Tag Archives: kids

Birthday Candles, Papa, and Trampolines

17 Jul

In the midst of the happy moments of jumping on trampolines, completing America Ninja Warrior obstacles, conquering the warped wall, and blowing out the candles on the birthday cake, I wished he was there.

He’d be the only senior citizen trying that warped wall and attempting to keep up with his grandchildren.

It’s always a mixed bag when my kids turn another year older, as there is a happy day full of good-times-and-noodle-salad moments and then a pang in my heart because it’s the day before my Dad passed away. He’d be a great witness to their lives and definitely enrich it on a daily basis with epic grandpa stuff.

His impact was missing, I knew it and it made me think that may be the reason why I try so hard. I try to fill the empty cups so that my kids don’t miss anything but it’s not always easy. Nothing measures up to grandpa, but I do my best to reach the top no matter how many obstacles get in the way.

Trampolines help with that I imagine.

It’s hard enjoying happiness when sadness creeps on in, but I take the moments I can get and hold tight as they get me through the sadness of the day. Because the sadness of losing someone never goes away, it exists with you, but at the very least some happiness can overpower it so you feel it less. I watch my daughter’s laughter as she zip-lined and soared into the pits, as she tested her grip-strength and arm muscles going through the mini challenges and the enjoyment on her face when she shot some hoops in the slam dunk area. I saw my Dad’s spirit. She’s got his playful personality and stubbornness as well.

I get home and open up his last bottle of musk aftershave, close my eyes, and smell. I’d never been into aromatherapy before but this was definitely bringing back memories and peace. And I felt his presence and a pat on the back. His cologne helps bring him back.

He saw my kid and knew that her strength was a good thing. He knows this new eight-year old rocked the sevens. This new eight-year old, who loves elephants, penguins, and hippos, drawing and painting, Bob Ross and every chef on the Cooking Channel, cooking and baking, cannon-balling into swimming pools and gliding through the water, will bring on a whole new bunch of excitement and gray hair into my life. His adventurous granddaughter who likes rollercoasters and hitting homeruns, will be trying one of his favorite sports in the fall … soccer. He’d like his granddaughter …

And she would have liked hanging out with Papa. Grandpas are cool hanging out buddies, they let you keep the remote control and watch penguin shows with you all day.

It was a tough one, but at least there was chocolate cake and someone else wishing the best of the best for this little lady .. this Ninja-Warrior-Artistic-Master-Reader-Kind-Hearted-Athlete-and-Bacon-Enthusiast Extraordinaire.

Buen Camino my friends…


Weekly Photo Challenge: Partners

30 Jun



Sometimes you have to consult your partners to find the perfect Lego.





Weekly Photo Challenge courtesy of The Daily Post



Weekly Photo Challenge: Victory

16 Nov



When it finally comes together…

It’s a victory.



Weekly Photo Challenge courtesy of The Daily Post.



The End of 1st and My Mom Moment

8 Jun

365 days … just like that.

Well not just like that, I felt every one of those days, from 7 a.m to 9 p.m. I felt them. Some were great, others needed to end with Ben & Jerry’s and some deep meditation. But I’ve got to say as the school-year came to a close I was a little sad to see it go.

Happy, proud, and sad.

It’s a mini milestone for your kid to finish a grade, but as a parent, it also reminds you that your kid is growing up, and this reminds you what everybody over 50 told you about their kids.

“It goes by so fast.”

I kept hearing that over and over in my head as I took my son to his last day of school last week. I didn’t get emotional or anything, it just kind of hit me as I sat there with my kids in the car. So I tried to absorb it the best I could, remembering that Our House by Madness was playing on the radio, remembering that I packed him a peanut butter and banana sandwich along with a Capri Sun, and remembering that I gave him the last pep talk of first grade.

“Everyday and every way, you got this.”

“Yeah I got this!”

“Because what you’ve got…”

“Is enough!”

“Clear eyes, full hearts …”

“Can’t lose.”

My son and his buddy.

My son and his buddy.

I gave him a hug and told him to let his awesome out. He smiled at me and went inside the gate. I stood there a little longer than usual that morning watching him walk across campus with his friend, while all the other moms stood there with their cups of coffee gossiping about some PTA meeting the week before. I just watched and then smiled as he turned around and waved good-bye. I thought … I’m probably gonna need to get him some new shoes. I waited until he got to the oak tree before walking back to the car. I got to the car feeling a little different.

And then I realized.

I was having a mom-moment. A grown-up moment.

