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moms ms keeping you current with all things mom



News Anchor

Martha Sugalski

girls’ tips

catches us up on her family after the bir th of triplets


The Importance of being an

Advocate for your child at school



Back to School 2014


How to deal with


(try reading without itching!)

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The Ultimate Girl’s Back to School Guide!


moms back to school 2014

Special Features 16 – Our Happy Family of Eight – Martha Sugalski

catches us up on life since the birth of her triplets

24 – Advocate – When your child doesn’t fit the mold of other students at school.

26 – The Daily Mom – A fresh start to the school year.


Help & resources for families dealing with AUTISM

29 – Autism – One family’s quest to start a non-profit for their autistic son.


Celebrating Pediatric Associates 8 – Pediatric Associates of Orlando – Celebrating 75 years


with a vision for the community

Expert Advice 12 – The Ultimate Girl’s Back to School Guide –

10 helpful tips to help your daughter thrive this school year

LICE BABY, LICE, LICE BABY The Facts of Lice, eeewh!

22 – Ask the Pediatrician – Dr.

Gordon gives firsthand experience on how to rid your family of lice


We recently visited Martha Sugalski and her big family at their Lake Mary home. With a college student, a high school student, a middle school student and three mobile babies, Martha is as busy as ever, and she couldn’t be happier.



babyourself is now The MOMS Magazine • • Back to School 2014

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back-to-school a.k.a. back-to-aschedule! Today I attended my oldest child’s freshman orientation for high school. Honestly, I don’t feel old enough to have a child entering high school. I mean, for heaven’s sake! The smell of the old wooden bleachers was all too familiar as we sat and listened to the guidance counselor go over the policies and procedures. The Pep Club did a cute skit demonstrating the “do’s and don’ts for proper apparel.” I could already pick out the cool kids, the smart kids, the jocks and the introverts. I looked through the list of clubs, wondering what I would choose if it were me returning to high school. Then reality sank in. I felt my phone vibrate alerting me of an appointment for later in the afternoon. I saw that I had missed a call from a photographer. I realized that the deadline for my “Letter from the Editor” is due today. Oops. Reality told me that the lazy days of summer are over. Now don’t get me wrong. It’s not to say that I stopped working over the summer; my kids would be the first to tell you that they would have liked to see the laptop disappear and the phone turned off. What I mean is, gone are the days of a loose morning schedule. Gone are the days of late-night family movies. It’s time to pull out the family calendar and organize Open House schedules, football practices, and due dates for Science projects. It’s time to enforce early bed time and set the alarm clocks for early, ungodly hours.



Volume 5, Issue 4 ~

Back to School 2014

EDITOR IN CHIEF kristi corley EDITOR shirley neff jennifer hatcher

MARKETING eryn vargo CONTRIBUTING WRITERS mindy black aaron bly kristen burden greg gordon, m.d. jennifer hatcher sarah piguet

PHOTOGRAPHY elisabeth nixon photography

WEB AND DESIGN andy corley

As I sat on the hard bleachers and thought about my three children entering a new grade level and new schools, I’ll admit a small fear crept in. Would they fit in? Would they do well? Would they have hard days? Would they fail? Then I was reminded of an article - within this issue! ALL of the articles within this Back to School issue are amazing, but the one that encouraged me today is “The Ultimate Girls Back to School Guide” on page 12. You must read it. Now. Well, in just a sec! It gives great tips to help build confidence in our children. I truly hope there are articles that speak to you, too. I’d love your feedback. Email, tweet, or send me a message on Facebook! It’s nice to hear from you to know that we are all in this journey of parenthood together!

To advertise in The MOMS Magazine (both magazine and online)

Kristi Corley editor in chief



babyourself is now The MOMS Magazine • • Back to School 2014


moms s e t a l u t a gr Colin J. Condron, M.D.



Mark B. DiDea, M.D.

David B. Yaeger, M.D. Barbara J. Gans, M.D.

Susan L. Ryan, M.D. Gregory J. Coffman, M.D.

Lucyna Lagod, M.D. Gregory D. Gordon, M.D.

Brooke C. Britton, M.D. Iris Lim, M.D.

Eric Schlekeway, M.D.

