Punk Rock Parents

Friday, April 28, 2017

Lots of Period Talk Around These Parts


Last summer I had the big period/sex talk with Phi. She had just turned 11 and since I was 11 when I started mine I figured I better prepare her. I checked out books from the library and read some on-line articles about how to give "the talk". Then on one weekend afternoon, we camped out on my bed with books and pamphlets.

We talked for about 2 hours. I gave her a straight forward talk about puberty and even the dreaded sex talk. She had a lot of questions for me. I felt like it went well and she has continued to ask questions.

Since then it's been like a waiting game. I feel like I am just staring at her, just waiting for her to start her period. When she get a little moody I think, "It's gonna happen any day now". And then she goes back to her normal pre-teen self and nothing.

On April 1st, she got me good. I heard her yelling for me from the bathroom and as I ran into the hallway she says, "Mom I started by period!" and as I opened the door she yells "April fools!". She got me so good.

Recently I bought these cool new "teen" pads and gave her a little pouch to keep a few in her backpack. A few of her friends have already started and really I am shocked she hasn't yet.

I don't know why I am so anxious about this milestone. Phi is not even as anxious about it as I am. I think it's because in my mind when this starts she will immediately turn into a stereotypical teenager. I feel like it will be the beginning of a big change in our relationship. The change that I am so scared of. Where she becomes more distant. Where she stops talking to me. Where she feels like she knows better than me. I am doing what I can to talk to her and more importantly listen to her as often as she lets me. She tells me about her day everyday. And we write to each other in a private journal back and forth. I just want to know what I can do to keep the conversation going even as she becomes a teenager.

Any day now.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

I was interviewed! By Phi!


For an English assignment my Phi had to interview someone about one topic. I was very honored that she choose to interview me! 

Head over to Phi's blog to read her article and listen to our interview. I know I am her Momma, but she did a really great job!



Thursday, April 13, 2017

I have lived her longer than anywhere else

Joey and I moved into this house back in April of 2004. That means that we have been living together, under this roof for 13 years. I was like "Damn that's a long time", but then I started to really think about it.

The first home my parents and I shared, I lived there about 3 years. They we moved to another house and we were there for 10 years. Then in 1990 we moved to Moorpark and I lived in that house for almost 9 years. Then it was off to college and I didn't live anywhere for more than a year or two at a time. Then I landed here, and I have been planted here for 13 years. I have lived in this house longer than I have ever lived anywhere.

WHAT?!!?!???!?!

How is that even possible? I remember the day we got the call that Joey's offer on the house had been taken and we were homeowners. We were at Disneyland with little 4 year old Chone. While we were there we bought our first Christmas ornament, even though it was March.

It's crazy how fast 13 years can go by. Joey and I have always wanted to move closer to my family. When Phi was a baby we even put the house up on the market ready to move. The house didn't sell and Phi started school and now the kids have totally grown up here. We all have friends here. This is their hometown. This is our home. We have filled it with bright turquoise walls, coral doors, lots of art and even more memories.



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

At the Bowers with Frida

The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana is currently showing the exhibit, "Frida: Her Photos". An exhibit of some of the photos found in her house. I have seen this exhibit once before at MOLAA, but when my Comadre Patricia asked if I wanted to get together to go I jumped at the chance. I will never see enough Frida, and an afternoon with not only Patricia, but with my cousin Erika with a K Darling and my Tia Grace, it made for a perfect Sunday afternoon.

Of course there was no photography allowed at all in the exhibit. (No pictures of the pictures!)
And you know that I am of those rule followers. Plus they had staff everywhere! The photos spanned from Frida's parents before she was even born, to Frida right before her death. Looking at her photos is so different than looking at her painting. Her painting show her emotions, her insides and the photos give you a glimpse of her real life. Her day-to-day. Which of course is amazing to see. Out of all the photos on exhibit this is my favorite...

Just for the record this was not a photo taken by me! 

I will admit this here and now, I am not a fan of Diego Rivera. The person or the art. They way he treated Frida and just added to her turmoil is just unforgivable. But this photo just really captures Frida's obsession with the man. She loved this ugly unfaithful man something fierce, just like Frida took on life. Her fierceness got her through life.

My own little Frida's...


This was our first trip to the Bowers Museum so we wandered through the entire thing. We saw some California history and I learned a new word that I am obsessed with...

citriculture

Seriously how great is that word. They had some great Chinese and Polynesian exhibits filled with crazy things like dog teeth necklaces and elephant tusks carved with the most tiny detail.




There was also this super cool exhibit of hand painted movie posters from Ghana. Back in the 90's these little "movie houses" were popping up playing VHS tapes of American movies.

OMG, 10 year old me would have loved this mural in my room!
 Since they did not have access to Hollywood movie posters, the got creative and made up their own. Can you guess the movies these are advertising?

