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T H E M A G A Z I N E T H AT B AT O N R O U G E FA M I L I E S L I V E B Y

4Foster from Facts

SPLISH SPLASH

SAFETY TIPS

The Journey to Becoming a Mom

Parents

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TOUR TODAY!

See where learning grows. KinderCare Learning Centers 1188 O'Neal Lane 225-272-4210 4435 Floynell Lane 225-293-6599 11349 Greenwell Springs Rd 225-273-0932

16-MKT-FLD-101401 © 2016 KinderCare Education LLC. All rights reserved.

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inside FEATURES

MAY 2021 • ISSUE 370

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FOUR THINGS FOSTER PARENTS WANT YOU TO KNOW

Discovering the ins and outs of what foster parenting is really like. BY PAM MOORE

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WATER SAFETY FOR FAMILIES

Before you take a dip, make sure you follow these tips. BY EMILY DREZ

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THE JOURNEY TO BECOMING A MOM

Five moms tell their stories of motherhood. BY AMANDA MILLER

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IN EVERY ISSUE

CONNECTING A NOTE FROM MOM THINGS TO DO MARKETPLACE THE LAST WORD SNAPSHOTS

CONNECT

14 COMMUNITY 18 EDUCATION 19 ONE AMAZING KID

LIVE

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26 MOM NEXT DOOR 28 THRIVE 30 FAITH

Find gift ideas and messages from local schools celebrating their seniors’ achievements.

PLAY

SENIOR SEND-OFF Photo by Kleinpeter Photography 2020-21Cover CoverKid Kids Lola and Levi B. 2020-21

DEPARTMENTS 10 12 66 75 76 78

BY BRPM

60 A DAY IN THE LIFE OF DAD 62 OUT & ABOUT 64 THINGS WE LOVE

ARE TODDLERS SOCIALLY STUNTED? How socialization and interaction is important for our little ones. BY ANITA RAJEAN WALKER

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on the COVER

ON THE COVER

AWARENESS IN MAY

26 Photo by Lauren Ashton Lights Design & Photography

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A YEAR

2020-21 Cover Kid Maricela “Gabbi” H. loves swimming, playing outdoors, riding her bike, and drawing with sidewalk chalk. She hopes to travel to the beach this summer with her family, so she can play in the water–another fun activity she loves to do! Her favorite movies are Frozen and The Little Mermaid.


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connecting

THE MAGAZINE THAT BATON ROUGE FAMILIES LIVE BY

MEET OUR TEAM

POLL

AMY PLAISANCE

What age did your little one start swimming lessons?

BRANDON FOREMAN Publisher

“Three years old.” – Angie G.

AMY L. FOREMAN Associate Publisher

“Older (now nine) started when she was three with a BREC summer swim lesson at Liberty Lagoon. Little sister (five tomorrow) started when she was two at Crawfish, and both are decent swimmers.” – Mari W. “Started kiddo at nine months at Crawfish.” – Julie W.

EDITORIAL AMANDA MILLER Managing Editor

MARI WALKER Section Editor

VICTORIA COTEJAR

Social Media Coordinator

EMILY DREZ Editorial Intern

ART/PRODUCTION EMMA BENOIT

“Five years.” – Risia S.

Splish splash! The sun’s finally out and it’s time to jump into the pool. May is National Water Safety Month and we wanted to know what age your little one started swimming lessons and if mom and dad (that’s right, you, too!) could swim as well. Here’s what our readers had to say, and check out the article to learn more about water safety.

Founder

How many parents can swim?

YES 50% NO 50%

Please hear me, girl: The world has enough women who know how to do their hair. It needs women who know how to do hard and holy things. – Ann Voskam

Production Manager

MELODY TAUZIN

Senior Graphic Designer

MADELENE SOILEAU

Multimedia Specialist

MELINDA JACOB

Graphic Design Intern

KLEINPETER PHOTOGRAPHY

Cover Photographer

ADVERTISING/MARKETING LAURIE ACOSTA Director of Sales

CRYSTAL BARRETT JO LYNN BURNS CAMILLE MILLER JASON WALL RYN WHITESIDE Account Executives

BUSINESS OPERATIONS TERI HODGES

freebies

Director of Community Partnerships

ROXANE VOORHIES Community Outreach

Visit brparents.com and click “Register for Freebies.” | Deadline to enter is May 21, 2021. Meet your child’s new BFF with Red & Olive Co’s Dolls. Every doll is handmade using premium natural materials by artisans in Peru. redandoliveco.com

Rubik’s Perplexus Fusion 3 x 3 unites two puzzles in one. Complete the maze and complete the cube while building problem-solving skills. walmart.com

LAST MONTH’S WINNERS Look who won April’s Freebies: Margaret Tymes won the Wicked Big Sports Soccer Ball and Beth Miller won the Roto Brain.

/brparents

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/brparents

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/baton-rouge-parenting-magazine

/brparentsmag

/br parents

CONTACT US EDITORIAL@BRPARENTS.COM OFFICE (225) 292-0032 11831 WENTLING AVENUE BATON ROUGE, LA 70816-6055 BATON ROUGE PARENTS MAGAZINE is published monthly by FAMILY RESOURCE GROUP INC. and distributed free of charge. Subscriptions accepted. Only authorized distributors may deliver and pick up the magazine. We reserve the right to edit, reject, or comment editorially on all materials contributed. We cannot be responsible for the return of any unsolicited material. BATON ROUGE PARENTS MAGAZINE Copyright © 2021. All rights reserved. ISSN # 1050-8708. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission prohibited.


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IN EVERY ISSUE

a note from mom My Journey

F

R O M the day I saw that little word, “pregnant,” pop up on the stick, we were so excited about having a child. My husband will sometimes call her our most expensive souvenir from Hawaii! Being pregnant was, well, different, especially with an ever growing belly and random cravings. Every day brought something new, exciting or painful to the mix. I have four children, and each pregnancy was totally different. I had my daughter 13 years ago. This pregnancy was normal. The only problem I had was with kidney stones. Well, there’s also the fact that she was a week late and labor lasted 23 hours. She is a little firecracker, though, and a mini version of myself–it’s kind of scary. She brings back memories of me and my friends at that age and the random things I used to do, like sit on the bathroom counter with my feet in the sink. I didn’t have a cell phone then, so I honestly don’t remember why I would do that; I can only assume I was putting on makeup. I had a second trimester miscarrage and had to deliver a tiny boy. This broke me for a good while. I still have my ritual I do every year on his birthday. Nothing can prepare you for this feeling; it’s horrible and nobody can do anything to help you. However, you are allowed to take your time on this, and don’t let anyone tell you it’s time to move on because you never do. The pain just gets easier. Finally, my last pregnancy was twins! I was told by an old employee that, “God will give you double for your trouble.” It really didn’t mean much at that time, but looking at it now, I have two amazing boys. Not identical (thank you, God) but honestly, it wasn’t as hard as everyone thinks. The key is to get them on a schedule and stick with it. We had so many notebooks with charts. I cracked up the other day when I found them. I was so detailed; I am not sure what happened since then because I am scatterbrain now. Becoming a mother is an amazing experience that has a lot of ups and downs, learning curves, and complete exhaustion. However, it is worth every stretch mark I earned. This month, we’re celebrating the journey to becoming a mother, where we highlight five moms who all made the journey to motherhood in different ways. I’d love to know about your journey as well. Happy Mother’s Day,

Amy L. Foreman Associate Publisher Email amylynn@brparents.com to tell me about the topics you’d like to see in future issues.

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CONNECT

community GARDEN STORY WALK OPENS AT BAKER BRANCH LIBRARY Simultaneously walking and reading can usually lead to bumps and falls, but a new feature outside the Baker Branch Library combines the two activities seamlessly and safely for all families to enjoy. The new Garden Story Walk features 16 reading stations strategically placed along the Baker Park walking trail, and each month, a different book will be installed. Visitors can enjoy a children’s story and fresh air while getting some steps in. The first book is Will Hillenbrand’s Spring is Here!, and the author was on-hand for the walk’s opening. Each station includes an activity to do while walking to the next station such as “quack like a duck,” and the final station provides a take-home sheet related to the story. ■ ebrpl.com

FIVE LOUISIANA LEGENDS TO BE HONORED

Five Louisiana legends will be recognized by Friends of Louisiana Public Broadcasting at its annual gala and auction on Thursday, May 6. The 2021 Louisiana Legends are Dr. Carolyn Leach Huntoon, scientist and first woman to serve as director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center; Dr. Terry King, pediatric cardiologist and co-inventor of the “King Mills Cardiac Umbrella” device; Terry Landry, retired superintendent of the Louisiana State Police; Johnny Robinson, former LSU and NFL player, 2019 NFL Hall of Fame Inductee; and Donna Saurage, philanthropist and Community Coffee Company owner. The event will broadcast live for home watch parties & for those who cannot attend due to COVID capacity restrictions. ■ lpb.org/legends

PLAY-DOH CELEBRATES 65 YEARS WITH PRE-MIXED DOH Leaning into the inevitable, Play-Doh is selling a can of premixed dough. The All Mixed Up Can is filled with three pounds of multicolored Play-Doh brand modeling compound. The brand invites kids and parents to embrace mixing in celebration of the brand’s 65th year. “With Play-Doh compound, the imperfect is perfect, the mess is a masterpiece, and colors are meant to be mixed!” says Eric Nyman, chief consumer officer at Hasbro. “In honor of our 65th birthday, we invite parents to take a deep breath and let Play-Doh happen, because just like life, play should be messy, fun, and wonderful!” Declare your team using #TeamMIX ITUP or #TeamKEEPIT CLEAN online. ■ facebook.com/play-doh 14

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BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS MERGE TOGETHER

Two organizations serving nearly 20,000 families across nine parishes have merged to strengthen and grow together. The Boys & Girls Club of Baton Rouge and the Boys & Girls Club of Southeast Louisiana are now the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Louisiana, the largest of its type in the state. Pat R. Van Burkleo, who has led the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Baton Rouge for the past 30 years, is president and CEO of the new organization. “This merger gives us the opportunity to serve more kids and develop deeper programming,” Van Burkleo says. “Combining our forces will enable us to scale our best practices, streamline operations and be more cost-efficient–all to serve and support more kids.” ■ bgcmetrolouisiana.org


PARENTS & CAR SEATS IN RIDESHARES Rideshare services are convenient, but parents don’t always use appropriate child restraints when using Uber and Lyft. A new survey found only half of parents who use rideshare services with their children eight and younger always used appropriate car or booster seats. “Our results are concerning, as rideshare services are increasingly popular,” says senior author Michelle Macy, MD. “Car accidents remain the leading cause of death for children under 10 years old and traveling without the recommended child restraint system increases the risk for serious injury or death in a crash.” In most states, including Louisiana, children under eight are legally required to use a car or booster seat when ridesharing. ■ luriechildrens.org

VOAGBR TAKES OVER IMAGINATION LIBRARY Volunteers of America Greater Baton Rouge has taken over as the local affiliate for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. For 10 years, the Capital Area United Way provided the service with its commitment to early childhood education, mailing more than 80,000 books directly to the homes of more than 3,000 children ages five and younger in the 10-parish capital region. “We are proud of our success with the program, and we look forward to passing the torch to a valuable partner like VOAGBR,” says George Bell, president and CEO of Capital Area United Way. Now an international program, Imagination Library was founded in 1995 in Tennessee, and in 2020 mailed its 150 millionth book. ■ voagbr.org/imaginationlibrary

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CONNECT COMMUNITY

DRINK & STROLL AT BR ZOO’S FIRST WINE EVENT

Building on the success of its annual Brew at the Zoo, the Friends of the Baton Rouge Zoo is set to host its first Wild Wine Walk at the Zoo on Friday, May 21 from 5:30-7 p.m. The event is for adults ages 21 and older, and it will give guests an opportunity to stroll the Zoo while it’s still daylight, taste a variety of wines, and sample food from local eateries. Local acoustic artists will provide musical accompaniment during the walk. General admission tickets are $50, and VIP tickets are $75, which includes entry an hour earlier, rides on the Zoo’s giraffe and zebra themed shuttles and a commemorative insulated wine tumbler. ■ wildwinewalk.org

FREE APP SIMULATES MONEY, LIFE CHOICES

Not all gaming has to be mindless, and a new free and ad-free app encouraging caution and human contact has launched to bring families together. NeighborMood is a money adventure and life simulator game teaching kids skills needed to become thoughtful decision makers. Players can make money mistakes virtually and learn to recognize and resist manipulative advertising and scams. NeighborMood includes separate guides for adults to help reinforce and cement lessons learned. “This game is a true digital wellness game,” says Jean Rogers, director of the Children’s Screen Time Action Network. NeighborMood was developed by Dot Dot Fire and FoolProof. The app is available now on Google Play and in the Apple App Store. ■ dotdotfire.com

MY BROTHER’S KEEPER LAUNCHES BR CHAPTER East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome has launched a local chapter of My Brother’s Keeper, part of the initiative from former President Barack Obama aimed at addressing opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color, with the goal of ensuring all youth can reach their full potential. In Baton Rouge, My Brother’s Keeper will exist as a partnership with the Office of Community Development and Safe, Hopeful, Healthy BR, and the chapter will focus on three sectors: workforce, education and public safety. This collaboration will work to improve opportunity and outcomes for all young people by addressing persistent inequities to create and foster a more inclusive economy and community right here in East Baton Rouge Parish. ■ mbkbatonrouge.org

AUDIOBOOKS IMPROVE PRESCHOOLERS’ VOCAB

Pre-recorded audiobooks can improve the vocabulary of at-risk preschoolers, according to a new study from the University of Missouri. Story Friends, an audio-based intervention program was implemented in 24 classrooms, and preschoolers learned specific yet challenging words from the stories they previously hadn’t understood. “We know the experiences students have early on can greatly influence their future performance in school and their overall health and well-being,” says Elizabeth Kelley, assistant professor in the university’s School of Health Professions. “If we can give teachers tools that help them deliver effective instruction, we can help kids have the language skills they need to be successful in school and in life.” ■ doi.org 16

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NEW CHIEFS OF STAFF ANNOUNCED

Two local hospitals have named new chiefs of staff. Craig Greene, MD, MBA, was elected the 2021 chief of staff for Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center. Julie Martin, MD, FACOG, has been elected to a one-year term as the chief of the medical staff of Woman’s Hospital. Dr. Greene is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon with Baton Rouge Orthopaedic Clinic. In addition to participating on the OLOL board of directors, Dr. Greene will lead the Medical Executive Committee. Dr. Martin is a practicing obstetrician and gynecologist with

If swinging into summer doesn’t go as planned... We’re here for every Oops, Ouch, and Uh-Oh!

Louisiana Women’s Healthcare. She will coordinate clinical improvement activities, chair the Medical Executive Committee, and serve on Woman’s Hospital board of directors. ■ ololrmc.com

LWH JOINS OCHSNER HEALTH

Louisiana Women’s Healthcare has become part of Ochsner Health in an effort to enhance its services. “As we have worked through the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve recognized the importance of collaborating with organizations that have similar missions to deliver the best in high-quality care to patients,” says O’Neil “Jay” Parenton, MD, LWH physician and finance chair. “Ochsner’s innovative approaches also strengthen the work we are doing to ensure the health and well-being of the women in the communities we serve.” All deliveries, surgeries and patient appointments will continue on the campus of Woman’s Hospital, and patients can look forward to enhanced telehealth offerings and digital medicine tools. ■ lwha.com

LakeUrgentCare.com

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CONNECT

education CRISTO REY RECEIVES HOTSPOTS TO STAY CONNECTED

Cristo Rey Baton Rouge Franciscan High School turned to the AT&T K-12 homework gap program to help students access bandwidth they need to succeed during the pandemic. In addition to remote learning, all Cristo Rey students participate in a corporate work-study program, and reliable Internet access is a basic need not all had access to. The school is receiving 45 hotspots, and AT&T provides free wireless Internet access. Nonprofit Connected Nation oversees the national program, made possible through $10 million from AT&T. “The big deal is getting these into the hands of these students, and I’m grateful for this program for helping us do that as soon as possible,” says Eric Engemann, Cristo Rey Baton Rouge President.

