Monday, January 28, 2008

E's Birthday Party!

We had a super time at E's 9th birthday American Girl Spa Party. We had invited only a few girls (6) but one couldn't make it and another girl (her best friend!) got really sick that day so she had to cancel as well. But it actually worked out so well because we were able to take our time and relax.

When the girls arrived, we served them smoothies in a "fancy" glass, which they all got a big kick out of. I put on relaxing instrumental music and lit candles to set the mood.

First we did the craft which was making (decorating) flip flops and after they were made the girls changed into bathrobes and flip flops. They just put the robes over their clothes. (I got the bathrobes from Lillian Vernan Kids).

We then served healthy snacks (turkey wraps, veggie roll-ups, veggies and dip, pita chips, fruit salad.

After that we started the "Beauty Buffet". I had stations set up throughout the pool house for mani-pedis, facials, and doll hair do's. The biggest hit was the mani-pedis during which they got a foot massage and the second biggest hit was after they applied their oatmeal-yogurt mask they got to lay down with cucumbers on their eyes. For some reason they thought that was just the greatest!

After they were all pampered we took pictures with them and their dolls (who had their hair done)!

We then served cupcakes and ice cream as well as more fruit salad. Then E opened her gifts. We had a bit of extra time so we hung out listening to Hannah Montana and we played charades.

Everyone really had such a great time, especially E. Even though this party was a bit labor intensive for a kids party, it was so worth it. It was actually even the least I had ever spent on a birthday party because almost everything came in the package from American Girl (which I bought on clearance)! I had my manicurist come to do the girls nails but she did it at a very reasonable rate and I ended up cancelling the hairstylist because E didn't want to have her (and her guests) hair done, just the dolls. So my mom was doll hair stylist for the day!

It was just so much fun and Mr.C was such a good sport, he even helped with the facials, made the smoothies and took pictures.

This weekend coming up we are having the combination E&L party with family and some friends. I was planning on a tea party but everyone is hinting that a tea party on Superbowl Sunday just isn't so great. I might just scrap the tea sandwiches and do snacks and still have tea and then cupcakes.

Plus most people will be going to a big superbowl party with tons of food so snacks in the afternoon would be enough. I still want to have tea-related snacks though. I was thinking scones, cookies, chocolate dipped strawberries. I want something savory too not just sweet. Should I just do cheese and crackers? Any suggestions?

Hope everyone had a great weekend! We also went to a big Christmas Tree bonfire where we took some neat pictures. I'll post some soon.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

How I Met My Husband...

At a bar!!!

But of course I'll go into detail. E had just turned 2 and I had just really gotten back on my feet, finding a place to live and starting to connect with friends again. I went into the office on Wednesdays and Saturdays, but the rest of the week I worked from home for a publishing company. Since my mom was watching E for me on Wednesdays, she offered to take her Tuesday evenings and keep her overnight, to kind of give me a break. That way I could start seeing friends for dinner or whatever. I had NO interest in dating or men at this time at all.

One Tuesday night a co-worker called me up last minute to go with her to a local "dive" bar because she said they had the best hamburgers. I wasn't doing anything else so I agreed.

So we go to this place and it was not that much fun. We eat dinner and get hit on by a bunch of old men. At one point, this one older gentleman was talking to me and he kindof wouldn't leave me alone when this group of young guys walk through the door. They all looked like very clean-cut preppy ivy league kids except for one. He had long curly hair piled high on his head in a ponytail and a t-shirt and jeans. The other guys had polos and short hair, etc.

They ended up standing right next to where I was and I made eye contact with one of the guys in the group and gave him a face like "ugh, this guy won't leave me alone" So he asked me if I wanted to come play darts with them. The old guy said "oh you know these guys?" so I was off the hook.

So my friend and I went over with the group and started talking to them. Turns out they all went to elementary and high school together stayed friends through different colleges and were all good friends for a long time. The curly haired guy had a twin brother who was with them but they looked nothing alike at ALL. Made eye contact with the curly haired guy because at this point, not only was he the most beautiful man I had ever seen, he was so shy and sweet.

I sauntered over to the this all cheesy enough for you guys?...and he followed me over. We picked out songs together. Bob Marley, Neil Young and can't remember the other one. Ok it was Van Halen's Ice Cream Man but I didn't want to admit it.

We talked for a long while and he asked for my number...telling me he had never asked for a girls number in a bar before. I totally believed him...he was nervous. I gave him my CARD, it had my number on it since I mostly worked from home. I felt Oh So Important. And he called me the next day.

