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44-47 For giveaways, events and news Like us on Facebook search GoodLivingMag

Good Eating

A Little TLC from Dad with Esther Edwards Make Your Own Food

14 Preparing for Kindergarten from Pinellas County Schools

16-17 10 Brain Building Games for Summer Fun Amy Perry

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20 Meet the Producer Pamela Settle

23 529 Plans: the 411

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Amy Hammond & Jim Zientara

24-25 The Magic Kingdom Just Got More Magical Pamela Settle

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A Note from Pinellas County Sheriff Sheriff Bob Gualtieri

28-29 How to Empower Your Children Laura Markham, Phd

30-31 Capturing the Magic of Motherhood


NEW COLUMN!! Pinellas Working Moms with the AchieveHers Pamela Settle


EDITORIAL Do You Count as a Voter? Pamela Settle


Moms: Take Time to be Selfish Christie Bruner

40-41 First Aid for Mommy Juli Steinocher

43 Jumpstart Weightloss for

About the Cover Our cover this issue is from Julie Effron, a natural light photographer specializing in newborns, children and families. (914) 548-8008

Successful Results Brenda Watson, C.N.C.


Make a Splash with Water Safety Janet Evans


My Story Jenna Devito-Roisum

® Summer Issue 2014 Volume 5 • Issue 3

Publisher Light Shine Media Group, LLC

Editor-in-Chief Pamela Settle

Design and Layout Marcie Kelliher

ContribuƟng Writers Christie Bruner Sheryl Conrad Jenna Devito-Roisum Janet Evans Bob Gualtieri Amy Hammond Laura Markham Rory McLeod Amy Perry Juli Steinocher Brenda Watson

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GoodLiving™ Magazine & P.O. Box 1795 Oldsmar, Florida 34677 (727) 776-3656 GoodLiving® magazine is a publication of Light Shine Media Group, LLC and is available to readers by a paid annual subscription available at Promotional copies are distributed through establishments as a courtesy to their customers and clients. Additional copies are donated to local schools as a community service. To request copies, contact All photographs, artwork, design and editorial are the sole property of GoodLiving® magazine and Light Shine Media Group, LLC. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written permission. GoodLiving® magazine and Light Shine Media Group, LLC are not responsible for statements made by advertisers and writers for any consequences arising from omissions or errors. Readers should verify the advertising information of the advertisers and all specials are valid to the expiration date set by the advertiser. GoodLiving® magazine and Light Shine Media Group, LLC reserve the right to refuse any advertising for any reason. The views expressed in the publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. All rights reserved.

Children are our best hope for a GOOD future. Let’s do all we can for them.

Letter from the Editor GOOD outcomes come from GOOD ideas which come from GOOD open, honest conversation. This special Early Childhood Issue of GoodLiving® magazine is one of those GOOD outcomes. Earlier this year, in a conversation with leadership at the Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County, we talked about the importance of reaching out to parents in Pinellas County, in particular parents who have small children under the age of five. They had a need to share important, life-saving educational information, and as always, we are in the business of sharing healthy and positive stories with local parents and grandparents. The two came together like chocolate and peanut butter! If you look closely, you will see that the middle of this issue of GoodLiving® contains a booklet created by the Juvenile Welfare Board expressly for parents in Pinellas County. They called in some of their many community partners to participate in this educational effort. You can read it for yourself, but what you won’t know is the amount of love and caring that went into this for you. I used to work in government and non profits and so I know the amount of passion and dedication it takes to do that job on the inside. If you don’t have the opportunity to get inside, let me assure you these agencies are filled with caring individuals doing their very best to help families in our county. And when it comes to looking out for ALL the children in the county, the Juvenile Welfare Board is hard at work behind the scenes, led by Dr. Marcie Biddleman and a board of directors comprised of a cross section of county leaders. Please take time to read their newsletter, Safe and Healthy Kids Matter and share it with your friends. The rest of this Special Early Childhood Issue has been written for expectant moms and those with children under the age of five. All copies of this magazine are being distributed to reach these readers. If you would like additional copies, please send an email to with the details. All the stories, all the ads and the newsletter have been carefully blended together to be a value to the local parenting community. We, the collective we, hope you enjoy it, but more importantly we hope we have communicated how important your children are to all of us. Our sincerest wishes are for safe, healthy and happy childhoods for ALL CHILDREN in Pinellas County. Until next time,

Pamela Settle

news Our JWB is Recognized for its Outstanding Work for Pinellas County Families

Lindsay Carson Appointed Head of Early Learning Coalition

The Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County ( JWB) has achieved national accreditation through the New York-based Council on Accreditation (COA), one of the largest and most prestigious child- and family-services accrediting organizations in the country. Organizations pursue accreditation to demonstrate the implementation of best practice standards in the field of human services. With this designation, JWB – a publicly-funded organization created in 1945 to improve the lives of Pinellas County’s children and families - becomes one of only six government entities in the State of Florida and 47 government entities nationwide to be accredited by COA.

The Board of Directors for the Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas County, Inc. has announced Lindsay Carson as the organization’s new Chief Executive Officer. Carson has worked for the nonprofit for nine years and served as interim CEO since October 2013. During her time as interim CEO, Carson led the organization out of a funding deficit without terminating child care services for eligible children by looking for program efficiencies. In addition, she has pointed the Coalition in a new direction and worked to open the lines of communication with providers, families, funders and community partners. “It’s an exciting time for early education both nationally and at the state level,” said Lindsay. “I am honored to be in this position and will continue to advocate for children in order to increase access to quality early educational programs in Pinellas County.” Learn more about the Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas County at

Booster Seats Required Until 6th Birthday JWB Executive Director Dr. Marcie Biddleman (center) proudly displays COA plaque; she’s joined by JWB staff Jeanine Evoli (right) and Mike Stone (left) who oversaw the COA process.

COA accreditation is an objective, independent and reliable validation of an agency’s performance. The COA accreditation process involves a detailed review and analysis of an organization’s administration, management and service delivery functions against international standards of best practice. The standards driving accreditation ensure that services are well-coordinated, culturally competent, evidence-based, outcomes-oriented and provided by a skilled and supported workforce. COA accreditation demonstrates accountability in management of resources, sets standardized best practice thresholds for service and administration, and increases organizational capacity and accountability by creating a framework for ongoing quality improvement. “For nearly 70 years, Pinellas County agencies who serve children and families and receive public funds from JWB have been held to the highest standards through contractual agreements and onsite evaluations,” noted Dr. Marcie Biddleman, executive director of the Juvenile Welfare Board. “It was time we held ourselves to these same high standards by inviting an independent body – one of the highest regarded in the industry – to review our organization”.


Summer 2014

Until recently, Florida required a car seat only until the fourth birthday. For more than a decade, advocates pushed for a safer law, which was signed on June 24, 2014 by Gov. Rick Scott. The new Florida law, which goes into effect January 2015, requires children to remain in some type of child restraint device until their sixth birthday. Depending on the child’s size, that can be a booster seat, which helps seat belts fit properly, or a bigger car seat with a five-point harness. Safety experts recommend booster seats until a child is 8 years old or 4-foot-9. Car seat manufacturer Clek has just introduced its newest compact convertible car seat that holds a child up to 65 pounds. The new Fllo model features extended rear-facing use, an industry-leading 50lbs, with advanced side-impact protection and width for three-across installation. Color shown here has an MSRP of $379.99. Clek also sells Olli, a latching booster for use up to age 12. MSRP $149. Both can be found at


news How to Find a Mom Friend Faith-Based Support Groups for Mothers By RORY MCLEOD When I was expecting my first child, I read an article stating that ‘mom guilt’ began at conception. Being new to motherhood, I intuitively understood the guilt I was feeling at that time – such as not eating correctly or getting enough rest or forgetting my prenatal vitamin. After giving birth, I soon discovered that pregnancy was the easy part – and that motherhood is one of those things that can’t be fully understood until experienced. As the years went on, the guilt that began at conception grew into doubts about whether I was doing this ‘mom thing’ correctly and I didn’t want to keep on alone – I needed mom friends! Fortunately, many faith-based organizations have opportunities for moms to get together on a regular basis. The following is a partial list of where you can find friends to walk with you on the road of motherhood. Many of these groups take the summer off so please call to confirm details.

Mommy and Me (Bible Baptist Church) meets at 280 Riviere Road • Palm Harbor This group is a play date for moms and their children. Moms participate in Bible study, crafts, and sharing. For more information call (727) 771-7979. Mommy and Me (Skycrest Community Church) meets at Largo Park • 101 Central Park Drive This is a playgroup that meets weekly on Mondays at 9 a.m. for encouragement and fun. When everyone gets tired (and hot), the group often heads over to the public library for relief. In addition to the standing weekly playdate, moms can expect spontaneous get-togethers for themselves and their children. This is a no-cost social time for moms and their children. For more information email Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS)

Success for Steps meets in both South Tampa and Oldsmar Although this group is not faith-based, it serves a group of moms that encounter their own unique challenges. The goal of the group is to provide a safe, non-judgmental place for stepmothers to talk about their experiences and feelings with other women going through the same things. The meetings are solution focused and lead by licensed therapist and parenting coach Christina Roach. The group meets the 2nd and 4th Mondays monthly. No childcare is provided and the cost of attendance is $20 per meeting.

Beautiful Moms (Grace Family Church) meets at 5101 Van Dyke Road • Lutz This group meets the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month during the school year and is open to moms with children aged birth to 5th grade. At a meeting, moms can expect to hear from a guest speaker, enjoy food and table time discussions. Childcare is provided free of charge. Moms can also expect to be invited to monthly play dates and mom’s night out. Registration fees apply. Mom are invited to try their first meeting out for FREE! This group also offers a Single Beautiful Moms group which meets Thursday evenings. If interested in either of these groups email

Mom to Mom (Generations Christian Church) meets at 1540 Little Road • Trinity This group is open to moms of children aged birth to teenagers. The philosophy of this group is for moms who have “been there” to mentor those in the early years of their journey as mothers. Moms can expect discussions on parenting instruction, small group discussion and fellowship. This group meets every Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Light refreshments are served and childcare is provided for $4 per meeting per child (preregistration required for both the meeting and child care).

Numerous Locations Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) is an international organization that has been in existence for 40 years. During a typical MOPS meeting, moms share parenting strategies and discuss topics of interest. Most meetings include a guest speaker, a craft project and food and fellowship. Registration fees apply, but scholarships are often available and moms are invited to try a group out before committing. Childcare is often included in the registration fees or free to moms participating in the program.

Moms and Tots Power Hour (Peace Lutheran Church) meets at 2205 Arcadia Road • Holiday This program is geared towards infants to 5-year-olds and their moms. Each thematic session includes a bible-based story and lesson, crafts, songs, games and sensory play. The program restarts in the fall. If interested, email Bethany Schwartz at

You can find MOPS at these churches: Palm Harbor United Methodist Church Harborside Church in Safety Harbor

If you are part of a regular mom gathering and would like to share it with us, please contact us at

Go to to see the full list.

Summer 2014



Baby Safety

SwimZip Another product invented by a mom! Betsy started her company to provide moms with time-saving swim clothing that is also sun safe. SwimZip UV protective clothing has UV 50+ protection that goes on with one quick zip for full of sun protection, blocking 98% of UVA and UVB cancer causing rays. Available as a sun shirt or swimsuit that can be worn to the pool or park all day without having to reapply sunscreen. Another reason Betsy sells this product: after being diagnosed with skin cancer at age 26, she learned that 90% of all sun exposure happens before kids are 18 years old. She is working to be a part of the solution to help reduce skin cancer. Only $29.99 for a set. Products can be purchased at

Beyond Coastal Sunscreen One of the top rated sunscreens by the Environmental Working Group, Beyond Coastal has moisturizing and water resistant natural sunscreen for kids. It’s perfect for the little ones, with an all-natural mineral block protecting kids from the sun’s damaging UV rays without harmful chemicals. Additionally, inactive ingredients work to nourish, repair and hydrate the skin with aloe vera, shea butter and vitamin C. See all their products at

Summer Infant’s SwaddleMe The Summer Infant company has a full line of baby products, including the SwaddleMe collection that takes baby from newborn to toddler with safe sleeping options. They start with an easy swaddler and transition to an arms-free wearable blanket for toddlers – all of them in a summer weight fabric that is ideal for Florida weather. Available at their website, where you can shop for other nursery essentials, monitoring gear, and bath, potty, safety and travel products.

Also, to learn more about safe and unsafe sunscreen options, refer to the Environmental Working Group’s 2014 Guide to Safer Suncreens at

Sprite Hand-Held Baby Shower Filter This handheld shower device connects to the kitchen sink faucet or shower arm to filter chlorine and sediment that is commonly found in tap water. Find this other filters for healthier, cleaner water at Makes a great shower gift!

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QuickZip Sheet A two-piece fitted sheet that is both easy to change and stays safely on the mattress. It surrounds the whole mattress (including bottom) and zips on and off for easy changes. The zipper is covered and the pull tucks neatly away. Sheets for both cribs and play yards.

products Swimlids Swimlids are a new way to protect heads and faces from the sun while boating, swimming or playing at the beach. Wear the hats all day in the water and get UPF 50+ wet or dry. They are designed to stay on while swimming or on a windy beach. Sizes S, M and L to fit all ages.

Editor’s Choice

Always In View Baby Monitor

Naturepedic Products Naturepedic makes certified organic crib and bassinet mattresses without harmful chemicals, plus they meet government flammability standards without flame retardant chemicals or flame barriers. They are waterproofed without the PFCs or phthalates. They also use food grade polyethylene, which does not leach chemicals and is valued for its non-toxic qualities. The company also has a full line of other non-toxic products for babies including organic mattress protector pads that reduce sweating; even a waterproof pad that blocks liquids from passing but still allows the fabric to breathe for a more comfortable sleep. Go to their website to see their organic, non-toxic mattresses, mattress pads, sheets, pillows and changing table pads.

