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FEB. 2014


Massachusetts’ Premier Magazine For Families Since 1996






Clinton Savings Bank

HONORS 1 2 3




Clinton High School Junior

4 5 6


Rachel McGown

What do you think it means to be a “champion?” To me, being a champion means doing the right thing because you want to, not because of the reward. It is being a good role model in school, sports and the community, giving back to those in need, and taking advantage of opportunities in a way that will benefit both yourself and others. Do you think there’s a connection between your success in school and the extracurricular activities you do? I think that both teach me to be responsible and to work hard. By balancing the different activities I do, I’ve been taught to manage my time and that has been a huge help in academics. I’ve learned different skills from each different activity that I’m part of and those skills allow me to take on new challenges both in school and out of school. Can you describe what you love about where you are from, and why it’s important to make it better? My town is unique because almost everyone returns if they leave. It’s important to keep making changes for the better so that we give back to the place we came from and make it a place that future generations will feel the same connection to the community that we do. What community non-profit do you assist? I often help out at the Community Café with the Carr family. I love doing it because we can directly witness the people that we’re helping and the gratitude they have. It’s a great way to be with family while helping a good cause. You’ve also organized fundraisers and done volunteer work overseas. How does that experience help you/inspire you in your own community? That experience helped expose me to people that live different lifestyles than I do, and inspired me to want to reach out to local families in need. It gave me a new perspective and allowed me to witness first hand the number of people that need support and assistance in my community and all over the world. What moment is the one you are most proud of? One of my proudest moments was participating in a volunteer opportunity called Project 351 in eighth grade. One person was chosen from each town in Massachusetts and we went to Boston for a day to volunteer in various community service projects. I met so many different people that were all passionate about helping others and it was a great experience that taught me how people coming together for a common goal can really make a difference.

Rachel in Peru, 2012 Rachel volunteering at the Community Cafe

Do you know the next


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If you know an individual or group of students who deserve recognition for their success in school, sports, the arts or the community, honor them as a CSB Champion. Simply email to nominate them. Presented with: 888-744-4272(4CSB) •

Berlin • Bolton • Boylston • Clinton • Sterling • W. Boylston

Cornerstone Academy Educating all learners in grades K-6

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Choose Cornerstone to develop the fundamentals needed for tomorrow’s leaders! The educational journey begins in Kindergarten.... let it begin with Cornerstone!



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• State of the art technology utilized in all classrooms.

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umpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty’s enrolling next fall. Kids grow up fast. Help your college savings keep up. With tuition rates continuing to rise, it’s never too early to start ® ® saving for college. When you open a MEFA U.Fund College Investing Plan account, you can take advantage of all the benefits the official Massachusetts college savings plan has to offer. • It’s

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To learn more, or to open an account, visit or call 800.544.2776. Please carefully consider the Plan’s investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses before investing. For this and other information on any 529 college savings plan managed by Fidelity, contact Fidelity for a free Fact Kit, or view one online. Read it carefully before you invest or send money. MEFA is a not-for-profit self-financing state authority that works to make higher education more accessible and affordable for students and families in Massachusetts through community education programs, college savings plans, and low-cost financing options.

The U.Fund® College Investing Plan is offered by MEFA and managed by Fidelity Investments. If you or the designated beneficiary is not a Massachusetts resident, you may want to consider, before investing, whether your state or the beneficiary’s home state offers its residents a plan with alternate state tax advantages or other benefits. Units of the portfolios are municipal securities and may be subject to market volatility and fluctuation. MEFA, MEFA UFund Massachusetts 529 Plan, and U.Fund are registered service marks of the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority. The Fidelity Investments and pyramid design logo and the navigational line and directional design are service marks of FMR LLC. Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC, 900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917 © 2013 FMR LLC. All rights reserved.

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Week Workshops! Around the

World in 4 Days

On Sale Now! Sun. Feb. 23 2:00pm Groups 10+ 508-755-6800, Ext 2125


February 18-21

On view through May 11

Sponsored by

Explore a gorilla nest, climb a kapok tree, and identify endangered species you find along the way. We provide all of the equipment – vests, flashlights, and binoculars – you provide your imagination!

Sights and Sounds of the Rainforest

February 17-21 Dr. Seuss Birthday School vacation programs featuring live animal demonstrations, Celebration Saturday, March 1 performances, art activities, science experiments and more!

$5 special exhibition fee for all visitors ages 3 and up in addition to museum admission. 800.625.7738 Follow us Rainforest Adventure was created by Stepping Stones Museum for Children

6 FEBRUARY2014 7

our special guest Jarod Etheart, 7, of Leominster Captured by Steven King



Add a personal touch to your Valentine’s day gifts with this sweet and simple craft.

table 9 WELCOME, A Letter From Our Editor 9 OUR SPECIAL GUEST, Meet Cover 10 12 12 13 14 18 20

Model Jarod GUESTBOOK, Prizes And Your Feedback baystateparent ONLINE FINALLY FOREVER, Some Don’t Get Gotcha Day CHILD OF THE MONTH CIRCLE OF FRIENDS, Area Adoption Events JUNK DRAWERS, Family Fun News DIRTY LAUNDRY, Local Dad Shares Great Moments From The Olympics BOSTON CHILDREN’S MUSEUM, Learn And Play At All Ages

37 OH THE PLACES YOU’LL GO, February Calendar Of Events



Local mom discovers the surprising reason for her son’s mysterious symptoms.


Our family events calendar is filled with fun ideas for all ages — including theater, music, nature, sports, animals and more!

the of the home sneak peek


in every issue


Take Care! Our Annual Health & Wellness Guide 29 LET’S ROLL, BodyWorlds Gets Under The Skin 32 SELF-ACCEPTANCE, THE RIGHT WEIGH 34 7 STEPS TO BETTER FAMLY FOOD CHOICES 36 TIRED OF BEING TIRED

50 51 51 52 53

something special OUR FAMILY IS GROWING! baystateparent Goes West LET IT SNOW, 5 Winter Fun Activities OLYMPIC CURLING CRAZE IS SWEEPING UP FAMLIES



advertising directories


8 15 16






in advertising and design

in North America


LANGUAGE OF LOSS: Finding Words After Miscarriage

New England Newspaper and Press Association


PUBLICATION 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012

Design! Build! KEVA! As Featured on “Chronicle” r Wintiees Ser NonProfit

Brookline Cambridge Medford Newton/Brighton Quincy Somerville South Boston Waltham West Roxbury Weymouth

January 10 - May 18

177 Main Street (Route 27) • Acton, MA 01720 • 978-264-4200


Our Family is Growing!

baystateparent Delivers a New Edition in Western Mass We are excited to announce our expansion into Western Massachusetts. Starting in March 2014, our award-winning baystateparent will publish a Western Massachusetts edition with featured stories, calendar listings, and advertising designed for families in the Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden counties. “I purchased Today’s Parent over 10 years ago, hoping to make an already great publication even better, in part changing its name to be more reflective of our statewide aspirations. Over this past decade, we have consistently provided today’s active moms and dads relevant, easy-to-access and timely information that empowers their entire family to take advantage of the vast opportunities — both educational and recreational —available in the culturally rich and diverse New England region. In the process, we have garnered over 100 awards, making ours the most celebrated parenting publication in the country,” said Kirk A. Davis, Owner and Publisher of baystateparent. “Now, it’s time to broaden our distribution and share our stories with a population in an area of Massachusetts I have always loved and once lived in, Western Massachusetts.” Over 25,000 complimentary copies will be distributed each month at 500 area locations, including over 20 Big Y stores. “As a parent, working mom, and local businesswoman, I am excited to witness the expansion of baystateparent magazine into Western Massachusetts. I am confident that it will be a valuable resource that will inspire and support local families throughout our region,” said Claire M. D’Amour-Daley, Vice President of Corporate Communications for Big Y Foods.

Currently, baystateparent is a trusted monthly resource for near 100,000 parents, grandparents and educators. With the increased distribution, baystateparent will reach over 60,000 additional readers. The expansion project was three years in the making, and includes valued partnerships with three of the most respected, locally owned-and-operated businesses in the region: Baystate Health, Big Y Foods and Turley Publications. Patrick Turley, Owner of Turley Publications, noted that his relationship with Davis started many years ago. “We have printed baystateparent since Kirk acquired it over a decade ago, and are particularly excited to collaborate in marketing and promoting this wonderful publication throughout Western Massachusetts.” In addition to the two baystateparent publications, our Millbury-based company produces live family events throughout the state and supports an acclaimed online parenting community at For more information about our Western Massachusetts expansion, contact Stephen Warshaw at 413-530-9500. For editorial questions, contact Editor in Chief MaryJo Kurtz at For advertising inquiries, contact Director of Sales Regina Stillings at regina@baystateparent. com or Western MA Sales Manager Jessica O’Malley at jessica@

WE’RE EXPANDING! baystateparent is making its debut in Western MA March 1st.

Photography Jennifer Rose

Each month baystateparent Western Mass Edition will offer parents • Family News and Stories • Calendar of Area Events • Contests and Giveaways • And So Much More!

Don’t miss this opportunity to reach over 60,000 parents each month! For advertising opportunities contact Regina Stillings 508-865-7070 x210 Space deadline is noon February 13th.

8 FEBRUARY2014 9

Part-Time Sales Positions Available

Send Resume and Cover Letter to Regina Stillings 508-865-7070 x210

Welcome “Yep, the baby is gone. You miscarried.” Those were the unemotional words of a nurse preoccupied with the crowded waiting room nearby. I was one of many women who would pass through the doctor’s office that afternoon, and mine was a routine story. Well, it was routine for her. It was more like a push off a balcony for me. I remember being a bit confused, wondering what happened to this little life that had been growing inside of me for a few months. Where would my baby go? How will they take my baby? Who helps me? “The doctor is running behind today, so I am going to have you wait in the waiting room. We’ll call you when he’s ready,” she said, showing me the door. And there I sat, alone. In a room full of swollen, healthy, pregnant bellies. Happy women with toddlers

at their feet. It should have been a beautiful sight, but I couldn’t look. I fixed my stare on a rusted heating register on a nearby wall and swallowed my tears for nearly an hour. A painful, powerful and very lonely memory. Mine is not an isolated story. Since that day nearly 20 years ago, I have heard countless stories of miscarriage. In preparation for our story The Language of Loss: Finding Words of Comfort After Miscarriage on page 26, we asked our Facebook followers to share their stories, and to offer advice for moving past the loss. The result is a powerful read that combines the excellent journalism of Amanda Roberge with emails and comments from our readers. If you feel inspired to do so, we encourage you to join the discussion on our website and social media platforms. Another impactful read in this February issue is What Makes Joey Tic? on page 30. This is the personal story of my family’s struggles to find out why our now healthy 13-year-old was burdened with unexplainable physical symptoms for the first seven years of his life. Two Westborough mothers helped us to solve the mystery with one word, and I am grateful. It took me many years to be comfortable writing this little tale, but I do so now with hope that it might help another child. Perhaps that one word will change your child’s life for the better.

As always, our issue is also filled with fun ideas to try and places to go with your family. Keep this magazine handy for February school vacation! We explore the BodyWorlds Vital exhibit in Quincy Market (page 29 ), share a sweet Valentines craft for any age (page 22), and give you five fun family snow activities to try (page 15). Journalist Susan Smith introduces us to the sport of curling in The Olympic Curling Craze is Sweeping Up Families on page 16, and she explains its growing appeal for local families like hers. And, of course, our family event calendar (page 37) offers dozens of places to go for all ages and interests. Finally, I invite you to join us online. The conversation leaves our pages and continues on Facebook, Twitter and On our website, you will find quality stories, some of the finest family bloggers in Massachusetts, and an expanded version of our family events calendar — an interactive collection of happenings that is updated throughout the day. Stop by and upload your organization’s events. We have much to share together this month — both here and online. Pour a cup of coffee and enjoy the February issue of baystateparent!

MaryJo Kurtz, Editor in Chief

Jadon Etheart

What activities interest you? Football, basketball, and taekwondo. What is your favorite subject in school? Music. What would you like to be when you grow up? I’d like to be an NFL football player.

publisher KIRK DAVIS interim associate publisher KATHY REAL 508-868-9293

creative director PAULA MONETTE ETHIER 508-865-7070 ext. 221

editor MARYJO KURTZ 508-865-7070 ext. 201

senior graphic designer STEPHANIE MALLARD 508-865-7070

director of sales REGINA STILLINGS • 508-865-7070 ext. 210

senior account executive EMILY LAVOIE • 774-364-4401 account executive NELLIE LIMA • 774-364-5073 account executive AMY LeBLANC • 978-660-3227 account executive MARIE COREY • 508-735-0503

copy editor BRYAN ETHIER photographer STEVEN KING illustrator SAMI CAPPA

Do you have any brothers or sisters? My two big sisters are Tiarra and Lalani.

presidents KIRK and LAURIE DAVIS

How long have you been modeling? About one year.

baystateparent 22 West Street, Millbury, MA 01527


What has been your favorite modeling assignment? My favorite assignments were for a toy commercial and this one for baystateparent magazine. (I think the leather jacket is cool!) Jadon was photographed by Steven King in Millbury’s historic Felters Mill building, home of baystateparent. Wardrobe courtesy


account executive DEBORAH MEUNIER • 508-450-9718


This month, our magazine cover features 7-year-old Jadon Etheart, a second grader at Northwest Elementary School in Leominster. Jadon loves to read books and play sports, and he is hoping to one day learn to play piano.

Massachusetts’ Premier Magazine For Families baystateparent Inc. is published monthly with a main office at 22 West Street, Worcester, MA 01527 508-865-7070 It is distributed free of charge throughout Massachusetts. •

of Epiphany Children’s Boutique, Northborough. BAYSTATEPARENT 8 9


Visit and sign up to receive our digital issue delivered to your email!

Dear baystateparent, I just wanted to send over my sincerest thanks for your lovely article about the MFA (Creative Programs Draw Families to the MFA, January 2014) and its family programming! We are very excited to share it. It was a pleasure working with you.   Tori Donahue Public Relations Coordinator, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


ONLINE JENNIFER ROSE PHOTOGRAPHY is an interactive community featuring an extensive calendar of area events, well researched feature stories, giveaways, photos, feedback, and a collection of top area bloggers.

Join the conversation! Twitter @baystateparent


10 FEBRUARY2014 11

This month, we welcome our newest blogger, Kathy Sloan. Kathy is a Central Massachusetts wife and mother of three. Her children range in age from high school to kindergarten, so she is acutely aware of how current events impact a new and very astute generation. Her blog is called Riding the Current, and it explores the latest headlines and how they affect her as a parent. “Let’s face it, the world is a crazy place, and it seems to be getting crazier by the minute,” she said. In her first blog for baystateparent. com, she discusses the antics of Miley Cyrus and how differently she and her daughters view Miley’s behavior. “As soon as Liam was out of the picture, Miley chopped off her hair and clothes — literally — and it feels as if she has been punishing us all for their break-up,” she wrote. Do you agree? Stop by baystateparent. com and tell us what you think.


MEET OUR FEBRUARY CONTRIBUTORS Snow storms and school vacations call for winter fun, and Laura Lane has some ideas. In her article, Let It Snow! 5 Activities Your Child Will Love This Winter on page 15, Laura offers hot ideas for the cold outdoors. Laura is a freelance journalist who enjoys writing about ways children can connect with nature. Her work has appeared in 28 magazines in the US and Canada. Her essay, Pond Skating, was featured on Wisconsin Public Radio. She and her husband have two young children and a giant Bernese Mountain Dog who loves to romp in the snow.

Congratulations to Neetha Vuppala of Shrewsbury. Neetha won a copy of Am I Pretty? by Lindsey Berke. The book is a five-star Amazon favorite and offers an innovative introduction to the topic of beauty and children.

Congratulations to Christine Army of Worcester. Christine won a copy of Parenting Made Easy — The Middle Years, by clinical psychologist Anna Cohen. Cohen provides readers with an evidence-based approach to parenting well-behaved and confident children from ages 6 to 12.

Sue LeBreton loves to read aloud to her family while doing wall yoga. The unexpected challenges of her parenting journey have included: cancer, autism, a life-threatening allergy, and asthma. Her article, Tired of Being Tired on page 36, explores the possible connection between exhaustion and the thyroid gland, and this mother of two points out that postpartum thyroiditis can affect the energy level in new mothers. A trained yoga teacher, Sue enjoys working out, nudging her family into a healthier lifestyle, reading, encouraging others to read, and enjoying time with family and friends.

Letters should be sent to Content may be edited for clarity and length. Please include our full name and town for publication

The Olympic games are exciting to watch, especially when the USA takes a medal. But longtime local columnist Jon McGrath reveals a bigger payoff for families who watch the games together. In his story Great Moments from the Olympics on page 18, Jon shares tales of uncelebrated Olympic moments that made a difference in his life. Jon grew up in Westborough and still calls the town home. He and his wife, Jen, have three kids (ages 14, 12, and 10). The Little League baseball coach previously wrote for The Westborough News and Westborough Patch. He invites you to follow him on Twitter, @Jon_McGrath.

