Archive for the ‘Zachary’ Category

Can you imagine these 3 on a roadtrip?

Friday, July 29th, 2011

One night last week, Aunt Pam and Uncle John took the kids to the grain elevators in Wheatley. There was some wheat taken to the grain elevator, too, but it’s not important to this story. ;) Reid told us about the adventure – it’s the only thing she has voluntarily told us about in the 12 days that she has been away.

Aunt Pam filled in the details. I’ll give her “guest blogger” status, “with contributions” from Reid.

Uncle John was hauling wheat from Pelee Island and picked the kids up in Leamington. All was calm on the drive to Wheatley. Zack got the front seat as he was due for a nap. (He just about had one.) Dylan and Reid mostly read books in the bunk and explored the shelves, bed etc. Reid decided she was thirsty and John has a mini fridge with water bottles. When we arrived at the grain elevator (not Uncle Chris’s), the fun began. We talked about what the probe did and why Gary, who worked at the Wheatley Grain Elevator, was rolling the tarp back over the trailer. Then the roaming, switching seats, pushing and general mayhem began. We were cooped up in the cab of the truck for approximately an hour. Zack had to pee outside. More drinks and pretzels were spied. I passed out candy but not gum. I could just imagine John finding it later.

Then we unloaded Reid with Grandma Joyce and Dylan was in front on the way back to Leamington.

They were pretty good and had fun.

Uncle John figures it will take weeks to get the kid cooties out of his truck. He likes everything just so and does not like it when even I disturb things. 

Reid thinks Uncle John is a rockstar. He has a bright yellow antique passenger truck, a large, red Dodge pickup and, of course, a tractor-trailer with many kinds of trailers. We’ve visited his shop and seen the different trailers on previous visits. They’re larger than life and different from what we see on a day-to-day basis. 

Part of the waiting time, involved a turn for each kid in the driver’s seat.

Truck drivin’ ReidReid had done this before, so she was blasé about it

Truck drivin DylanDylan the demon driver, only he pushed the pedals while the truck was running

Truck driven Zachary Zack had all the noises to go with his driving

Can you imagine these three on a roadtrip? I think that there would be many laughs and maybe, just maybe, a bit of speeding!

Our adventures at Cosmic Adventures

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Ken and I took Zachary, Dylan and Reid to Cosmic Adventures, an indoor playground last Tuesday night while Melissa and Roy went out for supper. The evening convinced me of something that I’ve long suspected and taught me something else:
1. Reid is braver than I am.
2. Zachary is fearless.

When I first took Reid to Cosmic Adventures, she was 3 and content to play in the area reserved for children under 4. We even spent a bit of time upstairs on the equipment reserved for the under-3 crowd. As soon as we entered the facility last night, Zachary headed for the nearest entry to the main structures. He had to execute a gymnastics sort of maneuver to hoist his body onto the next level of the climbing structure. It seems Zachary is used to finding work-arounds for being only 2.5 years old. I was scrambling to keep up as he went through the hard plastic tubes, rope bridges, etc. Once in the tubes, Zachary’s size was a definite advantage. He could run full tilt while standing upright in places where Reid had to hunch and I had to crawl. My knees were still tender two days later. (Poor me ;+) A friend from work later told me that you can borrow knee pads from the front desk. Next time I’ll know!

At some points, I had to have Reid stay with Zachary – calling out direction changes as they went while I tried to catch up. I’ve never been so glad that Reid learned left from right. I thought I needed to stay close to Zachary, just in case, but Zachary didn’t think he needed me for anything.

After a trip to the water fountain, Reid and Dylan went into the under-4 area and Zachary and I followed. It was lovely to sit back and observe as all three kids were contained and visible. Zachary was the first to tire of the “little kid” area and go back to the main area. I took him up to the toddler area after a while but it was clearly too tame to interest Zachary the Brave.

We went back to the main climbers and spent our last while going to the highest possible places. I had to fight my own personal boogeymen throughout the evening – vertigo and claustrophobia – and so I was awfully proud to make it to the top in those ridiculously small tunnels. Proud but not 100% comfortable. I learned a bit from Zachary the Brave. Not that I’m sad that Reid won’t ask me to climb with her at her birthday party. But I know that I can go rescue someone if I need to do so.

Elevator blues

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

Remember on our last trip to Toronto, when Dylan went running ahead because he wanted to be the one who pushed both the elevator call button and the floor button. Now that I think of it, I didn’t write about it at the time because I was feeling like such a bad auntie. In a nutshell, Dylan ran much faster than I expected, the elevator was also much quicker than anticipated and Dylan got on the elevator and the doors shut before I could stop him. I had Reid go to Aunt Karin and when they were back, Aunt Karin went to our floor while I stood guard in case Dylan came back down. She found him in the elevator lobby on our floor with an uncomfortable-looking twenty something man. Reid was nearly crying and Dylan was actually crying by the time we were all reunited. On the upside, neither kid even approached the elevator doors without a grown-up for the rest of our weekend.