Riding in a car can be hazardous to a baby if the driver is distracted, and that includes drivers who turn around to tend to their child’s needs while driving. Infanttech has created Always In View, a wireless video baby monitor for cars that will prevent distracted driving accidents and forgotten baby syndrome, where sleeping babies and toddlers are left in cars and die from heat exposure. Lizette, the mom entrepreneur behind this product invented the product she wished she’d had: a high-definition camera that is placed inside a plush animal, which wirelessly broadcasts live footage to a color monitor conveniently placed on the front windshield. The driver maintains visual contact with the baby by glancing at the monitor, much like with a GPS system. The Always in View system has a rechargeable battery, night vision capability and three different animals: puppy, giraffe or monkey. R Re tail price is $199 Retail $199.

My Li Little Snugapuppy™ Great for napping by Fisher-Price. Features plush fabrics with a sweet puppy head support and ins insert that keeps baby comfortable. Also gives baby ba an inclined position, a rocking motion with a gentle g push from mom and calming vibr vibrations. Folds easily to take-along or for eas easy storage. Batteries required. $74.99

ezShade Umbrella & Sun Shield Combo ezShade is an umbrella that comes with a side wall curtain (called the Sun Shield) that attaches anywhere to the rim of the ezShade umbrella to block reflected UV rays that bounce off of sand and water. Retail $39.95 on

Summer 2014



Other GOOD Baby Products First Steps Jumperoo™ by Fisher-Price This freestanding jumper has an expandable frame that provides baby with room to take his first steps. Suspended by four springs, the seat allows baby to hop up and down and provides limited travel from left to right. Height adjusts to grow with baby and rotates 360° for spinning fun and access to a variety of fun toys located around the perimeter. $109.99 and found at retailers nationwide.

Dressed to Deliver Dressed to Deliver are 3-in-1 gowns that can be worn as a maternity dress, labor and delivery gown, and after the birth of your baby as a nursing gown. Versatile and attractive, they give hospital staff easy access for baby monitoring, IV’s and more. Plus women can comfortably get up and walk around in front of friends and family without being exposed. They come in a variety of colors in sizes small-3XL. Dressed to Deliver also makes black nursing wraps that go perfectly with the gowns. Birthing gowns are $69.99 and the Nursing wrap is $49.99.

Reclaim your Marriage from Postpartum Depression Postpartum depression is hard on a marriage. Tokens of Affection looks closely at marriages that have withstood the passing storm of postpartum depression and are now seeking, or in need of, direction back to their previous levels of functionality and connectedness. The eight targeted connection strategies introduced in this book guide postpartum couples back from the brink. Written by therapists Karen Kleiman and Amy Wenzel and based on real-life stories. Available at

Luv Chicken™ Booster Seat Bunny Peek-a-Boo A first brain game for children by Smart Games. Sturdy wooden blocks and a fun rabbit character allow children to develop spatial perception, logic and problem solving skills as they “pull a rabbit out of the box” with this 3D puzzle. The game offers 60 challenges on cards that prepare children ages 2-5 for more difficult single player logic games. Children can solve the challenges or just play with Bunny as a toy. Retails for $28 and can be found at

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Invented by a mom who couldn’t get her daughter to sit on a plastic booster chair. Her solution is her design for the Luv Chicken™ Booster Cushion for kids ages 18 months and up. They have stylish patterns and are constructed of a kidsafe (phthalate free) coated cotton for easy cleaning. A non-slip bottom keeps them in place and a handle makes it easy to carry. Made in the USA (Seattle to be exact!). Two sizes available at

products Holistic Baby Acupressure System The Holistic Baby Acupressure System has 12 acupressure points that are incorporated into five different sleep protocols and 17 different wellness combinations that can also be used to treat the most common pediatric health conditions, such as cough, constipation, teething pain and digestive problems. The system is taught in 90-minute workshops, through the instructional manual, or the instructional DVD so that parents can immediately apply the points and see the results. Sells for $24.99 at

Parenting 101 This time not a class, but a fun game for new parents by All Things Equal. Loaded Questions Parenting 101 contains 200 questions that create laughter and memorable conversations. There are never any right or wrong answers, just comic relief for some bonding and relaxation with other parents. $9.99 at

Mom’s Healing Salve Mom’s Healing Salve is a pure, all natural, handcrafted and gentle salve for the relief of diaper rash, cradle cap, eczema, bumps, boo-boos and bug bites. Moms can even use it post-delivery for healing any perineum tears or hemorrhoids. It’s a simple formula of calendula flower, comfrey leaf and plantain leaf in a base of olive oil and pure, unbleached beeswax right from the hive. “Sometimes simple is better!” says Julie Brannon, D.PSc, owner of Bailey’s Naturals at 470 2nd Street North in Safety Harbor. She created this salve because she knows that everything you put on a baby’s skin gets absorbed.


Pinellas County Schools by MATTHEW SPENCE

Preparing for Kindergarten Preschoolers have graduated and on the horizon is the next big milestone – starting kindergarten. With the shift to the Florida Standards, today’s kindergarten curriculum may look a bit different than a generation ago. But the attributes that today’s teachers hope incoming kindergartners have acquired haven’t changed all that much. While knowing their ABC’s and numbers are important, teachers especially value skills such as cooperation, playing well with others and following directions. Curiosity, a desire to be independent and the ability to listen are also important traits. All of these skills can help put children on a path to success as they enter kindergarten. First, then, the basics. It is helpful for children to memorize basic information such as their name, age, address and phone number. It’s also a good idea for children to know their various body parts in case they aren’t feeling well or get hurt. This will prepare them when teachers ask questions. If memorizing these vital statistics does not come easily, parents can try to teach these facts, such as the phone number, with a melody. Teachers also hope children enter kindergarten with a sense that school is fun. Parents can set the tone that learning is good, important and exciting. Asking open-ended questions like, “What would happen if….?” helps encourage a child’s sense of curiosity. Thinking aloud as you complete a task helps mimic problem-solving abilities. Encouraging the use of imagination through free and structured playtime can help promote problem solving ability and increase attention span.

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Promoting healthy habits and providing daily opportunities for children to develop physical skills will also support their success in school. Teaching and encouraging children to eat healthy foods, wash their hands before eating and cover their noses when sneezing are all home-based skills that will follow over into the classroom to support a healthy environment. Children can develop fine-motor skills through a variety of day-to-day activities, such as getting dressed and putting on shoes, using kid-friendly scissors, and twisting lids off of plastic bottles. Putting together puzzles, throwing a ball and riding a tricycle are also activities that help hone children’s motor skills and can be done at home and school. Fundamental academic skills are also important. Teachers hope that children enter kindergarten with at least basic letter, number and color recognition abilities. To encourage the “learning is fun” mentality, it’s helpful if learning occurs using real-life encounters. For example, children can count food objects while unloading groceries. Or, they can go on a scavenger hunt at home to count all the windows or doors, or search for objects that begin with a specific letter. They can identify colors by sorting laundry, cereal boxes or building blocks into color-coded piles. Real-life applications of numbers, letters and colors give children a jumpstart on their educational journey. Language is an important part of social, emotional and academic development. It helps children process information and understand direction, and it also helps them solve problems with words. Kindergarten teachers want parents to nurture their child’s love of language whenever they can. Reading frequently during the day and encouraging children to use their imagination by making up stories will prepare them for a love of reading. With a parent’s encouragement, children can read billboards, TV guides, magazines, shopping lists, recipes — whatever is visible. Visiting libraries and bookstores regularly helps introduce to children the notion that language and words are important, helpful and fun. This brings us to reading and writing. Reading to a child is the single most important way parents can help their child learn to read. Students entering kindergarten should have basic knowledge of books, like turning pages from front to back, recognizing favorite storybook characters, and identifying as many letters as possible. They should be encouraged to draw and write letters to express themselves. Pointing to words as they are read also helps children make associations between written and spoken words. The more exposure children have to reading and writing materials – books, magazines, crayons, paper - the better. There is no “one size fits all” model for development and teachers recognize this and are equipped to deal with varying levels of development. However, if children can acquire more of the aforementioned skills prior to entering kindergarten, they will be better positioned for a successful school career. Story provided by the Department of Early Childhood, Pinellas County Schools


Brain-Building Games for Summer Fun


When I reminisce about childhood, I remember having fun with my next door neighbor named Mimi. Climbing trees, exploring the brook and falling in the mud are pieces of my summer adventures. Today, life is different. Our kids are bombarded by the latest Wii game and life in general is just more complicated than it used to be. So with summer break upon us, I have compiled ten ideas for brain-building games that parents can do during the summer break that fall within my favorite philosophy as a mom, Keep It Super Simple, a.k.a., K.I.S.S.

As a therapist and owner of a pediatric clinic, you’d think my kids would have the coolest toys at home. The truth, according to my children, is that all the other kids have better toys. So over time, I’ve learned that simply buying more toys doesn’t keep kids busy and learning. It does, however, create the need for a larger bag for donations to Goodwill. These activities require very little in terms of supplies. They are fun and will work to improve your children’s developmental skills over the summer months. Make these ideas your own. Let your creativity run wild!

1. A house scavenger hunt Come up with a list of items from your house. You know what’s in your house. In my house, we collect Matchbox cars, Lego’s, dress-up clothes, and balls. I have the kids find a specific color Matchbox car, five green Lego’s, dress-up as a community helper, and get the largest ball you can find in the house. This improves categorizing, counting, colors, dressing skills and size relationship.

2. Create artwork to improve the lung Get a straw, paper plate and food coloring. Put a dab of food coloring on a plate and blow through the straw. Put several colors down and watch the colors mix together. This improves lung capacity. Also, eyes converge as you blow through the straw, so now you are improving attention span and vision strength.

3. Pseudo-soccer

4. Guess the animal

Use a ping pong ball or craft puff ball on the floor. Set-up “goals” using any two objects on each side of the room. Get on the ground and commando crawl or move as a snake toward the ball. Blow the ball to the goal without using hands. Long, extended breaths provide the best control and will improve lung capacity. Also, moving on your hands, forearms and belly will help build core, scapular and neck strength needed for reading, writing, and visual motor activities.

Create obstacles around the room and have fun moving over, around, through, under and between the obstacles as an animal of choice: bear, crab, snake, kangaroo, frog, lizard, lion, giraffe, monkey or opossum. Make noises or not; you make the rules. Work on positions while building strength as you maintain the posture of the animal. Have the kids imitate the animal or follow the leader around the room.

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5. Flashlight fort games A flashlight is one of my favorite toys to give as a present for a preschooler. I giggle when I buy an industrial flashlight in the hardware department, only to wrap it in Elmo wrapping paper for a four-year old’s birthday party. Usually within the month, the child’s mother tells me the flashlight was the favorite gift! Again, the K.I.S.S. philosophy! Back to the game. Make a fort in the house using sheets or beach towels. Drape the linen of choice over a table or several chairs and take flashlights into your secret fort. Use the light beam to draw letters, numbers or shapes on the fort walls. Spell words or learn your phone number and address. Take turns drawing with the light and have the child guess the drawing. Take a break and generate laughter by playing flashlight tag with the lights.

6. Volcano Fill a bucket with soap and water. For blowing bubbles, a straw will do, but I prefer using a long, clear tube from Home Depot that I get in several widths. Wash them first in the dishwasher. Let kids pick their tube of choice and have fun blowing through the tube to make the bubbles rise. Long, deep breaths are needed for optimal results. Before long, the volcano will erupt over the side. Everyone can take those bubbles in the palm of their hands to blow them into the air. (This is messy so you may want to do this outside or on a patio.) See how many times you can blow the bubbles in the air between two people. Breath control and deep breathing techniques are important calming strategies for test taking or calming a child down at bedtime.

8. Multi-tasking ball games 7. Fast naming game Collect ten items around the room and put them in a line on the floor. March, clap, jump or bounce while sitting on an exercise ball to a consistent beat. While moving, kids name each item in order on the floor. Change the order. Add clapping to the syllables. If your child messes up the name or beat, just keep going. Repeat the activity without correcting your child. The brain is an instrument that usually will self correct when given the opportunity.

9. Playdo games You can use store bought, but I like to make homemade Kool-Aid playdo and let the kids pick their flavor. It smells good and we keep it in the fridge so it’s nice and cold to “wake up” fingers and hands and improve body awareness. Although the Kool-Aid playdo smells delicious, the strong salty taste is less desirable. Keep one playdo as is but then give others texture by adding sand and rice for new feelings to explore. It also adds resistance for your hands which will improve fine motor strength and dexterity. You can also add items such as coins, plastic animals and pegs and have the child find the hidden toys. Increase the challenge by blindfolding your child with a bandana while he searches for the missing treasures. This activity improves fine motor skills for writing, cutting, buttoning and opening containers. WARNING: items placed in the playdo can be a choking hazard and sand is not a good thing to eat.

Use a ball to kick, bounce or throw back and forth. When you get the ball, say an item in a sequence, such as the alphabet, numbers from one to 50, months of the year, days of the week or colors of the rainbow. If you master that activity, have one person count while another says the alphabet. Switch positions and do it again. It is important to do the activity to a beat. The goal is be successful with multi-tasking. You can add activities to challenge balance and coordination to further stimulate brain development. Don’t get frustrated because is meant to be a brain teasing activity.

