An NFL Conglomeration in Myrtle Beach

An interesting thing about living in Myrtle Beach is that when it comes to the NFL, pretty much every single team in the league has a contingent of fans in our area.

There are a couple main reasons for this. First, South Carolina doesn’t have its own NFL franchise. Back when I lived in Montana, a state that also doesn’t have a team, there was a hodgepodge of teams that received support from citizens. 

But what makes Myrtle Beach so different is not just our status as a tourist town but as a transplant destination. Sometimes it seems as if my wife is the only local left (and technically she isn’t a local – she is from Marion). People relocate here from all over the country, with an especially high concentration of folks “from up North.”

Mix these factors with the overwhelming popularity of the NFL (well, at least before this year) and you have a city that looks like it is hosting the league’s all-star game each year. Go to an area Walmart on a late Sunday morning and you will witness a jersey convention.

Although I like the synergy that is generated in a city or town that is united by its support for the local pro team, living in a place with fans from every conference and division within the NFL is cool too. You get to observe the tendencies of different fanbases and find out who the true hardcore supporters are.

The best part, however, about the diverse NFL rooting interests is that you will always have friends who have a team in the Super Bowl. If my Seattle Seahawks aren’t going to be in the big game, I at least want to see teams make it that are supported by people I actually like.

As you can imagine, once “This Is Us” starts on Sunday night I will know people who are crying for reasons not relating to Jack’s death and people with the audacity to skip the show altogether because they want to celebrate with people other than Randall and Kate.

Hope my Patriots and Eagles friends enjoy the game on Sunday. Although I love them both, hopefully my Philly friends will be the ones taking a raincheck on “This Is Us.” Don’t Blink.

BabyFirst TV

I think a reason why I make it a big deal to read so much to Sloan is because in the back of my head I feel it will counteract all the TV we let her watch. I can admit that the television screen works wonders when it comes to settling her down for bed or when mommy and daddy need to buy some time.

Don’t worry, it is not like we give Sloan the remote and let her channel surf. Rather, she primarily watches one station: BabyFirst TV.

BabyFirst TV is an extremely popular station in the Reser household.

If you have never heard of BabyFirst TV, good for you! Well, I don’t want to frame it as such a bad thing. Let me be up front and say this…Sloan absolutely loves the programming. However, for adults, it can really start to wear on you over time.

In my opinion, BabyFirst TV offers a slightly bizarre range of programming. Stars of the network include a puppet bunny with freakishly large hands, three mice that look like Chuck E. Cheese rejects, and a blue rip off of Kermit the Frog. Much of the footage of actual people is embarrassingly outdated (A common question Sid and I ask each other: When do you think this was filmed?). If you do happen to watch something you like, don’t worry, it will be aired again in just a couple hours. BabyFirst TV is a station ripe with questionable characters and constant repetition.

Sloan loves the mice of the BabyFirst TV show, “Squeak.”

Then again, the station is not about me (except for the same 3-4 commercials that are targeted at parents all hours of the day). It shouldn’t matter to me that the closed captioning is inaccurate, the graphics at commercial breaks have spelling errors, and some of the rhyming is questionable at best. From what I have heard, and what should matter most, BabyFirst TV excels at using bright colors and upbeat music while teaching such skills as counting and vocabulary.

Although I can’t confirm that those lessons are resonating with Sloan, we do know for a fact that at the very least she enjoys watching the shows just for the heck of it. She can be crawling across the living room in the opposite direction of the television and the moment one of the jingles plays she will stop what she is doing and turn a full 180 to watch the screen. She can be fussy and nothing will seem to please her until we put her in bed with us and turn on BabyFirst TV. We can be driving back from Murrells Inlet and we can keep her happy during the long drive by using one of our phones to bring up a BabyFirst show on YouTube.

So, who cares if the programming is annoying or if she is learning anything? At least it keeps her happy, right?

Now it is time for a confession. Even though I don’t necessarily get excited about watching BabyFirst TV, I do have a soft spot for the sing-along show that comes on late at night. If Sloan happens to be up around 10 p.m., we will watch it together and I will sing to her. On most nights, it will finally put her to sleep.

