Archive for January, 2011

My kids are giants!


So, I had to measure my kiddos’ height yesterday. And, I mean, I see them all the time so it wasn’t completely news to me that they are tall. But, Dillon is 4′ 8″ at nine years old. Rose is 4′ 2″ at seven.  You can get 200 pages of CDC growth charts as a PDF here, but basically, they are both at/above the 90th percentile.

And, if they remain statistically on course, I will be the shortest person in my family by 2015, when Rose turns eleven and will exceed 5’4.”  That is what the CDC predicts, anyway…



So, we are having a little trouble with Dillon.  He’s waking up in the middle of the night.  “Don’t worry about it,” you say, “a lot of kids do that!”

I don’t have statistically reliable data on this, but my guess is that not as many kids wake up in the middle of the night and then STAY up.  The first time it happened was over Christmas break.  He has a little reading light next to his bed, and one morning I go in and think – “Hmmm.  Looks like he forgot to turn off his reading light last night.  Oh well.”  I proceed to shut off the light and let him sleep in.

A few days later, same scene, but it is a school day and I wake him.  As I am pulling back the covers I discover Jules Verne’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth” (one of his Christmas presents) which he has completed – he was only about halfway through the night before.  So Charles has a serious talk about responsibility and trust and whatever, and D promises not to do it again.

But then he does, and a couple of days later I find the light on in the morning, a book in his bed.  And so – Consequences.  No more reading light.

Only yesterday, when I go in in the morning and pull back the covers, I find his Nintendo DS under there.  So now – More Consequences.  He isn’t really allowed to play it during the week anyway, but I take it away for seven days.  And we’ll see where it goes again.  His Aunt Kate advised him to be sneakier.  But really, he’s an unhappy zombie the next day anyway so I just want him to get a decent night’s sleep.

Though I can totally understand the inclination to stay up all night to finish a book as I’ve done that a few times myself.  I just hate taking stuff away and am hoping I am not teaching the wrong lesson.

Fairies and light switches


Charles made Rose’s week by helping her install a Tinkerbell light switch cover in her room.  This doesn’t sound like that big of an issue, but when we moved into the house we changed the ancient, polluted light switches into the wide, flat ones that don’t actually accommodate a Tinkerbell switch cover.  So, you know, it is slightly more complicated than pulling the old one off and putting the new one on.

Rose was a great helper, letting her dad know when he turned the power to her room off, and then handing appropriate screwdrivers and other implements of torture.  Quite the little tinker-er.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with the Tinkerbell reboot, she’s basically a fairy who invents and builds stuff.  Not the worst Disney role model to have.  And Rose LOVES the new movies, and is pretty much obsessed with them.  She was Tinkerbell for Halloween.  I tried to talk her into going as Iridessa, Tinkerbell’s (are fairies African-American?) friend, but Rose just wasn’t interested.  She had her heart set on Tinkerbell.  I got her Iridessa for Christmas anyway, which Rose seemed to think was better than nothing.  Of course, she prefers Silvermist, the (Asian?) one that her aunts got her for Christmas, who is voiced by Lucy Liu in the movie.  I don’t know if it is a racial issue or the fact that Silvermist’s wings light up and she makes these chiming sounds when you push her bellybutton.

But Rose got a real kick out of helping her dad with a project.  Usually D and Charles do those kinds of activities (often as a result of Dillon’s homework requirements) and I think it made her feel like a big kid.  We’ll have to do more of that stuff with her – I often forget she’s a really capable kid.  She is a great helper for all my projects, but those have lately tended towards cooking and holiday stuff.  I did make a point of letting her watch me put the toaster back together the other day after I pulled it apart to clean it, just so she knows I am (almost) as capable as Charles with this stuff.

There was a notable exception the other day: when it comes to picking out a soldering iron.  Charles sends me to the store saying “they are all the same, you really can’t go wrong” and there are ten different sizes and prices, so I basically am choosing the most expensive one when a nice hardware store patron asks me, “what are you soldering?”  And I tell him it is for a science project we’re doing with Dillon and he’s points me down a couple of sizes and price ranges and says “the one you’ve got is for something the size of jumper cables, these smaller ones are probably better for science projects…”

Goodbye, 2010.


So, I don’t know if it is just my small circle of people but 2010 seemed like it was a terrible year.   Like, TERRIBLE.  Really.   A small, informal, and not statistically valid or reliable survey of my family, friends, and acquaintances suggests it may have been the worst year ever.  Maybe not for large-scale tragic events (though there were plenty of those). But plenty horrible on an individual level.

I was pretty happy to say goodbye to 2010, and I hope that 2011 will bring better things.  To my family and yours.