Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Happy B-Day to Mandy - More Ryen 1sts - & A Cute Craft!

Happy Birthday to MANDY, Happy Birthday to MANDY, Happy Birthday Dear Mandy, Happy Birthday to You!!!! My baby, my first born, my Mandalay Bay is SIX years old today! Oh my gosh. In 6 years she has brought so much laughter into my life and so much love in my heart. Mandy had a great day. First Ella and I made her a carrot cake and let her lick the spatula and the bowl when we were done! =) Then she had a lazy day lounging by the pool (what a life) until it was time to sing Happy Birthday and eat her cake. (She ate her cake so fast that in the photo there is an empty plate! I didn't even have time to snap the picture. LOL ) Here are some photos!

Ryen had a few more firsts this week! She cut her FIRST tooth! Well actually looks like maybe 2 on bottom and 1 on top all coming through together. So needless to say my sweet adorable baby has been replaced with a nightmare for the past couple days. Poor thing is in so much pain she doesn't nap or sleep well and she isn't eating as much. Not to mention the clear runny nose and catastrophic diarrhea that goes along with teething. Wow! Isn't this fun!? I can't wait till I can get a toothy smile out of her and post them- it will make it all worth it!! But for now I am getting red eyes and crankiness...

Ryen also had her first shower and she loved it. She sat on the floor splashing around and chewing on toys, but her FAVORITE part was sharing Mommy's towel and snuggling against me. (my favorite part too!)

She also STOOD by herself for the first time. She loves that too. She wants to stand up all the time now. I wonder if I will have an early walker on my hands like Ella...

Lastly, we have a birthday party to go to this weekend for Ella's friend Ryan and we thought we would make her a similar "garden" to what Ella has to play with. So we crafted her a pretend garden complete with foam soil, fake flowers that she can pull out and "replant" whenever she wants (and she can get more flowers to add to it). We made a cute wooden plaque with her name on it and decorated all four sides of her "planter box" with pink daisies and flower stickers. We even put Butterflies in her garden! We so hope she likes it! Here are some photos:




Although this didn't take long to make, there were lots of materials involved. The basket, the foam, the flowers, the wood plaque, markers, glitter glue, pink wire, butterflies, toothpicks, stickers, etc. We had so much fun, and I can't wait to give it to her on Saturday. I just hope she likes it as much as Ella does, and that her Mommy appreciates that Ryan can now garden year round without making a mess, needing water, or killing pretty flowers! =)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Secret Sisterly Moment Captured

So sometimes while stuck in traffic I will turn my camera backwards above my head and snap photos of the girls in the backseat. I like to catch them sleeping or singing etc. Well I happened to catch a real sweet secret moment between Ryen and Ella the other day. Here are the photos...

They held hands almost the entire way home. It was so cute! My girls love each other so much; so far at least ;) PS: Hope you like the new blog design! I also made my first blinkie! Woo Hoo! I am such a dork...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Time to brag about Ella!

Ella's potty training is going SO well! She almost NEVER has accidents anymore. Even at nap times. If she has one, she is usually really really tired, and the last one was over a week ago. We are officially off using diapers and hardly even need pull-ups unless it is night time!

4 nights this week she woke up with a dry pull-up on and went right to the potty to go pee pee. She pees right before bed, and then at like 10pm I wake her up (although it is more like sleeping walking) and put her on the potty. She pees and goes right back to sleep (I don't even think she really wakes up during this). Then boom- dry diaper in the morning. The one time this week she didn't wake with a dry diaper was when she didnt fall asleep till 8:45pm and when I went in at 10 to drag her to the potty before I went to bed, she was SO tired from having just fell asleep not too long ago, that she pleaded not to go to the bathroom. Since she had a pull up, I didn't push the issue.

But we are so proud of her! She starts school in Aug and we were hoping to have her potty trained before then, and seems like we will be where we need to be for that! Hooray for Ella!!

Now let's hope she gets over this strep throat pretty quick =( Poor thing.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Crawling, Swimming, and Talking oh my!

Ryen is crawling! YEAH Hooray for Ryen!!

