Punk Rock Parents

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Big Bear in October

When Cousin Amorette does her birthday weekend she always does it right! This year she set up a long weekend for the family in Big Bear.

We were only able to go on a Sunday but it was a fantastic day! We usually spend time there in the winter when there is snow but I have to say, Big Bear in October is absolutely gorgeous. The family rented a beautiful big house right on the lake near Boulder Bay. That top picture was from the patio of the house!

Since we had a handful of kiddos we headed to the Magic Mountain Alpine Sled for the afternoon. This is the place where Joey and I spent our first Valentine's Day. Most of that day was him trying to convince me to get on the sled ride. I went on once, but he had to buy Starbucks afterwards.

Much like her Mother, Louie refused to go on. Phi on the other hand was so excited to go. Here she is with cousin Sariaha going up the ski lift.

And here she is coming down. Very very slowly. She is still a little bit like her Momma too.

Enjoying the beautiful day with cousins.

Joey may look like a scary biker, but he is such a Grandma's boy!

Afterwards we went back to the house and grilled up some of the biggest hamburgers I have ever seen!

What a perfect Sunday afternoon! Even the drive down was gorgeous. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Nana's 90th

 My family celebrated a wonderful milestone. My beautiful Nana turned 90 years old and the family got together to celebrate the Queen of our familia.

Now if there is an occasion that deserves mariachis it is my Nana's 90th birthday. My Pops hired one to come and serenade the birthday girl!

Nana loved it. We thought she might leave us and join the mariachis on tour!

Of course my Tio Miguel jumped in and sang a beautiful song for his suegra.

What an fantastic thing to celebrate 90 years. My Nana was 50 years old when I was born and it's hard for me to imagine what she was like when she was young. She was just always my Nana to me but she has lived more years before me than with me!

I wonder what she was like when she was 7 years old. I wonder if she was a little weird and funny like Louie. I wonder if she was a reader or loved to draw when she was a young teenager like Phi. I wonder if she questioned her parenting ability when she was a young Mom like me, or did she just always know what she was doing.

My Nana has spent about 60 years raising her family, and her grand kids. She is in the time of her life where it is time for others to take care of her. After this party she moved in with my parents. Since my Tata passed away my Nana has been living with her children. Now my Mom has the privilege of taking care of and really spoiling my Nana. 

Happy 90th Nana. To many many more.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Student of the Month

This school year was a big transition for our Louie. She started 2nd grade and started full-time school for the first time. She was homeschooled for Kinder and 1st. Now we homeschooled both girls and we can agree that Louie was much harder to homeschool than Phi was. We found it difficult to get her to concentrate, to focus and just sit still. I was worried that 6 hours in a class room was going to be impossible.

We prepared ourselves for months of adjustment. I was prepared for parent-teacher meetings and mornings fighting Louie to go to school.

We shouldn't have worried. This little wacko adjusted to everyday school like a freakin champ. Not only does she love going to school, she loves her teacher and her classmates and even PE. She is reading at a 3rd grade level and we are seeing progress in her math and writing skills.

And as if her upbeat attitude wasn't enough, last week we got a letter from her teacher. It let us know that our Little Louie was being named "Student of the Month" for September!

Louie's teacher had such nice things to say about Mi Amor. She called her a hard worker with a can-do attitude who is helpful to her teacher and kind to her classmates.

Joey, Phi and I all surprised Louie and went to the little ceremony. She was so excited. After we took some pictures we walked her back to her classroom. When she walked in all her classmates cheered and clapped for her. My Little Lady was overwhelmed and I could see her eyes fill with happy tears. She is just like her Momma like that.  

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

5 days without kids

Over the summer, my super awesome sister Cari takes my kids for a few days. This summer she took them for 5 whole days.

I am not even going to lie. IT WAS AWESOME!

Okay I love my kids and yadda yadda yadda and all that jazz, but time away from them was what I can only call..... therapeutic.

What was most relaxing was the fact that I wasn't having to think about parenting 24/7. I wasn't
worried. It's amazing how much worrying and thinking and brain power parenting two kids takes. From the minute I wake up my mind is consumed with getting them up and ready, getting them to where they need to be either school or at work with me. I always have to think about what to feed them 3 TIMES A DAY! Even when they are at school I am worrying about what they are doing, if they turned all their homework or studied enough for the test they have. I worry if their laundry is done and when the last time their bed sheets were washed. It never, ever, ever, ends.

Except when my super radical sister takes them for 5 days. A big part was that my kids were with someone who I 100% trust to take care of my kids as if they were her own. She took them to the movies and even miniature golfing. By the time we got home from leaving them with my sister I already felt more relaxed. I walked into the house and did not have anything to do or anyone else to worry about. It was awesome.

During those days we didn't do much. We went out to eat a few times and watched a lot of television. It was nice to focus my attention on myself and on just Joey. It was a perfect time to recharge.

Now I have to return the favor and take my sisters kiddos for a week! 

Monday, August 07, 2017

Shutting Down the Baby Factory

Last month Joey went in for a "procedure". And by procedure I mean vasectomy. We started talking about this last year sometime. People have been asking us since Louie was born if we were going to have more kids. To be honest, we never really seriously considered it. After Louie we never even discussed having a third kid. Part of it was because we had our hands full with two.

For years when people would ask we would say we were 85% sure we were done with kids. We weren't ready to eliminate the option of more. As the years went on, our percentage went up to 99% sure we were done with kids.

For long time I agonized over the decision to call it as a family of four. I went back and forth in my mind until the beginning of this year, when this mega huge decision just didn't seem so huge anymore. In fact it felt logical and just right for us.

