we headed back down to mexico for halloween.  we were on the fence about going or not.  we are going to be out of town for thanksgiving and i don’t want them to miss every holiday.  of course it sounded fun but would the kids be bummed to not trick or treat?  ultimately we all decided a weekend of fun was worth missing out on a night of candy.  plus i always take the candy away and throw it out the next day so they weren’t missing much.  we don’t need any cavities around here.  i brought down a box of full sized candy bars and assured them our candy was better than anything they would get trick or treating anyways.  i hid the candy around the condo and we did a scavenger hunt a few times.  they had a lot of fun with it.  elle has asked a few times when we are going trick or treating.  i do feel bad for her, she was sick last halloween so she didn’t go out then either.  next year we will stay home but i am happy with the memories we made this year.

oh tacos el poblano i could eat you everyday and not get sick of you.  thats exactly what we did.

have you heard of kinder eggs?  my kids are fascinated with the girl on you tube who opens egg after egg showing you the toy thats inside.  apparently they’re too dangerous for the good ole u.s. of a but not for mexico.  we stocked up.  and yes they are a choking hazard, jack tried to put the little hamster that came inside his in his mouth.  no worries i got it from him before her devoured it.  oh and that sleeping picture of jack has nothing to do with kinder eggs i just love his fat face!
these four are really mine!  all mine.  well ivans too.  but they don’t think so.  they think they’re biologically mine since they came from my belly and ivans just some nice guys who came in and was like sure i’ll take care of you and your four kids.  what a guy. but really he is a great guy.
halloween was super crazy windy.  like what i would have thought hurricane winds were made of.  but what do i know i live in arizona, no natural disasters here.  then poor jack got stung by a bee.  3 of my kids have been stung by a bee in the last 4 months.  i thought bees were on the decline or something.  apparently not, most of them hang out at our house.  i was a little nervous wondering if he might possible be allergy.  checks out that he’s not.  now we just need ava to get stung and we’ll have the whole bunch.  I’ve always seen kids screaming and crying and flipping out over bee stings.  i guess they’re not as painful as i thought or i just have super human kids.  none of them have really cried.  jack started scratching his arm, as you can see.  henri didn’t shed a tear he just came in the house said i was stung by a bee and i pulled out the stinger.  he really is a freak of nature. like can give 8 vials of blood without flinching.  the phlebotomist are always impressed when they ask if we want two people to hold him down and we say no.  now i think he might actually cry if two strangers came in and pinned him down.  (he has all sorts of allergies thats why he’s constantly giving blood) and elle got stung when she touched a bee on the ground.  i wasn’t home but when i got home she didn’t say much.  anyways enough rambling about bees.  mexican breakfast is the best breakfast and a massage on the beach trumps all other massages anywhere ever!




i am so claustrophobic.  i hated every minute of the subway and the elevators but i rode them and i think maybe just maybe i’m getting over this fear.

this crowd goes nuts for jeter.  his song big poppa by notorious b.i.g. comes on and they all stand up and start cheering.  every single time.  their love runs deep.

our tickets came with access to the audi club.  you can eat at a ridiculous buffet of lobster and steak and enjoy complete silence. there is no noise from the game whatsoever.  sounds like no fun to me.  gimme a hotdog and a pepsi and i wanna hear the crowd go wild.  my night wouldn’t have been complete without hearing notorious sing in his hometown.

on our way to the yankees vs red sox game.  in our yankees attire naturally.  i actually love boston and would normally cheer for the red sox but i thought id spare myself this time.
we looove a good dumpling.  joes shanghai did not disappoint.  i’d say its a close runner up to din tai fung.

central park and john lennon.  lots of people with their sad face on and a singer on a bench doing his best rendition of strawberry fields.

oh levain bakery i live for your cookies.  they really are the best.  we only made one visit this trip.  the last time we were there i think i got a cookie after every meal.  worth the trip to the uws.

