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Archive for January, 2009

INAUGURATION 2009: The Zittels & the Big Day

Inauguration 2
Our intrepid guest bloggers, Linda Zittel and her teenage son Adam, report in from Washington DC, where the kindness of strangers prevails and gets them a primo spot for viewing the ceremonies. Also, chocolate. And overwhelming emotion.

From Linda…
It was a day unlike any other day. Almost anything could or did happen. An estimated two to four million people descended on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. for the inauguration of Barack Obama. The city didn’t know what hit it.

5:15 a.m. We’re up and getting dressed. Our friend has made scrambled egg and cheese roll-ups for us. Lucky thing. We won’t be eating much today.

6:15 a.m. We’re on the road to the Marc Train Station at Baltimore Washington International Airport. There are patches of snow on the ground.

6:45 a.m. We arrive at the station. It is full. There is no place to sit down. Everyone is in a good mood. A woman walks around handing out little chocolate bars to everyone, saying, “Things go better with chocolate.” Soon we are on the train to Union Station.

8:15 a.m. There are people all over the mall, walking in many different directions. There are policeman stationed at intersections, giving directions and advice. There are signs telling people where to line up depending on the color of their tickets: blue, yellow, and silver. The problem? We don’t have tickets.
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Posted on Tuesday, January 20th, 2009
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

TOP Tot Resources: SadieDey’s Cafe

Toddler by Rick Nease, MCT DirectWe’ll be at the East Bay Moms’ Preschool & Childhood Resource Fair this Saturday and we’re hoping you guys will come and join us there! It’s Jan. 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Scottish Rite Center in Oakland. So last week and this, we’ve been giving you a sneak peek at some of the other organizations who will be there too, including…

NAME: Sadie Dey’s Cafe

THE BASICS: A cozy cafe specifically designed for toddlers and their parents, 210 Telegraph Ave., Oakland

WHY IT’S COOL: Remember Tumble & Tea? This is its successor – same great idea, new execution. They’ve added mother’s helpers to help supervise tots, and new classes and special events. Plus, free WiFi, an indoor playground for toddlers, and a menu that includes paninis, salads and wraps. The best way to explain is simply to quote the Yelp review that said, “Kids Play- $5. Mocha- $3. Panini- $7. Opportunity to sit down and have an adult conversation with a good friend and a good coffee while our toddlers were playing with the mom’s helper, singing songs, and totally occupied in a safe (and clean) environment- PRICELESS!!!!”

Posted on Tuesday, January 20th, 2009
Under: Babies & Tots | No Comments »


Inauguration 1
What a day! We’ve been watching the Inaugural festivities all day, probably just like you. Check back later today for the latest live-from-DC commentary from our favorite Richmond school teacher, Linda Zittel, and her teenage son Adam, and from Times features editor Lisa Wrenn. (Just click here to see the Zittels’ previous Inauguration posts.)

Posted on Tuesday, January 20th, 2009
Under: Inauguration 2009 | No Comments »

INAUGURATION: Eve of the Big Day

Inaugural Map (MCT)On the eve of the big day, the Zittels check in from Washington, D.C…
January 19th
From Linda…

Today we rested. Our feet, our nerves, and our energy, in preparation for tomorrow. The Washington Post has been a fount of information. In the past few days they have printed the following:
* A map of the National Mall showing the best means of transportation, and location of everything from the parade route to porta-potties.
* Obama’s pre-inaugural D.C. activities (playing a late night game of basketball with friends, eating chili at a local cafe)
* An interview with an 85-year-old woman who grew up in the Jim Crow South and is here for the inauguration
* A feature article about Michelle Obama’s taste in fashion (sleeveless dresses)

We have planned tomorrow’s trip with the precision of a military operation… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, January 19th, 2009
Under: Inauguration 2009 | No Comments »

INAUGURATION 2009: Lego Style

Inauguration 2009, Legoland (AP Photo/Sandy Huffaker)
Can’t get to DC for the Inauguration? California’s Legoland has just finished re-creating the entire, celebratory event out of little Lego bricks – complete with President-elect Barack Obama and his family, veep Joe and Jill Biden, and thousands of other little Lego people. The full display will be up through Memorial Day, but here’s a sneak peek.
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Posted on Monday, January 19th, 2009
Under: Inauguration 2009 | No Comments »

LUNAR New Year DVD Giveaway!

Walker & PingPing Between the Chinatown parades, lion dancers and fireworks, it’s impossible to resist the fun of Lunar New Year celebrations! So, we’re giving away a cool new DVD, “The Adventures of Walker & PingPing,” which includes two episodes, “The Great Wall” and “The Chinese Market.” Two young adventurers explore the Great Wall of China, the Gobi Desert and the dumpling shops of a Chinese marketplace in this fun, culture-filled, animated series. Very cute, and educational too. And all you have to do to win is click “comments” and tell us, do you celebrate Lunar New Year? And if so, what’s your family’s favorite part? (Congrats, by the way, to Marie, who won last week’s Sandra Boynton books giveaway!)

