Page 1

November/ December


ways to raise A

thankful kid

preemie miracle

A Mother's Story

all in the FAMILY: life with childhood diabetes

Start Your Holiday INSIDE THIS ISSUE: u u u

The Hard Truth About Being a Military Wife Fun Holiday Craft for Tot & Mom Helping Families Support Their LGBT Children

ow N s n o i t i Trad

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mom 2 mom 6 “Mom, I'm Gay!” What Do You Say?

8 Gratitude: The Best Gift You Can Give Your Children This Holiday Season

moms R women 2 10 Life As a Military Mom know 2 grow 20 The Reality of Type I Diabetes

22 Pure Preemie Love 24 Tips to Fill Your Day With Active Play



Holiday Resource Guide

14 Anxiety vs. "Just Worried" How to Recognize and Treat Symptoms

26 Business Spotlight:

also in this issue 4 Mommy & Me 2 5 Some of My Faves 11 Ask the Doc 12 Buying Guide 30 Recipe Corner

Camden County College

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Desk Charms

Decoupage fabric scraps onto stones from the yard and finish with letter stickers to create fun paperweights.

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November/December 2016 | 3

mommy and me 2

South Jersey MOM

November/December 2016 CEO/Publisher Christopher Ognibene • (609) 670-1794 Executive Editor Karen Ognibene • (609) 230-6280 Marketing & Business Development Specialist Michelle Scianni • (856) 986-9606 For General Advertising Inquiries Marissa Josephick • (856) 537-7089 Production Manager Lisa Celfo Photographer Lifetouch photo taken by Nicole Mandelkow JC Penney at Deptford

candy cane winter holiday treats Here’s a whimsical winter tree craft to make with your children this holiday season! Use it as an ornament for a Christmas tree, give it as a small homemade present, or make a bunch for holiday dinner table decorations. You’ll need the following to make these little trees: • Candy canes • Green crepe streamers • Pom-poms • Mini peanut butter cups • Craft glue Break the top curved part off the candy cane, making a straight stick. Fold a couple feet of green crepe streamers in half. Then make cuts along the entire length, being careful not to cut all the way through the folded crepe. Take the “fringed” green crepe and wrap it around the candy cane piece so that it looks like a pine tree, gluing to hold in place. At the top of the candy cane piece and the green crepe, glue on a craft pom-pom. To finish the craft, stick the other end of the candy cane into a peanut butter cup. Louisa Kopp is a South Jersey mom and writer. Follow her blog at for party and craft ideas, recipes, and humorous parenting stories

Contributing Writers Wesley Cullen, Lisa Figuerdo, Amanda Fredericks, Samantha Gill, Louisa Kopp, Brie Latini, Amanda Meyer and Lisa Ann Panzino DiNunzio Special Thanks To South Jersey MOM would like to express our sincerest gratitude to our faithful readers and social media family for staying connected. And, to our terrific advertisers that offer great services to families across South Jersey and surrounding areas. Lastly, to our committed team of South Jersey MOM writers for your creative contributions and to the staff that make it happen every issue. You’re all awesome! Submit Calendar Listing

Created by Markations Adam Nichols • (215) 825-7499 Superior Graphics Print Management LLC publishes South Jersey MOM™ monthly and distributes it throughout the region. The publication is available free of charge at select locations. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is not permitted without the authorization of the publisher. Superior Graphics Print Management, LLC Publisher of South Jersey MOM P.O. BOX 268 • Wenonah, NJ 08090 Main: (609) 670-1794 Fax: (856) 210-1524 All materials and services provided in this magazine are for informational or educational purposes only

Enter Your Child’s Photo to Be On Our Next Cover Every issue South Jersey MOM features a local child on the cover. If you think you have the “Cutest Kid in Town”, send a 4x6 photo to South Jersey MOM. P.O. Box 268, Wenonah, NJ 08090. On back of photo write child’s name and age along with guardian contact info.

4 | November/December 2016

a letter from the EDITOR


Photo Credit Lifetouch at Deptford JC Penneys by Pam Engemi

very month we devote ourselves to filling the pages of South Jersey MOM with ideas and stories that make your life easier, happier and healthier. This holiday issue is no exception: we have received countless emails and phone calls from moms, friends of moms and grandmothers that want to share their stories. If only we had endless pages to fill with all the amazing stories that need to be heard. This month don’t miss 4 women’s very special stories. The first is, “The Reality of Type 1 Diabetes” (page 20). The article will give you a

greater understanding of what a typical day entails and how to balance life when a child has diabetes. Another great article this issue is by Beth Leahey, “Pure Preemie Love” (page 22) about her daughter’s premature birth at 32 weeks and weighing a mere 3lbs 9oz. Beth spent endless hours in the NICU. Then, there is “Life As a Military Mom” (page 10); Amanda Meyer shares her ability to manage life with her husband’s deployments on a submarine, leaving her to hold down the fort and squash spiders like a champ. Lastly, Wesley Davidson shares advice on how to respond to your child coming out LGBT, “Mom, I’m Gay! What Do You Say?” (page 6). Wesley writes that kids are coming out in middle school and many parents are unprepared for the conversation and can say damaging things. Be sure not to miss her parenting tips. I hope South Jersey MOM’s stories warm your heart this holiday season and inspires love and kindness. Happy Holidays!✲ Your friend & fellow MOM,

some of my


stand up to cancer all-over-arrow color changing umbrella

This holiday season shower your loved one by supporting SU2C to raise funds to save lives. Rain or shine show your colorful support for everyone who has been touched by cancer with this Stand Up To Cancer umbrella. When wet, the umbrella’s colors change from a black and white arrow pattern to brilliant orange, red, and yellow.; $40

