Archive for the ‘Ken’s family’ Category

If you were wondering about us

Friday, December 25th, 2009

A friend suggested that I should take a photo every hour to document the “waiting for Santa” feeling on Christmas Eve and another said that it was even better to do hourly photos on Christmas day. I took a bunch of photos each day but I wasn’t organized enough to produce an hourly visual record. I’ve produced a written one, though, if wondered what we’ve been up to.

Christmas Eve
6:30 Daddy pokes his head to check if we’re awake. I am. Reid isn’t. Quite.
7:30 We’ve kissed Daddy good bye and are bathing in a tepid bath. Why did the hot water heater choose this morning to be persnickety?
8:30 Reid and I have donned our festive clothing – Reid in a Mrs Santa dress; me in red-and-white striped socks with fake fur at the top, Christmas tree on my red t-shirt and skirt – and are in the car, heading to a Christmas party where I work. (Well, sort of where I work. My division isn’t located with the rest of the branch. I suspect that Reid thinks I spend all of my time in the boardroom since I never show her an office with a desk and all of the rest.)
9:30 – Reid is settled into a comfy office chair – that is too big and moves too easily for her to climb into on her own – and is making a foam gingerbread man. She has tried smiling and making eye contact with the little girl in the next chair but she is even more shy than Reid. Reid is confident at the party, this being her third time attending.
10:30 – Santa arrived about 10:00 and since then the kids have been sitting on the floor in front of him. They sang a couple of songs and he started calling names for the kids to come forward to get a present. Reid’s waiting patiently to hear her name.
11:30 – Once Santa left, the party started winding down pretty quickly. Reid and I went to Michael’s to buy embroidery floss for Grandma Joyce. We wouldn’t otherwise have gone shopping on Christmas Eve but Grandma Joyce does a lot for us.
12:30 – At St Laurent Mall to pick up a parcel. I waited until the last minute in case other parcels arrived but they didn’t. Reid decided a last minute visit to Santa was in order. The line was short and there were igloos to play in and slides to slide down while we waited.
1:30 – On our way home from Melissa’s, where we left Reid’s coat on Thursday night.
2:30 – Home at last with Daddy. Stories to be read, cuddles to be had.
3:30 – In the tub once more, this time the water is hot.
4:30 – Reid and I are wearing our matching blue-and-snowflake pajamas that Grandma Joyce made us. 4:00 didn’t seem to early for jammies under the circumstances. Reid and I play the train dominos game that Santa gave her this morning. There are as many as 12 dots on each domino, which makes recognizing the patterns and numbers more complex.
5:30 – Frozen pizzas are out of the oven and on our plates. Reid wanted “Mexican pizza”. At my blank look, she added “with pineapple”. I suggested that she might mean “Hawaiian” and she nodded vigorously. I told her to choose between meatlovers’ or veggie. With a look that suggested veggie pizzas are an affront to pizzas everywhere, she chose to share Daddy’s meatlovers’.
6:30 – Time to set out cookies and juice for Santa.
7:30 – Sleeping time. Not actually sleeping but getting close. Whispering questions in the dark about how Christmas Day would unfold.
8:30-4:30 – Mostly restful sleep with the snuffles and heavy breathing that indicate Reid is starting a cold.

