Punk Rock Parents

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. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Junie B. Jones- The Musical Cast Album

As you may or not may know, reading is my thing. I love it. And I am doing everything I can make my kids book lovers. When they find a book series that they love we dive in. Both my girls fell for the spunky and hilarious Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park. Now that my youngest is in 1st grade, every week we go to the library and we all stand around and wait for Louie to pick which Junie B. Jones book she wants to read. And by read I mean, I read it and she listens.

Junie B. Jones reminds me so much of Louie. She speaks her mind, she is funny, independent and a tad bit mischievous. It's hard not to fall for her. Between Phi's Junie B. Jones phase and now Louie's I think I have read every book. Maybe twice.

When Waldmania asked if we wanted to preview Junie B Jones: The Musical Cast Album we jumped at the chance.

Thanks to the success of the book series,  Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich collaborated to develop  an off Broadway play all about Junie B. Jones. Yes they took this quirky kid and added music. That's a perfect combo in our house.

I put the album on while the kids were playing in their room. When I came back a little while later I asked Louie what she thought of it and her answer....

"It was way too short!" 

I had to laugh because this told me that she loved it and wanted more. At 30 minutes long I think this album is the perfect length. The songs tell the story of Junie B. Jones starting a new school year. And just like in all the books, there are many adventures awaiting Junie B. 

Just look at the track list...

Top Secret Personal Beeswax
Lucille, Camille, Chenille
You Can Be My Friend
Time To Make A Drawing
You Need Glasses
Show and Tell
Now I See
Lunch Box
Gladys Gutzman, Queen of Snacks
Kickball Tournament
Sheldon Pott's Halftime Show
When Life Gives You Lemons
Kickball Tournament (Reprise)
When Life Gives You Lemons (Reprise)
Writing Down the Story of My Life

If you ask Louie what her favorite song is she will tell you "You Can Be My Friend" because Junie B. was being nice to Herbert and its a really sweet song. If you at familiar at all with Junie B. Jones you will surely recognize the characters in the songs!

Junie B Jones The Musical Cast Album is out today!
 If your kids are Junie B. Jones fan (and who isn't!)  they will love this! 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A Visit with the Otters

My sister lives near Morro Bay. And Morro Bay is where sea otters like to hang out. And if there is one thing Louie loves more than anything it's sea otters. So on the way home we made a stop at Morro Bay.  Louie was beyond excited....

It was so cold in Morro Bay. And yes she is in an otter jacket. So cold that only a handful of otters were out.

Louie sat on the sidewalk and just watched her spirit animals groom and even dive for food. One otter came up with a crab! She was so excited to see and hear the otter eating.

We walked down to the beach and saw these signs. Louie was happy to see it so that people would know how to act around otters.

Before we left Louie asked if she could leave a note in the sand....

Monday, January 09, 2017

Ellie's 1st Birthday

It feels like yesterday when we got the code word and my little sister Elaine went into labor. But it has been a whole year. Since The El's was born right after the new year, my sister combined the birthday party with a family New Year's Eve slumber party. It was so much fun.

Since Elaine and Kelly are H-U-G-E Florida State fan the party was tailgate themed. We had a fun football throwing contest. That Luis won. And because it was also a NYE party there was also a beer pong tournament. That Luis and Cari almost won.

There were chips, dips, sliders and cold beer! Me and the kids played Sorry and an intense round of Uno Attack! Then later the grown-ups played an old school game. We busted out the playing cards and played Categories. A very fun drinking game that we use to play all the time. It was so much fun. I will never be able to get the vision of Kelly rowing the viking ship out of my head.

Erika Darling and her BF Vinnie were there and we had such a great time getting to know Vinnie! Then, thanks to Erika Darling I got to play Cards Against Humanity for the first time. It was as awkward and hilarious as everyone says it is!

And of course in between there was cake and presents for The El's. She had a very cute football field themed smash cake. It took her a little while to wrap her head around the fact that she could eat it, but once she did she grubbed some cake.

We all settled in to watch Mariah Carey completely bomb on TV and then we counted down and rang in 2017 with hugs, kisses and champagne (and apple cider for the kiddos!) It was the perfect way to celebrate our beautiful Ellie and start a brand new year!

Friday, January 06, 2017

Family Pictures

On Christmas Day, since the whole family was together we had to get a photo. As you can imagine getting a photo of 15 people and dogs is not easy. The outtakes are usually my favorite....

But eventually we get one....

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Christmas Morning

The Gomez family all got together Christmas morning at Mom and Pops in Santa Barbara. The tree was packed with presents! It was Ellie's first Christmas! We were so excited to watch the kids open gifts!

