Surf to Turf, the California experince

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It’s been awhile since I wrote about things, not because I forgot to,  but because I didn’t think there was much to expand on. Then I started thinking about all the little things that have been going on. This is that update.
On a whim we took a day trip to the beach. In the hot valley heat with two toddlers in the house, things can get crazy and very mundane everyday. On a saturday afternoon we decided to pack up what we could and leave the house! Carlos fell asleep in the car and Emery watched some cartoons on her tablet. By the time baby woke up we were at Moon Stone beach in Cambria! It’s our favorite spot that we found when we went on our baby moon a few years back. Now Carlos was here to join us and that was pretty cool to me. It was Carlos’ second time being at the beach, and at first the Pacific water freaked him out. It was a mixture of the rush to his feet and the draw back that had him sinking into the sand. After awhile he enjoyed it and didn’t mind the cold kissing his feet. We were lucky to find so many starfish washed up on the beach. Is that a lucky thing? Kind of for us, and not really I guess for the starfish. We picked them up and put them back into the water. During this time my phone was going hay-wire and would turn off all the time. Sadly, no pictures of the starfish were taken and trust me, I tried angrily a few times. I counted about 17 starfish that had washed up all along the beach. It was the most I have ever found in my life!!
The night was starting to creep up on us we headed home from the cool coast back to the hot heat of the night.

 

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I’m in a picture! I’m never in any of the pictures

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There’s my arm! That’s two for two!

 


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Just the opposite way of the beach, we are blessed with The Sequoia National Park. It was Carlos’ first time going to the Sequoias and I was pleasantly surprised on our spur of the moment road trip. I thought we were making a Costco trip until we kept on going straight on the freeway.

We drove about 2 hours to get to The Giant Forest. By this time Carlos had enough of sitting in the car; he had napped, woke up gotten out of the car for a photo-op and was in the car for 40 minutes more. I’m not sure about anyone else, but with my kids a long car ride and getting out for a second and getting back in doesn’t ever end up well. He cried the whole rest of the way and I sat in the front seat wishing I was at Costco trying some free samples and googling over the chocolate muffins I always talk myself out of.

We took a picture with a giant redwood known as  Sentinel and checked out The Giant Forest Museum. We picked up our Sequoia National Park magnet with a bonus 50 years of celebration on it (score!). We partially walked up, Bear Trail … yes, partially because 2 little kids going 4 miles on a trail is pushing it. Since the moment we got out of our car we heard many people say they had seen bears, even on the trail we went on. I wanted to see something! I kept telling Emery to keep her eyes peeled for anything!
We crossed over to another trail that looped around a meadow. Of course a mother is telling her husband as we passed, how she and the kids saw bears right in the middle of the meadow. Really? We missed it again! We started the walk and we were nearly back at the beginning of the trail when all of a sudden, in a blaze of glory and sun glare there it was! Without even realizing the words I was saying I screamed, “BEAR!!!”. Victor and the kids stopped and we watched him walk off up the ridge. Other hikers didn’t even see the bear above them, which was pretty scary. We continued our walk and we headed to the parking lot to head back home, when lo and behold, bear was there eating some berries right under the path we had to cross. We all scooted back and bear (yeah, I named him Bear) crossed the street and took a path right behind the Museum where we started. Eventually other hikers saw him and we were pretty satisfied with out nature encounter and headed home.

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Carlos’ first time here

Twilight was falling and we started home, the kids finally calmed down and I zoned out looking out the window dreaming of dinner. All of a sudden Vic yells out, “TARANTULA!!” (there was a lot of spontaneous yelling on this trip) and the car veered to the right into a parking lot and some pictures were taken.  Apparently mating season was two weeks before. Back in the car, just out of the park, now in the dark we saw a deer crossing the road. This trip was a success!

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Inside the Giant Forest Museum

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When trees fall the park leaves it there and cuts a whole for park guest to continue the path. I think its pretty awesome.

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So beautiful and quite

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The tree is this wide!

