimes when I am playing with a toy car, I pretend it is our new silver car and that Mommy, Daddy and Canaan are all in it!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Our Trip to Kiev

Well, I realized I haven't written yet about our trip to Kiev. It was a few weeks ago, but I'll give you a short update.

Dougle and I left early Sunday morning on the train and arrived in Kiev around 1pm. We were picked up by the apartment rental agency we used. It is the same company we used to procure these temporary apartments here in Kharkov. You can stay in an apartment for 1-2 nights, or for months, and it is cheaper than the hotels. Plus, it has a fridge/kitchen so you can bring food home to make/eat. Anyway, they took us to where we were staying, which was about a 5-7 minute walk from the center, which was nice. We rested for a bit, since the train wasn't very good for sleeping on, and then went out to get a city map and look around the area. We had a nice time walking around that night, even in the foggy mist that hovered over the city.

The next day we went to find the German clinic we'd been recommended. We walked in and it was the most American looking place that we've seen since coming to Eastern Europe. There was a desk and a waiting room, just like you would expect to see! And, one of the receptionists spoke English! Unfortunately, there was a misunderstanding somewhere, and this clinic was like all the rest we seem to find: they only do pre-natal and not delivery. They recommend places for delivery, but they are Ukrainian places, just like we have in Kharkov. We then contacted the American clinic in Kieve too, and they had the same deal. So, we decided Kiev was not the place to deliver! It just wasn't much different from what we have in Kharkov, as far as delivery is concerned. If we have other needs they can't fullfill here in Kharkov, I think Kiev has some better options. Just not for baby delivery!

That night Dougle and I were able to find and eat at TGI Fridays! It was a nice treat for us! We had tried a "Tex-Mex" Ukrainian place earlier, but it was nothing like Tex-Mex. The first hint: they put shredded carrots in our burritoes and their guacomole sause had dill in it! So, eating some fajitas with all the "right" trimmings was wonderful! We also had some fried mozzarella sticks...which I love!!

The next morning, bright and early, we hopped back on the train to Kharkov. There we were re-united with our sweet boy! He had stayed with his Uncle David and Aunt Livia, for his first night away from us! But he did great, and they did a great job taking care of him! We were also blessed with being able to talk on the phone to him a couple times while we were gone, as well as Skype. And when we arrived home, Canaan was truly happy to see us, which made our hearts happy too!!

So, we were praying for an answer, and it seemed pretty clear. We will continue with our plans to deliver in Kharkov. I have been very happy with my ob-gyn, and we will be able to register to deliver at the hospital of our choice when I am 36 weeks along. Thank you for all your prayer concerning this adventure of ours. We continue to pray for a continued healthy pregnancy, as well as a healthy birth, with no complications! Thank you for lifting us up before the Father in this! We love you!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Back Again!

Hello everyone! It has been a long time since my last update, so I have lots to tell. I hope you all have been having a blessed past few weeks!

Last week we moved into Livia and Dave's apartment (our apartment isn't available until January 1st), Rob and Denyce moved into their new place, Dougle and I started back to language learning, and I had another doctor visit (every 2 weeks now that I am 7 months along)! At our doctor visit, we had an ultrasound. It was a great ultrasound; perhaps the most modern machine in the entire clinic! Dougle thought he looked just like Canaan in his ultrasounds, with big cheeks and all, while I thought he looked a bit different, with a longer head compared to Canaan's round head. We will see soon! Overall, Max is head down already and looking very healthy. He's been really active lately too!

Canaan's personality blooms more everyday! He is also learning lots everyday and getting more ornery too! Here are a few things that we've been working on/he's been learning recently:

"All by myself." Canaan has learned this phrase and uses it often. He likes to be independent in many ways, such as walking up and down the stairs to and from our apartment, climbing out of his bed, eating, and everything else. If he tries and can't do it alone, he will say, "Too hard." And sometimes, he will just say, "Heeeelp!" with the BIGGEST Texas accent ever. I am not sure where he picked up the accent on that word!! But it is hilarious!

• We realized about a month ago that we talk in third person with Canaan. I am not sure why! But we say, "Mommy is doing this....Canaan can help Daddy...etc." So, he talks like this too, referring to himself as Canaan. So, we've been trying to start speaking normally, though it is hard after talking that way for a while. I am not sure what made us start talking like that; perhaps we thought it was more clear for him when he first started talking? But now we are trying to use lots of personal pronouns, like: me, my, you, your, I, and mine. He is progressing, but he still gets confused a lot with which one to use! "Daddy, help you." and such are common phrases he uses still!

• New! New! In addition to us moving to David and Liv's, his good friend Chi moved too! So, we've been talking a lot about new homes. Everyone is getting new homes. And when Liv and Dave return from South Africa, they will be moving and then a few days later we will be able to move into our new apartment. So we will be having lots of "new houses" over the next month. Please pray for his quick adjustment. He has been starting to wake up crying in the middle of naps and the night. I am not sure if it is connected to the moves or just a normal part of his growing up. But keep him in your prayers. He has moved quite a bit recently!

• Canaan talks more in sentences, repeating phrases that we say, and making new ones himself. He tells himself to "be careful" a lot when he is doing something more risky, like going off the couch head first, and when he gets hurt, he says, "I sorry!" It is so sweet.

Plurals. Canaan has been using plurals for quite a while now, which is impressive to me. But he doesn't always get them right. Sometime he adds plurals to adjectives as well as the nouns, resulting in something like: reds trucks. At other times, he adds them to words that don't need them, like: mines and peoples. It is fun to see him develop and learn these difficult concepts.