Karen Ognibene

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for great South Jersey MOM giveaways!

bears for humanity animal pals

The products are made using only certified organic materials and Fair Trade practices, while employing at-risk women from welfare-work programs right in the U.S. The “Buy One, Give One” program provides a bear to a child in need for every bear purchased. 14 loveable creatures make great gifts!; $25

on the Cover Russell is 18 months old and loves to play outdoors and is very active. He loves books, Mickey Mouse and his snuggle blankets. Photo taken by Lifetouch portrait studio by Nicole Mandelkow

stash sjp

Magnetic and mysterious, Stash reveals a sensuous aromatic woody fragrance that captures light and dark while merging notes of cedarwood atlas, vetiver, and pistachio. Inspired by Sarah Jessica Parker’s own secret fragrance obsession.; $85

November/December 2016 | 5

mom 2 mom

“Mom, I’m Gay!” What Do YOU Say?


Wesley C. Davidson

ids are coming out younger and younger. You may hear your middle schooler tell you he/she/”they” (transsexual) is LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender). It takes courage for your child to reveal his/her sexual orientation. You may be surprised, shocked and even angry when you hear their confession. Your expectations for a traditional life for your child have just been dashed. How do you respond? You’re on the spot. What any child wants to hear from you is: • We love you and always will. (Hug). • We will support you. • How long have you known? • Why do you think you’re LGBT? • Do you have any issues about being LGBT? Is everything going well at school? • Whom have you told among family members and friends? • Whom would you like me to tell or not to tell? • I hope we have more open discussions like this one. I’m flattered that you shared this important part of your self with me. Do NOT Say: • You couldn’t be gay! You’re on the football team. • It’s just a phase. You’re too young to know.

6 | November/December 2016

• You haven’t met the right person yet. • You’re so feminine. How could you be a lesbian? • You’ve always been a tomboy. Now, you’re calling yourself transgender! • How can you be bisexual? You’re sitting on the fence. It’s one or the other! The Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State reports that there is a correlation between the likelihood of teenagers becoming depressed or anxious and turning to substances and the lack of support from close friends and family members in their coming-out process. Gay children who are rejected by their family are more apt to use drugs, six times more likely to be depressed, eight times more likely to attempt suicide than gay children who say they are accepted by their families. What you say has a tremendous difference in a LGBT’s child feeling valued or rejected within the family. If your child has already come out to you, and it didn’t go well, you can always apologize and start over. You can begin again by saying “you know you really caught me off guard, and I didn’t react the way I should of. It may take me some time to digest your news, but know I love you.” Wesley C. Davidson is the co-author of When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need To Know (Sterling, 2016). She is the straight mother of a gay son. She lives in Florida.

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November/December 2016 | 7

Gratitude: The Best Gift You Can Give Your Children This Holiday Season Amanda Fredericks


he holiday season is a beautiful-but-busy time of year. Whether we’re preparing for a large Thanksgiving Day feast, decorating our homes, or shopping for gifts, we have a lot to do. Sometimes, we’re so caught up with what needs to get done that we lose sight of the true meaning of the holidays.

2. Create Family Traditions Rather than focus on gift-giving, concentrate on creating family traditions instead. For example, each year pick out a special dessert to make together, get comfy on the couch in front of the fireplace and read aloud a holiday story Thanksgiving night, or drive around to look at the beautifully lit houses. Kids won’t remember which gifts they received each year, but they will surely remember the fun traditions you’ve created as a family. 3. Encourage Them to Give to Others Giving to others allows kids to look outside themselves. Here are some great ways they can give back during the holiday season: Clean Out the Toy Box: More often than not, there are toys collecting dust somewhere. Encourage your child to go through them and put aside the toys they no longer play with. Donate them. There’s a child out there who would be thrilled to have them. Be Kind to Your Neighbors: Help out elderly or disabled neighbors. Have the kids rake the leaves or shovel snow from their driveway. They can also wish their neighbors happy holidays by baking cookies and delivering them door-to-door. These kind gestures go a long way. Gratitude The holidays are about being grateful for what we have. As parents, we want to see our children happy with the gifts they receive, but we know eventually those same gifts will be put to the side when better ones come along. It’s true that our kids may never appreciate any of those gifts as much as we’d like them to. With the amount of television commercials and toy advertisements, it’s no wonder their Christmas lists grow so long; however, the more they receive, the more they want, and the less thankful they become. So, how can we instill gratitude in our children during the holidays which can easily become excessive and materialistic? 1. Don’t Overdo It Although it’s tempting to buy your child everything they want, don’t. Set limits. Ask them to prioritize their lists. If they get used to receiving a large amount of gifts, that’s what they’ll expect each year and they’ll appreciate each one less.

