Baby proofing basics

August 6, 2007
Guest article by Lars Bergholdt, owner CradleRock Safety
“I have bought this toilet lock, but it doesn’t seem to fit!” – is a quite common remark from the first time parent, during our more than 400 in-home child safety consultations every year. We are very fortunate to meet so many parents that seriously want to keep their children safe at home, but at the same time have experienced many troubles finding not only products that fit, but also figuring out what exactly needs to be childproofed!

Before even buying a safety product it’s important to identify and prioritize the most important and common areas of safety concerns. There are some great organizations such as www.safekids.org, that collect nationwide accident information from emergency rooms and other sources and then compile all the numbers into detailed statistics. All of this information gives us a good idea of the types of accidents that occur, where they happen and the children’s ages at the time of these accidents.

Beauty and the Beast at Santa Rosa's 6th Street Playhouse

August 4, 2007
Beauty and the Beast at Santa Rosa's 6th Street PlayhouseDisney's musical tale comes to life when Santa Rosa's 6th Street Playhouse presents Beauty and the Beast this summer. This tale for the whole family features award-winning songs from the Disney film and Broadway production. Directed by Holly Vinson. Performances will take place from August 10 through September 9, 2007, at 8 pm on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and 2 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

6th Street Playhouse is located at 52 West 6th Street in Santa Rosa, in historic Railroad Square. Tickets range from $14 to $30. For more information and tickets visit www.6thstreetplayhouse.com.

Cooking with Your Kids: Quick and Healthy Pita Pizzas

August 3, 2007
mini pita pizzasMini pizza made with a pita bread base probably isn't the most original recipe on the planet, but I thought I'd share it anyhow, since it was quick, easy, inexpensive and everyone loved it! Best of all, it's simple and fun enough where you can get the kids involved in the kitchen helping to make their own lunch or dinner. My husband actually thought this one up, and made it with leftover pasta sauce and string cheese, but here's my slightly more refined version:

  • 1 pita bread, whole wheat or plain
  • 2-3 tablesoons prepared pizza sauce (we usually use the jarred or refrigerated kind from Trader Joes)
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese or to taste
  • Toppings, such as olives, sliced mushrooms, bell peppers, shredded cooked chicken, broccoli, or whatever you happen to have on hand

Summer Series for Kids at Local Children’s Museums

July 30, 2007

Summer’s still here, and if you’re looking for fun and educational things to do with your kids during the month of August, then look no further than your local children’s museum. The Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito and the Habitot Children’s Museum in Berkeley are two of our favorites.

The Bay Area Discovery Museum offers a Special Summer Series that includes art, science and music workshops on Wednesdays at 2:00 pm for ages 4 and up.

August 1: Seaside Songs
August 8: Science by the Bay
August 15: Masterpieces, Summer Drawing Series
August 22: Prolific Puppetry

Cool Road Trip Activities

July 28, 2007
Magnetic Dress Up Doll from MudpuppyWe'll be gearing up for a summer road trip in a short time, and that means it's time to start looking for something to keep the kids occupied in the back seat. Looking out the window is only good for so long, and we're not going to get a car with a DVD player in it, so we have to look for other means to pass the time. One of our favorite lines of puzzles and games  comes from Mudpuppy by Galison. They produce a wide range of products inspired by artists, illustrators, and well known children's books, and they also happen to have what we think are some great road trip activities!

A Family Stroll along the Corte Madera Creek Path

July 27, 2007

I rediscovered a wonderful scenic walking path a few weeks ago that is perfect for the babies in strollers or for kids on foot or on a bike. The starts at Creek Park, which is right across from Marin General Hospital. Parking can be a little tricky, depending on the time of the day, but it’s worth the trip. As soon as you get out of your car, you can’t miss the spectacular view of Mount Tamalpais. The nice wide bike path is great for strollers, and follows Corte Madera Creek. The creek has lots of birds, like egrets, blue herons, and black-crested night herons, as an assortment of ducks swimming around in the water, so there’s some nature involved for children to see. The path leads to the College of Marin and on into Ross if you follow it far enough.

North Bay Shakespeare at Hamilton Amphitheater

July 25, 2007

Go get a dose of culture: this summer North Bay Shakespeare presents Twelfth Night at the Hamilton Amphitheater in Novato. Performances run from August 24–September 30. An outdoor production like this is the perfect way to introduce kids to theater. Kids Free Night is on Friday, August 31 (with every adult paying $24.00 admission two children under 16 are admitted free!), and there are reduced-price matinees on September 14 and 28. Order tickets online at www.nbshakes.org or call the box office at 415-868-1115. Performances take place at 7:00 pm on Fridays and 6:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. The theater opens early (5:00 on Saturdays and Sundays, 6:00 on Friday) for picnicing, so don't forget to pack your dinner to enjoy before the show.

FREE Family/Child Photography

July 24, 2007
FREE Family/Child Photography

Guest post by member jasminesmom. (Nice photo!)

I'm a new mother of a four month old and also a professional stock photographer. You can see some of my work at http://www.istock.com/tiburonstudios. You may have heard of TFCD (Time for CD)? This means no money is exchanged. You and/or your kid(s) model for me and I give you a CD of high resolution photographs from the session. The only 'catch' is that you get the CD in exchange for signed model releases for selling those images on Istock.com for use in brochures and web sites. Istock.com has controls in place to insure they will not be used negatively. Pictures of MY daughter are up there as well. Of course if you'd like to discuss payment for a session and NO stock usage that is fine as well. Let me know if you're interested or if you have any questions! (Just click on my name and "send private message" here or email me at **tweliky at stratesigns dot com**)

Have you added to your family through adoption?

July 24, 2007

Today we present a guest post about adoptive parenting by Marin Mommies member Darcy.

As an adoptive mother of identical twin toddlers who were born in China, I can attest that parenting through adoption presents its own set of unique challenges and opportunities. In our family, for example, there will always be unanswered questions about our daughters’ first two years, before they came home to us, and about their biological background.  We have had to endure countless insensitive comments from friends and strangers alike.  Mostly we enjoy sharing our family’s story but sometimes we do get tired of constantly having to educate others. 

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