One final confession. Because I have seen the same shows over and over and over and over, it seems as if the level of annoyance is starting to fade. Instead, a sense of comfort and fondness seems to replace it, even when I see the same “Harry the Bunny” episode or listen to the “Peek-A-Boo” song for the millionth time. I definitely can’t say that about Sidney’s reality shows. Don’t Blink.

A Sick Birthday

Well, it wasn’t the birthday my dear wife had envisioned. We spent the past weekend tending to Sloan, who had come down with a stomach virus. We had hoped that Friday and Saturday would have given our baby daughter enough time to fend off the bug. However, come Sidney’s birthday on Sunday, Sloan was still fighting it.

It was not the birthday that Sid had envisioned.

Even though not feeling well, Sloan was a great sport on her mommy’s special day. Our little family had a nice birthday celebration in the morning. Later that day, Sid’s parents came over for a bit and gave Sidney gifts and brought over cupcakes. About 30 minutes or so after they left, around 5 p.m., I felt something that is unmistakable (and uncomfortable).

Sloan might have been sick this past weekend but she was still cute! (photo taken on Saturday).

Despite not throwing up since my teens, except for maybe once or twice when I celebrated a little too hard in my early 20s, I had that feeling in my gut that I was sick. At least 13 years since I last had a vomit-inducing illness, I stood in our living room pale-faced and uttered those cliché words to Sidney: I think I am going to be sick.

And sick I was. Every 45 minutes or so I was making trips to the bathroom, becoming re-acquainted with the unpleasant vomit reflex. Knowing that I would be in no shape for a Monday morning at the office, for the first time in my professional career, I had to call in sick for an illness that was related to myself.

Throughout this all, Sidney was doing double duty. She took my temperature, brought me Ginger Ale, tucked me into bed, checked up on me regularly, and did all she could to make me feel better. Even though she had her hands full with me, she never stopped giving Sloan the attention and care she needed. Before I retreated to our bed, Sidney looked at me and said, “I need to take care of my family,” and promptly put in for a substitute so she could stay with us on Monday. Throughout the night she tended to her husband and daughter.

After all Sidney did, how was she repaid?

You guessed it.

At around 5:30 a.m. this morning, Sid had come down with the stomach virus herself. Our whole family was officially sick. Sid’s parents graciously took Sloan from us so we could work on getting better ourselves. Perhaps the only silver lining is that Sid was shielded from sickness until her birthday was officially over? I know, not funny.

Thankfully, there really is a such thing as the 24 hour bug. I am feeling much better after a tough night. Sidney and Sloan are both on the mend too. We are still a sick household but we are feeling better.

I am so thankful for a wife that sacrificed her own health on her birthday to take care of both of us. I am thankful to my in-laws for taking care of Sloan when her parents were both under the weather. Here’s to continued healing! Don’t Blink.

Thursday Rundown Before Sid’s Birthday

Okay, I prepared you for it last evening and tonight we can officially start the 10 day countdown until the most highly anticipated “This Is Us” episode in its history. But while you must wait until Feb. 4 to watch the show, you don’t have to wait at all for my latest Thursday Rundown. Here we go…

What Do You Call Mixed Soda – Let’s start this countdown with a debate! Growing up, I would always get really excited if my parents let us drink soda at a fast food restaurant. My excitement would then skyrocket even more if the joint happened to have a “serve yourself” soda fountain. I would go down the line of flavors, filling my cup up with a little bit of them all. When my mom asked me what pop (because that is what we called it) I chose, I would respond with “graveyard.” My wife, on the other hand, calls that recipe “suicide.” What do you call it? Please let me know because I am genuinely interested.

Last night, I asked my followers what they call a mixture made up of various soda flavors.

