Archive for May, 2007

Made-in-Ottawa Family

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

I started out last weekend a bit melancholy because no one was coming to visit. Last year, Grandma Joyce, Aunt Karin, Shea and Jaycee had planned a visit and then Uncle Roger and Danielle hopped in at the last minute and so we had a houseful. The weather was cold and rainy but we had fun. The year before that, Grandpa Keith and Granny Rhonda came for a day. I guess my brain decided that Victoria Day weekend was a weekend when people visited us. I’m a girl of habit – Easter is with my family because both the weekend and the drive are longer and Thanksgiving is with Ken’s family, we alternate Christmas and then there is Victoria Day … Well, I decided to keep us busy and rely on my own made-in-Ottawa family. On Saturday afternoon, Reid and I met Melissa, Stephen, Sarah and Ben at the swimming pool by our house. We spent an hour and a half floating and splashing, watching the kids do tricks and chatting. Sarah was the best big sister a girl could want – keeping Reid entertained, encouraging her to jump in and that sort of thing. Ben went down the slide over and over and Stephen offered a taste of big brother, benign neglect with a few tricks in the mix. After swimming, we had chicken quesadillas at our house. Once again the kids sat at Reid’s table and ate from the matching plates/glasses/cutlery that Brianna gave for my baby shower. Melissa’s kids really like the novelty of the table and the plates, etc. though they are past all but kids glasses at their house. They all wanted to play in the basement. It’s still exotic for Melissa’s kids to go downstairs and Reid loves to go down whenever she gets a chance. Melissa and I were able to visit until we started to fade, even though the kids were still going fast and strong.

On Sunday morning, Reid and I went to Eddy’s for breakfast, a tradition that has lapsed of late with all of the travelling that we’ve been doing. Didi, “our” waitress wasn’t in and neither was Sara, the busgirl who always stops to visit. The waitress that did come by – I think her name is Cathy – was happy to see us and treated us well. After breakfast, we went to The Farm, “our farm” as Reid calls it. We saw our usual friends – the horses, Bella and Lady, who have pulled us on wagon and sleigh rides and their friends, Ted and King, as well as Goody the Bull (and we talked about daddy cows being called bulls) and all of the other animals. There was a man shearing sheep in one building. We stopped to see him trim the hooves of one and then shear her. We’d already seen a little lamb crying for her mama and so we both hoped that she would be going back to her baby soon. Reid carded wool, felted it (actually she didn’t want to touch it and so the museum staff member did the rolling and squeezing) and then dyed it. Note to self: somewhere in my house or car is a small ball of blue wool that I should probably locate. Reid also made a little sheep from a tracing of her hand on black construction paper and some cotton balls. Reid loves glue and cotton balls are always fun, don’t you think? It would be a good Sunday School craft for a “lamb of God” sort of lesson. Right before we left, we stopped to see a sheep dog working a herd of about 10 sheep. The shepherd used a combination of verbal commands and gesturing with a cane to give directions. It was a neat demonstration. Before we got to the admission booth, Reid had decided not to take a wagon ride this trip and I was glad that she hadn’t changed her mind as we had to walk by the place you get on the wagon in order to get to our car. She waved and watched the wagon go by and got into her car seat without comment.

Daddy had lunch ready for us when we got home. I’d called ahead because Reid had droopy eyes on the drive. Of course, she perked up when we got home but it was still nice to come home to prepared food. We had a most welcome nap – the hardest thing about travelling is missing my nap – and then it was time for Reid and Daddy time while I went for groceries. We had a relaxed supper and evening. Another good day, I thought.

On Monday, after waking up 45 minutes later than usual, which doesn’t happen often in our house, we had a fine, family cuddle in the big bed. Reid and Daddy went to the Science and Technology Museum to see the trains and other exhibits. At first Reid asked about the dinosaur museum (Nature Museum) and so we should be probably be planning a trip there but we don’t have a membership to it and it’s not my favourite. Neither is the Aviation Museum, though, but at least Ken enjoys it. I haven’t been back since the Nature Museum reopened after major renovations, perhaps I’ll like it better. At the Science and Tech museum they saw some trains, including one with wheels BIGGER THAN DADDY and she made a conductors hat. They rode on a snowmobile together although Reid first thought she could handle it alone. While they were in the space exhibit Reid declared her intention to be an astronaut. We’ll see if that works out. If it does, you heard it here first. After lunch and a nap, we tackled the garden and yards. Reid is a born gardener. She loves to dig, use “her rake” (my three-pronged claw tool) and shovel and plant those poor flowers that I bought on Sunday. First I had to convince her that she couldn’t pick the blooms and then I had to talk about how delicate the the roots were. She listened carefully and tried her best to comply. Oh, and watering, well Reid would specialize in watering full time if we allowed it – hose or watering can, it doesn’t matter. Reid started out with jeans on, or almost on, but they kept falling down and finally we put a pair of shorts on her. But not before Ken took a picture of her gardening with her jeans almost to her knees. It’s too bad we couldn’t get a picture of the grin on her face when she noticed how far they had fallen. A bath was definitely required. Fun is dirty, though, isn’t it.

