Wednesday, May 26, 2010

7 Years already???

Happy Birthday to my Mandy girl. My sweet sweet girl. I can't believe she is 7 already. I feel like it was just yesterday she came into my life. I remember the first time I laid eyes on her. I had waited SO long for her. I had wanted her all my life and couldn't seem to have her and then there she was. A gift, a surprise from my husband actually, and ultimately an unbelievably life changing addition to our lives and home.

Seriously? Cutest baby picture ever:

Our first week home with her:

She took no time getting herself comfy in our house! LMAO!

Mandy prepared me for Motherhood that would come 3.5 years after her. She was there at my wedding and there to greet both my babies when we came home from the Hospital. She has just now started to like our two kids and I think is coming around to forgiving Jimmy and I for bringing them into the house. ;)

Here she is at our Wedding:

She also forgave us for bringing Cali home who
had ZERO concept of Mandy's personal space:

She is the best dog ever. Even people who don't like dogs cant help but like her. She is too cute. Her nose/snout never got real long like an adult dog so she still has a puppy quality to her that makes people melt. See...

Some of our favorites from the past few years:

Last night me and the girls baked Mandy a carrot cake (her favorite) and topped it with Peanut Butter as Frosting (especially her favorite!) She was so excited to have it tonight she practically jumped out of Jimmy's arms and onto the table and right into the candle...

Oh yes we had cake!!!

Happy Birthday Mandy Girl! We love you!!

Monday, May 24, 2010


There was a time when people thought I was pretty negative or that I didn't enjoy motherhood. It wasn't that I wasn't enjoying Motherhood, in fact I was LOVING it most of the time. What I wasn't enjoying was what I perceived to be a constant state of failure that I was putting myself in. I was always looking around at grout seams that I know you should be beige but are brown instead. Dust balls of doggie hair that would whisp past me in the hallway as my slippers gently shuffled the air around them. The kitchen floor that I swore I was going to start mopping every other day and yet for some reason I think it has been over a week. The arts and crafts in the corner that I swore I would sit down and do with Ella, but kept putting it off for one reason or another. The alphabet sheets and workbooks and color wheel I needed to teach her. The breastfeeding I tried SO HARD to Master for both my littles, and ultimately ended up doing the best I could. My priorities were out of whack. I never slept. Never. Not one nap through both pregnancies. Through all of Ella being an infant. Always felt guilty about it. There was some bill that needed to be paid, an email that needed returning, a grocery list that needed tending, a trip to the store for paper towels, a rug that needed vacuuming or my personal favorite... me with my ONLY chance to take a shower that day. Motherhood is HARD. Especially when you stay home with your kids all day, everyday. Let no one tell you it isn't. But we are paid in something better than money... we are paid in love... and sometimes hugs and kisses if we are lucky. ;)

And then those twos. Those make you or break you as a parent twos came along. And us being first time parents just happened to have one of the kids that is OFF the charts STRONG WILLED. Stubborn, Independent, and a FIGHTER. Great! lol. But we survived it, (barely). And the way I survived it wasn't by being negative, it was by being brutally honest about it. There were days I yelled more than I wanted to. There were days I called them names I wish I could take back. There were days I couldn't stand to be in the same room as them... but there were days we laughed so hard I thought I would never stop. There were days when they ran up to me and threw their arms around me and said I love you without being prompted or asked. Days they picked me flowers cause they wanted to on their own. Days when they showed me that they accept me as imperfect as I am, and I can and should do the same for them. They love me in spite of the times I act in ways that I am not proud of, just as I still love them in spite of the times when they act the same. Talking about these hard times was to let it out into the Universe and expunge it from my mind, so I could start fresh with a new day. And I have been told over and over that so many of my friends appreciated the honesty. They could lighten up on themselves a little bit more. They weren't the only ones who had done things, said things and had days they wished they could take back. They were... imperfect... and that was OKAY!