If a someone announced that they have been in business for 75 years, would that be a big deal to you? I know it impressed me! So I wanted to get some perspective on what 75 “business” years looks like. What other businesses have stood the test of time for 75 years? Starbuck’s? No, they’re 43 years old, founded in 1971.

Publix? Yep, founded in 1930, they are 84 years old!

Google? HA! I have a hard time remembering what life was like before Google, but amazingly, Google is only about 16 years old! Dairy Queen! Established in 1938,

Dairy Queen’s 8-cent cones filled with “soft serve” ice cream sold 1,600 servings in just two hours! Dairy Queen is 76 years old, making it my favorite comparison. This year, Pediatric Associates of Orlando (PAO) is celebrating their 75th anniversary – and it’s a big deal! Not only businesswise, but in the community, and with our families. Because PAO’s goal has always been to go above and beyond to care not only for the health of our children, but for the health of our families, too. Last year, The Mom’s Magazine featured “Orlando’s Best Pediatricians,” and it is no surprise that, according to hundreds of local moms, the doctors at Pediatric Associates of Orlando dominated the top 10. They obviously are doing something right. Looking back at the history of PAO, it’s clear to see how their vision for the community and their commitment to excellence within their specialties has attributed to their success. “When I came to this group, I was completely blown away by the quality of the physicians and level of compassion,” states Dr. Gregory Coffman. “Everyone within the group was a specialist or had a specialty interest, including Oncology, A.D.D, Neurology, Cardiology, Hemotology, Nephrology, Sports Medicine and more!” Imagine that kind of brain power all in one practice!

 

Serving the Community for  By Kristi Corley

Photography courtesy of Pediatric Associates of Orlando


Originally founded by Dr. Edgar Hitchcock in 1939, Pediatric Associates of Orlando opened its doors specializing in pediatrics. Their mission was – and still is – to provide a medical home for families, by creating an environment that’s professional, courteous and empathetic, with timely services that ensure the highest quality of medical care.

This information paved the way for the only healthcare facility dedicated solely to the care of children and women in the Southeast: Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Women.

Another amazing fact about PAO is that 1820 of their doctors and staff members have been a part of the practice for more than 15 years. And this is the kind of dedication that is part of the culture at Pediatric Associates of Orlando – and this has led to incredible loyalty from patients and families in the community.

A Vision for the Community

Over the years, Pediatric Associates of Orlando’s vision for the community has been a top priority. In the late 1970’s, PAO senior partner, Colin Condron, M.D. received a grant from the Edith Bush Foundation to start Central Florida’s first Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). And the physicians at PAO assisted and staffed the unit for two years.

Also, the naming of the Alexander Center for Neonatology at Winnie Palmer Hospital still honors today the work of doctors Andy Townes, Colin Condron and Gregor Alexander in establishing specialty care for newborns. The NICU today has grown quickly to become one of the largest in the nation and among the best in terms of survival and quality of life.

“We really do become a part of these families, and they become a part of us,” says Dr. Mark DiDea. “We are incredibly blessed by our patient loyalty. We have families who fly in from the Bahamas, and families who travel from Tampa, Rockledge, Vero Beach, Ft. Lauterdale, Kissimmee and St. Cloud. It’s just a matter of loyalty and trust.”

And now, we at The Moms Magazine join with the loyal patients and families of Pediatric Associates of Orlando to say “Congratulations on 75 years!”

In 1980, Doctors Dr. Hitchcock, Founder of Pediatric Associates of Orlando, administers the first polio vaccine in Orlando. Townes and Condron, along with other Central Florida physicians, formed the Children’s Medical Foundation of Greater Orlando, which was later named the Children’s Hospital Foundation. This foundation started a feasibility study showing that to make a hospital successful, services for women as well as children would need to be provided. babyourself is now The MOMS Magazine • • Back to School 2014


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Think back to when you were your daughter’s age; worried about friendships that may have changed over the summer, the start of tougher courses, and the constant pressure of looking and acting a certain way. As she prepares to start the new school year, it’s important to show her guidance that will lead her into a confident start. Ease your daughter’s mind with these 10 backto-school tips.