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Bear

TARANTULA {{{ewwww}}}

TARANTULA
{{{ewwww}}}

Emery’s 4th birthday

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Emery’s 4th birthday

Emery’s birthday just passed and while I think I’m coping well with the fact that I now have a 4 year old, a soon to be kindergartener and this is our last year of being together everything single morning (que the tears). Months ago Em decided she wanted a My Little Pony / rainbow EVERYTHING party (she’s really into rainbow, patterns and colors). If that wasn’t pressure enough the haunting words of, “Mom, don’t mess this up” echoed in my head until the final day of her party. Such high demands from a soon to be 4 year old. Joy to the teen years that are rapidly approaching. As usual I spent many hours on my favorite web site Pinterest so that I may be inspired.  Luckily Emery’s favorite pony is, Rainbow Dash, otherwise known as “Gina” to us. Emery wanted to rename her a while back and now she is forever known as Gina before her formal  name Rainbow Dash. She was my main inspiration for her party. Outside the door in rainbow colors I taped up a welcome sign that read, “Welcome to Cloudsdale” (where Gina lives above Ponyville [yes I did that much research]). Victor drew up a picture of her from cardboard and together we had a rainbow of streamers as her tail that wrapped around the living room, as if she was flying around through the clouds. No need for using the imagination, we cut out white clouds from cardboard and hung them from the ceiling with fishing line. They looked like they were floating, and totally set the tone for the whole party. I also made drapes from table clothes and hung up as our new curtains. The light shining through them was beautiful. With the Cricut machine I made rainbow circles and garland that hung over the sweet’s table and went around the counter. A few months ago I made pony ears with different colored head bands and different colored felt for different ponies. We had a “pin the cutie mark on the pony” game but we forgot all about it, but the kids did sit around and color their own ponies.  I tried to emphasize the theme in every way.

Welcome to  Cloudsdale!

Welcome to
Cloudsdale!

Who wouldn't want to be 20% cooler?

Who wouldn’t want to be 20% cooler?

Everypony needs some awesome ears

Everypony needs some awesome ears

The rainbow sweet bar

The rainbow sweet bar

My Little Emery Lollipops

My Little Emery Lollipops

Rainbow cupcakes

Rainbow cupcakes

Rainbow cupcake of amazement

Rainbow cupcake of amazement

Emery's personal cake

Emery’s personal cake

 

Gina dashing around

Gina dashing around

A full shot of the living room

A full shot of the living room

Sweet spot

Sweet spot

Rainbow curtain and a huge Pinky Pie balloon

Rainbow curtain and a huge Pinky Pie balloon

Gift table

Gift table

The moment all our hard work was worth it. The birthday girl looks so happy

The moment all our hard work was worth it. The birthday girl looks so happy

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Her Rainbow Dash dress she was so excited to wear.

Her Rainbow Dash dress she was so excited to wear.

The sweet table consisted of different color rock candy, skittles, bubble gum, rainbow lollipops personalized with “Happy Birthday My Little Emery” on it, unicorn and “4” sugar cookies, and rainbow cupcakes with white “cloud” frosting and a sour belt over it for a rainbow. The cupcakes were UHMAZIN and the colors were so beautiful. Usually I want to eat all the cupcakes, just cause, but this time I wanted to eat them just to see how beautiful the inside was. Each one was unique and the colors made me extra happy. So happy I was forced to give them away or I would be bed ridden and typing this in a self induced sugar haze. Her cake was made by her Aunty Alexis who offered to take a load off my shoulders and do the cake for us. It was awesome! She put different color cake balls inside and had rainbow frosting dripping on the outside. All of the decorations and goodies came together so perfect!

A recap of what Emery was into at 3 years:

Still hates potatoes but is occasionally eating french fries

Loves to color in patterns

Current favorite song – Let it go from Frozen and Jingle Bells (she sings both every day)

Favorite cartoon – Frozen

Favorite drink – Still chocolate milk ( no longer says milp)

Fluent in her alphabet sign language and in many words

Is learning to read and write

She loves playing her “game” (the tablet)

Our running family joke is – “Pedro Pony” (and then I get fake mad and she laughs) or her sounding it out to us.

Current favorite stuffed animal – A purple beanie baby she named Teddy (tetty)

Speaks with a British accent

Decided she doesn’t want to say tomatoes any more (the American way) shes calling them tomatoes (like the British)

Dora and Diego are still her cousins

Favorite Holiday – Christmas (She talks about Santa daily)

Loves to draw mustaches on pictures -

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Favorite lunch – Peanut butter with no jelly or chicken nuggets, ranch and a chocolate milk

Loves her Starbucks chocolate milk

OFFICIALLY SLEEPS IN HER OWN  BED!!! like a big girl! She reminds me every morning she’s a big girl for sleeping in her room.

