Babypalooza Magazine Stay-at-Home Dads Chocolate Milk Moms
Multiples, Multiples, Multiples Family Travel to the Mississippi Gulf Coast
From pregnant with multiples to needing multiple hands, WE’RE WITH YOU EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. Having multiples comes with multiple blessings. But the pregnancy comes with multiple concerns too. That’s why UAB has a full staff of Nationally-Ranked Maternal Fetal Medicine specialists. Providing you with comprehensive care throughout your pregnancy—even if it’s one that comes with additional risks. With immediate access to specialists, sub-specialists, and the only Level IV NICU in Alabama, you can rest assured that you’re in good hands. Which is good, because when your hands are that full, you’re going to need all the rest you can get. And we’ll be with you every step of the way.
Babypalooza Magazine FOUNDER & PUBLISHER Cecilia Pearson
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EDITOR AT LARGE LaTanya Bayles MANAGING EDITOR Barry W. Smith DESIGN Amy Heise Murphree EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS Kristin Lee Douglas Kim Hildenbrand PHOTOGRAPHY Kristin Lee Douglas Britt Huckabay Melissa Newton Meredith Rowlen Ashley Sargent INTERN Christina Smith, UAB BABYPALOOZA EVENT MANAGERS Holland Bayles Mexia Hall GRANDPARENTS TO PRECIOUS, CINNAMON, AND THE GOOSE Cecil & Francine Lifestages Media Inc., Copyright 2004-2018. Lifestages Media Inc. publishes Babypalooza Magazine (formerly Alabama Baby & Child) quarterly. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Publisher assumes no
features 18 March of Dimes Ambassador Jace Broome 20 Moms of Multiples 24 Mr. Dad
departments 10 Partners in Kidsâ€™ Health: Preventing Hot Car Tragedies 12 Childcare Resources: Advocate Like a Mother 14 Mompreneur: Cookie Fix 16 Mom Groups: Chocolate Milk Mommies 29 Present Parenting: Spring Fun 32 Family Travel: Margaritaville Resort Biloxi
in every issue 04 Editorâ€™s Letter 06 News & Notes 39 Family Event Picks 44 Moms of Alabama Olivia Ramsey and Isabella Rose Daughters of Eric and Leah Agee Calera, Alabama Photography by Meredith Rowlen Photography
liability for unsolicited art, photographs, manuscripts, or other material. Disclaimer: Statements and opinions expressed in Babypalooza Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Lifestages Media Inc. Information provided should not be interpreted as medical instructions; editorial content is not intended as medical advice. Consult appropriate healthcare professionals prior to taking any action. Although great care has been taken in compiling and checking
contact us Babypalooza t. (205) 440-2229 BabyPalooza.com
the information given in this publication to ensure accuracy, the authors, Lifestages Media Inc., and its servants or agents shall not be responsible or in any way liable for the continued currency of the information or for any errors, omissions, or inaccuracies in this magazine, whether arising from negligence or otherwise or for any consequences arising therefrom. The appearance of an ad in Babypalooza Magazine does not constitute an endorsement of that product or service.
What you see are proud new parents.
But what you donâ€™t see is the Baby Yourself Nurse from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama answering the questions she had for a healthy pregnancy. Or that she was able to choose her OB/GYN, thanks to the largest network of doctors and hospitals in the state. Or their close friends and family receiving a text she sent through the Baby Yourself App, letting them know itâ€™s finally time.
Blue Cross works hard behind the scenes.
YOU MIGHT HAVE NOTICED a few changes to the magazine in this issue. First, and most importantly, we changed our name (sort of)! We’re now Babypalooza Magazine, and we couldn’t be more excited! Since you love the Babypalooza Baby & Maternity expos so much we thought we’d make it easier and call the magazine the same thing. So now you can find everything in one place at Babypalooza.com. Second, well there’s me. My name is Barry Wise Smith, and I’ve joined the Babypalooza team as the Managing Editor of the magazine and website. I’ve been around magazine publishing for a while, and I am thrilled to be involved in helping provide you with great information to help you as you grow your family. Babypalooza is your community, we want to tell your stories, I’d love to hear from you if you have a story idea you’d like to share or a topic you’d like for us to cover please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Berry Wise Smith
FOR A BIRTHING EXPERIENCE THAT FEELS LIKE HOME, WE DELIVER.
When you’re having a baby, everything we do is focused on your care, comfort and privacy. From helping you find an OB/GYN, to offering preparatory classes, to delivering your new bundle of joy, we’re with you every step of the way. Our beautiful new women’s center features spacious labor and delivery suites and, should the need arise, we have a Level III NICU right here. At Grandview Medical Center, we are dedicated to giving your baby a wonderful welcome to the world. To find a physician who delivers at Grandview Medical Center or to take a virtual tour of the Women’s Center, visit GrandviewOB.com. To schedule a tour, call 205-971-6349.
3690 Grandview Parkway Birmingham, AL 35243
Look Forward. BabyPalooza.com 5
News & Notes
Hot Off the Compiled by Kim Hildenbrand
GET CRAFTY WITH IT HAMMER & STAIN DIY WORKSHOP IF YOU’VE NEVER BEEN TO HAMMER & STAIN IN HOOVER, YOU MAY WANT TO START PLANNING YOUR NEXT MOM’S NIGHT OUT. THIS DIY WORKSHOP, WHICH OPENED IN NOVEMBER, INVITES PEOPLE (AKA “MAKERS”) TO ATTEND CLASSES OR PARTIES TO CREATE A PERSONALIZED HOME DECOR PROJECT. The hands-on workshops, which are BYOB, feature experienced instructors who are passionate about DIY and crafting. Makers not only enjoy a fun evening out, but also leave with a piece that’s “wall worthy,” says owner Megan Sortino.
Project offerings vary, but Hammer & Stain strives to stay on the cutting edge of today’s trends. The most popular projects, Sortino says, tend to mirror those that blow up on Pinterest, such as noodle boards. Large framed monogram signs and long framed signs are always popular. In addition, special events are always a hit. “We’re always thinking outside the box for our next event workshop,” Sortino says. “Our Couples Date Night for Valentine’s Day featured a catered three-course meal and a project, and for our Girl Scout Cookie and Wine Pairing Workshop the project was a wine bottle/glass rack.”
Hammer & Stain is also fun for the younger set. Each month, they host a children’s workshop or Mommy and Me event.They also host children’s birthday parties, fundraising opportunities, and events in people’s homes. Daytime workshops will be offered during the summer. Hammer & Stain is a franchise with 25 individually owned locations across the United States. Sortino decided to become an owner after arriving home from the hospital with her newborn son, Charlie. She spent her maternity leave researching how to start her own business, learned about Hammer & Stain, and when she was ready, signed the licensing agreement. Seven weeks later, Hammer & Stain Birmingham opened its doors. “Between bonding with my newborn and juggling my breast pumping schedule, I was able to secure a workshop location, apply for all my business and tax licenses, order all my inventory and necessary equipment, along with hiring a team of staff members to help me run the shop once opened,” Sortino says. “I would not have been able to start this new venture without the support of my amazing husband and family and without the grace of God.”
