Balboa Island Cheer-Ups

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This hardly ever happens but this last Saturday we had NOTHING planned. So we called a family meeting and hashed that out. Free time! Let’s use it!

The kids would have been perfectly content to sit in their rooms watching Youtube and Musically videos on their phones for hours on end but we knew we needed to get everyone together to do something a little more productive.

Me, being the super organized anal person that I am, grabbed a nearby white board and wrote down all the things we’d like to do.  I added things like “weed the atrium” and “paint the hallway.” They added things like “Soak City,” “Griffith Observatory,” “Ojai Lavendar Fields…”  This went on and on and in true bicker-sister fashion and nobody agreed on anything EXCEPT Balboa Island, probably because there was a candy store involved for the kids and a walk involved for me. (I’m the self-appointed resident health nut that annoys everyone.)

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Balboa Island for breakfast! Who knew! We have a shortage of good breakfast places in our neighborhood and the ones that are good have long lines around the building on a weekend. We didn’t know we could take a quick hop and a jump over to Balboa Island and have GREAT Mexican food at a place called Wilma’s Patio for breakfast. Hot Diggety! Bug and I were so happy. We could have Mexican food for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday and never complain. The Persians in the house, not so much. Thankfully, Wilma had had other options too.  Joon had strawberry waffles and Payam had some kind of spicy Italian scramble. Everybody was happy.

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Then we did my favorite part: the walk around the island.

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I love looking at all the miniature houses and admiring the gardens.

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I didn’t mention this earlier but Joon has been navigating some difficult friendship alliances at school lately. It’s like being on a show of Survivor with people getting voted off the island sometimes.  This is totally normal for her age and Bug has had to deal with them too. But this particular friendship that’s been troubling Joon has really gotten her down.  It’s affected everything. Everyday she comes home saying she hates school and school hates her.  So even though she wanted to just sit in her room wearing her black sweatshirt with the hood pulled over her head and plugged into her headphones and ignoring everyone we really pushed her to get out and cheer up.

So when Payam suggested renting a Duffy boat and taking a little cruise around the harbor I knew it would be just the trick.

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And it was! Bug and Joon loved it! They chatted and bantered away like only sisters can. The sunny day drenched us with brightness. It was really hard not to enjoy the warm weather (that’s actually finally trying to be nice for a change instead of being all sweaty-sweaty dog’s breath), the cool breeze, the pretty water and all the boats everywhere.

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It did us all good. Joon is still struggling but we all felt connected. Sometimes I feel like she shuts us out and deals with it all in her head. She’s a tough cookie and it makes me sad that she internalizes her emotions. Growing up is so hard. I remember dealing with friendship break-ups myself and it was PAINFUL! Just because you are younger and bounce back quicker doesn’t mean it isn’t the same kind of pain we feel as adults. So we’re trying to be gentle with her.

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I think she’ll be fine. She just needs time.

An 80th Birthday Party is Perking in the Party Percolator

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I’m never one to turn down a party planning opportunity so when Payam’s mom’s 80th birthday rolled around you know I was all over that. We celebrated her actual birthday last week with a sushi dinner (with a shooting firework ice cream sundae). But now we are planning the real deal birthday party. I am so excited.

She loves flowers and purple so I am snatching that theme up and adding a dash of drama by throwing a sunset to dusk dinner outside in her beautiful backyard. It’s going to be so pretty! I’m thinking big glowing balloon balls in the pool, candles and party lights hung from the arbor over the tables. I can’t wait!

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The thing I love about Persian parties is they often have festive music that everyone of all ages gets up and dances to, or at least chair-dances to. I love a good chair dance. I have to come up with a play-list and invest in one of those outdoor-music roll-around speakers that works off bluetooth. I’ve always wanted one of those anyway. I bought a silly i-home speaker for Bug’s Princess birthday party but it didn’t work worth beans over the fans of the bounce house. I got to step that up a notch or five.

I also want to compile a slideshow of all her old pictures. Eighty years is a long time to get sentimental about! I’m about knee deep in scanning old photo albums.

Of course there will be Persian food and faloodeh, which is a cold noodle-y-ice cream sort of dish with dripping cherry juice or pomegranate juice. It’s so yummy.

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This is my mood board so far. (Images found on pinterest. And one from the family photo album!)

I shall keep you posted!