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October 2017

Sutter Nurse

Breast Health 4 key tests

Halloween Fun Top spots to trick-or-treat

Go Girl! Empowering

On local services



T S E B Y # A D H



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October 2017

Every Issue 6

Dear Reader


Crafting with Kids Designer Bags


Bits and Pieces Stomp It!

14 Interview with local oncology nurse Cindi Cantril.

Limber Up World Beats

Features 10 Your Breast Friend

Bats and Dinos and Goblins, Oh My!

The Wonder of Science

12 Take Charge of Your Health Pros and cons of common breast tests.

You Go, Girl!

16 Calendar of Events Fall Fling

14 Spooks & Sweets Local Halloween celebrations.

26 Absolutely True Excuses A humorous take on running late.

8 4 SonomaFamilyLife

10 October 2017



A Doctor’s ConfessiontotoPetaluma Petaluma Doctor’s Confession

Dear Friend, I wanted Dear Friend,to let everyone know what happened while I was in college. was a I wanted to let everyone know It what moment that changed my life forever. But happened while I was in college. It was a before I tell about my my life experience, moment thatyou changed forever. IBut wanted tellyou youabout my story from the start. before Itotell my experience, I Let me start by explaining the photo wanted to tell you my story from thein start. this letter. amexplaining the guy inthe thephoto middle, Dr Let me startI by in this Taatjes. You when I meet people letter. I am theknow guy in the middle, Dr. Taatjes. in town and theyI usually say, in “Oh yeah, You know when meet people town andI know you, you’re Dr. Taatjes. You’ve been they usually say, “Oh yeah, I know you, you’re on and Ross years…” Well, Dr.McDowell Taatjes. You’ve been for serving the commuthat’s nity forme. twenty-four years! Well that’s me. We years agoinsomething hapareTwenty-six now centrally located our beautiful new pened me that my life forever. office totobetter servechanged the community. LetTwenty-seven me tell you my story. years ago something I was studying pre-Med in college, happened to me that changed my lifein hopes of becoming a medical forever. Let me tell you my doctor. story. Things looking up, andinlife was good, Dr. with his sons, Hayden (left) and Henry (right). I waswere studying pre-Med college, in Dr.Taatjes Taatjes with his sons, Hayden (left) and Henry (right). until things took a turn for the worse. hopes of becoming a medical doctor. whole ball of wax. This exam could cost practic, we don’t add anything to the body I began to looking have terrible back Things were up, and lifeand wasstomgood, you $350 elsewhere. Great care at a great or take anything from it. We find interferach For a young guy,worse. I felt pretty ence but that simply isn’t system the case.and With chirolesser amount for chiropractic. When you untilproblems. things took a turn for the fee… in the nervous remove it, rotten. Mytoback so badly thatstomach I had a practic, we don’tthe addhealing anything to the body or bring in this article bythere’s October 2017, I began havehurt terrible back and Please, I hope that no 31, misunderthus enhancing capacities of the hard time even in pretty class. rotten. I was body. take anything it. We results…it find interference you will receive my entire new patient exam problems. For aconcentrating young guy, I felt about quality of care, just because We get from tremendous really standing miserable. The in the nervous system and remove it, thus for $27. That’s with x-rays, exam, report of My back hurt so medical badly thatdoctors I had atried hard differtime I have a lower exam fee. You’ll get great is as simple as that. ent but theyin only made memiserable. feel like I enhancing the healing of thehad body. care findings…the ball of wax. This exam evendrugs, concentrating class. I was at a great whole fee. My qualifications… Here’s what some capacities of my patients was in a “cloud.” not getting Wesay: get tremendous results…it really is as could cost you of $350 elsewhere. College Great care The medical doctorsI was triedjust different drugs, betbut I’m a graduate Northwestern of to ter. friend of mine convinced give a simple as that. at a great fee… theyAonly made me feel like I wasme in ato“cloud.” Chiropractic who regularly goes to monthly “I have had a problem with migraines chiropractor try. The chiropractor an Here’s whatback some of my patients had Please, I hope that there’s no misunderI was just not agetting better. A friend ofdid mine educational chiropractic seminars. I’ve as well as low pain. Even after seeing exam, took some films and then “adjusted” to say: standing about quality care, just because convinced me to give a chiropractor a try. The doctors and other health professionals, the been entrusted to take of care of tiny babies toI my spine. The didn’t hurt -- it “I have had a problem with migraines have a lower exam You’ll getI great care at chiropractor didadjustment an exam, took some films neighbors that youfee. may know. just have pains remained. After coming to Dr. Joel, actually good. my I gotspine. relief,The andadjustI soon as well as low back pain. Even after seeing a great fee. My qualifications…I’m a graduate and then felt “adjusted” that low exam fee to help more people who they have helped me tremendously. They was all medication. It worked so well doctors and othermy health professionals, of Northwestern College of Chiropractic who mentoff didn’t hurt — it actually felt good. I got need care. even take away migraines. They’rethe that to become pains remained. regularly goes to monthly educational chirorelief,I decided, and I soonthen wasand off there, all medication. It a My associates, Dr. Rose, Dr. Truong and great!” (Judy E.) After coming to Dr. Joel, chiropractor myself. they“Ihave helped me tremendously. They practic seminars. I’ve been entrusted to take worked so well that I decided, then and there, I are ready to see if we can help you. Our came in pending laser surgery for Now fora my kids, Hayden and Henry. evenherniated take awaydiscs. my migraines. They’re care of tiny babies to neighbors that you to become chiropractor myself. offices are both friendly and warm andmay we two Over a few months They have been under chiropractic care their great!” (Judy E.) know. just have that you low exam to helpWe Now for my kids, Hayden and Henry. They try ourI best to make feel atfee home. here the need for surgery subsided, and the entire lives. And, unlike most other in came in pending laser discomfort surgery for with two more apeople who need an exceptional have been under chiropractic care theirkids entire have wonderful service, pain“Ihas subsided to a mild their never thekids “common” herniated discs. Over a few months hereI associate, James Rogers, and I lives. class, And, they unlike mostget other in their fee.My Our office is Dr. called REDWOOD CHIoccasional morning stiffness. Over all, childhood illnesses like“common” ear infections, the need surgery the pain are ready to seeand if we help you. Our class, they never get the childhood ROPRACTIC wecan now have two locafeel betterforvisit after subsided, visit. It’sand a gradual asthma In fact, they and haveallerhas subsided to a O.) mild discomfort with ocoffice isOur both friendly warm and we N. illnessesand likeallergies. ear infections, asthma tions. main officeand is located at 1225 process.” (Jaime never taken drughave in their they casional morning stiffness. Over all, I feel try our best to make you feel at home. gies. In fact,athey neverlives. takenAnd a drug in McDowell Blvd., Petaluma, phone number Several times a day patients thank me are 17And and they 18! are now 17 and 19! better visit after gradualproblems. process.” is We763-8910. have wonderful service, at an exceptheirnow lives. Dr. Taatjes would love to help for helping themvisit. with It’s theira health It’s strange how life is, because now (Jaime O.) tional office is called It’s strange how life is, because now people But I can’t really take credit. you at fee. this Our location.Our secondREDWOOD location people to with see me with their back probSeveral a day patients thank me for is CHIROPRACTIC. WeBlvd., are located at 937 come tocome see me their back problems and at 225 N. McDowell Petaluma, Find outtimes for yourself and benefit from lems andproblems. stomach problems. helping them with their health problems. But with Lakeville Street and Petaluma, andnumber our phone stomach They comeThey to mecome with to Dr. Truong, the phone is an AMAZING OFFER. Look, it shouldn’t me their headaches, chronic cost I can’t really takeand credit. number is 763-8910. Call Alex, Phoebe, theirwith headaches, migraines,migraines, chronic pain, 775-2545. Call Alex, Wendy, or Chauntel you an arm a leg to correct your pain, neck shoulder/arm pain, shoulder/arm pain, whipFindYou out are forgoing yourself and benefit Brendafororan Christine today for neck pain, pain, whiplash from today appointment. We an canappointhelp you. health. to write a check to lash from car asthma, accidents, asthma,numbness allergies,in from an AMAZING OFFER. Look, you Thank ment. We car accidents, allergies, you.can help you. Thank you. someone for your health care expenses, numbness in limbs, athletic just to it shouldn’t youone an for arma and a leg to -Dr. Joel Taatjes limbs, athletic injuries, just toinjuries, name a few. -Dr. Joel Taatjes may as wellcost write lesser amount name a few. correct your health. You are going to write P.S. When When accompanied accompanied by If drugs make people well, then those P.S. by this this ad. firstI Iam amalso for chiropractic. When you bring in this drugs then those aarticle checkbytoJuly someone for your health care offering the second family member this same whoIf take themake mostpeople shouldwell, be the healthiest, also offering the second family member this 31, 2012, you will receive who take the most should be the healthiest, expenses, you may as exam well write oneThat’s for a same examination for only examination for$15. only $15. my entire new patient for $27. but that simply isn’t the case. With chirowith x-rays, exam, report of findings…the


