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happy family • happy communityTM APRIL/MAY 2015 • Volume 1 • Issue 5

All About

Bab. 18y! pg

Our guide to DIY terrariums meet 2 amazing local moms outdoor animal encounters

Spring is Here! www.gigglemag.com

gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015



gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015

gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015



gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015

PUBLISHER Nicole Irving ART DIRECTOR Allison Raber MANAGING Editor Dana Kamp GRAPHIC DESIGNER Claire Stortz Vice president of sales Shane Irving ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Jessica Kerr executive assistant Sayeh Farah Contributing Writers Saraii Cruz, Patricia Bishop, Selena Garrison, Kelly Goede, Tara Griffin, Jen Hillan, Cresonia Hsieh, Dana Kamp, Lisa Katz, Savanna Kearney, Helen Kornblum, Colleen McTiernan, Danielle Michels, Olivia Pitkethly, Ale Russian, Brinn Strange, Chelsea Stromfeld, April Tisher, Rebecca Vitkus Contributing Photographers Lifeprints Photography, Patricia Bishop Photography, Terri Smith Photo, Verve Studio Interns Annaleigh Bonds, Amanda Ferguson, Cresonia Hsieh, Savanna Kearney, Danielle Marshall, Colleen McTiernan, Ale Russian, Chelsea Stromfeld, Rebecca Vitkus Mission Statement Giggle Magazine is a modern and refreshing parenting publication that brings together families and their community. We make it our mission to find the joy and humor in parenting, focus on key topics and issues that relate to today’s parents and give parents the resources to be engaged, connected and present with their children during these important years. 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.

Mailing address

Physical address

5745 SW 75th Street 101 SW 140th Terrace Unit 286 Suite C Gainesville, FL 32608 Jonesville, FL 32669 p. 352.505.5821 f. 352.240.6499 toll-free phone 888.749.2150 toll-free fax 877.857.5140

gigglemag.com giggle@irvingpublications.com Giggle Magazine is a registered trademark property of Irving Publications, LLC. All rights reserved. Giggle Magazine is published by Irving Publications, LLC. © 2015

gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015


from the publisher

What I

As I walk into the kitchen from the garage, tired and arms full of bags, I am immediately bombarded with a plethora of voices, all yearning for my attention. “Mom, look what we bought at Publix!” “Mom, can you reset my iPod?”

am loving right now!

from handpicked e! su is this


“Mom, did you talk to my teachers?” “Mom! Mom! Mom!” Counting to 10 … breathing in and out. Then, I count my blessings. These three children have given me the most important role of my life … Mom. I am by far not a perfect mother. I have made mistakes. And make them daily. I live with the feeling of guilt that I work too long, don’t hug long enough and that I forgot to say “ I love you” as they whipped out of the car to school. I feel guilty that my house isn’t clean enough, laundry is overflowing, that we haven’t gone to Disney World yet and that now, two of them no longer want to share a room with the expensive Pottery Barn bunk beds I bought for their sleeping pleasure (Shane was right … they didn’t care). They now want me to gut the bathroom and make a new room. Ahhh … the guilt sets in deeper.


Counting to 10 … breathing in and out.

I know you moms understand. So, as we all swallow our guilty feelings, sometimes late at night, alone with cold dinner, a messy house and a pile of laundry staring out over the stack of school papers that came home, we are reminded that this is the role of a lifetime and that there is nowhere else we would rather be. Happy Mother’s Day to all you amazing moms, grandmothers, great grandmothers out there! May your day be filled with love, laughter and ________________________ (fill in your own perfect wish).


Nicole Irving, Publisher nicole@irvingpublications.com

Cover Cutie!

meet our

Birthday: October 24, 2014


Favorites: Bath time, big brother and sister, and his fingers

Wells Like us on Facebook /GIGGLEMAGTALLAHASSEE


gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015

Dislikes: Pacifiers Newest milestone: Rolling over What makes him giggle: Being tickled and happy faces

follow us on Twitter @GIGGLEMAGTALLY

Visit us on Pinterest /GIGGLEMAGAZINE

Follow us on Instagram @GIGGLEMAGTALLY

Baby photo by Terri Smith Photo. Terrarium photo by Patricia Bishop Photography. Bag and lotion photos by Giggle Magazine.

So, I reflect on the chaos, the madness I call my world, and at the end of the day … I am their mom. Forever. My job is hard; it is to protect them, spoil them, honor them, defend them, challenge them and be there for them … forever. It is the role of a lifetime. (No, I am not gutting the bathroom. Sorry, kiddos.)

April * May 2015 happy family • happy community


life 9 lifesavers Safety First! Reviving Your Home First Aid Kit 10 HAPPY FAMILY

happy home 41 make it. fix it. clean it.

Celebrate the Earth DIY-Style! 43 organized chaos

Queries from the Curious

The Smith Family

12 two cents Preparing for Summer Vacation 13 the parent life Welcome to Parenthood!


happy community 57 calendar

15 just the two of us

Renewing Your Vows to Refresh Your Marriage

conception 2✱ college™

16 grandparents

Spreading the Grandparent Love

17 power parent

The Sweet Life

47 expecting


Exploring the Myths of Gender Prediction

Great Baby Shower Gifts!

49 infant

forks & spoons

Family photo by Terri Smith Photo. Terrarium and cake photos by Patricia Bishop Photography.


Their Lunch Box

53 kids

Let the Style Wars Begin!

54 tweens

29 Homeschool corner

Character Schooling

19 33 38 44

Sibling is the Third Wheel

Teens and Dating: When are They Ready?

Amazing Animal Encounters

health 35 get Moving






Local "Mommy & Me" Adventures 36 get Pretty

happy family • happy communityT M

Spots Be Gone!


Sleepover Dilemma: When the Younger

55 teens

30 family learning


Crib to Bed

Childhood Moments: Becoming the Older Sibling


Big Kid Time: Perfecting the Switch from

52 early years

28 in the fridge Italy's Hidden Treasure: Balsamic Vinegar

Taking Pictures of Your Little One


27 Lunch box Sugar Overload! Low Sugar Options for

Momtography 101: Professional Advice for

APRIL/MAY 2015 • Volume 1 • Issue 5

37 get Healthy

The Post-Baby Body Craze

It's All About Baby! Summer Camp: Value Beyond the Entertainment Make Your Own Tabletop Terrarium In Honor of Her: Celebrating Local Moms


All About

! Baby 18 pg.







Spring is Here! www.gigglemag.com



Photo by Terri Smith Photo gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015


parent app!


Meet your new personal, eco-conscious shopping assistant. The GoodGuide mobile app lets you quickly look up products and see the benefits in a quick and accessible way. With an easy-to-browse database of over 120,000 products, the app helps you make purchasing decisions that are not only healthier but also environmentally and socially responsible. The barcode scanning and personalization features will make sure you’re researching the right product and give you the answer you need when you need it!


gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015

What would you do if... someone made a negative comment about the name you’ve chosen for your child? There isn't much you can do other than brush it off. I think this is why many parents choose to wait until their child is born before announcing a name. I think people are less likely to give a negative response once it's a done deal, as opposed to something you're considering. –Heather Miller, mom of 1 (and one on the way!) I would simply say, "Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but if it’s not nice maybe you should consider not sharing it.” –Kendra Hardee, mom of 1



Safety First!

Reviving Your Home First Aid Kit

In the case of an accident or illness, it’s important to feel assured you have the supplies needed to keep you and your family safe and healthy. While each family’s specific needs will differ, Mayo Clinic and American Red Cross recommend keeping these 10 must-have items in your home first aid kit.


First aid instruction manual


Naturally, bandages are an essential in a first aid kit. From adhesive bandages to rolls of elastic wrap, you’ll want to have an assortment of bandages for any accidents, large and small, that may occur.

What good is a first aid kit if you’re not sure what to do with all your supplies? The American Red Cross recommends keeping an instruction booklet in your kit to help with any out-ofthe-ordinary situations.


When taking care of an injury, keeping the wound as sanitary as possible is important! Make sure to wear gloves to prevent infection or the transmittance of blood borne disease.

Antibiotic and hydrocortisone ointments These two types of ointments are great for cleaning up cuts and treating those itchy bug bites and rashes kids always seem to have.


Your family’s trusted pain relievers and fever reducers, whether over-the-counter brands or homeopathic alternatives, are great to have on hand when immediate aid is needed. The Mayo Clinic also advises keeping non-aspirin pain relievers in your kit, as aspirin can cause Reye’s syndrome, a serious and sometimes fatal condition, if given to children.


Before bandaging a cut, be sure to disinfect the area to prevent infection. Having one of these ready-to-use wipes is a great timesaver.


Scissors and tweezers are both useful additions to your first aid kit. The scissors will come in handy for cutting gauze strips to size and tweezers are always good to have in case of splinters.

First aid is often needed while your family is on-thego. Consider adding these items to a second first aid kit that is kept in the car. • Sunscreen © 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved

When a job is too big for an adhesive bandage, use gauze to cover the wound.


For all the bumps and bruises life throws your way, make sure you have instant cold packs on hand.


Activated charcoal can be used to help manage a poisoning. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, you should always contact a poison control center before using the tablets.


Giggle Tip!

• Personal medications

Add a thermometer to your kit to keep track of fevers!

• Medications to treat an allergic attack, if prescribed by your doctor • Emergency phone numbers, including emergency road service providers


Always check with your healthcare professional regarding any medical questions you may have. Call 911 in the case of a life-threatening emergency. gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015



ha p p y family Favorite day trip: Thomasville, Georgia. We love going to eat lunch at Sweet Grass Dairy and just walking around downtown. We also love to head to St. Teresa when we can and get on the boat. Favorite family vacation destination: We love snow skiing out west, going to St. Teresa Beach and Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina. What makes our kids laugh: Each other. Our girls are all really close and truly have a great time being together. Having three girls has many benefits and being best friends is one of the best!

The Smith Family Jay, Bri, Avery (13), Kate (11) and Claire (7) Occupation(s): Jay is the vice president and owner of Ajax Building Corporation; Bri is a stay-at-home mom. Favorite family meal: Homemade spaghetti and meatballs. Favorite date spot: Anywhere out of town. We love to travel and really feel like getting out of town helps us unwind and connect the most. Our family is most like: A well-oiled machine. With three kids and a husband that travels, organization is the key. Each girl has multiple extracurricular activities throughout the week, and along with the demands of schoolwork, we have taught them to be extremely organized at an early age. All three play soccer multiple times during the week along with basketball, cross country, track and student council.

The kids’ favorite books: Avery reads all types of novels. The last one she finished was “Unbroken.” Kate tends to lean toward lighthearted books and


gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015

Mommy and Daddy’s favorite TV shows: The news, “Modern Family,” and Jay loves watching any sports! Websites we love: Amazon, ESPN. Favorite sports/extracurriculars to do: We love anything outdoors. We enjoy family bike rides and hikes through the woods. The girls also love jumping on the trampoline and playing basketball. Favorite sports to watch: You will find football, basketball or soccer on our TV most days depending on the sports season. Favorite family activity: We really don’t have just one. Anything that we can do together is a favorite. We love our time down at the beach at St. Teresa. It is a great place to spend some quality family time. We also love to travel as a family and explore new places. Favorite local picnic spot: At home or the soccer field. Pets: Remi, a 6-year-old English cocker spaniel.

