THE LIFESTYLE MANUAL FOR THE MODERN MOM
THE NEW MOMS CLUB
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ON THE COVER: SARAH DECLERK AND DAUGHTER SAMANTHA. PHOTOGRAPHY BY SARA REEVES.
THE NEW MOMS CLUB
SARAH DECLERK AND CARRIE HURLEY NAVIGATE THE NEW WORLD OF MOTHERHOOD
In Every Issue
6 LETTER FROM THE EDITOR 40 HAPPENINGS 46 MOMSPEAK: CHRISTIE BECK, M.D.
MAY 2015 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
BRINGING HOME BABY SLEEP TIGHT POTTY TRAINING 101
18 Thrive 37 Nosh AT EASE MEET THE MARK
PREGNANCY NUTRITION GESTATIONAL DIABETES
EXCELLING IN THE SUMMER HIGH SCORE
*Carrie Hurley and baby Revel with Harlow the Yorkie.
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Faith Davies, M.D. UAMS Myeloma Institute UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute
Weâ€™re on a mission to create a better state of health â€” for you and all of Arkansas. Thanks to our world-class research, patients from all over the globe travel to UAMS for treatment. At UAMS you have access to the best care, right here close to home. With a staff of the best and brightest, personalized medicine and convenient access to clinics, you can feel confident knowing the state of your health is in exceptional hands.
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LETTER FROM THE
In the interest of full disclosure, as Prissy said in Gone with the Wind, “I don’t know nothin’ ‘bout birthin’ no babies.” That said, the experts and moms in this issue certainly do, and that’s why I think our New Moms issue is a great resource whether you’re planning to start a family or considering expanding your brood. Writer Callie Sterling covers a range of issues this month, including what you can do to prepare your child to become a big brother or sister (there’s a class for that!), tackling back pain during and after pregnancy, and how pediatric nurse and sleep consultant Jaime Herring helps new moms and their babies develop healthy sleep habits and schedules. There’s a quote from Herring on page 15 that I found to be both beautiful and inspiring. In part, she says, “I always want to encourage moms that they are the best mother for their baby.” I think that’s without a doubt the truth about our two featured moms—Sarah DeClerk and Carrie Hurley—this month. On each shoot, that bond between mother and baby was so very real and clear, and I think Sara Reeves captured it perfectly in the photos starting on page 27. We had such a great time with both new moms, and I have to tell you, photographing incredibly adorable babies is probably the best way to spend the workday. KD Reep tells Sarah’s and Carrie’s stories beautifully, and I love the honesty and candor these two ladies display. This issue is filled with great advice and guidance on everything from pregnancy nutrition and gestational diabetes to potty training and developmental milestones for baby’s first year. Additionally, Dwain Hebda looks at how “summer school” has changed and what schools and organizations are doing to keep students at the top of their game. On a personal note, the Savvy family is very excited to welcome a new bundle of joy! Account executive Bonny Gregory had baby Liam a week ago, and we are so happy for her and Bill, and new big sis Lizzie! You can bet there will be a line to cuddle the little guy when he makes his first office appearance! Congratulations guys, my casserole offer still stands if for some reason Chef Shuttle isn’t available.
MEL JONES, EDITOR MELANIE@ARKTIMES.COM @SAVVYAR
MAY 2015 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
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I AM THE AEA ne of the services the Arkansas Education Association provides its members is direction in human and civil rights programs. Through conferences and training resources, AEA members learn how to communicate effectively with students from underrepresented ethnic groups. Roy Vaughn is a shining example of these resources, and he puts to use what he’s learned for the betterment of his students, coworkers and school. A journalism teacher and yearbook advisor, Vaughn has taught at McClellan High School in the Little Rock School District since the 2008-2009 school year. Originally hired as a communications instructor, he has since taught and certified others in Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID). AVID is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the achievement gap by preparing all students for college and other postsecondary opportunities. “AVID trains educators to use proven practices to prepare students for success in high school, college and a career,” Vaughn said. “In particular, it assists students who are traditionally underrepresented in higher education.” Vaughn’s passion runs deep for teaching and seeing that students from every walk of life have access to a quality education. “I feel like I was called to teach,” he said. “I work every day to make a difference in the lives of the students I teach inside or outside the classroom. I enjoy knowing that the work that I do every day matters, that what you give to students in class will help them for the rest of their lives. I live by this motto every day: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. Every day, I strive to teach students a skill that will help them to be successful in the future. Even if they never become journalists, they will have mastered the skills of writing, photography and critical thinking that I teach each day.” A member of AEA since 2008, Vaughn believes the collective voice of educators is what is needed to have true education reform. “The AEA is always at the forefront of reform measures in Arkansas, and I wanted to lend my voice to the cause because I truly do believe in public education,” he said. “In my experience, when education is legislated without the voices of teachers, bad policies are created and children are harmed. As members of AEA, teachers and education support professionals are given a voice to advocate for changes that impact public education and change it for the better. “For example, since March 2014, several members of the Little Rock Education Association and I saw some inequalities in our school district. Some students received iPads and Chromebooks in several elementary schools in the Little Rock School District while other elementary schools barely had enough books for
BR I A N CHI L SO N
Roy Vaughn serves his community by keeping students engaged.
each student. We organized, and together we have been working a campaign to make educational equity possible in this district. Recently, National Education Association president Lily EskelsenGarcia visited two schools and highlighted the inequity not only on the elementary school level but also the disparity with respect to high schools. Although the work is not yet done, people have begun to take notice of an issue that may have gone without public view. In understanding educational equality, educators must stick together and demand the things that they know will make a difference in student achievement.” Vaughn urges other educators and education support specialists to become members of the AEA because there is strength in numbers. “There is an old saying that one finger won’t make an impact, but if you ball all fingers into a fist, you can strike a mighty blow. That is what the AEA is to me—the fist needed to make a difference in the lives of teachers, education support professionals and, especially, students all over the state of Arkansas.”
1500 W. 4th St. Little Rock 501.375.4611 aeaonline.org
contributors M AY 2 0 1 5
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 full-service marketing communications firm in Little Rock.
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.
is a local photographer and co-owner of Sterling Imageworks. In addition to photography she has always loved to write. She received a journalism degree from the University of Central Arkansas. Originally pursuing broadcast, Callie has since found that print journalism is more of her passion. She enjoys playing with her two dogs and traveling with her husband.Â
10 MAY 2015 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
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THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2015
NEST PARENTING | FAMILY
BRINGING HOME BABY
Early and thorough preparation for a big brother or big sister to-be will make for a happy homecoming BY CALLIE STERLING
The arrival of a new baby is a life-changing experience that can bring on a variety of emotions—from nervousness, jealousy and excitement—for older siblings. It is best to thoroughly prepare a child for the arrival of a new sibling before the newborn is brought home. The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) offers a sibling class to help prepare children for the arrival of a new brother or sister. “In the class we talk about a wide variety of newborn-related topics,” says UAMS sibling course instructor Emily Gordon, MS, CHES, CCE, CBE. “I am very real and honest with the siblings and the parents in the class.” Safety is a very important topic that should be discussed with older siblings before a newborn is brought home. “We discuss safety extensively in the class,” Gordon says. “Safety can be anything from the way the sibling holds the child to not sharing snacks. I go over it in the class but parents should reiterate at home that older siblings can not give the baby snacks.” It is best to include older siblings early on regarding decision-making and throughout the pregnancy. “Some things the parents can do to make the child feel included with the pregnancy process is to bring them along to ultrasound
12 MAY 2015 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
appointments,” Gordon says. “Parents can also include their children when choosing a name for the baby. They can also help with things like choosing nursery colors and picking out outfits for the baby.” The smallest gestures from parents can make the older siblings feel included and satisfied. “My daughter was three when I got pregnant with twins,” nurse and mother of three Jill Walker says. “I felt like including her in the trips to my OB were a great way to involve her. This helped prepare her in many ways.” To prevent unnecessary fear and anxiety for older siblings, it is best to explain that the birth will take place in the hospital, and that mom will have to stay overnight with the new baby. “I explained to my daughter that my twins would be born in the hospital,” Walker says. “I wanted her to know that was normal and that I wasn’t going to the hospital because I was hurt. She knew I was going to have to stay overnight; this prevented her from worrying when the birth occurred.” Honesty is often the best policy when preparing children for a newborn sibling. “We talked about how big the babies were in my tummy, all the way from a blueberry to a watermelon,” Walker says.
