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ALACHUA

COUNTY’S

PREMIER

PARENTING

MAGAZINE

AUG/SEPT 2015 • Volume 7 • Issue 4

FIRED UP FOR TAILGATING! CRAZY FOR QUINOA 50 FAMILY ACTIVITIES TO GET YOU MOVING

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School Zone Ahead!

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PUBLISHER Nicole Irving ART DIRECTOR Allison Raber MANAGING EDITOR Dana Kamp GRAPHIC DESIGNER Claire Stortz VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES Shane Irving ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Jen Bass, April Tisher EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Sayeh Farah EVENT PHOTOGRAPHER Anabel Wheeler CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Michaela Beeda, Ariana Brasman, Kelly Goede, Tara Griffin, Allen Haynes, Jen Hillan, Cresonia Hsieh, Lisa Katz, Helen Kornblum, Olivia Pitkethly, Ale Russian, Brinn Strange, April Tisher, Rachel Wiener CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Ashley Daniell Photography, Patricia Bishop Photography INTERNS Michaela Beeda, Ariana Brasman, Ale Russian, Rachel Wiener

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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

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

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from the publisher We want the best for our kids. This is never debatable. But, sometimes what is best for them takes having a strong heart and making tough decisions. When it comes to their education and success, nothing is off the table, right? We want the best school zones, teachers and administration, and we want the opportunities for our children to be abundant. But sometimes, even if all those are perfectly aligned their success seems in jeopardy. At one time or another, school is just ridiculously hard, and to be witness to your child’s struggles, failures, tantrums and pain while trying to focus and learn will take a toll on any parent’s heart and soul. This I know all too well. The first day of the new school year is approaching fast. For me, it comes with a small dose of anxiety and a large dose of hope. Hope that he will have another chance to show the world what he is made of. Hope that he will see how special he is and that he is very smart and although different from his brothers, he can be just as successful at school, he just may have to take a different route.

Want Even More Giggle Goodness? Sign up for our newsletter and get access to more of the things you love - free printables, recipes, parenting advice, giveaways and more! Sign up today at www.gigglemag.com!

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As parents, our jobs are hard and rewarding at the same time. Our children’s safety, health, education and future are our top priorities, and we will do what it takes for them to be happy and successful. I know I will … and I am. It’s going to be hard. It may not be pretty, but it is going to be a great year, no matter what! I commend you all for standing by your children, wanting the best for them and pushing them to be the best they can be! You all get an “A” in my book! Good luck to all of you! Make it the best year ever!

Nicole Irving, Publisher nicole@irvingpublications.com

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Photos by Patricia Bishop Photography.

Age: 1 1 Favorite book: "Out of my Mind" by Sharon Draper Favorite movie: "The Pacifier" Favorite food: Pasta Favorite activities: Math Olympiad and Chorus Favorite treat: Vanilla ice cream


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August * September 2015 happy family • happy community

TM

life

learn

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76 IN THE CLASSROOM

LIFESAVERS

8 Products for Easier Parenting

Starting the School Year with A Clean Slate

11 THE PARENT LIFE Girls' Getaway: Taking the Time for a

78 HOMESCHOOL CORNER

Refreshing Retreat

12 JUST THE TWO OF US

Facing Infertility Issues Together

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16 TWO CENTS Reward Yourself!

The McSwain Family

99 EXTRA, EXTRA

20 GRANDPARENTS

Back in My Day...

100 CALENDAR

26 GIGGLE STAMP

Touch of Class: Great Products for

102 LOCAL "KIDS EAT FREE" RESTAURANTS

Teachers

conception 2✱ college™

60 DELISH Crazy for Quinoa

Photos by Patricia Bishop Photography. Teacher of the Year photo by Giggle Magazine.

The Hang Tough Foundation: Bringing Hope to Families

forks & spoons

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Branching Out for Hispanic Heritage Month

happy community

18 HAPPY FAMILY

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The FAQs of Homeschooling

81 FAMILY LEARNING

63 LUNCH BOX Dessert Alternatives

84 EXPECTING

64 IN THE FRIDGE Wild About Watermelon!

87 INFANT

Making Sense of Centering Year One: Sights and Sounds Abound!

88 TODDLER

health

Back-to-School Fun for Your Tot

91 EARLY YEARS

Kindergarten, Here We Come!

50 GET HEALTHY

Finding a Happy Medium

92 KIDS

54 GET MOVING

50 Family Fun Ideas

Those Precious Z’s

94 TWEENS

58 GET PRETTY

Sweet Sleep: Helping Your Child Get

The Parent’s Back-to-School Beauty & Fashion Guide for Teens

The Tween Change: Helping Your Child Through the Journey

97 TEENS

happy home

66 MAKE IT. FIX IT. CLEAN IT.

5 Ways to Guide and Protect Your Teen on Social Media ALACHUA

COUNTY’S

PREMIER

PARENTING

MAGAZINE

Backyard Birds

features 24 45

74 ORGANIZED CHAOS

Ask Helen: Queries from the Curious

School Zone Ahead! Fun Backpacks and Lunch Boxes, Celebrating Local Teachers, Great Apps for Learning and More! Getting Fired Up for Tailgating!

AUG/SEPT 2015 • Volume 7 • Issue 4

FIRED UP FOR TAILGATING! CRAZY FOR QUINOA 50 FAMILY ACTIVITIES TO GET YOU MOVING

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Photo by Patricia Bishop Photography GIGGLEMAG.COM | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015

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life

L I F E S AV E R S

Mophie Juice Pack

This is the perfect item for parents of teenagers! This juice pack is both a phone case and charger. The case guarantees the phone will be charged (and protected) when it’s time to check in with your teen. Available for iPhone, Samsung or HTC. $99.95; Mophie.com.

Kiinde Twist System

This system lets you pump breast milk, store it and organize it while in the same pouch. The Kiinde Twist skips the step of transferring milk from bottles to bags and back and forth, saving you time and hassle. Gift Set $99.99; Kiinde.com.

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Ciao! Baby Chair

This portable high chair can be a huge help when families are traveling, tailgating, camping and more! It even has a built-in cup holder and can be used with children who weigh up to 35 pounds. $67.99; Theportablehighchair.com.

Products for Easier Parenting

BY ARIANA BRASMAN

Kid’Sleep My First Alarm Clock

This beginner’s alarm clock helps children learn how to tell time with both analog and digital faces, and comes with three alarm sounds. The special Kid’Sleep feature lets your child know when to stay in bed and when it's time to wake up! $39.99; Bed Bath & Beyond, Diapers.com.

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Shopping Cart Hammock

This clever hammock clips onto the sides of a shopping cart and is elevated, which leaves plenty of room to store groceries in the shopping cart. It simply rolls up to fit inside your purse or diaper bag when not in use and can be used until a child can sit upright without needing any help. $49.95; Binxybaby.com.

GIGGLEMAG.COM | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015

Baby Shusher

The Baby Shusher is designed to help calm your baby and stop a crying spell by pleasing his natural calming reflex, even when you’re onthe-go. The sound emitted by the Shusher gives the baby the feeling of being inside the womb. $34.99; Babyshusher.com.

“Parenting Teens With Love and Logic – Preparing Adolescents for Responsible Adulthood” by Foster Cline and Jim Fay This useful book helps parents of adolescents learn the skills needed to teach their children responsible decision-making without damaging their relationship. Covering real-world issues such as divorce, addiction, sex and more, it's designed to help teach your teenager to find her own identity as she grows up. $24.99; Books-aMillion, Barnes & Noble, online bookstores.

Photos courtesy of manufacturer.

Travel-Tot Travel Childproofing System This travel kit is designed to childproof rooms while your family is on-the-go. Perfect for use in hotel rooms or even on a trip to Grandma's house, the products in this set are portable and can be set up within five minutes. Items in the kit include: finger pinch guard, electrical outlet plug covers, foam corner guards, door knob cover, cord wind-up, sliding door lock and more. $34.95; Travel-tot.com.

Parents often stumble upon roadblocks when raising their children. We have compiled a Lifesavers list of great products to make the parenting journey a little bit easier.


That’s Why We’re Building a 24/7 Dedicated Pediatric ER Kids will be kids. And snorkeling in the bathtub can be slippery. So when that inevitable break, cut or bruise occurs, bring them to the ER at North Florida Regional Medical Center. Our dedicated pediatric ER will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So we will have him back to discovering the deep blue sea in no time.

North Florida

Regional Medical Center

Opening September 2015 GIGGLEMAG.COM | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015

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life

T H E PA R E N T L I F E

Girls' Getaway: Taking the Time for a Refreshing Retreat BY KELLY GOEDE

and spent a weekend on Grandfather Mountain hiking and taking pictures – all with combinations of these ladies. And as we sat in cafes or on various balconies, “solving the world’s problems,” (according to my friend Laura Bugg) we remembered that we had opinions, thoughts and ideas! How refreshing to let conversation flow and meander without interruption. My friend Amy Hogue, who operates as the “default parent” in her home (you know, the one who anticipates every child’s needs, arranges dog boarding, packs for the family) can attest that a girls’ weekend offers her a chance to “think about just ME.”

OU K N O W DY ? DI

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved

An Australian study found that the presence of good friends in a woman's life increased her life expectancy!

I don’t know you personally, but I bet I know something about you and your life before you were a mom. Flash back to that time when you were not the woman driving around in a minivan, wearing yoga pants and no makeup. You were cool (in your own mind, at least). You did stuff. Like adult stuff. With other adults. And you laughed about adult things and were ignorant in the ways of “Disney Junior.” Now, even though you are a parent engaged in the most beautiful process of turning a bouncing blob of baby goo into a functional member of society (and you wouldn’t trade your life for anything), a part of you misses that funloving gal you used to be and the cool peeps she kept for company. Motherhood is a high calling and requires so much of us that we can fall victim to reducing ourselves down to the essentials (food preparer, hiney wiper and the like),

forgetting that we need a good laugh with friends who “get” us and time away from our petite people who call us Mom. Of course a coffee date shared with a fellow mommy-in-the-trenches is invaluable – stolen moments like these should happen simply for sanity preservation. But, the ultimate antidote to our former-self amnesia is a girls-only getaway – be it a whole day or several – where you are only responsible for yourself. Just think about that for a second with me … I bet some of you could spend a day in a broom closet and that would suffice. But to really take a step back and immerse yourself in time spent with friends, remembering who you are, is a gift to yourself that will benefit your entire family upon your return. My closest girlfriends all agreed with me. I’ve traveled to New York City with some, cruised the Caribbean,

She says, “Being able to step away from that with a group of friends who don’t know me as ‘Honey’ or ‘Mommy,’ gives me the opportunity to relax and recharge so I can go home and be the best wife and mother I can be.” Another friend Sarah Malpeli, who lives a plane ride away (but is totally worth the sacrifice of time and money) reminds me that she and I have been friends since preschool. When we get together, Sarah says, “It’s like picking up where we left off on a lifelong conversation.” And whether you’re spending a day shopping, flying to Vegas or sitting on a beach for a few hours, a girls’ getaway is the best because, as Sarah says, “Doing something you love with your best friends just makes it that much sweeter!” ✽

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life

JUST THE TWO OF US

Facing Infertility Issues Together BY OLIVIA K. PITKETHLY, MA, LMHC

“It’s not new to us,” says Jessica. “Our communication is better, which makes it easier to deal with our emotions.” Communication is important in any relationship, but so critical in times of stress. Anger is a mask for pain, and often this can result in insults or blaming the other partner. “Once it was obvious it was my body having issues, Earlie did not one time put the blame on me or shame me,” Jessica recalls. “This was huge because I was doing enough shaming and blaming myself as it was.”

“Let’s have a baby.” These are powerful words a couple can exchange. Maybe even more powerful than “I love you” and possibly a more powerful decision than “Will you marry me?” At some point in our relationships, we decide we want our families to grow. But what if it’s not that easy? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infertility affects 10 percent of women in the United States. That’s six million couples who have uttered those powerful words only to be faced with the challenge of conception.

“We were both confused and hurting, almost to the point of hating one another. At one point we were ready to leave each other,” she describes. “Now that we look back, it was more like hatred for what we were going through.” Their daughter Leisl is now 3 years old, and Jessica and Earlie are coping with secondary infertility. They have already had three intrauterine inseminations and two in-vitro fertilizations, all of which have failed. This time around, though still painful, feels different.

Once a possible treatment is identified, it’s important for the couple to make the decision together and discuss any reservations openly. Both partners have to be on the same page moving forward. It’s also vital for the couple to feel comfortable sharing emotions with each other in a nonjudgmental manner. Just asking, “What do you need right now?” can be helpful during this process. “When I feel like having a pity party, he gives me my space but does not let me wallow for too long,” says Jessica. “When he finally opened up about the most recent failed IVF cycle, he let me in on how he was feeling and that has been helpful for us. We are a true team and are really in this together.” ✽

Mom-to-Mom Advice • Find a good physician and practice with which you feel comfortable. If you feel like just another number, find another practice! • Understand that although medical professionals know so much about infertility, there is so much more they don’t know. You may never know why you are not getting pregnant or

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staying pregnant. This is not an easy process no matter what you read or hear. • Treatment for infertility is science driven, so try to find support in other ways, such as therapy, support groups, massage or other couple activities. It can be a rocky road and will test even the strongest of unions.