10. Shaving cream fun Get a cheap can of shaving cream. Find a mirror or bathtub wall that needs cleaning. Have your child sit in front of it, and you sit behind your child. Squirt the shaving cream onto wall choice. Use your finger to draw a shape, number, or letter on your child’s back and then have the child draw what he feels on the back. The child must draw and identify the choice shape, letter or number. Switch places and you draw in the shaving cream. Points are tallied by correctly identifying the drawing. This improves fine motor and visual motor skills. At the end of the game, use a paper towel or small rag in each hand and move across the surface: up, down and right to left (reading direction) to clean up. Do figure eights or play race cars, but the arm must move against the resistance as it cleans up the shaving cream to improve arm strength while learning spatial relations and following directions. Amy Perry is a wife and mother of three, energe c boys in Clearwater. She owns Founda ons Therapy, a pediatric occupa onal, physical, and speech-language therapy clinic in Countryside. At the clinic, she works as a pediatric occupa onal therapist specializing in Sensory Processing Disorder. Her hobbies are park hopping with the family, swimming in the pool, and finding hidden treasures at garage sales.

Summer 2014


Jay, Autism, Age 6 A recent graduate of the Brain Balance Program, Jay’s progress was rapid and measurable, but nothing captures his success better than mom’s own words:

Is My Child’s Development Typical? By LARRY POLNICKY Every new parent wonders the same thing. Will my child be “normal?”They watch for developmental milestones and compare their kids to others. With autism rates skyrocketing, many parents today are wondering if their child will have autism. It’s true that autism rates are increasing. Between 2000 and 2010, they’ve increased 120 percent. Today, 1 in 68 kids has some degree of it, up from 1 in 88 just two years ago. Boys are more affected than girls. Some more recent studies are suggesting 1 in 36 for boys- a truly frightening number. There is a reason for all this, but experts don’t know what it is yet.

As a testimony to how much Jay has improved, the results from Jay’s most recent School IEP meeting shows that he has caught up to his grade level in most areas. In fact, he is actually performing above his grade level in Math, Letter Recognition and Reading. At the beginning of the school year, Jay required a full-time assistant along with a visual schedule and several other visual aids in order to make it through each school day. Jay no longer needs any of his visual aids. He has become quite a mature and independent student and he is able to get through each day with minimal support from his assistant. He is engaging more in class activities and opening up socially to his peers. Last week, he actually had a part in the Kindergarten play and he did an amazing job. It brought tears to my eyes.

Even without identifying the exact cause of these disorders, we do know a lot about what the problem is, and fortunately, how to address it. The symptoms or condition can be reversed or significantly improved with proper nutrition, adequate activity levels, a restriction of electronics and the one-of-a-kind brain stimulation they receive at a Brain Balance Achievement Center. Every child is unique, and that’s why we address every child individually with our comprehensive evaluation and lesson planning.

Find out more by attending one of our free parent events at the Brain Balance Center located at 4022 Tampa RD, Suite 6, Oldsmar, FL. Or call us at (813) 749-0872 to arrange a personal tour and free, no obligation, private consultation.

Zack, Multiple Diagnoses, Age 8 Zack was a child with multiple diagnoses, including ADHD and dyslexia. The family tried many other therapies without much success. Their experience in the Brain Balance Program, however, was truly life changing. As mom wrote:

Zack is no longer on the ADHD scale. At all. He no longer has letter reversals in his writing. He no Additionally, rates are rising for other learning longer shows any evidence of Dyslexia. He no longer shows any evidence of Auditory Processing and behavior disabilities, such as dyslexia, Disorder. I did not know this was even a possible processing disorders, motor dysfunction, behavior problems, low academic achievement outcome. This program changed Zack’s life, the life of our family and the dynamic between and of course ADD and ADHD. Zack and his brothers. I no longer worry or have Some children are easily diagnosed because anxiety over Zack’s academic life. their symptoms are clearly definable. Some children are improperly diagnosed Kam, Age 5 and Joseph, Age 7, because other conditions can mimic certain disorders. Some children struggle Retention Averted with development and academics, but are This spring, we enrolled two kids, both of not severe enough to get a diagnosis and whom were in danger of being retained therefore no additional help at school. in their current grade. With the end of the school year fast approaching, the intensive At Brain Balance Achievement Center in Brain Balance Program went to work and achieved solid and rapid results. By the Oldsmar, we are helping children who fit time the school year ended, both families into all three of these above categories. Here are some true stories of children who were notified their kids were at or near have been to our center in Oldsmar, one of grade level and would not be retained, to the great relief of the parents. only two centers in Florida:

Visit us online at to read articles, research papers and parent testimonials.

Larry Polnicky is the owner of the Brain Balance Achievement Center in Oldsmar. His son Ben has autism and showed significant improvements after completing the program at a center in Atlanta. So moved by how this program changed their lives, it became his calling to help other children by opening a center in Florida. Larry is involved in the local community and founded The Children’s Achievement Foundation to raise scholarship money for families who need assistance to participate in alternative programs.

Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos presents the key to the city to Dolphin Tale 2 Producer, Bob Engelman. Photo courtesy City of Clearwater.

Meet the Producer By PAMELA SETTLE

It’s not everyday that a major motion picture is filmed in Pinellas County. Bob Engelman, Executive Producer of Dolphin Tale, has made two such movies, both set in Clearwater at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. He was in town recently and took some time to answer a few questions about working on the Dolphin Tale movies. PS: We’re really excited to have had a major film made right here in Clearwater, and now its sequel. What do you think of the Clearwater/St. Petersburg as a film making location? Do you think more producers should make movies here and why? BE: I found Clearwater to be a wonderful location for filming and I encourage other producers to film here. The natural beauty and the tropical settings give a rich and very vibrant look that is extremely photographic. That makes it a fabulous visual backdrop for filming. The best part of shooting here in Clearwater was the cooperation we received from the local community. Great people, great crews and a beach location that is attractive to cast. In this case, life really did imitate art when it comes to the CMA. Winter’s Story and Dolphin Tale movies have invigorated the CMA to the point of hopefully building a new facility that will be a true shining star in this community for generations. How do you feel about your role in that?  I feel very proud to have helped CMA expand and increase its role to educate the public. This planet and all our lives are enriched by these animals and it is all of our responsibility to do what we can to protect them. I have adopted CMA’s higher calling in their mission of rescue, rehabilitate, release and inspire. Especially inspire! CMA is now reaching millions of people who would not have known anything about these animals otherwise. The more CMA grows and expands, the more people they inspire.

20 Summer 2014

They say working with kids and animals is a challenge. How was it to work with dolphins? What’s your favorite story about working with Winter? You are right. It is a challenge and, it was worth it. Kids and animals... you never know what magic you will discover. There is an unpredictability which can lead to very exciting results. One story I will never forget occurred when a child from the Make A Wish Foundation came to visit. Meeting Winter was her last request. For the first time in my career we stopped filming completely for a personal request. The entire crew watched the interaction. There was not a dry eye in the house. Watching how Winter affected this entire crew of adults just showed me again the wonderful power Winter has to touch us all. Both Dolphin Tale movies are family friendly and inspirational entertainment with a deeper message. We appreciate those kinds of films because they seem so few and far between. What do you hope people take away from your work on the Dolphin Tale movies in the larger scope of life? There is a place for lots of different types of movies but thank God the world still appreciates movies like Dolphin Tale. Movies like this not only move us, but get us in touch with our humanity. Hopefully people will take away this feeling and try to make a difference in their personal world, no matter how small the task. When a film is this good, successful producers and studios will be encouraged to follow our lead and make more films like this. Whoo hoo!!! Have you had the opportunity to personally witness children or disabled veterans who come to the CMA to bond with Winter? What is that like to see a spiritual connection occur with a dolphin, a moment that has been life changing for some? I am very involved in the special needs world, being the father of a child with mild special needs. I have personally witnessed many encounters where vets, special needs kids and normal children interact with Winter and Hope. I cannot think of another situation that has consistently moved me to tears. Seeing these kids’ joy when interacting with these animals is a moving and spiritual event that has enriched my life as well as theirs. I heard from many parents who claimed that their child seldom smiled or came out of their shell until they interacted with Winter and Hope. Seeing these parents cry as they saw their children open up was incredibly moving. Winter seems to have a greater purpose. So do you think she is a star in our world, or are we stars in her world?  I would say both. Most of us would have zero contact with dolphins if it wasn’t for places like CMA. This up-close and personal experience not only touches us but makes us aware of these magnificent animals. Our worlds are connected and Winter promotes this. We are all better off for this relationship. She has become an ambassador for helping people and touching them in unique ways. Everyone who encounters Winter leaves feeling a spiritual connection and feels enriched by the experience.

529 PLANS: THE 411 by AMY HAMMOND and JIM ZIENTARA That baby cradled in your arms may one day head to college and remember (hopefully) to call his mother. As a parent, you can’t guarantee regular phone calls from Junior after he leaves the nest, but you can give him the opportunity of a college education. Investing in a 529 Plan is a solid way to accomplish that. Here is the 4-1-1 about the 529. Contrary to legend, there are not 529 reasons to choose this plan, though it is an investment vehicle that boasts raving fans. The label comes from where the plan exists in the IRS Code, in Section 529. Its purpose is to establish an account for educational expenses after high school. The owner is called the participant and is in charge of the plan; he or she may choose to remove money or change the beneficiary at any time. There’s no bad time to start funding a 529, even if Junior hasn’t fit in your lap for years. The costs of higher education keep rising and the federal government continues to place restrictions on student loans. A 529 account is a way to avoid that debt.

How it Works Let’s say an owner (the plan’s participant) opens a 529 account with the minimum investment of $250. Anyone can contribute to the plan at any time, and it quickly becomes the ultimate gifting vehicle for holidays. Instead of purchasing a toy that is soon forgotten, relatives and friends make monetary contributions to the 529, giving a present that will grow and be used for a positive purpose. Usually, one person can contribute up to $14,000 per year per child, so grandpa has plenty opportunity to spoil his grandchildren. Rules about contributions vary and are set by each state. Contributions are then sent directly to the mutual fund company correlated with the particular plan. Some banks do offer a 529, but they usually invest in CD’s that currently pay very low rates of interest. The biggest issuers are in the mutual fund realm. Most “stock brokers” can handle this type of plan. Fees vary at around $25 annually in addition to the usual and customary commissions asked by the financial planner or stockbroker. The owner is free to access the account for any educational purpose he sees fit: to finance a law degree from Harvard, for example, or an

associates’ degree from a local accredited community college. Unlike pre-paid in-state tuition programs that place boundaries on a student’s choices, the 529 offers a great degree of freedom. Some schools are not eligible, but more than 7,000 are accredited worldwide. Even grandpa can become the participant and beneficiary of his own plan, enjoying tax-free growth on all earnings and sending himself to cooking school in Italy. A favorite investment is a “target date 529” that changes in risk depending on the age of the beneficiary. From ages 0-6, the mutual funds selected and managed are considered aggressive. When Junior hits ages 7-12, the conservative strategy kicks in, and from 13-18, investments become even more conservative. Junior will need that money soon, after all, and he can’t afford a sizable decline in the stock market interfering with his freshman year. Regardless of your investment style, you should be able to find a plan that suits your focus. It’s important to note that the specifics of 529 plans can vary from state to state. You do not have to be a resident of that state to select its plan, though there may be some additional tax benefits if you do. Regardless of the state’s tax laws, federal tax breaks abound. Unlike many investments, this one is tax-deferred. When the money is finally withdrawn for educational purposes, it is not taxed by the federal government. However, if the participant takes the funds and they are not used for qualified expenses, taxation will occur - but only on the earnings. Check with your tax advisor regarding your individual situation. Research the plans, choose one that matches your needs, and fund, fund, fund. That little baby looks like a smart one. Jim Zientara is a Branch Manager and Financial Planner with Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. He is also a proud grandpa to Fletcher, Lucy and Lily. He established 529 Plans for all three. Jim can be reached at (941)750-6818 or and is available for free educa onal seminars regarding 529 plans and individual consulta ons. Amy Hammond, Jim’s daughter, is a freelance writer and author of five collegiate children’s books, including When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a Gator and When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a Bull.


T M The Magic a cK Kingdom Justt Got More ore re Editor’s Review by PAMELA SETTLE

The Newest Jewel in the Fantasyland Crown Magic Kingdom opened the long-awaited Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride in the new Fantasyland at the end of May. The ride is a rollercoaster, but it is mild enough for a preschooler and nostalgic enough for the adults. Riders are slowly taken deep into a gem mine where the Animatronics Dwarfs are happily mining for bright and sparkling gemstones. The cars click up a hill to exit the mine and this is where the ride takes off, gently whirring through the hillside – up and down and around a few sharp curves – much to the delight of the laughing young riders. A throw-back surprise awaits riders at the end of the ride. Look inside the charming cottage to see Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs dancing together, while the witch knocks on the door with a basket of apples. The characters used here are original to the Snow White ride that used to be in Magic Kingdom.

24 Summer 2014

The mine train ride is the final addition to the Fantasyland makeover, so if you haven’t been to Magic Kingdom lately, there is much to see that you haven’t seen before. Also new to that section of the park are Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Ariel’s Grotto, Gaston’s Tavern and the breathtaking Beast Castle standing tall just across the moat. Eating at the Be Your Guest Restaurant inside the castle is a MUST. With all these new rides, and more, visitors will be lining up to ride them first. To make that easier, Disneyworld has changed their FastPass+ system. By registering to have an account as part of the new My Disney Experience, it is now possible to reserve Fast Passes on your online account up to 30 days before your visit. As part of My Disney Experience, you can go Online to manage your reservations, meals, rides, photos and itinerary with the accompanying app. Additionally, if you are staying at a Disney resort, you’ll receive a MagicBand for everyone in your party which makes it possible to manage everything right from your wrist, even the purchase of a turkey leg.

