THE LIFESTYLE MANUAL FOR THE MODERN MOM
MAY 2016 路 THESAVVYMOMS.COM
JUNGLE FASHION THESE KIDS ARE WILD FOR SUMMER STYLE
EVAN & POSEY GET WILD WITH SUMMER FASHION
MEET THE NEW MOMS CLIMBING OUT OF POSTPARTUM IMMUNIZATION FACTS & LOCAL GIFTS FOR MOM
Test your paper airplane in the flying gallery, create beats in the sound lab, test the speed of materials in the friction zone, create a stop motion animation masterpiece and much more! made possible by
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MODERN MOM 16 LIFE IS SHORT. CRAM IT FULL OF HAPPY 18 BREAKING THE "GOOD MOM" MYTH 20 PERFECT PICKS FOR MOM 30 NEW MOMS VIOLET IN THE JUNGLE!
SAVVY FAMILY 23 IT'S A JUNGLE OUT THERE ... 31 SKEWERED TO PERFECTION 34 IMPORTANT FIRST-YEAR MILESTONES 36 IMMUNIZATION MYTH VS. FACT
IN EVERY ISSUE 6 EDITOR’S NOTE 12 NEWS & NOTES 38 BAG CHECK
THE LIFESTYLE MANUAL FOR THE MODERN MOM
ON THE COVER: EVAN AND POSEY SHOW US THE LATEST IN SUMMER FASHION. PHOTOGRAPHY BY LILY DARRAGH.
MAY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
MAY 2016 · THESAVVYMOMS.COM
JUNGLE FASHION THESE KIDS ARE WILD FOR SUMMER STYLE
EVAN & POSEY GET WILD WITH SUMMER FASHION
MEET THE NEW MOMS CLIMBING OUT OF POSTPARTUM IMMUNIZATION FACTS & LOCAL GIFTS FOR MOM
High quality child care looks like
Dramatic play unlocks children’s minds and helps them develop social skills.
Dramatic play makes them aware of other people’s feelings. They learn to work and play together.
It allows them to create their own stories. They learn to plan and to solve problems as their stories develop.
Visit our website to find quality child care that helps your child develop through play.
www.ARBetterBeginnings.com • 1-800-445-3316 Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education
This month I was reminded again of how amazing and resilient moms really are. They make so many sacrifices to bring a child into the world … and then keep on sacrificing throughout the rest of their lives to make sure their kids have all they need to be successful in life. Being a mom is hard. I see my mom do it, I see my stepkids’ mother do it, I hear the battle tales from all the moms I interview, and I give it my best shot at our house. We all want to go that extra mile, craft the school project after a long day at work, sew all the badges on before the next Girl Scout meeting, even just remember to wear deodorant and get them to school on time every day this week. We all strive to be the best moms we can, to pack them a healthy lunch before nodding off to sleep on the couch watching "Jane The Virgin," but sometimes we find ourselves so tired that we cross our fingers and hope they’ll just ask for the school lunch tomorrow. This month, I met two amazing moms—Kathryn Tucker and Meridith Hamilton Ranouil—for our New Moms feature. They shared their unique stories, one entered motherhood for the first time, and the other again after 10 years. Jasmine Banks opened up in a candid, honest piece on her personal battle with postpartum depression, and offers hope to moms who may be afraid to acknowledge their own struggle. We took a walk on the wild side as stylist and mom Angela Alexander curated our fun summer fashion feature with her daughters, Violet and Posey. With Mother’s Day just around the corner, we collected some of our favorite trinkets and treasures from local boutiques for the Mother’s Day Gift Guide to help relieve the pressure to find that perfect gift that says, “Thanks, Mom, for raising me, and for all you had to put up with before I could understand what all of it really meant.” We learned our best moves from our own moms. We fought against everything they said throughout high school, and then called every weekend from college for any little bit of valuable advice on cooking, shopping and general life skills. When you become an adult—if you’re lucky—suddenly your mom becomes your friend and your biggest asset, and you find you’ve likely inherited many of those mom-traits that drove you crazy as a kid. I picked up this print from Domestic Domestic a few months ago. It was one of those things that yelled out to me across the store, and I had to buy it. I still haven’t decided if it makes me laugh or fills me with dread, but I know it’s the truth. Sometimes (most times) I open my mouth, and my mother comes out. She is a no-nonsense kind of lady, who will tell you exactly what she thinks. She loves entertaining and cooking great feasts for holidays although she profusely foreshadows each meal as “nothing special,” never accepting any of the credit she deserves. She is a recreational bargain shopper—you can see her pupils dilate, and hear her heart race when she enters a Gymboree with Gymbucks in hand. Some of our best moments have been spent swapping sale stories, and combing the racks for red tags together. My mom is also very generous, and made sure we had well-rounded meals every time we sat at the table. Growing up, I always had the best lunchbox in the cafeteria (she packed it all through high school, too). When I pack my stepkids’ lunches late on school nights—after dinner is cleaned up, homework and baths are finished, stories are read and I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by the day—I try to remember that feeling of opening my lunchbox at school, and knowing my mom cared so much about me. It’s these little things they will remember, that you took the time to pack a special lunch, or showed them how to make that chicken casserole, and said “no” to all the idiotic things they wanted to do in high school. So even if your kids are too young to realize how hard you work or how good they have it, there will come a day (probably when they have kids) when you get a heartfelt “thank you” and “Happy Mother’s Day.” And maybe they’ll even forgive you for the days when they had to eat the school lunch sloppy Joes.
I've accepted the truth!
MAY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
Amy Gordy Editor, Savvy @SavvyAR
PHOTOGRAPHY: LILY DARRAGH
…MY MOTHER COMES OUT
WE BELIEVE THAT EVERY CHILD IS
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VISIT OR CALL ARKANSAS VIRTUAL ACADEMY TODAY ARVA.K12.COM
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Visit our 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
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• Oldest elementary school in the city of Little Rock • Diverse School environment • A legacy of rich Catholic education, academic excellence and service for over 130 years 501.374.9166 805 Sherman St. Little Rock, AR 72202
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MAY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
11501 Financial Centre Parkway Little Rock, Arkansas 72211 501. 223.3322 â€˘ 800.880.3322 www.PinnaclePointeHospital.com THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2016
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contributors M AY 2 0 1 6
ANGELA ALEXANDER is a Memphis native but has proudly called Little Rock home for 16 years. A freelance hair/makeup stylist and photo stylist, Angela loves that her job allows her to work with new people every day and experience the beauty of the Natural State. When she’s not painting faces, she can be found hanging with her art director husband, Isaac, getting snacks for her two flower children, or walking her soulful dog, Otis.
JASMINE BANKS is a freelance writer, program manager at Postpartum Progress and small business owner. When Jasmine isn’t working way too hard, she enjoys writing, reading and eating cookies. You can follow Jasmine on Instagram @Djazzo.
