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Houseboats Pears Eames blocks Juice Box Heroes cardboard rockets Help for parents

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2

Bay Area Kids

www.bakidsmagazine.com


Kids

BayArea

Volume 2, Number 5 Aug/Sept 2010 www.BAKidsMagazine.com

the regular

Publisher/Editor/Father Everard G. Strong estrong@bakidsmagazine.com

4 small talk

Sales General Inquiries sales@bakidsmagazine.com Kathryn Sibley ksibley@bakidsmagazine.com Ayiko Konopaski ayiko@bakidsmagazine.com General Editorial Inquiries editor@bakidsmagazine.com Calendar calendar@bakidsmagazine.com Photography Shaun Fenn, www.shaunfenn.com Contributing Writers Kelly Pollard, Sunny Chanel, Patricia Kutza, Sarah Handelsman, MD,

Mike Koslosky Submissions Send photos, events, news, and story requests to editor@bakidsmagazine.com Send all products to address below. Include return postage.

food for thought

6 play dates

the good stuff

32

select happenings

reviews 8 product Of froggy boots, grafeeti shoes, jungle gyms and cardboard rockets

box 12 toy Eames blocks, city stamps, and a Shelby GT-350

14 sleep training How to help your baby sleep through the night

nature walk 18 the ants go marching

it takes a village … or two

Parents need all the help they can get. People have made it their business to offer that help.

neighbors 20 the juice box heroes

Float Your [House] Boat

bring nostalgia to the preschool set

get that 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 www.BAKidsMagazine.com

August/September 2010

what’s inside

one by one

43 where did you

Doing our Part

3

a colorful frock, a cat in the Con, and a local shoemaker

50 fun food finds

38

Ready for a stress-free, family-friendly vacation where everybody has fun? Yes, everyone.

fun with pears, a “dirt” cup, grilling with Keith Urban, and grilled bananas

56 diary of a

suburban queen

school bells ring, are you listening? SPECIAL SECTIONS 24 Back to School Guide 28 Health Professionals

Mad Style

44

Vintage styles let kids play grown-up too, but without the drama. Bay Area Kids

3


editor’s letter

food for thought “There’s a generation of parents out there who didn’t learn to cook at school, and now we’re rapidly losing the skills that have been passed down through the generations and acted as a kind of safeguard to make sure we can feed ourselves properly.” Jamie Oliver, “The Naked Chef”

4 small talk

build your own magazine What do you want to see more of in Bay Area Kids magazine? What do you want to see less of? Let us know at editor@ bakidsmagazine.com

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Bay Area Kids

We are all aware that there is an obesity epidemic amongst our children, and as most parents do, I ignore the fact while at the same time emptying the car of old fast-food wrappers and cartons. Seeing my two children scamper and run and bound around the house and the backyard, I figure any small dosage of such “treats” would do little harm to their overall upbringing. I justify these choices with excuses about having no time to cook proper meals: as the owner of a company that involves constant deadlines, I barely have time to breathe, much less think about what’s for dinner. Looking at myself in the mirror, I knew I could stand to loose a few pounds, but [sucking my gut in], it isn’t that bad. I’ve come to find out that it is that bad. After doing a body fat measurement, I found that I had become obese (my tall frame hides it well, but it’s there), and my eating habits were a sham. Worst of all, I was bringing my children down along with me, and that’s neither fair nor my right by them. I spend a lot of time at www.ted.com, an amazing site featuring short presentations on a variety of subjects from many notable figures. Recently, I discovered two talks dealing with the same subject—one by Jamie Oliver, the “Naked Chef”; the other by Ann Cooper, the head of nutrition for Berkeley’s public schools. They both stated the same premise: our kids are not learning about healthy food choices at school or home, and it’s mostly the parents’ fault because we don’t practice good cooking at home anymore. Add on to the guilt platter a late-night viewing of Super Size Me, and any thoughts I had about being a good food role model went gurgling down the toilet. I realized I was in a state of denial (a large state), and something had to be done, and fast. So for my kids’ sake, and my own, I have decided to use Bay Area Kids to help not just me, but other parents out there who are stuck in the same rut: those of us who mean good—we try, and our intentions are pure, but we know we fall short. My hope is to show, issue by issue and online through my blog (www. bakidsmagazine.com) that if I—a middle-aged, overweight, very busy parent of two young children—can start getting his healthy life back, then there’s hope for others as well. God help me … Everard G Strong, Publisher, Editor, and Father estrong@bakidsmagazine.com

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very important dates

august/september Slumber with the Stars at Chabot Space and Science Center Fri, Aug 27 – Sat, Aug 28, 7pm – 10am. Chabot Space and Science Center, 10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland, (510) 336-7300, www. chabotspace.org. $75 members, $85 guests, ages 5 and up. Advance reservations required: (510) 336-7373. Join your neighbors for Slumber with the Stars, an overnight at the Center that includes games, exhibit exploration, a hike in the Redwoods, a live planetarium show, and viewing through Chabot’s large telescopes. An experience your family will remember for a lifetime. Note: a minimum of one adult is required for every five children.

6 play dates

Wild Australia Exhibit Ongoing. Oakland Zoo, 9777 Golf Links Rd., Oakland, www.oaklandzoo.org. The new Wild Australia Exhibit is accessible via the Outback Express Adventure Train. Guests can board the train in the Rides Area and begin their journey through an Australian-themed exhibit featuring wallaroos and emus. Enjoy this Down Under setting with beautiful views of the Bay Area as a backdrop. This is a family friendly attraction for all ages to enjoy. Admission for the Outback Adventure train is $2.50 per person, not including Zoo admission.

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

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Bay Area Kids

Kabaret for Kids Sun Sep 12, curtains 2:15 pm. Lesher Center for the Arts, Knights Stage 3 Theatre, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek, (925) 295-1400, www.lesherartscenter.org. Tickets $14.50 regular admission. The popular children’s theatre attraction returns to the Lesher Center, where it has become a staple in the community’s annual calendar. Maintaining its tradition of spotlighting Contra Costa’s brightest young talent, this year’s production features Alissa Anderegg (from the L.A. Production of The American Girls Revue), D’Ann’s Academy of Dance, Magicians Jack Dugan & Jack Fowler, Pianist Ryan McNally, and 15-year old recording artist Charlie Williams.

Disney’s Aladdin Sat Aug 7 – Sun Sep 5, Berkeley Playhouse, Julia Morgan Center, 2640 College Ave., Berkeley. Visit www. berkeleyplayhouse.org for specific dates and hours. Tickets: $33 adult, $30 senior (65 and up), $22 child (617), $15 tot (5 and under). Anything can happen in Agrabah, City of Enchantment, in this buoyant retelling of the classic Arabian tale! This west coast premier of Disney’s Aladdin features all the familiar characters from the best-selling animated movie classic, as well as memorable songs such as, “Arabian Nights,” “Friend like Me,” and “A Whole New World.” Music by Alan Menken, directed by Jennifer King, music direction by Amy Dalton, choreography by Dane Paul Andres. Lost in Space Fri Aug 13, 5 – 8 pm Bay Area Discovery Museum, 557 McReynolds Rd., Sausalito, (415) 339-3900, www.baykidsmuseum. org. One last chance to see Living In Space before it blasts off! Celebrate space travel with a retro evening of fun featuring 60’s grooves from DJ Mancub from 6:30 – 7:30 pm. The Short Attention Span Circus will delight with comedic juggling, magic, contortions, and more from 5:30 – 6:30 pm.

Danceversity World Dance Camp 2010. Mon-Fri, August 2-6, August 9-13, August 16-20, 9am to 4pm. Ashkenaz Music and Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo, Berkeley, (510) 525-5099, http:// ashkenaz.com or http://danceversity. com. Cost: full day tuition (9am-4pm): $340 half day tuition (9am-12pm or 1pm-4pm): $170. The DanceVersity World Dance Summer Camp is geared for ages 7-16 and appropriate for dancers of all levels. Every Friday afternoon, family and friends will be treated to a display of what the students learned that week. Students will explore dance from Afghanistan, Spain, Haiti, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Morocco, Iran, India, and more. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Tue, Aug 17 – Sun, Aug 29. Golden Gate Theatre, 1 Taylor St., San Francisco, www.shnsf.com, (415) 551-2000. Ticket prices range from $30 to $99. Based on the Academy Awardwinning animated feature film, this classic musical love story is filled with unforgettable characters, lavish sets and costumes, and dazzling production numbers, including “Be Our Guest” and the beloved title song.

www.bakidsmagazine.com


Bay Area Kids magazine and JE Model present

Answer the Call contest

The Greater Bay Area Child Casting Call Two Boys Two Girls Four winners Winners will earn a one-year contract with JE Model, and appear in an upcoming fashion photo shoot for Bay Area Kids magazine, as well as win other great prizes!