It seems we got home from Boston at the end of April and BOOM, Ryen started hitting one milestone after another real fast. She started sitting up the week we got back. Then two weeks later started saying Ella and Dada (see earlier post below) and then started crawling! Yeah! It is the cutest thing. First she dragged her legs like dead weight behind her but now she is up on her knees more. She crawled at 7 mos 10 days. Below is a video of her crawling. Way too cute for words. Even Ella is excited about it and yells "Go Ryen Go" whenever she is crawling! Only trouble is now Ryen can get to Ella's toys which Ella isn't sure she likes, and Ella also takes Ryen's new crawling as a sign that she is a big girl that can be pulled on, pushed over, rolled on top of, cuddled etc... and so we have to keep reminding her that Ryen is still little! Ahh.. sisterly love already ;)

Also our pool is officially open and Ella is back to swimming like a fish again. For the first two days she was swimming with her ring (like you see in the posts below) but now she is back to jumping off the ledge and swimming out 3-4 feet and then back. It is crazy. No rings, arm floaties, no nothing. We are having friends over to swim tomorrow and will probably get some great photos. I signed her up for swim lessons again and she is taking them with her two friends Hudson and Ryan. I can't wait to see what she can do in the pool after another year of swim lessons! Ryen also went into the pool for the first time on Sunday. She liked it! Yeah! Apparently it just had to be warm enough for her to let me put her in it. Here are some great photos to capture Ryen's first day in the pool. (PS- Yes Momma's got some buff arms these days... ;)

Lounging after her swim! =)

* footnote: Seriously I know she is mine and all and I am biased, but she is SO darn cute!! I can't stand it... And she looks like Jill Jr. in the photo above with the Gilligan hat so I don't want to hear she looks like Jimmy anymore! LOL

Ella is potty trained for the most part now. She hardly ever has accidents (maybe 1 a week if that). We went cold turkey no diapers (except sometimes during naps and at night time) and she is kicking butt at it. She goes in the car, shopping in stores, to the day care at the gym, doctors offices etc and either holds it or tells me when she has to go and we head to the potty. YEAH Hooray for Ella!!

Lastly, Ella has been saying the funniest things lately... here are a few examples (some of you may have seen these on facebook updates already- but many of you haven't)

"Mommy- you love me again?" followed by a roll of the eyes. This was after I told her like 30 times in one morning that I loved her. LOL.

"Mommy that sign means- dont fall down!" She was talking about this sign in the grocery store:
seriously though- how smart is she?

"Daddy, I am not beautiful I am DISTINGUISHED!" After Daddy called her beautiful in her dress.

"This is Octo-Mom" her name for her new stuffed animal from Ikea:
since we are potty training she also made some weird comment about Octo-Mom still having a Vagina. She was talking about her stuffed animal and not the real Octo-Mom, but seriously- I died laughing since who knows what is going on with the real Octo-Mom in that department after all those kids!!!!

"Mommy are you laughing?" She now asks me this when she is not sure if I am mad at her or not! You know when your kids think they have done something funny but you are upset with them and you say "I am not laughing!" Well that is why she asks me if I am laughing... LOL

Oh I am laughing as I type this post and now can go to bed with a smile on my face after a long day... Life is good. =)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Can't describe it...

Ok, so this post is going to be extremely personal for me, but here goes. When I took my first steps into Walsh Middle school at the young age of 11 (7th grade) it didn't take me long to develop my first crush. There were these two identical twin boys named John and Matt, who were popular, cool, fun, and adorable. I honed in on John right away for some reason and was SMITTEN to say the least.... Let's just say he was not smitten back! It wasn't John's fault that he was so adorably handsome at 12, and had all the pretty girls pining after him too, while I was stuck in a hideous 7 year stretch of braces, bad haircuts, lack of cool clothes, no make up, and no boobs! Uck! Anyhow John could have been a complete jerk to me, could've made fun of me or been cruel. But he never was (at least not to my face- LOL). He was so nice to me and flattered by my interest and we developed a sort of friendship. When high school started it was a different story. John being gorgeous and athletic (and still popular and cool) immediately started dating a girl who was 2 years older (branding him a stud) and I was still 4 years into my 7 year rut! We didn't talk much the first two years of high school because of this. Summer before we were to start our junior year, I bumped into John at a party and we had a great conversation. His girlfriend had graduated and their relationship was pretty much over. We were both looking forward to a great Summer and Junior year. He was a great lacrosse player and athlete and we talked about colleges and scholarships etc. He knew I was STILL smitten and he teased me about it a bit. It was a great night.

