30 March 2012

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Backyard Baseball

I have always been a baseball fan, especially as a kid. My first memory of playing involved the BIG RED BAT. I'm talking bigger than average whiffle ball style plastic. This bat was awesome because it was so easy to hit the ball.
We have always had a nice backyard. My father has this amazing green thumb so our grass was always green, thick and incredibly soft (for grass). On warm summer evenings, my neighbors would come out from all over and wind up in our back yard, to play baseball. Lets see if i can remember Bill P, Adam R, Lynn and Alan W., that redhead Nichole from up the street, Me, Lori, and of course my dad was there. I couldn't have been more than 5 because i was rocking the JAMS and i don't remember having a little brother yet. But we made bases and we played ball! It was so much fun how all the kids came over to our house. We must have had the best yard, or the coolest dad or something. You don't think about the "WHY" at the time, Why is everyone coming over to my house, but you'd have to think it has something to do with a dad who wants to play with the kids. My dad was pretty good for that. Maybe i can get him to scan some pics in this weekend for me!

Those summer days were the best. We would play until it was time to go to bed, and I remember the screens would be open on the windows, and i could hear the kids playing in someone else's yard once we retired for the night. I also remember feeling pretty upset that i had to go to bed and it was still (barely) light out. Why couldn't I stay up later like the big kids? I guess that was the only WHY that struck my mind. Isn't it funny how kids are always fighting sleep? I see that now in my daughter and she's still just a wee one. She hates going to bed or taking naps when Rick and I are around, she is so afraid that she is going to miss out on something. She knows that mommy and daddy bring the party.

I see a lot of my dad in Rick. He is such a great father and always ready to take the kids and go play. He's also a great pillow for naptime, he knows when it's time to be serious.  My nephews will agree, Uncle Rick is one big ball of energy and everyone loves him. ESPECIALLY me and baby Sloan. 

I can't wait to create our own backyard baseball memories for Sloan and any other kids we hope to be blessed with along the way.

29 March 2012

Baby's first CANDY?!

eating apple while waiting at Target for our doc appointment 

Ok before you say it, i know what you might be thinking. She is only 8 months old, how in the world did the baby have candy already? Yeah go ahead and give me the mom of the year award, i know i deserve it. After all, childhood obesity is on the rise and Sloan's father is a type I diabetic (though not genetic), just what we need to do is get this kid hooked on sugar. Yeah..

Napping it out on daddy's chest
But it isn't as bad as you think, and maybe you do think it is a great idea to give an infant a little taste of sweet manufactured goodness, containing only natural ingredients such as : Sugar, Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Malic Acid, Salt, Artificial Flavor, Color Added (Includes Red 40, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Blue 1).

Ok ok i jest. This isn't a habitual thing (or is it). Sloan's diet consists of all organic, homemade baby foods. She eats chicken, avocado, rice, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, apples, pears, plums, blueberries, broccoli, sweet peas, green beans (sort of), peaches, mango, butternut squash, and puffs. ALL ORGANIC. The "organic" label on the puffs might be stretching it a little, but who am I to question the FDA. If they allowed the puff maker to use the label, then it must be true, though let me add, we allow her to eat very few puffs.

Last week, baby Sloan had a fever and had to leave school early. Since she had been coughing all week and her snot had turned green (yes i know, nice visual) i decided to take her to the doctor to check her out, ears included. I'll have you know, her ears are beautiful (thank you organic breast milk)! But her throat was red and if it felt anything like mine was feeling, it had to be bothering her. Her fever started out at 100.7 that morning but after her nap, crept up to 101.8. By the time we got to the doctor it was 102, so they administered baby advil and sent us home. (The next day, her fever spiked at 103 and it was very scary but baby girl took it in stride. She's so wonderful!)

Running a Fever of 103
At the checkout counter, there is a bucket of Mini-dumdums. I always let Sloan put her hand in the bucket and grab one (or two or three) She gets to chew on the wrapper for a short while before i take it away from her. Yes, i am literally taking candy from a baby. I then proceed to stick the [still wrapped] candy into my mouth to see why she loves it so much only to realize that she can taste the yummy goodness that is candy, through the wrapper. It's just a taste, and her momma [that's me] LOVES candy. i am somewhat of an addict. Not the chocolate stuff, but the pure sugar type, willy wonka being my absolute favorite maker. Well him, and the cotton candy machine.  Pure Heaven! I digress. Since I am such a fan of hard candy (and chewy candy too), i take sloans sucker and eat it myself. Yes, as i said before - I am taking candy from the baby. Earlier this month, Sloan had to get round two of her flu shot. This was the first time I had ever let her taste the sucker. I unwrapped it and let it touch her tongue. That was it. Just a taste and she seemed happy.

