Monday, July 06, 2015

Taking it Back to '91

Ever fall into a totally random YouTube hole? It happens to me all the time. Today I started out watching a video of the Mexican sports announcer calling all the goals from the USA World Cup soccer game win. Then I somehow ended up watching music videos from my junior high days. 

1991 was the era of cardboard covered cassette singles and everyone sounded like Milli Vanilli. It started when something reminded me of that one song from the girl who talked in a real high voice but sang with a really deep voice. 

Of course it was Michel'Le with the song "No More Lies". A classic....

From there  I was lead to another classic song from that era that I loved. I can totally picture the cassette single with the green cover in the huge bulky and heavy briefcase cassette holder that I owned. But seriously doesn't this sound just like Milli Vanilli. They look like a bad-boy version of Richard Marx.

But then I was lead to what was my favorite song in 8th grade. I LOVED this jam by The U-krew. This cassette single had a purple cover. Because I grew up without cable TV I never knew that there was music video, but 24 years later I have found it and its mind blowing. Those outfits! Those giant hoop earrings! The super cool neon backgrounds. The sexy dance moves! The Key-tair! This music video is everything that was good about being in junior high in 1991. 

I think I love this song even more now. 

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Summer School

We have been out of school for about 4 weeks now. The girls schedule doesn't change much except that there is no homeschool work to keep Phi busy so instead she has been sitting in front of a computer playing Animal Jam and watching YouTube video of people playing MineCraft. After 2 weeks of this I knew we needed get some kind of educational learning time into our day. 

So I went straight to the source for all my things in life...


I have found some really great and quick little lessons for both girls. 

If you have been following along with us for the last few years than you know that math is the evilest evil in our house. Phi has a hard time with it and so convincing her to do some during the summer is practically impossible. As usual I had to get creative. 

I have found that Phi likes sudoku. She takes after her Nana like that. She can now do an 'easy' level' puzzle practically on her own and she really enjoys it. 

With Little Louie we are just working on number recognition. For this I found a really fun game that involves dice and a bingo stamper. Louie loves herself a bingo stamper. She takes after her Grandma Josie like that. This game is simple. She rolls the dice, counts and find the number on her sheet and stamps it. 

Sometime I try to involve both of them in one big giant word problem. This one here started with the balloons in the corner. I am obviously not the artist in the family. I had Louie count them and told her we were going to plan a party. We drew out her guests and she counted them. But them 2 more people showed up so we added them in. We talked about gift bags and how many of each candy we would need for each bag (multiplication). We talked about pizzas and how many slices were in each and how many we would need to order to feed everyone (fractions). We also determined how much the pizzas would cost (multiplication). Then we got to presents. Each person gave the birthday girl money and each card had double what the card before it had (multiplication). In the end Noah had given $256! Then of course we added all the money. Then I told them that the parents had offered to double whatever they got in gifts. I totally made this one up as we went along and both girls enjoyed it. 

When it comes to writing I found a really awesome website called  Here you can find video writing propmts with activites for grades k-12 for each video. That means that girls can watch the same video and each do a separate activity from it.

For example we watched a short video from Monsters University. With Louie we talked about how even Monsters go to school. Then we talked about the kind of classes that a monster would take. Then I asked her to draw me a picture of monsters at school.

As she did that Phi and I discussed what a prequel was. How it tells the story before the original story. Her project was to pick a movie she liked and jot down ideas for a prequel.

She picked Teen Beach movie. (It's all they talk about right now) Here are her notes...

I try to do lessons like these about 4 times a week. They take no more than 30 minutes and then they can go back to whatever new YouTube channel that are obsessed with. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Chicano Collection at Plaza de la Raza

For our anniversary Joey and I decided to spent part of our day checking out "The Chicano Collection" presented by Cheese Marin at La Plaza de la Raza in Los Angeles. The park and the little lake around it was so cute and we parked at one end and walked through the park to La Plaza. We walked around looking for the gallery with no luck so we entered the office. They opened up the gallery just for us. The exhibit was gorgeous and afterwards we got a tour of the offices that were filled with art. Many pieces were donated or just left by the artist. We got to see the art studio were people can take classes and the theatre where kids put on an original play where they do everything from writing to lighting and props.