“I EXPLAINED TO MY DAUGHTER THAT MY TWINS WOULD BE BORN IN THE HOSPITAL. I WANTED HER TO KNOW THAT WAS NORMAL AND THAT I WASN’T GOING TO THE HOSPITAL BEACUSE I WAS HURT.” —JILL WALKER
Diaper changing is a common worry that older siblings may have about a new baby. “Diaper changes are probably one of the biggest fears of children when their parents have a new baby,” Gordon says. “I try and prepare the sibling and explain exactly how to change the diapers and ease their minds.” Once the baby arrives, it is important to find a healthy balance and give each child an adequate amount of attention. In the early stages of postpartum it is often a struggle for mothers to show equal amounts of attention to the newborn as well as the older sibling(s). Early on it may be helpful for relatives and friends to assist with entertainment for older siblings. “My friends and family were lifesavers with Laila, my oldest daughter,” Walker says. “When my twins were born, my friends and family always had things planned for Laila to do. That was probably the biggest help for me after I had the babies. That way, she didn’t feel left out or less important and I could focus on the babies, clean or even take a nap.” It is equally important to prepare yourself as a parent. Expect the unexpected with older siblings when bringing a new baby into the picture. The best way to prepare is by reading literature and attending parenting and birth related classes. Once a newborn arrives it is important to establish a routine for parents as well as older siblings. “We eventually developed a routine and I learned all kinds of tricks for being a twin mommy,” Walker says. “Three years later and Laila is an amazing big sister, and her little brother and sister absolutely adore her.” For more information on signing up for the UAMS sibling prep class visit www.uamshealth.com/siblingclass. “The class helps the parents as well as the siblings with confidence because they often do not know what to expect,” Gordon says. “They definitely tend to gain confidence through our program.”
April 25 - Oct. 18, 2015 During the world premiere of this one-of-a-kind adventure, you’ll become a globe-trotting explorer alongside 13 life sized roaring, breathing dinosaurs. Discover the amazing diversity that existed during the Age of Dinosaurs as you travel from the ﬁerce plains of Africa to the once sandy beaches of Antarctica.
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THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2015
nest | Thrive | NOSH | CULTIVATE
It’s possible: You and your baby can develop healthy sleeping habits BY CALLIE STERLING
Developing healthy sleeping habits for new mothers and their children is one of the most important postpartum routines that can have profound benefits. Luckily there are many tips and techniques that have proven to be beneficial for mothers and their new baby. Some mothers find a personal sleep consultation with a professional sleep specialist to be helpful. “I usually start with a sleep environment evaluation,” certified pediatric nurse and Baby Charmz sleep specialist Jaime Herring says. Baby Charmz is designed to assist new parents in forming safe sleep habits for their newborns. A sleep consultation is performed at the home and lasts for approximately three hours. “My first step is to make sure the baby is sleeping in a safe environment,” Herring says. “I check the crib and I make sure it has bumpers. The surface needs to be very firm for safety purposes. I also make sure it is free of toys and free of blankets.” If the baby is under 3 months old, swaddling the child in a secure manner is acceptable. Swaddling helps the baby feel safe, comfortable and mimics the feeling of the mother’s womb. “A swaddling position can be really comforting for a new baby,” Herring says. “I only recommend swaddling for babies under three months, though. Swaddling mimics the snug feeling of the mother’s womb. In this position their arms should be secured.” Securing the baby’s arms
14 MAY 2015 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
will also help prevent them from flinging their arms behind their heads during sleep, which can disrupt sleep and cause them to wake. Temperature is a key component to ensure the baby feels comfortable while sleeping. “I like to check the temperature and make sure it is between 68 and 72 degrees,” Herring says. Herring also assists the parents in establishing a good feeding routine by providing advice and email support for six months following the consultation. “As soon as consistent feeding is established, I help the parents get into a good sleep routine,” Herring says. “Establishing a regular bedtime is important and creates consistency.” What is considered a healthy amount of sleep for a baby constantly changes as they grow. “For newborns 15 hours of sleep is a healthy amount of sleep for a 24-hours time period,” Herring says. “For a 4-month-old I recommend two long naps and one cat nap during the day. Sleep amounts change as the baby matures.” It is equally as crucial for mothers to relax and develop healthy sleep habits for themselves as well. Once a mother feels at ease about their child’s sleeping routine, they can rest easy. “I hope that my assistance can really help new moms relax and feel confident,” Herring says. “New mothers shouldn’t have to
Territorial Fair 42nd Annual
“I ALWAYS WANT TO ENCOURAGE MOMS THAT THEY ARE THE BEST MOTHER FOR THEIR BABY. THEY SHOULD ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT WHATEVER THEY MAY BE FACING WITH THEIR BABY, IT WILL SOON PASS.” —JAIME HERRING
constantly stay awake and listen for the baby monitor. I try to instill a feeling of confidence in the mothers that they are doing everything right. If everything is done safely, there is no reason for them to worry.” In addition to consulting with a sleep specialist, Herring recommends literature for mothers of newborns with irregular sleep patterns. “I always like to recommend Moms on Call: Basic Baby Care which is written by two pediatric nurses,” Herring says. “Another good one is The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp.” Although it is easy to get discouraged when a baby is sleeping irregularly, Herring wants to encourage new mothers that sleeping habits will eventually improve. “I always want to encourage moms that they are the best mother for their baby,” Herring says. “They should always remember that whatever they may be facing with their baby, it will soon pass. A lot of mothers feel self-conscious when it comes to caring for their baby but they should not feel scared.” For more information on scheduling a sleep consultation with Herring visit www.babycharmz.com or email email@example.com.
