Archive for the ‘Dylan’ Category

Two kids, two birthdays, too many gorillas

Friday, July 25th, 2008

 Is there a better way to celebrate turning 4 than to spend the weekend in Toronto with your cousin, who is turning 4 the very same day? Given the delight on Reid’s face as soon as she learned of our plans, Reid couldn’t think of anything better.

Aunt Karin and Dylan called us just as we were pulling into our parking place at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre, home to Canada’s only Rainforest Cafe. It was 5:46 and our reservation was for 6:00. Who could have asked for better? Well, maybe Aunt Karin and Dylan could have – they spent more than an hour covering 10 kilometres near Cambridge – but we were all glad to meet up and get to supper. The “safari guide” who showed us to our table took us to the far back corner of the restaurant to find us a table close to a bunch of life-size animatronic gorillas who call out, beat their chests, shake trees and that sort of thing every 10 minutes. The kids were leery of the gorillas when we sat down but still a bit impressed. Impressed, that is, until the gorillas first began their performance. At the first bellow (do gorillas bellow?), Dylan and Reid each dove at the closest adult. After the commotion died down, Aunt Karin went outside and Dylan and Reid both sat on my lap. Our waitress noticed and offered to move us away from the gorillas. Dylan would have preferred the next restaurant over but we settled for across the room. The kids ordered mini hot dogs (3 on each plate) and fries. The gorillas did their thing a couple times, making it difficult to concentrate on eating. I ordered a volcano brownie dessert as the birthday cake. Dylan was willing to forgo a cake in order to leave sooner and Reid wanted to do what Dylan wanted but that didn’t come to light until after the dessert was ordered. After an interminable wait – there were many birthdays being celebrated – our volcano cake arrived, the staff sang and the sparkler burned itself out. Aunt Karin and I enjoyed the brownies, ice cream and fudge topping and Dylan ate a bit of the ice cream. Reid wasn’t interested in even the ice cream. There was still another adult-sized piece of brownie plus ice cream. The menu promised that the volcano was big enough for 2 – or more – and they were right. We got our $14.95 (or whatever) out of it. The kids food was what you would expect but $7.95 seems kind of expensive. Aunt Karin and I split an appetizer with shrimp, fajitas, cheese and spinach dip and calamari rings (which I’d thought were onion rings and neither of us ate) and a combo platter with ribs, chicken and veggies. Both dishes were okay but nothing special and both nearly $20 each. Another time, it might be better to go in for dessert only. The environment is very festive and fun – if you aren’t frightened by it – but the cuisine was a bit lacking.

Reid reassured Dylan that we wouldn’t go to anymore scary restaurants this weekend. She was quite concerned by his stress, even though he was less worried as the night went on and the gorilla’s noises and antics became more familiar. It was good that she cared but the poor man was getting “mothered” by two concerned aunties and adding a girl cousin might have put him over the top. But it didn’t.

For the record, neither of these two wonderful kids got a birthday message from me. I blame the loss of my Blackberry (newly returned – hooray!) and the craziness that was this week. But they will. Eventually.

Fingernails, farms and fun

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

I had an appointment at an esthetician in Leamington and Aunt Karin came along to entertain Reid. Or at least I thought she was coming along as the entertainment, it turned out that she was offering Reid an adventure all of her own. I dropped them off at Aunt Karin’s usual nail salon and Reid got lime green polish on her fingernails and even flowers painted on a couple. After they called to be picked up, Reid noticed that the flowers on her fingernails didn’t have centres. They went back in for the centres and when I picked them up Reid was standing with clawed hands to protect her recently painted nails. Reid was very proud and protective of her fingernails. I think I might have a bottle of nailpolish at home, but only one. I’ll have to add “painting Reid’s nails” to the list of things we can do for fun when Ken isn’t home. Or maybe I should add it to the list of things Ken can do with Reid since he has much better hand-eye coordination than me and could probably keep most of the polish on her nails.

