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New Beginnings

Well, we finally did it.  Amidst all of the other responsibilities in my life, I decided to add another one.  A puppy!  And she is a cute one, let me tell you!!!  I found a breeder I wanted to use, hung out with the mom and dad for a while to check the temperments, and put a deposit down a few months ago on the litter.  We went and picked her out when they were about 6 weeks old, and picked her up on her 8 week birthday last Friday.  It has been nothing but joy!  She is a good, good puppy.  She has been really easy to potty train so far, only having 2 accidents in the house.  Thank God all we have is hard wood and tile, so it hasn’t been a big deal at all!  Hopefully she will be completely accident free when we move.   The breed we chose was a Golden Retriever.  We had tried a puppy before but he was a mix lab/golden and he was not a good fit for our family.  He has a wonderful home now with a single gentleman who takes him hiking and caming and they are the best of friends.  We needed a bit calmer (smarter) dog for our needs.  We really wanted a friend for Kai and I want Ashton to grow up with a dog.  Our puppy was born exactly a week after Ashton’s 1st birthday.  They are going to be best friends!

Yes you heard right.  Move.  As in, we got the house!!!  That big beauty I posted about here a few weeks ago is officially ours.  We make the big move in August.  My kids couldn’t be more excited because they have so many friends who live right there.  And I am going to be so happy to spread out!  And fit!  And finally get to make a nursery for my baby who will be 16 months old when we move!  We went inside again the other day and the guy we are buying from left us there by ourselves, so I went through and pawed at everything, opened drawers and cupboards and was in total awe over all the space.  Room space, cupboard space, storage space, yard space.  I am totally in love!

Our little Ashton is becoming quite the character these days too.  He is 14 months today and so much fun!  He is a little ball of energy all the time, learning and exploring his world.  He loves to vaccuum and wipe floors which is just too cute.  He holds the puppy like she is a baby and I caught him this morning laying his head on her.  I am having such fun with him and just being present in his entire life.  I love it.

Here is a picture of us with the puppy:

At the pet store getting all her new princess puppy stuff

At the pet store getting all her new princess puppy stuff

Oh, and her name is Colait.  Pronounced Koh-lay emphasis on the “lay”.

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Ashton had his first swim lesson today.  And no, I am not trying to teach my 13 month old how to swim.  This is a special swim school that teaches children the survival back float until 3 years of age which is when they begin teaching them how to swim.  It was really cool.  Ashton got into the pool with his teacher, this is a private one-on-one lesson, and she had lots of little floating babies like Elmo and Caillou, and she floated the babies then would lay Ash back and count to 10 like she did with the babies.  He wasn’t crying at first, then another baby girl entered the pool with the other teacher and was screaming bloddy murder, and there was a little girl working with her father and she was screaming, and with all that Ashton had to have thought something catastrophic was going on so he cried too.  I wanted to cry!  It was horrible listening to all of it!  Luckily it was only 15 minutes long and he did really well.

The premise of this is that after 16 (or so) lessons, everyday for 4 weeks, Ashton will be able to get in from the side of the pool fully clothed down to his shoes (the way he would be if he were to accidently fall into a body of water), get himself to his back, and float completely unassisted for 5 to 15 minutes.  Pretty amazing shit if you ask me!  It is expensive but so worth it.  They say you can never drown proof your kid, but you can give them a fighting chance to live and wait for help to come in the event that there is some accident of some sort. 

Today we took video, tomorrow I will try to get pictures to post.  I just think it is the neatest program and how awesome for these ladies to give this gift to so many kids.  They were featured in our local paper and it is getting really hard to get in with them.  Only the best for my boy!  🙂

The side note – for whoever found my blog by searching “I hate my mentally retarded step son” please email me if you come back!  I’d like to hear your story and maybe give you some coping techniques.  We have all been there, if we are being honest with ourselves, where we have negative feelings about our biological kids, much less our step kids, and if one is special needs it can be very taxing, very exhausting, very incrediblly difficult, and you are not alone.  I hope we can talk.  mitnchris at aol dot com

Our trip

We went to Napa Valley to do a bike tour of four wineries.  Let me tell you 2 things that no one told me before you decide to do this.  One – don’t take kids.  Yes they give you a bike trailer, but you ride up Highway 29 and it is just not safe.  It is incrediblly nerve racking!  Two – you do have to be in some sort of shape for this.  There are hills, the kind of long hill that lasts forever where you barely know you are climbing until suddenly you cannot breathe and you look behind you and it’s a loooong way down!  Here are some pics of our adventures …..

