Archive for the ‘Ben’ Category

I guess they wouldn’t do much for a peppermint Klondike bar

Friday, October 19th, 2007

Ben is starting to read but has so far refused to to read a story to me or Reid. Last night, though, he wanted to have one of the mint Girl Guide cookies that I had bought from Sarah. Sarah is in Brownies but they don’t have their own cookies. Don’t ask us why. Go ask your mother. Peter told Ben that their family doesn’t like the mint cookies and would buy the vanilla/chocolate boxes in the spring. Ben was undeterred.

Seizing the opportunity, I offered him a cookie in exchange for a story. Stephen said that Ben wouldn’t eat the cookie and I said that it was all the same to me as long as Ben read the story. Ben hunted up a book and read it to Reid and me. He knew many of the words and sounded the others out like a pro. Who puts words like “cigogne” in an early reader for immersion kids anyway?! (Note to self: Figure out what a “cignogne” is. It seemed like a crane or maybe a swan. The illustrator wasn’t on my side either.)

After supper, I gave Ben the cookie he’d earned. He took one bite and made an awful face. Peter grinned and took the rest of the cookie away. I wish I’d congratulated Ben on trying it but was distracted at the time. He was also the only one to try the Turkish Delight. It was also not to his taste but he did give it a go, at least.

All in all, I don’t think I’ll be getting any more stories in exchange for mint cookies from Ben. In fact, I don’t think anyone in their family would do anything for a mint Klondike bar. Maybe to get out of eating one though …

In any case, I highly recommend that you seek out a nearby Spark, Brownie, Guide or Pathfinder and buy some cookies. If you don’t like them, your local food bank will find someone who does. These links are Canadian. The same information will be available for other countries.

Edited to add: Cignogne is “swan” in French.

Ben’s soccer game

Friday, July 6th, 2007

Ben asked us for weeks if we would come to watch him play soccer. Unfortunately, his games and Reid’s swimming lessons conflicted. Reid’s swimming lessons have wrapped and so when he asked on the Thursday night after swimming lessons were over, I said that I’d check with Ken to see if we could come. Ben called me himself (with Melissa’s help I imagine) to ask for an answer on Friday. I was flattered and caught up in his excitement. Ben is only one of the kids to invite us – or if the others asked when they were his age, I’ve forgotten. I think I’m closer to Ben because he was born here and Reid and I spent so much time with Ben and Melissa when I was off on mat leave.

Unlike so many other days lately, that Friday was mild and sunny – instead of hot and humid. We got to the soccer pitch about 6:30 and were still able to find a place right on the sideline. Reid watched a bit of the game but spent a good deal of the time kicking a soccer ball back and forth with her dad. I enjoyed watching the boys play and hope that Reid will have as much fun if/when she plays soccer. I know no rules other than you aren’t allowed to touch the ball with your hands unless you’re the goalie but Ken follows soccer and so will be able to educate me. Provided I can pay attention and not interrupt. I’m a poor student when Ken is trying to teach me things. (Surprised? ;+)

Sunday, it seems like I hardly knew you

Monday, January 15th, 2007

Reid had a rotten night’s sleep Saturday night. I think she was experiencing a “grumbly tumbly” as Winnie the Pooh might say, though his is only ever “rumbly”, meaning hungry. Poor girl had many bad dreams, was awake enough to be aware she needed to use the bathroom (usually I can soothe her back to sleep faster) and out and out cried at one point (almost never happens). At 5:30, she declared it to be “no sleeping time” and got up to use the bathroom, for the third time. We went downstairs and watched a couple shows from the PVR and played with Potato Heads. At 7:30, Reid decided it was time to sleep. I thought it might kill my afternoon nap but was too tied to put up a fight. I closed my eyes at 8:00 and opened them again at 9:30. Reid slept until 10:00. Ken wandered down about then as well.  Quite an unusual morning in our house. After lunch, Reid wanted to nurse and so I told her that we’d have to go up to her room but not expecting her to nap. Two and a half hours later, I woke Reid when I coughed too hard for too long. Boy, that was a pleasant surprise. Less so maybe for Melissa and Ben who were waiting for us to meet them at Chapters. Melissa said that they read many, many books. Reid and I went to have tea and treats at Starbucks and then got groceries, including a deli chicken and fries for supper. After eating and trying more Potato Head combination, it was bedtime again. Yep, she went to sleep again without fuss and so did I. I decided to go straight to sleep in my own bed just in case and was unfortunately proven right. I’ve decided that she is experiencing growing pains since I read about another kid with them on a blog.

