Tag Archives: memories

First time pin trading!

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First time pin trading!

This year we have made it to Disneyland a bunch of times! While we feel blessed to be able to take our kids, I’m overly excited when it’s for one of their birthdays.
We celebrated Emery turning 5 at Disneyland, but unfortunately it was a few months before I started vlogging! So I had no video of our experience. This year we decided to take her again and have an early happy birthday, at the ” Happiest Place On Earth “.

It was also the first time I got to pin trade with someone!
If you enjoy it please don’t forget to like and subscribe!!

Disneyland’s California Adventure

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.

 

To my sweet monkey boy

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To my sweet monkey boy

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

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

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    Kids waving to Dad & Mom vlogging

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

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

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

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    Mondays … Am I right?

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

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

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

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

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Emery’s surprise Disneyland birthday

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Emery’s surprise Disneyland birthday

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

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

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

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

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

Heeyyy look at us! We in Disneyland!

Heeyyy look at us!
We in Disneyland!

The Calderon's take  DISNEYLAND 2015!! #HappyBirthdayPrincessEmery

The Calderon’s take
DISNEYLAND 2015!!
#HappyBirthdayPrincessEmery

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

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

Carlos wasn't scared of the characters this time!

Carlos wasn’t scared of the characters this time!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Emery and Silvermist

Emery and Silvermist

Tinker was so cute and silly

Tinker was so cute and silly

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

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

Snow White & Emery

Snow White & Emery

Princess Belle

Princess Belle

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

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

Spinning in their dresses

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

Thank you Princess Belle for such great memories.

Thank you Princess Belle for such great memories.

Princess Ariel

Princess Ariel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Day two California Adventure

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

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

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

Me & the birthday girl acting crazy

Me & the birthday girl acting crazy

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

A quick swirl with Goofy

A quick swirl with Goofy

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

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

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

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

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

& the photo to complete Emery's Frozen Disney birthday

& the photo to complete Emery’s Frozen Disney birthday

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

Monsters Inc.

Monsters Inc.

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

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

Just one of Emery's silly faces.

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

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

I felt like doing the same thing!

I felt like doing the same thing!

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

Ariel's Under Water Sea Adventure

Ariel’s Under Water Sea Adventure

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

The California State Railroad Museum

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The California State Railroad Museum

CHUGGA CHUGGA CHOO CHOO

The Calderon’s take over The California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento (again). While visiting family and Nina Valerie in Sacramento we had to stop by the California State Railroad Museum in “Old” Sacramento. Emery went when she was two and Carlos is the same age and hasn’t gone yet. Carlos loves trains. He has a growing collection of Thomas the Train movies, toy trains and train apparel.

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I had to get a picture of him doing this just like sister did when she was his age.

I had to get a picture of him doing this just like sister did when she was his age.

I dressed him up in his little train conductor overalls, red bandana and conductor hat. He fit right in with all the huge trains and the train stewards. We didn’t bother reading many of the facts this time around, we were strictly there to get on some trains and interact with all we could.

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When you first walk into the beginning of the tour its set-up to explain who worked on the trains and what the time line of the construction. There’s a mock train station booth and cars you can peer inside.

One ticket please!

One ticket please!

Theres a Canadian National Sleeper train in the back of the museum that gives the feeling of movement with sounds as if the train is passing by railroad crossings when you’re in it. Carlos went on it 5 times each with a new chaperon.

Daddy's little guy

Daddy’s little guy

Carlos' first walk through in a train

Carlos’ first walk through in a train

& Nina took him on the sleeper car a few times

& Nina took him on the sleeper car a few times

While they were in there they sat down and talked to a few people about trains.

While they were in there they sat down and talked to a few people about trains.

& Mommy took him a few times.

& Mommy took him a few times.

The building has so many trains inside of it, it’s amazing to walk around all of them. Some trains you can look inside, some you can walk in and there’s a big black train that you can sit in the engineer’s seat.

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What a dream come true for a little boy who loves trains

What a dream come true for a little boy who loves trains

More coal!!

