Category Archives: Special Occasion

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.

 

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To my sweet monkey boy

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To my sweet monkey boy

I can remember looking at you as a tiny new person in this world thinking, “what will you become … how will you change my life”
It’s only going to be three years and nothing has been the same since I first saw you. Everyday Dad and I say, “he’s so funny and has so much personality” and its true. You make this family complete and my heart is whole.
This last year we have had so many great memories and lots of hardship. You’ve changed so much and have become such a big boy!
This is your year in review …

  • We celebrated you turning 2 with a Dinosaur party that was really awesome! Carlos Bday 2 041
  • Your favorite Dinosaur is a T -Rex & you pretend your a baby T-Rex
  • Favorite cartoons are – Dinosaur Train, Cat In The Hat & Daniel Tiger
  • You also love to pretend your a puppy but more than that you like to pretend you are a monkey and hang on things “hoo hoo ha ha”
  • You & sister love to play “hide out” and make tents in the room
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  • You love tablet time with your tablet or watching shows with sister
  • For the first time this year you called Emery by her name! You also called her Ava and sis but you mostly stick with the name you gave her “wee wee” & that’s what mom and dad call her too (because its special).
  • Disneyland is your favorite place ever & you ask to go everyday.
  • You told mommy your favorite ride at Disneyland was the “whale ride” (Story Land). It was mommy’s first time going on it; hard to believe because I’ve been to Disneyland so many times, and even though its by far not one of my favorite rides its special to me because I went on it the first time with my two babies.

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    Kids waving to Dad & Mom vlogging

  • You love the Disney characters at the park! Your shyness goes away and hug everyone and take photos. It amazes me to see you so happy and out of your shell.
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  • You are so sincere. You care & when you do bad you will come back to say you are sorry for your mistake. I really like that about you, it shows you care and it impacted you.
  • If I ask you, “are you okay?” you wont just say “yes” you tell the truth and always say, “no” haha.
  • You get upset a lot
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  • You make the funniest mad face ever
  • You have the best expressions
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  • You ooze personality
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    Vampire Pirate

    “Let me see your eye Pirate” – Uncovers his eye hiding from the patch haha

  • Loud noises bother you
  • You went to the snow for the first time at Sequoia National Park
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  • You haven’t figured out how to use “I” in sentences. Everything is “me want to” “me no like” but our  favorite is “me do me do!”
  • This year you got potty trained!  & pretty fast  🙂
  • Mommy finally weaned you off of ninny. It was bitter sweet and I think we both miss it still.
  •  You and Dad call our bed the monkey nest
  • You like to wet your hair and slick it back. I think you look like Dad when he was a kid.
  • You have a red tricycle that you are very good at riding. You ride it in the house every day and park it out side the room you go to. It’s really cute.
  • You hate water in your face but you are brave enough to lay on your back in the tub
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  • Favorite cereal – Lucky Charms

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    Mondays … Am I right?

  • For some reason you think I want all of your boogers … I don’t. Stop giving them to me.
  • “oh. Yeah, silly me”
  • You love vegetables. It’s the first thing you will eat on a plate. Broccoli is your fave.
  • Favorite fruits – strawberries. green apples, tomatoes & oranges
  • “what’s cooking homie”
  • At the check out – “Thank you homie” 😐
  • Monkey hands
    (mittens we bought specifically because you needed more “monkey hands”)
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  • & Monkey feet

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    Mittens on the feet to look like monkey feet is genius! & Hilarious

  • You love going over to Grandma Yvette’s house & Great Grandma & Papa’s house but you don’t like saying hi but love to say bye.
  • “Lion King your head” is either your insult or a joke.
  • You love the beach but it took you awhile to get into the water. You said you were scared because the whales and sharks lived in the water. Very smart for a 2 year old to recognize!
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    Look at that worried face.

    Happy third birthday my son son. We love you so much!! Here’s to many more years of happiness and growth. 

Read the rest of this entry

Carlos’ Dinosaur birthday

Gallery

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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2014 Thanksgiving – A reason to be thankful

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2014 Thanksgiving – A reason to be thankful

To be honest I wasn’t going to write anything about our Thanksgiving. Whats to be said, we cooked, we ate and we regretted it all. Then I thought about what the day actually meant. Not the literal historic image that my 11-year-old brother just learned about and made sure we all knew of the slaughter; but the day to really take it in and be thankful for something.
While Valerie was in town we watched many episodes of, “Rehab Addict”. We both had seen the episodes on Netflix a few times already but who really gets tired of watching the “Ha-Ha” house being restored to its original roots.

