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p10 The area's best healthcare providers answer your questions!

Dad's got this Keeping cool while Mom's away


Still dancing Mother Mayhem on making the best of it


The greatest role


Actress Carla Milarch loves playing mom


• January 2013 •

Volume 6 • Issue 1 January 2013

Adams Street Publishing Co.


5 community snaps 6 what’s briefly happening 7 new kids on the block

8 9 17 19

exceptional families

commentary 13 diary of a dad

A father’s responsibility

Keeping cool when Mom’s away —by Matthew Reger

14 mother mayhem

Dance on your knees

tween the lines


15 parent profile

— compiled by Julian Garcia


Follow us on...

Making the most of what you’ve got —by Mary Helen Darah

Playing a new role

Actress Carla Milarch loves playing mom —by Sandor Slomovits

16 food fight

A taste of Somalia

Samosa house brings family-friendly flavor to Ypsi —by Katy Clark

Luca Silva Celiberto 6 years old Ann Arbor Want your child to be our next cover kid? Send your photos to wth your child’s name, age and hometown.

recycle this paper For our children's future ...

The area’s best healthcare providers answer your questions! • January 2013 •



AdamsStreet StreetPublishing PublishingCo. Co. Adams Publisher/Editor in Chief

Collette Jacobs:


Mark I. Jacobs:

Editorial Editors Alia Orra: Scott Recker:

Staff Writer


Matt Desmond:


Julian Garcia:

Contributing Writers Katy M. Clark, Nan Bauer, Mary Helen Darah, Matthew Reger, Sharon Gittleman, Kristen Gibson


Sales Manager

Aubrey Hornsby:

Account Executives

Kelly Schwark:

Art/Production Art Director

Kristi Polus:

Graphic Designers

Megan Anderson: manderson@adamsstreetpublishing.comSarah Baird: Karin Cassaver: Brittney Koehl: Jameson Stanelius:

Classified Sales

Emily Gibb:


Michele Flanagan:

Administration Accounting

Robin Armstrong:

Publisher’s Assistant

Jan Thomas:

Office Assistant

Marisa Rubin:

Advertising/General Info: For advertising and general information, call (734) 668-4044 or fax (734) 668-0555. E-mail ads to Ann Arbor Family subscriptions are available by mail for $28/quarterly or $75 per year at Ann Arbor Family, 3003 Washtenaw, Suite 3, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104. Letters to the editor must be limited to 300 words, are subject to editing and should include the writer’s full name and phone number. Entire contents © 2013 by Adams Street Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any form is prohibited without the written permission of the publisher.

Toledo Area Parent News Winner of 28 awards for design and editorial content General Excellence Best Commentary Best Personal Commentary


• January 2013 •

In-Depth Reporting Best Overall Writing Best Cover Photo Best Supplement Design

recycle this paper For our children's future ...

Capricorn KIDS Born December 21 to January 19 By Sue Lovett

They come into the world wide-eyed and calm. They love to be touched and express their feelings openly. As toddlers, they walk around looking really smart, sometimes making you feel they know more than you do. They are curious and eager to be helpful, especially to older people. In school they are the teacher’s pet and often tell their classmates and friends how to behave. They make sure they have your attention by touching you and looking you straight in the eye. Then they talk, talk, and talk some more. This time of year they enjoy traditional activities such as handling antique decorations and attending family gatherings. They love clocks and watches and anything that makes a ticking noise. They are climbers and like to be on the top of the couch looking down at everyone else in the room. They enjoy helping you plan menus and going with you to grocery shop. Give them responsibilities! They will thrive.

Creative holiday fun Children listened to stories and made fun holiday crafts at the Holiday Party at Dexter District Library with Linda Westphal.

- Dexter Shyanne Mannor - 9 years old

Bundled up Isabella Camden, 1yr., Ypsilanti, MI tackles the cold with adorable headwear

Ready, set, sushi Fifth- and sixth-graders at Daycroft Montessori School of Ann Arbor were thrilled to try their hand at the challenges of authentic sushi preparation one recent school day • January 2013 •


briefly happening... compiled by Nan Bauer

Photo courtesy of Michigan Photography, Eric Bronson


Dreaming in color His speech, documenting his dream of America, still resonates today — and families can celebrate it on the birthday of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance has created the program “50 Years Later: A New March to the Dream.” In it, faculty and students from all three disciplines will offer readings and performances inspired by King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The combination of dance, theatrical, and musical performances yields an exuberant collage; expect pieces that are thought-provoking, celebratory, and reflective. Free. Monday, January 21 at 2pm. The Power Center, 121 Fletcher St. 734-764-0583.

Skating with the stars ... and trekkies  Did Sulu just whiz by? Lieutenant Uhura? Jean-Luc Picard??? On Friday, February 1, prepare to skate with local versions of Enterprise personnel, as well as a few inspired by the Star Wars franchise, Dr. Who, and NASA, and a whole bunch of folks wearing glow-in-the-dark antennas. At the Buhr Park Outdoor Ice Arena, the first Friday of each winter month is designated Funky Frosty Friday, where skaters wear costumes; prizes are given for the best ones. February’s theme is sci-fi, with an appropriately futuristic soundtrack. The rink is big, and you may be sharing it with anywhere from 30 to more than 100 people. If you don’t have your own skates, you can rent them, and while there aren’t any vendors selling refreshments, the heated lobby has vending machines. Costumes aren’t required. Then again, when you have the chance to wear Princess Leia buns AND skates at the same time, why resist the Force? From 7:15pm to 8:45 pm. Admission $5 to $7. 2751 Packard Rd. 734-794-6234.


