Archive for October, 2007

Word quota

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

Have you read that women speak an average of so many words each day, while men speak many fewer? The research has subsequently been called into question but I don’t think Reid saw the reports. In fact, I think that Reid believes that, as a woman-in-training, she *must* utter a certain number of words each day. Yesterday she was off of her pace and so had many words to use at bedtime. Reid usually settles quietly in her bed. She may not go straight to sleep but she does lay there and try. Last night, she was bursting with information and silliness. I learned, for example, that L was planning to dress as ketchup for Halloween. Giggle. She would be red and have a ketchup lid, tapping head. Giggle. Reid decided that she needed to be french fries. Since it was past 8:00 on October 30, I quickly vetoed the idea and pointed out that elephants like ketchup. Reid pronounced me to be Larry or some such name and then offered a few made up words for my amusement. I’m afraid I was too tired and too old to find it as laughable as she did – and was getting worried the silliness meant she was getting sick since I’ve seen that happen. Finally, she settled down and went to sleep. All of a sudden, in the way that kids have of falling asleep as though a switch has been thrown.

She has her game face on – Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

Reid with hockey helmet on

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Let my kid take photos?

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

Ken will tell you that I have a photo taking obsession while I would say that it is only a hobby. I’ve passed my love onto Reid, though. She asks to use the Digital Rebel or Pentax Optio W20 that I carry with me most of the time. I bought her a FisherPrice Kid Tough digital camera last fall and she uses it when she notices it on the toy shelf. I read a Digital Photography School article with 13 lessons to teach your child about digital photography. It has some things I can talk to Reid about and other things that are too old for right now. It’s a good review of the basics for grown ups, too. I’ll have to take Reid and her camera on photo taking expeditions. If you wander over for the tips, you’ll learn about:

One of the commenters (Reggie) on the post offered some things to teach them as well, including:
* to see a story in the light
* to sense the mood of a scene
* the patience of post-processing
* the fun of sharing a photo
* how to put people at ease

Do you have any tips for kids and/or beginners?

What was she thinking!?

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

Last night when I was helping Reid onto the toilet, she bit me! I think she meant it as a playful nip and, had I been wearing a sweater instead of a t-shirt, it wouldn’t have been any trouble. But I wasn’t and her super-sharp baby teeth actually broke the skin. I set her down quickly – on her feet and she manged to stay upright and backed away as I yelped “ouch”. Ken came running. He said I was loud enough that the neighbours 3 doors down heard but he exaggerates. I’m sure that it was only the ones on either side of us (gotta love townhouses). Reid, meanwhile, was crying and saying, “I’m sorry, Mama” over and over. Of course, I had to pick her up and comfort her – she was upset that I was upset and remorseful and I was the mama. Translate that last into “Suck it up, woman, your child is in distress.”Ken comforted Reid while I examined the damage and then I put her on the toilet and she took care of her business and we went to bed.

Reid also bit Ken last week – again it seemed intended as a friendly nibble – but it wasn’t nearly so traumatic for me. I asked Reid if someone at daycare had been biting and she said “no.” Reid has been the victim of biting at daycare but has never been the biter. Oh, did you notice how quick I was to blame the daycare kids. That wasn’t nice, was it?

I’m wondering if I should talk about the biting or let it go. I really don’t think she will do it again given the obvious pain she caused me. What do you think?

Monday’s child

Monday, October 29th, 2007

Monday’s child is fair of face … And so is my niece Sari, of course.

If you’re a stickler for detail, Sari was born as a Wednesday’s child, full of woe, but that was many years ago – decades even – and so she is fair of face this year. With her quick smile and endless patience with little kids, or at least my little one, I feel lucky that she is in my life. It’s hard to believe that the cute-as-a-button, curly-haired moppet that used to sing, “Swingin’” with her big sister in Grandma Joyce’s kitchen at “the farm” has grown into a beautiful woman who doesn’t, as far as I know, sing with Melissa at all. She probably sings with the kids fortunate enough to be in the classes she teaches, though. If I’m a very organized woman, and there is quite a bit of evidence that I’m not, I will get Reid on the phone to sing “Happy Birthday” tonight. Just in case I don’t, pause a moment while I sing right now … There that’s good. Thanks for waiting.