HAMMER & STAIN BIRMINGHAM 3704 Lorna Road Birmingham, AL 35226 205-747-0641 Hammerandstainbham.com
Photo by Ashley Sargent Photography
MEET THE WALDROP SEXTUPLETS HAVING A NEW BABY IS CAUSE FOR SO MUCH JOY AND EXCITEMENT—NOW MULTIPLY THAT EMOTION BY SIX. ON DECEMBER 11, THE FIRST SET OF SEXTUPLETS IN ALABAMA SINCE 2011 WERE BORN IN HUNTSVILLE. Parents Courtney and Eric Waldrop and older siblings Sailor (8), Bridge (5) and Wales (5) were excited to welcome the six babies—three boys and three girls. The boys are Blue,
Layke, and Tag, and the girls are Rawlings, Rayne, and Rivers. The birth was the first sextuplet birth in the history of Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children. The birth required a team of 40 staff members, including nurses, anesthesiologists, neonatologists, maternal-fetal medicine specialists, and surgical assistants. The hospital prepared by holding drills. Thankfully, the planned Caesarean section went smoothly and even more quickly than expected. The sextuplets arrived at just less than 30 weeks’ gestation. Every infant weighed 2-plus pounds and was stable and even crying at the time of the delivery. Going from a family of five to a family of 11 is an undertaking, but the family was up to the task. Mother Courtney Waldrop told WHNT that it was “amazing” to see the babies and that they were “so perfect.” Dying for a peek at these six cuties? Look for the Waldrop family in a TLC documentary slated to air later this year.
Helping parents Character in kids CULTIVATE
covenant classical® schools & daycare ®
Greystone • Homewood • Pelham Trace Crossings • Valleydale
Exchange Place Jones Valley
W W W. C C S L I O N . C O M
Partners in Kids’ Health
ALL PARENTS HAVE FORGETFUL MOMENTS.
We forget our cell phones and misplace our car keys, but what happens if you forget your sleeping baby in the back seat of the car? Or what if you decide to leave your baby in the car while you run inside a store for “just a minute?” Leaving children in hot vehicles is the primary non-crash, vehicle-related killer of children under the age of 14, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In the U.S., an average of 38 children die each year after being left in hot cars. Luckily, some new initiatives and technologies can help parents when forgetful moments happen.
Cars and babies get hot quickly. When the outside temperature is 85° Fahrenheit, the temperature inside a car can reach 114° in just 20 minutes. High temperatures like this can quickly raise body temperatures to dangerous levels, and a child’s body heats up three to four times faster than an adult’s. It only takes 5 minutes of exposure for a heat-related injury to occur. Children’s of Alabama has joined the national initiative, ACT, which educates the public about the dangers of leaving children in hot cars.
C AT ACT STANDS FOR:
AVOID HEAT STROKE-RELATED INJURY AND DEATH
Never leave a child alone in the car, not even for a minute. Always lock doors and trunks—even in the garage or driveway—so a child can’t climb into a hot car unattended, and keep car keys and remote openers out of the reach of children.
Place items, you must have to function, like cellphones, handbags, employee IDs, or brief cases next to the child safety seat. This can be a helpful reminder on a chaotic day TAKE ACTION
If a child is found alone in a car, call 911 immediately.
These three steps should help. Also, always have a strict drop-off policy in place with your childcare provider so that everyone involved in the care of the child is aware of the child’s whereabouts. If a child won’t be attending daycare as scheduled, parents should inform the childcare provider. Then if a child doesn’t show up as scheduled, and the childcare provider has not received a call, they will contact the parent immediately to ensure the safety of the child. And finally, use drive-thru services when available for restaurants, banks, pharmacies, dry cleaners, etc., and always pay for gas at the pump.
Devices to Help SENSE A LIFE SENSEALIFE.COM Sense A Life works with any type of child seat or vehicle. It alerts the driver with a loud alert immediately upon exiting the vehicle through the loud vocal alert from the device speaker. It integrates with iOS/Android app providing three layers of defense. Installs in less than 30 seconds; Easy transfer between vehicles.
SHE ALWAYS SAYS WHAT EVERYBODY IS THINKING, LIKE THE TIME SHE ASKED THE GATE ATTENDANT, “WHEN WILL I EVER GET ON THIS AIRPLANE?”
ECLIP ELEPHO.COM/ECLIP Scheduled for release in June, the eClip is a device that attaches to car seats, seatbelts, or diaper bags to help prevent parents and caregivers from accidentally leaving a child in the back seat of the car. The eClip will send an alert to an interactive app on a Smartphone when a caregiver is detected to be more than 15 feet from the car. The eClip also monitors the temperature in the backseat of a car to keep it safe and comfortable for children.
CHILDREN A M A Z E U S E V E R Y D AY
and at Children’s of Alabama, we want to see every child grow up and live to their fullest potential. That’s why we recruit, train and retain the most inquiring minds, the most skilled hands and the most compassionate hearts in pediatric medicine.
To sign up for the Partners in Kids Health Newsletter and for more information on this or other health and safety topics, visit www.childrensal.org.
1 6 0 0 7 T H AV E N U E S O U T H B I R M I N G H A M , A L 3 5 2 3 3 (205) 638-9100 ChildrensAL.org
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Like a Mother YOUR VOICE CAN MEAN BIG CHANGES FOR KIDS’ HEALTH, SAFETY, AND EARLY EDUCATION BILLS WITH THE ALABAMA LEGISLATURE.
One of the most important roles a parent has is as an advocate for their child—giving them a voice when they can’t speak for themselves. As parents, we advocate for our children with their doctors, their teachers, and their schools. But sometimes it is not only about advocating for your own child but about speaking for the children in your community who might not have
a voice. We recently saw the impact of such advocacy with the passing of HB76 on March 15. House Bill 76 will change the state law that exempts faith-based childcare facilities from being licensed by DHR. The new law will improve childcare safety by requiring childcare programs that receive state or federal funds or are operating for profit to be licensed by August 1, 2019. The new law doesn’t restrict the religious teachings or practices of faith-based providers and would still allow license-exempt status
for certain faith-based childcare facilities (although DHR would still inspect exempted facilities). The law requires annual fire and health inspections and criminal background checks on all employees. This bill was passed by the Senate and is now on Governor Kay Ivey’s desk waiting to be signed into law. Another bill that’s being considered in the Alabama Legislature is House Bill 175, which proposes a $20-million funding increase for Alabama’s First Class Pre-K program, serving preschoolers from low-income families. The increased funding would add at least 142 new classrooms and more than 2,500 additional students statewide. Today, Alabama’s First Class Pre-K program only reaches 28 percent of four-year-olds in the state despite being ranked number one in the nation for quality by the National Institute for Early Education Research for 11 years in a row. A recent study by the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama and UAB found that low-income children who attended First Class Pre-K were more proficient in reading and math on the state’s ACT-ASPIRE assessment test than their peers. AS A PARENT AND AN ADVOCATE, WHAT CAN YOU DO TO MAKE SURE THE ALABAMA LEGISLATURE HEARS YOUR VOICE?
