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October 2021

Trickor-Treat Local festivities

Financial Literacy Kids & credit

Shots for Tots Vaccine tips Bullies Beware Protect kids




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October 2021

Every Issue 6

Dear Reader


Cooking with Kids Sweet Magic

10 Features 10 Homeschool Happiness The benefits of taking your child’s education into your own hands.

12 Shots for Tots How to help kids manage vaccination stress.

14 I Owe, I Owe Raising financially literate kids means teaching them about debt.


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16 Beware of Bullies Strategies for keeping your kids safe online.

18 Losing a Baby Nonprofit raises awareness about pregnancy-loss grief.

20 Trick-or-Treat Film Feast Great picks for an at-home Halloween.


Bits and Pieces Kits Make Saving Water Easier Go Outside and Read Smashing Pumpkins


Tech High Wins National Honor Rodeo Ruckus Day of the Dead, Windsor Style

22 Calendar of Events Local Halloween festivities.

26 Humor Break A Guide to the Terrible Twos


October 2021

Enjoy Cider Tasting in the Orchard RESERVE A TABLE Friday, Saturday & Sunday 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

We’re excited to welcome you to California’s first-ever Cider Tasting Orchard! Enjoy cider in its purest form, right where the apples grow and the cider is made, while you relax in the shade of 100-year-old apple trees. There’s fresh air, blue skies, and plenty of social distancing here for you.

707-205-1545 • (1/2 mile north of Gowan’s Oaktree) Highway 128, Philo

Dear Reader


all fun is here! Will you go out or stay in for Halloween this year? Either way, we’ve got you covered. Sharon Gowan For homebodies, Publisher/Editor “Trick-or-Treat Film Feast” (page 20) lists not-too-scary flicks for all ages; and for extraverts, our Calendar of Events (page 22) boasts a whole host of in-person festivities. Looking for treats to make with the kids? Check out “Sweet Magic” (page 7) for directions on how to whip up sliced caramel apples—with a nod to Hogwarts and Harry Potter.

Benioff Children’s Hospital’s tips for helping little ones manage the anxiety and discomfort of vaccinations.

Online threats, vaccine worries—yup, parenting is stressful. Mom-humorist Jessica Guerrieri is all about using laughter to get through the day. Turn to her “A Guide to the Terrible Twos” (page 26) for humor only a parent would understand.

Melissa Chianta

Ah, if only we could be in celebration mode all the time. But, unfortunately, life intervenes with its challenges. For instance, no one enjoys getting jabbed at the doctor’s office, especially kids. “Shots for Tots” (page 12) offers UCSF

Happy Halloween!

Alana Al-Hatlani Liz Anderson Jessica Guerrieri Tanni Haas Christina Katz Ann Lloyd Kerrie McLoughlin

Another parenting challenge? Cyber attacks on children. Gone are the days when kids only had to deal with bullies at school. Now they have to fend off ne’er-do-wells online, too. “Beware of Bullies” (page 16) lists ways parents can protect children from digital menaces.


Office Manager/ Business Marketing Patricia Ramos 707-205-1539

Features Editor

Production Manager Donna Bogener

Contributing Writers

Billing Jan Wasson-Smith

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




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October 2021

Cooking with Kids

Sweet Magic Halloween Treats for Potterheads

By Alana Al-Hatlani


aramel apples are an iconic fall treat, so it’s no wonder the students at the castle enjoy these around Halloween and during the Halloween feast (along with lots of candy, of course). This recipe is for caramel apple slices, which are much easier to eat than a whole, cumbersome caramel apple. Plus, they are extremely portable, which comes in handy when you suddenly have to evacuate dinner due to a troll in the dungeon! ¶

Caramel Apple Slices Yield: 2 servings Cook time: 10 minutes 1 green or red apple, cored, cut into 16 slices 16 caramel square candies or 1 cup chocolate chips 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream toppings of choice, like chocolate chips, sprinkles, or chopped nuts (optional)

Excerpted from The Unofficial Hogwarts Cookbook for Kids by Alana Al-Hatlani. Copyright © 2021 Ulysses Press. Reprinted with permission from Ulysses Press. New York, NY. All rights reserved.

16 toothpicks or lollipop sticks

Alana Al-Hatlani is a baker by morning and a food writer by night. Her writing has appeared in Saveur, the Eater, and the Independent. She started baking as soon as she could reach the counter with a step stool and hasn’t left the kitchen since. She holds a BA in journalism from New York University and a pastry degree from Seattle Culinary Academy. To see more of her baking or writing, go to

3. Melt in 30-second increments, stirring the mixture in between, until the caramels or chocolate chips are completely melted. Set aside.

1. Prep the apples by sticking one toothpick or lollipop stick into each slice. 2. Place the caramels or chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. If using caramels, add 1 tablespoon of heavy whipping cream. Use 2 different bowls if you want to dip your apples in caramel and chocolate.

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 5. Carefully, as the mixture will be hot, dip each slice halfway up in caramel and lay flat on the baking sheet to set. 6. Add the toppings, if using, while the caramel is still setting.