Festival of Fantasy Parade There is nothing quite like a parade at the Magic Kingdom, and the new Festival of Fantasy Parade is a delight as they bring to life the enchanting stories and characters associated with Fantasyland. Where the light parade glimmers and dances, the Festival of Fantasy Parade moves and swings with kinetic technology. Nearly 100 performers are on stilts, swings or flying rigs attached to the floats. Other thrills include a fire-breathing dragon, a pirate ship with smoking cannons, a music box that’s a seashell and sassy Bubble Girls with cotton-candy hair.

Until September 1, take the little Frozen fans to Disney’s Hollywood Studios to experience sing-alongs with Anna and Elsa, fireworks, a polar playground, ice skating rink, ice carving demonstrations and a nightly party featuring a live band, all themed to the hit movie, “Frozen.”

Disney Festival of Fantasy parade is the first of a new generation of parades for Disney Parks featuring never-before-used technology. “The parade celebrates and pays homage to what the Magic Kingdom is all about,” said Randy Wojcik, senior show director of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Creative Entertainment. “It has the most beautiful floats, enchanting characters, vibrant costumes that come to life; and the choreography is just glorious.”

from “Frozen” riding along. Along with sweet, comes the unsavory as well, with villains and adventurers who also come to life.

More importantly to the younger set are the characters who seem even more magical on these wonderful floats. On the Princess Garden float, they’ll see princesses Cinderella, Tiana and Belle accompanied by their respective princes. They will be ecstatic to see Anna and Elsa

Other floats celebrate Tangled, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, Brave, Sleeping Beauty and of course, Mickey Mouse. Kudos to the Disney team for outdoing themselves once again. It’s nice to know that they are continuously hard at work keeping the parks fresh and current.

Summer 2014


a note from the

Pinellas County Sheriff With the coming of summer, parents look for activities and camps to fill their kids’ days. While everyone looks into the cost, location and list of activities offered, don’t forget to look a little deeper into the quality and safety of the camps you’re considering. To protect our children, Florida Statute requires all summer camp personnel to undergo a Level 2 background screening. This involves a state and national fingerprint-based check and consideration of disqualifying offenses. Owners, operators, employees, and volunteers all participate in these screenings. To make this process easier for parents, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) collects and publishes a list of summer camp programs that have completed screening requirements. Parents can search for camps in their area by visiting the Services and Programs section of DCF’s website at In addition to screenings, it can be helpful to know what training, education and experience the staff has. Important things to look for include counselors and staff with experience serving children with special needs, staff members trained in CPR and if the camp experiences high turnover. Depending on your

child’s age, you will also want to consider the staff-to-child ratio. Florida’s maximum staff-to-child ratio for school-age children is 1 to 25, for younger children look for a ratio closer to 1 to 8. Finally, consider the facility and lesson plans to determine if they are appropriate for your child. Many camps can provide detailed outlines of the lesson plans or scheduled activities. Look ahead to see if there are any days such that your child may not be able to participate or where they will need extra attention from the staff. While bad actors in our community are the exception and not the rule, if you encounter anything that might resemble abuse or neglect please call the Sheriff ’s Office at (727)582-6200 or 1(800)96-ABUSE.

Bob Gual eri Sheriff, Pinellas County

About the Juvenile Welfare Board The Juvenile Welfare Board (JWB) is a publicly funded, mission-driven organization that is all about children and families in Pinellas County and believes all kids matter. We improve their lives through programs, partnerships and advocacy that ultimately benefit the whole community. JWB was created in 1945 by the citizens of Pinellas County who were the first in the nation to collectively say all children matter by investing tax dollars to improve their futures. 14155 58th Street North • Suite 100 Clearwater, Florida 33760


JWB responsibility invests in programs with proven results and creates innovative partnerships that benefit tens of thousands of children and families each year. Our efforts also strengthen neighborhoods, communities and schools, making this a better place for everyone to live.

Maria Edmonds, Chair Gubernatorial Appointee

JWB is governed by an 11-member Board of Directors and has identified three areas of focus: School Readiness; School Success; and the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.

James Sewell, Ph. D., Vice Chair Gubernatorial Appointee

All Kids Matter

Brian J. Aungst, Jr. Secretary Gubernatorial Appointee The Honorable Bob Dillinger Public Defender Michael A. Grego, Ed.D. Pinellas County School Superintendent The Honorable Raymond Gross Sixth Judicial Circuit Court The Honorable Bernie McCabe State Attorney Michael Mikurak Gubernatorial Appointee Raymond H. Neri Gubernatorial Appointee Angela H. Rouson Gubernatorial Appointee The Honorable Karen Seel Pinellas County Commissioner

Dr. Marcie A. Biddleman Executive Director Phone: (727) 453-5600 Fax: (727) 453-5610 Website:

Too many times we hear of yet another death or serious injury to a child that could have been prevented. Whether it’s the drowning of a small child who wandered into a swimming pool or pond; an infant who died of heatstroke after being left alone in a hot car; a parent who accidently rolled over in bed and suffocated their child due to co-sleeping; or a frustrated parent who shook their baby in an attempt to make them stop crying. It only takes seconds for these tragedies to happen, yet the end results are permanent and life-changing. Did you know that drowning is the number one cause of death for children under 5 in Florida? That children who co-sleep or “bed share” with their parents are 40% more likely to die from suffocation? That over half of all children with Shaken Baby Syndrome die? And did you know that, in most cases, these tragedies could have been prevented? Whether you’re an expecting, new or experienced parent; the grandparent or relative of a small child; or the partner, friend or neighbor of someone with children. We can all do our part by paying a little more attention to child safety information, tips and resources. The Juvenile Welfare Board is committed to the safety and well-being of all children, so we gathered some of the area’s finest child safety experts and compiled practical tips and information into this booklet. Please take time to read and share with family and friends. Together, we can help keep Pinellas County’s children safe, healthy and well. Because all kids matter!

Sincerely, Dr. Marcie A. Biddleman

• Water Safety Matters • Jenna and many water safety advocates stress that there is no such thing as being 100% safe around water. But there are layers of protection that can make water safer for children. First and foremost is supervision.


Drowning is silent; it occurs quickly and quietly and can happen in the few minutes it takes to answer a phone call or run inside to grab a towel. Supervision, the first and most crucial layer of protection, means someone is always actively watching when a child is in the pool. Regardless of how well your child swims, there is no substitution for supervision. At pool parties or backyard barbeques – and even with several adults nearby – it’s not safe to assume that children are being watched. Make sure someone is assigned the role of “water watcher” and does nothing else but focus on the children at all times. Supervisors of preschool children should provide “touch supervision,” keeping them in arm’s reach at all times and not relying on inflatable arm bands (water wings), as these can come off of a child’s arms. Drowning is a silent catastrophe and the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 5 in Florida. In fact, Florida loses more children under the age 5 to accidental drowning than any other state in the nation. And while bathtubs, beaches and any body of water pose a danger, about 8 out of every 10 child drowning deaths occur in home swimming pools. It was in a backyard pool that Jenna DeVito-Roisum lost her 2-year old son, Mason, to a drowning accident in 2009. He was in the pool less than five minutes and there were no sounds of splashing or shouting to alert anyone to what was happening. “We thought we were good parents; that we really paid attention. So, how could something like this happen to us?” thought Jenna. “We thought that, God forbid, if anything happened, we’d surely hear something. We’d hear him yell or splash or something.” But they didn’t, and in a split moment, Mason was gone. In the midst of the pain and shock of losing her son, Jenna decided that she would do whatever she could to keep this from happening to other families. Today, Jenna gives swim lessons and has started a foundation called Mason’s Gift to help raise awareness and spread education about water safety. And she teaches children that even if they know how to swim, they still need adult supervision. “Swimming is just another layer of protection, but it does not replace vigilant supervision from an adult,” Jenna added.


Drowning is a silent catastrophe. Protect yourself and your family by knowing the layers of protection. Adult supervision inside the house is also important. It’s easy for a parent or caregiver to get distracted with chores around the house. A backyard door may be left open, leaving an opportunity for a small child to wander outside and easily gain access to the pool. That’s why barriers are another important layer of protection.


Although there is no substitute for supervision, barriers add another layer of protection by physically blocking a child’s access to the pool or alerting parents when a child opens an outside door. Barriers include child-proof locks on exterior doors; pool fences with self-latching and self-closing gates; and door and pool alarms. Professionally-approved pool and spa covers may also be used. Children seem drawn to water, but this desire means pool owners have a responsibility to safeguard their pools – even if they don’t have children of their own. Florida’s Residential Pool Safety Act requires one of the following safety measures for pools built after October 1, 2001: •Pool fence with self-closing, self-latching gate. •Approved pool cover. •Alarms on all doors and windows leading out to the pool. •Self-closing, self-latching devices with a release mechanism no lower than 54” above the floor for all doors with pool access.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of Florida’s residential swimming pools were built prior to the Act and are not required to comply; but, the law does provide basic guidelines to help pool owners make their pools safer. The Florida Safe Pools website also offers free in-home pool safety checks plus an interactive pool safety guideline page: Remember, children are good climbers and very curious. Remove furniture near the outside pool barrier, keep toys and other floating objects out of the pool, and remove pool ladders when not in use.


Regardless of whether you have your own pool, swim and water safety lessons are a preparation measure that gives children the knowledge and skills to make them safer around water. Local YMCAs will test your child’s swim skills for free and offer a variety of swim safety programs. In addition, many city recreation centers offer swim safety programs. Swim and water safety lessons make the water safer for children – but not 100% safe. Infant/child CPR is the final layer of preparation because in a drowning situation, seconds matter. A submerged child can lose consciousness in less than two minutes and sustain permanent brain damage in less than six minutes. For every child who drowns, five more receive emergency medical care for water submersion and, the longer they go without breathing, the more severe their injuries can be.

Whenever a child is missing, check swimming pools, bathtubs or nearby bodies of water immediately and keep a phone with you or near the pool to call 9-1-1 quickly if necessary. Being prepared for an emergency can mean the difference between a close call and permanent injury – or even death.


Incorporating these layers of protection into our everyday lives is a responsibility for every parent, relative, caregiver and pool owner. Water safety matters for everyone. Jenna DeVito-Roisum has dedicated herself to making sure everyone knows it. “I’m doing this because I don’t want any other family to have to feel this pain. I owe it to Mason.”

Call 2-1-1 for water safety courses and swim lessons for your child near your home. Or visit and search “swimming lessons.”

WATER SAFETY TIPS Supervision Supervise children at all times around bodies of water, including bathtubs. Any body of water poses a potential hazard. Avoid distractions that may interfere with supervision. Leaving a child alone, even for a few seconds, is all it takes. Designate “water watchers” for backyard gatherings so someone is always responsible for supervising children around the pool. Barriers Outside your home, put up barriers like pool fences with self-closing, self-latching gates, approved pool/spa covers, or pool wave alarms. Remove ladders and floating objects from the pool. Inside your home, install door and window alarms or self-closing, self-latching devices with a release mechanism no lower than 54” above the floor for doors with access to the pool. Emergency Preparedness Prepare children early with water survival courses and swim lessons. Learn CPR and be prepared for emergencies.


• Safe Sleep Matters • Every parent or caregiver of a newborn has many questions and concerns when they bring the baby home for the first time. From feeding, to soothing, to sleep: the needs of every newborn are unique. One key area that every parent or caregiver should prepare for in advance is establishing safe sleep arrangements for the baby. In Florida, the leading cause of injury-related deaths for babies under age one is suffocation and strangulation in an adult bed. Unsafe sleep conditions for babies, such as co-sleeping or bed-sharing, increase the chance for SIDS, a sudden and unexplained death of an infant. SIDS is the leading cause of death for infants between one month and 12 months of age. Fortunately, proactive measures can help prevent SIDS by following well-documented and sound advice. There are a few simple, easy-to-follow guidelines when providing a safe sleeping environment for a baby: • Place your baby on his or her back to sleep. Remember, “BACK TO SLEEP.” • NEVER let your baby sleep in bed with you or your spouse or partner. • NEVER let a baby sleep on an air mattress, bean bag, sofa or waterbed.


• A bassinet, crib or play yard with a firm mattress and tight fitting sheet is the safest environment for your baby to sleep. Remove ALL blankets, stuffed animals, toys, bumper pads or other bedding, as these present serious risks to your sleeping baby.

Did you know that caregivers who sleep with their baby increase the chance of baby SIDS by 40%? SIDS or “sudden infant death syndrome” is the sudden death of an infant that is not predicted by medical history and remains unexplained after a thorough forensic autopsy. Infants are at the highest risk for SIDS during sleep. Experts agree that the safest option for parents or caregivers of babies six months old and younger is to place the baby’s crib or bassinet next to your bed. This way, you can place your baby on its back in the crib and you can safely monitor them during the first few months. It can be difficult given parents are likely as tired – if not more so – than the baby. However, you should always return your baby to their crib or bassinet when you’re ready to go back to sleep.

Remember your ABC’s: The best way for your baby to sleep is ALONE on his or her BACK in a CRIB.

MAKING YOUR BABY’S SLEEP ENVIRONMENT SAFE To ensure your baby’s sleep environment is safe, parents and caregivers should also check that all bedding materials meet current Consumer Products Safety Commission standards by contacting or (800) 638-2772. This free site allows you to check if the products you use are safe for your baby. When choosing and constructing your baby’s crib, keep these tips in mind: • Make sure the slats are no more than 2 3/8” apart (width of a soda can). • The mattress should be the same size as the crib with no gaps, so your baby’s arms, legs or body can’t get trapped. • If any materials are broken or missing from the original packaging, call the manufacturer. Using replacement parts not provided by the manufacturer could negatively impact the structural stability of the crib. • Make sure the crib does not have any decorative cutouts in the headboard or footboard, as they can pose a risk to trap hands and arms. In addition, be sure to keep the nursery room temperature at a comfortable level – one in which an adult in a t-shirt would find acceptable. You can also use a wearable blanket or a one-piece zip-up sleeper that provides warmth and coverage without posing a SIDS risk to the baby. Also, never allow smoking in your baby’s sleep environment; this can be harmful to the baby’s lung functions and can also increase the risk of SIDS.

