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APRIL 2016


birth story EWWW! Dealing with your child’s gross behavior

MOTHERS MILK BANK of Alabama GENDER REVEAL Parties: He or She?

Suddenly, you’re in a whole different state of

fish tales. getting hooked. landing the big one.

The mild climate of the Alabama Gulf Coast means great family-friendly fishing all year round. From bay fishing to offshore deep-sea charters you’ll find what you really catch is a pretty perfect day. GulfShoresOrangeBeach



Alabama Dance Academy’s Ballet Classique, Jazz and Lyrical Ensembles present

Dancing with Princesses Oak Mountain High School Theatre Saturday, April 30 2:00 and 7:30pm

All Tickets are $14.00. For tickets, call 205-978-6830 or See Snow White, Belle, Sleeping Beauty and other favorite princesses in this fun-filled, family dance performance. Mention this ad to buy one ticket and get one 50 % off. Enter code PROMO50 at or call 205-978-6830.

Alabama’s Premier Dance School 3221 Old Columbiana Road, Hoover, AL 35226 205-978-6830 find us on Facebook: Alabama Dance Academy


editor’s note 3590-B Hwy. 31 S. #289 Pelham, AL 35124 205-987-7700 205-987-7600 FAX

editorial Publishers David & Carol Evans Editor Carol Muse Evans Associate Editor Lori Chandler Pruitt Office Assistant Bethany Adams Hunley Calendar Lori Chandler Pruitt Contributors Dr. Vivian Friedman, Charles Ghigna, Becky J. Beall, Stephanie Rodda, Rachel Moshman, Marc Routman, MD,

Birmingham Parent Celebrates Babies This Month Each month Birmingham Parent is all about children, from cradle to college, but this month we put a special emphasis on babies. From telling your baby’s birth story in photographs, information about adoption through foster care, to pre-baby when you reveal the gender to family and friends, and afterwards when maybe you need a little help from the Mothers Milk Bank of Alabama, we’ve got great information for you this month in Birmingham Parent. And don’t miss our Baby & Me Directory, full of great resources, from doctors to gifts and everything for baby and mom and dad. Our advertisers make this magazine possible and bring you all this great information. We’ll help you find them. And it’s not JUST about babies this month. We’ll help you handle it when your child has, well, gross behavior! And if you are planning your spring or summer vacation, our destination guide may help you find some great ideas to create memories with your family this summer. Is a pet part of the family? Check out the top 7 FREE apps for pet parents this month. It’s sure to have at least one app that you will find useful. And of course, the April calendar of events is full of great fun for the whole family. Check out all the offerings here, and don’t forget our online calendar at where you will also find events that came to us too late to make the print calendar, but are definitely worthy of consideration. Happy Spring! Carol Muse Evans, Publisher/Editor

GIVEAWAY: Visit our Facebook page at to win a FlyeBaby infant airplane seat for your family travel from FlyeBaby and Birmingham Parent, valued at $49.95. Deadline to enter is April 30, 2016, midnight. If you are the winner, your prize will be shipped to you.

4 | birminghamparent | april 2016

sales Account Executives Kayla Fricks, Brittani Ellison Webmaster Digital Doo-Wop

art & production Art Director Hilary Moreno Distribution T&P Deliveries E-blasts Simple Southern Lace Designs Legal Counsel Balch & Bingham LLP

BIRMINGHAM PARENT IS A PUBLICATION OF EVANS PUBLISHING, LLC. Publishers: Carol Muse Evans, David K. Evans Sr. Birmingham Parent (EIN20-0694149) is published monthly by Evans Publishing LLC. or Birmingham Parent is © 2016 by Evans Publishing LLC. Family Connections Media ©2011 by Evans Publishing LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. Editorial submissions are welcome. For back issues, please send a self-addressed 10” x 13” envelope with $4 for postage and handling.

Comprehensive Pediatric Therapy Services

…we’re just for kids!


Ballet TRAIN Alabama School WITH , THE professional, PROS! ballet company. The OFFICIAL school

of the Alabama

Ballet the state’s PREMIER





Little Sticky Fingers


(fine motor/sensory skills)

Kindergarten Kick-Off (kindergarten readiness)

chool Ad-Bham Parent.indd 1

3/7/2016 3:25:05 PM

Social Superheroes (social skills) Friendship Factory (social skills) Move ‘N Groove (rhythm and dance) Printing Power (handwriting skills) Focal Point (ADD/ADHD treatment)





DID YOU KNOW? In most cases, you can book an open party with just 7 guests. Mention this ad when booking. Lee Branch/Hoover . (205) 637-7777 . 701 Doug Baker Blvd Suite #106 Birmingham, AL 35242 |

NEW LOCATION! Chelsea: 205-618-8095 Hoover: 205-978-9939

*Summer programs are offered in Hoover location only “Like” us on facebook! | 5

table of contents FREE


APRIL 2016




birth story EW GROSS, Dealing with Your Child's Gross Behavior

MOTHERS MILK BANK of Alabama GENDER REVEAL Parties: He or She?

departments Note 04 Editor’s Birmingham Parent Celebrates Babies This Month


Parenting with Dr. Friedman

8 Short Stuff 0 the Specialist: 26 Ask Allergies in Children 41 April Calendar Highlights



Party: 46 Poetry Art Poems

GENDER REVEAL PARTIES: He or She – What Will it Be?


10 baby&me DIRECTORY 2016




TO DEAL 24 HOW with Your Child’s Gross Behavior

28 32

Birth Stories: How to Tell Your Child’s Birth Story

Mothers Milk Bank of Alabama

Answering the Adoption Questions

ON THE COVER: Twins Adalynn Davis and Emory Louise, four months, of Shelby County. PHOTO BY KIM BRANTLEY PHOTOGRAPHY ( AND VISUAL ARTS BY JESSICA (

6 | birminghamparent | april 2016

April Calendar of Events

PET PAGES Top 7 Apps and Websites for Pet Owners


20 22


Parenting with Dr. Friedman


My son will leave soon for his freshman year in college. I am concerned that he won’t get up in time for class, won’t make good judgements about friends and won’t eat sensibly. At home I take care of these responsibilities for him. What can a mother do to keep her son on track while he is away?

The things you can do to make your son responsible begin many years before your child leaves for college. Now is the time to let go and let him try his wings. Some psychological theorists feel that the child’s personality is formed by the age of 6. If you did your job when he was young, chances are he will continue on the right path. If he has been responsible all along, you can expect him to continue to be so. If he has been in trouble all his life, chances are he won’t reform now. If he has been dependent upon you for a wake-up call and homework reminders, he just might begin to take responsibility into his own hands. That is what being away from home is all about. You are to be commended on your decision to let you son go away to school. He needs this opportunity to finish growing up. While no school will make sure that your son gets up on time or eats well, some schools offer more shelter than others. If you child is immature, he may benefit from attending a smaller, more protected school rather than a larger, more impersonal one. Matching a college to the child’s needs is one thing a parent can do to help smooth the transition from home to independence. On the other hand, your son may have no

problem at all. He may be looking forward to being out on his own. It may be you who is having trouble letting go of the role you have held for the last 18 years. Be careful that you don’t give the message that he must fail in order to meet your need to be needed.

by asking him to get back to you and let you know how things worked out. Don’t call him too often but do keep in touch. Give him the control. Encourage him to call home regularly. Tell him how much you enjoy his calls but don’t invade his space

It may be you who is having trouble letting go of the role you have held for the last 18 years. Be careful that you don’t give the message that he must fail in order to meet your need to be needed. Encourage his budding independence, even if you really wish that he would return home. When he calls complaining about the food or a roommate, don’t be too quick to jump in with an invitation home. Instead of offering a solution to his problem, listen and let him vent. Encourage him to work it out on his own. But don’t hang up on him either. Ask questions to show your interest and to keep him talking. Encourage him to use campus resources – a dorm counselor, an upperclassman peer or the professional counseling center if he needs further help. Express you confidence in his ability. Show your interest

with daily calls to him. Let him be apart from you knowing that his ability to separate is a sign that you have parented well. Build your own life. If this is your last or only child, you will have many years ahead of you without children in the home. Create your own life so that you free your son of the guilt of being responsible for your happiness. Vivian K. Friedman Ph. D. is a child and family psychologist at UAB, Department of Psychiatry. Send questions for response in this column to No personal replies are sent.

April 30 — 10am to 8pm May 1 — 11am to 5pm

Southern Bazaar AT THE BJCC

Featuring artisans, boutique clothing and shoes, jewelry, and infomation booths EVENT IS FREE TO THE PUBLIC! We will be selling discount shopper cards—proceeds go to the Ronald McDonald House | 7

Celebrate Your Smile Advertise Here

short stuff

Seeing patients of all ages.


Car Tags for Ronald McDonald House Are Almost Reality



Includes a FREE take-home tray and belaching gel for maximum results. Offer valid for all new patients. Must complete a teeth cleaning and exam to receive offer. Some restrictions may apply.



For the past year the Ronald McDonald House has been in the process of offering a specialty car tag made to support the program. The Ronald McDonald house also raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for other organizations each year. To get a car tag into production in Alabama, according to RMH, you must have at least 1,000 individual cars committed to the tag. It is now very close to that number. To sign up, you only need your basic personal information and your car’s VIN number. And, the tag is FREE if you sign up as one of the first 1,000 for the first year. After that, you do not have to renew unless you desire to. Of each $50 specialty car tag sold, RMHCA will get $41.25. If you are interested in the tag, visit cartag.

Where all the dental needs of your child can be met under one roof! Dr. Olga Sanchez-Hernandez is dual trained as a pediatric dentist and a board certified orthodontist

We are excited to announce our partnership with Christian Service Mission, an organization dedicated to connecting resources with needs!

Let us help your business, organization, or group host a diaper drive. #diaperneed

205-607-2112 sponsored by

SERVICES INCLUDE: Dentistry for children and adolescents Dentistry for patients with disabilities Orthodontics for children and adults We offer traditional metal brackets, as well as clear We also do Invisalign

4814 Bell Hill Rd. Bessemer, AL 35022 205-477-8004 like us on facebook WE FILE ALL INSURANCE AS A COURTESY. WE ARE PROVIDERS FOR MOST INSURANCE COMPANIES.

8 | birminghamparent | april 2016


April Child Abuse Prevention & Awareness Month

 April is Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month, a time to emphasize that our children deserve the leadership of the adults (parents, leaders, community) around them to ensure their health, wellness and safety. Monday, April 25 is Parental Alienation Awareness Day, sponsored by Alabama Family Rights Association. Stop what you are doing at noon and blow soap bubbles for 10 minutes to show your support.

short stuff

Lemonade Stands Raise Money for Brain Cancer Research

Lucy & Ruby making signs for the original stand in May 2013

On May 7, the 3rd Annual Lucy & Ruby’s Brainy Day Fundraising Event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Mountain Brook Community Church in support of brain cancer research. Upon their dad’s diagnosis with glioblastoma brain cancer, two girls – Lucy and Ruby – wanted to provide help and hope for others affected by brain cancer. What started in 2013 as a lemonade-and-cookie stand has now raised more than $30,000 for Wheeling for Hope, a charity that benefits brain cancer research and patient support services at UAB and Children’s Hospital of Alabama. The annual event includes food, live music, silent auction, games, activities, prizes, free cookies and lemonade. Individuals can also make donations in honor or memory of a loved one who has been affected. “Brain cancer doesn’t get a lot of attention, so this Disney May 2013 - Lisa, Scott, event is a great way to help increase awareness in the Lucy and Ruby Harris community and give back. My daughters and I are excited about being involved this year and partnering with Lucy and Ruby,” says Matt Anderson, whose wife Gretchen passed away in July 2015 from brain cancer. Anderson and his family are just a few of the families partnering in the cause this year. Rather than have the event completely focused on donations, Lucy, Ruby and their mom plan to increase awareness and provide outreach for others who are going through similar situations. In the end, not only will more money be raised for research, but individuals will gain a support group. For more information about the event, please visit or on Facebook at Lucy & Ruby’s Brainy Day.



