Archive for December, 2007

Meat, glorious meat

Friday, December 14th, 2007

If you’re a dietitian, nutritionist or even particularly particular about what your kids eat, you should skip this post. It’ll be for the best, really.

Grandma Joyce decided to treat us to a big breakfast on our last Friday in Wheatley, or at least she said that she was going to. While I was getting the potatoes and onions ready for frying, Grandma Joyce told me that she’d forgotten to defrost the sausages. “We’d be fine with potatoes and eggs, won’t we?” she asked. “That would be fine if I liked eggs,” I replied. It’s tough being the youngest of 6 and the one who lives far away, I don’t even expect her to remember my preferences. On the other hand, it’s good being the baby of the family because Grandma Joyce defrosted the sausages in the microwave and cooked them for breakfast. I asked Reid how many sausages she wanted to eat and before she decided, Aunt Karin asked if Reid wanted 5. Reid *loves* sausages and decided that 5 would be just the right number. I tried to dissuade her but to no avail. Reid was a quiet and well-behaved sausage eater and soon had her 5 links polished off. Thank goodness for the half- pear and banana she had eaten while the food cooked.

After breakfast, Reid and I played doctor for a while. When I was the patient, Reid ignored the symptoms I was telling her about and treated the ones that she told me I have. I was thinking about switching doctors when Reid said we could switch. Reid’s first complaint as a patient was a bum that “hu’ut”. Doctor Mama kisses things that hurt and was thinking there’ll come a day when Reid might invite me to kiss her bum in an entirely different tone. After a while, Reid had to be the doctor again and one of the stuffed animals was ill. Reid carried it to the toddler bed in our room and got it settled against the pillow, with the blanket tucked right up to it’s chin.

Reid and I went to Leamington to pick up a couple of things and have lunch with Aunt Karin since we hadn’t seen much of her. (I told her that she shouldn’t go back to work but she kept going on about eating and paying bills and that sort of trivial thing.) Grandma Joyce had to stay home and sew a Christmas present for Reid. I’d bought the fabric but knew the sewing part was beyond me. (Yes, I cleared it with her first.) Reid was almost asleep when I drove up the mall parking lot entrance and I kept driving, thinking how a rested kid is a happier one in a restaurant. 100 metres later, though, Reid roused herself and started quizzing me about what was around us and why. We drove out onto the dock and looked at the rough waters of Lake Erie and I looked at the Pelee Island ferry. Reid wouldn’t look at the ferry for some reason. I told Reid that I used to drive on the dock when I was a kid but I don’t think she was impressed. I didn’t even try to explain cruising the loop from McDonald’s to the dock and back again as a teenager. What gas we wasted!

We ate lunch at the Gingerbread House restaurant. I think Reid might have been expecting a little more Hansel and Gretel in the decorations and there was some gingerbread trim at the original location but that was a long time ago. Then again, Reid may have no idea who Hansel and Gretel are. The evil stepmother isn’t a character who makes it into many, any?, of the stories to which Reid listens. The restaurant had a few bar chairs or, as Reid called them, “tall like Daddy chairs” right near the cash register. She had her heart set on sitting on one and I hate sitting where my feet dangle and these chairs were close to the door and so were doubly-unattractive due to the cold. We compromised and Reid perched on a tall chair while we waited for Aunt Karin. To Reid’s delight, the restaurant also had hotdogs on the menu and that was what she ordered. Because she hadn’t had enough processed meat bits yet.

Reid fell asleep while I was driving to Grandma Joyce’s. I took the long way, driving by  Uncle Harold’s farm, the farm where I grew up, and a friend’s house from my teenage years (though I wasn’t planning on it, just driving at that point).

Grandma Joyce had been busy getting the veggie and pickle trays ready for supper and had even set a small bowl of olives aside for Reid. What a lovely afternoon snack! For the record, I am not now, nor was I ever, an olive fan. I can’t be blamed for eating olives while pregnant or nursing. I take responsibility only for the curry addiction.

