Monday, March 31, 2008

17 Months

17 Months
Current Height: 79 cm/31.1 inches tall
No of Teeth: 16
Yes, he is still pretty bald! When my parents visited, my mom thought he looked more bald than before when she first arrived. After being here for almost two weeks, she had decided he'd grown a lot of hair while they were here. I think he is probably just holding steady with the same amount that he's had for a while!
Current Favorite Books: Old MacDonald Had a Farm and My Little People Farm (lift the flap book)
New Words: No, cup (pup), water (wawr), people (pepo), belly button (bee-boh), off (ahh), knee, bib, hat (haaa), A (the letter), O (also in reference to the letter)
Favorite No-No's: not coming when called and touching the computer (we are really cracking down on these!)

New Stunts: He is starting to get a little more adventurous. As you can see in the photo, he thinks the tricycle is great for standing and balancing acts. He also loves to climb up the playground stairs (a little plastic slide) and slide down, though I still have to sit him down at the top of the slide or he'd dive head first! He runs around the house a lot too, still loves to throw balls, and love to get into everything!

New Fun Things:
  • He is getting more interested in singing. We try to do the motions if the song has them. This is fun. He loves reading books that we sing with (like his Old MacDonald Book or a 12 Apostles book that I sing to instead of read the words).
  • His Aunite Livia sent him a puzzle recently; it is one that has the picture of the piece on the board to help kids learn how to do them. Canaan loves doing this puzzle. One big draw is that it is a puzzle about different types of transportation and they make noise when you put the piece in the puzzle!! Dougle has decided he will buy Auntie Livi's kids lots of noisy toys when she has them!
  • Canaan also loves to help Mommy around the house. When I sweep, he follows me around begging for the broom. When I start to mop, he goes around sweeping everything and tries to put the broom in the bucket! He still doesn't like the vacuum- so we don't do that very often when he's around!
  • Canaan loves to look out our kitchen window. He stands below it, looks up and says, "Truck!" He always likes to watch the little patch of road you can see, as well as the kids and animals below. The other day he was saying "cycle" but I didn't see one. I thought he was talking about something else until Dougle came over and spotted it too! He has such good EYESIGHT and is very observant- to notice dogs and bicycles from 12 stories up!
  • Canaan is learning so much. He hasn't had a whole lot of new words since we moved (which to be expected a bit), but it is amazing how much he understands! He can identify many parts of his body, some in Russian too. He also can identify many animals and a few shapes. He loves to point to different objects in his word book when we ask him where they are. He can follow many simple commands and chimes in when we say words that he knows and likes to say. It is just so amazing how much he is absorbing from his surroundings. It also makes us remember just how much we have to be extra careful about what we are saying in front of him!
  • One funny thing: everything that can be opened is a door. He seems to know that actual doors are a little different from drawers (they do sound similar) and lids. Yes, he comes over to us with containers and says 'door' so that we will open them for him. It is so cute!
Eating: I think I talked about this in a previous blog, but it is still happening: at times he will forget that he likes certain foods we eat. Just at the sight of certain new foods (or foods we've eaten), he will turn away. I have made a point to make him at least TRY ONE BITE of something before he decides not to eat it. Well, getting this first bite down is often a very difficult battle; since Canaan has realized that Mommy always wins these battles, he is getting a little less resistent about trying new things- which is nice for Mommy! Anyway, most of the time, he will gladly eat what he at first turned his nose up at, after chewing the first bite. The only thing he consistently won't eat is cheese. Oh, and it is very cool to me that he eats SOUP! I didn't know kids his age would even eat it, but he does and loves it!

There is much more I could write. Life is just so fun and challenging with a little one year old running around. But, I'll leave you with all that for now. Blessings to everyone!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Slideshow of the Grandparent's Visit

I hope you can look through the slide show. It goes along with the text below about my parent's visit! Enjoy!

Grand-Nan and Grand-Dad's Visit

Bear with my novel! I just had a lot to write about my parent's visit- since that is what was happening here the past few weeks. We had a great visit with my parents. As it goes, we were pretty exhausted when they left (and I think they were too!). I've entered in a bit about their trip. Hope you enjoy!


