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.

The Monthly Check In

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Yes, I admit it. I’m only blogging because I illustrated a new banner for March and I desperately want to roll off that last old moldy post from February. One post in the whole month of February? What’s up B!! I don’t know.

I honestly don’t know how to answer what’s been going on with one neatly tied-up blog post. Work has been busy and exciting. Nothing I can share right now but you should see my work popping up elsewhere on the internet soon. The girls have been good.

Bug is struggling in school, particularly with math and that is taking up a lot of real estate in my mind right now. Does anybody know a good tutor? I’m hopeless at helping her. I hired a woman to come by once a week but we won’t meet with her until the week after next and I already feel like it’s too late because fourth grade is three quarters of the way over already. I know Bug is smart and she’ll pull through but life has just been really challenging for her lately.

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A few weeks ago my parents rented a campsite in Doheny Beach and we met them for dinner two nights in a row. There really is nothing like dinner right on the beach on a school night. The weather didn’t cooperate but it was still magical. I really loved being with my family, doing the things I remember doing when I was little. Camping is deep in my blood.
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Joon loves being a part of my family and my parents have taken her in as their own. I think they were always disappointed in me that I only provided one grandchild so an extra kid is a welcome addition.
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Joon fits right in like she does everywhere. She is naturally outgoing and gregarious and everyone loves her. Naturally, Bug is jealous of someone cute stealing her limelight.  I’m trying to be careful with Bug’s feelings while at the same time gently pushing her embrace having a little sister. It’s been a push and pull. Most of the time they are thick as thieves and they get along great but then Bug will lash out with rudeness and it’s lesson after lesson after lesson in exercising kindness, which is exhausting. If you’re the praying type, maybe you could pray for Bug and her growing pains.payams-wood-working

Payam has been busy woodworking. I can’t give you the link to his Etsy shop yet but it is in the works and promises to be very exciting!

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Lucy the cat is helping with missing my cats. I do see them every week when I drop Bug off at Toby’s but it’s not the same. I’m so happy they have a loving home. Toby has fallen for them hard which is really really great. But I can’t say I am not jealous that he gets to have my cats. It’s a good thing that Lucy is adorable to help me not miss them so much.

Wow. What a downer post. But please don’t think things are bad. They are really really good. Good enough that I have been able to take myself out of survival mode and notice the little things.