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JUNE/JULY 2018 • Volume 10 • Issue 3

Watch Her Run!

Sayers Grooms on the sport that allowed her to finally run

Secrets to the

Perfect Pie Crust 17 GIFTS



us l p Sneak



A look at the maternity units of our local hospitals



SOMETHING WORTH CELEBRATING. To the thrill seekers and the passionate eaters. To the shopaholics and the chocoholics. To the early risers and the late sleepers, the go-getters and the wait-and-seers. This place is for you. For a town ripe with potential, we built a land of possibility. A place where new sights, tastes, and experiences all combine to suit your interests, whatever they may be. It’s Celebration Pointe – where the celebration never ends. Won’t you join in?

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PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Nicole Irving ASSOCIATE EDITOR Colleen McTiernan SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Claire Stortz GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Tanya Consaul, Emily Purvis VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES Shane Irving ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Betsy Langan, April Tisher EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Sayeh Farah ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Ashleigh Braun EVENT PHOTOGRAPHER Kara Winslow CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Jimmy Ho Photography, Indigo & Co. Photography, Tanya Consaul Photography CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Ashleigh Braun, Jessica Franklin, Elayza Gonzalez, Nicole Irving, Jennifer Jensen, Crystal Ladwig, Colleen McTiernan, Christy Piña, Danielle Spano, April Tisher, Tracy Wright EDITORIAL INTERNS Elayza Gonzalez, Christy Piña



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Irving Publications, LLC reserves the right to edit and/or reject any advertising. Irving Publications, LLC is not responsible for the validity of any claims made by its advertisers. Nothing that appears in Giggle Magazine may be reproduced in any way, without written permission. Opinions expressed by Giggle Magazine writers are their own and do not necessarily reflect the publisher’s opinion. Giggle Magazine will consider all never before published outside editorial submissions. Irving Publications, LLC reserves the right to edit and/or reject all outside editorial submissions and makes no guarantees regarding publication dates.


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baby love



Each time I found out we were expecting, I remember going through different emotions. With my first, we had been trying for eight months, and when we finally gave up, the stick turned pink. We were elated! Eight months after my first was born, we were surprised to find out we were expecting again. However, instead of being elated, I felt guilty and cried myself to sleep that night. And, when I found out we were expecting our third, I was in shock that I would be the mother of three boys! Each pregnancy and birth brings a new set of rituals, products, life lessons and experiences. No matter how many times you go through it, each pregnancy and baby is different. My first was a week late and was brought into this world after 26 hours of labor. My last came right on schedule the way he was supposed to.


Now, with my youngest already 10 years old, I look back and realize how much I miss the emotional rollercoaster of pregnancy and having a new baby. I learned so much, made so many mistakes and loved more than I ever had before. My wish for you as you embark on this new adventure, whether you are a first-time parent or expanding your family with a new baby, is that you savor each and every sleepy-eyed feeding and dirty diaper, because those moments will pass more quickly than you think!

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How old are you? 13 What is your favorite subject in school? Math What do you want to be when you grow up?

Nicole Irving, Publisher

A financial adviser, like my dad

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Cover photo by Tanya Consaul Photography. Baby love photo by Shandon Smith with Lifeprints Photography.

Finding out that you are going to be a parent can send waves of excitement, nervousness, panic and joy all at the same time. Bringing a little bundle into the world, whether for the first time or for the ninth time is, well, life changing.

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JUNE ● JULY 2018

happy family • happy community™

conception 2 college™ 68 EXPECTING


Preparing Your Nest 70 INFANT

Chiropractic Care ... For Infants


Early Detection EARLY YEARS

Sharing is Caring 76 KIDS

Got Milk?


Put Your Phone Away!


Ending the Silence



61 giggle stamp

Tarcha Rentz

29 17 Fantastic Father's Day Finds

happy home 50 CLEAN IT



For Sale


Insurance for Life 16 OUR UNIQUE FAMILY

The Garrett Family 18 THE PARENT LIFE


forks & spoons 21 DELISH Easy as Pie




42 GET HEALTHY Does My Child Have Too Much Anxiety?

26 DELISH Refreshing Summer Fruit Salad

44 GET HEALTHY The Truth About Essential Oils

Sayers Grooms on the sport that allowed her to finally run

Secrets to the

Perfect Pie Crust 17 GIFTS DAD WILL



Tipping the Scales Busting the Myth 58 FEATURED TEACHER Martha Dolan

happy community 82 CALENDAR June/July


| JUNE/JULY 2018


Find our cover stories! Running the Good Race PAGE 47 Easy as Pie PAGE 21 17 Fantastic Father's Day Finds PAGE 29

fe a t u re s 47 52 61

Watch Her Run!

us Sneak

34 GET HEALTHY Overcoming the Stigma

24 OUT OF THE KITCHEN Fun in the Sun


A look at the maternity units of our local hospitals


40 GET HEALTHY Benefits of Weighted Blankets



32 GET PRETTY Give a Little Lip

38 GET PRETTY Drink Up!


• Issue 3 JUNE/JULY 2018 • Volume 10 www.gigglemagazine.c om





Sayers Grooms photo by Tanya Consaul Photography. Superheroes for Hope photo courtesy of James Coats. Warmer photo courtesy of UF Health Shands.


Running the Good Race A Hometown Hero An Inside Look at our Local Labor & Delivery Rooms

An Inside Look at our Local Labor & Delivery Rooms PAGE 61



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life | a day in the life

A D AY I N T H E L I F E O F :

Tarcha Rentz Tarcha Rentz works for the Children’s Home Society of Florida and is the director of Howard Bishop Middle School, A Community Partnership School. She is a lifelong resident of Alachua County. She and her husband, Ishmael, have two children, Ieve (11) and Ian (13).

MORNING 5 a.m. The alarm on the phone wakes me up as well as Ishmael. I fumble for my glasses, and I grab my phone and journal before heading to the living room for quiet time. I wrap myself in a blanket and listen to a song by Elevation or Hillsong. I review notes from my journal and read a chapter from the Bible in the book of Proverbs. In my journal, I list current challenges, concerns and victories. I review my to-do list for the day, and I pray for wisdom, clarity and insight. I pray for my husband, children, family, friends, colleagues, and, yes, our schools. GIGGLEMAGAZINE.COM | JUNE/JULY 2018


5:45 a.m. Ishmael is playing music in the bathroom and I can hear him singing. The sound puts a smile on my face, and I reflect on how blessed I am to be married to this man for 20 plus years. I review my personal emails. I glance at my work cellphone to review my work calendar and to prioritize my emails. 6 a.m. The alarm goes off again. It is time to wake Ieve up for school. I count to three before turning on her bedroom lamp. “Good morning, are these the clothes you are planning to wear today?” I ask as I hold up the outfit for her to get a better view. She looks and sleepily replies, “No, I wore that last week.” After two or three more attempts, I leave the room telling her, “You get up and pick the clothes you want to wear. You really should choose your clothes the night before.” 6:15 a.m. I iron my clothes along with

Ieve’s chosen outfit. I look at my exercise mat and ball and I think I should do a few sit ups and walk in the mornings before going to work. I tell myself I will do it before I go to bed tonight.

6:30 a.m. Ishmael and I review our calendars and update each other on our extended family and friends’ statuses. We talk and make plans. I fix breakfast and Ieve’s lunch. I check on Ieve’s progress. She has changed outfits again. It is not the one I spent time ironing. She is trying something different. It is not something I would have put together, but it looks really cool. 7 a.m. I brush and floss my teeth, and I

turn to see Ian now in my bed. CBS morning news is on and everyone is listening to the first five minutes of the broadcast for a quick highlight of what is taking prominence in the news currently. Ieve heads out the door first. Her dad is outside waiting to take her to school. Ian irons his clothes in my room and leaves to pack his things for school.

8:15 a.m. I say my goodbyes to Ian and Ishmael. I arrive on the middle school campus at 8:30 a.m. I walk in the front office and greet the staff. In the Nest (my office) is one of our clinical counselors. She catches me up on the needs of the counselors and our students. She also shares some ideas she has for helping

students, teachers and families. Other staff join in on the conversation.

8:45 a.m. I glance at my emails and head to the mall area to help oversee students who are waiting for school to start. I walk around to different locations and chat with a few students, teachers and other staff. I hear a whistle blowing. School is starting and we are encouraging students to quickly get to their homeroom. 9:15 a.m. The school’s morning

announcements have begun. I return to my office and answer emails based on priorities I previously set. Every day is different and change is inevitable. Depending on the day, I participate in management conference calls, attend a Systems of Care Meeting, visit city and/or county commissioners, host Community Leadership Council Meetings, conduct full staff meetings and one-to-one staff meetings, participate in conference calls with directors from the other 14 Community Partnership Schools, research and write grants, visit feeder schools, collect and analyze data, write reports, develop presentations, participate in the Education Compact, meet with Community Partnership School partners, assist the Parent Teacher Student Association, do sixth grade lunch duty, talk to parents and students, communicate with board members, address challenges, and celebrate successes.

AFTERNOON 3:37 p.m. School is dismissed but my day

is not over. After school programming starts. What I do next varies based on the day. I participate in weekly steering committee meetings, monthly school advisory meetings, monthly PTSA meetings, quarterly Community/Parent Engagement Events, and weekly Student Leadership Council meetings on the campus, attend and/or conduct fundraisers, speak to potential donors, recruit volunteers, and solicit alumni. Sometimes I have evening meetings at other partner locations such as the school district, churches and libraries. If there are no meetings or the meeting ends before 5 p.m., I get to pick up my children from after school programs and practices.

6 p.m. I am in Mom mode. If it is not baseball season, there isn’t a play or band

performance, a family night at school, PTA meeting, church, or connect group, I am at home. My daughter’s homework has been done in after school, but Ian usually has some homework to complete. Ieve reads and Ian practices on the trombone while I prepare dinner. We are currently teaching the children how to cook. They take turns fixing a meal with my husband and me. Ieve loves to read aloud to me while I cook. Her brother takes a pause to help me in the kitchen. Soon, my husband arrives and greets me with a kiss and long hug. He greets each of the children and spends a few minutes talking to each one. Then he joins me in the kitchen and we exchange reviews of our day.

EVENING 7 p.m. We have dinner at the dinner

table. Ishmael and I listen to Ian and Ieve tell us the highs and lows of their day and they ask us about ours. This is the time that we hear about the nice, the mean and the ugly. We hear about the teacher who has been absent and the one who seems sad/angry. We laugh. Sometimes we sing. We discuss sermons, things we saw on the internet, things we want to do and places we want to visit. We turn on the television to watch Jeopardy and keep score to see which one of us can answer the most questions correctly.

8 p.m. Ian continues his homework and

Ishmael or I check Ieve’s homework. The children take showers and prepare to go to bed, while Ishmael or I wash the dishes.

9:30 p.m. The children are in bed,

and we say prayers with them and “I love you” before turning off the light. It is time to work on and finish up personal and/ or family projects we are working on. These might involve planning a birthday celebration, vacation, helping a friend with a proposal, researching an idea, reading a book, or preparing something for church. This is also a time to possibly call a friend or a family member without being interrupted/distracted.

10:15 p.m. Ishmael joins me to watch a show. We flip between channels, and I decide on "The Profit," "House Hunters" or "Shark Tank." We stroll through my Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook accounts, and we laugh.

Want to submit a friend (or yourself!) to be featured in A Day in the Life? Send your information to! 12


life | two cents

Insurance for Life BY ELAYZA GONZALEZ

If life has taught us anything, it is that it can be uncontrollable and unpredictable. That is why it is important that as parents you prepare for any and every possible outcome, even an untimely death. One way to do that is through a life insurance policy.

Life insurance can be more for your loved ones than it is for yourself. Larry Hartfield, who has been the owner of Hartfield Insurance Group, Inc. for 10 years, said the main purpose of life insurance is to replace income and cover debts in the event of the insured’s death. “Simply put, you need life insurance if someone else is depending on your income or if there are obligations that you want fulfilled,” he said. In the event of a death, life insurance helps provide the necessary funds to the surviving family members, and it is also a way to ensure that their current economic lifestyles do not change too much. Although a death in the family is a life-changing moment, and there is no way to really prepare for it emotionally, life insurance at least helps you prepare for it financially. The benefits of life insurance can last a lifetime. “One of the biggest benefits of having life insurance is the peace of mind it provides,” said Hartfield. A life insurance policy provides an income to cover everyday expenses, plus it also helps with other outstanding obligations, including



mortgages, credit card debts and car loans. Through life insurance you can create a more solid financial future for your children (or grandchildren), and one of the more important benefits of life insurance is that the proceeds go to the beneficiary income tax-free. There are also ways to benefit from life insurance while you are still living. As part of their online Finance Fundamentals Series, Northwestern Mutual explained how the value of life insurance goes beyond risk protection. There are two types of life insurance policies: term and permanent. These policies are best known for their “death benefit,” but they also offer other benefits as well. Term policies offer protection for a specific period of time and only pay a benefit if you die during that time period. However, permanent policies provide protection throughout your lifetime and can also include “living benefits,” like building equity and tax advantages. Don’t wait until it is too late. Hartfield said the best time to purchase a life insurance policy is when you are

younger and healthier, as that is when the rates are the lowest. “From my experience, many people procrastinate until an important life event pushes them to buy it,” he said. But, by then it might be too late. The cost of life insurance increases with age. Also as one ages the chance of developing a medical condition increases. There are a variety of life insurance options for different budgets, so take advantage of them while you are still young and then modify the policy in the future as your needs evolve and your budget allows. Think positively, but prepare for the unthinkable. Getting a life insurance policy for your child does not necessarily have to be at the top of your list of priorities. However, terrible things, like the death of a child, can happen. “If the unthinkable were to happen, the thought of returning to work would probably be the furthest thing from your mind,” said Hartfield. Your child’s life insurance policy could offset the loss of income you would experience from taking time away from work can help cover the expenses of seeking family help and grief counseling. Hartfield said funds could also be used to establish a charity in the child’s name, so his or her life can be memorialized for many years to come. Life insurance can also be used to guarantee a child’s future insurability, meaning if your child develops an illness or becomes seriously injured later in life, he will have the opportunity to increase his life insurance in the future — no matter his health status. Although life insurance might be uncomfortable to talk about, having a policy means having more time to enjoy life with your loved ones and less time worrying about the unknown. Aside from life insurance having countless benefits during life and after death, the greatest benefit is knowing you can live life to the fullest while knowing your family will always be protected — and that is priceless.

