Mendo Lake Family Life January 2023

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mendo lake Get Fit 3 vital steps FREE! Public TK MCOE weighs in January 2023 Private Schools 24 local schools What’s best? School Primer
of Caring years WE ACCEPT MEDI-CAL, MEDICARE, PARTNERSHIP AND OTHER INSURANCE. • • MCHC HEALTH CENTERS IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY PROVIDER AND EMPLOYER. IN UKIAH, WILLITS, AND LAKEPORT FOR AN APPOINTMENT, CALL: ( 707 ) 468-1010 1-855-FOR-MCHC COVID-19 vaccines are here for children 6 months and older. Help protect your little ones. Call for an appointment today.
high-interest debt! Transfer your credit card balance and save. Goodbye Rates e ective 1/1/23 and reflect excellent credit. All rates, terms, and special o ers subject to change. Certain restrictions apply. For cash advances at a non-RCU location, the greater of 2% of the advance or $20 will be charged. Transfer fee & Annual fee Rates as low as Discover real savings with an RCU Visa® Platinum credit card, so you have more money to put towards what matters most.
8 10 Features January 2023 Every Issue 6 Dear Reader 7 Cooking with Kids No-Fuss Stew 8 Bits and Pieces Meet a Lamb Indulge in a Crab Feed Teach Kids Break Dance Little Carts that Go Take a Free Parenting Class Behold, the Moon 24 Calendar of Events Bound for Beauty 28 Humor Break Care of the Exhausted Parent 10 New Vision for Pre-K Learn about Universal TK. 12 A Primer on Schools What kind of learning environment suits your child? 14 Private & Charter School Guide The scoop on 24 local schools. 18 Sleep Well, Stay Well How getting your Zzs boosts immunity. 20 Teens Wear Me Out A mom-writer vents. 22 3 Steps to Getting Fit Concrete advice on how to take care of your body. 29 7 4 MendoLakeFamilyLife January 2023
2023-24 Kindergarten & Transitional Kindergarten Registration Opens January 10th Deadline for Grace Hudson TK and Kindergarten registration: February 16, 2023 Deadline for registration at your elementary school of choice: March 24, 2023 Children age 5 by September 1, 2023, will enroll in Kindergarten. Children turning 5 between September 2, 2023, and April 2, 2024, can enroll in our Transitional Kindergarten Program. Ukiah Unified School District Calpella Elementary Frank Zeek Elementary Grace Hudson Elementary 151 Moore Street 1060 Bush Street 251 Jefferson Lane 472-5630 472-5100 472-5460 Nokomis Elementary Oak Manor Elementary Yokayo Elementary 495 Washington Ave. 400 Oak Manor Drive 790 S. Dora Street 472-5550 472-5180 472-5690 Register Online at If you need help with registration, or access to a computer, contact your school’s office. Transitional Kindergarten Is Expanding to include students who turn 5 on or between September 2, 2023 and April 2, 2024. TK

ow that the holidays are over, the rhythm of school life has returned. And as it does, you may find yourself thinking about whether or not your children’s learning environments are working for them. There are options, which “A Primer on Schools” (page 12) outlines. Two of them are private and charter schools. Turn to our Private and Charter School Guide (page 14) to find out pertinent information about 24 local institutions.

Speaking of options, the expansion of California’s transitional kindergarten (TK) program means free preschool is available to more kids. Turn to “New Vision for Pre-K” (page 10) to find out what the Mendocino County Office of Education’s Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services has to say about this big change.

NBesides your kids’ education, January and the New Year may usher in thoughts of taking better care of your body. Intuitive Eating Coach, Ironman triathlete, and mom Pam Moore has some ideas to help you get started. Read her “3 Steps to Getting Fit” (page 22) to find out what tricks are up her sleeve.

If you are like most people, you probably think improved health and wellness means more early-morning trips to the gym. And while this may be true, good health is also about sleeping in. Read “Sleep Well, Stay Well” (page 18) to learn how getting enough rest can boost your immunity.

As you start 2023, we wish you positive beginnings of all kinds, whether in health, education, or any other area. Know that we’ll be here with articles to help you and your family stay balanced and empowered during all your new adventures.

Happy New Year!

Marketing/ Sales/Events

Patricia Ramos 707-205-1539

Features Editor

Melissa Chianta

Production Manager

Donna Bogener

Contributing Writers

Kim Blaker Shannon Carpenter

Katy M. Clark Malia Jacobson Pam Moore Karen Nochimowski


Jan Wasson-Smith

Publishing Office P.O. Box 351 Philo, CA 95466 (707) 205 1539

Dear Reader
Learn more at: Scan QR code to learn more and install the Sharecare app Join the Eat Mindful Challenge: Eat Plant-Based Foods. January 1- March 31, 2023 6 MendoLakeFamilyLife January 2023

No-Fuss Stew

Cook a Satisfying One-Pot Meal

This recipe dates back at least 15 years, to when I was on a slow-cooker kick. I had just been gifted a cooker and found a stapled book of recipes at the bottom of the box. I saw the recipe for beef stew and thought, “Why not?” Believe me, unlike my recipes, it included more than six minutes of prep, for sure! I chopped, sliced, and diced; I seared and used multiple pans. The stew turned out great, but even in those bygone days before kids, I needed a recipe with less prep and one pan. Voila! I created a way to make delicious beef stew without all the fuss. ❖

Karen Nochimowski, the mom behind , has loved cooking for as long as she can remember. All Momma Chef recipes are made with six or fewer ingredients and take fewer than six minutes of prep time. Karen’s first cookbook, Six-Minute Dinners (& More!), is filled with more than 100 simple and delicious recipes made with six or fewer ingredients, including nut-free and allergy-friendly options, to help busy families get dinner on the table with ease.

Hearty Beef and Veggie Stew


• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

• 2½ pounds beef stew meat, cubed

• 2 large carrots, peeled and diced

• 3 medium-sized potatoes, diced

• 2 cups tomato juice

• 2 cups beef broth


1. Preheat the oven to 300°F, and set a rack in the lower-middle position.

2. In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.


1. Alternatively, you can make this in a slow cooker. First, sear the meat with olive oil in a pan, per the instructions above. Then add the meat, carrots, potatoes, tomato juice, and beef broth to the slow cooker.

3. Add the cubed stew meat and sear for about 3 minutes per side.

4. Remove the pot from the heat, and add the carrots, potatoes, tomato juice, and beef broth. Stir everything together and cover the pot.

