Bay State Parent May 2015

Page 1

baystateparent FREE

Massachusetts’ Premier Magazine For Families Since 1996

MAY 2015

The Power Of







Sesame Street Legend Caroll Spinney Speaks Q&A WITH KISS 108’S LISA DONOVAN How To Buy A Bra That Actually Fits




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6 MAY2015

1 2

table of contents MAY 2015 VOLUME 20

1. 2.



things we learned

while making the may issue

When purchasing a bra, almost all women size themselves too big in the band and too small in the cup, experts say. And surveys agree that the majority of women (anywhere from 60% to 80% or higher) are wearing the wrong size. Head to page 46 for expert tips on how to find a bra that is flattering and comfortable. It can be done!

8 10 11 11 16 17 17 18 22

According to a 2013 report, 88% of U.S.based Etsy sellers are women. On page 54 meet three Massachusetts women who are leveraging the e-commerce site to launch nationwide and international businesses that fulfill their creative desires.


in every issue

35 62

Puppeteer Caroll Spinney, the man who has brought us Big Bird since 1969, was born in Waltham and grew up in Acton. The subject of a documentary, I Am Big Bird, premiering in theatres this month, Spinney talks to baystateparent on page 12.

66 71 74

WELCOME: A Letter from Our Editor MEET OUR CONTRIBUTORS bsp ONLINE SHOW & TELL FINALLY FOREVER: A Place For Their Belongings MAY’S CHILDREN: Meet Julian & Mannie CIRCLE OF FRIENDS: Area Adoption Events VERY SPECIAL PEOPLE: Special Moms: A Unique Perspective On Shoes OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO: May Calendar of Family Events DIVORCE & SINGLE PARENTING: 4 Ways To Help Your Kids Celebrate Your Ex This Mother’s Day OUR MAY FAVORITES: Facts, Finds and Freebies COUNTDOWN TO SUMMER CAMP: Camps as Unique as Western Massachusetts REEL LIFE WITH JANE: Family Movies Coming to Theatres, DVD in May TAKE 8: KISS 108’s Lisa Donovan

the power of women articles

38 42 46

features 12

Big Bird Is From Massachusetts: A Q&A With Sesame Street’s Caroll Spinney

31 33 34

RIPE: The Merger of Motherhood and Farming DISHIN’ WITH THE DIETITIAN: Age By Age: Important Nutritional Tips for Women BITES: Food News, Gear & Fun

50 54 56

Extreme Moms: These women aren’t about to leave their passions behind Gratitude Lessons If The Cup (And Straps) Fit: Everything You Need To Know To Buy A Bra That Fits Honoring Louis: Transforming a Mother’s Grief Into Action Women Get Entrepreneurial On Etsy Taking Pictures, Taking Over: How Women Revolutionized the Family Photography Business BAYSTATEPARENT 7

meet team

welcome to

publisher KIRK DAVIS

We write about women every month, but in our 19-year history we’ve never done it quite like this. This issue, you’ll quickly discover, is not about the kids. It’s not even about the parents. This month, we take a look at the person behind the mom and honor the power of women. No slight to dads, but moms are infamous for putting everyone else — and their needs — first. Are mothers 100% selfless? No. But 80% isn’t a bad guess. Children, spouses, and pets tend to outrank mom in the priority department, which means it’s easy for her goals, hobbies, desires, and ambitions to wind up on the back burner. In this issue we profile and talk to some amazing, accomplished Massachusetts women — who also happen to be moms. You will meet women affecting change in their communities, like Tina Chéry, whose 15-year-old son

Louis was killed in a gang shooting while walking to a T station. Learn how, over the past 20+ years, Chéry has transformed her grief into action, aiding other families of homicide victims. Or read about four graduate students who started a campaign in which a $5 donation results in a laundry bag for a child in foster care, ensuring their belongings are not transported in trash bags. You’ll discover female photographers who have joined the rising nationwide tide of women who have turned professional following the arrival of their children, a move that has completely revolutionized the decades-unchanged family and child portrait industry. Then there are the women leveraging e-commerce powerhouse Etsy to launch nationwide and international businesses that fulfill their creative ambitions and help the family bottom line, all while offering flexibility at home. Read the personal story of one Bellingham woman who, while suffering from a chronic illness, learned lessons she never expected. Or an essay from an Andover mother who outlines the challenges, joys, and reality of parenting a child with


special needs. The power of both of these women shines brightly and is an inspiration. On a lighter note, we take a look at an issue that affects 90% (and that is a conservative estimate) of women — ill-fitting bras. I guarantee every woman who reads this will learn a thing or two about how to find a flattering undergarment that fits, and I hope every reader will make time for herself to purchase one (or more) that do the job comfortably. And lastly, enjoy our Q&A with five Massachusetts women about their cool hobbies and interests. We love these ladies, not only because their pursuits are powerful and fun, but also because they make the time to do something they love. If you take anything out of this issue, I hope it’s that you need to make time for yourself. Recharging your batteries in any way you see fit — sans family — will make you more powerful and effective as a person, spouse, and, yes, as a mom.

M e li ss a Melissa Shaw, Editor

to our Senior Graphic Designer Stephanie Mallard and her husband Nick on the birth of their son Kellen.

creative editor in chief MELISSA SHAW 508-865-7070 ext. 201 creative director PAULA MONETTE ETHIER 508-865-7070 ext. 221 senior graphic designer STEPHANIE MALLARD 508-865-7070 multi-media editor HEATHER KEMPSKIE

graphic designer KIM MILLER

advertising director of sales REGINA STILLINGS 508-865-7070 ext. 210 account executive MARIE COREY 508-735-0503 account executive DEBORAH MEUNIER 508-450-9718 account executive KATHY PUFFER 508-865-7070 ext. 211


baystateparent is published monthly with a main office at 22 West Street, Millbury, MA 01527 It is distributed free of charge throughout Massachusetts.

8 MAY2015

grades 8-12 - including recent high school graduates. This camp will take your teen to a higher level in theatre! They will produce and act in THEIR OWN show - separate from the younger campers! Join in this exciting adventure!

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2138NC15_BayStateParent_June.qxp_Layout 1 4/16/15 10:40 AM Page 1

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On page 18, writer and mother of two Wendy Bulawa Agudelo of Andover explains how being the mother of a child with special needs is like wearing a unique pair of shoes. Yes, that sounds like an unexpected analogy, but trust us, this is a powerful, beautiful story worth your time. Also, Wendy, the mother of a special needs child, outlines five great gifts for these amazing moms.

Michele Bennett Decoteau is a writer, mother of two, and beekeeper who lives in Millbury. Read her story on page 31, in which she interviews a woman who juggles the fulltime jobs of mother and dairy farmer.

Karen Lock Kolp is a homeschooling mother of two from Bellingham who on page 42 shares her very personal story about living with a chronic illness and the surprising gifts it brought. She also produces a podcast at

Janine Queenin lives in Westfield with her husband, two kids, and a laid-back Lab-Hound mix. This month she writes about unique Western Massachusetts summer camps on page 66.

On page 54, Rutland-based writer and mother of three Kathy Sloan talks to women across the state who are exploring their creative sides, running nationwide and international businesses, and making money by leveraging the peer-to-peer online commerce powerhouse Etsy.

Abbey Tiderman is a writer, editor, and social media strategist who lives in Wilbraham with her husband and two young sons. On page 46 she tackles a topic that will be of interest and educational to absolutely every single woman who reads it: how to buy a bra that fits. Learn more about Abbey at

Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur is a freelance writer, blogger and homeschooling mother of three who grew up in Chicopee and has called Springfield home for many years. On page 16 she highlights two groups that are bringing dignity to foster children in an unexpected way.

Attorney Irwin M. Pollack is Founder and Lead Attorney of Pollack Law Group, P.C. ( and a divorced father himself. On page 35 he offers 4 ways divorced fathers can help their children celebrate and honor their mother on Mother’s Day. He also JOIN US ONLINE! shares insights and information about co-parenting on his weekly radio talk show, Talking About Divorce, which is broadcast live each Sunday at noon on NewsRadio 580/94.9, WTAG, in Worcester, and on Co-Parenting After Divorce, an informational broadcast that airs weekly on WBZ NewsRadio twitter @baystateparent 1030 in Boston.

See what we’re up to!

Summer Session II begins June 29th. Register today at


May Contributors

BSBA: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration MBA: Master of Business Administration MSOL: Master of Science in Organizational Leadership MSA: Master of Science in Accounting

Head to and enjoy our latest videos, including: • Behind-the-scenes fun at Faneuil Hall and our 2015 Cover Model Contest. • The coolest Mother’s and Father’s Day gifts. • Interviews with our cool moms, including a race car driver, a rock singer, and more. • Reviews of our favorite products for camp, summer, and much more!



bsp ONLINE Does Your Bra Fit?

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Apparently not. Sixty-six percent of respondents to a recent survey admit that their bras do not fit comfortably — at all. And 44% didn’t know that they could have a professional bra-fitting expert measure them (for free!) so they can finally find relief. We’ve got the rest of our survey results, as well as top advice and solutions for you on page 46. And check out my recent trip to a local undergarment store to get a proper measurement.

We’re on Instagram baystateparent wants to delight you with pithy photos and short videos — and what better way to do that than to launch our Instagram account. Follow us for behind-the-scenes fun, great places to go, and products we love. baystateparent

1 Out of 2 Parents: Get Rid of February Vacation

Massachusetts schools should eliminate February and April vacations and opt for a March break instead.

Winners Everywhere Spring finally arrived and baystaters were aching to get out of the house! So we sent lucky winners like The Gregor Family of Sudbury to Shrek the Musical at Wheelock Family Theatre and The Roche Family of Grafton to The Diary of Anne Frank at Boston Children’s Theatre. And with spring comes camp! We loved awarding a Girl Scout troop from Marlborough some of our camp gear goodies, including a Meal Kit. Enjoy girls!

Fifty percent of parents polled on think

Mother’s & Father’s Day Gifts Mother’s Day is May 10. Father’s Day is June 21. Now that we have the dates out of the way, you need to find a decent gift. Look for our new video series, Show & Tell, where we will be sharing some of our favorite finds for those big days and beyond! Find it at

— Heather Kempskie Multi-Media Editor


s y



P.S. I still own bras from before I was pregnant….12 years ago.

An Easier, Faster, Free Way To Communicate With Friends and Family When it comes to staying in touch and/or relaying important info, I live by two general facts. 1. Texting isn’t always convenient or safe when I’m multi-tasking. 2. I rarely have time or desire for a phone conversation. My answer: Voxer ( This free messaging, walkie-talkie app for your smartphone makes it incredibly easy to tell your boss you’re going to miss deadline (sorry Melissa); to remind your husband to grab milk; or send a group shout-out to your neighborhood friends regarding final plans for the potluck. They can respond with a voice recording or opt to send an image or text instead. It leaves the guesswork out of the emotion of a text. It’s faster than typing out your message and, dare I say, I love the random monologues that some of my funnier friends leave for my listening pleasure.

I got bsp Editor-in-Chief Melissa hooked on Voxer and now, to my delight, she sends a “Vox” at all hours telling me of her brilliant brainstorms. (Ed. Note: I sense you’re being sarcastic…) In fact, this column, Show & Tell, was one of them! P.S. You can turn off the alert sound. Voxer, available for iPhone and Android phones, could be a lifesaver during travel. Imagine being at an amusement park and your family is scattered in various locations. Need to switch the meetup time or spot? Send them a Vox. The personal app is free, but if you think you’ll ever need to broadcast to more 500 people, you can fork over $2.99 a month for the premium package. The only downside to the app (and let this be a warning): Once you release the record button, the message is gone. As in sent. As in “can’t take back what you said”… in real life or on Voxer. — Heather (heather@

A Free Online Family Calendar That Really Works Last fall I realized my family’s beloved monthly calendar just wasn’t cutting it. With three increasingly busy children and two working parents (one of whom travels regularly), it was a hot mess. Appointments and activities were jockeying for position on a calendar that, while large, wasn’t large enough to handle all volume. Add in events or activities that changed times, places, or dates, and it became, to put it mildly, confusing, complete with strikethroughs, scribbles, and arrows. And that’s if we even remembered to enter an appointment in the first place. A friend recommended the free family calendar app, Cozi (, and my husband and I were quickly hooked. Using your smartphone, tablet, or desktop, Cozi lets any family member easily enter and color-

code appointments according to family member, providing a neat, accurate picture of the day, week, or month. Any changes to the calendar are instantly replicated across all your family members’ devices. The ability to add or edit events via any device greatly reduces the chances of forgetting to do so in the first place (a frequent problem for me). Cozi, available for iPhone and Android phones, also offers shopping and to-do lists and much more. Your calendar can be printed out in a month’s view and stuck on the fridge like its 12-month ancestor. The free version does sport ads, which I find doesn’t detract from its usability. Cozi Gold ($29.99/ year) is ad-free and offers more functionality, such as shared contacts, reminders, a birthday tracker and more. — Melissa ( BAYSTATEPARENT 11


Is From Massachusetts And other fascinating facts

about Caroll Spinney,

the man inside the bird. BY HEATHER KEMPSKIE

Caroll Spinney isn’t being swarmed by adoring fans. Yet. As the man inside the beloved character suit of Big Bird and perched under Oscar the Grouch, this Massachusetts native has been able to keep a low profile. Things will change as the much-anticipated documentary I Am Big Bird hits the film circuit this month. “I’m most comfortable being a puppet,” he recently confessed. “You can be quite zany and no one knows it’s you. I can get lost in the characters. Big Bird is a fun child. And Oscar is nothing like me. It’s really strange and wonderful to play him.” baystateparent recently got a chance to speak with the 81-year-old Spinney, who just wrapped up filming his 46th season of Sesame Street.

5 things you probably never knew about the man who plays Big Bird 1. He started his puppeteer career as a character on Bozo the Clown. 2. He almost quit Sesame Street. (It didn’t pay well and he was sleeping on couches to make ends meet.) 3. In the ’80s, he was invited by NASA to be a guest on an upcoming mission to get kids excited about space travel. Turns out, they couldn’t fit Big Bird onboard the Space Shuttle 12 MAY2015

and sent a teacher instead. (We don’t want to give it away here, but watch the documentary for the full NASA story, which is jaw-dropping!) 4. He was born in Waltham, grew up in Acton, and now resides in Connecticut. 5. He has enough personal video and images to make 20 more movies (let’s hope he does!).

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Tell us about I Am Big Bird. How did it come to be?

The kids would fall asleep, too! That didn’t test well. For instance, [during] a period in the ’80s, we’d have break dancers on. Another year, Double Dutch was a big thing and we’d have kids in from Harlem. They’re always keeping up with the times. The new season is going to be fun to see.

The guys from Copper Pot Pictures approached Sesame Street to see if they would approve a film about the guy who plays Big Bird. I thought it sounded interesting. We met at Sesame Street headquarters and I liked them very much and agreed. Deb [my wife] told them we have an archive of films of all our times together — all 42 years. We are madly in love after all these years; it never fades away. We were kind of surprised that the documentary was a bit of a love story, too.

Has your portrayal of Big Bird and Oscar evolved over the years? Big Bird started as quite a different character. Jim [Henson] had always wanted to make some puppets that would actually live on the street and be on the show regularly. He always wanted to make a large, silly bird. And there was a grouchy waiter at a place he used to eat at called Oscars. The waiter was so grouchy, he was hilarious. That influenced Jim to make a character like that. Oscar hasn’t changed much except he had started out orange. But Big Bird was scruffy looking and the feathers were put on half-hazardly and he had no feathers above his eyes so he didn’t look like he had enough brain to manage. As we were doing the show in the first few months, along came a script where Big Bird saw these children going into a daycare center and he wanted to go play with them. But this was an 8-foot-tall goofy guy of indeterminate age. Why would an 8-foot guy, who could be dangerous, be with little children and follow them into a daycare? I said, ‘I think I should play this like Big Bird is a kid,

What do you think kids — young and old — will find most compelling about the documentary? I think Big Bird and Oscar and all of the Sesame Street characters mean a great deal to children, young and old. To see it presented in this way reminds them of what moved them when they were little. They used to watch with their mothers and fathers, and now they’re watching with their grandchildren. When we started the show, 9 to 12 million kids were watching every day. We just finished filming our 46th year, so think about how many hundreds of millions of people have been affected by the show. You said that your mom was a powerful influence in your life when it came to your future career. What would you tell

moms out there about how they can positively influence their children? My mother was an artist and she just constantly made things that made our lives more amazing and complete. She discovered I loved puppets when I was about 8. If [your child/ren] look like they are really intrigued by something it might lead to something for their future. It’s really great to aid them because they may not have access or know–how to access things that would really help them grow. For what I wanted to do, my mother was perfectly suited. She was a refuge from my father, who was kind of scary — which is funny because as he got older he was a sweet fellow. He lived

until he was 91. Why do you think Sesame Street has lasted as long as it has? I think it’s because it never stayed just the same. The show was called an experiment in television and it still is because when they find out that something isn’t working, they try something else. They test everything on children and if it doesn’t intrigue them, they drop it. I played a character the first year named Granny Fanny Nesselrode. She was funny, but it didn’t test well. Frank Oz had a wonderful character called Professor Hastings. He would talk about things that were boring, but it was so boring, he’d fall asleep.

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forget the fact that he’s 8-feet-tall and a bird.’ Jim thought I should play him as a country yokel, but why would he be a country kid when he was living in the city? I lightened up his voice, but within two weeks I had lightened up his voice to sound much more like a purple dinosaur. It was just what the show needed because I pointed out that he could learn things like the alphabet along with the kids. It’s a pretty grueling job because of the costume and all the mechanics. It’s very physically demanding. You have to hold your hand over your head. [Big Bird’s] head weighs 4.5 pounds. There was an urban legend [that] my right arm is twice the size of my left arm. Is it true? Not true at all. They are definitely the same size. Although it’s definitely twice as strong.

What is it like behind the scenes at Sesame Street? We have a read through and make final decisions about camera shots. Then we do rehearsal with characters in hand and they’re timing it. Often we’ll tape the rehearsal and sometimes that’s what you’ll see as the final product because we did it well. We used to make two shows a day for years. Now it takes 1-3 days to do a show because the scripts are so elaborate. The cast and crew are very creative people. They love working on the show. There is a lot of laughter. One of the great things [about the show] is they decided when the show first started it should be as funny as it is educational. And it really worked.

something you really love doing. Is it kind of nice being a celebrity but without a lot of people recognizing you? It never bothered me that people don’t say, ‘Oh, look who is coming.’ I’m just another person.

I AM BIG BIRD: THE CAROLL SPINNEY STORY will open at the Brattle Theatre in

Boston on May 15.

How would you sum up your career?

Were you pleased with how the documentary came out?

It’s a long-lasting career doing exactly what I’m good at. And exactly what I’ve always wanted to do. It’s wonderful if you can find a way to make a living doing

When we saw it for the first time in Toronto on a 60-foot screen, I wondered how my [home] movies would show on a big screen. They caught what we wanted to say. I

think they did a wonderful job. We would hear from them regularly but we didn’t help with editing and content. They decided what the story would be. Why, after all these years, are the characters of Sesame Street, particularly Big Bird and Oscar, so beloved? Well, I think both children and grown-ups love familiarity. I’m the only person left playing the characters from the start and I still do it. I hope to do at least 50 years and more if I’m up to it. I think it’s kind of fun to see characters through the years and the parents are kind of excited to see the same things they were seeing with their kids. It’s a sharing thing. We always emphasized [to parents] if you have time, sit and watch the show with your child. You’ll get closer and share things together.