The Godfather – I am a big fan of the gangster/mafia films of the 1990s (think “Goodfellas’ and “Casino”). However, somehow I managed to live three decades without ever seeing not just the best Italian mob movie ever made but perhaps the best movie ever made period. Over the course of three nights, I watched “The Godfather” on our bedroom TV. Although probably not the best movie to fall asleep to, I don’t remember having any dreams where I was strangled from behind. In all seriousness, this 1972 classic was great and I am thankful that Netflix has both sequels available so I can soon watch those as well.

A Subway Deal – As a major Subway fan, I am sympathetic to the fact that the chain is going through rough times. In a way to change the negative narrative floating around, Subway started offering $4.99 footlong sandwiches this month. That is a whole penny less than the $5 footlong promotion that Subway was able to offer for so long before raising prices. Of course the deal is only good on a select number of sandwiches but lucky for me my two favorites, the cold cut combo and spicy Italian, are both part of it.

This is me last Friday night holding half of my Spicy Italian Subway sandwich that was just $4.99.

Sloan at 45 Weeks – Oh my gosh, Sloan has lived for 86.5% of a year! The best part of the week came this morning when she looked right at me and said “DA-DA.” Sloan can now say the titles of both her parents because If you read last week’s update, you know she said “MA-MA” clear as day to Sidney. The people at daycare say she is assertive and knows what she wants. We are still struggling to get her to give more attention to her actual toys than her preferred “toys” of cords, paper, remote controls, and her hairbrush. After a couple weeks of rough nights, Sloan is back to going down easily when it is time for bed and then sleeping through the night.

Comedy and Music – On January 25, 2010, I went with my friends to watch comedian Gabriel Iglesias perform. He was funny but his act was almost the exact same as his televised special that was circulating on Comedy Central at the time. To this day, it is the only comedy act I have ever bought a ticket to. On January 25, 2013, I attended a Rascal Flatts concert. The Band Perry was the opening act. It was a show that I wasn’t blown away by but I also wasn’t disappointed by it either.

This date also happens to be popular one for my blog. A year ago, I wrote about my AWFUL fashion sense. Two years ago, I gave my best tip on how to enjoy a televised sporting event. Three years ago, I recapped my first ever trip to Charlotte as we went to the Queen City for Sid’s birthday. Read what you want!

Both these photos are awful but I did take them personally at both events. Gabriel Iglesias performed at The Wilma in Missoula, Mt. and Rascal Flatts performed at the Adams Center in Missoula.


Happy early birthday to Sidney! We will celebrate her special day this Sunday. I am sure she would appreciate any birthday wishes you care to give her. Have a great weekend everyone! Don’t Blink.

On Feb. 4, Our Questions Will Be Answered

It is about time! At the conclusion of last night’s “This Is Us” episode, a voiceover informed us that “all your questions will be answered” when the series resumes on Super Bowl Sunday after the game. Although that means we still have 11 days to wait, at least we now know for sure that on February 4 we will learn how the dad died.

Not that it doesn’t seem obvious. If we take the clues given from the previous “This Is Us” episodes, especially the one last night, it would seem logical that Jack meets his demise when he re-enters the house to save the family dog. But who are we kidding? The “This Is Us” writers are known for misdirection and curve balls so perhaps a big surprise awaits us.

As the greatest television mystery is about to be solved, I want to thank “This Is Us” for giving my family something to look forward to every week. Our “Reser Pride 4.0” group message becomes pretty active on Tuesday mornings as we text about how excited we are for that night’s show. Sid and I get to watch it first on the east coast. After sending a message to the group on whether it was a “good” or “bad” episode, we go to bed. My brother and sister then watch it on the west coast. My parents are late to the party as they usually DVR it and watch it later in the week.

After everyone has watched the latest episode, we then discuss it. We are all pretty enthusiastic about “This Is Us” except for my dad, who claims he hates it, but we all think he secretly likes it. Although we have the characters we enjoy (Kevin for me) and those who we loathe (Toby for me), we all can admit that everyone in the cast contributes to an engaging show.