October 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 5

Dear Reader


ctober is the month we direct our attention toward women’s health, specifically breast care. We asked Cindi Sharon Gowan Cantril, director of Publisher/Editor Cancer Support Services and Patient Navigation at Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation in Santa Rosa, about the services Sutter offers to local women. Read what she has to say in “Your Breast Friend” (page 10). Meanwhile, health journalist Sandra Gordon details the pros and cons of four key breast tests in “Take Charge of Your Health” (page 12).

While moms may be thinking about health care, kids are only thinking about one thing this month: Halloween. Read “Designer Bags” (page 7) for tips on making one-of-a-kind candy bags, and then turn to “Spooks & Sweets” (page 14) for a list of local festivities, including top places to trick-or-treat. If the Halloween hullabaloo has you in need of some stress relief, check out “Absolutely True Excuses” (page 26) and laugh at one mom’s list of reasons why her family runs late. We bet you’ll relate. We hope you have a great, safe All Hallows’ Eve.

Office Manager Patricia Ramos

Business Marketing Renee Nutcher Warren Kaufman

Features Editor Melissa Chianta

Production Manager Donna Bogener

Web and Social Media Natalie Bruzon

Contributing Writers Sarah Broussard Weaver Sandra Gordon Kathryn Streeter

Billing Jan Wasson-Smith

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

6 SonomaFamilyLife

October 2017

Crafting with Kids

Designer Bags

Get Ready for Lots of Loot!

By Kathryn Streeter


ith the approach of Halloween each year, smart merchandisers work their magic to lure us into buying candy, costumes, trinkets, and props, including trick-or-treat bags. The pressure from companies and the kids to buy new apparel and accessories year after year can be emotionally exhausting, making us feel like we are bad parents if we don’t spring for the newest shiny objects. In order to get around some of the pull for this year’s latest and greatest, I put my kids to work on designing their own candy bags.

Supplies: 1. Small paper shopping bags. Ours happened to be from Starbucks. The important thing is that each of your young designers has the same size bags, to eliminate any arguing about who has more candy at the end of the trick-or-treating night. 2. Crayons, markers, colored pencils, pens, pencils, and highlighters—pull out everything you’ve got! 3. Scissors (Decorative scissors, if you have them, are a nice addition, too.)

4. Stencils 5. Glue 6. Any and all types of construction/ craft paper, scraps of wrapping paper, and tissue. Steps: 1. Completely cover the outside of the paper bag with your thickest paper. For starters, this will block out store logos. It will also provide a stronger base for the weight of all that candy. Tip: Don’t forget to cover the bottom because this will further strengthen the bag. October 2017

2. This is where you sit back and sip your coffee as you let the kids come up with their personal designs. Pumpkins? Ghosts? Candy? Text with cheery Halloween sayings? A little comic strip? These were some of the ideas my kids came up with. They cut out objects and used paste to layer them onto the bag, a bit more interesting than simply drawing on the design. 3. When your trick-or-treat bags are complete, they should feel sturdy. If your kids have gone through a bottle of glue, the bags could even resemble hardy paper-mache projects. At least they won’t break! Put these original works of art somewhere safe, up high, where they can dry completely before they are put to use. Find Kathryn Streeter’s writing at and Twitter @ streeterkathryn.

