Tag Archives: family members

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.

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.

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.

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.

A mini photo shoot in San Jose

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This January the kids were selected to model for ad campaigns for Too Small Organization and The Next Generation. Both are two organizations looking to educate parents so that they can better help their children in school and in early learning. Better education and early learning is something that is near and  dear to our hearts.
My Aunt Christina sent me a link of a Photographer in San Jose, Ca. looking for children in a certain age range, I thought, why not. If we get a spot then my husband and I could take a mini trip back to San Jose where we grew up. A few weeks later and a few pictures being sent back and forth we were selected to be part of the photo shoot! We were very excited and honored.
The trip to San Jose, is three hours from our home in the central valley. We pulled up to a house that wasn’t far from ironically where we both grew up. We had a second to reminisce and then we walked into an amazing Eichler home  and met the photographer, Kate of JetKatphotography and her awesome assistant. They were very easy going and warm. The house was beautiful and the kids felt right at home. I was worried that the kids wouldn’t participate but that wasn’t the case.
Kate had the kids play with blocks while she took pictures. Everything was very natural, the setting in a home and playing with toys. Carlos fell in love with the tambourine and Emery found a room with an antique puzzle. Kate wanted us (the parents) to be in some on the photo’s, we didn’t expect to be in any so it came to a surprise. Victor and I just played and pointed to different things that were on the floor while Kate snapped away.

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

jetkatphoto.com

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY – JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY -JetKat Photography

ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY – JetKat Photography

At the end of it Emery didn’t want to leave but we had more things to in our short little time in the city.
Just down the street we surprised Emery and Carlos’ great grandparents with a visit. It was Carlos’ first time meeting Grandma and Grandpa Zak. Grandma Zak had tons of toys for the kids to play with and take home (as any good grandma might!) and Carlos was extra excited when he saw two huge orange trees. Victor and I just looked at each other and started laughing. His favorite fruit is orange, if he sees an orange he wants it. He eats the rind (if we don’t catch him in time) and has been known to make a whole with his little finger and suck the juice out.

Great Grandma & Great Grandpa Zack & Cousin Daniel

Great Grandma & Great Grandpa Zack & Cousin Daniel

My boy & his oranges

My boy & his oranges

Since my husband and I both grew up in San Jose, there’s always friends I’m wanting to meet with or friends begging for me to come up and visit. I had to meet with at least one while I was here or I wouldn’t here the end of it! I’ve been friends with Jessica since my High School days at Mt. Pleasant. Of course we’ve seen the boy friends, the jobs and all the stuff in between. Now we both have little kids and a husband. The last time I saw her was three years ago, I needed to meet up with her and meet her son Marcus. Jessica ended up calling me and asking what I was doing that weekend. I said, “nothing i’m actually going to San Jose want to meet up?”. It was meant to be!

Jessica, Stephen & Marcus

Jessica, Stephen & Marcus

Driving around San Jose was very nostalgic. My husband and I grew up so close together, shared the same land marks, maybe saw each other while one of us was driving by but never knew each other, never went to the same school and to be honest we probably wouldn’t have been friends. I was friends with all kinds of different people and clicks but I feel like we were two different people back then.
The day was coming to an end and for the first time since leaving my home town when I was 16, I thought, I could live here again. Victor was thinking the same thing and we reminisced some more as we headed home.

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!