Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Our New Ride!

Once upon a time, not so long ago a title like "Our New Ride|" would have been about a new vehicle.  Oh, how things have changed.

As a self confessed tool junkie, I can tell you the process of deciding how Sloan would travel was a big one.  I had heard babies loved to "worn", so I attended a baby wearing class to pick out the best carrier, and  I knew I needed a stroller. I probably dragged Reg to Toys R Us 5 times in search of the perfect car seat and stroller combination.  I also stopped at Bo Bebe, and E-Children on a few side trips myself. But I never could settle on the perfect stroller.  Only after a false labour scare did I madly run out and purchase a car seat...but still no stroller.  I had indeed paralyzed myself with too much information, and too many choices, and when you top that off with major baby brain, it was not looking good.

Then Roxanne came to my rescue.  She was done with her stroller and it was mine to use, yippee! Problem solved.   I didn't try the stroller out until after Sloan was born.  Big Mistake!  This stroller befuddled me to say the least! It has buttons, not just one, but two you have to push in a certain order to get it to unfold, and then the opposite way to fold.  And I found if my tongue wasn't in the right position at the same time as the buttons I couldn't make it do what I wanted.  I actually had to load it into my truck, at the mall, totally open one day because for the life of me I couldn't get it folded back up.    Sleep deprived, baby brained Moms should unite and rebel against the craziness of this particular design.  I longed for one easy button, maybe like an automatic awning, push the button and stand and stare as the thing folds itself up...  Within a couple months though I could get it every time (almost). And on the days I couldn't I would put Sloan in a shopping cart, or my Sling, Baby Bjorn, or Ergo Carrier (this is a whole other story).  Then one day I was out at my Mom and Dad's and decided to go for a walk. I couldn't for the life of me push the stroller through the gravel.  The tires were just too little, and kept getting jammed up.  We got about 30 steps into our walk, turned around, and headed back.  Clearly I needed a new tool, one with big rubber wheels.

I would have drove immediately to one of the aforementioned stores and picked out the stroller with the most gadgets, but Jodi got a hold of me first.  She said, "Why not shop on Kijiji for one, there are some great deals".  I had been resisting Kijiji for a long time...a very long time, it just seemed like too much work.  But the day before I had had a Kijiji awakening.  Jodi had emailed me some excersaucers...and in my excitement I had already bought 2 excersaucers, 30 baby bottles, a bottle drying rack (keep in mind Sloan doesn't take a bottle but once every two weeks) a bag of teething toys, and a tummy time airplane.  I was addicted and I needed a fix.  So home I came, and I found two very suitable looking strollers.  They were jogging strollers with big wheels, I emailed the people, and then waited on pins and needles for their responses. I could hardly sleep that night. The next morning, Sloan and I were headed to Calgary to pick up a shiny red jogging stroller - I love Kijiji!

We stopped at Jodi & Brian's on the way home to show off our new stroller. Brian filled the air with tires, fixed a little spot on the canopy, and Drew sweetly windexed the entire stroller.  We were set.  I got home, and after Sloan's nap I took the new ride out for a walk.  I guess you are supposed to jog with these jogging strollers, not walk, it didn't push right, and I had to lift it around corners, this stroller wanted to go fast and I wanted to stroll, I wasn't happy.  Stupid Kijiji.

Back home we came, and down to the basement I went to dig out my Eddie Bauer stroller (did I forget to mention I already had a stroller at home?), and while I was there I found another stroller, this one I had bought at a garage sale before Blake was born, it had big tires, and pushed well, but...it was ugly.  In case you aren't counting, that's Strollers:4, Baby Carriers:3,  Baby: 1.  

I decided to post my first Kijiji ads, and promptly sold my Jogger stroller (I love Kijiji).  I took the old stroller to Toys R Us and got a trade in coupon for it.  Which left me with Roxanne's stroller, and the Eddie Bauer stroller.  Now technically, I only owned one stroller, and it was listed on Kijiji, so I obviously I must buy a new one.  Here is the reaction I got from Sloan with the news that a new ride was coming...