Are you a Massachusetts blogger looking to expand your audience? Have you always wanted to blog about family life, parenting, relationships, or motherhood? If you have an interest in joining our growing team of bloggers, contact On Facebook, we have been sharing ideas and tips about adoption parties, snow storms, moms nights out, and more. Find us. You’ll like us. Thank you for your sweet tweets and follows! A big shout out to some of our newest @baystateparent Twitter followers: Worcester Connects @WorcConnects Harvard Partners @HarvardPartners @thebabyspotca Freedman Center MSPP @FreedmanMSPP Worcester MA @TweetWorcester Landmark @thelandmarknews Ski Bradford @skibradford Heritage Museums @HeritageMuseums Mamahive @mamahivebuzz FAFSA Day 2014 @FAFSADayMA

Shawna Shenette Photography

As we take our February 2014 issue to press, our most popular feature on is a blog by Kathleen Quinn called Time After Time. Kathleen is the mother of a son with Fragile X Syndrome. In her piece, she wrote, “I don’t think us ‘parents’ of children with special needs were ‘chosen’ because we are better than the rest of y’all. I believe that we are ordinary people who are now living extraordinary lives.” You can follow her blog, an eXtraordinary life, on

Award-winning writer Trish Reske is also a blogger, business owner, running coach and Westborough mom of four kids ages 12- to 22-years-old. She is passionate about creating and cultivating a love of healthy, flavorful food made from fresh ingredients. Her children grew up deprived of McDonald’s, Burger King, and Nickelodeon TV, but all learned to cook at an early age, can identify kale from cauliflower, and love to create awesome meals. Her article From Pyramid to Paradigm: 7 Steps to Better Family Food Choices on page 34 will inspire you to create a fresh, healthy diet with your children. Carsus Photography

Amanda Roberge is a busy Leominster mother of three daughters. In addition to her work as a freelance writer, she is a henna artist and Early Childhood Educator. This month, she has two inspiring stories for women. Read her thought-provoking piece on dieting, Self-Acceptance: The Right Weigh, on page 32. In it, she discusses the pros and cons of dieting and the message dieting sends to a new generation of girls. She also explores the tender topic of miscarriage in The Language of Loss: Finding Words After Miscarriage on page 26. For more about this talented woman, visit These days, you can often find Westborough journalist Susan Smith at the ice rink. Her teenage daughter is a talented figure skater and her 11-year-old son is a curler. Yes, curler. The Olympic sport is gaining in popularity and Susan explains why in The Olympic Curling Craze is Sweeping Up Families on page 16. She shares tips on getting started in the sport, and she answers the questions that all of us have when watching it for the first time — like, yes, there is a strategy in that frantic sweeping. Susan lives in Westborough with her children, husband Mike and two pet guinea pigs, Johnny and Bob. Massachusetts freelance writers interested in covering family and parenting topics for baystateparent magazine, please contact editor MaryJo Kurtz at BAYSTATEPARENT 10 11


The Adoption Anniversary:

Some Don’t Get ‘Gotcha Day’ by maryjo kurtz

Do you celebrate Gotcha Day? It is a controversial term within the adoption community, though it was surely coined with the best of intentions. The idea of Gotcha Day is to mark that unique moment when an adopted child is welcomed into the family, much like a birthday. For some parents, it marks the day that they first met their child. For others, it celebrates the day an adoption is made legal. When baystateparent asked readers to tell us about their experiences with Gotcha Day, we found that the terms and traditions varied greatly. “We celebrate the day we became a family, and [the] adoption day a few days later,” Pam wrote on our Facebook page. “But [we] have always been turned off by the phrase ‘gotcha.’” Pam is not alone. The name, which is now marketed on products like

greeting cards and gifts, is met with a mix of emotions. “[Some] adoptive families find the term insensitive,” Laura messaged through Facebook. “I personally don’t like that term. I have been a part of numerous online discussions about what to call that day or what day to celebrate the anniversary of the adoption…Some families call it ‘Fama-versary’ or Family Day. We usually celebrate ‘Homecoming Day.’” “I hate the word ‘Gotcha,’” Jennifer posted. “To celebrate it as ‘Gotcha’ undermines [the child’s] past and sounds so selfish. I know some families that call it Family Day or even the name of the child’s day. In my house, it triggers negative feelings of being taken from her home country, so we don’t celebrate it.” For those who do commemorate a child’s adoption, the festivities range from simple prayers to elaborate


CHILD Justice

Fifteen-year-old Justice is an African American young man who was recently named Boys and Girls Club Member of the Year. He is quiet, but warms up with adults with whom he is familiar and with friends. Justice 12 FEBRUARY2014 13

parties. “We usually try to have Ethiopian food,” Laura explained. “I actually have a candle in a jar that says ‘family,’ so we light the family candle and like to talk about [my daughter’s] Ethiopian family and remember her Ethiopian mother…One year, we invited our whole family and some friends to Lucy’s Ethiopian Café for a coffee ceremony.” “We adopted our daughter from DCF (Department of Children and Families) when she was 5 1/2. We celebrate the day she moved into our home as her ‘anniversary’ and then celebrate the day of finalization as her ‘Adoption Day.’ Both days are special. However, the ‘anniversary’ is what she seems to cherish most,” Rina posted. “The fact that her anniversary comes about a week after our wedding anniversary just makes it a tad more special.”

“We celebrate the day our son officially became ours. We got him when he was two-months-old, but he didn’t officially become ours (had our last name, etc.) until he was 2-yearsold,” Darlene emailed. “So every year on that day, we celebrate — just the three of us — with a cupcake and candle. He will be five in June, so this year when we celebrate his Adoption Day (April), I think it will be the first year he might ask questions about adoption, which I feel is a good way for us to start the talk.” Do you celebrate your child’s adoption anniversary? If so, how? Join us on to share your unique traditions. Tell us what you think about the term ‘Gotcha Day’ and what, if any, name you give to the event. Together, let’s share and support each other through our similar experiences.

has a good sense of humor and is insightful and caring. Justice is a good student and has tremendous potential to go far educationally (with reminders about completing his homework). Justice loves playing video games and is eager to teach others about tricks and shortcuts in the games. Justice also plays football and basketball and enjoys being outside and active. This past summer, he worked as a Counselor in Training. His foster mother says one of Justice’s great strengths is the kindness and patience he displays with younger kids. Justice has experienced multiple

losses, including the unexpected death of his pre-adoptive mother. It takes time for him to build trust with people around him. Justice has visits with his birthmother twice a year and would also like to maintain the relationships he has with his three adult biological brothers. Legally free for adoption, Justice needs a family that can support ongoing contact with his birth family and support his need to take things slowly. For more information about Justice or the adoption process in general, please call the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) at 617-54-ADOPT.


February Calendar of Adoption Events

Foster Care Informational Meeting. Brockton Department of Children and Families, 110 Mulberry St., Brockton. Third Wednesday of the month, 6 to 7 p.m. Session is for those interested in doing foster care and reside in Brockton, Avon, Easton, Holbrook, East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Bridgewater, and Stoughton. For information, call 508-894-3745. Adoption Informational Meeting. Canton Police Department Conference Room, 1492 Washington St., Canton. Monday, February 24, 6 to 8 p.m. RSVP to 508-894-3963.

We Are Family: A Post Adoption Support Group. Emerson Hospital Campus, Route 2, Concord. Third Thursday of each month, 7 to 9 p.m. A monthly support and education group for parents who are caring for foster children, have adopted a child aged 3 or older, or whose adopted child is now over age 5. For information, call 978-287-0221, ext. 218. Adoption Information Meeting. Department of Children and Families, 451 Blue Hill Ave., Dorchester. Third Wednesday of each month, 4 to 5:30 p.m. For information, call 617-989-9209. Baby Care for First-Time Prospective Adopters. Adoption Community of New England, 34 Deloss St., 2nd Floor, Framingham. Saturday, February 11, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Learn basics of baby care in a nationally recognized program and an adoption-friendly environment. $5 per person. 508-872-2230 or Birth Families Meet to Discuss Adoption. Adoption Community of New England, 34 Deloss St., 2nd Floor, Framingham. Saturday, February 18, 10 a.m. to noon. Facilitated by professionals. Group will discuss complex issues of living with adoption whether that adoption is open, closed, or somewhere in between. Each meeting will have a focus and allow time for open discussion. RSVP requested at

Boston CUB (Concerned United Birthparents) Support Meeting. Plymouth Congregational Church (downstairs), Edgell Rd., Framingham. Third Sunday of the month, 2 to 5 p.m., September to May. This support group offers adoptees and birthparents a place to share feelings with others who understand. For directions, questions or concerns, call Massachusetts CUB at 617-328-3005. Support Group for Waiting Parents. Adoption Community of New England, 34 Deloss St., 2nd Floor, Framingham. Saturday, February 11, 10 a.m. to noon. Meet with others who are also in the waiting stage of their adoption process. Each session focuses on a specific issue and allows time for open discussion. This is a professionally facilitated meeting. RSVP requested at No walk-ins, please. Triad Group. Adoption Community of New England, 34 Deloss St., 2nd Floor, Framingham. Saturday, February 4, 10 a.m. to noon. For birth parent, adopted person or adoptive parent. Support group is open to all members of the adoption triad. RSVP requested at adoptbeyond@ Waiting Family Support Group Meeting. Jordan’s Furniture, 50 Walkers Brook Dr., Reading. February 13, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. RSVP to For information, call 617-542-3678.

Foster Care/Adoption Informational Meeting. Department of Children and Families, Western Regional Office, 140 High St., 5th Floor, Springfield. First Tuesday of the month, 4 to 5:30 p.m. Registration not required. For information, call 413-452-3369. Foster Care/Adoption Informational Meeting. Taunton Department of Children and Families, Mill River Pl., 1 Washington St., Suite 21, Taunton. Fourth Wednesday of the month, 5 to 7 p.m. There is no need to confirm attendance. These sessions are primarily for those individuals interested in doing foster care and reside in Attleboro, North Attleboro, Norton, Mansfield, Taunton, Raynham, Seekonk, Dighton, Berkley, and Rehoboth. For information, call 508-821-7043. Adoption Information Meeting. Morton Hospital, Margaret Stone Conference Room, 88 Washington St., Taunton. February 20, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Presented by the Taunton Department of Children and Families. RSVP at 508-894-3830. If your group or organization is presenting a program for adoptive families, and you would like to include it in baystateparent magazine or on our website, please send information to

Our children are treated with love and respect by caring, professional teachers.

Before and after-school care up to age twelve.

Our ‘Growing Up On Our Block’ language based curriculum includes weekly themes, letters, colors, concepts, skills, computer instruction, phonics reading, writing, math and science.

Hot breakfast, lunch, and snacks provided.

Stimulating and appealing décor. Open 6:30am to 6:00pm.

Character education teaching trust, respect, responsibility, manners, fairness, caring and citizenship. State-of-the-art solid rubber playground surfacing.

71 River Road West, Berlin, MA | 978-838-0009 | BAYSTATEPARENT 12 13


CUPID TAKES AIM IN YOUR 20s years for women. Overall, just over half (53%) of adults report being married. Of those ages 15 and older, 68.8% report being married at some point in their lives.

DELIGHTFUL CARROT MUFFINS Toasty, tasty treats go deliciously well with a hot cup of cocoa this February! Ingredients 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped 3 medium-large carrots, peeled and grated 2 small Macintosh apples, peeled and grated 2 cups white whole wheat flour 1/2 cup sugar 3/4 tsp baking soda 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt or salt substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 cup coconut (sweetened or unsweetened) 2 large eggs, whites only 2 large eggs, whites and yolks 3/4 cup canola oil 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract Directions 1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, with rack in center. 2. Place fluted paper liners in muffin cups. 3. In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. 4. Stir in nuts and coconut, set aside. 5. In separate bowl, whisk together eggs, oil and vanilla. 6. Fold wet ingredients, along with carrots and apples, into flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. 7. Evenly divide batter between muffin cups. 8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 9. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack. 10. After 10 minutes, remove muffins from pans and cool completely on a wire rack. Recipe courtesy of Carrie Taylor, Lead Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Big Y Foods Living Well Eating Smart Program 14 FEBRUARY2014 15


This Valentine’s Day, Cupid may be taking aim, but a lot of us are ducking. According to the US Census, the median age for a first marriage (as of 2012) is 28.6 years for men and 26.6

When should I expect my baby to get her first teeth? According to, the first teeth begin to break through the gums when the baby is about 6-month-old. Usually, the two bottom front teeth are the first to come in. The American Dental Association recommends that your child have her first visit to the dentist after the first tooth erupts and before her first birthday.

FREE STRESS HOTLINE AVAILABLE Parents Helping Parents is a free, confidential, and anonymous hotline offering support for caregivers. The 24-hour service is staffed by trained volunteer counselors who are sympathetic and nonjudgmental. If you are having problems related to children and need someone to talk to, call 800-632-8188. For more information about this Massachusetts organization, visit

LOCAL AUTHOR RELEASES NEW CHILDREN’S BOOK Arlington children’s author Stephen Sanzo’s latest book, Little Stinker, is available in stores now. Little Stinker celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters, and it welcomes back the lovable (albeit cranky) protagonist from Sanzo’s award-nominated debut Cranky Pants. Illustrated by Boston animator Mark Mullaney, Little Stinker is suitable for children ages 3 to 6.

Let it Snow d Let it Snow d Let it Snow! Last winter, our neighbors shoveled snow off the local pond and invited us down to ice skate. I was too chicken to get out on the ice myself, so I watched and chatted with our friends as my husband and kids tentatively maneuvered their way over the icy surface. Soon, all three grew more confident, and they started gliding on the ice in small bursts. When we finally decided to head home, our cheeks were pink and everyone felt tired and happy. Playing outside in the winter is exhilarating, and it’s healthy for your child. “Nothing is better to beat the winter blues and ho-hums than braving some brisk fresh air, even if it’s just for five minutes filling a bird feeder with your child,” said Jennifer Ward, author of Let’s Go Outside! Outdoor Activities and Projects to Get You and Your Kids Closer to Nature. Ward said children experience many benefits when they spend time in nature including less stress, increased physical activity, heightened creativity, and improved eyesight. Fortunately, your child doesn’t need any fancy equipment or a large ski mountain to discover the wonders of snow. Have your child dress in their full winter regalia — hats, gloves, neck warmers, jackets, and snow pants — and then head outside to enjoy these five easy and fun activities:

1. Build a “Tweet Treat.” In her book, I

s e i t i v 5 Acti ild h C r u Yo e v o L l Wil r e t n i This W ra by lau


Love Dirt! 52 Activities to Help You & Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature, Ward described how children can build a snowman and then decorate it to provide a “tweet treat” for birds. Ideas to turn the snowman into a bird feeder include hanging peanut-butter covered pine cones dipped in birdseed from the snowman’s arms and using orange slices shish kebab style for the snowman’s nose. Your child can also place a bowl of birdseed, nuts, and dried fruit and berries on top of the snowman’s head for the birds to enjoy. “‘Tweet Treat’ is a fabulous activity that offers fun, creative time outdoors, as well as enjoyment indoors for families as they observe the fruits of their labor while providing sustenance for hungry birds in the winter,” Ward said.

2. Run the Course. Also from I Love Dirt!,

this activity is a workout for your child as they build an obstacle course to race through using snow. Invite your child’s friends over to help make snow tunnels, walls, and archways, and then watch the kids go crazy as they run, jump, and barrel through the course. Afterward, invite everyone in for a cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows.


. Make Snow Angels. Making snow angels is a perfect activity to do with your child. You can demonstrate how to lie down on your back in the snow and flap your arms and legs back and forth to create an angel impression. It is also a time when you can lie beside your child on the blanket of snow, breathe in the chilly air, and enjoy a peaceful moment together.

4. Create Igloos.
Similar to using buckets

to build sand castles, your child can use snow blocks to build igloos in your backyard. Snow blocks are plastic, rectangular shaped containers that have a handle on the top. If you don’t have snow blocks, use buckets or other plastic containers. Fill the container with snow, and then turn it over and press it down to make a solid, icy block. Your child can stack the snow blocks on top of one another to create walls for an igloo, snow fort, or ice castle.

5. Scoop Out Snowballs.
Kids love using ice

cream scoopers to make snowballs. They can use the snowballs to build miniature snow animals and tiny snowmen. Your kids might also want to stockpile the snowballs for a friendly snowball fight with mom and dad. Although it is tempting to bundle up and stay inside when the temperature drops, playing in the snow is a great way for your children to flex physical and creative muscles. The hot cocoa will taste that much sweeter when they come inside from their winter adventures. For more outdoor winter activities and for information on the benefits of connecting children with nature, check out these resources: Let’s Go Outside! Outdoor Activities and Projects to Get You and Your Kids Closer to Nature by Jennifer Ward I Love Dirt! 52 Activities to Help You & Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature, by Jennifer Ward It’s a Jungle Out There! 52 Nature Adventures for City Kid’s by Jennifer Ward The Nature Principle, by Richard Louv Children & Nature Network BAYSTATEPARENT 14 15

The Olympic Curling Craze is

Sweeping Up Families by susan smith

Curling, that curiously odd Olympic ice sport that includes frantic sweepers and a slowly sliding rock, is attracting a new generation of athletes. Kids curling clubs are picking up new members across Massachusetts, and families are finding an affordable and strategic pastime for all ages. Played on a long, narrow ice surface, it does not require skates or an abundance of equipment. The only requirements are clean sneakers, a broom, a plastic shoe cover called a slider, and a strategic mind. As my 10-year-old son and curler, Aaron, put it, “This exhiliarating sport is both good for your body and your mind.” A common question from casual spectators is, “What are they doing with the broom?” Well, just like you would sweep at home, they are actually sweeping the ice in front of the stone. Sweeping clears the ice of any debris, allowing the rock to glide on the intended course. Curling ice is pebbled which causes friction. Sweeping helps to smooth the surface, serving to control the trajectory of the rock. It may also warm the ice slightly, creating a thin layer of water which allows the stone to travel further. The team is made up of four players: the skip, lead, second, and vice. The general idea is to get the stone into the “house” (the red and blue target). There are several curling clubs in Massachusetts, including dedicated facilities in Wayland, Cape Cod, and Petersham. The curling season runs from October through April. How can you get started in the sport? Here’s a quick primer.

