Archive for May, 2009

Victoria Day weekend visitors

Monday, May 18th, 2009

I commented on Facebook that having visitors to our house usually starts with the same excitement as a visit from Santa. We go to bed with just 3 of us in the house and we wake to “presents” in the form of guests. I guess that should be “presence” as presents.

I cuddled Reid into sleeping an extra half hour Saturday morning but at 6:20, she absolutely, positively had to get out of bed. She went quickly to see who was sleeping in the guest room and kiss them awake. Aunt Pam was lying in bed waiting for just such a visit. We went to the main floor and found Grandma Joyce already up. Reid was determined to go down to the basement to wake Chantelle and Sulienne. I tried to convince Reid to wait an hour but she was adamant. I guess she knew they wanted to be awake. Aunt Pam went downstairs with Reid – my offer having been rejected – and Reid immediately went into “kiss and wake up mode”. They spent nearly 45 minutes chatting and snuggling before the three girls (when you’re old like me, you can call 25 year olds “girls”) came upstairs. From the look of them, Sulienne and Chantelle weren’t as convinced that 6:30 was a good wake-up time as Reid thought. Still, we managed to eat French toast with cream cheese and fruit and still get out of the house by 8:45.

Reid had her own cheering section at soccer. Chantelle and Sulienne had been a bit concerned about their appearances before we left home but once they got out in the wind and the chill, they sacrificed such concerns and layered on coats that live in Grandma Joyce’s trunk. Before Reid finishes soccer in July, I’m sure I’ll be complaining about how hot I was but that was definitely not the case this Saturday!

Aunt Pam, Chantelle and Sulienne took Reid for her swimming lesson and found themselves in the steam bath that is the swimming pool enclosure. The only ones wetter – but definitely not hotter – were Grandma Joyce and me in rainy Nepean at the wheelchair rental place. We all met up at Ikea for lunch and some time in the ball room for Reid.

I made cider pork medallions and German potato salad for supper. These two dishes are my company-worthy fallbacks. Ken and Reid usually like them and they’re not so complicated that I’m afraid to mess them up. If ever you’re over, don’t be surprised to see them on your plate. Of course, this time Reid wouldn’t eat since we’d woke her from a nap that started at 6:00 and ended at 6:20.

At bedtime, Reid asked Sulienne to put her to sleep but after a while asked if Sulienne would get me to come up instead. As a consolation prize, Reid promised that she would wake Sulienne first. Sulienne resisted the urge to refuse the honour. And so it was that at 6:15 on Sunday morning, Reid went to the basement where Chantelle and Sulienne were sleeping. The big girls came on a solution, though, as Aunt Pam discovered a while later. Sulienne and Chantelle were sleeping with Reid snuggled between them, watching a video.

We went to Eddy’s for breakfast and then to Major’s Hill Park for Tulip Festival fun. There were a series of sculptures made of cans and other non-perishable foods. Reid was much less impressed with the sculptures than the rest of us. We spent lots of time in the Circo-Circuit – a circuit of circus activities with instructors right there. Reid tried her hand at juggling, hula-hooping, swinging beanbags with streamers on them, stilts, tightrope walking, and rope and trapeze tricks. We were surprised to learn that Sulienne can juggle three balls at a time. Reid was disappointed to be told that she was too short to ride the unicycle but since her feet couldn’t reach the pedals, she didn’t protest. The stilts were not of the sort I remember from my childhood, where you stood on blocks attached to poles that extended over your head. These ones were only 3 or 4 feet long and strapped onto the foot and lower leg. The kids were able to use parallel metal bars, like those you see in physiotherapy rooms where adults are relearning to walk, to support themselves as they tried the stilts.

