Punk Rock Parents

Monday, April 25, 2016

Echo Park Ese

I have to admit that my only real reference to Echo Park was from the movie Mi Vida Loca.


So one weekend while we were exploring around Los Angeles we decided to head over and see Echo Park for ourselves. It was nothing like the movie. East LA is now taken over by hipsters. They have moved in and cleaned up the area. Echo Park is a beautiful place where lots of people in suspenders walk their dogs.



We walked around the entire lake. The girls enjoyed singing to the ducks. They each brought their sketch books and took some time sketching the lake and any duck that would stand still long enough.





We had such a beautiful day walking the lake. Even with Phi getting sick towards the end of our walk we had a nice afternoon and not one "Sad Girl" in sight. It was nothing like I imagined.




Friday, April 22, 2016

But Life is Just a Party, and Parties Weren't Meant 2 Last

Rest In Peace Purple One
Joey could not understand why I was so sad about the passing of Prince. How could I be so upset about someone I had never met before. I couldn't really explain myself but I thought about what he said.

Now maybe it's because I grew up in the 80's and was a teenager in the 90's. Or maybe it was because my Pops was a musician and my Mom loved Rick Dees on KIIS FM. But music was always a constant in our house. Pop music was very much alive and well in the Gomez house. And just like my sister Ouie was drawn to pop stars like Cyndi Lauper and Boy George, I was drawn to stars like Michael Jackson and Prince.

When I listen to Prince songs now (like I have been doing all day!) I am always shocked at how provocative or sexually charged his songs were. I was probably about Louie's age when "Little Red Corvette" was released and I LOVED that song, but I honestly thought it was about an actual car. I had a lot of revelations like that when I listened to all my favorite childhood Prince songs as an teenager. So I can truthfully say that it was the music that made me fall for Prince as a child. Him, his music and his movies were a big part of my childhood and of course it was my childhood that made me the person I am today. Because music was so big for me these musicians feel like they played a significant role in helping me find myself. So even though I never met Prince, or even saw him in concert, the loss hurts.

Over on HerMamas.com today I am talking about some of my favorite memories that involve Prince's music. From parties with my friends and family, to my first concert and even falling in love with Joey. You can read all about it by CLICKING HERE.


Thursday, April 07, 2016

9

Cousin Roman,

It has been 9 years since you passed away. This morning I woke up thinking about you and trying to picture what the family looked like in 2007. We were still a big family then, but we are even bigger now. We have been so blessed to add new people to our circle. Some people through marriage, others through long-term relationships and of course new babies. Oh how you would have loved all the new babies. I know in my heart that you had all these little souls with you in heaven before they came to us. I know you told them all about us and helped bring them to us safely into the world. Thanks for that. Thanks for taking care of our Ellie Jess and sending her to us. We love her so.

Today is still a tough day for us. It never gets easier. I do my best to send love to your brother and sister. You must be so proud of them. How awesome was it when Arnie got into 805lide? And it's it so nice to see your sister so happy. Her BF is sweet, kind, and patient with a 1000 watt smile. He reminds me of you in those ways.

There is some comfort that you are with Tata now. I hope you two are making up for the lost years when you were there and he was here. I hope that you are together watching the family grow and love and connect with each other. Have a good time celebrating the day of your birth tomorrow. We will all be celebrating you!

I hope you know how much we miss you and how family pictures will always be missing you in them. You are my family and I love you so much,



Love Your Big Cousin,

Elissa

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Otter Obsession

There are what my google searches look like lately..


It all started when Phi earned two stuffed otters during the 2014 girl scout cookie season. She was nice enough to give her sister the smaller one. Louie loved her otter and thanks to a suggestion from cousin Bones, she names him Ozzie Ozz-Wazz Osborne. Ever since Louie and Ozzie have been pretty much connected at the hip.


When Ozzie showed up Louie went through all the stuff animals and managed to find 3 more otter dolls. She then somehow convinced her sister to give her the bigger otter she earned. It was named Squirt. Then a few months back when the girls were with Nana and Tata, Louie came home with Chico. A very cute hand puppet otter. Maybe because he was easier to carry she started taking Chico everywhere. 


She also found creative ways to carry her otters. 


The obsession did not stop with just dolls. She loves everything about Otters. At one point she mixed her love of award shows and otters and put on the "First Annual Otter Awards". You can see the entire show over on the kids blog. CLICK HERE.

She also wants to know everything can about them. Her tablet has YouTube kids and she is able to search by speech. She is constantly yelling "OTTER VIDEOS" into her tablet. We got to watch the momma otter give birth from a webcast from the Monterey Bay Aquarium site. My facebook page has become a place where people post otter videos for Louie. It is awesome and she loves it. 

