Archive for the ‘Mama’ Category

Disney on Ice – Mickey and Minnie’s Magical Journey

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Ken, Reid and I took a fieldtrip to Scotiabank Place to watch Disney on Ice – Mickey and Minnie’s Magical Journey. (It really does feel like a field trip when we have to travel 33 kilometres from home.) I first thought we should consider going to the performance based on the draw of Mickey and Minnie – Reid has been enamoured of these mice for several months – but when we were getting ready, it was the Disney Princesses that determined wardrobe choices. Reid certainly pulled together a great outfit.

All dressed upDressed up and happy

Ken dressed a bit more low key but, when Reid’s cotton candy came with a foam rubber fish hat, he knew how to accessorize. (Which is good, I guess, since we paid $10 for the cotton candy.)

Dad in a fish hat

We watched Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck, Daisy and Goofy as they travelled on a magical journey to see segments based on The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Peter Pan and Lilo & Stitch. We haven’t seen the movies in question, though we did see The Lion King: the Musical when we were in New York City and Reid has read stories that feature Ariel. Nonetheless, Reid was entranced by the drama on the ice.


Reid was also impressed by the evident effort that the skaters had put into training. In the midst of the first number, she said to me, “They really did practice!” Reid knows about such things thanks to the practice that she has been doing at CanSkate in preparation for the end of year Red Carpet Celebration.

Midway through, I figured out how to use the zoom on my camera and got a few shots of the performance. It was a magical morning.

PiratesSkaters 2Skaters 3Skaters 1

Another big cut

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Reid decided to get her hair cut. As I wrote, she has been taking care of her own hair and I left the decision to her. Once it was made, Reid was determined to execute it immediately. We headed to Melonheads, Reid’s preferred salon, with the plan of begging our way into an appointment since they weren’t answering the phone. Sometimes optimism doesn’t get you as far as it could, though.

Reid decided that a “regular” salon would do as long as they would cut her hair immediately. They could, they did and she was pleased with the results. I was disappointed that she didn’t have long enough hair to make another donation to A Child’s Voice Foundation: Angel Hair as she did for the first big cut but forcing her to grow it doesn’t seem in the spirit of charity.

All this hair business has made me nostalgic for Reid’s hair history. I took a walk down memory lane. Have a look…

Newborn hair Reid was born with a crazy amount of hair, especially for the child of a woman who resemble ET as a baby.

Unhappy ponytails Reid first got ponytails when she was just 6 months old.

Smiling and ponytailed But she liked having the hair out of her eyes, to be sure.

First hair cut After many, many, many questions about when Reid would finally get her hair cut – my answer was always “when she is one” – she got her hair cut just before her first birthday.

Braided beauty See those braids! That’s what you get when you only trim your child’s hair for the first four years of her life.

Delighted short-haired And when her long hair was finally cut, Reid was delighted.

Long, loose hair Almost two-and-a-half years later, Reid’s hair was again long and gorgeous. And doomed.

Short and polished But look at that smile and how polished she looks!

(Confession: I still miss the fancy hairstyles.)

Skiing lessons for Reid and Mama

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

When I first thought about signing Reid up for skiing lessons, I was mostly thinking about her being comfortable on school trips. Multiple trips to a local ski hill seem to be a ritual here in Ottawa for grades 3-8. We know lots of families that ski and it seemed like a basic living-in-Ottawa requirement. Then, I got thinking about what Reid would say if I signed her up for another sport that I can’t do. (I’ve never played ice hockey.) And I thought about how I write over at Losing it in Ottawa about the importance of being active.

And so it was, that Reid and I both started learn-to-ski lessons at Camp Fortune on January 9th. I had talked up my excitement about learning to ski at the same time Reid did and we were both keen on the way to our lessons. Ken came with us to help manage all of the newness. We were headed to the lesson meeting places, when Reid stopped suddenly. She had heard that I was going to the red flag and she was going to the blue flag. Reid had thought, I learned, that we were taking lessons with the same instructor. We coaxed Reid into going over to her class and Ken watched a bit while I hurried over to my own.