Bewhoconfi dent. There is nothing more beautiful than a girl who knows she is and what she wants. Remember, Mom, this has a lot to do with you! Think about it ... Are your words lifting your daughter up or contributing to her insecurities? When you hear her comparing herself to others, correct her by identifying her strengths so she can start embracing and loving herself. Confidence never goes out of style, so make sure she’s wearing it at all times!

Try something new.

Encourage your daughter to join a club or sports team, even if she doesn’t think she’ll be good. Who knows? She could end up being a rock star! Plus, she’ll learn more from taking a leap.

Keep the makeup simple.

The tween and teen years are the perfect time to begin sharing makeup tips with your daughter. Of course, it’s your decision when to let her start wearing makeup. But when you do, remind her that the goal is to enhance her features, not to drown them out. Lip gloss, cream blush on the apples of her cheeks, and a stroke or two of mascara goes a long way. As long as she’s confident and isn’t hiding behind her makeup, there’s nothing wrong with a little pop of color!

Take care of your skin.

This is your chance to teach your daughter what you wish you would have known. Let’s face it. We all wish we would’ve started taking care of our skin earlier. First and foremost, encourage her to wash her face every morning and night with something other than a bar of soap. If puberty is causing unwanted pimples, invest in an acne spot treatment and encourage her not to pick, to prevent scarring.

Accept others.

Lead by example. If you’re judging others, your daughter is going to follow in your footsteps. If you find yourself being judgmental, stop yourself. This can be difficult, but it’s life changing. Instead of judging people for what they do or how they look, try to understand them. Put yourself in their shoes. Love the person for who they are, not who you want them to be. Accepting the beauty and uniqueness of others is a powerful lesson. 12

babyourself is now The MOMS Magazine • • Back to School 2014

2 School Guide} Make new friends.

Impressions are long lasting. Remind your daughter that while it’s great to have a few best friends, it’s important to make new friends as well. Encourage her to talk to strangers – No, not the bad kind! If she’s hosting a sleepover party, ask her to invite a new girl from her class. Even if they don’t hit it off, it will help her to develop an open, loving heart.

Experiment with style. You were her age once! Let her wear a new, trendy style even if it’s not your favorite. While back-to-school shopping, remind her that just because all of her friends are wearing a particular something, it doesn’t mean she has to. Encourage her to wear things that make her feel amazing. After all, it’s how she feels on the inside that matters most.

Kill the mean girls with kindness.

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Nobody likes a mean girl, but everyone loves a nice girl! Teach your daughter to speak softly and to do something thoughtful for a mean girl, no matter how hard it may be. The mean girl will find it hard to yell and be nasty to her if she isn’t nasty back. Plus, it will prevent her from becoming a mean girl herself.

Speak up about bullying.


Give her the courage to stand up for herself. Sometimes confronting a bully is enough to make their behavior stop altogether. But if that doesn’t work, make sure she knows it’s OK to get an adult involved – especially if she’s being threatened or physically assaulted.

Set goals. Every year counts. Your daughter has the choice to either sit

back and let this school year pass her by or to take control. Before the year begins, encourage her to list things she wants to achieve. This can be anything from getting a new job to making the dean’s list, or maybe joining a new club. Throughout the year, keep her on track and affirm her when she’s achieved her goals.

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babyourself is now The MOMS Magazine • • Back to School 2014


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Our Happy Family o f News Anchor Martha Sugalski catches us up on life after the birth of her triplets

By Jennifer Hatcher

Photography by Elizabeth Nixon Photography

The last time we sat down with Martha Sugalski, she had scaled back her busy days to the most basic of activities – attending her kids’ sports, doing the news and growing “the bumps,” as she affectionately nicknamed her triplets in the womb. We recently visited Martha and her big family at their Lake Mary home. With a college student, a high school student, a middle school student and three mobile babies, there is no scaling back these days. Martha is as busy as ever, and she couldn’t be happier.