Something we want our children to have that we didn’t have growing up: Honestly, Jay and I both had wonderful childhoods and our families provided us with way more than we could ever have imagined. We are trying to live up to being great role models for our girls like our parents were and are for us. First word you think of when we say “family”: Togetherness. We LOVE being together. When we are separated either by work, travel or activities, getting back together is always our first priority. Must-have item(s): Running shoes because we all love being active, a cell phone because it takes a lot to coordinate so many different schedules and a big car to carry our crew and all their friends. Three words that describe our family: Active, strong-willed and loving. Anything else you want us to know about your family? We are blessed that all three of our children are able to attend the same school, Holy Comforter Episcopal School. It is like an extended family and it is a central part of our life. It is very comforting to know they are receiving the best education in a loving Christian environment.

Photos by Terri Smith Photo.

Movie in our DVD player right now: “Annie” is in the car right now and has been for well over a month. We watch all types of movies and TV shows, but we usually save the DVDs for traveling.

the “Diary of A Wimpy Kid” series has been at the top of her list. Claire reads an assortment of books. I wouldn’t say reading is her favorite activity. :)

Why we love living in Tallahassee: Jay and I are both from Tallahassee and both of our families still live here. We love being so close to our family and long time friends, as well as having all the new friendships we have formed while living here. Tallahassee is a wonderful city to have grown up in and now we love raising our three girls here.

We LOVE being together. When we are separated either by work, travel or activities, getting back together is always our first priority.

gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015



t w o ce n ts

Preparing for Summer Vacation BY SELENA GARRISON

Spring is in the air and the temperature is heating up! This can only mean one thing ... it’s time to start thinking about summer vacation! Whether you are dreaming of white sandy beaches, a trip to the mountains or even some fun day trips close to home, preparing now will help those memories-in-the-making to be fun and stress-free. The last thing you want to be doing after your vacation is stressing over credit card bills. Swiping plastic can be all too easy when you’re having fun, so we have a few ideas to pay for your vacation without breaking the bank (or costing you hundreds in interest payments).

PLAN AHEAD First, you have to decide what you want to do and how much it is going to cost. Think about: Travel Expenses – Will you be driving or flying? If you are driving, estimate your costs for gas, stopping for meals and snacks along the way, etc. If you are flying, start checking airfare now to get the best deals.

Food – How much do you plan to spend on eating? Will you be eating out every meal? Will you be grocery shopping and preparing some of your meals yourself? Food is sometimes a forgotten expense, but it really adds up! Fun – What do you plan on doing? Will you need to pay for parking, admission or special gear? Research those costs now so


gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015

Extras – It seems like there is always something extra that comes up on vacation. You may want to consider adding an extra 5 – 10 percent of your estimated costs to your vacation budget “just in case.”

Once you have planned (and paid) ahead, get ready for a fun time with your family! These times of making memories are so precious. Be silly, laugh and take lots of pictures! ✽

Pay Ahead After figuring out how much money you will need for your vacation, it is time to start putting away money to pay for it. Some ideas for savings include: Vacation Account – Create a separate bank account for vacation and put aside money from each paycheck. Money Jar – Have a special jar set aside where everyone puts their spare change, money found in the laundry, etc. Yard Sale – Get the kids involved in some spring cleaning and sort clothes, toys, games, etc. Set up a yard sale and make some cash off those things that are just collecting dust. Consignment Shop – Take sporting goods, tech equipment and vintage or antique pieces to specialty consignment shops to earn money for items your family is no longer using.

what is the average cost of a

vacation? According to a survey on summer travel done by American Express in 2013, the average expense per person in the US is $1,145, with a vacation for a family of four ringing in at around $4,580. Planning ahead makes more sense now …

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved

Lodging – Where will you be staying? Oftentimes, we jump straight to looking for hotels, but sometimes vacation rentals can be a more cost-effective option. Check to see what is available in the area you will be going.

you have an idea of how much money you will need. You may be able to find special deals by booking online or in advance.


the p are n t life

Photo by Giggle Magazine.

A comforting blankie can help make a happy, content baby.

Pack an extra set of clothes because spills, spit-up and diaper explosions do happen.

Hand sanitizer is a must-have for on-the-go, must-toucheverything little ones!

Don't forget lip gloss for Mommy!

Welcome to Parenthood! Prepare yourself with all you'll need for Baby while out and about, and throw a few things in for yourself ... this bag will go wherever you go for the next few years.

Bring along a treat and a spare pair for Big Brother!

BY DANA KAMP gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015



gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015


j u st the t w o of u s

Renewing Your Vows to Refresh Your Marriage BY KELLY GOEDE

I do. Two words meant to seal your wedding vows for all eternity. When I said those words to my husband, I had no idea how those promises would play out. For better or worse has meant each of us showing our ugly side to the other, acting selfishly and having to mend emotional wounds we’ve inflicted. Sickness and health has found us at hospital bedsides, once with Todd so sick he was there for two weeks, the doctors fearing he had SARS.

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved

No doubt our vows have been tested, refined in the fire of modern marriage, with the added complexities of parenting thrown in for good measure. In 12 ½ years we’ve had four children, bought two minivans and moved five times. In body and in spirit, we really are not the same people who stood at that altar years ago. And marriage statistics clue us in to the difficulty of the whole endeavor — half of all marriages end in divorce. Half. As you press on in marriage, choosing to stay together and honor your vows deserves to be celebrated, whether formally or by quietly observing your commitment as a couple. I had grand visions of a ceremony and reception for a vow renewal for our 10th anniversary — sadly our washing machine broke and we forewent the party and opted for a new washer and dryer. Nothing says commitment like clean clothes. Joking aside, renewing vows can be meaningful but also a way to do things differently than your original wedding. Miranda West, mom of two, said, “I think it would be a fun thing to do at a milestone. I think I would involve our kids and would want it to be a smaller

service. I’m also curious if I could still fit in my dress.” For Laura Henry, the reasons for a vow renewal go even deeper. “It is a second marriage for us both and we have been through so much in our six years — it’s been quite a journey. Having failed at this once before, I’ve learned the value in continuing to choose your spouse — who they are now. I would want him to know I would choose him all over again,” Henry said. Giggle Magazine account executive and writer April Tisher has said “I do” again to her husband, two times!

“We went to Vegas for our 5th anniversary and renewed our vows at the Little White Chapel, for fun,” Tisher shared. Their 10th anniversary brought them to Trinity United Methodist Church, where they participated in a New Year’s Eve vow renewal. Not only did they decide

Have you said “I do” all over again with your spouse? Did it refresh your commitment and help grow you closer together? Share your experience with dana@irvingpublications.com.

to make it a five-year tradition, but found they liked the idea of having their children there with them. For their 15th, they plan to find a similar way to reaffirm their love and commitment to each other. Remembering the promises you made to your spouse by renewing your vows is a noble act, and one that allows you to share your love and commitment with others, if you choose. Pastor Rick Thompson has participated in a handful of vow renewals in his two decades of pastoral ministry. “Even at vow renewals of those who have made it 50 years or more, I have learned there has been pain along the way. The renewal is meant to be redemptive, as well as a witness and call for support from family and friends,” Thompson explained.✽ gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015



g ra n d p are n ts

Spreading the Grandparent Love BY OLIVIA K. PITKETHLY, MA, LMHC

park, play on the beach or explore a new country. Adelina Larena, grandmother of five, has taken her two eldest grandsons on trips since they were 4 years old. Now that they are 17 and 15, they have years of traveling experience. She hopes to continue this tradition with her other three grandchildren, all under age 5.

Weekend Getaway At The Grands’

If traveling with the grandchildren is not your preference, create a vacation at your house. Invite each child for a weekend and schedule his favorite activities. You can also extend it to a weeklong summer camp, giving them each lots of individual attention and more time to get to know you. Make their favorite meals, visit their favorite park, play their favorite games. Basically, make the visit all about them and make a great memory in the meantime. ✽

We’ve all heard the joke, “If I had known grandchildren were so much fun, I would have had them first.” Grandparenting is so pure. Pure joy, pure laughter, pure enjoyment. But it’s not without its challenges. One challenge is dividing your time and attention equally among your grandchildren. If this is something you, as a grandparent, are struggling with, try some of these fun ideas with your grandkids.

Seasonal Care Packages


gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015

While you want to keep your grandchildren entertained with their activities, it’s equally important to engage them in your hobbies too. Kids need to know who their grandparents are as people. Part of being a parent or grandparent is helping them discover other areas of interest and broadening their horizons. Wanda Curnow, grandmother of two, enjoys gardening and cooking. So when her grandchildren visit, she spends oneon-one time with each of them sharing her favorite interests. They help her make pancakes for breakfast or plant seeds in the garden. While she spends time with one grandchild, the other spends time with their grandfather. He enjoys the outdoors, so they will go for walks, play kickball or fly a kite together.

Choose Your Own Adventure

Pack your bags and take each grandchild on his own special vacation. Visit a theme


Children love receiving mail. After a visit, my mother sends my two children their own thank you cards decorated with special stickers. My motherin-law purchased magazine subscriptions for the kids, so every month they receive something special in the mail from her. You could also start a monthly book club for your grandkids, sending each child a book picked out especially for him, with a note attached describing your choice.

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved

Care packages are so fun to receive, and you can ensure each child gets an equal number of packages from Grandma and Grandpa throughout the year by sending them out every season with themed items inside. For example, a winter care package could contain packages of hot chocolate, fuzzy mittens or socks, and lip balm to prevent chapped lips. A spring care package might include packets of seeds to plant, a jump rope and bubbles. Whenever they use their new goodies, they’ll remember how much you care.

Sharing Hobbies


P O W E R P A R E N T and grandparent!



s a mother of four, grandmother of two (with another on the way), and founder and head pastry chef of The Cake Shop, Linda Richards plays many roles in her everyday life. Here she shares how she does it all.

What does a typical weekday look like for you? I’m up by 5 a.m., get ready and then work 9 to 13 hours at the bakery. After work, I exercise at the gym, cook dinner, attend to chores, and sometimes finish with some gardening and reading. How do you balance work life and home life? I have learned that if I could, I would work endlessly. But, I must exercise every day and nourish all aspects of my life. What’s one bit of advice you would give to fellow moms? Meals at home around the dinner table are some of the fondest memories that children and parents can make. It’s a time of reflection on the day and to connect with your family. However, I realize not all parents can do this. Motherhood is a true juggling act! What are some sacrifices you’ve had to make? Vacations. When you run a business, it dictates so much of your personal life. I wear so many hats in this job that it’s a challenge to delegate them to others. When and how do you make time for yourself? Sundays are my personal days. The bakery is closed, so on most Sundays I cook an elaborate breakfast for my daughter, her husband, my grandchildren, my husband and his sons. My oldest granddaughter, Taylor Ann, helps me make pancakes and cheese grits. We sometimes make pancake faces using fruit, chocolate chips and bacon. What are you favorite pastimes? Baking, cooking, reading, gardening and dancing ballet.

Photo by Terri Smith Photo.

Who is your inspiration? My Grandmother Richards. She and my grandfather raised six sons and opened a flower shop. The shop was her dream in her mid-50s. My brother Dale Richards is an inspiration too. He has a high bar of perfection. What is your life mantra? “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt. “Nothing is impossible...I’m possible!” – Audrey Hepburn Who are your biggest supporters? My family. This includes my sisters, brothers, their spouses, my children and their spouses, my grandchildren and my husband, Tim. I’m also thankful for my loyal customers, many of whom are my friends, who have been with me throughout the years. It’s what makes my job so special. ✽ gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015



Gi g g le stam p ™



1. Early Years Journal A beautiful guided journal to inspire you to capture the precious first five years of your child’s life. $29.95, Fromyoutome.us.


