Guest post by PMC member Amy McIntosh:
An aquaerobics class on a chilly morning in the fall sounds like a tough sell. I nearly let the foggy morning air that hovered around 55 degrees stop me from joining 10 other PMC members in the Cavanagh Pool on November 13th. But I'm glad that I poured myself a thermos of coffee and hopped in the pool for the morning's Aqua Boogie class!
As members milled around the pool deck, Kristina the instructor encouraged us to enter the heated water, buckle on a floatation belt, and find a depth in the pool that felt comfortable. After the brief initial shivers, the water turned warm and pleasant. The company was, too! Everyone in the class was quickly smiling with the funny (and yet still very athletic) experience of doing jumping jacks, lunges, and sprints while bobbing up and down in the pool.
There's another class coming up on Saturday, December 4th. Are you considering signing up? Here's a quick pep talk from Aqua Boogie regular and evangelist Brianna Wolf: "The pool is heated. Bouncing around in warm water feels so yummy. Experiencing the morning fog clearing to blue skies while steams pours off the water is dazzling. Your fellow swimmings are excellent company. You will have a huge smile on your face afterwards." She's right! Come on in... the water's fine at Aqua Boogie.
Sign-up to Aqua Boogie with us: www.petalumamothersclub.org/event-4556652
Crisp leaves cover the ground, wind blows, a chill in the air- it finally feels like fall. It is the first time in about half a decade that it truly feels like fall in this part of Northern California in October. It was nice to not be socked in with smoke, still too hot for the season, and stuck inside. Yet even more exciting is the sound of the MonsterMash that floats on the breeze, Halloween decorations all around, and the sight of children enjoying this time of year. After several somewhat disappointing Halloweens, we finally had one that is definitely worth writing about! The PMC was so incredibly proud to be a part of two great Halloween events.
On Saturday, October 30, 2021 on a misty, gray afternoon, we took part in the Hallo-luma City of Petaluma drive through Halloween event. This event was started last year in response to the COVID 19 pandemic. The City still wanted to feel the Halloween spirit and many local businesses and organizations stepped up to help, including the Petaluma Mothers’ Club. This year when we were asked to take part again, we brought our A game! It was wonderful to see many PMC families, both current and “aged-out,” drive through and enjoy the fog, bubbles, and witch themed decor of our PMC booth, with cheering mama (and some baby) faces smiling out. We even gave information about the club to some young families, who would be fantastic additions to our club community. In addition to our booth, families got to check out cute pups representing Canine Companions, huge puppet dinosaurs coming to their car windows, classic cars parked along the fairgrounds, Clo the mascot for the local company Clover, Petaluma High Football players and cheerleaders, and much more. The car trip ended with a real, sweet baby cow at the exit and a treat bag give away. It was the perfect kick off to the Halloween weekend. It felt as though the chill and mist in the air couldn’t keep the joy down.
The show piece of the weekend for the club was our own event, the Halloween Costume Parade and Fall Fun Family Social, held on Sunday, October 31, 2021 at Leghorns Park. We had a fantastic turn out with over a hundred families and their adorable little ones dressed up and looking amazing.There were witches, insects, unicorns, superheroes, princesses, dragons, animals of all varieties… and the list of cuteness goes on and one. Some highlights of the event, other than all the festive decorations all around, included a pumpkin decorating craft station, multiple monster themed sensory tables, a photo station, silly story time, and the parade itself, where families walked a balloon-clad concourse to get candy, toys, and treats handed out by our very own PMC “mama-teers”. Two local food vendors, Crepes du Jour and` Scone Rollin’, provided delicious food to fill our bellies as we partook in the revelry. More than anything it was a great day to be together. Everyone seemed happy and filled with appreciation to be out and enjoying the season as it ought to be. While we are not completely out of the woods of this pandemic, it was nice to have a small taste of normalcy, surrounded by adorable little monsters with grins a mile wide!
It is still early in the fire season and our hearts go out to those who have already been impacted by the Dixie and Caldor fires. Unfortunately, fire season brings unpredictability and uncertainty, and now more than ever, being prepared for emergencies is important for the health and wellbeing of our families and community. We have complied three ways to learn more and ensure your family is prepared:
1) Visit the City of Petaluma emergency preparedness website to find clear and actionable resources, including:
2) Attend the 9th Annual Petaluma Emergency Preparedness Fair + Blood Drive on Sunday, September 26, 2021 from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm at Walnut Park. Get Free information and resources from our community partners: Petaluma Fire & Police, FEMA, DHS, Red Cross, US Coast Guard, Sonoma County Sheriff's Office, CHP, VFW, American Legion, Local Girl & Boy Scouts.
