Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Morning Festivities

Ahhhh...I finally feel like I can rest for at least a couple of hours. The Christmas madness is over. I apologize for being MIA for the last few weeks, but's been a madhouse around here. We actually moved in to a new place...much bigger than our tiny 2 bedroom apartment that felt like it was falling in on us. And let me tell you...the holidays is NOT the time that you want to be moving!!! It just adds to the craziness! Although, it was an opportunity that we just couldn't pass up. Now we actually feel like we have room to move...and my parents and sister can attest to how small our little place actually was...I'm sorry you ever had to see us there!! And the very best part about our new place (at least to me) is that we have our own washer and dryer!! You would not believe how grateful I am to have my own laundry room...I will never move to a place that doesn't have a washer and dryer again!!

In the midst of this chaos we call Christmas, we actually were able to get a tree up...thanks to moi...Mike was out of town and I just needed to get one up. Monkey actually called me out and told one of my co-workers that we weren't celebrating Christmas this year...we couldn't be because we didn't have any decorations up...we didn't even have a tree! Now he knew very well that we were celebrating Christmas and had been talking about getting a tree. So, we got a tree, and let me tell you...getting a tree into a stand is not so easy when you're being directed by a 7 year old!! But we prevailed, and got the tree up and decorated. And Christmas would indeed be happening at the Cruz least in Monkey's eyes it would be!

So here is what the tree looked like before I began paying attention to where the ornaments were being hung by my kiddos...

And yes, that is 10 items hanging in roughly the same place!!

And here is what the tree looked like last night after I had finally finished wrapping all the presents.

I have to turned out pretty good. I actually was able to find all our ornaments in that storage place we call a garage. (Keep in mind, we actually had a storage unit, and now that we just moved, all of our stuff from the house and the storage unit is in our garage - so finding something in there is a HUGE feat!!)

So every year I say the same thing...I will NOT leave all the wrapping to Christmas Eve...and every year? Up until 2 in the morning, wrapping those presents that will take 15 minutes to unwrap...there has GOT to be a better solution!! So here's to next year...I will NOT leave the wrapping to Christmas Eve!! There, now it's written down, so I have to do it!!

I love Christmas as a mom...I would have to say about as much as I loved it as a kid. I had to chuckle a couple of times last night...I was being very nostalgic, maybe because this is the first year in a while that I would not be with any of my family. Anyway, I was remembering how I would sneak up to the tree when no one else was around and find my presents and try to figure out what they worked for some of them, but others just had me stumped until I opened them. I also was remembering how my younger sister Rachel, and I, would "train" ourselves to stay up all night so we could catch Santa. We would start out staying up until midnight, then 1 am, 2am...and so on...we never did catch Santa. I can only hope that I am helping to create memories that my kids will always remember.

The best part about Christmas as a mom? This look...I would do anything to get this look from each of my kiddos at least once on Christmas morning.

Although, a close second to that look would be the little gifts that the kids come home with every year. This year, their school had a program where I could send them to school with some money (ultimately for the PTA) and fill out a form saying who they could buy for and how much they could spend on them. Then, they were able to go to a little "store" they had set up in the cafeteria and buy presents for everyone. I made out with quite a stash...

A frame, two necklaces - a turtle from Pumpkin and a pearl/heart one from Monkey. And yes...that is a tye-die shirt from none other than my little Monkey. When Daddy asked him how he knew how big Mommy was he said "This big..." and did this...

He is such a little comic!!

So here are some other pictures from this morning's events...

Man, I love my little clan...

I have to brag here...I think that I have the world's fastest outfit changing kid!! This happened in under a minute...

Daddy was not left out of the presents from the kiddos...he was very surprised with his gifts from the kids. He ended up with a Dad Frame (much like mine pictured above) and a "hammer-shaped" tool kit from Monkey. And a stuffed "fire dragon/snake" and this Dad you're my Hero figurine from Pumpkin.

And this has got to be the best pic of the morning. This is Sweet Pea giving her kuya some love after her gift from him.

My little fashion model here, wearing my Emu's from Daddy and striking her little pose!

My other little model here...her Daddy's gonna have a tough time with this one!!

And the two of them together...just too cute!!

So, that was this morning. We are planning on making a Mongolian Hot Pot for dinner...first time doing one on my own (keep your fingers crossed Mom!). I'll post pics of how that went at a later date. We are also going to break out our fondue set, that we got for our wedding...8 years ago!! Yeah...this will be the first time using to come later too!!