LIVINGSTON SCHOOLS HOST LEGISLATIVE BREAKFAST

Ahead of the 2021 legislative session, elected leaders and Livingston Parish Schools officials met to discuss issues that impact school funding. “We are very fortunate in Livingston Parish to have leaders who will take time to hear our concerns and to represent our needs at the local and state levels,” says Superintendent Joe Murphy. “Every one of these leaders is a big supporter of public education in Livingston Parish. We couldn’t ask for better representation.” Elected leaders attending included State Sen. J. Rogers Pope, parish Assessor Jeff Taylor, state representatives Buddy Mincey and Sherman Mack, Denham Springs Mayor Gerard Landry, and School Board members Bo Graham, Cecil Harris, Kellee Dickerson, and Devin Gregoire.

GIRLS INTRODUCED TO ENGINEERING CAREERS

DUNHAM OPENING EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER

Expanding to meet demand for high quality instruction for the youngest students, The Dunham School has announced the creation of the Dunham Early Childhood Center. The Reggio Emilia-inspired preschool will open in August, an expansion of the school’s existing PreK curriculum. “We are excited to expand our offerings to include a two-year-old program,” says Head of School Steve Eagleton. “One of our long held desires has been to serve younger students.” Morgan Barkas, a Dunham alumna and current faculty member, will serve as director of the center, located at the nearby Family of Faith church. Each classroom will be staffed by a lead and assistant teacher, and tuition will include early and late care, snacks, and lunch. 18

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ExxonMobil employee volunteers provided virtual experiences for 130 middle school girls from 13 schools for “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day.” The program is designed to inspire and encourage female students to consider engineering careers. “We’re pleased to continue this annual event during a school year of significant challenges which has required students to be resilient and build their problem-solving skills,” says Angela Zeringue, ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Plastics Plant manager. “As we see our world take on a global pandemic, our scientists, health professionals, technicians and engineers are developing solutions to meet the world’s needs and these girls will be among those helping us overcome challenges of the future.”


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amazing kid

An idea that came about to help a grieving grandfather has expanded to help many more senior citizens. Eleven-yearold Preston Horton formed “Joyful Melodies” with his younger siblings in 2018 to bring music to older people in need of company. When COVID-19 restrictions forced Preston to revamp that work, he moved performances outdoors and performed for smaller, socially distanced audiences. For his exemplary volunteer work, the sixth grader at Copper Mill Elementary School in Zachary has been named Louisiana’s top middle-level youth volunteer by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, an honor that includes a $2,500 scholarship and a silver medallion. Preston is no stranger to volunteering, which he started doing at his school and a local food pantry. This Easter, he provided 70 baskets for residents at a local nursing home and created a virtual concert for them to enjoy. “I’m an average kid who enjoys helping others,” Preston says. “My faith in God and the principles I’ve learned from my church motivate me to serve.” The entire Horton family is musical, including parents Marvin and Precious, and siblings, Joie, Marlon, Presley and Princeton. Mrs. Horton says Preston is mature, selfless and giving. “He’s the type of child that steps in wherever someone needs a helping hand,” she says. “Most people can’t really believe he’s only 11. His ideas are far beyond him.” With his service-oriented heart, Preston is certainly one amazing kid. ■ DO YOU HAVE ONE AMAZING KID? Email: education@brparents.com B R PA R E N T S . C O M | M AY 2 0 2 1

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CONNECT EDUCATION

EPISCOPAL MIDDLE SCHOOLERS COMPETE IN COVID OLYMPICS

The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo are scheduled for this summer, but Episcopal School of Baton Rouge students are already going for gold. Sixth-eighth graders competed in the Middle School COVID Olympics featuring activities including soapy marbles, pass the orange, and ping pong bounce. “We wanted to do the COVID Olympics this spring to balance out some of the (necessary) seriousness from the fall,” says MS Division Head Mark Engstrom. “With so many unknowns and fears around the pandemic somewhat now understood, we thought we could craft enough socially-distanced activities to have a great time.” Such activities benefit students’ emotional health, providing a stronger sense of connection to the school and each other.

FIFTH GRADERS COMPETE IN MATH AND CODING

About 200 fifth graders participated in the Louisiana Elementary Math & Coding Olympiad. Although this year’s event was virtual, the competition was real as the students were challenged by a complex test featuring questions from various math topics aligned to Common Core. Hosted by Kenilworth Science and Technology School, the event provided a challenging, engaging experience. This year added an optional coding competition, featuring questions aligned to code.org elementary courses A-F. Awards were given to the winning students and their math teachers. Lillian Qian from Buchanan Elementary placed first in the math competition, and Kaylee Meng from Wildwood Elementary placed first in the coding competition.

ST. MICHAEL JUNIOR HONORED FOR VOLUNTEERING

A recipient of the 2021 Outstanding High School Volunteer Award from the Greater Baton Rouge State Fair Foundation, Julia Coffey was recognized for her model service within her school and community. A junior at St. Michael the Archangel High School, Julia has participated in nine mission trips and has worked with women’s shelters in Texas and closer to home with Revive 225 to rebuild homes after the devastating 2016 floods. Julia’s service to others began with encouragement from her grandmother, whom she says is her biggest influence. “She asked me to go volunteer with her for the United Methodist Women’s Group when I was in middle school, and I loved meeting all these people from different places,” Julia says. 20

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BOOKS FEATURE LAB SCHOOL SECOND GRADERS

Elementary age students are often enthusiastic, creative storytellers as they learn about how books are created and published. Second graders at University Laboratory School had the script flipped when they became the subject of books written by high school creative writing students. For a project in Tamara Empson’s creative writing class, the older students interviewed the younger, and the resulting illustrated books told their stories and were a delight when they read them together. Second graders’ faces lit up with joy, mostly from the attention from high school students, but also because of the books that featured their own stories. While some students were learning virtually, they were still able to read together via Zoom.


LSU LAUNCHES RESEARCH HUB

A new research hub for early childhood education has launched at LSU. The LSU Early Childhood Education Institute connects research, education and advocacy of practice for children from birth-three years. An outreach arm of the College of Human Sciences & Education, the institute is designed to improve collaboration among child development and early childhood professionals in many contexts throughout the state. “The timing of the launch of this institute could not be more appropriate as both state and national education leaders are turning their attention to the significant impact early childhood education programs have on the learning success of students following the PreK experience,” says LSU CHSE Dean Roland Mitchell, PhD.

TARA STUDENTS SHARE TECH SKILLS

Students in Tara High’s IBM Cy-Tech program are connecting with the EBR Council on Aging to help older adults learn computer skills. Tech It Forward, the partnership among the school, council and VIPS, helps seniors stay connected to family and friends online, and the students also benefit from the intergenerational connections. “This is an incredible opportunity for the youth and the elderly in our community to interact,” says Tasha Clark-Amar, CEO of the council. “This program will allow seniors to share generational life wisdom, enable the youth to bridge the technical divide that plagues the senior community, while collectively, the group will be bridging the ever-increasing generational disconnect.”

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PODCAST

Are Toddlers Socially Stunted? THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIALIZATION

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BY ANITA RAJEAN WALKER PHOTO BY KLEINPETER PHOTOGRAPHY 2020-21 COVER KIDS LOLA AND LEVI B.

he Internet has made it possible for adults to interact and work throughout the pandemic, but we have a generation of toddlers who have not had a playdate in over a year–if ever. Coaxing a two year old to sit in front of a screen and interact with a peer is not likely to happen. Attention spans are forming at this age, so watching another toddler play with her toys is not interesting. The most problematic issue parents worry about is that their toddler has missed learning social cues because she cannot physically interact with her peers. Research is beginning to say otherwise.

STARTING WITH STAGES Parents watch their infants discover and start recognizing familiar faces, learn simple games like peek-a-boo and begin understanding social interactions. At around age one, they start following simple directions like cleaning up their toys. They are gaining much-needed independence around that age, too. It seems that the moment they turn two, everything changes. It feels “terrible,” but it is some of the most incredible 24

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memories. The youngest of toddlers are exploring who they are and what they like and do not like, and their autonomy becomes everything, if not challenging. When it comes to playing with peers, two years years old is when social interactions get tricky. Cynthia DiCarlo, Ph.D., the Executive Director at the LSU Early Childhood Education Institute, explains, “Although they are interested in other children, they prefer to play near, but not yet with other children.”

However, COVID-19 has taken away toddlers’ abilities to even sit in the same room with one another. They are missing an integral part of the socialization process. It is between two and three that little ones explore themselves and how to interact with other children. Dr. DiCarlo explains this stage, “As they approach their third birthday, children begin to identify themselves in the mirror, know their gender, and play with other children. Twos play more independently


from adults and are beginning to share.” By age three, children learn how to play games that are both real and imaginary. Parental supervision is necessary because curiosity can lead to negative consequences. However, having play partners around their age is some of the most critical interactions. In the final years of toddlerhood, a four year old begins to understand empathy for others. One of the most essential skills they learn through this is sharing and consequences for negative actions. Children start PreK at around this age, and it is also part of the curriculum, but COVID-19 has unfortunately put a pause on in-person classes. The good news is, we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Normality is returning. Many parents think their little ones will be playing catch up, but they are more resilient than we think. THE RESILIENCE OF TODDLERS All children are incredibly resilient when they have supportive adults in their lives. In many ways, they need parents or guardians more than they need to interact with other kids. It might feel like the loss of 2020 has stunted your toddler’s overall development, but it has only postponed it by a little. Rest assured that they

will catch up on their socialization skills. We underestimate the adaptability of our tiny humans, especially the youngest of them. Yes, in a perfect world, they would interact with other toddlers regularly, but it is perfectly okay if they do not. Pets, siblings, and parents can nurture and provide the socialization skills they need for future success. Margie Stiles, the mother of a four year old, is thankful for their pandemic pet, “My son had just turned three, and we went into lockdown. Jacob was going to start preschool, and I found a five-daya-week job. Things changed really fast, including the addition of a fuzzy mutt we both needed.” She continues, the memories causing such mixed emotions, “I was so scared about everything, but I watched Bark [dog] and my son learn from one another. I would watch them play in the mirror for hours and would not take a moment of that back.” SUMMING UP SOCIAL SKILLS Every child is different. The pandemic did not change that fact. As parents, we are having to relearn some of the same things that will be brand new for them. And, that is okay. Social and emotional learning is something that starts when we are infants and continues through-

out our lives. During those first years, we develop coping mechanisms, build empathy, and learn to take responsibility for our mistakes. Research is starting to show that, while Coronavirus has led to loneliness, it is not necessarily true that it is causing long-term harm or depriving toddlers of their physical and emotional needs. As long as the needs are met at home, there is no damage done. We are turning the corner on this once-in-a-hundred-year event. Toddlers will likely come out better than many of us; their resiliency is amazing. But, take one step at a time. The first few playdates might be a trial-and-error situation and feel challenging for all involved. Dr. DiCarlo reminds parents of the rules of the road when it comes to any successful playdate. playdate. “In order to have a successful playdate, remember to consider your child’s schedule and plan for the playdate when he is well rested and fed. Playdates should be for a short duration, depending on your child’s age, and be supervised by adults,” she says. If you worry that your toddler is stunted socially, try not to because it’s likely that he is not. Some of your toddler’s social skills might be on pause, but he will pick them right back up without missing a beat. ■

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LIVE

mom next door Shayna Easley Landry BY AMANDA MILLER PHOTO BY LAUREN ASHTON LIGHTS DESIGN & PHOTOGRAPHY

OCCUPATION: SENIOR CIVIL DESIGNER AND PRESIDENT OF THE FOSTER VILLAGE HUSBAND: MEL CHILDREN: LINDA, 25; WYATT, 9; AND HARPER, 5 HOBBIES: WORKING ON THE FARM, SOLVING GENETIC MYSTERIES, AND CRAFTING

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DAY spent caring for peacocks, chickens, emu, goats, turkeys and a pony may sound like a lot of work to many, but for Shayna Easley Landry, it’s just one part of her day, and it’s something she never thought she would be experiencing a year ago. Right as the pandemic hit, Shayna and her family traded out city life for farm life. This move provided more space for the family of five to thrive and gave them all an opportunity to slow down and decompress together. As a wife, mother, grandmother, civil designer, and founder of a local nonprofit, Shayna is no stranger to a full schedule. However, she always leaves plenty of room for fun with her kiddos, whether they’re playing pranks on one another or getting hands-on with science experiments. What does a normal day look like for you? SHAYNA: I work from home now, but it’s nice because I built this little office and I can get some work done but still enjoy the farm. I have tons of windows, and so every now and again, I go for a walk or I’ll see chickens passing by my window. My husband’s working from home as well, so we can take a break from our corporate life and walk out to the barn and kind of decompress with the animals. It’s a little bit of hardcore engineering work, and then a little bit of animal time during the day. What’s something a lot of people don’t know about you? SHAYNA: Most people don’t know that I’m a grandmother. Linda has two children. My girls share that they’re both adopted from foster care. What are some of the joys and challenges of raising children? SHAYNA: They’re just so different. It’s so cool to see how different they are, and I think the challenge is their differences as well. You can’t parent each child the same, so what works for one doesn’t work for the other. Harper is a testament to that. She is our strong-willed wild and free child. The other two, they just did not prepare me for her. My stepson is the total opposite. He is so quiet, down to earth, and laid back. What led you to fostering? SHAYNA: The times that I’ve adopted from foster care, both 26

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I can adapt a lot better than I thought I could. I’ve always been spontaneous. I’m one of those people who doesn’t look before they leap, but they keep me there in that childlike, spontaneous way. of the girls fell into my lap. I wasn’t a certified foster parent. I didn’t know anything about foster care. The first time I fostered, I was 23 and she was 14, so we were both learning and growing at the same time. It was one of the most amazing things that I’ve ever done. It was also one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. You know, she’s 25, but she’s my baby. After getting Harper, I knew that I couldn’t take any more. Both times, I was single, so that’s where The Foster Village came from, being able to help more children. I just have a huge heart for the kids. What do you like to do as a family? SHAYNA: We do a lot of outdoor things together. We go camping quite often. We try to get them out into nature as much as possible. My husband’s a marine biologist, so he’s really outdoorsy, and then of course, the farm. We’re teaching them to raise the animals and they love it. What’s your favorite thing about being a mom? SHAYNA: I love watching them connect the dots and learn, and then seeing them mimic something that I’ve done before. Just like with my work. I’m in civil engineering and people always ask why I chose that, and it’s because civil engineering is bridges, it’s sidewalks, it’s things that you can walk on and see, and have an impact in the world. It’s the same thing with the kids. I can teach something, and then it might not be today or tomorrow, but in six months, I see it come back. You’re planting the seeds for a prosperous future. What has parenthood taught you? SHAYNA: Patience. I can adapt a lot better than I thought I could. I’ve always been spontaneous. I’m one of those people who doesn’t look before they leap, but they keep me there in that childlike, spontaneous way.