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved

Either a man or a woman can have infertility issues, but no matter where the issue lies, it affects both partners. The emotional and physical stress of infertility can weigh on a relationship.

When trying to conceive their daughter, Jessica Alvey and her husband, Earlie Hairston, had multiple procedures, including four cycles of intrauterine insemination, and experienced strain on their relationship.

The couple also needs to learn a new “language” as they navigate through medical terminology in order to identify the best course of treatment. Medical procedures you once couldn’t pronounce and acronyms you couldn’t understand will soon roll off your tongues in casual conversation.


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life

TWO CENTS

Reward Yourself! BY RACHEL WIENER

“And do you want to sign up for our rewards system?” We’ve all heard this question when purchasing our items at the register. For many of us, we are unsure if we should say yes or no. It seems as if saying yes will save us money and time, but is that really the case?

Rewards systems involve earning points or discounts for transactions on a specific credit card. When you purchase things with your card, you gain points that can be used toward a reward in the future. It seems as if every major company offers a rewards system these days, so it’s about time we properly educate ourselves and see if it’s really worth it. We’ve done some research and gathered some words of wisdom from a financial advisor so the next time you are asked that question, you are prepared to answer it.

P ROS

CONS

Earning money: Who doesn’t want extra cash? With some rewards systems, if you use the card correctly and intelligently, you can end up earning money on your everyday purchases.

High interest rates: Cards that offer cash back rewards sometimes come with high interest rates. Read the fine print!

Easy savings: Sometimes rewards cardholders are allowed to transfer their cash back rewards into a savings account. Easy savings are the best savings. Taxes: Some rewards systems allow cardholders to pay their taxes with their reward points. Bonus rewards: Sometimes your credit card rewards system allows you to go on adventures or buy things you wouldn’t normally purchase.

Annual fees: Some rewards systems offer little to no annual fees while others require a high annual fee, so watch out. High limits: Most rewards systems require spending a lot of money in order to get the rewards. So if you don’t plan on spending a lot of money on this card, it may not be worth it to sign up. Careless spending: The biggest downside to rewards systems is the temptation to overspend. Many people tell themselves that spending more will end up being less expensive since they will receive reward points or cash back, but that’s not always the case.

Financial Advisor Fred Hilton of CAMPUS Investment Services at CAMPUS USA Credit Union shared great advice regarding rewards programs.

“Understand the company’s procedure. You may lose your rewards if you have a late payment or exceed your limit. Last year 16 billion dollars, reward points or flyer miles went unredeemed. If you are using a rewards card, get the rewards you are paying for.”

time you are asked about signing up for a rewards system, think about ››Next the pros and cons, and make sure to ask these questions: Are there annual fees?

Are the rewards (cash back, discounts, free travel, etc.) something that will benefit you at this point in your life? What is the interest rate? Is it a “use it or lose it” rewards program? If you like the answers to all those questions, go for it! You will be saving cash and gaining rewards. But, if the answers to those questions seem concerning, maybe your answer should be “No, thank you!” ✽

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© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved

Are there reward limits?


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life

H A P P Y F A M I LY

Favorite sports to play: Karate, golf, basketball, baseball and swimming. Favorite sports to watch: Gator football and basketball! Pets: Murphy, the adorable and smart Jack Russell terrier. Favorite vacation: We went to Hawaii last summer and that will be hard to beat. What makes our kids laugh: Everything, the sillier the better! Why we love living in Gainesville: Gainesville is Shellie’s hometown. We love the small town feel and that we are close to family. It offers everything from great schools, familyoriented communities and a variety of entertainment options. We feel very fortunate to call Gainesville home. Favorite day trip: BEACH!

PHOTOS BY PATRICIA BISHOP PHOTOGRAPHY

The McSwain Family { Chris, Shellie, Emma (11) and Liam (9) }

Occupation(s): Shellie is a kindergarten teacher at Meadowbrook Elementary and Chris is the Purchasing Manager at Idaho Timber Corporation. Favorite family meal: A unanimous vote for sushi, with Mom’s mac and cheese a close second. Favorite date spot: Wandering around downtown Gainesville and finding places we haven’t discovered yet. Our family is most like: A circus! Most of the time, things are happening everywhere. It is somewhat chaotic on a strict time schedule with elements

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of danger, but always entertaining and very worthwhile when it is all said and done. Movie in our DVD player right now: Any “Avengers” movie. The kids’ favorite books: Emma – The “Harry Potter” books are still my all-time favorite. I am currently loving “The Land of Stories” series. Liam – I love anything with superheroes, but “The Amulet” series is what I am reading right now and I really like it. Mommy and Daddy’s favorite TV show: “Game of Thrones.” Websites we love for the kids: Chesskid.com and Animaljam.com.

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Favorite picnic spot: We love picnics at Possum Creek Park! We can ride skateboards and scooters at the skate park, go on a nature hike, climb on the playground, or play in the field and Murphy can hang out with his puppy pack at the dog park. Favorite family activity: “Just Dance” tournaments and bike rides. First word you think of when we say “family”: Fun! Something that we want our children to have that we didn’t have growing up: Chris always wanted a hover board … that would be cool. Three words that describe our family: Dedicated, happy and supportive. Anything else you want us to know about your family? We are very blessed to have great family support nearby that we lean on often. Raising a family is more than a fulltime job. With hectic schedules and more tasks than time, we don’t know what we would do without them. ✽


We are very blessed to have great family support nearby that we lean on often ... with hectic schedules and more tasks than time, we don’t know what we would do without them.

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life

G R A N D PA R E N T S

Back in My Day… BY OLIVIA K. PITKETHLY, MA, LMHC

When I had my first child, I relied on my mom for support and guidance. But a lot had changed in the 30-plus years since she had me, so we had some disagreements when it came to newborn care. I read “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” “The Happiest Baby on the Block,” and probably too many resources on the Internet; Mom read “Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care.” Here are a few examples of how I did it vs. how my mom did it. These may sound very familiar to many of you, whether you’re a parent or a grandparent. SLEEPING

Modern Mommy: I always lay a baby down on his back. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends this position to reduce the risk of SIDS. To further prevent the risk, we also kept blankets and stuffed animals out of the crib. Grandma Says: We always laid babies on their bellies to sleep. I always had Olivia covered up with a blanket and a toy or two in the crib. FEEDING

Modern Mommy: My children had either breast milk or formula for the first year, and then regular milk after that. At 4 months, I gave them rice cereal and eventually moved on to baby food around 6 months. I never put cereal in a bottle because it could be a choking hazard.

TRAVELING

Modern Mommy: The baby should be in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat of the vehicle until he reaches the age and weight limit regulated by state law. I even

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The Bottom Line?

Grandma Says: We had the car version of a bassinet. We strapped it into the back seat and she laid in it on her back. As she got older, we would just seat belt her in the back seat. Sometimes, she wasn’t belted in at all and at other times she would sit on my lap in the front seat.

Modern Mommy says: My mom is the best mom I know, and I turned out pretty good, so I’ve always taken her suggestions to heart. I still did my own thing, though I did lighten up a bit with my second child!

GERMS Modern Mommy: My husband would ask visitors to clean their hands with antibacterial hand sanitizer before holding the baby. If we went out to a restaurant, I would wipe down the tabletop with a wet wipe, then affix a disposable placemat to keep the eating area clean. Grandma Says: I never even thought about germs! TECHNOLOGY

Modern Mommy: When the baby was sleeping, we kept the video monitor with us at all times. We also took lots of pictures and video with our cell phones. We could share directly to social media through the phone.

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Grandma says: I’ve always tried to not tell my daughter what to do. I never got upset if she didn’t follow my suggestions because I kept in mind that she is the mother and they are her children.

Grandma Says: Pictures were always fun to take. We captured so many moments on camera! We have albums full of pictures. Before Olivia was born, we made a huge investment and bought a movie camera (the ones they had back then had no sound). Also, we bought a movie projector to watch all of those 8 mm films! ✽

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved

Grandma Says: I gave breastfeeding a good shot. I was so unaware and I don’t think I had enough milk for her. She always seemed hungry. My sister-in-law gave her rice cereal when she was 2 months old. By 3 months old she was totally weaned from breast milk. My pediatrician told me to just give her whole milk.

had our car seat checked at the local fire department to ensure safety.


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School Zone

Ahead!

The excitement of a new school year is building! School supply lists, bus schedules, clubs and activities, and meeting new teachers and friends are all right around the corner, and Giggle Magazine is helping you get ready. Let's go! PHOTO BY PATRICIA BISHOP PHOTOGRAPHY | CREATIVE BY GIGGLE MAGAZINE


life

G I G G L E S TA M P â„¢

JUST PLANE FUN Set of 6 Paper Airplane Pushpins $6.59, Amazon.com.

A DAY IN THE LIFE Day of the Week Clips, 7-pack. $7.99, World Market.

TOUCH OF

Class

Shopping for fun back-to-school supplies isn't just for students. These great products will dress up the teacher's desk and kick off the school year with some color!

I'm magnetic!

GIGGLE READERS

SAVE 20%

AT FORMURLIFE.COM WITH CODE: GIGGLE20 DRIVE ME CRAZY 8 GB Custom 3D Printed Flash Drive $34.95, FormURLife.com.

WILD THING Midori D-Clips Crocodile $7.62, Amazon.com.

RULE FOLLOWER Magnetic 12-Inch Ruler $3.99, Hobby Lobby.


with Style!

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GIGGLE READERS

THE WRITE STUFF Paper Mate Pencils $4.49, Hobby Lobby.

SAVE 40%

ON ALL ORDERS AT ROBERTMATTHEW.COM WITH CODE: GIGGLEMAG

KEEPING IT ALL TOGETHER Nate Berkus Swingline Stapler $15.99, Target.

Charlotte Tote by Robert Matthew With room for everything you need for the new school year, this tote is large enough for your laptop and elegant enough for a dinner date. Carry as a tote or use the adjustable shoulder strap for added comfort. A must-have for the new school year. $192, Robertmatthew.com.

LIKE A BOSS 4 Pack of Erasers $1.99, Home Goods.

The Purposeful Planner by Corie Clark This weekly planner allows for plenty of room for your business and personal planning. Perfect for the busy teacher, it also includes menu planning, financial planning and inspirational quotes to keep you in the moment. $42, Corieclark.com. GIGGLEMAG.COM | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015

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Lessons Learned: Kudos to Our Teachers BY OLIVIA K. PITKETHLY, MA, LMHC

As the kids head back to school, you may notice some will need a little encouragement to get out of bed in the morning; others will jump up and start the day with a smile. A factor in this difference? A creative teacher who goes the extra mile to make learning fun. According to a study by Florida State University, roughly 10 percent of public school teachers resign each year due in part to job dissatisfaction and lack of influence over schoolwide decisions. No doubt the pressures of standardized testing play a part, but many teachers rise to the challenge to engage their students and do what they can to make their students’ school experiences memorable. Betsy Seymour, who teaches gifted math at Chiles Elementary, thoroughly enjoys teaching children who are curious by nature, but recognizes that the balance

between engaging the students and meeting standards has been her greatest challenge. Luckily, making learning fun is one of the favorite aspects of her job. “Last year we took a beautiful outdoor space under an oak tree just steps outside of my classroom door and turned it into a mathematical garden!” she describes. “We used measuring skills, figured out the area and costs, and incorporated geometry to explore elements of design. The students then planted a beautiful garden after studying the elements of Xeriscaping!” For students in her class this year, she plans to make a little magic happen with a math unit she calls “Abracadabra.” “Students will become magicians in a mathematical magic show,” she states. “We will be on the lookout for magic tricks that involve some very cool calculations, patterns or fraction concepts.”

▼ Betsy Seymour with her class at Chiles Elementary.

Another zealous teacher in our community is Pam Little, a kindergarten teacher at Idylwild Elementary. Entering her 20th year of teaching, Little credits her “old school teaching” skills to making learning fun for her students. “I was able to learn how to teach in a way that is fun, and I still teach that way,” she says. For example, to teach children how to tell a story, she uses classic literature, such as “The Gingerbread Man” or “The Three Little Pigs,” and finds a variety of versions of each story. Then she does an activity called “A Story in a Bag.” Children decorate a paper bag to create the setting of the story and cut out characters to pull out of the bag as they create their story. “Their homework is to tell their story to their family in their own words,” Little shares. “It’s fun for the family too, because homework is not some boring worksheet.” In addition to literature, Little incorporates music, art and manipulatives in her daily lessons. Her students play “Five-Word Bingo” to learn sight words every day and count items they can touch to learn math concepts. She also uses the buddy system in her class.

While many families are feeling the pressure of standardized testing and the time it takes to prepare for these tests, it is a wonderful reminder that our teachers are still finding creative, exceptional ways to bring the lessons alive in the classroom. ✽

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Photo courtesy of Betsy Seymour.

