Sunday, December 31, 2006


I just wanted to post a couple cute pictures of Charrito sleeping in his highchair today.

We tried peas this morning and he literally started to gag! I don't think he liked those too much! hehehe Well, we'll keep trying because he will be eating Peas all week.

I started to vacuum this morning and he was sitting in his highchair playing with his toys and when I looked over I thought I saw him dozing off. Then I looked back again and this is how he looked! He slept there for about 20 minutes until he woke up and then I tried putting him in his swing and hoped he'd go back to sleep. But nope, he did not. So David took him to his crib which I think he hates because he will always scream himself to sleep there.

I still nurse him, but I don't want him to get used to needing me to go to sleep and lately he just sucks for like 10 seconds and then pulls himself off and pushes himself up in the bed and then he continues the latch on and off routine until I get tired of it and put him in his swing. He will be 6 months old in January and I want to try to work with getting him to sleep throughout the night soon. I remember starting it with Isabella when she was either 7 or 8 months old. So I'm not sure if he's ready yet. But I'll discuss it with his pediatrician at his 6 month check-up.

Here is a picture of miss Isabella playing with her really cool Christmas present from her Grandma. It's called a kid tough digital camera. It has two holes to look through for the view finder because little kids don't always understand the idea of having to close one eye and use the other eye to look through the view finder. You can see the pictures on a little LCD screen on the back of the camera. It doesn't require a memory card to hold like 70 pictures, but if you want to hold more than that you can put a memory card in it. The picture quality isn't all that great, but it's enough for a 4 year old! =) Here are some of the pictures our budding photographer took:

She's getting pretty good at centering her objects in the picture. Thank you for the gift mom!! =)

I hope everyone has a safe and Happy New Year!!! Here comes 2007!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

London's Run

Hello fellow readers and bloggers!

Today I am trying to spread the word about a Run here in our town of Queen Creek in honor of a beautiful and courageous 6 year old girl who passed away last year from Leukemia.

The name of the even is called London's Run and the proceeds benefit the Phoenix Children's Hospital Center for Blood Disorders and Cancer. There will be a breakfast for purchase to benefit London's roommate Madison Barton, who just underwent a bone marrow transplant. There will also be a Blood Drive at the event. All entrants will receive a t-shirt and refreshments.

Why Our Event Is Special

The first London’s Run was a benefit event for London’s family in 2006 made possible by the caring support of the Queen Creek residents. London Solomon was a courageous six year old girl who fought a brave and cheerful fight against an aggressive type of leukemia (AML). Her grace still inspires all of us to take advantage of each new day without fear of doing hard things and cherishing our relationships with each other.

To read London’s story go to

London’s Run is a great day for accomplished and beginning runners alike to compete on a flat course, paved and unpaved, through the peaceful farming community of Queen Creek. The proceeds will go to children’s charities. Are you up to the challenge?

United Blood Drive Services Blood Drive

700 blood donors are needed DAILY in Arizona to supply the hospitals United Blood Services serves… including Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Please schedule a blood donation appointment at London’s Run blood drive by visiting and use the sponsor code qcstakes or call Mary Martorana @ 480-987-3472. The UBS Bus will be at Schnepf Farms 22601 E. Cloud from 8:00am-12:00pm. Donor Eligibility Questions? Call 480.675.5497


So to all my fellow Zonies!!! Get off your couch and get out to Queen Creek for this special event raising money for an AWESOME cause! I'm giving you plenty of notice too!!

Even if you don't come to walk, come to donate blood. You never know when you or someone you know is going to need blood. There is a commercial on TV right now that says 1 out of 3 people will need blood, and that stat couldn't be more accurate. Isabella received blood more than once and THE most crucial time was during her surgery to remove her tumor. It doesn't take much to donate blood and you could save someone's life! =)

Okay and even if you don't come for the walk or to give blood, at least come for the breakfast!! No one I know can deny food!!!!! hehehe Spread the word Zonies! So we can raise a record amount of money!

Hope everyone had a GREAT Christmas!

Friday, December 22, 2006


I would like to say MERRY CHRISTMAS to all my fellow Blogger and readers out there.

Merry Christmas to Yasamin and Nick! I hope you two enjoy your new place! Keep up the blog, I love to read your stories. Don't try to hate so much on Blogger, they are working on your addiction! hehehe Oh and I just skimmed over your blog.... cheer up girlie! Don't be so hard on yourself.

Merry Christmas to The Kings Mama, Big J and of course the KING himself. Have a wonderful first Christmas with your son. He is a CUTIE PIE! I know he will be spoiled by his grandparents for his first Christmas. It's always so much fun to watch them try to open their presents. Take LOTS of pictures!! I can't wait to see them.

Merry Christmas to the Princess! Have a wonderful Christmas with your Prince! Keep up the good work on your blog because you are always making me laugh out loud here at my desk! People probably think I'm crazy over here, but what else would be new! Thank you again for supporting Isabella and donating to a WONDERFUL charity! Not to mention you dedicated a post about her on your blog to help spread the word. The more people who know about this disease the better.

Merry Christmas to T-Girl! It has been wonderful getting to know you! It's amazing how many things you have in common with people you meet through the internet. You have a beautiful daughter and from what I hear, a great husband. Enjoy your holidays with your family and be safe if you travel. Thank you to you as well for posting about Isabella. There are so many kids out there that need more advances in treatment and the more we get the word out about this disease the more they can do to stop it. Thank you for donating to a good cause, you are a very special person and you deserve the VERY best.