Christmas Day
4:30 – Reid asks if it’s morning yet and gets an emphatic “not yet” in reply.
5:33 – Reid simply “can’t sleep anymore”. I read to her until 6:03 and then we wake up Daddy.
6:30 – Well into present opening. Reid figured out that the large object under the Santa presents was a sled, unwrapped it first, and opened her other presents while sitting in her sled. Ken and I stayed in our chairs.
7:30 – I’m making pancakes for breakfast, my able assistant by my side.
8:30 – Finishing eating our breakfast. I’m wishing for peameal bacon. Unfortunately I didn’t think of that family tradition while shopping on the weekend. Reid remembered that she’d made Ken a “C” at pottery and so he got an extra present with breakfast. I’m not sure what one does with a “C” the size of a man’s hand with the fingers splayed but Reid is sure Ken will like it.
9:30 – Time to play Reid’s Bus Stop game. People get on and off according to the “plus” and “minus” signs on the board. The bus riders are a blend of ages, sexes, colours and religions (according to headwear). Reid wins with the most people on her bus. Ken and I tie but since he got to the bus station first, he says that I am third. I don’t think either of them was listening when I explained that it was a game of chance that anyone might win. ;+)
10:30 – I’m secretly thinking it’s time to undecorate the tree. Okay, not secretly since I say it out loud.
11:30 – Cutting cheese, searching for crackers and reheating spaghetti for lunch. It’s a bit unconventional as Christmas lunches go but Grandma Barb serves turkey at 4:00 or so and we don’t want to be too full for that.
12:30 – Packing the car for the trip to Grandma Barb and Grandpa Terry’s. Ken, Reid and I are all so happy that they are only an hourish away.
1:30 – Almost there. Reid fought sleep but succumbed. She wakes when we leave the highway – she has always preferred to sleep at 100 km/hr – and is groggy when we get in.
2:30 – Wearing her red-and-snowflake nightgown and matching pajama pants, Reid is unwrapping presents. I brought her beautiful blue Christmas dress but Reid cried when I tried to put it on her. Thank goodness I’d brought the nightgown, which was festive and free of pizza sauce.
3:30 – Reid is cuddling her new stuffed bear from Uncle Kevin and resisting my suggestion that she call the bear “Noir”. Many candies, nuts and chocolates are being consumed and I wonder if I should have offered a bigger lunch.
4:30 – Grandma Barb and Reid set the table and we all sit down to a Christmas feast. Reid mostly nibbles but I’m not wise enough to follow her example.
5:30 – I learn the secret of Grandma Barb’s dark pumpkin pie. Not only does she use fresh pumpkin (which I knew about) but she sweetens it with molasses. Reid was hesitant to try the pie but once she had a taste, she ate her whole piece.
6:30 – Reid is talking about being so tired because she got up so very early. What had been a point of pride earlier in the afternoon has become a burden.
7:30 – In the car, Ottawa-bound. Ken and I are talking quietly and Reid is resisting sleep, begging for the Sesame Street podcast videos on my iPod.
8:30 – Reid is taking Advil and the humidifier is humming and gurgling. Time to sleep.

We hope you’ve had a merry Christmas and will have a happy New Year!

Who waits for Christmas to have a crazy weekend

Friday, November 20th, 2009

We have a crazy weekend scheduled (even for me!): We’re going to SENSational Friday – where we skate on the Sens ice at Scotiabank Place, play games in the concourse and, according to Reid, eat hotdogs for supper. (It’ll be the second time for the hotdog but Reid holds tight to “traditions” involving hotdogs, no matter how new.) In previous years, we got our picture taken with one of the players but since they’re not yet vaccinated, all public appearances have been cancelled. Ken told Reid last night and she cried. Considering she nearly cried last year when we *did* get our pic taken, I was a bit surprised. Dennis and Bobby Hull will be signing autographs. I guess their health does have the same cost-benefit considerations. Spartacat is also planning to attended – I guess H1N1 doesn’t affect cats – and he is always a hit.

Tomorrow, Reid has hockey and Kindermusik as usual, but we also have tickets to a Family Adventures concert called “The Listener” in the afternoon and then are driving to Brockville for supper at Grandma Barb’s new place. Reid and I haven’t been there yet and so we’re very nosey, umm, I mean excited. I have Reid scheduled for her Christmas card photos on Sunday morning and then she and I are going on an adventure of some sort to allow Ken to cram for his written French tests on Tuesday. Whew, just writing it makes me tired.

Writing it now is a better way to keep track of all that we did -  my writing time is much diminished now that I am able to get a ride to work many mornings.

Parks and cars but not parked cars

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

One of the parents of a child in  Reid’s class invited us – and a few others – by email to a local park on Saturday morning. Three other families were there and then another classmate and her brother and father, who hadn’t been on the email, turned up as well. The kids were excited to see each other and we parents had lots to say as well. One of the fathers had brought along a 5-foot-tall inflatable rocket that was powered by water and air pressure. The kids “helped” getting everything set up and then took turns pumping the air in and then launching the rocket. We were all impressed with how high the rocket flew. After a few launches, the rocket was put away and the kids scattered.