Sulienne accompanied Reid on the 1930s carousel, where they raced to the gold horse that Reid selected and then yelled, “Yee haw!” on each revolution. Reid was right at the maximum height line but squeezed herself into the 1938 fire truck ride. It looked just like the one she rode at the Stirling Fair last year. I was eager to go to the ferris wheel but Reid didn’t want to wait in the line. She noticed that the line for the Scrambler (I didn’t notice when it was made) was much shorter. Sulienne and I declined to ride on it (okay, we wimped out) but Chantelle was more than happy to climb into the compartment with Reid. I think Chantelle might have worried a bit about Reid’s reaction but she said nothing to Reid, other than making sure Reid saw what the ride did. I was dizzy watching them whirl around. Reid is short enough that I could mostly see only the top of her head and so didn’t know what she thought until she joined me back at the ferris wheel. Reid had a great big grin on her face as she announced, “I got so dizzy!” I might have said the same thing if it had been me but Reid meant that she’d had a great time and I wouldn’t have meant that at all. Sulienne went on the ferris wheel with Reid as the last ride. She took my camera and got some good pics of Reid, the circus activities and some unusual angles of Parliament Hill, the National Gallery and the cathedral whose name I forget. Once Reid and Sulienne got on the ferris wheel, we were out of tickets and we’d done everything once. I generally get stuck with extra tickets (which I give to a family that looks like they’d appreciate them) or we have to choose which ride to repeat. The $20 I spent was a bargain, we had a full morning of fun. How often do you think you’ve got a bargain at a circus/carnival?

We had lunch at the food court at the Rideau Centre. Reid chose A&W because Uncle Roger introduced her to Mozza Burgers and she loves them still. After lunch, we went to Parliament Hill. We’d hoped for a tour but they said they’d run out of tickets by 10:00. Instead, we walked around, stopping to see the cats who live on the hill and admire the Library of Parliament, in particular. We spent some time posing with the Famous Five statues, by far the most popular on the hill. I doubt that many people know about why the statues of those women are there but they do make for good photo ops.

Once home, Pam, Chantelle and Sulienne got be all dolled up for my date with Ken to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Reid voluntarily laid herself on the couch for a nap, to give you an idea of how tired she was after our adventures. Ken and I left as Reid was planning her girls’ evening in, complete with a tea party and make up. Ken and I had a nice evening and Reid sure seemed to as well.

While we were away, Grandma Joyce explained that when she was a girl, children never called adults by their first name. Grandma said, that she would have called a friend of her mother’s Aunt Whoever or Grandma Whoever or Mrs Whoever. Then, Grandma said, if Aunt Pam’s name was Pam Cake, then she would have been Aunt Pam or Mrs Cake. Reid’s eyes sparkled and she laughed. She asked Chantelle and Sulienne if they’d heard Grandma say that Aunt Pam’s last name could have been “Cake!” Chantelle broke the news to Reid that her whole name was “Chantelle Cake”. Reid didn’t find this as hilarious as Pam Cake, apparently.

At bedtime, Aunt Pam read a couple stories to Reid and then laid with her, reading while Reid settled to sleep. After a bit, Reid told Aunt Pam and she could go. Aunt Pam asked if she should turn the light out. Reid said, “Turn the light out. Take the cat. Shut the door.” With such clear direction, Aunt Pam did as she was asked and Reid went to sleep.

Returning home after a night out to find Reid asleep is like realizing we have premium ice cream in the freezer when I’ve baked a cake: a real treat. Sunday night’s return was even better since Sulienne and Chantelle had cleaned the house as an anniversary present. They couldn’t have chosen anything better! While it was happening, I’m told that Reid commented that it was just like when the cleaners came. I told her on Monday how much I appreciated the work she, Chantelle and Sulienne had done. Reid was quick to set me straight, “Suli and Chantelle cleaned. I made sure they did it right!” Is she my kid or what?!

Reid was up early again on Monday morning and once again spent some quality time with the girls and Dora the Explorer. We had a leisurely breakfast and then the car was packed and Grandma Joyce, Aunt Pam, Chantelle and Sulienne hit the open road. Reid was sad but didn’t cry as she had earlier when I told her that our visitors were leaving after breakfast. It seems that Reid had planned to take them to the Farm on Monday. She hadn’t mentioned anything to me, though, or I might have been able to work it in on Sunday.