At what ages do children begin in the sport? Children can begin curling at all ages. Dr. Stacy Potts, a curling enthusiast whose four children all 16 FEBRUARY2014 17

was in 10th grade when I first stepped on to the ice.” Price has two children who are already curling, 6 year-old Ellie and 8 year-old Kailey.  The stones weigh roughly 42 pounds. Price joked, “Yes, heavier than some of our youngest curlers, but because they slide easily on the ice, they are able to throw them.”  

How much does it cost?

Price said that “unlike many other sports, you do not typically sign up for lessons. Instead, you join a club as a junior member and this gives you certain privileges, the main being able to receive instruction. The only other cost would be participating in competitions.” “For Petersham, the cost is only about $40 per child,” said Potts.

Where do I find equipment?

curl, said that her family became interested in curling during the last Olympics, when her youngest was just six. “The local club had an open house and we all went to try it out. It was a lot of fun, so we jumped at the chance to curl more,” she said. “Traveling together to competitions is fun, and watching the kids improve their skills is a blast.” Potts explained, “Morgan, age 12, has the best mind for the strategy. Madison, age 10, seems to have so much fun just getting to know the other kids. Max, age 14, seems to excel at his trick shots, always challenging himself.  Maureen, 16, knows how to bring the team together and make things happen. It is a great experience

to see the kids enjoy themselves, learn, grow, and excel.” Scott Price, Junior Program Coordinator at Broomstones in Wayland and Youth Instructor at The Country Club in Chestnut Hill, said that any time is a great time to start in the sport. “The best part about curling is that you can start at any age and become very good in a relatively short period of time.” Some kids start as young as kindergarten. Price himself didn’t start to curl until later in life. “I first saw curling on TV when I was in second grade. I wanted to try it but there was no place close to me. It was not till I moved to Montreal and saw [that] my high school had a team. I

Most clubs have equipment that junior curlers can borrow. Eventually, kids like to own their own brooms and shoes, which can be bought at clubs and online stores.

What should my child wear? It hovers around 40 degrees on the ice and Price recommends that kids wear loose fitting clothing in layers. So, think athletic pants, a shirt with a sweatshirt, and a coat. Layers are great because you can get hot when sweeping and then cool off again.

What is a curling lesson like?  A Learn to Curl lesson is generally about an hour and typically covers delivery, sweeping, scoring and how to play the game. The lessons are usually taught by members or juniors

who are qualified instructors. Potts said that “learning to curl is different than anything my children have done. It is a fun sport that focuses on teamwork and good sportsmanship. Children get to meet new friends from near and far and learn new skills that they will be able to quickly improve.” Price said, “If your child shows any interest in the sport, get them out on the ice. I have found that either kids love it right away or not. If they show interest in it they will almost always love it, and they will probably stay with it for their whole life.”

What will my child get out of the sport? “There are so many things kids get from curling, I don't know where to start,” said Price. Along with good sportsmanship, social and life skills, and exercise, the one thing that stands out about curling versus other sports is that — in a game — there is no coach telling you what to do. All decisions must be made by the four team members themselves. It’s great to see a sport where coaches and parents are separated from the players by a pane of glass and there is

no communication between them.” Curling can be as social or as competitive as you would like it to be. There are many levels of competitions to suit each player. There are junior matches that are for fun, and there are also one- to three-day long competitions, called bonspiels. More competitive players can play in bonspiels to compete to be the best regional or national team. There is also the Junior Olympics, and older juniors can compete at the Olympics. Potts said that “the bonspiels are mostly fun but can be competitive. Kids learn about winning and losing and how to work hard together for the outcome they want. They learn about setting small goals as well as bigger ones.”

How long until my child can play a game and compete? Price explained that “this really depends on their age and natural ability level. Our younger curlers (ages 7 to 10) typically do not compete until they are strong enough to throw the stone the length of the

ice.” He continued, “As for older kids, as soon as they can slide and get the stone to the other end, they can start competing.”  

What is the atmosphere like at the club? Potts, who got into curling three years ago, said the club environment is fun and sociable. “Curling is a wonderful social outing for couples and even adults have fun learning.” “Curlers are an open and welcoming group. We try to keep

our practices fun while providing quality instruction. We strive to give everyone the opportunity to be the best curler they can and want to be,” Price added. What makes the sport fun for families is that it is inclusive. Price said that since curling is accessible to all ages, you can compete as a family. “Because each team member has a different role, each member of a family can fill a position. It is great to know that as a family you can all work together as a team.”  

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Great Moments... In

February 1980, I was not quite 10-years-old and the oldest of five kids, the youngest of whom was just a couple months old. We spent much of that February vacation shut in and sick, which was probably my mom’s definition of Hell. My memory of this week is not of illness, but what would be the first really vivid sports memory of my life — watching the 1980 Miracle on Ice team win gold in Lake Placid. I can close my eyes and picture me, my brothers, and the older of my sisters lying side-by-side on the pull-out bed in our den, pulling a quilt up to our chins and watching the Olympics. As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned much more about what was going on in the world at that time, and how that victory meant more to the country in that era. To me, I was watching a bunch of guys (many from Massachusetts) beat the odds to defeat the Soviets, the greatest hockey team in the world at the time, then seal the deal against Finland. I still have a framed copy of the following week’s Sports Illustrated. As I type this, the NHL’s annual outdoor Winter Classic is on, my oldest son is playing a game of table hockey with his friend, and college bowl games are in full swing. The NFL

playoffs begin in a few days, and, believe it or not, it’s almost time to hear one of the most magical phrases in the English language: “pitchers and catchers report.” Did I mention this month’s Olympics? People who don’t like sports often watch the Olympics. TV coverage packages the games into a two-week mini-series, adding lengthy backstories and behind-the-scenes coverage that didn’t exist when Mike Eruzione scored in Lake Placid in 1980. We try to limit our kids’ daily “screen time,” but when it comes to the Olympics, that kind of goes out the window. The Olympics has something for everyone. Four years ago, I came home from work one day to learn my kids had done nothing but watch curling all day long. Not just the US team, but games between Denmark and Sweden, for example. I’m pretty sure they had never even heard of curling until that day (and possibly not Denmark and Sweden), but they were hooked for the whole tournament. Sure, NBC’s Olympic coverage isn’t perfect. Way too much figure skating, tape delays, and Bob Costas talking. I’m sure there will be plenty of sugarcoating — 2014 Russia is to

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seen a story about how Hitler loved his dogs. My kids love just about everything about the Olympics. They wouldn’t go to bed until London’s opening

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ympics ceremony ended in 2012. They’re not tennis fans, but no one left the TV during Andy Murray’s match to take home the gold for Great Britain. We were in Canada for the 2012 games, so we got to see a lot more than just US athletes and events, which opened their eyes a little bit. For me, one of the greatest aspects about not only the Olympics, but the sports we like in general, is something more than the games or the teams I root for. We try to eat dinner together as a family as often as possible. Even if someone isn’t eating for some reason, everyone sits at the table. My kids are 14, 12, and 10 now, so conversation can be one-sided. Judging by their answers to my nightly conversationstarters, none of them have done anything or learned anything new at school in about two years. I get it. I’m sure I had quite a few

years when my parents would not have labeled me a chatterbox, and I’m aware that I am not cool enough for my kids to want to converse voluntarily. But sports give us some common ground, and it spans generations. For whatever teenage reason, I didn’t have much to say to my parents about school, my social life, or the latest exploits of Alex P. Keaton. But Jim Rice’s home runs? The latest goalscoring or pugilistic exploits of Cam Neely? Count me in. With sports, we had some common ground. I’m lucky enough to still live and be close with my parents, and have had many memorable times with them that were tied to sports. The Sox game with my grandfather when Dwight Evans hit game-tying and game-winning home runs. The time my parents surprised my sister and me, taking us to our first night game at Fenway. More recently, the Bruins’ Winter Classic and Stanley Cup Finals. Sure, the games were and are central, but they are not the only important thing. The games help give us some time together—time I’m not bothering them about homework or playing too many video games. When I’m coaching baseball or going to any game with my kids, they’re a captive audience. Including the car rides, we’ve got a solid three to five hours together with no TV, no computer, and no iPod. I’m not saying we’re solving the world’s problems or I’m giving them Mike Brady-like zen tips to live by, but we’re at least talking about something. When they’re not paying attention, sometimes they suddenly start talking about other stuff without even realizing it. A conversation about what someone was thinking when he threw a ball to the wrong base turns into something about school. Out of the blue last week, my daughter told me in no uncertain terms that she was not a fan of Johnny Manzeil. That got the ball rolling, and then we started talking about other stuff. Sports aren’t perfect. Some adults take all the fun out of kids’ sports. Steroids, money, and scandal have taken some of the joy out of the games. But they can still give us great moments. Four years ago, we all went to my parents’ house to watch the US-Canada gold medal men’s game. The whole family was there. And just this week, my oldest said to me that he wished that we had videotaped everyone’s delirious reaction in that family room when the US tied the game with 25 seconds remaining. The US lost in overtime, but that’s not what he remembers most.

LA/NY talent agent Greg Brown from BMG will be here on Saturday February 22nd.

He will be in Boston auditioning our kids & teens for possible Agency representation. Find out if you have what it takes to audition for Greg and other great talent agents all year round. We provide the marketing tools, training and guidance you need to succeed. Take the first step and call to set up an audition!

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With this special section, baystateparent magazine is commemorating the Boston Children’s Museum on its 100 year anniversary




baystateparent is collaborating with Boston Children’s Museum to create a new, exciting supplement to our publication, “The Power of Play.” Each month, we include special features,



100 Ways for Children to Play Here are the next 10 in our list:


Pick a scene from a favorite movie and try to act it out together from memory.


Make oobleck out of cornstarch and water and play around with it. Add more cornstarch or more water and see how it is different. Click here for some tips (http://www.beyondthechalkboard. com/activities/oobleck/).


Use books, cardboard boxes, and other stuff in your living room to make a castle.


Make a big spider web out of string and try to untangle it.

5. Make an obstacle course inside or outside with pillows, benches, jump rope, anything you can go over, around and through. 20 FEBRUARY2014 21

content, fun ideas (and even some special offers) from this venerable institution which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

Get Ready for Kindergarten Boston Children’s Museum’s Model Classroom Gets Kids Ready for School


Anything can be a hat. Wear something unexpected on your head.


Try to sing an entire conversation, instead of speaking.


Make some homemade sidewalk chalk paint using cornstarch, food coloring and water. Click here for a recipe ( id/Make-Your-Own-Sidewalk-Chalk/).


Go for a walk and walk each block like a different zoo animal.


Make paddles from wire hangers (to form the frame) and panty hose over that and use them to bat balloons around.

Are you ready for kindergarten? Ride a school bus. Put your belongings in a backpack. Choose an activity that will help you get ready to go to school.  Countdown to Kindergarten at the Boston Children’s Museum is a model classroom that invites children and their parents to have a typical kindergarten experience.  Adults can ask staff “teachers” questions they may have about the kindergarten registration process, child development milestones, and how to help their child be ready for school.   Children can practice important skills like taking turns, making a friend, and sitting in a group circle to read a story.  The classroom includes a math and science area, dramatic play area, reading and writing corner, and creative arts area. Parents will find resources to support many aspects of a child’s development including curiosity, social and emotional maturity, independence skills, and physical health.  Early experiences affect the architecture of the maturing brain. Like building a house, Countdown to Kindergarten provides experiences that establish or refine children’s skills developed in the early years to help them get ready for kindergarten. Visit for more information.

Take a Virtual Tour of the Museum and Plan Your Visit museum-virtual-tour

Building Early Literacy Boston Children’s Museum is a rich environment that helps children practice listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Tell a story. Take part in a play. Toddlers learn to repeat rhyming words as they sing along in Music and Movement class. Museum staff guide young poets as they create haiku in the Japanese House. Read-aloud interactive story times in Countdown to Kindergarten build familiarity with books and early reading skills. KidStage performances help children develop listening skills and learn new vocabulary as they follow the narrative of folk tales such as theTale of the Three Little Pigs, and see familiar characters such as Marc Brown’s D.W. in D.W. Counts Down to Kindergarten. Children are often invited to join the actors on stage and show off their emerging public speaking skills. Writing skills begin long before children spell or compose. Shaping play dough, holding a paintbrush, and scribbling with chalk all help children develop muscles used to write. Museum programs frequently offer families opportunities to write together and share their thoughts with other visitors, add their favorite tradition to our holiday traditions tree, or display a wish for the New Year. Older children can play more independently and create elaborate characters and stories through diverse Museum experiences such as designing a puppet in the Art Studio or taking a role alongside Museum staff running a pretend café. Opportunities for children to develop and practice early literacy skills can be found every day, throughout the Museum.

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Sweet and Simple Marker Mugs

Cupfuls of Creativity! by Paula Monette Ethier and MaryJo Kurtz This month, baystateparent is sharing a delightful craft idea that you can make with your children for any occasion! Consider adding a personal touch to your Valentine’s Day gifts, or create a February school vacation keepsake with friends.

The directions are simple enough for all ages. Younger children will require adult supervision.



Ceramic mugs Permanent markers Damp sponge or cloth Oven

1. Wash and dry your mug. 2. Create your masterpiece on the mug. Tip: If you make a mistake, use the damp sponge or cloth to quickly erase the area. Be sure to dry the spot before you continue.

3. Place finished mug(s) on rack in a cool oven. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Once the oven reaches 350 degrees, bake for 30 more minutes. Turn off oven. Leave mugs in the oven until completely cooled. Note: We recommend hand washing.

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The Language of Loss: Finding Words of Comfort After Miscarriage by amanda roberge

26 FEBRUARY2014 27


uring a grief workshop held at her home, where 16 women gathered from all over the world to mourn the loss of their babies, Braintree-based Certified Professional Midwife Nancy Wainer covered one wall with a blank white piece of paper. As it turns out, the women had no problem (and wasted no time) filling that wall with handwritten phrases – things they had heard from well-meaning family members and friends – that they never wanted to hear again. Not surprisingly, some of those words hurt worse than the loss itself. “At least you already have a child.” “It’s for the best. It was God’s plan.” “She is in a better place.” “You can still have another baby.” For Wainer, who is in her 19th year of midwifery, helping women to cope, process and heal is the ultimate expression of her soul — but it’s no easy task. And especially not when the medical profession still refers to these lost babies as “the contents of the uterus.” For women who have lost so much, the notion that their baby existed and mattered to the world is often not validated in ways that help them to heal, she said. Her workshops allow women to name their babies, connect with them, share the dreams and hopes for the child they never got the chance to mother. Most importantly, they allow them to soak in the support, empathy and understanding of other women until the wounds are a little less raw. For Wainer, it requires four intensive days of focused work because, she said, “One is grieving for something one never really had... the loss of a future, the loss of a dream.” But the question becomes, for those who are unable to attend a workshop: What can we do in our own communities to help women heal from the loss associated with miscarriage and stillbirth? The answer may not be such a mystery. “If you do something — anything — out of love, that intention will be felt,” said Maura Spignesi, who experienced the loss of a baby in late 2011. Within months of that loss, she founded, a website dedicated to compiling and sharing resources for women as they cope with miscarriage, stillbirth and unexpected pregnancy outcomes, with a special focus on helping women to remember and commemorate their lost babies’ lives. More specifically, she added, women who have experienced a loss of this magnitude have a deep appreciation for the people in their lives who acknowledge that baby — either with an open heart in the months that follow the loss, or with a heartfelt note at important times like holidays or that baby’s “due date” or the date the baby was lost. Our culture, though making a divine shift toward a more open style of grieving, she said, still holds some amount of shame and taboo around the idea of mourning a baby that was never born in a traditional way. “Those little acknowledgements can mean the world to someone who is suffering and feels like

they are all alone in having loved that baby,” said Carol McMurrich, the founder of Empty Arms Bereavement Support based in Western Massachusetts. When McMurrich and her husband experienced the loss of their daughter at birth due to a cord accident, the grief was profound. “It was a tragedy,” she said. “I needed people to tell me, ‘This isn’t going to kill you.’” In her work with other women grieving losses of their own, she knows firsthand the things that people say with the best of intentions. Her message to the world is that a little bit of kindness and sensitivity will go a long way. Offering to listen, asking if the woman wants to talk, dropping off a hot meal and a box of tissues – these are all healthy ways for people to help a woman cope with loss. But what most women agree upon is that even worse than the well-meaning but hurtful comments is ignoring the situation altogether. For women who are traumatized by their own loss, having someone act as though nothing has happened can be more upsetting than someone saying the wrong thing with the best of intentions. “We don’t really know what we are supposed to do when a baby dies,” she explained, adding that some people might feel as though bringing up the lost baby will be painful for the woman so they refrain from extending their regrets or offering to listen. “When you don’t do anything at all, it is like not acknowledging and validating that this woman is hurting, like she is alone in dealing with her pain.” Lisa Church, who authored Hope is Like the Sun: Finding Hope and Healing after a Miscarriage, Stillbirth or Infant Death, agrees. “Even if you say little, say something,” she said. According to licensed social worker Mara AcelGreen, who works extensively with postpartum women and is also the board president for Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies, there might be a good reason for people not knowing what to say – and the solution is for everyone to reframe how we talk about loss. Acel-Green said that one of the reasons people are prone to saying the wrong thing is that the language of miscarriage and loss points to flaws in a woman’s body — “I miscarried” rather than “the fetus/baby died,” for example. This can lead to women being inauthentic when they talk about their loss, as though their own bodies are to blame. This, she explained, hides the feelings of failure and responsibility behind a veil of indifference or false bravado. “I have seen women mention a miscarriage in passing to a group and not really allow themselves to be vulnerable and authentic about the pain they went through in the context of that experience,” she said. “So other people respond in a way that is equally topical, and they are just responding to the woman’s cues.” According to Church, having the opportunity to reach out in a virtual way has proven to be very helpful for a population of women who are not likely to attend support groups or discuss their loss with the people in their lives face-to-face. Through online communication, she said, she finds that women who are less outgoing and more guarded can start to find healing on their

own terms. “People just don’t talk about this kind of loss, on both sides,” she said. “They don’t know what to say, and they are afraid to say the wrong thing, so they say nothing.” All of the women mentioned in this story strongly encourage women who have suffered a loss to reach out in any way possible. Whether finding a therapist, joining a support group, or reading a book or blog, they will find that when they start to share their stories, inevitably others will open up. Church found that after sharing her loss with her close friends, four of them had experienced miscarriages, too. “There are friends I’d had for years and I never knew,” she said. “It’s just not something people talk about, but we need to work on that.” For more information about miscarriage support: Nancy Wainer, Lisa Church, Maura Spignesi, Carol McMurrich, Mara Acel-Green,

Moms Share On our Facebook page, we asked you the best advice you had to support a woman who suffered a miscarriage. Your comments and emails were filled with heartfelt suggestions. Here are just a few of the stories you shared.