Favorite dinner – still spaghetti

Wants to go to Grandma Yvette’s everyday

She thinks the moon is following her home at night

She thinks EVERY car on the road is a “slug bug”  (or sometimes she says nug bug)

Loves bugs and dirt

Hates shots

Thinks her arm and legs are broken at least once a month

LOVES doing homework (Keep that attitude up little girl!!)

Knows a few states and capitals

Had a photo shoot

QUOTES :

“Sunday is my Monday”

“Trouble boy” her nick name for Carlos

“I’m 16″

“I know” (and most of the time she does)

“You told me already Mom”

“Im fashion forward and backwards”

“Pedro Pony”

“How work?” or “How’s work”

“It’s taking forever”

“Yes mudder” (as in, yes mother)

“Can I have chocolate milk?” (every morning with out fail. No Emery, not until lunch time)

 

 

Lets end the blog with this awesome picture

Lets end the blog with this awesome picture

 

Thank you to everyone who came and made Emery’s day even more special! With out the love of everyone it wouldn’t be the same.

Our L.A. Weekend

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A few weekends ago our family made a trip to Los Angeles California to visit our family. It was Victor’s Grandmother’s  77th birthday, and everyone came together to make it extra special for her.
Whenever we take a long trip down south or up north to visit our family I always dread the drive. Not for myself but for the little kids, 3 + hours is always a delicate battle between a good nap and just wanting to get out of the carseat .
We got into town Thursday night around midnight. I was hoping  since we left late the kids would all fall asleep in the car and we would have a smooth quite ride. It didn’t exactly work out to plan (as these things never do) but it was still quite and pleasant. Carlos fell asleep right after he ate, all of the kids did which is weird because Emery likes to stay up real late. Right before we headed through the  Grapevine Carlos did the unthinkable and woke up! He slept for about an hour and then decided to give his Mother and Father a mini panic attack and wake up. I think Victor and I made things worse by being stressed out immediately. We decided this was our last stop before heading through the pass and we needed coffee to ease our nerves. When Emery went on her first trip to L.A. she was only 6 months and cried THE WHOLE TIME. Yes folks, that’s 3 hours of a screaming baby in the back seat. She fell asleep 5 minutes or less before we arrived at his Grandmothers house. That scared me and I will forever be scared to death to go on road trips with any of my kids let alone a baby.
Our first full day we took the children to the Los Angeles Zoo. I have never been before either, so I was just as excited to go. They had a carousel, a whole Cambodian Elephant exhibit, a really big Aviary that was a few sections high, I didn’t see a ramp for strollers so I carried Carlos up and down the steps. The Zoo also had a little park and misters. I really like that there was a playground for parents that wanted a break or for the kids to run around and have fun. Anytime we are somewhere new we get a magnet for the fridge and a pressed penny from the novelty machine. Its a little tradition we started with Emery, and somewhere she has a whole bunch.

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At the Zoo! Victor, Emery, Carlos, Victor & Uncle David. Featuring that one kid that always needs to make a face…

 

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Did I mention the kids got to dress up as Doctor’s and help heal a stuffed California Condor? Very cool stuff!

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Saturday was Mami Chela’s Birthday party. We got to visit with all of the Cousins, Aunts and Uncles. Emery has girl Cousins her age, she was very happy to play with them. It was Carlos’ first time meeting his L.A family and while he was still very attached to me he did really well around everyone else. I was scared to put him down because I didn’t want him falling or hurting himself like he does just about every day. The party was fun, lots of good memories and it’s always nice when family can all get together and celebrate with each other. Mami Chela looked beautiful and happy and she’s such a sweet, loving person Emery and Carlos had no problem warming up to her.

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Mami Chela & the kids

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Emery & Uncle David

The Grandkids & Great Grandkids. The one time the kids are suppose to be making a crazy face and only a few of them do it. I don't understand it!

The Grandkids & Great Grandkids. The one time the kids are suppose to be making a crazy face and only a few of them do it. I don’t understand it!



