We go to the vets at Codornices Clinic. Our dog has very bad separation anxiety and they gave us a prescription for doggy-type Prozac when we went on vacation. It worked quite well. We've had a lot of bad vet experiences in the past and we trust them. They take the time to confer with each other and other specialists, are very honest about what care is necessary and what is not, and seem to really care for animals.
If you are looking to buy a new gas range, I recommend the Sears Retail Appliance Outlet in San Leandero. They have literally a couple of hundred of gas ranges (various name brands, but mostly Kenmores which are highly rated) which are discounted from 15-50% b/c of usually minor cosmetic damage that occurred in the warehouse or which caused someone to return it (some have a little more). We have bought 3 appliances there (including a gas range) at great deals. They also have tons of refrigerators, washers and dryers. Everything is covered by the usual warranties. You have to arrange for delivery -- either deliver yourself or they have a phone # there for a delivery service they work with which we have used each time. You have to get it delivered within 3 days.
This place is big and packed to the gills. The first time I stepped into this place I was shopping for my registry and I was so overwhelmed that I promptly left. Once I regained my composure, I did a bit of research on brands, etc., and decided to try again. When I returned, I was pleased to find almost everything that I was looking for. This is a good place to go to find run-of-the-mill baby stuff. Don't come here for unique or designer stuff.
When you first step into this place, it looks like a relic from the 80's. But I don't come here to have my hair styled but to have my eyebrows threaded. The woman that performs this unique and old-world service is great. Her name is Nina. She's been threading her own face since she was 15 and I would guess she's in her late 30's now. She is fast and accurate. She threaded my brows into a perfect shape. If you ever get a chance to see someone do this, by all means do. It's an amazing art.
Amsterdam Art, a local homegrown art supply house, has been a great supporter of arts in the public schools, gives discounts to teachers to help them bring art into the classroom and has even given small grants and donations of supplies to teachers who want to expose students to the art process. I personally have made many trips to Amsterdam Art's University Ave (corner of Univ and 9th I think) store for classroom supplies, materials for my art projects, great stuff for my own kid, and birthday presents.
They have a nice selection of tapes and CDs. They keep a binder behind the counter that has info on all their selections, including descriptions of the artists, reviews, staff notes, etc. If you're interested in a particular selection ask them to play it and you can listen to it while you're browsing in the store.
East Bay Music Together offers classes for newborns through four year olds in mixed age groups. The classes are designed to be a developmental, family music experience where children participate in age appropriate ways in the activities. The music making is almost always accompanied by movement - marching, dancing with beautiful colored scarves, shaking various rhythm instruments, etc.
At this stage in my life, I'm often shopping for children's books either for my kid or for one of the countless kids that we now know. While the collection of children's books is definitely smaller at the 4th St store it's easy to shop with my 1-yr old there because he can spend an endless amount of time arranging and rearranging the Peewee Herman-like kids' furniture. With the kid busy, mom can shop in peace. I can always find something I want to buy here.
There are a lot of starter jackets at this mall. But, one perk is there is a toddler play area complete with cushioned toadstools and fake tree trunks that kids can climb through. I come here in the morning with my kid so he can run like mad with all the other screaming kids. If I want to shop, I will go into Macy's but rarely go into the other stores.
The Nurture Center in Lafayette has pump rentals, support groups and friendly people. They hold all types of classes here from baby massage to swaddling to infant CPR. They even have a yearly baby fair so you can learn the countless things you need to know when having a baby. This place is great for new parents.