life | our unique family



Giving Back in Our Community Volunteering has been deeply ingrained in the Garrett family DNA from the beginning. In fact, Jenn Garrett met her husband Tim during their undergraduate studies through Alternative Spring Break, a group that organized community service projects during spring break. “Helping people is what brought us together and it’s something we still enjoy doing together,” said Jenn. Before they had children, Jenn and Tim would regularly volunteer with Family Promise (then named Interfaith Hospitality Network) as overnight hosts through Trinity United Methodist Church. Family Promise provides temporary housing, food, job training and child care assistance to families who are homeless. The families spend the night at different churches for a week at a time, with church volunteers providing overnight hosts (like Jenn and Tim), meals and sometimes transportation. “Over the years we met so many wonderful families,” said Jenn. “Many were single mothers with one



or more children, some were pregnant women, others were families with husband and wife and children of all ages.” However, once they had their son, Davis (now 10), Jenn and Tim decided to take a step back from Family Promise. “I felt a little overwhelmed by the idea of spending the night away because of his challenging sleep patterns,” said Jenn. Over the next 10 years they continued to grow their family, adding their daughters Lane (7) and Bell (1). “We found other ways to volunteer over the years, but we were missing what was so special about Family Promise — meeting the families and letting them know that we care.” As their children grew older, Jenn and Tim started searching for a way to teach them (particularly Lane and Davis) how meaningful helping others can be. It was at this time that Beth Haines, the coordinator for Family Promise at Trinity United Methodist Church, reached out to Jenn and Tim to see if they would be interested

in volunteering as hosts again. “It seemed like the perfect opportunity,” said Jenn. As hosts, the Garrett family ate dinner with the family of five staying at Trinity that week. The families got to know one another before heading off to bed, then met up in the kitchen for breakfast in the morning before heading out to their respective schools/jobs. Jenn said that the experience was great for her whole family. Not only did they form new friendships and provide support to a family in need, but it also helped the family reflect on what they have. “My kids understood that our sacrifice of spending the night away from the comforts of our home for one evening was really not a big deal and that in doing so we made another family so much more comfortable and safe,” said Jenn. “I am grateful to Family Promise for giving me a way to actually show my kids how to be grateful for what we have and generous with our time and resources to give to others in need.”

Photos courtesy of Garrett Family.


life | the parent life


The Downfalls of Social Media BY JESSICA FRANKLIN

I snapped the picture of my 3-year-old proudly holding up his artwork and smiled. Ah, but look at the mess behind him. Quickly, I shoved the stack of papers and the dishes from breakfast off to the side, sufficiently out of the frame, and retook the picture. Satisfied, I posted it to my Facebook to share with faraway loved ones, and the “likes” came rolling in. By all appearances, my house was presentable. No one could see the mess I had so cleverly hidden from view.

This is not an uncommon occurrence in my life. I spend a great portion of my time crafting photos I feel comfortable sharing. My goal is not to deceive anyone, of course, but by nature I prefer to present a favorable image of my life. Whether it is the messy house, the often fussy infant daughter who others seem to think is always happy, or the hilarious banter between my husband and myself that no one would realize grows tiresome to me, there is a lot that Facebook does not see. Social media is a relatively new phenomenon, with MySpace and Facebook hitting the scene in 2003 and 2004, respectively, and other platforms following in the years to come, so studies on its effects on mental health are limited. However, research does suggest a correlation between time spent on social media and the presence of symptoms of depression. According to a study published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, “Facebook use is linked to participants' impression that other users are happier, as well as the feeling that ‘life is not fair.’”



Comparison is the thief of joy Now do not go swearing off Facebook just yet, because there is also a positive side. Meredith Talmage, mother of two small boys, points out that parents can gain “a lot of useful information by seeing things posted by other parents,” and she chooses to feel inspired rather than discouraged by the Pinterest projects she sees others doing. She enjoys being able to celebrate other parents having a good day or a great parenting moment. Social media can also help keep you in contact with distant friends and family members that you may otherwise lose contact with. The best thing to do is to limit social media use. You will enjoy the extra time being mentally present with your children, anyway. Beyond that, keep a clear perspective of what you are seeing, and remember to count your own blessings instead of everyone else’s!

Photo courtesy of Jessica Franklin.

My recognition of my own screening process caused me to wonder about that of my friends and family. Comparison is the thief of joy, as they say, and I can personally attest to this sentiment. For years I watched as my friends lived out their seemingly perfect lives on social media and would work myself into misery that my life was not measuring up. My experience is not unique. Millions of social media users struggle with this type of situation. “I have a few friends that have one or two kids and they always look like they have their lives together,” Carmen Newkirk, mother of three, said. “I usually have some sort of mess on my clothes, I’m late for everything and my house is always messy because of the kids.”

It is so very important to remember that we are comparing the raw footage of our own lives to the highlight reel of everyone we see online! Your witty friend probably spent several minutes editing that status to perfection. The sorority sister who seems to always look perfect probably is not posting pictures when she first rolls out of bed in the morning. The couple you think has the perfect marriage is not likely to share with the world the fights they have. This phenomenon is an illustration of the Social Comparison Theory in action, which essentially states that individuals need to reaffirm their own abilities or opinions by earning the validation (or, in Facebook terms, enough “likes”) of their friends and family. We likely present the best possible picture of ourselves and our lives so that our social circles will voice their approval or even admiration.

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forks and spoons | delish

Easy as Pie Perfecting Your Next Pie's Crust


Nothing says summertime quite like a nice fruit pie. If you are thinking of whipping up one of these classic American desserts for a Fourth of July party or just for fun, you have more to think of than just what filling you are going to use. The dough recipe you follow is just as important to making a delicious pie as what goes inside. But there are so many variations on the basic dough recipe that it is hard to tell which is best. So, to help you out, we tried three different doughs for three different pies to see which one was easiest to work with and yielded the tastiest results.

Control Pie Crust For our control crust, we went with a simple recipe. Some basic pie crusts call for shortening or a mixture of butter and shortening, but we went for an all-butter crust. • • • • •

1 N cups all-purpose flour K teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon sugar 1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 2–4 tablespoons cold water

Pulse the flour, salt and sugar together in the bowl of a food processor until well combined. Add in butter and pulse for about 10 seconds, or until butter just starts to incorporate (some chunks of butter should still remain). Add the water to the mixture and pulse until dough just comes together. Start with 2 tablespoons and add more water as needed to create a slightly tacky dough.* Remove the dough from the bowl of the food processor and place on a sheet of cling wrap. Shape dough into a 4-inch disk, cover in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before rolling out as desired. GIGGLEMAGAZINE.COM | JUNE/JULY 2018


Vodka Pie Crust Substituting half of the water with cold vodka is said to produce a more flaky crust.

• • • • • •

1 N cups all-purpose flour K teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon sugar 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 1–2 tablespoons cold water 1–2 tablespoons cold vodka (we used Grey Goose)

Pulse the flour, salt and sugar together in the bowl of a food processor until well combined. Add in butter and pulse for about 10 seconds, or until butter just starts to incorporate (some chunks of butter should still remain). Add the water and vodka to the mixture and pulse until dough just comes together. Start with 1 tablespoon of each water and vodka and add more of each as needed to create a slightly tacky dough.* Remove the dough from the bowl of the food processor and place on a sheet of cling wrap. Shape dough into a 4-inch disk, cover in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before rolling out as desired.



forks and spoons | delish

Sour Cream Pie Crust The addition of sour cream to a traditional pie dough recipe is said to produce a more tender, flaky crust.

• • • • • •

1 N cups all-purpose flour K teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon sugar 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 2 tablespoons sour cream 2-4 tablespoons cold water

Pulse the flour, salt and sugar together in the bowl of a food processor until well combined. Add in butter and sour cream and pulse for about 10 seconds, or until butter just starts to incorporate (some chunks of butter should still remain). Add the water to the mixture and pulse until dough just comes together. Start with 2 tablespoons of water and add more as needed to create a slightly tacky dough.* Remove the dough from the bowl of the food processor and place on a sheet of cling wrap. Shape dough into a 4-inch disk, cover in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before rolling out as desired. *We found that with the base amount of water most recipes recommended our dough was too crumbly, so we did add more water to each. Still, be sure to add additional liquid slowly so to as not create a too-wet dough.


All of the doughs were surprisingly similar to work with, so we figured that the true difference would be in the taste and texture of the baked crusts. Once we got our pie crusts rolled out, filled and baked, it was time to break out the forks! Between the three pies, our panel of testers decided that we like the control crust the best for its flavor. The taste of the butter really pulled through for a satisfying finish. However, this crust was a little more dense in texture. This is where the other two pies excelled. Both the vodka and sour cream doughs produced a flakier crust and browned a bit better. However, the sour cream dough was definitely the flakiest of the two and offered a better flavor. Unless you already have vodka on hand and want to try something a little different, we would recommend skipping this variation. Instead, go with either the control crust (all-butter) or the sour cream crust.


If you are making a pie with a filling that must be baked, then why not consider doubling your dough recipe and decorating the top? For our cherry and blueberry pies, which both required the filling to be cooked, we decided to do just that! After removing your doubled crust mixture from your food processor, simply split the dough into two even pieces before wrapping and refrigerating. We went with a stars and stripes theme for our decoration, but you could opt for a more traditional lattice top or cut your dough into any shape you would like! If your pie filling does not need to be baked, like our lemon cream pie, simply blind bake your crust, fill once cooled, and decorate with whipped topping if you would like. Stripes Before rolling your dough out, allow it to soften slightly, about 10 minutes. Generously flour your work surface, then roll one piece of dough out into a 12-inch round. Set your rolled out dough into your pie pan and gently press it down and to the sides.

Fill your pie with filling, then drape those strips across the top of your pie. Once finished, cut off any overhanging dough, then crimp the top dough and bottom dough together using a fork. Brush with egg white before baking. Stars Before rolling your dough out, allow it to soften slightly, about 10 minutes. Generously flour your work surface, then roll one piece of dough out into a 12-inch round. Set your rolled out dough into your pie pan and gently press it down and to the sides. Cut off any overhanging dough and pinch (or flute) the edges for a more finished look. Fill your pie with filling and bake. In the meantime, roll out your second piece of dough to a 12-inch round. Using a cookie cutter or a knife, cut out stars of varying sizes and brush with egg white. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 F for 8–10 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool before placing on top of baked and cooled blueberry pie.

Roll out your second piece of dough to a 12-inch round. Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, cut five 1-inch thick strips. GIGGLEMAGAZINE.COM | JUNE/JULY 2018


forks and spoons | out of the kitchen



in the


Constructing Your Own Solar Oven BY COLLEEN MCTIERNAN

What You'll Need • • • • • • • • •

Large pizza box, emptied and cleaned Pencil Ruler Box cutter (for adult hands only!) Aluminum foil Tape Cling wrap Black paper (large enough to cover the bottom of the box) Wooden dowel

Giggle Tip: The best time to use your solar oven is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun is strongest. Be sure to place your solar oven in direct sunlight.



Using your pencil and ruler, draw a square on the top of the pizza box lid that is about one inch smaller on all sides than the lid itself. Use the box cutter to cut the square on all sides except the back edge, creating a flap. Cover the inside of your flap with aluminum foil and tape to secure. The aluminum foil will serve to reflect sunlight (and therefore heat!) into the box. Hold the lid flap back and cover the square hole in your lid with cling wrap, securing with tape. The cling wrap will mimic the glass of a greenhouse, making the inside of the box retain heat. Line the inside bottom of your pizza box with aluminum foil, and then cover the foil with black paper. Black absorbs heat, creating a cooking surface. Place your food of choice (we recommend s’mores!) on the cooking surface and close the lid. Use the wooden dowel to prop the lid flap open and let your treats heat for about 20 minutes, or until heated through and melted. Just remember to be patient — using only the sun as your source of heat means things will take a bit longer to cook!

Not a fan of s'mores? You can also try making a quesadilla or heating up a hot dog!

Photos by Jimmy Ho Photography.

Instead of dreading the heat this summer, use it to your advantage by engaging in a fun, food-related project with your little ones. With these instructions for an easyto-make solar oven, you and your kiddos will be using the sun’s heat to make s’mores and other melty snacks in no time!

Giggle Tip: If you would like, use stickers and markers to decorate the OUTSIDE of your new oven before making your tasty treats.

forks and spoons | delish

Refreshing Summer Fruit Salad BY COLLEEN MCTIERNAN

of reaching for the typical pre-packaged fruit salad you can pick up at the grocery store, give fruit salad a facelift with this new take on a classic! This easy-to-make recipe is sweet, yet savory and perfect for the whole family.

After spending the day basking in the hot sun, a cool, crisp meal seems to be in order. Rather than a popsicle or a bowl of ice cream, consider a nice light fruit salad to keep you fueled for the dog days of summer. But instead

Stone Fruit Salad SALAD • • • • • • • •


• 2 peaches 2 plums • 2 apricots • 2 nectarines ¼ cup dried cherries ¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled ¼ cup slivered almonds Fresh basil leaves

3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons olive oil Salt and pepper to taste

Halve and slice all of your fruit into wedges, then set aside in a large bowl. Whisk together white balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper until well combined. Pour the dressing over the sliced fruit and toss together. Top salad with almonds, feta cheese, dried cherries and basil leaves. Enjoy!



Our bakers get here at 3 a.m. so you have fresh bagels in the morning.

Millhopper Shopping Center 4113 NW 16th Blvd. (352) 384-9110

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giggle stamp | father's day gift guide

Fantastic Father’s 17 Day Finds


Father’s Day is fast approaching! To help you find the perfect present to give the father in your life this June 17, we found 17 gifts that are bound to please dads of all tastes and match all types of budgets.

Photos courtesy of manufacturers and by Irving Publications.

College Town Etched Map Cocktail Glasses $49 for set of two, While we are fans of the Gainesville version (Go Gators!), there are over 100 college towns available to help him celebrate his alma mater.

Golfers BBQ Set $26, Bring his two great loves together with these golf club-inspired stainless steel barbecue tools.

Freakers $12, Wild Birds Unlimited Help him keep drinks of all sizes cooler longer with these fun machinewashable beverage insulators!

Ticket Stub Diary $12, From sporting events to concerts, help him keep track of some of his favorite memories.

