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May 2018

A-Plus Party

Fill Up First Self-care tips

Fast Eats Platter of plenty

Mom’s Day 6 local events

Honor grads

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May 2018

Every Issue 6

Dear Reader


Cooking with Kids Platter of Plenty


Bits and Pieces A Spring Ritual Lounge on Ice

12 Features 10 Tech-Free Camp The advantages of a summer without screens.

12 Don’t Lose It

Baby Goat Love Parade of Flowers Celebrate Cinco de Mayo


Eat the Heat

22 Family Fun Mama Says… Treat Her Right!

24 Calendar of Events Taiko and Tea

34 Humor Little White Lies

Help your kids hang on to their stuff.

14 A+ Graduation Party How to hold a blast of a bash.

16 Drowning in Drink


Teach kids: too much alcohol can kill.

18 Service with a Smile Make Mom feel special.

20 Fill Up Yourself Sneak in “me” time.

22 4 SonomaFamilyLife

May 2018





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Dear Reader


t’s that time of year when we celebrate the strong women raising the next generation. See “Mama Says…Treat Sharon Gowan Her Right!” (page Publisher/Editor 22) for local ways to fete the mothers in your family. And then turn to our Calendar of Events (page 24) for even more ideas for making her feel special. Want to craft something she’ll cherish? Turn to “Service with a Smile” (page 18) for some heart-warming projects. Moms often put their own needs at the bottom of their priority list. But mother and personal trainer L. J. Kunkel asserts that to really nourish

others, we must first feed ourselves. Find her tips for sneaking in self-care in “Fill Up Yourself” (page 20). Create more “me” time—and spend less time in the kitchen—with our recipes for easy meals. Check out “Platter of Plenty” (page 7) for a protein-packed dinner that you can make in a snap.

Office Manager Patricia Ramos

Business Marketing Renee Nutcher

Here’s another stress-reduction strategy: laughter. See our local humorist’s “Little White Lies” (page 34) for a good, parenting-inspired chuckle. We hope your Mother’s Day is a memory-making affair and wish you a very happy spring!

Warren Kaufman

Features Editor Melissa Chianta

Production Manager Donna Bogener

Web and Social Media


Natalie Bruzon

Contributing Writers Sandra Gordon Holly Hester L. J. Kunkel Pam Molnar Sandi Schwartz Kathryn Streeter Ashley Talmadge Denise Yearian

Billing Jan Wasson-Smith

Publishing Office



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May 2018

Cooking with Kids

Platter of Plenty By Kathryn Streeter


ulling a “Hail Mary” one night after a hectic day that ended with a sporting event, I threw together the traditional French Salade Niçoise to quickly satisfy the hungry kids circling the kitchen. But I made one change. Rather than tossing together the ingredients in a salad bowl, I displayed them in neat rows on one of my rectangular, white ceramic platters. It was love at first sight, eliciting Oohs and Aahs from the family and garnering a five-star rating based on presentation alone. With each ingredient arranged tidily, the colors, shapes, and textures seemed to be at their showiest. It has grown to be a staple around our home, a go-to meal when I have no idea what I’m going to make for dinner. I’ve tried variations, too, liberally adding anything and everything but the kitchen sink, so to speak. It always ends up being a colorful, heart-healthy dinner entrée. And since it allows the pickiest eaters to avoid any single ingredient, it’s one of the most customizable dinners out there.

A Fast, Healthy Dinner

or some kielbasa sausage in the refrigerator needing attention? Grill and slice or flake, as is the case. Ta-da. Maybe you have cans of chicken or tuna in the pantry? Drain well and season. Or perhaps you have deli meat on hand. Salami? Prosciutto? Smoked salmon? Wonderful, you can’t lose! Veggies and Legumes I’m truly an opportunist here. I dive into my produce drawers and pull out whatever I have. Drizzle some olive oil on Brussels sprouts or a handful of red potatoes and cook them under the broiler. Pull out some raw carrots or fresh yellow and red pepper slices to add color to your platter. Cans of beans provide additional nutrients to this interesting meal. Kidney, garbanzo, or black beans— whatever you have. Just open, drain, and rinse. Eggs Because, why not add more protein to the mix? Boil and slice.

Lightly toss with your favorite dressing, or try mine (see sidebar). I drizzle it over not only the greens, but also everything on the assembled platter. In any home filled with kids comes the crush of crazy busyness, challenging the most organized of moms. Sometimes, the very last thing on my mind is what I’m going to serve the family for dinner. I suspect I’m not alone. This dinnertime hack made all the difference in my home. Maybe it’ll do the same in yours. Kathryn Streeter’s work has appeared in publications such as the Washington Post, SheKnows, the Week, and Paste Magazine. Find her on Twitter, @streeterkathryn.

Asian Dressing 4 tablespoons rice vinegar 4 tablespoons olive oil

Make your own Platter of Plenty using ingredients from each of these categories:

Condiments This is where you can go crazy. What do you have in the door of your refrigerator? I often have olives, artichoke hearts, capers, and pickled peppers.

Meat or Fish Do you have a lonely steak, chicken breast, salmon fillet,

Greens Use what you have on hand. Romaine? Spinach? Iceberg lettuce?

2–4 pinches of red pepper flakes

May 2018

4 tablespoons white sugar 1 teaspoon sesame oil ½ teaspoon garlic powder

SonomaFamilyLife 7

Bits & Pieces

A Spring Ritual


Geyserville May Day Celebration

ay Day started out as an ancient pagan rite of summer, and some of its age-old rituals are still practiced today. Geyserville third graders will be participating in one of them when they dance around a 93-year-old maypole. The dance will be part of the free Geyserville May Day Celebration on May 6, noon–4 p.m., at the Hoffman Ranch Picnic Grounds in Geyserville. The day will feature the country music of Hilary Marckx, a teen Ballet Folklorico performance, tasty eats from the Kiwanis rib cook-off, and lots of activities for kids, including a jump room, a rock wall, and an egg-toss competition. See geyservillechamber. com/events for details. ¶

Baby Goat Love


nuggle up to a kid—a baby goat, that is—during Goat Kid Cuddle Days at Redwood Hill Farm (aka Capracopia) in Sebastopol. You can pet and pick up the adorable little critters while learning about goats and sustainable farming. Bring a picnic to spread out in the apple orchard afterward or shop the farm market for honey, olive oil, cheeses, and free-range eggs. The cuddles happen May 6 and 12, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Admission is $10, $5 for ages 5–18. Kids under 5 get in free. For more information, see ¶

Lounge on Ice


t may seem counterintuitive to spend the first days of spring in an ice skating rink. But that’s part of the fun: Even when it’s warm outside, you can still skate at Snoopy’s Home Ice in Santa Rosa. The first Saturday of every month (except July), the rink will be hosting Snoopy’s Skate Party, 7:30–9 p.m. Recommended for kids ages 12–15, the event will feature a live DJ, games, and an on-ice lounge, complete with carpet and couches. Admission is $10, including skate rental; for an extra $7, get a chicken-strip or pizza dinner. The next party is on May 5. Find out more at ¶ 8 SonomaFamilyLife

May 2018

Parade of Flowers


anta Rosa continues to rebuild after the devastating Tubbs Fire. And in honor of its community spirit, the theme for the 124th Annual Luther Burbank Rose Parade is “Together We Rose.” On May 19, see marching bands and award-winning floats in the parade, which starts at 10 a.m. Then go to the festival, which runs 9 a.m.–2 p.m., and promises live music, vendor booths, and children’s activities. Both the festival and parade will be held in downtown Santa Rosa and are free. See for more information. ¶