5. Carefully put the pot in the oven, and cook for 2 hours or until the meat is very tender.

6. Remove from the oven, and season with salt to taste.

Serves: 6

Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours, until the meat is very tender.

2. Carrots and potatoes are my favorite veggies to use in the stew, but you can use others, such as peas, canned tomatoes, or any of your favorites.

Cooking with Kids January 2023 MendoLakeFamilyLife 7

Meet a Lamb

What’s white and fluffy and evokes cuddle vibes like nothing else? Newborn lambs. They’ll be ready to be petted and showered with coos on January 14, 10 a.m.–noon, at the Hopland Research and Extension Center in Hopland. Visitors will take an easy one-mile walk to see their fuzzy friends; and then there will be sheep-related activities for kids. Strollers and toddlers welcome. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for ages 16 and younger. Register at

Indulge in a Crab Feed

Crab is in season, and that means so are crab feeds. The popular Crab Cake Cook-Off and Wine Tasting Competition, a benefit for the Mendocino Coast Clinics, will serve up crab cakes and Mendocino County wines on February 4, 11 a.m.–3 p.m., in the big white tent at the corner of Main and Spruce Streets in Fort Bragg. Tickets are $250 and may be purchased at Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required to attend. Meanwhile, the Club Cardinal’s Crab Feed will be on January 27 at 6 p.m. at the Little River Inn in Little River. Tickets for this Mendocino High School fundraiser are $85. Call the Little River Inn for more information and to purchase tickets: 707-937-5942. Find more crab feeds at

Teach Kids Break Dance

Break dancing was invented in the late 1960s and early 1970s in New York City. But it didn’t become popular until the 1980s, when Michael Jackson inspired teens everywhere to do the moonwalk. Now break dancing is an Olympic sport—and kids still want to learn how to walk on the moon. The Free Kids Online Break Dance Class aims to teach them the ins and outs of the athletic dance form. The New York City–based 6 Step Before the Lord School of Breakin’ will offer the online classes on Saturdays, 11–11:30 a.m. Register via Eventbrite at Find out more at

Bits & Pieces
8 MendoLakeFamilyLife January 2023
Crab Cake Cook-Off

Little Carts that Go

Go-kart racing has been around since the 1950s, and go-karts themselves since the 1930s. As the sport evolved, it gave prominent racecar drivers such as Jeff Gordon and Al Unser Jr. their start. See local go-kart racers press petal to the metal on January 7, 11 a.m.–2 p.m., at the Indoor Go-Kart Winter Races at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Lakeport. A spectator pit pass is $30. Find more information at and

Take a Free Parenting Class

Kids do not come with instruction manuals. But parenting classes, like Triple P (Positive Parenting Program), can offer clues on how to raise well-adjusted children. Presented by Triple P Mendocino/First 5 Mendocino, the eight-week Triple P Parenting Zoom series will cover strategies for managing misbehavior, setting rules and routines, and parent self-care. The free classes will be held via Zoom on Thursdays, 5:30–7:30 p.m., January 19–March 9. Reserve a spot on Eventbrite at tinyurl. com/2h5cr78x.

Behold, the Moon

People travel to Mendocino just to see the full moon cast its light on the Pacific. And, if Luna is willing, they can get a particularly good view during the (Almost) Full Wolf Moon Night Tour at the Point Arena Lighthouse. On January 7 at 7 p.m., participants will walk through the lighthouse, the tallest on the West Coast, and gaze at the full moon from the lantern room. Champagne, sparkling juice, and sweet and savory snacks will be served. Participants will receive an etched Point Arena Light House champagne flute as a souvenir. Tickets are $50 per person. Make reservations in person or call 877-725-4448 ext. 1 or 707-882-2809 ext. 1. Reserve a spot no later than 3:30 p.m. three days before the date of the event. Find out more information at January 2023 MendoLakeFamilyLife 9
(Almost) Full Wolf Moon Night Tour

KS: Absolutely.

FL: Will teachers be trained differently?

KS: There are a couple of different things to discuss regarding that question. One is that the state is working on broadening the credential for the TK program. Currently, TK teachers must have taught kindergarten before July 1, 2015, or have a regular teaching credential plus units in early childhood education.

New Vision for Pre-K

What Public TK Expansion Will Look Like

This interview with Katie Sommer, assistant superintendent of educational services at the Mendocino County Office of Education, is the final part of a two-part series on the expansion of transitional kindergarten in California schools.

Family Life: Do you think public TK is a good addition to local education?

Katie Sommer: We’re excited about TK, which we’ve actually had since 2015. But now the state has decided to expand it, calling it Universal TK. Currently, the window of when a child can turn five [and still be eligible for TK] is getting larger. This school year, it is September 2 to February 2; next school year, it will be September 2 to April 2; in 2024–2025, it will be September 2–June 2; and then in 2025–2026, there will be full

implementation, meaning any student who has their fourth birthday by September 1 will be eligible for TK. So the program will transition from being for students about to turn five to a program for all four- to five-year-olds. We think this is great for students and families.

FL: It sounds like this program is all about making TK accessible.

Professional development has focused on the Preschool Learning Foundations and what’s appropriate for students who are in a younger age group. That’s one aspect. The other aspect is that we’re also working on the social-emotional side: how to work with younger children; what to expect from their behavior; how to provide directions, etc. Many of our teachers have preschool backgrounds, which is great. The state is looking at changing the requirements for credentialing, and part of that discussion has been about whether or not they will accept only a preschool credential and not require a multiple-subject credential for TK.

FL: What do you think parents think about the expansion of the TK program?

KS: I think parents are excited, and we’ve gotten excellent feedback. We have small class sizes. The ratio of students to adults is 12 to 1; we have

TK is a game-changer for many families who can’t afford an all-day program.
Our biggest challenge is developing facilities for younger students.
10 MendoLakeFamilyLife January 2023
Katie Sommer

one teacher and a paraprofessional for up to 24 students. We also have an after-school program. Many parents have to piece together childcare, but with our after-school program, they don’t have to. Together, the two programs provide a full day of care.

FL: Are there challenges to the TK expansion?

The other challenge is estimating how many students are going to enroll. Many parents will choose to keep their kids in preschool when we are in full expansion. So it’s hard

FL: So it could be that, without another infusion of money from the state, there won’t be enough room for students as the program expands.

KS: Yes, this is a possibility. We will have to wait and see how the state will react to this challenge affecting almost every school district in California.

FL: Are there any final comments you would like to make?

• Respectful and caring learning community

KS: Our biggest challenge is developing facilities for younger students as the program expands. The cost of facility development is prohibitive. There is some grant funding, but the state is not fully funding all our needs around facilities. (The state gave us money for curriculum, materials, supplies, and new furniture for the TK classrooms, which has been great.)

