Tag Archives: children

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.

 

Help me wean!!!

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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!

 

Sincerely,

 

A mom who is lost.

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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Halloween 2014

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Halloween for us started in early September, the house was all decorated inside and ready for the season before the weather even changed. The outfit planning started a few months before that in summer. I guess you could say, Halloween is kinda a big deal here.
We went through several costume ideas before sticking with the final one. My heart was set on Carlos being Nacho Libre,  but as time went on more ideas came to mind. The tough thing about toddlers and Halloween, is that there’s so many great ideas and it makes it hard to choose! The kids have been in themed costumes that past few years, so want to keep the tradition going while they’re still little and don’t want to be two completely different things.
Since Emery is older I was willing to work around what she wanted. It changed a few times, first she wanted to be Olaf with blood on the side of her mouth (her idea not mine). Then she wanted to be The Mad Hatter from Alice In Wonderland. Of course no where in the known universe of 1 million costume shops did I find a pre made outfit, that began my frantic pinning. If Emery was going to be the Mad Hatter Carlos would be The March Hare. It looked like I would be making two costume outfits.
Luckily Emery decided to be Alice and that moved Carlos up to The Mad Hatter. I only had to make one outfit! I don’t like doing things last-minute so I started everything in September, besides I needed the costume done and bought before our Apple Hill trip in early October.

Before I even got started I was nervous of the task ahead of me. This would be my first time making an outfit. I’ve made a doll outfit before, a few pillows but that was the extent of it. Now I was taking on pants, a vest and a jacket! I figured if it didn’t pan out and worst came to worst Carlos would be in the dark and it was only for one day.

As crazy as that was, my sewing machine wasn’t even working! A month before I tried fixing it with my grandma while watching YouTube videos to no success. My husband (Mr. Fix it via YouTube) tried it and it worked! I had my machine, my cloth, my ideas, now time to try to figure it all out.

 

Those are the hands of man who can google & figure out anything on the web.

Those are the hands of man who can Google & figure out anything on the web.

This is the only photo I have of me making the outfit. I dont know why I didnt take any to blog. Also you may notice I'm bald. I shaved my head and donated it to Locks Of Love. You can check out that video on YouTube @ Valsays [[Antiques & Bald chicks]]

This is the only photo I have of me making the outfit. Unfortunately I didn’t record the process for the blog. Also you may notice I’m bald. I shaved my head and donated it to Locks Of Love. You can check out that video on YouTube @ Valsays [[Antiques & Bald chicks]]

I also had to make the tights the colors I needed  for The Mad Hatter outfit. With this I bought white cotton tights and several Kool-Aid packets.

I used 3 Kool-Aid purples with one different packet

I used 3 Kool-Aid purples with one different packet

& three green apple packets. This was the only green I could find. I dont know why anyone would want to drink this flavor but to each their own.

& three green apple packets. This was the only green I could find. I don’t know why anyone would want to drink this flavor but to each their own.

STEP 1. I put three of the purple packets in a steady boil.

STEP 2. Since I needed each leg a different color I held the other white leg in my hand so that it wouldn’t stain. TIP: turn the tights inside out because in step 4 your tights will lose that color you loved.

STEP 3. Constantly move the tight around so all the color can be even.

STEP 4. When you reach the desired color take out and rinse in cool water and wring it lightly. You don’t want to get all the color out so be careful, it doesn’t have to be in the water that long, maybe 30 seconds at max.

STEP 5. Because we are doing different color legs repeat the from step 1. TIP: I had to get another pot because the color really stuck, so be prepared or save yourself the hassle and just use another pot.

First leg

First leg

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STEP 6. Have a hanger ready to hang your end result. Leave it inside out until it is fully dry. I had mine dry over night and I think they were still a tad damp in the morning.

 

Now lets fast forward about a week of staying up at 3 a.m. every night (because my children are crazy and go to bed at 11) to get the clothes ready and here are the end results.

I'm still in awe that I made this outfit

I’m still in awe that I made this outfit

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

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

In these picture you can’t really see the colors on Carlos’ tights, that because I didn’t realize they were so much brighter on the inside until I took them off.
I also made Carlos’ Mad Hatter hat with the help of my husband. I researched on Pinterest how to make the hat and which I would like best. No pictures were taken of that either. If you decide to take on the task of making your own hat, make sure you have plenty of hot glue, some help and plenty of fabric to cover your hat! A staple gun might work better and be faster. Carlos never actually wore his hat, the hat is way too heavy for him and by the time we put all the cardboard in the rim it didn’t fit his head. It’s really nice so we are keeping it for a possible Alice In Wonderland party or a Halloween decoration for next year.

Here are the tights inside out and the hat! As you can see it's pretty big.

Here are the tights inside out and the hat! As you can see it’s pretty big.

 

Emery is really into YouTube tutorials on costume make up, the day before Halloween I was watching one with her and got inspired to be the white rabbit. I didn’t really want to dress up because I didn’t feel like making myself anything but I actually had everything I needed to become the white rabbit, all I needed was white eye liner, to make the ears, foam board and a chain that were at Michael’s (my favorite store ever).

Mom as the White Rabbit

Mom as the White Rabbit

The whole Alice In Wonderland clan!

The whole Alice In Wonderland clan!

Just when we were done taking pictures in the front yard a black car pulled up. Emery thought trick – or – treaters were here. I said, “no trick – or – treaters don’t come in cars”. A few seconds later Nina Valerie came out! I have bad eyesight so I didn’t even know who it was! Not to mention she had just got a new car so I didn’t put two and two together! Val and Vic had planned the surprise a day before and I was totally clueless. I guess I got both tricked and a treat!

My trick & treat!

My trick & treat!

