Thursday, December 17, 2009

Crocker Art Museum

Crocker Art Museum, downtown Sacramento, has two events a month specifically for preschoolers, Second Saturday Art and Wee Wednesday. Memberships starting at a minimal cost, along with numerous community sponsored admission days including each Sunday sponsored by Bank of America.

The month of November Saturday theme was Storytelling which included different textured paper and paint. The idea was to create scrapbook pages but Julianna decided she just wanted to paint that day. Oh yes fingerpainting including, btw, acrylic paint does not wash off skin easily.

The month of December Saturday theme was Eat Your Art. I would have never guessed it was decorating cookies and cupcakes with different colored frosting and tips. Julianna created a multicolored mountain on top of a chocolate chip cookie then proceeded to eat the mountain. The kids also decorated the plates creating flowers, polka dots, and butterflies.

December Wee Wednesday, we observed the painting "Aqua Form" which consisted of wavy, twisting lines. The kids were provided the materials to recreate the 3D form with a styroform cube, twisted pipe cleaners, bendaroos, beads, wire ribbon pieces. The kids made silly swiggly pieces of their of own.

The staff at Crocker Art encourage creativity and there are no boundaries to what kids are allowed to do. I have found the perfect place to take my adventurous, imaginative, independent, yet cautious toddler. It doesn't matter if they want to cut lines in the paper the entire time or put frosting on their napkin, Crocker Art Museum nurtures every aspect of art in children.

I would have never thought I could be so excited about the tiny old art museum in Sacramento. Well that tiny old art museum is currently working on an expansion that will double its size opening October 10, 2010 (conveniently a date with a ring to it).

Meet you at Crocker Art Museum next month.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Cloth Diapering

Last August, I attended Goores' Bi-Annual Trunk Show where I had the blessing of being introduced to a representative with Bambino Mio. It was a chance encounter that has changed the way do we diapers since that day. She asked me if I had ever considered cloth diapers, which I had so I thought no harm in chatting with her. Next question lead to why I am not cloth diapering. Well just about the nastiest thing about bowel movements is when you have to clean it off someone else. I was ready to start potty training the moment my oldest took her first steps and not a minute too soon was she. Bambino Mio has created a complete nappy system that takes a lot of the yuck out of the less glamorous side of parenting.

Bambino Mio has a "two piece system" that has a secret third part called the nappy liner. Ahhhhhh! That did it for me, the crappy stuff stays in the liner that you just toss in the toilet and flush away. Then you take the soiled cotton nappy and throw it in the lined Mio bucket. Lastly, you take a clean cotton nappy replace it in the waterproof cover and clean happy child again. Every 2-3 days I take what is in the bucket and toss it in the wash along with their special washing powder that uses oxygen-based bleach to disinfect the wash. Into the dryer everything goes and presto!

So next step is to try this on the go, usually I bring an extra cover and a few cotton nappies along with the cute purple waterproof travel bag they created to hold soiled nappies. When I get home I dump everything including bag into the bucket.

Cloth diapering has turned out to be a lot easier than I expected. I researched plenty other cloth options but I found Bambino Mio to be the most economical, functional, minimal bulk on baby and in diaper bag, and they have a solution for everything diapering. There are a number of additional items that they created to make it more convenient that you can view on their site at and can be purchased online or at Goore's.

If you have ever thought about cloth diapering, try one of their trial packs to see if Bambino Mio could be a fit for you. Feel free to send me any questions; I'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Last Saturday we finally put our Christmas tree up! The stockings are hung and decorations out. The tree went up while the girls were sleeping but waited for them to put ornaments on. As we pulled the ornaments out to put on the tree we shared the stories behind each ornament, just as I did each year when I was young (actually still do it today when decorating my parents' tree).

The most memorable ornament is the sleigh bell Julianna was given from Santa Clause on her first Christmas on the Polar Express ride. For those that read the book The Polar Express will be able to understand my overwhelming excitement each year we ride the train. Every year since 2007, California State Railroad Museum puts on an elaborate show to recreate the story written by Chris Van Allsburg. The Sacramento train station is filled with adults becoming children again along side their own children all eager to experience the Christmas spirit. The children are dressed in their pajamas ready to ride to the North Pole.

Once aboard the train you are served hot chocolate and cookies by genuine dancing waitstaff while the soundtrack is playing in the background. The train is slowly riding down the tracks and you hear the story read outloud. Alas you arrive at the North Pole, then you get the chance to meet Santa Clause. Santa will ask if you believe and hand you the authentic sleigh bell, the first gift of Christmas.

Immediately I ring the bell checking that I can still hear the ring of Santa's sleigh bell.

Julianna has been ringing the bells from the tree whispering to herself, "I believe." She can still hear the ring from Santa's sleigh too.

I love experiencing life again through the innocence of my children; this must be what Christmas is really about.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Two Peas in a Pod

Well that's what the girls look like when in the stroller. We have the Maclaren Twin Triumph stroller; its the double side-by-side type. Most other parents, if in the market for a stroller, have asked why that type. The Sit n' Stand is very popular when you have children of different ages and the tandem stroller, the kids ride front and back, is generally always the least expensive.

There was a method to the madness of choosing which stroller would work best for my girls and many people have heard my philosophical answer behind the side-by-side stroller.

The side-by-side stroller gives my girls the advantage of approaching the world as a team together as equals. Also, I want for them to be able to see each other and hold one another's hand in moments when they would need support.

I can foresee times when someone will be ripping the blanket from another or the failure to share the bag of snacks becomes a world crisis, but that is when it is my job as their mom to teach them how to resolve issues they encounter. I will continue to convey the message to always remember they are a team despite differences.

As for now, Julianna picks up Amaya's pacifier and they share the blanket. Its working so far :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Secret of Two

A couple months back a good friend of mine just had her second child, she asks me, "Dom, you are going to have to tell me the secret of two". My gut reaction was to chuckle, as if I knew the secret of having two kids. At the time my oldest was 2 1/2 years old and youngest was a mere 3 months old.

Had I really figured out the secret of two?

In the last three months my life had been an adventure, to say the least. We had traveled to the San Francisco Zoo, boating on Camanche Lake, Monterey Bay Aquarium, so to say we didn't miss a beat in our lives while Amaya, the baby, just rolled with it. But that's no secret to live your life doing the things that bring you joy. But that is easy to say, and not a very good answer.

The free-spirited me constantly worries if I am fulfilling my role as mom the best way I can. What can I teach my children today? Have I learned all the nursery rhyme songs? What am I going to feed them? Who needs a nap? How long has Nick Jr been on this morning? When can i take a shower? What are the kids going to do while I take a shower? What is the weather? What are we going to wear? Are we going to have enough playtime?

Not all my questions get answered nor am I able to get it all perfect. Some days my toddler will have meltdowns, some days I will, some days we will do nothing but lay around telling silly nonsensical stories. It doesn't really matter all the time if the toys didn't get picked up or if no one went to bed on time. Relax and breathe, it'll all work out in the end.

I answered, "patience".