Ramblings – at Grandma Camp

July 25th, 2012

Since Reid is at Grandma Camp for three weeks, I have to rely on people to send me updates on what she has been up to. Occasionally – very occasionally – we manage to speak with Reid on the phone but she doesn’t like to tell us much. What happens at Grandma Camp apparently must stay there. This post comes courtesy of Aunt Karin.

On Sunday Reid and I walked up to Jacks for lunch, I voted for Car Barn but lost.  She had a chicken and bacon snack wrap and fries and cranberry juice to drink.  Before arriving at Jacks we had to go in the dollar store to look around.  She got a pair of flip flops like Sulienne and Lacey’s and a Canada Day fold out fan.  She could only eat half her wrap because she had to save room for triple chocolate ice cream in a cup for desert.  Uncle Dave was grateful for the left overs.

We came home and the heat and humidity were horrendous so Reid thought she should watch some TV.  Her and Dave immediately started watching some Science show on Public Television.  I said if they were watching TV I was going to lay down for an hour.  When I got up an hour later Dave had her on the computer playing games from tvo television about all the places in Ontario.  He said she wanted to do crafts but he told her he hasn’t had crafts in his house in 20 years.  She then asked him for a snack so he gave her a bear paw cookie and lime aid.  She was thrilled with the snack but only ate half the cookie and drank half the drink.

Dave had to go fix his mom’s computer and asked Reid if when he got back she would want to go for a drive along the lake all the way to Windsor to Suli and Ry’s, since she hadn’t been in the car long enough on Saturday, she thought this would be a cool idea.  We left our house at 3:30.  Before we left Wheatley, Dave stopped at Hillman Marsh beach (by the shoe tree) and Reid and I went wading while Dave skipped some rocks for her and found her a hundreds of millions of year old fossil (which they looked up on the computer the next day)  They found a great big yellow smiley faced Wal-Mart ball which they took turns kicking far out into the water but it kept coming back.  Dave showed her Point Pelee from this vantage point then it was time to move on but not far, we stopped in the thick of the marsh to admire some cranes then on again we went.  We tried to see Pelee Island when we got to the Municipal park in Leamington but we couldn’t make it out.

We meandered on to Kingsville where we had to get coffee at Tim Horton’s and of course Reid thought she should have another snack because it was already 5 o’clock and we still had a long way to go and maybe many stops to make before we made it to Windsor and Dave’s promised McDonalds supper (barf!)  So anyway she had a blueberry muffin and a small raspberry lemonade.  Not far out of Kingsville Dave again pulled over at a beach to show Reid Old Hen Island and explain to her about the Hen and Chicks Islands by Pelee Island.  He also pointed out Point Pelee from this vantage point.

On we go down back roads hugging the lake, through Colchester and by Aunt Pam’s house where we saw Donald’s new black car and Uncle John’s yellow truck but not Aunt Pam’s car.  Approaching Amherstburg we stopped at the mouth of the Detroit River where it spills into Lake Erie so Dave could show her a lake freighter and tell her how when they come up the Detroit River they displace so much water that were she standing at the rivers edge the water would rise past her knees as the freighter went by.  He showed her how strong the current in the Detroit River is that all the buoys are on an awful slant.  Finally into Amherstburg and Reid and Dave decided since it was 6:30 already we should just eat our supper at this McDonalds.  Reid ordered a Hamburger Happy Meal with her hamburger plain, it came with everything on it and she said “Oh well” and ate it without complaint, Dave and I were impressed.

We got back in the car and headed straight for Suli and Ry’s, where we visited on the back deck, played Holey board and got Reid’s bangs cut by Sulienne.  It was a late night but she survived.

Monday morning I had to take Carmel to the vet for a check-up (drop her off and pick up after work) and Reid to Uncle Chris’s. Boy did that bring back memories of having to drop kids at daycare and school before going to work.  Forgot her car seat in my car so her and Cheyenne had to walk to Melissa’s to play with the boys.  I took her car seat to Chris and Dar’s after work and she couldn’t even give me the time of day because she was too busy.  (A good thing that didn’t bother me in the least)  She stayed at Chris and Dar’s Monday night and Tuesday night and went to Melissa’s everyday with Cheyenne.

Tonight after work, I went to Timmie’s and got her a blueberry muffin to have her candle in because I know she doesn’t like cake, this made her happy.  She got a delicate watch with a picture of a dog on it from Sari, (Sari said she tried to find one with a cat but couldn’t), stickers from Linda and Jerry, a book, a Crayola craft thing and a journal from me, (she was impressed with the journal and immediately asked me for a pen)  The book is Diary of a Dork or some such thing, hope it meets with your approval.  Everyone else gave her money which I sent home with Mom along with all her cards.  I left the party before Reid did, but she is off to Aunt Pam’s till Saturday when Roger or I will go get her, oh and she misses you both terribly, lol, lol, lol.