October 2021

SonomaFamilyLife 7

Bits & Pieces

Kits Make Saving Water Easier


t’s no secret that California is experiencing a drought. But how bad is it actually? According to, it can’t get much worse. Sonoma County is experiencing what is called Exceptional Drought, the worst level of drought possible. The bottom line: Saving water is a must. And the city of Santa Rosa would like to make the task easier with its free WaterSmart toolkits. Each kit contains such items as a high-efficiency showerhead and faucet aerator; toilet dye tablets (to test for leaks); and a self-closing garden hose nozzle. Santa Rosa residents may pick up the kits on October 9, 8 a.m.–noon, at the Youth Community Park and the Colgan Creek Park, both in Santa Rosa. For more information, go to events/525978898514681 or ¶

Go Outside and Read


uring these COVID days, outdoors is one of the safest places to hold a gathering. So the Healdsburg Regional Library is hosting its storytime in a park, specifically Giorgi Park in Healdsburg. There, on October 29, 10:30–11:30 a.m., Miss Charity will read to little ones and teach them songs and movement, too. To register, which is required, go to event/5582277. ¶

Smashing Pumpkins


Pumpkin Plop

ot some pent-up pandemic frustration? Maybe watching pumpkins explode will provide comic relief. If so, the Pumpkin Plop, in which staff from the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County throw pumpkins off a roof, might be just the ticket. The event is the most popular part of the museum’s annual Halloween celebration, Funtazmagoria. Onlookers won’t just watch the smashing of pumpkins but will also explore pumpkin guts, as well as make magic potions, and hang out in a Glow-in-the-Dark Studio and a Mad Scientist Lab. The event will be held on October 29, 1–8 p.m., at the museum, in Santa Rosa, and is $15. For more information, go to ¶

8 SonomaFamilyLife

October 2021

Tech High Wins National Honor


his year the US Department of Education’s National Blue Ribbon School Awards has nominated only four California high schools as Exemplary High Performing Schools—and the Technology High School in Rohnert Park is one of them. The prestigious Blue Ribbon program was created in 1982 to honor “great American schools,” according to the Department of Education’s website. Tech High is a college prep magnet school that focuses on technology, engineering, and math. Find out more about the school at ¶

Rodeo Ruckus

Russian River Rodeo


owboy hats, bucking bulls, and lots of “yee-haw”s. Yes, the Russian River Rodeo is coming to Guerneville, October 9–10. Besides bull riding, other events include team roping, breakaway roping, steer wrestling, and barrel racing. Gates open at noon and events start at 1 p.m., both days. Tickets are $5–$12 or $40 for two adults and up to six kids. Purchase tickets at ¶

Day of the Dead, Windsor Style


ince she was a little girl growing up in Mexico, Oaxaca-born artist Irma Rodriguez has been making alebrijes. A kind of Mexican folk art, alebrijes are brightly colored sculptures of fantastical creatures. As part of Windsor’s Día de los Muertos celebration, Rodgriguez will teach others how to make alebrijes-style picture frames. Her hands-on workshop, Ancestor Arts on the Green, will be held on October 2, 6–9 p.m., at the Windsor Town Green in Windsor. The $25 workshop fee includes materials; sign up at diademuertoswindsor. org/2021-events. The workshop is just part of Windsor’s Day of the Dead celebration. The Ofrendas on the Green exhibit, which runs October 2–November 1, will feature traditional altar-like displays of photos, favorite foods, drink, flowers, and mementos of departed loved ones. And, on October 30, 5:30–8:30 p.m., the Día de los Muertos Fiesta 2021 will feature a Low Rider Car Show, arts and crafts displays, face painting, and live performances by Luther Burbank Center’s Mariachi Ensemble and Ballet Folklorcio Jazmin. It’s free, and like all other Día de los Muertos events listed here, held at the Windsor Town Green in Windsor. For more information, go to ¶

October 2021

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and a week or so here and there? Are you a curriculum-loving person or do you like to create your own lessons? Or are you an unschooler, someone who just wants to go where your children’s interests take you? (Check out unit studies if this sounds like you.)

Don’t be surprised if you end up learning as much as your kids do.

Homeschool Happiness 11 Unique Benefits of At-Home Learning

By Kerrie McLoughlin


f you’re questioning whether homeschooling is the right choice for your family, check out some of these unique benefits and then see what you think. Of course you’ll have challenging days, but you’ll have a whole lot of fun alongside your kids, too.

1. Kids get more free time. If it seems like your child has endless hours of homework in addition to being in school 35 hours a week, free time is a big benefit of homeschooling. You can teach what is necessary and once your child “gets it,” you can move on to something else. Also, I doubt you are trying to keep 20-plus kids under control, which does take a lot of time for a teacher at school. 2. You can offer customized classes. You can provide an education comparable to that of a 10 SonomaFamilyLife

costly private school, even if you don’t have a college degree. When you homeschool, your children won’t be bored while the other kids in their class are learning things they already know, according to homeschooling dad Tom Kliethermes. Likewise, they won’t be frustrated trying to keep up with something they’re not ready for. 3. Teach your way. Do you want to homeschool lightly year-round? Or would it suit your family better to homeschool several hours a day for seven months, taking off the summer

4. Kids can follow their intellectual curiosity. Remember loving a certain subject in school and really getting into it, but when the bell rang, it was time to move on and get in a different frame of mind for a new subject? Homeschooled kids have time and freedom to pursue their passions, such as music, writing, acting, sports, and more. 5. Fit classes into your schedule. Forget about the vision of a homeschooling mom teaching her kids at the dining room table. Sometimes it’s Dad teaching English when he gets home from work and Mom teaching other basics in the morning, leaving the afternoon/early evening free for other activities. If Dad travels, the whole family can tag along. If Mom and kids are night owls, so be it. You can stay up late talking, reading, or watching educational shows. 6. There are many socialization opportunities. You won’t hear many homeschooled kids saying they can’t play with a kid who is younger or older than they are. Homeschooled kids have friends who are homeschooled, friends who are