This time however, i waited until we got home, and it was lunch time. Sloan did not want to eat her food, probably because of the sore throat. She even refused to open her mouth to try the bite. She is pretty funny stubborn.  So i took out her sucker and bribed her with it,  got her to open the hatch, offered a taste, and then switched it up for some food. Here, watch for yourself and pardon the shaky camera, its hard to feed a baby AND film it flawlessly. It didn't take long for my sick and tired baby to become a little sugar crazed! Her mood was instantly lifted!


Sloan now says a few things, one is "All Done". I say this when we are done eating and i use sign language. I have told this to Rick who probably up till now was like yeah sure, whatever you say dear. BUT we showed this video to Sloan and when we go to the part where i'm telling her "all done" she actually looked at the video and said "ALL DONE".  Rick is my witness! So now we have mama, dada, and all done! She also squeals with delight when she sees the dog and i think she is saying "HEY DOGGY", as well as "HI!"  She talks the dogs ears off, but typically when i start the video she clams up. Baby doesn't like an audience. Its really just the first 10 seconds that are super cute. The rest are some grunts and then she wants to get down. I love her little language she shares with the dog!


27 March 2012

BIG Bear is Scary

All of a sudden BIG BEAR is SCARY! sloan does NOT like him AT ALL! We even saw his brothers at costco this weekend and showed him to sloan again, and her reaction was to refuse to look at him.
Here, i will show you the documented events as i tried to snap her 8 month photo with Big Bear.

What? You are talking to me Bear?
No, I think i will crawl away, you scare me!

mommy, please quit making me sit with Big Bear :(
see? i will escape again!

He is so scary
i don't like this

Now i will flail both arms in protest!
i just dont' like it

i will not look at you!
escaping again!

mommy this is pure misery!

what? daddy will stand behind you and make me smile now?

daddy tell mommy to stop!
What daddy?

you mean stop crying for just one second?

That dance you're dancing sure is silly! But i won't smile...

Take THAT mean old bear!

i am so done!

 This, as you recall, was our finished project. It was nested somewhere in between crying and looking at daddy making silly noises behind the camera. I sure hope she overcomes fear of Big Bear, we have 4 more months of pictures to take!

19 March 2012

Happy 8 MONTHS!

 I cannot believe that 8 months have passed! Where has the time gone?!

Sloan is around 18 lbs and is 28 inches long. Still in line with my stats at the same age, which isn't too bad if she ends up like me, i mean, I could be a little taller i suppose, but compared to her peers she is tall.
Her eyes are sooo blue that mine pale to grey in comparison! She still has the dark ring like me, but man are her eyes blue! We definitely have the same nose, mouth and dimples, but she has her daddy's eyes (shape)!  Sloan still has only TWO bottom teeth but I think that the top ones will arrive in the next few months. Lately she is sleeping from 730pm until close to 5am. I get up in the early morning to feed her, and Rick will get up when she wakes up around 6:30 to "play" and let me sleep another hour (OR TWO). This weekend i got SOO much sleep that i actually felt groggy. You know the feeling you get when you're a teenager/early twenties and you sleep in on the weekends? I mean REALLY sleep in (like till NOON). Yeah, that's how i felt. Who knew that a 7 hour stretch and then a four hour stretch would do that to one tired momma?  I guess I have adapted to little-to-no sleep. Who knew! After her time with Daddy, he gets ready for work and I feed her breakfast (usually oatmeal and fruit) and then i dress her. Notice, she gets dressed AFTER she eats. She is getting better at making less of a mess when she eats but I don't really want to change her again just before heading out the door. 

Drop off at school is pretty rough. Sloan is now aware that i do not stay and she doesn't like it. She either crawls to me and grabs my leg, or she lays there and makes her boo-boo face and cries. It breaks my heart but at the same time, makes me very happy to know that she loves me THAT much.
Sloan has a lot of friends both at school and from my friend's kids!
Sloan and Kenny
Sloan and Lucas
Aarnavi, Avery, Jake and Sloan