From our email: Dear baystateparent, When I miscarried in August of 2008, I was devastated. I was 33 and feeling behind on the “starting the family” thing, since my younger sister already had two children and my youngest brother had two. I had known that I wanted a baby probably since I was 12, but wanted it to be the right time and with the right person, hence the waiting. I had just told everyone that I was pregnant. I was 8 weeks along, early, but I was so excited I couldn’t keep it in. We literally told our parents the day before things started heading south. Anyway, what I found amazing was all the women who came out of the woodwork to tell me about their own miscarriages. I had no idea it happened so often to women with their first pregnancy. It was like some secret underground society. It didn’t take away the complete and utter feeling of loss and mourning, but knowing how often this happens made me feel less like it was my own fault, you know? Less like there was something wrong with me. And my husband was amazing through it all. He just held me when I wanted to be held. And my friends let me know that if I wanted to talk they would be there. We waited the requisite 8 weeks to try again, and 4 weeks after that we conceived our little girl, who is now 4. Tamisha Thompson, Worcester, MA.

Dear baystateparent, I experienced 3 miscarriages/losses during the year of 2003. My first loss was at 21 weeks and was the most difficult and traumatic, but they were all heartbreaking. The following two were all early, within the 1st trimester — 7 weeks and 8/9 weeks. I am happy to say that I am now a mom to two beautiful girls, ages 9 and 4. While the experience that my husband and I went through was a while ago, it definitely still shapes how I view motherhood, and how I relate to and connect with friends who experience losses or fertility issues. As you can imagine, particularly with the first loss, my friends and family were extremely eager to comfort my husband and me. Here is what I found most helpful and also what was not at all helpful (for me...I do think that people experience pain and loss in so many ways so what works for one person may not for others, and vice versa). Not Helpful: • I think people (and I’ve been guilty of this too!) feel like they NEED to say something, and often this is what is the least helpful. • It was “meant to be” (particularly when my first daughter was finally born – while I was extremely grateful and thrilled to have her, the losses were still painful. Statements like this, although well-meaning, make you feel like your loss is somehow less important now that you have a child). • “You’re still young enough to try again” • “It’s so common now” Helpful: • Having friends who would just sit with us/be with my husband and me and do ‘normal’ things. I vividly remember my mother-in-law just coming to our apartment to be with us. Her presence was comforting. We didn’t even have to talk much. • Online support groups. This was a great outlet because you could be candid without worrying about offending anyone. • One friend in a conversation said “be gentle with yourself.” For some reason, this was SO comforting to me. It was like she was giving me permission (and I was finally giving it to myself) to take it easy and be sad. I actually use this advice a lot if I’m going through a tough time or if a friend/family member is. I still find it extremely comforting. • Give them music. My father-in-law – I think he just didn’t know what else to do – gave me a CD when we were at their house one night just because I mentioned I liked it. It was a Norah Jones CD and I listened and listened to it. I felt comforted by the fact that I knew he was trying to help in his own way. • Silence. Just sit with the person experiencing this. Be there, let them guide where the conversation goes. Hold their hand. Just being a presence is comforting, I found. • Don’t ignore the elephant in the room. Often, when this happens, it seems like everyone else in the world is either having healthy babies or pregnant. I politely declined a few baby shower invitations and that was okay. When I found myself with lots of babies around, if it was hard, I would leave the room for a bit. I found those situations most “survivable” when a friend would approach me at some point (either afterwards or even in the midst) and just say, “This must be hard” or “How are you feeling?” If I didn’t feel like talking about it, I wouldn’t, but it always felt

better to have the situation acknowledged. There is nothing worse than feeling like people don’t know what to say to you. Hope this is helpful. Meredith Kent, Northborough, MA Dear baystateparent, I had my miscarriage in August of 2009. I found out I was pregnant in late June. I was about 4 1/2 weeks along. At 6 weeks, I started spotting and found out I was rh- and needed the rhogam shot. They gave me an internal ultrasound and found a nice healthy heartbeat. I saw my baby’s heartbeat. I heard the heart of the beautiful miracle growing inside me. At 11 weeks, they gave me an ultrasound and there was no heartbeat. Not only was there no heartbeat, but according to the ultrasound the baby had died at 8 weeks gestation. I kept blaming myself thinking, “What did I do wrong? What could I have done differently? Why did God do this to me?” Honestly, nothing anybody told me provided me comfort. Nothing anybody said helped just for the simple fact I didn’t want to hear it. I didn’t want the sympathy. It just made it hurt more. I guess that was just my way of mourning. But one thing that did help was knowing that I was not alone and there were others out there who understood my pain. So this is why I share my story because life goes on and it gets easier over time. The pain never goes away, it just eases. Until this day, certain things I see or even certain songs I hear make me break down and cry. And it’s ok because life goes on. And when all is said and done, it has made me a stronger person and helped me appreciate even more and gave me a stronger love for my now 1 1/2-year-old son. It has taken me a long time to get to the point to talk of the miscarriage I had without bawling my eyes out, but I will never forget. And although I wasn’t far along enough to find out the gender, I still got a memoriam tattoo above my left breast close to my heart of a fetus with wings and the date of the actual passing of the baby. Every time I look at it, I smile and say, “Mommy has never forgotten about you and never will.” Angela Hernandez, Worcester

From our Facebook page: “I lost a baby at 13 weeks and I didn’t like when people brushed it off, told me to think of people worse off or that it was ‘meant to be.’ I did appreciate the acknowledgement of it. One friend gave me a gift of earrings and others sent flowers and cards. Just let them be sad and don’t try to talk them out of their feelings.” Tiffany “Hearing from people that had also gone through it helped me the most. People reached out to me that I didn’t know had also experienced it. Just general sympathy was nice. It’s a loss of life and a little piece of you goes with it.” Nichole “I agree with Tiffany. [It] hurt when others ignored it or brushed it off. Just be there if they want to talk, hug and maybe a little gift or make them a meal or dessert. Let them grieve.” Shari-Lynn BAYSTATEPARENT 26 27

TAKE CARE 29 30 32 34 36


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WHAT MOVES YOU: BodyWorlds Vital Gets Under the Skin by maryjo kurtz

It was a cold Sunday morning, and my family was prepping to head into Boston to see the BodyWorlds Vital exhibit at Quincy Market. I was especially excited to take my 13-year-old son, Joey, because I remembered how fascinated his older brother was to see the exhibit several years ago. “Um, no. I wasn’t,” Sam said. “To be honest, I found the whole thing a little creepy.” Joey and I both stopped our bustle and looked at Sam. I was surprised; Joey was now a little concerned about the exhibit. “It was interesting, but it was also disturbing to think those were real bodies,” Sam added. He said he would not be joining us, but he told his brother to have fun. “Mom, is this gonna make me sick?” Joey asked as we were climbing the steps in Quincy Market to get to the second floor exhibition hall. “You will be fine,” I assured him. “It is really pretty cool to see how the body works. Especially with real bodies.” We creeped slowly into the dark entranceway of the museum. The BodyWorlds Vital exhibit features authentic human donor bodies that are preserved through plastination, a preservation process invented by German anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens. Von Hagens created his series of BodyWorlds exhibits to visually narrate neuroscience, cardiology, longevity, and aging. The figures tell the story of the human body in health, distress, and disease. More than 200 specimens and 15 whole bodies are on display. Among my favorites is a plasticized blood vessel portrait showing intricate capillaries. There are so many capillaries in a body that, singled out, they create a human form. One of the first bodies we came upon showed a baseball player swinging his bat. Joey is an avid player and fan, and he slowly studied the anatomy in detail. With skin removed, each muscle and bone was positioned to show the power of swinging a bat. Together, we noted how the internal organs were spread or compressed with the swinging motion. We spoke of and pointed to the specific muscles needed to add power to a swing. And we marveled that the body’s eyelashes were still in place. “I feel a little queasy,” Joey quietly moaned. I gave him a quick hug and asked if he wanted to continue.

On Display Through February BodyWorlds is the culmination of Dr. Gunther von Hagen’s nearly four decades studying anatomy. More than 40 million people around the world have experienced the displays, 14 million in the US. The exhibits rely on an established body donation program, and more than 13,000 people have

He suddenly forgot his onset of nausea when he noticed a display of lungs, both healthy and diseased. “That one’s from a smoker,” he said, pointing to the blackened lung. It started a discussion about how our behavior affects the body. He quickly moved to other display cases. In the span of about an hour, we studied the affects of obesity on the spine, noted how much a brain looks like cauliflower, and loved that the museum curators put a Bruins jersey on one of the bodies. The interactive displays included a photographic gallery of real families from different countries. In each picture, the family posed with all of the food that they eat in a typical week, including a tally of the week’s grocery bill. The diets varied by culture. Some included a healthy fare of fruits and vegetables, others were notably full of sodas and snacks. We started thinking on how much food our family consumes in a week. And what it costs. As we neared the end of the exhibit, Joey spotted a blood pressure machine. By now, he was thinking about his exercise, his diet, and how blood flowed to and from his heart. We each took note of our numbers and then studied a nearby display that explained the difference between the top and bottom numbers of a blood pressure reading. “Thank you,” Joey said, as we left the exhibit. “It wasn’t so bad. After a while, you don’t even realize they’re dead.” Since our visit, Joey’s seventh grade science class has been studying biology. This week, he told me about the massive variety of cold viruses, what cells look like under a microscope, and why he needs to wash his hands. He asked about the health of his snacks and wondered about his growing pains. I cannot say that the BodyWorlds exhibit is the reason that he has a new interest in his body and how it works, but it definitely started the conversation and certainly helped him to visualize the things he is studying in biology. In my opinion, this exhibit is suitable for ages 12 and up. The subject matter will likely be lost on younger children.

bequeathed their bodies to von Hagen’s Institute of Plastination in Heidelberg, Germany. The display is currently scheduled to run at Quincy Market through April 3. Hours: Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or online at Prices start at $15.50.

Acrobatic Couple with lifted Woman Copyright: Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS, Institute for Plastination, Heidelberg, Germany,


What Makes Joey Tic TAKECARE

by maryjo kurtz

photo by steven king


was bedtime for Joey, my first-grader. I snuggled under the blankets with him to read a book, as I had done most nights. But this time, I was a little bit nervous. “I have a new book tonight,” I whispered. As I started to read the story of a young boy named Nathan, I noticed that Joey was unusually quiet. He was studying the pictures and listening closely to what I was reading. The book was about a young boy with Tourette’s Syndrome. His tics confuse his friends. Sometimes he can’t stop winking. Sometimes he sniffs repeatedly. Sometimes he flaps his arms. Joey’s eyes grew wide. “That’s what I do!” he said excitedly. I smiled and continued reading. Nathan would go on to talk about 30 FEBRUARY2014 31

his Tourette’s Syndrome and how it made him feel. “Do I have Tourette’s Syndrome?” Joey asked. “I don’t know, honey. The doctor doesn’t know, either,” I explained. “But the important thing to know is that you are not alone. A lot of children have tics.” As I walked out of his room that night, I turned out the light and looked back at him, all snugged in his bed for sleep. He was smiling at me. The peace of this moment was a long time coming. The tics, which had been increasing for a couple of years, made us anxious. They were just another in a long list of peculiar and intense symptoms that he experienced from birth. And I was on a hunt to figure out the cause.

From birth, Joey was agitated. He screamed himself to sleep each night. He did not enjoy being held or comforted. At times, touching him made his episodes worse. When exams showed nothing abnormal, the pediatrician suggested colic. I tried to convince myself that it was just a very strong case of colic, though it became difficult to believe that as my baby started to grow. By the time Joey was a year old, bedtime was a painful routine of putting him in the crib and hearing him scream for over an hour. I would sit on the top step of the house, crying in unison, wishing I had answers for what sounded to me like fearful pleas for help. His language skills were delayed. At 18-month-old, he had no words. We had his hearing tested, but the results

showed no loss. At the suggestion of a neighbor, I had Joey tested through the Massachusetts Early Intervention program. The results showed he was physically and intellectually advanced, but his verbal abilities lagged. As part of the Early Intervention program, a language therapist visited our house each week, trying to get Joey to speak. While he enjoyed her activities and games, he would often break into his screams of frustration. I recall a session that brought me to tears because I couldn’t calm him, and the therapist was at a loss on how to help. To help him communicate, we taught him elementary sign language. A few simple motions helped him to say thank you or tell us he was hungry. Slowly, he developed words. By the time he was three, he had tested out of Early Intervention and started preschool. His screaming episodes, while still intense, were being replaced by unusually repeated physical behaviors. The most common was a jerking motion in his legs. It resembled a skip, and it was involuntary. As kindergarten rolled around, a new twitch developed in his arms. He would grab at his elbows in an attempt to keep his arms in place. Frequent online research pointed me to Tourette’s disorder. I learned that tics sometimes begin as early as twoyears-old and often progress as the child goes through his teens. I asked our pediatrician if it was possible Joey had Tourette’s Syndrome. “Possibly,” he answered. “Let’s keep an eye on this and see if it progresses. If you begin to hear a grunting tic, then we are probably heading in that direction.” The tics became more frequent throughout kindergarten and first grade. I started asking friends about Tourette’s and learned that two teachers in Joey’s elementary school had daughters with the disorder. I called both women to ask for more information. One of the teachers was very comforting, sharing her story and telling me what to expect with a diagnosis of Tourette’s. The other teacher took time out of her schedule to sit in on Joey’s classes and observe him. She called me one evening to tell me her thoughts. Her words were unexpected. “Mrs. Kurtz, Joey does not have Tourette’s. I am not sure what is causing him to tic, but this is not Tourette’s,” she said. Among her questions to me was one about

allergies. She sounded as though she were going through a list of standardized questions, so the idea of allergy testing did not register with me — until a Little League baseball game the following night. Watching Joey play baseball has always been a joy. Not just for my husband and me but for anyone who understands the game. Joey is at peace on a ball field, watching and strategizing each play, cheering for his team. During Little League games, his tics were often minimal — usually just the familiar skip in his step. But on this particular night, a new symptom appeared. The repeated grunt that our pediatrician predicted. At first, it sounded like a cough. But it was a little louder and it repeated every few minutes. I leaned over to my husband and whispered, “I think that’s what the doctor was talking about.” As the game progressed, so did Joey’s coughing grunt. It was frequent enough to get the attention of those sitting in the stands. A few moms asked me if Joey was catching a cold. A few more just turned to look at me, as if to break the news to me that my son was making a loud barking noise. The evening felt very long. It was very hard to watch him, knowing he was unable to control the noise he was making. Knowing that people were starting to question what was happening. My maternal urge was to pull him off the field and get him to a doctor immediately. But I had researched enough to know that there were no miracle cures waiting for Joey. This was just another hurdle in our journey to understand his mysterious symptoms. While I was consumed in thought about what this coughing grunt would mean to my son and our family, the woman sitting to my right was studying my son. After a few innings of listening to him, she leaned over to me and said, “Have you ever had him tested for food allergies?” Allergies. The teacher at Joey’s school put that possibility before me just a day earlier. I explained that Joey had a lifetime of symptoms and this might be the grunt that our pediatrician mentioned. “It could be something else, but food is powerful,” she said. “My children have a number of allergies. I think it might help to have him tested.” As soon as we got home from the game, I emailed a friend of mine in Wellesley who has three boys

