Tag: Mim


Dear Mim,

Mim in front of a forsythia plantAnd now you are nine. Wow, it was a great year for you. It was a year of learning and growing both physically and emotionally. Together we learned about engine speeds and we now have the words we need to talk about energy levels and how to manage them. You are working on strengthening your fine motor skills (writing) and your core strength and continue to improve. You are still the happiest kid I know. You meet the world with a big smile and a hearty laugh. You bring joy everywhere you go and frequently have memorable quips.

Sadly, you lost a grandmother this year. We weren’t able to ease you into exposure to the emotions and rituals of death like we were with Fish. Still, you handled it all like a champ. You had some questions, and tears, but mostly, you just went along with the flow and provided some bright spots in the bleakness.

You dabbled in Star Wars this year, but your interests moved to Hot Wheels and Battle Force Five (a.k.a. BF5). Not too long before she died, you were talking on the phone with Muzzie. She asked you about your interest in Star Wars and you replied “Actually, I’m more of a Hot Wheels kind of guy.” I could hear her laughing from across the room.

Mim jumping on a rockYou and your sister still get along. There is the expected grousing once in a while, but overall you’re good to each other. You share a game on the iPad called Virtual Families. You two have these in-depth conversations about who is sick, who needs more vitamins, who got a job, who is going to college and who died. They are very funny to listen to and occasionally very random. For example, “I accidentally sold the couch.”

You have very distinct ideas about how things should be done and who is responsible for what. Sometimes I wish you’d set those classifications aside and just do what needs to be done with out thought to whose turn it is, but hopefully that will come with time.

Mim and his karate instructor with Mim's Red/white/blue beltYou are now a green belt in karate and just celebrated two years of perfect attendance. You’ve signed up for six more months and I’m hopeful you continue beyond that. This summer promises to be an exciting one with stints at Cub Scout camp, Lego camp, and NOAH Camp and knowing you, LOTS of reading.

You are still my early bird although lately, you’re beside me with the iPad building your empire on Minecraft. I’ll take snuggles however they come.

You are a bundle of energy and life with you is never dull. Thanks for always being a ray of joy. Looking forward to all the coming year has in store for you.

Happy Birthday!




Summer 2011 Redux

Snaps of some of our summer activities So, here I am again with much to talk about  and the Universe willing, the time to talk about it.

It was a crazy summer for us.  Fortunately, it was crazy in a good way.  We were about a week late getting out of school due to snow days, so in a shortened summer we managed to squeeze, a birthday sleepover celebration,  bike camp, family time at The Lake, a trip brief trip to The Cape for a visit with my family, a funeral, Lego Camp, a visit from our friends from Kansas, Girl Scout Camp, Theater Camp, NOAH Family camp and more time at The Lake with friends.  My head spins just thinking about it all.  It is the first summer neither of the kids were in a formal summer program. While we had days off here and there, Fish had only one week that was completely unscheduled. Mim had two. I was unsure what to expect and frankly nervous without the safety net of the summer program for Mim, but both kids did well and I didn’t even lose my mind .

The kids started school August 23rd.  I’m sure to some people that seems late, but most schools in the Northeast don’t start until after Labor Day. We’re early even in comparison to other local districts.  Ours is a regional district at the middle and high school levels.  Some or our contributing towns are fairly rural.  If the buses can’t make it down those roads, school is cancelled. The school board has to plan for worst case scenario when it comes to snow days, so it is back to school we go.

The kids were excited to see their friends and start in their respective new classes (UGH I have a child in middle school). I am excited to regain a few hours out of my day.  I hope the extra time will show here.


three photos, Top Miss M discussing the rules, Middle Miss M demonstrating, bottom practicing puchesMim is going to try karate.  He is VERY excited about it.  I am excited too as I have heard many a parent of a wiggly little boy say that Karate is an excellent way to get the wiggles out all while teaching other important life skills.

