Punk Rock Parents

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Hearst Castle- Our Somewhere We Have Never Been 2017

Last year we decided that instead of birthday parties for Joey and the girls we would take a trip somewhere. The catch is that we had to go somewhere we had never been before. Last year we went to Morro Bay and Monterey. This year when we started to plan the trip I suggested Santa Fe, the Grand Canyon and San Francisco. But nope, they wanted to go back to Morro Bay. But we still had to go some place we had never been before. Phi mentioned she would like to see Hearst Castle. 

I was thrilled. I have always wanted to take the girls but I thought that would not enjoy it until they were a bit older. But they insisted, so we booked a tour for the long weekend that we were going to be in Morro Bay.  

So a quick background, Hearst Castle was built, 5 miles up on a hill in San Simeon, Ca by newspaper billionaire William Randolf Hearst. He inherited the land from his parents and decided to build a little place. His little place is 3 grand guest house. These bad Larry's have like 15 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms. And then there is the "Casa Grande". The main house that is really more a castle than a house. Our tour was in the "Casa Grande". 

When we got to the top of the hill it was mega foggy. 

After we took the tour we walked back outside to see the fog had lifted and we had perfect California coast weather. I am going to apologize now for the grainy pics. I set my F-stop to 1600 when we were inside the castle, but forget to set it back when we got out into the sunshine. 

After the tour we got to walk the grounds for as long as we wanted. It was awesome. We must have walked around the entire grounds twice.

These view.........

J, strolling and living the castle life.

So I was worried about the girls not enjoying Hearst Castle but I didn't need to worry. They loved it. Phi was absolutely in love with everything about it. She could not get over how gorgeous everything was. How much detail went into every single space of the property.

Guys, Phi is almost as tall as me. WTH???

Another beautiful view with my beautiful girls.

I could not put my camera down. You can check out our slideshow from our day at the castle. 

Thanks for having us Hearst! 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Chone Graduates

There must have been close to 400 kids on the football field. But for us we just saw the one. Our shining star. Our Chone graduated from high school. We sat in the stands of the same football field where I graduated, where my sister Cari graduated, where my little sister Elaine graduated, and where in 7 years Lili and Felix will graduate.

We looked for the girl with no hair coming out of her cap with bright turquoise shoes. The shoes really helped us find her. She walked onto the field greeted by the staff that taught her for 4 years.

6th row, sitting right next to her cousin Rachel. How awesome to not only graduate with your cousin, but to sit right next to her during the ceremony. We had given Chone a heads up as to where we were going to sit. At the top of the bleachers under the "EE". She looked and found us and gave us a wave.

Chone has a lot on her shoulders. She is the oldest and has 6 siblings. Not only does she have those 6 looking up to her, my girls think she hung the moon. And of course these is little Ellie, who waved and cheered for her big cousin.

The ceremony wasn't too long and before we knew it she was walking up to get her diploma.

I can remember volunteering in Chone's pre-school class. I remember going to art shows and science fairs in elementary school. I remember band performances and her junior high graduation and going to her school plays during high school. She excelled at everything she has done. Years of school for this moment. These 20 seconds where they called her full name and we all jumped up and yelled for her.

I am so proud of her and everything she accomplished. She did not just coast thorough school. She took on theater, orchestra, and even youth and government.

And how proud I am of my sister and Marco for guiding and parenting this exceptional kid.

My parents got to see their first grandchild graduate. We figure they will be attending Ellie's graduation in 2034. I feel that Chone was just a baby so 2034 is right around the corner.

Chone, the world is yours. I am excited to follow along with you as you start college this fall. You are going to love it and we are going to miss you like crazy. I am always only a phone call away. I will come if you ever need me.

Thursday, June 01, 2017


My sweet baby girl is 7 years old today! My little otter expert. I remember the day you were born so vividly still. My first words to you were how much you looked like your sister. And now just like your Nani always wanted to do what I did, you want to do everything your sister does. Lately you have been telling me how you wish you and your sister were twins. This past year I have watched you really grow up. You did so awesome in first grade. I can get enough of listening to you read. You even found a best friend who you love to be with. And you have become such a good dog owner. You and Elwood really are two peas in a pod. You still have this double sided personality. At home and around people you are comfortable with you are such a ham. But get you around strangers or people you don't see to often and you are mega shy kid.  But crazy or shy, people adore you. It's really impossible not to love you.

Oh mi Amor, I love you so much. I'm so proud to be your Momma. Happy 7th birthday.