Val, Carlos and I took a trip to Home Depot to make a bulletin board. It wasn’t a major renovation but we felt pretty pumped walking into the building. We went into the aisles with ideas, we had the measuring tape, we had the frame and we had spirit!

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At the register an employee asked where baby Carlos was. I think all three of us looked at each other like, “is this really happening?” What are the coincidences of somebody saying that while a baby (man baby of one year) named Carlos was in front of them.

When we got back we quickly went to work, to be honest Valerie really helped a lot with everything. I had the idea but she really put it together. I wanted to spray paint the cork but I didn’t want to wait a day for it to dry, so we taped it in so I could take it out and paint it another day. The kids colored the back of the board and when all was done we hung it above the fireplace with pictures and letters of what the kids were thankful for.

 

Capturing the hard work and fun the kids were creating.

Capturing the hard work and fun the kids were creating.

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The end result of a Thanksgiving mantel and a DIY cork board. I added the turkey hands we made last year and some past and present pictures.

This is pretty accurate of my family. I (mom) lead the craziness, that are my wild children.

This is pretty accurate of my family. I (mom) lead the craziness, that are my wild children.

A few weeks later was Thanksgiving. My husband and I hosted this year, lots of planning and prepping went into the meal. In the 7 years of us being together it was his first time making a turkey. I admit, I thought he was in over his head when it was Sunday and the bird was still in the freezer. He knew what he was doing though, he brined it for 3 days and it was delicious.

With the help of my sister in law Vienna, we made pumpkin crayons. Last time I attempted this my house filled with smoke and I called my husband in a panic. Needless to say I haven’t tried making crayons in a few years! We bounced back a few ideas and Vienna thought of using the blow dryer instead of risking another melted plastic try and smoke alarm fiasco. It was a stroke of genius, and this is what we did:

1. Used a pumpkin ice tray ( I got this one for Halloween at The Dollar Store )

2. TIP cut the crayon pieces as small as you can, use a knife because your fingers will start to hurt once you start making the pieces really small. The smaller the better they melt. You can mix colors but I kept them the same.

Cut your pieces much smaller than these.

Cut your pieces much smaller than these.

4. Put down news paper. I didn’t do this and my tile has melted crayon on it and in the grout.

3. When using the blow dryer the highest heat works and for some reason the two newarest colors will melt faster than the actual color your dryer is hovering over. I got in real close, Be careful when moving the dryer around, the melted wax will splash.

4. When done I put the tray in the freezer for about 10 minutes, make sure the wax is hardened and repeat steps for more crayons.

 

The final product

The final product

 

 

I also made “turkey legs” with left over Halloween candy. Lord knows I don’t need all of that candy in my life, and before the week of Thanksgiving I had gotten back into working out.

Turkey legs! Everyone grab one!

Turkey legs! Everyone grab one!

I love Native American culture and last minute I decided to make some feather headbands. Its the perfect day to get my semi obsession out. I just used some left over foam board from my Halloween outfit this year. I hot glued the “feathers” to head bands. Super easy craft and it made it just a little extra fun.

foam board with gold sharpie outlined.

foam board with gold sharpie outlined.

And last but not lease we had a “Thankful” pumpkin. We asked everyone to write what they were thankful for. Some where funny, most said family and health and then there’s my father who wrote his name on other peoples messages.

What were you thankful for this year?

What were you thankful for this year?

As for me, I pray everyday what I am thankful for. I am blessed and thankful for my family and friends health and our wealth. The wealth may not be much but we have a warm house, clothes and we don’t go hungry. I am blessed to have my family and friends here on Earth with us still. Everyday is uncertain and every time I wake up I am blessed to have each one in my life. I am grateful for my children’s health and how much they grow everyday. Though my children drive me crazy and at the end of each night I am emotionally done I lay in bed so happy they are in my life. I also pray for everyone in the world that they had a great joyful day and if not they have a better one tomorrow. That is just a sample of my gratefulness.

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.