Category Archives: Development

To Emery, Happy 6th Birthday

To Emery, Happy 6th Birthday

So much has happened since your last birthday! It was a year of friendships, independence, growth and learning. Before I start your year in review I want you to know how very proud Mommy & Daddy are of you! Daily you exceed our expectations.
I know you have only completed Kindergarten so far, but we hope you continue your education for many years and live a long healthy life that brings you joy. You have a drive in you like I have never seen in anyone else. We only see a bright future for you and while I don’t want you to grow up anymore than you already have, Everyone can’t wait to see who you will become. Happy Birthday Emery, we love you so much! 

Emery’s year in review

You started Kindergarten


I have never seen someone end the first day of Kindergarten with so much sass.

& completely nailed it!


You worked hard & earned all your awards! Everyone is so proud of you!


You were in a winter performance & end of the school year talent show (Ariel’s Under The Sea song and dance)


You made new friendships


Leelah, Emma B., Emma V. Kashia & Emery hanging out


& miss Makayla

You had your first field trip to the Fresno Chaffee Zoo


& mommy got to come along

We went to Disneyland for Halloween!


Captain Hook (or Hoot as you say), Peter Pan & a lost boy.


As a 5 year old you were a Kinder Kid in gymnastics. You finally learned how to do the monkey bars! Your forward and backward rolls are great! Your cartwheels are getting better (just remember to go fast and straight legs!) and Your jumps and finishes are amazing! Miss Kaitlyn says, “Shes been ready for level 1 for a long time.”

As a family we started Vlogging on YouTube. Whenever we go some where, Mom is forced to capture the moments! (I say forced because I always kick myself for never bringing the camera. Vlogging makes sure I do it!).


We went on a few snow trips to the Sequoia National Forest


We took a trip to San Jose & went to The Children’s Discovery Museum! It was mommy’s favorite museum as a kid & I was so excited to take you two!


You painted your own face & gave yourself a mustache. Mustaches are still an obsession with you.

We went to Zoo Lights with Aunty Brandi & had a blast!



& we found Santa!


Your favorite days were spirit days at school.
[Halloween, Crazy hair & favorite decade]


Mommy got to dress up with you and help paint nails on Carnival day at school


We made a gingerbread house for the first time (& possibly last time)


Because you did so well in school & were Student Of The Month, you got to go on an extra special field trip to the movies to see Angry Birds.


You said good-bye to Mrs. Jasso’s Kinder class


& you took one last school photo with some friends



& some school friends came over a week later to wish you a happy 6th birthday!



& here are all the memorable things you did & said while you were 5:

  1. Driving by, The Island car-wash and Emery said, “The Island” [ME: “Very good Emery!”] Emery: “What did you think I was going to say? Is land?” [ME: :|]
  2. Favorite color: Yellow
  3. Favorite Cartoon: Hotel Transylvania 2
  4. Favorite Holiday: “Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Family Day & also that green Day … leprechaun Day”
  5. You did most cartwheels in your gymnastic’s class (25!) for Cartwheel-a-thon
  6. You want to be a Scientist when you grow up


    Dad bought you a lab coat & goggle’s so you could be a scientist for career day.

  7. Whats cooking homie
  8. Clownin
  9. You love family movie night
  10. Favorite Disneyland ride: Star Tours & Storyland (the boat ride that starts off by going in Monstro’s mouth)
  11. You love tea, especially on a cold night Dad will make you chamomile with honey
  12. You love chili
  13. Instead of “la cucaracha” you sing it, “Sriracha, sriracha!”
  14. Carlos I need some space to myself real quick, then we’ll be cool
  15. Mc Donald’s #2 is your favorite
  16. You love to put on your pink lipstick on. Sometimes a dark pink and a light pink mixture.
  17. What’s that whale’s name in Pinocchio? Nostrol?
  18. You love to watch make-up tutorials & cosplay tutorials.
  19. Every night you sleep with a stuffed animal. (mommy & daddy love it)
  20. You know where Grandma’s peanut stash is and either ask her for some when you visit or let her know she needs to buy some more
  21. You love Tim Burton’s work. Your newest find – Beetlejuice
  22. You learned how to ride your bike in Dec. inside the house with no training wheels!
  23. you love to make “potion” with your shampoo
  24. You cut the top of your hair right before school started
  25. What kind of animal is this” – something I don’t want to think about every night at dinner
  26. Chocolate chips are the most important part of cookies” – Emery

The Children’s Discovery Museum

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.