For submission information, rules, prizes, and other details, click on over to www.bakidsmagazine.com Contest ends November 12, 2010. Winners will be announced in the December/January issue of Bay Area Kids magazine. Children must be newborn to 8 years old. Entrants must reside in the greater Bay Area and able to travel to local photo shoots. Photos judged by JE Model and Bay Area Kids magazine. More details online at www. bakidsmagazine.com Interested in being a sponsor? Contact estrong@bakidsmagazine.com on sponsorship availability

IS modeling RIGHT FOR YOU AND YOUR CHILD?? Find out more information about what’s involved, online at www. bakidsmagazine.com

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Kids

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product reviews

8 mixed media

Cardboard Rocket The best child’s product ever? This cardboard rocket (a house is also available), is simple in its concept and execution while unleashing a creative coup de grace that leaves children occupied and happy for hours on end. Easy to assemble, and storing in a flat box, the rocket features a main door, fins, peepholes, and ample space inside that children can dream of the most faraway adventures. But its the gleaming, inviting, white outer “canvas” that beckons children to go out of this world with stickers, glitter, markers, paint, or anything else they can think of. ($54.95/rocket, $44.95/house (a castle is coming soon), www.colormehouse.com)

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Bay Area Kids

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» LOCAL AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT Froggy Boots Go With Everything (Jill Zabkar Martin, JZM Media, www.jzmmedia.com) My three-year old son, who if he could would go everywhere with his favorite Thomas boots, loves this book about a boy’s inseparable attachment to his favorite froggy boots. With cute illustrations provided by Kirsten Gaede Van Mourick, author Zabkar Martin, a resident of Los Gatos, provides an easy-to-follow story for young ones. For those learning to read, the simple words provide an opportunity to increase their word power. The book is right, by the way: froggy, or any other kind of boots, do go with everything.

Jungle Gym Justin Roberts’ Formula Wins Again On Jungle Gym, the newest release from kiddie pop sensation Justin Roberts, little new ground is broken since Pop Fly. In fact you could play both albums continuously and not know when one ends and the other begins. In Roberts’ case, however, this familiarity is a good thing. Children aren’t the biggest fans of change, so by having a built-in comfort level, Jungle Gym is more readily accepted by listeners—which includes almost as many parents as children—on the first play. If you’re not familiar with Justin Roberts’ oeuvre, his catchy hooks and witty lyrics will have you singing along with your child in no time.

Graffeeti Shoes Making their “mark” on the sole scene We’re not sure if these cool shoes fall under fashions, toys, arts and crafts, or all three. These fashionable and inventive shoes include a wipeable blank canvas on the top and side of each pair of shoes (available for boys and girls). Provided with six colorful markers, each shoe also has a little side hoop where a child can store their favorite color to embellish their creation throughout the day. The next morning, they can wipe it all off and start over. The insides are comfortably padded, and the overall construction appears very durable—ours has withstood rain, puddles, and mud, and the markers do come off easy enough. Also available in limited adult sizes and other models. ($44.99, www.graffeeti.com)

August/September 2010

Bay Area Kids

9


Calvary Apostolic Church

Welcomes You! Ministries: Word, Music, Spanish, Multi-media, Resources, Outreach, Married Couples, External Support, Ladies and Men, Youth, Children’s Church

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Bay Area Kids

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the wish list

compiled by Sunny Chanel

Eames Blocks If you are one who adores mid-century aesthetics and you happen to have kids, you may want to indoctrinate your offspring into the cult of Eames before they can even walk. One way is through this steller Eames House and Studio Alphabet Blocks by House Industries. These thirty six replenishable, Michigan-grown basswood blocks are hand silkscreened and come together to form Eames Case Study No. 9 house and studio. The other sides of the blocks have the letters of the alphabet, numbers, and shapes. Colorful, creative, and oh-so Eames. Available directly from House Industries. ($175, www.houseind.com)

12 the toy box Yellow Owl Workshop: Cityscape Stamp Set Yellow Owl Workshop is based in the Bernal Heights area of San Francisco and along with their cards, prints, and correspondence sets, they create super cool stamps. The Cityscape Stamp Set includes a skyscraper, a house, road, bicycle, and a tree. Each stamp is made of molded natural rubber and has a thick cushion and each is mounted on a maple block. Best of all, the Cityscape collections comes in a handsome hand finished birch box. Perfect for gift giving for that future urban planner or mayor. ($30, www. yellowowlworkshop.com)

Shelby GT-350 Pedal Car This kid-sized replica of the classic 1965 G.T. 250 Shelby Ford Mustang is perfect for mini-sized California cruisin’— bringing the muscle car to the preschool set. These pedal cars have been lovingly crafted, old-school style, but with today’s safety and standards included. Really, though, it’s all about the style: this car features blue racing stripes on the hood and sides, has a Shelby “Cobra” gas cap and an imprint of Carroll Shelby’s signature on the back. This ain’t no Big Wheel; this is a serious collector quality car that so happens to be child-sized. ($299, www.shelbypedalcars.com)

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Bay Area Kids

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POSH Mommy specializes in customizable, fashionable jewelry that fits the way you live and celebrates the ones you love! Definitely hip, with a hint of understated elegance. All discs, loops, squares and tags come in sterling silver, 14K yellow or white gold. Pick your style, choice of chain, birth dates and stones. How you customize your POSH Mommy jewelry is completely up to you. So make a statement. Show your love and have some fun. POSHmommyjewelry.com

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Bay Area Kids 7:05:32 13 AM 7/19/10


health matters

by Sarah Handelsman, MD

sleep training

14 health matters

Sleep can be the most important part of your child’s day, affecting everything from behavior and mood to growth. Children who sleep well have more advantages than just better temperaments and better health; they have well-rested parents who are more alert and better prepared for their own day. Here’s how to help your baby sleep through the night: Be consistent The initial goal of sleep training should be to help your baby learn to sleep consistently and independently. If your baby is healthy and growing well, you can begin sleep training at around four months. Some babies are ready a little earlier; some are not ready until a little later.

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Bay Area Kids

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Pediatrician Sarah Handelsman, M.D., is an Alta Bates Summit Medical Center affiliated physician and has practiced with East Bay Pediatrics in Berkeley and Orinda for 10 years. She attended medical school at UCSF and trained at Children’s Hospital in Seattle. She is also a mother of two.a

Start by establishing a bedtime routine that helps your baby relax. Keep bedtimes as consistent as possible. Hold and rock your baby and give her plenty of loving attention while you transition into pajamas. The idea is to establish cues that help your baby recognize that it is time to sleep. Try to put your baby down and leave the room before she falls asleep. It may be hard to do in the beginning, but in time she will learn to soothe herself to sleep. Help your baby learn to soothe herself Most pediatricians will tell you that sleep training is harder on parents than on children. The urge to answer your child’s crying can be overwhelming, but once you trust that your child can soothe herself to sleep, she will learn to sleep longer by

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herself—something you’ll both come to love. If you prefer to check on your baby during this process, try to limit your visits to once every five to 10 minutes. Softly reassure your baby then leave the room before she falls asleep. If you find you are checking on your baby frequently, remind yourself that, as she learns to soothe herself, frequent peeks into the room may confuse your child. Finally, consider your child’s developmental stage. At six months your baby may cry harshly when she is left alone, but by ten months the crying can turn to screams for momma that are far more difficult to ignore. Sleep training is usually more efficient and less stressful for younger children.

It may seem counterintuitive, but the better your baby or toddler sleeps during daytime naps the better she’ll sleep at night. Nap consistently It may seem counterintuitive, but the better your baby or toddler sleeps during daytime naps the better she’ll sleep at night. Nap times should be consistent, and sleep cues should be used to help your child recognize that it’s time to sleep. Learn your child’s own sleep cues. When she begins showing signs of tiredness help her prepare for sleep by beginning your nap-time routine. It is important to treat daytime naps with the same respect that you do nighttime sleep. Don’t plan to run errands or other activities that make it difficult for your child to sleep soundly.

August/September 2010

Safety Tips Teach your baby to sleep on her back. It’s the safest position for her and helps reduce the risk of SIDS. Do not leave anything in your baby’s crib when she sleeps—no blankets, bottles or toys. If you choose to cosleep with your child, do not use heavy blankets and do not go to bed intoxicated. Children can be seriously injured or killed by suffocation, accidental crushing, or falling from bed.

Toddlers As your baby becomes a toddler she will begin exploring independence and defiance. It is a natural stage in development that helps her better understand the world and how she can interact with it. To keep your toddler well rested— which can greatly improve her mood during the day—be as consistent as you can and follow a clear routine. Giving in to your toddler (even occasionally) can teach her that, at least sometimes, her persistence will win you over. Sleep training is one of the hardest parts of parenting young infants and children. However, being consistent and letting your child know that you have faith in her ability to learn this new skill can lead to great results. Good sleep leads to a happier baby and happier parents. If you’re having a hard time sleep training your baby, your pediatrician can offer advice and insights that may help address the specific needs of you and your child.

Bay Area Kids

15


Come Hear Us Sing!