Birthday June

Party issue




the most complete list of party information in BIRMINGHAM! Don’t miss picking up this special issue or advertising in it.

Contact your account executive today or call 205-987-7700. | 9

baby&me DIRECTORY 2016 YOUR CHILD’S HEALTH Angelica Rohner Pediatric Dentistry 2045 Brookwood Medical Center Dr., Suite 21 Birmingham, AL 35209 205-870-0892 Dr. Rohner is a specialist of pediatric and adolescent dentistry. We love what we do and it shows in the care we provide! Dr. Michael Anglin Pediatric Dentistry Dr. Erin Nelson Family Dentistry 3825 Lorna Rd., Suite 206 Hoover, AL 35244 205-988-9800 Dr. Michael Anglin has provided quality pediatric dentistry to the Hoover and surrounding communities since 1993. With Dr. Nelson, they offer excellent care for children, adolescents & adults. Children’s of Alabama 1600 Seventh Ave. S. Birmingham, AL 35233 205-638-9100 Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children since 1911, offering inpatient, outpatient, and primary care services throughout Alabama. Kasey Davis Dentistry 589 Shades Crest Rd. Birmingham, Alabama 35226 205-822-7277 Let us help you celebrate your smile! Proudly serving patients of all ages in the Bluff Park/Hoover area.  Grandview Medical Center Women’s and Children’s Center 3690 Grandview Pkwy. Birmingham, AL 35243 205-971-1000 Whether becoming a new parent or adding to your family - our dedicated team at the new Grandview Medical Center will make your experience memorable. McCalla Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry 4814 Bell Hill Rd. Bessemer, AL 35022 205-477-8004 Dentistry for children, adolescents and patients with disabilities. Orthodontics for children and adults. We offer traditional metal brackets as well as the clear Invisalign option. Med Center Hoover Urgent Care-Family Medicine 1575 Montgomery Hwy.

Hoover, AL 35216 205-822-1150 Serving patients in Hoover and surrounding area, our physicians are board-certified in emergency medicine & family medicine. Offering care and treatment for non-life threatening illnesses & injuries. Pediatric & Adolescent Dentistry Dr. Clark Thomas & Dr. Lauten Johnson • Hoover Location 1015 Brocks Gap Pkwy. Hoover, AL 35244 205-982-0112 • Birmingham Location 3918 Montclair Rd., Suite 206 Birmingham, AL 35213 205-879-6150 Your child’s path to optimum dental health starts here with our kid-friendly staff. Options for in-office sedation or general anesthesia at Children’s Hospital. MOM’S HEALTH Brookwood Care Network 205-877-8800 The Brookwood Care Network is an extension of the Brookwood physician family, caring for patients in locations all over town – and backed by the resources of Brookwood Medical Center. Let our Family Care for Yours. Grandview Medical Group OB/GYN 3686 Grandview Pkwy. Suite 320 Birmingham, AL 35243 205-971-5499 Our board certified OB/GYNs are passionate about helping women achieve their goals and offer care that is compassionate and personal. Women’s Health Specialists of Birmingham 3686 Grandview Pkwy. Suite 300 Birmingham, AL 35243 205-536-7676 Our physicians have created an environment for women that is calm, respectful, and supportive. Visit for more information. St. Vincent’s Health System St. Vincent's Birmingham Monogram Maternity: (205) 212-MOMS St. Vincent's East Monogram Maternity: (205) 838-3278 Work one-on-one with a birth designer to make important decisions about your birth experience. Visit to learn more about M.M. and how you can decide where and how to have your baby.

10 | birminghamparent | april 2016


able jewelry and other accessories. Baby clothes and gifts!

Covenant Classical Schools and Daycare Four locations in Birmingham • Valleydale 25 Southlake Lane Hoover, AL 35244 205-444-5437 • Trace Crossings 5390 Magnolia Trace Hoover, AL 35255 205-733-5437 • Pelham 450 Huntley Pkwy. Pelham, AL 35124 205-620-2626 • Homewood 151 Covenant Way Homewood, AL 35209 205-968-1255 Prep school and Daycare with enrollment from 6 weeks-kindergarten. We instill in every child a love for Christ, a love for others, and a love for learning.

Christy Pierce Photography, LLC 205-902-0385 Studio/Onsite photographer covering the entire State of Alabama and open to travel if needed. Specializing in Newborn, Maternity, Family, Children and Wedding Photography.

Joseph Bruno Montessori Academy 5509 Timber Hill Rd. Birmingham, AL 35242 205-995-8709 205-995-0517(fax) For 30 years JBMA has equipped children with the essential skills and knowledge they need to thrive as a successful adult. Enrolling toddlers - 8th grade.  Odyssey Early Sch​ools • Inverness Campus 104 Heatherbrooke Park Dr. Birmingham, AL 35242 205-991-0039 • Trace Crossings Campus 401 Emery Dr. Hoover, AL 35244 205-988-8829 Created by educators featuring s​ tateof-the-art facilities​, nurturing teachers ​ with Education degrees, and comprehensive curriculum ​that provides your child with age appropriate exploration into the world of learning. Shops and Services Applause Dancewear 1629 Oxmoor Rd. Birmingham, AL 35209 205-871-STEP Largest selection of dancewear in the Southeast. Clothing, shoes and accessories for all types of dance to fit toddler to plus size, teams and individuals. Becky’s Gifts Brookwood Village 205-414-8067 Come see the latest in trendy clothing including tops and tunics, summer must-haves, fun and fashion-

Escape Day Spa 100 Broadway St. Birmingham, AL 35209 205-414-6062 Come enjoy a Mommy-to-be Massage and many more relaxing spa services at Escape Day Spa. Kim Brantley Photography 615-812-6427 Visual Arts by Jessica Family photography, newborn photography, birth stories, Fresh 48 and more. PARTIES & ENTERTAINMENT Since 1997, Birthdays in Birmingham has been Birmingham’s local birthday party resource. It is a collection of businesses that provide a birthday party service for children’s parties. Face Painting Fairy 205-527-2134 Spreading joy one face at a time. PERFORMING ARTS & CLASSES The Academy of the Arts at Samford University South Lakeshore Dr. Birmingham, AL 35229 205-726-4049 205-726-2810 Music for children & adults at Samford University in Homewood. Preschool piano; Kindermusik; private & group piano, voice and strings lessons. Alabama Ballet​ 2726 First Ave. S. Birmingham, AL 35233 205-322-4300 Since 1981, changing lives through dance by promoting and fostering the development of classical and contemporary ballet through

high-quality performances, dance education, and community outreach. Alabama Dance Academy 3221 Old Columbiana Rd. Hoover, AL 35226 205-978-6820 A state-of-the-art dance instruction facility in the disciplines of ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, hip hop, lyrical/contemporary and Pilates. Founded by professional ballet dancer Pamela Merkel in 1995. Pre-school classes offered. BSC Conservatory of Fine and Performing Arts 900 Arkadelphia Rd. Birmingham, AL 35254 205-226-4960 Lessons in piano, voice, violin, band. Preschool classes available. Dawson Music Academy 1114 Oxmoor Rd. Birmingham, AL 35209 205-871-7324 Dawson Music Academy provides a Christian environment for students of all ages to learn about

music. Private music lessons for all instruments, Kindermusik and Music League group classes. NS Dance Studio 1819 Grants Mill Rd. Birmingham, AL 35210 205-637-7675 Specializing in Ballet/Pointe, Jazz, Lyrical/Contemporary, Tap, Clogging, Hip Hop, Dance Team and Pre-School combo classes. Ages begin at 2 years old.  Painting With A Twist Birmingham • Lee Branch/Hoover 701 Doug Baker Blvd. Suite #106 Birmingham, AL 35242 205-637-7777 birmingham-hoover/ Invite your friends and enjoy stepby-step instruction with our experienced local artists. From birthday parties to date nights, we can help you celebrate anything! ENTERTAINMENT & TRAVEL Birmingham Museum of Art 2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd. Birmingham, Al 35203 205.254.2565

Bart’s ArtVenture combines high tech art-making tools with hands-on creation stations to let kids and families develop their art education in a creative, communal environment. Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport 205-599-0500 Welcoming travelers to The Magic City and serving as Central Alabama’s gateway to the sky more than 80 years. Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism 23685 Perdido Beach Blvd. Orange Beach, AL 36561 877-475-1528 Find your memorable family vacation with time to relax, explore and enjoy our 32 miles of uncrowded white-sand beaches, variety of attractions/accommodations and great seafood. McWane Science Center 200 19th St. N. Birmingham, AL 35203 205-714-8414 Fun and learning never end at McWane Science Center, a nonprofit, hands-on museum with aquarium and IMAX® Dome Theater. Four floors of interactive exhibits celebrate science and wonder. Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena 500 Amphitheater Rd. Pelham, AL 35124 205.620.6448 Shelby County’s finest entertainment, conference and banquet facility. Two NHL-sized ice arenas, a skating school, birthday party rooms, and 7,000 sq.ft. of elegant banquet & conference space. VOLUNTEER OPORTUNITIES/ CHARITIES Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama 1700 Fourth Ave. S. Birmingham, AL 35233 205-638-7263 Our House provides a supportive home away from home for families and their children who are receiving medical treatment at area hospitals.

Working together as a team to provide compassionate & exceptional oral surgical care to every patient who walks through our doors. Lisa L. Miller DMD, MD One Inverness Center Pkwy Suite 200, Birmingham, AL 35242 205-789-5075

Dental Insurance providers for: BCBS of Alabama, Southland, MetLife, Delta Dental, Guardian, and United Concordia.


(205) 870-0892 • DR. ANGELICA R. ROHNER • WWW.DRROHNER.COM | 11

babybook Angelica Rohner Pediatric Dentistry “Caring For Each Child Like Our Own” Dr​. Angelica Rohner ​​is a specialist in the field of Pediatric and Adolescent Dentistry. What’s so special? Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry, dedicated to the oral health of children, ranging from infants to teens. Dr.​Rohner and​her highly trained staff work hard to make each child’s dental visit fun and exciting, resulting in a great attitude toward dentistry and, ul-

timately, oral health. On a daily basis we hear our patients say, “I love the dentist!” We take pride in great clinical and conversational experiences with our patients. We realize that taking care of our patient’s guardian is equally important. Our office works with you to schedule appointments that work best for your child and their schedule. Our convenient location makes a trip to

the dentist easy. We also supply text, email and/or phone confirmations and communication pathways. It is an honor for our patients' parents to trust us with the well being of their children. This is never taken lightly and is evident in the time that the doctor takes to speak with each parent at every dental visit. Let Dr. Rohner ​and her dental team take care of you​and your child.

15,000 inpatient admissions. With more than 2 million square feet, it is the third largest pediatric medical facility in the U.S. Children’s offers inpatient and outpatient services across its Russell Campus on Birmingham’s historic Southside with additional specialty services provided at Children’s South, Children’s on 3rd and in Huntsville and Montgomery. Primary care is provided at more than a

dozen medical offices in communities across central Alabama. Children’s of Alabama is the only medical center in Alabama dedicated solely to the care and treatment of children. It is a private, not-for-profit medical center that serves as the primary site of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) pediatric medicine, surgery, psychiatry, research and residency programs.