I also need to upload and post how the kiddo's Christmas concerts went this year...too funny, you're gonna want to check back for that!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing Christmas morning...I'll check in with you all later!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Black Friday!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you were able to spend time with your loved ones. You may have stumbled upon my little blog if you were following the ScrapMatters Black Friday Blog Train. If you did you probably came from Mary's blog.

Thanks for spending time with ScrapMatters instead of trying to get through those crazy early shoppers!! Or maybe, you've already gone and have managed to come back in one piece...either way, welcome to the Monterey Peninsula in CA!! The holiday season, to me, means being able to spend quality time with my loved ones. Usually, it's the only time I get to spend it with my family back home in Canada. Unfortunately, we aren't going to be able to make it up there this year:( But that's okay, because we get to spend it with my DH's side in Vegas!! We don't have a tradition, so to speak...but now that my kiddos are getting to be old enough, I think that it's time that we start one...or a few!! Any suggestions?

I guess my "tradition" would be that I get an ornament for my kiddos and my DH every year. I try to make it special, something that pertains to something that happened during the year. I think that I'll have to get soccer ones for my kiddos this year!! Decorating the tree was one of the most exciting times of the holiday season for me when I was growing up. I loved our wasn't the prettiest...but it had the best memories attached to it. Usually we would head out with my Dad and my cousins and trek through the snow to find and cut down that perfect tree. Then, we would spend the night decorating it with our family. I loved our ornaments...our tree was never one that would be found in a department store...but every ornament had a special memory...and that's what I want for my kids!

There are a few things going on over at ScrapMatters.
First, ScrapMatters is having a SALE!!!

Also, the Daily Downloading is starting!!

And last, but certainly not least, there will be a Speed Scrap today at 9pm Eastern, 8pm Central, 7pm Mountain and 6pm Pacific. Hope you have a wonderful, fun-filled Black Friday!!

So, I know that you are here to see what goody I have in store for you...and without further it is!! The image is clickable...I hope you like it!! I had a blast making it!

The next stop on your trip should be Dawn's blog. If you ever get lost or have missed a stop, try to start at the ScrapMatter's blog or Andilynn's blog.

I hope you enjoy your trip and that you have a wonderful and safe holiday season!!


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Man, do I feel old!!

My baby girl is 7 years old today. Can you believe that? I certainly can't, it doesn't seem like it's been that long! I swear it hasn't!! So today was Pumpkin's special day, and in this time of recession...we tried to make it as special as possible. We started out the day with apple pancakes, strawberries and whipped cream. Then we headed over to WalMart and picked out a bike. And let me tell you about Pumpkin and her bike...she has been bugging us for months about getting her a bike, I mean months!! Every time her friends are out there riding, she bugs us. So we finally take her out to get a bike, and she happily picked out a blue bike and was riding along in the store. She was happy, we were happy, and then...she passed the toy aisle...and something caught her eye. It was Tinkerbell and all her fairy friends from her newest movie. And suddenly...her bike didn't look so good. And so went almost 30 minutes of whining and begging for this tiny little toy. She was willing to give up her brand new bike, for an $8 fairy!! Sometimes, I just don't get it!! To me, it was plain as can be...but to Pumpkin, it was the hardest decision of her 7 year life!! In the end, she made the right decision (at least it was the right decision to me)...but she was not happy to leave that fairy in the store.
So anyway, we left WalMart and headed over to the stores. Now, I had asked Pumpkin for the last year and a half about piercing her ears...and she was finally least that's what she thought. So there she was sitting in the chair, all brave...the lady told her that it just felt like a hard pinch and then it would be fine. Well, apparently...she was wrong!! So here she is waiting for that pinch...and let me tell you, it hurt her

...and she tried her best to keep it together...but it was just too much.

So we tried for about 20-25 minutes to get her to pierce her other ear...but she was freaking out...there was absolutely NO way that gun was getting near her again!! So we decided to go watch our movie. And she agreed to go back and get her other ear pierced after the movie. The movie was pretty funny, we watched Madagascar 2...and the kids really enjoyed it. And after the movie we went back to the store to get her ear pierced...but I guess the memory of that pain hadn't quite faded, and the closer we got to the store, the more she started freaking out again. And so goes another 20-25 minutes...and the end result?

