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7 SELF-CARE RITUALS I Can’t Live Without

8 THINGS Kids Can Say or Do


MAUI’S BEST KEPT SECRET –The Royal Lahaina Resort

Volume 5 / Issue 57

Cookie-Cutter vs. Out-of-the -Box…What Kind of Children Do You Want to Raise?

[ PARENTING ] 8 Things Kids Can Say or Do to Stop Bullying

[ CALENDAR ] October Events




The One Simple Phrase to Change Your Parenting Mindset Forever


Pumpkin Patch Guide

Maui’s Best Kept Secret – Royal Lahaina Resort




6 Life Lessons I've Learned as a Stepmom

The Best of Maui




[ WOMEN’S HEALTH ] 7 Self-Care Rituals I Can’t Live Without






THE EXTRAORDINARY HAPPENS At Stratford, students accomplish extraordinary things. It all starts with an advanced yet balanced curriculum that propels students to excel both inside and outside the classroom — typically performing well-above grade level and matriculating to top high schools and beyond. Discover a school that inspires children to become creative problem-solvers, imaginative innovators, and confident leaders.

We deliver the extraordinary.





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*Grades offered vary by location. Preschool State License Numbers: 073402482, 013417816, 013420588, 434404890, 434408056, 434407977, 434404336, 434406722, 434408877, 384001837, 434410807, 434410816, 073406680, 013420939, 414004014, 434413440. Copyright © 2018 Stratford Schools, Inc.








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Local Life & Style for the East Bay Area


Marketing Interns

Contributing Authors

Tracie Brown Vollgraf

Megan Shackley

Advertising Sales Director

Fashion Editor

Kathy Brillheart

Rachel Fawkes

Travel Editor


Signe Whitson Elizabeth Kang Renee Trudeau Amy Mccready Michelle Zunter Roma Khetarpal

Elizabeth Kang

Teresa Agnew Craft

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Editor’s Note As the weather turns cooler, you can sense the holidays are amongst us. First stop? Halloween! One of our household favorites, there is plenty to do and see around the Bay Area. Check out our Pumpkin Patch Guide on page 18 and find a plethora of farms to choose from. Our go-to destination each year is Joan’s Farm & Pumpkin Patch, an authentic, down-to-earth great time for the entire family you’ll discover hay rides, an obstacle course, gem panning, pony rides and SO much more! Be sure to make the trip, it’s well worth it! Of course any season is the perfect time to plan a trip to Maui! We continue our 5-part Maui travel series this month featuring The Royal Lahaina Resort. Looking for a hidden gem in Maui? We’ve definitely found it. Turn to page 10 to learn more. If you are looking for the best adventures, restaurants, beaches and shopping the island has to offer, page 22 provides an overview of places you must add to your list the next time you travel to the island. Happy October! Tracie Brown Vollgraf Editor


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Signe Whitson is an author and internationally-recognized speaker with 20 years of experience working with children, teens, and families. She presents customized training workshops for professionals, parents, and students on topics related to bullying prevention, digital citizenship, managing anxiety and anger in children, changing passive aggressive behavior, and intervening effectively in crisis situations in schools and treatment organizations. Signe is the Director of Counseling at The Swain School in Allentown, PA. She is also the Chief Operating OfďŹ cer of the Life Space Crisis Intervention Institute, an international training and certiďŹ cation program for turning crisis situations into learning opportunities for children and youth with chronic patterns of self-defeating behaviors.

8 Things Kids Can Say or Do to Stop Bullying by Signe Whitson Neuroscience shows us definitively that acts of kindness change the brain and that school-based programs that specifically integrate the teaching of kindness and empathy skills into the academic day note real reductions in bullying behavior. What follows are 8 simple, practical, easy-to-implement skills you can teach kids to help bring an end to bullying: 1. Memorize a simple statement Most school-based bullying prevention programs tell students to show kindness


[ PARENTING ] and empathy by standing up for kids who are bullied—

bullying in its tracks by simply changing the subject.

which is spot-on advice!We know that when kids step in

For example, a child who wants to quickly deflect the

to stop bullying, the incident of cruelty stops within 10

pressure off of someone being bullied can simply ask

seconds more than 50% of the time (Hawkins, Pepler, &

aloud if someone knows the date of the math test or the

Craig, 2001).

score of the football game.

Unfortunately, too few programs teach kids how to stand

3. Scatter the crowd

up for others!

Another quick diffuser: prepare kids to say something like, “Guys, we’ve gotta get to class before the bell rings.” This

My students tell me that one of the most frequently

is a quick and easy way to scatter the crowd of onlookers

applied skills I teach them is the use of Bully Bans.

from whom a bully is deriving social power and to stop

Bully bans are short, to-the-point statements meant

bullying on the spot.

to interrupt an incident of bullying in its tracks without escalating the conflict. Bully bans take into account that

4. Use humor

during stressful moments, kids’ brains rarely come up with

Teach kids how effective it can be to lower the stress of

“helpful” things to say. Rather, the heat-of-the-moment

a bullying situation by making kids laugh. Tell a joke, do

usually sparks emotionally-charged, conflict-fueling

something funny, share a meme, bring up a viral video

words and actions.

or even gently turn the tables on the kids who is bullying by gently making light of their behavior. There are lots of

Bully bans are meant to be developed with kids during

ways caring, empathic kids can use humor to diffuse a

non-stressful moments, then committed to memory so

tense situation and take the pressure off of a vulnerable

that kids can easily access them when they are needed.


Effective Bully bans include: 5. Stand with the person being bullied • Cut it out, dude—that’s not cool

For those moments when verbal interventions such

• Hey, that’s over the line

as Bully Bans, distractions, and humor won’t work,

• Whatever

encourage your young person(s) to simply walk over and stand close to a person who is being bullied. Often, just

The key is in letting kids brainstorm their own simple

the act of wordlessly standing with a vulnerable person

statements, so that their language feels comfortable

can be enough to change the mood and stop the

and natural to them.Then, adults can help kids role-play

bullying. It also lets the person being bullied know that he

saying their assertive words in a confident, casual voice.

or she is not alone.