On the way back to Grandma Joyce’s, Reid renewed her questioning about when we would be returning to “Dylan’s farm”. I explained that we would be eating lunch at Grandma’s and visiting there first. Grandma Joyce had made spaghetti and rice as well as meat sauce to put on top. Reid had some of both. She has developed a fondness for “spaghetti rice”, a family favourite, and we can use the term even though there is no spaghetti involved. Ken had planned to stay with Reid until just before supper so that she didn’t feel abandoned while I was to attend Brianna and George’s wedding but Reid was too excited by the prospect of going to the farm to wait. We changed our plans and took Reid to the farm. Melissa, Roy and the boys arrived just after us. Reid right in and was soon saying, “Bye, Mama. Bye, Daddy.” We, meanwhile, were speaking briefly with Grandma Linda. The phrase, “Don’t let the door hit you on the bum on the way out,” came to mind. She walked us out and waved happily, happy to get us out of the way so that she could get on with the fun.

After the wedding and in the middle of the reception, which I am going to write about separately, Grandma Joyce and Aunt Karin went to get Reid and bring her back to Grandma Joyce’s house. Aunt Karin said that Reid woke up when she picked her up and stayed awake on the drive, with big eyes taking everything in but not speaking. Reid refused the offer of the bathroom and went straight into the toddler bed where she lay quietly with eyes open for about 10 minutes. Then, she was fast asleep once again and stayed that way until 6:30 on Sunday morning.

Reid wouldn’t tell us much about the time she spent with Dylan and Zachary and their grandparents. Grandma Joyce found out that they saw 3 deer on a walk to the pond but I don’t know if Reid let that slip or if it was Grandma Linda or Grandpa Jerry that told her. Reid did tell us that they had pasta and meat sauce for supper and that they had watched a movie. She wouldn’t provide details on what movie or what she thought of it. I asked her if she had eaten any treats but she kept mum on the subject. That’s “kid survival tip #1″, I suppose.  What happens at Grandma’, stays at Grandma’s. Even if it isn’t your grandma’s. Since she asked me why Dylan and Zachary had been allowed to stay over night while she had been brought home, I have to conclude that whatever she did was enjoyable.

Hopping, hopping, never stopping

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

It’s been a bunny-filled week or so for our family. Last Wednesday, the Easter Bunny was at Reid’s daycare. “But not the real one,” Reid assured me. “It was really C’s sister.” I guess when your sister teaches at daycare the favours she asks are different. Reid was unwilling to go near the Easter Bunny to get her carrot. One of the teachers got one for Reid and then whispered that it was a person in a costume. Reid still wouldn’t approach her but was less concerned about the 5.5 foot rabbit after that.

On Thursday, Reid wore *her* bunny costume to daycare, the one that Grandma Joyce made her a couple of Halloween’s ago when it looked like Reid wasn’t going to wear the costume that I had purchased. Reid’s classmates were impressed with the outfit and one said, “Hey, Reid, you look like the Easter Bunny.” (Talk about stating the obvious.) Reid grinned at the attention but didn’t say much. The kids were getting their outdoor gear on when we brought Reid in and so we had no trouble getting her out of her bunny suit. After they played outside, a woman from the Life of Riley Petting Zoo to show them some animals. Reid reported that she had seen a “hugandous” rabbit, a fox, hedgehog and some other animal that we’ve both since forgotten. One of the teachers said that the rabbit was the biggest she’d ever seen. I thought of how the turkeys need to be big at Thanksgiving and that the bunny is lucky that its role in Easter is not the same.

Reid let Dylan wear her bunny suit for the egg hunt in Grandma Joyce’s backyard. There were some who suggested that, when he was a teenager, Dylan would question who had permitted him to be dressed in a lavender-with-sparkles bunny suit but Dylan is a tough little guy who can carry off a bunny suit. The kids ran from point to point finding many treats. We were lucky to have chosen Friday early afternoon for the egg hunt because there was a snowstorm late afternoon. It was an odd one – an hour north and there was no snow but in Canada’s Sun Parlour, there was a storm.

