Archive for April, 2007

Big, red truck

Monday, April 30th, 2007

Reid enjoys “driving” her purple car whenever she gets a chance and she wa very impressed by Uncle John’s big, red pickup truck. As was George, for that matter, but that’s another story. Before Aunt Pam, Brianna and George left to get Donald and his stuff, they let Reid have a turn at the wheel. By “they”, I mean George since he was awfully possessive of the truck. I’d say it was a boy-thing but that’d lead to yet another 80′s music reference.

Uncle John’s truck really is huge. I’d need a boost into it but Reid sat tiny in the driver’s seat and steered with confidence. She looked around and checked everything out. I suspect that the key wasn’t in the ignition, though, since the wipers and signal lights weren’t turned on and Reid likes to verify that these pieces of equipment are functional. I’m not sure she’ll ever be able to ride in a Smart Car or an Insight after the experience. In fact, she might turn into a pickup truck groupie, judging from the smile on her face.

Of course, if she ever see Uncle John’s semi with a trailer, well, who knows what will happen?

In our basement

Monday, April 30th, 2007

Last week we talked about Aunt Pam, Brianna and “her boy”, George, (she said it, not me) coming for a visit often. It helps me “stretch” my enjoyment of the visit and helps Reid get familiar with who will come. Daddy benefits by knowing someone is coming, *if* he hears us talking.  On Friday night, I told Reid that when she woke up, Aunt Pam, Brianna and George would be in our basement and so, first thing Saturday morning, Reid got herself out of bed and went to try to open her bedroom door. Normally, Reid won’t get herself out of bed, opting for having me get her up and carry her to the bathroom. I consider it an opportunity to fit a little weight lifting into my otherwise busy day. ;+) On Saturday, though, Reid did it herself and then hurried to give Daddy his wake up kiss before going to the basement. We discovered Donald sleeping in our living room but since he was up and about, he got no kiss. Aunt Pam and Brianna both got kisses but Reid hesitated a bit before kissing George and so Brianna suggested she just tickle him instead. Reid is very brave and generous with wake-up and good night kisses and I think she was just figuring out how to get to George but she likes to tickle, too.

We went to Eddy’s for breakfast, but not Daddy who had housework to do and isn’t a fan of eating breakfast out or going to Kindermusik, and then headed to Kindermusik. Well, Donald and George wimped out of Kindermusik – I guess they thought if Daddy couldn’t handle it, they couldn’t either. Delight of delights, for the third week in a row, there was a sale at the church. I picked up 12 Golden Books and two Winnie-the-Pooh puzzles. It’s hard to go wrong with a Golden Book, or at least the classics, since they now have books based on Disney movies. I forgot my purse at home and so mooched $5 from Brianna to cover my purchases. I wonder if she felt set up ;+)

After class, we met Donald and George at Ikea. For the first time, Reid noticed the ball room. Fortunately for her, I’d asked previously about an age minimum. They said the kids have to be 3, at least 37″ tall and potty-trained. So, on Saturday, I knew to round up to the nearest whole number for the question regarding age. We waited less than 10 minutes for Reid’s turn to go in and then I hung around a few minutes to be sure she’d enjoy herself. She adapted well and I had a nice visit and shopping experience with Aunt Pam and the others. Reid lasted 45 minutes and then they paged me. When I got back, Reid was hanging around the gate but not crying. What a big girl she is getting to be. We had lunch at the restaurant – Swedish meatballs, of course – but Reid stayed awake the whole way home. As always on Saturday, I was as ready for the afternoon nap as Reid was.

I made supper from scratch, a new recipe from my Kraft What’s Cooking magazine, but Brianna, George and Donald *missed out* and will regret it forever, I am sure. Or maybe not but since we’ve been eating stuff out of the freezer forever (at least 2 weeks) because I want to defrost it, it was a nice change to have something new. Time passes as is will and soon it was time for bed.