Night at the museum Somebody’s got to make all those games that your kids wear out their thumbs on. It might as well be …your kids. They’ll get a chance to do just that at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. Its new program, Experi-night, operates after museum hours from 7 to 11 pm on selected Saturday nights. “We wanted to do something especially for tweens,” says Ann Hernandez, director of programs. “We work to bring out our coolest technology and experiments, and you also have time to explore the museum after hours when there will be a lot less people. It’s pretty sweet.” Videos and gaming are the theme on Saturday, January 26. The evening will be structured, and participants will learn about the techniques of stop-motion animation and game creation, including writing, designing, and programming. Workshops are led by educational experts at the museum, and a snack is provided. Big groups, like Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, are welcome; so are families. Budding detectives can also check out CSI night on Saturday, January 12 from 7 to 11 pm to learn about fingerprinting, DNA testing, and other crime-solving techniques. $15. 220 E. Ann St. 734-995-5439.

• January 2013 •

The art of the tale For kids three, five, or somewhere in between, storybook characters can feel as real as their imaginary friends. Chelsea Center for the Arts has a special program just for them. For its winter session, the Young Artist Club starts each meeting by reading a picture book; then, kids make a craft inspired by the story. For instance, after reading The Three Bears, participants, assisted by their parents, used kidfriendly materials to create bowls that were “just right.” Instructor Tiffany Rouech, an experienced art educator, also likes to use an artist or genre as a starting point. “Young kids and abstract art are a great fit,” she says. “We did some Jackson Pollock-inspired paintings in the fall, and the kids loved it and created some very cool art.” Classes take place in a beautiful historic building, the former St. Ann’s School, which features a gallery showcasing the art of local youth and adults. You can pop into the gallery after class to inspire your little ones — and yourself — even more. $5 per child; preregistration required, as classes fill quickly. Fridays, January 25 to May 10 (no class April 5), 11:15am-12:15pm. 400 Congdon St., Chelsea. 734-433-2787.

New A2 online retailer Ollie and Stella Outfitters sells Belgian outerwear DucKsday, which makes playing outside fun while keeping kids dry

Hooray for DucKsday

When Lin Buyher came across a picture of her great-grandmother and greatgreat-aunt, Ollie and Stella, as children, she couldn’t help but wonder how they were able to move, must less play, in the starched clothing they were sporting. Her own children had been wearing DucKsday gear, full-body playsuits from a Belgium company that were funky and functional, providing protection from rain and snow. That photo — and the positive feedback from parents and kids alike about her children’s new outerwear — served as the inspiration for the online-based children’s retail business she started this year, Ollie and Stella Outfitters. The site officially opened for online business in August, and has proven to be “an interesting learning curve and a full-time job” for Buyher, an architect by training and mother by profession, and her chemist husband. DucKsday gear comes in four affordable pieces: the fleece, the pants, the rain suit and the jacket, two of which, when combined, make the most comfortable, flexible snow suit you can imagine. “Just take the rain layer and the fleece and you’ve got snow gear. Two pieces do the job of three!” Now, not only can families be prepared for whatever weather happens, kids can play the way they were meant to — all year long. Suits range from $25-$70. —CC

d? e c ti o n t e g to t n a W Advertise with us!

You’ll see results!

734.688.4044 • January 2013 •


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Support for ADHD When Kimberly Garver’s seven-year-old son was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, she felt “frustrated and desperate.” The Ann Arbor physician finally had an explanation for her son Michael’s difficult behavior, but she still felt unmoored by the experience. “It feels completely out of control,” Garver said. “These kids are so affected by it that they cannot function at home or at school. It’s an overwhelming diagnosis to handle on your own.” Garver discovered relief, though, in the form of a local ADHD/ADD parent support group, which provides education and a forum for sharing experiences and resources. They meet once a month with the group’s leader and moderator, A2 neuropsychologist Dr. John Milanovich, and invite guest speakers, from yoga instructors to teachers, to offer ideas and A2 physician Kimberly Garver with her son, Michael; his ADD help. “I would say most support diagnosis inspired her to join a local parent support group happens in the parking lot and the hallway,” Garver says, explaining that parents find a morale boost in talking with others with like circumstances. This year, the group was awarded status as a chapter of CHADD (national organization Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), and also has an offshoot group for adults dealing with their own ADHD or ADD. As for Michael? “He is 12 and he is thriving,” Garver says. The parent support group meets every second Wednesday of the month; the adult support group meets the fourth Tuesday of every month. Both meet from 7 to 9 pm, with no charge to join, at the WISD Building, 1819 S. Wagner Rd. RSVP encouraged through, although walk-ins welcome, too. For more info, visit —AO


• January 2013 •

THELINES TWEEN advice for parents with children 10-16

Redbud Productions trainees go on to study theatre everywhere from Wayne State University to Yale; from left: Kristina Thompson, Katie Mack, Claire Siebers, Laura Clark and Sasha Lazare

Catching the acting bug

Teens can get theatrical with the winter acting classes for adult and high school students at Redbud Productions. The classes, led by A2 director and actress Loretta Grimes, help students mine their emotional background to discover their true potential as thespians. Grimes will help her teens with “emotional work, improvisation and scene study,” using the methods of the late, legendary acting teacher Sanford Meisner of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. Meisner believed that “actors learn to fuel whatever they’re doing with honest emotion,” Grimes says. “I try to create a very safe environment so the actors feel free to take risks, because it’s all about breaking out of that comfort zone.” Under her tutelage, students have gone on to study at theatre programs at Yale Drama School, Julliard and the University of Michigan, among others. Grimes says her students come from all walks of life and all ages. It’s an authentic opportunity that will give your teen a chance to shine. The 10-session program costs $160, and is held at Redbud Productions, 1101 Ravenwood, on Saturdays from January 12 to March 23 (with no class on January 26), 3 to 5:30 pm. To register, contact Redbud Productions at 734-663-7167 or email —AO