It is organized chaos in Martha Sugalski’s home. Twenty-year-old Chase lies on the floor so his baby sister, Holden, can crawl on him. Thirteen-year-old Spencer snaps a selfie with baby Heaton. And sixteen-yearold Maxwell tries to keep baby “WildMan” Wilder from closing his tiny fingers in the dresser drawer he methodically opens and closes, opens and closes. Whether she’s feeding Holden a bottle

“Hey, don’t hold the baby upside down,” or “Watch him, he’s falling,” or “Seriously, that’s enough selfies.” and catching Wilder as he wobbles over to give her a hug or joking with Chase about whether his college friends are enjoying or mocking her Twitter posts, Martha is in her element as a mom. As she describes family dinners and having all six kids together in one house – a rare thing since Chase is away at college during the school year – Martha lights up. Over and over, she emphasizes that her big family isn’t only about triplet toddlers. “It’s important to me that everyone feels included. It isn’t all baby, baby, baby. Chase and Maxwell and Spencer will also always be my babies.” As the photographer snaps photos of all the kids, Martha and her husband, Rob Reich, loudly pretend to sneeze, eliciting laughter from the thirteen-month-old triplets. Later, back in the nursery, Martha talks with us over the noisy din of baby laughter and toy car beeps as the older children play with the little three. Every couple of minutes, Martha interrupts herself to say,


babyourself is now The MOMS Magazine • • Back to School 2014

Then Maxwell is holding a puppet book and tickling Heaton with the puppet, and Chase is helping Holden, in her fru-fru dress, onto a riding toy, and Spencer and Wilder are pushing a loud, popping toy on wheels. In another room, Rob is wrapping up the final details for the first big family vacation since the triplets were born. The caravan of three vehicles will leave the next day to cart all the people and baby gear to the beach rental.

This is the kind of noise and bustling activity that Martha and Rob waited two long years for. “Sometimes things will be crazy, and Rob and I will think, ‘Yeah, but what’s the alternative?’ We could still be sitting here two years and thirteen months later with no babies. And I’m just so happy, so grateful for them. I’m so happy that they’re mine – all of them!” Martha is especially grateful for the health and normal development of all three babies. Born by C-section at 33-and-a-half weeks, identical twins Heaton and Wilder were just over and just under five pounds each, but sister Holden was only two-and-a-half pounds and had to spend more than five weeks in the NICU. “The worst five-and-a-half weeks. . . .I lost it. You feel like you’re abandoning your child. You can’t be in two places at once . . . I would get up in the morning, pump, nurse the boys, then race down to Winnie Palmer, feed her, have kangaroo, skin-to-skin time with her, spend time there. I didn’t want her to be alone. They are fantastic there in the NICU, and someone was always there with her, but you want to be with your baby. Rob would stay the night with her and have his time with her while I was here with the boys. But it’s awful. You just feel like you’re abandoning your child. It is the worst feeling in the world. . . . It was a sad feeling knowing Holden wasn’t here with the rest of her family. Those five weeks were really tough.” Today, Martha cuddles little Holden, smoothing her wispy blonde hair and cooing, “Punkie, punkie, punkie pie,” as Holden’s bright blue eyes light up and she bursts into baby giggles. “She is a miracle. Look at her now. She’s a miracle.” When the babies first came home from the hospital, they were all in one crib in Martha and Rob’s room. The boys slept on one side, and little Holden slept in the other corner of the crib. “You want them near, you know? Watching them sleep, being right there to feed them. But we weren’t getting any sleep. I’d wake in the morning, and Holden would be on Rob’s chest, and I’d have dozed off with a twin in each arm. We could not keep going like that. The babies weren’t sleeping. We weren’t sleeping. And so some friends from work told me about Moms On Call in Atlanta. They are nurses with like 20 years experience. They are very Southern, and they tell it like it is. They tell you how to do it.” After a phone consultation with the nurses in Atlanta, Martha began using the Moms On Call system.