2. Change the subject

6. Reach out after the fact

Some young people will find it too risky to say something

Good news: On-the-spot strategies to bring an end

during an episode of bullying, no matter how

to bullying are highly effective. More good news:if the

comfortable they become with effective wording.That’s

opportunity is missed, all is not lost! Teach kids that when

perfectly understandable and even logical; too often,

they aren’t able to intervene in the moment, the efforts

brave upstanders find that when they show kindness

they make to show kindness and empathy soon after an

and empathy for someone who is being bullied, the

incident of bullying can also have a significant impact.

aggressive student immediately unleashes their cruelty

Encourage kids to make time later in the day to talk to

on them.

a peer who has been on the receiving end of cruelty. Invite the student to hang out with you at lunch or sit with

Some kids have the confidence and social capital to

you on the bus.Send him a friendly text. Message her on

take that risk but for others, a great strategy is to teach

social media.

them how effective it can be to stop an episode of OCTOBER 2018 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 7

[ PARENTING ] 7. Express sympathy

get worse if they tell an adult they are being bullied,

Another effective way to show kindness and empathy

anticipating that they will be called a “tattletale” (and

to a student who has been bullied is to find them later in

worse!) and further degraded for their act of reaching

the day and tell them that you are genuinely sorry about

out.This is part of the basic m.o. of a child who bullies;

what happened. The power of this simple act of looking

creating this fear is how they keep other kids isolated and

a fellow human being in the eye and letting them know


that what happened to them also pained you cannot be understated.

One thing bystanders can do to show kindness and stop bullying is to be the one to bring the matter to an adult’s

While they are at it, encourage kids to tell the bullied kid

attention.This takes the heat off of the bullied student in a

that he is awesome and doesn’t deserve to be treated

big way.Encourage kids to think carefully about who they

badly. This simple act of friendship and compassion can

go to for help, as not all adults help equally. They should

make all the difference.

be sure to choose someone who they believe is fair and will use discretion in their interventions, so as not to

8. Get Help

cause new problems for a bullied student. A trustworthy

Bullying is all about making a person feel isolated and

adult can work to uphold school standards of safety and

alone. By the upper elementary and middle school

dignity for all students while also addressing the situation

years, many kids already believe that their life will only

in a way prevents it from recurring.

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Maui’s Best Kept Secret – Royal Lahaina Resort

by Elizabeth Kang We’ve recently discovered a hidden gem. What makes

stunning beachfront. The beach is calm and quiet, with

this resort so great? It’s beautiful, affordable, newly

many shallow areas for small children to play in. For even

renovated, and absolutely perfect for families. And in

more fun in the water, there are also three pools and

addition to those prized features, it also has (and we

two hot tubs located on the property. Private, shaded

don’t say this lightly) the best beach in all of Maui. That’s

cabanas are available to rent.

right, Royal Lahaina Resort is truly Maui’s best kept secret, and we’re letting you in on all the wonderful details.

Newly Renovated Rooms In addition to the resort’s tower rooms, Royal Lahaina

The Best Beach in Maui

offers separate, stand alone cottages on the property,

Located in the popular Ka’anapali area on the West

which are ideal for families and larger groups. The tower

coast of Maui, Royal Lahaina Resort is lucky enough to

rooms and bungalow cottages have all been recently

claim the best coastline on the island, with golden, soft

renovated, and look clean, stylish, and up-to-date.

sand and clear, turquoise water. The laidback resort rests

Many of the bungalow cottage suites and studios are

on 27 lush acres of tropical gardens and a half mile of

equipped with kitchenettes, so families can prepare



meals at their leisure. The stand-alone bungalow cottages are just steps away from the beach, so there’s no elevator or stairs to contend with, although the views are not quite as spectacular as they are from the higher tower rooms. Delicious Onsite Dining Beyond the fantastic accommodations, the dining at Royal Lahaina is just as impressive. The Royal Ocean Terrace Restaurant & Lounge offered casual, open-air dining with a varied menu that is sure to please everyone at the table. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, along with gorgeous views and nightly live music and dancing. For a quick and refreshing treat, head over to Royal Scoop, which offers locally handmade ice cream, snacks, smoothies, and specialty coffees. Royal Scoop is perfect for a quick grab-n-go breakfast or lunch, as well.

Royal Lahaina also puts on what many consider to be the best Luau in Maui — with a delicious buffet of

Pool-goers will enjoy the Beach Bar, which serves up

traditional Polynesian fare, including a kid-friendly keiki

tropical cocktails and cold craft beer— no cover-up

buffet. The Myths of Maui luau takes place during sunset,


on a breathtaking oceanfront setting. Live Polynesian OCTOBER 2018 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 11


dancing, music and an exciting fire finale makes this a not-to-be-missed event. Resort Fun Besides the nightly entertainment and dazzling Luau, you’ll find plenty of other activities and distractions to keep you busy and amused. Be sure to take advantage of the 11 tennis courts, and state-of-the-art fitness center on the property, and don’t miss browsing the shops on the resort, such as the Royal Trading Company Store. There’s also lei making instruction on the property and 12 ACTIVE FAMIL Y | OCTOBER 2018


snorkeling accommodations can be arranged at the

day shopping, site-seeing, and enjoying local delicacies.

resort. For golfing enthusiasts, Royal Lahaina sits right next

Also nearby is the legendary Black Rock cliffs, where you

to some championship gold courses, and for a more

can watch brave adrenaline junkies cliff dive at sunset.

leisurely activity, the relaxing onsite spa is worth indulging

Nearby are parks, museums and site-seeing attractions,

in for an afternoon.

as well as plenty of other restaurants and hotels to explore.