We also got to see the projects done by the students of the mural class. Here was last years project.

And here is the work in progress for this year. These kids get to work with established professional artist. It's such a great program.

Back to the exhibit...

The exhibit is prints of original pieces in Cheech Marin's collection. So not as awesome as seeing the real thing but still pretty cool. Here are some highlights...

Axis Bold as Love
by George Yepes

La Virgen de Guadalupe and Other Baggage
by Rupert Garcia

La Estrella Que Cae
by Adan Hernandez

Little Girl with Yellow Dress
by Patssi Valdez

Recortando de Frida
by Jose Lozano

Janine Age 39 Mother of Twins
by Margaret Garcia

Los Piscadores
by Jesse Trevino

Herbert Siguenza
by Eloy Torrez

The Arrest of the Paleteros
by Frank Romero

Hombre Que le Gustan Las Mujeres
by Cesar Martinez

Kill the Pachuco Bastard!
by Vincent Valdez

Wedding Photos- Hollenbeck Park
by David Botello

And then this was this one that reminded me why I fell in love with Chicano art in the first place...

by Carmen Lomas Garza 
Carmen Lomas Garza paints these beautiful scenes of family life. I remember seeing her artwork for the first time and recognizing my family and my life in them. Growing up art was something that seemed unattainable, like it wasn't for us. Art was fancy and expensive and filled with people and faces that never looked like mine. Then I saw Carmen Lomas Garza and there I was. There was my Nana lighting candles for the Virgen at church. There was us making tamales during Christmas. There was my Pops cutting and cleaning cactus. There were me and my cousins hitting the pinata at a birthday party. There was us walking Las Posadas. There we were hanging in an art museum. All of a sudden art wasn't just accessible it was like a mirror. It made me look at my life and my family so differently. My life and the normal everyday things were now beautiful. They were worthy to be works of art.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I Got the Only VIP Pass

I remember the day I first laid eyes on Joey. It was the summer of 2003 and my sister and I were at the Vans Warped Tour in Pasadena. I was wearing jean shorts and a yellow Endless Summer t-shirt. We went over to The Erks booth to say hi to the band. We were walking away when we stopped the bass player in line for food. He was with his best friend/roommate. The roommate had dickies shorts, a black t-shirt, dark sunglasses and a black goatee. I can close my eyes and still see the exact moment Joey turned his head and I saw his face for the first time. Of course he doesn't remember this at all but I will never forget it. Somehow I knew that at that moment everything changed.

Joey is like the most exclusive show that everyone wants to get into and I have the only VIP pass. He is my dream come true. Today is our 9th wedding anniversary. The past 9 years have thrown good times, bad times and hard times but we are very lucky in that the good outweighs the bad by a whole lot. Our life is not perfect but its good and fun and easy. And no matter what my day brings I can handle it all because I have him by my side.

I'll stay the short and sweet and you stay the strong and steady.

Here is to our last 9 years and to the 31 years you still owe me.

P.S. I love you

Forever and Today. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Toothpaste Showdown

Our house has been consumed by Louie and her attitude. Since turning 5 she has entered this phase of freaking the f out over everything. Tantrums are a daily occurrence and most of the time they all start thanks to toothpaste.

Yes toothpaste.

This toothpaste to be exact.
Here is how it all started.

We were grocery shopping and Louie needed toothpaste. As we walked down the toothpaste aisle I showed her all the usual kids options. I tried to push her towards the Doc McStuffins tube but then she saw the Frozen box and begged for it. I told her that it was a mint flavor and she might not like it. She still wanted it. I told her (and this is important) that if she didn't like it she would still have to use it, everyday, twice a day until it ran out. She still wanted it. So I got it.