Before birthday parties turn to dinner parties, get to Sesame Place. It’s the perfect time, and they’re the perfect age, for Sesame Place®. Come celebrate our 35th Birthday all year long with our new Neighborhood Birthday Party Parade™ and more! And don’t miss Cookie’s Monster Land, our furriest land ever.

Save on admission at

© 2015 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. Sesame Workshop®, Sesame Street® and associated characters, trademarks and design elements are owned and licensed by Sesame Workshop. © 2015 Sesame Workshop. All rights reserved.

Bringing the Power of Women online Go behind the scenes with us as we chat with our Extreme Moms and (finally) get properly fitted for a bra. That and much more at 14 MAY2015




“ pa “I lu pl ou ga tr ap of to gi so B ot

From left to right. Kim Barnaby, Tara Keefe, Dr. Karen Clark-Hoey, Lashelle (Shelley) Morman, Julie Welch

A Place For Their Belongings Grad students help foster care children feel cared for one bag at a time BY PATRICE FAGNANT-MACARTHUR, PHOTOGRAPHY BY ASHLEY VASSALLO PHOTOGRAPHY

A young boy under the care of the Department of Children and Families (DCF) was being moved from one program to another on a rainy day. When his social worker opened the back of her trunk to remove his belongings, one of the trash bags had ripped. His artwork, undergarments, and other belongings fell out onto the street for everyone to see. Not only were some of his precious possessions ruined, but he was also very embarrassed. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. As of March 2014, there were 8,190 children in the Massachusetts foster care system, and often they must change homes. Children will change foster families in order to be placed with one that better meets their needs or transition from a residential program to foster care. These children, who are already scared, alone, confused, sad, and hurt, need to pack up their belongings quickly, which often means that everything they own is 16 MAY2015

stuffed into trash bags, a degrading experience that can add to all the misery these young people have already experienced. Four students enrolled in the Springfield College Master of Social Work (MSW) satellite program in Worcester are working to change that. Julie Welch, Lashelle Morman, Tara Keefe, and Kim Barnaby (pictured above with Assistant Professor Karen Clark-Hoey) have started Dignity Matters, a campaign that aims to provide quality, durable laundry bags for transporting foster children’s belongings. These women understand the need for such a program, all four have years of experience as DCF social workers or as human services professionals with other programs. “I've seen first-hand the impact carrying prized possessions in a trash bag has on a child,” Welch says. “There is nothing more upsetting than seeing a child going to foster care or to a residential program with their belongings in a

trash bag. It's heartbreaking. We are hoping to reach out, raise funds, and spread the awareness that an action as small as donating or purchasing a bag for a child in foster care can truly go a long way.” The idea for the bag project came during a Policy III class when the group was tasked with picking a social action project. “Like everywhere, the budgets are tight and unfortunately this issue is not a top priority,” Welch says. “Bags for kids to carry their belongings should be something that is written into the budget at DCF or into the budgets of the agencies that serve the children in care, rather than relying on charitable donations. Until then, we will continue to make a difference where we can and promote awareness of the need while preserving the dignity and human rights of the already fragile children in state custody through a rather simple action.” In fact the group recently was able to purchase a bulk order of laundry bags from for only $2 a bag. The women have begun a GoFundMe drive to raise money at: All money raised will be used to purchase laundry bags that will be donated to local programs that work directly with children placed out of Worcester County DCF area offices. The four students hope to keep the program going even after they graduate this May.

A similar mission takes flight in Agawam Tamara Blake never planned on starting a nonprofit organization. A licensed clinician and psychologist, she has worked with children touched by loss, devastation, and trauma for several years, but an encounter with a child in September 2010 gave her a new mission. She was working for the Gandara Center in Springfield and saw a child preparing to move to a new home.

“I saw all that little boy’s belongings packed up in trash bags,” she recalls. “I remembered that I had a piece of luggage in my car that I had been planning to donate to Goodwill. I ran out to my car, grabbed the luggage, gave it to the child, and helped transfer the belongings. He was so appreciative. You could see the sense of pride on his face. I knew I wanted to offer other children the same gift. This was a problem in need of a solution.” Blake began reaching out to others on social media and the



JUNE’S CHILDREN: Julian and Mannie

donations started coming in. Nearly five years later, Angels Take Flight ( is a nonprofit based in Agawam, changing the lives of children one suitcase at a time. The organization aids those in the DCF system, as well as children in domestic violence or homeless shelters, hospitals and other settings. Blake and other volunteers personally drop off luggage to safe houses, shelters, and agencies, ensuring the items get to those who need them most. Sometimes, the children themselves get to pick out

These African American brothers are looking for a family where they can grow up together! Four-anda-half-year-old Julian is always on the go, whereas his 3-year-old brother Mannie is a more laid-back kind of kid. Julian loves to run, jump and play with any type of ball. His foster mother describes him as a natural athlete. He attends a full-day preschool where he is supported by an Individualized Education Plan. Mannie likes to play with blocks, trucks and books. He attends a toddler group once a week where he does well with his peers.

their new suitcase. Blake recalls one piece of luggage in particular. “It was a fabric bag, which most likely had belonged to an older person. I wasn’t sure if a child would like it, but a little boy grabbed it, hugged it and exclaimed, ‘This is going to be mine because it is so comfortable!’” she recalls. In addition to luggage, Angels Take Flight also receives donations of knitted blankets, pillowcases, toiletries, and toys (during the holiday season), which they distribute on a case-by-case basis to

At times Julian has difficulty maintaining his balance and it appears as though his mind is going faster than his body. He does have a low frustration tolerance, which sometimes leads to tantrums. Transitions can be particularly difficult for Julian. He does well with one-on-one interaction, but can struggle when he has to share attention. Legally free for adoption, these boys need a nurturing two-parent family with the skills to take on two growing youngsters with some challenges. Their social worker would like at least one parent to be

children in need. Recently, “we were so happy we were able to get Easter goodies to a local safe home for the children currently residing there,” Blake adds. “It was all in beautiful luggage the children can also use when they transition.” Angels Take Flight receives funding in a variety of ways: corporate donations, fundraisers, and private donations. The 4th Annual Angels Take Flight 5K run will be held in Longmeadow on May 9. Information can be found at events.

female and one parent who has the flexibility to be at home in order to provide them with the stimulation they need to continue developing. These brothers would thrive in a smaller family with flexible expectations who can accept a child with an unknown future potential. For more information about Julian and Mannie or to learn more about the adoption process in general, please call Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange Child Services Coordinator Nichole Lawton at (617) 54-ADOPT.

CIRCLE of FRIENDS Wednesday, May 6 — Northern Region Adoption Info Meetings, Jordan’s Furniture Reading: IMAX Conference Room- 50 Walker’s Brook Dr., Reading. 6 p.m. RSVP: 978-557-2734. Thursday, May 14 — Family Support Group, Jordan’s Furniture, 50 Walkers Brook Drive, Reading, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. This waiting family support group is open to families from all regions who are waiting, matched, or placed with a child. This is safe space for families to share their thoughts on the adoption process and receive guidance and support from other families. Call 978-337-6500 to RSVP. Sunday, May 17 — Jordan’s Walk/Run for Adoption 5K. Jordan’s Furniture, 450 Revolutionary Drive, East Taunton. 10 a.m. Walkers, runners and all adoptive families welcome. Face painting, raffles, refreshments, prizes, and more. 5-K Run or walk: $25. Ages 12 & under: $5-$10. Monday, May 18 — Southern Region Adoption Info Meetings, Mass. Department of Children and Families, Canton Police Station, 1492 Washington Street, Canton. 6 p.m.-8 p.m. RSVP to 508-894-3830. Wednesday, May 20 — Boston Region Adoption Info Meeting, DCF Boston, 451 Blue Hill Avenue, Dorchester. 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. 617-989-9209. Thursday, May 21 — Southern Region Adoption Info Meetings, Morton Hospital, 88 Washington Street, Taunton, Margaret Stone Conference Room, first floor. 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. RSVP: 508-894-3830.

Ongoing — Group for Adoptive Parents. Adoption Associates, 34 Lincoln Street, Newton. For parents of children in elementary or middle school, this monthly group focuses on understanding the impact of loss and trauma; learning to manage difficult and challenging behaviors; strengthening the family bond while preserving identity; and more. For more information, contact 617-965-9369 or Ongoing — Group for Adopted Teens. Adoption Associates, 34 Lincoln Street, Newton. For adopted children ages 14-19, this group focuses on identity development, self-esteem improvement, confidence building and communication skills. Participants will use conversation to reflect upon the experience of adoption and belonging. For more information, contact 617-9659369 or Ongoing — Group for Adoptive Parents of Teens. Adoption Associates, 34 Lincoln Street, Newton. For adopted children ages 14-19, For parents of children in elementary or middle school, this monthly group focuses on understanding the impact of loss and trauma; learning to manage difficult and challenging behaviors; strengthening the family bond while preserving identity; and more. For more information, contact 617-965-9369 or If your group or organization is holding an adoption information or support group and would like to have information posted for readers of baystateparent, please email




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Special Moms: A Unique Perspective On Shoes BY WENDY BULAWA AGUDELO Wendy and daughter Abby


many, if not all, women openly admit, it’s all about the shoes. We simply love them — whether our preference is towards running sneakers, flip flops, wellheeled stilettos, or sassy boots. Our shoes are most definitely a way to express our individuality, fashion sense, and feelings about comfort. Interestingly, the shoes we often adore the most are practically, if not always, the most uncomfortable to wear. Harken back to some of your favorites and recall how they felt upon first wear (or every wear) as they pinched your toes, gave you blisters, or caused your arches to ache. With determination in tow, like a Chariots of Fire champion, you still wore your favorites anyway — simply because you loved them! Upon introspection, it occurred to me that being a parent of a child (or children) with special needs is a lot like wearing a unique, albeit

sometimes uncomfortable, pair of shoes. Regardless of discomfort, we proudly don our shoes with such immense determination and pride that any minor discomfort subtly melts away. For those around us who have never or infrequently experience shoe pain, it can be difficult to explain or understand how we manage — very much like the old adage, “You never truly know someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” A foundational truth is that few if any moms anticipate giving birth to a child with special needs. We all procreate believing that our children will be born pristinely perfect, perfumed by the gods, and as gorgeous as Gerber loves to portray. But that isn’t reality. It wasn’t necessarily mine. When mothers head to the hospital to give birth, they are filled with adrenaline until the moment our newborn cries upon exiting our

womb. But what if the baby doesn’t cry? What if the baby’s Apgar isn’t perfect? There’s no real way to plan or prepare, even with the best of intentions. No one tells you that your child could be born with medical, physical or neurological challenges. No one suggests to you that you should plan for potential crisis. And even if they did, there’s no optimal way to plan or prepare. Therefore, when new parents learn of unexpected, unplanned for diagnoses, we are caught off-guard, emotional, fixated on solutions and wonder if life for us will ever be, dare I say, “normal.” Each of us is thrust into this new role and circumstance with unexpected force. Naturally, we are wobbly, uncertain, concerned, confused, likely even scared. As I entered this new world, I didn’t know whom to turn to for advice, where to seek counsel, or even whom to trust. I feared our friends would

struggle with what to say, our family would be rattled with uncertainty, and we too had to figure out a roadmap — with no support in sight. Despite those mixed feelings, the underlying love and desire to care for our babies becomes our foundation, and from that, we build a new “normal” using scaffolding made from support, knowledge, milestones, and love. Those existing outside our microcosm will certainly wonder how we manage, and while I doubt most moms can tell you how they manage, the bottom line is that they just…do. And what I’ve learned in the 10 years since my initial foray is that we’re constantly managing while wearing a unique pair of shoes. They may not be the ones you’d ever want to buy or wear, yet moms like me greatly appreciate when you admire them from afar or even comment on them. We’re often very happy to chat about them, and truth be told, talking about our shoes — one of the

A Commitment That Lasts a Lifetime The Special Needs Practice Group at Fletcher Tilton PC offers years of experience providing comprehensive legal services in a caring and concerned environment. We help individuals and families with: • Special Needs Planning • Guardianship & Considering Alternatives Transition Planning & Adult Services • • Advocacy For more information call our Special Needs Practice Group leader, Frederick m. misilo, Jr., at 508.459.8059 or email him at We’re here to help! Worcester | Framingham | ca p e co d | 18BayStateParent-Ver2.indd MAY2015


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most thoughtful and kind gestures — makes us feel more kindred.

Not Different, But Unique Most of the time, I feel no different than any other mom who is in absolute love with her children and wishes all good things for them. All the moms I know work incredibly hard to protect and keep their children safe, while teaching them valuable life skills so that one day their little ones can live independently. As moms, each of us juggles an insurmountable number of daily tasks. We care for our families, our children, our friends, and for many of us, our careers as well. In addition, we’re expected to stay completely on top of social calendars, sporting events, practices, carpool obligations, volunteer work, social graces, our spousal relationships and, of course, our “stuff.” You know — the things that keep us awake at night or cause us a level of anxiety. Motherhood initiates us all into a bonded sisterhood of women who, through knowing glances and nods, communicate well-known messages such as, “Don’t worry, girl, tomorrow will be a better day,” or “Hang in there, it’s almost bedtime!” This sisterhood is so much more relevant and important to moms of children with special needs because we’re not only expected to manage all of the above, but we must also mitigate all responsibilities associated with

Mother’s Day Gifts for Special Needs Moms 1. 3-ring binders/3-hole punch/ sturdy boxes. Most moms keep a handful of special art projects, class reports, science projects and creative drawings made by their children, but moms of children with special needs basically save everything their children do because we are required to document our child’s academic progress. It is our responsibility to keep track of various medical reports, progress updates, report cards, work samples, evaluations and more, so 3-ring binders are a necessity. Binders alone are just the beginning; an even more valuable gift is organization. If you are an organizational expert, your services should be strategically marketed to all parents of children with special needs who, without a doubt, would become a significant percentage of your client base. 2. Manicure/Pedicure. What seemingly can be done in an hour or two is something moms of children with special needs rarely

caring for our children — much of which leads to sleepless nights, fatigue, numerous physician visits, therapy appointments and IEP meetings. When we take our children to the playground, for example, it’s difficult to engage in playground parent chatter like our peers do because our focus is typically glued to the location of our children, what they are doing, who they are engaging with, and also if they are engaging in a proper manner. When we send our children off to school, we anticipate calls from the school reporting unexpected or unplanned situations that will shift the focus and schedule of our entire day. Doctors become friends given how regularly we see them, and planning a vacation is often more about safe accommodations rather than an adventure-filled agenda. Not better, not worse…simply unique. So when a fellow mom of three and friend of 10 years recently wrote a piece relating to support for moms, I found an incredibly eloquent nugget worth sharing: “At our core and out of necessity, we’re a group of encouragers. We’re building a recharging station to sustain each of us individually and all of us collectively, as we travel a long road with unique challenges.” And, as my friend Sharon said so beautifully, while our road and shoes may be unique, we are still fortunate to be members of this wonderful sisterhood called motherhood.

treat themselves to due to time and expense. Frivolous monetary outlays don’t often figure into our annual budget. While we’d love to pamper the heck out of ourselves, it often doesn’t seem or feel practical. Yet, when it comes as a gift, we’ll grab the opportunity with both hands and enjoy every minute! 3. Wine. A simple glass of wine can often take the edge off any challenging day. An ancillary benefit is that wine can be imbibed at a time convenient for us (usually once our children are snuggled in bed), and also provides useful calories to those of us who find that eating is the last thing we find time to do. 4. Playdate. Not everyone is up for this, but arranging a visit (to your home, at a playground or similar) is such a treat — not only for our children, but for us moms, too. Another parent (aka, an extra set of eyes and hands) can make a huge difference in our day. While our kids love to get out of their own four walls, play with other children, and see the world, we too enjoy brief escapes during which we’re not the exclusive caretaker — even if for just one hour. Of course, it may be awkward. You or

Perspective Cures All Ills Prior to becoming a parent, my experience with individuals with disabilities was rather minimal — that is until I began volunteering at Children’s Hospital in Boston. Within this new world, I began to see just how many innocent children are affected by medical diagnoses from Rett Syndrome and Fragile X to lethal lymphoma and fibromyalgia. The nearly five years, which I will forever laud as my “formative years,” put my tiny life in perspective as I watched thousands of families walk through the hospital doors with the same desperate, inquisitive look on their faces — literally begging for someone to heal their child. Through volunteering, however, I gained amazing perspective. Strolling into the hospital each week, I never knew what would come my way. Would I be cradling a desperately sick infant, manning the information desk, or wheeling children and their families from one floor to another? It was hard to predict. But within every interaction, I gained valuable tidbits that have been integral to my experience as a mother of children with special needs, the most important of which is that no one can plan for the unexpected. I had seen countless families enter and exit Children’s Hospital over the years — some with their children,

your children may not know exactly how to act or what to say. But, you will never gain that experience unless you try. Taking the time to do so will mean so much…guaranteed. 5. Don’t avoid us. The life of a special needs parent can be a lonely one, especially when people either pretend nothing is wrong or prefer not to engage. Too often, people avoid talking to moms about their children with special needs as if avoiding the subject will somehow prevent awkward situations. When we don’t know what to say or how to act, it can be truly vexing. The truth is that avoidance often amplifies the awkwardness. Most moms are very willing and open to discussing things with friends or even strangers. So even in those uncomfortable moments, perhaps instead try, “How are you today?” or “I’m not sure how to ask you about this but…” When people have done this with me, I’m almost brought to tears with happiness since I know right away that someone is genuinely interested in learning more and cares enough to ask rather than avoid. — Wendy Bulawa Agudelo

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and sadly, some without. Therefore, what grounded me straight away as the stone-faced geneticist entered our hospital room to advise us that I gave birth to a child that he claimed was “incompatible with life” was… perspective. As he babbled on with apology (as if somehow he caused our daughter’s diagnosis) his words quickly faded into the background because all that mattered was that I had a daughter and she was coming home with me! At that moment, she became my renewed purpose in life.

Unique Perhaps, But Not Alien Along with a unique pair of shoes, moms of children with special needs also acquire another level of education, which includes a new language complete with acronyms (IEP, ABA) as well as enough medical and therapeutic knowledge to earn several diplomas. We frequently know the best places to eat within walking distance of most hospitals, have the inside scoop on enclosed, handicap-friendly playgrounds, family-friendly locations with wheelchair access and elevators, and can tell you which mattresses ensure an optimal night’s rest. We’ve amassed a significant volume of information within our mind hive and are expert jugglers. When glued to

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20 MAY2015

our mobile phones, the person on the other end of the line likely works for an insurance company. IEP meetings are nothing short of an annual board meeting — complete with resentful and unhappy stakeholders. But because we look like all other moms, it can be challenging to scope us out as we grab a grande mocha beside you at Starbucks, exercise on a neighboring treadmill, or stand in line with you at the grocery checkout. In these fleeting moments of relative normalcy — when we aren’t physically connected to the children who wantonly depend on us — we recharge, ponder, absorb quiet, and simply, breathe. For a short while, we’re just moms, not aliens. So as you set out to honor your mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters and daughters, consider sharing a few moments with a fellow mom whom you know but may have kept your distance from or one whom you don’t know too well. She may be another mom in your children’s school, your church, your fitness class, or even a neighbor. Just wishing her a “Happy Mother’s Day” is an incredibly thoughtful gesture that has significant, long-lasting mileage. With all the unexpected, unplanned craziness of our lives, sometimes the simplest, most genuinely thoughtful gesture means the world.

