5th grade life

In the beginning…

And in the end:

Note to self: when taking end of year pictures with your son’s teachers in order to capture a glimpse of how he has grown you might want to give his teachers a heads up and not let Daniel choose the setting as it was a rather bright, windy afternoon and Mrs. B and Mr K both were busy packing up their classrooms and moving boxes. Just saying. Take note, self. Write it down for next year.

Meanwhile, don’t you just love Human Growth Hormones? Accelerated velocity, y’all. That’s what this is. It’s kind of cool to see for the first time that your child is visibly taller at the end of the school year…at the end of his 5th grade life.

Bring it on 6th grade and Middle School!

Hold me!

today’s installment of “the more you know”

Because there is always something going on in this life of a juggling mom, today was another adventure in Madera at Children’s Hospital Central California. No big deal. Just another checkup with the endocrinologist. Daily Human Growth Hormone injections means Daniel is more closely monitored which means more frequent blood draws and more office visits with his favorite endocrinologist…that funny, tall lady as he describes her.

Adventures in Madera, FTW! We totally own this.

We both like the funny, tall lady who happens to be Daniel’s endocrinologist. She is super smart but has a way of explaining the way the human body works with all those crazy hormones that even kids like Daniel understands…and seasoned nurses like his mama who suddenly “gets” that A & P lecture from years ago. Today’s office visit was no different from others with Dr. K. Daniel discovered that he really should be more flexible than two 50-something women who happen to be his mother and his doctor. Mom and Dr. K were absolutely THRILLED to see what Dr.K. calls vertical velocity on Daniel’s growth chart.


Daniel is still below the growth curve, as he has been since the day he was born. But he is now -0.3%ile which is the closest he has ever been to the growth curve for boys his age. He grew a little over one inch in the last three months which is nothing except when plotted on his chart shows suddenly a vertical jump rather than the ever so lazily gentle, sometime stagnant, kind of curvy-ish, straight line that has represented Daniel’s physical growth over thee last 4 years or so.

To celebrate, Dr. K. has increased the dose of his daily HGH injections.

“Is this a good thing?”, Daniel wonders…

“THIS IS A REALLY GOOD THING!”, doctor and mom practically shout back.

Perhaps we were a little bit shouty because Daniel did ask us to stop yelling.

Sorry, son.

Dr. K. continues the exam which includes examining the whole body.

Did you know that endocrinologists often use beads to determine the size of certain body parts…certain , um, boy body parts?

For your information, boys and girls, this is an orchidometer. Looking for an image to share, you Google “beads to measure…” and yes, Google finishes with …“to measure testicles”.

That’s awkward.

But, no, it is not awkward or weird at all when the doctor literally pulls these beads out of her pants pocket and explains what they are used for.

Not at all.

Cue the upbeat, “The More You Know” music.


It’s awkward.

Let’s focus on the fact we have vertical velocity and we are so close, so very close to actually being plotted on a “normal” boys growth chart.

And because I can’t leave you all with the image of those beads, I give you this.

Daniel wants the webs to know that he is now bigger than ketchup. He literally asked me to post this pic with that statement. To celebrate he used pretty much half the bottle to eat his chicken strips at the Black Bear Diner today.

Of course I gagged.


the inconvenience of awesome

Aw, growth spurts! So much fun…said no parent who JUST bought their kid those out-grown athletic shoes or three pairs of must-have skinny jeans ever.

When I was a girl I discovered just how awful growth spurts could be as in Mommy-Dearest just bought me those shoes or those pants or just let out the hem of those dresses and pantsuits (we wore pantsuits back in the day, don’t judge) with no more material left to hem. She’d be frustrated and angry that I was growing like a weed and I would feel bad because I clearly should have better control of this growing thing…at least that was my perspective as a 12 year old kid not understanding the inconvenience of your kid growing like a weed when there are bills to pay and groceries to buy to feed your ravenous, growing weed.

Then I became a mother; a mother of kids that grew and grew like weeds. Often growing like crazy at the most inconvenient of times like when I had bills to pay or groceries to buy to feed those ravenous little weeds of mine.

I could not seem to keep Zoë in jeans that were soon too small or impossibly too short literally a month after I bought them. And replacing Jodie’s split sole, black tap shoes that were scarcely worn for only two dance competitions really sucked sometimes as did emergency alterations of custom made costumes that were custom made to allow for grow room.  I mean…how rude…how inconvenient…these kids are growing much too fast!

And then I understood.


So now that Spring has really sprung, Daniel is ready to break out the shorts. But the shorts are much, much too small. Two sizes too small. Shorts he has worn for the last two years of Spring and Summer…perhaps more. Shorts that are clearly much, much too small.

Oh happy day!!!

Human growth hormones, I love you so much…except for the fact that this is a helluva time for the kid to have outgrown his clothes because there are bills to pay…too many bills…and these kids seem to be hungry all the time…especially that kid who is finally GROWING!!!

So inconvenient but so freaking awesome!!!

Don’t worry, the mom of the 8 year old who apparently is wearing shorts two sizes bigger than Daniel’s new shorts tempered my excitement and frustration by pointing out the fact that her 8 year old is two sizes bigger than my 12 year old….as moms of kids who are not growth hormone deficient do.


Us moms of kids well below the growth curve their entire life, with non-functioning pituitary glands, love to hear about the burden of your overgrown child. It’s so…encouraging. Thanks.

Still, it is pretty damn awesome to pack away forever the shorts your son has worn every Spring, Summer and Fall season since second grade as his fifth grade year is winding down because this is normal. This is what “normal” parents do with their kids as they grow. This is just more “normal” for us to celebrate as parents of this mighty, former micro-preemie of ours, as parents of micro-preemies do…celebrating the normal.

So damn awesome!

Now to figure out what Peter to rob to pay Paul for the new shorts, the shorts that fit. Hey, at least they were on sale!



still not creepy

The night before another procedure to see how well his pituitary gland is functioning with daily human growth hormone injections at Children’s Hospital Central California I found myself regarding his sweet face as he slept.

Of course I take a picture because, please.

Then I look closer at the picture I just took and I see a shadow, a shadow of my little boy growing into a young man. Okay, this might be getting creepy someday very soon.

The procedure went okay after a two hour wait because the nurse who was supposed to initiate it did not come to work due to a family emergency and no one in the department seemed to know that until I stepped out of his room to go get my phone charger out of the car. But after some staffing changes, profuse apologies from Daniel’s endocrinologist, the head of the Endocrinology Department, a few difficult lab draws and then lunch on the Endocrinology Department’s dime because we both had not eaten anything since 8 PM the night before we were done for the day and back on the road for the nearly two hour drive home.

I did my level best not to glance too often in the rear view mirror to peek at my sleeping man-child.

it’s time: “shut the door please”

I enter his room with an armful of freshly laundered and folded boy clothes. There he is sitting on his bed surrounded by all his bed buddies, including those little lions. One leg is propped up on his bent knee while he is so intently focused on yet another magic trick video…his latest YouTube obsession.

Thanks, Mom.

You’re welcome.

As I begin to exit his room and head downstairs to retrieve even more laundry to put away, he calls out to me.


Yes, son?

Can you shut the door please?

Um, sure.

And so we continue on that twisty, winding road that is life with a pre-teen and teenager. I have no clue how this road will twist and turn nor how steep it might be but I do know that again, for the fifth (and final) time I am on that road. I quietly sigh to myself and gently shut the door.

It’s going to be okay.

For now.

Wait until we get to the slamming-the-door-and-loudly-blasting-angry-music stage. I’m so not ready to go to there.