Oct 212013

Exploring Sacramento, CA {Show Me Your Neighborhood Around the World} - Alldonemonkey.com

I am so thrilled to be participating in the incredible series put together by my friend and fellow Multicultural Kid Blogs board member Annabelle of piri piri lexicon.  In this series readers get a chance to tour neighborhoods from all over the globe – from France and the Brazil to Kansas City and San Francisco!  Go to the main page for a full schedule of stops in this virtual world tour.

We live in Sacramento, best known as the capital of the state of California.  As a result, no matter how much our bigger California brothers (San Francisco, Los Angeles, etc.) may look down their noses at our small city (and especially its basketball team!), we are always guaranteed a seat at the table thanks to being the place where lawmakers and lobbyists gather to keep the state political machine moving.


1. Playground/play area

Exploring Sacramento, CA {Show Me Your Neighborhood Around the World} - Alldonemonkey.com

We are blessed with many parks, from small corner playgrounds to larger complexes with sports fields.  This is one of our favorites.  Like most in this area in includes two different “tot lots” – one for toddlers and one for older children. There are also picnic tables, a large open field, and a baseball diamond.

You can also see the shade structures that were installed in the past few years.  As temperatures here regularly pass 100 degrees F in the summer (nearly 38 degrees C), these were a very welcome addition.

2. Local mode of transportation

 Exploring Sacramento, CA {Show Me Your Neighborhood Around the World} - Alldonemonkey.com

 A friend of mine jokes that this is the official vehicle of our mothers group, since so many of the moms have one, often in the same color.  It can be confusing for the kids when it’s time to leave the park!

Everyone owns a car; most families own two.  While there is decent public transportation in Sacramento, it primarily serves the older parts of town.  Bicycling is popular, but mainly for recreation.

3. Typical house

Exploring Sacramento, CA {Show Me Your Neighborhood Around the World} - Alldonemonkey.com

Dressed for Halloween, but already planning for Christmas!

Most homes and buildings in our area are in the same earth tones you see above.  You can also see that even these large homes are built very close together.  Most have fenced-in backyards, but these also tend to be fairly small.

4. A street nearby

Exploring Sacramento, CA {Show Me Your Neighborhood Around the World} - Alldonemonkey.com

I love to go out walking with Baby in the stroller.  We live in a quiet neighborhood, and it’s a great place for walking.  We are friendly with our neighbors, but for the most part people keep to themselves.

5. A school, nursery, or other educational facility

Exploring Sacramento, CA {Show Me Your Neighborhood Around the World} - Alldonemonkey.com

Since my sons aren’t school age yet, I decided to take photos of our wonderful local library, where we spend a great deal of time.  It has won awards for its environmentally friendly features and innovative design.  It is a joint-use facility, which means that it serves the high school, community college, and the wider community.

6. A market, supermarket, or other shopping outlet

Exploring Sacramento, CA {Show Me Your Neighborhood Around the World} - Alldonemonkey.com

Okay, so Costco is not actually in my neighborhood, but it is where most of us go to shop.  If you have kids, you probably also have a membership to Costco.  You can’t beat the prices, and after a while you even come to enjoy the warehouse atmosphere.

Exploring Sacramento, CA {Show Me Your Neighborhood Around the World} - Alldonemonkey.com

This is currently Monkey’s favorite aisle.  He loves to look at all of the Christmas light displays, which have been up since September.  But the real reason he comes is for the snacks.  There are stations set up throughout the store where customers can sample featured products.  Part of the fun is you never know what they’ll be handing out that day!

7. Blogger’s choice: The housing crisis

Our part of town is near the edge of the city and was only really developed within the past 15 years.  Before that it was mostly fields, and in the winter many residents must deal with visiting field mice who don’t realize that it isn’t their home anymore.

Exploring Sacramento, CA {Show Me Your Neighborhood Around the World} - Alldonemonkey.com

There still are many open fields in the area, including this one across from a busy shopping center.

Exploring Sacramento, CA {Show Me Your Neighborhood Around the World} - Alldonemonkey.com

Most of these fields were slated for development when this area exploded during the housing boom.  Development crashed just as quickly, however, and now many streets end abruptly in empty fields such as this one, which will be turned into a park.

Exploring Sacramento, CA {Show Me Your Neighborhood Around the World} - Alldonemonkey.com

Here are condos, as seen across an empty lot.  It was cleared for retail development several years ago but still displays a “for lease” sign.

