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February 2020 • Volume 8 • Issue 6 • Free


Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

Defeat Cabin Fever with the region’s largest family event calendar

Keep the Romance Alive After Baby

WIN $250

Just for Voting!


WIN $250

Just for Voting!

If your family is growing

Trust my expertise to bring you





leading off: publisher’s note Happy Valentine’s Day! February is such a strange month. It is the “end” of winter and the shortest month of the year. We always look past February as we are anxious for the warmer weather, spring events, and of course, our Virginia Family Expo in April! Once again this year, our expo ties into our Family Favorite Awards. At the event, our readers will learn which local businesses won each category of our contest! We will crown local businesses “Family Favorites” and we will of course award the $250 grand prize to one reader who is chosen at random from all of the votes received. Learn more about the event and vote for your favorites at www. roanokefamilyfavorites.com. In the meantime, our February issue has several great articles that focus on topics like keeping the spark going in your marriage and how to choose the right diaper for your

new baby. Our calendar is full of activities for you and your family to check out — and take a look at page 48 for some some science fun to get you through the last month of winter! Lastly, we have some awesome things planned in 2020, and we hope you will continue to support our family magazine as we aim to support local businesses and families in our region even more than we have in years past! More content, events and a stronger web presence are all coming your way. Stay tuned... and stay warm!

The Eagan Family

Andrea, Josh, Anika and Evelyn Publisher, Josh Eagan, teaching his daughter Anika... to drive! She was in kindergarten when this magazine debuted!

Proud Members of the Parenting Media Association since 2013! Learn more at www.parentmedia.org. 7

C o n t a c t Us: P.O. Box 4484, Roanoke, VA 24015 540-251-1660 www.roanoke.family


Josh & Andrea Eagan

josh@virginiafamily.com • Anika and Evelyn’s Parents

Creative Director Tracy Fisher

Read Our Other Publications




Kimberly Emory • Sandi Schwartz Susan Baldani • Leslie Butterfield Harrop Rachel Levine • Jacqueline Moon

Connect With Us /growingupinthevalley

tracy@virginiafamily.com • Charlotte and Evelyn’s Mom

Community Relations Director

We welcome reader comments, submissions, and the support of advertisers.

jeanne@virginiafamily.com • Parker and Connor’s Mom

We reserve the right to refuse or edit any materials submitted to us as we deem inappropriate for our audience. Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope with any submission to be returned. We do not accept responsibility for unsolicited materials.

Jeanne Lawrence


Jacqueline Moon

jackie@virginiafamily.com • Elijah’s Mom, and Luke and Blair’s Stepmom

Sales Assistants Ani & Evie Eagan

sales@virginiafamily.com • Bauer and Chloe’s Owners


John Morris • COV Designs john@covdesigns.com

Roanoke Valley Family and www.roanoke.family are published by MoFat Publishing. Roanoke Valley Family is published monthly. The views and the opinions expressed by the writers and advertisers do not necessarily represent those of Roanoke Valley Family, its staff, or its contributors. While multiple businesses, schools, and organizations are represented in our pages, and magazines are often distributed to students according to the policies and procedures of each school district, this is not a publication coordinated or endorsed by any public or private school district, nor is it a publication with any religious or political objectives. As a mass media outlet, it is our oath and responsibility to communicate with due diligence, through our content, the plurality of views and opinions reflected in our audience of Central and Southwest Virginia. Readers are strongly encouraged to verify information with programs and businesses directly. Parents are urged to thoroughly research any decisions involving their children. Copyright 2019 by MoFat Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. All material, including artwork, advertisements, and editorials, may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the publisher.




Submit Your Ideas Share your story ideas with us by emailing jackie@virginiafamily.com

© Copyright 2020 Mofat Publishing

On the Cover

Community High offers… • • • • • • • •

Small class sizes Highly qualified faculty Individualized attention College preparatory environment Unique, student-driven liberal arts curriculum Diverse arts offerings Affordable tuition and needbased financial aid Strong, close-knit community …and much more!

Schedule a visit today!

Zinnia, age 4 from Roanoke Photos by Elizabeth Farnsworth Photography

Community High School of Arts & Academics 302 Campbell Avenue SE Roanoke, VA 24013 info@communityhigh.net (540) 345-1688 www.communityhigh.net

Inside Februaryy 8 News in the ‘Noke

Roanoke City School Board changes, new restaurants downtown and genius students from the area!

10 Meet Your Neighbor 13 Teacher of the Month 38 Choose the Best Diaper for Your Baby

Cloth versus disposible, which fits your family’s style?

40 Making Your Own Baby Food

Making your own food for a baby is a lot simpler than you think - and the benefits are astounding!

42 Vital Parental Affection Children who report high affection and love from their parents are more sucessful, healthy and stable later in life.