Luther Burbank Rose Parade

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo


Windsor Day Festival

Eat the Heat


oes your palette lean toward the spicy hot? Give your taste buds a workout at the Annual Great Petaluma Chili Cook-Off, Salsa, and Beer Tasting. Locals will cook up their favorite vegetarian and meat stews (salsas, too), and you get to vote for your favorite. After you sample the heat, wash it down with a taste of a regional microbrew, and then dance to live music. The event will be held on May 19, 1–5 p.m., at the Sonoma–Marin Fairgrounds in Petaluma. Tickets are $10–$30, free for kids under 5, and may be purchased at Proceeds benefit Cinnabar Theater. ¶

plift your family’s spirit with the vibrant colors and sounds of Latin culture. In honor of Cinco de Mayo, the annual Windsor Day Festival will feature the vibrant costumes of Ballet Folklorico, the Brazilian music of the teen group Windsor Bloco, and the Latin rock of Mambostreet. The May 5 celebration will kick off with the annual Windsor Parade, which will begin at Windsor High School at 10 a.m. and end at the Town Green, where the festival will be held until 3 p.m. For more information, see ¶

Great Petaluma Chili Cook-Off, Salsa, and Beer Tasting

May 2018

SonomaFamilyLife 9

says there’s solid evidence to support this view, and points to a recent study from UCLA in which a group of sixth graders unplugged for five days at an outdoor camp. This group showed marked improvement in their ability to accurately read nonverbal emotional cues when compared to a control group of same-age students who had not gone to camp. While the researchers did not dismiss the value

Experts recommend letter-writing as the primary form of communication between parent and camper.

Tech-Free Camp

Kids Unplug and Make Lifelong Connections

of technology as a communication and learning tool, they concluded that “digital screen time, even when used for social interaction, could reduce time spent developing skills in reading nonverbal cues of human emotion.”

n our world of constant connectivity, some might argue that kids shouldn’t be expected to “unplug” for weeks on end. And yet many overnight summer camps are still tech-free zones. Why? Recent studies reveal there are good reasons for taking a tech break. And seasoned camp directors are privy to a little known fact: Kids actually enjoy it. Erec Hillis, a boys’ camp director, says, “Many of our campers actually thank us for the opportunity to put away their phones for a while. Some of them say that it is exhausting to try to keep up with all the demands of being available 24/7 and that camp is a welcome break.”

It is through face-to-face encounters that kids gain the ability to see another’s perspective and develop empathy. They learn to cooperate and contribute. All this is important in the cultivation of lasting friendships. In his book, Homesick and Happy: How Time Away from Parents Can Help a Child Grow, psychologist Michael Thompson contends it is because campers spend so much time together that “camp friendships grow so quickly and deeply.” The camp environment itself inspires face-to-face interaction. Campers eat, sleep, and play in proximity to one another. Hillis says, “Kids want to interact with one another. Camp allows kids to be near enough to each other that they don’t need their

By Ashley Talmadge


Nonetheless, it can be daunting to think about letting the smartphone, iPad, and laptop go untouched for the camp session. And parents may feel just as anxious as their kids. After all, we’re used to communicating with our children whenever and wherever the notion strikes. What to do? 10 SonomaFamilyLife

First of all, it helps to know why most camps remain unplugged. Camp director Kevin Gordon says, “Because the whole point of our camp is to enjoy nature, facilitate communication, and empower children...we don’t allow cell phones or iPods, which diminish interpersonal interaction.” Gordon

May 2018

phones. They can just walk over and start a conversation.� Still, it’s a good idea to prepare your children for the tech-free experience. You may simply inform them of the “no electronics� rule, and express your confidence in their ability to abide by it. Hillis reminds parents not to commiserate with children who seem reluctant to give up their

It is through face-to-face encounters that kids gain the ability to see another’s perspective and develop empathy. devices. Just remind them that all campers will follow the same rules, and that the camp has good reasons for being tech-free. As Hillis says, “We simply want kids to be comfortable in knowing that they can turn the phone off for a period of time and perhaps enjoy life even more richly, rather than feeling that they are missing out on something.� Gordon recommends experimenting with a family tech break of a day or two, sometime before the start of camp. He also suggests discussing how your campers can deal with homesickness, and how you’ll keep in touch without devices. Many camps now offer one-way e-mail; parents send e-mail, which is then printed and delivered to campers. However, Gordon favors old-fashioned snail mail, and says e-mail, “though easier for the parent to send, is generally not as appreciated by the camper.� In fact, experts like Thompson recommend letter-writing as the

primary form of communication between parent and camper. He writes that “the time spent between sending and receiving a letter is a valuable opportunity for both parent and child to think about one another without having to do anything with or for each other.â€? He believes a child cannot become independent without spending time away from parents, and warns that “minute-by-minute contact with parents undermines the sense of separation.â€? So don’t slip an extra phone into your child’s duffel! Gordon acknowledges that being disconnected from screens is more difficult for parents than for campers. “It’s also a different experience (and harder), since the parent is in their same world, while the camper is busy in a new environment,â€? he says. Yet parents would do well to practice some tech “downtimeâ€? for the duration of the camp session. Thompson writes, “My advice: Stop the e-mails, just send one or two packages per summer and give yourself a break from checking the camp’s online photos. Go buy some stamps and write a long letter. During the weeks at summer camp, your child will make new friends. Everyday she’ll eat, bunk, and play with them. True, she may use social media to stay in touch with them. But memories of the things they did together—tipping the canoe, singing by the fire, playing pranks on the counselors—will create the strongest of bonds. She’ll yearn for next summer when she can ditch the smartphone and wrap her arms around her forever friends. Face-to-face. Âś Ashley Talmadge’s writing has been published in parenting publications across the country.

May 2018

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things or giving up certain privileges like screen time. Practical Solutions Some kids may be naturally organized, but for the most part it is up to us to teach them how to keep track of their things and to realize the importance of responsibility. To this end, here are some practical tips. Set reminders based on their schedules. Talk to your children about their daily schedules and point out important actions to

Don’t Lose It Help Little Ones Keep Track of Stuff By Sandi Schwartz


hat do you mean you don’t know where your new shoes are? You haven’t even had them for a week!” I said to my daughter as steam simmered out of my ears.

It is just so frustrating to have something you pay a decent amount of money for vanish into thin air. On top of that, I didn’t discover that they were missing until we had only minutes to get out the door to make it to camp. I joked that she would have to find a way to earn the money to pay for new shoes. The bewildered look I got in return meant it was time to explore the best ways to teach her responsibility. Expectations Are my expectations too high? Today’s Parent child psychologist 12 SonomaFamilyLife

Cheryl Gilbert-Macleod said that young children are focused on so many things at once that it is common for them to lose their gear. We can expect children up to age six to lose their belongings at times. When they enter elementary school, they can begin to take on more responsibility and understand the consequences of their actions. Set some rules with them about which items you will replace, how many times you will replace them, and any other consequences they will have to face, such as doing chores to “earn”

Try teaching your kids a catchy song, cheer, or acronym to remember their gear. take throughout the day, such as putting their lunchboxes back into their backpacks after their lunch period, putting their clothes in their backpacks after a swim lesson, and keeping track of their water bottles throughout the day. Ask them to double check that they have all their belongings before they leave school or camp at the end of the day. Label everything. Although it is a time investment up front, labeling your children’s belongings provides an insurance policy in case they do forget or misplace something. Hopefully someone will find the lost item and take it to the lost and found. Make a checklist. Work with your children to create a list of key belongings—such as a lunchbox, sweatshirt, sunglasses, hat, homework folder—that they need to have before they leave the house in the morning and before they come home at the end of the day. Review this list over

May 2018


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Prompt them with specific questions. Yes, we parents are known to nag, but it is necessary at times. Be proactive; ask them questions based on the checklist you created. “Do you have your hat and sunglasses for the day? Don’t forget to put them in your backpack when you are not using them.” When they hear your questions enough, they will internalize them.