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.
GREAT PLACE to meet
after GRADUATION & PROM! Mother’s Day Special! Moms with their kids play 18 holes of mini golf for FREE!
www.bigrockfunpark.com 11411 Baseline Road, Little Rock (near Bass Pro Shops)
10 MAY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
Call Us Today! 501-455-3750
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.
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2016
NEWS & NOTES
THE LATEST FOR PARENTS & KIDS YUM!
Snow cone season is here and everyone loves shaved ice! If you are looking for a healthy alternative to all the sugary syrup you usually get, check out LePops in the Heights. They are well known for their all-natural ice pops, but they also make delicious hand-cranked shaved ice in an array of natural flavors. Visit lepops.com.
Having trouble picking the right gift for Mom? Check out this subscription box service with Arkansas roots. The Charmed Root offers a hand-picked collection of handmade gifts delivered monthly to your door. Every box is unique and filled with treasures she’s sure to love. Visit thecharmedroot.com.
12 MAY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
School-free summer days are fast approaching, and many parents find themselves searching for ways to keep their children entertained. Onebanc’s interactive game, MoneyIsland, is available through their website at no cost. You don’t have to be a customer to play it, and when the game is completed, kids can go to any Onebanc location and receive a complimentary piggy bank as a reward. Additionally, with their parent’s accompaniment, kids can also open their own First Step Savings account, which is totally free. When kids play MoneyIsland, they enter a virtual world that makes learning fun, and also tracks and encourages their progress. As they go on quests to fantastic destinations like the Eiffel Tower and Atlantis, they learn real-life principles of financial responsibility. MoneyIsland provides invaluable life lessons that can help prepare kids ages 8-14 with a curriculum that builds skills in three basic areas: Saving and Spending, Earning and Investing, and Using Credit Wisely. Additionally, adults have access to an administrator tool, which young players don’t see. This enables them to observe the kid’s progress and identify areas they might be struggling with. To access the game, go to onebanc.com. An adult will have to sign the child up to play through a few quick and easy steps. When prompted, enter the access code: 9izpa8, and you are on your way to an educating, worldly adventure.
PHOTOGRAPHY: BRIAN CHILSON/COURTESY ONEBANC
Better Weight Management.
PUBL Savv INSER April, MATE 03-11 CLIEN Arkan Hosp
Healthier, Happier Kids. Introducing the COACH program, the new streamlined obesity initiative from Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
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The Center for Obesity and its Consequences in Health (COACH) oﬀers comprehensive prevention, treatment and maintenance of weight management issues in kids. With us, they’ll receive the care they need from the area’s most committed team – including our newly appointed Chief of Endocrinology, Jon Oden, MD. If you have concerns about your child’s weight, ask your primary care doctor for a referral to the COACH program at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
For more information, visit archildrens.org/coach
3/10/16 2:39 PM
RES O RT
. Remote … within reach
S TAT E
PA R K
Get away from it all with just a short drive. Get your fun on at DeGray Lake Resort State Park with kayaks, paddleboards, party barges, fishing, swimming, golf and disc golf, eagle-spotting tours, guided horseback rides, nearby mountain biking and pretty much everything you need to unplug and recharge.
1-800-737-8355 • DEGRAY.com • I-30 Exit 78 at Arkadelphia THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2016
Your favorite characters from the Academy Award-winning film “Frozen” come to life on the ice at Verizon Arena. Elsa, Anna, Olaf and more will entertain at “Disney on Ice Presents Frozen” with the tale of two royal sisters and captivating set design, special effects and powerful skating. Tickets $16-$76. Visit verizonarena.com.
Kids will love seeing this classic fairytale unfold at “NETworks Presents Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” at Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville. Based on the Academy Award-winning animated feature film, this production tells the musical love story of an enchanted prince and kind-hearted young woman surrounded by unforgettable characters, lavish sets and costumes. Tickets $30-$84. Visit waltonartscenter.org.
PHOTOGRAPHY: COURTESY VERIZON ARENA, WALTON ARTS CENTER, LEGENDS OF ARKANSAS AND ARKANSAS FESTIVAL BALLET
Throw a party! LITTLE ROCK
NORTH LITTLE ROCK
11218 N. RODNEY PARHAM RD.
14 MAY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM 0316-38M_ GRAD_SavvyMag.indd 1
4822 N. HILLS BLVD.
*MAY is NATIONAL BIKE MONTH! HIT THE TRAILS WITH THE WHOLE FAMILY! VISIT ARKANASASWILD.COM FOR A LIST OF LOCAL TRAILS.
A R K A N S A S F E S T I VA L B A L L E T Rebecca M. Stalcup, artistic director presents
*MAY 20 is NATIONAL PICK STRAWBERRIES DAY! ARKANSAS HAS TONS OF U-PICK FARMS; VISIT ARKANSASFOODANDFARM.COM FOR A LISTING.
Flying Effects provided by ZFX, Inc.
Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theater 501 East 9th Street • Little Rock, Arkansas Friday, May 20 at 7:30 pm • Saturday, May 21 at 2 pm & 7:30 pm • Sunday, May 22 at 2 pm Buy tickets online at
For more information contact Arkansas Festival Ballet at 501-227-5320 Support for Arkansas Festival Ballet is provided by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
AFB_Peter Pan_2016_poster.indd 1
1/15/16 4:22 PM
Take flight to Neverland at the Arkansas Festival Ballet’s presentation of "Peter Pan" at the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre. This storybook ballet includes amazing flying effects provided by ZFX, Inc. Tickets are $20 for adults; $15 for children and students. 501-227-5320 or arkansasdance.org.
Caps off! Party
NEW! Grad Tees & Accessories
Peter Pan © Copyright Lyuba Bogan 2016. All Rights Reserved.
This festival has fun for the whole family! Legends in Argenta will be located in the heart of the Argenta Arts District at the Plaza on the corner of Sixth and Main streets. Gates open at 4 p.m. to live music, local craft beer, art vendors, food trucks, performing artists and performances by Arkansas Circus Arts. Admission is $5 for adults; kids 12 and under are free. Visit legendsofarkansas.com.