He left a message because I was not home and asked me to call him but he did not leave his number. I was upset because he seemed so nice and I thought I'd never talk to him again. But he called back later and asked me out.

The day after our first dinner date, he came to the park where I was with E. He played with E in the sandbox and we have been a family ever since.

The funny thing is...I came from this hippie family and I always prefered the conservative, preppy look. He came from the ultimate East Coast Preppy Power Family and he was such a hippie!

He is the nicest person I have ever met. He donates blood every 120 days or whatever it is you can do. He remembers everyone and everyone remembers him. We go to church or the library and he'll run into his 2nd grade teacher or an old friends parent and he always remembers them and their names and all. He has never been in a fight. Ever. He had only one girlfriend before me and was with her for years. He has no idea how gorgeous he is. All his friends always asked me questions when I was dating him like why did I like him, etc., because they know what an exceptional person he is and were protective of him.

He thinks I have the best family (well they really are) but their ideals are similar to his. He helps anyone in need and when we go for a walk, he brings a bag to pick up garbage on the street. He is on the board to many organizations that do so much good and make a difference in our world. He can talk to the CEO of a national corporation the same way he can talk to a homeless man on the street. He never loans money, he always gives it.

His family had difficulties with him dating me because I did not fit into their "idea" of who he should be with. They were not accepting that I had a child and that I was not married when I had her. He stood up for me and fought for us when we felt the whole world was against us. My parents accepted him but they were uncomfortable with how his family treated me.

We dated for three years, lived together for most of that time. I found out I was pregnant in July 2004 with L and we got married by ourselves at a park by a Justice of the Peace in November 2004. After L was born in February 2005, we got married in our church in August 2005 and we asked our family to be there.

I fall more in love with him everyday. He inspires me so much.

So thats our story. Some of it...of course there is much more but thats all I can do for now!

I'd love to hear how others met their husbands/boyfriends. Mr.C and I used to joke around and say we met at church or a coffee shop because whenever people asked where we met, we thought it sounded so cheesy..."at a bar." But thats where it happened!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

thank you

After my last post I felt like maybe people don't want to hear that kind of stuff (regarding my ex) but the responses and comments I got made me feel really good and have made it easy to share my story. I see a therapist and probably always will because she has been amazing and has helped me so much learn about myself and how to deal with having an abusive past. Plus I still have to deal with the guy on a regular basis. I won custody but (I believe) the courts are a bit biased when it comes to fathers because there are so many who are not involved in their children's lives. So if a dad shows up and says he wants to be part of the child's life, they allow visitation. I even know of a woman who's ex-husband hit her children and he still gets supervised visitation. My ex has never physically hurt E but I think its because she's not with him long enough on their visits.

It KILLS me sometimes to have to let her go with him but most times he just brings her to his sisters house and I know she is safe there. He still threatens me occasionally and is verbally abusive but each and every time, I call the police. It's a really hard situation that we try and make the best of. These are the cards we have been dealt, as they say. He really doesn't have too much of a relationship with E, he is basically incapable of love and he also suffers from mental illness. All I can do is what I think is best for E. She also goes to a therapist and if there is ever a sign that she is being affected in a negative way by him, it's back to court I go.

To the anonymous commenter who feels they may be in a similar situation, I hope that you find the courage to do what is best for you.

It can be so hard for some people to understand because I am a smart, capable person who did not grow up with abuse, yet I became involved with this person and stayed for three years. When you are in it, you don't realize what the reality of the situation is, if that makes any sense. It becomes normal, plus I believed I loved him and most of the time I believed it was my fault (if I even felt that there was anything wrong with it). He was very paranoid and jealous and I was alientated from all my friends and family. At the time my parents were living in another state and the situation was created in which (I felt) there there was nowhere for me to go, although I didn't want to leave him because I thought I loved him. I don't know if (as hard as this is to admit) I would have ever left him if I didn't become pregnant and have E. It wasn't until I was responsible for someone else that I realized that this was a horrible situation and I would not let her endure that.

I have worked really hard to be able to deal with the situation the best I can. I am not perfect and have learned that the best way for me to deal is to realize that he is a very troubled person who needs help and I try and surround him and everyone around me with love. I do not have the time to be angry or bitter. There is no point to live in fear or anger. I forgive him and I just make sure that E is not hurt. Because she does go to therapy and we have an honest relationship, she is aware (as much as an 8 year old can be) that her father is very troubled. She tells me everything and having been through that relationship, I think I would know if something was going on even if she didn't tell me.