• Peace education and mindfulness

• Earth stewardship

to estimate the enrollment numbers and plan for facilities. And there’s also the challenge of ensuring we have enough qualified staff hired in time for the start of school. It is important for families to enroll their

KS: TK is a game-changer for many families who can’t afford an all-day program. In some of our rural areas, there are no full-day programs. So we are excited about the increased access the TK program provides. We know that earlier access to a full-day educational program will make our students more successful. ❖

Not Immunized? No Problem. La Vida Can Support You. 707-459-6344 11785 Orchard Lane, Willits Design Your Future Create Who You Want To Be La Vida Charter School WASC Accredited GIVE YOUR
discovery with:
I think parents are excited, and we’ve gotten excellent feedback.
Exploration of own interests & abilities
Experiential learning with field trips, arts
OPEN ENROLLMENT January For application and more information: 707-462-0913 Free Montessori Elementary Education for Children Ages 5 through 13 T of L Charter ree ife Free Montessori Elementary Education for Children Ages 4 3/4 through 12 Open House Wednesday, April 13 Call for more information Free Montessori Elementary Education for Children Ages 4 1/2 Through 12 For application and more information: 707-462-0913 • • Exploration of own interests & abilities • Experiential learning with field trips, arts • Respectful & caring learning community • Peace education & mindfulness • Hands-on & multicultural learning experiences • Earth stewardship GIVE YOUR CHILD A JOYFUL LEARNING EXPERIENCE FULL OF DISCOVERY WITH: Free Montessori Elementary Education for Children Ages 4 1/2–12 FREE meals cooked from scratch for all students, FREE before and aftercare, FREE summer program JANUARY IS OPEN ENROLLMENT FOR THE 2023-24 SCHOOL YEAR January 2023 MendoLakeFamilyLife 11

consistently perform well, state regulations don’t bind these schools as much as traditional schools. Charter schools often have smaller class sizes and different methods of teaching. They are particularly suited to gifted students, or those with various learning styles or attention difficulties.

Cons: If a charter school is not performing well, it may have to shut down; so there can be more pressure on students to achieve.

A Primer on Schools

7 Types of Education for Your Child

One of the most significant decisions parents make for their kids is where to send them to school. The following schools have various benefits and drawbacks.

Public School These schools are funded by the government at local, state, and national levels and are held to specified standards.

Pros: Because public schools are tied to the government, there are standards to which they must adhere. Teachers must be certified and use an approved curriculum. Public schools typically offer the broadest range of extracurricular activities.

Cons: The government funding and, therefore, the quality of public schools can vary significantly from one community to the next. If your

neighborhood’s public school has a low rating, it isn’t always easy, or possible, to transfer to another. Some public schools are overcrowded and have small budgets.

Charter School Usually founded around a specific mission or charter, charter schools are a form of public school and are free to attend. They often have limited space; in order to attend, prospective students may have to apply or enter a lottery.

Pros: Charter schools are often a good alternative for students struggling in a traditional school. As long as students

Magnet School Magnet schools are a type of public school that has a specific focus, such as the arts, music, science, or technology. Unlike a charter school, they do still have to adhere to the same government regulations as traditional public schools.

Pros: If a magnet school focuses on your child’s particular interest, it can help your child develop skills related to that interest. These schools get additional program funding and generally have smaller class sizes.

Cons: Admission to magnet schools is limited and, therefore, competitive. Some schools use a lottery, others use an application and even tests or exams to determine who qualifies.

Special Education School

There are schools available for students with hearing or vision impairments, autism, and specific intellectual or learning disabilities.

Pros: Curriculum and instruction are adapted to best meet the needs of the students; teachers are specially trained.

Parents often get more input on their child’s education.
12 MendoLakeFamilyLife January 2023

Students can relate to each other, which builds community.

Cons: Students only interact with others who have similar disabilities.

Private School Usually tuition-based, private schools do not have to adhere to the same regulations as public schools. Often private schools have a specific focus or educational philosophy, such as Montessori or Waldorf.

Pros: Parents often get more input on their child’s education. Families can find a school that is aligned with their wants or beliefs. Also, class sizes are usually smaller.

Cons: Private schools are often expensive. They also do not have the same level of oversight as public schools. So it is up to parents to make sure the school is providing

their child with an appropriate education.

Religious School Religious schools are a type of private school that is associated with a particular faith or organization. A parochial school is a type of religious school that is connected directly to a local church.

Pros: At a religious school, your family’s faith can be part of your child’s education. These schools usually have strong community and smaller class sizes.

Cons: Tuition can be high. Religious schools are also not held to government standards. Many omit certain teachings in science and history that don’t fit their beliefs. So it is vital to make sure that your child is receiving a full education.

Virtual Schools Both public and private virtual schools offer a variety of educational opportunities, including full-time study or supplemental classes. Classes and schoolwork can be done anywhere there’s Internet access.

Pros: Learning in virtual schools is more individualized, so students have more flexibility and can learn at their own pace. Virtual schools can also provide more educational opportunities or access to specialized classes.

Cons: Virtual schools require a lot of self-discipline. They do not have the same in-person social opportunities for community or friendships, which can cause students to feel isolated. ❖