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2016
3/24/16 12:00 PM
LIFE IS SHORT. CRAM IT FULL OF HAPPY
y friend and I were recently discussing the near-impossible task of balancing work and family (and school and church and volunteering) commitments. We realized we had failed to add weight to the scales for personal growth or relaxation or—God forbid—fun. We marveled at a friend in her early 30s who committed to spending at least five minutes a day doing the three things that make her happy: knitting, painting and reading. While it’s true I can rarely find time enough to shave both legs in one shower, wouldn’t it be great if we were as self-aware as this woman? Wouldn’t it be lovely if we made ourselves, our happiness, a priority? When was the last time you did anything just for the sheer pleasure of it? If you’re like me, those moments are few and far between, and typically start with "pedi" and end with "cure." But what about more complex things? What about major life decisions? Have you ever followed your heart and let your paycheck fall where it may? I know what you’re thinking: “Yeah, right. If I quit my job to open a plant nursery, who’s going to pay the house note?” But it can happen. It does happen. People follow their dreams and make it. Take me, for example. I’m writing novels and loving every hair-pulling, self-doubting minute of it. A close friend quit her job curating museums to run a knitting store. A woman I know gave up her work as an attorney to be a baker. Someone I know reworked and downsized their family’s entire household to stay home with a new baby. Several friends send their kids to great schools and continue their dreams to rule the world as attorneys, advocates or accountants. Like you, I know many parents who gain purpose and satisfaction from their work in business or government or education. These parents are following their hearts. Is it easy? I feel confident the answer to that question is a resounding “no.” But is it worth it? You bet. Maybe it’s because I’m closing in on 40 that the pursuit of happiness weighs so heavily on my mind. Do you ever look up at the
clock after putting the kids to bed, cleaning the dinner dishes, and picking up the living room to see it’s already 10 o’clock? Happens to me all the time. Did spring break and Easter catch you completely offguard? Summer will be here before you know it because time flies by. Life expectancy for a woman in Arkansas is a little over 78 years. Considering I can’t remember the first 10 years of my life and likely won’t remember the last, I can roughly expect 28 more good years. As fast as the last 40 years have passed, I don’t want to spend a single one of my remaining years feeling unhappy or unsatisfied if I can help it. Now, I’m not advocating quitting your job or selling everything to drag your kids across the country in an RV. Although, whose dream is that? Sounds like my own personal hell. What I propose is a self inventory. What do you enjoy doing? (And no, sleep is not an acceptable answer here, though I know we all need more of it.) What makes you truly happy? What makes you feel satisfied and complete and at peace? Have you thought about going back to school? Perhaps you’d like to commit more time to volunteering at the animal shelter. Maybe your dream is being the best darned room mom in all of Pulaski County. Could be you want to take up landscape design, even for your own yard. Maybe you work so hard from 8 to 5 that you’d really like to find five minutes alone to knit, to paint or to read. I think it must be in a mother’s DNA to put everyone and everything ahead of her own needs. Most times that’s what it takes to get things done. I know that. But I also know that over time, continually putting ourselves last adds up, and before long we’re not even standing in line anymore. It’ll take a conscious effort and a strategic plan to change that. And it’ll take serious self-reflection to determine what it is we even need. Franklin Roosevelt said, “It isn’t sufficient just to want—you’ve got to ask yourself what you are going to do to get the things you want.” Life is fleeting and precious. Let’s figure out what we want, and then let’s get it.
TAKING SOME "ME TIME" ON A DATE TO OAKLAWN WITH MY HUSBAND!
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 and three children, striking that delicate balance between inspiration and frustration. Jen has published three novels under the pen name Jen Crane, the second of which was selected by iTunes/iBooks as “Our Pick” in fantasy sci-fi.
16 MAY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
WHEN WHO YOU’RE WITH IS HALF THE FUN.
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We take your child’s education With quality public schools like Lawson Elementary, the education you want for your child is close at hand. Choose PCSSD schools with: • Test scores higher than other local districts • Millions in college scholarships awarded • Teachers with advanced degrees • Talented and gifted programs • State-winning sports teams
501.234.2000 THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2016
BREAKING THE 'GOOD MOM' MYTH
Postpartum depression is a condition that is rarely discussed. This mom of three gives a first-hand account of her personal experience and path to recovery.
Jasmine Banks now free from the symptoms of postpartum depression enjoys a hike with her children Isaiah, Addison and Tobias.
18 MAY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
otherhood has a lot of myths. One of the most prevalent myths is concerning that “magical moment” where everything just clicks. When you see your baby for the first time and just fall madly, uncontrollably in love, and it’s all smooth sailing from there. These myths put a lot of pressure on new mothers, and on top of that, many must navigate opinions and judgment from friends, family and strangers online even before their bundle of joy arrives. There are a lot of “good mom” myths out there that cause shame for any feelings that don’t align with the masses. Most women who experience symptoms of postpartum depression and other perinatal mood and anxiety disorders often hide their symptoms and suffer in the dark. Who wants to admit they have feelings of anxiety toward their baby when they are already being judged about so many other aspects? When my first child was born six years ago, I found myself having increasing fear. As I sat in his nursery to rock and breastfeed him, my mind drifted to thoughts of imminent danger. I imagined all kinds of scenarios of how he could be harmed. Those thoughts started to appear more frequently, and interfered with my daily life. I told myself these fears were normal concerns, and pushed down the gut-wrenching concern that something was very wrong with me. I spent time with other new mothers, and that feeling grew stronger when I heard them explain their “love at first sight” bond with their child. I did all of the things a new mother who loved her child would do, but there was a detachment that plagued my relationship with my son. I had intrusive thoughts that he would be hurt. I avoided public places because I was terrified to drive in a car with him. I had repetitive visualizations of him being hit by cars. I became preoccupied with the idea that he might drown somehow. I couldn’t stop crying most days, had no desire to take care of myself, and felt constantly hopeless. I reasoned that there was something wrong with me on a fundamental level instead of realizing that I was suffering from postpartum depression and OCD. As it turned out, there was a name for what I was experiencing, and I was not alone. In fact, conservative numbers estimate that 1 in 7 moms experience a postpartum mood and anxiety disorder. Mothers are afraid to speak up due to the stigma around maternal mental health and a society that perpetuates motherhood myths that the experience should be nothing but joy and sunshine. Whether it’s their first or their fifth child, moms experiencing a postpartum mood and anxiety disorder fear they’re just bad moms. I realized what was happening to me after finding PostpartumProgress.org, and I reached out to my health care provider for help. I nervously admitted what I was experiencing to my family, and was met with support. It took a year of active therapy to maintain recovery from postpartum psychosis with OCD features. Postpartum mood and anxiety disorder is not just the temporary hormone drop often dubbed “The Baby Blues.” These syndromes and disorders are nasty mental illness conditions that need significant attention and support. Today, I enjoy complete freedom from these symptoms. I went on to have two other healthy pregnancies with the help of a treatment team who understood my mental health medical history. I turned those moments of suffering into triumph when I joined Postpartum Progress, the very organization that helped me so many years ago. To help reduce the stigma around this illness, we need to work toward creating a society where moms feel comfortable talking about their own unique motherhood experience. Mothers shouldn’t be shamed or judged for their feelings. Moms with postpartum depression are good moms. So are moms experiencing postpartum anxiety, OCD, psychosis, bipolar or PTSD. A new mom may experience intrusive thoughts, suicidal ideation, insomnia, rage or crippling fear. These moms could use support and encouragement as they work to regain their mental health. Many may be struggling to reach out for help and don’t know what’s happening inside their head and body. Postpartum mental illness doesn’t define a person’s motherhood, but it is serious, and there is a way through it.
