Archive for February, 2007

Books we read, February 28th

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

What a busy day it was! Being busy scrubs my memory. I am reasonably sure we read something in the morning but can’t say what. On the way to Reid’s swimming lesson we read Zoom, Zoom, Poppy Cat by Lara Jones twice on the way there and then on the way home we discussed what happened instead. Before bed we read 50 Below Zero by Robert Munsch. Reid is getting quite familiar with the stories in the various Munsch treasuries and chooses stories among them based on the illustrations on the front cover. We also read Going on a Field Trip, a Read and Roll book, because what would a day be without a school bus book.

The alphabet reinterpreted

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

I video taped Reid singing her version of the alphabet but I’m not sure how to put it on the computer and I haven’t got her in front of the web cam yet but rest assured that Reid has heard the alphabet song – both traditional and Sari’s tune – often enough that she has begun to reinterpret it in her own way. To my tin ear, anyway, she seems to have the tune down pretty well but the letters aren’t quite in the order you might expect. There is also a new letter toward the end, a “double-B”, where you would expect the “w” to appear. I wonder if they sing the alphabet in English and French at daycare. Reid might me mis-speaking the “double-vey” from French. In any case, the letters that come after “t” are usually repeated a couple times, as though the record is skipping. (That’s an allusion that reveals my age, eh?)

Books we read, February 27th

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

The first thing in the morning, we visited with an old friend at Violet’s House by Julie Aigner-Clark, a baby einstein  book that we have had for a long time. We can all pretty much recite the book, I think. There are many details in the illustrations as well as the textured segments, which give us much to discuss and this keeps us sane.

Aunty Amanda came for supper and Reid persuaded her to read Valentine by Carol Carrick. Amanda found the book scary and dark. The story is about a little girl and grandma who find a sick lamb in the barn and nurse it back to health on Valentine’s Day. I have to admit I have always liked it for because the sick lamb is brought into the kitchen and kept near the stove, just like we did with chicks sometimes when I was growing up.

We also read:

  • Skidamarink: The “I love you” song, illustrated by Jacqueline East with images of winter activities like ice skating, playing board games and eating hot cereal (I love you in the morning); and
  • Farmer Will by Jane Cowen-Fletcher. Reid and I love this book. The pastel drawings, the story, the little animals and Farmer Will are all beautiful.

I love rice!

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

We have been eating lots of meals with rice lately, I guess. There was that Chinese takeout not too long ago, stuffed chicken breasts with white rice on Sunday and salmon with whole grain rice last night. In each case, we have had to restrict the extra helpings of rice until Reid has eaten some non-rice food. When I had offered Ken the choice between chicken and salmon on Sunday, I’d told him I planned to serve rice. When I told Reid that we were having the salmon for supper, she grinned and said, “I love rice!” I had noticed ;+) I held my breath a bit when Reid served herself the rice since it was brownish, being whole grain and all. When we did the Heart and Stroke walk in the fall, we received single serving bowls of whole grain Cheerios. The only time I offered any to Reid, she carefully picked out the “dirty” ones and gave them to Grandma Joyce. I think Reid thought hey weren’t fit for her consumption but Grandma treasures everything Reid gives her.

Rice is a pretty messy thing for a two-year old to love (what isn’t?) and with carpeting in our dining room, well, we don’t need help being messy. At least Reid has decided using a spoon for rice is acceptable, making an exception to the anti-spoon stance she adopted recently for all food other than cereal.  It could be that spoons make getting lots of rice to her mouth in a short time but then why does she like a fork with ice cream?

I think spring may be on its way, though there will surely be more snow before summer in Ottawa.

What we read, February 26th

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

Mondays are always a challenge and a change, as we move back to “daycare days”. To start the week off right, we read:

  • Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? by Nancy White Carlstrom, this might be the first book Reid can recite in it’s entirety; and
  • Cat, What Is That? by Tony Johnston and paintings by Wendell Minor, I love the illustrations in this book and the poems are fun, too. It captures the many moods of cats. Reid points out cats in the paintings that look like of our cats. The cover illustration reminds both of us of Leo and Mars and so it’s a bit tough to read but I think remembering Mars is good, too.