Every library visit starts with "can we look up otter book?". I think she has read every single one our library has. When she grows up she wants to work at an aquarium with otters. 


We recently watched a youtube video on how to draw an otter. She watched it a few times and now spends her nights with her book light and pencils drawing sea otters. 


Louie is obsessed. Otters is all she talks about. She wants one for a pet but I told her that she would need to live in Japan. So of course she wants to move. I get it the obsession. Both girls get their super fan-girl gene from me. Then my sister sent me this...


She was in Morro Bay enjoying the day with her in-laws and there were just otters floating around. As you can imagine, Louie lost her mind. We started talking about going to see real otters in the ocean . She talked about getting to see them close up in the ocean. As we were talking she said "Mom I have happy tears in my eyes!" She wants to float on the ocean like the otters and hold hands with one. 


Tuesday, March 08, 2016

When you grow attached to your birth control. Literally.



Back in 2011, Louie was a newborn and my doctor asked me what I wanted to do for birth control. Since I wasn't planning to have anymore kids in the next few years I wanted something long-term but not permanent. The idea of the IUD was very very appealing. One time cost, no need to remember to take a pill or get a prescription filled, and 5 years of birth control sounded exactly what I was looking for. So I had the Mirena IUD placed.

Fast forward to December of last year and I called to make an appointment to have the IUD removed because my 5 years were up. Of course I couldn't get an appointment until March. So last week I went in for an annual, to get the old IUD removed and a new one put it. Sounds like a simple appointment right? WRONG! My fear was that my IUD had moved to far up my uterus and would be hard to reach. Instead during my exam my gynecologist was shocked to find that my little buddy had dropped into my cervix. She mentioned that most likely it was not even working because it was so low. She thought she would be able to grab it with her fingers and yank it out.

GREAT! My fear subsided and I prepared myself to have it "yanked"out. Of course this ended up being so far from simple. After a few minutes and a few different instruments used only the bottom tip of the IUD came out. So now I had this thing coming out in pieces. As she attempted to get the rest of the thing out it started getting painful. With every attempt my uterus replied by contracting like my water had just broken and the baby was coming, When she could not get it, she called for some assistance from a nurse practitioner named Jackie Pitt. It was weird because when I was in the elevator I noticed her name. I remember thinking that's what my friend Jackie's name would have been if she had married Brad Pitt. I even had taken a picture of the name to text Jackie.

So Jackie Pitt comes in and takes a stab at it. And I say stab because it felt like I was being stabbed in the uterus. After about 20 minutes the stem of the IUD came out. So now the top part was stuck. The doctor thought that it had embedded itself in my cervix. They kept trying. They discussed dilating my cervix to be able to reach better and get a better view. As I groaned in pains that I had not felt since Louie was born, they started talking about having to get it surgically removed. I was in so much pain that they idea of getting put to sleep and avoiding the pain I was feeling sounded good. After 45 minutes of trying the doctor was ready to call it quits. Jackie Pitt was not. She asked if I could stand one more try. I told her I could. She stopped and literally prayed to Jesus to guide her. While she did this I closed my eyes and asked my Tata to watch over me.

The last attempt was the most painful, but thank the lord it was successful. Jackie Pitt held up in between the forceps the tiniest little IUD in the world. It was not any bigger than a paperclip. From the pain I had been through the last 45 minutes I expected a 6 pound piece of plastic to come out.I cried from relief. Relief that it was over and that I wouldn't have to have surgery. The reality of the cost of a surgery started to become more real as the pain subsided.

On the way home I was stopped at a red light and semi truck passed in front of me. The truck had "Guanajuato" written across the side. This is where my Tata was born. Of course I cried.

The IUD was out but thanks to the"trauma" my cervix had endured (yes my doctor said trauma) she would not put a new IUD for 3 months.(the doc gave me 3 months of NuvaRing in the meantime)  She also put me on antibiotics for a week and sent me for blood labs to make sure there was no internal bleeding or infection. Oh and no sex for 2 weeks.

This appointment was just the gift that kept on giving. I was extremely sore. For days. It hurt to sneeze. And the antibiotics were majorly strong. So much that I was puking at my desk at work. When they say take with food they mean it. So when the doctor said not to lay down for 30 minutes after taking them I am listening to her!

So now I have 3 months to go back and forth about getting a new IUD put in. I had wanted to get the Paragard IUD put in. It is a 10 year birth control solution and could possibly get me to menopause, but the idea of having to go through the removal again is not appealing. I think it might be time to have a serious talk with Poppa and getting the "snip snip" vasectomy.