Providing tailored services to families with learning differences and their families. Ages 3-13 • Coaching: Executive Function, Emotion/Self-Regulation, Behavior • Training: Self Care, Puberty, Tolerance, Eating Habits, Augmentative Device • Support: Facilitated Play Dates, Peer “Hangout” Programs, Community Integration • 1:1 and small group programs To learn more about our programs and tailored support contact us at 978.637.2169 • Learn about our Memorial Day and Summer Groups!

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Family-friendly adventure close to home Explore miles of well-maintained biking and hiking trails through fields and forests. Pitch a tent, paddle a canoe, enjoy a picnic in a state or local park or rustic campground. Hike to the top of wachusett mountain for a breath-taking view - all the way from boston to the berkshires. Take a world tour: visit an egyptian tomb, see african masks and figures, or marvel at intricate russian icons in local museums.

There's so much to see and do in Johnny's backyard - you'll want to come back again and again BAYSTATEPARENT 21

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

Photo by Megan Gorton


Samurai! Exhibition and Mural Installation. Worcester Art Museum. May 5-9.

22 MAY2015

Photo courtesy Old Sturbridge Village

Photo courtesy Fruitlands Museum

Photo courtesy Worcester Art Museum

Dancing in the Street Festival. City Center, North Adams. May 3, 2 p.m.-6 p.m.

The Great Paper Caper Festival. Fruitlands Museum, Harvard. May 17, 12 p.m.

Wool Day. Old Sturbridge Village. May 23, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Photo by Megan Gorton

Photo courtesy Old Sturbridge Village

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 ensure accuracy at press time, things can and do change…

1 Friday

The Theory of Everything. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Watch this Oscar-winning biopic following Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking as he embarks on his most ambitious professional work while falling in love. Free. Photo courtesy Massachusetts Renaissance Center

Curious Cubs. Franklin Park Zoo, 1 Franklin Park Rd., Boston. 10:15 a.m.-11 a.m. Get hands-on with early science concepts as we explore and discover the wonders of the animal kingdom and natural world. For children ages 3 to 4. Register ahead. Members $8, nonmembers $10. Sing a Song with Fran Friedman. Morse Institute Library, 14 East Central St., Natick. 10:30 a.m.-11:15 a.m. Join in with this uplifting, fun-filled morning of musical fun. For children 2 to 3. Register ahead. Free. Trail Detectives Club. Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St., Mattapan. 3:15 p.m.-4:15 p.m. Come track wild animals, uncover secrets of life in the soil, and investigate hidden stories in the meadow. Suitable for ages 6 to 11. Members $5, nonmembers $7. May Day Hay Day. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Come and celebrate May Day by creating hay-do hats and crowns, and help deliver fresh hay to our sheep, goats, and cows. Suitable for up to age 9. Register ahead. Members $15, nonmembers $12. Game On. Worcester Public Library: Roosevelt Branch, 1006 Grafton St., Worcester. 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Bring the entire family and choose from several board games as you challenge your family or another. Free. First Friday Nights. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 4:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Join us and explore the Discovery Museums at night with all of your favorite crafts and activities. Free. Meet the Scientists. Science Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Find out about the cool and exciting discoveries science has to offer from real scientists through fun hands-on activities. Free. The Honors Youth Choir. Shalin Liu Performing Center, 37 Main St., Rockport. 7 p.m. Bring the family to the Youth Sings for Joy concert. $18. Astronomy After Hours. Gilliland Observatory, Museum of Science, 1 Science Park, Boston. 8:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Come view stars and celestial bodies on clear nights or explore the Observatory when cloudy. Fridays. Free.

13th Annual Community Renaissance Festival. Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies, Amherst. May 3, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

2 Saturday Beyond the Spectrum: Nature vs. City. Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Join this class, especially designed for children on the Autism Spectrum, as we look at peaceful landscapes and bustling cityscapes, and talk about the difference. Register ahead. $9. Family Tour. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 10:30 a.m.-11 a.m. Explore the museum galleries with your family during this fun docent-guided discovery tour, filled with facts and stories, and enjoy sharing observations and time together. Free with admission. Adults $14, youths 4 to 17 $6, children 3 and under free. Exploring Science Together. Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge. 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Come dig in the dirt and discover the world of plants, as we learn together with hands-on activities, munch on plant snacks, do a real flower dissection, and plant seeds to take home. For kids in kindergarten through Grade 2. Members $10, nonmembers $20. baystateparent Magazine’s 2015 Cover Model Contest. Solomon Pond Mall, Marlboro. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. $25 in advance, $30 day-of. Families @ WAM Make Art. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester.

11 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Get inspired by our art and try making something uniquely yours as you and your family share a childlike sense of free spirited play. Free with admission. Adults $14, youths 4 to 17 $6, children 3 and under free. Bedtime Stories in the Morning. Concord Museum, 53 Cambridge Turnpike, Concord. 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Wear pajamas and listen to stories about going to sleep and not wanting to go to sleep, then view original illustrations from children’s literature. Free with admission. Members free, adults $10, children 5 to 18 $5, children under 5 free. Design, Build, KEVA Opening Day. Science Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Participate in special KEVA challenges, build with KEVA planks, and grab your chance to win a 200-piece KEVA set of your own. Free with admission. $12, children under 1 free. The Emperor’s New Clothes. Puppet Showplace Theater, 32 Station St., Brookline. 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. Enjoy this interactive version of the classic tale filled with silly and colorful characters, teaching kids that it is often better to speak up and tell the truth. Members $8, nonmembers $12. The Diary of Anne Frank. The Calderwood Pavilion, 527 Tremont St., Boston. 2 p.m. Come experience this poignant play that tells the honest story of a young Jewish girl in Amsterdam hiding from the Nazis during World War II. $27-$35.

3 Sunday Letterboxing Adventure. Natick Community Organic Farm, 117 Eliot St., Natick. 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Celebrate the mystical Jewish festival of Lag B’Omer by connecting with nature and learning about letterboxing, a live treasure hunt. Registration recommended. Registered families $15, walk-ins $20. Green Earth Fest. South Shore Natural Science Center, 48 Jacobs Ln., Norwell. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Join us to celebrate the Earth during this fun family festival featuring farm animals, live music, handson activities, live shows, and more. Free. baystateparent Magazine’s 2015 Cover Model Contest. Burlington Mall, Burlington. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. $25 in advance, $30 day-of. Idea-Hub. MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Explore topics in design and engineering with hands-on activities incorporation artistic circuits and 3D programs. Appropriate for ages 12 and up. Sundays. Free with admission. Adults $10, ages 5 to 18 $5, children under 5 free. 13th Annual Community Renaissance Festival. Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies, 650 East Pleasant St., Amherst. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Bring family and friends for this day of theater, music, falconry, juggling, sword demonstrations, buffoons, games, and more. Free. Animal Treasure Hunt and Tea Party. Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, 290 Argilla Rd., Ipswich. 12 p.m.-4 p.m. Celebrate the wonders of spring at our Annual Treasure Hunt and Tea Party, featuring face painting, a drawing table, and Stuffed Animal Tea seating. Reservations recommended. Member: adults $20, children $15; nonmember: adults $25, children $20. Accessible Explorations. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Discover life on a local farm as we engage in hands-on chores and exploration including feeding the sheep, grooming a pony, or working in the herb garden. Register ahead. Members $15, nonmembers $19. BAYSTATEPARENT 23

OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! as we explore the unique sounds of each animal. Recommended for ages 4 and under. Free with admission. Members free, adults $25, youths 7 to 17 $10, children 6 and under free. Silver Apple Bedtime Story. Morse Institute Library, 14 East Central St., Natick. 6:30 p.m.-7:15 p.m. Join us for this Pick-aPosy-themed evening story time filled with songs, stories, and a simple crafting activity. For ages 3 to 9. Free.

Photo courtesy Gore Place

5 Tuesday

Toddler Time on the Farm. Gore Place, Waltham. May 13, 10 a.m.

Dancing in the Street Festival. City Center, 10 Main St., North Adams. 2 p.m.-6 p.m. Come enjoy food and craft vendors, a hot dog eating contest, the BreZieEastman band, and dancing during this Relay for Life benefit coordinated by Zumba Fitness. Free. Zumba participation, $15. The Pop-Ups. TCAN: Center for the Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. 2 p.m. Come celebrate the second album of this “kindie” Grammynominated band from Brooklyn, filled with dance beats that will have kids and parents out of their seats. Adults $12, children $10.

you make your own collage inspired by artist Jennifer Goldfinger and create your own chess or checkers set using air-dry clay. Free. All-American Concert. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 2 p.m.-3 p.m. Enjoy the 12-voice chamber ensemble group the Spectrum Singers as they perform an allAmerican program with conductor Kay Dunlap. Free.

4 Monday MFA Playdates: Animal Sounds. Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 10:15 a.m.-11 a.m. Bring your toddler to enjoy story time and looking activities in our galleries

Drop Into Art: Let’s Party. Danforth Art Museum, 123 Union Ave., Framingham. 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Immerse yourself in art as

Fairy Houses and Gnome Homes. Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, 10 Juniper Rd., Belmont. 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Come discover the magic of nature and your imagination as we host a scavenger hunt to find special nature items to build homes in hopes of attracting woodland visitors. Suitable for children ages 3 to 5. Register ahead. Members $5, nonmembers $6.

playing activities developed for early literacy skills. For children ages 3 to 5. Register ahead. Rock-A-Bye Babies. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Come and make a nest-helper for our feathered friends, listen to their songs, and search for the best places to build a spring home for the birds. Register ahead. Members $12, nonmembers $15. Into the Woods. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Enjoy this recent adaptation of the hit Stephen Sondheim musical starring Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt in a lyrical reimagining of your favorite fairytales. Free. Teen MakerLAB. Morse Institute Library, 14 East Central St., Natick. 7 p.m.-8 p.m. Come enjoy a place to create, share ideas, and explore technology with cool, hands-on toys and tech. For ages 11 to 18. Register ahead. Free.

Samauri! Mural Instillation. Worcester Art Museum, Lancaster Lobby, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. Through May 9. Witness the installation of site-specific murals created for the Samauri! exhibition by artists Andrew Hem, Audrey Kawasaki, and Mari Inukai. Installation viewing is free. Museum admission: Adults $14, youths 4 to 17 $6, children 3 and under free.

6 Wednesday

ASD Friendly Afternoon. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Participate in special sensory-based activities during this time of lower crowds and additional support for an enjoyable experience. Register ahead. Free.

Make a MESS: Say it Ain’t Sew. Children’s Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10 a.m. Take part in this Math, Engineering, Science, and Stuff (MESS) program as you find buttons, fabric, thread, and try your hand at a sewing machine. Free with admission. $12, children under 1 free.

Every Child Ready to Read. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 1:30 p.m.-2:15 p.m. Start the process of learning before your child enters the classroom through talking, singing, reading, writing, and

Preschool Spring Take A Walk. Gore Place, 52 Gore St., Waltham. 10 a.m. Our Take a Walk backpacks are full of fun activities, so come explore using your own binoculars, magnifying glass, and other instruments as we

Free First Wednesday. deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, 51 Sandy Pond Rd., Lincoln. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Engage in art and nature, and blur the line between the two during this fun exploration of our park and museum. Free.

For more events, visit

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Looking for parenting support? UMass Memorial Medical Center and New England Prenatal and Family Education offer classes for expecting women, new moms, their families and support persons.

Call 1-855-366-5221 or visit UMassMemorial Medical Center

24 MAY2015

OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! look for summer colors, visit the animals, build a Gore Place mansion, and more. For ages 3 to 4. Register ahead. Members free, nonmember children $10. Artist Talk for Teens: Samurai! Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 6 p.m.-7 p.m. Come be part of an artist talk featuring acclaimed artists Andrew Hem, Mari Inukai, and Audrey Kawaski. For ages 13 and up. Free.

7 Thursday Some Bunny Loves You. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Have an upclose visit with a Drumlin Farm rabbit, have a snack the rabbit would love to eat, and explore the rabbit’s favorite hiding places around the sanctuary before planting a rabbit treat. Suitable for ages up to 7. Register ahead. Members $12, nonmembers $15. Jack and the Beanstalk. Puppet Showplace Theater, 32 Station St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Come enjoy this classic tale following a boy trying to outwit a giant. Members $8, nonmembers $12.

Exploring Nano. Science Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Drop-in throughout the afternoon for handson educational activities about nanoscale science, engineering, and technology. Free with admission. $12, children under 1 free. Preschool Art Show Reception. South Shore Natural Science Center, 48 Jacobs Ln., Norwell. 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Come to this fun showcase of the Nature Center Preschool students’ works reflecting lessons about Franz Marc, Jasper Johns, and Wassily Kandinsky. Free.

8 Friday Mother’s Day Papermaking. Science Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Explore the science of papermaking as you design and create your own card for Mom, Grandma, or someone special this weekend. Free with admission. $12, children under 1 free. Trucks, Tractors, and Tools. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Join us as we go on a search for trucks, tractors, and tools all over

Singin’ in the Rain: Film with Boston Symphony Orchestra. Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Ave, Boston. 3 p.m. Join conductor Keith Lockhart and the BSO for this family matinee as they provide the musical accompaniment to the 1952 movie masterpiece. Tickets $24-$94.

the farm, meet Drumlin Farm’s farmer, and get a behind-the-scenes look at some of our mega machines. Suitable for children up to 8. Register ahead. Members $13, nonmembers $16. Children’s Book Week Celebration. Worcester Public Library: Roosevelt Branch, 1006 Grafton St., Worcester. 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Celebrate the wonders of children’s literature through stories, games, and food. Free.

Mother’s Day Tea. Concord Museum, 53 Cambridge Turnpike, Concord. 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Celebrate your mom during this celebratory tea in the wonderfully elegant Brooke Hall. Reserve ahead. Members $15, nonmembers $20.

9 Saturday

Exploring Transformation. The Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex St., Salem. 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Create, play, explore, and think with your fingers through this specially designed afternoon of fun in conjunction with ArtWeek Boston. Free with admission. Adults $18, youth 16 and under free.

Chelmsford Mothers Club KidsTag Sale. Chelmsford Radisson, 10 Independence Dr., Chelmsford. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Thousands of gently used baby and kids items. Admission $1 or a canned food item. Umbrella strollers only.

Baby Massage. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Learn how to calm and soothe your baby through a variety of soft massage techniques from a professional. Free.

Wild Wind. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Join us for a blustery day of fun, including experimenting with wind power, making a kite, and learning about owls and hawks up close. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers adults $8, children 2 to 12 $6, children under 2 free.

Boston Children’s Chorus. Shalin Liu Performance Center, 37 Main St., Rockport. 4 p.m. Enjoy this concert from this praised

14th Annual

Apple Blossom and Craft Festival at Sholan Farms


Fun Packed Entertainment for All Ages!!

May 16 • 10 am-4 pm Rain date May 17

Please join us for Music and Entertainment with Fallbrook Elementary Songbirds, Skyview Middle School Jazz Band, International Veterans Chorus, Borelli Duo, and Ragged Heroes!!

Position correct size and version of MassMutual logo in this position. DO NOT SCALE LOGOS!

Sponsored by Local sponsors

Also performing will be Davey the Clown and Noodle Daisy with magic, unicycling, balloon sculpting and more!

Kids Games and Crafts Free Hayrides Gift Bag Raffle and more! Bake Sale

Butterfly Release Parade through the orchard with Baypipers

More fun than a barrel of... Follow George through this interactive exhibit based on his adventures!

2:30 pm

Sholan Farms

1125 Pleasant St. Leominster 978-840-3276 • Like us on facebook

21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA 01103 • • Curious George television series merchandise © Universal Studios. Curious George and related characters, created by Margret and H.A. Rey, are copyrighted and trademarked by Houghton Mifflin Company and used under license. Licensed by Universal Studios Licensing LLLP. All rights reserved. The PBS KIDS logo is a registered mark of PBS and is used with permission.

Preferred character art usage


OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! diverse chorus of youths ages 7 to 18, and celebrate the shared humanity and love of music. $15. Explore the Night Sky. Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, 280 Eliot St., Natick. 8:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Learn how to use star charts to discover the wonders of the night sky, as we view stars, planets, and the moon. Register ahead. Member: adults $13, children $6; nonmember: adults $16, children $8.

10 Sunday 38th Annual Birds and Breakfast. Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, 280 Eliot St., Natick. 7 a.m.-12 p.m. Bring your family and friends for a guided walk followed by a breakfast of homemade pancakes and real maple syrup. Register ahead. Member: adults $15, children $8; nonmember: adults $18, children $10. Mother’s Day Walk For Peace. Town Field Park, Field’s Corner, Dorchester. 7 a.m. registration opens. 3.6-mile walk begins at 8:30 a.m. Mother’s Day. Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Rd., Sturbridge. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Come enjoy Mother’s Day during this day of fun specially designed events including a “Moms vs. Kids” tug-o-war, handson crafts, and performances. Free admission for mothers. Adults $24, children ages 3 to 17 $8, children under 2 free. Mother’s Day Brunch. Appleton Farms, 219 County Rd., Ipswich. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Treat Mom to a memorable Mother’s Day at the farm, where our chef will create a hearty buffet-style brunch featuring local, sweet, and savory country-style dishes, and share recipes. Members: adults $50, children $15; nonmembers: adults $65, children $20; children under 3 free. Hands-on History. Concord Museum, 53 Cambridge Turnpike, Concord. 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Bring your family to get hands-on with history as we construct a wonderful bouquet of lacy paper flowers, perfect for Mother’s Day. Free with admission. Members free, adults $10, children 5 to 18 $5, children under 5 free. Mother’s Day Tea. Gore Place, 52 Gore St., Waltham. 3 p.m. Enjoy a self-serve tea in our beautiful mansion with your mum, grandma, or someone special on this wonderful day. Reserve ahead. Members $18, nonmembers $20, children 5 to 12 $18.

11 Monday Minecraft Club. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Share your best Minecraft tricks, learn new ones, and make friends, in a fun and relaxed environment where beginners are always welcome. For ages 8 to 17. Free.

12 Tuesday Peep Science Adventures: Blowing Bubbles. Children’s Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10 a.m. Join us as we explore the interesting properties of bubbles and see if we can make a giant one outside. Free with admission. $12, children under 1 free. Little Listeners: Growing Things. Morse Institute Library, 14 East Central St., Natick. 10:30 a.m.-11 a.m. Come enjoy this specially designed story time for parents and toddlers, where we will cover the theme of “growing things.” For ages 2 to 3 with adult. Register ahead. Free. Card Corner. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 3 p.m. & 4 p.m. Come and play your favorite card games with new and old friends in these two sessions designed for children ages 6 and up, and youths 11 and up, respectively. Free. Wicked Big Puddles. Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, 10 Juniper Rd., Belmont. 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Come visit the newly formed vernal pools, as we learn about salamanders, go exploring, and look for some of the strange creatures in these temporary pools. For children in kindergarten through Grade 3. Register ahead. Members $15, nonmembers $18.

