Thursday, January 29, 2009

Can You Guess??!!

Ok, this is a really short post. We are still without internet, so our times on the internet these days are few and far between (besides what we can get on Dougle's phone, which is nice, but limited!).

We wanted to post a guessing contest. I am just over 38 weeks pregnant. My due date is February 9th. If you'd like to send in or post a comment about a GUESS you have for when Max will be due (please leave a day and a time in case someone else chooses the same day). Whoever is closest to his actual due date, we will send a small Ukrainian gift to you through my Mom on her return trip after visiting us! So, post your guesses, and make sure to put your name if you leave a comment as "anonymous"!

If you would like to leave a guess on how much he'll weigh, you can do that too. We might even send a small gift for the winner of that one too!

We are getting excited for his arrival. We still have a few things that need to fall into place before we'll be perfectly ready, but I actually think that we'll never be "perfectly" ready. Isn't that how it goes!! Canaan seems to know just a bit that things are about to change. We are reading Big Brother books and talking about the baby, who will sleep in the crib, who is coming soon. I think he will be a great big brother!!

Ok, I really must go. We got a call from the people putting up new wallpaper in our house (we'll write about that soon), and we must go! Hope you all are doing well. Leave your guesses about Max's arrival and we will post the winner as soon as we know!! Love you all. Thanks for reading and keeping up with us.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

All About Max (and Mommy)

One priority when we moved was to get things figured out for Max’s arrival. The first thing we discovered was that in Ukraine, you have a pre-natal doctor at a clinic and a separate doctor and hospital for delivery. We found a great pre-natal doctor through my interpreter, Ira; everything is done quite different than in the States, but most pre-natal check-ups, including ultrasounds and blood work, all get done, just in different ways. Now that I am approaching the time of delivery, we have started looking into various hospitals. We had one in mind that had the reputation in Kharkov for being the best. However, my pre-natal doctor (whom we like very much) recommended another hospital. She said it has the same level of equipment available, but the doctors at this smaller hospital don’t have big heads, but are more kind and will work with you more. She also said the other hospital is remodeled nicer, but the smaller hospital is still clean and warm. When we went to check out this smaller hospital, we were very pleased. We were able to meet with the director and head doctor; they showed us around the hospital and answered all our questions. They even said the head doctor, who speaks English, could be my doctor, so I won’t have to have a translator. She even gave me her home phone number and cell phone number so I could call at any time. We had an ultrasound done there, they looked over all my paperwork, and we were able to register that day. The hospitals are government run, making it very cheap to register and deliver there; however, it is always common to “tip” the director and doctors, because doctors in Ukraine make very low salaries. In addition, because we are Americans and they aren’t obligated to accept us in their hospitals, we are expected to “tip” extra. We knew this going in, so it wasn’t a problem when the question of cost came up. However, the director surprised us and told us that instead of the registration fee, the delivery fee and the “tip,” we could just buy a couch or a table for a waiting room in their new wing they are having built! So, we will be able to tell Max when he is older that he cost a couch to deliver! Thank you all so much for your prayers about all our medical needs for Max. We know that God went ahead of us in all ways and paved the way smoothly for everything to work out well. We are excited about his arrival, which we are expecting sometime around February 9th!

To read more about our payment arrangement, visit our other blog at:

Friday, January 16, 2009

More Stories about Canaan

New Big Boy Bed
Since we have finally moved into a permanent house, our first priority was to get Canaan out of his pack-n-play that he has been sleeping in for his entire two years of life! We wanted to get him into a big boy bed around 18 months of age, but with moving from Moscow to Ukraine, and then moving several times since we've been here, we couldn't do it until now. However, Gran-Nan and Grand-Dad have been collecting things for his new bed and room, including a sheet set, a comforter, and wall appliques. Dougle got into the mood of the Disney "Cars" theme and bought him a nite light for Christmas. So, as soon as we moved in, we put his new bed together and he loved it! Here is a picture of him laying in it. He has done really well so far, though he still falls off the bed in the night. Right now there is an extra matress that we have for another bed that we put next to his bed to cushion his night time falls. We are hoping he will soon get used to the bed size and not need any cushioning soon. He is also just now starting to sleep in his own bedroom BY HIMSELF. For the past year, our apartments have all been one bed-room, so he has slept in the same room with us. However, now is his first time to sleep by himself in his own room. He is also doing well with this adjustment. He loves his "Lightning Big Boy New Bed"- as he calls it!!

We really try to treat accidents as accidents in our house. I try really hard not to come down on Canaan over “spilled milk” kind of things. However, a few days ago, Canaan was trying to climb on my clothes drying rack. I told him not to climb on it. Then, a few minutes later he comes running into the bedroom saying, “Uh-oh. Mommy fix it back on!” I went in and found that he must have continued to try to climb on it and broken part of it. Because I had told him not to do this and his disobedience was the cause of this, I came down on him and told him that he needed to listen to Mommy because he broke it and I wasn’t able to fix it (even though he kept repeating- Mommy, fix it back on!). Apparently, this serious little conversation stuck in his mind and when I got out the clothes drying rack the next time, he examined the broken part of it and said, “I sorry Mommy!” What a sweet boy I have! I have since got out the rack a few more times and he always points out the broken part. I try to brush it aside now and say, “Yes, it is broken, but it is okay now.”