2. The Ollie Swaddle Opening at the bottom makes it easy to change diapers; with elasticity for movement. $48, TheOllieWorld.com. 3. Goodnight Moon BabyBlue 5 Oval Teething Nursing Necklace BPA Free for teething babies and nursing moms; dishwasher safe. $13.95, Goodnightmoonbaby. etsy.com. 4. WubbaNub Pacifiers Easy for babies' little hands to grasp and manipulate the pacifiers by themselves. $12.95, Wubbanub.com. 5. Milkies Milk-Saver and Freeze Collects milk from non-nursing side while breastfeeding; organizes up to 60 ounces of milk. $27.95 – $29.95, Mymilkies.com. 6. NeckerChew Combines dribble bib concept with chewy teether attached. $18.99 – $23.50, Cheekychompersus.com.



baby shower Sometimes it's hard to decide on the perfect gift for the new baby, and the new mommy. Check out our ideas for presents that the expecting family will be sure to appreciate and enjoy.



9. 6.

7. GooseWaddle Baby Blanket Incredibly soft and lush, perfect for comfort and security. $65, Goosewaddle.com.


8. The Cozy Sun & Bug Cover Protect baby from elements while in car seat carrier; available in Cozy Combo Pack. $13.99, Cozy-cover.com. 9. Levana — Ovia PTZ BabyVideo Monitor Includes Talk to Baby Intercom and SD Recording. $224.99, Mylevana.com, Amazon.com. 10. SoapSox Place soap into Soapsox mouth for a fun bath time; built-in finger pockets! $14.95, Soapsoxkids.com.



EXTRA, EXTRA! Our vintage press inspired baby shower combines a touch of the past with a modern twist. Celebrate with us as we welcome the new addition!




Old fashioned candies and doughnuts make a sweet spread for guests!

{ EXTRA, EXTRA } Planning the Menu Depending on your number of expected guests, your shower menu can include a little or a lot! Sandwiches are an easy and filling favorite. Make them in advance and wrap them in newsprint tissue paper for a cute display, or set up a sandwich-making station! A basketful of glazed doughnuts is a tempting treat, as well as being the perfect complement to a cup of coffee! A fresh fruit bowl offers a yummy alternative for guests who prefer a healthier dessert, as well as adding a pop of color to your table.


gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015




1. Newspaper-inspired invitations announce the mama-to-be! 2. Guests are greeted by old-fashioned decor, using vintage cameras and framed typewriter font. 3. A gender neutral cake topped with a handmade paper flower adds a sweet touch. 4. Classic children's tales make the perfect baby shower gift! 5. Rock candy does double duty as a sweetener and stirrer for coffee. 6. Shower guests sign in on the vintage typewriter. 7. Garlands are made using paper punches, baker's twine and an old book.



3 4

gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015



Make It a Gender Reveal!

Newsprint-wrapped flowers do double duty as decor and gifts for guests.

These sweet bags make great mementos for partygoers to fill with candy.

Try these sweet ideas to deliver the good news! 1. For a change from the traditional colored cake reveal, have each guest grab a cupcake and take a bite to discover the gender of your family's new addition. 2. For a more intimate reveal, ask the ultrasound technician to write the gender on a piece of paper and slip it in an envelope. Hand it to a parent, grandparent or other special guest and receive the news from a loved one. 3. If older kids are excited to find out the news, fill a pi単ata with pink or blue candies, and let the games begin! 4. Combine your gender reveal with your pregnancy announcement by inviting a photographer to join you and your spouse in an all-out pink or blue paint battle. 5. Make simple scratch off cards that reveal either a question mark or the new baby's gender. The guest with the special card gets to make the announcement!

cotton ball, and drying it. If a plastic ring circumcision was performed, you can use the same cleaning method as above, without the petroleum jelly. It is normal if the penis looks red or puffy, has spots of blood or yellow crust at the tip, or has bruises where numbing medicine was used.

Cradle Cap

Umbilical cord stumps... yuck!

Icky Infant Ailments

Blocked Tear Ducts


There are countless words we use to describe newborn babies: cute, precious, angelic, beautiful … I could go on forever. Yet there are other adjectives we’ve all thought of but never said aloud: gross, yucky, smelly. When your baby has a first aid need, it’s our job to take care of the problem, no matter how nauseating it may seem. We asked Dr. Jaclyn Otero, a pediatrician with UF Health Pediatrics, how to deal with some of the ickiness that comes along with those precious bundles of joy.

Umbilical Cord Care

Bowel Habits

An infant’s bowel movement frequency can be highly variable, ranging from once after

every feeding to every three to five days. Any stool that is not rock hard or pure liquid is normal. Although newborns seem to strain when pooping, they are not constipated as long as their stool is soft. An infant’s stool will change from black and tar-like to yellow and seedy; it should not be white, black or red in color. Babies also tend to be very gassy during their first month.

Circumcision Care

There are multiple methods of care after circumcision surgery. If a clamp method was used, you can put large dollops of petroleum jelly on the tip of the penis for three to five days after surgery. Wrapping gauze around the jelly keeps the penis from sticking to the diaper. If the gauze sticks, lightly pour warm (not hot) water over it until the gauze comes loose. After two or three days, clean the penis by gently blotting it with a wet, soft cloth or

If you notice yellow fluid in the corner of your newborn’s eye, extra tearing even when he’s not crying, or mild crust of the eyelids or eyelashes, he may have nasolacrimal duct obstruction (blocked tear ducts). If your baby is diagnosed with this, you may need to massage his eye daily. Gently press the tip of your (clean!) finger onto the inner corner of the eye, and gently stroke towards the nose. It may take a few months for the eye to heal.

Diaper Rash

Diaper rash is caused by urine, stool, bacteria, yeast, or just a diaper allergy irritating the skin. Diaper rash can also happen when your newborn sleeps for hours without waking. Take extra care to keep your infant as dry as possible with frequent diaper changes. Barrier creams, such as zinc paste, also help to keep the affected skin healthy, and need to be applied thickly so that you cannot see the skin underneath. Seek pediatric care if the rash does not fade after two or three days of care. ✽

*Please consult your physician for medical advice regarding your specific needs.

DIAPER RASH REMEDY! Looking for a new diaper rash cream? Hipoglos Ointment safeguards a baby's delicate skin with its unique formula of lanolin and zinc oxide, which form a protective layer against the causes of diaper rash. Available at select Walgreens stores and on Amazon.com; $4.99.


gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015

*Always check with pediatrician before applying anything to baby's skin.

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved. Hipoglos image courtesy of KMC PR.

The umbilical cord and area around the stump should be kept dry and clean. You can clean it by patting it with plain water (do not submerge it), and dry it by placing a cloth around the stump. Folding down the front part of the diaper can help dry out the base of the cord by keeping urine away from it. It is OK if the umbilical stump emits a foul odor before falling off. The entire process of falling off and healing should take two to three weeks. The umbilical area may be infected if it is red, swollen, painful or emitting discharge. Once the skin has healed over the navel, you may wash your baby in a bathtub or sink, but before then he should only receive sponge baths.

Cradle cap (also called seborrheic dermatitis) occurs on parts of a baby’s skin where there are more oil or sebaceous glands. Sometimes it only affects a newborn’s scalp, although it can happen in neck creases, armpits, groin or behind the ears. Cradle cap turns skin pink or red and causes greasy, flaky scales. Otero recommends mixing a small dollop of olive oil with a large amount of baking soda and gently massaging it onto the affected area. Avoid forcibly removing the flakes, as this may lead to hair loss.

Ju-Ju-Be Be Right Back, $140, Ju-ju-be.com.

Petunia Picklebottom Downtown Tote, $139, Petunia.com.

BabyHome Trendy Diaper Bag, $49, Pishposhbaby.com.


Boppy Bag Collection: Boppy Golden Diaper Bag, $70, Boppy.com. (Bottle bag and change pad sold separately.)

baby bags!

Carter’s Carry-It-All Diaper Bag, $49, Carters.com.

Gone are the days of powder pink totes and Mickey Mouse designs! Check out a few of our favorite diaper bags that come with an equal amount of style and Kalencom Midi Coated Buckle Diaper Bag, $60, Kalencom.com.

Ju-Ju-Be Be Quick, $18, Ju-ju-be.com.


Ju-Ju-Be HoboBe, $100, Ju-ju-be.com.

Ju-Ju-Be B.F.F., $165, Ju-ju-be.com.

JJ Cole System 180, $69.95, Pishposhbaby.com. gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015


Birth Photography: Is by colleen mctiernan

it for you?

We hire photographers to document so many of life’s milestones, but what about the birth of a child? For some, this is a private moment reserved for family only. But for others, this is an opportunity to preserve the miraculous moments of childbirth.

“Having photos of my daughter’s birth was priceless. It was an experience I will never forget, thanks to the photos that document the hard work and beauty of bringing my daughter into the world. Now my daughter enjoys looking at the photos too,” shared Amber Tucker, mom of two.

If you are considering hiring someone for this special event, Giggle Magazine photographer Shandon Smith of Lifeprints Photography recommends you review these key points during your planning.

Lauren Pace, mom of one, had newborn portraits done when her baby was 1 week old, but wishes they’d hired a birth photographer too.

Do you want her there during labor, capturing moments like your spouse supporting you through contractions, detail shots of the clock and heart monitor, your mom holding your hand? What about during delivery and in the moments immediately following delivery when Mother and Baby first meet? Another option is to have the photographer arrive several hours after the baby is born, but within the first 24 hours of life. You may be a little more rested, the baby is clean, and you can coordinate the baby and the older siblings meeting for the first time.

“That day was filled with so many emotions – excitement, anxiety, nervousness and pure joy – it's hard to remember it all, and the pictures captured on our cell phones are mediocre. Having a professional there to capture those first moments would be priceless. If we have another child, it's certainly something I will look into,” Pace shared.

• Review the different packages each photographer offers and how much they charge for their time.

• Don't

• How

much time do you want covered by the photographer?

• Find

We asked our Giggle team members, who are also parents, to share their favorite books, apps or websites for pregnancy and child-related information. Here are their go-to sources for Parenting 101. Amazon Mom, Babycenter.com and Giggle Magazine! ~April Tisher, account executive and writer Putapuredukes.com (for comic relief!) ~Kelly Goede, writer 26 gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015

out if the photographer is "on call" in the event you

go to the hospital in the middle of the night. Also, check if there are any extra charges based on travel or time of day, and always ask to read over the full contract.

Baby Connect app, several infant stimulation apps ~Krystal Radlinski, photographer/ owner of Verve Studio “201 Organic Baby Purees” by Tamika Gardner, Digitalprojectlife. com, Baby Nursing/Breastfeeding app by Sevenlogics, Inc., “Why a Son Needs a Mom: 100 Reasons” by Gregory E. Lang ~Jessica Kerr, account executive “Caring for Your Baby and Young Child,” “The Happiest Baby on the Block” and Mommyish.com ~Dana Kamp, managing editor “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and every pamphlet in my OBGYN’s office ~Nicole Irving, publisher

Book photo by Giggle Magazine. Baby photo by Lifeprints Photography.

“On Becoming Child Wise” by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam, “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk” by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, and the “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” series ~Lisa Katz, writer “The Happiest Baby on the Block” by Harvey Karp and Babycenter.com ~Olivia Pitkethly, writer

just research online.