Well, this time we had elevator troubles of a different sort. On the way to our room on the 20th floor of the hotel, Damien started to fuss. I thought he was upset because Aunt Karin wasn’t there with us. But he was super-excited to go to the swimming pool until it was time to get into the elevator and he got upset again. Damien is a man of few words and I’m no detective but I made the connection. The people who rode the elevators with didn’t look too impressed with the noise. People can be creeps, eh? At our second hotel, we were (thank goodness) on the 3rd floor. Two of the elevators overlooked the pool and that proved to be a better distraction than the mirrors at the first hotel. By the time we checked out, Damien was okay with the elevator.

Post-school report

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

Reid was reluctant to leave when I returned to her classroom at 11:00 Tuesday. She smiled when I came in but continued playing. I told her we needed to go but she thought I was wrong. The returning students were able to stay for the full day and Reid wanted to do the same. Natalie said that Reid had had a “fabulous morning” and that she had participated in all activities. Those 3+ years in day care paid off, I guess.

Reid told me that they sang “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” with only 3 animals, played outside and had bagels and apple sauce for snack. She didn’t remember any of the kids’ names and couldn’t tell us any French words that she had learned, although she said that she had learned one new word. Reid said Natalie is nice and so is the teacher’s aide, Kevin, but she didn’t remember his name either. I did see her playing near the other kids, though.

Reid is very fond of one of the toys that were set out – a set of graduated “blocks” that start with a small diamond and then move to hollow squares. Fully assembled, the blocks make a pyramid. When we first arrived, Reid played with play dough for a bit and then moved to the blocks and she was there again when I picked her up. They’re more challenging to stack than traditional blocks and the results are interesting. Reid may also associate them with being a big kid as Melissa’s kids have them, too.

The classroom is very bright and open. There are windows along one wall that overlook a garden with flowers and hedges, a strip of grass and then the parking lot. There were 3 or 4 tables, each set with a different activity and then blocks on the carpet where circle is held and a little book nook. Reid’s cubby is in an alcove where there is also a sink. The cubby set up is similar to what Reid had at day care, though the alcove is small enough that is will loud and crowded while they’re getting they’re snow gear on this winter. I won’t be there for that part, though, thank goodness! The kids go down the hall to the bathrooms that are also shared with the rest of the recreation complex. At the official “bathroom times”, they post a sign that keeps the general public away and otherwise the children are accompanied as needed. Outdoor play takes place in a little courtyard bordered by the library, hall to the classrooms and the pool (all are connected). I snuck down the hall to the library yesterday morning, past the windows looking onto the courtyard but when I went to leave the library, I realized Reid couldn’t help but see me through yet another wall of windows. I got quite a few chances to see her as I peeked around the bookshelves waiting for outside play to end so that I could get back to the cafe where the other parents were waiting.

We spoke briefly with Dylan, Zachary, Melissa and even Roy (him briefest of all) last night. Dylan seemed interested in Reid’s first day since he had yet to take the plunge but he got only a laconic, “It was good.” Some day, they’ll be able to exchange better information but probably not until they’re old enough to dial the phone themselves, I guess.  

We owe a few phone calls to kind folks who have called recently (this means you, Uncle Roger and Aunt Karin) but by the time dinner is over we’re already late for our going to bed routine. I’m glad Reid is going to bed earlier but we’ve developed slow and bad habits to fill the time she used to stay up. We’ll call, soon. At least I hope I can get things better-organized soon. I have Grandma Joyce and Aunt Pam helping me this week and if I can’t do it with them here, Reid and I will be in for a world of hurt or at least many tearful mornings after too-short nights.

When Pam took Reid to school on Wednesday morning – I can’t take her and get to my school on time – Reid walked away while Pam was signing her in. Natalie told Pam that she didn’t need to stay at the complex, as was written on the integration instruction sheet, because Reid wasn’t going to need her. Pam said she felt a bit lost as she walked away. She had brought a book, knitting an MP3 player to help her pass the 4 hours that she had expected to wait at the complex. Having spent less than half that long in the hard chairs Tuesday, I am sure her bum was much happier.

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.

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.

Nursing a toddle sure is different than nursing an infant

Thursday, April 12th, 2007

Watching Melissa nursing Zachary brought back warm and fuzzy memories of nursing Reid (after we finally figured out how to do it). At one point Zachary was flailing his arm causing him to have difficulty nursing.  Melissa gently held his hand. I bet she didn’t even notice that she did it. La Leche League and Dr Newman talk about the “nursing couple” and when they interact so effortlessly, it sure seems an accurate description.

Nursing Reid, of course, is very different – more like learning to square dance in a grade 5 gym class. You both have an idea of what should be happening at any given time and you need to negotiate a bit to actually do it. Reid has been getting calmer as time passed. From the time she was maybe six months old, she squirmed. By the time she could walk, she was practically an acrobat, without ever having nursing. Not even when she balanced on one foot, stuck her foot in my face or decided my arm around was too restrictive. Recently, she has become more snuggly. I’m wondering if the foot-in-the-face move might come back once Reid is wearing sandals again since last year the sandals she had caused her feet to smell and I reacted with an “ooh, stinky feet” once and she giggled and that set a pattern.

As we drove home on Monday, we were singing “Hi, Ho the Dairy-oh!” and Reid asked if the cows, who give us milk, have the milk in their breasts. I said yes and that their breasts were called udders. Later, she asked if I had milk in my breasts “like farm animals”. Yep, that’s me. Like a farm animal. ;+)

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.)