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200 East Third Street Downtown Little Rock 501-324-9351 www.HistoricArkansas.org A museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2015
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POTTY TRAINING 101 Follow these tips from Pediatrics Plus for potty training success
Before you start thinking about potty training, first ask yourself two questions: First, are you as a parent ready? Potty training is a big undertaking! And second, is your child showing any signs of readiness? For instance, is he/ she pulling at a wet or dirty diaper in attempts to get it off because he/she doesn’t like the feeling of being wet/dirty? Does he/she communicate the need to potty at all? Will he/she willingly sit on the toilet without a fight? If you as the parent are ready and you answered “yes” to majority of question two, then you are ready to start potty training! Please note, if the child is resistant to sitting on the potty—no matter what the reason—this will not work, as the child is not ready. It doesn’t matter the “why” behind it at that point; it only matters to not create a more negative image of the toilet that is already in that child’s mind. We are ready to start, now what? Step 1: No more diapers or pull-ups (except for when the child is sleeping). The child will only wear underwear, so make sure you have plenty changes of clothes. Step 2: The parents set a timer every 15-20 minutes to take the child to potty. The child sits on the potty for around three minutes, and the parents encourage the child to push. Make sure you are praising the child for sitting on the potty. You can also pair the potty time with small reinforcements so that going to the potty becomes more motivating for your child. However, do not use it to bribe the child. This type of reinforcement should only be used to help motivate the child (i.e. “yay, we are going to the potty”, as the parent says this the child is given a raisin, mini M&M, etc.). Step 3: If the child soils themselves between the 15-20 minute interval of taking them to the bathroom, then take them to the potty immediately and talk
16 MAY 2015 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
about the feeling of being “wet” or “dirty”. This will help your child to associate this feeling and that it “belongs” on the potty. Then have your child sit on the potty for around three minutes before changing them. Then reset your timer to 15-20 minutes from this time and repeat the process. Step 4: Your child successfully went potty in the potty!! First, do a happy dance! Then, praise, praise, praise your child! My child went potty in the potty. I do not have to take them to the potty every 15-20 minutes, right? Not so fast…until they are successfully having NO accidents within the 15-20 minute mark you should not increase the time interval. When your child starts consistently having no accidents during the 15-20 minute interval, then you can increase the length of time between potty times. Use the following time increases when they are having NO accidents at each time interval: • Every 30 minutes • Every 45 minutes • Every 60 minutes • Every hour and 15 minutes • Every hour and 30 minutes • Every two hours Once these benchmarks have been met and your child is consistently accident free, it’s time to celebrate a major accomplishment. Be sure to reinforce to your child that this is a big milestone to be proud of, and don’t forget to congratulate yourself as well. Potty training is a team effort, and once it’s done you won’t have to ever worry about it again. Until next time, of course.
Never leave your baby’s side. Even when you have to. When your baby needs neonatal care, he is in the best hands at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. But we know you still want to be at his side every moment. With the new NicView technology at ACH, you don’t have to miss a minute! A camera mounted on your baby’s bassinet will capture every precious moment and live stream it to your desktop computer or phone. You remain connected to your newborn even if you have to be miles away. Learn more about the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and why we are the only level IV NICU in the state at archildrens.org.
Get your FREE New Parent Planner at archildrens.org/NewParentPlanner
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THRIVE FASHION | LIFESTYLE | HEALTH
PHOTOS BY CALLIE STERLING
Ashley Wilson and son Eli demonstrate the perfect way to hold a baby carrier using straight, upright posture.
Follow these tips and maintain a healthy diet to soothe back pain before and after pregnancy BY CALLIE STERLING
Back pain during pregnancy and the postpartum stage happens for a variety of reasons and can cause discomfort for women for several months. Fortunately, there are many strategies to relieve and even eliminate back pain, including yoga, physical therapy and losing that stubborn “baby weight.” “There are several factors that go into the causes for back pain for pregnant women and even in the initial time frame after giving birth,” says Dr. Kathryn McCarthy, an orthopedic surgeon at Arkansas Specialty Orthopaedics. “First and foremost is the physiologic changes that are occurring with regard to ligamentous laxity and the changes in pelvic alignment. Additionally one has to consider that the center of gravity is shifting anteriorly, which puts significant strain on the lower back.” Weight gain can easily cause back pain to become more severe during pregnancy. Remaining “baby weight” can cause continued back pain after pregnancy. “Each additional pound that is gained, puts six times more strain on the lumbar spine,” McCarthy says. “There’s also significantly more bending and twisting involved with the care of an infant child or a newborn. This naturally puts more strain on the lumbar spine than any other type of activity.”
18 MAY 2015 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
Physical therapist Mark Wagner of Arkansas Specialty Orthopaedics demonstrates the proper way to pick baby up from the crib—don’t strain the back by bending down too far, and try to keep the back upright and stablized. It is important to exercise throughout pregnancy, if approved by your doctor. Post pregnancy, mothers should try to get in the habit of a healthy exercise routine as soon as they feel physically able. Exercise and weight loss will help alleviate back pain caused from pregnancy. “Losing the additional weight that is gained during pregnancy within the first six weeks is important,” McCarthy says. “Restoring core strength is also important given that this contributes greatly to reducing back pain. Maintaining a routine exercise program before pregnancy, during pregnancy and after pregnancy—in line with what your doctor feels is safe—is the best recommendation.” Physical therapy can be helpful for strengthening a woman’s body during pregnancy. “Physical therapy during pregnancy to strengthen core and pelvic floor musculature can be incredibly helpful,” McCarthy says. “There are some locations that specialize in this. Speaking to your OB about over activity and exercise levels during pregnancy and a dedicated course of PT would be helpful.” Although all sleep patterns are created equal, some women feel that during pregnancy certain sleep positions alleviate pain. “There’s no specific pattern of sleep that has been proven to be better than any other,” McCarthy says. “However some women feel more comfortable when placing a pillow underneath her knees so that their knees are slightly bent while sleeping.” For many women, both pregnant and otherwise, yoga is a favorite option when back pain is bothersome. “Yoga is excellent for everyone with back pain,” registered prenatal yoga instructor Kelly James says. “Yoga can strengthen you and help keep you flexible. Yoga can be the key to a healthy body.”
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Helping Hand is a developmental preschool for children ages 6 weeks to 6 years of age with special needs. We offer special education, physical, speech, and occupational therapy for children in preschool, and on an outpatient basis for children age birth to 21. Our mission is to provide the best appropriate educational and therapy services for children with diverse needs and abilities. In order to fulfill this mission, we are hosting our third annual 5K fundraiser. Profits will be used to purchase educational & therapy supplies in addition to helping make our playground equipment handicap accessible to better assist the children at our facility. THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2015
Restoring core strength is important because it contributes greatly to reducing back pain. To work superficial muscles, draw the belly button to the spine and hold for a count of 10.
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When playing with baby, make sure that you’re not bending backwards too far (left) when you lift him overhead. This can strain the back, so always strive for an upright position (right).
“Usually people are either flexible or strong, they’re rarely both,” James says. “Yoga improves your body in both areas. Many pregnant women experience sciatic pain, and yoga stretches the sciatica which helps ease pain caused during pregnancy.” Several yoga poses can assist specifically with pregnancy pain. “The four poses that I would recommend for pregnant women to help ease back pain would be pigeon pose, the cat-cow pose, downward facing dog and cobbler’s pose,” James says. “Many of these poses can be looked up online for women to see visuals.” Often, yoga poses can be modified if a woman’s body becomes limited during pregnancy. “Cat-cow is done on the hands and knees,” James says. “To do this pose you will arch your back like a mad cat. Next, you will rotate your belly inward to the cow position, which is just the opposite of the mad cat position. Cat-cow really helps with low back pain.” Pregnant women are already aware of the changes occurring in the body and yoga can be an excellent form of exercise that is not too strenuous. Pregnant women can exercise at a leisurely pace yet feel accomplished and healthy. “My prenatal class is my favorite,” James says. “The girls in the class are so aware of their bodies and already eating right. They are already taking care of themselves so well, it is amazing when they start doing yoga.” Pregnant women can perform yoga as long as they physically feel able. “I tell all my clients to honor their body,” James says. “As long as they are approved by their doctor and feel able, they can do yoga as long as they like up until birth. I had one woman who completed a yoga session and had her baby later that day. It seems like unless they are breach, all of my girls in my class deliver naturally. I think that is a great correlation and shows that yoga really can do wonders for the birthing process.”