Reid went to the splash pad along with a couple of others. It was the best choice because it was already hot. I took advantage of the opportunity to practice with my new lens.  For some reason my hand wants to turn it the wrong way to zoom. The results were pretty good, I think. When Reid was comfortable, I went to sit with the other parents while I watched Reid. After a couple of hours, some of the families decided to go swimming at a nearby pond but Reid and I needed to go home for lunch. I suggested that we should meet up again on the 29th to help the kids prepare for their first day of school. Someone suggested that I should organize it since I’m good at it. I’m anal, that’s what they meant. I’ll take on the challenge.

We had lunch with Ken and then headed for Grandmama’s. Before we got to the first exit, I realized that I’d forgotten to get gas. Which then reminded me that I’d left my wallet in out swimming bag. Back home we went. I asked Ken to watch Reid while got my wallet and a couple of other things. By the time I got back to the car, Reid was asleep. She slept for an hour and forty-five minutes and I was worried that I wasn’t going to have a chance to stop for wild blueberries offered for sale at the side of the road. We both appreciated the chance to stretch our legs and buy a pie to go along with the oh-so-sweet (and oh-so-expensive) tiny blueberries. We didn’t have too much longer to drive, though. When we arrived at Grandmama’s apartment, Reid commented on how short the drive had been. I suggested that her long nap had been the key difference but Reid told me that she had napped only briefly but rested for a long time. I hadn’t realized that she rests with eyes closed and her mouth open.

We spent an enjoyable couple of hours with Grandmama. Reid showed how she could solve the Camelot Jr puzzles – reuniting the knight and princess over and over. For greater effect, Reid brought them together sometimes and made kissy noises. The mix of princess fantasy and math skills is really odd. Reid inspected the pretty, little things on Grandmama’s window ledges and tables. She had questions and comments about nearly everyone. Having Reid play with them stressed me out but Grandmama didn’t seem to mind. After supper, we tidied up and then hit the road again.

Aunt Lisa was visiting at Grandma Barb and Grandpa Terry’s when we got there. Uncle Ron and the kids had gone to a Buffalo Bills pre-season game. We had a visit with her and then I shuffled Reid off the bed, congratulating myself on Reid’s nap giving us a bit of breathing room in terms of bedtime. Except. Except that Reid still wasn’t tired and I was more than tired. I told her we’d get up to see the stars in the middle of the night, planning to take advantage of the reduced noise pollution. I just couldn’t face waking Reid at 2:00 when I woke up but at 5:00, Reid’s eyes popped open and she asked it was time. I told her yes, and we hurried outside. For 15 minutes, we looked at the moon and the stars. Reid asked a bunch of questions and I said, “We’ll have to look that up” a bunch of times and then I took her back to bed before she noticed that the sky was lightening. It was pretty magical to be outside in the dark. We’ll have to do it again. Reid drifted off for another 45 minutes and then was up to greet the day.

Grandpa Terry and Grandma Barb cooked us a delicious breakfast of bacon, eggs and all the trimmings and then we climbed into the car again, this time on our way to Toronto. I asked Reid if she wanted to go the Rainforest Café or McDonalds for lunch and she chose McDonalds. That saved me a bunch of money. I’m so glad I asked.

We met Aunt Karin, Shea and Jordyn at their hotel and Reid visited the kids while we got checked in and then we all went to A&W – which is better than McDonalds in Reid’s opinion. Reid had initially said that she didn’t want me to stay for lunch. She said that she’d seen me lots for she hadn’t seen Aunt Karin for a “hundred days”. Reid is an exaggerator, a hundred is a popular number and also a million and a googol. I explained that I’d missed Aunt Karin, too, and I stayed for lunch. Reid barely looked up as I left and got in the car for my drive back to Ottawa.

