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March 2017

Camp Fair!

Doula Magic

Party On!

Web Safety Share photos wisely

See you March 31

Great b-day ideas

Help with newborns

Choose from Bowling, Trampolines, Sports, Laser Tag, Arcade Games & More!



MAKE YOUR CHILD’S NEXT BIRTHDAY AN EPIC CELEBRATION! With so many fun and exciting attractions under one roof, nobody in Sonoma County throws a birthday party like Epicenter!

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Hairspray, Jr. Lion King, Kids! June 12–July 20. Shows on July 21, 22 & 23


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March 2017

Every Issue

10 Features 10 Delivery 101 Six tips for managing a hospital birth.



Dear Reader


Bits and Pieces Minds on Music A Fairytale Romance Mini Yogis Say Cheese! Come to Our Camp Fair! Slavic Voices

30 Crafting with Kids

12 Bringing Home Baby How doulas can make it easier to take care of a newborn.

14 The Stress-Free Birthday A step-by-step plan for the big day.

Cardboard Cake

31 Cooking with Kids Countrified Chicken

32 Calendar of Events A Riot of Color

42 Humor Break The Land of YOU

16 Happy Campers Suss out the best programs for your kids.

18 Out of the Box Encourage original thinking.


22 Say What? Prevent teen hearing loss.

24 Frame That Face Be smart about sharing photos on social media.

28 Working It Out Do your kids dislike their teacher? Take action.

4 SonomaFamilyLife

March 2017


Make Music This Summer! Now Enrolling 4 week Kindermusik classes with exciting Summer themes. Infant, toddler, preschool & family classes. 15-50% sibling discount. Unlimited makeup classes, home materials included. WITH SUMMER LEARNING AT SYLVAN SUMMER LEARNING AT SYLVAN up to 2 1/2 months of learning in Group & private ukulele Kids can loseWITH the summer. Stay ahead of the & piano lessons for Kids can lose upcurve to 2with 1/2 months of learning Sylvan's summer sessions! ages 6 to adult. in the summer. Stay ahead of the curve with

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ONE-DAY SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT CAMP: Monday, May 29 • 707-708-GOAL (4625) • 3215 Coffey Lane • Santa Rosa •

Dear Reader


t’s spring! Flowering fields and leafing trees signal that summer is just around the corner. It’s not Sharon Gowan Publisher/Editor too early to start planning the kids’ summer activities. For inspiration check out our free Camp Fair on March 31, 3–7 p.m., at Coddingtown Mall in Santa Rosa. Talk to camp staff from a diverse array of area programs: circus arts, horseback riding, STEM and tech, language immersion, and so much more! Take advantage of freebies, discounts, and drawings as you stroll through booths. And don’t forget to check out our

lineup of live music and dance performers or visit with Classroom Safari’s wild animals. Want to know more about the fair? Just go to

Office Manager Patricia Ramos

And if you are looking for ways to keep kids entertained right now, check our Calendar of Events (page 32). It’s packed with local family-friendly activities, many of them free. We look forward to seeing you at the Camp Fair!

Business Marketing Renee Nutcher Marie Anderson

Features Editor Melissa Chianta

Production Manager Donna Bogener

Web and Social Media Jean Flint

K-8th Grade Homeschool Home Study Program Now enrolling for 2017-18! Limited space available! What are the Benefits of Free Homeschooling with RVUSD? • Individualized support from our team of credentialed teachers. • Students progress at their own pace. • Curriculum and learning tools provided for free. • Access to classroom music, band, orchestra, art, science, PE, and other programs. • Weekly enrichment classes offered for all grades. • Networking, field trips, and community events. • Support to international traveling families.

Contributing Writers Holly Hester Christa Melnyk Hines Malia Jacobson Karen Johnson Christina Katz Frederick S. Lane Betsy McKenna Karen Nochimowski Barbara Rucci Denise Yearian

Billing Jan Wasson-Smith

Publishing Office 134 Lystra Court, Suite A Santa Rosa, CA 95403 Tel (707) 586-9562 Fax (707) 586-9571

Find out more by calling Emily Davis, Home Study Coordinator at 707.546.6183 x4531 or emailing

6 SonomaFamilyLife

March 2017


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March 2017

Charter Middle 6-8


SonomaFamilyLife 7

Bits & Pieces

A Fairytale Romance


ama always said that it’s what’s inside that matters. Just look at the prince in the Beauty and the Beast. He gets the girl despite overabundant fur and some nasty-looking tusks. See students perform the fairytale turned musical at the Forestville School and Academy in Forestville. Shows are at 7 p.m. on March 10, 11, 17, and 18, and at 2 p.m. on March 12, 18, and 19. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for kids. Call 887-2279 for more information. ¶

Mini Yogis

B Minds on Music


he passions of some children evolve early. Such is the case of the members of the Santa Rosa Symphony Young People’s Chamber Orchestra (YPCO), which demands its participants keep a strict schedule of practice, lessons, and rehearsals—a regimen only a deep love for music could sustain. On March 4, the budding artists will be joined by internationally renowned Baroque violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock in a performance of works by Vivaldi and Handel. After intermission, the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra will take to the stage, performing Handel, Stamitz, Sibelius, and Khachaturian. The concert will be held at 3 p.m. at Weill Hall in the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park. Advance tickets are $5 for youth and $15 for adults, and may be purchased at Tickets may also be purchased at the door for $10–$20. ¶

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urdened with endless responsibilities, parents may think their free-roaming kids have it made. But childhood can be very stressful. Enter the Mindful Minis kids yoga and meditation workshop. Crafted for ages 6–11, the free class teaches kids to ease their anxieties with playful yoga poses and mindfulness activities. The workshop will be held at Windsor Regional Library in Windsor on March 9, 4–5:30 p.m. Several other local libraries also offer the course. See the calendar at to find out more. ¶

March 2017

Come to Our Camp Fair!


t may be only March, but it’s not too early to make plans for those long summer days. Come to Sonoma Family Life ’s free Camp Fair on March 31, 3–7 p.m., at Coddingtown Mall in Santa Rosa for inspiration. Find out about everything from hiking, arts, and music camps to sports and horseback riding programs. Talk directly to camp staff, and check out family travel packages and party ideas, too. As you stroll through exhibits, take advantage of freebies, discounts, and drawings. After you’re done collecting information, visit our stage and see local music and dance troupes perform. Or catch a glimpse of one of Classroom Safari’s wild animals. Learn more at ¶

The Yale Slavic Chorus is slated to perform in Occidental.

Say Cheese!


he British animated duo Wallace and Gromit love to have an afternoon “peck of cheese.” It’s a snack choice that the folks at California’s Artisan Cheese Festival would undoubtedly support. At this year’s event, you can taste local iterations of the dairy staple, take any number of cheese-related classes, or bring the family along on a tour of a farm. Wine, beer, and cider will be available, too. The festival will run March 24–26 at the Sheraton Sonoma County in Petaluma. To buy tickets and find out more information, go to ¶

A spread at California’s Artisan Cheese Festival.

Slavic Voices The haunting sounds of Balkan music move many a listener. Turn your ears toward the Yale Slavic Chorus to find out why. The touring group of Ivy undergrads will be singing songs from Bulgaria, Russia, Ukraine, and Georgia on March 12 at 5 p.m. at the Occidental Center for the Arts in Occidental. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased at or by phoning 874-9392. ¶

March 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 9

a simple outfit and car seat for baby. I recommend a long-sleeved, one-piece outfit for him or her. This is not the time to experiment with unnecessary baby items like shoes and dresses. You’ll want baby to be warm and comfortable for his or her first time out. Anything

Delivery 101 Prepare for a Hospital Birth

By Karen Johnson


o you’re having a baby! What an exciting yet overwhelming time. How will it go? Who will be in the delivery room? Should you use pain medication? There are lots of questions new moms have as they prepare to deliver their first baby. While you cannot exactly predict how your experience will go, there are a few things that you can probably anticipate.

1. Your Entourage Years ago, not even the father was allowed in the room for delivery. Nowadays, for a non-complicated vaginal birth, mothers are allowed to invite whomever they wish. (Only your partner is allowed in the room for a C-section.) The people in your life who are likely to calm and comfort you are the ones who should be there. Your first delivery could be 10 SonomaFamilyLife

quite the long haul, so anyone you invite should wear comfortable shoes and maybe bring a pillow to nap on. 2. Your Overnight Bag You’ve probably read all sorts of lists of what to bring to the hospital. Here are the essentials: toothbrush, phone charger, a comfortable outfit to wear home (think loose sweats and a baggy shirt, not jeans), and

In that moment when baby is resting on your chest, the world around you and all the doctors and nurses will disappear. else you bring is up to you. Some people pack their favorite lotion, or calming music, or fuzzy slippers. Also remember that your partner can run out and get whatever you need. Note: Leave room in that bag for all the hospital freebies. 3. Your Birth Plan Most hospitals will ask you to fill out a birth plan so that they can prepare for the type of delivery you desire and anticipate. Are you adamantly against medication? Are you hoping for a water birth in the tub? Are you planning on asking for an epidural the very second you get the green light? This plan helps doctors and nurses prepare for your baby’s safe delivery. However, ask any mother if her birth plan went 100 percent as presented on paper, and most will say no. More often than not, something has to change. Be prepared to effectively communicate your wishes, and know your rights. However, know that your doctors and nurses are medical professionals whose sole job is to care for you and your baby. Everyone wants the same

March 2017

thing: A safe and healthy baby and a safe and healthy mommy.

the doctors and nurses will disappear. Your nakedness will be irrelevant.

