Tag Archives: Celebration

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!

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Emery’s surprise Disneyland birthday

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Emery’s surprise Disneyland birthday

After last year’s My Little Pony’s themed birthday I was pooped. I decided next year I would love to take Emery to Disneyland for her birthday and take a mental break from planning an elaborate birthday. Still, it took months of planning, saving and sleepless nights staying up searching for just the right pins for our lanyard collection.

Everyday Emery would ask, “Can we go to Disneyland” and I would respond with, “Emery, it’s far away and expensive“. Secretly I wanted to shout, “YES! Let’s go!” and I really wanted to talk to her about the trip for a whole year. The only kid that knew was Carlos and he knew not to say a word. My secret was safe with a 2 year old who couldn’t form sentences (at the time, he’s on his way now).

May 15th we went to Los Angeles and visited Victor’s family and of course Emery says, “Mom, since we are in L.A. can we go to Disneyland?” Victor and I looked at each other with a grin and said, “Sorry we can’t” but we wanted to say, “YES TOMORROW!!” The next morning we woke up at 7 a.m. and Em was not having it. Eventually she put on her Princess Anna  dress because “we wanted to show Mami Chela her birthday outfit (wink wink)”. We told the kids it was too early to go to grandma’s so we were going to drive around and only see Disneyland (we had to say that much because the GPS said we were going to the Disneyland parking garage). Once we got there we broke the news and Emery was as usual less enthused as I thought she would be and her older brother Vic was overaly excited. It was Vic’s first time at the park’s, Emery assured him he would have a great time. TIP: You can bring your own water and snacks into the park. Just have your bags and stroller ready to be checked before entering downtown Disney.

Waiting in line to get into the park. He's one happy little boy!

Waiting in line to get into the park. He’s one happy little boy!

Heeyyy look at us! We in Disneyland!

Heeyyy look at us!
We in Disneyland!

The Calderon's take  DISNEYLAND 2015!! #HappyBirthdayPrincessEmery

The Calderon’s take
DISNEYLAND 2015!!
#HappyBirthdayPrincessEmery

We went the week before Disneyland was having their 60th anniversary celebration so we saw all the new decorations and Kelly & Michael filming in the plaza.

Right away we saw characters taking pictures. I was so excited, last time we went we didn’t see any out. We jumped in line right away and took photos with Pluto my favorite. Next we ran in line and took pictures with Mickey Mouse! We were the last ones to take photos with him and right away things felt magical.

Carlos wasn't scared of the characters this time!

Carlos wasn’t scared of the characters this time!

Mickey!!!! TIP: Have your phone ready to take photos & the Disney photographers are more willing to take photos with your phone. Each time you take a picture the Disney photographer will hand you a card. Once you get one let the other photographers know right away you have one and at the end of your photos they will scan it. All your Disneyland memories will be on one card and if you decided to get the photos at the end of the day (they can be pricey but  worth it) they'll on be on one card.  Personal TIP: Get your photo with the character and scoot out of the way so others can get there picture fast.

Mickey!!!!
TIP: Have your phone ready to take photos & the Disney photographers are more willing to take photos with your phone. Each time you take a picture the Disney photographer will hand you a card. Once you get a card let the other photographers know right away you have one and at the end of your photos they will scan it. All your Disneyland memories will be on one card instead of several different ones. If you decided to get the photos at the end of the day (they can be pricey but worth it).
Personal TIP: Get your photo with the character and scoot out of the way so others can get there picture fast.

At the time we didn't realize how precious this picture was. One of the Disney staff took it for us and I mixed the photos together. Such a magical moment

At the time we didn’t realize how precious this picture was. One of the Disney staff took it for us and I mixed the photos together. Such a magical moment

First ride we went on was Emery’s favorite, Star Tours! Carlos was too short to ride so I was handed a rider swap pass. TIP: If you stay behind with a younger child have the adult ask for a ride swap pass immediately after getting off the ride.

Something Extra: A fun game to play while in line or walking around Disneyland park, the Resort or even while watching the Disney movies is trying to find the hidden mickey’s A hidden mickey is the traditional shape of our favorite guy Mickey Mouse in the decorations and architecture. If you really want to get into the scavenger hunt you can print out this list and have your luck with it!

While we waited for the older kids and dad to get off the ride we caught a show in front of the castle

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We met up with the family after the ride and went our separate ways again. It was easier for me to take the two little kids on little ride and see characters and have the boys go ride other rides. We ran to see Tinker Bell in her home and I was so happy because I have never seen her and her house is easily overlooked. While waiting in line Emery and Carlos made friends with a little girl. The woman and I started talking and it turned out both the girls were celebrating their birthday’s early, Emery and Elle both shared their birthday’s on the same day!

Elle and Emery waiting to see Tinker and her friends next.

Elle and Emery waiting to see Tinker and her friends next.

Emery and Silvermist

Emery and Silvermist

Tinker was so cute and silly

Tinker was so cute and silly

Emery wanted to go through Sleeping Beauty’s castle and Dad met up with us. As soon as we walked out the band came out and Emery and dad started dancing around to Sleeping Beauty’s, Once Upon A Time. After the band and audience clapped for Emery dancing with mom and dad.

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Dad came with us to see a few more Princess’ but mommy left the signature book behind (guess we’ll just have to go back soon). TIP: Remember to have your book and pen ready while you wait next in line. You can also pick up an autograph book at the Dollar Store to save some money.

