Parents against smartphones

boogie boarding in Laguna
My daughter and friends boogie boarding before any had smart phones.

Fifty-three percent of American children have a smartphone of their own by age 11, according to a 2019 report by Common Sense Media. By the time they’re 16, 89 percent of kids have one. An earlier report by Common Sense Media found that 50 percent of teenagers felt addicted to their smartphones and that 59 percent of their parents thought that was the case. All of this has coincided with a startling increase in mental health challenges among adolescents, which some psychologists believe might be tied to the adverse effects of social media use.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2022/05/09/parents-kids-smartphones/

That quote came from an article in the Washington Post called “Meet the parents who refuse to give their kids smartphones” by Ellen McCarthy.

It was an interesting read to see how the children felt about not being allowed to have a smartphone. In some instances they were the only person in their school without one. The parents gave them a phone that didn’t have internet access but they could use to text and call. One child was so embarrassed with that type of phone, they never got it out at school.

One mother who refused to let her children have smartphones was a psychiatrist who treats high school and college students. She said her patients were on their smartphones nine hours a day or more — more than they sleep.

I agree with WHY the parents didn’t want their kids to have smartphones, but I’m not sure in today’s world if I could do it. My kids had childhoods without cell phones. My son didn’t get his iphone until high school graduation. My daughter got hers earlier and there was a lot of bullying going on. Also, I remember this thing on Instagram my daughter showed me where young girls were posting pictures of their thigh “gaps.” It was a body image competition that probably boosted anorexia.

By the end of eighth grade, Annalise Stacey was the only one in her class without a smartphone. And her mom’s spiels about how bad the devices are for kids’ brains didn’t make that much easier.

If her friends decided to hang out after school or on a weekend, they would make plans via group text. When she went to sleepovers, she often ended up watching other girls scroll on their phones. Annalise, who is now 15, sometimes didn’t know what her classmates were talking about because gossip had been exchanged over text or social media.

“I was frustrated just because I’m more of a shy person, so I felt like I was definitely getting left out of things and I didn’t really know how to get included.”

What are your thoughts? Would you be a parent against smartphones, even if your child felt left out? At what age did your kids get smartphones?

More thoughts on Mexico

Puerto Peñasco signs and buildings.
A view from downtown Puerto Peñasco.

A friend told me she and her husband visited Puerto Peñasco 25 years ago and there was nothing there but a campground. Today, there are giant towers of condos, hotels, restaurants, beach houses and three golf courses. The marina is packed with fishing and pleasure boats.

I wonder what the residents of Puerto Peñasco think about this?

Are they happy because American tourists have turned the town into a flourishing tourist town? Or, do they resent us with our brand new cars driving into town throwing our money around? Maybe they liked the quiet Mexican fishing village pre tourist destination? Or, maybe they like the jobs and opportunities for a higher standard of living? I don’t know.

Here are more photos from our trip last weekend:

Statue of El Camaronero downtown Puerto Peñasco
El Camaronero statue downtown dated 2003.
Shrimp dinner at Pedros Puerto Peñasco
My dinner at Pedro’s. Fresh, delicious and $8.
Pedro's seafood restaurant in Puerto Peñasco
The exterior of Pedro’s restaurant. There were six tables inside and two on the deck overlooking the ocean.
Las Palomas golf and beach resort, pool bar
View of the ocean and pool bar from the condo we rented.
Sandy Beach Condos Puerto Peñasco
A view of Sandy Beach where condo developments have sprung up during the past 20 years. I should have gotten a massage from one of the many vendors lined up on the beach. Next time.

What are your thoughts about Americans coming into a sleepy fishing village and turning it into a tourist destination? Do you think the Mexicans appreciate the changes? Why or why not?

I enjoyed watching pelicans dive into the ocean and catch fish.

A weekend in paradise

Sunset in Puerto Peñasco on Sandy Beach
Here’s the sunset view from Saturday night.

My husband has been dying to go to Puerto Peñasco (known as Rocky Point to the gringos) for at least six months. I’ve been hesitant because it’s a four-and-a-half-hour drive south and across the border into Mexico. Number one, I can’t stand long drives.

Number two, we hear all these stories of drug cartels and crime in Mexico, so I’ll admit, I was a little afraid. Then, the neighbor across the street said she and her family went to Mexico and got COVID. They had to quarantine in their hotel room for 10 days before they could come home.

She said “People think what’s the big deal, you’re in Mexico at the beach? But we weren’t allowed to leave our hotel room and we weren’t enjoying great food. It was hard.”

vendors on Sandy Beach in Puerto Peñasco
Sitting under a palapa outside the hotel, the parade of vendors selling everything from tamales to henna tattoos give the beach a circus atmosphere. The vendors aren’t allowed inside the rope fence and they do respect the boundary.

The drive wasn’t bad at all once we got out of Phoenix. I even drove part of it. We drove through Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument which was beautiful.

Organ Pipe National Monument visitor center
The visitor center at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument with an Organ Pipe Cactus in front.

I absolutely love Puerto Peñasco! I loved being at the ocean. I didn’t realize how much I missed it. The food was amazing and cheap. Fresh seafood to my heart’s content at around $20 for dinner for two. The accommodations were wonderful.

