Sonoma Family Life February 2023

Page 1

Care Advice for parents February 2023
Spy Van Gogh Kids & museums sonoma Couple Talk Learn how to connect 9 things to know Charter Schools
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10 Features February 2023 Every Issue 6 Dear Reader 7 Cooking with Kids Sweets for Sweetie 8 Bits and Pieces Feel the Sound Craft a Lotus Lantern Homeschoolers Explore Insects Learn Zulu Rhythms Make a Model Mushroom Citrus, Anyone? 30 Calendar of Events 38 Humor Break Toddler Focus Groups 7 10 I Spy a Van Gogh Yes, kids can enjoy art museums. 14 Charter School Primer Ask the right questions; find the right school. 16 Charter School Guide A quick look at 42 Sonoma County schools. 20 Communicate Like a Champ Improve your relationship with a four-step process. 8 22 We Fight in Front of Our Kids What marital spats teach kids about healthy relating. 24 Brush Those Teeth! The ABCs of teaching kids dental hygiene. 26 Tough Kids with Kind Hearts Gently teaching children about life’s difficulties. 28 Prenatal Exercise Dos & Don’ts Five keys for moms-to-be. 9 4 SonomaFamilyLife February 2023



Each year brings on new challenges, but adding Sylvan to your after-school routine will ensure your child gets the support they need to transition with confidence and stay on track all year long!

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ove is in the air! But anyone who’s in a long-term relationship will tell you that romance comes with ups and downs. Experts say that, when couples hit a bump in the road, chances are poor communication is to blame. If this applies to you, check out “Communicate Like a Champ” (page 20) for a four-step process to help you and your honey connect.

Writer-mom Pam Moore doesn’t worry too much about squabbles with her husband, even if her child sees them. Read her “We Fight in Front of Our Kids” (page

L22) for her perspective on the benefits of children witnessing parents’ not-so-perfect moments. Yes, relationships can be work, especially if you are a mom or dad. And it’s precisely for that reason that they deserve to be celebrated. This Valentine’s Day, if you’re looking for a way to have fun with your partner in crime, check out our Calendar of Events (page 30) for local entertainment. Want to stay in? Use the recipe in “Sweets for Sweetie” (page 7) to cook up a Hot Fudge Pudding Cake.

However you spend V-Day, we hope everyone in your clan has a happy heart.

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America’s Test Kitchen

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Dear Reader
RELENTLESSLY PURSUING EXCELLENCE FOR ALL STUDENTS 707-542-2201 • LEARN MORE AT WWW.BVUSD.ORG Yulupa Primary School TK-Third 2250 Mesquite Drive, Santa Rosa 707 542-6272 Strawberry Intermediate School Fourth–Sixth Grade 2311 Horseshoe Drive, Santa Rosa 707 526-4433 KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION PACKETS FOR 2023-24 SCHOOL YEAR AVAILABLE NOW CALIFORNIA DISTINGUISHED SCHOOLS Children must be five on or before Sept. 1, 2023 to be eligible for kindergarten. Transitional Kindergarten is available for children turning five between Sept. 2, 2023 and June 30, 2024. CONTACT SCHOOLS FOR NEW FAMILY TOUR INFO TOUR DATES: FEB. 15, MAR. 13, APR. 17 ALL FROM 3-4 PM. CALL (707-542-6272) TO RESERVE A SPOT 6 SonomaFamilyLife February 2023
Sharon Gowan Publisher/Editor

Sweets for Sweetie

Make Your Honey a Cake

Those who have eaten hot fudge pudding cake know its charms: moist, brownie-like chocolate cake sitting on a pool of thick, chocolate pudding–like sauce, baked together in one dish, as if by magic. Served warm with vanilla ice cream, this cake has a flavor that more than makes up for its homespun looks. We set out to master this humble dessert. Pudding cake is made by sprinkling brownie batter with a mixture of sugar and cocoa, then pouring hot water on top, and baking. To bump up the chocolate flavor, we used a combination of Dutch-processed cocoa and bittersweet chocolate. We also added instant coffee to the water that is poured over the batter to cut the sweetness of the cake. We baked the cake slow and low to promote a good top crust and a silky sauce. And we found that letting the cake rest for 20 to 30 minutes before eating allows the sauce to become pudding-like and the cake brownie-like. ❖

Reprinted, with permission, from Desserts Illustrated:

The Ultimate Guide to All Things Sweet by Cook’s Illustrated (America’s Test Kitchen, 2022),

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

If you have cold brewed coffee on hand, it can be used in place of the instant coffee and water, but to make sure it isn’t too strong, use 1 cup of cold coffee mixed with ½ cup of water. Serve the cake warm with vanilla or coffee ice cream.

2 teaspoons instant coffee powder

1½ cups water

1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar

2 /3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1/3 cup packed (21/3 ounces) brown sugar

6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter

2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

¾ cup (3¾ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/3 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon table salt

1 large egg yolk, at room temperature

1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish. Stir the instant coffee into the water; set aside to dissolve. Stir together ⅓ cup of the granulated sugar, 2 /3 cup of

the cocoa, and the brown sugar in a small bowl, breaking up large clumps with your fingers; set aside. Melt the butter, the remaining 1/3 cup cocoa, and the chocolate in a small bowl set over a saucepan filled with 1 inch of barely simmering water; whisk until smooth and set aside to cool slightly. Whisk the flour and baking powder in a small bowl to combine; set aside. Whisk the remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar, the milk, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl until combined; whisk in the egg yolk. Add the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Add the flour mixture and whisk until the batter is evenly moistened.

2. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and spread evenly to the sides and corners. Sprinkle the cocoa-sugar mixture evenly over the batter (the cocoa mixture should cover the entire surface of the batter); pour the coffee mixture gently over the cocoa mixture. Bake until the cake is puffed and bubbling and just beginning to pull away from the sides of the baking dish, about 45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time. (Do not overbake.) Cool the cake in the dish on a wire rack for about 25 minutes and serve.

Serves 8

Cooking with Kids February 2023 SonomaFamilyLife 7

Feel the Sound

When the members of Yamato pound on their wadaiko or taiko drums, they hope to conjure the energy of life itself. The traditional Japanese percussion instruments are famous for their thunderous reverberations, which audiences will get a chance to hear (and feel) when Yamato performs on February 25 at 7:30 p.m. at the Green Music Center in Rohnert Park. Tickets are $25–$85 and may be purchased at

Craft a Lotus Lantern

The lotus flower is one of the most important symbols in Korean culture. Ubiquitous in Korean Buddhist temples and art, the flower, which grows in muddy water, represents the pure spiritual self that is unsullied by the “mud” of the world. As part of its celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage month, the Guerneville Regional Library in Guerneville will be holding a multi-generational Korean Culture and Lotus Lantern Workshop. Participants will learn how to make a lotus lantern from paper and wire, and they’ll also watch the short film Korea Today. The event will be held on February 11, 2–3:30 p.m. Registration is required: See the film’s trailer here:

Homeschoolers Explore Insects

In the wake of the pandemic, the number of homeschooling families has shot up. While homeschooling allows for a customized education, it also can make it challenging for kids to socialize. The Charles M. Schulz Museum aims to help with Homeschool Day: Into the Wild, which will feature activities that teach kids about the outdoors and animals. Kids will explore pollination with cheese powder, create chlorophyll paintings, and make a bug catcher. And they’ll get a chance to go ice-skating, too. The event will be held on February 22, 10 a.m.–noon, at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa. Ice-skating will be across the street, at Snoopy’s Home Ice. Admission for youth is $10 without skating or $17 with skating; on February 18, prices will increase to $12 and $19 respectively. Youth cannot attend without an adult chaperone. Adults and children younger than three who do not plan to skate can get in for free but still must register. Adults who do plan to skate will be charged $7. Register at

Bits & Pieces
8 SonomaFamilyLife February 2023

Learn Zulu Rhythms

Guardian of the skins. That is what Baba Shibambo’s last name means. It reflects the role his family played in their Apartheid-era South African Zulu tribe: They took care of the tribe’s animal skins, including the drum skins. Shibambo learned not just to tend to the drum skins, but also to play the drums, eventually becoming a professional musician who performed internationally, including for Nelson Mandela. Shibambo will be bringing his music, and introducing children to his instruments and tribal stories, at the free African Music and Arts Village event at the Rincon Valley Regional Library in Santa Rosa on February 4 at 2 p.m. Find out more at The event will be held at other libraries in Sonoma County throughout February. See for dates and times.

