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Bay Area Kids June/July 2010 | East Bay


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Bay Area Kids



Volume 2, Number 4 June/July 2010


Publisher/Editor/Father Everard G. Strong

4 small talk

Sales General Inquiries Kathryn Sibley General Editorial Inquiries Calendar Photography Shaun Fenn, Contributing Writers Kelly Pollard, Elyssa Lee Submissions Send photos, events, news, and story requests to Product submissions Send all products to address below. Include return postage.


papa san

6 play dates

select happenings

reviews 8 product Marshmallow shooters, cats on the iPhone, get your Freak out, and more

10 health matters how to enjoy and prepare for a a safe summer for your children

18 young stars

Parenthood’s Tyree Brown

fun food finds 28 Celebrate July 4 with these Grand Ol’ cupcakes

30 diary of a



let the children come to me

what’s inside

The story of an exceptional woman who runs an exceptional camp for exceptional children

suburban queen

The never-ending birthday month Doing our Part Bay Area Kids magazine is printed on 10 percent recycled paper using only soy based inks. Our printer meets or exceeds all Federal Resource Conservation Act (RCRA) Standards and is a certified member of the Forest Stewardship Council.



Small Print 2010 Big E Productions (DBA Bay Area Kids magazine). No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Big E Productions assumes no liability or responsibility for any claims made by advertisers in the magazine.

BAY AREA KIDS magazine P.O. Box 30442 Walnut Creek, CA 94598 ON THE COVER Jack is wearing a Reactor denim shirt $30 and Polo Ralph Lauren Tshirt $25 (Bloomingdale’s, Photo by Shaun Fenn.

June/July 2010 | East Bay

June/July 2010 | East Bay

Bay Area Kids


Very Special Section

In this issue (starting on page 17), take a sneak peak at our new title, Bay Area Dog, that will be launched later this year!

got to 22 you’ve cool it now

sweet fashion treats for haute summer days

ONLINE EDITION Our online edition has even more stuff, including expanded fashions, shopping guide, recipes, and more. This feature is available to subscribers only, so sign up today! Bay Area Kids



papa san “The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” — Rev. Theodore Hesburgh


4 small talk

YOU’RE A WINNER Last issue we ran a contest giving away two Mother’s Day Packages, including a Motherhood DVD, a $100 gift certificate from Swank Mommy, and free flying time from iFly. And the winners are: Susan Wong Eleanor Baltazar Congratulations, and enjoy your (belated) Mother’s Day gifts!


Bay Area Kids

hildren are fun. Having children is fun. Raising them – at the core of the exercise – is supposed to be fun. Being a father to my two children has been the most fun, most exhilarating ride I could have ever imagined. Here’s the secret of being a father: having kids lets us act like kids again … with no repercussions. Being Dad gives me the excuse to jump out from behind the curtains, pasta strainer on my head, drinking straw in hand, using my worst Johnny Depp imitation and recreating scenes from Pirates of the Carribean; or put the wooden salad bowl over my head and do my best (ahem) Jack Black/Kung Fu Panda recreations. It allows me to send the two running and screaming because the Tickle Monster has decided to make an unexpected appearance, and to frustrate my daughter because I get my Disney princesses mixed up: “Cinderella … she’s the one that swims under water with Peter Pan, right?” To sing(?) in harmony with my son as he yells out the words (as he interprets them) to “Hakuna Matata” while we’re in the car together. (Hmmm … for some reason many of these moments seem to revolve around show tunes and movie soundtracks.) There’s also the peaceful joy of just sitting, for twenty minutes, with my son as we watch a praying manthis slowly make his (or her, not sure how you tell the difference) way across our backyard fence; of taking my daughter out on a clear night and showing her the pinpoints of stars, and how to connect them to create her own constellations. Even when there’s nothing going on, when we’re just sitting on a hammock rocking gently to an afternoon breeze, and they sit on my lap staring into their own little worlds, there’s fun in that moment. It’s those moments—in between the persuading and the arguing and the gentle nudging and discipline and hair tugging (my own, not theirs)—that define my fatherhood experience, and it’s those moments that I hope they remember when looking back at their childhood. Now if you’ll excuse me, the little ones are coming back from school soon and I need to go make a fort out of the couch cushions before they get here.