We also read:

  • My Red Mittens by Jane E. Gerver, with its fuzzy red mittens on each page;
  • There’s Only One of Me! by Pat Hutchins, read by Ken despite the fact that he hates books that repeat lines the way this one does;
  • 50 Below Zero by Robert Munsch about the Daddy that sleep walks. Daddies who have trouble sleeping are becoming common in our life; and
  • My Little Animal Book by Jo Rigg, which challenges me to bring inflection to what is essentially a picture dictionary. Reid, though, enjoys it.

Slow Sunday at home – or not

Monday, February 26th, 2007

I started this yesterday, gave it a “slow Sunday” subject and jotted down what we had done. I’m not sure it was all that slow, but Reid and I didn’t go to Eddy’s for breakfast and I didn’t take her to the grocery store with me and so it seemed more relaxed than other Sundays.

Reid decided that we should let Daddy sleep rather than waking him with kisses and so Ken got a bit of extra time in bed. I wouldn’t say “slept in” as Reid isn’t particularly quiet as she walks through the bedroom to get to and from her potty and she wasn’t willing to use the bathroom downstairs. Still, he didn’t have a small girl climbing on him as he struggled to wake up. Ever since the time I thought Reid was sick and so gave her crackers to eat while laying on the couch, Reid has asked often to have crackers when we get downstairs. I treated her and we had crackers and apple slices and milk for breakfast. Okay, I had a coffee and tea (yes, both) and some apple slices. We built two puzzles, the fire engine and school bus or at least Reid built them and I sat with her on the floor. As the last piece went in to its place, Reid clapped and her eyes sparkled and she grinned. All I had to do was join in the clapping. Afterward, we played with the potatoes but Reid didn’t like it when I put the face on upside down and took mine apart. I try to teach her flexibility (and Ken would say something about pots and kettles but he doesn’t write these) sometimes.

Once Ken was up, I headed out to get groceries. Reid wanted to come but I told her that it would be more fun to stay with Daddy and that he would play wherever she wanted, thinking she’d choose to go to the basement. Instead, she decided to play upstairs, which meant Ken had to basically turn right around. Reid has wanted to play in her room lately, though I’m not sure why. While  grocery shopping I realized that I had forgotten Reid’s photo appointment. Knowing that Reid was in desperate need of a bath and some quality time with a hairbrush, I dropped in to apologize. Reid was introduced to a culinary delicacy as we were putting the groceries away. I had taken the pizza box out of the fridge since it had only a Reid-portion in it. Reid peaked inside, saw the pizza and asked if she could eat it. The first bite had her exclaiming, “It’s cold!” as though somethine were very wrong, sacriligeous, even, with cold pizza. We told her that cold pizza was good and given that she ate the rest without comment, I guess she agreed.

In preparation for the picture trip (though, of course, I didn’t tell her), I gave Reid a bath and let her play for a long time with her bath crayons and Dora coloring pad and Dora, Boots and Diego figures and their island. Soon, it was time for lunch and then napping.

After her nap, Reid again wanted to play in her room. We got out her American Girl doll and Reid rummaged through the clothes and chose the princess dress. Once it was on, I reminded Reid that she had a matching dress and she had me put it on her, too. The doll’s hat stands in a nice point but Reid’s isn’t sturdy enough. She got tired of the floppy hat pretty fast. Soon she was at the stairs calling for Ken to come see her and dolly in their fancy dresses. I’m not sure if Ken could have imagined a more fun thing to do then watch me and Reid play with her dolls. ;+)

Once she tired of the dress and doll, Reid decided to hide on her bed. For Reid, ‘hiding” requires only that her head be covered. It doesn’t require any other part of her body be concealed and it definitely doesn’t mean that she has to be quiet. She laid there announcing, “I’m hiding” quite loudly and then invited me in, too. When I went to change, Ken was brought into the game and when I came back, they were both laying on the bed with their heads under pillows hiding from me. Reid had me crawl back into the bed with them, apparently it isn’t important to hide *from* someone. It’s probably a good thing that Reid’s bed sits right on the floor.