My sister from a different mother has several black belts in karate and at one time ran a dojo with her (now ex) husband.  I emailed her a list of the programs in our area and asked her which she’d recommend.  There was a very clear winner. Once that was settled, I made an appointment for our initial visit.  This program offers two one-on-one sessions and two group classes free so they get a feel for your child and your child gets a feel for the program before you invest in a ghee and make the commitment.

Mim was his normal bouncy self as we waited for a class to end.  I completed the necessary paperwork (yep, I know he can get hurt, no, it won’t be your fault).  The form also asked what I wanted him to get out of the program.  Confidence? Uh no, he’s got that in spades. Physical fitness? Sure, but it is not my primary motivation.  Philosophy? Not so much at six and three quarters.  Discipline? BINGO!! Self control? Ding Ding Ding! Anything else? FOCUS! Please help me teach this child to focus on the task at hand.

Miss M was his instructor and bless her she was patient.  She worked with him for about 25 minutes teaching him horse stance, and a few blocks and kicks. She also discussed the No/No rule (no practicing your Karate moves on your friends at school and no practicing on your sister at home without permission). Lastly, she discussed respect.  The last was the hardest for Mim to get his head around.  He’s not a mean kid. He’s exuberant and energetic and he tramples through life in an effort to experience everything RIGHT NOW!

The conversation went something like this;

Miss M: “At the dojo, you call me Ma’am and Mr. H Sir, ok?”

Mim: “Yeah”

Miss M: “Yes Ma’am?”

Mim (not looking her in the eye and wiggling): “Okay”

Miss M (gently guiding his attention back to her): “Yes Ma’am”

Mim (finally getting it):“Yes Ma’am.”

I chewed on my lips trying not to laugh.  This is classic Mim. Completely oblivious to what you are trying to tell him. This exchange was repeated several times throughout the time we were there.

At the end of his time with Miss M, he was still super excited and really looking forward to coming back. I guess the respect conversation sort of got through, because as we were leaving, I wanted him to say thank you, to Miss M, but instead he said “Yes Ma’am”.  She and I both laughed.

It will be interesting!



Birthday Cake

So, yes, Mim turned six with much fanfare. There was a family party where he and his birthday twin Auntie Jennie celebrated their birthdays. The menu included hot dogs hamburgers, french fries and chocolate cake. His choice as Auntie decided to skip her birthday this year 😉

On Sunday, we had Timmy’s birthday party with his friends. He asked for a Lightening McQueen cake, no shock there. This will be the third year in a row he requested a Lightening McQueen cake. The first year, we couldn’t get one, the grocery store didn’t offer a Lightening theme. Last year, we found one at Sam’s Club. It was 3 times as much cake as we needed, but Mim was stoked because it came with a functioning McQueen on top. The black frosting used for the road, was a little much though.

We’ve been watching a lot of Ace of Cakes lately, so this year I got brave (or stupid I wasn’t really sure which) and rented a Lightening McQueen cake pan from my local cake and candy supply shop.

The baking and frosting process was an adventure. I overfilled the pan, so the cake erupted all over my oven and took twice as long as I thought it would to bake. BUT, it came out of the pan almost flawlessly. I’m a function over form person, I will pick taste over aesthetics any day, so I made a pure butter cream frosting, no shortening for me. Pure buttercream tastes better, but it is also softer, so it doesn’t hold it’s form as well as a frosting made with shortening. Add to that the 100% humidity and things were a little squishy on the frosting front.

All that said, I don’t think it came out half bad. Most importantly, Mim loved it.

And Then You Were Six

Image Credit Target Portrait Studios

It’s here! It’s finally here! Mim, you are six. You have waited with baited breath for this day since your sister’s birthday in April. Your day is finally here. I’m pretty sure that everyone in our town and at least half the people in the surrounding towns know that today, you turn six. It is the only thing you have talked about for weeks.

If I could bottle your energy and sell it, I’d fulfill the world’s energy needs with enough leftover to fuel extended space exploration. From the moment you wake up, you are happy and in motion. Some part of you is always moving. Even if you body is still, your mouth is moving. There are so many questions to be asked, so many stories to tell. So much information to share.