Yes, it's very important to see examples of the photographer’s work, but you must feel a connection to the photographer. You will be exhausted and probably pretty hormonal (speaking from personal experience), and you want to feel comfortable with your photographer.

forks & spoons


Sugar Overload: Low-Sugar Options for the Lunch Box BY JEN HILLAN, MSH, RD, LD/N

When packing your child’s lunch, it’s often a challenge to find a balance between what’s healthy and what he will actually eat. Here are some kid-friendly ideas that will help him get the nutrients he needs without a lot of added sugars that he doesn’t need. Offer at least one fruit and one vegetable since studies show kids usually don’t get enough of them. Offer whole fruits, rather than any kind of roll-up or gummy snack (which have a lot of added sugar but very little fruit). To make it interesting, cut fruits into fun shapes! Canned or dried fruits are good choices too, but check the ingredient lists for added sugars. Pair veggies with a healthy dip like hummus, nut butter or homemade ranch dressing (made with plain Greek yogurt and seasonings). Tired of packing the usual PB & J? Try meat and cheese roll-ups, leftover veggie pizza, egg salad in a whole-wheat pita, peanut butter and raisins on graham crackers, or grilled chicken wrapped in a tortilla. Make your own “Lunchable” with deli meat, fresh mozzarella pearls, fruit slices, and whole-grain crackers or tortilla chips. Get out the Thermos! It will keep cold food cold for up to seven hours and hot foods hot for up to five hours. Try making a smoothie with plain low-fat Greek yogurt, a frozen banana, ice cubes, water, nut butter, cinnamon and vanilla. Or fill the Thermos with soup, chili, or leftovers such as rice and beans or spaghetti.

Added Sugar vs Natural Sugar

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

Natural sugars come in two forms – lactose (found in milk) and fructose (found in fruit). These foods give us important nutrients such as protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. The fiber and protein found in some of these foods take longer to digest, which means you’ll feel fuller longer and have a less dramatic increase in blood sugar levels. Added sugars come in many forms and have many names. They give us extra calories (1 teaspoon is about 15 calories) that we don’t need and no nutritional benefits. Whether the added sugar is high-fructose corn syrup, agave nectar or honey, too much can lead to weight gain and raised blood sugar levels. Sodas, fruit juice, fruit drinks and even sports drinks can be high in added sugar. Offer low-fat milk or a milk alternative to give your child important nutrients without added sugars. For a healthier “sweet” drink, make a light chocolate milk with just a small amount of chocolate syrup or combine water with fruit slices. As much as possible, let your child help with grocery shopping and in preparing his own lunch. He’ll be more likely to eat it if he had a hand in choosing it! ✽

The Nutrition Facts Label lists the total amount of sugar in a food, but it does not list how much is from added sugar and how much is from natural sugar. It’s important to read the ingredient list to find all sources of added sugar. For a complete list of added sugars, visit Choosemyplate.gov/weight-management-calories/ calories/added-sugars.html. gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015


forks & spoons

i n the fri d g e

Italy’s Hidden Treasure: Balsamic Vinegar by SAVANNA KEARNEY

In the last 30 years, balsamic vinegar has made its claim to fame in America’s food industry. Although most people think of it as only a healthy substitute to fatty salad dressings, this syrup-like vinegar can provide any meal with a punch of flavor. What is Balsamic Vinegar? While most types of vinegar are made by fermenting alcohol, balsamic vinegar is created from the juice of pressed white grapes. The juice is boiled down to create a concentrate or “must,” which is then aged in wooden barrels for up to 100 years.

Create a balsamic vinegar reduction by simmering it in a pan for 10 minutes, add spices and lightly pour over meat or vegetables.

Add sugar to a balsamic vinegar reduction and use it as a sweet syrup over ice cream or strawberries.

Health Benefits of Balsamic Vinegar: 

Contains high-power antioxidants (the same ones found in grapes and red wine)

One tablespoon contains only 14 calories

Slows digestion and makes you feel fuller sooner

Stabilizes blood pressure and cholesterol levels

Enhances insulin sensitivity which aids in diabetes control Contains minerals such as magnesium and calcium which form strong bones

Unique Additions to Your Dish 

Sauté whole-wheat pasta in extra virgin olive oil with vegetables, then drizzle balsamic vinegar over it. Add balsamic vinegar to soups, stews and sauces (pairs especially well with tomato-bases).

Adding 1/8 cup of balsamic vinegar and cucumber slices to a glass of flat or sparkling water makes for a refreshing post-workout drink. Replace regular balsamic with Cucumber Melon, Watermelon or Peach Balsamic Vinegar brands for a yummy twist!

Fun Fact!

Balsamic vinegar does not actually contain balsam (a fragrant substance that exudes from certain types of trees). The Italian word balsamico means “like balsam,” referencing the similarities between the two substances.

Vinegar Removes Vinegar If you happen to spill some balsamic vinegar on your clothes, don’t panic! It can easily be removed by mixing half a teaspoon of laundry detergent and a tablespoon of white vinegar with a quart of warm water. Rinse the affected area with cold water and put the solution on it for 15 minutes or so. Rinse off the solution and wash the fabric in hot water.


gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015

“True” balsamic vinegar that has been aged from 12 to 100 years can cost up to $400 for a single bottle. Thankfully there are cheaper brands that can be found in every grocery store. Ideally, the only ingredient in balsamic vinegar should be grape, although that’s unlikely. Many inexpensive brands contain low-quality vinegar sweetened with sugar and colored with syrup. When buying balsamic, look for phrases such as “grape must,” “aged grape must,” or even “Mosto d’Uva.” These words indicate a higher quality brand.

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

Brushing balsamic vinegar over meat, poultry or fish, and cooking it in a pan with olive oil caramelizes the food for a sweeter flavor.

Add It to Water

Watch Out for Imposters


homeschool cor n er

Character-Schooling BY TARA GRIFFIN

We resurrected the RESPECT board at our house this week. It started a few weeks ago. I began noticing tweenish backtalk creeping into our daily routine. At first I ignored the sassy, short answers and sarcasm. But left unchecked, it started to grow, and before I knew it I had an 8-year-old mess, with enough sass to push all my buttons and enough emotional energy to be going strong for a two-hour tantrum. Mothering difficult behavior is rough. Teaching in that environment is impossible. In a traditional school, a child might get detention or internal suspension. In our school, bad behavior earns some quality family time and character-schooling: reminders of manners, values and backto-basics life-schooling. I know the best way to raise good kids is to model good character. But sometimes they need some reminders. My end goal is to raise good citizens of the world. Here’s what I’m doing to support the mission.

Photo and chart provided by Tara Griffin.


While there are many important family values, I am currently emphasizing responsibility, empathy, courage, leadership, respect, self-reliance, love of learning, industriousness and integrity. I ask myself, “Do MY actions support these values?” I talk to the kids about ways to grow in these areas. We discuss these big topics all the time, often at family dinners. We have the kids think of examples and as grown-ups, we think of personal experiences that relate to the value. In your own family, encourage your children to ask big questions, and answer them honestly.


I compiled a list of 25 manners from various sources. I keep it in my bag, and read it aloud (with discussion and examples) on the porch on a sunny day, or on a fun road trip. This week I had the kids copy the list for handwriting practice, and it was a win-win (schoolwork and character reminders, yay!). There are the traditional “please and thank yous,” and a few highlights like “The world is not interested in what you dislike” and “Even if an event is boring, sit quietly and pretend to be interested. The performers are doing their best.” There are many sources of good manners on the Internet, and I encourage you to pick some favorites for your family.

The Respect Board My kids were introduced to the RESPECT board in their kindergarten classrooms, and I reproduce it at home when I find that they are forgetting their manners. It is an excellent visual clue, and I like having the word “Respect” big and bold in my living room as a reminder anyway. Each morning, the kids’ clothespins begin on the “P” and can move up or down depending on their kindness, attitude, gratitude and cooperation. In our house, if you make it down to “C” you do Chores, and if you get up to “R” you get a Reward. It’s easy, free and really works.


My children respond to books. Reading aloud as a family has always been a favorite activity. They love stories where they can relate to the characters and I love when we can tie it back to an important value or lesson. I find there are always ways to bring up personal character development, even in the simplest of storylines, and my ultimate goal is to keep them mindful of their actions as they relate to others. In the one week since I’ve revisited “character-schooling” I have seen a major change in behavior. It’s a long process to raise kids up to become good adults and every stage is different. This is working now, but it’s a work in progress. I’m loving each stage of parenting, and hopefully you are too! Happy schooling!

Book Suggestions: “Win or Lose by How You Choose” by Judge Judy Sheindlin “What Do You Stand For: For Kids” by Barbara A. Lewis

“The Family Virtues Guide” by Linda Kavelin Popov

“What if Everybody Did That?” by Ellen Javernick

“The Energy Bus for Kids” by Jon Gordon

“If You Had to Choose, What Would You Do?” by Sandra McLeod Humphrey

“Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” by Carol McCloud “10-Minute Life Lessons for Kids” by Jamie C. Miller

gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015



family lear n i n g

Amazing Animal Encounters BY OLIVIA K PITKETHLY, MA, LMHC

Kids have a unique fascination with animals. Introduce a child to a new animal and watch her take in every inch of fur, feather or fin. Lucky for us, we have several learning opportunities for our kids right in our own backyard. Here are a few animal encounters in the Tallahassee area to foster your child’s exploration.

See ‘em at the Museum The Tallahassee Museum

Wild Life

Take a Dip in the Spring

Cool off during the summer months at Wakulla Springs State Park, where your family can observe alligators, deer and turtles. Manatees visit in the cooler months and kids are in awe of these gentle giants. For an additional fee, take a riverboat or glass-bottom boat tour for a closer look at the wildlife. Visit Floridastateparks.org for more information.

Dance With the Wolves

Maybe you can’t really dance with the wolves, but you certainly can get up close and personal. At the Seacrest Wolf Preserve, take a 2-4 hour walking tour of the 2- and 3-acre natural habitat where the wolves reside. Since children under 6 are not allowed to tour the preserve, there is a smaller attraction featuring groundhogs, skunks and foxes that are guaranteed to entertain. Visit Seacrestwolfpreserve.org for details.

For kids aspiring to be marine biologists, the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab in Panacea is the place to be. The lab was founded to support education and supply animals to marine researchers and scientists. In 1990, it opened its doors to the public as an aquarium. Visitors can learn about hermit crabs, sea horses, turtles and many other creatures. Check out Gulfspecimen.org for more information about the lab.

More Florida Wildlife Fun Check out the Audubon Nature Florida app on iTunes ($4.99) for a look at over 2,100 species of animals, insects, reptiles and plants that are found in Florida. Explore the online version of Florida Wildlife Magazine at Floridawildlifemagazine.com to view up-close photos and fascinating news about our state’s amazing wildlife.


gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015

Take Flight Just across the Florida border in Thomasville, Georgia, is Birdsong Nature Center. The center has attracted more than 160 species of birds. Visit the butterfly garden from April to November when butterflies complete their life cycles. Visit Birdsongnaturecenter.org for more information.

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved. Cat and turtle photo by Giggle Magazine.

St. Marks Wildlife Refuge is more than 70,000 acres that spans three counties. As one of the oldest refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System, it is home to alligators, deer, bobcats and the bald eagle, among many other creatures. The refuge website lists the animals available for viewing during specific months. Another feature is the second oldest lighthouse in Florida and it’s also the most photographed in the Gulf Coast. Visit Fws.gov/ refuge/st_marks for more information.

is not your typical building full of artifacts and fossils. Beyond that, visitors can walk an elevated boardwalk to see animals in their natural habitat. Kids can discover panthers, otters and bears that have been rescued and rehabilitated. The museum is also home to Big Bend Farm where sheep, mule and other farm animals live. Check out Tallahasseemuseum.org to plan your visit.