Exploring Sacramento, CA {Show Me Your Neighborhood Around the World} - Alldonemonkey.com

The other major challenge facing developers (and home owners!) are the levees that surround the city.  Our part of town in particular is in a flood plain, one reason the area was not developed for so many years.  During the housing boom, the classification was miraculously changed to allow for increased development, but in the wake of Hurricane Katrina this was more difficult to justify.  After Katrina, in which the levees protecting New Orleans failed catastrophically, there has been more attention on Sacramento’s levees and a campaign for increased funding to maintain them.  For those that already own homes in this area, it means having to buy expensive insurance in exchange for living in such a high risk area.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of our neighborhood in Sacramento!  Be sure to visit the other stops in this tour of neighborhoods around the world!

Show me your neighbourhood around the world
Aug 192013

Exploring Maidu Culture - Sunshine Kids California Blog Hop - Alldonemonkey.com

© Justin Smith / Wikimedia Commons, CC-By-SA-3.0

This post is part of the Sunshine Kids California Blog Hop.  See below for details and more kid-friendly California posts!

When most people think of Native Americans, their image is of the Plains peoples depicted in Western art and movies.  Yet the indigenous peoples of North America are quite diverse, from the farming communities of the East Coast and the buffalo hunters of the Great Plains to the small bands in the West and all the variations in between.

The Monkeys and I recently visited the Maidu Museum and Historic Site in Roseville, California, with MuM, our local multicultural moms group.  I was eager for my two California babies to begin to appreciate the culture and history of the indigenous peoples in our area.

The Maidu Museum and Historic Site opened in 2010 to share the culture and history of the Maidu people, who inhabited a large area in Northern California stretching from the Sacramento Valley into the Sierra foothills.

It is an elegant little museum, built next to an ancient Nisenan Maidu village.  Visitors can see the village site as well as petroglyphs and other cultural features along the easy half-mile trail outside the museum.

Exploring Maidu Culture - Sunshine Kids California Blog Hop - Alldonemonkey.com

Maidu hut recreation – Maidu Interpretive Center. © Justin Smith / Wikimedia Commons, CC-By-SA-3.0

The museum offers a wealth of well-designed displays, including many hands-on features good for little ones.  Monkey and his friends had fun making pencil rubbings of recreated petroglyphs and putting together a puzzle of a village scene.  There was even a simulated campfire, where you can listen to a recording of a Maidu storyteller.  (The museum also hosts real campfires in their outdoor amphitheater where you can sit under the stars and listen to stories from a local Elder!)

My favorite museum display was a panel where you could hear different words spoken in several of the Maidu languages.

Exploring Maidu Culture - Sunshine Kids California Blog Hop - Alldonemonkey.com

Calif Maiduan Languages map, Wikimedia Commons

I also appreciated the emphasis not only on Maidu heritage but also on the Maidu people today.  Too often Native Americans are treated as part of the past, instead of modern people living in today’s society.  This museum, however, includes displays on present Maidu culture, including two galleries of contemporary art.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, today there are an estimated 4,000 people of Maidu descent.  While a number of the Maidu tribes are federally recognized, many are not; several of these are now fighting to protect their heritage, including battling against threats to historic sites.

Resources on Maidu Culture

Below are resources you can use to explore Maidu culture with your family.  Most of these are geared towards school age children or older:

The Maidu are included in several general works on native peoples of California, such as California Indians by C. L. Keyworth.  They are also part of a wonderful series of books on the tribes of California put together by a former teacher, Mary Null Boulé, to fill the gap she saw in well-researched material for elementary school children.

I was especially pleased to find the book Ooti: A Child of the Nisenan at our local library.  This gem of a book is a local publication, put out by the American River Natural History Association.  It includes a story, games, and crafts for children.

The Maidu Museum also has a wonderful resources page.  In addition, you can find information on the homepages of the Maidu tribes, such as this one from the Konkow Valley Band of Maidu.

For information specifically related to Maidu language, I recommend this page from the Linguistics Department at the University of California at Berkeley.

What cultures have you explored with your children lately?

Sunshine Kids California Blog Hop

Sunshine Kids California Blog HopThe Sunshine Kids California Blog Hop celebrates all that is wonderful about raising kids in the Golden State.

Link up your kid-centered posts about California: places to visit, books to read, crafts to create, recipes to try, and so on.

The blog hop will run from August 19 to September 2.

Thanks to Akane of Juggling With Kids for the beautiful photo!

You can also check out even more California posts on our collaborative Kid Friendly California Pinterest board!

Be sure to check out our upcoming project, Exploring the California Missions!






Participating Blogs:

All Done Monkey InCultureParent.com - Raising little global citizens.
Kids Yoga Stories The Silly Pearl
The Art Pantry 2KuriousKids
A Mom With a Lesson Plan
Adventure Bee
Juggling With Kids
Little Hiccups
Slow Family The Good Long Road Adventures in Wunderland

Link up your kid-centered California posts below!


