We Are So Blessed!!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Funny Story of John's Christmas Stocking!

How many Christmas stockings does one man need? I am sure you are thinking just one, right?
Well yes, but no, hehe! The answer is really 5  ... I'll explain...
My hubs is a typical man, you know- not too picky when it comes to most things, like the house decor, etc.. he just leaves it to me and as long as I'm happy, he's happy- and he usually really likes things I pick out. He's even a great sport when it comes to wearing costumes- he doesn't ever complain- and he usually likes those too- or at least the fun of it- he's easy going!
Well, he has liked everything just fine - except the Christmas stockings I have picked out, LOL!!! Funny thing to be choosy about, hehe!
We have been together 9 Christmases and I have purchased him 5 stockings over the years- always to replace a previous one that he didn't like, hehe!
As it turns out, I really don't like many stockings in the stores- I like everything to be unique/different...
So for our first Christmas together, I bought these for us:


I thought these were cute- hehe, and unusual, and I loved all the bling!

Conversation when I showed John:
Me: "Look honey, I got us some stockings."
John: "What? One of those is for me? Uhhm, (pause) I don't know about that?"
Me: "You don't like them?"
John: "No, not really."
Me: "What's wrong with them?"
John: (laughing) "Well everything. They have rhinestone-things- they are all shiny- these are for girls!"
I didn't believe they were that bad, until my dad and Denise were over and my dad was laughing WITH John! They were making fun of my stockings!

But wait, it gets funnier.....
OK fine, so the next year I looked around again, and I found some new ones- great!! I was driving home with them in the car, and happened to get a call from John, so I mentioned:
Me: "Oh guess what, I finally found us some new stockings- so we can get rid of the other ones! I think you will like them this time!"
John: "I am sure I will as long as mine doesn't have like a picture of a stupid reindeer on it or something."
Me: (laughing so hard)
John: "It has a reindeer on it?"
Me: "How did you know to say -have a reindeer- cuz yeah it does! It has one that sings and its antlers move with bells!"
John: "What the??-- Are you serious??"
BOTH of us were rolling laughing so hard, we couldn't breathe!
Me: (still laughing so hard) "Well I got a dog one too, would you like the dog one better?"
John: "No, no animals would be better."

Well, I came home to show him these.... 

 
I thought they were cute... but John, not so much!
 
Before you play this video- be sure to pause the music player towards the bottom of the blog or the sounds will be battling.
Here is a short video of what the stockings do...  cuz it is funny! I was just gonna take a quick video for this post, and I was going to tell the story on video... But as you will hear, Maletch ran over talking about it- so I didn't want to tell the, "Daddy didn't like the stocking story" in front of him-  I didn't want to explain how daddy didn't like it so he gave it to you! hehe. Oh but daddy likes it for you, just not for himself! I really laugh now thinking about how I bought these WAY before the kids were born- we were just a married couple, LOL!

  video
What man wouldn't want this stocking right? hehe!

OK, so then the next year, I kept looking and I found some that neither of us really liked, but they were the best I could find-- no rhinestones-- no singing reindeer-- but not my favorites...


You can't tell from the pic, but these are very 3-D. They have wooden pieces attached and all kinds of things, and very puffy appliques.
 
John gave me a funny look and asked, "Why don't we just get some regular plain stockings?"
Me: "Cuz that's too boring, who wants that??"
John: (laughing) "I wouldn't mind that."
Me: "Don't worry, one day I'll find some we both like, and they won't be plain."
Both of us laughed yet again!!


OK, so the NEXT year, I finally found THESE-- and I LOVED them!! I was so EXCITED-- finally these are really my style!! I wondered what John would say- cuz they do have a little rhinestone bling (negative for him)-- but they are more simple (plus for him)- and they are unique (perfect for me) --- I really thought these were THE ONES!!...


Well, his reaction was not exactly what I'd hoped for!
 
Me: "So what do you think?"
John: "Well, they are better than all the other ones."
Me: "You don't love them?"
John: "Well they aren't bad."
Me: "Well are they great?"
John: "They are OK."
Me: "Aww, just OK? Man, I thought these were perfect!"
John: "Well I don't hate them."
Me: "Can you try to love them?"
We both had another great laugh!!

Well each year, the ones I bought were "better" than the previous - so we used them each once- until the buckle ones. We have used those every year since the year we got them...  and then, after the kids were born, we gave them the singing ones (Maletch got daddy's singing reindeer, and Sariah got my singing dog)...
This is how they looked all together:



.... Until this year- when I surprised the family-  I ordered heirloom quality knit stockings with all of our names embroidered- YAY! I bet the kids wonder why they don't sing or do anything fun, LOL!

 
John and I BOTH love the unique, vintage look- and I know we will have these for many many years!

These remind me of the stockings my brothers and I had as kids (my dad and Denise still have them). Although these are different style-wise, my childhood stocking was crocheted so it had lots of stretch and could hold a lot of goodies- just like these! I really had fun stuffing these this year and I was AMAZED at how much I was able to get in there- compared to previous years with the no-stretch ones! I should take a pic of all the stuff I fit in just one!!

Anyway, John and I laugh at the stocking fiasco stories every year! It is funny, because we still have them all in the same Christmas bin with our current ones- and we didn't really plan to keep them, but every year when we pull our stockings out, we bust up laughing when we find them- funny memories-- John especially laughs at the first shiny ones! So maybe I will never get rid of them, so we can re-discover them every Christmas- but I wanted to scrapbook and journal this now- (while we still have them all)- and its the perfect time since the saga of the bad stockings is finally over, haha!
... and now you know why John has FIVE stockings!
I still tease John that one year, I plan to decorate in a Winter Wonderland theme that will be all white, silver, & blue- and that we will need those shiny stockings to go with the theme- hehe- it always makes him laugh and groan! I actually do want to do that one year though- hehe- so maybe the stockings he hates will be making a comeback? lol!

P.S. If you click on a pic it will enlarge- and you can see the funny details better! Once one pic is enlarged- you can just use your right/left arrows and see all the stockings enlarged.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

It's Christmastime!!