PHOTOGRAPHY: COURTESY JASMINE BANKS
BY JASMINE BANKS
FIVE WAYS TO BOOST YOUR PRENATAL HEALTH BY KD REEP
If you know you want to have a baby, a good rule of thumb is to start preparing at least three months prior to becoming pregnant. If you smoke, drink alcohol or are over- or underweight, you can work with your doctor to develop strategies to get healthier prior to becoming pregnant. If you take medicine that treats conditions such as diabetes, asthma, hypertension, a heart problem, allergies, lupus or depression, work with your doctor five to six months in advance of getting pregnant to adjust your medications accordingly. “As long as you are honest with your physician, and willing to adjust your lifestyle habits and present health condition, your chances of getting pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy and delivery increase tremendously,” said Dr. Ananth Ranganathan, an obstetrician and gynecologist with the CHI St. Vincent Women’s Clinic in Little Rock. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health, here are five things women can do to improve preconception health: 1. Take 400 to 800 micrograms (400 to 800 mcg or 0.4 to 0.8 mg) of folic acid every day if you are planning or capable of pregnancy to lower your risk of some birth defects of the brain and spine, including spina bifida. All women need folic acid every day. Talk to your doctor about your folic acid needs. Some doctors prescribe prenatal vitamins that contain higher amounts of folic acid. 2. Stop smoking and drinking alcohol. “This not only will help your chances of getting pregnant and delivering a healthy baby, but it will help your energy for when the baby arrives,” Dr. Ranganathan said. “Trust me, you will need all the energy you can get.” 3. If you have a medical condition, be sure it is under control. Some conditions that can affect pregnancy or be affected by it include asthma, diabetes, oral health, obesity or epilepsy. 4. Talk to your doctor about any over-the-counter and prescription medicines you are using. These include dietary or herbal supplements. Be sure your vaccinations are up to date. 5. Avoid contact with toxic substances or materials that could cause infection at work and at home. Stay away from chemicals and cat or rodent feces. “The best thing you can do for yourself, your baby and your family is to find a doctor you trust and build a relationship with him or her,” Dr. Ranganathan said. “Pregnancy is a beautiful and wonderful time that is fraught with questions and new experiences. Anytime you have a question about what’s going on with your body or how you are feeling mentally and emotionally, you should have somewhere to go where you are informed, educated and reassured. It takes a team to have a baby, and knowing you are not alone and cared about is the most important thing you can do for yourself.” Visit womenshealth.gov for more information.
The Clinton Presidential Center’s newest temporary exhibit includes photographs, film, and memorabilia from dozens of American Olympic athletes, and significant material related to American Presidents, just in time for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
March 12 – September 11, 2016
www.clintonfoundation.org/AmericanChampions 1200 President Clinton Avenue • Little Rock, AR 72201 Photo: Clinton Presidential Library
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2016
PERFECT PICKS FOR MOM
No matter if your mom enjoys gardening, entertaining, being pampered, or just being her sassy, lovable self, we have a local gift roundup to help you find the perfect token to say “thank you.” BY AMY GORDY
2 PHOTOGRAPHY: BRIAN CHILSON
3 1 5 FILL THE TUB WITH THE SCENT OF ROSES!
IF YOU DON'T HAVE SOMETHING NICE TO SAY...
1. Relax after a long day with Lollia in Love Bubbling Bath. Bella Boutique, Little Rock. 2. Lipstick Mom Mother’s Day Card for a mom who always looks great. The Social Type, Little Rock. 3. Freshen up with a bar of handmade soap by Main St. Apothecary. The Green Corner Store, Little Rock. 4. Ease her mind with the calming fragrance of lavender in an Embroidered Muslin Lavender Sachet by Mount Madonna Lavender. The Green Corner Store. 5. Let her know you appreciate her with this Heart of Gold leather key fob. Bella Boutique. 6. Take your bellyaching somewhere else when momma is wearing this Good Vibes Only necklace. Bella Boutique.
20 MAY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
3 SPICE UP CREAM CHEESE!
FOR THE HOSTESS
1. Retro-inspired Modglass baking dish is the perfect addition to Mom’s party platters. Eggshells Kitchen Co., Little Rock. 2. Spice up
cream cheese hors d’oeuvres with Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce by Fischer & Wieser foods. Eggshells Kitchen Co. 3. For the mom who loves to bake, but just doesn’t have the time, Ann Potter Vanilla Shortbread Cookie Mix is the perfect gift. Eggshells Kitchen Co. 4. Get rid of awkward wine glass mix-ups with a set of Chickadee wine glass markers. Eggshells Kitchen Co. 5. Small batch simple syrup by Pink House Alchemy. Eggshells Kitchen Co. 6. Red Wine Stain Remover by Chateau Spill to the rescue! Eggshells Kitchen Co.
1 ENCOURAGE HER GREEN THUMB!
1. The Self-Watering Basil Herb Kit will encourage her matronly green thumb to shine. The Green Corner Store. 2. Sow True Seed
offers seeds in beautifully-illustrated packets. The Green Corner Store.
3. Stylish and functional, these Atlas 370 Garden Gloves are great
for yard work, chores and everyday mom things. The Green Corner Store. 4. Leave your print on Mom forever with a Precious Metal Prints Finger Print Pendant Kit. Available at Haus Werk, Little Rock. 5. This Mother’s Day in the Garden card is perfect for the mom who loves to spend her days tending the tulips. The Social Type.
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2016
TRAILS TO YOU.
Running, hiking, riding, floating or just wandering … whatever your pleasure, your Arkansas State Parks have trails galore. Wherever you are in Arkansas, there’s a state park nearby. So come on out.
ArkansasStateParks.com My park, your park, our parks
Pinnacle Mountain State Park #ARStateParks
For over 30 years, The BridgeWay has been caring for Arkansans of all ages. Now, The BridgeWay offers Senior Care to adults, 55 and older, struggling with mental health concerns. In honor of those who raised us, we provide the following: • New, state-of-the-art facility • 24-hour nursing care • Medication management and physician care • Discharge and aftercare planning • Neuropsychological testing • Safe, serene environment in central Arkansas Here we treat each patient with dignity and care that may bring hope, help and healing to those seeking a sense of wellness.