Happy birthday, Sari!

Decorating Reid’s pumpkin for Halloween

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

When Ken was out for supper on Friday night, Reid and I decorated a pumpkin using Potato Head pieces. I wrote about reading that this being a safe alternative to carving and there was a suggestion that a child go decorate their own pumpkin. In fact, the skin of the pumpkin is too tough to puncture with the plastic post on the Potato Head pieces. I made some holes and Reid stuck the bits in. She enjoyed the process and the results are pretty good, as you can see below. Oh, and the mess is much, much less than when carving is involved. (Select the small image to see it enlarged.)


One last “summer” Sunday

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

We were enjoying unseasonably warm weather this past weekend and Sunday was like one would expect on a late summer’s day. Reid and I started out at Eddie’s for breakfast (of course) and while we were there we read a fire safety booklet I’d picked up at McDonalds. At the end, the character in the book says that she wants to be a fire fighter when she grows up. Reid announced, “I’m going to be a police officer when I grow up.” I heard a deep voice say, “They’re over-rated” and turned to see a burly firefighter standing next to our table.

After breakfast, Reid and I went to the Byward Market after breakfast. We had apples, pumpkins and a hat for Reid on our list but there were so beautiful vegetables on offer that we had to buy more. Reid chose some tomatoes, broccoli and cauliflower. She stopped dead in her tracks as we walked by a stall with mini carrots (not the pre-peeled, shaped to look mini kind that I have to confess to buying). We simply couldn’t leave without those, could we? Nor without asparagus. When we were almost to the car Reid spotted purple cauliflower and some others that were orange. I finally had to put my foot down and told her that she had to choose between them. We couldn’t fit everything we’d purchased at the Byward Market into the fridge until I’d cut much of it up. It was a good thing to be forced to do and made packing lunches so much easier this week.

We went to the Real Canadian Superstore out by Melissa’s to have Reid’s picture taken. We’re still (yes, still!) getting monthly portraits taken and Reid wore her Halloween costume for this one. She was so cute and didn’t shed a tear. The last time I’d tried for a Halloween picture at this store Reid cried and we have pictures of one of the sadder caterpillars you’ll ever have occasion to see. 3 year olds are so much better at the picture taking thing than 1 or 2 year olds.

Do you have a place that you go to every once and a while, often enough that you should be able to find your way there, but that you just seem to have trouble locating? For us, that place is the Mackenzie King Estate in the Gatineau Park. We spent about 45 minutes driving around the park, looking for our preferred parking lot. From my place in the backseat, I wasn’t of particularly great use in looking for signs but I was able to enjoy the sun shining through the trees and the parts of the park that we don’t generally see. The biggest downside, other than us driving instead of walking around, was Reid’s oft-repeated, “Are we almost there yet?” So as not to be accused of being a broken record, she sometimes asked, “Is this our parking lot?” when we slowed down or turned a corner. Sometimes she also asked, “Is it close?” Poor Ken, who was looking for the signs and not enjoying the scenery found it a bit frustrating. Okay, so did I but I wasn’t going to go telling everyone about it.

Once we found our parking lot, we were back on our “late summer” Sunday track. At the one end of the parking lot (not paved) was an area with lots of leaves. We kicked leaves into a pile so that Reid could jump into it. There was a man with a hockey stick making a pile for his child to jump in next to us. How Canadian is that?  I took some videos and Ken was in charge of the Digital Rebel. I borrowed it because I was feeling artsy and wanted to take some pictures of the leaves. That’s when I noticed the “No CF” message. Ken is a shoot and look later guy while I am too much of a type-A personality to wait to see them. We might have had a little spat over who left the card at home. The preponderance of evidence may have suggested it was my fault but we got over it. Cameras are leading to so many fights in our family lately. Bad cameras!