 
 
 

We thought we were prepared for Christmas since I finished all my shopping early- but sheesh- we have been so busy with other things- we were unable to finish up our Christmas preparations (we still need to get everything wrapped and shipped and mail off Christmas Cards)--  but the kids are certainly ready and excited for Christmas! Can you believe it is only 9 days away?

We are especially excited to be starting traditions with our kids that we know will be memories they will grow up and treasure forever!
We  have many traditions in our house but two of my favorites are our Advent Calendar (Countdown Calendar) - which we fill with candy and little presents for each day of December!
We have a store -bought one which we like a lot and since it hangs on our wall it's a space saver but I have an idea for one I want to customize BUT that will be much bigger and floor standing- so we will use that in a future place when we have more space!- and for now we love this one!

 
It has a wooden candy cane (attached with a ribbon) that you use to mark the day you are on. It looks neat when it is all filled, I took this pic at 6 days till Christmas (so there are only 5 goodies left towards the top). Each day, the kids take turns "doing the honors" of taking out the treat/gift and moving the candy cane up one stocking- so fun! They race to it every morning- to see what they get! It is hard to see, but there is even a star on the tree (the candy canes in the top stocking are blocking it).

We have always given the kids new Christmas pajamas as a tradition, but we decided it would be more fun to have all matching Christmas pajamas- cuz we are nerds and it is fun! We will continue our traditions until our kids have kids, and we hope they will continue them with their own families!



A few other traditions we look forward to:
Every year I bake my "famous" Chocolate Chip cookies and homemade Almond Roca Candy, and Zucchini Bread.
We make Gingerbread Houses (this year we are making a Gingerbread Christmas Train).
The kids get to each open one present on Christmas Eve (this year it will be a Nativity play set).
We read Christmas stories to the kids all month (we have many favorites in our library) and daddy does a special reading of "The Night Before Christmas" on Christmas Eve.
We even have an Elf on our shelf that watches us and reports back to Santa every night when we sleep and he's back every morning in a different spot!

So what are some Christmas traditions you cherish at your house??

I posted a few sneak peeks of our matching Christmas Jammies!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

What a Fun Surprise and FUN Night!!


Well tonight was John's birthday and I surprised the family with Front Row tickets to Disney On Ice Dare To Dream! We headed to a packed house at the Staples Center all dressed up in our costumes, and on the way there I told everyone what we were gonna see!

 
 Standing at our seats after the show!
 
 

Trying to leave our house, we had all kinds of bad luck- after we locked up the house and hopped in the car- we misplaced our keys- so we couldn't start the car and actually get going. The search was long: Did they fall between the seats? in one of our bags? This was a big time sucker. Then once we started driving, I realized that I snagged and ripped my dress and needed to go back home to get something to repair it- then once we got back on the road it started raining and some cars just ahead of us got in a major accident! All of this made us pretty sure we would be late and miss some of the show. You might think that all this could wreck our mood or evening-- oh but not us- John and I always know how to laugh during chaos, and we were rolling in the car recapping our shenanigans all the way there! Our luck sure turned around when we arrived- somehow we got parked with a few minutes to spare!

When the show started, we became the luckiest ducks ever because the actors made us part of the show too!! They took notice to the family dressed like them in the front row and they interacted (spotlights and everything) with us all night! They really made this show an unforgettable experience for us and it was that much more enjoyable! Our seats were right at the ice- we could touch the ice from our chairs!!

In this show they performed three full Disney Princess movie plots: Tiana (princess and the frog), Cinderella, and Rapunzel. They also featured Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy between stories (as our hosts). Sariah was talking to them a lot! Although Mickey is one of her favorites, I heard her calling out to "Donna" (Donald Duck) a lot!
Each story was full of beauty, action, villains, scenery changes, and special effects- straight out of the movie- but LIVE on ice! Both Sariah and Maletch are fully familiar with all 3 movies in fact Maletch kept saying, "This is just like the movie!" They did this much like Toy Story 3 on ice where there was vocal dialogue, mixed with musical style singing- great storytelling!
We were all really impressed with the aerial (acrobatic stunts) that Rapunzel and Flynn did- and we were also impressed with the costuming for the horse- which looked like a real horse ice skating! The lit-up Cinderella carriage on ice was stunning and Cinderella and her prince were Olympic-style stunt skaters and amazing to watch! I also really enjoyed the indoor pyrotechnics- just a great show!

Maletch will want to tell you about this:
Although many of the actors engaged with us in a charming or funny way, unanimously our favorite part was when they were performing the Cinderella story, The Prince and The Guard were carrying the glass slipper - looking to find the girl that fit the slipper. They came up to me on bended knee and tried it on my foot!! Maletch has been retelling that and how the Duke said, "No it doesn't fit mommy." LOL!! I think John caught it on video, but he was not at the best angle (too close) but I will post it anyway.
One part that Maletch didn't understand was supposed to be funny was when the Wicked step-sisters approached me they really started acting antagonistic and making faces, and making I'm gonna get you (threatening gestures of choking and hitting) and the audience and John and I were laughing since they were doing this "to Cinderella" but Maletch did not understand it was a joke and he was worried about these mean girls that he saw being mean to mommy. He also said they were doing it to him too! At this age, everything is so literal, so I know that must have been pretty scary. Now you will understand what he is talking about when he tells you about the "wicked step-sisters being mean to mommy and me, and how the man with the prince said the shoe didn't fit mommy!"


The wicked step-sisters are coming to mess with me and Maletch again!!

