Tag Archives: love

To Emery, Happy 6th Birthday

To Emery, Happy 6th Birthday

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

Emery’s year in review

You started Kindergarten


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

& completely nailed it!


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


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


You made new friendships


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


& miss Makayla

You had your first field trip to the Fresno Chaffee Zoo


& mommy got to come along

We went to Disneyland for Halloween!


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


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

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


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


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


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

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



& we found Santa!


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


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


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


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


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


& you took one last school photo with some friends



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



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

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


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

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

It finally happened …


After years of talking about it, being frustrated, tired, sore, isolated, teased and “trying”. It finally happened. Carlos has been weaned off of “ninny” and I’m free of breastfeeding! Quick, someone hand me a beer! Not only am I not limited to how many I can have or at what hour I need to stop let’s be honest … this is a victory (for me anyway).

When Carlos turned one, every night during prayers I would tell him soon he wouldn’t have milk and how he really didn’t need it anymore. He was a big boy and how he could have milk or water in a cup. Every night he agreed by shaking his head that he understood. But, when push came to shove he didn’t follow through with our plan. For two years I tried telling him he was a big kid but every afternoon and night he would want “nin” to go to bed. And while breastfeeding is extremely easy, its that easiness that can get you in a deep whole of dependence. Hurt? crying? tired? here have some milk! When the answer is right in front of you (literally) it’s easy to just do it.

After feeding during the night he would wake up and want “nin” right away, and it was even to the point that he would cry about it. It was exhausting to be a prisoner to it. As much as I loved feeding him and bonding it was too much. Luckily my husband was very supportive and we didn’t feel a need to force him to stop but we agreed that he should stop before the age of 3 (which at this point was a month away). I could handle him crying but the real question was could the rest of the family deal with it in the middle of the night?

The Thanksgiving break seemed like my one and only shot and getting this right. Emery was out of school, little Victor wouldn’t be home and maybe we could politely ask dad to leave the room for the week while I learned how to put a baby to bed without milk.

First night was a disaster. I almost gave in. Carlos was screaming his head off … and when I say screaming I don’t mean crying really loud, I mean sitting there full force screaming until he got his way. While I ignore the sound, dad has a harder time letting go of control and I was in between two alpha male personalities howling at each other (wow, that sounds much nicer than it was). Eventually the screaming subsided, he asked for an orange (normally I would not give him food late or in bed but if it was to calm him down, sure take an orange) and he fell a sleep. He woke once asked for it and went back to bed. Hallelujah!
The next few days followed suite, but with less screaming. He hasn’t taken naps unless they are in the car because I don’t know how to give him a nap with out milk and he wont take a nap during the day. Once a day he’ll ask for “ninny” jokingly or just to say it but doesn’t fuss or bother about it. How fast he was weaned has been amazing.

Still nights can be hard and I think if he was breastfeed he would be a sleep right now and I could do my crafting or be out of the bedroom instead of him forcing me to be in  the room with him. That is our newest big struggle, and personally I feel some what useless now; Carlos has made huge strides in the past 3 months, potty trained and weaned … where do I fit in? My baby is now a big boy … something I wanted but now that it has happened I feel kind of empty. I see him tired but I cant help to put him to bed, he’s hurt and I cant comfort him like the way I know how and lately I’ve had a hard time sleeping. I wake up at night and I see everyone sleeping comfortably and all through the night and I’m tossing and turning wanting to feed someone haha. Maybe not that last part but I think I am use to wake up several times at night that I’m finding it weird to just be me again.



Our baby cousin needs some love


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

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


Help baby Dominick

Carlos’ Dinosaur birthday


2014 Christmas

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.


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. 


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


Snowie was leader of his own sleigh, thanks to the help of a few dinosaurs, animals and a My Little Pony.


He got into the kids underwear and decorated the tree with them.


And one night he bothered the kids while they were sleeping . . .


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.


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.



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.


2014 Christmas 031

2014 Thanksgiving – A reason to be thankful

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!


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.



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


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

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!



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.


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


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.


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.