Happy Mexicans at the happiest place on earth

Cindy with her parents and grandfather

On Friday evening, my mom called.

“Do you have a Disneyland annual pass?”

“Yeah,” I told her.

“Okay, good. We’re taking Papá Chepe and Mamá Toni to Disneyland on Sunday with your tía Martha, she has a pass. Do you want to go?”

“Hmmm, my pass isn’t good on Sunday, we’ll have to pay. Let me think about it.”

Papa Chepe and Mama Toni

Sean was down to go and it seemed worth the expense to spend a day at Disneyland with my grandparents. I don’t know who came up with the idea to take my grandparents to Disneyland. Maybe after dinner on Thursday, tía Martha was talking about how her pass expires soon and she planned to go on Sunday. My mom might have chimed in that she had some free park hopper passes. Either way, plans came together to take my grandparents to Disneyland for the first time in 35 years.

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Board games and blowouts

The board game crew

I’m slow when it comes to recapping weekends, vacations and fun days with the family. It’s worse if I have to upload and edit pictures. I know some bloggers do this daily and even recap each day of their vacation, but I can’t do that.

After being back at work for a couple of days, I’d like to go back and relive the long weekend — except for that part on Saturday night when the UCLA football team forgot to show up at the Coliseum. Yikes.

Other than Saturday night, the long weekend was filled with good times.

Sean and I kicked it off by watching The Muppets on Wednesday evening. We both loved it as did the rest of the audience in the theater. I plan to see it again soon. I’m pretty sure I missed some cameos and jokes because I was laughing too much (manically, of course). I’d also like to learn some of the original songs and add them to my karaoke go-to song list.

Silly pic #3

After for going for a sunny mid-day run on Thursday, I headed over with Sean to my madrina’s house in East LA. Madrina Chilo always hosts Thanksgiving and other family members bring sides and desserts. By the time Sean and I arrived a little after 3 with our sweet potato casserole, most of the family had already eaten. I’d barely eaten in the morning so, I couldn’t be bothered to photograph my first plate. After scarfing down turkey, ham and lots of carby sides — stuffing! mac and cheese! — we retired to a spare bedroom with the rest of the cousins.

About to send a text message?

We played Imagine If and Last Word, took silly photos, and tried to keep baby Minel from stealing our cell phones. I liked the Last Word. It’s an easy game to set up and play with several people. It also made us laugh a lot as we tried to think up words that went along with the category (e.g. things in a purse) that started with the designate letter. Before everyone went home, we also picked names for the big family Christmas gift exchange.

First Thanksgiving together

I hope Sean enjoyed his first Thanksgiving with my family, even if he didn’t get his usual turkey leg… at least not initially. I luckily was in the kitchen just as Madrina Chilo was carving the second turkey and asked for the turkey leg to take home with my other leftovers. Yes, I brought my own tupperware.

I didn’t do any late night shopping on Thursday or hit the stores for deals on Friday and attempted to make some pumpkin pie. It didn’t work out well, but redeemed ourselves with some brownies. Instead, we ate leftovers, watched movies (Drive and The Muppets Take Manhattan) and were lazy.

Saturday was another chill day. I supported some small businesses (local nail salon for a pedicure, tacos from a local restaurant). I didn’t watch the USC/UCLA game since I don’t have cable. Instead I just got ESPN updates with each scoring play. A 50-0 loss sucks, but I wasn’t terribly disappointed or embarrassed. I’m not the one on the field or sidelines. Nor am I the one hiring and recruiting the coaches and students involved with the football program. There are many other reasons to be embarrassed and ashamed by college football programs and your alma mater than losing in a blowout to your rival.

Destiny's Child "Bugaboo" video

At the end of the game, I thought of the UCLA marching band’s post-game ritual. I was in the band during my first two years, it was fun, but time consuming during football season. After each game, we’d play the alma mater, “Hail to the Hills of Westwood” on the sidelines. If we won the game, we’d play and sing a silly song called “Rover.” Then we’d change out of our uniforms and get back on the bus to Westwood. As our buses traveled the final few blocks in to campus, we’d sing the alma mater a second time. I miss those moments and wanted to sing the alma mater again even if it wouldn’t be followed with “Rover.” Maybe when I finally graduate, I’ll audition to be the singer at the ed school ceremony. That would be cool.

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Halloween with the family

Ramses and la Chapulina Colorada

I love Halloween. I love my family. And I love parties. (Though not in that order!) Saturday night brought all three together at my cousin Nancy’s Halloween party.

Nancy (the awesome hostess) and Sean

First off, Nancy (as an Adelita) was the perfect hostess. She and her helpers did an awesome job decorating the house, preparing food and snacks, ribbons for the best costume winners, and making sure everyone had a great time.

Lori sad at her grave

My favorite decorations were the white van in the driveway with a label bearing the name of the San Bernardino County coroners office and the family graveyard in a corner of the yard. My siblings and several cousins had headstones, but my cousin Tony didn’t make one for me. I didn’t mind, but Lori was sad to find her headstone.

Costume prize ribbons

I also liked the silly best costume ribbons.

Group shot

The best part — aside from the food, drinks and dancing with friends and family — was checking out everyone’s costumes. It’s always fun to see costumes come together or seeing what someone came up with. More costumes after the jump.