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THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2015
nest | Thrive | NOSH | CULTIVATE
MEET THE MARK
The Centers for Disease Control offers development recommendations for children from birth to 5 years of age. Here, we explore what to expect during the first year BY MEL JONES
BIRTH TO 3 MONTHS
3 TO 6 MONTHS
Gross Motor Skills
Gross Motor Skills
• Raise their head up slightly when placed on their stomach • Momentarily hold up their head when supported • Alternate kicking their legs while on their back • Thrust their arms in play
Fine Motor Skills
• Close hand on your finger • Look at your face • Fixate on your face from 12 inches away • Smile in response • Coo with pleasure or displeasure • Grasp rattle when touched to their hand; maintains grasp briefly • Look at their own hands
• Stop moving or become quiet as a response to sounds • Startles in response to sounds • Fixes gaze on a spoon, bottle or other object • Becomes quiet when picked up • Sucks well using lips, cheeks or tongue appropriately • Coos and gurgles
22 MAY 2015 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
• Lifts head and chest when on stomach; props on forearms • Bobbles head while in a supported position • Rolls from side to side, and from stomach to back • Makes batting movements • Sits briefly with upper extremity support
Fine Motor Skills • Holds a toy for one minute • Grasp toy when in reach • Holds toy with both hands at midline of body • Recognizes parent • Smiles at mirror • Begins stranger anxiety • Exhibits separation anxiety from parent • Plays peek-a-boo • May begin to eat soft foods (pureed fruits and veggies)
Cognitive/Speech Skills • Moves eyes in the direction of sound • Produces single syllables, such as “ba” and “da” • Smiles upon sight of others’ faces • Looks in response to hearing name • Recognizes bottle and spoon • Begins babbling with double syllables, such as “dada” • Vocalizes for attention • Sucking becomes more voluntary
CHOOSING THE RIGHT TOYS FOR YOUR CHILD
6 TO 9 MONTHS Gross Motor Skills • Reaches for objects while on stomach • Pivots on stomach • Pulls self forward on stomach • Rolls from back to stomach • Sits alone briefly • May assume quadruped and rock • Moves from sitting to lying on stomach • Stands with support
Fine Motor Skills • Transfers toys between hands • Rakes with fingers • Removes peg from board • Uses pinches to pick up small objects • Claps hands • Shows dislike for certain people/things • Shows others toys • Explores environment • Tests parents’ reactions • Expresses several emotions • Opens mouth to wait for a spoon to enter • Uses top lip to clean the spoon • Eats soft cookies or lumpy foods • May drink from a straw • Begins practice drinking from a cup (9 months)
Speech/Cognitive Skills • Responds to facial expressions • Attempts to imitate gross gestures • Understands parents’ gestures • Differentiates between a few words • Looks at common objects when named • Understands “no” • Babbles multiple syllables • Uses a wide variety of sound combinations • Babbles with intent while looking at others • Imitates intonation patterns and speech sounds • Shouts to attract attention • May say “dada” or “mama” • Some gesture languages
WHY TOYS ARE IMPORTANT
1. Toys are tools for learning. 2. Well-designed toys enhance development and stimulate a child’s mind. 3. A child’s first and most important toy are his/her parents.
TOP 5 CRITERIA FOR CHOOSING A STORE-BOUGHT TOY: 1. Select toys without batteries.The more the toy does, the less the child does. Battery operated toys limit creativity and imagination. We want the child to provide the power, the imagination, and the sound effects. 2. Look for toys that encourage active play instead of passive entertainment. Decide “what does the child do to the toy” not “what does the toy do for the child.” 3. Choose simple toys that can be used in a variety of ways. These toys are most likely to grow with the child. 4. Select toys that are safe and durable. We want toys that are well-constructed and will hold up to lots of use. 5. Select toys that spark the child’s imagination. Generic toys without characters from movies or cartoons are best! Pediatrics Plus is a specialized pediatric healthcare provider. We are committed to helping your child succeed in all stages of life through evidence-based therapy, state of the art facilities, specialized equipment, educational interventions based on proven research, family support, and community investment. SPONSORED BY
www.pediatricsplus.com THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2015
9 TO 12 MONTHS
here to keep you healthy and safe
With the sun shining but the heat and humidity still in check, it’s a great time to turn off the TV and get some fresh air. Even a casual stroll offers health benefits for everyone. “There’s never a bad time to be active, and spring in Arkansas makes being outdoors quite a treat. Enjoying nature together safely is a perfect way for the entire family to improve their health,” said Senthil Raghavan, M.D., M.P.H., a family medicine specialist at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids and teens limit screen time to two hours a day. Doing so can focus attention, improve sleep and reduce risk of obesity. Fill the void with walks in the park, planting trees or starting a family garden. Consider going out for dinner – on a picnic. Meals can be prepared ahead of time and tossed in a cooler with an ice pack when it’s time to go. Be sure to wash produce beforehand and package meat separately. And don’t forget the sunblock! Being together goes a long way to keeping families healthy and safe. And at UAMS, we have no higher priority.
For an appointment, call 501-686-8000 UAMShealth.com/centerforprimarycare
24 MAY 2015 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
Gross Motor Skills • Sits alone with trunk rotation • Pivots and scoots in sitting • Creeps in quadruped • Pulls to stand • Cruises • Stands alone momentarily • Assumes tall kneel • May begin walking independently
Fine Motor Skills • Pokes finger into a hole • Shakes toys • Uses neat pinch to pick up Cheerio • Resists adult control • Gives toy to adult • Develops sense of humor • Desires to be the center of attention • Displays independent behavior • Says “no” • Imitates adult behavior • Exhibits separation anxiety • Foods with various textures introduced • May take most liquids from a cup (breast- or bottle-feeding may continue) • May use tongue under the cup spout for additional support • May have controlled/sustained bite (12 months)
Speech/Cognitive Skills • Turns head immediately to own name • Responds with searching movement in response to the question, “Where’s the…?” • Responds to “no” 50% of the time • Comes when called • Understands and follows simple commands regarding body action • Understands some descriptive words like “hot” • Vocalizes during play • Vocalizes to a mirror • Jargon begins as babbling decreases • Uses a question inflexion • May acquire first true words (10-18 months)
4823 Woodlawn | Hillcrest | 664-3600
Be a superhero! Help children's, help children by volunteering for clinical research at ACH. Learn more at archildrens.org/research or sign up for our text updates*!
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THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2015
Caring For An Older Family Member In Your Home? The Schmieding Home Caregiver Training Program educates individuals to care for older adults in the home. Whether your goal is to help care for an older family member or friend, we want to help.
SOCIALLY F I N D
Learn more today at www.arcaregiving.org. Call 501-526-6500 to register. Free family caregiver workshops are available at the UAMS campus: Dementia Care • June 8-9 Caregiving Skills • June 15-16
Schmieding home caregiver Training Program Supported by a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.
Enriching the lives of people with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities...
ICM IS A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION that provides home and community-based supports to persons with developmental disabilities across the state of Arkansas. We respect our customers as strong independent citizens contributing to society and their communities. This is what drives our dedication to inclusion and community integration.
26 MAY 2015 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
SUPPORTS • Case Management
• Specialized Medical Supplies
• Direct Care Supports
• Adaptive Equipment
• Supported Employment
• Environmental Modifications
• Personal Care
Day Support Options: Our newest program called BRAVO! The program includes OFF-SITE group activities including shopping, theater, and trips to the park, museums and so much more! Our ON-SITE programs include internship opportunities in real stores and classes such as art, money management, health and fitness, cooking and life skills instruction.