Car Spoiled
For those of you wondering, we have been thoroughly enjoying our new car! After walking around for everything for 11 months, we are enjoying our new “luxury!” Even Canaan is enjoying it. The other night, Dougle and I got out to walk to a nearby little store. I suggested we not take the stroller and just let Canaan walk because he LOVES to walk around places by himself. However, he must have been extra tired this particular evening and wanted carried. When we walked past our car, he said, “Canaan go in new silver car!”
When we are in the car, as soon as we start up the car, he says, “Listen blue hearts.” He has two CD’s called “Hide It In Your Heart” that Nancy Stover introduced us to. On the CD’s they sing Bible verses and Canaan really likes them. Volume one is blue and volume two is green, thus Canaan’s naming of them “blue hearts” and “green hearts.” He just loves to have them playing in the car and will sing along with them as we drive around. Sometimes he even requests- or rather at times demands- that we sing with him. Then he gets extra happy and sings even louder. It is so much fun to see him singing these little Bible verses, some of which I am sure he doesn’t understand now, but will in time!
This and That
For those interested, Veggie Tales are his new favorite movies at the moment, though he still loves Bob the Builder. He has recently started using gerunds in his speech: Mommy talking to David, I eating now, etc. When we are ready to leave, he tells us what we need to do: Canaan put on coat, lightning hat (his new Lightning McQueen hat that Gran-Nan and Grand-Dad sent him for Christmas), and boots. He says, “Go down stairs and go bye-bye in silver car!” He is also VERY into “Canaan do it all by myself!” Today we walked into the house and he pulled off his hat and proudly exclaimed, “Take hat off all by myself!” And earlier today Daddy carried him down a step he wanted to go down on his own; when he was put down, he went back up onto the step and stepped down on his own, saying, “I do it all by my-self.” This is nice, sometimes, and at other times this new-found independence is just inconvenient or time consuming. Of course, he also has the other reaction to some things. I will tell him to do something by himself, and he tries a little before exclaiming in pathetic and stressed tones, “Mommy, this TOO HARD!” So I have to encourage him to try again if it is something I know he can do.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Canaan Stories

I have been absent for a long time now! We have been in a whirlwind lately with visitors, holidays and moving. I have so much to fill you all in on. So, I want to post a few stories over the next few days, with some pictures here and there too. I hope we can get caught up and you don’t tire of reading all of my Canaan and Max updates. We have found a hospital we are excited about and I will be telling you about all that in the next few days too! Hope you all are doing well! We love and miss you all!
PS. This picture was taken at a big grocery store that has "kid friendly" shopping cars/carts for the little ones!

Canaan is two years and two months old. Though at times it is amazing to think we are parents of a two year old, I am often just as amazed that he is ONLY two years old. He talks so much, understands even more, and just acts older than most recently turned two years olds that I’ve known. Daily we are amazed at his ever increasing vocabulary and understanding of the world around him; I guess you could say that we are just two parents who are too proud of their little boy!
Recently, Canaan has had some dry patches on his back. He scratches at them and tells us “my back hurt.” So, when he tells me his back hurts, I’ve been putting lotion on it to help the itching and hurting. Yesterday, however, my growing belly was just itching so much. As soon as we got home, I went into the bathroom and started applying lotion to my belly. Canaan came in and saw what I was doing and said, “Mommy, Max hurt too.” I was amazed and touched!
Canaan knows that Max is in Mommy’s tummy, but I don’t think he quite understands much about what will happen. We recently broke out some books that we have been saving until closer to Max’s arrival about new babies. He listens and looks at the books with much interest, like he knows something in the book is very important and might be soon relevant to his life.
Mr. Repeat
He has been repeating phrases we use a lot. Sometime he just repeats exactly what we have just said, while at other times, he waits and pulls out the new phrase at times he feels is appropriate. Auntie Livi was sitting on the couch the other day and Canaan was bothering her to read him a book. Finally she said in insistent tones, “Hold your horses Canaan.” He quickly replied back, “I TRYING!” Then he calmed down for a few minutes before coming back asking the same thing. She said, “Wait, Canaan,” to which he replied, “Hold R Horses!”
He also used the word sometimes for the first time two days ago. Mommy and Canaan had a big battle over picking up his puzzle pieces before moving on to play with different toys. After Canaan finally submitted and obeyed Mommy, he said, “My obey Mommy sometimes.” I tried to correct him and tell him he should obey Mommy all the time, but he just insisted on using the word sometimes. So, I am taking that to mean that he doesn’t know exactly how to use that new word correctly yet!
Some other little phrases he has been throwing around recently have been:
“Pretty cool.”
“What d-we have here?”
“Let’s see.”
“Be careful here Mommy”- this was after I messed up a line of cars he had strung across the floor
“What are you doing up here?”- he says this when he stands up on chairs
“Miss a page.” –when we skip a page in a book
“Look, see!! Look see!!”
And more