46 Rachel’s Reads Best board books for baby!

14 Calendar

Keep the Romance Alive after Baby & Beyond Read on page 24

Defeat cabin fever as winter settles in to the Roanoke Valley!

28 Nursery Decor Trends

22 RCT4TEENS: The Fakes

5 Foods to Avoid When Pregnant Read on page 50

The Valley

the valley: around town

News in the ‘Noke

Schools across Virginia may soon have a standard set of rules for how to deal with transgender students.

Want to make a difference? The Roanoke City School Board has three vacancies opening up in June. School board positions are three-year terms, and the deadline to apply is March 10. What does a school board member do, you ask? Here are the responsibilities: Provide a program of quality instruction. Manage and direct the school system through the employment and evaluation of the superintendent, establishment of policy, and monitoring of budget, bond elections, fiscal accounting, tax and debt management, and plant construction and renovation. Guide the school system through the adoption of policies related to fiscal management, facilities development, personnel, instruction, students, and school/community/education agency relations. Enhance communications between community and staff by ensuring the public understands school system goals and programs; secure public support for the schools; promote the public’s presence in the schools; establish effective communications with staff; encourage citizen attendance at Board meetings; and ensure response to public concerns. Nothing changes if nothing changes, right? Make a difference and serve on the school board! For more information, contact the City Clerk’s office at 540-853-2541.

Take Roanoke County’s High-Speed Internet Survey! As part of Roanoke County’s comprehensive Broadband Availability Study, they’ve launched a High-Speed Internet Survey to help them locate areas of the County that are unserved or under-served with high-speed internet access. You can find the survey at surveymonkey.com/r/5MVGGQL.


Family • February 2020

Schools in Virginia have widely varying ways of dealing with transgender students in terms of which bathrooms they should use and even which pronouns are spoken. That’s why Senator Jennifer Boysko of Herndon has introduced a bill that would require the Department of Education to come up with a model policy. Willow Woycke at the Transgender Education Association testified in favor of the bill and said, “[Transgender students] fear going from school to school. They fear every new teacher and every new principal. So moving forward on this bill will make them more confident that they can move somewhere else in Virginia” and still be supported.

Time for a trip to downtown Roanoke for some soul! There’s a new place to fill your belly, and it’s got flavors Roanoke’s been sorely needing. Doc’s Soulfood, at 604 5th St SE (near the Kirk Family YMCA), has got you covered when it comes to the comfort food you need, from collard greens to hot smokes, from chili cheeseburgers to a massively portioned catfish dinner. It’s been around for just a month, and people on Facebook and Yelp are already saying things like “Best soul food around Roanoke” and “Best spaghetti EVER! Huge portions! Flavor is fantastic!”

Photos from Roanoke Valley Governer’s School

Congrats to Kevin Sheng, a student at the Roanoke Valley Governors School for Science and Technology and Cave Spring High School! He is one of just 17 Virginia high school students selected as a semifinalist in the 2020 Science Talent Search conducted by the nonprofit Society for Science & the Public. The talent search is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. “This is a tremendous honor and speaks to the commitment of these students — and their teachers — to academic excellence and deeper learning,” Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane said. “Their projects are great examples of what can happen when students direct their knowledge and critical thinking skills to addressing real-world issues and challenges.” Kevin’s winning project title was Big Data Analytics: Identification of Novel Cancer Progression Gene Signatures for Precision/ Personalized Medicine. Great job, Kevin!

photo from Doc Soulfood Facebook

Get an early start on the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Shamrock Fesitval and join Roanoke Catholic School’s 30th annual Shamrock Hill Run! Their popular 5K chip-timed race (and 1-Mile Walk/Run) starts at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 14, 2020, finishing in plenty of time for you to walk downtown for the 11 a.m. parade start! Free and convenient parking is available at the school. Registration is $25 Early registration (until 11:59 pm on Feb. 15) | $30 Late registration (Feb. 16 -March 1) | $35 (after March 1) For more information, contact Michael Hemphill at  mhemphill@roanokecatholic.com or 540-556-2879.

Family • February 2020


the valley: business

also supporting the multitude of small businesses that Unleashed partners with, as well as the local organizations the business donates to throughout the year. “Pet parents can also trust that the treats sold in our store are made in licensed and regulated kitchens, using only natural, simple, and human-grade ingredients,” said Jenn.

Meet Your Neighbors

Jenn and Chris Lugar


enn and Chris own Unleashed Dog Bakery & Boutique in downtown Roanoke.

In March 2015, they began Unleashed as a mobile bakery, and then they opened their brick and mortar store in July 2018. While the business is owned by the two of them, Jenn and Chris have endless help from Jenn’s family. They also have one part-time employee, Abby, who runs the store on weekdays. The Lugars both grew up in Roanoke. “There’s something so special about owning a business in your own hometown,” Jenn said. “There’s a strong sense of community here, too, that you don’t find in many places.”