GISSV

August 14, 2:00 PM

German International School of Silicon Valley The Best of two Worlds - Learning in German and English Berkeley Campus located at 1 Lawson Rd, Kensington, CA 94707

Golden Gate Boys Choir Summer Concert Diocesan Youth Retreat Center, 1977 Reliez Valley Rd. Lafayette www.ggbc.org for more information

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16

Bay Area Kids

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Bay Area Kids

17


NAture walk

by Mike Koslosky, courtesy Bay Nature magazine

the ants go marching one by one The Argentine ant (Linepithema humile)

18 going out

For more about ants, including photos, read the online version of this issue at www. bakidsmagazine.com

18

Bay Area Kids

It’s a perfect day for a picnic. The kids are off playing, you’re spreading the food out, the sun is warm and toasty. You just lie there for a minute enjoying the moment. What’s this? A couple of ants crawling on your arm—no big deal. But then there are more: You sit up and find hordes of ants covering your cookies, climbing into your soda—they’re everywhere! Ants might be small, but they are many. Scientists say that if you collected all the billions of ants in the world and weighed them (that’s their “biomass”), they’d be heavier than all the people on earth put together. That’s a lot of ants—about a thousand trillion! Luckily they won’t all show up at your picnic. But a single ant colony can contain many thousands of

individuals, and since ants communicate with each other about food they find, a visit from a couple of ants often turns into a deluge of hundreds. Ants, like bees, termites, and some wasps, are social insects. They live in large groups and have strict divisions of labor. Workers bring food such as seeds, dead insects, leaves, or fruit back into the colony. Other ants stay in the nest, storing food in special rooms or tending to the queen and her eggs. Nearly all the ants in a colony are female. Males are kept around only to mate with the queen. Once their job is finished, they are either forced out of the nest or killed and discarded. To keep their colony running like a well-oiled machine, ants communicate with each other using

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If you collected all the billions of ants in the world and weighed them, they’d be heavier than all the people on earth put together.

four species of native ants so far and also show the spread of non-natives like the Argentines. You can find ants easily in almost every local habitat. Many nest under logs or rocks. Some can be found gathering nectar from flowers. Harvester ants collect seeds, so search for them in sunny clearings near grasslands. Large black carpenter ants make their homes inside wood like rotting logs and dead trees—and sometimes even in the walls of your house. Though you might have heard scary stories of fire ants—aggressive biting ants from Brazil that reached Southern California in the 1990s—they haven’t appeared in the Bay Area … yet. Since ants are pretty small, you’ll need a magnifying glass to get a really good look at them. It helps to put them in a small, clear container. You’ll be surprised by their miniature beauty. Ants are most active outdoors during the warmer months, so now is the time to keep an eye out for them. Don’t worry if you have trouble tracking them down; next time you have a picnic, they’ll find you. ABOUT THE AUTHORS Mike Koslosky, a freelance writer and naturalist, has been published in Fremontia, CNPS Bulletin, Birds & Blooms, Parents’ Press, and local newspapers. Sue Rosenthal is a contributing editor at Bay Nature magazine.

GET OUT!

chemical scents and physical contact. The chemicals, or pheromones, ants use to communicate can signal where to find food, alert others to the presence of an enemy, or identify nest-mates. Watch ants walking along and see them tap their abdomens to the ground. They are leaving tiny droplets of chemical instructions for their sisters. The Bay Area is home to many different ant species, but non-native Argentine ants are the most common. They live in huge colonies, and they overpower and destroy native ant nests wherever they find them. Naturalists at the California Academy of Sciences have been doing a Bay Area Ant Survey for several years, with help from the public. The academy has a huge collection of ants already, but this study has helped scientists confirm the distribution of thirty

August/September 2010

Want to find out what kinds of ants live in your neighborhood? You can get expert help identifying them while you gather scientific information about Bay Area ant diversity by participating in the Bay Area Ant Survey through the California Academy of Sciences (CAS). Attract ants by putting small pieces of food outside, then carefully collect the ants that come to dine and send them to CAS. For information on how to collect ants and participate in the survey, visit bit.ly/SFants. If you’d rather watch than collect, you can look inside working ant colonies at three Bay Area museums. At the SF Zoo’s Insect Zoo, red harvester ants from the Southwest live in a large arena where visitors can watch as the eggs, larvae, and pupae are cared for by “attend-ants” [sfzoo. org, (415)753-7080 x7053]. At the Oakland Zoo, honeypot ants and leafcutter ants (also from parts south) live in glassed-in colonies, so you can watch them foraging and tending their young [oaklandzoo.org, (510)632-9525, x100]. And there’s a very active colony of leafcutter ants living in the California Academy of Science’s four-story rainforest exhibit [calacademy.org, (415) 379-8000]. [Sue Rosenthal]

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neighbors

story by Kelly Pollard : photos by Christina Fabbri Photography

juice box heroes

20 local flavor

Find Juice Box Heroes’ No Sugar Added album on iTunes, at select toy stores or on their Web site, www.juicebox heroes.com

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Scott and Craig Coane never thought they’d be rock stars… for the preschool crowd. Now known as the Juice Box Heroes, the brothers are juggling full time jobs in media, raising their families only a mile from each other in their hometown of Moraga and recording parodies of hit songs from the 1980’s for children. The Coanes played in bands throughout college then reunited as a cover band back in the 1980’s in San Francisco. Then they started families. “We tried to stick with the band, but it was crazy after the kids came,” Craig says. “We exited the music world as we knew it, realizing we couldn’t play gigs until 3 AM and be functional at 5 AM when the kids woke up.” So they put their music aside and were absorbed into the realm of kiddie culture. After repeated exposure to their kids’ favorite bands like The Wiggles, Laurie Berkner Band, and Dan Zane, the brothers had an a-ha moment on a drive to Lake Tahoe. “We were already the go-to guys at our kids’ preschools, bringing in the guitar to sing the ABC’s at circle time, but on the drive, we had the idea to merge our love of Eighties music with our lives as dads,” Scott says. What started as a ‘what if’ turned serious as they worked out lyrics to some of the songs they used to play at gigs. Craig and Scott took advantage of their families and friends with young children to test their new songs on. Between daddy duties and their full time jobs in media, the Coane’s wrote their songs as parodies of the set lists they used to play. The name Juice Box Heroes came to them instantly and the silly lyrics flowed. Hit songs like the J. Geils Band’s “Centerfold” turned into “One Year Old”, “Jessie’s Girl” became “Puppy’s Fur”, and Madonna’s “Material Girl” is now “Cheerio World”. They recorded their first album “No Sugar Added” and scored a contract with a national distributor, releasing the album last October. Craig’s 9 year old daughter was especially excited when her dad and uncle’s album became available on iTunes. Momentum has been building behind the Juice Box Heroes, with favorable reviews by parenting bloggers and features in local newspapers. Tetra Pack, the company that manufactures juice boxes, also approached the two-man band and asked them to write a song commemorating the juice box, which celebrates its thirtieth anniversary this year. So it’s back to the recording studio. The Juice Box Heroes also have plans to release a new album this September and to start playing live shows. “It’s tough trying to fit in gigs. We’ve had offers to play at birthday parties and big festivals,” they say. “We’re envisioning a ton of kids onstage with us and bunch of audience interaction.”

August/September 2010

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Op sa en t h 10 , au Ou :0 g se 0 aM 14

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Spanish for Kids

sPg u... and yo CHild r u o y e giv s for e C e i P H bot adeMiC C a & l soCia . suCCess

and adults too!

• Immersion program • Small class sizes • Experienced teachers • Classes for toddlers to teens • Day camps too!

(925) 962-9177 www.vivaelespanol.org Alameda • Lafayette • Pleasanton

bacK-2-school special free soCial-PragMatiC Consultation As the leading Bay Area private practice providing speech-language therapy services, SPG is the integral piece to meet your child’s speech needs. In addition to our private instruction, we emphasize parent involvement and school collaboration in order to support your child’s development and communication skills.

• speech-language delay/disorders • auditory-language processing disorders • language-based learning disabilities • social-pragmatic impairments • fluency/stuttering • impairments associated with pdd/autism

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call today to schedule an appointment! Walnut Creek | Pittsburg | berkeley | ConCord 925.945.1474 | sPeeCHPatHologygrouP.CoM August/September 2010

Bay Area Kids

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back to school guide : special advertising section

St. Paul’s Episcopal School 116 Montecito Ave., Oakland (510) 285-9617 • www.spes.org

“Middle School is a time to make discoveries that inspire the person we hope to become. St. Paul’s can take a lot of credit for who I am.”  — Jason Reeder ’03, Head-Royce School Valedictorian’07, Brown University ’11

Head-Royce, College Preparatory School, Lick-Wilmerding, Athenian, Bentley, and Phillips Exeter Academy were among the schools accepting St. Paul’s students in 2010. Our students benefit from small class sizes, individualized instruction, gifted teachers, modern teaching technology, music, art, drama, sports, and music programs that allow self-expression, a rigorous curriculum that develops critical thinking skills, a nationally recognized Service Learning program, and a diverse group of classmates that has made St. Paul’s number two in the nation in socioeconomic and ethnic diversity. St. Paul’s is a special place. Get to know us!

Applied Scholastics Academy East Bay 2050 Lincoln Ave., Alameda (510) 748-0428 • www.asaeastbay.com

Applied Scholastics Academy East Bay (formerly Golden Gate Apple School) is a private, nonsectarian school, located in Alameda. The school builds a strong foundation for learning by assuring mastery of the basics in reading, writing, math, spelling and handwriting. We offer small class sizes aimed at harnessing the power of the students’ personal interests and goals, aligned to their education. Individualized programs and remedial assistance are provided to get kids caught up, fully engaged and winning. Students are taught how to learn and study, embracing an “I can do it” attitude that makes them confident in their ability to learn anything and achieve their own true goals in life. Admissions: Students are admitted based on test scores, interviews and available openings. Call for a free educational analysis of your child or to arrange an interview and/or tour of our facility.