If you or a loved one is experiencing diﬃculties, it is important to find out if a serious problem exists. To schedule a confidential, no-cost assessment, call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
22 MAY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
IT'S A JUNGLE OUT THERE... FOR THESE HIGH-FASHION TRENDSETTERS
PHOTOGRAPHY: LILY DARRAGH PRODUCED AND STYLED BY ANGELA ALEXANDER SET DESIGN: MANDY KEENER COPY: AMY GORDY THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2016
"I love the song 'Bare Necessities' from the Jungle Book."
Violet screams for ice cream in this graphic print burnout muscle tank by Chaser from The Toggery! Hot pink shorts by Copper Key from Dillard’s round out her look. Violet's parents are Isaac and Angela Alexander.
24 MAY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
"My favorite jungle animal is a kitty." â€”Evan
Love the backdrop? It's Zoo Dreams wallpaper from Chasing Paper Co. designed by Gingiber in Springdale.
Evan is king of the jungle in this hip getup! His gray T-shirt by Chaser from The Toggery lists all his favorite things. Skinny-cut Levis and black Converse tennis shoes give this wild man an ultra cool vibe. Evan's parents are Wade and Carolyn McCune. THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2016
Violet exhibits high-fashion denim in its natural habitat with this Seven For All Mankind Shirtdress, and long leather necklace from The Toggery. We're absolutely wild about her GB Girls turquoise beaded peacock sandals from Dillardâ€™s.
26 MAY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
Evan can swing from the treetops in this breathable, striped buttondown by American Vintage by Eland. Blue cotton shorts add a preppy look complemented by snazzy suede Florsheim bucks to dress it up. All pieces from The Toggery. Posey is poised for perfection in a pink Egg by Susan Lazar dress, gold leather Salt Water Sandals and a bright turquoise plastic handbag, all from The Toggery.
"I want to take a family vacation to the jungle." â€”Posey
This wild woman is ready to roar in a sporty pair of denim overalls by Jessica Simpson, and striped shirt by Copper Key. Her tan gladiator sandals are perfect for summer days trudging through a mighty backyard jungle. All pieces from Dillardâ€™s. Posey's parents are Isaac and Angela Alexander.
skewered to perfection
THERE ARE SO MANY GREAT THINGS ABOUT GRILLING! IT KEEPS (MOST) OF THE MESS OUT OF THE KITCHEN, GETS EVERYONE OUTSIDE, AND YOU CAN COOK UP SO MANY DIFFERENT THINGS AT ONCE TO PLEASE THE ENTIRE CROWD. STORY & PHOTOGRAPHY BY KERRY GUICE
*SOAK SKEWERS IN WATER FOR AT LEAST 2 HOURS BEFORE GRILLING TO PREVENT BURNING.
*VISIT THESAVVYMOMS.COM FOR MORE GRILLING IDEAS AND RECIPES.
28 MAY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
t's finally grilling season, and Memorial Day weekend (May 30) will be here before you know it. That means pools are opening, we'll all have the day off, and the smell of everyone's backyard grill will be in the air. There's no more appropriate way to honor the men and women who've given the ultimate sacrifice for our country than to spend time with your family and friends, appreciating the freedoms given to us by our fellow Americans. When hosting a cookout, the main question is what to cook! It's hard to know what everyone likes, especially when kids are involved! That's why I love the idea of a skewer bar, so everyone can choose what they want. Have a little of everything and let them create their own skewer. Kids are more likely to eat what's on their plate if they've had a hand in what goes on it. Get creative and think outside the hot dog! Combine all that with lemonade for the kids and margaritas for the grown-ups, and you have yourself a perfect Memorial Day Cookout! Now if only the weather will cooperate.
all about preventive care
GRILLED SKEWER BAR
When it comes to our kids, parents never face a shortage of things to worry about, but a few preventive measures can provide relief.
Set up seasoned veggies and meat on a tray and let everyone create their own skewers to grill. VEGGIES Mushrooms Onion Zucchini slices Yellow squash slices Jalapeño Mini sweet peppers Corn cob slices (Boil for 5 minutes before skewering to soften the cob) Cherry tomatoes Brussels sprouts Chunks of cabbage Cauliflower
“There are many easy precautions parents can take that will lessen their worries and assure their child’s health,” said Jack Sublett, M.D., a family medicine specialist at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). From health screenings and tests to vaccines and check-ups, there are many helpful provisions parents can take. Here are a few to remember: Foodborne Illness. Children still have a developing immune system, so they face a greater risk of contracting foodborne illnesses. Therefore, it’s best to avoid any raw, undercooked, unwashed or unpasteurized foods. Talk to your child’s doctor for more information. Immunizations. There are several immunizations recommended for children, including influenza and MMR (measles, mumps, rubella). With so many different vaccines, talk to your family doctor to make sure your child is up to date. Wellness Exams. An annual exam is always encouraged to ensure your child’s health and development are on the right track.
VEGGIE SEASONING Drizzle of olive oil ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon pepper ½ teaspoon sugar ½ teaspoon dried parsley ½ teaspoon chili powder ¼ teaspoon dry mustard FRUITS Pineapple Peaches (Lightly season with a pinch of salt and chili powder)
Ultimately, we want what is best for our children to ensure their growth and development. Taking the right precautionary steps can help them on that journey.
MEATY ALTERNATIVES Shrimp Any firm fish (mahi-mahi, tuna, etc.) Steak bites Bratwurst/hot dog/sausage bites Pork tenderloin bites Crab cake balls *BE SURE TO KEEP THE MEAT SEPARATE FROM THE VEGGIES, AND HAVE THE ADULT WHO'S GRILLING ACTUALLY ASSEMBLE THE SKEWERS,WEARING FOOD-SAFE GLOVES AND WASHING HANDS AFTER HANDLING THE MEAT.
For an appointment, call 501-686-8000 UAMShealth.com/centerforprimarycare
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2016 UAMS May advertorial Savvy.indd 1
3/25/16 8:25 AM
Filmmaker Kathryn Tucker is in production on the largest project of her life, raising baby Tucker.
THE JOURNEY INTO MOTHERHOOD CAN BE TREMENDOUS. IT IS FULL OF LEARNING EXPERIENCES, ACHIEVEMENTS TO CELEBRATE AND UNIMAGINABLE MOMENTS OF JOY. MEET TWO LITTLE ROCK MOMS—KATHRYN TUCKER AND MERIDITH HAMILTON RANOUIL—WHO SHARE THEIR MOTHERHOOD EXPERIENCES, HIGHS AND LOWS INCLUDED. BY AMY GORDY PHOTOGRAPHY BY LILY DARRAGH
30 MAY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
THE INSIDE SCOOP with KATHRYN WHAT IS ONE THING THAT HAS SURPRISED YOU ABOUT MOTHERHOOD? Just how hard being a mom is, and how much I love my baby. I knew it would be hard, and I knew I would love him, but I could have never imagined how much.
