This is our place to share parenting perspectives, member news, community events and other ideas.

The AFC Blog presents articles written by our members and people from the local community. If you would like to contribute to the blog (just once or regularly), please contact Amber to get involved!

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  • Wednesday, July 27, 2016 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Few things destroy the family budget quite as fast as getting ready for a new baby or realizing your toddler has outgrown all of their clothes & shoes – literally overnight. Thankfully, there are great options here in Alameda for getting what you need without breaking the bank!

    The not-so-secret secret? Buying and selling gently used items like maternity & children’s clothes, baby gear, and toys. With our first child, I was a typical First Time Mom and wanted the best of the best, all shiny & new for our baby boy. Nearly two years later and (unexpectedly) expecting our second child, I’ve been shopping smarter and have saved a bundle!

    Here’s a list of Alameda favorites for buying and selling these types of items. You might be surprised by how many good-as-new items you can acquire for less than half the normal price!

    Lauren’s Closet

    (1420 Park St, Alameda)

    Carrying a mix of both new & used items, this Park St staple offers up the best in gently used shoes & clothes for the littles at very reasonable prices. (Yelp reviews and word of mouth, however, do seem to indicate some major dissatisfaction with their consignment service.)

    Mommy’s Trading Post

    (1205 Lincoln Ave, Alameda)

    This spot carries a wide array of baby gear in many brands, with a range of prices to meet any budget. De-stash or expand your collection of baby-wearing gear here; this is also a wonderful spot for maternity clothes.

    Alameda Parent Swap

    (Secret Facebook Group)

    If you’re a local parent, you’ll want to use your networking skills to get added to this exclusive, island-only swap group where folks buy and sell their used clothes, kid gear, and household items. It’s both competitive and highly addictive! Expect great deals, steals, and even the occasional freebie!

    Yard Sales

    (Around the island, weekly)

    Keep an eye out for “big ticket” items at rock bottom prices at local yard sales. Of course, be sure to thoroughly inspect items for safety issues and/or flaws… but you can find great deals – perhaps even just strolling around your neighborhood on a Saturday morning.


    (2319 Lincoln Ave, Alameda)

    While this location gets a lot of flack on Yelp for customer service issues, it’s still our local branch of this long-standing staple charity. Donate your used items here and be sure to get a receipt for tax time. Also, be on the lookout for 50% off clothing sales on some holidays!

    Do you have a favorite secret spot for getting great kids items at prices that won’t break the bank?!? Share your suggestions in the comments section!

    -Marissa Ramirez

  • Wednesday, July 20, 2016 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    At the end of June, the city celebrated the Grand Re-Opening of Godfrey Park on Bay Farm Island. If you’re looking to break free from your usual local park routine “on the main island,” this park is a great option to consider. (It has also become a fast favorite as a Meetup spot for AFC playgroups).

    Godfrey Park play structureGodfrey Park play structure

    The park features two exciting, new areas for active play – one intended for toddlers and one intended for older children. The toddler play area includes a slide, several age-appropriate climbing apparatus, baby swings, and a tiny house. The area for older children includes a few fast & high slides (seriously not for the faint of heart), new pieces of climbing equipment, and some swings. This particular play space is definitely intended for older, fully-coordinated kiddos… much more so than at some of the other area parks. Nearby, there are also a few dizzy chairs for spinning and the ground is padded for extra safety. In addition to the main play area, Godfrey Park offers up basketball hoops, a baseball diamond and large field – ideal for littles who need space to run and roam freely!

    Like most Alameda parks, Godfrey includes a picnic area with  tables for dining and entertaining. They are available for private use via reservation on weekends. The accompanying recreation center building hosts a variety of summer camps and activities sponsored by Alameda Recreation & Parks Department.

    The renovation is an obvious success and great use of local resources! Check out the new & improved Godfrey Park for your next play date or family picnic!

    – Marissa Ramirez

  • Wednesday, July 13, 2016 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It’s 4:38am when Teddy cries out, jolting me awake. He’s getting those tough two-year-old molars that turn happy babies into sensitive teenagers who cry at the drop of a hat and chew on anything they can find. So now I’m up—because even though he’s calmed back down and asleep, my mind starts racing about my seemingly endless “don’t forget” list: pay the house tax bill, make a grocery list for the birthday party, prep for the staff retreat, meet with that coworker, invite someone to the AFC board meeting, set up autopay on my Clipper card, write a note to the nanny, try to do my Duolingo on the ferry so that my note to the nanny won’t be completely broken elementary Spanish, etc.