Merry Christmas to my wonderful step-mother Bonnie! I just found out yesterday that she is in the hospital in Reno from having a heart attack on Tuesday. I hope you are feeling better today and they let you go home!!! Please remember to take it EASY!! I wish I could be there to help you out. Tell Robert that I am very glad he is there to help you! I love you!

Merry Christmas to my Mom! She will be flying down today to be here with us for Christmas. I just got 2 boxes on my front door last night FULL of presents for the kiddos! I put them all under the tree and now it looks like CHRISTMAS in my house! hehehe Have a safe flight mom and I will see you tonight!

Merry Christmas to my step-sister Amanda, my nephew Ryan and Damon. I hope you guys have a wonderful Christmas! Amanda, please try not to stress out too much!! =) If you need to talk, please feel free to give me a call ANYTIME! I can't believe it's Ryan's second Christmas already! I hope you enjoy your time with him and make sure Bonnie takes it EASY!! =)

Merry Christmas to my Aunt Deba, uncle Elmer and my cousin Sandy! I always remember growing up and coming over to your house for Christmas and I always loved how you guys had what seemed like a million presents under the tree. So now I always tell David that I need to have my tree look like yours! I hope you guys have a wonderful Christmas and I miss you all very much. I hope I can still get over there for the 4th of July so we all can enjoy it together on the LAKE!! =)

Merry Christmas to my cousin Brent, his wife Michelle, Taylor and their new addition, Brianna! I love the pictures that you guys have sent me. Brianna looks soooooo much like her daddy! I really miss hanging out with you guys for the holiday parties. Some of my best memories are the ones in Grandma's house! I can still remember when Brent told me to jump on one end of a piece of insulation and he'd jump on the other end and it would be like a teeter-totter. Little did I know that when I would jump on it, it would break! I got in so much trouble!!! Thanks A LOT Brent! hehehe Merry Christmas guys!

Merry Christmas to my cousin Kaylee and her new husband! I hope you both are enjoying your new house! My mom told me it was nice! Send me some pictures would ya?!?! =) I haven't talked to you guys in a while and I hope you are doing well. Have a VERY Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to my Aunt Margie and my uncle Fred! Hope you guys have a good Christmas and hopefully I'll be able to see you guys this summer! It's been a long time!

Merry Christmas to my hubby's pal, Alfonso and his wife Jessica! I hope you guys have a good Christmas and it looks like we'll be seeing you guys for New Years! Can't wait! You guys still need to move over here, especially now that the housing market has slowed down. These builders are giving away the farm now! We should look around when you guys come out again!

Merry Christmas to my Sis-in-law Carla! I know you are leaving today to come see us. So please drive CAREFUL! We won't have any snow to deal with like Colorado, but there are STUPID drivers out here. I know Isabella can't wait to see you guys. She stayed up late last night watching The Polar Express and when Edgar rang the doorbell she thought that was you guys! =) See you tonight!

Merry Christmas to our friends Mary and Robert! I hope Ernie and Emma have a wonderful Christmas! Even though you guys didn't get into the spirit this year! =) I'm only messing! Next year we'll have to go to the carnival that we kept putting off this year!

Merry Christmas to the Hollway Family! Every year I get a Christmas card from you guys whether or not I put in our name for the list serv Christmas card Exchange and let me tell you, I ALWAYS look forward to getting your card because your kids are too cute!! I want to try to make it to the NB Conference this year to meet all our fellow NB warriors and survivors. Have a VERY Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to Justine Saylors, Mother to NB Angel Lance! You are an amazing person to be able to still help others and talk about what your Lance went through. Thank you for all of your help and staying in touch with me. It's nice to get to know others who understand what you are going through. Email me your address if it's okay with you because I'd like you send you a Christmas card. I hope you have a VERY Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas to Debbie Frederick, her daughter Lydia who is currently fighting Neuroblastoma and her family! Thank you VERY much for keeping in touch with us and I hope treatment is going good for your little girl. I would love to send you a Christmas card as well, so if you want to email me your address, please feel free to do so. Try to have a wonderful Christmas and don't think about what is going on with treatment if you can. We tried to live as normal life as possible while going through treatment. If you can do the same, it will mean the world to Lydia! =) Have a GREAT Christmas!

Merry Christmas to the Thomas Team in Ohio! I know this Christmas will be very difficult to get through without your little Christi by your side. Please take comfort in knowing that she is living on through the FU_NB06 cell line that was successfully created. Angela, you are such a beautiful person inside and out! You amaze me everyday with your posts and how strong you have been! I only wish I could have met your beautiful Christi because she reminds me so very much of my little Isabella. Shayne and Shayla have been amazing as well! I know you guys have to take it one day at a time, and I know you are just going through the emotions at times, but I still don't know how you guys deal with it all. Your family amazes me with your strength. I know you all already had your Christmas, but here's to hoping it was great and continues to be awesome!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!! Please let me know if I forgot anyone. I am sorry if I did!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Anti-Cancer 'Smart Bomb' Homes in on Deadly Tumors

This news story is from :
Here is the link to the story : Smart Bomb

Dec. 21, 2006 — Scientists have made astonishing progress in developing a "smart bomb" that can deliver powerful cancer-fighting drugs directly to tumors scattered throughout the body, thus minimizing damage to healthy tissue and easing the wretched side effects of chemotherapy.
The research builds on earlier work that showed that an engineered version of the stem cell could home in on a brain tumor and deliver drugs directly to the target area. But this is the first time that research has shown that the same process might be used to attack cancer that has metastasized throughout the body.