Spotlight on storytelling

You’ve got a kid with a healthy creative side, and a winning way with words. Now they’ve got somewhere besides a classroom to show it off, as the Ann Arbor District Library presents this year’s It’s All Write Short Story Contest. Now in its 20th year, the contest invites students in three age brackets (Grades 6 to 8, 9 to 10 and 11 to 12) to contribute their original tales, from four to eight pages in length, with cash prizes for the winners. Submissions will be accepted from Monday, January 28 through Friday, March 15, and winners will be announced at a special event at the Downtown Library on Saturday, May 11. Nationally-known author A.S. King will be on hand to present the awards. Last year over 300 kids participated, so now’s the time to get typing! See events/contests for submission info, or call 734-327-8301. —MD • January 2013 •



Dr. Christopher Perry,

facial plastic surgeon/ear, nose & throat

You’ve got questions? These top docs have answers! Ann Arbor’s best area physicians, from allergists to orthodontists, have listened to your health conundrums; their answers helped us create a Dr. Oz-level guidebook of health advice. Read and increase your knowledge — minus the office wait time!

Dr. Perry is a board certified ENT physician and facial plastic surgeon. He is primarily focused on patients suffering from allergy, nasal and sinus problems. He is known as the region’s premiere rhinoplasty specialist because of the large volume of functional and cosmetic nasal surgeries that he does every year.

Q: Can allergies be cured? A: Yes, allergies can be cured, essentially. This is

called desensitization therapy.  In years past, allergy shots were used to introduce small but increasing amounts of the offending allergen to a patient so that the body could build up a tolerance. Nowadays, allergy shots have been replaced by allergy drops by many physicians for a number of reasons, including safety, convenience and a painless option. Treatment can take two to three years for some patients. In some cases, allergies are improved but not completely cured, depending on the severity and quantity of allergies that a patient may start with.

Q: At what age can someone start considering rhinoplasty? My daughter is

insistent that plastic surgery on her nose will improve her self-confidence, but I worry that she is not fully developed or ready for that kind of change. How do I make that decision?


Rhinoplasty is a personal and private decision, not to be taken lightly or done on a whim. Typically patients have been unhappy with their nose for a long time, suffered nasal trauma or may have associated functional nasal breathing or sinus problems such as snoring, nasal congestion, sinus headaches, or recurrent sinusitis. The minimum age for rhinoplasty is different between young men and women. Excluding trauma, usually the earliest age for young women is 16 to 17, depending on completion of expected facial growth, and 17 to 18 for young men.

Q: What’s the difference between a more frequent common cold and an al-

lergy? My child often seems to have a stuffy nose, and I can’t tell how to decipher the cause?

A: A common cold usually lasts for one to two weeks and then reEar, Nose & Throat Physician



solves. A cold may be associated with lethargy, purulent nasal drainage, cough, and fever. Allergy usually occurs seasonally. Allergy is usually associated with nasal congestion, sneezing, and clear nasal drainage as well as itchy, watery eyes. Treatment depends on the symptoms. Over the counter cough and cold medications or allergy medications are usually effective. A visit to your pediatrician, family doctor or an ENT specialist may be a good idea in some cases. Toledo Clinic ENT Sinus Center of Excellence, 5800 Park Center Court, Toledo, Ohio. 419-574-9100.


• January 2013 •


Dr. Mark Berkman, orthodontist

Dr. Berkman earned his doctor of dental surgery degree summa cum laude from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, and his master of science degree and specialty training in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics from the University of Michigan. Dr. Berkman is a nationally recognized educator on a variety of current topics in orthodontics — he was a featured speaker at the American Association of Orthodontists annual meetings in 2005, 2006 and 2008.


At what age should I consider getting braces for my child? I’m not sure which is more effective, starting young or putting them on later in their teens, when they may be more responsible for caring for teeth and wearing a retainer.


The American Association of Orthodontists recommends all children have a screening with an orthodontist beginning at age seven. Every developing mouth is different. Sometimes a larger problem can be prevented by minimal early intervention. Although this is not always the case, it is very important that children be screened so that the best decision can be made in each case. There is no “cookie-cutter” approach to treatment timing.

Q: What’s the most cost-effective treatment for straighten 

ing my teeth as an adult?


Oftentimes minimal teeth straightening in adults can be done with retainers or clear aligners. Many know this by the brand name, Invisalign. This is an

attractive option not only because it is cost effective but also because retainers can be removed easily for eating or social situations where it isn’t desired. Interestingly, the treatment time for adults is far less than for children in many instances.

Q: My child is in first grade and still sucks his thumb.

Should I be concerned that this will affect his teeth, and do you have any suggestions for helping break the habit?

A: Yes, thumb sucking should definitely be addressed

before first grade, which is about when the adult front teeth are in place. There are many different options for motivating children to stop thumb-sucking, and orthodontists have many tricks up their sleeves for this! Whenever possible we try to use encouraging methods which empower children to want to stop. Ultimately, it is going to be up to the child whether the habit is broken. Consultation with an orthodontist can make the entire process much easier on everyone. Michigan Orthodontics. Saline: 214 W. Michigan Ave. 734-429-5433 Ypsilanti: 1820 Washtenaw Ave. 734-429-5433. • January 2013 •



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Dr. Bill MacArthur, veterinarian

Dr. MacArthur’s compassionate care for A2 residents’ pets has led Washtenaw County voters to choose him as Current magazine’s Best Vet for the past four years.