SAFE SLEEP TIPS The best way for your baby to sleep is ALONE on his or her BACK in a CRIB. Lay your baby down in a crib or bassinet, placing baby on his or her back to sleep every night and for naps. Never let your baby sleep in bed with you and your spouse or partner. Remember, it’s OK to share a room – but not a bed. Use a firm mattress and tightly fitted sheet. Never let your baby sleep on an air mattress, bean bag, sofa or waterbed.

SLEEP-RELATED QUESTIONS YOU MIGHT HAVE Is it safe to put a baby to sleep in a car seat or stroller? No, because of the way the baby is positioned in these carriers. Babies should always be placed on their back to sleep. Can I swaddle my baby? Yes, but be sure to use a light receiving blanket. Once babies reach five to six months, swaddling is no longer needed, and parents can simply put their baby to sleep wearing a onesie, sleeper or wearable blanket. What if I’m breastfeeding? Breastfeeding is encouraged. A mom should place her baby in a crib or bassinet after nursing. What if my baby likes sleeping on his stomach? The safest way for babies to sleep is on their backs. When babies sleep on their stomachs or sides, they can choke or suffocate. My baby has trouble breathing – what’s the best way to put my baby to sleep? If your baby has a medical condition, talk to your doctor about any special care they may need.

Make sure your baby’s crib or bassinet is free of blankets, toys and other bedding. Keep the sleep area away from all loose objects such as electrical cords or blinds. It’s OK to hang a mobile, but be sure it’s out of the baby’s reach and remove it once they learn to sit up. Lower the crib’s mattress once they learn to sit up and again once they learn to stand. Do not allow smoking around your baby; this can negatively impact the baby’s lung functioning.


• Coping with Crying Matters •

“One would think that it could never happen to someone who wore scrubs, worked in a hospital, and taught parents how to care for their babies and keep them safe,” shared Susan Martin-Warren. But it did.

Abusive head trauma, or Shaken Baby Syndrome can happen to anyone. It happens in seconds but its consequences are lifelong.

In 2005, Susan was working one evening for the Healthy Families program in Hillsborough County. Her husband was home caring for their two young children: 3-year-old Carter and 3-month-old Graham.

“We were sent home from the hospital and told to expect the worst but hope for the best.”

“The night Graham was shaken, he exhibited symptoms common to Shaken Baby Syndrome. His father, while I was working, lost his ability to cope. As it was related to me, Graham went limp and turned white; he was non-responsive and unconscious.” Shaken Baby Syndrome can happen in a split second when a parent or caregiver loses control and shakes a baby in an attempt to stop their crying. The baby’s head is heavy and their neck muscles are weak. Shaking makes the brain rotate back and forth inside the baby’s skull, shearing the fragile blood vessels and nerves and causing the brain tissue to tear. This violent act can lead to permanent brain damage, paralysis, bleeding of the brain, blindness, seizures and even death.


Graham survived, but many in his situation do not. Over half of all infants and toddlers diagnosed with acute head trauma, or Shaken Baby Syndrome, die. Graham was fortunate in that he survived, but he lives with lifelong consequences. He has permanent damage to one hemisphere of his brain, impacting his gross and fine motor skills and vision. He’s considered “special needs” and struggles with short-term memory loss. In his short nine years of life, he’s had four brain surgeries and countless medical appointments – and he lives with a permanent shunt to drain the fluid that builds up around his brain. Stress and frustration that can lead someone to shake a baby can happen to anyone. That’s Susan’s message, and she travels the country to share her story and educate professionals, parents and caregivers on ways to keep babies safe and cope with crying.


Non-stop crying is difficult and a challenge for all parents. Did you know...? • Babies cry for many reasons; they cry an average of 2-3 hours a day and sometimes more often. • Crying happens most often in the evenings. • Crying may start and stop for no apparent reason. • Crying may not stop no matter what you do. • A baby’s crying will not hurt him or her. • Crying is normal! Crying is completely normal, and yet it is the number one reason or trigger for frustration that may lead someone to shake a baby. The most important thing to remember is that the goal isn’t to get the baby to stop crying. The goal is to calm or soothe them.

Babies cry for many reasons and crying is normal. Remember, the goal isn’t to get the baby to stop crying –the goal is to calm or soothe them. If you’re feeling stressed as a parent or caregiver, you’re not alone. It’s important to understand what triggers your frustration and know your limits. Plan ahead by establishing tiers of support – trusted friends, family members and neighbors who can provide different levels of help. Some you can trust to watch your baby when you need a time-out. Others are good listeners and will be there anytime, day or night, for support by phone.

COPING WITH CRYING TIPS CHECK THE BABY’S BASIC NEEDS Is the baby hungry or is the diaper dirty? Is the baby too hot or cold? Is the baby ill, running a fever or teething? Is the baby overstimulated or overtired?

SOOTHE THE BABY Swaddle, cuddle, rock or sway the baby. Hold the baby close while walking or swaying. Gently massage the baby’s back, chest or tummy. Make a “SHHH” sound to mimic the womb. Sing, hum or talk in a soothing voice. Play soft music or dim the lights. Offer a pacifier. Take the baby for a walk in a stroller, ride in a car seat or place in a swing.


Never try soothing a baby when you’re frustrated. Know your limits, plan ahead and ask for help when needed.

Take time to regroup. Place the baby on his or her back in a safe place, like in a crib, and walk away. Sit down, close your eyes and take several deep breaths. Call those on your support plan; ask them to come by to give you a break or simply talk with you over the phone. If you can’t reach someone you know by phone, call (800) FLA-LOVE for anonymous support. Check on the baby every 5 to 10 minutes to make sure they’re alright while you take a time-out or seek support.



Safe Caregivers Matter While it’s important to know tips about water safety, safe sleep and coping with crying, it’s equally important to know who’s watching your child. Know the background and parenting skills of family members, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends or caregivers before leaving them alone with your child. Did you know that children who live with adults not related to them are nearly 50 times as likely to die of inflicted injuries? Spend time observing the person with your child before you leave them alone together and ask yourself:

DOES YOUR PARTNER/FRIEND/CAREGIVER: • Treat other people with respect? • Get angry or impatient when your child cries, gets fussy or throws a tantrum? • Call you child bad names, ridicule your child or talk badly about him or her? • Think it’s funny to scare your child? • Expect your child to do things that aren’t realistic for his or her age? • Get angry or stressed easily? • Drink alcohol in excess or use drugs around your child? For more information call 2-1-1 or visit or


2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares Call 2-1-1 All Children’s Hospital/FL Suncoast Safe Kids Coalition FL Dept. of Health in Pinellas County Healthy Start Coalition of Pinellas, Inc. Suncoast Center, Inc. YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg YMCA of the Suncoast

STATE FL Dept. of Children & Families FL Dept. of Health FL Safe Pools Healthy Families FL Call (800) FLA-LOVE (352-5683) Ounce of Prevention Fund of FL WaterProof FL

NATIONAL American Academy of Pediatrics Center for Disease Control Prevent Child Abuse America Consumer Products Safety Commission Call (800) 638-2772

Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County Communications Department 14155 58th Street North Clearwater, FL 33760

CHILD SAFETY TIP When you’re walking through a parking lot, look into parked cars – especially in the back seat – to see if a child’s been left in a hot car. This simple act of paying attention can save a child’s life!

PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID St. Petersburg FL Permit #6184

How to Empower by LA LAURA AURA M MARKHAM, ARKHAM PHD ARK AR We all want to raise kids who know how to work hard to create the life they want. Nobody wants to raise a child who thinks the world owes him or that he is entitled to take whatever he wants. However, we do want to raise a child who feels deserving of the blessings of abundance – spiritual, emotional and yes, physical. This is the rich life that should be the birthright of every child, but how do we raise a child who feels deserving but not entitled?

Empower Kids to Create Their Own Abundance Too often, out of our own anxiety about money, we shame children when they want material things. However, the opposite response of giving kids everything they ask for teaches the wrong lessons, too. There is a better way to empower our children. Consider these three approaches to dealing with a child in a toy store while buying a birthday present.

INCORRECT: “Don’t even start asking…you know better than that! Do you think money grows on trees? You don’t even take care of the Material cravings are so often a salve for the deep-seated human things you have!” This approach teaches your child that he doesn’t need to be seen, accepted and cherished. We can pass that to our deserve it (of course he’s deserving), that he’s greedy (all of us want things, all the time), that his parents can’t afford the things he wants kids when we buy them things to deal with our own guilt about not spending enough time with them. Then there are times when (which can lead to a sense of deprivation), and that he is powerless to a child gets demanding. That is the red flag to stop being busy and get what he wants in life (which makes him feel resentful). The result get clear about your priorities. Ask yourself, what can you do with is something that looks a lot like entitlement, or at the very least creates a child who looks out for number one. your child today to simply enjoy her? How can you set up rituals in your week to spend more time connecting? As the old saying goes, children thrive when you give them half as many presents INCORRECT: “I hear you… How much is it?.... Well….. I guess and twice as much of your presence. so… Do you promise you’ll be a good girl all week and really listen?” First, this is bribing your child to cooperate, which always digs you into a hole. But second, it’s handing a child everything he wants on a material level. This creates an expectation that they’ll be handed whatever they want in life, especially if they make a fuss and promises they can’t keep. She’ll feel great for the moment, since our brains give us a hit of dopamine every time we chase, conquer and acquire. But that purchase will quickly lose its luster and she’ll be craving the next thing. That addicts her to purchasing things (or manipulating others to purchase things for her) as a way to feel good, and it gets her into the habit of acquiring more without feeling gratitude for what she has, both material and non-material.

Don’t Feed Your Child’s Emotional Hunger With Possessions

CORRECT: “Wow, that is cool, but it’s not in our plan for today. Do you want me to put it on your birthday list? If you want it sooner, then you can earn the money…” This child feels empowered. If she really wants this item, she can get it – either now or later. She’s learned patience, self control, problem solving and that things are possible with initiative and hard work.

How do we raise a child who feels deserving but not entitled?


Empower Your Child By Giving Her the Chance to Learn the Value of Hard Work

Help Your Child Wire His Brain for a Different Kind of Reward

Remember the days when kids did odd jobs all summer to earn money for a bike? Those kids knew the worth of a nickel, took care of their bikes and felt enormously empowered. They knew they could realize their dreams by working hard. I’m not saying not to buy a new bike when the old one is too small, but all children need to learn that if they work hard at things, they can make their dreams come true. They learn more from earning than from just being handed things. And the pursuit of a goal is rewarding in itself.

Recognize that buying is an addiction, given that dopamine is released when we get what we pursue. It isn’t wanting that gets us into trouble, it’s what we want and how we pursue it. Material things don’t satisfy our hunting urge for more than a day or so before we crave more. So notice what you pursue, and help your child discover the emotional rewards of other kinds of chases besides shopping and acquisition. He may not be able to hunt a dinosaur, but he can pursue mastery of something he’s passionate about. Take a child’s love for a sport, cooking, writing, playing music – any passion – and teach him about practice and resilience. Along the way this wires his brain to find fulfillment in a different kind of chase and creates rewards that last and build into larger and better pursuits.

Help Your Child Learn How to Hold a Job Earning money at home is one thing, but there’s nothing as educational as working for someone outside the family for pay, which teaches real responsibility in the real world. Start when an eight-year-old wants something badly by paying him to do tasks you wouldn’t normally expect of him. Over time, help him to expand his work to odd jobs in the neighborhood like walking the neighbor’s dog or mowing grass. Then move up to babysitting when it is age appropriate, and then finally to after-school or summer jobs. Even if your family has plenty of money, every child should learn by experience what it takes to earn a dollar.

Educate Yourself You aren’t raising your child in a vacuum. Our culture is centered around consumption and the accumulation of more and more stuff. You and your kids are surrounded by messages that buying stuff will make your life better, and it’s so hard not to respond to that drumbeat. I highly recommend the short video “The Story of Stuff ” which will make you laugh, change the way you look at things, and maybe change the way your family lives.

Role Model Children won’t always do what you say, but they’ll eventually do what you do. If you shop for relaxation or fun, so will your child. If you must have the latest tech toy, your child will follow in your footsteps. Notice a thread here? If kids today feel entitled, it’s not because If you express gratitude for everything you have, so will your child. they’re “bad.” It’s because we’re raising them in a culture of entitlement, one that values acquiring stuff over being a good human being. We want them to develop their unique gifts to Hold Your Child Accountable for Damaged Goods contribute to the world for connection and validation, instead of Kids will learn a valuable lesson if you hold them accountable giving them stuff. To help kids change, we have to examine our for losing a library book, cracking a cell phone screen, breaking own lives and assumptions. a window with a baseball, or leaving dads tools outside to rust. They will learn to value what they have, rather than assuming The good news is that these practices do work to raise kids who someone else will simply buy another. Of course, stay very clear aren’t entitled. What’s more, they make your life better. Because about priorities – your child is always more important than that when we take the emphasis off “stuff,” we shift it to where it thing he broke. And you never need to be mean about it. Simply belongs: connecting and contributing, which create lasting, rather expect your child to make things right. than momentary, happiness.