“By working together, children learn to compromise, collaborate and negotiate,” she states, noting these are skills they will use well into adulthood. “I see the brain as an empty filing cabinet. My job is to label the files so for the rest of their lives, they have a place to put that information.”


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TESTING! TESTING!

Understanding the College-Prep Assessments BY LISA KATZ

As your child moves through middle school and into high school, she will face new social pressures as well as new schoolwork and academic pressures. One of the biggest of those pressures is the addition of college-prep standardized tests. These tests are all designed to help your student prepare for college, and almost all universities and colleges use the scores of these tests as a means to measure whether your child will be a good fit for their school. Certainly there are other factors that come into play, but these scores are extremely important for college admissions and can even help earn your child a scholarship. There are several college-readiness standardized tests that your child will take throughout her academic career. Some she may have taken in elementary school as a measurement of progress, and others are only given to upper high school grades. The big news in the world of testing is the ASPIRE test. Previously during 8th or 9th grade the EXPLORE test was given to measure academic achievement in English, math, reading and science and the PLAN test was given in the 10th grade. The ASPIRE test has replaced both of those tests as of spring of this year. According to ACT.org, “ACT EXPLORE and PLAN tests have been key elements to an effective system measuring student progress from grades 8-10.” With careful consideration and substantial research, “the ACT ASPIRE is now available to meet your college and career readiness assessment needs for grade 3 through early high school.”

In 11th grade: 1. The PSAT (Preliminary SAT) is given (usually earlier in the school year) and measures critical reading, math reasoning abilities and writing skills. 2. The ACT (American College Testing) is given and measures English, reading, math and science. There is also an optional writing test. 3. The SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) is given and measures critical reading, math reasoning abilities and writing skills. In 12th grade: Students will take the ACT and/or the SAT test if they did not take it in 11th grade or wish to try to better their scores.

NEWS! There is one major change coming to the ACT test. Students will soon take the ACT college admissions exam by computer starting late 2015 – but the paper and pencil version will be available for a while as well.

Parent-to-Parent Tip: This process can be overwhelming for your child (and for you), but the best things you can do are guide, love and support your child. Having open communication with both your child and the school guidance office is a way to show your support. Helping your child stay on top of deadlines, test dates and study time, and continuing to positively encourage her to do her best can be extremely helpful for her success.

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved

While the ACT ASPIRE is a measurement throughout your child’s schooling, the ACT and SAT are taken as part of the preparation for college applications. So, when do students take these important tests?

Assessment Concerns Clarified 1. There is no cost to the students themselves for ACT ASPIRE assessments. This assessment system is paid for by the state or the individual school district that chooses to use it. They purchase it from ACT. 2. ACT ASPIRE is administered through the state or school district only. Individual students cannot sign up to take it

themselves. The state or school district typically administers the assessments to all students, so there is no need to sign up individually. 3. ACT ASPIRE assessments are not used by colleges for admission purposes and cover only grades 3 through 10.

4. Check with your child’s school to confirm the dates they’ve set for administering the ACT ASPIRE tests. 5. Either the student or her parent can sign her up for the ACT and SAT assessment tests through their respective websites. There is a cost to take the ACT and the SAT (as well as each time the student takes either of them). Be sure to check deadlines for all schools to which your child will be sending applications. ✽

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BY APRIL TISHER | PHOTO BY GIGGLE MAGAZINE

At some point in your life, you encounter a teacher (whether your own or your child’s) who you believe is the best there is or ever was. We can shower these special educators with appreciation at the classroom level as parents and students, but did you know that Alachua County has a program in place that goes beyond that to honor those teachers who really stand out?

L

ocal business owners and educators established The Robert W. Hughes Teacher Recognition Program for Alachua County Public Schools over 23 years ago. Named after former Superintendent Robert Hughes, the award was developed to recognize those teachers who go above and beyond for their schools, classrooms and students. Nominated by their peers, a teacher from each of the 41 public schools in Alachua County is honored at an annual ceremony held at Trinity United Methodist Church in February of each year. The nominees all receive $500, plus other items from local sponsors, while they enjoy a night of acknowledgement for their efforts. From those nominees, an overall winner for Alachua County is chosen. Susan Bowles, mother of four, 27-year teaching veteran and beloved kindergarten teacher at Chiles Elementary, was this year’s winner of the award. You may remember Mrs. Bowles when she gained national attention (and risked her job) by refusing to administer the required standardized testing to her students. She told the Department of Education that she would lose six weeks of instruction time with her 5-year-olds if she gave them all the computer based testing, and that just wasn’t something she could do.

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Looking back she said, “I kept thinking, when is somebody going to say no?” She describes herself as a “rule follower” and that bucking the system is totally out of character for her. She said it was unbelievable that they listened to her and that so many of her fellow educators supported her. Knowing she was nominated for the award by her peers made the Teacher of the Year award that much better.

"It is an honor to represent all the amazing teachers at our school." It was the energy and excitement she felt in her Aunt Doris’ classroom at the age of 4 that first inspired her to teach children. She then followed in her mother’s footsteps as well by becoming a teacher. She reminisces about helping her mother grade papers and playing school with her four younger siblings. She even ran an inhome daycare when she took time off to stay home with her own children. Helping children learn and grow into their own is Bowles’ passion, something recognized by those who know her.

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Jill Shea, mother of three Chiles students, explained, “Mrs. Bowles is known throughout the community as a teacher who is everything you want for your child: loyal, kind, patient, gracious and effective.” In her role as Alachua County’s Teacher of the Year, she represented the county at the State of Florida’s Recognition Ceremony and Round Table discussions during the month of July. Due to her efforts last school year, the state suspended much of the required testing for grades K-2 and she hopes that impact will continue to make a difference in the lives of all students. She feels it is already making a difference locally. Dr. Roberts, Alachua County’s superintendent, has made a concerted effort to reduce testing just for the sake of testing. This improves the morale of teachers and students alike, which then leads to an improved teaching and learning environment. Congratulations, Mrs. Bowles! Thank you for sharing your passion with the students of Alachua County! ✽


Mrs. Bowles is known throughout the community as a teacher who is everything you want for your child: loyal,

kind, patient, gracious and effective. -JILL SHEA, MOTHER OF THREE CHILES STUDENTS

Susan Bowles stands outside Lawton M. Chiles Elementary School. GIGGLEMAG.COM | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015

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If it’s important to you and your child, it’s important to us.

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That’s what Life Essentials® is all about. CURRICULUM

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VISIT US AT FACEBOOK.COM/KIDDIEACADEMY INFANTS • TODDLERS • PRESCHOOL • BEFORE & AFTER SCHOOL • SUMMER CAMP

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Schedule a tour and enroll for the school year now.


GIGGLEMAG.COM | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015

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9

Of Our Favorite Back-to-School Apps Getting back into the swing of things after summer is often challenging. We have created a list of 9 fantastic educational apps to ease your child’s transition. BY ARIANA BRASMAN AND RACHEL WIENER

1 CourseSmart CourseSmart offers access to multiple eTextbooks, giving students access to their textbooks through mobile devices, eliminating the need to bring them all home in their overstuffed backpacks each night. 2 Math Blaster In this interactive app students solve math problems in order to save the galaxy from being destroyed! Players use addition, subtraction, fractions and long-form mathematics. The more they practice their math skills, the greater chance the galaxy will have at surviving!

5 Khan Academy Designed to help students learn material at their own pace outside of the classroom, Khan Academy offers practice exercises and instructional videos in the fields of math, science, computer programming, history, economics and more. Available for all ages. 6 Duolingo This fun, language-learning app offers many different languages – Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Irish, Danish, Swedish and English – all for free! Great tool for all ages.

7 ABC Preschool Toddlers and preschool children are able to learn ABCs and 123s by completing easy connect-the-dots style puzzles of cars, trucks, boats, planes and more. 8 Mini World Maths Times Tables This building block application allows your child to learn multiplication, division, fractions, algebra, memorize the times tables and more. 9 SAT Your child can check his level of SAT knowledge with this quick and easy app! It provides over 550 Math, Writing and Critical Reading questions to better prepare for the exam. The option to take timed practice exams and the availability of test-taking statistics makes this SAT app unique.

Giggle Extra! Infinite Campus Mobile Portal This app keeps you informed and able to view your children's assignments, grades, attendance and more. Once a grade is posted, the parent gets a notification and can automatically see the grade. Children from the same family are listed in the same portal, so it’s extremely easy to switch between your children’s information while in the app! 40

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App images provided by developers.

3 myHomework A great way to stay organized during the school year, this app has cutting edge material that enables your child to keep up-to-date with schoolwork, grades, teacher’s information, to-do lists and more. Great for any age and available on all devices.

4 School Lunch This app provides the menu for the school lunches that are available each week, and the schools can enter valuable information about the food being served such as the nutrition details and allergens. A huge help for parents concerned about specific diet needs!


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+ A Packs,

Bags & Boxes Send your student back to class with these smart and stylish backpacks and lunch boxes!

 

 

  1. So Young Purple Dandelion Large Cooler Bag, $36.99. Us.soyoung.ca. 2. Beatrix NY Narangi Lunch Box, $34. Beatrixny.com. 3. Herschel Supply Settlement Backpack for Kids, $39.99. Herschelsupply.com. 4. Lassig Wildlife Turtle Mini Backpack, $26.99. Habausa.com. 5. Lassig Wildlife Turtle Lunch Bag, $28.99. Habausa.com. 6. Lator Gator Full Pack Backpack, $60. Madpax.com. 7. Bentology Bento Kit— Shark Camo Sleeve + Bento Box, $34.99. Bentology.net. 8. Dabbawalla Apple of My Eye Backpack, $40. Dabbawallabags.com. 9. Scout Doggie Bag Lunch Tote in Captain Hooked, $17. Agapanthus. 10. So Young Orange Fox Grade School Backpack, $49.95. Us.soyoung.ca.


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GETTING

FIRED UP

FOR TAILGATING! BY APRIL TISHER

When I think of fall, I think of college football and 90,000 of my closest friends cheering for the Gators in a sea of orange and blue. But what comes before kick-off is often the most fun! Tailgating and all of its glory is big business in Gainesville. Whether fans have game tickets or not, there are tailgate parties all over town where they enjoy delectable delights from tables and tailgates decked out in Gator memorabilia.


There are traditional foods you come to expect when tailgating, although it can sometimes be tricky to prepare them ahead of time or keep them fresh when you want to eat. I talked with the esteemed Chef Briton Dumas from Embers Bar and Grill about his tips for making your tailgate a success. First, determine your menu and what type of cooking you want to do. What does your location and time allow? Most tailgating typically involves grilling meats of some description. Preparing the meat prior to cooking it is key to ensuring a great taste. Be sure to take your meat out of the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking in order to bring it to room temperature. If you want to use a marinade, Dumas recommends staying away from ones containing sugar, honey or sweet bases. Go with a salt, water and vinegar brine instead. Also, be sure to dry the meat off before putting it on the grill to avoid flare-ups. Not preheating your grill to avoid the meat sticking to the grates is the number one mistake people make. You can’t rush it, Dumas says. With any type of grill, the most important thing to remember not only for taste preference, but also for food safety, is temperature. Dumas says a digital meat thermometer is an absolute must, for cooking and for keeping the food heated if it is sitting out at a tailgate. Burgers, for example, need to be served at internal temperature of 165 degrees. They can be kept out, but once they have been at a temperature of 140 degrees for more than four hours, they should be thrown away.

Something most people don’t realize is that meat is still cooking once it has been taken off the flame. To avoid overcooking, you should cook your meat to about 10-15 degrees below your target temperature. Then allow it to rest for 2-5 minutes to cook through and retake the temperature to ensure it is at the ideal point. Consult a meat temperature chart for best results. Do not attempt to take the meat’s temperature while it is still on the grill, Dumas warns; the risk of getting burned as well as an inaccurate result is high. Instead, use a spatula to remove from the grill and put it on a plate before placing the thermometer into the meat for a reading. You can place the meat back on the flame for about 30 seconds prior to serving if the meat has cooled too much.

