Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Bottom braces off

Now both top and bottom sets of braces are off!  Yay!!



Now they finally have clear retainers!  Why on earth did it take them so long? When Nicholas got his retainer two years ago it had a metal wire across the top teeth and made him talk funny.  Not anymore.  Now the retainers are like invisalign. Pop in right over the top teeth and crystal clear.  

And here are two cute pictures I saw this week on my girls' snapchat. Julia and friends having fun on a lazy Sunday afternoon...


And Gianna helping Julia with babysitting duties.  Love these little girls!!






Friday, October 13, 2017

Top braces off



Next week...the bottom!

Friday, October 06, 2017

Kid in Their Room All Day? Why Teens Crave Privacy.

I spent many years holed up in my tiny bedroom that I adored.  I loved being alone and having privacy to do what I wanted without the noise and watchful eyes of my family.  So I can totally relate to my teenager high schoolers and middle schooler wanting to spend lots of time in their bedrooms...alone.

I'm home alone most of my day as I work from home and when my teenagers burst through the door at 2:10, I really look forward to my hugs and hearing a little bit about their day.  And then...poof...there they go.  Upstairs to their rooms and I'm left alone again...until 2:40 when my 12-year-old comes through the door from middle school.  I get a quick hug and a few stories out of her and then...poof!! She's gone too.  Off to play with her slime and facetime her friends. And then...I'm alone...again.

I remember my Mom commenting about this exact same thing to me when I was a teen.  She always asked me what I was doing and why I liked to be alone so much.

So I get it.  I understand it.  But it doesn't mean I like it. And it makes me sad if I think about it too much.

What a great article...

Kid in Their Room All Day? Why Teens Crave Privacy:

I don't see my teenage son very much anymore and, while I miss him terribly, I have realized he needs his privacy just like I needed mine at his age.  

It’s almost two o’clock on a Sunday afternoon and I’ve hardly seen my 13-year-old son. He slept in later than me, then I headed out for a run. When I returned home he let me know he had taken out the dogs and the trash, then he headed back up to his room. About fifteen minutes later I heard the shower running. And about an hour after that, he came down to make himself lunch. I can hear him walking around in his room, I hear his music, I hear drawers slamming, but I have no idea what he is doing up there.

All I know is I don’t see my son very much anymore and while I miss him terribly, I have realized he needs his privacy. I clearly remember needing mine as a teenager and I know I spent just as much time up in my own space as he does now.
It took me some time to get used to this. He went from hanging around the family, needing to be the center of attention, to retreating in his room every moment he could. I used to pester him about it and make him come and connect with us. I would pepper him with questions about what he was doing and what he was thinking about and why he needed so much time alone. I told him I missed him and wanted him to spend less time alone in his room.
And it was damaging our relationship. Deep down I knew he was pulling away just like all teenagers do and it is natural, but I was taking it too personally. Him needing to spend time alone is not something I need to take personally because it’s not about me. It’s about him. And it needs to be respected.
Dr. Peter Marshall is a child psychologist and author of “Now I Know Why Tigers Eat Their Young” and has talked about this in great detail:
Privacy’s important for teens partly because they need to separate. It’s tempting to think that they’re just goofing off, but they spend a large part of their time just thinking about things, trying to figure out who they are, who they want to become. There’s a lot of work for them to do, and they need some space to do it.
We spend an awful lot of time and energy keeping a close watch on our kids when they are young. We tell them how to brush their teeth, we make sure they have their winter coat, we watch how other children interact with them at the park and make sure they use their manners.
And so when they start to pull off on their own it can leave a void for the parents and it’s natural to want to fill it.
I had to remind myself (and I still do), if I want my son to thrive and be independent and feel empowered as he grows up, I need to let him figure things out on his own; not just in the real life when he is interacting with others, but in his own space, too.
He is growing and changing so much I am sure it is hard for him to keep up with it all, too. He needs to be in a safe place where he can think about things. And right now, as hard as it is some days, and as much as I miss him, it is my job to make sure he has that safe space. After all he is only up in his room, he is still here, he is still around, and I am thankful for that since I know the time will come all too soon where that won’t be the case.
So I leave him alone, I make sure his brother and sister leave him alone, and I let him do his thing.
Of course if you feel your child has withdrawn too much or you are worried about strange behavior, then it’s our job as parents to get involved and get children what they need, but most teenagers are just trying to figure things out in a place that is quiet so they can daydream and get to know themselves. They’ve had constant attention for so long, they are ready to break free a bit and who can blame them?
Besides, they know we will be waiting for them to rejoin the family again when they are ready. They need to know it’s okay for them to spend time alone and will not be judged, punished, or made to feel like an outcast. We all want to be loved regardless of our choices and our teens are no different.
And believe it or not, they want us to know they love and care about us just as much as they always have, they are just asking for space.


Monday, September 25, 2017

Apple picking

We took our yearly trip to Tougas Family Farms for apple picking...


I'm almost sure that Nicholas has to be standing on something in this picture...because honestly...is he really that much taller than his sisters now?!?


He loved lifting the girls up high to reach the apples...




