Archive for October, 2007

Nap? Who, Reid?

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

One of Reid’s daycare teacher’s sought me out Thursday night to tell me that Reid hadn’t napped that day. I reacted with surprise – it’s almost always P. who doesn’t sleep and occasionally L. but it’s never, ever been Reid. Oh, how the mighty fall!

The teacher told me that she had been surprised, too. She had went over to tell Reid to go to sleep and Reid’s lip had wobbled. The teacher then asked if Reid wanted a hug and then gave one at Reid’s nod. She thought Reid was warm and so took Reid’s temperature. But it was normal.

The craziest thing to me was that Reid didn’t fall asleep on the way to swimming or on the way to Melissa’s for supper. We were on the off ramp before her eyes closed. I took a bit of a detour to stretch out Reid’s initial sleep. This bought me time enough to use the bathroom and get into my pajamas before Ken brought Reid up.

Reid napped well on Friday and Saturday. I’m hoping to continue the streak since I really love my Sunday naps.

It’s good to have grandparents with big trees in their backyard

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

We all ate Quaker oatmeal from packages for breakfast on Sunday. I don’t automatically pack them and bowls but I think I’ll start. With the ubiquitous coffee pots in hotel rooms, oatmeal from packages certainly holds attractions. They’re cheap, fast and don’t require a trip to a restaurant. Reid and I enjoy eating breakfast in restaurants and the Holiday Inn where we stayed has a “kids eat free” policy but sometimes we’re in a hurry or need something small to tide us over until brunch (like Sunday) and Ken never likes eating breakfast in a restaurant. On this particular day, Reid decided that she wanted the cinnamon and apple package that I’d brought for myself. Reid usually has the raisins and spice variety, just as Ken does. I went in search of spoons (another thing I’ll have to start packing routinely) and when I got back, Reid was eating her oatmeal while sitting on the bed. Eating on the bed was a treat in itself but it turned out that Reid had helped herself to some of my raisin oatmeal, too, while I was gone. What a fink!

With breakfast taken care of, Reid and I headed out for a swim. Does everyone look for hotels with pools or is just me? I never go away overnight without swim things for Reid and myself. I figure if we end up without a pool, we can always find a recreation centre. In any case, the Holiday Inn in Trenton has a nice little pool that opens at 8:00 on Sunday mornings and Reid and I are usually waiting for it when it does. Reid was doing her best waterbaby impression, playing on the steps into the pool and doing acrobatic moves using the railing in the centre of the steps. Reid loves to be “in control” in the pool and is much braver when she is. I convinced her to hold onto my neck while I swam again and let her ride along as I swam on my back. We went into the hot tub for a bit. Note, there was a sign recommending that young children not go in but I took it under advisement. The water isn’t that hot when compared with Reid’s usual bathwater and I was conscious of how long we were in. After we got out of the hot tub, Reid wanted to go back into the pool. I just couldn’t do it. I sat on the edge while she played on the steps, no more than half an arm’s length from me. I finally coaxed Reid into going to the sauna with me to dry off. We haven’t been in a sauna in a long time. There were many “why’s” involved. Why is it hot? Why is it made of wood? Why is it hot? Why are we here? Why is it hot? You understand. 2 year-olds say “no” and 3 year-olds say “why”. (Much better than saying certain words they hear from their dads when they drive, really.)

When we got back to the room, Ken was in the shower. Reid, of course, had to barge right in and say “hi”. It’s a well-honed instinct she has – introducing cold air and a door right where he needs to stand. Her enthusiasm at seeing him makes up for the inconvenience, I think.

We all walked over to see the fighter plane that is in the side yard of the hotel. We’ve stayed at this particular hotel many times but have never went over before. It’s a tribute to air force personnel. CFB Trenton, the airforce base where they bring the casualties back from Afghanistan, is just up the road. Of course, we took pictures. Ken wanted them for the virtual memorial project he works on and I just like taking pictures. Maybe I like taking pictures too much since Ken told me that I don’t share the camera well. (He didn’t say that exactly but that’s what he meant.)