Kimberly Blaker is a freelance writer who also owns an online bookshop, Sage Rare & Collectible Books: January 2023 MendoLakeFamilyLife 13
2023 Mendo Lake Private & Charter School Guide SCHOOL GRADES TUITION CONTACT INFO LAKE COUNTY Clearlake Clearlake Seventh Day Adventist Christian School 1–8 Call for tuition 15150 Davis St., Clearlake 994-6356 • Konocti Medical Magnet School 5–12 PUBLIC 15851-A Dam Rd. Ext., Clearlake 994-6447 • Kelseyville Kelseyville Learning Academy K–12 PUBLIC (Homeschool & Independent Learning) 4401 Konocti Rd., Kelseyville 279-4305 • Shade Canyon School TK–2 PUBLIC 4335 Sylar Ln. Kelseyville Lakeport Konocti Christian Academy K–9 $5,340–$6,400 401 Martin St., Lakeport 262-1522 • Middletown Lake County International Charter School K–8 PUBLIC 15850 Armstrong St., Middletown 987-3063 • Middletown Adventist School 1–8 $3,600* 21640 Hwy. 29, Middletown 987-9147 • Middletown Christian School TK–12 Call for tuition 20800 Hwy. 29, Middletown 987-2556 • *2022 rates Every effort was made to ensure the accuracy of the following information, but the information cannot be guaranteed. We recommend readers contact schools or visit their websites for the latest information. 14 MendoLakeFamilyLife January 2023
2023 Mendo Lake Private & Charter School Guide SCHOOL GRADES TUITION CONTACT INFO MENDOCINO COUNTY Calpella The Waldorf School of Mendocino County PK–8 $9,150–$11,330* 6280 3rd St., Calpella 485-8719 • Covelo Eel River Charter School K–6 PUBLIC 76350 Main St., Covelo 983-6946 • Fort Bragg Three Rivers Charter School 1–8 PUBLIC 1211 Del Mar Dr., Fort Bragg 964-1128 • Hopland Shanél Valley Academy TK–6 PUBLIC 1 Ralph Bettcher Dr., Hopland. 744-1489 • Redwood Valley Deep Valley Christian School K–6 $4,650* 8555 Uva Dr., Redwood Valley 485-8778 • Eagle Peak Middle School 5–8 PUBLIC 8601 West Rd., Redwood Valley 472-5250 • Alliance for Public Waldorf Education Member TK/Kindergarten through Eighth Grade Tuition-Free Waldorf-Inspired Education In-Person Campus Tours Available Serving Students Since 1999 Advanced Math, Science, Spanish, Music, Art, Woodwork, Drama, Speech, Extraordinary Field Trips 707-467-1855 • 555 Leslie St., Ukiah, CA 95482 Inspired Teaching- Enthusiastic Learning Preschool through 8th grade For more information visit 6280 Third Street w Calpella, CA 95418 w707-485-8719 Celebrating 50 years of academic excellence. Call for a tour. Enrolling now for 23/24 School Year For more information visit 6280 Third Street • Calpella, CA 95418 •707-485-8719 January 2023 MendoLakeFamilyLife 15
2023 Mendo Lake Private & Charter School Guide SCHOOL GRADES TUITION CONTACT INFO MENDOCINO COUNTY Ukiah Instilling Goodness & Developing Virtue Schools K–12 $4,500 4951 Bodhi Way, Ukiah 468-3847 • Redwood Academy of Ukiah 7–12 PUBLIC 1059 N. State St., Ukiah 467-0500 • River Oak Charter School TK–8 PUBLIC 555 Leslie St., Ukiah 467-1855 • Sequoia Career Academy 4–12 PUBLIC 1031 North State St., Ukiah 463-7080 • St. Mary of the Angels Catholic School TK–8 $6,560 991 S. Dora St., Ukiah 462-3888 • Tree of Life Charter School TK–6 PUBLIC 241 Ford Rd., Ukiah 462-0913 • Ukiah Junior Academy K–10 Call for tuition 180 Stipp Ln., Ukiah 462-6350 • Willits La Vida Charter School K–12 PUBLIC 11785 Orchard Ln., Willits 459-6344 • Willits Charter School 6–12 PUBLIC 1431 S. Main St., Willits 459-5576 • Willits Elementary Charter School K–5 PUBLIC 405 E. Commercial St., Willits 459-1400 • *2022 rates Giveaway HOUSE OPEN B U I L D I N G A F O U N D A T I O N F O R L I F E TUESDAY, JANUARY 17TH AT 6 PM (707) 462-3888 www StMarysUkiah org S T M A R Y ' S S C H O O L 991 S Dora St , Ukiah, CA 95482 M O R E I N F O R M A T I O N Enroll that night and receive a children s St Mary's sweatshirt! TK & KINDERGARTEN St Mary's School would like to welcome interested TK and Kindergarten families to our Open House on Tuesday, January 17th at 6 p m Learn about our school, meet the staff and get a tour EMPHASIZING THE 8 CORE VIRTUES & EXCELLENT ACADEMICS DEVELOPING GLOBAL AWARENESS& AN APPRECIATION OF ONE'S INHERENT SPIRITUAL WISDOM KINDNESS FAIRNESS INTEGRITY HUMILITY RESPECT CITIZENSHIP FILIAL PIETY TRUSTWORTHINESS 7 0 7 . 4 6 8 . 1 1 3 8 ( b o y s ) 7 0 7 . 4 6 8 . 3 8 9 6 ( g i r l s ) w w w . i g d v s . o r g E N R O L L T O D A Y ! 16 MendoLakeFamilyLife January 2023

Are you wondering how to help your child get ready for kindergarten? Will she play well with others? Will he listen and follow directions? Will she be able to use the bathroom by herself? If you are asking yourself one or more of these questions, NCO Head Start Child Development Program is the place for you.

Our teachers partner with families to help prepare all children to enter kindergarten. Our program’s approach focuses on providing developmentally appropriate experiences that help infants, toddlers, and preschoolers prepare to enter kindergarten. By working with the families and completing observation-based assessments, our teachers are able to create individualized approaches that meet children where they are at. Our teachers provide a nurturing and supportive environment for social, emotional, developmental, and academic growth.

They assess the growth of the children at three different times during the year, sharing the children’s growth with families.

Our program goes beyond education; it provides comprehensive services that ensure children will be ready to learn when they come to school. We provide health, dental, and mental health support services; services to children with disabilities; and support services to parents and guardians. And since children do not need to be potty trained to attend our program, we support the children and their families with potty training. Healthy meals are prepared by our cooks on-site and served family-style with teachers. Our program follows the Food for Thought curriculum, which introduces children to new foods through educational activities and meals.

At each site, we have staff who are trained in the Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) and available to provide

education on popular parenting topics. We also help families learn skills, such as child advocacy and how to serve on a parent council, that will help them once their children enter the public-school system.

Our preschool classrooms, which serve children 3-5 years old, are located throughout Lake and Mendocino Counties. Our infant and toddler classrooms are in Willits and Ukiah. We also offer a homevisiting program to pregnant women, infants, and toddlers in inland Mendocino County. As part of this program, families visit with our home-based educators once a week and then come together twice a month for a family social and play group.

Start your child’s journey to school success and call our enrollment team at (707) 462-2582 or visit us online at today!

North Ukiah - Bush St.

Nokomis - Washington Ave.

North Ukiah - Bush St. Nokomis - Washington Ave.

South Ukiah - S. State St. Peach Tree - S. Orchard Ave.

South Ukiah - S. State St. Peach Tree - S. Orchard Ave.

Near Brookside School at Spruce St. & Lincoln Way

Near Brookside School at Spruce St. & Lincoln Way

Upper Lake - 2nd Street

Upper Lake - 2nd Street

Upper Lake - Clover Valley Lakeport - Howard Ave.