As a side note, it's been handy having  a few strollers, I am able to outfit both Drew & Sloan with strollers, and Jodi provides the pushers - quite handy!

I researched, and compared, and researched some more.  And then I hit the order button, and I'll be honest the cool factor of this stroller was a big selling point.  Our new stroller arrived yesterday, and after a few minutes of construction, I was psyched.  Here is our new Jeep Liberty All Terrain stroller:

It has a built in ipod player and speaker (which works now, but mysteriously will quit working when Sloan wants to listen to anything other than Anne Murray Sings for Kids) pockets for Mommy stuff, a big basket underneath it, 2 cup/snack holders for each of us, and for Sloan a steering wheel, with a horn  (whose batteries may never get installed), and a gear shift.  It has big rubber tires, the front one you can lock for jogging (I don't anticipate needing this feature), or left unlocked it swivels and turns easily. And best of all, one button controls the folding and unfolding process completely. In short, I am in love! Well at least for now...so if you need us, we are out for a walk.

Love, Julie

P.S. As I finished writing this a very nice man and woman came and bought my Eddie Bauer stroller - I love kijiji!! :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Tummy Time!!

For those of you who know me, you know that when I undertake a new project, a new hobby, a new venture of any kind, I believe the first step is to buy all the available tools.  Then I buy all the books, faithfully reading and researching...sometimes right to the point where I paralyze myself with too much information.  Naturally, I undertook my  role as a Mom with the same gusto, I now have a complete  baby sleep, newborn care, feeding, bathing, library if you need it - I've got it.  I am getting ready to feed Sloan solids (sometime in the next 8 weeks), and suspiciously books on feeding solids have started to show up in the mail, and to go with them, a new food mill, baby cubes for frozen storage, a food "cuber" for healthy snacks, a magic bullet, a mini food processor...but I digress.

In a very uncharacteristic move a few weeks ago, after struggling with Sloan's sleep, and now several hundred dollars spent on baby sleep books, all to no avail, I pronounced myself done.  I was done with parenting, and sleeping books, I was going to feed Sloan when he was hungry, and put him to sleep when he was tired.  Because let's face it, Sloan hasn't read the any of  the books, he didn't know what they said he should do, and so they weren't working.  I was only going to do things that made him happy...because I forgot to mention I can't handle crying...ever, at all.  Call this venture:  Happiest Baby on the Block (I read that book too).

In my list of things I was throwing out, tummy time kind of got pushed to the side.  Sloan hated tummy time, he cried every time about 30 seconds into it, and I'd spend 5 minutes making it ok again...not a good return ratio on my time.  This is what tummy time looked like during the happy 20 seconds or so....I had to be very quick to get a picture this happy.

I had read all the literature I understood that tummy time was important, but tummy time made him cry. And I reasoned, it's a very big head, it might make me cry to try and lift that head up too. So every night after his bath on the way to bed I'd gently warn him that, tomorrow we would have to do tummy time...I warned him every night.  Soon a few weeks had passed, and as I listened to other Mom's commiserate about tummy time and how much their baby hated it, I would just nod, and smile sympathetically, vow to do tummy time, and carry on.

And then the e-mail came.  In all of my diligent research I had subscribed toseveral parenting websites (I think I was about 8 weeks pregnant when they started coming). I would read them, note down the appropriate milestones, and carry on.  When I opened up this week's email, and the main caption was "The Perks of Tummy Time" despite my earlier abandonment of advice books,  like a true addict I read on.  Soon I had the WORST case of Mother's guilt, would my baby never roll over, have to wear a head brace to correct an impending flat spot on the back of his head, never sit up, never talk, never crawl, never walk,  all because I couldn't handle tummy time?  As I read on, the guilt worsened, and since Sloan was sleeping, I headed over to the tool pile.  You have to understand I didn't give up tummy time lightly, I had purchased every tummy time tool I could find to help first.  We had a tummy time airplane, two tummy time mats, a tummy time mirror, tummy time toys...all brand spanking new.