13 Wednesday Toddler Time on the Farm. Gore Place, 52 Gore St., Waltham. 10 a.m. Learn how our animals live, what they eat, and why they are important on the farm. Then help out by planting seeds, watering raised beds, and picking vegetables in this morning filled with songs and stories. For children age 2 with adult. Register ahead. Members free, $10 per child. Icky Sticky. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Join South Bay Early Childhood with your toddler to have a fantastic sensory exploration. For ages 3 and under. Free. Math Games. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 3:30 p.m. & 4:30 p.m.

For more events, visit 26 MAY2015

OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! Join teachers from the Russian School of Mathematics for a variety of engaging and fun math puzzles and hands-on activities in these two sessions for students in Grades 1 through 4, and 5 through 8, respectively. Register ahead. Free. I’m a Little Tadpole. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Join us for some amphibian investigations, as we meet frogs, listen for their songs, and spy their babies swimming around. Suitable for children up to 7. Register ahead. Members $12, nonmembers $15.

14 Thursday

based band that creates a musical collaboration between its five young talents. Free. The Music Man. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 1:30 p.m.-4 p.m. The timeless classic adaptation of the 1957 Meredith Wilson Broadway musical about a con man who has a change of heart in a small Iowa town. Free. Especially for Me. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 5 p.m.-8:30 p.m. A specially designed evening for children with visual impairments featuring special activities and dinner provided. Register ahead. Free.

Peter Pan, Jr. Boston Harbor Community Church, 9 Salutation St., Boston. 5:30 p.m. Come experience the North End Music and Performing Arts Center’s production of the timeless J.M. Barrie story about a boy who refuses to grow up, featuring the best youth actors in Boston and favorite Disney songs. Adults $12, children $8.

Puppet Showplace Slam. Puppet Showplace Theater, 32 Station St., Brookline. 8 p.m. Enjoy this late-night showcase celebrating the many forms of puppetry from around the globe in honor of the World Day of Puppetry, featuring live music and more. Recommended for ages 13 and up. Members $13, nonmembers $15.

15 Friday

17 Sunday

Birds of Prey. Science Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Enjoy a unique opportunity to see some feathered friends up close with a trained naturalist from the Blue Hills Trailside Museum. Free with admission. $12, children under 1 free.

PJ Breakfast Parfait Party. Temple Kol Tikvah, 9 Dunbar St., Sharon. 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Celebrate the upcoming festival of Shavout with a parfait breakfast with all the fixings, as well as crafts, stories, and songs. For children under 6. Registration recommended. Registered families $15, walk-ins $20.

Bread and Butter. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Grind grains, mix dough, shape a loaf of bread, and while it is baking, visit the cows and shake up some fresh butter. Suitable for children ages 2 to 9. Register ahead. Members $12, nonmembers $15.

Star Wars Day. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Come dressed as your favorite Star Wars character and join Jedi Knights and Imperial Stormtroopers for a day of “Force-ful” fun. Free with admission. Adults $14, youth 4 to 17 $6, children 3 and under free.

16 Saturday Spring Book and Bake Sale. Morse Institute Library, 14 East Central St., Natick. 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Choose from thousands of books and almost as many delicious baked goods. Free.

The Great Paper Caper Festival. Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Rd., Harvard. 12 p.m. Experience guided trail walks, a puppet theater, paper airplane folding, nature crafts and more inspired by the Oliver Jeffers book, The Great Paper Caper. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $5, children under 5 free.

Light and Shadow. Science Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Drop in and celebrate the International Year of Light, as we explore shadow, liquid watercolors, and more to create unique artwork connecting light and shadow. Free with admission. $12, children under 1 free.

Boston Symphony Orchestra: Kids’ Choice Performance. Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Ave, Boston. 3 p.m. Join conductor Keith Lockhart and the BSO and decide what the group will play that day. Concertgoers can vote for their favorite piece of music, live during the concert, through their Web-enabled devices. Tickets $24-$94.

Triton Bass. Shalin Liu Performance Center, 37 Main St., Rockport. 12 p.m. Enjoy this family concert performance by the Boston-

Artfull Explorations. deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, 51 Sandy Pond Rd., Lincoln.

For more events, visit BAYSTATEPARENT 27

OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Fill your weekend with art and family through these group explorations of the Sculpture Park and museum galleries with special materials to inspire. Free with admission. Adults $14, children 12 and under free. Chantey & Maritime Sing. USS Constitution Museum, Building 22, Charlestown Navy Yard, Charlestown. 2 p.m.-5 p.m. Listen, learn, and lift your voices as you participate in your Maritime Heritage by joining a rousing chorus of sea chanteys at the USS Constitution Museum. Free with open donations.

Family Country Night. Maynard High School, 1 Tiger Drive, Maynard. 3 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Line dancing classes, a country-themed movie, games, cake walk, pizza and more. Tickets $7 each, $25 max for family of 4 or larger.

18 Monday Origami Fun. Boston Public Library: Central Branch, 700 Boylston St., Boston. 3:30 p.m.-4 p.m. Learn the art of paper folding and watch as various shapes come to life through your own creativity. Recommended for ages 4 to 7. Free.

19 Tuesday 3D Printing for Kids. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Learn how 3D printing works and design your own three-dimensional creation in this interactive activity. For children in Grades 2 to 5. Register ahead. Free.

20 Wednesday Teens’ Intro to Soft Circuits. Morse Institute Library, 14 East Central St., Natick. 2 p.m.-3 p.m. Combine art, sewing, and circuitry as you sketch out an image on cloth, sew on the light

: M A W t ummer a ll camp alternative!


An art-fu

and battery holder, test the connections, and decorate. For ages 11 to 18. Register ahead. Free.

21 Thursday The Reluctant Dragon. Puppet Showplace Theater, 32 Station St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. See what happens when Princess Penelope befriends a dragon but must outwit King Rhubarb’s dragon slayer from harming the beast in this hilarious production. Members $8, nonmembers $12.

22 Friday Marshmallow Engineering. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Use marshmallows and toothpicks in this challenge of both architectural design and resistance when placed under pressure. For children in kindergarten to second grade. Free. Junior Farmers. South Shore Natural Science Center, 48 Jacobs Ln., Norwell. 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Learn about community gardens as we discover what it’s like to care for animals, grow your own food, and share a garden with the human and wildlife communities surrounding it. For children in Grades 2 through 5. Register ahead. Members $10, nonmembers $13.

23 Saturday

353202 WAM Studio art classes for ages 3-17 Computer Art, Drawing, Mixed Media, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, Swords, and More Six weeks of morning and afternoon sessions begin July 6th. Visit to browse class schedule and register today!


Wool Day. Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Rd., Sturbridge. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Come greet the animals and try your hand carding wool, knit, dye your own skein, or make felted jewelry as you watch and learn about our sheep’s annual “haircuts” taking place. Through Monday. Adults $24, children ages 3 to 17 $, children under 2 free. Printmaking on Burlap. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Join Bayda Asbridge during this fun craft session where you can make something truly your own. For ages 7 to 12. Register ahead. Free.

24 Sunday National Scavenger Hunt Day. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Head to our Woodland Trail and put your skills of observation and exploration to the test during this fun scavenger hunt. Free with admission. $12, children under 1 free.

25 Monday Saluting Our Heroes. USS Constitution Museum, Building 22, Charlestown Navy Yard,

OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! Charlestown. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Fire a salute with miniature homemade cannons and experience the everyday struggles of those who served on the USS Constitution in 1812 in one of the award-winning exhibits. Free with open donations. Memorial Day Open House. Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 10 a.m.-4:45 p.m. Bring your family to this fun day where you can view special exhibitions, make your own art, tour galleries with staff, and much more. Free.

26 Tuesday Going to Find Some Frogs. Habitat Education and Wildlife Sanctuary, 10 Juniper Rd., Belmont. 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Come help find small, big, quiet, noisy, and some muddy frogs, read a frog story, and make a fun frog craft. Suitable for children up to 5. Register ahead. Members $5, nonmembers $6. massaudubon. org.

27 Wednesday Kid’s Tech Night. Worcester Public Library: Goddard Branch, 14 Richards St., Worcester. 4 p.m.-5 p.m. Drop in for our Technology Petting Zoo, where you can play with cameras, circuits, iPads, and much more. For ages 8 to 12. Free.

28 Thursday Every Hero Has A Story. Puppet Showplace Theater, 32 Station St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. See how being the biggest and strongest doesn’t assure a win, in this collection of tales featuring brave kittens, a feisty rabbit, a goblin, and more. Members $8, nonmembers $12.

29 Friday Lego Happenings. Morse Institute Library, 14 East Central St., Natick. 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Celebrate a-maze-ing May as you create a path

of twist and turns by designing, constructing, and displaying your own spectacular creations. For youths in Grades 1 to 4. Register ahead. Free.

30 Saturday Imaginative Mapping. deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, 51 Sandy Pond Rd., Lincoln. 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Explore unconventional mapping techniques with Somerville artists Emily Garfield, as you explore the Sculpture Park and draw landscapes. For ages 16 and up. Register ahead. Members $12, nonmembers $20. Become Your Dreams. Institute of Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave., Boston. 1 p.m. Join Philadelphia dance company Illstyle & Peace as it celebrates the art and movement of hip-hop. Free with admission. Members free, adults $15, youth 17 and under free. Instrument Petting Zoo. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Get up close and personal with a variety of instruments, during this session perfect for children to become inspired to pick up an instrument themselves. Free.

31 Sunday ASD Especially For Me. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 5 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Come join all the fun and explore both museums during this special evening designed for families with children on the autism spectrum. Register ahead. Free. 5K & Kids Fun Run. Windle Field, 33 Canal St., Millbury. 9 a.m. Come with friends and family and enjoy the 2nd Annual Millbury Parents’ Club 5K and Kids’ Fun Run, where families, kids, teens, and adults can watch or participate in the day’s activities. mpc5kandfunrun.

Celebrate All of the Moms in Your Life Visit us at or follow us on Facebook to learn how you could win Brunch on Mother’s Day for four at Cyprian Keyes along with four tickets to see Camelot at The Hanover Theatre No purchase necessary. Some restrictions apply. Visit customer service for more details.

FREE! 3 $ $

Souvenir Cup of Animal Feed. Expires 5/31/15. Not Valid with offer Discounts or Packages. BSP5

Burlington, JC Penney, Macy’s, Sears, Toys R Us & more than 60 specialty stores 100 Commercial Rd. Leominster, MA At the junction of Route 2 & I -190 978.537.7500

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Dairy farming is a

FAMILY affair Broadlawn Farm, Adams, MA

Carter and Stevens Farm, Barre, MA

Fletcher Family Farm, Southampton, MA

97 percent of dairy farms in the U.S. are family owned and operated. Learn more about your local dairy farmers 30 MAY2015

on behalf of Massachusetts dairy farmers

The Merger of Motherhood and Farming BY MICHELE BENNETT DECOTEAU

“Life is good,” says Lucinda Williams, mother of four, dairy farmer, librarian at Smith College in Northampton, and community volunteer. “Being a mother and a farmer root me in the community. My life is all about balance, I am always asking, ‘What is best?’ and ‘What is going to work?’ for my family and my farm.” Farming is on the rise in Massachusetts, showing percentage point increases over the past 20 years, yet the number of women farmers remains about 1 out of every 3. Mixing the roles of farmer, mother, and community volunteer is not common, yet Williams does just that at Luther Belden Farm, a seventh-generation family farm in Hatfield and one of about 150 dairy farms running in Massachusetts. Williams’s eldest daughter has carried on the family tradition of helping others, but not via a farm or field. “My oldest is an ER nurse. All my children love gardening and animals, but it just isn’t for everyone,” says Williams, who married into the farming tradition. Her father was an agricultural extension agent who helped people with farming issues, and her son is carrying on the family

tradition raising beef cows. The natural beef is sold directly to customers and local restaurants. Her younger two children are still in school. “Every mom is a working mom, and it really is a 24-hour-a-day job, but then so is farming!’ Williams chuckled. “Having so many demanding roles takes love for all the things you do and balance. And that balance is constantly changing. Just when I think I’ve got it, either parenting or farming, something changes.”

Life on the Farm If you think you have an early start to your day, Williams may have you beat. “The cows on our farm need to be milked twice a day, they need to be fed twice a day, and their stalls need to be scraped twice a day, and if we did nothing else at all, that alone is a 14-hour day,” she says. “Typically we get up at 4 a.m. and get out to the cows around 4:30. The kids and I usually do the feeding and started the milking before school.” With three long-haired daughters, getting BAYSTATEPARENT 31

ready for school in the morning was no short process, but Williams found ways to make it work. “No matter what, the rule in the house was ‘The cows get fed before you get fed,’” she says, which helped to instill a sense of caring for others before yourself. Once the kids were off to school, Williams traveled to her job in acquisitions at the Smith College Library. No matter what the day held for Williams and her family, she insisted they eat dinner together. After the meal, whoever had to return to the farm did so to finish night-time milking, which started around 8:30 p.m. “Some days this didn’t work perfectly but it gave us a sense of normalcy as a family,” she says. She and her husband have also hired local high school and college students to assist with the night-time milking to allow them more family time. The 200 or so cows living on Luther Belden Farm with Williams are well cared for in their own individual hutches or stalls and they share a field with their neighbors. Housing dairy cows like this helps to keep disease down and reduces the medications animals need to stay healthy. “We work to keep our animals healthy and well cared for, and in turn, they take care of us and provide a wholesome product,” she says. Like so many family farmers in New England, Williams and her family need to be creative to find ways to keep farming. They grow most of the feed for the animals — hay, alfalfa, and corn — on their 280-acre farm. “We used to hire college students to help cut the hay and

Participate in the Family Mealtime Study! Are You...

• A parent of a 4-yr-old? • English-speaking? If so, help us understand why family mealtimes are beneficial for your child’s development!

Study Involves: • 2 visits to Harvard campus (free parking, or short walk from T stop!)

• Audio-recording 4 meals in your home at your convenience

bail it into square bales,” she says. “These were large bales and it is sweaty, hot, dusty work that always seems to fall on the hottest day of the year. The hay gets everywhere and, well, a farm smells like…a farm. Well, we often didn’t get them back for a second day of work! Yankee Candle factory is just down the street and it smells nicer and the work is inside. We lost a few workers to them over the years. We switched to round bales and reduced our labor costs. I can run the round baler and one person can move the bales, too.” Thinking outside the box helps cut costs and run a farm more efficiently, as does working together with the local farming community. “We hire a custom harvester to help harvest the corn. Rather than each farmer in the valley owning their own harvester, we pay one of the other farmers to do it,” Williams shares. “They are a small local business that helps build community. We help them and we don’t have the expense of purchase and maintenance of the equipment we only use a few weeks a year.” Family vacations were a huge undertaking to plan. “Vacations are very valuable for a family and we never knew until the last moment if we would be able to go,” she says. “It took seven people to replace us with the milking schedule. Coordinating the schedules of that many people in addition to the vacation planning was really hard. Most of the time it does work out, thankfully! It is really hard to be a mother and it is really hard to be a farmer, but if you do something with love in your heart, it will all work out.”

Tired of cooking? Order take out for the whole family to enjoy! Serving Fresh Sushi too! Monday: Tuesday: Wednesday: Thursday: Friday: Saturday: Sunday:

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G R A D U AT E S C H O O L O F E D U C AT I O N 32 MAY2015


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Dishin’ with the

Age By Age:

Important Nutritional Tips

for Women




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Are there any nutritional areas in which women need to pay special attention? Women tend to juggle many roles, whether it includes being a mother, wife, student, caregiver, co-worker, grandmother, friend or volunteer. And as a result a women’s own health may end up on the backburner from a lack of time and energy. May is Women’s Health Month and there’s no better time to reprioritize your values and put your health and well-being first. By caring for yourself, you can then, in turn, be a better person for those around you. Because nutritional needs change throughout your lifetime, here are tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to ensure you maintain optimal health regardless of age.

bones. Incorporate calcium-rich foods like yogurt, milk, and cheese as well as dark, leafy greens into your meal plan. In case of nutritional shortfalls, talk to your doctor about taking a daily multivitamin with minerals. When choosing a multivitamin, select one that provides 100% or less of the Daily Value of vitamins and minerals.

In your 20s – At this stage, adequate calcium intake is especially important for building strong

In your 40s – Forties are the new thirties, so what better time to think about maintaining that

In your 30s – Most women begin to think about pregnancy during this time, which is why nutrients such as folic acid are so important. It’s recommended that all women supplement with 400 micrograms of folic acid each day, along with 400 micrograms of folate obtained through food sources. Folic acid has been shown to reduce the risk of neural tube defects and birth defects of the brain and spine.

youthful glow? Antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables can help you do that. For example, pasta sauce made with fresh tomatoes and olive oil is one of the best ways to benefit from the antioxidant lycopene. Mangos are another great source of antioxidants. One cup provides the antioxidant beta-carotene, as well as 35% and 100% of the daily values for Vitamins A and C, respectively. In your 50s – As metabolism begins to slow down, watching calorie intake to prevent weight gain is a must. Focus on getting calories from nutrient-rich foods like whole grains, low-fat dairy, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Keep liquid calories in check with beverage options such as water or calorie-free flavored seltzers. In your 60s and beyond – Maintaining muscle mass becomes a priority during this time, since muscle is lost as we age. To

minimize losses that might occur, eat an average of 5 to 6 ounces of protein-rich foods each day like chicken, turkey, seafood, beans, nuts and seeds. Andrea Luttrell is a registered dietitian nutritionist for the Living Well Eating Smart program at Big Y Foods. She can be reached at or write Living Well, 2145 Roosevelt Ave, PO Box 7840, Springfield MA 01102.

Would you like to be featured in a future issue of baystateparent? Send your question to and you might soon be Dishin’ with the Dietitian!

To celebrate yourself or the women in your life this Mother’s Day, here’s a classic recipe to keep on hand. It pairs especially well with fresh asparagus spears and is fun for the entire family to prepare. Eggs Benedict with Homemade Hollandaise Sauce Ingredients Hollandaise Sauce: • 3 egg yolks • ¼ cup water • 2 tablespoons fresh • Lemon juice • ½ cup firm, cold butter, cut into 8 pieces • ¼ teaspoon salt • 1/8 teaspoon sweet paprika • Dash pepper Eggs Benedict: • 8 eggs, cold • 4 English muffins, split and toasted • 8 slices Canadian-style bacon, warmed • ¾ cup prepared Hollandaise Sauce

Directions: 1. Prepare Hollandaise Sauce by whisking egg yolks, water and lemon juice in a small saucepan until blended. Cook over very low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture bubbles at the edges. 2. Stir in butter, one piece at a time, until butter is melted and sauce is thickened. 3. Immediately remove from heat and stir in salt, paprika and pepper. 4. Meanwhile, heat 2 to 3 inches water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to keep liquid simmering gently.

