Archive for Family
I decided to do a little research for you since it is almost summer!
Marin Mommies (Marin, Bay Area)
Marin Twins (Marin, Bay Area)
Travel Is More Fun With Kids (Bay Area)
Bay Area Kid Fun (Bay Area)
Frisco Kids (Bay Area)
Fun things to do in Oakland (Oakland)
Explore Jack London Square (Oakland)
Visit a Farm (Petaluma)
Play with Stickers (Petaluma)
Bay Area Discovery Museum (Sausalito)
Red Tricycle (Bay Area)
Grape Juice Kids (Wine Country)
510 Families (Oakland, Berkeley, East Bay)
Hope this list helps! Please leave a comment below if you know of other fun things to do around the Bay Area.
It is not just mommies who have big hearts, we all have big hearts. Sometimes when parents have their first baby they wonder if they could ever love anything more than they love that little bundle of joy. Then when baby number 2 comes a long they discover their heart grows and makes room to love 2 beings with the same amount of enthusiasm. You could have 10 kids and love them all. The human heart and our capability to love is amazing.
I think we don’t always realize this kind of love is not reserved just for parents loving children. It goes both ways. If you are in a blended family your child or children are capable of loving more than just 1 or 2 parents. If a stepmom has entered the scene in to your child’s life, your child is capable of opening her heart and adding another mommy, just like you are capable of opening your heart and adding another child to the mix of people you love and call family.
This idea can be very threatening and is often what makes mother’s day a challenging day for children of blended families. Kids may feel that in order to prove their love for their mommy they have to not acknowledge their stepmom. This is hurtful to the stepmom and to the child.
Unfortunately, I have learned this lesson in hindsight. My kids grew up with 3 mothers, their biological mom (my partner), me and their stepom. The kid’s love all of us, just like we love all of them. I don’t love one kid more than an other. Maybe they don’t love one mom more than the other, maybe they do. But who are we to decide who the kids love most? Is it really a competition? I’ve got news for you, there is no prize at the end of parenting for being the best mom or stepmom.
Just because you adore your 15 year old does not mean you do not adore your 4 year old. It works the same with kids and stepparents vs. parents.
After much research for my book I’m beginning to believe that the relationship between a bio (or original) mom and a stepmom may be the hardest relationship out there to navigate. The silly thing is those 2 women love and care about the same exact people.
If you come from a blended family I challenge you this mother’s day to take a step back and try to make room for your kids to express their love to whoever has been blessed enough to find a space in their little (big) hearts.
Have you ever noticed when you walk in to a hotel room you feel an instant sense of relaxation?
One of the reasons is probably the lack of clutter in the room. The closet is empty, the drawers are empty and the only thing on the shelf is a lamp.
No overflowing closets and drawers.
No junk drawers!
No knick-knacks to dust.
What if a new tradition on Black Friday was to purge instead of shop?
What might you find in your kid’s overflowing closet that is so stuffed they can’t even close the door? Your kid might discover a new toy they forgot about which could keep them entertained this weekend.
Think about what you might find in your garage or attic… maybe hundreds of yards of holiday lights.
What about your closet? Dig far enough back and you may find an outfit you did not even remember you had that would be perfect for that upcoming holiday party.
What if we purged before we shopped? I am guessing we would save a whole lot of money. First we would not buy things we already had. Second we would realize how much stuff we actually have and may be a little more conscious about what we toss in to our cart.
Looking back at the years when our kids were younger what we remember now are the experiences we shared together over the holidays, things like ice skating at the Embarcadero in San Francisco, playing Volleyball on the beach in southern California, playing laser tag with the whole family, it is not the STUFF we remember.
When you do shop, please consider shopping at local, independently owned shops.
I have been spending a lot of time researching parenting for my book about other mothers. No matter what your parenting status is (married, single, straight, gay, adopted, foster, divorced, step, whatever…) there is one common theme: parenting teenagers is not easy.