Lakeport - Lakeport Blvd.

Clearlake - Pearl Ave.

Clearlake - Meadowbrook Dr.

Clearlake - Pearl Ave. Clearlake - Meadowbrook Dr.

Fort Bragg - Lincoln St.

Fort Bragg - Lincoln St.

Give Your Child a Head Start! ✓ 1/2-day & full-day classrooms for ages 18 months to 5 years ✓ Potty-trained not necessary ✓ Children with disabilities welcome ✓ Referrals for transportation available Also providing FREE in-home services for infants, toddlers & pregnant women! Free & Low-Cost Quality Preschool! CENTERS Applications online: • (707) 462-2582 License #230111843
• Ukiah
Lake County
CENTERS Applications online: • (707) 462-2582 or 1-(800) 326-3122
• Ukiah
• Willits
• Lake County
✔ Nurturing classroom experiences for children 3 months to 5 years old. ✔ Potty-training assistance provided. ✔ Children with disabilities welcome. ✔ Accepting applications year round. Also providing unique home visits for infants, toddlers & pregnant women! Apply today & begin your child's journey to school success! Receive a $16,000 education for your child at little or no cost. Empowering children and families to reach their highest potential! It’s never too early to prepare your child for kindergarten
Find out how we keep children and families safe by reviewing our COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines on our website. Applications online: • (707) 462-2582 or 1-(800) 326-3122 January 2023 MendoLakeFamilyLife 17

Sleep Well, Stay Well

Support Immune Health with Better Sleep

When it comes to staying healthy, all the hand sanitizer in the world won’t make up for lost hours of sleep. Getting enough sleep supports a healthy immune system, while sleep deprivation handicaps your immune response, leaving you, or your night-owl children, more susceptible to viral illness.

During sleep, the body releases infection-fighting proteins called cytokines. During periods of sleep deprivation, infection-fighting cells are reduced. Chronic sleep loss can even make vaccines less effective, according to research. Here’s how to build a better bedtime and a stronger immune system, starting tonight.

Do the math. A healthy sleep routine starts with bedtime. According to sleep expert Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, late bedtimes cause many childhood sleep problems

because overtiredness makes it harder for children to get to sleep and stay asleep. But figuring out when to put your child to bed isn’t easy.

To find your child’s bedtime, first determine how many hours of sleep they need in a 24-hour period. This will help you determine how many hours they can comfortably stay awake per day. For example, a one-year-old who needs 14 hours of sleep can stay awake for 10 hours per day. If he gets up at 6 a.m. and naps for 3 hours each day, he needs

a standing 7 p.m. date with his bed. A teen who can stay awake for 16 hours and has to get up at 6 a.m. needs to fall asleep around 10 p.m.

Nix nightlights. You may love the way your child’s smile lights up a room, but when it comes to sleep, the best light is no light at all. Nighttime light disrupts melatonin production; even a small nightlight or the light from electronics or a baby monitor can be enough to prevent deep, restful sleep. Dim the house lights after dinner and install effective blackout blinds to get the bedroom truly dark.

Embrace boring. Sleep doctors agree that an effective bedtime routine is one that’s absolutely set in stone: the same things, in the same order, every night. “Our bodies love routine, and this is especially so with children and bedtime,” says Teitelbaum. Performing the same events in the same sequence before bed cues a child’s subconscious for sleep.

Shut down media mayhem. Bright lights, fast-paced activity, and over-stimulating content are bedtime don’ts. So television, which pours out light and stimulation just as kids should be winding down for sleep, has no place in a bedtime routine. Numerous studies have linked television-watching with poor sleep in children, yet it remains a common evening activity in millions of households with young kids. Shut off screens an hour before bedtime and

Late bedtimes cause many childhood sleep problems.
18 MendoLakeFamilyLife January 2023

use the time before bed for reading and other quiet activities instead.

Serve sleepy-time snacks. The best bedtime snacks contain sleep-inducing tryptophan along with complex carbohydrates to help tryptophan cast its sleepy spell. Nut butter on whole-grain toast, cheese on whole-grain crackers, and cereal with milk or soy milk are great, healthy options. Be sure to serve the snack an hour before bedtime—sleeping on a full stomach can contribute to poor sleep and nightmares.

Start sunny side up. For a better bedtime, start your child’s day off the bright way. Strong morning light helps set your child’s internal clock so they’ll fall asleep more easily come nightfall.

Open their curtains to let the light shine in and serve breakfast in a sunny spot. A morning walk offers beneficial light exposure to help regulate your child’s circadian rhythm.

naps while preserving nighttime sleep, babies and preschoolers should end afternoon naps four hours before bedtime. Older children who no longer take afternoon naps should limit catnaps to the morning hours.

Avoid nap traps. Naps can help keep babies and toddlers from becoming overtired, and new research from Emory University shows that they help babies learn and retain new information. Tired teens and older children can benefit from short, 20-minute power naps. But napping all day is guaranteed to make your child nocturnal. To promote healthy

Get moving. A body in motion is one that’s primed for sleep, because exercise helps children fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. Aim for at least 60 minutes per day of vigorous activity. Babies need lots of time on their tummies and backs to roll, wiggle, and work their muscles, while toddlers and older children can run, jump, climb, and stretch their way to sounder sleep. ❖

Malia Jacobson is a nationally published sleep and health journalist and hosts the Sleep Well Stay Well podcast.

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Teens Wear Me Out

Chasing After Kids Doesn’t End in Toddlerhood

How I recall those sleepless nights when my kids were newborns. Those nights morphed into long days carrying chunky toddlers, then chasing precocious preschoolers. Yup, parenting little ones wore me out.

Things settled down a bit when my kids entered elementary school. Still, they kept me moving with endless birthday parties and after-school activities.

So it was with great anticipation that I envisioned a rest as they reached their teen years. They were more independent and less helpless after all. Welp, I was wrong! There are countless ways that nurturing

my teens into adults is physically and mentally exhausting. Here are just a few.

Have Teens, Will Schlep I take way more than 10,000 steps a day mothering teens. Just a trip to the store pushing a cart loaded with groceries that my teenage son will consume in a matter of days piles up on the pedometer. Then there’s lugging snacks, water, chairs,

blankets, and even costumes to their events, on the court and stage. Pacing the sidelines, jumping up and down when something good happens, or standing and clapping during an ovation surely burns as many calories as cheering. It wears out not only my voice, but also my heart, which bursts with pride over whatever amazing thing my teens just did.

Can Someone Carry This?