5. Break eggs, one at a time, into a custard cup or saucer. Holding dish close to the surface, slip each egg into the water. 6. Cook eggs until whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken but are not hard, about 3 to 5 minutes. Do not stir the water while eggs are

cooking. Lift eggs from water with a slotted spoon and drain well. 7. Top each English muffin half with 1 bacon slice, 1 egg, and about 1 ½ tablespoons Hollandaise Sauce. Serve immediately. Recipe courtesy of the American Egg Board


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Make Any Cup Spill-Proof When you’re on the go, toting a sippy cup is, let’s face it, a pain. Enter SipSnap, a BPA, Phthalate, and Latex-free silicone lid that turns regular glasses or tumblers into spill-proof cups. The Tot set sports a “chew-resistant” sippy cut spout, while the Kid set offers a hole for a drinking straw. Each set retails for $19.95 and comes with three lids and a carrying case.

Sneaky Healthy Snacks Sne Hot Coals In 5 Minutes It’s time to start firing up those grills, fire pits, and campfires, and the folks at Bison say their Airlighter is a fast, easy, and safe way to get it done. Combining a high-velocity, 4-inch flame with a jet airstream ignites charcoal grills instantly without lighter fluid, delivering hot, ready-for-grilling coals in 5 minutes, the company says. Bison touts the product’s safety, noting the barrel of the device is air-cooled and remains cool to the touch at all times, preventing accidental burns or melted tables. The Airlighter, which retails for $79.95, also sports a child-lock, built-in flashlight, and bottle opener.

34 MAY2015

Garden Lites Muffins has launched two kidfriendly snacks that should satisfy picky eaters and their health-conscious parents. The tortoise shell-shaped Garden Lites Teenage Mutant Ninja Power Muffins are a twist on the standard chocolate chip muffin with a hint of caramel, yet are made with fresh zucchini and spinach. Garden Lites SpongeBob SquarePants Chocolate Krabby Square Muffins are chocolate muffins made with fresh zucchini and carrots. Both products, available at Target, Walmart, and Stop and Shop, list vegetables as the first ingredient and are also gluten-free, dairy free, nut free, and Kosher. Each box costs $3.49 and contains six muffins. For more information, visit

Wrap It Up With Style ChicWrap adds flair, color, and style to those aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and parchment paper boxes taking up permanent residence on your kitchen counters. In an array of colors and styles, the reusable glossy-coated boxes withstand splatter and can be wiped down. Each houses professional-grade food wrap and comes with a ZipSafe Slide Cutter, which means no serrated edges to nick fingertips. Four rubber feet provide countertop stability and prevent sliding. ChicWrap styles range from $12.95 to $18.99 and are available at Sur La Table or


Feel the FREEdom. 4 Ways To Help Your Kids Celebrate Your Ex This Mother’s Day BY IRWIN M. POLLACK Whether you are married, separated or divorced, it is important to make the effort to encourage your children to celebrate their moms on Mother’s Day. No matter how you may feel about your former spouse, it is important to show respect for the relationship your children have with their mother, and they should be encouraged to show their love and appreciation for the important role she plays in their lives. A mother’s job does not change after separation or divorce (though it may become even more hectic), and celebrating Mother’s Day shouldn’t change, either. After divorce, the roles of husband and wife may end, but the roles of Mom and Dad should never go away. In their roles as co-parents, dads need to respect their children’s relationship with their mothers. Even if it’s a handwritten card or your child’s best effort to use crayons, the key is taking the high road and emphasizing to children that their Mom needs to know that she’s loved and appreciated for all that she does.

sure your children get to spend some time with their mom, even if it’s not “her” time on the parenting schedule. Be flexible (and moms should be flexible when it comes to Father’s Day, too). Remember: This isn’t your time. It’s about your children spending time with important people in their lives.

Here are some other tips and reminders for celebrating Mother’s Day after divorce:

• These tips also apply to moms when it comes to helping children celebrate Father’s Day. After all, while divorce may end your relationship with your former spouse, it should never impact your children’s relationship with mom or dad.

• Plan ahead for Mother’s Day (it’s May 10, by the way). Try to make

• Help them make or buy a card or gift, or make special plans for their time with their mom. Remind children that Mother’s Day isn’t just about cards and gifts, it’s also about celebrating — and creating — special memories. While it’s most important to have children spend time with their mom, it’s also important to show consideration to grandmothers on Mother’s Day — including your former mother-in-law. She is still the children’s grandmother. • If you or your former spouse has a new partner, follow your children’s lead as to whether they want to do something for and/or include them in a Mother’s Day celebration.

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The Power Of

WOMEN This issue's not about the kids. Join us as we take a look at the person behind the mom and honor the professional and personal power of women.

String trio Tatu Mianzi Photography by Sandra Kimball

38 42 46

Extreme Moms: These women aren’t about to leave their passions behind Lessons In Gratitude: One Woman’s Triumph Over A Chronic Illness If The Cup (And Straps) Fit: Everything You Need To Know To Buy A Bra That Actually Fits

50 54 56

Honoring Louis: Transforming a Mother’s Grief Into Action Women Get Entrepreneurial On Etsy Taking Pictures, Taking Over: How Women Revolutionized the Family Photography Business



EXTREME It’s a fact: Moms put everyone and everything else first. This often leads to women running out of time or energy when it comes to doing the things they love. Favorite hobbies, desires or interests are left to “someday.”

This month, we highlight a handful of women who do exactly what every expert says a mom should do: make time for their favorite pursuits.


Jody Leverone, 27, Mendon Competitive race car driver, Flatout Motorsports Family: Husband Nick, daughter Olivia, 7 months

How did you get interested in motorsports? The passion for racing is in my blood, passed down from my grandfather. I’m the third generation of drivers in my family. I grew up going to the track on the weekends watching my Dad race. Being the youngest of three girls, I was the “son” my Dad never had. While my sisters were in cute dresses I was always in a race suit helping my Dad work on his cars in the garage. Whenever asked in school what I wanted to be when I grew up, my response was always, “a race car driver.” The day I turned 18, I enrolled in Driver’s School with the Sports Car Club of America to obtain my competition racing license. How do you make time for it/ balance it with your professional and personal obligations? ​​ ​As many moms can relate, finding time to do things for yourself is not easy. Luckily for me, my husband owns his own motorsports team, Flatout Motorsports, and shares an equal passion for racing. Sharing the same hobby as my husband has allowed me to make going to the track a family affair where we both support each other. Being new parents we made the decision early on that we were going to raise our daughter, Olivia, being comfortable traveling at a very early age. We bought a motorhome and at 3 weeks old Olivia was at the track supporting she is 7 months old and has already traveled around

the country to seven different tracks including Thompson Speedway, Watkins Glenn International, Lime Rock Park, Virginia International Raceway, Sebring International Raceway, New Jersey Motorsports Park, and Homestead Miami Raceway. What do you get out of racing? ​ I get so much out of racing, but the two things that come to mind are adrenaline and love. The adrenaline rush of speed and intense competition is what has had me addicted since the first time I got on a track. Especially as a new mom there is so much that floods your mind (mentally, emotionally…and let’s not forget hormonally!). When I suit up, put my helmet on and get in the car, all of the day-to-day stresses disappear and I get to enjoy a pure adrenaline rush, focused on turning consistent, fast, smooth laps and pushing myself to reach the limits of the car. The second most important thing is love. Being at the track is always an adventure that provides priceless memories for my family and I. ​I feel so blessed to be able to raise my daughter, having her get to travel, meet so many new friends, and share a passion with her father and I — the passion and bonding time that I cherish having had with my family growing up. There is never a roadtrip and weekend at the track that isn’t filled with lots of laughter and fun times with family and friends.

Head to for the unabridged Q&As and videos with these cool women! 38 MAY2015

Emilee Solina, 27, Bellingham Full-time mommy; part-time nanny; singer, Velvet Skies Family: Fiancé Vinny, daughter Maddi, 15 months, Lucy, 5-year-old Lab rescue How did you get interested in singing? I have been singing for as long as I can remember. My late Mom was a singer so I feel like I inherited the “music gene.” Growing up, music was a fun part of my life and it was always around me. For me singing was just something I loved from the beginning and it was something I was good at. How do you make time for your band/balance it with your professional and personal obligations?

have a supportive fiancé and family who help out with watching my daughter while I go to practice or do a show. Also, my band is very flexible with working around my schedule and they’re incredibly supportive of my responsibilities as a mom. There are some pretty silly memories of me pumping behind an amp or drum set. If I didn’t have either of those, I would never have the time to commit to my band. What do you get out of being a part of your band?

It’s definitely not easy. Thankfully I

Velvet Skies is such a special part of my life. With the busy-ness of being

a mom and working, it’s difficult finding time for myself because it’s not about me anymore. Velvet Skies is a great release for me and an opportunity to get grounded and escape the hustle and bustle that is now my life. I have been able to express myself creatively and grow as an artist. We’ve been blessed with so many wonderful opportunities within our local music scene and we’re ambitious about starting new projects and taking things to the next level. It’s been an amazing experience to be a part of this band — “Skies” the limit.

Kelly Craven, 51, Bedford Stay-at-home mom; school/community/rugby volunteer; inside center, #12, Beantown Rugby Football Club Family: Husband Chris, children Sarah, 16, Alex, 18, Jaime, 20

How did you get interested in rugby? After watching several games that my high school track coach played, my sister, friend, and I almost literally stumbled across a group of college-age women doing the same, usually tough sport, which was very rare in those days. All rugby teams everywhere are always looking for new players, and we were hooked with this team sport from then on. How do you make time for it/balance it with your professional and personal obligations? No doubt about it, having an activity like rugby outside of the family and volunteer work leads to a time crunch. For me, the keys to keeping it all in balance is flexibility and a supportive husband and friends. When the kids were very young, I dropped the workouts outside of the house and modified my workout routines to make them much shorter and more intense whenever I had time alone. It was also interesting to incorporate the kids into the routines (doing videos with me, very cute), lifting the babies instead of weights, and chasing them around the yard. My husband and I tag-teamed heading off to practices and games

(Hi Dad! Bye Mom!) and relied upon babysitting co-ops for any overlap. I did a lot of babysitting and playdates in the early days. Now that the kids are older, life is less complicated and it’s fun to see them develop their own activities that they are passionate about. What do you get out of rugby? A 34-year-long passion, playing rugby provides me with people, places, and things. I love having the incentive to stay physically fit, because big girls are trying to chase me down, keeping current with a group of folks of all ages (average age of 25), traveling around the U.S. and three other countries for games, and satisfying my strong need for competition, since I really like winning. This way, my kids were able to “beat” me at children’s games like Candyland without me going crazy. I’ve participated in many aspects of rugby, such as refereeing, coaching, and administrative stuff, but playing is still my first love. A sport like rugby is also quite the conversation starter and helps me feel like a more interesting person. I miss my family when I’m away, but I’m happy to return to hear about their new stories and to tell them mine. BAYSTATEPARENT 39


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Mandy Deveno, 35 Bellingham Firearms Safety Trainer Family: Husband Paul, children Nate, 10, Anna, 8 How did you get interested in pistol training? My interest in pistol training was sparked by attending an NRA Women on Target event run by the Gun Owner’s Action League (GOAL) back in 2010. Both my husband and I started volunteering at more events for GOAL after we obtained our Massachusetts LTC (License to Carry) Permits. After a few years of volunteering, Jon Green from GOAL approached my husband and I in regards to obtaining our NRA Home Firearms Safety and Basic Pistol Instructor Certifications. That was a very easy decision to make! Of course I wanted to. I have been around firearms my whole life and wanted to share that love of the shooting sports with others. How do you make time for it/ balance it with your professional and personal obligations? It is certainly a juggling act at times with two very active kids and a husband who travels a lot for work. Scheduling is a must for me! Most of our training classes can be done during the timeframe the kids are in school or on weekends. I believe that to become a better instructor, you need to be an avid student. In between the kids’ activities, I make sure to take a minimum of two firearms classes a year to stay fresh, practice new techniques, or learn a new shooting sport. Sometimes this involves an entire weekend and the services of Grandma or a sitter. Taking classes with my husband or volunteering at shooting events allows us to spend more time together doing something we love. Maintaining shooting technique requires practice as well. We take our children to the range with us for some family bonding time when we can. What do you get out of being an instructor? I want to help people, especially women, enter the field of safe firearm ownership and the shooting sports. There is nothing better than watching the smile on a student’s face as they learn a new skill. I also feel that empowering women with

this new skill and knowledge is important for not only their safety but also that of their children. Many women come to our classes because someone in their household owns a firearm and they want to learn about firearm safety. Taking the fear of the unknown away and replacing it with good, sound knowledge makes us all safer. My favorite events have got to be the women-only classes because the ladies feel more confident in that type of setting. And to tell you the truth, the women end up shooting better groupings at the end of our classes, too! I am also protecting my rights by educating others in the hopes that they continue to protect their rights, as well.

Susan Reed, 49, Dover Musician; storyteller; Faneuil Hall street performer with string trio Tatu Mianzi: Allie Reed, violin, Susan Reed, violin, Kate Reed, cello. Family: Husband Ken, children Jon, 19, Kate, 17, Allie, 16 How did you get involved in performing at Faneuil Hall? We are a family band. We first started playing together as a classical string trio for a family wedding, then we stayed together and started branching out musically. Now we play styles of music from all over the world and are constantly seeking out new repertoire. We play standing and play entirely from memory, creating our music in the moment. Two summers ago, Kate and Allie wanted to take some of our newest tunes to Harvard Square, and we all loved the busking performance medium immediately. It’s invigorating! Allie, our youngest, was the one who suggested we audition for the Faneuil Hall Street Performers roster. How do you make time for it/balance it with your professional and personal obligations?

Photo by Rocky Thies Photography

Music is important to us. It’s a way we communicate and spend time together. While neither of the girls are interested in pursuing music professionally, we constantly seek out new repertoire and somehow find time to rehearse. If we identify a tune we’d like to learn we either learn it by ear or I transcribe the melody and together we work out a chord structure for it. We’re pretty efficient and work well together.

On average, we rehearse maybe twice a week and give 60 performances a year. The trick is to maintain respect for each other at all times. It’s an added challenge for a family band where the communication lines are naturally well worn and sometimes frayed. We have to leave issues at our practice room door, like the fact that someone didn’t empty the dishwasher on time and the milk got left out… again. What do you get out of street performance? We love playing at Faneuil Hall. For us, music is all about communication and connection. We find our audiences there to be so appreciative of what we offer that it is a joy to play for them. It’s rewarding to see someone rushing by lost in their thoughts, then see them suddenly turn, stop, and listen for a bit. Together as a trio we can slow down time and suspend the present. If we are engaging our audience they stay and listen for a bit. If we drop out of the present then the audience just walks away. It’s an instant feedback loop, and quite exhilarating. We think of Faneuil Hall as the Welcome Center of Boston. The diverse international community there appreciates our world styles. We can always tell when we are playing a tune from someone’s home country as they often give us a knowing and appreciative nod. We love that.

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An active mom suddenly finds herself stricken with a mysterious illness. Through her suffering, she found hope and an eternally grateful heart

Karen Lock Kolp has climbed Mt. Washington before. She’s going to do it again this summer and that’s nothing short of a miracle. A mysterious illness had left the 44-year-old Bellingham mother of two confined to a wheelchair only a few years ago and with limited use of her hands more recently. Today, her prognosis is good. She credits her family,

friends and undeterred medical professionals for working to find and treat the root cause of what was later diagnosed as tendinosis. She wanted to share her journey with other parents who may be suffering from a chronic illness. And as you read her account, you will see there is hope, happiness and gratitude all along the way.

BY KAREN LOCK KOLP In the past three-and-a-half years I have had a lot of tendon problems and not a lot of answers about why. Tendons, for those of you who are not familiar, hold our muscles to our bones. I certainly never gave them a thought until, all over my body, they stopped working. Even now I don’t really know how or why it started. There are working theories, but that is all.

What I Know In 2011 & 2012, I spent eight months unable to walk more than 20 steps at a time. I needed a wheelchair whenever I left my home. My 14-yearold, who was then 10, knew how to get the wheelchair out of the back of our car, set it up, and push me around. That is a burden I think no 42 MAY2015

child should have to bear, but he did it with tenderness and graciousness. Once I relearned how to walk, it was a grueling year before I was back to full leg strength. Meantime, the problems migrated to my upper body. In 2013, it was all about rehabbing my elbows and neck. But 2014 was the biggest challenge because in February, the tendons in both thumbs became injured. By summer, I had only 5% use of my hands and felt like a tremendous burden to my husband Ben and our children, whom we homeschool. I could hardly hold a fork, struggled to brush my teeth or wash my hair, and couldn’t pour my own coffee. I cried all the time, and while I didn’t have thoughts of committing suicide, I did sometimes think that if I happened to die, everyone would be better off.

It’s easy to take certain things for granted. I remember watching the Olympics while my legs were at their worst. I was captivated by how the athletes’ bodies moved, even when they were just walking. I used to fantasize about replacing my right leg with a blade runner prosthetic. I was desperate to be rid of the pain. Some doctors were telling me I’d never recover, that I would have to get used to this new normal. I thought about my Great Uncle Joe a lot. He was in a serious car accident in his 50s and they told him that he would never drive or golf again. He never believed them. I remember him driving to my grandfather’s and telling him, “Get in the car, Maurice, we’re going golfing!” I look back at my darkest hours and I just shudder. Then I think about

the lessons I’ve learned and the people who helped pull me out of it, and I have nothing but gratitude in my heart. I received incredible support from my family and friends, doctors and physical therapists, who were both fascinated by my unique condition and determined to help me return to my active life. There is not enough room here to do justice to the lengths to which these people went in caring for me and supporting my husband and our sons.

Friends And A Wonderful Family I have a group of friends that I’ve known since we were 12. Once, after returning from a get-together with them, my husband, “Make plans with them next week, too. When you’re

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with them, you come alive again.” They would visit, make me laugh, and do things for me that I couldn’t do. Let me tell you, being in a wheelchair brings out the crazy in your friends. They all loved to push me around! It was such a thrill to get me going fast! These years have been toughest on Ben and our two kids, Max, 14 and Jay, 10, but they have also been learning years for the boys. I think of my youngest, 9 last summer during the worst, who would say when he saw me walking toward the kitchen, “Mom! You be the brains and let me be the hands — what can I get for you?” More recently, my oldest comforted me when I was trying to help shovel and began to cry because I just couldn’t do it. “It’s OK, Mom,” he said. “I know what you need!” Then he made me a cup of hot chocolate and sat me down in front of my all-time favorite movie, The Princess Bride. Talk about empathy, talk about everything you hope to ingrain in your children! I am luckiest of all because of Ben. Through all these long years of my mystery tendon problems, my husband became a true jackof-all-trades, boosting my morale, being a great dad, taking on all the homemaking in addition to his 40-hour-a-week job. He even learned to cook and sew! Among our friends, there is a joking competition for “Husband Of The Year” and Ben has won it many years running. I have really learned patience, crucial to giving the tendons the time they need to heal. And my patience has been rewarded: I can crumple newspaper now for the woodstove, something I could not do back in November 2014. I can even open the crank-style windows on the back porch. I used to have to plan how to get up from a chair by planting my arms and lifting myself up without the use of one leg. The day that I just got up without planning — I didn’t even realize it until I was up and out of the chair — well, that was a pretty great day. Now I walk, swim, skate, ski… you

name it. It is a true thrill to move my body in ways that most people take for granted. I am grateful. I’ve also learned to prioritize. If you only have a half-hour use of your hands each day, you can only do what is most important. Now that I can use my hands more during the day I still prioritize, choosing one or possibly two very important things that need to get done. Once they are done, the rest is just gravy. I get the greatest joy out of doing things for my family, like washing up after dinner or working with the kids to make a batch of cookies. In the eight or nine months since last summer, with only extremely limited hand use, I have bounced back tremendously in mind and body, realizing that I am a good spouse and mom just the way I am. This past winter was the second in a row during which I got to ski, something that has always been a huge, important thing in my life and something I never thought I would get to do again. Now I am having my Uncle Joe moment, skiing with my kids which is such a rewarding and exciting thrill it’s nearly indescribable. I have been cleared by my team of doctors and therapists to climb Mt. Washington this summer, and I have started a podcast! Believe me, if I can do all that with compromised limbs, whatever your highest priorities are, I know you can do them, too. The past three-and-a-half years have really been an unplanned adventure. Yet it hasn’t been all bad; I’ve learned patience, how to take care of what is most important, and that life is just too short to spend not doing exactly what you love best. Fortunately, what I love best is all about family, friends and gratitude… looking back on it all, I wouldn’t change a thing. Check out Karen’s podcast at where she shares her journey, talks with special guests, and gets you excited and inspired about parenting.