YETI Roadie 20 Cooler $199.99, Whether he’s on the boat or the road, this durable cooler will keep his food and drinks cooler longer.

L.L. Bean Field Canvas Duffle $119, This timeless duffle bag’s durable construction will suit his needs, whether he is traveling the world or just commuting to work.

Men's Silk American Flag Neck Tie $49.95, Give him this patriotic tie just in time for Independence Day!



giggle stamp | father's day finds Runamok Organic Maple Syrup $16.95+, Wild Birds Unlimited Breakfast lovers will delight in this line of organic barrel-aged and infused maple syrups.

Praise the Lard Gift Box $150, Filled with over two and a half pounds of pork, this gift box is sure to tickle his taste buds.

Sugarfina Dark Chocolate Bourbon Bears

Obaku Watch

$26, Satisfy his sweet tooth with these singlebarrel bourbon infused bears coated in 64 percent dark chocolate.

PowerKeep‰ Wanderer $159.99, This rugged backpack features lightweight solar panels to keep his mobile electronic devices charged even while he is out adventuring.

Tommy Hilfiger Leather Bifold Wallet $54.50, Made of leather, this thin bifold wallet will help him keep his credit cards, cash and IDs organized.

Ring Video Doorbell $99.99, This battery-powered video doorbell gives you instant alerts as soon as motion is detected at your door.

Corgi Lightweight Pattern Socks $28, Made from a breathable and lightweight cotton-nylon weave, his feet will be sure to thank you for these fun socks.

BirchBox Man Subscription $10 per month, Help him perfect his grooming routine with this monthly box of samples, ranging from beard care supplies to moisturizers.



L.L. Bean Men’s Terry Cloth Robe $79, With this fluffy Turkish-cotton terry cloth robe, he’ll stay cozy and comforted no matter the weather.

Photos courtesy of manufacturers and by Irving Publications.

$289, Lang Jewelers For the man who loves the classics, this watch features a timeless design with rose gold accents for a modern touch.

health | get pretty


Are your lips feeling dry and chapped? Are you looking to give them a little boost? With these lip treatments, you will be ready to pucker up in no time!


2 5



1. Lush Lip Service Lip Balm

$10.95, This softening blend of fair trade shea butter, beeswax and apricot kernel oil protects lips from the elements, all with a matte finish!

2. Hourglass No. 28 Lip Treatment Oil

3. Wunder2 Wunderkiss Satin Lip Oil


$15.95, Nourish dry lips with a combination of Tsubaki (camellia flower), avocado, jojoba and macadamia nut oils. This anti-aging formula works great as an overnight treatment.

4. Lanolips 101 Ointment Multipurpose Superbalm

$17, This super-dense balm holds 200 percent of its weight in moisture, making it the perfect cure for not only dried out lips, but also dry skin, nasal passages and cuticles!

5. Lansinoh HPA Lanolin

$10.99/three .25-ounce tubes,, Target, Walmart and other retailers Traditionally used to soothe sore, dry nipples, Lanolin also works well as a lip moisturizer. Hypoallergenic and 100 percent natural, Lanolin has long been used as a moisturizing ingredient in cosmetics, so why not go straight to the source for smoother lips?

6. Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment

$26, Looking to enhance the volume of your lips? This age-delay treatment is proven to do just that while giving your lips a little moisturizing boost.



Photos courtesy of manufacturers.

$44, Reduce the appearance of wrinkles and improve the overall appearance of your lips with this blend of essential oils and vitamins.





FOR A FREE CONSULT (352) 332-1150





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health | get healthy

Overcoming the Stigma

One girl’s journey with gastroparesis, celiac disease and an autoimmune disorder BY COLLEEN MCTIERNAN | PHOTOS BY TANYA CONSAUL PHOTOGRAPHY

When at 14 days old Allison Leonard still had not had her first bowel movement, doctors knew something was not right. They determined that something was wrong with her gastrointestinal system. They eventually misdiagnosed her with Crohn’s disease, but just what the real problem was eluded them for another seven years.



In those seven years, Allison, now 15, moved from Puerto Rico, where she was born, to Maine to Florida as her mother’s job in the United States Navy dictated. She took up dance lessons and began school like any other child, but unlike her peers, she had GI issues that prevented her from easily evacuating her bowels. She routinely went septic due to the backup of fecal matter in her system, which was a slow but painful process for Allison. She would develop dark bags under her eyes and would suffer from stomach pains so intense that they would cause her to pass out. She

had difficulty making friends at school and was teased for her need to use the restroom so often, with her bullies chanting “stinky girl, stinky girl, stay away from stinky girl.” All this led Allison to decide to avoid using the bathroom at school completely. “I kind of taught my body not to use the restroom, which didn’t help with anything because I already had a hard time using the restroom,” she said. “Because I did that I wasn’t able to go to the restroom … the waste in my body wasn’t leaving like it

Ballerina and port photos courtesy of the Leonard Family.

should.” During this time she went septic quite a bit, coming to a head when in the fourth grade she ended up passing out in the bathroom from the dizzying pain of her GI system being incredibly backed up. She hit her head on a metal trashcan and was unconscious in the bathroom for two hours before anyone found her. She was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance, and it was there that her doctor’s were finally able to completely and correctly diagnose Allison’s multiple conditions. She has gastroparesis, which prevents the stomach from emptying properly, celiac disease and an autoimmune disorder. After this frightening experience, Allison’s mom, Jessica, decided to homeschool her for all of fifth grade so that she could keep a closer eye on her health. Although she returned to school for sixth grade, she was not even a week into her seventh grade year before she was back at the hospital for a week due to sepsis. Her doctors thought of giving Allison a colostomy, but that was a route she strongly wanted to avoid. A doctor came down from Ohio to see Allison and instead recommended her for an appendiscotomy, a procedure that would allow her to empty out her stomach by giving herself a saline enema through a medical port near her belly button. “It’s been working really well for me,” she said. “It’s amazing that I get to use saline.” About a year ago, Allison’s Catahoula Leopard Dog, Shenzi joined the family.

Although she has not been trained as a service dog, Shenzi will alert Allison when her port is full. With her heightened sense of smell, Shenzi can tell when Allison needs to flush out her system and will push her head up against Allison’s stomach to let her know. Although Allison can usually tell for herself when it is time to flush due to the pressure on her stomach, it certainly helps to have another layer of safety there to prevent her from going septic again. Before her surgery, Allison had gone septic 15 times growing up. Since having the port put in two years ago, that number has dropped to zero. Her experiences have inspired Allison to pursue a career in pediatric gastroenterology. For the past three years she has attended Camp Boggy Creek’s Family Retreat Weekends, and recently began attending their week-long summer camp, which she said she loves. During these retreats she has interacted with other kids with gastro and immune deficiency problems, which have only further sparked her desire to pursue a career in medicine. “Now that I know a little bit more about my body, I want to help others who either have my conditions or others.”

Allison's port

Allison has also been inspired to be more vocal about GI health in general. “Gastro is very secretive,” she said. “It’s not something most people want to talk about.” In fact, before she got her port she did not talk about her condition at all beyond with family and close friends. “I just don’t like it being a secret anymore,” said. She hopes that by being more open with her condition that she can spread awareness and encourage more people interested in joining the medical field to pursue gastroenterology.

Allison takes pointe, ballet, jazz and tap dance classes at Pofahl Studios. Although her medical port can make dance a little more difficult for her, from having to worry about costumes rubbing the wrong way or getting hit, she has continued to do what she loves through all of her medical issues. She even went back to dance before going back to school after her appendiscotomy!



Soak up the sun–it’s time to have some fun! Now - August 12, 2018 Enjoy these family fun activities: • School’s Out for Summer Sing-A-Long, Swamp Witch Escape Room and Build-A-Bear Workshop® • Celebrate the Summer Pool Party and SummerFest Atrium Light Show, both presented by bubly™ • Cypress Springs Family Fun Water Park featuring our Big Cypress 60ft waterslide and double FlowRider® • Spa specials, surf shows and much more!

Book Your Getaway Today!

| (407) 586-2000

AQUAFINA is a registered trademark of PepsiCo, Inc., © 2018 BUBLY and the Bubly Designs are trademarks. © & ® Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. Used with permission. All rights reserved.



Brighten, correct and protect your skin with this lightly tinted sunscreen. Clinically tested to diminish the appearance of discoloration and immediately blur stubborn brown spots, while protecting against future sun damage with SPF 50.

ELTAMD UV SPORT BROAD-SPECTRUM SPF 50 A lightweight, silky, oil-free, and water-resistant sunscreen that helps calm and protect sensitive skin types prone to breakouts, rosacea and discoloration.


SUNFORGETTABLE BRUSH-ON SUNSCREEN SPF 30 Sheer, natural-looking coverage and SPF in one simple, on-the-go application.





ST. TROPEZ GRADUAL TAN CLASSIC BODY LOTION Gradually builds to create a classic, healthy looking tan


Keep skin protected every day with this lightweight, oil-free, anti-aging moisturizer while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

(352) 332-04442

(352) 333-3223



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health | get pretty

Drink Up!

Tea is not just for drinking anymore! From green tea to black tea and every tea in between, beauty companies are now infusing their products with these skin-soothing brews.








2. Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask $92, Black tea ferment, black tea extract, blackberry leaf extract and lychee seed extract work together in this overnight mask to improve skin elasticity and inhibit damaging free radicals.

7. Arcona White Tea Purifying Cleanser $42, The white and green teas in this cleanser calm and protect skin, while white cranberry enzymes exfoliate.

3. Herbivore Botanicals Jasmine Green Tea Balancing Toner $39, Oil-reducing and antioxidantrich green tea meets calming aloe vera and organic jasmine water in this soothing toner.



6. Mizuba Tea Co. Mint Matcha Balm $4, Mizuba matcha, chaga mushroom oil and organic beeswax create a nutrientpacked balm that will keep lips fresh, soothed and protected.


4. A Perfect WorldTM SPF 40 Age-Defense Moisturizer with White Tea $44, This oil-free moisturizer delays skin’s signs of aging with antioxidant-rich white tea, which helps protect skin from the effects of pollution. 5. Green Tea Oil-Free Moisturizer $38, The green tea in this lightweight moisturizer helps to reduce inflammation, sebum production and breakouts.




8. JulepTM Green Tea Konjac Sponge $12, Made from the root of the Japanese konjac plant, this exfoliating sponge is infused with green tea powder to help keep skin balanced. 9. Hurraw! Green Tea Lip Balm $3.79, Moisturizing and antioxidantrich, this lip balm is made with matcha green tea and organic cold-pressed hemp oil. 10. White Tea Toning Eye Gel $42, Naturally protective white tea cools, soothes and tones the eye area while helping to reduce the appearance of agerelated wrinkles. 11. Green Tea Blotting Linens $10, Made with 100 percent natural Abaca tree fiber and green tea extract, these blotting sheets absorb excess oil while soothing skin.

Photos courtesy of manufacturers.


1. MISSHA Pure Source Cell Green Tea Sheet Mask $2, In need of a moisturizing boost? The green tea in this sheet mask hydrates skin and reduces irritation, leaving you with soothed and brightened skin.


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health | get healthy

Benefits of Weighted Blankets BY ASHLEIGH BRAUN

A cozy blanket may be your perfect movie companion, the best part of a good night’s sleep or your go-to snuggle buddy when you are feeling lonely. Next time you reach for your fuzzy friend, consider trying a weighted blanket.

The constant, even pressure of a weighted blanket is said to have a positive, soothing effect on a person’s mood. This may be one of the reasons weighted blankets are gaining popularity as an alternative resource to people who struggle with autism, anxiety, or other sensory disorders. According to a study by the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, the use of a weighted blanket reduced participants’ perceived levels of anxiety by 78 percent.

If you have ever considered trying a weighted blanket to help you sleep or relax, now is the time to grab one and sink into its comforting embrace. Having struggled with sleeping soundly myself, I decided to try using a weighted blanket to see how it would affect my insomnia. Here’s what I thought. 1.

Essentially, weighted blankets are just regular blankets, but lined with evenly distributed weight. Based on who the intended user is and the size of the blanket, the weight may vary anywhere from 3–30 pounds. These special blankets are designed to be warm, cozy and provide gentle pressure to the person snuggled up in them, mimicking the feeling of being held to aid sleep and relaxation. The underlying science behind weighted blankets is a method called deep touch



pressure (DTP), which involves gently applying pressure to the body to increase the release of the hormone serotonin — a chemical your body produces to promote relaxation. In a 2012 study published in the Journal of Medical and Biological Engineering, patients’ nervous system reactions to experiencing DTP through the use of weighted blankets were surveyed and there was evidence to support that DTP reduces anxiety.

I slept very well. I mean really well. The kind of sleep where you wake up and realize you hardly moved throughout the entire night.

2. I felt warm, relaxed and extremely comfortable. It was easy to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep. 3. I woke up feeling happy, rested and ready to tackle my day! BLANKETS TO TRY SensaCalm Weighted Blankets $89.95+, The Magic Blanket $69+,

Lead photo courtesy of SensaCalm Weighted Blankets.

In the past, weighted blankets were successfully used in various forms of physical and occupational therapy for people struggling with sensory disorders, but they are now becoming more mainstream for popular use by people who suffer from insomnia or anxiety. In a study published in the Journal of Sleep Medicine & Disorders, it was found that participants who used a weighted blanket had a calmer night’s sleep.

NOW OPEN 3215 Hull Road • 352-846-2000 •

health | get healthy

Does My Child Have Too Much Anxiety? BY CRYSTAL LADWIG

well as a disruption of daily activities. Excessive anxiety may include physical complaints (headaches, stomachaches, tiredness), reassurance seeking, excessive crying, lashing out, temper tantrums, and difficulty sleeping. These behaviors disrupt daily life resulting in academic difficulties, social isolation, resistance to new activities, and extensive time spent dealing with the anxiety. Gainesville is fortunate to have a variety of support services available to help children with significant anxiety. UF now has a Fear and Anxiety Disorders Clinic as well as a clinic specializing in the treatment of OCD. If you think your child may have an anxiety disorder, talk with your child’s pediatrician. Get a referral to a local psychologist or psychiatrist. If your insurance allows it, contact a service provider yourself to set up an evaluation. Most importantly, trust your gut. If you believe your child is struggling more than what is appropriate for his or her age, do not give up until you find the help you need.