Family • February 2020

“It has always been a dream of mine to own my own business,” Jenn went on. “In fact, hanging in our store is a drawing of mine from elementary school of a dog bakery.” The initial goal was simply to provide natural dog treats that were free of preservatives, chemicals, or by-products. Now, though, she and Chris partner with more than 30 area small businesses to provide a unique variety of items (and are always open to new partnerships!). “I’ve always been passionate about supporting small and local businesses,” Jenn said, “and this business has given me the full control to do that.” That’s what’s so special about the Lugars’ business — it goes beyond wholesome dog treats. When you make a purchase in the store, not only are you supporting their small business. You’re

Running Unleashed Dog Bakery & Boutique is a delight for the Lugars. “Our customers know and appreciate the joy of experiencing the unconditional love of a dog,” Jenn said. “There’s almost an unspoken bond among pet parents because of it. We get the opportunity to not only witness this bond between our customers and their pets but to also celebrate it with our products. We also get to have our dogs, Daisy & Zoey, with us at work!” Before opening the bakery, Jenn worked as a registrar for Roanoke County — a job she still has — and Chris continues to work for Ballast Point Brewery, so the couple stays busy! When they do have free time, however, Jenn and Chris love to spend time downtown at local restaurants and craft breweries. “And we love listening to live music whenever possible!” Jenn said. The Lugars are continually humbled by the support of people throughout the Roanoke Valley, Jenn said. “Thank you for shopping small and supporting your local businesses and organizations! We look forward to continuing to serve the community that we know and love.” And we are glad to have a communitycentered business in Roanoke like Unleashed Dog Bakery & Boutique and great neighbors like Chris and Jenn Lugar! Next time you’re downtown, stop in at the shop (located at 131 Campbell Avenue SW, Suite D) and say hello!

Wellness in Winter Local doctor is creating a farm to promote health and wellness naturally

Dr. David Hamilton (preferably, “Dr. Dave”) specializes in botanical medicine, family medicine, pain management, and clinical nutrition. He uses these modalities to best individualize patient care. He treats a variety of different conditions, ranging from the acute cough or cold to pre- and post-natal care, pediatrics, Lyme disease, hypertension,diabetes, and thyroid disorders; from autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis to lupus, Crohn’s disease, and gastrointestinal disorders like food sensitivities,SIBO, and IBS; from anxiety and depression to eczema/ psoriasis, fertility assistance, male and female health concerns, and a number of other conditions. Dr. Dave and his wife Laura co-own and operate Of The Earth Wellness Natural Health, which has two locations: Charlotte, North Carolina and Roanoke, Virginia.

Dr. Dave received his doctorate of naturopathic medicine from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona. He co-owns a small urban homestead with an emphasis on “Food as Medicine.” The farm is under conservation in Elliston, Virginia, and is home to chickens, Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats, and bountiful woodland medicinal plants. For the farm’s dedication to organic and sustainable practices, Dr. Dave was awarded the Paul C. Bragg Health Science Scholarship. The humbling and grounding nature of plants serves as a reminder that all things are connected. Herbs are a natural alternative to pharmaceuticals. Given their similarity to food, they have a long history and wellestablished tradition of use and ease of assimilation by our bodies.

health and wellness. By harnessing nature, healthy habits, and the body’s innate ability to heal itself, he is able to individualize each patient’s journey toward health. Dr. Dave believes in creating a maintainable and sustainable approach to your health goals. He is flexible and will offer his recommendations based on your health needs. Education is a huge component of medicine. The greek term docere or “doctor” means to teach. Dr. Dave takes the time to engage each of your health concerns to empower you with knowledge of yourself. Plant the seed of health and grow balance naturally!

Dr. Dave uses the energetic and medicinal properties of plants to enhance and individualize treatment to promote

Family • February 2020






Join us for the BEST SUMMER EVER! Y Summer Camp offers four camp locations for children ages 3 - 12 years old*. Early Bird Savings until April 30 - sign up to save $10 per week of camp! Registration opens in February. Learn more at www.ymcavbr.org/summercamp *Ages vary by location

Teacher of the Month

the valley: Educator

Your input means a lot to us! Grand Home Furnishings and Roanoke Valley Family Magazine love to recognize extraordinary educators in and around the Roanoke Valley. Teaching our children is such important work; educators work tirelessly to provide a good foundation for our kids and shape the next generation. Nominate a teacher you think deserves a special shout-out, and if they’re selected as our Teacher of the Month, they will win a $100 gift card to Grand Home Furnishings! Send us the following information to nominate a wonderful teacher in your life by emailing jackie@virginiafamily.com, sending us a message on our Facebook page (@growingupinthevalley), or writing to us at P.O. Box 4484, Roanoke, VA 24015. Be sure to include the following information: Teacher’s name School and grade where he/she teaches Subject he/she teaches (if applicable) Name of nominator (optional if you want to remain anonymous)

is proud to sponsor the


The winning teacher receives a $100 gift card from Grand Home Furnishings!

www.grandhomefurnishings.com Valley View | Tanglewood | Christiansburg | Lynchburg Family • February 2020


the Valley: things to do


Date Night Idea: See The Color Purple at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg!