Make a Model Mushroom

The stormy January deluge means one good thing for February: lots of mushrooms sprouting up everywhere. At the Seeds and Reads: Mushroom Models class, children can learn about the varieties of fungi that grow locally, and even how to make a clay mushroom model. Created for kids in kindergarten through sixth grade, the free class will be held on February 21, 4–5 p.m., at the Petaluma Regional Library in Petaluma. Registration is required; go to nhmyaf95. The class will be held throughout February at multiple library branches. Check out bdfjw94p for the full schedule.

Citrus, Anyone?

Guess how many citrus fruits must be used in each exhibit entered into the Cloverdale Citrus Fair? Ninety dozen. No wonder past exhibits have been as tall as 18 feet. Along with exhibitors’ monuments to citrus, the fair will also offer a carnival, livestock shows, a diaper derby, talent show, and parade. The fair will be held February 17–20 at the Cloverdale Citrus Fairgrounds in Cloverdale. General admission is $5–$10; a season pass is $15–$35; and a carnival wristband is $29. Find out more and purchase tickets at February 2023 SonomaFamilyLife 9
African Music and Arts Village

I Spy a Van Gogh

Visiting Art Museums with Young Children

Art museums are full of wonder. If, during the winter months, you and your children need a creative break, consider exploring a local one or even taking a virtual field trip to a museum abroad. Even very young children can be drawn to the images portrayed through art. Here are some tips to make a museum trip fun for the whole family.

1. Choose a museum. Locate the art museums in your community and check out their websites, noting special hours for families or discounted days.

2. Research it. Use a museum’s website to explore its exhibits, including photographs and background information. This will not only help you plan what you want to see, but also help you determine if there are exhibits that are inappropriate for young children. Note if there are children’s areas that have opportunities for making art.

3. Prepare your child for the visit. Talk about how people act in the museum and what you might see on your visit. Use the museum’s website to offer a preview of the building and art. You can even use website images to create a personalized scavenger hunt document. Consider reading museum-oriented children’s books, such as Anthony Browne’s The Shape Game (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2003) or David Goldin’s Meet Me at the Art Museum (Harry N. Abrams, 2012).

4. Focus on the highlights. Many people assume that it’s necessary to look at all the exhibits in a museum. This can be exhausting! Instead, choose exhibits that reflect your children’s interests, or choose one or two items in a space to examine. For example, if your child loves animals and the museum has a

feature on western landscapes, check that exhibit for paintings that include horses or cattle. If the museum includes outdoor exhibits, consider taking a break outside. A bit of skipping or running may re-energize everyone.

5. Select a few games to play. Games help children to focus. Here are a few of our favorites:

• What Do You See? To encourage children to engage with the art, find an interesting image and ask them, “What do you see?” Paraphrasing the children’s responses lets them know you understand them. Preschoolers and older kids like to use images to make up stories. Images of people, landscapes, etc. especially lend themselves to this whereas abstract images encourage creative meaning-making.

• I Spy. In this game, a child focuses on an image, statue, or other art piece and doesn’t share what it is. To provide clues to an object’s identity, the child uses the phrase, “I spy something ______ with my

the museum’s website to offer a preview
of the building and art.
10 SonomaFamilyLife February 2023

LOVE IS... a day at the Schulz Museum!

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little eyes.” The child fills in the blank with a color, shape, or other attribute, and then it’s up to you or the group to take turns guessing what the child sees.

• Scavenger Hunt. At home before your visit, or once you’ve checked in to the museum, create a list of objects and people for kids to locate in the museum’s paintings. For example, if you know the museum is hosting an exhibit on art depicting families, your list might include a baby, a rocking chair, a dog, a mustache, a vase of flowers, and a woman wearing a gown. Create an age-appropriate list for each child or work together as a group on one list. You can use word- or picture-based lists with varying numbers of items.

It can also be fun and challenging to choose one artwork and see how many items on the list are in it.

6. Follow up. Keep exploring the museum’s art even after you leave. Review pictures from your visit, or even create your own book or story

d’Orsay in Paris, and the Louvre in Paris have online archives. And the Metropolitan Museum of Art offers #MetKids, which was designed for, with, and by children. ❖

Tracy Galuski, PhD, has worked in the field of early childhood education for many years, serving as a teacher for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary schoolers. Currently she is a professor at SUNY Empire in the department of educational studies. She is author of two books, Open-Ended Art for Young Children co-authored with Mary Ellen Bardsley, PhD, and School’s Out: Challenges and Solutions for School-Age Programs

about the visit. You can also explore art materials or techniques that the visit inspired.

7. Go virtual. Many art museums offer virtual explorations. The Benaki Museum in Athens, the Musée

Mary Ellen Bardsley, PhD, is recently retired from Niagara University, where she was a professor of early childhood education. She is the author of two books, including Open-Ended Art for Young Children (with Tracy Galuski), and presents regularly at state and national conferences.

Build robots, cool devices, and memories in a family-friendly interactive science and technology center! UNLEASH YOUR INNER INNOVATOR 201 S. Market St., San Jose, CA 95113 1-408-294-8324 | | 12 SonomaFamilyLife February 2023
Talk about how people act in the museum and what you might see on your visit.
ENHANCING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE “WHOLE CHILD” (707) 795-7863 5475 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park Preschool license #490100475 REGISTER NOW FOR 2022-23 Cross & Crown Lutheran School Preschool through 6th Grade. Limited class size. Classes start September 6th EMPHASIZING THE 8 CORE VIRTUES & EXCELLENT ACADEMICS DEVELOPING GLOBAL AWARENESS& AN APPRECIATION OF ONE'S INHERENT SPIRITUAL WISDOM KINDNESS FAIRNESS INTEGRITY HUMILITY RESPECT CITIZENSHIP FILIAL PIETY TRUSTWORTHINESS 7 0 7 . 4 6 8 . 1 1 3 8 ( b o y s ) 7 0 7 . 4 6 8 . 3 8 9 6 ( g i r l s ) w w w . i g d v s . o r g E N R O L L T O D A Y ! Join us for our Open House! February 9th 5:00pm-6:00pm 20872 Broadway, Sonoma 95476 Visit our classrooms K-8, meet our faculty, and connect with local preschool programs. February 2023 SonomaFamilyLife 13

Charter School Primer Your Questions Answered

How do charter schools work? Charter schools are public schools operating under an independent contract or “charter” with an authorizing agency— typically a non-profit organization, government agency, or university. The charter provides the school with operational autonomy to pursue specific educational objectives regarding curriculum, staff, and budget. It also holds them accountable to the same (often higher) standards of their district public school peers.

Are charter schools public schools? Yes, charter schools are independently operated public schools. Charter schools provide a high-quality education option to

Charter schools do not have admission requirements or entrance exams.

public school students, upholding high standards that meet and often exceed the district and state metrics.

How do I enroll my child in a charter school? Most charter schools have an enrollment period when parents can submit applications for the school. If there are more applications submitted than seats available, they will hold a randomized blind lottery. To learn more about applying to a charter school in California, visit

Do charter schools have attendance boundaries?

Charter schools do not have traditional school boundaries like district schools, which allow many charter schools to attract a diverse student body. Charter schools are restricted by state limits and some have city limits as well. Visit for more information.

Are charter schools

nonprofit? Charter schools are public schools. Nearly two-thirds are freestanding, but sometimes a group of charter schools is supported by a management

organization. The overwhelming majority of these charter school management organizations are nonprofit. Some states allow for-profit organizations to manage charter schools, but that accounts for only 12 percent of charter schools across the country. Regardless, all charter schools are public schools and free to attend.

Do charter schools have admission requirements?

No, charter schools do not have admission requirements or entrance exams. Though many charter schools are in high demand and when that demand exceeds the spaces available in the school, a charter school may hold a randomized, blind lottery to determine which students are admitted or may preference students by need or location.

All charter schools are public schools and free to attend.
14 SonomaFamilyLife February 2023

What are some questions to ask when I’m choosing a charter school? As a parent, make sure you are familiar with the individual objectives and rules affiliated with the specific charter school that you are considering before you enroll your child. The reasons that parents choose charter schools for their children are just as unique as the students themselves. They choose their child’s school for a variety of reasons, including strong, dedicated teachers; the school’s focus matches their child’s needs; or simply because their child was struggling in their zoned-public school and needed to try something new. Charter schools provide families with options in public

education, allowing parents to take a more active role in their child’s education.