Prelude to a vacation

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

At T-75 minutes, we said our goodbyes to Ken and went to Reid’s first soccer game. Reid gave him super-squeezy hugs in the house and by the time she got into her carseat, her lip was quivering. Ken came to the end on the sidewalk to wave and Reid started to cry a bit as she told me, “I’ll miss Daddy sooo much!” She gave him a sad, half-wave and returned his “I love you” in a quavering voice. She talked about how much she’d miss him all the way to soccer. For example, she wouldn’t have anyone to read stories to her or give her shoulder rides. I offered myself as the story reader and even said that *I* would try to carry her on my shoulders – with my long hair and Reid’s long legs it could be a challenge. It didn’t really matter because Reid said that she needed someone who was tall and strong. I offered up Uncle Chris as tall and Reid agreed that he would be okay. She declared Uncle Roger to be suitable because he is strong, though not as tall as Daddy. I, apparently, am neither tall nor strong. Thank goodness we have power steering or I couldn’t have even got Reid to soccer. ;+)

A humid 30 degrees is crazy weather for soccer, I think. The coaches seemed to agree, at least partially, and there were many water breaks. There were also 10 or so players on each of the blended teams and the coaches decided to give them a second ball so that more of them could make contact. After the game, one of the parents on another team pulled out freezies but only enough for his kid’s team and a selected few others. Reid didn’t seem to notice but a few of her school friends did and their parents decided to go to the Dairy Queen just up the street. It delayed our departure a bit but I could say “no” to ice cream and fellowship. We were only 25 minutes late getting on our way and Reid was oh so happy to have played with the others.

We made it maybe 30 minutes into our drive before Reid told me that she had to pee SO BAD! I stopped, thinking I was being scammed but not willing to take a chance, and thought she’d fall asleep afterward for sure since we were past her usual bedtime. An hour later, and after a few times when I thought she was asleep, Reid asked to stop again. We were just passing the last sign for a service centre and so I decided the universe was on my side at last. After our stop, I told Reid that she absolutely, positively had to go to sleep and she told me that she needed to help me stay awake. I gently but firmly told her that she was wrong, wrong, wrong. Since she fell asleep, I can only conclude that she finally saw the wisdom of my words.

We got to Grandma Barb and Grandpa Terry’s about 10:30. Reid woke up enough to stumble inside and use the bathroom. Grandma Barb and Grandpa Terry had both stayed up but they didn’t get any words from Reid. I was as gracious as I can be that late at night and we were both asleep short minutes after getting into bed.

Two more part days of driving and we’ll be in Chicago. But first, we’ll have a quick visit with Grandma Joyce and whoever stops by her house tonight.

And not a moment too soon

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Grandpa Terry, Grandma Barb and R.J. came to visit on Saturday. Reid was in the driveway, drawing with chalk and smiling at R, the boy from next door. R. is only 2.5 years so old and I miss most of what he says but I don’t think it’s because he speaks French. Reid doesn’t talk to him much at all, just gestures to share her toys or invite him to play hopscotch.

It was a relief that they arrived when Grandma Barb said they would. Reid had woke up at 5:30 and asked if Grandma Barb was there yet and then she repeated the inquiry every half hour or so, mixing in the occasional  “how much longer until Grandma will be here?” for variety until Grandma Barb finally arrived. I’d been offering up little pleas for divine intervention since I’d taken the “we’ll be there about 11:00″ to be “precisely 11:00 and not a minute later but maybe a bit sooner.” I didn’t voice the latter thought, of course, but did hope for it. Being fickle like all kids, Reid had settled into her chalk drawing and hopscotch playing by the time the van pulled in. R.J. stayed out with Reid for a few minutes and then they came in.

Reid had printed everyone’s name on papers so that they would sit in the proper places at lunch. She can make just about every letter of the alphabet, or at least the capitals. Reid had me spell each name, a letter at a time. And after each she asked, “Capital letter?” I told her a couple of times that it was best to use a small letter after the first one but Reid didn’t seem to like that response and so I just gave up and agreed, repeatedly, that a capital letter would be good if she couldn’t make the little letter.  Just as everyone was sitting down, though, Reid had second thoughts and came running to me. I sent her back to negotiate with the others. Negotiation is something at which Reid usually excels. Or at least when she tries to get a few more minutes at an activity or another books and so on, she offers many reasons to change the ruling and has a counter-offer for every decision. I guess that makes her a typical 4-year-old or dyed-in-the-world contrarian. When I got to the table, I had a plate to eat at and so Reid’s negotiation skills must have come through for her but I didn’t ask for details.