There is so much I can say about “This Is Us” but I will just point out a few thoughts I have on the show.
– I find it impressive and borderline freaky that the children who play Kate, Kevin, and Randall are spot on representations of their adult characters.
– Since having Sloan, I get a little emotional watching the Jack-Kate dynamic. He treats his daughter with so much love and compassion.
– I thought last night’s episode was excellent which I appreciated because I thought the last two episodes, especially the one from last week, missed the mark.
– I am crossing my fingers that the doctor who delivered the Pearson kids will make an appearance in this upcoming episode – he is my favorite recurring character!
– Anyone else not really feeling the Randall/Beth apartment renovating angle? I know it is probably supposed to parallel Jack/Rebecca planning to flip a house but it just seems like a stretch.
– I personally root for Miguel!

Tomorrow we can start the 10 day countdown. You can bet there will be some chatter about it on the Reser Pride 4.0 group message! Don’t Blink.

Ranking The Most Ridiculous Reality TV Shows My Wife Watches

A reason why Sidney and I have a successful marriage is because, for the most part, our differences compliment each other. However, there is one area where our differences clash. What point of contention am I speaking of?…

TV genre preferences.

I enjoy watching sports and documentaries while Sid prefers a television diet that is based heavily on reality TV. While she has converted me to the dark side with some reality shows, there are other programs that I simply have a very hard time tolerating. I am good with several of the reality options on the major networks but once she starts going up the TV dial we run into some stations that have shows I don’t necessarily embrace.

In tonight’s blog post, I would quickly like to list the reality TV programs that Sidney really enjoys but I don’t. For the sake of this post, I am not calling any of these shows “stupid” or “dumb.” Rather, I will just label them ridiculous. So, in order of escalating ridiculousness, here is my list of the five “reality” TV shows I don’t really care for.

5. Keeping Up with the Kardashians – This is the series that blazed the way for the onslaught of shows dealing with people who are on TV solely because they are rich. When we first started dating, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” is the show I remember Sidney watching the most. Although I find the sisters attractive, it doesn’t excuse the fact that the show is about absolutely nothing. Because the show manages to conjure up some pleasant memories and because every member of the cast has been crafty enough to maximize the exposure he/she has received, I will put it as the #5 spot on the countdown. But don’t get me wrong, it is still bad!

 4. Don’t Be Tardy – I hated to put this show on the list because it stars Kroy Biermann, a former University of Montana football player who was a student-athlete for the Griz during my days there. But I just can’t bring myself to get any enjoyment out of the show. It doesn’t seem real to me and I have yet to identify any type of plot, adversity, or redeeming value within it. Kim, a former cast member on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” co-stars with Kroy and you will learn shortly what I think about “The Real Housewives.” Sid has watched it for a long time but it hasn’t grown on me one bit.

 3. RelationShep – The low key version of “The Bachelor,” I get a little irritated watching this show. Is Shep so inept at finding someone on his own that he needs an entire show and numerous enablers to find him “the one”? It drives me nuts. The “producer” of the show has a prominent role in each episode and the conversations she has with Shep drive me crazy. The way that Shep acts like the world owes it to him to find his future wife rubs me the wrong way. The way he also talks about the hardships of finding his girl is not endearing either. Dude, don’t complain, you get to live a fantasy.

 2. Vanderpump Rules – Drama, drama, drama. Who knew working at a bar could be so taxing? This is another show that is just so far from reality that I can’t take it seriously. The entitlement and disregard for others shown by members of the cast makes me sick to my stomach. If I am going to watch a show about the bar industry, please give me “Bar Rescue.”

1. The Real Housewives of _____________ – I started drafting this blog post by starting down here with “The Real Housewives of _____________” (the blank space is intentional because I am lumping all the different cities into one) because this franchise catches my ire more than any other on television. I didn’t give it the Don’t Blink Emmy for Worst Reality TV Show back in September for nothing. Not even “Vanderpump Rules” can hold a candle to the greed, ego, and ridiculousness that oozes out of this series. To me, it seems like the same scene is acted out every episode…a group goes out to a restaurant for drinks and it ends with yelling, broken glassware, profanity, and tears. There is no trace of “reality” found within any of these spinoffs. The complaining, the fighting, and the disrespect drives me so crazy that I can’t bear to watch. Believe it or not, even though I give all the #2-#5 shows a tough time, I can still sit down and watch them with Sid. The same can’t be said for “The Real Housewives of _____________”.