Looking for a fun way to celebrate Valentine’s as a family? You can satisfy your sweet tooth at the Blacksburg Chocolate Party on February 9, spend time together at the family-friendly paint party on February 13, Get some alone time with your sweetheart while the kids play at the Parents Night Out at Star City Taekwondo, or have a night on the town seeing a live performance of Peter Pan on February 26!

Jurassic Quest with Ancient Oceans Feb 21-23 | Berglund Center theberglundcenter.com


Family • February 2020

Nate Bargatze Feb 20 | Berglund Center theberglundcenter.com

Full Moon Hike Feb 9 | Explore Park roanokecountyparks.com

Guns & Hoses Hockey Feb 15 | Berglund Center theberglundcenter.com

the Valley: things to do February 6

February 7

Harry Potter Night

Roanoke 4th Annual Night to Shine!

4:00 PM, South County Library, Roanoke

Celebrate this international event with all things Harry Potter! This year’s theme is the Triwizard Tournament - join us for themed activities, challenges, costume contest, and more! Witches, wizards, and Muggles of all ages welcome. roanokecountyva.gov/library

February 6 - 8

Frozen Jr. Cave Spring Middle School

Half Priced Mondays at Firehouse Skate ‘N Play

Join Firehouse Skate ‘N Play Family Fun Center each and every Monday during February from 5 PM - 8 PM when activity pricing is HALF PRICE! firehousesk8.com

February 4

Kids Paint Rocks

3:30 PM- 4:30 PM, Salem Public Library

Join the rock painting craze! Supplies provided, just bring your creativity! This activity is designed for children grades 2-5. salemlibrary.info

Cave Spring Middle School Drama Club brings Elsa, Anna, and the magical land of Arendelle to life on stage. Based on the 2018 Broadway musical, with a cast of beloved characters, and loaded with magic, adventure, and plenty of humor, Frozen Jr. is sure to thaw even the coldest heart! Tickets can be purchased in advance at the school office or may be purchased at the door for $5.

3:00 PM- 9:00 PM, Fellowship Community Church, Salem

A prom night for individuals ages 14+ with disability nighttoshineroanoke.weebly.com

‘80s Glow Dodgeball Tournament

6:00 PM- 7:30 PM, Kirk Family YMCA, Roanoke

Miss ‘80s music? Do you miss the ‘80s clothes? How about playing dodgeball in school? If you answered yes to any of theses questions, join Kirk Family YMCA for their 18+ Blacklight Dodgeball Tournament! Free for YMCA Members, $5 for non-members. ymcavbr.org

Virginia Tech Ice Hockey vs. Temple University 7:30 PM, Lancerlot Sports Complex, Vinton

Come see Hokie Hockey face off against the Owls! Tickets are $5 for adults, kids under 12 are FREE! virginiatechicehockey.com

Kindergarten Open House 9 AM - 11AM, First Baptist Church Child Development Center (First Place Preschool)

Happy Birthday Beethoven! February 15 • 7:30 PM February 16 • 3:00 PM

Shaftman Performance Hall Jefferson Center

tickets and information at rso.com 16

Family • February 2020

February 7 - 8

2020 Season Youth Auditions

Mill Mountain Theatre, Roanoke

Auditions for youth roles in Mill Mountain Theatre’s 2020 season! Casting for Write Stuff! New Play Festival, Treasure Island, Cinderella, Peter & Wendy, The Diary of Anne Frank, Holiday Inn.

brownies, truffles, and more. Gluten-free treats, fruit & trail mix, and coffee available too. Find terrific Valentine’s gifts from local artisans including stone pendants, pottery, soaps and fused glass. Give the kids a fun and inexpensive day out including balloon animals, facepainting, play dough fun, book walk game, arts and crafts, and carnival games!

Big Lick Comic Con

Berglund Center, Roanoke


February 10 blacksburgnewschool.org

February 8 February 9 2020 Blacksburg Chocolate Party

10:00 AM - 4:00 PM, Virginia Tech University Mall, Blacksburg

Join The Blacksburg New School for a fun family outing that supports our local educational community! Enjoy delicious chocolate treats: fudge, cookies,

Opera Roanoke Presents: Off-Campus, Off-Broadway With Roanoke College Dr. Jeffrey Sandborg and the choirs of Roanoke College take to the Shaftman stage at Jefferson Center in their popular annual Broadway revue, featuring songs and choruses from all your favorite Broadway hits. You’ll be singing the tunes in your head well after the concert has ended! Tickets are $30.