Location, Location, Location The Royal Lahaina is a virtual oasis - it’s in the center of it

The word is out — we just can’t keep the Royal Lahaina

all, without the hustle and bustle of all the crowds. From

Resort to ourselves. The value, convenient family

the resort’s prime oceanfront location is a short shuttle

accommodations, superior location, and gorgeous

ride to the popular Lahaina Town, and within walking

beach all add up to a hidden gem that you’ll want to

distance is Whalers Village, where you can easily spend a

return to year after year. OCTOBER 2018 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 13


October Alameda County OCTOBER 3 Wild Kratts Parramount Theatre Oakland 6:30pm


24th Annual Days of the Dead Community Celebration Oakland Museum of California Oakland 12pm-4:30pm

25th Annual Downtown Alameda Classic Car Show Downtown Alameda Alameda 10am-4pm calendar/classic-car-show-2018


Harvest Fair Dublin Heritage Park & Museums Dublin 12pm-5pm Harvest-Fair

Kidz Town Halloween Hay Day Downtown Livermore Livermore 11am-4pm http://www.livermoredowntown. com/playing

$5 First Fridays Chabot Space & Science Center Oakland 6pm-10pm

Hornet Band Rehearsal USS Hornet Alameda 11am-12:30pm calendar/2018-10

Monsters Bash 2018 USS Hornet Alameda 7:30pm calendar/2018-10


ArtWalk Livermore Performing Arts Center Livermore 11am-5pm

Witches Night Out Downtown Livermore Livermore 6pm-9pm playing IMPACT Speaker Series Oakland Zoo Oakland 6:30pm-8pm


A Taste of Africa Livermore Performing Arts Center Livermore 11am-6pm

OCTOBER 7 Alameda Point Antiques Faire Alameda 6am-3pm index.php

Email to subscribe to our weekly email blast for more events!

The Buck Jack London Square Oakland 11am-4pm events/special-events

Round the World - Music Dance & Art Festival Alameda 12pm-3pm


OCTOBER 14 Introductory Sails at the Cal Sailing Club Berkeley Marina Berkeley 1pm-4pm csc-open-house

OCTOBER 21 Community Music Day Crowden Berkeley 10am-3pm

Parents’ Night Out Habitot’s Children's Museum Oakland 5:30pm-9:30pm


OCTOBER 27, 28 Boo at the Zoo Oakland Zoo Oakland 10am-3pm events

OCTOBER 28 It’s Magic Livermore Performing Arts Center Livermore 3pm


October Contra Costa County OCTOBER 1-7 Mamma Mia Musical Lesher Arts Center Walnut Creek Times Vary

OCTOBER 4 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Danville 8pm-10pm

OCTOBER 6 Bay Day Eco Heroes Lindsay Wildlife Museum Walnut Creek 4pm-5pm calendar




Kids’ Book Fairs Pine Valley Middle School San Ramon 10am-3pm KidsBookFair1.html

Glass Pumpkin Festival Santana Row San Jose 1pm-8pm

OCTOBER 24 Comedy with Liz Grant & Friends Theatre Danville 7:30pm-10pm

Around the World in 7 Festivals Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose San Jose 10am-5pm



Spooktacular Celebration Danville Community Center & Library Danville 4pm-7:30pm

Commons 1st Sundays Block Party San Francisco 11am-3pm

SRVHS Homecoming Parade San Ramon Valley High School Danville 1:45pm-3:10pm

Howl-ooo-ween 2018! Lindsay Wildlife Museum Walnut Creek 5:30pm-8pm calendar



Run for Education Iron Horse Middle School Danville 8am-9am

OCTOBER 20 Live.Wild.Animals Exhibition: Creepy Critters Lindsay Wildlife Museum Walnut Creek 10am-11am calendar

OCTOBER 20-21 Danville Fallfest Historic Downtown Danville Danville 10am-5pm

Pumpkin Jubilee Danville Livery Danville 12pm-3pm

Out of Area OCTOBER 1-8 San Francisco FleetWeek San Francisco Time Varies

OCTOBER 5 First Friday Family Nights at CuriOdyssey San Mateo 5pm-8pm family-events/first-friday-familynights


Hygiene Kits for Foster Care Youth Orinda 3pm-4:30pm

OCTOBER 14 Kidrageous Super Fun Run Santana Row San Jose 8am-12pm Croatian Heritage Festival Croatian American Cultural Center San Francisco 12pm-4pm

OCTOBER 30 Mommy & Me FREE Kids Club, Halloween FUn Santana Row San Jose 10am-12pm



Transformational coach/author/ speaker Renée Peterson Trudeau is passionate about helping parents come into balance through the art/science of self-care. She’s been featured in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, Spirituality & Health and more, and thousands of women in ten countries are becoming RTA-Certified Facilitators and leading/joining self-renewal groups/retreats based on her award-winning curriculum. She is the author of several life balance books including The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal and Nurturing the Soul of Your Family: 10 Ways to Reconnect and Find Peace in Everyday Life. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 15 year-old son. Subscribe to her weekly, award-winning blog Live Inside Out here and check out her upcoming retreats at www.

7 Self-Care Rituals I Can’t Live Without by Renee Trudeau The last two weeks have been a series of rapid transitions. My 16-year-old starts 11th grade this week, I’m preparing to launch into a full fall speaking schedule, and my husband, son and I have been traveling off and on since June 5th (from Tanzania to the Rockies to the Blue Ridge Mountains) and are still landing! Transitioning from one life stage, geographic location or state of mind to another, takes more time and energy than we realize. And it can really throw you out of alignment. In the old days I would have turned to some not-so-healthy habits to relieve my stress, but today, I know that selfcare is not only essential, it’s my best friend when times get tough. When it comes to nourishing and grounding myself, here are seven self-care rituals I can’t live without: 1. I begin my day intentionally. I love my 20-30 minute morning meditation practice. But if things are hectic, I find that even when I take 5 minutes to start my day with a clear intention, gratitude practice, prayer or stillness, this has a huge impact on how the rest of my day flows. My husband, son and I also


[ PARENTING ] do morning “power circles” right before we head out the

effectively (critical to running two businesses). These

door when one of us is having a hard time or needs extra

pauses also help me tune in and ask my body what it

support. I’m also a big fan of the “eight hugs a day” club

needs: one of my hormonal balancing tinctures, some

touch is powerful.