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Everard G Strong, Publisher, Editor, and Father

Mission Impossible Starting with this issue I am going to try and do the impossible: get back in shape while working a more-than-full time job, spend quality time with my children, be a useful husband, and somehow find time to sleep as well. Follow along online and in our next issue, and wish me luck, I’m going to need it. (Thank you to Concord’s UFC gym for setting me up).


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June | July What the World Needs Now Gala Opening Night Fundraiser Sat June 5, 5:00 – 10:00 p.m., Museum of Children’s Art (MOCHA). 538 Ninth St., Ste 210, Oakland, (510) 465-8770, Be a part of this special event that will celebrate young artists in their What the World Needs Now . . . juried exhibit of children’s art. Guests will be treated to delicious hors d’oeurves, wine tastings, an artists’ marketplace and entertainment by youth performance troupes. The exhibit features artwork by Bay Area children in grades K–12 on the themes of social justice, community awareness and world peace.

6 play dates

Chomp 2! Return of the Carnivorous Plants through Oct 31, San Francisco’s Conservatory of Flowers, 100 John F. Kennedy Dr. (Golden Gate Park), San Francisco. Hours: Tues-Sun, 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Admission: $7.00/adults; $5:00 youths, seniors and college students; $2.00 children 5-11; free for children 4 and under. Visitors can feast their eyes on hundreds of multi-colored, meat-eating plants arranged in swampy, living bogs that showcase species both by their trapping strategies and by their native regions and countries, including California’s own sinuously curved cobra plant (Darlingtonia californica). Other new additions include the Dionaea B-52, the world¹s largest Venus flytrap, and the aptly named (if you were a bug, that is) Abandoned Hope, a pitcher plant hybrid that can grow up to two feet tall.

These listings are provided as a free service to our readers. Submit your event to us (include place, date, and description) online at events@


Bay Area Kids

Chocolate and Chalk Art Festival Sat June 5, sidewalks along North Shattuck, Berkeley. Hours: Tues-Sun, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Free admission, tickets needed for chocolate sampling. Celebrating 14 years of celebration, areas of North Shattuck’s sidewalk will be assigned to participants to create their own fanciful chalk drawings. A contest for the best drawing will be judged after 4 p.m. Chocolate lovers can nibble and sip on organic café mocha, chocolate mochi ice cream, chocolate truffles, savory chocolate mole, spicy chocolate

Ace Dance Academy presents Outdoor Adventure Sat June 12, 1:00 & 6:00 p.m. Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center, 10550 Albion Rd, San Ramon, (925) 973-ARTS. Tickets $15. Students of Ace Dance Academy perform dance pieces highlighting their skills in ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, and hip hop. From “Rainbow Connection” to “This Land is Your Land,” Outdoor Adventure is a dance event you and your family will not want to miss. Sticky Fingers-Clay Creations II Tues, June 15, 11:00 a.m., Lindsay Wildlife Museum, 1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek, (925) 935-1978, www. $15 admission. Mold and form with gooey clay to create animal-inspired sculptures using live animals as models. Bronkar’s Circus of Sound Sat June 19. Two performances: 12:00 p.m., Hayward Main Library, 835 C St., Hayward, (510) 881-794; 3:00 p.m., Hayward Library-Weekes Branch, 27300 Patrick Ave., Hayward, (510) 293-5366. Body percussion, juggling, and beat boxing combined in one spectacular show. To find out more about Bronkar and his amazing talents, go to http://

enthusiasts, the WCMRS’ H.O. scale layout is one of the largest in the United States. Guests can see “Tommy,” “Hogwart’s Express,” and “Jelly Belly,” trains. Visit the towns of Port Allen, with its busy seaport and naval ships, and Olympia, and view operations of the overhead wire trolley system. Father’s Day Brunch and Solar Car Challenge Sun, June 20, Chabot Space and Science Center, 10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland, (510) 336-7300, Admission: $15/general admission; $13/dads and members; $10 plus general admission/ kids. Buffet hours: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Solar Car Challenge hours: 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. Celebrate Papa with a special Father’s Day Brunch at the Starlite Bistro in Chabot. After, help Dad design and create a “green” hot rod that you can design and race with him! Father’s Day at the Zoo Sun, June 20, Oakland Zoo, 9777 Golf Links Rd., Oakland, (510) 632-9525, Regular admission prices. To celebrate Father’s Day, Dads get to ride the train for free at the Oakland Zoo. Bring dear old Dad to the Zoo for a fun day filled with animal exploration. Wild Australia Exhibit Grand Opening Sat, July 3, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Oakland Zoo, 9777 Golf Links Rd., Oakland, (510) 632-9525, Help celebrate this new addition to the Oakland Zoo, and welcome the new residents from Down Under in style. There will be live entertainment featuring didgeridoo music. Board the Outback Express Adventure train in the Rides Area and sit back and relax while watching emus and wallaroos graze on the hillside. Fourth of July at the Marina Sun July 4, Berkeley Marina, noon – 10:00 p.m., (510) 981-6740, Free admission. Alcoholfree event. Live entertainment, arts & crafts, food, and fun kid stuff. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m.