SonomaFamilyLife 7

Bits & Pieces

Stomp It!


raditional winemakers employed people, not machines, to stomp on grapes. If you’d like to know what those grape-squishers of old experienced, enter the Grape Stomp at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair. You and your team could win $1,500. After your limbs are stained purple and your grapes are turned to juice, reward yourself at the Tasting Pavilion, where you’ll find more than 100 local wines paired with gourmet tidbits. The festival, which draws people from all over the world, also hosts workshops on pairing cheese and beers, as well as other topics. The fair happens at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa on October 6, 4–9 p.m. (Grand Tasting: 5–8 p.m.), and October 7 and 8, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. (Grand Tasting: 1–4 p.m.). General admission is $5, kids ages 12 and under get in free. Grand tastings are $65. Grape stomp starts at 7 p.m. on October 6 and noon on October 7 and 8. (There is one stomp for ages 13 and under.) Registration is $40 per team. Parking is $8–$10. Go to for more information. ¶

Grape Stomp at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair

Bats and Dinos and Goblins, Oh My!


ow can an orchestra paint a picture with only music? Listen to the Santa Rosa Symphony Orchestra, and you’ll know. During its annual Creature Features concert, the symphony will play popular classical music that evokes all manner of beings from the animal kingdom, silver screen, and even outer space. The show will be held on October 29 at 3 p.m. in Weill Hall at the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park. Tickets are $17 for ages 12 and up, or $12 for kids under 12, and may be purchased at ¶

Limber Up


opular images of yoga usually feature 20-somethings twisting their perfect bodies into pretzels. But the Family Yoga class at the Guerneville Regional Library in Guerneville is for folks of all ages, sizes, and abilities—kids, parents, and grandparents. The high-energy, one-hour class will feature animated yoga poses, games, storytelling, and relaxation. Music, partner-yoga poses, and focus- and attention-building exercises will be part of the experience, too. The activities are crafted for kids ages 3–6 and their caregivers. If a child has an infant sibling, parents may attend with both children. The class will be held on October 6 at 11 a.m. It’s free, but space is limited, so register at ¶

8 SonomaFamilyLife

October 2017

Habib Koité

World Beats


hat do you get when you combine rock and classical guitar with Malian tunings? The sound of Habib Koité. The Malian guitar master, whose artistry Bonnie Raitt ranks alongside Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray, will be playing with his band Bamada at the Raven Performing Arts Theater in Healdsburg. The all-ages world music show will be held on October 30 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door, and are available at ¶

You Go, Girl!


e think being a mom is one of the toughest jobs out there. It’s definitely not for the weak of heart. To fan the fires of your fierceness, check out these local events:

• Byron Katie book-signing and talk: October 20, 7 p.m., Sebastopol Community Cultural Center in Sebastopol. The author will talk about her new book, A Mind at Home with Itself (HarperOne, 2017), and how you can use four simple questions to derail negative thoughts. Tickets, which are $32, include a copy of the book and may be purchased at • North Bay Women’s Expo: October 28, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Graton Resort Casino and Ballroom in Rohnert Park. Get a massage and a mini-mani, sample gourmet bites and bubbles, check out new fashions, and learn about health and wellness. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at North Bay Science Discovery Day

The Wonder of Science


atch liquid nitrogen instantly create ice cream, explore the anatomy of a real squid, or inflate a balloon with just a bottle. These are just some of the activities available at the North Bay Science Discovery Day. An offshoot of the Bay Area Science Festival in San Francisco, the free event features more than 100 exhibits and demos aimed at inspiring children’s interests in science, technology, engineering, and math. Check it out on October 28, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa. Find out more at ¶

• G3 Women’s Conference: November 12–14, Ramekins Culinary School, Special Events and Inn in Sonoma. Tap into experts’ knowledge about work-life balance, entrepreneurship, media tools, the mind-body connection, and other areas. Tickets are $599–$1,988 and are available at Also, check out G3’s screening and discussion of Losing Sight of Shore, a recently released documentary about four women who row from America to Australia. The event will be held on October 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the Presentation School in Sonoma. Tickets are $10–$20. Register at For a collection of local organizations that serve women throughout the year, see ¶

October 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 9

If someone’s 30 or under, we automatically do ultrasound. We typically don’t do mammograms on women under 30. FL: Can you tell us some of the lifestyle recommendations for breast cancer prevention? CC: Well, it’s very interesting, because there’s a lot of controversy about that. Some people say you should decrease

We have a peer volunteer program called WINGS. fat. Some people say it doesn’t make any difference. I think the number one thing is maintaining a healthy weight. Exercise, for sure. Nutrition is critically important as well. And basically just making sure that you have mammograms as recommended.

Your Breast Friend Local Nurse Talks about Women’s Health

Cindi Cantril, RN, MPH, OCN, has been the Director of Cancer Support Services and Patient Navigation at Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation in Santa Rosa for seven years and an oncology nurse for 45. We asked her about Sutter’s services.

Family Life: What kind of breast-health services does your facility offer? Cindi Cantril: We can do ultrasound. We can do MRI, and we do 3D tomosynthesis [a higher-quality digital mammogram]. We do over 13,000 screening mammograms a year. We also are able to do

10 SonomaFamilyLife

MRI-guided biopsies, ultrasound biopsies—all forms of biopsies. FL: Do you recommend that women with dense breasts have ultrasound along with a mammogram? CC: Yes. By law, we have to tell people the density of their breast tissue. You get a report from your mammogram. And we may recommend an ultrasound.

FL: For women over 40, once a year? CC: Right. FL: And women under 40? CC: For a woman whose mother has been diagnosed with breast cancer— the daughter will start her own screening ten years before [the age at which] her mother was diagnosed FL: So the daughter would start at 35 if her mother was diagnosed at 45. CC: Right. FL: You’ve touched on heredity being one of the risks for developing breast cancer. What are some other risks? CC: Well, it’s very controversial. There’s a lot of controversy about wine consumption increasing risk of breast cancer. Extended hormonal therapy sometimes can cause some cancers. Go to [to find out more].

October 2017

FL: I know that Sutter has an integrative health clinic. Do they work with breast cancer prevention or breast cancer treatment?

CC: We diagnose about 140 new breast cancer cases per year.

CC: Oh yeah, they do. Every woman that’s diagnosed with breast cancer— or anyone diagnosed with cancer, actually—has access to integrative therapies through the Institute for Health and Healing.

CC: We also have a peer volunteer program called WINGS. It stands for

FL: Wonderful. And what do you feel women most make use of? CC: Definitely massage [and] for women that have had breast cancer, the lymphedema management [manual lymphatic drainage]. A lot of women use acupuncture for hot flashes. They have an amazing program there. FL: How many breast cancer patients does Sutter Santa Rosa treat?

