Friday, June 15, 2012

Big Time

They grow, my kids. They grow a lot.

S. has consistently hovered around the 90th percentile for height, and consistently grown about four inches a year. That may seem reasonable, but when she went for her well-child visit at two or three, the nurse casually remarked on it, because, “They don’t usually get taller at this age.”

And, since she’s the youngest in her class, it doesn’t really show. Plenty of the kids are her height. About twice a year, she eats and sleeps more, then we notice she’s taller. Perfectly normal.

So, she’s a foot shorter than I am, exactly, and a size two shoe. It doesn’t bother me. I’m used to it. Everyone I’m related to ends up taller than I am. I did manage to get married before my youngest sister outgrew me, so I’m content.

And I don’t even mind comments like, “Can you pick up that [item on the floor]? You’re closer.” Or, every single time I reach into a cabinet—even the bottom shelf, “Can you get that? Do you need help?” Besides, S. can reach the cabinets now. I’ll just make her do it!

Little A., though—whoa. When he lined up with his class for all the end of year events, he was clearly the tallest kid in his class. He runs in about the 95th percentile for height, and he’s grown 5 ½ inches a year. But his shoes…size eleven and he’s busting out of them.

And He. Never. Stops. Growing.


Understandably, he eats way more than S. ever did. Occasionally he’ll get in one of those toddler moods and not want to eat…then watch out! He gets majorly cranky. His sweet teacher even moves up snack time when he gets really grouchy.

Really, other than the shoes, it’s mostly a curiosity now. But the size of those paws promises huge things to come—huge grocery bills, huge clothes, huge shoes…and lots of them!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Random Parental Wisdom

What are the things you tell yourself to get through the days and the stages and the messes? I saw a great one on a friend’s wall the other day: Cleaning with your kids in the house is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos.

Great, huh? Here are a few of mine.

If fifty percent of my decisions work out, I’ve had a good day.

If you stick to it long enough, you can accomplish anything—even working five minutes at time.

Embrace the filth; be one with the germs. The kids will hug, kiss, cough, sneeze, lick and wipe them all over you anyway.

When your child is two, aliens scoop their brains out. They replace most of them when your child is five.

The floor has a maximum mess level. Once you reach that, take your time cleaning. It can’t get worse.

Take credit for everything that goes well; you’ll get the blame for all the stuff that doesn’t.

Whatever is driving you nuts now, they won’t be doing by the time they get married.

The laws of physics do not apply in a house with kids:
Dirt, water, and food expand at an atomic level.
Time can move backwards or skip large chunks altogether.
If you say, “You’re going to fall”…then they won’t.

Never give a child a timeout for anything within a half hour of bedtime, aka parental freedom.

Avoid saying, “I will never______.” You are just asking the universe to force you to do that very thing.

So, seriously--I've shown you mine, now show me yours. What tidbits of wisdom have you tripped over as a parent?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I Run

I am a runner again!

Not quite a year ago, I went to the outlets and bought myself a new pair of running shoes that l loved. They had it all—light with a slim profile and a little extra spring in the heel. And, after six weeks, they clearly didn’t do anything good for my knees.

Life got busy as I kicked myself and saved my pennies, and I told myself I really didn’t need running. I absolutely love my Moms Get Fit class at Red Tiger Martial Arts—it’s like a combination of a mom’s night out and an awesomely impossible, effective workout. And it’s three times a week! So, yes, I got by fine.

But last week I went to the real running store and got a pair of shoes that work for me. They’re nothing I would have picked—the soles seem like boats to me, they’re turquoise (!), and much less streamlined than my usual. But…they’re like a country club for my feet!

The first thing I did when I left the store? I ran a mile. After a grueling one-hour workout. At midday. In Florida. In June. I LOVED IT!

But you know what I learned all over again today? No matter how good a mile is, longer is better.

