We headed up to Johnson’s Beach in Guerneville yesterday, and had a great day.
The Russian River beach has been in operation for nearly a century, and it feels exactly that quaint. They have everything you need for a day by the river, so you can just show up in with your suit and a towel for a day of swimming. We’ve been going for years.
There’s no charge for admission, but we rent a beach umbrella, chairs, and a couple of tubes for $5 each. You can also get paddle boats, canoes, and kayaks by the hour. The beach is rocky, so one of the guys comes out with a mallet and pounds the umbrella in for you. They also dredge out a shallow area where the tiny kids can wade.
You can bring a cooler, or visit the snack bar for lunch. It’s so chill, and easy, and Hank always finds kids to play with when we bring a little collection of squirt guns. If you’re a river person, it doesn’t get any more perfect.
This changes everything. Everything, I tell you!
These are the genius Bunch O Balloons Self Tie Auto Fill Water Balloons.
Last year on Independence Day we spent several tedious hours filling and tying water balloons much more slowly than the kids went through them. That meant hovering kids fighting over the next balloon, hurt fingers, and no chance to actually participate in balloon throwing. This year, filling 100 balloons literally took a few minutes. Here’s the video I took:
Can you believe it? Amaaaazing. I immediately tried to figure out how to make my own, and the answer is “not worth it.” The balloons auto-seal with one of those little rubber bands that come with mouth braces. Each balloon works out to about 17 cents, which I’ve decided is a small price to pay to get back to my frozen beverage.
Brad and I were talking the other day about why some white people freak out when you talk about racism. My theory was defensiveness. This piece I, Racist outlines it perfectly:
What [white people] are affected by are attacks on their own character. To my [white] aunt, the suggestion that ‘people in The North are racist’ is an attack on her as a racist. She is unable to differentiate her participation within a racist system (upwardly mobile, not racially profiled, able to move to White suburbs, etc.) from an accusation that she, individually, is a racist. Without being able to make that differentiation, White people in general decide to vigorously defend their own personal non-racism, or point out that it doesn’t exist because they don’t see it.
I also like this simple bit about the way violent crime is perceived:
There’s a headline from The Independent that sums this up quite nicely: “Charleston shooting: Black and Muslim killers are ‘terrorists’ and ‘thugs’. Why are white shooters called ‘mentally ill’?”
I remember when the whole web was mostly stuff like this. I love you, Internet.
I’ve been doing research on toys that are good for Ozzy’s brain, so we have them around when he hits new stages. These are some pretty versions of classic toys that get baby synapses dancing, whether you’re looking for your kiddo or just want to win a baby shower.
1. Manhattan Toy Classic Baby Beads Wood Rattle, Teether, and Clutching Toy, $10 This is one of my favorite baby shower gifts. The balls move around in a mezmerizing way, and it’s so pretty. Also supportive of LGBT friends, which is always nice.
2. Melissa & Doug Color-Flap Mirror, $10 It’s good to have lots of mirrors. I also like this simple Wimmer-Ferguson crib mirror with black and white shapes on the reverse, and these Edushape geometric mirrors for the bath. The downside being mirrors in the bath.
3. Nuby Click Links, $5 These are more useful than I’d ever have thought. The baby plays with them and chews them, but you can also use them to hang toys from carseats, strollers, and cribs. Bam, insta play gym wherever you are.
4. Green Tones Polar Bear Shaker, $9 Good for chewing, shaking, and reminding your newborn that the Earth is a precious resource.
5. Plan Toys Play Gym, $66 Looks boring, I know, but Oslo finds it borderline overstimulating. He loses his mind kicking and cooing, and then konks out. He’s way into spare modernist design.
6. Infantino Textured Multi-Ball Set, $9 I was going to keep these in a glass bowl on the living room table, until I realized how overtly stupid that would be. I haven’t slept in a while.
Babies at this age apparently also benefit from hearing simple songs and nursery rhymes, and seeing photos of faces. I’ll do a few more of these toy roundups for different stages. If you’re interested, here are some great toy recommendation guidelines from the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Grow baby brains, grow!
I love this video of a man trying out heels. What he had to say beforehand:
“Every wedding or fancy event I’ve ever been to has involved at least one girl complaining about how much pain they’re in because of their footwear. Blah blah blah. I get it, your feet hurt… let’s get back to some grinding.”
What he said after:
“People love to talk about how girls are kind of, like, pissy sometimes, and like in bitchy moods. And I completely get it right now. Like, I want to kill everybody.”
via boing boing
This preschool is designed to collect puddles for the kids to play in when it rains. So good.
(via Spoon and Tomago)