Do charter schools charge tuition? No, charter schools are tuition-free, public schools.


What makes charter schools different than other schools? Each of the more than 7,500 charter schools is unique—both inside and out. Some may focus on college prep, some follow a Montessori

curriculum, and others integrate the arts into each subject. Most charter schools are located in urban areas, but there are charter schools in suburban and rural areas as well. Some charter schools require uniforms, others have longer school days, and some teach their entire curriculum in two languages. The possibilities are endless, but charter schools aim to provide a range of options so that parents can choose the school that best fits their child.

Reprinted, with permission, from, the website of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. See for the answers to other questions about charter schools.

Grades TK-12

Serving Sonoma, Marin, Napa, Solano Counties


we take our role as your educational partner very seriously, and we work to provide the resources that best support our students and their parents/guardians in a home-based independent study model

Innovative curriculum & field trips! WASC accreditation Intervention services
schools provide a high-quality education option to public school students.
Enrollment for '23-'23 opens Feb. 3rd Free and Public Independent Study! Onsite and online classes Website www pathwayscharter org 707-585-6510 Personalized Learning for Every Student Phone ‘23-‘24 Waldorf education for parents only. Sign up for all events on our website. For Parents Only All Tours take place at our school visit: | call: 707.824.9700 ext 1
K-8 Waldorf Public School Since 1995 ANNUAL OPEN HOUSE & ENROLLMENT EVENTS Open House Saturday, February 4 10am–Noon Open House and Presentation on Waldorf education for parents only. Sign up for all events on our website. Enrollment Tours January 10 and March 2 from 8:45am to 10am For Parents Only All Tours take place at our school visit: | call: 707.824.9700 ext 1 February 2023 SonomaFamilyLife 15
Sebastopol Charter

Cotati-Rohnert Park

Credo High School. Grades 9–12. Site-based. 1300 Valley House Dr., Ste. 100, Rohnert Park.

Pathways Charter School. Grades K–12. Independent study with site-based learning center support. 150 Professional Center Dr., Suites C-F, Rohnert Park.


California Pacific Charter Schools. Grades K–12. Online homeschool program.


California Virtual Academies. Grades K–12. Online virtual program.

Cinnabar Charter School. Grades TK–8. Site-based. 286 Skillman Ln., Petaluma.

Dunham Elementary Charter School. Grades TK–6. Site-based. 4111 Roblar Rd., Petaluma.

Heartwood Charter School. Grades TK–8. Online homeschool program. 170 Liberty School Rd., Petaluma.

Live Oak Charter School. Grades TK–8. Site-based. 100 Gnoss Concourse, Petaluma.

Loma Vista Immersion Academy Charter School. Grades TK–6. Site-based. 207 Maria Dr., Petaluma.

Mary Collins School at Cherry Valley. Grades TK–8. Site-based. 1001 Cherry St., Petaluma. petalumacityschools. org/cherryvalley.

Miwok Valley Elementary Charter. Grades TK–6. Site-based. 1010 St.

Francis Dr., Petaluma. Domain/11.

Old Adobe Elementary Charter School. Grades TK–6. Site-based. 2856 Adobe Rd., Petaluma. oldadobe. org/Domain/8.

River Montessori Charter School. Grades TK–6. Site-based. 3880 Cypress Dr., Suite B, Petaluma.

Sonoma Mountain Elementary Charter School. Grades TK–6. Site-based. 1900 Rainier Cir., Petaluma.

Santa Rosa

Brinkley Elementary Charter School. Grades TK–6. Site-based. 4965 Canyon Dr., Santa Rosa. binkley.

Cesar Chavez Language Academy. Grades TK–8. Site-based. 211

Charter School Guide COMMUNITY LEARNING IN THE HEART OF SANTA ROSA THE SCHOOL THAT GROWS WITH YOU! NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR ALL GRADES K-4 • Project Based Learning • Multi-age, Developmental Classrooms • Environmental Education • Social Emotional Learning • Public Magnet School • K-4 for 2022/23 Growing a Grade a Year (707) 890-3869 | 203 S. A St. Apple Blossom Elementary School Our mission is to nurture our students’ creative and critical thinking, academic proficiency, global awareness, appreciation for diversity and respect for themselves and others in a continually changing technological world. Grade levels: TK-5 • Small class sizes: TK-3 average 20 and grades 4 & 5 average 26 Interactive, project-based learning • On-site pre-school Before and after-school care Join Our Community ART, MUSIC, GARDENING, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY & PHYSICAL EDUCATION The Art of Academic Excellence 707.823.1041 700 Watertrough Rd. Sebastopol, CA, 707.823.6278 Now enrolling for 2023-24 16 SonomaFamilyLife February 2023

Ridgewood Ave., Santa Rosa.

Manzanita Elementary Charter School. Grades K–6. Site-based. 1687 Yulupa Ave., Santa Rosa. mes.

Mark West Charter School. TK–8. Site-based & independent homeschool program. 4600 Lavell Rd., Santa Rosa.

Northwest Prep Charter School. Site-based learning program: grades 7–12. Home-study program: grades K–12. 2590 Piner Rd., Santa Rosa.

Olivet Elementary Charter School. Grades TK–6. Site-based. 1825 Willowside Rd., Santa Rosa. olivet.

Piner-Olivet Charter School. Grades 7–8. Site-based & independent study.

2707 San Francisco Ave., Santa Rosa.

Pivot Charter School North Bay. Grades TK–12. Site-based & independent study. 2999 Cleveland Ave., Santa Rosa.

Roseland Accelerated Middle School. Grades 7–8. Site-based. 1687 Burbank Ave., Santa Rosa.

Roseland Collegiate Prep. Grades 7–12. 80 Ursuline Rd., Santa Rosa.

Roseland University Prep. Grades 9–12. 1931 Biwana Dr., Santa Rosa.

Santa Rosa Accelerated Charter School. Grades 5–6. Site-based. 4650 Badger Rd., Santa Rosa.

Now enrolling for 2023-24

The Art of Academic Excellence

Twin Hills Middle School 6-8

A safe, small country school with high academic and elective standards. Teachers focus on character development and lifelong learning habits. We offer a challenging high school prep environment.

• Technology

Santa Rosa French-American Charter School. Grades TK–8. Site-based. 1350 Sonoma Ave., Santa Rosa.

Schaefer Charter School. Grades TK–6. Site-based. 1370 San Miguel Ave., Santa Rosa.

Spring Lake Middle School. Grades 7–8. Site-based. 4675 Mayette Ave., Santa Rosa.

Village Charter School. Grades K–6. Site-based. 2590 Piner Rd., Santa Rosa.

Village Elementary Charter School. Grades TK–6. Site-based. 900 Yulupa Ave., Santa Rosa.

Whited Elementary Charter School. Grades TK–6. Site-based. 4995 Sonoma Hwy., Santa Rosa. rvusd. org/o/whited

arts •
• Art • Photoshop • Video editing
Electives: Culinary
MATHEMATICS ENGLISH • SCIENCE CREATIVE ARTS ATHLETICS • HISTORY Are you ready for a challenge? 707.823.7446 700 Watertrough Rd. Sebastopol, CA, 707.823.6278 Charter Middle 6-8 February 2023 SonomaFamilyLife 17

Wright Charter School. Grades K–8. Site-based. 4389 Price Ave., Santa Rosa.


Gravenstein Elementary School. Charter school for grades K–5, except for some first-grade classes (called Gravenstein First School). Site-based. 3840 Twig Ave., Sebastopol.

Hillcrest Middle School. Grades 6–8. Site-based. 725 Bloomfield Rd., Sebastopol.

Orchard View School. Grades K–12. Site-based & independent study. 700 Watertrough Rd., Sebastopol.

Reach Charter School. Grades TK–8. Site-based. 487 Watertrough Rd., Sebastopol.

Sebastopol Charter: A Public Waldorf School. Grades TK–8. Site-based. 1111 Gravenstein Hwy., Sebastopol.

SunRidge School. Grades K–8. Site-based. 7285 Hayden Ave., Sebastopol.

Twin Hills Middle School. Grades 6–8. Site-based. 1685 Watertrough Rd., Sebastopol. charter-thusd-ca.


Sonoma Charter School. Grades TK–8. Site-based. 17202 Sonoma Hwy., Sonoma.