We were sad to see everyone get in the car but we’d had such a good weekend that we really couldn’t complain. Saying good bye is always tough. We love Ottawa but wouldn’t say “no” to a super-rapid train or Star Trek transporter to help us see our relatives more often.

What we’re not having for supper

Friday, May 15th, 2009

I asked Reid if there was any meals she wanted me to make this weekend. She was stumped for a minute and then said, “Can you not make sausage casserole?” I agreed to her request but then Reid said, “Or if you do make sausage casserole, will you make me spaghetti?” It’s good to have a back-up plan, don’t you think? For what it’s worth, Reid doesn’t like cream-based casseroles and we don’t make her eat them since she eats pretty much everything else.

I had to figure out what to make all on mine own – the hardest part of meals, I think – but at least I know what not to make.

Our first family camping trip – May 8-10

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

Reid and I have gone camping together a few times with a variety of aunts, uncles, cousins and Grandma Joyce but Ken has always missed out. He went camping when he was younger but I’m pretty sure that it was quite a bit different with Reid and me and no case of beer. I was worried that the cabin – smaller than our dining room – would prove to be a challenge but when I made the reservation at the KOA at Cardinal, Ontario, I was thinking of the two playgrounds, jumping pillow and safe roads on which Reid could ride her bike.

When I opened my door to go register and get a key to the cabin, I heard a clap of thunder and had to acknowledge that the weather forecasters might not all have been completely wrong and that we might be in for a stuck-in-the-cabin camping weekend. Luckily for us, the heavy rain was brief and, after eating our supper on the porch to stay dry, we were able to have a camp fire. We all ate way too many marshmallows, as you’re supposed to when camping. Reid ate hers raw; Ken likes his burnt; and I like mine golden. Reid and Ken were able to achieve their targets with more consistency than me. Reid was able to help cook Ken’s, though he likes the full cooking-and-eating experience. I’d forgotten that Ken sets his marshmallows on fire. He reminded me that we had them at bonfires when Grandma Joyce still lived at the farm but I have the family memory and can’t remember but I know he’s right.

Reid had her first soccer practice/game on Saturday morning and so we left the campground about 7:15 am. It wasn’t exactly ideal to drive the hour-plus back to Ottawa but Reid was bursting with enthusiasm for soccer. Reid received a brown t-shirt and then she ran around with the other kids followed the coaches’ directions and did just what she was supposed to do. I’m still a bit surprised when the kid who usually hides her head against my leg when we meet people integrates so easily into a big crowd of kids.  The skies were grey but it didn’t rain on us. Yet.

We stopped at home for a bit before taking Reid to her swimming lesson – since we were in the city anyway and it was pouring by this time. Or, at least, I took Reid to her lesson and Ken stayed home for a shower. Ken is a practical guy, you know. We went to the M&Ms fund raising barbecue in support of Crohn’s and Colitis. For a minimum donation of $2.50, they gave us a hamburger, small bag of Doritos and a glass of orange drink. We can’t usually feed our 3-person family for $7.50.

Reid fell asleep on the way back to the campground, just as I’d hoped. The rain was falling in torrents but I convinced Ken to take us on a “scenic” drive anyway to prolong Reid’s nap. The rain was still falling when Reid awoke but the day was warm enough that it wasn’t a huge problem. We went to the ice cream social in the main building, contributing our money to camps for kids with cancer, and then spent the rest of the afternoon in the cabin reading and playing games. I made fried pizza sandwiches on the electric griddle that I packed and pretended as hard as I could that mine had come from a pie iron that had been resting in the coals. Reid loved sitting on her lawn chair and using the bed as a table. It’s hard to be out of sorts with a person who sees the adventure and up-side to everything. The rain shifted into a thunderstorm and we were treated to a sound and light show that included a tree-strike about 150 metres from our cabin. The flat area in front of our cabin turned into a small pond. Reid splashed in it and set her umbrella floating in its current when we braved the elements to use the bathroom. We were all in bed early. Ken had no fire to tend and sitting on the porch in the dark, watching the rain fall, lost its appeal quickly. Me, I was tired as always.

