Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat!

I have never been so excited for Halloween, well at least not for... rather than count the years, let's just a say a really long time. I scoured the stores, and then the Internet looking for the perfect first Halloween costume for Sloan.  And I think I found it. 

Our house has been taken over...quite literally actually by a Monster!!  But have you ever seen such a cute monster?

I thought having a picture taken would be enough for his first Halloween, but as the big day drew nearer, I started making plans to go out trick or treating.  I thought just Jodi's and Moms...but we made 6 stops, and I'll be honest after we got home, fed him supper, and had a few minutes before bath time, it took every ounce of will power in me not to put him back in his costume and hit some neighbours houses. I might do it tonight though :)

Here is a few highlights from our first Halloween

In the car seat all ready to go...at 3:30 in the afternoon, because little Monsters are asleep by 6:30.

Little Monster held by Big Mon...oh no that's just too easy. 

Momma's House, pretty good stop, Sloan got a laptop!

Auntie Wanda's house...Dad stole some candy at this one.


Great Auntie Renie trying to convince Mom Sloan was ready for Chocolate.
Just wait until he can yell "Trick or Treat"

Hope you had a Happy Halloween!

Love,

Julie


Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have so much to be thankful for, and I don't always remember to say it, so I thought this was a perfect opportunity to share with everyone how blessed I am.

I am surrounded by amazing people everyday.  My friends have been my friends for a long time, some as far back as kindergarten, as a group they are loyal, compassionate, people.  People I would do anything for and I know the feeling is mutual.  My family is healthy, active and living life with a great deal of zealousness.  This year as we said goodbye to some friends, far too early, I was reminded of how important our health is and how we take it for granted, when we should be thankful for every healthy day.
From early in my life I remember my Mom always being there to support me in whatever I was interested in.  She hugged me when I needed it, told me I could accomplish anything, and cheered me on from the sidelines at every event in my life.  I am so glad my Mom has found such a strong sense of purpose in the last 5 years, she has followed her passions, and is living life to the fullest.  She helps others all the time, whether it be with horses, healing, listening, or even babysitting.  She has been a great example, and I hope someday Sloan can say the same  things about me. 



My Dad, I am lucky enough to say, is one of my best friends.  He has influenced my adult life more than any other person.  He taught me that it's important to be fair, honest, and to take life with a sense of humor.  He's my business mentor, and a great business partner.  I appreciate his view on life, and that he truly accepts me for who I am, even when he doesn't understand or agree with it. We laugh together, and after 18 years of working together I am proud to say it's enhanced our relationship, not hindered it.



Jodi, is in someways an extension of myself, and in other ways we couldn't be any more different.  Her kids are just like my kids, and I know she feels the same way about Blake & Sloan.  She has a strong personality that she balances with true compassion.  She has a lust for life, family and friends.  She's an amazing mother and wife, and she's just plain fun to be around.



I am so fortunate to have found Reg, he's a great husband, very supportive, and a wonderful Dad.  It's so much for fun me to watch him with Sloan.  Of course I already knew what a good dad he was, we don't see Dakota, Tate, Zane or Morgan nearly enough, but it's pretty cool to watch them all together.

And of course Sloan.  What a gift a healthy baby is. I feel like my heart has been put into another person, and the love I feel for him is absolutely overwhelming.  Sloan can make me laugh and cry all at the same time, and while it's the most demanding job I have ever had, it is by far the most rewarding.  Watching him learn, grow and accomplish even the littlest of things is a huge blessing.



Last night, as we finished our Thanksgiving dinner, and I was putting Sloan to bed, I had to giggle.  I could hear Jodi's kids yelling downstairs, and soon after Jodi yellling down the stairs to her kids, I could  hear my Dad and Reg comparing Blackberry's and i-phones, I could hear my Aunt and my Mom chatting, and my Uncle snoring away.  I was cuddling a healthy baby, and really what more could I ask for?

From Our House to Yours, Happy "Thanks" giving.

Love,

Julie

P.S.  On a lighter note, Sloan got to participate in the Thanksgiving ritual around our house by enjoying some pumpkin...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Mothering For Dummies!

I have always wondered if  I had a book inside my head just waiting to be written down.  As a kid I would write short stories, that turned into books, that turned into...garbage I think?  Well perhaps the time has come, and I already have the title "Mothering for Dummies!"  Sound like a best seller?  I can write this as I go,  it will be all the stuff that Sloan teaches me, that I somehow missed watching Jake, Kolt & Drew grow up. Let's just say it's going to be a very long book. 