Potty training

Potty training

Two weeks ago I decided to potty train Carlos using the one week trick. I finally had a week where we weren’t running around all day doing errands. Carlos is the same age Emery was when she stopped wearing diapers. I didn’t blog about potty training Emery but she was half way potty trained at 2. Then I got pregnant and really sick and she back peddled big time. Once Carlos came I had a rough time changing two kids. One day I got really upset about having to stop and change her pooped diaper before leaving the house. I said what I had to say at home and once we got into the truck it was over. While I drove to my mom’s house Emery brought up how she was sorry about pooping herself. I mostly listened and she said, “I’m deciding to not poop or pee in the diaper anymore“. Of course I thought what a wonderful idea and from that conversation she never did. Once Emery sets her mind to an idea she does it.

I’ve only ever heard that a boy is harder to potty train. Well, if Emery basically just decided to go at two, I figured I had some actual work cut out for me. There are many methods and techniques. Carlos didn’t fit into the mold of watching his reaction and running to the restroom. He was really nonchalant about the whole thing. I decided the best thing for us would be bribery. What? Is that bad?

We made a Target trip Friday morning after dropping Emery off at school, and got lots of toys in the dollar section. For some reason we made our way to the toy aisle and Carlos fell in love with a big T-Rex toy. Carlos loves a lot of things but one of his favorite things are T-Rex dinosaurs! Of course it came with a little price tag so we talked it over and decided this toy would be our, no more diapers reward! Carlos knew and told everyone he wanted the big T-Rex toy and he had to poo poo toilet to get it.

I like to use the toilet seat top instead of the little fake toilets when I potty train. I feel like it gets them ready to go on the big toilet so its not intimidating especially when you have to do a store potty run. Also, I don’t like the idea of dumping crap out of a poop bowl and having to wash that. Kinda defeats the purpose of me having a little break from changing diapers during the process.

On Monday I printed out a Everybody Poops cartoon image of Batman (his favorite super hero). We talked about how he is using the restroom and Carlos colored it. Before Monday the family spent months saying how we all go poo poo toilet and don’t pee pee our pants. I used our newest cousin baby Dominick as an example as a little baby who needs diapers. I felt like that was me trying to shame him so I used that example with caution and tried not to use it with anger.


All set up, each time Carlos went to the bathroom he would get to pick his reward or get hand stamp!

Found some goodies at Michaels summer clearance section too!

Found some goodies at Michaels summer clearance section too!

He loves getting his hand stamped

He loves getting his hand stamped


There was a few little bumps in the road, one or two pee accidents in the beginning and about 4 dirty underwear and 2 poop on the floor incidents. One of them happened one morning when I was cleaning the house and didn’t check on him. Luckily it was a super easy clean up, he was sorry (his classic “sorry mom. sorry again mom” line) and we both learned something. He would try harder because big boys don’t poop themselves and he couldn’t get his T-Rex reward if he pooped his pants. I learned Carlos is a morning dropper.


When Emery was in school Carlos would be with out pants so he felt awkward and didn’t have that security to want to have an accident in his underwear.

Any time we left the house I had his little seat in a tote with us. We took it to Papa and Grandma’s house and to gymnastics. I didn’t want to have to put him in a diaper at all (besides bed time) and have him confused or only potty training half the day.

Within the first week he got the hang out it and pooped underwear where a thing of the past. He caught on so fast it surprised us. We made a second trip to Target to refill his bucket.


Carlos also got a small T-Rex toy for finally going poo poo toilet (which is the hardest part of potty training). He also has been taking his nap with no bottoms on or in his underwear without any accidents. I find that to be really impressive. The hardest part I would think, would be teaching a child not to pee at night but I am super lucky that both Emery and Carlos (knock on wood) have never given me any trouble with peeing the bed (something I struggled with as a child).