More coal!!

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Up stairs has toy trains to play with and a professional set up behind glass. It was probably my fourth time going and I still enjoyed walking around and exploring.

I love when we kind find kid areas to let them lose and for the parents to re-group

I love when we kind find kid areas to let them loose and for the parents to re-group

In April the Museum begins to offer train rides along the river. We weren’t able to ride it because it wasn’t open yet, but we’ll be back! If you make the trip to The Railroad Museum hang around “old Sac” where the museum is located and check out all the other buildings and the history of the area. It’s very cool to see older buildings and horses right in the middle of the states capitol.

Carlos’ Dinosaur birthday

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2014 a year in review

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2014 a year in review

My youngest baby turned one!

Monster boy!

Monster boy!

My oldest turned four!

Rainbow curtain and a huge Pinky Pie balloon

My Little Emery

We visited the beach

Cambria, Ca.

Cambria, Ca.

We drove to the mountains

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Sequoia National Park, Ca. [[Carlos’ first time]]

The kids were asked to be part of a possible ad campaign

We had a family photo shoot for a possible ad with JetKat Photography

JetKat Photography

 

We surprised Great Grandparents in San Jose

Great Grandma & Great Grandpa Zack & Cousin Daniel

Great Grandma & Great Grandpa Zack & Cousin Daniel

Mommy got to introduce us to some of her San Jose friends from high school finally

Jessica, Stephen & Marcus

Jessica, Stephen & Marcus

We visited The La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles

Us inside a tar bubble

Us inside a tar bubble

Our first time at the Los Angeles Zoo!

We love zoo's

We love zoo’s

 

We visited Great Grandma Mami Chela in Los Angeles for her birthday

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We visited the Natural History Museum for the first time and we loved it!

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We went to Apple Hill to get one or two pumpkins

A few of the pumpkins we picked out.

Here’s just a few …

 

Took our yearly Family photo

Our 2014 Family photo

Our 2014 Family photo

 

Took the kids to the state capitol

California State Capitol

California State Capitol

 

Visited Great Grandma Mary . . .

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Grandpa Max …

 

Grandpa Max and the kids

Grandpa Max and the kids

And Grandma Andrea while we were in Sacramento!

Grandma Andrea

Grandma Andrea

 

Celebrated Halloween and mommy slaved over making Carlos’ Mad Hatter outfit and his hat

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

Alice In Wonderland photo shoot at a local pumpkin patch

 

We hosted Thanksgiving at our house this year

What were you thankful for this year?

What were you thankful for this year?

And celebrated Christmas at Great Grandma & Papa Joe’s house

Waiting for Santa

Waiting for Santa

It was a busy year with trips to our local zoo and park in between. This is Emery’s last year spending all day with us before school and we’re trying to make it extra fun for her.

2014 was a good year for us, we had our usual ups and downs that come with life but this mommy can’t complain! Everyone is healthy and our loved ones are with us. I’m happy to share my adventures of parenting these two little ones and document our travels around the Golden State of California. A big thank you to all of my readers out there! I wouldn’t be doing these if I didn’t have the support I do.

Hope everyone has a healthy, happy, joyful and blessed new year

Mommylaughs

2014 Christmas

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2014 Christmas

We welcomed December’s cold crisp air and cold nights with hot chocolate. Emery and Carlos decorated the Christmas tree this year while I stood back and watched. Carlos grabbed the ornaments and handed them off to his big sis. The clusters of ornaments together was a signature look that my babies were doing the tree all by themselves.

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Later that night when Carlos was a sleep, Emery helped me make a popcorn garland; I had never made one before and I was excited. We made fresh popped popcorn and I sat on the couch starting to thread. Emery handed me popcorn with puffy tops … and then slowly her hand ended up going from the bowl to her mouth. I didn’t mind, I know she enjoys popcorn and I was just happy to have her company. The garland didn’t take very long and soon we had our very first popcorn master piece, a tribute to my two popcorn monsters.

