She’s growing up


My daughter, who for years has “despised” anything girly, asked for this from her hair stylist today. She is GIDDY loving it. (the sides and back are stunning)

At the age of 41, I finally have to learn how to use a hair curler.

12 Years Ago, Tonight


12 yrs ago tonight, I was waiting for her arrival.

I slept on the floor, by an open window (in Wisconsin!!), I was so hot and nervous.

I adore her more every day. ❤

(other posts about her arrival: The Day I Became a Mother and  A Birth and Rebirth)

What Defines a Woman… [scratch that] a Person?


I’m sitting at the table tonight while my four children are getting ready for bed.

The eleven year old asks a question about something she’d like to purchase with money she has recently acquired.

Somehow, said eleven year old ends up weeping on her bed… overwhelmed by the choices she faces in the years ahead of her.

When she walks back into the kitchen, hair disheveled, nose red, eyes swollen, it is hard for me to breathe.

She is me. Crying as a child, the only daughter, realizing that one day, I would be the only one in my family with a different last name.

Why are you crying?”, my parents asked.

When I get married, I will no longer be a ‘VanBibber’. I will be different from the rest of you“, I replied.

Tonight’s conversation was that. And yet it also veered so far from those sentiments.

Why are you crying?”, we asked.

The girls in my class already know what they want to do when they grow up“, she replied.

But so do you. You want to own your own animation company and create cartoons. Have a cat of your own. See the world.”

(blank stare)


Their plan is to get married, have children and own a big giant house.

Suddenly, my self-confident child, so sure of her purpose and dreams, is doubtful.

Her dreams don’t look like everyone else’s.

And that makes her a target.

We want everyone to look like us. Dream like us. Think like us.

It makes us feel better about our own choices, doesn’t it?

But that doesn’t make those choices better, or more right for us.

And that doesn’t make them any more likely to come true. If being my own independent-free-spirited self and having four children has taught me anything it’s this: We aren’t all cut from the same cloth.

We all have different purposes, hopes and dreams.

Mama and Riggy, can I call you anytime I need advice, when I grow up?

Of course, Sweetness. We are always here for you.

Just be you, my sweet girl.

Just be you.

linked up with Just Write

Nyan cat (Abbie)

Abbie create her own Nyan Cat… I’m struggling with why the video kitty has the ‘cool’ factor…

Granted, the real Lego version has less colors shooting out of its butt… but still… ;)


Nyan cat (Abbie)

Sponsored Post: Metal Braces or Invisalign?

By the time I was in 5th grade, it became extremely obvious that I was going to need some sort of orthodontic work done, especially for my upper jaw. My teeth were so crowded, that there wasn’t much room for my teeth to come in. I had to wear an expander and spacers before I could even get my braces put on.

There are other known “mouth” related issues on both my side and the kid’s dad’s side (and no, I don’t mean anything ugly by that!), so I have watched carefully as each child has grown.

Abbie’s potential issues were apparent early on. Even as a little girl, she seemed to have a bit of a crossbite, and as her permanent teeth have begun growing in, I’ve been unable to deny that some sort of orthodontic work will need to be done.

So, earlier this week we arrived at the UAB School of Dentistry to have her (and her brother!) examined and discuss a plan of action for them both.

Basically… there is work to be done. 

I’m a child of the 70’s and 80’s, so of course, I had the big clunky metal (OUCH!!) braces. But I was lucky: after just over 1.5 ys in braces, I was able to start 8th grade with a nice straight set of teeth.

I remember the pain, discomfort and issues associated with them: the sore teeth, the wires poking out and digging into the sides of my mouth, the food that would get stuck in them (eww!), the (temporary) end of my chewing gum habit…

Who would want to put there child through that if there were a better option?

That is where Invisalign Teen comes in:

“Invisalign Teen is a clear, plastic aligner therapy that was developed with leading orthodontists who understand the active lifestyles, unique treatment and compliance needs of teens. An effective alternative to metal braces, the new Invisalign Teen product combines the benefits of the proven Invisalign Full system with new features like blue Compliance Indicators that are designed to gradually fade as the aligner is worn, Eruption Tabs that accommodate the growth of secondary molars, and other features that address clinical needs common to teen patients.

Invisalign Teen treatment is ideal for busy parents because there are never any emergency appointments from broken wires or brackets. And you spend less time at the orthodontist’s office, with fewer appointments and less chair time for uncomfortable tightenings.”

emphasis mine

Seriously? Less hassle, fewer appointments, and features that were designed with teen patients in mind?

I did a thorough scouring of the Invisalign site and other information that was made available to me, and was amazed by how ridiculously easy it all looks.

Here is some of what I learned, specifically pertaining to the Invisalign Teen aligners:

  • Invisalign treatment consist of several smooth, comfortable removable plastic aligners, that look very similar to a teeth cleaning tray.
  • Your teen will receive a series aligners from the orthodontist, approximately every six weeks.
  • The aligners should be worn 20 to 22 hours per day but they can be removed for eating, brushing, and flossing.
  • Invisalign Teen differs from the adult version due to three new features that were designed specifically for a patient in the teen age-group:

1) “Compliance Indicator” which allows parents to ensure that their children are wearing the aligners for the proper amount of time.
2) “Eruption Tab” to accommodate for erupting teeth (teeth that are not in yet or partially in).
3) “Power Ridges” “are incorporated into aligners designed to help achieve certain difficult tooth movements”. (I had to dig deeper to understand what this meant, but essentially, the ridges create a better bond that allows for more effective straightening results due to better torque at the root, as the teeth move)

  • And because we know how easily kids misplace things, Invisalign Teen allows for six free replacement aligners.

Invisalign  makes a product for adults as well. The clear, nearly invisible look is what makes them especially appealing for adults.

I’m not sure of the route we will take, as we have just started this journey. While the cost can be comparable, since our insurance does not cover orthodontic work, cost will be a huge factor and influencer in our final decision.

But how amazing is it that we now have OPTIONS when it comes to teeth straightening?

Hopefully, one day, no one will have to suffer through being called a “Metal Mouth” or “Tinsel Teeth” again.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and compensation was provided by SITS Girls and Invisalign via Gold PR. The opinions expressed herein are mine and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of the post sponsors.