Kathryn Tucker remembers the exact moment her “clock” started ticking. “I was there for the delivery of my nephew, Ellis, and I had this ‘ah-ha’ experience. I just had this really powerful reaction to him, and I knew in that moment I wanted to be a mom. Kathryn and her husband, Gabe Mayhan, are both filmmakers and travel back and forth from Los Angeles to their home in Little Rock. Their flexible schedules have allowed them to take time away and enjoy their latest and most time-consuming project, baby Gabriel Tucker Mayhan, whom they call “Tucker.” Kathryn was living in Los Angeles when she began her pregnancy at 36, and had to uproot when she returned to Little Rock for a job in her third trimester. Though she loved the laid-back, open attitude of her physician on the West Coast, her transition was smooth and she delivered a healthy baby boy on Aug. 20, 2015. Life with Tucker has changed the couple’s routine tremendously. “Our life feels chaotic and very busy, but now I also have days where I just get to slow down and go to the park, or go on a walk with Tucker. It’s important to slow down and make sure you are present with your baby,” she said. Tucker has found his place in this growing family. “We aren’t the kind of people who can put the baby in a room at night and shut the door. He’s one of us. He goes to sleep when we do, and sleeps with us. He goes where we go.” Kathryn and her husband have found a partnership that works seamlessly to help them both balance their work and family time. “Gabe is such a great dad. It’s changed the way I see him. My life would be impossible without him being the kind of dad that he is,” Kathryn said. One surprise about motherhood for Kathryn was the amount of time she has to spend breastfeeding. “We added it up, and I spend between four and six hours a day breastfeeding. That’s time I can’t do anything else, so Gabe uses that time to pitch in and make sure things around the house are taken care of. I wouldn’t be able to get anything done on my work without him.” The two are enjoying watching Tucker grow and develop his highenergy personality. “Gabe and I are both pretty intense humans. We are really passionate and dominant. I thought I had a lot of energy until I met Gabe. Tucker has a double dose of our energy. He is all over the place and really silly—a super energetic, very alert baby with a very proud mom and dad.”
WHAT ASPECT HAVE YOU STRUGGLED WITH MOST? This is kind of a Debbie Downer answer, but it’s true! Being a new mom can be very lonely. Everyone is different, but I love to work and I am very social— when you have a new baby people stop calling! I think they think it’s courteous to give you privacy, but I’ve never needed my friends more. I’ve also never needed to work more—we have a little one to provide for now! I’ve heard so many times, "Oh, we didn’t call you for that job because you’re a new mom, and we know you wouldn’t want to do it." Absolutely not true! WHO HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST HELP WITH TUCKER? My husband. WHICH BABY PRODUCT COULD YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT? My stroller. WILL YOU GO BACK TO WORK FULL TIME AND HOW DO YOU ANTICIPATE THAT TRANSITION? It’s complicated. As a freelance filmmaker I kind of never stopped working, and haven’t really gone back either. I am directing a documentary for AETN on Gov. Mike Beebe, working on distribution for a film I produced titled “All the Birds Have Flown South,” and I’m writing a screenplay. It is a blessing that I can do most of this from home, in PJ’s, with Tucker on my hip! I’m also incredibly blessed to have my
mother-in-law and my mom to help when we need to shoot. WHAT WERE YOUR FIRST THOUGHTS WHEN YOU SAW TUCKER? I have never known love like this before. I was paralyzed with the purest feeling of love and joy. I will never forget it. It was the happiest moment in my life. WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF TUCKER'S NAME? Gabriel is his dad’s name, and Tucker is my maiden name. I’m named after both my grandmothers, and that has always meant so much to me. I wanted Tucker to have that same feeling of rootedness. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE AND LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT PREGNANCY? The delivery would be my first answer to both. Other than that, my favorite thing was eating whatever I wanted! And least was brushing my teeth. Every time I brushed my teeth when I was pregnant it made me vomit. TMI. WHAT WAS THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU RECEIVED ABOUT MOTHERHOOD? There is nothing certain but change. No matter how good or bad the phase your baby is in, it will change! That helped me treasure the good times and not get too bogged down by the bad. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE ABOUT TO BECOME A NEW MOM? You can do it! Our bodies and our babies are so much smarter and stronger than we think they are. Listen to them! Also, take pictures of everything. The sleep deprivation has made me forget so much already, and the pictures are like a visual diary. THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2016
Interior designer Meridith Hamilton Ranouil has adapted her husbandâ€™s French-inspired attitude toward relaxed parenting with baby Emma.
32 MAY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
THE INSIDE SCOOP with MERIDITH WHAT WAS THE MAIN DIFFERENCE IN THIS PREGNANCY AND YOUR PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE? I am so much more relaxed! I am aware now that every little thing is not worthy of my worry and stress.
Meridith Hamilton Ranouil has taken another go at motherhood with the birth of her second daughter, Emma, 10 years on the heels of her first, Isabella. While much has changed in baby culture in the last 10 years, Ranouil is finding herself much more relaxed and gowith-the-flow thanks to the influence of her husband, Pierre, and their French perspective on parenting.
“The whole parenting culture is so much different than it was with my first pregnancy. People can be so hateful and judgmental. If you have a C-section, you are a failure. If you stay at home with your kid, you are lazy. If you go back to work, you are a bad mom. You can’t win. It was like that a little in my first pregnancy, but it’s really so much more now,” Ranouil said. She quickly learned to avoid the mommy blogs, and turned to the French culture of her husband for a little guidance. “American culture says to give the baby everything they want, and don’t ever let them cry. In French culture, the baby doesn’t rule everyone’s life. We have a life, and we have a baby. It’s a lot more laid back and there’s not as much pressure. You don’t lose yourself as a mom. I’m much more relaxed as a parent, and it’s been a great experience.” Ranouil runs her interior design business from home, so she’s able to have a flexible schedule to pick Isabella up from school, attend events, spend time with Emma and even get in a good workout. “I love boxing. The people at my gym are like a second family to me. I take Emma with me and set her up in her bouncer and work out. She loves to bounce!” Ranouil credits her daughter Bella and husband for making life with Emma so great. “Bella is a huge help. It took her a little while to come around to the idea of having a sister, but she’s really stepped up to the plate and is always willing to help out,” Ranouil said. Her husband had experience as an au pair while in college and was ready to step right into the role of “Dad.” “He has a lot of experience with kids. Some men, if you hand them a baby, they have no idea what to do and get stiff. Pierre was a natural, and he was so good with me after the pregnancy with my influx of emotions and changing hormones. He helped me through the hard part and he’s been great with Bella. He always makes sure she feels included in everything.”