It’s just first grade, it’s not high school graduation, but I imagine that’s just around the corner. I think that’s why I paused. I wanted to be able to remember him this way if it was going to go so fast.


The Madness of Summer Signups

1 Jun

Just as I was feeling proud of my son for completing first grade, happy about his accomplishments this year, and surprisingly emotional about this first grade mini-life milestone, I realized summer was here.

The Summer of George! And I happen to be Costanza with two kids.

But that only momentarily stopped me in my tracks. What gave me serious pause was the race for signups.

Have you been a participant in this mad dash to be one of the select few to receive that amazing email that says, “…you have successfully registered your child for our summer program”? Have you gotten a few of these in your lifetime? They save your sanity when trying to entertain your kids during the summer. If I had a big house with a nice back yard, I assume summer would be easier. I’d have space to let my kids roam, and build projects, explore, and go outdoor camping inside our own home. But I don’t. I’m of the apartment people clan, where getting out everyday is a necessity.


So for me things began at 9:30 a.m.

I mean don’t get me wrong, 9:30 was nice. I was grateful that I didn’t have to rush the kids through their wake-up routine just so we could get to school on time. I was thankful I didn’t have to yell at them to get out of bed, to hurry up and brush their teeth, and to get dressed quickly just so they could scarf down their pancakes, Honey Bunches of Oats, or Eggo Waffles before we raced out the door before eight in the morning.

So 9:30 a.m. wasn’t a big deal. What happened to suck this particular morning was the stress I was feeling, the anxiety that was building, the teeny tiny headache that was forming in my brain that would eventually turn into Excedrin-worthy migraine if I wasn’t able to get my kids into any activities during the summer.

SoCal parents are crazy and have their kids in sports, music, acting, cooking and My Gym camps every day all day. I’m a part timer, don’t need to keep my kid busy from 9 to 5. I’m not like those moms you want to tackle because they go off bragging about how they got their kid in every single workshop and class available, because they knew someone, who  knew someone, who knew someone. Bitches.

Me? I’m all for down time, and hanging out with Legos, playing in the park, having our own Foosball tournaments, baking cookies, and tending to our makeshift garden in the small patio. But I can’t do that all day, every day in the summer. They’d get bored. So I was looking for some help from our local library, museums, community centers, aquatic center, zoo, nature center, bowling alley, and local firefighting station.

Summer signups started today, well in truth some of them started three weeks ago, but a lot of activities didn’t have signups until today. I was hoping my Internet connection was fast enough to get something. I just needed to get into two programs during the week. Three would be awesome, but two was good.

Last year I had plenty of parent failures during the summer. Nobody ever told me that summer signups were like buying U2 concert tickets. Things selling out within minutes of opening online. I sure didn’t want a repeat occurrence of my disaster with the AYSO.

So I was ready this time. I researched online, organized my flyers, and prepared my summer timetable of possibilities. I had classes and times highlighted, login and password information readily available, and a credit card ready for those that required payment. You would have thought I was preparing for tax season with all the papers on the table.

The clock struck 9:30 a.m., my timer went off and bam!

Needless to say I wasn’t the only parent in pajamas staring at their computer screen that morning.

No dinosaur outdoor explorer classes, no basketball classes, no guitar classes, no local swimming classes. But I did manage to score swimming classes twice a week at a pool 10-15 minutes away, depending on traffic, and I was able score spots in the Every Hero Has a Story Workshops which featured music and magic once a week for my kids.


I got something. Something! And that’s success here in the Guat household.

Nobody ever told me about the madness of summer signups. It’s not in any of those what to expect when you’re expecting books, although I never read them. But I’m sure it’s not in there anyway. I would have heard. This is something you learn. So I’m giving you the lesson free of charge.

Hope it helps.



The Bowl of Lucky Charms Had To Wait on Saturday Morning

6 Oct

I never met a kid who wasn’t a morning person on a Saturday at the crack of dawn.

Especially in the 80s.

We sprang out of bed with our crazy hair, and plopped ourselves in front of the television. The bowl of Lucky Charms had to wait. Our time was precious. It was limited. We only had a few hours to catch our favorite characters and their adventures, and laugh.

It was a special time when all else was quiet and everybody was snoring in bed. It was a time we had to ourselves and it was awesome.

And the thing is we didn’t have much. We didn’t need much. We only had seven. Seven channels and no remote control. And that was it. No TiVo no DVR no Internet.

And that’s all we needed.

To some people that might seem out of the ordinary, surreal even, but for me it was everyday life, and I loved waking up, hanging out in my pajamas, and losing myself in the funnies of cartoon life.