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Golden Gate Boys Choir & Bellringers

Building Bridges of Understanding through Music since 1988 (510) 887-4311 • www.ggbc.org GGBC is an independent organization committed to the tradition of boy choir training. We offer extensive instruction in musical skills and choral performance for boys and young men in the Bay Area. The choir develops repertoire, vocal skills, and knowledge of music theory. These skills are showcased in performances at local, national, and international levels. Admissions: Now accepting new members — boys 6-14. Visit www.ggbc.org to hear our choir and/or to obtain a 2010 schedule. Interested families are invited to attend any of our upcoming rehearsals or concerts. www.bakidsmagazine.com


special advertising section : back to school guide

A

Montessori Experience

The Renaissance School in the Heart of Oakland

3668 Dimond Avenue, Oakland age 2yrs - •8th phone: 510.531.8566 fax:grade 510. 531.8055 www.TheRenaissanceSchool.org

The Renaissance School is a Montessori school for children aged 2 years through grade 8. Our school is a warm and supportive community of students, teachers, and parents. We are an international school, and as such our curriculum, faculty, and student body reflect a global perspective. Completely integrated within our Montessori curriculum are Spanish, French, and English immersion, as well as Fine Arts and Kodály choral instruction. We are the only trilingual immersion school in the Nation: Our students are spoken to and taught in French, Spanish and English by native speakers of those languages, at all times. Our elementary students begin each day with morning vocals and we have vocal and instrumental performances throughout the school year. At The Renaissance School, our goal is to develop students who really understand their schoolwork. Our students learn through hands-on experience, investigation, and research. They become actively engaged in their studies. Our educational program is consciously designed to recognize and address different learning styles, helping students learn to study most effectively. We challenge and set high expectations for all students. Our students develop self-discipline and an internal sense of purpose and motivation. Our students learn to collaborate and work together in learning and on major projects. We are located in the heart of the Dimond District in Oakland, immediately adjacent to beautiful Dimond Park. All are welcome to call us and come take a tour of our school. Admissions: Please visit our website to learn more about our admissions philosophy and application process.

Viva el Español

3451 Golden Gate Way, Lafayette (925) 962-9177 • www.vivaelespanol.org Spanish Immersion Classes for Toddlers to Adults Viva el Español, a non-profit Spanish Language Center, offers engaging, interactive full-immersion Spanish programs for young amigos from toddlers through grade 8. Classes include music & movement, storytelling, arts & crafts, interactive games and more! Viva el Español has locations in Lafayette, Alameda, Pleasanton and San Francisco and also teaches at numerous preschools and elementary schools throughout the Bay Area. Viva el Español also offers holiday camps, Teen Internships, Adult Classes and private instruction. Admissions: For registration information, including schedules and fees, visit www.vivaelespanol.org or call (925) 962-9177.

August/September 2010

Growing Light Montessori School of Moraga, LLC 1450 Moraga Rd., Moraga • (925) 377-0407 www.growinglight.net

Our goal is to help children feel good about themselves as they actively discover the joy of learning! Child-centered classrooms allow preschoolers the chance to express feelings, listen to others, resolve conflicts, and freely explore interests in a stimulating environment designed to foster confidence, creativity and success. A wide range of engaging electives are also available. Admissions: Attend our Open House on August 14 at 10 AM to learn about our 2010-2011 openings for preschoolers 18 months-Pre-K/K. Enrollment application is also available online. New Family Resource Room coming soon!

Bay Area Kids

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green maid today

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We provide the best and the most thorough cleaning service in the Bay Area

Weekly • Biweekly • Monthly • One Time Only $30 off first

housecleaning or no charge if we use our green cleaning supplies (must mention this ad) RESIDENTIAL • APARTMENTS • COMMERCIAL (510) 734-2035 • www.greenmaidtoday.com

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© 2010 Applied Scholastics Academy East Bay. All Rights Reserved. Applied Scholastics Academy East Bay is licensed by Applied Scholastics International to use education services and materials based on the works of L. Ron Hubbard. Applied Scholastics, the Applied Scholastics Academy design and the Applied Scholastics open book design are trademarks and service marks owned by the Association for Better Living and Education International and are used with its permission.

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Schools are an important part of the places families call home

Lark Creek Walnut Creek 1360 Locust Street, Walnut Creek (925) 256-1234 • www.larkcreek.com

by Victor Fierro & Lily Wescott

Paid Advertorial

O

ne facet of being a Realtor is sharing information on local schools. J. Rockcliff Realtors Victor Fierro and Lily Wescott offer their expertise to home buyers and sellers daily. Parents want to know which schools are top performers; they want to understand the choices available for their child’s education. The good news is there is an abundance of preschools, private schools and public schools throughout the East Bay, so there’s truly Victor Fierro something for everyone. The new J. Rockcliff office in Montclair serves families in the Montclair and Piedmont districts. “In addition to folks transitioning from a starter home to a more long-term family residence, many young families from San Francisco are looking to the East Bay,” Fierro explains. “Oakland and Piedmont have over 350 schools to choose from, including top-rated public schools like Wildwood, Havens, Beach and Thornhill Elementary as well as Piedmont Middle and Piedmont High. The area also boasts notable private schools like Zion Lutheran, Corpus Christi, Archway School, Aurora School, Park Day School, Oakland Hebrew Day School, St. Paul’s Episcopal School, The College Preparatory School, and The Head Royce School among many others. Schools for foreign language immersion, music/voice training, and special needs programs are also nearby.” On the other side of the Caldecott Tunnel, Lafayette, Moraga, and Orinda comprise the charming rural-suburban setting of Lamorinda — one of California’s best locations for top-rated public schools. “Lamorinda’s primary schools feed into the Acalanes Union High School District, which consistently aces API scores and ranks in the top five percentile in the state,” Wescott explains. “You can’t find a better community Lily Wescott to raise kids,” says Wescott, herself a Lamorinda mother of two. She adds: “There are also some wonderful private schools available too.” Both of Wescott’s kids attended Saklan Valley School in Moraga and were very pleased with their educational experience. Known locally as “Lily of Lamorinda,” Wescott works out of the J. Rockiliff Orinda office. While statewide budget cuts have impacted the quality of education, both realtors are prepared to invest in the schools that make East Bay living so enviable. Wescott’s new “School Booster” program will donate one thousand dollars to the buyers/seller’s school of choice upon each closed transaction between now and the end of year. The Montclair office is doing its share as well. Fierro, who is the principal cellist of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, has donated several violin and cello bows to Oakland schools. For more information, contact (510) 339-4800 for our Montclair/ Piedmont office, or (925) 330-6108 for our Lamorinda office. August/September 2010

Serving seasonal farm-fresh American fare for the whole family since 1995 • Kids menu includes fresh fruit plate, hand-breaded fresh crispy chicken fingers with house cut fries, peanut butter and housemade jelly sandwich • Award winning all-American wine list for Mom and Dad Lark Creek Walnut Creek serves lunch daily, brunch Sunday, cocktails, and dinner nightly, and private parties.

“A must-read!” — Sunset Magazine

an exploration of nature in the Bay Area

Meet Your Neighbors! Learn about the world around you in the pages of Bay Nature Subscribe for one year for only $21.95 To subscribe or get more information visit us online or call 888-4-BAYNAT

BayNature.org Bay Area Kids

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family medical professionals : special advertising section

Robin Williams, DMD [Orthodontics]

Dr. Williams attended the University of Mississippi, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Biology and English, and graduated from the School of Dentistry in 1996. After completing his hospital residency at UCLA, he practiced general and children’s dentistry in Europe and Hawaii. An active member of the American Association of Orthodontists and the Contra Costa Dental Society, Dr. Williams is also recognized as a Premier Provider® of Invisalign®--a system for straightening teeth without wires or brackets, offered for both adults and teens at his Concord office. Robin Williams Orthodontics offers the most advanced diagnostics and treatment options available to help give each patent that radiant confidence that comes with a beautiful smile. Parents are advised to bring in their child by age 7 for their first orthodontic consult.

Robin Williams Orthodontics 901 Sunvalley Blvd. Suite 201, Concord (925) 680-4500 www.DrRobinWilliams.com

Randall Chang, DDS [Pediatric Dentistry] Born in Walnut Creek, Dr. Chang graduated from Acalanes High School in his hometown of Lafayette and went on to attend UCSD, where he graduated with a BS in Biochemstry. He then went to the UCLA School of Dentistry, where he earned a Doctorate of Dental Surgery and was recognized as a Dean’s Scholar. Dr. Chang pursued his residency in children’s dentistry at the University of Southern California, where he received his specialty certificate in Advanced Pediatric Dentistry. Following in the footsteps of his father, a local pediatrician for over 30 years, Dr. Chang returned home and opened a brand new state-of-the-art dental practice in Walnut Creek to fulfill his dream of treating local kids in Contra Costa County. He is a member of the AAPD, CSPD, ADA, and CCDS.