3) Sign up for emergency alerts:
The following is a flyer from a PMC and City of Petaluma event last year on emergency preparedness with more go-bap packing tips!
We had been monitoring for wildfire smoke but we lucked out with a clear warm day. The Kona Ices were perfectly refreshing and enjoyed by all.
Many families laid-out picnic blankets in front of the stage. Both kiddos and adults sang and danced along as Ali and Warren of Mini Music* put on an amazing show. Kitty litter pie?! You had to be there :)
And there was more! Auntie Stacey did amazing face-painting, accommodating designs to fit masked faces or arms.
Balloon artist Noah the Balloon Ninja made an impressive assortment of balloon creations to dance with and take home. And two water tables filled with sensory beads were a surprise hit.
We will look forward to organizing another outdoor big family event after fire season has passed. Please enjoy some photos from the event in the meantime.
And finally, a big thank you to the PMC Board members who all helped make the event happen!
*The PMC is organizing a music class event with Ali and Warren of Mini Music in early 2022. If you cannot wait for more music fun, they are currently enrolling for their Fall class session, click here for details.
The PMC organized a field trip to Bale of Fun Farm across two days in early June and it was a lot of fun!
Kiddos (and let’s be honest, caregivers too!) got to interact with all sort of farm animals:
It was a great to see our little ones having fun outside together after a long break from PMC in-person events. We are looking forward to more outdoor events this summer and will plan another round of farm visits too!
Big thank you to Bale of Fun Farm for hosting us. Check them out for birthday parties and private events!
Photos courtesy of Bale of Fun Farm.
THANKFULLY, an email from Sticky Fingers Cooking come across my inbox offering to host a program for PMC members - a cooking class for kiddos and their parents. Sign me up!
I registered for the class, picked up my ingredients (pre-purchased and pre-portioned), then logged into the Zoom meeting where we saw some familiar faces! Already we were off to a good start.
Chef Dylan, the class host, read us a book, had the kiddos check their ingredients, and then we got to cooking! Addy and all of the other kids were so excited to measure, pour, stir, and cook! I had so much fun watching her be independent, answering questions the chef had, and following instructions. It felt so good to be a part of something new and exciting with my daughter.
Did I mention the class was less than an hour and my kid was engaged the entire time?!
Sticky Fingers has reached out saying they’d love to partner with us for another program, and I know Addy and I can’t wait to cook together again! It was a fun bonding experience, PLUS she’s learning a life skill. Win-win!
There is another program coming up soon - check your emails for more information. Plus, Sticky Fingers has offered a 15% promo code for PMC members. That will be sent to your email, so be on the lookout.
If you, too, have been struggling to find something different to do with your child, I highly recommend this course!
P.S: Here's what we made if you want to give it a shot on your own!
Jack's Favorite Snickerdoodle Pancakes + Warm Vanilla Sauce + Snickerdoodle Smoothies
Welcome to the year 2021 everyone! If you are like me you have a lot of hopes and aspirations for this year and are feeling a happy anticipation for change!
Our big change will be the beginning of kindergarten for my youngest son, who turns 5 in March. Are you thinking about Kindergarten or T-K? My main focus for the blog today will be information to get you started in the search for school for your little one.
I am also going to start talking about books. I am a huge book lover and have a book club with some mommas that started about 4 years ago and since we can't meet right now and book club over zoom leaves much to be desired I thought I would branch out and give some thoughts about the books I am reading and recommendations about what to read. I'll declare a book of the month and post it to the Facebook play group pages and if you read it and subsequently want to chat about it you can start a thread on the play group page, I hope it ends up being a fun way to relate and make connections during a time when we are physically separate.
T-K and Kindergarten SCHOOL REGISTRATION INFORMATION
The very first thing to do is figure out your home or neighborhood school!
There are several districts in Petaluma and figuring out your home school and which district your family is in is the first step in making your school choice.
Here is the link to the school finder in the Petaluma City Schools (PCS) district. This link will tell you which school is in your neighborhood but also which school district your home is in if it is not Petaluma City School district.
For example if my address is across from Wiseman park my district is the Old Adobe Union School District not the Petaluma City School District, and although the link will give you PCS options, right underneath the address bar it will say which district your home is in. If this sounds confusing that's because it is! If you get to this point and you are still confused about what school you are technically assigned based on your address please don't hesitate to reach out to me at email@example.com
Petaluma School Districts: here is another link where you can find what your district is based on your address...just click on the link below and then find the words "look up district by street address" and click on them to follow them to the district look up engine. I don't think this link is as straightforward but it gets you the information.