• For about a week, we had some speech issues. Canaan started repeating the last sound of each word/sentence multiple times. He would say: red-d-d truck-k-k. Sometimes it was just once, sometimes he would draw it out for 5 or 6 times: truck-K-K-K-K-K. Of course, we didn't know what to do. At first we laughed, because we didn't know it was going to continue. But it did. For days. Then we tried to correct him, telling him not to do it. Then we worried. What should we do? Discipline him when he does it (because he was doing it on purpose), or ignore it? Of course, being the Mommy, I was just worried he would give himself a speech impediment if he didn't stop! We wrestled with it, but decided to ignore it. After a few days it went away. It pops back up every once in a while, but we just continue to ignore it and he stops after an hour or so. Who knew being a Mommy and Daddy could be so difficult and confusing?!

• For those of you who don't know, we sometimes call Canaan "MONK" after the TV show. He has certain tendencies to like everything in order. He likes all doors closed, he lines up his cars and trucks (since very young- and they all face the same direction too), and many other things. His latest little "Monk fetish" is that if we have a series of books, he likes to read ALL of them if we read one. We can't just read one. If he finds one, and it is part of a series, he goes off to find the others before we start reading. We had 2 series of 3-4 books, but then mom sent us two packs of manners books- which he loves and has already started to memorize! However, each pack contains 6 books, which means we have to read all six if we read one! What a silly little boy we have!!

Well, thanks for bearing with the long post. I'll try to keep up better with it, even being busy! We love you all and miss you, especially during the holidays! Take care and God bless!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mommy and Max Adventures

On Wednesday, Max, Daddy and Mommy went to the doctor for a visit! Ira, my faithful and wonderful interpreter, met us at 7:30am in the metro. We wanted to get there early so we could try to get ahead of the crowds. I came with my stack of papers, which had the various tests I needed, with their room numbers and times they were open. They were all open in the morning, which worked out nicely for us. I also had with me a syringe that I’d purchased at the pharmacy for about 15 cents, as well as my urine sample, in a plastic sour cream container!  

Though Dougle couldn’t go to the doctor appointment with me this time, he came for his test. He was required to get some type of lung x-ray. We are thinking it was to test for TB, but aren’t sure! For his test, he had to step inside a narrow black box, with his chest up against the wall and his chin up. Then, he was asked to hold his breath when they closed the door. He did, for about 5 seconds, and then it was done. Total cost: 50 cents! Of course, then he had to go to a separate place to pay and bring the receipt back. Apparently the test would have been free, but we had gone to a clinic that was outside our region where we live. So, we paid an “out of region” fee for all our tests (all about 50 cents each).  
For my tests, we had to go to several different rooms for each test. When we arrived at the room number, instead of having a list you sign your name onto, we just walked up to the crowd waiting around and asked who was next. Ok, WE didn’t ask, Ira did! ? Then we said we were next in line. As people showed up, they just asked who was next and that is how the line went. The first room was just a finger prick, to test for gestational diabetes. It was very interesting, as I watched her squeeze my blood into a glass dropper and then blow it out into a little container for holding blood. She also smeared some blood on two glass slides. After that, we went to another room, getting again in line. Here, I accidentally got confused at whom we were after in line and we went out of turn. Dougle was waiting in the hall at this point and said that someone started yelling at the man who let us in. They were yelling at him for letting us in when it wasn’t our turn, and he said he did because I was pregnant! Then the same lady yelled at us when we came out after they drew my blood for other tests. Oops. That was my mistake! 

We went to another room to pay for that test, which was about $3 and our out of region fee. Then we went to get my cardio-gram. I am not sure how they are done in the United States, but this seemed like it might be different! But I am not a doctor and don’t know. I laid on a bed and rolled up my pant legs. She clamped two things on my legs and two clamps on my upper arms. Then she put suction cup things on my chest. After a few minutes, a machine spit out a print out of wavy lines all over it. We had to go to another room where the nurse told me it looked great, then to pay the fee, and then back to the original room to tell her my “normal” diagnosis from the other nurse and turn in my receipt!  After that, we went to a different room to turn in my urine sample. Mine was the only one in a sour cream container. All the rest were in glass or plastic jars. Note to self for next time! It took from about 8am to around 10am to get all this done. Then we went to the doctor’s office (in the same building) and waited our turn in line, the same way that we’d done at all the other stops. 

The doctor was very nice. Her nurse had all my files out and ready. She went through some paper work, asking about my previous delivery and about some family history, as well as giving us a form to fill out at home and bring back. It is in Ukrainian, which will be a challenge, since we’ve heard it is pretty different from Russian! I had my check-up and then they scheduled me for my next visit, two weeks later. The nurse also filled parts of a registration booklet about my pregnancy and visits so far (from the records in Moscow, as well as those here). So, now I have my official pregnancy registration, that I’ve been instructed to carry with me at all times! On the way out of the clinic, we had to stop by and get it stamped to show it was official!

Ahead of time Ira had called us and told us about customary “tip” that is given to the head doctor and my doctor. It was to say thank you for letting us go to their clinic, since I live out of region and am a foreigner. Ira said that doctors are toward the bottom end of the pay scale and don’t get paid very much here in Ukraine. So, customary tipping helps insure better service. Ira even brought some pink envelopes to put the money into (which was about $45 dollars for each). We gave these to the doctor and then left. 

Overall, I had a good experience. The clinic there is pretty worn down; the building is old, 1/3 of the lights in the halls are burnt out, and the heating doesn’t work, so you have to wear your coat in the hallways. However, the exam rooms are warm, with electrical heating, and best of all, the doctors and nurses seem to be very friendly and helpful. We are happy with our pre-natal care so far!

Our next task: finding a doctor and hospital for delivery. We are going to Kiev this weekend (leaving Sunday on a 6 hour express train) to check out two private clinics there: a German clinic and American clinic. Then, we hope to be able to take my pregnancy registration documents I received at my last visit to the hospital here in Kharkov. We’ve heard several good things about it from several people, my OB-Gyn even commenting how it was the best here in the city. So, hopefully we will be able to do more question asking and look around next time we go in to check it out! 