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Everything You Need To Know To Buy A Bra That Fits BY ABBEY TIDERMAN

ou know the drill. Walk in the door at the end of the day and slip into something more comfortable. For many, yoga pants are involved. Underwire bras are typically not. 46 MAY2015

For a century since the brassiere was first patented in the United States, women have had somewhat of a love-hate relationship with their bras. Sure, those lacey, silky undergarments can make you feel ready to take on a much-needed night out on the town, but they can also be pretty uncomfortable. Why is that? A 2008 study published in Chiropractic & Osteopathy may shed some light. Researchers found that 80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra, while a 2010 Australian study published in Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport puts that number closer to 100%.

“Almost everyone sizes themselves too big in the band [rib measurement] and too small in the cup,” says Jaye Oman, bra-fitting expert at Jo Karen Fine Lingerie in Acton. “I am not sure most women know that it is possible to get a ‘comfortable’ bra — it should work with your specific body and do what you want it to do. A properly fit bra also lasts longer, gives the look you want, and can prevent tissue migration.” Tissue migration is exactly what it sounds like. “Displaced flesh over time will permanently change its location,” she adds. “Those deep

grooves some women have in their shoulders after decades of wearing bras that put all the pressure on their trapezius muscles? That’s a perfect example of what a badly fitting bra can do!” There are several factors contributing to ill-fitting bras. First, a woman’s size changes throughout her lifetime — sometimes within just a few months. Pregnancies, breastfeeding, fluctuating weight, and change in muscle mass are all variables. On top of that, women often juggle so many responsibilities that devoting much thought to something like a

r g

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properly fitting bra becomes the lowest priority on the list.

Common Bra Misconceptions One common misconception among women, causing them to simply “make due” with uncomfortable bras, is that underwire is necessary for support. It’s not. Many popular bra styles on the market today don’t have underwire, providing support in other ways including wider straps and chest bands, and foam cup supports. Another misconception is that a bra has to cost a lot in order to fit well. While it’s true bras with a higher price tag tend to be higher in quality and last longer, that’s not always the case. Women can certainly find affordable bras they’ll love under $50, and if budget is a factor, Oman recommends not putting too much stock in fancy brand labels. So where does a woman start when it comes to finding the right bra? Here are a few tips to guide you.

Determine Your Size Lingerie stores throughout the state offer free bra sizing consultation services — simply call around or stop into one near you if you’d like some guidance on fit. There’s no reason you can’t determine your size at home though, and to do so you’ll need to measure for bust and band size using a soft tailor’s measuring tape you can find at most pharmacies and grocery stores. Step 1: In front of a mirror wearing an existing bra, place the measuring tape directly under your bust, at the top of your ribcage, and wrap straight around your back (along where your existing bra band goes,) and jot down the measurement. Step 2: Place the tape on the fullest part of your bust (around nipple area) and from there, wrap around your back to the front once again, and record the measurement. Step 3: If you end up with odd numbers for either measurement, just round up to the next even whole number. To determine your cup size, take your bust measurement and subtract the number you got in your band measurement (for example, 40inch bust minus 38-inch band = 2”). The difference represents your cup size. Note: Many online bra stores have special calculators, tools and even live chat available if you need to double-check anything: 1” = A 2” = B 3” = C

4” = D 5” = DD 6” = DDD Another technique for sizing, according to Dara Davignon Sullivan of The Nursing Bra Express in Holyoke, is to troubleshoot the bra you currently wear. “If the band still fits but the cup is getting snug, then a larger cup size is needed.” She adds that pregnant and nursing women may “need one size larger in the band and anywhere from one to four cup sizes larger.”

Try Them On While it’s important to start by determining your bra size, those numbers and letters are just a guideline. Like other pieces in a woman’s wardrobe, different brands and styles of bras will fit in different ways, despite what the label says. Based on Oman’s experience: “There’s no way to get around trying on each one to make sure it is ideal.” When trying on various bras, “make sure your breasts don’t spill out over the top or sides of the bra, especially during pregnancy because your breast size will keep increasing,” Sullivan adds. If you see that happening, try one, two or even three cup-sizes larger to see how that affects fit and comfort. Some bras provide stretch in the cup, which can give expecting or nursing moms a bit more flexibility.

Let The Band Give You a Boost It’s a double-edged sword. Some women are often hesitant to tighten their bra bands to the next clasp to avoid an unwanted “back fat” effect, while others are actually experiencing health issues as a result of straps and bands that are far too tight. A happy medium is to make sure the bra band around your upper torso is snug. “A bra is the engineering equivalent of a pulley. If what you are going for is lifted breasts, some pressure needs to be exerted on your body,” Oman says. “There is no magical antigravity device that exists to raise flesh without gripping your ribs! The best way to combat sensitivity in this area is to get a bra with a very wide band; this disperses the weight over a larger area, which is infinitely better (and more flattering) than pinpointing it all onto a thin band with only a few hooks.”

Try New Things Reserve an unplanned block of time for yourself and go try on as many bras as it takes to find one

you feel comfortable and supported in. Take advantage of store associates —they’re there to help. If you have trouble finding a bra you like in a style you’re used to, it may be time to try something new. “The most popular bras I sell aren’t always the prettiest ones,” Sullivan says. “Don’t be afraid to buy ‘your mother’s bra,’ — you may find it is the most comfortable choice.” You can always wear more aesthetically satisfying ones in situations in which long-term comfort and support aren’t quite as necessary.

Re-assess & Replace As Needed Oman recommends having a base supply of three bras so you can rotate wearing them. This approach may sound like a significant monetary investment but it may actually help you get more wear out of your bras. “This way the elastane [the generic term for Spandex or the stretch added to fabric to make it mimic the elasticity of flesh] has a chance to ‘bounce back’ and it will last longer. But when you have had a bra for over a year, you are on the tightest hook, and you still don’t feel like it is working the way it once was — time for a replacement,” she says.

Consider Your Health “Wearing the correct size will not only be more comfortable throughout the day and while exercising, but optimal support can help prevent health issues we see often, such as back and neck pain. And the larger cup size a woman is, the more that support matters,” says physical therapist Jessica McKinney, Director of Women’s Health at Marathon Physical Therapy in eastern Massachusetts. In addition, if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, selecting bras with comfort features such as wide bands, straps and flexible support, is important. “Wearing a bra that is too tight can cause clogged milk ducts,” Sullivan warns. “Underwire bras can dig into the ribcage and belly as it grows. They can also dig into breast tissue and armpit, which can cause discomfort.” So as you head out bra shopping, with your health, your comfort and your correct size in mind, take these words from Oman with you: “Bras are meant to make your lifestyle livable and your clothes look good — so assess any new bra with your favorite shirt to make sure it works for you.”

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Honoring Louis


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How one mother turned her grief into a 20-year mission to help the families of homicide victims BY MELISSA SHAW


lementina “Tina” Chéry answers the phone and almost immediately apologizes, the words sincere, her voice soft and kind: “We’re expecting two families to come in, I might have to rush.” Families keep walking through the purple front door at 15 Christopher Street in Dorchester. They’re looking for stability, some help in a time of need most cannot comprehend: One of their family members has been murdered. These loved ones are looking for a little order, a little peace, amidst the chaos — they’re looking for the staff of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute and, most likely, President and CEO Tina Chéry. Twenty-one years ago Chéry and her husband were in the same unimaginable position. Their 15-year-old son, Louis, was on his way to a Christmas party for a group he had joined three weeks earlier, Teens Against Gang Violence. It was midday and for the first time Chéry 50 MAY2015

let the sophomore walk instead of being driven. “Louis never walked anywhere,” she recalls. “He was always driven from Point A to Point B.” But five days before Christmas, Chéry relented, and Louis, on his way to the Fields Corner T station, was caught in a gang-related gunfight between Geneva Avenue and Tonawanda Street in Dorchester, shot and killed. Chéry suddenly found herself having to not only mourn the murder of her eldest child, but also make arrangements for a burial, and deal with police, the hospital, and the media — none of which she knew how to do. “When Louis was killed, it was really the height of violence in the City of Boston,” she says. “What you heard in the media almost every evening, you read in the papers, you turn on the radio: ‘Drug deal gone bad.’ ‘Gang member shoots another gang member.’” Chéry found little support, help or

resources as initial public reaction painted Louis’s death as that of just another black youth in the city. “When Louis was killed, it was kind of that perception, ‘It must have been a drug deal gone bad,’” Chéry remembers. “When they found out he was going to a Christmas party for the Teens Against Gang Violence, he wanted to be the nation’s first black president, he was in the honors program at West Roxbury High, then the shift changed. He could have been anyone’s child. Take away the color of his skin and the community that’s he’s from and he’s anybody’s child. That resonated and the resources really started to come to us.”

Paying It Forward With the new year came a new purpose, Chéry says: “After we laid him to rest everybody went on their way and reality set in. I felt, ‘How could I give back? How can I honor him? What am I being called to do?’

Realizing not everybody received the same support that we did and there was really no protocol in responding to families of murder victims in the City of Boston, that’s when I started to outreach to families.” In 1994, Chéry founded the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute. Its goal: “Transforming pain and anger into power and action.” One of its primary missions still today is Survivor Outreach Services, which assist families in the immediate aftermath of a loved one’s murder. “When a homicide happens, families are connected to us within 24 to 48 hours,” she says. “We work with the families to begin the process from death notification to post-funeral activities. We do this through a step-by-step Burial and Resource Guide that puts the control back in the hands of the families, from leaving the hospital to selecting a funeral home that’s in line with the state’s victim compensation.” Institute staff helps families with everything from preparing an

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Healing From Within While she wanted to honor her son in the wake of his death, Chéry admits that “great work” wasn’t first and foremost in her mind, which was clouded and clogged with the haze of grief.

“I was angry with God; I really had to make that conscious choice to look for guidance and support. I didn’t want to deal,” she says. “Yet at the same time I have two younger children. I remember my daughter asked me a question: ‘Don’t you love us anymore? It seems that ever since Louis is gone you don’t want to do anything with us anymore, that you love him more than you love us.’ I didn’t think my heart could ache anymore.” Chéry returned to her faith and looked inward, seeking support and forgiveness…of herself. “I blamed myself when Louis was killed,” she says. “I allowed him to walk. I really had to do this work from within to practice [forgiveness]. Many times we want to help the outside world and the inside is a mess. I really had to do what I needed to do for me. I was great at doing for everybody else, putting on that great Academy Award performance, yet behind closed doors, for my daughter to say, ‘Don’t you love us anymore?’ that was kind of a light that went on to say, you need to focus on you.” Today “I’m still a work in progress,” she declares, yet that inner healing has radiated outward, helping Chéry grow the Institute and — despite the tragic common denominator — experience serenity when families of homicide victims walk through her door seeking help. “Sometimes I think of myself, ‘Oh, my God, Lady Death,’” she laughs. “Yet at the same time people are trusting us and allowing us into their hearts, so it’s that sense of peace that we are here to serve people in their greatest time of need.” The Institute not only provides outreach to families of homicide victims, but also to the loved ones of those imprisoned for murder. “The mother of the man convicted of killing Louis volunteers at the Institute,” she notes. “It’s really that mother to mother, heart to heart. What would I want if the shoe was on the other foot? No one raises their child to kill.” “Tina struggles daily to turn her pain into power and anger into action and in doing so, she demonstrates, again and again, the constructive, remarkable and community-wide impact one person can have,” says Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith, former Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Health, physician, Harvard educator, and nationally-recognized violence prevention advocate. “Boston owes her a tremendous debt for the care she has taken of those in pain and for her work to prevent violence. She was once called an angel and that she is — an angel to many. Tina is an example for us all.”

Photos courtesy Louis D. Brown Peace Institute

obituary to creating a self-care plan. “We’re never prepared for death, having it compounded by murder — that’s a huge element that’s added,” Chéry notes. “Then you’re dealing with the police, you’re dealing with the Coroner’s Office, you’re dealing with the media — or not dealing with the media, depending on the homicide. You have to deal with the investigation process, the district attorney’s office, and then you’ve got to bury them. All of this is happening and then you have to select a funeral home that’s not going to overcharge you. It’s a lot of information in a very short window of time.” Over the years, Chéry has established relationships with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Medical Center, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, so the Institute’s Burial and Resource Guide is stocked in each location. This ensures no family leaves the building empty-handed, rudderless, even if they never seek the help of the Peace Institute in person. “That’s one of the main things I wanted to do. When Louis was killed, after they told me he was brain dead and [asked] if I wanted to donate his organs, I was feeling empty — physically and in my soul. I’m leaving my son there, I’m donating his organs, but I’m walking away empty handed. What do I do now?” The nonprofit has been funded year-to-year in the state budget — “just enough,” Chéry says. What began as an all-volunteer effort has grown into a registered nonprofit with a board of directors, a staff of seven, interns, and a long-range plan. It’s a hard organization to fund, she admits. Homicide is a topic few want to talk about, let alone be associated with, even tangentially. “In the normal nonprofit world, we would have ceased to exist,” she says. “It’s a hard sell because nobody wants to say we’re funding an organization to help with murder in our city. Who wants to say that? Our funding does not come as easily as someone else’s. Death, we don’t like to talk about [it] in this country. Add ‘homicide.’ Add ‘homicide in urban setting.’ Add ‘poor black young man.’ ‘Latino man.’” Grants are particularly hard to win because the organization doesn’t fit neatly into funding categories. Yet the money comes in, she notes, citing a recent $3,000 anonymous donation from Boca Raton, Fla. The message: “Continue doing great work.”

A New Way To Celebrate Mother’s Day Every Mother’s Day Louis Brown would make his mother runny eggs, burnt toast and bitter coffee. “I had to eat that and smile like it was the best breakfast I ever had,” Chéry laughs. “I knew after 1993 there was no more Mother’s Day breakfast from him.” This left her with a question: How could she celebrate the holiday with her living children, but without forgetting Louis? Her answer: create a Walk For Peace. “I remember speaking to some well-meaning people, ‘Oh, Tina you can’t do that. That’s so depressing. Mothers don’t want to be reminded, it’s sad,’” she recalls. Determined, Chéry said she’d walk by herself, yet when she ran the idea by other mothers of slain children, their message was clear: “We want to walk with you.” Chéry met with then Boston Police Commissioner Paul Evans to create a plan, and in 1996 the first Mother’s Day Walk for Peace was held and has continued to be

held on the holiday ever since. “I didn’t want to focus on a ‘stop the violence’ walk,” she says. “I want people to look at my community for the peaceful side of it. I didn’t want Louis’s murder to change my mindset about my community. I live in a very diverse community, I know my neighbors, I walk down the street. [The Walk] shows that Boston does do it right. But the only time we get attention in Boston is when bad things happen. To me, that’s not who I am, that’s not who my community is, we are better than that.” The 3.6-mile walk starts at Town Field Park in Dorchester. Hundreds of walkers take to the streets with signs, slogans and shirts remembering loved ones and bearing a message of hope. “We wanted people to feel: This is our day. Let’s make this a celebration of life,” she says. “It’s not a day of mourning, it’s a day of peace. As we remember the dead, we’re also there for the living. Families walk together in unity, mothers of victims and mothers of offenders, really showing we are together, we are one.” The Walk is also a fundraiser for the Institute, which uses the proceeds


THE POWER OF WOMEN to fund its efforts. In addition to Survivor Outreach Services, the organization has developed a Peace Curriculum that can be taught in elementary to secondary schools. Chéry has also written a workbook to help children, preschool through teens, navigate the grieving process. New initiatives on the horizon include Live in Peace, a fund in which the Institute would offer mini-grants to organizations led by survivors of homicide victims or families whose loved ones are incarcerated. “We’re losing at both ends,” Chéry notes. “We also want to create a peer-to-peer catalog of survivors of homicide victims and see who’s doing what in honor of their loved ones. As survivors we can show how we are contributing. The only time people know we’re around is if it’s [for their opinion on] death penalty and gun control. Those are the only two issues that they associate with families who have been dealing with homicide.” Another future project: the Rest In Peace fund, in which the Institute could contribute money toward the burial of a victim. Cemeteries are the only entities in the burial

52 MAY2015

process that require money up front; there’s no payment plan for the opening and closing of a grave. If a cash-strapped family has few resources, they would not be able to bury their loved one. Chéry says that in the Walk’s 19 years, “it’s taken on a life of its own.” In addition to hundreds of community members and families, this year’s walkers include Dr. Keith Motley, chancellor of UMass Boston; Dr. Kevin Tabb, president and CEO Beth Israel Deaconess; and this year’s co-chair, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. “Even when he was state rep he supported our line item,” she says of Walsh, noting he and his mother are Walk veterans. “We have a picture of him, he looks like a baby! He was so young when we started this. He’s always been a part of our lives.” ”Last year, I walked in the annual Mother’s Day Walk for Peace to support the work of the Louis D. Brown Institute,” Mayor Walsh says. “Many families — mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers — were exceptionally strong and uplifting that morning, and this is only one of the many examples of the efforts being made by the Louis D. Brown

Institute to heal our community. I commend the leadership of Tina Chery, and look forward to continuing our work to make Boston a safer and healthier city for everyone.”

Louis’s Mission: Accomplished Louis Brown didn’t think he’d be famous someday, he knew he would be. Before his death, he noted he wanted to be a role model for his peers, showing they could achieve peace. Today, Chéry notes that her son has done just what he set out to do, even though he died at 15: “Twentyone years later, I can say yes, yes he has. He paid the ultimate price.” While the ensuing years have been painful in many ways, including her husband leaving her and a subsequent divorce (“I fell into that statistic, never thought it could happen to me,” she says of the majority of parents who split after a child’s death), there have been triumphs. Chéry has become a chaplain, her surviving son and

daughter are grown, the latter a family support coordinator at the Institute. While Chéry would have gladly welcomed more Mother’s Days featuring runny eggs, burnt toast and bitter coffee, she knows her life would not have unfolded as it has if she did. “I can say today, if he was alive I would not be here,” she adds. “I would still be in my comfortable life, a stay-at-home mom selling Mary Kay. And I would not be involved in anything because I believe I would still have that mindset, ‘It’s those people. It’s not my concern.’ As painful as this is, when Louis was killed is when I woke up. When bad things happen, we have no control over what happens in our life, but we have control as to what we can do with certain things. It’s a personal choice.” Head to Chery for more information on this year’s Mother’s Day Walk for Peace and the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute.

