Monday, September 28, 2009

Never Neverland

Tween parenting looks very different in Middle Child than in The Boy. He clutched childhood in a death grip. This isn't Neverland, and there's no pixie dust to allow for flight. It's a fight against gravity the whole way. On the other hand, our girlie shoves younger days away while grasping for the growing independence and influence of peers that characterizes the teen years. She's less Peter Pan and more Wendy. The challenges are different, but the hormones and the needs for us to chase after them with the parental battle cry of, "I love you!" remains the same despite the vast differences in their approach to take off.
The struggle to push Evan from the proverbial nest has been ongoing, but one of these days he will fly. (Even if the desire to rise up comes only in response to freefall, we'll have no Lost Boys here.) Meanwhile, his sister flaps frantically trying to reach a soaring altitude. It wears her out, and is tiring to watch. Still, the Mister and I constantly renew our attitudes from eye rolling to cheer these fledgling attempts as our lovies attempt (or are pushed) toward winging their way into the days when they will put aside their childish things.
The littlest one finds all the hormone hilarious. Free from parental dictates, she can indulge in plenty of eye rolling. Erin brings much needed comic relief to our days of parenting through her siblings' Difficult Ages because her own tween days remain hidden in the future for the moment. It will be interesting to see how our clowning baby approaches the runway. Based on experience, she will likely skip the usual "spread your wings" routine and opt to go over land, by water, or perhaps underground in her journey toward adulthood. Thankfully, we still have a year or two before that begins.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Middle Child's ankle has partially healed with remarkable speed. Woo! Miss Kate returned to Cross Country practice with an ankle stabilizer (and some restrictions) at 6:30 this morning. She is hoping for her coach and parents to agree on letting her run in this weekend's meet since the course is all pavement. She still has a follow-up appointment in three weeks to be sure that the little overachiever does not overdo it.
And I will be accompanying her to that appointment. After an unofficial consult during Kate's appointment yesterday, the orthopedist has concerns about both of my knees. I have concerns, too, but I have successfully avoided hearing from professionals since my last knee scope when Kate was a wee toddler. Our doctor will make his official determination during the now joint appointments booked for Kate and I, but it appears that Mommy may end up with minor double knee surgeries in the near future. Drat.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Last year Middle Child was mortified when Mom & Dad said, "No," to Twilight and its accompanying sequels feeling it was a probably a bit much for our sheltered sweetie. Kate, in turn, opted to express her separation from Mom & Dad on this issue by taking her purse to bed with her at night. Because the book was in her purse. And her parents would surely never notice the addition of a handbag to the girlie's pajama ensemble. Right. She was grounded for what boiled down to disobedience and acting like her parents were idiots. I started rethinking our handling of the initial desire to simply do what her friends were doing. While I'm still entirely not in favor of jumping off a bridge just because everyone else is doing it, our kid wanted to read a book not take a flying leap.
Recently, Middle Child attended a slumber party where all the girls knew a song by the Black Eyed Peas. All except for her. She came home and informed us that she wanted to listen to the radio station that the song had played on, and then assumed her best defiant stance. Except that the response she received was, "Okay. You can listen to whichever station you want. You usually make good decisions, and we trust you to determine whether or not something is good for you to be listening to on the radio." Because she does. And we are learning to actually act like we trust her to continue to do so.

Monday, September 21, 2009


The t.v. in the living room is all-Disney, all the time. Even when the kids are out, the living room screen only ever flashes Disney images. The t.v. is connected to the receiver. The receiver controls the channel reception. The remote controls the receiver that controls the channel reception on the t.v. The remote has disappeared.
It's been gone since late July. The mister and I figured it would turn up eventually. The idea of morning programming like "Handy Manny" aimed at the pre-K set would surely serve as a motivating factor in producing the missing remote. (Nope. They watch the pre-K programming and offer their critiques. Oy.) Except it seems to be truly gone. Evacuated or evaporated, but gone nonetheless. While there are merciful moments when the children gather in the master bedroom (like catching the final episode of "The Next Food Network Star") to view the other hundred channels at our disposal, they are largely stuck reaping the Disneyfied moments that their carelessness with the almighty remote has sown. Eventually, the mister will order a new remote. Until then, let's all be thankful this is not a Nielson household.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Super Saver