He was excited to get some new T-Rex's but decided he only wanted one and not two

He was excited to get some new T-Rex’s but decided he only wanted one and not two (what kind of kid demands only one new toy?)

After the second week of potty training and consistent poo poo in the toilet use, Carlos earned his big reward!

Dad surprised him with his big reward after his nap!

Dad surprised him with his big reward after his nap!

Have you ever seen a child so happy? You earned it kid!

Have you ever seen a child so happy? You earned it kid!

So two weeks later, I am making it official, my child is potty trained! A major milestone in becoming a big kid. While I don’t miss changing diapers it’s one more thing making me realize he’s our last little baby and he’s growing daily. I’m proud of you kid!

Our baby cousin needs some love


Hello readers, today I have a special post for my cousins baby Dominick. He was born at 34 weeks and is staying at the Children’s Hospital in Madera CA. His Mom is 45 minutes away and would love to stay with him at the Ronald McDonald house, but until there is an opening she has to travel everyday. Still, there is an expense to live there plus food and other things baby will need when he can come home. Dominick’s welcome home arrival is expected to be in mid July, once his lungs are more developed and he’s able to breath on his own, eat on his own with out a tube and free from any infections he may have.

Prayers, love & support are appreciated from the family! There is also a Go fund Me page if anyone is feeling generous.
Thank you in advance!


Help baby Dominick

The California State Railroad Museum

The California State Railroad Museum


The Calderon’s take over The California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento (again). While visiting family and Nina Valerie in Sacramento we had to stop by the California State Railroad Museum in “Old” Sacramento. Emery went when she was two and Carlos is the same age and hasn’t gone yet. Carlos loves trains. He has a growing collection of Thomas the Train movies, toy trains and train apparel.


I had to get a picture of him doing this just like sister did when she was his age.

I had to get a picture of him doing this just like sister did when she was his age.

I dressed him up in his little train conductor overalls, red bandana and conductor hat. He fit right in with all the huge trains and the train stewards. We didn’t bother reading many of the facts this time around, we were strictly there to get on some trains and interact with all we could.


When you first walk into the beginning of the tour its set-up to explain who worked on the trains and what the time line of the construction. There’s a mock train station booth and cars you can peer inside.

One ticket please!

One ticket please!

Theres a Canadian National Sleeper train in the back of the museum that gives the feeling of movement with sounds as if the train is passing by railroad crossings when you’re in it. Carlos went on it 5 times each with a new chaperon.

Daddy's little guy

Daddy’s little guy

Carlos' first walk through in a train

Carlos’ first walk through in a train

& Nina took him on the sleeper car a few times

& Nina took him on the sleeper car a few times

While they were in there they sat down and talked to a few people about trains.

While they were in there they sat down and talked to a few people about trains.

& Mommy took him a few times.

& Mommy took him a few times.

The building has so many trains inside of it, it’s amazing to walk around all of them. Some trains you can look inside, some you can walk in and there’s a big black train that you can sit in the engineer’s seat.


What a dream come true for a little boy who loves trains

What a dream come true for a little boy who loves trains

More coal!!

More coal!!


Up stairs has toy trains to play with and a professional set up behind glass. It was probably my fourth time going and I still enjoyed walking around and exploring.

I love when we kind find kid areas to let them lose and for the parents to re-group

I love when we kind find kid areas to let them loose and for the parents to re-group

In April the Museum begins to offer train rides along the river. We weren’t able to ride it because it wasn’t open yet, but we’ll be back! If you make the trip to The Railroad Museum hang around “old Sac” where the museum is located and check out all the other buildings and the history of the area. It’s very cool to see older buildings and horses right in the middle of the states capitol.

Help me wean!!!


Its been 752 days of breastfeeding. My Child’s pediatrician thinks I’m a real Hail Mary and while the pats on the back and fist raised in the air by other breastfeeding moms makes me feel good, I really feel defeated and used. I’ve been here before, 3 years ago with Emery. This time it’s different (isn’t it always?). With Emery if you recall or read before – she was 1 1/2 and after many failed attempts we both decided it was time to stop. She’s always been that kind of person, when she wants to do or not to something she does it.  Breastfeeding Emery I was really sick and tired literally. She would barely drink and then she would fall asleep. It was a comfort thing for her. I think it’s a comfort thing for most babies, It’s all they know their whole lives! And that’s what I struggle with, how can I take the only thing they know how to fall asleep and be comforted with away? They scream and cry and beg or milk.

