Friday, April 17, 2015

40 years of Marriage

It's been said that rain on your wedding day is good luck. I think it must be true. On April 5th my parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. That's right it's been 40 years. In 1975 my then 19 year old Mom and 21 year old Dad married in the local Catholic church on a rainy day.

According to statistics only 65% of those married in the 70's made it to their 15th wedding anniversary. But 40 years later my parents sat at a restaurant surrounded by their 4 children, 3 son-in-laws, and 5 wonderful grandchildren because 40 years of marriage is something to celebrate.

Growing up my sisters and I were the strange kids at school because our parents were still together. We didn't mind being the odd man out when it came to not having divorced parents. My parents gave my siblings and even my friends an example of what marriage could be and should be about.

My parents almost never fought, they worked through rough times together, they always had fun together and they were always a united front when it came to us kids. They made marriage look fun and effotless. Now that I have been married for 9 years I now realize that marriage is hard work, an ultimate commitment, and totally worth it.

I asked my mom, Mercy Gomez, what she has learned after 40 years of being married to my dad, Felix Gomez.

She also added....

I am so grateful for the hard work and commitment my parents have put into their marriage.  They have given us a solid foundation and great example of marriage.

Happy 40th anniversary Mom and Pops. Cheers! 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Are organized sports ruining your kid?

Okay, ruin is a strong word. I just needed a title to express what I felt when my kid was told "not to cheer" after he scored a 2nd goal during a recent soccer game. Granted he and another kid practically did back flips and simulated fighter jets as they celebrated, but is this really reason enough not to cheer?
Here's the coaches' reasoning: don't cheer because other kids may feel bad. What???? So my kid should contain his excitement to not hurt the non-scoring kids' feelings and this for kids on both teams. Isn't that a bit much? I mean a kid works so hard to score. They get that one moment of elation and to tone that down in the name of fairness seems nuts.

I say: let them cheer!

To be fair, cheering goes both ways. You better believe I am okay with my son losing and having to watch other kids go on and on celebrating their win and personal goals. I mean why not? Bottom line I want my child to work hard. I find that creating this illusion of chronic fairness doesn't breed realistic expectations of life. Life has winning and losing sides. The corporate world isn't all fairness and equality. College won't be an experience of "everyone gets an A" just like everyone gets a trophy at the end of  soccer season. He has to work for what whatever he gets in life.

I fundamental want my child to feel the natural highs and lows of winning and losing. I don't want his feelings spared out of fairness. Other parents clearly see it differently and this includes my kid's current coaches. Great guys so I respect their calls, but moving forward, I'd actually seek out a different organized sports entity that cares about winning and losing, keeps a tally of wins versus losses, and encourages kids to  obnoxiously celebrate their goals!

My son recently played basketball where every point mattered. Kids made it to playoffs and the value they placed on winning was acceptable as well as a realistic part of life. They cried through some tough losses. I saw the character and bond that built within them individually and as a team. Celebrating was important and I was the biggest cheerleader in the stands. Parents sometimes even gave me snarky looks, but why should I, or anyone, back down from celebrating hard work and wins?

This isn't to say we shame a team that loses. Winning gracefully is key. Sportsmanship is still critical but to minimize the value of a win and celebrating goals/wins shouldn't be considered standard out of so-called fairness.

What do you think? Agree with this HerMama's point of view? Why or why not? 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Would you be okay with a Costco date night?

Date night is my favorite night of the week. My husband and I plan an outing at least once weekly and spend time out of the house. This is especially important since we're a family of five and could use periodic alone time as a couple.

Now if our usual date night was your typical dinner and a movie then we could spend close to $80 per date (babysitting fees included). Eighty might not seem like much but I'm not one who wants to spend $320 monthly on your standard four dinners and four movies. Instead, we get creative.

Here are some awesomely inexpensive date night ideas that won't break the bank:

Coffee shop chess: I say chess but any game board applies. This is a fun way to spend an evening laughing, chatting and sipping on your favorite coffeehouse brews. Find a no-name coffee shop for a more intimate effect. Yelp local coffee sellers to get a feel for what's in store at your local java spots.

Costco datenight: Sounds silly I know, but who doesn't love window shopping at Costco. Here's the thing: you can always surprise your partner with a rocking new book from Costco, grab a bouquet of flowers then make your way over to the delicious (and totally affordable) food court for dinner or lunch.

Sunset picnic: How romantic is a sunset? Find a lovely park bench, beachfront spot of any lovely viewpoint bring a blanket and delicious snacks from your local supermarket and you're all set. With portable music devices it's so easy to set a romantic mood in a secluded spot.

Bookstore binge: Grab your favorite mags, a cup of coffee and find yourself a great little spot to spend an afternoon chatting and reading at your favorite bookstore. Try travel mags and others that make dreaming together fun!

