Wednesday, October 17, 2018


No we did not get a puppy. We were not  even tempted when we saw how big the puppies would grown up to be. 
When my dad was visiting we took a day trip to NH to visit one of my coworkers who breeds French Mastiffs (aka Dog de Bordeaux). 

And back at him we were happy to see our Cloey who stays small. She humored us and wore a Halloween costume for a while. 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Happy Birthday Alice!!!

Last month Ally and I were some of the honored guests at Alice’s 12th birthday celebration.

It was a rainbow unicorn theme!
Alice, her Grandma Mae Mae and Ally.

Beautiful fruit tart and there was a rainbow cake too! 


That is Alice’s bunny Marshmallow.

Cheryl made each guest a metal stamped charm. 

Ally trying to break the pinata.

It was a fun party. 

Monday, October 8, 2018

Life lately

Ally is settling in to middle school nicely. She is enjoying changing classes and likes most of her teachers. Interestingly gym class is no longer her favorite class. It’s a new teacher this year and I think she’s kind of over PE with all her dance and ballet. 

So far we are managing her schedule and she’s getting homework completed. Hopefully she can keep that up. 

Ally has been doing private lessons with one of her gymnastics coaches on Sundays. To make up for the times she misses on Friday at pointe class. She loves these one on one lessons. They spend 45 minutes on bars and Ally gets horrible rips on her hands but she loves it. This week she told me “my hands hurt so badly while I was practicing Giants. But I kept telling myself, you can do it, this is gymnastics and sometimes there is pain. Pain is part of gymnastics. And I did it. But it really hurt mommy”.
Here is what a rip looks like

It is a blister that has popped

So for it to heal I cut off the loose skin

So she has a hole in the skin on the palm of her hand. Yes it hurts. So we neosporin and bandage it up until it heals. Usually takes about 5-6 days and then she has another private lesson and gets a new rip.

But she loves it.

Ally has been taking landscape photos of the different views on the way to practice. This week the Saturday morning sunrise:

In new school clothes from Great Aunt Martha 

After Saturday morning practice. Very tween pose here.

Riding in the car with Cloey

Loving her new haircut!

My dad aka Grandpa Frank is visiting us for a week,

In sad news Ally’s hamster Cupcake died last night. Ally was sad of course but mostly sad because it was another loss in such a short period of time.  But she had Willow over and the girls made some awesome slime, Ally has ballet and seemed to get thru this well. 

Friday, September 21, 2018

Oh to be a tween...

Its been a good week. Ally had her over night to Farm School and she had a blast. She took care of cows (brushed them, cleaned their stable and fed them - but didn't have to pick up poop!), had lots of time with her classmates, chopped onions for chili and proudly told us she cried. The only bad thing she said (when I pressed) was that there were so many mosquitoes and she got a bunch of bites. We all know a mosquito bite is a big deal to Ally - she swells up like a golf ball at the site and it gets all red for a few days. She was really annoyed with the one on her forehead right at her hairline!

She got back Tuesday at 3 - went to practice for a few hours that night, at the request of her coach. Had Wednesday off school for Yom Kippur, so she slept in and went to her friend Colette's house for a while and then came home and went to evening gymnastics practice.

By Thursday morning she was a little tired and not feeling great - she ended up staying home with Becky who was home sick with a terrible migraine. Ally woke up - freaked out a bit at how crummy she felt and went back to sleep for 4 hours! By the time I got home she was in better spirits. We baked cookies and she went to ballet class. She didn't miss much school, yesterday and today the whole grade is taking a bike safety class with the local police department so there are only a couple hours of academic work happening. It was a good day to go back to sleep and rest. 

At her request we made sugar cookies - and at my request she cleaned up afterwards.

Ally LOVES these cookies.

I call this picture "Portrait of a fashionable athlete"
She loves it - and all the name brands - Ivviva shirt, Athleta jacket, Zella pants, Nike shoes and she proudly exclaimed Under Armour socks!
I think its hilarious. As you can tell she is happy and healthy and feeling good this morning.

She'll only be in a school for a few hours today - she is not participating in the bike class so I will pick her up at 11am for the day. I told her she can come to my office and do home work and read while I wrap up my work for the day. Hopefully I can get enough done to take her out for Fro Yo before the Friday activity craziness begins. But maybe not.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Overnight trip to Farm School

In our district all students do an overnight trip to The Farm School. It’s a camp/educational facility about 90 minutes from here. They put on an educational program for kids about farming and the students will work the Farm; hunt for eggs, milk cows, pick fruit and vegetables, clean up areas etc and cook their food with the chef/cook onsite.  I’ve only heard fantastic things about it from everyone who has gone. 