FL: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about Sutter’s services?

Every woman that’s diagnosed with breast cancer has access to integrative therapies through the Institute for Health and Healing. Women Inspiring, Nurturing, Giving, and Supporting. We take somebody that has been newly diagnosed with breast cancer and match her to someone who has gone through treatment five years before. We also

have a lot of programs through the community that we do. For example, we have affiliations with health clubs that enable patients diagnosed with cancer to [participate in] exercise programs. We also do women’s retreats. Once a year I take women on a retreat for the weekend. We also have what we call the Survivor Speakership Series—like tonight we’re having a program on advanced-care planning. We have a “newly diagnosed” breast group. We have a young women’s breast group, which is for women under 40. We also have two breast nurse navigators. FL: So really it’s a very multi-faceted breast-health program. CC: Yes. We follow women from moment of diagnosis to end of life. Find out more at ¶

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Sign-up Online at:

October 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 11

Take Charge of Your Health Tests that Could Save Your Life By Sandra Gordon


yearly mammogram is the gold standard for breast-cancer screening and detection. The American Cancer Society recommends a yearly mammogram for all women age 40 and older. If you have a family history of breast cancer, your doctor may advise starting mammography before age 40. The United States Preventive Services Task Force advises that women age 50 and over get a mammogram every two years. Mammography is the only test that has been scientifically proven to save lives. Still, it’s not infallible. “In women with very dense breasts, mammography will miss cancer 58 percent of the time,” says Thomas Kolb, M.D., a breast-cancer radiologist and leading ultrasound researcher. Dense breasts contain more glands, ducts, and connective tissue than fat. Breasts tend to be denser during a woman’s reproductive years; density makes it harder to detect suspicious lumps on a mammogram. That’s because glandular tissue appears white on a mammogram, just like a mass can. Fortunately, there are new tools that can give a more precise diagnosis, especially if you have dense breasts, or you’re at higher risk for the disease because of your personal or family health history. Here are four that 12 SonomaFamilyLife

may give you a clearer picture of your breast health—and could possibly save your life. Tomosynthesis: The latest in breast-cancer detection technology, tomosynthesis is done in addition to a digital mammogram. During tomosynthesis, the breast is compressed, though slightly less so than with a conventional, digital mammogram, and a series of images are obtained from multiple angles. Tomosynthesis takes an arc of pictures through each breast, in 5 millimeter slices, which are then reconstructed into a three-dimensional image. It allows radiologists to see through the breast tissue. They can more easily distinguish a true mass from overlapping structures,

such as ligaments or glandular tissue. Tomosynthesis can be used for screening and diagnostic mammograms. Pros/Cons: Compared to a digital mammogram, women with dense breasts who undergo tomosynthesis are 40 percent less likely to be called back for additional imaging. Women who undergo tomosynthesis will

Breasts tend to be denser during a woman’s reproductive years. be exposed to the same amount of radiation as a traditional, analog (film) mammogram, which is slightly more than today’s digital mammogram. The risk of radiation-induced breast cancer is extremely low, affecting only 0.1 percent of women screened. In comparison, the screening test itself can reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer by about 50 percent. Should you ask for it? Screening tomosynthesis is in order if you have dense breasts, but no symptoms. It takes a global 3-D picture of each breast. If you have a complaint

October 2017

or something is found during a screening mammogram, you’ll go to the diagnostic level, which is a mammogram with tomosynthesis that magnifies and focuses on one particular area of the breast. Because the FDA-approved technology is relatively new, screening tomosynthesis isn’t routinely covered by health insurance. Diagnostic tomosynthesis is typically covered by health insurance with no co-pay necessary. Automated breast ultrasound: During this test, an automated ultrasound machine, which uses a computer program, takes ultrasound images of breast tissue. The images are recorded and given to a radiologist, who can interpret them. Doctors currently use handheld ultrasound devices to hunt for breast tumors in some patients. The labor-intensive process can skip some tumors. Automated breast ultrasound eliminates the need for an ultrasound technologist, so there’s less risk of missing a lesion. Pros/Cons: Automated breast ultrasound can help detect breast cancer. Breast cancer detection doubled from 23 to 46 in 6,425 screening studies using automated breast ultrasound with mammography, resulting in a significant cancer detection improvement. Some insurance providers don’t cover the test yet, so check your policy. Should you ask for it? If you have dense breast tissue, ask for it in addition to a screening mammogram. If you’re at high risk but you don’t have dense breasts, a mammogram should suffice.

Computer-Aided Detection (CAD): With this technique, a computer scans a digital mammogram and flags areas of concern, enabling a radiologist to take another look and decide whether the computer markings warrant further action. “It’s like having an automatic second opinion,” says Mitchell D. Schnall, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of radiology. Pros/Cons: Two studies reported that CAD found 20 percent more cancer than mammography alone. But CAD also tends to mark non-cancerous lesions, such as bunched-up tissue, benign lymph

There are new tools that can give a more precise diagnosis, especially if you have dense breasts or you’re at higher risk. nodes, and benign calcifications, so the rate of false positives is high. Less than 1 percent of findings marked by CAD turn out to be cancer. CAD is widely available at mammography centers and university- and hospital-affiliated breast clinics across the country and is generally covered by insurance. Should you ask for it? Although CAD isn’t a perfect tool, “it should be the standard of care for every woman who gets a mammogram,” says Stamatia Destounis, M.D. “But there’s definitely a learning curve.” To reduce your risk of unnecessary additional testing, find a facility with mammography-certified technologists and trained radiologists who have been using CAD for at least a year. October 2017

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): This tool employs magnetic and radio waves instead of X-rays to create high-definition cross-sectional images of breast tissue. For the test itself, the patient is injected in the arm with safe, nonradioactive contrasting salt solution, then lies facedown on a table with both breasts positioned into cushioned coils that contain signal receivers. The bed is then sent through a tube-like magnet. In areas where there might be cancer, the contrasting agent pools and is illuminated on computer-generated images. Pros/Cons: MRI has been shown to find 2 to 6 percent more cancers than mammograms and clinical breast exams in high-risk women. MRI can’t detect calcifications, which are a frequent sign of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), the most common type of non-invasive breast cancer. That’s why MRI is used as a complement to mammography, not a replacement. MRI has also a significant risk of false positives. Screening breast MRI costs $1,000 to $2,000, though many insurance carriers now cover it. Should you ask for it? “Even if you have as little as a 2 percent risk of breast cancer over the next five years, talk to your doctor about adding MRI,” says Wendie Berg, M.D., Ph.D., a breast-imaging consultant. MRI breast-imaging centers are springing up across the country, but it’s important to seek out a facility that has MRI-guided biopsy capability, so a tissue sample can be retrieved for diagnosis at the time of your scan if a questionable mass is spotted. Sandra Gordon is an award-winning freelance writer.