For more information about ICM and our services please visit our website
New Moms Club Sarah declerk and carrie hurley navigate the new world of motherhood
Sarah and Samantha
Carrie and Revel with Harlow the Yorkie
PHOTOGRAPHY BY SARA REEVES
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2015
28 MAY 2015 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
Her Cup Runneth Over First-time mom cooks up efficiency as new parent BY KD REEP
As a baker, Sarah DeClerk is used to taking things with a grain of salt, and she applied this same technique when she learned she would become a mom for the first time. “Some people love to terrify mothers with their delivery stories or lack of sleep stories, but no one shares your exact situation or child so they really shouldn’t preach to you on how parenting should be done,” she says. “It is frustrating how a lot of moms love to tell you ‘it won’t last long’ when you are telling them how great your baby is sleeping, eating, smiling, whatever. Moms should be building up those situations and celebrating them instead of trying to convince each other something not so good is around the corner.” Sarah, who owns Ann Potter Baking, which specializes in custom sugar cookies and baked goods, and her husband Brady, a chiropractor, live in west Little Rock with their 5-month-old daughter Samantha, golden retrievers Lily and Zoe, and Oliver the rescue cat. She credits Brady with keeping her on an even keel while pregnant and in the first stages of motherhood. “He gets the husband of the year award for sure!” Sarah says. “He has been so patient with me as I’ve figured out this new mom gig, and he takes over when needed. He can always tell when I need a ‘me moment’ and is the first to tell me to leave so I can just wander around Target or meet friends for dinner or go workout. Samantha is seriously the most laid-back baby ever, and that also has helped with my new role as a mom.”
Personality aside, Samantha is a relaxed baby because, as Sarah describes, she was not forced to a schedule the first six weeks of her life. “We allowed her to mold her own schedule. She has been sleeping through the night consistently since she was 7 weeks old—with a few nights here or there where she didn’t sleep all the way through,” she says. “I would like to attribute that to our amazing parenting skills but I honestly think that each child has their own little personality and there is little you can control with things like that.” Sarah also credits her work flexibility with helping her family adjust to its new addition. “I really feel that kiddos can tell when you are stressed out, and they then react the same way,” she says. “Some days, it is hard to balance being a full-time, stay-at-home mom and business owner, but I have always felt I am much more efficient when my plate is full—and it is ever full these days. Now, I am super-efficient with work because I get my best work done while Samantha is napping. The question, though, is do I get two-and-half hours of uninterrupted work or one? It is a constant race against the clock to fit in the work, but when she’s up and around, I make sure my focus is on her. I don’t ever want to look back and think I should have been more present.” While Sarah had a fairly good idea of what to expect as a new mom, she was not prepared for just how different her life would be after Samantha’s arrival. “She is such a source of joy!” she says. “She has made me so much more patient—with myself, with others. It is impossible to rush in and out of THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2015
anywhere with a baby, and you can’t rush a baby to eat or go to sleep. That has given me a completely new perspective. The things that used to worry me don’t as much anymore because my job is to care for a tiny human. It’s hard to explain how immediate these feelings and realizations took place in my world after having her, and I’m so glad they did. When we decided it was the right time to start a family, we were ready to focus on more than just us. I really believe she has made me a happier and more joyful individual—how can you not be absolutely overwhelmed with happiness when watching a young baby laugh at her dad’s funny faces?” When asked what advice she would give expecting or new parents, Sarah is quick to dismiss the allure of Pinterest. “Don’t fall for all those boards,” she says. “No rulebooks or pre-existing babysitting experiences are necessary to be a good parent. Nod graciously when advice is given, but know to trust your instincts on what you feel is right for your baby and family. I know Sam possesses a go-with-the-flow personality, but I also like to think that Brady and I being laid back with her have helped that vibe flourish.”
30 MAY 2015 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
I really believe she has made me a happier and more joyful individual—how can you not be absolutely overwhelmed with happiness when watching a young baby laugh at her dad’s funny faces?”
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2015
Where the Rubber Ducky Meets the Road Creative force Carrie Hurley balances peace and sleep deprivation to stay grounded as a first-time mama BY KD REEP
Carrie Hurley and her husband began building a house while they were expecting their first child. She is a firm believer that should be illegal now. Add to a new home and living out of boxes a newborn and entrepreneurship, and you have Carrie’s life since last year. Her daughter, Revel Rose, was born in early September 2014. “I think I was the only pregnant lady on the planet who was begging her baby to stay put so we would have more time build the house,” Carrie says. “Revel was right on time, though. In any given day, I get about a hundredth of the things done I did before I had our daughter. It is so hard to stop, pause and realize you are raising a child. What was once so important now just has to wait.” Among her duties outside of being a mom, wife and chief spoiler to fourpound Yorkie, Harlow, Carrie is the owner of a creative boutique that provides everything from graphic design to product development to marketing strategies for small businesses. She and her husband, Scott, also own The Rendezvous in Round Top, Texas, a quaint yellow farmhouse on eight acres that transforms into an antique venue twice a year. Working from home allows her the flexibility to keep all her various projects in motion, but Carrie says it’s the ability to say no and place her family as priority that guides her life. “Saying no has always been a challenge for me and I find that I have to say it more often for the sake of our sleep, sanity and state of my and my husband’s union,” she says. “Sleep deprivation is real. I work from home when I’m not traveling or meeting with clients so one of the hardest parts of motherhood has been transitioning to a working-from-home mama. I considered myself a pretty good manager of my time, but this is a whole new ball game. “Motherhood is where the rubber ducky meets the road in terms of what is important. I have to completely realign my expectations for myself, and I’m learning that practicing peace is top priority,” she says. “To be honest, I’m still in a bit of a fog. It is surreal to me that this is our little life to grow and guide into
32 MAY 2015 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
adulthood. I miss being able to just jump in the car or on a plane or go for a run without a second thought. But at the same time, I’m doing my best to embrace this season of being grounded with my family for a second. From everything I hear, it goes by alarmingly fast. A friend said it best: The days and nights are long, but the months just fly by.” The best things about being a mom, however, were the surprises she never thought to expect. As Carrie notes, the whole thing is happiness and humility and “how-do-I-hang-on-to-my-sanity-with-this-little-sleep” all swaddled up with a giant safety pin? “I love the endless menagerie of expressions on my daughter’s face. She is completely unaware of what anyone thinks. She has no filter. She just is who she is,” Carrie says. “That smile of hers will bring one to my face every day of the week. You really are getting to witness a miracle. One of the fun parts of being a new parent has been to watch how it brings all of ‘my people’ together. It takes a village (or, in our case, a booming metropolis), and I love being able to witness the way our friends and family love our baby girl. “I also think one of the most surprising things for me was how I fell in love with my husband all over again,” she says. “I knew I married a great man, but this is a whole new level of awesome. There is no way to articulate the bond created in those first few moments of meeting a brand new life together as a couple. Scott has been my lighthouse when the waves of fatigue and frustration and fighting the new normal are tossing me about. We decided before Revel was born that we were going to approach this whole parenting thing as a team. We also promised that we were going to do our best not to lose sight that having a baby is a chapter in our love story, not the end of it. However, this particular section of the book requires lots of late nights, early mornings and self-sacrifice. Often times we’ll look to one another for a pep talk and generally one of us can muster the strength to remind the other of all we have to be grateful for and it puts the whole thing into perspective.”
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2015
“I love the endless menagerie of expressions on my daughter’s face. She is completely unaware of what anyone thinks. She has no filter. She just is who she is.” —Carrie Hurley
34 MAY 2015 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
Kindergarten is an exciting milestone in lifelong learning. Talk to your child care provider about what you can do and what the teachers are already doing to help your child be ready for kindergarten. Visit our website to download the
Kindergarten Readiness Indicator Checklist
www.ARBetterBeginnings.com â€˘ 1-800-445-3316 Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education
Join all the big cats for the best race in town!