4. Nakedness You will be very naked for a large portion of your labor and delivery. You will probably change into a hospital gown immediately after admittance. Some mothers choose to bring a more comfortable gown from home, but the hospital one works just fine, too. It might sound awkward to anticipate so many people seeing you exposed, but by the time baby comes, you probably won’t care. Also, after delivery you will likely have baby placed directly on your chest for skin-to-skin contact. (Some doctors are now allowing for this after C-sections, too.) In that moment when baby is resting on your chest, the world around you and all

5. Gross Stuff Birth is beautiful, and miraculous, and gross. There may be a lot of blood, among other fluids.

The people in your life who are likely to comfort you are the ones who should be there. After a vaginal birth, you will need to birth the placenta, and you may need stitches. You will definitely need help getting cleaned up. Here come those amazing nurses again! And yes, you’re still naked. They will hold you up, help you walk to the bathroom, and help you try to urinate (a feat that may be

challenging for the first time in your life). Be patient. Breathe. Don’t worry about the gross stuff. 6. Rest! You will be taking that new little screaming bundle of joy home in a couple of days, and you will be on your own. So for the duration of your hospital stay, rest. Allow your body to recover from the trauma it just endured. Let your nurses help. Sleep. Lay down. Watch TV. Read. Eat. Because a few days from now, it’s go time. You’ve got this, Mommy. P.S. I know you’ve never used mesh underpants and ice diapers before, but you will now. And you’ll be so grateful for them. Karen Johnson is a mom of three and writes at

Merryhill School


6 weeks – Pre-K

The perfect balance of learning and play


• • • •

Safe, nurturing environment Enthusiastic and caring teachers Links to Learning curriculum Ongoing parent communication

Merryhill School 4044 Mayette Avenue Santa Rosa, CA

OPEN HOUSE: Saturday, March 25, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm


490108352, 49000448

March 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 11

children. It wasn’t the endless cycle of fatigue and frustration as it sometimes was during the first few months with my first child.” What is a postpartum doula? Postpartum doulas are trained to provide support and information on infant care, feeding, postpartum recovery, mama-baby bonding, and infant-soothing techniques. The first six weeks after a newborn arrives can be a mixture of happiness and anxiety as a mom settles into a

Bringing Home Baby C

Can a Postpartum Doula Help?

By Christa Melnyk Hines

orey Engmann never considered hiring a postpartum doula until she learned she was expecting twins. Feeling overwhelmed and worried about how she would handle the pressing needs of both her twin babies and her two-year-old, she turned to Teresa Marshall, a certified birth and postpartum doula, to help her after her twins arrived. 12 SonomaFamilyLife

Many of today’s new mothers lack the support network that generations of mothers have relied on. Marshall spent five nights a week for four months at Engmann’s home providing support, encouragement, and help after the birth of the twins. Her assistance enabled Engmann to get the sleep she needed to recover from a physically demanding pregnancy.

“I can easily say that hiring Teresa was the best thing I have ever done for myself and our family,” Engmann says. “During the day I could be present, loving, and enjoying all three of my

In addition to helping care for the baby, postpartum doulas often help with light housework, errands, cooking, and caring for siblings. new routine. Many of today’s new mothers lack the support network that generations of mothers have relied on. Close family and friends are far-flung and partners return to work within days of the birth. A postpartum doula can provide the experience and valuable support that a new mother may be missing. “A lot of women are waiting to have children until they are much older. Their parents are older or live in other parts of the country,” says Teresa Marshall, who, in addition to being a birth and postpartum doula, facilitates a support group for those experiencing pregnancy and postpartum depression and anxiety. “With postpartum depression a risk, it’s so important for women not to be isolated.”

March 2017

The support of a postpartum doula can be especially helpful to mothers who • have a history of depression or postpartum depression. • don’t have close friends and family nearby to rely on. • are expecting multiples. • have other little ones demanding their attention. “I am convinced that Teresa saved my life. As most moms have felt at one time or another, I was often wondering and questioning if what I was doing

“With postpartum depression a risk, it’s so important for women not to be isolated.” —Teresa Marshall

was the right thing for my children— and with twins, the responsibility is so unbelievably overwhelming,” Engmann says. Mothering the mother. A mom who spends hours alone with her baby can easily spiral into emotional and physical exhaustion, which can put her at greater risk for postpartum anxiety or depression. During this challenging transition period—often called the fourth trimester, a postpartum doula can provide calm reassurance and support to a new mama and her family. “When moms feel supported at home and they are getting what they need, the rates of postpartum depression are reduced,” says Kate Kripke, LCSW, an expert in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and contributing writer for

“There is a lot to be said about the role the postpartum doula plays in simply mothering the mother after she gives birth that can be incredibly preventative for lots of women.” In addition to helping care for the baby, postpartum doulas often help with light housework, errands, cooking, and caring for siblings. Many are also trained to recognize the signs of postpartum depression and provide resources to the moms they support. “When doulas are educated in what to look for, they’re…the first people to pick up on and identify when something is going on with the mom,” Kripke says. What is postpartum depression? According to Postpartum Support International, one in eight women suffers from postpartum depression. Symptoms include insomnia, severe mood swings, a lack of joy, loss of appetite, overwhelming fatigue, withdrawal from family and friends, and thoughts

of suicide. (Additional symptoms can be found at Postpartum depression can also interfere with healthy bonding between a mom and her newborn. “When a baby is on the inside, a woman takes amazing care of herself. And then the baby is born, it becomes all about the baby. As soon as that mom starts to struggle and suffer, she will no longer have what is going to be required to care for her baby the way she wants to. Not because she isn’t a good mom or doesn’t love her child, but simply because she’s human,” Kripke says. “I find that the women who are enjoying motherhood the most and who feel the healthiest...are the ones who are receiving help.” For more information about postpartum doulas and to find one in your area, visit ¶ Freelance journalist Christa Melnyk Hines and her husband are the parents of two boys. She is the author of Confidently Connected: A Mom’s Guide to a Satisfying Social Life (2013).

Give New Mamas a Hand Having a sense of community is vital to a new mom’s health and well-being. Here are ways you can help during those first few weeks. (Make sure to always text or call ahead first.) • Coordinate an online care network. Friends and family can sign up to deliver meals, take care of siblings, clean house, or rock the baby. (Check out • Offer to rock the baby for a couple of hours to give mom a chance to take a shower or a nap. • Deliver coffee and muffins. • Drop off a fully prepared meal. • Babysit any older children for an afternoon. • Offer to walk her dog, clean her house, or run an errand. • Give her a gift card to her favorite take-out restaurant.

March 2017

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The Stress-Free 5 Birthday

Tackle your local shopping list. Be sure to pick up party essentials at least a week ahead in case you can’t find something and need to order it online after all.

Countdown to Party Fun

By Christina Katz


lanning a memorable birthday event can be the highlight of your child’s year. The best way to increase the magic and decrease the madness is to use a handy checklist. These steps will help you prepare gradually—or in one fell swoop—and keep a smile on your face until the final guest leaves.


Choose a theme. Having a focus will help you plan and execute your party without a hitch. Several months before your party date, brainstorm themes with your guest of honor.


Make reservations. If there is one thing I have learned about popular party venues, it’s that they fill up early. Once you have your theme and know you will need a location away from home, get your reservations nailed down tight two to three months in advance.


Find supplies. Shop locally, but for specialty items you may need to go online. Make sure to place your orders at least a month early, to allow for shipping time and returns if anything is not what you expected.

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Send out invitations. Evite wins hands-down for quick and easy party invites. Just visit, select a theme, add in your guests’ e-mail addresses, and send your invitations. Two weeks’ notice is usually just the right amount of time. But if it’s a busy time of year, add another week or two.


Order the cake. For the freshest results, order one week ahead for pickup on party day. Or enlist siblings to make a cake from scratch!


Recruit helpers. Why try to do everything yourself when you can have so much more fun when others lend a hand? See the sidebar “Who Can Help?” for suggestions.


Curry favors. Favors don’t have to be expensive or intricate. For a home party, go simple, fun, and inexpensive. Be as eco-friendly as possible by offering gifts in a reusable container. If hosting a party elsewhere,

Several months before your party date, brainstorm themes with your guest of honor. consider letting the party be favor enough, or simply offer a small treat like a lollipop or a candy necklace to guests on the way out.

March 2017


Set up a day ahead. If you are ordering any large food deliveries like pizza, place your order 24 hours in advance. Don’t forget to check online for any discounts or coupons. Then go ahead and tackle as much prep work as you can. Decorations? Food

Family Portraits Individuals • Families • Events • (707)245-5321

Favors don’t have to be expensive or intricate. For a home party, go simple, fun, and inexpensive. preparation? Party favors? Activity prep? Everything will go more smoothly at the party if you take care of as much as you can the day before.


Party down! Get a good night’s sleep. Allow at least two hours prior for set up and one hour afterwards for clean up. Then enjoy every memorable moment. Designate a party photographer, if your hands will be too full to document the day. ¶

Over the years, Christina Katz has planned some fun birthday parties, including a pony party, a bowling party, and a roller-skating party. But her all-time favorite was the sleepover spa party.