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Sisters

Phi is now 10 going on 16. The kid hit her pre-teens and the eyerolls and attitude is in full effect. Louie is 5 and still at a sweet age where she loves to be with us. I can remember when this age gap was rough for me and my youngest sister. I found he annoying and I was too cool to hang out with her. I was worried that my girls would go through this same phase. Most of the time Louie is in the playroom playing with Calico Critters and Sophia has her head buried in a book or drawing a picture.

The other morning Louie showed me this picture.


The girls sleep in a bunk bed and at night they pass a piece of paper to each other and draw notes to each other. Phi loves to draw and Louie wants so badly to get better at it.  I think this is so sweet and a nice way for the girls to share a common hobby.

Friday, February 12, 2016

One Year

Tomorrow it will be one year since my Tata passed away.

All four season, all our birthdays, anniversaries, holidays.

There were so many great things this year that were not the same without you. Elaine didn't get a chance to tell you she was pregnant and see you raise your fist and say "Alright!". You never got to see our new beautiful Ellie. She is so amazing and you would have loved to hold her in your arms.

And now a year has passed.

This past week I have felt so very tired. Like living this last year without you has been so hard that my mind and body can't take it anymore. Like it took more energy to get through this past year. I guess grief is draining. I had no idea.

The thought of having to get through another year, another birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving, summer without you is almost too much to comprehend.

There have been days when the day is almost done and I think that I am going to make it through the day without crying, but I never get there. I have cried every single day. I miss you so much and I still can't believe that you are gone. I feel as lost as the day you died.

Over the last week or so I keep seeing men who look like you. I will turn my head to talk to one of my girls and out of the corner of my eye I see you. And my breath catches and my heart races for just a split second until I realize it's not you. Of course it's not you. My friends say that these sightings are a blessing, a way that you might be communicating with me. And maybe they are but I am always left with a dark empty feeling because I am hit with the reality that you are gone.

As a family we are doing what we can to make sure that his legacy continues stronger than ever. My cousins and I have worked on putting together a scholarship foundation in my Tata's name. It helps me feel like by giving out an annual scholarship and working towards our goals I am honoring him.

Tomorrow I will meet my family at church to be together and get through tomorrow as best as we can.




To donate to the Jose P. Garcia Memorial Scholarship Fund
 please visit our GoFundMe..CLICK HERE

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Homeschool Week 20: The Stolen Emerald


Louie


Language Arts: This week was all about the letter J! So of course we had to do some kind of Poppa themed craft. Louie asked for a picture of her Poppa and made the capital J his beard. I swear this kid is a comedy genius. 

Reading: This week we read another book by Jan Brett. This week we read The Hat. It was very similar to The Mitten and Louie loved all the animals in the story. We did a lot of comparing and contrasting of the stories. We also did a fun game with sight words this week. It was like a memory game with pez candy. She is going really well with her reading. I love this stage where I am still in awe that my baby can read! She has been not too thrilled to read the Bob's books to me so to make it more fun for her I told her that she could read it to Baby Ellie as a bedtime story. She LOVED that idea and I think that Ellie liked it too. 



Writing- This week we looked at giving more details to writing and also did a really cute exercise on spacing between words. Since we were talking about spacing we were given a little astronauts. After each word she taped down an astronaut. 

It's all Ellie all the time over here. 


Math- We are working on subtraction. A few worksheets to do this week. Louie has also been practicing counting up to 100. She likes to do this really loud in the car. I think the highest she has gotten was to 113. 

Social Studies- We looked at places in our community. We talked about places like hospitals, schools, post offices, and libraries. We also talked about the people who work in our community. This week in class the kids got to present what they want to be when they grow up. Of course Louie picked a veterinarian. She got to put together a poster board and a costume. She did such a great job on her presentation. I got to talk about being a Girl Scout Troop leader so I got to be there for her presentation. 



Science: We looked at the different states of matter. We looked at how water can be changed from a liquid to a solid and back. We also looked at how certain types of matter don't mix. Specifically oil and water. We made colored mustache ice cubes. We put baby oil in a container and then let the colored ice cubes melt. We saw colorful bubbles start to form. Then we noticed that the colors started to blend together. A fun and messy project. 



Phi 


Language Arts- We read the next 4 chapter of The Westing Game. And those were some intense chapters. We finally found out who did it! Lots of twist and turns. We did the usual vocab and comprehension worksheets. The big project for the week was to write a mystery and made a crime scene for it. Phi wrote a great story and them made puppets and a video. Also lots of twists and turns. 


Math- We worked on word problems and dividing fractions. It was a pretty easy week and Phi seemed to do really well. Let's see what next week brings!

Social Studies- Another explorer. This is starting to get pretty boring. This week we looked at Vasco Nunez de Balboa. The Spanish explorer who first European explorer to see the Pacific Ocean. 