And yes...that's her earring...focus on the singular word, because she only ended up getting 1! She just wasn't ready to get the other one done. So, when she's ready, we'll go back. The lady said that one girl actually took 2 years to get her other ear pierced!! So here's keeping our fingers crossed that it doesn't take her 2 years to go back!! So for now, she's our 1 ear pierced little girl!!

So anyway...we went to Bubba Gump's for dinner, which she always loves...and for the life of me I don't know why. Bubba Gump, from the movie Forrest Gump, is mainly a seafood restaurant. And this little girl will NOT eat seafood (we can thank The Little Mermaid for that!)...but for some reason, every time we ask her where she wants to eat...she will, the majority of the time, will answer with Bubba Gump.

And if it gets these smiles from her on her birthday...then I will keep bringing her there...even though she doesn't eat seafood.

So after that yummy meal, we headed back home to have some birthday cake that yours truly made. And I have to admit, that it turned out pretty good...much better than some store bought cake!!

And Pumpkin was pretty pleased with it...especially because it had raspberries on it!!

Did you notice the bare left earlobe?

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Where the heck did October go?! No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, I just have been kinda busy lately. Let's see...what happened in October? Lots of work, lots of scrapbooking and lots of kids. My parents came down for a week...and we had a great time!! I haven't been out around here since I moved, and I'm glad that I got to experience it all with my parents. I hope that they had as good a time as I did. We went to Big Sur, Pebble Beach, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Moss Landing...and I got some awesome pics!! The kiddos LOVED having them here!! We were all sad to see them go...I have GOT to move closer to home so it's not more than 6 months before I get to see someone from my family! I hate living so far away:(

Anyway, here are some pics of their little vacation here. I tried to condense them down so it wouldn't take forever to load...hope it helped.

These were taken their first day here after Monkey's soccer game. We went for a walk on the dunes in wasn't the best, but we still had fun! My Dad was in love with all of the beautiful colours from the native plants growing on the dunes.

These next ones were taken in Andrew Molera State Park in Big Sur, CA. We tried to find an easy day hike because Sweet Pea was tagging along. She actually did really well...she was our map girl!! The trail was really easy, Sweet Pea found some great trees to climb on, there were butterflies and even a snake...Dad almost stepped on it!!

The hike ended up at the ocean here. Dad and I ended up hiking up this steep rock face to get some great pics of the ocean from a bird's eye view. It was beautiful there and my parents really enjoyed it.

The next day we tried to find some tide pools for my mom...she's a sucker for a good tide pool! We ended up walking along the rocks in Pacific Grove...there wasn't too much to see, I think we got there a little late because the tide was starting to come in again...but we did find some crabs, and Sweet Pea ended up being a great rock climber!!

After the tide pools, we decided to go along 17 Mile Drive and Pebble Beach. We didn't have too long because we needed to get back in time to pick up Monkey and Pumpkin from school...but we did have enough time to make some rock statues. My mom was intent on making her little man...and Sweet Pea figured out how to stack the rocks up without having them fall...she actually got the hang of it really quick! The we continued our drive, stopping a few times along the way for the sights. Came across the "Lone Cypress Tree" and took some pictures, I guess the very first time my mom came to North America, her cousin brought her here and they took some pictures in front of this tree. And Sweet Pea befriended a squirrel by sharing her snacks.

The next day we waited until the kids were out of school, then headed over to the Monterey Bay Aquarium...that place is always matter how many times you go there. They had some great new exhibits, and the kids had a blast!!

But my favorite exhibit was a coming attraction...they just had a little aquarium with these guys in it...but will be opening up a big one to show them in all their glory. They really are amazing little creatures...these Sea Dragons stole the show for me and my parents!! I can't wait to see their new exhibit!! Aren't they just amazing?!

The last full day that my parents were here we went for a little walk along the Elkhorn Slough (pronounced slew). And it was HOT!!! and DRY!!! The kids didn't last very long because it was so hot, but we did get to see some fish, crabs and birds.

After our little walk we ended up heading over to Moss Landing to have lunch and play in the surf a bit. On our drive over there we ended up spotting some otters and seals playing in the water and got some cool close up pics!!