Explore Sonoma County Parks • Trails for Tots - March 3, 10, 17, 24 • Tidepool Talks at Doran Beach - March 4, April 1, May 6 • Nuestros Parques - March 4, April 1, May 6 • Science Saturdays - March 4, April 1, May 6 • Life Under a Log - March 5 • Walk on the Wild Side - March 11, April 9, May 13 • Family Nature Hikes - March 18, April 15, May 20 • Spring Break Surf Camp - March 20-23 • Spring Equinox Celebration - March 22 • Story Walk - March 25

Get Your Free Spring Activities Guide at

March 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 15

Happy Campers

Get Ready for Summer Programs By Christa Melnyk Hines


ummer camp is a time-honored tradition, rich with activities, newfound friendships, and a lifetime of memories. Explore a few ways to make your child’s camp experience smooth sailing from start to finish.

S’more than Just Fun According to the RAND Corporation, a non-profit research organization, children who participate in summer programs such as organized camps are less likely to experience a significant summer learning slide.

“I often hear from parents how amazed they are when their children return home after spending time at camp....about how they seem older and more mature,” says Doug Berkel, a YMCA senior program director of Youth Development Services.

Camp also enhances a child’s physical and emotional well-being. Activities build social skills, teamwork, and independence, all of which contribute to stronger self-confidence and leadership abilities.

Avoid “Camp Run Amok” First, together with your child, decide what skills you want your child to gain, and then choose a camp that fits her or his needs and interests, as well as your family’s values.

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Check out safety guidelines in the camp’s parent handbook. Look for overnight camps accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA). “ACA standards are the most universal and well-known standards adopted by most camps to ensure a quality and safe program,” Berkel says. Day and specialty camps should carry a current state childcare license. Additionally, staff should be trained in emergency, communication, and safety procedures; behavior management techniques (including handling the common bout of homesickness); and child abuse prevention. Camp Sunshine Day camps are a practical way to introduce younger kids to the camp experience. Most focus on a theme such as sports, science, nature, technology, and the arts. Ann Bowley says that when her stepson, Trevor, was younger, he enjoyed planning the day camps

March 2017

he wanted to attend each summer. However, as her son got older he grew more apprehensive about starting over with a new group of kids each week. “We just looked for school mates that might be in camp with him to help him be more comfortable,” she says. Camp Ability Specialty camps revolve around one activity such as music, art, sports, or science. They provide children the

Children who participate in summer programs are less likely to experience a significant summer learning slide. space to further explore and develop a skill that interests them. “Specialty camps tend to run...partial days and could be a nice addition to regular day camps,” Berkel says.

Fourteen-year veteran Boy Scout leader, soccer coach, and father of eight, John Whiteside, is a camping pro. Over the years, he and his children have participated in multiple camps, including sports, band, and weeklong scout camps.

Spring Break Classes

Initial nervousness isn’t unusual. If your child asks to come home, Whiteside says to consider the situation, but to encourage him to discuss his anxieties with the camp counselor and take it one day at a time. “Tell him ‘Yes, today was hard, but I

Camp enhances a child’s physical and emotional well-being.

Art, cartooning, animation, ice skating at the Charles M. Schulz Museum

March 17-24, 2017 Reserve your space online

or call

(707) 284-1272 CHARLES M. SCHULZ SONOMA COUNTY AIRPORT (STS) For less stress, fly STS

Seattle (SEA)

think it will be better tomorrow’ and usually tomorrow is better,” he says.

Alaska Airlines

Portland (PDX) Alaska Airlines

While your child may struggle at first, chances are he’ll come home a happy camper with a heightened sense of self-confidence, memorable stories, and a passel of new friends to boot. ¶ Find out about a whole slew of local summer programs at the Sonoma Family Life Camp Fair on March 31, 3­–7 p.m., at Coddingtown Mall in Santa Rosa.

Sonoma County Airport


Conquer Camp Blues Preparation and an awareness of what to expect can ease the transition from home to camp. Before your child departs, go over a list of everything she or he will need. Pack a physical

Also, mail a card ahead of time to ensure it arrives before the end of camp. Tell your child how you look forward to hearing camp stories, but avoid saying how much you miss her or him—that can trigger homesickness and worry.

©P N

Camp Starlight Overnight camps, typically in an outdoor setting, can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks and are generally offered for children ages 7 and up. If you aren’t sure your child is ready, allow him or her to occasionally spend the night at friends’ houses. Or, as Berkel suggests, take advantage of a weekend family camping opportunity, usually offered in the fall and spring to familiarize campers and their families with the facilities and staff.

connection to home like a favorite sleeping bag, stuffed animal, or pillow.


Las Vegas (LAS) Allegiant Airlines

Freelance journalist Christa Melnyk Hines is the mom of two boys who love choosing day camps each summer. She is the author of Happy, Healthy & Hyperconnected: Raise a Thoughtful Communicator in a Digital World (2015).

March 2017

Los Angeles (LAX) Alaska Airlines

Orange County (SNA) Alaska Airlines

San Diego (SAN) Alaska Airlines

Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX) American Airlines

SonomaFamilyLife 17

Nurture an Innovator with the Arts

Out of the Box

By Christina Katz


f I have observed one thing after a decade of having a school-age child, it’s that the arts motivate kids to perform better in school. Sure, my daughter comes from an artsy family already. Her mom is a writer and her dad is a theater director, but she’s not an extension of us; she is uniquely herself, and her exposure to a wide variety of arts helps her discover her own passions, proclivities, and personhood.

The more types of arts my daughter engages in, the happier and more motivated of a student she becomes overall, even in her most challenging academic classes. But don’t take my word for it. Check out the messages broadcasted prolifically by Sir Ken Robinson, author of the book Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life (Penguin, 2014). A creativity and education expert as well as a popular TED speaker, Robinson asserts that the job of education is to teach children to become creative thinkers rather than just good workers. 18 SonomaFamilyLife

In addition to Robinson’s theory that children’s exposure to a steady stream of their passions leads to finding future work right in their element, we must remember something else. The greatest challenges faced by civilization are going to be solved by our children one day. Do we want them to behave like well-behaved workers, or do we want them to become the creative thinkers, problem-solvers, and innovators they were born to be? Participation in the arts is just as important to raising well-rounded

children as participation in academics and athletics. The arts awaken personal power in children by helping them organically discover their talents and interests. I know this is true because my daughter

If you are denying your kids access to the arts, think about the important role creativity will play in the evolution of our future. loves to sing, dance, act, and draw already. Recently she’s also started reading Shakespeare, watching historical documentaries, playing the piano, and taking hip-hop classes. I am not bragging. But I am keenly aware that I may have been inadvertently putting imagined limits on just how creative my daughter could become. Now, thanks to her

March 2017

example, I am beginning to think that there isn’t anything she can’t do. And isn’t that exactly what I want her to believe? Why do parents put limits on kids’ creative impulses when creative activities clearly benefit real-world performance? My daughter has got

Robinson asserts that the job of education is to teach children to become creative thinkers rather than just good workers. the rest of her life to discover and pursue creative activities that light her up from the inside and inspire her to be the best she can be. My job as her mother between now and the day she ventures out into the world is to make sure she never runs out of opportunities to practice being her multifaceted self. She can sift and sort through what she likes best, and I will remind her that how she spends her time and energy in life is her choice. When I leave this world some day, I want to depart knowing I exposed my daughter to as much personal enjoyment of life as I could. And the arts will have played a leading role in this endeavor. I don’t want my daughter’s focus in life to be on survival or drudgery; I want her life to be a celebration of the art of being herself. And, in order to do this, she has to explore and assess her talents and abilities in her own ways. If you are denying your kids access to the arts because you think creativity is less important or less valuable than academics and athletics, think about

the important role creativity will play in the evolution of our future. If you are, as I was, inadvertently capping the amount of creative activities your kids participate in, I hope you will stop. Instead of cutting the arts out of our kids’ schedules, we need to allow access to as many arts activities as they wish to pursue. ¶ Journalist, author, and writing coach Christina Katz is not afraid to get schooled by her teenage daughter. In fact, it might be something that happens more often than she would like to admit.

Make Art Everywhere There are endless ways kids can explore their creativity. In School 1. Fine arts (drawing, painting, sculpture, and printmaking) 2. Photography, video, and multi-media arts 3. Choir and vocal performing 4. Band and orchestra 5. Theater arts 6. Yearbook 7. Dance 8. Creative writing 9. Leadership 10. Robotics Outside of School 1. Animation 2. Performance art 3. Gardening 4. Ballet 5. Crafts 6. Cooking 7. Decorative arts 8. Fashion 9. Woodcrafts 10. Graphic arts 11. Jewelry

March 2017

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Say What?

help. Noise-induced hearing loss in children and adolescents is underreported, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). Teens often don’t realize their hearing is subpar until they’ve already fallen behind in school, says Rebecca M. Fischer, PhD, a professor of audiology.

Your Teen’s Hearing May Be at Risk

“Teens don’t usually notice

By Malia Jacobson


eens aren’t generally known for their superb listening skills. But if yours constantly responds with “What?” when spoken to, insists on blistering music volume, and seems frustrated or withdrawn at school or home, something larger could be at play. Rates of hearing loss in adolescents have spiked dramatically in recent years. Your teen could be one of millions with noise-induced hearing damage, a condition that could have an impact on everything from safe driving to school success.

Sounding Off The chorus of “What?” has been getting louder; according to a 2010 study, hearing loss in adolescents increased 31 percent from 1988 to 2006, with one in five teens affected. The Journal of Pediatrics reports that 12.5 percent of kids ages 6–19 have suffered permanent hearing damage. For many, the hearing loss is noise-induced, and it’s permanent.