Sunday we went back to the house to say our good bye’s but we had one more trip up our sleeve. We took the children to The Page Museum at The La Brea Tar Pits. Before you go into the Museum the tar pit is outside and I think that was one of the coolest things ever. It’s still bubbling from the natural gas surfacing. Through out the area and at the Museum parking are little closed off spots of tar. Inside was filled with things Scientist have found inside the tar pits such as seeds, bones of prehistoric and extinct animals, bones and maybe some new finds! Inside they have a glass room with Archaeologist sifting through fragments and putting together pieces of bones. New things are being discovered daily.
And of course we couldn’t leave without our pressed penny!

 

 

La Brea Tar pits - Us inside a tar bubble

La Brea Tar pits -
Us inside a tar bubble

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Finally it was time for our drive home, all the kids fell asleep and it was a pretty peaceful 3 hours back over the Mountains.

A mini photo shoot in San Jose

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This January the kids were selected to model for ad campaigns for Too Small Organization and The Next Generation. Both are two organizations looking to educate parents so that they can better help their children in school and in early learning. Better education and early learning is something that is near and  dear to our hearts.
My Aunt Christina sent me a link of a Photographer in San Jose, Ca. looking for children in a certain age range, I thought, why not. If we get a spot then my husband and I could take a mini trip back to San Jose where we grew up. A few weeks later and a few pictures being sent back and forth we were selected to be part of the photo shoot! We were very excited and honored.
The trip to San Jose, is three hours from our home in the central valley. We pulled up to a house that wasn’t far from ironically where we both grew up. We had a second to reminisce and then we walked into an amazing Eichler home  and met the photographer, Kate of JetKatphotography and her awesome assistant. They were very easy going and warm. The house was beautiful and the kids felt right at home. I was worried that the kids wouldn’t participate but that wasn’t the case.
Kate had the kids play with blocks while she took pictures. Everything was very natural, the setting in a home and playing with toys. Carlos fell in love with the tambourine and Emery found a room with an antique puzzle. Kate wanted us (the parents) to be in some on the photo’s, we didn’t expect to be in any so it came to a surprise. Victor and I just played and pointed to different things that were on the floor while Kate snapped away.

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

jetkatphoto.com

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY – JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY – JetKat Photography

At the end of it Emery didn’t want to leave but we had more things to in our short little time in the city.
Just down the street we surprised Emery and Carlos’ great grandparents with a visit. It was Carlos’ first time meeting Grandma and Grandpa Zak. Grandma Zak had tons of toys for the kids to play with and take home (as any good grandma might!) and Carlos was extra excited when he saw two huge orange trees. Victor and I just looked at each other and started laughing. His favorite fruit is orange, if he sees an orange he wants it. He eats the rind (if we don’t catch him in time) and has been known to make a whole with his little finger and suck the juice out.

Great Grandma & Great Grandpa Zack & Cousin Daniel

Great Grandma & Great Grandpa Zack & Cousin Daniel

My boy & his oranges

My boy & his oranges

Since my husband and I both grew up in San Jose, there’s always friends I’m wanting to meet with or friends begging for me to come up and visit. I had to meet with at least one while I was here or I wouldn’t here the end of it! I’ve been friends with Jessica since my High School days at Mt. Pleasant. Of course we’ve seen the boy friends, the jobs and all the stuff in between. Now we both have little kids and a husband. The last time I saw her was three years ago, I needed to meet up with her and meet her son Marcus. Jessica ended up calling me and asking what I was doing that weekend. I said, “nothing i’m actually going to San Jose want to meet up?”. It was meant to be!

Jessica, Stephen & Marcus

Jessica, Stephen & Marcus

Driving around San Jose was very nostalgic. My husband and I grew up so close together, shared the same land marks, maybe saw each other while one of us was driving by but never knew each other, never went to the same school and to be honest we probably wouldn’t have been friends. I was friends with all kinds of different people and clicks but I feel like we were two different people back then.
The day was coming to an end and for the first time since leaving my home town when I was 16, I thought, I could live here again. Victor was thinking the same thing and we reminisced some more as we headed home.

Monster Bash 1st Birthday

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WELP, it finally happened. After a memorable 365 days Carlos has turned one year old. He’s no longer what I liked to consider a “newborn” (as in newly born into this world and not even one yet).
The party’s theme was Monsters! Carlos loves to play around like he is a monster and does his own little growl. If growled at he will growl back.
A month and a half before his party my Sister – In – Law Vienna and I would stay up pinning away (yes, I’m addicted to Pinterest) at possible ideas and must do’s. The week of his actual birthday I finally was able to put my creative mood into full gear.
The week of the party I started on the paper mache monsters. The first day consisted of covering the balloons and waiting  two days for them to fully dry. Instead of using glue and water like I did in Elemantary school, I found out flour and water is a cheaper and effiecient “glue”.  At first Vienna and I cut up some freshly delivered ads that had come in the days mail. We soon ran out of strips and I resorted to the phone book. It was a genous idea! The paper was perfect, thin and there was a whole book full of it!