Sea Life

gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015



gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015

Summer Camp Value Beyond The Entertainment BY DANIELLE MICHELS

With summer right around the corner, it’s time to start planning how you’re going to fill that long stretch of summer break. There are only so many DIY projects we can do, and keeping a schedule can be a herculean task. That’s why this might be the year to think of something different, like summer camp. We’re not suggesting summer camp as a way to get your kiddo out of your hair. We’re suggesting it because camp can provide quite a few personal development benefits for your child.

life. By entering into a new group of kids who don’t go to his school or live in your immediate neighborhood, he’ll subconsciously learn to develop his social skills when finding new people to team up with for games or sit with at lunch.

Sever the Ties to Technology

It’s inevitable that our kids will have a tight grasp on technology at a young age because it’s just the nature of our society. Summer camps are a great way to ensure days (or weeks) filled with tons of engaging activities that have nothing to do with a screen. Not only will summer camp help grow your child’s appreciation for the outdoors, but it will help him understand how to entertain without the crutch of a computer.

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

Help Build Confidence

Strengthen Social Skills

Camp forces your child to be thrust into a new group of peers, which may be frightening for him at first, but as any adult knows, being able to relate to a diverse group of people is essential in

Although it’s hard to let go of your child for camp, especially if it’s sleep-away, having some distance from home will assist in developing his independence, and subsequently, his confidence. When your child knows he can’t run to Mom and Dad when something isn’t going his way, or when he has to accomplish various tasks like cleaning and laundry on his own, he’ll become confident in his ability to tackle new tasks in the future.

Provide a Healthy Role Model

Camp counselors are typically still students themselves, and they usually have

Get Them Active

Even if your children do not need to increase their physical activity for weight loss, camp is a natural introduction to athletics in the form of group games, field days and other activities that make the kiddos break a sweat. The earlier you introduce regular physical activity into their routine, the more engrained it will become in their interests and lifestyle. And once your children are done with camp they'll most likely have found at least one activity they enjoy doing and would continue throughout the school year. to undergo a screening process ensuring they’ll be good leaders. You would be surprised how much of an impression these counselors can have on your child, and in the best way possible. They’re like the cooler older siblings that help encourage, push and guide your child in a way that makes them ideal role models. ✽ gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015



gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015


g et movi n g

Local "Mommy & Me" Adventures by COLLEEN MCTIERNAN

Looking for some fun bonding time with your little one? Consider some of these “Mommy and Me” style classes offered in Leon County. Whether you’re looking for a weekly class to join, or something that you can pop in to whenever you and your child are free, there’s something for your family. Daddies and grandparents, you’re more than welcome to join too!

Parent-Child Classes That Require Pre-Registration: Critter Class at the Tallahassee Museum

Sign you and your child up for a month of classes at the museum. Each month will have a different theme, including art, science and many others. Classes are offered for parents and children 2 – 3 years old.

Early Steps at Ni’Cole’s Performing Arts Center

Take a dance class with your little one! Held every Tuesday and Thursday morning, classes are open to children walking age through 2 years old. During each class you and your child will learn more about music and movement while engaging in fun activities.

FIT Mom 4 Life Classes with GroupFit90

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

If you’re torn between wanting to hit the gym and spend quality time with your child, try signing up for FIT Mom 4 Life. Classes are designed to allow you to engage in cardio and strength training all while bonding with your child.

Kindermusik classes at Mason’s School of Music, Dance and Arts After School

These weekly 45-minute music classes allow you and your child to learn music concepts, experiment with different instruments and spend quality time together. Separate classes are offered for children from birth – 18 months and 18 months – 3 years old, as well as a family time class for families with children of all ages.

Giggle Tip! Working mommies! Check out Family Time at Leon County Libraries for weekend parent-child activities. Little Dipper Mom & Me classes at International Gold Gymnastics These 50-minute classes for parents and children ages 1 – 3 years help your toddler develop his strength and coordination.

Mornings with Mommy at Faith Lutheran Church

Sign up for an educational playdate with your child at Faith Lutheran Church. Sessions are held every first and third Tuesday and Wednesday of the month and include activities such as arts and crafts.

Drop-in Parent-Child Classes : Baby Time at Leon County Libraries

Head over to a participating library and sing songs and listen to stories with your kiddos. Baby time is open for children up to 3 years old. For children older than

3, try the library Story Time or weekend Family Time.

Little Ones Music Play at the Tallahassee Memorial Hospital Women’s Pavilion

Designed for children 6 months – 2 years old, these 30-minute classes aim to help your child develop skills through interactive music-related activities. Classes are held on Fridays and are a program of the FSU Institute for Infant and Child Medical Music Therapy.

Yoga Play at Namaste Yoga

Bring your kids to your yoga class with you. In this class, children will begin learning a foundation for yoga while playing and dancing. Classes are Tuesday mornings, with one session for children 6 weeks – 1 year old and another for 1- to 4-year-olds. ✽ gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015



g et p retty Suki® Even-Tone Brightening Serum ¬ Helps to even spots, redness, discolorations, hyperpigmentation, circles, scars and uneven skin tone, creating the overall appearance of radiance without the toxic side effects of synthetics. $50.95; Sukiskincare.com.

Spots Be Gone!

Sun exposure, pregnancy, acne and age can cause a host of discolorations and unevenness on your skin. Try one of these spot-reducing products for clearer, more even skin.

Avalon® Age-Less Illuminating Serum ¬ Featuring a multivitamin complex (Vitamin A, B, C, D, E and K) plus powerful antioxidants and quenching moisture, this concentrated, dual-action solution works to brighten skin from the inside out, without parabens, petrolatum or artificial colors. $19.99; Walmart and Avalonpersonalcare.com.


 Meaningful Beauty® by Cindy Crawford Skin Brightening Décolleté and Neck Treatment Broad Spectrum SPF 15 ¬ This cream firms and revitalizes the neck and décolleté. The formula includes a brightening complex to diminish the appearance of age spots and SPF 15 to protect from future damage. $39.95 as part of set; MeaningfulBeauty.com.

 Proactiv+ Advanced Dark Spot Correcting Serum ¬ Treat unsightly dark spots caused by former acne blemishes with this lightweight, fast-absorbing, gel-like serum. Formulated with sea buckthorn and hydroquinone, the product works to visibly improve uneven pigmentation. $50/$34.95 for regular shipment members; DiscoverProactiv.com.

  

 Peter Thomas Roth De-Spot™ Plus ¬ This lightening treatment effectively reduces the intensity and size of age spots, sunspots, freckles, acne scars and melasma – with visible results in one week and maximum results in 3 months. $78; Sephora.com and QVC.com.  SkinCeuticals Advanced Pigment Corrector ¬ This product clears and brightens skin by exfoliating existing spots, inhibiting melanin transfer, blocking excess melanin production and preventing the formation of new spots. $90; SkinCeuticals.com.  jane iredale HandDrink Hand Cream ¬ This formula combines sun protection with added skin care benefit, keeping hands healthy and hydrated. Botanical extracts brighten and even skin tone while broad spectrum UV protection prevents future damage. $29; Janeiredale.com.

Erno Laszlo White Marble Treatment Cleansing Bar ¬ Inspired by the luminous and unblemished perfection of pure white marble, this cleansing bar treats uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation. $45; Radiance Emulsion (serum) also available. Each sold separately. ErnoLaszlo.com.

 36

gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015

Photos courtesy of Alison Brod PR. jane iredale photo by Giggle Magazine. Suki photo coutesy of 5WPR.

 StriVectin Radiance Refining Moisturizer ¬ This daily radiance-enhancing moisturizer is clinically proven to improve skin’s clarity and diminish discolorations while hydrating for softer, smoother skin and an overall brighter and healthier-looking complexion. $89; StriVectin.com.


g et healthy

The Post-Baby Body Craze BY SARAII CRUZ

Daissy Santiago used to be petite and thin, weighing in at 110 pounds. Then she had two children. “I was so skinny that during my first pregnancy, my legs and arms were itchy because I was getting bigger and heavier than ever before,” Santiago said. “When I had my babies, I felt the urge to start working out immediately, because you feel huge and strange. But then you realize you have to care for this new baby and there is no time, with a husband, chores and everything else.” Santiago is one of millions of moms who are reclaiming their bodies after having children. More and more new moms are obsessed with losing their baby weight as quickly as possible after birth, a possible result of the media’s obsession with celebrity moms’ post-baby bodies.

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

“Those magazine headlines are selling this idea that if you don’t lose the baby weight weeks after birth, you’re weird,” said Santiago. “For me it took 18 months to lose the weight I gained with my daughter. Compare that to the weeks it took Kate Middleton.”

through, like depression, breastfeeding and unpaid maternity leave. Addressing these issues will allow women to more easily transition into motherhood. “Sadly, even though so many women out there are silently suffering and working so hard to make things work, we do not talk about it,” she said. “In my opinion, this is a crisis that needs addressing.”

Nurse practitioner Mayrelis Pupo explained that new moms shouldn’t be overly concerned about getting back in shape so Santiago said seeing the “post-baby body” headlines everywhere soon after giving birth. She emphasized that women should added a subconscious pressure to shed her baby weight and go focus on adjusting to their new baby, dedicating time later to back to the 110-pound girl she used to be. Headlines like “Blake focus on weight loss. Lively Flaunts Slim Post-Baby Body Two Months After Giving Birth!” make the weight loss seem “A woman’s body is like elastic. easy, but it’s not. Santiago must It is meant to expand and change care for two children and find Spencer suggested that the media should drop in order to carry a child,” Pupo time to exercise, which prolongs the post-baby narrative and talk about the real said. “Just like elastic, it is the process. postpartum issues women go through, like meant to go back to normal on depression, breastfeeding and unpaid maternity its own. You just have to have The mom-of-two tries to fit in leave. Addressing these issues will allow women patience.” at least 30 minutes of exercise to more easily transition into motherhood. during her hectic days. She puts Pupo explained that weight gain her jogging stroller to good is necessary for every expectant use, does “mommy-and-me” mother. She suggested excess baby weight can be lost over time exercises and watches what she eats, knowing that slowly but by healthy eating habits, regular exercise, sufficient rest and surely she will reach a satisfying weight. breastfeeding. A conversation with your doctor about a specific regime catered to you is best, she said. Kate Spencer, current editor-in-chief of Mommyish.com and former writer and producer for VH1, said that the media’s Although pregnancy changed her body forever, Santiago doesn’t obsession with “post-baby bodies” can be harmful to women’s regret being pregnant and giving life to her children. She just self-esteem, misinforming them and skewing expectations. decided to not become obsessed with weight loss. Spencer, who had a baby in early 2013, felt pressure to lose “I once read that, ‘It takes nine months to grow a life, so don’t expect her baby weight, especially since her job forced her to cover your body to go back to normal in a week or a month.’ I hope other Hollywood events like Red Carpets on camera. moms know that too and don’t feel pressured or like an anomaly for not losing baby weight in a month,” Santiago said. “Enjoy your kids, Spencer suggested that the media should drop the post-baby cut yourself some slack and go at your own pace.” ✽ narrative and talk about the real postpartum issues women go gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015


tabletop terrariums:

a peek into the world of indoor landscaping



gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: CONTAINER: Do you want an open or closed terrarium? An open terrarium requires a slight misting every once in a while, while a closed terrarium will be self sufficient, as the water condensates and is recycled by the plants. Make sure the top isn't loose! PLANTS: Choose plants of different heights and leaf shapes to make your terrarium visually interesting. We used a variety of succulents, but you can also use herbs, ivy or ferns. You can always remove a plant and replace it with something else if you find it isn't working. PEBBLES ACTIVATED CHARCOAL POTTING SOIL REINDEER MOSS DECORATIONS BOTTLE MISTER SCISSORS TWEEZERS PAINTBRUSH

Bring the beauty of a blossoming garden into the comfort of your home with these creative terrariums. These tiny patches of plants are lowmaintenance, and they are sure to add a creative touch to any room in the house. Just check in every once in a while to see if your terrarium needs water, and make sure to air it out if it gets too damp. Use these charming decorations for an indoor touch of summer sunshine!