Children's of Alabama Since 1911, Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children. Ranked among the best pediatric medical centers in the nation by US News & World Report, Children’s provided care for youngsters from every county in Alabama, 41 other states and eight foreign countries last year, representing more than 677,000 outpatient visits and more than

1600 7th Ave. South Birmingham, AL 35233 205-638-9100



happyhealthykidsfair2016 Presented by RIVERCHASE GALLERIA, Birmingham



12 | birminghamparent | april 2016

PEDIATRICS 24/7, 365 IT MATTERS When a patient goes in for a surgical procedure at either of our two locations, that child receives worldclass care from board-certified pediatric professionals: l surgeons l anesthesiologists l nurse anesthetists l OR nurses l OR scrub technicians l respiratory therapists l recovery room nurses and l support staff. Everyone on our staff made the choice to work with children and their families.

Choose Children’s.

We offer a full complement of surgical services from ear tubes to cardiovascular procedures to delicate surgeries on neonates weighing less than 1 pound.

Russell Campus

Children’s South Outpatient Center

18 surgical suites + 2 CV suites 1601 5th Avenue South Birmingham, Alabama 35233 205.638.9777

6 surgical suites 1940 Elmer J. Bissell Road Birmingham, Alabama 35243 205.638.3217


Improves ability to sustain ATTENTION & minimize distractibility Promotes Motor and Cognitive PLANNING Develops THINKING skills for improved academic performance

205.978.9939 •


begins with

it all


Cutting and Open Houseand

Uses current technologies of Interactive Metronome and Integrated Listening Systems to build neurological pathways that enhance overall functional abilities.

P Ribbon

A customized treatment program for children with ADD/ADHD

® | 13

It All Begins With Babies-Bham Parent.indd 1

3/7/2016 12:21:34 PM

Photos by Jessica Marshall, Visual Arts By Jessica


Birth Stories How to Tell Your Child’s “Birth Story” By Carol Muse Evans

“Every child loves to hear about the day they were born,” says Jennifer Reagin, who had Visual Arts by Jessica photograph the time before, during and after the birth of her and her husband Chad’s son, Jack Parker Reagin, in 2014. “I have something in real motion to show him (Jack) and his future wife, and it will be another wonderful memory,” Reagin adds. 14 | birminghamparent | april 2016

Reagin’s friend Anna Maple heard about Jack’s birth story, watched it over and over again and cried like a baby. “It was honestly the most beautiful, well-put-together video showing the story of that day!” Maple says. “I remember showing my husband and saying, ‘I have to do this, I cannot imagine not being able to replay the day I give birth over and over again.’” “Birth stories” are usually a photographic accounting of the time before, during and after the birth of a child, and many photographers who do them put these photographs into a slide show, with captions, music and even some audio, that they can enjoy and relive later. Jessica Marshall, the photographer who did both the Reagin and Maple birth stories (Palmer Kate Maple, 2014), says it is a way to capture a pivotal moment in life for a family really becoming a family. “It’s also an overwhelming moment in life that you may not really remember all the details of,” Marshall says. “This is something you will have later to enjoy and even show your child.”

Jessica Marshall, photographer

How To Schedule A Birth Story For Your Child’s Birth Rachel Smith of Rachel Smith Photography, who specializes in birth stories and newborn/maternity photography says it is important to choose a credible, experienced photographer – and one who fits your style and personality. “And as cliché as it sounds, you get what you pay for,” Smith says. “Cheaper is rarely better in the photography world.” Book as soon as you find out about your due date, Marshall adds. “Babies come when they come…you need a photographer who will be on call for the entire month the baby is due – two weeks before and two weeks after.” Keep your scheduled photographer updated on any changes to the due date or if you go into premature labor, says Christy Pierce of Christy Pierce Photography, who does birth stories, lifestyle, posed newborn and maternity photography. “Make sure your photographer knows the plan, the hospital, and if you are having a scheduled

“It’s an overwhelming moment in life that you may not really remember all the details of. This is something you will have later to enjoy and even show your child.” —Jessica Marshall, photographer C-section or natural birth.” Be sure to check with the hospital for birth story and newborn photography permission, all the photographers stress. “It is becoming more commonplace, so most will be fine with it,” Marshall says, “but be sure to clear it in advance.” You can talk with your photographer about what you want in your birth story, but typically you will find the hospital, the lobby, the date, the nurses, doctors, family waiting, dad in his many jobs during the birth and everything in the process from ice chips to pushing, to mom and dad holding the baby for the first time, the baby getting cleaned up and weighed, etc., Marshall says. “It’s like I’m a fly on the wall.” This is one of the reasons you need

to be very comfortable with the photographer, Marshall adds. “They are going to see and experience everything with you. Decide in advance what level of ‘intrusion’ you are comfortable with, get to know the photographer and look at their previous work. This is likely not for you if you are an extremely private person.” Rates can vary greatly, so ask in advance what the charges will be for everything, and keep in mind you are hiring a photographer to both be on call and be there for the duration of labor and birth. Many start at $1,000, but it is a long-term investment in a lifetime memory, Marshall says. Check with your photographer for what his or her pricing is and what is included. “Many photographers will work | 15


“I remember showing my husband and saying, ‘I have to do this, I cannot imagine not being able to replay the day I give birth over and over again.’” — Anna Maple with you on pricing and payments,” Pierce says. “Ask about this in advance. Many photographers will require a signed contract, which also details what they expect from you as the client and what you should expect from them in return.” Pierce also suggests you pick a professional photographer who can give you full service from start to finish on this once-in-a-lifetime event. “It cannot be relived in order to get another shot at doing these pictures over,” Pierce adds.

The “Fresh 48” If the birth story is not for you, another option taking off in popularity, known as the “Fresh 48,” is basically a photographic memory of the first 48 16 | birminghamparent | april 2016

hours of the baby’s life. “For a Fresh 48, the photographer comes to the hospital the day after the baby is born (less than 48 hours old) and does a photo session,” Marshall says. “Some parents like this because the mom can do her hair and makeup, everyone is more relaxed,” Marshall says. “This is a way to capture these memories that have deep meaning to you – and it is candid, as well, like the birth story.” “The Fresh 48 photos are normally taken with the parents, siblings, grandparents, friends and anyone else that the parents want included,” Pierce says. “They include all the details from head to toe!” Typically, Fresh 48 sessions are less expensive than a birth story, the photographers say.

What About Maternity Photos and Newborn Photos? “As time goes on, photographs will be all that’s left of our special moments so it’s super important that we invest in them wisely,” Smith says. While there are many photographers in our area, Smith says each is special and unique in their own  way, but it’s important to choose a  photographer that fits your style and personality. Don’t wait, Smith says. Many photographers book a month or two in advance. “Maternity pictures are best if captured between 27 to 37 weeks pregnant,” Pierce says. When it comes to newborn photos, ask the photographer about their experience with newborn photography, Pierce adds. Make sure you see examples of their work. Also ask: Is the photographer insured? Does the photographer do composites when doing a “dangerous” pose (one that involves assistance because of a newborn’s inability to hold its head up)? How long are

the sessions? Are breaks included in the time, and do you charge separately to include siblings or adults? These are all questions Pierce says you should ask in advance, as well as the turnaround time for photographs. “Typically parents do newborn photos, then photos at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months in short sessions,” Marshall adds. Ask about booking in advance for these sessions and multiple session discounts. “The more questions you ask, the better,” adds Smith. “Ask about session fees, minimum orders, what the package includes, etc. Get to know your photographer beforehand.” I am beyond glad we did a birth story,” says Maple. “I don’t remember anything that happened except when my water broke and they checked us into the hospital. With all the pain, emotions and excitement, there was just a lot going on, including the birth of a child! It was one of the best decisions we have ever made,” Maple says. “My husband and I watch (our birth story of Jack) just about every time my son has a milestone,” Reagin adds. “It’s amazing to watch it and think how far he has come in such a short amount of time and how much we have grown as parents since that day.” Carol Muse Evans is publisher of Birmingham Parent.

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Answering the Adoption Questions: How much does it cost to adopt a child? Do I have to be married? Own my home? Here’s answers to many misconceptions about adoption from someone who knows By Stephanie Rodda

18 | birminghamparent | april 2016

Adoption is becoming more common and we are hearing more and more about it, which is good. Sometimes, however, what we hear may lead to many misconceptions. We hear the stories of celebrities who have adopted. We see where friends and friends of friends are having adoption fundraisers. We celebrate with people we know as they post photos on social media of trips overseas to meet their children for the first time. We see all of this and soon we begin to conclude that adoption can be very expensive and even though we might have considered adoption ourselves, we may begin to systematically rule ourselves out. After all, many of us aren’t wealthy and we could never afford that. We don’t own our own home. We aren’t married. We aren’t the right age. We would surely never qualify. Donna Brock, recruitment specialist for Alabama Pre/Post Adoption Connections (APAC) and Alabama State Department of Human Resources (DHR), says that the three most common misconceptions most people have about adoption qualifications are the cost of adoption, marital status and personal wealth. Two of these three top misconceptions concern money. Many of the people who call the adoption information hotline Brock answers assume they must be in a position to invest a lot of money and therefore make a lot of money. For accurate answers and information you can rely on, you can call 1-866-425-5437. Often callers are concerned that they must meet criteria that doesn’t exist.

How much does it cost to adopt? This is a question that is often asked and commonly misunderstood. In order to accurately answer this money matter, another matter must first be clarified. There are many adoption options and while some of them can be, not all of them are costly. While all adoptions have common factors such as home studies and background checks, they can vary greatly when it comes to cost. All adoptions are not the same and if money, or a lack of it, is what has kept you from following up on a desire to add a child to your family you may want to get the facts. While a private or international adoption can cost tens of thousands of dollars, an adoption through the state or county foster care system

According to the government-published Child Welfare Information Gateway document Costs of Adoption, many public agencies waive home study costs, (and) reimburse most or all expenses. See pubpdfs/s_costs.pdf for the full document. Pamela* and her husband, now in the adoption process, discussed their options and chose private domestic adoption as the route they would take. Having one son that they were still raising in the home was a factor in their decision. They researched how the addition of a child into the home older than him might impact their family dynamics. The cost of private adoption was one they were comfortable with and although there was a several-year wait, they were able to adopt an infant and

My life has been made richer because of our children whom we have adopted. — Stephanie Rodda can be practically cost free, according to Brock. While there is no right or wrong choice when it comes to this beautiful way of building a family, there is a question to consider. Which type of adoption is right for you? My husband and I have adopted seven children. Out of seven adoptions, six were assisted by social workers and the Department of Human Resources. Not only are subsidies available for financial assistance during the adoption process, but also possible subsidies to help with special needs, insurance benefits, or other identified issues such as attorney fees. Both state and federal programs participate in these subsidies and while the exact subsidy amount and details vary, most will continue until 18 years of age and according to special circumstances, possibly until 21.

fulfill their dream. Bethany* and her husband, in also mid-adoption, decided to adopt after having one biological child and were inspired by Christian artist Steven Curtis Chapman’s adoption of a daughter from China. The more they read and learned about the process of international adoption, the more convinced they were that this was the route they were to take. It wasn’t easy and it was costly, but by drawing on their savings and supportive family members, they were able to adopt not once, but twice from China. Diana* and her husband, now foster parents, have chosen to foster-adopt. They have not adopted yet but are well on their way as newly state trained and licensed foster parents for the state of Alabama. Cost was definitely a factor. Like many others who are seeking adoption,

they had attempted a number of medical procedures for infertility treatments. Such an experience can be both emotionally and financially exhausting. Their hearts were influenced by a strong faith and the answer seemed clear, they say. By becoming foster-adoptive parents they could reach out to the children in need in their own area as well as have the opportunity to adopt a child when it was possible. As you consider the adoption options before you, remember: You do not have to be wealthy, married, own your own home, have a college degree, be a stay-athome parent or necessarily spend a lot of money to adopt a child. There are other resources other than DHR. One of the most helpful we have found is the Children’s Aid Society in Birmingham. It has a number of supports in place for both pre-adoptive and post-adoptive families. We have benefited from counseling services, an extensive adoption library and adoption-related events. They have listings of Alabama’s waiting children as well as many other helpful resources for those considering adoption or waiting for that placement call. More information can be found at or by calling the adoption hotline provided above. If being affluent were a requirement for adopting a child, many of us, including myself and my husband, would not qualify. Thankfully, while adoption does require home studies, patience, training, screening and effort, it does not necessarily require large amounts of money. I’m thankful that is the case. My life has been made richer because of our children whom we have adopted. I’m so glad foster-adoption was an option we could not only afford but was the best choice for building our family.

