Archive for January, 2010

Starting to add up

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Reid is increasingly interested in reading, finally agreeing to sound words out when prompted. Her passion, though, remains math. Tonight she chose to work in an addition book while I got supper together. At first, Reid told me the numbers that she was adding together and then she gave the answer. After a bit, she started regrouping the pictures of items to be added and then asking me for the answer. When I told Reid that it was she who needed to practice addition, she assured me that she knew the answers but wanted to know if I did. When I hesitated in answering a question, Reid would offer the initial sound of the correct answer. I was tempted to defend myself – the delay was due to distraction not an inability to work sums less than 10 – but that would have seemed ungrateful since she was giving me hints.

Canadian winters don’t get any better – Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010




View More Wordless Wednesday Participants, look at my previous Wordless Wednesday entries, or check out the cute babies and kids at 5 Minutes for Mom.

Staycation weekend 1

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Ken’s oral interaction test is scheduled for January 19th. He is working even harder to prepare for it than he did for the grammar and comprehension tests. Or, at least, it seems that way to me. Reid’s and my job is mostly to give him time to study. We speak French to him sometimes but we discuss “home” topics and don’t use the same vocabulary as he will in his test and so its not as helpful as might be. I thought of going away for a weekend or two but its nice to see him for breakfast and supper at least. Our plans have morphed into staycations instead.

On Saturday, we went to that Home Depot Kids’ Workshop and then straight to Kindermusik. We ate our lunch in the recreation centre, where Reid discovered that the lentil couscous I’ve been trying to get her to try for years is actually yummy. Too bad I didn’t feel the same about Reid’s bagel with cream cheese. After class, we had planned on going to Play It Again Sports but Reid fell asleep but I’ve extended the “don’t wake a sleeping baby” rule to prohibit waking Reid, regardless of her age. We slowly made our way home via a circuitous route to prolong Reid’s nap.

Once home, Reid applied the stickers to her calendar and then it was time for a power skating session that was offered in place of hockey. I wish the power skating happened more often. Reid enjoyed the drills – and going to the other end of the ice for the first time – and she needs the skills development. Ken came along to watch. He and I have some of our best conversations sitting in the stands, me trying to absorb all of his extra body heat and both of us thinking of what we want to tell the other. We try for a good conversation at swimming lessons, too, but the heat saps the ideas out of our brains and there is no touching.

On Sunday morning, Reid and I went to the Canada Agriculture Museum for our first visit since the fall. It was sooo cold! I remembered why I don’t usually go to The Farm in the winter. Our arrival put us too late for the rabbit and cow care sessions and before the afternoon sessions started but we were able to say farewell to the ram, about whose departure I had read on Twitter, and visit the pigs, sheep, bull and donkey in the main barn and the cows and calves in the dairy barn. The cows are suffering from ringworm – which they said doesn’t actually involve worms – and we weren’t able to touch them. The calves were behind a door. They’re so cute it’s nearly impossible not to touch them, or rather, they would find it impossible not to touch the people. They are lickers and nuzzlers to a one, those calves.

We ate our lunch sitting in the parking lot and then went to visit my friend, Carol, and her husband in the rural part of Ottawa. We took our snowshoes with us and were out for about an hour, walking along the Jock River and then through a field of pine trees. It was a sunny day and the landscape was quintessentially “winter in Canada”. Carol’s two dogs – one of which is nearly as big as the pony Reid rode when we were at Deerhurst and the other is smaller but still large – accompanied us. They rolled in the snow, ran away and came bounding back, occasionally sniffing at Reid. She was the tiniest bit hesitant at first but only for a short time. She has come a long way from her fear of Zoëy, the smallest (and cutest) Yorkshire terrier I’ve ever met. I thought that the big walk might have worn Reid out but she stayed awake for the whole trip back. Carol and Michael live near one edge of Ottawa and we’re close to another. The city might not be densely populated but it is widely spread out.

I made Madras chicken curry for Ken’s half-birthday, which we were celebrating belatedly. He’d requested a cherry pie, too, but I’d spent too much time away from the house to deliver it. I substituted three store-bought cupcakes that each had a plastic hockey jersey on the top. Reid and I got Senators jerseys (Go, Sens! Go!) and Ken got a Canadiens jersey (Boo! Hiss!).

And all of a sudden, our weekend was over and it was time for bed.

Speaking of the Montreal Canadiens, do you know what the “H” on their jersey signifies?

Calendar building with Reid

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

I took Reid to Home Depot for their Kids’ Building Workshop on Saturday morning. She asked why I was taking her instead of Ken. Like I haven’t taken her more than he has, though he took her to the last workshop. I’m not sure whether Reid thought building was the sort of job that a Daddy would do or whether she thought he was better, regardless of gender or if there was a third answer. It’s hard to know which would be a better answer.

The project was an interesting one – we made a perpetual calendar. There were 8 nails involved, which meant there was just the right amount of hammering required before Reid could paint. Reid did most of the hammering, for the first time, and her aim was much improved and we didn’t bend any nails. Maybe having Ken at that last workshop *was* better. ;+)

Mid-way through the workshop, I started wondering whether Lowes or Rona also offer workshops for kids. I’m pretty cheap, as you might have noticed, and free activities for kids are high on my list of things I like to spend time on. I’ve done a bit of research and see the Rona has a Little Hammers Club and Lowes in the US does as well. I couldn’t find any info on the Lowes Canada site but I’ll call. It turns out I’m not all that loyal.

If you’re looking for Reid on the morning of the 30th, you should check Rona. All that’s to be decided is whether she is stuck with second-choice Mama again.

Happy Birthday, Kathleen

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Hey Kackle,
I thought about you lots on your birthday, even told Reid it was your birthday and we stuck a birthday cake sticker on the calendar for you. Sadly, I didn’t get myself organized to write to you. I’m not sure if this email will count as extending the “Festival of Kathleen” but here’s the message that I wish I’d sent last week:

Dear Kathleen,
Happy Birthday! In your honour, I cooked a turkey dinner and even made a cherry pie for dessert. It would have been better to have had peanut butter sandwiches with you.

We talk about you lots. Reid speaks of being in your wedding often, she was very honoured to be chosen and she still feels that way – though, I suppose that she wouldn’t use that word. She also likes to remember the weekend we spent with you in North Bay last spring. We’ll need to get together way more often this year.

I, of course, have many stories to tell about you. One of my favourites are how you listened to your dad when he told you to shave the wispy hairs that grow along your hairline. I like this because I was that gullible, too, and my dad was just like yours and also that you laugh about the story when someone mentions it. I hope that I have that attitude, too. I also like to think about how difficult it was to get you to keep your clothes on when you were very young. (I’d have to ask Chris if it’s still a problem ;+) You were a bare, brown and smiling little kid. Okay, I’ll confess as an oh-so-cool teenager, it was sometimes embarrassing to have my friends come to the farm and see you in your altogether but it was character building for me. The memories are worth the embarrassment.

I hope that this will be your greatest year yet and that we’re able to share many adventures during it.

New Year’s Resolutions

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

I thought I’d make two resolutions this year:
1st to send a message every day so that Grandma Joyce would get into the habit of checking her email and so that I had a better record of what we did and what I was thinking of; and
2nd to send a message to mark everyone’s birthday. We’re so far from all of you but we think of you lots and it seems like I should tell you once a year, at least.

So far, I’m 0 for 2 on those. Since diets don’t have to start on Monday, I’ve decided that New Year’s resolutions don’t have to start on January 1st, though early January is good.