8 | November/December 2016

Visit a Local Senior Center: Get your child’s creativity going! They can make a batch of holiday cards and hand-deliver them to the residents or get a group together and sing Christmas carols. Many seniors are lonely, especially during the holiday season. They may not have family members who visit them regularly and this will certainly brighten their spirits. Make Special Treats for Animals: There are many easy homemade recipes for dog and cat treats. Make them at home and drop them off at the nearest shelter. Shelters are always looking for donations since they tend to run out of food quickly. 4. Lead by Example Talk to your children about the things you are grateful for and be sure to tell those around you how much they mean to you. If we want our children to be grateful for what they have, we must model the behavior. Continue this year-round. They’ll begin to understand that it doesn’t have to do with what we receive but rather the memories we share and the love we give to others. I hope this holiday season fills your family with happiness and gratitude!


November/December 2016 | 9

moms R women 2

Life As a

Military Mom Mandy Meyer


eing a mom is the most challenging, rewarding, and selfless job that I have ever had. Before children I was a kindergarten teacher, but now I am a stay-at-home mom to an extremely active and curious twoyear-old boy. However, like many stay-athome Moms, that’s not all I am. I am also President of Mom’s Club of Mantua, a part-time Pottery Teacher and wife to a Supply Officer in the U.S. Navy. While being a mom might be the hardest thing I’ve ever done, being married to a man in the military comes pretty close. When my husband joined the Navy six years ago, I thought that his absence during three months of Officer Candidate School, also known as “boot camp” would be the roughest thing we would have to

10 | November/December 2016

go through. Boy was I wrong. Those three months of boot camp were a breeze compared to Fast Attack Submarine deployments. Although the submarine deployments usually only lasted six months, communication was almost obsolete. While we did have e-mail, e-mails were rarely sent out from the submarine and sometimes it would be months before I received an e-mail from my husband. My husband’s tour on the submarine lasted 32 months and he was underwater for 22 of those months. The submarine was stationed out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii so at least I got to live in paradise for 32 months. However, living on a little island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with bugs the size of your head and no hus-

band to enjoy it with or kill the bugs was quite a learning experience. Firstly, I learned how to kill centipedes and cane spiders better than my husband ever could and secondly, I learned how to live alone in an unfamiliar place. I learned so much more than this, but most importantly, I learned that you will find your strength when you have no other option but to be strong. This is what happened to me when I found out that I was pregnant with our son right before my husband left on his second deployment. I went through my whole pregnancy alone and a million miles away from family. Thankfully I found amazing friends who turned into my family and helped me through my entire pregnancy. One of my girl friends even accompanied me to child birth classes, where we had to explain to the group that we weren’t a couple, just friends with husbands who were deployed. Thankfully, the Captain allowed my husband to come home a week before for the birth of our son, even though the submarine was still on deployment. Six weeks later, we packed up our home in Hawaii and moved to New Jersey where my husband is currently serving a threeyear shore tour at Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support out of Philadelphia. I’ve been extremely lucky to have my husband home during the last two years of our son’s life. Next year we will be moved to Norfolk, VA where my husband will be stationed on an aircraft carrier, which will likely have nine-month deployments. By then we will have two children, as I am due in December with our second child and I am scared to death for him to deploy and leave me alone with two children under three. I know that it will be difficult at first, but I will find my strength and be the best mom that I can be while my husband is away serving our country.✲

Advanced ENT 200 Bowman Drive, Suite D285 Voorhees, NJ 08043 856.602.4000 •

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Tonsils: The Ins and Outs with Pediatric Otolaryngologist Dr. Ryan Walker Over half a million children in the United States have their tonsils removed each year, but many more don’t. How do you know if it’s right for your child? Tonsils are generally removed for one of two reasons: chronic tonsillitis or obstructive sleep apnea. Chronic tonsillitis is often the underlying cause of repeated episodes of “Strep Dr. Ryan Walker throat.” Children and young adults are considered candidates for tonsillectomy if they have 7 or more episodes in a single year, 5 or more episodes in consecutive years, or more than 3 episodes in the past 3 years. Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition where children have difficulty breathing during sleep, which can manifest as snoring and/or intermittent gasping for air. This is often due—at least in part—to enlarged tonsils (and adenoids). Obstructive sleep apnea can cause daytime sleepiness, poor school perfor-

mance, hyperactivity, high blood pressure, or even bedwetting. What are tonsils? Do we need them? The term “tonsils” actually refers to the palatine tonsils, which reside on either side of the throat. They are part of a ring of lymphatic tissue that includes the adenoids in the back of the nose and the lingual tonsils on the base of the tongue. They are all part of our immune system and function to filter bacteria and viruses so that our body can develop antibodies to fight infection. While they are thought to contribute to the early development of our immune system, there has been nothing to suggest that removing them causes any deficits to our immune function later in life. So why doesn’t every child get their tonsils out? Any surgery has risks. In the case of tonsillectomy, pain and bleeding are the primary concerns. Surgery should only be pursued after a frank discussion with your pediatrician, surgeon, and family.

Your Kids. We’re Listening. Introducing Dr. Ryan Walker. Dr. Ryan Walker is the first fellowship-trained pediatric otolaryngologist in the Virtua network. Dr. Walker is currently accepting patients of all ages at Advanced ENT.