Anxiety disorders among children are growing at an alarming rate. The National Institutes of Health report that more than 30 percent of adolescents experience anxiety disorders including Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and generalized anxiety disorders during their lifetime. The reason is unclear. Are children facing greater stress and pressure than earlier generations? Are they less equipped to deal with stress and pressure? Or are we just labeling our children more and more? Regardless of your answer to those questions, the truth is that some children do in fact have anxiety disorders. Some are simply going through a rough time. But how do you know the difference? All children experience anxiety from time to time. Most often this is observed as children clinging to you or crying when you separate, avoiding social situations,



experiencing frequent worrying, or complaining of stomachaches and headaches. Anxiety is sometimes a good thing. It alerts us to potential dangers and helps to keep us safe. But when that anxiety becomes extensive, it can keep children from functioning as they should. There are some fears that children seem to experience at certain ages. Babies may cry when they are held by a stranger. Older children may fear speaking in front of a group. Anxiety and fear become a problem when those developmental worries are not outgrown or when they become irrational and limit the child’s activities. According to University of Florida psychologist Dr. Anyaliese HancockSmith, you should seek professional help for your child when you observe both excessive, persistent anxiety as

Finding Support in Our Community The National Alliance on Mental Illness has a Gainesville chapter. They offer monthly family support groups as well as resources about local support and service organizations. There is also a Facebook group called Gainesville Parents of Kids with OCD where parents can seek assistance. It is a support group created by parents of children with OCD to give families in and around the Gainesville area a place to share ideas, resources, vent and celebrate together.

Family Mediation Solutions

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Parenting Plans | Dissolution Agreements | Marital Settlement Agreements | Conflict Resolution | Financial Resolution Call for your FREE consultation 115 NE 7th Ave, Suite 103 • Gainesville, FL 32601 Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediators


l health | get healthy

The Truth About Essential Oils and Their Use with Kids and Pets BY CRYSTAL LADWIG

Essential oils are everywhere. They can be found in Walgreens, CVS, Wal-Mart, Target, and Bed, Bath, and Beyond right here in Gainesville. They are also often front and center on our social media pages. Proponents argue their health benefits, while opponents assert that they are simply the latest fad. So, what is the truth? Basically, essential oils are the extracts from specific plants. There are several methods of extracting the oils, which affect their overall quality. Generally speaking, higher quality (and slightly higher priced) oils are more concentrated with the actual plant oil. Highly concentrated essential oils can be about 50–70 times more powerful than the plant from which they came. This means that a little goes a long way. Many traditional medicines come from plants, and it is no secret that plants have been a source of healing for millennia. Essential oils attempt to harness that. However, they are not FDA approved to treat any specific illness or malady, and they are not all held to a quality standard, so do your research when deciding what brand to use. According to Teresa Bruney, DNP, ARNP, PNP-BC of Worthington Pediatrics, with proper care, essential oils are safe to use with children. Among the most commonly used with children are peppermint (promotes healthy respiratory functions, calms the stomach and head tension), frankincense (balances mood and beautifies skin), and melaleuca (nourishes and soothes skin). Although lavender has been recommended for soothing emotions and supporting restful sleep, “it is now known to be a hormone disruptor, especially for preteen boys, and its use is discouraged in children,” said Bruney.



Essential oils can be used with children in a variety of ways. Using them aromatically is the most common. Diffusers can be purchased at stores all over town and online for a relatively low cost. Essential oils can be used topically with children, but most should be diluted first. Fractionated coconut oil is the most common dilution agent. The fractionating process removes long-chain fatty acids to make the oil liquid at room temperature. Once diluted, many oils can be applied to feet, ears, chest, the back of the neck, head and other troubled areas. Before using any essential oil topically with your child, carefully read the label and follow all manufacturer instructions. It is best to avoid sensitive areas such as the eyes, broken skin, and the inner nose or ears. Finally, essential oils such as lemon can be used internally. Just put a few drops of lemon in water for a refreshing, low-sugar drink. Citrus oils can also be combined with water and used as an all-natural, chemical-free household cleaner. Since essential oils come from plants, any plant that is safe for you to consume may also be consumed via essential oils. However, you should always follow the directions on the packaging regarding the best and safest way

... plants have been a source of healing for millennia.

to ingest oils (e.g., direct, diluted, quantity, etc.). If you have any reservations at all about using a particular essential oil with your child, consult your pediatrician first. Essential oils are also safe to use with most pets, including cats and dogs. According to the “essential oil vet,” Dr. Janet Roark, DVM, essential oils can be safely used with pets as long as they are used carefully. Do not use oils near eyes, ears, nose, or genitals. Only use them topically or internally after consulting with a veterinarian who knows your pet’s medical history. Many veterinarians will recommend avoiding diffusing essential oils if you have a pet bird. If you choose to diffuse oils in your home, make sure that your cat or dog is not in an enclosed area so that they can leave if they do not like it. Ultimately, each family must decide for themselves on the use of essential oils. If you do decide to try them, invest in purchasing high quality, pure oils rather than lowerintensity, pre-diluted oils. There will be greater health benefits for you and your children, and you will end up saving money in the long run.

Running the Good



When most kids get to work on their birthday or Christmas lists, video games, toys and clothes tend to be the priority. Sayers Grooms is not like most kids, though. Instead, she asked her parents for a nonprofit.

Sayers, 13, was born with ataxic cerebral palsy, the rarest form of the disorder, which affects the part of the brain that controls movement and coordination, resulting in instability as she performs voluntary movements such as walking as well as her speech. Despite her mobility issues, Sayers has always been an athlete at heart. “She’s always wanted to do sports, she wanted to do everything her sister was doing,” her mother, Dr. Mary Grooms, said. She started taekwondo at age 5, but Sayers was also interested in running and grew frustrated that she could not move as quickly as her peers. At the age of 7, she told her mother that she wanted to find a sport that she could eventually compete in at the Paralympics. After searching online for different options for Sayers to pursue, Mary found RaceRunning, a track and field sport in which the athletes use RaceRunners (three-wheeled bikes with no pedals) to support them as they run. After facing some difficulty finding a RaceRunner (there were only about two manufacturers at the time, neither in the U.S.A.), Mary heard back from Connie Hansen in Denmark, one of the two inventors of the sport. Mary sent Hansen some videos of Sayers walking and running along with her measurements, and they received their order of a red RaceRunner right before Sayers’ 8th birthday. Not only did using a RaceRunner take away the issues of balance and coordination, allowing Sayers to really run, but it also gave her the exposure to how her body should feel while running, which has helped her to run better on her own as well. “I felt free for the first time,” said Sayers.

One RaceRunner costs about $2,500.

For about the first year after receiving her RaceRunner, Sayers’ main interest in the sport was recreational. But upon learning about the annual RaceRunners Camp and Cup in Denmark, her focus took on a more competitive nature. They attended the camp for the first time when Sayers was 9, and have attended every year since. In the past the camp has played host to as many as 94 athletes from 13 different countries around the world. The first four days of the week-long experience are dedicated to the camp portion, where participants train with their RaceRunners twice a day, and the final three days are dedicated to competing. “I like competition better because I get to hang out with my friends more and also get to test my times from the last year,” said Sayers.

" ... [Sayers] wants to share it with as many people as she can.” -Mary Grooms

Sayers' older sister, Harrison (14), runs cross country and track and helps train Sayers for her races.



Sayers' medals from the 200, 400, 800 and 1500 meter races at the 2017 RaceRunners Camp and Cup in Denmark.

expressed an interest in trying one out for themselves. Through WatchMeRun, the Grooms’ have held a few Come and Try events with a few different sizes of RaceRunners available to test, and they will be holding another event for interested parties on June 3 from 3–5 p.m. at Santa Fe Track.

Sayers' mother, Dr. Mary Grooms, has played a big role in Sayers' RaceRunning training.

If you are interested in learning more about what WatchMeRun does or would like to donate to Sayers’ endeavors, visit

Throughout her years of competing in RaceRunning, Sayers has grown to be one of the fastest female RaceRunners in the world. In fact, this coming August, Sayers will be competing in the CP World Games in Barcelona, an event that only happens once every three years. Although they do not typically allow athletes under the age of 14, they made a special exception for her due to her fast race times. Through all of this, Sayers could not believe that other kids with mobility issue like her did not know about or have access to the sport. In fact, when she attends the annual RaceRunners Camp and Cup, she is usually the only participant from America. “From the first moment that she got on this RaceRunner, as much as she loved it, she couldn’t believe that no one else in our country knew about it,” said Mary. “She said to me multiple times, ‘Mom, we have to figure out a way for other people to figure out about this sport.’ … She wants to share it with as many people as she can.” After years of asking to start a nonprofit, Mary and her husband, Greg, decided to move forward with Sayers’ dream and started WatchMeRun around Christmas in 2016. The fundraising efforts for the nonprofit were launched in May 2017, and so far the organization has raised $15,000, which will eventually go toward the purchase of RaceRunners for interested individuals. “The difficulty we’re running into is finding individuals who want to run,” said Mary. “We’re still trying to figure out the logistics of some of this stuff, but we’re very dedicated to using all funds raised to go directly toward putting a RaceRunner in the hands of a capable, motivated individual who is hopefully going to use it a lot.” So far, they have donated one of Sayers’ old RaceRunners to one local boy, and there are at least two other children who have

The Grooms' are a family of runners, and with Sayers' RaceRunner, running is now an activity they can do together.



happy home | clean it

For Sale Hosting a Stellar Garage Sale BY APRIL TISHER

Garage sales, yard sales, tag sales and rummage sales. It seems that the part of the country you are from determines what you call them, but the concept is all the same. Take the things you currently own, but no longer need or want, and sell them to others. It is a great way to make some extra cash and declutter your home at the same time. While some may point to online yard sales on social media as the new way of selling outgrown baby clothes or those tennis racquets you never use, in-person garage sales are still very much a popular thing! When planning a garage sale, location matters — a lot. If you live in an area that does not get a lot of traffic, ask if you can go in with another friend who may live in a more popular area for garage sales. Or consider renting a table or booth at a community or church sale. You will also want to be sure to go to the bank the day before the sale to get cash to have on hand for making change. Invariably the first person in line will have an item worth $.50 and pay with a $20. When selecting a day to host your sale, make sure to select a time at which the whole family is available to help. You will need someone dedicated to the money. You do not want to get distracted answering questions or helping someone and lose track of other merchandise or your money. It is also helpful to have someone who can help move larger items to the cars of shoppers or to bag smaller purchases. Kimberly Depue is a local garage sale guru. She hosts at least two of her own garage sales a year and frequents garage sales around town to find the best deals. Depue offered some of her own top tips on having a successful sale.

PREP AND PRICE! Put price stickers on everything in advance.



1. Pick the right time. Depue said she likes to have a sale mid-fall around October and again in the spring around late February or early March. She prefers it not be near a holiday and likes either the first or the 15th of the month to coincide with many paydays. 2. Prep and price! Depue said she sets her tables up in the garage ahead of time. Then on the morning of the sale she can move the tables out ready to go. She also puts price stickers on everything in advance to limit the amount of questions she receives about price and haggling. As far as haggling goes, she won’t entertain it early in the day, preferring to wait until after 10 a.m. to consider lowering her prices so that her items have a chance to be sold at asking price. For clothing she recommended making signs indicating across the board pricing; i.e “All tops are $3.” 3. In the past Depue used to always list her sales on Craigslist, but she said she finds these days there are so many garage sales occurring in her area that just putting out signs the morning of generates a lot of traffic on its own. She does not, however, put signs out the night before to cut down on early bird traffic. 4. Have small children take part by having a cookie and lemonade sale during the yard sale! Kids love to help in this way, and who can resist cookies from a kid? All in all, be prepared to make some money and have some stuff left over. If you are not prepared to make it a two-day or even two-weekend sale, then go ahead and take what is left over to the charitable source of your liking!



What do you do when you spent much of your childhood in the hospital, had a rough family life, were voted least likely to succeed, and even lost the roof over your head due to medical expenses? If you are like James Coats, you create your own path, start a multi-million dollar manufacturing company and form a charity to bring hope to children.

Unable to play outside due to extensive allergies, Coats spent much of his time alone in sterile hospital rooms. He found comfort reading comic books and related to storylines where weak main characters gained super powers. After dropping out and then returning to college, Coats used his love for comic books to pave his own path to success. In 2012, he founded Phalanx Defense Systems, a manufacturer of safety products for first responders, where he purchased and studied the design of movie stunt suits to create designs for body armor manufacturing. Eventually, his collection of superhero movie suits grew to represent almost every superhero, and two years ago, Coats began giving tours to children battling diseases to give them hope and time to escape from their illness and just be a kid. Just last year, this endeavor of hope became an IRS approved 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and Superheroes for Hope was born.



The movie replicas are displayed throughout the converted 1950s armory where Phalanx operates. Through partnerships with the Ronald McDonald House, UF Health Shands Hospital and Partnership for Strong Families, between 25 and 30 children, whether on the spectrum, battling diseases or displaced, tour the facility each month. Whenever the organization is alerted that a child or group of children is available to come to the facility, Superheroes for Hope springs into action to gather real life heroes (firefighters, policemen and women, and military personnel) to talk to the children before they get a tour of Phalanx to see the collection. The goal is to bring hope to and inspire each child that comes through the 30,000 square foot building. Earlier this year, Coats was awarded the 2018 Spirit of #GreaterGNV for his contributions to the community and Superheroes for Hope.

In addition to displaying the memorabilia at the facility, the organization transports the collection to charities nationwide to use in fundraising for their individual causes. Recently, the organization transported a moving truck full of pieces for Partnership for Strong Families to use in raising awareness. Superheroes for Hope covers all the costs of transporting the pieces to these charities, and donations help the organization transport these pieces to other charities as well as expand the collection. Their current goal is to purchase a series of Iron Man suits to rotate at UF Health Shands so that children undergoing monthly treatments will have a reason to look forward to going to the hospital. In the short time since it began, Superheroes for Hope has expanded to include a mentor division to bring hope and direction to children from various foster programs and kids from broken homes. Board members from Phalanx and Partnership for Strong Families serve as the mentors for the short time they get to spend with the children. Because the children, referred through Partnership for Strong Families and Youth Build, often move around or are in a short program, the mentors have but one or two opportunities to make an impact on them. The aim is to inspire the youth and present them with survival skills like how to get a job, balance a checkbook and be an entrepreneur. “The reason I do this is because I was a broken kid, and it’s no big secret that we are all broken,” said Coats. “There are a lot of kids that get stuck in the system, that all they have is the traditional path to follow and they can’t follow it.” After grabbing their attention with Iron Man suits and Batmobiles, Coats then connects with the children by disclosing how he has been homeless and had a tough family life. Showing how he has overcome these obstacles gives inspiration to these children, so that they too can strive to succeed in their own way. Superheroes for Hope is an organization for children in need of an extraordinary experience. Whether it is allowing a sick child a chance to feel strong for a day, helping a troubled youth find their purpose or making an unwanted child feel heard, this organization helps children feel special. “Children are the only true natural resource that we have,” said Coats. “We have to invest in them or it creates a lot of problems down the road. We have to invest in our youth. It is my hope that others who run businesses can take part of their business and open it up to kids.”