I know when my kids were teeny bopper and pre-teen I thought all those other parents complaining about teenagers were just negative people who didn’t understand teens or maybe parents who spoiled their kids too much. I was sure our kids would be different. We had cool kids that were fun to be around and we were cool parents. I kept telling myself just because everyone else thinks teenagers are evil, challenging or horrible does not mean our teenagers will be like that, we have unique kids.
Well, one day reality hit. Almost over night the 3 kids turned in to teenagers. They went from being carefree fun loving teeny boppers to TEENAGERS. Their eyes started rolling at whatever we said, wore or did. They knew everything, we knew nothing. The bedroom doors started shutting the moment they walked in the door from school. Going out to dinner with us or to the movies was no longer fun. You get the idea. Teenagers are teenagers it’s how we react to them that matters. The way I reacted was to get my feelings hurt when hearing things like “um you are not actually going to wear that out in public are you?”. I went from being cool mom to clumsy dork overnight. Parenting teenagers can make you feel like you are in middle school all over again. Parenting teenagers pretty much forced me to grow up and grow some thick skin.
During some of the more challenging parental years I used to think to myself, “what happened? I thought I was the kid, these darn kids are forcing me to be the adult”. This party girl from high school suddenly found herself realizing friends of kids 7-11 Big Gulp cups were actually filled with Vodka and not soda. (Hint: parents if your teens have a bunch of friends over who seem to be innocently drinking soda or water, ask for a sip. Be prepared to choke on straight up Vodka.) And when finding Vodka having to poor it out (or make your partner do it), lecture the kids (ie. totally lose it) and become known as the un-cool parent.
Let’s just say it was not easy raising teenagers. Fortunately, I have made it to the other side. The youngest is almost 19 and getting ready to head off to college. The older 2 are already in college. Dare I say I enjoy their company now?
I read a lot of books on raising teenagers. The best advice I can give you if you are about to embark on this journey or are in the middle of it is to take it one day at a time and remember to breathe. You may want to consider praying too if that is not something you do regularly because teaching a kid how to drive is one of THE scariest things I ever did in my life! Parenting teenagers is a very humbling experience.
In the picture above are some of the books I read during the teen years. I’d like to share these books with you. If you’d like one please leave a comment below with the title and send me your mailing address with the title of the book. If you are in the US I will ship it to you at no charge. First come, first serve.
Books up for grabs:
- Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls
- How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk
- Teen Owner’s Manual
- Field Guide to The American Teenager
- Uncommon Sense for Parents with Teenagers
The only thing I ask for in return is a LIKE on Facebook.
One of my most popular blog posts is the one I wrote about cheap haircuts in Marin. It seems affordable haircuts are in high demand around here. Today Celia wanted to get her hair cut but when she called to make an appointment she found out her favorite hair dresser, Tere was no longer working at the usual place.
After a little detective work we found Tere was now working at Tabu Hair Salon in San Rafael.
Tabu Hair Salon is located in the little mall off of Francisco Blvd in San Rafael (behind City Carpets). I cannot believe in all the years I have lived in Marin County I have never been to this mall! It is located right on the water of The Canal and is full of a bunch of treasures like KabaBBQ serving Persian food, a Taqueria, a Vietnamese restaurant and a small Mexican grocery market (that sells Corona beer actually made in Mexico).
Celia was very happy to find Tere and get her hair cut. Tabu Hair Salon is a super fun place owned by Juliana and Omar.
There is an area for kids and adults to play! You can play pool while you wait for your $10 haircut.
Celia was very pleased with her $10 haircut.
I just met Omar and Juliana for the first time but it seems Omar specializes in artistic haircuts (see photo) and Juliana in colors and cuts. They have the coolest kid in town. Check out his hairdo!
Did I mention the standard haircuts are only $10?!
Tabu Hair Salon
555 Francisco Blvd, E
San Rafael, CA 94901
Mother’s Day is coming up. This is a tough one for me. Not as a daughter but as a mother. It is a day that I am reminded of how society often disregards the other mothers of the world. I am one of those other mothers.