Not preheating your grill to avoid the meat sticking to the grates is the number one mistake people make. If you have an early game time or cannot devote the time on game day to cook it through, you aren’t totally out of luck. Burgers can be cooked the day before and served in a warm beef stock or wrapped in foil and kept warm in a chafing dish. You can also precook the meat and just flash it on location. Remember, the more tender cuts of meat should be cooked quicker at a higher temperature and tougher meats will taste best if slow-cooked over a lower heat. Dumas admits his favorite pre-game meal is ribs, dry rubbed with his secret ingredient of smoked paprika and slow-cooked over wood for about 2 ½ hours. ✽

»» Steaks: 125 degrees – rare 145 degrees – medium rare 155 degrees – medium well 165 degrees – well done

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»» Burgers: 165 degrees »» Chicken: 165 degrees »» Pork Butt: 165-180 degrees; tenderloins are at the lower end of the scale

»» If you are grilling meat it is best to do this the day of for best results and proper temperature. Taste preference will play into what type of grill you use. His preference is cooking on a wood grill like he uses in the restaurant, but this does take a lot of time and preparation to do on location. Its unique flavor is achieved from its high heat cooking. Preparation of the wood for this takes about 45 minutes to achieve, much like a campfire. It is necessary to get the white-hot grill required, so you don’t get a smoky flavor in your meat while still achieving that sought after char. »» A gas grill is the easiest way to go with the least amount of prep time. This will work if you are cooking in your backyard or if you need to bring the grill with you to your tailgate spot (just don’t forget the gas tank and take proper precautions while transporting it). When cooking with gas, preheating on high for five minutes should suffice. If gas flavor is an issue for you, Dumas recommends smoker boxes that can be purchased at a home improvement or hardware store. These allow the use of soaked wood chips with your gas grill that will give food that wood flavor you are seeking. »» The last grilling option is a charcoal grill. The most important thing to remember with charcoal is that you must allow time for the coals to get hot and burn down before placing your meat on the grill. The coals should burn down for 15-30 minutes and be white-hot, not black, before cooking. Also, don’t scatter the coals all over, it will cause flare-ups. Instead keep them in a mound in the middle and sear the meat first over the hot spot, then move it off to the side to finish the cooking process.

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

SUGGESTED MEAT COOKING TEMPERATURES *Please verify cooking temperatures as food safety guidelines change.

Chef Dumas' Game Day Grilling Tips


Unexpected Foods

Grilled To Perfection

BY RACHEL WIENER

Just about anything can be perfected on the grill. While tailgating this season, try some of these alternative foods that taste even better being cooked over a flame.

Tofu

Attention vegetarians! Veggie burgers aren’t the only thing you can enjoy on the BBQ. Grill up some tofu by cutting it into K-inch thick slices and marinate it in a sauce of your choosing. Place it on the grill and cook each side for around five minutes.

Avocado

Cut this superfood in half (keep the skin on) and scoop out the pit. Add some olive oil and grill it face down for around 5–10 minutes. When it’s done, add some toppings to the middle such as cheese, tomatoes or olives.

French Fries

Here’s a healthy alternative to the usual greasy side dish. Slice a potato into wedges, sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and place on the grill. Grill for approximately 10 minutes on each side until your “fries” are charred to your liking.

Watermelon, Pineapple, Grapes

These simple sugary snacks taste even better after being thrown on the BBQ. Slice the fruit up into bite-size pieces and grill for about five minutes on each side. Easy, delicious and nutritious!

FAVORITE WITH A TWIST!

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

S'mores

You know how to stack it: graham cracker, marshmallow, chocolate, graham cracker. Wrap the s’more up in foil and place it on the grill until the chocolate is melty and the marshmallow is golden brown. This is a great way to make the picture perfect s'more, minus the sticky mess!

Remember, when making treats on the grill, always wrap the dessert in foil, or place foil on the grill before turning it on.

FOR THE

Sweet Tooth! BANANA BOATS This dessert satisfies your sweet tooth craving while still being natural and healthy. All you need is a banana and chocolate. Split the banana down the middle, and then stuff it with chocolate. You can also substitute chocolate with Nutella, which adds a unique flavor. Add toppings such as walnuts, marshmallows, strawberries – whatever you like. Once you’re done with toppings, wrap it in foil and place it on the grill. Grill it for about 10 minutes until the chocolate has melted to your liking. Cut it up to serve or eat it with a spoon! GRILLED FRUIT SKEWERS WITH CHOCOLATE SYRUP It may be common to have a meat or vegetable skewer, but have you thought of grilling a fruit skewer? It’s simple, healthy and fun! Gather your favorite fruits, chop them up into bite-size chunks and put them on a kabob stick. Put the fruit skewers on the grill until the fruit is warm but still juicy. Once they’re done, place them on a plate, and drizzle either chocolate syrup or honey on them. A fun treat for everyone to eat! GRILLED PEACH WITH VANILLA ICE CREAM Cut a fresh peach in half and spread some butter on it. Place the peach on the grill (buttered side down) and grill it until it’s warm, soft and tender. Once it’s done, put the peach in a bowl and scoop vanilla ice cream on top. It tastes like a grilled peach cobbler! ✽


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health

G E T H E A LT H Y

Finding a Happy Medium BY ARIANA BRASMAN

To help you in taking those first steps of mental health self-improvement, here is a compiled list of items from the University of Michigan Health Service Department. 1. VALUE YOURSELF: Focus on your self-worth. Treat yourself with respect and kindness, and try to avoid critiquing yourself. Find time each day to do something that interests you like completing crossword puzzles or taking dance lessons. 2. TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY: Staying fit can influence your mindset. It’s important to stay on top of your physical well-being.

• Stick to a healthy diet • Drink water daily • Exercise – Working out helps reduce depression and anxiety and can influence a more positive outlook • Get a good night’s rest 3. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE INDIVIDUALS: Focus your free time around people who have strong social or family connections, because they tend to be healthier as a result of having a support system. Also, try out new activities like joining a club or organization to meet new people and make new friends.

Check out "B Is For Balance" by Sharon M. Weinstein for ideas and tips for finding balance between life at home and at work.

Achieving a balance between physical, mental and social health is the core goal to living an optimistic lifestyle. Learning to live with life’s curveballs and remain happy is challenging, but stability between a positive mind and positive body is the best gift life can offer you. September is Self-Improvement Month, and while this can be celebrated by choosing any part of yourself to improve upon, we are focusing on improving mental health. The World Health Organization states that “Mental health is an integral part of health; indeed, there is no health without mental health.”

National resources for mental health information and assistance: • MentalHealth.Gov • National Alliance on Mental Illness – Nami.org • Mental Health America – Mentalhealthamerica.net • National Institute of Mental Health –Nimh.nih.gov

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5. DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP: People often are afraid to ask for help because some think it shows fear or weakness. However, asking for help actually can be a huge stress-reliever because you’re not holding in all your frustrations, and you can learn how to manage them by seeking advice.

One of the many aspects of mental health is the way a person views any situation. The book “Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life” by Martin E. P. Seligman explains the difference between people who are pessimistic (they see the negative in life), and people who are optimistic (they look at the bright side of all situations).

“Optimism is invaluable for the meaningful life,” said Seligman, a psychologist and author of several self-help books. Seligman explains that life does not have to be lived by believing every misfortune has no chance at being refined. He challenges learned helplessness, which is when a person believes he or she cannot control a situation resulting in the individual becoming helpless. Seligman teaches individuals to view life through an optimistic lens. ✽

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

WHO explained good mental health as “A state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life…and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”

4. LEARN HOW TO MANAGE YOUR STRESS: Stress is unavoidable. But, stopping stress from getting the best of you is possible. Whenever you feel stress building, go exercise, take a nature walk or write in a journal to help release the negative energy you’re feeling.


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health

50

GET MOVING

Family Fun Ideas

BY BRINN STRANGE

August is National Family Fun Month – making it the perfect month to get moving with your family! We’ve compiled a (BIG) list of great group activities. Pick a few, or try them all, and pack the last month of summer full of fun family memories.

1.

Go on a nature walk down a nearby trail.

2. Create a puppet or magic show. 3. Draw a huge mural together. 4.

Have a cannonball contest in the pool or lake.

5. Skip, hop and run down the street. 6. Watch a musical and dance and sing along. 7. Visit an aquarium.

8. Sing a silly song with hand motions and dance steps. 9. Play together at a nearby park, no sitting on the benches. 10. Play “Follow the leader.” 11.

Draw with sidewalk chalk on the driveway or fence.

13. Get a neighborhood baseball or kickball game started. 14. Take candid family photos in the backyard or a favorite park. 54

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© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

12. Experience botanical gardens.


15.

Go bowling.

16. Challenge each other to an active Xbox or Wii game. 17. Have a Four Square tournament. 18. Play a game of charades. 19. Explore a local museum.

20. Play hopscotch in the driveway. 21. Create an obstacle course in the yard. 22. Go camping. 23. Volunteer at the local animal shelter. 24. Start a family one-month challenge. 25. Run through the sprinklers. 26. Tube or canoe in one of the springs. 27. Plant a garden. 28.

Visit a planetarium.

33.

Create a scavenger hunt.

34. Attend a music or art festival. 35. Register for a local 5K or Fun Run. 36. Take a family bike ride.

37. Sponsor or help with a local charity event. 38. Climb on a rock wall. 39. Have a picnic.

40. Build a fort. 41. Paint pottery or canvases at a local shop. 42. Visit a farm or petting zoo. 43. Walk or run stadium steps. 44. Go horseback riding. 45.

Play putt-putt golf.

46. Wash the family’s cars and bikes by hand.

29. Play dress-up.

47. Bake goodies from scratch.

30. Go fishing.

48. Fly kites in a large open field.

31. Crab walk, bear crawl and bunny hop through the house.

49. Play in a summer rain shower.

Pick and squeeze fresh oranges for homemade juice. 32.

50. Go to Visitgainesville.com together and choose something you’ve never done before. GIGGLEMAG.COM | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015

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health

GET PRETTY

The Parent’s Back-to-School Beauty & Fashion Guide for Teens BY CRESONIA HSIEH

With the flow of fashion magazines and shows debuting the latest wild trends, understanding why teenagers want to buy certain items or try a particular look can be a headache. This guide will help you navigate through the murky waters of having a fashion-forward teen.

1. Bold Brows

Gone are the days of thinly plucked eyebrows. Female celebrities like Lily Collins, Cara Delevingne and Camilla Belle aren’t afraid to let their brows grow out for a thicker appearance. This new brow shape appears to be more natural but be prepared: Your teen may want brow gels, pomades, primers and serums to get this trending look.

2. Muted or Stained Lips

Spring is the time for bright, pink lip glosses and summer is reserved for lightly tinted lip balms, but fall brings the age of experimental muted and dark colors. Your teen may reach for dark berry-colored lipsticks, stains and tints. Nude lipsticks and glosses are also popular for autumn.

3. Shaven on the Side

Boys don’t have as much creative style liberty as their female counterparts, but 2015 seems to have brought the year of hairstyle expression. These days the quiff, undercut and hard-part pompadour are in. And they all have one thing in common: They’re long at the top and short on the sides. Don’t be surprised when your guy asks for a trip to the barber to try one of these styles, and a new comb and pomade afterward.

4. Boots

Boots are the perennial female fashion staple for fall. Everything from preppy equestrian riding boots to combat lace-ups are fair game for a fashionable season. Although pricier, boots are versatile and can be perfect for cold, wet and windy weather. They’re also comfortable to walk in and offer more support than other back-toschool alternatives like flats. Being that they’re hardy shoes, it may be worth it to splurge on a better quality shoe that will last longer.

5. Analog Watches

When it comes to keeping time, analog watches are timeless. The brown leather version with the large face is the perfect back-toschool accessory for teenagers. Men’s watches normally have a thick band, while the girls’ watches generally come with a thin band, but choose a band that fits your teen’s style. Now let’s just hope they’ll make it to class on time.

6. Heathered Zip-Up Hoodie

The heathered zip-up hoodie is great for the fall. The muted colors match with any outfit or uniform and are the perfect last-minute accessory when your kids are running out the door. Because this unisex clothing piece doesn’t need to go over the head, the kids can’t use the “but-it-will-mess-up-my-hair” excuse from keeping warm. It’s easy care instructions also make the hoodie perfect for keeping in a backpack (or shoving in the back of a locker) for use in cooler classrooms or on rainy days. ✽

  

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.


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DELISH

Crazy for Quinoa BY CRESONIA HSIEH

Did You Know? It comes in a variety of forms. There are many different types of quinoa. The most commercialized types are white, red and black quinoa. White quinoa is the most widely available in stores. Black quinoa has an earthier and sweeter taste, and red quinoa is better suited for meals like salads, because it tends to hold its shape better after cooking. You can also find quinoa flakes and flour.

You eat oat, wheat and barley, but have you tried the “mother of all grains?” The Incans initially coined its nickname, but quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is actually a pseudo cereal. According to the Medical News, pseudo cereals are non-grassy plants used in much the same way as other cereals and grains with a similar nutritional profile. This gluten-free substitute is as versatile as rice for cooking and yields as many health benefits as other common “superfoods.” Quinoa, like other whole grains, provides fiber and essential vitamins and minerals like iron, B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and vitamin E. These nutritional gems help regulate your digestive system and keep you feeling satiated longer. The super grain also contains antioxidants, protein and is one of the only plant foods to have all essential amino acids. Quinoa is particularly rich in lysine, an amino acid that promotes healthy tissue growth.

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How to eat it

Quinoa is often used instead of rice and looks similar to couscous. However, quinoa has a subtle nutty flavor. It can also be mixed in with cold salads or blended into smoothies. There are dozens of creative ways to eat quinoa.