Give Something Big … at the last minute

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

 I received a comment last week on the post that I wrote last year about gifts that warm the heart of the recipient and also the giver. Samantha McGavin, the commentor, invited me to check out the site Give Something Big. The site helps visitors to make a donation to Interpares, a social justice organization. The process to make the donation is straightforward and secure. The minimum suggested donation is $50 but you could easily specify a lower donation by entering a different amount in the text entry box. The thing that I most liked about the donation process was that you can send up to 10 cards – electronic or paper-based – for any given amount. I’m most used to the World Vision catalogue and site where there seems to be a one-to-one correspondance between the gift of a piglet or the education of a girl and the card. It’s easier to cover off a number of people with a single transaction throught the Give Something Big site.

I’ve been searching for something that would be appropriate for Ken’s grandmother. You know the type: she needs nothing; she wants nothing; and she is so sweet and loving that you want to honour her presence in your life with a gift. I’ve donated to the Snowsuit Fund in her name in the past and also bought World Vision blankets. I selected the “social equality” card for her. It depicts a woman holding up the world and, really, if Grandmama isn’t a woman who has had her turn holding up the world, I don’t know who has.

Charities need our support more this year than ever, even though most people are looking for ways to save money this Christmas. When you Give Something Big, you save others from some measure of social inequality and injustice and that’s a savings that may count just a bit more. And, if I step off my soapbox for just a bit, I would remind you that last minute online donations are great for my fellow procrastinators out there. I made my donation at 6:10 am while sitting in my pajamas. The e-card that I’d selected arrived moments later (but could have been scheduled to arrive at a later date). The paper cards need time for mailing. If you’re thinking of this Christmas, I think you’re too late.

My only advice to Interpares would be to prepare a printable certificate to compliment their e-cards and print cards. There are some of us out here on the Internet who procrastinate until it’s too late for the print cards to be delivered but who want to give a card to a non-wired loved one.

Disclosure: Samantha offered to publicize my blog in exchange for me writing about Give Something Big. I’ve decided not to take her up on the offer in the spirit of the season but thought you might want to know it was on the table.

Happy Belated Grandparents Day

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

Aunt Karin emailed on Friday to remind me that Sunday, September 7th would be Grandparents Day. I had seen signs in the greeting card section at Loblaws and, while I didn’t plan to purchase a care, I meant to have Reid say, “Happy Grandparents Day” to whatever grandparents she encountered. In the end we saw, Grandma Joyce, Grandmama, Grandma Barb and Grandpa Terry and didn’t offer any of them the day’s special greeting.

Aunt Pam and I talked Grandma Joyce into coming to the hotel’s hot tub with us. First, we all went into the fitness room – Reid is a fan of the treadmill and elliptical trainer but most of all she loves the water dispenser and the cone-shaped cups – and then Aunt Pam, Reid and I went into the swimming pool while Grandma Joyce went straight to the hot tub. We wondered if we’d have a grandma who was cooked like a noodle by the time we were done but Grandma Joyce is pretty tough. We played a game of catch with Reid for a while in the hot tub. It was too small for her to go far but it did give Reid lots of chances to get her face wet (not normally her favourite thing).

After checking out of our hotel, we went to the Rotary Club playground that I’d read about in one of the reviews of the hotel. The playground is fairly new and has a pirate ship theme, sort of like the one at the Leamington Marina, but this one is bigger and accessible to kids in wheelchairs. There are ladders and other walls to climb but most areas have other ways to get to them. The ground is covered with different colours of rubber and some marine animals are painted on it to keep up the nautical theme. All of a sudden the temperature dropped and we decided we should be going for lunch.