Kirt and Nancy left Lubbock Tuesday afternoon. They arrived in Moscow, having slept very little, on Wednesday morning, around 6am- Lubbock time. In Moscow, it was around 3pm. The airport, Sherymeteva, is actually about 15km north of Moscow. It took us about 100 minutes to get there, having taken both metro and marshrut (a small bus), to get there. We were excited for my parents to arrive. I knew they would be very tired, but I knew it would be easy to keep them awake until bedtime. They were very happy and in great spirits when they arrived. Everything seemed to go well for them; passing through customs was a breeze and all their luggage arrived on time with them! A perfect start! Once they got through to us, we just had to wait a few minutes before our taxi-van arrived to pick us up. We had arranged for a larger vehicle to pick us up, since it would be us four adults, Canaan, several large bags, and a stroller. Yes, we got our new stroller! It is great. We opened it up right away and put Canaan in it since he was getting tired and needed a place to be. After a two hour ride in the van, we all arrived at our apartment. Everyone was pretty tired after all the traveling and excitement, but we stayed up opening various gifts and surprises they had brought with them. It felt like Christmas in March!


Taking people to Red Square is awesome! I love to go there myself, and it seems to inspire much awe and reflection on those who visit. Not only is Red Square an awesome site, it also brings to mind much imagery we have of the once Soviet Union. How much has changed since then! My parents were taken in with Red Square. They talked again of how just a few years ago, they never would have imagined themselves being in Russia, in Red Square. We walked near the Kremlin Wall, looked on the outside of Lenin’s tomb (he is currently unavailable- as one newspaper put it- he is undergoing ‘mummy maintenance’). So, we did not have the option to take a peek at him, something I haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing yet. We walked around Saint Basils and actually got to go inside. That was a lot of fun, since I had never been inside it before. It is much different than the Catholic Churches I was accustomed to, having lived in Mexico. There were many paintings on the brick walls, not as much gold plastered everywhere. Then we walked to look over the Moscow River. It was cool that day; we all got a little chilly, but not too bad!

One of the days here, they were stuck with me, Lucy, as their guide. I didn’t know how much I really depended on Dougle until then. I had to read the metro signs by myself, figure out the best way to get from one place to another, and tell them what everything was. So, they got the 5 cent tour, as they called it. “Umm…this is probably an important building….Those monuments over there, they are dedicated to some cities in some war that did something….This statue is of some famous person- the date seems to indicate that maybe it was the founder of Moscow?!” Pretty pathetic. I did decide I need to brush up on some of my Moscow/Russian history and get to know the sites around here better. But, we had fun none-the-less.

Another day we went to a lookout point near the university. We got off the metro one stop early because it was actually a metro stop that was over the Moscow River. It is pretty cool. That did mean that we had to do some hiking and climbing up some stairs to get from the river bank to the lookout point. We all made it up. We were able to look over the city, admire one of the Seven Stalin buildings up-close, and do a bit of souvenir looking. We were getting pretty hungry and wanted to eat blini (a type of crepe with different fillings of meat, veggies or fruit). We went to the stand only to see two women sitting silently on the inside of the booth, staring out at us, with a sign in the window that read ‘technical break.’ We waited about 10 minutes, but since they weren’t going to open up for us, we decided to catch a bus to Victory Park and eat there. The bus, however, took a long time to come. We’d already been outside for at least 2 hours and we were only getting colder as we stood waiting for the bus. When we finally gave up on the bus and decided to look for a taxi, it came. The bus ride was a bit longer than we expected, but warm. It was a nice break from being outside and on our feet- since we actually all got seats! Yeah! However, the warmth didn’t stick with us very long once we stepped off the bus. Mom got to experience a Russian port-a-potty (it only cost 50 cents). We saw a monument built to commemorate the Russians stopping the advances of Napoleon into Moscow, as well as Victory Park. We took pictures in front of the main obelisk and dry fountains- that are a much prettier sight in the warm summer sunshine with the water running- and decided to head for the mall the eat. We took them down to the deepest metro in the world and rode two stops to the Kievskya mall, where we enjoyed a warm and delicious lunch of blini and hamburgers!


