Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey Day

This Thanksgiving was going to be a big one for me.  This year for the first time in my life, I was going to someone else's house for dinner.  I have never had a Thanksgiving with my in-laws. They went to Florida every year, so we were always with my Mom and sometimes my aunt would join us, or after Mom passed away, we were on our own.  I have to admit, I enjoyed making the dinner and looked at it as sort of a challenge and strived to make my Mom and Grandmother proud, even though they aren't here anymore, I get the feeling they are nearby watching...Making sure I know enough to constantly stir the hollindaise sauce so it doesn't curdle.  Well, I do. (most of the time)
So, this year I had planned on helping my Father in Law cook at his place in CT. He stayed up North this year do to a torn tendon in his knee. After surgery a few months ago, he's stuck here with the rest of us in the snow and slush and is trekking back and forth to physical therapy for the rest of the winter.
Friday night we had made plans to visit Springfield MA and see "Bright Nights" in Forest Park. This is a gigantic Christmas light display that can only be described as AWESOME. I had looked forward to sharing this with Carlie and knew she would be in absolute awe. all good plans, these were not meant to work out as we had hoped.  I ended up with a little medical issue and have been grounded here on Cape Cod for the holidays.  I will be having a small and hopefully fast and uneventful surgery tomorrow morning at 8:30am.  So my very understanding Father in Law packed up the 13 pound turkey, all the vegetables and a lot of ingredients needed to cook a proper Thanksgiving feast and headed North to Cape Cod to have dinner here with us. For the most part, he and Henri did the cooking. I had made pies Tuesday night, so that was all done.  Dinner was delish and my husband is in a turkey coma on the couch as we speak.  Happy Thanksgiving to all! I have to go do the dishes.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Halloween 2010

Halloween this year was terrific.  We attended the Harvest Festival at one of our local elementary schools on Friday night for fun and games and lots of prizes! We met up with the Fooseberry girls and got to see everyone's costumes. It was just the right amount of crazy after a long week of working and building up to "HALLOWEEN"!  Saturday, we went to Carlie's last dance class with Miss Annette. Miss Annette has decided to close her dance studio after 20 years and join up with another center in Cataumet. We will be trying out this new center this coming Saturday and decide how we like it.  If it's not up to our liking, it will probably be gymnastics instead. We will see.
 Sunday was Halloween. We had a play date with Carlie's friend Jillian in Sandwich in the morning, came home to make some last minute decorating decisions, like hanging a screeching sound activated spider over the doorway to terrify children...and waited for our mean Trick or Treaters.  Carlie, as you can see, was a beautiful princess. I painted pink hearts on her cheeks and polka dots around her eyes at her request.  She looks terrific!  We made the usual rounds in our neighborhood...then headed to our friends around town. Carlie made a pretty good haul considering we really only went to 5 houses.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pumpkin Carving Day

We took a family trip to Tony Andrews Farm this weekend in search of the "Great Pumpkin" to carve for our "Almost Annual Pumpkin Carving Day" with the Fooseberry girls.  
This year I think I got a little carried away with the amount of pumpkins we purchased. I seem to forget year to year what a pain in the ass carving a pumpkin actually is.  We bought 5 pumpkins, and I had already purchased 2 a week or so ago at the supermarket...What was I thinking?

We grabbed our wagons and headed into the "Pumpkin Patch".  Unfortunately, the pumpkins were mostly starting to soften on the bottoms...There wasn't much to choose from...But we did end up finding a few good ones.