I’m so thrilled I got out of my comfort zone and went exploring with my husband. We’ll definitely be back — and I’ll post more photos and details this week.

Downtown Puerto Peñasco after dinner Friday night. The young man on the drums impressed us.

Where have you been hesitant to travel to and then once there discovered you loved it?

VRBO views

stone lion with Christmas decorations
I saw this nicely decorated lion on a morning walk around the corner from the Christmas VRBO.

We’ve left the VRBO and we’re headed home slowly. It took a ton of energy and hard work to pack 12 people and to get the house in shape for the housekeepers. I’m waiting to hear that my son’s car has arrived safely to the Bay Area. They were the last car to leave along with us at noon.

We decided to spend the night with our dear friends who live in the Santa Barbara area and get up at dawn to make the nine-hour trek home. The packing and cleaning left us too tired and too late to make the drive. Plus, I’m hoping for better weather tomorrow. Another storm is currently walloping the coast.

I miss Olive the cat and hope she’s not too angry with me for boarding her. In our new home and her new career as an indoor cat, she’s become very affectionate. I have bonded with this lovable kitty more than ever. The goal is to stop on our way home to pick her up from cat jail before they close.

views of Santa Barbara marina from the Christmas house.
The view from the master bedroom deck in our Christmas VRBO.
View from master bedroom of Santa Barbara VRBO
The master bedroom French doors to the patio with spectacular views.
Santa Barbara sunset.
Sunset

Happy New Year! I’m ready for 2022. How about you? Are you looking forward to saying goodbye to 2021?

Thanksgiving gratitude for family and friends

Santa Barbara sunset
Sunset on Thanksgiving Eve in Santa Barbara several years ago.

I wrote this post about my Thanksgiving several years ago without our kids. Unfortunately, we hardly ever see the children on Thanksgiving anymore. But we do have plans to be together for a week over Christmas. Here’s what I wrote on my first kidless Thanksgiving:

Our first Thanksgiving without our kids. I’m thankful they are with dear friends and their families since they weren’t able to make the trek home this year. Instead of moping around the house feeling sorry about my empty nest, we’re celebrating with our close friends. It was 30 years to the day that I first met them (my husband met the husband through work) and we spent Thanksgiving weekend sailing with them in Santa Barbara.

Here’s to friends and family and creating memories together.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Waffles the Ute Pug says Happy Thanksgiving!
My daughter’s team sent out a Thanksgiving message with her pup. The sports marketing team adored him.

Who are you sharing your Thanksgiving with? What traditions do you share with friends and family?

Feeling out of sorts

A view from our beach vacation.

The last few days of our beach vacation, ringing began in my right ear. Then vertigo. I’m a mess. Some days it’s worse than others. Some days it goes away completely. Other days, it’s hard to function.

After two weeks I went to an ENT. I’m worried because a friend’s daughter had a side effect to the COVID vaccine of tinnitus. It’s really bad and they don’t know if it will ever go away. I googled it and it is a rare side effect to the shot, although they aren’t entirely sure that it’s related or due to something else.

In any case, the ENT PA told me my ears are fine, but my right sinus is not — and that might be causing the problems of vertigo and ringing in the ear.

They put me on prednisone. This is my first time taking it and to be honest — it’s not great. My poor son, who suffers from severe asthma has been on it every few years. I remember the first time his allergy doctor prescribed it — I didn’t fill the Rx. When I returned with my son, who was still sick, I got scolded from the doctor who said, “Doctor Mom, WHERE did you receive your medical degree?”


I had heard so many horror stories about kids and prednisone but the doctor assured me he wasn’t prescribing anything that would put my child in danger. Right. Ten years after my son was put on an inhaler for his asthma, they discovered it stunted growth. He was on it from fourth grade until a year ago. But on the bright side, he is alive

I’m alive too although feeling out of sorts. The ringing in the ear isn’t bad today and I don’t have vertigo. In a month I’ll go back to the ENT and hopefully I’ll be AOK. If not, the next step is an MRI and perhaps sinus surgery.

Have you ever not taken an Rx that a doctor prescribed for you? Have you second guessed your children’s doctor? Have you had tinnitus or vertigo and how did you get over it?

Sights and sounds from beach walks

I’m feeling very distressed with the news of 12 of our courageous military killed this morning. I am worried about 24 children from San Diego who haven’t been able to get to the airport in Kabul. I wasn’t in the mood to post, but as I’m waiting to hear from the President, I’m looking through the photos and videos on my iphone.

I’m sharing some of the joyful sights I’ve seen the past week. Horses on the beach with a cattle dog herding them with tireless energy. Pelicans flying and floating on waves. A sunset at Carpinteria State Beach. Shore birds hunting for sand crabs in the waves.

Watch the dog herding the horses.
Curlew at the beach
Curlew.
White egret on the shore
Egret.
Pelicans flying and riding the waves.
sunset at Carpinteria State Beach.
Sunset at Carpinteria State Beach.
Horses and cattle dog in the ocean.
The horses and cattle dog.
Sandpipers.