Thanks for all your prayers and encouragement as we figure this all out!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Little Things and Pictures

Hello again! Well, we've been having fun recently, getting settled into the culture, looking for an apartment (which we hope to sign a contract on a more permanent place soon!), visiting doctors, etc. Things have been going well. We even hope to start up language classes again next week, since we have been able to get several important things accomplished in the last two weeks! I went to the doctor again, which I have some interesting stories from that, so you will have to stay tuned for those stories. 

I am just posting a short blog with pictures of Canaan in the past few weeks. We've been having fun, as always, watching him develop. Today his new word is "soon." He was bidding goodbye to his Grand-Dad and Gran-Nan on Skype and said, "Back soon." He also has
 picked up the work "pop-corn" from a Veggie Tale video where a giant popcorn meteor is coming. He has decided he likes this word, even though he has no idea what it means, and says it randomly throughout the day and smiles! Dougle has decided we must pop some popcorn for him soon!

I hope you enjoy some of the pictures. 
  • The tree is a fall craft that Canaan did. We did it with Malachi and Denyce, too, which makes crafts even more fun!
  • Canaan likes to hold things under his chin. In this picture, Canaan brought all his markers with him for his diaper change. He held all he could in his hands and put the rest under his chin!
  • Then there is our cutie as he sleeps. He is getting too big for his pack and play, but we've been waiting for a permanent place before we buy a bed for him. We've just been "in between" places for so long, that he will be all grown up out of his bed soon!
  • Then there is the "marker make-up." He got carried away with drawing on his white board and it ended up looking like dashing eye shaddow!
  • Monkey Love. The last picture is of Canaan with his singing monkey he got for his birthday from Grandma Janie and Poppop. Thank you...for the loud, singing monkey! 

Friday, November 21, 2008

Doctors and Mentors

Hello! Sorry for the long absence. We have been having a hard time keeping up with e-mail and blog posting since we haven't had internet at our house. We are so spoiled! However, great news, we got it up and working just a few hours ago! So, this is a bit long of a post, but I am catching you up on my doctor adventures so far, as well as our visit from the Jarboes!

The last week has gone well for us in Ukraine. We are now all over our illnesses, have done some shopping around (pricing and getting some more of those household ‘necessities’), and have been checking out various venues for pre-natal and the delivery of Max. Dougle has been trying to read a bit in a local newspaper and one day came home with a different paper than normal. When he opened it up, we knew God had a hand in his picking it up, because there was a whole section devoted to ranking the top 5 hospitals for delivery in Kharkov! He got out his dictionary and spent time looking over what it had to say. We were pleased with what they reported, since it was a bit out of the ordinary for normal hospitals here. A few things we were pleased about was that the top ranked hospital had options for private rooms for delivery and recovery, allowed the baby to stay in the room with the mother, as well as allowing some visitors. In addition, they have been able to deliver and care for at least one baby that was born weighing just over a pound, which gives me comfort that they have proper equiptment for emergencies. So, while going to Kiev for delivery may still happen, we are going to check out this option here in Kharkov. In fact, we went yesterday to try to visit the clinic, but were turned away because I don't have the right registration papers for being pregnant! Things here in Ukraine seem to require different paperwork than we are used to in the States. So, we were turned away from being able to ask any questions until we had the proper documentations required about my pregnancy. One thing that is also different is that the delivery hospital and doctor is not the same as the doctor and clinic for pre-natal care. So, we had to go to a different clinic to register and set up for my pre-natal appointments. However, though we were turned away at the first attempt, we were able to meet a great girl (she is my age) who has helped us tremedously. One of the missionaries with the Southern Baptist that we have met has been extremely helpful in helping us get some information on set-up and doctors. She also provided us with the name of an interpreter, Ira, who has helped interpret for medical mission groups they've had come. So, she is familiar with some of the medical terminology! Ira turned out to be a triple blessing. She found out where the hospital was, and then when we had to seek out an alternative pre-natal clinic, she made multiple phone calls on our behalf to set up an appointment with a friend of a friend of hers. So, she was able to get me into see a pre-natal doctor the next day (today) so I could be an officially registered pregnant woman!

Today we met Ira at the clinic. After waiting for a while- yes, you have to wait even here in Ukraine for doctors!- we were able to visit with the doctor. She seemed very nice. First she had to look over my records from Moscow and then take them to her head supervisor to make sure they would approve me as a patient, which they did. Then Ira wrote out a hand written application asking for me to be admited as a patient, saying that I would follow the instructions of my doctors. After signing that, and giving my other information (except family history- I have never been asked any type of family history questions either here or in Moscow), we paid the $20 registration fee and were in. They gave me several notes for tests that I needed to come back and get Wednesday morning before coming in for a more 'official' visit. So, bright and early Wednesday morning I will be going in for some blood work (for which I need to bring my own empty syringe), a urine sample (that I collect at home and bring), as well as a gestational diabetes test. Dougle also will be required to have some type of chest x-ray test, which is a first. He was never requried to take tests for my first pregnancy! In addition, we learned that blood types here have different classifications. When I told them Dougle's blood type, they were confused that I gave them a letter for a blood type instead of a 1, 2, 3, or 4 blood type classification. So, we will have to look that up and see what each number cooresponds with!

So, that is our medical adventure so far. We still are planning to check out the hospital here, as well as one in Kiev to try to determine what is best for us. Please pray for us, since we don’t know everything to look for in an adequate hospital! We are just trusting God to give us wisdom and direction in this decision. We are less than 3 months from Max’s arrival!!