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Make it fun. Today’s Parent offers a really clever tip: Try teaching your kids a catchy song, cheer, or acronym to remember their gear. Life Lessons The simple act of my daughter losing her new sneakers at camp prompted some important life lessons. Because I did not immediately hop on to Amazon and re-order those same $45 shoes, she learned that her actions had consequences. She wore her old, beat-up sneakers to camp the next day. And when I asked her how she was going to earn the money to order new shoes, she realized that her cherished possessions do not grow on trees. My goal is that now and as she gets older, she feels empowered to control her behavior and make positive choices. We did, finally, find the sneakers—in a bin in a hallway at camp. But now my son lost his sweatshirt…. ¶ Sandi Schwartz is a freelance writer, editor, and blogger. Find her at and

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May 2018

SonomaFamilyLife 13

to open if she felt homesick. Her friends wrote notes on provided stationary and sealed them in envelopes. I gathered them up and handed them to her on move-in day.


Photo Booth There are two ways you can do this. The easy but more expensive way is to hire a photographer who comes


Trivia cards are a great way to share the graduate’s story.

Graduation Party

10 Ways to Make It a Success


By Pam Molnar f you have a child graduating this year, chances are that you will be attending a lot of their friends’ parties as well as hosting your own. As a mom who has been there, I know it’s tough to make your graduate’s party stand out. It’s possible that you will use the same caterers, bakeries, and entertainment as the other graduates, causing an undesirable déjà vu.

It’s important to remember that even though your children may graduate from the same school and participate in the same activities as their friends, they are still individuals. If you want to make their story stand out, try some of these ideas.

most people might not know what to write, give them ideas like where they met your children or memories from overnight trips or team events. Another idea is to provide pictures in a scrapbook and let the friends add their memories to each page.



A Memory Jar Purchase a clear jar or decorate an empty canister. Leave blank pieces of paper, colorful markers, and a note saying, “Please share a memory of Caitlin.” Since

14 SonomaFamilyLife

Letters to the Graduate I did this for my daughter’s high school graduation. She was attending a school out of state in the fall, and I wanted her to have something

with props. The more budget-friendly option is to get a large frame from a thrift store and decorate it with school colors. Hang the frame from a tree or in front of a nice backdrop. You can also provide inexpensive props such as a graduation cap, colorful sunglasses, or graduation photo booth printables.


Card Holder Graduates, like brides, always have an awkward reaction when they receive cards from their guests. Are they supposed to hold them all night? Of course not. Make it easier for your graduate by creating a gift table as well as a decorated mailbox or vintage suitcase in which guests may place their cards.


Trivia Cards Trivia cards are a great way to share the graduate’s story. Create questions and answers about your graduate. For example, “What instrument did John play in middle school?” or “What wing was Allie’s locker in at school?” Write the questions on the outside of an 8½”x11” sheet of paper and fold over. Guests

May 2018

will have to lift the folded paper for the answers. Place the cards where guests will see them.


Photos of the Graduate A photo display is a wonderful way to show how much your graduate has grown. You can arrange the photos on a wall or poster, or make a photo slide show to display on your TV. Set it up on a loop; guests can stop to view it as they come through the party area.


They Earned It Let’s face it. Your children worked hard to receive their awards, trophies, scholarships, and other honors. It’s okay to display them.


A Unique Dining Experience To make your party stand out, serve something

beyond chicken and pasta. If you are having a large crowd, a pig roast might be fun. Or contract with a street taco

A photo display is a wonderful way to show how much your graduate has grown. food truck vendor. For dessert, forgo the usual rectangle cake and try a s’more or sundae bar instead.


Games & Entertainment Get your guests moving and mingling with backyard games like cornhole and volleyball. Look online for graduation-themed games such as Jeopardy, Family Feud, or Pictionary. Hire a DJ to play

music and rent a dance floor to put over the grass. You can also hire a caricaturist or a fortune-teller.


Hashtag & Geofilters No party is complete without social media posts. Provide signs on the tables for your guests so they know what hashtag to use when posting pictures of your child’s graduation. Make it unique to your party like #MattsgradNVHS2018. You also might want to consider purchasing a Snapchat Geofilter. Create your design online a few days in advance and choose your Geofence—usually just around the party location. ¶

Pam Molnar is a party planner and mother of three. This year she is planning her second child’s high school graduation party. Follow her on Etsy at Pam’s Party Printables.


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SonomaFamilyLife 15

the party’s host. He had no idea how it happened but just knew that my daughter had drunk too much. He wasn’t sure what exactly she had consumed. He just wanted me to get Jane out of there, as if it were possible for me to sling my gangly 125-pound daughter over my shoulder.

Drowning in Drink

The Danger of Teen Alcohol Poisoning

By Sandra Gordon


t was 12:30 a.m. on a Sunday when my cell phone woke me up from a dead sleep.

Earlier that evening, my 14-year-old daughter, Jane, had gone to her first formal high school dance and then to her first “after party.” I don’t consider myself a helicopter parent. In fact, my parenting style has always been more free-range. After all, I grew up on a farm in the Midwest. But that night, I kept my cellphone on my nightstand just in case. “Come pick up your daughter now!” yelled a man’s voice over thumping party music. My heart suddenly racing, I threw back the covers and scrambled in the dark to put on whatever clothes I could find. What was going on? My panic building, I drove through my suburban neighborhood as teens from 16 SonomaFamilyLife

the party called and gave me clues about what was happening. One caller, a boy, asked if I was on my way and if I was okay with alcohol. “No, I’m not!” I screamed. “How much did she drink?” No answer. At the luxury apartment complex where the party was held, I found Jane splayed on the cold tile of the first floor restroom, unconscious. She was wearing her favorite black yoga pants and a white T-shirt, her pretty, long brown hair in a ponytail. I was stunned to see her this out of it. Thankfully, another mom was there, holding up Jane’s head so Jane wouldn’t choke on her own vomit. “JANE! JANE!” I yelled. Her eyelids didn’t even flutter. The man who called appeared, nervous. Fortyish and boyish-looking, he was someone’s divorced dad and

Maybe another parent would have yelled at him for hosting a booze bash for high school freshman and sophomores. Me? I was in a vortex of tears. Yet, I knew yelling wouldn’t

Egged on by the “cool” sophomores, freshman Jane had downed seven vodka shots. change anything. Instead, I focused on solving the problem. “Call 911!” I said to one of Jane’s friends, who had wandered into the restroom to check on her. After what felt like forever, Jane was hauled out on a yellow stretcher. In the local hospital emergency department, Jane’s clothes were cut off and IVs were inserted. She looked like a crumpled fawn in a mass of tubes. Her blood alcohol level tested at 0.2, four times the legal limit. She was the smell of a bar at closing time. “We see this every weekend,” said the young emergency medicine physician, shaking her head. Teenage alcohol poisoning kills about 4,300 young men and women every year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Jane turned out to be one of the lucky ones. There wasn’t much to do but wait until she woke up.

May 2018

“Try to get some sleep,” the doctor said, while pulling shut the thick curtain that separated us from the ER’s main area. While shifting in my green plastic chair all night, I decided not to wake my husband, who was still at home sleeping, and I mulled over the events of the past week. When Jane asked

Teenage alcohol poisoning kills about 4,300 young men and women every year in the United States. to go to the after-party, I saw the glint in her eye. I had a feeling alcohol was going to be there. Each night before bed for the past week, I had talked with Jane about the dangers of alcohol. I explained to her that because her brain was still growing, drinking now could more likely lead to a lifelong addiction. Right before the party, Jane’s 16-year-old sister showed me a photo on social media of the event’s exact alcohol stash—a mass of vodka, whiskey, and beer bottles. “The party’s going to be lit!” the caption had read. At that, I sent Jane a text saying that she couldn’t go to the party after all. “I promise I won’t drink, Mommy,” Jane texted. I decided to trust her. After all, we had had those talks. But we might as well have chatted about the weather. At 6:30 a.m., Jane, still a tangle of tubes, finally stirred. “How do you feel?” I said. “Safe,” she said. “Safe?” I repeated.