What has been your biggest challenge in parenting during the pandemic? SHAYNA: I’m definitely trying to balance work. Life with my children, especially when they’re home, is absolutely a huge challenge for us because, of course, I want to be out there with them the whole time, but I’m just trying to manage my time with them and making sure that everything is taken care of. What’s your favorite date night with your husband? SHAYNA: We do date boxes. One of them was like an escape room, where you logged online, and it came with popcorn you make on the stove and apple cider. One of them came with cards and you asked each other questions you probably wouldn’t think to ask otherwise. What kind of mom would you describe yourself as? SHAYNA: A fun mom. I’m pretty hands on. I like to do science experiments and things like that with the kids. We did the Mentos in the Coke bottles recently. What’s a lesson you hope to teach your children? SHAYNA: To think about others, to be kind and show kindness and empathy to others, and to treat others like you’d like to be treated and even better. Any advice for other parents? SHAYNA: Go with the flow and relax. Every child is different, don’t expect them all to be the same cookie cutter mold that you think they should be. Let them be themselves. ■

Q&A Before I go out, I always check to make sure I have… chapstick. In my fridge, you will always find… Ranch. Favorite movie growing up… Grease. My guilty pleasure is… Muffin tops. You could come to my house and find the bottoms of all the muffins. I’m always laughing at… my kids. My favorite television show is... Grey’s Anatomy. My favorite ice cream is… Cookie Butter. B R PA R E N T S . C O M | M AY 2 0 2 1

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LIVE

thrive The Girl Who Doesn’t Give Up BY MARI WALKER PHOTO BY LAUREN ASHTON LIGHTS DESIGN & PHOTOGRAPHY

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N I N E-Y E A R-O L D second

grader, Piper Walters loves Frozen, her dog Amelia, and riding her bike. Despite the challenges that come with living with cerebral palsy, Piper makes the most of her life. 28

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“She likes to dance, she actually takes ballet and tap,” says Tessa Walters, Piper’s mom. “She likes to ride her bike.” Piper’s bike is a giant tricycle with harnesses and straps to help keep her safe while she rides, and she received it in 2018 from the McLindon Family Foundation. “Piper’s (bike) is so important to us, and not only allows her to have fun, but it’s good exercise and coordination. And those bikes are very expensive,” says Tessa. Giving back is important to the Walters family, which includes Tessa, Piper and her dad George. They often participate in fundraisers to support other children who live with disabilities. Before the pandemic, the family worked with Louisiana Hogs on Hogs, now called South Louisiana Volunteers, to host a softball tournament, raising money to provide adaptive bikes for kids who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford one. The tournament benefited the McLindon Family Foundation and provided adaptive bikes for two children, including Cami Rios, one of Piper’s school friends. Tessa was Cami’s paraprofessional and now is a fourth grade teacher at their school, Seventh Ward Elementary in Denham Springs. Tessa and Piper being at the same school makes life easier. “We have such a good support system at school, and they keep her safe,” Tessa says. “It takes a village, but I have a good one.” Piper is in a class for moderately to severely disabled learners, and she has a teacher and a paraprofessional who work with her throughout the day. “Piper can count to 10 by herself. She knows her ABCs. She can spell her name,” Tessa says. “There’s so much she can do that she couldn’t do when she started going (to school). She’s very popular and everybody loves her. She is everybody’s friend.” The school provides accessible equipment for Piper and other children to use. “She has a gait trainer at school, so she can run around in the gym with her friends,” Tessa says. A wheelchair-accessible picnic table was recently donated. “Piper can sit out and have lunch with her friends, and they can do their little birthday party things.” Tenacity is a character trait that Piper exudes. As she thrives in life, she continues to beat the odds and do things doctors told her parents she wouldn’t be able to do. “The girl has no quit,” Tessa says. “If there’s something she wants to do, she’s going to find a way to do it. Anything she wants to do, she will figure out her own innovative way of doing it.” Amelia, Piper’s service dog that she nicknamed “Mia,” is the most recent addition to the Walters family. “She’s ours now for good,” Tessa says. “She can help detect seizures if there’s one imminent. She can also do the deep pressure where she lays on Piper’s lap and provides comfort. She’s just a good companion for Piper.” Just before the pandemic hit in 2020, Piper was crowned a Very Special Miss Louisiana Ambassador. Very Special Miss Louisiana is a pageant for young ladies who are living with special needs. The pageant is also a fundraiser for the nonprofit TARC (Teach, Assist, Reach, Connect). COVID-19 temporarily shrank Piper’s world, causing her to switch to virtual therapy and stay home for months. However, things are getting better, and in addition to in-person school, Piper’s in-clinic therapy has resumed. ■


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LIVE

faith Being fully God and fully man, Jesus felt a complete range of human emotions that were all documented in the Bible. We see Jesus being compassionate (Luke 7:13), joyful (John 15:11), sad (John 11:35), and angry (Mark 3:5). He expressed himself and even spoke about the situations He faced–with God and those closest to Him. Jesus talked to his disciples about the sense of being on the run from those who wished to persecute Him (Matthew 8:20) and the bitterness of suffering required for Him to offer us freedom from our sins. Jesus was often misunderstood by those who yearned to learn from Him–but He still chose to share with them. As a result, various authors of the Bible gift us with pieces of encouragement and wisdom. We are to learn from Jesus and their words. ENCOURAGEMENT & WISDOM FROM SCRIPTURE Scripture provides us with advice that we can use in our everyday lives. Here’s some advice you can take with you each day. 1 Peter 5:7 “…casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” Philippians 4:6-7 “…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Isaiah 41:10 “…fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

Mental health affects our emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. It is vital to care for it just as we care for the rest of our bodies.

Faith-Filled BY SHARON HOLEMAN PHOTO BY SHARON HOLEMAN

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C O N S I D E R myself an optimist. I’m one of

those people who would say my glass of iced tea is always half-full. However, there are times that I have to remind myself–or perhaps permit myself–to feel emotions other than happiness. I’m not sure why I resist allowing myself to feel all the feels. After all, Jesus did. And there are moments and seasons where other expressions are required.

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Mental health affects our emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. It is vital to care for it just as we care for the rest of our bodies. We are to talk to God first, in all things, but sometimes we might also need to speak to a trusted friend or a professional counselor. We are, after all, created for community–and instructed to share our burdens. (Galatians 6:2) Thankfully, the Greater Baton Rouge area has multiple choices for faith-based mental health assistance. I saw a post on social media the other day that said God doesn’t always take away the challenging situations we face, but He does say we don’t have to walk through it alone. I love this reminder. It’s true. He tells us this most reassuring commitment over 20 times! (Deuteronomy 31:6, Joshua 1:9, Hebrews 13:5, can you find the others?) Even on the most challenging days, this truth from the King of Kings takes my cup from half-full to overflowing. If you are in need of any assistance, or if you are looking for more information on Baton Rouge area Faith-based counselors, be sure to visit us online at brparents.com. ■


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Things Foster Parents Want You to Know BY PAM MOORE

PODCAST

O U G H LY half a million children are in the foster care system in the U.S., ac-

cording to recent statistics from Child Welfare. About half are eventually reunited with their families while one-fifth are adopted. Many of them entered the foster system as victims of abuse and neglect, but what about the foster parents who step in to care for these vulnerable children when they are in crisis? While there is plenty of data about foster children, information about foster parents can be elusive. I talked to foster parents, not to obtain statistics, but to hear their stories. This is what they want you to know.

1.

FOSTER PARENTS AREN’T SUPERHEROES Most foster parents want to dispel the myth that they’re saints. Foster parent Heather Grimes says she’s accustomed to people telling her, “I could never do that.” Grimes and her husband have one biological child and have fostered two younger children, one of whom they

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adopted. While she says it took a lot of soul-searching in deciding to become foster parents, their decision wasn’t driven by the conviction that they were superhuman. Rather, they chose to take on the challenge to show their biological daughter the value of helping others. They also felt it was important to be open to the experience, rather than ruling it out based on fear of the unknown.

Dr. John DeGarmo says, foster parents are, in many ways, like all parents. Having fostered over 50 children and as the director of The Foster Care Institute, he understands how vulnerable foster parents are to fatigue, setbacks, and disappointments. “There are times when we succeed, and there are times when we experience failures. We are not the perfect parents. We are simply trying


our best to provide a home and family for a child who needs one, and help a child in need.”

2. YES, DEALING WITH LOSS IS HARD (BUT NOT IMPOSSIBLE) Many foster parents mentioned are frequently fielding questions about what happens when the child is taken away from them. Mary and Ken, whose foster child was ultimately reunited with his family, talked about how frequently people express apprehension over the idea of getting “too close” to the child only to have the child reunite with his biological family. She says, “I find that perspective peculiar, considering we rarely, if ever, take this stance on other relationships. We don’t avoid having good friends or a romantic relationship because those engagements might someday come to an end. In fact, many of them do end and we accept that as part of our life experience.”

Foster parents are, in many ways, like all parents.

As an expert in the field, Dr. DeGarmo encounters the question, “Doesn’t it hurt too much to give them back?” several times a week. Of course it hurts, he says; heartache is to be expected. “When the child leaves our home and our family, our hearts should break. We should experience feelings of grief and loss. After all, we have given all of our hearts and love to a child in need.” Grimes, whose first foster child was eventually reunited with her biological family, says it was extremely challenging–though not impossible–to be separated from the child, who lived with the Grimes family for nearly a year. Two years later, Grimes says, “Her photo is still on our fridge, from her first birthday, in that adorable jumper, sitting on the fake grass outside of Sweet Cow Ice Cream. Her eyes are the most gorgeous shade of blue.” While the Grimes family may have moved on with their lives, that little girl is still in their hearts.

3.

FOSTER KIDS ARE NOT BAD KIDS Many parents said they often receive comments about how hard it must be to deal with difficult, out-of-control kids. In reality, says Emily, another foster parent, most are not bad kids. The foster mom

of a two year old and having fostered three children previously, she explains, “They just grew up in chaotic, unhealthy environments without proper adult supervision. They are capable of learning the right way to behave, express their emotions, etc. if you take the time to show/teach them.” Tammy Hoskins says being trauma-informed is crucial in supporting foster children. Hoskins works for a nonprofit serving the needs of high-risk youth and is the mother of 10 children, 4 of whom are biological children and 6 of whom she adopted through the foster system. Because their brains are still developing, children are especially vulnerable to the deleterious effects of trauma, including difficulty with learning, social-emotional development, brain structure, cognition, physical health, and attachment. Hoskins says, “To understand, to empathize and to work with them in collaborative ways to solve problems is crucial to their healing.” The work of Daniel Siegel, Karen Purvis, and webinars available through the Center for Adoption Support and Education (CASE) are among the many resources she recommends foster parents take advantage of.

4. THE FOSTER SYSTEM ISN’T JUST

A COLD BUREAUCRACY While the foster system can be impersonal and frustrating, known for its many rules and regulations, it has its upsides, too. Dr. DeGarmo points out that foster parents are helping not just the children, but the whole family. He notes that many biological parents of foster children were in the foster system themselves, and for lack of resources, are stuck in this cycle. ”Part of being a foster parent is helping the parents of the children living with us; helping our fellow human beings.” Grimes was surprised to find how much she appreciated being part of the foster system. “I appreciated interacting with the parents of [our first foster child], with the social workers, medical professionals, everyone. I felt like I was supporting a bigger cause. I felt such a sense of pride that my family chose to go to such great lengths for others.” From talking to foster parents, I learned that being a foster parent doesn’t require a superhero cape, sainthood, or limitless patience. It does take commitment, compassion and a desire to help others, including both the foster child and their family. As most foster parents were quick to point out, the biological parents aren’t necessarily bad people; they love their kids and they have flaws– like all parents. ■

TIPS FOR FOSTER PARENTS 1. Never forget a foster parent is a very respectable “job,” as foster parents perform a “job” that not many are willing to do-providing care for another person’s child. 2. When a child misbehaves, always take a moment to step back and consider what may be the root cause of the misbehavior and what need he is trying to meet. 3. Never take a child’s misbehavior or harsh words personally; foster children have experienced trauma that will affect them throughout their entire life. 4. More than anything, foster children need to be loved and feel secure. 5. No matter how horrendous her birth parents have been, never speak ill of a foster child’s birth parents. 6. Care for a foster child as if he were your own child. When introducing your foster child to others, leave out the term “foster.” 7. Build upon the child’s assets with praise and reward instead of always choosing to use discipline and punishment. A child is more likely to learn this way. 8. Never make a promise you can’t keep; no matter how big or small. This is how trust is built. 9. Remember, a foster child likely didn’t choose to become a foster child; unfortunate circumstances forced her into foster care. 10. Imagine how difficult it would be to be taken from everything you know, no matter how bad the abuse or neglect, and placed into a strange family’s home. Everything would be different from what they eat, to how they talk, to the rules, etc. 11. Don’t try to change a foster child by forcing him to conform to your family’s characteristics; rather, embrace him for the unique individual he is. 12. Although the day-to-day tasks of being a foster parent may seem daunting at times, never forget the positive impact you are making on the child’s life for the present and future. Provided by the National Youth Advocate Program Louisiana ■ nyap.org B R PA R E N T S . C O M | M AY 2 0 2 1

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Water Safety

for Families 4 WAYS TO PREVENT DROWNINGS

BY EMILY DREZ PHOTO BY KLEINPETER PHOTOGRAPHY 2020-21 COVER KID MARICELA H.

D

I D you

know that drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional death in the United States? There are about 4,000 drowning incidents per year, two-thirds of which happen in the months of May-August, and one in five people who die by drowning are aged 14 or younger.

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PODCAST


Contrary to popular belief, drowning is silent and quick, leaving about only a minute for you to save the victim once he or she starts struggling. It’s definitely scary to think about, and it’s serious. However, with proper training and safety measures, you can have some peace of mind for you and your family this summer when your child cannonballs into the pool. SWIMMING SKILLS The first step is to teach your children how to swim. There’s no specific age in which you have to enroll a child in swim lessons, as some kids may not be as ready as other kids the same age, but children can enroll in swim lessons as early as a few months old. The classes for infants will not be intense, but they will get them conditioned to having water in their face. SUPERVISING SWIMMERS Swim lessons are only the first line of defense, though. Forty-seven percent of drowning incidents occur in children ages 10-17 who have already taken swim lessons in the past, so it’s crucial that parents are watching their children when they are playing in any body of water, regardless of how shallow the water is. When you take your child to the pool, don’t get too comfortable on the lounge chair with your food, drink, and book. “Supervision is the biggest barrier you can set up between your kids and drowning,” says Kayla Dysart, head director of the swim school at Crawfish Aquatics. “The majority of drownings happen when both parents are there, so you need to set up a designated water watcher that switches out every 15-20 minutes so no one gets distracted or fatigued when watching.” If your child is an inexperienced swimmer, it is a good idea to stay within reach of him or her in case of an emergency. FLOATIE FUNDAMENTALS A lifeguard’s primary concern is not to watch your child, only to enforce rules, survey, and resuscitate if needed. It’s important to start teaching them when young and without flotation devices, so your child can learn his or her own boundaries in the water, as floaties offer false security. Often, children who swim with floaties will jump in the water without them and will start struggling immediately because they do not know how to float on their own. Limiting their dependency on floatation devices in the pool and teaching them how to float on their back will

help them learn how to save themselves in the event they start to drown. However, you should not overlook life vests, which your child needs to wear if you go boating this summer. Lifeguards will not always be nearby because drowning incidents are not exclusive to pools. Rivers, lakes, and even bathtubs can be dangerous for unsupervised children. While life vests should not be worn in pools, you do need them for other water activities. Make sure they are upto-date and certified before using them. RESCUE SKILLS AND RULES Since you won’t find a lifeguard at your family’s favorite river or lake spot, you need to be familiar with basic rescue skills such as CPR, and there are a few other things families should teach their children. There are CPR and first-aid online and in-person courses, some of which are non-certifying but are still excellent sources to learn from, and some of which can even be found on YouTube. Work with your child on floating on his back so he will know how to do so, and call for help if needed. Establish rules before everyone gets in the water, and do a quick skills test, especially if you are watching other children. Children also need to learn five important water survival skills: 1) step or jump into water over your head, 2) come back to the surface and tread in the water for one minute 3) make a circle and find an exit from the water 4) swim 25 yards to get out the water 5) exit the water (and make sure you know how to get out without using a ladder). Your child needs to understand that swimming in open water is different from swimming in a pool, as he needs to be aware of river currents, rip tides, ocean undertow, changing weather, sunken logs, and uneven surfaces. If you take him out to the docks this summer, you also need to make sure the electrical units are safe and that there are no ungrounded electrical components that could shock someone. At home, dump out any container in your yard that is full of water, and leave the container upside down so it does not refill next time it rains. It will be easy to lower the number of drowning incidents this year if all parents are vigilant and take responsibility for their child’s safety in and around water. This can be accomplished with basic education for your child and yourself, so you do not have to worry when they go for a dip. With the proper precautions, you and your family are sure to have good and safe fun in the pool, on the boat, or at the river. ■