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ong gone is the era in which a stay-at-home mom is just a housewife. Today, she is so much more because, let’s face it, raising children and trying to keep a house clean isn’t always the most fulfilling work. Not to mention the fact that staying at home isn’t always financially possible, which is why many women are also apt to work part-time. Often, these women choose entrepreneurship not only because of the flexibility but also because it can offer a creative outlet for earning money. Whether it’s consulting work, direct sales, or making crafts and selling them online, women are pioneering new ways to earn a living while raising

their children. Etsy, founded in 2005, is a popular Website on which artists and collectors can sell their handmade goods. Crafters and artisans set up a turn-key, online shop on Etsy, saving them the hassle of creating and running their own Website, and giving them immediate, worldwide exposure to the site’s millions of visitors. Today, it hosts more than 1 million sellers worldwide, who have generated nearly $1 billion in sales. The company filed for an initial public offering in March 2015; due to Security Exchange Commission regulations, no Etsy officials were able to comment for this article as they are bound by a “quiet period” during the filing

process. However, the company did provide a 2013 report: “Redefining Entrepreneurship: Etsy Sellers’ Economic Impact.” According to that document, Etsy sellers are predominantly women; the company surveyed 5,500 U.S. sellers and 88% were female. “By making it easy to market and transact, Etsy has enabled many aspiring female entrepreneurs to start and manage independent, creative businesses,” the report stated. Etsy shop owners are part of an expanding micro-business sector that is changing the entrepreneurial landscape and, according to the report, “transforming the U.S. economy in the process.” The Small

Business Administration defines a micro-business as an organization with fewer than five employees and is small enough to require little capital (less than $35,000) to get started. Keeping a micro-business alive and thriving alone can be tough; however, partnering with a company like Etsy makes it possible for women to reach more customers with minimal effort. According to the report: “In an economy where middle-skill, middle-wage jobs have declined dramatically, the Etsy seller experience points to new opportunities to bolster the middle class through micro-business and the peer economy.”

Wilson the Worry Critter, was designed for one of her children who suffered from anxiety. Sennott says it has helped many other children deal with their anxiety, which she finds rewarding. Knowing that something she created is helping change the lives of children gives meaning to what she does

each day, she says. While her Etsy shop is a successful part-time business providing supplemental income for her family, Sennott has dreams of more. She’d like to design and sell patterns in the hopes that one day people can create their own Kooky Critters at home.



olly Sennott of Franklin opened her Etsy shop 5 years ago as a hobby, but it has grown to be so much more. When Sennott, a former biomedical scientist turned stay-at-home mom, gave a neighborhood boy a handmade T-shirt as a birthday present, the other kids at the party wanted to know where they could get one. Just like that, a business was born. Since then Sennott has trademarked her products, is in the process of applying for copyrights, and her Kooky Critters shop is now an LLC. She spends anywhere from 54 MAY2015

20 to 30 hours per week working on her business, and she does it all by herself — from designing, sewing, and shipping to receiving and bookkeeping — all while her three children (ages 16, 14, 10) are at school. “The creative process was always a part of my life,” she says. “My father was a woodworker, my grandmother a seamstress, my great-grandmother a tailor, and so I grew up around creative people. I feel blessed that I can earn a living – in my own home — working with my hands.” One of her popular products,



tsy offers a unique benefit in which small shop owners can reach customers on a global scale. In fact, all three of the women interviewed for this article have made sales outside the United States. Rebecca Hall of Natick makes and sells her handmade jewelry on the site and

has customers from all over the world. “It’s really cool to think that my necklaces, which I made with my own hands, are being worn by someone in Australia or England right now,” she says. Hall, who holds an MBA from Babson, spent years working in client services before deciding to become a stay-at-home mom. Raised by a crafty mother, Hall grew up valuing the idea of having a creative outlet to express herself. “When my boys were young I knew I needed a creative outlet,” she says. She opened her Etsy shop, What Cool Moms Want, three years ago. Hall spends about 5 to 8 hours per week working on her business, leaving her plenty of time to spend with her two boys, ages 6 and 4. One of the benefits of having an Etsy shop is “showing my boys what strong women can do,” she says. Her younger son will sit and watch her work, while her 6-yearold will sometimes help with

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beadwork. Having an Etsy business has motivated Hall in ways she could never have imagined. While she loves making jewelry, Hall says she would love to grow her business into an online platform for women, one in which they can be inspired and explore their own creative side, exchanging ideas, learning new skills, and realizing that they aren’t alone.



art-time teacher and part-time stay-at-home mom, Jacquelyn Solari of Sturbridge started her Etsy shop, Kiss Mason Jars, a little over a year ago, and has since sold thousands of her personalized Mason Jar-based drink tumblers and home accessories. Her shop page lists more than 1,700 sales — and that’s just the number of transactions. “One [transaction] can be for 30 items! Though, they are typically between 2 to 15 items,” she says. Her products are popular for moms who want a non-plastic portable drinking product for their children, and also for those looking for shower favors. The business idea evolved when Solari’s husband couldn’t find a gift she wanted for Christmas: a Mason jar with a straw hole in the lid. So, he made one. After some encouragement from friends and family members, they made more, and shortly after that opened her shop. “I went right to Etsy because I knew of other people who sold stuff there and who said it was easy to set up,” she says. While Solari has sold her products at a few craft fairs, selling on the Website was “a better use of my time.” Sennott and Hall agreed: Etsy is more flexible,


allowing the women to work their businesses around their family schedules. Setting up an Etsy shop is easy but can be overwhelming, especially in the first year, the women say. Learning how to balance creating products with responding to customers’ questions and orders, and figuring out the best way to showcase your product is the hardest part. “If you can get through that first year, and get the confidence to keep going, your business will really take off,” Sennott notes. Solari describes her business as a full part-time job but having the Etsy shop gives her the flexibility to work the business on her terms. “Even though it’s always there [orders coming in], there is always flexibility on my end regarding managing my time, and when I want to put the hours in.” Although she isn’t relying on that money — yet — her business is thriving and Solari is able to use the money she earns from her shop to help supplement her family’s income. One benefit that far outweighs the money, according to Solari, is the fact that her two children, 7 and 5, help with the business: “They see us working hard and I think that’s important.”


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Taking Pictures, Taking Over

Laura Shachmut on the other side of the camera.


Lynn Quinlivan readies a shot.

How Revolutionized the Family Photography Business



eronica Morrissette remembers it well: pushing a baby stroller, complete with infant, and lugging a heavy case full of studio lighting down a very busy Park Ave. in Worcester, all while trying to keep her 4-year-old from running off into God knows what or 56 MAY2015

where. “I swear the lights weighed more than the baby and carriage put together,” she laughs, her eyes watering at the memory. “I didn’t know what the hell I was doing!” She pauses, laughter overtaking the moment. “I didn’t know anything! But I was determined and I was excited.” Morrissette had four children under the

age of 9, a used camera, and a 30-year-old set of studio lighting that she didn’t know how to use or set up, hence her adventure to a camera store on Park Ave. She wanted to learn how to take good pictures of her kids, a desire that now, seven years later, has grown into a professional portrait photography business. Her story is not unique. Thousands of women, here in Massachusetts and across the country, have walked the same path, one that less than a decade ago was barely visible, but today is practically paved. Their stories are amazingly similar: Fueled by a mix of necessity and creative desire, mothers have been picking up cameras, learning, studying, and practicing. Their actions have resulted in nothing short of a movement that has very quickly revolutionized the family and child photography business as we know it. Many mothers, most of who set out with just the simple wish of taking better pictures of their children, have become professional photographers, opening their own busy, indemand businesses (full- and part-time), and completely upending department stores, portrait studios and traditional professionals

“It has transformed the industry,” says Sarah Wilkerson, CEO of Clickin Moms, an online education, network, and support community of more than 16,000 professional photographers, aspiring professionals, and “women who are simply passionate about capturing the lives of their children.”

Studio Stress Morrissette always loved photography, and from the moment her Godparents gave her a 110-film camera she never stopped taking pictures. By the time her fourth child arrived in 2007, she faced a reality many know well: trying to get the kids to a department store photo studio for a picture. For mothers, the drill has been the same for generations: a 20-minute session in front of the backdrop of your choice, the appointment made weeks in advance. Her mission: to get a 9-year-old, 7-year-old, 4-yearold and newborn dressed, fed, transported, clean and camera ready, all on time and ready to smile wide. “It didn’t go well,” she recalls. “They were running behind schedule and I’m on a schedule, too, trying to keep four kids happy, clean, fed. It was a fiasco.



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Veronica Morrissette and clients. I didn’t end up buying pictures and it was very disappointing. I’m, like, There’s gotta be a better way.” When a friend suggested she hire a photographer to come to her, the Whitinsville mother had one reaction: “Who does that? I don’t have that kind of money.” Yet when a photographer was recommended, she gave it a try. The person came to her house toting backgrounds and lights, “everything you had in a studio.” She sat back and watched the photographer work, the experience leaving her with one exciting thought: “I can do that. I can totally do that.”

Necessity, Photography, and Motherhood Necessity also opened the door 12 years ago for Worcester’s Lynn Quinlivan. She was 40 weeks pregnant with her first child when she showed up at her scheduled maternity photo shoot, only to have them refuse to take her picture. “We can’t because you’re portrayed as nude,” they told her, despite the fact she had explained in advance that she wanted “artistic, beautiful, maternity images” with her pregnant stomach exposed, but the rest of her body tastefully draped and covered. “I am not!” she recalls, still incredulous at how it all went down.

“I am 40 weeks pregnant, you could have told me this before!” The clock ticking on her dream of maternity pictures, Quinlivan began searching for someone to fulfill her vision. “It was difficult to find a photographer back then.” She called the only one she knew: the man who took her high school senior portrait. He referred her to another photographer, who accepted the job. “When I saw how they came out and I saw his setups I thought, I could definitely do that and I definitely like it.” From childhood, Quinlivan was the family photographer thanks to a Pentax given to her by an aunt. “I was always the one behind the camera,” she says. “I’ve taken family pictures forever. Everybody thought I was annoying, at the dinner table, Thanksgiving, Christmas.” Sparked by her maternity photo shoot, she soon began honing her skills on her children, now 11 and 7, in addition to working as an ICU nurse in Worcester. “I learned everything trial and error, Internet searches,” she says. “A very long learning process.” “The Internet was my teacher,” Morrissette echoes. Other mothers turned pros cite online and inperson workshops, mentors, YouTube, tutorials, photography clubs and discussion forums as the building blocks for their new BAYSTATEPARENT 57

THE POWER OF WOMEN passion. When family and friends began to see the results, Quinlivan said requests soon followed: family portraits, newborn shots, Christmas card pictures — a common side effect with budding photographers. “At the time, Facebook was really growing,” says Morrissette, who owns Veronica Morrissette Photography. “[My kids’ pictures] weren’t awesome but they were better than what I used to take. It grew from taking pictures of my kids, to my nephews and nieces, to my friends because people were asking, ‘Would you take my kids’ pictures?’ This whole time it was a learning process, too. I’m taking kids’ pictures for free but I was learning at the same time: lighting, posing, how to deal with the parents, how to deal with the kids. There’s just so much.” “After my first was born I was on maternity leave with nothing to do but take pictures of this little baby. They’re god-awful pictures,” laughs mother of three Laura Shachmut of Shachmut Photography in Newton. “They’re terrible. At that point I didn’t know a thing. We all thought those pictures were amazing, we’d post them on Facebook, and everybody says, ‘Oh, your pictures are amazing!’ even though they were


The Decision To Go Pro For many, this is a time of skill building, which leads to portfolio and equipment building, which leads to a decision when requests from family, friends, and friends of friends begin to mount: Do I want to open a business? Whether it’s full- or parttime, these pros say establishing a business was a major, wide-ranging decision and commitment that surprised them. “A lot of moms want to become photographers. I’m also finding a few years after making that decision they’re realizing it’s more than they thought,” says Keri Gavin, a mother of two, owner of Keri Jeanne Photography in Essex, and a former first-grade teacher with a Masters in Education. She began studying and improving her skills after the birth of her first son. The two things she always had with her: the baby and the camera. Like many, she began fueled by a love of photography, not a yearning to become a small business owner. The eventual growth into a full-time business? “It was by accident, very much.” It may surprise clients but the

actual photography is a criminally small part of a photography business, the women say. “It’s 90% business, 10% shooting,” Gavin notes. “That was a huge shock to me. You get into it for the love of it, but you find out that’s not what you’re doing. It was a lot of 2 a.m. nights of editing, tired the next day. It was just so much of the business side I didn’t know. It’s harder than working for someone else at a 9 to 5 because you wear every hat. It was definitely a struggle initially.” “You wear all the hats and you’ve got to figure it all out,” Morrissette adds. In addition to the actual picturetaking, photographers/small business owners are responsible for editing the images, delivering them to clients, accounting, invoicing, banking, marketing, advertising, scheduling, responding to potential client queries, Website design and maintenance, continuing education and more. To balance the demands with their full-time duties as “Mom” — or other full-time jobs — some, like Quinlivan and Gavin, hire assistants to handle specific duties and preserve worklife balance. Others, like Morrissette and Shachmut, a full-time school psychologist, limit their shooting to

part-time or weekends. “I went to school for nursing, that’s what I thought I would be,” Quinlivan says. “But now I’m a nursephotographer. Nurse-ographer.” She pauses and chuckles. “Nurse-momographer?” “I see people doing it part time, most of them are moms with kids and they want to be home for certain things,” Morrissette says. “[This] gives you the flexibility to do that.”

‘Momarazzi’ & Other Misconceptions Clickin Moms’s Wilkerson says a combination of factors merged at just the right time to spark the mother-turned-professionalphotographer movement: improved technology, dropping camera prices, and the rise and now ubiquity of social media. “There’s no denying it, there is this culture of image sharing,” she says. “Photography is central to your life whether you like it or not. There’s no getting around it and social media is almost totally responsible for that.” This wave of new photographers also means more competition for long-standing photo studios and traditionally trained photographers. “What we learned and saw very


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identically matched family posed in front of sand dunes in favor of casual, spontaneous, shots of families just Saturday, May 23, 2015 being themselves. “The stiff, typical, old-fashioned H Registration 7:30 a.m. portraits? Nobody wants that H 5K race 9:00 a.m. anymore,” Morrissette says. “People want more natural. I think that’s what H Kid’s fun run 10:00 a.m. opened up the whole market for new photographers. You don’t need the Celebrating our 5th year! expense of a studio, as far as lighting, because people want more natural Flagg Street School, 115 Flagg St., Worcester, MA 01602 lights, more natural expressions — ‘Catch me doing this.’ Those are H Show your support for public education H Music H Refreshments H Lots of raffle the pictures you end up loving. It’s and honor local military and their families! and silent auction prizes including often the in-between takes you end a week at various area sports camps! up loving because it really shows H YOUR public school can benefit too! the personality of whoever you’re Name the school and we’ll send them H Wall of Wine Raffle - more chances to photographing.” $5 of your 5K registration fee. win this year! “That’s what got me into H T-Shirts ONLY to PRE-REGISTERED 5K race H Timing by RaceWire - Sponsored by photography mostly — the emotional participants registered by May 7, 2015 Worcester Academy aspect of it,” Quinlivan adds. “I love capturing emotion: genuine emotion, H Register ONLINE AND EARLY to pay H Prizes awarded to top male & female in no cheesy smiles. We do it so it’s fun the lowest price. their 5K division for the families.” H register H Medals to all kids who participate Says Gavin: “I pour my heart into Like us on facebook in Fun Run! this time. It’s the most important thing you have and you’re never going to get it back. Whether it’s a Sponsored By newborn session or first birthday, I am so honored to be there that I want you to have these moments. For me, it’s looking through the camera as a mom and [thinking] ‘What would I want to remember?’” Others say being a mother gives a good professional photographer an edge because she can, without words, instinctively deliver for the client, who most likely is also a mom. “I think that they go into it with an eye of capturing the way they would capture their own kids,” Wilkerson says. “It’s very emotional and it’s The Mother/ much about the connection Photographer Advantage very and getting into the soul more than just what’s on their face. It’s moms Mothers turned pros have not only selling to moms and I think that’s affected the competitive landscape the big part of why this revolution Now Enrolling Infant, Preschool of family, portrait, and wedding has been so powerful because when photography, but also the styles of & Pre-kindergarten Programs! you understand the kind of pictures each. they want to have, you can market to “[Portrait] photography was them more effectively. And you can Now Enrolling Full Day Kindergarten Fall 2015 so stagnant in style for a long sell to them more effectively, so there Now Enrolling Full Fall 2015! time,” Morrissette says. [My now Call Day to setKindergarten up a visit. is a real advantage for the moms who 17-year-old’s] newborn shot was a are selling to moms.” setup a visit. InfantCall (from to 12 wks) • Toddler • Preschool sea of teddy bears! That was the “It’s a whole new skill set you bring background, and I loved it because Pre-Kindergarten • Full Day Kindergarten to the table,” she continues. “Putting that was then. But I look back [now] Celebrating over 30 years of (from care 12 wks) • Toddler • Preschool Infant ‘mom’ in your bio as a photographer, Conveniently located in Shrewsbury and I think, I can’t even see the baby! that should not be looked at as a Pre-Kindergarten • FullAve. Day •Kindergarten But at the time…” 138 North Quinsigamond 508-755-3922 Now Enrolling Infant, Preschool downgrade. It’s what helps you to For years newborn photography resonate with clients.” & Pre-kindergarten Programs! was represented by whimsical Anne “When you see a photograph, you Geddes coffee table books featuring Conveniently located in Shrewsbury feel emotion,” Quinlivan adds. “I Now Enrolling Full Day Kindergarten Fall 2015! infants dressed up as bees or feel like mothers connect with other 138a North flowers. Today the next generation Call to setup visit. Quinsigamond Ave. • 508-755-3922 mothers on that level because it’s the of newborn photography is available mother in you.” to all, not just restricted to those Infant (from 12 wks) • Toddler • Preschool families lucky enough to have their Pre-Kindergarten • Full Day Kindergarten Head to child captured in print by a famous photographer. Celebratingand over learn30 howyears to fix the 1 critical Many families and photographers Conveniently located in Shrewsbury mistake families are making with are eschewing the studio and its 138 North Quinsigamond Ave. • 508-755-3922 Now Enrolling Infant, Preschool their professional photos. bright lights, taking the action outside to a variety of locations and & Pre-kindergarten Programs! Visit us at crisp, natural lighting. Waning is the quickly was a lot of resentment,” Wilkerson notes. “What we were hearing, the industry message to these moms felt like, ‘You’re ruining the industry, you moms with your cameras! You’re putting studios out of business!’” The dismissiveness of some lead to the derogatory MWAC acronym: Mom With A Camera, as well as “Momtographer” or “Momarazzi.” “They use it to insult women, which is sad — that you attach the word ‘mom’ and now you’re something less,” she says. While there were — and are — varying different levels of skills, styles, and price points, Wilkerson has a theory as to what exactly is rankling the traditionally trained. “With a lot of the moms the work was very good and I think that’s where a lot of the real resentment came in,” she says. “It was very easy to point the finger at the moms who were shooting in Auto and didn’t understand white balance and exposure and were charging $30 for a disc of 200 images. It was very easy to make that person your scapegoat, but what’s not easy is the woman who has it down, who has a great eye for photography, who can really draw out emotions and connections, and she’s, dare I say it, better than the man in the photography studio. That’s the person who is elevating the industry but, yes, taking the jobs away and taking the money away from the people in the studio. That’s who they’re scared of.”