We all see where this is going right?

From the first time she tried it she hated it. It was too minty It made her mouth too cold. It was too spicy. And since then everytime we ask her to go brush her teeth she gets all Veruca Salt on us.

So the easiest solution would be to just buy her some new toothpaste right?


If I cave and buy her new toothpaste she wins. I lose my power and she gains the upper hand. Then Louie's plan for world domination gets one step closer to being a reality. We are only half way through the tube. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Happy Poppa / Tata / Big Tata Weekend

The role of Dad changes with each generation. My Tata worked a lot. Sometime even multiple jobs to provide for his family.

 My Pops was home with us a lot more but he still has never changed a diaper.

Joey not only has changed hundreds of diapers but is also a part-time stay at home parent. One thing that all 3 of these men from 3 generations have in common is a real deep love for their kids and grandkids. They all worked hard to give their kids opportunities to become great people. 

Happy Father's Day to my 3 favorite Dads. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

In Summer.....

We are 2 weeks into summer and we have already packed in a lot of summertime fun!

We celebrated Tia Day-days 35th birthday with a fun surprise party!

Tia Elaine and Kelly announced to everyone that they are having a baby! YES a new baby in the family. We are all super duper excited. It's all we want to talk about!

 We spent an amazing Sunday in Santa Barbara with lunch on the water.

Phi's report card came in and it's the best one she has ever earned. We are very proud of her!

Movies in the Park started back up. The first movie was Big Hero 6. This is one of our favorite summer activities!

After we closed up the office one day we headed up to visit Poppa on the horse ranch. Of course there was a snake sighting and of course Poppa had to pick it up.

The girls have been having a lot of fun filming "The Sister Show". You can find episodes on their blog Punk Rock Kids.

There has also been playdates and birthday parties, library trips, summer reading programs, girl scout meetings, art walks and farmers markets. 

Summer has just started and it looks like its going to be a really good one! 

Friday, June 05, 2015

The Big Birthday Party

It's been almost 2 weeks and the girls are still talking about their "Dia de los Muertos" birthday party. We threw the party over Memorial Day weekend and we really thought that a lot of people would not be able to make the party. We were so wrong. We had an awesome turnout and our hearts will filled to look around at all the friends and family who came out to make this a birthday our girls will never forget. 

Now I am going to confess this, I really don't like planning parties so I threw this one together. I just ordered a few items from a party store for decorations and we went the easy pizza and salad route for food. My sister Cari and my Tia Mary both made salads and we ordered a ton of pizza. At one point we had to send out Elaine and Kelly for even more pizza. 

We had the party at my sisters house. Here is how my niece Lili and I decorated the bay window. 

Lili also made this awesome poster!

To tie the theme together I had prepped over 200 tissue paper flowers and bought a ton of headbands so people could made their own flower crowns. I cannot tell you gorgeous everyone looked and how colorful it made everything! I love the dark blue flower Phi made for Grandma Rachel's hair!

Look how beautiful my Nana looked with a blue flower in her hair. Also Betty and Pepe in the background make this picture perfect.

Even the guys were festive with flowers! Looking good Pops!

The girls were so lucky because Cousin Liana brought her make-up kit to the party and was giving make-overs. She is so amazing at applying make-up and even films her own tutorials!

We played a few games! We played a round of "Hot Ozzie" where the kids passed around Louie's plush otter Ozzie.

We also played 3 rounds of the Mexican game Loteria. I thought the kids would be bored by this one but they all really liked it!

Nana and Tata were so kind to provide a cake for the party. A beautiful sunny rainbow cake. Having a rainbow on a cake felt like my Tata was there with us.

And of course there were presents. Lots of presents! Everyone was so generous and we were so thankful for all the wonderful gifts the girls received.

From the bottom of our hearts thank you to everyone who came and helped with food and decorating. Thank you for celebrating with us!