Archive for the ‘Barbara’s family’ Category

Three reasons life is better at Grandma Joyce’s

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

I took Reid to Wheatley last Friday for two weeks of “Grandma Camp”, as she calls it. Reid cried a bit when we left Ken and told me that she was missing him a couple of times on Friday. Aunt Karin told me about a conversation that she had with Reid:

Aunt Karin: So, you’re not going to see your mother for fourteen days.
Reid: know and I don’t care

I’m sure that she does care, at least a little bit, but not in a worried she’ll miss me kind of way. In any case, there were at least three points where I noticed that life would be better at Grandma Joyce’s. 

  1. Grandma buys ultra-soft, super-deluxe toilet paper. Don’t think, “quilted”, think “duvet”. The first tme she touched it, Reid exclaimed, “Mom, it’s so soft!” and then she added, “it’s fresh.” (I didn’t understand that, really.) If Will and Kate use softer toilet paper, it’s made of actual cloth.
  2. Grandma serves grilled cheese sandwiches on white bread. They’re golden brown, made with higher fat cheese and available on demand. Reid’s mama buys whole wheat bread and light cheese. She is boring.
  3. Grandma’s world is populated with many teens and adults who have, between them, lots of time to dedicate to Reid. She loves adult attention and having a teen talk to you is like having a rockstar speak with y0ou, when you’re not-quite-seven.

Life is better at Grandma Joyce’s. I hope that Reid still believes this at the end of 14 days. It’ll be okay if she is at least a bit glad to see Ken and me when we arrive, though.

A silly girl with a messy face and hands

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

Guest post written by Reid, photographs by Barbara

Blowing eggs The beginning of the story: how it started. One day Reid was blowing eggs at her Grandma’s house for Easter.

Dipping eggs in dye Reid likes to hold the eggs in the bowl of dye instead of using the dye thingamajigger.

Dying eggs Once the eggs were dyed and dried, Reid painted them.

Painting eggs Look at how messy her hands are.

Cake batter After Reid was done dying eggs, she helped Aunt Pam with the cake for Easter.

Decorating the egg cake Reid put icing over top of the white icing that Mama had put on at first.

Egg cake is decorated The icing that Reid was putting on was the colours that are primary and one colour that was secondary and one colour that was tertiary.

See Reid’s hands and face! In the end, Reid was very messy.

Hiding – Monday Moments

Monday, April 11th, 2011

We live in a townhouse. When Reid was small, we were always on the same floor to be safe. And close. And, yet, we played hide-and-seek together. It went something like this.

Mama counts and allows time for concealment before beginning the hunt. “Is she behind the curtains in the living room?” she asks. “No. Maybe she is beside the bookcase?” And so it went, from speculating about the hall closet, bathroom, under the table, beside the china cabinet and in the pantry to the end of the couch.

Wondering aloud built suspense as Reid knew her non-hiding spots were being ruled out. It prolonged the game. There were, after all, only so many place to hide on the main floor. It gave Reid ideas for places to hide on her next turn and when to look for her mama. 

And, though they could both run and hide, it made Mama think of her own mother reciting a poem by Henry Cuyler Bunner, called “One, Two, Three”;

It was Hide-and-Go-Seek they were playing,
Though you’ve never have known it to be–
With an old, old, old, old lady,
And a boy with a twisted knee.

The boy would bend his face down
On his one little sound right knee,
And he’d guess where she was hiding,
In guesses One, Two, Three!

Capital Mom provides a theme each Friday for these Monday Moments. Others have written about their own moments. I also wrote about  Monday Moments.

Making pie with Aunt Karin

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Ever since Reid was small, she has looked forward to “helping” Aunt Karin make pie dough and the pies themselves. I think that Reid may actually be lessening the work now. Aunt Karin says that she is investing the time so that she won’t always be the one who must be “rolling out the dough” (like that guy in Perfect Strangers).

To be sure that the knowledge lives on, I’m offering Aunt Karin’s pie crust recipe and a how-to video.

