Archive for the ‘Ken’s family’ Category

Christmas quotes, part 2

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

On the way back to Ottawa on Boxing Day, Reid was playing with Thomas, her new Care Bear from Atira, Harley and R.J. Reid assigned me the role of Daddy and she was Mama. Thomas was crying, Reid said. She added, “Thomas will cry and cry and then we’ll take her (yes, Thomas is a girl) home and she would stop crying.”

Do you suppose Reid had had enough of travelling by then?

I wrote about another Christmas quote last week.

Dressing as a princess

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007

The other day Reid came across her Disney princess ‘high heeled” shoes when we were in the basement and went upstairs to find the other parts of the costume. When I told her she needed to come back downstairs, Reid said, “I can’t. I need my  Atira.” It’s true that she hasn’t seen Cousin Atira in a long time but Christmas is coming soon. The tiara was found and Princess Reid was beautiful in that regal way of happy 3 year old girls.

I had pie once – the response

Friday, November 23rd, 2007

I’ve mentioned before that whenever Ken has pie he says, “I had pie once,” but it needs to be fresh in your mind or this won’t make sense.  Now pie is pretty rare at our house but it wasn’t at Grandmamas when Ken’s grandfather was reminiscing about having had pie. We laugh when Ken says it but it makes me a bit sad that Reid and I never met Grandpa Charlie. From this and other stories that Ken tells, it sounds like he was a special guy.

All this leads me to the fact that I made an apple pie this past weekend. We spent some time at the orchard and then an afternoon of peeling, peeling and more peeling, that has left us with apples slices in pie portion sized bags in our freezer. I tossed some into a store-bought crust. (I didn’t say that I’d been possessed by Martha Stewart and made pie ;+) I even remembered to add margarine before I put the crust on so that we wouldn’t have apple soup like the last time.

When it was ready to eat and I offered it to Ken, he said, “I had pie once.” (I told you that he says it every time.) Not missing a beat, Reid asked, “You like pie again?” Ken and I laughed aloud and he declared Reid to be the only person to have offered the proper response.

Grandmama is grrreat!

Monday, November 5th, 2007

Grandparents are known for spoiling their grandchildren. For the most part, I don’t think that it’s “spoiling” per se as much as being adults that love the child without having to be as rules-conscious. I think you also have to factor in the grandparents’ memories of their own child at the same age and watching for echoes in the next generation. But great-grandparents are just that much more special. They have the memories of the relaxed-rules relationship with the child’s parents, many years to know that “this too shall pass” is the survival motto for parents with children but, more importantly, that we need to stop and enjoy our children. Reid is so lucky to have Grandmama in her life. As are Ken and I, of course.

It’s good to have grandparents with big trees in their backyard

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

We all ate Quaker oatmeal from packages for breakfast on Sunday. I don’t automatically pack them and bowls but I think I’ll start. With the ubiquitous coffee pots in hotel rooms, oatmeal from packages certainly holds attractions. They’re cheap, fast and don’t require a trip to a restaurant. Reid and I enjoy eating breakfast in restaurants and the Holiday Inn where we stayed has a “kids eat free” policy but sometimes we’re in a hurry or need something small to tide us over until brunch (like Sunday) and Ken never likes eating breakfast in a restaurant. On this particular day, Reid decided that she wanted the cinnamon and apple package that I’d brought for myself. Reid usually has the raisins and spice variety, just as Ken does. I went in search of spoons (another thing I’ll have to start packing routinely) and when I got back, Reid was eating her oatmeal while sitting on the bed. Eating on the bed was a treat in itself but it turned out that Reid had helped herself to some of my raisin oatmeal, too, while I was gone. What a fink!