But my kids lately have their own unique ways of showing me how much they love me. Ella's favorite thing to do now is just to come up to me and make up some ridiculously cute way to describe how much she loves me. Tonight it was this "I love you to the stars and back and to the rainbow, with all the glitter and sparkles and stickers in the whole world... and back... and then back again." Doesn't that just make it all worth it. I swear it makes my eyes fill up because to a 3 yr old that really is just about the biggest thing ever that her little heart could think to describe her love for me. Rainbows, glitter, sparkles and stickers. She loves me more than those things. ((sigh)) and my Bunny... oh Gosh my Bunny. I could never imagine our house or life or my heart without her. Her way to show me is when I put her to bed at night and we are all done singing our songs along with her light up glo-worm she simply says Mommy hug. And reaches her arms up to me. But this is no simple hug, I tell ya. We have a sleigh crib that is so tall that when I was pregnant with Ryen I used to have to use a stool to put Ella in and out of it or to lean over and tuck her in. So when Ryen asks me for one of these hugs it is no small feat. I try to lean over as best as I can but that is not good enough for Ry. She wraps her little hands around my neck and pulls me close to her. She pulls me so hard I almost fell in on top of her once. It is a balancing act and one that I have come to love. For while she is squeezing me tight not wanting to let me go I whisper in her tiny ears how much I love her and I kiss the little skin right by her ear lobes. And she sighs in response. A perfectly contented little "My hear is happy, I got my Mommy fix and can go to sleep now" sigh... And I sigh too. Especially since balancing on this crib to do this always leaves me hurting where I had my C-Section. But that just reminds me of the beautiful day this girl came into our lives and even that is worth every second of it.

Waking up AZ style...

Lying in bed this morning listening to the birds chirp outside my window and I hear a strange sound. WOOSHHHH! hmmm? Did I just hear something...? Close my eyes attempt to drift off to sleep again and less than a minute later there is again WOOSHHHH! It was so loud this time like someone was standing right outside my bedroom window. I jumped up out of bed and said "I know that sound!!" It is a sound you wouldn't really recognize unless you had been as close to one as we have been time and time again since moving here... I ran and grabbed Ella who was watching cartoons (and my camera) and said follow me outside quick!!

It seriously was hard for us to find what we were looking for at first cause we were looking in the sky for it. Then I looked at eye level and saw it just coming up over my fence. A GIGANTIC Hot Air Balloon! I wasn't expecting it to be that low and I fumbled to get my lens cap off. This video doesn't really do it justice as it was so much larger, so looming, and so much closer to us than the video might make it seem. But the two story home in this video is my next door neighbors house. You can see see how it looks like it will it barely clear her roof without hitting it. (of course it wouldn't hit the house, but it looks like it is very close to it!)

Enjoy: (for those of that you get this blog emailed to you click here to see it)

So fun! How could I go back to sleep after that?? Good Morning everybody! :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Cord

We are connected,
My children and I, by
An invisible cord
Not seen by the eye.

It's not like the cord
That connects us 'til birth
This cord can't be seen
By any on Earth.

This cord does it's work
Right from the start.
It binds us together
Attached to my heart.

I know that it's there
Though no one can see
The invisible cord
From my children to me.

The strength of this cord
Is hard to describe.
It can't be destroyed
It can't be denied.

It's stronger than any cord
Man could create
It withstands the test
Can hold any weight.

It pulls at my heart
Sometimes leaves me
Bruised and sore, but
This cord is my lifeline
As never before.

I am thankful that we
Are connected this way
As Mother and child it
will never go away.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A BEANTOWN week in review...

The girls and I flew to Boston almost two weeks ago for play and fun with family and friends and the birth of my Niece Isabella! As you can imagine there are tons of photos, as we had so many events and things happen while there. I am trying to choose just a few from each day to put on the blog so I don't overwhelm everybody. Here we go!

obviously not much happened on Tuesday except us flying to Boston and snuggles with Nana and Grandpa before bed. The girls in spite of being SO tired were so excited to see Nana and Grandpa they did not want to go to bed and so we let them stay up super late!

Here we are in the airport ready to take off:

Playing and cuddling with Nana and Grandpa:


In the morning we stopped by Nana's work so her friends could see the girls. Then we met Auntie Lisa at her house and took her out for lunch and milkshakes at Friendly's, and then back to Auntie Lisa's for playtime.