On Sunday, Reid awoke and asked immediately who was in our basement. Hearing that Aunt Pam, Brianna and George were there again, she strode purposefully from her room to go find them. “Strode purposefully” looks funny when done by a 2 year-old. Reid’s bum wiggles and her arms pump but her legs don’t carry her as fast as her body movements suggest they should.

We had breakfast together, but not George who slept in. Reid was happy to go downstairs by herself to wake him up again. George discovered how to get kisses from Reid, you just have to pretend to fall back asleep. She’ll go through the waking up with a kiss ritual many times over. After breakfast, our basement-people had to leave. We’re glad they were able to come. Our basement is their basement.

Random Reid-isms

Monday, April 30th, 2007

Reid and I were reading Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? by Nancy White Carlstrom this morning. This book is a favourite and Reid can supply the final word to most sentences and even whole sentences and so I was a bit surprised to hear her get one twisted. On reflection, though, she is reconciling what she used to know with something more recently encountered. Near the end of the book, Jesse Bear tells us that he’ll wear “His blanket that’s blue and plays peek-a-boo,” or usually he does. This morning his blanket played “seek-a-boo”. Last week I noticed that Reid asked to play “hide-and-go-peek” and thought that a cute switch. I’ll have to listen to hear if she now says “hide-and-seek”. Since I’m telling you about speaking mix-ups, I’ll also mention that Reid has been wearing her “flowsnakes” pajamas lately. It’s tempting to mimic these slips but I try not to. Hide-and-go-peek is most tempting and actually quite accurate as Reid tends not to close her eyes when she counts.

Books we read, April 28th

Saturday, April 28th, 2007

Aunt Pam, Brianna and George were visiting on Saturday. We stopped at the rummage sale at the church where Kindermusik is held before class and bought a bunch of Golden Books and later read:

I also picked up:

  • Winnie-the-Pooh All Year Long (no author), again a Walt Disney story. Ordinarily I would want to stick with the original author but these work for us right now; and
  • I’m Taking a Trip on My Train by Shirley Neitzel, which has a good rhythm and rhyme and is a bit of a rebus and has a great ending, “I have a request (I don’t think it’s too hard): Before going to bed, pick up this freight yard, because during the night I’d like to refrain from taking an unplanned trip on your train.”

So as not to alienate the books we’ve owned for a long time, we read:

I knew motherhood would change me but I didn’t realize how much and how soon

Friday, April 27th, 2007

Over at Postcards from the Mothership, Dani mentioned that MotherTalk’s Blog Bonanza had organized a “Fearless Friday”, to support the paperback launch of Arianna Huffington’s book On Becoming Fearless.

At first I was stumped. I am a conflict-avoider and being fearless seems to mean that sometimes one must confront conflict head-on. And then I thought of the days following Reid’s birth, the days when I was a brand-new mother arguing with experienced nurses for what I believed was right. Reid’s birth had been induced and I had an epidural, neither was on the birth plan (thinking I had one makes me smile) and I was feeling like I’d lost control right from the beginning. She had passed meconium and so there was the possibility of an infection. She nursed like a champ right after she was born but instead of going with me to my room, Reid was taken to the NICU for monitoring. At first, we were called to her when she was crying and I nursed in the parents room or we hung about and I nursed when she woke up. Within six hours, the nurses were telling me that Reid needed to be supplemented. I refused and said that I’d been told that babies don’t need to eat for the first 24 hours and since she was suckling, we would continue as we had been doing. The next morning another nurse was again pressuring me and I told them I wouldn’t allow it until I’d seen a lactation consultant. The lactation consultant checked us out and said we were fine. “Mean Jean”, the worst nurse, and others still suggested supplementing whenever they saw us, though. It was hard to say “no” to the experts, to be denying my daughter food that she might need. I was afraid I was wrong but also sure I was right. By the time Reid had been cleared to leave the hospital, she *was* having some trouble nursing but I was intent on leaving to get to know my baby and how to take care of her without the negative influence of the nurses.