So far the research has been limited to mice, but scientists are hopeful that clinical trials involving humans with advanced cancer can begin reasonably soon, possibly in less than a couple of years.

Karen Aboody, of the City of Hope Cancer Center in Duarate, Calif., said she is very encouraged by experiments that showed a remarkable recovery by mice inflicted with a human cancer and treated with the new process. She is the lead author of a report published in the current issue of the peer-reviewed journal, PLoS One. A second report is scheduled for publication next month in Cancer Research.
Of course, what works for mice may not work for humans, and the scientists must prove that the treatment does no serious harm before they can proceed to clinical trials that would determine whether it does any good. So there's still a long ways to go, but the results in the animal studies are nothing less than remarkable.

Aboody, who began her line of research during a 12-year stint at Harvard University, teamed up with experts at several other institutions, most notably Mary Danks, of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., for her latest round of experiments. The work is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and several research foundations.

It's a perfect match in that St. Jude has been pioneering research into powerful new cancer drugs and City of Hope has been developing a unique delivery system using specially engineered stem cells. The research involves a type of cancer called neuroblastoma, which accounts for up to 10 percent of all childhood solid tumors (excluding blood cancers like leukemia) worldwide. It's a common tumor among children, and most patients with metastatic neuroblastoma die of their disease. Neuroblastoma develops from nerve cells in several areas of the body and is the most common cancer in babies.
There is much interest in a drug called SN-38 that is extremely effective and a potent tool in the fight against cancer, but is hard to administer.

"You can't just pump that through a kid's system," Aboody said. "It's too toxic."

If it could be delivered directly to the tumors, no matter where they are in the child's body, it would do much to alleviate the often fatal impact of neuroblastoma. And that's where the latest research comes in.

Stem cells have shown a remarkable ability to home in on cancerous tissue, possibly because the tissue is damaged, and maybe because the cancerous cells try to produce new blood vessels. Whatever the cause, Aboody recognized that the attraction of stem cells to tumors offered the possibility of building a very precise delivery system.

Using a line of stem cells developed at the University of British Columbia Hospital in Vancouver that can be easily reproduced in the lab, Aboody and her colleagues engineered the cells to carry an enzyme that could enrich the standard chemotherapy drug, CPT-11.

"CPT-11 is the drug that's used to treat kids today," Aboody said. "It goes throughout the body and only a very small percent of it reaches the tumors."

But the researchers found that when CPT-11 encounters an enzyme secreted by the stem cells, it turns into SN-38.

"That's a thousand times more effective than CPT-11," Aboody said.

But it kills everything it encounters.

So the researchers treated mice that had been inflicted with metastasized tumors three different ways. One group of mice was given no treatment at all. They all died by day 75.

The second group received only CPT-11.

"At first they responded, but then they stopped," Aboody said. "They survived longer, but by day 175 only about 50 percent were alive."

The rest of the mice were given both the CPT-11 and the stem cells engineered to convert it to SN-38 at the site of the tumor.

They were all alive at day 175.

The scientists took another look at the animals a year into the study. Only 30 percent of those given just CPT-11 were still alive. But 90 percent of those treated with stem cells and CPT-11 were still alive.
"So that's a year, on a two-and-a-half-year lifespan," Aboody noted.

However, there is some concern among researchers over the end result of introducing foreign stem cells into any human. These remarkable cells can morph into any type of cell tissue, and what would happen if the cells introduced in the fight against cancer turned eventually into something quite harmful?

That concern alone could hold up human trials, but preliminary findings from Aboody and her colleagues indicate that the cells don't hang around after knocking out the cancer.

"When we looked at the organs of the mice that survived a whole year we didn't see any sign of tumors or stem cells," she said.

She theorized that the stem cells may fall victim to their own mission.

"They are giving off this enzyme and the drug is surrounding it, and it's killing all the tumor cells, and it's a very toxic environment," she said. "So it's likely the stem cells are also eliminated."

That would be convenient, to say the least. After they've completed their mission, they're destroyed by the toxicity they helped deliver.

A lot more research will have to be finished before that's known for sure, but Aboody has already set her sights on another target.

She wants to show that the same system can be used to target such common cancers as lung, prostate and breast.

The latter is of special concern to her — she lost her sister—in-law to breast cancer five years ago, and her research is dedicated to her memory.
Commentary by Lee Dye
*****This post is directly from ABC NEWS :Anti-Cancer 'Smart Bomb' Homes in on Deadly Tumors


The Boy of Steel is a book about a little boy who was diagnosed with cancer. On the NBlast list serv (Neurobloastoma Support group) that I'm apart of, someone said that this boy had Neuroblastoma even the the summary of the story says he had brain cancer. Neuroblastoma can spread to the brain as well.

The Boy of Steel

Go to the web site above and read about the story. I've heard it's an amazing story and plan on buying it myself.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Two new Chargers players to be starting this week against Seattle

Little David preparing for the big game this weekend.
Isabella is done with Cheerleading, she wants to be IN the game! hehehe

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Early visit from Santa!

Here is a cute picture of little David sitting with Santa on Friday night. Our daycare provider was able to get Santa to come down from the north pole for an early surprise for the kids. You should have seen the excitement in the kids when he walked through the door. Posted by Picasa

Isabella excited and not too sure about what is going on yet.