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November/December 2016 | 11

buying guide

Disney Princess Merida’s Magical Story Skirt (A) Merida has an enchanting tale to tell -- on her skirt -- and your child can magically brush the story to life! Fill the included wand with water, brush it on the dress, and see the scene magically appear! Once it dries, brush and reveal the story again and again!; $8

Dumbo Lounge Sack (B) This fun lounger fills up with air when swooshed around creating ultimate comfort. It’s convenient to bring on any adventure whether it’s camping, hiking or even watching tv and playing video games. Folds up to fit back in bag for quick clean-up.; $80 Shape Mags: The Classic 100 Piece Set (C) Magnetic tile building set that allows little builders to create castles, bridges, trains, buildings, pyramids, rockets, their name, the possibilities are endless. Shine a flashlight through their magnetic structures to explore shadows and color. Fun for the entire family!; $70 365 Things to Do with Lego Bricks (D) This interactive book features imaginative play and building ideas, from LEGO projects that take just a few minutes and require a handful of bricks to inspirational build ideas and activities to keep your builder occupied for hours. The book also features a timer that adds a challenge to beat the clock.; $25



Dream It! Draw It! Think It! Do It!: Activities to Ignite Creativity (E) Delivers wonderfully unexpected and entertaining creative adventures that flex kids’ mind muscles and propel them into action. Author Courtney Watkins empowers kids to see their world in new and different ways through handwritten questions, musings, challenges, and illustrations.; $10 Deluxe Bungee Boing (F) A perfect “starter” pogo for ages 3 years and up that is soft sturdy foam, a bungee cord in place of a fixed stick, and a comfortable padded handle bar for endless jumping! Every jump produces a squeak that encourages little ones to keep on going! Perfect gift for the child with endless energy!; $22 WAFF Mozaika Combo (G) Book comes with 2 Clips on the side that can be used to customize the book as well as to keep it closed. This fun book also comes with 120 decorative colored pegs (alphabet & symbols) that can be placed anywhere on the cover to create your own fun and unique design!; $23 Thames & Kosmos Magic: Gold Edition (H) Your magician can master the magical arts with this extensive collection of magic props that they can easily learn, practice, and perform 150 incredible magic tricks and illusions to astonish spectators. A must have for your magician. Ages 8 & up.; $40 Brackitz Driver Set (I) Designed to ignite creativity with just a few tools at their disposal, including wooden planks and one-of-a-kind plastic connectors, children are given the


opportunity to use their imagination to construct entirely new worlds by playing on their own or with friends. So build out, build tall or build wide – there is no limit! Ages 4-104.; $25 Irish Fairy Door (J) These doors help fairies easily relocate into human homes, classrooms, gardens and woods and provide a beautiful and unique way for children and parents to interact and play through the power of imagination and belief.  Fairy Valley boasts ongoing magical messages, play ideas and stories on the website, via email or at the brands immersive app.; $20 Friends and Neighbors: The Helping game (K) GameA social-emotional game that develops empathy and compassion where kids learn to help a little girl who is sad because she’s standing out in the rain or a boy who is afraid of the dark. Ages 3 & up with no reading required.; $16Green Toys Farm Playset (L) It’s a busy day on the farm! Inspiring communication and cooperative play. All pieces fit in the barn for easy storage and handle makes it easy for fun on-the-go.; $50 Under Cover Water Grey Racer Dress (M) Modest bathing suits for all shapes and sizes. If you are not bathing suit ready this holiday season you can throw in the towel and wear this great dress to go swimming. All Under Cover Water wear is made from bathing suit material and ready to make a big splash!; $80







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November/December 2016 | 13

Anxiety vs “Just Worried” How to Recognize and Treat Symptoms

eeling anxious, sad or “blue” is something that happens to everyone on occasion, says Karen Ognibene of Healing Path Counseling. No matter how hard we try, the balance of maintaining relationships, jobs, parenting and all of our other obligations can often become overwhelming. Something that started as a fleeting feeling of anxiety can begin to have a negative effect on your quality of life, says Karen. If you are finding that your anxiety has caused you to feel trapped, isolated, and fearful on a daily basis then it is time to take action. According to, here are five warning signs of anxiety that you should not ignore: ◗

When anxiety is affecting your physical health. Some of the physical symptoms of anxiety may include insomnia, stomachaches, shortness of breath, chest pains, and poor concentration.

When anxiety is affecting your relationships. One way to know that your anxiety is out of control is when friends, family members and loved ones begin to worry about you. Often, an individual may worry constantly, avoid friends and family at social functions and communication problems. The good thing to know is that once treatment for anxiety is underway these relationship issues do improve as well.

When anxiety is affecting school or work. If you are finding that you are missing a lot of days from work or school, frequently going in late, or having trouble performing the normal tasks, it may be time to get some help.

When you are using alcohol or food to self soothe. There are many people who are suffering from great anxiety who are using alcohol and food to self-treat their anxiety symptoms. But of course the problem is that in doing so they are developing a possibly life threatening health issue instead of getting proper treatment to improve the anxiety.