How often should I have my dog’s teeth professionally cleaned?

A: That depends on the diet, breed of animal and other things they chew.

Some animals need it annually, and a lucky few will never need it. Generally, if tartar is accumulating on the teeth near the gum line, they should be professionally cleaned. An oral exam is performed during the annual physical and your vet will advise you on the need for further diagnostics or treatment.

Q: Can a vegetarian diet be healthy for cats and dogs? A: Unfortunately, no. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning that some of

their essential nutrients are found only in meat. For dogs, which are technically omnivorous, it is tough to meet their protein requirements with a vegetarian diet.

Q: At what age can I have my pet spayed or neutered? Also, is it a good idea to let my pet have at least one litter?

A: Spaying or neutering can be done at approximately four to six months

of age. Your pet is given an exam prior to surgery to help determine whether your pet is healthy enough to undergo the surgical procedure. Current vaccinations are required at the time of surgery. Also a pre-anesthetic blood screen may be recommended prior to undergoing anesthesia and surgery. As for the second half of the question, no, there is no advantage to letting your pet have one litter. However there are plenty of advantages to having your pet spayed or neutered. These advantages include decreasing the chances of breast tumors later in life, decreasing the chance of cystic ovaries and uterine infections later in life, decreasing the desire to roam the neighborhood, decreasing the incidence of prostate cancer later in life, helping prevent spraying and marking, and also decreasing the surplus of unwanted puppies and kittens.


• January 2013 • D'-7#?7=)(0-.-,5

Affordable Vet Services will be at their 611 S. Ashley St. until January 31. After that date, they will be moving to a new facility at 2117 W. Stadium (behind Arbor Farms Market). 734-926-0114.

A father’s responsibility Keeping cool when mom’s away By Matthew Reger

“Your only responsibility is to keep them alive.” That was the sage advice of my friend, who is the father of four adult children. My wife had left for a couple of days on a trip for work and that was his version of encouragement. At that moment, based upon my morning, it sounded like the only achievable goal on my to-do list for the day. The day had started benignly enough. I woke Elizabeth, our six year-old. She was initially reluctant to get out of bed, but I enticed her with the promise of pancakes. Two-year old Noah soon followed and we seemed off to a good start. With breakfast finished I chased the kids upstairs to get dressed and ready to go. Elizabeth and I haggled over what color shirt she would wear with her required school uniform. Noah seemed fine with his choice of clothes but shoes were another matter. I chose a pair he said he liked. Once on, though, he was not so sure. I took them off and went hunting among the pairs strewn around closets for a pair that met his approval. During this search I asked Elizabeth to brush her teeth. (A little daddy multitasking.) Her first response was “I don’t want to.” I ignored this and asked her to please brush her teeth. While I was trying to assert parental authority with Elizabeth, Noah informed me that now he, in fact, wanted to wear the previously rejected pair of shoes. As I was bouncing back and forth from child to child I noticed that I was running out

of time. The nine o’clock deadline to get Elizabeth to her first grade class was only ten minutes away. “Elizabeth, brush your teeth!” “Bring me my toothbrush!” was not the response I was looking for. At that same moment Noah ran in screaming that he wanted his shoes taken off. He had now remembered why he originally did not like them. With his cries still in my ear, my cell phone rang. Instead of ignoring it in this conflagration I decided to throw gasoline on my personal fire. It was a colleague’s office asking why a document I promised last week was not finished. While trying to explain my situation — both related to the document and my kids — I picked up Noah, still screaming, and placed him on our laundry room counter. I hung up and pulled Noah’s shoe off simultaneously. I flung the shoe with no particular care for its destination and immediately heard the sound of breaking glass as it hit our bathroom window. The sound shocked me; getting to school on time was no longer my biggest concern. Elizabeth was ultimately late for school and a spelling test. All day long, I beat myself up for losing my cool, breaking the window and destroying my daughter’s perfect spelling record. In the midst of this self-pity is where my friend offered his wisdom. But, based on his standard, I had met the minimum requirement. I had also learned three things — replacing a broken window: $70; replacing a lost shoe: $20; calm in the midst of the storm: priceless. • January 2013 •