Isabella patiently waiting her turn to sit on Santa's lap.

Isabella looking at Santa as if she's investigating to see if he truly is the "Real" Santa. Little David has his arms open wide looking at Bella's Dora doll she just got from Santa and proceeded to open ON his lap.

Friday, December 15, 2006

If I would have known.....

Hey T!! I just saw your post. I keep trying to leave a comment on your blog but it keeps erroring out on me!! I know your frustration!!! =)

I was saying that I didn't know there was going to be an issue with leaving comments otherwise I wouldn't have switched. I just logged in one day and it asked me to switch so I did. I already had a Gmail acct so it wasn't that hard. I'll see what I can do..... I'm sorry!!! =)

what does it tell you when you try to leave comments?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


This post is in honor of a brave little girl named Christi Thomas. I became very familiar with her while I was not working during the summer and had more time to check in our fellow Neuroblastoma warriors. Well, to put it lightly, she was not doing well. I would check her families blog daily and would cry my eyes out every single time. David would always wonder why I like to read it if it makes me cry and I would always say that I need to go show my support to this special little girl. Even though I may have never met them, we are connected forever because of Neuroblastoma.

And now to get back to what the title of this post is about. Here is the story directly from Christi's web site. When you are done reading the below entry from Christi's site, if you have the time and the kleenx around, please go to her site and read all about this amazing little girl who has inspired MANY!! =)

Here is the post from yesterday :

She gave so much, and now will continue to give!

While Christi was on her death bed at CHOP in September, Shayne asked Dr. Maris if they would try to establish her cell line after she died. Dr. Maris looked down and paused. It took a bit for him to regain his composure, then he responded, "I've never had a parent ask me that. You don't need to do that. Of course we would be honored to try to establish a new cell line from Christi's disease." I'm so grateful Shayne had the wisdom and foresight to inquire about this. The best time to get a new cell line to grow is when the body is heavily burdened with disease and very soon after death.

We signed the paperwork and days later, about thirty minutes after her death we sat, cried, laughed and chatted through many tears as they drew large amounts of blood from her tiny, fragile, pale body. We knew Christi's NB had seen all of the front line agents and since she lived solely on experimental treatments from March of 2003 on, her cancer was exposed to nearly all of the current clinical treatments available too - yet nothing worked. Certainly there has to be something that will hault this wicked demon!

We knew trying to establish a cell line would be the very last thing Christi could possibly do to help others and if it worked it would be something that would continue on and on.....until the cure was found. We've prayed that her cell line would grow so that the could try to cure others, even though she succumbed. We knew Christi would want to help in any way she possibly could! This ties in directly to the $12,000 she raised with her "Alex & Christi's Lemonade Stands." Knowing Christi she would have joked with her beautiful little giggle, "If I'm dead, then it won't hurt and I can still help others with NB! Let's go for it!" This was the very last thing she could possible do to help contribute to the search for a cure for NB.

Today we are thrilled beyond belief to learn that, even though there was only a 20% chance of it working, Dr. Maris informed us that they did establish a new cell line and they will be able to try many different agents on it over and over again in the future to try to kill the cancer cells. We hope this helps reach a cure for all individuals currently fighting and yet to be diagnosed with neuroblastoma and other forms of cancer! With Angel Christi now assisting in the labs, the cure can't be that far down the road (smile).

Dr. Maris liked the name (presented in proper research study form, of course) Shayne gave it back in September (FU_NB06) and Maris told us, "If it grows, that's what it will be called." Nurse Pat Brophy commented, "I'll have a hard time reading all of the research reports without laughing." We think there couldn't be a better name for this evil disease that took away our precious Christi and now causes little Shayla to ask, "Am I still a sister?" F@#K You Neuroblastoma!

Although the news mad me cry today, we now take a bit of comfort in knowing that Christ's legacy of helping others will live on through the work of researchers doing science (one of her favorite subject) trying to cure hundreds of NB patients diagnosed every year around the globe. If we could do anything to prevent another family from experiencing the anguish we've had, we would!

While the news is tremendous for the NB community, I actually found myself very sad many times today. I think it is because I've lived on "hope" for so long. This was the very last earthly thing I was still holding out hope for. Thankfully, our wish came true; yet, now there is nothing I can still hold out and hope for.....and when (hopefully not "if") it is determined which agents will actually stop this beast that took her life, I think it'll be bittersweet too. (And if they discover that curing her would have involved something harmless and simple like vitamin C, seaweed and a dap of vanilla........ then I'll really be brokenhearted.)

Her legacy lives on!

Dr. Maris said:We were successful in creating the FU_NB06 line. We decided to pool our resources and go for the line in one place, and the cell line was generated in Dr. Reynolds lab in Los Angeles. The line will be available for research studies in the next week or so.

We will use some of Christi’s preserved stem cells (a test vial) to have a matched set of DNA—this is important for our research.


Angela, Shayne and Shayla are amazing to me and I'd love to meet them at our annual Neuroblastoma conference in Chicago during the month of July. I only wish I could have made it to the previous conferences so I could have met the beautiful Christi. She reminds me sooooo much of Isabella.

Litte David's first try at eating Rice Cereal

Here are some cute pictures of Charrito trying to eat cereal from a spoon for the very first time tonight.

I don't think he was liking it too much! =)

Now don't be rude.... close your mouth when you eat. =)

awe, forget it mom. I just want to munch on the spoon.