The first night at home, Reid wouldn’t nurse though she did cry very loudly. We had to give her a bottle but each time she was hungry, I tried to nurse and then cried as she took the bottle. The next morning, I called another lactation consultant to arrange to rent a breast pump. If I couldn’t nurse, I wanted her to have my milk in her bottles. The consultant showed me how to pump and also gave me tips for nursing, with someone with me, Reid nursed fine. Alone once more, we had trouble but kept trying and at least I was pumping.

I was fearless in the face of authority and when we had problems at home, but really I was scared and feeling like a failure. My husband tried so hard to help, offered what comfort he could, and was as helpless as one can be when it is their loved one struggling. My sister, Karin, who I would say is fearless was on vacation but agreed to stop in Ottawa on her way home. She took one look at me and my engorged breasts, and sent me to the tub to relax. When I was done in the tub, she made a nest of pillows on my bed and told me to feed my baby. She sat beside me and watched as Reid nursed. I was, and am, so grateful that Karin was able to come and be confident and fearless while I just absorbed her fearlessness to recharge my own supply.

I have been fearless since but I don’t think I am as proud of myself as in those tired, scared days. I can and will stand up for my daughter. I learned that about myself.

Hoodie, hoodie

Thursday, April 26th, 2007

I remembered to tell this story to Christina at daycare today and so I will share it with you. One evening last week, Reid was pulling her t-shirt up and putting it over her head so that the hem was at her forehead and the sleeves were still on. As she did this, with her round toddler belly sticking out, she said in a sing-song voice “Hoodie, hoodie. Hoodie, hoodie.” Reid grinned and delighted in her bareness. When I asked her who had taught her to do this, she replied without a moment’s hesitation, “Christina”. Now Christina is the youngest and hippest teacher at daycare. It wouldn’t surprise me if she has her belly button pierced or has a tattoo. It would surprise me if she were an exhibitionist at daycare, though. Still, I told Christina about what Reid had done and how I’d expected that she would tell me that P or J or someone else had showed her to do it but that it was Christina who was blamed.

Your baby crying?

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

Reid had a rough morning. I suspect that she slept too long yesterday afternoon because she was up past 8:00 and then I had to wake her this morning. In any case, she was wailing as I carried her downstairs. She asked me, “Your baby crying?” I could only barely make out the question over the ringing in my ears from her wails. (I’m convinced that Reid has experimented to determine the most painful pitch to cry in and also the precise shape of her mouth that achieves the loudest result.) Still, Reid’s question brought a smile. “Yes, my baby is crying,” I agreed and waited for the inevitable follow-up. It came – “why?” I told her I thought she hadn’t slept well and she was satisfied with that. Our morning got better afterwards. With Raisin Bran in her belly (once I’d removed the raisins) and her “Daddy’s busy little bee” t-shirt, she went off to daycare happy.

Old MacDonald had a (dairy) farm

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

Reid has long enjoyed “Old MacDonald had a farm” and there is a particular order in which we sing about the animals is usually the same. The cows have always been first; when it was me deciding, I always started with the big animals and then went to fowl and then the odd ones, like bees, owls, etc. Since Reid has been selecting the animals, the cows have maintained their primacy of place. Lately, though, the cows have been getting more than just the top billing. We start with “… and on this farm he had a …”  and Reid calls out “cow” and then she moves onto “calf” and then “bull”. Sometimes she says “‘nother cow” for variety’s sake. It’s not easy to moo differently for each of them but I take my job as a mother seriously and so I give it my best. I guess Reid’s Old MacDonald had was primarily a dairy farm or maybe they raise cattle for the beef.

A family hug

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

This morning Daddy asked Reid for a hug. She happily obliged and added a kiss for good measure. Then, she ordered me to give him a hug, too. Reid looks after her daddy’s cuddle requirements. Once I’d given him a hug, Reid leaned forward to draw us both into arms and said “my famee!” in a joyful tone. We’ve called these “family hugs” since Reid was just small but this morning was the first time that I’ve heard her say the word “family”. It’s an important word, don’t you think?