Dance on your knees

Making the best of what you’ve got By Mary Helen Darah

There is an old Daryl Hall and John Oates song that starts out with a resounding “You got no legs? Dance on your knees!” I refer to it at the start of every New Year to remind me to keep on dancing no matter what “issues” I have going on. I’m not certain if the inspiring story about Itzhak Perlman, the Israeli-born violinist, is urban legend or fact, but it touched my heart so we’re going with it. Mr. Perlman had a bout with polio at age four that left his legs paralyzed. During one of his performances, a string on his violin snapped. The audience expected him to put down his violin, pick up his crutches and laboriously leave the stage to get a new instrument or restring the disabled one. Instead, he took a moment before signaling the conductor to begin. Just like it is said that the aerodynamics of a bee should render it incapable of flight (don’t tell that to Mr. Bee), playing a symphonic piece with a threestringed violin would be as probable as me balancing my checkbook. However, that is what the musical genius did. He recomposed the work in his head to accommodate the loss of the string. He later exCollege student Allisen Hagemey with Moth er plained his actions by saying that it Mayhem’s inspiration, Susan is the artist’s responsibility to make music with what you have left. South African runner Oscar Pistorius is another “go to guy” when I need some inspiration. He marched into London’s Olympic Stadium in 2012 as the first doubleamputee to compete in the games. A birth defect led to the amputation of his legs below the knee when he was 11 months old. The doctors told his mother that he would never be able to stand. I’m certain that Mr. Pistorius is thankful that his late mother refused to believe that prognosis. Many critics argued that his metal “legs” gave him an unfair advantage. I do believe that Mr. Pitorius did have an edge, but it pertained to his strength of spirit and REAL fortitude, not his “fake” legs. Whenever I need an injection of inspiration I turn to my personal version of Olympic fortitude. Susan Hagemeyer was diagnosed with infantile hypophosphatasia, a rare genetic bone disease, at the age of three months in 1996. Susan’s bones are slow to grow and slow to heal. Treatments are limited and the physical limitations that come with the disease are abundant, but don’t tell that to this little “bee.” A bone marrow transplant, countless surgeries, and month-long hospital stays far from home have not stopped her from flying. She has a fondness for acting, art, and supporting her Southview Cougars, and knows in her heart of hearts that one day she will walk. I am in a constant state of awe at how such a little body can contain a spirit of that magnitude. I can vividly recall a family cookie making day when my Gram, who suffered from macular degeneration, was fussing that she couldn’t participate because of her poor vision. My middle child quickly pointed out to her that at age nine, Marla Runyan became the first legally blind athlete to compete in the Olympics. She is not capable of reading an eye chart below the big “E.” My mom, who was “dipping” into the conversation from the kitchen, yelled out “so decorate the damn cookie Mother!” Gram let go of her need for perfection and rose to the occasion. Her creations ended up looking like one of my mother’s meat loaves; pretty darn ugly, but tasty. I have had a few issues myself, from “T-Rex arms” (post bilateral mastectomy) to what I like to call “Mrs. Doubtfire” breasts (they could be engulfed in flames and I’d never know it). As we plunge into the year ahead, I vow to rise above my challenges and make music with what I have left! 14

• January 2013 •

Carla Milarch’s enjoying time off stage with her son, William

Playing a new role Actress Carla Milarch has found playing ‘mom’ the best role yet By Sandor Slomovits It’s understood that actors play a wide variety of roles. In the past thirteen years Carla Milarch has acted in more than fifteen plays at Ann Arbor’s Performance Network, but she has also worn many other hats there. She’s directed plays, has served as sound designer, dramaturg, development director, executive director, and is currently the Network’s associate artistic director. And, four years ago she took on a brand new (and perhaps her most challenging) role to date. She became a mother. After her son William was born four years ago, Milarch tried to continue juggling the multiple tasks of her life and found there was not enough time for them all. So she stopped acting. “I was executive director then, running the theater — that’s a 24 hour job. And I had this Mommy job that is a 24 hour job, and I had a job that I missed terribly, which is acting,” Milarch says. “I finally had to figure out what I wanted. I decided that I wanted to bring acting back into my life — I didn’t feel that I could go much longer without it — and that I wanted to give more time to my family.” With support from the people at the Network, and from her husband, actor Phil Powers, she made some changes. “I would never be able to do what I’ve done without him at home. He’s been primary caregiver. We’ve never had William in daycare. A lot of how we are able to do everything we do as a family is because Phil is there with William at home.” This fall Milarch resumed acting, playing Amanda in a five-week

run of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie. And recently, she even added playwright to her list of accomplishments when she wrote Wolverine Will, a musical about Michigan history. It’s one of four plays for children that the Network will present as part of its 2012-2013 season Saturday Series for Kids, and will feature her husband Phil in the title role when it’s performed on February 23. Milarch loves introducing children to theater. “Their bodies relax. They go into a state that I believe has been around ever since storytellers began telling stories,” Milarch says. “It’s a vital state of relaxed engagement and it’s one that we need more and more in this sensory-overloaded world.” It’s not just Milarch’s schedule and priorities that have changed; she’s noticed a big difference in her acting, too. “Loving a child is such a full and complete and unconditional kind of love that I think it opens up a new part of you,” she says. “As an artist, anytime you open up a new part of yourself, that’s a part that you can bring to your work. I have this very solid line between when I was not a mother and acting, and when I am a mother and acting. I’m so much more emotional and things are flowing out of me that I would have to really work to find before.” The Saturday Series for Kids next performance, of Jamie and Jordan, will be Wednesday, January 26 at 1pm. $7 children, $10 adults. Appropriate for children up to grade 5. For a complete schedule of children’s and adult theater at Performance Network, and to reserve tickets, please visit • January 2013 •



A taste of Somalia

Kid-friendly More yes than no, but see below. To avoid wait You may not have to wait for a table, but you will have to wait for your food, as it’s cooked to order. Parents of toddlers, consider yourselves warned! Noise level Low to medium Bathroom amenities No changing table in the restrooms. High chairs No, just a booster seat. Got milk No. Kids can choose from fruit smoothies or soda. Kids’ menu No, but there are many interesting choices and the owners are helpful.

Samosa House brings family-inspired Somali cuisine to Ypsilanti By Katy M. Clark

Samosa House 1785 Washtenaw Ave., Ypsilanti Open Monday thru Saturday, 10am-10pm Sunday 11am-8pm 734-340-6121


Photos by Lisa Leutheuser

“Where is Somalia?” I asked my hairdresser as I sat down for a hair cut. “Near the Philippines? India?” she suggested. “Maybe Africa?” I guessed without confidence. Later that night my family would learn much about Somalia as we dined at Samosa House, a Somali restaurant in Ypsilanti. Somalia is located on the horn of Africa, east of Ethiopia and Kenya. Its cuisine is redolent with spices and reflects East African, Middle Eastern and Indian influences. It was an Italian colony for decades, too, which inspires pasta dishes. Samosa House, located on Washtenaw Ave. in Ypsilanti, opened in late 2011. Owned and operated by two sisters, Amina and Hawa Hassan, the restaurant is a two-woman show. One sister works the front of the restaurant while the other does the cooking. The interior is part diner, part living room. Less than 30 can sit at tables and booths pushed against the walls, which are painted violet and are adorned with art, seashells and wooden bowls from Somalia. There is no kids’ menu and I was curious what my children, ages five and nine, might like. There were items like samosas (fried turnovers with savory fillings), curry entrées, Somali style spaghetti, and sandwiches such as the minato (ground beef, carrots, onions, parsley and egg wrapped in bread and baked). No pork is on the menu, reflecting Somalia’s roots as a Muslim country.