My GPS couldn’t find a Pizza Hut closer than 67 kilometres but did volunteer Paulo’s Italian Trattoria as an Italian restaurant. Grandma Joyce, Aunt Pam and I each had a fabulous wood-oven pizza and salad and Reid had bare penne with lots (and lots) of Parmesan cheese on it. Wow, I can’t say enough about my pizza. To think I’ve been going to the Belleville-area for 13 years and never ate one before. Before we even left the restaurant, Reid was talking about having a nap. Pasta makes me sleepy, too. On our way out of Belleville we drove by a Pizza Hut but I’m glad my GPS was unaware of its existence.

We gave Grandma Joyce and Aunt Pam big squeezing hugs and smacking kisses at the side of the street and then Reid and I went to Grandmama’s while Aunt Pam and Grandma Joyce started their journey to their homes. Reid fell asleep about 3 minutes into the 40 minute trip. I didn’t even try to wake her since it would have only made us both crabby to fight the nap for 37 minutes. Of course, Reid was disoriented when we got to Grandmama’s but she warmed up as she always does. We had a nice visit with Grandmama and, after a while, Grandma Barb and Grandpa Terry came over and we had a good visit with them, too. I gave Reid a bath and enjoyed the shower head on the hose when it came time to wash Reid’s hair. I’m thinking of having Reid smile extra-sweetly at Uncle Dave to get one in her bathroom. Does anyone have any recommendations for or against this type of shower hose?

We all went up Highway 7 a bit to the Madoc Dairy for supper. Reid finally got her cheese burger. She’s been talking about one for age. When Uncle Roger visits, he usually buys A&W burgers at least once and Reid had a mozza burger the last time he was here. She enjoyed the hamburger with real cheddar from the Madoc Dairy much more than the one with a processed cheese slice we picked up somewhere but she said that it still wasn’t as good as the one from the “W”.

After supper, Grandpa Terry took Reid to see the cows in the cattle truck parked in the parking lot and then we said good buy to Grandmama, Grandma Barb and Grandpa Terry. Reid was in a hug-hoarding mood and so I had to give extra-good ones to Grandmama and Grandma Barb. Unfortunately for cases like these, Reid doesn’t feel jealous or threatened when I say, “Fine, I’ll hug them, my hugs are better anyway.” Most of the time, that is a behaviour for which I’m glad.

The little nap deducted itself from Reid’s bedtime and she stayed up until nearly 8:00. Yes, I’m a bit obsessive over her bedtime. Reid stayed asleep while I carried her in and so I was able to pack my lunch, Reid’s swimming bag and our supper and laid out Reid’s clothes. I even called Melissa for a chat! As always, I got carried away by the freedom of being awake and stayed up later than I should have. Maybe once it starts happening more regularly I’ll be better at going to bed.

Mother’s Day – take 3 (make that 4)

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

It’s amazing to me that I’m marking my third fourth* Mother’s Day as a mother today. It seems like no time ago at all that Ken and I talked about how it would be bad luck to celebrate Mother’s Day or Father’s Day when I was still pregnant – a mother-to-be I certainly was but not yet entitled to the full festivities. And yet, Reid is a big girl of almost-four-years and yesterday Grandma Barb made a cake that had “Happy Mother’s Day” on it and listed my name along with Lisa’s, Grandmama’s and  hew own. It’s a day for spending thinking about what it means to be a mother, I suppose, but also a day for being a mother – two activities that have trouble co-existing in my life. Reid and I went out for breakfast this morning and then for a swim and some time in a hot tub. She has given me many kisses, one specifically for Mother’s Day, and wished me a happy Mother’s Day. I’ve been chosen as the line leader, an honour to be sure and allowed to use the card to open the door to our hotel room. It’s clear I’ll be pampered today.

If we were at home, I’d head over to the Farm (Canada Agriculture Museum) and if we make it back to Ottawa in time, we just might go there. Of all of the Mother’s Day activities that I wrote about on Thursday, seeing mama and baby farm animals is my favourite. If you’re in Ottawa and looking for other things to do today, check out the newly-updated Ottawa Events with Kids page.

Happy Mother’s Day to all.