With feet wet from the grass, we headed to our car and went to see Grandpa Keith and Granny Rhonda’s. They were impressed at how tall Reid is – it surprises us, too, sometimes at how quickly she is stretching out. Reid talks about being taller and when she’ll be taller than me quite a bit. Ken suggests that being taller than me isn’t a signigicant accomplishment.

Granny Rhonda had made a yummy brunch for us and we ate and chatted. Reid loves pork – bacon, sausage and ham as well as pork chops, pork tenderloin and probably anything else I offered her – and Granny had made both bacon and ham. To be polite, Reid ate some fried potatoes, eggs and toast but really she was there for the pork. We don’t have those things at home because I love them, too.

After brunch, Daddy and Grandpa Keith took Reid outside to the backyard. There are so many full grown trees that they have no end of hassle with leaves in the pool. As you can imagine, this made for an amazingly good place to play on a fall weekend. Grandpa Keith had raked leaves recently and so Reid had a good pile of leaves to jump in. I went out for a bit to take some pictures and ended up in the same pile. It was a bit damp but since we have only the one tree and it is stingy with its leaves, I took what I could get. Soon enough, my fingers, nose and ears were getting cold and Daddy and Grandpa Keith seemed to be chilled, too. Reid protested, though, when we made her go back into the house.

She played and we visited and then she sweet talked Granny Rhonda into taking her back outside. Well, she probably made only one request. You know how grandparents are. They walked around, raked some more leaves and went back to the leaf pile. We had to go out and break the news that we needed to leave before Reid’s cold wet nose prompted her to come in.

We were back in the car at nap time, just like planned, and headed home to the kitties.

I guess they wouldn’t do much for a peppermint Klondike bar

Friday, October 19th, 2007

Ben is starting to read but has so far refused to to read a story to me or Reid. Last night, though, he wanted to have one of the mint Girl Guide cookies that I had bought from Sarah. Sarah is in Brownies but they don’t have their own cookies. Don’t ask us why. Go ask your mother. Peter told Ben that their family doesn’t like the mint cookies and would buy the vanilla/chocolate boxes in the spring. Ben was undeterred.

Seizing the opportunity, I offered him a cookie in exchange for a story. Stephen said that Ben wouldn’t eat the cookie and I said that it was all the same to me as long as Ben read the story. Ben hunted up a book and read it to Reid and me. He knew many of the words and sounded the others out like a pro. Who puts words like “cigogne” in an early reader for immersion kids anyway?! (Note to self: Figure out what a “cignogne” is. It seemed like a crane or maybe a swan. The illustrator wasn’t on my side either.)

After supper, I gave Ben the cookie he’d earned. He took one bite and made an awful face. Peter grinned and took the rest of the cookie away. I wish I’d congratulated Ben on trying it but was distracted at the time. He was also the only one to try the Turkish Delight. It was also not to his taste but he did give it a go, at least.

All in all, I don’t think I’ll be getting any more stories in exchange for mint cookies from Ben. In fact, I don’t think anyone in their family would do anything for a mint Klondike bar. Maybe to get out of eating one though …

In any case, I highly recommend that you seek out a nearby Spark, Brownie, Guide or Pathfinder and buy some cookies. If you don’t like them, your local food bank will find someone who does. These links are Canadian. The same information will be available for other countries.

Edited to add: Cignogne is “swan” in French.

It’s nice to be appreciated

Friday, October 19th, 2007

I wore a new pair of tights yesterday. They were black with a pattern. Reid watched in fascination as I put them on and came hurrying over when she noticed the pattern. “Diamonds!” she gasped. Or maybe she exclaimed. Either way, I knew she thought I was some kind of fabulous. Ken teased and asked if Reid thought I should go as I was or if I needed a skirt. She looked at him as if he were talking crazy talk but she also seemed surprised that he was able to resist stroking my diamond-clad legs like she was doing. In case you’re wondering, I did put on a skirt.