For those of you who are more Clark Kent and less Superman, the organization can always use volunteers. Superheroes for Hope has an annual party for underprivileged children in Gainesville that even features a superhero-themed professional stunt show. Find your inner hero, as helping hands are needed to wrap presents, usher guests for the show, hand out gifts, provide food and more. If you would like to donate, volunteer or learn more about this organization, visit



learn | your schools

Tipping the Scales

Alachua County’s Duke TIP Winners BY COLLEEN MCTIERNAN

Taking college entrance exams is tough enough as a junior or senior in high school, let alone as a middle schooler. However, nearly 49,000 seventh-graders took the ACT or SAT this school year as part of the Duke University Talent Identification Program, which identifies highachieving middle school students. At least 62 participating students in Alachua County received scores as high as the top-performing 50 percent of high school students, marking them as state-level winners. To qualify, students had to either earn at least a 22 (out of 36) in English, Math and Science and a 23 in Reading on the ACT, or at least a 540 (out of 800) in Math and a 550 in Evidence-Based Reading and Writing on the SAT.

At least 17 of those 62 earned scores equal to or higher than 90 percent of high schoolers who took the tests, marking them as grand-level winners along with about 2,600 other students across the country. To qualify, students had to either earn at least a 28 in Science, a 29 in Math, and a 31 in English and Reading on the ACT, or at least a 670 in Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and a 680 in Math on the SAT. Lincoln Middle School had the highest number of state and grand recognition level students, with 17 state-level winners and 12 grand-level winners.



BISHOP MIDDLE SCHOOL Grand-level winners: Nathalie Judkins Cooke and Kate Millinor State-level winners: Andrew La Madrid, Garrett McDilda and Laura Rollins CORNERSTONE ACADEMY State-level winners: Asha Freeman, Payten Leeds, Chase Guillot, Joel Burgett, Selasi Nukunya and Seth Jones FT. CLARKE MIDDLE SCHOOL Grand-level winner: Akshara Sisodiya State-level winners: Eric Hoffman, Matthew Payton, Paul Rubin, II and Donovan Slone KANAPAHA MIDDLE SCHOOL Grand-level winners: Tyler Holland State-level winners: Malak Ibrahim and Jackson Parrot LINCOLN MIDDLE SCHOOL Grand-level winners: Katherine Canev, Samuel Cohen, Nicholas Dang, Rishi Gadikota, Angela Gao, Claire Kuntz, Elizabeth Matthais, Ruoxi Qian, McKayla Ro, Akash Verma, William Xu and Chris Zhou State-level winners: Hannah Ahn, Xavier Ayala-Vermont, Najli Barber, Eric Bennett, Madeline Bledsoe, Sara Brackett, Daniel Fudge, Rebekah George, Michelle Han, Jackson O’Neill, Aditya Varshan Pasumarti, Siya Patel, Jackson Petty, Saayon Roy, Hannah Waite, Charles Ye and Shao Tong Zheng OAK HALL SCHOOL State-level winners: Spencer Fuhr, Sannidhi Kolukula, Sydney Miller and Dylan Provencher OAK VIEW MIDDLE SCHOOL Grand-level winner: Tucker Shea State-level winners: Kelly Colton, Ryan Krecic, Sydney Vaillancourt and Daniel Weed P.K. YONGE DEVELOPMENTAL RESEARCH SCHOOL State-level winners: Valentina de Grammont and Tupelo Hostetler WESTWOOD MIDDLE SCHOOL State-level winners: Zachary Collins, Zelmarria Davis, Aiden Kittelson, Nikhita Meier, Ella Monck and Rachel Wynn

learn | homeschool corner

Busting the Myth

The Truth About Socialization and Homeschooling BY CRYSTAL LADWIG

Perhaps the biggest objection that many people have to homeschooling is the idea that there is an apparent lack of socialization for homeschooled children. To be honest, this was the biggest concern that my husband and I had when we decided to pull our children out of public school to homeschool them instead. As it turns out, there is a different problem related to socialization that affects us much more. One of the first and best things I learned about when we started homeschooling was the vast quantity of resources available to homeschoolers in and around the Gainesville area. There are so many groups, organizations and businesses that support homeschoolers that our real problem became which ones we should do.

A quick search on Facebook will reveal many local groups and co-ops where parents and their children can socialize with one another, share ideas, and learn from and with one another. Santa Fe College just completed their third year of homeschooling classes in their College for Kids program. Homeschoolers have had the opportunity to use technology to learn engineering, robotics, programming and design. The Alachua County Library system offers classes during the school day for homeschoolers each month. Many co-ops and homeschool groups have park days weekly. Most have field trips and classes where students learn together. Gamesville Tabletop hosts weekly homeschool game days. The Florida Natural History Museum offers homeschool days at least twice per year. The University of Florida hosts an annual Brain Awareness Homeschool day complete with dissection activities. And this is all just in the

Homeschooled children learn social skills through the modeling of caring adults in real circumstances.

Gainesville area. If you are willing to take a daylong field trip, you will find countless more opportunities. The result is a very hectic schedule. Between volunteering, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, sports, Santa Fe classes, Cade Museum classes, library classes, field trips, park days and coop classes, it is rare for our family to be home for more than one full day at a time. Homeschooled children do not suffer from a lack of socialization. They simply learn in a different way. They learn by spending time with adults, young and old. They learn in groups of children of all ages and abilities. They learn social skills in the very community in which they will use them in a practical sense each and every day. Homeschooled children learn social skills through the modeling of caring adults in real circumstances. They learn how their behaviors should change or vary in different settings or with different people. One of the most positive aspects of homeschoolers’ socialization is the openness with which they address each other. Age or grade do not seem to matter much, and the pressure of what others will think of them is minimized. Perhaps it is because homeschoolers seek out socialization that it has become such as non-issue for those of us who choose this educational option. As I see my children interact with other children (homeschooled, private schooled or public schooled), I am thankful and proud to see that they know how to interact with anyone they meet. Dr. Crystal Ladwig is a veteran special education teacher, college instructor and researcher turned homeschool mom. Crystal specializes in working with children with learning disabilities, autism, and mental health issues as well as children considered 2e (gifted + a disability).



Summer at the


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learn | featured teacher

Martha Dolan

AT WHAT SCHOOL DO YOU CURRENTLY WORK? I work at the Millhopper Montessori School.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A TEACHER? I have been teaching 27 years. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK? My favorite children’s book is, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle. For pleasure, I most often read about gardening, and I love humorous books.

Do you know a teacher who goes above and beyond for his students? An administrator who is truly devoted to making her school a better place? Giggle Magazine wants to know! Visit to submit your favorite educator for a chance for him or her to be featured in one of our upcoming issues.



Why were you inspired to teach?

I teach eight subject areas. Montessori materials allow students to explore and learn through touching and doing.

I started teaching preschool when my own children started school so that my hours of work would be compatible to their needs. I grew to love teaching and feel it was a gift given to me.

PRACTICAL LIFE: The Practical Life activities help students become responsible members of society. The activities help them learn and express a sense of order, independence, respect for the environment and respect for others. At the same time the activities help to refine their concentration and hand-eye coordination. I change the activities regularly so there are always new and exciting ways to refine the children’s fine motor skills and promote increased concentration skills. SENSORIAL: This area allows children to explore through their senses. Each material isolates one quality, whether it be color, shape, texture, sound, size, taste, weight or smell. LANGUAGE ARTS: The Language Arts materials teach and reinforce sounds, writing and reading. MATH: There are a variety of Math materials and activities to reinforce quantities and numerals. CULTURAL AREA: I teach lessons in botany, zoology and geography to help my Montessori preschool students explore and discover the world around them. READING AREA AND BOOK SHELF: I provide many books to reinforce the unit studies we do each month. I have a reading nook where students can have quiet time and do a nursery rhyme felt board or just enjoy the books. SCIENCE: Science is my favorite area to teach. I raise butterflies, and this year my students have had the pleasure of watching the life cycle of a Monarch butterfly from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to releasing the fully formed butterflies. ART: The students study famous artists during the year. This year they drew their own interpretation of Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night.”

What advice would you give to parents of children starting in your class? I would advise parents to be patient with their children’s growth. As they experiment with the materials and lessons, parents will see their children’s focus grow as they explore their favorite areas and develop their own potentials. Remember to say things like, “How did that make you feel?” rather than saying, “I am proud of you.” Expressing pride in your child is nice, but we want our children to feel good about themselves and their ability to learn, not focus on trying to please us as parents.

What is your favorite part of the school day? My favorite part of my school day is morning work cycle when the students are focusing on their lessons with a love for learning.

How do you wind down from a long day of teaching? My husband and I sit out at my butterfly garden and relax.

What do you like to do outside of the classroom? One of my favorite activities to do with my family is to go camping in the mountains. I have had the pleasure of climbing the highest peak of the Appalachian Mountains in Georgia three times.

What has been your funniest interaction with a student? There have been many and it is often when a child says “Ms. Martha that’s not correct,” and I respond with, “You are right and I like making mistakes because it helps me learn.” Then we all laugh!

Photo courtesy of Martha Dolan.

WHAT GRADE/AGE DO YOU TEACH? I teach preschool and the students are 3–5 years old.

What subject do you teach?

An Inside Look at our Local

Labor & Delivery Rooms

While the birth of your child, whether your first or your fifth, is an exciting time, it can also be very nerve-wracking for moms. If you are giving birth in one of our local hospitals, you may not know what to expect before going in. While both hospitals offer tours of their maternity units, sometimes those nine

months just go way quicker than expected, and with nurseries to be designed, parties to be held, and doctors appointments to be attended, we may not make it to those tours before baby comes. So, we decided to bring the tour to you!



University of Florida Health


Whether you are in a triage room or a labor and delivery suite, each room accommodates mom and baby, with areas for birth partners and family to be present during the labor and delivery process. Rooms are located on the third floor of the hospital, close to the neonatal intensive care unit and mother/baby suite. Each room is private, has an adjustable bed, private restroom, a nitrous oxide machine, wireless fetal monitoring devices, infant warmers and birthing balls, as well as all the smaller items, like shampoo, blankets and pillows.



Labor and Delivery Suite

The rooms also come with Hugs® tags, which are small security devices that will sound an alarm if taken off or tampered with, as well as barcoded tags for mom and baby. Barcoded Medication Administration, or BCMA, is an inventory control system that uses barcodes to prevent errors in the distribution of prescription medications at hospitals. The goal of BCMA is to make sure that moms and babies are receiving the correct medications at the correct time by electronically validating and documenting medications. The information encoded in barcodes allows for the comparison of the medication being administered with what was ordered for the mom and baby.

UF Health Shands also offers wireless fetal monitors for mom and baby. This device allows moms increased mobility, which means they can sit on birthing balls, walk around and move comfortably around their rooms. The wireless fetal monitoring device provides visual information of baby’s heart rate and contraction patterns during labor, allowing doctors and nurses to monitor baby. This device is a single patch, which is gently adhered to a mom’s belly.

UF Health Shands Hospital is one of seven hospitals in the state of Florida to receive the BabyFriendly designation, a special program that provides breastfeeding support for new moms sponsored by UNICEF.

Classes and Tours

Moms may choose to have an epidural to help ease their labor pains. This positioning device helps keep mom in a stable and safe position to receive the epidural.

UF Health Shands promotes skinto- skin contact at birth for healthy term babies, however newborns that require additional support or temperature regulation at birth may be placed in an infant warmer close by mom’s bedside.

Among other maternity classes, like newborn care and breastfeeding, UF Health Shands offers a childbirth education class, which includes a tour of the triage, labor and delivery, and mother baby unit. Classes are held from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. one Saturday a month. Upcoming dates include June 9, July 14, Aug. 11 and Sept. 8.

North Florida Regional


North Florida Regional Medical Center’s labor and delivery unit features 18 private rooms with plenty of room for family to stay with mom as she labors. Peanut balls and birthing balls are also available upon request to help moms through the labor process. All of the medication given to mom and baby is barcoded and scanned through NFRMC’s Meditech inventory system to ensure that it is correct. Typically, moms stay in this room for about two hours after delivery, depending on their condition. Then mom and baby are moved to a postpartum room.



North Florida Regional Medical Center offers a new moms luncheon for all moms who recently delivered their baby at the hospital. This free luncheon is held every Tuesday and is available to moms with babies from 2 to 12 weeks old.

Classes and Tours

Right next to mom’s bedside is a Panda‰ warmer. Although NFRMC promotes skin-to-skin contact as soon as possible for mom and baby, in the event that the baby requires assistance after birth, he or she would be placed in the warmer. It can be used to get the baby’s APGAR score as well as monitor oxygen.

The tocolytic monitor is used to continuously track contractions, baby’s heart rate and mom’s vital signs. The information from the tocolytic monitor screens to the nurse’s station as well so that multiple people can keep track of mom and baby’s health, even if there is not a nurse in the room. North Florida Regional also offers wireless fetal monitors to allow mom more mobility during labor.

North Florida Regional Medical Center offers free, one-hour maternity unit tours most Mondays and Wednesdays. Just be sure to pre-register online to ensure a spot! NFRMC also offers a number of other parent education classes several times per month, including infant massage, breastfeeding and pumping, newborn care and prepared childbirth, among others.

NFRMC currently features 20 postpartum rooms, which will increase to 30 beds after the construction of three new floors at the Women’s Center, starting November 2018. All postpartum rooms come equipped with breast pumps, and NFRMC offers lactation services seven days a week to provide support to moms learning to breastfeed. There is no newborn nursery at NFRMC. Baby stays with mom in the postpartum room, which also features a sofa bed so that dad can stay close by, too! To ensure the safety of mom and baby, the unit stays locked, with visitors calling in to the desk before being allowed in. NFRMC uses the Hugs‰ infant security system to prevent babies from being taken out of the unit.