14 | November/December 2016

When anxiety is causing you to miss out on life. If you are no longer able to enjoy everyday life or participate in day-to-day activities and pleasures then it is absolutely time that you got some help.

Karen incorporates Eye Movement Desensitation Reprocessing (EMDR) to treat clients who are experiencing panic, anxiety, eating disorders, stress, infertility, adoption issues and much more. By using eye movements that mimic REM sleep, EMDR Therapy stimulates the brain’s natural processing mechanism. This allows memories from the past to be accessed, processed and integrated into a cohesive experience and then into the overall life story. If you have been feeling anxious, or if the warning signs listed here feel familiar, consider reaching out to Healing Path Counseling to receive the help you need and deserve.

“If you are finding that your anxiety has caused you to feel trapped, isolated, and fearful on a daily basis then it is time to take action”

Call Healing Path Counseling at 609-230-6280 to set up your appointment with Karen today.



Karen Ognibene, MA, LPC

// Services // About Karen Karen is a Licensed Professional Counselor who is dedicated to working with adults, adolescents couples and groups. Her therapeutic approach is creative, client-centered and solutionfocused with an emphasis on the present. However, Karen realizes that today’s issues are frequently shaped by past experiences and she can tackle those with equal compassion using various techniques including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Karen believes you are the ultimate expert about your life: even when the path ahead may not be clear, she will help you clarify and live your best life. All services are confidential. License # 37PC00563600

Call today for a FREE 15 minute consultation!

Depression and Anxiety ✓ Infertility Counseling ✓ Marriage/Partner Counseling ✓ Parent Coaching ✓ Trauma ✓ Adoptee/Adoption Counseling ✓ Eating Disorders ✓ Anger Management ✓ Stress Management: A skill set for daily living ✓ Work, Career, Family: Finding Balance ✓ Teen Self-Esteem ✓ Grief and Loss ✓

November/December 2016 | 15

Holiday Resource Guide


he holidays are a time to enjoy family and friends. South Jersey MOM has compiled the ultimate Resource Guide for everything you need to plan this holiday season from creating memories that will last a lifetime to great gift ideas.

GPAC Swim School

(Greater Philadelphia Aquatic Club) NEW Y! T FACILI

609.820.2083 16 | November/December 2016

WE OFFER: • Swim Lessons for All Ages Beginning at 6 months • Small Group Lessons • Private Lessons

11 Enterprise Court Sewell, NJ 08080

We offer MUSIC, DRAMA and YOGA classes Sign up for a FREE intro class! OPEN PLAY Tuesday—Friday!

A MOOZIE PARTY IS A PARTY TO REMEMBER! Lots of party themes to choose from with lots of play & game time

7 Shoppers Lane • Turnersville, NJ 08012 • 856.319.3FUN

peach® is on a mission to inspire every woman to feel beautiful and confident in her own skin peach® blends a personalized, in-home experience with a convenient online replenishment system to fill women’s top two drawers

Contact Nicole Billow to schedule your bra fitting or to purchase a gift card for someone special • 609.504.8245


• Lowest priced fundraisers—$20/person • Wine glass painting too TREAT YOURSELF TO • Mobile paint company... NIGHT we bring supplies to you A MOM’S OUT!


Book a private party, kids party or fundraiser by 12-16-16 and the hostess paints for FREE! Party must take place by 1-31-17.

November/December 2016 | 17

18 | November/December 2016




2 months of lessons, registration fee & a gift bag! $245 value

Peace. Health. Happiness! This holiday season, skip the usual presents and gift a Golden Experience that will last a lifetime! Give the gift of #purejoy with Goldfish’s holiday gift package including: 2 months of swim lessons, registration fee, a Goldfish lunch box, a pair of goggles and a six-punch family swim card! Call 856.316.7200 to get yours today!

Goldfish Swim School — Mount Laurel 2036 Briggs Road Mount Laurel, NJ 080541

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November/December 2016 | 19

know 2 grow

The Reality of Type 1 Diabetes


iabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control. Over 40,000 people are diagnosed with Type I Diabetes each year in the United States. According to the American Diabetes Association, (ADA), About 208,000 Americans under age 20 are estimated to have diagnosed diabetes. In 2008 through 2009, the annual incidence of diagnosed diabetes in youth was estimated at 18,436 children with Type 1 Diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile Diabetes. Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease. In Type 1 Diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. The body breaks down the sugars and starches you eat into a simple sugar called glucose, which it uses for energy. Insulin is a hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. For moms of diabetic children the statistic are a reality they struggle with on a daily basis in their everyday lives. For one South Jersey mom, Elise Cooney, the day begins much like other parents waking her 7-year old daughter up for school. Only she wakes her daughter up while checking her sugar and asking her what she wants for breakfast. She uses a Dexcom, a machine that helps monitor and track glucose levels to calibrate her sugar, a process she does 2-3 times a day.  After doing that she carefully measures the foods by carbohydrate count, a process she has down to a science.

20 | November/December 2016

Lisa Figueiredo

“No parent should have to go through this. But it happens. And this is our life. We do what we have to, to keep that beautiful smile on our son’s face. The most important thing is that this world needs to be aware of the symptoms. We were told it was just the common cold. It was not. And we were too close to ending in the ICU, or I can’t even say the word, death,” said Burger.

