Page 1


sanity for sleepless mommies


pampering for preggos

 

how to plan a

College Fund p.15


School Choices Public, private or homeschool


is right


for you


to prepare your child for

Back-to-School 2012



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Josie NeJame with daughters going into kindergarten & 1st grade



and how to get your kids to

eat them

Tree of Life

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Maggie brings 14 years of doula and hypnobirth experience.

photography by

Kaleen Richards, CNM, ARNP 819 East First Street, Suite 4 Sanford, FL 32771

Maggie McCarthy, LM, CPM, Doula


You focus on the moment.

Having a baby is a cherished journey. At

The Baby Place, our obstetricians, neonatologists and experienced nurses are your par tners beside you every step of the way. Should the need arise, our NICU is here to care for babies who require a helping hand. From labor and pain management decisions to your favorite food and even a special Relaxation lounge— our Bir th Experience Team will take care of every detail of your bir th wishes, so you can enjoy the moment .

We’ll focus on everything else.

For a personalized tour or to learn more about our physicians call the Birth Experience Team at (407) 646-7200 or visit Amy Smith Photography

The Baby Place at Winter Park Memorial Hospital Central Florida’s Only Boutique Hospital for Women and Babies Expectant mothers in Winter Park and the surrounding area have an ultra-exclusive choice when deciding where to deliver – The Baby Place at Winter Park Memorial Hospital. It’s a place where every moment of every day centers around making Mom feel comfortable and pampered as she embarks on life’s greatest milestone.

Experienced, Compassionate Doctors and Nurses Moms want to know they are in the best hands while they celebrate the long-awaited arrival of their babies. The team of obstetricians, neonatologists, perinatologists, anesthesiologists and nurses at The Baby Place are known for their experience and expertise as well as their wonderful bedside manner.

Extraordinary Care for Extraordinary Babies Occasionally, there are times when babies need an extra level of care. Should those needs arise, The Baby Place’s Neonatal Intentive Care Unit (NICU) has a world-class team available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These professionals are focused entirely on the care of critically ill infants so the family can be confident their baby is in the best of hands.

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on The Baby Place’s page. Pregnancy is a 40-week adventure with highs, lows, cravings and crib shopping. And no matter what you need, nothing compares to the real story told by a real Mommy-to-be. That’s why The Baby Place launched a blog – a daily journal of one woman’s exhilarating trek from baby bump to bringing baby home. Visit to follow our blogger. VISIT


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10 BENTO BOXES Adding creativitity to lunchtime!

babyourself back-to-school 2012

Bring out your creative side with a one-of-a-kind



The Back-to-School Issue




Special Features

10 – Bento Boxes - Creative way to pack your childs lunch! 16 – School Choices - Public, private or home school . . . which is right for you?

19 – Preparing your child for kindergarten - We asked

kindergarten teachers; here’s what they told us!

For the Preggos & Mommies

20 – Work hard to make time to play - The FASHION One dress, two looks! Easy tips to go from a field trip to date night!

importance of playtime

23 – Fashion Double Take - Easy style for the busy

mom. Take a dress from day to night.

25 – Art of Homemaking - DIY t-shirt tutorial! 28 – Move of the Month - Back and abs 30 – Facebook, Twitter and blogging during birth

Keeping birth intimate during a time of social networking

Expert Advice

12 – Ask the Pediatrician - How can I get my

children to eat their veggies?

15 – Career Momma - Tips to plan for your

children’s educational investment

ON THE COVER Super mom Josie NeJame together with her two daughters, Valentina and Alessandra. When she’s not running the girls to school, Josie is the president of Runway To Hope, a charity which benefits pediatric cancer. Runway To Hope Champagne Brunch & Fashion Show September 9, 2012 | from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm | Mall at Millenia Photography by The Nielsens Photography & Design

Styling by Lilly Pultizer, Winter Park, FL

“How can I get my kids to eat their veggies???”


Move of the Month





Are you ready?

Volume 3, Issue 4 ~

With three children going into 7th, 6th and 4th grade, you might think I have the back-to-school thing figured out! However, I’m actually a bit nervous about the upcoming school year.

For the past eight years, my kids have gone to a very small, private school. This year they will be going to rather large public schools (by choice). They are just as worried about all the unknowns as I am, but one thing we do know is that we will have many opportunities to grow during this change. In this issue, our aim is to help you prepare for whatever stage you may be in for “back to school.” We have some cute ways to pack your child’s lunchbox (p. 10), great tips for starting a college fund (p. 15), an informative school choices article that provides a look into public, private and homeschooling options (p. 16), and helpful tips to get your child ready for kindergarten (p. 19). We hope these articles help you feel a little more prepared for the school year!






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Search for giveaways in our timeline and/or in photos.

“Like” the specific post or photo!


EDITOR IN CHIEF kristi corley

EDITORS jennifer hatcher elisabeth myrick

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS greg gordon, m.d. kelly greenwood

Plus, we’ve got some great giveaways in this issue too! Winning them is as EASY as 1-2-3!