Jane nodded. “You’re in the hospital,” I said. “You almost killed yourself.” “I’m so sorry, Mommy,” Jane said, with a tear streaming down her face. When we got home at 10:30 a.m. that Sunday morning, the parents of Jane’s friends began calling, and I pieced together what had happened. Egged on by the “cool” sophomores, freshman Jane had downed seven vodka shots. Not knowing what she was doing, she passed out before she even knew she was drunk. In 2010, underage drinkers in the United States made roughly

I found Jane splayed on the cold tile of the first floor restroom, unconscious. 189,000 emergency department visits, according to the CDC. I never again want to so personally relate to the statistics about teenage alcohol poisoning. For weeks, I relived the terror of the cliché phone call, racing to the apartment complex, the haunting image of my daughter conked out on the tile floor, and the alcohol coma at the hospital. And Jane? Well, thanks to anti-nausea medication, she didn’t even get a hangover. She knew she had made a big mistake. Still, she was mostly upset that her yoga pants were in shreds. Since Jane’s near-death experience with teenage alcohol poisoning, there have been more talks about alcohol and how Jane’s impulsive actions May 2018

terrorized us all. My husband, Jane, and I attended two pricey sessions with a leading teen therapist so we could drive home the point that even though she was mostly unconscious throughout the whole thing, it was a big deal. Jane had to earn back our trust, the therapist said.

In 2010, underage drinkers in the United States made roughly 189,000 emergency department visits. We’re not sure how to do this other than one neighborhood pool party, bonfire, and hang-out at a time. I let Jane go because I know she needs to be with her friends, as all teens do. Yet, she has a firm rule. If alcohol gets smuggled in, it’s off limits. “If you drink anything, I’m shutting it down!” I routinely say, glaring. Jane also has an 11 p.m. curfew. I always pick her up instead of letting someone else drop her off at home. And she can’t have after-party sleepovers since they are one way many teens hide drinking from their parents. What will happen when Jane does drink again at a party is anyone’s guess. In the meantime, to help Jane feel safe, and until she is more mature, I have ditched being a free-range parent. I now think of myself as a helicopter parent on steroids—or rather, a party drone, hovering just above Jane’s ponytailed head. Sandra Gordon is a nationally published freelance writer who covers health and parenting.

SonomaFamilyLife 17


A Family Tree. Show Mom what a special part of your family she is with a handmade family tree. Find a short tree branch and place it in a decorated can. Stabilize the branch with sand, clay, or plaster. Next cut out large leaf shapes from construction paper. On one side of the leaves, write the names of family members, and then tape or paste photographs of them to the other side (don’t forget

A day of relaxation and royal treatment will make Mom feel extra special.

Service with a Smile

5 Free Ways to Show Mom You Care

By Denise Yearian


otherhood is a 24-hour job with no pay, no vacation, and few fringe benefits. Fortunately, there is a day set aside to give mothers the attention and appreciation they deserve. After asking dozens of moms what they would like for Mother’s Day, the answers were irrefutably the same.

“It’s not so much what is purchased, but the gift of ‘I love you’ through words and actions,” says Ella Catron, mother and grandmother. Karen Kolek, mother of three, agrees. “Anything the kids come up with for a craft-type memory is well worth the time, effort, and 18 SonomaFamilyLife

messiness. These things go further than any expensive item.” So stash your wallets and start brainstorming about what would make Mother feel appreciated and special. Here are five no-cost ideas to get you started.

your pets!). If you don’t have a picture of someone, draw one. Punch a hole through the top of each leaf and thread a piece of yarn through it. Now tie the leaves to the tree branches.


At Your Service. The gift of service is something that keeps on giving. Talk with family members about the chores Mother does around the house. On small strips of paper write down each job she does, and on the other side write the name of one family member who will volunteer to do that task for her. Continue this until you have covered all of her responsibilities. Find an old shoebox, place the strips of paper in it, and wrap it up. Present this to Mom and in the days to come give her service with a smile.


This is Your Life. Make Mother feel honored with a special presentation of This Is Your Life. Stage the show as if it were a television special. Have one person be the show host who interviews other family members regarding what they

May 2018


love about Mom. They may also want to share a story or memory they have of her. Between interviews, prepare a special song, poem, or other talent in her honor. Ask a family member to videotape the program, and Mother will have a keepsake for years to come.


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Queen for the Day. A day of relaxation and royal treatment will make Mom feel extra special. When she wakes up, greet her with a homemade crown and tell her she will be queen for the day. Serve her favorite breakfast in bed, and ask her how she would like to spend the day. If she needs a little prompting, suggest

Throughout the day, remind her of how much you love and appreciate her. a family hike in the morning, a picnic in the park for lunch, and a nap in the afternoon. While she is having down time, wash her car and fill it up with gas. Make the evening special with a home-cooked dinner and movie. During the movie, dote over her—rub her feet, brush her hair, or give her a manicure. Throughout the day, remind her of how much you love and appreciate her.

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Time Alone. Most mothers of young children have little time for themselves. Give Mom the day off to get a massage, go shopping, or sip coffee with an old friend. While she is gone, clean the house, do the grocery shopping, and prepare a special “Best Mom in the World” banner for her arrival home. ¶ Denise Yearian is the former editor of two parenting magazines and the mother of three children.


Get a brochure and find a camp near you! | 1-844-788-1858 May 2018

SonomaFamilyLife 19

So find a way to make self-care a priority. The world can wait (and someone else can watch the kids) while you take a little break to go for a walk, read a book, pursue a hobby you enjoy, do some yoga, prep healthy meals, or even take a freaking-fantastic nap. On a personal note, one thing I absolutely need is to get up a little before my three boys (nothing crazy,

Fill Up Yourself By L. J. Kunkel


know what you’re thinking. “Oh no, another article telling me I need to be a better parent. I’m just dying to see what else I’m failing at.” Well, you can rest easy and keep reading! There will be no guilting, no shaming, no list of 1,000 activities you must do or foods you must never let your kids touch. Chances are you’re already spread thin from doing so much for your family. These tips might actually make your job easier and don’t take a ton of effort. 1. Fill your own cup first. As a parent, you are always taking care of other people. The whirlwind of worrying, cooking, feeding, diaper changing, snotty-nose wiping, cleaning, scheduling, shopping, 20 SonomaFamilyLife

How to Prioritize Your Needs & Still Be a Great Parent working, and not sleeping leaves you feeling frazzled and drained. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Running yourself ragged all the time contributes to increased stress, sick time, and health problems and hinders your ability to function overall. And you are setting an example that you probably don’t want your kids to adopt as adults. In reality, serving yourself first will allow you to best serve others. It’s not selfish; it’s just basic self-respect. Something you want your kids to learn, right?