They say your home should be your sanctuary, but as the mother of teens, sometimes it feels more like an exercise class. I’ll stand and bend dozens of times in as many minutes picking up the cups, plates, and silverware left on their desks or bedroom floors, or scooping up that wad of clothes that hasn’t moved from the corner of their room in a week.

I might leave the new pack of toilet paper or other item on the landing hoping against hope that my teens will take it up the stairs, only to find myself carrying it. Then I’ll put the mountains of groceries away as I ready myself to prepare meals and wipe down the kitchen, day in and day out. Sure, I appreciate the times my teens pitch in, but mostly I’m the captain of this ship we call home, hustling to keep my kids fed, clothed, and alive. Phew!

You Want to Drive?! I practically live in my car. There

I lie awake in bed listening for them to pull into the driveway.
20 MendoLakeFamilyLife January 2023

are long drives to tournaments, concerts, or to or from college as well as early morning rides to workouts and late nights sitting in a dark car waiting for events to finish.

And let’s talk about how exhausting it can be teaching them how to drive. My hand hurts from clutching the passenger door, and my right foot and calf are tired from pushing the non-existent brake pedal. Then there is the worrying. Will they be safe? What about the drivers around them? How about when they ride with their friends? I have a permanent crease wedged on my forehead as the parent of teens. Forget sleep, too, as I lie awake in bed listening for them to pull into the driveway.

Excuse Me While My Mind

Combusts Raising teens is mentally exhausting for sure. There are so many concerns: Do they have friends? Like their classes? Why aren’t they talking more?

begging than when they were little. Sometimes I feel like I’m a lawyer arguing for the defense!

Then there are emails from their schools to digest, not to mention apps for their activities and portals for their healthcare.

As if that weren’t enough, there are the many requests—for the trendiest shoes or phones or whatever—to deal with. My teens are smarter, savvier, and more persistent at

It’s Worth It Of course, while parenting teens wears me the heck out, it produces a good kind of tired, too. I might not have the energy to leave the house, but I feel content knowing I’ve loved and cared for my teens. And I might not want to get up off the couch at the end of the day, but I still buzz with happiness when my kids are under my roof, at college, or in the real world. Yup, parenting teens wears me out but loving them makes it all worth it. ❖

Katy M. Clark is a writer and mom of two who embraces her imperfections on her blog Experienced Bad Mom

I’m the captain of this ship we call home. January 2023 MendoLakeFamilyLife 21

3 Steps to Getting Fit

Lay the Foundation for Success

If you’re like most people, January finds you ready to start a new fitness routine. And if you’re like most people, by February, your motivation vanishes along with the cookies you swore you wouldn’t eat. Studies show only four percent of people who join a gym in January step foot in that gym in February. If you are one of the many who wanted this year to be different, here are three things you can do to lay a foundation for success.

1. Find your Why. You’d be surprised how easy it is to commit to your fitness journey when you know why you embarked on the mission in the first place. Ask yourself why you want to get in shape. Then ask again. And again. You’ll know when you’re done. Once you get over the awkwardness of having a conversation with yourself, you might be surprised how powerful your Why is. The conversation might go something like this:

Why do you want to get fit?

Because I want my jeans to fit better. Why do you want your jeans to fit better?

So I can feel good about myself. Why do you want to feel good about yourself?

Because I want to be confident. Why do you want to be confident?

I want to be a role model for my daughters.

It may not be easy to keep peeling back the layers on your Why. But the cliché is true—nothing worthwhile is easy. Once you’re crystal clear about the source of your desire, it becomes a million times easier to say no to the snooze button or girls’ night, and say yes to your workout—and yourself—instead.

2. Have a measurable goal. I love fitness. As an Ironman triathlete, an avid runner, a running coach, and a spin instructor, it’s fair to say I am obsessed with fitness. But I can’t support a goal of simply “getting fit.” The same goes for “getting in shape” or “toning up.”

Fitness goals must be objective and measurable. In other words, you should be able to attach numbers and dates to them.

If you have a weight loss goal, make sure it includes a number of pounds and a date. “Lose weight” becomes a long-term goal of “Lose 20 pounds by April 1.” Once you have a long-term goal, add a few short-term goals to keep you motivated and to provide benchmarks of your progress.

Short-term goals might be:

• Lose two pounds by January 10.

• Lose ten pounds by June first.

3. Schedule your workouts. “A failure to plan is a plan to fail.”

Benjamin Franklin knew this was true way before we dreamed of holding tiny computers with calendars, alarm

Treat your workout time as you would any other appointment.
22 MendoLakeFamilyLife January 2023

clocks, and timers in the palms of our hands. As all successful people know, what gets on the calendar gets accomplished. Treat your workout time as you would any other appointment. Create an event on your Outlook or Google calendar, pencil it into your planner, or create an alert on your phone 20 minutes in advance. Do whatever works for you to carve out the time.

If you’re having trouble keeping your workout appointments, try a different approach. In her book Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives (Crown, 2015), author and happiness expert Gretchen Rubin classifies most people as what she calls “obligers.” Obligers find it much easier to follow through on a commitment

they’ve made to a friend than one they’ve made to themselves. While most of us would easily hit snooze and skip the 7 a.m. spin class, we’d never stand up the friend we promised to meet at the gym.


There’s no shame in relying on external accountability to help establish a new habit. You could start by:

• Finding a friend, neighbor, or co-worker to work out with.

• Attending classes at a group fitness studio with a strict cancellation

policy. It’s hard to skip a workout you’ve already paid for.

• Joining an exercise group or fitness studio.

• Becoming a member of an online accountability group.

• Hiring a personal trainer. Before you give up on fitness—or better yet, before you buy that fancy workout tracker and the pricey yoga pants—ask yourself the hard questions. Being honest with yourself about your fitness goals will keep you on your fitness path over the long haul. Because once you know your Why, your What, and your When, the question of How becomes a whole lot easier to answer. ❖

Find Pam Moore at .

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goals must be objective and measurable.
Redwood Coast

Calendar of Events

Bound for Beauty

While paper may be slowly becoming obsolete in the publishing industry, it’s still used in the arts. A fact that the Gualala Arts Center’s Paper Legends show makes clear. During the exhibit, giant, decorated paper-bag kimonos will hang from the rafters, and artistic books, from the simple to elaborate, will be on display. See paper bag books, accordion books, star books, letter press books, a triangular prism book, folded sculpture books, flag books, sewn books, and miniature books. Paper Legends will run January 13–February 5 at the arts center in Gualala. Admission is free. Find out more at

Sunday 1

Ukiah on Ice: Holiday Ice Skating Rink. $10 includes skates. Daily thru Jan. 15. 300 block of School St., Ukiah.