Photos courtesy of Stephanie Rodda

HELPFUL LINKS: adoption/adopt-assistance/ book/adoptionsubsidies

*Names were changed to protect privacy. Stephanie Rodda is a freelance writer and author who resides in the Birmingham area with her husband and children. She and Henry were Alabama state licensed foster parents for fifteen years and adopted seven children by foster-adoption. In addition to writing articles, devotionals and blogging, Stephanie has recently published her first fictional novel, How Then Shall We Live? which can be purchased at | 19


Mothers Milk Bank of Alabama Provides Donated Breast Milk for Babies in Need By Lori Chandler Pruitt

Many new mothers who would like to provide breast milk for their babies, but can’t because of hers or the baby’s medical issues have a resource in Birmingham – Mothers Milk Bank of Alabama. The milk bank is the first non-profit milk bank in the state. It collects, processes and distributes excess human breast milk to provide necessary nutrients to babies in need and sick or premature infants, or to help moms 20 | birminghamparent | april 2016

who can’t supply their own milk because of stress, medications or other complications. The bank only sells directly to hospitals, or on an outpatient basis with a doctor’s prescription, says Katherine Wood, milk bank program director. Breast milk is especially needed in hospitals to help boost the health of babies who suffer from several complications, such as renal failure, premature infants born with less than 32 weeks gestation, allergies or infective diseases, infants with formula intolerance or metabolism errors, immunity deficiency, intestinal malformations and more. And, once home, some babies have feeding intolerance or failure to thrive, and can benefit from breast milk. “There are some situations where the mother cannot provide milk, or the supply is not enough to feed the baby,” Wood says. “Some babies are born premature and the mother’s milk has not come in. We are able to provide based on medical need.” The bank is housed in the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama,

where it began accepting donations as a collection depot for the Mothers Milk Bank of North Texas. After a year, it now screens and collects breast milk donations from Birmingham and greater Alabama mothers, and in November 2015, it sent out the first breast milk pasteurized in Alabama. It is a member of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. The bank currently has more than 60 donors. Moms who want to donate excess breast milk can contact the milk bank for a health history and blood work – tests that the bank pays for, Wood says. Then, moms deliver the milk to the bank, where it is tested, pasteurized and stored in a freezer until it is delivered. Moms who do donate breast milk usually do so because they have extra milk to donate, have lost a baby and may want to donate milk, or have a baby who will not take breast milk from a bottle, Wood says. For more information, call Wood at 205-942-8911 x117, email her at kwood@ or go to


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Gender Reveal Parties: He or She – What Will It Be? By Becky J. Beall

Today’s generation of parents-to-be have a new way of celebrating that is trending to be as popular as baby showers, but without the gifts! Gender reveal parties are all the rage with a myriad of Pinterest-inspired themes and ideas centered on revealing the unborn baby’s gender in a party-like setting with family and friends. Recently, my family experienced this new generation frenzy first hand when we planned a gender reveal party for our first grandchild. Following an ultrasound where the technician printed out a picture with GIRL written across the bottom, and handed to me safely in a sealed envelope, the planning began. I have been to countless baby showers, but gender reveal? Nope, I had no idea what to do, so I Googled it! The Internet proved to be an in22 | birminghamparent | april 2016

valuable tool, particularly Pinterest. It offered ideas for themes with slogans, games, foods and reveal options. There were so many choices and it didn’t take long for me to become overwhelmed. With paper and pen in hand, I set out to plan the ultimate gender reveal.

First things first… The first thing to realize is that this is a celebration for the parents because they do not know the gender! In some cases, the parents-to-be are the ones throwing the party, and in other cases (like ours) it was the grandparents-to-be (on both sides – his and hers). Carrying out the wishes of the expecting parents is paramount to a successful party, and with that in mind, we all sat down and picked out the centerpiece for which the event would be planned around first and fore-

most…the cake! We decided to choose a themed cake (elephant) and have the baker use a colored batter to reveal the gender of the baby (pink or blue respectively). When the cake is cut and the gender is revealed, this is the focal point of the party…the first point in which the parents and all the guests share in excitement surrounding the new life! Below are more ideas for the reveal: ✱ Pink or blue helium balloons placed in a wrapped box, opened by the parents or a sibling. ✱ If the couple has decided on a name, a banner bearing the gender-specific name may be revealed at some point during the party or placed in an inconspicuous place as a reveal. ✱ Piñatas are a fun way to reveal, especially if there are lots of younger kids attending the party. Fill the piñata with pink or blue candies and when it breaks, the secret is also spilled! ✱ Fortune cookies that all say something like THINK PINK or SNIPS AND SNAILS are a cute reveal as well.

Party foods…

Photos by Becky Beall

The decision to have heavier foods proved to be a good choice due to the evening timing for the party. Chicken salad on crescent rolls, fruit and veggies with dip all filled beautiful platters as well as bellies! Rounding out the tablescape was the most fun part…the sweet treats in full baby theme! Below are some fun choices (thanks again to Pinterest): ✱ Oreo cookies with half the cookie dipped in white chocolate, then sprinkled with pink or blue little baby-themed sprinkles. ✱ Baby Hershey candy bars with blue or pink ribbon tied around them, or using Sharpies, color the HE part of Hershey with blue and the SHE part with pink. ✱ Candy molds with baby feet, booties and other themes are relatively inexpensive and are great for filling glass bowls with sweet little themed treats. ✱ Glass jars filled with pink and blue candies respectively add a pretty touch to the table as well as a fun treat for the kids (big kids included)! ✱ Pink lemonade is a great punch in keeping with the theme.

Games… While we opted not to play games, there are lots of options! Wooden clothespins painted blue or pink are always fun. Place in a bucket by the door and offer each guest to wear the color that corresponds with what they believe the gender will be. Everyone wearing the correct color at the time of the reveal may be rewarded with a small prize. If someone is videoing the event, have them film different guests offering their thoughts on what the gender will be, keeping in mind that even the smallest of guests have the cutest comments. Take lots of pictures for the baby book. Also, this is a good venue in which to give small gifts to siblings of the new baby, but it is not a baby shower, so no baby gifts are expected.

In the end… Details, details… After choosing the reveal and the theme, the rest seems to fall into place and delegating begins, much in the same way as a baby shower would. The cake, of course, would be the centerpiece of the table and we had equal amounts of pink, blue and white balloons filled with helium as the main source of decoration in the room with one of each color placed on the mailbox for added anticipation. We rolled up plastic-ware in pink napkins tied with blue ribbon for table decoration and added a blue plush elephant for additional theme reference and color.

While gender reveals are a new way of celebrating, these ideas are only the tip of the iceberg. Check out Pinterest (type in gender reveal party) and don’t discount your own creativity for putting a different spin on something specific that you love. Choose foods and themes that you love and include folks that are near and dear to you and the new baby to help roll out a celebration to remember. Becky Beall is a local travel writer and host of “The Travel Voice By Becky.”

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How to Deal With Your Child’s Gross Behavior By Rachael Moshman

There’s always at least one kid nose picking on stage during the holiday recital. You either breathe a sigh of relief because it’s not your kid, or wave frantically for him or her to cut it out because it is. Inappropriate social behaviors are something all kids embarrass parents with from time to time – and often it’s in a situation where the humiliation factor will be extra strong. Children do what feels good and seems natural at the time. It takes time to learn about boundaries and social expectations. Some of the most common behaviors that make parents cringe include nose picking, spitting, putting fingers in the mouth, licking things, lifting up a shirt, “adjusting” clothing, picking scabs and touching other people. Dr. Serena Paterson, Ph.D., psychologist and author of “Hunter, Faith and the Ancestors,” says it’s important to deal with these issues quietly and without shaming the child. She suggests giving the child a reminder. “Some parents have a visual signal, such as mom pulling her own ear, for when speaking about the behavior aloud would draw further attention,” Paterson says.   Early childhood expert Colleen Payne is the director of Montessori Country Day School and has seen about every possible inappropriate social behavior many times in over a decade of working with young children.  “When children are learning social norms, gentle reminders that do not call undue attention to the issue are best,” she says. “For most children, overreacting is unnecessary and can cause them to repeat the behavior to seek attention.”

Some of the clear phrases payne suggests include: “Please let you shirt cover your body to keep it safe.” “We use a tissue to clean our nose. Let me get you one.” “Food needs to stay inside our mouths while we are eating.” “Hands may go in pockets, but not in our underwear.” “Please stay in your chair right now.” Sometimes children struggle with appropriate social behavior longer than expected. When a child is not learning social cues, not responding to redirection, or is unmanageable at home and at school despite consistent reinforcement, it may be time to talk to your pediatrician about your concerns, Payne says. She suggests documenting examples from home, school and other settings to help your child’s doctor direct you to the right kind of specialist if necessary. Paterson recommends parents try to determine if the child is continuing the undesirable behavior because they can’t stop or because they don’t want to stop. If the child is under six, he or she just might need more time to catch up to their peers socially. Payne recommends seeing a pediatrician if the child is six or over and still seems unable to suppress unacceptable behaviors in public. However, she adds, “If the child seems to have control and refuses to stop the behavior anyway, a counselor can help, even if the child is under 6.” If you aren’t sure if the behavior is intentional, consult your pediatrician.     Children outgrow most gross habits like nose picking with time and redirection. In the meantime, know you aren’t alone in being embarrassed by your sweet little darlings. Just think, you’ll have funny stories to tell for decades after they grow up. Rachel Moshman is a freelance writer. 24 | birminghamparent | april 2016


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Allergies in Children By Marc Routman, MD

Marc Routman, MD, is a board-certified otolaryngologist at Brookwood Medical Center in Homewood.

26 | birminghamparent | april 2016

Allergies have the ability to trigger several symptoms within children. Inherited from one or both parents, children commonly experience symptoms of allergic rhinitis … affecting about 2025% of all children. These symptoms can include nasal congestion, itchy nose and/or eyes, sneezing, wheezing and cough, and ear infections or fluid. While these are mainly nuisance problems, symptoms can severely hamper quality of life and cause many missed school days and, therefore, missed work days for parents. They can affect the ability of the children to get restful sleep at night making them tired and grumpy the next day. Your child could even develop problems with teeth and facial growth if nasal congestion results in mouth breathing. Allergies can be seasonal or year round. Seasonal allergies usually develop in the spring and/or fall and are caused by pollen in the air. This includes the malady known as “hay fever” in the fall caused by ragweed pollen. However, fever does not exist amongst the symptoms but rather nasal congestion, running, and sneezing. The spring season triggers mostly tree pollen allergies, and during the summer children can be exposed to grass pollen. Year around allergies are usually caused by dust, dust mites, molds, and animals. The symptoms are similar to what is felt during allergy season, but are more persistent. Food allergies, on the other hand, generally lead to nausea, cramps, diarrhea, or hives and eczema. But whatever type of allergy your child is suspect to, it’s important to note that allergies do not cause fever. This is what separates an allergy attack from a virus or infection.