Sometimes her daughter complains half way through her meal that she’s full, or her stomach hurts. Now, she has to account for the lost carbs, a tedious process. “That is the hard part, trying to coax a child to eat when she doesn’t want to eat anymore, or giving her juice or milk to make up for the carbs that she was already dosed for,” said Cooney. In the hustle and bustle of a morning rush, Cooney then carefully measures food for her daughter’s lunch so that the school nurse will know how many carbohydrates her daughter is eating. Her daughter then chooses from list of carefully carb counted items what she wants to eat for lunch. The nurse checks her blood sugar three times throughout the day and if necessary when she feels it is high or low. With the multitude of activities today’s busy children participate in, soccer, art, clubs, music, maintaining blood sugar is a constant struggle. “You always have to constantly wonder if her blood sugar is going to go low. Or even if it doesn’t go low now, she has delayed lows later in the evening, usually for my daughter it is around 9-11pm at night, right after she has fallen asleep and we are trying to wake her up from being low, which is extremely hard, said Cooney. For Jessica Burger, recognizing the signs of Type 1 Diabetes was crucial in getting her 4-year old son lifesaving treatment. She discovered her son had the disease when he exhibited flu like symptoms and constipation. Her son tested positive for Celiac Disease and several days later her was tested and diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

Symptoms to look for Recognizing the symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes can be crucial in the treatment and care of the patient. Symptoms may occur suddenly and can include: • Extreme thirst • Frequent urination/bed wetting • Drowsiness or lethargy • Increased appetite • Sudden weight loss • Sudden vision changes • Sugar in the urine • Fruity, sweet or wine-like odor on breath • Heavy or labored breathing • Stupor or unconsciousness Support/Advise For Cooney and Burger the strong support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) has given them strength and support to better cope with the disease. As a mother of a diabetic child, Cooney’s advice to other mothers is to, “Take it one day at a time. It’s important to find other parents in the area that have children with diabetes, it has been therapeutic talking to other mothers about our children with diabetes, and they truly “get it”. We have gotten involved with JDRF, we did our first walk during Lauren’s birthday weekend in Wildwood this year. We’ve met a lot of great people through JDRF,” she said. Get the Dexcom for your child.  It has already saved Lauren’s life once, when she dropped so low and wouldn’t have known since it wasn’t a time that we’d normally check her and she was already asleep for the night so she couldn’t tell us that she felt low.  And sometimes Lauren doesn’t feel her lows, so it has alerted us when she was low during the day as well.  Treatment aims at maintaining normal blood sugar levels through regular monitoring, insulin therapy, diet, and exercise. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives.

November/December 2016 | 21

Pure Preemie

Love Samantha E Gill, With Beth Leahey

Here is some great information about Preemies, told as the story of Sara coming into the world, as it was shared to me with the help of my friend and nurse, (and Sara’s Mom) Beth Leahey.


eth says that she simply can’t believe that it has almost been 6 years since Sara was born. Beth tells me that, “Sara is our first child and, in true first child fashion, she wanted to make an entrance!” she continues, “Sara was delivered via an emergency c-section; after being diagnosed with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), a single umbilical artery and was breech (all of which was never noticed until my 30 week ultrasound when I was in labor). Later, we found out that the umbilical cord was wrapped around Sara’s neck multiple times and that delivering her early saved her life! “ What is IUGR? - It is a very rare condition when the baby does not continue to grow. Only one in every 200,000 births. I asked Beth what her emotions were like before, during and after this very surprise delivery. Beth shares, “I vividly remember the day she was born. I was waiting for my husband to arrive to the hospital in Somers Point, NJ, from Philly, where he still worked. I was watching the seconds tick by on the clock during the c-section. I was holding my breath until I heard her cry for the first time; I then fell apart once I knew she was safe. She was a mere 3lbs 9oz!” Being born at only 32 weeks Sara needed much support in order to survive. She was unable to suck, swallow and breathe. Due to this she needed to stay in the NICU and she was fed by a NG tube. I asked Beth what it was like the first time she held Sara. She shares, “The first time I held her was in the NICU, she was so tiny, had multiple

22 | November/December 2016

IVs and an NG tube, had I not had medical training it would have been terrifying! I was scared but just so happy she was there and could breathe on her own” What was it like for you when you were discharged but Sara had to remain in the NICU? “Sara’s NICU stay was strange, I would come first thing in the morning to be there for rounds. I would sit with her all day and leave 10-12 hours later. My husband Sean would come in the afternoon. We were doing all of her care, feeding, changing, NG feeds, etc.” Do you have any tips for Moms who may experience this? Beth shared with me, “We were overwhelmed, happy and scared when it was time to take her home. Bringing home a 3 pound baby is daunting to say the least! I had become obsessed with her feedings and weight so that was hard to get over. I kept her in our room for a long time and used to just watch her breathing!” Fast forward to the present tense: November 2016: 6 years and a second child later, and Sara is now in Kindergarten! Beth says, “I still cannot believe it. You would never know looking at her what a scary beginning she had! Sara is a typical 6 year old. She is smart, funny, and caring. She’s asking questions about what she was like as a baby, such as, “what that ‘tubie thing’ is in [my] nose?” in her early pictures. Beth ends with, “they are (Sara and brother, Benny) so amazing that it makes all of the struggles early on so worth it in the end!”