man the front camera on the iPhone is crap.  but ya gotta get a pic with your better half when its 10 at night and you aren’t asleep or have 4 kids with you.  it felt good to chat on a park bench with not a single thing to do or place to be.

look at her all lit up like that.

eataly was good.  we sat at the bar which is basically the kitchen and it was pretty hot.  if you ask ivan he would say really really hot.  he doesn’t love humidity i on the other hand didn’t mind it one bit.

oh brooklyn you stole my heart.  i’d live in brooklyn any day of the week.

russ and daughters because my dad’s russ and he only has daughters and because their belly lox was so salty i didn’t even have to add salt.  that never ever happens.

st. patricks under major renovation but just as beautiful as always.

anybody else remember 9 by design.  loved that show.  why isn’t it still on??

i declare joes pizza the best in new york.  i bet a lot of people would agree with me.

georgetown cupcakes.  i got the vanilla.  i always get the vanilla.  it was pretty good, small but good.  the service on the other hand not so good.  the girl ringing up looked like she just crawled out of a bad bender and was no help at all.

i discovered city bakery this trip.  the pretzel croissant… don’t even get me started and that chocolate chip is up there with levain.  see, i told you all we did was eat.




we haven’t taken a vacation without the kids since the last time we went to new york.  my sister was supposed to babysit but last minute elle got chickenpox and we couldn’t have her tiny baby around elle.  so i found a last minute neighbor girl that turned out to be a total disaster.  like left my three kids with her 16 year old brother whom id never met so she could go to a party and lied to me about it kind of bad.  needless to say i’ve been scared to leave ever since.  that compiled with jack, i swore id never leave again.  up until the day we left i still wasn’t sure if we should just bring him.  we decided to go just us.  heaven knows we needed it after the last year we’ve had.  i’m so happy we went.  my mom watched the kids so we knew they were safe and could relax and enjoy ourselves.  this was my third time in new york so we skipped past some of the touristy stuff and did a lot of eating.  i mean a lot.  we also did a lot of walking.  hopefully it balanced out a little bit.
the new york library is beautiful.  i mean look at it.  our pitiful library has nothing on this.  i really really love the history and architecture nyc has to offer.

this was the first time we actually went inside grand central station.  its beautiful i don’t know why its taken me this long to step foot inside.

the view outside our room was amazing and shake shack because shake shack is always a good idea.

doughnut plant never disappoints.  i always get the coco nut cream.  the pb&j and the banana peanut butter is good too.

the flatiron building is my absolute favorite.   we wandered rockefeller center along with a million other people.  new york is just so different than where we live.  these building are crazy big and every time i go i forget just how big they really are.

i had to take a picture of the room.  its about three times bigger than any hotel I’ve ever stayed at in new york.  the last time we went the bed just about touched the walls on both sides.

fishs’s eddy is a great place to get lost in.  i would have bought the whole store if i could’ve fit it in my suitcase.

little italy,  zeppole’s and cannoli’s.  enough said.

the best place for cannoli’s in little italy.

cafe habana corn on a stick

this was my first time eating at katz and i wasn’t super impressed.  the lines are long, the guy didn’t even let me finish my sentence before he cut me a pastrami sandwich when i was trying to say pastrami reuben.  sandwich wasted, his bad i guess.  and i think carnagie deli is a million times better.  their payment system is dumb.  is you lose your blue ticket plan on paying $50 if you want to be let out of the store.  i read all the bad reviews but went against my better judgement and tried it anyways.  oh well, the sandwich was decent.

first knish, wasn’t bad.

ice cream cone covered in rice krispies.  ill take it!  i took close to a thousand picture so ill post the second half tomorrow.