Treatment for allergies include over-the-counter antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays. These can be tried by parents without a doctor’s advice; however a physician should be consulted if you don’t see success within a few days. Other medications are available by prescription from your pediatrician, allergist, or otolaryngologist (ENT). In addition, allergy tests can be performed to see what your child is allergic to and sometimes allergy desensitization (shots) may be needed.

The spring season triggers mostly tree pollen allergies, and during the summer children can be exposed to grass pollen. Year around allergies are usually caused by dust, dust mites, molds, and animals. Although not yet FDA approved (nor covered by insurance), there is ongoing research to prove the efficacy of allergy drops under the tongue. It is available in our community by several ENT allergy doctors and is a very promising treatment. While allergic rhinitis causes many adverse symptoms on your child’s quality of life, early identification of childhood allergies can greatly improve your child’s well-being. Many treatments are efficacious and easy, and parents should seek help from a physician who is knowledgeable about allergies. | 27

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FOR PET OWNERS Following are the top seven best apps and websites for pet owners, according to PetCoach. These free apps provide fantastic services, from help in finding a lost pet to health concerns:

ADOPT ME My name is Casey and I love to play with kids and run around the backyard. I'm 2 years old.

Best if You’ve Lost Your Pet FurAlert Once you install FurAlert on your phone, you tell it specific information about all of your pets. If one of them goes missing, you simply pull up the app and select that pet. A notification goes out to all FurAlert users within a specific radius of your phone that your pet is missing, and all of that pertinent information about your pet gets “pushed” to the phones of all those other pet-loving people within the area. You set up the search radius – maybe a relatively small area in a big city, or something much larger, like five miles, in the country. The push notification also includes data on how to contact you. Cost: FREE Platforms: iPhone and Android More info: Best for Finding a Great Dog Sitter DogVacay DogVacay connects pet owners with pet sitters across the country. Once you’ve downloaded the app, put in your zip code in order to select from pet sitters in your area, who have been pre-screened by the folks at DogVacay. While you’re gone your pet is covered by pet insurance, should he become ill or injured, and you have access to a customer support hotline 24/7. You’ll 28 | birminghamparent | april 2016

also receive daily updates about how your pet is doing, including pictures. Cost: FREE Platforms: Website, iPhone and Android More info: Best for Finding a Forever Friend PetFinder Petfinder makes it easy to search for the perfect forever friend. They work with rescues and shelters in your area to show you pets that fit your criteria. You can specify what species and breed you’re interested in – even purebreds that are up for adoption! After that, narrow your search even further to zero in on the size and age of pet you want. Depending on the organization that’s posting the pet, you can learn all kinds of information about adoptable pets, including whether they’re good with children. Cost: FREE Platforms: Website, iPhone and Android More info:

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Best for Getting Professional Pet Advice PetCoach PetCoach gives you access to experts from all animal-related fields, including veterinarians, behaviorists, and trainers. You can ask short questions for free, and receive short answers back. If your concern is more complicated, you can engage in a private chat or phone call with an expert. And you can browse more than 100,000 answered questions to see if other pet owners have already inquired about the very thing you’re interested in. Cost: FREE Platforms: Website, iPhone and Android More info: Best for Getting Pet Insurance Quotes Just like any shopping that involves insurance, it can be confusing to compare plans and benefits. makes it simple to look at the offerings of 12 different 30 | birminghamparent | april 2016

pet insurance companies. You can compare coverage details as well as monthly premiums. You can also learn all the ins and outs of the specific coverage you’re interested in, including deductibles, copayments and coverage for pre-existing conditions. Cost: FREE Platforms: Website only More info: Best for Taking Purrrfect Pet Photos BarkCam BarkCam is a simple app that plays an attention-grabbing sound when you hit the shutter button, just before it snaps a picture. You’ve got options ranging from “wailing siren” to “squeaking mouse” to “howling dog” to “mooing cow,” allowing you to select the sound that brings out your pet’s inner supermodel. And BarkCam makes it easy to share your pet’s photos on social media, after adding fun effects like hats and monocles, of course.

Cost: FREE Platforms: iPhone and Android More info: Best Repository of Valuable Pet Information PetMD is a web-based repository of valuable information on a wide range of topics interesting to pet owners. There’s information about specific breeds of pets, information about how to care for pets, and more. There are fun features such as lists of most popular cat names, as well as articles authored by veterinarians on many different diseases and treatments. The app allows you to put in the symptoms you’re seeing in your pet, and it tells you the possible diseases that could be causing them. Cost: FREE Platforms: Website only More info: Courtesy of



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Check Out the Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores May 20-22

Photo courtesy of Polished Pig Media

Due to its enviable lineup and dream-like, oceanside setting, The Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores is recognized as one of the top live music events in the country. The May 20-22 lineup was announced early to feature headliners like Florence and the Machine, The Alabama Shakes, Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding, alongside recent Grammy nominees Jason Isbell, Leon Bridges, and The Weekend. Last year’s festival sold out, set attendance records, and infused over $31 million into the local economy. Attendees travel from across the country to experience a top-notch festival where no detail or luxurious comfort is spared – from towering art installations to breezy shaded lounges and poolside stages. For more information on tickets, accommodations and more, www.

Photo by Carol Muse Evans

Waterparks and More for the Whole Family at Wilderness at the Smokies If you and your family are planning a trip to the Smoky Mountains soon, consider staying at Wilderness at the Smokies in Sevierville, just a short drive to Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and many attractions. Wilderness at the Smokies might be a parent’s dream, as there is so much to entertain the whole family that is included in the accommodations’ price. Three water parks – one indoor (during rainy or cold weather) and two outdoor mean you can have fun in the water no matter when you visit. Be sure to check out the Adventure Forest  dry, family  adventure center. Featuring a three-story ropes course, multi-level laser 32 | birminghamparent | april 2016

tag, black light mini-golf, mega arcade and much more. There’s plenty of fun here for grownups, too. You can go off site to dine, or try one of the eating establishments on the property. For each adult breakfast or dinner buffet purchase, receive a children’s (age 11 and younger) breakfast or dinner buffet FREE. This is only for Wilderness guests. And if the buffet is not available, the promotion applies to children’s “off the menu” items. Try the Hidden Trail Bar & Grill, offering “off the menu” items for breakfast, lunch (seasonal) and dinner, as well as an excellent selection of beverage choices at the bar. There’s also

the Thirsty Miner Restaurant offering family breakfast and dinner buffets, as well as “off the menu” items for breakfast, lunch (seasonal) and dinner. There’s also a market and deli on site for you to have items in your room, and numerous snack bars around the water parks for a quick bite to eat without ever leaving the fun. Accommodations include a studio suite (a basic “hotel” room, but with mini fridge and microwave) one and two bedroom suites and handicapped accommodations, too. For more information and specials, visit www. For more about Sevierville, visit

IT’S ALL HERE... Everything you need to keep the family entertained

Airplane Travel Activities for Kids By Kerrie McLoughlin

My husband finds himself on an airplane for work travel often. Having five kids himself, he is always very understanding of loud kids, energetic kids, meltdowns, kids kicking his seat and more. But we all know he is a rare kind of airplane traveler, so when you find yourself on a plane, here are some ideas for keeping your own kids occupied so they don’t disturb others (or minimally, anyway!) Help your child pack a bag of fun stuff to do while on the plane. Drawstring backpacks are becoming very popular with kids and can hold just the right amount of coloring books, books, crayons and small toys. “I Spy” books are perfect for the pre-reading set. Crayola’s Color Wonder line is amazing and does not leave a mark anywhere but on the special paper! Even if you never do this, now would be a good time to try the old parental bribe (or call it a “reward” if you are more comfortable with that). For instance, for every five minutes your child is reasonably quiet (we aren’t looking for  complete  silence or non-movement here), she gets a few fruit snacks or a piece of sugarless gum which you have packed in your own small carry-on bag or purse. If it’s a long flight, maybe you whip out a new dollar store toy for every half hour he is behaving well.  Consider travel-sized games like magnetic checkers, bingo or tic-tac-toe. Lacing cards, Colorforms (those flat plastic pieces that go on a flat board,, card games, stickers and workbooks all also work to keep kids entertained during a flight. Depending on the age of your child, consider books of mazes, word searches, crossword puzzles or other fun games on paper. You can print out tons of great things from the Internet for free also. When everything else has lost its shine, of course you are allowed to break out the handheld video games or a portable DVD player with headphones. “Whatever works” is the motto for getting through an airplane trip – long or short – with kids.   Kerrie McLoughlin ( was last on a plane when her oldest son was only one year old, and thankfully it was a short flight!

36 vacation-rental houses with lake views and twosix bedrooms • Nine-hole putt-putt golf course • Zip line • Beach with 120-foot water slide •

Two pools Boat ramp & docks with fi sh-cleaning facilities • Two volleyball courts • Tennis & basketball court • Outdoor movie theater • Playground • •

Chesnut Bay Resort | | 256.526.7778 4480 County Road 44 | Leesburg, AL 35983 | 33

DESTINATION GUIDE Photo courtesy of Carol Muse Evans

Located on the banks of the beautiful 30,200 acre Weiss Lake, Alabama, Chesnut Bay Resort is an all-seasons resort offering guests an easy-paced vacation and surrounded by lush forest lands, cloaked by beautiful starry nights. We provide comfortable lake houses and poolside villas, each outfitted to create “a home away from home” atmosphere. Ranging from 2-6 bedrooms, our vacation rentals can fit any travel budget. Chesnut Bay’s full service resort amenities include deep water lake access, swimming pools, a lake water slide and

beach activities, walking trails, playgrounds, put-put golf, tennis and covered picnic areas. Highly ranked for its year round fishing and known as the “Crappie Capital of the World”, Weiss Lake offers strong crappie, striper, catfish and bass fishing opportunities. Chesnut Bay has all of the lakeside amenities that help make your fishing trips comfortable, productive and most of all, fun! Whether planning a yearly fishing trip, a family summer vacation or just a quiet weekend away, Chesnut Bay has what you need for a truly memorable experience!

Chesnut Bay Resort | | 256.526.7778 4480 County Road 44 | Leesburg, AL 35983




The only voice in travel that MATTERS! Catch The Travel Voice by Becky on Saturday’s in Shelby County on FM 99.9 APH Radio at 11 a.m. and anytime on iHeart Radio! Great travel information, special deals, awesome guests, spectacular on location LIVE events and amazing giveaways! For more information, visit 34 | birminghamparent | april 2016

The Flight of a Lifetime Awaits You in Sevierville A highlight to a trip to Sevierville is an old-fashioned biplane ride with Sky High Tours at the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport ( You can experience the romance and adventure of flying in an open cockpit biplane for a bit of sightseeing above Sevierville and Pigeon Forge in an authentic 1927 Waco Model 10 Straight wing, pronounced “Wah-Co” like taco. There are 36 Waco Model 10’s registered in the US and maybe a dozen are still flying, so you will be taking a ride in a true piece of American history, according to pilot Marc Hightower. This aircraft is an authentic vintage biplane, not a replica and has been lovingly restored to “like new” condition. Children as young as two up to adults can experience what it is like to fly with the wind in your hair in a plane from yesteryear, while seeing a bird’s eye view of the Smoky Mountains. Great photo opportunities here. Headsets are provided so you can communicate with the pilot in flight (it’s noisy!), and goggles and silk scarves are optional. Hightower will make you feel safe and secure and give you a tourist’s view of the area while in flight. Hightower can also tell you all about the actual plane and the history of the biplane. Pricing starts at $99. For more information on flights and pricing, visit the website or call 865-742-2359.

