THE LIFESTYLE MANUAL FOR THE MODERN MOM
SINGLE MOMS OPEN UP ABOUT RAISING KIDS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
KEEPING UP WITH KHLOE & KRISTEN
ENCOURAGE HEALTHY SNACKING
JANUARY 2016 路 THESAVVYMOMS.COM
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JANUARY MODERN MOM 16 REAL LIFE DOESN’T PIN PRETTY 18 SAVVY BOOKSHELF: REAL-LIFE RESOLUTIONS 20 TIRED? ACHY? IT MAY BE YOUR THYROID MEET CAMERON OM, AND HIS M SARAH!
SAVVY FAMILY 22 SMART SNACKS 26 SNOW DAY FUN 28 KEEPING UP WITH KRISTEN & KHLOE 30 YOUNG LOVE 32 HAPPY & HEALTHY 34 STROKE OF CREATIVITY 36 PROJECT SEARCH
IN EVERY ISSUE 6 EDITOR’S NOTE 12 NEWS & NOTES 38 BAG CHECK
ON THE COVER: KRISTEN JACOLA AND HER DAUGHTER KHLOE. PHOTOGRAPHY BY LILY DARRAGH.
JANUARY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
High quality child care looks like
Children learn by doing. They learn best when they are having fun. Babies learn math concepts in songs and rhymes. Toddlers develop the skills to understand math through play. Blocks and balls are their tools.
Play grocery shopping gives meaning to numbers. Pretend cooking teaches measurement and order of events. Quality child care uses these activities and more to help your child learn about math. Visit our website to find quality child care near you.
www.ARBetterBeginnings.com â€˘ 1-800-445-3316 Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education
Happy New Year, dear readers! 2016 is here, and that means you’re holding in your hands a totally revamped issue of Savvy! I think you’ll enjoy the changes, so let me tell you a little more about them. Gone are the multiple departments. Instead, we’ve divided Savvy into two main sections— Modern Moms and Savvy Family—both of which bring you compelling content relevant to your world. Each month, Modern Moms will include the latest wellness and lifestyle topics, from fitness trends and health information to what’s new in fashion and beauty. In short, Modern Moms is all about you, the reader. The second half of the magazine, Savvy Family, is where you’ll find essential parenting information such as education and healthcare, plus fun ideas to maximize family time, meal tips and recipes, and amazing stories about real Arkansas moms. Plus? Everything about Savvy looks fresher and cooler thanks to our creative director, Mandy Keener. Without her, we wouldn’t be able to present our content in such a beautiful way. This month, with our focus on special needs, we meet three single moms who are raising some amazing kids under extraordinary circumstances. Kristen, Sarah and Renee share their stories beginning on page 28, discussing everything from getting the diagnosis for their kids, where they find a support system and what they hope you, the reader, learn about kids with special needs. I think Renee said it best—“Special needs are not always visible, and all children are special and deserve to be loved and supported.” Believe me when I say that you won’t have to look far for inspiration in their stories. Elsewhere in the issue, we’ve got some great ideas for getting the kids back into healthy snacking after the holidays courtesy of food blogger and photographer Kerry Guice. Plus, I’m also excited about our new columnist, Jen Holman. At Savvy we’re all about real life, “warts and all” as my mom would say, and Jen brings it with her storytelling in “Mama Said.” And for those of you making resolutions, I’ve shared a list of my favorite self-help books that will give you the positive motivation you need to set a course toward your own personal goals. I hope you enjoy this issue, and the changes that come along with it. The makeover doesn’t stop on the paper; we’re also relaunching thesavvymoms.com. With a clean, more streamlined look and experience, thesavvymoms. com will offer exclusive web content, as well as your favorite Savvy features. I look forward to hearing what you think about this new look, and how we’re presenting information to you. Here’s to a stellar 2016!
Mel Jones Editor, Savvy @SavvyAR
JANUARY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
PHOTOGRAPHY: SARA REEVES
“NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE, THE WORD ITSELF SAYS ‘I’M POSSIBLE.’”
Shape the Future of Better Children’s Care We’re expanding our reach across Arkansas so we can develop a statewide network of care. And we need to hear from trusted patients and families, and the general public so we can make sure we’re meeting your health care needs all over the state. How can you help? Join ACH Asks, our online survey community. Will it take a lot of time? No! We’ll send out short surveys once in a while to get feedback on specific topics. Sign me up! Get started at archildrens.org/feedback.
Beautiful Smiles, Happy Children... That is Our Goal. Services include: •ORTHODONTICS •CONSCIOUS SEDATION •HOSPITAL DENTISTRY
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Pediatric Dentistry THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JANUARY 2016
Make Your Home a PUBLISHER REBEKAH HARDIN | firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR MEL JONES | email@example.com
CREATIVE DIRECTOR MANDY KEENER | firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING DIRECTOR ELIZABETH HAMAN | email@example.com
Quick & Simple
Preventative Measures to Protect Your Plumbing
NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT BLAKE HANNAHS | firstname.lastname@example.org
Frozen pipes are costly to ﬁx and a common cause of home insurance claims in the United States. Start preparing now for winter freezing temperatures with the following steps:
SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE LESA THOMAS | email@example.com
❄ Eliminate Drafts and Insulate Pipes
The fall season is the best time to insulate pipes in unheated areas to prevent freezing. Close crawl space vents and doors, seal cracks, and breezy spots to prevent outside air from entering.
ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE RHONDA CRONE | firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING TRAFFIC MANAGER ROLAND R. GLADDEN | email@example.com ADVERTISING COORDINATOR JIM HUNNICUTT | firstname.lastname@example.org
❅ Winterize & Protect Outside Faucets & RPZ Valves
Disconnect water hoses and insulate outside faucets. If you own an automatic sprinkler system, remove or insulate your backﬂow device (RPZ) to protect it during the winter season.
DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCER BRYAN MOATS
❄ Locate Your Shutoff Valve
Know how to turn your water off using your shutoff valve or at your meter in case of an emergency. Paint it a bright color or hang a tag on it. Make sure your family knows where it is and what it does.
❄ Drain Pipes Before Extended Vacations When leaving for extended periods during the winter, set temperatures above 55 degrees, turn off the water at your meter, and drain waterlines to reduce the risk of frozen pipes. For additional tips to protect your home this winter visit www.carkw.com.
SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR LAUREN BUCHER | email@example.com GRAPHIC DESIGNERS BRYAN MOATS | MIKE SPAIN | KEVIN WALTERMIRE PHOTOGRAPHER BRIAN CHILSON PRODUCTION MANAGER | CONTROLLER WELDON WILSON IT DIRECTOR ROBERT CURFMAN ACCOUNTS PAYABLE KELLY LYLES
221 East Capitol Ave P.O. Box 1789 Little Rock, AR 72203 Customer Service: 501.372.5161
BILLING/COLLECTIONS LINDA PHILLIPS CIRCULATION DIRECTOR ANITRA HICKMAN
JANUARY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
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ALL MATERIALS ARE HANDLED WITH DUE CARE; HOWEVER, THE PUBLISHER ASSUMES NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR CARE AND SAFE RETURN OF UNSOLICITED MATERIALS. ALL LETTERS AND PICTURES SENT TO SAVVY™ WILL BE TREATED AS INTENDED FOR PUBLICATION AND ARE SUBJECT TO SAVVY'S™ UNRESTRICTED RIGHT TO EDIT OR TO COMMENT EDITORIALLY. 201 E. MARKHAM ST. SUITE 200, LITTLE ROCK, AR 72201 501-375-2985. ALL CONTENTS ©2016 SAVVY™
Above and Beyond T H E L AT E S T I N T E C H N O L O G Y. T H E B E S T I N C A R E .
As a nurse at a pediatric clinic, Denise Davis' vocation requires a lot of walking. But most of her patients and their parents don't realize that she is an above-knee amputee who wears a prosthesis to get around. Fortunately, Denise trusts the staff at Snell Laboratory to go above and beyond to take care of her needs so she can take care of others.