Amina Hassan suggested smoothies ($3.29) and samosas ($1.29) for the kids. The smoothies were huge, thick, and fruity. Our kids liked their presentation in big glasses as much as the flavor. The samosas were less popular. “I don’t like it because it’s got green stuff and carrots in it,” said my nine-year-old. They turned their attention to a non-Somali dish of fried cheese sticks. Meanwhile, I sipped the most flavorful chai tea I’ve ever had ($1.29). I made my husband order his own so he’d stop sipping mine. Then, we started with beef and vegetable samosas plus spicy potatoes. The mixture of potatoes, onions, carrots, peas, garlic and spices in my

vegetable samosa carried a hint of coconut. The spicy potatoes were like fried dumplings of curried mashed potatoes. They were delicious and interesting. A side of jalapeño sauce provided a sweet, yet hot, kick. “This is awesome,” my husband stated through bites of beef samosa. “I could eat six of these.” Because a large party had been in earlier, the restaurant was out of main dishes such as the Somali spaghetti and minato sandwich. I decided on lamb sukhar, a curry entrée, while my husband selected beef sukhar ($9-$12). These were offered with Somali rice or chipati, anjeero, or muufo breads. Hassan explained their

• January 2013 •

Anything healthy for kids Fruit smoothies and veggie dishes Food allergy concerns They can identify ingredients in each dish; there are no peanuts except in some desserts, which are prepared in a separate area.

differences, just as she explained them to every other customer that night. I picked muufo. This tasty pancakeshaped chewy bread made from corn and rice flour was perfect for sopping up the cream-based curry. My 5-year-old enjoyed hunks of it, too. My husband tried the Somali rice, fried with cinnamon and other spices. The meats in our sukhars were tender; the onions, peppers and potatoes satisfying and scrumptious in the curry sauce. A caveat to dining at Samosa House is the wait time. It was 20 minutes until our appetizers were served; 35 minutes for the entrées. Every meal is made-toorder by the Hassan sisters. Our kids were old enough to endure the wait, but still moved on to dessert, Somali cookies ($2.99), while we ate our curries. The small, flatbread cookies tasted of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. Other dessert choices included coconut and peanut scones, baklava and brownies. I learned a lot about Somalia and its cuisine that night. Specifically, I learned that fragrant, exotic Somali food is worth the wait at Samosa house. Katy M. Clark is a freelance writer from Saline.

January 2013 All calendar events are subject to change, cancellation, and limited size. Calling ahead for confirmation is recommended.

Monday, January 21

Annual MLK Children & Youth Day

Treat your children to the gift of learning about the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during an entire day of activities devoted to commemorate one of America’s greatest voices for equality. While parents attend UM’s MLK Symposium, children will learn the history of the Civil Rights Movement, and develop a dialogue about how MLK’s ideas are incorporated today. Activities include storytelling, guided discussions, group projects, skits, rap poetry, and a range of musical performances. For children K-12. Children under 4 must be accompanied by an adult. 8:30am-3pm. The Modern Languages Building, 812 E. Washington. —JG

2 WEDNESDAY The Sky Tonight: Star Talk - Bright stars, constellations, planets, and telescopic objects in the current night sky will be discussed in this live “star talk.” Then leave Earth and “fly” out into space to examine the planets in the current sky. January 2-4, 11:30am & 1:30pm. University of Michigan Museum of Natural History, 1109 Geddes Ave. 734-764-0478.

4 FRIDAY Drummunity! - With her multi-cultural collection of drums and percussion, Lori Fithian offers a unique hands-on event that gets a group of strangers drumming, singing and dancing, creating their own “Drummunity” orchestra! 10-11am. Malletts Creek Branch, 3090 East Eisenhower Parkway. 734-327-8301.

6 SUNDAY Dancing Babies With Aron Kaufman - Have fun with music and motion with Aron, a percussionist and teacher at Hebrew Day School. 1-1:45pm. Traverwood Branch, 3333 Traverwood Dr. 734-327-8301.

7 MONDAY Craft: Make A Hardcover E-Reader Case - Adults and teens bring your e-reader to the Library and create a custom case for your device out of a recycled hardcover book. Supplies are provided. 7-8pm. Traverwood Branch, 3333 Traverwood Dr. 734-327-8301.

9 WEDNESDAY Lil’ Dragons Pre-K Karate Class Blocks, kicks and chops abound along with tumbling and a lot of fun in this play-based introduction to the martial arts. Your kids will get great exercise while learning focus and the value of paying attention and trying new things! Parents are encouraged to be in the room with the kids and can help out with the class if they want. For children between the ages of 3 and 5 years. Kids should wear sweats or other exercise pants

and will have a t-shirt and white belt to wear for class. These will be purchased from the instructor. Wednesdays January 9-30, 10am. $60, 4 week session. My Urban Toddler, 7025 E. Michigan Ave., Saline. 734-944-3628.