Thankfully we have two televisions at our house. But, to be truthful, Sid and I manage just fine. She watches her “trash” (her term, not mine) primarily when I am doing something else. Likewise, I get my sports fix when she is asleep. We watch plenty of TV together and a vast majority of the time it is something we both enjoy. That reality TV though…

Don’t Blink.

Cheers to Monday Night Raw

No matter how you feel about professional wrestling, a pretty significant pop culture milestone will occur this evening. Monday Night Raw, the most well-known television program within the WWE brand, will celebrate its 25th anniversary. Tonight’s show is receiving attention from all the major media outlets in the country.

I would be remiss if I said the WWE did not play a major part in my childhood and early adolescence. How couldn’t it? One of the first live events my dad ever took me to was a WWF match in the old Spokane Coliseum. In the final bout of the evening, the Ultimate Warrior defeated the Undertaker by stuffing him in his own body bag! 

I am dating myself here, but as a 4-year-old I went to a WWF match and immediately became a fan.

From that moment on, I was captivated by professional wrestling. I had a WWF bedspread, countless wrestling figures, wrestling buddies, a miniature wrestling ring, and much more. Because Raw came on way past my bedtime, I would watch the Saturday morning WWF highlights show, my personal alternative to the cartoon programming everyone else my age watched.

My love for professional wrestling rubbed off on my brother. As he got old enough to understand the magic of WWF, the two of us consumed it together. On summer days, my mom would take us to Blockbuster and we would rent VHS tapes of past WWF Pay-Per-View events such as Wrestlemania, Royal Rumble, and Summer Slam. We would hurry home, run down to the basement, and push the tape into the VCR. From there we would excitedly watch the matches while simultaneously wrestling each other. We would develop our own wrestling characters, choose our own entrance music, and conduct our own interviews. It was wild.

I was such a pro wrestling fanatic that I had a WWF bedspread and sheets.

Probably around the age of 11, my interest in professional wrestling started to wane a bit. I had sold a lot of my WWF toys in the yard sale and I was not as captivated by the matches I could now tell were fake. But it didn’t take long for professional wrestling to win me back.

The golden age of professional wrestling – the WWF vs. WCW wars, the Attitude Era, the introduction of adult themes – had quite the impression on a 12-year-old boy like myself. Pretty soon, Monday night went from my least favorite evening of the week to my favorite. Switching back and forth between Monday Night Raw and Monday Night Nitro, I could not get enough of the salacious storylines, the out of control ringside interviews, the escalating violence, the bad language, and…well…the divas.

The envelope was pushed on a weekly basis. It was the era of Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mankind, The Rock, Sable, Kane, and Vince McMahon – and that was just from the WWF side. Although I did enjoy the WCW and proudly sported an NWO shirt during those influential years, because of my early roots, I always favored what would become the WWE.

I eventually grew out of my professional wrestling obsession. It became too much of a gimmick for me. I don’t think anyone was happier than my parents. During those raunchy WWF years, they tried to censor my time watching wrestling as much as they could. For the past 15 years, besides the reality show “Tough Enough,” I don’t think I have watched more than an hour of WWE programming. I have read autobiographies on my favorite childhood wrestlers and I keep up with the business ventures of Vince McMahon, but I have no interest watching professional wrestling matches or keeping up with the insane “soap opera” storylines. Watching Monday Night Raw has not been on my schedule for a very long time.

Tonight might be different. I recognize the major influence professional wrestling had on me during my early years, especially Raw. As the WWE marks tonight’s anniversary, I might have to check in just to pay homage to a phenomenon that once gripped me. At the same time, I will also say a prayer of thanks for my fandom not extending past middle school. Don’t Blink.