Children’s Dentistry of Walnut Creek 3050 Citrus Circle, #110, Walnut Creek www.cd-wc.com • (925) 938-2392

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www.bakidsmagazine.com


special advertising section : family medical professionals

Women’s Health Center in Lafayette 3595 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Suite 350, Lafayette (925) 962-9129 for an appointment

The Alta Bates Summit Women’s Health Center in Lafayette can provide you with the following services: Mammography Screenings Mammography screenings use state-of-the-art digital imaging, emitting half the radiation of traditional analog mammography. This advanced technology allows radiologists to spot abnormalities with computer-aided detection. Physical Therapy Our physical therapy program meets women’s unique needs: pelvic health physical therapy to help eliminate pelvic pain, increase continence and improve quality of life, pregnancy-related and post partum therapy for lower back pain and muscle strengthening, as well as a sports injury rehabilitation program. Nutrition Counseling/Adult and Adolescent Eating Disorders Our registered dietician provides nutritional assessment, basic nutrition counseling, nutritional counseling for women with medical problems and screening for disordered eating patterns. Lactation Consultation Sometimes a new mother is in need of individualized assistance with breastfeeding – especially in the early weeks. Our experienced, board certified lactation consultants are available to help.

August/September 2010

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family medical professionals : special advertising section

Christina Vo

[MD, Pediatrician at East Bay Pediatrics]

Medical Interest: auto-immune diseases (lupus, arthritis, & diabetes) Christina Vo, MD has been a pediatrician at East Bay Pediatrics (EBP) for five years. She fell in love with the practice first as a pediatric resident working with the physicians from EBP at Children’s Hospital Oakland then as a parent when she brought her own daughter, now age six years, to the practice. Dr. Vo enjoys the EBP philosophy of working together to keep the practice up-to-date with the latest in pediatrics and to keep patients and their parents well-informed and supported. Check out the website designed and maintained by Dr. Vo at www.eastbaypediatrics. com. She also supports other pediatricians in her roles as Chair of the Section on Young Physicians for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and as a Board member of AAP California District. Dr. Vo graduated from Princeton University and completed her medical training at UC San Diego. She is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics.

East Bay Pediatrics Offices in Orinda and Berkeley • (925) 438-1100 | www.eastbaypediatrics.com

Jennifer Miller

[MD, Pediatrician at East Bay Pediatrics]

Medical Interest: children’s and adolescent health care Jennifer Miller, MD, has been practicing at East Bay Pediatrics for 3 1/2 years, but has been taking care of children and adolescents in the East Bay for the last 7 years. A Southern California native, Dr. Miller happily relocated to the Bay Area to complete her Pediatric Residency Training at Children’s Hospital Oakland, where she also served as Chief Resident. Dr. Miller is Board Certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Her most valuable and enjoyable training has come from raising her 16 month old daughter, and helping to raise her 15 year old stepson. Dr. Miller has an interest in high risk teens and loves meeting new families and their children

East Bay Pediatrics Offices in Orinda and Berkeley (925) 438-1100 | www.eastbaypediatrics.com

Village Counseling & Assessment Center Committed to providing the highest quality of services in a professional, inclusive, and caring environment

Village Counseling and Assessment Center (VCAC), is a private psychological services clinic located in the heart of Montclair Village. Our staff is thoroughly trained in evidence-based and innovative treatment techniques. We offer comprehensive services addressing most emotional and behavioral difficulties. Services at Village Counseling and Assessment Center include short and long-term treatment in individual, couples, family and group sessions. Our child and family team is comprised of a diverse group of clinicians with expertise that enables them to identify problem behaviors, formulate interventions, and develop treatment plans for the specific needs of each child and their family.

Village Counseling & Assessment Center 1955 Mountain Blvd., Ste 115, Oakland (510) 339-8221 | www.villagecounseling.info

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www.bakidsmagazine.com


special advertising section : family medical professionals

Speech Pathology Group Walnut Creek | Pittsburgh Berkeley | Concord (925) 945-1474 www.speechpathologygroup.com

photo Mackenzie Chase Photography

Carolyn Robertson

The Speech Pathology Group is a leading provider of speech and language services for adults and children in California. As one of the most respected therapy practices in the San Francisco Bay Area, our clinic-based services include comprehensive assessments, consultations, individualized therapy and small group instruction. Our pediatric program includes evaluation and treatment of impairments associated with PDD/autism, socialpragmatic disorders, language disorders, auditory-language processing disorders, articulation impairments, fluency/stuttering, hearing loss/cochlear implant, and selective mutism. Adults services include treatment for stroke or head injured populations, voice disorders, and cochlear implant rehabilitation.

[MA MS ND, PhD, Cand.]

Board Certified in EEG Biofeedback Senior Fellow #1408 Advanced Neurotherapy was started 18 years ago with a vision of offering a non-drug alternative for children and adults suffering with ADD/ADHD or on the Autistic Spectrum. We have grown to include children with learning disabilities, and other problems such as sensory processing disorder, depression and anxiety. Neurotherapy has excelled as a non-drug therapy for these diagnoses. With a wide variety of technologies and approaches, our caring and warm staff works to achieve successful outcomes for each individual child. No matter what the problem we are committed to offering the most comprehensive and individualized care available today.

Caroyln Robertson, Certified Neurotherapist The Center for Advanced NeuroTherapy

31 Panoramic Way, Suite 202, Walnut Creek (925) 906-0420 | www.brainhealer.com | brainhealers@gmail.com

August/September 2010

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It Takes a Village ‌ or Two Dedicated to the proposition that parents need all the help they can get by Patricia Kutza

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www.bakidsmagazine.com


August/September 2010

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“One thing they never tell you about child raising is that for the rest of your life, at the drop of a hat, you are expected to know your child’s name and how old he or she is.” — Erma Bombeck

H

ow can I tell which preschool is best for my kids? How soon do I need to save for my newborn’s education? What’s the best type of car seat to buy for my baby? The litany of questions feels like an endless torrent. Parents are anxious about getting this thing called parenthood right. To their rescue are a number of Bay Area companies positioned to shepherd parents on their kid-raising journey. Some of their business models are a sign of the times, reflecting the desire of parents to raise their kids in a “green” economy. Other business models have been around for centuries, finding fresh relevance in the current generation’s needs. All of these companies understand that the Bay Area, with its burgeoning parent population, is a fertile market for their services. More heart than science: childcare matchmaking

What are your thoughts on this story? Let us know at editor@ bakidsmagazine.com

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Want to generate some lively conversation among parents? Mention the cost of childcare. According to a National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) 2008 study, California was the fifth most expensive state in the union for full-time infant care, with parents spending on the average annually &11,580 per infant and $8,234 per four-year old. At these prices it’s no wonder that parents are determined to get the very best care possible. Along with their feelings of entitlement are their feelings of vulnerability—they want to feel that their children are safe and happy when they spend the day outside of their parents’ gaze. Providing these parents with that secure feeling is the mission of Dr. Missy Garvin, founder and president of San Francisco-based CARE: Childcare Assessment through Research and Evaluation. “Lots of my clients are first time parents,” says Dr. Garvin. “They may have heard of someone else’s negative childcare experiences or

have experienced it first hand with their children. Often the root cause is that the center in question is not a good fit for the child.” Beware of well-meaning friends

Garvin works with children under the age of five, assessing them for both childcare and pre-school environments. “I talk with the parents, helping them formulate the questions they should be asking, and I also play with the child,” she says. “If the child is shy, I like to do observations of him in an actual care setting.” Sometimes parents have a particular daycare center in mind, one recommended by their friends. “This is a common situation that may pose a problem” Garvin adds. “What may be a great fit for your friend’s child may not be a good fit for yours.” Another misconception, says Garvin, is that parents tend to make a direct correlation between quality and centers with a wait-list. “While it’s true that many centers have long wait lists, these lists are no real indication of their value. When parents lose their jobs, they often pull their kids out of day care. Consequently, many daycare and preschool centers are closing for lack of customers. These closures make families compete for the few slots available in the centers that remain open.” Planning for the Big Event

Besides focusing on day and preschool care, many expecting parents are overwhelmed by the array of decisions they need to make at every stage in the process of pregnancy through delivery. So it’s no surprise that companies that can help parents make informed decisions will find willing customers. Amy Kux is a San Francisco Bay Area-based Itsabelly baby planner, one of a team of associated baby planners who share information with their clients about relevant products and services. “As a first time mom,” Kux says, “I was advised by my

www.bakidsmagazine.com


August/September 2010

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In search of a nanny “In this economy, the expectations of both clients and nannies are not meshing with reality” says Carrie Hillen, coowner of Town and Country Resources, an agency providing childcare and household services to Bay Area families. “Clients assume that the market is flooded with applicants, making the task of finding a good nanny a lot easier. While it’s true that there are more people wanting to be nannies, finding just the right match is really no easier. “Parents often have very specific priorities: for instance, they may want a nanny who has preschool experience or one who is multilingual. Fortunately, we’ve been around for a long time and have a very robust and trained staff who can make those matches a reality.” Should parents want to try their own nanny search, Itsabelly Baby Planner Amy Kux offers these three tips: 1. Prepare interview questions to learn about their experience and skill set. Also, ask a few questions to get a feel for their personality and to find out if the nanny is CPR certified. 2. Do a test run, allowing the nanny to meet the children. Chemistry is key between the nanny and the children; This meeting also allows the parents to “feel” how they like the nanny.  (The gut check is often the best judgment). 3. Run a reference and background check (DMV as well) prior to hiring. While finding a great nanny can be challenging, having to part with one can be a wrenching experience. Says Bay Area mom Katy Springer, whose family is relocating to another city, “We are heartbroken. Our nanny, Angelica, has cared for my children for the past three years. “She is the embodiment of love, patience, energy, and fun. She plays with our kids. She doesn’t sit and chat with the nanny-contingent at our neighborhood parks or library lap-sits. She climbs on the monkey bars, digs in the sandbox, and slides down the slide with the kids. She’s also the only nanny I trust with all three of my young kids (I can barely handle them all myself)!”

