Thursday, April 30, 2009

Canaan and Max Growing Up

Sorry no pics with this blog. They are on another comptur and I wanted to get this sent out today!!

My sweet boys are getting cuter by the day, if that is possible! They are also getting bigger everyday. Canaan is now 2 1/2 years old and Max is 3 months. Canaan's hair is growing longer and getting a little thicker, though still far from the amount of hair his peers all have. Max's legs and cheeks get chubbier. Both are amazing and bring so much joy and fun to our lives!

Max Update: Well, Max is doing well. He is growing so much so fast. He is starting to be more interesting every day as he coos and smiles at us. He really
loves attention and to be talked to. He also loves to watch Canaan. Sometimes when I can't get his attention for anything, all Canaan has to do is walk in the room and start talking and he looks in his direction. In fact, he is so in-tuned to Canaan that when Canaan got a spanking the other day, Max started crying too. Also, the BIG NEWS is that my once a week poopy boy had 3 poopy diapers this past week!!! What am I going to do?

Potty Training Update: I know I've written a few time recently about potty training, but it is still an event. We've had about 5 or 6 days of no accidents here (minus his first nap time accident which happened just yesterday- but I don't count that). He is doing SOO well. Of course, as I write this, he had an accident. However, he is getting more used to going, and I think we finally found the right combination of discipline and rewarding to fit our little boy. In the past few days, he has taken on
going to the potty all by himself. He goes in, stands on his stool and goes by himself. This results in a mess on the toilet seat, so he then proceeds to wipe it up with toilet paper....lots and lots of it. He even will put the lid down and flush all by himself, emerging triumphant and asking for a jelly bean! This is big progress, though we still like to supervise to keep the mess down until he gets down the whole aiming thing. Canaan has also pooped by himself a few times, and we run in at the end to wipe up. He is just being a big boy and more responsible in taking care of himself. I am a such a proud Mom!

Daily Life Adventures: So, life everyday is an adventure. And, make room cars, Canaan has a
new love: bowling! We went bowling back in February, and though he didn't bowl, he did a great job cheering everyone on. Then, Daddy got a bowling game on his iPhone and he got to choose the different colored balls to bowl with. After he loved watching that so much, Daddy got him a little plastic bowling set. He was super excited to receive it and knew just what to do. "Mommy, Daddy, come bowl with me!" and "Max, look I knocked one down!" are common utterances these days! Now, cars and trucks are still his old favorite; after we've bowled a bit, he usually decides it is time to play cars and trucks.
Canaan has started becoming more clingy recently. He likes Mom and Dad to hold him, usually requesting whoever is holding Max to put him down and hold him. And though he loves to go outside and play, he almost always says, "I come back home?" I am not sure why he feels he needs to verify this; perhaps just our little trips here and there recently, the new family addition (Max) or the clingy stuff.

Canaan has recently started saying, "Uh-oh, spaghetti-O's!" He thinks that Max's bath tub is a row boat. He calls macaroni "mac-a-tRoni," which just sounds too cute. Another phrase we hear constantly is: "But your not want to do that!" He constantly is asking for us to play with him and when I tell him I have to cook, or do dishes or whatever else, he says this. Usually he is right, I don't want to do it, but it must be done. I try to get him to help me as much as he can. Of course, yesterday, we were baking banana bread for our neighbors and he was helping me. I turned around to the table to mash bananas really quickly and Canaan was just behind me at the counter. When I looked over, I realized he was using the teaspoon measure to put sugar in the flour container. Oops. Then a few minutes later he was helping me pour the flour into the bowl, but we missed and some of it landed in my baking soda container. But he sure did enjoy "helping."

Here are some fun stories about Canaan the past few days.
One time, Max was being fussy and I heard Canaan say, "It's okay Max. You be okay Max. Here, I lay down on Max." So, I ran over to find Canaan laying on top of Max. So, we had a big conversation about how he is big and Max is little and when he sits on him, he hurts him. I demonstrated by sitting on him. Anyway, all I can figure out is that I sometimes lean over very close to Max and talk to him or console him and Canaan just thought that I was laying on him when I do this. Who knows, though? His mind works in mysterious ways!

Mommy: Canaan, don't drop your food on the floor. That's not funny.
Canaan: But it IS funny, Mommy!

Daddy: Oww! (when he bumped his hand)
Canaan: I tiss (kiss) it for you!
Later Canaan bumps his hand and says: I tiss it by myself!