Learning to amuse themselves helps kids develop problem-solving skills, motivation, and interests of their own. only 15 minutes or so) so I have time to drink my much-needed coffee in relative peace and start the day on the right foot. Literally filling my cup first! And everyone wins since I’m not a raging mean mama bear at first sight. 2. Get moving. One of the single most important ways to implement self-care is to exercise. I know, I know, you’ve heard this one a million times. “But I don’t have the energy or’s too’s boring...blah blah blah.” Stop overcomplicating it. You don’t have to spend hours a day, buy expensive equipment, punish yourself boot camp-style, or go to the gym (unless that’s your thing, of course). Just get your body moving! Find something that you actually enjoy. Walk, jog, hike, dance, or do YouTube workout videos in your living room. It will be invigorating and you will be surprised at all the

May 2018

wonderful effects it will have on your life, such as boosting energy and immunity, improving sleep, clearing brain fog, and helping you lose those extra pounds. And you’ll also be setting a healthy example for your kids to follow. 3. Let boredom ring. “I’m bored.” Two little words every parent dreads hearing! It’s a phrase that sends us into a frenzy of googling activities to do, Pinterest-y snacks to make, local events to go to, and crafts to make out of toilet paper tubes. Then when our ungrateful offspring decide none of this stuff is exciting, we throw up our hands and just give them more screen time. Why do we think we need to entertain them at all times? Let them be bored. Everyone experiences it. No one ever died from it. It’s not something you need to protect your children from. Boredom, in fact, fosters creativity. When a child hits that state of “nothing left to do,” their brain starts really firing. Bored thoughts lead to innovative thoughts, which are a good thing. Don’t get me wrong—I’m not telling you to ignore your children. It’s great to spend time with them. But learning to amuse themselves helps kids develop problem-solving skills, motivation, and interests of their own—all of which contribute to healthy psychological development and a clear sense of self. Eventually they will come up with something to do. If they really need assistance and you can’t tune out the whining, help them create a list

of things to do that they can come back to in the future. If that doesn’t work, you can always make a list of chores or ask them to help you clean. Suddenly anything else becomes oh-so-fun! 4. Give yourself a time-out. It’s so unfair, isn’t it? The things we as adults would die to have—like time-outs and naps—kids outright despise. Little buggers don’t know how good they have it! Although you probably can’t take a daily nap or flee a frustrating situation, you can give yourself a

Serving yourself first will allow you to best serve others. It’s not selfish; it’s just basic self-respect. little time-out when you need it at home. When your bratty brood is driving you crazy and you’re about to explode in anger, just go to another room and cool down for a few minutes. Breathe. Think it through before you threaten consequences you know you won’t follow through on or do something you might regret. The tiny troublemakers will still be there when you’re ready. You’ll likely be more reasonable and collected at that point and better able to remember that yelling, threatening, and being aggressive help no one. 5. Help yourself to some hygge. Um…what’s that? Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) is a Danish term meaning “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that May 2018

engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” It’s likely one of the reasons why Denmark is considered the happiest country in the world. Unfortunately, in our fast-paced culture, relaxing can be viewed as laziness or underachievement. Silence your inner critic and anyone else whose opinion you don’t need. Taking a break is not only nice—it’s necessary. Just as adequate sleep is vital to overall health and functioning, hygge-style rest can make you feel refreshed, full of joy, and more productive, among other things. So have a hefty helping of hygge however it suits you. Slow down to savor a mug of hot cocoa or coffee, enjoy family movie night, slip on some warm fuzzy slippers, listen to music, flip on Netflix and chill, go on a date night, get together with friends, bake cookies, relax on the beach...whatever you find comforting and cozy. Try to make this a regular event in your life. It’s a lifestyle, not just an occasional thing. It’s important to disregard the idea that your needs don’t matter and tending to them is somehow selfish. Just think about how you want your kids to treat themselves when they’re in your shoes. Do you want them to be overworked, exhausted, anxious, frazzled hot messes? Didn’t think so. Adapted from original published on L. J. Kunkel writes on health, fitness, and parenting and is a wife, mom of three, and certified personal trainer. Find her at

SonomaFamilyLife 21

Family Fun Russian River Rose Company

Mama Says… Treat Her Right! 6 Local Ways to Celebrate Mom

Mikala Kennan


aking a living. Tending to meltdowns. Scheduling doctor’s appointments. Playing yet another round of “house.” Being a mom is not easy. At all. Let your grand dame know you appreciate all the multiple ways she nurtures, provides, and sustains; take her to one of these local events. Whether she wanders through roses, sips bubbly, or laughs heartily, she’ll feel special and loved.

Healdsburg Treat Mother to blooms at their peak at the Russian River Rose Company Mother’s Day Open Garden. After receiving a flower, Mom can stroll down the Rose Allee and check out the new children’s fairy garden with the kids. The gardens will be open May 13, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Admission is a $2 donation; roses and irises will be available for purchase in the nursery. For more information, see

22 SonomaFamilyLife

Meet the Makers Food and Drink Tasting Tour

Sebastopol Is Mama a foodie? Then she’ll love tasting her way through the Barlow. The two-hour Meet the Makers Food and Drink Tasting Tour includes six tastings—enough for lunch—at different Barlow locations. She’ll get to meet chefs, makers, and artisans and also learn about local history and culture. The May 12 tour starts at 11:30 a.m. Purchase tickets, which are $89, at barlow-tours-meet-the-makers. May 2018


Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport (STS)

©P N


Nonstop flights to:

Yoga in the Vineyards

Guerneville Let the lady of the house sit back and drink some bubbly at Korbel Champagne Cellars’ Pink Party. A gourmet dinner, along with rosé and blush champagne, will be served in front of a champagne bottle–shaped pool in the winery’s private pool house. The event will be held on May 12 at 5 p.m. Seating is limited; call 824-7000 to purchase tickets, which are $75–$85. Kenwood Mom can do asanas—with a view of Sugarloaf State Park—and then reward herself with a glass of vino at Yoga in the Vineyards. Molly Vogel instructs outside at Landmark Vineyards on May 13, 10:30–11:30 a.m. The class and wine are $30. Students should be sure to pack a yoga mat, yoga blanket, towel, and water, and wear layers of comfortable clothes. Sign up at Petaluma If you want to splurge, treat your queen to the Giant Steps Farm to (s)Table dinner, a fundraiser for the equestrian therapy of Giant Steps. Enjoy a meal prepared by Stellar Catering—the enterprise of well known Sonoma County chefs Bruce Reizenman and Ari Weiswasser—and drink local beer and wine. After dinner, Mom can treat herself to grappa and chocolate and then hang out with miniature horses and pets in the Petting Zoo. If she’s feeling daring, she even can ride a mechanical bull. The event will be held on May 12 at 5 p.m. at Beaumont Farms. Purchase tickets, which are $175, at Santa Rosa From dirty diapers to sleep deprivation, the realities of mothering are harsh. Lighten up with stand-up comedy at the Laugh Cellar. The May 12 show features the humor of Los Angeles comic Aidan Park as well as Karen McCarthy and Stacy Martinelli. The performance, which is for ages 18 and up, is at 7 p.m. (doors open at 5 p.m.); tickets are $28. For more information, call 843-3824. ¶

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May 2018

SonomaFamilyLife 23


Calendar of Events

Taiko and Tea


isit Japan without having to cross the Pacific. The Matsuri! Japanese Festival will bring elegant kimonos, traditional dance and theater, martial arts demos, a tea ceremony, and the thunderous sound of taiko drums to the North Bay’s doorstep on May 6, 11 a.m.–5 p.m., in Juilliard Park in Santa Rosa. Admission is free. As a prelude to the festival, Grand Master Riley Lee from Australia and local musician Elliot Kallen will give a shakuhachi concert on May 5 at 7 p.m. at the Church of One Tree in Santa Rosa. Tickets are $20 at the door. See for more information. ¶

Tuesday 1 Youth Exhibition: Art Shapes the World. Kids in grades K–12 show

their work. Runs thru June 16. 11 a.m.–noon. Petaluma Arts Center. 230 Lakeville Cir., Petaluma. 762-5600.

Wednesday 2

Toddlers on Ice. Intro to ice skating

for ages 18 months–4 years. $20 for 1 toddler & 1 adult. Wednesdays. 10:30–11:30 a.m. Snoopy’s Home Ice. 1667 W. Steele Ln., Santa Rosa. 546-7147.

FREE Wednesday Night Market.

Live music, 100 vendors, craft & beer garden. Wednesdays. 5–8:30 p.m. May 2: Free outdoor showing of Back to the Future at 8:30 p.m. Courthouse Square. Santa Rosa.