On Saturday night Reid mentioned that Easter hadn’t really happened yet because the Easter Bunny hadn’t come. I had decided that she would be satisfied with the game I’d brought, in addition to Friday’s egg hunt, and was surprised at her statement and scrambled to put together a basket. Fortunately for me, Grandma Joyce had forgotten to put out a fan-powered bubble gun and Auntie M was willing to share a chocolate bunny her girls had received. Once I tossed in a few chocolate eggs, it was an acceptable offering from the Easter Bunny. When Reid discovered the basket, she was pleased. Later that day I heard her tell Aunt Karin or Aunt Lisa that the Easter Bunny hadn’t come. I reminded her that she had received a basket and Reid told me that she hadn’t *seen* the bunny. I explained that the Easter Bunny is like Santa and isn’t seen on the big night. Reid looked dubious but let it go.

Reid and I travelled to Stouffville for Shea’s hockey game. It’s not every day that your nephew/cousin plays in the OMHA championships and what else would a girl who is 3 and a half wear to such an event held on Easter Sunday but a bunny suit? That’s right, there was no choice, Reid wore the bunny suit. When Uncle Dave saw her, he quipped “You’re not sitting with us.” At least, I’m pretty sure he was joking. He sat in the same section as us in any case. The other people at the game all smiled when they saw Reid and a fellow who worked at the arena gave her a candy kabob. By the time we left the arena, Reid was a dirty little bunny; since the suit goes in the washing machine and dryer I didn’t have to worry at all.

Yesterday, Reid’s daycare had a “Hop for Muscular Dystrophy“. I resisted the urge to send her in the bunny suit – hopping is hot work – but did offer her “Snuggle Bunny” shirt. At daycare, the kids each wore the paper bunny ears that they had decorated and, boy, did they hop. I’m not sure how much money they raised but if anyone had pledged by the hop, it would have been costly. The Hop is usually for 2 minutes and the kids hop as many times as they can in that time. The teachers had set aside 30 minutes for the activity and they kids hopped and danced for most of that time. Reid took off her bunny ears before the time was up. I guess 8 days of all bunnies, all the time had caught up with her. I’ll have to wait a bit before putting on our Raffi disc – Singable Songs Collection – with the “hopping, hopping, never stopping” song (Knees Up Mother Brown).

Hope you had a good bunny celebration, too.

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.

Lots of me’s

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

We’ve been reading Before You Were Born by Jennifer Davis which tells the story of a pregnancy in the form: “Before you were born and with # months to go …” Reid is particularly interested in the page that talk about the baby having a tail. She wants to know why but I’ve distracted her with a parallel to the tadpoles that they had at daycare that turned into frogs. It’s good enough, for now at least. She also likes how babies become active at bedtime. Ken mentioned the book at supper last night because it doesn’t describe my labour or Ken’s reaction to getting me to the hospital since my water had broke and we went to the hospital in a more leisurely fashion.

I showed Reid the scrapbook we have that shows me pregnant and then has a picture of her each month since she was born. Most of the picturs are even secured to the page ;+) Reid enjoyed looking at the pictures and described what was happening: “I a piggie”; “I in sled”; “I little” (she said this many times, actually) and that sort of thing. Reid seems to have a soft spot for her baby self. She gets an indulgent, what-a-silly-baby, look on her face when she looks at the pictues.

When Reid got to the section that has group shots, she was naming the other people and pointing to herself and saying “me”. Then, she looked up and said, “There’s a lot of me’s!” and giggled a bit. Ken and I laughed. Her delight at all of the pictures of herself was contagious.  It’s true, you know, there are many, many pictures of Reid in our albums. Reid saw a picture of Dylan and herself and first said “Dylan’s baby” while pointing at Dylan. We corrected her and then she was able to correctly identify Dylan and herself the next time. “We babies!” When Reid saw a more recent picture of them, she said, “Dylan a kid. Reid a kid.” Aren’t they that and more!

How about you, are your kids fascinated by their own babyhood?