Carlie got pissed because she wanted to ride in the wagon with the pumpkins, but they were so big, there wasn't enough room for her -unless she held one in her lap...As you can see, she didn't much care for that idea. We headed back to the registers and bought....$67.00 worth...yes...$67.00 worth of pumpkins. 
We have lost our minds.
The girls came over Sunday afternoon and, after playing in the leaves and running around outside for a while, they came in to do some serious pumpkin carving.  Ava and Olivia brought their "professional" pumpkin carving tool set (that only they would have)...and Carlie and I tore open our $1.00 carving kits to get down to business.   
As Jen and I were trying to keep the pumpkin guts contained and from being flung onto the walls, saving little fingers from being severed from the hand, and trying to keep everyone happy and safe, we both had to laugh.  It always seems like such a good idea until we get hip deep into the project with our kids....But we just put our heads down and plow on. Happy in knowing that we are creating memories...Hopefully happy ones.  We all got some terrific Jack-O-Lanterns done and had a really good time doing it.  I plan on re-visiting this post around the end of September next year as a reminder to only buy 2 pumpkins....YA RIGHT!

Cranberry Harvest Festival 2010 and a message.

 I took Carlie and Cricket to the Cranberry harvest Festival this past Saturday.
We had to park about a half a mile away from the enterance of the festival, at the edge of a cranberry bog.
It was actually a beautiful walk that I would have never have known existed otherwise. We walked to the festival through the bogs and down a winding dirt road through the woods.  It was a beautiful crisp clear day and we were but two of what seemed like HUNDREDS of people who wanted to enjoy the festival as well. The walk reminded me of some sort of pilgrimage.
Carlie and the big pig
Face Painting
warp speed crafting
The Festival is held on a bog here in town and the entire thing is contained in two tents. One containing crafts to buy and crafts for the children to participate in making...And the other was mainly food. It was nearly impossible to walk through either of these tents without getting hip checked, bumped into or pushed. It was rediculous. I think they underestimated the amount of people heading to this festival.   Carlie got her face painted, saw a big pig and made a construction paper cranberry scoop with some woman who was on warp speed mode...They taped a dum dum lolipop to the front of it, which time and again I watched  children finish the 3 second project with the warp speed lady, turn around, rip the lolipop off the craft they just completed (or actually was completed FOR them) and throw the thing in the nearest trash bin...seriously.    Once I finally gave up trying to see anything in the tents, (since each table was about 10 people deep)  I scopped up my dog under one arm, grabbed Carlie in the other and just shoved my way out of the tent.
 Carlie then decided she wanted a hot dog.  The line for the hot dogs was about 50 people long. Of course.  While standing in the line, I asked my daughter about 10 times if she was SURE she wanted a hot dog...I even tried to lure her away with the promise of a Happy dice. She wanted a hot dog.  The people behind me and in front of me kept making jokes about what if they were out of hot dogs by the time we got to the front of the line...My response was I would probably fling myself into the bog.  15 minutes of standing in line and it was our turn. Carlie  actually got the LAST HOT DOG!! That was close, although the man behind me was  a pretty good looking fire fighter, and had I been forced to fling myself into the bog, I would have probably been rescued by him...Maybe I should have fallen behind a couple of people in line...Oh well.   We bought the hot dog, got some ketchup on it and turned to find a place to eat. Carlie opened her mouth to take a bite and dropped the entire thing upside down on the ground. We both just stood there looking at it and then at each other. Carlie picked it up, wiped the obvious dirt off it and ate it. And I let her...because A.) You have to eat a pound of dirt in your life and B.) If she didn't, I would have...Because GOD DAMMIT I was not about to let that last hot do go to waste!
We decided to leave after that.
  We walked back to the truck and enjoyed talking with the people who were walking the same way. We met up with some that we knew, made fellow dog lover friends...and enjoyed the fall scenery along the way.  Just as I got to the truck, out of the corner of my eye I noticed what looked like a wallet laying in the grass. I walked over and grabbed it, noticing there was some paper sticking out and figuring someone dropped it out of their car as they were leaving. Once I got everyone secured in the truck, I took a good look at the wallet. It is a brand new Vera Bradley wallet and there was nothing inside except for a poem on warn paper tucked into the back pocket. This is what it said.