Reid’s class spent the first day on the bunny hill and magic carpet lift but made it onto a bigger slope the next week. The small kids ski without poles and also without fear. Reid can be a bit timid sometimes but skiing lessons aren’t one of those times. She learned how to make “pizzas” with her feet (snowplow) and eventually moved on to “french fries” (parallel skis). The kids link their turns to ski across the hill as they ski, just like adults do. Reid’s instructor – a teenage boy – is great with the kids. He’s playful and physically engages them but still keeps them in line. It’s pretty cool to see a line of 8 little kids snaking down the slope behind the instructor and even cooler when you recognize your own kid in the line. As we end our skiing lessons, Reid skis on the same four slopes as I do.

It’s a bit humbling to learn a new physical skill as an adult. I’d skiied a couple of times years ago but now that I’ve had 8 classes (we missed a weekend for Sulienne and Ryan’s wedding), I can’t imagine what I looked like that first day. I’ve learned so much and have so much yet to learn. During the first lesson, they taught us to snowplow and turn and took us to a slope. Okay, it was a gentle one but I was still scared. I fell 3 of the 4 times I got off the chairlift and several times on the hill. Thank goodness for the patience of my instructor and my own stubbornness!

As time went by, we left the two easiest slopes and went onto two slightly more challenging ones. Each was intimidating at first and became less as we practiced. Funny how new challenges work like that.

Last week, I noticed a near-empty slope at the top of a T-lift. Since the slope we were on was crowded and we’d never been on a T-lift, I asked if we could try it. The instructor – a substitute – agreed that we should go. I like to think our regular instructor would have reined in my enthusiasm. The slope was SO steep! It made me queasy to look down. Once you’re up at the top, though, you have to get down and walking looked like it would be as hard as skiing. I skied – scared – and fell several times but it was steep enough that standing back up was easy. At the bottom, I was victorious and humbled. We all headed happily back to our more familiar hill.

On the way, one of the women in my class told me that she thinks she’ll skip lessons next season and just buy a membership. I was surprised. That last hill had convinced me that I need lessons next year. Being able to ski on 4 slopes out of 23 doesn’t seem like a good time to stop.

Reid and I have much to tell Ken at the end of our ski trips. We’re both hoping that he’ll be persuaded to sign up for lessons next year.
It’ll be fun for our whole family!

Hair, glorious hair

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

Reid has been gradually taking over the decisions and responsibility for her hair over the last several months. I’m not exactly sure when it started but I could make a good guess based on pictures since Reid’s preferred hairstyle is long, loose and in her face. The latter characteristic may be a by-product of the first two. It drives me a bit nutty not to be able to see Reid’s face. Watching her drag her hair through her plate, whatever craft supplies she is using, et cetera is a very hard thing but I’m working on being excited about this new self-care skill. (Always look on the bright side, that’s my motto.)

Without the omnipresent ponytails and braids that kept me sane all these years, Reid needs her hair washed and conditioned more often to allow her to get the tangles out. It’s like someone out there doesn’t want me to get too comfortable with a particular stage before they change it up on me. Fortunately, Reid is also getting better with washing and conditioning her own hair. The rinsing needs a bit more work. Despite swimming well and often, Reid doesn’t like to get the water in her face. Even when she showers “all alone”, I have to stay in the bathroom to wipe her eyes if water or soap gets near them. It’s a tough life, I tell you ;+)

A friend of mine suggested that I offer Reid the option of having her hair cut, now that Sulienne and Ryan’s wedding has passed. I said that I’d mentioned it but Reid wasn’t interested. Janice pointed out that Reid would have an easier time caring for short hair but, of course, Reid still wast interested when I mentioned it again. I’m not pushing it. Reid is doing a pretty good job and I wouldn’t want to undermine her confidence. Plus, she still let’s me do her hair every once in awhile.

Reid knows the story of the time that she pooped in the tub and then was upset that she had to get out. When she reminds me of that story, I’m reminded of how far we’ve come. I miss that round little toddler but I’m ever-so-happy with the almost big girl I have now. (If only she’d let me braid her hair more often. Sigh)

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.