Tuesday of this week Jay and Sherry Jarboe, from our sponsoring congregation arrived. We really enjoyed their visit; they were a big part of our team’s mentorship in Texas and have continued to be a great blessing while here. They were here for just a bit over 3 days, since Kharkov was just a pit stop before they head off to the European Family Missionary Retreat where Jay will be speaking. But we sure enjoyed all the time they were able to spend with us! It was nice hearing about their stories from when they were going through adjusting and settling into their mission field in Mexico, years ago! And, they are great with our kiddos, which endears us to them even more. They are like "fill-in" grandparents while they are here, taking time amidst jet lag and listening to us talk, to read books to our kids and play with them. We are so grateful for their time with us!We were able to take them to a Ukrainian restaurant that had been recommended to us. It was very tasty and an excellent place for taking guests to experience the local quizzine. In fact, it was a perfect setting because it wasn’t very noisy like many restaurants can be. In addition, they had a “children’s room” right next to where we were sitting, in which the kids got to go in and be entertained after their meal. The lady who watched the kids was very child friendly, entertaining them with painting, coloring, paper airplanes, balloons, etc! Denyce and I took turns sitting in there with the kids. I got a cute picture of the kids enjoying all the personal attention and entertainment!

Well, that is all for now. We want you all to know we love you and think of you often! Thanks for checking in with us! Hope your week is going great too!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sunday, November 9, 2008

5 PM Outing

5pm Outing
One thing that is hard to adjust to is the winter darkness. When Kharkov “fell back” doing the time change, it started getting dark around 5pm! Now, dusk starts falling around 4:30pm and by 5pm, it is pretty dark. I took a few pictures of Canaan out on the playground, around 5:30pm! So, we will be playing and running errands by the light of the lamps for a while. The worse part is that some places are very poorly lighted. For example, there are no lamp lights in David and Olivia’s courtyard. So when we walk there after dark, we just have to guess where the roads and sidewalks are and hope we don’t fall too hard in the big holes and cracks that litter all the roads and sidewalks! I feel like I need headlights on my stroller! One thing we will be getting soon for the stroller is reflectors, so that we can be seen by cars! The shortest day of the year is on December 21st, so I imagine we will be seeing more darkness until then. One thing we found helped in Moscow was having plenty of inside lighting; we scatter lamps around the house and turn them on to give a sense of brightness to remind us that it is not time to start getting ready for bed yet!

Friday, November 7, 2008

The First Two Years

Dougle and I gathered these pictures, that are just of Canaan, during his first two years of life with us. We thought you might enjoy seeing pictures of our cutest boy as he grew up over the past two years! We thank God for giving him to us and pray for many more years together with him! And, we look forward to soon adding Max to our family in February!


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Two Years Old

Two Years Old!
Hello all. This post is coming a few days late, due to some illness in our family. But we are happy to announce that we have been parents for two years now! I mean, we are happy to announce that Canaan Kirt is now TWO YEARS OLD! Canaan turned two on Thursday, October 30th. We had a party planned for that evening, however Mommy and Daddy (and Uncle David) were too sick. We were thoroughly disappointed in having to postpone the party, but we were able to have a party on the following Monday night! I hope you enjoy all the info and all the pictures from the party!! And a thank you to everyone who sent gifts to Canaan, as well as a BIG thank you to Liv and Dave for bringing them to us!!
Also: this slideshow is a little long, so don't feel obligated to watch!

Proud “Academic” Accomplishments
Alphabet: Canaan can say all the letters of the alphabet, though he still skips “W” most of the time. He also can recognize almost all the letters if written for him. He has recently started to sing his ABC’s, though he won’t do it by himself, he always requires the help of everyone who is present when he performs. We will have to post a clip of this soon too; it is too cute.
Numbers: Canaan can count things, like the steps as he goes up or his cars he lines up, 1-10. Though he hasn’t been inclined to saying the number 7, he has finally started to recently. He can also recognize all the numbers 1-10 when written.
Colors: Canaan can recognize the 10 basic colors: red, blue, yellow, green, orange, purple, white, black, brown, and pink. In fact, he loves to talk about everything using these color words!

New Words
The past few months have brought an onslaught of all kinds of new vocabulary. While Canaan tries to repeat so much of what we say, whether he understands it or not, I try to just include the words that he says on his own, not just words he randomly repeats. I know I won’t be doing this much longer, since his vocabulary seems to be increasing by a word or two every day, but I know certain people who hold him dear to their hearts like to know what all is new. One thing, it is interesting to look at some of the new words and see what types of new discussions we’ve been having lately: for example the verbs hit, throw, bite, bump, hurt or a few nouns like oven, timer, and microwave! And, since there are so many, I won’t put his pronunciations for all of them. Most of them are the word, just without the first letter (he’s been leaving off first letters these days), or they sound similar to the word, to the trained Mommy ear! So, here are his newest words in the past month that I can think of, though I am sure I am missing a few:
Verbs: line up, blow nose, hit, throw, bite, bump, hurt, see, hide, have it, sing, walk, open, broke, watch, clean up, crash, fly, paint
Nouns: train (not just choo-choo), plane (not just air), fire truck (not just truck), tracks (train tracks), legs, arms, hands, mouth, face, pants, shirt, jacket, board, ladder, oven, timer, microwave, oatmeal, towel, shampoo, room, piece, page, crayon, careful
Prepositions: (he loves prepositions)- next, around
Adjectives: dark, messy, other,
Misc: oops, bless you