SIGNS OF DRY DROWNING AND SECONDARY DROWNING When it comes to preventing drownings, we are all aware of the steps we must take as parents in order to keep our little ones safe and sound while in the water. However, when our little ones are outside of the water, many parents have also become familiar with the terms dry drowning or secondary drowning. According to Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, dry drowning and secondary drowning are not medically-accurate terms. However, these “submersion injuries” and delayed respiratory impairments can be prevented and do show early warning signs, if you know what you should be looking for. If you think your child is experiencing issues once out of the water, be on the lookout for:

■ ■ ■ ■

Coughing Increased work of breathing Sleepiness Forgetfulness or changes in their behavior ■ Vomiting Many of the same steps to help prevent these from occurring mirror the ways we help prevent drownings, including watching your child while he is in the water, swimming with a lifeguard on duty, and enrolling in water safety classes. If you or your child is experiencing any of the above symptoms, always reach out for help immediately. If you have more questions about how to protect your child while in and out of the water, talk with your child’s pediatrician. B R PA R E N T S . C O M | M AY 2 0 2 1

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The Journey to Becoming a Mom REAL STORIES FROM REAL MOMS

PODCAST

BY AMANDA MILLER PHOTOS BY JOSHUA BOURGEOIS, LINDSEY ROGERS PHOTOGRAPHY, KAINE’S PHOTOGRAPHY, AARON CORMIER, RINGUETTE PHOTOGRAPHY, AND JOANNA LEJEUNE PHOTOGRAPHY

All Amazing DIFFERENT JOURNEYS

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T

he journey to becoming a mom looks different for everyone. Every path is unique and filled with highs and lows, twists and turns, and a roller coaster of emotions along the way. In honor of Mother’s Day, we’re celebrating five moms and their journeys to motherhood. Through their stories, these strong and inspiring moms share the truths of infertility, pregnancy, adoption, foster care, gestational carriers, and raising children who are living with special needs. the twins were born, the pediatrician suspected that Lola had Down syndrome. We weren’t as nervous with the pregnancy, but when we got that post-birth diagnosis, I was like, “Okay, God, I know I’m not supposed to worry, I know I’m not supposed to fear,” but you want to talk about uncharted waters and the unknown? That’s what this was.

Tiffany Barrow

Children’s names: Elijah, 12; Brinkley, 9; and Lola and Levi, 3 Growing up, Tiffany Barrow dreamed of having a baby boy and girl. While her first pregnancy ended in miscarriage, little did she know that she would be blessed with four more little ones over the years. With a set of twins among her crew, one of which was diagnosed with Down syndrome postpartum, Tiffany uses her voice to tell her family’s story in an effort to be a resource to families who may receive similar diagnoses. How did you feel when you found out you were pregnant? TIFFANY: Oh, with every pregnancy, I was excited because the Lord was entrusting us with this responsibility of raising a human being. I was a little bit nervous because there’s no instruction manual. You rely on your training and how you were raised. With the second pregnancy, I wasn’t as nervous and I was feeling more confident, but I think with every pregnancy, there’s always in the back of your mind, “Lord, please help me do this.” How did you react when you found out you were having twins? TIFFANY: At first, we were like, “Relax, it’s a third baby,” and then we go to the doctor and the tech is like, “Ma’am, it’s two,” and it was quite the surprise. After

And at that time, you had accepted a new role at work? TIFFANY: I work for a pharmaceutical company based out of Indiana, and I had already accepted a new role, so here I am getting ready to move. I was nervous, and not only were we planning to relocate, but we had sold our house and were living with my mom and stepdad in a three bedroom house. Lola stayed in the NICU until we got the diagnosis back, which was three weeks later. I thought that was a little God wink because Down syndrome is three copies of the 21st chromosome, so the fact that she spent three weeks, which is 21 days, I knew God was in control of it all.

What’s the greatest thing about being a mom? TIFFANY: As stressful as it is, as tiring as it is, it has to be the best job ever. It’s the ultimate privilege to raise the next generation and pass on family lessons and values. What advice would you give to other moms? TIFFANY: Prioritize you, let go of perfection, and pray. How would you describe the journey to becoming a mom? TIFFANY: The journey depends on the mom. I’m a planner; I like to prepare. I was researching things, I was talking to other moms, but I had my vision of what I thought motherhood would be. For me, I feel like experience is the best teacher, so I learned from those who’ve been through this experience.

“I T’S T H E U LT I M AT E P R I V I L E G E TO R A I S E T H E N E X T G E N E R AT I O N A N D PA S S O N FA M I LY LESSONS AND VA LU E S.” What were your emotions like? TIFFANY: It was difficult because I had a typical baby boy at home and I had a child with Down syndrome in the NICU, and then here I am trying to breastfeed two babies. It was stressful, but together, we made it. I didn’t want to tell [my new boss] about my daughter’s diagnosis because I didn’t want them to think that I would use her diagnosis as a reason not to work hard or show up every day. I just wasn’t going to tell anybody, because what could they do? I didn’t know what type of help I would need. You can’t cure Down syndrome, can’t take the extra copy away. I didn’t know what I needed, but little did I know that by sharing my story, that would connect me with other people and guide me in this journey.

Tiffany Bates-George Children’s names: Annah, 24, and Leiam, 7 Fostering was always a part of the plan later on down the road for Tiffany Bates-George and her husband, David. However, after having eight miscarriages and receiving a diagnosis of an autoimmune disease, becoming foster parents came sooner than the couple originally planned. Together, Tiffany and her husband have raised David’s sister, B R PA R E N T S . C O M | M AY 2 0 2 1

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Annah, and are now the happy parents of an adorable seven-year-old boy named Leiam. Tell me about the fostering process for your family. TIFFANY: My cousin went through the process, so we asked her a lot of questions, but basically, we went to DCFS and just started the process. One thing about me is that when my mind is made up to do something, I just jump in and do it. There’s no second guessing, you just do it. What was the hardest part of the process for you? TIFFANY: The hardest part is the waiting because you have to go through eight weeks of classes, and then, the anticipation of waiting for your first child to come into your home, because you don’t know the child who’s coming into your home. You don’t know If you’re going to be good enough for the child. You don’t know if you’re going to be able to provide what that child needs in your home, and you never know what that child is going to need. How did you overcome those feelings? TIFFANY: What I learned is that as long as you’re available, that’s all they need is somebody who is willing to be available in their lives, and then everything else is second nature. Everything else comes with time.

“B E I N G A M OT H E R, EVEN THOUGH IT D I D N’T H A P P E N T H E WAY I WA N T E D I T T O H A P P E N, I T H A P P E N E D T H E WAY I T WA S M E A N T TO H A P P E N, A N D I F E E L C O M P L E T ELY F U L F I L L E D.” How was your first meeting with Leiam? TIFFANY: Leiam’s situation was foster to adopt. His DCFS worker called ours because they knew that we were looking to adopt, and they said, “We have this child; would your foster family be interested in meeting our child?” We said we would love to meet him, and the moment my eyes met him, I instantly knew that he was meant to be in our house. Before he left that day, he asked, “Can I just stay?” I looked at my husband and he looked at me and we were like, “Yes, yes you can.” What has been the most joyful part of the whole experience? 44

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TIFFANY: The most joyful part of the experience was hearing him call me mom for the first time. I’ve always wanted to hear that, and the second day that he was with us, he asked if he could call me mom. We were in line in the store and he goes, “Hey, Mom, can I get this?” And I was like, “You can get everything! You can have the whole store!” It meant a lot. What advice would you give to other moms? TIFFANY: It’s hard and it hurts, and it’s meant to hurt. If it hurts, it means you’re doing it right because it means you love. Don’t let the hurt stop you; continue to love because your love may be the only love these babies ever receive from anybody. How would you describe the journey to becoming a mom? TIFFANY: It’s been the hardest road I’ve ever been on. It’s super emotional. Infertility sucks. My husband and I can’t have kids on our own, but adoption and fostering is not second best. I want to get that out there. It’s not second rate. For us, we did try infertility treatments, but we were always going to foster. It wasn’t, “if this doesn’t work, then we’ll see if we can.” It was always going to be what we decided to do later down the road, infertility just sped it up for us. Would you consider fostering again? TIFFANY: Once Leiam gets older, we will probably start the process again just because there are so many children out there who need families, even teenagers. At age 18, they age out of the system and it’s so sad. They have nowhere to go. They just need families. They just want families. Is motherhood everything you imagined it to be? TIFFANY: And more...a lot more. There are days when I want to pull my hair out and I think I can’t do this, and then there are days when he just comes up and gets in my lap and says, “Mommy, I missed you today. Can I cuddle with you?” and I just want to bawl my eyes out and I think, how did I ever get so lucky? And then I have days when Annah calls me and she’s like, “I just need to talk to my mom.” Being a mother, even though it didn’t happen the way I wanted it to happen, it happened the way it was meant to happen, and I feel completely fulfilled.

Meagan Hicks

Child’s name: Collins, 15 months old

Meagan Hicks was born with a condition called coarctation of aorta, causing her to not only have surgery at birth but also be monitored by a cardiologist all of her life. When she reached her 20s, she began experiencing issues–including pulmonary hypertension (when the arteries of the lungs have high blood pressure in them)–that she wasn’t prepared for, resulting in her cardiologist telling her, “Whatever you do, don’t get pregnant.” At the time, starting a family wasn’t on her radar. Meagan and her now husband were only dating at the time and she was focusing on her career (she’s coincidentally a cardiac nurse). However, the couple hoped to in the future. How did you feel when the cardiologist told you to not get pregnant? MEAGAN: I kind of blew it off like, “Oh, they just mean right now. We’re going to get whatever’s going on under control.” So a few years went by, and I started to realize that this is not something that is curable. It’s manageable, but not curable, and through a lot of research on my own and talking to cardiologists that I know and my gestational carrier, I realized that this was something that was going to prevent me from having my own pregnancy. What led you to deciding to use a gestational carrier? MEAGAN: I met with specialists after our wedding because we were ready to have kids and I needed to know if it was possible. I did a cardiac workup and was referred to two obstetricians. One of them said no. The other was like, “Look, I know you’re a nurse, and if I know you, you need something that’s going to scare you out of getting pregnant or you’re still going to try.” He was 100 percent right, so he called me later on and said, “If you were to get pregnant, you probably wouldn’t be able to carry the baby to term, you would have to be induced which puts a higher risk on the baby, and you have about a 70 percent chance of


having some major cardiac event during your pregnancy or after that could put you on the transplant list or kill you.” Hearing that opened my eyes to this really not being an option for us. We needed to figure out something else. During my workup process, I had already reached out to Alicia, my gestational carrier and friend who is also a nurse, and asked her to ask around and see what they thought, and she said she couldn’t find a doctor who would be okay with me having a baby. Alicia had called me one day before we were told completely no, and she said she would carry a baby for me. Her husband was totally okay with it, but I was still not ready to accept it. As soon as the doctors told us no, my husband said, we have to call Alicia and Matt (her husband) and invite them over so we can talk about this, and that’s what we did. You could tell they were so invested in it, and that really touched me. Then, we started the process with Fertility Answers to do our IVF and get our embryos made.

“I W E N T T H R O U G H A P R E T T Y DA R K P L AC E FOR A FEW MONTHS W H E R E I C O U L D N’T L E T G O O F T H E FAC T T H AT I WA S N E V E R G O I N G TO B E A B L E TO B E P R E GNA N T, A N D S O M E T I M E S I ST I L L WA N T T H AT.” What was the process like for you? MEAGAN: It was almost two-and-a-half years before we actually got pregnant. Our first IVF cycle, we only got one good embryo out of that and the transfer was unsuccessful. We had to do another round of IVF to make more embryos, and that time, we had three. We used one, and that was the embryo that created Collins. We have two more that are still frozen, that we may use in the future if we ever have the opportunity to do this again. Throughout all of this, how did you feel? MEAGAN: I went through a pretty dark place for a few months where I couldn’t let go of the fact that I was never going to be able to be pregnant, and sometimes I still want that. Every woman who wants to be a mother wants to experience pregnancy also, at least I feel like most of them do. I wanted that experience so bad, and I would get emotional through Alicia’s pregnancy because I wasn’t the one feeling the changes and feeling her grow inside my body. That was real-

ly hard, but I have Collins now. I’m so thankful that I do, and those 40 weeks that she spent inside someone else’s body did not change the way I love her, or the fact that I’m her mom, or the connection between us. What was the hardest part of the experience? MEAGAN: I think the scariest part for me was worrying about Alicia and her health and worrying that something was going to happen to her. I was irrationally afraid that something terrible was going to happen to her and it would be because she did something for me. What advice would you give to someone else going through this process? MEAGAN: Trust God, and trust your instincts. If this is really what you want, if it’s the only way that you can become a mother, don’t ever give up on that dream because it is very attainable. How would you describe the journey to becoming a mother? MEAGAN: The scariest and most exciting thing you’ll ever do in your life. It’s the most life changing experience. No matter how a mom goes about becoming a mother–whether they adopt, [use] a surrogate, a gestational carrier, or have their own organic, natural birth–everything is perfect in its own way. Was motherhood everything you imagined it to be? MEAGAN: And 100 times more, every single day, even the hard days.

she completed her residency and her fellowship. Since then, Dr. Tiffany and her husband have been blessed with three little ones, one of which they adopted in order to grow their family even more after medical issues arose. Now, Dr. Tiffany shares her story in hopes to provide insight to more moms going through the adoption process. Was adoption something you always wanted to do? TIFFANY: My husband and I always talked about adopting. I started having kids in my 30s, and so when we first tried, it took us almost two years to conceive. During that time, adoption really came up. I had my first one after two years and a little bit of help, and then I had my second one, and then there was a pause. I really wanted a girl, but I was aging and for medical reasons, I was like, we should just go ahead and extend our family through adoption, and that’s when we reached out to the St. Elizabeth Foundation. How was the process for you and your family? TIFFANY: We asked our boys and included them in the conversation about adopting, and my oldest was like, “We want a girl!” They were completely on board, and so, when we reached out to the adoption agency, they walked us through everything. For us, it was a short process because we first reached out to them in October of 2020 and by March, they presented us for our first presentation, and the birth mom picked us. That was a blessing to us. How did you feel during the process? TIFFANY: You have the same emotions that you feel when you have a biological child. You want them to be healthy, you don’t want them to have complications, and you wonder what they’re going to look like. We got a phone call about three to four weeks before Peyton was due, letting us know there was a birth mom who they thought we would match well with. They presented our book, and probably about four days later, we got a call that she picked us, which was another round of emotions.