Is the Dangerous Book for Boys a book for my girl?

Friday, May 18th, 2007

Dani over at Postcards from the Mothership wrote about The Dangerous Book For Boys a couple of time in the last week, the latest being a note that it is part of a MotherTalk Blog Bonanza. From the first reference, though, I’ve thought – now that’s a book I want to have for Reid. I grew up on a farm, was one of those kids whose mom’s really did put me outside, locked the screen door and said to find something (or nothing) to do. So many of the things that seemed a good idea would probably qualify for a “dangerous book” or maybe they were just dumb. Where is the line on that? I wonder though, if Reid will be a kid that seeks out danger. Despite my enthusiasm for the train set, the dollies and mini diaper bag were much better received at Christmas. I might be the mother of a girly-girl. I will support her in this although it makes me think of Nancy White’s song Daughters of Feminists which include the words:

Daughters of feminists love to wear pink and white
Short frilly dresses they speak of successes with boys,
It annoys their mom.
Daughters of feminists won’t put on jeans
Or that precious construction boot Mama found cute …

Maybe if I get the Dangerous Book for Boys, I’ll find some things to do with Reid that would keep us from being the kind of parents that George Carlin mocked in his one routine for being overprotective.

And even if I don’t get the book, I’ll have to be vigilant both that I or more likely Reid’s protective daddy (are there other kinds when little girls are involved?) don’t signal the need for so much caution that she doesn’t explore the world, test the limits of her abilities and run just a little bit wild. Okay, so she can be a little bit wild now but I want to nurture that. (I’m sure someone will remind me of this the next time that I’m complaining about something crazy that Reid has done ;+) 

Would I want to see a Dangerous Book for Girls? You bet. What do I want it to cover? I want it to tell stories of girly-girls who stood up for themselves, stories of girls who acted as boys, and ideas for doing the same.

Of delayed Christmas presents and related matters

Friday, May 18th, 2007

When we were at Grandma Barb’s on Sunday, Aunt Lisa, Uncle Ron, RJ, Harley and Atira came over for brunch. It’s been a long time since we saw them but I hadn’t realized how long until they gave Reid and me Christmas presents. Reid got a Love-a-lot Care Bear (or I think that’s what the pink one with hearts is called). She loves it muchly. When we got home, Reid insisted it needed a diaper and it has been to bed with her every night (she even asks for it if she wakes in the night, a first for Reid), to daycare several times and is generally close to where Reid is. What a good present! I would have said that Reid doesn’t need more stuffies but apparently this *one* was needed.

It makes me think what a nice weekend we had. We had the chance to have Grandma and Grandpa to ourselves on Saturday and also the opportunity to see the others on Sunday especially since Reid is big into cousins right now. Sometimes I’m tempted to invite everyone to join us for everything, whether we’re with Ken’s family or mine. Often we end up feeling like outsiders since we don’t know, or barely remember, the people everyone else is talking about. A mix of small and large group time works much better.

With my own family

Thursday, May 17th, 2007

Aunty Amanda and Nam came over to watch Reid last night while Ken and I went out for dinner. They’d planned to take Reid out to McDonald’s and then the Museum of Science and Technology but we couldn’t get Reid’s car seat into Nam’s car. I tried offering pizza as an alternate and Reid went running for her highchair where she informed me that she wanted to eat “with my own family.” Wow, can she tug on one’s heartstrings. We were leaving her with *Aunty* Amanda though, and went out as planned. We came home to a happy girl who’d had a hamburger and fries compliments of Nam’s delivery service, gone to the park, read some books and watched some Toopy and Binoo. Oh, and the lion that Nam had drawn on her little magnetic sketch screen – I think I may never again insult that toy with my scribbles!

Sleeping kids are beautiful

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

This morning as I was waking Reid up, she did her usual cat-like stretches that make me think of a dancer moving in slow motion. Her eyes stay shut til the last minute – not scrunched shut but closed with a determination to out last me and go back to sleep. I think sleeping kids are beautiful. I still wake mine but it doesn’t diminish my enjoyment of watching her. Ken was in the room with us this morning and I said to him, “Isn’t she beautiful?” Reid’s eyes popped open and she asked, “Who?”. Playing possum, I guess.

As heard in our purple car

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

“Look, a city bus. It’s your city bus, Mama?”
“It’s like my city bus. Today I’m driving our purple car to work.”
“Daddy at work?”
“No, he is at home. His work is broken. The floor is broken.” (There is a big crack in the ceiling of the first floor and they have to have engineers in to see if the second floor is going to crash into the first.)
“They fix it with tape?”
“I think it’ll take something more, maybe steel or cement.”
“And tape?”
“Sure, I guess they might use tape, too”

Hope you have the right kind of tape for any challenge that comes up today.