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November/December 2016 | 23

Tips to Fill Your Day with

Active Play By Brandpoint

found that only 33 percent of children are participating in active play daily, down from 41 percent in 2015. Don’t let barriers get in the way of keeping kids active during the school year. Instead, turn those barriers to play into opportunities to get active with the following tips. Fill down time with play time: Children’s active play time is impacted by busy schedules – 64 percent of parents said busy schedules were a barrier to play this year, up from 56 percent in 2015. Active play doesn’t have to happen all at once; it can be spread out through the day so try fitting it in when you can, even if it’s in 10-minute increments. Waiting with your kids at a bus stop? Make it active by playing a game of Simon Says. Need 10 minutes to get ready to leave the house? Send the kids outside to play before loading up the car.

“No one likes to play alone, so when siblings and friends aren’t available, join in on the fun and create games you and your child can play together”

Make DIY toys: Sports equipment can be pricey to purchase and maintain. Instead of breaking the bank, try recycling objects around the house to make them into toys. You can make old socks into a hacky-sack game by filling them with beans or fill balloons with sand and create a fun game where you toss the balloons into buckets.


s the busy school year progresses, it can be challenging for families to find time to play and stay active together. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that kids participate in 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day, but unfortunately this isn’t always what they are getting. Play is an important part of a child’s physical, emotional and social development, yet many external factors can quickly become barriers to active play including busy schedules, technology and the costs of sports equipment. A survey conducted by Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s Let’s Play initiative, which is dedicated to getting kids and their families active,

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Get wired for play: According to the survey, 78 percent of parents said their children spend more than 30 minutes on an average day watching television and 71 percent said their children spend that time on a computer, smartphone or other device. Instead of letting technology get in the way, incorporate play into their time with technology. Have your child play an active video game that encourages players to move around their environment or try playing a game between TV commercials, such as tag or hide and seek. It can also help to set a limit for how long your child can use the computer or watch TV per day. Be your kid’s playmate: According to the survey, 53 percent of parents said having no playmates was a barrier to their child’s play. No one likes to play alone, so when siblings and friends aren’t available, join in on the fun and create games you and your child can play together. Whether it’s picking up sticks or throwing a baseball back and forth, you can find ways to spend quality time with your kids and have fun while doing it. Learn more about the importance of play and get tips and advice for how to make active play a daily priority at

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November/December 2016 | 25

business spotlight

Abundance of

Veteran Services at Camden County College

United States Navy veteran Anthony Haynes served four tours in the Navy, visited 30 countries, and was part of the team that took back the pirated ship, the Magellan Star, in 2010. When he left the military he aimed to translate his various skills into a career, so he started the search for a college. “I was looking for which community colleges were focused on getting you set up for your four-year degree,” states Haynes. “CCC is the best school for vets because [Veteran Advisor] Zaida Nogue knows the language. She knows what we’ve been through… she knows what it takes to go from the military back into the civilian world.” Haynes started his career in the Navy as an electrician, eventually retiring as a police officer. He then earned an associate’s degree in Psychology from Camden County College, and transferred to RutgersCamden. There he earned his bachelor’s degree, achieving his postmilitary goals in a few short years. “The College creates a very open environment for veterans. There were plenty of times when I didn’t even have class and I would show up at [the Veteran Services office] and hang out,” remembers Haynes. “I felt connected to the school.” This December Haynes takes his LSAT and he will apply to Rutgers School of Law. He also moved up within his company as a result of his CCC classes. “What I learned in my classes helped me move up in my job—how to plan and manage my time, make decisions to help

SERVICES AVAILABLE at CAMDEN COUNTY COLLEGE for VETERANS and VETERANS' SPOUSES and DEPENDENTS • Educational Benefit and GI Bill® Application and Certification • VA Work-Study Information and Opportunities • Advisement, Tutoring, Registration and Business Office Services for veterans • Referrals to Camden County Department of Veterans Affairs and Camden County Mental Health Services • Cooper Behavioral Health Services in the on-campus Cooper Medical Building (Blackwood) • Assistance in identifying Federal, State and County Services • A VA student lounge where vets can meet with fellow veterans

a company grow, all of those things were noticed by my supervisors,” asserts Haynes. Haynes is also a father of three girls and is a husband. His wife attends CCC and is seeking her degree in Business Administration. Pursuing higher education is a major step in transitioning from military to civilian life. The staff of the Veteran Services Center at Camden County College welcomes veterans and aims to help them utilize their benefits to achieve a successful future through a college education. “When veterans enroll at Camden County College, they will find a community of faculty and staff dedicated to helping them achieve their education and career goals,” states Zaida Nogue. “Vets can choose from a variety of academic programs that make achieving educational and career goals convenient, including online programs of study, day, evening and weekend schedules. Our degree and certificate programs can help them enter the job market, or continue at a four-year institution through our many transfer programs.” Camden County College has established relationships with the Camden County Department of Veterans Affairs and Camden County Mental Health Centers to assist veterans with their transition to college and civilian life. And recently, Camden County College welcomed Cooper Behavioral Health Services to campus to provide mental health services to our veterans on a regular basis.