B Complex, Vitamin D or a nap? For the past year, I have started taking 20 min. afternoon rests almost every

2. I make pleasure-full movement a priority. My favorite

afternoon. Now in my fifties, I believe this will be key to

ways to move my body include yoga, vigorous walks with

creating sustainability throughout the decades to come.

friends around the lake and Nia dance. I often have to juggle like crazy to make this happen and always have

6. I walk on the earth (ideally barefoot). Even if it’s just 5

to plan in advance to build this in, but daily, enjoyable

minutes of pulling weeds in the backyard or refilling the

movement is a non-negotiable for me at this life stage.

bird bath, a brief swing in my hammock chair or walking to the park and back after dinner with family, I find

3. I eat foods that make me feel great (most of the time!) and take breakfast seriously. Often I ask, “What would really nourish us right now?” before I decide what’s for breakfast or dinner. This means planning ahead and keeping the fridge and pantry stocked with lots of my favorite staples: hummus, a variety of nuts and nut butters, fruits/veggies, garbanzo and black beans for salads and dips, green, mint and ginger teas, etc. I love the clean, quick, gluten-free recipes in It’s All Good and It’s All Easy by Gwyneth Paltrow. Breakfast is king at our house. I find if I start the day eating protein, it helps me maintain steady blood sugar levels and has a huge impact on how I feel around 3 or 4 p.m. I like to drink a cup of warm water and lemon immediately upon waking to “get things moving.” Favorite breakfasts include a spinach/mushroom omelet, migas or breakfast tacos, smoked salmon or trout and whole grain bagels, steel cut oatmeal with blueberries/almonds/milk, yogurt

connecting with the natural world has a calming effect on my nervous system and helps me reset and shake off any “funk.” Nature=the ultimate anti-depressant! 7. I prepare for a good night’s sleep. After dinner, we make it a priority to relax and unwind. It’s not a time to get stuff done, it’s time to let the busyness of the day fall away. Sometimes this means embracing a “good is good enough,” attitude and letting the house be messy, clothes pile up, work deadlines wait and scrounging in the pantry for lunch fixings for my son so I don’t have to hit the store. I love late evening walks with my husband or neighbor, delicious aromatherapy baths, gentle yoga stretches before bed (legs up the wall is my favorite) and I snuggle down by 9:30 with something inspirational to read. At 10:00 p.m. it’s lights out, usually after a short calming, breathing exercise.

with fruit and nuts or if we’re in a hurry, apples with almond butter work just fine.

Honestly, I feel a wee bit hesitant about sharing my personal self-care practice and rituals. I don’t ever want

4. I build in time with friends who let me show up “warts

anyone to think there is a right or wrong way to practice

and all.” Heartfelt face-to-face connection is key to

self-care (read more about how I define self-care at

lowering stress hormones and keeping perspective. I also don’t see self-care as

Ideally it’s a lunch, evening women’s circle or walking

something you need to add to your to-do list, but rather

date, but even a good 15 min. phone call with a dear

it’s about cultivating a new relationship with yourself.

friend boosts my mood.

And, I have found that often, the more we hear what self-care practices our friends are committed to, the

5. I take time to pause, rest and check-in. Pausing to ask,

more curious and motivated we become about adding

“What is mine to do?” helps me use my energy more

to, changing or enhancing ours. OCTOBER 2018 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 17


Pumpkin Patch Guide ALAMEDA



Speer Family Farms Alameda Point 2153 Ferry Point 510.705.2352 -Petting Zoo -Inflatable Fun

Clayton Valley Pumpkin Patch 1060 Pine Lane 925.672.5198 -Petting Zoo -Train Ride -Barnyard

Pick of the Patch Pumpkins 400 San Pablo Ave 408.393.6303 -Petting Zoo -Haunted House



Pick of the Patch Pumpkins Delta Fair Blvd @ Century Blvd 408.393.6303 -Petting Zoo -Haunted House -Train Ride

Pick of the Patch Pumpkins 1096 Oak Grove Rd at Monument Blvd 408.393.6303 -Petting Zoo -Haunted House

G&M Farms 487 East Airway 925.447.FARM -Corn Maze -Train


J. E Perry’s Farms 34600 Ardenwood Blvd 510.793.6658

Smith Family Farm 4430 Sellers Ave 925.625.5966 -Corn Maze -Petting Zoo -Hay Ride

CASTRO VALLEY Moore’s Pumpkin Patch 9711 Dublin Canyon Rd 510.886.6015 -Train Ride -Fun House


Pick of the Patch Pumpkins 4020 Fremont Hub 408.393.6303 -Inflatable Fun

HAYWARD Pick of the Patch Pumpkins One Southland Mall Dr. 408.393.6303 -Petting Zoo -Haunted House



Joan’s Farm and Pumpkin Patch 4351 Mines Rd 925.447.0794 -Farm Animals -Hay Ride -Corn Maze

MARTINEZ Pick of the Patch Pumpkins 5041 Blum Road 408.393.6303 -Ponyland Pony Rides -Parachute Rocket Rides -Petting Zoo -Haunted House


Pumpkin Patch Guide NEWARK Pick of the Patch Pumpkins 2086 NewPark Mall 408.393.6303 -Petting Zoo -Haunted House

OAKLAND Piedmont Ave Pumpkin Patch 4414 Piedmont Ave 510.967.9363 -Corn Stalks -Straw Bales

SAN LEANDRO Pick of the Patch Pumpkins 1555 East 14th St at the Bay Fair Center Mall 408.393.6303 -Petting Zoo -Haunted House

SAN RAMON Forest Home Farms 19953 San Ramon Valley Blvd 925.973.3284 -Hay Ride -Train Ride Moore’s Pumpkin Patch 19901 San Ramon Valley Blvd 510.886.6015 -Train Ride -Fun House



Great Peter Pumpkin Patch 4235 Spring Hill Rd 707.762.3446 -Hay Ride

HALF MOON BAY Arata Pumpkin Farm 185 Verde Rd 650.726.7548 -Hay Maze -Petting Zoo -Train Ride

Peterson’s Farm 636 Gossage Ave 707.765.4582

LEMOS FARM 12320 San Mateo Rd 620.726.2342 -Train Ride -Haunted House -Petting Zoo

Petaluma Pumpkin Patch and Amazing Corn Maze 450 Stony Point Rd 707.781.3132 -Corn Maze

LATHROP Dell’Osso Family Farm 26 Stewart Rd 209.982. 0833 -Corn Maze -Haunted House -Petting Zoo



Emerald Forest Great Pumpkin Patch 317 Sloat Blvd 415.566.8984

Clancy’s Pumpkin Patch 1620 7th Ave 415.753.2689 -Hay Maze

Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch 5300 Nicasio Valley Rd 415. 662.9100 -Hay Ride -Petting Zoo

**All farms subject to change. Please check website before visiting.



Parenting expert and “recovering yeller” Amy McCready is the Founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and the author of If I Have to Tell You One More Time… The Revolutionary Program That Gets Your Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling (Penguin, 2011.) Amy is a regular parenting contributor on The TODAY Show and has also appeared on Rachael Ray, CBS This Morning, CNN, Fox & Friends, MSNBC, Steve Harvey and elsewhere. In her most important role, she plays mom to two teenage boys. Follow Amy on Twitter @AmyMcCreadyPPS.