Funny Story (well kind of CRAZY):
Unbeknown to me, as we were escorted to the front row (when we arrived) apparently all the people in the place (kids AND parents) for some reason thought I was part of the show.. so as we descended down the stairs, I did hear a ruckus but I didn't turn around so I didn't know it had to do with me. Well, at intermission, as I was going to go to the ladies room (by myself)- I was approached by security who told me there was a mob of people that formed and were trying to get down to my seat to "meet the princess". He said, "We can't allow that since they didn't have tickets to get down to where you are." He insisted, "I think you will get mobbed going up the stairs." I thought that was funny, but I really didn't take it seriously.. I mean come on, I am at a show with my family, I am in the audience, obviously, I am not Cinderella, just a lady in costume right?? .... Well that is what I thought, until I tried to walk up the very first step and I was attacked!! I mean freakin MOBBED! Of course it wasn't the kids shouting "Hi Cinderella!"or even the ambush hugs from kids that bothered me - it was the nutty parents (moms AND dads) that were grabbing me, saying, "Come here my kids want to meet you, can I take a pic of you with my kids?" I tried to be clear, insisting that I was not part of the show, but for whatever reason they either didn't care or didn't believe me, Once I would take a pic (almost without choice) there were 50 more people yelling, "Cinderella over here! Behind you! Cinderella turn around!" Security was laughing but I was worried that I would never make it off the stairs or to the bathroom, and I was also worried about how aggressive they all were. After someone helped me the rest of the way up the stairs, I ran into the bathroom being chased by screaming people only to be mobbed again by crazy moms in the bathroom! They were taking pics of me in the bathroom- I'm telling you crazy! It was cute I heard one girl ask her mommy, "Wow, is she going to use the bathroom? Why is she using this bathroom like us?" Somewhere in the tussle my Cinderella hair up-do fell down due to being ambushed, pulled, and grabbed! So Cinderella let her hair down for the rest of the night :)

Anyway, that was so unexpected (and weird) so I decided to not to walk ANYWHERE alone again -well actually, that was what John said when he found out what happened. John referred to himself the rest of the night as my body guard, hehe. I did try to make it fun for the hundreds of kids that I met since I realized that no one is listening that I am not part of the show-- and for most of them- they believed that they met, hugged, and took a picture with the real Cinderella! Some of the girls squealed and some had tears in their eyes- these girls are serious about Cinderella! Even when I was with my family, like after the show at the merchandise stands - I was still approached for pics but in a more orderly fashion-- surprisingly most people STILL were convinced I was part of the show and refused to see that my family was all around me! So weird! This attention made the kids, ESPECIALLY Sariah VERY uncomfortable- she did NOT like other people surrounding me at all- she was so nervous! We were almost the last ones to leave because of this madness- we kept getting stuck! As we were leaving John took a few pics of me with the kids (our kids) at the stand while Sariah was trying to use my dress as a curtain to cover herself (not in a playful way- but in a - I want all of these people to leave us alone way)- I don't blame her- it was crazy! The people that did NOTICE my family had lots of comments for everyone! I asked John what the heck was wrong with some of these people and how could they think that I am in the show when I am clearly with my family and was in the audience...  he had a few ideas, but it was still bizarre to me.

In spite of all of the crazy people- we had a really great time! We did meet a lot of nice people too! It was a great show, we made great memories, we laughed a LOT (I was laughing-so-hard-I-cried a few times)- for all of these things I am so thankful for tonight!

Pop Quiz:
On the drive home, Maletch had a big idea of something he wants us to do next... can you guess what his suggestion was??
If you guessed, we go ice skating again but this time in our Prince and Princess costumes to perform Disney on Ice Dare to Dream ... you are correct! I had a feeling that he would want to do that- John laughed and looked at me  so I responded with what else?? --"That does sound like fun!"
So stay tuned as I bet that is what we do for his birthday- you know he gets to pick the activity again!!

Below is a video clip (sorry it is a little shaky).. You can see a few fun interactions just in this 5 minutes... it starts with them trying the glass slipper on me... then the step-sisters come back making more faces at us...  and then goofy acts like he will give us the tiara.. Maletch says, "Goofy was going to give a crown to Sariah!" This continued throughout the whole show- it was so much fun!
Be sure to pause the music player towards the bottom of the blog before playing the video or the sounds will be battling.

I will post some better clips of some incredible action and special effects later.

.... Still working on this post.... but I posted just a few sneak-peek pics for anyone that stops by ....slideshow coming later today...

Disney On Ice Dare to Dream Staples Center 12-12-12 The Prince Trying th...


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"The Things My Kids Say!"

Our little ones are so talkative, and so funny! Well they make me laugh, Sariah cuz she is so cute and she surprises me everyday by saying things I didn't know she knew- well they both do that - and Maletch cuz he is a funny guy, hehe!! Although I am in that famous VERY busy "with 2 kids under 5" category-- they are both at such fun ages (1 1/2 and 4 1/2) - I love this stage in their lives and I am in no rush for them to grow up!! I can always sleep and clean the house later right? hehe!

OK, so it has been a while since I posted "Funny Things Maletch Says," but now that they are BOTH  talking- we'll change it to "Things the Kids Say." The grandparents can keep up with Sariah's speech, and I think everyone will enjoy the funny things Maletch says!

We'll start with Sariah:

First of all, I was intending to keep track of all the words Sariah says until she was 18 months (which was last month)- and I will update that original post later (the best I can)-   BUT  - I have to admit, I lost track after she passed 100 words which was a while ago! She speaks in sentences now. She can communicate just about anything she wants to say.

Some Things Sariah Said Today:

"Can I have some juice please?"

"I did it!" (then dramatically clapped for her own achievement) She does this a lot (when she builds a train track/opens something/ figures something out, etc)

"You need to push it!" (explaining to me how to turn on a toy- referring to a button)

"It's not nurking" (it's not working)- she says this bringing me toys that need new batteries!

"It's broken!" (when a toy comes apart)

"That's funny!" (she says this often times when she laughs- usually when her brother is being silly)

After 'reading' (naming everything in every picture on every page) her Curious George book, she said "I want the monkey, please?" while she pointed upstairs. She was blocked by the baby gate and the toy monkey she wanted was up in Maletch's room.

When I was plating our dinner tonight, she said, "Oh tacos, I get in my chair" then she climbed in her high chair and sat down.

Walking up the stairs, Maletch always likes to 'count the stairs' ... well for a while now, Sariah counts too! We have 15 steps and she counts clearly to 10 (and sometimes higher)!