February 7 - 8

Full Moon Hike

6:30 PM - 8:30 PM, Explorer Park, Roanoke

From myths of cheese and faces to high tension space races, the moon has captured human imagination, ocean tides, and even animal strides for millennia. Join a guide at Explore Park for a moonlight

February 11


2:30 PM, Jefferson Center, Roanoke


Virginia’s Comic, Creativity & Pop Culture Celebration. Featuring a massive experience of comics, vendors, artists, guests, gaming, cosplay, creators and fun. Admisison is $15-$25 biglickcomiccon.com

hike and lift up your cozy hat to listen for which animals take advantage of the sky’s natural nightlight to search for food and mates in the winter. Turn off your flashlight to see what and even how other creatures live in lunar light. Admission is $5.

Make Your Own Snow Globe 7:30 PM, Hollins Library, Roanoke

Bring your own jar! Ideal craft activity for teens & tweens. roanokecountyva.gov/library


4:00 PM, Hollins Library, Roanoke

Drop in to build with LEGOs. Mega Bloks available for younger kids. roanokecountyva.gov/library

STEM for Kids

4:00 PM, Glenvar Library, Roanoke

Science, technology, engineering, art, and math once a month to learn something new! All ages welcome. roanokecountyva.gov/library

Girl’s Night Out Handstitched Valentine’s Day Cards

6:00 PM, Mountain View Center, Roanoke

Set aside some special time for just you and your gal pals. Add an extra layer of love this Valentine’s Day with handmade, artisan cards that are sure to impress. Participants will make three to four cards and leave with the skills to create unique, handmade cards for years to come. All supplies are included in the $22 registration fee. playroanoke.com

Finding Neverland March 18 - 7 PM

Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre www.scenter.vt.edu

Nate Bargatze

February 20 • 7 PM Berglund Center theberglundcenter.com

Family • February 2020


the Valley: things to do

February 12 CraftBar: You Light up my Valentine!

6 PM, Science Museum of Western Virginia, Roanoke

We’re celebrating the romantic season and the electricity of love with this month’s CraftBar activity! Make someone’s Valentine’s Day extra special this year with a personalized, light-up Valentine using a simple circuit and LED light. Whether it’s for your long-time partner, new boo, or your cat, Mr. Whiskers, this activity is perfect for couples, groups and family. The event is free for museum members and only $5 for materials for nonmembers. smwv.org

Pokemon Club for Kids

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM, South County Library, Roanoke

Trade cards, talk all things Pokemon, and more! roanokecountyva.gov/library

February 13 Valentine’s Day - Paint Party Jr. 6:00 PM, Mountain View Center, Roanoke

Love will be in the air during this special Valentine’s Day paint class! Parents or guardians are welcome to register and participate alongside their child ages 12 and under. Each child must be accompanied by an adult. All supplies are included in $15 registration fee.

stunning re-imagining of an epic story about a young woman’s journey to love and triumph in the American South. Experience the exhilarating power of this Tony-winning triumph that New York Magazine calls “one of the greatest revivals ever.” Tickets start at $40 for adults and $20 for children. To purchase tickets online, visit: https://artscenter. vt.edu/performances/colorpurple.html.

February 14 Very Valentine’s Day Party 3:00 PM, Mt. Pleasant Library, Roanoke

It can’t get much sweeter than Valentine’s stories, crafts, snacks and candy! roanokecountyva.gov/library

Valentine’s Day Parents Night Out 6:00 PM, Star City Taekwondo, Roanoke

You go on a date with your person, and leave the kids’ entertained! They get fed, they get worn out with games, Nerf battles, dodge ball, etc., and they have a great time doing it. This is open to the public. $25 per person. starcitytkd.com

February 15

Family • February 2020

11:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Virginia Museum of Transportation, Roanoke

The fun-filled day will include train rides ($3 with paid admission), model railroad layouts, children’s games and activities, live music by Haus of Schmitt from 2-5pm; food and beer will be available for purchase. Families will have the opportunity to explore the exhibits and hear one of Roanoke’s best local bands – all for the low price of general admission (members and children under 3 get in free). vmt.org

February 16 Night Howls

Bundle up and bring your friends to the zoo to hear the wolves howl, the owls hoot and the big cats call! Participants will begin the night indoors enjoying a treat while learning about nocturnal animals. Guests will then proceed outdoors for a guided tour of the zoo in the dark to observe the creatures and enjoy spectacular views of the city at night. Tickets are $9-$10.

