Sunday, April 25, 2010

I have a new mission...

Many of you know that I have faithfully raised money for Breast Cancer for over 5 years now. Not because I was affected by it personally, but simply because the statistics sucked. 1 in 8 women? Really? (now I think it is up to 1 in 7?) I knew that I had more than 7 or 8 women in my life that meant the World to me that I didn't want to see taken before their time due to this disease. So I have walked in two Breast Cancer 3-Days, 1 Avon Breast Cancer Walk (in San Francisco while 6 mos pregnant with Ella) and completed TWO consecutive Tri For The Cure(s)...

But another statistic I don't like was recently brought to my attention. Did you know that for every $3 raised for Breast Cancer research, awareness, treatment and programs only .30 CENTS gets raised for Childhood Cancers? There is 10x as much money going to Breast Cancer then helping Children diagnosed with Leukemia or Lymphomas. That number is staggering. So although Breast Cancer will continue to be an important cause for me. And I will still do the Tri For The Cure as often as I can, I am re-focusing my efforts on Childhood Cancers. These little angels need a voice too. And Breast Cancer is well covered in this area. We need to raise more awareness for the needs for funds, treatments, research and aid to families and children rocked by Cancer. And yes there are lots of causes that need more coverage, funds, awareness. But Cancer in babies and kids is just downright WRONG. So I feel the need to get involved.

So I am not seeing Pink anymore... I am seeing PURPLE! Which is my daughter Ella's favorite color anyway, so she will be thrilled. And now that Childhood Leukemia has touched me personally in more ways then one and had the NERVE to come after a family I LOVE, it has lit a fire under me like something fierce. In honor of Violette Dehoux, Brady Wein, and Nicholas Haseotes and all the other babies and families who I don't know that are bravely facing this monster I have a new mission.

Some of the ways I have/am going to get involved already:

Joined the BE THE MATCH bone marrow donor database.

Continue to Donate Blood/Platelets Every 3 mos.

May 29, 2010: "Fight For Life" Family Walk 1 Mile OR Run 5K at Freestone Park in Gilbert followed by Family Carnival (click here) Benefiting Steven L Pearson Leukemia Foundation

November 13, 2010: "Light The Night" Family Walk with illuminated balloons! (click here) I will be creating a team in honor of Violette Dehoux. Hope we can get a BUNCH of us to do this!!! Benefiting The Leukemia and Lymphoma society.

January 2011: "PF Changs Rock N Roll Half Marathon" since I was doing this anyway, I will now be trained utilizing Team In Training (click here) benefiting The Leukemia and Lymphoma society.

For anyone who wants to join me in any of these events, or to find events in your area check out the following:

Let's send a message that Cancer doesn't belong anywhere near kids.

Friday, April 23, 2010

We are seeing Pink again... and again.

A baby girl knows from the very beginning
How to play life’s game and come out winning.
Her pink-cheeked face, her adorable curls
Will reel you right in; that’s the way of girls.

She’ll flutter those lashes in a wide-eyed stare;
It’s all calculated to make you care.
And those baby girl noises, the sigh and the coo...
She’ll play baby poker, and the jackpot is you!

But whatever happens, she’s always a pleasure,
So spend lots of time with your little treasure.

There are so many girls being born this year. Two just made their debut one more is coming this week! I had a great opportunity yesterday to go visit Tanya and baby Violette (born April 20th) and Danielle and baby Katelyn (born April 7th). I definitely got my baby fix!! My girls loved seeing the babies too. Except by the time we got around to Katelyn, Ryen was getting a little jealous and showed no real interest in the baby other than to say bye baby and wave furiously when it was time for us to leave. Ha ha ha!! These two babies both stole my heart and are both so different! Check it out:

Violette is a tiny peanut only 5.5 pounds when I held her yesterday. She has the smallest head and the cutest little perfect nose just like her Mom Tanya and Sister Jacqueline. Look at her head in the nook of my arm to get an idea of how small she really is. Hilarious. She also has a full head of dark hair! She was quiet as a church mouse and never made a peep until the NP from Pediatrics came in and started bugging her. And even then, she didn't cried. Just grunted. She is a doll and I wanted to stick her in my diaper bag and take her home. ;)

Katelyn is actually a good sized baby! She is so fair and has hints of blonde eyebrows and blonde hair, just like her gorgeous Momma Danielle and big brother Daniel. She slept through my kids getting disciplined a lot and fighting with each other and only coo'ed and sighed in her sleep like a little angel. Oh she was so cute. As I am holding her in one hand while putting one kid in time out, and helping another kid fix a toy that was stuck, Danielle is all, do you need me to take Katelyn back? I'm all, "no- I got this! I am a professional- lol". She just laughed and said something along the lines of how she will learn how to do that too now that she has two kids. I took some great photos of me and these little babies. Danielle has one on her camera of me and Katelyn and Ryen on the floor, but I didn't have it in time for this post. :(