Reid was right, though, I did look nice. If I do say so myself. And I just did. ;+)

Can I introduce you to a friend?

Friday, October 19th, 2007

Okay, I don’t know Jenn from Jenn’s Journal really well but I read a post she’d written recently and I thought, “What a tough time that family is having.” But I also thought, “What a brave and positive woman she is.” So, if you want to read someone who is laying the bad out there along with the good, go see Jenn’s Journal. You’ll see two adorable little boys there. They may make you baby hungry or you may just smile and remember your own little ones’ toddlerhood. Either way, I’m sure that Jenn would appreciate your visit.

If there’s bad weather, it’s time for us to take a road trip

Friday, October 19th, 2007

I know it seems like I’ve written this before and that’s the problem – we seem to have to travel whenever the weather is bad. If you don’t believe that we’re the centre of the universe, the two aren’t necessarily linked but it’s happening too often to be a coincidence.

Reid, Ken and I left home in the rain for a quick trip to Chapters and then Kindermusik before getting onto Highway 7 for the drive to Frankford. I was startled when we didn’t take the ramp to the 416 but Ken, the one who doesn’t sleep for 2 of the 3 hours we’re in the car, said that we wanted something better to look at than what the 401 has to offer. When the rain wasn’t heavy, it was nice to see the fall colours and the rocky outcrops that characterize highway 7. My husband has lots of good ideas.

We got to Grandma Barb and Grandpa Terry’s in good time. I had ridden in the backseat with Reid and was still buried in blankets and stuff that needed to be put away when Ken and Reid went in. By the time I got in, Reid was cuddled into Grandmama’s lap. Reid was happy to see Grandma Barb and Grandpa Terry, to be sure, but Grandmama was a particularly welcome surprise.

We had a good visit, with lots of silliness as Grandpa Terry delights in teasing Reid and Reid delights in climbing on him as though he were her personal jungle gym. Grandma Barb prepared a traditional Thanksgiving dinner and Reid managed to eat some food other than the olives that were so tantalizingly close for a while. At one point, Reid wandered away from the table and I said that I would take her to sit in car if she didn’t sit down. This apparently amused the others but I couldn’t think of a place at Grandma and Grandpa’s that Reid wouldn’t find interesting to be in. She did sit and eat nicely and so I didn’t have to go out to the cold, damp car. It’s important to choose discipline techniques that don’t punish you as well, to the extent possible. I had a moment of doubting Reid’s parentage when she tried a butter tart for the first time and reacted as though it were dirt laced with rotten eggs.

After supper, Reid and Grandmama did some painting with the Elmer’s Squeeze and Brush kit that I bought at Costco a few weeks ago. I like to have a new toy when we travel and ones that are washable and mess-free, like this one claimed to be, are particularly appealing to me. I think Grandmama would have contested the mess-free claim. She spent quite a bit of time wiping her hands off – not counting  when I painted her hand and had her make a handprint. Reid covered her hands with paint as her love of handprints continues. Her face and arms were collateral damage. The paint came off with soap and water, though, and so the mess-free claim should have an asterisk with a note that it is mess-free in the long term.

We got checked into our hotel just after Reid’s usual bedtime. With only overnight bags, we could have easily carried our things but I got the cart so that Reid could have a ride. The small things that make kids happy, eh?

Canadian Toy Testing Council – results are in and the toys are for sale

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

The Canadian Toy Testing Council has collected the opinions of its toy testing families and issued recommendations for toys and books to watch out for. Most parenting magazines seem to be featuring this sort of story this month but you can get information directly from the Canadian Toy Testing Council site. I find the lists of “great books” as well as “other recommended books” that they recommend to particularly useful. The lists give the sort of summary that I need to decide if the book would suit the person for whom I’m shopping.