Saturday June 6 8:00am hase c / m o .c o o Z k c o www.LittleRrmation call (501) 661-7208
To register, go to
For more info
race day! Zoo all day during e th to n io iss m ad ial Park. ial race t-shirt and rough War Memor fic th of ts s an de cip clu rti in pa n tio ce Race registra e Zoo and takes ra rts and ends at th sta 5K e as Ch h e Cheeta
36 MAY 2015 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
Animal Costum st â€œBig Catâ€? and
NOSH COOKING | DINING | NUTRITION
PREGNANCY NUTRITION Doctor’s agree: Eating for two not a license for excess in expectant mothers B Y D WA I N H E B D A
Despite more expectant mothers paying attention to healthy lifestyles and smart food choices, the persistent “eating for two” mentality still reigns for many, according to Little Rock OB/GYNs. Such attitudes, particularly when paired with incumbent weight issues, can present a host of problems for both mother and baby. “I think there’s still some thinking in that (eating for two) realm,” says Dr. Dora Mah Smith of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. “Although, I feel like we are also being more mindful about eating for two knowing what we eat also affects what the baby takes in.” A lot of mothers-to-be, especially first timers, are surprised to learn how little additional food is required and the recommended weight gain during
pregnancy. In fact, as Dr. Jill Jennings of The Woman’s Clinic of Little Rock pointed out, the daily caloric intake for a pregnant woman is little more than an extra Lean Cuisine per day. “Most women don’t realize you only need 300 extra calories a day for a baby,” she says. “You need 500 extra calories a day when you’re breast feeding, you actually need more when you’re breast feeding than when you’re carrying the baby.” Smith says while certain variables do apply according to body mass index and the woman’s weight category prior to pregnancy, targeted weight gain is somewhere between 1 and 4 pounds total for the first trimester, then 2 to 4 pounds per month for the remaining six months of the pregnancy. THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2015
“Assuming the person is of normal weight before they’re pregnant, that ends up coming out to just 25 to 35 pounds,” she says. Besides skewed expectations for how much food is needed and how much weight gain is normal, many pregnant mothers don’t choose the right foods while pregnant. Much of this attitude isn’t too far off from the rest of the population’s food choices—specifically, deficient intake of fruits and vegetables—often made worse by poverty. “Socio-economics does kind of play into the thinking,” says Smith. “Unfortunately, these days a lot of the food items that aren’t as nutritious are often times the easier to access and the cheaper foods that are out there.” On the positive side, today there exist more resources for pregnant women either wanting to maintain their already-healthy habits or start some new ones for the sake of the baby as well as for themselves. “In general, there’s this big push against obesity and for living healthy and trying to eat healthier,” Jennings says. “I also think we’re seeing people in general becoming more comfortable with pregnant women. There was a time when people didn’t want to offer something for pregnant women because they didn’t want the liability, but we are starting to see pregnant —DR. JILL yoga classes and Baptist Hospital offers Aqua Moms where they exercise in the pool.” Another aspect that has carried over from the gym and fitness community has been the concept of eating smaller meals throughout the day rather than three larger ones. Jennings says she teaches her patients to aim for five smaller servings throughout the day—breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks—a well-worn metabolic strategy.
“It helps to keep blood sugar up in a steady state and you don’t have these big spikes and crashes in your blood sugar after meals,” she says. “Also, as women get further along in their pregnancy, they just feel full all the time because the baby is taking up space and so they don’t feel that they can eat a whole meal at a time.” Smith is quick to point out, however, that expectant mothers still have to be mindful of the content of those meals, large or small. She pointed to a new website by the USDA, ChooseMyPlate.gov, as one of many apps and online tools to help expectant mothers balance their diet. “I think it’s a good resource; it has a super tracker for patients to use and keep up with their meals, protein versus fruits versus carbohydrates and dairy products,” she says. “I still encourage patients to use some kind of tracker that way, even if she’s taking in frequent, small meals. It gives them some way to track whether or not they’re taking in the right amounts of each component of their diet.” The consequences for not eating right are grave: Nutritional deficiency leads to poor fetal growth and weight gain, more early deliveries and more C-section deliveries, particularly among obese women. Poor diet, lack of exercise and the resultant extra body weight are JENNINGS also generally considered contributors to the onset of gestational diabetes and improving in these areas can help keep the condition in check during pregnancy. “What I notice is more patients wanting to become healthier, especially since the incidence of obesity is so much higher these days,” says Smith. “Nutritionally, this becomes a good time for patients to become more mindful about what they’re eating.”
“MOST WOMEN DON’T REALIZE YOU ONLY NEED 300 EXTRA CALORIES A DAY FOR A BABY.”
CONGRATS TO GRADS! DECORATIONS, FAVORS & MORE ITEMS AS LOW AS
INVITATIONS • DECORATIONS • PARTY FAVORS • BALLOONS • PIÑATAS • CAKE SUPPLIES MARCH 2015 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM 2015 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM 38 MAY
GESTATIONAL DIABETES Reducing the risk during pregnancy and beyond B Y D WA I N H E B D A
The occurrence of gestational diabetes appears to be on the rise as America continues to struggle against general obesity in the general populace. Doctors now test all pregnant women at 24 weeks for the condition, which routinely catches a few mothers-to-be that go against all risk factors, including obesity, women over 35, some racial markers or family history of diabetes. “We used to just screen preferentially, so if you were a really low-risk person, let’s say a thin, Caucasian, young girl with no family history, we wouldn’t have to screen you,” says Dr. Jill Jennings with The Woman’s Clinic in Little Rock. “But then we realized that we were still missing some people by doing that, so now we just routinely screen everyone.” Gestational diabetes is a type of insulin resistance against one’s own body, resulting in too-high blood sugar levels. Some women only develop it in pregnancy, while for others the onset reveals an underlying diabetic condition waiting to present itself. “Diabetes, period, be it in pregnant or non-pregnant women, is on the rise,”
11218 N. RODNEY PARHAM RD. / LITTLE ROCK
says Dr. Dora Mah Smith with UAMS in Little Rock. “It’s definitely something I’m seeing more in our practice and at younger ages.” Often, the woman’s blood sugar levels return to normal after delivery, but not always. Moreover, having the condition during pregnancy is often a precursor for other strains of diabetes later. “We screen all of our gestational diabetics at their six-week postpartum visit,” Jennings says. “They should get additional blood screening tests to make sure that their diabetes is gone. If you’re diabetic during pregnancy, you are at more risk to be diabetic later in life and we know that babies of diabetic mothers are more likely to grow up to be diabetic.” “Now that we are getting into a generation where we have a higher instance of diabetes in the parents of our pregnant patients, that also causes a higher instance of patients developing diabetes,” Smith says. “All the more reason we really need to stress better nutritional habits and exercise activity to try and decrease that risk.”
4822 N. HILLS BLVD. / NORTH LITTLE ROCK
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2015
TOAD SUCK DAZE MAY 1-3, CONWAY From musical performances to the World Famous Toad Races, Toad Suck Daze has entertained Arkansans for more than 30 years. Visit downtown Conway for this oneof-a-kind festival, which includes the Toadal Kids Zone, where magicians, balloon artists, gymnastics groups and school choirs will provide entertainment, and don’t miss the petting zoo, pony rides and more. Kids will also love to meet the characters of AETN, including Clifford the Dog and Curious George. Visit toadsuck.org for more information.
LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER MAY 7, 7 P.M. RON ROBINSON THEATER For the second year in a row, Arkansans will gather on stage to tell their stories about moms and motherhood at the Listen to Your Mother Show. Benefiting the Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the event’s cast includes Jessi Duncan, Elizabeth Harrell, Martha Lauster, Kimberly Mitchell, Celeste Patrice, Jennifer Pyron, Kris Redenius, Matthew Reed, Lakey Goff Sanford, Crady Schneider, Deanna Smith, Teriney Tobler and Anthony Valley. Tickets are available online at listentoyourmothershow.com/littlerock.