They moved the crib to the nursery and set up the video baby monitor. They bought a white noise machine, which they cranked up for naptime and bedtime. And they swaddled the babies for sleeping. That combination of advice worked for Martha and Rob, and before long the babies were sleeping through the night – just in time for the end of maternity leave and Martha to return to the WESH2 anchor chair. Now, the babies stick to a pretty tight schedule, napping twice a day and going to bed at 8:30 every night. When they are awake, though, they blend right into life with the rest of the family. “Yes, we go to Publix. Yes, we go out to eat. This is our family. We do what families do,” Martha laughs. Sometimes the reactions of people to seeing them all out in public amuses Martha, and sometimes it brings out the mama-bear in her. “One, two, three,” Martha points with her finger and counts children, “that’s what some people do. I can see them pointing and counting. And some people are just curious and that’s OK. But one woman actually had the nerve to tell me, ‘Better you than me!’ and I was thinking, ‘Yes, I am so glad it’s me.’” “People ask, ‘How do you do it?’” Martha shrugs. “I just do it. I don’t know. It just works. The older kids are great. The babies are happy. It’s easier than I expected it to be. I say that apologetically, and maybe I shouldn’t. But it is easier than I expected. It just works. We’re happy.”

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babyourself is now The MOMS Magazine • • Back to School 2014




The Facts of I remember getting lice as a child. My mom was uncertain of the diagnosis, so we marched two houses down to the home of a good friend and third-grade teacher. She carefully combed through my brother’s hair and confirmed he had lice. When it was my turn to be checked, close inspection was not needed. She could see my lice six feet away! Our parents treated us with an over the counter shampoo and washed our sheets and clothes. I don’t remember extensive nit combing or worrying that the treatment might not work. My mother recounted horror stories of when her sister had lice in the 1950s. Over the counter shampoos were not available, so my grandparents shaved her head and burned her clothes. Unfortunately, the treatment of lice has only become more

complicated. Over the last 25 years, lice have developed resistance to many common treatments. Over the counter shampoos that always worked still work, but only “most of the time.” As lice resistance has increased, so have parental concerns about these insecticide shampoos. And those concerns have led many parents to partially treat or try untested treatment methods. In response to parental concerns and traditional medication treatment failures, pharmaceutical companies have developed several new treatments. These medications are more expensive, but generally offer increased effectiveness.

Head lice, medically pediculosis capitis, is estimated to infect six to 12 million children each year in the United States. Transmission of lice is almost always by direct head to head transmission. Rarely, they can be carried on brushes, combs or towels. Adult lice crawl, they do not jump or fly. Cats and dogs cannot be infected and do not spread lice. Adult head lice are 2-4 mm in size. They need to feed on human blood


several times a day to survive. Females live for three to four weeks and lay an average of 10 eggs each day. Eggs, also known as nits, are only 0.5 mm in size. The eggs are laid on the hair shafts about one cm or less from the scalp. The scalp provides the heat needed to incubate the eggs. The nits are “glued on” and cannot easily be moved. This characteristic is the easiest way to distinguish them from dandruff or other items trapped in an individual’s hair. Nits are most often laid at the back of the head, especially behind the ears. The eggs usually hatch after eight to nine days. The majority of lice cases are treated by parents at home with over the counter medications, good nit combing, or home remedies. My nursing staff advises parents on lice diagnosis and care daily. As a pediatrician, we only get involved when standard treatments fail. Consequently, my knowledge of lice and lice medications has been focused on the newer prescription medications.

Then it h a p p e ne d o ur f a mi ly g o t li c e !

babyourself is now The MOMS Magazine • • Back to School 2014

By Dr. Gregory Gordon Author of Raising Good Parents – A Guide to Your Baby’s First Year


My wife and I went into “skevedout lice panic” mode. We knew that treating a family of ten would be extremely difficult. A few missed nits could mean starting all over. Outfitted with headlamps, reader glasses and metal nit combs, we searched through our children’s hair. We found live bugs on four of them.

are commonly recommended alternatives. The data on nit combing alone reveals mixed data, and while there is some evidence that occlusive treatments like mayonnaise or vaseline may help, it is certainly not convincing. Shaving an individual’s head is still the most effective non-medical alternative.

There is a current controversy in medicine, whether to “treat everyone in the family” or “treat only those with live, active lice.” But in our high-density situation, we chose to treat our whole family with an over the counter medication. We followed up with nightly nit combing (several hours each night) and bed-sheet washing. After several days, my wife and I were physically and emotionally exhausted. Then we re-treated the family seven days after the initial treatment.