This really surprised me:
She caught a glimpse of a picture of herself (one from her birthday where she made a mess with her cake) She shouted, "My birfday"
I said, "Yes that was your birthday, how do you know that?"
She said, "I have hat." (she was wearing a party hat in the picture) I have no idea how she knows that!

She shocked me with this one tonight (playing with a spaceship) she said, "Five, four, three, two, one, (then she made blast-off noises)" Yep she counted backwards from five!!

She also LOVES our Christmas tree (she pronounces "Chrisses tree") since we have it all decorated with Disney store ornaments. She loves to talk about all the characters (she names them all) and I have caught that little bugger climbing VERY high trying to pull the ornaments down (to play). Since they are characters- she thinks they are toys! She makes me  SOOO nervous! We have a hexagon shaped baby gate around the tree (to protect her from breaking ornaments AND to prevent her from opening the presents under the tree- while we are upstairs- remember the birthday gifts opening fiasco- LOL) BUT I came out from the kitchen tonight and found her ON THE INSIDE of the gate with the presents!! She hopped that gate so fast- so it isn't really doing any good at this point- LOL-- and it is way taller than she is!

Maletch has taught her a lot of Christmastime lingo, so she likes to point out Santa all over the place, as well as snowmen, and other things - all which she can pronounce perfectly! The other night when we hung our stockings, she yelled out "Socks!" - I thought that was cute!

She also LOVES to wear her brother's clothes- I think it is for 2 reasons actually: The main reason is she likes the boy style characters that are often on his clothes (like Thomas, Buzz, Woody, McQueen) and the other because she just looks up to him so much, she wants to be like him. She will OFTEN bring me one of his shirts and ask me, "Put on shirt please?" She even tries to put them on herself (which she can't do yet)! Tonight she wanted to wear his Thomas shirt (which I did put on her- it is a dress on her) AND she wanted to wear his sweatpants (no character on those- just are big brother pants) and she asked me "Put pants please?" When I wouldn't she got pretty upset. So I had to explain to her- that they are way too big and she won't be able to walk, hehe! She still wanted to try, so I saw her trying to put them on herself too!

She often asks me, "Can we go bye-bye in the car?" She has memorized most of our routine for leaving and will often tell me (while I am getting ready), "I need shoes!"

She notices details of things too- this wasn't from today- but recently she told me, "Bunny has no shoes!" (while pointing to a stuffed bunny)

She also LOVES to point to anything with print and name letters of the alphabet. She names quite a few correctly (like D, E, I, O) but when she doesn't know them, she names random letters (I have never taught her this- she picked it all up from Maletch's Hooked on Phonics videos).

I recently started teaching her colors and she knows several already (Yellow, Purple, "Bwoo", "Gween")

I had not started teaching her shapes yet, when she pointed to a picture of a triangle and said, "Riangle." When I replied surprised, "Very good, that is a triangle!" She ran to get one of her Magna-Tiles and brought me back a triangle!

She has always talked non-stop, she used to have her own language-- but now we can understand almost everything she says. She will keep a conversation going a LONG time- although she changes the subject quite frequently (and sporadically). That makes Maletch laugh, when he is trying to have a conversation with her, and she jumps to a different topic!


Now I'll share some funny conversations with Maletch and a few stories:


Funny Things Maletch Says:

Christmas List:
Maletch: "Mommy you made the kid list this Christmas!"
Me: "I made the kid list, what's a kid list?"
Maletch: "Yep mommy, you made the kid list instead of the grown-up list this year, so you get fun toys for Christmas instead of, you know, your grown-up stuff!"
Me: "Hmm, getting toys- that sounds fun, so do you think grown up stuff is boring?"
Maletch: "Yeah, it is."

Funny Question:
Maletch: "Mommy, are you going to eat me again?"
Me: "What?!?! I would never EAT you!"
Maletch: "Well Sariah and I used to be in your belly, so you ate me one time before, right?"
Me: "Oh you mean when I was pregnant with you, and you were in my belly.... um well yeah you were in my belly, but I didn't eat you, God put you in my belly."
Maletch: "When I was in your belly, you had to eat me, right- I had to go in your mouth, right? So are you going to eat me and Sariah again?" (and he gestured to the way you eat and food goes down)
Me: "Well, I know that is how food gets in your belly, but when God puts a baby in a ladies belly it is different. He puts a baby inside a different part of the belly- it is not the same part that food goes."
Maletch: "Does it go in your belly button?"
Me: "Um... yeah."
Maletch: "Do I have a baby in my belly? (he lifted up his shirt and was looking at his belly)
Me: "No honey, only girls can get pregnant."
Maletch: "Does Sariah have a baby in her belly?
Me: "Actually only grown-up ladies can get pregnant when they are married."
Maletch: "Like you are married to daddy! Do you have a baby in your belly right now?"
Although, I answered, "No."- he lifted my shirt and examined my belly button! He was trying to look inside my belly button- hehe!

Bears:
Maletch: "Mommy did you know there are bears on the moon?"
Me: "Well there really aren't bears on the moon, but we can pretend there are. Are you pretending?"
Maletch: "No, there really are bears on the moon, real ones, I saw them!"
Me: "Where did you see this?"
Maletch: "On 'Imagination Movers'!" (a TV show)
Me: "Oh they must have been pretending that because there really aren't bears on the moon."
Maletch: "There are real bears on the moon, I promise!"
Me: "Well I know that shows seems real since it has real people/ it's not a cartoon, but not everything on TV is real. Sometimes they pretend or make up stories just like we do for fun. I promise it was for pretend"
Maletch: "Mommy, I'm telling you, there really ARE bears on the moon, I promise! Maybe we should look it up on the computer."
Me:"Well sweetheart, let's think about this for a minute: how would bears get to the moon? People can only go there by rocket ships, like the Space Shuttle. I don't think bears can fly on the Space Shuttle.
He seriously thought about it for a minute, then he asked a million questions. Now sometimes as a joke, he'll say, "Mommy there really are bears on the moon, I promise you"-  and he'll bust up laughing!!