Tiffany Bourgeois, MD Children’s names: Brian, 7; Micah, 5; and Peyton, 1 month The journey to becoming a mom didn’t begin for Dr. Tiffany Bourgeois, an anesthesiologist in Baton Rouge, until after

How was your first meeting with Peyton? TIFFANY: The birth mom requested that I be there for the delivery, so my husband and I went to the hospital for her induction. I was there to watch her enter the world, I cut the cord, and they passed her over to me and we did skin-to-skin in a separate room, just like B R PA R E N T S . C O M | M AY 2 0 2 1

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what I did with my boys. It was just this outpouring of love. I made a promise to her that I would always love her and protect her and nurture her. It’s almost something that you can’t put into words, how excited you are when a child is born into the world.

very blessed to be a mom and to be able to love and be loved back and share all these moments with them. I am just so thankful that God blessed me with my kids. Whether biological or adoptive, love is love.

What was the hardest part of the process? TIFFANY: The unknown. You don’t know if you’re going to be picked, you don’t know when you’re going to be picked, and then, for me, it was wondering if the birth mom would change her mind. They have 72 hours to change their mind in the hospital, so that leaves you a little bit on edge. What was the most joyful part of the whole experience? TIFFANY: I think the most joyful part for me was watching her enter the world and coming home. Everything just felt complete and everybody was able to share in it.

“YO U C A N R E A D A L L T H E B O O K S, A N D YO U C A N L I ST E N TO YO U R M O M, YO U R G R A N DM OT H E R A N D A L L THESE DIFFERENT F O L K S W H O H AV E T H E I R TA K E O N R A I SI N G K I D S, B U T YO U’R E J U ST G O I N G TO L E A R N A L O N G T H E WAY.” What advice would you give to other moms who are choosing adoption? TIFFANY: Expect the unexpected, but don’t be afraid to ask questions. Talk to other adoptive parents and others who have gone down that road, who can give you advice. How would you describe the journey to becoming a mom? TIFFANY: I am still on that journey of becoming a mom. You can read all the books, and you can listen to your mom, your grandmother and all these different folks who have their take on raising kids, but you’re just going to learn along the way. Becoming a mom was one of the greatest things in my life, but I am still figuring all this out. Eventually, I’m going to get it, but it’s a process. Was motherhood everything you imagined it to be? TIFFANY: The happiness that I have from being a mom is actually more than I dreamed of when I was in my 20s. I am 46

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After the whole process, how did you feel when you finally got that phone call that you were pregnant? JAMIE: I remember my husband met me at this restaurant and we were both sitting in the car just waiting, and it was almost like dead silence. We were just so anxious. It was the longest wait ever, but we finally got the phone call and our nurse, Jackie, said, “You’re pregnant!” I remember we both just started crying. We were just overwhelmed and so excited. We couldn’t believe it. How was your pregnancy? JAMIE: It was a pretty good pregnancy. Of course, I had slight nausea and all that stuff. I always called it my evening sickness. There was no morning sickness, and then us girls in the family just swell during pregnancy at the end. I had no ankles, I was just swollen constantly.

Jamie Powell

Children’s names: Tommy, 2, and Charlie, 1 Nine years after their wedding day, Jamie Powell and her husband, Larry, had dreams of starting their own family. Previously, Larry had been told that due to his history of cancer, there was a 99.9 percent chance that he would never father children. However, after new research of sperm regeneration informed them that there could be a chance, Jamie reached out to her gynecologist before being referred to a fertility doctor to weigh the options. It was determined that the best chance of the couple starting a family would be through IVF treatments, and despite her intense fear of needles, Jamie powered through, surprising her family and her friends, and even herself. Her delivery day was eventful to say the very least, causing Jamie and her husband to alter their birth plan in ways they weren’t expecting. Tell me about the IVF process for you. JAMIE: In my mind, I’m thinking, this is all Larry, he has to do the treatments. As we start going over all of the treatments, I’m so nervous because I realized I was the one doing all the treatments, and I had this major needle phobia. However, I was like, people do this all the time. Surely I’m not the only one who is scared of needles and has gone through IVF. It was definitely an emotional roller coaster, though. I never really asked them how long it was going to be because everything is so fast now. You expect immediate results, but it wasn’t that way.

How was the delivery? JAMIE: I was due on June 30, and it was June 11. That morning, I woke up and I did not feel good. During pregnancy, I had popped a rib out of place, so I was in pain, too. I decided to take my blood pressure and it was crazy high. Throughout my entire pregnancy, I had no problems, and I was like, maybe it’s because I’m in pain. So, I sat down and I calmed myself down and I took it again and it was higher. I called my nurse and she said I needed to come in. I left work and headed straight there, but I never thought I was going to be admitted. The next day, the doctor told me he could send me home on bed rest and I would have to call in numbers every day or he could start inducing me. I just thought, I have had this wonderful pregnancy, and then all of a sudden, my birth plan was changing. I chose to start inducing, but then I’d have contractions, but no dilation, and my blood pressure stayed high and I made zero progress. We then decided to do a c-section. How did you feel? JAMIE: I just remember I was super nervous because my birth plan had been completely crushed, but it happened so quick. I remember as they were taking him out, the doctor said, “Jamie, he’s huge!” and here comes my little Tommy butterball with a head full of hair. He was 8 pounds, 15 ounces, which I then found out later, was the exact weight that I was when I was born. After delivery, they always do skin-to-skin time, but because of my preeclampsia, they sent me to another recovery room with Tommy. My family was waiting to see him, and I had no idea how much time


had passed by, and then that’s when they told me that I wasn’t clotting right and my blood pressure had spiked more. It was nine o’clock that evening before I got into my room, but after everything, we decided to do it again. I did another c-section with my daughter, but I did lose my uterus that time.

“T H E H A R D E ST PA RT I S YO U R E M OT I O N S, E S P E C I A L LY T H E F I R ST G O A R O U N D. YO U’R E C O N STA N TLY U P A N D D OW N. YO U’R E O N T H I S H I G H B E C AU S E YO U’R E S O E X C I T E D TO B E A B L E TO A F F O R D I V F, B U T T H E N YO U’R E J U ST S O N E R VO U S A B O U T H E A R I N G T H AT I T D I D N’T WO R K.” What was the hardest part of the process? JAMIE: The hardest part is your emotions, especially the first go around. You’re constantly up and down. You’re on this high because you’re so excited to be able to afford IVF, but then you’re just

so nervous about hearing that it didn’t work. I wanted to surprise my family, but not having your family support along the way is incredibly hard. I needed it to be private because I just couldn’t let anybody down, but not being able to call my mom and tell her when I was down was hard. I just never knew I would have that much of an emotional roller coaster. How would you describe the journey to becoming a mother? JAMIE: I would almost describe it like a long road trip, but I felt like when Tommy finally was born that I had completed a marathon, and I was like, “I did it.” I had setbacks, from delivery and stuff, but all of that, you just put all that pain behind you because you just have your baby; you’re just so happy. What advice would you give another mom who may be going through this process? JAMIE: Just be patient. You’re going to feel bloated. Don’t worry about the injections. Love your body anyway. You’re about to carry your beautiful babies. And by the way, you don’t need just one set of maternity clothes. Nobody lets you know that you need first, second and third trimester clothes.

Was motherhood everything you imagined it would be? JAMIE: Yes and no. I thought I was going to be this super strict mom. I was always a very clean, tidy person, and I thought my kids were going to be like that, but then you look into their little puppy dog eyes and you’re like, “They just want to play. They’re just kids; let them bring the toys out.” Now I’m like, I don’t care as long as my kids are happy and having fun. They’re only little once, and I want to see them laugh and have fun. ■ Thank you to our moms–Tiffany Barrow, Tiffany Bates-George, Meagan Hicks, Dr. Tiffany Bourgeois, and Jamie Powell–for being so open and willing to share their personal stories of how the journey to motherhood can look different for everyone. Also, we’d like to send a major thank you to St. Elizabeth Foundation and Fertility Answers for helping us to connect with some of these amazing moms who are featured. To learn more about St. Elizabeth Foundation, visit stelizabethfoundation.org, or call (225) 769-8888. To learn more about Fertility Answers, visit fertilityanswers.com, or call (888) 467-2229.

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2021

SENIOR SEND-OFF The end of the school year is officially here, and through this special section, we have come together with local schools to congratulate seniors and encourage them to shoot for the stars. We’ve also included a list of gift ideas if you’re in search of the perfect gift for your senior.

CELEBRATING OUR LOCAL GRADUATES

Senior Gift Ideas

1. Critter Sitters, or any furniture for their dorm room. Desk lamps, storage containers, bedding, and lounge chairs are great, too! 2. Bluetooth Speaker 3. Tile Phone/Key Tracker 4. Apple Watch 5. Reusable Water Bottle 6. Mini Keurig 7. Polaroid Camera 8. Bulletin Board (Great for hanging photos!) 9. Bookshelf 10. Earbuds/Airpods/Headphones 11. Trash Valet (Helps make trips to the dumpster safer) B R PA R E N T S . C O M | M AY 2 0 2 1

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E PISCOPAL School of Baton Rouge

Congratulations Graduates!

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This year, our 141

Received 231 college acceptances | Were granted $8.2 mill Held donations drives for 18 d

Karleigh Bourgoyne

Angelique Charlton

Addison Dimmich

Kyla Fox

Maria Gordon

Nicholas Heston

Heather Abadie

Charlotte Balart

Timothy Brandel

Parker Collett

Zachary Donahue

Zack Frederic

Madelyne Gresko

Abby Housewright

Betsy Adams

Lane Banker

Joshua Breaux

Clara Collins

Trinity Ducan

Alex Fruge

Aryana Haghighi

Grayson Howell

Madelyn Adcock

Hayden Barnett

Madison Brown

Brian Dang

Ashlyn Edwards

Ashlyn Fruge’

Ethan Hames

Hailey Humphries

Logan Allemond

Hector Barraza

Savannah Bull

Trina Dang

Matthew Ellzey

Londyn Fruge’

Camille Hardee

Sarah Jackson

Christian Almond

Brigette Benigno

Brock Burkett

Regan Darsam

Lillee Engen

Morgyn Gauthier

Jalayah Harrell

Cassee Johnson

Hailey Anderson

Hallee Bice

Brayden Burleigh

Sarah Degeyter

Anna Flauss

Leah Gil

Brad Hassenboehler

Christian Johnson

Tyler Arceneaux

Kye Boiteaux

Stephanie Calvaruso

Katlyn DeJean

Cole Foret

Abigail Giroir

Collin Hebert

Josephine Johnston

Alexandra Ash

Mason Bonaventure

Cameren Cash

Reid Didier

Nathaniel Fountaine

Alexis Gonzalez

Natalie Heflin

George Kim

Congratulations to the St. Mich 56

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1 St. Michael graduates:

lion in scholarships | Earned 354 college credits through Dual Enrolment courses different organizations | Signed 8 college athletes

Thank you for making us Warriors Proud!

Bryce Landry

Tanner McAnally

Olivia Monette

Christopher Patin

Ashtyn Roberts

Caroline Simpson

Sophia LeGrande

Ian McCarron

Emelie Moore

Sophia Paz

Michael Robin

Isabella Spano

Jackson Tolbert

Riley Waguespack

Sarah Levron

Abigail McCurry

Jonathan Moya

Breanna Perry

John Rochester

Alexander St. Cyr

Marvin Tram

Ross Waguespack

Thuy Mai

Kimberly McGee

Brock Mulhearn

Peyton Pertuit

Casey Sanders

Amanda Stewart

Camille Trelles

Nicholas White

Emalie Manuel

Adam Melacon

Garrett Mumphrey

Tanner Pike

Edie Sanders

John Stinson

Katherine Varnado

Kalli Wilett

Isabella Manzullo

Benjamin Messina

Owen Naquin

Amelia Quebedeaux

Olivia Schueneman

Patrick Tate

Laney Varnado

Lance Williams

Megan Marcello

Emma Miller

Tammy Nguyen

Rebecca Quebedeaux

Drew Seelbach

Sarah Templet

Burke Vavasseur

Codi Williams

Jackson Martin

Elena Monette

Brenna Pace

Quinlan Reed

Timothy Seiler, Jr.

Danielle Thibodeaux

Halle Vu

Kasey Williams

Cynthia McAlister

Jenna Monette

Janelle Parker

Steven Reed

Shad Sheffie

Eric Thibodeaux

Kathy Vu

Bliss Woolbright

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JOIN US MAY 21ST 5PM TO 7:30PM

Enjoy this first of its kind event, as you stroll the Zoo, and taste a variety of wines & sample small bites from local eateries.

GET YOUR TICKETS AT WILDWINEWALK.ORG

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PLAY

a day in the life of dad Trophy? Not This Year BY BRANDON FOREMAN PHOTO BY CARL (CJ) SMITH JR.

I

M AY upset a few people here, but what do they say? You have to break some eggs to make an omelet. So, let’s dive in here. It’s May of 2021 and we are wrapping up the spring soccer season, and let me tell you, I have watched my twin boys (eight years old) really come alive this year with soccer. I mean, they are going after it, wanting to practice all the time, watching YouTube videos, and wanting to play all the time. They love it and so does our whole family. We watch every week. We load up chairs, waters, snacks, heck, we even bought our own bench. It’s not just my family who attends either; it’s Mimis, Papas, KayKays, PaPaws, Aunts, and Uncles, all to watch these guys run around like crazy people for the one hour. Now, here is where the problem may come in for some. You see, it has rained a lot this year, and it seems like just about every practice has rained out. I don’t have a great yard for practicing soccer unless you’re good with losing 100s of balls in a lake everytime. However, are they getting better? Yes, they are so much better than before we started. I can see their minds starting to understand how the game works and I’m starting to see some fancy footwork happening, but here is the issue: they are still not winning the games. Don’t get me wrong, they are having a blast, but winning? Not so much. We may have gotten a win in there for a game or two, but by no means are we that winning team that...wait for it…deserves a trophy. Did I really say that? Yep, I sure did. They don’t need a trophy. They did not earn it in my opinion. They played hard? Yes. They improved? Yes. They had fun? Yes. They participated? Yes. However, they did not win. I want them to learn that in order to get a winning trophy, they have to actually win. Look, I’m not trying to be a mean person, but if we keep this up and everyone gets the winner’s prize just for showing up, what message are we sending to them? Better yet, what are we saying to the kids who did win and earned that title? I think we need to encourage our children to be the best they can be but also let them know that they will not win every time. Sometimes you lose, and that builds that desire to practice harder and longer, study more, and push yourself to be the person who does win. We can’t just keep saying that everyone’s a winner and giving them a trophy for playing. I believe that, in life, when you want something, you have to go out and work hard, earn it, and do what it takes to get it, not just show up and say you want it and expect to get it. Has that ever happened to you in your life or work? Are you able to just walk up and say you want that car or promotion and it was given to you? I doubt it; you worked for it. What are we teaching our children by doing this? Please don’t hate me. I’m certain there is another school of thought

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Look, I’m not trying to be a mean person, but if we keep this up and everyone gets the winner’s prize just for showing up, what message are we sending to them? here. Maybe I am wrong, but if I am, it seems the worst thing that happens is I taught my children to work a little harder, and you know what they say, no one ever died from hard work. ■

PIC OF THE MONTH

Chris S. and his son, Corbin, enjoy going for walks.