Try these

TASTY IDEAS: • Flip it with pancake mix • Bake it inside cookies • Stir it with guacamole • Fill spring rolls with it • Grill it inside hamburgers • Top a salad with it • Sprinkle it in risotto

It’s hardy. Quinoa can grow in diverse climates and terrains. It can grow with minimal irrigation and fertilization, or with as little as 3-4 inches of annual rainfall. It was once considered to be evil. In the 1500s, Spanish conquistadors deemed quinoa unholy due to its elevated status in indigenous cultures. They even prohibited native people from cultivating it. It had its own year. The United Nations named 2013 The International Year of Quinoa. The organization cited its endurance and durability as a contribution to world food security. It comes in liquid form. Quinoa has been brewed in the traditional Andrean beer, Chicha. ✽

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

What it can do for you

Studies show that 2-3 servings of whole grains like quinoa each day can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, colon cancer and even obesity.

It’s ideal for long-duration space flights. Because quinoa is rich in minerals, gluten-free and contains all essential amino acids, 20 years ago NASA researchers declared quinoa the perfect in-flight snack for astronauts on longterm missions.


Giggle Magazine wishes Alachua County students, teachers and parents a safe and happy new school year!

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LUNCH BOX

Dessert Alternatives BY JEN HILLAN, MSH, RD, LD/N

It’s almost time for the kids to go back to school, and for many parents that means it’s time to start packing lunches again! Most lunch boxes will contain a sandwich or main dish, a side of some kind, and a sweet treat or dessert to end the meal.

If you are trying to skip the highsugar, high-fat desserts this year, here are some healthier choices that may satisfy your child’s sweet tooth without giving her extra sugar and calories she doesn’t need. Fruits are naturally sweet and are low in fat, calories and sodium. They have nutrients that are important for good health, such as vitamin C, folic acid and potassium. Whole fruits (but not fruit juices) also have fiber, which can help prevent constipation. Avoid “fruit” leathers and gummies, which usually have very little fruit but lots of added sugar and artificial ingredients.

❉ To make it fun, try cutting fruit into

different shapes with a cookie cutter or melon baller. Take these fun fruits to the next level by making a fruit kabob.

❉ Pair fruit with something to dip it in, such as peanut butter or low-fat yogurt.

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

❉ Offer raisins and other dried fruits, or combine with nuts to make a trail mix.

healthier versions! Have your child help you as much as possible. She can help you pick out a recipe and then prepare it!

Here are some tips for healthier baked goods:

❉ Substitute applesauce, prunes, dates or mashed bananas for oils and butters. ❉ Use whole wheat flour in place of refined flour.

❉ If your child likes canned fruits, be sure to choose fruits packed in 100 percent fruit juice or water (avoid those packed in syrup).

❉ Add shredded vegetables such as carrots and zucchini to the mixture.

❉ To prevent sliced fruits such as bananas,

❉ Try flaked coconut for a sweet ingredient or topping.

Making your own cookies, muffins or cakes takes a little time, but you control what goes in them so you can make

If you don’t have time to make them yourself, there are a few healthier options in the grocery store. Be sure to read the food label to make the best choice. Select products made with whole grains (a whole grain should be listed first on the ingredient list) and little or no added sugar. ✽

apples and pears from turning brown, pair them with acidic fruits such as oranges or pineapple. Squeezing a little lime or lemon juice over them works as well.

Giggle Tip: When possible, take

your child with you to the grocery store so she can help pick out her lunch. She’ll be more likely to eat it if she’s picked it out and helped to prepare it. Also, this is a great time to actually show her the many alternatives to a high-sugar choice.

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IN THE FRIDGE

Wild About Watermelon! BY MICHAELA BEEDA

Summer is coming to a close, and what better way to wrap up the days spent in the sun than enjoying a sweet fruity treat? Although many people see watermelon as simply a juicy snack, this rounded burst of flavor boasts excellent nutritious value. The watermelon is a gold mine of health benefits. They have excellent levels of vitamins A, C and B6 and also contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that has been studied by researchers to reduce the risk of heart disease and several cancers, and help protect your skin from UV rays. The sweet melons also contain citrulline, an amino acid that helps to maintain blood flow within your heart and cardiovascular function. Have you ever wondered why watermelons are so heavy? They are made up of 92 percent water and can help get your body the fluids it needs.

GROWING AND HARVESTING • Cut watermelon and other fresh fruit into cubes and stack them on a skewer with marshmallows to make delicious watermelon kabobs! • Use a melon baller to create tiny watermelon spheres. Dip the spheres into heated melting chocolate, and freeze for 30–45 minutes to enjoy this unique dessert. • Freeze fresh watermelon cubes or balls and use them as ice cubes for your water. • Create a refreshing side dish for a day at the pool or park with watermelon cubes, cheese cubes and crackers. Try stacking the watermelon, cheese and crackers together to make a mini sandwich.

August 3rd is National Watermelon Day!

For more information about watermelon and fun recipes for all occasions, check out Watermelon.org.

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FUN FACTS

ABOUT THIS SWEET MELON

• Watermelon is a pretty popular treat. In the United States, watermelons are the mostconsumed melon! • A watermelon that is around 15–20 pounds can bring a lot to the table. It can produce 90 6-ounce wedges that are about ¾ inches thick, 11 cups of cubes and 6 cups of juice. • Watermelon was ranked number one on the list of budget-friendly fruits, according to a study by The Perishables Group in 2010. It is only about 14 cents per serving! • There have been ongoing debates about whether watermelon is a fruit or vegetable. Watermelon is considered a fruit botanically. However, since watermelon is grown like a vegetable crop and uses vegetable production systems, it can also be seen as a vegetable. The choice is yours! ✽

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

• Place cubes of watermelon into cupcake liners and add heavy cream. Top with blueberries and sprinkles to add flavor to your watermelon "cupcake!"

Watermelons thrive in warm climates, so in places like Florida they are able to grow all year round. They are planted in rows and raised in large beds. Honeybees must pollinate every yellow blossom in order for watermelon to fruit. Within 60 days, the vine will produce its very first watermelon. A watermelon is ripe and ready to enjoy when it has a symmetrical body shape, a yellow underbelly, and the stem has curled and turned brown.


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

Backyard

Birds

BY ALLEN HAYNES

With documentaries out like “Food Inc.,” people want to be sure the animals and animal products they consume are coming from healthy living conditions as opposed to cramped factories. We wanted to take a look at the pros and cons of raising chickens, so you will be ready if and when you decide you want your breakfast in bed to come from your backyard. Our findings are below, as well as some first-hand experiences from local families.

The Pros • Backyard chickens are healthier, and healthier for you. It’s been widely reported that chickens raised in factories are kept in confined areas and fed a diet consisting of unnaturally added hormones and antibiotics to increase their growth. According to the Organic Authority, the added stress of factory – or seemingly unhappy – surroundings cannot only affect the taste and nutrients of the eggs, but how many eggs each hen produces. But it doesn’t stop there. Chickens living in a happy environment can actually reduce their owner’s stress.

Knowing exactly where your food comes from is becoming an increasingly popular notion. That’s why many families are considering getting their own flock of chickens. Seriously.

“Raising chickens is surprisingly relaxing,” explained Jhanna Gilbert, local mom and owner of a backyard chicken coop. “Watching them scratch and peck has a very cathartic effect, and I was shocked by how much I enjoy just watching them. Our kids love them too, and there isn't anything much cuter than watching a toddler hold a baby chick.”

• Home-grown eggs are more nutritious. Eggs are an incredible source of protein and nutrients. And backyard eggs are even more so. Eggs from backyard chickens have more vitamin A, vitamin E and more beta-carotene than their factory farmed counterparts. This is because factory-farmed eggs come from chickens that tend to have an unnatural diet of corn, soy and flaxseed whereas free-range, homegrown chickens eat more vegetables, fruits and insects. • You can make money from the eggs. On average, a hen will lay about one egg per day. Some breeds of chickens do not make

this quota but still lay 3–4 weekly, which is still an eggs-cellent return. With that much protein production, you don’t need to run to the store to buy eggs. And you may even be able to sell them to your neighbors. Backyard chickens have the potential to not only improve your health, but your wallet too.

Elle feeds Goldie, a Buff Orpington chicken.

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The average cost of a dozen eggs in Florida is around $2.23, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That means if you buy a dozen eggs weekly, you can potentially


Harper shows off the coop for her chickens at the Gilbert home.

save more than $107 annually, and your eggs will be healthier too. • Chickens can improve your garden and compost. As local chicken coop owner Amanda Bentley shared, “With chickens, comes chicken poop … A LOT of chicken poop.” But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Chicken waste is high in nitrogen. And nitrogen is great for compost piles. In fact, you can even compost the used eggshells. Additionally, chickens are natural foragers, so when they are free-range (not confined to their coop), they scratch the soil searching to eat the same bugs that eat your summer fruits and vegetables. By searching for their favorite yummy creatures, their claws will aerate your soil and accelerate the decomposition process.

›› Next Steps For Bentley, Gilbert and many families in our communities, the benefits of having fresh eggs every day far outweigh the cons. But before you get started, the most important thing you can do is research. Gilbert explained that chickens, like dogs and other pets, come in many different varieties, all with different traits and characteristics.

Take the time to figure out:

• the kinds of chickens you want, • the type of coop you will need, • what your local ordinances and neighborhood allow,

• how other people in your area have managed their chickens, and

• where to buy your chicks. Chicks can be ordered by mail, but it’s better to purchase from a local breeder. Doing so will help ensure your chicks will have a higher rate of survival, and you will then have a resource if you have any questions or issues.

The Cons • Not all neighborhoods, cities or homeowners’ associations allow them. So you’ve been reading this article and now you’re excited about owning chickens. Before you go buy a bunch of egg layers, make sure it’s allowed where you live. “First, you need to check with your association to see if having them is actually allowed, and if so, how many chickens you are allowed to own,” said Bentley.

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Giggle Tip:

It’s important to understand Gainesville all the requirements residents are necessary for owning a allowed up to 10 chicken coop and chickens. chickens for their Giggle recommends backyard coop. checking with your county commissioner’s office and your neighborhood association for updated regulations before moving forward. • Sometimes you get roosters. Many chicken breeds cannot be easily sexed with accuracy at a young age, so you run the risk of getting roosters when you want hens. The bright side of the mistake is you’ll get new alarm clocks. Once again, check with your city and HOA rules for having roosters on your property. • They become pets. “Chickens become pets, so rehoming or processing your roosters can be a hard decision,” said Gilbert. “Additionally, the chickens still have to be cared for when we are out of town. Just like any other pet, we have to make arrangements for them to have food, water and their other needs met any time we want to leave home for a few days.” • Nothing lasts forever. “An important factor to know is that chickens only lay eggs for a few years on a regular basis and then slow considerably or stop. Therefore, after a few years you may wind up with a bunch of free loading chickens,” said Bentley. ✽

CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP: Fresh eggs in the Bentley family's coop. Ryan Gilbert helps Harper hold Penny, a Lavender Ameraucana chicken. The Bentley kids love to play with Stella and Vivian, their Silkie chickens.

›› Creating Your Coop When planning your own chicken coop, think about your backyard space and landscape, how many chickens you will have in the coop and if you want the shape and materials of the coop to coordinate with your home. Many families choose premade coops, or reuse a backyard playhouse for their chickens. Others build their own according to their specific needs and those of the homeowners’ association. Several online sources, including Backyardchickens.com and Tomschickencoopplans.com, have amazing building plans to help you if you decide to construct your own coop.

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ORGANIZED

Beware of the BOGO sales! Don’t buy what you don’t need.

ASK HELEN

Queries from the Curious

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Start with the “overflowing” part. Be prepared to track the current inventory by taking a 3-pronged approach. Look for multiples of the same food, foods you thought you would use but never have, and food that’s many years out of date at the back of a shelf. ● A fresh start means tossing the expired and untouched food. Spices may show up in this category, along with ingredients that you bought for one recipe that no one liked.

Photo by Jenna Sue Design Co.

There is no rhyme or reason to our pantry shelves. My kids pull afternoon snacks from every shelf, and making dinner is a nightmare because I'm not sure what ingredients I have or don't have. How do I organize our overflowing, messy pantry?


CHAOS

● Inventory what you want to have in your pantry. This list reflects your family’s eating patterns. A baker’s pantry has colored sprinkles; a gluten-free family doesn’t have a big jar of flour. Your list can be turned into a shopping template that hangs on a clipboard inside the pantry. ● Categorize the foods you want in your pantry. Be as specific as possible. If you list “canned goods,” you may have a hard time finding the string beans among the soups, fruits and tuna. Common groupings are starches (noodles, rice, flour), vegetables, fruits, canned meats, sauces, cereals, condiments, snacks and drinks. ● Bring on the containers! Now you’re ready to assign plastic bins, baskets, turntables, spice racks, jars and shelf extenders to make the food groups accessible. Label the bins or shelves clearly to guide the chef and all assistants in putting food away. ● Create a kid spot at their eye level and in the front of a shelf. This way, they can find their goodies without disturbing your master plan.