She has also learned how to deal with this in her own way. She acts very different when he is around her, she basically protects herself from being hurt by him. When he doesn't show up for visitation, she understands that he is irresponsible and thats just the way it is. It's better that she knows this now, instead of living her life hoping that one day he will learn how to love and always being let down. Although she believes (and I do too) that he does love her the best he knows how.

Everything happens for a reason and everything that happens shapes you into who you are. I think that E will find a way to use what she has learned to help other people someday. It will make her a strong women who can deal with a variety of life's situations and different kinds of people.

Plus she has an excellent father in Mr.C. She doesn't remember him not being in her life since I met him when she was so young. He changed her diapers, got up with her at night, has been to every pediatrician appointment. He has an extra special relationship with her because he knows what she has to deal with and he more than makes up for it. He is there for EVERYTHING. If she has something at school, he will come home from work to be there, sometimes being the only dad there! He has been to every conference, takes her to piano, dance lessons, CCD, sports she's involved with, volunteers at her school, knows all her friends and teachers well. He helps her with homework every night. He taught her to ride a bike, to go fishing, takes her to baseball games, plays princess with her, they read the same books and talk about them, they go to the library together, movies, hiking, just anything you can imagine a great father doing and more. Everyone is so amazed at how close they are and it is the greatest feeling in the world.

So I concentrate on our blessings and teach my children to as well. I will post a bit later how I met Mr.C. Thanks again for making me feel comfortable sharing.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

not pregnant...for now

Well, definately not pregnant, as I got my period today (sorry for too much information). I am very irregular and everytime I think I might be pregnant, Mr.C just knows I am getting my period. Oh well. We didn't try or anything anyway but my other pregnancies were both unplanned.

In fact with E I didn't know until I was almost 5 months pregnant. Now you may wonder how on earth can that be??? Well I was very young, never had a regular period, in a very poor relationship I was taking the pill and it just never occurred to me. I went to the doctor one day because I had horrible heartburn and kept getting sick. (duh) The nurse asked if I could be pregnant and she had me take a test. Came back positive and I almost fainted. Went to an ob/gyn and she confirmed how far along I was(18 weeks).

Then with L, I was trying on dresses in a dressing room and nothing fit in my size, especially the bust. I went home, took a test and it was positive. Went to the Dr. and I was 9 weeks already. Actually it was hard to tell my family because my sister, who is 1-1/2 years older than me, had been trying for over a year with miscarriages and many heartbreaks but she had just gotten pregnant a couple months before me. Our girls are four months apart, her daughter was born premature. So I suppose I am pretty fertile, especially since I was on the pill both times. I don't take it anymore because...well obviously it doesn't seem to work for me.

Even though I had unplanned pregnancies, both times I was so absolutely thrilled. Even though the first time I was in a bad relationship, I was still over the moon, he however was not, I endured much abuse, he even kicked me in the stomach because he was so mad I got pregnant. He kicked us out when E was 3 months old. He had told me to leave many, many times before but he was so emotionally, physically, sexually, verbally abusive and manipulative so I felt trapped and I always stayed. UNTIL I had my E. He told me to leave that day when she was 3 months old, I looked at her innocent face and all of a sudden, it just hit me - I had the courage and the strength, and I left and never looked back. He kept trying to get me back but there was NO way I would ever let my daughter be subjected to the type of life we would have had if we stayed with him.

If you have ever seen the movie Waitress with Keri Russell, that moment when she looks at her baby, thats exactly how it was with me. My E saved me, she is my angel, because surely things would have ended tragically if I stayed with him.

I met Mr.C when E was 2 years old and it was love at first sight. He instantly loved E and has raised her as if she was his own. They have such a special bond and treats all of us as if we are his princesses. I have never met a man with a heart as pure and good as my husband. I am so truly blessed with my girls and husband.

Well I hope you didn't mind me getting so personal and emotional today but thats how I get this time of the month!

Monday, January 21, 2008

random bits...and a maybe baby?

I wanted to try and update my blog a bit, we have been pretty busy - ok I have to stop saying that in every post...everyone is busy! I realized I never put up a picture of our Christmas outfits. The girls dresses were family heirloom dresses, LOVED E's, very old fashioned, not as crazy about L's but they looked good together. E's had a very small houndstooth pattern of navy and dark green so the green matched L's dress which unfortunatly was not velvet, which I really prefer for girls winter party dresses not that icky fake velour or whatever that stuff is...but anyway they did look cute. Sorry I had to crop their adorable faces off.