Back-to-School 2012

jennifer hatcher vickie myers elisabeth myrick Keep an eye out for our

kaleen richards


courtney schmidt megan smith jackie vega

It’s that easy! Like, find, like! All winners will be chosen through And speaking of Facebook, we love hearing from you! Recently, Veronica wrote,

katie miller witter

PHOTOGRAPHY elisabeth nixon photography the nielsens photography & design

Have you had any articles on car seat safety tips? - Veronica M.


We haven’t, but it’s been one of those “we should talk about that” topics! Thanks for the question! - babyourself

andy corley

Awesome! I keep seeing friends’ pictures of their kids with loose straps or low clips and I would love to be able to pass an article along generally to raise awareness of what the safest ways to buckle are. Call me conflict avoidant! lol -Veronica M.

So here’s what we are working on for our next issue! * Car seat safety and installation * On-the-go products * Pregnancy Fall fashion! To advertise in

Kristi Corley

call 321-696-3962 or email

editor in chief

P.S. How savvy is your toddler with an iPad or smartphone? babyourself and Dr. Gordon are conducting a survey! To participate, visit!


8 • Back-to-School 2012


(both magazine and online)




We asked some of our

One of babyourself ’s newest contributing writers, Megan Smith shares, “We have been blessed with the opportunity to send our boys to a nationally top-rated private school at a great price. We planned to send our boys to public school, but the chance to send them to an excellent private school was one we couldn’t pass up. If you have ever thought private school was financially out of reach for your family, don’t! Most private schools have amazing scholarship programs.”

“What type of school have you chosen for your kids this year?”

“We homeschool because we are self-employed, and it gives us far more flexibility and time for our family.” Cristy Nielsen, photographer

“My daughter, who’s two and-a-half, attends a Mom’s Day Out program at a church near my work. She loves her teachers, and she loves getting to play with kids her own age.” Courtney Schmidt, My Illuminate Blog writer “We're planning to continue homeschooling this year. The boys and I love learning together and enjoying the special activities that we use to enhance their learning!” Kim Daniels, writer

Our Ask the Doc pediatrician, Dr Gordon shares that he has four in public school, one homeschooler and one in preschool. Greg Gordon, Ask the Doc writer

“I grew up in public schools, my husband in private schools and we had our daughter in a private school for her first few years (pre-K3 & 4). This year (as well as last year), both my son and daughter (4 & 6 years respectively) will be going to public school. We have not found our niche within the Florida school system quite yet.” Jackie Vega, Babyourself ’s Move of the Month writer

Photographer Elisabeth Nixon shares, “We had a great year at private school last year and ultimately decided to stay there another year. We considered homeschooling, more for the ability to have a flexible schedule. My husband travels a lot and we could use that time to travel as a family and expand our horizons a bit, if you will.” • Back-to-School 2012


babyourself FOOD

BACK-TO-SCHOOL LUNCH School lunches have become

as boring for me to make as they are for my kids to eat. My new school year resolution is to make my children’s lunches more exciting, enjoyable and healthy. I have found Bento boxes to be a good solution for any mom who regularly makes school lunches. Here are some places to find Bento boxes: • World Market • Target • • (I found lots of different color choices!) • Pottery Barn Kids

GIVEAWAY! Go to for your chance to win one of these Bento boxes!

10 • Back-to-School 2012

+ CREATIVITY = by Vickie Myers | Photography by Elisabeth Nixon Photography

お弁当 Bento Boxes! Bento is the Japanese

way of making a packaged lunch. Made out of plastic, ceramic or stainless steel, Bentos come in all shapes and sizes. Many have stacked layers or tiers, and they may have compartments on each layer. A common practice when packing Bento boxes is to create shapes and characters out of the food -- for example, making a hotdog into an octopus or using shaped cutters when cutting veggies, fruit or sandwiches. But Bentos are not just for kids! Anyone can enjoy a Bento-style lunch. And don’t forget to include a note - it will make lunch extra-special for your child or spouse! • Back-to-School 2012


babyourself ASK THE DOC

How can I get my children to eat their veggies? A

by Dr. Gregory Gordon

s a child, I was the picky eater of our family. My parents often joke that I survived my early years thanks to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And when dating my wife, my parents chuckled as they watched her serve me previously taboo veggies (like green peppers). It’s funny how, given the right motivation, veggies really are “not that bad!” When I discuss fruit and veggie intake with patients, parents often report that when their child tries to eat vegetables that he gags or even vomits. This is 100 percent psychological and ultimately is a behavioral problem. If you let this behavior dissuade you from serving a healthy diet, then your child’s diet and resistance will only worsen. For many parents, the answer to this is to sneak vegetables into your child’s food. While I am not against it, this can’t be the only approach.

12 • Back-to-School 2012

Eventually, your children will learn there is no tooth fairy and that mommy is putting broccoli in the muffins. The goal is to establish a healthy lifestyle for your children that will last a lifetime. This can only be accomplished if your child is aware of what they are eating. Like most parents, I wanted my children to adopt better eating habits. Fortunately, my children are great eaters, in large part, thanks to my wife. I marvel when my four year old asks for seconds of asparagus or when the whole clan looks forward to artichoke night. So how did we do it? By setting a good example and through good old-fashioned persistence.