A Blog That Helps (Sometimes)

A few months ago, something cool happened. I was presenting to a room full of staff members at Coastal Carolina University about social media. When my presentation concluded, one of the employees in the room approached me. I did not recognize her, which made sense because she identified herself as a new employee.

In a very humble manner, she prefaced what she was going to say with “I don’t know if you will remember this, but…”

This particular CCU staffer had been on the job for a couple months. She had moved from a northern state to start fresh at a great university in a beautiful part of the country. But what made her specifically choose our little slice of paradise?

This person revealed to me that when she was deciding whether to move to Myrtle Beach, she did her due diligence researching the area. During this period, she stumbled upon Don’t Blink. She read a post I wrote in 2015 that gave my direct assessment on the pros and cons of living here. My frank opinion on Myrtle Beach life caused her to comment on my post. From there, I answered some of her specific questions via email.

It is not uncommon for me to correspond with readers via email. It also is not uncommon for readers to try a pizza place or watch a television show because I recommend it. But what is slightly uncommon (or so I think) is for a reader to use my blog as an influential source for making a lifechanging decision.

This staff member willingly approached me to say my blog played a part in her moving to our area and applying for employment at Coastal Carolina. She thanked me for providing counsel over email. I did in fact remember our electronic discussion, but I underestimated the power it would have.

To stand face-to-face with someone who started out as one of my “faceless” readers in a far off state only to become a fellow staff member in the same conference room as myself was pretty rad.

I write Don’t Blink mainly for selfish reasons – I have an obsession with keeping a written record of my experiences and I strive to keep my personal brand fresh – but I do hope that the time I put into a project such as this can help and/or benefit others. To know that I hit the mark in the latter objective is rewarding.

All of my traffic to Don’t Blink is 100% organic. However, writing over 1,400 posts over the course of several years will give you a large reach without ever having to spend a cent on SEO. True, the vast majority of my readers will never make crucial decisions based off of my wacky top five lists or Lay’s potato chip reviews. But if my posts can positively influence a small number of people out there who I would otherwise never encounter, I would call that a success. Don’t Blink.

Soup Du Jour Thursday Rundown

Good evening to all! It is that time of the week for my latest Thursday Rundown. No small talk today, let’s get right to it…

Empty Bowls – Today I covered and enjoyed a cool event at Coastal Carolina University. Each year, our Department of Visual Arts puts on a fundraiser called Empty Bowls. Ceramic bowls are handmade and glazed by faculty and students. The bowls are presented on a table in the Edwards Courtyard and attendees can purchase whatever one appeals to them (average cost per bowl is around $5). Once a bowl is purchased, individuals can take it to another table that is covered with crockpots filled with soup. You can enjoy as many refills as you want! I bought my own bowl and filled it with butternut squash soup. All proceeds benefited local homeless charities.

I attended the Empty Bowls event at Coastal Carolina University this morning. I sampled the butternut squash soup.

Pope Francis Tweet – If you only follow one person on Twitter, make sure it is Pope Francis (@Pontifex). He tweets out the most humble and relevant guidance every day. His latest tweet was an excellent reminder to us all, especially me! Many of us make plans to attend church every weekend but once we leave the pew, we neglect to apply the gospel message at all times. As Lent approaches, I want to do better at being the servant that God calls us all to be.

Do yourself a favor and follow Pope Francis (@Pontifex) on Twitter.

Blinded Him With Science – Sidney is an incredible aunt! For Christmas, we gave our nephew a couple of educational science kits. One was a volcano assembly activity and the other was an experiment guide. On Monday, I watched as Sid helped Harrison build his volcano and then aided him with the classic “CO2 balloon on a bottle” demonstration. With his custom-made lab coat on, Sidney not only helped Harrison execute the experiment but she also used her teaching skills to help him (and me) learn something. She clearly explained to him that the vinegar and baking soda combined to create a chemical reaction that produced a gas that was capable of inflating the balloon. It was cool to watch.

It was a holiday but Sidney didn’t take the day off from teaching. She helped Harrison with a science experiment and explained the results to him.