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PLAY

out & about ‘cause parenting is a trip

Margaritaville Lake Resort LAKE CONROE | HOUSTON

BY LINDSAY MILLER PHOTO BY MARGARITAVILLE LAKE RESORT, LAKE CONROE | HOUSTON

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I T H several activities planned for every single day, along with several restaurants to visit on the Margaritaville Lake Resort campus, you’ll never have to leave your relaxing getaway. Located about an hour away from Houston, Montgomery offers this magnificent resort on Lake Conroe. Not only are there several events available for your entertainment, Margaritaville also has a golf course as well as a spa and boat rentals. While this getaway is catered more towards adults, there is the Jolly Mon Water Park, pickleball, tennis, mini golf and several pools for the younger crowd to enjoy. WHERE TO STAY Margaritaville Lake Resort on Lake Conroe is all about relaxation. With a spa and luxurious rooms, you will be able to do just that; relax. With several different choices of suites and lake-side cottages, you’re sure to find a room that will make you feel right at home. All rooms have the option of being ADA accommodated. Accommodations include WiFi, intra-resort transportation, in-room coffee and tea service, access to the business center, Jolly Mon Water Park with multiple pools, splash pad, waterslides, lazy river and hot tub, Fins Up! Fitness Center access, racquetball courts, indoor cycling, golf practice facilities, Parrot Island Mini Golf, and a private beach. WHERE TO EAT Landshark Bar & Grill The Landshark Bar & Grill takes inspiration from the traditional bars along the Atlantic beaches. This relaxed setting serves lunch and dinner everyday. Sitting right on the lake, there is beach access along with a cozy firepit to gather with family and friends. The restaurant serves a selection of seafood, burgers, sandwiches, and salads. License to Chill Cafe The License to Chill Cafe offers breakfast, lunch and dinner and also has a casual and carefree atmosphere. With outdoor and indoor seating, you can either catch a breeze outside or cool off inside. The cafe serves a full and tasty breakfast menu along with Mexican-themed food items for lunch and dinner. This restaurant also offers a bit of a brunch menu so make sure to check that out during your stay. 62

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Coordinates: 30.3942, -95.6362 Distance from Baton Rouge: 299 miles Flying Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes Driving Time: 5 hours, 12 minutes

Playin’ Around Cafe The Playin’ Around Cafe is perfect for the golf lovers in the family. This cafe, located right on the golf course, is a great place to grab a quick breakfast and lunch. The cafe offers salads, sandwiches, breakfast items and even dessert options. This cafe is all about convenience, so before you go out on the course or after you’re done, cool off in the Playin’ Around Cafe. WHAT TO DO The Margaritaville Lake Resort has several scheduled events that take place every single day. These events range from scavenger hunts and cornhole competitions to sand art creations. The resort even provides some activities for the kids. Some of these activities include water balloon fights and an array of lawn games that will keep the whole family entertained for hours. You can also visit the golf course, spa, or even rent a boat to go explore Lake Conroe. If you want to get away from the resort for a day or two, there are several local experiences that you and the family can enjoy. One of the most beautiful is the Huntsville State Park. At the state park, there are hiking trails right through the Sam Houston National Forest. There is also a lake within the park where you can fish for crappie, perch, catfish, and bass. Sometimes alligators can be spotted in the lake as well. Another attraction outside of the Margaritaville Lake Resort is the unique St. Francis Wolf Sanctuary. Here, you will find yourself at a nonprofit facility that provides rescued wolves and wolfdogs with a loving home and a second chance at life. The property offers acres for these animals to roam, and this visit will be a hit with the kids. The business has been in operation for almost 20 years with their only goal of being able to provide a wonderful place for these animals to live and try to ignite the love for animals in anyone who visits. ■


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things we l ve Sentimental & Sweet

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OT H E R’S Day is Sunday, May 9, and we have rounded up a couple of jewelry pieces and a piece of the past that all moms will love this month. As the April showers turn into May flowers, we have also found a few toys to keep the little ones entertained while on family walks, including a big nature exploration kit and an “I See on a Walk” cards set that encourages them to search their surroundings while strolling along. brparents.com/listing/things-we-love

little

LOVE

I SEE ON A WALK STROLLER CARDS Keep busy on walks. These cards create an awareness of surroundings to help develop young minds.

CUSTOM HANDWRITING JEWELRY This completely customizable bracelet is sure to put a smile on any mother’s face. You can choose from a sterling silver, 14k gold, or rose gold finish, and it can be customized with a signature, handwritten messages, or a drawing.

BIRTHSTONE INITIAL NECKLACE Each necklace includes loved ones’ birthstones accompanied by a small stamped pendant with their initial. 64

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CREATE YOUR OWN REEL VIEWER Reminisce on good times with this reel viewer that is sure to create memories while experiencing old ones.

NATURE HABITAT EXPLORATION SET This kit includes a net, tongs, magnifying glass, bucket and habitat to let kids get in touch with nature.

SECURITY BLANKET FOR BABIES This 2-in-1 security blanket and stuffed animal is perfect for teething babies and comes in three cute styles.


advertorial •

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IN EVERY ISSUE

things to do GO. SEE. PLAY. LEARN. EXPLORE.

PHOTO BY KLEINPETER PHOTOGRAPHY 2017-18 COVER KID IYANNAH B.

FREE:

SUMMER READING KICKOFF SATURDAY, MAY 22 Denham Springs-Walker Library at 9 a.m. The summer reading program invites adults, teens, and children to earn prizes by reading and participating in library events. This year’s summer reading theme is “Tails and Tales” and will start with a special kickoff day at each LPL branch. Activities for this year’s summer reading kickoff day features scavenger hunts, outdoor story walks, and movie screenings. mylpl.info 66

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M AY I S..

National Foster Care Month National Mental Health Awareness Month National Military Appreciation Month National Water Safety Month Skin Cancer Awareness Month


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SATURDAY BATMAN DEBUTS: 82ND ANNIVERSARY KENTUCKY DERBY SCHOOL PRINCIPALS DAY 2021 PARADE OF HOMES. Multiple houses from 1-5 p.m. Parade gives consumers a chance to tour the most exclusive homes, gather new ideas, and experience recent innovations in the homebuilding industry. paradegbr.fun 23RD ANNUAL ST. JUDE OPEN CAR SHOW. Bayou Plaquemine Waterfront Park at 7 a.m. Help raise money for the kids of St. Jude. All vehicles are welcome. facebook.com 6TH ANNUAL DERBY DAY FOR GAITWAY. Pointe Marie from 4:307:30 p.m. This socially distanced, outdoor gala will feature “Derby”-inspired drinks, southern food, games, music, and of course, the big race. facebook.com ARTS MARKET. Downtown 5th and Main Street from 8 a.m.-noon. The Baton Rouge Arts Market is an open-air market held on the first Saturday of the month in conjunction with the weekly Red Stick Farmers Market. artsbr.org BLITHE SPIRIT. Theatre Baton Rouge. The smash comedy hit offers up fussy, cantankerous novelist Charles Condomine, remarried but haunted (literally) by the ghost of his late first wife. As their personalities clash, Charles’ current wife, Ruth, passes over and joins his first wife, and the two blithe spirits haunt the hapless Charles into perpetuity. theatrebr.org

BUILDING A BETTER AMERICA WITH AMOA. This is an interactive, online certification program in conjunction with EBRPL program through June 6. Designed for high school and college students and recent graduates who want to learn more about the fundamentals of diversity, cultural competency, and empathy. theamoa.org CASA ORIENTATION. Virtual orientation at 10 a.m. Community volunteers are needed for Capital Area CASA to continue serving every child. The first step to becoming a CASA volunteer is to attend a 30-minute virtual orientation. casabr.org CITY NATURE CHALLENGE. Baton Rouge and surrounding parishes. This is a free event where nature lovers are taking pictures with their phones using an app called iNaturalist. brnaturechallenge.org CREATIVE DRAMATICS FOR KIDS. Theatre Baton Rouge from 9-10:30 a.m. for ages five-eight. This class will focus on theatre as a fundamental way of exploring and knowing the world. The class will use games and activities that will help students understand the basics of acting. theatrebr.org DANCE FOR ALL. Theatre Baton Rouge from 10:30 a.m.-noon for ages 9-12. In this multi-faceted and energetic dance class, you will learn to improve your movement on stage and polish your performance quality through a series of engaging exercises and fun choreography. theatrebr.org EXAM PREP TOOL KIT. Bluebonnet Regional

CHARCUTERIE 101: LEISURE CLASS. See May 2.

Library, while supplies last. Pick up a free Grab & Geaux tool kit that includes all the supplies needed to make a magnetic bookmark, plus other goodies, to help you study. ebrpl. com FABULOUSLY FUNNY COMEDY FESTIVAL. Raising Cane’s River Center at 7 p.m. The veteran entertainers will bring down the house with their sharp wit, unbridled humor and hysterical storytelling. raisingcanesrivercenter. com GRAB & GEAUX CRAFT: OYSTER SHELL TRINKET DISH FOR MOM. PrideChaneyville Library through May. Turn an oyster shell into a beautiful trinket dish, paper clip holder, catch all tray, jewelry dish and ring holder. ebrpl.com GUIDED TRAIL RIDES. Farr Park Horse Activity Center at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., or noon. Enjoy a one-hour gentle ride through the park on a horse. No experience required. Trail rides are by appointment only, and all riders must be at least six years old. Rides will be held rain or shine. Inclement weather trail rides will be held in the indoor arena. brec.org

MOTHER’S DAY GIFT PACKET PICKUP. Ascension Parish Libraries, while supplies last. Kids of all ages are invited to pick up a Mother’s Day gift packet. Using the supplies provided, along with markers, crayons, and whatever else you have at home, make a card and a small gift for your amazing mom. myapl.org RED STICK FARMERS MARKET. 501 Main Street from 8 a.m.-noon. Shop directly with local farmers, fishers, and food artisans for locally-grown fruits and vegetables, seafood, meat, plants, baked goods, and dairy products. red stickfarmersmarket.org SATURDAY STARGAZING. Irene W. Pennington Planetarium at LASM at 10 a.m. Learn about the stars and constellations in the local nighttime sky during the interactive presentation. Then, sit back for a featured show. Collect a new constellation trading card each Saturday. lasm.org THE BLACK AND

[

ORANGE BASH. LaGrange Barn at BREC’s Magnolia Mound at 7 p.m. This family-friendly event includes hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, music, dancing, a silent auction, and a photo booth. Tickets are $15-31. Attire is anything black and orange. 1031Consortium.com. VOICE CLASS FOR KIDS. Theatre Baton Rouge from 9-10:30 a.m. for ages 8-14. Students will explore musical theater repertoire and develop confidence through the art of singing. Singers will perform the song they have worked on in an ‘informance” on the final day of class. theatrebr.org

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SUNDAY 2021 PARADE OF HOMES. Multiple houses from 1-5 p.m. Parade gives consumers a chance to tour the most exclusive homes, gather new ideas, and experience recent innovations in the

Find things to do by visiting us online at brparents.com or by downloading our app. B R PA R E N T S . C O M | M AY 2 0 2 1

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westbatonrougemuse um.com SUNDAY STARGAZING. Irene W. Pennington Planetarium at LASM at 3:31 p.m. Presenter-led exploration of the local nighttime sky under the dome and is designed to engage all ages, even adults. lasm.org

3

BREAKFAST WITH THE ANIMALS. See May 8.

homebuilding industry. paradegbr.fun ACTING THROUGH SONG. Theatre Baton Rouge from 4-5:30 p.m. for ages 13-17. In this class, students will learn how to analyze the meaning of a song of their choice; develop an understanding of character, setting, and plot in the context of their song; and apply lessons learned through performance. theatrebr.org BLITHE SPIRIT. Theatre Baton Rouge. The smash comedy hit offers up fussy, cantankerous novelist Charles Condomine, remarried but haunted (literally) by the ghost of his late first wife. As their personalities clash, Charles’ current wife, Ruth, passes over and joins his first wife, and the two blithe spirits haunt the hapless Charles into perpetuity. theatrebr.org CHARCUTERIE 101: LEISURE CLASS. Louisiana Culinary Institute from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Join Chef Colt Patin to create an assortment of sausages and vegetables from start to finish to create a charcuterie board. lci.edu CITY NATURE CHALLENGE. Baton Rouge and surrounding parish68

es. This is a free event where nature lovers are taking pictures with their phones using an app called iNaturalist. brnaturechallenge.org FREE FIRST SUNDAY. LSU Museum of Art from 1-5 p.m. Walk downtown and explore art made by students during the East Baton Rouge Parish Schools Art Walk. lsumoa.org INAUGURAL BLOOMS & BITES SHOP HOP. Sweet Baton Rouge from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. This event will be an exclusive ticketed event. Tickets are $30. facebook.com MOTHER’S DAY GIFT PACKET PICKUP. Ascension Parish Libraries, while supplies last. Kids of all ages are invited to pick up a Mother’s Day gift packet. Using the supplies provided, along with markers, crayons, and whatever else you have at home, make a card and a small gift for your amazing mom. myapl.org. OUTDOOR BLUES, POP, AND ROCK MUSIC. West Baton Rouge Museum at 2 p.m. The concert will take place with performers on the covered porch of the museum’s Juke Joint and guests on the lawn.

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MONDAY BEDTIME STORIES. Virtual at 6 p.m. for babies through age 11. Grab your coziest pajamas and your warmest blanket. mylpl.info CITY NATURE CHALLENGE. Baton Rouge and surrounding parishes. This is a free event where nature lovers take pictures with their phones using an app called iNaturalist. brnaturechallenge.org LUNCH WITH LEANNE. Virtual at 11:30 a.m. The popular luncheon concert series continues with six virtual performances featuring singers from across the country. In-person dining is available by reservation and is limited. Lunch delivery available for audience members in Baton Rouge. operalouisiane.org MAKE YOUR OWN BEACH ZEN GARDEN. Ascension Parish Libraries, while supplies last. In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Ascension Parish Library will provide you with everything you need for this de-stressing project. myapl.org READ-TO-ME MONDAY. Virtual at 10 a.m. for babies through age 11. mylpl.info ZEN COLORING FOR ADULTS. River Center Library at 3 p.m. Re-

lease stress with other adults as they color inside and outside of the lines. ebrpl.com

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TUESDAY EMBROIDERED CONSTELLATIONS. River Center Library. Teens can celebrate Star Wars Day by picking up a free kit full of items for stitching your favorite zodiac constellation. ebrpl.com MOTHER’S DAY GIFT PACKET PICKUP. Ascension Parish Libraries, while supplies last. Kids of all ages are invited to pick up a Mother’s Day gift packet. Using the supplies provided, along with markers, crayons, and whatever else you have at home, make a card and a small gift for your amazing mom. myapl.org. MOTHER’S DAY SHOPPING SALE. LSU Museum Store. Find the perfect gift for Mother’s Day and enjoy 20 percent off one regular priced item and free gift wrap. lrusso@lsu.edu SCENE WORK BASED IN SCRIPT ANALYSIS. Theatre Baton Rouge from 7-9 p.m. for ages 16+. This class will focus on contemporary scene work with partners, using script analysis and Stanislavsky’s system as the building blocks with which to work. There will be an evening of performances on May 20. theatrebr.org PARENTS/CAREGIVERS NETWORKING MEETINGS. Virtual at 10 a.m. These networking meetings provide parents/caregivers an opportunity to gather and share information and resources related to behavioral health services and to increase

their support networks. fhfgbr.org VIRTUAL CRAFTS. Virtual at 10 a.m. Pick up a curbside craft kit. Then, go online to complete the craft. Available on a first-come, first-served basis. mylpl.info

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WEDNESDAY CINCO DE MAYO CASA ORIENTATION. Virtual orientation at noon. Community volunteers are needed for Capital Area CASA to continue serving every child. The first step to becoming a CASA volunteer is to attend a 30-minute virtual orientation. casabr.org MOTHER’S DAY GIFT PACKET PICKUP. Ascension Parish Libraries, while supplies last. Kids of all ages are invited to pick up a Mother’s Day gift packet. Using the supplies provided, along with markers, crayons, and whatever else you have at home, make a card and a small gift for your amazing mom. myapl.org. MOTHER’S DAY SHOPPING SALE. LSU Museum Store. Find the perfect gift for Mother’s Day and enjoy 20 percent off one regular priced item and free gift wrap. lrusso@lsu.edu WACKY WIGGLE WEDNESDAY. Virtual at 10 a.m. Be a part of this fun and creative virtual program for children ages 0-11 and their caregivers. mylpl.org