Four ideas to improve your family’s vegetable intake


1. Serve Them As parents, we often get tired of having our child throw food away or cry about what is on their plates. If you want your child to eat healthy foods, you must repetitively present them with healthy foods. You must set a good example and eat your own fruits and veggies. So where do you start? Complete the sentence – “I would just be happy if he ate ________.” Pick one fruit and one veggie and serve it over and over. For lunch and dinner. Most of us do not want for dinner what we had for lunch. Children are different. Most kids would prefer to eat the

same foods over and over. So if you want them to eat it – serve it and keep serving it. By setting a good example and recurrently presenting them with fruits and veggies, you can help your children adopt a healthy diet.

2. Serve Veggies as Appetizers Try cutting up an apple (or another fruit or veggie) right before lunch. Call everyone to the table and ask what they would like to eat. While you prepare lunch, your children should wait at the table, with the fruit siting in front of them. Just like the chips at a Mexican restaurant – they’re gonna eat them. At dinnertime cut up fruit or raw veggies and leave them on the kitchen countertop. As the smell of dinner cooking fills the house, and kids looking for a snack drift into the kitchen, encourage them to chomp on a few veggies or a piece of fruit. Mixed veggie trays are often a big hit. Try serving cut up carrots, celery, red pepper or broccoli with ranch dressing. Some kids just like to dip!

3. Make Veggies the Key to Dessert We’ve adjusted this rule in our house to: You have to eat your vegetables to get dessert. This rule is best for children three years old and up. Here’s what works for us:

Make a variety of cookie doughs and save them in the freezer in family sized servings. Before dinner, have your child help you place the cookie dough on the pan and explain that everyone who eats their broccoli will get to have a cookie. Serve your child a tiny piece of broccoli. Remind your child of the rule only once or twice toward the end of the meal. If your child does not eat his broccoli, then plates are cleared and the child must sit at the table and watch everyone else eat their cookies. For this approach to work, the child will have to fail at least once or twice. It is important that you declare the end of the meal and proceed with dessert. The child cannot be allowed to try again after the meal has ended or this will happen recurrently and your meals will drag on forever.

4. Plant a Garden The fall is a great time to start planning a garden. Children who grow veggies are more likely to eat them. I recommend planting something that they can eat straight from the garden or on the dinner table such as grape tomatoes or snap peas. Avoid the use of chemicals so your kids can eat the vegetables right after they are picked. Be the person you want your children to become. If you want your children to adopt a healthy lifestyle, then you need to demonstrate one: take care of yourself, exercise and eat your veggies. by

Do you have a question for Dr. Gordon? VISIT,, LIKE and ASK!

Dr. Gregory Gordon grew up in Gainesville, Florida. He attended the University of Florida for both his undergraduate and medical degrees. After he completed his pediatric residency at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, he joined Pediatric Associates of Orlando. Dr. Gordon is the proud father of seven children. He is the Vice President of the “The Gift of Swimming” (a local charity that provides swim lessons to Orlando’s needy children). In early 2010, encouraged by his patients, he started to share some of his pediatric and parenting experience. • Back-to-School 2012


14 • Back-to-School 2012



Career Momma

by advice from our

Inv e sting in you r c hi ld’s ed u c at ion A big concern for many parents is the rising cost of college tuition – not for themselves, but for their children. Where will tuition prices be 5, 10, or for brand new parents, 18 years from now?

On average, parents with visions of college degrees dancing in their heads should be prepared to face a bill of $232,000 (inflationadjusted in 2011 dollars) for an average-priced, four-year private college, and nearly $81,000 at an average-priced public university. If you compared those prices to today’s tuition bills, they are a whopping 111 percent and 167 percent higher, respectively. These prices are staggering for many families. A college education is a large investment, but historically produces high returns. According to information released by the U.S. Census Bureau in February 2012, workers with a college degree earned nearly twice as much as those without one in 2009. Today, two-thirds of American students will attend some type of post-secondary school, making higher education the norm, not the exception. However, 70 percent of students emerge with student loan debt, and they are finding that debt harder than ever to pay off. How can parents help offset these soaring costs? Here are a few tips to evaluate the costs, as well as the returns, of higher education, and to take appropriate steps to invest in your child’s eduction.

1. Plan ahead

The sooner you can start

saving, the better, when you factor in compound interest and the tax benefits of college savings accounts.

2. Registry for relatives

Despite the benefits of saving early, the demand for savings comes just as most families are facing multiple expenses. Saving for retirement (which should be a top priority), paying for childcare, and providing shelter, healthcare, transportation and good nutrition for your expanding family, all take a toll on parents' ability to save. Instead of relatives buying more toys, ask them to contribute to your little one’s college fund.

3. Secure the family's


The best gift we as parents can give our children

is to ensure that we don’t run out of money and become a burden on them. While it's best to avoid debt, one can repay education loans – but we cannot borrow to fund our living expenses in retirement. Ensure your debts are paid off and you are contributing appropriately to your retirement funds before investing in your child’s education.

4. College savings


Choosing the right college savings account can feel overwhelming with so many options and unique sets of complex rules. Consider 529 College Savings Plans, Prepaid Tuition Plans, and/or Coverdell Education Savings Accounts. Discuss with your financial adviser which one is most appropriate for you.