Offices located in Little Rock, Russellville, Fort Smith, Mountain Home, Fayetteville, Hot Springs, North Little Rock, Pine Bluff and Conway.
G o ld Win n e r
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JANUARY 2016
LET US PLAN YOUR PARTY! SATURDAY, JAN. 23RD 2ND ANNUAL ARCADE COMPETITION!
contributors JANUARY 2016
BOGO, Buy One Mini Golf or Go Kart & Get One ride for 1/2 price all day! •Go Karts •Mini Golf •Bumper Boats •Lazer Maze •Arcade & Prizes •Batting Cages •Big Party House!
Call Us Today! 501-455-3750
www.bigrockfunpark.com 11411 Baseline Road, Little Rock (near Bass Pro Shops)
KERRY GUICE is a food blogger and photographer living in Little Rock with her husband, two kids and their dog. When she’s not sharing her latest meal on Instagram, Kerry is planning her family’s next Arkansas adventure or crafting with her creative tots.
Visit our newly-redesigned website for information on services, upcoming events, and access to our resources! Kidsourcetherapy.com Services We Provide: •Early Intervention Services •Therapy Evaluations •Speech/Language Therapy •Occupational Therapy •Physical Therapy
Supportive Programs: •Sensory Integration •Feeding & Swallowing •Hippotherapy •Aquatics •Special Olympics
Benton• Little Rock• North Little Rock• Arkadelphia• Malvern
SOCIALLY F I N D
10 JANUARY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
LILY DARRAGH is a photographer in Little Rock. She studied photography at Parsons the New School of Design in New York. Currently working out of a photography studio in downtown Little Rock, Lily loves to shoot people and places unique to Arkansas.
KD REEP is a writer and public relations practitioner in Little Rock. She owns Flywrite Communications, Inc., a public relations agency, and is the PR director for Mass Enthusiasm, a fullservice marketing communications firm in Little Rock.
DWAIN HEBDA is a writer and editor living in Little Rock. He and his wife Darlene are the parents of four grown children. The empty-nesters spend their time traveling, working out and spoiling their two dogs.
IF YOUR CHILD KNEW HOW TO TELL YOU SHE WAS BEHIND, SHE WOULDNâ€™T BE BEHIND. /HDUQLQJGLVDELOLWLHVFDQEHGLIÃ€FXOWWR VSRWVXEWOHFXHVOLNHDQXQVWDEOHSHQFLO JULSVORZDQGFKRSS\UHDGLQJRU GLIÃ€FXOW\UK\PLQJZRUGV/XFNLO\ZHNQRZ ZKDWWRORRNIRUDQGDWRXU(YDOXDWLRQ 5HVRXUFH&HQWHUZHNQRZKRZWR DGGUHVVWKHP
ADD/ADHD APRAXIA AUTISM DEVELOPMENTAL DELAYS DOWN SYNDROME DYSLEXIA FEEDING DISORDERS HEARING IMPAIRMENTS INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES LANGUAGE DELAYS LEARNING DISABILITIES READING DISORDERS
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Zoo membership is a gift that gives and gives. When you give a membership to the Little Rock Zoo, you do two good deeds with one gift. You give family and friends hours and hours of fun. AND you help fund the Zooâ€™s crucial mission of wildlife conservation and education.
Give one gift that helps both humans and animals! Get all the great details at www.littlerockzoo.com/membership or at Guest Services at the Zooâ€™s main entrance. Or call (501) 661-7218 with questions.
www.littlerockzoo.com #1 Zoo Drive | Little Rock, Arkansas | 501.666.2406 Like us on Facebook!
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JANUARY 2016
NEWS & NOTES
THE LATEST FOR PARENTS & KIDS TECHNOLOGY
BE PREPARED! If you haven’t already, it’s time to start thinking about getting your student registered for one or more ACT tests in 2016. The first test of the year is February 6 (registration deadline, January 8), followed by tests on April 9 (registration deadline March 4) and June 11 (registration deadline, May 6). After a summer break, testing resumes on September 10. Ensure your student is ready to ace the ACT with The Savvy Guide to Test Prep, coming next month in the February issue. DOWNLOAD THIS
IT JUST TAKES A SECOND Created by a computer animation guy working endless hours at an advertising firm, One Second Everyday began as a personal project for Cesar Kuriyama when he decided to take a year off to do all the things his all-consuming job was keeping him from. The concept is simple: Add a one-second snippet to the app’s calendar-style movie reel, and make a movie out of your collected clips. For days that have video already stored on your phone—we also discovered that it works with “live” photos on the iPhone, too—you can bring them into the app and edit down to that one great second. In a time where we love to document everything, it’s a unique way to capture real moments of everyday life. Check out Kuriyama’s story at 1secondeveryday.com. And read more about chronicling real life online in Jen Holman’s new column on page 16.
12 JANUARY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
COOL KID TECH We love it when technology can be used to inspire us to be more active, and the Moff Band does just that for kids. The slap-on bracelet is easy to wear and encourages kids to move around and be active with realistic sounds that follow each action, creating an immersive, imaginative play experience. When kids swing their arms, a whisk can become a tennis racket, a spoon doubles as a magic wand and—our personal favorite—pencils turn into drumsticks. In addition to its own app, Moff Band is also compatible with the PBS Kids’ Party app, which has four different sections that you can dance to, move to, swing to and get creative to. Each activity encourages kids to move away from the device and be imaginative in how they play with each movement they make. Learn more at moff.mobi.
CHOOSE AN ACTIVITY & GET MOVING!
The world-famous Harlem Globetrotters are celebrating their 90th anniversary with the most epic world tour ever, with more than 320 games in North America alone. The star-studded roster will have fans on the edge of their seats to witness the ball-handling wizardry, basketball artistry and one-of-a-kind family entertainment that thrills fans of all ages. Tickets start at just $28. verizonarena.com.
MLK Day of Service MEGA KINGFEST, Arkansas’ official full-day observance, will pay tribute to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Highlights include keynote speaker Arun Gandhi, grandson of the late Mohandas Gandhi, the 2016 Annual Interfaith Prayer Breakfast, a Day of Service celebratory event and the Nonviolence Youth Summit. Jack Stephens Center, UALR, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Free.
Monster Jam stars the biggest performers on four wheels: Monster Jam trucks! The 12-feet-tall, 10,000-pound machines will bring you to your feet, racing and ripping up a custom-designed track full of obstacles to soar over—or smash through. The colorful, larger-than-life beasts are sure to capture the hearts of both young and old. Tickets start at $20, with 50 percent off kids’ tickets. verizonarena.com.
INNOVATIONS IN CITY BUILDING: Lessons from Memphis This Architecture and Design Network lecture will feature Doug McGowen and Tommy Pacello, members of the Memphis Mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team, who will discuss the revitalization of the Broad Ave. neighborhood. Arkansas Arts Center, 6 p.m. Free.
In The 13 Clocks, Princess Saralinda is “warm in every wind and weather,” but her uncle, the Duke of the castle, is not. In fact, the Duke is so cold and so jealous of Saralinda’s warmth that he holds her prisoner in a tower, refusing to let her marry. Then one day Prince Zorn of Zorna arrives to rescue the Princess from her uncle’s icy schemes. Join brave Prince Zorn on this quest from the ever-surprising, always entertaining imagination of James Thurber. Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre; Fridays, 7 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 2 p.m., through February 14. Tickets are $12.50; $10 for AAC members. THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JANUARY 2016
FIND BLISS WITH PANTONE’S 2016 COLORS OF THE YEAR Each year, the Pantone Color Institute announces its Color of the Year, a symbolic color snapshot of what’s happening in our culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude. For the first time, Pantone has chosen two colors for 2016: Rose Quartz and Serenity. From Pantone: “Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.”
PANTONE ALWAYS IMMORTALIZES ITS COLOR OF THE YEAR ON A COLLECTIBLE PORCELAIN MUG, AND THIS YEAR’S COLOR COMBO IS PERFECT FOR A SOOTHING CUP OF TEA. PANTONE.COM.