This was my dress:

Mr.C wore a suit with a dark green tie so we all usual!

My burn has been healing, slowly, but I still wrap it up most days so I don't bump it in to anything, its still a bit tender.

Over the weekend we took the girls to the this aquarium and had a great time.

I also took E out for a girls day, we got manicures at a new place (they don't have a website up yet, but they have a cute package for kids. We went to lunch and did some shopping. She received quite a few gift cards for Christmas and enjoyed going on a spending spree! Today she is at a friends house for a playdate and Mr.C has left for business for a couple days. So it is just L and me! Went out to brunch with her while the cleaning service was here. I was so proud of how well behaved she was. She has such great manners for her age.

The maybe baby title is because yesterday, all day - I had this overwhelming feeling that I wanted to have another baby! I don't know where it came from but it wasn't a fleeting thought because I still feel that way today. I was talking to Mr.C about it all day yesterday and he's like SURE! He's love to have a bunch of kids. We of course will be talking about it more when he returns. I wanted to wait until L was a bit older but...I don't know maybe if I got pregnant now I would have the baby when she would be starting preschool. So it might work out. I feel so giddy about it!

Other news...we have enrolled E in a new school for next year. It is something we have been thinking about doing for a while and when we found out L was accepted into the preschool so it just made sense to have them together. It is a co-ed private day school that runs pre-K to 12th grade. I am so excited about it. Now we don't have to worry about another school until college! E has been in the public school system and I have to say I do like it but it is just not challenging her. And I have heard from other parents that the middle school is really not up to par. She is most excited that she will be learning French and Latin and she will also take private piano lessons from one of the music teachers there. She does not like her current piano teacher (and I have to say...I have grown impatient with her attitude as well). This new school has an excellent theater, arts and music program and academically they are just above and beyond. Plus E's best friend switched to this school at the beginning of 3rd grade and her parents really love it, as well as their daughters.

So this year has started out with many changes and we are so excited to see what may come in the next few months. Maybe a new baby!!!

E's birthday party is this weekend and it is an American Girl Spa party that will be so much fun. All her friends are coming and I am turning the pool house into a "fancy" spa for the day! We have a manicurist and hairstylist coming (I explained to her that she will also be doing the dolls hair!) and we will be serving spa cuisine. I got a party kit from American Girl and it had some great stuff in it. It was an exceptional value at $45 (regularly $105 which is still a good value considering what came in the kit).

The following weekend we are having a combined party for E and L with family and we are having a Pink Princess Tea Party. On Superbowl Sunday. I did not realize this when I sent the invites but it is in the early afternoon so everyone will be home in time for their superbowl parties. Friends of ours are staying after the girls party to watch the game with us and celebrate my birthday since mine is Feb.4th. Mr.C is taking care of the food (and cake) for that since I will be making tea sandwiches all morning!

I'll be sure to update on the status of my baby fever! I've never felt it so strongly! I could already be pregnant...I think I might take a test. One thing though...I JUST got back to my regular weight (103 - I'm only 5'2) since having L (who is turning 3!) Yes I know it took me a while but it took me only 6 months to get back after E (but I was only 22 - its easier then)!

AND the other thing is my next baby will probably be my last that I would have naturally...we always said we would adopt after 3 biological children (if we wanted more than 3). So I want to really enjoy the pregnancy (I loved being pregnant).

Friday, January 18, 2008

RI house

Finally some pictures of our new house. Mr.C wanted me to use pictures that he had taken a while back because most of mine were of the outside and property...the view is gorgeous. But he doesn't want that in my blog because of safety reasons.

The house is very new and decorating it will be so different than my home in CT which is very old (antique we call it). We transformed a barn on our property last year into a pool house and everything was new but we kept the style very much like the main house - classic, traditional (not stuffy though) Ralph Lauren meets Pottery Barn meets Ethan Allen, New England style. Although I didn't use Pottery Barn or Ethan Allen...we have some wonderful specialty furniture shops in our tons of antique shops. Just trying to best describe the style I guess.

BUT the RI house will be very different. I want to use local craftsmen and furniture shops and make it very Rhode Island - beachy but elegant. E wants a "sufer girl" room and I do believe PBK has bedding, accessories in that fashion. There are 5 bedrooms besides the master and I can't wait to do one room in a nautical theme for visiting children. It will be gender-neutral but with blues, boats, etc. stuff that I never got to do having only girls.