5. Scholarships and

financial aid

If your child is preparing

to head to college in the next few years, start researching every scholarship and/or financial aid option they may qualify for, and apply. It can be difficult to balance short– and long-term financial goals, but an abundance of information, individualized savings plans, and financial aid, coupled with prudent advice, are available to help you tackle the soaring cost of tuition. Before deciding on the route to take to save for your child’s future education, parents must first develop a solid financial plan and prioritize their goals so they know what it will take to achieve them. You reap what you sow. Sow wisely.

Katie Miller Witter, co-owner of Financial Harvest Wealth Advisors, a Registered Investment Advisor Firm located in Winter Park, has more than 10 years of investment advisory experience and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP®) Candidate and CERTIFIED SUCCESSION PLANNER™. She obtained her Bachelors of Science in Business Finance & Marketing from the University of Florida and her Masters of Business Administration from the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College. She serves on the Crummer Alumni Board, Downtown Orlando YMCA Board, and is a graduate of Leadership Winter Park and Leadership Orlando. Katie is married and lives with her husband, David, and son Will, in Winter Park, Florida. Katie can be reached at 407.937.0707 or

School Choices Public, Private or Homeschool?

By Jennifer Hatcher Photography by The Nielsens Photography & Design


grew up in a fairly small town during a time when homeschooling was neither popular nor widely accepted. When it came time for me to begin kindergarten, my parents registered me at the closest elementary school and I excitedly climbed on the long, dieselscented, yellow school bus in early September to join all the other children my age at public

16 • Back-to-School 2012

school. There was no long deliberation about what form of education would be best for me. Public school essentially was the only choice. Things sure have changed since then! Now, we have so many options for educating our children. And with all these choices, it’s never too early to begin to research and examine the opportunities. Parents have three main options for schooling – public school, private school, and homeschool. But under each of those large umbrellas, there are a vast array of choices, each with its own benefits and drawbacks.

Public School Just as my parents did with me, many families choose to register their children at the neighborhood public school for which they are zoned. It’s free, and the teachers have all been trained and certified according to state standards. Most public schools also offer gifted programs, extracurricular activities and interesting electives at little or no extra cost. And, legally, public schools must accommodate children with special needs or learning differences.

Private School Just as there are now many types of public school, there are various styles of private schools – Protestant, Catholic, military, college preparatory, Montessori, classical, and on and on. Private schools can range from $3,500 or $4,000 a year up to $16,000 or $18,000 a year. Florida does have grant-based scholarship programs for families below a certain income level and for children with special needs. Becky, who attended a private school herself, plans to send her son to a private school as well. “I feel like the teachers are much less restricted than public school teachers. They have more freedom in curriculum, and the classes are smaller and more individualized. This way I get to choose whether or not certain agendas are pushed on my child.” Shannon’s children attend a small Christian school in Virginia. She loves the school’s atmosphere of love -- “It’s like a family.” Her children have some special considerations, and she appreciates knowing that the teachers love her children and have their best interest in mind. Private school can provide a structure similar to public school, with individualized attention similar to homeschool.

Homeschool As with public school and private school, there are a myriad of ways to homeschool children. Some parents teach every subject at home; some sign their children up for classes in an umbrella school or join a homeschool co-op.

Cindy, whose three daughters attend public schools in Arizona, loves the “incredible music programs across the board, the vast selection of courses, including advanced placement classes, and the talented and dedicated faculty and staff.” Her daughters have loved the football games, the bandstand tunes, and the marching band trips to incredible places. Other options under the public school umbrella include magnet schools or charter schools. Like neighborhood public schools, these schools are free and are taught by trained, certified teachers. These public schools are often more specialized or have

a different educational philosophy or curriculum than mainstream public schools, giving them a bit of a private school feel. Erin’s children attend a Latin American Montessori Bilingual Public Charter School in the Washington, D.C. area. Since it is a Montessori school, her children are given the freedom to explore the activities that interest them in the time frame they choose. Because it is bilingual, Spanish instruction is equal to English instruction, which is important to their family because Erin’s husband is Latin American. And as a charter school, most of the parents are involved in the school and with their children’s education.

Parents can choose a boxed curriculum set from one publisher and use it for every subject, every year, or pick and choose from a variety of curriculum publishers, piecing together a curriculum tailor-made for each child. Many textbook companies also offer classes online or via DVD or CD-ROM. And the state of Florida also offers Florida Virtual School for students to take some or all of their classes online. Sarah has used Pennsylvania’s cyber charter school for the past two years. It is a free homeschool option in which the state supplies all the textbooks and a computer and even pays a portion of the family’s Internet bill. She has enjoyed the freedom of homeschooling with the structure and curriculum guide of the public school. • Back-to-School 2012


More than any other option, homeschooling gives parents the opportunity to be intricately engaged in their children’s lives and development. Linda has homeschooled her two children for nine years. “I love being involved in their lives, interests and emotions and having the ability to train them in the midst of everyday life encounters.” Many homeschool parents appreciate being able to fine tune the curriculum to each child’s individual needs. Homeschooling also offers flexibility and freedom in a family’s daily and weekly schedule. With so many educational opportunities and choices, we can decide which type of schooling fits best with our family’s priorities and with each child’s personality and needs. Some parents even choose a combination of public or private school and homeschool, sending their children to school for some subjects or to participate in organized sports and teaching some subjects at home. Putting our children on the long, yellow bus and sending them to the closest neighborhood school may be what we decide is best, but it’s not our only option.