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Educate yourself on the issues and how they might affect your child and the children of your community. Write or call your Senator and Representative and let them know your position on the issues. Visit legislature.state.al.us to find your senator or representative as well as check the status of specific bills. Stay Involved. Submit an op-ed piece to your local newspaper, or show up at rallies, events, and meetings, so that you get to know the people in positions to affect change and more importantly so they get to know you. Advocacy is important, because policies and laws often change as a result of people speaking up. You are a parent and advocate, but you are also a taxpayer and voter, so let your voice be heard.
B Y K I M H I L D E N B R A N D • P H O T O B Y B R I T H U C K A B AY
Amy Jason, Owner of Cookie Fix COOKIE FIX 2854 18th St. South Homewood, AL, 35209 205-582-2623 CookieFix.com
LIFE IS SWEET FOR A TALENTED BAKER WHO LAUNCHED A LOCAL COOKIE BUSINESS. Amy Jason has been baking since
she was 10. But it wasn’t until she was newly married to husband David a couple of decades ago that she realized whipping up homemade treats was a real talent of hers. “I quickly became the dessert queen among all of our friends, for supper club, refreshment sign up for church, family events, and entertaining,” she recalls. “I could easily
spend half a day on a decadent dessert.” When her children came along— Kathryn, now 21, Greg, 20, and John, 15—those decadent desserts gave way to quick batches of cookies and brownies. But still, after leaving her career in pharmaceutical sales to become a stay-at-home mom, Amy loved the immediate gratification of whipping up a batch of cookies. She began to dabble in recipe creation, producing unique cookies and sharing them with the people around
her. She signed up for PTA and Sunday school refreshments. If a friend’s dog died or their child broke an arm, Amy showed up with cookies. “Bringing cookies was how I loved on people and brightened their day,” Amy says. People loved her cookies so much they urged her to start a business. Though the idea piqued her interest, life was busy, and Amy knew she needed to wait for the right time— which turned out to be just as her second child left for college, leaving only her youngest at home. “It was way easier than trying this with three kids at home!” Amy says. Cookie Fix opened its doors November 2016, just two days before Thanksgiving. And business, Amy says, has been “awesome.” “We have fun and friendly customers who are excited to come in to get a cookie and to share lots of cookies,” Amy says. “Cookies definitely make people smile, and we love to hear stories of how our customers are sharing cookies and spreading smiles.” It’s important to understand that Amy doesn’t sell just any cookies. The cookies from Cookie Fix are “loaded with premium ingredients, in unique recipes, crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside, and baked fresh in small batches all day long,” Amy says. People can also pick up frozen dough to go so they can enjoy the perfect cookie at home, fresh from the oven. “Everyone says that our cookies are very unique and the best they have ever had,” Amy says. The most popular selections? Chocolate Chip, Healthy PB Oat, Salted Dark Chocolate Caramel, and White Trash (a white chocolate chip cookie base with toffee and pretzel bits, sprinkled with sea salt). The hard work has paid off: The company was “thrilled and flattered” to be named one of the best cookie bakeries in the country by the Food Network, but running a business isn’t without challenges. “It was a steep learning curve and still is 15 months
later,” Amy says. Her awesome Cookie Fix team has eased the burden, immensely, she says. Though her kids are no longer toddlers, they still need her, and she wants to spend as much time as possible with them. During the first year, her hard work and 15-hour days were made possible through tremendous support from her husband. “I love a challenge and wake up every day energized and excited for what lies ahead,” Amy says. “Working for yourself is a challenge because the work is never truly done, but the rewards and satisfaction are tremendous.” While household chores and dinner prep may end up on the back burner, Amy says there’s a silver lining: “I have said for years, ‘I don’t always know what’s for dinner, but I know what’s for dessert!’”
Lactation Cookie A cookie that promotes milk production for nursing moms? Yes please! Cookie Fix makes it easier than ever to enjoy a milk-boosting treat—no measuring, mixing, or dirty dishes required. LACTATION COOKIE INGREDIENTS Dubbed “Mommy’s Superfood HPB” by Cookie Fix, the frozen lactation cookie dough contains peanut butter, oats, chocolate chips and dark chocolate chips, flax, chia, walnuts, coconut oil (instead of butter), and Brewer’s yeast. MILK-BOOSTING BENEFITS Brewer’s yeast, oats, and flax are all proven to increase milk supply. Used in beer production, Brewer’s yeast also contains protein, B vitamins, iron, selenium, and other minerals; some also believe it helps combat the baby blues and fatigue. Oats provide fiber, iron, and protein, while flax contains healthy fats and enzymes. MOM-APPROVED COOKIES At the suggestion of new moms, Cookie Fix simply added Brewer’s yeast to the existing Superfood Healthy PB bar to create true lactation cookies. According to owner Amy Jason, they hear rave reviews about the cookie. “Best of all, it’s delicious and full of nutrition, not just a cookie with Brewer’s yeast and empty calories,” Amy says. “New moms have their hands full, and to be able to eat a nutritious cookie that is filling and can increase lactation is wonderful for them.” One challenge? “They have to keep their husbands out of it because they are yummy enough for anyone to like!” Amy says. HOW TO BUY Amy
frozen dough to go. “Demand has been so strong that we can run out quickly,” she says.
BY K I M H I L D E N B R A N D
LOCAL GROUP PROMOTES BREASTFEEDING AMONG BLACK WOMEN
Breastfeeding offers a host of benefits for both mom and baby. According to the most recent CDC data, around 80 percent of Hispanic women initiate breastfeeding, as do 75 percent of white women. However, breastfeeding initiation rates for black mothers lag behind, at around 59 percent. Potential culprits include a lack of education and a lack of support. According to a Chapman University study, black women are nine times likelier than white women to be given formula while in the hospital. Some also cite the stigma surrounding breastfeeding among some members of the black community. However, the local group, Chocolate Milk Mommies, is out to change that.