And we can't forget about little Bella!! =)

Monday, December 11, 2006

28 Reasons why Tomlinson is so good

LaDainian Tomlinson set the NFL record for TDs in a season Sunday, scoring his 29th in a win over the Broncos. After studying Tomlinson's rushing touchdowns, I can give you 28 reasons why.

1. Experience. Tomlinson acts like he's been there before -- because he has. He has 203 rushing touchdowns in the past 12 years -- 95 for the Chargers, 54 for TCU and 54 for Waco University High School.

2. Vision. He sees the hole before you do.

3. Power. L.T. can get low and move multiple defenders, as he did on a 2-yard touchdown run against the Rams.

4. Acceleration. It doesn't take him long to get to full speed, as he demonstrated on an 8-yard run against the Titans in which he burst to the right corner of the end zone and got there before cornerback Reynaldo Hill.

5. Speed. Tomlinson was timed at 4.45 in the 40. "He has two gears," says Bills rookie safety Ko Simpson, who ate Tomlinson's dust on a 51-yard touchdown run. "He'll set you up, then explode on you. That's what he did to me."

6. Change of direction. Tomlinson can start left and cut right, as he did on a 9-yard touchdown run against the Bengals, so defenders have to be careful not to overpursue.

7. Wiggle. With apologies to Shakira, his hips do lie.

8. Hops. L.T. can jump over the line of scrimmage as if he were on a trampoline. He has done it three times this year on the goal line, and he has scored each time.

9. Instinct. He can smell the end zone.

10. A combination of skills. "He has it all," Broncos safety John Lynch says. "If a guy has one thing or the other, you can counteract it. But when they have everything, it makes it real tough to defend."

11. He's vertically challenged. At 5-10, Tomlinson is just the right size to get lost in a crowd. "Being shorter, you can hide behind offensive linemen," he says. "Once they realize where you are, it's too late."

12. Lorenzo Neal. If there is a "hidden" reason for Tomlinson's touchdowns, it's his fullback. Even though Neal has played only about 70 percent of the Chargers' snaps on offense, he has been on the field for all but two of Tomlinson's rushing touchdowns. And he has thrown the lead block on 18. "He's usually the guy who gets the last block and clears the way," Tomlinson says.

13. The power play. This is the Chargers' signature run. The power play is marked by a pulling guard. That player has been right guard Mike Goff on several of Tomlinson's scores. "It has the ability to hit anywhere," Tomlinson says. "You can run it from tackle to tackle. It allows us to get a double-team at the point of attack."

14. The heavy formation. On goal-line plays, the Chargers usually have tackles Shane Olivea and Marcus McNeill line up next to each other, essentially making one of them a tight end. The tight end on the opposite side of the line then becomes a tackle. The heavy formation often is combined with the power play, which gives the Chargers five linemen, including the center, on one side. Try stopping that.

15. Defensive backs can't tackle him. L.T. has broken tackle attempts by defensive backs on several of his touchdown runs, including three against the Bengals.

16. Cam Cameron's play calls. The Chargers' offensive coordinator has kept defenses off-balance and has found ways to get Tomlinson in space and in one-on-one matchups.

17. The sweet spot on the field. Tomlinson has scored many of his touchdowns from between the 10-yard line and the 3. From this area, the Chargers can run their normal formations and be somewhat unpredictable.

18. Going left. Not including the touchdowns he scored jumping over the top, 80 percent of his scoring runs have gone to the left of center.

19. Easy ones. On many of Tomlinson's touchdowns (not including jump-overs), he hasn't been touched by a defender.

20. Preparation. "I don't know him, but I can tell he studies defenses," Bills linebacker Takeo Spikes says. "He knows tendencies, and he knows where the hole will be."

21. The threat of a halfback pass. Tomlinson has thrown two touchdown passes this season, so defensive backs need to consider the possibility of a pass when he rolls out.

22. The opponents. Through Week 12, the Chargers had played six games against defenses in the bottom 10 against the rush (including Oakland twice) and only two games against defenses in the top 10 against the rush.

23. The I-formation. Many of Tomlinson's TD runs have come from the I.

24. An offense that gets in the red zone. Only two teams, the Colts and Cowboys, have converted a higher percentage of third-down opportunities.

25. Backside runs. Defenders can't always key on offensive linemen. On a 2-yard score against the Bills, the line blocked right and L.T. ran left.

26. Tight end Antonio Gates. When Mr. Mismatch splits out in the red zone, he takes at least one run defender with him.

27. Wide receiver blocking. Receivers such as Vincent Jackson can get in a defensive back's way for a second or two -- which is all Tomlinson needs.

28. Determination. Says Tomlinson, "Every time I get the ball down there, I run like it's the last chance I'm going to get to score a touchdown.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Make-A-Wish Holiday Event

Here are some picture from today's Mak-A-Wish Holiday Event. As you can see Isabella got to see Darth Vader and a storm trooper. I think she was a little scared of Vader and who wouldn't be!! =)

Here is Isabella with Tigger and Minnie Mouse.

Here is a picture of the family with Santa Claus.
Little Charrito flirting with Mrs. Claus!!
Ms Isabella singing her ABC's and plugging her ears at the same time. Not really sure why she does this, but I think she likes to try to hear what she sounds like this way. Like her butterfly? It's cute huh?
The little ones posing in front of the the Christmas tree.
And now we rest....
Isabella getting ready to go to sleep after a long day of fun!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A cute picture I just had to share!