So, Mom and Dad are doing great, but they are experiencing a bit of culture shock. Dougle and Dad ran to get some stain, sandpaper, and various other items. They left Mom at home with no knowledge of where the diapers were (oops); no worries though, Canaan loves to run around naked! When they arrived back home, Dougle exclaimed that it went so much easier and faster since they didn’t have Canaan with them (remember- Dougle is still getting used to the ‘baby factor’ of living in Moscow). Mom looked at her watch and wondered how being gone 5 hours could be described as either ‘quick’ or ‘easy!’

Dad is having a hard time not being able to communicate. He has resulted to crude signs and gestures to try to find things. This morning, however, as I was leaving for school, I noticed he was using babble fish (an online translator) to make out a grocery list. I found out that he went shopping on his own and was able to find almost everything he wanted. A very kind lady at the store took his list and helped him find everything that was on it. I think that made him feel a little better, but he continues to remark how difficult the language is!

Mom said she feels like she is looking at all the words backwards- like looking at the wrong side of a window on which words are written. What a great expression! It does feel like that at times, because there are a few letters that are written as backward English letters!


Canaan really enjoyed his grandparents being here. Dad was his reading buddy. Since Dad was waking up at 5am most mornings, he would take care of Canaan when he woke up, and let us sleep in. It was great! Mom played with his toys and puzzle with Canaan. She also helped me make him obey. It was so nice to have some helpful advice it training the boy. It is great to have a fresh take on things every-once-in-a-while. Dougle enjoyed all the help too, since Dad was his new shopping buddy. That meant he didn’t have to carry everything back to the house by himself. It was like someone was helping lift a weight off his shoulder for a few days! Mom was my gaming and talking buddy. We all were able to play some Mexican Train, Nine Card Golf, and LOTS of rounds of Boggle. It was great!


While they were here, we spent a lot of time figuring out what to do when we had to leave the country in April to renew our visas. We priced and contemplated several options. We considered several European cities but decided to fly to Houston. Singapore Airlines just opened a non-stop flight from Moscow to Houston this week! It is at a low enough cost, coupled with the fact that being in the States to renew our visas is a third of the price as it would cost else-where, that it turns out to be the best (and most reliable) deal for us! So, knowing that we would see my parents again in less than a month (I can’t go to Houston without making the trip quick to Lubbock!) made goodbyes so much easier! What a wonderful way to end a wonderful visit! At four in the morning, we put my parents in a taxi and sent them off to catch their 7am flight to Lubbock! We love you Grand-dad and Gran-nan! Thank you for visiting us!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


No, our visitors aren't from outer-space, they are Grand-Dad and Gran-Nan!!

Grand-Dad and Gran-Nan, aka. Kirt and Nancy, arrived on Wednesday, March 12th. (That is part of the reason I have been 'absent' from blogging lately!) Canaan was SOOOO happy to see them walk through those gates at the airport. He has been busy playing with them, reading with them, and giving us all some good laughs. One phrase that is often repeated in the house these days is "He is SOO ornery." I think he gets it from Dougle. :) But Canaan is really enjoying their visit. They have been here for almost a week and got their first full night of sleep last night, for which we were all very grateful! They've been waking up for several hours at night, and/or waking up early in the morning (like around 5am). But they have done super well. We have managed to keep them warm most of the time; the temperatures have been around 40 degrees during the day time and dip to around freezing at night. Pretty good weather. Today, however, was a bit colder and we were outside for several hours. This meant we were all getting cold. In some of the pictures we took today, Grand-Dad and Gran-Nan are huddled up, looking a little bit cold! We've been enjoying their company (you know how it can be when you move somewhere new and don't know anyone), playing games together, showing them the Moscow sites, and their help (they help clean and cook while we are doing our Russian lessons)! It is great.
We are enjoying their visit SOO much, that we fall in bed exhausted at night. But, I wanted to show you a few pictures of their visit thus far. I will fill in with more pictures and details later!

And, I wanted to say THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! to those of you who sent love or gifts for us! Thank you to the Elmores for buying us a new stroller since our other one broke; thank you to Farrah, Seth and the boys for the movies, books and clothes for Canaan. Thank you Ernestine and Hollis for the clothes and books for Canaan, as well as for the 'meals out' money. (WE really needed new books- Mommy was getting tired of reading the same ones over and over!) Thank you to Beth Cunningham for the umbrellas; thank you to Aunty Livi and David for the clothes, puzzle and toys for Canaan, and the ketchup packets you saved up for us (you have to pay 50 cents a packet for ketchup at McDonald's). As with thank yous, I am sure I missed someone, but my brain is about shut down for the night. So, I thank that person I have forgotten! Of course, thank you to my parents too! They came, they brought all kinds of toys, books, some clothes, and various food items that we can't get or can't get very easily here. And they brought many greetings from everyone. It is so awesome and so comforting to know that we are not in this mission alone: we have people backing us with prayers, money, love, and encouragement. We couldn't do it without all of you. Thank you for all your comments you leave on the blogs and the notes you send through e-mail. These mean more than you can imagine!!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Mr. Personality!