CHOOSING A PRESCHOOL WHERE YOUR CHILD WILL THRIVE As a parent, I have experienced the often-overwhelming challenge of finding high quality child care and preschools for my two young children. My educational background in early childhood education compounds my passion in selecting a preschool setting where my children will receive exceptional care and learning opportunities. As parents, what should we be looking for when choosing a preschool for our children? Positive Environment and Relationships Environment refers to the physical space, approaches and policies that create the school climate. Does the school provide for your child’s safety, physical, social, emotional and cognitive needs? Are teachers warm, nurturing and inviting? Do teachers and staff get on your child’s level to greet him or her? Is there evidence of happy children in the parking lot, the front office, the hallways and the classrooms? Are there positive and healthy relationships between school employees, families and children? Positive school environments and relationships lay a foundation for impactful schooling. Developmentally Appropriate Practices Practices in early child care settings should be developmentally appropriate. Developmentally appropriate practice is, “Practice that promotes young children’s optimal learning and development” (NAEYC, 2009, p. 16). Along with emphasis on academic learning, high

quality preschools should provide “valuable experiences such as problem solving, rich play, collaboration with peers, opportunities for emotional and social development, outdoor/ physical activity, and the arts” (p. 4). Exceptional preschool teachers should masterfully weave play into literacy experiences and units of instruction that are built upon student interests in their social worlds, science, math and the arts. These units should manifest in the classroom as unique and exciting experiences for children. As my 4-year-old daughter tried to settle into bed one evening several weeks ago, she was far too excited to go to sleep. She was shrieking and bounding about, anticipating the culminating musical performance in her preschool class the next day. Her class had been engaged in a multi-week unit on music. Musicians exposed her class to rich performances and experiences with various instruments and types of music. She and her classmates built their own instruments and planned a concert for families, complete with child-made entry tickets and a program for the event. As we excitedly got out of bed that night to choose her concert outfit for the next day, it occurred to me: My daughter is more excited to go to school tomorrow than she was on Christmas Eve. THAT is what we want for our children’s preschool experience.

Diana Durbin Murdock, Ph.D., joins Oak Hall School as their first Academic Dean. Dr. Murdock earned her Ph.D. in Elementary Education from the University of Georgia,and a Bachelor of Science and Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Berry College. She has experience as a classroom teacher in second, third and fourth grades. While pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of Georgia, she served as a graduate assistant with the Middle Grades Program and taught middle level education courses. She has mentored preservice teachers as they transitioned from high school to college, and then from college to teaching careers. She has authored and coauthored multiple publications from Powerful Teaching: A Framework for Utilizing Service Learning in the Classroom to Kindergarten scientists: The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. She remains passionate in preparing and empowering teachers to reach every student through hands-on, engaging, meaningful, relevant, and impactful teaching and curriculum.

National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2009). Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age 8: Position Statement. Retrieved March 19, 2018:

3 YEAR OLD-GRADE 12 7715 SW 14th Ave. • Gainesville, FL 32607 P. 352-332-1452 • F. 352-332-4945


EXPECTING Preparing Your Nest

INFANT | 0-1 Chiropractic Care ... For Infants


Photo by Tanya Consaul Photography.

Early Detection

EARLY YEARS | 4-5 Sharing is Caring

KIDS | 6-9 Got Milk?

TWEENS | 10-1 3 Put Your Phone Away!

TEENS | 14-18 Ending the Silence



c2c | expecting {PREGNANCY}

Prepping Your Nest

Urge to nest instinctual for many pregnant women BY JENNIFER JENSEN

As you get closer and closer to the birth of your child, you may notice a sudden burst of energy and a strong need to clean and organize your home. Do not worry — you are not alone. A lot of women experience “nesting” during their pregnancy — an intense desire to get everything ready before the baby arrives. For many, this becomes strongest in the last trimester as they are preparing to welcome their little bundle of joy into the world. Robyn Nelson, a Gainesville-area mother of three, knows this feeling all too well, having the desire to nest during each of her pregnancies, usually beginning around the eighth month. “I went from having not much energy to cleaning and organizing everything in sight,” said Nelson. “I would clean the walls, baseboards, organize the closets and cabinets, wash and organize all of the baby items, and I had bottles ready to go in case breastfeeding didn’t work out.” She also made sure her pantry was stocked and her hospital bags were packed so she was ready to go if baby decided to come early. “I honestly believe that nesting is a biological instinct and it’s our bodies way of preparing,” she said. She may be on to something. A 2013 study performed by researchers from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, suggested that nesting is an adaptive behavior stemming from humans’ evolutionary past and a result of a mechanism to protect and prepare for a baby. The study was compiled into two separate studies: a large online study comparing pregnant and non-pregnant women and a longitudinal study tracking women throughout pregnancy and into the postpartum period. “Nesting is not a frivolous activity,” said Marla Anderson, lead author of the study. “We have found that it peaks in the third trimester as the birth of the



baby draws near and is an important task that probably serves the same purpose in women as it does in other animals.” This purpose is a protective one, according to the study. There is a need to have control over the environment — both space preparation and social selectivity — as mothers prepare for childbirth. Nelson said it was a feeling that came on strong and was not one she felt she could control. However, she enjoyed having all the extra energy. “I had all this energy that I could use to get things done when previously I had been sluggish and tired all the time,” she said. Steffanie Crockett, a Gainesville-area mom who recently had a baby, remembers that instinctual need to prepare, an almost compulsive need to organize everything in her sight — including a room at her office. “So much of pregnancy and childbirth is completely new, out of our control, and hard to fully prepare for,” she said. “We can, however, prepare our environment and feel some level of control through nesting.”

“A 2013 study performed by researchers from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada suggested that nesting is an adaptive behavior stemming from humans' evolutionary past and a result of a mechanism to protect and prepare for a baby." If you suddenly feel a strong urge to clean anything and everything, just remember not to overdo it. Pregnant women need to make sure they get enough rest in those last few weeks to prepare for baby’s arrival. Also, be sure to steer clear of those cleaning chemicals that can be harmful to you and baby, such as those containing bleach. And if you decide to reorganize every room in the house, just be sure to delegate the heavy lifting to someone else!

Lesson #2 More moms prefer which hospital? Answer: NFRMC.COM

c2c | infant { 0 -1 Y E A R }

Chiropractic Care ... For Infants How chiropractic care can benefit newborns BY JENNIFER JENSEN

When their baby is unhappy or in pain, it seems as though parents will try anything to make their little one feel better. One remedy that might help, and one that many parents may not have considered, is chiropractic medicine. Dr. David West, a fourth-generation chiropractor and owner of West Family Chiropractic, has seen many infants in their first week of life. Many of their mothers were under his care during their pregnancy to help with back pain and other issues, and wanted their infants to be evaluated right away. “The birth process can be one the most traumatic things we go through in our lives,” he said. “I feel our job is to make sure stressed joints and abnormal mechanics are corrected as early as possible in ones’ lives.” For infants, chiropractic care can help with colic, constipation, uncomfortableness in a car seat, inability to turn their heads a certain direction and feeding issues. When an infant is brought into West’s office, he evaluates the spine and peripheral joints for normal motion and function and will make adjustments as needed. “Infants are really easy to work

with and very easy to adjust the spine,” said West. “In certain regions, just the pressure from your pinky can be enough to deliver an adjustment.” In infant chiropractic care, the idea is subtle adjustments to normalize the function of the spine. Adjustments will vary based on the practitioner, but, for example, an ear infection or cervical spine dysfunction may cause a chiropractor to consider the upper cervical spine for adjustment, and constipation issues may be due to lower lumbar or sacral functional restrictions. Stephanie Meeks, mother of four, has taken all of her children to the chiropractor, some while they were newborns. "Adjustments have helped with behavior, allergies, feet and back pain,” she said. “Also with tightness in the jaw and mouth causing breastfeeding issues.”

"In infant chiropractic care, the idea is subtle adjustments to normalize the function of the spine." Although chiropractic medicine has helped people like Meeks and her children, there is still some controversy surrounding the topic. A big driver could be because this type of thing is not “the norm,” and that most insurance companies do not cover this type of treatment, said Meeks. Of course, while there are many supporters of chiropractic care for infants, there are also studies that put into question the efficacy and safety of chiropractic care for infants. According to a study published in the Archives of Diseases in Childhood, there is evidence to suggest that chiropractic treatment does little, if not nothing, to treat infant colic.

Whether you choose to pursue chiropractic care for your infant is up to your discretion as a parent. However, if you do decide to seek it, be sure to find a chiropractor with an excellent patient record who has extensive experience dealing with infants. Consider asking your chiropractor if he or she has received a Diplomate in Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics, which is a board-certified credential in the specialty of pediatrics and pregnancy, when doing your research.



c2c | toddler {2-3 YEARS}

Early Detection The importance of spotting the signs of autism BY ELAYZA GONZALEZ

When it comes to autism, the earlier parents are able to detect it, the better the outcome for the child. According to Autism Speaks, early intensive behavioral intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) can help improve learning, communication and social skills. Studies have also shown that early screenings can help identify children with autism as early as 12 months old. All children should be screened for developmental delays and disabilities during regularly scheduled doctor visits, and all children should also be screened specifically for ASD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The ASD screenings can be done during a baby’s 1-year check-up, where pediatricians use a brief parent questionnaire to determine if a baby has autism or is at high risk of developing it. However, there are early signs of autism that parents can watch for themselves. It is important for parents to be aware of the developmental milestones their baby should be reaching and to become familiar with the common signs that may indicate your baby has an autism spectrum disorder.

Look out for the “red flags”

According to Autism Speaks, there are some types of behaviors to watch for, especially during the early, developing stages. These red flags can include no big, joyful expressions by 6 months; no sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by 9 months; no babbling or back-and-forth gestures like pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months; no words by 16 months; no meaningful, two-word phrases by 24 months; or any loss of speech or social skills at any age. If your child exhibits any of those signs, it might be time to ask your pediatrician for an evaluation. Megan Mason, local mom of one, also emphasized that it is important for parents to continue looking for signs well into the toddler years. Her 5-year-old son, Luke, did not start showing signs until he was 2 years old, and as a result of missing those early, but very subtle, signs, he did not begin treatment as early as he could have.

Benefits of early intervention

The earlier your child is diagnosed, the better the outcome. Mason compared Luke’s brain to a sponge, and she said had she spotted the signs earlier, Luke could have made more advancements by now. According to Friendship Circle, a



nonprofit organization for children with special needs, if a diagnosis is made when the child’s brain is more malleable and still developing circuitry, the treatment can be more efficient, leading to increased positive outcomes. Early intervention gives babies a “social jump-start” because they can begin training earlier with the hope of improving their motor and social skills and gain more success in the long run.

Therapy options

There are many treatment options designed to help children on the autism spectrum develop communication, behavioral and sensory skills, among others. According to Autism Speaks, these treatment methods are often a very intensive undertaking requiring the child’s entire family and a team of professionals be involved. Some of the main therapy and treatment options available for children on the autism spectrum include applied behavior analysis, relationship development intervention and sensory integration. Applied behavior analysis, or ABA, has been used by therapists since the 1960s as a way to teach communication, play, social, academic, self-care, work and community living skills while reducing problem behaviors in learners with autism, according to Autism Speaks. Research shows that ABA has been effective in improving children’s outcomes, including their cognitive and language abilities. Relationship development intervention, or RDI, is a familybased, behavioral treatment designed to address autism’s core symptoms. Through RDI, children with autism can learn how to form personal relationships and form an emotional bond by strengthening the building blocks of social connections. Sensory integration therapy, or SI, is a treatment option that helps children with autism develop sensory processing through exposure to sensory stimulation in a structured, repetitive way. According to, a nonprofit support group for parents with autistic children, the theory behind SI is that over time and through repetition, the brain and nervous system will adapt and allow children to process and react to sensations more efficiently. Now more than ever, through early intervention and effective treatment options, parents have the resources to ensure that children with autism spectrum disorders have a better chance for a jumpstart at a happy and healthy life.

"When it comes to autism, the earlier parents are able to detect it, the better the outcome for the child."

c2c | early years

{4-5 YEARS}

Sharing is Caring Teaching your children how to share BY CHRISTY PIÑA

Sharing is one of the most crucial lessons children learn early in their lives. While certain lessons can be taught as children continue to grow up, sharing is something that should be taught sooner than later. Sharing does not come naturally for young children, Tracie Frial, LMHC, said. They tend to resist sharing because developmentally, they are very “me-centered” in their early years. Frial said that toys have much more value to children than parents perceive them to have because to children, their toys are more than just material items. This is why children are often emotional at the thought of sharing. “Parents can validate their child's feelings, but also talk with them about how happy their friend is to also play with the toy they have shared and that they both can be happy together playing with the toy,” she said. While it may be a difficult task to undertake, there are a few ways to make teaching your child to share a bit easier.


Kristina Chance, owner of Play and Wellness Center of Gainesville, encourages parents to ensure their child knows that sharing something does not mean giving it up completely, but rather trading for a bit, whether that means trading one toy for another or just taking turns with one toy. If you are having difficulty reminding your child to take turns with a toy, consider using a timer to encourage that back and forth trading. If at a playdate there is one particular toy that both children want to play with, set the timer for about 5 minutes. Let your child play with the toy until the timer goes off, and then have her switch with her friend. Repeat so that she understands that she will eventually get her toy back.




Praise and reinforcement can go a long way when it comes to teaching children things they may not want to learn. And modeling behaviors for your children to mimic is often very effective. “Simply put, kids do what they see,” Meghan Hamlet, owner of New Paths Counseling, said. “The best way for parents to instill good sharing habits in their children is to demonstrate that behavior at home. By showing a child what it means to share and giving them positive feedback and reinforcement, kids can learn this skill.” For instance you, may practice taking turns with different toys while you play with your children, or share snacks with them and other family members to show how you share.


Leah Galione, a local mom of five, thinks children are more likely to share if they feel like they have autonomy over some of their own toys. “I think it’s important also, in large families, that they also have things that belong just to them. So, they can feel like, ‘I don’t have to share every single one of my toys. I don’t have to share,’” she said. “It’s OK to have things that are just theirs.” Expecting your child to always share, particularly at a young age, can be difficult. Chance reminds parents that young children are very concrete in the way they think. Explanations need to be black and white in order for them to better understand and be more open to sharing. “Give them concrete reasons and if there aren't any, I encourage parents to evaluate for themselves why they are encouraging the child to share in the first place,” she said.