We had a good turnout for the “Christmas” supper considering that it was on a Friday and there had been a family event just the Friday before. Everyone played nicely together for the most part but Reid did end up with a complete set of Dylan’s teethmarks on her leg. Sari was pretty upset since she had brought him but I explained that Reid has been bitten by a few other kids at daycare – or maybe it was always the same kid since we aren’t told the name of the biter – and so Reid wasn’t too perturbed. ;+) Seriously, though, it worries me a bit that Reid isn’t concerned when other kids bonk her or bite her. Since the bullying spell, I’m a bit comforted by the fact that when she was concerned, I was able to tell. As for Dylan, Reid was ready to play with him as soon as he came back from time out.

After supper, Santa Elizabeth passed Christmas presents out to Grandma Joyce, Brock, Damien, Dylan and Zachary. Each person also got a kiss from Santa Elizabeth. Reid never asked for a present for herself as she went about the business of being Santa but Aunt Karin had a present for Reid that she was happy to open. Aunt Karin had bought some Christmas ornaments of Dora, Diego and Boots. She thought we didn’t have a Christmas tree and wanted Reid to at least hang some on Grandma Joyce’s tree. I was wounded ;+) No, that’s not right, I was glad that Reid has someone looking out for her fun interest. For the record, I am not that Grinchy. We have a 2 foot tall tree that Reid is satisfied.

Post backdated to when it was written.

Taking Uncle Roger’s magic van on an adventure

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

I invited Aunt Karin over to help wake up Reid on Thursday morning. I thought she’d stay for breakfast but she popped in to kiss and tickle Reid and then zoomed back to her own house to wake up Shea. I bet he didn’t get the kisses and tickles, poor kid. Reid wasn’t ready to be awake but with her late night on Wednesday, it seemed a good idea to try again to reset Reid’s internal clock.

I did take pity on Reid and let her watch a few shows in the morning. I never missed Treehouse before but now that Grandma Joyce has satellite service, I have to say it comes in handy. I had time to finish the Caramel Shortbread that I started on Tuesday. The recipe is easy enough but it requires cooling between layers and I’m easily distractable at the best of times. I considered not finishing since I’d had more than I should have at Aunt Pam’s but I felt I owed it to Grandma Joyce who had been taking such good care of us. I even planned to sacrifice and eat some of the cookies, too.

Aunt Lisa, Megan and Damien stopped by for a visit in the middle of their errands. Damien had been sick in the night but was a happy little guy for most of his visit. I wonder if he is like Reid and feels when he is with other kids. I’ve heard that the difference between an extrovert and an introvert is whether you feel recharged in a crowd or in solitude. Reid is a bit of both by that measure. She certainly has more energy in a crowd but sometimes demands to stay in and chill.

I took some pictures of Max Doggy in front of Grandma Joyce’s tree – all of the grandbabies were posing there, why not Max? He was a very well-behaved and patient fellow. He even wore the Santa hat without protest. I got a shot of him looking up as though entreating some higher power, “Please take this silly hat off of me.” A while after the formal session, I noticed that Max had been lured by the cloth bags that I’d left on the floor. He was curled in their midst and I added a few to complete the background and then took some more shots. I love taking pictures and suspect that Reid likes me to have other subjects to focus on. (Did you like the pun?)

Reid was still wearing her pajamas at 3:45 when Uncle Roger called to say when he would be over to pick us up. I got Reid dressed while explaining that her pajamas were indeed warm but not warm enough nor suitable for leaving the house. Uncle Roger, Auntie M and Danielle arrived in Uncle Roger’s fancy-schmancy commuter van. It’s a Town and Country with two video screens in the back that show DVDs or video games, a separate climate control for the back compartment and a screen in the front that shows a GPS map or telephone interface or pictures. I don’t know why one would put the pictures up there, but there you go. I’d brought along The Seventh Brother, a movie about a little dog named Tiny, and Reid was excited to watch it. Danielle was, too, since it brought back memories from her “childhood” (my word not hers). She was a good sport about being Reid’s pal despite the 11 year age difference.