Teaching Maletch about oral Hygeine (with visual aids):
Maletch: "Mommy what is that thing hanging in the back of that mouth?"
Me: "That is called a Uvula."
Maletch: "Do I have one?"
Me: "Yep!"
Maletch: "Do you have one?"
Me: "Yeah, and daddy and Sariah too, all people have them!"
Maletch: "The whale at Disneyland has one too" (the whale on Storybook Land ride)
Me: "You're right I remember that!"
Maletch: "What is if for?"
ahh the question I worried was coming...
Me: "Well I am not really sure."
Maletch: "Maybe we should look it up on the computer."
Me: "Good idea, let's go see"
.... a little later that night...
Maletch: "Hey maybe we can get a Uvula ornament for the Christmas tree and hang it right here."
Me: "I don't think they make those."
Maletch: "Well maybe they do, we should look because that would be cool!"
Maletch asks this all the time, "Mommy, can I see your uvula?"
Then, "Mommy can you see mine? (aaaaaaahh)" and I hear, "Sariah, open your mouth and say aaaaaahh."
So please be on the lookout for uvula ornaments, hehe, and be prepared to show him your uvula!

Jokes and Impressions:
Maletch has a very clever sense of humor for 4 yrs old! He even makes up his own one-liner jokes!
Recently, we were talking about cows (how they make milk, etc), and we were getting ready to leave, and he said, "Well, we better get moooo-ving." I was impressed since that was clever- and John and I don't make jokes like that- so we don't know where he learned that??

He does a lot of funny impressions, that are right on- (down to the voices, gestures, etc) and he does these almost constant and he figures out a way to add them (smoothly) into so many conversations.
I posted a video on YouTube- of him performing "A Magic Show" where he did a LOT of impressions in it.- BUT if you aren't familiar with the people that he is imitating then you wouldn't catch that is what he is doing- because he doesn't announce it (he just acts it out as if he is talking- but if you are familiar you totally know). In that particular video he does impressions of: "Silly Billy" (professional magician), and impressions of some audience members (from a skit), and "The Great Zucchini" (magician), and he also incorporated a saying from the Fresh Beat Band). I am pretty sure nobody will recognize the people he is imitating-  I wish I could post a video of them first- then you would totally know! Before I link it to my blog, I will try to post notes with it at least.
He does different impressions all the time. I can only guess that his talents for impressions probably comes from him always acting out movies (since he was 1 yr old). That is still his favorite thing to do with us. He assigns us all roles and likes to act out scenes from movies or shows. John and I do not have this talent- so he did NOT get that from us!

Story Time:
He loves to listen to me and daddy's "when I was a kid" stories and he has a few favorites that he always asks us to re-tell...A few of his favorites have to do with our encounters with wild animals (surprisingly we both have a lot of those stories, hehe). Every night, he asks, "Mommy/Daddy, can you tell me the ___ story?" (there are so many he asks for).

Making Up Stories:
Well, one day he decided he should make up his own stories of wild encounters too,..: (this came around the time we were studying bugs and spiders) and that is when "Pokin Spiders" were invented!! ...
The first time he told a story about Pokin Spiders, I asked, "What is a Pokin Spider?" He answered, "They are called that because they will try to poke you!" he imitated having sharp horns.
He likes to tell stories of being chased by Pokin Spiders that were trying to get him and running in the house while barely getting away! Pokin spiders are very fast! I am sure he will tell you one of his tales of Pokin spiders!

My favorite is when his stories begin with, "When I was a kid..." or "When I was young..." hehe! These are usually true stories of things that happened last year (you know when he was a kid). :)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Another Fresh Beat Concert?? YEP!


The first two concerts were far out of town, so we made mini vacations out of the trips- but this one was local so we didn't need a hotel! We headed down to the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles last weekend to see our THIRD Fresh Beat Band concert! Yep we are official groupies!

We totally lucked out because the VIP tickets were sold out for this one (I didn't purchase them before they went on sale to the public)... so we expected to have to come home right after the concert... but as we walked past the VIP backstage area- sure enough a staff member remembered us and came right over and offered us to upgrade our tickets-- Woop Woop!
They are just finishing up their tour of 170 shows (all this year) for half million people-- don't ask me how they all can remember us??  Lucky!

Funny you would think that after going to 3 concerts and 3 backstage parties each would seem the same-- but surprisingly- NOT at all! At each one there were special STAND OUT memories that are so priceless to me and we are blessed to have photos of those moments and I know the kids will NEVER forget them either!!

The Fresh Beat Band knows how to throw a party! Although each concert is for thousands of people- they really keep the VIP extremely small so that it is personal. They kick off the party by teaching a choreographed dance- which is really fun! For anyone curious, the dance they teach is basically the "Great Day" dance (with just a few moves changed). They make the party lots of fun for the lucky little ones! They have a DJ playing Fresh Beat music- tents and tunnels to crawl through, hula hoops, instruments, and toys all over the place!! The kids get to mingle with the band, and run around and play- what is better than that?? They also have great snacks and refreshments too!



Maletch even joined in a backstage baseball game where they used a huge inflatable microphone as the bat and an inflatable ball. It was fun watching him pitch and bat!



A Cute Story:
Maletch has a HUGE crush on Marina. He asked me if he could give her a kiss. So I told him, "Well you can ask her." Well I was talking to Twist's wife and I told her about this conversation and she just melted. Well as we were getting ready to leave the party, she realized that he had forgot to ask her. She told Marina and as we were leaving Marina came up to Maletch and asked, "Is there something you wanted to ask me?" Maletch, wasn't sure what she meant, so she asked, "Something about a kiss?" OMGOSH- she is so sweet! She knelt down and we got this shot! Needless to say, he is a very happy boy!!