The number 1 question every woman is asked is, “Do you have children?” You might think this is a simple yes or no answer; it is not. Many women “have” children but did not actually “have” them. It is a complicated question to answer. Some women struggle with how much of an answer to give, I know I did.
I raised 3 children. I changed their diapers, wiped their snotty noses, made their lunches, consoled their hurt feelings, drove the carpool, gave up my own dream of going to graduate school, stayed home from work with sick kids, lost my hair during their teenage years and many nights of sleep. I laughed, cried, enjoyed, loved and hated parenting. But, when someone asks me if I have children and I say yes, I feel like I am not telling the whole truth. I do have children, I have 3 but I did not birth these children, my partner did and we have raised them together with her ex-husband and his wife. If I tell people the whole story their response is often “oh, you are not the real mom.” Being labeled “not the real mom” made it so I was not allowed to ever complain about parenting or my kids because if I did other mothers would say, “it’s different when it is your kid, or you wouldn’t understand since they are not actually your kids”.
These comments from others often shut me down, hurt me and made me wonder if it was okay to say yes I have kids. These comments also isolated me from the “Mom’s club” I wanted and needed so badly to be in. The Mom’s club is any group of moms that becomes friends because of their kids, moms at the park, moms who have kids in the same class, etc. They hang out together while their kids are doing activities and provide support to each other, share their trials and tribulations of raising kids and learn from each other. I felt so alone as a mother. I felt ashamed wondering what the other mothers thought of me. I was young, I was a lesbian and I was the cause for my partner’s (the real mother) divorce. Looking back now that my kids are young adults I realize those worries of what the other mothers thought of me were all created in my own head. I never even gave a chance to those other mothers to get to know me. The few that I did allow in throughout the parenting years are some of my best friends now.
I wish I wouldn’t have wasted so much of my mommy years wondering if I was good enough and realized that the fact that I was raising someone else’s kids was BETTER than good enough. I was sacrificing and doing things for those little snotty nosed people that usually only a “real” mother would do. I should NOT have been ashamed, I should have been celebrated. But a mother’s job doesn’t usually come with a lot of praise, I understand this.
The more I have talked with women, the more I have learned that this feeling like an ”other mother” is a common feeling. Even the traditional type of mom often feels like she doesn’t fit in; she’s too young, too old, too fat, too poor, not cool enough, works, doesn’t work, whatever it is, she feels she doesn’t fit in and she isolates herself from the other mothers.
Being in my position, the other mom, not the “REAL” mom and not even the step-mom pretty much makes me the invisible mom when it comes to acknowledgement from society and community support.
I have an idea for a book I want to write about other mothers. I want to interview all the other mothers out there and share their stories. I imagine there are all sorts of women who could identify with being an other mother: lesbian moms, step-moms, adoptive moms, foster moms, divorced moms, single moms, teen moms, immigrant moms, aunts, grandmas and other relatives raising children that are not their own, moms whose husbands are in prison or the military, women who chose not to be moms or were not able to be and fathers who have taken on the more traditional mommy role are all people whom I’d like to interview and hear their stories. I’m sure there other ‘other mother’s who I have failed to mention here as well. I’ve been tossing this book idea around in my head for a while but now I’ve decided I am going to do it. If you are interested in sharing your story with me and being a part of this book please contact me to arrange for an interview.
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Looking for something fun to do this Sunday?
How about stopping by @TamHolland‘s Art Thing? Actually it’s called Under the Sun Flea Market but for some reason I can not remember that name so I keep calling it @TamHolland’s art thing. Tamara (aka @TamHolland on Twitter) makes cool stuff like…
Greeting cards. Luggage tags. Checkbook covers. Magnets. Business card holders. Collage goodie bags so you can make your own cool things.
Bean Up The Nose Art will be selling all sorts of goodies at the August “Under The Sun Flea Market” at Beach House Style on Sunday the 28th. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 779 Center Blvd. in Fairfax, CA.