Just yesterday, you told the woman drawing my blood at the blood drive all about your birthday, our summer travel plans and that your friend E is going to a wedding at the end of June. Your nickname of The Mayor is well earned. You know everyone, and if you don’t, you introduce yourself to them. Shy, you are not.

You are almost finished Kindergarten and as expected, you’ve done well academically. Ms. J. was a perfect teacher for you. She challenged you academically and helped you grow socially.

You have learned to read and this new skill thrills you to no end. This year, you took swim lessons at the Y and you gained a world of confidence in the water. You have a huge heart and a very distinct sense of how things should be. It was challenging for you at first to acclimate yourself to a new group of peers, but you rose to the occasion and although you sometimes still need the a small reminder, you have endeared yourself to your peers.

Lightening McQueen rules your world. Your favorite TV show is Fetch with Ruff Ruffman. You have an active imagination and if your sister isn’t available, you and your “friend” Jason often re-enact Fetch episodes. Sometimes Jason says and does things you know are wrong, and you go to great lengths to educate him to the whys and how of the world.

You love you Daddy, and make a point of indentifying yourself with him whenever you can (Dad and I will fix the driveway while the girls go to the Girl Scout meeting). This sometimes annoys your sister to no end, but she learning not to take it personally. You think your sister is pretty cool and together, you go on many adventures as rock stars or life guards, wizards or scientists.

Your inability to focus on a particular task for an extended period of time can stand on my last nerve, and bust me out laughing all inside of 30 seconds. SQUIRREL! But, you exuberance for life and boundless curiosity make me want to be a more patient person and a better parent.

Happy sixth birthday Mim. I can’t wait to see where the next year takes you.

Pierced Ears

I was around 12 when I got my ears pierced. My mom wasn’t ready for this grown up step, but I was fortunate to have an aunt and older cousin go to bat for me.

My daughter has a similar advocate in Auntie. I’m an only child, and while I have chosen close friends that my kids call Aunt, I have no biological siblings. My husband has a sister who lives nearby and since my daughter was 7 she’s be pushing to take Fish to get her ears pierced. Her Dad and I both said no. Fish needed to be responsible for mandatory personal hygiene (i.e. brushing her teeth and her hair) before she could take on any additional challenges.

She has mastered those responsibilties and more so we decided that the time had come. I emailed Auntie after Thanksgiving and let her know she could take Fish to get her ears peirced for Christmas. She was psyched.

We celebrated Christmas Eve at Aunties house. Here’s a revelation of the gift.

If the mall was open Christmas Day, Fish would have had her Aunt there. As it was, she had to wait TWO whole days.

Auntie came and got her and off they went. I wasn’t invited and despite pangs of emotion, I was ok with that. I really believe that kids need all kinds of influences in their lives. My Sister-in-law and I have different parenting philosophies, but she has always been respectful of my rules and I think her perspective makes me a better parent. Besides, she spoils my kids rotten (think ice cream for breakfast).

Not 20 minutes later, the phone rang. Auntie had been honest and said she was an Aunt, not a mom and the ear piercing place required parental permission. I’d sent a note saying I approved, but it wasn’t enough, my presence was required. SQUEE!

When I got to the mall, I offered to sign the form and leave, if that was what Fish wanted, but she was quick to say I could stay.

I have to say as happy as I was to bear witness to this rite of passage in my daughter’s life, there are just too many freaking lawyers in this world. I had to sign my name three times to carbonless form, filled to the margins with teeny tiny type (on both sides).

I would have really preferred this stay between Fish and Auntie, but I was glad to be there. Fish was awesome. She picked silver Daisies with a blue stone in the middle and despite a good case of nerves, she never screamed or cried. Auntie helped her stay relaxed by cracking jokes and snapping pictures. The tech was decent and in two flashes, the deed was done. She was so excited.

She’s done a great job keeping her lobes clean and we’ve even been able to change the earrings a few times. *sigh* She is growing up.

The tech piercing her ears, The results and the 100 watt smile