Jennifer has homeschooled, enrolled her children in private school, homeschooled again, and is now sending her children to the closest neighborhood public school, which gives her the opportunity to ride the long, yellow bus on field trips with her kids.

ON THE COVER Josie NeJame is the President of Runway to Hope, a non-profit organization who’s mission is to serve and provide direct support to the children and families in the Central Florida community who have been impacted by pediatric cancer. Josie is a proud and devoted mother of two daughters, Valentina and Alessandra. Born in San Antonio, Texas, Josie NeJame was initially raised in Zaragoza, Spain, as her father, Art, was in the Air Force and stationed there. Eventually she relocated back to Florida, where she graduated from the University of Central Florida (UCF) with honors. While Lilly Pulitzer attending UCF, Josie also worked in an Orlando law firm during Polina Polo Dress which time she met Mark. She previously owned and managed a - Print (Kissy Pink jewelry store in Orlando and attended fashion school. With a love Tusk In Sun) $48 for fashion and style, Josie combines these with her commitment Lilly Pulitzer Bella to children with Runway To Hope. Skirt - Print (Kissy Pink Tusk In Sun) $48 Lilly Pulitzer Linzy Tee - Color (Kissy Pink) $24 Lilly Pulitzer lunch box prints Yum Yum (navy) & See You Later (pink) $20

Josie and Mark NeJame’s daughters both attend a local private school and are in Kindergarten and First Grade. Both girls were home schooled for prek3&4 by a gem of a teacher. Josie states, “I believe that her teaching gave them a solid foundation for their education. I really love that I was able to do both homeschool and private school for them. They both are loving, socially conscious, skilled and love learning new things everyday. I couldn’t be any happier with their education and joy for life. They truly are happy.”

Prepare Your Child For Kindergarten

by Jennifer Hatcher

We asked preschool and kindergarten teachers what parents can do to prepare our children for kindergarten. Here is what they told us. 1. Let your child cut with scissors. Encourage her to cut pictures from old magazines and glue them to form a collage. Give her scissors when she plays with play-dough and teach her to cut the dough into strips. 2.

Offer your child various writing utensils – colored pencils, markers, crayons, pens, highlighters – to keep writing and drawing fun and interesting.


Count out loud often. Count pretzels and crackers at snack time. Count toys as you clean the playroom. Count cars on the highway.


After you count, compare groups – which has more? Which has fewer?

5. Sort objects. Sort socks by color or size. Sort silverware as you unload the dishwasher. Sort toys by color as you clean up. Sort coins.


Review shapes and colors as you look at books or items on the grocery store shelf. Play “I Spy” using shapes and colors as you wait for your meal at a restaurant or as you wait in the doctor’s office.

7. Play “Simon Says” with two or three-step instructions. Simon says jump up and down and clap your hands! Or Simon says stomp your feet, clap your hands and shout Hooray!


Play rhyming games.

9. Practice letter sounds and begin to point out the sounds words start with. 10.

Notice letters everywhere – on signs, in books, on cereal boxes.

11. As you read, run your fingers along under the words so your child can begin to understand that words go from left to right and top to bottom. 12.

Play games with alphabet refrigerator magnets. Practice naming each letter and the sound it makes.


Teach your child to recognize his name and then to write his name. Let him practice often. Teach him to use all lower case letters, except for the first letter.


Give your child plenty of opportunities to interact with other children – play groups, play dates, church, preschool – so he learns to take turns, treat others nicely, listen to others and share.


Teach your child how to express his feelings in words. Practice feeling words.


Have your child dress him or herself. Let him zip his own jacket and fasten his own jeans.

17. Make sure your child can go to the bathroom completely independently – wiping, flushing and washing/drying hands. 18.

Practice tying shoes.


Read, read, read! Every day.

One kindergarten teacher said, “We are going to be teaching colors and shapes and letters anyway, so I don’t care if you teach those things. But please teach your child to wipe his own bottom and tie his own shoes. Those are the things that interrupt instructional time.

Please, please, please teach your child to go to the bathroom on his own and to tie his own shoes.” • Back-to-School 2012


By Courtney Schmidt

Work Hard to

Make Time for


s our lazy, summer days drift slowly out of reach and we begin to gear up for another year of carpooling, science fairs, sports practice and field trips, it can all start to feel a little overwhelming. We no longer begin our mornings by envisioning all the possibilities for a beautiful, sunny day; instead we’re waking up wondering how we can possibly juggle everything we need to accomplish. But, as our calendars fill with academic and extracurricular activities for our kids, there’s one important thing to keep in mind:

Don’t forget to let them play! For many adults, playing is perceived as more of a luxury than a necessity in life. Who has the time? But for children, playtime is a crucial aspect of healthy development. As parents, we seek to prepare our children for a successful future, and it’s easy to get preoccupied with organized activities aimed at developing their academic or athletic abilities. And while there is nothing wrong with sports practices, dance rehearsals or piano lessons, it’s the unstructured time where children are allowed to run free, express their creativity, release their pent-up energy and exercise their individual strengths and interests that is essential. It’s also increasingly common for children to spend the majority of their free time enjoying television or online entertainment. While these things can be beneficial parts of healthy development, we must also balance them with active play to foster a child’s well-being.