Also I can't believe you are 7 and that tooth still has not fallen out!!! 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

2017 Magnets

For the past 10 years I have been making magnets for Phi's birthday. It started as a 3rd birthday party favor and has become a tradition. With Louie, these magnets started when we announced we were expecting! Over the years the photos went from ones I wanted to ones they wanted. Now when they take pictures they say things like "Ohh that might be my magnet picture!"

That's exactly what happened with Louie this year. She really really wanted this for her 7th year magnet. Wouldn't have been my choice, but it does say "Chicano" in Old English in the background so I went with it. 

Presenting Louie's 7th Year Magnet.... 

Over the past weekend I had my camera out at a family party and I headed out to where the cool kids were hanging out. While I was there I snapped a few pictures of Phi hoping something would be magnet worthy. I hit the jackpot. I cannot get over how beautiful, or how grown-up she looks in this picture.

Presenting Phi's 12th Year Magnet.....

So if you are a collector of magnets of these 2, hit me up at the next family get-together! 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Hey Batter.....

Another big change for Phi moving to an everyday school from home school was PE. For years a walk through Art Walk was considered PE. My kids have never played any kind of organized sport. They just have never had any interest and maybe J and I should have pushed them, but we never did.

Throughout this school year Phi's PE class has played dodge ball, volleyball, basketball, capture the flag, pickle ball, lacrosse, and even kick ball. She tolerated some, and hated most. And then at the end of the year they did a few weeks of softball. And she loved it. Well she loved the hitting part anyways.

Imagine our complete shock when Phi asked us to take her to the batting cages. After we picked ourselves up off the floor we started looking for local batting cages. The next weekend we headed out to some indoor batting cages. We rented a cage? box? Not sure what they are called. Grabbed a bucket of balls, borrowed a bat and batting helmet (because of course we don't own any of those things!). Then Joey pitched balls to the girls for 30 minutes.

I thought that this would get it out of their system. I thought Phi would find something about it that was boring or scary. Instead they both loved it and asked and asked for us to go again. And the next time Phi wanted to hit from the pitching machine. Apparently her Poppa is no Fernando Valenzuela. Yes I realize her retired about 20 years ago but that is the only pitcher I am 100% sure was a pitcher.

So we went again. And Phi did really well. Even Louie was hitting some off the tee. Then we were at a store looking at bats and gloves. And the girls keep asking when we are going to go again. I have no idea if this will lead either of them playing on a actual team. But J and I spent a lunch imagining Phi as the top USA college softball player and traveling around to watch her play. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

#32 Graduates College

I have mentioned it here maybe or twice but I come from a very big family. My mom's side at last count was 104 people. 104!!! This is 4 generations. In my generation, "the grandkids" there are 32 of us. This past Saturday #32 graduated from college. 

#32 is our baby. Selina (yes she is named after Selena) graduated from CSUCI with honors. She is such a smart cookie and will continue on to earn her teaching credentials. The familia is so proud of Selina. When she asked me to take some pictures I jumped at the chance. We set up a date to shoot on the Limoneira Ranch, where our family started. We got lucky with a gorgeous day. 

This picture was a tribute to our Tata. My goodness did that man love Selina. For as long as I can remember my Tata worked on a forklift moving crates of lemons. Our Tata wanted us all to get a good education. He loved to learn and he worked hard to give his kids and grandkids opportunities he never got to have. I know his Selina has made him so proud.

Congratulations Sel! We love you!

Monday, May 22, 2017

12 and 44


How in the world can you be 12 years old today? Lately I have noticed that you are almost as tall as me. It's so weird. I swear you were just as tall as my waist a few days ago. This is it, your last year of being a kid, next year you become a real live teenager. You are growing up and Poppa and I are so proud of you and how well you have adjusted to all day school. You have made some great friends. You have worked hard at your artistic skills and your drawings are really spectacular. I love how you come home from school and tell me all about your day. I hope that you always talk to me. I hope that you know that I always want to hear what's going on in your life. Nothing is more important to me. I am so proud to be your Mom. I hope your 12th year is amazing! I can't wait for our birthday trip!

Happy 44th Birthday Babe!  I met you when you were a young 30 year old and here we are 14 years later. We have been on so many adventures together. When we added the 2 rugrats to the mix we just brought them along for the ride. You are my heart. There is no one else in this whole world who I want to be around 24/7. I love the life we have created, filled with family, art and fun. I hope your 44th year brings you happiness and fulfillment. P.S. I love you...forever and today.