After getting the pictures taken, we headed to the pool to go swimming. Reid always says “fwimming!” as though the word always needs an exclamation point. As always, Reid spent lots of time on a yellow floater board. She jumped off of it, pushed it into me, kicked while holding on and generally had a good time. Reid put on a life jacket and floated all by herself and practiced walking off the ledge in the hot pool, both with the life jacket on and without. She counted 7-8-9-10-go a few times but wouldn’t start the count at 1. How boring would that have been!? She went down the little slide (also, yellow, in a happy coincidence) many times. We all walked nicely to the car, discussing Reid’s run to the car after Wednesday’s lesson that ended with Reid’s hand scraped. She would be happy to show you, if you asked.

Books we read, February 25th

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

As with most Sundays, it was a family-focused:

  • My Daddy Snores by Nancy H. Rothstein, an amusing tale about a snoring daddy intended as a way to start a discussion about sleep disorders with a matching support/information site at;
  • Shapes, Shapes, Shapes by Tana Hoban, a book that is intended to help kids notice shapes in everyday settings, square windows, triangles in the ironwork of bridges, and so on;
  • Alpha Bugs by David A Carter, the perfect book for a girl who loves both letters and pop-ups and pull tabs;
  • There’s Only One of Me! by Pat Hutchins, which makes Reid smile as all of those relatives are listed and gives us an opportunity to discuss the names of her aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.;
  • Care Bears Nighty Night (no author); an unusual choice for the middle of the afternoon, perhaps, and mind-numbing the third time through in a single sitting but Reid’s choice nonetheless;
  • Shiny Dinah by Susan James, Reid enjoys this book and so I will have to suggest we play with her train set tomorrow. It doesn’t get as much attention as I had hoped;
  • Stephanie’s Ponytail by Robert Munsch. Reid knows when Stephanie will say “no” to the various ponytail options and also the “Ugly, ugly, very ugly,” that the kids say about each new style and Stephanie’s reply, “It’s my ponytail and I like it,” with appropriate emphasis.
  • Angela’s Airplane by Robert Munsch, in which a little girl’s father gets lost at the airport and she gets into an airplane while looking for him, oh, and flies it after pushing “just one button”, several times;
  • Good Night, Little One: A Lift-the-Flap book by Salina Yoon. Reid giggles just a little giggle when she sees the little child hiding under the bed and the Mama says, “Under the bed? No, not under the bed.” It is a great way to end our evening.

Applied letter recognition

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

I asked Reid if she wanted a cookie today as we were walking back to the car. She said she did and then noticed the Starbucks across the street. She said, “Starbucks!”, knowing that is where I buy her cookies. (The things that kid notices, I tell ya.) Then, she saw that there is an “R” and “B” in the word and reported on it. She pointed them out on her cup later as well. Earlier, she pointed out the “lello D” for “Daddy” in the Dollar Store sign and then the “Rs”. Scanning the other storefronts, she excitedly pointed to the two red “R’s” in the Rogers sign and also the “O’s” for Olivia. (That pig is like a member of the family.) It is so cool for me to see Reid making a connection with letters. I love her as she is but find it exciting to see her discovering the letters all around her.