New Favorites
So, here are just a few favorite phrases or activities that Canaan has recently.
Peas and Corn- For the past week, whenever we ask Canaan what he wants to eat, he always replies with “Peas, Corn.” He loves most vegetables, while having a distinct dislike for all fruits, except for eating a banana and drinking orange juice. If his yogurt comes with tiny bits of fruit pieces, he spits them back out at us!
“Mommy play you.” This is a cute phrase he says all the time these days. He hasn’t got the correct personal pronoun yet, but he has been more and more frequently asking that people play with him. So, whoever is the coolest person in the house (Chi, Auntie, or Uncle David always top Mommy and Daddy if they are around), then he will be tugging on their pant leg and asking them to “play you” (with me)!
“Na-Nan have it.” This new phrase, though just a couple days old has been used frequently. He has discovered a way to express that he wants something and we should give it to him to see!
Crayons- Coloring with crayons is a new favorite pastime. Sometimes it is just carrying around the crayons that he likes so much. But he loves his crayons. Since arriving in Ukraine, I have had a hard time finding crayons, which is strange to me. I have looked just about everywhere I go, but have only managed to find them in one store! But, I did find some great crayons for little hands. They are small, but fat, and have no paper on them, which tended only to get in the way before. Many times Canaan will pull his crayons out of his box one by one, make two circles or lines or scribbles with each one, and then put them down on the table in a nice, neat line. He will go through every crayon like this, making a few strokes and then putting it down in line with the rest that have been used! He is so funny like this! He also likes to group the colors, pulling out the four shades of blue crayons, choosing to color with the two shades of yellow at the same time, etc. It is so cute and funny to me!
Playing with Friends- Since we now have our teammates near us, we have been spending time with them recently, as well as trading off babysitting, etc. Canaan has taken note of this and wakes up most mornings wanting to “Go Chi’s house” or “See Auntie, David.” He loves his new friends and buddies and likes to play with them! This, I myself like as well. Though at times getting together young 2 and 3 year olds can take a lot of work for the mommies, since they are still having to teach their little offspring how to share and how not to hit, it is also very nice and rewarding to see them playing happily together and chasing each other playfully through the house! Of course, Aunties and Uncles are the best too, since you generally don’t have to worry about those issues with them! 

Monday, October 27, 2008

Daddy's Little Helper

Well, I don’t know how helpful a two year old can be, but Canaan sure enjoyed his “job” of being Daddy’s helper as he re-assembled his little table. Canaan was right in the middle of things from the beginning, digging through the wooden pegs and screws, collapsing the chairs as Daddy was fitting them together to screw together, and standing in the middle of the table as it lie upside-down on the floor, waiting for the legs to be screwed on!
As you can see in the picture, he did give Daddy some screws, sometimes as needed. He got out the hammer and hammered next to Daddy as he was screwing. We did find one job that was perfect for him: dropping the screws in the holes for Daddy. He put them right side up and everything- the perfect job! And in the end, Canaan and Daddy enjoyed using the table by coloring together on it. Canaan has really gotten into coloring more these days. He still doesn’t understand anything about staying in the lines; however, he used to only draw vertical and horizontal lines, but now he draws circles and will sometimes do some concentrated scribbling. Mommy is very proud!
We can’t believe we will have a two year old soon! Time flies, but we have really tried to enjoy every moment God has given us so far with Canaan, and pray for many more years with him. What wonderful gifts God gives us in children!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New Friends

Canaan and Chi have hit it off together. As I mentioned in my last post, they have enjoyed playing together and with each other’s toys! Though they are both at the age (2/3) where sharing and playing well together is still being learned, overall they are doing well! When we leave the house, Canaan always asks if we are either going to the playground, Chi’s house, or Auntie and David’s house! Speaking of Auntie and David, they packed for Ukraine, determined to be the most popular Aunt and Uncle around! They brought books, puzzles, toys, truck plates, sippee cups and more to make their home a place our kids wouldn’t want to leave! In addition, they brought a super cool Thomas the Train pop-up tent!! When they broke that out today, the kids were delighted as they climbed in and out of it and played together!

We have a nice playground that is just right around the block from our apartment. It looks very new. I have a few pictures of when Grand-Dad Kirt was here and he and Livia and David were all playing with Canaan on the playground. There are also some pictures of Canaan playing with Chi (Malachi Hindman- our teammates 3 year old son) that are taken in our living room, so you can see a bit of it that way until we get a video posted. They both like playing with trucks (Daddy too!) an they also had fun with the little closet. There are also some pictures of the choo-choo tent that is at Livia and David's and the fun they were having with it

On another note, Canaan is having to learn how to act around babies, which is a good thing since we will have our own new bundle in February. Silas, the Hindman’s youngest son, is about 9 months old. He crawls around and mainly watches the big boys play. However, the other day when Chi and Canaan were playing chase, he was blocking a doorway that Canaan wanted to get through. Not knowing what to do, Canaan took the toy train in his hand and hit Silas over the head. Mommy saw it and he immediately was taken to the bathroom for some discipline. Then, about 10 minutes later, he did it again! After another round in the bathroom with a talk about being gentle with babies, he started making wide circles to avoid going near Silas. This was not encouraging to me. On the way home, he told on himself to Daddy, “Hit baby choo-choo, No!” And later that evening he was reminded of it again, “No hit baby blue choo-choo.” This morning he again reiterated this to us. Today as we had church and fellowship with everyone, he did well, and there were no more hitting incidents! Hopefully he will learn how to be gentle and play more with Silas. We have already been praying that we will do well with Canaan, as he will have to adjust to a brother, as we welcome a new baby into the family, and we are keeping up with these prayers as the time draws nearer!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Xarkov, Ukraine!