With breakfast taken care of, Reid and I headed out for a swim. Does everyone look for hotels with pools or is just me? I never go away overnight without swim things for Reid and myself. I figure if we end up without a pool, we can always find a recreation centre. In any case, the Holiday Inn in Trenton has a nice little pool that opens at 8:00 on Sunday mornings and Reid and I are usually waiting for it when it does. Reid was doing her best waterbaby impression, playing on the steps into the pool and doing acrobatic moves using the railing in the centre of the steps. Reid loves to be “in control” in the pool and is much braver when she is. I convinced her to hold onto my neck while I swam again and let her ride along as I swam on my back. We went into the hot tub for a bit. Note, there was a sign recommending that young children not go in but I took it under advisement. The water isn’t that hot when compared with Reid’s usual bathwater and I was conscious of how long we were in. After we got out of the hot tub, Reid wanted to go back into the pool. I just couldn’t do it. I sat on the edge while she played on the steps, no more than half an arm’s length from me. I finally coaxed Reid into going to the sauna with me to dry off. We haven’t been in a sauna in a long time. There were many “why’s” involved. Why is it hot? Why is it made of wood? Why is it hot? Why are we here? Why is it hot? You understand. 2 year-olds say “no” and 3 year-olds say “why”. (Much better than saying certain words they hear from their dads when they drive, really.)

When we got back to the room, Ken was in the shower. Reid, of course, had to barge right in and say “hi”. It’s a well-honed instinct she has – introducing cold air and a door right where he needs to stand. Her enthusiasm at seeing him makes up for the inconvenience, I think.

We all walked over to see the fighter plane that is in the side yard of the hotel. We’ve stayed at this particular hotel many times but have never went over before. It’s a tribute to air force personnel. CFB Trenton, the airforce base where they bring the casualties back from Afghanistan, is just up the road. Of course, we took pictures. Ken wanted them for the virtual memorial project he works on and I just like taking pictures. Maybe I like taking pictures too much since Ken told me that I don’t share the camera well. (He didn’t say that exactly but that’s what he meant.)

With feet wet from the grass, we headed to our car and went to see Grandpa Keith and Granny Rhonda’s. They were impressed at how tall Reid is – it surprises us, too, sometimes at how quickly she is stretching out. Reid talks about being taller and when she’ll be taller than me quite a bit. Ken suggests that being taller than me isn’t a signigicant accomplishment.

Granny Rhonda had made a yummy brunch for us and we ate and chatted. Reid loves pork – bacon, sausage and ham as well as pork chops, pork tenderloin and probably anything else I offered her – and Granny had made both bacon and ham. To be polite, Reid ate some fried potatoes, eggs and toast but really she was there for the pork. We don’t have those things at home because I love them, too.

After brunch, Daddy and Grandpa Keith took Reid outside to the backyard. There are so many full grown trees that they have no end of hassle with leaves in the pool. As you can imagine, this made for an amazingly good place to play on a fall weekend. Grandpa Keith had raked leaves recently and so Reid had a good pile of leaves to jump in. I went out for a bit to take some pictures and ended up in the same pile. It was a bit damp but since we have only the one tree and it is stingy with its leaves, I took what I could get. Soon enough, my fingers, nose and ears were getting cold and Daddy and Grandpa Keith seemed to be chilled, too. Reid protested, though, when we made her go back into the house.

She played and we visited and then she sweet talked Granny Rhonda into taking her back outside. Well, she probably made only one request. You know how grandparents are. They walked around, raked some more leaves and went back to the leaf pile. We had to go out and break the news that we needed to leave before Reid’s cold wet nose prompted her to come in.

We were back in the car at nap time, just like planned, and headed home to the kitties.

If there’s bad weather, it’s time for us to take a road trip

Friday, October 19th, 2007

I know it seems like I’ve written this before and that’s the problem – we seem to have to travel whenever the weather is bad. If you don’t believe that we’re the centre of the universe, the two aren’t necessarily linked but it’s happening too often to be a coincidence.