We still cannot get the baby to take a bottle. It makes her so mad. She took one early on, and on occasion at daycare, but around four months she decided that she preferred it on tap. Hey, who can blame the girl. It's always freshest and better tasting straight from the source! We are so very blessed that her on-site day care is literally a stones throw away from my building. Sloan eats lunch with me every day around 12:45. Nursing only takes 15 minutes at most which leaves more time to play, and i typically hang around for about 45 minutes. On the warm days like we have had all winter, I have been able to take her outside to swing! Sloan found a four leaf clover last week on our walk to look at the toddlers on the playground. We found two more the next day. She is lucky like that.
In the afternoon, Sloan eats some vegetables and takes a nap. Then her daddy comes for a short visit to roll around the floor and play with her. He keeps trying to wrestle with her but she just isn't big enough. Don't worry Rick, she will get there soon enough!
Sloan is crawling pretty good, but "army crawling". She gets on her hands and knees and rocks back and forth some and is very close to "normal crawling" but we're in no rush! She is a handful as it is, often making a beeline for the magazine rack to play with her favorite toy: PAPER. She is seriously a ham, often crawling underneath tables and chairs. She is trying very hard to climb on top of things. She crawls OVER the dog, my legs, and even discovered the stairs this weekend. I watched her but the dog soon distracted her (the dog isn't allowed upstairs anymore). And after reading this article:Children Go to ER Every 6 Minutes After Stair Falls, we are trying to avoiding letting her know about the stairs.  I mean obviously she goes up and down them several times a day, but she doesn't have to know HOW she gets from living spaces to sleeping spaces does she? We don't think so. We do have baby gates propped for now (to keep dog from wandering up) but we know eventually we will have to invest in something a bit more substantial that we can anchor into the wall.
Sloan loves MARCHMADNESS and is a HUGE  NCSU Wolfpack fan! So far so good, and even if they lose on Friday, we are so very proud of how far they have come this tournament!

Happy 8  months baby girl! This year is flying by! We love you more than green beans, marshmallows, and chocolate cake! That's a WHOLE lotta love right there!

13 March 2012

Weekend with the Crazy Quinns!

My sister and her kids came up for the weekend and we had so much fun! Rick has so much energy and her boys just eat it up. Everytime we FaceTime with the kids, they ask, Where's Uncle Rick? What am i? chopped liver? guess so. Now that i have the baby, Uncle Rick is where its at. He is the human jungle gym!

Carter was excited that I have a basketball goal (that i even lowered down to 8 feet like he does for his league) I also slam dunked the ball at 7 feet first just to show off a bit! Carter wanted me to take his picture shooting hoops. He is quite talented and smart at the ripe age of "almost 5". This kid can do whatever he wants in life and while you should tell all kids this mantra, i actually mean it for this one. Lori, be sure to show Carter his pictures, he was very excited to see himself in action. What great form! By the way, he is a lefty which we have known for quite some time! SIDE NOTE: (If you notice the unruly bush in the picture, I will have you know, it got a haircut this weekend and is now nice and round again!)

We walked to the park and played for an hour while Sloan took a nap. Then we played more basketball, and Carter and Brady played with Sloan in her tunnel.I think Brady (3yr) enjoyed Sloan's toys just as much if not more than she does! They both really loved her books, we have tons of Dr. Seuss Books as well as Berenstain Bears and Little Critters.

Sloan's favorite new hangout is inside her tunnel. She will crawl to the middle and then hang out. She LOVES it in there. She is really crawling all over and this past weekend she even tried to stand up. Had her toy been better secured or against a wall, she would have been successful!

On Saturday afternoon after a full day of playing at the park we took Sloan to see The Lorax. She paid attention to the first 15 minutes and then the last 10 minutes. In between she nursed and slept quietly. The beginning of the film she squealed and flapped her arms. She was very excited to see the big picture! the boys did great and afterwards, Uncle Rick gave each a DOLLAR to take to Dollar Tree. After about a half hour of searching, each came out with a shovel. Lori and I are encouraging them to plant a tree at Grandpa Sloan's house!

Rick and I have planted two apple trees at our new house. What I really mean is that last fall RICK planted two apple trees. I'm more of a yard work cheerleader and the official pruner/weeder. Lucky Me! I must say, our yard is looking great! Rick and i really notice the lousy yards anywhere we go, now that we work so hard to make ours look nice. You know who you are people!!!! Get out there, give your kids some fresh air, and do something PEOPLE! seriously.

stepping down from the Yard Work pedestal now. I love having my sister come to visit and i look forward to more in the future!!! Especially when we start visiting her in her new home!!!!! I love having a sister so close in age, we hope one day Sloan has something similar ;)

09 March 2012

Flashback Friday: Disney World 1984

My fellow blogger friend Jenn Holland does "Fur Baby Fridays" where she highlights her pups.  It has inspired me to do a Flashback Friday.  I have been blessed with an amazing memory. Some memories we suppress, and some we conjure up for the nostalgic emotions.

When I was four years old my parents took my sister and I to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. It was so much fun. What kid doesn't want to go do Disney?

I remember the anticipation of going. We borrowed a van from a family friend, i remember drinking juice boxes on the way down and being afraid to spill the juice on the upholstery since it wasn't our car. I think i did spill actually because putting a straw in that box is so dang hard. I remember a few weeks before we were going to leave my sister got HIT BY A CAR! literally. 

We were at Bunny and Dale's house, friends of my parents. It was across the street from the catholic church POP. Lori and I were playing in the driveway and she decided to cross the street to check the mail. I'm pretty sure it was dark outside. I don't remember seeing her get hit, but i was the only one outside with her. I do remember the ambulance and riding in the car behind the ambulance on the way to the emergency room and the feeling of uncertainty. As a child i had very little to worry about. I think this was probably the first time i ever had real fear. I was probably the one to run inside and tell mom and dad what had happened.