    I had this type of running list in my brain when I was a stay-at-home mom, too, but I also had time to do most of it. I ran my house with the efficiency of the project manager I’m trained to be. Albeit with interruptions, children clinging to me as I did my tasks, or my personal favorite, the occasional “dumping” of the kids with their grandpa or dad as I knocked out big to-dos. I’ve been back to work for just three weeks and I’ve already had to let go of that dream that I can effectively manage my home life with the rigor I once did. With his usual gusto, “Amazing James,” a.k.a. my husband, has adeptly taken over the morning routine, the cooking of dinner, and much more. My nanny is holding down being the boys’ primary caregiver with love, commitment, and efficiency. My home is functioning just fine, and my work life is challenging and rewarding. So why can’t I just lay my head back down and get another good hour of sleep?

    Jessica and her two young sons at the beach

    Umm, because I’m a mom? I may have been a Type B personality before becoming a mom, but now I have definitely morphed into a Type A. Caring for almost-twin boys for the past two years has forced me to plan and execute plans with precision to avoid disaster. I’ve barked orders to my husband, stayed up until midnight packing what seems like our entire house into the car so we can go on a one-night trip, and freaked out on restaurants whose service is not fast enough to get us through a meal before the boys get restless. My normal has changed; I’m indelibly scarred by early motherhood.

    The way I cope with my new normal is a) coffee, b) going to bed at 9 whenever possible, and c) staying tight with the mommy friends I’ve made over the past two years. My first week back to work I had wine on Friday with two West End moms at Rock Wall; this past Friday my AFC besties came over and sat with us for the Concert at the Cove; and later this month we’re planning to get a gang together to go see Bad Moms. I’ve got the social safety net I’ve built over the last two years through AFC to see me through this next big life phase. So bring it on.

    – Jessica Frank

    This guest post was written by Jessica, an Alameda mom & AFC board member who recently returned to the workforce after taking time off to focus on family. 

  • Wednesday, July 06, 2016 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Did you know the Alameda Family Collective is run entirely by volunteers? From the preschool co-op to the holiday party, everything you love about AFC is organized by parents like you. If you’ve ever thought about getting involved, now is your chance: the annual open board meeting is coming up on Tuesday, July 26th at 8pm.

    The open board meeting is a chance to talk about our goals for the upcoming year, elect new board officers, and get feedback from members like you. What’s working? What do you think we should change? This is your chance to let us know!

    Plus, if you’re interested in getting involved, this is a great opportunity to step up as an organizer, committee member, or chairperson. Whether you have a lot of time to volunteer or can make just a small commitment – there’s a role for everyone. Not only will you get to spend time with other parents enjoying a greater sense of community involvement, but your volunteer work will look great on a resume.

    Headshot of Bahar Rasul

    New board member, Bahar Rasul has had a great experience since volunteering. As our Education Committee Chair she founded the AFC Preschool Co-Op and has recently begun work with the board to expand our organization’s philanthropic efforts. She loves being involved as a board member because, as she says, “the board is on board with you!” Serving in this way presents an opportunity to put your skills & passions to use while bonding with other families. You can learn more about how to develop new, interest-specific programs like Bahar by attending the meeting.

    Even if you’re not interested in volunteering this year, come anyway! It’s a great time to network with other members while enjoying some snacks and wine. Your engagement is what helps make AFC great, and this is an easy way to have an impact. Find more details and RSVP – Here! The board looks forward to seeing you!

    – Marissa Ramirez & Cari Trease

  • Tuesday, April 19, 2016 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In the coming weeks we will start work on a new way for AFC members and our local community to stay updated about what’s happening with our organization! The Alameda Family Collective Blog will highlight our member families, programming, volunteer projects, partnerships with local businesses, major events, and calls for involvement. We will also be inviting current members and members of the Alameda community to guest blog and share their unique perspectives. If you have any ideas for blog topics or would like to get involved with this fun new project, please get in touch.

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