Sariah:
This was the first time that I actually explained to Sariah where we were and who we were with! I think she thought the first two concerts were just some people wearing clothes like ours and dancing to Fresh Beat songs- which she was super into-- BUT this time it clicked! When I pointed to the stage and said that is Twist and Shout (her favorites) her eyes got HUGE and she froze for a second taking it all in- then she was talking and singing and bouncing and screaming a little- hehe! This time at the party instead of being nervous around strangers- she was wanting to bum-rush the band- cuz she KNEW who they were! Pure awesomeness!
Funny there was an area where people could pose with the band for pics and they had a small curtain around the area- just to keep people from accidentally walking in front of the cameras. Well the curtains were VERY low- everyone could just see right over it-- but not Sariah. She wanted to get a look at what they were doing and she found a split between curtain panels and she opened the curtains and stood there looking through- so stinking cute!!


 
Before we left, they kindly (and discreetly) gave us a few autographed cards (again in spite of the VERY strict no-autograph policy at their parties which allow for more time mingling with their VIP guests)- and that just put the cherry on top of the night! We will frame their autographed cards and put them next to their autographed poster! Neat that they have such cool momentos and stories already!

We are already looking forward to the 2013 tour! We will definitely plan another out-of-town one because making vacations out of them- sure made them more exciting and memorable! We didn't have to go straight home to regular life for 5 days- so we had more of a chance to suck it all in!
As we were getting ready to leave, Maletch was asking if we could go see Hearst Castle again- and he also brought up the beach, the hotel. and even his favorite pizza place! I thought it was so cute how much of the vacation he loved and wanted to relive! It is the same for John and I- kind of like butterfly in the belly memories of our last trip- I'm so glad the kids loved it as much as we did!

THIRD Fresh Beat Band Concert and Party! Slideshow!

Day Out with Thomas 2012!


This was our 3rd annual Day Out with Thomas- and the best one YET!
For those that may not know- this is a REAL train! They created an EXACT replica of Thomas the Train and he travels the rails- touring the whole country all year- and he comes to CA every November! Maletch counts down the days all year to the next time Thomas will visit.

Most of you probably know how much Maletch loves Thomas, but I bet most of you don't know how much Sariah LOVES him too! It might be hard to believe, but she is JUST as MUCH obsessed with Thomas (and friends) as her brother! She LOVES to play trains (much of her day), she also loves to watch Thomas DVD's, and anytime she sees an image of Thomas ANYWHERE- she yells excitedly, "Choo Choo Train, Tomma!"
So this year, John and I couldn't wait for her to see him too- and we were right... her eyes got HUGE and she kind of freaked out (just like he did the first time). She was so excited- they BOTH were- and it was so FUN!

I really considered getting her a conductor costume like his- since she LOVES trains so much, but I knew she would look like a boy- and we cannot be having that! I even thought about sewing flowers to a costume- but thought that wouldm't look right... so I finally decided on this dress that her Grandma had given her. Even though it is actually more nautical than train- somehow it really worked and everyone noticed the "little girl conductor!"


I thought they looked so cute together walking around holding hands!
 
It is an all day event with so MUCH to do from: Bouncy Castles, a Video Room, a HUMONGO play area with every train and track imaginable, Photo Opps with Thomas the train AND Sir Topham Hatt, a Hay Bale Maze for the kids to run through, a Petting Zoo, and of course the best part a REAL train ride pulled by Thomas!!
The Orange Empire Railway Museum hosts the event in Perris, CA and that is just such a cool place on its own!

They have really cool Thomas stuff that is not sold in stores- exclusive for event goers- which is a neat treat! So we usually load up on gifts and stash them for Christmas (of course we don't let him see it) and we have always told Maletch he could pick out one toy while we are there- which is always a fun surprise for him because he never expects or asks for anything.

Sariah and her whistle:
I don't know why initially it didn't occur to us to tell Sariah to pick something out too (I guess because we considered this mainly a boy thing? I really don't know?)-- but as soon as he picked out a HUGE Thomas shaped train whistle, she asked for it and she didn't want to let it go! We have never seen her so attached to anything- but she literally held onto to it ALL day! She didn't even want to let it go to put her coat on- she acted as if it were attached to her hand! Just before we boarded the train, we bought another one for her- well really for him because she hi-jacked his, hehe! Good thing for us, he likes to share so he didn't complain at all! I should be clear, she  never set it down from time of purchase- all day- continued holding it the whole drive home- and even to bed that night and fell asleep with it in her hand! Needless to say, she LOVES that thing and she will undoubtedly tell you all about it!

Of course Sariah is too small to jump in the Bouncy Castles (she would get trampled on)- but she sure had fun watching her big brother jump! Maletch had so MUCH fun jumping with all the kids- he laughed his head off in there!
They both LOVED running through the Hay Bale Maze! They are both so fast too, funny I watched daddy try to catch up to them and he had to really run!
They both got tattoos: Maletch suggested as we were walking up to the tattoo booth, "Mommy, we should get Sariah a 'Rosie' tattoo because she is a girl." Rosie is a pink train (friend of Thomas). The lady handing out tattoos overheard him, she smiled and asked, "Do you want to get Rosie for your sister?" Everyone thought it was so cute, because he didn't even pick out one for himself. The ladies gathered all around him, and asked which one he would like, and he chose Thomas.

When it came time to ride the rails... Sariah was very serious I think partly tired, but mainly the same thing that comes over the kids when they are really meeting the characters- they are so shocked and have to really check things out! Is this for real? He had fun pointing out everything that we passed including crossing signals (he thinks those are so cool) and he loved waving at people on the street!


After we put this sweater on her, we called her "Snowball" for the rest of the night! 
 
Fun day!! Check out lots more pics of our fun with Thomas in the slideshow below...

Day Out With Thomas 2012! Slideshow!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Halloween 2012!

Fun Craft Project:

These little ghosts were easy and really fun to make! Sariah is a little too young for projects like this, so Maletch and I enjoyed this project with even a little help from daddy- we asked him to blow up the balloons- hey that counts! Maletch really liked using the die cut machine, and of course he loved getting his hands all messy with the starch, hehe!



These guys go really well with our other Halloween decorations. We all really like how they turned out, I like how they are a little transparent. Maletch kept saying, "These are so cool!" We will definitely be making more of these! 