Sloan at 44 Weeks – If you read my blog last night, you know Sloan turned 10 months on Wednesday. Tomorrow she will turn 44 weeks (or 308 days). The biggest accomplishment from this week was when she clearly said MAMA. It was so incredibly cute. She is also waving “bye bye” constantly. We took her to a church dinner on Monday evening and the people at our table couldn’t get enough of her. She attended a birthday party for one of her “friends” on Saturday and behaved admirably, allowing Stevie Blair to have the spotlight.

Sloan will turn 44 weeks tomorrow.

Curious Food Choices – On Friday night, I splurged at Dollar General by purchasing a couple treats I had never tried or heard of before. I bought an Oreo chocolate candy bar and a pint of Hostess Sno-balls ice cream. The candy was decent but the ice cream was a little sketchy. Besides the fact that a frozen dessert made with a Hostess product is a little weird to begin with, it didn’t help that it was two months out of date. Yes, I ate some of it before realizing that it was expired.

I would recommend the Oreo candy bar but not the Hostess Sno-Balls ice cream.


Have a great rest of your Thursday evening, everyone, I will catch up with all of you again soon. Thanks for your loyalty! Don’t Blink.

The 10 Fears of Sloan

Sloan became a 10-month-old today. Where has the time gone? To mark this latest milestone, I wanted to list the 10 things Sloan is afraid of. But before I start revealing them, let me say this: For the most part, she is a fearless little baby…perhaps too fearless.

Sloan turned 10 months today.

However, despite all her guts, Sloan does have a fear factor just like us all. When our baby girl becomes afraid, she lets out a high pitched heartbreaking cry that clearly communicates “I am scared and I don’t like this!” When this happens, we can’t help but quickly console her and let her know that things will be okay. In no particular order, I present the fears of Sloan…

Santa Claus – When we brought Sloan to meet Santa, she did great for the first moment on his lap. But then she looked up at him and it was all over.

Sloan did not enjoy Santa (photo courtesy of Erin Dietrich).

Dogs – Sloan can tolerate smaller canines but she does not like bigger dogs. This past weekend we were visiting my sister-in-law and her boyfriend’s large dog scared the wits out of her. Sloan was okay if it kept its distance but once it got close she shrieked.

Hair Dryer – Sid thought Sloan would like the sensation of some air blown on her hand. She didn’t. Although she can point the hair dryer at Sloan without any reaction, the moment she turns it on is when Sloan becomes upset.

The Water (just the first time) – Sloan is a little fish! She loves baths and will wade in pools with us. However, the first time we took her “swimming” it didn’t go too well. We were at a friend’s house and were cautious to slowly introduce Sloan to the water. Sid gently navigated down the pool’s steps with Sloan in her arms. Just like with Santa she was composed at the start but became unglued when she realized her surroundings.

This was the first time Sloan ever entered the water. Shortly after this photo was taken she started to panic.

Vacuum Cleaner – Crawling across our hardwood floors is a favorite pastime of Sloan. She will go from one end to the other without even thinking. That is of course if Sid is not vacuuming. If it is the weekend and Sid is using the vacuum, Sloan won’t be happy. Even if my wife was several feet away, Sloan would get rattled if Sid made one small step toward her with the vacuum.

Strangers – Sidney calls it “stranger danger.” Sloan has reached the stage where she feels frightened in the arms of someone she doesn’t know. For some folks she will be stoic and for others she will break down.

Snow – We were so excited to introduce Sloan to the snow when we went to Spokane at the end of December. She didn’t share our excitement. We took Sloan out in my parents’ front yard for a sleigh ride and she was not amused. Our winter wonderland experience was filled with more tears than laughs.

The snow scared Sloan.

A Tiger Head – My nephew owns a Clemson blanket that has a Tiger stuffed animal head attached to it. He showed it to Sloan and she must have thought she was alone in the jungle and the beast was real.

Her Daddy’s Face – Just kidding! That would be so sad.


Happy 10 months, Sloan! Mommy and daddy joke around about what scares you but we know you are the bravest little girl ever. Don’t Blink.