First lesson, if you want your baby to take a long nap, book a photo session, Doctor appointment, lunch with a friend...you get the idea.  He'll sleep 10 minutes past your appointment absolutely every time.  Then rebook the appointment for when he'll be awake for sure, that way he'll sleep then too. Every time.  This is all you need to know about creating an effective nap schedule.  No further sleep books required.  I finally found a photographer who was willing to come to us and wait for him to wake up, just so I didn't have to reschedule 4 or 5 times at Sears or Superstore.  Here is a couple of shots we got when she came for his 5 month photos.

I also recommend taking a photography class or two and buying a good camera.  You can eliminate the job of taking your babe to the photo studio, and use the money you save to buy a good camera.  Then you can take photos like this one, and have less frustration over missed photo appointments.


Lesson #2  Your baby will do things in his own time.  You cannot rush your baby to do things when you want, or when your friends babies are doing them  This is a big lesson, one I suspect I will have to learn repeatedly.  Let me give you some examples.

I have anxiously been waiting for Sloan to find his toes.  And the more anxious I got, the more he made me wait.  I had been to the health unit to weigh him at 4 months, and while I was there I chatted with the mom of baby girl, (I never used to strike up conversations with people I don't know, and now I can't stop myself) who was 5 days older than Sloan.  While we were chatting this baby grabbed her toes and played and played and played.  She had "found" them the day before and it was so cute! I couldn't wait to tell Sloan (and Jodi, and Reg, and Mom) that sometime in the next day or two he would find his toes. During his last few days in the tummy tub he had already shown signs of "toe interest", I would put them in the water under him, and he would pop them up and play with them, somtimes 15 or 20 times in a 10 minute bath.


Facts in hand, I was convinced the discovery was imminent.  Days went by, I played with his toes, rubbed his feet, showed them to him, practically jammed them in his mouth, forced his little fingers to wrap around them...nothing, he couldn't care less.  Then days turned to weeks, and still no interest in the toes. I thought maybe the tummy tub was the end of the toe fascination.  And then I caught him doing this!


And that was that, as soon as I stopped trying to show Sloan his toes, he found them... how interesting, life lesson for Mom?  I didn't think so just a coincidence.

Example #2:   I had been also trying to teach him to roll from his back to his front.  My Dad laughed so hard at this, telling me some things he'll just learn on his own...ok fine, but isn't it my job to teach him?  Anyway the teaching was not going well.  He rolled from his back to his front almost all the way and then his arm would get stuck, and he'd have a look around and roll back.  I kept him under close surveillance waiting....waiting, waiting. 

The day after the toe discovery, he was playing on his play mat and I was reading about preparing peaches for him.  He started to fuss, and I only had one paragraph left to go.  I looked over and there was nothing wrong, so I thought I'd keep him company on the floor.  I laid down next to him, and thought I'd trick him into thinking I was talking to him by reading the paragraph out loud.  Well I was the one who got "tricked".  I finish the paragraph, and look over at my baby, except he's wasn't where I had last seen him, and he was now doing this.

Foiled again!  Little turkey, I am laying right there, and he silently flips over onto his belly and starts looking around.  I immediately start running around, grabbing the camera, the video camera, the phone (Lesson #3, always have those in arms reach) and then when I get back with them, I realize really there is nothing to take a picture of, nothing to video, I missed it.  And I've only seen it one time since.  He made a mistake and did it with me in the room the next morning, obviously me pretending to be busy worked.  Jodi tells me it's ok, her kids roll over on demand, so I guess there will be more to come. I did catch the tail end of it on video. 

video

Lesson #4 - Teething is not an instant process.  It can take a very long time.  Drool, rosy red cheeks, a mild fever were all a part of the process for Sloan. And just to show Auntie Jodi he won't listen to her either, no diaper rash.  Jodi kept asking about the diaper rash, and I kept telling Sloan "Auntie says you have to get a diaper rash first", and hence we managed to avoid the diaper rash.  I'll admit I mildly freaked out when our 4 month pictures didn't work out and he was showing signs of teething, I wanted gummy smiles one more month and thought the teeth would ruin it, (in the one day delay)  Well I got my wish, we teethed for a whole month. 

It's embarrasing to admit I would lay him down for a nap, and expect there to be teeth when he woke up.  And not just the tops of the teeth - I sort of thougth that an entire tooth would magically appear.  (This is the type of thing no other book tells you). So last Saturday morning when he stuck my finger in his mouth and something sharp hit my finger, I didn't even believe it was a tooth. But it was and by Sunday Sloan had two teeth.  I'd like to show you a picture of his new teeth, but they are still too small...


Stayed tuned for more lessons - Sloan is a good teacher.

Love,

Julie