The One Simple Phrase to Change Your Parenting Mindset Forever by Amy McCready Let’s be honest. We love our kids to pieces, right? But parenting is exhausting – especially when we add in sports, extracurricular activities, family obligations, keeping the house in order, getting a semi-decent meal on the table, our own jobs – and oh yeah – having any semblance of a life. Sometimes it feels like we’re barely surviving rather than thriving. Sound familiar? I get it. I’ve been there and done that. However, there’s a fl ip side of the coin that’s made a huge difference to me as a parent and to the way I approached my days.


[ PARENTING ] In fact, it totally changed my perspective.

the opening curtain anyway? Absolutely. Will you have a to-do list a mile long and find yourself doing laundry late

How? Through the thoughtful words of another parent.

one night or making the mad dash to the store at six in

Years ago, an insightful minister in my church was getting

the morning for something you forgot and wondering if it

ready for her son’s upcoming wedding. She shared a

is all worth it? Yep. Every bit of it and then some.

perspective that has stayed with me ever since. After offering some reflection on twenty years of being a

Here’s what I can share with you though. Both of my guys

mom and watching her little boy become a man –

are in college now and they live away from home. They

she challenged our congregation to shift our internal

are no longer little boys. They are fun, faithful, amazing

conversations from “I have to” to “I get to.”

young men and yes, and I got to enjoy all those precious moments. I wouldn’t trade those tiring days for anything

Instead of “I HAVE to” go to soccer practice, (basketball,

in the world.

football, theatre, dance – fill in the blank) – think — I GET to support my child’s ambitions. I get to watch

Closing chapters on stages of parenting can be

them grow stronger and more well-rounded. I get to

bittersweet. But yes – it’s worth it. So next time you’re

be there for their ups and their downs. I get to spend

exhausted and thinking I have to…. stop. Breathe. Take

uninterrupted time in the car with them as we carpool

a look at your kid and change your words to “I get to.”

for the millionth time. I get to fix them a meal and

Say it out loud, “I GET to take you to practice today!!” It’s

hear about their day or even glance over to see them

powerful. It’s a game-changer. I promise.

sleeping in the seat beside me as we drive home from a long day. I get to teach them to appreciate their talents by encouraging their dreams and nurturing their gifts. I get to be part of taking my child from infancy to adulthood and hopefully share a whole lot more after that. Now there was an Aha! moment. It stops you in your tracks. Because they really ARE only little once. They really are under your roof for such a short time. There’s a whole lot of firsts and seconds and thirds – memories to be made as we’re raising our children and if we are blessed enough to GET TO be there for those – wow, that’s a gift. Right? Will there be times when the last thing we feel like doing is sitting in the blazing sun watching a sporting event, or climbing aboard a bus with a 60+ teenagers (and that awesome combination scent of sweat, body odor, and WAY too much spray cologne)? Oh yeah. Will there be times you’re wiped out from work but you race to make OCTOBER 2018 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 21


Ultimate Bucket List - Maui by Elizabeth Kang It’s no secret that we love Maui, and although we’ve

cocktails in a warm, inviting atmosphere. The casual, yet

covered many hotels and resorts in past issues, we

elegant eatery offers fun and friendly service and a fresh,

haven’t shared our favorite shops, excursions, and

seasonal menu with ocean views.

restaurants — until now. If you’re planning an upcoming Maui vacation, we’ve got your “Must Do” list prepared;

The Shops at Wailea - Shop till you drop at the renowned

chock full of delicious eats, fun-filled activities, awesome

Shops at Wailea, where you’ll find more than 70 shops,

sights and the best shops, so you don’t have to research

eateries, and art galleries, with nightly live entertainment.

a thing.

If you’re a luxury brand name lover, you’ll be in heaven in the Louis Vuitton, Gucci & Prada shops. Pick up souvenirs

Wailea Located in Southern Maui, Wailea is known

for friends, anything you may have forgotten to pack,

for its five stunning, crescent-shaped beaches, luxury

and things you didn’t even know you needed at The

hotels and resorts (including the Fairmont Kea Lani, The

Shops at Wailea.

Wailea Beach Villas and the Grand Wailea,) and pristine golf courses.

Longhi’s Wailea - Longhi’s is a family owned Italian and seafood restaurant with two locations in Maui, (Wailea

Tommy Bahama Restaurant - Happy Hour is a must at

& Lahaina.) This pick is a family favorite, with options for

Tommy Bahama’s, where they make unforgettable

kids, vegans, those who are gluten-free, and those who


[ TRAVEL ] definitely are not. Makena Beach State Park - Also known as “Big Beach,” Makena Beach State Park is a haven for swimmers, fishers and snorkelers, with a stretch of white sand that extends nearly 2/3 of a mile long. The beach is a welcome respite to the more crowded beaches on the West Side of Maui, and snorkelers of Makena Beach are often treated to Sea Turtles and other marine life swimming in the clear, turquoise water.

Kihei One of the sunniest locations in Maui, the charming town of Kihei is situated on the Southwest Shore of the island. It offers stunning beaches, hot, dry weather, and a casual, low-key vibe. The Hawaii Fudge Company - A sweet tooth’s heaven, with some of the best fudge we’ve ever tasted, in plenty of unique and interesting flavors. Don’t miss the chance to attend a fudge making class and become a certified “Fudgeologist.” Kihei Caffe - Our favorite little breakfast spot when in Kihei, Kihei Caffe is a local’s haunt, with delicious breakfast options such as the classic Hawaiian “loco moco,” decadent macadamia nut french toast, and luxurious crab cake benedict. The service is fast and friendly, and the lines can get long at casual, must-visit eatery. Smoke and Spice BBQ Maui - This popular food truck has garnered a cult following, and for good reason. Smoke and Spice serves up mouth-watering Texas-style BBQ with a Hawaiian twist. Juicy and tender smoked Brisket, Ribs,

and historic town of Lahaina. The highly professional and

Chicken and Sausage is served with pineapple coleslaw

friendly staff make sure you’re comfortable, safe and at

and all the fixin’s.

ease every step of the way, from a seamless check-in, to safely soaring 1200 feet in the air.