Books we read, January 11th

Thursday, January 11th, 2007

Well, if Wednesday was a whirlwind, I am not sure what today was. Reid refused all books this morning and then after daycare, we went straight to Melissa’s for supper. I had thought of packing a couple of books that have CDs but then thought that would mean Reid and I wouldn’t be able to chat while we drove. Besides Melissa’s kids have even more books than Reid does. I offered to read to Ben and Reid before supper but Reid was intent on playing with the instruments from the kids’ Kindermusik bags and Ben was only too happy to join in to “see how much noice we can make.” After supper Ben and Reid each chose a book and Reid decided that I should read Ben’s book first and so we read Barbaby Goes to School by Wendy Whitcomb Rouillard and started Three Toots for Freddie (at least I think that is what is was called). Reid sitting quietly reserve was all used up and she didn’t stay for more than a couple pages. We got home late enough that we headed straight to bed. Tomorrow, we’ll have to do much better since my goal is three books a day at a minimum.

A rec room is born

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

On Saturday, after Kindermusik, Aunt Karin helped Reid and Mama clean and organize things in the basement. Daddy might have pitched in but he was idling his day away, donating books to the library and caulking the windows because he is a slacker. (Grandma Joyce meanwhile was still chained to the sewing machine.)  After we cleared the space (mostly ;+), Reid and I went for a nap. When we woke up, Karin had finished cleaning, helped Ken bring the big, black couch down and arranged the furniture so that we have a sitting area at one end and then toys and books at the other. Ken, Reid and I are very lucky people to have such visitors. 

Melissa and Peter and the kids came for supper. The kids sat at Reid’s little table and Reid got to sit next to Ben, which is a plus for her. The kids all like tacos and Reid was especially hungry. She sat at her spot saying, “Food, please, Mama” in this little voice that sounded weak from hunger. Which wasn’t the case at all, given she ate a hamburger and some soup at lunch. At supper she ate two full soft-shell tacos, or at least the bits that didn’t hit the floor, and drank three glasses of milk. I wasn’t kidding last week when I said she was working on moving up the weight percentiles.

After supper we took the kids and went downstairs. How nice it was to have the rec room ready for all of us to hang out in. Our challenge with our house is that the main floor is quite narrow with the stairs, bathroom and pantry running along the living and dining rooms. The basment doesn’t suffer from this. Now all we need is some sound-dampening tiles :+)

Report from the Doctor’s office

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

We took Reid in for her two-year check up on Friday. We didn’t go in July because our doctor was on vacation and we didn’t go in August or September because I’d forgotten to renew Reid’s health card. Finally, it arrived and I scheduled the appointment. Only I was a couple of minutes late meeting Ken and Reid at the office and they took her in without seeing the card. Had I but known …

Ken said that Reid was happy in the waiting room but started to yell and cry when they got to the triage room. It was the same when I took her when she had her viral rash and flu. My psychoanalysis of this behaviour is that she still remembers her 18 month shots. But I should disclose that my training in psychoanalysis was limited to one or maybe two hours in first year psych :+) Whatever the reason, she was still upset and desperate to escape the examination room that they parked us in. A nurse came in to see if we could get Reid’s weighed since she’d been too wild at first. I held her and stood on the scale and then set her down and was weighed again. (I hate getting weighed, even in metric.) I pinned her to the bed and the nurse measured her length. When we got back to Ken, he said that the first nurse said “no” when he suggested that he hold Reid to be weighed but that they did get a length measurement. Poor kid pinned to the bed by mama for nothing :+(

Finally, it was our turn to see the doctor. Reid nursed throughout the exam, with only a brief pause when he looked in her eyes. Most of the exam was a series of questions for us. Does she learn at least one new word a week? I’ll say. More like one dozen a day, it seems. Does she eat most foods? Yep. Is she affectionate? You bet. And so on. The doctor said that Reid is in the 95th percentile for height and the 50th percentile for weight (which explains why her pants won’t stay up unless they high-waters, I guess).

Since Friday, Reid has been eating as though she is trying to bring her weight up to the level of her height. She ate so much curry on Saturday night that we thought she’d get a tummy ache. Chicken curry is one of her favourite meals but, wow! This morning, she insisted on trading me bowls of oatmeal (made from the rolled oats like mom does it) and when she finished what I’d served myself, asked for more. I’m glad I ate from her bowl quickly enough to finish. They’ll offer her breakfast at daycare and I bet she’ll eat again.