with food allergies. She is a doctor at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, so I hoped she would be able to suggest a course of action for me to take. By the following morning, my friend gave me the name of a pediatric allergist and told me what to expect from the testing. Before the week was out, Joey and I were in the allergist’s office. There are different ways to test a child for allergies. In Joey’s case, the doctor performed a series of skin pricks on his back, about two dozen of them. Each prick contains a small amount of a suspected allergen. The doctor then looks for a reaction on the skin. Joey sat on my lap, straddling me with his bare back to the doctor. The good thing about this position was that it gave me an opportunity to hug him while he was being tested. The bad thing was that I could see his back clearly, and I was witnessing a burst of color develop from the prick sites. “Joey is allergic to tree nuts, pitted fruits, and sesame seeds,” she explained. “He also tested positive for feathers, dust, and cats.” I asked if this could explain his life of agitation or the tics. She paused and thought on it. “Well, it’s possible. Let’s set up a threemonth appointment to see if you note any changes in his behavior by eliminating these allergens.” To be honest, I was a bit disappointed to have to wait three months, though I had minimal expectations that he might see some kind of relief by then. When we got home, I went through the kitchen cupboards to isolate the foods that affected Joey. That turned out to be almost everything in his diet. He loved peaches and cherries (pitted fruits), Chinese food (sesame oil), and pistachios (tree nuts). Our sandwich rolls and bread had sesame seeds; the morning granola had tree nuts. I commonly add almonds to the green beans I made for dinner. As I became aware of the many foods that were possibly hurting him, I thought about a cherished photo I have of the first time he tasted baby food. It was a little jar of peaches. And he loved them. I bought them all the time. Oh, my God, I thought, I’ve been poisoning him! It took most of the afternoon to clear out the kitchen and fill it with new diet staples. By evening, the down comforters had been removed from the house and the sheets had been washed. Now, it was time to hurry up and wait. Three months

seemed like a long time. Though he still had that continual coughing grunt, Joey went to bed that night a happy boy. He understood the changes he had to make, and he seemed to relish the challenge. What happened next was completely unexpected. Joey came down to breakfast the next morning and something was different. As I prepped the bowl of Cheerios, I noticed the room was very quiet. There was no cough. I think I might have asked about his school day, but I don’t really remember. It would not matter if I did because I was completely focused on his body. There were no tics. My brain was racing. This seemed too soon. It had only been 12 hours. The doctor said three months. I was pretty sure my imagination was in dream mode. My day was spent buying foods that he could eat, laundering all of his clothes, and waiting — impatiently — for him to get home from school. I didn’t want to bring attention to the tics, but I had to know. “Honey, how was your cough today?” “I don’t think I coughed at all today.” “Wow. That’s great. Um, what about your tics? Were they bothering you at all?” Joey smiled. “I don’t think I ticked today, Mom.” He didn’t tic that day. He didn’t cough that day. And three months after that day, I felt like I was sharing a miracle with his allergist. She listened happily as I tearfully told her that Joey’s seven-year struggle had come to an end. And then she echoed the words of the woman at the Little League game, “Food is powerful.” I was packing up old children’s books for donation last week and came across I Can’t Stop: A Story About Tourette’s Syndrome, by Holly Niner. There was Nathan on the cover. I wondered if Joey, now a healthy 13-year-old, would remember this book. I smiled thinking about how happy it made him to learn that other kids had tics, too. As I tucked the book into the donation box, I mentally relived those difficult early years. Funny, I thought, this same book that brought Joey comfort all those years ago was now bringing the same to me. It was a reminder of how far removed we are from those early years of worry and anxiety. It represents an important chapter for me in my journey to find out what makes Joey tic.

"By the time

Joey was a year old, bedtime was a painful routine of putting him in the crib and hearing him scream for over an hour. I would sit on the top step of the house, crying in unison, wishing I had answers for what sounded to me like fearful pleas for help." BAYSTATEPARENT 30 31



The Right Weigh by amanda roberge

“I have three pre-adolescent daughters and what I need is not to lose weight but to find a way to help the next generation of women accept themselves as the perfect beings they are.”

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I need to lose 20 pounds. Well, okay, in fairness, I don’t need to lose 20 pounds. I want to lose 20 pounds. I could stand to lose 20 pounds. I would look substantially cuter in my clothes if I lost 20 pounds. But I ran a 10k last year in 1:12:45. I have applied to several nutritional studies at the local hospital and have been rejected systematically — my stats are already perfect. I eat more vegetables at one meal than most people eat in the course of a week. I kick and pump and attack and groove at the gym. I hike and snow shoe and swim and power walk with friends every chance I get. My husband thinks I am quite the cat’s meow, extra curves and all. So why exactly do I feel like I need to lose 20 pounds? I don’t know. I just do. I should weigh what that little chart thingy says I should weigh, right? Or maybe, as a woman, I am supposed to be obsessed with losing 20 pounds. I fit in with my peers when I openly express my displeasure with my form. Aren’t we all bonding over chasing the dream of being that elusive and perfect size 6? (I was a size 6 in 7th grade). Isn’t this the script we’ve all been running for most of our adult lives? I am sick of it. I am sick of trying every diet, mustering up the enthusiasm for every new exercise trend and letting my scale determine whether I get to feel sassy all day or enter into a shame spiral of self-loathing. I am exhausted by my own desire to shrink a size or two. It’s beginning to feel a bit pathological. Here’s a script-busting revelation: I have three pre-adolescent daughters and what I need is not to lose weight but to find a way to help the next generation of women accept themselves as the perfect beings they are. To measure their worth not by the number on the scale but by the number of smiles they inspire in others. By how often they laugh. By the number of devoted friendships they can sustain, by how many random acts of kindness they execute in a given month, by their ability to sleep at night, warm and secure in the

knowledge that they are a gift to this world. I’m sick of qualifying worth any other way – especially by what that little crap piece of machinery says. My scale now resides in the dusty corner of a closet. Thankfully, I am in good company. Women are rising up – an alarmingly awesome army of acceptance – to help the cause. It’s time to get a grip. There is no question that the weight loss industry is big business. According to, between workout DVDs, weight loss books, supplements and increasingly popular weight loss surgeries, weight loss — all told — is a $20 billion American industry. The research indicates that there are 108 million people on a diet in the United States at any given moment, with a vast majority — approximately 85% of them — female. Clearly, there is much to be lost if the average woman changes her mindset concerning her self-image and accepts herself as she is. The shift into self-acceptance would not be well-received by those who stand to gain financially from perpetuating the myth that it is all beyond your individual control. But for some of my mentors, including Kathy Elkind of Elkind Nourishment in Harvard, the power for positive change is best accessed internally. “This dieting thing isn’t working,” she said, drawing upon her education and training as an Eating Psychology Coach, having been certified through the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. “We’ve proven that over the last 40 years, and maybe now it’s time to try changing the collective consciousness instead.” As an aside, statistics show that dieters are more than likely to gain back the weight they lost — and often a few pounds more — within two years of their “successful” diet. So perhaps Elkind is onto something. That shift, she added, involves empowering women to access their inner wisdom and intuitiveness to guide their lifestyle so that

they can behave in ways that support their goals. This is very different, she said, than dieting. Holistic Health Coach Liz Murray, who studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, works one-onone with women, mostly through phone conversations, and also lectures on “Ditching the Diet Mentality.” Murray suggests waking each day and asking yourself, “How do I want to feel today?” If the answer is “energized and beautiful,” it would naturally follow that those feelings will not be found on the couch with a bag of Cheetos tuned into an 11hour Roseanne marathon on the Lifetime channel. It is a way, she said, of working backwards from your goals and your image of yourself, into action and lifestyle. But it isn’t a diet. After all, there is concrete evidence that diets don’t work. UCLA researchers report in the April issue of American Psychologist, the journal of the American Psychological Association, that “several studies indicate that dieting is actually a consistent predictor of future weight gain.” The report revealed that both men and women who participated in formal weight-loss programs gained

significantly more weight over a twoyear period than those who had not participated in a weight-loss program. All of this evidence really just states the obvious — that struggling with one’s weight is part of the human condition and we need to stop making it a crime to ebb and flow. For this new shift in thinking,

the eight limbs of yoga, which takes the spiritual practice of yoga to a level beyond the physical, she healed herself from an early battle with bulimia and has transcendent views about the body’s amazing beauty and the roots of self-doubt that, for many of us, lie deep in the sub-conscious. “We grow up as children learning to

women are going to have to be a little gentler with themselves and remove the shame and stigma from doing something so very human: eating. women are going to have to be a little gentler with themselves and remove the shame and stigma from doing something so very human: eating. Erin LoPorto is a yoga teacher in Acton who uses her spiritual practice to provide therapy to others, particularly where eating disorders — overeating among them — are concerned. Through her thorough study of

listen to these external cues, and what I am learning is that those thoughts have confined us in some way by moving us outside that connection of body, mind and spirit,” she said. The key that will unlock the selfacceptance door, said LoPorto, has everything to do with finding those physical activities that feed your soul and making them a part of your daily life, with no regard for the number of

the scale. It’s a tidbit espoused by all three of these wise women — though it isn’t easy when inundated with images of “skinny” women defining our collective image of beauty. “There needs to be a revolution,” said Elkind. “We have to really unite ourselves and stand up to this.”

So maybe I don’t need to lose 20 pounds, but maybe it is too late for me to stop wanting it. That drive to become “skinny” has defined me for most of my adult life and the path toward shifting my thinking is marathon-long. But here’s the thing – I have three little girls looking to me to guide them, and it’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly. For my daughters, I will keep trudging along, seeking the wisdom of my beautiful elders and trying — always trying — to look in the mirror and love what I see. All this time, I thought my fear was that I will always want to lose 20 pounds, that I will never achieve this goal and that I will fail. That fear of failure, I figured, is holding me back. After digging a little bit deeper, it turns out that my biggest fear is getting to the end my life, in looking It’sofwinter New Englan back and realizing I was perfect the let us help you learn to entire time. Just the way I was.

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From Pyramid to Paradigm: TAKECARE

7 Steps to Better Family Food Choices by trish reske


ost of us grew up with the USDA’s food pyramid: a visual manmade wonder to guide us toward making healthy food choices. We were taught we could obtain the pinnacle of health by eating just the right number of servings from various food groups, without more than a nod towards the shape-shifting nature of the pyramid’s groups over the years, or the source of our food itself. Parenting brings with it a whole new dimension to how we view food: we try to make wise food choices not only for our own health but also for the health of our children. Is baby formula an adequate substitute for breast milk? Should moms choose Gerber sweet potatoes over home-pureed carrots? As our kids grow, the control we have over their food choices shrinks. Suddenly, we are scanning school cafeteria menus instead of recipes in Baby Love. Our kids are growing up, foraging for favorite foods of their own, likely influenced not by the appeal of the food itself as much


Take Stock of Yourself and Your Shelves

Kids — young children especially — love to imitate their parents. It’s no different with the food they see you eat. If you want your kids to make healthy food choices, you have to make good choices for yourself. Take stock of your pantry shelves and your personal food choices. Are you serving yogurt to your kids and hiding the Hagen Das for yourself? Are there low fat alternatives in your pantry like pretzels to high fat fare like chips? While there’s plenty of room to enjoy not-sohealthy food now and then, change toward stocking up and eating real food should be the norm, not the exception in your home.

34 FEBRUARY2014 35


as the pull of marketing, the convenience of a coin-operated machine, the draw of a fast sugary fix during a tough middle school day. What ever happened to food as our grandparents knew it? And can we help our kids rediscover — or discover for the first time — the source, taste, satisfaction and necessity of real food? These basic questions are growing in importance as our children grow up in an age where even the basic “healthy” grocery produce is genetically altered, pre-picked, re-packaged, and costs more than a bag of Doritos or a liter of Coke. With US childhood obesity rates more than tripling in the last 30 years, and 20% of all children ages 6 to 19 either overweight or obese, the answers to these questions have become imperative for parents of kids at any age. Here are seven small steps you can take to help your kids learn more about the sources, variety, adventure and enjoyment of growing, buying, preparing and eating real food, whether they are a toddler or a teenager:

Get Dirty with a Home Garden You don’t need to dig deep to reap the benefits of planting food from seed with your child and watching it grow into delicious produce. Start small: grow peppers instead of potatoes; cherry instead of beefsteak tomatoes. Plant some blueberry bushes or a strawberry patch in your backyard. In the winter, place potted herbs like rosemary, sage or cilantro near your stove, and have your kids snip some fresh flavor to add to a dish. Kids take pride in the food they grow and are more likely to explore new foods from a plant they’ve nurtured and cared for.

3 Join a CSA or Frequent a Farmer’s Market

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms are plentiful in Massachusetts, with over 160 listed on the website. When you join a CSA, you pay for a weekly or bi-weekly share of fresh, locally grown food in season, which can include vegetables, flowers, fruit, and sometimes even meat. Most CSAs also encourage members to pitch in with planting, weeding, harvesting and other farm chores. Some even have children’s gardens and programs. Being part of a local CSA is a great way to support local farming while exposing your child first-hand to farming. Don’t have a CSA near you? Consider buying local produce through one of many farmer’s markets that are cropping up in Massachusetts. Farmer’s markets usually have freshbaked goods, local cheeses, jams and other made-from-scratch goodies that taste delicious.


Create Kitchen Cooking Adventures According to author and food journalist Sarah Elton, kids learn most about food by cooking and exploring with different tastes in their own kitchen. Her vision is for kids to discover that simple home cooking is fun, exciting and empowering. In her new book, Starting From Scratch, Eaton helps kids learn about food sources, cultural variety, the science behind cooking, and more. One way you can encourage cooking creativity is to choose some of your child’s favorite foods, then host a taste test by combining different ingredients together. Or, make some simple foods from scratch like pasta sauce or granola. Your kids will discover that foods made from scratch can taste way better than supermarket alternatives.



Look at Labels

Whether you take your child grocery shopping, buy a Kid’s Meal at McDonald’s, or simply pull some cans down from the pantry shelf, show your child how to read nutritional labels, and explain why it is important to know what’s in the food they eat. Children and (sometimes) adults will be surprised to learn how many processed foods have high amounts of sugar and salt added to them, from barbecue sauce to tomato soup. Helping kids identify sugars, salt and fat in their food on their own will make them more aware of the real nutritional value of what they’re eating.


Tune out TV Advertising

If your children routinely watch commercial television programming, watch out: Researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation found that of all children’s food commercials aired, 40% advertise candy, snacks and fast food. Another 30% are cereal commercials. Ads for fresh fruit, vegetables and poultry are non-existent. Children under age eight see only one fitness or nutrition-related ad for every 26 food ads. Consider television viewing alternatives like public TV, streaming shows without advertising, or better yet, watch some cooking shows with your kids — you both may learn something new about food and food preparation.

Feed a Child or Family in Need

Even young children can understand that not every child has access to food — a basic necessity for life. Open your child’s eyes to see food as much more than something that tastes yummy or yucky. According to the humanitarian aid group World Vision, $50 can provide $300 of food — enough to feed seven families of six for one month. Organizations such as Feed the Children, Compassion International, and UNICEF provide food and other essentials to hungry children around the world. Consider how you can get your children involved: for example, host a make yourown pizza night rather then have pizza delivered, then use the savings to help save other children’s lives. The food pyramid is helpful, but what’s really needed to change our children’s current and future relationship to food is a new food paradigm. These seven steps are small, but can make significant inroads toward creating a healthy generation of kids who care about the food they eat.

Next Steps

What tips do you have to help your children make healthy eating decisions? Share them with us on Facebook or by email at We will feature three top submissions in baystateparent, and those three contributors will each receive a free copy of Sara Elton’s new book, Starting From Scratch, to be released in March 2014.

