Playdate in Balboa

half foggy, half not

You can always tell when it’s heating up inland because it starts getting foggy at the beach. Of course we have fog for all kinds of reasons but we get it a lot more of it in the spring and summer. I don’t really mind the white fluffy stuff. It makes the ocean into a dreamland. I know I’ve written about this a lot but I always like to say that the fog makes the public beaches my beach again.

The beach near our house is ours all winter. We can walk and walk and walk without a care in the world but once the weather starts heating up, the streets start getting clogged with cars and the beaches start getting clogged with tourists. They tromple our beach blankets, they over-flow the trash receptacles, they spit out their gum on the hot pavement, they pitch their tents blocking our view, they blare their music… you get the picture. It’s not always pretty but it’s a small price to pay for living in such a beautiful place.

just another day in beachland

So when it’s foggy AND sunny at the same time it’s sort of like the best of both worlds.

jbomb at the top of the ferris wheel

Bug and I had a play date with my friend Jbomb (not her real name of course) and her little boy. We took them to Balboa Island and had a really fun time playing in the fog. The ferris wheel is a great way to take in a fog-shrouded view.


us on a ferris wheel

looking down

The kids loved the ferris wheel but Jbomb and I were so ready for it to end. It’s old and rickety and even though it’s probably only a couple stories high, it still gives me the heebie jeebies when I look down below. For some reason they really want to give you your money’s worth on this ride so it just kept going and going and going. Both Jbomb and I were a little green by the end of it.

max pushing his mom

(This photo cracks me up because Jbomb’s little boy is only three but he’s already half her size and very very strong. He’ll probably he’ll pass her up by the time he’s five.)


Max and Bug


After some lunch on the pier and a quick romp around the playground at the beach, we headed back home on the ferry. This is one of my favorite little trips around here. If you’re ever here visiting me, I’ll probably take you here.


bribery charts

Bug and I are charting. (Not that kind of charting. More the put-up-a-chart-on-the-fridge-and-track-your-progress- towards-a-goal kind of chart.) Bribery schmibery—whatever works is my policy these days. Charts worked pretty well for potty-training so I’m trying them out for brushing teeth and exercise. Teeth-brushing for Bug and exercise for me. We both seem to struggle in these areas and it is entirely my fault.

We’ve been so lax with Bug and brushing her teeth which is horrible, I know! It’s just that we have hard teeth in our family and I know she will probably inherit that trait. I’m not worried about her teeth rotting away. I’ve never had a cavity in my entire life and I think Toby only has a few. Gum disease maybe, but our teeth will last forever. But that’s no excuse to let Bug grow up without healthy habits so we are working on it.

whatever works

Bug gets a star every time she brushes her teeth and after seven stars she gets a treat. I probably will have to move it up to more than seven stars but we’re setting our goals low to start out. Her treats will be a trip to our favorite yogurt store or a surprise (which I have yet to determine but I’m thinking something special like a trip to a new park or a picnic).

Does this count for two stars?

So far it’s working really well. The after-meal torture has turned into a new fun game. And no, she can’t get two stars for brushing with two toothbrushes.

I've shot this view a thousand times

So far the chart is working really well for me too. We got up early and took a long run/walk/jog to a nearby beach. Too bad there was a milkshake stand at the end of that particular jaunt which completely defeated my purpose for the exercise in the first place but we’re taking baby steps.

If anybody wants a chart too, email me and maybe I’ll make it available via pdf.

Charts for YOU!

Bug’s Toothbrushing Chart

SAJ’s Exercise Chart

and a bonus:

Bug’s Potty-training Chart

(Though, uh…your guess is as good as mine as to how to use it. We just filled up the rows for whatever day we were on with stars and then got candy when a row was filled up. It doesn’t make sense if you’re super anal but it worked for us.)