                      The Journey
                       -By Mary Oliver
One day you finally knew what you had to do, 
and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice-
though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the old tug at your ankles.
"Mend my life!" each voice cried. But you didn't stop. 
You knew what you had to do. 
Though the wind pried with it's stiff fingers at the very foundations, though their
 melancholy was terrible, it was already late enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen branches and stones. But little by little,
as you left their voices behind, the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own,
that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world,
determined to do the only thing  you could do
-determined to save the only life that you could save.

I instantly thought that this was a message for me. Carlie asked me what it was, and my answer was "A message from my guardian angel". And I truly believe that that is what it is.
So I am going to keep this in my own wallet and make sure that I read it often. And when I get to the end of the road that I have recently turned onto, I will put the poem back into the wallet I found it in, and leave it for someone else to find.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Princess Party Extravaganza

Carlie turned 4 this September....Hard to believe she is a little girl and not a toddler anymore.  She has defied odds that some of the best doctors in the country are surprised at.  She is a miracle.
I can't help but to re-live the night she was born every birthday....The night before her birthday, I remember the pains in my stomach and how I looked in every baby book I could find and on every website I could pull up trying to diagnose myself...The pain I was having didn't fit any of the descriptions of labor pain...I chalked it up to gas...and went to bed.   The next day, the pains were there, but not as bad... I went to work. I remember describing my worry the night before to one of our nursing supervisors...her response was a laugh and.."sounds like labor pains"..HA HA HA!  nah...couldn't be.  It's too soon.  6 weeks too soon. I didn't even have a crib. I can't be in labor. Henri and i still have the receipt from Betsy's Diner from dinner that night.  That was about the time I realized she hadn't moved that day.  Henri brought me home, gave me cold juice and told me bad jokes trying to get her to wiggle...just a little....but she didn't budge.  So I finally called the Dr. They met me at the Maternity unit at the hospital and within what seemed like seconds I was on my way to surgery for an emergency C-Section. All I kept saying was..."But I don't have a crib yet!"  I think that was about the limit of my grasp of what was about to happen. The rest as they say is history...Medi Flight to Boston Childrens Hospital, 20 days in the NICU. Diagnosis: Possibly brain blind, Kidney malformation, will probably have developmental delays. 10 more days at a "Level B" NICU in Plymouth....She finally came home just before Halloween. 30 days later...and now on her 4th Birthday she is healthy,developmentally right on target, Kidneys healed and sight-20/20. Thank you Children's Hospital for all the care...and for being wrong. Thank you Jordan Hospital for growing her just enough to get her home. Thank you God for my miracle.

The Princess Castle Bounce House compliments of Grandpa...

A rousing game of "Stick the kiss on the Frog".

Mr. Crocker aka: "Uncle Hiccup" to us...was kind enough to bring his  duck "Howard" and entertain all...

My very best friend and party photographer and one of my favorite little girls...

Carlie and Ava enjoying the bounce house all to themselves.

Carlie smacking the "piniata that wouldn't die"

"Happy Birthday to you....Happy Birthday to you"......

How old are you now???

Carlie and Mommy opening presents

Carlie opening "Jumpy bear" from Uncle Andy and Aunta Jess.

I'm back...again. took about 2 and a half months, but the house is finally done.  Funny, the little things we did on the house got us lots of compliments from the nieghbors...We paint the thing spring green and no one says a word! Wierdos.
Anyway, I love it...LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT!  I know my Grandparents who built this house in 1932 are somewhere smiling about it too. We've come a long way baby...Here's proof.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Progress on our house painting is slow at best.   Trying to choose colors has proved to be a much more difficult decision than I thought.  I finally decided to paint the trim white. I am having just the front of the house painted (actually stain) in a color... what color I do not know. Gray? Blue? White? Green? I usually like to be a little diffrent. I am not opposed to being the only purple house on the block...But the choice is something I am going to have to live with for a VERY long time. If I screw it up, I am going to be sorry for a VERY long time.  I am greatful that this right now is my biggest dillema since this time last year, I was starting to go straight out of my mind with my Mother being so sick and starting the downward spiral that ultimately lead to her death. This is a breath of fresh air compared to THAT!
 My Mother's birthday is May 3rd and I wanted to come up with something to do that day that celebrated her and her life. Something that she would have totally enjoyed doing. I decided to take the day off and do our Springtime Rt. 6A trip, and invited my best friend to join me. I am looking forward to spending the day with Jen and getting to do something that will remind me of Mom in a happy way. That is the ONLY way I know she would want us to remember her. Spring was her favorite time of year and the green on the trees in early spring was her favorite color. You can't get much happier than that as far as I am concerned. So we will amble down that beautiful road, stop at some of the terrific little shops on the way and probably enjoy a nice lunch out.  Sounds like a heavenly way to spend a day to me!!  I think I have made progress, even if the painter hasn't, but I've had almost a year to do it. Let's hope he won't take so long!!!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Easter 2010

