Friday, August 29, 2008

Cool Days Playing

Yesterday we went out to play, and I was armed with my camera. It was actually cool enough that we wore coats and hats. It warmed up a bit more today, which was nice. We had fun, just Canaan and I. We took our time walking to a playground near by. He stopped to play with his cars on a slope/"stair" that we crossed. He got distracted by a ledge we passed and then we stopped again to smell some pansies that are still out blooming after we jumped in a big puddle of water a few times. (He had his boots on, which are water resistant and he just has so much fun when he can jump in puddles!)
When we got to the playground, he enjoyed the slide and sandbox, as well as sitting on the benches and chasing a bird. The bird finally flew up to a ledge (after hopping away from him halfway across the playground). It was cute to see him standing at the wall, looking up at the bird while the bird looked down on him.
Hope you enjoy the pictures. I thought there were several cute ones and wanted to share!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rainy Day Water Colors

This morning we woke up to rain. It was a gloomy day, looking like it wasn't going to let up for a while. So, what can Mommy and Canaan do all day inside?? Hooray for Mommy! She bought paints last week to try out. So, we finally had an excuse to break them out and give them a test run!

Thankfully (at the last minute), I remembered it might be a good idea to strip Canaan down before venturing too far into the project. We practiced WCP: Water, Color, Paper. Put the brush in the water, then in a (preferably one) Color, then onto the Paper. It worked sometimes, but then sometimes he got messed up in the excitement of it all and it went from the color to the water and then onto the paper. But I remember that being normal from my teaching Bible class days. Overall, he seemed to have fun. He painted on blank pieces of paper first; after he started getting a bit bored with that, I pulled out the papers on which I had drawn some of this favorite things: cars, trucks, and tractors. He really liked painting over those and wanted to paint and paint and paint over again each vehicle. I quickly drew a few more vehicles and a barn scene (of which he wasn't interested). When I put one paper up, he would say, "See truck. See choo-choo." I would show him they were just on the table and encouraged him to paint his other pictures. At one point, he did get a bit distracted when he got some paint on his fingers. But, I was able to distract him from that a few times and he was able to get back to painting. Afterwards, of course, we had a clean-up bath!
It was fun. Canaan really seemed to like it. He even liked holding the finished products when they were dry. I think he was proud of what he did! And Mommy had fun and was proud too!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

More ABC's

Here it is again: Canaan saying his ABC's. Don't feel compelled to watch it; we figure grandparents and aunts and uncles are most likely those interested in another video of our smarty pants! But, this one is short: 30 seconds. He says the alphabet through, on his own, skipping N and W (he still won't say them). At the end, he says "no-know, F, G, way." Let me explain. "No-know" is his ways of saying "now I know." When he says "F, G, way," it is his way of saying "A,B,C's." Usually I am telling him to put his ABC's away (his foam letters), so that is why he puts "way" on the end of it. It is funny because several times a day he will see letters, when we are out, or if we are writing something, and out of nowhere, he will start in saying his ABC's. He almost always claps for himself when he is finished, which is cute. Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Height and Weight

Last weekend we bought a scale! I think it is good to have one around, and I've been wanting one to track my pregnancy weight gain. We weighed Canaan on it today. So I thought I'd post how much he weighed. While we were at it, we measured him. He has grown a little over an inch in the past 3 months and two full inches in the past 5 months (since March)!

Height: 33 Inches, 2 feet and 9 inches (84cms)
Weight: 26.5 lbs (12 kilos)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pregnancy, Playing and Passing the Time