One week later I got a call in the middle of the night that he was killed in a car accident. I was 15 when this happened, and needless to say, I was more than a little devastated. Being a twin myself, I just felt so much loss for his brother Matt, and I felt like I could relate to him on a level that others couldn't, having a twin of my own. Every time I thought about losing her, I thought it would be like losing a part of myself, and I wondered how Matt would go on and recover from it. I wrote an article and had it published in the newspaper right before school started, about how meaningless and tragic the accident was (another student was killed with him) and how it just seemed like such a waste. To this day I remain affected by it, and the only way to explain it is that not only did I lose a classmate and friend at 15, but I lost a dream in a sense. I had to let go of the fantasy, and never again had the butterflies in my stomach when he would be around, and had to let go of wondering what he would become and who he would marry, and what kind of man he would be, and would I see him at Reunions and would we share a laugh over the brace face who was so "in love" with the cute jock? All of that was taken from a 15 year old girl with one phone call. I also was reminded of John everytime I saw his "identical copy" Matt in the halls and everytime we talked at school and everytime since then. (which was actually comforting for me at the time, although you would think it would be upsetting- it never was...)

I still think about him from time to time, and laugh over my schoolgirl crush. Who ever forgets their first crush? I also still shake my head when I think about what happened, and still regret that his life was cut short. Every May when his birthday rolls around, I notice, and every August when the anniversary of his death rolls around, I notice it. I also always think about his twin Matt, and have sort of kept tabs on him over the years, from afar.
The road was not easy for him, as you can imagine, and I think it took him a while to learn how to live in this world as one instead of as one half of "John and Matt", the twins. I was always hoping he would come out of this unscathed and find some happiness and meaning in his life. I recently reconnected with Matt on Facebook. Matt is now 32 and has lived 16 years without his twin (one year to match each one that he had with him). And TODAY Matt and his wife Susan found out that they are expecting their OWN set of IDENTICAL twin boys. I can't even describe the feelings I get from this. It almost seems like someone is trying to right a BIG wrong in the Universe in a sense. What a wonderfully cool thing that Matt can share with his boys what it was like growing up an identical twin too, and his boys will know and understand their Uncle John in a way that they probably never would have been able to. And what a great way for Matt to relish in his memories of his brother and their precious time together and maybe even relive some of them through his own boys.

Since I dont believe in Divine intervention I can't help but wonder if this was John's intervention... Whatever it was, I just know I am so happy for them and feel like John will always be watching over his twin nephews and probably smiling. And maybe even laughing at times at the way they will torture Matt and Susan in the same ways I am sure they tortured their own parents. The cycle of life goes on, and again I am reminded what a wonderful and amazing miracle life can be.

Good Luck and Much Love to Matt and Susan! I can't wait to see the photos on Facebook.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

So Mother's Day was so GREAT! I had such a good day! First I woke up to Ella sticking stickers all over my face while I was trying to sleep! Then she dumped a drum full of toys on me and "played" with me, while I desperately would have preferred to sleep more, as you can see by the photos. But she was so cute, I just had to play along...

Here is a photo of my sticker face when I woke up (sorry ladies, we all can't look this good first thing in the morning- NOT!!!)

Then I walked out into the kitchen to find this nice ensemble from Daddy and the kids...

The flowers were gorgeous and the card from the kids made me cry. It was a little girl wearing her mother's shoes and jewelry and the caption inside read "It was from you that I learned to be me!" SO SWEET! (Good choice Dad, oops I mean kids). Then Daddy and Mommy (but mostly Daddy) made breakfast and we all had a scrumptious little feast.

Then Daddy gave Mommy the rest of the morning off, and I went out for some of my favorite things which were:

Pedicure, Dunkin Donuts, and SHOPPING!

Then Daddy took Mommy and the girls out to dinner to celebrate a little more. Here are some photos from dinner:

I am such a lucky girl to have such a beautiful family that loves me so much. Thank you Carilli clan for a wonderful Mother's Day!

Love, Mom XOXO

Friday, May 8, 2009

Summer has started officially!

So my little fish (Ella) has declared Summer (and The Carilli pool season) finally open. Watch these cute videos. I still can't believe she is only 2- she seems SO old! Also not sure why this video looks so choppy- going to have figure that out...

The girls are both getting so big. Ryen has been sitting up since we got back from Boston (6.5 mos old) and has said her first & second words... 1st was El-la and 2nd was Da-da. I tried real hard to get her saying Ella on video because she always stops talking when the camera comes out, but I think I got a good one. See below.

speaking of videos I have been going through my video collection on my computer to give them names that might describe what is on them and I had to watch them in order to name them. I was in tears with how hard I was laughing. I was watching videos of Ella when she was 18 mos old and she was so funny and she looks SO YOUNG. I remember at the time because she could talk like a 3 year old thinking that she seemed so old, but comparing her today to the little girl on the video, truly has me amazed at how much she has changed in such a short time... AMAZING. I cant wait to put together a DVD of her videos. Will be so funny to see how she has evolved over time.