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THURSDAY NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER NO HOMEWORK DAY 20-SOMETHINGS


CHOCOLATE KISS ROSES GRAB & GEAUX. Zachary Library, while supplies last. Adults ages 18-30ish can make edible roses out of chocolate kisses and other materials. ebrpl.com BUILDING A BETTER AMERICA WITH AMOA ORIENTATION SESSION. EBR Main Library at 5 p.m. Learn about the online certification program in conjunction with the East Baton Rouge Parish Library. ebrpl.com MOTHER’S DAY GIFT PACKET PICKUP. Ascension Parish Libraries, while supplies last. Kids of all ages are invited to pick up a Mother’s Day gift packet. Using the supplies provided, along with markers, crayons, and whatever else you have at home, make a card and a small gift for your amazing mom. myapl.org. MOTHER’S DAY SHOPPING SALE. LSU Museum Store. Find the perfect gift for Mother’s Day and enjoy 20 percent off one regular priced item and free gift wrap. lrusso@lsu.edu SCENE WORK BASED IN SCRIPT ANALYSIS. Theatre Baton Rouge from 7-9 p.m. for ages 16+. This class will focus on contemporary scene work with partners, using script analysis and Stanislavsky’s system as the building blocks with which to work. There will be an evening of performances on May 20. theatrebr.org

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FRIDAY MILITARY SPOUSE APPRECIATION DAY CAFÉ FRANÇAIS. West Baton Rouge Muse-

um at 1 p.m. Jonathan Olivier is a journalist and founder of “le Potager d’Acadiana.” Jonathan will speak about his family’s connections to St. Landry and St. Martin parishes, his experiences in farm work, and the “pro-French” philosophy that guides his work. westbatonrougemuse um.org FREE FRIDAY NIGHTS. LSU Museum of Art from 5-8 p.m. lsumoa.org GSYR 63RD ANNUAL RODEO. BREC Shady Park Arena from 7:309:30 p.m. The rodeo will feature a performance by an equestrian trick rider, bull riding, team roping, breakaway roping, calf roping, ranch style bronc riding and barrel racing. facebook.com KING & QUEEN OF THE BEACH TOURNAMENT. Oasis Patio Bar & Grill from 6:30-10:30 p.m. theoasisbr.com MAY MARKET AT CIRCA 1857. 1857 Government Street from 6-9 p.m. Soak in the local love of Mid City by shopping, eating, drinking, and listening to music. facebook.com MOTHER’S DAY GIFT PACKET PICKUP. Ascension Parish Libraries, while supplies last. Kids of all ages are invited to pick up a Mother’s Day gift packet. Using the supplies provided, along with markers, crayons, and whatever else you have at home, make a card and a small gift for your amazing mom. myapl.org. MOTHER’S DAY SHOPPING SALE. LSU Museum Store. Find the perfect gift for Mother’s Day and enjoy 20 percent off one regular priced item and free gift wrap. lrusso@lsu.edu TRIVIA NIGHT LIVE. Zoom at 7 p.m. for ages

12+. Gather your friends and family, or play it solo. One lucky player will win a prize for participating and completing a survey after the program. mylpl.info

about adding color to your garden. ebrpl.com GSYR 63RD ANNUAL RODEO. BREC Shady Park Arena from 7:309:30 p.m. The rodeo will

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SATURDAY NO SOCKS DAY ARTS & CRAFTS MARKET & BLOOD DRIVE. Highway 621 Outdoor Market from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. 15+ arts and crafts vendors. The Blood Bus will be on site for OLOL. facebook.com BASIC WOODWORKING: BUILD A FOOTSTOOL. West Baton Rouge Museum from 9 a.m.- noon. Each participant will build their own four-legged footstool using only hand tools. Students are required to bring their own tape ruler and a #2 pencil. westbatonrougemuse um.org BREAKFAST WITH THE ANIMALS. BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo from 8-9:30 a.m. Enjoy a continental breakfast before helping feed some of the animals. Pre-registration required. brzoo.org CO-ED DOUBLES TOURNAMENT. Oasis Bar & Grill from 8 a.m.8 p.m. Pre-registration required. josh@theoasisbr.com DADS OF DENHAM CAR SHOW. South Park from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Car show, corn hole tournament, live music, inflatables, great food, and shopping with local vendors. All money raised will be given to the Denham Springs High School Athlete Department. facebook.com GARDEN DISCOVERIES: COLOR IN THE GARDEN. EBR Main Library at 10 a.m. Learn

feature a performance by an equestrian trick rider, bull riding, team roping, breakaway roping, calf roping, ranch style bronc riding and

COVER KIDS

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

MAY

9

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TUE. 4

SAT. 8

Maya V.

Rylan K.

5

5

FRI. 7

FRI. 7

Cahri W.

Cassie W.

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THUR. 20

Bryson A.

Tripp M.

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IN EVERY ISSUE CALENDAR

babies through age 11. Grab your coziest pajamas and your warmest blanket. mylpl.info CREATE 3D FLOWERS. Ascension Parish Libraries, while supplies last. Create 3D flowers, grass, and even a hot air balloon. Then, visit their YouTube channel for a helpful tutorial that you can follow along with. myapl.org READ-TO-ME MONDAY. Virtual at 10 a.m. for babies through age 11. mylpl.info

SPRING POP-UP FARMERS MARKET. See May 8.

barrel racing. facebook.com MAY MARKET. 5522 Jones Creek Road from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. facebook.com MOTHER’S DAY SHOPPING SALE. LSU Museum Store. Find the perfect gift for Mother’s Day and enjoy 20 percent off one regular priced item and free gift wrap. lrusso@lsu.edu RED STICK FARMERS MARKET. 501 Main Street from 8 a.m.-noon. Shop directly with local farmers, fishers, and food artisans for locally-grown fruits and vegetables, seafood, meat, plants, baked goods, and dairy products. red stickfarmersmarket.org SATURDAY STARGAZING. Irene W. Pennington Planetarium at LASM at 10 a.m. Learn about the stars and constellations in the local nighttime sky during the interactive presentation. Then, sit back for a show. Collect a new constellation trading card each Saturday. lasm.org SPRING POP-UP FARMERS MARKET. Alexander’s Highland Market from noon-4 p.m. Join them and two dozen farmers, craft brewers, artists and small business owners 70

as they sample and sell their wares. facebook.com

9

11

TUESDAY EAT WHAT YOU WANT DAY

MOTHER’S DAY AT THE ZOO. BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Take mom to see the animals. The first 100 mothers will receive a free flower. Regular admission applies. brzoo.org MOTHER’S DAY SHOPPING SALE. LSU Museum Store. Find the perfect gift for Mother’s Day and enjoy 20 percent off one regular priced item and free gift wrap. lrusso@lsu.edu SUNDAY STARGAZING. Irene W. Pennington Planetarium at LASM at 3:31 p.m. Presenter-led exploration of the local nighttime sky under the dome and is designed to engage all ages. lasm.org

HOW TO PAY FOR COLLEGE. Zoom seminar at 6 p.m. Families are invited to join the library’s Career Center staff for a free virtual seminar that will cover TOPS, financial aid options, grants, and scholarships. career centerbr.com SCENE WORK BASED IN SCRIPT ANALYSIS. Theatre Baton Rouge from 7-9 p.m. for ages 16+. This class will focus on contemporary scene work with partners, using script analysis and Stanislavsky’s system as the building blocks with which to work. There will be an evening of performances on May 20. theatrebr.org VIRTUAL CRAFTS. Virtual at 10 a.m. Pick up a curbside craft kit. Then, join the library online to complete the craft. mylpl.info

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SUNDAY MOTHER’S DAY

MONDAY WORLD LUPUS DAY BEDTIME STORIES. Virtual at 6 p.m. for

M AY 2 0 2 1 | B R PA R E N T S . C O M

WEDNESDAY LIMERICK DAY NATIONAL SCHOOL NURSE DAY WACKY WIGGLE

WEDNESDAY. Virtual at 10 a.m. Join the library for this fun and creative virtual program for children ages 0-11 and their caregivers. mylpl.org

13

THURSDAY ASCENSION DAY NATIONAL HUMMUS DAY CASA ORIENTATION. Virtual orientation at 5 p.m. Community volunteers are needed for Capital Area CASA to continue serving every child. The first step to becoming a CASA volunteer is to attend a 30-minute virtual orientation. casabr.org SCENE WORK BASED IN SCRIPT ANALYSIS. Theatre Baton Rouge from 7-9 p.m. for ages 16+. This class will focus on contemporary scene work with partners, using script analysis and Stanislavsky’s system as the building blocks with which to work. There will be an evening of performances on May 20. theatrebr.org RIVER CITY JAZZ: DELFEAYO MARSALIS & UPTOWN JAZZ ORCHESTRA. Manship Theatre at 7 p.m. This year’s featured artists are Warren Wolf, Jazzmeia Horn, Poncho Sanchez, and Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra. manshiptheatre.org

14

FRIDAY

FREE FRIDAY NIGHTS. LSU Museum of Art from 5-8 p.m. lsumoa.org KING & QUEEN OF THE BEACH TOURNAMENT. Oasis Patio Bar & Grill from 6:30-10:30 p.m. theoasisbr.com

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SATURDAY INTERNATIONAL LEARN TO SWIM DAY BASIC WOODWORKING: BUILD A FOOTSTOOL. West Baton Rouge Museum from 9 a.m.- noon. Each participant in the class will build their own four-legged footstool using only hand tools. Students are required to bring their own tape ruler and a #2 pencil. westbatonrougemuse um.org BOCAGE SIP N’ STROLL. Bocage subdivision from 5-11 p.m. Event is all about finding ways to come together to make a big impact for the patients at OLOL Children’s Hospital. Proceeds benefit the Child Life Specialists. facebook.com BRAVEHEART’S SPRING FLING. 4000 Saint Gerard Avenue at 11 a.m. Features food, games, photo ops, face painting, crafts, inflatables, Petite Princess guest appearances, door prizes, raffles, and a petting zoo. Proceeds benefit foster children in the community. eventbrite.com BREAKFAST WITH THE ANIMALS. BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo from 8-9:30 a.m. Enjoy a continental breakfast before feeding some of the animals. Pre-registration required. brzoo.org DECODING YOUR DNA, TESTING & RESULTS. EBR Main Library at 10:30 a.m. Free class offered in-person, as well as virtually, that will cover the differences in the available tests, reveal the basics of how to read test results, and help you decide which one is right for


you. Registration required. ebrpl.com EVANGENALIA: EVOLUTION OF AN ICON. West Baton Rouge Museum. This exhibition provides a glimpse into Evangeline’s evolving status from her inception through today. westbatonrougemuse um.org ONE BOOK ONE COMMUNITY: THE YELLOW HOUSE. EBR Main Library. Join the library for a free One Book One Community Author Event featuring New York Times bestselling author of The Yellow House, Sarah M. Broom, along with award-winning author of The Revisioners, Margaret Wilkerson Sexton. readonebook.org PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBIT OPENING RECEPTION. Arts Council of Livingston Parish from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Photographers will be present and light refreshments will be served. artslivingston.org PREAKNESS STAKES. Viewed on television and online. The middle jewel in Thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown. preakness.com RED STICK FARMERS MARKET. 501 Main Street from 8 a.m.-noon. Shop with local farmers, fishers, and food artisans for locally-grown fruits and vegetables, seafood, meat, plants, baked goods, and dairy products. redstickfarm ersmarket.org SATURDAY STARGAZING. LASM at 10 a.m. Learn about the stars and constellations in the local nighttime sky. Then, sit back for a show. Collect a new constellation trading card each Saturday. lasm.org SPRING FLING 2021. Slingin’ Iron CrossFit

of Walker from 7 a.m.-4 p.m. facebook.com

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SUNDAY ARMED FORCES DAY RIDE A UNICYCLE DAY OUTDOOR OLD TIME MUSIC OPEN JAM. West Baton Rouge Museum at 3 p.m. Musicians can play acoustic instruments, including but not limited to guitar, bass, fiddle, dulcimer, and accordion. westba tonrougemusuem.org SUNDAY STARGAZING. Irene W. Pennington Planetarium at LASM at 3:31 p.m. Presenter-led exploration of the local nighttime sky under the dome and is designed to engage all ages. lasm.org

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MONDAY BEDTIME STORIES. Virtual at 6 p.m. for babies through age 11. Grab your coziest pajamas and your warmest blanket. mylpl.info READ-TO-ME MONDAY. Virtual at 10 a.m. for babies through age 11. mylpl.info

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TUESDAY INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM DAY CASA ORIENTATION. Virtual orientation at 2:30 p.m. Community volunteers are needed for Capital Area CASA to continue serving every child. The first step to becoming a CASA volunteer is to attend a 30-minute virtual orientation. casabr.org PAINTED BOOKENDS & A VOLUNTEER HOUR. River Center Li-

brary. Teens who would like to get creative and earn one volunteer hour can visit the library at any time to pick up a bookend, take it home, and paint a unique design on it. Receive your volunteer hour when you return your painted bookend to the library. ebrpl.com SCENE WORK BASED IN SCRIPT ANALYSIS. Theatre Baton Rouge from 7-9 p.m. for ages 16+. This class will focus on contemporary scene work with partners, using script analysis and Stanislavsky’s system as the building blocks with which to work. There will be an evening of performances on May 20. theatrebr.org VIRTUAL CRAFTS. Virtual at 10 a.m. Pick up a curbside craft kit. Then, join them online to complete the craft. mylpl.info

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WEDNESDAY THE USS KIDD SHIP & VETERANS MUSEUM. EBR Main Library at 6 p.m. Learn the history of the USS Kidd Naval Destroyer that’s located in downtown Baton Rouge. (225) 231-3751. WACKY WIGGLE WEDNESDAY. Virtual at 10 a.m. Join the library for this fun and creative virtual program for children ages 0-11 and their caregivers. mylpl.org

on contemporary scene work with partners, using script analysis and Stanislavsky’s system as the building blocks with which to work. There will be an evening of performances on May 20. theatrebr.org

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FRIDAY NATIONAL BIKE TO WORK DAY NATIONAL PIZZA PARTY DAY EDUCATIONAL SERIES: PLAN FOR TOMORROW, TODAY. Goodwood Branch Library from 10-11 a.m. St. Paul’s Senior Services is here to make senior living and the idea of living in a nursing home less stressful. stpaulseniors.org FREE FRIDAY NIGHTS. LSU Museum of Art from 5-8 p.m. lsumoa.org HISTORICAL HAPPY HOUR. West Baton Rouge Museum at 6:30 p.m. This month’s Happy Hour will feature

music from the Nick Blanchard Quartet. westbatonrougemuse um.org KING & QUEEN OF THE BEACH TOURNAMENT. Oasis Patio Bar & Grill from 6:30-10:30 p.m. theoasisbr.com TRIVIA NIGHT LIVE. Zoom at 7 p.m. for ages 12+. Gather your friends and family, or play it solo. One lucky player will win a prize for participating and completing a survey after the program. Pre-registration required. mylpl.info WILD WINE WALK. BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo at 5 p.m. Guests (21+) are invited to stroll through the zoo for an early evening of wine tasting, food sampling, and live music. wildwinewalk.org

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SATURDAY NATIONAL MARITIME DAY ART OF THE FEAST. Press Street Station and NOCCA’s Chevron Fo-

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THURSDAY

AMELIA EARHART ATLANTIC CROSSING: 89TH ANNIVERSARY SCENE WORK BASED IN SCRIPT ANALYSIS. Theatre Baton Rouge from 7-9 p.m. for ages 16+. This class will focus

KITE FEST LOUISIANE. See May 22.