Thursday 3

Into the Woods. Stephen Sondheim musical. Recommended for ages 12 & above. $12–$22. May 3–5: 7:30 p.m. May 5 & 6: 1:30 p.m. Maria Carrillo High School Auditorium. 6975 Montecito Blvd., Santa Rosa. 527-4307.

Peter Pan. $28. Weekends. 1 p.m. & 7 p.m. Runs thru May 20. (May 3: Gala, 6 p.m., $50). Spreckels Performing Arts Center. 5409 Snyder Ln., Rohnert Park. 588-3400. Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site. Children’s

musical based on the best-selling children’s book. $12–$17. 3 p.m. Children’s activities at 2 p.m. Pizza & drinks available for purchase. Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. 50 Mark West Springs Rd., Santa Rosa. 546-3600. FREE Thursday Game Night. Test out new board games & play your


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707 585-3748


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Birthday & Private Parties Kids Race Camps Video Arcade Fund Raising Black Light Mini-Golf 4601 Redwood Drive, Rohnert Park

24 SonomaFamilyLife

May 2018

favorites with new friends. 6–9 p.m. Fundemonium Toys. 579 Rohnert Park Expy., Rohnert Park. 800-4060.

Ju n e 2 0 -2 4 PETALUMA, CA

Friday 4

Spring Dance Show. May 4 & 5: 7 p.m. May 6: 2 p.m. Santa Rosa High School Auditorium. 1235 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. 527-4307. Tickets: buy-tickets-online.


Pay-One-Price! Admission Includes Carnival & Concerts

Concert Series Series Petaluma Stage at 8:00 pm Concert June 20 - enVogue , June 21 - Clay Walker , June 22 - 38 SpeCial , June 23 - SmaSh mouth

Cinco De Mayo Shabbat Dinner. A

community Shabbat dinner with a Mexican flavor. Suggested donation: $18. 7 p.m. Chabad Jewish Center. 205 Keller St., #101, Petaluma. 559-8585. Les Schwab Monster Truck Spring Nationals. $10–$21.75. Under age

2: free. Preshow Pit Party free to ticketed spectators. May 4: 7:30 p.m. May 5: 1 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Sonoma County Fairgrounds. 1350 Bennett Valley Rd., Santa Rosa. 530-745-0100.

Thrilling Carnival Delicious Fair Food Butterfly Experience Games & Contests Live Music & Entertainment Barnyard Animals & More!

Five Days of Family Fun! Details at

Saturday 5

Bill & Dave Hikes. 8-mile

moderately strenuous hike to Bald Mountain. Rain or shine. Hike: free. Parking: $8 ($7 for seniors). Gather at 9:45 a.m. for prompt 10 a.m. departure. Not recommended for children under 12. Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. 2605 Adobe Canyon Rd., Kenwood. Info: 539-8847 or 833-6288. Au Revoir, Bruno. Bruno Ferrandis

conducts his final performances after leading the orchestra for 12 years. Mahler Symphony no. 9 & Michal Rataj’s Temporis for Cymbalom and Orchestra. $29. (Ages 7–17 free w/one paid adult ticket. This offer not available online; contact Patron Services. Free ticket for first

May 2018

SonomaFamilyLife 25

responders & those who lost their homes. For this offer, call in the 2 weeks leading up to the concert.) May 5 & 7: 8 p.m. May 6: 3 p.m. Open rehearsal: May 5, 2 p.m. Green Music Center. 1801 East Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. 546-8742. Occidental Community Choir Spring Concerts. “The Great Wheel.”

Program of eclectic & (mostly) original works & spoken word celebrates the seasons, cycles & all things that spin. Adults: $15. ($10 for May 5). Ages 12 & under: free. May 5, 11 & 12: 8 p.m. May 6 & 13: 3 p.m. All concerts will be at Occidental Center for the Arts. 3850 Doris Murphy Ct., Occidental. Except, May 13: Glaser Center. 547 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa.

FREE 4th Annual Loma Vista Carnival. Games, live performances,

music/DJ, raffles, prizes, food & more. 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Loma Vista Immersion Academy. 207 Marie Dr., Petaluma. FREE Eco-Friendly Garden Tour & Open House. Self-guided tour of

sustainable gardens throughout Sonoma & Marin Counties. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Register on eventbrite. com. (Search on “2018 Eco-Friendly Garden Tour.”) FREE Windsor Day Parade & Cinco de Mayo Celebration. Festival booths,

children’s games & live music. Parade: 10 a.m.–noon. Festival: 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Windsor Town Green. Windsor. 838-1260. FREE Aqua Day in May. Swimming,

water safety demos, arts & crafts,

food & drinks, music & giveaways. 2–5 p.m. Honeybee Pool. 1170 Golf Course Dr., Rohnert Park. 586-1413. Fair & Fiesta. Human acrobats, motorcycle races, jaripeo (Mexican bull-riding), chef showcases, Ag-Ventureland, live music, petting zoo, amusements & Napa Valley Olive Oil Competition. Noon–10 p.m. Thru May 6. General: $10; 5 & under, free. Motorcycle racing: $25–$60. Jaripeo: $10–$45; 5 & under, free. Napa Fairgrounds. 1435 N. Oak St., Calistoga. 942-5111. Castle & Kites. Build

sand castles & kites. Bring castle-building tools or borrow those on hand. Bring your own kite or purchase one from local vendors. Sand sculptors will work


The REACH School


Serving Transitional Kindergarten through 8th Grade

• Project Based Academic Program • Social Emotional Learning Focus • Small Class Sizes • Expressive Arts Integration

• Focus on collaborative and activity driven learning Pre-Enrollment Information for 2018-19 is available at


487 Watertrough Rd, Sebastopol, 95472 26 SonomaFamilyLife


is excited to offer two full weeks of studio art workshops this summer! There are two sessions each week; students may attend morning or afternoon sessions, or both. In these art-immersion workshops, students will be inspired and guided by SVMA art teachers to express their imaginations. Students’ creative processes will include developing technique and using diverse media in drawing, sculpture, painting, printmaking, collage, and mixed-media.

July 16-20: ages 6-10 • July 23-27: ages 11-15 551 Broadway • Sonoma • 707.939.7862 May 2018


Snoopy’s Skate Party. Live DJ,

games & on-ice lounge. Recommend for ages 12–15. 7:30–9 p.m. $10 includes skates. $17 includes skates & chicken-strip or pizza dinner. Snoopy’s Home Ice. 1667 W. Steele Ln., Santa Rosa. FREE Kids’ Crafts: Windmill Planter. You & your child can

build a model windmill that holds a seasonal flower for Mother’s Day. Attendees must be accompanied by a parent/adult at all times. 9 a.m.– noon. Home Depot Locations: 100 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa; 4825 Redwood Dr., Rohnert Park & 6280 Hembree Ln., Windsor. Register at

Sunday 6

Goat Kid Cuddle Day. Cuddle

with baby goats & learn about sustainable farming. Bring a picnic to enjoy in the apple orchard & shop the farm’s market. $5–$10. Ages 5 & under: free. 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Also May 12. Redwood Hill Farm. 5480 Thomas Rd., Sebastopol. 827-3366. Jewish Kids Club. Fun, interactive

activities that promote Jewish values & friendship. Craft projects & games with special emphasis on Jewish traditions & culture. Ages 5–10. $10. No membership required. 3–4:30 p.m. Chabad Jewish Center of Petaluma. 205 Keller St., #101, Petaluma. 559-8585. FREE Songs of the Sea. Performed by

the Healdsburg Community Band. 3 p.m. Healdsburg Community Church.

at the

©2018 PNTS

on elaborate creations. Wheelchair accessible. Event: free. Parking: $7. 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Doran Regional Park. 201 Doran Beach Rd., Bodega Bay. 565-2041. parksstg.sonomacounty.