And now the BEST news of all. I leave for Boston next Tuesday April 27th to go meet my new Niece, Isabella. Her due date is tomorrow and I am hoping she comes any day. I wake up every morning and run to my cell phone to see if there is any updates, but I know this precious baby is coming ANY DAY now! I can not wait for my sister to become a Mom. She has waited a very long time for this, and is the last of my siblings to start this incredible journey of parenthood. I keep fast forwarding in my mind to her and Baby Isabella and trying to imagine them together. I try to envision her and Isabella getting on an airplane and coming out here to visit and splash in the pool with her cousins and Aunt and Uncle. I am already making plans to go home for Isabella's 1st Birthday Party next year and she isn't even here yet. To say I am excited is an understatement...

Just wait till my blog blows up with photos of my little Isa after my trip next week. In the meantime here are more photos of my visits with these besties of mine and their beautiful little Princesses.


The photo above is my favorite! She was sick of me taking her photo and gave me that pouty I am about to cry adorable face! Aww...

The Real Love Story...

This is great! I love it and I know my Mom and Dad friends can relate!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Researching the past...

Lately I have been obsessed with following my family routes and retracing my family tree. I have been compiling data and seeing how far back I could trace my relatives. It has actually been really fun and exciting. Every time I successfully locate a name, birthday, or missing person on my tree, I get giddy. Or when I find a draft registration card from my Grandfather, that I never even knew enlisted during World War II. Or when I discover my family can be traced back to Nova Scotia, etc. It is hard work, but so far has been very rewarding and interesting.

When I tell you it can get overwhelming depending on how far back you want to go. I mean each person has two sets of parents/bloodlines who also have two sets of parents/bloodlines and so on and so on. Now I can see how people trace their family routes for multiple decades! My Dad recently told me that he can give me one of my bloodlines dated all the way back to knighthood. During my trip home to Boston in a week he will let me take it back here with me to add to my research and my tree. On my Mom's side I recently struck paydirt too. My Great Grandfather was one of 21 children!!!! Can you imagine how many family members that spawned and how much history is there? So I started trying to locate their records and their names etc. My research has led me to other people (distant relatives) who have done a lot of the work for me, and lucky for me they are eager to share their hard work with me to save me lots of time.

And today, I got an email from one of my Great Grandfather's 20 siblings. (I believe she is the baby of the family). She should be starting her 70's this decade. My Aunt Louise was thrilled to hear I was tracking the family history and told me she has so much information to send me about the 21 siblings in her family. How amazing is that? She was on an email distribution list that I queried looking for information on my family name. What a cool email that was.

However, this family research comes with a price. And I am not talking about time and hours and MONEY cause it comes with all that too. There is an emotional price to be paid for this research. Because the more information I get, the more regret I have that I didn't have the kind of relationship with my Grandparents and Great Grandparents where we sat and talked about their history, their family, their lives. I wish I had family stories to pass on, or traditions, etc. Sometimes I feel envious of other cultures around the World that so fiercely hold on to their customs and traditions and pass them from generation to generation, and here I am at 32 years old trying to figure out where my blood lines can be traced to? French Canadian? English? Swedish, etc.

I wish I could go back in time while I had my Grandparents/Great Grandparents here and ask them about growing up in their era, the Great Depression, living through World Wars, and all the pain and suffering they caused, living through good times too. Experiencing civil rights, and Women's rights movements. I am suddenly filled with so much desire and longing to know who these people were in their youth (how far did they go in school, what did they do for work, what was it like having that many children in one house, what was it like growing up with so many siblings, etc) Instead of just as I knew them as my Nana who brought me and my siblings stickers and yummy treats every Saturday night and sat in my living room eagerly anticipating our dance performances. The Nana who taught me how to play Milbourne, and Skip-bo and other fun games (and yes would even cheat against her Grandkids if she could get away with it). I long to have more info about her parents, and her Grandparents and her great grandparents... And although I can collect names, I can never collect their stories as only they can tell them.

I want my children to know where they came from and am recording almost every part of their lives for them on my family blog so they can share it with their kids someday. The Internet will do amazing things for recording families and histories and preserving memories and photos.

Wish me luck and stay tuned for updates.

Monday, April 19, 2010


So today seems to be another one of those, I am going to be cranky and cry all day unless you keep us entertained days. You know your in trouble when your 8:27am Facebook status update reads that your children are already driving you to need a glass of wine. So what to do again today? Hmm...

First I called Aunt Lori and begged her to meet me at Dunkin Donuts this morning for some time with the kiddos. Especially since she is leaving to head back to MA in about 6 weeks. We had hot chocolate, sprinkled munchkins, and cuddles with Auntie! Yeah!