● Use door space. If you have a solid door on the pantry, look for shelving that goes over the door or is screwed on. These shallow baskets or shelves accommodate small packets (gravies, bouillon) or spices/ herbs. ● Use wall space. What else can you hang on the wall inside the pantry? Flashlights, brooms, apron and a food wrap holder come to mind. ● Use floor space for a plastic bin that can slide in and out, functioning like a drawer. Some people like to keep sodas and drinks on the floor, or big bags of pet food. ● Use clear plastic shelf liner on wire shelves that may make unstable perches for some items. These add stability without reducing visibility. Add a light if you can’t see into the backs of the shelves. ● A top shelf may not be practical for frequently used items, but oversized pots or special occasion serving pieces might snuggle happily up high. Keep a small step stool on the floor to help you reach that top shelf. ✽

Make Your Own Chalkboard Labels! What You'll Need: Peel and Stick Labels Chalkboard Spray Paint Chalk or Chalk Pen

Spray an even coat of paint on a single sheet of labels. You will need 3 coats, letting labels dry between coats. Let labels dry completely overnight. Use chalk or a chalk pen to write onFRUIT your labels. Peel and stick to a clean surface.

Perfect f or labeling jars of flour and sugar!

 Helen Kornblum is a life coach and organizer in Gainesville, FL. Find her at www.CoachandOrganizer.com. Her specialty is coaching teens and young adults who have ADHD or ADD. GIGGLEMAG.COM | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015

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IN THE CLASSROOM

could’ve done differently and how he can change them going into the new year. 7  Ask for help Whether it’s tutoring sessions, meeting with the teacher or creating a study group, your child should feel comfortable asking for help when he needs it – and not just right before grades are due. Encourage him to reach out as soon as he’s feeling the pressure or isn’t sure about a lesson.

Starting the School Year with a Clean Slate

8 Focus on personal goals and achievements It’s important for him to set personal goals and be proud of his accomplishments without feeling the need to keep up with anyone else. Talk to him about not comparing himself to others and to always just do his best. This can keep him from feeling discouraged and help him stay focused on what he should be doing. ✽

BY ALE RUSSIAN

Once your child has gone through several years of schooling, the back-toschool excitement may start to fade. If there were any negative experiences with teachers or friends, if grades or testing were stressors, or if he just lacks motivation going into the new year, you can help him get into a fresh mindset to have a better year. Use these eight tips to give him the motivation he needs to start the year off in a fresh and positive way.

2 Talk to the teacher It’s imperative that he has a good relationship with his teachers in order for him to be open to learning from them. Establishing a positive relationship and going into each class with a good attitude will help him throughout the whole year.

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4 Set a time for homework Falling behind on homework is detrimental to having a good year. Set a specific time for homework to get done every evening so he doesn’t get home and forget to do it. It will go a long way in his overall school success! 5 Find a note-taking style that works best Whether it’s writing and highlighting or just summarizing, taking notes in class is so important. Have your child identify what works best for him and encourage him to keep it up during the year. 6  Learn from and then let go of past mistakes It’s hard to be excited for a new year when the last one didn’t go so well. Combat the lack of motivation by helping him identify things he

GIGGLEMAG.COM | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015

Advice from a

Professional We asked Jennifer Taylor, Supervisor of Guidance and Student Services for Alachua County Public Schools, to offer some advice for your child. “Give each teacher a fair chance at showing you who they are and take the opportunity to show the teacher what kind of student you are.” Try not to judge by what you’ve heard from other students. For high school students, “It’s important that you look at courses as challenging but not overwhelming.” The different types of courses and the extracurriculars you involve yourself in will help you develop your interests.

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

1  Get involved in a new activity Joining a new club or trying out for a sports team will help your child become more involved and make likeminded friends. This will get him more excited to go to school every day and keep the necessary GPA to remain on the team.

3  Keep a planner It can get tricky to remember when all assignments are due or when the next test is being given. The best way to ensure he’s upto-date is to encourage him to get in the habit of keeping a planner. Missing a deadline is easily preventable!


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HOMESCHOOL CORNER

The FAQs of Homeschooling BY TARA GRIFFIN

Maybe because I’ve been at this for a while, maybe because I write this column, or maybe because parents are disenchanted with over-testing and homework battles, but I’ve been receiving tons of homeschool inquiries lately. Here are some of the most popular questions I am asked, and my best attempt at answering them.

How do I start?

Well, if you have a child that you currently parent, congratulations ... you are homeschooling already! But if you’re wondering about the legalities, then know that homeschool law varies by state (and county) and the easiest way to research it is via an Internet search. After you sort out local laws, then you can begin to form your approach (unschooling, virtual school, eclectic school, etc.) and join some local groups to begin to gather a support system. If you know a homeschooling family, you might spend a day with them, but keep in mind that every family homeschools (and parents) uniquely.

What curriculum do you use?

I don’t. While there are many boxed curriculum sources to choose from, I find myself, after four years of homeschooling, really leaning toward an unschool approach. So I choose “curriculum” based on my kids’ interests and learning levels. We play a lot of games and do a lot of deep studies. We learn how to learn. I’ve found most current curriculum to be very age/grade/ standards based, which is limiting in my opinion. I buy books and supplies on a variety of age/grade levels, and introduce new concepts when the kids seem receptive. We spend a lot of time outside in nature, and even more at the library. I find tons of fun projects and ideas on Pinterest. And when I want to find a comprehensive curriculum for a certain subject (like Chemistry or Math), I usually do exhaustive Internet research and choose the best fit for my kids based on reviews and sample pages.

How do you socialize?

Oh, that “S” word again. We are a super social, active family in our community. It would be impossible for our kids to NOT socialize. This summer, when we dropped our oldest off at summer camp, he walked into the cabin and said, “Anybody

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here like music or Harry Potter? If so you can be my friend.” And several nervous kids were immediately at ease. Not all families are as social as ours ... but from my experience, homeschool kids are a fun, welcoming bunch who make new friends easily. Our local homeschool group has over 300 families on its weekly mailing list. We do sports, music, choir, museum days, specialty classes and tons of playdates. And since the kids are out and about in the community during normal weekdays, they are used to socializing with a wide variety of humans. They understand what it is to be a member of society and how to act in a multitude of life situations. I feel very confident in the social skills of all our homeschool friends.

I could never be with my kids all day! How do you do it?

Homeschooling isn’t for everyone. I’ve always enjoyed mothering and teaching my kids. I learn more from them than they learn from me. And I love guiding them now as much as I liked teaching them as babies. There are hard moments, of course. But that’s part of life, and it’s important to show them how to handle hard moments too. I’ve definitely developed more grit (and patience) as a homeschooling mom, but that’s a good thing! ✽

Photos provided by Tara Griffin.

“I’ve definitely developed more grit (and patience) as a homeschooling mom, but that’s a good thing!”

Enjoying coffee and con my two best stuvedenrsatstion with


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F A M I LY L E A R N I N G

Branching Out for Hispanic Heritage Month BY ALE RUSSIAN

National Hispanic Heritage Month runs September 15th through October 15th.

Florida is one of the most heavily Hispanic-populated states in the country, with Spanish being a second language in many of our cities. Even though your children are probably used to it and don’t see it as particularly different, it is still important to teach them about the different ways of life and the cultures represented by the different languages they hear. It will enrich their outlook on their own lives and those of the people they meet along the way. Understanding Hispanic culture starts by learning about the passions of the people. There are three main loves all Hispanic people share: food, music and dancing. Having been born in Venezuela myself, I’ve grown up surrounded by all three and have experienced how they benefit family bonding. They bring people together and are an expression of happiness and love. The best way to immerse your family and learn more about Hispanic culture is by trying your hand at all three.

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

Food One of the most important parts of Hispanic culture is food. In fact, there is rarely a time Hispanic people get together and not collectively make way too much food. It’s how we bond and share

Local Family Fun: September 27, 2015 Check out the Alachua County Library website (Aclib.us) for information on their Latino Film Festival and Hispanic Heritage Celebration!

traditions, and we’re very proud of the food that is native to our distinct countries. Plan for your family to have a party featuring all kinds of Hispanic food! You can find different recipes online, such as tacos from Mexico, and rice and beans from Puerto Rico. Have some facts about each country ready to share. Invite some of your child’s friends and their families. Everyone can enjoy the food while learning about different cultures. You’ll quickly understand why it’s our favorite pastime!

MUSIC Another big part of our lives is our love of music. From the time we’re very little, music is portrayed as a way to express happiness. There are several different styles of music and each country typically has its own. Bachata is heard all over the Dominican Republic; ranchera is the most popular

Tostones

to A fa mi ly fa vor ite s! ur yo h wit sh ar e

Ingredients • 3 cups canola oil • 2 green plantains • Flaked salt to taste • Any topping you’d like (salsa, guacamole, etc.)

genre in Mexico; the American rap infused reggaeton in Puerto Rico puts it’s own spin on reggae. Play different styles of music to teach your kids about an intricate, happy part of our culture.

DANCING Music, of course, leads to dancing. Other than food, there is nothing Hispanics and Latinos love more than dancing. The go-to styles are always salsa and merengue, but there are different styles popular in each country. Argentinians love to tango and the Caribbean countries can’t get enough of bachata. Look up music videos online, then get up and move with your family as you all try to mimic the movements. It’ll be a fun night of family bonding and exercise as you encourage your children to step (and dance) out of their comfort zone! ✽

Directions Peel the perfectly green plantains and cut them into rounds 1½ inches thick. Heat 3-4 inches of oil to around 325 degrees. Fry the plantain rounds for 3-4 minutes until lightly colored and cooked. Remove from the oil and carefully flatten the plantains from the middle until they are about ½-inch thick. Replace the oil and this time heat it to around 375 degrees. Carefully refry the flattened slices of tostones for another 3 minutes, letting them get crispy and golden. Salt to taste. Top with anything you like! My favorites are shredded chicken and guacamole, or just a simple “salsa rosada” which is just a pink mixture of ketchup and mayo. Enjoy! GIGGLEMAG.COM | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015

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conception2college™  EXPECTING Making Sense of Centering

 INFANT | 0-1 Year One: Sights and Sounds Abound!

 TODDLER | 2-3 Back-to-School Fun for Your Tot

 EARLY YEARS | 4-5 Kindergarten, Here We Come!

 KIDS | 6-9 Sweet Sleep: Helping Your Child Get Those Precious Z’s

 TWEENS | 10-13 The Tween Change: Helping Your Child Through the Journey

 TEENS | 14-18

Photo by Ashley Daniell Photography.

5 Ways to Guide and Protect Your Teen on Social Media

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PREGNANCY

Making Sense of Centering BY APRIL TISHER

There is another option to add to your list when considering your pregnancy healthcare. CenteringPregnancy is a type of group healthcare that provides a support system not found in traditional one-on-one care between a patient and provider. Although a Yale-educated nurse midwife originally developed the concept in the 1990s, it has been gaining popularity across the country and there are now six approved Centering sites in Florida. Dr. Kay Roussos-Ross, Medical Director of CenteringPregnancy at the OBGYN Clinic at UF Health, explained that this approach to prenatal health is based on three main components: assessment, education and support. It is the support part of the group that makes it stand out. With this healthcare model, groups of expectant moms are divided by gestational age with approximately 10 patients in each group. The members may be diverse in age, number of pregnancies, cultural and religious beliefs, and educational backgrounds. There are possible future plans for specific groups such as high risk or a teen group, but for now the diversity helps to foster discussions and enables the peers in the group to provide experience and personal knowledge to the other members. During the group sessions, the physician is a facilitator to discussions regarding the stages of pregnancy and related topics. It

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is not a class or lecture, but is an agendabased discussion group that allows for more in-depth conversations about topics. The group’s appointments follow a normal obstetric schedule, however, since the appointment times are from 1 ½ – 2 hours long, it allows time for the group to ask questions and get feedback from the physician as well as others who are also experiencing the same types of things. Topics such as safety concerns, family dynamics, prenatal complications, depression, old wives’ tales and cultural traditions are discussed, along with traditional gestationally appropriate information. Each patient still receives individual physical assessments during the first part of the group appointment while other group members assist in selfcare procedures such as taking weight and blood pressure measurements. Dr. Roussos-Ross feels that part of the beauty of this model is that “it empowers women by allowing them to be direct participants in their own health care. Instead of things being done to them, they have control.”

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Anytime the patient has a problem or complications outside of the norm, they are evaluated and seen at follow-up appointments just as they normally would during traditional obstetric care. The insurance billing is also done the same way as individual care, so that is not an obstacle for those choosing this healthcare model. While this style of care is not for everyone, CenteringPregnancy is for those who feel they would benefit from a group of peers during pregnancy and possibly after as well. The hope is that these women will continue to meet when their babies are born to guide one another through the postpartum and newborn stage and beyond. ✽

For more information about CenteringPregnancy, visit the website at Centeringhealthcare.org.

Photos courtesy of Kay Roussos-Ross.

▲ The CenteringPregnancy participants snack and discuss the many facets of pregnancy.

▲ A local group of women currently participating in the CenteringPregnancy model.


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infant Year One: Sights and Sounds Abound! AGES 0-1

BY MICHAELA BEEDA

Sight: She will begin to follow quickly moving objects with her eyes. When Months objects are dropped, she will look for them, and she will follow with her eyes when you point something out to her. She may smile or try to touch her image in a mirror, and may mimic mouth and tongue movements she sees.