Counteract the Message That Happiness Can Be Bought As parents, we need to remember that we aren’t the only ones teaching our children about life. TV is a very effective teacher, and if it has your child’s ear, it has a direct line to her brain. Studies show that most adults say they’re not affected by TV ads, but in fact those ads influence them deeply. Imagine how much more true that is for children, who get the constant media message that the goal of life is more money and more things. Ultimately, what we model and what we tell our children will matter more, but we need to confront those destructive messages directly, and when possible keep them from reaching our kids.

Dr. Laura Markham is founder of AhaParen and author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connec ng.



These breathtaking photos are the work of local St. Petersburg photographer Brandi Morris. We asked her a few questions about this very unique photographic experience for expectant mothers that has her traveling the world.

What inspired you to do these underwater shots? A past bride asked for a trash the dress session and I fell in love with the ethereal effect of the water while creating the images.

How did you get your first model to try it? Once I decided on the look, I announced that underwater portraits were available and I immediately had an inquiry. It was a learning experience for all of us on the first shoot. My first mama-to-be was exceptionally patient and very at ease in the water. She had a blast and loved her images so it was all worth it.

What makes this type of a photo special to the moms who do this? I’ve heard from every single one of my clients that they felt beautiful, which is the ultimate goal. For most of my clients, this is a memorable pregnancy. It’s either a first, a last or a particularly difficult one. So for them to capture this time in a unique way is incredibly special.

What do you love about doing these photo shoots? First and foremost, it’s hearing that I’ve made someone who is very pregnant feel beautiful and comfortable in an abnormal environment. I love the flow of the session, the way our bodies look so graceful underwater and the ease with which very pregnant women can move into gorgeous poses.

Is it hard? Can anyone do it? It’s not difficult and the only requirements are doctor’s approval and the ability to swim. We spend the first portion of the underwater session learning breathing techniques to get the most out of each turn.

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You must tell them ahead of time how to pose. We do talk about posing before we take the dive and patience is key. The gowns can also develop a mind of their own. I keep two assistants with me in the water at all times to keep our client safe and to corral the gown. The other difficulty we had before finding our amazing artist was hair and makeup. Casey Cheek specializes in high fashion looks including underwater hair and makeup. She has been a total blessing in creating stunning looks that transition seamlessly from the land to the water.

You had gowns made and you have hair and makeup available. So a mom just needs to show up and prepare to go underwater? Yes! It’s super easy. Mom arrives, and we pamper her from there. 

Want to Know More?? The full underwater experience is three hours and starts with some above water photos. After touching up hair and makeup, the session moves to a specially chosen pool coordinated by Brandi. A full underwater experience is $1050 and pictures are extra. Brandi is equipped to travel for anyone in the world. She says the experience is incredible and that they are 100% safe in everything they do. For more information, contact Brandi of Brandi Morris Photography, (727) 515-6659 or

Summer 2014


By PAMELA SETTLE Editor of GoodLiving® magazine

These are along the lines of topics we will be discussing in this new column; work issues – but related to being a working mother. Send Don’t let our title fool you. All moms are working moms. your questions or topic ideas to Sheryl and she will take your questions However, we asked our friends with AchieveHers to work with to AchieveHers members for their experienced answers. Our hope us to reach out to mothers who work for an employer or have is to have some fun while sharing wisdom and advice from local their own business. AchieveHers, which is part of the Clearwater leaders. This after all is part of the mission of AchieveHers, Regional Chamber of Commerce, is a group of experienced “to provide camaraderie, support, networking opportunity and female business leaders who came together to support other valuable new insights to women in business.” women up and coming in the local business arena. Many of them are mothers who learned valuable lessons along the way and they   will be providing insight and advice through columnist Sheryl Send emails to Conrad, a founding member of AchieveHers. Sheryl is a mother of two from Palm Harbor who balances her personal life with For more informa on about AchieveHers, go to her career as an insurance executive. She There you can register for the September 12th seminar, How to acknowledges that the support and advice Brand Yourself and Your Business with Nancy Walker of Walker she receives from other working mothers Brands, and for the annual lunch on November 6th with keynote have made her better both professionally speaker, Jaynie Smith, best-selling author and consultant who and personally. “The ability to sound off, will speak on Your Compe ve Advantage. ask for input, and talk through everyday challenges helps me make decisions with confidence. I’m not alone with these challenges. I learn from those who have been there before or are going through it now.” Sheryl Conrad

We need you! We need you to send us your questions or concerns about being a working mother in today’s modern world. The questions can be strictly family related, strictly work related or both. Wondering what to ask? Well, in April, the AchieveHers gathered for the first of their three-part Women Sharing Wisdom Series, called Superwoman Isn’t Real. At this lunch, speakers addressed the myth of being able to do it all with a very real discussion about fertility and the right age to have children; coping with stress and depression; and the importance of setting boundaries between work and family.

AchieveHers pictured left to right: Kathy Rabon - Suncoast Hospice; Kristi Cheatham - Clearwater Gas System; Doreen DiPolito - D-Mar Contracting; Suzy Sofer - Cody’s Original Roadhouse; Karla Jo Helms - JoTo PR; Stephanie Schlageter - Radiance MedSpa; Carol Hague - Johnson, Pope, Boker, Ruppel and Burns; Tina Tenret - ProVise Management Group; Sheryl Conrad - HUB International Florida, Brenda Jacobsen - Lakeside Occupational Medical Center; Ernestine Bean - Morton Plant Mease Foundation; Diane Stein - JoTo PR.

Summer 2014




As the co-chair of the Children’s Movement of Florida for Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties, I am often reminded that the people who have the most reasons to vote for and support Florida’s children in elections are primarily their parents. This includes topics that affect babies, kids and teenagers. The issues for children are many. The voters for children’s issues are not as many – especially in Florida where the age skews higher. In politics, the success of a bill or the success of a candidate is all about who is voting. In Pinellas County, the age group that does the most voting by a large margin is the group over the age of 66. For example, in the 2012 General Election, approximately 49,000 votes were cast by people between the ages of 26 and 35 while more than 128,000 votes were cast by people over age 65. Candidates and political consultants make decisions based on the super voter, the voters who do the most voting in most elections. Makes sense to target your money on people who actually vote, but then what happens to the rest of the voters? A political consultant told me once, “It’s too hard to get new people to vote.” Well, if you’re not a super voter, then you need to prove him wrong and become one! As the population continues to age, lawmakers will respond to the loudest and most generous voters. But what parents lack in disposable income for campaign contributions, they more than make up for in passion for their kids. It doesn’t take money to write letters, make phone calls and even volunteer to campaign for a cause or a candidate. Engaging children in the process can be a rich learning experience. At a very minimum, we need to form an educated opinion and actually go and vote on Election Days. In a casual online poll, I asked moms about voting and one of the responses is very easy to overcome. Regardless of the time of day, voting can be a struggle for a parent with small children. VOTE BY MAIL. It’s very easy to do, but it does take your initiative. Simply contact our Supervisor of Elections office and request to be put on the mail ballot list. You can make the request at Another response is that the issues can be too confusing and busy moms are up to their elbows in baby toys, sleep deprived and disconnected from the news. Consider the average mom listens to children’s music in the car and not news talk radio.

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While life is busy with meal planning, homework, babysitters, potty training and sibling fights, parents cannot afford to ignore the issues and let the decisions be made by people who don’t have children as their priority. PARENTS HAVE TO VOTE! Our children are our future. Someday they will not only decide what nursing home we go to, they will decide everything. So in order to prepare them, they deserve our best effort to provide the highest quality education, the healthiest environments and the most promising economic opportunities. The Children’s Movement of Florida is a non-partisan advocacy organization that keeps the issues facing our children in front of state lawmakers. But they can’t do it alone. They need loud and active voices of parents from all over the state to support their work.

Join the conversation about local education, children’s issues and more for local parents. Ask to join our Facebook group GoodLiving ~ Parents in Pinellas.

TAKE ACTION 1 Go to the website at and sign up to receive email updates. If they ask you to get involved, please get involved.

2 Find political and social organizations that you trust and connect to them in social media or sign up for their emails. These groups employ people who share your values to research the issues and inform their constituents. In other words, they do your homework for you. These can be faith-based groups, political parties and special interest groups.

3 Make sure you are a registered voter. And then vote. A registration card without submitted ballots is worthless. Go to and find out how to register. Become a super voter! And join us as we take a stand for children. Our future depends on it.

August 26, 2014 School Board Election

WHO ARE THE NEW CANDIDATES? One thing parents may not be aware of when it comes to this summer’s primary election is that five different school board seats are up for election. Three of the five races have only two candidates, an incumbent and one challenger. That means the August 26 primary will decide these three seats on the school board: District 2, District 3 and District 6. The rule for this race is that if one of the two candidates in the primary receives more than 50 percent of the vote, there will NOT be an election in November for that seat. For District 7, since the challenger is a write-in candidate, that election will be on the November ballot only. District 4 has three candidates, and so if one candidate receives more than 50%, that candidate wins. If not, then the top two candidates will be on the November ballot.

District 2, At-Large Seat (the whole county) Incumbent: Terry Krassner, Challenger: Chris Tauchnitz,

Chris Tauchnitz

“I am running because I believe together, we can make a difference in the lives of our children. As a parent and the spouse of a teacher, I would bring a unique view to the board and would work to promote policies that are parent-centric and teacher friendly.

Parental involvement is a key component to the education of our children and I want to work with you to eliminate the barriers for parents to become engaged in the education of their children and thereby improving the quality of education in Pinellas County.”

District 3, At-Large Seat

Since the new candidates will not have much time for parents to learn about them, we asked them to introduce themselves here. Please go to their websites and learn about them and all the candidates. An informed voter is GOOD. An informed voter who votes is BETTER THAN GOOD! This summer, on August 26th, a primary election will take place in Pinellas County. The last day to register to vote if you are not already registered is July 28. If you are going to be busy on August 26th, it’s not too late to request a mail ballot. Go to for a form or call (727)464-VOTE (8683).

District 6, Mid-County, Beaches Incumbent: Linda Lerner, Challenger: Maureen Ahern, “I am running because it is time for a change of leadership. As a longtime Pinellas resident and former journalist, I believe the school board must always put children first when making decisions; encourage all parents to be involved in their child’s education, but Maureen Ahern have a ready pool of mentors for children in need; empower teachers in their classrooms to teach and to discipline; make education decisions from a local and state level, not from Washington; continue working with the business community; and be good stewards of your tax dollars.”

District 7, St. Petersburg

Incumbent: Peggy O’Shea

Incumbent Rene Flowers

Challenger: Kent Curtis,

Challenger Irene Olive Cates,

“I believe that we need a school district and a school board that is open, accountable, receptive, and respectful of its most important constituents, the parents and guardians of the children who go to our Kent CurƟs public schools. Without the cooperation of parents, educating children becomes that much harder. With their cooperation and investment – something that I believe most parents and guardians desire for their kids – educating students becomes that much easier.  As a parent, an educator, and an active volunteer in Pinellas County Schools, I would work tirelessly to create the kinds of teacher parent collaborations that make schools -- and will make our school district -- strong and effective.”

“The youth who are our future leaders are faced with endless challenges and never ending flows of difficulties. I plan to introduce Irene Cates a multifaceted program that will develop our youth into producers and not consumers. As we know, a healthy body equates to a healthy mind, and with a healthy mind our youth will be more viable to sustain in the global economic competitive marketplace. I will be implementing and restructuring programs to aggressively improve our youth literacy, comprehension, mathematical, cognitive skills and self-esteem. With my platform we will ultimately have a nation of Creative Americans Teaching Educational Strategies (C.A.T.E.S).”

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Summer 2014


District 4, North Pinellas No incumbent Candidates: Ken Peluso, Beverly Biliris and John Nygren

Ken Peluso, “I truly feel that there is no greater public service than to prepare our children for their future. At this point in my life, now retired from practice, I am capable of putting my total effort and focus into an area which I have demonstrated a passion for over the past 28 years. I believe our board requires a diverse representation from the community. I have demonstrated leadership qualities, fiscal conservatism, values and ethical decision making in my personal life, business and many diverse community organizations over several decades. I vow to apply those same principles to our School Board.”

John Nygren “As a candidate for School Board District 4, I feel I have unique qualifications: • A former member of Lynn, Massachusetts School Committee for 4 years • A former secondary mathematics teacher for 35+ years in Massachusetts and Florida • Educational consultant and trainer for the Pinellas County Secondary Math Department This district needs a board member with experience from both sides of the table. There are many issues that have to be dealt with immediately. Students and staff do not have time for new members to ‘get their feet wet.’ It would be a privilege and honor to serve as your representative.”

Beverly Biliris As a candidate for School Board I will bring a diversity of knowledge to the board; Leadership as a Mayor, good business sense as a business owner for over 30 years, and most importantly, current teaching experience. I have firsthand knowledge of how decisions from the board and state impact our children and parents. I will work toward an efficient budget; focus on education and not teach to a test. We need to continue to research how to increase our graduation rate. Have our children be successful every day in the classroom and prepare them for the future. “One size fits all” approach to teaching is not effective. Not all students are the same nor are schools. I am not running to further a political career and use this position as a stepping stone. For me, this is not a job but an advocacy to put our children first.