October 2021

unschooled, friends who attend public school, and friends who attend private school. 7. Kids are more likely to stay healthy. Kliethermes says one benefit of homeschooling is that your child won’t be sitting at a desk six hours a day. As a result, your kids may be healthier because they are likely getting more regular exercise, more fresh air, more sleep, etc. Of course, during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is the obvious plus of decreasing kids’ exposure to large groups of people. 8. You learn, too! This one might be a little selfish, but don’t be surprised if you end up learning as much as your kids do—especially if you, like the rest of us, feel like

you’ve lost 90 percent of what you learned in school. Now that you don’t have that pressure to

Homeschooled kids have time and freedom to pursue their passions. memorize information and perform on a test, you might be more likely to soak up what you read, making it easier to teach your own kids in a relatable manner. 9. Vacations cost less. Another selfish benefit is that, since you can go on vacation anytime you want, you can travel off-season and get a cheaper rate. In addition, field trip venues like parks and museums are a lot less

October 2021

populated and crazy on weekdays than weekends. 10. Trickle-down learning really happens. Think about how much easier your younger children will be to teach after they’ve already heard your lessons for their older sibling(s). Learning truly does filter down in a homeschooling household. 11. There’s a lot of time to talk. “Quality family time,” says Jill Connors, mom of five, is a big homeschooling benefit. Meanwhile, Kliethermes says, “It’s easier to be my child’s moral guide.” Those random conversations and life questions can happen any time of day when you’re together for most of it. ¶ Kerrie McLoughlin, homeschooling writer mom of five, can be found at and would love to connect with you.

SonomaFamilyLife 11

younger than 6 months swaddled or with skin-to-skin contact. Have older kids sit on your lap. Teens may choose to sit on your lap, or next to you or alone. Let it be their choice. Offer age-appropriate distraction. You might want to bring a favorite book, toy, or stuffed animal along in case you have to wait, or for comfort after the shot. An LED changing-pattern spinner wand,

Shots for Tots Help Kids Cope with Getting Vaccines


ith COVID-19 vaccination eligibility expanding to include younger children, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals sat down with pediatric pain and palliative medicine specialist Stefan J. Friedrichsdorf, MD, to learn tips and tricks for soothing kids’ pain and anxiety when it’s their turn to be vaccinated. Facts about Immunizations

• Immunizations save lives. • One in four adults in the United States is afraid of needle pokes. • Needle fear is one of the main reasons children don’t get their shots. Vaccination Tips for Parents Pick up numbing cream. Apply 4% lidocaine cream at least 30 minutes before your child’s vaccination. You can buy it over the counter in drugstores, at pharmacies, or online. Check with your doctor’s 12 SonomaFamilyLife

Don’t say “I’m sorry” or “It’ll be over soon.” office to find out the exact location of the shot (usually the upper leg for babies under 12 months, and the upper arm for children age 1 and older). Apply the cream to an area of skin about the size of a quarter, and then cover it with a transparent film dressing (sold at drugstores) or plastic wrap. Position kids for comfort. Do not hold your child down. Hold babies

Needle fear is one of the main reasons children don’t get their shots. pinwheels, and picture books can distract the youngest kids, and apps or books may appeal to older ones. Don’t say, “I’m sorry” or “It’ll be over soon.” Instead, use humor and distract with light conversation. During and after the shot. For babies under age 1, breastfeed or give them a few drops of sugar water (24% sucrose) during the vaccination. For kids of all ages, create a positive memory by praising them right after the shot, and again at home. Tell them how well they did, and how it only “bothered” them for a very short time (if it did). This helps them create a positive memory and be less afraid next time. Very young children won’t understand the words, but they’ll sense your encouragement. ¶ Reprinted with permission from UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital,

October 2021



Join us for a Kindergarten Sneak Peek Tour for families and their prospective students to attend a portion of the kindergarten day.

LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUTH VACCINES Clinics hosted in partnership between County of Sonoma, Sonoma County Office of Education, and local school districts

OCT 26 NOV 16 DEC 14 JAN 18 FEB 8 8:00–10:00AM


Learn more at

Parents, guardians, and youth interested to learn more about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine are encouraged to visit our website

COVID-19 vaccine clinics are currently available at school sites around Sonoma County for students age 12+ and their families



Turn the water off while you: • Brush your teeth • Wash your hands • Shave

October 2021

SonomaFamilyLife 13

Credit allows you to get the item you’re purchasing before you pay for it, removing the immediate incentive to make your payment. That’s why it’s important to teach your child that credit is an asset, and you should be just as protective of it as you are with your cash.

I Owe, I Owe How to Teach Your Kids About Debt

By Ann Lloyd


hen you’re young, you think you’re invincible, and that can apply to money, too. After all, teenagers don’t have many real-world expenses, so they can buy what they want. When it comes to what they need, parents have that covered.

But when you’re the parents, you know better. You know that the most important thing to buy won’t be the latest video game or a fresh pair of Nikes. You’ll have to save up for a house, a car, or an emergency. You can’t pay for things like that with an allowance, so you’ll need to save up instead. And if you spend too much on impulsive purchases now, you won’t have money for those major investments down the road. Worse, you could put yourself so far in a hole with debt that you struggle to pay it back and hurt your credit for the long term. 14 SonomaFamilyLife

Teach your child to stay out of debt by saving for items in advance. As a parent, you never want your kids to make the same mistakes you may have made. Here are a few good ways to teach your kids about debt. Teach them what credit is… and what it isn’t. Put simply, credit gives you a way to purchase something you want or need now, and pay for it later. To a child, teen, or young adult, credit can seem like “free money.”