5:30 PM, 5 Points Music Sanctuary, Roanoke

Guns and Hoses Hockey 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM, Berglund Center, Roanoke

The annual Law Enforcement vs. Fire Department Charity

Nate Bargatze

7: 00 PM, Berglund Center, Roanoke

Following the continued success of his Netflix special, The Tennessee Kid, comedian, actor and writer Nate Bargatze is extending his best-selling Good Problem to Have stand-up tour into 2020, adding a stop in Roanoke! Tickets start at $35. theberglundcenter.com

February 21-23

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM, Mill Mountain Zoo, Roanoke

Love Your Body

7:30 PM, Moss Arts Center, Blacksburg


Train Lovers’ Day

February 18

Broadway in Blacksburg: The Color Purple

February 20




With a soul-raising, Grammywinning score of jazz, gospel, ragtime, and blues, “The Color Purple” gives an exhilarating new spirit to this Pulitzer Prizewinning story. Don’t miss this

Hockey Game. All proceeds go to support the MDA. Tickets are $6-$11

Huddle Up Moms will be hosting their educational panel discussing a more holistic approach to women’s health exploring the mind, body, heart, and soul. huddleupmoms.org

Jurassic Quest with Ancient Oceans Berglund Center, Roanoke

Jurassic Quest is America’s Largest and most realistic Dinosaur Event. Guests will walk through different time periods and experience for themselves what it was like to be among the living, breathing dinosaurs. Jurassic Quest has over 200 true-to-life-sized dinosaurs across its 2 events.Tickets are $24-$40 theberglundcenter.com

February 22 Roanoke Mini Maker Faire

Noon-4:00 PM, Science Museum of Western Virginia, Roanoke

Maker Faire is a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. The Roanoke Mini Maker Faire features K-12 makers. A family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. Glimpse the future and get inspired! roanoke.makerfaire.com

February 26

Kindergarten Open House

12 PM - 2 PM, First Baptist Church Child Development Center (First Place Preschool)

February 28 International Pancake Day Nerf After Hours

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM, South County Library, Roanoke

Have lots of fun and eat pizza after the library is closed! This party is for children ages 13-17. Permission slip is required. Registration required. roanokecountyva.gov/library

The Barter Players present Peter Pan

3:30 PM & 6:00 PM Shows at Virginia Western Community College

Barter Theatre’s touring players present a performance for all ages! The story of Peter Pan is brought to life with only six quick-changing actors and Barter Players’ special brand of imagination and creativity. This is a great event for the whole family! virginiawestern.edu

February 27

Preschool & Kindergarten Information Sessions

7:00 PM, Community School, Roanoke

Teachers lead a brief discussion about the philosophy, curriculum and activities at each level. Bring your questions. Childcare provided during the session. Register your space by emailing admissions@ communityschool.net communityschool.net

February 29 Did you know? People born on leap day are often called “leaplings” or “leapers.” Meet The Author: Cece Bell 2:00 PM, Blacksburg Public Library

Cece Bell is an author and illustrator of books for children. She grew up in Salem, Virginia and now lives and works in Montgomery County. Her graphic novel memoir, El Deafo, which chronicles her childhood experiences with hearing loss, received a Newbery Honor and an Eisner Award in 2015. Cece’s other books include the Geisel Honor-winning Rabbit & Robot series, I Yam a Donkey, You Loves Ewe, and Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot! She enjoys hanging out and discussing book ideas with her husband and frequent collaborator, author Tom Angleberger.

March 11 The Harlem Globetrotters

7:00 PM, Berglund Center, Roanoke

The world-famous Harlem Globetrotters, featuring some of the most electrifying athletes on the planet, will bring their spectacular show to Roanoke during their 2019 World Tour. Tickets start at $26. theberglundcenter.com

March 18 Finding Neverland

7:30 PM, Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, Blacksburg

Finding Neverland tells the incredible story behind one of the world’s most beloved characters, Peter Pan. Playwright J.M. Barrie struggles to find inspiration until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. Spellbound by the boys’ enchanting make-believe adventures, he sets out to write a play that will astound London theatregoers. With a little bit of pixie dust and a lot of faith, Barrie takes this monumental leap, leaving his old world behind for Neverland, where nothing is impossible and the wonder of childhood lasts forever. The magic of Barrie’s classic tale springs spectacularly to life in this heartwarming theatrical event. According to NPR, Finding Neverland is “far and away the best musical of the year!” Tickets start at $45 for adults and $25 for children.