State University report, school hearing screenings don’t detect noise-exposure loss, leaving teens at risk for undetected hearing loss, which can put a strain on academic progress, college prep, relationships, and home life. Even mild hearing impairment can undermine speech and language development, and require school accommodations such as speech therapy and auditory training.

The problem exists in part because, according to a new Pennsylvania

But teens and parents who don’t know there is a problem can’t seek

22 SonomaFamilyLife

A teen with an iPod or video game system can take in well above the level that OSHA deems safe, every day, for years. a gradual change or loss in their hearing,” she says. “Usually, the ones to notice a teen’s hearing damage are relatives and friends. And sometimes, hearing damage sustained during the teen years doesn’t show up as hearing loss until the 20s or 30s.” A Dull Roar What is hurting teens’ hearing? Most likely, it’s their behavior, Fischer says, specifically, the near-constant use of iPods and other personal listening devices. The Journal of Pediatrics study points to excessively loud earbuds for the spike in children’s hearing problems; the 115-decibel maximum volume on an iPod Shuffle is as noisy as a sandblaster or a loud rock concert, and loud enough to permanently damage hearing with regular use.

March 2017

“Look around any high school or college campus, including ours, and you see teens and young adults with earbuds in, all the time,” Fischer says, noting that these devices aren’t regulated to protect young listeners. By contrast, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) strictly regulates noisy work environments to protect hearing. Employers whose work environments are above 85 decibels (construction sites or airports, for example) have to provide a hearing conservation program for employees, including workshops, noise-protection devices like earplugs, and hearing tests, Fischer says. But a teen with an iPod or video game system can take in well above the level that OSHA deems safe, every day, for years. Because personal listening devices are just that—personal—tracking and regulating teens’ use is difficult, says Stacey D. Watson, MS, an audiologist. The sound is under the user’s control, and because teens are often away from a parent’s watchful gaze, parents probably won’t know if a teen is spending hours drenched in (literally) deafening sound. Hearing 101 Hearing mechanics are complex, but essentially, sound enters the cochlea, the spiral-shaped structure in the inner ear, and causes cilia (tiny hairs) to vibrate. Thanks to the cochlea’s extra-sensitive nerve endings, the brain reads these movements as sound. But over time, exposure to high levels of sound can damage the cilia and impair hearing permanently. Though hearing can be temporarily muffled after a single episode of

loud noise—a raucous concert or a jet taking off—the inner ear usually bounces back from these relatively isolated incidents. But daily, extended, long-term earbud use is different because the ear rarely gets a chance to heal when the listening device is always in use. “Sound is really pressure,” Fischer says. “Think of the pressure of water on a grassy beach. Over time, the water comes ashore, and if the water has enough power, the grasses are washed away.” That’s how loud noise permanently compromises hearing—

According to a 2010 study, hearing loss in adolescents increased 31 percent from 1988 to 2006, with one in five teens affected. eventually, the pressure destroys the inner structure of the ear—and why constant exposure to high levels of it is so damaging, she says. At first, this type of hearing damage affects the ability to hear higher frequencies of sound, including the softer sounds of speech, such as the s or th sounds, says Karen Putz, author of The Parenting Journey: Raising Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children (2012) and the Deaf Mom blog. “This can make it difficult for a teen to hear well in the classroom, in noisy situations, and in crowds,” Putz says. “Women and children have voices in the higher frequencies, making it more challenging for a teen with noise-induced hearing loss to understand them.” March 2017

Sound Safeguards As attached as teens are to their earbuds, parents can exercise some influence, Fischer says. If a teen listens to a device or plays a video game at a “10” (maximum) volume, ask them to back it off to 8 or 9 for a week and stay there. “Over time, they’ll realize that they can actually enjoy sound without it being so loud.” For daily iPod use, aim for the “two-thirds/one hour” rule: The volume dial should be turned up no more than two-thirds of the way, and teens should limit use to one hour at a time. “If a teen can’t hear someone talk to [him or her] while listening to a personal music player, the volume is too loud,” Watson says. For iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, parents can set a volume limit and prevent changes to that setting in the devices by entering “Settings” and viewing General/Restrictions. Complaints of ringing or other sounds in the ears (known as tinnitus), pain in the ears, or a feeling that the ears are “plugged up” are signs to ease off on personal music players for a few days. If hearing loss is suspected, an online hearing test can provide some insight, with follow-up by an audiologist if needed, Putz says. Relatively minor lifestyle tweaks can make a major impact on hearing quality, and quality of life, for teens, Fischer says. “Our hearing mechanism is pretty wonderful”—and too valuable not to protect. ¶ Malia Jacobson’s latest book is Sleep Tight, Every Night: Helping Toddlers and Preschoolers Sleep Well Without Tears, Tricks, or Tirades (2013).

SonomaFamilyLife 23

Frame That Face

Think Twice about Sharing Photos Online

By Frederick S. Lane


efore posting your child’s photo on social media, here’s a question to ask yourself: Would my child choose to take the risk that someone might misuse his or her image? Here are some examples of the ways your social media posts can be misused.

There are numerous websites specifically designed to assist people in creating edited images that could become memes. All you have to do is upload a photo from whatever source you like, and then type in some text. Of course, the same thing can be done using photo-editing software as well.

Viral memes and advertising. How many moms and dads are comfortable with their child becoming the subject of global ridicule and mocking? How about serving as an uncompensated shill for Big Pharma? Thanks to the magic of digital imagery and widespread disregard for copyright law, all this and much, much more is readily achievable. Just post the kid’s photo to social media and roll the dice.

Photos of children, not surprisingly, are a particularly popular source of inspiration for these types of edited images. Type the term “child meme” into Google Images, and a disturbing gallery of child images will appear. Google even offers to sort the images into categories, the titles of which are disturbing in their own right: “Little Girl,” “Death,” “Kid,” “Funny,” etc. It is highly doubtful that many, if any, of the parents of the pictured kids gave permission for their images to be used in such mocking fashion.

As a starting place, it’s important to understand the concept of a “meme.” In typical Internet usage, the term refers to an image—preferably one that is amusing, provocative, 24 SonomaFamilyLife

disturbing, or ideally a combination of all three—on which a funny or pithy comment has been written.

Turn off location services when using your smartphone to take or upload photos. People then share and re-share the edited images on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, etc. An image becomes a meme or “goes viral” when it has been re-shared by hundreds of thousands or even millions of people.

Digital kidnapping. Over the last couple of years, a new and slightly disconcerting trend has emerged on social media sites, particularly

March 2017

Sign up for Spring Break Camps! Facebook and Instagram: “digital kidnapping” or “baby role-playing” (the latter term is often abbreviated as #babyrp or some similar variation). The terms refer to the practice of social media users, most often tween girls, copying photos of

Use the tightest privacy settings possible, and be thoughtful about who you include in the group.

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other people’s infants and children, uploading them to their own social media accounts, and pretending to be the children’s parent. For those who may be interested in the idea of #babyrp but who don’t have time themselves to scour social media for likely digital children, there are even virtual “adoption agencies” that allow people to request children with certain features or characteristics. In some instances, there may be competitive bidding among #babyrp’ers for the perfect addition to their non-existent family. Sexual fantasy. In some instances, not surprisingly, the harvesting of infant and child photos on social media has a darker purpose. The introduction of digital technology, combined with the Web and social media, has made it much easier for pedophiles to obtain images that feed their obsession.

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Before we talk about the distribution options, it is worth pointing out that, absent prior agreement and honorable behavior, there is no way to guarantee

Create a “.zip” file of your favorite photos and send it to family and friends by e-mail. that a photo of your child will not wind up online. You can, of course, try to make it slightly harder by only sharing printouts of photos or actual postcards with friends and family members. But if any of them have a digital camera, a scanner, or even a smartphone, a physical photograph can be converted into a digital image and posted online in mere minutes.

Assuming you trust your relatives and friends not to re-post to social media, there are certainly several options for sharing photographs of your child. For instance, you can buy a bunch of inexpensive 1 GB USB drives for about $2 each. Each drive can hold approximately 200 high-quality photos. Send out a USB stick to grandparents, siblings, and close friends every 3–4 months with a firm request that the photos stay on the drive. If you prefer electronic solutions, the easiest is to create a “.zip” file of your favorite photos and send it to family and friends by e-mail. Keep in mind, of course, that less tech-savvy recipients might not be comfortable with the technical steps necessary to unzip an attachment and view the


uncompressed photos. A slightly easier digital approach is to upload photos of your new arrival to one of the numerous online storage sites like Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, OneDrive, IDrive, or SugarSync. Most if not all offer you the ability to share a specific folder or album with one or more people. Keep in mind, however, that even if you share digital files in this somewhat more cumbersome fashion, you are still trusting that your family members will not copy or redistribute them. However, if you and your partner still want to enjoy the advantages of social media—rapid distribution, efficient spread of information, effective communication with a far-flung family, nearly instantaneous and communal


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feedback—then there are steps you can take to minimize the risk of unauthorized downloading and use of your child’s photo: • Make use of albums and groups; use the tightest privacy settings possible, and be thoughtful about who you include in the group.