At our hotel

At our hotel

This was right outside our door.  There were 2 black swans and 2 white swans. 

I love watching him as he sees new things.

I love watching him as he sees new things.

Here is Ashton looking at the white swan.  It was a beautiful hotel!

Ashton loved the water.

Ashton loved the water.

There was a bridge over an indoor river and Ashton spent a looong time walking over the bridge, back and forth, over and over and over and O.V.E.R. again.  Here he is wanting to jump over the wall and into the river.  Such a fun age!

Daddy and Son

Daddy and Son

Here are Chris and Ashton with their helmets on, getting ready to go on our bike ride.

Ready to go!

Ready to go!

Here is my handsome boy in his bike trailer, all ready to take off.  In about 4 minutes from here he was sound asleep!

Mom on a bike.

Mom on a bike.

Here I am about 3 miles into the ride, where we stopped to look at the grape vines and learn a little about the flowering process.  It was interesting, but so cold!

Chris on the bike.

Chris on the bike.

Here is Chris with the group, and you can see Ashton completely conked out in the trailer behind him. 

Swish

Swish

Sniff

Sniff

There is Chris swishing and smelling the wine, like a seasoned pro.  We actually hate wine.  But we like to pretend 🙂

Our little family!

Our little family!

There we are on the beautiful grounds of one of the wineries, the Regusci Family winery which was the only place I fell in love with a gorgeous Chardonay that I purchased. 

Fun!

Fun!

We played in the grass.

Loves!

Loves!

Ashton loves to play with mommy – here he is just cracking up.  It was a gorgeous day!

So much love!

So much love!

I just love to hold my son, he is such a miracle!  A wonderful gift from our Lord, who I thank every single day.

The Greenhalgh's

The Greenhalgh's

Here is our little family again in front of some beautiful flowers – the grounds of the wineries are so beautiful to see in and of themselves, even if you are not so much into the wines.

Little furniture!

Little furniture!

I have about 12 pictures of Ashton on this little miniature furniture.  It was so damn cute!

Napa Valley May 2009 055Napa Valley May 2009 056Napa Valley May 2009 054

This was the cutest!  Ashton had his little backpack, and he wanted to pull it, and so he did, all around the courtyard while I got us all checked out.  He still does this all around the house.  It is absolutly adorable!

Getting ready

Getting ready

Here we are in the mirror getting ready for our anniversary dinner.  Chris doing his hair, and me getting my sexy on in the mirror behind him – haha!

The finished product

The finished product

Here I am, ready for dinner.  Nine years, four stepsons, two teenagers, 13-months-post-baby, I think I’m doing pretty dang good!  The boys at my daughter’s school think I’m a hot mom, so hey, what more can a 30-something SAHM ask for????

We had a great trip!  Thanks for sharing our memories with us!

Last nights show was interesting.  I have read all the blogs I usually read, and I think the comments are kinda mean.  I am not a Kate fan by any means, but I do try to keep an open mind.  Here is what I saw: a woman who has been slapped across the face with a severe reality check.

The “we will never break up, I can talk to my husband any way I want to and he will take it, queen of motherhood, celebrity seeking, money is all I need, I don’t have to treat my kids well, nothing will ever happen to me” attitude was way subdued last night.  She was a different Kate.  And I do not mean the PR produced “be nice to the boys in this episode because the bloggers are talking” nice.  This was a woman whose world has been rocked.  Whose security is seriously in jeapordy.  She has had a dose of real world, and I think she has lived in this bubble of protection for so long that she just didn’t see it coming.

As for Jon, he is done.  Done done.  He is talking about how they need to be friends for their kids, yah, he’s done with her.  He hates her.  He has taken so much shit for so long, he has built up this wall.  I have seen it happen so many times and even had it happen to myself.  You take so much for so long, and once you get past that hill, and you seriously honestly do not care anymore, you begin to hate the person, and once that happens it’s just over.  They needed help a year or so ago.  And I honestly believe Jon was asking her for it and she was just ignoring it and not caring that she was stepping right over her marriage to get to the top.  That is my humble opinion on the matter.

It will be an interesting season.  I can see a lot of how it was last night.  Seperate interviews, seperate time with each of them and the kids.  It is sad to watch the old episodes.  You can literally see it happening in front of your eyes.  You can see the contempt between them grow, you can see Jon sinking back more, sitting further away from her, rolling his eyes as she talks, saying less and less and less and then just not saying anything.  Kate got bigger and Jon got smaller.  Now she is as large as life and he is, well, gone. 