We all went ice skate shopping at the sport store in Leamington. I was hoping for a pair for Reid since the ones she has seems small to me and another pair for me because my left skate cuts into the top of my foot (and I’m not a stoic, that which does not kill us type). There were no used skates that came remotely close to fitting Reid and the $99 new ones were too expensive for me to even want to touch. I tried a pair on that caused pain in a different part of my foot but I decided to stick with the pain that I’m familiar with. We checked at the Etcetra Shop and found some good skates for Reid to wear in a couple of years for only $2 but found no skates for right now.

After we’d finished our shopping, Uncle Roger asked Reid where she’d like to go for supper and she didn’t hesitate before saying, “Old McDonald’s.” We went to the new (at least to me), little McDonald’s in Kingsville and then went to Lakeside Park to see the Christmas light display. Reid and I were able to identify most of the shapes but were lucky to have Uncle Roger along to provide names for some of the characters. Reid doesn’t watch Disney movies and so we didn’t know the names of the lions in the Lion King and that sort of thing. My favourite were the “carousel” ponies. Reid scooted down the one hill on her bottom and Uncle Roger was wishing for a sled for her but Reid didn’t complain. Auntie M and Danielle walked ahead of us; I suspect they were hoping to stay warm by moving fast but it was a cold enough night that I’m not sure that their plan worked. Reid saw a good portion of the park from the vantage point of Uncle Roger’s shoulders. Even I carried her a bit though she is nearly too tall and big, especially when she is in her snow gear. We got back to the van and Reid was clamouring for the movie before everyone had had a chance to buckle their seatbelts. There are a few reasons why I wouldn’t want the dvd/screen option in a vehicle I drove regularly and this pestering would be the biggest one. Of course, Reid asks to watch videos on my iPod on the way to daycare when we get back from a roadtrip.

Observations on life

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

At one point during our Wheatley week, Grandma Joyce accompanied Reid to the bathroom. As Reid took care of her business, Grandma Joyce perched on the edge of the bath tub. Reid noticed how gingerly Grandma Joyce sat and asked, “You’re old Grandma!” Grandma Joyce agreed that she was. Reid said, “Old for a cane sometimes, right?” And again Grandma Joyce agreed. Reid paused and then said, “But not for wheels.” Grandma laughed and agreed that she didn’t need a wheelchair.

Reid was watching an episode of  (warning: noisy site) This is Daniel Cook in which Daniel was learning to make candy canes. As I tidied the kitchen I heard the woman on the television ask what was better than sugar and, after Daniel’s disbelief that anything could be, her statement, “Liquid sugar.” Ah, yes, corn syrup is one of my weaknesses as well.

Caramel Shortbread – Works for Me Wednesday

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

This recipe is one that came into the family about 20 years ago from my sister’s Scottish neighbour. In our family, it’s known as Molly’s Caramel Shortbread but since you won’t know Molly, we’ll just call it Caramel Shortbread. It’s nice and easy to make but tastes so rich! 


* 3/4 cup Parkay (really, Parkay works best)
* 1/4 cup white sugar
* 1  cups all-purpose flour
* pinch of salt

* 1/2 cup butter
* 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
* 1 can sweetened condensed milk

* 4oz Aero bar


Sift flour, salt, sugar together. Rub in magarine. Knead until a smooth dough is formed. Spread onto a floured cookie sheet, about 1/4″ thick and prick all over with a fork. Bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-35 minutes or until golden. Cool well.

Put milk, sugar, margarine and corn syrup into a pan and bring slowly to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil gently for 6 minutes, still stirring constantly. Pour over shortbread. Allow to cool.

Melt chocolate bar in microwave save bowl for 20 second intervals and stir until melted. Pour over caramel layer.

Cut when set and keep refrigerated. In fact, these taste great when frozen and then served about 15 minutes after coming from the freezer.

 For more Works for Me Wednesday tips, visit Rocks in My Dryer.