As we dream of spring’s arrival, expect to see this peaceful pairing popping up on everything from makeup to handbags. Here are a few of our early favorites.
LIGHTWEIGHT AND LUXE, CHARMING CHARLIE’S JET-SETTING AVIATOR SUNGLASSES BOAST PINK LENSES FOR THE PERFECT POP OF COLOR, AND AN INSTANT MOOD LIFT. CHARMINGCHARLIE.COM.
14 JANUARY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
ACCENT YOUR LOOK WITH THIS GLOVE-TANNED LEATHER CLUTCH FROM COACH. THE CORNFLOWER BLUE COMBINES WITH GUNMETAL ACCENTS FOR A DECIDEDLY MODERN STYLE, AND THE SIZE IS JUST RIGHT FOR ALL OF YOUR GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT ESSENTIALS. COACH.COM.
GET PERSONAL ABOUT YOUR MONEY IN 2016 Taking control of your finances is all about controlling your money rather than letting your money control you. It takes a little work, like most improvement projects, but the results are life changing. Here are some ideas to help get you in the right mindset: MAKE IT PERSONAL Write down what matters to you, making a core money values list in order of importance. TAKE 30 DAYS to track all your income and expenses, even down to the smallest detail. PAY YOURSELF FIRST by setting aside money for savings. PAY DOWN DEBT by paying off your credit accounts one card at a time, starting with the smallest first. OWN YOUR DECISIONS Partner with a friend who’ll serve as your accountability coach. There’s nothing like having someone call you out when you’re slacking, and praising you when you’re succeeding! —Stephen Northington, CFP, CDFA, Little Rock-based certified financial planner
FROM KATE SPADE, THE ELSIE TABLE LAMP IS 100-PERCENT GLAMOROUS AND GIRLIE. THE BLUSH GLASS-GLOBE BASE IS ACCENTED WITH BRASS AND TOPPED WITH A CREAM SHADE, AND THE STYLE IS PERFECT FOR BOTH THE LIVING ROOM OR BEDSIDE TABLE. KATESPADE.COM.
THE Big Game
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THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JANUARY 2016
REAL LIFE DOESN’T PIN PRETTY
lever memes have become key players in the social media game. Short quotes, often humorous, are paired with photos and shared from one person to another. There is a popular meme featuring “The Most Interesting Man in the World.” If created for this article it might say, “I don’t always <create memes>, but when I do <it’s to show off my mad skills in a Savvy column>.” These memes appear in our social media feeds every day. We chuckle and share, or simply keep scrolling. But I saw one recently that put the brakes on my scrolling finger. The quote was too true—too close to home, and I couldn’t let go of the sentiment: “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” —Steven Furtick In this age of widely accessible WiFi, of unlimited data plans, of Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest and Snapchat, we are bombarded with images of perfectly dressed and coifed children, of decadent homemade birthday cakes and meticulously crafted parties. While no one will ever accuse me of being crafty, I am guilty of only showing the world my highlight reel. A quick look through my own posts produces smiling and happy children, a spotless living room, vacation shots and donating time at the Angel Tree. I post cutesy photos from the pumpkin patch, of a lemonade stand, a school function, of fishing on the White River. I searched and searched, but was unable to find a single post featuring my 8-year-old having a meltdown to rival any pre-teen. None of my 4-year-old refusing to eat or throwing socks across the room because they’re “all wrong.” Not a single shot of my 2-year-old hitting her siblings, writing on my sofa, or stuffing an entire roll of toilet paper in the commode. No. Not one photo of the splotchy red faces produced by endless sibling bickering over…everything. After poring over my status updates, I determined I have never admitted most nights we send the kids to bed with iPads instead of books. I can’t recall sharing that I’m usually so ready for 8 p.m. my smile
isn’t a smile at all, but the result of grinding my teeth to get through those last minutes. Why is that? Why are we so happy to share those shining moments, the good stuff, that highlight reel, but never reveal the true behind-the-scenes moments that make up daily family life? Certainly, one reason is we don’t think to document fits and fights with photos. But also, it’s unsavory. Do I want the world to know we moved the hamsters to the laundry room because they stink, and no one really ever played with them anyway? No. Would I post a picture of the ever-growing corner of my dining room where I’ve begun to deposit things without a true home? Huh-uh. Do I admit that though I work from home I still can’t manage, and have someone help clean the house every other week? No, that never seems to come up. Deep down, I know most families are like mine. I know it, and yet insecurity seeps into my sleep- and adult conversation-deprived brain. In moments of frustration I think ‘Katy’s house is so organized,’ or ‘If I was a good mom I’d take my kids to the park as much as Cindy,’ or ‘I should really wear makeup and real clothes every day like Beth.’ Why do I think my friends’ and neighbors’ lives are any different than mine? Better, even? Because I see their spotless houses on Facebook. Happy and active children at the park or on their bikes litter Instagram. Family beach vacays overwhelm my feed. These photos are wonderful and welcome, but they’re not the whole story. It’s likely that two minutes after those perfect photos someone had a meltdown. Maybe mom just couldn’t take one more minute of whining and hid out in the bathroom for a while. Perhaps the baby ate sand or ruined her smocked swimsuit. It’s possible little brother was jealous and threw big sister’s iPod in the duck pond. We will never know because those awful moments aren’t documented in photos. This year, I resolve not to compare my behind-the-scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel. Life is messy. It’s tough to navigate, and it’s impossible to get right every time. Real life is perfect in spite of its imperfections— perhaps because of them. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.
Jen Holman is often irreverent and frequently imperfect. But she’s happy, by God, and that’s what matters. She lives in Little Rock with her husband, three children and a nephew, striking that delicate balance between inspiration and frustration. Jen has published two novels under the pseudonym Jen Crane, the second of which was selected by iTunes/iBooks as “Our Pick” in fantasy sci-fi.
16 JANUARY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
Feeling broken is no way to live. Behavioral issues in young people become increasingly difficult if not treated by age 14. We offer extensive in-patient and out-patient programs for all ages. Help someone reclaim their life. Contact The BridgeWay for a no-cost assessment.
21 BridgeWay Road • North Little Rock, AR 72113 501.771.1500 • 800-BRIDGEWAY TheBridgeway.com Accepting most insurance plans, including Medicare and Private Option.
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3401 Springhill Drive, Ste. 245 North Little Rock · 501.758.1530 CLINIC HOURS: MONDAY-FRIDAY 8 AM-6 PM WALK-IN SICK CLINIC: SATURDAY 8 AM 203 B Plaza Boulevard Cabot · 501.843.0068 CLINIC HOURS: MONDAY-FRIDAY 8 AM-5 PM THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JANUARY 2016
SAVVY BOOKSHELF: REAL-LIFE RESOLUTIONS
Even though I didn’t even make it halfway through Lean In, I love a good, inspirational, kick-inthe-pants self-help book. Whether it’s healthy living, getting organized or trying to be better at my job, I like to read what works for other people and try to adapt their advice to deal with my own goals and issues. I think this applies to the resolutions we tend to make this time of year, so here’s a handful of my favorites from the past year, plus one I’m getting ready to add to my bookshelf. BY MEL JONES
1. WHAT YOU CAN, WHEN YOU CAN
I came across this book last year during a time when I was particularly overwhelmed with life, and was struggling to write my daily to-do list, let alone finish anything on it. What You Can, When You Can really helped me snap out of the unrealistic, all-or-nothing expectations I had for myself, like getting back to my five days a week gym routine even though I haven’t stepped foot in the place in months and couldn’t be more out of shape. What You Can, When You Can, or #wycwyc as it’s called by its large online community, is a simple, baby steps philosophy that breaks down all of the things we want to accomplish into small, realistic bits. “While WYCWYC stands for ‘what you can, when you can, it encapsulates so much more. WYCWYC is about acknowledging that doing your best—and making compromises when needed—is always enough,” say authors Carla Birnberg and Roni Noone. The book is organized into short chapters and sections that make it easy to find inspiration for conquering whatever roadblock you’re facing, and is peppered with fun challenges and great quotes that make for a modern and refreshing take on the self-help book.