Woodland Star Charter School. Grades K–8. Site-based. 17811 Arnold Dr., Sonoma.

18 SonomaFamilyLife February 2023


La Tercera Elementary School

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

Loma Vista Immersion Academy Charter School

Featuring the internationally acclaimed Dual Immersion Language Model

Miwok Valley Elementary Charter School

Featuring a focus on Health and Wellness

Old Adobe Elementary Charter School

Featuring a focus on Arts and Ecology

Sonoma Mountain Elementary Charter School

Featuring a focus on Arts and Music


Santa Rosa 2280 Santa Rosa Ave 707-544-2828 Rohnert Park 1451 Southwest Blvd 707-795-4433 Rohnert Park 6314 Commerce Blvd 707-303-7474 Petaluma 919 Lakeville St 707-769-8989 Cloverdale 1143 S. Cloverdale Blvd 707-751-6100 Windsor 6580 Hembree Ln #258 707-836-1700 Santa Rosa 4501 Montgomery Dr. 707-890-5033 Santa Rosa 3125 Cleveland Ave 707-595-6505 Napa 1501 Trancas St. 707-669-5060 Download our mobile app You’ll earn points for free food with every single order. Kid’s Care Program
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845 Crinella Drive, Petaluma • 707-765-4321 • Register Now for the 2023-24 School Year! you tour February 2023 SonomaFamilyLife 19

Communicate Like a Champ

Learn How to Listen & Talk to Your Partner

Couples split up for numerous reasons, ranging from lack of common interests to money to cheating. But therapists say communication issues are at the top of the break-up list.

Communication Styles

There are five communication styles, write Ronald B. Adler and George Rodman in their book, Understanding Human Communication (Oxford, 2013). Many of these patterns are devastating to relationships.

Nonassertive communicators often don’t express their thoughts or feelings when conflict arises. They avoid issues or accommodate their partner instead. While nonassertiveness can be used to protect oneself from harm or embarrassment, this style is often the result of low self-esteem or the inability to communicate one’s needs.

Meanwhile, those who use direct aggression may attack others through criticism and name-calling while passive aggressive communicators will do things like comply with a request without intent to follow through. They may also use guilt, jokes, and withholding as weapons against their spouses.

Indirect communicators may offer subtle hints about what they want or need, without directly discussing the issue. Sometimes this effectively gets the point across while preventing hurt feelings or a negative response. But it also leads to misunderstandings and

the opportunity for the receiver to avoid or ignore the message.

On the other hand, assertive communicators, according to Adler and Rodman, are the most effective because they are direct and clear about their feelings. They don’t try to control or hurt the other person. Assertive partners may not look forward to some discussions, but they’re able to handle them in a manner that ends positively.

If you see yourself or your partner in any of the first four styles, you’ve probably experienced many of the problems these styles often create: quarreling, escaping, and resentment. If these problems become too frequent, they can ultimately destroy your relationship.

A Better Approach

Changing old patterns isn’t easy and requires work, but learning to effectively communicate with your partner can happen. One communication technique, referred to as Intentional Dialogue or Couple’s Dialogue, is used in Imago Relationship Therapy and can help couples build deeper intimacy.

Imago Therapist Eleanor Payson, ACSW, shares this four-step process in her handout “Making the IMAGO Conscious.” Before getting started, she says, there are essential “ground rules” couples must follow.

Your dialog should consist of four steps: mirroring, summarizing, validating, and empathizing.
20 SonomaFamilyLife February 2023

First, explains Payson, the person who needs to have a talk must make a request for a specific discussion time. Couples often jump into important discussions without making sure it’s convenient for both partners.

If the time requested isn’t convenient, your partner should schedule a time better suited to both of you. The discussion should be held within 24 hours of the initial request. Also, when making your request for a dialogue, don’t disclose the details. Tell your partner the topic only, to avoid undue worry.

When the scheduled time arrives, the person making the request is responsible for reminding the other. During your dialogue, stick to the topic, and if other issues arise, save them for later.

Finally, your dialog should consist of four steps: mirroring, summarizing, validating, and empathizing. After you complete these steps, switch roles so that each of you has the opportunity to share your thoughts and feelings.

Getting Started

To begin your dialogue, sit close and face each other. The person who requested the dialog speaks first.

During the four-step process, as explained by Payson, the receiver should not interrupt, except to check his understanding of his partner. Furthermore, he should not discuss his feelings, perspective, or anything else until the roles are switched.

Mirror After the sender describes her concern, the receiver will mirror— repeat back what the partner has said—and then ask if he understood

correctly. If he has, he then asks if there’s more she needs to say.

Summarize Next, the receiver sums up in his own words what the speaker has said, asking if he got it all. If not, the mirroring process continues until he has received all of the important details.

Empathize Once the receiver understands his partner’s thoughts and feelings, he states that he empathizes with and understands them. Bestselling author Jacob Morgan offers advice on how to empathize in “4 Steps to Practice Empathy from Dr. Brené Brown,” which also links to a video on the topic: For a list of statements that express empathy, see

Finally, switch roles and begin the process again. ❖

Validate The receiver explains that he understands the speaker’s feelings and why she has them. If the receiving partner does not yet understand his spouse’s feelings, the mirroring process continues.

Kimberly Blaker is a freelance writer who specializes in parenting and family issues. For more on Imago Relationship Therapy, go to what-is-imago

Assertive communicators are the most effective. (707) 890-3800 x80334 Learn more: TK/Kindergarten REGISTRATION Academic Year 2023/2024 Online registration is now open! February 2023 SonomaFamilyLife 21

I want to show my kids that a real relationship takes work—and that it’s worth it.

2) When we argue in front of our kids, we don’t have to wait until we’re alone to discuss the issue. And while I’m (theoretically) a fan of cooling off before you discuss an issue, on the flip side, when you wait to address the problem, you have time to simmer and stew. Which is awesome for a crockpot dinner. For a marriage, not so much. My husband and I have

We Fight in Front of Our Kids

Why I Don’t Feel Guilty About It

Iam suspicious of couples that claim they never argue. These people are either lying or they are unicorns. My husband and I fight. I wish we didn’t, but both of us are way too stubborn for that.

Life is messy, especially now that we are parents. And when we’re low on sleep, a sea of baby dolls and puzzle pieces has turned our living room into a field of booby traps, and little people are laying constant demands on us… as my husband likes to say, there’s competition for resources. Which means we don’t always use our polite flight attendant voices when we have a conflict.

So, sometimes we fight in front of our kids. There are a lot of things I feel guilty about as a mom. But fighting with my husband is not one of them. Here’s why:

1) When our kids see us disagree, they see we are real people, with our own competing wants and needs. Everything we do models behavior for our kids. I don’t want them to grow up with the false expectation that it’s easy for a couple to manage their differences. Real, intimate relationships are hard. I can’t keep my girls from adoring their princess dresses and Frozen figurines, but hell if I’m going to let them grow up thinking a prince will bring them all their happily-ever-afters. I wouldn’t respect my husband if he always went along with my wishes, and vice versa.

two small children. They wake up very early, they need us all day, and by the time they go to sleep, we are exhausted. We don’t want to spend the precious little time between their bedtime and ours fighting about who left the chest freezer open. Worse yet, we refuse to spend the glorious hours when they are in the care of a sitter resolving minor disagreements, when we’d much rather be enjoying dinner at a place with real silverware and cloth napkins. When we can quickly air out our issues, we can move on and avoid holding onto resentment.

3) My parents fought in front of me and I think I turned out just fine. My parents were not shy about sharing their grievances with one another. They weren’t shy about displaying their affection for one another, either. I’m not saying they were throwing dishes, hurling insults, and then having crazy make-out sessions at the dinner

I wouldn’t respect my husband if he always went along with my wishes, and vice versa.
22 SonomaFamilyLife February 2023

table. I’m just saying I heard them bicker about random things, and I also saw them kiss, heard them say “I love you,” and delighted in the sound of them laughing together. From my parents, I learned that even the fiercest, most enduring love is not immune to the occasional murderous feeling—and that’s normal.

I’ve never claimed to be a parenting expert. I have no idea what I’m doing most of the time. I don’t subscribe to a particular philosophy or adhere to any hard and fast rules. In many ways, I approach childrearing the same way I do everything else in my life—by the seat of my pants and with honesty. And if I can’t be real in my own house about who I am, what I want, and what annoys the crap out of me, than where can I? I don’t need my kids to think my husband and I are perfect. I just need them to know that even though we don’t get along 100 percent of the time, we are trying really hard, because we value each other and our relationship.