We’re So Fresh! Share In the Harvest Bounty Sign up NOW for C.S.A. (Community Supported Agriculture) June 3rd through October 16th (20 Weeks) • Meet the Farmer • See What’s Growing • Table-Ready Produce • Fresh & Ready to Eat 41 Tuttle Road, Sterling 978-422-7530 Find us on Facebook

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Thyroid Issues May Be Wearing You Down by sue lebreton

Rare is the parent who hasn’t felt tired, but could it be something more? If you feel you have lost your zip, you might have a problem with your thyroid. Many thyroid conditions, such as postpartum thyroiditis, strike parents and often go undiagnosed. If you feel you might have a thyroid problem, it may be time to see a doctor. The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of your neck. Despite its small size, this gland packs a punch. It influences all aspects of wellbeing, growth, and metabolism. It affects the functioning of organs such as the heart, liver, brain, kidneys, and skin. Problems with the thyroid are usually hypothyroidism (when it produces insufficient hormone) and hyperthyroidism (when it produces too much hormone). If you suspect you have a thyroid condition, be prepared for a potentially long road to diagnosis. Symptoms can be vague. Results from initial Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) blood testing may place you in the huge “normal” range, despite your symptoms and a valid condition. “Something that comes up frequently is the difference between test results that are normal versus optimal as well as the shortcomings of over-reliance on tests, especially the TSH and under-reliance on symptoms and family history,” said Geri Rybacki, Executive Director and Co-founder of the Coalition for Better Thyroid Care, a patient-oriented organization

based in Massachusetts. “The best doctors will work with us to find the medication or approach that safely and effectively resolves our symptoms. That awareness has given some of our members the courage to ask more questions, to expect results and sometimes to seek a second opinion or to switch doctors.”

postpartum thyroiditis that affects women after pregnancy. It can be particularly tricky to diagnose because the symptoms of fatigue, mood swings, and anxiety can all be easily explained as life with a new baby. Postpartum thyroiditis usually begins with hyperthyroidism in the first few months after delivery and

Women are more likely than men to be affected by thyroid disease, and scientists do not know why. For that reason, women must be vigilant and monitor their bodies for subtle changes and learn the symptoms of thyroid malfunction. There is a condition called

then switches to hypothyroidism. Even if women do not require medication during this sometimes transient condition, they should be monitored closely by a doctor. Some women may experience severe symptoms and require medication in the hypothyroidism phase. For some,

the condition eventually clears up; but, for many others, it is the start of a lifelong condition. Thyroid issues can strike at any age. Heidi Baxter began suffering symptoms of hyperthyroidism in her early 40s. “I experienced unexplained weight loss and heart palpitations, especially when at rest, progressing to severe palpitations, losing 30 pounds in a month. I felt like I was going to faint if I tried to climb stairs or walk more than a block.” She was diagnosed with Graves disease which made her thyroid overactive (hyper). Eventually her thyroid burned itself out. Baxter’s condition then swung to the underactive state (hypo). Today, she works closely with her physician to monitor her condition. “It’s an ongoing battle. I have blood tests every three months as my organ rallies to function and my doctor adapts my dosage.” Rybacki encourages women who suspect their thyroid is malfunctioning to trust their intuition. “It is not normal to feel rotten at any age. Educate yourself, especially about the many symptoms and conditions that can accompany thyroid issues. Be familiar with the tests that can be helpful. Get copies of all your lab results and keep them in a home file. You will likely refer to them again and again as you learn more,” said Rybacki. She said that if you suspect your thyroid is malfunctioning, trust your intuition and set an appointment with your doctor.

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Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away! - dr. seuss


photo courtesy of puppet showplace theatre


Body Worlds Vital is on exhibit now at Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston.

photo courtesy of harlem globetrotters

photo courtesy of splash ‘n boots

photo courtesy of body worlds vital

GO MAKE BELIEVE: The Puppet Showplace Theatre presents The Great Red Ball Rescue, February 1 to 17.

Splash ‘n Boots presents an interactive children’s musical concert on Saturday, February 22, in Framingham.

The world famous Harlem Globetrotters bring their entertaining from of basketball to the DCU Center on Sunday, February 23. BAYSTATEPARENT 37

Chinese New Year Celebration. Worcester Public Library, Saxe Room 3 Salem Square, Worcester. 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Celebrate the Chinese new Year and the Year of the Horse with performances by the Mulan Performing Arts Group. Chinese music with special Chinese musical instruments, traditional dances, and songs. Light special Chinese New Year treats will be provided.

38 FEBRUARY2014 39

photo courtesy of the city of worcester

oh, the places you’ ll go

MELTDOWN WARNING: Before you pack up the mini-van, please confirm your destination. Although we’ve done our best to assure accuracy at press time, things can and do change…

Public skating takes place throughout February at Worcester Common Oval.

1 Saturday Body Worlds Vital. Quincy Market, Second Floor, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston. Runs through April 24. Sundays 12 to 6 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The exhibit celebrates the potential of the human body. Featuring authentic human bodies, the exhibition shows the body through cautionary displays about distress and disease, and inspirational insights about virtuosity and resilience. See article on page 29. Hairspray, The Broadway Musical. Wheelock Family Theatre. Wheelock College, 200 The Riverway, Boston. Various dates and times, through February 23. Public performances offer open captioning. Tickets $20 to $35. 617-8792300. The Great Red Ball Rescue. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station Street, Brookline. 1 and 3 p.m. Presented by Faye Dupras, Foreign Landscapes Productions. Ages 3 and up. Tickets $12. Owl Festival. Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, 280 Eliot St., Natick. 3 to 4 p.m. Explore the wonders of owls with friends and family. Up close and personal view of some of our local owl species, including the great horned and screech owl. Registration is required. Admission $10 per person. 508-655-2296. Owl Prowl for Famlies. Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, 280 Eliot St., Natick. 4:15 to 5:30 p.m.

Registration required. $12 adults, $8 children. 508655-2296. Walnut Hill Presents Freckleface Strawberry — The Musical. TCAN Center for the Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. 1 p.m. With the help of her loveable schoolmates and a totally kooky teacher, Freckleface learns that everyone is different — and that’s what makes everyone special. With live music, dancing and laughs, the show is appropriate for all ages. $12 adult, $10 child. 508-647-0097. Shrek. Stoneham Theatre, 395 Main St., Stoneham. 3 p.m. Performed by The Young Company children’s theater group. Tickets $15. Charlotte’s Web. Stoneham Theatre, 395 Main St., Stoneham. Noon. Musical based on classic children’s novel. Featuring songs by Charles Strouse. Tickets 781-587-7907. Great Barrington Kennel Club Dog Show. The Big E, Better Living Center, 1305 Memorial Ave., West Springfield. Free. 413-738-5959. Commerford Zoo. DCU Center, Exhibition Hall, Worcester. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Family fair includes rides, games, and exotic animals. Family Tours. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 10:30 to 11 a.m. Explore the museum galleries with your family on a docentguided discovery tour. Hear fun facts and stories. Free admission on the first Saturday of each month between 10 a.m. and noon. 508-799-4406.

Eagle One: Raising Bald Eagles in the Quabbin. Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, 414 Massasoit Rd., Worcester. 7 to 8:30 p.m. Dianne Davis was instrumental in bringing Bald Eagles back to Massachusetts, and described her experience in Eagle One: Raising Bald Eagles, a Wildlife Memoir. The book is a first-hand account of eagle restoration in Massachusetts, describing a summer living with and caring for eight chicks for release into the wild. Registration required. Suitable for families with children ages 5 and up. $6 adult, $4 child. 508-753-6087. Family Time: Make Art. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 11 to 11:30 a.m. Drop-in for this intergenerational time in the galleries. Materials will be provided. Free with museum admission. 508-799-4406. Public Ice Skating. Worcester Common Oval, 455 Main Street, Worcester. 1 to 5 p.m. Admission $2, free for ages 6 and under.

2 Sunday

The Airborne Comedians. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Two performers who have traveled the globe performing their high energy, unorthodox comedy juggling show. Dan Foley and Joel Harris throw and catch birdbaths, lawn chairs, electric guitars and baseball bats while balanced atop 6- and 7-foot-high unicycles. Recommended for ages 3 and up. $10 adults, $8 children. 617-734-3500. The Great Red Ball Rescue. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station St., Brookline. 1 and 3 p.m. Presented by Faye Dupras, Foreign Landscapes Productions. Ages 3 and up. Tickets $12. Groundhog Day at Drumlin Farm. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Road, Lincoln. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Winter fun activities scheduled throughout the day. Learn about hibernation, winter wildlife, and how to identify animal tracks in the snow. All ages. No registration required. Regular admission rates apply. 781-259-2200. Charlotte’s Web. Stoneham Theatre, 395 Main St., Stoneham. Noon. Musical based on classic children’s novel. Featuring songs by Charles Strouse. Tickets 781-587-7907. Great Barrington Kennel Club Dog Show. Eastern States Exposition, Better Living Center, 1305 Memorial Ave., West Springfield. Free. 413-7385959.

Public Ice Skating. Worcester Common Oval, 455 Main St., Worcester. 1 to 5 p.m. Admission $2, free for ages 6 and under. Snowshoeing for Families. Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, 414 Massasoit Rd., Worcester. 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Learn how to snowshoe before heading out onto the trails. If there is no snow, a hike is planned. Bring your own snowshoes or rent them for an additional $2 a pair. Wear boots and appropriate winter clothing. Hot chocolate and coffee will be available. Suitable for families with children ages 5 and up. Registration is required. $7 adult, $4 child. 508-753-6087.

3 Monday

Art and Seek. Museum of American Bird Art, 963 Washington St., Canton. 10 to 11 a.m. A drop-in program for ages 2.5 to 5 with adult (siblings welcome). Story, nature exploration, art project. This program will not be held if Canton Schools are closed for weather. Free for adult, $7 child. Registration not required. Toddler Story Time. Worcester Public Library, Frances Perkins Branch, Worcester. 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. Stories, songs and rhymes. Children 18 to 36 months with caregiver. 508-799-1687.

4 Tuesday

Baby Time. Worcester Public Library, Children’s Room, 3 Salem Square, Worcester. 10 to 10:30 a.m. Rhymes, songs and books. Infants 0 to 17 months and their caregivers. PJ Slumber Party Storytime. Worcester Public Library, Roosevelt Branch, Worcester. 4 to 5 p.m. Wear favorite pajamas. Activities and stories. Ages 4 to 8 with caregiver. Free. 508799-1683.

5 Wednesday

Coyote Club Howlers and Prowlers. Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, 10 Juniper Rd., Belmont. 3:30 to 5 p.m. Afterschool program helps children expend pent up energy, become familiar with the sanctuary, notice seasonal changes, problem-solve and learn to work together. Howlers for children ages 5 and 6. Prowlers for children ages 7 to 10. $18 per child. Registration is required. 617489-5050.

photo courtesy of the new england fishing & outdoor expo

Commerford Zoo. DCU Center, Exhibition Hall, Worcester. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Family fair includes rides, games, and exotic animals.

Puppet Playtime for Toddlers and Tots. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Featuring Brenda Huggins and Phil Berman. One-hour interactive performance includes stories, songs, and games. Ages 3 and under. Tickets $15 for adults, $10 for children.

6 Thursday

Coyote Club Howlers and Prowlers. Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, 10 Juniper Rd., Belmont. 3:30 to 5 p.m. Afterschool program helps children expend pent up energy, become familiar with the sanctuary, notice seasonal changes, problem-solve, and learn to work together. Howlers program is for ages 5 and 6. Prowlers program is for ages 7 to 10. $18 per child. Registration required. 617489-5050. Early Explorers. Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St., Mattapan. 10:30 a.m. to noon. Program introduces young children to the natural world through movement, games, stories and art. Spend time indoors and outdoors discovering the fascinating beauty of nature and investigating seasonal changes. Suitable for children ages 3 to 6. Free for adult, $7 for child. Registration is encouraged. Walk-ins welcome. 617-983-8500. New England Fishing & Outdoor Expo. DCU Center, Exhibition Hall, Worcester. 3 to 8 p.m. Tickets $12, $5 for children 5 to 11, free for children under 5.

The New England Fishing & Outdoor Expo comes to the DCU Center, February 6 to 9.

7 Friday

The Great Red Ball Rescue. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station Street, Brookline. 7 p.m. Presented by Faye Dupras, Foreign Landscapes Productions. Ages 3 and up. Tickets $12. Afternoon Chores and S’mores. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great St., Lincoln. 3:30 to 5 p.m. Join afternoon chores on the farm. Feed animals, collect eggs. Enjoy sweet treat. Family program suitable for children ages 4 to 12. Up to three children per adult. No backpack babies. Admission $16 per person. Registration required. 781-259-2200. Charlotte’s Web. Stoneham Theatre, 395

Main St., Stoneham. 7 p.m. Musical based on classic children’s novel. Featuring songs by Charles Strouse. Tickets 781-587-7907. Pre-K Owl Prowl. Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, 87 Perkins Row, Topsfield. 4 to 6 p.m. Learn about owls through a story and hands-on activities before heading out to seek them. Warm up by woodstove with cup of hot chocolate and cookies after the hike. Suitable for families with children ages 3 to 6. $9 per adult, $7 per child. Registration required. 978-8879264. New England Fishing & Outdoor Expo. DCU Center, Exhibition Hall, Worcester. 12:30 to 9 p.m. Tickets $12, $5 for children 5 to 11, free for children under 5.


oh, the places you’ ll go

8 Saturday

Gustafer Yellowgold’s Show. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. A multimedia performance of live music, animated illustrations and storytelling. Recommended for ages 3 and up. $10 adults, $8 children. 617-734-2500. The Great Red Ball Rescue. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station St., Brookline. 1 and 3 p.m. Presented by Faye Dupras, Foreign Landscapes Productions. Ages 3 and up. Tickets $12. Bird Banding Demonstration. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, 472 West Mountain Rd., Lenox. 10 a.m. to noon. Observe handheld birds. Demonstration of the proper use of mist nets and banding. Participants help gather data and release the birds unharmed. Suitable for families with children ages 3 and up. Adult $5, child $3. No registration required. The 9th Annual Merrimack River Eagle Festival. Joppa Flats Education Center, 1 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport. Indoor and outdoor activities celebrate eagles, including eagle-spotting locations with onsite interpreters,

bus tours guided by expert birders, live raptor demonstrations at Newburyport’s City Hall, children’s nature activities and live bird demonstrations. 978-462-9998. Charlotte’s Web. Stoneham Theatre, 395 Main St., Stoneham. 7 p.m. Musical based on classic children’s novel. Featuring songs by Charles Strouse. Tickets 781-587-7907. Shrek. Stoneham Theatre, 395 Main St., Stoneham. 3 p.m. Performed by The Young Company children’s theater group. Tickets $15. Family Time: Make Art. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 11 to 11:30 a.m. Drop-in for this intergenerational time in the galleries. Materials will be provided. Free with museum admission. 508-799-4406. Family Tours. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 10:30 to 11 a.m. Explore the museum galleries with your family on a docent-guided discovery tour. Hear fun facts and stories. Free with museum admission. 508799-4406. New England Fishing & Outdoor Expo. DCU Center, Exhibition Hall, Worcester. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets $12, $5 for children 5 to 11, free for

children under 5. Professional Bull Riders: Touring Pro Division. DCU Center Arena, Worcester. 8 p.m. Watch the best bull riders and top bucking bulls with the PBR Touring Pro Division Witness 8-seond rides and brave cowboys. Tickets start at $21. 800-745-3000. Public Ice Skating. Worcester Common Oval, 455 Main St., Worcester. 1 to 5 p.m. Admission $2, free for ages 6 and under.

9 Sunday

The Great Red Ball Rescue. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station Street, Brookline. 1 and 3 p.m. Presented by Faye Dupras, Foreign Landscapes Productions. Ages 3 and up. Tickets $12. Chickadee Birders: Eagles and Owls. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The North Shore is a good place to go in search of wintering birds, such as ducks, eagles, and owls. Children will learn the basics of birding, bird life, and seasonal migration through talks, activities, and field trips. Suitable for families with children ages 7 to 11. Admission $36. Fee covers one child with one parent. Registration required. 781-2592200.

Kinglet Birders: Owl Prowl. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 1:30 to 3 p.m. Meet birds up close and explore field, forest and wetland looking for the birds that make these habitats their home. Learn activities that you can take home to expand your experience. Suitable for families with children ages 4 to 6. Admission $12 per person. Up to three children ages 4 to 6 with an adult. No backpack babies. Registration required. 781-2592200. Vanessa Trien and The Jumping Monkeys. TCAN Performing Arts Center, 14 Summer St., Natick. 2 p.m. Boston-based singer-songwriter Vanessa Trien entertains with her lively band, The Jumping Monkeys. Family show. Tickets $12 adult, $10 child. 508-647-0097. Shrek. Stoneham Theatre, 395 Main St., Stoneham. 3 p.m. Performed by The Young Company children’s theater group. Tickets $15. Kids Fun Fair and Traveling Zoo. Eastern States Exposition, Better Living Center, 1305 Memorial Avenue, West Springfield. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission $12, free for kids 12 and under. 413-738-5959. New England Fishing & Outdoor Expo. DCU Center, Exhibition Hall, Worcester. 10 a.m. to 5

Come spend time with your kids in our exciting family classes— a rich musical environment that encourages your child to explore the joy of music. Find out what beautiful music you and your family can make together.




p.m. Tickets $12, $5 for children 5 to 11, free for children under 5. Professional Bull Riders: Touring Pro Division. DCU Center Arena, Worcester. 1 p.m. Watch the best bull riders and top bucking bulls with the PBR Touring Pro Division. Witness 8-second rides and brave cowboys. Tickets start at $21. 800-745-3000. Public Ice Skating. Worcester Common Oval, 455 Main St., Worcester. 1 to 5 p.m. Admission $2, free for ages 6 and under.

10 Monday

Clay Play: Paw Tracks. Museum of American Bird Art, 963 Washington St., Canton. 10 to 11:30 a.m. Taught by artist Melody Thomas. Includes nature exploration and a clay project that will be glazed and fired in kiln for later pick-up. Suitable for families with children ages 2.5 to 5 years. Free for adult, $17 per child. Registration required. 781-821-8853. Preschool Story Time. Worcester Public Library, Frances Perkins Branch, Worcester. 11 a.m. to noon. Fun with stories, songs and activities. Children 3 to 5 years old with caregiver. Free. 508-799-1687.