Phi and Lou each got art related gifts from Santa! Phi got an easel with storage and her favorite gift was the 24 set of Prismacolor markers from Nana and Tata! Louie got a very got a very cool light-up tracing pad and has already traced some really cool pictures! A great way for her to practice her drawing and gain some confidence.

The CuCoGo's gave us all gift cards in the most fun way possible! She put all the cards along with candy and cash in a giant saran wrap ball. Then we played a dice game and we eventually got all the gift cards and treats out! It was so much fun!

The rest of the morning was spent playing with gifts and eating a really great breakfast! Christmas morning was so awesome, because all 15 family members were there.

As usual our Christmas day is split between my family and Joey's family. So we packed up the car and said our good-byes and headed to La Puente for one more Christmas celebration! 

Monday, January 02, 2017

Noche Buena 2016

This year the family got together at Casa Chavez. As usual it was a tight squeeze but when your family is as big as ours there is no way around it. And really there is no other way I would want it. You are literally surrounded by all the people you love and there is just no better feeling than that.

The kitchen was filled with so much good food. There was my Tia Concha's pozole. I was suffering from a cold and the pozole really hit the spot. There was meatballs, rice, beans, fettuccine alfredo, macaroni salad, a whole table of desserts and of course lots and lots of tamales.

And because all the kids had been so good this year, Santa showed up! He brought gifts for all the kiddos!

Every year we have a white elephant gift exchange. This year we added the kitchen mitt unwrapping game. And it got a little intense!

Back in the day we would wait until midnight to exchange gifts, but since the family has gotten bigger and a lot of us are traveling quite a ways we now end the night about 10pm. So we exchanged gifts with our family and called it a night.

I want to thank my little cousin Karina! I gave her my camera and most of these photos she took!

It was a beautiful Christmas Eve with my beautiful family. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Guy Sure Looks Like Plant Food To Me

 My amazing, smart, beautiful talented niece was recently in her high school production of "Little Shop of Horrors". I was so very bummed that I could not make it to see her. I love watching my niece act. She is so f'ing unbelievable. And I also really LOVE Little Shop of Horrors.

When I was in elementary school, the years I didn't have a costume party for my birthday, I would have a slumber party. About 5 or 6 of my friends would come over and we would have pizza, and play dress up, have a dance-a-thon and end the night with a movie. I picked the same movie every time.

Little Shop of Horrors.

I don't know when I first saw this movie. To be honest I am pretty surprised my Mom let me watch it with a murderous plant and all. I loved it so much.

Since we could not make it to the play, that night the 5 of us settled into the den to watch the movie. My girls love musicals and I figured they would become as obsessed as I am.

We of course watched the 1986 version with Rick Moranis.

Joey recently mentioned that Ellie has a face she makes that makes her look a lot like Rick Moranis. Now I can't stop seeing it.

SPOILER ALERT: If you don't want to know how the movie ends stop reading now...

As the credits rolled I sat with a big smile on my face. It was just as good as I remembered it. I looked over at my kids and they were both....

They could not believe that everyone dies and the plants take over the world. To be honest I forgot that was how the movie ended. Phi kept yelling, "It can't end like that!" and Louie whispered, "They never ever got to get married."

My poor kids, so used to happily ever after endings. I told them it was a happy ending for the alien plants. They were not buying it. I don't think I can convince them to watch the movie again anytime soon, but they have been forced to listen to the soundtrack for weeks now. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

We Got A Dog!

We searched and searched and the stars finally aligned. Over Thanksgiving weekend we headed back from Santa Barbara early and made a trip out to Riverside to the Mary S. Roberts shelter. We see their volunteers every month at Art Walk. They also had a dog adoption event in my business center about a week earlier. We knew that they were having free animal adoptions for Thanksgiving weekend. 

We waltzed in on Sunday and right away they asked...

"What are you here to see?"

And we were like "Uhh dogs"

And they were like "There is only 1 dog left." 


and then they added, "And a couple that drove up from Oceanside is having a meet and greet with him".

At that point I thought for sure we had wasted a trip. They asked us if we wanted to wait, just in case the couple passed on "Prince". When I heard his name was Prince I assumed he was an old foo-foo tiny dog, who was probably ugly, because why else would he be the only dog left. 

The Oceanside couple passed and we were lead into the little meet and greet room to hang out with "Prince". He was not little, foo-foo, or ugly. He was a 2 year old lab/staffordshire terrier mix with a gorgeous brown/reddish coat and light brown eyes. He was sweet and quiet and hung out.