Skating on the canal, take two

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

After the last tear-filled attempt at teaching Reid to skate, I didn’t expect to go again this winter. In our cat’s calendar, though, there is a little cat in mid-fall and Reid always comments that the one who is falling should be holding onto the mama’s hand (truth be told, the mama cat isn’t looking too stable but I don’t mention that to Reid or that I think that would be me, too). She seemed positively inclined toward skating and so I asked her this morning if she wanted to go and she responded with an enthusiastic “yes”. She brought up skating several times throughout the morning, talking about the colour of her skates, that we had gone with Aunt Karin and Grandma Joyce, etc. This afternoon, after our nap, we went in search of a plastic chair for Reid to push around. We tried the Dollar Store and Canadian Tire without luck and then headed downtown. It’s a trek from the parking garage to the Rideau Canal, at least while carrying or motivating a two-year-old by turns. We claimed a piece of the snow bank and put Reid’s skates on. I kept my boots on for stability. At first, Reid wanted me to hold only one of her hands but she quickly changed her mind when she realized how “slippery” it was with skates on. We made it only a short distance before the being-out-of-control feeling seemed to be bothering her too much. I pulled and pushed a bit and hit upon the idea of renting a sleigh so that Reid could push it but was foiled by their insistence on a Visa card for the deposit. “Life takes Visa“, indeed. I had Reid raise her arms and I sort of steered her down the canal on the way to get a hot chocolate, with many prompts to keep her skates pointed forward, to keep as much of the blade on the ice as possible, etc. We managed to get to a picnic table to take Reid’s skates off and then ligned up for a treat. I am guessing the skates were on her feet for a maximum of 20 minutes. Having no experience with teaching other kids to skate and no memory of learning myself, I don’t know if that is a normal start or not. When we got home, Reid proudly told Ken that she had been skating and it seems the sort of thing we can do again. I will try to find a plastic chair for her to push and will take my own skates and a Visa card another time. That way, when she is tired of skating, I can put Reid and the chair in a sleigh and go for a bit of a skate myself. I need the practice and I think Reid will enjoy the sensation of gliding. Anyone who wants to volunteer to help teach Reid to skate should come on over to Ottawa. I think that the weather will hold for the week and the canal will stay open as long as it does.

Books we read, February 24th

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

It was a busy day today but still we read:

  • Chirp: Let’s Make Art edition. Reid noticed an advertisement for Dora on the back cover and was entranced by it;
  • Dora’s Spooky Hallowe’en (no author), just to show that Reid isn’t bound by convention that might otherwise suggest this book should be read only in the fall or maybe it was just the fact it was Dora;
  • Corduroy’s Valentine’s Day (no author), which I am considering still timely since we are still in February;
  • Little White Dog by Laura Godwin. a book with animals blending into the background, like the white dog of the title standing in the snow;
  • Five Little Monkeys with Nothing to Do by Eileen Christelow, a book about monkeys who are tasked with cleaning the bathroom, their bedroom and the carpets when they complain about being bored but all of their work is undone when they come back muddy from picking berries and have to wash up and change their clothes. Personally, I think the mother should have sent them for the berries before she had them clean up.;
  • On the Farm: Lift the Flap Book by Alastair Smith, twice. This book has long been a favourite of Reid’s;
  • Max Found Two Sticks by Brian Pinkney, with strong, oil pastel illustrations and the story of a boy who finds sticks and plays on a variety of “drums” including hat boxes, a garbage pail and pop bottles; and
  • Mama Loves You by Caroline Stutson, a book whose pages show much-love and many readings.

At bedtime, Reid was in the mood for repetition and so we read each book twice:

  • Shiny Dinah by Susan James, Reid enjoys this book and so I will have to suggest we play with her train set tomorrow. It doesn’t get as much attention as I had hoped;
  • Care Bears Nighty Night (no author); a book where each page has a part that is fuzzy and talks of a bear that denies her tiredness even as she is yawning and rubbing her eyes, not that Reid ever does that; and
  • Dad Mine by Dawn Apperley, which talks of fast and slow dads and high and low dads among others. Reid likes to name the animals, hear the rhymes and see the Dad and androgynous kid hugging at the end.

These latter two books had been secreted away on the shelf of a night table in Reid’s room that I had cleverly turned sideways a while ago for a reason that made sense at the time.