Hot air balloons in Ottawa

Thursday, September 7th, 2006

There are many great things about living in Ottawa, not the least of which that Ken and I both have jobs, but the hot air balloons that we so frequently see are certainly among the best. While it’s not uncommon to see some in the mornings or evenings (6:00 am/pm liftoffs seem popular), Labour Day weekend is the best. This year, there were nearly 80 balloons scheduled to be at the Gatineau Balloon Festival. Reid and I went with Melissa and Peter et al for a picnic at Rockcliffe park and to see the balloons. You have to pay to get into the festival but the balloons launch and immediately drift across the river and over Ottawa. Since I’m cheap and prefer not to have to drive or contend with the crowds, it works for me. 

Our adventure started with me needing to fit myself into the middle of the backseat of the minivan between Sarah and Stephen’s car seats. With some wiggling I accomplished the first challenge but was almost stumped by how to get the seat belt buckled when my arm didn’t seem to bend at the necessary angle to get my hand between my body and Stephen’s seat. The kids, Peter and I had a good laugh and the trip started off on the right note. (I never appreciated the challenge I give to people who sit next to Reid on the passenger side of our car. I sit behind Ken because I’m short but the buckle-trouble hadn’t occurred to me.)

We picked Melissa up and the mall where she’d been left to buy KFC and then headed for the park. Reid was very quiet in the van. She finds the noise and commotion of the kids and Melissa and me a bit overwhelming at first. Soon enough, she joins in the commotion. Peter is usually pretty quiet and maybe they silently exchange messages.

At the park, friends of Melissa’s from the ‘burbs parked just after us and so we ate all together. KFC isn’t tempting when it’s sort of cold. Not hot enough to be hot and not cold enough that the fat has congealed enough to pull off. The setting was nice and the kids happy.

Reid was left of the big kids game of tag but played catch with me until they started to play soccer. Ben was standing relatively near us (but farther away than I thought Reid would venture on her own) and Reid boldly walked over to him. He’s still one of her favourite people, certainly her favourite of Melissa’s kids, despite the effort Sarah makes to be nice. Shortly after Reid got to Ben, he turned and walked toward where Melissa and I were standing with Reid at his heels and I said, “Ben is coming to say Reid is bugging him.” Ben said something like, “I’m goalie and Reid is distracting me and she might get hurt by the ball.” He’s a wise boy, Benjamin, who knows to mention Reid’s well-being.

Soon enough it was time to buy ice cream – we’d pretty much given up on the balloons lifting off because it was windy – and on our way to the dairy bar we saw our first balloons. Reid got a rainbow sherbet cone (just like Sarah and Ben) but she was lucky enough to get such a small scoop that it stayed in the cone. Not so Ben who ignored his mom’s directions on how to lick it and ended up with a ball of ice cream on the floor by the time Melissa was paying. Reid got sooo messy eating her treat! She kept working on it long after the others had finished theirs. I finally got the last soggy bit of cone from her when we were ready to leave what seemed like an hour later.

The balloons were pretty cool. There was a red brick house, a teddy bear, a pirate in a barrel and then a bunch of “regular” ones in a rainbow of colours, even rainbow balloons. We saw thirty or so in total. Reid looked at them some but they were all pretty far away. I think in the past they’ve flown more directly over the park.

By this time, it was getting dark and the bugs were getting aggressive and so we headed for home.

On Saturday morning at 7:00 am, Reid and I went to the Aviation Museum where they had made arrangements for 10 balloons to launch. Unfortunately, it was too windy and so we went out for breakfast extra-early. Btw this might be the only time this year that you see me write “Reid and I went to the Aviation Museum” – it’s not my favourite museum. There are too many “machines” for me to focus. I am too fast going through to go with Ken but since it’s been at least five years, I’m do for a visit. Maybe in January ;+)

Saturday and Sunday were too rainy and windy for any balloons to lift off but on Monday night after supper we were playing in the backyard when we noticed balloons. We saw two or three at a time, probably to a total of twenty or more.  They were so low we could hear them lighting the fire. Reid and I went chasing one that we thought was going to land in the vacant lot near Old Navy. Unfortunately for us none landed in the vacant lot and we didn’t have time before bed to go to the golf course where I’m pretty sure they were actually landing. Maybe next year they’ll be able to launch on Saturday or Sunday night and we’ll be able to chase one to a landing site.

Maybe one of you will come to visit and see them land with us.