Punk Rock Parents

Sunday, February 12, 2017

2 Years

Pipe cleaner cross made by Louie
I started to really feel it as soon as the calendar changed to February. I think February is always going to just be a tough month. I could physically feel the heartbreak. There were times when it felt like my chest was caving in on itself and the my chest where my heart was felt cold. As the 13th gets closer I feel how I retreat into myself. I just get so sad. I start to has flash backs to the days we lost him and the days of the viewing and funeral. I get vivid memories of...

Rosie bringing crafts for the kids.

Chris and Aerica running to the store to get snacks.

My boy cousins all dressed in their shirt and ties with white gloves on.

Holding Monique's hand and her speaking to Tata when I couldn't.

Handing my Mom a stick of Juicy Fruit to place in Tata's shirt pocket next to his pens so when he's reunited with us in heaven one day he would have chicle for us.


I found that I was missing Tata's love. I just didn't know if his love for me was still real. It was pushing me deeper and deeper into a depression of sorts. But of course in typical Tata fashion he sent me, and other family members a sign. While driving a rainbow showed up. One where I was, one where Tia Mary was, one where Tia Connie was and one where Cousin Rosie was. He knew we needed it more than ever. And yes we firmly believe that our Tata can color the sky for us. This man would move heaven and earth for us.

As the day got closer I found myself feeling like I was shrinking, falling into myself. Afraid of what the actual day would feel like. The day before my cousin Erika set up a mass to be dedicated to Tata. So the family met at the cemetery before the mass. Tata's headstone was finally installed and a lot of us had not seen it yet. It's beautiful.


And here is the magic of my family. Getting together, even at the cemetery made me feel better. Being together always makes me feel better. Knowing that we are all in this together is medicine. It is a reminder that not only is my Tata's love for us still real, but it's alive and it's growing.

Baby Amaris was there, my cousin Leo's  beautiful baby girl. She never got to meet Tata but she was born on his birthday.


The first birthday without him and he sent us this angel.


Our family, my Tata's legacy continues to grow. Even after the mass that was dedicated to him, he rewarded us with the announcement of a new baby in the family. We are growing, his love continues to multiple and thrive.

It's been 2 years today since my Tata left this world. I miss him every single day. Not one day has gone by that I don't think about him many many times a day. My broken heart is still very much open and raw. This kind of heartache is like nothing I have experienced before. But I have this family to lean on and with them I can get through anything. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Chinatown


We decided to spend a Saturday afternoon in Chinatown. There were a few art galleries we really wanted to check out. We did not realize that because Chinatown is really close to City Hall and the Women's March was happening that day, most of the galleries were closed.

It was not a wasted day, since the girls and I had never walked around Chinatown before. Since it was a week before Chinese New Year it was decorated so pretty.





These rubber plants always remind me of my Nana and Tata's yard.

We did manage to find a few galleries open and was able to see some really amazing pieces by Patrick Martinez. Some made of plaster and some in neon.



Just the store windows and signs were pretty spectacular!





Did I mention we were there during the Women's March. Signs everywhere. It was very cool for the girls to see democracy in action.



So we noticed that there were a few signs with Louie in the name. We are still wondering why. Is Louie a common Chinese name? Either way Louie was very excited to see her name so big.


It was such a great afternoon wandering the shops. I think Chinatown is a perfect place to spend an afternoon. Next time we make a day out of it and do Olvera Street and Chinatown. Really get our parking fee worth it!


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.