Great Low or No-Cost Activities in Gatlinburg, TN If you are planning a trip to the Smoky Mountains this spring/summer, here are some great activities that are very inexpensive or no cost, a must for every family outing. Gatlinburg Community Center ( has indoor swimming pool, racquetball, basketball and bowling alley for a small fee. Walk the Parkway with a self-guided Gatlinburg history tour, window shop, visit the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts community, and enjoy Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales free street entertainment and visit Arrowmont Galleries. Enjoy the sights and sounds of Gatlinburg with the City Trolley System for a small fee. Bundle Tickets for attractions. Look online for bundling and coupons to get the best discounts. Ober Gatlinburg ( offers attractions a la carte or in economical wristbands.


By Lori Chandler Pruitt

The Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa in Point Clear, on beautiful Mobile Bay, is consistently ranked one of the top Marriott resorts for guest satisfaction, spas, pools, dining and golf. There are 405 large guest rooms in five buildings on 550 acres, seven restaurants and lounges, and has been named one of Travel + Leisure’s Top 500 Hotels in the World. Enjoy friendly, helpful staff, fantastic accommodations, a large family pool complex, a private adult pool (with pool butlers), the beauty of the bay, a world-class, full-service spa, gift shop, fitness center, beautiful grounds, two beaches on the bay, tennis, golf, dining, kids’ activities and more. Seven restaurants offer fine and casual dining options. There is fresh seafood from Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico; the Grand Steakhouse offers great selections along with spectacular views, and received the AAA Four-Diamond Award. Restaurants and lounges also are available poolside, and there is a coffeehouse, too. The hotel underwent a $50 million major renovation in 2006 following Hurricane Katrina, and rooms were renovated in 2010. The Grand is part of the Renaissance hotels group, and the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. For more to enjoy, there is a 37-slip marina at the resort that includes boat charters for guests. Or, drive the short distance along the bay to the picturesque city of Fairhope, known for unique, one-of-kind shops and cafes/restaurants; it’s easy to park and walk. Shops offer clothing, gifts, art, home décor, toys, antiques and much more. There’s also a small grocery store for anything you might have forgotten. By the way, the Grand also is well-known for its family-friendly atmosphere and kids’ activities. The Grand Fun Camp is available for two sessions daily, from 10am to 2pm, and 6-10pm. Games, fishing, duck feeding, croquet and horseshoes, along with a Fun Camp Room with air hockey, video games and arts and crafts, are available. Counselors are there daily to lead the fun. For more information, go to

Photo provided by Grand Hotel Marriott Resort

The historic “Grand” is the “Queen of Southern Resorts” on Mobile Bay

Family amenities with you in mind | 35



Enroll in Birmingham-Southern College’s



ENTERING KINDERGARTEN THROUGH 8TH GRADE Contact Gabe McCool at or 205.956.9731 ext 105 Located on Old Leeds Rd. (I-459 exit at Grants Mill Rd)

Look no Further!

Conservatory of Fine and Performing Arts Lessons in piano, voice, violin, guitar, band and much more. Preschool classes also available. Educate

Music and Theatre Camp 2016


Aviation Adventure Camps Experiencing an aviation adventure camp gives children a hands-on learning experience that will grow their knowledge of the exciting world of aviation!

June 13-17 K5-5th grade 205/226-4960



June 6th - July 29th Vendors for the camp -

Dance Foundation Aces and Birdies Soccer Shots Northstar Martial Arts The Knight School Artist Lydia Duncan Bricks4Kidz Field trips around the city

June 13-17 and July 11-15 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. *Early drop-off and late pick-up available



Rising kindergarteners thru rising 5th graders

Scan QR Code for schedule & Registration





100 Derby Parkway, Birmingham,AL

Dawson Music Academy Classical music lessons in a Christian environment.

ections Summer Music Camp: June 20-24, 2016 For more information contact:




Dawson Family of Faith • Dawson Memorial Baptist Church 1114 Oxmoor Road . Birmingham, Alabama 35209 | birminghamparent | april 2016



cheerleading • ropes course • ARTS & CRAFTS • soccer • sports • nature • drama

Recognized as one of the South’s favorite Christian summer camps for girls! Welcome to an award winning camp experience…


Just off DeSoto Parkway on top of Lookout Mountain in Mentone, Alabama…nestled in a bend of Little River. Adventure, inspiration, character & confidence-building are just a few of the benefits that go hand-in-hand with the activity choices. Riverview’s Christian emphasis & exciting programs are appreciated by both parents & campers! Call 800-882-0722 or visit for a FREE DVD & Information packet

Only 2 short hours from Birmingham 1 & 2 week sessions! Mother-Daughter Weekends also Available

Dr. Larry and Susan Hooks, Owners/Directors Donna Bares, Assistant Director Accredited by American Camping Association Members of Christian Camping Conference Asso.

Check us out online at

swimming • beach volleyball • archery • riding • basketball • golf • much more!

chorus • gymnastics • Dance • canoeing • tennis • GOLF

Exciting Traditional Camp for girls ages 6 to 16!

Camp Juliette Low On Lookout Mountain in Cloudland, GA CJL is an independent, residential summer camp for girls ages 7-17. 1 & 2 week sessions June 5—July 30, 2016

     

Horseback Ropes course Climbing wall Pottery/crafts Fire-building Camp crafts

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Canoeing Sailing Archery Pool Hiking Drama For more information or to register online:

770-428-1062 Preparing Girls for Confident Living and Leadership Since 1922 | 37

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THE ABOVE ADS HAVE NOT BEEN SCREENED BY THE SOUTHEASTERN ADVERTISING PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION (SAPA) or BIRMINGHAM PARENT; Therefore, any discrepancies thereof shall not be the responsibility of the aforementioned association or this publication. Your publisher has agreed to participate in this program and run these ads as a service to the Southeastern Advertising Publishers Association.

VOTE NOW in the 2016 Birmingham Parent’s Family Favorites Awards!

LAST MONTH TO ENTER! Visit to vote online for your favorite party place, kids meal, toy store, radio station & more.

Tell us Your Family’s Favorites & WIN!


Win a great 3 day visit to Sevierville, TN for 4, valued at more than $800. See the details online! Cast your vote online through April 14 38 | birminghamparent | april 2016

VOT I N G E N DS AT M I D N I G H T O N A P R I L 14 , 2 016 . Look for the family favorites award winners in the June 2016 issue of Birmingham Parent. You must vote in at least 20 categories for your vote to count, and if you wish to be entered in the random drawing, we must receive your complete contact info. Information may be shared with prize sponsors.

Summer Ice Skating Camps

Pelham Skate School LEARN TO SKATE / LEARN TO PLAY HOCKEY CAMP Week 1: June 20-24 / Princess / Super Hero Week Week 2: July 18-22 / Star Wars Week Week 3: Aug 1-5 / Beach Week

Cost: $250.00 per week • Ages: 5-12 • 8am-4pm • 12 Hours of skating time, 2 ½ hours of off-ice workout • 5 hours of Arts & Crafts, 1 PG- rated movie a day • Camp T-shirt • 1 Pizza Party and Tons of Fun! • 1 On-Ice Exhibition of tricks learned for mom & dad

Please register in advance by calling our Pro Shop at 205-620-6448 ext.261 Pelham Civic Complex & Ice Arena 500 Amphitheater Road, Pelham Alabama 35124


Check out our baby clothes & gifts!

a ladies boutique with stylish and affordable fashion

Come see the latest in trendy clothing including tops and tunics, summer must-haves, fun and fashionable jewelry and other accessories.


Becky’s at Brookwood Village • 205-414-8067 $10 OFF a purchase of $50 or more.

One coupon/person. Does not apply to previous purchases, sale or clearance items. Expires 4.30.16.


Learn about the weather with Charles Ghigna’s new board books!





Birthdays in Birmingham Your local birthday party resource Loved by Parents since 1997 Places to Go  Entertainment Party Supplies & Rentals  Facilities  Coupons

40 | birminghamparent | april 2016



Visit birmingham-parents-birthday-kids.html Deadline is the 12th of each month preceding the birthday month. May enter for later months, too.

calendar highlights

Calendar sponsored by

THE OAK MOUNTAIN SPRING STATE FAIR is coming with lots of fun for the whole family! Held April 28 to May 8 at the Oak Mountain Amphitheatre, enjoy attractions, rides, games, live music, entertainment, food and more. Information, hours, www. oakmountainstatefair. com.


Enjoy a free, FUN FAMILY FEST AT VETERANS PARK IN ALABASTER courtesy of The Owens House, Shelby County Child Advocacy Center from 10am-2pm. The festival features live music, dancing, Hand in Paw puppies, child safety information, cupcake walk, catered finger foods, games, obstacle course, crafts and more. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, so speakers also will share their experiences with abuse. Learn how to keep kids safe, and prevent child abuse in your community. 205-669-3333.


Spring is a great time of year! Outdoor activities abound, from community festivals to easygoing hikes for the whole family to enjoy. Farmer’s markets are opening up. Take a look at all the fun things to do, and start a new family tradition.


THE ALBERT L. SCOTT LIBRARY’S PETE THE CAT BOOK CLUB will have a special guest from the Audubon Society who will talk about birds and bird watching. Sign up at 205-664-6822.



THE GARDENDALE MAGNOLIA FESTIVAL is two days of family fun at the Gardendale Civic Center! Three stages of entertainment, kid zone, free parking and free admission. 5-10 on Friday and 9-5 on Saturday. www. Birmingham Parent is a sponsor.

The Birmingham Zoo’s newest exhibit is DINO DISCOVERY! It features 12 life-sized, North America-native animatronic dinosaurs at heights of nearly 20 feet, weighing almost seven tons and measuring 85 feet in length! Explore a trail filled with these magnificent creatures. Through July 31. | 41

calendar 1 FRIDAY Trussville Spring Carnival Magnolia Mall, Trussville. Popular family event runs through April 3. Information, 205-655-7535, Ride the Mega Zip Line at Night! 7:30pm, Red Mountain Park. Experience the 80-foot Kaul Adventure Tower! Walk into the park at dusk, gear up by the campfire as night falls and enjoy two zips down the 1,000-foot Mega Zip Line. Zip side by side with a friend! $50 per person. Register, 205-202-6043,

2 SATURDAY Hikes for Tykes 10am, Birmingham Botanical Gardens. A hands-on program for preschool children and their families. Join Fresh Air Family’s Miss Annie on a magical tour. Look for bugs, tadpoles and a rainbow of flowers. FREE. Birmingham Homeschool Fair Noon-5pm, Cahaba Grand Conference Center. Area organizations/co-ops/schools/classes to share local resources and information for homeschool families. Curriculum share area, used curriculum sale for those who want to buy and sell gently-used materials and more. 205-2010327, FREE.

4 MONDAY UAB Music Jazz Ensemble 7-8:30pm, Alys Stephens Center. Directed by Steve Roberts. 205934-7376, music. FREE.

5 TUESDAY Sentimental Journey: The Restoration of the Lyric Theatre 2pm, Hoover Public Library. Photographer and photo blogger Virginia Jones presents a photo talk on the restored Lyric Theatre, built in 1914 and once the finest performing arts theatre in Birmingham. 205-444-7840. FREE. Lego League

Calendar sponsored by

6-6:45pm, Albert L. Scott Library, Alabaster. Kids of all ages can play with blocks of all sizes. Birmingham Barons 6:30pm, Regions Field. Exhibition game vs. Miles College. www.