42ND ANNUAL TERRITORIAL FAIR MAY 9, 10 A.M.-4 P.M., HISTORIC ARKANSAS MUSEUM Experience life in the territorial era at the Historic Arkansas Museum’s 42nd annual Territorial Fair! Living history performances, demonstrations, historical dances, live music and pioneer games will take visitors on an adventure to a bygone era. Drop in on a raucous card game in the Hinderliter Grog Shop, watch a Master Blacksmith work in the Blacksmith Shop, visit a local lawyer for a land deed, learn how cloth was dyed and make Mother’s Day cards. Visit historicarkansas.org for more information.
MAY 22-24, LITTLE ROCK, RIVERFRONT PARK
for a complete calendar of events, visit our website at thesavvymoms.com.
SLIDE THE CITY
OUR PICKS FOR COOL TO-DOS AROUND CENTRAL ARKANSAS
Riverfest is back again with another great Memorial Day weekend chock full of fun for the whole family. Catch a performance from Kris Allen, Gaelic Storm, Better than Ezra, Sister Hazel and more, and be sure to check out the Deltic Timber Kidzone area. You’ll find crafts, face painting and activities galore, and the Yarnell’s Kidzone Stage will be packed with family-friendly acts like The Kazoobie Kazoo Show w/ Rick Hubbard, The Little Rock Zoo Creature Feature and more. Don’t miss the grand finale fireworks at 9 p.m. Sunday night! Visit riverfestarkansas.com for tickets and more information.
Spanning 1,000 feet—that’s the length of three football fields—Slide the City is coming to Little Rock for some wet and wild fun for the whole family. The traveling waterslide event will take over a downtown street and will include music, dancing, food, drinks and, of course, major fun in the sun. Registration levels for Slide the City include single slider, triple slider and VIP slider. Only the VIPs will get to hit the extremely cushioned slide before it opens to everyone else. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit slidethecity.com.
40 MAY 2015 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
MAY 23, LITTLE ROCK
e rning d al grow an ored
JOIN US FOR OUR THIRD ANNUAL
5K FUN RUN/WALK! A place where children with learning differences and developmental disabilities can grow and develop in an environment tailored to meet their unique needs.
We are raising funds for community playground projects for children with special needs. Run or walk in this fun, family and pet friendly event! Awards will be given to the top 3 male & female runners, and there will even be a costume contest for your four legged family members! Register online at kidsourcetherapy.com/events/5k/ or Arkansasrunner.com or email Amy Diehl at firstname.lastname@example.org for a form
May 30, 2015 • 8 AM Registration @ 7:30 AM Hurricane Lake Estates in Benton, AR Property Owners Association
17706 I-30 Frontage Road • Benton
School Therapy and A Therapy Clinic Available Programs Sizes (maximum of 8 children per class) THE& Speech RIVERDALE ational, Physical Therapy Outpatient therapy is available. THERAPY SERVICES
At the Academy at Riverdale, we deliver the needed pplications for limited availability. Occupational, Physical and Speech Therapy one-on-one
nosed with aservice development disorder;on Autism, Asperger syndrome, PDD, Down that focuses the specific needs of a patient, while r language disorders, or our sensory integration issues, contact us for today for more supporting overall mission of providing individuals ormation or to with schedule an evaluation disabilities for your child. developmental and multiple learning differences to enhance skill development and to encourage appropriate, positive behavior. All of our therapists are experienced and credentialed.
1600 Riverfront Drive, Little Rock, Arkansas IF YOUR CHILD IS IN NEED OF THERAPY SERVICES AND HAS Autism • Asperger Syndrome • Down Syndrome Apraxia • Language Disorders Other Pervasive Development Disorders or if they have sensory, motor, and behavioral integration and other developmental 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
Offices in Little Rock, North Little Rock, Benton, Arkadelphia and Malvern Easy Referral Process · Professional Staff Family Oriented · Assistance with Funding Options
CELEBRATE 179 YEARS of ARKANSAS Friday, June 12 @ 6 p.m. Bonnie Montgomery and Geoff Robson Saturday, June 13 All Day Family Event
We work with a variety of private insurance providers as well as ARKids 1st, Medicaid, TEFRA and TRICARE.
The Old State House Is a Museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2015
nest | Thrive | NOSH | CULTIVATE
EXCELLING IN THE SUMMER VARIED SUMMER TUTORING PROVIES A RANGE OF BENEFITS B Y D WA I N H E B D A
Summer tutoring options in Little Rock cater to a variety of academic and social tastes. Whether a student is looking to accelerate to the top of their class, get caught up, get extra help in the face of a learning disability or mix mandatory academics with creative elective courses, there’s a program to fit the bill. And the results, say experts, can be substantial. “Over the years, I’ve watched the kids who come in the summer versus the ones that take the summer off,” says Kathi Friberg of Gideon Math and Reading Center. “Kids who come over the summer and stick with it can make light years gains when they go back.” For the past 11 years, Friberg has been the director of Gideon in Little Rock, which provides tutoring and ACT prep for clients from age 4 through adult. She says about 10 to 15 percent of the students the company serves are there to get a leg up on their peers while the bulk fall into two other categories, both of which are largely misunderstood. “There are a lot of kids out there who don’t have a ‘problem’, they just either missed a class or they don’t hit it off with their teacher or they don’t understand the way the subject was explained,” she says. “There’s not a root problem, they just need help with that particular subject. For them, we provide basically a support service. “And then we work with students with dyslexia—diagnosed and undiagnosed—and they are my passion because they are a forgotten section of society. Almost 20 percent of the entire population struggles with reading, writing and spelling. They tend to be very talented, very smart people and so they hide it well. But in the classroom, they’re often treated like they’re stupid.” Many of the students report for Gideon’s one-on-one sessions after school during the academic year, with a percentage continuing with summer school, when the company operates on expanded hours. Continuity is key and those students who opt to sit out the summer risk falling behind before the fall term even begins. “You’ve heard that statistic that over the summer kids lose 20 to 30 percent of whatever they learned? Oh my gosh, that is so true,” Friberg says. “So of course those kids should be coming over the summer too, because if they would stick with it, they’re the ones that next year can go almost all the way to Christmas and they’re ahead of the rest of the class.” Hall High School’s HELP program also stresses continuity between the
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regular curriculum and its summer counterpart. The program, which just landed its third five-year funding grant from the 21st Century Community Learning Center, brings a unique twist to its before-school/after-school/ summer program, using art and other classes to hold students’ attention. This term, 60 to 80 participating students per day get an hour of supervised quiet study or homework help followed by choices ranging from cooking classes, Zumba and ballroom dancing to more study time, up through students studying for Advanced Placement exams. “For the first hour we meet up in the media center and they split up into groups,” says Marshall Sladyen, instructional technology coordinator. “Usually the most requested help is math and English but there’s also a science teacher and a social studies teacher there. They’re teachers at Hall and they teach from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Then at 5 p.m. they break up and go to studios (for the other class options). “Teachers, counselors, the assistant principal—anyone can recommend a kid to come, but we can’t force any kid to come. We can encourage them, and that’s why we developed those studios. It’s a lure to pull them in: Sit in here and do your homework for an hour and then we’re going to let you do something fun.” The summer program, June 22 to July 10 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., is open to any student living in the Hall High attendance zone, regardless of where they actually attend school, free of charge. The three-week course offers a similarly intriguing hybrid of learning called Art Across the Curriculum. (A separate robotics camp is also being offered.) The summer study starts each day with a lesson in math, English or science, then students spend the second half expressing these academic concepts through the lens of an arts project. Sladyen admits the focus of the HELP program isn’t entirely on academic tutoring, but providing a structured and positive outlet for kids who might otherwise sit home alone or find trouble out in the street. With its included ride home, meal and snack, he sees the program as fulfilling a wider role in students’ lives. “The whole program is designed to provide a safe place for students. It’s not all about academics,” he says. “It’s a place for them to get academic help, but it’s also a place for them to be safe, to socialize, to play games and have fun.”