This year it’s Ally’s turn. Her class of 6th grade leaves today. They will be back tomorrow afternoon. 

I made her practice getting her sleeping bag into the stuff sack. She was not pleased to do it or that I took her picture.
Packing was a challenge. But we did it together. Then she was a little freaked out at the quantity of stuff. We had a school issued packing list to follow and we followed it exactly so it’s not like she has extra stuff. I don’t know how we could have managed less.

A giant (to Ally) backpack and a supplemental bag that held her sleeping bag, pillow, towel and lunch bag.

 She was annoyed I wanted a 3rd picture. You can tell from her pose and look. But I still love her. And I will
miss her.

It was a busy weekend as ususal:
Pointe class & gymnastics on Friday
Gymnastics, packing and Willow’s birthday party on Saturday
Private gymnastics session (to make up for time missed while at Pointe class), church, more packing, time with school friends and dinner with Newtowne friends on Sunday.

Sunday evening wasn’t the best. We were all tired and frustrated. But this morning we’re all in a better place and looking forward to the week ahead. 

Ally blew the biggest bubble on Saturday:

She was pretty excited and now we know how she won the bubble blowing contest at camp this summer.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

One week in

Or 5 days down 175 more to go. We made it thru the first week. Crazy schedule of after school activities. It was a little dicey on Friday driving from ballet to gymnastics when Ally asked "mommy what do I do if I am too tired....?" A bit panicked I told her calmly just to do her best and we talked about how sometimes your best does not always look the same. Some days you might not be capable of doing things as well or as fast as other days, but the important things are #1 to have fun and #2 to try your hardest. She did and she had fun for the 3 hours she was there - In the 1st 2 days of team practice she regained a major skill she had lost the month of August while taking some time away from gymnastics to focus on dance and our vacation and her health. But she proudly told me she has her back-walkover on the balance beam back.

Social time with friends is also a huge priority for Ally - she has started texting friends and wants to see them outside of school. Totally understandable and I remember this time in my life talking on the phone to friends. And I wasn't any where near as busy as Ally. But we work at social time - having friends over on the weekends and even a quick after school play date before ballet.

Homework starts this week - looks like a gradual ramp up but as with everything else - we will figure it out.


On Saturday after practice Ally had fun playing in her room by herself - trying out make up taking selfies for Instagram. Typically 2018 behavior for a tween. And she was in such a good mood she let me take the two pictures above.

Then Sunday it was time for church - we took most of last year off from Church. It just didn't feel good to me to be at Church. Ally had a hard time there as well. We supported our church in many ways and Becky still co-lead youth group but we took a year off of attending services. But we still feel its an important part of Ally's upbringing that she attend church school and learn more about our faith.

Typical pouty tween - she so did not want to go and was even less impressed with me taking her picture before hand. Oh the body language; hair covering her face, arms crossed and standing in that pose legs straight.

So of course Becky mocked her.

Which forced some giggles and smiles.

Her hair is back to being very long - I'd love to cut a few inches off again - but its really up to her. She LOVES this shoes - they are silver high top / booties with a wedge heel inside - so they look like normal shoes but really are not. And they make her about 2 inches taller.

Today was a gym and instrumental music day at school. And its raining.
But still I made her pose for a before school picture - year 2 of violin.

I take her to school every morning right now but she walks home and lets herself in the house. Sometimes Becky or I are  home, sometimes not. She is happy with the independence after school. And it feels good to let her have some.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

1st Day of 6th Grade

Middle School. Ally's first day of 6th grade is today. Her school is JK-8 but they operate the 6-8 grades as a middle school and she will have different teachers for each subject. She is pretty excited and a little but nervous of course. She arranged to meet her friends Colette, Cata and Willow at 8AM at school. From now on her arrival will be closer to 730AM so I can get to work sooner - but I agreed to 8 this morning.

She had a relaxing morning and was really well rested. Its hot and humid here today - 80 degrees at 8AM.  Special thanks to Aunt Beth who helped pick out the first day of school outfit this weekend.
No black or gray!

Close up picture inside.

Outside in her usual spot for first day of school pictures.

And a back shot - long straight hair which she LOVES and her new sporty backpack.
I hope she has a great day. She will walk home from school by herself or with friends and has her 1st 4 hour gymnastics practice this afternoon. I'll get to hear all about school in the car on the way to the gym.

Edited to add: Ally had a great first day! She said she thinks she will like Science class best this year. And the only think she would change about the day is that it wasn’t so hot. 

She came home, changed and headed out to practice.
Here she is in the car, 5 for 1st day of Level 5 team practice.