military night






Family • February 2020


the valley: kids eat free

can Re a l A me r i or N i nj a Wa r r i Op e n ! C o u rse N o w

Kids Eat Free cheap or

Every Day • Mama Maria’s 11 AM - 2 PM • 3 & under free buffet with paid adult W. Main St., Salem (540) 389-2848 • Golden Corral All Day • 3 & under free buffet with paid adult 1441 Towne Square Blvd., Roanoke (540) 563-8826 IHop 4PM-10PM • 12 & Under All Locations

launchingpadsalem.com 1300 Intervale Drive Salem VA 24153


fdc 20

Family • February 2020

• Shoney’s All Day • 4 & under, free kids meal with adult entree purchase. Drink not included 2673 Lee Highway, Troutville (540) 992-6400

Monday • Country Cookin’ 4 PM - Close • 10 & under, 2 children per paid adult All Locations in Roanoke (540) 774-0199

• Famous Anthony’s 3 PM - Close • 1 child per paid adult All Locations in Roanoke, Salem, & Vinton (540) 362-1400 • Buffalo Wild Wings 4 PM - 9 PM • 12 & under, 1 child per paid adult All Locations (540) 725-9464 • El Rio Mexican Grill All Day • 10 & under, 1 child per paid adult 4208 Electric Rd., Roanoke (540) 685-4343 • Firehouse Subs All Day • 11 & under, 2 children per paid adult combo,dine in Blacksburg (540) 961-0371 • The Green Goat All Day • 12 & under, 1 child per paid adult 802 Wiley Dr. SW, Roanoke (540) 904-6091

Tuesday • Denny’s 4 PM - 10 PM • 12 & under,

1 child per paid adult All Locations Roanoke & Salem (540) 389-5074 • Macado’s 4 PM - 9 PM • 12 & under, $1 child meal per paid adult All Locations in Roanoke & Salem (540) 776-9884 • McAlister’s Deli 5 PM - Close • 2 children per paid adult 2063 Colonial Ave., Roanoke (540) 204-4407 • Town Center Tap House All Day • 12 & under, 2 children per paid adult 90 Town Center St., Daleville (540) 591-9991 • Firehouse Subs All Day • 12 & under, 1 child per paid adult Colonial Ave, Town Square & Salem only (540) 345-3131

• Pizza Hut 5 PM - Close • 10 & under, free buffet per paid adult 1016 Hershberger Rd., Roanoke (540) 362-3834 • Ruby Tuesday 5 PM - Close • 11 & under, 1 child per paid adult Electric Rd., Roanoke (540) 265-9301 • K&W All Day • 12 & under, 1 child per paid adult Hershberger Rd. Roanoke (540) 563-4977

Wednesday • Dogwood 4 PM - Close • 10 & under, per paid adult 106 E. Lee Ave., Vinton (540) 343-6549 • The Quarter All Day • 12 & under, 1 child per paid adult 19 Salem Ave., Roanoke (540) 342-2990

Thursday • The Roanoker 4:30 PM - Close • 10 & under, 2 children per paid adult 2522 Colonial Ave., Roanoke (540) 344-7746 • Jerry’s Family Restaurant 4 PM - Close • 6 & under, 1 child per adult meal purchase 1340 E. Washington Ave., Vinton (540) 343-4400

Friday See Everyday Deals!

Saturday • Tokyo Express 11 AM - 3 PM • 4 & under free buffet per paid adult 1940 W Main St., Salem (540) 389-6303 • Famous Anthony’s 12 PM - Close • 1 child per adult meal

All Locations Roanoke, Salem, Vinton (540) 362-1400

Sunday • Pizza Den 5 PM - 8:30 PM • 10 & under free buffet per paid adult buffet and drink purchase Salem (540) 389-1111 • Local Roots 5 PM -7 PM • 5 & under eat for free, discount for ages 5-7 per paid adult 1314 Grandin Rd., Roanoke (540) 206-2610 • T.G.I.Fridays All Day • 12 & under 1 with paying adult 4869 Valley View Blvd., Roanoke (540) 362-1475 • Jimmy V’s Restaurant All Day • 4 & under kids meal only $2.50 3403 Brandon Ave., Roanoke (540) 345-7311

• Moe’s Southwestern Grill All Day • 1 free per paid adult All Roanoke & Blacksburg locations • Firehouse Subs All Day • 12 and Under 1 free per paid adult Keagy Road, Roanoke 540-204-4471 • Rodeo Grande All Day • 12 and Under 1 free per paid adult Valley View, Roanoke 540-206-2296 • Lew’s Restaurant SW All Day • 12 and Under 2 free per paid adult Walnut Avenue, Roanoke 540-682-5925 Roanoke Valley Family Magazine publishes these deals for informational purposes only. A Listing here does not guarantee a discount at any of the mentioned restaurants. Promotions often change without notice and we recommend calling the restaurant to confirm any discount before arrival.