2 & 3. THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP & SPARK JOY
I hopped on the KonMari bandwagon a little late in the game, but it didn’t take more than a few pages for me to become intrigued. By Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up introduces the KonMari Method of organizing your home once and for all. It’s so simple it’ll make you smack your forehead and go, “Oh, this makes perfect sense.” Instead of cleaning room by room, the method suggests going by categories, such as clothing, books, papers and everything else. I recently made it through the first three categories, which resulted in a ton of clothes delivered to the consignment store and donated to the thrift shop, not to mention a massive box of papers that are ready for the shredder. I ignored the section about getting rid of books, because that’s just not in my reality. But eliminating the amount of “stuff” we’ve got has become a positively addictive activity. And you can bet I’ve pre-ordered the follow-up from Kondo, entitled Spark Joy. Based on her approach that if something doesn’t spark joy it should be discarded, this book promises to serve as a step-by-step illustrated guide to the KonMari method for newcomers, and for those of us who have tidied up to an extent but want more, we can expect an “Encyclopedia of Tidying Up” that answers questions and gets to the nitty gritty of the method. It’s available January 6.
ACCORDING TO NIELSEN, THE TOP RESOLUTIONS FOR 2015 WERE TO STAY FIT AND HEALTHY (37%), LOSE WEIGHT
18 JANUARY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
4. LEAVE YOUR MARK
Aliza Licht went from med student to senior vice president of communications for Donna Karan International; you might have known her on Twitter as the once-secret @DKNYPRGIRL. In Leave Your Mark, Licht offers insider advice for anyone searching for that dream job, considering changing careers or how to make the most of being at the top of your game (see chapter 17, “When You Get to the Top, Don’t Be an A-Hole”). Reading about Licht’s own experiences at different stages throughout her career is like having your own mentor guiding you through everything from dealing with an office bully to building your personal brand and style, using social media to your advantage and learning essential skills like public speaking. I loved Leave Your Mark not just for the advice, but also for the behind-the-scenes look into the world of fashion PR. And since publishing the book, Licht has left DKI in order to grow her overall brand and Leave Your Mark as a company in its own right. So although @DKNYPRGIRL is no longer, @AlizaLicht just a tweet away, often giving advice and always inspiring those of us who keep up with her.
NEXT ON MY TO-READ LIST!
Next on my to-read list:
A YEAR OF YES
She owns our Thursday nights with Gray’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder, and now Shonda Rhimes has a little bit of advice for us, too. In Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person, Rhimes took on the challenge of saying yes to everything that she would normally say no to, such as public appearances that forced the introvert to step away from the wall and mingle at parties, and give media interviews that typically would send her into severe panic attacks. Year of Yes explores Rhimes’ life of saying no, and chronicles her life after she started saying yes. As someone who has her own social anxiety introvert issues to deal with, I’m looking forward to reading about how a writer whom I admire made such big changes in her life.
(32%) AND ENJOY LIFE TO THE FULLEST (28%). THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JANUARY 2016
A slow metabolism, or hypothyroidism, can cause muscular weakness and fatigue.
TIRED? ACHY? IT MAY BE YOUR THYROID The thyroid is a tiny gland in the neck that produces hormones to help regulate metabolism. But, when the thyroid doesn’t work well—or at all—it can wreak havoc on your mental, physical and emotional health BY KD REEP
bout 200 million people throughout the world have thyroid disease, with more than 30 million of those being Americans with thyroid disorders. However, more than half of these citizens remain undiagnosed and untreated, and left unchecked, thyroid disorders can cause depression, tremors, muscle weakness and constant fatigue. Women are five times more likely than men to have an impaired thyroid, and as a person ages, so does her risk of a compromised thyroid. January is Thyroid Awareness Month, and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ Thyroid Center has resources available to help you understand what your thyroid is, what it does and how to get it checked for possible problems. The Thyroid Center at UAMS is a multidisciplinary referral center specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of benign and malignant thyroid and parathyroid diseases. The Center’s interdisciplinary team of fellowship-trained surgeons, endocrinologists, pathologists, radiologists and nuclear medicine doctors work in the treatment and long-term management of thyroid malignancies, and its state-of-theart diagnostic equipment includes video laryngoscopy and highresolution ultrasound. Through research and education, the UAMS thyroid team strives to advance the knowledge and investigate new treatments of thyroid disorders. To learn more, visit uamshealth.com/ medicalservices/ent/thyroid.
HOW DOES THE THYROID WORK? The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck that, if not working properly, can cause your metabolism to speed up (hyperthyroidism) or slow down (hypothyroidism). Many of the symptoms of thyroid conditions can be hard to recognize or present as another type of illness, so it is important to see your doctor to determine if a thyroid condition is what is affecting your health. Symptoms of thyroid imbalance, specifically hyperthyroidism, include rapid weight loss, high blood pressure, anxiety and insomnia. If your metabolism is slow, you may be suffering from hypothyroidism, and its symptoms include weak or slow heartbeat, muscular weakness, constant fatigue, weight gain, depression, slow reflexes, a sensitivity to cold, thick, puffy or dry skin, slowed mental processes and poor memory, and constipation. If you have an enlarged thyroid gland and have difficulty swallowing or breathing, you could have a goiter. Thyroid cancer, which is the fifth most common cancer in women, is the fastest growing in new cases of cancer among women and men because of more awareness and better detection.
WHO’S AT RISK? According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) and the American College of Endocrinology (ACE), you should
*WOMEN ARE FIVE TIMES MORE LIKELY THAN MEN TO HAVE AN IMPAIRED THYROID.
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have an evaluation of your thyroid if you have a family history of thyroid disorders, are taking lithium or amiodarone, or you have or have had radiation therapy to the head or neck.
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WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS? If you suspect you have a thyroid condition, thyroid-stimulating hormone testing is the best way to determine whether your thyroid is functioning properly. This is a blood test that can let your doctor know if your thyroid is healthy, under- or overactive, or may be affected by cancerous cells. It is vital to have your thyroid checked each year because it affects your overall health and well-being. The AACE and ACE utilize a blue paisley ribbon to raise awareness of thyroid conditions. The ribbon made its debut in 2012 as a symbol to unify thyroid awareness efforts, and paisley was chosen because of its resemblance to a cross section of thyroid follicles, the tiny spheres that the thyroid gland is made up of. The awareness month helps educate people about what the thyroid is, what it does, where it’s located and how it affects health and well-being. With increased awareness and detection, thyroid dysfunction can be identified, diagnosed and successfully treated. In fact, once proper treatment is prescribed, you will live a healthy lifestyle without any restrictions, and if cancer is present, the earlier the detection provides for more treatment options and better chances of survival. OFFICIAL AWARENESS RIBBON
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HOW TO PERFORM A SELF EXAM • USE A MIRROR AND FOCUS ON THE LOWER MIDDLE AREA OF YOUR NECK ABOVE THE COLLARBONES. • WHILE FOCUSING ON THIS AREA IN THE MIRROR, TIP YOUR HEAD BACK, TAKE A SIP OF WATER AND SWALLOW. • AS YOU SWALLOW, LOOK AT YOUR NECK AND CHECK FOR ANY BULGES OR PROTRUSIONS IN THIS AREA.
• IF YOU SEE ANY BULGES OR PROTRUSIONS, CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR FOR AN APPOINTMENT. IT COULD BE AN ENLARGED THYROID GLAND OR A THYROID NODULE, WHICH SHOULD BE CHECKED TO DETERMINE IF IT IS CANCEROUS OR NEEDS CHECK TREATMENT FOR ANOTHER YOUR TYPE OF THYROID DISEASE. NECK!
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JANUARY 2016
SNACKS, SPELLING & SHAPES? YES, PLEASE!