Ka’anapali Perhaps Maui’s most visited area, Ka’anapali is a popular resort area in West Maui, just

Skyline Eco-Adventures - Soar above Ka’anapali’s

a few miles north of the historic town of Lahaina. The

stunning coastline with Hawaii’s most awarded zipline

beaches and resorts in the area are both numerous and

company and experience breathtaking views and a

beautiful, and there is so much to do, taste and see.

thrilling ride. Suitable for children over the age of ten and adults up to 260 pounds, this fun-filled ride is a “must-

UFO Parasailing - UFO Parasailing is a must do for people

experience” adventure the whole family will love.

of all ages and abilities, and is a fun, exciting way get a bird’s eye view of the gorgeous beaches of Ka’anapali

The Myths of Maui Luau at The Royal Lahaina Resort OCTOBER 2018 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 23


Maui’s longest running luau is conveniently located right on Ka’anapali Beach, and ticks off everything you could want in a traditional Hawaiian luau. The buffet is classic and delicious, and the live entertainment is mesmerizing. It’s the consummate Hawaiian vacation experience. Maui Surfer Girls - This fantastic company takes the intimidation out of learning to surf. Maui Surfer Girls caters to small groups, families and newlyweds, and boasts small class sizes and mostly female instructors. It’s a wonderful way to get your feet wet in the ancient Polynesian sport of surfing. Kimo’s - No visit to Maui is complete without a stop into Kimo’s. This relaxed eatery offers delicious seafood (try the Poke`) and stunning ocean views. Be sure to save room for the famous & decadent Hula Pie. Dukes Beach House - Duke’s is nestled right on the beach, and all of the tables are open-air, making for a scenic and casual feel. The menu offers healthy, fresh choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hula Grille -The people watching doesn't get much better than at this beachside eatery. Hula Grille is a must for delicious grilled fish tacos and kitschy tropical drinks adorned with umbrellas. 24 ACTIVE FAMIL Y | OCTOBER 2018


Lahaina Grill - Lahaina Grill is an elegant and popular

Kipahulu, Haleakala National Park - If you can stomach

Maui mainstay, and is considered by many as the best

the infamous “road to Hana,” you’ll be rewarded with a

restaurant on the island. It has won numerous awards

stop at the Seven Sacred Pools, or ‘Ohe’o Gulch. These

over the years, including “Best Maui Restaurant 25 Years

gorgeous waterfalls and lagoon pools are located in

in a Row” by Honolulu Magazine’s reader’s poll.

Haleakala National Park, which is well worth the often one-lane, sometimes harrowing drive.

Slappy Cakes - Slappy Cakes is a must stop if you're traveling with children. They’ll love making their own

Baldwin Beach Park - Those traveling with small children

pancakes on the tabletop skillet. It’s a unique and fun-

won’t want to miss “Baby Beach,” which is protected

filled dining experience you wont soon forget.

by a barrier reef wall, creating a calm swimming area and tranquil beach. This area of the gorgeous 17-acre

North Shore and Beyond Less

Baldwin Beach Park is located at the far left of the main

developed, less crowded, and much less touristy, the

parking lot.

cooler North Shore of Maui is worth a day trip. Watch the surfers, take a scenic car ride, and stop at an iconic

Blue Hawaiian Helicopters - This exhilarating adventure

restaurant or local hole-in-the-wall favorite.

is a must while in Maui! Tour the island in its entirety as you fly over stunning waterfalls, massive ocean views,

Mama’s Fish House - This North Shore landmark offers

lush valleys and rainforests. Most of Maui’s magnificent

epic ocean views, charming Polynesian decor, and a

hidden secrets are inaccessible except by air, and

fresh, seafood and Hawaiian themed menu that includes

nobody knows how to show them to you like Blue

local Hawaiian fish delivered daily by fisherman.

Hawaiian! OCTOBER 2018 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 25


Michelle Zunter is a perpetually curious human, artist, writer, podcaster, mom, stepmom, and married lady living in California. You can read Michelle’s lifestyle blogs about love, sex, relationships, marriage, divorce, parenting, step-parenting & much more at The Pondering Nook. You can also listen to Michelle co-hosting at The Broad’s Way Podcast discussing similar topics. More of Michelle’s featured work can be found at Scary Mommy, Stepparent Magazine, Thought Catalog, Role Reboot, Your Tango, The Natural Parent Magazine &

6 Life Lessons I've Learned as a Stepmom by Michelle Zunter

Throughout my step-parenting journey, I've learned some life-changing lessons that have become my tested tools to fall back on as a stepmom. Some of these tools were already in my repertoire, but since I became a stepmom, they have been completely transformed into the life lessons I will carry with me forever. I have written this from the viewpoint of a stepmom because that's what I know. I'm aware there are plenty of stepdads out there who also go on this




journey, and I hope they can appreciate this read as

having another job besides all your other jobs in life.


Diplomacy helps. Sometimes we have lots of information we want people to hear about how we feel but it's not

Here are 6 life lessons I've learned from my experience

always necessary or useful.

being a stepmom so far: Learning to be diplomatic, though often times 1. Diplomacy

cumbersome, will make your blended family life

Diplomacy. The art of interacting with people in both a

smoother in the long-term.

sensitive, yet effective manner. 2. Humility This is probably one of the most challenging hurdles for

Humility is the ability to realize that you may not be that


important, even when it seems the world is revolving around you in your own mind. Being stepmom takes

Many of us have never been in a situation as potentially

courage and determination. Sometimes it seems there is

contentious as step-parenting. I say "potentially" because

an emotional drama every day.

although the threat of total chaos is often lurking around the corner for a stepmom, it can be avoided, at times,

That said, it can seem like the whole world is on your

with some diplomacy.

shoulders at times, and the temptation to wallow in selfpity over your challenges will often pop up.

