Category Archives: Crafts

For the love of crafting

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The Children’s Discovery Museum

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The Children’s Discovery Museum

We took the kids to my favorite museum in San Jose. It’s hands on and educational but you would never guess it by the kids laughing the whole day. I think its safe to say, we have a new favorite spot to visit!
If you enjoy this video please subscribe to our YouTube channel Taking California & hit like! Right now its only my daughter liking our videos because she feels bad.

 

The shirt that almost wasn’t

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The shirt that almost wasn’t

There are plenty of adorable ideas and crafts to do when your child starts school. One project I decided to do was a over sized shirt with Emery’s graduating class year. What seemed like a 1,2,3 project turned into the idea from hell.

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I typically don’t wait until the last-minute for anything, but for her shirt I put off making it until the day before she started kindergarten. I bought iron on letters, numbers, and a medium size woman’s shirt.
The instructions read that I should iron the patch for 25 seconds. I thought the company was surely trying to fail me and I decided to iron each letter and number longer so that the glue was stuck on the shirt and nothing would peel away. This, ladies and gentleman, was the point in time I would later realize to be my Pinterest fail moment; 3 days later when I was still trying to fix my “easy” project.

As I hesitantly lifted up the iron on numbers paper was sticking to the felt.

the zero was the worst. I mean it was pretty bad

the zero was the worst. I mean it was pretty bad

which left me feeling …

Why baby Jesus ... WHYYYYYYYYY

Why baby Jesus … WHYYYYYYYYY

My first thought was, “get the black permanent marker and color that paper in” But my husband wouldn’t let me. We tried dabs of water to rub it off and tweezers pulling as much paper we could off. I was desperate! I called upon my Navy wife friends (shout out NASL) in hopes one of those crafty girls would know a trick. Our best bet ended up sticking to Victor’s original plan. He had the magical touch and took off all of the paper himself.

Best husband of the year away goes to this guy! My right hand dude when it comes to crafting help

Best husband of the year award goes to this guy! My right hand dude when it comes to crafting help

Any time I tried, I didn’t get far.

Thank you Snap Chat for capturing all of my anguish during this process.

Thank you Snap Chat for capturing all of my anguish during this process.

It took three days to pick all of the paper off. Victor didn’t know that I kept the iron on longer than instructed and was a bit irritated when the truth finally came out. I did my self a disservice and paid the price. The glue was on alright but I didn’t expect the paper to be glued down too.

We got our kinder picture finally and I was happy!

Happiness is blocking her school name.

Happiness is blocking her school name.

I love jumping pictures!

I love jumping pictures!

& because all of the other school photos also have the name in the back this is the only other photo I can share. As you can see no more paper! Thanks Dad!!

As you can see no more paper! Thanks Dad!!

Emery’s very first day of school

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Emery’s very first day of school

We’ve counted down the days until Emery’s first day of school. She was prepared with a wealth of knowledge and I knew she would be just fine because she’s my out going independent child.  However, I knew I would not be ready at any point or time to let my baby be out of my sight. The thought of her going to school, being a “big kid” and away from me always brought tears.

Getting her class schedule made me cry, orientation made me cry and each day writing a lower number on our count down to kindergarten chalk board made me more anxious.

One week!

One week!

We found a great book called, Count Down to Kindergarten to get Emery pumped up about her special day

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Emery liked counting the items.

and The Night Before Kindergarten (which made me cry of course).

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This book was actually SUPER cute and EXTREMELY accurate for me. I recommend it.

The night before the big day Emery couldn’t sleep, she’s a bit of a night owl and getting her on a schedule was impossible. I decided the only real option was to throw her to the lions and let her fall a sleep at her regular time (which I tried to avoid anyway) and wake up early have a full day and crash the next night. Luckily she woke up excited and ready to go!

Running to class! Wait you know mom wants a photo!

Running to class! Wait you know mom wants a photo!

The family watching our

The family watching our “wee wee” go to class for the first time

Group photo before class started. This is the best we could do, we really need to invest in a selfie stick
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My studious child

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Mommy had to get in the mix and took a cute picture

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and a silly photo, because we are silly girls.

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Then her teacher Mrs. Jasso announced what they would do and how they would make a hat. For some reason it was the hat comment that made me lose it. I cried folks, not just a tear or watery eyes; this mom lost it. My cool was gone and I was in full “omg get my baby out of here what have I done!” mode. Emery’s face went from normal to panic like she wanted to cry. I quickly started signing I was happy, but when my flood gates open it’s hard to stop. She came over and I bent down and told her sorry I wasn’t upset or sad I was just happy for her, she would have so much fun and I couldn’t wait to see her awesome (choked up) hat when she got home. We gave our last hugs and kisses, I tried to get myself together and gave big smiles and thumbs up and got out of there. I’m pretty sure everyone saw me including the teacher, I don’t care I love my baby girl! This was the first time she would be away from me and not with grandma. She was now a big girl and in a new chapter of her life. I’m allowed to be emotional! Right?