 Pie crust

  • 5.5 cups all purpose flour (use 5.5 toothpicks to keep track of the flour as you put them in the bowl)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1 lb Tenderflake lard
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • cold water
  1. Mix together flour, salt and sugar.
  2. Cut in Tenderflake lard with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse oatmeal.
  3. In a 1 cup measure, combine vinegar and egg. Add water to make 1 cup. Gradually stir liquid into lard mixture. Add only enough water to make dough cling together.
  4. Gather into a ball and divide into 6 portions. If desired, wrap unused portions and refrigerate or freeze.
  5. Good tip: Aunt Karin freezes the dough in pie-size portions in sandwich bags.
  6. Roll out each portion on lightly floured surface. If dough is sticking, chill 1 to 2 hours.
  7. Transfer dough to pie plate. Trim and flute shells or crusts and bake according to filling directions.
  8. For a perfect, golden crust, mix a bit of milk with coarse sugar and paint the crust carefully.

Here is a video of Reid demonstrating the most important steps.

Santa Claus is coming soon

Friday, December 24th, 2010

Last year, Andrea at Peek Inside the Fishbowl posted a picture for each hour of Christmas Day. I must confess that I usually enjoy Christmas Eve more than Christmas Day. I love the anticipation and preparation. I’ve decided to try the picture an hour approach, with updates to this post as the day passes.

3:50 – Do I really have to wait until tomorrow to eat this?

Pumpkin pie

2:54 – Poppa Howard’s memorial angel

2:54 - Dad’s angel

1:45 – Skates off – Uncle Roger and Reid

1:45 - Uncle Roger taking Reid’s skates off

12:50 – Skates on – Dylan and Brianna

12:50 - Brianna helping Dylan with his skates

11:56 – Browsing the toy aisle, I don’t know why

11:56 - browsing the toy aisle

10:54 – On the way to get those last few things

10:50 - to Leamington for last minute gifts

9:50 – Watching Christmas specials

Watching Christmas specials 

8:53 – Grandma and Reid watching Portable North Pole video message from Santa

Watching Portable North Pole video from Santa

7:51 – Aunt Karin and Reid at work on cherry pies

Aunt Karin and Reid making cherry pies 

6:52 – pie dough waiting

Pie dough waiting to be rolled

Lunar eclipse on the Winter Solstice

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Uncle Roger told us yesterday about the total lunar eclipse that would be occurring overnight. Reid was excited to see it and I know myself well enough to know that it was a chancey proposition for me to wake up on my own and get her outside. We stopped at Uncle Roger and Auntie M’s house on the way home from Leamington and invited ourselves for a sleepover. Sure enough, Uncle Roger woke us up at 2:20 and we bundled up and headed outside. (Note that it is mercifully not as cold in Wheatley as in Ottawa.) We saw the last of the earth’s shadow obscure the moon and Uncle Roger knew lots of things to tell about the eclipse. He’s an interesting astronomy instructor.

I tried taking some pictures of the moon but wasn’t up to the task of setting my camera’s shutter speed to appropriate number. Instead, I took a picture of Uncle Roger and Reid looking at the eclipse. Thus depriving them of their night vision for a few seconds  ;+)

Watching the eclipse

We were back in bed by 2:50. I’d been afraid of how long it would take Reid to fall back asleep but it wasn’t very long before she was asleep. I think she’ll remember the eclipse long enough to make it worth the disrupted sleep.

It’s a loose tooth, not an amputation

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

 Reid complained about one of her teeth on Monday morning. I checked the tooth in question but all was well. The next tooth over, however, was wobbly. I told Reid that her tooth was loose and she was ecstatic. She stared into the mirror and poked her tongue around. I had to confirm which tooth was wobbly, since it wasn’t an extreme case – it’s on the bottom, just to the left (stage left, as it were) of the gap in the middle of her bottom teeth.

At breakfast, I was told to serve only soft food “because of my …[insert drama here] tooth.” I packed an apple for an afterschool snack because (a) I always do and (b) loose teeth creep me out. I don’t like to watch them be wiggled, I don’t like to touch them and the idea of dealing with a freshly-freed tooth makes me shiver and make a face.

I told Reid that she should stop wiggling her tooth and keep it in her mouth until her dad comes home. Reid didn’t like the idea. Not even when I explained that I wasn’t ready for her to be a big girl who lost her teeth. Reid tried to reassure me that adult teeth would soon replace the lost baby teeth. That only makes it worse!