One thing we've been working on with Canaan is not laughing at people when they get hurt. We realized recently that he does this; we think it is because we laugh at him when he falls to help him shake it off and not cry. So, we've tried to stop laughing when he falls or bangs his head and instead ask him, " Are you okay?" Of course, he looks all pathetic and says reluctantly, "Yeah." But, we are hoping this will help him be more sympathetic to others. Well, the other day, Malachi fell down and Canaan laughed. I told him, "Canaan, we don't laugh at people like that when they get hurt." A few hours later at the dinner table, I did something funny and Canaan started to laugh, then got a serious look on his face and said, "I laugh at people?" Of course I told him he could laugh. But, oh, how confusing life can be!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Our First Ukrainian Easter

Hello all! This is my very late Easter post! Well, it is not as late, since Easter here was celebrated a week after Easter in the U.S. This is because Orthodox Easter is celebrated here, which is a different date than the Catholic Easter (which is the date we use in the U.S.) because the Orthodox celebrate the date based on the old Julian calendar. Anyway, this is just half of Easter, because the other half (Easter egg hunting) took place just last week on our team retreat. 

Easter Sunday, we had church at Liv and Dave's. They made a scrumptious meal of brisquet, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and rolls. Truely a feast! We actually ate first this Sunday. After our worship time and the boys' naps, Liv and Dave had a day of fun planned. The night before they had boiled 3 cartons of eggs (cartons here come in sets of 10 eggs each). What good planners! So, Sunday afternoon, the kids first got naked! We decided that would be the best idea for handling Easter egg dye! Then each kid and adult (except Max) got to color an egg or two with crayons. Then, we mixed up 5 different colors of egg dye and dyed the eggs. They turned out really cute! For the second activity, we put slips of egg decoration on the eggs. Once on the egg, the egg is place in almost boiling water for 5 seconds, where the decoration acts like shrink wrap and molds to the form of the egg. It was really cool. So, we all got to pick various patterns and pictures for our eggs. Some were traditional Ukrainian decorations and some were cartoon stories. Canaan chose the cartoon picture of the Enormous Turnip. We have this book and he recognized the picture immediately and wanted that one for his egg. You should here him tell the story, it is really cute. Anyway, we all got to "shrink wrap" some other eggs. At the end of the day, each family got to take home about 8 eggs a peice. We still have ours out for decoration. They turned out so cute. 
After our egg fun, Liv and Dave gave the boys little Easter gifts. Each family got a little Easter box with various gifts for each boy: from a little stuffed animal bull for Max (it is the year of the Bull and there are tons of bull knick-knacks around here), to motorcycle stickers for the 2 big boys (those were a big hit), toy cars, glow in the dark stars, and balloons. The boxes were cool, filled with special little gifts for the boys. They even came complete with home-made Easter grass that Liv made! Next, Liv gifted Denyce and I with kitchen towels, which are always nice to have extras of! 
Last, but not least, we got to eat a traditional Easter cake. It is a special type of cake that is only made on Easter here. It is not very sweet, just a little sweet. These breads are traditionally taken, along with decorated eggs, to the Orthodox church on either Saturday or Sunday to be blessed by the priests. Actually, when Canaan, Max and I had gone to the park the day before, we had seen many people (mainly women and children) taking thier eggs and bread/cake to the church to be blessed. Some even had champagne bottles and candles in their cakes. Very interesting. 
Overall, it was a very fun Easter for us all! A huge thank you to Liv and Dave for all the hard work and gifts and fun they had prepared for us this year! We loved it!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

To Hold You Over

Hi All!
Well, you'd think I just had a baby or was trying to learn a foreign language here with the way I've been dragging my feet lately in posting blogs! :) But, I've been wanting to post several recently, but after going through all our pictures from the past 2 weeks and trying to catch up on some other things, it is already my bed time (10:30pm), so you will just have to be content with these few pictures.
Just to spark your interest, I plan to put two slideshows up soon: one of Easter and all the fun we had dying eggs and doing other stuff, as well as one of some pics of our team retreat. Both events were quite fun and I look forward to letting you know about all our exciting things here of late.
Love you all. Hope you had a great weekend!

Friday, April 10, 2009

What We Hear

So, the McDougle house is never quiet these days, except for those moments around 1-3pm in the afternoon when Canaan is getting some sleep! He is our little jabber jaws and we love it. He is always saying things that stun us and amaze us or make us laugh. I wish I could remember everything, but I am not always close enough to paper to write it down right away and forget. But, here is what we've heard recently. 

Mommy: Your Daddy, he is so sweet. He loves your Mommy very much!
Canaan: And Mommy loves Canaan!

Canaan (bending over): Mommy, you upside-down!

Canaan (when our tea kettle finished): Mommy, it done hotting!

Canaan (upon leaving David and Liv's apartement): Bye David! Bye Auntie! Call me David! Call me Auntie!

Canaan (driving in the car): Look! It the SUN! The sun so bright!- this might be more of a testimony to our weather and how much we've missed the sun recently!

Mommy (to Max): How are you doing, Max?
Canaan (to Mommy): He doing well. 
Daddy (to Mommy): And he even used correct grammar and everything!

Daddy (as we were walking to the store down the street): I don't think I was cut out to be a Daddy. I worry too much!