8 FRIDAY Spring Book and Bake Sale Preview 5-7pm, Albert L. Scott Library, Alabaster. It’s the first night of the library’s three-day book sale and this preview is for Friends of the Albert L. Scott Library members only. But join the Friends for as little as $10 and attend the preview for the best selection! Home-baked brownies and cookies for sale. Proceeds benefit the library’s programs. 205-620-1224. Alabama Ballet presents Coppelia and the Toymaker 7:30pm, Dorothy Jemison Day Theater, Alabama School of Fine Arts. Tickets, www.alabamaballet. org. UAB Music Choirs in Concert 7:30-9pm, Alys Stephens Center. Conducted by Brian Kittredge. 205-934-7376, music. FREE.

9 SATURDAY Pepper Place Market 7am-noon, 2829 2nd Ave. South. Fresh produce, vendors and more. Rain or shine. Fresh Air Family Fossil Hunt 9am, 1pm, Sumiton. An act of Congress preserved this former strip mine because it is one of the top three Coal Age sites in the world. Keep what you find unless it is a museum quality piece, which has been found before. Two sessions. $10/members $20 non-members. Space limited; register at under special events. Spring Book and Bake Sale 9am-3pm, Albert L. Scott Library, Alabaster. Beef up your home library with paperback and children’s books for 50 cents each

and all other hardback books for $1. Home baked cookies and brownies for sale. Proceeds support the programs and services the library provides the community. 205-620-1224.

Spring Book and Bake Sale 1-3pm, Albert L. Scott Library, Alabaster. The last day of the book sale is “Fill a Bag Day” with customers able to fill a brown paper bag with books for only $6.

Hikes for Tykes 10am, Birmingham Botanical Gardens. For preschool children and their families. Talk about the functions of flowers, fruit and seeds, make bean seed necklaces, look for seedlings, buds and flowers. FREE.

Alabama Ballet presents Coppelia and the Toymaker 2:30pm, Dorothy Jemison Day Theater, Alabama School of Fine Arts. Tickets,

Family Fun Fest – Be One with Courage 10am-2pm, Veterans Park, Alabaster. Live music, dancing, Hand in Paw puppies, child safety information, cupcake walk, catered finger foods, games, obstacle course, crafts and more. The Owens House, Shelby County Child Advocacy Center, presents this community event as part of National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Speakers will share their experience with abuse. Learn how to keep kids safe, and prevent child abuse in your community. 205-669-3333. FREE. Health Fair 11am-2pm, McWane Science Center. McWane and UAB present this health fair with free health screenings and demonstrations. Vision screenings, blood pressure tests, exercise demos, Zumba and more! 205-714-8300, Alabama Ballet presents Coppelia and the Toymaker 7:30pm, Dorothy Jemison Day Theater, Alabama School of Fine Arts. Tickets, 205-202-8142,

10 SUNDAY Southeastern Outings Dayhike 1pm, Oak Mountain State Park. This moderate 4-mile walk has ups and downs but will be hiked at a more leisurely pace. Well-behaved, properly supervised children age 8 and up welcome. Bring a drink. Depart at 1pm from the park office parking lot. Park admission: $5 per person, $2 seniors. Ed McGurk, 205-245-7894.

UAB Gospel Choir Spring Concert 7-9pm, Alys Stephens Center. Directed by Kevin P. Turner. Tickets, 205-975-2787, cas/music.

12 TUESDAY Family Fun Night: Skins & Skulls 6pm, Albert L. Scott Library, Alabaster. Experts from Alabama 4-H presents this program with real animal skins and skulls from several different species of wildlife native to Alabama. Families with kids in elementary school and above can sign up. All kids must be with an adult. 205-664-6822. Birmingham Barons 7:05pm, Regions Field. Barons vs. the Tennessee Smokies. Jake the Diamond Dog, magnetic schedule giveaway, social media night theme.

13 WEDNESDAY Birmingham Barons 7:05pm, Regions Field. Barons vs. Tennessee Smokies. Jake the Diamond Dog, magnetic schedule giveaway.

14 THURSDAY Birmingham Barons 7:05pm, Regions Field. Barons vs. Tennessee Smokies. Thirsty Thursday, concert series.

15 FRIDAY Spring Plant Sale 9am-7pm, Brookwood Village. The Birmingham Botanical Gardens presents this three-day popular sale that features more than 100,000 plants. Get expert help! Proceeds benefit educational programs. www.bbgardens. org. Free admission.

PLEASE NOTE: Events may change after publication deadline; please phone ahead to confirm important information. The deadline for submitting calendar items for the May 2016 print issue is April 5. Mail calendar items to: Calendar, Birmingham Parent, 3590B Hwy 31 S #289, Pelham, AL 35124; fax to 987-7600; e-mail to calendar@BirminghamParent. com; or enter directly to the online calendar at Entries added online after the print deadline will not appear in the print version. Information cannot be accepted over the phone. Birmingham Parent publishes a calendar 11 times a year. January events are included in the December issue. Guidelines: Birmingham Parent’s calendar is intended to be a resource and service to the community and our readers. Events which are open to the public, fundraisers, free classes, etc., are events that may be included in our monthly calendar. We reserve the right to reject any event or listing due to rules or space restrictions. For questions regarding calendar entries, call 987-7700 or e-mail 42 | birminghamparent | april 2016

Calendar sponsored by

Birmingham Barons 7:05pm, Regions Field. Barons vs. Tennessee Smokies. Barons wear special Jackie Robinson Day theme jerseys, Friday Night Fireworks. Flashdance the Musical 8pm, BJCC Concert Hall. Birmingham in Broadway Series. Tickets, 205-458-1022, www.

16 SATURDAY Montevallo Arts Festival 10am-5pm, Orr Park, Montevallo. Celebrating its 10th year with more than 70 artists, music, food, great for the entire family. Birmingham Parent is a sponsor. Pepper Place Market 7am-noon, 2829 2nd Ave. South, see April 9. Miracles in Motion 7am registration opens; 8am 5K run/walk; 1-mile run/walk/roll, 9am; Magnolia Mall in Trussville. The Miracle League of Moody special needs baseball league is raising funds for field replacement. Registration, information, Mary Chambliss, 615-300-3047, Spring Plant Sale 9am-5pm, Brookwood Village, see April 15. 35th Annual Art in the Village 9am-4pm, Crestline Field, 32 Vine St. The Mountain Brook Art Association’s annual spring art show has been voted the city’s best event. Family-friendly show features more than 85 gifted, local artists. Free admission. Hikes for Tykes 10am, Birmingham Botanical Gardens. A hands-on program for preschool children and their families. Join Fresh Air Family storyteller Verna Gates for this legendary tour. Be on the lookout for fairies and dragons! FREE. Farm Day Birmingham Zoo. Take a look at Alabama’s agricultural heritage with a fun and educational peek into daily farm life! Watch horseshoe making, create rural-themed arts and crafts, examine antique tractors and farm equipment, watch a goat show and more!

The Total Family Experience Cornhole Classic Noon-6pm, Good People Brewery, 114 14th St. S. Check in by 12:30pm; play begins at 1pm. This event benefits The Bell Center, which provides therapy for infants and toddlers at risk for developmental delay. Family and pet friendly event. Prizes and more. No charge to watch teams compete. Teams can register at http://www. Flashdance the Musical 2pm, 8pm, BJCC Concert Hall. Birmingham in Broadway Series. Tickets, 205-458-1022, Birmingham Barons 7:05pm, Regions Field. Barons vs. Tennessee Smokies. Birdzerk!

17 SUNDAY Spring Plant Sale 11am-3pm, Brookwood Village, see April 15. Friends of Red Mountain Park Hike Series 2pm, Red Mountain Park, 2011 Frankfurt Drive. Guided trail hikes at the park; all ages and abilities encouraged, as well as leashed dogs! Meet at the trailhead at 2pm. FREE.

19 TUESDAY Science Café 6-8pm, John’s City Diner. Exciting presentation, discussion and trivia. Topic: Advances in Living Organ Donation and Transplantation, presented by Dr. Jayme Locke and Dr. Derek DuBay, UAB Division of Transplantation Surgery. FREE. www.

20 WEDNESDAY UAB Percussion Ensemble in Concert 7-8:30pm, Alys Stephens Center. Directed by Gene Fambrough. 205-934-7376,

The To Fami Experi The Total CELEBRATING Family Celebrating ApRil 22 & 23

Celebrating Experience

FAMILIES Celebrating FOR



An original play

about how Gardendale got its name.

APRIL 22 & 23

Magnolia Festival Super Friends 5K APRIL 23 @ 7am SPONSORED BY:

midway carnival free kid zone CAR SHOW 3 STAGES OF LIVE ENTERTAINMENT OLD FASHIONED ARTISAN DEMONSTRATIONS hayrides POOCH PARADE cookie eating contest fish for live catfish 150+ VENDOR BOOTHS

Fishing Tournament MAY 14

21 THURSDAY JCA Invitational Golf Tournament 8am shotgun start, (7:30am check-in), Castle Pines Country Club, 1600 Quail Ridge, Gardendale. Jefferson Christian Academy’s annual golf tournament helps raise money for the school’s educational programs. Four-man scramble format, lunch served afterward. Registration deadline is April

Miss Gardendale Magnolia Festival Pageant JULY 23



calendar 15. Contact Wendy Burrows, 205956-9111 or Southeastern Outings Dayhike 9am, Horse Creek Trail, Dora/ Sumiton. Easy 3.2 mile walk near Jasper. Wide, level and paved trail. Depart 9am from Kmart Green Springs or meet at 9:30am in the lobby inside the left entrance of Walmart in Sumiton. Dan Frederick, 205-631-4680, seoutings@ Bargain Bash 5-11pm, 2467 John Hawkins Parkway, Hoover. Join the Junior League of Birmingham for an evening of exclusive access to all the merchandise that will be sold at Bargain Carousel on April 23-24. Fabulous food and tasty beverages from local businesses, incredible auction items and private shopping at bargain prices. Proceeds go to Junior League community programs. Little Library on the Prairie 6:30-7:30pm, Homewood Public Library. Try the pioneer lifestyle channeling Laura Ingalls Wilder and Ma and Pa for a night of family fun on the prairie. 205-332-6619. FREE.

22 FRIDAY Earth Day: Shred, Recycle, Celebrate! 10am-2pm, Homewood Public Library, back parking lot. Games and activities to help celebrate Earth Day. Secure Destruction’s shredding truck will be on hand, as well as Protec Recycling to take old electronics, batteries, appliances, ink cartridges and other items (no TVs or monitors). Information, Heather Cover, 205332-6621, FREE. American Girls Club 4pm, Albert L. Scott Library. Ham it up with the 4-H Club! Learn how to communicate with others, develop empathy, public speaking and effective listening. Girls 7 and older can sign up and come with or without doll. 205-664-6822.

Calendar sponsored by

Movie Musical of All Time” is faithfully and lovingly adapted by Broadway legends Betty Comden and Adolph Green from their original award-winning screenplay. Tickets, 205-991-5963, http:// Alabama Symphony Orchestra with Boyz II Men 8pm, BJCC Concert Hall. Boyz II Men redefined R&B music in the 1990s with their sweet harmonies and stirring ballads. Christopher Confessore, conductor. Tickets, information, 205-975-2787, www.

23 SATURDAY Pepper Place Market 7am-noon, 2829 2nd Ave. S., see April 9. Bargain Carousel 8am-5pm, 2467 John Hawkins Parkway, Hoover. A two-day, 1,000-family garage sale! The Junior League of Birmingham presents this sale of quality items to benefit area families and the league’s community projects. Tickets, information, 205-879-9861, Gardendale Magnolia Festival 9am-5pm, Gardendale Civic Center, see April 22. Hikes for Tykes 10am, Birmingham Botanical Gardens. A hands-on program for preschool children and their families. Stroll through the gardens to see leaves, bugs and trees. A gardens educator will guide. www. FREE. Touch a Truck 10am-1pm, Vestavia Hills Baptist Church. Climb, discover and explore all kinds of big trucks! Live music, food trucks, play area, crafts and more. Free admission. 205-979-5920.