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friends and family about the ‘must haves’ and ended up spending a lot of money on products that just never made sense for me. Expecting parents have so many unknowns and overwhelming feelings, which is hard to handle when you are still processing the fact that a child is on the way. We talk to them about their lifestyle, budgets, and goals and address all questions and concerns while providing an atmosphere of openness and nonjudgment. From there, we assess what products and services match their needs.” Kux says that the most popular Itsabelly services include designing baby registries, baby-proofing households, and consulting about baby gear and green products. Parents can pick from packages, such as nursery design, as well as pick services a la carte. If location or budget is a factor, phone consultations can be arranged.

company, VitaVie Financial Planning. Harad noticed that new parents are really under-served by traditional financial planners. “Usually they don’t have the big bucks to attract these planners,” she says. Yet these parents go through a critical time when they are experiencing a major shift in their relationship to money—a time when they could especially benefit from financial planning, says Harad. Instead of transferring money around in a money manager role, Harad says that as an independent financial planner, she focuses solely on providing a strategic money plan for new parents. Considering the big financial decisions that parents will make in a lifetime, like purchasing a home, saving for their children’ education, or planning for their own retirement, it’s not hard to understand that inertia gets in the way.

Checking out Preschools Picking the best preschool for your children is an important decision. Visiting a preschool in advance is a critical step, but only useful if you recognize what a quality preschool looks and feels like. 1. Here’s what to look for. The following suggestions are provided by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). 2. An environment where there are plenty of activity resources - such as construction material, picture books, arts and crafts supplies and puzzles. 3. Children are working and playing in small and larger groups; They also get individualized attention from their teacher. 4. Weather permitting, children have the opportunity to play outside every day. 5. The teacher customizes learning curriculum for fast as well as slower learners. 6. The teacher is creative, turning everyday experiences into learning opportunities

“Parents can make a list of the to-do items they need to help them prepare for their baby, picking the ones they want to outsource to an Itsabelly baby planner. For example, some parents choose to design their own nursery since this is a more personal activity to help bond with the baby. But they will outsource to us the research about which infant car seat or stroller to buy.” Necessity or luxury?

“Many parents still view hiring a baby planner is a luxury, says Kux. “We view our services as money saving as well as providing families with an education that parents can use again and again.” It’s also a perception that certified financial planner Kristin Harad encounters as she grows her

“It’s an easy subject to ignore” says Harad. “People get stuck, and not knowing which action to take, don’t take any at all.” Harad also notices that parents make similar errors when they prioritize their financial goals. “I see this time and time again: they immediately focus on how to plan for their child’s education.” While this is an important goal, she says, there are two goals that need to be addressed first since they are the lynch pins of any solid financial strategy: establishing a short term emergency fund; and, for the long term, funding their retirement. BAK

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This summer, there’s only one way to

Float Your [House] Boat Want to try something new this summer? How about a vacation where every family member actually has fun? August/September 2010

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F

or many families, summer vacations are anything but. Somebody always looses out: little Petey can’t go on all the rides, his big sister just wants to lay out and tan, Mommy wants to actually relax, and Daddy would rather go fishing. Then there’s the matter of figuring out where to eat each day, how to get to and from the hotel, making sure Petey gets his nap, and trying not to let one’s temper get as hot as the afternoon sun blasting down on you. Planning a destination where everybody gets what they want is almost certainly a futile proposition. Unless ... What if there was such a destination where everybody comes out a winner. What if you considered a houseboat for your next vacation? On a Monday in early June, my family plus one father-in-law took a two hour and forty-five minute road trip to Lake Oroville north east of the Bay Area), a beautiful, lesser-known man-made lake that is home to the largest earth-filled and the tallest dam in the United States. Our destination was boat #431, a seventy foot floating behemoth we would call home for the next three days, courtesy of the fine folks at Forever Resorts. Usually, a smaller fifty or fifty-nine foot boat would

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be more than adequate for a family of five, but when presented with our own floating palace, who were we to complain? A palace it is. The boat is large, and there’s a reason: my wife’s first words as we entered were, “Can we stay an extra day?” Our model featured a large front entryway/deck with a custom-built grill and plenty of room to stash fishing supplies. Once inside, you were greeted with what you would expect to find at an expensive suite at a major hotel chain: a top-of-the line kitchen, two comfy sleeper/sofas, a large TV screen, two full bathrooms, and four bedrooms, each with a queen-sized bed and their own DVD players and small screens. Our children, already visibly excited about spending time on an actual boat, where thrilled with the idea of having their own bedrooms. The back deck featured plenty of room for more fishing supplies (yeay for Daddy and Daddy-in-law!) and a ladder to the upper deck where there sat a large hot tub, which made all of us adults happy as we pictured two relaxing nights spent sipping champagne under the stars after the little ones went to sleep. This was going to be fun. After unloading all of our supplies and filling the two ice chests up with ice and beverages, we were given a tour by Sean, our helpful guide gave us a prep on how

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everything worked onboard the ship, including steering. Not familiar with Lake Oroville, Sean gave us directions to his favorite spot, drove us out past the idle range and then hopped onboard a waiting return ride, leaving us to our own devices for the next three days. A built-in GPS near the steering wheel made navigating the lake easy, and as I drove, my father-in-law started prepping the fishing gear while Mommy and the kids sat on the top deck, taking in the tranquil scenery. Lake Oroville was quiet save for one or two fishing boats and one ski boat out and about. Above us we could see hawks circling lazily in the afternoon sky. Nothing but blue skies ahead. Sean could not have sent us to a more ideal spot: the cove was removed enough from the main lake that passing boats were hardly noticed, and a waterfall just offshore provided a beautiful backdrop for our activities. This influx helped cool down the water when it was time to dive in, while also providing a beautiful fishing spot. Surrounded by hills, we experienced sunny days that gave way to shaded early evenings. Each of the houseboats has a built in slide in the rear, and our children were eager to go down into the water (safety jackets are required accessories on the decks, and we held the kids in our laps on the way down). We decided that it didn’t really make sense to go anywhere else, and so anchored the boat and left it there for the remainder of our stay, though a couple of times rising waters (thanks to the melting winter snow) sent us scurrying to re-attach our anchor ropes on higher ground. The next three days were spent in what could only be described as family bliss. There was no agenda, no schedule, no pre-planning Two men and one boy fished in the morning and nights. Enough bass were caught (five) that we had fresh fish for dinner one night, and more than a dozen bluegill and croppie were caught and released (after teaching my son the kiss and release method). When it got too hot, we joined Mom and Daughter in the water or watched as the two children chased each other on the upper deck with squirt guns we bought just for the occasion. On our second day, a shower of lady bugs swarmed the boat, and my daughter and son sat on the deck as ladybugs crawled on their hands and legs. She even had butterflies alight on her head and hair one afternoon. If one or both of the children got heated or tired or grumpy, they were happy to retreat to their own private space and cool off, and we could all still carry on without a delay. Evenings after dinner and before the kids’ bed time were spent eating freshly-popped popcorn on the couch watching a movie or standing up on the deck, looking at the starry night skies. Putting them to bed both nights was a snap, days filled with constant activities were dulled by the gentle

August/September 2010

rolling action of the boat, and both kids entered dreamland within five minutes of hitting their pillows. We did make true on our hot tub promise, but took turns as we found it hard to hear if the children woke up. After a full day of catching fish, swimming, tanning, or entertaining children, we finally surrendered to sleep ourselves slipping into a very comfortable bed, and soft and warm sheets and blankets, In the morning, hot showers and hot coffee helped us greet the day, as our children were both up by dawn’s earliest light, eager to begin the fun anew. On the third day, as we headed (slowly) back to base, we took one last soak of the scenery, with both of my children looking on a bit crestfallen. Finally my son tugged my leg and asked “Daddy, why are leaving our home? I want to live here.” So do I, son, so do I. BAK

a very special thanks To Forever Resorts and the ever helpful (and very patient) staff at Oroville Marina. And a very, very special thanks to Sean for pointing us to our own private heaven, if only for three days. The fishing was great, the water was cool and deep, the scenery was breathtaking, and the memories are still fresh.