And the fact is, I am just not good enough of a liar to pretend I’m happy all the time. It’s all I can do to let my kids think my fancy chocolate is a vitamin. ❖

Pam Moore is an award-winning freelance writer, intuitive eating coach, and host of the Real Fit podcast. Get her free guide to improving your body image at

Register now for spring & summer activities for the whole family! Plus, fun events like the St. Patrick's Day 5K on March 12. Spring & Summer Fun! Spring & Summer Fun! “Whoever teaches the truth enlightens the mind, for truth is the light of the mind.” —St. Thomas Aquinas VISIT STEUGENESCH.ORG 300 FARMERS LANE, SANTA ROSA | (707) 545-7252 Take the next step in your journey. Da el siguiente paso en tu viaje. February 2023 SonomaFamilyLife 23
When we can quickly air out our issues, we can move on and avoid holding onto resentment.

Brush Those Teeth!

It’s a familiar scene in bathrooms, twice a day.

Parent (liltingly, with a smile): “Time to brush teeth!”

Child (with feeling): “NO!”

So your preschooler doesn’t always brush every day. And when they do brush, it’s sort of haphazard at best. They’re more interested in the “sparkle-flavored” toothpaste than sparkly teeth. No big deal, right? They’re just baby teeth, anyway. Wrong.

“Some people think baby teeth are going to fall out so they aren’t important to take good care of, but that’s not true,” says Darin Schettler, DDS, a family practice dentist in Santa Rosa. “Mouth health is important for lots of reasons, including eating, speech, and even self-esteem. Kids with unhealthy teeth

Keys to Kids’ Dental Health

don’t smile and that can impair them socially.”

The overall health of the mouth is also important for developing adult teeth, long before those teeth begin to make their appearance.

“It’s not technique so much as frequency of brushing that helps prevent ECC, or Early Childhood Caries,” says Sebastopol pediatric dentist Rob Oliver, DDS. (We might know ECCs best as cavities, a word that still sends chills down many adults’ spines.)

Oliver says there is no set age when children can effectively brush their teeth, and that parents should supervise and assist as needed.

“Some of my seven-year-old patients can do a fine job, and other ten-year-olds still need help brushing and flossing effectively.”

When teaching your child to brush, Oliver recommends using a soft toothbrush. Brush, he says, with soft, circular motions, making sure the toothbrush’s bristles are gently angled towards the gums. “It’s more about the frequency of getting the material off the teeth than anything.”

The American Dental Association recommends that parents use only a pea-size amount of toothpaste on their child’s toothbrush, as larger amounts tend to create excessive foam making it more difficult for a child to brush. Make sure that children get in the habit of spitting out the toothpaste, too, since consistently swallowing toothpaste can cause kids to ingest too much fluoride.

And don’t forget to practice what you preach. Modeling good brushing habits is the first step to teaching your child good dental health.

Both dentists recommend an early dental visit to promote a positive experience at the dentist. Oliver suggests by their first birthday, and Schettler often sees children by their second birthday.

“We want their experience to be positive, so if we only clean one tooth the first time, that’s okay. We’ll go back another day and get a few more. And then a few more. The important thing is to get them in here,” says Schettler.

According to California law, children must receive an oral health assessment by May 31 of their first school year. A form is required to prove compliance with the law. Parents who cannot get a dental health checkup for their children can use the form to apply for exemption from the requirement. For more information, see cauzvmt2 or

24 SonomaFamilyLife February 2023
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Tough Kids with Kind Hearts

3 Practical Ways to Raise Resilient Children

The world can be a tricky place. If we want to raise mentally tough kids who don’t become jaded—or worse, part of the problem—we need to empower them to address challenges in emotionally intelligent ways. We need to raise them to have both grit and compassion for others. In other words, we need to raise tough kids with kind hearts. This is truly the work of conscious parenting.

Tough times call for mentally strong children. Parents often believe that kids are too young to talk about difficult issues and situations when they arise. But this is a mistake. If children are likely to walk down the street and see a particular situation with their own eyes, they’re not too young for an age-appropriate discussion about that situation.

In fact, if we don’t have brave discussions with our kids, we do them a disservice. Family is the safest place for children to learn and create healthy narratives about life’s difficulties. For example, years ago when we were living in a big city, someone told me they thought my child, then age three, was too young to hear about homelessness. However, we walked past people in need every day on

her way to preschool and she asked questions. It was a prime opportunity to teach her about compassion.

Don’t we have to be harsh with kids to toughen them up? Absolutely not. To the contrary, for their optimal development, we need to give kids “a soft place to land,” as author Deborah Harkness so aptly put it. That means that we need to offer them emotional safety. And what

makes them feel safe is very much about their psycho-neurobiology. Here’s what my book, Peaceful Discipline: Story Teaching, Brain Science, and Better Behavior (Pond Reads Press, 2022) says about this:

“...when [kids are] emotionally triggered, the limbic system (a more primitive part of the brain) takes over and effectively shuts off the frontal lobe, where most of our rational thoughts live. The limbic system’s sole purpose is to keep us alive. The frontal lobe is where we can think about others’ experiences, offer compassion, and understand the consequences of our actions.

The limbic system doesn’t understand that we’ll ever be all right again, because it’s not planning ahead—it’s trying to keep us safe in this moment only. Our goal, therefore, is to help the body feel safety so that our frontal lobe can come back and join the whole brain party. No one can talk us into safety if our limbic system is overriding it; we must feel it for ourselves.”

The frontal lobe needs to be “online”

Tough kids need extra empathy from us, not less.
26 SonomaFamilyLife February 2023

in order for children to learn. When children feel safe, not only do they exhibit fewer behavioral issues, but also they’re more likely to be able to grow through tough situations rather than be hindered by them. We make them feel safe with gentleness, not harshness; with our open door and listening ears, not punishments.

Tough kids need empathy (we all do). Two of the best gifts an adult can model for a child are empathy and emotional maturity. If a child is “acting tough” but displays no empathy, they’re more likely to end up struggling in school and at home.

The most effective way to raise a child who has empathy is for the parent to model empathy.

Parents can do this a couple of ways. For example, they can validate, rather than dismiss, children’s emotions. For example, if a tough event happens at school, the parent can say things like, “Gosh, that sounds really hard. I understand why you’re so sad. You make sense to me.”

Tough kids—especially those who’ve been raised in or experienced tough circumstances—need extra empathy from us, not less. It’s part of what helps them feel “seen” and softens their rough edges.

Showing up matters. If you want to raise a tough kid with a kind heart, focus foremost on their hearts, and the rest will fall into place. ❖

This article is an edited version of the original, which was published here

This is a much more effective approach than dismissing a child’s feelings with statements like “That’s nothing to worry about. You’re such a crybaby.”

Sarah R. Moore is author of Peaceful Discipline: Story Teaching, Brain Science & Better Behavior and the founder of Dandelion Seeds Positive Parenting. As a mother and certified Master Trainer in conscious parenting, Moore helps bring joy, ease, and connection back to families around the globe. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube

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Validate, rather than dismiss, children’s emotions.

Prenatal Exercise Dos & Don’ts

5 Tips for Healthy Movement During Pregnancy

Prenatal exercise has been shown to have many benefits, including preventing excess weight gain, reducing backaches, lowering the risk for gestational diabetes, and easing the labor process. Continuing a fitness routine after you have your baby can be helpful in improving your mood, boosting your energy levels, and restoring your body and core muscles.

According to Meredith Therrien, a certified pre- and post-natal fitness specialist who teaches on the wellness platform OneFirelight, during the first trimester, there is not much that needs to change in your fitness routine. “The most important thing is to listen to your

body when it needs rest,” says Therrien. “This period of time comes with a huge increase in

blood volume, which can lead to you feeling out of breath more than usual. Take the time to replenish your body with plenty of water and give yourself grace if an exercise that usually feels easy feels a little more challenging.”

The second trimester will most likely bring more energy, but it is an important time to start to be more mindful of your workouts. Here are a few of Therrien’s tips to implement during this time and maintain throughout your pregnancy:

1. Avoid exercises that require you to lie on your back. In about one-third of pregnancies, lying on the back can cause supine hypotension syndrome. The weight of the fetus can cause blood vessel constriction, which can affect blood flow.