In August 2017, local mom Angel Warren posted on Facebook in hopes of gathering a group of black mothers for a photo shoot to commemorate Black Breastfeeding Week. The photo shoot was a success, and participants continued to lean on one another for support, advice, babysitting, and more—and Chocolate Milk Mommies was born. Their goal, says co-founder Charity Moore, is to educate black women about the benefits of breastfeeding in hopes of encouraging initiation and continuation rates within the community. “We want to combat stereotypes and eliminate health disparities amongst the population by offering support, counseling, and peer-to-peer advice—all backed by evidence-based research to dispel any myths, rumors, or miseducation,” Moore says. In an exciting turn of events, Chocolate Milk Mommies has attracted more than just local attention. A goddess-themed photo of the group, organized by Angel Warren, quickly went viral and was featured in People Magazine and several other online publications from BET.com to the Huffington Post. “The article in People actually helped our group to grow quickly,” Moore says, “and it’s led more people to our social media platforms where we post informative videos, infographics, and event details.”
The six founding members organize and host events for local moms, and the group is now a whopping 129 members strong. Their latest event was the group’s first annual Community Baby Shower: an event designed to connect low-income pregnant women and new or soon-to-be parents with maternal and early childhood resources, food, and friendship. “The Community Baby Shower was amazing,” Moore says. “We were able to help about 20 families with new and gently used baby and breastfeeding essentials. The support from our sponsors helped us to create the impact we wanted.” Next on the agenda: a Mother’s Day brunch and bimonthly playdates that empower other local moms-to-be to connect with one another. According to Moore, Chocolate Milk Mommies welcomes new members with open arms. “Our goal is help as many women as we can, especially with all the misinformation out there,” Moore says. “The more, the merrier!” You can follow Chocolate Milk Mommies on social media at facebook.com/ChocMilkMoms and @chocolatemilkmommies on Instagram. If you’re interested in joining, reach out via Facebook or email email@example.com.
A Long Journey
BY B A R R Y W I S E S M I T H
MARCH OF DIMES AMBASSADOR JACE BROOME For 80 years, the March of Dimes has fought for the health and safety of
mothers and babies in the United States. Originally founded as the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis in 1938 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the organizationâ€™s first mission was to fight and find a cure for polio. Once polio was eradicated and an immunization created, the organization changed its name to the March of Dimes and turned its focus to improving the health of mothers and babies, preventing birth defects and premature births, and reducing infant mortality rates. Today, they accomplish this goal by funding important medical research in these areas and supporting families whose children suffer from these problems. Each year, the March of Dimes honors families with children who have fought birth defects or premature birth as Ambassadors for the annual March for Babies
fundraiser. This year, March of Dimes Greater Birmingham named the Broome family—Katie, Justin, and Jace—of Hueytown as its 2018 Ambassadors. Katie and Justin Broome were thrilled to learn they were expecting their first child and couldn’t wait for his due date in June 2016. “My pregnancy was progressing normally for a 24-year-old, and everything was normal at my 20-week ultrasound,” Katie remembers. But shortly after that ultrasound, on Valentine’s Day, Katie started having pain that continued to worsen. Katie’s doctor told her to go on to the hospital to get checked, and when she arrived the nurse was alarmed that Katie was already 10 centimeters dilated. Right after midnight on February 15, 2016, Jace Broome was born prematurely at just 24 weeks, weighing a mere 1 pound, 5 ounces. So began Jace’s, and his parents’, 402-day hospital odyssey— their long journey home—supported throughout by the March of Dimes. After Jace’s birth, he spent three-anda-half months at his birth hospital, Brookwood Baptist Medical Center. “I held Jace for the first time on March 14,” Katie says. “We stayed at the hospital late that night just so I could hold him.” Katie and Justin had both returned to work, but after Jace failed extubation five times, his doctors decided to transfer him to Children’s of Alabama. Jace’s pulmonary system hadn’t fully developed, so once at Children’s, he had a tracheostomy evaluation. Jace didn’t immediately receive a trach tube but remained on a ventilator until July when he switched to a nasal canula. After continuing to have labored breathing, Jace eventually had to be reintubated and finally got a trach tube in September. As the end of 2016 approached, Katie quit her job in preparation of being Jace’s full-time caregiver. Anxiously anticipating discharge after the holidays, Katie’s “world came crashing down” after learning that Jace would not leave the hospital before his first birthday. By February 2017, Jace moved from the NICU to the Pulmonary floor, and
Katie and Justin began extensive training to bring Jace home. Finally after 402 days, on March 23, 2017, Katie and Justin brought Jace home with a home ventilator to be used at night while he slept. Throughout Jace’s incredible journey, Katie, Justin, and Jace received support from the March of Dimes. “The March of Dimes was with us every step of the way,” Katie says. “They not only offered us support through the hard days but also celebrated with us on the good days.” Today Jace is a happy two-year-old. He still has a trach tube, but Katie anticipates him having it removed by the time he’s three. He is also working on his speech development and walking. With help from March of Dimes research, Katie hopes that Jace will have a wonderful future. “With funding from the March of Dimes, breakthrough research and medicine have been discovered to help even the tiniest of babies like Jace,” Katie says. “We are so grateful for everything the March of Dimes has done and continues to do for our miracle.”
BY B A R R Y W I S E S M I T H
IN 2014, THE RATE OF TWIN BIRTHS HIT AN ALL-TIME HIGH IN THE UNITED STATES, with twin births accounting for over 130,000 births each year. Triplets account for just over 3,700 births each year, and quadruplets and higher order multiples are even fewer. But there’s a lot more to multiple births than just numbers. April is Multiples month, and to celebrate, we are sharing the stories of two multiple moms and the reasons why having twins, and triplets, multiplies their family’s love.