We were all up early on Sunday morning because it was so amazingly cold in the cabin. The folks in the office had given us a space heater – I didn’t say we roughing it – but it was noisy and we’d shut it off. I turned it on to help Ken and me defrost. Reid was as snug as the proverbial bug in her polar fleece footie pajamas. We ate a snack, cracked open a few books and started to pack up while we waited for it to be time for the campground-sponsored pancake breakfast. After breakfast, we finally went to the climbing structure at the park. Reid had asked many times, apparently not remembering her fall in August when we were camping with Aunt Karin and L., her friend from daycare. Ken and I worked hard at not freezing in the cold and the wind while Reid played but we didn’t last very long. Even with 2 shirts, a sweater and my coat on, I was cold. Poor Ken didn’t have as many clothes as me. He’d packed last and was conscious of the limited space available in our car. I’m oblivious to such realities. We had the car packed just after 11:00 and we headed for home.

If Reid had been younger, it would have seemed a very long weekend with all of the rain and cold but since she is an almost-five year old, who likes books and board games, it was a nice opportunity for us to all be in the same physical space. That doesn’t happen in our house where we could easily each be on a different floor, though we are generally at least two on one floor. Not that I’m hoping for more rain the next time we go on a family camping trip. It wasn’t traumatic, or at least I haven’t heard Ken mention it in such terms, I think we’ll do it again.

Celebrating your mom

Monday, May 11th, 2009

When you’re four-and-a-half, your approach to celebrating Mother’s Day is different than when your 38. For starters, you want it known that you are fractionally older than the most recent birthday would suggest.

Reid had told me that I was supposed to stay asleep the longest but, of course, I was the first one to wake up in our sub-zero cabin. I turned on the microfurnace and snuggled back into bed with Reid, who is a microfurnace herself. I love watching Reid sleep and wake; it’s on my top ten list of favourite mom things. When Reid did wake up, she immediately ordered me to go back to sleep. Ken suggested that she should wish me “Happy Mother’s Day” instead of being so bossy. I pretended to sleep just long enough for Reid to locate the card and present that she made for me. The card had an “M” inside a heart on it that reminded me of the Superman symbol. On the inside, Reid had printed “Maman”, scribbled a few rows of her interpretation of cursive, and then signed her name. As her present, she had drawn a picture of the two of us doing something we like to do together – jumping in puddles. It was very appropriate for our weekend!

Me, I signed on for the group present that Roger was organizing and let Grandma Joyce sleep late. I can’t remember the last time that I made her a card let alone drew her a picture. Do you suppose that I can take credit for arranging for Reid do these things?

Reid let me have the first turn when we played alphabet bingo in honour of Mother’s Day. Normally the first turn is reserved for the youngest. Surprisingly, Reid came up with this rule herself.

At supper, Reid asked me what glass I wanted and when I chose her favourite glass, she stifled her usual “but that’s the one I want”. She made sure Ken knew about her graciousness in letting me have it, though. That might make the act less generous …

In her greatest act of caring for me on Mother’s Day, Reid came into the bathroom where I was and shut the door behind her to “give me privacy”. I suggested that giving me privacy required that she leave the room. Reid gently but firmly told me I was wrong. Privacy is a relative thing. (Pun intended.)

In celebrated *my* mom by letting her use the bathroom solo all day long. I’m sure that there were years when this wasn’t the case. I bet she and I both would have given up our privacy in exchange for a hug and a cup of coffee together. Sometimes I feel every kilometer that lies between us. I sure hope Reid doesn’t move away from me!