The Marin Twitter Gang will be meeting up there sometime after 1pm so stop by and say hi. #TweetUp
All are welcome! Hope to see you!
Check it out! This event was even mentioned on the Sunset Magazine site!
Full disclaimer: @TamHolland sent me an absolutely beautiful bouquet of flowers today to thank me for inviting the tweeps to her art thing but I had plans to put this post up BEFORE the flowers came. It was actually on my list of things to do after work today list. It was such a wonderful surprise to come home and find this gorgeous bouquet of flowers waiting for me. Thanks Ms. Tamara! I love my Twitter friends!
Marin Mommies has created a great list of Easter egg hunts in Marin and the North Bay.
Check out this list for some hopping family fun in 2011!
And here is some Easter fun for the adults!
This comic makes me laugh every year.
It’s almost Valentine’s Day. Do you have plans?
My daughter who is single came up with a fun idea. Gather your closest single girlfriends, get all dressed up and go out to a fancy dinner and celebrate your freedom. I love it!
If you are in a relationship grab your honey and celebrate your love!
In Marin County (one of the most expensive places on the planet to live) a lot of us are running around like chickens with our heads cut off just trying to keep up with the bills. Keeping up with the Jones in Marin County is next to impossible when many of the Jones are millionaires so I’m content just keeping up with my bills and thankful for my job that offers medical benefits (and an amazingly beautiful commute at sunrise each day). Also in Marin many of us are married with children. All of this combined does not leave much time to celebrate your love with the one you love. You are lucky if you pass him/her in the hallway while heading out the door to your job/kid’s soccer/grocery store/networking event/PTA meeting/gym/therapist/etc…
Two of my favorite relationship expert friends agree on the importance of making time for date night! Here is what they have to say:
“Family stability starts from the top which is why it’s important for couples not to forget to prioritize their relationship. With kids, work,obligations and the general mayhem of life, it’s very easy to forget to work on the connection and bond. Ways for couples to do this can take many forms; dinner, walks, picnics, roller skating, coffee dates and kid-free overnights. The important piece is the uninterrupted alone time, where communication, intimacy and loving attention to each other can occur.” ~Lisa Kift, MFT
“We always recommend that couples prioritize their relationships. When they are dating or engaged, that means carving out time to have fun together…Especially if they are busy working, studying or wedding planning. When couples are married-with or without children- Having fun together is essential for relationship satisfaction and longevity.” ~ Dr. Michelle Gannon
My extended family is going through some very challenging times right now. It’s easy to get caught up in the stress and forget everything else. I’m currently living under the motto of “one day at a time”. Most of my free time is now spent in therapist offices and soon al-anon meetings. In case you’re wondering why my blogging has slowed down a bit… I haven’t figured out away to put a spin on the family therapy meetings in a blog post while still maintaining the privacy and respect of said family members. So I’ll leave it vague for now…
Despite all the challenges happening around me with the one’s I love, this week was Celia’s birthday and Valentine’s Day is coming up. During my lunch break last week, I wandered aimlessly around San Francisco in kind of a foggy daze wondering what would be a good gift for Celia. I happened upon the outside market in front of the ferry building at The Embarcadero on Market Street. I weaved my way through the artist’s booths when I noticed a booth full of beautiful paintings with hearts. The artist smiled at me and said which one do you like. I was drawn to one that had a big heart in the center of what looked like a bunch of chaos. When I got closer the chaos was words written in English and Spanish words like love, amor. When I saw this, I knew it was the right gift. It showed that love prevails in the middle of chaos and it was also in Spanglish! (The language of my home!)
This blog post is just a friendly reminder to make some time for the ones you love whether they are your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, child, parent, best friend or a neighbor or even your dog!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
PS. The Marin Happy Hour TweetUp at Pacific Catch is this Thursday, 2/17/11! If you are in the area stop by and say hi. All are welcome (even if you don’t tweet!) More info here: http://tweetvite.com/event/euxc
Which do you think is cheaper for organic products? Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or Safeway. I was very surprised by the results.
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