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c2c | kids {6-9 YEARS}

Got Milk? The growth of calcium deficiency in children BY TRACY WRIGHT

Calcium deficiency is a growing trend worldwide, including in the United States. A study published in the journal Pediatrics showed that most children over 8 years old do not get a sufficient amount of calcium, which could increase their risk of developing osteoporosis at a later age. Osteoporosis affects about 10 million Americans and puts them at risk for breaking bones. Evidence from a Mayo Clinic study shows that children are breaking their arms at a higher rate than they did a generation ago. The study’s researchers suggested that possible culprits could be less time in the sun, which would cause a vitamin D deficiency, as well as the consumption of less dairy products and more sweets and soft drinks. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has advised that parents have their children’s bone health and calcium intake assessed by their pediatrician to ensure the prevention of broken or brittle bones. “Childhood and adolescence are the most important times during a person’s life for building up bone mass. This process peaks especially during adolescence, and bones usually reach their maximum strength density by age of 18 to 20,” Olga Mas, a pediatrician at Gainesville’s Alliance Pediatrics, said. “Eating for healthy bones means getting plenty of calcium and vitamin D-rich foods. Dairy products including whole or low-fat milk, yogurt and cheeses ... are by far the best sources of calcium,” she said. “Most people can achieve the recommended dietary intake of calcium by eating three servings of dairy per day for children and four for adolescents.” You can also get your calcium from non-dairy foods such as broccoli, collard greens, almonds, and calcium-fortified orange juice, cereals and tofu. As children head into adolescence and their teenage years, they may view these types of calcium- and vitamin D-rich foods as fatty and unhealthy, especially teenage girls, said Dr. Mas. It is helpful to remind them that low-fat dairy and skim milks can provide just as much calcium and vitamin D. Increased screen time also means that children are not going outdoors as often to receive vitamin D from the sunlight. A 2017 report from Common Sense Media shows that on average children up to age 8 receive a little more than two hours of screen time per day and 8- to 12- year-olds receive above four and a half hours per day. Less time for physical education in schools as well as concern for safe spaces for adolescents to play may also be impacting the rates of calcium deficiency as well as obesity.



“Getting regular physical activity, especially weight bearing activities, which involves walking, jogging or jumping is an important factor in building strong bones,” said Dr. Mas. Prolonged vitamin D deficiency can also lead to rickets, a condition that is a weakening of bones in the body. Signs of rickets include delayed growth, weakened muscles and bone pain. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are five cases of rickets per 1 million children 6 months to 5 years of age. This is surprising as rickets was said to be eradicated in the 1930s. The AAP recommends that parents talk to their pediatricians at annual checkups to assess the calcium and vitamin intake of their child or teen and visit them immediately if they have concerns about their bone health or their child exhibits signs of a rickets condition.

Daily Recommendations for Children's Calcium Needs per the American Academy of Pediatrics Ages 1 to 3: 700 milligrams Ages 4 to 8: 1,000 milligrams Ages 9 to 18: 1,300 milligrams

Calcium Content of Calcium-Rich Foods per the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

3 oz. of calcium-set tofu 163 mg

1 cup of oranges 72 mg

8 oz. of plain, low-fat yogurt 415 mg

1 cup of collard greens 357 mg

1 oz. of almonds 70 mg

c2c | tweens { 1 0 -1 3 Y E A R S }

Put Your Phone Away! Internet addiction in tweens BY APRIL TISHER

With a 13-year-old and an 11-year-old, I sometimes feel like their technology is the bane of my existence. I thought I had planned it out all so well. I had rules and a contract. We discussed when phones were allowed and when they were not. Still as time passes I feel like I have a part-time job monitoring and regulating the time they spend on their phones! So, why is it so easy for tweens to get sucked into their phone and miss the world around them? It is almost like it is addictive … And it is. Internet addiction disorder (IAD) is like other known addictions. According to an article published in the Journal of Computer Science and Engineering, it activates a combination of sites in the brain associated with pleasure known as the "reward center." When activated, dopamine, along with opiates and other neurochemicals are released. Eventually receptors in the brain are affected and produce a tolerance that will require increased stimulation for the same reaction. Even though IAD has not been added to the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), it has been discussed as a disorder since 1995 when Dr. Ivan Goldberg compared internet addiction to a gambling addiction. If you are worried your tween is addicted to the internet, keep an eye out for some of the following signs of IAD.


She feels the need to respond to messages immediately.

She constantly checks her phone even when it does not ring or vibrate.

She ignores friends, family and hobbies in real time in favor of her virtual world of texts and social media.

She feels anxious when away from her phone or computer.

Her grades drop.

She continues to spend time on the internet even after getting in trouble for her habits.


Does any of this sound familiar? Addiction to their devices (which can include social media, video games, Netflix, etc.) may seem harmless, but as it can result in sleep disturbances, anxiety and negative social pressures. The American Academy of Pediatrics has long since recommended no, as in zero, screen time for those under the age of 2 and a maximum of two hours for those over 2 until teenage years. They also recommend keeping screens out of their bedrooms — this goes for televisions, phones, tablets and computers. Enforce a mealtime and bedtime “curfew” for devices, including cellphones. Establish reasonable but firm rules about cellphones, texting, internet and social media use. Speech pathologist, audiologist and local mom of two, Analize Britz, said that she grew tired of constantly nagging her children about their screen time, so she installed an app called OurPact on her phone as well as her children’s tablets and video game systems. With this app, she can set specific times that the devices can be used and grant or block usage for specified amounts of time right from her own device. She can also choose what can be used when, and if they try to access something she does not want them to, they get a denied message. The best treatment is prevention. Recognize the signs early and take the steps to prevent your child from spending too much time in front of a screen. It might not make you popular, but they will thank you later!

Addiction to their devices (which can “ include social media, video games, Netflix, etc.) may seem harmless, but as it can result in sleep disturbances, anxiety and negative social pressures."









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c2c | teens { 1 4 -1 8 Y E A R S }

Ending the Silence

How to recognize signs leading to teen suicide BY TRACY WRIGHT

When 32-year-old Kimberley* looked back on her life, she realized that as early as 14, she was suffering from bouts of depression. Even in middle school, she experienced low self-esteem, which would lead her to binge or restrict food because of insecurities about her appearance. She never had a lot of friends and had problems keeping the ones she had. Kimberley would increasingly have anxiety attacks. At 15, a teacher asked to meet with Kimberley’s parents to discuss her concerns. Kimberley’s parents were shocked, upset and a bit defensive at the meeting. It was admittedly difficult for her parents to face these issues due to lack of knowledge and stigma. Then Kimberley began to self-injure, a symptom of mental health conditions, especially in teens. “It was frustrating. I felt like there was no in-between in dealing with my issues. My parents tried to help and be supportive, but it was easier for them to ignore the issues,” she said. “Once I started to self-injure, it landed me in a local psychiatric hospital. Some interventions helped, but no one got to the root of the problem.” According to the National Institute of Mental Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five children experience a mental health disorder in their lifetimes and half of these go untreated. For Kimberley, it was bipolar disorder, which had been misdiagnosed multiple times. Unfortunately, it led her to an ultimate low — seeking a relationship with a verbally abusive man while using drugs and self-injuring. Along the way, there were multiple suicide attempts. Fourteen percent of deaths in children ages 15–19 are due to suicide, said Dr. Daniel Witter, a psychiatrist at North Florida Regional Medical Center. What are warning signs parents can look for in their teens or middle schoolers to better understand if their child is suffering from a health issue and considering suicide? “Of the warning signs, the most significant would be reports of suicidal thoughts or evidence of self-harm such as cutting,” said Dr. Witter. Behavioral changes such as isolating, loss of interest in previous activities, and substance use are also warning signs that should be given close attention. As if the teenage years were not difficult enough, new stimuli like social media, are shown to have adverse effects on mental health.



A study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh found young adults who spend more time on social media may experience symptoms of sleep loss and depression. Parents should be aware of their teen’s use of social media, especially if there are concerns of mental health issues or a diagnosis. The National Alliance on Mental Illness, a grassroots organization, is working to reverse the growing trend of teen suicide and help teenagers and preteenagers suffering from mental illness get the help they need. They offer Ending the Silence, a nationally recognized, evidence-based educational program, which works to remove the stigma of mental health issues among teens and their families. Teresa Mullin, a local licensed mental health therapist, is the coordinator of the Gainesville Ending the Silence Program and a board member of NAMI Gainesville. She also had a child who suffered from mental health issues, which is a major part of what drove her to be a part of the program. “One of the main objectives of this program is to reduce stigma about mental health among students and their families,” said Mullin.

c2c | teens Ending the Silence is an engaging and free presentation for middle schoolers and high schoolers that helps children and their families learn about the warning signs of mental health conditions and what can be done if you or a loved one are showing symptoms of a mental illness. NAMI partners with local schools to offer the presentation. They also host regular meetings for those interested in the program. Those who would like to attend can call (352) 256-5318 or email The Ending the Silence program typically provides information allowing the audience to understand that mental illness is a disease just like diabetes, cancer or cystic fibrosis. What is unique about the program is that it not only focuses on educating those suffering and their families, it also encourages friends and peers to be advocates for their classmates. A post-test research study conducted by NAMI surveyed 500 students in 10 schools across the country and included those who had participated in the Ending the Silence program and those who had not. It showed that those who had viewed the program significantly increased their awareness and knowledge about mental health issues among teenagers and how to seek assistance. “Not only should parents be aware of warning signs, but they should encourage their children to be advocates for their friends or classmates,” said Mullin. “Often at this age, children will not turn to their parents for assistance but may share ideas or thoughts with friends or peers. Teen advocates should have open lines of communication with their own parents, teachers or counselors if they are concerned about someone they know.” A key component for the presentation given in Gainesville is that they always incorporate a college-age speaker who has suffered through mental health issues. This is important because it allows the high school students to see someone who is younger and has been through something they may be experiencing. There are many resources locally and nationally available for young adults, peers and their families if they are experiencing signs of mental illness. Mullin advises parents to establish a dialogue with their children about mental health, even if they have not exhibited warning signs. She also advises parents to learn about resources in their community that may be able to help. In Gainesville, there are peer groups for teens, young adults and families, as well as therapy options, including cognitive behavioral therapy (counseling), art or pet therapy and nontraditional forms of therapy, which may utilize nature or exercise like yoga. Kimberley wishes she could have found a safe space when she was a teenager, and she believes this could have helped her treatment.

It took her a while to get connected to a mental health therapist who was right for her, which was key along with being on the proper medication. Today, she lives independently, has a stable job and is surrounded by people who are supportive of her. “For friends and peers, I do encourage them to reach out to a friend they may think may be going through something or whose behavior has changed,” Kimberley said. “I also advise parents to check in with their children and let them know they always have their support. My relationship today with my parents is great, and it has improved as I get better with my treatment.” Kimberley reminds teens, young adults and anyone suffering from mental illness that they are not alone. “Don’t believe stigmas and realize that your health — mental and physical — is vital.” *Name has been changed to protect anonymity.

For friends and peers, I do encourage them to reach out to a friend they may think may be going through something or whose behavior has changed.”

Community and Parent/Teen Resources Alachua County Crisis Center Hotline & Suicide Counseling • Alachua County Crisis Center operates 24/7 (352)-264-6789 • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255) Gainesville Peer Respite Center Gainesville Peer Respite ( offers wellness activities, support groups, a peer support Warmline and brief overnight respite stays in a non-clinical, home-like environment for individuals for adults 18 and over. Call Warmline at (352) 559-4559 for support, or if you are just curious about what they have to offer peers in our community. 

community | calendar

june | july JUNE 1 Last Day of School for Alachua County Public School Students JUNE 1

Stay and Play 9 - 11 a.m. Sun Country Sports - West Kiddos 5 years and younger will develop basic motor skills as they participate in obstacle courses and bounce around in the Bounce Room before ending with Circle Time and a snack. Prices range from $11 for members to $13.25 for non-members. Repeats every Friday. JUNE 1

Tot Times: Customs & Cultures 11 a.m. Harn Museum of Art Tour the Harn with your little ones with this program designed for children ages 2–5. Space is limited, so arrive 15 minutes early to register.





Splash Jam

Friday First in Downtown High Springs

5 - 6 p.m. Sun Country Sports – West Swimmers of all skill levels can join in for 30 minutes of mixed group instructional time, followed by 30 minutes of open swim time. Prices range from $15.75 for members to $19 for non-members. Event repeats every Friday. JUNE 1

Gym Jam Jr. 5–6 p.m. Sun Country Sports – West Children between the ages of 3 ½ and 5 will participate in a coach-led warmup, receive instruction on each gym apparatus and have open workout time during this one hour program. Prices range from $12 for members to $15 for non-members. JUNE 1

Gym Jam 5–7 p.m. Sun Country Sports – West Children 5 years and older will participate in a coach-led warmup, receive instruction on each gym apparatus and have open workout time during this two hour program. Prices range from $18 for members to $20 for non-members. Repeats every Friday.

5–8 p.m. Downtown High Springs With special sales and music, downtown High Springs is the place to be the first Friday of every month. JUNE 1

Parent Night Out: Summer Beach Blast 6–10 p.m. o2b Kids! Gainesville Supercenter Five- to 13-year-olds will enjoy group games and other fun activities as well as a pizza dinner. Prices range from $15 for O2B members and $25 for non-members. JUNE 1

Free Fridays Concert Series: Little Jake & The Soul Searchers 8–10 p.m. Bo Diddley Plaza Enjoy R&B and soul music under the stars at this free, family-friendly concert.


Wellborn Blueberry Festival 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. Andrew Square in Downtown Wellborn Between the blueberry pancake breakfast, “Christmas in June” parade and craft vendors, there will be plenty to keep kids of all ages entertained at this free event.