Over the counter medications like RID (pyrethrins with piperonyl butoxide) and Nix (permethrin 1%) do work, but have draw backs. They only cost $10-$20, but they require more rigorous nit combing, have the potential for resistance and require retreatment seven days later.

Three months later, we found a small infestation in two of our daughters. We are uncertain if these were either the product of unfound nits or re-infestation from a friend with known lice. Exhausted and disappointed that our initial super-parent efforts had not work, we chose to re-treat with a newer, more expensive medication. We treated only those with active lice infestations (two of our daughters and their friend). And since then, we have been lice-free. Whatever I’ve learned, there is no perfect lice medication. Many internet experts argue that medicated shampoos are not needed. Nit combing alone or occlusive therapies

Prescription medications like Sklice (ivermectin lotion) and Natroba (spinosad) also have a role. These medications are one-time treatments, but are expensive, costing $90-$280. Both of these products have solid research to support their effectiveness even without nit combing. In my opinion, nit combing is essential. All experts recommend combing to remove the nits. There is even some evidence that nit combing alone can be effective. Shampoo medications should kill the adult lice, but no medication kills 100% of the nits. For effective nit combing: wet the hair (slows down the bugs), use “reader glasses,” a bright head lamp and a fine-toothed metal nit comb. Don’t celebrate too early. Too often, parents quit combing and monitoring after a few days. Unfortunately, nits are often missed, and after 8 to 9 days they hatch and create a second infestation.

Dr. Gordon is the proud father of eight children. He is the Vice President of “The Gift of Swimming” (a local charity that provides swim lessons to Orlando’s needy children). In early 2010 Dr. Gordon started to share his pediatric and parenting experience.

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ADVOCATE By Sarah Piguet

Sending your child off to school can be scary. Sending a child with food allergies and restrictions off to school is downright terrifying. While some moms are focused on trendy outfits and the perfect pencil box, allergy moms are focused on menus, protocols and EpiPens. It’s difficult to recommend a game plan to allergy moms about to embark on the adventure of parenting a school-ager; the spectrum of reactions and ingredients is broad. Nevertheless, a few simple steps can give you the confidence needed to start designing a plan for keeping your little one safe: Be prepared to tackle the topic at the “meet your teacher” open house before school starts each year. If you aren’t able to attend, write a letter to the new teachers explaining your child’s unique situation and thanking them in advance for their extra effort and vigilance. Don’t forget to include art teachers (think macaroni noodle art and peanut butter covered pine cones). Give the teacher an emergency stash of snacks to keep on hand so your kiddo is never without one in a pinch. Communicate with other parents in your child’s class. If you know when they plan to send in birthday goodies, you can send an allergen-free version along for your own special someone, so no one feels left out of the celebration. If your child’s allergies prevent other kids from bringing in certain foods, consider sending a pretty


note home with each classmate thanking them and their parents for understanding. Practice with your children to demonstrate how they can explain their allergies or intolerance. Kids don’t like to be pitied any more than we do. Prepare responses to statements about how hard it must be. Come up with a short list of awesome foods they CAN eat, which they can use to restore their confidence and reassure their classmates that they eat “normal stuff ” too. Teach your child how to read ingredients on their own to identify foods that are and are not safe. This empowerment extends well beyond the classroom.

hands before coming in from lunch. While navigating the social complexities of these accommodations is quite difficult, getting the cooperation of school faculty and staff should not be. Get educated, then talk to your school and district administrators about your choices.

For children with severe allergies, establish before the start of the year what your school’s EpiPen protocols are. Can your child carry an auto-injector with them at all times? Is the classroom teacher allowed to administer it, or does it have to be a nurse? If the latter, is the nurse on campus every day during all open school hours? Define exactly what steps Understand your rights. Advocacy and they will and won’t take in Research the difference the event of an emergency. education between an Individualized Don’t wait for the IEP or are the keys Education Plan (IEP) 504 meetings to have this and a 504 plan. Both of discussion. to a smooth these plans protect your transition into child at any school that The fear of allergen-laden the classroom. surfaces and unidentified receives federal funding, including many private environmental triggers can schools. Eligibility depends on the severity be overwhelming to allergy moms. So of your child’s unique needs. Allergies overwhelming, in fact, that many pursue – along with other “hidden disabilities” homeschooling or even avoid calling the such as asthma and epilepsy – qualify school to start the dialogue. Take it from for protection under these laws if the a seasoned mom: advocacy and education “physical or mental impairment results are the keys to a smooth transition into in a substantial limitation of one or more the classroom. Awareness of, and respect major life activities”. Since breathing and for, the threat of allergens is greater than the ability to absorb nutrients are both it’s ever been. With preparation, grace pretty major, they qualify! Some children and gratitude, you can recruit all the simply should not ingest the allergen, players in the education system to join while others may require separate lunch you in the fight to keep your precious tables or need the whole class to wash their little learner safe.