Cats as clocks

Friday, May 8th, 2009

I’m often impressed by Clio and Leo’s ability to know what time it is. When I telework, I’ll see Clio at lunch, as she hopes for peanut toast to drop or whatever, and then she’ll appear just ahead of the time that Ken and Reid are due home. She doesn’t have to hurry when the garage door opens like I do because she is already in the foyer.

But I’m writing this because Leo woke me up at 12:28 am today so that I would go with him to the bathroom, where his food is. I was thinking that it is quite amazing that he wakes me for company at his middle of the night snack within a 15-minute window most nights of the week. I wonder sometimes if it’s my body’s clock that is programmed to wake up and the Leo nuzzles me often and I only wake up when my body is ready. I’ve never asked Ken to stand guard all night to observe but, somehow, I don’t think he’d like the idea. I’m lucky enough to fall back asleep quickly or I might have to actually figure out how to train a cat to do something it didn’t want to do.

Don’t judge a food by its name

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

When Reid asked what was for supper last night, I told her we were having fajitas. Reid announced that she didn’t like them in her “and I don’t want to hear anymore on this subject” tone of voice. I said that I doubted she ever had them and told her that fajitas had meat – a longtime favourite food of Reid’s  - inside of tortillas – a new favourite that would be a candidate for food obsession if we allowed it. “Oh!” said Reid. “I’ll like them. But the name sounded yucky.”

Ken cooked and at one point said that he couldn’t find any onion. I rarely buy them because Ken doesn’t like them. Reid said she doesn’t like onion, either, because they’re too spicy. I told both of them that we didn’t have any onion and that the fajitas would be fine without them. Maybe not great or authentic but fine, even without the yummy carmellized onions.

At supper, Reid spread the cottage cheese, that I’d mistakenly put on the table in place of sour cream, on her tortilla, added the meat and then asked me to slice her wrap. The meat was pretty spicy, a two-and-a-half glass of milk meal, and Reid complained a bit about her lips being hot. Onions were rejected as too spicy but the cajun spice on the meat was okay.

We need to remember to put Vaseline or Blistex on her before supper for protection against the spices. It’s especially rough to be the sort that sticks one’s tongue out when concentrating, which causes awful chapped lips, when one also likes spicy foods.

If you don’t know what it is

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Apparently I have a few more things to teach Reid about eating. The “if you’re full, stop eating” advice I gave a while ago wasn’t as exhaustive as I thought it was.

We were in the car one night recently and Reid was eating a hard-boiled egg and some veggies. After a bit, she held a bit of something up and asked me what it was. Being a good and conscientious driver, I kept my eyes on the road and told her not to eat things she couldn’t identify. Reid said, “I think its egg. (And then, while chewing) I’m sure it was egg.”

So Mama’s Helpful, Healthful Tips for Eating now include:
If you don’t know what it is, don’t eat it; and
If you’re full, stop eating.

What would you add?

The museums are marvellous

Monday, May 4th, 2009

We had a full and fun weekend. I’d noticed that Pizza Pizza was running a special where medium cheese or cheese-and-pepperoni pizzas were $5 and they made a donation to the Children’s Wish Foundation (or something similar). I’d offered to get Ken add another topping to his pizza, thinking the price difference wouldn’t be too severe. When it would have doubled the cost, I choked and stuck with the pepperoni. I love him more than $5 worth but I’m kind of cheap. I told Reid that we would sit in the backyard, as she has been wanting to do for weeks, even before the snow melted, without checking out the temperature. I guess the temperature was okay but the wind was stronger than I’d expected. I shivered and whined while Reid ate her pizza and Ken gave me his “you got us into this” look. Reid was happy and I didn’t freeze to death as had seemed imminent and so it was a good start to our weekend.