Consider funding a purchase and allowing your kids to pay you back over time. It may help to explain how, in the “old days,” customers would do the opposite in order to afford items they couldn’t pay for right away. They’d make payments over time, but they wouldn’t get what they were buying until after they’d paid in full. It’s called layaway: a method you can use to reserve something you know you want and can pick up when you’ve paid for it. Since you don’t have it yet, you have an obvious incentive to keep up your payments. Teach your child to stay out of debt by saving for items in advance. Help them set up a layaway plan for large purchases by breaking down the cost of the item into a certain number of payments over a specific period of time. Help them set up a savings account where they can deposit their funds each week or month until they reach their goal. Then, when they reach their goal, celebrate with them. Let them know why you need credit. Credit can sound pretty dangerous, given the temptation to use it the wrong way and how easy it is to fall into debt. So your kids may

October 2021

not understand why you would even bother using credit at all. Why not just pay for everything upfront? Make sure they know that there will almost certainly be times when you can’t, and that’s okay.

pay you back over time. Set up a payment schedule, establish late fees, and talk about the consequences if they don’t hold up their end of

To a child, teen, or young adult, credit can seem like “free money.”

Most people don’t have enough money to pay for a house or car in full, so you need good credit to qualify for a loan. Plus, some landlords and employers look at your credit history to find out whether you’re dependable, so it’s important to be in good standing.

the bargain. Will you repossess the item? Will you be likely to lend to them again?

Teach your child the difference between “good debt” and “bad debt,” and make sure they know that paying your bills on time is an important part of building good credit. To do this, consider funding a purchase and allowing them to

Tell them how interest rates work. Establishing good credit when you’re young can help you save money on things you have to pay for over time by helping you get the best interest rates. For that reason, it’s a good idea to teach your kids how interest works.



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Explain that interest can work both ways: You can earn interest through a savings account or investments, and you usually pay interest on money you’ve borrowed. Whether you pay a little or a lot depends on your credit history. For instance, if you’re looking to buy a home, and you have excellent credit, you’ll pay thousands—or even tens of thousands—of dollars less over the course of a 30-year mortgage than you would if you had ordinary credit.

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SonomaFamilyLife 15

often try to hide the fact that they’re cyberbullied, ensure them ahead of time that they can always come to you with any problem, no matter how big or small. It’s very important, say Sameer Hinduja, PhD, and Justin Patchin, PhD, of the Cyberbullying Research Center, to “cultivate and

Beware of Protect Your Kids Bullies from Cyber Attacks O By Tanni Haas

ne of parents’ greatest fears is that their kids will become the victims of cyberbullying. And they have the fear for good reason: Research shows that almost half of all middle and high school students are cyberbullied at some point. If that’s the case, what can you do to protect your kids?

First, monitor your kids’ online behavior on a regular basis and pay close attention to which sites they’re on, whom they interact with, and the nature of their interactions. As Sarah Brown, an expert on children’s use of technology, says, “Being familiar with their online world is the best way for you to notice if something is wrong.” Research shows that parents who don’t monitor their kids’ online behavior are more likely to be unaware that their kids are being cyberbullied. There are 16 SonomaFamilyLife

many ways to monitor what your kids are doing online, including setting up their online accounts together with them so that you know their usernames and passwords, creating Google Alerts with your kids’ names, installing monitoring software on their devices, and requiring them to allow you to “friend” or “follow” them online. If you notice any interactions that could be cause for alarm, speak to your kids right away. Since kids

A good rule of thumb is to say and do online only what you would say and do face-to-face to someone. maintain open, candid lines of communication with your children, so that they’re ready and willing to come to you whenever they experience something unpleasant or distressing in cyberspace.” Ensure your kids ahead of time that you won’t ban them from going online if they come to you for help. As Michael Nuccitelli, PsyD, a well-known child psychologist and expert on cyberbullying, says, consistently remind your kids that “they’ll not lose their online privileges, interactive online gaming time, mobile devices, or social network site privileges due to cyberbullying issues, provided they are open, honest, and forthright.” Try not to overreact to situations, as this will make your kids think that you’ll overreact if they tell you about being cyberbullied. When you speak to your kids about their online activities, encourage them not to respond in kind to wannabe cyberbullies—responding will only exacerbate the problem. Tara Fishler, a prominent expert on mediation and conflict resolution, says, “responding

October 2021

lets the bully know they affected you. Not posting a response gives you some control so you are not sucked into their harmful activities.” Instead, help block any wannabe cyberbullies from reaching your kids. As part of your regular conversations with your kids, teach them safe online habits. This includes such basic online security measures as never revealing identifying, personal information such as their home addresses, phone numbers, and where they go to school; not sharing their usernames and passwords with others; not leaving online accounts accessible and vulnerable on public devices; and never opening messages and links from people they don’t already know. Your kids should also learn to select appropriate privacy settings on their

online accounts, so that they only accept friends or follow requests from people they personally know, and allow posts to be broadcast only to

Kids should also learn to select appropriate privacy settings on their online accounts. their circle of friends or followers. As Brown puts it, “Limiting online exposure helps keep the bullies at bay.” More generally, teach your kids to think carefully before they post anything online. They need to understand the potential repercussions from anything they post, including how certain posts could be used maliciously. A good rule of thumb

is to say and do online only what you would say and do face-to-face to someone. Your kids should understand that as soon as they post something, it’s out of their control. Their posts can be forwarded without their knowledge or consent. Ruth Carter, a lawyer who specializes in social media and Internet law, says, “Kids should be taught early and often that they have no idea when a post will take on a life of its own and go places they can’t control.” A stricter but no less useful approach would be to establish actual rules for your kids’ online activities: Decide which sites they’re allowed to access, for how long, and what they are permitted to do on those sites. ¶ Tanni Haas, PhD, is a college communications professor.