I was reminded of this Guat childhood memory this past weekend  when I heard that the Saturday morning cartoon ritual on prime time television ended. But I guess that would make sense with Nick Jr., Disney Jr., The Cartoon Network, and The Sprout Channel providing a cartoon extravaganza all day. It makes sense, I guess. Business sense.

But to me, there was nothing like waking up at the crack of dawn to watch your favorites because that was the only chance you were gonna get. The only opportunity and you made the most of it. So in memory of my Guat childhood here is my top ten Saturday morning cartoon lineup.


Mighty Mouse









Super Chicken




Wacky Races





Fat Albert





School House Rock





Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes





Scooby Doo





Woody Woodpecker





Felix The Cat






Sandbox Adventure List 30: The Batcave and Peanut Allergies

29 Sep

Dude … I can’t even.

The fact that I had enough energy to venture off to a Sandbox List Adventure Saturday morning amazes me.

This volunteering business is exhausting, so much so that I didn’t have the energy to log on to write or read anything after Taco Tuesday last week.

Volunteering … I get it … Get involved in your kids lives and be a part of the educational experience. It only happens once right?


Yeah … But going to seven stores in two hours, I think I deserve a medal or a chocolate trophy. Could it even be possible to go to seven stores in two hours?


It is.

And who or what do I blame for this journey?

Peanut allergies.

Dude I get that some kids can smell a peanut within a five-mile radius and that Epipen needs to come out. But here’s the thing … there are no kids with peanut allergies at my daughter’s school but they still use sunflower seed butter for snack time.

Are you aware that none of the major groceries stores within a 10-block of the school carry this sunflower butter?

No. No they don’t.

So after my trips to IKEA, Costco, Smart & Final Wholesale, VONS, Ralph’s, and Target for various errands I finally made it to Trader Joe’s Grocery Store.

I bought five jars.

There’s no point in going through that again. I might not make it to the weekend if I have to go through another shopping marathon. I’m one of the few females on Earth that hates shopping. It’s just not for me and I find it amusing that I was volunteered for this task.

But I survived and made it to weekend.

I made it just in time to visit the secret headquarters of the caped crusader … The Batcave.

And my son was thankful.


This adventure was inspired by the original 1960s  television series ... something we watch every Saturday courtesy of TV Land.

This adventure was inspired by the original 1960s television series … something we watch every Saturday courtesy of TV Land.


When I realized that the hiking trail to the Batcave was in Southern California, you know the Guats had to make a trip. My son has always been a fan.

When I realized that the hiking trail to the Batcave was in Southern California, you know the Guats had to make a trip. My son has always been a fan.


The beginning.

So the hike to the Batcave began.


We made it to the top and my son decided to get into Superhero mode, with his mask. His sister joined in by turning into the Flash. We headed in to explore.

We made it to the top and my son decided to get into Superhero mode, with his mask. His sister joined in by turning into the Flash. We headed in to explore.


We made it! High fives all around ... but then a look of concern on his face. Where's the Batcomputer? Dude.

We made it! High fives all around … but then there was a look of concern on his face. Where’s the Batcomputer? Dude. He so wanted to see it, but I had to explain that superheroes put that away because not all visitors are awesome like us … some steal stuff. So despite not being able to play with the Batcomputer it was still a good adventure for the kids.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast

2 Jul





Contrast … on so many levels.



Weekly Photo Challenge courtesy of the Daily Post.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Work of Art

21 May


A kindergartener's work of art.

My son’s self-portrait


It doesn’t look like much to many people, but to me … it’s a work of art.


Weekly Photo Challenge courtesy of the Daily Post.




I Think … You Never Know …

21 Feb

Just when I think I’m too tired to play balloon volleyball …

Just when I think I’m too tired to chase them around the park and through the slides …

Just when I think I’m too tired to make obstacle courses with hula hoops …

Just when I think I’m too tired to race bicycles …

Just when I think I’m too tired to have a Fernando Valenzuela moment …

Just when I think I’m too tired to have a Friday-Night-Lights moment (the TV show, not the movie)

Just when I think I’m too tired to have a Nike Just Do It moment …

Just when I think I’m too tired to have a Gatorade-worthy moment …

I think … you never know …



“Behind every big moment, there are a lot of small ones.”

Yeah. That video rocks.

It inspires me to take some Vitameatavegamin, get off my ass, put on my SuperMom cape, and make some Ameritrade-Commerical-worthy moments preferably with Morgan Freeman as the narrator.

Get your cape on people.