Social and emotional development My toddler is just beginning to explore baby dolls. When she discovered that she could pretend to be Mommy by changing her baby’s diaper and feeding the baby with a bottle, she beamed with pride. And she giggles with excitement as she wanders the house, tools in hand, to “fix” things just like Daddy. When children are allowed to direct their own play, they use imagination and role-play to explore the adult world. Play can provide an avenue for children to communicate their understanding of their environment, and it is a necessary tool for developing emotional and social intelligence. As they learn to share with other children or decide who gets to play teacher or negotiate how

One of the most important things we as parents can do to prepare them is to encourage and protect their opportunities for play. long they spend building Lego masterpieces before they move on to hide-andseek, they practice the art of building and maintaining relationships. These activities also give them the opportunity to discover their own unique interests and abilities while they exercise decision-making skills, too.

Intellectual growth Child-directed play complements intellectual growth as well. Through play, children can learn leadership skills, problem solving



and group dynamics. Their language skills improve as they talk with one another. Games teach them how to interpret and follow directions while practicing vital skills such as mathematics and memorization. As they play, they learn to use their mind to successfully navigate through their world.

Physical health In a society where obesity is an epidemic, the benefit of physical activity can’t be understated. Passive entertainment such as televisions and computers are a powerful draw for children. Active play, however, contributes to the building of healthy bodies. Play can also provide a physical outlet that children often need in school to help improve focus and attention span. The ultimate goal in parenting is to produce healthy, well-rounded, resilient children who are well-equipped to enter the adult world. One of the most important things we as parents can do to prepare them is to encourage and protect their opportunities for play. As an added benefit, our children receive the gift of wonderful memories and simple joys that are often only experienced in childhood.

Courtney Schmidt is a pharmacist and writer at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. She received her doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of Florida in 2006. Courtney is passionate about equipping parents with the best possible health information to help them raise healthy, thriving children. She is also Mommy to a 2-year-old little girl, Avery. For more of her insight into raising healthy kids, visit


What my clients say I do

What (some) OBs think I do

What I really do

Providing informational, physical, and emotional support – before, during and after you have your baby.


Kristi Corley - certified doula CD(DONA)

Voted Best of Orlando specializing in pediatric and women’s care Treating neurological disorders in both children and adults, Pediatric Neurology, PA is devoted to our patients’ health and well being.

There are many medications used to treat neurological conditions in women that are NOT safe during pregnancy! As a female neurologist Dr. Taylor understands women’s issues in Neurology. She specializes in the treatment of Epilepsy and Seizures as well as Migraine Headaches and other general neurologic conditions.

Dr. Denise S. Taylor, D.O.

Neurology & Epilepsy Center of Central Florida

(407) 781-0660

Accepts Most Insurance Affiliated with Orlando Health System • Back-to-School 2012



Shear Bliss

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After a day spent buzzing around town running errands, getting primped for an evening out may seem like a chore -- but not anymore! With a structured staple dress, it is oh-so-simple to transform your outfit from day to night! Just swap out your shoes for a totally refreshed look! For daytime, an oversized, classic gold watch keeps you stylish and on schedule and a few gold bangles add extra flair. Layering necklaces is an easy way to eliminate decision making in the morning – the more the merrier. The fedora is the ultimate disguise for any less-than-perfect hair days you may encounter.

Fuchsia Dress $29.99 (Sophie & Trey) Fedora $14.99 Cat-eye sunglasses $9.99 Gold Watch $29.99 (Sophie & Trey) Black Thin Bangle $9.99 Gold Glitter Bangle $9.99 Studded Bag $59.99 All other items featured in this look are from 4th & Ocean

Beaded sandals $38.99

Studded Bangle $9.99

Cobalt Pendant $16.99

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Ease into the evening by adding a bright blazer for a colorblocked look. with sparkly accessories to amp up your attire. Accenting touches in white keep you looking crisp and trendy for summertime. Trade in the fedora for a messy bun, and let a pair of shimmering earrings take center stage! Think you’ll break the bank? Not with these looks – almost every item featured is under $40! Be fashion-forward while keeping your wallet full with incredible styles. Day to night made easy!

Fuchsia Dress $29.99 Scarlet Blazer $34.99 White Clutch $32.99 All items featured in this look are from Sophie & Trey

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T-Shirt Tutorial



Back-to-school shopping is a tricky one for this mom of three boys. I love all the adorable shirts with quirky pictures, but unfortunately my boutique taste doesn’t always line up with my box store budget. Because of this dichotomy, I have been forced to find a way to have my cake and eat it too. The answer: freezer paper stencils. Since my 9-year-old was a little tyke, I have been designing his t-shirts. As he grows out of them, I tuck them away in a box as a sentimental keepsake instead of passing them along to his two younger brothers. Each boy gets his own mommy designed shirts based on his interests at the time: camping, pirates, science, yo-yo’s. Looking through those old shirts is like looking through a scrapbook. Oh, how I love it! While using freezer paper to create stencils for shirts isn't a new technique, and I certainly can't stake claim to it, I can say with nearly a decade of practice, I am a freezer paper stencil expert. And with a few simple steps, you can design Cut this page out, and use instructions and make t-shirts for your little one’s backfrom the reverse side to make to-school wardrobe. your own t-shirts!