Moms: Take Time To Be Selfish! by CHRISTIE BRUNER

Selfish?? Moms are supposed to be altruistic, give everything for their families and be everything to everyone - all with a smile on their faces, right?! That is what the movies and media will lead us to believe, and this can be very detrimental to our mental health, our family units and to our communities. No matter what stage of motherhood you are in, from pregnancy to mom of a toddler, grade-schooler or pre-teen, you are sure to have people and responsibilities pulling you in every direction. We want to give our kids every opportunity and don’t want them to miss out. But, are we sacrificing our own sanity by being everything to everyone? The real secret is that when you take time for YOU, it truly helps you become a better mom. When you give everything you have to your kids and family, both your physical and mental health can suffer. You may think that the best use of your time is to shuttle your kids around to baseball, ballet and baton twirling - but after all that chauffeuring, mom is tired! All of this stress can take a toll on your well-being, and your ability to be the best mom you Meal Sharing can be. How can you step back a notch, take a few things off If you ask a mom the number one thing she dreads every day, your plate and get healthier, too? it just may be meal preparation. One idea to help alleviate the stress and time spent planning, shopping and prepping is to meal share with a few friends. Buy enough ingredients to make four dinners of the same recipe, and have three friends do the same thing (freezer meals work best). Then, get together and hand out the finished product to your three friends! You now have meals for the next week - four weeknight meals, one weeknight of leftovers and the weekends you are on your own.

Playdate Co-op Another play off of the meal share idea is to create a playdate co-op. Do you have three friends with children around the same age? Pick a day and time for your playdate, each week one mama is the host and all kids come to her house. This means that you will only host one day out of the month, and you will get three other days a month to take time for YOU! In addition to getting that all mighty YOU time, a playdate co-op can help foster friendships for both mom and child that may last a lifetime.

Essential Oils Making Fitness Fun The last thing that a worn out and stressed mom wants to do is workout, right? Well, what if the solution to having less stress and more energy was to MOVE MORE? It may seem counterintuitive, but it’s true. If your idea of a workout is dragging the kids to the gym, getting them checked in, going to a class, getting called out because a diaper change is needed, coming back to class just as the cool down starts, and heading back home frustrated... of course you would be turned off ! Think of fitness and wellness as a way of life, not as just another thing you have to do. Have a dance party with the kids, and dance WITH THEM (don’t scroll through your feeds). Take family walks and discover geo-caching. Take a prenatal yoga class and connect with your baby. They key to all of these is consistency - results will come only when you move your body daily.

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Essential oils can help provide a calmer and more relaxed atmosphere at home. High quality essential oils can be diffused aromatically to create a soothing living space. Lavender is especially wonderful to help capture that relaxing vibe. The oils can also be used topically (applied to the skin) and internally (dropped into water). By taking a few extra moments to craft a calming space in your home, you can recharge your body and mind to be a more present parent.

Not only will all of these “selfish” options make you a stronger, healthier mom, but they will also give you the energy and clear head that you need in this wonderful journey called Motherhood .

First Aid for Mommy by JULI STEINOCHER As new parents, you’ll quickly realize that the time we spend on ourselves becomes difficult to find as we work so hard to ensure our baby, home (and sometimes job) get the attention required. Juggling all that’s required along with the unsteady sleep patterns can leave us feeling foggy headed, stressed, sad, and even depressed. And when our body’s chemistry produces these emotional reactions, we tend to feel helpless and wanting for just a little relief. Good news comes from the mindbodylab for all those needing to calm themselves for daily relief as well as those needing to think clearly during the highs and lows of their new family lives. Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, sad or depressed, there are simple ways you can get immediate relief in as little as one to three minutes.

Stressed in Your New Role as Head of the Household It’s a big job trying to keep everyone happy and healthy. Rarely do we get the comfort we need to feel good about our efforts. Just like babies, moms need comforting too. Sitting or laying in the Triple Warmer Spleen Hold gets two acupuncture/energy meridians to connect. Place your right palm under your left breast and left fingers just above the right elbow.

The Baby is Crying, the House is a Mess and You Don’t Know What to Do! Get immediate relief by doing the Front/Back Head Hold. Place one palm lightly across the forehead and the other on the back of the head. Usually 1-3 minutes is all that’s needed to calm yourself.

Sleep For Mommy! For most new moms, sleep is an intermitten and inconsistent commodity. Sleeping when baby sleeps is helpful, however, some feel too wired to sleep even though they are exhausted. The Tibetan Prayer Pose balances the left/right hemispheres of the brain for mental clarity and calms the central nervous system for improved sleep. While laying down, cross your ankles, extend arms in front of you and cross your wrists. Turn palms toward each other and clasp hands together. Tuck your hands beneath your chin and rest them on your chest.

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Have the Post Partum Blues?? Feeling some baby blues (sadness) during the first few days after birth is considered normal. If feeling sad becomes a typical emotion or you feel like crying every time your baby does, do any (or all) of these techniques Top of Head Hold Place one palm on top of your head to bring blood back to the area of brain responsible for habits. This is also the location for the pineal gland – holding here helps release melatonin useful for sleep.

Get Energies Moving/Clear Out Toxins Lack of sleep causes key energy meridians to run backwards in the hopes we will lay down and rest. This is tough to do with a new baby needing our attention. When you need a boost of energy and want to clear the toxins of sadness, rub these key locations on the chest and torso. Remember to drink water to help flush those toxins. Tranquility Hold Whether your having bouts of crying or just feeling out of sort, placing your fingers in the center of your chest, directly between the nipples helps to balances emotions. If a er using these techniques you con nue to feel sad/ depressed or overwhelmed, seek help from health professionals such as your doctor or mental health counselor. For more 1st aid for stress ps like these, to a end workshops or schedule a private session, go to

Jumpstart Weight Loss for Successful Results Brenda Watson, C.N.C. President, ReNew Life Formulas Digestive Care Expert New York Times Best-Selling Author Public Television Health Educator My name is Brenda Watson, and I founded ReNew Life Formulas in my quest to improve my own digestive health problems—which included difficulty losing weight. Using natural healing approaches, I became an expert on cleansing, detoxification and digestion. I perfected how specific blends of herbs, minerals and other natural ingredients support the natural processes that help rid the body of unwanted waste and toxins—and pounds—for better overall health.*

Fad Diets are Out Today we are seeing a sensible return to whole nutrition and regular exercise, as opposed to diet fads. The focus is now about the types of foods people are eating and the toxins we inevitably absorb from foods and the environment that slow weight loss down. You may be familiar with healthy weight-loss plans and the benefits of eating whole, fresh foods, including high-fiber fruits and vegetables, proteins, healthy fats, and nuts and seeds—but you may not be aware of the benefits of cleansing and detoxification before you start your weight-loss program.*

Why Jumpstart Weight Loss? “Jumpstart” formulas specifically to be used before you begin your weight-loss plan are available to help naturally enhance energy, reduce bloating and fatigue, promote regularity, and flush away toxins and waste.* They should include: • Ingredients, such as vitamin B12, niacin, yerba mate and ginseng to help promote healthy metabolic function* • Cleansing herbs, such as milk thistle, to help support the liver and kidneys to enhance detoxification and help eliminate toxins* • Natural bowel-stimulating herbs to help eliminate toxins associated with built-up waste through regular bowel movements* • Natural magnesium to help hydrate the bowel and ease elimination* • Soothing herbal ingredients to nourish and support the intestines* Find out how easy it is to jumpstart your weight loss this summer. Visit or contact a ReNew Life Product Specialist at 1-800-830-1800 to guide you on your way. You’ll be glad you did! ___ For over 20 years, Brenda Watson has dedicated her career to helping people achieve vibrant, lasting health through improved digestive function. A dynamic health advocate, author, speaker and celebrated public television health educator, she is among the foremost authorities in America on optimum nutrition and digestion, natural detoxification methods, and herbal internal cleansing. Brenda recognized a growing need within the natural products industry for a line of safe and effective digestive care products during her extensive clinical work, and in 1997 she accepted the challenge herself. The result is the ReNew Life line of superior-quality digestive health supplements based in Palm Harbor, Florida.

Summer 2014



A Little TLC from Dad with ESTHER EDWARDS Whether it’s your first child or your fourth, welcoming a new baby to share your life with can cause a few sweat beads to collect on your forehead. As you think about the new responsibilities and feel concerned about important matters such as health, education, what life lessons you’ll want to make sure you pass on, or how you’ll react to all the twist and turns along the way – don’t forget to breathe and have fun in the process. This begins even before your new little bundle of joy arrives, fellas. Here’s my first bit of advice: happy Mama=happy home. You could get really creative but most of the time it’s the little things that count. Take a moment to really think about your mate and what makes her feel good and relaxed. Is it making or ordering out her favorite meal? Drawing a bath complete with bubbles, low lights, candles and music? Bringing home a bouquet of flowers once a month “just because?” Does she have a favorite purse you can hide a few small tokens of your affection in? You might tuck away little gifts like perfume, lotions, jewelry, or lovenotes. The bottom line is you love her and appreciate her, so in an effort to show how much you do – love her the way it will mean the most to her. Your very specific ways of showing her your affection will make the biggest impression on her and may even earn you a night off of diaper duty. Give her reassurance as both of your lives are about to change. You might lay out your plan to be an active parent. What chores you’ll take over or errands you’ll run to lessen the stress on your mate. Listen to and help her meet her goals. Set a schedule that pens in time for her to do things that make her feel good – hair, nails, gym, or shop. Decide what nights you’ll be able to order-in for dinner or hire a sitter so you can have date-night. Is making dinner one of the ways you plan on making your appearance as Prince Charming? Keep it simple, comfortable and easy. Here are a few of my suggestions:

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en Stew k ic h C te u in M 2 3 e: Main Cours eer Float or tb oo R W & A : rt se es D ake for Two C va a L te a ol oc h C Easy hite Sangria W l a n gi ri O & n gi ir To Drink: V

32 Minute Chicken Stew Serves 4 Total Prep and Cooking Time: 30 minutes Ingredients: Olive oil for the pan 1/2 cup roughly chopped brown onion 1/2 teaspoon finely minced garlic 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs 1/2 pound little red and yellow potatoes, cut into quarters 2 large carrots, thinly sliced 1 tablespoon dry thyme 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes Uncle Ben’s Brown Rice steamable bag Salt and pepper Preparation: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat the bottom of a large oven safe skillet with olive oil. Place the skillet over medium high heat and add the onion and garlic. Cook just until the onions are soft, about 3 minutes.  Place the chicken thighs on a large plate, season both sides with salt and pepper, and add them to the skillet. Lightly brown both sides and remove them from the pan, and put them back on the plate. This should take about 1 minute per side.  Add the potatoes, carrots and thyme to the pan and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes or so.  Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer, and return the chicken to the skillet. Use a spoon to cover the chicken pieces with the sauce. Bring to a boil, and immediately place the skillet in the preheated oven until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Once completed serve with a serving of Uncle Ben’s steamable Brown Rice – steam in bag for 90 seconds and serve.

eating A&W Rootbeer Float Instructions In chilled heavy glass mug, place ice cream almost to top. Slowly pour root beer into heavy glass mug at a slight tilt. Always stop and let foam go down then pour a little more in until full. Enjoy!

Virgin and Original White Sangria Recipe Ingredients For both full strength and virgin recipes, you’ll need: -citrus of some kind (oranges, lemons, limes), sliced into rounds with peels ON and seeds popped out -berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries) -apples, peaches, grapes, cherries (pitted) or other fruit on hand sliced thin, peel on -ice

Easy Chocolate Lava Cake for Two (yes you can)

For the full strength Sangria, you’ll need: -1 bottle moscato, white table wine, or white zin -1 bottle sparkling white wine (or ginger ale/tonic if you’d like the less-alcoholic version) -3 oz peach schnapps

Ingredients 4 tbsp. butter, softened ⅓ cup of sugar 3 large eggs ⅓ cup of flour ¼ tsp. salt 1⅓ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted 1 tbsp. confectioner’s sugar

For the virgin Sangria you’ll need: -1 bottle Sprite/7up/sierra mist (for the most sweet), Ginger ale, sparkling cider, or soda water (for something less sweet) -1 bottle apple juice or white grape juice

Instructions Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease the inside of your ramekins with some cooking spray or take a pad of butter and rub it around on the inside.

Optional for either: -Mint, basil, or rosemary for a little kick; muddled

In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar until creamy. Add in the eggs, one by one, beating after each egg. Add in the flour and salt and combine until smooth. Gently blend in your melted chocolate until just combined.

Instructions Thoroughly wash all fruit and slice thin. Leave peels on for color and their delicious flavor! Pour in wine or juice and stir. Slowly pour in sparkling drink (champagne, soda or cider), peach schnapps (for the adult version), and any additional herbs you’d like to add. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 3 hours. Serve over ice and enjoy!!

Divide batter evenly amongst your ramekins. I was able to make 5. You’ll want to fill the ramekins ¾ of the way. Put your ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the tops of the cake no longer jiggle when you shake the pan lightly. Let sit for 10 minutes then take a knife and go around the edge. They should pop out easily. Lightly dust with powdered sugar on top before serving.

Esther is the host of Soirée Everyday! with Esther Edwards, an interac ve television show that takes you on a culinary experience through cooking and entertaining. She is also the author of Soirée Everyday! Cooking and Entertaining Guide. Her passion and inspira on come from growing up in the kitchen next to the ul mate party planner – her father. His legendary baked goods and crea ve theme par es sparked her desire to make these happy moments possible for the culinary-challenged, as well as those who simply believe they have no me. A er working several years as a Sous-Chef de Cuisine, Personal Chef and Event Planner, she has developed a system that teaches home cooks of every background and skill level simple, crea ve and uncomplicated ways to add a li le soirée to their everyday life. You can reach her at as well as at

Summer 2014


eating Homemade is GOOD Made! If you love those convenient food pouches, but don’t love the price, here is a solution from Infantino. Their $24.99 Squeeze Station allows you to take your own fresh blended food and squeeze-it-yourself into disposable pouches (you can get a pack of 50 for $16.99). Use your imagination and make yogurt smoothies or fruit, grain or veggie mixes based on what you grow in your garden. You can also buy fresh at an organic stand to suit the taste and needs of your children. The pouches can be frozen and used at any time, anywhere. Watch the how-to video at their website

Yogurt Snack with Fresh Raspberries, Kale and Yogurt Puree fresh raspberries and kale. Mix in your favorite type of yogurt (half the mixture should be yogurt, half should be the kale and raspberries).