Passing the Time
Recently, due to the Olympics, we have been passing a bit of time watching some of the events. Mainly, the TV is just on in the background as we go about our normal business, but sometimes we have to pause what we are doing and watch a specific race or event. Though I normally hate it when the TV plays all day in the background, this has been an enjoyable exception!! We have a channel called "Euro-Sport" that we watch most of the time. The commercials are all in English, but all the event narration is in Russian. The guy who narrates the swimming is a bit monotoned...unlike some of the American commentators who are very passionate and get emotional over things. One advantage of being in Moscow is that we get to watch several events live. The programing starts at 4am here (because that is 8am in Beijing), and plays all day until around 5pm, where they do recaps of the best events and have a guy go over things (it is in English but dubbed in Russian!). My favorite is gymnastics, which I've been able to catch twice for a short time, and Dougle is excitingly awaiting track and field (we think it starts of the 15th). Meanwhile, we've enjoyed watching all the swimming they are showing, due to it's popularity! Canaan will watch it sometimes and say "water, there." I hope you are enjoying some things too!
Canaan and I are enjoying the playgrounds recently. Since we don't have a back yard to play in, we must walk to the nearby playgrounds. On the way, he likes to walk in the little patches of grass there are; I am glad he is a bit acquainted with grass since we live in such a big city. I've found that if we go close to noon, there are more kids his age out. Canaan really enjoys playing a bit with other kids, especially those that are about 6-18 months older than he is.
We also recently bought him some Legos (not the actual brand, but you understand). They aren't the really big ones, or the small ones, but the ones in between. I am always on the look out for a good toy purchase, since we have to be picky with what we buy here. And, I am very pleased with this purchase since it seems like something that he will grow with him for a few years. Since he is so stuck on planes and trains and automobiles, I founds some that have little trains. There are about 5 lego platforms with wheels, which he absolutely loves. He has started stacking a few pieces on top of them, and Mommy and Daddy enjoy showing him how to build other fun things too!
As we play, Canaan just seems to be saying all kinds of new words. I feel like we have "mini" conversations too. It is very exciting for me, and I can already foresee that he will be talking our heads off very soon! Here is an example of a recent conversation on our way back home from the playground (it actually is 2 conversations put together):
Canaan: Daddy home?
Mommy: No, Daddy's not at home.
Canaan: Daddy back?
Mommy: Yes, Daddy will be back later.
Canaan: Daddy cool.
Mommy: Yes, Daddy is at school.
Canaan: Cars, Trucks home.
Mommy: Yes, your cars and trucks are at home.
Morning sickness has abated, thankfully! However, I am still feeling completely worn out! I have to sit and rest just after taking a shower! Pathetic! I don't know how moms do it who are pregnant more than one or two times. I am completely exhausted! Though I know it will all be worth it in the end, I think this is the last pregnancy we have energy for!
Oh, I am starting to show a bit, but only if you know that I was skinny a few months ago. Otherwise, I just look like I have a small tire around my waist! With Canaan, I looked forward to the time when I would really look pregnant, when I wasn't in the awkward phase of people wondering if I was pregnant or just putting on a few extra pounds!I was told I would wish I weren't so big once I got bigger, but I loved being big (except for the uncomfortable sleeping bit)! Once again, here I am, excited to get to that point!

PS. The picture where all Canaan's cars/trucks are on their sides: he was putting them "nigh, night", because it was about his bedtime too!

That's all for now! Hope everyone is doing well. We miss you all! God bless!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

ABC's and "Nay-Nan Up!"

We took a short video of Canaan saying some ABC's. It is interesting, because he doesn't sing them, he just says them. He likes me to repeat after him, before he goes to the next letter, and every-so-often I have to give him a prompt because he either doesn't remember what comes next (D and H) or he doesn't say certain letters (N and W). But, overall, I think it is very impressive! He likes letters a lot; he plays with foam letters and plastic letters that we've bought him, and he likes to point out letters in words he sees around town. Lately, when I am writing something, he says, "Mama, G-F." That means I am writing letters. Yesterday he was scribbling on his chalk board and while doing it, he would say "G...E...K!" (when it actually looked a bit like a K). He was so proud of himself! Hope you enjoy the video (below)!

Finally, tonight, Canaan climbed out of his play pen (where he sleeps) for the first time! I have been expecting it for a while, and he finally got up the desire and figured out how to do it! He scared me, though, when he unexpectedly came running into the living room practically yelling, "Car! Truck! Nay-Nan UP! Nay-Nan UP!" He was so proud of himself and had the biggest grin on his face. It took a bit before we could calm him down from his excitement, and he cried when we put him back in bed. He got up one more time, this time with a stern warning not to get up again, and then finally fell asleep. So, it will be interesting to see how this plays out. He is getting a bit big for his playpen, almost stretching end to end, but we are trying to hold off on getting him a 'big boy' bed until we make our move to Ukraine.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Picture for Mom and Liv and other random stuff

Ok, so this post is less "All About Canaan" than most; but I thought it would be fun to post a few random things that I have been thinking.