Carlos’ case is different – He drinks milk and he wont let me unlatch. I don’t realize until I wake up mad from my back aching that I’ve been in the same side position for hours (did I mention he’s a co sleeper?). Now that I’m typing this all out loud for the world to read I’m starting to think I’m letting him be too attached. How can I stop this? I don’t want it to be this way!
I tried the cup of warm milk, he drank one drink to humor me and cried. I’ve tried watching a movie to fall asleep with minimal success. I’ve gotten the advice of not offering anything so he doesn’t get attached to a cup for bed or do I just give water?

Do I let him scream it out at 12 am when I have a 11-year-old who needs to go to school and a 4-year-old in the next room who is trying to sleep?

Help! I need mom advice!




A mom who is lost.

8 months


The last time I wrote about my little one, was 4 months ago. Four months later, he’s grown into a sweet, playful, little boy. It’s funny to look back at those pictures already and see his changes. He has much more hair now, 5 teeth with 3 more on the way, a little playful personality.
I always think my kids are older than they are until I get a reality check. To me, Carlos has always been a big baby. He just grew so fast and got his teeth 7 months quicker than his sister did. But, this weekend while I was holding him and walking up to our car, I caught a reflection of us. It took me off guard and I stood there looking at him and I. I didn’t realize my baby is still just a little baby. As fast as he’s been growing and learning he still needs to be held. Ever since that day he hasn’t been my big boy, he’s been my little boy again. A few months after he was born I was so bummed out, I felt like I didn’t have enough pictures of him as a little baby. Taking care of him, Emery and the house got in the way of me making time to take lots of pictures. I complained to a friend of mine on how big he was already and not a little baby anymore. She laughed, and said, “He’s only 2 months”. In that 2 months their features change so fast but she was right, he was still a little baby and I was already acting like he was about to graduate College.
Carlos is understand words and responding by smiles or grunts. I’ve been working on sign language with him for easier communication. Our main signs are, “finish”, “Sister”, “Mom”, “Dad”, “Brother”, “water” and “thank you”. He watches my hands and studies them but has yet to use one. Now that Carlos is crawling he’s determined to start walking. He stands up on everything, which means he’s falling down a lot losing his balance. He’s gotten a lot better and now he sits on his legs. A big one for me is that he now can crawl and sit and sit and crawl. This just happened. Before this he wasn’t much of a sitter! He only ever wanted to stand or to be on the ground.
And slowly but surely my husband and myself are introducing some “real” food to him. Carlos only wants table food, he’s very interested in it and I’m sure has caught on that his baby food isn’t as good tasting as ours is. We are hesitant when it comes to food because of choking. As parents, I think that’s the one thing we baby the kids on. Carlos is completely ready for it, so we have to get with the program and have started buying him the next step in baby food. He’s been doing a good job chewing it and using those teeth he has. His favorite “big kid” food is saltine crackers.
In another four months this little one will have grown more than I can imagine right now. We will be celebrating his one year birthday. Everyday I’m grateful he’s in my life. I can wait to see the ways he grow and who he becomes.