Luckily, my sister was nearly unscathed, aside from a few bandages. Not a broken bone, and off to Disney we went! Disney was this magical place. I loved the dumbo ride. Space mountain, not so much. I was only four years old, though my fifth birthday was three months later. My dad rode behind me in SM. during the ride, his pen fell out of his pocket and down my shirt. I felt his pen fall inside my shirt and i caught it under my armpit. I held onto that pen for dear life, it was probably the only thing helping me endure the ride. It was a bit intense. When we got off the ride, i was SO PROUD to hand my daddy his pen back and let him know that i saved it for him that whole ride. The last day at Disney, Lori wanted to ride SM again, she was 6 and it was less scary for her. I said no, and mom and i went to ride the elephants again. I liked being able to push the button and make them go up and down. I liked the feeling of being in control! SM was just dark and scary. 
This image is about as accurate as i remember it from my first experience.
The other thing i remember about going to Disney is that every morning when we left our hotel room i would peek inside the neighbors room. I guess it was a motel, but mom and dad made me wear a blanket on my head b/c i kept staring inside the window. Its not like i had my face on the glass, and maybe there was something they didn't want me to see, but my curiosity got the best of me and it was just too hard to look straight ahead when there was so much more going on to the right of me. Isn't that an odd thing to remember? I remember playing with the water in Epcot and the Imagination place with Figment. And of course, back at the Magic Kingdom - Small World. The ride is pretty much still the same now as it was then and i absolutely LOVE it! I really cannot wait to take my children to Disney world. Once they are all potty trained!

We kept the brochure/map of Disney in our family room drawer for many years to come, and i would often pull the map out while we watched TV as a family, and daydream. Even riding the monorail was a memorable event. If you ever ask yourself whether or not you should take your kids to Disney, the answer is YES. The memories you create are worth every penny! Just don't go in the summer it is WAY too hot!

Almost EXACTLY 20 years later in May 2004  i went back to Disney world and rode Space Mountain again. It wasn't nearly as scary as it was the first time I had ridden it, but it was just as thrilling! A lot had changed at Disney world, but it felt like nothing had changed. It was just as magical as I had remembered it. I find myself daydreaming of Disney World now!  

Mom and Dad, thank you so much for taking my sister and me to Disney World !  We loved it! Lets go again in a few years with all the kids!   Happy Friday everyone!

01 March 2012

Peter Peter Paper eater???

Her name is not Peter, but this is no lie, my little girl LOVES paper.  Remember the post i made a week ago about how she is now crawling? and her motivation was a $5 bill?  It wasn't money or the prospect of spending that money on a cute pair of sandals that had her chomping at the bit, NOPE, it was the idea of EATING the paper. In the words of Oliver Twist: Paper Glorious Paper!

Being an avid Zappos.com VIP member, i received the first half of my shipment early. While I sat on the floor trying on $400 worth of shoes, throwing paper and tissue packaging every which way, Sloan was busy scooping it up into her tiny little hands and straight to the mouth.  The feeding frenzy had begun and before i could get the paper away from her, she would have more. handful upon handful. The paper just kept entering her mouth. I kid you not! Like a fat kid scarfing down a piece of chocolate cake, Sloan could not get that paper in her mouth fast enough.

And it didn't stop there. I finally put her in her high chair and fed her a nice big dinner of squash, peas, and peaches. But after her bath, she was at it again. Left on the floor to roll around her bedroom while I changed into my pajama pants before her nighttime story. I return and see that she found her Ugly Doll (a gift from her big brothers last summer) and was rolling around with it. But she wasn't chewing on the doll, she was wrestling it for the tag. If this keeps up, her birthday presents will be boxes filled with paper.   Again this morning, with lightening speed she made her way across the room to find this postcard from ModCloth.com that fell out of my most recent purchase, and ate half the corner. I moved her into another area of my bedroom and she ripped a page out of the PBKids catalogue and straight to the mouth. I took it away and pulled the catalogue back out of her hands.  Her lust for paper is insatiable . I don't know whether to laugh at her and  take her picture, or lock up every piece of paper in the house.

If you look at these pics, you will see her gaze is intensely focused. She cannot be distracted. I loathe the day she learns to stand and finds the toilet paper roll! I will be sure to have my camera ready. Our moments at home are anything but dull!

Last night i took a remnant of paper and tied it in a bow around her head, and left her to roll around with her little balls of paper, for just a minute longer. After all, its just paper. I myself had been known to eat a piece of paper or two, on occasion. It might have been quite some time ago, but nonetheless, This too Shall Pass. Pun intended.