babyourself is now The MOMS Magazine • • Back to School 2014

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A Fresh Start

BY KRISTEN BURDEN Founder of The Daily Mom

If you ask me, early fall is the most magical time of year. It’s a season of clean slates, freshly sharpened pencils, and new beginnings. I love witnessing the excitement and anticipation my children feel when they load their backpacks with pride, eager to return to school one grade older than they were in the spring. Their energy permeates our house, spreading an unspoken “let’s get this party started!” attitude through the entire family. It’s a fantastic thing. If there’s one area where I most need to channel that contagious enthusiasm, it’s in packing their school lunches. Can you relate? I confess to tucking those lunch boxes in the deepest corner of the pantry when school lets out each summer, relieved to have a break from the monotonous grind of assembling sandwiches and chopping fruit. It's no easy task to load healthy, balanced, appealing lunch boxes day after day – especially if you're trying to eat organic, whole foods without breaking the bank.


Load a bento-style box with several of the following options to keep things interesting.

• clementines and a cheese stick • pretzels with almond butter • cashews and raisins

• PB&J roll-ups (using whole wheat tortillas) • turkey (or ham) and cheese kabobs • cold pasta salad with grilled chicken • whole wheat wagon wheel pasta,

• Greek yogurt and fresh berries, topped with granola

• grapes and cheese cubes on a short bamboo skewer

• baby carrots with hummus • popcorn

• banana carrot date muffins (see recipe) • cottage cheese and fruit • dark chocolate and nuts • peanut butter protein balls (see recipe)

• cucumbers and ranch dip (try Boathouse Farms Yogurt Ranch)

• apple slices with almond butter 26


Portion and package snacks on Sunday afternoons to make it easy to grab and go all week long.

with marinara sauce • hard boiled eggs • mini-pizzas (top mini pitas with sauce, cheese and pepperoni) • celery with peanut butter and raisins (ants on a log) • guacamole with blue corn chips • cubed chicken and cucumber skewers • leftovers from last night’s dinner • fruit kabobs • soup or chili in a thermos • peanut butter, turkey, or ham sammie using homemade bread (see recipe)

babyourself is now The MOMS Magazine • • Back to School 2014

Homemade Bread

2 cups hot water 1/3 cup grape seed oil 1/2 cup honey 3 ½ tsp instant yeast 1 egg 5 cups organic, whole wheat flour 2 tsp salt In a stand mixer, combine water, oil & honey. Add 3 cups of flour, yeast, and salt. Mix thoroughly. Add remaining flour and knead using the mixer’s bread hook (or by hand) until smooth & elastic (about 10 minutes). Shape into two loaves, place in greased pans, and let rise until doubled in size (about 30 minutes). Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Peanut Butter Protein Balls

3/4 cup peanut butter (or almond butter) 1/4 cup honey 1 scoop all-natural chocolate protein powder 1/2 cup raw oatmeal Combine ingredients well. Roll into 1" balls. Refrigerate (or freeze) in an air-tight container. Note: if you’re using these in lunch boxes, keep them frozen and put them in the lunchbox in the morning. They’ll be just right by lunchtime.