SonomaFamilyLife 13

Family Fun Pumpkins on Pikes

Spooks & Sweets Petaluma: Pumpkins on Pikes If you’re captured by the magic of a glowing jack-o-lantern, imagine the enchantment of a whole field of orange orbs lit at night. You can see such a sight at Tara Firma Farms, where the public is invited to carve pumpkins and then place their final products on poles in a field. Besides lots of gourds, there also will be music, a barbecue, and a dessert potluck. Pumpkins are free with admission, which is $20 (kids ages 6 and under get in free); the barbecue is an extra $10. Bring carving tools, a sweet to share, and a blanket to sit on, but leave dogs at home. The event will be held on October 28, 2–10 p.m. Go to events-1/2017/7/31/pumpkins-onpikes-2017 to sign up. 14 SonomaFamilyLife

It’s Time for Freaky Fun

Rohnert Park: Blind Scream Odd as it may sound to some, there are many people who truly enjoy being terrified. (Just look at the box office sales for the Blair Witch Project.) If you want a Halloween with a high fear factor, check out Blind Scream’s two haunted houses, CarnEvil and Slaughter House. The producers of this event say they deliver truly frightening experiences—to everyone, no matter what their ages. So judge whether or not your child has the temperament to actually participate without being emotionally harmed. Houses will be set up in a 25,000-foot space at Sonoma Mountain Village on October 6–8, 12–15, 18–22, and 25–31. On Wednesdays, Thursdays, Sundays, and October 30, the hours are 7–10 p.m., and on Fridays and Saturdays, as well as on October 31, 7–11 p.m. Tickets are $15–$35 and may be purchased via

October 2017

Petaluma: Halloween Trick-or-Treat Trail Give kids a safe, wild-costumeseverywhere Halloween experience in downtown Petaluma, where 60-plus merchants will hand out candy to trick-or-treaters ages 12 and under. The free fun will be held on October 31, 3–5:30 p.m., beginning at Fourth and Kentucky Streets. See for details, including a map of participating vendors. Santa Rosa: Halloween at Howarth Park There are perks to celebrating Halloween in Howarth Park. Besides indulging in hordes of candy, kids also can take rides on a carousel, mini-train, and ponies. And outdoor voices are completely legal, too! Trick-or-treaters, who must be ages 12 and under, need to register online for one of three time slots for the October 28 event: 11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m.; 12:45–1:30 p.m.; and 2–2:45 p.m. The $6 Basic Pass includes trick-or-treating while the $15 Deluxe Pass also includes rides. See Halloween-at-Howarth for more information and to register. Floating Pumpkin Patch October can be a hot month in Sonoma County. So the idea of hanging out in an exposed, dry field while looking for the perfect squash may not seem too appealing. Instead, head to the Ridgway Swim Center pool, where, on October 21, 2–6 p.m., the kids can cool off while they go after one of the many pumpkins bobbing in the water. The $10 tickets (ages 2 and under get in free) must be pre-purchased by calling 543-3421 or visiting

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Halloween Carnival Kids can fill up on sweets and then burn off the sugar buzz walking through a haunted house, playing games, and jumping on inflatables. The festivities happen at the Sonoma County YMCA on October 21, 4–7 p.m. Admission is $5. Call 545-9622 or go to for more information. Sebastopol: Kids’ Halloween Party If you want a spook-free Halloween, go to the Sebastopol Library on October 31, 4–5:30 p.m. Little goblins, Harry Potters, and ninjas will be treated to not-so-scary stories, snacks, and the chance to make their own trick-or-treat bags. The free event is open to ages 4 and up. See for details.

October 2017

Sonoma County Children’s Music

867 Third Street • Santa Rosa (707) 527-7900 Enroll now at SonomaFamilyLife 15

Tolay Fall Festival

October Calendar of Events

Fall Fling


f your clan can spit—and we mean really let loogies fly—you might be the perfect contestants for the World-Record Pumpkin-Seed Spitting Contest, one of the many activities at the Tolay Fall Festival. You can also take a hayride to find your very own pumpkin; join hands-on demos of archery, astronomy, and nature photography; learn about Alaguali Yowa Yomi culture; try wool-carding and candle-dipping; and watch tarantulas and scorpions glow under black lights. The festival will be held 11 a.m.–5 p.m. October 14–15 and October 21–22 at the Tolay Lake Regional Park in Petaluma. Admission is $5 for adults and teens and $3 for children 12 and younger. Parking is $7. Activities inside the festival are free. For more information, see ¶

Sunday 1 Santa Rosa Girls Softball Early-Bird Discount. Sign-ups for 2018

season through Oct. Divisions for most age groups: 5–6 yrs., 7–8 yrs., 9–10 yrs., 11–12 yrs., 13–14 yrs. Water Bark Dog Swim. The

swimming lagoon turns into an off-leash dog park. $5–$7. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Spring Lake Regional Park. 393 Violetti Rd., Santa Rosa. parks.

FREE El Dia de Los Muertos Opening Ceremony. The month-long

celebration opens with music, dance & a health fair. 11 a.m.–3 p.m. St. Vincent de Paul Church Plaza. 35 Liberty St., Petaluma.

Wednesday 4 Sonoma Plaza Ghost Walking Tour. $28. Most Wednesdays &

Fridays. 8 p.m. Reservations required: 888-298-6124 or FREE International Walk & Roll to School Day. Walk or bike to school.

Produced by Sonoma County Safe Routes to School program. Find a list of participating schools at

Friday 6 Blind Scream Haunted House.

CarnEvil & Slaughter Shack. $15–$35. October 6–8, 12–15, 18–22 & 25–31. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Sundays & Oct. 30: 7–10 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays & Oct. 31: 7–11 p.m. SOMO Village. 1400 Valley House Dr., Rohnert Park.

Upcoming Autumn Events! Floating Pumpkin Patch Saturday, October 21st Ridgway Swim Center

Halloween at Howarth Saturday, October 28th Howarth Memorial Park

$1.99 MIMOSA With regular priced meal.