We arrived in Xarkov late Monday night- just 24 hours later than planned! I am writing a long saga about that, but it is on my computer at home and we don't have internet at the house yet. Hopefully I will try to post it soon. We have been trying to catch up on some sleep, settle in, buy necessities, etc. My Dad has been a tremendous help so far, as he helps with Canaan and does so many of the little things that we just run out of energy for! Things have been running smoothly. David and Olivia arrived on Thursday, as scheduled, with no problems. So, our team has been complete for about 2 days now! What a feeling!
Having my Dad here also helped with the transition for Canaan. He is doing very well, though he is a bit more tired than usual from the two days of past midnight bedtimes that we had when we were trying to get here. Overall, though, he is doing well. He has had a blast with Grand-Dad, who has been his best friend! They would get up early together and read all the books that made it here (most of our things will hopefully arrive on Monday, Lord willing)! They played with cars and trucks together, Grand-Dad held his hand as he rode in his stroller around town, he ate on Grand-Dad's lap, he insisted on holding Grand-Dad's hand during the mealtime prayers, and so on. They had a blast together. Sadly, Grand-Dad had to leave early this morning. He flew to Moscow where he will fly to Houston and then arrive in Lubbock Sunday night. He arrived in Moscow without problem and was picked up by our dear brother, Alexei and taken care of today by his family! They are such an amazing family. Grand-Dad starts classes back up bright and early Monday morning, so hopefully the return jet lag will be an easier transition than that on the way here! Thank you for coming and helping Grand-Dad!
Tomorrow we plan to have our first church service as a team. We will meet at Liv and David's. It will be nice for us to have a service in English, though we enjoyed all our times with the church in Moscow!
We will continue to keep you updated as we have opportunity. Hopefully within a week we will get internet at our apartment, so it will make it easier to post blogs and pictures. We love you all!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Grand-Dad Arrives and Goodbyes

Well, we are one day away from leaving. It is Saturday morning for us. Grand-Dad arrived yesterday, Friday afternoon. His plane actually arrived early, so he got through customs, picked up his bags, and came through to see us about 10 minutes before he was originally supposed to arrive! So, the taxi driver wasn't supposed to show up for another hour, so we went upstairs in the airport and were able to have a late lunch at Sparros (a pizza place) before heading home.

Canaan took a few minutes to warm up to Grand-Dad, though he recognized him right away from all our skype calls we've done. But once he played some cars and trucks with Grand-Dad, they were best friends! They've been reading books, playing cars and trucks and talking a lot together. Grand-Dad has learned to interpret his words now! In the picture, you can see that Canaan is "helping" Grand-Dad as he takes apart his little table for the move!

This past week we've also been saying a lot of goodbyes. We've had several people over. I have pictures of a few of them visiting.
Jung Ki, from Korea, came and brought us a beautiful Korean table cloth he'd brought back for us from his visit home. Canaan really liked playing with him, I think because he could say his name easily!
Volodya (our language teacher and friend from church), Mila and their son Artyom (who babysat Canaan during some of our LST sessions) came over one night.
And Eduard and Yelena from our LST sessions also came over.
All these people and more we are going to miss dearly! We have several more goodbyes to say at church on Sunday before we take off. We leave Moscow at 9:15pm Sunday night. Keep us in your prayers. And if you haven't heard yet, our teammates Rob and Denyce and their family made it safely to Kharkov on Thursday! Thanks for all your prayers for them as well!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Tsaritsyno and the Honey Festival

Friday was the most beautiful day! It is looking like autumn here now, with the leaves changing colors and falling from the trees, and we had the most perfect weather! Though it has been in the 40's lately, it got up into the 60's on Friday! I think God blessed us with the most beautiful and sunny day in which to enjoy our outing.
It has been advertised for several months now, and I thought it would be fun to go to the Honey Festival. Since we are about to leave our beloved city, it seemed like a fun outing to attend. Then, the weekend it started, Dougle brought home a newspaper in English that had a little piece about the festival, but mainly about Tsaritsyno park next to where the festival is held. So, we made plans to visit both the festival and the park.
When we arrived, we found the beautifully, recently restored grounds and palace of Catherine the Great. Because we arrived near lunch time, we immediately found some good sharuma (chicken with cabbage and various veggies wrapped inside a thin tortialla-like burrito with sauce). We ate on a park bench just inside the entrance, looking out at the small island in the middle of the lake. There was a bridge to the island, and on the island was a large "musical" fountain. I expected the music to accompany the fountain's water display, since it was a "muscial fountain," but it really just had classical music playing all around the fountain. In fact, from our bench where we ate, we were able to enjoy the music, yet it wasn't too overwhelming right up at the fountain either.
As we ate, Canaan ran around and entertained some of the other park-goers: mainly an older couple sitting next to us. And, if you didn't know, Canaan LOVES little girls! While at the park, Canaan was sitting on his stroller, eating some potatoes when a little girl (about 4 years old) ran by. Quick as lightening, Canaan jumped up from his seat and ran after her! They played together for a while and then her grandmother took a picture of the two of them holding hands!
After we ate, we walked to the island and watched the fountain up close for a bit. Then we walked to the other side of the park and looked at the outside of the palace and home of Catherine the Great. We opted not to go inside to the museums, since it was a beautiful day and Canaan does better outside. So we walked around the grounds and found a large, nice, green grassy area where Canaan ran around for a bit and we took some pictures. We also traveled to a place with a few trees and lots of leaves. We played a bit in the leaves and took more pictures before deciding to end our time in the park and head off to the honey festival. On our way out, we enjoyed a nice little icecream while we looked over the still, lake water at the colorful trees.
The honey festival was hundreds of booths from all over Russian the former USSR, selling all types of honey. Every booth had from 4-10 different honeys, and you could take a taste of every honey. Some just had name labels while some had the various pictures of the flowers that were used in the honey making. Let me tell you, honey is very sweet and it doesn't take too many test tries to be sweetened out! We tried honeys from various booths and bought the best tasting we could find at three booths. Even Canaan tried some before he fell asleep, but he wasn't impressed! So, now we have 3 small tubs of honey to consume in the next week before we leave! It was a fun experience and a great day overall!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

23 Months!!

Height: 34 inches! He has grown one inch in the last 6 weeks!

Canaan is just getting taller, starting to put more words together, has favorite friends and activities, and is just growing up so fast!