Sonoma County Family YMCA REGISTER

LOCAL for 30 years

#1 local resource for local families magazine • web • email

YMTODAY CA Yofor uth REGISTER Y SPORTS! S p o r t s … . YMTODAY CA Yofor uth more SpYorSPORTS! tthan s…. just

about a score. more than just It’s teamwork, about a score. sportsmanship It’s teamwork, and developing sportsmanship healthy habits. and developing healthy habits.

Registration opens Sept. 20 Registration opens Sept. 20 Sonoma County Family YMCA 1 eguentAyvFeanm ueil,y SYRMCA707-545-9622  So1n1o1mCaoCllo 1111 College Avenue, SR 707-545-9622  October 2021

SonomaFamilyLife 17

In the middle of January I started bleeding heavily and went to the hospital. When the doctor came in to speak with me, he told me the words no mother ever wants to hear—for a third time. I had lost the baby. The heartbreak that you feel when they inform you of your loss is one that you will feel for a lifetime. In August of 2020 I got a positive pregnancy test and

Losing Local Nonprofit Offers Help for a Baby Grieving Parents By Liz Anderson


hen we talk about pregnancy, it’s often done in a certain light, one that softly shines on the excitement and joy that come along with expecting a baby. But for so many families, the beauty of pregnancy intersects with the experiences of trauma, grief, and loss.

Mother-Wise, a Lakeport-based nonprofit that supports mothers, wants to spotlight these experiences, especially during October, which is Pregnancy and Early Infant Loss Month. Our goal is to normalize the pregnancy and birth stories that include circumstances such as miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss. We see it as an opportunity for us to be more inclusive in how we talk about pregnancy, to bring light to the more difficult aspects of motherhood, and to honor the stories of families who have experienced loss. 18 SonomaFamilyLife

In our effort to support grieving moms, we asked Lake County parents to share their experiences with early infant loss. Here is Megan’s story: The first time I got pregnant I was 22, and I suffered a miscarriage. To say I was devastated is an understatement. I felt that I had failed my partner and myself. About a month later we conceived again with fraternal twins. This time I lost just one twin but had a normal healthy pregnancy with my oldest son. Around Christmas in 2019 I learned I was pregnant again. I was excited because my partner and I had been trying for two years for a baby.

Our goal is to normalize the pregnancy and birth stories that include circumstances such as miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss. went on to have a healthy pregnancy and delivered my second rainbow baby on Easter 2021. I am forever grateful for the two boys that I have. Stories like Megan’s are more common than we may realize. In fact, one in four pregnancies results in miscarriage. Parents are invited to share their own stories of infant loss on the Facebook page of Mother-Wise Lake County. In addition, the Global Wave of Light ceremony will be held on October 15 at 7 p.m. At this time, everyone is invited to light a candle and burn it for one hour, in remembrance of all the pregnancies and babies lost too soon. If you or someone you care about is struggling with pregnancy or early infant loss, or is facing mental health challenges related to the perinatal period, Mother-Wise can help. For more information, visit: facebook. com/motherwiselakecounty or ¶ Liz Anderson works for Mother-Wise Lake County in Lakeport.

October 2021


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October 2021

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Belle et la Bête by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont. Belle is a bookish girl who is not satisfied with life in her provincial French town, nor the advances of Gaston, her conceited suitor. She adores her eccentric inventor father, though, and unwittingly follows him into the clutches of a hideous beast, who teaches her, with a little help from his enchanted servants, how appearances can be deceiving.

Trick-or-Treat Film Feast 12 Not-Too-Scary Halloween Classics By Christina Katz


eeling haunted by the sugar surges of Halloweens past? Why not gather up your little brood of goblins for a sweet movie marathon sure to get you in the hallowed mood—no candy required.

Escape to Witch Mountain

(Rated G, ages 7+) They just don’t make Disney movies like this any longer. A brother and sister with curious psychic powers and a “star box” are the central focus of

For Linus, it’s not Halloween without the Great Pumpkin. unraveling this 1975 sci-fi mystery. Tia and Tony don’t know whom they can trust beyond each other, but thanks to an unlikely ally played by Eddie Albert, the orphans eventually reunite with their kin. The Wizard of Oz (Not rated,

These not-too-spooky flicks are a festive way to build up to a big night of “Trick or Treat!” without terrifying anyone in the family. The films range in appropriateness from toddler to teen, with age recommendations that should satisfy even the most cinema-selective parents. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (Not Rated, ages 4+) For

animated 1966 Charles Schulz cartoon accompanied by Vince Guaraldi piano music. Share the annual tradition with your kids so they can meet Charlie Brown, Lucy, Sally, Pigpen, Violet, Schroeder, and the whole gang. Remember, never jump into a pile of leaves with a wet sucker. And never miss an opportunity to introduce your kids to Peanuts.