So we did ALOT of sight seeing while my parents were here...but it was great to finally get out and see them. Can you believe that I've been here for a year, and haven't seen most of this?! We also went up to the Bay Area for a day for some great Dim Sum with my mom's aunt and uncle and some awesome Malaysian food with Jay and Jenn!! AND, my parents got to see Pumpkin and Monkey play 2 soccer games!! AND Monkey actually scored his first goal EVER while they were was so awesome!! And we were SO proud of him! I'll never forget that smile on his face...unfortunately...I didn't catch it on film because there was too many kids in front of him...but we'll never forget it:)

I was SO happy to have my parents here for a week...I really miss them and the rest of my family. I'm still working on Mike to move closer to Canada...and you know what? I think that I may have done's still a work in progress...but he actually agreed to move closer to my family!! I just don't know when that will happen, but I'm happy just the same! :)

I love you guys!! Thank you SO much for making the trip down here to see us!! I can't wait to see you again in the summer!!

This post was a couple days in the making because of all the pics I put together...but I'll try to be back within the next couple days to post some of the scrapbook LOs I've made in the last month!!

Thanks for coming!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

ScrapMatters Birthday Train Blog

Hi all, and welcome to stop #36 of the ScrapMatters Birthday Train Blog!!! Yes, you did read that right...36!!

In celebration of ScrapMatters 1st birthday, us gals from the SM Design Team, Creative Team and Scrap Gang have created another FABULOUS brag book!!! It was created from our new Mega Kit "You Say It's Your Birthday." All you need to do is follow the links to collect a beautiful, HUGE, new brag book!! Make sure you stick around ALL week...we have some great freebies to give away, chats, daily downloads and just all around FUN!!!
In my family, we don't have huge celebrations. Birthdays are special days to spend with our family and loved ones. Because the majority of our birthdays are in the spring and summer we usually just end up having a big barbecue, with my mom being the grill master. But the best part of our birthdays, and I guess you could call it a tradition, is the birthday cake. My grandma makes THE BEST black forest cakes ever!!! I always know that I'm celebrating a birthday back home when I can have a slice of my grandma's black forest cake!! And let me tell you...since I've moved out of the country, I don't nearly get as many slices of that cake as I would like:) So I wanted to share a pic of my wonderfully talented Grandma...baking her famous black forest cake!!
Isn't she cute? Love ya Grandma!!
Here is my brag book page I created just for you!! Hope you like it!!

The next stop on your train is Krista's blog
***If you have been stuck here because I messed up the link...I'm SO SORRY!!! It should be fixed now!!***

Did you miss a stop? So far the ScrapMatters Blog Train has stopped at the following stations:

15. (Kim - tgmousechick)

22. (Alice - fallenan9e1)

30. (Christine - alamama)

Thanks for stopping by...hope you enjoy the rest of your trip!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

A parade and Round 2...

So, during the Labour Day weekend, the kiddos didn't have any soccer games...but they did have the chance to walk in the city parade. It was...okay...or to put it in Monkey's words "this is boring!" Haha...leave it to the kids to tell the truth:) They mainly just walked about 3/4 of a mile and then watched everyone else walk. But I wanted to post some pics...because that's what I do!!
Here was a cool Chinese Dragon for some Chinese club...Sweet Pea was in love with it, and was pretty disappointed after it passed.

And of course, I had to snap this the Canadian flag!!

This was the kiddos little group...$5 for anyone who can spot Mike!! LOL...just joking, he's pretty easy to spot here.

So Pumpkin wasn't too enthusiatic about meeting people...but Monkey LOVED it!! He wouldn't stop waving at everyone.

And of course...there had to be food after...and the kiddo's thoroughly enjoyed themselves!! See for yourself...

And you know that there had to be a petting zoo there!!

Wait...that's not a bunny!!! Yup...Sweet Pea wasn't interested in the bunnies...she just wanted the food!! LOL:)

And what's a city celebration without face painting? Pumpkin's turned out beautiful...

But Sweet Pea wasn't too sure about hers...

Anyway...on to Round 2 of soccer games, from the next weekend.

Monkey was getting the hang of the game...

Or was he? Yes...this was in the middle of him running for the can see his teammate kicking the ball to his right...don't know exactly what he was cheering for here...

Then, in the second half, he played goalie...which always seems like a good idea...until you have to play it. He got bored...

REALLY bored...

And yes, he was scored on, once...and he was okay with it for a quick minute...but then we had this...and Mike had to go over and convince him that it was okay. He still wasn't okay with it...but he wasn't pouting in the goal.

And then there was Pumpkin's game...she's still working on controlling her body.

But I was really proud of her when she took this guy on...he did beat her to the ball...but at least she's competing now...hopefully she'll be keeping this up!!

So...there's a quick update for you...I'll be back again!!