This year, we had beautiful weather for Easter Sunday. It began on Saturday afternoon when we all sat down to color eggs... Carlie, me and Henri. It was fun to show Carlie how to do this, and she had a free ticket to make a holy friggin mess, which she  did. But it was fun, and we laughed alot, and she dropped 4 or the 8 eggs that we boiled and cracked them as soon as she finished decorating them.... But that's O.K. too... Next year, I'll make a few extra's. Live and learn.    Sunday began for us around 7AM.  Carlie woke up and came out of her room to find a huge Easter basket on the living room table too big for her to get down by herself. 
 She was wide eyed and beyond excited at everything she pulled out of the basket.  There really is nothing like the feeling you get when you can do that for your own child... Now I understand the look Mom would get on her face on mornings like that... Sheer joy.
My daughter had a steady diet that day of candy. I don't think she ate much else... But that's O.K. It was Easter.
This has been the rainiest spring weve had in a LONG time! My little fish doesnt mind it though. I think she really was a fish in another life... I can't keep her out of and away from water.   

I've decided to have the house painted and hired somone to come and do it. They start Monday, so I will have to keep a good photo journal of the progress and make a blog about it. I'm sure there will be a good story sometime in the next 12(ish) days that he figures it will take to complete the job.  I am a little hesitant about this, but I am doing it because if it doesnt get done soon, I am going to have to start replacing the wood due to rot.  So here we go. Now to figure out if we are going to change the color from plain white trim to something with a little pizazz....I dunno. Also, we are having the shingles bleached.  This should lighten up the whole house and make it look much more cheerful.  I am looking forward to seeing that,
I am thinking a nice bright sunshine yellow for the front door and white trim.... Any suggestions?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Blast From The Past

I got the stranges phone call last week... It was my old friend Andy calling me to make "plans" to go to Milford and visit some old friends of ours.  The strange part is, Andy doesn't EVER make plans in advance. He is famous for calling 20 minutes before he walks out the door to invite you along on a wild journey.   But Andy recently got married, and he is trying to change his ways.... which is wildly convenient for ME.
  So we made our plans, and piled into his RV on Saturday afternoon and hit the road.  Our trip brought us to a couple who I have not seen since 2000.  Funny how time stands still... they look exactly the same as the last time I saw them, just more domestic and with 2 adorable boys running around the house.  We spent the night talking about the kids, having a fabulous dinner and reminiscing about old times, with a couple interruptions from a crying child or one who wandered out of bed.  The diffrence was, midnight came and we all went to bed...That would NEVER have been the case 10 years ago.  But even though we didn't party like we used to, it reminded me why I always enjoyed their company so much. They are funny, and easy to be around and know how to relax and laugh at themselves....and each other. I am really hoping to see them again sooner rather than later!!
  We got home Sunday alot later than we expected and had to hustle to get the regular weekend chores done (at least the bare necessities) I went grocery shopping while Henri cleaned up the laundry.  I bought Carlie the movie "The Pricess and the Frog" and when everything was put away, we all piled onto the big bed and had a great time watching it, tickling each other and laughing alot.  All in all it was a great weekend... I wish it could last a few more days weeks!  I love how the days are longer now, it seems like we get more out of each one.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lots of changes.....