Earth Day in Ottawa

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007
Happy belated Earth Day, everyone! I’d have written this Sunday but we were too busy loving Mother Earth. It was a day to enjoy the lovely weather generally and living in Ottawa particularly.

Reid and I went out for breakfast at Eddies for the first time in more than a month. We’d missed the place but were welcomed back as the regulars we are. Afterwards, we headed straight for The Farm. Daddy was left at home, with hopes for sleeping in as he wasn’t given a chance to fully adjust to our time zone before going back to work. On the way, I mentioned “the Agricultural Museum” and then Reid was asking whether we were going to The Farm or museum first. She didn’t seem to get that they were the same place and I wasn’t doing a good job explaining it, obviously. We arrived before opening time and so had time to read a book – Iggy Pig’s Snowy Day, that we’d got at the book sale in the church where Kindermusik is on Saturday. The farm animals in the book got us in the mood for the live ones. As we walked to the admissions booth, Reid told me the order in which she wanted to see the animals: horses first, then the bull, etc. Conveniently, her preferrences match the groupings of animals in the barns that we visit but it was interesting to note that she remembered which animals were where. There were so many baby animals in the barns. The ewe I took a picture of a few weeks ago had a lamb in with her. It was kicking up its heels and jumping around, dare I say gamboling, just like lambs in cartoons do. Reid laughed a deep, belly laugh at the sight. She is such a joyous individual, my Reid. There were baby Angora goats, too. They entertained by standing in the hay dispenser-thing that the mama goat was eating out of. There was also a pen with quite a few older lambs and sheep but these ones were clustered together, in various stages of falling to or being asleep. Reid surprised me a bit by not trying to wake them. On our way to the pigs, where there always seems to be piglets, we saw many baby chicks in a room with a couple of heater lamps but there were no mamas in there with them. This was puzzling for my almost-joined-to-my-hip girl. Why wouldn’t they stay with their mamas? We spent lots of time looking at babies of all kinds.

We went for a ride on the horse-drawn wagon on the way back to our car. When we entered, I’d decided not to buy the tickets for the wagon ride, thinking that Reid might not want to go by the end of the visit or maybe we wouldn’t have time. We spent at least 10 minutes in line waiting to buy the tickets with Reid asking “what doing, Mama?” every 90 seconds or so. Next time, I’ll buy the tickets and give them away if I have to.

Once home, we had soup and cucumbers for lunch with Daddy and then went up for a nap. Reid slept for more than two hours. I love watching her sleep and let her sleep longer than I should have.

Daddy and Reid went to the Aviation Museum to see the daddy, baby, and mama airplanes from their earlier visits. They also saw a baby helicopter and Reid got to sit in a little two-seater airplane. She played on some chairs as well. From the way Daddy told it, the chairs were about as popular as the airplanes. Kids are funny, aren’t they? They played a bit at the park outside of the museum and then came home.

Reid joined me in the kitchen as soon as they got home. I’m not sure if she recognized the pan or the smell but she soon asked, “We eat durry, Mama?” When I told her that we were, she smiled a great big smile and I was extra glad that I’d skipped the museum and stayed home to cook. Plus, I got the Tupperware drawer tidied up and, as pathetic as it sounds, that was a happy thing for me. Reid ate like a stevedore which always makes me feel like a fabulous cook. Small pleasures add up to great joy.

After supper, we went out to the driveway and Reid showed Daddy what a good rollerskater she is. Reid is able to stand without support to put her skates on. I was impressed that she could stand in one and get the other on without falling over (like I suspect that I would do). When I commented to Daddy that Reid had good balance, he said that just because Reid had better balance than me, it didn’t mean she had “good balance”. I think I detected pride in his face, though. We also got out the sidewalk chalk and drew some shapes and letters; it gave us a chance to play a game of “I spy” though I don’t think I’ve ever actually said the “I spy with my little eye” rhyme.

Finally, we went into the house and up to the tub. It was a fabulous day.