Model Train Show Fri June 25, 8:00 – 10:00 p.m., Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society, 2751 Buena Vista Ave., Walnut Creek, (925) 937-1888, www. Admission: $3.00/adults, $2.00 for children 6-12 and seniors, children under 6 are free. For model railroad

Photo this page: Barry Rice

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Bay Area Kids



Alphabetica: Odes to the Alphabet Freak-O-Bag

8 mixed media

(Kamibashi, Imagine a product that kids love, has a utilitarian value, and makes the world a better place in the process. Freak-O-Bags begin life as cute dolls with oversized heads, perfect for little hands as they sit in the back seat on the way to the store. Once inside, moms can unfurl a rather hefty (and attention getting) shopping bag from the doll’s head, saving plastic and paper bags at check out time. As for making the world a better place? Each bag is made by the Koonin family in Thailand through a fair trade program. Available in several styles. $14.45-$19.95. Available at Treehouse Green Gifts, Berkeley, (510) 204-9292 or online at

Marshmallow MForcer (Marshmallow Fun Company) A manually pumped repeat pistol that shoots mini marshmallows twenty to twenty-five feet. Whoa. We see several scenarios where this could be useful. Scenario one: on a hot summer day, siblings are going at each other non-stop. Solution: give each one a loaded pistol and send them outside to duel it out. Scenario two: office wars. Scenario three: rainy day at the ranch? Give everyone their own MForcer. Stand around the living room table loading the ammo (you have to load by hand). Then, everybody gets five minutes to hide. Let the hunt begin. Holding fifteen marshmallows, the MForcer can serve as an effective weapon of family peace. $39.95. Available online at, Toys R Us, and other retail stores.

(Diana Spieker and Krista Skehan, 2010 Personify Press, San Francisco). Created by Menlo Park moms Spieker and Skehan (who founded Personify Press in order to publish the book), Alphabetica offers a unique, while still kid-friendly take on the ABCs. Each page has a main theme that revolves around a certain letter, with a poem accentuating that theme. The wording is hip and modern, introducing “big words” without overcrowding or over intellectualizing. Each letter receives its own illustrations and font treatment, so every turn of the page turns up something new, adding to the discovery and engagement elements. For example, the page for the letter “I” has a fun ode to ice cream (“sweet cream vanilla bean chocolate in a frosty shake, any Sundae you can make brain freeze, yes please”) and in the illustration you can find ivy, ink, an Indian, Idaho, Iowa, igloos, Italy, an inch, insects, an ironing board, and even the infinity sign. A charming learning experience for adults and children. $19.95, available at all Pottery Barn Kids and online at

Cat Chorus I-Phone App (My Musical Cats) This app and a sister title, Cat Opera, were submitted to us by a couple of local Art Institute students, and our kids have loved playing with them since. Featuring thirteen kitties, you can swipe or tap individual ones to create your own music, or listen along to several pre-recorded tracks. You can also tap along to various songs as well. Very entertaining, with fun illustrations and an easy interface – in other words, perfect for little children on those long road trips. $0.99 from iTunes and


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Safe Summer

by Arnold Blustein, MD

fully immunized. Booster vaccines, which renew immunizations that may have lost their effectiveness, are also important. It will be important to think of these as you approach the new school year as well. More than bacteria and viruses In addition to infections, just like during the school year, there is a higher occurrence of head lice. Lice are tiny (2 – 4 mm); lay eggs called ‘nits’ that stick tightly to the hair shaft; and sometimes cause a lot of itching. Head lice can be treated using an over-the-counter shampoo such as Nix or Rid. Parents who prefer a drugfree approach can try suffocating the lice by covering the child’s entire scalp with mayonnaise at night and then rinsing it off in the morning. Washing clothes and bedding can also help prevent recurrences. The most important part of treatment, though, is to painstakingly comb the hair with a fine-toothed comb, looking for any critters or nits. My own recommendation when a nit is seen is to cut out the hair shaft. To prevent infestations from occurring to begin with, children should be taught not to share caps, combs or hair brushes with others.