June 4–August 10

2301 Hardies Lane Santa Rosa, CA 95403 (707) 579-4452

FOR CHILDREN GRADES PRE-K–10th Classes available in art, cartooning, LEGO-animation, iPad moviemaking, and even ice skating! REGISTER ONLINE TODAY! classes-camps 707-284-1272

Cloverleaf Ranch summer camp Open House: May 20th

Sonoma County Strong since 1947

Bennett Valley Union School District There is still time to register for Transitional Kindergarten (Kinder Bridge) for 2018-19 School Year

Call 542-6272 to sign up

A limited number of interdistrict transfer requests for 2018-19 will be accepted

California Distinguished Schools

Yulupa Primary School Preschool–Third Grade 2250 Mesquite Drive, Santa Rosa 707 542-6272

Strawberry Intermediate School Fourth–Sixth Grade 2311 Horseshoe Drive, Santa Rosa 707 526-4433

Consistently high student academic achievement at both schools

Your child’s joy of learning is nurtured with our: • Excellent Teachers • Reduced Class Size (K–3) • Kinder Bridge Transitional Kindergarten • Extended Day Kindergarten (8:30-1:25) • Fully Staffed Libraries and Technology Labs • Visual and Performing Arts Programs

YMCA provides on-site child care

• Band, Percussion and Chorus (4th–6th) • Boys’ and Girls’ Interscholastic Basketball (4th–6th) • Emphasis on Environmental Stewardship • Gifted and Talented Education (4th–6th)

Children must be five on or before Sept. 1, 2018 to be eligible for kindergarten. Two year Kinder Bridge program offered for children turning five on or after Sept. 2, 2018.

707 542-2201 • Visit us at May 2018

SonomaFamilyLife 27

Take Action ✔Yardwork Done! Check yardwork off your to-do list today We have all your lawn and garden equipment needs covered.

Aerators, Tillers & Dethatchers The region’s largest rental equipment provider with 4 Sonoma County locations. Open 7 days a week

Santa Rosa 539-0707 • Windsor 838-4373 Healdsburg 431-3544 • Fulton 544-0501

1100 University Ave., Healdsburg. FREE Matsuri! Japanese Art Festival. Children’s activity booth,

taiko drumming, kyogen theater, folk music & dance & martial arts demos. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Juilliard Park. 227 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa. FREE Geyserville May Day Celebration. Country music

by Hilary Marckx, teen Ballet Folklorico, Kiwanis rib cook-off & kids’ activities, including a jump room, rock wall & an egg-toss competition. Noon–4 p.m. Hoffman Ranch Picnic Grounds. Geyserville.

Friday 11 North Bay Sinfonietta Concert.

Chamber orchestra. Violinists Sid

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Page & Anthony Martin play Bach’s Double Violin Concerto. $10. 8 p.m. Church of the Incarnation. 550 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. Songs of the Sea. Performed by the Healdsburg Community Band. $10 (to benefit the CARE Foundation). Kids: free. Cloverdale East Gym. 509 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale.

Saturday 12 FREE Family Bicycling Workshop.

Must have functional bike & helmet. Arrive at least 20 minutes early to allow time to check bicycles & helmets & allow for adjustments if necessary. Children must be able to ride a bike & ready to take the road with their parents (recommended ages 7 & up, no training wheels). 1/2 instructional, 1/2 bike ride. 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Proctor Terrace Elementary. 1711 Bryden Ln., Santa Rosa. 545-0153. FREE Bunny Day. Bring in your bunny (in a carrier) for a free nail trim & learn about rabbit care. Meet adoptable rabbits. 1–5 p.m. Animal Shelter. 301 J Rogers Ln., Rohnert Park. 584-1582. Pink Party: Korbel Mother’s Day Dinner. Meal paired with rosé &

blush champagnes. Dinner in private pool house, overlooking champagne bottle–shaped swimming pool. Space is limited. $75–$85. 5 p.m. Korbel Champagne Cellars. 13250 River Rd., Guerneville. 824-7000. FREE Stumptown Daze Parade.

Hair & Skin Care for the Entire Family!

Champagne Hair Lounge

7981 Old Redwood Hwy. • Cotati

28 SonomaFamilyLife


Kicking off the summer season. Noon–1 p.m. Main St., Guerneville.

Special for 1st time clients.

FREE Musical Instrument Drive.

Cut & Color $75 Call for an appointment 707 665-5826 7 days a week

Donate new or used musical instruments to our local students. Live

May 2018

FREE Admission on Mother’s Day.

student performances throughout the day. Free glitter tattoos for kids. 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Montgomery Village. Hwy. 12 & Farmer’s Ln., Santa Rosa. 545-3844.

5755 Mountain Hawk, Santa Rosa.

Giant Steps Farm to Table Dinner.

Laguna Watershed Perspectives: Laguna de Santa Rosa Trail and Meadowlark Field. An informative walk with naturalists & ecologists. 2–3 miles over mostly flat but uneven ground. 2–5 p.m. $10. Ages 10 & up. Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation. 900 Sanford Rd., Santa Rosa. Pre-registration required:

Oysters, specialty cheeses, bone-in rack of pork. $175. Benefits Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center. Beaumont Farms. 5580 Red Hill Rd., Petaluma. stable18. Meet the Makers Tour. 3-hour tasting tour of the Barlow’s craft brewers, artisans, winemakers & eateries. The Barlow. 6770 McKinley St., Sebastopol. Registration required: barlow-tours-meet-the-makers. The Laugh Cellar. Stand-up comedy. Aidan Park with Karen McCarthy & Stacy Martinelli. 7–8:30 p.m.

All mothers get in free. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Charles M. Schulz Museum. 2301 Hardies Ln., Santa Rosa. 579-4452.

Sunday 13 Mother’s Day Afternoon Walk.

FREE Celebrate! 2nd Sunday Family Fun Series. Gator Nation

plays Zydeco music. Family-friendly games & activities, food, drinks & live music outdoors. 1–4 p.m. Rohnert Park Community Center. 5401 Synder Ln., Rohnert Park. Mother’s Day Yoga in the Vineyards.

$30. 10:30–11:30 a.m. Yoga outside with views of Sugarloaf State Park followed by Tasting Flight of Landmark wines. Landmark Vineyards. 101 Adobe Canyon Rd., Kenwood. yoga-in-the-vineyards.

Mother’s Day Open Garden.

$2 donation. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Russian River Rose Company. 1685 Magnolia Dr., Healdsburg.

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SonomaFamilyLife 29

Wednesday 16

Thursday 17

American Crown Circus/Circus Osorio. Circus stars from around

FREE Home & Ranch Readiness Summit. May 17–19. May 17: First

the globe. Each paid adult includes 2 free children under 10 years old. Check website for fees. Parking: $9. Thurs–Mon. May 17: 7:30 p.m. May 18 & 19: 5 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. May 20: 3 p.m., 5 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. May 21: 7:30 p.m. Sonoma County Event Center at the Fairgrounds. 1350 Bennett Valley Rd., Santa Rosa.

Responder Day. May 18: Community Partners Day. May 19: Home & Ranch Readiness Day. Sonoma County Fairgrounds. 1350 Bennett Valley Rd., Santa Rosa.

Friday 18

High Heels for Hope. An evening of

glamour & fun where the women put on their best heels. Enjoy appetizers &

local wines, auction items & dancing. $75. 6:30–10 p.m. Vintners Inn & John Ash & Co. 4350 Barnes Rd., Santa Rosa. 484-5229. high-heels-for-hope.

Saturday 19

Lobster Boil. Family-style dining, live auction & raffles, lively music & wine tastings from local wineries. Benefits Court Appointed Special Advocates. $150. Sponsorships available. 5 p.m. Vine Hill House. 3601 Vine Hill Rd., Sebastopol. FREE Kids to Parks Day Scavenger Hunt. Take a self-directed Scavenger

Hunt thru the park & enjoy treats & activities along the way. Ages 6–12. Younger children will need extra adult help. 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Howarth Memorial Park. 600 Summerfield Rd., Santa Rosa. santarosarec. Year of the Dog: Joe Cool. Kids

decorate their own Joe Cool sunglasses. Photo ops & special Snoopy button to take home. $5–$12. Museum members & ages 3 & under: free. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Charles M. Schulz Museum. 2301 Hardies Ln., Santa Rosa. 579-4452. FREE Senior Expo of Santa Rosa.