1. The weather here in M0scow is COLD! In my mind, it is not supposed to be cold at the beginning of August; we should still be in full swing of summer. However, everyone is wearing jackets and warm hats. The high today was 60, but I don't think it got that warm! Craziness!

2. I took 2 pictures for certain people while in Egypt. For my mom, a devoted tea lover and Lipton drinker, I took the picture of the Lipton advertisements in Egypt. It is even there!! For my sister, who is a devoted 'dollar-store fanatic/addict, I took a picture of a store that was called "Uni-price" (written in English!). The price was 2.5 Egyptian pounds, which translates to about 50 US cents!

3. For all the pregnant women, who have been or are currently pregnant, I had Dougle take a picture of me eating a fried motzarella cheese-stick! Yum. With Canaan, all I semi-craved was pizza (which is unusual since I don't really like pizza normally). However, with this pregnancy, I have had multiple cravings of multiple things that come and go. Sometimes once I eat what I've been craving, I feel sick just thinking about eating it again. It is so weird! However, I'd been craving cheese sticks for at least a month or more and finally got to eat some in Egypt! They were delicious! The nice thing is that I am not craving them anymore, but I would welcome any opportunity to eat them again!

4. Since this is a post on an "All About Canaan" blog, I thought I would include a picture of Canaan! Since it is random and funny things, I thought I'd put a funny looking picture on. I just love Canaan so much, that I think he is beautiful even when he looks silly or COMPLETELY ORNERY, like in this picture! I hope you enjoy!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Poor Baby!

Our last night in Egypt, we were invaded! Dougle and I were up late trying to get some last things packed, wind down, etc. Right before we turned off the lights, we noticed there was a mosquito in our room! So, we turned some of the lights on (just a small one so as not to wake up Canaan), sat on the bed, and started our stake-out. Well, we were surprised to find not one, or two, but MANY mosquitoes in the room. For the next 30 minutes, we killed a good 10 or 15 mosquitoes. Hoping we had got all the little buggers, we turned off the lights. Unfortunately, we woke up Saturday morning and discovered that we had been unsuccessful in ridding the room of all of them. While Dougle and I both sustained many bites, Canaan got the brunt of it! Our poor baby's arms and legs and head were covered with mosquito bites. They started out as just tiny red dots. About 36 hours later, they had swollen and were red, puffy whelps all over. He has about 8 on just his face, several on his head (it is bald, so we can see everything), about 15 on his arms and about 15 on EACH LEG! He hasn't run a fever or been sick in any other way (except for the stinky, runny diapers which is consistent with what Dougle and I have had). I checked just to make sure, but we were not in any Yellow Fever areas in Africa, so no one needs to worry about that! In addition, Canaan is up on all his vaccinations and shots, so we are covered there. The only thing I worry about is how he feels with all those bites all over him! The third day with the bumps he started scratching a bit. We try to distract him from them. I have given him a couple baking soda paste baths. They are supposed to help the itch and help draw out any toxins near the surface. The picture is one we did yesterday; Canaan wasn't impressed with being in a bathtub with no water and weird stuff being lathered over his body! So, the second time around I made sure to warm up the tub/bathroom before we doctored him up, and we had a Veggie Tales going to help distract him from any uncomfortable weirdness he might feel! I also read that rubbing a damp bar of soap over the bites helps alleviate itching and I have done this a time or two when he starts scratching. We also were fortunate enough to have brought some children's Benedryl to Moscow with us(really, the Walmart off-brand of it- but they sell nothing like it here). So I have given that to him to help with the itching and swelling. If you know of anything else to help him get through the next few days, just let us know! Our poor baby!

PS> Sorry the pictures are blurry. He doesn't stand still long enough to get a good picture!

Last Days in Egypt

Our last few days in Egypt were a bit slower. We were all getting worn out, just being in such a new place, and Dougle was sick for the last 3 days. He still pushed himself and got out and did things, but we just couldn't do as much! But, that is okay. We really are just a laid back family; though for some a good vacation includes waking up early, having the days mapped out for maximum accomplishment, and GO! GO! GO!- this is not the way we typically do things. We prefer to miss out on a few things so we can rest and enjoy what we can do. This proved especially true since one or all of us was sick the majority of the trip!