Emery capturing my hard work

Emery capturing my hard work

The next day we made our wish list for Santa. Emery needed help putting words together, we talked about what she wanted and then I helped her spell it out. Dad was near by on the computer and ordered a few more gifts that were on her list. For Carlos I put down things that he likes-  trains, cars, animals and Diego movies. When the kids were done with their list, I made copies for Santa (so I could keep the original list). We stamped the envelopes and mailed them off to the North Pole!

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I hope Snowie put in an extra good word for us!

I hope Snowie our North Pole elf put in an extra good word for us!

 

In December our special friend Snowie the elf comes back to visit us and watch the kids during the morning as Santa’s little spy. At night he gets into things and the kids wake up in a hurry to find what he got into or where in the house he is. Emery was especially excited to see him! His antics were a hit with the kids and when Carlos was cranky Emery would give him Snowie to sleep with and Carlos snuggled him safe. 

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A few of Snowie’s tricks at night were admiring Em’s drawing of him

 

I agree! Great job Emery!

I agree! Great job Emery!

Snowie made Emery and Carlos into little tree elves

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

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

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

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Last minute I had the idea of making an ugly Christmas sweater for Carlos. I spent nights sowing little trinkets like small plastic ornaments, ball puffs, garland, gift bow and we topped it off with a Christmas light necklace.

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Every year for holidays I like to make something using the kids foot print or hand print as a size reminder of how much smaller the kids were the year before. The kids dipped their foot and hand in some flour and placed it on felt. I use flour to make a print of the hands and feet instead of tracing an outline. I find the kids are more willing to get dirty and stamp their hand on something rather than holding their hand down and trying to trace around it. The flour is also more accurate, to the actual size.

flour

flour

outlining the flour print

outlining the flour print

Emery's little reindeer hand

Emery’s little reindeer hand

Emery & Carlos' feet. Little penguins hand sown by mommy

Emery & Carlos’ feet. Little penguins hand sown by mommy

The week of Christmas we did a mini photo shoot in front of the Christmas tree and fireplace. Taking photos of the kids was kind of difficult, things don’t always go as planned but its even harder when I’m shooting at night with no flash, every little movement from me or the kids turned the photo into a blur. I tend to shoot fast and I often neglect the background whether its straight or crooked. I think even when I shoot slow I have that problem.

Looking for Santa

Looking for Santa

Drinking Santa's milk

Drinking Santa’s milk

Waiting for Santa

Waiting for Santa

We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas day at Great Grandma Mary’s and Papa Joe’s house. We had traditional tamales with pork and olives. Christmas day we went back to celebrate their Dad’s birthday and enjoy some homemade menudo amongst lots of delicious sweets.

Great Papa joe & Great Grandma Mary

Great Papa Joe & Great Grandma Mary

Papa giving a piggy back ride & getting a kiss from the great grandkids

Papa giving a piggy back ride & getting a kiss from the great grandkids

Carlos had a very “train-y” Christmas and made out with lots of Thomas the Train toys. And Emery got a karaoke machine and lots of songs and movies.

Carlos the conductor

Carlos the conductor

choo choo

choo choo

Disney karaoke!

Disney karaoke!

Opening gifts at Grandma & Papa's

Opening gifts at Grandma & Papa’s

 

I’m blessed and thankful it was another year with all of our family in our lives and the kids were able to share traditions that I grew up with and to have so much love in the house.

 

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2014 Thanksgiving – A reason to be thankful

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2014 Thanksgiving – A reason to be thankful

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

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

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

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

 

Capturing the hard work and fun the kids were creating.

Capturing the hard work and fun the kids were creating.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cut your pieces much smaller than these.

Cut your pieces much smaller than these.

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

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

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

 

The final product

The final product

 

 

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

Turkey legs! Everyone grab one!

Turkey legs! Everyone grab one!

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

foam board with gold sharpie outlined.

foam board with gold sharpie outlined.

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

What were you thankful for this year?

What were you thankful for this year?

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

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!