Trick or Treating:
Well we got a late start heading out for the festivals- so we skipped trick-or-treating. Although that was a little disappointing, since it is fun for the kids- they love knocking on doors and talking to the neighbors... it wasn't that big a deal since they didn't miss out on the best part- the candy- LOL!
Unbeknown to them, when we do go trick or treating- I always sneak their goodie bag straight upstairs and dump out the candy they received and replace it with SAFE candy that mommy bought anyway, hehe.
Just before Halloween we buy a TON of candy and have it all ready for the switch. This world is getting too crazy and it is a shame that we just can't trust anyone anymore! I know a lot of parents don't take their kids trick or treating because of the worry- and it seems like fewer kids go every year! John and I want our kids to look forward to the same Halloween fun we had as kids, which is why we allow them to go, but just not actually eat that candy- haha! When you think about it, all that walking to collect candy that we throw away, seems silly, but it is just for fun for them- and that is why I haven't told Maletch the truth just yet!
But, since we already had all that candy for them, they got to knock on our own door and they got their buckets filled- LOL!

Costumes:
We all dressed in theme again, and this year we were the "Lucky Family"!
John was a 'High Roller' (Gambler), I was Lady Luck, Maletch was a Leprechaun, and Sariah was a Bunny (for the lucky feet- ya know?).
I asked John, "What should we call our theme? The Lucky family or Viva Las Vegas, or you are the gambler and we are your lucky charms?" He said, "We're all of that!" Well there you go, haha!
Sariah looked so cute walking around because her 'bunny tail' was like a big round pillow attached to her butt, hehe! That pillow tail was full and very heavy- so it kept pulling her skirt down- so cute!

Scroll down to see our Halloween Slideshow!

Happy Halloween 2012! Slideshow!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Slideshow Issues, BUT Some Posts Anyway!

Well Photbucket.com, the site I use for uploading slideshows, has been recently making a bunch of website changes. The site has been unstable and crashing for a few days much to my frustration.
So thanks to that, I was unable to finish our vacation slideshows..., HOWEVER, I did post the details of the trip and directly put a handful of pics in the post. Slideshows will be coming ASAP! Scroll down to read about the trip and see a few sneak peek pics AND keep scrolling to read about a fun secret SURPRISE, I have in store for my family!! I'm so excited!!

Family Road Trip & Vacation!!

Well the highlight of our Summer was a jam packed vacation!! We took what some call "The Great American Road Trip" up to California's Central Coast to Paso Robles.
We stayed at the cutest Inn which was filled with amenities- many of which we were too busy to take advantage of. They even had a Miniature Golf Course, and even a cute Koi pond among lots of other things!! It was located right across the street from the Mid-State Fair Grounds where we had tickets and backstage passes to our SECOND Fresh Beat Band concert!


 
Our hotel supplied a lot of restaurant recommendations and menus in a book in our room- so we decided to try Red Brick Pizza - and Maletch KEPT saying, "This is the best pizza I have ever had!" We have never seen him eat so much in one sitting! He kept asking, "Can I have another piece please?" John and I wondered how it all fit in his little belly! We ordered from there a LOT on the trip since he loved it so much! Even now, back at home, he has brought up that "best pizza" many times- I will have to see if there is one near us.   
 

The concert:
This concert was a little different since it was outdoors in the Fairgrounds Stadium, unlike our first concert which was at the Arena, but they did have it set up nicely. The kids had fun singing and dancing- even Sariah who knows every word to all their songs- and all of the dance moves- and John and I had fun singing and dancing with them!! It was so hot for the first half, we were all sweating bullets, but the sun went down and it cooled off nicely for the second half- which was perfect! Twist spotted Maletch in the crowd again and he sure got a kick out of that!



Backstage:...
We were lucky to receive special treatment as the band and staff remembered us- don't ask me how.... they have been on a huge tour all year in full arenas meeting thousands of people-- as soon as they saw us, "We remember you guys- you were at..." and they greeted us with a warm round of hugs. They remembered a lot of details too, like how Sariah cried when Shout held her, and more!
They even said, "If you guys can hang around after everyone else leaves, we will all sign Maletch's poster!" They have a very strict "no-autograph policy" at the backstage party, since they are busy mingling and taking photos with all the VIP guests, there just isn't enough time to do autographs-- so that was super awesome they all signed his poster!!
At the backstage party were also the royal court of the event, with the titles of Miss California Mid-State Fair and the 2 runner ups. Maletch quickly noticed the princesses, and he was so charming and flirtatious- it was so cute! They just loved him and he gobbled up their attention!


The Fresh Beat Band with Our Fresh Beat Family!!


Maletch's Autographed Poster! They each signed it by their photos!

Maletch and the Princesses!


Maletch talking to Twist backstage! I have to say again- he is the nicest guy! He knelt down and had a long conversation with Maletch while the rest of us were all chatting about different things- every time I looked over, he was listening to Maletch so intently! I asked Maletch about this conversation because I didn't hear any of it- and I loved everything he said! Maletch and him are best buds!

Day 2: The Fair

The next day we went back to the Mid-State Fair to actually check out the Fair- it was the largest fair we have ever seen and a lot of fun! Of course the kids loved everything, and I really enjoyed the shopping! They had so many very unique booths with all kinds of fun and unusual stuff that had my name all over it! Funny thing was I bought some very large and unusual shaped items, and at one point John said, "I don't know how we are going to get this stuff home." LOL! He was right, all of the stuff fit fine in our hotel room, but when it was time to go home a few days later, along with our luggage, he had a HECK of a time packing the car. It was like a big game of Tetris, and although I was getting worried watching him pack it, unpack and rearrange, my awesome hubs had a plan B if it wouldn't fit, we would mail/ship it to us-- but luckily we didn't have to hassle with that- he finally got it to fit- although we did have an awkward drive home with stuff in between everybody, hehe!


 
There was a cute sign shop at the fair- that custom made this for me- it is so much more beautiful in person! It is a HUGE dark brown frame with a glass panel that has our last name in black vinyl -AND - it is hard to see in this pic- but going across that is all of our first names in white vinyl script- I love this!
This was one of the packing culprits being fragile and measuring 4 FEET long- told ya it is HUGE!!