i helped my sister plan a surprise birthday party for my brother in law over the weekend.  it turned out really great.  i love planning parties and she doesn’t so it was a lot of fun for me.  my dad has a million old cars and jack went up to the camaro he drove to the party and put his hand on it like he was posing for a car ad.  i’m glad i snapped a pic of him doing it, made me laugh.  how many times can one baby fall backwards and hit their head in one day?  jack exceeded the limit by at least one hundred and twenty seven times.  i took elle on a date. first we had to put on piles of makeup then we made our way over to build a bear to spend an obscene amount of money on a pony and her new wardrobe.  this pony has a better closet than i do.  oh and a baby for her of course.  so two ponies.
we then came home and found out that jack can fit in pony clothes and all had a good laugh.  he didn’t like the hoof shoes so much.  we drove up to globe for the day to eat a delicious meal of what else, mexican food.  el ray is worth the drive.  i took elle and jack outside while ivan and the kids finished up.  a bee chased us up and down the street at least nine times.  i couldn’t help but laugh as i pushed the stroller with elle hanging on for dear life screaming.  we ran past the window back and forth and i can only imagine what everyone inside was thinking.  hopefully they laughed as much as i did.


last week we took the kids to a baseball game.  we’ve been cooped up in the house a lot lately with this awful weather.  so we thought we’d give the game a try.  ava didn’t want to go, she’s become a real homebody and i’ve been giving in and letting her stay back but i think i need to start pushing her more.  she stayed at my sisters when we went to disneyland, i mean come on!  who doesn’t love disneyland.  jack is in that i want to get into everything phase so we left them both at ivan’s moms and took the middle two with us.

we had so much fun.  they got to eat and drink everything they normally wouldn’t get.  we cheered and sang.  elle wanted to be on the big screen so she danced the whole time.  we stayed until the bottom of the 7th then decided it was time to get these babes home for bed.  we had a blast and it was good to get out of the house but still be in air-conditioning.

on a side note we are headed to new york at the end of this month and we are going to a yankee’s vs red Sox game.  i’m pretty excited!



i have to admit i don’t think southern cali has the best food but it is one of our favorite places to beach so we end up there a lot.  we sort of rotate through the same few spots.  here’s my list of favorites.
T.K. Burgers
– big bargain special
– side of onion rings
– make sure you ask for a side of their sauce to dip your fries and onion rings in
– their breakfast is pretty good too
i don’t know why but I don’t like the mission viejo location so go to any of the others.
Big Belly Deli in newport beach
across the pch from newport beach.  perfect for ordering and taking over to the beach
– i always order the rajun cajun, it’s chicken and sausage with peppers and melted cheese.  kinda spicy and really good.
– i get the kids a turkey sandwich on squaw bread, really good
– get the side of macaroni salad
Ajisen Ramen irvine
– oh i dream of spicy pork ramen.  its just so so good.
– my kids love the regular pork ramen
walk over to 85c after dinner at ajisen ramen.  its in the same complex.  this taiwanese bakery is amazing.  i don’t even know what the name is of the pastry i get, its a puff looking pastry in what looks like a large cupcake liner and inside its filled with the most delicious custard.  we call them milk clouds.  all the sweets are really good.  i haven’t tried the savory.  i don’t drink coffee but i’ve heard the sea salt coffee is some of the best.  the lines can be reaaaaalllly long.
Ruby’s Shake Shack
we really like this place for the view alone.  play at the beach and then walk up the stairs for lunch.  sit at the bench facing the ocean while you enjoy your meal.
– breakfast burrito
– burger and fries
– shakes
 Lucha Libre in san diego
this was our first time eating at lucha and i thought it was pretty good.  i really like the green creamy sauce at the salsa bar.  i poured it all over everything.
– surfin’ califonia
– queso taco with carne asada
La Super-Rico Taqueria in santa barbara
hands down my favorite mexican food in california
– #16, homemade tortillas topped with carne asada, peppers and cheese.  amazing!!
– homemade guac is to die for
– ivan loved the adobado taco’s
if you are in santa barbara go here, there will be a line but its worth the wait. oh and they have mexican soda.  the perfect meal.
Pitfire Pizza in Costa Mesa
pizza and salads
i have yet to find a pizza i love in southern california.
Bagel Shack
– old man’s on swiss bagel, cream cheese, avocado and lemon pepper
– lower’s add sausage on cheddar bagel
– cinnamon crunch bagel with strawberry cream cheese
the best bagels i’ve ever had.
Sidecar Doughnuts in Costa Mesa
– butter and salt doughnut, my very favorite
-blueberry with cornmeal crumb, this one was doughnut of the month but i think they should always have it, it is that good.
VG Donut and Bakery
so i haven’t been here but i hear really good things about their donuts, its on my list next time i go.