Snow White & Emery

Snow White & Emery

Princess Belle

Princess Belle

Princess Belle was my favorite. Her personality was so cute.

Princess Belle was my favorite. Her personality was so cute.

Spinning in their dresses

Spinning in their dresses {Princess photos taken by Disney staff}

Thank you Princess Belle for such great memories.

Thank you Princess Belle for such great memories.

Princess Ariel

Princess Ariel

At night the park was crowded and we got a little anxious but we regrouped and went on the Jungle Cruise. The kids loved it, its also a favorite for us because the tour guides always tell jokes. TIP: At the end of the ride you can ask the guide for a map of the cruise. Beware you may have to tell a joke to get one!

Around 11 o’clock the park starts to die down and it’s the best time to run to all of the rides you can’t really get to during the day. First we went on It’s A Small World and then separated again.

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Inside, Its A Small World they have added Disney characters. If you go on the ride keep an eye out for Alice In Wonderland, Pinochio and XXX

Inside, Its A Small World they have added Disney characters. If you go on the ride keep an eye out for Alice In Wonderland, Pinocchio and Woody to name a few.

At the end of the night I realized the whole day guess in the park had big pins. TIP: I didn’t realize until closing that if you go into any store and ask you can get a pins, Anniversary pin, Wedding pin, First visit and a Happy birthday pin. We got Emery a Happy Birthday pin and in Disneyland when a Disney cast member sees the pin they say, “happy birthday or happy birthday Emery”. Victor got “my first visit” and Carlos had to have one so he got an, “I’m celebrating”. I wish I would have asked earlier about the pins!

I took the kids on an Alice In Wonderland ride and then on Pirates Of The Caribbean (it was closed off and on all day and night). The kids and I got on a boat by ourselves and enjoyed one last ride in the park. I would think Carlos and Emery would be scared of that ride because of the drops and craziness going on, but they’ve never had a problem with any part of it.

FACT: Legend has it that while the ride was still under construction, Imagineers were displeased with the false skeletons placed about the ride. They didn’t look authentic enough. The solution was simple: to use real human bones. The UCLA medical school provided cadaver skeletons to Disneyland, which were positioned in the classic poses we see  today. A pair playing chess, one atop a mountain of gold coins, a dead captain with a sabre in his ribs… While this may seem grotesque, they remained for quite some time.

Pirates Of The Caribbean [photo not taken  by me. Pirates Of The Caribbean facts are from the Disneyland Report]

Although the skeleton in bed looking through a magnifying glass is no longer the remains of a deceased man, the bones on the headboard behind him are. That is a genuine skull and crossbones, and it is not known why they chose to leave it there. Love it or hate it, it certainly is a spooky Easter egg that will hopefully remind patrons of the ride’s eerie history for ages to come.

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Day two California Adventure

The next day was park number two at California Adventure across the way. First Character we saw was Oswald, we did a little research on him afterwards (nerd alert) because we didn’t really know who he was. Right away we met up with a group of friends that were at the Disneyland parks at the same time. I love to go to the park with a group of people, it’s so much easier with kids and being able to switch on and off the rides. TIP: Download the app Disneyland Wait Times to see wait times on all attractions to Disneyland Park and California Adventures.

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All the boys loaded up together on our first ride of the day. Don't under estimate Mader! I love this ride!

All the boys loaded up together on our first ride of the day. Don’t under estimate Mader! I love this ride!

Me & the birthday girl acting crazy

Me & the birthday girl acting crazy

All the main Disney characters in C.A. are dressed as artist or in sailor attire.

A quick swirl with Goofy

A quick swirl with Goofy

Screenshot_2015-05-22-20-52-45-1& while I rode California Screamin’ with Michelle the kids got in line and took photos with Donald duck. Carlos loved him and just as we walked up they were done and Carlos waved goodbye and blew kisses.

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We got Fast Passes (the only way to see the Frozen girls). While we waited the kids watched artist drawings of some memorable movies on the screen.

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The kid’s met Queen Elsa and Princess’ Anna. Carlos’ was super excited to see the them, but too shy to take a photo with them.

Princess Anna couldn't believe Emery had a white streak in her hair! Queen Elsa didn't know how it got there :)

Princess Anna couldn’t believe Emery had a white streak in her hair! Queen Elsa didn’t know how it got there 🙂

& the photo to complete Emery's Frozen Disney birthday

& the photo to complete Emery’s Frozen Disney birthday

The girls were inseparable and rode rides together like big girls. Chloe was celebrating her June birthday a few weeks earlier too. It melted my heart seeing the girls hang out and ride the rides together while the moms hanged out in the back. She’s growing her big girl independence.

Monsters Inc.

Monsters Inc.

Radiator Springs Racers in Cars Land.  A must go on.

Radiator Springs Racers in Cars Land.
A must go on.

Just one of Emery's silly faces.

Just one of Emery’s silly faces. Photo caption via Snap Chat.

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After a long day of walking around we were all beat! The girls needed to relax with a snack and the younger boys fell asleep.

I felt like doing the same thing!

I felt like doing the same thing!

Thank you for the memories Disneyland, once again we were not disapointed. My favorite memories were of Carlos blowing Donald kissies, everyone wishing Emery a happy birthday and Emery says her favorite part was the Ariel ride in California Adventures.

Ariel's Under Water Sea Adventure

Ariel’s Under Water Sea Adventure

Happy pre birthday Emery! Mom and Dad love you with all of our hearts, we hope you had fun and were surprised.

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.

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!