Wednesday, June 15, 2011

It's Almost Over!

I want to start out by saying thank you so much for all your votes and support.  I have been amazed to hear how many of you are voting, and how often you are voting.  It has warmed my heart and made me smile every time I see it posted on some one's Face book profile, or been copied on an email from a friend who is asking for votes for Sloan.   It has literally made my heart sing.  What an overwhelming show of love and support for all 3 of us – win or lose, we have the best support team of family and friends I could ever ask for.  Thanks so much!!

We got an email today telling us to be home between 8:00 – 8:30 on Friday morning, as they will be arriving at the winner’s house to surprise them.  What a huge surprise that would be...good to know, I think I’ll make a special effort to be showered and dressed by then, cause that might be more of a surprise for the Virgin 98.5 team than they are bargaining for.

Thursday June 16 is the final day of voting - seems kind of fitting as it is the Best Baby of 1951's (aka Grandpa Giles) 60th Birthday on June 16 as well.  That just seems like good luck don't you think ;)

My friend from high school, the exceptionally talented Amy Baxter met us at Nose Creek Park a couple of weeks ago, and it was a dreary, dark day with gale force winds.  I am truly amazed at what she created from three wind blown people and thought I'd share a few of my favorite shots from this outing. 

 Yup, that's a seriously cute kid.

For the last  time here is Sloaner’s link:

If you could also cross your fingers, I don't think that would hurt.

Wish us luck on Friday, and thanks again!!

Julie, Reg & Sloan

Friday, June 3, 2011

Our Cutest Kid

I have shamelessly entered my baby in Calgary's Cutest Kid Contest.   It is hosted by Virgin 98.5 radio, and it has amazing prizes and bragging rights.  But here is the real reason I entered it.  "Calgary's Best Baby" of 1951 was none other than Sloan's namesake, my Dad, Ron Giles.  Here is his winning photo!

And we thought Sloan had a lot of hair!!

It is actually something that comes up in my family from time to time, how "Ronny won the Best Baby Contest", and not wanting to rob Sloan of those same bragging rights.  I figured it was my duty to enter him too.

Here are the photos I selected...luckily I had a few pictures to pick from :)

That is a seriously cute kid (his mother said beaming :))

This just in...We interrupt this blog for some shameless promotion of said contest. We have completed the first two weeks of voting, and the babies have been narrowed down from 1334 entrants to the final 98.  And thanks to all of our amazing friends, family, and co-workers, Sloan has made it to the final 98! You guys rock!  Thank you so much!!  And the good news is, you get to keep voting!

Round 2 has begun, please vote, as often as you can.  You can vote from the same computer every few hours, and the link to do so is
Thanks for your support, your votes, and for reading my blog! :) 



Monday, April 25, 2011

It's Party Time!!

I love birthdays.  I love all birthdays - my friends, my family, and especially mine.  My mom really wasn't into birthday parties, and so I had to plan my own.  I think I was about 7 when my mom caught onto the fact that even though we were renovating our house, I had invited several friends over to celebrate my birthday.  We moved the event to my Auntie Caryl's house, and the party carried on. 

Later in life, I tried several times to plan my own surprise birthday party.  How much fun is that!  Your friends and family all gathered to eat, drink and be merry.  However, it is not easy to plan your own surprise party - believe me, I know, I have tried. 

So I don't think it was any surprise to anyone, that I was right excited to plan the biggest birthday party of them all - the 1st Birthday.  I should add a disclaimer here, I am of the opinion  that 1st birthday parties are really for Mom's.  There are no labour pains, you haven't just spent the last 9 months pregnant (which let's face it, is not fun), and people aren't snapping a photo of you in your ugly green pyjama's without your hair or make up done.  This day celebrates a full year of motherhood, and I was ready to rock it out - you know, like a 1 year old.
The other thing I love about birthdays and birthday parties?  You get to plan, and I love to plan.  I started back in January, I came upon some Birthday Party decorations clearly made for a boy turning 1, and knew this was my moment.  I loaded up the bottom of the stroller and headed up to the counter.  The cashier looked at Sloan and said are you the birthday boy?  I said yup.  She said "And when is the party?" I replied "The end of April" - and that seemed to be a conversation killer.
I could hardly contain myself between January and April.  I scouted the internet for ideas, and after confirming the date with a must have guest, I set to work on the invitations.  These had to be hand made, because those store bought ones were just a bit cheesy - and it kept me busy.