Running for the Cure – so Reid won’t have to

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Run for the Cure 2010

I signed up for the Run for the Cure this year. It started as a group activity for my Losing It In Ottawa team and some of our readers.
We’re trying to lose weight and get fit and being overweight is a contributing factor to cancer – it seemed like a natural fit.

The week before the run, I picked up my t-shirt and the bib with the sentence “I’m running for …” on it. I thought a lot about what to
write and kept coming back to a statement that I’d seen on the Run for the Cure site: I’m running so that my daughter won’t have to. I run several times a week now to be more fit. I watch what goes in my mouth so that I can lose weight and be healthier. But last Sunday, I ran so that Reid will have a breast cancer-free future.

10 Photos for 10-10-10

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

Andrea over at Peak inside the Fishbowl inspired The 10photos Project. Throughout the day, I took a photo at the top of each hour for 10 hours, starting 7:00 am EST. The earliest photos are at the bottom. I’m also uploading to the 10Photos Project Flickr Group.

ETA – It seems I can’t count. This is actually a 10+1 photo project. I couldn’t bear to delete Reid’s cousin’s arrival pic. She, too, is a special kid.

 5:00 pm – Cousin arrives at Grandma Barb’s

Cousin arrives

4:00 pm – Walking in Brockville

Walking in Brockville

3:00 pm - On the road to Grandma Barb’s

On the road to Grandma Barb’s

2:00 pm – In front of the Shenkman Arts Centre

In front of the Shenkman Centre

1:00 pm – Making pumpkins in pottery class

Pottery pumpkins

12:00 pm – Finally, a shower

Finally, a shower

11:00 am – I’m no longer invited in

No longer invited in

10:00 am – We fruitlessly searched for butterflies (we found them eventually but the line was too long)

Fruitlessly searching for butterflies

9:00 am – On the run with my running group

On the run

8:00 am - Taking care of her pearly whites

Pearly whites

7:00 am - Almost time to wake up

Almost time to wake up

Message received

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Reid was angry withh my yesterday morning because I wouldn’t help her wrap herself in two towels. She was cold and I wanted her to put on her clothing. When I got home last night, I noticed this on her bedroom door:

No Mama sign

I didn’t mention it but Reid did, “Remember this morning when I was so angry? I wrote this.” I nodded and she continued, “It’s my room and you can’t go in.” I was looking in through the doorway, feeling relieved, because that room is a mess and someone has to clean it before Grandma Joyce and Aunt Pam come. I’m glad I’ve been banned!

Reid paused a minute and then went to find her pencil – which she seems to keep in Ken’s office – and returned to add to the note. Poor man had nothing to do with the dispute.

No Mama and Daddy signCan I say how happy I am that Reid is starting to write independently? These are very exciting times at our house!

Summer ice skating lessons

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Reid is taking a month of CanSkate this summer. I’d thought about signing her up for a week of hockey camp but her coach suggested CanSkate instead. He was worried that she might not enjoy being the only girl. Reid has definitely enjoyed the program, though she prefers the less structured practices on Thursdays to the lessons on Tuesdays. On Tuesdays, she has to follow directions more closely and who doesn’t like to avoid working on skills with which they struggle? Reid has taken a few courses through the City of Ottawa’s recreation department but the CanSkate is much stronger, in terms of structure and working on fundamentals. It’s more expensive, too, but I think it’s worth it.

Reid has improved her forward and backward snowmen, is starting to “make snow” when she stops and occasionally skates on one foot. Her two-footed hops still seem to involve more motion in the shoulder area than in the foot area. From the stands, it seems like her skate don’t leave the ice at all. They do a drill where the kids are supposed to bounce tennis balls on the ice and catch them again. I’m reasonably sure that this exercise would be difficult for Reid if she were standing on a floor in bare feet. Still, she is getting better at this, too.

It’s nice to come to the rink when it’s humid outside but cool inside. It’s less nice to be wearing flip flops when your 40-odd-pound kid steps on you while she is wearing ice skates. On the bright side, it seems that Reid’s skates need to sharpened. It hurt but I have only a small cut. Skating lessons were easier when Ken was in charge of tying skates but I’m considering this to be my pre-season training. Hockey begins in earnest in September. I have to get ready for my dressing room duties.