Jul 242013
 July 24, 2013  Kid Fun, Sacramento, travel 2 Responses »

California State Railroad Museum - Alldonemonkey.com on Glittering MuffinsOne of Monkey’s absolute favorite places to visit is the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento.  It is wildly popular among his little friends as well, and we often go there for playdates.

I recently wrote an overview about the train museum for the wonderful Kids on the Go series from Glittering Muffins.  As a sign of just how busy things have been lately, I keep forgetting to post the link to the article here!  So, without any further ado, here it is, our tribute to one of our favorite spots to spend the day:

California State Railroad Museum {Kids on the Go: Glittering Muffins}

Mar 102013

Spring Craft - California Poppies (Naw Ruz) - Alldonemonkey.comSpring is approaching, and we are glad to think of something other than cold, rainy days.

On the Bahá’í calendar, the first day of spring (March 21) coincides with our New Year (Naw Rúz), so I decided to do a springtime craft with Monkey to prepare.

This year we are participating in a Naw Rúz card exchange with other children, which I will write more about soon.  In addition to cards, the children also create flowers to send to each other.  This is partly to celebrate the coming of spring and partly to bring to life the beautiful quotation from the Bahá’u’lláh about unity in diversity: “Ye are all fruits of one tree, the leaves of one branch, the flowers of one garden.”

Since we are sending our cards to Ireland and China as well as the US, I thought it would be fun to make our local California poppies for them.  They are so beautiful, and I have fond memories of seeing them along the side of the road as my husband and I drove on the scenic Highway 1 on our first anniversary, shortly after moving to California.

Of course, to Monkey they were just a good excuse to get his hands on some glue!

Spring Craft - California Poppies (Naw Ruz) - Alldonemonkey.com

I cut out the flower pieces ahead of time then let Monkey glue them onto the card stock.  I chose to make the flowers this way since lately he enjoys this more than coloring or drawing.  I think with those he gets frustrated that his hands can’t create what his mind visualizes.  With gluing pieces or using stickers, he can construct a picture exactly as he wants.

Spring Craft - California Poppies (Naw Ruz) - Alldonemonkey.com

We both thought they turned out beautifully!

Monkey also decorated “Happy Naw Ruz” cards with – what else? – car and truck stickers.

Spring Craft - California Poppies (Naw Ruz) - Alldonemonkey.com

I included a photo of the Monkeys with each card, and we were ready to head to the post office!  Our cards are now making their way across the country and to Europe and Asia!

That evening, when we told my husband about our adventures, tender-hearted Monkey exclaimed that he wanted to make more cards: one for Daddy, one for Mommy, one for Baby, one for Grandpa and MaMa Pat, … Perhaps I am not so tender-hearted, because my first thought was, I have to cut out how many more flower pieces??? 🙂

How are you celebrating the coming of spring?

KBN Spring Blog Hop on Alldonemonkey.com

This craft is part of the Spring and Easter Blog Hop from Kid Blogger Network.

Click on the link at the bottom of the page to add your post to the collection.

Participating Blogs:

Rainy Day Mum, hands on : as we grow, Putti’s World, Blog Me Mom, Scribble Doodle and Draw, 3 Dinosaurs, Buggy and Buddy, Royal Baloo, Kitchen Counter Chronicle, Nurture Store, The Usual Mayhem, Making Boys Men, Two Daloo, Reading Confetti, Creative Play House, Fantastic Fun and Learning, Here Come the Girls, Blue Bear Wood, Zing Zing Tree, Mummy Mummy Mum, Red Ted Art, Life at the Zoo, My Little 3 and Me, Imprints from Tricia, Smiling Like Sunshine, Frogs & Snails & Puppy Dog Tails, Creative Connection for Kids, 52 Brand New, Inspiration Laboratories, Kid World Citizen, JDaniel 4s Mom, Inspired by Familia, Kids Creative Chaos, All Done Monkey, ArtChoo, Something 2 Offer, Child Central Station, KC Edventures, Momma’s Fun World, Sun Hats and Wellie Boots, Discovering the world through my son’s eyes, Little Artists

Nov 212012

Kids on the Go - Apple Hill, CA - Alldonemonkey.comWe are so pleased to be doing a guest post on Glittering Muffins about one of our favorite spots to take Monkey – Apple Hill in Northern California.

Apple Hill is a collection of apple orchards located in the foothills of the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains.  It is the place to be in the fall, when the leaves change colors and apples are ready to be made into pies, cider, and other delicious treats.

This post is part of the Glittering Muffins’ Kids on the Go series, in which bloggers around the world share information about their favorite kid-friendly spots, from zoos to museums to parks, located in all parts of the globe!  We are proud to be a part of this series, just one of the amazing features on this wonderfully creative blog.  So hop on over Glittering Muffins to learn more!

Kids on the Go: Apple Hill, CA (Post on Glittering Muffins)

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