The beginnings of our paper mache monsters

The beginnings of our paper mache monsters

A few days later we cut up different pieces of streamer and taped it onto the balloon. The day before while we waited for the balloons to be dry, we cut out arms, legs, feet and hands with construction paper.
Emery drew a few monster pictures around the house and put her name on them. I was very proud of her penmanship and how great her monsters turned out.

Proud of my 3 year old

Proud of my 3 year old

Thursday night Valerie had come and she cut out eyes for the background of our fish tank, the monsters and helped me put the teeth and eyes up for our scary hall monster.
Happy 1st Birthday
Friday was Carlos’ actual birthday, we walked down the hall into the living room and the look on his face when he saw all the decorations was priceless .

He had a smile from ear to ear as he looked around at all of the streamers and decorations we put up when he was asleep. That night after dinner I made cookies and we sang him happy birthday with one candle in a cookie just for him. He had his first glass of milk and really enjoyed it. The cookie not so much, I gladly finished it for him. He took a nice warm bath and went to bed. That night the girls and I stayed up till 2 a.m. baking cookies, cupcakes and making home made frosting.

Big Sis helped a little before bed.

Big Sis helped a little before bed.

The Monster Bash
Monster feet led the way to the front door going into the house. The different feet came from the street in different directions and also from the neighbors house.

The Monster's are arriving!

The Monster’s are arriving!

We played pin the eye on the monster. Carlos’ cousin Jason won first place and Emery won second place!

Pin the eye on the  monster

Pin the eye on the monster

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We all sang, “Happy Birthday” and Carlos loved it. He opened his gifts while the kids went back outside with a blue cupcake in hand. Our friend Madison made Emery’s first personal and  big birthday cake for her 1st birthday and also made Carlos’ first personal birthday cake decorated like a monster. It was absolutely perfect! The color was a perfect contrast to all the different blues we had in the house. The cake was a nice blend of soft white cake with a banana cream filling. I wanted Carlos to dig in but he didn’t like the sweetness of it. He isn’t into sweets (I couldn’t be more happy), he’s just barely been drinking more juice. Frosting and cake was a big step he wasn’t ready to take yet.

Carlos' personal monster cake

Carlos’ personal monster cake

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My Husband, Victor, spray painted some poster boards for people to poke their heads through and take pictures as monsters or an alien.

The kids as little monster's

The kids as little monster’s

Alien baby!

Alien baby!

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Over all the party was an absolute success in every way! The decorations were awesome (that’s me tooting my own horn), he made out with cool toys and tons of clothes, everyone had a good time and it was one of the best kid birthday parties I have thrown yet.

The home made frosting we made with our monster decorations. The frosting wasn't think enough. Note to self - don't try and use splenda to substitute sugar.

The home made frosting we made with our monster decorations. The frosting wasn’t think enough. Note to self – don’t try and use splenda to substitute sugar.

Googly eye cups and cupcakes.

Googly eye cups and cupcakes.

Lemonade with food coloring.

Lemonade with food coloring.

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I think im getting the hang of this kid stuff! I want to give a very special thank you to Carlos’ Nina Valerie & Aunty Vienna for staying up for a few nights all night getting everything together! With out those two I wouldn’t have been able to get everything together all by myself! You two were a HUGE help! And thank you to all the people who showed up to celebrate our sons very special day with us! It was very memorable.

Monster boy!

Monster boy!

2013 Recap

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2013 was a year to remember. It brought happiness, joy, love, and many memories. Overall, I think it was an amazing year and it will be very hard to top it next year. To start off, our baby boy Carlos Martin was born just 17 days after the year began! What a way to kick-start a new year! He grew so fast we couldn’t believe it! Every few months he had a new wardrobe to fit into, was making us laugh, and keeping us on our toes. Our chubby little boy grew right in front of us, and in some ways I haven’t realized his major changes until I look back on photos from just a few months back.