Edited to correct my math. (There is a reason I pay an accountant to do my taxes ;+)

C’mon over

Sunday, January 6th, 2008

Ken, Reid and I spent Saturday moving things around to allow him to have his office in the basement (again) and to allow us to create a guest room on the second floor, closer to the bathroom. The move grew out of a plan to install a toilet in the furnace room so that Grandma Joyce could sleep in the basement when she visits. Ken thought 4 toilets in a house with 3 humans – the 2 cats don’t use the toilet – was over the top. He didn’t want to discourage his mother-in-law from coming, though, and so proposed the office switch. (He is a special guy, my husband.) There will be a double bed in the guest room / sewing-scrapbooking room waiting for those people who find the futon unwelcoming or who didn’t want to try the fabulous double-bed-sized air mattress. In fact, we’re getting to the point of being able to host micro conventions once the 2 couches are factored into the mix.

Ottawa is hosting the World Junior Hockey Championship this year, I’ve had a couple of expressions of interest already. Before that, we’ll have Winterlude (if winter comes back), March break, Canada Day, Orchestras in the ParkFall Rhapsody and so much more. Book early and avoid disappointment.  ;+)

‘Twas the night before Christmas 2007

Friday, January 4th, 2008

Reid and I took Ken to work on Christmas Eve. Reid was interested in why there would be a party at Mama’s work but not at Daddy’s. We sidestepped the question a bit, not having time to explain the Grinch and all. Reid did manage to scope out Ken’s building during a trip to the bathroom and then we made our way to the building where most of the people in my branch work. As my office is off-site, Reid’s current impression of Mama’s workplace is a somewhat posh boardroom with treats on the side table, craft supplies on the main table and a movie playing on the screens at the one end.

Between Reid eating most of the orange slices single-handedly (but with pauses in between trips to the tray to allow other people a chance) and sticking me with a chocolate-glazed doughnut and cutting, colouring and pasting we whiled away an hour or before the main event. Santa made an appearance, though his elves were busy getting everything ready for the big night. Reid wanted me to walk with her when her name was called but broke into a run as we got near to jolly Old Saint Nick and launched herself into his hug. The Spud Buds that Santa gave were well received. I thought it an interesting commentary on sociey that the carrot has a cell phone and the ear of corn has a handful of money. Or maybe it was the little potato that was supposed to have the cell phone and the carrot the money or the ear of corn should have had … You know how confusing Potato Heads can be. At least there was no requirement for the Mama to have a moustache.

We picked Ken up and stopped at Wendy’s for lunch. The drive-thru staff were pretty awful, putting pickles on Reid’s no-pickles hamburger and giving us white milk instead of the requested chocolate. They didn’t give us straws for the drinks Ken and I ordered and the chili I ordered was entirely absent. Was I glad we decided to eat in the parking lot? You bet. I went in for the chilli and pointed out the other errors. Rather than an apology (or a nothing-says-sorry-like-a-free-Frosty) the manager told me that she’d said “no pickles” several times. We dallied almost long enough for the cleaners to finish the house. We need to check that the kitties can get to their food and water after the cleaners leave.

We got the car packed and were on the road fairly close to our target time. As usual, I sat in the back with Reid and also, as usual, Ken drove through awful weather while Reid and I napped. I woke to a strong wind that even I, oblivious in the backseat, could tell was causing Ken trouble. We pulled off the highway for a bathroom break for Reid (thankful not to be risking the same wet carseat as the last time we travelled) but Ken stayed in the car – I think that his body was nearly frozen into place with the strain of the drive. We made it to our hotel in good time and, after a trek through the bowels of the hotel to get to our room since the lobby entrance was closed, ordered pizza for supper.

Pizza for Christmas Eve supper is a tradition in my family and it is always popular with Reid. She and I sat on the bed with a towel for our picnic blanket but we had proper china plates and flatware as well as linen napkins from the hotel’s restaurant. It was a fun meal. After supper, Reid and I went swimming. It was odd to be in a swimming pool while listening to Christmas carols, I have to say. Reid didn’t comment on it, though. We used the hot tub and sauna before returning to our room. Reid wasn’t as excited as I might have expected. Santa visit is still a bit of an abstract concept, I guess. With our 6″ tree on the desk, we settled down for a long winter’s sleep. I think that the Daddy creature was stirring for a while after Reid and I went down but I don’t have any first hand knowledge of it.