10 health matters


he ‘lazy days of summer’ quite often find children in a variety of summer camps, summer school and/or spending days with a new group of friends. With the start of camps and summer schools, children can be exposed to many different germs and increased opportunities for injury. It’s not unusual for emergency departments to see more children suffering from brand new injuries…just like at the beginning of a school year.

About the Author: Board Certified Pediatrician Arnold Blustein, M.D., has been in practice for more than 30 years. He is on the staff at Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley.


Bay Area Kids

There are a few things to remember with your child’s environment: Preventing Infections The best way to prevent infection is frequent hand washing. Pediatricians encourage all of our patients and their parents to form good hand washing habits from the start. Children should be coached to wash their hands before eating, after using the bathroom and after playing outside. Immunizations are another important means of preventing infection. Vaccines have saved countless lives over the last several decades, and groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics encourage everyone to be

Avoiding injuries Kids can also have a high risk of injury – especially if they are participating in sports. And, by remaining physically active over the summer, they will be in better physical condition and less likely to hurt themselves in sports. Most pediatricians recommend children get 25 – 30 minutes of vigorous play every day. Adding walking or biking while on vacation or to a summer activity can also increase a child’s risk of accident or injury. Wear brightly colored clothing and, for bikers, always wear a helmet. This can help avoid an injury. Whether they are walking or riding, children should always be taught to observe traffic rules like using a cross walk and stopping at intersections. Staying healthy The most important tips for a healthy life are the simplest: Get plenty of sleep and eat a nourishing diet – even in the summer time! Young children need 9 – 10 hours of sleep and teenagers need 8 – 9. A healthy diet minimizes salt, sugar, and animal fat intake and emphasizes fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

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Let the Children Come to Me For ten years, Elaine Taylor has been running a very special camp deep in the woods of Livermore. We need her to run it for at least ten more years. by Everard G. Strong


The title of this article was taken from Matthew 19:14 (NIV) “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”


Bay Area Kids

f you are not familiar with Camp Arroyo or The Taylor Family Foundation (TTFF) that runs the summer-long camps deep in the hills of Livermore, it’s hard to not suck in your breath and hold in a tear as the full expanse of what is offered—and to whom— becomes evident. Each summer TTFF commandeers Camp Arroyo, a state-of-the-art recreational facility jointly developed and operated by the EBPRD and TTFF, and hosts week-long camps that cater to groups of children who are dealing with life threatening or chronic illness or developmental disabilities. For one week, kids come to Camp Arroyo to be kids and enjoy (as much as possible) a life away from their lives. For one week children are treated to the best food, activities, sleeping quarters, and attention they could want. All of it is free—no camper or their families pay a penny for what has often been a life-changing experience. Behind Camp Arroyo and TTFF sits Elaine Taylor, though it is rare to actually find her sitting down. With an army of volunteers and a small but dedicated staff, Elaine schedules each camp and appropriate medical needs, keeps in touch with families, coordinates daily life, entertains the troops, and acts as Mommy when needed. And then there’s the planning for their big annual fund-raising event, A Day in the Park (they skipped the event in 2009 because of the economy and to also focus on this year’s anniversary). 2010 marks a double anniversary for Elaine: The Taylor Family Foundation celebrates twenty years, and Camp Arroyo is seeing its tenth season. To mark this occasion, we decided to sit (though not really … see above) with Elaine and get a better glimpse of the woman behind the smiles we see on so many campers’ faces. Why did you found the Taylor Family Foundation? Was there a catharsis, a “vision” where you decided this is what you wanted to do? There was no personal issue. Barry (Taylor, her husband) and I were living a pretty blessed life and we both felt that if you are able to give back, then you