Toddler Story Time. Worcester Public Library, Frances Perkins Branch, Worcester. 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. Stories, songs and rhymes. Children 18 to 36 months with caregiver. 508-799-1687.

11 Tuesday

Wondrous Wool. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 1 to 2:30 p.m. Visit sheep in the barn. Share stories and make a woolly toy to take home. All ages. Admission $15. Up to three children per adult. Backpack babies under one year are welcome free of charge. Half price for children 12- to 17-months-old. Registration required. 781-2592200. Little Naturalists: Crows. North River Wildlife Sanctuary, 2000 Main St., Marshfield. 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Through nature walks, stories, songs, and crafts, discover New England animals and how they live. Suitable for families with children ages 3 to 5. $7 per child. Registration required. 781-837-9400. Baby Time. Worcester Public Library, Children’s Room, 3 Salem Square, Worcester. 10 to 10:30 a.m. Rhymes, songs and books. Infants 0 to 17 months and their caregivers. Free. Read to Nemo. Worcester Public Library,

Children’s Room, 3 Salem Square, Worcester. 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Nemo is a Newfoundland who is a certified therapy and rescue dog. Sit with him on his blanket and read to him. This is a great opportunity to encourage reluctant readers and to practice reading skills. Ages 5 to 10. Free.

12 Wednesday

Garden Discovery Program. Tower Hill Botanical Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston. 10 to 11 a.m. This program theme is The Very, Very Long Nap. Discover who is out and about with a look at tracks and signs of secret activity even through the cold and winter. Ages 3 to 5 with adult. Free with museum admission of $12 for adults, $9 for seniors, $7 for children 6 to 18, free for children under 6. 508-869-6111, x124. Puppet Playtime for Toddlers and Tots. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Featuring Brenda Huggins and Phil Berman. One-hour interactive performance includes stories, songs, and games. Ages 3 and under. Tickets $15 for adults, $10 for children. Afterschool at Joppa: Animal A-Team. Joppa Flats Education Center, Newburyport. 3:45 to 5:15 p.m. Self-guided activities,

oh, the places you’ ll go challenges, puzzles. Observe, investigate, and compare wildlife and their seasonal adaptations. Suitable for children ages 6 to 8, grades 1 through 4. Parents are welcome but not required to stay during program. $15 per child. Registration required. 978-462-9998. Whooo? Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, 293 Moose Hill Rd., Sharon. 10 to 11:30 a.m. or 1 to 2:30 p.m. Discover how owls are designed to hunt and eat other animals through games, a story, and a craft project. Outside walk. Suitable for children ages 4 to 6. $11 per child. Registration required. 781-784-5691.

13 Thursday

Imagine, Sing, & Learn: Animal Partners. Joppa Flats Education Center, Newburyport. 10 to 11:30 a.m. Designed for the creative and active preschooler, the session offers a structured series of activities including songs, movement, dramatic play, hands-on science, and a snack. Suitable for children ages 3 to 6. $8 per adult, $7 per child. Registration required. 978-462-9998.

Also Offering Vacation Programs

LEARN VIOLIN, CELLO, OR PIANO Saturday Mornings MUSIC BOX Private Lesson + Group Class Ages 4 – 7

Stardust Gym offers a variety of children’s activities including: Gymnastics, Cheerleading & Toddler Classes (up to age 12) Visit us online for more information.

The Rivers School Conservatory in Weston, MA 781-235-6840

612 Plymouth St., Rte. 106 ★ East Bridgewater 508-378-2223 ★ BAYSTATEPARENT 40 41

bay state parent ad.indd 1

1/9/2014 2:57:07 PM

Recommended for ages 2 and up. $10 for adults, $8 for children. 617-734-2500.

photo courtesy of stacey peasley

The Great Red Ball Rescue. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station Street, Brookline. 1 and 3 p.m. Presented by Faye Dupras, Foreign Landscapes Productions. Ages 3 and up. Tickets $12.

The TCAN in Natick will be rocking Saturday, February 15, with family performer Stacey Peasley and her band.

Nature Adventures for 5- to 7-year-olds. Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, 414 Massasoit Rd., Worcester. 1 to 3 p.m. Hands-on nature program. Use investigations, crafts and activities and outdoors in 400-acre sanctuary. $12 per child. Registration required. 508-7536087.

14 Friday

Disney on Ice Presents Let’s Celebrate. TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston. Through Feb. 23. Various dates and times. Join Mickey and Minnie as they celebrate a Very Merry Unbirthday Party with Alice and the Mad Hatter; Mardi Gras with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen; a Royal Valentine’s Day Ball with the Disney Princesses; a Hawaiian luau with Lilo & Stitch; a winter wonderland with Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear; a Halloween haunt with the Disney Villains and more. Tickets start at $23. 617-624-1050. Full Moon Snowshoe Hike. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, 472 West Mountain Rd., Lenox. 6 to 8:30 p.m. This is a family-friendly fundraiser. If you do not have snowshoes, reserve by calling 413-637-0320. Beverages and snacks will be available after the hike. If there is no snow, a moonlight hike will take place. Suitable for families with children ages 5 and up. Adult $25, 18 and under free. No registration necessary. Owl Always Love Ewe. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 42 FEBRUARY2014 43

3:30 to 5 p.m. Valentine’s Day program. Come dressed for the outdoors. Suitable for families with children up to 7-years-old. All ages welcome, but oldest child must be at least 2-years-old. Up to three children per adult. Backpack babies under a year old are free. The fee for children between 12- and 17-months-old is half-price. Admission $15. Registration required. 781-2592200. Springfield RV, Camping & Outdoor Show. The Big E; Better Living Center, Young Building, and Mallary Complex; 1305 Memorial Ave., West Springfield. 4 to 9 p.m. Oldest, largest camping and RV show in New England. Recreational vehicles, camping and outdoor suppliers, campgrounds. Admission $10, free for 12 and under, $7 for seniors. 413-781-2267.

Stacey Peasley Band. TCAN Center for Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. 11 a.m. Family show features Stacey Peasley, winner of the Creative Child magazine 2012 Top CD of the Year Award, the 2011 Parents’ Choice Recommended Award, and the 2010 Nickelodeon Parents Connect Parents’ Pick Award for Best Party Entertainer. Tickets $10 for adults, $8 child. 508-647-0097. Turtle Trekkers. Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, 108 North St., Norfolk. Start on trails learning about nature. Crafts, activities. Suitable for families with children ages 2.9 to 6. Admission $6 per person. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Registration is required. 508-528-3140. Springfield RV, Camping & Outdoor Show. The Big E; Better Living Center, Young Building, and Mallary Complex; 1305 Memorial Ave., West Springfield. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oldest, largest camping and RV show in New England. Recreational vehicles, camping and outdoor suppliers, campgrounds. Admission $10, free for 12 and under, $7 for seniors. 413-781-2267. Family Time: Make Art. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 11 to 11:30 a.m. Drop-in for this intergenerational time in the galleries. Materials will be provided. Free with museum admission. 508-799-4406. Family Tours. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 10:30 to 11 a.m. Explore the museum galleries with your family on a docent-guided discovery tour. Hear fun facts and stories. Free with museum admission. 508799-4406.

Monster Jam. DCU Center Arena, Worcester. 7:30 p.m. Family-friendly show features Monster Jam monster trucks. Twelve-foottall, ten-thousands-pound machines race a custom-designed track of obstacles. Tickets $28 for adults, $14.50 for kids. 800-745-3000.

Monster Jam. DCU Center Arena, Worcester. 2 and 7:30 p.m. Family-friendly show features Monster Jam monster trucks. Twelve-foottall, ten-thousands-pound machines race a custom-designed track of obstacles. Tickets $28 for adults, $14.50 for kids. 800-745-3000.

15 Saturday

Public Ice Skating. Worcester Common Oval, 455 Main St., Worcester. 1 to 5 p.m. Admission $2, free for ages 6 and under.

Mister G. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Join Mister G for the launch of his new bilingual (English/Spanish) CD, Chocolalala. The CD is a collection of songs blending Latin rhythms, traditional instruments and songs for children.

16 Sunday

The Great Red Ball Rescue. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station St., Brookline. 1

and 3 p.m. Presented by Faye Dupras, Foreign Landscapes Productions. Ages 3 and up. Tickets $12. Build a Backyard Birdhouse. Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, 108 North St., Norfolk. 2 to 4 p.m. Identify housing needs of several species of birds that breed in the area. Assemble bird house to take home. Suitable for families with children ages 6 and up. Adult $24, child free. Registration is required. 508-528-3140. Springfield RV, Camping & Outdoor Show. The Big E; Better Living Center, Young Building, and Mallary Complex; 1305 Memorial Ave., West Springfield. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oldest, largest camping and RV show in New England. Recreational vehicles, camping and outdoor suppliers, campgrounds. Admission $10, free for 12 and under, $7 for seniors. 413-781-2267. Monster Jam. DCU Center Arena, Worcester. 2 p.m. Family-friendly show features Monster Jam monster trucks. Twelve-foot-tall, tenthousands-pound machines race a customdesigned track of obstacles. Tickets $28 for adults, $14.50 for kids. 800-745-3000. Public Ice Skating. Worcester Common Oval, 455 Main St., Worcester. 1 to 5 p.m. Admission $2, free for ages 6 and under.

17 Monday

The Great Red Ball Rescue. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Presented by Faye Dupras, Foreign Landscapes Productions. Ages 3 and up. Tickets $12. Springfield RV, Camping & Outdoor Show. The Big E; Better Living Center, Young Building, and Mallary Complex; 1305 Memorial Ave., West Springfield. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oldest, largest camping and RV show in New England. Recreational vehicles, camping and outdoor suppliers, campgrounds. Admission $10, free for 12 and under, $7 for seniors. 413-781-2267.

18 Tuesday

“Super Sprout” Micro Green Pizza Making. Tower Hill Botanical Garden, 11 French Dr., Boylston. 1 to 2 p.m. Experience the wonderful flavors this miniature garden has to offer as you cook up some sprout pizzas. Plant your own mini garden to take home and grow. Admission $12. 508-869-6111, x124. An Arabian Adventure. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Presented by the Tanglewood

Marionettes. Ages 3 and up. Tickets $12. Extreme Field Day for Kids. DCU Center Exhibition Hall, Worcester. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Indoor obstacle race for children ages 4 to 13 years old. Crawl through mud, climb over walls, run, jump. Rain or shine. Admission $39.

21 Friday

Shadows Around the World. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Presented by Nappy’s Puppets. Ages 3 and up. Tickets $12.

PJ Slumber Party Storytime. Worcester Public Library, Roosevelt Branch, Worcester. 4 to 5 p.m. Wear favorite pajamas. Activities and stories. Ages 4 to 8 with caregiver. Free. 508799-1683.

Springfield Sportsmen’s Show. The Big E, Better Living Center, and Young Building, 1305 Memorial Ave., West Springfield. Noon to 8 p.m. Event includes hunting, fishing, boating and adventure recreation. Admission $13, $5 for children 6 to 12, free for children under 6. 413467-2171.

An Arabian Adventure. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station Street, Brookline. 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Presented by the Tanglewood Marionettes. Ages 3 and up. Tickets $12.

An Arabian Adventure. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station Street, Brookline. 1 and 3 p.m. Presented by the Tanglewood Marionettes. Ages 3 and up. Tickets $12.

19 Wednesday 22 Saturday 20 Thursday

Gardens from the Garbage. Tower Hill Botanical Garden, 11 French Dr., Boylston. Choose a planter to decorate from recycled items. Find out about seeds from some unlikely and surprising places. Learn how seeds grow and why you might want to think twice before throwing anything in the garbage again. Admission $12. 508-869-6111, x124. An Arabian Adventure. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Presented by the Tanglewood Marionettes. Ages 3 and up. Tickets $12. Springfield Sportsmen’s Show. The Big E, Better Living Center, and Young Building, 1305 Memorial Ave., West Springfield. 3 to 9 p.m. Event includes hunting, fishing, boating and adventure recreation . Admission $13, $5 for children 6 to 12, free for children under 6. 413467-2171.

The Tanglewood Marionettes Present Sleeping Beauty. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. In this retelling of the classic tale, a painted story book opens to reveal each scene. Hand-crafted marionettes are brought to life by a master puppeteer. $10 adults, $8 children. 617-7342500. First Child in the Woods Caregiver and Infant/Toddler Walk. Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, 127 Combs Rd., Easthampton. 10 to 11 a.m. Explore nature with young children. Meet other parents and caregivers while getting exercise and learning about the natural world. This walk will be on fairly level ground to accommodate carriages or backpack kids. Suitable for families with children up to 5-yearsold. $7 per adult, free for child. Registration is required. 413-584-3009. The Big Doozie Presents: Splash ‘n Boots. 2:30 p.m. Amazing Things Arts Center, 160 Hollis St., Framingham. 2:30 p.m. Interactive children’s musical concert. Tickets $10. 508-405-2787.

Springfield Sportsmen’s Show. The Big E, Better Living Center, and Young Building, 1305 Memorial Ave., West Springfield. 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Event includes hunting, fishing, boating and adventure recreation. Admission $13, $5 for children 6 to 12, free for children under 6. 413467-2171. Family Time: Make Art. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 11 to 11:30 a.m. Dropin for this intergenerational time in the galleries. Materials will be provided. Free with museum admission. 508-799-4406. Family Tours. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 10:30 to 11 a.m. Explore the museum galleries with your family on a docent-guided discovery tour. Hear fun facts and stories. Free with museum admission. 508799-4406. Public Ice Skating. Worcester Common Oval, 455 Main St., Worcester. 1 to 5 p.m. Admission $2, free for ages 6 and under.

23 Sunday

An Arabian Adventure. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station St., Brookline. 1 and 3 p.m. Presented by the Tanglewood Marionettes. Ages 3 and up. Tickets $12. Guided Snowshoe Adventure. Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St., Mattapan. Noon to 1 p.m. Guided hike atop the snow. If there is no snow on the ground, a regular guided walk will take place. Snowshoes available for rent. Walkins welcome. Ages 5 and up. Admission $7 per person. Register at 617-983-8500.

features the world famous Harlem Globetrotters’ entertaining form of basketball. Tickets start at $24. 800-745-3000. Public Ice Skating. Worcester Common Oval, 455 Main St., Worcester. 1 to 5 p.m. Admission $2, free for ages 6 and under.

26 Wednesday Sip Some Sap. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 1 to 2:30 p.m. Listen to a story of maple sugaring, take a walk out to sugar bush. Check evaporator to see how sap is turned into syrup. Enjoy a maple treat. Up to three children per adult. Backpack babies welcome. Suitable for families with children ages 3 to 12. Admission $15 per person. Registration required. 781-259-2200.

Peter and the Wolf. The Hanover Theatre, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 10 a.m. The WPI Orchestra, the Youth Ballet of Worcester, and The Hanover Theatre will collaborate on a multidisciplinary interpretation of the work. Performance for school groups and families. All seats $12. 877-571-7469.

27 Thursday

Aesop’s Fables. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station Street, Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Presented by Applause Unlimited. Ages 3 and up. Tickets $12.

Springfield Sportsmen’s Show. The Big E, Better Living Center, and Young Building, 1305 Memorial Ave., West Springfield. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Event includes hunting, fishing, boating and adventure recreation . Admission $13, $5 for children 6 to 12, free for children under 6. 413467-2171.

Early Explorers. Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St., Mattapan. 10:30 a.m. to noon. Program introduces young children to natural world through movement, games, stories, and art. Spend time indoors and outdoors discovering nature. Suitable for families with children ages 3 to 6. Free per adult, $7 per child. Registration encouraged. Walk-ins welcome. 617-983-8500.

Harlem Globetrotters. DCU Center, Worcester. 2 p.m. The “Fans Rule” World Tour

Fledglings: Discover Nature Together. Blue Hills Trailside Museum, 1904 Canton Ave.,


Milton. 10:30 a.m. to noon. Interactive stories, short nature lessons, crafts, songs, nature walks, live animal encounters. A light snack is provided. Families with children ages 3 to 5. $8 per adult, $12 per child. Registration is required. 617-3330690.

28 Friday


Aesop’s Fables. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Presented by Applause Unlimited. Ages 3 and up. Tickets $12.

The Joshua Show. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station St., Brookline. 8 p.m. Presented by Joshua Holden. Live music, comedy, dancing. All ages. Tickets $15. Maple Moo. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 3:30 to 5 p.m. See what happens when a cow wanders into the sugarbush. See if the sap is running. Suitable for families with children up to age 7. All ages welcome, but oldest child must be at least 2-years-old. Up to three children per adult. Backpack babies under 1-year-old welcome for free. Admission $15 per person. Registration required. 781-259-2200.


Join In February And Pay $0 Enrollment Fee!       