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IN EVERY ISSUE CALENDAR

at 9 a.m. The summer reading program invites adults, teens, and children to earn prizes by reading and participating in library events. mylpl.info

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SUNDAY INTERNATIONAL WORLD TURTLE DAY

HERO HUMP 2021. See May 29.

rum. The NOCCA Institute hosts a celebration of music, food, and fine art. artofthefeast.com BASIC WOODWORKING: BUILD A TOOL TOTE. West Baton Rouge Museum from 9 a.m.-noon. Each participant in the class will build their own tool tote while learning to use basic hand tools. Students are required to bring their own tape ruler and #2 pencils. westbatonrougemuse um.org BATON ROUGE MARCH FOR BABIES. Online from 2-4:30 p.m. March for Babies helps you lift up communities for health equity, open the door for all moms to have access to care, and protect the health of families through advocacy. marchforbabies.org BATON ROUGE OYSTER FESTIVAL. Galvez Plaza at noon. There will be shucking, cooking, and eating dozens of the briny, meaty little shuckers. Live bands all day. (225) 955-2411 CASA ORIENTATION. Virtual orientation at 10 a.m. Community volunteers are needed for Capital Area CASA to continue serving every child. The first step to becoming a CASA 72

volunteer is to attend a 30-minute virtual orientation. casabr.org DRIVE IN FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT. BRPD office 9000 Airline Hwy at 7:30 p.m. facebook.com KITE FEST LOUISIANE. West Baton Rouge Soccer Complex at 11 a.m. Bring the entire family and lawn chairs, and enjoy a day of kite flying, kite making, food booths, champion kite-flying, and Saturday fireworks. westbaton rouge.net RED STICK FARMERS MARKET. 501 Main Street from 8 a.m.-noon. Shop directly with local farmers, fishers, and food artisans for locally-grown fruits and vegetables, seafood, meat, plants, baked goods, and dairy products. red stickfarmersmarket.org SATURDAY STARGAZING. Irene W. Pennington Planetarium at LASM at 10 a.m. Join them under the dome and learn about the stars and constellations in the local nighttime sky. Then, sit back for a show for all ages. Collect a new constellation trading card each Saturday. lasm.org SUMMER READING KICKOFF. Denham Springs-Walker Library

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BATON ROUGE OYSTER FESTIVAL. Galvez Plaza at noon. Oysters take center stage and there will be shucking, cooking, and eating dozens of the briny, meaty little shuckers. Live bands all day. (225) 955-2411 SUNDAY STARGAZING. Irene W. Pennington Planetarium at LASM at 3:31 p.m. Presenter-led exploration of the local nighttime sky under the dome and is designed to engage all ages. lasm.org

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MONDAY BROTHER’S DAY INTERNATIONAL TIARA DAY BEDTIME STORIES. Virtual at 6 p.m. for babies through age 11. Grab your coziest pajamas and your warmest blanket. mylpl.info CHAMELEON MOSAIC MAKE & TAKE. Ascension Parish Library in Gonzales at 10:30 a.m. and at 2 p.m. in Donaldsonville. Design your own colorful chameleon mosaic. myapl.org DINOSAUR DIORAMA PACKET PICKUP. Ascension Parish Library locations, all day. Are dinosaurs your favorite? If you can’t get enough of those prehistoric beasts that once ruled the Earth, stop by

any Ascension Parish Library location for their Dinosaur Diorama Packet Pickup. myapl.org READ-TO-ME MONDAY. Virtual at 10 a.m. for babies through age 11. mylpl.info SUMMER READING KICKOFF. Watson Library at 9 a.m. The summer reading program invites adults, teens, and children to earn prizes by reading and participating in library events. mylpl.info YOUTH ON COURSE. Santa Maria Golf Course from 7:30 a.m.-noon. BREC Golf is excited to welcome new golfers ages 6-18 to the United States Tennis Association. jterry@brec.org

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TUESDAY NATIONAL MISSING CHILDREN’S DAY NATIONAL TAP DANCE DAY STAR WARS ANNIVERSARY BINGO DAY: PRESCHOOL PICTURE BINGO. Galvez Library at 2 p.m. Visit the library on Bingo Day and win some cool prizes while playing Bingo. Registration required. myapl.org CASA ORIENTATION. Virtual orientation at noon. Community volunteers are needed for Capital Area CASA to continue serving every child. The first step to becoming a CASA volunteer is to attend a 30-minute virtual orientation. casabr.org DANDELION EMBROIDERY 20-SOMETHINGS GRAB & GEAUX PROJECT. Fairwood Branch Library, while supplies last. Adults ages 1830ish are invited to pick up a free Grab & Geaux kit, packed with

items needed to craft a dandelion embroidery. ebrpl.com SUMMER READING KICKOFF. Livingston South Library at 9 a.m. The summer reading program invites adults, teens, and children to earn prizes by reading and participating in library events. mylpl.info VIRTUAL CRAFTS. Virtual at 10 a.m. Pick up a curbside craft kit, then join the library online to complete the craft. mylpl.info

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WEDNESDAY WORLD OTTER DAY SUMMER READING KICKOFF. Main Library in Livingston at 9 a.m. The summer reading program invites adults, teens, and children to earn prizes by reading and participating in library events. mylpl.info WACKY WIGGLE WEDNESDAY. Virtual at 10 a.m. Join the library for a fun and creative virtual program for children ages 0-11 and their caregivers. mylpl.org

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THURSDAY BINGO DAY: PRESCHOOL PICTURE BINGO. Gonzales Library at 2 p.m. Visit the library on Bingo Day and win some cool prizes while playing Bingo. Registration required. myapl.org CHAMELEON MOSAIC MAKE & TAKE. Dutchtown Library 6 p.m. Design your own colorful chameleon mosaic. myapl.org PUFFY PAINT WINDOW CLINGS PACKET PICKUP. Ascension Parish Libraries, all day. Receive puffy paint, wax


paper, and templates to copy. When your cling dries, you can place it on a mirror or window and act like you’re wearing mustaches or an animal face. myapl.org SUMMER READING KICKOFF. Albany-Springfield Library at 9 a.m. The summer reading program invites adults, teens, and children to earn prizes by reading and participating in library events. mylpl.info

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FRIDAY FREE FRIDAY NIGHTS. LSU Museum of Art from 5-8 p.m. lsumoa.org JAZZ LISTENING ROOM: DR. CHARLES BROOKS. Chorum Hall at 7:30 p.m. Charles Brooks, DMA is a professional jazz vibraphonist, percussionist, hand drummer, pianist, clinician, composer, and educator in Baton Rouge. bontempstix.com SCENIC SONGS: OFF THE STAGE. Virtual at 10 a.m. Join the library for a concert created to bring the joy and fun of opera and musical theater from the homes of local artists directly to yours. mylpl.info SUMMER KICK-OFF. Istrouma Baptist Church from 6-8 p.m. Istrouma Missions is partnering with Joni & Friends of Louisiana to host a Summer Kick-Off for families and individuals with special needs or disabilities. facebook.com TALES OF MUSIC THROUGH TIME: THE HISTORY OF BLUES IN AMERICA. Virtual at 7 p.m. for ages 12+. Four part virtual concert. Discover the history,

influence and social impact of American blues music through songs, stories and historical facts. mylpl.info

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SATURDAY ABC GOLDFISH PACKET PICKUP. All Ascension Libraries, while supplies last. Stop by any Ascension Parish Library location to pick up an ABC Goldfish packet containing Goldfish Crackers and alphabet cards. Practice tracing letters with Goldfish Crackers and then enjoy them as a tasty snack. myapl.org BASIC WOODWORKING: BUILD A TOOL TOTE. West Baton Rouge Museum from 9 a.m.-noon. Each participant in the class will build their own tool tote while learning to use basic hand tools. Students are required to bring their own tape ruler and #2 pencils. westbatonrougemuse um.org CHAMELEON MOSAIC MAKE & TAKE. Galvez Library at 11 a.m. Design your own colorful chameleon mosaic. Using small pieces of tissue paper, peel and stick gems, and a drawing of a chameleon on a leaf, let your imagination soar while practicing your scissor and glue skills to complete this adorable mixed media artwork. Designed for ages six-eight. myapl.org HERO HUMP 2021. LSU War Memorial Tower from 5-9 a.m. HERO HUMP is a six-mile ruck march through Baton Rouge, carrying over 11,000 flags representing Louisiana’s fallen heroes from the Revolutionary War to present day. As they make their

way down the streets of the Garden District, to Downtown, along the levee of the Mississippi River, and lastly to the Capital Gardens of the Louisiana State Capitol, they pay homage to those that have given it all and celebrate their lives in the company of our brothers- and sisters-in-arms. facebook.com MEMORIAL DAY GARDEN OF FLAGS AND CEREMONY. Louisiana State Capitol at 7:30 a.m. Volunteers will be planting 11,000 American flags and reading the names of the fallen from 9/11 to present day. The flags will be carried in by the For Our Fallen organization which consists of active and former military members. Line the street in front of the State Capitol to welcome the Heroes Hump carrying the flags. The Opening Ceremony will begin approximately at 9 a.m., followed by the planting of the flags. facebook.com RED STICK FARMERS MARKET. 501 Main Street from 8 a.m.-noon. Shop directly with local farmers, fishers, and food artisans for locally-grown fruits and vegetables, seafood, meat, plants, baked goods, and dairy products. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, and local shopping. redstickfarmersmarket. org RE-ENTRY LEGAL CLINICS WITH SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA LEGAL SERVICES. EBR Main Library at 10 a.m. Attorneys will be available to cover topics including public benefits like disability and Medicaid, driver’s license reinstatement, family law and child support, consumer issues, landlord/

Virtual at 6 p.m. for tenant issues, TWIC, babies through age 11. and traffic tickets. Grab your coziest paja(225) 436-5716. mas and your warmest SATURDAY STARGAZblanket. Storytime helps ING. Irene W. Penningdevelop pre-reading ton Planetarium at the skills while children and Louisiana Art & Science their caregivers have Museum at 10 a.m. Join lots of fun. mylpl.info them under the dome READ-TO-ME MONand learn about the DAY. Virtual at 10 a.m. stars and constellations for babies through age in the local nighttime 11. Storytime helps desky during the interacvelop pre-reading skills tive presentation. Then, while children and their sit back for a featured caregivers have lots of show for all ages. fun! mylpl.info Collect a new constellation trading card each Saturday. lasm.org WOMEN’S SELF DEFENSE CLASS. 9681 Airline Highway from 9-10:30 p.m. This class is meant for women and girls ages 13 and up to help teach basic self-defense skills. They will be going over techniques that focus on real-life NTS situations that @BRPARE may come up and how to defend yourself. Fee is $20-25. facebook.com

MORE EVENTS

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SUNDAY TRINITY DAY SUNDAY STARGAZING. Irene W. Pennington Planetarium at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum at 3:31 p.m. Sunday Stargazing is a presenter-led exploration of the local nighttime sky under the dome and is designed to engage all ages, even adults. lasm.org

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MONDAY MEMORIAL DAY BEDTIME STORIES.

Editor’s Note Occasionally the date or location of an event may change after publication. Always phone ahead or check website to confirm important information. Submissions Baton Rouge Parents Magazine welcomes submissions of events of interest to families. Send all calendar submissions to calendar@brparents. com. Include dates, times, location with address, recommended ages, cost, public phone number, and photos. Deadline Submit information for the June calendar by May 10, 2021. No part of this calendar can be reproduced in print or web.

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IN EVERY ISSUE

marketplace MAKE IT YOUR BUSINESS TO KNOW THEIR BUSINESS (225) 292-0032

1-800-273-TALK

STOP! Domestic Violence

HELP SUPPORT SAFETY FOR WOMEN & CHILDREN IN THE CAPITAL AREA

Battered Women’s Program

CAFVIC

P.O. Box 52809 BR, LA 70892 | www.STOPDV.org 24-hour Hotline: (225) 389-3001 (800) 541-9706 Capital Area Family Violence Intervention Center B R PA R E N T S . C O M | M AY 2 0 2 1

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the last word

PODCAST

The Dos and Don’ts of Mother’s Day BY CATE HADLEY

As a new mother, I was unbelievably excited for my first Mother’s Day. After nearly a year of sleepless nights, dirty diapers, and leaking ladies, a day to revel in my superhero status was just what the doctor ordered.

U

N F O RT U NAT E LY, my husband didn’t get the memo. There was no parade or statues erected in my honor. I didn’t even get a key to the city. Instead, I got a blender. It wasn’t exactly his fault. His father had always handled Mother’s Day, buying gifts from the kids and sending his mom to the spa. Even as an adult, the extent of his Mother’s Day experience was signing a card and staying out of the way.

Do take care of the house. For this one day, take on all the household chores she normally handles–clean the kitchen, pick up after the kids, and tackle the laundry (wash and fold). Under no circumstances should you ask how to fold a fitted sheet or where to find the broom. How long have you lived here? Moms: You’ll now have plenty of free time. Spend it binging your favorite show, reading a new book, or solving world hunger. And don’t worry–nobody knows how to fold a fitted sheet.

But still. A blender.

Do help the kids give their own gifts. She’ll feel the love and it will prepare your kids for nailing future Mother’s Day gifts of their own. Moms: One week. That’s how long those cheesy projects must hang on the fridge before they can be quietly shifted to the attic memory box.

Luckily, he has since improved his Mother’s Day game–and your partner can do the same. Before Mother’s Day dawns this year, slip him this helpful list of Dos and Don’ts to guarantee yourself the royal treatment. Because I know it’s hard to step out of your mom shoes, I’ve also included some tips for you! DO Do let her sleep in. Your first act of the day should be to sneak out, quietly feed the family, and threaten everyone in the house with dish duty if they so much as sneeze loudly. When she wakes, present her with offerings of fresh coffee and a breakfast she didn’t have to cook (or clean–I guess they get dish duty after all). Moms: Even if you’re an early riser, savor waking slowly. Scroll through social media, watch a morning talk show, or sip an entire cup of coffee without a single stupid question. It’s much sweeter that way. Do corral the kids. Take them to the park, go out for ice cream, or spend some time with the grandparents. Whatever you choose, be sure it gives mom some extended kid-free time that doesn’t include the children yelling at her through the bathroom door. Moms: Don’t call, text, or otherwise check-in during your alone time. Even if he’s completely inept, let them bond together while you bond with a large glass of wine. 76

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DON’T Don’t give her any type of appliance. A new vacuum, washing machine, or clothes iron are never acceptable Mother’s Day gifts, even if she’s mentioned needing one. This is not how you say “I love and appreciate you.” This is how you get sent to the dog house, and it’s definitely not clean there. Moms: Be direct. “Honey, I’d like a year-long maid service for Mother’s Day” is a lot harder to misunderstand than “Gosh, I sure wish these floors would vacuum themselves.” Don’t take her to brunch. Every forgetful father will be taking their family to a last-minute brunch, so dining rooms will be full of kids and chaos–and she can get that at home. Instead, order in her favorite meal or plan a cocktail date with her fellow mom friends. Moms: Feel free to plan your own Mother’s Day Out with your friends. This will take the pressure off the men and guarantee you get a Happy Hour you’ll actually enjoy rather than one at your local sports bar. Don’t leave the toilet seat up. This one needs no explanation. Moms: There’s no advice here. They’re going to do it anyway. ■


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snapshots

ASHLYN S.

Spring has officially sprung here in Baton Rouge and no one is more excited about it than sweet Ashlyn!

LEGEND A. WANT TO SEE YOUR CHILD’S PICTURE HERE? 78

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MAISYN

EVIE B.

Go to brparents.com and click on the “UPLOAD SNAPSHOTS” button to submit photo(s). All photos must be at least 5MB in size, and photos are chosen at random. Photos become property of Baton Rouge Parents Magazine, a division of Family Resource Group Inc.


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Baton Rouge Parents Magazine- May 2021  

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