On the road to Grandma Camp

July 21st, 2012

Uncle Roger and Auntie M picked Reid up on their way from St-Jerome to take her to Grandma Camp (as we call the time Reid spends in Wheatley and surrounding areas in the summer). Uncle Roger and Auntie M hadn’t been home since before their trip to Scotland and Ireland and Reid carries a lot of gear – clothing, books and sports equipment – when she travels and so we were glad for the stow-n-go seats.

It was sad to see Reid’s tears as we pried her fingers from around our necks and put her in her booster seat. Just look at her.

Reid in Uncle Rogers van

Calgary Stampede breakfast in Ottawa

July 12th, 2012

We were invited to a Calgary Stampede breakfast at a friend’s house last Saturday. I’ve never had pancakes and bacon cooked on a barbecue before but I think those westerners onto something! Many guests brought fruit as their contribution to the meal. Our hosts laughed and said that fruit didn’t usually appear at Stampede breakfasts. That’s Ottawa for you.  The food was great and the company was wonderful – as dozens of kids wandered around the front lawn, stopping sometimes to dance to the country music. Our hosts hired the Cow Guys (of course) to entertain as well. The show was funny and impressive and was truly fun for the whole family.

Cow Guy with a rocking horse in mouth

Reid’s thoughts on vegans, vegetarians and such

June 26th, 2012

Reid’s been thinking about food a lot lately. She asked one day if people only ate meat. I said, “No,” because I wouldn’t want her to decide to be a carnivore (though it’s hard to imagine her giving up bread).

On Saturday, as we left the CHEO Teddy Bears’ Picnic, Reid wondered aloud what the people who were just arriving would eat since the pancake breakfast that we’d enjoyed was finished. She decided they would probably have sandwiches – chicken and ham and something, maybe cheese, for the vegetarians.

Vegetatians made her think about vegans and then, of course, about LeeLee. Reid noted that vegans were vegetarian but not all vegetarians were vegan. My girl thinks in Venn diagrams, it seems. And then the conversation took a turn for the weird. Reid said, “It would be weird if a vegan picked their nose and ate it.” To which I replied that no one should do that! After a couple seconds, I caught up with Reid’s thought process. “Because vegans are supposed to eat any animal products?” “Yes,” said my little lady, delicately sipping her lemonade. Ewww!

CHEO Teddy Bears’ Picnic

June 23rd, 2012

Reid and I went to the CHEO Teddy Bears’ Picnic on Saturday morning and, wow! did I not realize how much fun it would be. How did we miss it for the last 7 years?

We ate our pancakes and sausages as the grounds of Rideau Hall started to fill. Wrapping a sausage in your pancake makes it a finger food, right? Reid is all about finger foods and I was all about enjoying the sunny day. We wandered over to the face painting tent and then we met this guy:

Reid and the Governor General

The Governor General, David Johnston, seemed quintessentially Canadian – friendly, approachable and the sort of person who would be good to have with you on a long roadtrip.

Next, we met up with friends and watched the mascots parade and then sang along with the crowd to a few songs – including the Teddy Bears’ Picnic, of course – and then watched as local Olympians were introduced. Go, Canada, go!


We headed over to ride the carousel and then the kids shot some baskets at a kid-size basketball hoop and then they played with soccer balls.

The Teddy Bears’ Picnic is going on our list of things to do next year.

Photograph – Monday moments

October 24th, 2011

If you looked at photographs from much of Reid’s childhood, you would think, “Wow, that kid goes a lot of fun places with her dad.” You might also think she does cool activities and wonder who was with her. To a large extent, I’m reluctant to give up control of the camera and Ken only occasionally takes it from me and gets me in a shot. Until…

Until Reid grew old enough to ask for the camera (expecting it to be shared) and to take pictures of both Ken and me – at the same time. All of a sudden, there we all are standing together at the top of a hill, overlooking a forest and lake at Deerhurst and Reid took a picture of Ken and me. Soon enough, the picture is printed and hung on a wall. We admire Reid’s photography skills and thank her for bringing us both into the photographic record.

Capital Mom provides a theme each Friday for these Monday Moments. Others have written about their own moments. I also wrote about other  Monday Moments.

Lessons learned at Grandma Camp

August 1st, 2011

 I spoke with Reid on the phone on Thursday. As I was wrapping up the conversation, I reminded her that there were only two more sleeps before Ken and I would be there. Reid answered, in a disinterested voice, “I know.” Feeling proud of her independence, and maybe a little sad she wasn’t looking forward to seeing me, I asked her if she had saved me any kisses and hugs or if she’d given them all away. After a long pause, Reid said, “I have something to tell you and it doesn’t have anything to do with kisses.” And then she belched. Right in my ear. In her clear, sweet voice she said, “Excuse me. That wasn’t very smart but if it had come out the other end, it would have been a fart.” There were giggles on her end of the phone. (Surprise!) I asked who taught her the rhyme – expecting Dylan or Brock or Shea – but she proudly told me that it had been Aunt Karin. It’s good to know my sister is playing Miss Manners with Reid! I’ll have the principal call Aunt Karin when Reid teaches everyone in the second grade her poem and the other parents call to complain.