10 THURSDAY Tykes: Let It Snow, Snow, Snow! Snow can be fun to play in but it’s so much more! Make a snow catcher, learn about snow flakes, and find out whether or not snow is “clean.” Stories and other snowy crafts and activities will have your tyke saying, “let it snow!” For children ages 4-5, caregiver not required. Registration required. Thursdays, January 10, 17, 24 and 31, 1-2:30pm. $44 for all four sessions. Leslie Science & Nature Center, 1831 Traver Rd. 734-997-1553.

12 SATURDAY Family Science Workshop: Just Like Me? - What makes people different? What makes people the same? Families will learn about the biological reasons behind skin color and hair texture and explore other inherited genetic traits like the ability to taste certain compounds. Families will also get to perform a DNA extraction. This event is held in conjunction with Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads 2013. 10-11am. Pittsfield Branch Library, 2359 Oak Valley Dr. 734-327-8301. Wacky Winter Time - Los Angeles storyteller Adam Mellema entertains with high-energy stories for winter break. Thaw that winter chill with peals of laughter! He dances. He sings. He’s got the energy of ten cheetahs with an exuberant style that’s all his own! 2:-2:45pm. Downtown Library, 343 S. Fifth Ave. 734-327-8301. Nature Tales: Cotton Tales - Hop on over to story time this month to meet furry mammals and learn how to follow their tracks in the winter snow. For children ages 1 thru 5, caregiver required. 10-11am. $2/child. Leslie Science & Nature Center, 1831 Traver Rd. 734-997-1553. Cont. on pg 18 • January 2013 •


Cont. from pg 17

13 SUNDAY Upcycle An Old Sweater Into Mittens! - Got an old sweater that doesn’t fit anymore? Or, how about one that has holes? Learn how you can turn that old sweater into a lovely pair of handmade mittens. All of the supplies (including a few old sweaters) will be on hand, but please plan to bring an old sweater to work with. If you have sweaters you no longer need, bring them to share. 2-4pm. Pittsfield Branch, 2359 Oak Valley Dr. 734-327-8301. The Never Ending Story - Wolfgang Petersen adapted Michael Ende’s children’s story for this charming fantasy film that spawned several sequels. Bastian (Barret Oliver) is dealing with his mother’s recent death. His father (Gerald McRaney) is an imperious sort who continually lambastes Bastian for daydreaming and falling behind in school. One day he decides to play hooky and walks into a strange bookstore, where in the attic, he discovers a book called “The Neverending Story.” 1:30 pm. $10 / Free for children under 12. Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St. 734-668-8397.

16 WEDNESDAY Parenting Lecture: What Do I Do? My Child is Two! - Learn how to build a positive relationship with your toddler through knowledge, preparation and participation. In this session, Early Childhood Educator Shannon Coon will discuss how to create functional and manageable routines to make days go smoother. She will also address why problem behaviors sometimes come about,


how to avoid them and how to work toward solving them. Area resources for toddler needs and play will also be mentioned. 7-8:30pm. Downtown Library, 343 S. Fifth Ave. 734-327-8301.

18 FRIDAY Tiny Tots: Winnie the Pooh Day This program discusses the 100-acre wood, Winnie the Pooh’s favorite food, and all his Pooh Bear friends. For children ages 1-3, caregiver required. 10-11:30am. $7. Leslie Science & Nature Center, 1831 Traver Rd. 734-997-1553.

19 SATURDAY Storytime at the Museum - Children ages four to seven are invited to hear a story in the galleries. Student docents and UMMA staff will bring art to life as they read stories related to the art on display and invite responses from our youngest patrons. Each story is followed by a short art activity. Parents must accompany children. Siblings are welcome to join the group. Meet at the Information Desk. 11:15am. University of Michigan Museum of Art, 525 South State St. 734-764-0395. Junior Makers - This is a monthly program at which kids with adults will build projects in electronics, robotics and wood. The adults must stay and participate. The project this month will be a choice of wood-craft project: walking stick or grow box, for example. 10am-12pm. Free. Pittsfield Grange, 3337 Ann Arbor Saline Rd. 734-926-5079. groups/grangejrmakers

Look Mom! Drawing and Painting for Parents and Children - Guided by an Ann Arbor Art Center instructor, families will learn how to talk about what they see and how to create art themselves. In this workshop, parents and children will explore an artist, artifact, or art movement from the permanent collections, and then create their own project together. All materials included. Price includes two family members and supplies for one shared project. No children under five; all children must be accompanied by an adult. 1-4pm. $28 members & UM students / $35 non-members / $15, lab fee. University of Michigan Museum of Art, 525 South State St. 734-764-0395.

20 SUNDAY Dancing Babies With Monica Higman - Monica, a teacher with First Steps Washtenaw, presents a program of music and motion for infants up to 5 years. Malletts Creek Branch, 3090 East Eisenhower Parkway. 1pm. 734-327-8301. Fireside Fun: A Good Ol’ Fashioned Campfire Circle - There’s nothing quite as relaxing as sitting around a campfire, roasting marshmallows and swapping stories. One Sunday each month stoke the fires here at LSNC and come join the fun! Campfire and marshmallows provided so all you need to do is grab the family, camp chairs, and the rest of your s’mores fixings. 6:30-8pm. Free. Leslie Science & Nature Center, 1831 Traver Rd. 734-997-1553.

• January 2013 •

21 MONDAY MLK Day Concert: Mosaic Youth Theatre Of Detroit - Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit is an internationally acclaimed youth development program that concentrates on helping young artists to excel on stage and in life. With their collective voices raised in song, the Mosaic Singers shift effortlessly from Motown to Mozart and Broadway to Bach, with a unique style that’s all their own. These young artists mix things up and expose audiences to exciting new musical forms. 2-3pm. Downtown Library, 343 S. Fifth Ave. 734-327-8301.