WHICH PERSON IN YOUR LIFE HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST HELP WITH EMMA? If I had to name just one it would definitely be my husband, Pierre. From the moment she was born, he has been amazing. He not only helps with Emma, but also helps with keeping me centered and making Isabella, my oldest daughter, feel important. Honestly, though, I have had so much help and support from friends and family—I am very blessed. WHICH BABY PRODUCT COULD YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT? The Jumperoo! Emma has always been a mover, even in the womb, and she will jump in it all the time. HOW HAS PREGNANCY CULTURE CHANGED SINCE YOUR LAST PREGNANCY? There is so much more pressure to be “perfect.” There was pressure 10 years ago, but now with Facebook groups, blogs and other interactive social media, the cyber bullying has gotten a little out of control. HAVE YOU GONE BACK TO WORK FULL TIME YET, AND HOW WAS THAT TRANSITION? I am lucky to be self-employed with flexible hours. I have begun to work again, and it is not easy, but I am trying my best to balance the designer side with the mom side.
WHAT WERE YOUR FIRST THOUGHTS WHEN YOU SAW EMMA? “She has red hair!” WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF EMMA’S NAME? Pierre and I wanted a short name. Isabella suggested the name Lizzy since her friends call her Izzy, and her sister could then be called ‘Little Lizzy.’ Well, that obviously wasn’t going to happen, but ‘Little Lizzy’ stuck until we could find the real name, Emma, which was chosen in part because it is pronounced the same in French and in English. This was important since she has both French and American citizenship. Elise (pronounced Elize) was chosen as her middle name to incorporate Lizzy. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE AND LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT THIS PREGNANCY? I was pregnant. I was pregnant. WHAT WAS THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU RECEIVED ABOUT MOTHERHOOD? About a week after I had Emma, I was stressing out about something little. Bella came to me and gave me a big hug and told me, “It’s OK if you make a mistake, you are still the best mom ever.” WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE ABOUT TO BECOME A NEW MOM? Try to relax. Don’t read the blogs. Don’t get sucked into the Internet groups. Most importantly, if something happens or does not go as planned, it is not the end of the world. Enjoy your time—it doesn’t last long and every stage is a gift.
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2016
Find out at what age your baby should lift her head and chest.
BIRTH TO 3 MONTHS GROSS MOTOR SKILLS • Raises head up slightly when placed on stomach • Momentarily holds up head when supported • Alternately kicking legs while on their back • Thrusts arms in play FINE MOTOR SKILLS • Closes hand on your finger • Fixates on your face from 12 inches away • Smiles in response • Coos with pleasure or displeasure • Looks at their own hands SPEECH/COGNITIVE SKILLS • Stops moving or becomes quiet as a response to sound • Turns head toward 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
3 TO 6 MONTHS
IMPORTANT FIRST-YEAR MILESTONES MAKE SURE YOUR BABY'S DEVELOPMENT IS ON TRACK WITH THESE COMMON MOTOR SKILL, SPEECH AND COGNITIVE MILESTONES FROM THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION
GROSS MOTOR SKILLS • 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 • Sits briefly with upper extremity support FINE MOTOR SKILLS • Holds a toy for one minute • 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 • Vocalizes for attention • Sucking becomes more voluntary • Mimics movements or facial expressions • Responds to affection • Follows an object with eyes
6 TO 9 MONTHS GROSS MOTOR SKILLS • Reaches for objects while on stomach • Pulls self forward on stomach • Sits alone briefly • Moves from sitting to lying on stomach • Stands with support
34 MAY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
FINE MOTOR SKILLS • Transfers toys between hands • 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 • Understands parents’ gestures • Differentiates between a few words • Looks at common objects when named • Understands “no” • 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” • May be clingy to parents
9 TO 12 MONTHS GROSS MOTOR SKILLS • Sits alone with trunk rotation • Pivots and scoots in sitting • Pulls to stand • Cruises • May begin walking independently FINE MOTOR SKILLS • Shakes toys • 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 • May have controlled/sustained bite (12 months) • Puts things into a container and takes them back out SPEECH/COGNITIVE SKILLS • Turns head immediately to own name • Responds with searching movement in response to the question, “Where’s the...?” • Understands and follows simple commands regarding body action • Understands some descriptive words like “hot” • Vocalizes during play • Jargon begins as babbling decreases • Uses a question inflexion • May acquire first true words (10-18 months)
Dee Vittitow didn’t plan to be a speech pathologist. She graduated from college and began her life as a mechanical engineer, when her son was diagnosed with autism. So, she started over. “We didn’t get an official diagnosis until he was 12, but we knew probably in kindergarten. I looked at all the therapy disciplines, and I knew speech was going to be his biggest problem for life,” she said. “So, I went back to school, started all over with prerequisites, and then got a master’s degree.” About a year ago, Vittitow began work at The Academy at Riverdale, where she specializes in pediatric therapy, language development and feeding. She loves The Academy’s small environment, which allows for plenty of individual care. “It is a school and a therapeutic environment,” she said. “One side is an allday school and the other side is a medical therapy wing. We can pull from the school and put them into an environment where it’s one-on-one therapy.” Because The Academy works with children from ages 5 to 23, she enjoys the opportunity to support children as they grow and transition into vocational opportunities and adulthood. “You get to work on specific things from preschool to the vocational with these kids so that they have a specific plan for their growth. They can transition out into the community, and you see real growth, and, ultimately, that’s what I want for my son,” she said. “That’s what makes it important and worthwhile for me to do this kind of work.” She may not always see breakthroughs during the day, but she said when parents have little victories at home with their children, she can also celebrate that progress. “I don’t know if the kids think it’s a big triumph, but the parents do, and we get a star or a plus in our box every time the parents see something good,” she said. “It doesn’t usually happen when we’re around. But, for a parent, just to have the child try a bite of something is sometimes a triumph because that mom may have been struggling for months. It may not sound like much, but for the parent it really is.”
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2016
Immunization is one of our greatest public health achievements.