Linus, it’s not Halloween without the Great Pumpkin. For some of the rest of us, it’s not Halloween without an

Beauty and the Beast (Rated G, ages 6+) This 1991 Disney tale is based on a fairy tale as old as time—La

20 SonomaFamilyLife

ages 8+) This masterful 1939 film may be scarier than you remember, making it the perfect Halloween family fare. When I was a kid, it was mean old Miss Gulch and what she was going to do to Toto, not to mention the sight of Dorothy’s house twirling in the tornado, that frightened me. Forget, lions and tigers and bears. Remember, flying monkeys and witches and Winkies? Fortunately, the darker aspects of the story are balanced out by lighter characters like Dorothy, Glinda, and Munchkins. It’s

October 2021

a one-of-a-kind heroine’s journey your family will want to watch again and again. ET (Rated PG, ages 8+) Science fiction is already a mysterious genre to many of us. The addition of a strange but sweet alien may up the fear factor for young children. Literal-minded thinkers may also need some coaching to appreciate this artful 1982 blockbuster film from Steven Spielberg. Compelling performances by movie

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They just don’t make Disney movies like this any longer. siblings Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, and Robert MacNaughton may even convince you to break out some Reese’s Pieces before the 31st. The Corpse Bride (Rated

PG, ages 9+) This 2005 film is stop-motion animation at its best. If your kids can handle the corpse bride’s eyeball popping out a few times, they will likely enjoy Tim Burton’s Goth gambol between two worlds. Johnny Depp is Victor, the indecisive bridegroom, trying to navigate the chasm between true love and good manners. A film that just might teach kids to commit more decisively to who and what they adore. Ghostbusters (Rated PG, ages 10+) Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, and Harold Ramis are not afraid of ghosts, and your kids won’t be either after watching this silly, slimy 1984 comedy caper. ¶ Christina Katz is a author, journalist, and writing coach.

October 2021

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October Monday 4

Calendar of Events

Wednesday 6

FREE Petaluma Mothers’ Club

FREE 10th Year Anniversary Open

Used Costume Drive. Donate

House at Family Justice Center.

any costume for ages 0–5 (and older) in good condition or better. Runs thru Oct. 15. Drop-off locations in west Petaluma: 417 Sheldon St., or 222 Simon Dr. East Petaluma: 912 Westbury Ct. or 1737 Brompton St. Museum Mondays for Little Ones: Sensory Sensation. Sensory play with a spooky twist. Make a googly-eye sensory bag, bubble-wrap paint a pumpkin & play in noodle sensory bins. Ages 1–5 & caregivers. Before 11 a.m.: $7 per child, free for up to 2 adults per child. After 11 a.m.: regular admission applies ($5–$12 or free for ages 3 & younger). 10 a.m.– noon. Charles M. Schulz Museum. 2301 Hardies Ln., Santa Rosa.

Tour the center, learn about its services & view survivor-made art. 3–6 p.m. Sonoma County Family Justice Center. 2755 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa.

Thursday 7 FREE Common Ground Online Support Group for Families with Special Needs. New Family Zoom Meet-Up for any family coping with a new life-changing diagnosis. 10–11:30 a.m. Get Zoom link at

Saturday 9 FREE Hotel Healdsburg Jazz Series.

Oct. 9: Lorca Hart Organ Trio. Oct. 16: Ruth Ahlers Trio. Oct. 23: Stephanie Ozer Trio. Oct. 30: Gypsy Trio. 5–8

Upcoming Autumn Events! Floating Pumpkin Patch Saturday, October 23rd Ridgway Swim Center

FREE WaterSmart Tool Kit. As part of the city of Santa Rosa’s Drought Drop By event, pick up free kit with water-saving devices, such as WaterSense showerheads & faucet aerators & self-closing garden hose nozzles. 8 a.m.–noon. Two Santa Rosa locations: Youth Community Park, 1701 Fulton Rd.; Colgan Creek Park, 2036 Bedford St. droughtdropby. FREE Cotati Music Festival.

Featuring the Soul Section, Spike Sikes & His Awesome Hotcakes & the Bluebyrds. Noon–4 p.m. La Plaza Park. 1 La Plaza St., Cotati. Skunk Train Pumpkin Express. Ride Skunk Train to a pumpkin patch & pick a pumpkin. $10.95–$52.95. Dogs: $10.95. Departing from Fort Bragg & Willits. Saturdays & Sundays. Thru Oct. 31. 100 W. Laurel St., Fort Bragg. 299 E. Commercial St., Willits. FREE Cornerstone Sonoma Summer Music Series. The Henry

Coopers play on Saturdays. 11 a.m.–3 p.m. 23570 Arnold Dr., Sonoma.

Sunday 10

Halloween at Howarth Saturday, October 23rd Howarth Memorial Park

Advanced registration required. Register at or call (707) 543-3737. 22 SonomaFamilyLife

p.m. Hotel Healdsburg. 25 Matheson St., Healdsburg.

FREE Live on the Lawn. Featuring music by the Bluebyrds & Fog Holler. Food vendors. Noon–4 p.m. Petaluma City Hall. 11 English St., Petaluma.

October 2021

FREE Cruisin’ Bear Republic. See

dozens of classic American cars & hot rods. Food, raffles & more. COVID-19 guidelines followed; masks required. Noon–3 p.m. Bear Republic Brewing Co. 5000 Roberts Lake Rd., Rohnert Park. Water Bark Dog Swim. Well-behaved dogs are invited to swim & romp on the beach. $9. Parking is $7 or free for Regional Parks members. Oct. 9–10 & 16–17. Two sessions: 9 a.m.–noon or noon–4 p.m. Spring Lake Regional Park. 393 Violetti Rd., Santa Rosa. Tickets: sonomacountyparks FREE Spring Hill Open Air Market.

Treats, crafts, body care products & more. No pets or smoking. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Live music: noon–3 p.m. 384 Spring Hill Rd., Petaluma.

Tuesday 12 FREE Common Ground Meet-Ups for Families with Special Needs.