Freezer Paper StencilTutorial What You'll Need:

* Design to stencil. The sky's the limit here! * Freezer paper (Look for it near the plastic wrap at the grocery store.) * Craft knife * Small craft cutting mat or a kitchen cutting board * Piece of cardboard * Paint (Fabric paint is great, but I have had good success with cheap craft paint too.) * Paint brushes (I prefer 1/4 flat artist paint brush.) * Iron and ironing board

6. Once the shirt cools, get out those paints and get to work! If you are trying to cover a really large surface area with paint, use a wide foam brush, otherwise a 1/4 flat artist paint brush works great! Sandwich your cardboard piece inside the shirt to prevent the paint from bleeding onto the back of your shirt.

7. When painting, work in layers. Don't glob a bunch of paint on your shirt the first run through. Just get enough going to put a thin layer on the fabric. Start from the freezer paper and work toward the fabric.... Once you have a good, thin layer of paint, set the shirt aside to dry completely. When dry, add a second coat. I usually don’t do a third coat, as the paint starts getting a little thick and could crack over time. 8.

Now for the fun part! After the paint is completely dry, start peeling off the paper. You can’t reuse it (unfortunately) so don’t worry about being super careful. Sometimes with the pesky detailed pieces of freezer paper that are completely covered in paint, I use the tip of the craft knife to snag up the edge of the paper and take it off.


Prewash your material. Whether a canvas tote, pillowcase or t-shirt, you want to make sure you are using a freshly laundered surface and that any shrinking that might happen on its first wash is already out of its system.

2. Cut a piece of freezer paper slightly larger than the area that you plan to cover on the shirt (or bag...I’ll keep saying shirt for the purpose of the tutorial but just fill in the blank with whatever you are making).

9. Once all the freezer paper is off you can heat set it with a low iron. I usually take a towel and sandwich it between the shirt and iron or I turn the shirt inside out. I'm not keen on getting the iron in direct contact with the fresh paint. 10.

Voila!! On to the next one ... it’s kind of addicting!

Draw a design or print an image online and trace it onto the paper side (not the slick side!) of the freezer paper. You can use pencil or pen, it doesn’t matter. Feel free to get detailed. But remember, each detail will need to be cut out ... so only bite off what you are willing to chew!


After choosing your image, use the craft knife to carefully cut out all the pieces. I usually start with the smallest details first and after cutting, put them into a plastic bag so I don’t lose any! Then I work my way outward to the largest piece. You can use both the inner and outer pieces to make a regular and a reverse image (two shirts out of one design essentially), so cut carefully!


Once everything is cut, take your biggest piece and lay it on the shirt exactly where you want it with the waxy side down. Have your iron heated to medium (no steam) and iron the stencil onto the shirt all the way around, making sure every design edge is fully pressed to the shirt. Continue to add in the smaller elements of the design and heat press them into place until the design is fully stuck to the shirt in the way you want it. The beauty of freezer paper is you do have the opportunity to move it once it’s been heat pressed but I wouldn’t make a habit of it. Don’t stress if you need to move it once (maybe twice). It will still work.

26 • Back-to-School 2012





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6/11/12 4:13 PM • Back-to-School 2012


babyourself MOVE OF THE MONTH

It’s back-to-school time again!

Part 1: Swiss ball reverse hip raise

For many parents, this is a stressful time with new school schedules, extracurricular activities, and all things associated with mom-life! Gone are the leisurely summertime bike rides or daily afternoon swims that kept us in top shape through the summer. So what’s a busy mom to do once the kids are back in school? Find a moment (any moment!) and take it for yourself!

Begin by lying face down with the stability ball at your waistline, with your hands flat on the ground (or place your hands in a fist position if you have wrist weakness).

Even the busiest back-to-school schedule allows a moment or two after homework has been completed or while dinner simmers on the stove. My kids love to play in the tub, so I grab my stability ball and take my workout tub-side.

Targets the back, butt and hips.

Keeping your legs straight, lift them until your thighs are in line with your torso. Make the most of the move by squeezing your glutes as you lift your hips. Pause, then lower to the ground. Do 10-15 repetitions. Safety tip: To avoid hyperextension in your lower back, do not raise your legs beyond a parallel alignment with your torso.

Pregnancy modification: Perform the bird-dog by kneeling down on all fours, with your hands about shoulder-width apart. Your back will be flat, neck in alignment with back (do not tuck your chin into your chest). Point your right arm out in front of you and your opposite leg behind you. Hold for 5-10 seconds and then switch to the opposite arm/leg. Perform 10-15 repetitions on each side.

Part 2: Stability ball single-leg knee tuck

This month’s set of moves is great because we are working two opposing muscle groups: the back and the abdominal regions.

Targets the whole abdominal wall, arms (especially triceps!), shoulders and back. From your “reverse hip raise” ending position, roll back so that your forearms are securely on the stability ball – as if you are getting into the plank position, with 90 degree elbow bend. With relaxed knees (do not lock out the knees) place your feet at about shoulder width apart on the ground to ensure the most stable position.