Bring the kids back to healthy eating with a Yes Tray
STORY & PHOTOGRAPHY BY KERRY GUICE
here are certain times of the year when most of us tend to overindulge on sweets. Halloween through Christmas is like a sugary fog of candy, hot chocolate and cinnamon rolls. When the New Year begins, my family and I are in need of a sweets detox! I came up with the “Yes Tray” a few years ago to bring us back to how we need to be eating. You can use a tray, or just as easily a muffin tin. I fill it with healthy snacks and keep it at my kids’ level in the refrigerator. They don’t have to ask before snacking, the answer is always “yes.” The kids feel like they have freedom of choice, and I feel like I’m giving my kids healthy options without a fight. Sometimes I’ll add a few hard-boiled eggs and call it lunch! The way I arrange the tray is to include one handful of something they love that will bring them to the tray, like bunny grahams or
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pretzels. I add to that nuts and dried fruit. The rest of the tray is for raw fruits and veggies. A few things my kids love are oranges, apples and grapes, so to that I’ll also add in things they’ll eat but don’t ever ask for, like carrots, broccoli or celery. I like to introduce new things here as well, because they know the tray won’t be refilled until it’s empty. If your kids prefer a dip, try using a pouch of dressing seasoning and adding it to plain Greek yogurt for the veggies, and have them dip the fruit in vanilla Greek yogurt! Kids eat with their eyes first, just like we do, so I take the time to make it beautiful. No need to make a Hello Kitty sculpture out of the apples or mini Darth Vader radishes, but if I slice them the same size and organize them in rows, it has a big effect on how they see the tray. If they know you put effort into their tray, they’ll likely reward you with trying new things.
NO FANCY EQUIPMENT NECESSARY— JUST USE A MUFFIN PAN TO GET STARTED.
*EASY MAKE AHEAD SNACKS FOR BUSY MOMS THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JANUARY 2016
*DON'T REFILL UNTIL THE TRAY IS EMPTY!
A COOL PRESENTATION OF SNACKS IS SURE TO ENTICE KIDS.
I know I’m much more likely to eat something that looks nice, and I think kids are no different. A bowl of whole fruits and veggies in the middle of the kitchen is likely to be passed by. But sliced and presented on a tray creates an interest that keeps them coming back for more! When introducing new things, try cutting them with a mini cookie cutter (like these red pepper slices). The butterfly shaped pepper was the first thing my daughter grabbed! Another trick is to pair new fruits or veggies with ones they love. These grape kabobs are paired with mango, so my grape-loving little guy is likely to try the mango because it’s on the same stick. When adding new things, only put a small portion on the tray so they’re not overwhelmed by the thought of eating five whole radishes by themselves! 24 JANUARY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
MINI SWORDS MAKE IT EVEN MORE FUN TO SNACK!
My philosophy is color, color, color! Try rainbow carrots mixed with celery, different colored grape tomatoes (cute picks are always a hit), and Easter egg radishes with cucumber. Adding plantain chips and almonds to the bunny grahams prevents them from snacking only on bunny grahams, as my kids would do if I let them. Seasonal fruit like Cara Cara oranges and Honeycrisp apples (shown here) are especially sweet.
To prevent the apple slices from browning, put the slices in a bowl with two cups of ice water with a teaspoon or two of applecider vinegar and let soak for about five minutes (lemon juice also works). Pat them dry with a paper towel before putting them on the tray.
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JANUARY 2016
SNOW DAY FUN Winter weather in Arkansas is unpredictable to say the least! But whether the snow sneaks in unexpectedly while we sleep or the anticipated dusting turns into six inches of fresh powder, we’ve got some ideas to help you prepare for a snow day at home
WINTRY MIX Cool boots to keep little feet warm and toasty, no matter the forecast!
FUN FOR FLURRIES!
1. Baby’s first Wellies! Hunter’s “First Classic” is a mini version of the iconic rain boot, and features a mini lug sole and a wider upper leg that makes the on and off process much easier. Handcrafted of natural rubber, the First Classic is completely waterproof. us.hunterboots.com.
2. The kid-size version of The Original Muck Boot Company’s “Hale” boot is 100-percent waterproof, fully insulated with Neoprene and boasts a unique tread that lets them run and play safely. Available in a wide range of color combos at department and sporting-goods stores statewide; muckbootcompany.com.
3. For a serious snowstorm—or perhaps a vacation further north—Sorel’s Yoot Pac nylon boot offers the waterproof warmth, durability and comfort of a winter pac boot in a versatile, low-profile design. The soft Sherpa pile snow cuff adds a little touch of ski-trip cool. Available at department and sporting-goods stores statewide; sorel.com.
MAYBE I’LL STAY INSIDE!
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4. Perfect for little ones enjoying the snow from indoors (or while being carried), these stylish Minnetonka for Opening Ceremony booties are handcrafted from the finest moosehide leather, and are lined with cuddly, natural sheepskin. minnetonkamoccasin.com.
PERFECT FOR TINY HANDS!
we QUICK CRAFT: SNOW PAINT!
Mix food coloring and water in a squirt bottle and voila—an easy way to make bright and colorful art in the snow. These mini “Sauce to Go” bottles by Sistema are perfect for little hands; for larger batches of snow paint, grab a six-pack of clear condiment bottles on Amazon. CABIN FEVER PLAYLIST
Stuck inside for what seems like days? Cheer up cranky kids and de-stress yourself with a dance party that promises to banish cabin fever! “WALKIN’ ON SUNSHINE” KATRINA & THE WAVES “HAPPY” PHARRELL “WATCH ME (WHIP/NAE NAE)” SILENTO “FIREWORK” KATY PERRY “YMCA” THE VILLAGE PEOPLE “MY HERO” FOO FIGHTERS “HANGIN’ TOUGH” NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK “PUTTIN’ ON THE RITZ” TACO “ONE DOZEN MONKEYS” THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS “SURFIN’ SAFARI” THE BEACH BOYS
*MAKE A MUSIC VIDEO OF YOUR DANCE PARTY! THE KIDS CAN SHOW OFF THEIR BEST MOVES WITH FUNIMATE, WHICH EASILY CREATES VIDEOS THAT YOU CAN ADD ENDLESS EFFECTS TO, INCLUDING CAPTIONS, IMAGE EFFECTS, LOOPS AND MORE.
starting 2016 with healthy habits
As we say goodbye to 2015 and hello to 2016, families across the state are greeted with a chance to make the New Year a healthier one. “There is never a bad time to start healthy habits, but the new year will undoubtedly provide many families an opportunity for a fresh start,” said Shreelekha Nallur, M.D., a family medicine specialist at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). Whether it’s during an activity or enjoying time at the dinner table, incorporating healthy habits will improve your family’s welfare and provide unique opportunities for quality time together. Here are a few helpful tips: Get Active. A regular, neighborhood walk can get your family active and interacting with one another. Meal Planning. This practice can save you lastminute trips to the drive-thru and ensure time at the dinner table. For on-the-go families, try slow-cooker recipes that require less time and effort. Get More Sleep. A lack of sleep can increase the chances of various, adverse health conditions, so a good night’s sleep is key to everyone’s well-being. The journey to a healthier lifestyle will include bumps along the way, but support from the entire family is sure to keep everyone on the right path.
For an appointment, call 501-686-8000 UAMShealth.com/centerforprimarycare
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JANUARY 2016
Kristen and Khloe Jacola are in constant motion. The mother and daughter from Saline County count work, school and home duties as part of their daily schedules, but they do it at a sonic pace. Here’s how they manage it all. BY KD REEP P H OTO G R A P H Y B Y L I LY D A R R A G H
SAVVY: WHERE ARE YOU FROM? KRISTEN JACOLA: I was born in West Monroe, Louisiana, but moved to Arkansas when I was very young and have been here ever since. I graduated from Benton High School in 2003. WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION? I have worked at Kinco Construction in payroll and administration for three years now. It started out as a temporary position, but they hired me on full time, and it’s the best company I have ever worked for. WHAT IS YOUR DAY-TO-DAY LIKE? Get up around 6 a.m., get ready then pick out my kids’, Landon and Khloe, outfits for the day. They eat breakfast then get off to school around 7:20 a.m. I go to work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., then pick up Khloe from Friendship Community Care around 5:15 p.m. every day. Then we head to Nana’s house to pick up my son. Once home, I fix dinner, we do homework, play and watch TV.