Books we read, May 14th

Monday, May 14th, 2007

Today we read:

Going to the (Bowmanville) Zoo, Zoo, Zoo

Monday, May 14th, 2007

On Saturday, we drove to Grandma Barb and Grandpa Terry’s in the morning. I rode in the backseat with Reid and she didn’t touch me with her foot once. Hooray! She stayed awake for the first couple hours, though she was pretty tired looking, but fell asleep soon after I gave her the iPod with the Dora video playing. I think I’d fall asleep to get away from Dora, too.  As always, Reid’s eyes popped open as Daddy started to slow down for the exit to Frankford. We ate lunch and then got back into the car for the hour’s ride to Bowmanville. Daddy was remembering (fondly?) our last visit to the Bowmanville Zoo on what he refers to as the Batan Death March vacation. Reid had no memory of that visit or the seagulls that had fascinated her two years ago.

We saw the cutest baby ring-tailed lemurs that you could imagine. I guess there was an animated movie recently about zoo animals who end up back in Africa that had a ring-tailed lemur in it but I didn’t see it.  My experience with them has been limited to the Bowmanville Zoo and the Fall Fair. I’ve always liked how fast and agile they were but to see one-month old babies moving like that – we all had goofy grins that babies cause. Three times we approached the camel ride and three times we balked. Reid liked the idea in concept but camels are very big up close. I hope she’ll go with me the next time we have the opportunity. (Yes, it *is* about me ;+) We saw monkeys, lions, llamas, tigers (even a white one), elephants and more animals that you’d expect at a zoo. Of course, we spent lots of time over a couple of passes at the elephant enclosure. There was also a very noisy bull with a giant pair of horns, a cow with an extra leg hanging out of her right front shoulder and many, many goats of various ages. At one point, some of the baby goats – kids, I guess – were mingling with the people on the path. Reid’s eyes were huge and sparky but she didn’t want to pet them for a long time. Eventually, she did get close enough to try to feed them but they were too bouncy to eat. We also went to the Animatheatre to see a performance called “Predators and Prey”. I was a little worried but it wasn’t graphic or gory – they just presented some animals doing tricks and told us if they were omnivores/carnivores/predators or herbivores. Reid climbed onto Daddy’s lap and got to see a gigantic Madagascar Hissing Cockroach, a ring-tailed lemur on a lady’s head and some other animals up close. The pair of capybarus (the world’s largest rodent, which looks like a guinea pig but is the size of a large pig or maybe it looks like a small, hairy hippopotamus) were a highlight, too, as they played together in their pond. On our way out, we stopped for a few slides and to build a couple of castles.

And for the record, it was not hot and humid on Saturday. In fact, Reid’s daddy may be talking about this year’s chilly trip.

On the way home, we three girls rode in the backseat again (how traditional we are). Reid wouldn’t let Grandma Barb read but did “allow” me to read the two Barney books and Iggy Pig’s Snowball Fight that I got at the Kindermusik church  rummage sale a few weeks ago as well as nine books from her backpack. I kept suggesting Henry and the Cow Problem but Reid refused until she had to choose between it and Paperbag Princess, which she is really not keen on. As I read it, though, she fell asleep. None of the other adults in the car asked me to finish it and so it ended as a cliff-hanger.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Sunday, May 13th, 2007

To all the other mothers out there, Happy Mother’s Day! As we were snuggled in bed for Reid’s waking-up nursing session, I told her that it was Mother’s Day. She asked if it was my birthday again and so I explained that it was a day to celebrate all mamas everywhere and that we’d celebrate daddy’s next month. She asked when we celebrate kids. There is actually a Children’s Day at some point but I told Reid everyday was her day. (My mother’s words coming out of my mouth, pretty weird ;+) I told Reid that she should tell me “Happy Mother’s Day”.  Reid repliedd, “No, I want to,” and she didn’t – until she gave me presents and then she came through for me and that was after breakfast and after we went swimming. I’m not sure if she said the words to Grandma Barb but she did have hugs and kisses and so I imagine it worked out. We haven’t called Grandma Joyce yet but I’m hopeful she’ll be a good little parrot.

Have a great day, mothers and non-mothers alike!

American Girls Friends Forever

Sunday, May 13th, 2007

On Saturday morning, Reid came across the book that came with her American Girl doll that we got in New York in February 2006. It’s intended for bigger girls but it’s a good conversation starter for us back seat creatures.  (Does the new place the Tigers play still have “bleacher creatures”?)

Today’s date: May 12, 2007
Full name: Reid Elizabeth
She is 2 3/4 years old.
Her birthday is July 25, 2004.
Her family includes: Mama, Daddy, Leo, Clio and many grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles and cousins. Does she like:
Salt or pepper: she has never had salt
Math or science: science is messier and so I guess science
Pants or short: shorts, for sure
Mustard or ketchup: ketchup
Apple or orange: orange
Morning or night: morning
Ice cream or pudding: pudding (don’t really remember when we last had pudding but maybe she eats it at daycare)
Cat or dog: cat!
Biking or swimming: swimming, only on that bike with Kailee in her whole life
Beach or mountains: beach but not in the water

If I’m organized enough, I’ll ask these questions again when she is older and we can compare the answers.