1 2

Place a layer of pebbles or rocks in the bottom of your container. Add enough for adequate drainage.

The next layer is activated charcoal, which can be found at your local fish store (it's used in fish tanks.) Place thin layer over the pebbles.


Soil goes in next, making sure to leave enough room for the roots of your plants. If you have a very shallow container, you may need to skip this step.


Time for plants! Make sure they don't touch the glass. If it won't hurt the plant, you can use your scissors to trim any stray leaves. For tiny terrariums, use a pair of tweezers to gently place plants in soil.


A moss layer goes in next; you can find it at your local craft store. You can pack it in around the sides. If you are using hardy succulents or cacti, you can fill in the top with pebbles.


Don't forget your decorations! Top your terrarium with fun dinosaurs or toadstools! Use your paintbrush to gently clean the leaves and flowers.


Keep your terrarium in sunlight, but keep an eye on it. The glass can magnify the effects of the sun and overheat the plants. You may need to reposition if they are getting too much sun. A closed terrarium should be self-sufficient and require no watering. For an open terrarium, a misting every couple of days should be enough. Keep an eye on your creation; if it seems too dry, you may need to mist it more often. As the plants grow, you may need to trim any leaves that grow out and over the top of your container.


gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015

happy home

M A K E I T. F I X I T. C L E A N I T.

Celebrate the Earth DIY-Style! BY BRINN STRANGE

Get inspired by these Earth-friendly ways to recycle the old into something new and functional. Children of all ages will enjoy expressing their creativity with our kid-approved crafts!

K-Cup Creations

Next time you fill up your morning cup of Joe, keep your K-Cup to use as a seed starter. First, tear off the top of the K-Cup and clean out the grounds from inside. K-Cups already have mesh inside and a hole in the bottom, making them perfect for draining water. Set them in a leftover plastic container (you can use the lid to create a greenhouse effect). Place some small stones under the cups for even better drainage. Fill each K-Cup with some soil, a few seeds and some more soil. Lightly water and set your container in a sunny window. Mist the soil a few times a day with a spray bottle. Watch your seeds grow!

Giggle Tip : Sprinkle the old coffee grounds in your garden. This helps increase the quality of your soil.

Pallet Shelf Perfection

Take an old pallet board (ask a local hardware store if they have any extra), and sand the sides. Next, add a coat of primer to seal the wood, which will also create a beautiful worn look. After hanging on the wall in your kitchen or living room, place small potted plants or mason jars of herbs on the new shelving.

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

From Trash to Treasure

After the last chip has been chomped, save your empty Pringles canister to make the perfect decorative vase. Simply rinse the container, and either cover it with brown wrapping paper or spray paint it with your favorite color. Next, place a mixture of sand and shells on a cookie tray. Finally, after covering the canister in Mod Podge, roll it in the sand mixture until fully covered. You may also want to individually place some of the bigger shells more strategically around the base.

Giggle Tip : Try using two different sized Pringles canisters. Once finished, place flowers in each one and set on a tray to bring Mom breakfast in bed this Mother’s Day!

Read All About It:

This project is perfect for your little bibliophile! Use an old hardcover book — perhaps one collecting dust on your shelf or from a local used bookstore — and cut out the center pages. Place your plant directly into the book to create a piece of cute and earthconscious décor! ✽ gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015



gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015

happy home


To make the next size up easily accessible, hang these items in the closet, separated from the current wardrobe by clothing dividers. Dividers are useful for organizing the current clothing, too. You can buy blank dividers and write on them or buy specialty labels. Check online and in children’s specialty 12 months shops for various options. Consider 6 months 18 months installing tension rods to add more levels for hanging storage in the closet or armoire. Put the remaining clothing into clear plastic bins with large labels on the front and side, not on the top, so you can still identify the contents when the bins are stacked. Use vacuum storage bags for larger sizes or when storage space is limited. Slide plastic containers under a bed or where you have the best storage space. Babies and toddlers grow quickly, but once you have a system in place, you’ll be able to keep up with their expanding wardrobes.

len... e H r a e D

Queries from the Curious BY helen kornblum

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

Q. I have a closet overflowing with baby and toddler clothing. How can I create easy-access storage for a wide range of sizes? A. Empty the closet to purge items in poor condition and set aside clothing that you want to donate to friends or agencies in the community. Now you’re ready to sort by size, which requires close attention because infant and toddler clothing is not standardized. One brand labeled 3-6 might be another’s 6-9. Once you get past the sizing, sort by type or seasons. Separate specialty clothing such as swimwear, holiday outfits or costumes.

Q, What’s the best way to process our endless stacks of mail? A. To reclaim those lost kitchen countertops, create a deliberate routine for dealing with mail. Pick one spot for incoming mail and use an inbox or basket that fits the amount of mail you typically receive. Now commit yourself to a schedule for processing mail, which might range from daily to once a week. Use a paper bag to recycle junk mail immediately. Your remaining choices boil down to filing, taking immediate action, or putting the paper into an action folder and making a note on your calendar or To Do list. To avoid late charges, you may want to pay bills on the day you process the mail. Have you thought about reducing the amount of mail you receive in the first place? The Direct Marketing Association has a tailored program (dmachoice.org) that allows you to stop unwanted mail. Remember that companies rent mailing lists, so every purchase you make by phone or online increases mail from companies with which you haven’t even done business. Stop unwanted credit card solicitations for five years by calling 1-888-5OPT-OUT. If you’re getting too much mail that no longer applies to your life, identify the flyers, magazines and catalogs that need to go. Make a new habit to be more discriminating!✽

 Helen Kornblum is a life coach and organizer. Find her at CoachandOrganizer.com. Her specialty is coaching teens and young adults who have ADHD or ADD. gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015


In Honor of Her Renee McNeill Mom to Hayden (8)

Vice President / Commercial Lending What is the best parenting advice you've received? Start and end each day with “I love you.” We often think we show our love for our children through our actions, and we should, but kids want and need to be told that they are loved. What is your favorite part of being a mom? Pure Joy. The number one reason I love being a mom is the pure joy I get from being a special part of my son’s life – watching him learn, smile, laugh and grow.

What is your "Mommy Mantra"? “This too shall pass.” The idea is to remind yourself that time is fleeting and whatever the issue is currently causing the most strife in your household, from tantrums to term papers, it will eventually be resolved. Focus on what’s done well. Instead of feeling bad about our parenting misses, focus on what’s gone right.


gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015

What has been the biggest challenge in mothering? As a mom with a career outside the home, the biggest challenge is juggling the time commitment between family and professional life. Often I feel guilty or stressed that I am not managing my time well between work and home. If I focus on a plan, get organized in all areas, then I can find the right balance between my professional life and parenthood. What would you tell yourself if you could go back to before you were a mom? Stop worrying. Relax

more. Have more fun. Travel more. Pursue more experiences rather than material “things.” When life doesn’t go as planned … be patient and have faith. What do you do for “metime”? I go to the gym or on a run each morning to start my day. Because my time is divided between home and my career I have to make sure to manage my energy well. Taking time to care for myself helps me to be relaxed and effective both at work and at home. What are you most looking forward to in raising your child? Raising a Godly child; one who is strong, loving, patient, hardworking and honest. And watching him grow into adulthood. Who is part of your support system? (We know it takes a village!) My loving husband is my biggest fan. He is always encouraging me and cheering me on to do great things whether it is for our family or for my career. I also have incredible support from my family and friends!

Although every woman's motherhood experience is unique, we can all agree that the rewards are worth dealing with the difficulties. This Mother's Day, we're celebrating two local mommies whose lifestyles provide different challenges and different delights. Whether you're a working mommy trying to find the balance between your family and your career, or your little blessing requires some extra special care, you're guaranteed to have both times of stress and times of joy while raising a child. by rebecca vitkus | photos by terri smith photo | Photographed at the space at feather oaks

Mary Beth Tyson Mom to John David (4), Brennan (3) and Benjamin (16 months) Photographer What is your "Mommy Mantra"? "Don't be a hero." I think as moms we try to do it all and be the best at everything, and sometimes our kids just need us to be us with all of our flaws. They need to see real parents, not perfect parents.   What is the best parenting advice you've received? I once called my mom frantic about my kids’ lack of adventure at the ages of 3 and 1. I guess I was thinking they should be contestants on the Amazing Race for Toddlers. She laughed and said, "Everything they need is in their backyard." I then went on to fully adopt the belief that the imagination and a backyard to roam and play in is exactly what a young boy needs. What is your favorite part of being a mom?   The intense and profound love you feel when you stop and just watch them.   What would you tell yourself if you could go back to before you were a mom? Go ahead and stock up on the 2006 cabernet, it's a good year for wine and you'll need it in 2015.

What has been the biggest challenge in mothering? The hours. They are never-ending. What do you do for “metime”? I'm fortunate I get to travel to exciting places for my work. When I'm really in need of some alone time I upgrade my hotel and give myself extra time to just be silent and sit in the quiet.   What are you most looking forward to in raising your children? Watching them experience the world and life. I know that life can come with some heartaches and trials, but I also know life can be exciting.  Who is part of your support system? (We know it takes a village!) My village is very large. But within that village there is one type of person that I tell every mother she needs in her corner, and that is a friend one step ahead of you in the parenting department. Someone who has just walked through the phase you are currently in and the trials and successes are fresh on her mind. I have a cousin and quite a few friends who are on my speed dial and I call constantly for advice. gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015


conception2college™  expecting Exploring the Myths of Gender Prediction

 infant | 0-1 Momtography 101: Professional Advice for Taking Pictures of Your Little One

 to ddler | 2-3 Big Kid Time: Perfecting the Switch from Crib to Bed

 early years | 4-5 Childhood Moments: Becoming the Older Sibling

 kids | 6-7 Let the Style Wars Begin!

 tweens | 8-12 Sleepover Dilemma: When the Younger Sibling is the Third Wheel

 teens | 13-18 Teens and Dating: When are They Ready?

Photo by Sarah Gray Photography


gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015



p re g n a n cy

Exploring the Myths of Gender Prediction BY BRINN STRANGE

It is only natural for expecting parents to wonder if they should register for more pink or blue after discovering they are pregnant. If they are willing to wait, Mom- and Dad-to-be can normally feel more confident after their ultrasound and doctor’s visit around week twenty. However, that still leaves plenty of opportunities for family, friends and random grocery-store-linewaiters to make their own predictions.

Not So Sure:

“I heard that if you tie a washer to a string and hold it above the belly, you can determine the gender by which way the washer started spinning.” ~Valerie, mom of Rose and Billy “Girls steal your beauty. Judging by the amount of blemishes I am experiencing with this pregnancy, it is surely a girl!” ~Morgan, expecting “I heard that if you pour bleach into the toilet before peeing, the water changes color based on whether it’s a boy or girl ... I haven’t tried this yet.” ~Sarah, expecting “Several ladies told me to try using the Chinese Gender Chart online. This was not accurate for me.” ~Kim, mom of Abby

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

Websites such as Babycenter.com link to The Ancient Chinese Gender Chart. Legend has it, the birth chart was discovered on a scroll over 700 years ago and scholars have used the chart to predict gender based on the Chinese lunar calendar. However, the site admits that the forecast is more fun than scientific.