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• Talk to each person in the group about your family’s privacy expectations and stress how important it is that they not re-share photos without permission. • Consider using software to put a watermark on your shared photos, which would reduce the likelihood of unauthorized use for commercial advertising. • Reduce the resolution of your photos before you post them; the lower the resolution, the less likely it is that a particular photo will be stolen, particularly for advertising. • Turn off location services when using your smartphone to take or upload photos. • If you don’t want to broadcast the location in which your child was photographed, avoid using well-known locations or landmarks as backdrops. • Remember the Golden Rule of Social Media: “Post unto others as you would have them post unto you.” Don’t upload photos of someone else’s child without the consent of their parents (and if the child is old enough, the child as well). ¶ Adapted with permission from Cybertraps for Expecting Moms & Dads: Pregnancy, Privacy, and Early Parenthood in the Digital Age by Frederick S. Lane © 2016. See

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advantage of regularly scheduled parent-teacher conferences. 3. Point out the positives. Look for ways to present teachers in a positive light. Even if you don’t know them on a personal level, share with your children how their goal is to make learning a positive experience.

Working It Out

12 Steps for Resolving Student-Teacher Conflicts

4. Be patient with transitions. If the complaint is about a teacher’s teaching style, wait it out. Many kids grow accustomed to a particular teacher’s method of instruction and need a few weeks to adjust. In the meantime, send the teacher a note so

Don’t be too quick to rescue your children from every dilemma. Discern if and when to step in or sit it out.

By Denise Yearian


chool is a reflection of the community at large, and as such children from time to time may have personality clashes with others—teachers included! When children complain that they don’t like their teachers, parents can take a positive approach by increasing communication and working cooperatively to strengthen the home-school relationship. Here are 12 tips to help:

1. Discuss the dilemma. Talk it over with your children and find out exactly what is bothering them. Depending on their developmental level, they may or may not be able to articulate their concerns. Validate their feelings, but maintain a neutral stance so you don’t undermine the teacher’s authority. 2. Be objective. There are several ways to get an objective view of the 28 SonomaFamilyLife

situation. One is to observe class in session. This will help you see the classroom environment, but it may not provide an accurate account of student-teacher interactions as your presence may disrupt normal routines. Becoming a regular school volunteer will allow you to get acquainted with school staff and give you a better perspective on what goes on during your children’s day. Also take

she or he is aware of the situation, and ask what you can do at home to help. 5. Sort out strictness. If your students suggest a teacher is too strict, ask for specifics. Obtain a list of classroom rules, discuss those in question, and encourage kids to comply so they won’t have a reason to be reprimanded. Bear in mind that your children’s view of strictness may have more to do with the teacher’s personality or the inflection of his or her voice than with the rules. If so explain that people have different methods of interacting and communicating, and some are more attentive and caring than others. 6. Get a different perspective. If your children protest that they are being picked on, be responsive but realize their perspective may be

March 2017

limited by their development. Sift through and weigh out the facts. If, after careful observation, you decide to address the situation, request a conference with the teacher. 7. Consider a conference. If a conference is needed, meet with the teacher first. Bring a notebook and write down her or his comments and suggestions, and share about your children’s personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. Approach this time in a nonconfrontational way and seek to resolve the situation rather than resort to blame. 8. Facilitate a follow-up. After the conference, share meeting highlights with your children, along with suggested steps to remedy the situation. In the days to follow,

maintain contact with the teacher until you see a steady improvement.

be time to request a new class. This, however, should be the last resort.

9. Address the administration. If several weeks after the first meeting you fail to see improvement, request

11. Watch your tongue! If for some reason you also dislike your children’s teacher, be careful what you say to your kids. They may feel torn between the two authorities in their lives. Also openly expressing your dissatisfaction impedes conflict resolution.

Validate children’s feelings, but maintain a neutral stance so you don’t undermine the teacher’s authority. a three-way conference with the administration. Inform the teacher and ask for her or his suggestions. 10. Chime in for change. If suggested measures fail to bring a resolution and you begin to see stunted social or academic development, it may

12. Look for the lesson. Don’t be too quick to rescue your children from every dilemma. Discern if and when to step in or sit it out. If you do intervene, work toward building bridges that will help your children succeed. ¶ Denise Yearian is a former educator and editor of two parenting magazines, and the mother of three children and four grandchildren.


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SonomaFamilyLife 29

Cardboard Cake The Perfect Dessert for a By Barbara Rucci & Betsy McKenna Pretend Party Editor’s note: In the following excerpt from the book Art Workshop for Children, author Barbara Rucci details a project she teaches students in her art classes. Making a cake is joyful, no matter the age. In this workshop, the children work together to stack, frost, and decorate their big cake. Singing “Happy Birthday” at the end is a must! GATHER YOUR MATERIALS • Cardboard boxes in different sizes • Tempera paint • Jars • Brushes • Pompoms • Glue • Colored paper PREPARE YOUR SPACE Cover your table with paper. Gather some boxes in different sizes, or let the children choose their own boxes if you happen to have a large selection. Mix the paints, or have the children mix their own paints. I painted over the black tape that wrapped the boxes, but you don’t have to. Set out pompoms, glue, and colored paper. THE PROCESS • On this day in art class, I prepared the boxes for the children before they arrived. The boxes came in the mail the day before and they had a perfect 30 SonomaFamilyLife

size gradation. But in the future, I will most likely bring the children to my storage room and have them pick out their own boxes. • After gluing the boxes together and painting the cake, the children take time to roll the colored paper candles. I showed the children how to roll tightly instead of loosely. Sometimes the bottoms need to be cut off in order for them to stand straight. OBSERVATIONS Imagine a group of children devouring a cake lickety-split. Well, that’s what happened during this workshop, only in reverse. The children moved so swiftly building this cake that I hardly had time to photograph! Paint was literally flying across the table because they were frosting their cake with so much energy. I didn’t even think of candles until one child had the idea of rolling paper. I had taught this technique in a previous session weeks earlier, so she found the drawer with the colored paper, shared her knowledge with her friends, and they all rolled candles together and glued them on top. Last of all were the pompom candies. They slowed down a little during this part, as they all were being careful to line them up evenly around the cake. I was captivated by their teamwork and dedication to each

Barbara Rucci Photography

Crafting with Kids

other in making sure that everyone played an equal part. This creative collaboration ignited a spark in these children. And what a delicious cake! VARIATIONS FOR NEXT TIME • Make an upside-down cake with the smallest box on the bottom. This would be a wonderful experiment about balance. • Use really big boxes—big enough for a child to fit in—and make the cake into a playhouse. • As a non-messy alternative, make homemade play dough and let your children stick play dough all over the cake instead of painting. They can stick pompoms and real candles into the play dough. This would be a wonderful sensory experience. Excerpted with permission from Art Workshop for Children by Barbara Rucci and Betsy McKenna © 2016 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc. Text © 2016 Barbara Rucci Photography © 2016 Barbara Rucci Barbara Rucci is a professional graphic designer, art teacher, blogger, and mom to three creative thinkers. Find her at Betsy McKenna is an educational consultant and leadership coach. Find her at

March 2017

Cooking with Kids

Countrified Chicken A Healthy Alternative to Deep Frying

By Momma Chef


ow easy is it to make dinner while holding a 4-year-old on your hip, calming a 7-year-old throwing a tantrum, and helping a 12-year-old with his homework? Sound familiar? As a mother of three, I have finally mastered a way to serve a fabulous meal with little effort. These two recipes use only four ingredients and take under six minutes to prepare.

Country “Fried” Chicken

Directions Preheat oven to 400ºF. Rub olive oil over skin of the chicken and sprinkle with Lawry’s seasoning salt. Spread the mayonnaise on top of the seasoning. Bake for 1 hour uncovered on lower rack. After taking the chicken out of the oven, let it sit for 5 minutes to seal in the juices.

Country “Fried” Chicken

Couldn’t Be Easier: London Broil

If you like dark meat, substitute bone-in thighs for breasts. Also you might find it helpful to wear disposable gloves when preparing the chicken.

This is a great recipe to quickly throw together in the morning and let marinate in the refrigerator during the day. Just put the meat in the oven or on the grill when you get home.

Ingredients 8 bone-in chicken breasts with skin

Ingredients 1 ½–2 lbs. London broil

1 tablespoon Lawry’s seasoning salt

¾ cup Italian dressing

1 cup low-fat mayonnaise

¼ cup soy sauce

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup honey

March 2017

Directions Mix dressing, honey, and soy sauce in a large Ziploc bag. Add London broil to bag and, if possible, let marinate several hours in the refrigerator. Grill on low heat 12 minutes each side (16 minutes longer per side if you like it well done—but who likes it well done?!). If you aren’t brave enough to grill in the winter, then preheat the oven to 400 ºF, place the London broil in an uncovered disposable pan, and bake on the lowest rack for 1 hour. Let it sit 5–10 minutes to seal in the juices. ¶ Karen Nochimowski, aka Momma Chef, is a stay-at-home mom of three active boys (ages 12, 8, and 5). Find more of her recipes at mommachefblog. and at themommachef. Couldn’t Be Easier: London Broil

SonomaFamilyLife 31


Calendar of Events A Riot of Color


his year’s deluge of rain is expected to yield a bumper crop of flowers. Take a free four-mile hike through Trione-Annadel State Park in Santa Rosa to catch a glimpse of their delicate petals coloring the landscape. The walk, led by naturalist John Lynch, will be held on March 5, 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Participants will meet at the Parktrail Drive entrance. Bring water and snacks—and good footwear—but leave pooches at home. Rain cancels the event. Find out more under “Events” at ¶

Wednesday 1 Petaluma Film Series. Wednesdays.