FREE First Day Hike. Choice of docent-led 7.5-mile or 3.5-mile route. Noon. Anderson Marsh State Historic Park. Anderson Ranch Pkwy., Lower Lake.

FREE First Day Hike. Leisurely 1-mile walk. 10 a.m.–noon. Clear Lake State Park. 5300 Soda Bay Rd., Kelseyville.

Thursday 5

FREE The Blue Zone Project Walking Moai in Hopland. A moai is a group of 5–8 people who walk together for an hour, once a week. To learn how to sponsor a hike or join a Walking Moai, contact Azucena Chavez-Huerta: 707-489-3229. Thursdays: 7:15 a.m. Tuesdays (starting Jan. 10): 4–5 p.m. Hopland Research Center. 4070 University Rd., Hopland.

FREE Chess Club. All ages welcome. 2–4:30 p.m. Middletown Library.

21256 Washington St., Middletown.

FREE Storytime. Picture book story time with songs, rhymes & games. Thursdays. 10:15–10:45 a.m. Redbud Library. 14785 Burns Valley Rd., Clearlake.

Friday 6

FREE Dungeons & Dragons Club. Ages 13 & older. Playing 5th Edition D&D. Space is limited. Registration required: 707-987-3674. Fridays. 1–4 p.m. Middletown Library. 21256 Washington St., Middletown. tinyurl. com/mtpdee29.

FREE Rhyme Time. Jan. 6 & 7: 10:30–11 a.m. Fort Bragg Library. 499 E. Laurel St., Fort Bragg.

FREE Shade Canyon Playgroup. Open to all families, for ages 5 & younger. Waldorf-style story, crafts, or nature walk. Held first & third Fridays of month. Jan. 6 & 20: 10–11:30 a.m. Meeting at Peace & Plenty Farm. 4550 Soda Bay Rd., Kelseyville.

FREE Games at the Library. All ages & levels of game players are invited. Jan. 6 & 20: 4–5:30 p.m. Willits Library. 390 E. Commercial St., Willits.

Saturday 7

Indoor Go-Kart Races. Pit pass: $30. 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Lake County Fairgrounds. 401 Martin St., Lakeport.

FREE Self-Guided Hikes at Rodman Preserve. 1.5-mile walk. (Dogs are not permitted.) Saturdays. 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Rodman Preserve. 6350 Westlake Rd., Upper Lake.

(Almost) Full Wolf Moon Night Tour. Beverages & snacks. $50. Reservations must be made by phone no later than 3:30 p.m. three days before event. Gates: 6:30 p.m. Tour: 7 p.m. 45500 Lighthouse Rd., Point Arena. 877-725-4448.

FREE Free Admission Day. First Saturday of each month. Mendocino County Museum. 400 E. Commercial St., Willits.

Paper Legends
24 MendoLakeFamilyLife January 2023

Write On! In Lakeport. Local self-published writer Jordon O’Halloran teaches the basics of constructing a story. Suitable for all ages. Saturdays. 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Lake County Arts Council. 325 N. Main St., Lakeport.

FREE Saturday Storytime. Ages 2–7. 11–11:30 a.m. Round Valley Library. 23925 Howard St., Round Valley. Other libraries will host this event. Visit events for branches/times.

FREE Kids Online Break Dance Class. Taught by New York City–based 6 Step Before the Lord School of Breakin’. 11–11:30 a.m. Register via Eventbrite:

Sunday 8

Santa Rosa Symphony Chamber Players. Concert was originally scheduled for Nov. 20. Featured composers include Durufle, Bloch, CPE Bach & others. 3 p.m. Preston Hall. 44831 Main St., Mendocino.

Wednesday 11

FREE Honoring Motherhood. Supportive gathering for pregnant & post-partum Native mothers & guardians of Native infants. 2nd & 4th Wednesday of month. Jan. 11 & 25. 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Big Valley. 2726 Mission Rancheria Rd., Bldg. 6, Lakeport. Reserve spot: 707-533-9085.

FREE Car Seat Installation. For caretakers who need help installing a car seat or want to make sure it’s correctly installed. Trained & certified techs available on 2nd & 4th Wednesdays every month. Jan. 11 & 25. 9 a.m.–noon. First 5 Mendocino. 166 E. Gobbi St., Ukiah. tinyurl. com/532xr8pp.

magazine•web•email•events #1 resource for local families January 2023 MendoLakeFamilyLife 25

Friday 13

FREE Paper Legends. Exhibit of artistic books & paper kimonos. Thru February 5. Gualala Arts Center. 46501 Old State Hwy., Gualala. tinyurl. com/2p8eez5c.

Saturday 14

FREE Wizard of Oz Mystery for Kids. Help Dorothy & Toto find out what really happened to the Wicked Witch of the East. Dress as favorite Oz character. Costumes not required. Ages 7–12. 2–3 p.m. Fort Bragg Library. 499 E. Laurel St., Fort Bragg.

Hopland Hikes: Meet the Lambs. One-mile stroller-friendly walk. See newborn lambs & participate in sheep-related kids’ activities. $5–$10.

10 a.m.–noon. Hopland Research & Extension Center. 4070 University Rd., Hopland. .

FREE Winter Walk in the Woods. Puppet play, circle games, story time, crafts & a sweet treat. All welcome. Parental supervision required. 10:30 a.m.–noon. Ukiah Library. Children’s Room. 105 N. Main St., Ukiah. tinyurl. com/4n5d4u8p

Sunday 15

FREE Kelseyville Artisan Market. Variety of handcraft items from local vendors. Held third Sunday of month. Food & drinks available for purchase. 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Kelseyville Senior Center. 5245 3rd St., Kelseyville.

Wednesday 18

FREE Wings of Hope Family Support. Fun & meaningful activities for the whole family; food & discussion about grief & healing. Held third Wednesday. 5–7 p.m. Hospice Services Bereavement Center. 1862 Parallel Dr., Lakeport. Learn more or reserve spot: 707-263-6222, ext. 130.

Thursday 19

FREE Triple P Parenting Zoom Series. Learn strategies for managing misbehavior, setting rules & routines & parent self-care. Thursdays. 5:30–7:30 p.m. Reserve spot via Eventbrite:

Friday 20

Music & Dance Wave-Up. Familyfriendly & furry-friendly north

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coast mash-up of live music, art, & dancing. $20. 17 & younger: free. 7–10 p.m. Caspar Community Center. 15051 Caspar Rd., Caspar.