Mario Lopez, is that you?? 
 These were seriously so awesome to see. Some were just painted on canvas and other were painted on mega flour sacks.


I love art museums. They fill my soul. It was the best to explore with my cousins and Tia's. We got a lot of ideas for Erika's Polynesian themed wedding. haha!


We just found out that there is a Frida and Diego painting exhibit in Arizona. Think it's time for a family road trip!


You can check out Phi's blog post on out trip by CLICKING HERE 

Friday, April 07, 2017

10 Years

Dear Cousin Roman,

As I pulled out my memorial t-shirt to wear I sighed at how worn it has gotten over the years. When I looked at the dates and realized that a decade has passed, since you have passed away, it made sense. Even though I only wear and wash it once a year, 10 years in a long time.

 It's hard to wrap my head around the fact that it has really been 10 years. It still feels like yesterday that you were here with us. I find comfort in knowing that you have been there, watching us and watching over us. You have seen all our happy times and been there for us during some really rough times.

You are forever one day away from 20 years old in my mind, but tomorrow would have been your 30th birthday. I sometimes find myself wondering what you would be doing if this disease hadn't taken you so soon. What kind of job you would have had, who you would have married. I know we always say how lucky we were to have had you with us for so long, but really it still feels unfair. You should still be here with us.

Roman know that I still think of you everyday. I miss you everyday and I love you very much.

Your Cousin,

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Temperature Blanket- 1st Quarter Results

So I like projects. And I really like long-term projects. So when my cousin started talking about temperature blankets I was in.

So whats a temperature blanket you ask?

Well I am glad you did. A temperature blanket is a year long knit or crochet project. Yes A YEAR. You do one row a day based on the temperature of the day. My cousins Cassie and Betty are both crocheters like yours truly. So at the end of 2016 we decided to each give it a go. For the record we did invite our crocheting Tia Mary to join in but she has yet to get started! (We love you Tia Mary!) So when the year started so did our blankets. Cassie and I are using a Caron Simply Soft yarn temperature blanket chart she found on Pinterest. The colors change every 5 degrees and they are all bright and colorful. Cassie and I live about 2 hours from each other. She's in near the coast and I am in the desert so we knew our blankets would look different. Now Betty and Cassie live about 1 mile from each other, but Betty went with a different type of yarn chart. Her's has more subtle and pastel colors. So even though their temps would be the same, their blankets look totally different. The three of us even went different stitches. Cassie went with the moss stitch, I went with the half-double crochet and Betty went with a more puffy type stitch.

So for my blanket I am charting the high temperature of the day at noon. I have a reminder on my phone that goes off at noon everyday. I have a small 2017 pocket book where I jot down the temp and the color that goes with that temp.


Then every week or so I sit down at night and work on my rows. You can see from the chart the colder temps are in purples, then blues, to greens to yellows, orange, red and bright pinks.

Here is what the first 3 months of 2017 looks like...


January 1st is at the bottom. You can see on those dark colors were some really cold days and the yellow patch is from the warm week we just had.

This project has been so much fun. My cousins and I send pics back and forth of our progress. Cassie and Betty's temps seem to be about 5-10 degrees higher than mine, but that will change come summertime. We also get really excited when we get to use a color for the first time. And then we get annoyed when we use the same color for days and days in a row.


We are so excited to be working on this project together. And as I laid it out on the table I realized this thing is going to be HUGE!

Friday, March 10, 2017

This IS Us

My DVR is set to record all new episodes of the NBC show "This Is Us". When I finally get the time to settle in with a glass of wine and watch, the kids get comfy on the couch. They don't want to watch the show. They want to watch me watch the show. They know that every single episode, at some point, I will cry. Every single time. The girls just sit there staring at me. Sometimes I hear them whisper to each other..

"Are her eyes watering?"

"She is totally going to cry at the next scene".



And then when the waterworks finally start, they cheer!


But from the first episode, I was hooked. It filled the hole that Parenthood left, which filled the hole when Brothers and Sisters left.

The way the show moves back and forth in time is awesome, but I have to admit I love the scenes from when the kids were little. Mostly because I hate Rebecca without Jack.


And I am not gonna lie, Milo Ventimiglia as a loving, devoted father is a HUGE draw.



He is so sweet and that scene from the most recent episode where he takes that girls hand off his leg and yells that he is a married man and she was embarrassing herself. It is exactly how I would want Joey to react when a woman touches beard. (It has happened!)

These shows about families get me every time. Now the day there is show this good and this sappy with a Chicano family my heart will not be able to take it.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

2 Years

Pipe cleaner cross made by Louie
I started to really feel it as soon as the calendar changed to February. I think February is always going to just be a tough month. I could physically feel the heartbreak. There were times when it felt like my chest was caving in on itself and the my chest where my heart was felt cold. As the 13th gets closer I feel how I retreat into myself. I just get so sad. I start to has flash backs to the days we lost him and the days of the viewing and funeral. I get vivid memories of...