Each District has different registration deadlines and paperwork. For example, If my home is in the Petaluma City School District registration has been open since December but if my home is in the Old Adobe Union School district registration hasn't started yet. Once you establish your district the coinciding websites will direct you to the school associated with your address.
There are caveats to the address assignments. Some addresses fall under "Open" enrollment, especially in the Old Adobe School district which I think means you can apply to any of the Old Adobe Schools (ie Sonoma Mountain, Old Adobe etc.) but I am not 100% on that. Petaluma also has at least two semi-charter schools which do not technically associate with any particular address, ie Mary Collins at Cherry Valley and Penngrove Elementary.
Registering your child for school can be a huge decision. There are options for inter (between district) and intra (within district) transfers if you find you have your heart set on a school outside your address zone. Not to mention all of the private school options our town and surrounding county has.
I am sure I have given you plenty to think about and hopefully not too much to worry about because ultimately any school in our wonderful town and surrounding areas is going to be a rich experience. We are lucky to live where we do!
Due to COVID most schools are doing virtual tours and meetings which can be found on individual school websites or district websites, I highly recommend attending one if you can. Lastly it's never a bad idea to just pick up the phone and call the administrators of a school you are interested in, I am sure they will more than willing to help with the transition and any questions you may have.
One of the first books I read this month and one that I recommend:
The Wonder Boy of Whistlestop by Fannie Flagg
I really enjoyed this book. It is a character driven story that spans generations and although has a lighthearted tone and pace it deals with challenges in life that we are all faced with. Fannie Flagg wrote the screenplay (and coinciding novel) "Fried Green Tomatoes", which I loved as a kid, so it was fun to revisit her storytelling. I found it to be a quick fun read and I'd love to hear what you think of it!
Looking for fun and safe ways to keep this years Halloween sort of normal?
Check out the HALLOW-LUMA drive through parade at the fairgrounds (pre-register through parks and rec required!!). https://cityofpetaluma.org/event/hallowluma/
personal side note: I found the sign-up process frustrating and not-intuitive but I took a deep breath and it wasn't so bad once I figured it out. Feel free to reach out to me if you need help! I think this is going to be a lot of fun and I even volunteered to staff the booth for a couple hours, so come see my awesome costume!!
There is a Trick or Treat map out there where people can put down that they are participating in a distanced trick or treating situation.
Just go to Halloween-map.com. This is a national map but many Petalumans are participating! Each participate lists there address and can assign themselves as "allergy free" or not and include a short description of the precautions they are taking. Very cool!!
I don't know about you but I am in the throes of Covid burnout. I have accepted and one hundred percent understand the importance of the new norm but I am frustrated and frankly, bored! I am sure that speaks to my privilege, but that is another conversation for another day.
Thankfully we live in an amazing little town that has somehow maintained a semblance of normalcy this fall, as we prepare for the encroaching holiday season. Petaluma has pulled together and managed to offer some really fun and safe events for parents and also for families.
I am going to try to post some upcoming events every couple weeks that sound like I would enjoy them and hey, you might too. Hopefully we can find some joy during this holiday season and put the stress of our daily lives aside for a few hours at some of these events.
PMC director of Communications (aka blogger extraordinaire)
EVENTS that sound fun to me
SATURDAY OCTOBER 10 - Brewsters Beer Garden OKTOBERFEST 2020
I think this event is more for the adults but hey, call up that in-law or friend who you are quarantining with (if that exists) and let loose (as safely as possible)! You deserve it!
RESERVATIONS highly recommended, use the link below for more info.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 16 - HOCUS POCUS! Drive in Movie at the Petaluma Fairgrounds
This will be tons of fun for the whole family! Follow the link to get tickets and learn more information.
All of my information comes from the Visit Petaluma website, which I highly recommend!
Hello PMC Mamas -
My name is Jessica Marcy. I served as PMC President last year, and I am honored to return as President for the remainder of the 2020-21 term. Our last President, Allison, had to step down as she and her family had an exciting opportunity to relocate. Allison did an amazing job during her time on the board, not just as President but in the many positions she served before that. She will be very missed.
I wanted to reach out today to introduce myself and assure you that although things will and have been different this year I am committed to leading this club and maintaining it's goals of providing a supportive and engaged community of moms and their families. Together, the board and I want to normalize things as much as possible. We are working diligently to provide you with as many resources as possible, as well as finding fun and unique ways to engage with one another - virtually, distanced, safe.
If you have any questions, concerns, or ideas regarding the PMC, please don't hesitate to reach out. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or reach out to me on Facebook.
I'm looking forward to a wonderful year with all of you!
President, Petaluma Mothers' Club
P.O. Box 521 Petaluma, CA 94953-0521