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Open House

Saturday, March 1, 2014 12-2 p.m. “Where bright minds come together!” Pre-Kindergarten through Grade Six The Brighton School is a non-profit, private, independent elementary school dedicated to providing a quality education that addresses the individual needs of students. • Accelerated Program Available • Individualized Curriculum • Small Class Sizes • Nurturing Environment • Specialized Instruction in: Music, Art, Science, Computer, French, Physical Education and Creative Movement

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Next Generation Children’s Centers Celebrating 20 Years As A Leader In Early Childhood Education

Examine our philosophy: We nurture the whole child.

NGCC provides your child with the foundation for a well-rounded experience to help them succeed in every stage of development.

Learn what we offer your child here:



MetroWest YMCA Day Camp

An exhibit at the Worcester Center for Crafts Through March 16, 2014

FREE March 1 • 11:30-4

Carnival Day for all ages Hands on fun• Music• Food

June 30 - August 22 Co-ed for ages 3-16 Traditional Camp activities include archery, arts and crafts, canoeing, kayaking, nature study, music, drama, sports, high and low ropes course, outdoor skills, and swim lessons. Specialty Camps include Flight, Physics, Farm Camp, Drama, Fort Building, Robotics, Hip Hop, Horseback Riding and Arts and Crafts camp. Teen Leadership and Trip and Travel Programs. Busing, AM/PM extended day programs and financial assistance are available. Registered Nurse on site at all times. First Aid, CPR and EPI-pen trained staff.

25 Sagamore Road, Worcester, MA

To schedule a private tour, contact us at: The Fenn School in Concord, MA 978.318.3614

A Day Camp for girls and boys ages 5 - 15 Exceptional staff Specialty Programs



MetroWest YMCA Family Outdoor Center 45 East Street Hopkinton, MA 01748 (508)435-9345

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variety of

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w h at M a k e s u s u n i q u e ? Our programs are intelligent fun! The themes, activities, crafts, classes and play are selected and designed to foster your child’s curiosity and interpersonal skills. CheCk out our website or Call 508.366.6121 x23 for your own personal tour.

Toddler programs (starts at 15 months) • • • •

New full-day program (2–5 day options) Age-appropriate learning and play Mid-day lunch and nap, all snacks included Special toddler playground space

Preschool (starts at 2.9 years) Pre-K (starts at 3.9 years) K Kids (age 5 years by April 1) • Afternoon enrichment programs until 5:30pm • Age-appropriate learning, play, and curriculum with in classroom technology • Early drop-off and 2–5 day options

Day Trip programs Hot lunches Transportation


Summer Camp & WellneSS Fair Saturday, March 8 11-2 pm Free Admission Kids Crafts & Facepainting Raffles Games for Kids Food Sampling Chair Massage & More! Hopkinton High School 90 Hayden Rowe St., Hopkinton For more information:




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Mass Audubon Nature Day Camps In Central MA Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary 414 Massasoit Rd. Worcester, MA 01604 Camp Director 508-753-6087 x 13 Serves Children Ages 4.5-16

Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary

113 Goodnow Rd. Princeton, MA 01541 Camp Director 978-464-2712 x 8703 Serves Children Ages 3.5-17

• A unique opportunity to learn about the natural world. • Meet new friends and have lots of fun! • Specialty sessions such as digital photography, teen adventure trip, woodworking, wilderness skills and theater. • Experienced staff who provide a safe, educational, and noncompetitive camp environment. • Small group nature study. • An experience that will last a lifetime! To find out more and to download a camp brochure please check us out at

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Dance, Gym Dance, Gym & Enrichment & Enrichment Gym Hutt Gymnastics 84 Pierce Avenue ♦ Lakeville, MA

Also Offering Vacation Programs

for the Stars Reach

Classes for boys and girls Recreational & Competitive programs *Gymnastics is the best foundation for any sport*

508-823-2299 ♦

Where fitness is FUN!

160 N. Main Street, Carver MA

ExpEriEncE ThE powEr of DancE!

at Kathy Corrigan’s School of Gymnastics • Owner: Former Olympic Gymnast • USA Gymnastics Skill Development Program for All Ages • Competitive USA Teams • USA Certified Coaches • Birthday Parties! 406 VFW Drive, Rockland 781-878-9155

Stardust Gym offers a variety of children’s activities including: Gymnastics, Cheerleading & Toddler Classes (up to age 12) Visit us online for more information.

612 Plymouth St., Rte. 106 ★ East Bridgewater 508-378-2223 ★

SMALL GROUP PIANO LESSONS AT YOUR SCHOOL! For children ages 3 to 14. Fun, creative lessons are conveniently located at your child’s school or child care facility. We provide the instructor and instrument.

Quality and Personalized instruction for all ages! Beginner through Advanced

Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Pointe, Modern, All Boys Hip-Hop & Award winning competitive teams

For more information or to bring Piano Playtime to your school, contact Molly Howard at 617-999-8794


In-home private lessons also available

Pembroke School of Performing ArtS 808 Washington Street, Pembroke MA


Ages 3 and up Beginner thru Advanced National Award Winning Dance Team Kathleen Kelble, Director BA in Dance Education; Mass DOE Certified dance Educator K-12

Come Join the Fun! Learn to Dance in a Fun and Exciting Atmosphere To learn more about our programs visit us at 50 FEBRUARY2014 51

Healthy Kids & Families Laurie McAnaugh, M.Ed, BCC

Access Your POWER Board Certified Coach

Located at: All 4 Healing Wellness Center 112 State Rd Sagamore Beach Life Coaching is for emotionally healthy people who may simply feel stuck, unfulfilled or challenged by difficult life situations. It is a solution-focused approach that builds on the strengths of the client and provides opportunities for greater levels of inner power, clarity and self awareness. Approach life with a whole new set of tools. You really are that powerful! To schedule call 508 364 3611

Healthy Kids & Families

Healthy Kids & Families

KID CARE DENTAL, P.C. Pediatric Dentistry Martin A. Kaplan, D.M.D. Htet Htet, D.M.D. Mabi Singh, DMD

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Established in 1977

Utilizing the latest in high-tech dentistry and services including: • Needle-free and drill-free laser dentistry and air abrasion technology • Video examinations • Sedation for the apprehensive and hospital dentistry • General dentist on staff for adults • Latex-free treatment available • Most health plans accepted Visit our office online:

Joy M. John, D.M.D. Kierstin R. Kerr, D.M.D. Amanda K. Peer, D.M.D. Pediatric Dentists “Our dental practice is dedicated to being a fun, caring & positive experience for your child.”

• Parents are welcome to accompany child • Digital X-Rays - 50% less radiation • Now offering hospital dentistry for children • Specializing in the care of children & special needs patients 95 Tremont St. • Duxbury

• Kids will start Asking for fruits and veggies • Builds a healthy habit that will last a lifetime • Display on your fridge • Easy to Play


Duxbury Children’s Dentistry

(781) 934-7111

1613 CENTRAL ST. • STOUGHTON, MA 02072 yclSouthShoreTherapies1310.eps

728 Washington St. • South Easton

(508) 230-5056


ice since 2003

din g

ry pla em

814 Route 3A • Cohasset, MA 02025


Speech Therapy Sensory Integration Occupational Therapy Listening Therapy Feeding Therapy

Results that make a difference... IN NETWORK PROVIDER Weymouth, MA Pembroke, MA 781.335.6663 Ask about our: Preschool Play Programs and Monthly Educational Seminars

NORWELL PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY, L.L.C. Dentistry for Children, Adolescents, Special Needs Patients

Edward J. Schreier, D.D.S. Tamara R. Harling, D.M.D.

Providing chiropractic wellness care through pregnancy, birth and beyond!

Dr. Lisa Lewis

g in alizin ... eci Sp

• Webster Certified • Child Friendly Office • Advanced Pediatric Training Through the I.C.P.A. •Morning, Evening and Saturday Hours Mention this ad for a $25 child’s exam

8:56 AM

Prov i

Daniel Denette, D.C.• Kristen Denette, D.C.

Did You Know that kids go to a chiropractor for everything from colic, to ear infections to wellness care? We specialize in a holistic, natural approach to keeping your children well.



Denette Family Chiropractic


Heather E. Wolbach, D.M.D., M.S. Brian T. Schmid, D.M.D.

Orthodontics for Children and Adults

James (Jess) Kane, D.M.D., M.S. Peter T. Phan, D.M.D.

• Serving the South Shore since 1978 • Infant Oral Health Visits • Board Certified Pediatric Dentists & Registered Dental Hygienists • Nitrous oxide for anxious patients • State-of-the-Art Digital Equipment • Comprehensive Orthodontics & Invisalign for Children & Adults

317 Washington Street (Rt. 53) • Norwell, MA 02061 Tel (781) 659-7442 • Fax (781) 659-4850 •


Are You Ready To Have The Party That Everyone Will Be Talking About? Treat your child to a party they will remember forever! One of our unique and Specially Designed Buses will pull up right in front of your house for FUN for everyone.

(508) 386-1821


Party People!

Party People!

Preschool & Child Care Libbiloo’s

Family Child Care

Also Offering Vacation Programs

Hours of operation 7am-5pm Monday- Friday Meals and snacks included Infant/toddler & preschool curriculum Loving, safe and secure Discounts for military, teachers & emergency servicemen & women

Stardust Gym offers a variety of children’s activities including: Gymnastics, Cheerleading & Toddler Classes (up to age 12) and The Best Parties Around Visit us online for more information.

License # 9002868

Carver, MA

612 Plymouth St., Rte. 106 ★ East Bridgewater 508-378-2223 ★



the Storyteller

“All Live” Insects, Small Reptiles & Animals

The Coolest Party EVER! There’s Nothing Else Like It. School presentations also available. 1-800-649-9992

Storytelling fun for Birthday Parties, Storytelling fun Centers, for Birthday Parties, Schools, Daycare Library Programs, Special Schools, Daycare Centers, Events and TV Library Programs, Featuring: Special Events • Original & Classic Stories and •TV Featuring: Puppets, Props and Surprises For Bookings and Info Call: 617-713-4349 • Original & E-mail: Classic Stories Visit me on the web at:

• Puppets, Props and Surprises

For Bookings and Info Call: 617-713-4349 E-mail: Visit me on the web at:

MAGIC TOUCH Nursery • Pre-School • Kindergarten

387 East Center Street, Route 106 West Bridgewater


Private Kindergarten Nursery-Preschool Day care services Summer program Drop-off services Before & After School Full and half days Extended days Open all year 6:30 am to 5:30 pm

Now Enrolling-Toddlers 15 Mos-2.9 yrs old

Fun & Challenging

First Learning Experience for 3, 4, & 5 year olds


Parties Weddings Showers 238 Millbury Ave., Millbury, MA

New Flavors Daily • Made from Scratch • Fresh Fruit 52 FEBRUARY2014 53


cho s e r P e c a r Amazing G Year ’Round Pre-K Program

• Full and Half Day programs available • Pre-Care and After-Care available • Low student/teacher ratio • Bible-based curriculum • Phonics, Math, Reading, Music, Art, Spanish & Sign Language! • Experienced teachers with degrees in Education • Kindergarten to 12th Grade enrollment available

1000 Oak Hill Ave., Attleboro, MA (508) 431-8159 or (508) 222-8675 director: Lorraine Bailey

Preschool Preschool & Child Care & Child Care NOW ENROLLING

Infant ~ Toddler ~ Preschool School Age ~ Half Day Programs

We are a Strong ACADEMIC BASED Preschool Our programs serve children 2.9 to 6 years old

“The best things in life aren’t things...they’re your friends.” _ Anonymous

Half Day Programs 8:45am-11:45am * Two & Three Day Preschool * Four Day Pre-Kindergarten

Academics * Leadership * Confidence Social Interaction * Structured Curriculum Degreed and highly qualified Staff Open Year Round * Vouchers Accepted Licensed by the Dept. of Early Education and Care

2 Convenient Locations

150-B Industrial Dr., Halifax, MA


256 Church Street Pembroke, MA


Little People’s Country Day Care of Kingston


Full Day Programs 8:45am - 2:30pm * Three Day Preschool * Five Day Pre-Kindergarten * Five Day Kindergarten SPANISH at no additional cost SCHOOL YEAR PROGRAM

For more information or to schedule a tour contact Jenn Mulvey

508-992-2472 11 Anderson Way N. Dartmouth

The Ridge Hill School of Norwell • Fully accredited kindergarten • Pre-Kindergarten • Preschool • Summer program



• Pre-School for Children 15 months - 7 Years • Unique Indoor and Outdoor Play Areas • Full & PT Schedules, Private Year round 7am-6pm Tours • On-Site Healthroom Available • Kindergarten Adjacent to Wollaston T Station


Teaching young children for over 15 years!

25 Wapping Road • Route 106, Kingston


47 Weston Avenue, Quincy

4 weeks to 6 years Preschool Social Group Part-time or Full-time

Peggy Marshall, B.S., Education, along with a quality staff, offers a happy, healthy & educational environment for your children.

Wollaston Child Care Center

Child-centered developmental approach NAEYC Accredited 102 High Street, Norwell

located near Queen Anne’s Corner


Service Directory for Kids & Families

“I can’t wait to come back tomorrow!” Another day of learning, creating, exploring, playing, making friends and having fun is what your child will experience at the

JCC Early Learning Centers.

JCC Early Learning Center Brookline/Brighton 617-278-2950 x221

Gilson JCC Early Learning Center Sharon (at Temple Sinai) 781-795-4900

Bernice B. Godine JCC Early Learning Center • Newton (at the Leventhal-Sidman JCC) 617-558-6420

JCC Early Learning Center • Wayland (at Temple Shir Tikva) 508-358-5331

JCC Early Learning Center • Hingham (at Congregation Sha’aray Shalom) 781-752-4000 Everyone welcome


Service Directory Service Directory for Kids & Families for Kids & Families Does Your Child Struggle with Reading? The inability to read effectively can: • severely affect self-confidence • affect relationships with peers • create difficulties • contribute to behavioral issues

Any One Can Read Better



Richard Rockwood Residential Designer Specializing in Ocean Front & Flood Plain Design

Custom Homes Additions Lighting Design Renovations Kitchens & Baths Built-Ins 781.837.4888

Reading Success for Children, Teens & Adults • Free consultation & standardization assessment • One-to-One instruction • No contracts • Students gain 1-4 grade levels • Decoding, fluency and comprehension

384 King Caesar Road


business for 20 Years!

Hourly • Daily Overnight • Weekends Full Weeks Memberships Available call Peggy at 781-582-1691 or email

Same Day Service On All Major Appliances


Trained, mature, responsible childcare in your home.




Professional sitters referral svcs., inc. In


SALES & SERVICE Refrigerator Stove/Oven Washer Dryer Microwave Dishwasher Disposal Central Air

781-837-1700 864 Plain Street Marshfield

you are a self-motivated, creative and driven multi-media account executive. we are an award-winning, premier multi-media publication in Central MA. sounds like a perfect match. send your outstanding resume to Helen Linnehan 54 FEBRUARY2014

Make your Phone Ring this SPRING... March: Get ready for summer fun... finding the perfect camp can be a challenge. Showcase your amazing camp with us! APRIL: Make your house a home! From decorating ideas to gorgeous gardens...this issue is sure to bring out the Martha Stewart in you. MAY: Birthdays, Weddings, Baby Showers, Gradulations... Life is a party. Celebrate! Pick up the phone today. Advertise your business in


and let us help you reach over 160,000 parents in Western, Central and Eastern MA

Contact Regina Stillings, Director of Sales 508-865-7070 ext. 210

FREE FUNDRAISING for your school, sports team, or any group wanting to earn instant cash!

IT’S TIME TO CLEAN YOUR CLOSETS! Join the 50,000 organizations across the USA, UK, Ireland, Germany, Canada and Holland that have earned over $20 million with BAG2SCHOOL fundraising – receiving Cash for Clothing and keeping used textiles out of landfills.

1. Set a date for your clothing collection 2. We help you organize and advertise your collection FREE of charge 3. We collect the textiles and pay you based on the weight collected 4. With Bag2School you do not have to worry about cluttering your school grounds with collection bins – all items are cleared on the day and converted to cash for your fundraising goal

Contact us today to book your Bag2School Fundraiser – and Don’t Trash it, Cash it!

Regional Coordinator, Missy Hollenback 508-284-7314 • Toll Free 1-855-260-FUND (3863) • BAYSTATEPARENT 55

Not a AAA member? Join today! Use promo code 8528 Visit or call 1-800-222-8252


MARCH 7– 9 , 2014

Gillette Stadium


Save • • • • •



Over 100 exhibitors Great prizes & giveaways Exclusive member benefits & discounts Daily show deals One-stop planning & booking

FRIDAY, MARCH 7: 2pm – 8pm SATURDAY, MARCH 8: 10am – 7pm SUNDAY, MARCH 9: 10am – 5pm

Presentations on favorite destinations • Easy highway access & FREE PARKING • Major credit cards accepted •


of America Tour


from AAA Travel and AAA Member Choice Vacations


when you book at the show! Choose Samsonite luggage or an American Express® Gift Card.**





at a AAA branch or at the door

1-800-222-7448 #TravelWithAAA *No purchase necessary; details available at AAA Travel Marketplace. **Minimum booking amount required. Offer valid for new deposited cruise and tour bookings made with AAA Southern New England only. Colors may vary on distributed luggage. Gift denominations will vary based on level of booking. One gift per booking. Ask for details. TRA.12621.14_BSPP



February 2014 edition of baystateparent Magazine