8 months old

8 months old



I place a lot of emphasizes on school and homework with Emery. She may only be three but this is the age when children’s minds are sponges and soak up EVERYTHING. I never had that push, and at an early age I hated school. Without even realizing it I was pushing Emery to be something different that I was. Emery saw her older brother going to school and started saying how she went to school, and had homework. Her imagination sprouted having actual “homework” everyday. She sees her brother, Father and Grandmother all doing homework. The idea of doing homework seems (to her) like something everyone has to do.
At the age of one years old she was counting to ten in English and Spanish. She knew some sign language, her alphabet and spoke well. At two years old Emery knew colors, shapes (ones like oval and diamond) and how to count to twenty and alphabet recognition. Its been three months since she turned three and she knows the sounds each letter makes, shes doing sight cards and is learning to write letters and numbers (0-100 with some assistance), she knows days of the week and months of the year, how to spell her first name and last name. Sounds like a lot? It really couldn’t be easier! The key is to take the time and spend it wisely.
Emery isn’t allowed to watch what I like to call, “dumb shows”. Not only do I think they are dumb but they don’t teach anything (with the exception of Disney cartoons). Once in awhile I will put on Power Puff Girls on for her but other than the few random shows here and there shes on educational television. Her favorite program is, Baby First (its, its own channel if you’ve never heard of it), Leap Frog (it really helped enforce certain things while being fun), Nick J.r. (one of her fun programs ,but Dora & Diego have really helped with Spanish and the learning of animals) and what ever learning movies her Father and I have purchased for her.
Target dollar aisle is my weak spot, anytime I go in I NEED to see whats new. Maybe its scrap-book paper? Maybe stickers or cute little socks? If its school supplies I will probably walk away with something. During August and September when the children go back to school and teacher supplies are out is the best time to shop. Emery has a little box full of flash cards, crayons that are made for dry erase boards (so that she doesn’t have to use markers and get ink everywhere), and learning books. Not only will it be used for her but but also for her little brother. Michael’s also has teaching supplies (such as the alphabet or clocks) during the back to school season. I have reward stickers for her when her homework is completed and done correctly. Just a little sticker can make her feel special. I put it up on the fridge for her Father to see when he gets home and send pictures to her Grandmothers.

Dry erase boards found at Target and Michaels

Dry erase boards found at Target and Michaels

Now here’s the trick. Getting them to learn isn’t always easy. There are days when she doesn’t want to sit still for 5 minutes but I force her (err, I mean ask her) for her attention and then her homework is done. I only do 10 minutes a day. If its something like a learning movie or song she can watch or listen to it as many times as she wants. I know Pinterest has some great ideas from other people.
Learning the days of the week and months of the year was a song from the same group on Youtube. I put my laptop in her room and as we played we sang along. It took a week before she could sing the songs correctly without the music or help.  The days of the week song was a little slow for us. We learn better with things that are more up beat so I sang it with the same beat as the months of the year.
Months of the year
I put letters on a white sheet of paper and had her circle and cross out certain letters I asked her to.
Now this is the one thing I’m really geeking out on! I’ve bought Emery writing paper and dry erase boards to practice her writing. I found this website so you can put a single word, multiple word, small sentence or paragraph on a sheet. This way you can teach your child or whom ever a certain word. This site  will also help you practice your cursive! I’ve had many discussions online about the lack or cursive being taught and how its a dying art. Most of the United States have stopped the practice or cursive (this not including California ,yet). Many people believe that its a dying art form and the curriculum is to teach kids typing to keep up with the technological age. I can’t argue with that, computers are the future, however a beautiful hand written note to say, “Thank You” or to simply WRITE should not be lost with our grandparents. Cursive is also a faster way to write. I wont be teaching my three year old cursive any time soon but I’ve been worried about her not picking it up. I would have taught her anyways, but my cursive is not as elegant as the older generation. This site will help teach her the right way to write. This can also be a good homework for summer, when they arn’t in school but to keep them active and learning.

Scroll down

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No need to down load anything.  Just scroll down and read the step by step directions and input your information

No need to down load anything. Just scroll down and read the step by step directions and input your information

This turned out crooked but I made a sheet for Emery to learn her First name.

This turned out crooked but I made a sheet for Emery to learn her First name.

Here she is practicing her name. Practice makes you better!

Here she is practicing her name. Practice makes you better!

Each day just a little practice of anything can go a long way. Teaching doesn’t have to be mundane. Singing a song on how to spell your child’s name while in the car, teaching about traffic lights or counting on the way to the grocery store. It all adds up to one smart child.

Different bellies


Every women carries different, carrying low for boy and high for girl is a myth. To go along with that the high heart beat doesn’t pan out either. With Emery my stomach was really high and I had a hard time breathing. She also had the typical high heart rate ranging from 150 to 160. When we would go to the Naval Hospital the Midwife told us usually if the babies heart rate is consistently high it would be a girl. It was true for Emery. Carlos started off at a heart rate from 140 – 150, I thought it was high and we thought maybe it would be another girl.