On Saturday, I went out for lunch with Melissa and to see a play called “Moms the Word” (the ticket was my birthday present from Melissa) while Ken and Reid went to her swimming lesson and then to the Museum of Science and Technology. There were special activities centred on astronomy as the museum – and Ken and Reid – marked National Astronomy Day. (They also have a Family Astronomy and Space program that might be worth checking out.) We all arrived home about the same time, which meant Reid and Ken were at the museum about 3.5 hours, and we had lots of stories to exchange. Unfortunately, Reid doesn’t listen closely to what Ken is saying and I sometimes got her version of his story just after he’d finished. Reid is excited to be bringing the telescope camping this weekend and I’m crossing my fingers that it won’t be rainy or cloudy.

Reid and I headed out for breakfast at Cora’s on Sunday morning. I’d asked Reid if she wanted to go to the Canada Agriculture Museum or the Canadian Children’s Museum and she countered with the option of developing a list, which she promptly did – breakfast, the Children’s Museum and the Farm. What a good problem solver, eh?

We’ve only just started making forays into the main part of the Museum of Civilization but since we were fresh, we didn’t go immediately to the Children’s Museum. We looked at the West Coast Native Canadian exhibit and explored the first half of the “Tombs of Eternity” exhibit in a gallery hidden in the basement that don’t think I’ve ever been to before. There was a game called “Dogs and Jackals” that was played in Ancient Egypt that worked a lot like “Snakes and Ladders”. Reid won three games quickly and then decided to quit while she was ahead. I need a rematch! I led us through the Canadian Postal Museum and into the back of the Children’s Museum. Reid was mighty impressed. “This was a genius idea, Mama!” she said. I love the praise ;+) We spent a couple of hours looking around and visited only half of what is there – I don’t know how Reid can enjoy the same toys and exhibits over and over but those museum folks seem to know more than me because Reid is not showing any signs of tiring of the Children’s Museum. Finally, my tummy required that I put an end to the visit and we went home.

Reid hadn’t forgotten about the Farm, though, and was eager that Ken come with us. His least-favourite museum is the Children’s Museum – it’s too loud and there are too many kids for Ken – and Reid knows it. But she also knows that he likes the Farm. We ate our lunch and, then Ken took Reid upstairs to see what he’d been up to while we were out. Reid was very impressed! Ken had but the double bed from the guest room into her room, with the intention of putting her bed in the guest room which doubles as an office. Reid was excited that the three of us could snuggle together on her bed. She talked about napping altogether but then she kept on talking so the nap didn’t happen.

On my (misguided) advice, Reid and I changed into capris and short-sleeved tops and Ken left his jacket at home. The day was warm and sunny but a wind seemed to appear from nowhere and I had to endure (justifiably) resentful looks from Ken as his goose-bumps developed goose bumps. Reid was impervious, of course. There was a special presentation just outside of Goody the Bull’s enclosure. Goody is Reid’s favourite animal on the farm and so this was a harbinger of a great visit. The guides talked with Reid about different breeds of cattle, the difference between beef and dairy cattle and showed a range of products made from cattle. The rest of the visit was fun, even though the fellow running the horse and wagon ride cancelled the last run, and so we couldn’t go. Reid was disappointed but didn’t make a big deal of it. She remembered a few stories about what happened when she visited the Farm on a field trip a few weeks ago. It’s great to hear her stories since she spends so much time at school.

More than a nugget of fun in North Bay

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Reid and I spent last weekend in North Bay, hanging out with Kathleen, or Kackle as we called her once Reid’s insertion of an extra “a” drove me over the edge. “Kathaleen” must be one of my personal, psychic stones-in-my-shoe. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express and enjoyed their pool, hot breakfast (with cinnamon buns!) and mini-suite with fridge and microwave.

