Monday, November 16, 2009

My Little Man

So, I did an update on Max a couple weeks ago, and had every intention of following it up with one on Canaan that week. But, alas, it didn't happen. So, here we are, a few weeks after Canaan's 3rd birthday, with an update on my little man. PICTURES AT THE END!!

Canaan Stats
3 Years Old
3 ft, 1.5 inches tall
30 lbs

Canaan is doing great at this big brother thing. I wonder if he remembers 10 months ago when he was an only child. Perhaps it is a vague memory. I was thinking tonight about how Canaan had the first two years of his life alone, with no competition for attention. Even now, he enjoys a lot of my one-on-one attention, since Max is little and sleeps a lot and doesn't talk yet. Max won't have this one-on-one privilege until he is older and Canaan has left home.... Anyway, Canaan does well as a brother.
Now that Max is scooting across the floor and grabbing his favorite toys and books, Canaan'screative abilities have kicked into high gear. He tries to get Max's baby toys and put them all around Max, before he gets out his own beloved play things. Unfortunately, Max has eyes only for Canaan's things. He already knows what certain favorites Canaan has and prefers those toys.
Canaan also has started to try to guess what is wrong with Max when he cries. I am sure this comes from my guesses as to what the problem is! Sometimes, he thinks Max is tired and needs to go to bed. At other times, he declares that Max doesn't want to go there or do that. Then there are the sweet times where Canaan will try to run get something for Max to try to make him happy.
Canaan is also having to get used to the fact that Max is growing up. We used to say that Max couldn't do anything. So when we were trying to coax him to say his first words, Canaan would look at us with a silly grin and exclaim, "Nooo, Max is a baby! He can't talk." Now that Max has started to move around, Canaan has become a bit curious with how excited we get when he started taking his first 'official' crawls. (Yes, it has happened. Mommy and Canaan's world is about to be turned upside down!) So, Canaan gets down every once in a while and tries to crawl to us too, expecting a big round of applause, I guess! He has even learned now that he must now put toys UP, high out of reach, instead of just a few feet away from Max's exploring hands and mouth. And, Canaan remains very vigilant about which toys of his that I have declared "off limits" for Max, because of tiny pieces. He quickly will yank that toy- I mean, rescue that toy- from Max's clutches when he gets a hold of it! Oh, he is preforming well the duties of an older sibling!

All By Myself
The older he gets, the more I hear this phrase! Here are a few things Canaan does, all by himself!
--Canaan still throws away all Max's diapers, sometime without me asking him to.
--He can put on his underwear and pants on. Sometimes he can get his shirts on by himself, but this is a new thing.
--He can climb up into his carseat (if we don't mind a shoe mark on the seat).
--He can sing the 12 Apostles and the Books of the New Testament, as well as numerous other songs.
--He can spell and write his first name by himself. Though it isn't always in a line, all the letters are there when he is done!
--He can say a short prayer.
--He can lead a favorite song during small group.
--He can count easily up to 20, and counts to 50 with a bit of prompting.
--He can also count to 10 in Russian.
--He can say and recognize his ABC's. He for sure knows all the capitol letters and most of the lower case letters.
--He can line up a deck of alphabet cards in line from A-Z on his own, though at times it comes out backward. He loves doing this, because I give him a jelly bean or starburst for it! :)
--He knows his birthdate and how old he is, as well as how old he will be next year!
--He can clean up his own toys.
--He can put away his own clothes, though they aren't neat and folded-but in the drawer!
--He sometimes helps me put forks and spoons away in their drawer.
--He likes to pour in the ingredients to things I am making and stir them up. He can almost crack an egg by himself. He cracks it, and then drops the shell in with it at the end. Oops!
--He can quote several of his books to me, word for word.
--He can wash his hands in the bathroom sink.
--He can take his plate and cup into the kitchen and put it in the sink.

We went through this very trying phase a few months ago. When everything was "why?" Now, it seems to have subsided, but it seems like kids go in and out of this phase all through their growing up years. So, I assume it will come upon us again, where we will be explaining things in circles until we run out of answers and patience and demand some quiet time!

Canaan loves to play. He remains a true boy, loving his cars and trucks. His favorites are the models from the movie Cars, though he has other 'favorites' as well. Canaan also loves to read. About as long as we'll read to him, he will let us. He has certain books he can quote to us, which he enjoys reading to his English speaking friends. It seems that he sees new things each time he reads, he asks new questions, some of which are unanswerable! He also is in a kick with puzzles again. He goes in an out of these phases. Right now, he enjoys doing jigsaw puzzles; about 24 piece is his limit to do it alone. He also likes to play with his train set, but he also likes to destroy it when he gets bored playing. The same with his large lego blocks and a small construction set he received for his birthday. Build and Destroy. It must be a boy thing!

