Punk Rock Parents

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Birthday Trip 2016- Day1-2 Morro Bay

This year for Joey, Sophia and Louie's birthday we opted for a trip instead of gifts and a party.

 Best idea ever. 

Now if you follow us on any social media platform that you know that Louie is just a little bit obsessed with sea otters. So a trip to Morro Bay and Monterey Bay was just obvious. Our beautiful perfect niece Ellie was baptized in San Luis Obispo on a Saturday, so we used this has our starting point. After the baptism my sisters and all the kids and us headed to Morro Bay for a late lunch. While sitting on a deck over the water Uncle Kelly casually told Louie, "hey look over there". And there floating right off the deck was a real life honest to goodness sea otter. Here is Louie as she spotted the first otter of what would be many otters. 

We walked along the harbor.

I got these photos and realized that we picked the absolute perfect god-parents for Louie.

As we walked we saw 2 otters just right there. Hanging out. I could not believe how cute sea otters are. The hype is real.

After that we drove over to the big Morro Bay rock. My sister Elaine said that it's where the otters like to hang out. She wasn't lying.

We saw lots of otters. Some wrapped in kelp napping. We even saw a Mom and her pup. Can you see the pup in the picture above?

We said good-bye to the rest of the family and we checked into our hotel. It was like 60 degrees out but the girls begged us to let them go swimming in the non-heated pool. We did and they lasted about 20 minutes. We went back to our room and headed to downtown Morro Bay to grab dinner.

If there is a contest for most otter stuff in one city Morro Bay could be a contender. This picture really just captured the whole trip for Louie.

I don't think she understood how much fun it was for us to watch her get so excited. We had dinner outside even though it was cold. Louie wanted to be as close to the otters as she could. As we left for the night she stood on the deck and yelled a good night to all the otters.

The next morning I immediately jumped on the girl's bed and squeezed my Phi because it was her birthday! Then we all attacked Joey because it was his birthday too!

We went to a little breakfast place for some food and headed back to the rock one last time to check out the otters. Or as Louie called it "stalk on them".

Louie got a little braver and got a little bit closer. 

My baby was in otter heaven. She was one with her spirit animal that day. 

Next up, we hit the road to Monterey Bay.......

Friday, May 27, 2016

Graduating and Promoting Day

Yes our girls are homeschooled, but they are homeschooled through a charter school. This really gives them the best of both worlds. Well in my opinion anyways. Today was the last day of school and Phi finished 5th grade and Louie finished kindergarten. This made today a big day for us. This morning we had Phi's 5th grade promotion. Yes my tiny baby is going to junior high next year. I don't understand how this is even possible but today's ceremony was a big wake up call that this is real. 

Since there are only three 5th graders in Phi's class and seven kindergartners, they combined the 5th grade promotion with the kindergarten graduation. And yes there were little kid graduation caps involved.

 For the last week I or so when I thought about my youngest finishing kindergarten I would get all weepy. But it came to the big moment I was just super excited and proud. When you celebrate these kinds of milestones when you are a homeschooling parent you feel a sense of pride and a sense of relief. When we started homeschooling Louie I was so worried that homeschooling two kids would be too much and Louie would never ever learn to read, write or count. But as you can see here. She did it. We did it.

Giving the side eye with her diploma.

This year with Phi was so bittersweet. I knew this would be our last year of homeschooling, and of elementary school. I also knew that as she got older working one on one with her parents was not going to be so smooth. This year was a lot of eye rolls and arguments and there were times that were really hard for all of us. But I kept telling myself how lucky I am to get to be with my daughter everyday,all day long. There were some days that I had to remind myself that over and over. Over the last 3 years with this program Phi has done some amazing things and she has excelled.

 She is such a smart kid and when she puts her mind to things she can do absolutely anything.

 A few weeks ago her teacher asked Phi if she would give a speech at the ceremony. She worked a few days and wrote a really great speech. But then it was time for her to give her speech and I cried like a baby because she was absolutely amazing.

 Just see for yourself...

I don't know where she gets this poise and confidence from but it blows me away.

At the end of the ceremony they had a passing the torch ceremony. With a fake torch of course.

When certificates were handed out each teacher said a few words about each student. Phi's teacher talked about what a great leader she is. How she is so helpful and smart. She called Phi her "right hand man" and gushed about her artistic talent.

 Louie's teacher talked a little bit about Louie. She said that when school started she thought of Louie as a quite, studious well behaved student, but she was so wrong. She did let us know that she still is very well behaved but over the year she had seen Louie for who she really is. She called Louie vibrant, creative and hilarious. She also called her an otter expert. I think that sums up my youngest perfectly.

The girls were so happy that Nana, Tata and Grandma Kim all came to help celebrate. Yes my parents drove 3 hours very early in the morning to be with the girls. The girls felt the love today.

We are very proud parents everyday but today was awesome to see our girls be recognized for all their hard work. People may think that homeschooling is easier than regular school, but believe me it is harder. My kids work so hard, all day long, learning everything they can. They have to learn to manage their time a prioritize their schedule. The hard work is well worth it.

We are so proud of you girls! 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Louie Blu Graduates

In 2 short weeks Louie will be graduating from kindergarten. I can't even... 

When this year started and I realized that we would be homeschooling from day 1 I got really nervous. I mean I was going to be in charge of teaching her the absolute basics.