Banana-Carrot-Date Muffins 2 cups almond flour 2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp sea salt 1 Tbs cinnamon 1 tsp cloves (optional) 10 dates, pitted 3 ripe bananas 3 eggs 1 tsp apple cider vinegar ¼ cup coconut oil, melted 1 ½ cups carrots, chopped Muffin paper liners

Banana-Carrot-Date Muffins

Preheat oven to 350 and line 12 muffin tins with paper liners. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Using a food process (or hand blender), combine the dates, bananas, eggs, vinegar, oil, and carrots. Puree. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Spoon mixture into paper lined muffin tins. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Best when refrigerated.

babyourself is now The MOMS Magazine • • Back to School 2014



NOT ABOUT A FATHER’S PRIDE - IT’S ABOUT THE CHILD! by aaron bly, Father and Kids & dreams founder

My son, Trae, was developmentally delayed at birth and did not walk or talk until he was two and a half. He was very content just playing by himself and sitting on the floor with a toy or two in his own world away from everyone else. He would appear to be unaware when people would talk to him and would repeat words or phrases over and over. He did not know how to use his imagination and a change in routine was (and still is sometimes) a huge deal. Trae also had a number of sensory issues such as brushing his teeth, clipping his nails, putting his socks on and getting his hair cut. At age three, Trae was diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum. My wife, Kerri, and I were glad to have some answers. Sure we didn’t want our child “labeled”, but we also knew that now we could focus on Trae. We had a direction to go in to try and find help and answers – and I definitely wanted to be a part of all these decisions and to be there for doctor’s appointments, therapies and whatever else we could find to help him progress and develop. Over the next couple years, Trae began a variety of therapies including occupational, speech and physical therapy to help his development.

A couple of years later, we attended a seminar about autism and nutrition. This seminar was very timely for us because we were considering removing gluten from his diet as well. This seminar also educated us on the biomedical approach to treating autism. We were able to find a specialized doctor in Kansas City who had several hundred autistic patients. When we went and met with him for more than four hours, he was very glad to see both of us! He mentioned that he usually only deals with the mother of the child, and that couples with an autistic child have a high rate of divorce. That was so sad to hear. Don’t get me wrong, it is tough and some days are harder than others, but it has made our relationship better. And we know that Trae’s routine and daily schedule is absolutely crucial to him progressing. So we are both on the same page in regards to Trae and the areas in which we want him to get help – and we both feel it is extremely important for both parents to be involved. Since we began this journey with Trae at age three, he has made improvements in leaps and bounds! He is now in the third grade and doing excellent academically, interacting better socially with peers and adults – and he sees the world in a refreshingly different way. The combination of therapy services, diet, and biomedical treatments has helped Trae blossom into the kid he is today! A few years ago, I felt that I needed to start helping other children and families that are affected by autism. I wanted to set up a foundation that would help provide support and resources to the families with the variety

of services and avenues that our family has learned about and gone through. So in November of 2013, I did just that by setting up the Kids & Dreams Foundation. The Kids & Dreams Foundation provides services that are aimed at enriching the lives of autistic children, and gives each family a variety of options in their journey. My hope is to build a support system for families that are dealing with the challenges faced by autism. We want to give them hope and help them understand that they are not alone. The Kids & Dreams Foundation has a goal to help each family – together with their autistic child – to progress and reach their full potential. The Kids & Dreams Foundation provides support to children of all ages and their families dealing with any form of autism, bullying and other challenges faced by today’s children. We seek to enrich their lives by locating and providing specific resources, including topics like: -

Importance of your child’s diet Neurofeedback and other therapy services MAPS doctors Biomedical possibilities and treatments Anti-bullying programs Other autism & anti-bullying services

For more information about the Kids & Dreams Foundation and our journey with Trae – or if you know someone that could benefit from our help and resources, please visit:

It was during this time that Trae began having intense meltdowns and pulling his hair out, totally out of character from the laid back Trae that we knew. His pediatrician at the time told us that Trae was the way he was and that he would not change. Well, that was not good enough for Kerri or for me! After some research, we decided to remove dairy products from his diet. Trae had started communicating what he would like to eat and drink, which we were very happy with. The problem was that all of the items he wanted were dairy products. Literally ONE DAY later after those were removed, Trae was a completely different child. We were concerned about what he would eat now, but this dramatic change gave us the incentive to continue. babyourself is now The MOMS Magazine • • Back to School 2014




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babyourself is now The MOMS Magazine • • Back to School 2014

babyourself is now The MOMS Magazine • • Back to School 2014


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The MOMS Magazine, Back to School 2014  

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