Carlie started school this week, at the child care center where I work...
 It was a very difficult decision to take her out of the child care center that she has been at since she was 1.
  We are good friends of her teacher who also owns the little child care center,I call her Carlie's "Other Mother" and she is beyond patient and kind with every child there.
The last day of school was tearfull, and I am still not completely sure I did the right thing... But money talks and I get a BIG discount at my school, and it is convenient to have her there.
So here we are, and we miss  the one on one small class family that was our old school, but everything takes some getting used to.  So, onward and upward.
  Spring is begining to spring around here, I have tulips and bleeding hearts sprouting out back and  the daffodills have buds on the north side of my house!!  I see crocus in the yard at the end of my street... but I only have about 2 of them left  in my yard thanks to whatever creature likes to eat them. ( I hope they gave him heartburn!)
 The Red Winged Blackbirds are here and I bet there will be Pussy Willows out very soon!! 
I truely love spring and it was my Mothers favorite time of the year, so she will be on my mind alot as the days get greener and warmer.  Mom and I took our springtime drive down Rt. 6A every year to "Ooh" and "Ahh" over the beautiful spring scenery that lines that pretty Cape Cod road... I will miss that this year. Maybe I can find a stand in for Mom... Maybe I'll take Carlie this year and start the tradition early with her, although, I doubt she will be old enough to appreciate it for a long time. *sigh*  Either way, I think I'll go... Even if I go alone.
 I'm getting itchy to get my yard whipped into shape! I have some new landscaping in my back yard that got done late in the fall and still needs a little tweaking, alot of cleanup and I would really like to have a fire pit out back for some twilight marshmallow roasting with the family and maybe some friends too!!! 
OOOOH the big plans of spring.... We shall see.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

I have a little girl who has a little curl....

Life with a 3 year old....
  I had this little girl who was so sweet... and listened to what I told her to do....and now, she is slowly turning into an independant stubborn little sassy pants.  Everyofne said it would happen, but I really didn't think it would...I mean, she was so good!... And now she is so...not.
  I mean, don't get me wrong, she isn't terrible all the time, but like the old nursery rhyme goes..."When she is good she is very, very good, and when she is bad she is HORRID". They must have been talking about a three year old when they wrote that one.
  This afternoon, Jen and her two daughters came by for a visit and to let the kids play together for a while. Carlie actually threw a xylaphone....THREW IT!  Those things are HEAVY!  Then proceeded to have a total melt down, hissy fit that got her taken  out of the fun and games for the remainder of thier visit....I know that this too shall pass, and she's just testing her limits... but damn, it sucks. 
Henri and I have made the very difficult  decision to take her out of  the daycare that she has been at since she was 1, and move her to the child care center that I work at. Tomorrow will be her class visit, so she will come to work with me. This ought to be interesting.  I'm looking forward to getting to have her around me all day.  It will be a challenge to keep my work and her pre-school life seperate.... But she is resilliant and has risen and conquored every challenge life has thrown at her with  great success, so I am confident that this will be no different. She has a great way of rolling with the punches. I pray that this is a skill she keeps for life. If it is,  I know that she will  always do just fine.  We are sad that she has to leave the comfortable small child care center that she has come to love and the fantastic teachers there who have the patience of saints... The one on one attention she has gotten there has made her thrive and she is a smart little cookie...But the root of life is change...and I guess there's no time like now to teach her that.
  We are going to C.T. this coming weekend to visit my Father in Law before he leaves for his bird watching RV trip across the country. I love Western MA and CT. I miss the days when Henri lived in Springfield and we would pick a road on a Sunday morning and follow it just to see where it went.  Or the trips to Fishkill NY to the I85 Diner for lunch and cheesecake... Those trips were usually filled with conversations about where our lives would be in 5 years and how nice it would be to be settled down. Funny, now we talk about how nice it would be to be able to do that trip again whenever we want... The grass is always greener.