As you know, Canaan is an avid talker. His vocabulary increases every day. He is constantly listening to us and picking up on new words or phrases. And he is always saying something that makes us laugh!
--Because we are talking about moving, Canaan asked if we were going to take the walls and the kitchen sink with us to our new apartment.
--You aren't Mommy anymore. You are a jungle gym!- said when he was climbing all over me!
--But which Daddy am I going to have?- cried Canaan when Daddy has to go to work.
--Does somebody need me?- said when he was feeling left out.
--Oh, sure. I guess I can. - when I asked him to clean up his toys.
--Ok, this hand is free now. That means I can. - said when I asked him to throw away Max's diaper for me.
--Is Daddy going to be gone forever??- when he saw Daddy ride off our on friend's scooter.
--Mommy, look at my nose. It is gross!- in the context of buggers and snot!
--Oh crackers, where are you?- said when he was hungry.
--My food goes in my mouth, to my throat, to my my legs!- when being silly!
--But the other boys don't hold their hands. --exclaimed when I told him to hold my hand when we crossed the street. We'd just passed some older boys who didn't hold each other's hands in the street!
--He is going to his homeland.-He is picking up that 'Biblical' vocab!
--Mom, Thomas was being mean to Henry. That is why he is all by himself.
--My toes said 'Yes!'-when I asked him a question, he replied by moving the end of his foot up and down.
--After I told a story to Dougle about how Max burned himself, Canaan followed up with this series of questions: Why was the oven on? And why was he (Max) next to the oven? And why did it burn him?
--Which way did we come from?!-Canaan loves talking about directions: left and right, as well as knowing which way we will go and if we came from the same direction. (This is where one-way streets are confusing to him, because we have to go back a different direction than we came!)

Monday, November 9, 2009

First Hair Cut!

I know you can't believe it, but we did it! We finally cut Canaan's hair! It is really more of a trim than a cut! However, he's had a lot of long strings of flyaway hairs that are getting worse in the dryness of winter. So, we decided to put on the longest guard on the trimmers and Daddy buzzed away! In the end, it looked close to the same as when we started, but we can tell a difference.
Canaan was a little nervous at first, but all we had to do was promise him a piece of chocolate and he was ready for anything! He sat really still and did great. The video is a little long- around 3 minutes, but we didn't take the time to try to do a nice trimmed and cut version for you all. Instead, we decided to just post it for those of you (special grandparents and aunts and uncles) who we knew would be interested!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

9 Months (and 2 days)


In case any of you were wondering, Max is 9 months old and almost crawling! He really can scoot/army crawl across the floor to get just about whatever he wants. He had been diving forward from a sitting position and then rrreeeaaaccchhhiiinnngg really far to try to get things for a while. Now he has started the scoot. I think he'll be full on crawling soon! Watch out, Mommy! I am loving to put things in my mouth now!

Other Max stats
2 Teeth (bottom middle)
One Cute Smile
Pinchable Cheeks
Rolly legs

-Max can wave bye-bye, and we've heard him say "ba-ba" a couple times when waving bye!! So, I think bye-bye is his first word!! (Canaan said uh-oh first, at 7.5 months.)
-I have also heard him say "na-na"when I put him to bed a few times. I always tell him, "Night, night." When I put him down, I lay him in my arms and sing Jesus Loves Me to him. When he is really tired, he leans over and tries to roll from my arms and into his crib. He, like Canaan, likes his bed when he is tired! We've also given him a little blanket, like Canaan has. The blanket for Canaan was a mistake, but really worked out well. With all the traveling we've done since Canaan has been born (both in the States and internationally), Canaan is often out of his "normal" bed and routine. But, his blanket travels with him and is a sign that it is bed time (good for on planes and switching time zones). We've bought several to have them on hand when we loose one or need to wash one. It has worked great for us and I recommend blankets for kids, especially if you will travel a bit! Of course, Canaan just turned 3 years old and still sleeps with his sheep; we haven't figured out how to break him of that, but are thinking he is getting old en
ough to let it go. If you have any suggestions, let us know!
-Max has been saying Da-Da a lot too, but not always purposefully. Today, Dougle walked into the house and Canaan yelled "Daddy!" Max stopped eating (I was nursing), leaned over to look and said "Da-Da!" Pretty purposeful!
-Max has been saying MaMa-MaMa for over a month. However, he doesn't seem to say it purposely, for me, yet.
-Max also likes to gab. He baby-talks a lot.

Max has been watching Canaan since the day he was born. Now Max is mimicking him! Instead of only chewing on cars (he chews on EVERYTHING), he has started to "drive" them in front of him, back and forth on the ground! I am amazed! He will be copying Canaan the rest of his life, I think! (Though I am hoping he will learn from Canaan's mistakes and not make them!!) Max even prefers to play with Canaan's toys, r
ather than his own.

Night Time and Sleeping
Max sleeps from about 9pm-6am (9 hours- for the non-math whizes!). He then wakes up to eat, and goes right back to sleep until 9 or 10am. Yes, I am blessed! God knew I couldn't survive without good sleepers! Canaan was the same. He slept 11-12 hours a night from the age of 3 months on. The only time we have problems with getting off schedule and mid-night feedings is when we are traveling.
Max takes about 2 naps a day that are about 1-1.5 hours. He sometimes takes a 45 minute nap right before bed time.