These muscles are important to keep strong throughout pregnancy and as busy moms! The best way to help ward off any aches and pains is to keep your body strong and flexible. So grab a stability ball and let’s get started!

Once balanced and body aligned, begin by bringing your right knee in toward the ball, touch the ball with your knee, and slowly bring that food back to the starting position. This move is challenging because you are trying to keep stable on the ball while on one foot – and you will surely feel your entire abdominal wall working!

Remember to consult your physician and receive medical clearance if you are post-partum! Begin with a brief warm-up of 1215 jumping jacks (or by running after your child!) then proceed with the first part of the sequence.

Let’s begin! 28

by Jackie Vega

Repeat the movement with your opposite leg and continue until you have performed 12-15 repetitions per each leg, or less if you begin to lose proper form. Safety tip: Be sure to keep your back straight, don’t let your butt sag down, and focus on an object a few feet out in front of you --this will help you to keep focused and balanced.

Pregnancy modification: Perform a plank without the stability ball, and lift your right foot slightly off the ground. Hold for a beat and place back down again, alternate each foot until you have performed a total of 12-15 repetitions per foot. • Back-to-School 2012


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Facebook, Twitter & blogging during birth

by Kaleen Richards, CNM, ARNP Tree of Life Birth And Gynecology

by Kaleen Richards, CNM, ARNP

Tree of Life Birth And Gynecology

Keeping birth intimate in a time of social networking

One stop updates: Some people opt

to create a blog for their pregnancy. What an amazing way to capture emotions and events during pregnancy that you can later share with your child. Additionally, keeping a pregnancy blog is a great way to update friends and family, especially if they live far away. Consider keeping this blog private though, so that only those you invite into the process can be a part of it.

Tons of resources: One couple I worked

with used social media to ask questions to try to make a decision during labor It was neat watching their friends come to the rescue

30 • Back-to-School 2012

with information on Facebook and Twitter. The same holds true for cheering people on during labor. I always enjoy reading the notes and comments people write to encourage friends and family.

A picture is worth a thousand words:

I love seeing photos on Facebook, but not everyone appreciates birth photography. Creating a site that people need to log into in order to see photos is an especially intimate way to personalize birth. As a general rule, though, if private parts are exposed, then it needs to be on a private site to be viewed.

Staying busy: Social networking can be

used to pass the time during the early parts of labor. You can update a blog, your Twitter feeds or your Facebook page to stay busy or just catch up on what everyone else in the “real world” is doing as you labor away!

Personal details: The news of your impending bundle of joy is something you likely want to shout from the rooftops, especially if you are a first time momma. However, as you will quickly learn, the more

information you share, the more you open yourself up to questions and comments. This is especially true when sharing decisions regarding your birth plan, when/if you go past your due date and while you are in active labor. Everyone might not support your desires for a med-free birth, or they may question why you are having a C-section or why you are delivering at a particular hospital. If you go past your due date, answering questions like, “Are you in labor yet?” even from close friends and family, can push overly pregnant mommas over the edge! And imagine the frustration of people asking if you’ve had the baby once you’ve started labor, especially if it takes longer than they think it should! If the incessant questions are making your blood pressure rise, post a status update that you are doing good and are signing off from Facebook and Twitter for a while until after the big day or designate a trusted friend or family member to update your social media accounts. This way, you can focus on what really matters - bringing your little one into the world! y


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The world is becoming a more social place thanks to websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. With all this new technology, it creates an interesting quandary for people who use social media to share information on their pregnancy and birth. How much information is too much? What should you share on an account that combines both your professional and your personal life? Read on for a look at the pros and cons of social media and the birth of your little one.

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• Newborn to Adolescent Care

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• Lab in House • Sports Physicals • Vaccines • Flu Shots

Consults available for any breastfeeding related needs.

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{Prenatal classes, difficulties/pain, milk supply issues, poor baby weight gain, induced lactation for adoptive nursing, returning to work/pumping, nursing multiples} Call now for appointment. Gift certificates available – make it a baby shower gift! Why hire an IBCLC? The IBCLC credentialing provides evidence that the practitioner has demonstrated the highest level of skills and knowledge within the field of human lactation. For more info go to

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Thirty-One Gifts Independent Consultant 937-838-4746 • Back-to-School 2012


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The only hospital in Central Florida named one of the Best Children’s Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report.

In everything we do, from the groundbreaking treatments that we provide our kids, to the personal care and attention that we show to all of our families, being the leader in children’s healthcare comes naturally when patients come first. We are honored to be recognized again as one of the Best Children’s Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report in three specialties: Orthopedics, Gastroenterology, and Cardiology & Heart Surgery. We share this accomplishment with our staff, our patients, and our entire community. To learn more about our specialty care, visit or call 321.8HEALTH (321.843.2584)

Profile for The Moms Magazine

BABYOURSELF Magazine - Back-to-School 2012  

BABYOURSELF Magazine is Central Florida's magazine for pregnant and new mommies. It's distributed by several of Orlando's OB/GYN’s in their...

BABYOURSELF Magazine - Back-to-School 2012  

BABYOURSELF Magazine is Central Florida's magazine for pregnant and new mommies. It's distributed by several of Orlando's OB/GYN’s in their...

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