Reid, Ken and I left home in the rain for a quick trip to Chapters and then Kindermusik before getting onto Highway 7 for the drive to Frankford. I was startled when we didn’t take the ramp to the 416 but Ken, the one who doesn’t sleep for 2 of the 3 hours we’re in the car, said that we wanted something better to look at than what the 401 has to offer. When the rain wasn’t heavy, it was nice to see the fall colours and the rocky outcrops that characterize highway 7. My husband has lots of good ideas.

We got to Grandma Barb and Grandpa Terry’s in good time. I had ridden in the backseat with Reid and was still buried in blankets and stuff that needed to be put away when Ken and Reid went in. By the time I got in, Reid was cuddled into Grandmama’s lap. Reid was happy to see Grandma Barb and Grandpa Terry, to be sure, but Grandmama was a particularly welcome surprise.

We had a good visit, with lots of silliness as Grandpa Terry delights in teasing Reid and Reid delights in climbing on him as though he were her personal jungle gym. Grandma Barb prepared a traditional Thanksgiving dinner and Reid managed to eat some food other than the olives that were so tantalizingly close for a while. At one point, Reid wandered away from the table and I said that I would take her to sit in car if she didn’t sit down. This apparently amused the others but I couldn’t think of a place at Grandma and Grandpa’s that Reid wouldn’t find interesting to be in. She did sit and eat nicely and so I didn’t have to go out to the cold, damp car. It’s important to choose discipline techniques that don’t punish you as well, to the extent possible. I had a moment of doubting Reid’s parentage when she tried a butter tart for the first time and reacted as though it were dirt laced with rotten eggs.

After supper, Reid and Grandmama did some painting with the Elmer’s Squeeze and Brush kit that I bought at Costco a few weeks ago. I like to have a new toy when we travel and ones that are washable and mess-free, like this one claimed to be, are particularly appealing to me. I think Grandmama would have contested the mess-free claim. She spent quite a bit of time wiping her hands off – not counting  when I painted her hand and had her make a handprint. Reid covered her hands with paint as her love of handprints continues. Her face and arms were collateral damage. The paint came off with soap and water, though, and so the mess-free claim should have an asterisk with a note that it is mess-free in the long term.

We got checked into our hotel just after Reid’s usual bedtime. With only overnight bags, we could have easily carried our things but I got the cart so that Reid could have a ride. The small things that make kids happy, eh?

That’s not how we did it in my family

Monday, October 15th, 2007

Ken and I have different expectations around what should happen at supper. One of our differences is around staying at the table from start to finish of the meal. For the most part, I can see that he is right but in my family getting up in the middle of a meal was commonplace and it’s proving to be a very hard habit to break. Before Reid was born and even for months afterward, we ate in the living room most nights. It sounds awful to admit this but the admission explains why we’re having this conflict 10 years after we were married. Now that we are a family with a daddy, mama and child, we’re facing a clash of family of origin expectations.

Another of of the behaviours that seems akin to fingernails on a chalkboard for Ken is singing at the table. Grandma Joyce has a song or part thereof for every occasion and I have inherited many of them. Reid is also a singer. Still, I try to remember that it bothers Ken.

On Saturday at supper, Grandma Barb served Jello for dessert. Reid turned down the pies and apple crumble and focussed only on the Jello. At some point, I was overcome with the desire to sing “J-e-l-l-o” and I did. Immediately, Grandma Barb said, “You’ll cry before bedtime.” Apparently there is a saying, “Sing at the table and you will cry before bed.” Ken said, “That explains things” since Reid both sings at the supper and sometimes at bedtime as well.

Atira’s hug

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

Reid and I made hugs for Grandma Barb and Grandma Joyce for Mother’s Day. I traced Reid’s torso, arms and hands and she painted them. Then, I put an 8X10 photo on top. With the arms folded, the whole thing resembles a hug (if you squint your eye and tilt your head a bit).