Maybe Something to It:

“I had heard that if the baby’s heart rate was lower than 160 it was probably a boy. Elijah’s heart rate at 6 weeks was 136 and pretty much stayed that way every week after, so at 20 weeks I was pretty certain it was a boy just based off that.” ~Nicole, mom of Elijah “I heard many times that how you carry the baby predicts the baby’s gender. I carried Rose high and Billy low (this might have also been because Billy weighed 2 more pounds and was the second born, but, nevertheless, they were right).” ~Valerie, mom of Rose and Billy “I was told you craved more salty foods if you carry a boy, and I can kind of buy that. I enjoyed salty foods with both Jack and Norah, but I found myself wanting more sweets with Norah.” ~Lindsey, mom of Jack and Norah “Some of the older ladies I worked with commented that boys tend to stick straight out like a basketball and girls tend to fill out on your sides like a tire — toward the end, I was definitely more of a tire!” ~Laura, mom of Maya

A Professional Perspective Dr. Tanya M. Evers of Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare Family Medicine Residency Program shared her thoughts. “The most common myth I hear is with the fetal heart rate. If it is “fast” it is supposed to be one gender and slower is the other,” she said.

However, Evers cited several studies that determined gender does not affect fetal heart rate variation. “I really do not know where these myths started. People are going to be right 50 percent of the time, so if you guess enough you will appear right at least that much.” Most importantly, Evers concluded, “Be prepared to love and cherish your child, regardless of the gender.” gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015



gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015



a g es 0 - 1

Momtography 101: Professional Advice for Taking Pictures of Your Little One BY PATRICIA BISHOP, Photographer for giggle magazine and owner of patricia bishop photography

A baby’s first year offers so many opportunities to capture amazing pictures of your little one. You don’t need a fancy camera or great props to make a great picture; you need a happy (or sleepy) baby and beautiful, natural light.

Below are a few tips to help you capture timeless photos of your new love.

❉ Find the light

As long as there is daylight you can get beautiful baby photos with natural light. Window light is best, but make sure it’s indirect to keep the baby from squinting or harsh shadows from being created. Shooting outside? The best time for this is within one hour from sunrise and two hours before sunset.

❉ Time it right

All babies have a “best time” for photos; keep an eye out for “happy” time and “sleepy” time. There is no point in trying to shoot a happy, tranquil photo when the baby is not in the mood. Put the camera away and try again tomorrow. The time is different for all babies but you have the advantage of being with yours all the time.

❉ Keep baby comfy

Photos by Patricia Bishop Photography.

If you want a cooperative model then make sure she’s well-rested, well-fed, and comfortable (clean diaper and clothes that aren’t too hot or too tight). Plan your photo shoot within a half hour after feeding your baby and keep the outfit simple. If you want to capture her in her birthday suit, turn on a space heater to keep her warm and happy.

❉ Forget the props

The photograph is not about the props (no jumbo headbands, please), it's just about your beautiful baby. Big hats, tutus, or oversized or colorful blankets just distract from your baby. Choosing a plain background is as simple as moving furniture to open up a blank wall, or just putting your baby on top of a white comforter on the floor. Also, make it personal. Take pictures in settings that have meaning for you – the nursery you worked so hard on, the special chair Grandpa made or on an old family quilt.

❉ Capture the details

Don’t forget to document all of those sweet little details. That little upturned nose, rosebud lips, dimpled chin, tiny toes, furrowed brows – these are all things you will not want to forget as your baby grows. This works best by getting down to the baby’s level. As a newborn photographer, I spend most of my sessions on the ground trying to get all the shots. Angles are so important; instead of rushing to change your setup or reposition your baby, try getting up and walking around your baby to see what unique angles you can photograph. Walk behind your baby and shoot some pictures from the shadowed side – you may end up with an image that you love. Exhaust all of your angles before moving on to a new pose or setup. This is an easy way to get variety out of a single pose.

❉ Be prepared

Keep your camera ready at all times. The more familiar your baby is with a camera, the more natural your photographs will be. With a camera at hand, you'll always be ready for those special spontaneous moments. Your favorite photos of your baby will most likely be the candid ones, so keep shooting! ✽ gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015




a g es 2 - 3

Big Kid Time: Perfecting the Switch from Crib to Bed BY COLLEEN MCTIERNAN

low-lying bed may be a good option. If your child will be moving directly into a regular bed, put up some sort of barrier around the edges. You can install bed rails, line pillows around the edge, or even tuck a pool noodle under the fitted sheet to create a makeshift wall.

Make the move fun and comfortable

Talk to your child about his new bed before moving him into it, to get him comfortable with the idea. Tell him about friends’ and older siblings’ transitions or let grandparents tell him about your own move!

Although your child may love the crib he is in now, every little one has to make the transition to a big bed at sometime. This switch can be difficult, but if you’re careful about when and how you introduce your child to his new bed, the experience can be positive and fun for the both of you. Here are some things to consider when making the big move.

Timing is everything

“Most children make the move around age 2 ½ or 3. By age 3, kids are more likely to have the necessary impulse control and understand the concept of staying in bed


gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015

Safety first

If your child is trying to escape from his crib, then it is definitely time to move him into a big kid bed. Children can be seriously injured taking a tumble out of their cribs, so if you have already moved the crib mattress as low as it can go, make the transition as soon as possible! You will still need to put some safety measures in place once you’ve made the decision to move your child. A crib that transitions into a toddler bed or another

Remain patient with your child at this time. Leaving the crib may be more difficult for some children than others.

“Expect the transition to take a week or two for most toddlers,” said Turgeon and Wright. “It’s a big change!” ✽

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

Make sure you don’t start this move too quickly! Though the average age for children to leave their crib is between 18 months and 3 years old, there is no set age at which children have to start sleeping in a bed. If your toddler is still sleeping well in his crib, then he can stay there, as long as there is no danger of him trying to climb out. Moving him too early may only make the transition harder for both of you.

all night,” explained Heather Turgeon, MFT, and Julie Wright, MFT, co-authors of “The Happy Sleeper.”

Let your child help pick out the new bedding and maybe a few stuffed animals to accompany him in the bed so he feels more familiar with the new surroundings. It might also be a good idea to place his bed in the same spot that the crib occupied. Be sure to remove the crib from that room (unless of course he will be sharing the room with a new baby!) to help ease the transition.

gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015



early years

a g es 4 - 5

Childhood Moments:

Becoming the Older Sibling BY ALE RUSSIAN

The life-changing event of bringing your new baby home is equal parts terrifying and exciting. You don’t really know when you’ll be sleeping, eating or showering next, and you’re overwhelmed with love for the new little person in your life. As consuming as it all is, the process can be more difficult if the baby will be joining a sibling waiting at home. Being the older child in this situation might seem like it has no perks. Your firstborn now has to get used to not being the center of your world. Keep this in mind when planning how to transition your growing family, giving her plenty of love and attention along the way.

Get her used to the idea

The hardest part of the transition will be your older child realizing that the baby is here to stay. Start this process by getting her used to the idea during the pregnancy. Show her your growing belly and let her feel the little kicks from her new sibling. If adopting, involve her in any (age-appropriate) pregnancy updates you receive from the birth mother. Make fun “Big Sister” and “Little Brother” T-shirts to celebrate the upcoming new roles. Try giving her a doll a few months before the birth and have her take care of it as she would her new baby brother or sister. It will give her an idea of what it will be like when the new baby actually arrives. The permanent change in routine is typically what affects older siblings the most when the new baby comes home. To avoid further problems, start implementing some changes as soon as possible. If she is going to have to move rooms for the nursery’s new space, transition her a few months ahead. This will avoid her discomfort when the baby


gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015

Include her in the baby routine

With the new baby requiring a ton of attention, your older one may start to feel like she’s being replaced or is no longer important in the household. Combat this by including her in the daily baby routine. Although she can’t change diapers yet, your older one can help by bringing a new diaper to you or handing you the baby’s clothes. Tell her it’s her very special job and that she’s the best one for it! ✽

Books to Help with the New Life Change: • “What to Expect When the

New Baby Comes Home” by Heidi Murkoff

Important to remember: Bringing your new bundle home doesn’t make your other child any older! Although it may feel like she is ready for a lot more responsibilities, partly due to the doubling up of yours, take into account what is developmentally appropriate for her age and avoid further distress.

• “There’s a House Inside my Mummy” by Giles Andreae and Vanessa Cabban

• “Ever So Ever So” by Kes Gray • “I’m a Big Brother” by Joanna Cole (Also, “I’m a Big Sister”)

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

Plan ahead for changes

comes home. Make this an exciting event for her. Let her choose a new bedding set or wall paint color. Or if she’ll be using a new car seat so the baby can use hers, bring her along when you make the purchase and install the new seat.



a g es 6 - 7

If someone had told me as a new mother that I would someday have knockdown, drag-out battles over clothing with the little angel I held in my arms, I may not have believed them. Around age 1½, my oldest daughter used her new language skills to string together such phrases as “No dress!” and “I want the pink one!” From there, her language and negotiating skills grew in sophistication and she could more articulately argue with me (albeit with more door slamming and tantrums) over my choice of clothing for her. Almost all of the pictures I have of her at home until she was about 4 are either in wacky, mismatched weather-inappropriate attire, or of her in only underwear because she would refuse to wear anything at all. My other children followed suit, even my boys. How dare these children assert their free will, I ask? Clothing battles are especially frustrating because the end results broadcast to the

world the score of your morning war. Child – 1, Parent – 0. I wanted to make a badge for my daughter to wear when she was little that said proudly, “I dressed myself.” Even though anyone who even threw her a cursory glance knew that no sane mother would have willingly dressed her that way. My good friend Ashley McPherson has experienced this firsthand with her oldest child, Amy, who had decided the only shoes she would wear when outside playing would be fancy dress shoes.

“When Roxanne left for school the morning of her 1st grade school picture day, her long hair was in curls with a little white bow on one side to keep the bangs from her eyes. And she did not have tattoos!

“She has a bit of a shoe fetish,” Ashley said. “She refused to wear anything but pretty ballerina-like shoes.”

She took out the bow, pulled her hair back so you could not see the curls and added tattoos. She crossed her arms like this to proudly show off her handiwork.

After battling many times (and ruining several pairs of dress shoes), Ashley finally designated one pair of dress shoes for outside.

I laughed so hard when her school pictures came in. Of course I bought them. This is her personality.”

So what happens when clothing battles test the limits of your family’s gender roles? Or the desired clothing isn’t ageappropriate? Licensed Mental Health Counselor Alicia Pfahler reassures parents that “some self expression is healthy within limits.” Her advice is to give children choices with set boundaries.

Photos provided by Terri Smith.




Let the Style Wars Begin!

“Remember,” she said, “the end goal is to have a healthy functioning self who is capable of making good choices throughout life with good inner muscles. We don’t just want to make quick peace by getting obedience without maintaining relationship, or giving full reign without boundaries.”