Posted on Monday, January 19th, 2009
Under: Contest | 12 Comments »

TOP TOT Resources: Baby Boot Camp

WalkingmomsA closer look at one of the East Bay schools, classes or other family resources that will participate in the East Bay Moms 11th annual Preschool & Childhood Resource Fair. Take a look and then tell us by clicking on “comments” if you have other suggestions for East Bay schools, classes or resources to check out.

NAME: Baby Boot Camp

THE BASICS: “Bring your baby. Get fit” is the motto of this postnatal fitness program for moms. It was developed by a group fitness instructor/personal trainer/triathlete/ mother. The 55-75 minute classes put mothers with other mothers. Prenatal and indoor classes are available, too.

WHY IT’S COOL: No gym or babysitter is needed for this get-fit program. The stroller-fitness program emphasizes strength training through pilates, yoga, abdominal workouts and uses the stroller, resistance tubes and even the baby as exercise equipment. And anyone who’s ever tried a fitness program knows that understanding peers can go a long way toward promoting success. What really makes this program great is that it has classes all over the Bay Area, from Alameda to Redwood City, Dublin to Concord and beyond.

Stop and chat with a Baby Boot Camp rep at the East Bay Moms’ Preschool and Childhood Resource Fair — and stop by our table too! — on Saturday, Jan. 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Scottish Rite Center in Oakland.

Posted on Monday, January 19th, 2009
Under: Babies & Tots | No Comments »

PARENT TALKS: College Cash, Preschool Fairs

CBR003020“Cash for College Workshops”
Cal Grants is hosting free financial aid workshops throughout the Bay Area, including Jan. 20 at Mt. Eden High in Hayward, and other locations through March.

“Living with Threes and Fours”
Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. at Bananas, Oakland. Meg Zweiback, RN, offers practical advice on parenting preschoolers. (Free. Child care available for $5 by reservation only.)

“Book Reading: Growing Up with Autism”
Jan. 22 at 7:30 p.m. Lafayette Library
Author Laura Shumaker talks about her book “A Regular Guy: Growing Up with Autism,” the story of her son Matthew. (Free)

“Childhood Matters: Health & Nutrition”
Jan. 24 from 9 to 10 a.m. on Green 960 AM and streamed live on Rona Renner, RN and panelists discuss children’s health and nutrition issues.

“East Bay Moms Preschool and Childhood Resource Fair”
Jan. 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Scottish Rite Center, Oakland
Meet with reps from over 70 preschools and childcare programs across the East Bay, as well as staffers from other local agencies that serve young families. (Adults $6, kids free, resource directory is $5)
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Posted on Monday, January 19th, 2009
Under: Parenting Issues | No Comments »

INAUGURATION: Concert at the Lincoln Memorial

Bruce Springsteen at the Inaugural Concert  (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/MCT)
The Zittels check in from D.C., where they’re soaking up the icy delights of these pre-Inauguration Days. This post came in from Linda, a Richmond school teacher, this evening. Enjoy!

January 18th
What a day! It was 36 degrees outside. After three days with temperatures in the teens, it seemed almost balmy.

There was a special inaugural event open to the public at the Lincoln Memorial at 2 p.m. We just followed the crowds of people until we reached the jumbo-tron next to the Washington Monument. The theme of the event was “We are One.” Performing artists sang songs of patriotism and unity; actors read the inspiring words of presidents past, both Democrat and Republican. President Lincoln was referred to often; his words and deeds were linked to this historic moment.

* A children’s choir singing in bright red and blue shirts
* Bruce Springsteen singing, and Garth Brooks doing “Bye Bye Ms. American Pie,”
* Obama giving a speech about working together to make a better union, to a jubilant crowd
* Pete Seeger and friends singing, “This Land is Your Land,”
* Standing with a crowd of people I did not know, cheering and singing with them.

Even though we could have been watching this comfortably at home on HBO, I’m glad Adam and I were there, in the moment, part of it.

Posted on Sunday, January 18th, 2009
Under: Inauguration 2009, politics | No Comments »

INAUGURATION: The Latest Zittel Report

The latest report from guest bloggers Linda Zittel, a Richmond schoolteacher, and her son Adam, from Inauguration Central: Washington DC…

January 17th – From Adam
Saw the Air and Space Museum today. Very interesting exhibits. There were many real airplanes hanging from the ceiling, and lots of hands on exhibits. I was fascinated.

From Linda
Today the National Mall was bustling with activity Several people were riding around on two-wheeled vehicles they could stand up on. Turns out they’re called “Segways,” and people who were riding them had booked a special tour of D.C. I met a woman and her son who had flown in from New Orleans.

News trucks were parked up and down the mall, and MSNBC set up a temporary building right next to it. There were food trucks and equipment trucks, with men setting up metal frames and wiring for the festivities. I was interviewed by Scott Peterson from C-Span, and got a short tour of their news van. There was a little interview room inside, complete with arm chairs and a big flat screen TV.

By the way, the “HOPE” signs I saw yesterday did NOT include the Obama campaign logo. They had a different red, white, and blue logo representing the web site,, a Pepsi sponsored site encouraging everyone to make a video for our new president.

Posted on Saturday, January 17th, 2009
Under: Inauguration 2009, politics | No Comments »