Canaan thinks that David and Auntie always go together and Rob/Denyce/Chi/Silas all go together. So, even when we pray, he corrects us if he thinks we've forgoten someone. The other night, Dougle was praying for Denyce, Chi and Silas as they are in the U.S. right now due to the illness and death of her grandfather (Rob stayed behind) and Canaan blurted in, "And ROB!"

On our trip to Kiev, we took the express train to Kiev (a 6 hour ride). We had seats that were facing the opposite direction of the way we were going. When we got on the train, Canaan couldn't wait for it to go. He kept saying, "Go!" Then, when we finally started, he exclaimed, "We go backward! Mommy, turn this train AROUND!" He said this over and over for about a minute and I was afraid his whole expreience might be ruined. But, he soon let it go and it didn't bother him that we were going backward anymore!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Excitement and Confessions

Ok, so we are in Kiev now. It is so wonderful! I am thoroughly enjoying myself. We rode the express train in last night. We left at 4:30pm and arrived in Kiev around 9:30pm. Canaan was so excited about getting to ride on the train. And he did great. He played, we read books, and he looked out the window in the little cafe part of the train car. It was fun. Dougle and I took turns watching Canaan and holding Max so the other could rest. So, I got to read a novel! It is so much fun to read novels. Here in Kiev, it is wonderful too. Not only is it SUNNY, but it has been up to 60 degrees, which is so warm! We are loving it. Dougle went to get some stuff translated and the boys and I went to a park with a cool playground. Canaan loved playing with all the other little kids. It was great. Max did good too: he slept and ate a tad too. :) Then we went to a Mexican food restaurant for lunch. We took a taxi there, but took the metro home b/c it took so long in the taxi with traffic to get there and it ended up just being about 3 metro stops away from where we are staying. The Mexican food was delicious; it was a splurg b/c it is expensive, but we just don't get it very often over here. Not the real tasting stuff anyway! Then we rested this afternoon. I am catchin up in my Daily Bible- about a week behind now. And I read a bit in my novel again. It is so wonderful not having to do dishes or having housework or homework looming. Yes, I left my Russian homework at home! What a bad girl I am; but we all must be bad at times. We played on the playground more this afternoon and enjoyed Chilantano's Pizza for dinner. Scrumshious. They have these tall stools at the tables, but have extra tall ones with a back and buckle for kids. Very convienienet in a land that doesn't usually have convieniences like that! Then we relaxed tonight. Canaan had a long bath and was silly. I put some pictures on facebook. Good all around. Just wanted everyone to know.

So, for the confessions. I've been thinking about how I usually post all the good things that happen, but not always the bad parts. Kind of leaves out part of the picture of our lives. Sort of like Canaan's potty training. Well, life is not always that easy for us. After his first week with a very successful start, Canaan started to forget to tell us he needed to go potty. We had about a week of popping in his pants and many clothes changes because of wet underwear and pants. A bit frustrating. I think I just stopped praising him too soon, and left it all in his hands too soon. So, after a bit of a relapse, he is doing well again. But, we ask him a lot if he is still dry (to remind him he is in his big boy underwear), we praise him for going every time, and we make him TRY to use the potty a lot. This part is funny because I totally deserve it. My mom had to make me "try" to use the potty lots as a kid. I would cry, "I don't have to go!!" as she sat me on the potty and while I was going! Yes, Canaan does the same thing. "I don't want to try! I don't have to go!" Oh my! But, he is doing better now and we have few accidents again. Someday soon he will start telling me he has to go on his own. He is already getting better, but we keep on top of him too. And it is super nice having a boy so that he can easily relieve himself while we are out and about, like at the playground...!

Ok, so that is all for now. Our two little boys are sleeping and I am going to curl up next to my fabulous and most wonderful hubby and read a bit before drifting off to sleep. Hope you all are doing well too! And, I'll add more pics next time around!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Hi. Just wanted to post a few pictures for you this time! The boys are growing so fast, especially Max at this time. I just wanted everyone to see what cuties I have! Hope everyone is doing well! We love you all!

This first picture is of Canaan "walking like a elephant" as he called it. I recently bought him a copy of the Jungle Book, and he is imitating Mogli when he joins the elephants, marching from here to there! The picture is a bit blurry, but cute none-the-less. There is also a picture of Canaan sporting his "big boy underwear," as well as many of Max, one of Sunday morning Bible class in the kitchen, and one of Valery, our friend, reading to the kiddos.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sweetest Grand-Dad

Well, I just want you all to know what Grand-Dad was busy doing during his Spring Break: he was building a swingset for Canaan and Max (and other future grandkids- someday). As many of you know, we will be heading home for a furlough during the month of May. We will mainly be based in Lubbock, spending time with family and supporters in and around the Lubbock area. If you are in/around Lubbock during May, we'd love to see you!
Anyway, Gran-Nan thought it would be fun to have a swingset for the grandkids in the backyard. So, Grand-Dad looked at kits for swingsets, but decided he could build one just as nice on his own- and for cheaper. Here is the final project that we are looking forward to using! Great work Grand-Dad! Thank you!