I also caught some cute photos of my kids horsing around in Dunks, and PS: they are never too young to start their addiction to dunks munchkins and coffee... (just kidding. Ella had a hot chocolate!)

While Ryen was napping Ella got to finger paint in the backyard. She loved it! She naturally puts her little hand on her hip and paints with the other hand. It is so cute. :)

We were joined by Mackenzie and Adrianna who were nice enough to drop off our pottery items from As You Wish, and ended up staying to paint with us. When Ryen woke up we found ourselves pulling out bubbles, slip n slides and then ended up in the hot tub! We were outside for like 3 hours. I got a good sunburn out of it, but that will turn into my Summertime tan!

This was Ella and Ryen's first time playing with the slip n slide and they LOVED it. Ella had been asking me every day for like weeks and I finally broke it out. I got some great shots of the kids playing with it!

Overall it was a great day. But I am exhausted! I mean really, if I am going to have to keep packing my days full of activities to keep these creative, fun, eager littles happy and in love with their Momma, I am going to be a very tired woman... with a GORGEOUS tan! Ha ha ha! After dinner my kiddos got a great deal of giggles in a bubble bath too. And even though it was my turn to put them to bed tonight, Jimmy saw that I needed some Mommy time. So he told me he would put them to bed so I could head to the gym. I ran 2.25 miles to the gym, worked out for an hour, and then ran 2.25 miles home. It felt great!! And while I was gone we had a PAPArazzi in the house. Check out the photos he snapped of Bunny brushing her teeth. I love him for this...

And although I should be sleeping, I am of course blogging for my babies. A mother's work is never done...

Goodnight friends and family... zzzzzzz

Sunday, April 18, 2010

You gotta turn it around!

Today started off pretty crappy for us. Both kids woke up at 5:45am and after much begging, pleading, diaper changes, bathroom trips, milk, and bribery, I was unsuccessful in getting them to go back to bed. So at 6:30am we were in the living room starting our day. The kids were both SO cranky (well more Ryen than Ella). And I knew I had to do something to turn the day around, or it would be lost completely. It was Daddy's turn to sleep in since he got up at 6 with the girls yesterday for me to do Pat's Run. So I got the girls dressed and off we went to breakfast at The Hangar Cafe at Chandler's small airport around the corner from my house. We sat on the patio so the girls could watch small planes and helicopters drive past us on the tarmac and take off from the runway. Everytime a plane would take off Ryen would put her hands on her head and scream WOW! Here is a photo of her and Ella at our breakfast:

After breakfast we realized we had stumbled upon an airshow at The Chandler Airport this morning. They had B-17 Bombers and a Blackhawk (with a FEMALE pilot- kickass!) some search and rescue copters and some small two seater propeller planes. So much to see and look at. We took a bunch of cute photos and the girls had a blast! At one point my 18 mos old yelled out "AWESOME!" How cool is she? Here are some photos of the airshow:

And a nice man offered to get all three of us in a photo on the way out! ((yeah))
After the Airshow we went to Makenna's Birthday Party today! Here are my beauties having fun at the party:

Ella is seriously growing up so fast right before my eyes!

Ryen had fun chasing bubbles and giggling...

Is there anything better then yummy messy treats at a birthday party?

Captured their excitement perfect. You can almost read their minds,
"please let this last pull open up all the candy!"

After our morning and afternoon adventures their bad moods were a thing of the past. And what better way to keep it that way then a dip in the pool?

Yes folks, it is official. The Carilli pool and spa are officially open for
The Summer Season. Book your trips now, and come visit us! LOL

PS: Looks like we may have another fish on our hands
with Ry Bunny. Now if I could just get her to put down the duck! Stay tuned...

Moral of the post is... any day can become a great day with a little creativity and redirection and some friends to crash in on for a couple hours! ;)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Testing out my new Camera!

It was time for ladies night again this past Thursday. And of course an excuse for Mamarazzi to pull out her new camera for some shots of my gorgeous models. Here they are in all their beauty and glory. Some of my besties...

Michella and Me

Lisa and Sue

Lisa, Sue, Susan, Michella and Me

Danielle, Stephanie, and Trish

Susan and Michella

Carina and Lisa

The next day was our regular Friday playdate and it gave me more time to practice with my camera with Ella and Ryen and their beautiful friends. We had a lot of fun at the park and I captured a lot of great moments. I love these kids as much as I love their Moms and I love taking their pictures! Here were my favorites:

I am sure I will have more Mamarazzi photos to come in the coming weeks as I keep practicing with this thing. Thanks Christa for the term Mamarazzi. It is definitely better then Paparazzi-Mom that I was using!! ;)