Invitations done, it was time to move onto decorations and the cake.  Reg would probably like to point out I was about 8 months pregnant when I started planning this cake, I took a 4 week beginners cake decorating class, and then I took most of the level 2 classes,  but missed the last class because it was the day after Sloan's "Birth" day.  Here is the result of more hours than I can count...

I cut those little cupcake wrappers out on my Cricut, I moulded the dots and the 1's out of chocolate, and then used a large cake pan to make the big chocolate "1".  I hope Sloan enjoyed it, I don't forsee this every year...

Next I had to ensure the guest of honor would actually be awake and socialable, and sadly I wasn't 100% successful.  I had decided to start the party at 3:30, figuring Sloan would be up from his nap and ready to P-A-R-T-Y.  Well he was asleep when the first few guest arrived, and then woken up...not making for the most socialable baby...but all in all he did pretty good.  You may notice a few less smiles than usual in these photos though. I think there might be some shock showing as well, no one told the birthday boy that all these people, decorations and balloons would be invading his house while asleep.  I guess that makes it a Surprise party afterall!

He was a little suspicous about the cake at first look...

But did get in the groove after a taste test

I had envisioned a big chocolatey mess for his first taste of cake, but he was rather delicate and carefully ate it slowly while watching all the people.  Where was the destructo baby that I fed everday?  I was later told that in order to get a good cake smash photo you have to plan ahead, and feed them a cupcake a day for a few days prior - I guess I missed that bit of planning. 

From there it was on to presents...we should have practiced this too, I bet it won't take nearly as long next year to open presents.

He was a litle reserved at first...carefully checking out his new wheels from Nana and Poppa, but it didn't take long to figure out that this was FUN!!

And luckily my cousin Austin and his buddy were there to help with the toy assembly.

And soon the party was over...time to just hang with his brothers and sister.

Not disimiliar to planning a wedding, after the guests had gone, and it was just us and the mess, I was left feeling a little like "That's it?"  Only one thing to do at that point, plan the next party!  After all there was still cake, decorations, and we had missed some key guests on round one, Grandpa Giles was in a poker tournament, the Tebbs were in B.C. at a hockey tournament, Laureen, Rob & Sage were in BC, and some friends had also been unable to attend, and so we had a lunch party on Sloan's actual birthday.

A couple of days had passed, so I thought we should warm up in the morning

No worries, present opening is just like riding a bike, it came right back.

As the lunch hour approached I got Sloan ready for his guests.

The cake was now one layer, and when I put the giant chocolate #1 in it, it fell we were down to a single layer, not so fancy, but still yummy cake.

Just a little coaxing from Auntie, and we had a pretty good time with the cake this time...

And the true sign that the party was a success?  When guests start passing out.

And just like Grandpa Giles, I am officially birthday partied out.



Friday, April 15, 2011

Stranger Danger

Sloan is a little bit of a Momma's boy.  There I said it, and to be honest I like it. 

He also loves to hang out with his dad, he gets his cuddles in (and his way) with his Mom, and then Dad is for the rough and tumble stuff, and he does love to be tickled, thrown up in the air, and Reg knows just how to "rough" him up to get the big belly laughs.  For some reason Reg rubbing his hair on Sloan's belly - is the funniest thing ever if you are Sloan.

And I should mention this is Dad's idea of completing the bedtime routine.  I feed Sloan supper, bath him, turn the lights down, give him a little massage, get him all ready for bed time, and then Reg comes home.  This video gives you an idea of what Reg's pre-bed routine looks like...

I bet you can hardly quit yawning yourself now too!

Sloan and I have been living in a little bubble for the last 10 months.  We do go out, we go shopping, for walks, out for the occasional lunch, we go out to work....ummm, he's been swimming once...ok so not so much on the social interactions.  I really didn't think a baby needed to be "socialized".  But one day all of sudden, every other human on the planet posed a big problem for Sloan.  The poor little guy was scared of everyone.  He wouldn't go to anyone, and if someone leaned over to talk to him in the shopping cart - they got an earful from Sloan.  Not good times.

Time to begin "Project Socialize."  To start, I enrolled us in baby sign language classes, we were going to learn to communicate with each other while secretly I was"socializing" my baby.  We arrived at the instructors house, ready to take on 6 or 8 babies and their moms.  She started the class with an announcment "good news" there was only 2 of us enrolled, and we were basically going to get private lessons.  Great.