Missing Mama and Daddy

July 31st, 2011

Grandma Joyce called me on Thursday, after Reid had gone to camp, to say that Reid had said she missed Mama and Daddy at bedtime the night before. Grandma said Reid wasn’t crying or particularly sad, just stating a fact. Still, Grandma cuddled her close and said that they would sleep together that night, Reid would stay at Kathleen’s the next night and then it was one more Grandma sleep night before Reid could sleep with Mama.

Reid announced that she wanted to sleep with Daddy. When Grandma mentioned that Daddy usually sleeps in the basement, Reid decided that Mama would have to sleep in the basement, too. (I agree that the basement is somewhat scary. The bedroom there is completely dark at night.) We’ll have to see how Ken’s sore knee does sleeping with a kid whose feet are probably at just the right place for inadvertent bumps. In any case, he won the popularity contest and will have bragging rights for a day or two.

Mysterious world of Grandma Camp

July 30th, 2011

When I was a girl, I went to sleep-away camp a couple of times. Maybe three times? The first time, I went to Gesstwood Camp for three days and two nights. The camp was associated with the United Church, which I attended, and was small enough that a new camper could be comfortable. We did lots of simple outdoor activities and crafts, ate basic food in the dining hall and enjoyed a campfire at the end of the day. I also went to Camp Kennessarie when I was older. Again it was affiliated the United Church but this time it was bigger, farther from my home and I stayed a full week. The routine was the same, though. Bug bites and swimming, whispering after lights out, and a memorable meal where we ate with serving and meal-preparation utensils instead of cutlery stand out in my poor memory.

Reid hasn’t asked about sleep-away camp and I’m glad. I can’t imagine leaving her with stranger for a whole week! She does go to “Grandma Camp”, though. Two years ago, she went for a week and last year, she went for two weeks. Before her time was up, Reid announced that she’d be coming back this year for three weeks. I didn’t think I could manage three continuous weeks without her and so we’ll go on vacation together and then spend a couple of weeks back in Ottawa before Reid spends her third week at Grandma Joyce’s. I really don’t know how Ken managed to be away from her so long when he was in Afghanistan but I do understand the ferocity in their first hug when he came back.

Information about what happens in Reid’s life when she is away is spotty. She has never been inclined to describe what she’s been up to when she is not with us – strange for a kid who doesn’t seem to stop talking most days – and not seeing us for days on end doesn’t change this much. She did mention her trip in Uncle John’s truck and we were told that her birthday party at Rockie’s pool was “fun”. I know that she has seen Dylan and Zachary often – a definite plus to Grandma Camp – and I’ve heard she is learning to throw a football, thanks to Uncle Roger. Reid told Aunt Karin that she doesn’t tell Ken and me about everything that happens at Grandma’s. Mine is the newly-minted seven year-old who has learned early that what happens in Wheatley, stays in Wheatley.

I may carry a piece of paper with me when I talk with Grandma and Reid’s aunts, uncles and cousins. Maybe one of them will slip and tell me a story.

Can you imagine these 3 on a roadtrip?

July 29th, 2011

One night last week, Aunt Pam and Uncle John took the kids to the grain elevators in Wheatley. There was some wheat taken to the grain elevator, too, but it’s not important to this story. ;) Reid told us about the adventure – it’s the only thing she has voluntarily told us about in the 12 days that she has been away.

Aunt Pam filled in the details. I’ll give her “guest blogger” status, “with contributions” from Reid.

Uncle John was hauling wheat from Pelee Island and picked the kids up in Leamington. All was calm on the drive to Wheatley. Zack got the front seat as he was due for a nap. (He just about had one.) Dylan and Reid mostly read books in the bunk and explored the shelves, bed etc. Reid decided she was thirsty and John has a mini fridge with water bottles. When we arrived at the grain elevator (not Uncle Chris’s), the fun began. We talked about what the probe did and why Gary, who worked at the Wheatley Grain Elevator, was rolling the tarp back over the trailer. Then the roaming, switching seats, pushing and general mayhem began. We were cooped up in the cab of the truck for approximately an hour. Zack had to pee outside. More drinks and pretzels were spied. I passed out candy but not gum. I could just imagine John finding it later.

Then we unloaded Reid with Grandma Joyce and Dylan was in front on the way back to Leamington.

They were pretty good and had fun.

Uncle John figures it will take weeks to get the kid cooties out of his truck. He likes everything just so and does not like it when even I disturb things. 

Reid thinks Uncle John is a rockstar. He has a bright yellow antique passenger truck, a large, red Dodge pickup and, of course, a tractor-trailer with many kinds of trailers. We’ve visited his shop and seen the different trailers on previous visits. They’re larger than life and different from what we see on a day-to-day basis. 

Part of the waiting time, involved a turn for each kid in the driver’s seat.

Truck drivin’ ReidReid had done this before, so she was blasé about it

Truck drivin DylanDylan the demon driver, only he pushed the pedals while the truck was running

Truck driven Zachary Zack had all the noises to go with his driving

Can you imagine these three on a roadtrip? I think that there would be many laughs and maybe, just maybe, a bit of speeding!