Now we have a 12 year old and a 7 year old and neither of us could imagine starting all over again with a newborn. We even asked the girls if they wanted another sibling. They both did not hesitate to say "NO!". We are super #blessed to have two really awesome kids. We have poured our heart and soul into raising them. We got through the diaper stages, the potty training, and even homeschooling. We have seen a glimpse into what the teenage years will hold for us and it's going to be a challenge and Phi will need a lot of our time and attention.

Now in a perfect world I would have loved to have 4 kids all 2 years apart. And I am not going to lie, it would have been cool to have a boy. (Grover!) But the reality is that getting pregnant for us was not easy. It took us a year to get pregnant with Phi and 4 years to get pregnant with Louie. And let's be honest, Joey and I are not super young anymore. We still have many years of parenting ahead of us and being a family of 4 seems just perfect for us.

What I thought would be a really hard and emotional decision turned out to be pretty easy. On the day of the procedure instead of second guessing our decision or regretting it all together, my mind was consumed with worrying about my husbands family jewels going under the knife and any pain he may have to go through.

So now I can say this is us. It's freeing knowing our family is complete and we can focus on making a beautiful future for the 4 of us.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Bass Lake- 30th Anniversary Edition

Back in 1987 my Nina Ruth invited my family to come to Bass Lake and stay at the Ducey's Cabins for a week with them. It was the first time that I can remember that my family took a week vacation anywhere. We borrowed someones orange van and hit the road. That summer we stayed in a one room cabin and had the time of our lives.

That was 30 years ago and my parents have made it to Bass Lake every year since 1987. Bass Lake has become our place. Our happy place. We spend one week there every summer, all together either under one roof or on one campsite.

The first year we went my little sister was a toddling 2 year old. This year my little sister brought her toddling 18 month old. My nieces, nephew and kids only know summers at Bass Lake.

This year we did things a little bit differently. We rented an amazing place in Oakhurst right on a small river. This was the backyard....

The water was a little bit colder than the lake. Okay a lot colder. It took a few minutes to get used to the water, but luckily the weather was super hot and the cold water felt refreshing. Well after the initial scream when you get in...

Now that we are dog parents we took Elwood with us this year. It was a trail year to see how he would do.

He did amazing.

We spent our days in the water. Relaxing, eating and drinking.

My gorgeous girl!
So weird thing. We all know that Louie is slightly obsessed with sea otters right? Well like most mountain homes this one was decorated with bears and antlers and fake deer. You know the usual cabin decor. But for some reason, outside near the water was this sea otter. I swear that child is part sea otter.

We split our days between the river and Bass Lake. We spent our lake days at Falls Beach. This was pretty fitting since this was the exact beach we spent our days that first year. I can remember being on that beach in 1987 with Adan in a play pen.

The lake was just as perfect as always. This year the water levels were nice and high!

We set up our easy-ups and a small grill and spent the entire day on the water.

Cousin Viv grabbed my camera and her and Louie walked around taking pics. Thanks for getting a family shot for me Viv!

Photo by Louie

Photo by Vivi
It's hard to believe that it has been 30 years and we still are so in love with Bass Lake. We have 30 years worth of memories and so many summer traditions. We all look forward to this week every single year. I love that my kids have a place that is all theirs. Some place to look forward to every year. A time where they know they get to be with their Nana and Tata, Tias, Tios and most importantly their cousins.

We are already counting down until next year!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Dinner at the Madonna Inn

For the last part of our trip we did one more thing we had never done before. And it was something that I had always wanted to do.

In San Luis Obispo, Ca there is a kooky wacky awesome hotel called The Madonna Inn. For over 50 years this hotel has been renting out over 100 themed rooms.

We have yet to stay there, but over the years we have visited the place just for it's coolness. My Mom loves the pink champagne cake and Joey loves to pee in the rock waterfall urinal.

On our way back from Morro Bay we stopped by and wandering through the Secret Garden.

Where Louie could let off some steam.

And of course I could take some selfies.

We wandered the garden waiting for our reservations for dinner at the Alex Madonna's Gold Rush Steak House. And amazing explosion of pink and good food!

We were all so excited to eat here! They set us up at a gorgeous table with fancy glasses. They brought pink balloons for all of them.

We had an amazing meal and after they brought 3 giant slices of pink champagne cake. So yummy.

It was the perfect end to another amazing birthday trip.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Morro Bay for the 2nd Year in a Row

After a wonderful day exploring Hearst Castle, we checked into our hotel. With Morro Bay being a pretty small town, we were able to walk everywhere from our hotel room. Our first night we let Louie pick the restaurant. we ended up at ....

Because of course we did. The next day we ate breakfast at the hotel and we had a whole Saturday ahead of us. We went out to explore the town.

We found a pirate near the boats, then saw him again at the Farmers Market.

The day was spent looking through shops and enjoying some seriously good food. The clam chowder at Ju Ju's on the Bay was amazing.

After a BBQ dinner and a trip to the grocery store for dessert we got a good nights sleep and the next day we checked out of our hotel and headed out for a bay cruise.

And of course, the whole reason the kids want to come to Morro Bay is to visit the sea otters.

When Louie spots these guys up close, it looks a lot like this....


But look at these faces...

And check out the teeth on this guy!

Before we started our trek back South we drove up Black Hill to get a spectacular view of Morro Bay

It was a relaxing and fun couple of days. The girls did great with all the walking and were even adventures when it came to trying new food. Phi learned she likes scallops.

Then we were back in the Cruiser and headed to one last birthday experience!!