As I perused the pile of tummy time materials, I made a vow that today we would do tummy time, maybe not for the 30 minutes recommended, but longer than 30 seconds, which had been our habit.  I selected a tummy time mat given to me by my friends Megan & Tannis, and headed outside.  This was a carefully thought out part of my master plan, Sloan loves to be outside, he never cries outside, so we'd now do tummy time outside.  I set the mat down in a shady area, and came back inside and waited for him to wake up.  When he woke up I became the master procrastinator, I tried to feed him, I tried to burp him, I changed his diaper, I changed his clothes...we had a long talk about the importance of tummy time, and finally I took a deep breath and outside we went. 

I laid him on his back first, and then I gently flipped him over onto his tummy, and instantly realized I had put him on the prop up pillow wrong, except....wait, he lifted his head up, he was smiling.  I quickly snapped this picture with my phone, I had never seen a smile during tummy time before!

Moment captured, I continued to wait, so I could put him on the pillow "properly", 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes went by, still a smiling baby...so I started to look at the pillow, and near as I can tell, I had been putting him on the pillow wrong since day one...possibly making it hard for him to breath, hence the crying, seems reasonable. 

I rushed in to grab my camera, I needed to document this whole thing, I have about 50 tummy time pictures from the last two days, here are a few of my favorites:

I believe in the next two, he may be trying to send a different message to me, possibly, "Seriously?  More Pictures?"  And Ok, lady I've humoured you enough, now cut it out...

I believe a rolling over post is soon to follow, because he is now trying to roll from his front to his back after just a couple of minutes of tummy time - who knew??

Love, Julie

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Arrival of Sloan Ronald Hanson

It seems only fitting that the first real post of this new venture should be of Sloan's arrival.  He's almost 4 months old now, and has been growing and changing right before my eyes.  He's started to be much more interactive, which is so much fun.  He's a very smiley baby these days, and his personality is certainly developing....and I think it's going to be an interesting one...as someone pointed out to me, What did I expect, with the cross of a bulldog and a rottweiler???? A Chihuahua? 

This is Sloan a few minutes after his arrival:
He was a big boy, weighing in at 9 lbs, 2 oz, and with a huge head....39 cm in circumference.  He was born at home, with the help of two midwives, and his Auntie Jodi.  He is named after my Dad, and I have heard several times this picture reminds people of Dad...I think it's those chubby Giles cheeks.

Of course we had to throw him a "Birth" day party...my mom, dad, Jodi, Brian, Jake, Kolt & Drew, all came for Chinese food and of course...Birthday cake.  It's my official job in the family to do things no one else would do, so everyone has a good giggle for months and months at my expense...and the birthday party has definately provided that!

My cousin Tanya had a baby boy just 5 days after Sloan, Darien, was born on May 1, and when they were just in their first week of life, she stopped by to visit.  This is the boys together...something about this picture seems vaguely unfair to me...if you were ever curious what two pounds looks like on a baby this picture gives you a great idea!

These are my favorite poses of Sloan at one month...growing fast, he was already over 11 pounds by the time this picture was taken.

All the babes that were born in the month of April with our midwives, had our pre-natal appointments together.  So we've been trying to get together once a month since then.  It's been such a great experience for me, it's comforting to see how everyone else in the same boat.  This is a picture of 6 of the babes in June...pretty tippy, but sooo cute.

I can't believe how quickly little babies change, here is Sloan at 2 months, now weighing over 13 pounds.

And at three months he was really giving my arms a good workout, he weighed  15 and a half pounds...

He's so much fun now, the laughs and smiles come easily.  This is a video I took of him just the other day...this video will make you giggle - that's a promise!