I remembered a few other happy things, like running before dawn in Florida in summer is a good reason to keep your chin tucked and mouth shut! Bugs, people. Small flying insects everywhere. I also rediscovered the way good ideas pop into my head effortlessly, the serenity that accompanies me through my day, and the often-imitated-but-never-duplicated calorie burn that allows me MORE FOOD FUN today!

I’ve also found a phenomenal training tool—our dog. After my longer run, I took him out for a mile around the neighborhood with four stops for…well, duh. An amazing aid to interval training, he has two speeds: Bassett Hound (nose fixed to the ground; not to be moved without heavy machinery) and Border Collie (chasing sheep down a Welsh hill; hopefully not crowding my ankles).

Actually, he’s learned not to herd humans and he’s now one of the best dogs I’ve known when it comes to staying at heel. It’s still fun to give him a long leash and race him. Yeah, he won, but guess who’s all pumped up now and who’s napping on the floor? Wait, that kind of sounds like a win, too…

What moved running back to the top of my to-do list? Well, more on this later, but here’s a hint: I will be doing this on December 1.

Monday, June 4, 2012


This blog is called, “Hmmmm”--as in, “things that make me go hmmmm.” So just from that you know I’m old. And this is, in fact, going to be one of those blogs about life in our modern world.

For example, I ponder one comparison at least once a month. I have come to no conclusions, but about once a month I notice that one of our neighbors puts a TV out for trash collection. And nearly every single one of those TVs is both newer and bigger than the one we use. Hmmmm….

A family in our neighborhood grows the most gorgeous fruits and vegetables. They even had a banana tree until two years of hard freezes took it out. But, because of our HOA, they have to disguise their produce production behind a huge hibiscus hedge. They grow their greens in little square beds around the base of the fruit trees, and train their vines up poles on the inside of the hedge, creating the illusion that it might be more decorative than useful landscaping.

So now what happens? I often see people walking their dogs—or just walking by—and peeping through the hedge to get a glimpse of the hidden, forbidden garden. Hmmmm…

If you read the blog, you know that we really enjoy living so close to Disney World. I think Big A. enjoys reliving his childhood memories of the Magic Kingdom. The kids enjoy a place designed purely to entertain and delight them. But what I enjoy, and what I think all of us love, is that it’s a place where we do nothing but hang out with each other.

No activities, deadlines, phones, chores, or restrictions of any kind. In Disney World, we plan our next moves together, but don’t think much beyond that. We point things out to each other, laugh together, squeeze into rides together, and generally just share time. To be honest, I’m really looking forward to our two nights on the autotrain this summer for just that reason—I won’t be ABLE to do anything other than hang out with my family.

So, amusement parks and cross-country train travel=quality family time. Hmmmm…

I'm sure all of this says something about our modern life. Whatever it is, I'm listening.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

For or Against

I don’t know how I feel about this whole impending summer vacation thing. Whether I’m for or against, it, it’s coming.

Pro: I can work out before breakfast without waking up at 5:30am.
Con: I have to work out before breakfast because the kids are around All. Day.

Pro: I don’t have to make lunch every morning.
Con: I get to listen to all the requests, complaints, and opinions related to lunch in person.

Pro: My husband loves the weather.
Con: There simply aren’t words for how much I despise the heat.

Pro: Swimming!
Con: A dog swimming eventually comes inside…

Pro: No fitting errands around car line time.
Con: Taking kids on errands.

Pro: Flowers grow without any effort on my part.
Con: So do weeds.

Pro: Wildlife everywhere.
Con: Bugs, too.

Pro: No brutal, daily, grinding school and activity schedule.
Con: Random and varied camp scheduled punctuated by kids’ ideas for activities.

In the end, I guess it’s a wash. At least it’s a change, giving us time to stretch and flex different muscles for living.

I have a feeling this summer heralds lots of growth for us. Besides, despite their current infinitely annoying habits, the kids are a lot of fun. I plan to take every excuse to hang with them, enjoying this time between diapers and driving.