If you give Reid black icing, don’t be surprised if she uses it

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

Sari brought Dylan and Zachary over to visit first thing on Wednesday morning while Melissa was quilting. Poor Melissa was quilting like a madwoman to finish before she went on vacation but Reid and I were happy to take Dylan and Zachary even without her. I popped both Dylan and Reid into a stroller and took them to Auntie M’s while Sari put Zack to sleep. Dylan was feeling under the weather and so Reid offered him the seat but Dylan declined and climbed into the basket. Midway to Auntie M’s, he asked to switch and Reid did so happily. Since Dylan has about 6 centimetres on Reid, it was probably a good idea. At the yellow house, the kids ate the last 2 peanut butter-oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies that Auntie M had baked and Reid also talked Auntie M into giving her a tomato although not into letting her eat it like an apple. I took some pictures of Corey, the cat, under the Christmas tree. Some were really nice and I only did a bit of “staging”. Corey spends a lot of time under the tree, I’m told, and she looks to be in her element. I tried a couple with Max Doggy but the set up wasn’t right and I invited him to Grandma Joyce’s for a photo session instead. While I snuck downstairs to post a couple of blog entries, the kids watched part of the Poler Express. When we headed back to Grandma Joyce’s for lunch, we had the movie and a candy cane. Neither Dylan nor Reid wanted to leave. Auntie M was a good hostess. When Uncle Roger asked Reid later if she’d been at his yellow house, she said she hadn’t been.  He was at work and she was at Auntie M’s house. Uncle Roger tried to explain the concept of ownership in absentia but I’m not sure Reid bought it. I wonder who owns our house when Ken and I are both at work. They sure aren’t paying their share of the mortgage.

Uncle Chris came to Grandma Joyce’s for lunch and carrot pudding. Grandma Joyce has stopped making carrot pudding on holidays because people tend to fill up on pie and not eat much of the pudding. Instead, she makes a carrot pudding a bit later and shares it with Chris. This plan makes a lot of sense unless you’re a carrot pudding lover who lives far away and isn’t still around when the pudding is eventually made. Sometimes when I come, I ask for the carrot pudding. I had an interesting conversation with someone (my memory really is that bad) during this visit and the other person said that Grandma Joyce doesn’t make carrot pudding anymore. I had to explain about the delayed carrot puddings and Chris. Poor things, didn’t even know they were missing out.

When we got up from our nap, Brianna and, finally, George were there. When Reid spoke with Brianna at the Christmas party on Sunday, she asked about George. When we got to Aunt Pam’s on Tuesday night, Reid asked Brianna where George was. Perhaps Brianna was afraid that she wouldn’t be welcome at the family supper on Friday without George if he hadn’t made an appearance first. Reid enjoys spending time with George and was glad to see him, whatever the reason.

Once Sari was back from school, we got ourselves ready to decorate the sugar cookies that Grandma Joyce had made. Reid started with black icing and spread it on thick. I wasn’t as vigilant as might have been and suddenly noticed that the icing was thicker than the cookie in places. Reid did an admirable job of covering the whole cookie and just needed to remove some of the excess depth. Dylan was equally careful with his cookie but he was more fastidious. When his hands got icing on them, he washed them immediately. Reid continued with other cookies and other colours, as evidenced by the colours accenting her clothes and exposed body parts, but she returned often to the black. Someone joked about Reid being in a goth stage and we decided that it was good for her to get it over with early.

Sari had helped Grandma Joyce colour the icing and pointed out that a pot of orange icing was yellow. Reid and Dylan looked at Sari funny when she said it but seemed willing to go along with her. After a while, though, they were getting confused and so Sari decided that it would be acceptable to call it orange. All of the colours, even the yellow/orange, were beautifully vivid and Reid and I were certainly appreciative of Sari’s efforts.

Sari and Grandma Joyce took care with the cookies that they were decorating. They used toothpicks for the detail work. I hadn’t realized that it would be so hard-core. Melissa admitted that she had trouble watching Dylan do this sort of thing because she is a perfectionist. We all agreed that the restraint she showed in not directing his efforts made her a better person. Melissa’s cookies were beautifully decorated.