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Unique as Western Mass BY JANINE QUEENIN

New England winters are long and make us yearn for summer. For many families, summer means vacation, a dip in the pool, and camp. The Pioneer Valley has an abundance of traditional and sports camps, but what if your child craves a different experience? Luckily, Western Mass also hosts camps that are as unique as the folks who live there. Here are some interesting opportunities for summer camp fun.

College for Kids — Westfield Do your kids dream of being a magician, pirate, or digital filmmaker? This summer, head to the campus of Westfield State University to make those dreams come true. Each July, 300 kids ages 5 to 16 head to Westfield to participate in the popular College for Kids at WSU. Participants choose from dozens of weeklong experiences designed to entertain and inform campers. The programs vary from year-toyear, but popular choices like Lego engineering, rocket science, and the Wee Chefs cooking class always sell out. “What’s nice about the programs is that they’re fun and also educational. Many [campers] already enjoy the activity and [College for Kids] is an opportunity to pursue those interests in a 66 MAY2015

different way,” said Jessica Tansey, Acting Director of Program Development. Instructors are experts in their field and many work as teachers or professors during the school year. Class content is created by the instructor and pitched to the program’s administrator, so classes are fresh and new each year. The programs run for five days and the camp day is split into morning and afternoon sessions. Parents who need a full-day camp can register children for morning and afternoon classes with a supervised lunch inbetween. The camp also offers early drop off and late pick up. Cost per class varies based on the materials needed for the program, but average $140 for the week.

Camp IWannaFly — Northampton For kids who want to fly, there’s camp IWannaFly at Northampton Airport. For three weeks each summer, adventurous kids learn what it takes to be a pilot and about the field of aviation. Week One is designed for beginners and teaches the basics of aviation, aerodynamics, flight controls and some history of the field. Campers also learn about the different types of aviation through field trips to

the New England Air Museum and Barnes Air Force Base. On the final day of camp, families gather to watch their child pilot a plane with the help of a flight instructor. Once everyone is back on the ground, the group celebrates with a cookout and awards ceremony. The second week of camp is reserved for advanced campers who have some prior experience. The on-ground training is more in-depth and includes communications and flight planning. Campers also learn engineering with a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) certified teacher. Advanced campers fly two to three times during the week with a flight instructor. Teams of three plan the week’s final flight and each member flies one leg of the triangulated three-leg journey. Many of the kids return year after year. “These [campers] are a different type of kid. They want to have fun, but also want to learn something new each summer. They expect a lot,” said Holly Lurgio, Director of Marketing and Programming. The camp is kept small to allow for one-on-one instruction and just 15 to16 campers attend each week. Because of the camp’s popularity, organizers will often add a third

week, combining both beginner and advanced skill levels. Organizers hope campers will use their experience to consider careers in aviation. “Some of our campers have gone on to get their pilot’s licenses or pursue college majors in the aviation field,” Lurgio noted. Tuition for 2015 is set at $395 for beginners and $495 for intermediate/ advanced campers. To help pay for camp, Northampton Airport donates a scenic flight for a raffle and campers are given raffle tickets to sell to friends and family. Any money raised through the sale goes towards tuition costs, and some hardworking campers have paid their entire bill this way.

Show Circus Studio — Easthampton In a studio decorated with purple, yellow, blue, green, and pink asymmetrical boxes, the summer camp at Show Circus Studio in Easthampton satisfies another childhood dream, performing in the circus. Opened in 2009, the Show Circus Studio teaches campers the art and athleticism of circus performing. During one-week sessions, campers ages 6 to 16 learn everything from juggling and tightwire, to aerial

Photo courtesy of Camp IWannaFly

instructors.” The camp is run for five weeks each summer from July 13 until Aug. 14 and the cost is $225 per week.

Red Door Theater — Agawam Tucked away behind Hope Community Church, high above Rte. 57 in Feeding Hills, is The Red Door Theater. For 25 summers, this theater company has taught kids ages 5 to 15 about acting, stage production, and how to put on topnotch performances for their family and friends. Campers under the age of 8 participate in one of three junior

Photo courtesy of Show Circus Studio

Photo courtesy of The Red Door Theater

Photo courtesy of The Red Door Theater

stunts and the unicycle. Kids even learn the classic circus clown gag — the pie in the face. This camp is all about having fun. Each week revolves around a theme selected by campers and culminates with a performance for family and friends. The camp is limited to 21 students and each day consists of three morning activities for the entire group and three afternoon activities organized by age and experience. According to Kt Tundermann, Office Manager and Instructor, “Many campers come back year after year and some of the older students become assistant

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9am to 3pm $85 • Sleep over Camp $900 9am Monday drop off 3pm Friday pick up Early drop off 8am $10 Extended day program available till 5pm + $10 per hour

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COUNTDOWN TO SUMMER CAMP camps that end with a shorter 40-minute musical performance. Older kids perform full-length adaptations of well-known productions like The Wizard of Oz or Aladdin. One week doesn’t seem long enough to put on a full production, but the folks who run The Red Door Theater know what they’re doing. “We set a high bar for the kids and they somehow, in one week, accomplish something most adults wouldn’t take on,” said Owner and Co-Director Lyle Pearsons. With the help of counselors, the kids rehearse from 9:30 - 3:30 each day and then spend time at home memorizing lines. “[Campers] spend the whole day on it,” he said. “They are team players who feel obligated to their fellow actors to do a good job.” That job often includes marketing the play, set design, and costumes. All seven, one-week camps sell out each summer and organizers offer payment plans to help cover tuition costs. Junior camp costs $240; tuition is $290 for ages 8 to 15.

geared toward children, The Cooking Channel and The Food Network have helped create a generation of mini-foodies. In August, Different Drummer’s Kitchen in Northampton will gather some of those budding Bobby Flays and Ina Gartens for fun and culinary instruction. The three-day camp is a real-deal cooking class in which kids learn the same skills taught to adults. Campers are hands-on and have fun while learning important skills like how to use a knife, and prep and size food for proper timing. Each session is organized around a theme. Last summer, campers went international and learned about food options and cooking techniques from Mexico, Japan, and France. At other times, campers have stayed in the U.S. to learn about and create food from New Orleans, New England, the Great Lakes region and California. At the end of each day, campers enjoy the fruits of their labor and share a meal and friendship. This summer the camp will be held Aug. 4-6 and is appropriate for kids aged 8 to-12. The cost is $39 per day.


Different Drummer Kitchen — Northampton Kids love to cook. With the proliferation of cooking shows

Enhance the Learning Experience with Performance Classes at WFT See, Learn about, Create and Be Inspired by Art!

Summer Arts

Creativity Grows Here June 22—August 21, 2015 Explore Nature as Art in Week-long Classes for Grades 1–8 Drawing, Painting, Sculpture & More! Special Portfolio Classes for Grades 9–12

Summer Program July 2015 For young people 5 to 17 Wheelock Family Theatre Musical Theatre • Play Production • Shakespeare • Stage Combat • Dance and Movement • Creative Dramatics • Character Dev • Directing • Improv 617-879-2252; 617-879-2148

Spring Art Classes for Children & Teens Spring Session: April 6-June 8, 2015 After-school or Saturday classes available Located in Boston’s historic Fenway neighborhood. Ask about Homeschool Workshops, Birthday parties & more. 68 MAY2015

200 The Riverway, Boston Box Office: 617-879-2300

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Spring Fling, May 17th, 11:30-2:00


Carnival Games, Cookout Lunch, Staff Meet & Greet


Join us and see how you can give them the best summer ever!


Now Enrolling for Kindergarten!

While you're busy at work, your child is busy at Play!

• Family owned and run • Infant thru Kindergarten Programs • EEC Licensed Teachers • The Letter People Curriculum (K) • Lively Letters Curriculum (PK) • Handwriting Without Tears (PS) • Indoor Gym • Sibling Discounts, Military Discounts • Music & Movement, Tumblebus • Mad Science • Hot Lunch Program

Now Enrolling at both locations 325 West Main Street, Northboro, MA (508) 393-0798 348 Main Street (Rte 20), Northboro, MA (508) 393-2100 Hours: 7:00 am to 6:00 pm, 52 weeks a year


Visit us online at or call 978-318-3614 BAYSTATEPARENT 69
















3D Design & Printing July 27-31 Multimedia Camp June 29-July 10


Robotics Camp July 20-31 Science Camp June 29-July 10 Video Game Design July 20-24

Arts / Theater

Worcester Academy offers a wide range of summer activities which satisfy many interests. Our programs reflect the school’s comprehensive and challenging approach to academics, athletics, and the arts. Programs

Soccer Camp Session 1: July 13-17 Session 2: July 27-31 Sports Camp Session 1: June 29-2 Session 2: July 6-17 Session 3: July 20-31 Programs

Visual Arts Camp Session 1: July 13-17 Session 2: July 20-24

Register Today!

Clay Arts Camp June 29-July 10 or call 508-754-5302 x111

A F E S T I VA L O F S C I E N C E , T E C H N O L O G Y, A N D R O B O T S AT W P I

June 13, 2015, 10AM – 4PM Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Be part of it. Discover the undiscovered at the 4th annual TouchTomorrow, a hands-on, family-friendly festival, featuring interactive and out-of-this-world exhibits for all ages by WPI, NASA, WGBH, and friends.

Admission is free and open to the public. Rain or shine.

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Volleyball Camp August 10-14

Evening Basketball Clinic June 15-18

Performing Arts (WASA) Camp Session 1: July 6-17 Session 2: July 20-31

Learn more at

Basketball Camp August 3-7 Football Camp July 6-9



Avengers: Age of Ultron Not yet rated: Likely PG-13 In Theaters May 1 OK for kids 13+ Reel Review: 4.5 of 5 Reels

Coming to theatres, DVD & Blu-Ray releases this month By Jane Louise Boursaw

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Minnie’s Pet Salon

This epic follow-up to the biggest superhero movie of all time finds Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) trying to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program. But things go awry and Earth’s mightiest heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance.

Not yet rated On DVD May 19 OK for kids 3+ Reel Review: 3 of 5 Reels

Pitch Perfect 2 PG-13 for innuendo and language In Theaters May 15 OK for kids 13+ Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels

This sweet DVD from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse includes five episodes from the Disney Jr. cartoon: 1. Minnie’s Pet Salon: The friends prepare for Pluto’s All-Star Pet Show. 2. Daisy’s Pet Project: Daisy must choose a pet for the Pet Parade. 3. Pluto’s Puppy-Sitting Adventure: Clarabelle’s puppy, Bella, gets a sitter. 4. Donald’s Ducks: Donald helps some ducks get to the beach. 5. Pluto Lends a Paw: Minnie’s cat Figaro is missing and Mickey and Pluto help find him.

San Andreas

Not yet rated, Likely PG-13 In Theaters May 29 OK for kids 13+ Reel Review: 4 of 5 Reels After the infamous San Andreas Fault finally gives, triggering a magnitude 9 earthquake in California, a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot (Dwayne Johnson) and his estranged wife (Carla Gugino) make their way together from Los Angeles to San Francisco to save their only daughter (Alexandra Daddario). But their treacherous journey north is only the beginning.

The Barden Bellas are back in this followup to 2012’s smash hit. This time, the collegiate acappella group is singing in an international competition that no American team has ever won. Directed by Elizabeth Banks, co-star and producer of “Pitch Perfect,” the movie stars Brittany Snow, Anna Kendrick, Katey Sagal, Anna Camp, Rebel Wilson, Alexis Knaff, Adam DeVine and Hailee Steinfeld.

Jane’s Reel Rating System

New On DVD and Blu-ray This Month

Sesame Street: Elmo The Musical, Vol, 2 — Learn & Imagine Not Rated On DVD May 5 OK for kids 5+ Reel Review: 4 of 5 Reels

Volume 2 of Elmo’s math-filled musicals is packed with seven all-new-to-DVD episodes. Elmo is “The Count-by-Two Kid” in his own cowboy musical. Will he be able to escort six kitty-cows through a canyon to the Double Double Dude Dude Ranch Ranch? (No, that’s not a typo!) Then Elmo dons a detective hat to investigate the secret behind all the

sneezing. With more than two hours of music, adventure, math, friendship and fun, little learners will love to sing along.

• One Reel – Even The Force can’t save it. • Two Reels – Coulda been a contender. • Three Reels – Some thing to talk about. • Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick! • Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of. For more family movie previews and trailers head to BAYSTATEPARENT 71

Dance, Gym & Enrichment

Party - Kids

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the Storyteller

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Regina Stillings at 508-865-7070 ext. 210 or New Flavors Daily • Fresh Fruit Made from Scratch Parties • Weddings • Showers 72 MAY2015

238 Millbury Ave., Millbury, MA


INDEX Amanda Luisa Photography.....................................19 Applewild School......................................................64 As You Wish Vacations..............................................53 Backyard Adventures...............................................58 Bancroft School.......................................................75 Beacon ABA Services................................................20 Big Y Foods, Inc.......................................................15 Boston Children’s Theatre.........................................43 Central MA Dance Academy.....................................65 Central Mass Regional Public Health.........................73 Chess Camp.............................................................67 ChicMed Laser & Esthetic Center...............................47 Children’s Development Network, Inc.........................6 Cornerstone Academy................................................3 Cushing Academy....................................................10 Danforth Museum of Art..........................................68 Davis Farmland...................................................2, 29 Discovery Museums.................................................58 Ecotarium...........................................................20,61 Explore Japan.........................................................60 F3...........................................................................49 Fay School...............................................................53 Fidelity Investments.................................................44 Fitchburg Art Museum..............................................55 Flagg Street School..................................................59 Fletcher Tilton PC.....................................................18 FMC Ice Sports.........................................................36 Greater Quincy Child Care........................................43 Gymnastics Learning Center.....................................13 Harrington Oil.........................................................40 Harvard Grad School of Education............................32 Heywood Hospital....................................................48 Incrediflix...............................................................70 Johnny Appleseed Trail Association...........................21 Karen Moriarty Photography...................................52 Kathy Corrigan’s Full Day Care Center......................68 Legoland Discovery Center Boston............................63 Little V Designs........................................................41 Mall At Whitney Field...............................................29

Marchand Financial, LLC..........................................40 Mickey Travels, LLC..................................................35 Millbury Federal Credit Union..................................17 Millbury Savings Bank.............................................35 Music Together Corporation......................................49 NE Outfitters Inc......................................................67 New England Dairy..................................................30 New Horizon Karate & More....................................64 Next Generation Children’s Ctr...................................5 Nichols College........................................................10 Oak Meadow...........................................................60 Old Sturbridge Village........................................26,27 Pakachoag Community Music...................................69 Pardes....................................................................61 Parenting Solutions..................................................19 Project Shine...........................................................20 Reliant Medical Group.............................................45 Sesame Place..........................................................14 Shawna Shenette Photography.................................41 Sholan Farms..........................................................25 Shrewsbury Children’s Center...................................59 Silpada Designs.......................................................24 Skribbles Learning Center........................................69 Springfield Museums Corp........................................25 St. Mary’s Schools....................................................65 Summer Fenn..........................................................69 The Learning Zone...................................................53 Turn 4 Hobbies........................................................43 UMass Memorial Medical Center ...................24,49,76 Uno Chicago Grill.......................................................4 Wachusett Theatre Company......................................9 Wheelock College Theatre........................................68 Wong Dynasty.........................................................32 Worcester Academy.................................................70 Worcester Art Museum.............................................28 WPI.........................................................................70 YMCA Central Branch...............................................57 YMCA Greater Boston..............................................65



with Lisa Donovan She’s the sassy sweetheart of the airwaves. Every weekday morning, Lisa Donovan pulls up a seat and a mic alongside Billy Costa and Matt Siegel giving KISS 108 listeners the laughs, celebrity dirt and “Right Now” stories they’ve come to love on “Matty In The Morning.” As she says, she “fell” into this career 13 years ago and is now doing the perpetual juggling act of balancing career and family, which includes two sons, ages 4 and 7.



Your job requires early mornings. Do you go to sleep when your kids do? I stay up at least an hour or so later than them. I’m usually in bed by 9 or 9:30, but last night I stayed up late to watch The Bachelor finale, which was total mistake because now I’m exhausted!


How would you describe your parenting style? I do like the kids to get their homework done as soon as they walk in the door. I let them watch TV and relax. They’re kids. I want them to run around. I’m definitely not a Tiger Mom. I probably could be a bit more structured. My son is taking guitar and tennis lessons. I could probably work a little harder to get him to practice. I tell him, ‘We’re not doing this to kill time. It could become something that you could do well.’



We think moms should encourage one another. Please tell us about your most recent parenting triumph. My son went on a play date recently and the mom told me that he is ‘such a good kid, he is a pleasure to have over.’ It’s nice to know he’s using his please’s and thank you’s even when I’m not around.


What celebrity guest got you tongue-tied? We all take vacation at the same time now, but in the beginning, I would cover for Billy (Costa, morning show reporter). He was out of town and Chris Martin from Coldplay was available for a face-to-face interview. I got to sit with him for an hour. I had never done an interview before. I felt so inexperienced. It was fun. He invited us to the concert. I also interviewed Tom Cruise. He was awesome. I told him I’m new at interviewing people and he’s, like, “I’m glad you told me, you’re doing such a good job.”

To read the rest of our interview with Lisa, head to Lisa Donovan Photo provided by iHeartMedia

74 MAY2015

What do you think is a great look, in general, for moms? Get a really nice pair of jeans. I think you can tell the difference. You wear them a lot. Or go out and buy a good pair of shoes. If you work, go and buy an expensive pair of pumps in black that you will literally wear all the time. They will never go out of style.



What’s the best parenting advice you ever got? There are two things. One is more general advice, but we had a bunch of marathon runners in a few years ago and one said, “Run your own race.” I tell it to my kids if they are getting frustrated when someone plays better than them or they think someone is smarter. Just worry about yourself and your own race. Don’t compare yourself. A friend told me not to expect every year of school to be the best year. Some years are going to be better than others and that’s just the way it is. One year they may have a great teacher and next year they don’t. They’ll get through it.

What keeps you up at night? I think you just want your kids to be happy. It’s such a crazy world. When I was a kid, I didn’t have to deal with all this pressure like social media. What is it going to be like when they are teenagers? I just want them to be happy. What’s one thing you always wanted to try but haven’t yet? There are so many things. I would love to learn a second language. I’d love to go back and get a graduate degree. There’s not enough time. I’m on the board at my son’s school and on another one. Maybe when they grow up, I’ll have the time.

n air e.




I want choice I want convenience I want compassion I want the best technology I want world-class care

I WANT IT ALL At UMass Memorial Health Care, you’ll find hundreds of caring, compassionate and skilled adult and pediatric primary care physicians across Central Massachusetts. And because our doctors are part of the region’s premier health care system, access to a wide range of specialty care and our nationally recognized academic medical center is only a referral away.

To find a UMass Memorial primary care physician near you, call 855-UMASS-MD (855-862-7763).

Clinton Hospital | HealthAlliance Hospital | Marlborough Hospital | UMass Memorial Medical Center

76 MAY2015