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Hearing: She is now becoming clever when it comes to her awareness of sounds. She can identify various household and outdoor sounds at this point, and she loves to imitate rhythmic banging. She may even voice “Mama” and “Dada” as names! ❉ Your little one is able to show a sense of rhythm! Turn on some fun tunes and watch as she bounces to the beat.

The first year of your baby’s life is so exciting – a journey full of wonderful surprises and incredible milestones. As your little one begins to open her eyes and ears to take in the world around her, there are a few developmental markers of which you should take note. Just remember that each baby develops at her own pace, so this is simply a guide compiled from several medical sources to give you an idea of the amazing milestones coming your way during your baby’s first year! Sight: Your little one’s color vision is not fully developed yet. Although Month she can see shades of black and white the best, letting her hold and look at brightly colored toys that take on simple shapes can be stimulating for her. She can now see objects that are 18 inches away from her face, but human faces and facial expressions are her favorite. She can make eye contact, so look into those sweet eyes while you talk to her and see if she stares back.

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

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Hearing: She can now separate Mommy and Daddy’s voices from the voices of strangers! Singing, talking or playing

music will capture her attention, and she may make “ah” sounds when Mom or Dad enters the room. She may make throaty sounds and high coos as she experiments with hearing her own range of sounds. ❉ Your baby’s eyes may follow an object as it moves from side to side, but it is normal if her eyes do not move in unison at this age because eye-muscle control has not fully developed.

Sight: She can now focus at different distances, but she favors objects that are close Months to her – about 3 feet is ideal. Her eye movement will seem less jerky and she can now fix both of her eyes on an object. If you notice that she is still finding it difficult to track objects, speak with your pediatrician for a follow-up.

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Sight: She has now almost fully reached the visual sharpness of an adult. She Months is able to see objects both near and far and knows the difference between simple geometric shapes.

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Hearing: Your baby can now understand what is being said to her. She may speak two or three words and she will try to copy words that you say. She will make sounds that change in tone and make gestures to respond to “no” and “bye.” ❉ Your baby is now able to identify animals in pictures and is very interested in scribbling with crayons to create pictures; it is visually appealing to her. ✽

Hearing: Your little bundle of joy can now make several tonal sounds! Reading to her at this point in her development will enhance her language skills, and exposing her to different music will help her recognize several rhythms and tones.

Giggle Tip: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides excellent printable resources for parents and caregivers regarding childhood milestones and health tips. Check out their site at CDC.gov.

❉ When your baby smiles at you, it is now because she knows you! While she may show others her cheerful grin, your face is her favorite.

*If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s monthly progress, consult your pediatrician.

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toddler

AGES 2-3

Back-To-School Fun for Your Tot BY MICHAELA BEEDA

Your little one may be experiencing the end-of-summer blues as he realizes big brother or sister won’t be around all day once school is back in session. Fortunately, there are many ways you can turn those tears into giggles. With the help of Kristin D. Birdsey, coowner of Education Station and Preschool, and Amanda Piedmont, lead toddler teacher at Sonshine Day Preschool, we have some fun activities that you or a caregiver can do with your child when his siblings rush off to the big yellow school bus.

Giggle Tip: Set up playdates with other families who have toddlers or visit a toddler-friendly park or play space. This can improve your little one’s social skills and keep his mind off the fact that he doesn’t have his siblings around during the day. PAINTING AND PLAY DOUGH

Let your toddler’s artistic side run free with a set of finger paints for outside play and colorful play dough that you can place on baking sheets indoors. This is also a great way to help develop sensory and fine motor skills. Don’t be afraid to let him explore other toddler-safe art materials as well. Creativity has no boundaries!

SONGS AND STORIES

BUILDING BLOCKS AND LEGOS

This form of constructive play is a great way to let your toddler’s mind run free. Little ones love to create, and giving them a set of open-ended toys for building helps to develop fine motor skills.

DRESS-UP AND KITCHEN PLAY

SORTING

“If it seems like a chore to grown-ups, toddlers will most likely love it,” shared Birdsey.

WATER PLAY AND BUBBLES

Water play and blowing bubbles is an excellent way to provide stimulating entertainment for your toddler. Set up a water table or buy a bubble maker or bubble wands and let him run around outside. Piedmont suggested letting your little one paint with water on the driveway. Grab a bucket of water, some paint brushes and let your tot create a masterpiece!

Giggle Tip: Involve your toddler in the lunch-making process for the older siblings. Let him help you sort everyone’s lunch and gather items together. This will make him feel like he is a part of his siblings’ day, even though they are away at school for a large portion.

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Independent Activities Letting your toddler have a little time to himself is a good thing. Little ones love to feel independent. ✽ “Toddler-friendly puzzles and books are great activities for toddlers to do on their own,” suggested Birdsey. ✽ Using musical instruments and noisemakers is another great activity. Even though the noise may be a little unpleasant to your ears, your little one will find joy in creating new sounds. ✽ Grab a blank sheet of paper and let him scribble! He may just create lines on paper, but he will eventually learn to create shapes, and this fun creative outlet will strengthen his fine motor skills too.

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

Toddlers love to model after grown-up figures. Create a dress-up center with old clothes and costumes and let him get his hands on plastic spoons and Tupperware. You don’t need an expensive kitchen play set, just give him unbreakable pieces from your cabinets and let him play!

Little ones love to help. Anything that needs to be sorted around the house will appear as a fun activity for your toddler. Helping you sort laundry, put away dishes and even helping you bring in the groceries is all exciting to a toddler – and having an extra set of (tiny) hands never hurts! Doing these kinds of activities with you can help build their basic math and science skills as well.

Bring him to the Alachua County Public Libraries so he can listen to fun stories, be a part of interactive story-based activities and build friendships with other children his age. You can remind your little one this is a special activity for him, designed especially for this age group and not big brother or sister. Continue these activities at home for even more personalized fun and skill-building. ✽


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early years Kindergarten, Here We Come! AGES 4-5

BY OLIVIA K. PITKETHLY, MA, LMHC

because staff isn’t always available to help. While it can be overwhelming at first, this can be a great learning environment for socialization and etiquette skills.

Giggle Tip: Don't be afraid to speak your concerns regarding schedule, coursework, transitions, etc.! You are your child's voice!

Homework for kids and parents

The homework is minimal, but it helps get your child in the habit for future classes. It also helps parents stay connected with what the child is learning. “For many families, kindergarten is the time when they start to establish routines that work for the family schedules,” notes Imbriaco. “They need to start juggling their own work, their child’s extracurriculars and the homework. It can be a challenge to make it consistent for the child, but it needs to be as consistent as possible.”

The preschool days are over, and you and your child are starting a new chapter in your lives. Entering a new school is exciting and maybe a little overwhelming if you don’t know what to expect. Here are a few changes you can anticipate as you make the transition from preschool to “big kid school.”

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

Starting the day

During the first few weeks, you will probably want to walk your child into her class to ease any jitters, but after that, you can expect to drop her off in the car line or outside the classroom. Independence is one of the main skills teachers promote in kindergarten, and navigating their own way to class is how children will learn. If your child is riding the bus, contact your school to find out the pick-up location and time.

Getting to know you

When I take my daughter to preschool, I have the opportunity to chat with the teachers and other parents and kids. However, when I take my son to his elementary school, it’s a different story. With classroom sizes up to 20–25 children, teachers have limited time to turn their focus away from the class. So, if you want

to discuss your child’s progress, you need to schedule a parent-teacher conference. Unless I volunteer in the school, I don’t really know any of the children or their parents. You will need to make an effort outside of drop-off time to connect with the teacher and other parents.

For more helpful information about your specific school, visit the School Board of Alachua County’s website (Sbac.edu), or if attending a private school, visit your school’s website. ✽

Making the grade

Yes, they have grades in kindergarten! And progress reports! It’s not the typical A, B, C, etc.; instead you will see E’s and S’s to grade your child’s progress. Kindergarten teacher Maria Imbriaco advises parents to get into an academic mindset. “Their child will be learning to read and write, add and subtract,” she says. “Kindergarten will still be fun, but the expectations for achievement are very high.”

Time for lunch

Instead of the quiet comfort of a preschool classroom, your child can expect to eat her lunch in a large, often noisy cafeteria. She will learn how to enter a lunch line, pick out a tray and pay for her lunch by swiping a card. If you are packing your child’s lunch, make sure she knows how to open any sandwich or snack containers

Mommy-approved storybooks to prep your kindergartner: “The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn “I Love You All Day Long” by Francesca Rusackas “Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten” by Joseph Slate “The Night Before Kindergarten” by Natasha Wing

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kids Sweet Sleep: Helping Your Child Get Those Precious Z’s AGES 6-9

BY ARIANA BRASMAN

Sleep is one of the sweetest treasures of life, but few people, especially children, appreciate its true riches. The amount of rest a child receives each night is imperative because sleep works wonders on the overall growth of a child’s brain and body. According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep is essential due to its influences on the physical and mental development of a child. Mary Wagner, director of the Pediatric Sleep Program at the University of Florida, explained that sleep requirements vary according to age. “Duration and timing of sleep changes over your pediatric lifetime,” Wagner said. On average, children ages 6–13 need 9–11 hours of sleep per night. Children in this age range start spending more of their time involved in school or sports, and they become more captivated by watching TV or browsing the Internet. As a result, these activities may lead to problems falling asleep at night. A statement from the National Sleep Foundation explained that, “Watching TV close to bedtime has been associated with bedtime resistance, difficulty falling asleep, anxiety around sleep and sleeping fewer hours.”

“Sometimes children will manifest sleepiness with behavioral problems,” she said. If a child is not getting the right amount of sleep each night, it’s possible for behavioral and cognitive problems to emerge, which

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Encouraging Sweet Dreams

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine reports that a multinational study found children who have regular bedtime routines show a decrease in sleep problems as well as reduced behavior problems throughout the day.

Nightmares can be a contributor to restless sleep. Stress or a change in a child’s life can bring on nightmares, as well as watching or listening to something scary before bedtime. Help your child to have sweet dreams by:

"It's important that parents create a consistent sleep schedule, relaxing bedtime routine and soothing sleep environment to help their child achieve healthy sleep,” said Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler, president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

«« Setting a regular bedtime and wake-up

There is growing evidence about developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease or obesity in children who don’t get enough sleep each night. We have learned that sleep is crucial to the full development of a child and can play a major role on her health now and later in life. ✽

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time

«« Making sure your child’s bed is comfortable and a peaceful place to relax her body and mind

«« Giving her a stuffed animal, night light or dream catcher to help her feel safe

«« Avoiding any scary movie, TV show or story before bedtime

«« Giving extra hugs and reassuring your child that nightmares are not real and cannot hurt her

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

Wagner advised that families should have a bedtime routine and turn off electronics an hour before bed.

can influence the ability to learn in school. Wagner explained that behaviors such as aggressiveness, impulsiveness, and the inability to focus and stay on task could result from lack of sleep.


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tweens The Tween Change: Helping Your Child Through the Journey AGES 10-13

BY LISA KATZ

Things To Know . . .

While many tweens are comfortable with friends or family seeing their changing bodies, there are plenty that aren’t. For example, some will now prefer to change clothing in private; this may be obvious at sleepovers or at a friend’s pool party. This is the perfect age to teach your child about being respectful and not intentionally embarrassing anyone. If a friend chooses to change in a bathroom or wants to wear a cover-up at the pool, be considerate of her feelings. If it’s your own tween who has become increasingly shy about her changing body, teach your family members and friends about respecting each other’s privacy. We all know our children will grow and change over the years, but what you may not know is that during the ages of 10 –14 those changes are especially evident. While physical changes are the most obvious, there are emotional changes that take place as well.

Evolving Looks

According to Carl E. Pickhardt, Ph.D., author of “Surviving your Child’s Adolescence,” for most young people, puberty is the enemy of self-esteem. It changes how they look, at a time when physical appearance becomes more important for social acceptance and social standing.

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“You can best ascertain what your (daughter) needs at this stage in her life by spending time with her, tuning into her needs and observing her behavior. Help her feel good about her changing body,” McCabe suggested.

Emotional Roller Coaster

While parents can often tackle the physical changes, it may be a little harder to cope with your budding teen’s emotional changes. Moodiness ensues and your child may start to crave privacy. Do not be surprised if she chooses to spend more time in her room. As time passes, she may prefer spending more time with friends and less time with family. While you will want to keep some family time in your schedules, allowing time with friends is healthy for her social and emotional needs. There is no doubt that your child’s changing body will evoke some new feelings. It is a parent’s job to attempt to navigate those unknown waters delicately and to help make your tween as comfortable as possible during this unique growth period.

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Being shy about your body is typical at this age. As parents, we can set a good example of having manners, being respectful (not teasing or shaming others for being different), and having a healthy body image and attitude. Avoid comparing your child’s body to others, and don’t discuss your body “flaws” in earshot of your child. The best thing you can do as a parent of a tween is be a healthy role model. ✽ RESOURCES FOR TWEENS

“The Care & Keeping of You: The Body Book For Younger Girls” by Valorie Schaefer (published through American Girl) “It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex and Sexual Health” by Robie Harris RESOURCES FOR PARENTS OF TWEENS

“The Everything Tween Book: A Parent’s Guide to Surviving the Turbulent Pre-Teen Years” by Linda Sonna “Talking to Tweens: Getting it Right Before it Gets Rocky With Your 8-to-12-Year-Old” by Elizabeth Hartley-Brewer “Middle School Makeover” by Michelle Icard

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved.