 

 

 

 

Apple Hill 2014

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We waited months for our family vacation, our yearly trip to Apple Hill Ca. This was Carlos’ first time and I was so excited to get all the pumpkins my little hands could grab. The months leading up to the trip, Emery would freak out in the car about her back itching. A 5 minute car ride to Target was a struggle. She would squirm around, freak out, complain, wail and the cherry on top – she would kick the seat behind me. I probably looked like I was having a demon fighting within me, going forward and back violently in the car with an angry face. So many warnings were given about her being good because Grandpa’s house is much farther than Target.
I packed all of the “best of’s” to avoid any problems. I had 3 hours to keep her occupied and one, one year old. Carlos fell asleep right on schedule but woke up pretty early and did good the rest of the way. Emery surprisingly did amazing (shout out time). She had her tablet, a few snacks and she was an angel. I don’t get to say that much often anymore so I’ll say it again, Emery was an angel.

and here we go ...

and here we go …

DAY 1. Thursday –
We stayed at Carlos’ Nina’s parents house in Elk Grove. I hadn’t been to the area in two years, being able to relax for half a day was great and reconnect.

Ozzy and the kids playing in the back yard dirt.

Ozzy and the kids playing in the back yard dirt.

DAY 2. Friday –
Val (Carlos’ Nina) took us out to eat breakfast, on the way Emery got sick. It was a 10 minute drive (with out traffic) and from that little time she got a fever. How this happened I don’t know, but luckily Super Mom packed meds, a thermometer and a first aid kit just in case (toot toot, that’s me tooting my horn).
We hit up a local hipster coffee spot in midtown and then off to my Dad’s house.
Carlos met his great Grandma Mary for the first time and really embraced everyone instead of being shy and off standing.
At night Victor, Valerie and I went out to Capitol Tap Room to have some brews and celebrate our 7 years of being together. It was our first time being away from the kids, doing something more than a nice fast dinner. Luckily, my family was able and willing to watch the kids. I felt like, “ah, this is what adult time feels like”.

Happy 7 year anniversary  xxXooOX

Happy 7 year anniversary
xxXooOX

DAY 3. Saturday –

Apple Hill!! Valerie came with us, it was her first time and we enjoyed her company. She was our official photographer for our yearly family photo.
Emery found her own pumpkin this year and she was really proud of herself.
Carlos fell every opportunity he could in the patch. The red dirt was all over his chest and back. It was pretty funny because he would fall on the floor and dust himself off not caring at all.
I planned to grab a ton of pumpkins while we were there and I think we succeeded, we walked away with 13 awesome and different ones.

After a long day of walking around and trying different ciders we headed back to my dad’s, where my step mom made a pre-thanksgiving dinner. Perfect for a hunger crew!

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I love this picture of Emery & her special pumpkin

I love this picture of Emery & her special pumpkin

A few of the pumpkins we picked out.

A few of the pumpkins we picked out.

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Our 2014 Family photo

Our 2014 Family photo

My Seesta, my friend, my compa.

My Seesta, my friend, my compa.

 

DAY 4. Sunday –

We took the kids to The State Capitol to check it out because, when in Rome. Emery was learning her state capitals a few months ago so she knew Sacramento was the state’s capital, now she was able to see it up close. We went inside, something Victor and I hadn’t done before. Val was our tour guide leading the way to all the rooms available for visitors. We got to see the assembly room, where all the decisions are made. We found a gift shop and picked up two new California children’s books and a magnet for our trip!

At the end of this day I think Victor and I both looked at each other and decided we needed one more day in the city.

California State Capitol

California State Capitol

walking into the lobby inside the Capitol

walking into the lobby inside the Capitol

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looking up at the dome with daddy

looking up at the dome with daddy

Inside the assembly room

Inside the assembly room

When we got home we did some homework on California

When we got home we did some homework on California

 

DAY 5. Monday –
BONUS DAY!!! Also uuber sad day because this was the day we had to leave. We sad goodbye to great grandma Mary and snuck in a few photos. We had lunch with Nina Val one last time. And let me say this, one of my favorite things about the trip was the last meal at The Sandwich Spot. OHMYGAWD so good. so good.

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Carlos would not take a picture with his grandma. She got the great idea of just standing next to him and smiling. It worked.

Carlos would not take a picture with his grandma. She got the great idea of just standing next to him and smiling. It worked.

Grandpa Max and the kids

Grandpa Max and the kids

Grandma Andrea

Grandma Andrea

We said our goodbyes and I stressed all over about the 3 hour road trip home. Emery had to pee 40 minutes into it (how I don’t know because she went before we left), Carlos woke up right away and I was dreading the hours of crying. Luckily everything went smooth and we plan to be back again sooner than later.

Valerie, has a YouTube channel – Valsays and vlogged our trip. So forget everything you just read and watch mini clips of it below.

Surf to Turf, the California experince

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

 

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

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There’s my arm! That’s two for two!

 


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

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

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

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Carlos’ first time here

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

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Inside the Giant Forest Museum

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

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So beautiful and quite

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The tree is this wide!

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Bear

TARANTULA {{{ewwww}}}

TARANTULA
{{{ewwww}}}

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!

2013 Recap

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

Meeting Carlos for the first time

Meeting Carlos for the first time

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

Another year bites the dust

Another year bites the dust

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

3rd birthday!

3rd birthday!

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

Beach bum baby

Beach bum baby

Sea snail anyone?

Sea snail anyone?

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

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

Nino Luda & Nina Val

Nino Luda & Nina Val

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

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

Photo op!

Photo op!

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

Baby’s first Christmas

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

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

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

Christmas Eve opening gifts

Christmas Eve opening gifts

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11 months old

11 months old