These are two more of my favs that I picked up at the Fair!! These look like wooden shelves with vintage books, and glass vases, BUT both entire pieces are metal art from a metal art shop! Love them! This is not how or where I have them arranged on my wall- just hung them quick for a pic! They are each 3 feet tall- which caused more packing problems.
 


I don't know why but all of these wall hangings look so much more beautiful in person.. this is another goodie that the sign shop customized for me- it is a beadboard photo holder! I wanted to use our blog name and I will put up my favorite current pics on this. Photos can slide into the slots either vertical or horizontal and can be 4x6 or 5x7- but yet again this being a large square amongst all the other things was hard to fit!


This is a metal scroll work Floor Lantern. It has a door that opens for a candle!! This thing caused all kinds of trouble on the ride home, and almost didn't fit! It is big and awkward- it's almost 4 1/2 FEET tall- but I think it was worth all the trouble- cuz I love it!


I really love this piece! It was the least expensive and the smallest in size- so John loved it too, haha! It was one of the few things I bought that didn't give him a hard time! :) I love wooden book boxes and I have a small collection of them- I was excited to find this because this is the only one I have that is 3 stacked books that opens to one compartment- so cool! This looks so nicely with the rest too! John actually really likes these too!
 

This is how the car was packed on the way home- yikes! We were actually driving in this picture- and when I was turned around talking to Maletch and saw all of this stuff around him I had to take a picture. Crazy family vacation memories are always the best ones-- we can call this "The time mom bought too much stuff and we barely fit in the car and we had an almost 6 hour drive home like this!!" Haha! Actually we meant to throw away the beach stuff since we could always buy more next time- but when we didn't see a place to toss it- we hit the road! Good times, hehe!
You can see the Floor Lantern in this pic- I had the large flared base by my legs, with the stand (pole) running across my side, it was laying backwards- with the top/lantern part between the kids- that thing was so on my nerves, hehe!

 
Day 3: Hearst Castle
The next day we went up to Hearst Castle and took a tour of the Grand Rooms. I had been there once as a kid, and I remembered very little of that trip. A few things were just as I remembered and many things were very different. Once you check in with your tickets, you get on a bus and take a 20 minute bus ride up the mountains to the Castle. That bus ride was CRAZY- I should say our driver was crazy and it reminded me of a bus ride John and I were on in Acapulco, Mexico- with tires squealing from taking corners way too fast, and swerving from going too fast through mountains and feeling like we were going to plummet off the cliff-like embankments. I looked at John and we both had the same flashback- we laughed and freaked at the same time- and we sure held on to the kids very tight! I tried to focus on the narrative on the bus which was by Alex Trebek who provided almost a documentary/commentary during the drive up.
It was nice to get off that bus, and head with our guide (different person) to go through the Castle- it was such an educational and informative tour! The castle is very beautiful with details that are unbelievable! A few things that I DID remember were the ceilings! Every inch of the ceilings throughout the castle are exquisite: some mosaic tiled, some detailed in murals, and some carved wood! I also remembered some of the furnishings, tapestries and most of the main Dining Room details including the long table and the flags of the world hanging and also the built-in carved chairs around the room. I did not remember some things like sitting in Hearst's media room and watching Hearst's home movies- that was sure interesting!
Maletch was so excited to be in a real castle and he kept comparing it to Snow White and Cinderella's castles!
After the tour, we got to lounge by the pool where we played Fresh Beat Band music and had a nice time! The view was breathtaking, sitting poolside looking down the mountain at the ocean!
Once we decided to leave, we luckily boarded a different bus, and we got a nice smooth drive back!



Neptune Pool


Neptune Poolside: It was cute when Maletch asked so excitedly, "Mommy, can we go swimming?" He was ready to jump in, hehe! He was sure impressed with this pool! 

Sitting Poolside at the Neptune Pool: You can see behind us the view of the ocean.
 

John said these pics look like post cards- we got so many neat photos at Hearst Castle! Since it was hard to take photos inside- no flash photography, we took a lot of video, which I will either upload some of those or try to extract some photos from the video.




Day 4: Pismo Beach
The next day we went down the coast to beautiful Pismo Beach for the day. We were lucky because it was perfect beach weather! We played in the water, built a very cool sand castle complete with moat, and had a lot of fun feeding the Sea Gulls! Maletch especially thought that was neat, he kept wanting to give the birds more food, well to the point of giving away ALL of our food just to keep them around, hehe! He loved that they were close enough it appeared we could just touch them- except of course they are too quick for that!
Maletch likes to tell the story about how a wave knocked him over, and I have some photos of that too.
I wish I could say that our moat was awesome, cuz we wanted it to be, hehe! Maletch had a toy boat and he was so excited when we told him, "We will build a moat around our castle and you can drive your boat in it." Well after we spent a lot of time building the huge sandcastle: mainly Maletch and I built while daddy dug the moat (cuz that was a harder job) -- finally, the exciting moment came- "Ok lets get some water and fill our moat.." Daddy kept bringing buckets of water back and it kept draining/seeping right through the sand- DOH- never had that happen before- but we were just a tad too far back from the water! So our moat wouldn't hold water, Haha! Oh well, Maletch thought it was cool anyway! He really got a kick out of other families that would stop by our sandcastle to check it out. There were a lot of friendly people there with really nice kids!

 
 
Wipeout!!
 
 

The 5 hour road trip (each way) was quite long but beautiful. We took two totally different routes on our way up and back which made the scenery very different. The way up we traveled a very remote and desolate mountainous way, and the way back we traveled the coast- the scenery was beautiful both ways- and the roads were wide open and the kids were talkative and enjoyed the drive! Maletch loved spotting cows and horses along the mountains.

----We took MANY photos and videos on the trip- I am STILL working with Photbucket- and will be adding slideshows with lots more pics ASAP-------- I did make a slideshow below of Pismo Beach.... and keep scrolling to see the surprise too!!