Jennie Borland Husband Will
Mom of Franklin and Stella, 10 months
Jennie and Will Borland had been married for several years when they decided to start trying for a baby. After only trying for a short time, Jennie discovered she was pregnant. “We decided to have a baby,” Jennie says, “and it happened right away.” At one of Jennie’s early doctor’s appointments, she had an ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy. “The tech put her hand on my arm, and I just knew something was wrong,” Jennie remembers. Far from wrong, the ultrasound tech confirmed not just that Jennie was pregnant but that she was pregnant with twins. “She looked at us and said ‘there are two babies,’” Jennie recalls. “I couldn’t stop laughing.” While Jennie and Will were momentarily stunned by the news, the fact that they were having twins
wasn’t a total surprise. Twins run in Jennie’s family—her paternal grandfather was an identical twin, and her maternal grandmother had twin sisters and twin nephews. “I always wanted twins,” Jennie says. “I thought it would be so much fun.” Jennie’s pregnancy went well until she was diagnosed with preeclampsia—a high blood pressure disorder associated with pregnancy—at 28 weeks. Jennie, a 9th-grade Spanish teacher at Mountain Brook Junior High, was told by her doctors that she couldn’t return to the classroom, had to be on modified bed rest, and had to do twice weekly tests to monitor her preeclampsia. Finally, at 35 weeks and 5 days, Franklin and Stella Borland were delivered on April 27 at St. Vincent’s. “I went to a regular check up, and the doctor said ‘how about today as their birthday?’” Jennie says. The babies went to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where Franklin stayed for 13 days and
PHOTO BY: J.WOODBERRY PHOTOGRAPHY
Robin Ennis Husband Jay
Mom of Alden, Andrew, and Archer, 3 years old
Robin and Jay Ennis always knew they wanted to start a family, but after two years of struggling to have a baby, Robin began infertility treatments. Robin’s doctors recommended In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) as the couple’s best chance to have a baby, so despite the high cost and invasiveness, they decided to proceed. “We knew we wanted to do whatever it took to have a baby,” Robin says. “And it may sound strange, but going through IVF was a huge bonding experience for us. It brought us closer knowing that we were both committed to starting a family and supporting each other through the process.” After the Ennis’ first IVF cycle failed, Robin was determined to do what she could to make the second round successful. She took supplements to improve her egg quality, went to acupuncture weekly, and changed to a gluten-free diet. For the second IVF cycle, doctors implanted three separate embryos, and in June 2014 an ultrasound revealed that Robin was expecting triplets (because the doctors implanted
PHOTO BY: KATHRYN PETERS PHOTOGRAPHY
Stella for 12. Prior to having the twins, Jennie always put her teaching career first, “but having the babies helps me maintain my sanity,” she says. “My priorities are just so different now.” However, Jennie did return to work in October 2017 when Franklin and Stella were 6 months old. “I love teaching, and work helps me to stay balanced,” Jennie says. But, after researching daycares, “we started multiplying everything by two, and the cost was outrageous,” Jennie says. “We had sticker shock.” Jennie’s parents stepped in and volunteered to keep the babies for the first year. “We were so fortunate to have them,” Jennie says. The twins will start daycare in the fall. For support, Jennie has also connected with a group of seven twin moms through Birmingham Area Mothers of Multiples (see sidebar). “We have girls’ nights out and play dates,” she says. “No one understands having two babies at once other than twin moms.” Today, with Franklin and Stella getting more mobile, life is busy but fun. “They play together and keep each other entertained,” Jennie says. “Having twins means double the laughs, giggles, and snuggles.”
“The best thing about having triplets is watching three tiny humans develop and interact with each other.” —Robin Ennis three separate embryos, the Ennis triplets are fraternal). “We knew there was a good chance I was having multiples, but we never guessed there would be three babies,” Robin says. “As soon as the doctor put the ultrasound wand on my stomach, we immediately saw three distinct circles. Jay was trying really hard not to pass out!” Robin’s pregnancy went smoothly for a multiple pregnancy, and she continued acupuncture, went to the chiropractor starting at 20 weeks (babies have more room to grow if the spine is in alignment), took supplements, and continued her gluten-free diet. “But don’t be fooled, the pregnancy was scary,” Robin says. “Definitely don’t Google triplet pregnancies, I tell you that.” At 35 weeks, on January 2, 2015, Alden, Andrew, and Archer Ennis were born by C-section. After short stays in the NICU, the Ennis triplets went home when they were five days old. When the boys were 6 months old, the Ennises moved from Greenville, S.C., to Birmingham to be close to Robin and Jay’s families. “I realized after having the boys that there was just no way we could live five hours away from our closest family member,” Robin says. Now, the Ennises are in Birmingham with Robin working as a professor of special education in the UAB College of Education and four sets of grandparents to help carry the load of raising triplet boys.
Robin also finds support from the friends she’s met through Birmingham Area Mothers of Multiples. “I joined before I even moved back,” she says. “I’ve made friends through BAMOM that I feel like I have known my entire life. Having friends who deal with the daily chaos you do is invaluable.” Of course there are challenges to raising triplets. “The hardest part is making sure we have one-onone time with each of them,” Robin says. “They love being an only child for a day, even if it’s just a solo trip to the grocery store.” But with two careers and hectic schedules, it’s not always easy to do. Robin doesn’t let the challenge overshadow the reward though. “The best thing about having triplets is watching three tiny humans develop and interact with each other,” Robin says. “It is truly an honor to care for them and watch them grow.”
Mothers of Multiples BAMOM is a local organization dedicated to supporting moms with twins, triplets, and higher order multiples in the Birmingham metro area. BAMOM meets monthly on the first Monday of each month at the North Shelby County Library at 7 p.m. In addition to meetings, BAMOM has playgroups for different age groups, moms’ nights out, and seasonal family socials. Annual dues are $30, and members receive information along with emotional, physical, and financial support.
The twice yearly Twice as Nice Consignment
sales offer members the chance to buy and sell baby gear. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The day and the life of two stay-at-home dads. BY K I M H I L D E N B R A N D
P H OTO G R A P H Y BY K R I S T E N L E E C R E AT I V E
ONCE UPON A TIME, Mom raised the kids while Dad went to work. But the world is changing, and parental roles have evolved. Though statistics vary based on definitions, the National At-Home Dad Network estimates that there are around 1.75 million stay-at-home dads across the United States. And that number may be even higher, given that 7 million fathers in the U.S. describe themselves as their child’s primary caregiver. But data doesn’t tell the whole story. To get an inside look into the real lives of stay-at-home dads, we spoke to two of them who live right here in Alabama. Why did they decide to become SAHDs? What’s a typical day in the life? What challenges do they face—and what joys do they celebrate? Read on to find out.