Terri, mom of 3 Parenting can be boiled down to the balance between rules and relationship. If you desire rule following above all else, you sacrifice much of your relationship with your child. And all relationship with no rules leads to destructive behavior and a child who lives on your couch when he’s 35. Somewhere in there exists a balance where you determine what’s right for your family (maybe you allow your son to wear his hair long, or your daughter to have a “tomboy” look), and you allow them some freedoms to preserve your relationship with them. I do draw the line at cleanliness, modesty and weather appropriateness. And occasionally a certain event pops up that calls for specific attire and my children must comply (under duress and with much complaining). Ultimately, the bestdressed child is the one who expresses himself within the loving confines of family boundaries. ✽ gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015




a g es 8 - 1 2

Sleepover Dilemma:

The "include everyone rule"

When the Younger Sibling Is the Third Wheel BY APRIL TISHER

I have four children. It never fails that there is a younger one outside of someone’s bedroom door knocking and begging to be allowed in. It’s even more dramatic when there are friends over. Someone feels left out, there are arguments over who gets to play what game or watch a particular movie, or who gets to sit next to the guest. How should you handle playdates or sleepovers when siblings are home? Should some household rules be bent when there are extra kids in the house?

The first thing to consider in these situations is age appropriateness. With varied age ranges, there is usually a separation in what each sibling is allowed to do or watch. Elaine Almond, mom of three, says that she operates by the “include everyone rule.” When she lets her older boys have friends over, she ensures that they are playing games and watching movies that are also appropriate for her 4-year-old daughter. She says what works best for their family is to let each child have a friend over at the same time. Elaine admits she does bend regular bedtime rules a little for sleepovers by letting them all sleep in the playroom in sleeping bags and fall asleep watching a special movie.

If you are lucky enough to have grandparents in town who are available for grandkid sleepovers, this is a great time to take advantage of that! In my house, I have two boys close in age so there is a lot of competition for the visiting friend’s attention. To avoid hurt feelings, the child who doesn’t have a friend over gets to go to Grandma’s for some fun. If both boys have a friend at the same time, my 4-yearold daughter stays with Grandma so she doesn’t feel left out when the boys don’t want to involve her in their activities. If you don’t have relatives close enough for those options, you can work out a trade with another family where you take one of their children for a time frame and they take one of yours. The key to keeping sleepover peace is finding out what works best for your

Ann Douglas, author of “The Mother of All Parenting Books,” suggests that everyone sleep in a star formation, with everyone’s head pointed toward the center. This should eliminate any controversy over who sleeps next to whom. 54

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family. You have to first decide at what age you feel sleepovers are appropriate for your children, which may vary from child to child. You also have to be comfortable with the families and the children you have staying in your home. Remember that things change and what works now may not always work. As your children get older they’ll want more independence and freedom to spend time with their friends without their siblings interfering.✽

Special Sleepover Snack!

Having a special breakfast (or late-night snack) for sleepovers brings everyone together. My husband, Chris, makes Mickey Mouse chocolate chip pancakes in the morning. It doesn’t matter the age of the children; everyone loves them!

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Mom of three Cara Laney has a different approach. Her oldest child is her 10-yearold daughter, followed by two sons close in age. She feels like her daughter needs her privacy and one-on-one time with her

friends. Her husband usually takes the boys out for a special night and allows the girls to have their time to do preteen girl things. When the boys have their friends over, she takes her daughter off to allow the boys time to just be boys without their sister interfering.


teens Teens and Dating: When Are They Ready?

a g es 1 3 - 1 8


The teenage years can be some of the best years in a person’s life. During this time, your child may find a best friend, develop a great relationship with his coach, explore a newfound talent or even fall in love for the first time.

Love and Crushes

During these formative years, it is beneficial for your teenager to begin to understand the difference between love and having a crush. To be fair, this understanding is sometimes difficult to comprehend even as an adult. Love is a deep feeling that develops over time. When you are in love, you want to be there through all of the good and the bad times. You are physically attracted to each other and emotionally committed. You are supportive and considerate of each other’s feelings. Love is also working as a team to get through difficult situations and then wanting to celebrate any victories … together.

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Having a crush on someone can also be an exciting time. You want to spend all of your time together but usually only for the fun times. Having a crush often recognizes that person as being “perfect,”and that ideal image can often lead to only seeing the good in someone and none of the flaws. Having a crush is often just being in love with love or what you think love is or could be.

“...during adolescence, dating is a dress rehearsal for adult relationships.” Into the Dating World

So when do you allow your teen to start exploring those love vs. crush feelings and begin dating? As you would imagine, every parent has a different opinion. Talk openly with your own children about their thoughts as well as your personal, parental expectations. We understand that every child matures at a slightly different age. A 15-year-old girl may be more mature and ready to date while a 16-year-old boy isn’t even close to being ready for such a responsibility. Often, parents will start their teen’s dating process in steps by allowing their 14-year-old to only go out on “group dates.” Kids are typically fine with that restriction at this stage. Many parents feel 16 is a better, more mature age to begin actual dating. “One-on-one dates should probably wait until age 16 or even 17, depending on the maturity of the teen, and your assessment of the date in question,” suggests Mary Waldon, a licensed clinical social worker.

Building Blocks

Being in different types of relationships will help to mold your child’s perception of friendships and love for years to come. Dr. Brenda Schaeffer, psychologist and author of “Love or Addiction: The Power and Peril of Teen Sex and Romance,” views teen dating as a pivotal time. “The thing is, during adolescence, dating is a dress rehearsal for adult relationships,” explains Dr. Schaeffer. While one never knows how long a teenage love or crush will last, understand that it will feel very real to your child. Take your teen seriously and do not mock his feelings. This is a huge learning time in your teen’s life. Your teen needs you right now… even if he thinks he doesn’t. Be a pillar of support, and be open to questions and conversations as your teen ventures into the sometimes scary but wonderful world of love. ✽

Parent-to-Parent: “We told our son, who is 14, that if he wanted to date he had to have my husband or me there, or he could have a group of six or more friends there. He chose us.” - Donna L.

“I tell my 14-year-old daughter that whenever she starts dating, I’m going to tell the young man that everything he does to her I will do to him. You know, kissing, hugging, whatever.” - Andy L.

“I tell my daughter to remember that boys have feelings too and think about how her brother feels when a girl plays games. It's better to be straightforward. When our son started dating at 16, I felt like it was a new phase and exciting. I also hoped I’d like the girl!” - Gena B.

“For dating, our rule was not until age 16 and there were many restrictions. I had to know what time things were beginning and ending, where they were at all times and which friends they were with. Who you are with can have a big influence too. Sometimes I snuck around to check on them. They never even knew it!” - Vickie C.

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gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015

happy community AprilMay Calendar APRIL 3 – APRIL 11 Passover APRIL 3 Music Play at Capital Music Therapy 9:30 – 11 a.m. Capital Music of Tallahassee Facebook.com APRIL 3 Kidz Night Only at Firefly Pottery Studio 6 – 8:30 p.m. Firefly Pottery Studio Fireflypotterystudio.com APRIL 4 North Florida VegFest All Day Event Cascades Park Northfloridavegfest.com

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APRIL 4 The Junior League of Tallahassee’s Operation Prom Dress 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Tallahassee Community College Jltallahassee.org APRIL 4 Pig Fest at the North Florida Fairgrounds 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. North Florida Fairgrounds Festivalsandevents.com APRIL 4 Queen of Hearts and Mad Hatter in Wonderland at the LeMoyne Center 2 – 4 p.m. LeMoyne Center Worldballetinc.org APRIL 5 Easter Sunday

C ale n d ar of eve n ts

APRIL 5 City Church Easter 11 a.m. Civic Center CivicCenterEaster.com

APRIL 12 4th Annual Rock the Pink Lip Sync 6 – 8 p.m. American Legion Hall at Lake Ella Rockthepinklipsync.com

APRIL 10 The Avett Brothers Concert 6 p.m. Capital City Amphitheater at Cascades Park Capitalcityamphitheater.com

APRIL 12 – 14 Children's Week info@childrensweek.org

APRIL 10 Monster Jam 7 p.m. Donald Tucker Civic Center Tuckerciviccenter.com APRIL 11 Digital Art Festival: A Night in Motion Holy Comforter Episcopal School Holy-comforter.org/gala APRIL 11 – 12 Word of South Festival of Literature and Music All Day Event Cascade Park Wordofsouthfestival.com APRIL 11 – 12 Word of South: Music and Literature Festival All Day Event Cascades Park Facebook.com

APRIL 17 – 19 Southern Shakespeare Festival All Day Event Cascades Park Southernshakespearefestival.org APRIL 18 – 19 LeMoyne Chain of Parks Art Festival 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Chainofparks.com APRIL 18 FSU Autism Superhero 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run 8 a.m. Northwood Centre Eventbrite.com APRIL 18 Ronald McDonald House Red Shoe Run 8 a.m. – Noon Southwood (Capitol Office Complex) on Esplanade Way Rmhctallahassee.org

APRIL 11 Sopchoppy Worm Gruntin Festival 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. Downtown Sopchoppy Wormgruntinfestival.com

APRIL 18 Home School Conference and Information Expo 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. First Baptist Church Connectionshomeschool.com

APRIL 11 Family Health Day 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Florida Historic Capitol Museum Flhistoriccapitol.gov

APRIL 18 Big Brother Big Sister Class 9 – 10 a.m. A Woman’s Place Tmh.org

APRIL 11 Sublime with Rome Concert 7 p.m. Capital City Amphitheater at Cascades Park Capitalcityamphitheater.com

APRIL 18 Publix Kids Cooking Class: Little Italy 10 a.m. Publix at Village Square Ww2.publix.com/aprons/schools

APRIL 12 Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra 4:30 p.m. Capital City Amphitheatre at Cascades Park Capitalcityamphitheater.com

APRIL 18 Babysitter Training 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. A Woman’s Place Tmh.org gigglemag.com | APRIL/MAY 2015


happy community APRIL 18 World Ballet presents Alice in Wonderland 7:30 p.m. Lee Hall Auditorium FAMU Campus Worldballetinc.org APRIL 22 Earth Day APRIL 25 – 26 Tallahassee Jazz and Blues Festival and Pioneer Breakfast 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tallahassee Museum Facebook.com APRIL 25 Camp Charis Park Day 9 a.m. Camp Charis Campcharis.org APRIL 25 Healthy Communities Festival 9 a.m. Cascades Park Capitalcityamphitheater.com APRIL 25 March of Dimes: March for Babies 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Tom Brown Park Marchofdimes.org APRIL 25 Downtown Crawfish Festival 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Kleman Plaza Facebook.com APRIL 26 Wilco Concert 5:30 p.m. Capital City Amphitheater at Cascades Park Capitalcityamphitheater.com APRIL 26 30th Annual Chefs’ Sampler 6:30 – 9 p.m. Centre of Tallahassee Chstallychefs.com

Happy Spring! 58

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MAY 2 Derby Day at Dover Dover Farm DerbyDayatDover.com MAY 2 Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra Open Rehearsal Noon – 2:30 p.m. Florida State University Tallahasseesymphony.org MAY 10 Mother’s Day MAY 15 The Beach Boys Concert 6 p.m. Capital City Amphitheater at Cascades Park Capitalcityamphitheater.com MAY 16 T.O.U.R. Guide Program 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tallahassee Museum & Downtown Marketplace Facebook.com MAY 25 Memorial Day MAY 30 JDRF One Walk Registration: 8 a.m. Walk: 9 a.m. Southwood Town Center Walk.jdrf.org/Tallahassee MAY 31 Tallahassee Youth Triathlon Series 8 a.m. Florida State University Morcom Aquatics Center Tallahasseeyts.com

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happy community

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Profile for Irving Publications, LLC

Giggle Magazine-Tallahassee April/May 2015  

Celebrating Moms, spring and babies. gigglemag.com

Giggle Magazine-Tallahassee April/May 2015  

Celebrating Moms, spring and babies. gigglemag.com

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