Meeting Carlos for the first time

Meeting Carlos for the first time

My husband and I celebrated our fourth year of being married.

Another year bites the dust

Another year bites the dust

Emery Ava turned 3 years old in addition to being a big sis. She was given a birthday to remember with pony rides, rabbits, goats, chickens, and a mini horse all in the front yard. She learned how to write her name and spell it out. She has excelled in her home school studies with me and I couldn’t be more proud of her.

3rd birthday!

3rd birthday!

We took our annual beach trip! Carlos did amazing! I was worried that a three-hour car ride would be too much for a little baby but he proved me wrong. Emery loved making sand castles and Victor found a sea-snail that we all held. On this trip Emery also got her first bee sting. Luckily she is not allergic (what a way to find out if she was) and she handled it like a troop! In no time she was back out there enjoying herself.

Beach bum baby

Beach bum baby

Sea snail anyone?

Sea snail anyone?

Victor turned double digits and is nearly in his pre teens (God help us all).

In October our dear friends Valerie and Bryan became Carlos’ Godparents and will forever be apart of our lives.

Nino Luda & Nina Val

Nino Luda & Nina Val

For Thanksgiving Carlos was old enough and had plenty of teeth to dig in to some celebratory turkey.

In December the two little kids and I took a surprise trip to Disneyland! Carlos turned 11 months on our trip.

Photo op!

Photo op!

A few days later Christmas came and more than anything I have the most fun watching the kids open up their presents.
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This year seemed to go by so fast! Every month brought new and wonderful things.
And while I don’t personally put pressure on my self to inevitably fail committing to a new years resolution I did feel the urge to do something different with myself this year, and for the first time I ordered out of my comfort zone and tried all new things I normally wouldn’t have. Instead of my regular and safe choice of a burger, I tried fish tacos for the first time. Apparently I had eel (still a sick idea to me), I’ve tried a few things I didn’t like, Boba drinks are not for me but over all it was a success!
I expect 2014 will be just as amazing with my family by my side. I only pray for continued health for all my friends and family (everyone really) and wealth (enough) to get us by and a few things for what we wish. I want to have more patience, because all of my patience this year has been used up with learning how to deal with three kids. I want to get back on track with learning and reading and continue to make my children’s life fun.
May everyone’s year be fruitful for them in more ways than they can fathom, be safe out there always and read on into this new year!

Baby’s first Christmas

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The last Holiday of the 2013 year has arrived. While it wasn’t a white Christmas for us like my three year wished it to be it was still a memorable one for this mama. Carlos had just turned 11 months a few days ago, he’s in his last true days of being a baby before turning the big one. This Christmas he’s too little to enjoy all of the fun and lights like his big sister and brother but I tried to make it as special for him as possible.
His father came home with a big Christmas tree and we placed his “First Christmas” ornament on it. The two older children put ornaments on the tree, it’s easy to tell where Emery has placed her ornaments as they are all bunched together.
A few days before the Christmas, Carlos had a mild fever and all the goodies that go along with a sick baby. Luckily for Christmas his fever was gone and I had a happy baby ready to enjoy the day.
Christmas Eve is spent at his Great Grandma Mary’s & Great Grandpa “Papa” Joe’s house. Their house is one of the first to be decorated every year and its done up head to toe inside and out. The house is full of life, with the whole family laughing, playing games and eating tamales made from Grandma and sweets baked the day before. At nine o’clock the presents start to get opened as everyone gets ready to leave or is too tired to wait any longer. Surprisingly Carlos dove right into the idea of ripping up the paper and grabbed hand fulls at a time. When we got home we hurried to make Santa’s cookies before the kids went to bed. They only took 10 minutes but it was getting late and the kids were tired so before the timer was up the children were in bed. I took a picture and gladly ate the chocolate chip cookies and took one for the team and had a large glass of milk (I’m not a milk fan).
Christmas Day is usually reserved for my Husband and his family as it’s his birthday. We spent the day at his sister’s house and ate delicious ham, green bean casserole, home-made drop biscuits, chocolate chip cookies and brownies for a birthday dessert.

Carlos' first Christmas  (little blurry but its one of my favorites)

Carlos’ first Christmas
(little blurry but its one of my favorites)

Christmas Eve opening gifts

Christmas Eve opening gifts

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11 months old

11 months old