KRISTEN AND HER DAUGHTER KHLOE PLAYED PEEK-A-BOO DURING THE SHOOT.
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KHLOE HAS DOWN’S SYNDROME. WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO GET HER DIAGNOSIS? We found out at 18 weeks and went in for a special ultrasound. They told us she looked normal and everything looked fine, but they didn’t see she had Down’s syndrome. They did say her limbs looked a little short, but that was it. I had Khloe at 36 weeks, and she was taken to Arkansas Children’s Hospital the next day and stayed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for more than 30 days. I was very scared, and I had no idea what to expect, but she has no heart problems and has already had eye surgery, adenoids taken
out, three sets of ear tubes and dental work done. She is a trooper and always does a great job at these procedures. AS A SINGLE MOM RAISING A CHILD WITH SPECIAL NEEDS, WHAT OBSTACLES DO YOU FACE? HOW DO YOU OVERCOME AND DEAL WITH THOSE OBSTACLES? Of course, every Down’s syndrome kid is different. Khloe is a wild and active little girl. She is fearless and doesn’t see any type of danger. She keeps me running and jumping through obstacles for her. For the most part, the hardest thing about doing it alone is Khloe doesn’t understand the concept of waiting in line. She can’t talk so I don’t understand everything she wants or needs. I don’t know what all her cries are about, which is frustrating for both of us. If she wants something, she is going to fight to get it or go to it. I can’t always take her places because she doesn’t sit still, so I can’t take her to a movie or play where she has to sit there because she wants to get up and run into the middle of it. She doesn’t like to sit in a highchair for a long time while we eat or a shopping cart long enough to shop. She wants naturally to walk beside me or with me for anything. For the most part, I just deal with it all. I’m not going to miss out on birthday parties or seasonal activities because I know she’ll give me the hardest time. She has no idea what Halloween is, but you better believe we are dressing up and going door-to-door just like every other kid. I’m not going to stuff her in a house and never let her experience what other kids get to do just because it will make my day harder. WHAT IS YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM LIKE? My family and friends are great support. They love Khloe and don’t treat her differently. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT BEING A MOM? Seeing their eyes light up when they see me. Khloe beams with joy every day when I pick her up, and I get the biggest hug. I get the best snuggles and that innocent unconditional love that you know you wouldn’t get from anyone else. WHAT DO YOU ALL LIKE TO DO AS A FAMILY? We spend time together either watching TV, reading a book or doing a puzzle. Whatever Landon and Khloe want to do.
star. g n i n i h yas l e t i n i f ig e “She is d ’s going to do b s he gi I know s day, and nothin ne things o op her.” st o t g n i o g KRISTEN JACOLA -
WHAT DO YOU WANT READERS TO TAKE AWAY FROM YOUR STORY? Down’s syndrome kids are beautiful, special, loving kids that deserve everything any other child does. I hope they can see the happiness and love in these kids’ eyes and hearts. I really want other parents to talk with their kids about special little boys and girls and teach them about using harsh words and staring or pointing. I had a little girl ask me what was wrong with Khloe’s face one day, and it broke my heart. But Khloe puts a smile on everyone’s face. While she was in the hospital waiting room, she went around to each person and gave them a big hug and high five. They all smiled and loved it. It just brought happiness to a quiet, cold room while these parents waited on their kids in surgery. She is definitely a shining star. I know she’s going to do big things one day, and nothing is going to stop her.
JUST OVER A YEAR OLD, CAMERON IS A HAPPY AND ENERGETIC BABY.
Sarah Barnett is only 20 years old, but she has taken on the duties of parenting and adulthood with a quiet and determined resolve. A licensed cosmetologist, Sarah organizes her day-to-day life around her son Cameron, who has a compromised immune system and attends Friendship Community Care in Bryant. This is their love story. BY KD REEP P H OTO G R A P H Y B Y L I LY D A R R A G H
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SAVVY: WHERE ARE YOU FROM? SARAH BARNETT: I am from Bryant, but I was born in Little Rock. The doctor who delivered me, Dr. Mike Cope, also delivered my son. My parents, Don and Jane Barnett, own Cantrell Animal Clinic where my dad is a veterinarian. WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION? I am a licensed cosmetologist; I graduated in June when I was about three or four months pregnant. Right now, I wait tables at U.S. Pizza in Bryant, and I have worked there three years. WHAT IS YOUR DAY-TO-DAY LIKE? Every morning at 7 a.m., I get up, and then wake up Cameron so he can be at school by 8 a.m. Then I will go home, brush my teeth, eat my breakfast and get ready for work. I pick him up at 3:30 p.m. then we go home and play until 5 p.m., and he will nap until 7 p.m. since he won’t sleep at daycare. After that is dinner, bath time and bed at 8 p.m. He still gets up three or four times during the night. Today, I had to take Cameron to the doctor because he has hand, foot and mouth disease, and can’t go back to school until next week so I’m missing work to watch him.
as the w 19 t a t n a n g e “Getting pr through, e n o g e v I’ g in h hardest t single mom a g in m o c e b d an t, but I s ie r a c s e h t s a at 20 w ing about h t a e g n a h c wouldn’t my son.” my life. I love NETT -SARAH BAR
WHEN DID YOU GET CAMERON’S DIAGNOSIS? WHAT WAS THAT LIKE? Cameron was born two months early. My water broke at 30 weeks and four days due to stress. I went in on a Tuesday and had him on a Friday. He was born at 31 weeks on the dot. He was 4 pounds, 2.7 ounces, which is two pounds more than normal babies at that age. He stayed in the Baptist Medical Center Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for 33 days. He was sent home on a heart/apnea monitor and had to wear that 24/7 till he was 6 or 7 months old. He stayed on oxygen for a week and had a feeding tube for about 20 days. I couldn’t find a daycare that would take a child on a monitor, and I needed to find a job at a salon. AS A SINGLE MOM RAISING A CHILD WITH SPECIAL NEEDS, WHAT OBSTACLES DO YOU FACE? HOW DO YOU OVERCOME AND DEAL WITH THOSE OBSTACLES? With me being his primary caregiver, I’ve had to sacrifice two salon jobs since I am the one taking him to and from school as well as his multiple doctor appointments. The school nurse was constantly calling me to come get him because he was sick so I had to leave work, but I’m trying to find a salon that is flexible with my hours and his needs. Since he was premature, his immune system is not the best sometimes so we will be at the doctor’s office every week. WHAT IS YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM LIKE? I live with my mom, dad and sister, and they help out a lot. I would not be able to parent without them. My mom will watch him when I work nights, and his dad will get him maybe once a week for a few hours. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT BEING A MOM? I know he will always need me and love me. I needed him in my life; I needed someone to love. Getting pregnant at 19 was the hardest thing I’ve gone through, and becoming a single mom at 20 was the scariest, but I wouldn’t change a thing about my life. I love my son. WHAT DO YOU ALL LIKE TO DO AS A FAMILY? HOW DO YOU SPEND TIME TOGETHER? I’ve had a boyfriend for a little over a year now; we started dating when I was six months pregnant. He loves to take me and my son out to eat or to the park. He is absolutely amazing. Cameron’s favorite thing to do is swim, and lately I have been taking him out to the barn and letting him “ride” my horse, Princeton. WHAT DO YOU WANT READERS TO TAKE AWAY FROM YOUR STORY? Being a young, single mom is so hard but so rewarding. Enjoy every minute of your pregnancy and every moment with your child. They grow up in the blink of an eye. THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JANUARY 2016
Renee Hohn knows how to multitask. A farmer’s daughter from northeast Arkansas, Renee manages raising two sons, Carson and Lewis, and working full-time as a single mom in Saline County. She may be constantly in motion, but Renee has her priorities in line—her sons and their healthy development. Her younger son, Lewis, deals with some emotional issues, which are being addressed both at Friendship Community Care in Bryant and at home. This is how she and her sons manage their busy lives. BY KD REEP P H OTO G R A P H Y B Y L I LY D A R R A G H
SAVVY: WHAT IS YOUR DAY-TO-DAY LIKE? RENEE HOHN: I get my boys up and ready for school, drop them off then head to work by 7:30 a.m. I then pick them up a little after 5 p.m. Once we’re home, and if there are no band events, I fix dinner, make sure homework is getting done, try to pick up around the house, watch a show on TV, put Lewis to sleep, make sure Carson is finished with homework and not playing video games, watch the news, go to bed and get ready to do it all again.