Oct. 12: 3–5 p.m. Children’s Museum of Sonoma County, 1835 W. Steele Ln., Santa Rosa. Oct. 18, 4–6 p.m.: Pumpkin Patch Family Meet-Up at Pronzi Farms, 3795 Adobe Rd., Petaluma. RSVP for Pumpkin Patch:

Thursday 14 FREE Dental Care. As part of national Freedom Day USA, Petaluma Dental Group will offer free dental care to active military personnel, veterans & first responders. 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Petaluma Dental Group. 1301 Southpoint Blvd., Petaluma. Appointments: 762-0067.

Sunday 17 The Showdown. Sonoma-Marin

Fairgrounds benefit. Food, vendors, auction & kids’ activities. Featuring Trainwreck Junction band & other musicians. $10–$25. Ages 3 & younger: free. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Sonoma–Marin

October 2021

Fairgrounds. 175 Fairgrounds Dr., Petaluma.

Friday 22 Halloween Double Feature: The Addams Family & Scream. View

films inside your car; bring chairs to place next to your car; or walk-in with your own chair. $5–$35. COVID-19 guidelines followed. Masks required in restrooms. 6:45 p.m. Citrus Fairgrounds. 1 Citrus Fair Dr., Cloverdale. Ghostbusters Drive-In. $25 per

vehicle. 7 p.m. Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds. 175 Fairgrounds Dr., Petaluma. Advance tickets required. ghostbusters-drive-in-movie.

Saturday 23 FREE Paws in the Garden Fundraiser. Plants for sale. Raffle.

Leashed dogs welcome. 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Windsor Town Green. 701 McClelland Dr., Windsor.

SonomaFamilyLife 23



September 2020

FREE Early Childhood Virtual Open House. Meet teachers & learn

about Waldorf education. Live: 10 a.m. Recorded: 8 p.m. Summerfield Waldorf School & Farm. 655 Willowside Rd., Santa Rosa. Register:

Autism Aid

Find a Tutor Tips for

Routines work

Virtual Nana Kids connect

FREE Trunk-or-Treat. 6:30–8 p.m. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church (hall & parking lot). 4595 Snyder Ln., Rohnert Park. 585-3708.


Moms-to-Be Local COVID-19 advice



Floating Pumpkin Patch. Fetch

pumpkin in pool & then decorate it. Prizes. $10–$12. Ages 2 & younger: free. Must purchase tickets in advance. No tickets at door. 2 sessions: 2–3:30 p.m. & 3:45–5:15 p.m. Ridgway Swim Center. 455 Ridgway Ave., Santa Rosa. Register: (look under “Special Events”). Halloween at Howarth. Trick-or-treat

throughout the park. Train & carousel rides, face painting, photo booth, arts & crafts & more. Admission: $5. Rides: $2 (purchase at park). Costumes encouraged. 3 available sessions: 12:45 p.m., 1:30 p.m. & 2 p.m. Howarth Park. 630 Summerfield Rd., Santa Rosa. Register: (look under “Special Events”). Halloween Costume Party. Ages

4–10. Halloween dance, games, prizes, costume contest & more. $20 per child. COVID-19 guidelines followed. 4–6:30 p.m. W Dance Studio. 8465 Old Redwood Hwy., Ste. 623, Windsor. Registration required: studiowdance. FREE Charlotte’s Web. One-hour

virtual performance presented by TheaterWorksUSA. Runs all day, Oct. 23 & 24. tickets. 24 SonomaFamilyLife

Tuesday 26 FREE Kindergarten Sneak Peak Tour. Families & prospective students

attend a portion of the kindergarten day. 8–10 a.m. The Presentation School. 20872 Broadway, Sonoma. RSVP: (look under “Admissions”/“Visit Our School”), or call 935-0122, ext. 202.

Wednesday 27 Homeschool Day: Art & Creativity.

Experiment with solar cars, basic coding, building LED throwies, making paint & more. $10. Chaperones: free. 10 a.m.–noon. Ice skating at Snoopy’s Home Ice also available (additional $7): 12:30–2 p.m. Charles M. Schulz Museum. 2301 Hardies Ln., Santa Rosa. Registration required:

Friday 29 Studio W Dance Haunted House.

For ages 7 & older. $10. COVID-19 guidelines followed. 6–9 p.m. Studio W Dance. 8465 Old Redwood Hwy., Ste. 623, Windsor. Find ticket link on event page at Spooky Paddle. A late afternoon

kayak paddle offers info about nighttime critters. Ages 8 & up. $25–$27. Parking: $7 or free for Regional Parks members. Oct. 29 & 30: 4:30–6:30 p.m. Spring Lake. 393 Violetti Rd., Santa Rosa. Registration required: Funtazmagoria. Glow-in-the-Dark

Studio, Mad Scientist Lab, monster mash, pumpkin guts exploration, magic potions & Pumpkin Plop (staff drop pumpkins off the roof). $15. Oct. 29 & 30. 1–8 p.m. Children’s Museum

October 2021

of Sonoma County. 1835 W. Steele Ln., Santa Rosa.

Saturday 30 FREE Halloween Carnival with Día de los Muertos Celebration.

Live DJ, magician, costume contest, mazes, carnival games, community altars & more. Noon–5 p.m. Rohnert Park Community Center. 5401 Snyder Ln., Rohnert Park. rpcommunityservices. FREE Day of the Dead at the Park/ Día de los Muertos en el Parque.

Create a Day of the Dead–themed art project (supplies included). Bring a potluck dish. Se habla Español. 5:30–7:30 p.m. Andy’s Unity Park. 3399 Moorland Ave., Santa Rosa. facebook. com/andysparksr.