Gardendale Magnolia Festival 5-10pm, Gardendale Civic Center. Two days of family fun! Three stages of entertainment, kid zone, free parking and free admission. Birmingham Parent is a sponsor.

Alabama 4-H Day 10am-6pm, McWane Science Center. Join Alabama 4-H for a fun-filled day, with programs related to STEM programming, gardening, natural resources and more. Check out the movie Robots in IMAX sponsored by the National 4-H Council. 4-H groups and individual members receive special discounts. For group rates, contact 205-714-8414; individual members will receive $4 off admission price.

Singin’ in the Rain, Jr. 7-8:30pm, Our Lady of the Valley Catholic School. The “Greatest

Gumbo Gala 11am-3pm, Regions Field. Benefitting the residents of Episcopal

44 | birminghamparent | april 2016

Place, a housing community for low-income seniors and adults with disabilities. Cook teams will compete for 15 awards and cash prizes. Live music, artisans, craftsmen, a kid zone and more. $12 in advance, $15 at the gate, and free for children 12 and under. Information, 205-939-0085, www. Party for the Planet Birmingham Zoo. Celebrate the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ signature event and largest combined Earth Day in North America! Special activities, animal demonstrations, Schaeffer Eye Center Wildlife Shows and local business booths promoting the care and conservation of the planet.

Birmingham Barons 7:05pm, Regions Field. Barons vs. Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Thirsty Thursday, Mardi Gras in April, crawfish boil.

29 FRIDAY Tails in the Trails Birmingham Zoo. Live music, appetizers, drinks and animal encounters at the zoo Junior Board’s annual event. Buy a ticket to support the zoo and enjoy an evening of fun! Must be 21 years old or older to attend. www.

Singin’ in the Rain, Jr. 5:30-7pm, Our Lady of the Valley Catholic School, see April 22.

Birmingham Barons 7:05pm, Regions Field. Barons vs. Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Friday Night Fireworks, superheroes night, three-time Daytona 500 winner Bobby Allison, tornado safety awareness night. www.



Bargain Carousel 1-5pm, 467 John Hawkins Parkway, Hoover, see April 23.

Pepper Place Market 7am-noon, 2829 2nd Ave. South, see April 9.

Singin’ in the Rain, Jr. 2-3:30pm, Our Lady of the Valley Catholic School, see April 22.

Weatherfest 9am-2pm, McWane Science Center. Join the FOX6 Storm Warn team and some special guests on the plaza to learn about severe weather safety! Weather fans will have the chance to see vehicles and tools used by atmospheric scientists to detect and study severe weather. 205-714-8300,

Baby Bird Season: What to Know 1:30pm, refreshments; 2pm, Alabama Wildlife Center/Oak Mountain Interpretative Center. What do you do if you find a baby bird? Is it injured or orphaned? Is it okay to touch it or put it back in the nest? Get the answers. Pay Oak Mountain State Park admission; program is free. 205-663-7930,

26 TUESDAY Pete the Cat Book Club 4pm, Albert L. Scott Library, Alabaster. Besides the regular cool cat fun, a friendly expert from the Audubon Society will talk about birds and bird watching. Kids 5 and older can sign up; children age 6 and younger must be with an adult. 205-664-6822.

28 THURSDAY Neuroscience Café 6:30-7:30pm, Homewood Public Library. Topic: Mechanisms of Addiction. FREE. Oak Mountain Spring State Fair Oak Mountain Amphitheatre. Lots of fun for the whole family! Attractions, rides, games, live music, entertainment, food and more. April 28 to May 8. Information, hours,

Hikes for Tykes 10am, Birmingham Botanical Gardens. A hands-on program for preschool children and their families. Join Fresh Air Family storyteller Verna Gates for this legendary tour. Be on the lookout for fairies and dragons! FREE. Feast of Saint Mark Italian Festival 3:30-10pm, Saint Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church. This popular event raises money for the church and the charities it works with. Enjoy authentic, high-quality Italian culture and food with delicious traditional dishes, high-energy music and live entertainment. On-site pizza baking, bocce ball games and feast souvenirs. Fun activities and rides for children! Tickets, information, Birmingham Barons 6:30pm, Regions Field. Barons vs. Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Kids batting helmet giveaway. www.

events & attractions gram for children ages 4-7. 11amnoon, April 16. April’s book: Mud by Mary Lynne Ray. FREE. Haitian Flags. An exhibition of Haitian flags made for Vodou religious ceremonies. 2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd., Birmingham. 205-254-2565, BIRMINGHAM ZOO Dino Discovery! The zoo’s newest exhibit features 12 life-sized, North America-native animatronic dinosaurs at heights of nearly 20 feet, weighing almost seven tons and measuring 85 feet in length! Explore a trail filled with these magnificent creatures. Additional fees apply. Through July 31. In-park Special Attractions: Giraffe Feeding & Keeper Chat, Saturday & Sunday 11am-12pm & 2-3pm, $3. Sea Lion Training, Daily 10am & 2pm Predator Zone, Saturday & Sunday 11:30am & 3:30pm 2630 Cahaba Road, Birmingham. 205-879-0409,

Alabama Ballet presents “Coppelia and the Toymaker” with shows April 8-10 at the Dorothy Jemison Day Theater, Alabama School of Fine Arts. The ballet tells the story of Dr. Coppelius, an inventor who has made a life-size dancing doll. Tickets,205-202-8142, or ALDRIDGE BOTANICAL GARDENS 3530 Lorna Road, Hoover. 205-682-8019, ALABAMA JAZZ HALL OF FAME 1631 Fourth Ave. N., Birmingham. 205-254-2731, ALABAMA SCHOOL OF FINE ARTS 1800 Rev. Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd. ALABAMA SPORTS HALL OF FAME 2150 Richard Arrington Blvd. N., Birmingham. 323-6665, ALABAMA WILDLIFE CENTER 100 Terrace Drive, Pelham. 205-663-7930. ALBERT L SCOTT ALABASTER PUBLIC LIBRARY Story Times: Tunes & Tales: Wednesdays at 3:30pm in Library Meeting Room, all ages Toddler Tales: Fridays at 10:30am in the Library Meeting Room, 2 and 3 year olds 100 9th Street NW, Alabaster, AL, 35007. 205-664-6822,

AMERICAN VILLAGE Highway 119, Montevallo. 205-6653535, BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK 6040 Barber Motorsports Parkway, Leeds. 205-298-9040, www. BIRMINGHAM BOTANICAL GARDENS When visiting the Gardens, be sure to download the treasure map to take with you. documents/treasuremapforweb.pdf 2612 Lane Park Road, Birmingham. 205-414-3900, BIRMINGHAM CHILDREN’S THEATRE 1001 19th St. North, Birmingham, AL, 35203, 205-458-8181, BIRMINGHAM CIVIL RIGHTS INSTITUTE 16th St. N., Birmingham. 205-328-9696, BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM OF ART Bart’s Art Cart! Free drop-in art program for kids and families features a different theme from galleries and art activity each month. Saturdays from 11am-1pm. Bart’s Books. A storytelling pro-

HEART OF DIXIE RAILROAD MUSEUM Day Out with Thomas! Thomas the Tank Engine™ is back for a limited time. Rides available April 8-10 and April 16-17. Enjoy Thomas-themed activities at the Imagination Station, including temporary tattoos and hands-on arts and crafts. Have your photo taken with Sir Topham Hatt and enjoy storytelling, inflatable bounce house, carpet golf, exclusive Thomas merchandise, live music and more. Tickets, information, 1919 Ninth St., Calera. 205-6683435, MCWANE SCIENCE CENTER Itty Bitty Magic City. This 10,000-square-foot area allows infants to kindergarten to learn in a fun and playful environment. Body Worlds Rx. The institute for Plastination – organizers of the renowned Body Worlds anatomical and health exhibitions, presents this unforgettable educational exhibition. This public health experience features a collection of authentic human specimens including whole-body plastinates, organs, translucent body slices and body configurations that show complexity of the human body and its vulnerability to illness and diseases. Through May 1. Spring Break at McWane Science Center! Spring has sprung and McWane Science Center is gearing up for the most exciting Spring Break week ever! Include a visit to McWane Science Center in your

Spring Break plans during the week of March 28-April 2. Join us for exciting educational programs, exhibits, and more! Member Mondays. Every Monday, McWane Science Center members receive extra perks while visiting! Includes a special gift for kids when checking in, 30 percent discount on gift shop purchases, $1 small popcorn at IMAX concession stand and a free members-only evening event each month. Also, on the second Monday of each month, McWane opens its doors from 5-8pm for its members. IMAX Movies: Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This epic adventure continues with Episode VII, directed by J.J. Adams. Wild Africa. Come on a spectacular ride across, over and through the magical realms of the most dramatic continent on earth. Robots. Today’s robots are nothing short of astonishing. Get a sneak peek into the future. Through September 30. 200 19th St. N., Birmingham. 205-714-8300, MOSS ROCK PRESERVE Preserve Parkway, Hoover. 205-739-7141, OAK MOUNTAIN STATE PARK 200 Terrace Drive, Pelham. 205-620-2520, RUFFNER MOUNTAIN NATURE CENTER 1214 81st St. S., Birmingham. 205-833-8264, SOUTHERN MUSEUM OF FLIGHT 4343 73rd St. N., Birmingham. 205-833-8226, TANNEHILL IRONWORKS HISTORICAL STATE PARK 12632 Confederate Parkway, McCalla. 205-477-5711, VULCAN PARK Darkness into Life: Alabama’s Holocaust Survivors through Photography and Art. Vulcan Park and Museum, partnering with the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center, presents this sensitive exhibit of photography by Becky Seitel and art by Mitzi J. Levin. The paintings and photographs accompanied by educational narratives. Through May 16. 1701 Valley View Drive, Birmingham. 205-933-1409, www.vulcanpark. org | 45

poetry party

by Charles Ghigna

Art Poems April is such an inspiring month! It makes us want to go outside and look at Nature. It also makes us want to make Art and Poetry!

NOW YOU TRY IT! Choose a subject to write about. Once you get started it’s hard to stop! You may want to make a book of them! 46 | birminghamparent | april 2016


Art Show in the Park

Art is undefinable, A mystery of creation Inspired by a pigment Of your imagination!

The park is full of faces, Some canvas and some real; The landscape’s full of landscapes Where eyes can almost feel.

Heart Art

A microcosm skylight world Where portraits hang from trees, Where shadows brushed by tips of time Are painting memories.

The hand and eye must do the work That earns the name of Art. They take the viewer’s hand and eye And lead them to the artist’s heart.

Choice Art

A Poem is a Painting

The answer to the artist Comes quicker than a blink Though initial inspiration Is not what you might think.

A poem is a painting, A masterpiece you’ll find Hanging on display inside The gallery of your mind.

The Muse is full of magic, Though her vision’s sometimes dim; The artist does not choose the work, It is the work that chooses him!

For more poetry activities, visit the Father Goose website at Want to submit YOUR poems for publication? Parents, here are some magazines that publish poems written by children: • http://www.,



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Birmingham Parent Magazine April 2016 Issue  

This month we celebrate babies with our 2016 Baby and Me Directory! Plus a new trend with new parents - gender reveal parties, tips on telli...

Birmingham Parent Magazine April 2016 Issue  

This month we celebrate babies with our 2016 Baby and Me Directory! Plus a new trend with new parents - gender reveal parties, tips on telli...