New Favorites!
Favorite Girl Friend: Sasha! He loves seeing Sasha. We see her three times a week, at church, at LST meetings, and she usually comes over the house once a week. He always is excited to see her and talks about her when she's not around.
Favorite Friends: Leonid and Leosha. These have been his best friends from church. We see them every week, as their parents are the most faithful attenders. The boys are 8 and just turned 2 years old. The oldest boy is so gentle and kind as he plays with Canaan. Canaan soaks up all the attention from the big boy! And his little brother, Leonid, calls Canaan his "droog" which is "friend" in Russian!
Favorite Toy: the Stroller. I must say that the stroller is his new favorite toy- and Mommy's favorite too! It makes it so nice as we go out. When Canaan walks, it takes about 12 minutes to get to the "big" playground near our house. It is the nicest, with a variety of things to play on, as well as lots of other kids around Canaan's age who are always there playing too. With the stroller, he just happily pushes it all the way to the park and back. He loves pushing it overtop of manholes, which are everywhere, even on sidewalks, up and down curbs or stairs or big cracks in the road, and up and down the slightest little inclines. He does really well walking with it, knows that when we go in stores he has to leave it at the front, and loves to switch out who rides in the stroller from day to day (the bear, Eyeore the donkey, his elephant, etc.).
Favorite Activity: Coloring. While he still loves to play with his cars and trucks, lining them up and pushing them back and forth multiple times every day, his newest activity he is growing into is coloring. Whether it be coloring with crayons on paper, on his new magnadoodle, or on his chalk board, he is an aspiring artist! He mainly draws verticle and horizontal lines, but has recently started adding some circular motions to his drawings! He likes to sit next to me on the couch and dictate things for me to draw. Then he colors on top of them. It is fun, and Mommy even throws some learning in by drawing letters and numbers that he identifies! It is a nice, relaxing activity for both of us!
Favorite Food: Borsh. Since Sasha taught me how to make it, I've made borsh soup a lot recently. It is nice in the cool weather we've been having. Plus, it is healthy, with beets, carrots, potatoes, onion, cabbage, and chicken (plus or minus whatever ingredients you happen to have on hand). Canaan has loved soup for a while now, but borsh is his new favorite. The other day when it was lunch time, Dougle and I were in the kitchen getting somethings ready. He walked right in a said, "Borsh soup please!" It was adorable!

Our Little Jabber Jaws!
I never thought that a child of mine and Dougle's would be such a jabber jaws, but at times, Canaan just can't be quiet. Now, sometimes he is very quiet and likes to sit and play by himself. But at other times, he just likes to talk and narrate everything. Many times if we don't pay attention or acknowledge what he has said, he will repeat it over and over and get louder and louder until we do! So, we don't get away with not paying attention! On no! Here are some examples of his narrations.
At the Table
"Canaan sit. Sit table. Up chair. Eat. Blue plate. Orange spoon. Potatoes. Eat...." Later. "Daddy all done. All done potatoes. Mommy all done. Mommy water. Canaan water. Daddy water. All done. Canaan down. Canaan play. Cars and trucks. Play."
In the Stroller
"Cars. Trucks. Green bus! Big bus! Big green bus! Car! Truck! People....."

New Words and Phrases

Words: page, yep (he used to say just yeah), gold fish, teacher, broccoli (okklee), stack, animal (mamel), clean, wipe (ipes), cream, sky, chalk, picture (icture), dirty, and more that I can't think of now!
New Phrases
I love you Daddy! The most special phrase of all. Sometimes he says it very short and sloppy and it comes out sounding like "AAhh-O-u." But other times he says it more clear, "I ove you!" He has been saying "I love you Daddy" and "I love you Mommy" for a few months now. It is so cute. He usually also says, "I love you Canaan." Now at night time, he goes through a list: "I love you Daddy. I love you Mommy. I love you cars. I love you trucks." Then he smiles and laughs. At least we still rank ahead of his cars and trucks!!
Button Up: It is cute, because whenever we are putting on a shirt or coat that needs buttoned, he says, "But Up!" One day it just popped out! I smile every time he says it!
Clean Up: At the table one day, he spilled some soup. I told him to clean it up and gave him a napkin. Well, anytime anything spills now, he wants to clean it up with a napkin or towel. He says, "Uh-oh, water. Keen Up!" What a big helper!
Door Please: He calls doors, drawers, and lids all "doors." Well, anytime I don't shut a drawer or door right away, he will say, "Mommy, door please." Sometimes I tell him to close it, or he just gets up and closes it for me. And when we are eatting breakfast and have the jelly jar out or something with a lid, and we don't put the lid back on it right away, he points to it and says, "Door Please!" That is our cue to put the lid back on!! Some things just don't look or feel right to him: open doors, jars or drawers are just a few of those things!
Wipes, Cream, Diaper. Speaking of having things in order, Canaan thinks wipes and cream are an essential part of every diaper change. Sometimes we don't need them all, but since we usually have him bring us his diaper, he insists on bringing us everything. Sometimes we have tried to save him the trouble of getting it all, when all he needs is a quick diaper change, no wipes and cream required. However, this ends up stalling the process even more, because he looks longing toward his wipes and cream, points to them, and says "Ipes, cream?" So, we just let him bring us whatever he feels we need!

Ok, I have been working on colors with Canaan off and on for probably 6 months. Am I silly or what?! But, he was taking his good 'ole time catching on, and I thought with his love of order, counting, etc. that he would latch right onto colors. Nope. I was wrong. I was even to the point where I thought he was color blind! Yes, you can laugh. However, he has finally latched onto the color idea! He knows the three primary colors (red, blue and yellow) as well as green and orange really well. He also knows pink, white and black about 60 percent of the time. He has started pointing out the colors of everything now too. He talks about his "mall, booue choo-choo" (small, blue choo-choo), his "ed chok" (red chalk) and his "geek uck" (green truck). Today he was pointing out all the different color they painted the bars on the playground. Very cute. Mommy is so proud!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Soon to Come... the new Baby is:

Our blog title will soon change. No longer will it just be All About Canaan, but it will change to All About Canaan AND Maximus! Yes, we are going to be parents to another BOY! We went to the doctor today and got an ultrasound. Everything looks on track for a February 9th delivery. I was thinking that since Canaan was born a bit early, that maybe Max will come early too. Then Dougle's mom was telling us that though he was the 3rd child, he was a month late!!