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HOUSEBOATS, CONT’D

IS IT expensive? The boat we were on, at seventy feet, is the largest in their fleet. It also rented at a daily rate of $1,142 per day, not including gas and food (you supply your own food). However, that particular boat is not meant for five people (unless you really want to splurge). With the four bedrooms and two full sofa/sleepers, four families could interact comfortably. With each family shouldering the costs, your total bill is equal to or less than a family vacation spent elsewhere, without the crowds, long lines, and attitudes and souvenir stands. Single families should opt for the smaller boats: Forever Resorts has two smaller sizes: a fifty footer and a fifty-nine footer that will sleep two families comfortably.

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Behavior Analysts, Inc. We help children with Autism and other developmental disabilities obtain the best possible outcomes! Dr. James W. Partington, Ph.D., BCBA-D and his staff at the STARS Clinic in Walnut Creek provide:

• Design and review of educational programs for children with Autism • Help to develop teaching procedures and IEP’s • 1:1 instruction in our clinic • Training for staff and schools to develop educational programs • Training for parents on how to teach their individual child • Necessary skills for children to communicate effectively For more information contact Autumn Bailey at 925-262-8523 or bailey@behavioranalysts.com and start teaching your children well today! 311 Lennon Lane, Suite A, Walnut Creek, CA 94598

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Boat sizes available (size and daily rate at time of print): 50’ XT Forever 8 (sleeps 2-6): $542/day 59’ Deluxe (sleeps 10): $656/day 70’ Millenium: $1,142/day See ForeverHouseboats for more options and specific rates.

what else do I need to know? Gas: As with rental of any vehicle, you are provided with a gassed-up houseboat and are required to fill it back up when you return (actually they will fill it up for you). These aren’t twentygallon tanks either. Our tank held something like 264 gallons, and even though we only drove it less than an hour away from the main marina, keeping the generator going (needed for hot water and some other functions) drizzled about a quarter of a tank by the time we returned. Insurance: Buy it. It’s only fifteen dollars a day and covers most any damage that might be done to the boat. It’s not worth the gamble. Necessities: Imagine being without any contact to the outside world for three days and plan accordingly. Plenty of sunscreen, diapers (if you need them), emergency supplies, lots of water, and enough food for three meals a day plus snacks. Also bring board games, cards, your child’s favorite toys, books, and movies. They provide a complementary pail of toys, stickers and activity books.

WANT MORE INFORMATION? Forever Resorts offers houseboat rentals at several California and neighboring lakes, including Lake Mead, Lake Powell, Lake Oroville, Trinity Lake, Lake Berryessa, and Lake Don Pedro Forever Resorts Houseboats: ForeverHouseboats.com Lake Oroville Marina: LakeOrovilleMarina.com | (800) 255-5561

IS IT SAFE? The main question we had before the trip — and one echoed by other parents once they heard about our adventure was “Is it safe?” The answer is yes … mostly. The two sliding doors that lead out are childproof, so there’s no real danger of them skipping out at night for a midnight swim. Life jackets are required, so any time kids want to step outside those sliding doors, they have to put one on. The outdoor surfaces aren’t very slippery, and the high protective barriers and fences make it hard for a toddler to go overboard, accidentally or otherwise. Like any other child-centered activity involving water, adult supervision is required, especially with fishing equipment around. We had no incidents, and the only flaw we found was the lack of a protective gate or barrier at the top and bottom of the stairs leading to the upper deck.

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where did you get that?

compiled by Sunny Chanel

Cupcakes and Pastries

There is some thing so charming about the frocks for little girls from Cupcakes and Pastries: the collection is sweet with a sophisticated, international, and exotic flair. The pieces are old-fashioned yet decidedly modern. This Strawberry Special print shown here — reminiscent of an Indian sari that is finished with a contrasting metallic details — is a delicious choice for Berkeley or Bangalore. The pieces are 100 percent cotton, and although they are darling and dressy, they are incredibly wearable. $61, www.cupcakesandpastries.com

43 fashionable finds

Dr. Seuss Shoes By Converse

When you combine two things most children love — the zaniness of Dr. Seuss with the cool comfort of Converse shoes — something very special happens: the exclusive Dr. Seuss Collection. Shoes features various graphics, in bright vivid colors, celebrating the artwork of books like One Fish, Two Fish, as well as beloved characters like Thing No. 1, and Thing No. 2, and the beloved Cat in the Hat. Sizes are available for kids age 0-12 and they even make adult sizes for the big kids. Chuck Taylor All Stars, $35 – $45, www.converse.com.

Livie and Luca Shoes

If you opt to get your food locally, and shop locally, you should have your kids step out locally too. Livie and Luca, the creators of this adorable line of shoes, happen to be based in Albany. Their shoes are bold, bright, and whimsical: and it isn’t only cuteness they have going for them: each pair of Livie and Luca’s shoes are made by hand. Because the designers are concerned with their carbon footprint (no pun intended), the soft, supple, and highquality leather used in these shoes is from remnants that would usually go unused. This process makes each pair slightly different, unique, and extra special. The Tierra is shown here. $49, www. livieandluca.com, or check them out at Ruby’s Garden, 5095 Telegraph, in the Temescal Plaza, Oakland. August/September 2010

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M a d s t y le Photos shaun fenn | models JE Model starring Jennifer, trey, and cassidy

BLOOMINGDALE STYLIST COLLEEN HARTMAN | STUDIO TEACHER CHRISTINE

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Why should grown ups have all the fun playing dress-up? This issue we pay tribute to Mad Men (AMC, www.amctv. com for schedule) and both the original Wall Street movie and its sequel, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (coming to theatres in September), with these vintage modern styles. [Rest assured, while our young actors shown here may portray the angst and drama of their on-screen counterparts, they had nothing but fun on the set and were a joy to work with.] Special thanks to the A.C.T. costume shop (www.act-sf.org/costumes) for their help with our vintage looks.

Vintage 1960’s plaid dress, 1950’s mustard sweater, and 1950s’ chocolate brown hairpiece, all A.C.T. costume shop (www. act-sf.org/costumes). Bone wedge shoes, Nordstrom Kids ($35, www.nordstrom. com). Purse, pearls and watch — vintage collection —stylist own.

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Grey-and-white pinstripe suit ($199) and reversible black/brown belt ($25), both Nordstrom (www.nordstrom.com). Retro blue sharkskin tie, A.C.T. costume shop (www.act-sf.org/costumes). Black Kenneth Cole Reaction Shoes, Nordstrom ($37.99, www.nordstrom.com). Vintage briefcase, Prop Co-Op (www.propcoop. com). White Dress shirt, tie clip, glasses, and hat, stylist own.

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Dark grey pencil skirt ($19.95), pink and black sweater ($24.95), black headband with toule ($7.95), all H&M (www.hm.com). Black wedge shoes, Nordstrom ($35, w w w.nordstrom.com ).Vintage pearl earrings, A.C.T. costume shop (www.act-sf.org/costumes).

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fun family recipes

pear up some healthy food options

50 fun food finds

THE clean plate club is taking a summer recess and will be back in the fall

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Pear Ka-bobs With Strawberry Dipping Sauce Preparation Time 15 minutes Serves 6 1 4 2 2 1 2 6

C lowfat vanilla yogurt Tbsp strawberry preserves Anjou USA Pears, cored and cut into 1-inch cubes bananas cut into 1-inch slices 8-oz can pineapple chunks, drained C strawberries, stems removed wooden skewers

In small bowl combine yogurt and strawberry preserves. Set aside. Thread fruits by alternating pears, bananas, pineapple and strawberries onto skewers. Serve fruit skewers with a dollop of the strawberry sauce on the side. Nutrition Information per Serving calories: 162, total fat: <1g, saturated fat: <1g, protein: 2.6g, carbohydrates: 39g, cholesterol: 2mg, dietary fiber: 4g, sodium: 24mg

Pear Party Salsa Preparation Time: 10 minutes Serves 4 1 Comice USA Pear, cored and finely chopped 1 apple, cored and finely chopped 2 kiwi, peeled and finely chopped 1 orange, peeled and finely chopped 2 Tbsp honey 1 tsp lemon juice Cinnamon graham crackers or sliced fresh fruit and veggies Combine pear, apple, kiwi and orange in a medium sized bowl. Pour honey and lemon juice over fruit and gently toss. Scoop up mouthfuls of fruit salsa using cinnamon graham crackers or sliced fresh fruit and veggies. Nutrition Information per Serving of Salsa: calories: 120, total fat: <1g, saturated fat: <1g, protein: 1g, carbohydrates: 31g, cholesterol: 0mg, dietary fiber: 4g, sodium: 1mg

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your child will “dig” this

vegetable garden “dirt” cups with fat-free ranch dip An inventive activity for the children — and a delicious recipe idea – guaranteed to help kids love their veggies. Vegetable Garden “Dirt” Cups with Ranch Dip Prep Time: 10 minutes Serves 8 – 10 Variety of vegetables for dipping: mini carrots with tops, pea pods, mini sunburst squash, celery sticks, green beans or whatever your child likes to dip 2-4 C pumpernickel pretzel or dark corn chip crumbs 2 C fat-free ranch dressing Crush the pumpernickel pretzels or dark corn chips until mixture resembles dirt. Pour a layer of dirt crumbs into the bottom of a clear container (or for single servings pour into paper cups). Pour dressing over crumbs then add a thicker layer of dirt crumbs on top. Place vegetables into dirt cup or serve them on the side to dip.