Summer lovin’

We ended up in California for the 4th.  I was worried about the crowds but it wasn’t busy at all.  We had a blast!  We watched fireworks from the golf course at our hotel.  I love starting new traditions.  We planned on staying until Monday, heading home for a week and coming back the week after.  I decided to just stay for the next two weeks instead of battling that long drive three more times.  Ivan went home and flew back for the last week.  He ended up surprising me and coming three days early.  I love surprises and that was one of the best!  We lived at the beach all day and the kids slept so good at night.  The older kids are so brave they love the ocean, they could never leave and Jack is a dream at the beach.  He wanders around like a little drunk man falling in the sand.  I can’t believe summers almost over.  School’s around the corner.  I’m not ready.

^^^ Lost my sunglasses in a killer wave
^^^ Shake Shack, a favorite
^^^Cousin time
^^^I put the same sunscreen on these two
^^^We missed him
^^^Ragin Cajun from Big Belly Deli
^^^I love her free spirit
^^^Lucha Libre in San Diego
^^^Visited friends in San Elijo
^^^Henri’s sunflower, hes so creative
^^^Sleeping on the beach
^^^First frozen banana
^^^Santa Barbara.  La Super-Rica Taqueria. Get the #16.  The best Mexican food I’ve found in California to date.
^^^Our last night.  One of the best nights I’ve had.  We made a last minute stop at the beach right after sunset.  The weather was beautiful, we had the beach to ourselves. These crazies went for a swim and had the time of their life.  Summers been good.


Sometime you just gotta get away.  When its too hot and the sun is scorching your face off every time you step outside.  This time of year the seat belts burn and the the car never really cools off.  Really there is no escaping the heat.  Unless you like to sit in your house all day in the cool air-conditioning.  I do not.  So the kids and I headed to California.  I told Ivan I’d stay until I was on the brink of insanity.  We left Tuesday morning and came back Friday night.  I would have stayed longer, the kids were great and we were having fun but we have wedding stuff all next week.  Ivan’s brother is getting married and we love his fiancé.  Whoop whoop!  Anyways, I figured I better get a weekend in before it was back to work for Ivan and back to mom mode in this rotten heat for me.  Every time we go to California I want to move there.  There’s something about the ocean that is so peaceful.  The kids and I woke up got our suits on and headed to the beach.  They played, even Jack played and was so content.  Jack can be tricky sometimes he likes to crawl around the house and tear stuff up other times he’s at my ankles crying most of the day.  In California he was great, he played and he was happy and life was just good.  Maybe someday I’ll get my wish and I’ll live in California.  I know I know, Its expensive and work is here and family is here.  But who doesn’t love an adventure?!  We’ll hang out at the beach all day and take our sandy buns back to the house and the kids will help me make dinner.  I told Ivan I’ll sell my car get an old blazer chop the top off and cruise Cali.  I digress, the trip was great the kids were awesome and we got to see my sister and her family.  How I miss them so much.



We love going to Oregon to visit Grandma and Grandpa Raile.  Their house on the coast is so relaxing.  This year Grandma had to fly back to Az last minute so we had her house to ourselves.  We stayed in Oregon half the week and then decided to head up to Seattle the other half.  Man I love that city.  A big city will a small town feel.  So much good food and so fun to wander around.

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