After our last meet and greet experience we were all a little bit hesitant to really let ourselves fall for him. He was a little bit bigger than we wanted but at 2 years old he was full-grown. We all played tug with him and threw his toys for him to catch. We were in there for about 15 minutes and I asked the family what they thought. It was unanimous, we all liked him. He looked a lot like the puppy from the sad shelter experience, but all grown-up. 

We filled out the paperwork and learned a little more about this guy. He had been at the shelter on and off for 5 months, and returned twice. Love how they threw that piece of info in AFTER the meet and greet. They explained that his first owner had to move into an assisted living facility and could not take dogs. The second owners took him home and found out that their son had a severe dog allergy. So technically both returns had nothing to do with the actual dog. 

After all the t's were crossed and i's were dotted they brought out a bucket filled with toys and a leash, collar, shampoo, and even treats. They also brought a huge bag of dog food. All things that the second owner brought back with the dog. So this was a nice bonus. We decided right there that we were going to change his name to....

Elwood Rocky Fantastic

Elwood, because I love the name, Rocky because the girls are obsessed with Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Fantastic because all our dogs have had the last name Fantastic. 

As we walked out of the shelter we were all a bit dazed that after months of looking we were actually going home with a dog. Elwood was a bit dazed too because he walked right into a pillar. He shook it off and he was fine. Into the car we went and we started our journey as a family of 5

The last few weeks have been an adventure to say the least. He has eaten 2 beds, learned how to escape his crate and gotten out of his collar/leash twice. Joey and I have spent the last few weekends working on the backyard so that he has a nice place to be. We reinstalled the dog door and Louie has found a new BFF. I also have never heard him bark. Joey has heard him, but only twice.

Having a dog has been an adjustment, but we are all really loving having him. We waited a long time to get a new dog. Roo running away while being dog-sat was so heartbreaking for all of us. We were finally ready. We knew as Phi gets to those awesome tween years, hanging out with friends and all that junior high stuff, Louie was going to really feel that absence. Elwood has been a great friend to her already and even puts up with all her hugs and kisses.

But I think Joey is the happiest of us all. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Puppy Heartache

It has been over 5 years since we have had a dog. About a year ago we thought that maybe we could open our hearts to a new dog. In the last month we have been actively looking on-line. This weekend we went to a few different shelters to see if there was someone that was meant for us. We found an older puggle who was super cute, but then turned super mean when another dog came by. We also saw another pug mix that looked like a Mega-Pug, but in the 5 minutes that we went to look at other dogs, someone else had come by and placed him on hold. 

Today we drove about an hour to the Animal Friends of the Valleys. This place is absolutely gorgeous. It is an amazing facility with a super sweet staff and lots of dogs, cats, even bunnies and birds. We walked through the halls and looked at all the sweet dogs and then we found this guy in room 21. 

A 4 month old pit bull mix they had named Dremil. On of the staff asked if we would like to "meet" him. We did. We so did.

We are looking for a sweet and calm dog and this guy was that. Despite the other dogs barking in the neighboring room he never barked or growled.

He was a sweet little boy and so loving. We fed him treats and I think he took a liking to us too.

We had the staff take him back and we walked through the rest of the shelter. But we came back to this guy and headed up to the front desk to talk adoption.

I filled out the paperwork and headed over to the front desk. As I handed her the paperwork she casually says "They told you that 2 other people are already interested in him". Joey and I looked at each other and our hearts fell. No, no one had told us that. We assumed that he was adoptable.

As we were standing there a man walked in with 3 dogs and let the front desk know that he was there for a meet and greet because he was looking to adopt Dremil. Yup our little guy. I looked over at the girls and Phi looked so sad and Louie was super pissed. She said "But he already has 3 dogs and we don't have any!"  They called for a staff member and it was the same girl who had let us play with the dog. When they told her that this man was here for a meet and greet with Dremil so looked over at us with shock. She was angry because no one had pulled the dogs paperwork from his room so she assumed that he was available. She knew that we were heartbroken and her glance let me know that she felt awful about it. Of course the meet in greet was in a glass room where my kids sat and watched as the puppy they fell in love with met with its most likely new family.

So the chances that Dremil will be ours are slim to none. This guy with the 3 dogs will have to have an unsuccessful meet and greet, or have a successful meet and greet and not pass the yard inspection. Then there is another application after him. If those 2 don't pan out then we have a shot. See very long shot.

We left with a better understanding as to why people buy from breeders or pet shop or Facebook. There is no hoops to jump through and you're not competing for a dog. At a breeder or store we could write a check and have a puppy. Of course we know that it's better to adopt from a shelter but today we left just so disappointed.