Love at first sight

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

On the way home from daycare Monday, I reminded Reid that I had told her that “Dylan’s mama, Melissa” (that’s what we call her to keep her separate from “Ben’s mama, Melissa”) was going to be having a baby and that the baby had safely arrived, was a boy baby -as Reid had predicted – and would be called, “Zachary Christopher.” Reid smiled and nodded happily at the thought of a new boy cousin. When we got home, there was an email from Uncle Chris with photos of Dylan’s new baby brother. Reid fell in love at first sight! I showed her both of the photos we received and then asked her to help me with supper. She was too busy caressing the top of the screen and staring at Zachary to budge. I agreed that she could hold the laptop and show her dad. Ken sat with her while she showed him the photos and then he, too, tried to persuade her to put the laptop away. Still, Reid stared. Ken declared it to be an obsession. Reid finally let go of the laptop. She is eagerly awaiting the next batch of photos, though. A photo of Zachary with Dylan would be just perfect from Reid’s perspective. (The only thing better would be one that managed to get Ben in with them as well.)

Christmas spirit

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

After I read an email from Melissa yesterday about how excited Dylan is about all things Christmas, I decided that we should decorate, too, even though we won’t be at home for the big day. Reid hasn’t expressed any interest in Christmas other than a mild interest to see – but not sit with – Santa at the mall and Ken and I have trouble keeping up with the housework even without decorations. In any case, we’ll decorate a bit. I went to the basement and brought up some Christmas books, a Santa hat and three puppets. I had put the puppets into a cloth gift bag and Reid pulled them out one at a time. She would look at the puppet, identify it by name, try it on and play a bit and then hand it to one of us before getting another one out. She knew the snowman and Santa on sight but labelled the reindeer as a “dog”. Ken laughed at me correcting her and started barking and talking about the dog. He said (and he was right) that it looks like a dog – except for the little stuffed antlers and red pom-pom on the nose – and he knows I want her to call it a reindeer. I remember Mom and Dad telling me not to show when something bugs me but I can’t hide much from Ken. Reid, Ken and I will have to have fun playing with Santa, Frosty and the red-nosed Christmas dog ;+)

School and rules

Tuesday, September 12th, 2006
Seeing Melissa’s note about Dylan wanting to skip (Sunday) school, made me think of how happy we all were when school started up around here. Reid likes to spot big vehicles and the holy grail since August has been yellow school buses. We were so glad when the French school board started back in the last week of August. Until then we’d point out a city bus and her first question would be “lello bus?”. Sometimes we wouldn’t point out the buses (or any vehicle) and she would still ask about the yellow buses when we were in the car. The day after Labour Day was so foggy that Ken said he didn’t even know if Reid had seen any of the many buses on the roads.  As I remember, the buses in Windsor are yellow and blue. We’ll have to keep our eyes peeled when we’re down for a visit.
Every day, Reid and I try to teach each other something or at least it seems we usually do. One day recently, we tackled fashion rules.  When we were in New York, I bought Reid three socks from FAO Schwartz that were made by Little Miss Matched ( They are black and one has stripes, another hearts and the last has dots. I put them on her and she started became upset with me. Apparently, I am the only person in the world who doesn’t know that the sock with the hearts goes on the left foot and the dots go on the right foot. When I switched them, she became the sunny girl we’re used to. She is just practicing to be an irrational teenager. Or maybe she’ll revert to being a toddler later ;+) When we went downstairs, Reid wanted to put her sandals on with her socks. I can handle many fashion faux-pas but that one is a problem for me (rather like putting hearts on the right foot) and so I talked her out of her socks after all of the work we’d put into getting them on and away she went. 

Talking to Dylan

Monday, September 11th, 2006

I called Mom’s tonight after supper. Melissa was there with Dylan and as soon as Reid heard me say “Hi, Dylan,” she wanted to talk. We prompted them a bit to say “hello” and “I love you”. Dylan’s voice was quiet but not Reid’s. I’m not sure how long he was actually on the phone but for several minutes Reid yelled into the phone, “Dynon! Dynon!” When I told Reid that Dylan had to leave to go home to bed, she immediately said, “Mama’s turn” and handed me the phone.