• Purple Heart Parking for Purple Heart Recipients (Blackwood campus) For more information please visit Room 303 in Taft Hall on the Blackwood Campus or email

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JOIN US FOR A GREAT FAMILY DAY! Have fun visiting vendor tables and getting lots of free stuff and information about various camp and school programs! MAGAZINE

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very child has a gift. “EWe excel at helping to unwrap it.”

Sometimes,itstartswithatwinkleintheeye.Justalittlesparkofcuriositythatsoonblossoms intoajourneyofdiscovery,learningandachievement.That’sbecauseatourprivatespecial educationschools,weseebeyondachild’sdisability,andawakenthejoyandcreative expressionwithin. Our schools are welcoming places where students feel at home and are able to enjoy a rich and rewarding social life. Our students feel cherished, well cared for and respected for a very good reason—it is part of our mission and our commitment. Students at our special education schools experience a school day as it should be—filled with discovery, achievement, learning and friendship. Here, they have people they know they can count on—outstanding teachers, therapists, counselors, psychologists and job coaches who constantly encourage and support them. With individualized attention, on-site therapies and vocational training, our schools deliver unparalleled services for students with special needs. Our New Jersey Department of Education certified special education teachers, licensed therapists and counselors provide expert, advanced instruction and support … along with plenty of smiles. These unique services are provided at NO COST for families. Copyright ©2016 Coalition of Special Education Schools

Find out if private special education is the right fit for your child. Our staff can help answer your questions. To find out more about what programs may be right for your child, call us at 1-800-697-8555 or visit

Brookfield Schools • HollyDELL School Garfield Park Academy • Kingsway Learning Center Larc School • St. John of God Community Services

November/December 2016 | 29

recipe corner

Family Holiday Traditions: A Day of Cookie Baking Lisa Ann Panzino DiNunzio


personally think this is a favorite time of year for folks to bake goodies. There are many people I know who don’t usually bake throughout the year but will do so during the Christmas season. There’s just something special about this time of the year that makes us want to dust off the cookie cutters and bring out the rolling pin. And talking about cookies, in this column I’m sharing three delicious recipes that you can make with the children in your life. My niece Christina and I enjoy baking up batches of Christmas cookies together every year. I so cherish our time together in the kitchen -- we share laughs and conversation, along with the baking and clean up! I hope that you enjoy this “SCENTsational” season with your loved ones as well, and happy baking to all and to all a blessed and Merry Christmas!

Italian Zuccarini Cookies • 2 sticks butter, softened • 1 1/2 cup raw or granulated sugar • 6 eggs • 1/2 cup milk • 1 1/2 tsp. anise flavoring • 4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour • 5 tsp. non-aluminum baking powder

Pizzelle Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

• 6 eggs • 1 1/2 cups raw or granulated sugar • 1 cup butter, melted, and slightly cooled • 2 tsp. anise flavoring or pure vanilla extract • 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour • 4 tsp. baking powder

• 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour • 1 tsp. baking soda • 1/2 tsp. sea salt • 2 sticks butter, softened • 3/4 cup raw or granulated sugar • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract • 2 eggs

In a large bowl; whisk eggs and sugar until smooth. Add butter, and anise or vanilla extract, mix well. Add flour and baking powder into the wet ingredients, stirring until well blended (dough will be sticky). Brush a little butter onto the pizzelle cooking surfaces, then preheat pizzelle maker or iron. Drop batter by tablespoonful onto pizzelle maker, close the iron and cook according to manufacturer’s instructions, (takes approximately 30 – 40 seconds for cookies to cook). Allow pizzelle’s to cool on wire racks, then store in airtight containers. Makes 40-50 pizzelles.

1 (12 oz.) package) semi-sweet chocolate chips Preheat oven to 375°. In a bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, beat butter, raw sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips and drop dough by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased or parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake cookies for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 2 minutes then remove cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Beat in one egg at a time. Add milk and anise to the mixture. Stir in the flour and baking powder. Mix just until dough comes together. Use a spoon or cookie dough scoop to drop batter 2 inches apart onto a cookie sheet greased with non-stick cooking spray or lined with parchment paper. Bake until cookies are light brown in color (approximately 12 to 15 minutes.) Cool cookies on racks. Once completely cooled, glaze the cookie tops (see recipe).

Glaze • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar • 1/4 tsp. anise flavoring • 1 tsp. of water at a time In a small bowl mix together sugar and anise, add water a little at a time to form a smooth but not too thin glaze. Spread glaze onto cooled cookies and decorate with colored sugar, jimmies, small decorative or holidaythemed candies. Let cool for an hour or more before storing in an airtight container. As always, Bon Appetit!

Lisa Ann Panzino DiNunzio is the author of “Seasoned With Love,Treasured Recipes” & “Lisa Ann’s Seasoned With Love II”, and the children’s book, “Snicker Learns An Important Lesson.” Visit her blog http:// or Facebook page

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November/December 2016 | 31

November/December 2016 - South Jersey MOM Magazine  

The November/December 2016 issue of South Jersey MOM Magazine

November/December 2016 - South Jersey MOM Magazine  

The November/December 2016 issue of South Jersey MOM Magazine