Advanced registration required. Register at or call (707) 543-3737. 16 SonomaFamilyLife


732 E. Washington Street Petaluma • (707) 762-4095

October 2017


Opening Reception for Día de Muertos. The “Day of Dead”


exhibition. Includes juried artwork by students in grades 5–12. $15. 6–8 p.m. Museums of Sonoma County. 425 7th St., Santa Rosa. 579-1500, ext. 110.

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Sonoma County Harvest Fair.

Tastings of 100+ wines, wine sales, food pairings, craft beer & cider. Chef demos & seminars. World Championship Grape Stomp. Admission: $5. Ages 12 & under: free. Grand tastings: $65. Parking: $8–$10. Oct. 6: 4–9 p.m. Grand Tasting: 5–8 p.m. Oct. 7 & 8: 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Grand Tasting: 1–4 p.m. Sonoma County Fairgrounds. 1350 Bennett Valley Rd., Santa Rosa. 545-4200. FREE Family Yoga Class. Ages 3–6

& caregivers. 11 a.m. Guerneville Regional Library. 14107 Armstrong Woods Rd., Guerneville. FREE Juan Sanchez Musical Fiesta. Multicultural kids’ concert. 11

a.m. Roseland Community Library. 779 Sebastopol Rd., Santa Rosa.

Saturday 7 12th Annual Chilly Billy Fun Run & Hot Rod & Motorcycle Show. Fun

run: $25. Includes run, poker hand & BBQ lunch. Sign-in: 8–10:30 a.m. at Sonoma County Harley Davidson, 7601 Redwood Dr., Cotati. Run ends at Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds, 175 Fairgrounds Dr., Petaluma. Burning Ham. Bacon, beer & bands. Multi-category BBQ contest. Kids’ activities. $35. Ages 13 & under: free. Benefits local underprivileged children. 12:30–5 p.m. Penngrove Park. 11800 Main St., Penngrove.

October 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 17

FREE Rohnert Park’s Founder’s Day Parade & Festival. Kids’ activities,

Redwood Empire Food Bank Open House & Block Party. 11 a.m.–3 p.m.

Car Show, bands, food, beer & wine. Parade: 10 a.m. Festival: 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Parade along Synder Ln. Festival at Rohnert Park Community Center. 5401 Snyder Ln.,

3990 Brickway Blvd., Santa Rosa.

FREE Oktoberfest & Courtney’s Pumpkin Patch. Halloween activity

house, live music, Balkan dancers, magic show, face painting, pumpkins & gourds. German food & beverages. Noon–7 p.m. Cloverdale Plaza. 122 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale. El Molino Booster’s PIGnic. Live

band, pig roast, beer & wine & small auction. 21 & over only. $30–$150. 4–8:30 p.m. Forestville Youth Park. 7045 Mirabel Rd., Forestville.

Sunday 8 Gourmet Mac ’N Cheese Challenge.

Taste & vote for your favorite. $25–$40. 1–4 p.m. Petaluma Community Center. 320 N. McDowell Blvd., Petaluma. 778-7387. FREE Harvest Fest. Second Sunday

Family Fun Series. Live music, games, scarecrow contest, face painting, giant inflatables, food & drink. 1–4 p.m. Rohnert Park Community Services. 5401 Synder Ln., Rohnert Park.

Friday 13 Cassini: True Lord of the Rings.

Learn about the spacecraft’s many discoveries. $5–$8. Fridays: 7

p.m. Saturdays: 4 & 7 p.m. Thru Oct. 28. Santa Rosa Junior College Planetarium. Lark Hall. 1501 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. 521-6914. FREE DSLC Tech Expo & More.

Vendors & agencies showcase their products to seniors & people with disabilities. Free parking. 10 a.m.– 3 p.m. Sonoma County Fairgrounds. 1350 Bennett Valley Rd., Santa Rosa.

Saturday 14 LumaFest 2017. Family-friendly activities. El Día de los Muertos cultural area, live music, free movies, LOL Family Obstacle Course, Sustainability Village, Chemistry Magic Show & much more. 11 a.m.– 4 p.m. Rain or shine. Santa Rosa Junior College Petaluma Campus.

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Sonoma County Fairgrounds, 10am–4pm

FREE Admission • FREE Parking October 2017

680 Sonoma Mt. Parkway, Petaluma. 778-2415. Weekend Along the Farm Trails.

Sonoma County farmers open their gates. Maps available on website. No pets, even in cars. Oct. 14–15. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. 837-8896. Register at: Baile. Mexican dance. Admission:

TBD. Parking: $10. 8 p.m. Sonoma County Fairgrounds. Grace Pavilion. 1350 Bennett Valley Rd., Santa Rosa. Fort Ross Harvest Festival. Pumpkin

carving, song, dance & apple picking in the historic orchard. $20 per car. Food & beverages available for purchase. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. 19005 Hwy. 1, Jenner. 847-3437. Tolay Fall Festival. Alaguali Yowa Yomi cultural activities; World-Record

Pumpkin-Seed Spitting Contest; archery, astronomy & nature photography demos; gunnysack races, straw maze & much more. $3–$5. Parking: $7. Oct. 14–15 & 21–22. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Tolay Lake Regional Park. 5869 Cannon Ln., Petaluma. Code Blue Bicycle Ride to End Homelessness. 55-mile Challenger,

18-mile Breezer, or 8.5-mile family-fun ride. $15–$60. Check-in: 8–10 a.m. Rides start at 8:30 or 9:30 a.m. All routes depart from Catholic Charities Family Support Center. 465 A St., Santa Rosa. Fall in the Forest. Nature walk & crafts. Event: free. Park entry fee: $10. 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Meet in the museum parking lot. Jack London State Historic Park. 2400 London

The Art of Academic Excellence Twin Hills Middle School 6-8

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FREE Bubbles, Bagels. An Introduction to the Princess Project. Find out about nonprofit that provides prom dresses to the underprivileged. Donors & volunteers needed. 10 a.m.–noon. Breathless Tasting Room. 499 Moore Ln., Healdsburg.

Friday 20 Gem Faire. Gems, jewelry, minerals,

beads, crystals, lapidary equipment. Weekend pass: $7. Parking: $8. Oct. 20: Noon–6 p.m. Oct. 21: 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Oct. 22: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sonoma County Fairgrounds. 1350 Bennett Valley Rd., Santa Rosa.