Pre-film lecture: 6 p.m. Film screening: 7 p.m. $5–$6. Parking: $4. Santa Rosa Junior College, Petaluma Campus. Carole L. Ellis Auditorium. 680 Sonoma Mountain Prkwy., Petaluma. FREE Tax-Aide. Help with tax form preparation. Wednesdays. 10 a.m.–3 p.m. See calendar on website for list of documents to bring: FREE CoderDojo. Learn to code,

develop websites & games. Beginners

Thursday 2 welcome. Ages 8–17. Wednesdays. 4:30 p.m. Petaluma Regional Library. 100 Fairgrounds Dr., Petaluma. Register: FREE Homework Help. Help with all subjects on a drop-in basis. Grades K–12. Wednesdays. 5:30–7:30 p.m. Central Santa Rosa Library. 211 E St., Santa Rosa. FREE Preschool Story Time.

Ages 3–6. Wednesdays. 11:30 a.m. Rincon Valley Regional Library. 6959 Montecito Blvd., Santa Rosa.

Yoga & the Creative Mind: Art & Yoga in the Galleries. Sonoma Valley Museum

of Art teams up with Sally Mitchell of Body Flows to offer a Hatha & Vinyasa yoga class & discussion about a work of art. All yoga levels welcome. 5:30–7 p.m. $25. Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. 551 Broadway, Sonoma. Register in advance: yoga-creative-mind-art-and-yoga-galleries.

Friday 3 Trails for Tots. Bilingual program for

ages 3–4 & their parent(s)/guardian.

Cloverleaf Ranch summer camp Open Houses: April 23rd & May 21st 32 SonomaFamilyLife

March 2017




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Shiny & Bright the dentist

Preschool Prep

Warm Your Heart Avoid digital drama

Read stories, sing songs, go on a short walk & do crafts—all with a nature theme. Dress for the weather, wear comfortable walking shoes & bring water & a snack. Fridays. Free. Parking: $7. Riverfront Regional Park. 7821 Eastside Rd., Healdsburg. First Friday Art Walk. Stroll thru

Santa Rosa’s downtown & SOFA (South A St.) neighborhoods. Enjoy wine, beer & complimentary nibbles at Ancient Oak Cellars. 5–7 p.m. 621 Fourth St., Santa Rosa. The Five Irish Tenors. 7:30

p.m. $35–$85. Sonoma State University. Green Music Center. Weill Hall. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. Murder Mistaken. Thru Mar. 25.

Fridays & Saturdays. 8 p.m. $15–$20.

Curtain Call Theatre. Russian River Hall. 20347 Hwy. 116, Monte Rio. curtain-call-theatre-2017-season. FREE Tinker Thinkers: Electricity & Magnetism. Explore electricity

while using magnets & circuits. Make your own batteries out of ice-cube trays, nails & vinegar. Ages 5–12. 4 p.m. Cloverdale Regional Library. 401 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale. FREE Cuentos y Cantos—Bilingual Story & Play Time. Exploraremos

cuentos, cantos y rimas en inglés y español. Explore books, songs & rhymes in both English & Spanish. Ages 0–5. 11 a.m.–noon. Sebastopol Regional Library. 7140 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol.

Crazy, Awesome Science! Fridays. 2 p.m. $12 (admission to museum). Children’s Museum of Sonoma County. 1835 W. Steele Ln., Santa Rosa. FREE Bodega Marine Laboratory Tours. Explore the dynamic

biodiversity of the Northern California Coast. 2–4 p.m. Bodega Marine Laboratory. 2099 Westshore Rd., Bodega Bay. Preschool Story Time. 11–11:30 a.m. Petaluma Regional Library. 100 Fairgrounds Dr., Petaluma.

Saturday 4 Santa Rosa Symphony Young People’s Chamber Orchestra.

3 p.m. $15. Sonoma State University. Green Music Center. Weill Hall. FIVE AMAZING SCHOOLS NOW ENROLLING FOR 2017-18 La Tercera Elementary School

Featuring a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)

Loma Vista Immersion Academy Charter School

Featuring the internationally acclaimed Dual Immersion language model

Miwok Valley Language Academy Elementary Charter School Featuring a focus on Expeditionary Learning

Old Adobe Elementary Charter School

Featuring a focus on Arts and Ecology

Sonoma Mountain Elementary Charter School Featuring a focus on Arts and Music

845 Crinella Drive, Petaluma • 707-765-4321 •

34 SonomaFamilyLife

March 2017

to building cars. Saturdays. 2–3 p.m. Free with admission: $12. Children’s Museum of Sonoma County. 1835 W. Steele Ln., Santa Rosa.

1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. Musicians from the Valley of the Moon Music Festival. Program II:

Schubert’s Cello & Nicholas Phan. 3–4:30 p.m. $30. Sonoma State University. Green Music Center. Schroeder Hall. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. Tide Pool Talk. 11

a.m.–noon. Parking: $7. Doran Beach. 201 Doran Beach Rd., Bodega Bay.

Nuestros Parques Hike. A

bilingual naturalist will lead this family walk. 10 a.m.–noon. Walk: Free. Parking: $7. Gualala Point Regional Park. 42401 Coast Hwy. 1, Gualala. FREE Hora de Cuentos para Niños/ Bilingual Storytime. ¡Bienvenidos

Murder by Merlot Mystery Dinner.

Play performed by GibsonHouse Mystery Performers. Four-course steak dinner. 7 p.m. $80. Tudor Rose English Tea Room. 733 Fourth St., Santa Rosa. Art Spark. Every week there is a

different craft, from printing to felting

a la Hora de Cuentos para Niños en español e inglés! Vamos a leer cuentos en español e inglés. Para niños de 0–5 años. ¡Gratis! 10:15 a.m. Petaluma Regional Library. 100 Fairgrounds Dr., Petaluma. FREE Kids Garden Workshop.

Gardening for kids & families. Learn about growing food & taking care of

the Earth. 11 a.m.–noon. Sebastopol Regional Library. 7140 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol. PoetryMusic. Eclectic jazz chamber duo featuring voice, cello, vibraphone & percussion. 10:30 a.m. Healdsburg Regional Library. 139 Piper St., Healdsburg.

Sunday 5 Life Under a Log. Can you imagine living under a dark, damp fallen tree? Who would your neighbors be? Get up close & personal with these critters while investigating this micro-habitat. Ages 5–12. 10 a.m.–noon. Parking: $7. Wohler Bridge River Access. 9765 Wohler Rd., Forestville. parks. FREE First Wildflowers Hike. John Lynch leads a 4-mile hike (450-foot

2016-17 SEASON

A Year with Frog and Toad Sunday, April 9, at 3pm

Join the Y for active games, crafts, demonstrations, community resources, healthy snacks, and more! Free event for the community!

Saturday April 29 11am-2pm Sonoma County Family YMCA

Junie B’s Essential Guide to School Thursday, May 4, at 6:30pm

Call or visit us for more details 707.545.9622

Free Fun with Art one hour before the performance. Post-show Autographs with the cast. ADDITIONAL GENEROUS SUPPORT PROVIDED BY:



Sonoma County Family Y  1111 College Avenue  Santa Rosa 707-545-9622  The Y is a non-profit community based organization. Financial assistance is available.

March 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 35

It’s not just

Enrolling for Summer Camps


It’s confidence for a lifetime! • Tumblebug Program for preschool-aged children • Boys & Girls Classes Recreation 6–12 • Camps and Birthday Parties!



redwood empire gymnastics

Come Grow with Us! become creative, confident, capable, & kind

elevation gain) to identify early wildflowers. No dogs. Rain cancels. 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Meet at Parktrail Drive entrance. Trione-Annadel State Park. 6201 Channel Dr., Santa Rosa. Miró Quartet with Anne-Marie McDermott, Piano. 3 p.m. $25–$85.

Sonoma State University. Green Music Center. Weill Hall. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. gmc. FREE Sunday Boating at the Barn.

Borrow a rowboat, canoe, kayak, or sailboat & spend the afternoon on the Petaluma River. Sundays. 10 a.m.–1 p.m. David Yearsley River Heritage Center. 100 E. D St., Petaluma.

Wednesday 8 A Look Inside a Montessori Classroom 2nd Wednesday at 10 a.m.

FREE Healthy Living at Your Library: Meditation for Everyone.

This class introduces several types of meditation that anyone can do sitting in a chair. 11 a.m.– 1 p.m. Cloverdale Regional Library. 401 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Coverdale.

1569 Brush Creek Road • Santa Rosa • 707-539-7980

Cross & Crown Lutheran School 2 - 5 years Preschool Jr. Kindergarten – Kindergarten 1st through 5th Grade

CCLS - PSP Private Satellite Program K-5th

REGISTER NOW FOR 2017-18 (707) 795-7863 Preschool license #490100475

36 SonomaFamilyLife

Mom & Dad Please Put Your Affairs in Order Be Prepared • • • • •

Nominate Guardians for Minors Wills & Revocable Living Trusts Powers of Attorney Meet at Your Home FREE Consultation

Evening & Weekend Appointments Available


Maria Grace Wilson, Attorney at Law

Thursday 9 Just Between Friends Kids’ & Maternity Consignment Sales Event.

The largest of its kind in northern CA. Thru Mar. 12. Mar. 9: 9 a.m.–8 p.m. Mar. 10: 9 a.m.–8 p.m. Mar. 11: 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Mar. 12: 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Sonoma County Fairgrounds. 1350 Bennett Valley Rd., Santa Rosa. Sonoma County Birds of Prey.