Tweens can often be embarrassed or uncomfortable with their new changing bodies. Generally, early tweens may not give much thought to their appearance or what they wear out of the house. However, once their bodies begin to have evident changes, those same tweens may unexpectedly start to take hours to get ready for school. Soon they may start complaining about their body features and spend hours worrying about how different their bodies are from their friends’ bodies.

Teen counselor Kim McCabe shared how a parent can approach this sensitive issue with your child.


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teens

AGES 14-18

5 Ways to Guide and Protect Your Teen on Social Media BY LISA KATZ

For teenagers, social media is a way of life. They wake up and check their messages. They carry their cell phones with them everywhere to stay up-to-date on their friends’ lives, and so they can update their own statuses throughout the day and night. “Social media isn’t a way of life for kids – it’s life itself,” reports Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization that helps families navigate the world of media and technology. Social media site users are growing daily and there is a very high chance that your child is on at least one site.

There are several ways to guide your teenager toward being a safer and smarter site or app user.

1. Follow your child on social media sites. Although parents want to “friend” or “follow” their teenager, the feeling isn’t always mutual. Teens are often reluctant to have a parent as a new friend or follower. Regardless, many parents feel it is definitely a good rule to establish in your house.

2. Have open (and private)

© 2015 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved

communication with your teen.

Realize that being a friend or follower allows you to have access to your child’s thoughts. Tread cautiously here. Be extremely selective with your comments. Communicate with your child mostly via private message as not to embarrass her. Talk with your child in private about any concerns you may have about a specific comment or photo you have seen on her account.

3. Remind your child to think before

hitting “send.”

Generally kids are rushing to answer a message or respond to a tweet within a few seconds of receiving it. Explain that

mistakes are often made when someone is in a hurry. If you’re lucky, it will resonate with your teen and then next time she might think before she acts (or reacts).

4. Explain the uses of the privacy settings. Being a part of any social media site certainly comes with a few risks. Privacy settings were created in an attempt to protect personal information and a person’s identity. Take a few minutes to walk through all of the available settings and what they mean to you and to your teen.

5. Trust your child until you can’t. You have talked to your teen her entire life about safety, about being nice to others, about making and keeping friends, about members of the opposite sex and even about strangers. Hopefully, these conversations have sunk in. As a result, you need to tell her that you will trust her until you have absolute and accurate proof otherwise. ✽

% of all teens 13-17 who use: FACEBOOK INSTAGRAM

71% 52%

SNAPCHAT 41%

PARENTS AND KIDS WEIGH IN ON SOCIAL MEDIA FOLLOWING... “I struggle with this. On the one hand I want to know what they are up to, but on the other I want to give them their space to be open and more natural with their thoughts and ideas. I think it's a balance, and ultimately the relationship needs to be discussed between the parent and child.” - Gary B. (Dad of 3) “Some people may think you’re invading personal space. Other people think it may be a right of freedom to not have parents follow you. I don't really care if my parents follow me because I don't post anything bad.” - Izzy B. (13-year-old girl) “I think teens should have their own privacy and the parents can check up on them once in a while, but they should trust them.” - Cameron F. (14-year-old girl) "When it comes to social media, if I couldn’t be my kids’ friend then they couldn’t do it. I made them 'friend' me. I just want to be able to see what they are doing. I need to know.” - Michelle C. (Mom of 2)

TWITTER 33% GOOGLE+ 33% VINE 24% TUMBLR 14% DIFFERENT SOCIAL MEDIA 11%

“My whole family follows me on everything. It doesn't bother me because I have nothing to hide.” - Graham B. (18-year-old boy)

SOURCE: PEW RESEARCH CENTER'S TEEN RELATIONSHIPS SURVEY. GIGGLEMAG.COM | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015

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happy community

EXTRA, EXTRA

Clockwise, from left: Hang Tough Foundation hosting a table at Children's Week at the Florida State Capitol, April 2015. Our first public appearance! Grayson at his lowest weight of 16 pounds at 19 months old. "By capturing these images on film, we will be able to remember [...] the obstacles that Grayson was able to overcome."

The Hang Tough Foundation:

Bringing Hope to Families Grayson and family photos by Stacey Steinberg Photography. Group photo courtesy of Janelle Irwin.

BY MICHAELA BEEDA

Even on her most difficult days, mother of two Janelle Irwin believes that good is always there. She finds comfort and happiness in the little things in life. Something as simple as a stranger smiling at you, a heartwarming card you receive or a phone conversation that fills your belly with laughter. She insists that the good is present; you just need to look. In August 2013, Irwin’s son, Grayson Irwin, was diagnosed with T-Cell Leukemia 11 days before his first birthday. Irwin, however, decided that this experience did not need to be displayed in a negative light. She saw this as a chance to build something that would make a difference. After Grayson underwent treatment, Irwin and her friend Michelle Hart, who has a daughter who battled B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, joined forces and formed the Hang Tough Foundation. The Hang Tough Foundation aims to help families who have a child with a chronic or lifealtering illness. Supporting these families and giving them advice and encouragement on their journey is the focus of the foundation. Irwin travels to Gainesville for Grayson’s treatments at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital and realized that once she got back home to Tallahassee, the support network disappeared. After bringing the Hang Tough

Foundation to life, Irwin felt that a difference was being made; families were getting the help and support they needed, where they needed it. Jennifer Larson, a licensed clinical social worker at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, has the opportunity to share community resources with the patients and families. “Families feel so much more emotionally supported, and less alone in their journey, when they discover that resources such as the Hang Tough Foundation are available to them,” shared Larson. Since the organization came together in March, the team at Hang Tough has been able to deliver nine care packages to families, offer free counseling and tutoring services, bring awareness to the community, and has given both medical and financial advice to the children’s family members. “I’m just so proud of my team – they have just poured their hearts and souls into this to really take care of others,” Irwin said. Irwin has been working with Dr. William Slayton, the Division Chief and Program Director of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, to help others going through these difficult situations.

The Irwin family in 2014: Brady, Janelle, big sister Katelyn and Grayson

“There is a clear need for child and family support services in every community,” Slayton said, “Janelle has recognized this need through her experiences with her son, Grayson.”

The foundation has seen so much progress in the past few months and Irwin shared that they don’t even have a building! They just have a board of people who care about others and this has already brought them great success. They are awaiting their official documents for becoming a 501(c)3, and are working to establish partnerships in Tallahassee like they have with UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. As Larson has witnessed, a difficult situation like that of the Irwins and Harts can sometimes bring so much good to others. “The most rewarding part of working with the Hang Tough Foundation is seeing two families’ stories transform into a vision of outreach, hope and encouragement for a community,” she said. In August, Grayson will be done with his protocol. Although this journey has not been an easy one, Irwin has proven that tricky battles can be won. “Sometimes some of the darkest circumstances, like being told your child has cancer, can turn into one of the greatest endeavors of your life and really point you in the direction of what you’re supposed to be doing and what you’re here for,” shared Irwin. ✽ For more information about this incredible organization, visit Hangtoughfoundation.org.

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happy community AUGUST 3

Cade Museum’s LEGOS Robotics: Art with LEGOS 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. 904 South Main Street Eventbrite.com AUGUST 12

First Day of School – Queen of Peace Academy and St. Francis High School (freshmen) AUGUST 13

First Day of School – St. Francis High School AUGUST 14

Back to School Bash 2 – 4 p.m. Tower Road Library Branch Outdoor Program Area Aclib.us AUGUST 15

The Civil War Battle of Gainesville Reenactment 10 a.m. – Noon Matheson History Museum Mathesonmuseum.org AUGUST 17 – 21

Student Style Crafts 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. Tower Road Library Branch Aclib.us AUGUST 21

Sun Country's Annual Open House: Sunny's Showcase 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Sun Country West Suncountrysports.com

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A U G U S T/ S E P T E M B E R C A L E N D A R

AUGUST 22

Tioga Town Fair Tiogatowncenter.com AUGUST 23

The Red Shoe Affair – Ronald McDonald House Charities Cocktails – 6 p.m.; Dinner – 7 p.m. Best Western Gateway Grand Rmhcncf.org AUGUST 24

First Day of School – Alachua County Public Schools AUGUST 28

Concert Night – Crooked Counsel 7 – 10 p.m. Tioga Town Center Tiogatowncenter.com AUGUST 29

Shop for a Cause – March of Dimes All day Macy’s AUGUST 29

SEPTEMBER 3

Thrift Night 6 – 8 p.m. Family Treasures Thrift Shop, Junior League Thrift Shop, Haven Hospice Thrift Shop Tickets available at all three stores SEPTEMBER 7

Labor Day SEPTEMBER 11 – 13

Paint out September 11, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. September 12 – 13, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Kanapaha Botanical Gardens Kanapaha.org SEPTEMBER 13

Grandparents Day SEPTEMBER 16

A Night with Greg Neri 6:30 p.m. Headquarters Library Aclib.us.

Titletown Gator Club Kick-Off Tailgate 5 – 9 p.m. Tioga Town Center Tiogatowncenter.com

SEPTEMBER 19 – 20

SEPTEMBER 2 – 27

SEPTEMBER 27

Peter and the Starcatcher Varied Times Hippodrome Thehipp.org

GIGGLEMAG.COM | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015

ButterflyFest 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Florida Museum of National History Flmnh.ufl.edu Archaeology Workshop: Fishing 2 – 4 p.m. Florida Museum of National History Flmnh.ufl.edu


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happy community

K I D S E AT F R E E

Kids Eat

Free

& Kid Discounts

Do you offer special kiddo discounts? Let us know! Contact Dana@irvingpublications.com to be included on our list. EVERY DAY Cici’s Pizza Kids 10 and under eat for $2.99; Kids under 3 eat for $0.99. MONDAY Ballyhoo Grill Kids eat free with adult entrée purchase. Northwest Grille Kids 12 and under eat for $0.99 with adult entrée purchase. David’s Real Pit BBQ One free kid’s meal with one adult meal purchase, dine-in only, after 4 p.m. Newberry’s Backyard BBQ Kids 12 and under eat for $1.50 with adult entrée purchase, 4 – 9 p.m. New Deal Café Kids 12 and under eat for $1 with adult entrée purchase, 5 – 9 p.m. Sonny’s BBQ Kids 12 and under eat free with adult purchase.

TUESDAY Gainesville Ale House Kids 12 and under eat free with adult entrée purchase, 5 p.m. – close. I Love NY Pizza: Haile location Kids 12 and under eat free with adult entrée purchase, 3 – 8 p.m. (1 child per adult) Texas Roadhouse Kids eat for $0.99, 4 – 8 p.m.

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Applebee’s Kids meals are $0.99 - $2.99 with adult entrée purchase, after 5 p.m. Limerock Road Neighborhood Grill Kids 10 and under eat free spaghetti and meatballs, 5 – 10 p.m. Splitz Kids 12 and under eat free with adult entrée purchase, 5 – 9 p.m. Copper Monkey Kids 12 and under eat free with adult entrée purchase, 5 – 10 p.m. Gators Dockside Kids 12 and under eat free, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Beef O’ Brady’s on 43rd Street Kids 12 and under eat free with adult entrée purchase, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Chick-fil-A Family Night Specials – Check specific locations, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

WEDNESDAY Mi Apa Kids eat free with adult entrée purchase. Blue Highway Pizzeria Kids 12 and under eat for half price Kids Meal pizza with adult pizza or pasta purchase, 4 – 7 p.m. Zaxby’s Two $0.99 kid’s meals with adult entrée purchase, 5 – 8 p.m.

GIGGLEMAG.COM | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015

Haile Village Bistro Kids 12 and under eat free with adult entrée purchase, 5 – 9:30 p.m. (1 free kids meal per adult purchase.) Adam’s Rib Co. Kids eat free with adult entrée purchase, 5 – 8 p.m. Bento Café Kids 12 and under eat free from kids menu with adult entrée purchase, 5 – 10 p.m.

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY Steak and Shake Kids 12 and under eat free with purchase of any regular meal $8 or more.

SUNDAY Blue Agave Mexican Restaurant Kids 12 and under eat for $0.99 with adult entrée purchase. Taco Del Mar Kids eat free with adult entrée purchase. Café C Brunch Buffet Kids 8 and older eat for $5.99; Kids 8 and under eat for free, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Stevi B’s Kids eat for $0.99 at the buffet, 4 – 9 p.m. Beef O’ Brady’s on 43rd Street Kids 12 and under eat free with adult entrée purchase, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.


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Profile for Irving Publications, LLC

Giggle Magazine August/September 2015  

Farm fresh eggs, fired up for tailgating, back to school, crazy for quinoa, family activities.

Giggle Magazine August/September 2015  

Farm fresh eggs, fired up for tailgating, back to school, crazy for quinoa, family activities.