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October 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 19

Byron Katie. Author of A Mind at Home with Itself. Book-signing & talk. $32, includes copy of book. 7 p.m. Sebastopol Community Cultural Center. 390 Morris St., Sebastopol.

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Floating Pumpkin Patch. A pumpkin patch in the pool! Must purchase tickets in advance: $10. Ages 2 & under: free. 2–6 p.m. Ridgway Swim Center. 455 Ridgway Ave., Santa Rosa. 543-3421. Tickets online: econnect. Halloween Carnival. Haunted house, carnival games, bouncy house, food, music, raffles & more. $5. 4–7 p.m. Benefits the Y Financial Assistance Program. Sonoma County Family YMCA. 111 College Ave., Santa Rosa. 545-9622.

6001 Commerce Blvd. Rohnert Park


Reptile Expo. $5–$10. Ages 5 & under: free. Parking: $8. Oct. 21: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Oct. 22: 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Sonoma County Fairgrounds. Hall of Flowers. 1350 Bennett Valley Rd., Santa Rosa.


Goblin Jamboree Family Fundraiser. Spooky sticker room,

potion laboratory. Wear costume. Geared for ages 6 months–10 yrs. $14.95–$17.95. Oct. 21 & 22. 10 a.m.– 4 p.m. Bay Area Discovery Museum. 557 McReynolds Rd., Sausalito. FREE Aztec Dance & Drum Troupe.

The colors & rhythms of ancient Mexico performed by Tezkatlipoka Aztec. Noon–1 p.m. Sebastopol Library. 7140 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol. Fünkendänk Oktoberfest with Motet. Dragon Smoke, Afrolicious,

Frobeck, the Pulsators, Saffeil. Beer garden. Nonprofit partner Ales for Autism. $39–$140. 21 & over

October 2017

only. 3–11 p.m. SOMO Village Event Center. 1400 Valley House Dr., Rohnert Park.

Sunday 22 Striking Out Childhood Cancer. Benefit bowling

tournament. $100–$125. Ages 16 & under for only bowling: $25. 1–3 p.m. AMF Boulevard Lanes. 1100 Petaluma Blvd. S., Petaluma. Cocktails, dinner, live & silent auctions: 3–7 p.m. Petaluma Veterans Memorial Bldg. 1094 Petaluma Blvd. S., Petaluma.

Parents of Petaluma Nursery School 70th Anniversary Celebration & Fundraiser. $30. 5:30–8:30 p.m. Lagunitas

Brewing Company. 1280 N. McDowell Blvd., Petaluma.

Saturday October 21, 2017• 4-7pm 1111 College Ave. Santa Rosa, CA 707-545-9622•

Friday 27

•Proceeds Benefit the Y Financial Assistance Program•

Monster Bash. Halloween-themed acts, dance & special

performances. $20. October 27 & 28: 8 p.m. October 29: 2 p.m. Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. 50 Mark West Springs Rd., Santa Rosa. 546-3600.

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Tuesday 24

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Pronzini Pumpkin Patch Corn-Kernel Pit with Slide • Hay Rides Bouncy Houses • Tee-pees • Face painting Indian Village • Haunted Trail Walk!

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October 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 21

Halloween Wandering. Wear costumes for a scarecrow scavenger hunt along the 1.5-mile West County National Trail. 5:30–7 p.m. Meet at 6990 Front St., Forestville. 483-0940.

Saturday 28 Halloween at Howarth Park.

Fairgrounds. 1350 Bennett Valley Rd., Santa Rosa. FREE Tricks & Treats at the Village.

Costume contest, Pumpkin Fairy Godmother, face painting & games & activities. Balloon artist. 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Montgomery Village. 911 Village Ct., Santa Rosa. Ghosts of Sugarloaf. 2.2-mile

Trick-or-treating throughout the park. Ages 12 & under. $6–$15. If it rains, call for status update. Register for 1 time slot: 11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m. 12:45–1:30 p.m. & 2–2:45 p.m. 630 Summerfield Rd., Santa Rosa. 543-3425.

docent-led walk. Bring a flashlight. $10. Ages 18 & under: free. Parking: $8. Meet at the white barn/stable area. 6–8 p.m. Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. 2605 Adobe Canyon Rd., Kenwood.

FREE North Bay Science Discovery Day. More than 100 hands-on science,

FREE Under the Umbrellas Winter Craft Faire. Local, handmade crafts.

technology, engineering & math (STEM) activities & interactive demonstrations. Free parking. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Sonoma County

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Where would you like to go? You can fly direct, connect, and enjoy.

10 a.m.–4 p.m. ReStyle Marketplace. 1001 W. College Ave., Santa Rosa. 284-1700. North Bay Women’s Expo. Fashion,

spa treatments, massage, mini-manis, entertainment & gourmet bites & bubbles. $10–$15. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Graton Resort & Casino Ballroom. 288 Golf Course Dr. W., Rohnert Park. FREE Make a Difference Day.

Zumba warm-up, Joe Rodota Trail

clean-up & BBQ. 9 a.m.–noon. Bayer Farm. 1632 West Ave., Santa Rosa. Skulls & Their Stories. Learn to read skulls & uncover fascinating facts about the life, history & ecology of local animal species. Includes a short, family-friendly hike to search for tracks, scat & other animal signs. Event: free. Parking: $7. 2–4 p.m. Riverfront Regional Park. 7821 Eastside Rd., Healdsburg. parks. Montgomery High School Alumni Foundation Polenta Feed.

All-you-can-eat dinner. No-host beer/ wine bar. $30. 5:30–9 p.m. Friedman Events Center. 4676 Mayette Ave., Santa Rosa. FREE Bill Soberanes Halloween Festival & Trick-or-Treating.

Participating merchants indicated by balloons on their doors. 11 a.m.–1 p.m. Plaza North Shopping Center. North McDowell Blvd., Petaluma. 762-2234. Pumpkins on Pikes. Food, music, dessert potluck & pumpkin carving. $20 (includes pumpkin). Ages 6

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& under: free. BBQ: $10. No dogs. 2–10 p.m. Tara Firma Farms. 3796 I St. Ext., Petaluma. 765-1202. Healdsburg Wine Country Half Marathon & Hallowine 10K. Costume

contest, wine-tasting, food, beer, exhibitors, live music. Post-race kids’ activities. $40–$275. Half-marathon: 7:30 a.m. 10K: 8:30 a.m. Half-marathon start: Francis Ford Coppola Winery. 300 Via Archimedes, Geyserville. 10K start: Martorana Family Winery. Safari West Halloween Spectacular.