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HIGH SCORE ACT PREP NOT JUST ABOUT THE CONTENT, INSTRUCTORS SAY B Y D WA I N H E B D A
After 30 years in the ACT prep business, Steve Leake, owner of College Prep Coach in Little Rock, has a somewhat surprising message for new students and their parents: It’s not about the content. “These tests are all strategy; it’s not about knowledge—(students) have the knowledge already—it’s using that knowledge to score to their potential,” he says. “Every test has a DNA, the ACT and SAT have their own DNA you just have to figure out what the DNA is.” Paul Lincicome, who started tutoring high school kids in the finer points of the ACT as an engineering undergrad at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, now prepares them as part of his teaching duties at Catholic High School. He agreed, saying as much thought goes into preparing for how to take the test than for what’s on it. “The ACT is a test that asks questions in a very unique fashion,” he says. “There is a code to be cracked, somewhat, as well as just test-taking in general, understanding those skills, the nervous energy you feel and the way to channel that nervous energy are really, really important.” Both instructors subscribe to a school of thought that’s at first counterintuitive, but the logic (and value) of which becomes quickly apparent: Content is learned over an academic lifetime but is of little use if it cannot be applied effectively. The ACT, and its somewhat lesser-regarded companion the SAT, seek not to measure what the student has learned lately, but what they have stored and can apply when called upon. “It really is interesting, it is literally an elementary level test in disguise,” Leake says. “And it’s that disguise that trips up the students who are not used to being tested that way. They are not trained that way in school. School tests generally look at a lot of detailed information during the last week or month in a very straightforward way. “The SAT and ACT take skills that you learned over many years and then change them up. It’s not harder, it’s just different.” Both Leake and Lincicome say that any prep will help a student get a better grade on the test and therefore, a student can technically prepare himself or herself for free simply by checking ACT prep materials out of the library. However, school-based instructors and private ACT prep firms are generally more efficient, employing a systematic approach to the test. Increasingly this means dismantling the psychology behind it.
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“In a summer class, obviously there’s not enough time to cover all the scholastic information covered in the ACT,” Lincicome says. “So, the value of our class is not necessarily in the academic instruction. While that is part of it, the real value of the class is learning test-taking strategies, time-management strategies, and understanding how the ACT asks questions and preparing students for that. “The tests haven’t changed, but a lot of people are just now figuring out you can prepare for this thing, you can study for it, master what they’re asking. But it’s not something you can just go into and depend on your general knowledge to succeed.” Understanding how to align these test-taking skills, combined with taking multiple runs at the ACT, can yield surprising gains in scores. Moreover, such classes teach skills that are often transferable later to high school and college academics, careers and even in one’s personal life. “You’ll be solving problems all your life whether those are school problems, career problems or personal problems and the ability to solve problems efficiently is a life skill that is obviously something of value,” Leake says. “I’m trying to teach students to use what they already know to maximum effect to score high on tests, but it’s a strategy that you can apply to almost anything.” There’s even some movement within the ACT exam itself that seeks to encourage the kind of applied knowledge a growing number of prep firms train their students to exhibit. Starting this spring, an optional constructedresponse test is being offered in limited release as a supplement to the standard ACT. Unlike selected response where the correct answer is provided among other incorrect choices, a constructed exam dictates the tester to demonstrate knowledge of the correct answer on their own. Put another way, it’s favoring short original answers or essays over multiple choice. Whatever the mindset or methodology, shrinking financial aid and tightening admissions procedures have some families pulling out the stops when it comes to the ACT, whether its attending prep classes at an earlier age or taking it far more times than previous generations. “I’m about 12 years removed from high school and back then, only the upper level students were taking the ACT very seriously,” Lincicome says. “Other than that, you know, you took it once, maybe twice and just took what you got. And that’s definitely not the case today.”
Every Step of the Way THE LATEST IN TECHNOLOGY. THE BEST IN CARE. Amputee Shawn Fallin has always driven himself to do things that others might consider impossible. Of course, now that he has a very active four year old son, Shawn realizes that keeping up with him might just be the toughest challenge he has faced. Fortunately, he can count on the professionals at Snell Laboratory to be by his side every step of the way.
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HOW DOES A CHILD TELL YOU WHAT’S WRONG BEFORE SHE LEARNS HOW TO SPEAK?
At 18 months, children are expected to use ﬁve to 10 words, and 300 words by age 3. So a delay at 18 months that goes undetected will have adverse effects on later development. That’s why ACCESS provides Early Intervention Early Childhood Therapy. With neurodevelopmental therapy techniques, coordination and phonation, and training in vision and learning orientation, your child can continue to reach those crucial milestones. Your child may be eligible for state and/or federal funding for medical expenses. Let us help you ﬁnd which option is best for you. 501-217-8600
EVALUATION & RESOURCE CENTER • SPEECH, PHYSICAL & OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ACADEMIC THERAPY • PRESCHOOL • ACADEMY • YOUNG ADULT PROGRAM THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2015
MOMSPEAK CHRISTIE BECK, M.D.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY SARA REEVES
AGE: 35 OCCUPATION: PARTNER, LITTLE ROCK GYNECOLOGY AND OBSTETRICS, PLLC, AND CO-CHAIR KICKSTART YOUR HEALTH LITTLE ROCK CHILDREN: BRENNEN 11; LUKE 9; EDEN 5 ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS TO DO WITH MY KIDS IS…
Travel. I was raised with a huge sense of adventure by parents who took me everywhere with them. I like sharing the world with my children so they can see my fun and adventurous side. Plus, traveling is a great way to teach organization, creative problem solving, patience and compassion for others. I CHOSE TO BECOME DOCTOR OF OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY BECAUSE…I loved surgery and the subject of repro-
ductive endocrinology, but was even more passionate about learning the stories of women’s lives. With this profession I have the privilege of caring for women their entire journey from puberty through menopause. THE BEST PART OF MY JOB IS…Inspiring women to make empowered decisions about their bodies, especially when it comes to nutrition. When I can educate a woman about how amazing her body is and how what she eats is paramount to her health, I believe that leads her to make confident decisions she will remain invested in after she has left my office. Our bodies are the most precious thing we will ever have, and we have to treat them with kindness! MY ADVICE TO A NEW MOM IS…Trust your intuition. The transformation from woman to mother involves so much more than baby names and nursery décor. Guiding women to create their own story through the psychological, social and spiritual aspects of pregnancy makes my job very rewarding. MY FAVORITE PICK-ME-UP ON A STRESSFUL DAY IS…Medita-
tion. Whether I can spend some time at the Arkansas House of Prayer or simply close my eyes at my desk during lunch, meditation keeps me centered so I can direct my brightest light towards my patients, friends and family. IT’S FRIDAY NIGHT AND I’M HOME ALONE, SO I…Curl up with a book and read until the wee hours of the morning. Taking call has trained me to be a night owl. I’m always reading a dozen books at a time. Since work and mommy obligations keep my schedule packed, I do most of my pleasure reading on airplanes or while traveling. I prefer non-fiction and always feel like the book I’m currently reading is “the best book I’ve ever read.”
46 MAY 2015 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
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