Punk Rock Parents

Monday, December 18, 2017

NFG 1997-Forever

I had to wait a month to use my 40th birthday present from Joey. Like all mature 40 year olds all I wanted for my birthday was to see my favorite pop punk band New Found Glory on their 20th anniversary tour. The weeks crawled by and finally the big weekend was here! We went all out and bough tickets to the Saturday and Sunday show in San Diego at the House of Blues. My awesome work boss got us a hotel for the weekend for my birthday. We stayed at the Palomar Hotel right next to the House of Blues.

We dropped the kids off with some awesome friends and started the trek down to SD. We hit a little traffic but it was nice to talk to each other without our kid filter. We got into Downtown SD and our first obstacle was parking. A week earlier we started looking into overnight parking. The hotel was charging about $50 per night! Everywhere else we looked was even more! We looked into airport long-term and even hospital long-term parking. Instead we found a lot a few blocks away for $12 a night. Score!

The hotel room was gorgeous! And best of all it was just for us two!

We headed out for a quick bite of burgers and a cold beer at Barley Mash. Then it was almost show time. We had heard about a pre-party at the House of Blues bar starting at 6pm. What we didn't know was that they were only letting in the first 100 people. We were probably the 110th and 111th people so we did not get in. (sad face emoji). So we stood in line with the rest of the regular non-pre-party peeps.

Even waiting in line for an hour is fun with Joey and without kids whining that they are bored or that their feet hurt. When we got into the venue my jaw dropped because it was so small! Even better we walked up to the front of the stage. Joey went to the bar and grabbed 2 tall cans and we stood around for another hour until the opening act hit the stage.

So remember that pop-punk bank with the kid with the long blond bangs whose big hit was a cover of Summer of '69? Yea I hadn't thought of The Ataris for a long time, but there they were. Looking a lot older (join the club) but sounding really good. No more long shaggy blond hair, more like no hair. But sounding just as good as the days when New Found Glory opened for The Ataris!

Then the moment I had been waiting months for finally happened and it was everything I hoped for and then some. The set opened with a short video highlighting the bands journey over the last 20 years. And then some "Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down..." and then BOOM there they were...

I was a sweaty mess by the third song. I was screaming lyrics at the top of my lungs. Jumping and fist pumping like it was 2001. The played their Sticks and Stones and Resurrection albums and it was so absolutley the best time ever.

For the next two hours it was non-stop pop punk rock. By the end of the night I was gross and sticky and my voice was mega hoarse and I was on a big adrenaline rush.

After a good nights sleep we woke up to explore San Diego. We had a big breakfast in Old Town and took a leisurely stroll through some shops. Then we drove into North Park to window shop and to try out some new beers at the Modern Times brewery. Then it was back to Downtown where we scored free street parking! We hit up one more brewery. This time Resident Brewery where I had a really good beer called Perky Blonde.

For night two we were determined to get into the pre-party. So we lined up even earlier and got the coveted wrist band. We headed into the bar where Modern Times was pouring beer and cold brew coffee. We got to chatting with Lo from Modern Times and learned a lot about this awesome company. Then it was time for the show!

This time we were even closer than night 1. EEKKK! And this time we stood stage left. Right is front of dreamy Chad the guitar player!

For the Sunday show they played the Self-titled album which includes my favorite song "Sincerely Me" and their movie soundtrack cover albums. So we got to hear songs like "Kiss Me", "Never Ending Story", "My Heart Will Go On" and even "King of Wishful Thinking"

Where we older than most of the people there? Yes, but we weren't alone. New Found Glory was celebrating 20 years, and are about my age. So their fans age range is big.

NFG lyrics speak to teens of all generations and then 20 years later those teenagers grow up and then those same lyrics remind you of those good times when you were a teen. Or in our case reminds us of the time when we fell in love.

It was so fun for us to relive our punk rock show days. It was like no time had passed. It was still me dancing and singing with my ever steady body guard Joey standing right behind me keeping the mosh pit from knocking me over.

There are some differences between 2003 punk rock show us and 2017 punk rock show us. In 2003 there were late night post-show meals. These days we are exhausted afterwards and 2 kids to rush home to. And I don't remember being so sore the next day.

The weekend was epic and one I will never forget. It was a reminder of how alive live music can make you feel. How much fun singing along with your favorite band is. How freaking awesome my husband is and how much I love to be with him.

Best birthday present ever.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Our First Ever Parent Teacher Conference

Last week we had our first ever parent teacher conference. Now if this would have been for Phi there would have been no anxiety. We would have went in expecting Phi's teacher to give high praise for our brilliant child! But this conference was for .....


our crazy one.

We walked into the classroom and Louie settled in.

Why so nervous Lou? 
We sat down with Louie's teacher, and the sub who has been teaching the class for a few weeks now since OG teach is out on maternity leave.

They offered us fresh fruit and cookies, which we declined. We chit-chatted with Louie's teacher. (She's a friend!) Then we got down to the nitty-gritty.

I held my breath expecting to hear how she is behind and to put together a game plan to catch her up before the end of the year. Remember Louie was homeschooled until this year and my expectations of my own child is WAY different than an actual teachers.

Turns our Louie is doing awesome. Words like exceptional and phenomenal where thrown around. Not only is she doing well, but she is showing improvements in all subjects and has mastered her 2nd grade math and reading requirements are moving on to 3rd grade math and reading.