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for the adults

summer grilling that’s off the charts

G

earing up for the summer concert season? Don’t forget the most important piece of equipment — the grill. Add a little music, some family and friends, and you’re ready to go. “Good tunes, a hot grill, and your favorite people are all you need to throw a great barbecue this summer,” said Chris Lilly, the official pitmaster for the Keith Urban Summer Lovin’ 2010 Tour, which stops at state fairs and festivals nationwide this summer. Like the authentic flavor of a great barbecue sauce slathered on food hot off the grill, Urban has a unique and authentic connection to his fans. Music lovers come to experience his critically hailed live performances with family and friends, an experience that begins from the moment they enter the parking lot - with thousands tailgating before the performances. “Music, like barbecuing, has a unique communal quality that brings people together,” said Urban. “It’s that connection that we strive for every night at our shows - which can start with a relaxing tailgate party before we even hit the stage.” Whether you’re tailgating at the show or have the music set on high out in the backyard, official tour pitmaster Lilly makes it easy to celebrate the summer concert experience with these grilling tips:

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Keith Urban’s favorite barbecue recipe!

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Perfect Your Opening Act. To ensure a more uniform doneness in your barbecue, let the meat come to room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. This simple trick will help to add the perfect amount flavor. Prepare the Set List. Plan ahead and marinate meat before guests arrive, or throw the meat in a marinade when you’re at home so they are ready to go when you get to the parking lot before the show. Chose the Right Instruments. If you use a gas grill, you sacrifice the added flavor that comes from cooking over burning coals. Try barbecuing with charcoal for a more authentic and flavorful meal.

Smoky Bourbon Ribs Makes: 4-6 servings Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 3 hours, 45 minutes 2 slabs 1C

loin back ribs (baby back) bourbon barbecue sauce (such as KC Masterpiece, Fighting Cock Kentucy, or Jim Beam Bourbon BBQ, all of which make a great bourbon sauce)

Dry Rub 1/4 C dark brown sugar 4 tsp garlic salt 4 tsp chili powder 2 tsp salt 1 tsp black pepper 1/2 tsp celery salt 1/4 tsp red pepper 1/4 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp white pepper Liquid Seasoning 1/2 C apple cider 1/4 C apple jelly 1/4 C honey 1/4 C brown sugar 1 Tbsp dry rub mix (above) Remove membrane from back of rib slabs. In small bowl, combine dry rub ingredients and mix well. Reserve one tablespoon rub for the liquid seasoning mixture. Generously apply dry rub onto front and back sides of ribs. Build a charcoal fire for indirect cooking. Add a small aluminum pan to the void side of the grill and fill it halfway with water. When charcoal grill reaches 250°F, place ribs meat-side up on grill grate and cook over indirect heat for two hours and 15 minutes. Remove ribs from grill. Place each slab meat-side down on its own doubled aluminum foil square. Mix liquid seasoning in a small bowl. Pour 1/2 cup liquid over each slab. Then, tightly wrap and seal each slab with aluminum foil. Place wrapped ribs back in cooker for one hour at 250°F. Remove ribs from grill and discard foil. Brush barbecue sauce on both sides of ribs. Place ribs back on grill for 15 minutes, or until sauce caramelizes.

August/September 2010

something new

island kabobs with tropical fruit salsa Bananas aren’t just for breakfast or lunch anymore. By grilling this popular fruit, you can add a whole new flavor dimension to a dinnertime recipe and turn a basic dessert into something wow. Island Kabobs with Tropical Fruit Salsa Preparation : 10 minutes Grill Time: 10 minutes Makes: 4 servings 2 ripe, firm bananas, peeled, each cut into 6 pieces, plus 1 ripe banana, peeled and diced 12 chunks pineapple 16 extra large or jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined 1 green or red bell pepper, cut into 8 pieces 2 tablespoons lime juice 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice 1 mango, peeled and diced 1 tablespoon chopped mint 1 green onion, minced 2-3 teaspoons minced jalapeño pepper Thread banana pieces, pineapple, shrimp and bell pepper pieces equally onto skewers. Whisk together lime juice, oil and allspice in small bowl. Brush 2 tablespoons over kabobs. Combine remaining marinade with diced banana, mango, mint, green onion and jalapeño pepper; place in a serving dish. Grill kabobs over medium high heat 8 to 10 minutes, turning once or until the shrimp are opaque. Arrange the kabobs on top of the salsa.

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diary of a suburban queen

by Kelly Pollard

school bells ring, are you listening?

56 last words

Kelly Pollard is a TriValley writer and mother of two boys, ages five and four. You can find her at TwoBoysinTwoYears. BlogSpot.com with more incriminating tales of her family.

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After the loose schedule and hot days of summer, the bells announcing school’s official beginning this fall are music to my ears. Mind you, these ears have put up with monumental sibling battles for three months, dozens of “I’m bored” declarations, and quite a few whines at being cut off from the Nintendo Wii after tired eyes had been glued to a screen far longer than I’ll ever admit here. I celebrate the chimes of school bells signaling a fresh year of homework packets, lunch cards and cookie dough fundraisers. I’ll embrace the musical zipping of carefully picked out skull backpacks and Star Wars lunch boxes, not even minding the inevitable science experiments sure to sprout within these lunch boxes when my sons ignore my pleas to throw out their half eaten yogurt containers and soggy tuna sandwiches. As I take my sons through the school gates the end of this month, I will guide my baby into his first year of elementary school, with the raised expectations and sky-high state standards he must meet. I say goodbye and good riddance to you, preschool tuition bill, in exchange for juggling homework times two: my 2nd grader’s increasingly tough and time consuming assignments and my tentative kindergartener’s first stab at phonics worksheets and simple addition problems. As I weave my little men through the maze of girls with ribbons carefully tied in their hair and boys with hair spiked up and high-fiving the buddies they lost track of over the summer, I will suppress the tears when kissing their heads if they will put up with the embarrassingly public display of affection and watch them scramble out of my reach to a world completely separate from me. With my camera shaking in hand, I’ll record their retreating backs with oversized backpacks and flashy, overpriced shoes they convinced me to buy so they can run faster than lightening across the brand new track that hugs the field. I will retreat from this intimate world we created between us over the summer, lounging on various couches with our respective books and floating across the choppy waters of Shadow Cliffs and in ground pools. I will be separate from the friendships that form, the whispered secrets and giggles, and the teasing and bullying that flies under the razor sharp radars of the teachers and yard

duties I trust my babies with. They exist in this alternative universe, where I’m not around to monitor if they eat their bananas and peanut butter sandwiches or trade them for cookies and sticks of illicit gum. I won’t be around to remind them of their manners or to wash their hands, to listen respectfully to their new teachers from behind their polished desks. So with fingers crossed and tears threatening to fall, I will smile and wave and watch them grow further from me. I will wonder how these gangly boys with chests shoved proudly outward once were needier, softer versions of themselves with rounder cheeks and idolizing eyes that followed my every move from their perches in baby swings and hefty strollers. Then, I’ll return to my empty house, cluttered from our manic morning, gingerly wiping up spilled milk and toothbrushes discarded like tired soldiers on the sink. For several hours, five days a week, I will retreat back to my own inner universe separate from managing the daily lives of the two beings I brought into the world. I have earned my respite from refereeing smack-down, screeching arguments over action figures and insisting that they eat just two more carrots before unwrapping carefully stashed ice cream bars. Glancing in the mirror, I’ll wonder who this woman is with tired eyes and an afternoon rolling out in front of her like a conveyer belt toward my own dreams. I’m no dummy. I know how quickly these hours will fill with shifts of volunteering in their classrooms and PTA duties, last minute errands for bigger soccer cleats and sugar cubes for upcoming mission projects, household chores and heftier work assignments. So begins another milestone that leads ever closer to monitoring girlfriends, fretting over driving lessons and adjusting crooked graduation caps before my babies walk with their chests out down the aisle toward adulthood.

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Double Anniversary Sunday, August 29, 2010

11:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. • Camp Arroyo, Livermore 





 

Silent Auction • Live Auction • Gourmet Luncheon Wine Tasting • Celebrity Guests • Camp Tour $175 for individual tickets • $2,000 for a table of 10 Sponsorship Opportunities starting at $3,000 For more information and to register, visit www.ttff.org, call 925.455.5118 or send an e-mail to TTFF@ttff.org

A benefit supporting Northern California children with life-threatening and chronic illnesses, developmental disabilities and youth at-risk through unique therapeutic experiences, support and summer camp experiences at no cost to their families.

Lifetime Camp Angel Bonderson Family

Cash Lead & Title Sponsors

Dave & Deanna Bing Hulburd Family

Sustainability Presenting Sponsor

In-Kind Lead Sponsors

In-Kind Title Sponsors

SLO/Shelley Lazar • Joe Tomkinson & Irene Jacobs

Camp Arroyo Partners

L E D L IG H T I NG + DES I GN


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