Presentation by Larry Broderick. Learn about resident, migrant & over-wintering birds of prey (“raptors”) in the Laguna de Santa Rosa & CA. First-hand stories from the field as well as information about raptor habits & identification. 7–8:30 p.m. $10. Laguna Environmental Center. 900 Sanford Rd., Santa Rosa. Pre-registration required: Art. A play about the subjectivity

of art. Thru Mar. 18. Thursdays– Saturdays. 8 p.m. $10–$25. Paul Mahder Art Gallery. 222 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg. Emma: A Pop Musical! Based on

Jane Austen’s novel about a selfless matchmaker who may miss out on her own chance for love. Features contemporary pop hits by Katy Perry & others. Performed by Sonoma Arts Live Teens ‘n Training Program. Thru Mar. 19. Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays: 7:30 p.m. Sundays: 2 p.m. $16–$33. Sonoma Community Center. 276 E. Napa St., Sonoma. FREE Mindful Minis. Kids yoga & meditation workshop. Playful yoga practice & exploration of mindfulness thru fun activities. Children will learn tools for home & school to increase awareness, self-esteem & balance. Ages 6–11. 4–5:30 p.m. Windsor Regional Library. 9291 Old Redwood

March 2017

Hwy., Windsor. Register by calling 838-1020.

Friday 10 Beauty and the Beast. Fairytale

musical. 7 p.m.: March 10, 11, 17 & 18. 2 p.m.: March 12, 18 & 19. $8–$15. Forestville School & Academy. 6321 Hwy. 116, Forestville. 887-2279. A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Thru

Mar. 12. Mar. 10 & 11: 8 p.m. Mar. 11 & 12: 2 p.m. $10–$15. Cinnabar Theatre. 3333 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma.

Saturday 11 Sonoma County Bluegrass & Folk Festival. Live performances

& workshops. 1–9 p.m. $30–$40. Sebastopol Community Cultural Center. 390 Morris St., Sebastopol.

Bartok, Beaser, de Falla & Machado. Guerneville Regional Library. 14107 Armstrong Woods Rd., Guerneville. Walk on the Wild Side. 3–mile guided,

flat hike. 9 a.m.–noon. Individual: $3. Family: $5. Parking: $7. Tolay Lake Regional Park. 5869 Cannon Ln., Petaluma.

Sunday 12 Yale Slavic Chorus. Touring

group of undergraduates singing the music of Bulgaria, Russia, Ukraine & Georgia. 5 p.m. $15. Occidental Center for the Arts. 3850 Doris Murphy Ct., Occidental.

Center. 415 Steele Ln., Santa Rosa. Akademie Für Alte Musik Berlin.

Internationally renowned chamber music ensemble. 3 p.m. $35–$85. Sonoma State University. Green Music Center. Weill Hall. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park.

Wednesday 15 Black Mountain. Psychedelic rock. 7:30 p.m. $33.50. Parking is free for motorcycles, full two-seaters, cars with 3 or more, or wine club members. Others: $10. Gundlach Bundschu Winery. 2000 Denmark St., Sonoma. blackmountain.

Celebrate Purim in NYC. NY deli

sandwiches, live music, costume parade, game booths & more. $10–$18. 4 p.m. Steele Lane Community

Thursday 16 Thao (of the Get Down Stay Down).

6:30 p.m. $35. Parking is free for

Best of Broadway Under the Stars.

Thru Mar. 12. 2 & 7:30 p.m. $39–$129. Luther Burbank Performing Arts Center. 50 Mark West Springs Rd., Santa Rosa. best-of-broadway.


Doctors in your area are currently seeking children ages 6-16 with mild to severe toenail fungus to participate in a clinical research study. The purpose of this study is to see how a drug already approved for adults works to treat toenail fungus in children.

Brad Mehldau: Three Pieces After Bach. 7:30 p.m. $25–$75. Sonoma

State University. Green Music Center. Weill Hall. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. Cash & King: A New Tribute Concert. International recording

artist Steven Kent pays tribute to Johnny Cash & Elvis Presley. 8–11 p.m. $25–$45. Spreckels Performing Arts Center. 5409 Snyder Ln., Rohnert Park. FREE Santa Rosa Symphony Flute & Harp Duet. First part of program

(2–2:45 p.m.) is an introduction to music & instruments, for ages 3–11. Second part of program is a concert for adults (3–3:45 p.m.). Works by Dowland, Telemann, Bach,

This study involves applying the study drug for 48 weeks. Participants will be asked to visit the study doctor’s office approximately 15 times over a one year period. Children who have severe toenail fungus will be asked to use more of the study drug for the first month and will be required to do additional testing during the course of the study.


Your child will receive the study drug and study-related care at no cost. Reimbursement for time and travel may be provided.


To learn more about taking part, contact us at (707) 755-3946 Redwood Dermatology Research of Santa Rosa March 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 37

motorcycles, full two-seaters, cars with 3 or more, or wine club members. Others: $10. Gundlach Bundschu Winery. 2000 Denmark St., Sonoma.

Saturday 18 Savor Sonoma Valley. Taste wine right out of the barrel at 17 wineries throughout Kenwood & Glen Ellen. Weekend pass: $65 (advance), $75 (at door). Sunday only: $50. Designated drivers: Free. Thru Mar. 19. savor-sonoma-valley. Family Nature Hike. 1–4

p.m. Parking: $7. Three different hikes start on the hour: 1 p.m., 2 p.m. & 3 p.m. Spring Lake Regional Park. Environmental Discovery Center. 393 Violetti Rd., Santa Rosa. parks. Bookshelf Author Series Featuring Lemony Snicket. 2 p.m. Free with

admission to the museum ($5–$12; free for ages 3 & under). Charles M. Schulz Museum. 2301 Hardies Ln., Santa Rosa. Hitchcock Film Festival. The

Birds: 3:30 p.m. Rear Window: 7 p.m. One film: $10. Both: $18. Ages 12 & under: $5. Bodega Bay Grange Hall. 1370 Bodega Ave., Bodega Bay. bodegabayhitchcock.

Sunday 19 Haocheng Zeng. Gold medal– winning pianist at the 13th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition plays Schumann & Liszt. 3 p.m. $30. Sonoma State University. Schroeder Hall. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. gmc. Dervish. Celtic

music. 7:30 p.m. $22–$27. Sebastopol Community 38 SonomaFamilyLife

Cultural Center. 390 Morris St., Sebastopol.

Wednesday 22 Spring Equinox Celebration. Hike

to frog pond to find newt eggs, create spring crafts, and help track plant species for a citizen science project. 1–5 p.m. Parking: $7. Spring Lake Regional Park. 393 Violetti Rd., Santa Rosa.

Thursday 23 Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival. Thru Mar. 26. $30

opening night. $10 all other film events. Sebastopol Center for the Arts. 282 S. High St., Sebastopol.

Friday 24 11th Annual California’s Artisan Cheese Festival. Farm tours,

classes, tastings. Wine, beer & cider. Thru Mar. 26. Sheraton Sonoma County. 745 Baywood Dr., Petaluma. Arturo Sandoval & Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band. 7:30 p.m. $35–$85.

Sonoma State University. Green Music Center. Weill Hall. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. gmc. Greg Brown. Renowned

folk musician. 8 p.m. $35–$40. Sebastopol Community Cultural Center. 390 Morris St., Sebastopol.

Saturday 25 WomenSing: Moments of Water.

Women’s choral music. 3 p.m. $10–$35. Sonoma State University. Green Music Center. Schroeder Hall. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. tickets.

Story Walk. Walk & read “Call Me Tree.” 10 a.m.–noon. Parking: $7. Crane Creek Regional Park. 5000 Pressley Rd., Rohnert Park. parks. Santa Rosa Symphony: Bring on the Strings. Thru Mar. 27. Mar. 25:

8 p.m. Mar. 26: 3 p.m. Mar. 27: 8 p.m. $20–$80. Sonoma State University. Green Music Center. Schroeder Hall. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park.

Wednesday 29 Sonoma International Film Festival. Thru Apr. 2. Cinema pass:

$275. Soiree pass: $725. SIFF Village. Sonoma.

Thursday 30 Peppa Pig Live. Children’s show. Favorite characters as life-sized puppets. 6:30 p.m. $27–$127. Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. Person Theater. 50 Mark West Springs Rd, Santa Rosa. tickets.

Friday 31 FREE Sonoma Family Life Summer Camp Fair. Find

information on summer camps, family travel, fun & learning. 3–7 p.m. Coddingtown Mall. 733 Coddingtown Center, Santa Rosa. An Evening with Neil Gaiman. 8

p.m. $45–$125. Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. 50 Mark West Springs Rd., Santa Rosa. tickets.

March 2017

Have More Fun & Create Great Memories sonoma


March 2017

CAMP FAIR! ch 31 See you Mar

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Get weekly e-mail updates for the best LOCAL family fun calendar FREE visit

Sonoma Family

Classified Marketplace Camps


Super Kids Camp At Sonoma State University

An exciting, recreational & educational experience for campers, ages 5-11. Fun weekly themes, field trips, swimming, rock wall climbing & so much more!

Rita Hosking

A full week of camp

Get Folksy

Call, email, or check out our website for details.



hat bass is to pop, heart is to folk. Turn your family on to its thoughtful vibe, and get in some toe-tapping too, at the Sonoma County Bluegrass and Folk Festival. Listen to tunes performed by the True Life Troubadours, Rita Hosking, the Good Ole Persons Reunion, and others. A musician yourself? Take a guitar workshop from award-winning Nashville artist Jim Hurst. The action happens on March 11, 1–8 p.m., at the Sebastopol Community Cultural Center in Sebastopol. Tickets are $40 at the door. ¶

Got Art? We Do!!!