Rosie bringing crafts for the kids.

Chris and Aerica running to the store to get snacks.

My boy cousins all dressed in their shirt and ties with white gloves on.

Holding Monique's hand and her speaking to Tata when I couldn't.

Handing my Mom a stick of Juicy Fruit to place in Tata's shirt pocket next to his pens so when he's reunited with us in heaven one day he would have chicle for us.


I found that I was missing Tata's love. I just didn't know if his love for me was still real. It was pushing me deeper and deeper into a depression of sorts. But of course in typical Tata fashion he sent me, and other family members a sign. While driving a rainbow showed up. One where I was, one where Tia Mary was, one where Tia Connie was and one where Cousin Rosie was. He knew we needed it more than ever. And yes we firmly believe that our Tata can color the sky for us. This man would move heaven and earth for us.

As the day got closer I found myself feeling like I was shrinking, falling into myself. Afraid of what the actual day would feel like. The day before my cousin Erika set up a mass to be dedicated to Tata. So the family met at the cemetery before the mass. Tata's headstone was finally installed and a lot of us had not seen it yet. It's beautiful.


And here is the magic of my family. Getting together, even at the cemetery made me feel better. Being together always makes me feel better. Knowing that we are all in this together is medicine. It is a reminder that not only is my Tata's love for us still real, but it's alive and it's growing.

Baby Amaris was there, my cousin Leo's  beautiful baby girl. She never got to meet Tata but she was born on his birthday.


The first birthday without him and he sent us this angel.


Our family, my Tata's legacy continues to grow. Even after the mass that was dedicated to him, he rewarded us with the announcement of a new baby in the family. We are growing, his love continues to multiple and thrive.

It's been 2 years today since my Tata left this world. I miss him every single day. Not one day has gone by that I don't think about him many many times a day. My broken heart is still very much open and raw. This kind of heartache is like nothing I have experienced before. But I have this family to lean on and with them I can get through anything. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Chinatown


We decided to spend a Saturday afternoon in Chinatown. There were a few art galleries we really wanted to check out. We did not realize that because Chinatown is really close to City Hall and the Women's March was happening that day, most of the galleries were closed.

It was not a wasted day, since the girls and I had never walked around Chinatown before. Since it was a week before Chinese New Year it was decorated so pretty.





These rubber plants always remind me of my Nana and Tata's yard.

We did manage to find a few galleries open and was able to see some really amazing pieces by Patrick Martinez. Some made of plaster and some in neon.



Just the store windows and signs were pretty spectacular!





Did I mention we were there during the Women's March. Signs everywhere. It was very cool for the girls to see democracy in action.



So we noticed that there were a few signs with Louie in the name. We are still wondering why. Is Louie a common Chinese name? Either way Louie was very excited to see her name so big.


It was such a great afternoon wandering the shops. I think Chinatown is a perfect place to spend an afternoon. Next time we make a day out of it and do Olvera Street and Chinatown. Really get our parking fee worth it!


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Sesame Street: Still Teaching Me Things 40 Years Later

A few weeks ago someone asked me if there was a special book from my childhood. I thought of a book immediately. Then they asked if this book helped me learn a life lesson and I immediately thought ...NO.

My favorite book when I was little was..


I loved this book so much because my Mom would read it with the best voices and sound effects. Everytime I read this book to my kids I can hear my Mom's voice and funny sounds. I loved her reading this book to me so much that she even tape recorded herself one time so that I could listen to it whenever I want.

I know, my Mom is like the best Mom ever in life.

After reminiscing about the book I thought about the second question... did this book help teach a life lesson.


I read the book again and holy s*!t guys! This book has a pretty deep lesson.

See in this story Grover is afraid of getting to the end of the book because as the title tells him, there is a monster there. He spends the whole book trying to get the reader to not move forward.

Grover is scared to move forward. He is afraid of what is coming next.

So what if you stay put, exactly where you are because you were scared of what might be next. People do this all the time right?


But as the reader we force Grover to move forward. And he freaks out and puts so much effort into not moving forward. I mean he even builds a brick wall! 

And as all Sesame Street kids know, Grover does get to the end of the book. And there was a monster there. 


 It was freakin' him! 

Man Sesame Street was deep yo! Grover was standing in his own way. Afraid to move forward to only discover that he was afraid of himself. That at the end the efforts to move forward were useless and there was nothing to be afraid of. Sometimes a new challenge or change can seem really scary and you hold and and fight it. You are dragged kicking and screaming only to find that at the end is an even better, more lovable, furrier old You.