Go on a Family Trek


eople travel from all over the world to take in Sonoma County’s rolling hills and majestic coastal vistas. See some of the best sites on LandPaths’ Family Trek May 26–27. From Shell Beach (near Jenner), hike five miles inland to a private ranch on the edge of Willow Creek State Park, where you and the kids can play along the salmon-bearing Willow Creek and then camp overnight. The next morning, walk back to the coast. Gear will be driven to the camping spot so you only have to don a daypack. Dinner and a light breakfast will be provided. Cost is $75–$125. Second youth 12 and under is free. (Work-trade scholarships are available.) Go to to register. ¶

60+ exhibitors. Learn about travel opportunities & recreation & fitness programs. Free health screenings. 9 a.m.–noon. Person Senior Wing. 2060 W. College Ave., Santa Rosa. Great Petaluma Chili Cook-Off, Salsa & Beer Tasting. Benefits

Cinnabar Theatre. $10–$30. Kids under 5: free. 1–5 p.m. Rain or shine. Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds. 175 Fairgrounds Dr., Petaluma. Petaluma’s Salute to American Graffiti. Car Show & Cruise. 10

30 SonomaFamilyLife

May 2018

a.m.–8 p.m. Cruise starts at 4 p.m. Downtown Petaluma. FREE 4th Annual Down Home Day.

Tours of this working homestead. Games, live music, food & prizes. 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Artful Arrangements. 205 Orchard Ln., Petaluma. 664-8656. FREE 124th Annual Luther Burbank Rose Parade & Festival. Local

school marching bands, floats built by community & service organizations. Parade: 10 a.m. Festival: 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Downtown Santa Rosa. Check website for parade route:

Bay Area band, Dirty Cello. Flamenco guitarist David Paez opens. $10. Ages 12 & under: free. 2–3 p.m. Museum of Sonoma County. 425 7th St., Santa Rosa.

Tuesday 22

Accessible Tours Day. Sign-language

interpreters & trained docents lead special drop-in tours for those with seeing & hearing impairments. $5–$12. Museum members & ages 3 & under: free. 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Charles M. Schulz Museum. 2301 Hardies Ln., Santa Rosa. 579-4452. Mini Concert at the Museum.

Afternoon of live music, curated by

Therapuetx. Food, beer & wine. Benefits the Community Child Care Council of Sonoma County. 5:30–8:30 p.m. $25. Ages 12 & under: $10. Lagunitas Brewing Company. 1280 N. McDowell Blvd., Petaluma. 544-3077.

Free live music by tribute bands. Wine & beer for purchase. Benefits local nonprofits in Sonoma County. Thursdays. 5:30–8 p.m. Montgomery Village. Hwy. 12 & Farmer’s Ln. Santa Rosa.

Cross & Crown Lutheran School 2 - 5 years Preschool Jr. Kindergarten – Kindergarten 1st through 6th Grade

CCLS - PSP Private Satellite Program K-6th

Saturday 26


LandPaths Family Trek. From Shell

Beach, hike 5 miles inland to a private ranch on the edge of Willow Creek State Park. The next morning, walk

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Thursday 24

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Sunday 27

Big Night Out. Live music by the

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Sunday 20


back to the coast. Gear will be driven to the camping spot. Dinner & light breakfast provided. $75–$125. Second youth 12 & under is free. (Work-trade scholarships are available.) Register:


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Are You Ready for a Musical Adventure? Learn to play piano in a small group








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Super Kids Camp KIDZ ‘N CRITTERS SUMMER CAMP! For Kids Who LOVE Animals! 5 fun sessions for children in grades 2-7 Rohnert Park Animal Shelter 707-584-1582


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!

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La Cantera Racquet & Swim Club

Summer & Afterschool Junior Tennis Programs




science! art! Games!

Santa Rosa, Rincon Valley June–July; 9am–3pm 6/12–7/28;M–F; M–F; 9am–3pm Sign Up: Santa Rosa Rec. parks & Cmnty Srvcs: (707) 543-3737 (707) 793-2251


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32 SonomaFamilyLife

Birthday Parties!

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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 &

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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.

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


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

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“Life should not only be lived, it should be celebrated.” ~Osho

Cheri Winter 707-387-4138

May 2018


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


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Sign up online for our weekly enews featuring the best family-friendly weekend events.


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 33

Humor Break

Little White Lies A Local Mom’s Cautionary Tale

By Holly Hester


t was getting dark when I noticed the first mosquito biting my leg. I winced, not because the mosquito bite hurt, but because I know how much my daughter hates mosquitoes. One mosquito bite could send her into a downward spiral of constant itching and obsessing about malaria. I glanced over and saw her slapping wildly at her legs and arms. She looked at me horrified and immediately marched over. “Can you go back to the pop-up with me and get my sweatshirt, pants, bug spray, hat, and antibiotic cream?” she asked. I sighed. It was the first time I had sat down all day. I was sun-weathered, my legs ached, and I hadn’t had a decent night’s sleep in a week. All I wanted to do was sit. For the record, camping and I have only a cordial, if not strained, relationship. I just don’t get the idea of taking all the stuff from inside your house, putting it outside your house so you can sleep and eat, then turning around and putting it all back inside your house. But my kids love camping, so I do it for them. So all week long, I had been filthy and tired, making sandwiches, filling up water bottles, and climbing up and down the hill to the river in 100-degree heat. Honestly, the whole time I was feeling pretty self-satisfied. Somebody better give me a Mother 34 SonomaFamilyLife

of the Year award for this. My heroic sacrifice will surely become one of our great family stories. As my daughter walked and I hobbled to get her all the mosquito defensive items she had requested, her anti-mosquito ranting continued: “Mom, did you know the mosquito is the animal that kills the most people every year? More than the crocodile.” I really couldn’t take

These cute little buggers are just going to remember my slip-ups, aren’t they? much more mosquito talk. “I think mosquitoes go to bed about this time, so you probably won’t have any more biting you,” I said. Now my daughter, who is seven and knows better said, “But mosquitoes are mostly nocturnal, right? So they wouldn’t go to bed at night.” I said, “That’s true.” I had to confess. I was just too tired to make up another lie about mosquitoes. My daughter looked confused. “So if you know mosquitoes don’t go to bed at night, why did you say that?” I said, “I don’t know. I guess I was just trying to get you to stop focusing so much on the mosquitoes so you could enjoy your last night

camping.” I shrugged sheepishly and smiled at my daughter, but she didn’t say a word. She just regarded me with a rather steely gaze. Shortly after we had gotten properly bug-sprayed and were headed back to the campfire, we ran into my daughter’s camp counselor, a blond woman of about 50 who is in a near-constant giddy state over nature. We said hi and then she leaned over to my daughter and said, “I’m just dying to hear all about what you learned camping this week.” And my daughter said, “I learned that my mommy lies.” All my hard work and that’s what my daughter comes away with? Her mother’s exhausted mosquito lie! And that’s when I realized: These cute little buggers are just going to remember my slip-ups, aren’t they? So Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful, fabulous mamas out there. Please know that at least I understand and appreciate all you do. And I certainly don’t mind if you need to lie every once in a while in the name of a good cause. ¶ Holly Hester lives in Sebastopol and writes about life on her blog, Riot Ranch. Find her book, Escape from Ugly Mom Island!, on Amazon.

May 2018

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Sonoma Family Life May 2018  
Sonoma Family Life May 2018