AFTER SCHOOL WITH PONIES! •Self-Esteem •Responsibility •FUN!

The cast of Emma: A Pop Musical!

Jane Austen Meets Katy Perry


ay before the phrase “girl power” was ever uttered, Jane Austen was exploring the qualities of strong women. Emma: A Pop Musical! aims to put a contemporary spin on the 18th-century author’s work, infusing the classic tale of a selfless young matchmaker with empowering songs by stars like Katy Perry, Natasha Bedingfield, and Avril Lavigne. The Teens ‘n Training Program of Sonoma Arts Live Theater will put on the show March 9–19 at the Sonoma Community Center in Sonoma. Performances will be held Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $16–$33 and may be purchased at ¶ 40 SonomaFamilyLife

Painting • Drawing Cartooning Mask Making Glass Staining Silk Painting Wood Burning Mosaic • Clay

Celebrating 25 Years

Classes • Camps Birthday Parties 5435 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park • 285-2002

European Pony School


Camp C ASTLE Affordable Summer Camp in Sebastopol

Weekly field trips & swimming, visiting artists, enrichment, and more


2017 summer camp science! art! Games!

Engineering Lab Stretchy Science Simple Machines Survival Science Ideas Into Action Mix O’Science Santa Rosa, Rincon Valley 6/12–7/28; M–F; 9am–3pm siGn up: Santa Rosa Rec. Parks & Cmnty Srvcs: (707) 543-3737 Questions: (707) 793-2251

March 2017





Educating the Whole Child


Homeschool Program Grades K-5




Educating the whole child; head, heart, & hands. 707-824-2276


for your next birthday party!

Montessori in Motion & More! Kinder & Preschool 3-6 yrs.

Summer & Afterschool Junior Tennis Programs

Now Enrolling

YMCA Program Office The Y isConfidence, a non-profit community based organization. and Cognitive 9291 Old Redwood Hwy., Bldg. 300D 707.544.1829 Financial Assistance is available. 838-1260 • Academic Skills.

Like Us On Facebook




YMCA Office b io’s Program Since 1981 707.544.1829 Montessori School

Have an adventure party!

Preschool•Kindergarten The Y is a non-profit Parent-Toddler Class community based Ages 18 months organization. to 6-years

Financial Assistance is available.

433-8102 egfencing


Afterschool Mon. & Wed. 4 Classes - $50

3737 Montgomery Dr. Santa Rosa



The Y is a non-profit community based organization. Financial Assistance is available.

We can help! 


Academic Skills. REGISTRATION: & Health & Nutrition, Motor Skil REGISTRATION: Interpersonal Relationships, S Register at the Parks and Recreation Office

Leap forward

Summer Tennis Camps and Summer Swim Lessons Call or go online for our brochure!

Part Time /Full Time Care

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: Health & Flexible Nutrition, Motor Skills, Plans Available


Racquet & Swim Club

SANTA ROSA 2590 PINER RD. Serving 2-5 year olds

Nutrition, Relationships, Motor Skills,Self Interpersonal Montessori In Motion: 3–6 yrs. Health & Serving 2-5 year olds Relationships, Self Confidence, and Cognitive & Children’s Circle: 2.5–3.5+ yrs. Interpersonal Academic Skills. & Confidence, and Cognitive KinderClub: 3–5 yrs. PRICING &


La Cantera

Part Time2590 /Full Time Care PINER RD. Flexible Plans Part TimeAvailable /Full Time Care Flexible Plans Available Serving 2-5 year olds

With The Creative Curriculum® preschool!

Watch your child learn & explore…


3273 Airway Dr., Santa Rosa • Lic. #493009227

 Paternity and Child Support  Order Establishment   Payment Collection Services   Payment Tracking and     Accounting   Child Support Modification   

Sonoma County   Child Support Services  3725 Westwind Blvd., Ste 200  Santa Rosa, CA 95403  

Program of First United Methodist Church Year-round • Play based Ages 2 - 5 (Pre-Kindergarten) Excellent Teacher-Child ratios Open 7am-6pm

Diane: 546-7012 License#490110699 25th Anniversary!


Preschool & Child Care Center

March 2017

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Joy of Learning Order & Detail Concentration Grace & Courtesy

2427 Professional Dr. • Santa Rosa Near Steele Lane & Hwy 101


The Bridge School. Located in Central Santa Rosa, 1625 Franklin Ave. Year-round full/half–day. Rich nurturing environment. Center based program for ages 3–5 with separate 2’s program. Caring, qualified teachers. Julie & Andrew Day; owners. Lic.#493005697. 575-7959.

Playtime Daycare/Preschool Join our loving family. Spacious playroom, large yard, meals provided. CPR & first aid certified. M-F. Infants & up. Call Wendy 539-7524. Lic. #04746.

SonomaFamilyLife 41

Humor Break

The Land of YOU Your Pre-Kid Destination By Holly Hester

here should you visit before you have children? Paris? Rome? The Mall of America? No, those places will still be there for you when the kids are in college and you have plenty of time to wander around posting way too many pictures on Facebook.


Before kids, your heart was safely tucked inside your chest cavity, and now it is free to roam unprotected. And it’s not the tiny, cynical heart you had before having kids. No, that heart could have survived a walk through a gang-infested

The only place you need to visit before having kids is inside yourself.

This new heart—this after-kid heart—is bigger.

You need to get to know YOU before bringing any other YOUs into the world. People always talk about how hard it is to have children—the sleepless nights, the diapers, the zero time for yourself. Sure, all that’s hard. But it’s not the really hard part. Children crack you open as a human. Their mere presence forces you to explore all the nooks and crannies that you thought you successfully hid away— all the pain, all the childhood trauma. Picked last at kickball? Get ready to feel that again. Someone called you fat? You will feel that memory every time your kid outgrows a pair of pants or innocently asks for second-helpings. Have a fight with your spouse? You will find yourself thinking about your own parent’s divorce, wondering if you are not actually changing the past, as you had sworn to do, but reliving it. 42 SonomaFamilyLife

neighborhood without a scratch. This new heart—this after-kid heart— is bigger. It feels things more deeply, and it is so much more vulnerable. Becoming a parent opens giant chambers of your heart you didn’t know existed. I have seen the most jaded of humans crumble into crying, sensitive mush-pots after having a child. You can no longer look at another parent’s grief without feeling it, too. And since your heart isn’t in your chest anymore, but wandering around in a Thomas the Tank Engine t-shirt, your empty chest cavity has plenty of space for worry and fear—fear that will keep you up at night, worry that will never ever end… until well, you end. So get to know yourself before picking up that baby name book. Visit the

land of YOU. Stay at “Hotel Good Childhood Memory,” but also stay at its sister hotel, “The Time I Wet My Pants During the School Play.” Climb to the top of “Heartbreak Hill” and see if the view has changed. Take a ride on “Teenager Rapids.” Visit the religious facility “Do I Really Believe This?” and then walk down “Success Avenue” until it crosses “Failure Highway.” There are lots of interesting things to see in the land of YOU, so pace yourself. And bring tissues. The best part about visiting the land of YOU is the baggage. Sure, you arrived with a ton of it, all emotional, but by the time you leave you don’t have any. You can give your unborn child the gift of not handing them your baggage. And once you’ve shed all your stuff, you can reveal your whole awesome self to your child because you now have perspective and wisdom. And then, here’s the great thing—you and your child can visit the land of YOU and you can proudly show them all the sights. I hope you enjoy your stay. ¶ Holly Hester lives in Sebastopol and writes about life on her blog, Riot Ranch. Find her book, Escape from Ugly Mom Island!, on Amazon.

March 2017

For your next



Birthday Parties Soccer Teams Fundraisers

Pizza...the way it ought to be.




2280 Santa Rosa Ave 707-544-2828

Rohnert Park

1451 Southwest Blvd 707-795-4433

Opening Soon Rohnert Park

6314 Commerce Blvd 707-303-7474


919 Lakeville St 707-769-8989

Healdsburg 1051 Vine St 707-433-2911


6580 Hembree Ln #258 707-836-1700

Santa Rosa

3781 Cleveland Ave 707-595-6505

we call it BRAIN TRAINING.

families call it

LIFE CHANGING. Many parents come to us when a child is struggling with learning, reading, or homework. Or when hiring tutors year after year is getting old. Are these families happy with our programs? You bet they are.

One of our goals as a company is to “wow” our customers. And we do. When asked, on a scale of 1 to 10, how likely they were to recommend LearningRx to other people, families who went through our programs gave us, on average, 9.6 out of 10.

We call it brain training. Parents and kids call it life changing. See what it can do for your child.

WE ARE CELEBRATING OUR ANNIVERSARIES WITH THIS SPECIAL OFFER! For a limited time, new clients can get $100 assessments (Half off) through March to celebrate. Space is limited so call us today to schedule your sessions.

LearningRx Santa Rosa 1 YEAR

LearningRx Petaluma 3 YEARS

In the Copper Dome Building 100 Brush Creek Road, Suite 102 (707) 890-3200

In the Adobe Creek Shopping Center at Lakeville Hwy. & McDowell Blvd. (707) 781-7373

Sonoma Family Life March 2017  
Sonoma Family Life March 2017