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BIG BROTHER CARSON AND LEWIS HAVE A SWEET, VISIBLE BOND.
YOUR SON ATTENDS FRIENDSHIP COMMUNITY CARE. WHAT IS HIS DIAGNOSIS, AND WHAT KIND OF PROGRAMS AND THERAPY DOES HE RECEIVE THERE? Lewis is 3-years-old and extremely intelligent with no speech problems, but he developed or starting showing signs of over-stimulation anxiety when his prekindergarten class doubled in size. He became aggressive, agitated and cried uncontrollably because he didn’t want to go to school. He also suffers from poor impulse control and opposition defiance, and he has some emotional issues that, more than likely, come from his dad abruptly disappearing from his life. Friendship was a godsend. They have smaller class sizes and certified teachers who genuinely care about our babies. They are patient, teach him coping skills and embrace his spunky personality. WHEN DID YOU GET HIS DIAGNOSIS? WHAT WAS THAT LIKE? I have known since he was 8-months-old that he was more sensitive to his environment and others’ moods than most people. So many of his symptoms are actually very normal toddler behaviors; his are just a little more exaggerated. I was relieved to find a place that could actually pinpoint what he needed and love him right where he was and through the process. AS A SINGLE MOM RAISING A CHILD WITH SPECIAL NEEDS, WHAT OBSTACLES DO YOU FACE? HOW DO YOU OVERCOME AND DEAL WITH THOSE OBSTACLES? The hardest thing is being away from him 10 hours a day. “Happy Lewis” is the first half of the day and right after a nap. After working nine to 10 hours each day, I come home to “Tiredand-Mad-at-You-Because-You-Left-Me Lewis.” My oldest son is a great help, but having a toddler and a teenager has its own challenges. Doing it on my own means no breaks or “me” time, which makes outings hard when Lewis is in rare form and doesn’t want to go
“Special needs are not always visible, and all children are special and deserve to be loved and supported.” -RENEE HOHN
anywhere. I have to occasionally miss a band concert or competition that my oldest is involved with or make them only to end up sitting in the car until they are over because my little man decided to throw a screaming fit to get on the stage or the field with his bubba. The weekend is my favorite time because as long as we have no major band event, we watch cartoons, play, snuggle and just enjoy each other. WHAT IS YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM LIKE? I don’t really have much of one, outside of school. My friend, who was Lewis’ first babysitter and also the mother to his best friend, helps more than anyone by picking him up from school for the hour-and-a-half left before I can leave work. One of my sisters who lives 45 minutes away from us will always be there if there is an emergency or no other option, but she also works full time, has a husband, four kids and a church youth group that keep her busy. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT BEING A MOM? The unconditional love they have for me, that my kisses are magically healing to a boo-boo, and knowing that God trusted me enough to be their guardian, protector, counselor and mother. WHAT DO YOU ALL LIKE TO DO AS A FAMILY? HOW DO YOU SPEND TIME TOGETHER? Tickle wars, singing and dancing silly around the house. During the summer, we live at the pool every extra moment we have. WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO TAKE AWAY FROM YOUR STORY? Special needs are not always visible, and all children are special and deserve to be loved and supported. Being a single mom and juggling so much responsibility, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and exhausted, which can steal your joy. Don’t get sucked into the negative, but take every moment to laugh, love, sing and be silly with your kids. THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JANUARY 2016
STROKE OF CREATIVITY
PHOTOGRAPHY: BRIAN CHILSON
Easter Seals’ A.R.T. program helps bring works of art to life BY DWAIN HEBDA
Tina Bodiak, a retired Little Rock elementary school teacher, has volunteered as a tracker for the past couple of years. Maddye, age 12, uses a speaking program on her iPad, as well as the laser, to direct Tina.
rt, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. But what do you do when you’re the only one who can see it and have little to no means of bringing it from your mind to the canvas? That’s the dilemma traditionally faced by artists who have little or no use of their hands. And it’s precisely the reason Easter Seals’ Artistic Realization Technologies (A.R.T) exists. The Little Rock program allows individuals to bring their artistic vision to life despite limited use of their hands. The artist works in tandem with one or more trained volunteers called trackers. The trackers take direction from the artist and become his or her hands in the process. Artists provide direction as to the location on the canvas where and how a brush stroke should be placed and the details for that brush stroke. “Basically, a tracker follows the directives of the Easter Seals artist,” says Tina Leoncavallo, Easter Seals Arkansas marketing and public relations coordinator. “Each Easter Seals artist requests the canvas size and will direct the tracker to let them know how they want it painted. “They communicate very specifically; the artist will tell the tracker where on the canvas to place the brush stroke and at what angle and the length of it.
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And the tracker just follows the directive and does not give any suggestion on how to paint.” Artists have complete control over the work, short of applying the paint. They select colors and direct trackers in blending colors to gain the shade variations they want. There’s even a variety of application options, many of them using household kitchen gadgets such as a turkey baster or spatulas, to create interesting lines and texture in the abstract works. While all of this is impressive on its own, even more astounding is the fact that in addition to limited use of their hands, some artists also have difficulty communicating verbally. Yet, through adaptation and in some cases assistive technologies, this challenge can also be overcome. “Some of the artists blink to say yes or no, and some of them wear a laser pointer on their heads so they can direct the tracker on where to place the brush strokes,” Leoncavallo says. A.R.T. isn’t a random therapy so much as it is a means for people to express themselves, sometimes employing a professional talent. The system was developed outside Arkansas by a professional artist who became disabled later in life and needed help carrying out his artwork.
CHOOSING CHILD CARE FOR KIDS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
“I REALLY ENJOY THE ONE-ON-ONE TIME WITH THE KIDS. IT’S GREAT SPENDING TIME WITH THEM AND GETTING TO KNOW THEM.” —TINA BODIAK, A.R.T. VOLUNTEER.
Some of the individuals who take part in the Arkansas program have also received formal art training, others simply have a passion for the activity. Each derives unique, individualized benefits from the process of expressing creativity. “One of our newest artists who just came to the program recently did art before his accident,” Leoncavallo says. “He receives therapy at home and he comes here and it helps him get out of the home and be with other people and learn how to communicate with other people. “A lot of our Easter Seals artists already receive some sort of service from Easter Seals, but not necessarily. We have a young girl who goes to Maumelle Middle School who used to receive services from us and even though she no longer receives (those services), she has a passion for painting and so she comes here for that.” Keeping an open door has meant finding more artists, but also requires additional trackers, of which there are currently only a handful. Leoncavallo says volunteers are a critical part of the program, especially those who can assist during painting, typically one-hour sessions, during after-school hours. “Especially after 4 p.m., it’s kind of hard to find someone to volunteer,” Leoncavallo said. “Some of the artists are still in school and so the only time they can come is after 4 p.m.” Some of the finished artwork is used to help raise money for the organization through Easter Seals Arkansas’ various fundraising events such as November’s Art and Soul and February’s The Fashion Event. This year’s Art and Soul raised a total of more than $60,000 while last year’s Fashion Event, which combines a runway fashion show with selected art pieces, topped $116,000. Both events also showcase the artists themselves while spotlighting the A.R.T. program.