2. Avoid twisting from your abdominal wall. Otherwise, you can cause extra pressure on your abdominal wall, which is already facing more pressure than usual. Instead, twist from your shoulders and without compression.

3. Avoid crunches or sit-ups. These exercises cause a large amount of pressure on the outer abdominal wall and can contribute to diastasis recti, a separation of the abdominal wall through the midline. Instead, focus on exercises, such as planks and bird dogs, that activate

After the baby is born, it is important to take time for your body to heal.
It’s crucial to take it slow in the beginning.
28 SonomaFamilyLife February 2023
Meredith Therrien

the transverse abdominis (the inner core muscles).

4. Aerobic exercise is safe. The rule of thumb is to make sure you are able to talk throughout the exercise. Do not get to the point where you are so out of breath you are unable to say full sentences. This is a great time to work out with friends so you can carry on a conversation, for both fun and function.

5. Listen to your body. Drink plenty of water and take breaks as needed. Walking can also be a great form of exercise during this time. After the baby is born, it is important to take time for your body to heal. Always get clearance from your doctor before returning

to exercise, but in general, most can return to workouts after about six weeks. It’s crucial to take it slow in the beginning.

to function properly. Start with shorter workouts and build up to more intense, longer workouts as your body feels ready.”

Fitness can be an excellent tool throughout your pregnancy journey and beyond. Listen to your body, take it at your pace, and always get clearance from your medical professional before starting any exercise routine. ❖

“The workouts you were doing at the end of your pregnancy should look like the workouts you start with post baby,” adds Therrien. “While there can be a lot of pressure to ‘lose the baby weight,’ it is most important that you do it properly. Focusing on rebuilding strength in your body and your core will allow your body

OneFirelight is a wellness platform that offers yoga, cardio/kickboxing, sound meditation, and dance instruction. Most of the classes are filmed in nature and choreographed to the licensed music of global icon Bob Marley’s grandson Skip Marley, as well as other conscious musicians from the Blue Mountain Music Catalog. Find out more at




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“The most important thing is to listen to your body when it needs rest.”
— Meredith Therrien

February Calendar of Events

Thursday 2

Little Shop of Horrors. Based on Howard Ashman’s Broadway musical & cult classic movie. $35–$43. Feb.

2–4, 9–11 & 16–18: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4 & 5, 12 & 19: 2 p.m. 6th Street Playhouse. 52 W. 6th St., Santa Rosa.

Saturday 4

FREE World Wetlands Day: Moon Rise Walk. Walk & watch the moon rise over the Mayacama Mountains. Donations appreciated. 4:30–6 p.m. Laguna Uplands. 6700 Palm Ave., Sebastopol. Reserve a spot: tinyurl. com/4vae5azk.

S.T.E.A.M. Room. Toys & materials for kids to explore science, technology, engineering, art & math. Free with museum admission. $8–$16. Infants

11 months & younger: free. Saturdays & Sundays. 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Children’s Museum of Sonoma County. 1835 W. Steele Ln., Santa Rosa. tinyurl. com/5n84tb3c

FREE African Music & Arts Village. Baba Shibambo leads a family-friendly, interactive program that introduces the cultural traditions of South Africa thru indigenous music & story-telling. 2–3 p.m. Rincon Valley Regional Library. 6959 Montecito Blvd., Santa Rosa.

Sunday 5

Celebrate Tu B’Shvat. Salad Spectacular buffet, healthy treats & drinks. 5 p.m. Chabad Jewish Center of Petaluma. 205 Keller St.

#101, Petaluma. Register: tinyurl. com/4wj2skx8

“Stayin’ Alive”—The Bee Gees Tribute. Canadian cast performs the largest production of the Bee Gees in the world. $37–$90. 3 p.m. (Pre-show discussion: 2 p.m.) Luther Burbank Center. 50 Mark West Springs Rd., Santa Rosa. Tickets: bddc56cw

Tuesday 7

Early Release Enrichment. For elementary school-aged children who have 1/2 days on Tuesdays & Wednesdays. Provides farm, nature & art-based experiences. Sliding scale: $10–$45. Tuesdays & Wednesdays. 12:30–4:30 p.m. Veronda-Falletti Ranch. 175 W. Sierra Ave., Cotati. Registration required: enrichmentprograms.

FREE Sonoma County Zine Club. Make a zine. Paper, glue sticks & scissors provided; bring own materials. Ages 12 & older. 6–7:30 p.m. Sebastopol Regional Library. 7140 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol. yeykbm7r

FREE Young Astronomers at the Library. Kids in grades 4–9 learn how to use telescope, meet other kids who are interested in space & receive a Young Astronomers membership button. 6–7 p.m. Rohnert Park–Cotati Library. 6250 Lynne Conde Way, Rohnert Park.

FREE Bilingual Family Storytime / Hora de cuentos bilingües para familias. Ages 0–6. Stories in

Spanish & English. Edades 0–5 años. Historias en español e inglés. Tuesdays. 10:30–11 a.m. Central Santa Rosa Library. 211 E St., Santa Rosa. Other libraries will host this event. See for branches/ times.

Wednesday 8

FREE Walk Through the Grades Tour. Take peek into Waldorf classrooms. Check out the campus & working biodynamic farm. Adults only. 9–11 a.m. Summerfield Waldorf School & Farm. 655 Willowside Rd., Santa Rosa. Register: tinyurl. com/2r77a3ba

After-School Arts & Wellness. For grades 1–5. Month-long exploration of basic cooking skills & making clay, fiber & print art. Sliding scale for 1 month of classes: $50–$150. Feb. 1, 8, 15 & 22. 3:30–5:30 p.m. Sonoma Community Center. 276 E. Napa St., Sonoma. Register: yc3y8hu6.

FREE Pokémon Club. New, beginner-friendly event for players in grades K–12 of the Pokémon trading card game. Snacks provided. 2–2:45 p.m. Cloverdale Regional Library. 401 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale. Other libraries will host this event. See events. for branches/times.

FREE After School Hang Out. Grades 6–12 drop by to study, play games, or just chill with peers. Laptops & board games available. Wednesdays. 2–4 p.m. Windsor

30 SonomaFamilyLife February 2023

Library. 9291 Old Redwood Hwy. Bldg. 100, Windsor.

Thursday 9

FREE The Presentation School

Open House. Visit K–8 classrooms, meet faculty & connect with local preschool programs. 5–6 p.m. The Presentation School. 20872 Broadway, Sonoma.

Friday 10

A Little Night Music. Stephen Sondheim musical follows the lives of several mismatched couples in the early 1900s. Adults: $32–$36. Ages 17 & younger: $12. Thru Feb. 26. Thursdays–Saturdays: 7:30 p.m. Sundays: 2 p.m. Tickets: tinyurl. com/2mc64a7b

FREE Create Teen! Heart Wall Hanger. Teens in grades 7–12 use rope, yarn, felt & twine to create a colorful heart that can be hung anywhere. Snacks & materials provided. Fridays. 4:30 p.m. Roseland Regional Library. 470 Sebastopol Rd., Santa Rosa.

Saturday 11

FREE Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival. Family-friendly activities, bubble show, archery, silent auction, food trucks, beer/wine. Supports educational programs for local students. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Lake Sonoma Visitors Center. 3266 Skaggs Spring Rd., Geyserville.

Dunham Crab Feed. Silent & live auctions. $60. Drink tickets: $1. Limited seating. Proceeds benefit Dunham School. Cocktails: 5:30 p.m. Dinner: 6:30 p.m. Hermann Sons Hall. 860 Western Ave., Petaluma. tinyurl. com/yavh8krx.

En Garde Fencing Valentine’s Date Night. Pizza, movie, nerf gun battle. Ages 7–12. $35. 5–9 p.m. En Garde Fencing. 917 Piner Rd., Suite D, Santa Rosa.

FREE Common Ground Meet-Up for Families with Special Needs. Fun play structure/jungle gym.

Arcade machines & noises will be turned off. 9–10:30 a.m. Sports City at Epicenter. 3215 Coffey Ln., Sana Rosa. Register: tinyurl. com/2kv4r8zm.