I thought this picture was too cute! And I hope it brings a smile to your face. Have a wonderful evening fellow readers!

Queen Creek Holiday Parade

I am so glad that my blog came back up. I thought I lost everything I've been working on with Neuroblastoma.
This morning we went to the Queen Creek Holiday Parade. It was a lot of fun. Here are a couple of pictures.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Lunch for Life - Giving Tree Code

If you would like to donate to the Lunch for Life Foundation in Isabella's name or any of the other kids - use this code to make your money go further. =) LUNCH FOR LIFE


Thank you!!!

We really appreciate you taking the opportunity to support Lunch for Life. You should feel good in knowing that you have helped change these children's lives. We will cure neuroblastoma.
You have made the difference! Help spread the word!

Thank you for making a donation in honor of Isabella Ugarte. As part of your donation you have registered Isabella Ugarte for a chance to win an all expense paid dream vacation to Walt Disney World. Additionally, you have added an ornament to his/her Christmas Tree. Once their Christmas Tree has been completely covered in ornaments he/she will win one of several fabulous prizes. In order to help this familiy achieve their goal you have been assigned a Christmas Tree Giving Code. For each person that you contact and ask to donate using this code Isabella Ugarte will receive a bonus ornament for their tree - one for the donation and another for using your Christmas Tree Giving Code. Please help tell your friends and help this wonderful family make a dream come true.

Your Christmas Tree Giving Code is: 21524

Her name is Chassity.....

I know my husband hates it when I post sad stories. But this is another testament as to why it is so very important to implement early testing on all babies born in the U.S.

I visited this blog this morning : The Kevin Lee Show

From what I gathered from reading a little bit on his blog, he works in the medical community and I think he is around kids with cancer all the time. But like he said, he became really good friends with this little girl named Chassity. I left a comment on his blog asking if she had a website we could all visit to show our support for this brave NB fighter.

Here is the link to his post : My Visit with Chassity

Thank you all again for your support!!!

Kevin was kind enough to post a reply to my message on his blog. And he also left Chassity's web site :

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Amazing post on MySpace

Since I was made aware of these things called "Google Alerts", I set one up to notify me if anything about Neuroblastoma is posted on someone's blog or web page. So I found this person's MySpace page and I absolutely agree with everything he said.

I have pasted his entry here and here is the direct link : CHILDHOOD CANCER

Well, scratch that! I just tried to copy the text on his site and it won't let me. So please, take a moment to go to this site and read what he had to say. I wish I could post it here. =(

Thank you to all my Internet buddies out there who take the time to mention our little Isabella on your own blogs. I can't express how much it means to me that you take the time out of your day to inform others about this horrible disease that affects so many young kids out there.

I have many links on the side bar that will take you to many of the Neuroblastoma fighters, survivors and unfortunately our brave NB angels.

Thank you again and don't forget to check out that link!!! =)

LT on Jay Leno

Here is the video of LT on Jay Leno Tuesday night. He seems like such a nice guy.

Uploaded by jcdavey

Are you a Slacker Mom?

I took this quiz the other day and here were my results.....

Are You a Slacker Mom?

Your quiz results make you a Bring it on Mom
You my dear, are the envy of all your friends. You roll with the punches. Gum in you hair? You know peanut butter is just the thing to get it out. With a roll of duct tape for any emergency and lots of love, there's nothing you can't do for your kids.

Take this free personality test by Clicking Here>> or going to

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Brave NB Fighter needs your prayers

A little girl was just diagnosed with High Risk Stage IV Neuroblastoma on August 29th of this year. Please take a moment to go to her site and read her story and keep her in your prayers.

Ila Jean "bean"

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Trying to sit on his own

Here are a couple of pictures I took tonight of little Charrito trying to sit on his own.

I have been tagged

I have been tagged by my good friend T. She calls it a writers block, I call it a good thing to post on a slow news day! hehehe

• A-Available/Single? No, married to my best friend!
• B-Best Friend? see the answer above.... =)
• C-Cake or Pie? MMMMM- Cake... or if it's Cheesecake.... is that a pie or cake????
• D-Drink Of Choice? Pepsi or Coke - no real preference. Water and when I'm not nursing my son anymore.... Kahlua and Milk, not quite a White Russian
• E-Essential Item You Use Everyday? Blow dryer - I really want to be more girly with make up, I just never really learned how to put it on correctly so I end up looking like a clown! =(
• F-Favorite Color? Green, blue and purple
• G-Gummy Bears Or Worms? Gummy worms are pretty good if I HAD to choose between those two.
• H-Hometown? Reno, NV
• I-Indulgence? Buying things for my family
• J-January Or February? February - Valentine's Day!! =)
• K-Kids & Their Names? Isabella Rose (3 yrs) and David Givens (4 months)
• L-Life Is Incomplete Without? My family! I will leave T's answer on this one because she said what I was thinking and said it better than I could have! =) When you have kids it's funny how before you have them you can not imagine what life will be like with them and after you can't imagine how you could have any sort of life withOUT them!
• M-Marriage Date? Dec 30th
• N-Number Of Siblings? A step-sister Amanda
• O-Oranges Or Apples? Oranges
•P-Phobias/Fears? My kids not loving me or me doing a horrible job in raising them
• Q-Favorite Quote? I really don't have a favorite quote I'll have to think about that one and get back to you all! =)
• R-Reason to Smile? My hubby loving me each and every day even though I know I'm not the best wife out there, my daughter Isabella for beating cancer at the age of 2 and my little boy whom I'll wake up too smiling at me in the morning. =)
• S-Season? Believe it or not, the summer here in Phoenix. I love being able to use our pool and I hate that it has to go out of commision during the winter months. I need to get a heater for the water that way we can use it all year around.
• T-Tag Three or Four People? Yasamin and the Kings mama! Isn't that sad, I don't even have 3 cyber friends to TAG! =(
U-Unknown Fact About Me? Hum! Unknown fact! That is hard since I like to talk and talk a lot! I don't think anything is unknown! (I kept T's answer on this one too, because I'm the same way!!)
• V-Vegetable you don't like? Pees, I can't stand them! =)
• W-Worst Habit? Talking too much... WAY too much... (kept T's answer again) ;-)
• X-X-rays You've Had? I don't think I've had any other than X-Rays on your teeth. I'm pretty healty so far in my life..... knock on wood.
• Y-Your Favorite Food? I like mexican and I'm not talking about Taco Bell either! =) When you are married to a hispanic, you learn what real mexican food is like. I keep telling him that I'm becoming more and more hispanic every day. I want to put salsa on EVERYTHING! =) A little something extra.... Isabella was eating some tacos this weekend and would only take bites if we loaded her up with salsa!! Let me tell you, this wasn't your grandma's salsa either, this was pretty spicy and she was eating it up like nothing! Even the workers were shocked.
• Z-Zodiac Sign? Virgo