Stay and Play

Get Air Gainesville Toddler Time

9–11 a.m. Sun Country Sports – West Kiddos 5 years and younger will develop basic motor skills as they participate in obstacle courses and bounce around in the Bounce Room before ending with Circle Time and a snack. Prices range from $11 for members to $13.25 for nonmembers. Repeats every Tuesday. JUNE 5


Get Air Gainesville Toddler Time

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens Guided Walk

10 a.m. – Noon Get Air Gainesville

10 a.m. – Noon Kanapaha Botanical Gardens Take your family out for a guided tour of Kanapaha Botanical Gardens’ 24 major collections. This tour is $8 for adults, $4 for children (5-13) and free for children under 5 as well as members. JUNE 2

2018 Gainesville Food Truck Festival 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Peanut Patch & Corn Maze Bring the family out to try different foods from food trucks like Cilantro Tacos, Mayflower Cellars and Dank Cakes. Admission is $10 and proceeds will benefit Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs. JUNE 2

Community Capoeira Class 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Bo Diddley Plaza Apex Martial Arts offers this free AfroBrazilian martial arts class for all ages. Event repeats every Saturday. JUNE 2

Splash Jam Noon – 1 p.m. Sun Country Sports – West Swimmers of all skill levels can join in for 30 minutes of mixed group instructional time, followed by 30 minutes of open swim time. Prices range from $15.75 for members to $19 for non-members. Event repeats every Saturday.




Parents jump for free with children 46 inches and under during this time designated for Little Air jumpers. Admission is $10 per child. Event repeats every Tuesday. JUNE 6

i.Baby & Me Class 10:45–11:30 a.m. indepandence Studio Moms, dads and grandparents are welcomed to join their little ones between the ages of 18 months and 2 ½ years in a dance and movement class. Classes cost $10, but the first one is free! Event repeats every Wednesday.

10 a.m. – Noon Get Air Gainesville Parents jump for free with children 46 inches and under during this time designated for Little Air jumpers. Admission is $10 per child. Event repeats every Thursday. JUNE 7

i.Baby & Me Class 5:45–6:30 p.m. independance Studio Moms, dads and grandparents are welcomed to join their little ones between the ages of 18 months and 2 ½ years in a dance and movement class. Classes cost $10, but the first one is free! Event repeats every Thursday. JUNE 8

Storytime at Depot Park 10-10:30 a.m. Children’s Play Area of Depot Park Hosted by the Alachua County Public Libraries, this event is free and open to the public.


Gym Jam 1:30–3:30 p.m. Sun Country Sports – West Children 5 years and older will participate in a coach-led warmup, receive instruction on each gym apparatus and have open workout time during this two hour program. Prices range from $18 for members to $20 for non-members. Repeats every Wednesday.


Parent's Night Out 6–10 p.m. Blue Lagoon Aquatic Center Take your children over to Blue Lagoon to enjoy a night of pizza, popcorn, swimming and movies! Admission is $35 for your first child and $30 for each sibling. JUNE 8


Broadway Babies 9:15–10 a.m. Sun Country Sports – West This parent-toddler program will help your little one explore music and dance through props, costumes and fun-filled activities. Admission ranges from $10 for members to $12 for nonmembers. Event repeats every Thursday.

Movie Night: "Paddington 2" 8–10 p.m. Tioga Town Center Bring the kiddos out to Tioga Town Center for a free, family-friendly movie under the stars. Be sure to pack lawn chairs or a blanket.

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Free Fridays Concert Series: 21 Blue with Longineu Parsons & Ted Shumate 8–10 p.m. Bo Diddley Plaza


6–9 p.m. The Harn Museum

Father's Day JUNE 17

Father's Day Special

Enjoy blues music under the stars at this free, family-friendly concert.

Create art, watch a performance and explore our shared humanity through a variety of media at this free event.

JUNE 8-10


The botanical gardens are offering free admission to fathers of all ages!

Sunshine State Games This Olympic-style festival program is designed for amateur athletes of all ages and skill levels. At this particular event, archery and swimming will be offered.

Free Fridays Concert Series: The Shakedown

Yoga & Jazz 5K Run/Walk 7 a.m. Depot Park Starting with a sunrise yoga warm-up class, this 5K is followed by a kids fun run at 9 a.m. The race will be followed by a black-tie gala at 6 p.m. at the University of Florida Hilton with keynote speaker Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. JUNE 9

UF Health Shands Childbirth Education Class 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. UF Health Shands Hospital Room 2147 This expansive course covers the birthing process, pain management options, and postpartum care. It includes a tour of the labor and delivery and mother/baby units. The class costs $50. JUNE 9-10

North Florida Pet Adoption Days Saturday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sunday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. PetSmart, Alachua County Humane Society, Alachua County Animal Services and Gainesville Pet Rescue Come out to one of the above four locations to adopt a sterilized, microchipped and vaccinated animal for free! JUNE 13

Story Time at the Zoo 10–10:30 a.m. Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo Bring the kids out for a free story time hosted by Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo and the Alachua County Library.


9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

8–10 p.m. Bo Diddley Plaza


Enjoy blues and rock music under the stars at this free, family-friendly concert.

1–4:30 p.m. Florida Museum of Natural History




Harn Museum Nights: Humans of the Harn


Father's Family Fishing Day 8 a.m. – Noon UF/IFAS Fishing Ponds

Take Dad fishing in one of the six UF/IFAS catching ponds. You can bring your own gear or use the provided loaner poles and bait. The event is free and open to the public, but donations of aluminum cans and used printer toner cartridges are appreciated. JUNE 16

Back Handspring and Tuck Boot Camp 1–4 p.m. Sun Country Sports – West

Send your aspiring tumbler to this boot camp to help him/her finally master the back handspring and back tuck. Prices range from $26.25 for members and $29 for nonmembers when paid in advance to $40 the day of the event. JUNE 16

Ninja Jam 2:15– 3:30 p.m. Sun Country Sports – West Designed for boys and girls between the ages of 3 and 13, this class includes 30 minutes of mixed group instruction and 45 minutes of open ninja time. Prices range from $15.75 for members to $19 for non-members.

Father's Day at the Museum

Buy one admission to the Bats exhibit and the Butterfly Rainforest and receive a second ticket to both at half price. JUNE 17

High Springs Music in the Park 2–4 p.m. High Springs Museum Reservations are required for this Father’s Day Blues concert, featuring Sheba the Mississippi Queen with Jim Allen. JUNE 19

UF Health Shands Newborn Care Class 7–9:30 p.m. UF Health Shands Room 2147 This class is designed to help new parents learn to care for their newborn and covers topics such as diapering, soothing and infant safety. The class is $15 to attend. JUNE 20

Ninja Jam 2:15 - 3:30 p.m. Sun Country Sports - West Designed for boys and girls between the ages of 3 and 13, this class includes 30 minutes of mixed group instruction and 45 minutes of open ninja time. Prices range from $15.75 for members to $19 for non-members.


First Day of Summer JUNE 21

The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson 9:45 a.m. Bring your kiddos out to either Dwight H. Hunter Pool, Andrew Mickle Pool, H. Spurgeon Cherry (Westside) Pool or the pool at Sun Country Sports Center to participate in The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson.



Free Fridays Concert Series: Savants of Soul

Parent Night Out: It's Tech-Tastic

8–10 p.m. Bo Diddley Plaza

6–10 p.m. o2b Kids! Gainesville Supercenter

Enjoy soul music under the stars at this free, family-friendly concert. JULY 3

Fanfares & Fireworks 6–10 p.m. University of Florida Bandshell at Flavet Field Enjoy an evening of live music and fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July!


Third Thursday on Main

10 a.m. – Noon Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

Parent's Night Out

Take your family out for a guided tour of Kanapaha Botanical Gardens’ 24 major collections. This tour is $8 for adults, $4 for children (5-13) and free for children under 5 as well as members.

6-9 p.m. Sun Country Sports - West Parents, take a night for yourself! Drop your kindergarten-aged or older children off for a night of gymnastics, games, rock climbing and more. Parent’s Night Out is available to Sun Country Members only, and prices range from $20 per child in advance to $27 per child the day of the event.

Enjoy funk music under the stars at this free, family-friendly concert. JUNE 26

UF Health Shands Breastfeeding Class


8–10 p.m. Bo Diddley Plaza

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens Guided Walk


8–10 p.m. Bo Diddley Plaza

Free Fridays Concert Series: All American Song Fest


The whole family can enjoy music, food and shopping in Alachua’s Downtown area at this monthly event.

Free Fridays Concert Series: Fast Lane


Enjoy all-American show tunes under the stars at this free, family-friendly concert.

5–9 p.m. Main Street, Alachua


Five- to 13-year-olds will enjoy group games and other fun activities as well as a pizza dinner. Prices range from $15 for O2B members and $25 for non-members.



Independence Day

Story Time at the Zoo 10–10:30 a.m. Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo Bring the kids out for a free story time hosted by Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo and the Alachua County Library.


City of Alachua Fourth of July Celebration


Harn Museum Nights: Print Party

3–10 p.m. Hal Brady Recreation Complex

6–9 p.m. The Harn Museum

Dubbed “The Largest Small Town Fireworks Display in America,” this event will feature bounce houses, bungee jumps, a rock climbing wall, live musical entertainment and, of course, fireworks, which will start at 9:30 p.m.


Enjoy activities and scavenger hunts related to the art of printmaking and design, as well as refreshments, all for free.

Parent's Night Out

7–9 p.m. UF Health Shands Hospital Room 2147


Perfect for expecting mothers, this class teaches you the benefits of breastfeeding, optimal latch positions, how to store pumped milk and more. The class costs $15 to attend.

Friday First in Downtown High Springs

6–10 p.m. Blue Lagoon Aquatic Center

5–8 p.m. Downtown High Springs

Take your children over to Blue Lagoon to enjoy a night of pizza, popcorn, swimming and movies! Admission is $35 for your first child and $30 for each sibling.


With special sales and music, downtown High Springs is the place to be the first Friday of every month.

Federally Insured by the NCUA.

Keeping up with you and your finances. Florida Credit Union has a wide range of electronic products and services, like li mobile banking and eCredit, that are designed to help you manage your finances and stay on track. And it’s all accessible whenever works for you, wherever you might be. Learn more at one of our 4 Gainesville branches, or call us at (352) 377-4141.


Movie Night: "The Emoji Movie" 8–10 p.m. Tioga Town Center Bring the kiddos out to Tioga Town Center for a free, family-friendly movie under the stars. Be sure to pack lawn chairs or a blanket. JULY 13

Free Fridays Concert Series: Wax Wings 8–10 p.m. Bo Diddley Plaza Enjoy jazz and folk music under the stars at this free, family-friendly concert. JULY 14

Family Fishing Day: Melt-Your-Popsicle Day 8 a.m. – Noon UF/IFAS Fishing Ponds Take the kiddos fishing in one of the six UF/IFAS catching ponds. You can bring your own gear or use the provided loaner poles and bait. The event is free and open to the public, but donations of aluminum cans and used printer toner cartridges are appreciated. JULY 14

UF Health Shands Childbirth Education Class 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. UF Health Shands Hospital Room 2147 This expansive course covers the birthing process, pain management options, and postpartum care. It includes a tour of the labor and delivery and mother/baby units. The class costs $50. JULY 15

High Springs Music in the Park 2 - 4 p.m. High Springs Museum Santa Fe Listening Room Enjoy the tunes of Richard Gilewitz, world renowned guitarist.



UF Health Shands Newborn Care Class 7–9:30 p.m. UF Health Shands Room 2147 This class is designed to help new parents learn to care for their newborn and covers topics such as diapering, soothing and infant safety. The class is $15 to attend. JULY 18

Ninja Jam 2:15– 3:30 p.m. Sun Country Sports – West Designed for boys and girls between the ages of 3 and 13, this class includes 30 minutes of mixed group instruction and 45 minutes of open ninja time. Prices range from $15.75 for members to $19 for non-members. JULY 19

Third Thursday on Main 5–9 p.m. Main Street, Alachua The whole family can enjoy music, food and shopping in Alachua’s Downtown area at this monthly event. JULY 19-27

Gainesville Restaurant Week Hosted by the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, this week encourages families to eat local with specials of which everyone can take advantage. JULY 20

Free Fridays Concert Series: Pine 8–10 p.m. Bo Diddley Plaza Enjoy folk music under the stars at this free, family-friendly concert. JULY 21

Nina Jam 2:15– 3:30 p.m. Sun Country Sports – West Designed for boys and girls between the ages of 3 and 13, this class includes 30 minutes of mixed group instruction and 45 minutes of open ninja time. Prices range from $15.75 for members to $19 for non-members.


UF Health Shands Breastfeeding Class 7–9 p.m. UF Health Shands Hospital Room 2147 Perfect for expecting mothers, this class teaches you the benefits of breastfeeding, optimal latch positions, how to store pumped milk and more. The class costs $15 to attend. JULY 24-25

PAW Patrol Live! "The Great Pirate Adventure" Tuesday: 6 p.m. Wednesday: 10 a.m. & 6 p.m. Stephen C. O’Connell Center Do your little ones love “PAW Patrol”? Then bring them out for this live, music-filled production, featuring some of their favorite characters! Ticket prices start at $20 and can be purchase online, on the phone or at the University Box Office. JULY 27

Parent's Night Out 6–9 p.m. Sun Country Sports – West Parents, take a night for yourself! Drop your kindergarten-aged or older children off for a night of gymnastics, games, rock climbing and more. Parent’s Night Out is available to Sun Country Members only, and prices range from $20 per child in advance to $27 per child the day of the event. JULY 27

Free Fridays Concert Series: Crooked Counsel 8–10 p.m. Bo Diddley Plaza Enjoy a tribute to the music of Santana & Janis Joplin under the stars at this free, familyfriendly concert.

The team at Comprehensive Women’s Health remains committed to building healthy relationships and providing the best possible women’s health care to the community. We are excited to announce the addition of a freestanding birth center, right here in North Central Florida. The establishment of the CWH Birth Center will offer expectant mothers another option for how they choose to give birth. The new facility will include spacious suites with tubs– allowing for traditional and water births outside the hospital setting, while still under the guidance of the CWH midwives. We look forward to caring for you, and your family at the Birth Center located just off NW 43rd Street and Newberry Road in Gainesville.

For more information, call 352-332-7222 or visit

6440 W. Newberry Road, Suite 508 , Gainesville, FL 32605 •

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Giggle June/July 2018  

RaceRunning, Father's Day Gift Guide, Pie Crust, Local Maternity Units, Weighted Blankets, Essential Oils, Superheroes for Hope

Giggle June/July 2018  

RaceRunning, Father's Day Gift Guide, Pie Crust, Local Maternity Units, Weighted Blankets, Essential Oils, Superheroes for Hope