Reid volunteered to eat the first cookie to be sure that they would be good for the rest of us. Her mouth was soon as vividly blue as some of the smears on her arms. She gave Zachary a kiss and shared the blue. After one cookie, Reid asked for another but didn’t protest when her request was denied.

After supper, Dylan put on Reid’s Santa suit and posed for some pictures in front of the Christmas tree. With the natural light and tree lights, the pictures turned out to look as though they were taking in the 1970s. Dylan was super cute in any decade. Reid was interested in climbing on me while I took pictures of Dylan but she wasn’t tempted to take her turn in front of the camera.

I’d decided that Reid needed to get back to going to sleep and getting up at her usual times and so wasn’t sad that Grandma Joyce went shopping with Aunt Karin. Reid and I spent some time in the hot tub and then headed for bed. At 9:00, Reid was still awake and announced that she needed to go to the bathroom. I wasn’t sure if I was being scammed but it’s a pretty risky bet to take and so I let her get up. Just about the same time, Uncle Roger stopped in and I can imagine Reid pumping her arm and saying “Woo hoo!” very quietly. We got up and I had a tea with Uncle Roger while he played with Reid. Uncle Roger said that he’d read a story and then had to go home. “Why?” asked Reid as she rubbed her eyes (finally!) Uncle Roger explained it was late and began to read I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown. Reid listened quietly for all but 1 page and 2 sentences and then came to snuggle with me while Uncle Roger read the last bit to himself. Reid and I were asleep before Uncle Roger finished the short trip to his house, I’m sure.

Christmas Cookies – Almost Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007


I wrote about decorating cookies and but the pics tell the story, too.

Check out the Wordless Wednesday HQ
View More Wordless Wednesday Participants or look at my previous Wordless Wednesday entries

What a lot of boy cousins Reid has

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

Aunt Karin snuck into bed with Reid and me on Monday morning. Reid giggled as Aunt Karin covered her face with kisses and knew exactly which crazy relative would do such a thing. Ken, meanwhile, was up and on his way back to Ottawa 15 minutes earlier than planned on Monday morning. Grandma Joyce was teasing me about how Ken never left early when I was going with him. I tried to share the blame with Reid but Grandma Joyce, who has a much better memory than me, pointed out that it was the same before Reid was born.

Aunt Lisa, Megan and Damien came to visit us shortly after Ken left. Melissa, Dylan and Zachary arrived shortly afterward but Zack slept for a bit in the van. Sari stopped in on her way to work. I’m a bit awed by how fast Grandma Joyce’s house can go from quiet to near-party status. Reid isn’t troubled by the all-boy cousin contingent. She has never even commented on it. Melissa seems to enjoy having a little girl around (though there is no doubt in my mind that she loves her boys totally) and Reid very much loves being with her biggest cousin. I am wondering if we will get 6 boys before a girl is born in this generation (since Dylan, Damien and Zachary are of the next generation from Reid), the way we had 6 girls before the boys started coming in the last generation. Does anyone know how to describe Reid’s relationship to the boys? First cousin once removed? Second cousin?

Uncle Chris came for lunch. I sometimes whether it’s a break from work to come to Grandma Joyce’s with so many people or if going back to work offers the break. Maybe both. Reid and I like visiting with him either way. We left Dylan and Zachary in the living room and went to take a nap in the basement. Reid asked about the boys and I said something somewhat misleading about it being naptime for them, too. Melissa said that when Dylan naps he often stays up too late but I wasn’t about to explain that to Reid or that she has to nap because the Day Nurseries Act requires she does so at daycare. I need my naps when we’re on holiday – or any day that I’m able – and so Reid is stuck with napping.