Take care of your relationships people.  Take CARE of them.  When you have relationship issues, it seeps into every inch of your life.  You must take care of your significant other.  Learn from Kate!  It can happen to anyone, and the people who think it will never happen to them are the most likely to have it happen to them.  Love. your. partner.  Show them, don’t just tell them.  It is so important.

My gift

I just love my husband.  Here is what he got me for our anniversary:

The new "Leah" bag from Coach's new signature collection.

The new "Leah" bag from Coach's new signature collection.

 

Isn’t he sweet?  I just love this new signature collection, and Chris doesn’t, but he knows that I really wanted it, and totally coveted Dylan’s new behaviorist’s bag, so he bought it for me.  And I just love it!  I love it so very much that I bought the matching wristlet to be my “to-go” make-up bag.  This is the bag where I hold my necessities, such as powder and lipstick and chapsitck, it goes in my purse, and I got an amazing deal on it! 

I’m gonna upload pics from our anniversary weekend and post them momentarily.

Meant to be?

I usually don’t do this.  Count mychickens before they’re hatched.  I never announce something until it is absolutly for certain sure that is it going to happen.  But I have such a good feeling about this.  A really good one.  Things are going in the right direction, and we sign the contract next week.  I should wait until next week to make this public.  I really should.  But I am so excited!  I have to talk about it!

We are might be moving!  Into a house we fit in!  Ashton will finally get out of our room!  And into his very own room!  I get to do a nursery!!!!  This house is perfect – 5 bedrooms, plus an office with beautiful glass doors that close for quiet and privacy (for me going into grad school in Sept this is a huge need!), there is a fireplace in the master bedroom that is double sided and the other side is directly over the jacuzzi bathtub, it is just gorgeous and perfect.  It is in the 2nd most desired neighborhood in our town, the 1st being the gated community of million-plus-dollar homes on the golf course, which is directly behind this house and all of those houses are less than a mile from our house where we might move.

So….here is a picture of it.  And this is the last time I will talk about until I am actually living in it.  Fingers crossed!  This will be so wonderful for our family!

The new house

Beautiful Words

I don’t normally share things like this, but this card moved me so I want to preserve it for all time, and share it with you, my friends and readers.  Chris is not a big “card” guy – he feels we say things like this to each other all the time so why the need to waste four bucks on a card that will be thrown away?  I love cards, never ever throw them away, and I think it is precious that he spent time reading through cards to find the perfect one for me.  Here is what it says:

Outside:
Although our anniversary is a very special day, what I’m really celebrating is the way our love makes every day special.  It’s not the big occasions that matter so much as the constant support, comfort, and warm companionship we find in each other.  Day-to-day love is really about the little things – a few words spoken, a quick kiss, the way we can tell what the other is thinking.  We are connected in thousands of beautiful ways that I can’t even fully understand.

Inside:
But what I do know is that daily life is never boring for me because you’re always finding ways to add a little excieement…  So happy anniversary love of my life!  Let’s celebrate the many ways that make every day a special day for us.

He wrote:
Misty,
The day I met you May 20, 2000 was the day my life started.  You are my life, I love you.  I couldn’t be happier!

After 9 years, we have given each other so many cards, for anniversarys, birthdays, mothers and fathers day, valentines day, it is hard to keep finding cards and writing things in them that say something different from the hundreds of other cards we have exchanged.  This card does say a lot about how Chris and I love each other —  our lives really did begin with each other.  I feel so blessed to have such a happy marriage, that we are both completely committed to getting through the hard times, to fully enjoying the good times, and that we are so content with our lives and our relationship. 

Chris is my world – and we have not had an easy road.  It has been 9 years full of court battles, custody battles, all kinds of horrible things done to us and said about us, people not wanting us to make it, money problems, and so on.  We have both completed college, we raise his very complicated mentally handicapped son, we went through IVF and had a baby, but through it all we have remained in the same community and given our children the gift of going to the same school their entire lives (a huge gift I never had… it is very important to me that my kids do), we own our home, he has a fabulous (recession proof) job, we retained custody of his handicapped son despite countless CPS reports from the bio-mother, we got custody of his other children, I have been able to stay home and raise our kids while working on my degrees, our kids are honor roll students and my precious Alex has been accepted in a collegiate preparatory school for 7th through 12th grades, all in all these trials and tribulations have made our marriage SO much stronger.  We are a team, always have been, it has been us against the world since day 1. 

I feel so lucky to have what I do, in my marriage, my kids, and my life.  I truly do have a wonderful life!