You may want to join to become a member of the Canadian Toy Testing Council, your membership fee supports the work of the CTTC and helps them stay impartial. If you are in Ottawa-Gatineau, you can apply to be a toy testing family and, of course, you can get into the toy sale early. You can support the CTTC even if you aren’t in Ottawa-Gatineau. There is a separate form for you. Look for the “Joining the CTTC” link in the left menu. (I hate framed sites but it’s a good organization nonetheless.)

But wait, there’s more. If you live in the Ottawa-Gatineau area, you can buy the tested toys at good discounts. The sale will be held this Saturday (20 October) at: 1973 Baseline Road. Members get to shop from 9:00-10:00 and the general public goes in at 10:15. There will be a line up before each start time. Bring your own bags but leave the kids at home. It can get a bit rowdy as everyone rushes for the great toys at great prices. Check the price cards – they show a rating out of 3 stars and often a comment. There is no sense buying a dud.

Edited to add the day and date. Oops.

Best left unsaid

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

Reid and I went to gymnastics Tuesday night and got home at 6:45. While Reid had eaten some cheese, pepper slices and an apple, she was still claiming to be hungry when we got home. She has a cold, though, and was a bit grouchy. I can totally understand being out of sorts because of a stuffy nose.

Ken had supper pretty much ready when we walked in the door, which was awfully nice. I wouldn’t want him to have to miss gymnastics all the time, though. Reid started to wail when she saw that I had set her a pasta bowl with *yellow* flowers. How could I do this to her? Didn’t I know that she wanted the one with purple flowers that she’d used Monday night? My psychic powers are rather weak, I admit, and I hadn’t realized. While I was washing the bowl that she wanted and Ken served us some of the Thai turkey and vegetables. Reid stated flatly that she didn’t like stir fry. Ken said, “Tonight, I don’t think you would like curry.”

It was like a clap of thunder out of the blue. We both knew instantly that the former was a statement that was better left unsaid. Way, way, waaay better left unsaid. Of course, Reid then declared her love and desire for curry. Sigh. Poor Ken. He made us a lovely supper, had it ready when we walked in the door and then that.

Edited to add: Ken told me that he knew what he was doing when he mentioned curry, he just wondered what the reaction was. Oh, he was experimenting. With our daughter. When she was tired.

Fall is my favourite season – Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007


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How to choose a favourite age?

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

I was just visiting MamaBlogga to see the final list for the October Group Writing Project to see if anyone else was able to choose a single favourite age and thought sharing it would be a good thing. Read on for a trip down memory lane or maybe into the future. Mine is There is always something wonderful about this age (shameless self-promotion, eh ;+)

  1. Terrible Schmerrible by Ursula Zamora
  2. An age old question… by Tiffany (Three Ring Circus)
  3. What is the best age?? by Jennifer Hitchcock
  4. Emerging by Tracey
  5. Don’t grow up too fast my darling by Summer
  6. 3 yrs. + 1 yr, + 2 yrs? Are you crazy? by Brandi @ Home, Hope and Future
  7. Day of Poo and Stinkor Looming by Maria C.
  8. The best things about this age. . . by Summer M.
  9. Like watching water boil by Shawn
  10. The best thing about Abbie being 3!! by Jessica
  11. Tomorrow, One Day Older by Phyllis
  12. These are a few of my favorite things by boogiemum
  13. Today, while the blossoms by Jordan (MamaBlogga)
  14. The best thing about this age by Urban Mummy
  15. When He Comes Running Back by Mommy Zabs
  16. the best things about this age by melissa
  17. Be 4 by Mama Zen
  18. My favorite age by Deb – Mom of 3 Girls
  19. The Blessing of Four by Jill
  20. The Best Things About this Age… by Andrea
  21. There is always something wonderful about this age by MomOnTheGo
  22. Terrific Two’s by Candace
  23. Rock-a-Bye Big Boy by Elaine