Auntie M, Danielle, Reid and I picked Aunt Karin up after work to go shopping just outside Detroit. Aunt Karin was emphatic that we had to get her precisely at 5:00 and I’d originally planned to leave 45 minutes early. In deference to those family members who made fun of me, we left only 30 minutes early and ended up with time to pickup drinks from Tim Hortons. I made Auntie M go in to get Aunt Karin the hope that I’d be allowed to drive to Windsor, thus extending my time on the heated seat. Aunt Karin was having none of it, though, and once I was ousted from the driver’s seat Reid insisted I sit in the back with her and Danielle. Auntie M might have slipped Reid a fiver when I wasn’t looking to encourage the request ;+)

When we got to Sulienne’s apartment in Windsor, Reid protested at having to stay without me but had stopped crying by the time she and Suli got from the parking lot into the building. Reid went out for supper with Suli and Ryan and Ryan’s mother and had spapghetti and french fries to eat. It seems an unusual sort of meal but was most pleasant, to hear Reid tell it. Reid saw Adam as well, though I’m not sure whether they spoke since he was asleep on the couch when I stopped to pick her up. Reid was watching Treehouse and didn’t want want to leave.

While we were away, we paid the handsome sum of 1 penny for Danielle to ride the pony in the lobby of the Meijer store. Reid rode on it when we last had her shopping there. Danielle declined the $1  tv shopping cart that had kept Reid so happy in the store. I guess the 11 year difference in their ages shows sometimes. I was proud of myself for sticking to the things on my list, with only a splurge for a $5 Christmas t-shirt and a long-sleeved version for $7 for myself. I mostly picked up stocking stuffers, including Barnum and Bailey animal crackers, lipstick (Skittles lip moisturizers by Bonne Bell) and Crayola bathtub crayons. Stocking stuffers can be my downfall and have, in the past, ended up costing far more in total than planned. We stopped at Bob Evans for supper, as we always do, and then headed back to Windsor and Reid. It’s nice to shop without worrying about how to entertain a 3 year old (not that she is rotten by any stretch) but I was still glad to pick her up from Suli’s.

Since I was still banished from the toasty warm driver’s seat, and my little peanut cried when I walked around the car to secure the car seat, I sat in the back for the ride to Leamington and Reid soon fell asleep. I was able to carry Reid in from the car, and take her coat, boots and pants off and get her into a diaper and pajamas without her stirring. I’d been worried if we’d have a repeat of Saturday’s 2:30 wakefulness.

Stretching the blogging muscles

Monday, December 10th, 2007

I’m lucky that National Blog Posting Month was in November and not December. I forgot to pack the phone cord to connect my laptop to the dial up Internt (can you imagine?!) and wasn’t bold enough to make use of the open wireless network belonging to one of my mother’s neighbours. Honestly, I can’t imagine when I would have posted since we were busy, busy, busy. Our adventures started with Friday travels an easy Saturday, a party on Sunday and so on.

Take some some time to get caught back up with us, if you have the time

Crafts, parties and visits, oh my

Monday, December 10th, 2007

Aunt Karin had put a few braids in Reid’s hair Saturday night and so I didn’t need to pull it, ermm, I mean, brush it Sunday morning before talking Reid into her dress for Sunday school. We sent Ken to represent our family at Shea’s semi-final hockey game and we went to church. Reid and I arrived early and had time to listen to the choir practicing a bit before Melissa arrived. Aunt Karin was at the hockey game, too, and I was her backup as Sunday school teacher. Because I am a lucky woman, Melissa had the lesson worked out and I needed only to help keep the class in order and cut some sheets for the activity that accompanied the story.

After church and the hockey game were over (Shea’s team lost), we met up with Ken at Grandma Joyce’s and then headed out again, this time for the extended family Christmas lunch. Reid was a bit shy around the kids of my cousins but played happily with her own cousins. Ken had been concerned that Reid would be unable to play in her floor-length Christmas dress. (She looked like a little princess, in my humble opinion.) Reid proved her dedication to having fun would not be thwarted by a few yards of lace and taffeta. The piano was a big hit with the kids, especially Damien, who has definitely made the jump from baby to toddler since the summer.

I’d say that the lunch passed uneventfully, other than a breach of etiquette when Reid reached into the dish to grab a handful of olives. She is lightening fast, my girl, and the food table is sitting right there in the middle of the room. It’s hard to understand, I guess, why it’s acceptable to serve yourself chips or carrot stick with your hands but not olives. At the end of the meal, Reid’s dress featured souvenirs of cherry tomatoes, olive “juice” and something undefined. When I pointed this out to Grandma Joyce, our seamstress, she assured me that I shouldn’t worry. I have to tell you all that I washed the flatware all by myself in the kitchen, though Chris did help me sort out the two rinse sinks. It’s good to write this sort of thing down, don’t you think?