On Friday evening, we went for a swim in the pool before heading out to buy a pizza to take to eat on the beach. We got a pizza from Mr Toppers (yum) and found a bench overlooking the bay but didn’t make it to the beach. I’d already warned Reid that we wouldn’t be able to play in the water and Mother Nature backed my up. Despite our 20-plus Celsius (75ish Fahrenheit)day, the water was frozen at the shore and for quite a ways out. It’s good to have Mother Nature on your side. And it’s hard to believe that we’ll be swimming in that same water in a couple of months. The breeze over the ice was chilly but the sun was still strong and you can tolerate more the first warm days on spring than in the dead of the summer, eh?

On our way back to the hotel, we stopped at the Dollar Store for pool toys. I invested about $7 in water wings, an inflatable dolphin, a Disney Princesses ball, goggles and part of what we needed to make a floating chair (of course, I didn’t learn we needed a pool noodle until we were back at the hotel). I got the dolphin and ball blown up for another trip to the pool and Reid tried out her goggles. On the way back to the room, Reid, started talking about “Dave” (the dolphin). I thought it seemed silly to name an inflatable dolphin 2/3 Reid’s size but was soon glad that she’d bonded with Dave when we realized that we’d forgotten Molly, the Care Bear Reid sleeps with most nights. I suggested that *I* could be her sleep toy but Reid was confident that Dave would be a better choice. An inflatable dolphin is about as cuddly as you’d expect but Reid was happy. Dave made a couple of breaks for it in the night. Each attempt at freedom led to me having to walk around the bed to retrieve him. Molly doesn’t get out of bed so often.

We went to the Powassin Maple Syrup Festival on Saturday morning, after a trip to the pool, of course. We didn’t see much relating to maple trees or syrup  but we did see interesting kiosks on the main street and Reid found a lady selling candy kebobs that were beg-worthy. The most exciting activity, though, was the West Coast Lumberjack show. Reid watched, fascinated, as the lumberjacks used racing axes, cross-cut saws and chainsaws in a competition. At the end of the show, Reid was eager to get to the rope between the audience and exhibit area with her hands out for a souvenir piece of cut wood. She planned to bring it home to Ken so that he could build something but later decided to take it to Chris, Kathleen’s husband, when Kathleen mentioned that he would be sad to have missed the competition. Reid is a sensitive girl, you know. We got back to the car just as the first drops of rain began to fall. We looked longingly at the Highland games competitors who were just across the road but didn’t risk the rain. When the skies opened up and the deluge began, we were glad of our decision. Instead of taking the 20 minute highway trip back to North Bay, we drove along the water on what would have been a beautiful, scenic drive except for the rain, fog and wind. Reid slept and Kathleen and I talked, which made it a great drive anyway. We swam a couple more times on Saturday night and ate supper in our room. Kathleen and I had chocolate lava cakes for dessert but Reid chose fruit. I don’t know where Reid gets these crazy tendencies!

On Sunday, we relaxed in the room, swam again and then hit the highway for Kathleen and Chris’ house. During the drive, I asked if Reid had enjoyed getting to know Kathleen better but she ignored me. Kathleen repeated the question and
Reid responded emphatically, “No!” And paused before offering an insulted,  “I already knowed her.” I think she thought we were implying that she was too little to remember previous visits with Kathleen and was offended. Poor kid.

We’d planned on having soup and fruit for lunch but Reid must have heard someone mention grilled cheese sandwiches because she slipped into the kitchen when Chris was in there by himself and conned him into making her one. What a bold child, don’t you think?

After lunch we hit the road for Ottawa. Reid managed to stay awake for only a couple of kilometres and then succumbed to the nap that she needed. We made good time on the road and got back to Ottawa just before supper. It takes about 4 and 1/2 hours to drive from North Bay to Ottawa if you don’t take Highway 7 instead of 17, like I did in August, and worth every minute of it. We’ll definitely be inviting ourselves to visit Kathleen and Chris this summer. The city newspaper is called the North Bay Nugget but that undersells the fun to be had – at least if you’re lucky enough to spend time with Kathleen. And it’ll be that much better if we decide to have boys join us next time. Chris and Ken won’t even have to say a word – Kathleen, Reid and I have that covered ;+)