Back to the drawing board.  Soon, I had Sloan enrolled in everything I could find (except Swimming lessons, you know how I feel about the water) we went to Toddler Time at the Library (fantastic free program that 12 - 16 kids attend every week, our favorite), Kindermusik,  and sign language.  We also checked out the playgroup at the Community Links center, scheduled lunches out and make a concentrated effort to go and visit someone everyday.

And it was 1/2 successful, Sloan is quite social these days, unfortunately, guess who's not so social!  I was exhausted.  What a lot of work it is to teach a baby to like other people, oh how I missed our bubble!  Worse than that, I have found some of the other mom's in our groups to be...let's just say challenging.  For example, the Mom who informed Sloan didn't walk yet because he clearly spent his days in the circle of neglect, aka the excersaucer.  This didn't help socialize me, not one little bit.

But I'm nothing if not incredibly stubbon, so we have perservered, because the ultimate social activity is on the horizon...the 1st Birthday party!

Love,  Julie

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Independence Day

I was told in the early goings on, that you can't cross a bulldog and pit bull and get a poodle.  I'm a farm girl (regardless of what my Dad would tell you), so I fully understood this.  However, in the nature/nurture debate, I'm a nuture girl therefore in my world, nothing can't be overcome with love, consistency, and the ability to put yourself in your babies position, hence recitifying the problem.  Doesn't that sound lovely?  Naive?  Well let me just say, I have revised my position on this, and my new position is can't overcome nature, a pit bull is a pit bull.  The end.
Let me explain.  I have the sweetest, happiest baby boy I have ever seen.  He exudes happiness.  He'd rather smile than frown, and he'd rather laugh and giggle than cry.  The waters have been calm and it's been smooth sailing for months now, and it's what I've come to expect. 

The change has been slow, gradual, almost unnoticeable.  It started, with a little fussing about going into his high chair, a mild protest to let me know, that he knew that he had a choice in seating options.  It got a little more pronounced one day when I put him into his car seat and he proceeded to climb out the other side.  Then, just to show me who was boss, he stood up, arched his back, threw his head back and became stiff as a board when I tried to put him in his stroller at the mall, with my mom watching.  Now to be fair, after I wrestled him down, he was fine, and I thought - Ha, ha!  I won. Problem solved.
Apparently he's a mind reader, and like his Mom and Dad, doesn't like to be defeated.  The next night during his bath, Sloan and I had our first fight. 
Let me explain...he's still refusing to crawl, not interested in walking, but he wants to stand all the time.  It's exhausting.  A few times after I have left him sitting, he'll flip onto his belly and move backwards on his tummy - a long ways, but I wouldn't call it crawling. It's pure upper body strength, and determination.  I have encouraged the sliding, and the standing, and haven't worried, because one day I know he'll just take off, and I'll be running.  I've been enjoying "easy street".
Now back to the fight.  He scooted over to the side of the bath tub, hooked his arms over the top, and pulled himself up.  I was so happy!  Not as happy as he was though, he was ecstatic, you have never seen such a show off!  I let him stand there for a minute or two, talking to him and praising him for being so clever, and then tried to sit him down -  for 20 minutes.  I reasoned with him, I withheld bath toys from him, I picked him up and down in the water, I practically laid him flat on his back, and this stiff boarded tiny human being, beat me.  By the end the crying (mine, not his) had me completely worn out, and he was mocking me.  I would make a move to sit him down, and he would smile at me, and at the top of his lungs say "HA HA".  I can only imagine what we looked like, him dancing around singing "HA HA" and me calmly (ok not so calmly) negotiating with him to sit down.  If this is a look into the terrible twos, I am in big, big trouble. 
And being a wee bit stubborn myself I thought fine, no toys for you, and you can just stand here until you sit.  Not a very effective strategy when he's happy standing.  Not at all.  In fact, all I did was prolong my own frustration, and give myself a bruise on my arm from holding him up in there while he danced around and banged my arm along the top of the bath tub.
This went on for a couple of nights, and I was done. He could be a stinky smelly baby, I was never bathing him again, it was OVER.  Enter Reg. More proof that it really does take more than one person to raise a child.  In 1/2 a bath Reg had Sloan laughing and sitting in the tub.  I can't tell you what he did, because I was far, far away, hiding in another room.

For now bath time has been restored to a peaceful, happy time, but now that I have seen the other side,  I think it's time to admit, I'm scared, very, very scared.