Just last night was his final bath in his "tummy tub"  it's basically a bucket that is meant to mimick the womb to help babies make a smoother transition.  They say you can use it for the first year, but Sloan's outgrown it sadly, it was so cute, and he loved it.  Some of my favorite pictures are from the tummy tub.
Love,  Julie

Monday, August 23, 2010

Why Blog?

I've been wondering if I have anything to blog about for a while now, and if I did blog, would anyone really read it?  I love reading my sister Jodi's blog, as well as my cousin's and friend's blogs.  But, I couldn't figure out what I would blog about.  And finally I have decided...about everything and nothing, and all the things in between.  It's the funny stories from everyday life, the pictures of their kids, the stories of their travels, the normal, that I love reading about, and I realized I too have those same things to share.  I want a place to capture my family's memories, stories and pictures, and I hope you enjoy sharing those with me.

A baby changes everything...obviously, and yet I had no idea. You would think this wouldn't have been such a news flash in my life, but it was!  Twice!  My first baby was born on March 18, 2005, and Blake was the perfect little baby.  My labour was easy, he rarely cried, never fussed, smiled early on, and slept through the night at around 5 weeks. He exuded love, and he could actually calm an adult!  Before he was born I was determined that life would go on as it did before, I'd just have a baby in tow, nothing would change...and looking back, that was just silly!  Blake taught me more about life and love in 12 weeks than I had learned in the previous 30 years.  After just 12 weeks of life we lost little Blake to rare form of Muscular Dystrophy.  Blessfully we didn't know he was sick, and we enjoyed him every moment we had him.  He taught me about living in the moment, not taking things for granted, and for loving those you love with all your heart - no matter what. I watched this experience change those people around me as well, people appreciated their kids more, even on the bad days, people told each other they loved each other more often, and it put all the little worries of life into perspective.  He left us a wonderful gift - the lesson of appreciation. This photo was taken of Blake when he was 2 months old, just 3 weeks before he passed away.

Fast forward 5 years, and I have a new teacher in my life.  Sloan was born on April 26, 2010, and he came out kicking, screaming, knowing exactly what he wanted, and that he wanted it right now!  His every need has become my full time job and I'm loving every minute of it!  He's got a strong body, and a strong personality and he's 100% perfect.  Here is a shot of Sloan.

I should back track for a moment.  Sloan's Dad (Reg) and I were married on December 5, 2008, in a simple ceremony on a beach in Jamaica.  Along with Reg came 4 brand new stepchildren: Dakota, Tate, Zane and Morgan.  They too have been teachers...I watch them teach their Dad stuff all the time, and just when I think I have something figured out, they are quick to point out the lighter, brighter side of whatever it is.  They are great kids, and I'm priveledged to have them in my life.  Here is a picture of all us when Sloan was 3 weeks old.

I am lucky enough to have my family close to me, and Jake, Kolt & Drew, my sister's kids, are as important to me as my own kids.  My sister Jodi, is also my best friend. My parents live in the same house I was raised in, and that's only 5 minutes from where I live.  I have worked with my Dad for 16 years, selling horse, stock and cargo trailers, and we also have a company together that sells Rustic furniture and home decor.  My dad also taught me to do things on my own, so I have small business of my own thanks to his encouragement.  My mom is the support system of our family, she never says no to any of us, and no matter what we are trying to accomplish she backs us all the way - a true gift! This is a recent picture of Jake, Kolt & Drew, this gives you a pretty good idea about their personalities...Drew is tickling Kolt in this one.

So in short this blog will be about our lives...co-mingled, messed up, fun times, the things we love, the things we do.  As a warning there will be a lot, and I mean a lot of baby postings.  Sloan is a very well photographed baby, and so I'm going to share those photos, milestones and memories.  It's also a personal diary of sorts for me, so there will be postings about what I love to do, such as scrapbooking, quilt making, cake decorating, reading, travelling, oh...and don't be surprised by the odd mention of Anne Murray.

Thanks for reading, I hope you'll stop back often.  I'm going to try and post often...but as a new Mom, I might be overpromising on that one, time will tell!