Food and Eating
Max LOVES to eat! I am still nursing Max several times a day. However, around 5.5 months, he started eating oatmeal and other pureed foods. Now, he can even pick up little bits of food I put on a tray and put them into his mouth, though this does take quite a bit of concentration and effort, as well as make a mess! He eats chicken and meat pieces that I cook, bananas, peas, corn, broccoli, carrots, bread, potatoes, etc. Pretty much
, he eats a little bit of whatever I am eating. When he sees us sit at the table, he knows what is going on and wants a part of it! We can't get away with not feeding him! So, whatever we eat, he eats some too!

So, I don't know if many of you remember, but Max has never been a daily pooper. In fact, for the first 8 months of his life, he only pooped once every 5-7 days on average. Well, I say only 8 months because for the past few weeks, he has been getting off schedule. We ask ourselves, "Who is this baby and what is wrong with him?" I guess we should be wondering what is RIGHT!? He started pooping every 3 days and then every day. The every day thing has come with some restless sleeping and extra fussing and drooling, which I am attributing to new teeth coming in (thought I haven't seen them yet). But, now that I think about it, I think it has been 2 days since the last dirty diaper. Did I mention that they smell?! They smell like buttered movie pop-corn! Weird, isn't it?!

Random Stuff
--Many people here tell me Max looks like a baby doll!
--Max is still pretty laid back, but has definitely started fussing when he doesn't get his way (I tell him not to touch things and follow through), or when Canaan takes something from him that he wants. So, not totally perfect, but pretty clo
se!! :)
--Max can walk in his walker a bit now- mainly backward and to the side. He really doesn't ever go forward. Otherwise, he is not interested in standing at all (total opposite of Canaan).
--Sometimes we will all be in the living room and then one at a time will leave. Then we will all be in the kitchen and one of us will look around and say, "Where is Max?" We just forgot about him and left him in the living room by himself. So, Canaan has heard us say this a few times, and if he thinks I am leaving Max out of something I shouldn't, he will say, "Oh, you forgot about Max!" or "Don't forget Max, Mommy!"
--Max loves to look at himself in mirrors. Do all babies?

Finger Painting!

Here is us fingerpainting on the kitchen floor. It was lots of fun. The first picture Canaan painted, he just wanted to put all the colors on his paper. After that, we painted his hand for a hand-print. Then we did a hand print with each color. Then we painted Max's hand. He wasn't as cooperative, preferring to clench his hands, instead of lay them out flat for a nice print! We got one good one, though.
The finger paints are great, washing off with warm water and a bit of soap. We loved it, and even used the finger paints later to paint pumpkins at Canaan's birthday!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fall Fun Outside

Fall is here. Actually, now, it is headed into winter pretty fast. Our high today is in the 30's. Nippy. Thankfully, our heaters were turned on about a week ago, so we are keeping warm inside. Sometimes warm enough to open the window (remember: our heaters just come on and off and have no dial to adjust the heat).
Well, when these pictures were taken, it was very fall-ish! I think that fall is the most beautiful time of the year, here in Kharkov, anyway. Some places aren't as pretty. But here the leaves change through many colors and the parks are gorgeous. I love it!
In these pictures, I'd drawn a chalk road map for Canaan. We brought his big jeep and trucks out to go on the roads. Max watched from his walker, which he is getting better at navigating. The chalk drawings took almost a whole piece of jumbo chalk, but lasted several days, even with cars driving on it, going in and out of the courtyard. This was definitely one of my better ideas of late: Canaan LOVED it!
The pictures of the boys weren't as successful. Neither was very cooperative. But they are cute enough to post!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Making Pumpkin

Here in Ukraine, as in many places outside the States, you can't buy canned pumpkin. Well, since food and holidays go hand in hand for me, I set about finding out how to make my own pumpkin. Last year, our American friends, the Woffords, gave us some, since we had just moved here not long before. This year, I made my own! And guess what? It is super easy.
There are several recipes you can follow. I got mine off this website:How to Cook your Pumpkin.

1) Clean the outside of the pumpkin.
2) Cut pumpkin into pieces (I did 4).
3) Carve and scrape out the seeds and strings.
4) Put in covered dish and bake in the oven for about an hour.

After one hour, the peel came right off and it was pretty mushed/pureed already. I plopped it into a plastic container and stored it in my fridge for making. It yielded about 4 cups, enough for 2 recipes of pumpkin chocolate chip cake! Delicious!

If you are wondering about pumpkin chocolate chip muffins/cake, here is the recipe!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cup-Cakes
1 yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 c. water
1/3 c. oil
1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 c. chocolate chips.
Mix dry ingredients and then add wet ingredients. Cook 350 degrees in greased (or paper cups) muffin pans.