Hope you all enjoyed this little tid bit of information about me. =) Have a wonderful MONDAY!!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Little David enjoying a nap

Just wanted to share this picture really quick of little David enjoying his nap. I have to get a picture of him when he wakes up because he has a cute little outfit on today. BTW, for those of you out there who don't think it gets cold here in Phoenix..... last week at my house it got down to about 28 degrees in the morning! That's darn cold for Phoenix people. Our blood is used to the 100 degree days which I am soooooo looking forward to already! =) Posted by Picasa

Our Christmas Tree

Here is a picture of our Christmas Tree. Funny story actually..... well maybe not so funny. =)

On Friday I decided that I wanted to get our tree. This is Friday, December 1st mind you.... So I know Wal-Mart has a 9' tree that I wanted so instead of driving down there I call first to see if they have any left. The associate quickly tells me no. I hang up and call another Wal-Mart, and again I am told no. So I decide to check out any other stores online for 9' trees. I see a nice one at Home Depot for $199 and it is 9 1/2 feet. Yeah, so I call my nearest store, the assosicate laughs and says no he doesn't have any left. I call the second store, and the guy was quite rude in telling me no. I call the next store, this lady was really nice so I asked her if they were going to be getting anymore of the 9' trees. She said she didn't think so because their distribution center was all out as well. So I go down the list of like 9 stores on my side of town, I'm down to the last one on my list and David tells me to just give up. I tell him it's worth a shot beucase it's the last one. So I call and he tells me they have like 3 left. By now it's 8:15 PM and for those of you who don't know where we live, we live in the boonies and this store was about 30 minutes away easy. So I knew we weren't going to make it in time becuase we still had to get everybody in the car and get there before they close. So I asked him if he could put my name on one and I'd be there when they opened. He said sure and that they opened @ 6 AM. I was like, great! I'll be there @ 5:55. So I hung up the phone and told David what time we had to be there by and he was like....."I was looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow, now we have to get up and leave before the time we normally leave during the week!" Oh well! The things we do so our kids can have a nice Christmas! hehehe So I get up on Satuday and just throw on some clothes and I was planning on going by myself until David woke up and said he'd go with. Which was nice so I had someone to talk to on my 30 minute drive. =) There we are driving at the butt crack of dawn to get an artificial tree and the thought comes to my mind that it's only DECEMBER 2ND!! I was trying to find a tree on DECEMBER 2nd, not DECEMBER 20TH!!! The stores were completely sold out of trees by the first weekend of December. I couldn't believe it. The hype of Black Friday makes people who don't shop on that day buy their stuff WAY in advance. Because if they wait until after BLACK Friday, there will be nothing left! I almost turned into Griswold! hehehe No not really. So that's how this tree came to life in our house. At least next year we won't have to do this! =)


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Lunch for Life Giving Tree - Isabella has a Tree!! =)

Here is the link to Isabella's Tree - Giving Tree

This year, Lunch for Life is getting into the holiday spirit! Thanks to the efforts of CNCF and an anonymous donor, your giving will translate not only into desperately needed research dollars, but also into gifts that will brighten the lives of these children. And one child will receive an all-expenses paid dream vacation to Walt Disney World, with the help of some incredibly generous donors .

Here’s how it works: Each child has his or her own virtual giving tree, and your donations will decorate those trees with ornaments and (ultimately) presents. Every donation has three effects: 1) the tree of your choice receives 1 ornament for every $5 you donate; 2) every donation generates a Giving Code which can get you bonus ornaments when your friends type it in; and 3) each ornament placed on a child’s tree creates one entry for that child into our Disney World giveaway. For example, if I donate $15 to a specific child’s tree, then that places 3 ornaments on his or her tree, creates 3 contest entries for that child, and generates a Giving Code for me to pass along. When a tree is full (500 ornaments), those ornaments transform into a present underneath that tree, and the decoration process begins all over again. For each present, the family can elect to receive one of several donated prizes for the child (including board games, stuffed animals, a gift card to Toys R Us, or even the ability to turn multiple presents into a portable DVD player or other bigger gift).