Applesauce Snack with Organic Apples and Carrots Steam, chop and puree the apples and carrots. Add a dash of cinnamon (or ginger) for flavor.

Blender Baby Food Over 175 recipes are inside this easy-to-follow cookbook, and all recipes can be prepared in a blender. Some are basic fruits and vegetables; some are more complex like Chicken Quinoa Stew (recipe follows) and Shepherd’s Pie. Recipes are arranged by age categories so you can gradually add more tastes and textures – for 6 months, 8 months, 9 months and 12 months. Each recipe has nutritional information, plus the authors give tips on developing meal plans, food safety, storage and dealing with picky eaters. While baby food in a jar is convenient, exposing baby to new tastes and mom’s choices for quality ingredients can be a satisfying experience. Order Blender Baby Food, Second Edition by Nicole Young at Makes a great gift! $19.95

Chicken Quinoa Stew from Blender Baby Food

Lentils, Carrots and Celery from Blender Baby Food

2 cups water or homemade chicken stock ½ cup quinoa 6 oz chopped boneless, skinless chicken ¼ cup finely chopped peeled carrots ¼ cup finely chopped celery ¼ cup finely chopped zucchini

1 tbsp vegetable oil 1/2 cup chopped onion 1/2 cup chopped carrot 1/2 cup chopped celery 2 cups water or homemade vegetable stock 1 cup dried green lentils, rinsed

In medium saucepan, bring liquid to boil, stir in quinoa, chicken, carrots, celery and zucchini. Reduce heat, cover and summer until vegetables are very tender, chicken is cooked through and quinoa is cooked, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, let stand covered for 10 minutes. Transfer to blender and puree on high speed to desired consistency.

In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring occasionally until tender but not browned. About 5 minutes. Add water and lentils, cover, reduce head and simmer until lentils are tender. About 30 minutes. Let cool. Transfer to blender and puree on high speed until smooth.

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eating Blueberry Chia Seed Zipzicle® Ice Pops 3 cups blueberries fresh or frozen 1 cup orange juice fresh squeezed for best flavor 2 tbsp honey 3 tbsp chia seed 12 Zipzicle® pouches 

Make Your Own Freezer Pops Walking through the store, that huge box of freezer pops looks inviting. It’s hot out and the kids love them. You can get 50 of them for $2. They are convenient, refreshing, fun – but OH so not good for you. Admittedly, it gets tough hearing all the news about what’s in our food – the good, the bad and the ugly. In some cases, saying no to the overly processed choices at the store can be an easy fix. Sometimes the decision can be made with a quick read of the label. The labels of the store bought freezer pops are a mix of high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, artificial flavors and preservatives. Zipzicles® Pouches to the rescue! Purchase a 12 pack of plastic pouches for $2.99 and make your own frozen treats. Their website contains numerous recipes so that you will never look at a freezer pop the same way again. Just fill and freeze for on-the-go snacking. You control the ingredients. BPA free. Order them at

In a medium saucepan, bring blueberries, orange juice and honey to a slow simmer for 10 minutes until blueberries are soft. Remove pan from the heat and add Chia Seed. With a fork or potato masher, flatten blueberries. Stir and let cool. Fill pouches to line using a batter pen. Freeze until solid and enjoy!

Breakfast Zipzicle® Ice Pop 3 cups yogurt vanilla, plain, or fruit 3 cups pureed fruit of your choice such as strawberries 1 cup granola of your choice, such as honey almond 12 Zipzicle® pouches  Puree fruit. For strawberry, use 10 strawberries with 1/3 cup water. Blend yogurt with fruit puree. Using a rolling pin, crush granola to fine small pieces. Add granola into yogurt mixture and stir well. Using a batter pen, fill pouches. Top with additional granola (optional). Freeze until firm. Enjoy!

Mommy & Me Resource Page

in St. Petersburg Chris e Bruner (727) 637-7913 in Largo/Seminole Jennifer Sullivan (727) 560-0423 Baby Boot Camp is an innova ve stroller fitness program that helps moms regain or enhance pre-pregnancy fitness levels and meet the physical challenges of paren ng by emphasizing strength training in a suppor ve environment. Karna Fitness offers small group training classes for women of all ages and fitness levels. First class always free!

1017 Illinois Ave. • Palm Harbor (727) 735-2063 At Om Sweet Om we believe in the importance of a healthy mind, body, and soul at every stage in life. All of our classes, unless specified otherwise, are for all ages (from 0-109). We teach everything from gentle yoga and medita on to ballet, pilates, zumba, and even art and music. We put a high value in togetherness and in growing a community of happy families to contribute to the world. Please check out our schedule online and come see us soon! Welcome Om!

Dr. Theresa Hartley 2653 Ulmerton Rd in Clearwater (727) 623-0992 HartleyChiropracƟ Start your child’s first year with the chiroprac c advantage. You should have your baby’s spine checked: - Immediately a er birth - On holding up his or her head - When able to sit alone - When star ng to crawl - When standing alone - On taking his or her first step - A er any li le trauma to the head -

Heather Aynne Vernillo Dr. Ka e Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields invite you to join them on their mission of changing skin and changing lives. With their legacy of success, our patentpending solu on for trea ng aging skin and our proven business system, you can start immediately to build your business and the poten al for your own legacy of success. We have a generous matrix compensa on plan that is unique in the value it places on customers. We also have an impressive Informa on Technology backbone to support our Consultants’ growing businesses online. These are all assets that support you as you build your individual enterprises.

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3487 4th St. N. • St. Petersburg (727) 894-0906 Zumbini® classes offer dance and play movement, fun props and a chance to play musical instruments for children 0 - 3. Children learn through play, listening, seeing, feeling and being, plus they get to bond with their caregiver in a fun, upbeat environment. Four quarterly sessions through the year, which are 8 sessions each. Every family receives two CDs and a songbook for the quarter. Sessions are taught at the Highland Recrea on Center in Largo. For more informa on: Facebook - Zumba Down With Mary Brown (727) 433-5599

31071 U.S. 19 • Palm Harbor (727) 330-7785 With an awesome selec on of name brand baby, kiddie, and maternity needs, STELLIE BELLIES offers an alterna ve for paying full price for well loved and gently used merchandise. We carry clothing from preemie through size 8 to toys and strollers and all your baby needs. We also have the biggest selec on in town of maternity clothing. We have been in business for over 10 years and strive to provide excep onal service and a wonderful shopping experience.

Make a Splash with Water Safety by JANET EVANS

Below A Are a Few Life-Saving Tips That Life-Sav Evans Shares to Janet Ev Help Parents Protect Their Children:

Warmer weather means children turn to water parks and neighborhood pools to cool down and have fun. While water play is a great way to keep cool, there is no such thing as “water safe.” Parents must continue to be vigilant in education and preventative measures.

Don’t use water wings on small children. They offer a false sense of security and hinder children from learning to swim on their own.

In the first five months of 2014, the USA Swimming Foundation has recorded more than 630 drownings in the U.S. alone – making it a serious epidemic.

Put children in swimming lessons from an early age. When formal swimming lessons are introduced to children aged one to four years, their risk of drowning is reduced by up to 88%.

To combat this alarming statistic, four-time Olympic Gold Medalist Janet Evans works with the USA Swimming Foundation “Make a Splash” water safety initiative to provide every child in America the opportunity to learn to swim.

Learn CPR. CPR has been shown to save lives among drowning victims and the more quickly it is performed, the higher the chance of better outcomes.

As the new “Make a Splash Mom,” Janet’s mission is to encourage parents to enroll their children in swim lessons to learn critical lifesaving skills. She understands the importance of water safety and is dedicated to reducing the frequency of child drowning. “Everyone thinks that drowning can’t happen to them, but it can and happens instantly. It’s not like in the movies where kids are screaming for help and it takes a while,” Evans said. “Drowning is silent and can happen in the time you turn away. We need to get our kids in swimming lessons from any early age to given them confidence and essential water safety skills.” Evans learned to swim early in life because her mother didn’t know how. Janet Evans put her own children in swim lessons early — bringing her son Jake to the pool for his first lesson at just seven weeks old and her daughter Sydney, now seven, entered the pool at four months and is now on a swim team. According to the CDC, an estimated 10 people drown daily, approximately 20 percent of whom are children under the age of 14. Even more disconcerting is that drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death among kids ages 1-4. Only 13 percent of children who come from a non-swimming household will ever learn to swim. Among minority groups, the statistics are even more troubling. A study conducted by the USA Swimming Foundation and the University of Memphis determined that 70 percent of African American and 60 percent of Hispanic children do not know how to swim. However, that same research showed that formal swimming lessons reduce the risk of childhood drowning by up to 88%. The USA Swimming Foundation partners with more than 600 qualified swim lesson providers nationwide to implement the Make A Splash initiative. The Foundation provides funding to conduct free and/or low cost swim lessons. Parents are urged to take their children for swimming lessons as early as possible. While in or around the water, children should never be left unsupervised.  

Teach These Tips to Children for When They Feel Like They are in Trouble in the Water: Do not panic. Stay as calm as possible and remember to breathe. If you are able to roll over and float, do so and call for help. Tread water: light movements of arms and legs to stay afloat and keep your head above water. Treading too hard can cause you to lose energy. Deep water bobs: submerge, push off the bottom, surface and breathe; if possible, bob towards shallow water or an exit point such as a wall. Grab on to any flotation device to bring yourself to safety. There is no substitute for active adult supervision. When infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult should be within arms reach. ––– To learn cri cal life-saving swimming skills, enroll with a local USA Swimming Founda on Make a Splash Local Partner at usaswimmingfounda


above-ground pool; the pool he was afraid of. He somehow pulled himself up, leaned over the edge, and fell in. It is believed he was trying to imitate the dog drinking from the pool. It was quick and quiet. He was in the pool less than 5 minutes. I came home just moments after my son was rushed to the hospital. They were never able to revive him. I didn’t know how I was supposed to go on without my little boy. It was impossible. Yet I had to. I knew I had a choice; I could become bitter or I could become better. I strive every day to be better. I have had dark moments of bittern bitterness, but I do my best to be better.

My Story

A large piece of my heart was ripped out that day. A large piece of me died the day my little boy died. In spite of the intense grief and shock, I was determined to keep my marriage together. And I was determined to do whatever I could, to prevent this from h h happening to other families. I thought that only parents who by JENNA DEVITO-ROISUM didn’t pay attention had children who drowned. I thought that we would hear splashing or cries for help if one of our children We welcomed little Mason Alexander to the world September 7, 2006. fell into the pool. I thought it took minutes for a child to drown. He was perfect, so beautiful; a spitting image of his father. None of the above is true. Drowning is deadly silent and very I spent the next two and a half years watching this amazing little quick, and it can and does happen to anybody. boy grow. Mason was my world; my everything. And I know he My husband and I are still together and have started a foundation was my husband’s world, as well. I loved watching “me and mini in memory of our son. I am currently training to become a swim me” traipsing through the back yard, planting flowers or raking instructor. My daughter is 4, and such a beautiful spirit; our little the leaves. Mason was so very smart. So focused and determined; butterfly. We are so blessed, but still, I miss my little boy every day. our little scientist. He loved collecting rocks and acorns. He loved playing with his cars and trucks. His best friends were a plush chicken he called Dee Dee, and our dog, Otis. The first thing most people said to me about him was, “Look at that hair!”(His hair was white, not blond). The second thing they would say was, “He is so gentle.” And he was. And I was happy. My son’s peaceful spirit was contagious. I had become very peaceful. We learned we were pregnant with our beautiful little girl, Avery, when Mason was about 18 months old. Usually in life, the events that take place gradually shape us – in much the way a river shapes a canyon; one day you look back and realize that you are not the same person you were a year or two ago. Sometimes, however, there are events that shake you to the core – you are instantly transformed and will never be the person you used to be. In the blink of an eye, everything changes. For me, March 27, 2009 is that day. It was a typical Friday. Avery was sleeping, and Mason was eating lunch when my husband came home. I kissed Mason goodbye – giving him a big hug. I turned one last time at the door to wave goodbye and blow a kiss. I left for work. That is the last time I would ever see my beautiful little boy alive. Around 5:00 that evening, my husband, Mason and the dog were playing in the backyard. Avery woke up from her third nap of the day, and the three went in to get her. My husband uncharacteristically forgot to close the back door as well as the inside safety gate. Paul went in to get the baby, Mason in tow. At some point Mason apparently followed the dog back outside. For reasons unknown, Mason went over to the partially inset

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Jenna, who is from Seminole, started Mason’s Gift, a foundation in her son’s name that has a mission to educate other parents about the dangers of drowning. Funds raised provide educational materials at community events, scholarships for swim lessons and one day, water safety days for local families. More about Mason’s story is on the website at His parents share the exact proactive precautions and layers of protection they put in place to prevent this tragedy. Their hope is that other parents can learn from this to see that no child is ever safe.


P.O. Box 1795 Oldsmar, Florida 34677

GoodLiving Summer 2014  

Special Early Childhood Issue. GoodLiving Magazine, a healthy family lifestyle magazine serving Pinellas County in Florida.

GoodLiving Summer 2014  

Special Early Childhood Issue. GoodLiving Magazine, a healthy family lifestyle magazine serving Pinellas County in Florida.