Well, on Thursday we ventured out to the Bazaar. It wasn't as big in touristy things as I would have expected, but it was cool none-the-less. We enjoyed walking through some non-touristy parts (where they sold normal household items, clothes, shoes, etc.), but we were mostly interested in the touristy stuff! We read in the Lonely Planet Guide Book that haggling for prices was a must; in fact, some venders might even be offended if you didn't haggle. Well, that brought back memories for me of living in Mexico! It is amazing how a price can drop quite a bit if you have to think too long about purchasing something. And then if you walk away, it goes down even further, or to whatever you were willing to pay! Though I have at times felt guilty about haggling, I was reminded by someone (I don't remember who), that the venders will never stoop so low as to loose money on a purchase with you. So, that always helped me, knowing that I wasn't causing them financial pain in any way, but was probably giving them way more than in was worth anyway! We found many cool items and left the bazaar with some fun and cute things (as well as some very happy venders I am sure!!). (I also realized that Dougle and I's opinion of good haggling vary a bit!)

One thing we bought for Canaan was a stuffed camel. I thought it a bit ironic to buy him a stuffed camel, since his encounter with a real camel was not a pleasant one. However, he loves stuffed animals, and they were cute. He called it a cow at first, but once we set him straight, he has been very consistent in calling it a "mamel." It even plays a loud song, which he loves!

On Friday, we stayed in the hostel (close to the toilet) all day until the evening. I had really wanted to see the Nile (more than just a quick drive over a bridge we'd seen on our way to the pyramids). So, we found a TGI Friday's on the bank. I was excited for many reasons. First, because I had been craving mozzarella sticks for weeks (this pregnancy has left me with many various cravings that come and go)! Second, we hadn't had good Tex-Mex since March when we were in the States. Thirdly, you may think we are boring eating at an American restaurant where there is cool Egyptian food around, but our tummies were not very happy with all the 'cool' food we had eaten and they wanted something more familiar. Lastly, how many times do you get to sit on the bank of the Nile and eat dinner??!! I was super excited and we had a really nice time. We sat outside on the patio. It was warm, but we would get a breeze from off the river. Though our view down the river was partially obstructed by a bridge, it was still neat. One thing about being in Egypt is thinking about all the history there! Can you imagine, over 5000 years of recorded history and artifacts that are so old?! It was amazing just thinking about all the changes and all the things that had gone on in that part of the world, especially those related to the Bible... Joseph, Moses, Abraham...all the way to Jesus living there as a boy! We were really blessed to have had the opportunity to be there!
Anyway, after our meal, we walked over the bridge, but it was really dark by then, so you can't see much in the pictures. We headed back to our hostel and then went out on the streets. It was amazing: 9:30pm and 10:30pm and the streets were SOOOO CROWDED! This is when families and people of all ages were out shopping, eating ice cream, having family time, etc. It is definitely a night culture (especially when you consider that at 8 and 9am, the town is almost void of people and traffic)! It was fun to be out with everyone else on the streets!

Our trip home was good. I must say that I wasn't impressed with the Cairo airport. It seemed that things were not run very efficiently, but I am sure part of my view was obscured by the fact that we were all so tired and ready to be back home!

Overall, we had a great trip! Though we were sick for a bit of it, we enjoyed everything we were able to do. It was also humbling and a good reminder of how other people feel when they come to visit Moscow (or Ukraine- or wherever we may be living in the distant future): though we are used to it, it is hard on those who aren't so used to it! Life was just COMPLETELY DIFFERENT there in Egypt from what we are used to (mainly Mexico and Russia). We couldn't read anything...AT ALL! Even the numbers were written different! The driving was a new kind of crazy we hadn't seen! The food was very interesting, with delicious and not-so-delicious experiences. Just everything was different. So, if you come visit us, I will try to think back to Egypt, remember how hard it is being somewhere that is completely different from what you are used to, and will treat you kindly and feed you good food!! Even though we haven't been here years, just the few months we have had in Russia make us feel comfortable with so much; and really, that is a good thing. Because we kept saying that we were ready to go back home...and we meant MOSCOW! And being back home, where everything feels 'normal,' is a great feeling!