Jonathan Burton of Birmingham Spouse: Lindsay Rhodes Child: Leo (10 months) Childhood Career Aspiration: A writer or an astronaut
FOR JONATHAN BURTON, there was never any
question: Being a stay-at-home dad made sense for him, his wife Lindsay Rhodes, and their son Leo. “My wife is a physician and invested a lot of time and energy into her career,” he says. “She loves her work.” Jonathan has an accounting degree and worked in the finance department of a large nonprofit. Though he enjoyed his work, he was eager to spend more time with Leo. “My dad passed away before I was 2, and I didn’t get to experience life with a father,” Jonathan
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALYSSA LUNA
says. “When I had the chance to be at home full time, it seemed like a great opportunity. I’m also very excited to be my son’s main teacher for the first few years of his life.” His last day in the office was five days before Leo arrived, which gave the couple a few days to relax and prepare. Now, with 10-month-old Leo, those quiet days are a distant memory. Jonathan starts his days early, eating breakfast with the family, prepping Lindsay’s lunch and snacks for the day, and seeing her off to work. Next comes playtime with Leo, followed by naptime or a stroller ride. Jonathan prioritizes exercise, choosing to walk to the gym, clock four or five miles in the neighborhood, or run on the treadmill at home. He also enjoys walking around town to run errands. “I’m very fortunate to live in a neighborhood where everything I need is within walking distance,” Jonathan says. In fact, Jonathan lost more than 30 pounds during Leo’s first five months, simply by staying active. After exercise and errands, it’s time for Leo’s lunch and playtime. Jonathan puts on an educational TV program, such as a live orchestra or a lecture, and father and son watch together while Leo enjoys his bottle. Jonathan builds block towers, and Leo knocks them down. Sometimes he reads his son a book, and other days he practices his guitar on the floor. Then comes another nap, which means lunch for Jonathan, a shower, and housework. At some point, he takes a quick break to read, and then Leo is awake
ADVICE FROM STAY-AT-HOME DADS
Around half of fathers across the U.S. say they spend too little time with their kids. Are you thinking about becoming a stay-at-home dad? Jonathan Burton shares advice from the trenches of full-time parenting on the Babypalooza blog at BabyPalooza.com
“It has taken time to accept that I often can’t get everything done in a day that I may have wanted to do. But that’s okay, and the household will survive.” —Jonathan Burton
and ready to play. Then, Lindsay comes home and they eat dinner together. For Jonathan, being a SAHD is incredibly rewarding. He loves to watch Leo grow each day, hitting those special milestones like crawling or standing. He makes a point of sending photos of Leo doing fun activities to Lindsay at work so she doesn’t feel like she’s missing out, and the fact that Lindsay thinks he’s doing a good job means a lot to him. Though at times staying home is “almost like being on vacation with Leo,” Jonathan says, he admits there are tougher days when the schedule is thrown off or he feels that he’s not doing as much as he should around the house. “It has taken time to accept that I often can’t get everything done in a day that I may have wanted to do,” he says. “But that’s okay, and the household will survive.” The days he spends with Leo are precious also because of the close father-son relationship they yield. “Spending every day with him, I get the chance to really understand my son,” Jonathan says. “I know exactly when he needs to eat, sleep, play, or if he’s sick, has gas, or is scared of something. I think my wife notices this about our relationship and sees the value it’s added to our family.” He’s never caught any flak for the choice—on the contrary, if anything, he hears that people wish they could’ve spent so much time with their own children while they were growing up since it goes by so fast.
Nhu Le of Vestavia Hills Spouse: Andrea Le
Name and ages of children: Xavier (11), Anna-Sophia (9), Alexander (8) Childhood career aspiration: A ninja
FOR THE LE FAMILY, time was always in short supply. Dad Nhu worked around 50 hours a week, while mom Andrea clocked in around 80 hours a week, with only two to four days off per month. “Our schedules made it prohibitive to have a normal family life, which we felt was especially important with three young children,” Nhu explains. “We decided that one of us needed to stay home with the children to provide stability, comfort, and security.” In August 2015, Nhu left his job as a Process Engineering Manager, VP of Transformation Services, to become the full-time caregiver for Xavier, Anna-Sophia, and Alexander.
“My love language is s erving my wife. It is very rewarding when she returns home from work and the kids rush to greet her happily.” —Nhu Le
While his days were once filled with work, they are every bit as full now. He awakens each morning between 4:45 and 5:30 to hit the gym. After getting the kids to school, he takes care of household responsibilities, such as dishes, cleaning, laundry, and grocery shopping. Then comes the long list of home improvement projects. After Nhu gets the kids from school, he shuttles them to their various activities, including piano and tae kwon do. Then comes dinner, homework, piano practice, and reading. For Nhu, one reward is the close relationship he shares with his children. He grew up in an immigrant household, and both his parents worked, which meant he and his brother spent a great deal of time home alone. “While I was working, I noticed that the relationship with my children mirrored the relationship I had with my parents, which was distant,” he says. “Now that I spend more time with them, my children are more open and communicative with me.” He also pours his energy into helping to ensure his wife is happy. He focuses on dealing with household responsibilities so she can enjoy her time at home with the family. “My love language is serving my wife,” he says. “It is very rewarding when she returns home from work and the kids rush to greet her happily. Especially knowing that she does not have any stress concerning household chores.” However, like any job, being a stay-at-home parent brings unique challenges. For Nhu, the loss of identity hit hard. “As an Asian, specifically an immigrant, I placed a great deal of identity in my
career, education and successes,” he says. “This is a cultural bias that was challenging to overcome once I gave up my career for my family.” Like many stay-at-home parents, he has also struggled with isolation. “I was accustomed to working in a team environment on enterprise-wide projects,” he says. “Now I spend a great deal of time with little adult interaction.” Nhu thoroughly enjoyed his career, and he knows if things were different he’d be back at a multinational corporation working on impactful projects. For now, though, he is focused on his family. He also understands that by the time he has completed his full-time parenting responsibilities, the field will have changed.
SAHD Resources In a sea of Mommy & Me classes and mom-filled playgroups, stay-at-home dads may have a tougher time finding support—but it is out there. Here are some helpful resources. • National At-Home Dad Network: This organization offers support, education, advocacy, and community for dads who are primary caregivers. athomedad.org. • Fatherly: This online publication offers advice, timely news, and product reviews, specifically geared to dads. fatherly.com • Meetup: From playdates to hiking groups, dads can connect in person with like-minded people. If no group exists in your area, you can start your own. meetup.com • Facebook: Facebook groups offer dads an opportunity to chat, network, and get advice. Facebook.com/groups
Spring Into Fun BY K R I S T E N L E E D O U G L A S
Summer is a magical season in a child’s life, and as parents we want to make it as memorable and meaningful as possible. In the first few summers of a child’s life, parents can be intentional about making summer a time of fun family togetherness. Start creating family summer traditions right now with these 8 ideas:
ENJOY A SWEET TREAT—Beat the summer heat with a special frozen treat! Magic City Sweet Ice is a fun dessert spot in Homewood run by David and Wani Shaw. Ordering a kid-sized Italian ice will leave your toddler smiling, and you can sit in the shade on Magic City Sweet Ice’s porch and just enjoy being with your family. 715 Oak Grove Rd, Homewood, AL 35209 mcsweetice.com
CAPTURE THE MAGIC FOREVER— Celebrate the season, and capture it forever with a family photo shoot. With the vibrant colors of summer as your backdrop, you can get beautiful photos of your family and always have them as a token of the season when you were able to connect more than ever.