Ok, I am sure you all know already, but I think I have the most adorable little boy! That is why I am including so many photos this time. They crack me up and remind me of how blessed I am. Just look at that belly sticking out as he wears his TT hat while he welcomes daddy home!

As he grows up, I am amazed at how much his little personality is starting to develop. It is hard to believe, but I am sure I am only seeing the tip of the iceberg of his personality. I look back on our memories we've had with him, but look forward to each new day, to see how he transforms into a wonderful toddler, great kid, and fine young man.

So, his personality is become so cute. He really likes to be funny and be laughed at, as well as play fun games and laugh at things. He puts his bowls upside-down on his head and laughs (he usually waits until they are empty, except for a few crumbs). Then he will put them on our heads and laugh. He is loving the game peek-a-boo. If you watched our video, you can see how cute and funny he thinks he is. And he is cute and adorably funny! When we are talking to my parents on Skype, he will run behind the arm of the couch and duck out of the view. Then he will pop up, say Coo-coo and laugh. He loves to laugh. When he is watching his Baby Einstein video, he will momentarily look up at us during a funny time, just to get our attention so that we can giggle with him. Daddy likes to make loud "Boo" noises to scare Mommy and Canaan. Canaan thinks it is hysterical. And he loves to splash in the bathtub when Daddy is giving him a bath; I think it is half way because he thinks it is funny, and half way because he knows Daddy thinks it is funny and wants to laugh with him. It is just great! He gives us more reasons to laugh and smile, which is supposed to be very healthy for you, right?!

He is also showing his personality in other ways. He has realized that he has the choice to obey in many situations (there are more and more new ones each day with all that he is learning and getting into). So, he is exercising his ability to choose the opposite of what Mommy has said in some of these situations, and learning what consequences are. This is a little frustrating to Mommy, but she is learning that she needs to be more consistent so that she won't have to prove that she means what she says so much. (Mommy side-note: It is hard to be a consistent Mommy-especially when you are trying to decide what to make a big deal about and what not to.) So, we see his strong will pop out more these days too. But it is all just very neat to me as I watch my little boy grow up. It will be interesting to see what hobbies he likes, sports he enjoys, school subjects he loves/hates, how tall he will become, what style clothes he will wear, what job he wants to pursue, etc. But as Dougle and I pray over his bedside every night, we are reminded that the most important thing is that he become a follower of Christ. Everything else we will love about him, whether we like it or not, just because he is our son. But becoming a disciple of Christ, that is what matters most, and that is what we hope most to instill in him as he grows up. All that we are doing now in raising him is all for the purpose of him knowing Christ when he is older. And whatever else comes in addition, is all bonus features. Wow, being a parent is amazing, and a lot of responsibility too! But it is all worth it (at least from what I can tell in my 16 months of experience)!

Ok, so the pictures... (remember, click on them and they get bigger).

Canaan smelling the flowers -I though was too cute to pass up. He loves to smell flowers, something he learned in Bible class at Sunset- I think it is part of their Creation curriculum- God made the flowers on day 3. They hold them and smell them and thank God for them. Anyway, he doesn't say a word for flower, but he sniffs really loud when he sees them. He loves to touch and smell them!

Canaan and the Sheets- I was drying our sheets on our drying rack. He loves to run through it with clothes on it, but this was an especially cool situation, because it was set up like a tunnel. Of course, he thought it was just for him. He ran through it so much that I got out my camera to take a picture. When he saw that, he wanted to play with me...peek-a-boo, of course!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Russian Style Peek-a-boo

This is Canaan playing Peek-a-boo, Russian style. He gives an especially cute "coo-coo" with the cutest grin around the 32 second mark. We hope you enjoy watching it as much as we do!