A few people came back to Grandma Joyce’s after the dinner and somehow we were late getting Reid to bed. Ken finally took charge since I was moving so slowly. I’m sure he despaired over how late I’d let her stay up when he wasn’t there. My husband knows me a little too well.

It was a day for seeing the churches of my life. The one where we attended Sunday school is the one where I was baptised in and where Reid was baptised 30-odd years later and we ate our lunch in the church where I was confirmed and where Ken and I were married.

Where the living is easy

Sunday, December 9th, 2007

Our first Saturday in Wheatley passed in a whirlwind, as our first day tends to do. Ken slept in to make up for his extremely late night. I would only recommend the driving-while-the-kids-sleep method to people who aren’t going to end up at a tourist location. It takes way to much out of the one(s) who stay awake. If we were somewhere with sites to see, I’d be torn between dragging Zombie Daddy with us or going off to something cool without him.

Reid had headed to Leamington with Aunt Karin and Uncle Roger to see Kathleen by 8:30. Dylan, Zachary and a few other kids were at Uncle Chris and Aunt Darlene’s house, too. When it was time for Uncle Roger and Aunt Karin to return to their homes, they insisted that a reluctant Reid leave, too. In the driveway, though, they saw Grandma Joyce arrive and told Reid she could stay and come back with Grandma. Reid immediately turned around and went back into the house, without waiting for anyone or allowing a second thought.

Meanwhile, I was at Other Pam’s (as Reid calls her to distinguish her from Aunt Pam) getting my hair done. At home, it’s a bit of a hassle to find the necessary time for a hair appointment but when in Wheatley, I can relax and listen to the gossip. When I was done, I joined Reid and visited with Kathleen and the others for a couple of hours. I’m sad for Kathleen that she was in town because of a death in Chris’ family but glad that we were able to see her as she lives so far away. 5 plus hours after Reid arrived, I brought her back to Grandma Joyce’s and Reid still wasn’t ready to leave. Uncle Chris and Aunt Darlene sure know how to make a girl feel welcome.

I’d planned to pick Ken up and go to Shea’s hockey game but Reid insisted that she was going to stay at Grandma Joyce’s with Daddy and I should go on my own. It was all I could do to convince her that Ken would enjoy seeing my smiling face as well. When it was time to go to the arena, Reid still wanted to stay behind. When I discovered that the canteen has hotdogs, I asked Uncle Roger to drop by and make the offer to Reid. As Ken and Reid eventually turned up and she asked for a hotdog, I guess it was the right incentive. Shea’s team played well, Reid watched the game and we talked a bit about when she was going to be a hockey girl.

Ken and I went to Windsor for dinner and Reid stayed in Wheatley. Date nights are the best, don’t you think? It took us a lifetime to drive back from Windsor as there were heavy flurries, the road was *only* track bare and Essex County rarely gets snow. Driving 30-40 kilometres an hour on an 80 km road can be frustrating. But not on date night. On date night, it just causes regret over not having got a tea for the road and offers extra adult conversation time.

Reid spent time at Grandma Joyce’s with the usual cast of characters (read: I don’t know exactly who as people drift in and out) and then went to Aunt Karin’s house. Aunt Karin worries that Reid doesn’t know about the grey house Aunt Karin and Uncle Dave live in since they visit Reid at all hours at Grandma Joyce’s. Aunt Karin asked Reid what she wanted for supper and, of course, Reid chose a hamburger. She brought half to Grandma Joyce’s and had it for breakfast on Sunday. I guess when you go to restaurants other than McDonald’s, the burger can be substantial enough to lead to leftovers.

I’d sum up our first day as -it’s nice to be back in Wheatley, where the living is easy and the helpful relatives are plentiful.