Sewing Creations. Geared for ages 4 & older. Sewing machines, embellishments & materials

S A T U R D A Y , M A R C H 1 1 , 2 0 2 3 1 0 : 0 0 A . M . T O 4 : 0 0 P . M . S O N O M A C O U N T Y F A I R G R O U N D S F R E E A D M I S S I O N | F R E E P A R K I N G
Spark wonder and curiosity for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math February 2023 SonomaFamilyLife 31

provided. Specialist will be on hand to support families. Free with museum admission ($8–$16; infants 11 months & younger, free). 1–3 p.m. Children’s Museum of Sonoma County. 1835 W. Steele Ln., Santa Rosa.

Second Saturday Cartoonist. Meet, watch & talk to John Hageman, co-creator of the comic series Charley & Humphrey, based on the iconic 60-year Bay Area puppet show. Cost included with museum admission ($5–$12; ages 3 & younger, free). 1–3 p.m. Charles M. Schulz Museum.




Snacks, Photo Booth, DJ & Dancing Register at

There will be appetizers, music, dancing, games, and sweet memories that will last forever. We will also have some fun activities and a royal guest (or two) to meet and take pictures with!

Don’t miss out on this special opportunity for you and your daughter!

2301 Hardies Ln., Santa Rosa.

New Century Chamber Orchestra. Performance of Haydn’s La Passione Symphony, Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Major & Franz Schubert & Lili Boulanger songs. Featuring the San Francisco Girls Chorus, violinist Daniel Hope & mezzo soprano Nikola Printz. $35–$95. 7:30 p.m. Green Music Center. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park Tickets:

Sebastopol Rotary Crab Feed. All-you-can-eat crab plus clam chowder, dessert & wine. Two sittings: 5 & 7 p.m. (Bar opens: 4 p.m.)

Holy Ghost Hall. 7960 Mill Station Rd., Sebastopol. Tickets: tinyurl. com/4tzszpx9

Public Star Party. Astronomical topics & telescopes are open for viewing. $5–$15; 5 & younger, free. Parking: $10. 7–10 p.m. Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. Robert Ferguson Observatory. 2605 Adobe Canyon Rd., Kenwood.

Science Saturdays: Seed Balls. Kids ages 6–12 learn about the difference between native & non-native plants & the benefits that native plant gardens provide for local wildlife. $10–$12. Parking: $7. Second Saturday of each month. Two sessions: 11 a.m.–noon & 1–2 p.m. Spring Lake Regional Park. Environmental Discovery Center. 393 Violetti Rd., Santa Rosa. Register: mryate5d or

Wonder Trees of Fort Ross Tour. Tour Fort Ross Park trees, including the historic cherry trees & enormous eucalyptus that hold the record for California’s largest. $8. Kids 10 &

New Vintage Church
Ave., Santa Rosa
545-7344 •
32 SonomaFamilyLife February 2023

younger: free. Parking: $10. 1–2:30 p.m. Fort Ross State Historic Park. 19005 Coast Hwy. 1, Jenner. (Meeting place: Visitor Center).

FREE Stories with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. All ages welcome. 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Guerneville Regional Library. 14107 Armstrong Woods Rd., Guerneville.

Kids Night Out. Drop off kids ages 5–12 for a night of games, pizza dinner, movie & more. Staffed by trained & experienced City Staff. $40. 5–9 p.m. City of Cotati. Thomas Page Room. 216 East School St., Cotati. Register:

Juke Joint Jukebox. A celebration of the history of African-American music & culture. Music from 1920s–1960s.

$25. 6 p.m. Spreckels Performing Arts Center. 5409 Snyder Ln., Rohnert Park.

Sunday 12

FREE Valentine’s Day Crafts & Cupcakes. Ages 0–5 & grades K–12. 2–3 p.m. Sonoma Valley Regional Library. 755 W. Napa St., Sonoma. Register everyone in party (children, teens & adults):

Wednesday 15

FREE Shadow & Walk-Through High School Tour. Prospective students shadow for the day while parents tour the school. 8–9:30 a.m. Summerfield Waldorf School & Farm. 655 Willowside Rd., Santa Rosa. Register: admissions.

Queer Art Club for Teens. Ages 10–17. Safe & inclusive space. Demo from a professional artist & all the materials needed to make the project. Suggested donation: $5-$25 (upon arrival). Held third Wednesday of the month. 6–8 p.m. Sonoma Community Center. 276 E. Napa St., Sonoma. queer-art-club

Thursday 16

FREE Korean Culture & Lotus Lantern Workshop. For all ages. The craft is suitable for ages 10 & older; kids younger than 10 should be accompanied & helped by adults. 4-5:30 p.m. Petaluma Regional Library. 100 Fairgrounds Dr., Petaluma. Register: kruaexcn. Other libraries will host

www.YoungActors.Studio @ THE CALIFORNIA THEATRE 528 7th Stteet, Santa rosa, Ca 95401 PERFORMS MAY 19 - 21 AUDITIONS Mar 14, 4-6pm Mar 21 5:30-7pm For youth grades 4-12 all students who register & audition will be cast in the show. Check website for rehearsals SPRING CLASSES PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITY FEB 18 - MAR 29 • Acting for Stage & Screen grades 2-5 • Advanced Acting grades 6-7 • Sing Broadway grades 6-7 • Advanced Acting grades 8-12 18 - MAR 29 • Acting for Stage & Screen grades 2-5 • Advanced Acting grades 6-7 • Sing Broadway grades 6-7 • Advanced Acting grades 8-12 @ THE CALIFORNIA THEATRE 528 7TH STREET, SANTA ROSA, CA 95401 February 2023 SonomaFamilyLife 33

this event. See events.sonomalibrary. org for branches/times.

Friday 17

Cloverdale Citrus Fair. $5–$10. Ages 5 & younger: free. $29 unlimited rides for one day. Feb. 17–20. Cloverdale Citrus Fair. 1 Citrus Fair Dr., Cloverdale.

FREE Intro to Self Defense for Teens. Grades 7–12. Lucibel Nunez teaches basic skills for protecting yourself in real-life situations.

3–4:30 p.m. Healdsburg Library. 139 Piper St., Healdsburg. tinyurl. com/4p6hp3kk . Other libraries will host this event. See events. for branches/ times.

Saturday 18

Chicago the Tribute. Musical tribute featuring the legendary sounds of the original band. $25. COVID vaccinations & high-quality facemasks are recommended but not required.

7:30 p.m. Raven Performing Arts Theater. 115 North St., Healdsburg.

Tuesday 21

FREE Seeds & Reads: Mushroom Models. Kids in grades K–6 learn about local fungi & make clay mushroom model. 4–5 p.m. Petaluma Regional Library. 100 Fairgrounds Dr., Petaluma. tinyurl. com/nhmyaf95. Other libraries will hold this event. See bdfjw94p for dates & times.

The Sonoma State Symphony Orchestra presents

Family Concert: Invitation to the Dance

Featuring music by composers including Tchaikovsky, Price, Elizondo, Bartok, and others based on dance rhythms from around the world.

Sunday, February 26 | 2pm

Weill Hall | Green Music Center

Wednesday 22

Homeschool Day: Into the Wild. Explore pollination with cheese powder, create chlorophyll paintings & make a bug catcher. Plus ice-skating at Snoopy’s Home Ice. Youth admission: $10 without skating or $17 with skating; on February 18, prices increase to $12 & $19. Youth cannot attend without an adult chaperone. Adults & children younger than 3 who do not plan to skate: free. Adults who do plan to ice skate: $7. 10 a.m.–noon. Charles M. Schulz Museum. 2301 Hardies Ln., Santa Rosa. Register: homeschool-into-the-wild

Regular Admission: $12 Tickets for children are just $5! Get Tickets: | 707.664.4246 Free Parking
34 SonomaFamilyLife February 2023

Thursday 23

Petaluma Carnival. Rides, games, kid’s activities, food trucks & more. Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds. 100 Fairgrounds Dr., Petaluma. Feb. 23–26. Feb. 23: 5–10 p.m. Feb. 24: 5–10:30 p.m. Feb. 25: noon–10:30 p.m. Feb. 26: noon–10 p.m.