The Giving Code allows you to earn bonus ornaments for a tree by passing on the code to your friends. They will be able to donate their money in honor of any child they wish, but by entering your Giving Code, your chosen tree will receive a bonus ornament for each ornament they donate. For example, when I donated $15 in the earlier example, I received a Giving Code of 123456. I emailed that to several friends with the encouragement to donate to a child’s giving tree, and told them to enter my code so I’ll get bonus donation credit. One of my friends gives $10 toward a different child’s tree, which buys 2 ornaments for that tree, but because he entered my code while making his donation, it places 2 more ornaments for free on the tree I chose. He’ll then get his own code that benefits his chosen tree, which he can pass onto his friends, and so on. This way, for every friend or family member you get to donate, you’re giving that much more in prizes and contest entries to your chosen child. Talk about happy holidays!

Finally, on December 25th, we will hold a virtual drawing, where each child has a chance to win the trip to Disney World. For each $5 donated in that child’s name by midnight Pacific time on December 24th, he or she will receive 1 entry in this drawing. For example, if $5000 total was donated in a child’s name, then that child would have 1000 entries in the contest. Each entry is assigned a unique number, and the computer will randomly select one of those numbers at Noon Eastern time on December 25th. We will post the winning number to the website immediately following the drawing, and the child associated with the winning entry will receive a free, all expenses paid trip to Disney World, including airfare, lodging, tickets to the theme park and shows, special front row and backstage passes, and many, many other perks!

Remember, now your lunch money can help save these children’s lives by funding scientific research on Neuroblastoma, while also bringing smiles to their faces with their own virtual trees and real presents. Please help make these holidays special for these wonderful children in need.

Disclaimer: Because we live in a litigious society, some rules and conditions apply. For purposes of the presents and the contest, credit will be given only for those cash, credit card, or PayPal donations processed before midnight Pacific time on December 24, 2006. In the case of personal checks, the funds must clear to the official CNCF-designated Lunch for Life bank account prior to the December 24th deadline in order to be credited toward the creation of ornaments/presents or contest entries. This means you should get donations in early to make sure they count for contest purposes. For a list of full contest rules, click here.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Memory lane....

I finally found the picture I was talking about in a previous post. This picture was taken the day we found out Isabella had cancer. It's like you can see it on her face.....

Bella receiving blood during treatment. This was right before Christmas of 2004. Her red blood counts were low so we spent they day getting blood. You never realize how important it is to donate blood until someone you love needs it.

Bella in June of 2005 shortly after her tumor was removed.

Bella with her aunt's wig on in July of 2005.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Hope for Neurblastoma Treatment

A team of St. Jude researchers has shown in laboratory studies that a drug called interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) is a potentially effective and practical way to sensitize cells of neuroblastoma tumors to chemotherapy. The finding suggests that it is worthwhile to continue these studies with the aim of eventually doing clinical trials with children. Neuroblastoma is a cancer of infants and young children in which cells resemble very primitive developing nerve cells found in an embryo or fetus.

IFN-gamma was already known to cause cancer cells to undergo apoptosis (cell suicide) by stimulating them to make a molecule called caspase-8, according to Jill Lahti, PhD, associate member of Genetics & Tumor Cell Biology. However, Lahti's team took that understanding further by showing that INF—gamma appears to be effective in doses appropriate for use in children. Caspase-8 triggers apoptosis in response to chemotherapy drugs that attack those cells. A report on this work appears in the October issue of Biochemica Biophysica Acta—Molecular Cell Research.

The St. Jude team exposed a series of different cultures of neuroblastoma cells to IFN-gamma for five-minutes. The single dose treatment triggered caspase-8 production in all cells that previously were not producing this molecule; and in three out of six neuroblastoma cultures that were already producing high quantities of caspase-8. The increase in caspase-8 occurred within 16 hours and lasted for up to nine days. And most importantly, the treatment made the cells almost three times more sensitive to the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin.
The investigators also used a technique called gene microarray analysis to identify genes that were affected by INF-gamma.

"Altered activity of these genes might further sensitize neuroblastoma cells to chemotherapy drugs," Lahti said. "So we plan to study them to see if we can further improve treatments for neuroblastoma."

Other St. Jude authors include co-first authors Tanya Tekautz (formerly of St. Jude Hematology-Oncology, now at Cleveland Clinic) and Kejin Zhu (Genetics and Tumor Cell Biology), who contributed equally to this work, Jose Grenet and Vincent Kidd (Genetics and Tumor Cell Biology), and Deepak Kaushal (formerly of St. Jude's Hartwell Center, now at Tulane University).

November 2006

****This article is from the St. Judes website, here is the direct link to the story : Hope for NB

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thanksgiving weekend

YUM! Turkey with mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole, cranberries and rolls. We need to fatten this child up! hehehe

Little Charrito playing with his toys. Our daycare provider gave him this early Christmas present.

Isabella and Grandpa singing Karaoke.

Isabella singing a solo.

Isabella watching a movie with some headphones on since she couldn't hear her movie to well with the guys watching the football game. Looking cute in her little corner eating flamming hot cheetos with lime.

Little Charrito enjoying a nap in his swing.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoyed their time with their families. I didn't brave the stores on Friday, I wasn't planning on doing my Christmas shopping until this coming up weekend.

29 days until Christmas!