Well, we still have no middle name. With Canaan, we waited until we found out the sex before we made a decision on a middle name. So, now we are trying to come up with a good one. Dougle's suggestion is to name him Mad Max. So, please save our child and suggest something more suitable! :)

We are all doing well. Canaan is just talking away, making more and more little phrases. I have been taking notes to remember to post them (since his 23rd month birthday was yesterday). Be watching for a new post. Can you believe we will be parents of a two year old in less than a month?!! Crazy. Dougle is excited to be able to stop referring to our child in age of months, and just say he will be two!

Hope you are all doing well. We love you!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Playing the Parents

I knew this would come. Just not this soon! Canaan is not even 2 years old! I remember trying this, but I was quite a bit older. I never thought he'd be trying to play his parents already!

The other day, Dougle and I were both in the kitchen, talking. Canaan has had this bad habit he's formed of asking for something over and over and over. He never gets what he wants, no matter how many times he asks, but he doesn't seem to have figured that out. And it has been getting annoying. So, we have been telling him that he will be "in trouble" if he asks again for something we've told him he can't have. This particular evening, Canaan was asking for crackers. Supper was almost ready and Dougle told him he needed to wait. He continued to ask, two more times, until Dougle told him he would "be in trouble" if he asked again. Dougle and I resumed our conversation and after a few seconds, Canaan came over to me. He stood in front of me and ever so quietly said, "Crackers please." He said it so quietly that I almost didn't hear him. Of course, our kitchen isn't that big and Daddy was just 3 little Canaan steps away. I am sure he didn't want him to hear! Dougle looked at me and asked, "Did he just ask you for crackers?" Oops, Canaan was busted! He got his due punishment. However, that didn't stop him from trying to pull the same stunt the next night. This time, though, Dougle was in the living room telling Canaan he couldn't have something, and I was in the kitchen. Oh my!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Half Way There!!

I am excited to announce that I am half way through my pregnancy! It has been a long road so far, this time around, but we are so blessed! About 10 days ago we felt that baby move for the first time. Since then, I feel the baby kicking almost everyday, usually in the evenings when I am sitting down and relaxing! Dougle has felt the baby a few times and last night he was even able to SEE the baby kick my stomach a few times! The baby was a little live-wire last night!I am close to one track with weight gain and looking pregnant! I have gained about 15 pounds so far, I think.
Just a few quick facts: the baby is about 6 1/2 inches from crown to rump, but now that the baby is bigger, they can more easily measure from head to heel. Head to heel, the baby measures about 10 inches. The baby weighs about 10 1/2 ounces, is swallowing a lot now, and has even started producing the meconium, which is the black, sticky stuff that comes out in the first diaper! If you want to see a cool picture of about what the baby looks like now, you can go to this site:

Canaan is doing well. Several have asked whether he understands anything yet about the pregnancy. I don't think he does. We show him where the baby is and tell him to be careful of Mommy's tummy, but the other day he pointed to his belly and then Dougle's belly and said "Baby there too." Oh well. The closer the time gets, the more we'll talk about it with him. For now, he is happy being the only child for a bit longer!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

More Pictures

Hello all. Well, I don't have much to write about again, but I thought I'd put a few pictures up. One of the pictures is of Sasha, who I have mentioned before. She comes over about once a week. She speaks really good English, but tries to help me with my Russian too. We usually talk a mix of Russian and English when she is over. She has helped teach me how to cook a few Russian meals. She is also the one who helps on Tuesday nights with LST. Canaan has really gotten to look forward to seeing her. Some days he asks, "Sasha back?" He doesn't say his "S" sounds very well and usually won't attempt to say them, but he will say them for her name!
Last night we were walking from the church to the metro with Sasha. Canaan left with Sasha, wanting to hold her hand and walk instead of ride in his stroller. So, for the short 10 minute walk, we let him. He just held her hand and was very content. When it was time to get onto the metro and part ways, we put Canaan in his stroller, but Canaan was very upset at having to let go of her hand. He said, "Sasha hand." So, being the sweetheart that she is, she held his hand while we went down into the metro. This is a picture of that, her holding Canaan's hand as we ride down the escalator!
The other pictures are just snapshot of Canaan on a swing, which I thought was really cute, and another of Canaan standing on the tall slide on our playground. When Canaan looks out our window down onto the slide, he says, "Canaan up stairs, down, Momma catch." It is cute. He knows he walks up the stairs, and he requests that I catch him on the way down! He calls the swing a "foof." I am not sure exactly where that came from!
The last picture is of Canaan with his storller. He still loves it. Whenever we walk to the playground or a store close by for a few items, he takes it with him. In fact, today at church he was looking at a book of Baby Jesus. In the book, he noticed Mary was wearing a "hat". Then he pointed to and decided her long robe was a "big tote (coat)." After that, he said, "Bye-bye, stairs. Push stroller, yeah." So, now you know his associations. If you are putting your hat and big coat on, you must be going outside to play on the stairs. And you will probably push your stroller there too!
On a weather note, today is it supposed to get up in the 50's, and the sun is shining in our windows for the first time in a few weeks! It is really nice. Though Canaan was wearing his full body snowsuit (everyone else had broken out snowsuits, so I just follow suit!), but today we got to put him in just his regular coat.