should. All I really wanted to do is go down to the local hospital and rock babies with AIDS, but I also realized that such actions wouldn’t change many lives or make a real difference in how the needs of these children were being addressed. Barry and I cofounded TTFF to help children locally who were in need of resources that they could not get, to keep the money here in the Bay Area and make sure we monitored every dime, so that no funds would go to waste... we wanted to pour every cent into the kids and their needs.   Was there anything in your background that had led you to this path, given you the tools needed to set up and direct the Foundation (and Camp Arroyo)? My folks were givers, they helped anyone who needed it. They were truly authentic when it came to caring and giving, and they taught me and encouraged me to treat people how you want to be treated: if you can help then you must help.  Then I met Barry— probably the kindest most giving man on the planet— and he gave me the freedom to journey down this path without any restraints. He joined me on this path and we believed in what we were doing with our hearts and our minds. And now its twenty years later and we still believe that we can make a difference, and I’d like to think that we walk the talk. But, and let me be very clear on this point: we did not do this alone, without our family, friends, community, and campers none of this would have happened. How did Camp Arroyo come from this initial vision and Foundation?  Initially we were just funding medical programs for children with HIV/Aids. We became very aware of how the kids’ and families’ social needs were being put on the back burner. Camp is a very critical part of sharing community. The idea of a camp peaked our interest and we thought, heck let’s just build a camp and let them come and be kids. We sure didn’t realize what was involved, and we count our lucky charms that the East

June/July 2010 | East Bay

Bay Area Kids


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Parenthood ’s Tyree Brown After wanting to be an actor all his life, 6-year-old Tyree Brown has finally gotten his first big break, starring as Jabbar Trussell in the increasingly popular new NBC drama, Parenthood, set in Berkeley. We sat down with the Sacramento

14 young stars

native to talk about his busy life now that he’s a star, having fun with his “pretend” parents on the

by Elyssa Lee

scene because I got to play Candy Land. Do you have Candy Land? It’s my first [favorite game]—I like being a person. You’re in kindergarten. How do you memorize your lines?

[My mom and I] work on the lines at home. I do home schooling. I like home school. I like my mom teaching me and my dad teaching me. I like calling my mom Ms. Renee and [wearing] my jammies. What’s the hardest word you’ve had to memorize so far?

turned the big 0-6.

“Intolerant.” It means that you’re sick. It was for a car scene—I’m in the scene with my dad and I’m intolerant to something [lactose].

So, Parenthood. How did it come about?

That is a big word. But you’re a big boy now—you just turned 6. What’s going to be different about being 6 versus 5?

set, and how he’s a changed man now that he’s

I did an audition in San Francisco and then that’s how I got in Parenthood. My mommy and daddy jumped up and down. But I started acting when I was 3.

I’m going to stop whining. Sometimes I’m crazy—I get hyper. And I don’t [like to] eat vegetables, but I’m going to eat vegetables. And now I don’t need a car seat.

You did? How did you get started in acting?

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My sister Mackenzie was bigger than me—she’s 10 and I’m 6— and she was an actor. She does modeling, too. And when I watched her do her modeling, it looked really fun. So my mom took pictures of me and sent them to JE [Model, a San Francisco agency], and they liked me. I’ve done the Barn [Pottery Barn Kids]. I did a State Fair commercial—me and my sister. We had a pretend grandpa and grandma. We got to go on rides.

Speaking of car seat, do you drive or fly when you have to go down to L.A. to shoot Parenthood?

And now you’re going to be on TV. That’s really cool.

Do you like L.A.?

Yeah. I like Parenthood. I like my pretend dad and mom [played by Dax Shepard and Joy Bryant]. I like hugging Dax. [Based on the hit ’80s movie of the same name, the show chronicles the imperfect life of the Braverman family. Tyree plays Jabbar, the son of commitment phobe Crosby Braverman (Shepard).]

Yeah, cuz of Austin [his cousin, who lives there]. He’s a baby. He just turned 3. So he’s a baby, but he can go pee by himself.

Are they like your real mom and dad or different?

In Elk Grove. In a big house—we have an upstairs and a downstairs. My first best friend Evan lives next door. He’s really cool. I like his Wii games.

They’re different. Dax is white and Joy is brown. [Tyree’s mom, Renee, is white and his father, MacArthur, is black.]

Drive. But I like flying. I like going on an airplane because I am really high up and I can look out the window and say, “Whoa, look at that!”

You visit L.A. but you live in the Sacramento area. Where?

What do you like about being on set at Parenthood?

The donuts. I like the glazed ones. And licorice. I liked one

June/July Teaser issue  

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