(said, in my best Sponge Bob commentary voice)

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We picked up Emery! She was happy to see us and she was wearing the infamous hat that almost ruined the day.

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Now here is where I got excited. When I was a kid my step-mom gave my little brother a “Happy first day of school” party. I wasn’t there but I never forgot what a great idea that was. Ever since then I have wanted to give my child a first day of school party. When I got older, any time a sister or nephew started school I brought over a little something to make their day extra special. Now the time had come to give Emery a surprise party for her very first time going to school!
She walked in and said, “what’s all of this?” she loved the idea of having a party!

Hooray for surviving the first day of school!

Hooray for surviving the first day of school mom Emery!

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No party is complete with out presents

No party is complete with out presents

& cupcakes

cupcakes & pizza!

Thank you to everyone who came over and helped us celebrate Emery’s first day of school and a special thank you to my friends and family who helped me cope during this emotional time. All of your loved words were heard and taken to heart.
I hope everyone’s children have a great school year!

Back to school mantle

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Back to school mantle

Often I make our fireplace mantle change for the season or holiday but I never blog about it. I’m going to change that and start sharing my mantle creations on here maybe to inspire others or if nothing else to share the fun I have creating my mantle master pieces.

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The school year is approaching fast and before the holiday’s catch up with us I wanted to pump up the kids for the new school year. We now have a middle schooler and a kinder kid in the house and those are two big transformations that they will have to get use to.

I went to Michaels to get loom for the crayon wreath, I needed two different size embroidery hoops that I hot glued together (the top thick wood parts with the screws) and bought two packs of 120 crayola crayons to ensure I had enough crayons for the wreath. At my discretion I spaced them out in the correct color spectrum. I ended up only getting to red, orange, yellow and green not even using blue, indigo or violet.

snap chatting my project

snap chatting my project. Hot glued the crayons to the hoops. I found it easier to place the crayon quickly on the hoop where I wanted it and then place to dots and glue it down.

Originally I had planned to add cute cut outs with my Cricut machine, but once the wreath was done I loved it the way it was.

Hung with a measuring ribbon and the rest hangs down in a bow.

Hung with a measuring ribbon and the rest hangs down in a bow.

I had an idea of how I wanted the mantle to turn out, I just needed to find a few accessories at the stores if I could. To my surprise I didn’t find what I needed at Michaels, and now that I think about it I might have been too early in the season for back to school supplies who knows. Next door I made a Target run and “glanced” in the dollar aisle (its my weakness), to my absolute surprise and utter joy Target had a few great back to school decorating items. I’m sure I looked like a kid in a candy store with a million dollars to spend. Each find made me happier than the next. My at home ideas went out the door and my cart was full of new ideas.

The kids and I grabbed a world map and I used this as an opportunity to illustrate the path that their Dad traveled while he was in the Navy on his deployments.

Dad has been around the world twice.

Dad has been around the world twice.

The glass jars were filled with stamps and scissors and the book ends held some children books, while on the other end an apple chalk board counts the days until school starts.

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And last but not least the garland has a positive message for the kids to read daily and absorb before the school year begins.

Stay focus!

Stay focused!

2014 a year in review

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2014 a year in review

My youngest baby turned one!

Monster boy!

Monster boy!

My oldest turned four!

Rainbow curtain and a huge Pinky Pie balloon

My Little Emery

We visited the beach

Cambria, Ca.

Cambria, Ca.

We drove to the mountains

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Sequoia National Park, Ca. [[Carlos’ first time]]

The kids were asked to be part of a possible ad campaign

We had a family photo shoot for a possible ad with JetKat Photography

JetKat Photography

 

We surprised Great Grandparents in San Jose

Great Grandma & Great Grandpa Zack & Cousin Daniel

Great Grandma & Great Grandpa Zack & Cousin Daniel

Mommy got to introduce us to some of her San Jose friends from high school finally

Jessica, Stephen & Marcus

Jessica, Stephen & Marcus

We visited The La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles

Us inside a tar bubble

Us inside a tar bubble

Our first time at the Los Angeles Zoo!

We love zoo's

We love zoo’s

 

We visited Great Grandma Mami Chela in Los Angeles for her birthday

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We visited the Natural History Museum for the first time and we loved it!

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We went to Apple Hill to get one or two pumpkins

A few of the pumpkins we picked out.

Here’s just a few …

 

Took our yearly Family photo

Our 2014 Family photo

Our 2014 Family photo

 

Took the kids to the state capitol

California State Capitol

California State Capitol

 

Visited Great Grandma Mary . . .

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Grandpa Max …

 

Grandpa Max and the kids

Grandpa Max and the kids

And Grandma Andrea while we were in Sacramento!

Grandma Andrea

Grandma Andrea

 

Celebrated Halloween and mommy slaved over making Carlos’ Mad Hatter outfit and his hat

Mini costume Alice In Wonderland photo shoot at a local pumpkin patch

Alice In Wonderland photo shoot at a local pumpkin patch

 

We hosted Thanksgiving at our house this year

What were you thankful for this year?

