Archive for November, 2008

Coming soon

Monday, November 10th, 2008

Reid and I have been discussing Ken’s return a lot lately, as you can imagine. I’m not sure that he realizes that Reid is eagerly anticipating the time when he comes come *to her*.  He may be thinking that he is coming back to us but that is just silly talk.

When Ken is home, he will give Reid her bath while I clean up after supper because he has been gone a long time. When we go to the airport to pick him up, she will give him lots of kisses because they have missed each other. (I, apparently, was not missed.) Ken will go to watch Reid swim and he will be impressed with how much better she is. (Whereas I was an uninterested chauffeur these past three and a half months, I guess.) The best I can say for myself is that I’m invited to take Reid to school with Ken on his first day back. She has noted that she’ll stop being late once Daddy is back, not to cast any blame or anything.

I’ll be so glad when Ken comes back to Reid! I may have to wait but I know I’ll get some left over attention at some point.

I’m counting hours now…

Vigil 1914-1918

Friday, November 7th, 2008

We went to the Vigil 1914-1918 last night. There wasn’t a ceremony leading up as I had thought there would be, but it was a worthwhile experience nonetheless. We arrived in time to take the kids to look at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and at the National War Memorial itself before the projection started. We didn’t know any of the names that were projected while we sat there but we did have time to speak about the sacrifices of the soldiers, about Dr John McCrae (writer of the poem In Flanders Fields), and the importance of remembrance. At supper we did the math: 68,000 Canadians died in the First World War; each name will be projected over 7 nights; each night lasts for 13 hours and the names are projected at the top of the memorial in pairs (they remain on the lower part of the memorial afterward as well).  As you watch the pairs appear at approximately 8 second intervals, you get a sense of the massive loss of life, particularly since the total Canadian population according to the 1911 census was only 7.2 million.

The Vigil continues from dawn to dusk each night leading up to Remembrance Day and finishes at dawn on that day with the name of the soldier who died just 2 minutes before the Armistice went into effect at the 11th hour of the 11day of the 11th month in 1918. 

At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Names of those who made the ultimate sacrifice

A bit T-Rex, a bit monkey

Friday, November 7th, 2008

Reid slept about 11 hours Monday night and woke up ravenous. While I was packing my lunch and we were waiting for her oatmeal to cool, I offered her the choice of a slice of turkey lunch meat or a banana. She told me, “I’m a little bit T-Rex and a little monkey.” It must have shown on my face that I didn’t understand where her declaration had come from because she explained. “I need meat because I’m a little bit T-Rex and banana because I’m a little bit monkey.” Ah, I thought. It’s obvious when you take the time to follow her logic. On the way to school, Reid ate her oatmeal-raisin cereal and half of my banana. I’ll have to measure her height this weekend. I’m pretty sure she must be growing taller since she isn’t getting any wider.

Better than a kiss

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

I had a bit of trouble staying asleep last night possibly due to the child’s size 10 feet that found their way to my kidney, ear and other soft place (not at the same time) or maybe because of the purring cats who were absolutely desperate for petting. When Reid woke up at 5:00 needing to go to the bathroom, I took her and then suggested that we might trade sides of the bed because my arm was sore. She thought a bit and then reassured me that once we hugged each other, as we do when she goes to sleep, my arm would feel better. If a kiss is good for an ouchie, a hug will solve a sore arm. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I think my arm trouble was directly attributable to the hugging that had been happening throughout the night. She was right, though, the hugging did help or maybe it was her peaceful confidence than it would. And the fact that she decided she wanted to change places because her back was sore couldn’t have hurt. ;+)

Trick or treat – Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

At the door, waiting for the treats

View More Wordless Wednesday Participants, look at my previous Wordless Wednesday entries, or check out the Wordless Wednesday HQ. You’ll find lots of cute babies and kids at 5 Minutes for Mom.


Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Dani over at has already posted her list of Santa parades – and a good thing since the first one takes place this weekend – and there are many churches having their Christmas bazars but I want to talk about remembrance for just a bit before moving full swing into Christmas. Starting tonight and continuing until dawn on Remembrance Day, the names of those Canadians who gave their lives fighting in the First World War will be projected on the National War Memorial in Ottawa and in a number of other cities in Canada as well as on Canada House in London, England. The names will also be visible via webcast. Dubbed Vigil 1914-1918, this event will allow people to remember the sacrifices in a war that ended 90 years ago. I found a schedule of events on the National History Society Vigil site which promises the following for Ottawa on each of the 7 nights:

4:00 National Capital Commission site interpreters provide students with a tour of the National War Memorial
4:30 Official ceremonies begin
- Community leaders invited to share remarks
- Area cadet corps read letters from First World War soldiers
- Area students and classrooms will be invited to:
a) place maple leaves on wreaths and lay the wreaths on the cenotaph (Grade 4-8 program)
b) light votive candles and place them on the cenotaph (Grade 9-12 program)
- musical tribute
5:00 The visual projection begins
5:15 The first of the soldiers names appears on the monument

Halifax, Fredricton,Toronto, Regina, and Edmonton will have different ceremonies. In London, the Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will attend the opening ceremony at Canada House, Trafalgar Square.

I don’t think that Reid is ready for the ceremony at the National War Memorial on the 11th. There would be far too much waiting involved if we were to get close enough for her to see but I think that this might be do-able for her. Given the unseasonably warm weather we’re experiencing, it seems wrong not to at least bring her for a bit. We’ll colour a poppy and bring it with us, too.

If you lost a family member in the First World War, you can search for their name and attend/watch at the appropriate time.

The National History Society Vigil site has a lot of good information for starting a conversation with children, even small ones, about Remembrance Day, as does the Veterans’ Affairs Veterans’ Week site.If you’re interested in attending, here is the key information from the Vigil 1914-1918 site:

The Names The vigil will commence November 4th 2008. More than 9,700 names will appear each night. Each individual name will appear only once during the seven nights. These include those killed in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, the Canadian Merchant Navy and the Canadian Army Medical Corps.

Early Christmas talk

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

Normally, I think that people shouldn’t be allowed to discuss Christmas before Halloween but the topic has already come up a few times at our house.

Reid was caressing her Christmas gown last Wednesday morning – it really is more a gown than a simple dress, it’s that beautiful and Grandma Joyce is that talented – and she asked when it would be Christmas. I told her that she’d have to wait 2 months for Christmas. Her shoulders slumped. I added that she’d be able to wear her dress for pictures this month and Reid perked up. She stared at the dress for a few more seconds and then noted that it lacked a belt. I pointed out the sash of the dress but Reid thought it needed a belt. I also demonstrated the jingle bell in the hem that would further accessorize the outfit but Reid remained firm on the need for a belt. To be precise, she thought it needed her pink, shiny plastic belt with a large heart-shapde buckle that is studded with pink rhinestones. Since I was hoping to leave the house without tears (on her part or mine), I allowed that belt could stay for a while but that it couldn’t be in her pictures. I’ll have to disappear it in the next week or so.

Reid discovered some coins somewhere or another once day recently and, as she gathered them together, she told me that she was going to give them to Santa so that he could buy her some presents. She didn’t specify what she was hoping for but rather said that Santa should choose whatever *he* wanted. It seems we’ve missed some part of Reid’s education vis-à-vis Santa.

Remember the year I wanted nothing more than for Reid to want a train set for Christmas? Well, this year I think my dream present for Reid will coincide with her preference, too. Several times I’ve had to pry Reid away from a dollhouse at post-care and so I started looking at wooden dollhouses but the dolls seem intended for younger kids – maybe 3-6 year olds. The Playmobil ones have people that seem more suited to the 4-8 year olds. Initially I wanted to avoid plastic, for environmental and quality reasons, but I think purchasing a sturdy Playmobil house that Reid will play with longer balances out the eco-friendly wooden house that will come and go more quickly. Plus, who can resist the look of the Playmobil Victorian dollhouse? It comes unfurnished, unfortunately, and so I’ll be soliciting room furnishings and people from anyone inclined to buy Reid a present.

Remember, there are only 52 shopping days until Christmas. I’m pretty sure Grandma Joyce has already started decorating.

A scary crew

Saturday, November 1st, 2008

Trick or treat

Compared to the two vampires Reid was trick or treating with, her skunk costume didn’t seem so scary. She was a hit with the people at the doors – it helped that most of the other kids were bigger.