24 THURSDAY Under the African Sky - A delightful, humorous collection of African tales performed through storytelling, acting, and drumming. Colorful costumes, masks, and traditional music will delight and teach the littlest fans, with lots of opportunities for audience participation! Through January 26. 10am. Washtenaw Community College, Morris Lawrence Building, 4800 East Huron River Dr. 734-995-0530.

25 FRIDAY KinderConcert: Music and Motion Learn about the violin from Barbara SturgisEverett and about the piano from Kathryn Goodson. Then hear a story from Gari Stein and dance to the music of the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra! Shows at 9:30am & 10:30am. Downtown Library, 343 S. Fifth Ave. 734-327-8301.

26 SATURDAY Let’s Read Math: A Quarter From The Tooth Fairy - The American Association of University Women (AAUW) reads a classic story followed by a related math session with hands-on activities and a variety of materials. This event will be offered at two sessions — pick the time slot that works best for you and join up! 10am-11:30am & 1pm-2:30pm. Malletts Creek Branch, 3090 East Eisenhower Parkway. 734-327-8301. Hot Chocolate! - Get a head start on Valentine’s Day with this Hot Chocolate program. Explore the rich history of chocolate, learn about why its needed to protect the ecology of the cacoa tree, and create delicious chocolate treats to warm up a January day. Class fills quickly; register early to reserve your spot! 10am12pm. $8 child, includes materials and activities. Matthaei Botanical Gardens, 1800 N. Dixboro Rd., Ann Arbor. 734647-7600. Baby Playtime: Play With The Senses - Play with a variety of materials taken from real life: wood, fabric, metal, and nature. Young children can engage the senses when they collect, scoop, pour,

MONDAYs-Fridays Lactation Consultation, Consultant Shin Ai Shyn is available for advice, bra fittings and general info about breast and bottle feeding. Call for appointments.10am-12pm. Free. My Urban Toddler, 7025 E. Michigan Ave., Saline. 734-9443628. MONDAYs Homebirth Circles, On the second Monday of the month attend this social gathering and discussion group for families who are considering homebirth, planning a homebirth or have birthed at home. Meet the Midwives from 6:30-7:30pm. 7:30-8:30pm. Free. Center for the Childbearing Year, 722 Brooks St. 734-424-0220. Wednesdays Parent-to-Parent, This is a free, informal drop-in group for parents. Moms, dads, infants, and toddlers all welcome!10-11:30am, Center for the Childbearing Year, 722 Brooks St. 734-663-1523.

Nursing Cafe, Hang out with other breastfeeding moms and enjoy a pot of nursing tea, with professional support on hand for questions and help. Pregnant moms are welcome, too. 2-3pm. Indigo Forest, 4121 Jackson Rd. 734-994-8010.

sort, shake, and hide materials of their choice. For infants through 2 years with an adult. 10-11am. Pittsfield Branch, 2359 Oak Valley Dr. 734-327-8301.

27 SUNDAY Explore Your Options At The Preschool Expo - Looking for preschools but don’t know where to start? The Fourth Annual Preschool Expo brings representatives from area preschools to one location, on one date. The expo will be held at Palmer Commons on the UM campus with ample free parking across the street. 1-4pm. Palmer Commons, 100 Washtenaw Ave. 734-327-8301. www. Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán Mariachi Vargas is one of the most highly regarded ensembles in the history of mariachi, decisively shaping the art form. Founded in a small city near Jalisco by Don Gaspar Vargas in the 1890s, this band basically invented the modern mariachi, and five generations later, is still playing today. 4pm. $10-$46. Hill Auditorium, 825 North University Ave. 734-763-3333.

THURSDAYS Parent Toddler Group, This is a unique opportunity for children 12-36 months and adults to spend quality time together playing, working on simple art projects and having a snack. Older siblings are also welcome. 9:15-10:45am. $92. Lamaze Family Center, 2855 Boardwalk.

Mama Circle, Mothers & Mothersto-be gather to laugh, talk, & cry on their journey through motherhood. In this safe place, discuss topics of interest, create long-lasting friendships & build community; your children are welcome as you care for them while you attend. 9:30-11am. Indigo Forest, 4121 Jackson Rd. 734-994-8010. FRIDAYS Breastfeeding Café, This is a free drop-in group for breastfeeding mothers and their babies, hosted by lactation consultant Barbara Robertson. Stop by for a cup of tea, some good company, baby weight checks, bra fittings, and more! 10-11:30am. Free. Center for the Childbearing Year, 722 Brooks St. 734-975-6534. Saturdays Children’s Story Time, Story time for children ages seven and under.11am. Free. Nicola’s Bookstore, 2513 Jackson Ave., 734662-0600.

Super Saturday Storytime, Stories, songs and a simple craft for preschoolers and older children. 10:30am. Free. Ypsilanti District Library, 5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti. 734-482-4110.

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HEALTH & WELLNESS meet the midwives! An open forum to ask questions about the midwives at New Moon Midwifery, home birth, waterbirth, doula support or options in childbirth. 6:30-7:30pm at the Center for the Childbearing Year ~ 722 Brooks St. Ann Arbor, Mi 48103. Free. For more info call 734-424-0220 or Moms- get fit and have fun! Come workout for FREE every Friday at 9am Details at MomentumBeachbodyFitClub. Homebirth Circles, A social gathering and discussion group for families who are considering homebirth, planning a homebirth or have birthed at home. Sponsored by the Midwives at New Moon Midwifery. 7:30-8:30pm at the Center for the Childbearing Year ~ 722 Brooks St. Ann Arbor, Mi 48103. Free. For more info call 734-424-0220 or

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Ann Arbor Family Jan 13