It's a sickness. Not so much an illness, but definitely a sickness. Perhaps even a potential addiction in the suppressed over-competitive individual. I'm not talking cigarettes, alcohol, or their illicit compatriots, but the seemingly benign Sunday paper. The thing comes stuffed with sale ads and the coupon inserts. While eventually bound to line the recycle bin in the garage, first said inserts must be scoured for every last bargain.
I once "couponed" from sheer necessity. Breaking the habit came slowly as our budget expanded to fully include luxuries like food and cleaning supplies. Still, occasionally a newspaper with the double coupon (2X the savings!) inserts would find its way into my shopping cart, and I would carefully scan the pages clipping out scraps of paper to be exchanged for pocket change or even a whole dollar off various items. Grocery receipts that tallied up savings greater than the payment required always provided a wave of glee on the triumphal march from check stand to parking lot.
And I have just purchased my third paper with double coupons in as many weeks. We are up to our eyeballs in granola bars and toilet paper. I could start my own make-up counter with the results of a buy one, get one free sale on my favorite brand that the store allowed me to combine with both store coupons and insert coupons. Kraft and Nabisco offered a rebate on $20 worth of products that we do not necessarily use that would cause them to be free. Perhaps my binge can be turned to good instead of evil with a trip to the food pantry?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Sure enough. Miss Kate has fractured the growth plate in her left ankle again. Just in time to miss her first Cross Country meet this weekend, too. She is disappointed, but the blow is definitely softer after hearing that the other girls had to run eighteen "hills" this morning. (The really big news was that someone threw up after all that running. There are two hills on campus, each "hill" requires the runner to go up and down both as part of a circuit.) She's not missing the workouts, but she is sad to miss out on receiving uniforms tomorrow and the first competitions. The ortho seemed to think she might be able to compete later this season, but she will be out of condition.
It's a mixed bag, but Facebook responses to a status update on the topic have conveniently provided several good ideas that will help sway Middle Child's mood toward a more favorable outlook. She will likely feel better once plied with treats and after receiving a nice fresh coat of nail polish to pretty up her exposed toes.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Level Up

Orange. That's the level of air pollution alerts last week. For the uninformed, "Level Orange" is unsafe for "sensitive groups". Forgetting that I am technically "sensitive", I walked fifty miles sucking wind last week. And picked up some sort of viral bug that bloomed into bronchitis to aggravate my weather-related breathing difficulties. Fortunately, Middle Child stepped in a hole while running last week.
It is entirely unfortunate that my precious is sidelined in an air boot until she can see an orthopedic specialist for what appears to be a possible growth plate fracture of her left ankle. What is fortunate, is that in the course of signing her in at the Urgent Care Center, I asked if the doctor could also check out my cough. While Kate was having her ankle examined, it seemed entirely provident to let the doctor listen to my chest. Which resulted in a new inhaler, a steroidal inhaler, and a third medication along with the admonishment to avoid increased exertion on heightened Ozone Warning Days.
So tomorrow will be full of contacting the orthopedist to take a secondary look at Miss Kate's ankle next week (after the first meet of the season) and checking in with my own doctors. Bleah. I would just like to take this opportunity to point out that we would both be fine if we'd been parked on the sofa watching t.v. or levelling up in video games.

Friday, September 4, 2009


*sigh* Chocolate bread. Pizza. Pumpkin muffin with cream cheese filling. Enchiladas. Yummy, but... And it could be a very big "but" if the munchings and crunchings were to continue as described. Except that this week I set a goal of covering 50 miles on foot. At my usual pace, I burn roughly 250 calories for every three miles, so it's unlikely that my skinny jeans will face any unfortunate side effects from what I'm chalking up to, um, carb-loading. (Yeah. That's it!) We're just going to gloss over fat content involved in my week-long affair with decadence. As to the walking goal, there are 40 miles down and only 10 to go between now and Sunday. Woo!