Sunday, February 14, 2010


We had a great Valentines Day weekend.  Carlie and I made this card for Henri and had a blast decorating it.  There were roses and chocolates and Tinkerbelle lunchboxes full of little gifts....We all snuggled up on the big bed and watched G-Force...Which Carlie had absolutely NO interest in whatsoever.... But that was OK.
A few days ago however, it was anything but relaxing. We were all running around  preparing for a blizzard of "epic proportions" according to the weather forcast... WRONG. We got about 6 inches of slush.... Some towns didn't even get snow!  This is what our Main St. looked like the morning after our "BLIZZARD"
Inpassable huh?  Oh well, it's just as well....Henri was up half the night and was out in our driveway at the crack of dawn salting and scraping the snow/slush mess. Such a great guy.  My job dismissed early along with just about every other buisness in it wasn't a total loss.

Friday, January 1, 2010

It's over.


Well, The holiday's have come and gone without much fanfare. "Good" I say, I was looking for a fanfare-less kind of holiday season anyway this year.
 Everytime someone asked me what I was doing for Christmas, I felt myself stiffen and a knot form in my stomach, because I knew the next line was coming..."Oh...This is your first Christmas without your Mom"....Yes... Thank you for reminding me. As if I need reminding.
 I think my Mom was popping in and out on me alot during the last few days before Christmas to be sure I was alright, because I felt very peaceful about my first parentless Christmas. And even though it seemed like she was on my mind constantly, it was in a good way more than a sad way. 
This year I felt more like a Mom myself than ever.  Call me a spoiled only child, but Christmas has always been about "ME".  Even the last couple years, of course we spoil Carlie and she gets more than she could ever want... but she was too young to really get it.     My Mom always spoiled me... I was her only child and that's what she did best. And no matter how old I was, I loved it...really, who wouldn't???    But not this year, for the first time in my life it was totally about someone else.  Yup, it's official... I'm a grown it or not.
Oh these life lessons are so much friggin fun.

    I had the week after Christmas off and so did Carlie. We hung out alot at home for most of the week, until New Years Eve day when we made a pilgrimage to Bostons Childrens Museum with Jen (Carlie's Godmother) and her two daughters Olivia and my Godchild Ava.  We had a great time...The kids seemed to enjoy it too.  There was so much to do and see it was absolutely amazing! I wanted to see it all, but we were short on time.  It went pretty smoothly too!( if you don't count the fact that I was put in charge of "Ava watch"  twice and lost her both times....But I found her...and that's what really matters). 
   It was a much diffrent place than I remember. The last time I was there I think I was about 9 years old and the only thing that sticks out in my memory about the whole trip was that my Mother got screwed on a taxi ride from the bus station to the museum.  From that point until today I have always thought of Boston as a bad place full of bad people.  I have also learned through experiences in my fairly recent adult life  that nothing good happens in Boston, so I normally avoid it like the plague.
It was a refreshing experience to go to Boston for some fun, not get screwed (except for the prices at the cafeteria in the museum) and to be able to relax and enjoy.  Thank you Jen for that.
 We got home by 6PM and I was expecting company for dinner and a 6PM.   A quick txt to Henri to txt Thom and Amy and hold them off for a half hour longer...a whirlwind of putting toys away and wiping down the counters and bathroom...A zip trip to Windfall Market for dessert, snacks and a few essentials and VOILA!  A New Years Eve shin-dig that would have made June Clever proud.  (Except I forgot to put on my pearls).  We watched Julie and Julia wich was FANTASTIC and ate Chineese food  (Wich I detest...but seem to be the only one on earth that dislikes it). And had a great time visiting with friends that we haven't seen in far too long.   Everyone went home early, Thom had to work at 5AM. Henri and I were in bed and watching CNN countdown to the New Year  by 10:30PM. Perfect.
  I recieved a few HAPPY NEW YEARS txt wishes and watched for my friends Andy and Jess in Key West on CNN LIVE till midnight.  That was that. It's over.  Happy 2010 and here's hoping we can all get through it healthy and happy and better off by the end of it.