Science- Since Phi got her weather project done last week she had no science this week! Yes!


Thursday, January 21, 2016

5 Little Speckled Frogs

This week Louie is working on subtraction and to introduce the concept her teacher sent home a little activity with a link to a YouTube video with the 5 Little Speckled Frog song. 

This song has been a staple of kindergarten classes for well over 30 years. You don't know the song? Here you go....


Sorry. I know that will be stuck in your head all day. 



Now this little ditty will always have a special place in my heart. When I was a kindergartner it apparently was my favorite song. So much so that myself, my cousin Patty, my cousin Monica and my friend Sylvia performed it for the talent show.

Thanks for finding these pics Momma!

But my love for the speckled frogs did not die after kinder. In 4th grade, 1986,  we brought the speckled frogs back to the school talent show and they were better than ever. This time my best friend Jessica joined us and her very talented mother (she is still my liquid eyeliner applier role model!) made us all very cool speckled frog jumpers.

Seriously we look exactly the same like 30 years later. 
I believe this skit involved a jump rope. I am not sure who won the year's talent show but for the sake of this post let's say we did. (Pretty sure we didn't). I shared these pictures with Patty and Jessica yesterday and Jess reminded me about the time we leap frogged the entire length of the school field. We are not sure where this obsession with frogs came from.

Well I am happy to know that generations later this song is still being sung in classrooms. It sure did bring me a whole lot of hoppiness as a kid.

I know too cheesy.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Homeschool Week 19: I Repeat the Tornado Is Touching Ground!


Louie


Language Arts- This week was about the letter V and was a great way to introduce Louie to Van Halen. We taught her that David Lee Roth over Sammy Hagar all the time, every time. We also listened Veruca Salt (we always try to show her some girl rockers!) and to one of Poppa's favorite bands, The Vandals. Seeing The Vandals play Warped Tour was the only time I saw Popps actually sing along to a band. That is huge! We also did a bunch of worksheets on the letter V but really the important lesson here was the music.

Reading: We worked more on our short vowel sounds. She is reading and blending pretty well. We played a few games, did some worksheets and read books. Louie's teacher had some great fun activities this week. We also read the story "The Mitten" by Jan Brett. A cute story about a lost mitten and the creatures that find some warmth in it. We looked at sequence of events and did a few worksheets looking at the author and setting.

Writing- We worked on labeling a picture and going back and adding steps when it comes to writing out how-to sentences. This was a fun week. Louie drew a picture of our house and labeled the windows, door and roof. We need to work on using lower and upper letters correctly.

Math- We are doing addition now. We talked about the plus sign and the equal sign. Louie did really great with all the worksheets. We ended the week with a great dice game. She rolled the dice and wrote each number down and then she had to add each couple of numbers.

Social Studies- Because of the holiday we studied Martin Luther King this week. It was a bit of a challenge for me to talk about MLK in terms Louie would understand. We talked a lot about making the world a better place. Of course Louie's dream for the world involved sea otters.



Science- We jumped into the states of matter. We looked at how matter is made of particles and how the particles interact will determine is something is a solid, liquid or a gas. We did a sorting activity and Poppa and Louie made goop to look how it can act like a solid and a liquid.


Phi


Language Arts- Phi read chapters 17-20 of The Westing Game. The story is getting interesting. The connections between the 16 players and Mr. Westing are starting to reveal themselves and we are getting closer to finding out who the "murderer" is. We did the usual worksheets and this week Phi finished her Sunset Tower project. She used a poster board and made a 5 story building. 4 windows in the first 4 stories and 2 windows and a door on the bottom floor. In the 16 windows she drew each character and wrote 3 physical descriptions and 3 personality traits and 1 quote from the book to support them. The last 3 on the first floor she drew different scenes from the book with descriptions. And of course I forgot to get a picture of it.

Math- Oh math. This week we had to call my super smart sister to help out with one problem and we had a lot of issues when it came to pretty basic math. I am talking multiplying double digits and even subtracting numbers with borrowing. I have no idea what is going on but there are times when simple math is a struggle, like it is something she has never done before. After practicing a few times she would get the concept but her retention is just really weak. This goes for all subjects.

Social Studies- More explorers. This week we looked at Jacques Cartier and his travels into Canada. We looked at his voyages from France. We also looked at the different reasons why countries sent explorers to North and South America. She then had to pick one reason and write a postcard back home explaining the reason for the voyage. She choose to be an explorer from Spain heading to North America to develop a colony so that Spain could become more powerful.

Science- Severe weather. We looked at hurricane, hail storms and tornados. Her assignment was to choose one severe weather and make a project all about it. Here is Phi's.....




A full and fun week!