What were you thankful for this year?

And celebrated Christmas at Great Grandma & Papa Joe’s house

Waiting for Santa

Waiting for Santa

It was a busy year with trips to our local zoo and park in between. This is Emery’s last year spending all day with us before school and we’re trying to make it extra fun for her.

2014 was a good year for us, we had our usual ups and downs that come with life but this mommy can’t complain! Everyone is healthy and our loved ones are with us. I’m happy to share my adventures of parenting these two little ones and document our travels around the Golden State of California. A big thank you to all of my readers out there! I wouldn’t be doing these if I didn’t have the support I do.

Hope everyone has a healthy, happy, joyful and blessed new year

Mommylaughs

2014 Christmas

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2014 Christmas

We welcomed December’s cold crisp air and cold nights with hot chocolate. Emery and Carlos decorated the Christmas tree this year while I stood back and watched. Carlos grabbed the ornaments and handed them off to his big sis. The clusters of ornaments together was a signature look that my babies were doing the tree all by themselves.

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Later that night when Carlos was a sleep, Emery helped me make a popcorn garland; I had never made one before and I was excited. We made fresh popped popcorn and I sat on the couch starting to thread. Emery handed me popcorn with puffy tops … and then slowly her hand ended up going from the bowl to her mouth. I didn’t mind, I know she enjoys popcorn and I was just happy to have her company. The garland didn’t take very long and soon we had our very first popcorn master piece, a tribute to my two popcorn monsters.

Emery capturing my hard work

Emery capturing my hard work

The next day we made our wish list for Santa. Emery needed help putting words together, we talked about what she wanted and then I helped her spell it out. Dad was near by on the computer and ordered a few more gifts that were on her list. For Carlos I put down things that he likes-  trains, cars, animals and Diego movies. When the kids were done with their list, I made copies for Santa (so I could keep the original list). We stamped the envelopes and mailed them off to the North Pole!

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I hope Snowie put in an extra good word for us!

I hope Snowie our North Pole elf put in an extra good word for us!

 

In December our special friend Snowie the elf comes back to visit us and watch the kids during the morning as Santa’s little spy. At night he gets into things and the kids wake up in a hurry to find what he got into or where in the house he is. Emery was especially excited to see him! His antics were a hit with the kids and when Carlos was cranky Emery would give him Snowie to sleep with and Carlos snuggled him safe. 

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A few of Snowie’s tricks at night were admiring Em’s drawing of him

 

I agree! Great job Emery!

I agree! Great job Emery!

Snowie made Emery and Carlos into little tree elves

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Snowie was leader of his own sleigh, thanks to the help of a few dinosaurs, animals and a My Little Pony.

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He got into the kids underwear and decorated the tree with them.

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And one night he bothered the kids while they were sleeping . . .

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Last minute I had the idea of making an ugly Christmas sweater for Carlos. I spent nights sowing little trinkets like small plastic ornaments, ball puffs, garland, gift bow and we topped it off with a Christmas light necklace.

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Every year for holidays I like to make something using the kids foot print or hand print as a size reminder of how much smaller the kids were the year before. The kids dipped their foot and hand in some flour and placed it on felt. I use flour to make a print of the hands and feet instead of tracing an outline. I find the kids are more willing to get dirty and stamp their hand on something rather than holding their hand down and trying to trace around it. The flour is also more accurate, to the actual size.

flour

flour

outlining the flour print

outlining the flour print

Emery's little reindeer hand

Emery’s little reindeer hand

Emery & Carlos' feet. Little penguins hand sown by mommy

Emery & Carlos’ feet. Little penguins hand sown by mommy

The week of Christmas we did a mini photo shoot in front of the Christmas tree and fireplace. Taking photos of the kids was kind of difficult, things don’t always go as planned but its even harder when I’m shooting at night with no flash, every little movement from me or the kids turned the photo into a blur. I tend to shoot fast and I often neglect the background whether its straight or crooked. I think even when I shoot slow I have that problem.

Looking for Santa

Looking for Santa

Drinking Santa's milk

Drinking Santa’s milk

Waiting for Santa

Waiting for Santa

We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas day at Great Grandma Mary’s and Papa Joe’s house. We had traditional tamales with pork and olives. Christmas day we went back to celebrate their Dad’s birthday and enjoy some homemade menudo amongst lots of delicious sweets.

Great Papa joe & Great Grandma Mary

Great Papa Joe & Great Grandma Mary

Papa giving a piggy back ride & getting a kiss from the great grandkids

Papa giving a piggy back ride & getting a kiss from the great grandkids

Carlos had a very “train-y” Christmas and made out with lots of Thomas the Train toys. And Emery got a karaoke machine and lots of songs and movies.

Carlos the conductor

Carlos the conductor

choo choo

choo choo

Disney karaoke!

Disney karaoke!

Opening gifts at Grandma & Papa's

Opening gifts at Grandma & Papa’s

 

I’m blessed and thankful it was another year with all of our family in our lives and the kids were able to share traditions that I grew up with and to have so much love in the house.

 

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