Grandma Barb has her hug on her fridge. When Atira, who is 4, was visiting recently, she asked, “How does it work?” Grandma Barb removed the tape she had been using to hold the arms closed and helped Atira to a hug from Reid. How sweet is that?

The word you are looking for is “letter”

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

Reid announced that she wanted to write an email to Grandma (she didn’t specify which) the other night after supper. I told her that I’d get the laptop set up for her as soon as soon I’d finished eating. Reid went straight to her easel, though, and started “writing” with her markers. She talked as she wrote about where we’d been and what we’d been doing lately. Then, she got her scissors and made some cuts in the edge of the paper. When I told Reid we needed to go up to the tub, she told me that hadn’t finished the email to Grandma yet. I hear older people speak of writing people a “letter” when the mean sending an email. Reid, though, is a “digital native” and her words work differently.

Happy Birthday to Ken

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

Sunday was Ken’s birthday. I’m happy to say that he had mostly recovered from the intestinal bug that made him so sick Friday night and Saturday. He was still suffering from that affliction he is frequently beset with: delusions of anonymity. His primary symptom is a fervent belief that simply by willing Reid and I (and the rest of the world) not to make a big deal of his birthday (or other event focused on him), the day will pass without note being taken. But we just can’t do it. How can we not celebrate “our man’s” birthday? Wouldn’t it be just plain wrong? We think so!

Barb and Terry came to visit on Saturday even though Ken was sick. At first I cancelled but then Ken said that Reid and I might as well have visitors (and did he think it would keep us out of his hair, who knows ;+) Ken managed a brief appearance while we ate some of the angel food cake that I’d bought as a pre-birthday cake. Reid and I enjoyed Grandma Barb and Grandpa Terry’s visit. We had a nice lunch, if I do say so myself. I even made devilled eggs for the first time ever. Reid watched like a hawk as I peeled the hard boiled eggs. I convinced her to wait until I’d cut one in half. She ate her half quickly and snatched a second half before realizing that I’d already scooped out the yolk. She dropped it and it broke. I told her I could I hide it with the fancy yolk. As we passed the eggs around, Reid piped up to ask if I’d eaten the broken one. No one had noticed or at least they hadn’t commented but Reid remembered. We laughed and she seemed a bit confused. We went to the Science and Technology museum for the special firefighting exhibit. There was a fire truck and the safety trailer in the parking lot and a couple old fire trucks in the train gallery but that was pretty much it for “specialness”. Reid was happy to look at the fire truck in the parking lot, especially since she was allowed to drive a bit and then to get in the back. We talked about Sheila and Michael in Robert Munsch’s *The Fire Station*  because they also rode in the back of a fire truck. She has talked about the big flashlights that we saw several times since.

On Sunday, we had a pleasantly quiet day and then had supper with Amanda and Nam. I made lasagna and apple pie. Amanda, Reid and I carried much of the converational load but we didn’t mind ;+) Nam and Ken seemed happy enough and got their words in when they wanted to. When Ken and I discussed what sort of cake he wanted, at first he just said “not chocolate.” After further consideration – or was it pestering – he agreed that an apple pie would please him.

Reid was witness to the discussion and assured us a couple times that *she* wanted a cake for her birthday. Let there be no doubt of that. They’re polar opposites about birthdays, those two. Reid is anticipating the BIG DAY and making requests for what is to happen. I’m not sure whether she will choose pizza or curry. If it is the former, I hope she’ll have forgotten about macaroni pizza by then. I have no idea where this notion came from or how to meet the request. She hasn’t got a list of presents she is asking for, though. I think she’d like a magnifying glass as I mentioned previously or maybe binoculars. She has been holding her hands to her eyes as hand-oculars off and on over the last few days. She might also like a scratch We have two scratch and sniff books at home. One is about Strawberry Shortcake and friends and is a bit syrupy and damaging to adult braincells. The other is a Little Monster book, a hand-me-down with very little scent remaining that is sniff-worthy, that Reid hopefully scratches at every opportunity.