Better Beginnings, a program of the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS), connects Arkansas families with information and care that helps their children experience a safe, happy, healthy childhood. The program is designed to improve the level of quality in child care and early childhood education programs across the state. It can also aide in helping parents of children with special needs find child care that fits their needs. Better Beginnings works with participating licensed child care and early childhood education facilities to ensure children receive quality learning opportunities as early as possible. The program works with child care and early childhood education providers to train their staff to build a better learning environment. Program administrators developed a one-, two- and three-star rating system to certify child care and early childhood education providers. Once a provider is certified, this rating is posted online for families to use when choosing a child care and early childhood education facility. The Better Beginnings website—ARBetterBeginnings.com—provides the resources that families need to find a child care and early childhood education facility that meets their child’s unique needs. It’s important to understand the needs of a family and child to find the type of facility that would fit their needs when looking for care. To begin the search for child care and early childhood education in a community, families can use the Find Child Care feature on ARBetterBeginnings.com. This allows families to find care according to their unique needs and the feature can be specific to any ZIP code in Arkansas. The Choosing Child Care Checklist is another online tool available to families. The checklist is an interactive guide for child care and early childhood education search. It guides families through tours of facilities, allowing for a checklist to be created for each facility visited during the search. The interactive checklist can be used on a smartphone and saved once completed. This puts the power in the hands of families as they choose the best place for their child. For children who need a little extra care, ask yourself these questions when searching for a child care provider: • Is the child care program close to my work or home? • Is there a system in place to record medication, special feedings and additional procedures? • Does this caregiver have experience and special training to meet my child’s needs? • Will there be an opportunity to communicate regularly about my child’s development and any concerns that may arise? • How many children does each caregiver have in a classroom? • Are the caregivers trained in CPR and first aid? • Is the facility accessible and safe for my child, and can it accommodate their necessary equipment? • Are activities modified to my child’s needs and abilities?
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JANUARY THESAVVYMOMS.COM | JANUARY2016 2016
PROJECT SEARCH Little Rock program helping young adults with disabilities prepare for the workplace BY DWAIN HEBDA
After graduating from the program, Devon (above) now works in the distribution center at Dillard’s. Liz (below), who now works at Embassy Suites, gained a variety of skills during her internship at UAMS.
36 JANUARY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
t the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, they’re used to graduations with its beaming honorees, proud parents and the air hung thick with promise for the future. But last May, 13 graduates brought the celebrated Little Rock medical school to its feet as the first class of Project SEARCH Arkansas to receive their certificates of completion. “So often at commencement ceremonies you hear speakers tell graduates to start going out to change the world,” Alan McClain, commissioner of Arkansas Rehabilitation Services, told the graduates, his son Nathan among them. “Well, I think through your experiences the world has already been changed, not only for you and your families but for the people you’ve worked with every day.” Project SEARCH helps young adults with developmental disabilities prepare for the world of work through an internship program with participating companies in their community. UAMS’ program is the first in Arkansas, which lent additional emotion and joy to May’s graduation. It was a moment Jenny Adams, Project SEARCH Arkansas director, had waited to see for a long time. “There is quite a bit of prep work to get a program like this up and running, but it’s doable,” she says. “It took us about a year-and-half of prep work before day one at UAMS.” Participants invest 20 hours per week in the program from August to May, learning work skills and receiving job coaching and lessons in independent living. Project SEARCH also provides the critical final step—job placement assistance—to help graduates put what they’ve learned to practical use. “(Without Project SEARCH) their options right now would be to join a kind of sheltered workshop where they would be working at sub-minimum wage,” Adams says. “There are some other community resources that could offer placement that might lead to employment. Or they can try to navigate employment on their own. That can be pretty tough but they can try that.” By contrast, Project SEARCH has a sterling track record: Of the program’s 25 total graduates, 24 have found employment, many working full time with benefits. “Actually, one of our interns just got a raise,” Adams says, her voice ringing like a proud parent. “Our highest-paid graduate is now at $15.83 an hour. We’re very excited.” The Arkansas program is an affiliate of Project SEARCH International, headquartered in Cincinnati. While it is not limited to healthcare business partners, so far that’s where the Arkansas program’s early growth has come,
PHOTOGRAPHY: COURTESY PROJECT SEARCH
Project SEARCH has a sterling track record: Of the programâ€™s 25 total graduates, 24 have found employment, many working full time with benefits. via a new program at Arkansas Childrenâ€™s Hospital and next year at CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs. Adams said hospital environments provide particular benefits for the programâ€™s educational goals. â€œOne thing that we love about a hospital setting is that itâ€™s kind of a mini community, so they can get experience in a lot of different areas, not just healthcare,â€? Adams says. â€œWe have interns working in the gift shop, in nutrition services, in environmental services, IT research, classroom technology; lots of different areas so they get different experiences. Their internship hours help them build their resume so when they finish the program theyâ€™re ready for employment.â€? Demand for the program has accelerated. Adams said 17 individuals applied for the first classâ€™ 12 spots; one year later 44 people applied for the same number of internships. Given the glowing endorsements participantsâ€™ families give Project SEARCH, itâ€™s not hard to see why. â€œLiz had a strong desire to have a job, she knew how unhappy she had been staying at home with no true direction,â€? says Ann Hodges, Lizâ€™s mother. â€œWhen she was hired, she told everyone â€˜I have a job!â€™ She works very hard to complete her duties. She knows that other employees count on her.â€?
â€œDevon is more confident and exhibits a greater connectivity with the people around him,â€? says Devonâ€™s mother Kim Yada. â€œHe realized that he was chosen for Project SEARCH because of who he is and what he can contribute. The same attitude was carried over to his work. Someone values his worth and his attitude reflects it.â€? One reason for the programâ€™s success is that it benefits from the collaboration of several elements working together for the participants. Besides the company matching each internâ€™s skills with work placement, Project SEARCH Arkansas includes such organizations as ACCESS, which provides educational components and Arkansas Rehabilitation Services, which provides financial support, applied directly to vocational education and career development. Continued cooperation is critical for the programâ€™s growth, Adams says. â€œThe main thing is, the community has to want this type of program,â€? Adams says. â€œIt needs to have an employer large enough to handle 13 interns on-site all day. Then, of course, it has to be able to hire them back in the community when they finish. Those are all the types of things we look at when weâ€™re thinking of what community to expand into next.â€?
We take your childâ€™s education Register now to start next semester at your local public school! Registration for ALL students will be held at each zoned school.
â€˘ Elementary and Middle Schools â€“ January 25-29 â€˘ High Schools â€“ February 1-5
Legal Transfers to LRSD and NLRSD will be accepted Monday, January 25 through Friday, January 29, at the PCSSD Central 2IĂ€FH('L[RQ5GGXULQJUHJXODUEXVLQHVVKRXUV Scan the QR code on the right or visit pcssd.org/register for full information. PCSSD does not participate in the Arkansas School Choice Code 6-18-1903.
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The Joint Commission Top Performer on Key Quality Measures 2013
The Joint Commission Top Performer on Key Quality Measures 2013
1-800-264-5640 www.rivendellofarkansas.com 1-800-264-5640
www.rivendellofarkansas.com Most insurances accepted including Medicare,
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Most insurances accepted including Medicare,
AN EDUCATION WITH EXPECTATIONS
A SCHOOL AND A THERAPY CLINIC At the Academy at Riverdale, teaching methods and curriculum are designed to recognize the individual needs of our students from Kindergarten – Age 21. We are committed to on-going collaboration between parents, teachers, and therapists. Our only goal is to provide the instruction and encouragement students need to work toward realizing their full potential.
Reading & Writing • Math & Science • Literature • Social Studies • Character Education • Social Skills
IF YOUR CHILD HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH A DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDER:
Autism • Asperger Syndrome • Pervasive Developmental Disorder • Down Syndrome Apraxia • Other Language Disorders • Sensory Integration issues Contact us today for more information or to schedule an evaluation for your child.
(501) 663-6965 · 1600 Riverfront Drive ,Little Rock, Arkansas 72202 We work with a variety of private insurance providers as well as ARKids 1st, Medicaid, TEFRA and TRICARE.
Published on Jan 7, 2016