The orchard was hit with a hail storm a few months back and all the apples were a little scarred from that. They may not have looked perfectly pretty but they tasted just fine...



Another big reason we choose this place...


They pop kettle corn right there on-site and they have lots and lots of fresh apple cider donuts. Yummy.

Oh...and forgot to mention it was really really HOT.  We were all sweating!! Very different weather for apple picking this year that's for sure.

Oh and I also wanted to make note of something Nicholas said because it was just classic. The night before apple picking he was doing his usual teenage thing where he was saying he didn't want to go, etc., etc. It makes me really sad when he does that (which is often), but at the same time...I totally get it. So then he goes, "Mom. When you turn 16 you stop doing things with your family."  Oh my goodness that gave me the best belly laugh ever!!! He was laughing too thank goodness. But you know what? He did go with us and he did have a good time. Sometimes you just have to tell those teenagers...you're going!! It's all good. I'm loving reliving the teenage years right along with them.

Monday, September 18, 2017

September doings...

We celebrated CeCe's birthday. This picture just cracks me up. She is so silly...




Gianna is just overjoyed to finally be old enough to volunteer at the animal shelter down the street.  I go with her once a week for an hour to sit and talk and play with the cats. Sometimes we brush them and give them treats.  It's very important to socialize with them...especially the ferals...so they can get adopted too like all the young cats and kittens do.


The young ones move out rather quickly which is awesome...



Gianna loving on one of the older cats...


These two have been there for quite a while.  How I wish I could just take them all home so they can sit on my screened in porch and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air...


Gianna brought her Dad to the shelter on Saturday to show him all the cats (which she knows practically every one of them by name now) and they got to walk one of the dogs that is up for adoption.

And here's my beautiful boy KoKo.  We adopted him eight years ago from that same shelter.  He's such an awesome cat. We've given him a very happy life. I wish that for all the cats still there waiting for homes.


And on to other happenings...we got Julia this new desk for her princess room which functions way better than the old tiny desk she had before. I bought her a pretty new desk chair to match her headboard. That will be here next week. And then we just have the closet left to be painted and the princess room will be finished...


But then it's on to the Prince's room.  Nicholas has been patiently waiting for his turn for some fresh paint on the walls and a new bed and desk. He is currently sleeping on a very old mattress on the floor.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The weekend of parties

Gianna went to an overnight camping birthday party for her dance friend Makayla. Looks like they had a ton of fun!




And Julia went to a "Sweet 16" birthday party for her dance friend Sophie. They slept outside in a tent too.  And it was a very chilly night!  I hope both of my girls stayed warm!

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Beautiful

Julia's friend Carlie took these pictures of Julia and her friend Annie after school yesterday.  Such cute friends.  I think they came out beautiful!














And this is Carlie...the awesome photographer behind all those fun pictures!


Friday, September 08, 2017

Random end of summer pictures

This cracks me up. When the weather is chilly I leave the sliding door open just a crack for the kitty cat...because he panics when the door shuts and he is left out on the screened in porch all alone!  So just to be sure that doesn't happen...he sits nice and close facing the door...that looks relaxing and enjoyable, doesn't it??


Back to school shopping with Julia is always fun. I love her taste in clothes. Oh what I would give to be a size ZERO with a 24 inch waist...say what???


Julia and her friends, Annie and Kaylah, at a sleepover at our house. They were sitting on the stairs chanting Nicholas' name with their hair covering their faces trying to freak him out. It was funny! Nicholas was trying to figure out a way to get up the stairs to go by them and he says "Mom, I'm going to do a little "parkour"! Well we all died laughing just picturing him doing something fancy and taking out the railing and falling down the stairs in a heap. Nicholas is loving all the attention from Julia's friends...let's just say that... 


Julia has only about one more month with the elastics and braces!!  October 11th she gets the top braces off.  Yay!! Then life with a retainer begins.  It's a good trade off though...


I always find pictures like this on my phone.  Julia saying "I"...



"love"...



"you"...



and this face always...always...makes me laugh...


Look how much Nicholas has grown this summer!  Last summer he was just about an inch or so taller than his Dad...


Forgot to post these pictures from the day Julia spent with a group of her friends at Brownstone Park in CT.  It's a water adventure park and they had so much fun zip-lining, rock climbing, cliff jumping, swimming, etc...



Yup...that's Julia...she said it was really really high!




and that's Julia again on the top of that thing...

Julia and friends at her friend Arianna's house for a last backyard movie night before school started...


We went to Nantasket Beach over Labor Day weekend and it was quite chilly. The girls decided to hang out in the car for a bit to warm up.  I laughed so hard when I saw this picture on Julia's snapchat (that's Gianna by the way)...


It was a great day with some of my best friends from high school...


me, Patty, Marcy, Christine and Michele...


Julia and her bestie, Lizzie, celebrating their "friendanniversary".  They've decided that every year on (or around) September 4th they will spend the whole day together to celebrate their longtime friendship. How cute is that??



Gianna's face that makes us all laugh...


and one of Julia's classic ugly faces...


Well that's it for my summer randomness!!  Fall...here we come!