EXPLORE “THE CITY”—Cool off by heading indoors. At Itty Bitty Magic City inside McWane Science Center, you and your little one can explore a toddler-sized city all summer long. Itty Bitty Magic City ignites your toddler’s imagination with hands-on play.
200 19th St N, Birmingham, AL 35203 mcwane.org
MAKE A SPLASH TOGETHER—summer is a great time to start swim lessons with your baby. There are lots of options for parent-child lessons that will get your baby comfortable with the water. Another great way to enjoy the water is by spending the day at a local pool. The Shades Valley YMCA has a zero-entry area ideal for babies and toddlers. 3551 Montgomery Hwy, Birmingham, AL 35209 ymcabham.org/sv-youth-development
ENCOURAGE CREATIVITY— Creative
activities benefit your child’s developing motor skills and mind. The Birmingham Museum of Art features ArtVenture, a hands-on kids’ area you can visit for free to get in touch with your family’s artistic side. 2000 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35203 artsbma.org
DINE AL FRESCO—Dining outside, or al fresco, is a change in routine that can become a family summer tradition. Dining outside as a family makes dinner fun and can be done in your own backyard. Do you have a favorite outdoor dining spot? Share it with other parents on our Facebook page (@babypalooza).
TAKE BACK SUNDAY—Let’s face it, we get so bogged down with the business of our days that we use Sunday to play catch up. This summer, make Sunday a day for rest and family time. Attending a local church service gets your mind off stressors and gives you something encouraging to focus on during the week.
EXPERIENCE NATURE—Enjoying the outdoors with your little one is easy. Put your baby in a carrier or stroller and explore Aldridge Gardens, Red Mountain Park, the Birmingham Zoo, or any of the other amazing outdoor spaces in Birmingham. Aldridge Gardens 3530 Lorna Rd, Hoover, AL 35216 aldridgegardens.com Red Mountain Park 2011 Frankfurt Dr, Birmingham, AL 35211 redmountainpark.org
Kristen Douglas, writing on behalf of the Mountaintop Church Children’s Ministry, lives in Hoover with her husband and son, Elliott. She is a writer and photographer who wants to empower others to tell their stories and show God’s love. Mountaintop Church is a place
Birmingham Zoo 2630 Cahaba Rd, Birmingham, AL 35223 birminghamzoo.com
where families can come as they are and kids love, laugh, and learn as they discover how to love God with all their hearts.
Relax and soak up the sun at this family friendly resort on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. BY B A R R Y W I S E S M I T H
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE MARGARITAVILLE RESORT BILOXI
JIMMY BUFFETT’S SONGS are all about the
sand, sun, and surf. Now families can step into a Buffett song at The Margaritaville Resort Biloxi. Margaritaville is located on a stretch of white sand beach overlooking the Biloxi Sound in Biloxi, Mississippi. A quick drive from almost anywhere in Alabama (41/2 hours from Birmingham, just an hour from Mobile), the beachfront, family friendly Margaritaville Resort features 373 spacious rooms and suites, with picturesque water views and balconies. “We brand ourselves as the best affordable family attraction on the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” says Kenny Glavan, Margaritaville’s Area Director of Hotel Operations.
FAMILY TRAVEL SPONSOR
Find more family-friendly travel tips and destinations from The Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport at BabyPalooza.com.
The Margaritaville Resort caters to families with children and offers something for everyone in the family. Escape, the resort’s 55,000-square-foot Family Entertainment Center, has hundreds of arcade games and activities, where kids can win tickets to redeem for prizes at the onsite prize center. There are also two sports simulators that let guests test their skills at everything from golf to soccer; six mini bowling lanes, a pool table, skeeball, and other “old school” entertainment options. The centerpiece of Escape is a 48-foot-tall, light-up volcano rock climbing attraction that—to the delight of kids—erupts every hour while playing “When the Volcano Blows” by Jimmy Buffett (it is Margaritaville after all) and ends with a hilarious burp. The Sky Trail Ropes Course entertains the adults while the Sky Tykes ropes course is perfect for kids 2 to7. Guests get a bird’s eye view of Escape as they soar through the entertainment center on the resort’s Cloud Coaster—the largest indoor zipline in the U.S.
When it’s time to get outside and boost Vitamin D levels, head to the resort’s rooftop water playground on the 5th floor. With a scenic view of the Barrier Islands just off the coastline, Margaritaville’s waterpark features a 450-foot Lazy River, two 34 BabyPalooza.com
waterslides, a splash pad, and a water ropes course just for little people. “This is not your average hotel pool,” Glavan says. There are lounge chairs and cabanas for soaking up the sun, and parents can have a little fun of their own in the lounge pool sipping a cocktail from the swim-up bar. On arrival, every guest receives a beach ball and is encouraged to bring it to the pool for organized games and activities.
At the end of a long day at the pool or playing games, Margaritaville offers a variety of family friendly dining options, including the LandShark Bar & Grill, the Margaritaville Café, and the more upscale Doe’s Eat Place. The Sweet Shack, located inside Escape, is the perfect spot to grab a cool treat on a hot day, and the Margaritaville Coffee Shop, located in the lobby, offers gourmet coffee and pastries. The resort also has watering holes—the 5 o’clock Somewhere Bar and the Lost Key Bar—where parents can enjoy a cocktail while taking in the beautiful views and regularly scheduled live entertainment. So grab the sunscreen and bathing suits, and as Jimmy Buffett says, “get where it’s warm!” MARGARITAVILLE RESORT BILOXI
195 Beach Blvd. Biloxi, MS 39530 228-271-6377 margaritavilleresortbiloxi.com
MS Gulf Coast Fun If you venture off the Margaritaville property, here are a few suggestions for kid-friendly side trips:
LYNN MEADOWS DISCOVERY CENTER—LMDC.ORG
Located in Gulfport (next door to Biloxi), the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center is a kid paradise with 15,000 square feet of indoor exhibit space, six acres of outdoor play space, and more. The Super Colossal Climbing Structure in the center of the space allows children, and brave adults, to move from floor to floor. Bear Camp Bayou is just for little ones four years old and younger. Kids can play house, put on puppet shows, build with big blocks, or nestle in the giant nest as parents relax. Outdoor exhibits include Tree House Village, Bear Creek, and Solar Sunflowers.
THE BETSY ANN RIVERBOAT—BETSYANNRIVERBOAT.COM
A traditional sternwheel paddleboat, the Betsy Ann is docked next door to the Margaritaville Resort and offers dinner, sunset, eco-tour, and historical cruises through the local waterways giving guests a close-up view of the beautiful Coastal landscape.