“By the beginning of the 9th week of pregnancy, the normal fetal heart rate is an average of 175 BPM. At this point it begins a rapid deceleration to the normal fetal heart rate for the middle of the pregnancy of about 120-180 BPM.”

With Carlos I started carrying low like a typical boy. I thought it was “normal” and getting higher like it was with Emery but I noticed every time I would sit down he would start kicking, he was always real low and I would have to lay down or sit back to get comfortable. I didn’t think much of it at first because he was still growing but at the 26th week (the end of my second trimester) I feel like this baby should be higher.  My pregnancy pants are uncomfortable, if they have a band it hurts. So I’ve been stuck in yoga pants and my one pair of jeans with the elastic that goes over the stomach. Then my mom would say I was carrying different than I was with Emery. Typically they say boys are lower, however it’s not necessarily true. Everyone carries different. This week a friend came over and right away said I was totally different than I was with Emery too. It was kinda funny because I just started realizing I am carrying lower. Two weeks ago I went to the Doctors for a regular check up. The Dr. asked if I had back pain, ( I always seem to remember my pains a few hours after leaving the Doctors office, after I’ve had time to really think about the question) I told her yes, but nothing I would complain about. I have had back pain since I was in middle school and occasional back pain from the pregnancy. For some reason I had forgotten the times at home my back had gone out and I couldn’t walk or how before my pregnancy I was in therapy for my back! The Dr. sent in an order anyway for a Belly Cradle. As shown in the picture in the link, it goes under my stomach, around my back and across my chest. The first night I tried it on and right after taking it off I really noticed a difference. It held my stomach up slightly more and helped my back. I only need to wear it during the day but I find it getting in the way of my already restricted wardrobe. It’s still so hot in Central California that all I want to wear is a tank top and whatever pants I have to wear if I’m not home wearing my comfy pants. Wearing the Belly Cradle, I can only wear T-shirts because of how it fits across my chest. I don’t have many maternity shirts that are short-sleeved that will cover my chest. I have plenty of long sleeve shirts but I can’t wear them now. So I find myself wearing my cradle at home when I can or if I find a shirt that fits my growing belly. It’s a small complaint for something that will save my back as this little boy grows faster and faster in weight and soon with the cooler weather it wont be an issue.

The licking phase?


This one came out of left field. It happened a few times, we would be playing around and instead of kissing me on the cheek or sometimes just as a surprised BAM! A lick on the side of the face! Kinda funny but I start to think … is she licking everyone? Where did she get this from?
Emery often comes up with a lot of things by herself, I think this is one of them. She only seems to lick my face in a playing manner. She gets all wound up and goes for it, her dad says she sticks her tongue out a few times before she goes for it. I can’t see because I’m usually laughing or messing around not paying attention to her right before it happens. He seems to think its bond we have, where she only does it with me. Thats fine I just don’t want her licking everyone’s face. I really don’t even want it to happen to me! I  get paranoid with the make up on my face making her sick.
After she started that, I caught her a few times licking her fingers and touching her chalk board. I hate chalk, I don’t like to touch it, I don’t like to hear it, I really just can’t stand it. So you can imagine how I felt when I saw her licking her finger and the board. Since then I catch her all the time! Licking her arm and licking her fingers and touching things.
Mostly I’m worried about her getting sick. I don’t want her to get anything because she had her fingers in her mouth or put something in her mouth she shouldn’t have.  We’ve been out of the house a lot these past few weeks and her little hands have been all over everything. I clean them with a wipe, hand sanitizer and water and soap of course when I can. I don’t want to go over board and be paranoid about it. In the back of my mind I’m cautious about the things I say or how I act towards certain situations so that I don’t freak her out of make her scared of anything. For example I’m not an animal person by any means, and Emery loves all animals. She runs in the grass at night with the frogs lurking in the dark. I on the other hand will stay on the cement away from the edges, in case a creepy crawler comes my way. I pretend everything is alright but inside im screaming, “get inside the house! those ugly frogs are everywhere and I can’t help you”.
Anyways I have digressed and went on an animal rant. I guess as long as I keep telling her to stop and she’s not licking animals I’ll survive this stage.