Reid played in the first leaf pile as long as we’d let her and then we went for our walk. There were many people on the path and many, many people taking photos on Mackenzie King’s “ruins”. The light was fabulous and leaves and sky provided just the right background. A couple of people even had tripods and one group had brought changes of clothes. And Ken thinks that I am a little camera obsessessed! Ken and I reminisced about how we had gone to the Mackenzie King Estate on our first real date more than 10 years ago. (I don’t think that we got lost that day or maybe we did but the glow of new love masked it.) Reid ran ahead and rolled into leaves and burned off some of her city girl energy.  I did some rolling in leaves myself. The leaves were so vibrant this year. My favourite are the one that are yellow turning to red - they remind me of Royal Gala apples. I don’t recall seeing the combination before. These are the ones that I picked to roll in. We had to leave before Reid was ready but not before she started asking at ever shorter intervals to be carried. Maybe she was ready to leave after all. We stopped for a bit in the parking lot leaves and waited for the people who backed their cars into each other and then came home. 

Edited to add the bits I meant to write before I published but then I hit “publish” instead of “save”.

Hmmm, let me think

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

As we drove to Melissa’s on Thursday, we were admiring Mr Moon. He was big, round, bright and low in the sky. It seemed as we drove that Mr Moon was racing to keep up with us. Reid has been especially interested in the moon, as well as planets as I’ve mentioned.

Reid asked me who was the moon’s mama. I suggested that the sun might be. She considered this and said, “The sun is a girl.” I pointed out that I was a girl and also a mama. Reid nodded and agreed that the sun could be the moon’s mama. Being an experienced mama, I knew what was coming and started trying to find a distraction. Before I came up with anything, Reid asked who was the moon’s daddy. I told her that I didn’t know but that we should think about it for a while. From the back seat, I heard a thoughtful and serious, “Hmmmm.” I knew she was taking my advice. We were close enough to the fire station to start talking about the fire trucks and we never got back to the moon’s daddy. What do you think? Who is the moon’s daddy?

Adding to Reid’s collection of Ottawa aunts

Friday, October 26th, 2007

Aunty Amanda and Aunt Jane (Amanda’s mother) came for supper Wednesday. I invited them last week before I knew about the parent-teacher night at daycare. As it worked out, though, they came for supper and then Ken and I ran out to daycare, leaving Reid with them. (Yes, I asked them if they minded in advance.) Reid was not concerned at all when we left, she has added Aunt Jane to her collection of Ottawa “aunts”.

At supper, Reid had decided that all of her food needed to be kept separate. In separate bowls, as a matter of fact. The chili went into her pasta bowl and she borrowed my salad bowl for her cheese. Aunty Amanda made some comment about Reid’s bread being able to go in the bowl with the cheese, causing Reid to realize that she needed *another* bowl. (It’s good to have Aunty Amanda around to notice the things you’ve overlooked ;+) I explained that bread went on plates and handed her one. There are things I have to fight with Reid about, using multiple bowls and plates at dinner last night wasn’t on the list. It’s an interesting change from when she asks, “What can go here?” as she points at an empty region on her plate. That’s what she has been doing lately.

Reid was sitting on Aunty Amanda’s lap listening to a story when we got home. We heard that Reid had been a good girl during her bath, listened to some stories and generally did as she was asked. Reid’s hair had been brushed and put into a braid. I expressed surprise and asked if Reid had cried. Aunt Jane said that Reid had said, “Mama hurts me when she brushes my hair. We all laughed and then I asked if Reid had cried when Aunt Jane brushed and braided Reid’s hair. “Oh, no,” Aunt Jane said casually. Of course not! Reid saves the tears and wailing and gnashing of teeth for Mama.

Where we live

Friday, October 26th, 2007

Reid has been talking about where we live quite often over the last few days. One morning on the way to daycare she kicked it up a notch. She asked me about our planet and was it called “urf”? Yes, I agreed, it was called, “earth” and it is in the Milky Way galaxy. Since that is the extent of my astronomical knowledge, I quickly brought the discussion back to earth, as they say. On the planet Earth, there is a continent called North America and on the continent North America there is a country called Canada and in Canada there is a province called Ontario and in Ontario there is a city called Ottawa and in Ottawa there is a street called [information withheld to protect the guilty] and at a particular number  is our house. “Oh,” said Reid. I’m sure that we will revisit these facts. We also discuss where various grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends live. Thank goodness most people we know live in the province of Ontario. I’m not sure I can explain the concept of provinces adequately to satisfy Reid.

Have a great day where in the world you may be.