Oh and Mr.C is meeting with a landscape designer recommended by the property management company and I told him I want hydrangeas everywhere! That is my idea of a beach house...gorgeous blue hydrangeas and beach grass.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Birthday Season

We have had a couple of very busy weeks and it is not about to slow down! On my husbands side we celebrated two birthdays since New Year's, and two of our friends celebrated birthdays as well. Coming up at the end of January is E's and L's is the beginning of February. A sister-in-law is two days before L and a neice AND a nephew are the day before L's. We were suppossed to go to Vermont before New Years but did not since we ended up in Rhode Island after Christmas. I rescheduled our skiing trip for the end of February. I think we will need a mini vacation then more anyway.

Friends of ours gave birth to a beautiful baby girl last week, but she needs a lot of special prayers as she is having some difficulties. She is at a children's hospital in New York City so she is receiving the best of care. Please say a little prayer for her.

Yesterday was a snow day and I thought I was going to go a bit nuts stuck inside all day, but we kept busy. We baked muffins and cornbread, made chili in the crockpot, E used her new sewing machine, and we played in the snow.

Friday, January 4, 2008

On a lighter note...

How cute are critter pants?


Sorry its a bad picture, its not easy to take a picture of your own hand - plus its my new camera. But this is what happened to me last night while cooking dinner. Severe second degree burn on the side of my RIGHT hand. It seems we have been to the ER more this year than ever in my life! I have never burned myself this bad before and never realized how HORRIBLE the pain is. I can't imagine people who have suffered burns far worse.

Here's the irony...before taking my Christmas decorations down last weekend, I took this picture of the top of an armoire in the office.

Ten seconds later that red candle in the center lit the (fake) poinsetta leaves on fire. I yelled "FIRE!" Mr.C ran in and panicked and started blowing on it, I yelled at him "NO that makes it worse!" then he grabbed it and ran into the bathroom to put it in the sink...meanwhile flaming leaves dropped onto the floor and started an area rug on then I had grabbed the girls, the phone and ran outside. Called the Fire Department. By the time they came, Mr.C had grabbed a fire extinguisher and had everything out. It was SCARY.

So after being so thankful and of course I still am that no one was hurt then...its kind of like those movies (that I didn't watch) about how you can't cheat death...but in my case its not death but a burn. Weird. Anyhow I'm not even sure how I am able to type, my hand is still all wrapped up, but the percocet they gave me for the pain has certainly helped. Probably why I am rambling...

Thursday, January 3, 2008


I had to go back through my blog and take out any personally identifying pictures today. I tend to view the world in a very optimistic way, always finding the positive. However I am very aware that there is the potential for bad things to happen and that they do happen.

I received a phone call and it could be totally unrelated to my blogging and probably is, but it really freaked me out. It was a creepy guy saying creepy things, acting as if he knew me. Yes, we have caller ID, but I almost always answer the phone even when it says "unavailable". Just habit.

So my husband and I were talking and he asked me to take out any pictures and also not write about where we WILL be going but its ok to write about where we HAVE gone. He also said I could use personal pictures as long as they aren't identifiable. So all the pictures I took in Rhode Island I am trying to crop so that I can post them! Mr.C said he wasn't to keen on me posting them at all since we aren't living there full time and he was worried about someone breaking in. But there is a security system and he hired a property management company to look after it so I convinced him it was ok! I just can't say what town it is in either. So I will post the (edited) pictures soon!

Back to happy thoughts....

We all have been having a wonderful holiday season. Christmas was crazy busy and everything turned out well regarding the meals and parties. The girls have been enjoying time off with dad, who is back to work on

E's favorite Christmas gift was the American Girl doll. Her bday is coming up and she had been planning a Harry Potter party...but now she changed her mind and will be having an American Girl party. YAY! I'm much more excited about that. Not that I don't like Harry Potter but I couldn't get into the books. E and Mr.C loved them though.

L's favorite gift was everything! She loves playing with her toys and dress up. She is the type of child who will sit and play for quite a while with her dollhouses and things like that. Her bday is also coming up and we are having a pink princess tea party.

Mr.C's favorite gift was a radio control plane from Santa. He told me and the girls a few weeks before Christmas that when he was a kid, he asked Santa for one every year but never got one. So this year Santa remembered and he was pretty excited about it!

We had a lovely, low-key New Years Eve. We had two other families over, who have kids around our girls age. We played board games and had a potluck dinner. We have been doing that the past couple years, we just switch houses. Everyone stayed over here since we have the room. The kids had fun having a sleepover. Then on New Year's Day we had brunch. It was a great, calm, relaxing way to start the new year.

Hope everyone had a great New Year's as well!