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Mil Gracias

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I celebrated my 31st birthday last Saturday with a party at my parents’ house. Lots of family and friends — several I hadn’t seen in years — came by to celebrate, eat delicious food, drink, dance, and watch the Mayweather/Ortiz fight. My guests subtly requested that I show the fight, so I added it to the entertainment budget. It was a fun night, even if I was already tired and ready to call it a night before 11:30.

Under the tent Papel picado above the dance floor

Lotería cupcakes by Lori Didn't plan these to match the piñata

One thing I regret from the party was not grabbing the DJ’s mic and thanking the guests after we cut the cake. If I had, I would have said something along these lines:

In planning and preparing for the party, I had a lot of help from my parents, siblings, extended family, close friends and Sean. My family hosts a lot of big parties (75+ people) at our house and they’ve got it down to a science. Seriously.

Mil gracias go to:

The parents

Mom
While running errands and setting up on Saturday, I kept thinking that she deserved a whole post on her master party planning and hostess skills. If my mom ever wanted to leave working with special needs kids at schools, I’m pretty sure she could start a second career out of party planning/day-of-event coordination. My mom is awesome, and I’m not saying that because I get half my DNA from her. I’ve seen her host a taquiza (taco party) without a functioning kitchen for 40+ people with just a few hours of preparation. For this party, she secured some decorations on loan from friends, cooked a delicious spread of ~200 chicken enchiladas (with homemade enchilada salsa, of course), beans, rice, salad, and chicken/beef/cheese nachos with warm and toasty tortilla chips. She didn’t have her usual expert helper (my godmother/her sister Chilo), to help her out. Instead, Sean, I and Mamá Toni filled in in when necessary. Still, my mom deserves all the credit as she did the heavy lifting.

Dad
He’s equally good at this party thing. While my mom handles most of the indoor preparation in her shiny new kitchen, dad takes care of the outdoor set-up. His job started Thursday evening when he picked up a custom-made tent from my cousin Tony (thanks, primo!). The next morning, he recruited any extra hands around the house — that morning there were a lot including Papá Chepe, Padrino José and Danny — to put up the tent. On Saturday afternoon, he put up strings of white lights around the tent and under the carport. “Charlie Services” never fail me.

My sister the baker

Lori
My sister used her baking skills to make cupcakes topped with Lotería cards and Mexican wedding cookies. She made my favorite carrot cake cupcakes as well as a few other flavors (vanilla, funfetti, chocolate). At the same time, she was baking and decorating cupcakes for another “client.” Later in the day, Lori did my makeup and helped me get all dolled up. She was even patient when I threw a hissy fit about the eyeshadow being a little too dramatic.

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Danny
My older brother helped with the set-up and take down. He does it all without complaining and with a smile on his face. Oh, and he made sure to sing Las Mañanitas extra loud. I’m glad he did. He has a great voice.

Cynthia
Danny’s girlfriend came over after work late Friday night and joined Lori’s baking team. Cynthia created the “triple threat” chocolate cake featuring chocolate ganache, Nutella and banana filling. They were up until the wee hours of the morning. Her work paid off. The cake was delicious and she received several compliments.

Yael + Robert

Sean
He got his first taste of Mosqueda party hosting and worked like a champ. He helped where ever he was needed, whether it be putting up the papel picado, setting up tables and chairs, or helping my mom to make the enchiladas. He took over my usual job of lightly frying the tortillas and burned himself on the pan. Oops. He also took over photo duty.

Stephen, tío Ivan & tía Paty

Tía Paty, tío Iván and Stephen
My aunt and uncle are always early to parties and ready to lend a hand. This time tía Paty called ahead and asked if my mom needed anything. All my mom needed was an extra hand and she came through as did tío Iván and my cousin Stephen. They helped set up the tables with the fruit and salsa.

Adrian
The little brother wasn’t actually at the party. Due to scheduling conflicts I had to push back my party to the 17th, the same day as Adrian’s birthday and the weekend he was planning a camping trip. His girlfriend planned a small surprise BBQ on Thursday and we pre-celebrated his birthday. He was a good sport about me stealing his birthday.

Los Aguilar Compadres

Friends/family who loaned us stuff
We borrowed tables from some friends/neighbors. We borrowed our neighbor’s actual yard. My cousin Valerie loaned me her globe lanterns. My cousin Tony loaned us the tent he custom made.

Friends since freshman year at UCLA

The Guests!
Of course! It was nice to celebrate my 31st birthday with many of the same people who celebrated my 21st birthday with me.

Otra vez, mil gracias!

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The new girl

Daisy greeted me when I stopped by my parent’s house to pick up my sister a month ago. I figured she was one of the neighbors’ dogs who had just gotten out.

“She’s been here since the morning and won’t leave,” Lori told me. “I think Chepe fed her.”

She kept hanging around and watched as we drove off. When we returned from the baby shower, she was still hanging around.

A few days later, Lori sent me a photo of my parents sitting side by side. Mom held VR, the spoiled dog we’ve had for seven years. Dad held the new girl he’d named Daisy because of her Daisy Duke-like legs.

My parents decided to take her in until a possible owner showed up. They took her to the vet to look for a chip. She had none. While there, my mom tried to encourage another man looking for a rescue to take her home, but he wasn’t interested. Later, my dad scolded her, “She’s not for giving away!”

My family registered Daisy, who we found it just seven months old. She got her shots and got fixed too. She’s legit now and she’s part of the family.

VR doesn’t seem too happy about it. She gets in his space and takes away attention from him. I really can’t see why.

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