I am happy to say that Louie can count to 100, do simple math and she can even read.

We did it! We made it through kindergarten!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The 2016 Magnets Are Here!

Back in 2008, when Phi turned 3 I made magnets as a party favor, and a tradition was born. I have made a new magnet for each one of her birthdays since her 3rd. Then when we got pregnant with Louie, we started her magnet series with our birth announcement photo as party favors at our shower. Louie has had a magnet for every one of her birthdays. Since we are mid-May it is time to reveal the 2016 Magnets! 

Drum roll please......

Yes I know 11 years old. I can't believe it either. I gave Phi creative control this year. She wanted this background because over the last year she really has fallen in love with drawing, graphic novels and manga art. She picked the fonts and colors and placements. I love it. She did a great job!

Oh our Louie. Our shortie with the big personality is going to be 6 in just a few weeks. Unreal. We went to a restaurant recently with this great wallpaper. Louie looked at the Loteria print and said "Man they must use a lot of beans to play". (You know cause we typically use beans as markers. And by we I mean Mexicans) It was bright and colorful just like my Louie.

And here is the entire collection. There are now 16 in all!

Friday, May 06, 2016

Happy Mother's Day

 I want to wish a very happy first Mother's day to my sister Elaine. Over the last 5 months, since Ellie Jess has entered this world, I have seen my sister transition into motherhood seamlessly. She totally gets it.

She has rolled with the tough parts and has fallen so deeply in love with her daughter.

She is even balancing that whole work/life balance like a champ.

Elaine, The El's is so lucky to have you as her Momma. In just 5 months you have proven that you are an awesome Momma. But then again we always knew you would be because you are the best Tia around. The kids adore you and know that Cari and I will get just as good to EJ.

 And speaking of Cari....

This is always my first call when it comes to parenting questions. I trust her advice 100%. My crazy weird sister has managed to raise a teenager who is so confident, so talented and so smart. Chone does things with no fear and that because she has a Mom who raised her to be that way.

And she has Lili and Felix who are growing into really awesome people. They may be twins but they are so different and my sister knows how to encourage each of their strengths. She helps them move out of their comfort zones and encourages them to try new things. 

 And to both my sisters thanks for being such good Moms and giving me such awesome nieces and nephew. I love these kids like crazy.

I love how each of them reminds me of us. It was like we mixed the best of of us and made these 6 incredible kids.

And of course we could never be who we are if it wasn't for the fact that we were raised by the most loving, and supportive Mom out there.

I am never going to be as good as she is. But I have spent the last 11 years trying to be. If there is one thing I know to be true in this life it's that my Mom loves me. Knowing that has allowed me to be brave, to have confidence in myself, to find my true passions in life and to start my own family knowing that I could give my kids what they needed because I grew up with a Mom who made sure that all our needs and wants were met. She made sure we grew up to be smart and kind people. 

And now we are watching my Mom and her sisters and brother take care of their Mom. I see the love and patience that she had with us that she now gets to shower on her Mom.

My Nana. Who raised 9 children. The idea boogles my mind. I really believe that 2 kids is my limit. This woman did that times 4 plus 1. And they are all such good, hardworking and kind people. A testiment to my Nana. And my Grandma Rachel. The woman who raised 6 kids practically on her own. Who raised her kids to know that family is important and that life if nothing if you are not having fun. These women were both a big part of my childhood and I love them so much.

I am very blessed to have a life where I am surrounded by so many women who are exceptional Moms. Happy Mother's Day to all you. I wish for a day where you can sleep in, eat whatever you want, and maybe even take a nap. Because we all know that this Mom gig is exhausting!

Thursday, May 05, 2016

A Hike to the Griffith Observatory

That morning we had family who were attending Coachella crashing at our house. In the morning we were talking about how we were headed to the Griffith Observatory that day. One girl asked..

"Oh cool! Are you going to hike up?" 

We laughed and laughed because we are NOT hikers. We were planning to park in the parking lot right at the top of the hill, right in front of the observatory. 

And then we got there and as we passed through the tunnel instead of letting up continue up the hill, a huge sign said "PARKING LOT FULL" and we were directed to go right and find parking along the side of a narrow road. We drove and drove and drove and finally found a parking spot. I really was about to just call it a day, but we were meeting my cousin Betty and her BF Danny there. So we started walking. 0.8 miles. Up a hill. We were all miserable, but we made it. 

I can remember going to the observatory as a kid. I remember going with my Mom and my Tia Connie. I think my Tia has some kind of school assignment. We had never taken the kids and with Phi being so into space we knew a trip was in store. When Danny suggested a trip we finally coordinated schedules and found a Sunday to go.

The place is small, and on a weekend pretty crowded but the kids LOVED it. Phi even said it was worth the hike.

They loved the hands on exhibits. We even caught a planetarium show. It was so awesome.

When you are a little too short to see into the telescope.

And the views! Wow.

As we waited for Betty and Danny to arrive we took a snack break on the front lawn. We got to see doggies, and people doing hand stands and enjoy the outdoors.

Did I mention the views?

How beautiful is my cousin Betty?

We had such a great time hanging out with B & D! They are so sweet and we are all kind of loving Danny and hope he becomes a permanent part of our family! (hint hint!) 

And just when we thought the views were spectacular, then the sun started to set...

And after the sun went down we got an amazing evening view of LA.

Phi was right. Totally worth the hike.