It could be as simple as using the words "please," or, "thank you" in every conversation. It could be addressing

Learning humility is a key element to becoming a healthy

a touchy situation in a calm and positive manner that is

stepmom. It's not all about you. Yes, you're tired, yes

non-accusing. It takes practice. Lots of it.

things may be unfair, but having some perspective as to the bigger picture can boost your morale immensely.

It helps to listen - even when you don't want to - to get a better gauge on the emotions of the person you are

Why is being a stepmom so tiring? Because you are

dealing with, whether it be a biological parent or your

working extraordinarily hard to make your family life work


well. It's okay to laugh at yourself sometimes when you mess up. Even "real" moms mess up all the time, as many

Learning what to say, how to say it, and when to say

of us already know.

it are vital to becoming diplomatic as a stepmother | Source

Don't take yourself so seriously. No matter what your relationship with your stepchild, or their biological

"Sometimes we have lots of information we want people

parents, feeling sorry for yourself won't help anyone.

to hear about how we feel but it's not always necessary

Learn to laugh at yourself and realize you're not perfect

or useful."

and never will be.

Whether you are more of a full-time stepmom or

"The quality of what is said matters more than just talking

an every-other-weekend stepmom, learning to be

to be heard. Choosing the right words to use and the

diplomatic is a key tool for your step-parenting journey.

right time to say them is important."

I have learned that many times the less said, the better. The quality of what is said matters more than just talking

3. Grace

to be heard. Choosing the right words to use and the

I have learned there is indeed a path of grace and class

right time to say them is important.

in stepmom-hood. Acting with grace in certain situations in order to do what is best for your stepchild is an

Sound exhausting? Yes, it is. Being a stepparent is like

invaluable tool. To step aside amidst circumstances that OCTOBER 2018 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 27

[ PARENTING ] you wish you could control is difficult, but if you can do it

I have learned that this stepmom/stepchild relationship

with love and sincerity, it makes a big difference.

is much like any relationship you have in life. It takes time and patience to build the trust between you.

There are going to be many times in your step-parenting life when you have to relinquish decisions and control

It may be awkward in the beginning, and this may go on

to the biological parents, and if you are a full-time

for years until you feel like the relationship is in the safe

stepmom who is used to being more involved, this can


be a tricky maneuver. When the recognition comes, when the appreciation To master the art of being a stepparent who steps in

comes - and I hope for most stepmoms it does - it feels

at the opportune time and then steps away when the

extremely gratifying.

biological parents must take the lead is a challenge, but knowing when you can solve a problem and when to

This lesson of love has a lot to do with what it feels like to

leave it to others is the real lesson.

nurture a child you didn't give birth to or who came to know you when they were older.

Learning grace means acknowledging that not everyone is going to do things the way you think they

The wave of love could come unexpectedly. It could

should be done. Stepmoms who have children going

show up in an excellent report card when your heart fills

back and forth to and from mom's house know this. Mom

with pride, or in a school performance when you look at

probably does things differently than you and vice versa.

this child whom you have helped raise and support and

You can have the grace to accept this and let it go. It's

feel that sense of joy and love for them.

not going to change. It's definitely a test of love to commit yourself to a The point is when you realize you have to step away or

stepchild. As your love grows your sense of being a

accept something you can't change, do it with grace

protector and a teacher expands. You realize you care

and not anger or bitterness. Remember, you've done all

so deeply about what happens to this child whom you

you can, and there's no doubt you did it to the best of

did not birth, and it's a great milestone for a stepmother.

your ability. 5. Sorrow 4. Love

Without love, there is no pain. Once you love a child,

Love? How is love a lesson? Oh, it's a lesson. If you have

yours or not, you've set the stage for sorrow. It's going to

stepchildren, you know what I mean.

come. It may come when your stepchild leaves to see their biological parent or says something that breaks your

If you have your own children you know what that love

heart just a little. It may come when you try to discipline

feels like. It is different. It's more comfortable.

them and they rebel.

Depending on when you became a stepmom to your

This is the standard sorrow that all parents go through. It

stepchild or stepchildren, the love takes on different

comes with having children. Stepmoms are not exempt

forms and can show itself at unexpected times. If you

just because they are not a biological parent. In fact,

became the stepmom to a child at a very young age, it

often times, a stepmother's sorrow is overshadowed by

may have been easier to cuddle with them and shower

the emotions and decisions of the biological parents.

them with affection.

As a stepmother, you are not immune to feeling that same sorrow when you see your stepchild in pain.

But past a certain age, the bond of love that hopefully grows between a stepmom and her stepchildren is

Whether they have failed at something or they're being

tentative, unsure, and basically a complete rollercoaster.

bullied at school, it upsets you. It could even come from


[ PARENTING ] heartache they feel over their biological parents not

at one point or another.

being together. If you love them, it hurts you too. Stepparents tend to be the easy target for kids who are It's not overly talked about but stepmoms who are close

having a rough time with their home life or still angry that

to their stepchildren do miss them and think about them.

their parents are not together.

They worry about them all the time. The lesson of sorrow really just comes with the lesson of love, because once

A lot of the time it's just easier to say something nasty to

you love a child, the natural pain associated with love

stepmom or stepdad instead of venting to mom or dad.

will, at times, follow.

To forgive your stepchild for their emotions or behavior is tough sometimes. Forgiving the biological mom or dad

6. Forgiveness

for inappropriate or careless behavior is another hard pill

Learning to forgive is the most vital of lessons for a

to swallow.

stepmom. In the end, it's imperative that the lesson of forgiveness is If you are a stepparent and cannot learn to forgive, then

learned or the blended family unit will crumble.

it's going to be even more of a rocky road for you. I have learned to forgive. Maybe not fully understand or Forgiveness is just the ability to accept what someone

even like certain things, but I can forgive. I understand

has done that was either inappropriate or hurtful to you

that sometimes decisions are made that may not be

in some way and the ability to move on. This is second

convenient for everyone, and I forgive the mistakes of

nature to any seasoned stepmom.

the past. I forgive my stepchild for the moods, and the anger, and the confusion they suffer. I forgive, I learn, and

Stepchildren say mean things all the time. All children do

I move on.