GULF ISLANDS WATERPARK—GULFISLANDSWATERPARK.COM
Who doesn’t love a waterpark? Gulf Islands features wild rides, miles of slides, and fun for all ages. There are a number of attractions just for families with young children: • Lil’ Pelican’s Bay features water cannons, giant squirt guns, and two open flume body slides totaling over 140 feet long. A huge bucket of water fills and tips throughout the day, and the shallow 200-square-foot wading area is perfect for small pelicans and parents. • The Ship Island Wreck is great for kids 2 years old and older as they navigate unexpected twists and turns to a fun splash down. • The Lazy Pearl River is the perfect place to grab a tube and kick back. Longer than three football fields, the lazy river lets guests float around the park with ease. Adults should accompany children under 10. • Spray St. Louis provides tot-sized fun for children and parents with waterfalls, wading pools, and misters. It’s the best way to cool off on a hot day. • The Waveland Wave Pool offers over 12,000 square feet of fun. There’s room to swim, ride the waves in an inner tube, or simply sit on the shore and lap it all up. Adults should accompany children under 10. BabyPalooza.com 35
is a proud beverage sponsor of OWA
DINOSAURS IN MOTION is an amazing blend of science, art and innovation using magnificent, fully interactive, anatomically inspired, recycled life-size metal dinosaur sculptures to ENGAGE and EDUCATE.
OPENS MAY 13
Presented by 38
Linn-Henley BabyPalooza.com Charitable Trust
T N E EV
C O M P I L E D BY
B A BY PA L O O Z A S TA F F
DAY OUT WITH THOMAS™: BIG ADVENTURES APRIL 13-15, 21-22 HEART OF DIXIE RAILROAD MUSEUM Day Out with Thomas is a fun-filled event that provides children of all ages the opportunity to take a 25-minute ride on their favorite engine, meet Sir Topham Hatt, and enjoy a day of Thomas & Friends fun with crafts, photo ops, and more. Thomas the Tank Engine rides depart every 45 minutes, rain or shine. Departure times are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Fridays and Sundays and 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturdays throughout the event. Tickets are $22 for ages two and up, and children 24 months and younger are free. Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased at ticketweb.com or by calling 866-468-7630. For more information and directions, contact the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum at 205-668-
3435 or hodrrm.org.
MAGIC CITY ART CONNECTION APRIL 27-29 LINN PARK
s k c i p
FRIDAY & SATURDAY 10 A.M.–6 P.M. SUNDAY, 10 A.M.–5 P.M. $5 Adults/one day; $10 Adults/3-day pass; Children 15 & under free Corks & Chefs tickets—$35 in advance/$45 at gate (includes festival admission) The 35th annual Magic City Art Connection returns for a full weekend of art, music, kids events, and fabulous food. The Magic City Art Connection features 200 local and national artists showing their wares—from painting and sculpture to glass blowing and furniture. The popular Corks & Chefs event offers bites and beverages from the city’s most talented purveyors. For young artists, the Imagination Festival offers full art immersion with interactive workshops in art, music, theater, dance, and movement. This year workshops will feature puppets, mobiles, sculpture made from old electronics, and more! There is also Imagination That Parades throughout the weekend with children showing off art projects completed at the Imagination Festival. There are also two stages with live music and performances—the Backyard Production Stage features storytellers, dance troupes, and fun musical performances. For more details visit magiccityart.com. BabyPalooza.com 39
MARCH OF DIMES MARCH FOR BABIES APRIL 21 MARCH FOR BABIES, HUNTSVILLE
CHARGER PARK AT UAH 8–11:30 A.M. The March for Babies is the March of Dimes’ annual fundraiser, with all money raised going to help fight premature birth, birth defects, and infant loss. Registration begins at 8 a.m., followed by opening ceremonies at 8:30 a.m., and the 3-mile March for Babies at 9 a.m. After the March, children ages 1 to 10 can compete in the Superhero Sprint “fun run.” Festival activities and awards continue until close at 11:30 a.m.
MARCH FOR BABIES, BIRMINGHAM APRIL 28 RAILROAD PARK 8–11:30 A.M. More than 4,000 people will converge at Railroad Park on April 28 to participate in March for Babies, raising critical funds to help tackle the biggest health threats to moms and babies. Registration begins at 8 a.m., with opening ceremonies at 8:30 a.m., the Superhero Sprint at 9 a.m., and the 2-mile March for Babies starting at 9:15 a.m. Activities end at 11:30 a.m.
CELEBRATE HOOVER DAY APRIL 28 VETERANS PARK ON VALLEYDALE ROAD 11 A.M.-3 P.M. FREE The city of Hoover’s annual citywide celebration draws more than 10,000 residents of all ages to Veterans Park for a fun day at the park. The celebration includes live entertainment, a kids’ zone with inflatables and games, a petting zoo, carnival rides, a car show, a giant apple pie, and so much more. Parking is available at Spain Park High School with complimentary shuttles to the park.
VULCAN’S 114TH BIRTHDAY BASH JUNE 3 VULCAN PARK & MUSEUM 12:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M. Adults $8, Children $6 Free for members and children 4 and under Vulcan Park & Museum is set to celebrate Vulcan—the world’s largest cast-iron statue—on his 114th birthday. There are fun activities for the whole family, including a Kid Zone with games and inflatables, arts and crafts, rock climbing wall and lawn games, a popcorn machine, and free ice cream and cookies. Admission includes entrance to the Vulcan Center Museum, the Vulcan Observation Tower, and entrance into the new Linn-Henley Gallery exhibit: Southern Thunder—the Legacy of Alabama Auto Racing.
For more family events visit BhamKidEvents.com or follow @bhamkidevents on social media.
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Moms of Alabama P H OTO BY J & M P H OTO G R A P H Y
Fathia Hardy Madison, AL
Husband, Eric Hardy Mom to Malik, 8 years old, and Farrah, 16 months
What did you learn between your first and second pregnancy? Each pregnancy
is completely different. During my second pregnancy, I was consistently sick leading up to my delivery date. Not to mention, my daughter weighed 9 pounds, 5 ounces (my son was 8 pounds). I was still very relaxed and enjoyed each moment. What do you love most about being a mom? I love watching them grow, teaching and learning from and with them, experiencing their successes, and having the opportunity to be a kid again by sharing certain experiences with them. What are your favorite Facebook mom groups? Mahogany Moms, Huntsville Mommy Milk Meetup, Huntsville Mom Connection Are you a Mom of Alabama with a story to share? Email us at bsmith@ babypaloozatour.com.
HERE the good times roll in with the waves.
We know that providing the right birth experience for you and your family starts with listening and understanding your unique needs. And we do that with more conversation and more back and forth through St. Vincentâ€™s Monogram Maternity. St. Vincentâ€™s, which is a part of Ascension, offers a wide range of resources to enhance your birth experience, including your very own birth designer specially trained to support you on this journey to motherhood.
To find a physician, call 205-277-7269.