Lunch with still prego Auntie Lisa:

Playing at Lisa's house:

No sooner did we get back to my parents house on Wednesday night to have dinner with my Papa Walter, then we were in the car again to head back to the South Shore because Isabella came a day earlier than we expected! She was 7lbs, 21" and born at 7:14pm on Wednesday April 28th! (she is already two weeks old already... I cant believe it!) Luckily we all (me, my parents, my kids, and Papa Walter) all trekked up to the hospital to meet Isabella.

Here she is~ Isabella Grace Beatrice:

We hung at Nana's on Thursday having a lazy morning so Ryen would take a nice long nap before heading to the Hospital to visit Baby Isabella and Lisa and Dave. This time the kids would get to see her instead of being stuck in the waiting room. The girls did great. They sat on the floor and colored while we briefly got to visit with Aunt Lisa and while I held Baby Isabella. Later that night Daddy came to town and we picked him up at the airport. My favorite quote was from Ella "Mommy I am just so excited that Daddy is here that I cant go to sleep!" How cute... (PS she used that excuse for the next 3 days!)

Us visiting the new parents and Isabella at the Hospital

PS: This is what you look like after you rock it out in Boston! LOL

On Friday it was WEDDING TIME!! My best friend since 7th grade and my adopted 2nd family, The Yerardi's, celebrated the marriage of their son Michael. It was so nice to see Rose and Russ Yerardi who call me Baby Bear (I call them Mama and Papa Bear). I was very excited to have an excuse to put on a cocktail dress (being a SAHM we dont get many of those) and have a date with my gorgeous husband. My parents watched the kids for us and we got a room for the night, so we got to sleep in till 8:30am! Funny how 8:30am is now sleeping in for us! Ha ha! I also got some quality time with my friend Christine.

Christine and I being goofballs with party glasses from the DJ! lol

Me and Jimmy and Me and Christine!

Here are some more photos of my living it up on my night out! ;)

My kids got to spend the night hanging out with
Uncle Joey, Aunt Samara and Cousin Justin :


Saturday we picked up the kids and my nephew Justin from my parents and headed to our friend Chuck's house for a BBQ with some of our friends and some of Jimmy's friends from high school and college who made the trip up to see him from RI and CT. It was so nice of Chuck to host us at his house and we were so glad with our friends coming out to see us. Thanks everybody. Looking forward to seeing you guys again soon.

My favorite: Gotta teach them young... j/k it was sealed:

To see the more photos of the BBQ Click here

Sunday morning I took the kids to my Mama Bear's house to visit with Grandma Rose (Yerardi). Rose made coffee for me (as usual) and even baked!! So cute! We didn't have long to spend but Auntie Christine stopped by too and we took some photos with the kids.

Afterwards the kids played at Nana and Grandpa's again with Uncle Joey and Cousin Justin while Jimmy and I went to Aunt Lisa and Uncle Dave's to say Goodbye to Baby Isabella. It was Jimmy's first time being able to see their house and the new renovations they did for the baby. And funny thing is they had just gotten home from the hospital and were so tired that they both fell asleep on the couch while talking to us. We knew it was time to leave. LOL!!! Isabella is adorable and a little peanut. Here are some photos of our time with her. I miss her already...

Auntie Jill getting her baby fix! :)

Just remember us as your super way cool Aunt and Uncle that live in Arizona where you are welcome to come visit any time you want, Isa.

But seriously, who doesn't love sleepy baby yawns?

Ahh... that's more like it, Mommy!

All in all it was a busy and exhausting and constantly on the go type of trip. The one where you get home and you feel like you need a vacation. But it was a great time. Ella is finally old enough to start understanding having to say goodbye to people and that she wont see them for a long time. She has told me a few times she misses her Nana since coming home. Here are some more of my favorite random shots of the kids enjoying their visit to Boston.

We are already planning an April 2011 trip home for Isabella's first birthday party. And then starting in 2012 I think I will be bringing the girls back to Boston from about June 10-July 10 ish every Summer to visit family, spend time in Cape Cod, site-see, hit the beaches and get the hell out of this heat and into some humidity instead... ha ha. Just Kidding!