Roma Khetarpal is the author of The “Perfect” Parent: 5 Tools for Using Your Inner Perfection to Connect with Your Kids and the founder/ CEO of Tools of Growth (www., through which she helps parents raise kids to “Be Happy, Think Positive, and Do Good.” She is also a contributor to and She is also an Executive Board Member of the Philanthropic Society Los Angeles, which raises funds for Children’s Institute, Inc., and is Member of the Board of Directors for the Santa Clarita Valley Education Foundation, an organization providing support, programs and leadership for K-12 public school education. Khetarpal also serves on the Board of Directors at AM-Touch Dental where she previously served for 20 years as Vice President of Sales and Marketing and where she currently teaches employee relations classes. She is also working on a line of children’s products that will promote self-understanding and emotional intelligence. (Article first published on Huffington Post)

Cookie-Cutter vs. Out-of-the-Box… What Kind of Children Do You Want to Raise? by Roma Khetarpal As we approach the new year, we need to ask ourselves, “What kind of kids do we want to raise?” Of course, we all want kids who are happy, think positive, and do good! That’s why it’s our Tools of Growth tagline. Furthermore, we want our children to be successful, resilient, confident, and courageous, as well as kind and forgiving. I believe all parents have that same vision for their children. Here’s the hard truth though: That’s not the result when we drive our children toward mainstream goals like getting the best grades, dressing the best, or being the best speaker on the debate team or the best athlete on the field. If we are simply encouraging our kids to fit into predefined and preconditioned societal boxes, aren’t we simply raising cookie-cutter kids? My daughter was six years old when she started questioning preconceived




ideas. It started with rituals that my mother-in-law

Students should be allowed to complete a grade in 6

followed in her morning prayers in our home-temple

months or 18 months, depending on their capacity to

room. “Why does grandma light a candle?” my daughter


asked. “And why do we close our eyes and fold our hands to pray?”

No, my daughter did not quit school nor did we homeschool her. She never got to grade her teachers, and

That led to other questions like, “Why do we have to stay

she did not refuse to light a candle in temple. In fact, she

in each grade for one year?” As she got older, she would

thrived as a student and dug deep into many religions.

ask why teachers got to grade her work, but she couldn’t

She even started an interfaith council chapter at her

grade her teachers in return. She had definite opinions:

university. She persisted in her ability to question who she

Miss ABC was an A+ teacher, because she was “great,

was and what she was doing at all times. She pursued

kind, loving, and smart,” but Miss XYZ rated a D- because

lengthy academic studies in college and graduate

she was “never smiling, had a mean tone, was always angry at some kid or another, and didn’t explain math properly.” Our kids leave us stumped when they ask out-of the box questions like these. Not only did my super-attentive child make sure that I brought my A game to parenting, she challenged me to seek answers to questions that I had never asked before. She made me dig deeper into the meaning of the rituals that I had inherited and blindly followed. Her questions forced me to grow. I personally couldn’t get myself to say things like, “Well, that’s just the way it is,” or “That how we do it.” Instead I found myself exploring the causes of our actions in order to answer her curiosity, which then became mine. I found out why eyes are closed during prayers and why candles are lit in temples. Those discoveries touched my soul and deepened my understanding of myself and my connection with what I did. In many instances, I actually

school, always maintaining her out-of-the box thinking and intellectual explorations. We go on autopilot when we stop asking why. When we conform without understanding, we become cookiecutter individuals. When we hit repeat or auto-play and do the same things every day—without questioning why—we are merely on a hamster wheel. Who wants to raise kids like that? Peter Abelard said, “By doubting we are led to question. By questioning we arrive at the Truth.” We open up our children’s minds by being open to their questions. As kids they may start out with the simple questions about what we do and how and why we do it. And that may lead to the exploration of life itself—who we are, why we are here, how we are the same, why we are different. We all want to set our children on this path to explore the truth of their own existence. This definitely held true for my

did away with rituals that did not make sense—which

daughter. She is still a beacon of curiosity—exploring her

helped me keep the things that added meaning to my

external and internals worlds every day, finding meaning


and purpose in the relationships that she builds and the decisions that she makes.

However, there were times that I could not answer her questions intelligently. For those questions that befuddled

It all starts with curiosity. Curiosity shines light on our

me—why do we have to stay in a grade for one year,

human habits, urging us to explore. Exploration is the

or why can’t students grade teachers—I responded

portal to learning. Learning is the fuel that fires growth.

honestly with “I don’t know.” And I followed that

And growth makes life more meaningful and joyful.

instinctively with, “If you got to decide, how would you

So when your children start asking “Why,” explore those

do it and why?” That invariably led to some imaginative,

questions with them. Step outside of the box with them.

out-of-the-box suggestions: Every teacher should go

And push open the doors of creativity, imagination,

home with a report card of how they did that year.

innovation, and self-discovery! OCTOBER 2018 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 31


WHERE CURIOSITY TAKES YOU Step inside a tornado, turn upside down in a giant curved mirror, walk on a fog bridge, and explore more than 650 hands-on exhibits for visitors of all ages. You’ll find all of this plus unique programs; a café and restaurant; two stores; and more at our beautiful San Francisco bayside location. Now through September 3rd, don’t miss Inflatable: Expanding Works of Art—where gigantic, fantastical air-filled artworks reimagine what air can become. Inflatable is included with museum admission. Pier 15 on the Embarcadero •


Rated #1 Museum in San Francisco




Education is a Lifelong Commitment


Discover Quarry Lane

NOW ENROLLING Join our Open House every Wednesday!

Toddler, Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten Academic-Based Curriculum Passionate, Experienced Educators

PLEASANTON WEST CAMPUS Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten 4444B Black Ave., Pleasanton, CA


Full and Half Day Schedules Computer, Spanish, Music, P.E., and Library Two Preschool Campuses in Pleasanton

PLEASANTON EAST CAMPUS Toddler through Pre-Kindergarten 3750 Boulder St., Pleasanton, CA


OCTOBER 2018 | ACTIVE FAMIL Y 33 CA Licenses: 013411303, 013411304, 013411305, 013417681

Benefits of Opening a Child Support Case:


Active Family Magazine, October 2018  

Local Life & Style for the Bay Area

Active Family Magazine, October 2018  

Local Life & Style for the Bay Area