45-minute safari trek. Costume contest. Taco bar. Trick-or-treat through skeletal exhibit. $25–$50. Ages 4 & under: free. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. 3115 Porter Creek Rd., Santa Rosa. Reservations required: 566-3667.

Sunday 29

Monday 30

Creature Features. Santa Rosa Symphony Family Series. Classical music that evokes goblins, wolves, wasps, bats, dinosaurs & extraterrestrials. Instrument Petting Zoo & photo booth 1 hour before show. $12–$17. 1 child ages 7–17 gets in free with each paid adult ticket. 3 p.m. Sonoma State University. Green Music Center. Weill Hall. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park.

Habib Koité. All-ages world music show. $30–$35. 7:30 p.m. Raven Performing Arts Theater. 115 North St., Healdsburg.

Reeling Fishy. Introductory,

family-friendly freshwater fishing. Bring own fishing gear, or use loaner poles. $10. Parking: $7. 2:30–4 p.m. Cloverdale River Park. 31820 McCray Rd., Cloverdale. Register at

Tuesday 31 FREE Trick-or-Treat Trail.

Downtown merchants give out treats to costumed kids 12 & under. Download trick-or-treat map from website or just follow the black & orange balloons. 3–5:30 p.m. Downtown Petaluma. FREE Kids’ Halloween Party.

Not-so-scary stories, snacks, and trick-or-treat bag craft. 4 p.m. Sebastopol Regional Library. 7140 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol.



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n u FBlast! Weekend


he colors and sounds of ancient Mexico will visit Sebastopol when San Jose’s Tezkatlipoka Aztec Dance and Drum troupe performs at the Sebastopol Community Library in Sebastopol. Watch the dancers’ elaborate feathered headpieces shake as their feet move to the steady pulse of drums. The free performance will be held on October 21 at noon. To find out more, check out and event/3427104. ¶ Juan Sánchez

Peace through Music


hat does a cajón sound like? How about a kena? Find out at a free multicultural kids’ concert at which Juan Sánchez will play these and other instruments. The Spanish-born, multilingual musician and educator will use children’s songs and stories from all over the world to teach lessons about respect, self-esteem, and peace-building. See the show on October 6 at 11 a.m. at the Roseland Community Library in Santa Rosa. Find out more at and sonomacounty.libcal. com/event/3447327. ¶ 24 SonomaFamilyLife


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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 25

Humor Break

Absolutely True Excuses Why We Are Late or Aren’t Showing Up at All By Sarah Broussard Weaver

1. My kid could not find her shoe. That’s why her shoes don’t match. 2. My kid had to poop, an urge seemingly brought on by walking out our front door. 3. Tucker the Cairn terrier peed on the floor. While I was getting a towel my son slipped and fell, got dog pee on his shorts, and started crying.

9. My kids were fighting over who ate the marshmallows out of the box of cereal, and who should consequently get the remnants. 10. My kids were fighting about who lost the remote. 11. My kids were fighting, and it’s way too convoluted to explain.

4. My husband thought my daughter’s shirt was too wrinkled. Like anyone cares about wrinkles on kids, I know, but he pulled out the iron.

My son keeps wearing his shoes without socks so they smell like death.

5. One of the kids left a peanut butter handprint on my butt. I don’t even know who. I guess it doesn’t matter.

12. My kids were fighting. I don’t even understand why.

6. Tucker ran away while he was outside going potty. We had to drive the streets screaming his name while the two youngest kids cried for fear he would be eaten by coyotes. We found him. He will live to pee on our floor another day.

13. Your kid is mean to my kid, and we know we only got invited because the whole class had to be. Your kid’s gift is that we aren’t coming. 14. One of my family members has diarrhea. I’m not allowed to say who. It’s not me.

7. We decided to show up late because we didn’t actually want to come but felt obligated.

15. I forgot to buy your kid a birthday gift and was too embarrassed to give her $20 in an envelope like we did last time, so we just didn’t go to the party.

8. We all hate middle school band concerts (including the middle schooler actually in the band) so we procrastinated.

16. I forgot to buy your kid a birthday gift and was too embarrassed to give him $20 like the last two times. But my kid was crying about missing the

26 SonomaFamilyLife

party, so I pretended we actually just forgot the present at home. I hope I remember to actually buy it so I don’t have to think of a new excuse when my kid doesn’t bring it to school. 17. We ate lunch at Mamacita’s before your afternoon get-together and three out of four of my kids had to poop after they ate. Not at the same time, of course, so it took very long. 18. Your kid’s party is the fourth birthday party this weekend, and I just can’t deal with another one. Sorry. Here’s $20 in an envelope for him. 19. My son keeps wearing his shoes without socks so they smell like death, and his other shoes don’t fit because he is Bigfoot. Can we arrange another play date for our boys after I have time to throw his death shoes in the washing machine? 20. I forgot about your child’s birthday party and was only reminded when one of the school moms checked in on Facebook when she got there. Here’s $20. I’m out of envelopes. ¶ Sarah Broussard Weaver has four very loud children, three dogs, a cat, a hedgehog, some fish, and a hubby. Send help! This piece was originally published at Parent Co.

October 2017

& iTreats Tricks e g a l l V e at th Saturday, October 28 • 11 am to 2 pm • Village Court Visit with the Pumpkin Fairy Godmother

Photos available for a $5 donation to a Local Non-Profit*

Free Fun for the Kids • Join “The Count” and play Halloween Pictionary • Create a Pumpkin Photo Frame (perfect for framing the photo with the Pumpkin Fairy Godmother!)

• Make Boo-tiful Art with Village Art • A Creepy Creation Awaits You at the Cold Stone Creamery Booth • Air-Brushed Face Painting • Balloon Artist Making Wearable Art for the Kids • Enter the Costume Contest (for information about the Contest, visit • Play Halloween Hopscotch for a Special Treat presented by Hopscotch Shoes • Sample Wickedly Wonderful Sourdough Brought to you by the Bakers of Boudin SF • Plus Lots of Fun Games & Activities • Find All Spook-tacular Details at Admission is Free!

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* Local Non Profit



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Sonoma Family Life October 2017