Friday 24

Common Ground Dads Meet-Up. For dads of disabled or special needs children. 7–10 p.m. Jaded Toad BBQ & Grill. 500 E. Cotati Ave., Cotati. Register:

Bobby McFerrin & Motion: Circle Songs. Featuring special guests Love Choir & Analy High School Chamber Singers. $45–$75. Ages 5 & younger sitting on lap: free. Feb. 24 & 25. 7 p.m. Sebastopol Community Cultural Center. 390 Morris St., Sebastopol. Tickets:

FREE Pride Book Club for Teens. Grades 9–12. Discuss books & other media that showcase queer voices & experiences. Sponsored by Sonoma County Library. Drop-ins welcome. 4–5 p.m. Sebastopol Regional Library. 7140 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol. Register:

Saturday 25

Kids Night at the Museum. Drop your kids off for after-hours fun, including a pizza dinner, games, crafts & cartooning. Recommended for ages 5–10. $40/per child. 5:30–9 p.m. Charles M. Schulz Museum. 2301 Hardies Ln., Santa Rosa. Registration required: kids-night-at-the-museum-feb.

Yamato The Drummers of Japan. $25–$85. 7:30 p.m. Green Music

For Info For a better us ® Find Your Y at: Sonoma County Family YMCA For more info - Majestic forests. Sunny Days. Star-filled nights Welcome to Overnight Camp at Ravencliff, where kids thrive in a safe, caring supportive community and learning is by experience. Campers gain independence, make new friends, build resilience and learn to try new things. Sessions - July 9-18 & 16-23 for Grades 4-9 & 10-12 February 2023 SonomaFamilyLife 35

Center. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. Tickets: yamato.

Annual Chili Bowl Event. A variety of chili prepared by local chefs. Proceeds benefit Community Center programs. $35–$65. Three sittings: 11 a.m., 2 p.m. & 5 p.m. To-go tickets also available. Sonoma Community Center. 276 E. Napa St., Sonoma. Tickets:

Masons All-You-Can-Eat Crab Feed. Adults: $65. Ages 6–12: $32.50. 5 & younger: free. Sebastopol Masonic Center. 373 N. Main St., Sebastopol. Two sittings: 5:30 & 7 p.m. Tickets:

YMCA Crab Feed. Dinner & dancing. Silent & live auction & raffle. $70 (includes 2 drink tickets). Benefits

Jackson Elementary & YMCA. 5–9 p.m. Friedman Center. 4676 Mayette Ave., Santa Rosa. Tickets: special-events

FREE Cultivating Queer & Trans Community. LGBTQ2IA+ people to come together & explore the natural world while building relationships of support. Parking: $7. 1–3 p.m. Spring Lake Regional Park. 393 Violetti Rd., Santa Rosa. (Meeting place: Violetti entrance, swimming lagoon restrooms.)

FREE History & Tradition of Afro-Peruvian Cajón Drumming Workshop. Presented by Juan de Dios Soto, musical director of Jaranon y Bochinche dance performance company. All ages welcome. 11 a.m.–noon. Northwest Santa Rosa Library.

150 Coddingtown Center, Santa Rosa.

Fairy Tale Ball. Dance party for ages 4–12 & their chaperones. $40 per adult/child couple. Additional adult chaperone: $15. Sign up early as this event sells-out. 4–6:30 p.m. Finley Community Center. 2060 W. College Ave., Santa Rosa. Pre-sale tickets only:

Sunday 26

Family Concert: Invitation to Dance. Sonoma State Symphony Orchestra & Santa Rosa Dance Theater youth program of toe-tapping music by Tchaikovsky, Price, Elizondo & Bartok. $12. Visiting students 17 & younger: $5. 2 p.m. Green Music Center. 1801 E. Cotati Ln., Rohnert Park.

The YMCA Preschool provides your child with high-quality, age-appropriate activities and enjoyable experiences. Personal attention, rich sensory experiences, and a generous supply of giggles! 707 308-3043 • 2590 Piner Rd. Santa Rosa Part-Time/Full-Time Care Flexible Plans Available Serving Infant–5 Years
Middle School should be their time to thrive, not just survive February 2023 SonomaFamilyLife 37
Give them a safe, nurturing place to learn

Toddler Focus Groups

It’s time to improve our parenting! What better way than to ask a focus group of toddlers for suggestions.

Cindy, age 4 Yeah, I just think that he came off as a complete poopy-head. Like, the other parents just seemed a lot more put together. I guess I’m saying that presentation matters, and when you have kid boogers on your shirtsleeve, that is not a style that says “winner.”

Dakota, age 3 Do you even know what the term organic means? Your Cheeto fingers would suggest that would be a no. Then I’m served hotdogs and there is no macaroni. What kind of Mickey Mouse operation is this? And were those off-brand hotdogs? At least have them locally sourced. I’ve had better meals from

Kids’ Reviews of Moms & Dads

the dog bowl. If you want anyone to buy into your parenting, go vegan or go home. I’m going to call my Senator.

Jayden, age 4 First off, Cindy stole my juice box. Not to make a big deal of it, but it happened. Now let’s talk bedtime. Look, I know things are busy, but if you skimp on the details that doesn’t fill me with a whole lot of confidence. I’m supposed to get two stories, a glass of water, and a half-hour of you begging before I go to bed.

Aiden, age 2 Are you going to eat that? What about that? How about that? Why is the sky blue? Did you know I can make sounds with my lips? I farted but it wasn’t a fart. Cindy stole my juice box.

Brayden, age 3 So, let me get this straight. That was an organized playgroup? Did the parent even try? I left without even a gift bag. Who does that?

Nevaeh, age 4 My mom makes hearts out of my sandwiches. My mom wakes me each morning with the sounds of birds playing flutes. My mom sings every chorus of Encanto while completely in character. My mom does goat yoga with me at the vineyard. You are certainly not my mom.

Hunter, age 2 Where’s the diaper bag? That thing looks like a hobo rag on a stick, which perfectly sums up my entire experience with your parenting. Cargo-short pockets are not an optimal place to keep my keepsake snot rags and half-eaten goldfish. I would expect more of a commitment to my overall emotional health. If you are not willing to keep everything that I’ve slobbered on and pretend its God’s gift to this Earth, I don’t think you will make it very far. Does the government know that you have children?

Felicity, age 3 I don’t think this parent should volunteer at daycare anymore. The songs he chose to sing were embarrassing. And he can’t color. His coloring was barely inside the lines, and the color coordination was all wrong. Is he a parenting intern?

Tim, age 4 I told on Cindy for stealing my juice box. Oh, this guy’s parenting? He’s cool. ❖

Shannon Carpenter is a professional humorist, co-host of The DadHouse Pod, and the author of The Ultimate Stay-at-Home Dad Manual (Penguin, 2021).

Humor Break
38 SonomaFamilyLife February 2023

Send in the Clowns

The summer night “smiles” three times: on youth, on fools, and on elders. Such is the premise of A Little Night Music. Based on Ingmar Bergman’s 1955 film, Smiles of a Summer Night, the Stephen Sondheim musical follows the lives of several mismatched couples in the early 1900s. It’s most famous song is “Send in the Clowns,” which Judy Collins and Barbra Streisand both recorded and turned into pop hits. The production will come to the stage of Spreckels Performing Arts Center in Rohnert Park, Thursdays through Sundays, February 10–26. Shows will be held at 7:30 p.m., except for Sundays, when they will be at 2 p.m. Tickets are $32–$36 for adults or $12 for ages 17 and younger, and may be purchased at tinyurl. com/2s39a4y8

Create a Zine

Tiny handmade magazines, zines have been around since the 1930s, when they were mostly dedicated to the sci-fi genre. They became part of the punk scene in the 1970s and 1980s and then, in the 1990s, the feminist riot grrl movement. Today, thanks to the Internet, they are everywhere and about everything. The free Sonoma County Zine Club, held at the Sebastopol Regional Library in Sebastopol, gives participants the chance to make their own zines. The library provides paper, glue sticks, and scissors; zine-makers bring their own materials and tools, too. The club meets on the first Tuesday of the month and is open to ages 12 and older. The next gathering is on February 7, 6–7:30 p.m. See for more information and to register. For more about zine history, check out

A Little Night Music
Pizza, movie, nerf gun battle extravaganza. 7-12 years old. $35 Valentine’s Date Night Kids Night Out at En Garde Fencing February 11 • 5-9 pm 917 Piner Rd. Suite D, Santa Rosa (707) 596-3626 • En Garde Fencing WE LOVE TO DANCE AND YOU CAN TOO! The Keenan School works to bring the fun and joy of traditional Irish dance to all! From the age of 3 to the teen years, dancers of all levels of interest and experience have a place here. PLEASE CALL FOR COMPLIMENTARY CLASS LOVE TO DANCE? 326 Petaluma Blvd. North • (707) 479-1128 February 2023 SonomaFamilyLife 39
Sonoma County Zine Club