Not only is she doing great in academics, she is also well-behaved and even helpful to her friends in class. Her teacher told a sweet story about when Louie's friend was in charge of calendar for the week. Calendar is when a student goes up in front of the class and tells the date, what the day was before, what the day is after, gives the weather and counts the class money and tells if the day is even or odd. (I would have been nervous too!)

See Louie had done calendar a few weeks earlier. The weekend before Louie's turn for calendar she was really nervous. She keep wanting to practice with us. After that Monday we asked Louie how calendar went and she loved it. So fast forward a few weeks later and it was Louie's friend turn. Her friend was nervous, so all on her own, Louie went up and helped her friend with the whole calendar job.

That's my girl.

This story made me so proud. Because of course I want my kids to do well academically, but more importantly I want them to be kind.

So all and all in was a great experience as far as parent teacher conferences go.

Louie with her 41+ week pregnant teacher.
Thank goodness she had the baby the next day! 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Right in Our Backyard: Palm Springs Botanical Gardens

Lots and lots of pictures... you have been warned... 

Exploring these gems near our house is so much fun. I have heard lots of cool things about the Moorten Botanical Garden in Palm Springs. More importantly I had seen a ton of very cool Instagram pics from this place.

We went one weekend, cameras and even selfie stick in hand. The place is not like your typical botanical garden. You are not going to find a huge variety of different types of flowers and plants. Instead you are going to see more types of cactus than you even knew existed!

Walking around the grounds almost feels like you have been transported to another planet.

Or maybe its like walking through a Dr. Seuss book.

And some of these are like no joke when it comes to needles.

There were parts where Louie exclaimed "Mom, it's like walking underwater".  Totally Louie. Totally.

And when you think you have seen every shade of green imaginable, you turn and a pop of purple.

Guys.... every corner is Insta-worthy.

As if the grounds are not enough, my absolute favorite part was the "Cactarium"

I could have spent all day in this place. There were plants that looked other worldly!

After they dragged me out of the Cactarium we continued on....

Much like my Grandma Rachel, Louie loves her a good Buddha statue.

This was one of my favorite ones. It almost looks alive!

Cactus graveyard....

My only advice would be, tie your shoelaces tight because this is not a place you want to take a fall. Imagine one of these piercing your skin. OUCH!

Of course towards the end of the trail they have a plant stand where you can purchase you own desert beauties! We took home 6. Let's see how long I can keep them alive. 

It took us maybe an hour to see the entire thing, but I could have easily spent hours looking through everything again.

It is a must see. I mean just go for the Instagram pics you'll get to post.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A Date with a Tramp Named Oline

We have never taken the kids to a trampoline park before. Scratch that. I took them once, but we only got as far as the front doors when they turned us away because they were full for the day.

Anyways, Phi and Louie had never been to a place like this. Mostly because they have never asked to go. Last month the girls were invited to their cousins birthday party at Sky Zone! I was interested to see how my very nonathletic, anti-normal-fun-kid-stuff kids would do.

These places are pretty insane. Wall climbing wall, dodge ball courts, basketball courts, a giant floor made of trampolines complete with trampoline walls!

It took them some time and a few laps around the place for the kids get into the groove of things. I am very happy to report that before we knew it they were diving into foam pits. 

It was such a fun birthday party! The girls had a blast! I took a ton of picture but they all look like this....

So I will spare you anymore! 

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Wee Rebel Books

In this house, books rule. The kids know that I can't say no when they ask for books. We have shelves full of books that we have to weed through often to make room for new books. Lately we have been reading big books in the car. We have read Wonder, Rain of Gold and Coco and now we are reading A Wrinkle in Time.

So you can imagine how happy we were to receive 2 new books from John and Jana in the mail. The brilliant minds behind Wee Rebel Books. Books like ...

Happy Punks 123


A Rule is to Break

We ripped open the package to find two new gems.

First up...

When a sweet little gorilla wonders what the world would be like if seeds were planted all over the world. This cute little guy takes seeds and plants them in school grounds, telephone polls, business offices and in a short time the world starts to look a whole lot different. A great book and reminder that nature is beautiful and it only takes a little work for us to bring more nature into our concrete jungle world.

Book Number 2!

Now most parents tend to want kids who are obedient. But sometimes kids need to be a little resistant. This book plants the seed in kids heads, that even though they may be little, they still have a voice to stand up for what is right and fair. In this day and age kids cannot always count on the people in charge to be kind and do the right thing so kids can have a say in making things better for everyone around them. This book is filled with sweet illustrations and a powerful message that even little ones can start a revolution.

John and Jana, thanks for thinking of me and sending these 2 books my way. Now that my Louie is reading she can't wait to read these to her little cousin! 

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Sunday in San Diego

A few Sunday's ago we headed our to North Park in San Diego. There is a super cute shop down there called Artlexia. This shop was having it's first annual Dia de los Muertos celebration so we wanted to check it all out. There were some great booths there, but it was a lot smaller than we expected. It only took us about an hour to see everything.

We walked North Park a little bit and then jumped back in the car and just let the day take us. We drove into Downtown San Diego. We drove around and checked out where the concert venue was and the hotel we are staying out for the NFG shows. We drove by Petco Park.

From there we headed to the Waterfront Park.

The day was gorgeous. We spent some time at the park and let the girls run around.

Then we walked across the street to the harbor. Lot of boats to see.

We got to see the USS Midway.

And I finally got to see "Unconditional Surrender".

After a nice long walk, we got back in the car and headed to Del Mar. We grabbed some dinner at Burger Lounge where they had the best lavander mint lemonade. I love these day trips that are so go with the flow. They usually take us to places we have never been and places that we might never plan on seeing.