FREE Hallowluma Spooky Drive-Thru. Drive

through fairgrounds. Local businesses handing out goodies. All ages & costumes encouraged. Noon–3 p.m. Sonoma–Marin Fairgrounds. 175 Fairgrounds Dr., Petaluma. FREE Trick-or-Treat Farmers Market. Parade, music & trick-or-treating. 2–5 p.m. Walnut Park. Petaluma Blvd. S., Petaluma. FREE Virtual Día de los Muertos Workshop. Local

artist & altarista/ altar maker Maria Gonzalez-Blue instructs. Participants will paint sugar skulls & learn about the tradition & symbolism of creating altars in celebration of our dearly

“Where children learn to play and play to learn” Ages 2–5 years We are passionate about providing a supportive atmosphere of discovery, joy, and creativity where children learn about the world around them through social interaction and hands-on learning.

707-546-7330 2095 Franklin Ave • Santa Rosa license number: 490100275

departed. 1–2 p.m. To receive a free kit, register by October 22: events.

Sunday 31 Halloween Party. Dinner, stand-up comedy, dancing & costume contest. $40. Proceeds go to the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa East/West. 5–10 p.m. Sally Tomatoes. 1100 Valley House Dr., Rohnert Park. rotarysantarosawest/events. FREE Trick-or-Treat Cotati Candyland. The city of Cotati &

local businesses will hand out candy outside, following safety protocols. Registration not required. 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Downtown Cotati. cityofcotati.

SCHOOL BUS DRIVERS NEEDED! Now Accepting Applications

• Paid job training. • Part-time. • Health benefits. • CalPERS retirement. • Winter & Spring Breaks off. • Summers optional. • Paid sick leave, holidays, & vacations.


CALL NOW 707-206-9988 367 West Robles Avenue, Santa Rosa • October 2021

SonomaFamilyLife 25

Humor Break 6. If you say yes to something once, be aware that you’ll be setting an unwavering precedent. So think really carefully before telling your toddlers that they can peel their own hard-boiled eggs, pretend to drive, or borrow any article of clothing you actually need for yourself.

A Guide to the Hello Velcro, Terrible Twos Goodbye Sanity By Jessica Guerrieri


f you are new to the Terrible Twos, welcome. You’ll find information inside your Newcomer’s Packet. Here are the basics: Add 40 minutes of lag time to your exit strategy and an extra shot of espresso to your coffee order.

and the safety of all your Magnolia knickknacks.

Since this is my third time on the merry-go-round with a two-year-old, I have my own tips for getting through what I call the Toddler Independence/ Hostage Negotiations stage:

4. Never, and I mean never, give toddlers your cell phone. If you do, you’ll not only have to deal with the judgy-eyed ladies at Target who start conversations with phrases like “In my day...,” but also you will quickly lose social media followers due to the mysteriously posted pictures of the inside of your kids’ nostrils.

1. Find shoes that blind squirrels could put on and buy four pairs—one pair each for the front and back doors, one pair for the car, and another emergency pair for when, not if, all the other pairs get lost. 2. Don’t offer toddlers anything that shatters when thrown. Everything they handle should be the consistency of string cheese—for your safety 26 SonomaFamilyLife

3. Avoid purchasing any food with packaging that you yourself aren’t able to open—with your feet while blindfolded.

5. Make Velcro your new best friend. Do not purchase clothes with zippers or buttons, unless you enjoy spending the majority of the day standing in your front entryway and never actually leaving the house.

7. Go ahead and set up a home office inside your car. You’ll essentially live there as it’s no longer legal to allow kids to ride in laundry baskets, and car seat straps and buckles are scientifically designed to infuriate both adults and children. 8. When it comes to potty training, it’s funny how toddlers will always insist on pulling down their own pants, but the second it becomes an all-hands-on-deck-situation, like, say, when a carpet must be scrubbed free of pee, they show no interest in any version of being “helpful.” 9. Notes for outings: If you bring a stroller, they won’t sit in it. If your arms are full of groceries, they’ll want to be carried. If you offer them a hand, they will slap it away, wanting to walk on their own. 10. Trying to communicate with a two-year-old is like a completely unentertaining game of charades in which flailing and screaming “NO!” are considered clues. So if it seems like raising two-year-olds is twice as terribly hard as locating any of their four pairs of shoes, you are absolutely right. Just remember three is thrice as fun and, no matter how isolated you may feel in your car-home office, you are not alone. ¶ Jessica Guerrieri is a freelance writer. Find her at and on Instagram @witandspitup.

October 2021

Every Child deserves Support

We can help!

We offer the following services:

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

Call Today 866-901-3212 Sonoma County Child Support Services

3725 Westwind Blvd., Ste. 200, Santa Rosa, CA 95403


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 in all levels of interest and experience have a place here.

PLEASE CALL FOR COMPLIMENTARY CLASS 326 Petaluma Blvd. North • 542-1367

Lucky Plush



Theater of Dance


OCT. 23 • 4-6:30PM

hose who love theater and dance can dip into both worlds during a Lucky Plush performance. The Chicago-based dance-theater troupe, founded by Julia Rhoads, features choreographed socially relevant dialogue. Their latest show, Rink Life, which is inspired by the social dynamics and visual aesthetics of a 1970s roller skating rink, will come to the Green Music Center in Rohnert Park on October 23 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25–$75 and available at gmc.sonoma. edu/lucky-plush-productionsrink-life. Masks and proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test are required. ¶

$20 ENTRY • AGES 4-10

For tickets: Text or Call 707 292-4002

October 2021

SonomaFamilyLife 27

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