44th Annual All-You-Can- Eat Crab Feed. Hosted by Knights of Columbus. Take-out available. Jan. 20 & 21. 6:30 p.m. Crown Hall. 45285 Ukiah St., Mendocino.

Saturday 21

Professional Pianist Concert. Blues, jazz, classical, Cuban, R&B, Broadway & other genres. $25–$30. Jan. 21: 7 p.m. Jan. 22: 2 p.m. Mendocino College Theatre. 1000 Hensley Creek Rd., Ukiah. Tickets:

AV Senior Center Crab Feed. No-host bar, raffles, silent auction. Crab meal: $60. Spaghetti: $20. Happy Hour: 5:30 p.m. Dinner: 6 p.m. Mendocino County Fairgrounds. 14400 Hwy. 128, Boonville. tinyurl. com/3udun27w

FREE LOBA Poetry Series & Open Mic with Patricia Caspers. Teens & adults welcome to write or share poems in supportive & creative environment. Held the third Saturday of each month. 3–4 p.m. Ukiah Library. 105 N. Main St., Ukiah. 707-463-4490.

Friday 27

Club Cardinal’s Crab Feed. $85. Proceeds support Mendocino High School sports programs. 6 p.m. Little River Inn. 7901 Hwy. 1, Little River.

Saturday 28

Symphony of the Redwoods. Guest cello soloist: Adelle-Akiko Kearns. $25; free for ages 17 & younger. Jan.

28: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 29: 2 p.m. Cotton Auditorium. 500 N. Harold St., Fort Bragg. Tickets:

Flight & Bites: Seafood. A flight of estate wines paired with local seafood bites. Jan. 28–29: 10:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Pennyroyal Farm. 14930 Hwy. 128, Boonville. Reservations:

Sparkling Wine & Oyster Celebration. Held inside Saracina Vineyards’ wine cave. Dozens of regional bubblies, plus still white wines. All-Access Tasting & 1 Dozen Oyster tickets: $125. 1–4 p.m. Saracina Vineyards. 11684 Hwy. 101, Hopland.

Dirty Cello. High energy & unique spin on blues & bluegrass. $20. 7:30 p.m. Willits Community Theatre.

37 W. Van Ln., Willits. tinyurl. com/2e49fr8c

FREE Historic Planes Display. Held fourth Saturday of month. 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Lampson Field Airport. Highland Springs Rd., Kelseyville.

Sunday 29

Ukiah Wedding & Event Expo. More than 50 exhibitors. $5. 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Redwood Empire Fairgrounds. 1055 N. State St., Ukiah. ukiahwedding. com/about-us.

Monday 30

Peking Acrobats. Shanghai Circus. $16–$21. Luther Burbank Center. 50 Mark West Springs Rd., Santa Rosa. 6:30 p.m. Arrive 1 hour early for art projects. Tickets:

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Care of the Exhausted Parent

How to Feed and Love the Overly Fatigued

Whether in the office full time, at-home full time, or somewhere in the anxiety-inducing middle, caring for your Exhausted Parent (subspecies: Exhaustedus Parentis) is a big responsibility for any toddler. Like any pet, they require plenty of dedication, extra helpings of love, and the occasional glass of wine.

Habitat The Exhausted Parent requires a personal-space enclosure, at least ten by ten, which can be invaded constantly. This space should also have plenty of room for a couch with ripped cushions, a carpet with mystery stains, and thick dust (because who has time to clean anymore?). Feel free to further decorate the habitat with half-eaten sticky candy that is glued onto various surfaces.

Socialization The big, wide world can be quite scary for the Exhausted Parent. If they’ve spent too much time on social media, they may be timid and refuse to set foot outside the house. Although it’s natural for many Exhausted Parents to be introverted by nature, total seclusion is not recommended. Set up regular playdates for your Exhausted Parent so that they may learn how to talk to other Exhausted Parents about diaper rash.

Should you notice that your Exhausted Parent is becoming aggressive with others, give a quick pull on their leash and redirect their energy to a positive interaction, such as watching The Great British Baking Show


A varied diet is one of the biggest challenges in properly taking care of an Exhausted Parent. Healthy options such as greens, proteins, and nachos should be part of their regular diet. The occasional beverage that has some sort of umbrella attached may also be included.

Health Tips From time to time, your clumsy Exhausted will have nasty little bumps into inflation that will cause their bank account to bleed. Don’t worry, this happens to all Exhausted Parents, especially when they see their energy and grocery bills.

Environmental Enrichment

The Exhausted Parent has a very full and busy life; therefore, it is imperative that their owners give special attention to mental health. A sensory deprivation tank will give them a chance to forget about their bills for a day. If such a tank is too pricey at the moment because college costs keep rising, you may also fill the bathtub with warm water and provide them with cheesecake.

To treat, wrap them in a warm weighted blanket and give them plenty of hugs. Occasionally kiss their bumps and bruises and let them know that everything will get easier. Should they require more care, take them to a beach and administer Pina Coladas as needed. ❖

Shannon Carpenter is a professional humorist, co-host of The Dadhouse Pod, and the author of The Ultimate Stay-at-Home Dad Manual (Penguin, 2021). He has appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, and in the Washington Post and US News and World Report. As the father of three, you can often find him staring into the abyss as he tries to figure out how he’s going to pay for his kids’ college.

Humor Break
28 MendoLakeFamilyLife January 2023

Wedding Bells Are Ringing

Dresses, tuxes, photographers, flowers, cakes, and, of course, rings—weddings require a lot of choices. The Ukiah Wedding and Event Expo aims to make it easier, with an array of exhibits regarding every conceivable aspect of wedding planning, all in once place. The expo will happen on January 29, 11 a.m.–3 p.m., at Redwood Empire Fair and Event Center in Ukiah. Admission is $5. Learn more at

Learn to Write a Song

Does someone in the family like to whistle while they work? Belt out a ballad in the shower? They can explore their knack for making up melodies at the free 101S Songwriting and Ukulele class. Musicians Steve Hahm and Rosie Wetzel will teach participants some basic songwriting principles and ukulele chords. The event will happen on January 13, 4:30–5:30 p.m., at the Ukiah Branch Library in Ukiah. Students do not need to bring a ukulele; just bring a Mendocino County Library card and borrow one of the library’s ukuleles. Learn more at

Have More Fun & Create Great Memories MendoLake Family visit Get weekly FREE e-mail updates for the best LOCAL family fun calendar January 2023 MendoLakeFamilyLife 29