Reid must have spent the day wiggling her tooth because, by supper, it was noticeably looser. She wondered how long it would take for her tooth to come out. I have no idea. With all of the drama, wiggling and soft food requests, I’m warming up to the “not that long” school of thought.

We called Grandma Joyce so that Reid could share her news. Reid said, “I have a loose tooth!” (which sounds like toof, I’ll admit, and Reid *was* talking on the speaker phone) Grandma Joyce said, “You’re having stew?” Reid repeated her original statement and soon Grandma Joyce understood the excitement. She also told us that her mind was on stew because that is what she was having for supper. I was sad to miss out on Grandma Joyce’s stew but it turned out Aunt Karin and Uncle Roger were there and so Reid got to tell her story a couple more times.

At bedtime, Reid was worried that her tooth would fall out while she was asleep. My confident pronouncement that teeth don’t fall out like that was not believed. I wouldn’t mind if it did, though. She checked her tooth as soon as she woke up this morning as was pleased to find it present and accounted for. Reid is hoping that the tooth falls out at school because she’d be the first grade 1 to have that happen to her. I’d send my wishes that way, too, but what if it falls out and gets lost, all before I see it. Reid would be very upset.

All in all, this first loose tooth has provided for a lot of drama, on Reid’s part and on mine. I’m becoming resigned to the ickyness of a bloody tooth and (I hope) that Reid is finding the whole thing less worrisome than yesterday. Remind me how many more teeth she has to lose? On the other hand, please don’t.

Big cousin, little cousin

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Reid spends much of her time with Dylan, Zachary, Damien and Madisyn – her little cousins – but her big cousins are fun to be with, too.

Adam and Reid

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.

I don’t remember being bribed

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

My mom called today and left a mesage. She told me that Reid is doing well with riding her bike without training wheels. I’m not supposed to mention it so that Reid can surprise me when I get there.

As you know, though, Reid can be a bit of a slacker when it comes to learning new skills. (Think hockey ;+)

Reid and Uncle Roger had a date after camp one day to practice riding. Reid winged a bit and Mom offered her $2 to go out and practice without complaint. And, Mom said, “Don’t tell anyone.” Reid went outside, put in a good effort and made good progress. When she got back in, Reid said, “I told Uncle Roger about the money. But only him.” I guess Mom should have said, “Don’t tell anyone, especially Uncle Roger.” ;+) When they finished riding the next day, Roger asked Mom what the bribe had been for that session. Mom confessed that she’d let Reid eat in front of the tv.

All of this bothers me a bit. I want Reid to do things because she should and all that. But what I really want to know is why I was never offered money when I was a child?!

Advice in advance of Reid’s 6th birthday

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

My sister Karin, usually known here as “Aunt Karin” wrote this story in an email to Ken and then decided to send it to me, too. I wanted to capture it here because it’s very funny because Reid is 6 instead of 16. I’m not considering that it might be foreshadowing anything.

On Tuesday, Dave called me at work and in a  DEADLY CALM VOICE asks me If I’ve seen Shea’s nipple.  Shea has had swollen lymph nodes due to mono so I thought great, now he has a swollen boob?  I said, “No, I’ve haven’t seen it, what’s wrong?”  Dave said, “He got his nipple pierced, I told him to pack his bags”, still calm.  I said, “Dave, there’s worse things than that” then my phone rings and I have to go. I called Dave back when I could and said, “Calm down.”  He said, “I’ve always been calm,” then he said “I guess there are worse things.”  

Shea had been to Grand Bend overnight and a friend, who already has both nipples pierced, told Shea (who’s a big chicken) that if he got it done right then and there that he would pay for it. Shea asked the man how much it. When he found out it cost $100, he told his friend to pay and he would do it. I think he thought his friend would back down and if not then Shea would do it.  I asked him who signed his permission form and he informed me that at 16 you don’t need parental permission for a piercing, but tattoos can’t be done without parental consent till age 18. Good to know!

Since your daughter is fast approaching her 16th birthday, I thought I’d share my story.