Explore outdoors: If you're by the beach or anywhere scenic outdoors find a trail to enjoy. Rent bikes beachside or opt for a hike mountainside. This is sweet and active date that won't break the bank. Even better, pick a starry and warm evening to lay together counting stars and splitting a 2 buck chuck bottle of wine (or 2 or 3 or 4).

Share your cheap date ideas too? Comment with tips.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Hillary 2016

For years people have wondered if it would happen. People have been asking her "Will you run in 2016?". She has been coy about it but over the weekend Hillary Clinton made it official. On Twitter of course. She is running for President of the United States.

She made the announcement with this video.

Of course her announcement was immediately followed by gems like these...

and Twitter went nuts with things like...

While writing this my 9 year old daughter asked "What are you writing about now?" and I said "I'm writing about Hillary running for President." She asked me who HE was. I told her that Hillary was a women. She replied with "A girl is running for President. That's so cool." Just because Hillary is a democrat and a woman does not mean I will automatically vote for her. Over the next year or so I will follow the campaign and see if I feel that she is the candidate that best fills my wants and needs for a president. But my daughter's reaction reminded me why even just by running Hillary is doing something important. She is reminding girls everywhere that we can do and be anything we want to be. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Pulling The Mom Card

Working with teenagers most of my career, I hear excuses as often as I breathe. That might feel excessive, but most teens, and eventual adults, only speak in excuses and don't even realize it. If we're lucky, one day we realize this about ourselves and evolve. Truth be told, it's quite empowering to drop all the excuses.

This past weekend I was sitting in a career fair with a woman who said the best advice a mentor ever gave her was "never apologize, never explain." Sounds pretty brash, but here's the logic...

How many times do we start an email with: "sorry - I didn't do ABC, because of XYZ." You get my drift, right? We've all been there. We suddenly spew direct or indirect defensiveness and give excuses and apologies more than we should. Doing this is actually completely unnecessary. We can and should leave out all the I'm sorries and lame excuses that follow. 

When I became aware of this, I suddenly realized how often I did apologize or throw out some excuse for simply being me. I began curbing the habit and before I knew it I was feeling pretty darn proud of myself for keeping the useless usage of overly apologizing and using excuses in check.

This doesn't mean I am completely immune.

If there's any area where parenting adults apologize and use excuses too often it's in parenthood. Whether we're back outing, being late, or just simply living an over-consumed parent life, we often gladly use our children to throw under the bus to justify some disappointing short-coming. Shame on us for doing that intentionally. Now, this isn't to say we don't ever get to do that. In fact, sometimes pulling the mom card is the only thing that makes sense. 

I very recently pulled a huge mom card with work.  I was going to be late because it was one crazy morning. My 8-year old pooped his pants (he'd been fighting a stomach bug for over a week, so bowel controls were unpredictable), my 3-year old accidentally peed all over my bed and less than 30 mins. later my 4-year old was barfing on it. This is so good you couldn't make it up. So what did I do? I pulled the mom card, but here's the thing... I did it out of humor. I was late to work, no doubt about that. I said I'd be late and that was that. Then I simply followed up with the mom card to share a little reality of my day with staff, not to use it as an excuse or to rationalize tardiness, but to share life happens, and on this day I'd be late because of it.

Yes, I pulled the "mom card" and I wonder: how often other parents do too? Share your best "mom or dad card moments." Comment with yours below! 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Selena on Tour in 2018?

Remember when Michael Jackson's hologram performed at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards? Or when people lost their minds when a hologram of Tupac performed at Coachella in 2012? I watched it on a live stream and it was pretty cool. But would I pay concert ticket money to see a hologram perform for 2 hours. The family of the late and great Selena Quintanilla think you will.

Last week the family announced that they have been working with the company Acrovirt to develop a walking, talking, singing and dancing hologram version of Selena. The family hopes that by 2018 the digital version of their star will be ready to go on tour and record new music in a project called "Selena the One". 

Some may think the idea is weird of creepy but Selena's sister Suzette said in an interview with Billboard, "By no means is this something that's creepy or weird. We think it's something amazing. A lot of new fans that did not get to experience what Selena was about hopefully will be able to get a sense of her with this new technology that's going to be coming out."

Could this be the future of music and concerts? 
If the technology get really good could we one day be going to an Elvis Presley concert,              or a Beatles show. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Otteroo for Babies. Weird or Awesome?

Summer is right around the corner. Over the last few weeks my Instagram feed has been filled with poolside fun. We highly recommend swimming lessons for all kids because water safety is so important.

There are lots of different floating devices for kids out there. You can get the cool Puddle Jumpers, water rings, arm floaties and of course life jackets. But what is there for babies? There wasn't much on the market until the 'Otteroo'.

Check out the informational video....

                                                Otteroo Baby!!! from OtterooBaby on Vimeo.

This floating device looks really strange but kinda cool at the same time. I don't think I would use it for my own kids. My fear would be to look over and just see the otteroo without the baby head.

What do you think of the Otteroo?
 Is it the must have item of the summer?