IMMUNIZATION MYTH VS. FACT
With all the conflicting information out there, it's important to separate the fact from fiction when choosing what's best for your child. BY DWAIN HEBDA
s all new parents know, almost from the second their little bundle of joy utters his or her first cry, there exists a constant bombardment of confusing and often conflicting information, messages, warnings and even sales pitches concerning the health risks facing their child. From well-intentioned relatives around the Thanksgiving table to popular media, everyone has an opinion on what’s best for baby. Some of the old wives’ tales are easily dismissed, but those cloaked in so-called research are harder to shake, such as the rash of stories that have cropped up in recent years over the safety of infant and early childhood immunizations. The truth is, the only thing about immunizations that threaten a child’s health is not getting them, said pediatrician Dr. Dennis Kuo of Arkansas Children’s Hospital and president of Arkansas Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics. “Immunization is one of our greatest public health achievements; the Centers for Disease Control declared it as one of the 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century,” he said. “A lot of the illnesses that we used to see day in and day out in pediatrics, you just don’t see them anymore. “I finished my training in 2000, and I’ve never seen a case of measles. I’ve never seen polio. Even in my practicing career, I went from seeing chicken pox all the time to seeing basically no chicken pox, and among our current crop of pediatrics residents, most of them have never seen a case of chicken pox.” And as for the reports that recently claimed to link vaccines with autism and other harmful side effects, Kuo is blunt. “The autism link,” he said, “is absolutely zero.” Kuo speaks with such confidence because he, like health organizations and fellow doctors all over the country, has reviewed the research supposedly showing the link between immunizations and autism and found it flawed. Meanwhile, evidence that speaks to the safety of the vaccines—and the absolute necessity that they be administered—is abundant and clear. As a matter of fact, Kuo pointed out an ironic twist in the discussion over the safety of vaccines in that once studies were presented showing supposed dangers, the resulting publicity drove the medical community to even more vigorous research. “The allegation of autism, for example: There are dozens and dozens of studies which never found a link between the two. And for major organizations like the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force to come right out and say there is no link just tells you how much evidence there is that says the vaccine is perfectly safe and does not cause autism in any way, shape or form.” Which is not to say that childhood immunizations don’t face issues when it comes to the general public. For one thing, vaccines are expensive both for individual physicians and for lower-income populations, particularly those without health care benefits. While many if not most physicians still administer vaccines as a matter of ethics, doing so does represent a certain financial loss, which can be hard to swallow, particularly in practices that predominantly serve the poor. Another dilemma health care professionals constantly battle arises from vaccines being the victim of their own effectiveness. “Vaccinations have been so successful that we collectively start developing short memories about how bad these diseases once were. There’s enough misinformation about these diseases that some of them are regarded not as harmful, but just a rite of passage,” he said. “But historically, chicken pox was a deadly disease for a couple hundred kids a year in the United States, not to mention the scarring and the secondary infections and the hospitalizations and everything else. “There’s also some who say, 'Well, diseases aren’t around and many other kids get vaccinated, so my child doesn’t need these vaccinations because my child is already protected.' But, at any given time there are going to be kids who cannot be vaccinated because they are either too young to get the vaccine, or they can’t get the vaccine because of illness or some other reason. And because of that, it doesn’t take a whole lot for any of these diseases to just come right back.” Science hasn’t been standing still when it comes to immunizations; Kuo said research and development have produced vaccines that are better tolerated and that feature far fewer potential side effects. He said such improvements not only boost the medical community’s confidence in immunizations, they also provide him peace of mind on a personal level. “None of us doctors would ever want to put any of our kids at risk for any reason,” he said. “Vaccines are constantly being reevaluated for safety and effectiveness. If you compare the vaccines today versus the ones that we gave even going back a couple of decades, they’re significantly safer. And, the number of vaccines we give today and the different diseases we protect against have really increased in the last 20 years.”
36 MAY 2016 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
IMMUNIZATION TIMETABLE The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has established guidelines for infant and childhood immunizations. According to Dr. Dennis Kuo of Arkansas Children’s Hospital, it is critical that parents vaccinate their children according to prescribed age schedules for immunizations to have the optimal positive effect. “The evidence for the safety of vaccines is probably stronger than just about anything else we have out there,” he said. “The schedule is the way it is because the CDC considers the effectiveness of vaccines, the side effects and how they all work with each other when given in the exact way that the CDC recommends.”
BIRTH -12 MONTHS BIRTH: Hepatitis B MONTHS 2 AND 4: DTaP (Diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough [pertussis]) Polio (IPV) Pneumococcal (PCV) Rotavirus (RV) Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) MONTH 6: DTaP (Diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough [pertussis]) Polio (IPV) Pneumococcal (PCV) Rotavirus (RV) Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
ALL NEW thesavvymoms.com
MONTH 12: Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) Chicken pox (Varicella) Hepatitis A
REQUIRED ADDITIONAL DOSAGES:
The second dose of Hepatitis B vaccine may be administered during months 1 or 2; the third dose may be administered between months 6 to 18. The second dose of Polio vaccine may be administered during months 6 to 18. The second dose of Pneumococcal and Haemophilus influenzae type b may be administered during months 12 to 15. Starting in month 6, children should also receive a flu shot, repeated annually thereafter.
Visit cdc.gov for more information.
everything for the
MODERN MOM in one place. stay in the loop. sign up for our enewsletter. THESAVVYMOMS.COM | MAY 2016
Bag Check with CARRIE HURLEY I ALWAYS CARRY THIS SWISS ARMY KNIFE. I NEVER KNOW WHEN I’LL NEED TO CUT A LIMB!
MY FAVORITE LIPSTICK FROM BEAUTY GEEK
AN AL E! N E EIG TEV M B S E FRO ES TH SSES E V A LO NGL U S
REVEL’S SILVER PACI AND HER BURBERRY SHOES WERE A SPECIAL GIFT FROM HER ‘FAIRY’ GODMOTHER. I LOVE THE SMELL OF LAVENDER! I WANT EVERYTHING TO SMELL LIKE IT.
S S AY LW TCHE A M SWA ’ I D IC . R AN NS SE D FAB ISIO U O AN DEC AH ILT OLOR MAKE U B C TO LY NT ARRY TRY E I C C E I E R IL T. WE ING I E WH IGN TH M DES WI
I HAD THESE BUSINESS CARDS MADE DURING A TRIP TO PARIS. THEY CAUGHT MY EYE AS WE WALKED PAST A SHOP, AND WE WERE THERE FOR A WHOLE WEEK SO I HAD TIME TO GET THEM PRINTED. CARRIE HURLEY with her husband, Scott, and daughter, Revel Rose, in San Diego. Hurley owns The Rendezvous, an antique venue in Round Top, Texas, and operates a local creative services company. MAY 2016 THESAVVYMOMS.COM 38 2016| | THESAVVYMOMS.COM 38 MAY
THIS JEROME DREYFUSS GRAY LEATHER PURSE GOES WITH EVERYTHING.
PHOTOGRAPHY: LILY DARRAGH/STYLING: MANDY KEENER
THE TAPE MEASURE COMES IN HANDY BECAUSE I’M ALWAYS JUNKING AND MEASURING THINGS FOR OTHERS AND MYSELF!
present the a-new,
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TOUCH, groom Q feed
the ANIMALS and learn a about AGRICULTURE!
LITTLE ROCK ZOO ~ ONE ZOO DRIVE ~ LITTLEROCKZOO.COM
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Counseling & Education
On Site AA/NA Support
Life Skills Seminar led by MD
Friend & Family Visitation
Outpatient Referrals Arranged
Please call us for more information on how we’re helping our patients create the life they’ve imagined!
Call Today. 1-800-264-5640
www.rivendellofarkansas.com - Located at 100 Rivendell Dr. - Benton, AR 72019