& More! Basketball Dodgeball Jousting Pit Fidget Ladder Airbag Pit Launch Tower Arcade with prizes Bumper cars Flight Training Wall NEW! American Ninja Warrior Course Snack Bar 5 Party Rooms

WANT TO HELP YOUR CHILD SUCCEED? • Articles on parenting, homework, behavior • Podcast interviews on surviving and thriving with ADHD • Services including testing, diagnosing and counseling

Visit us at RoanokeADHD.com Family • February 2020


the valley: arts

RCT4TEENS Presents

The Fakes by Takoda Poindexter


he Fakes, a play written by Samantha Macher specifically for Roanoke Children’s Theater, tackles the topics of internet predators, internet addiction, and internet safety. On Thursday, February 27 and Friday, February 28 at 7 p.m., RCT4TEENS will present this fantastic show at the Jefferson Center Black Box Theatre (Fostek Hall), located at 541 Luck Ave SW, Roanoke, VA 24016. Admission is only $10. RCT4TEENS was launched in 2009 and “focuses on relevant


Family • February 2020

and challenging social issues for teens.” Accompanying their performances are youth education workshops that connect students to the issues at hand. After the show, health professionals answer questions and provide pertinent resources to families, addressing the issues and providing take-away community resource materials that give young adolescents tools to reach out for help when in a crisis. “Evaluations conducted since 2011 show significant statistical change in behavior and perception of risk for young people participating

in RCT4TEENS,” the Roanoke Children’s Theatre said. This is a great show to improve younger adolescents’ understanding about online dangers and precautions they should take when on the internet. It also illustrates for them how to deal with backlash such as bullying and harassment. This benefits the parents, as it can initiate conversations on a sensitive topic and can provide a way to better understand and relate to their children.


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Keep the Romance Alive After Baby and Beyond by Bree Howard


hat bundle of joy is home, all your friends and relatives have gushed over your newest family member, you’ve all settled in. Now what? After the initial excitement has worn down and the multiple nightly-feedings are leaving you bleary-eyed and exhausted, couples with a new baby may discover that being romantic is the last thing on the agenda. Yet, the truth is that carving out time just for the two of you may prove more important at this time of your life than any other. Romance is a long-term investment. Children underfoot or not, you need to put in now what you hope to get back later. So whether you are first-time parents with a newborn or there are children of all ages running around your house, these tips will help you keep the romance alive and well — despite those dirty diapers and three a.m. feedings.

Make Time Together a Priority. Heating things up between you and your partner after the baby arrives will not succeed unless you actually take the time to do it. While baby is a top priority, make the time you spend together a priority as well. If that means the dishes go unwashed after baby is asleep or that you leave work early to spend time together before the kids come home from school, then so be it. For some couples, meeting in the living room after the house is quiet for a glass of wine and a movie may be enough to spark romance. If the house is too distracting or you are both simply too tired, hiring a babysitter for a weekly date night may be the answer. However the romance is sparked between the two of you, make a date and stick to it.

Show Affection Just Because. Whether you are a couple with one child or five, time is precious. However busy and tired the two of you are, showing affection “just because” is an investment toward more passionate romance later on. Write a love note and slip it into his coat pocket, remember to add her favorite treat to your cart the next time you go shopping, or send texts to each other that simply say, “Hi, I love you.” Life’s priorities may have evolved, but even the simplest of gestures show that you are still each other’s number one.

Connect Every Day. Busy schedules, favorite television series, and social media often keep couples disconnected even when they are together. Yet, authentic communication is the key to keeping a relationship strong. Set aside at least ten minutes every day to simply connect with each other. During that time, silence the smartphones, keep the TV off, and sit facing each other. It might have to wait until the kids go to bed, but do not let anything come between the two of you and those ten minutes of real connection. Talk, but more importantly, listen to each other. Don’t make it a time when the big issues of family life get solved. Instead, just talk about each other’s day, dream together, laugh, and hold hands. Life can wait; these moments are just about the two of you.

Teach Your Partner to Romance You by Romancing Him or Her. Sometimes the best way to learn is by example. Think about ways you can show romance to your partner. Be the first to initiate, and don’t think that any gesture is too insignificant. Whether it’s as simple as picking up his dry cleaning or bringing her a cold drink while she watches the game and running your fingers through her hair, the smallest of gestures sends a signal that you are open for communication. Often that attitude of helpfulness opens up the door to each other’s emotions, which in turn heats up the romance between the two of you effortlessly. Show romance to your partner and watch as he eagerly reciprocates.

Compliment Each Other. It might seem like an obvious one, but challenge yourselves to give each other at least one compliment a day. Preferably, do it more often, but at least make the effort for that one. Compliments and praise immediately inject a positive feeling that carries over into the rest of your day. Give a simple word of praise for her parenting skills or a compliment on his looks. The subject doesn’t matter. Just remind your partner of how awesome you think she is.

Cook Together. Meal prep doesn’t have to be a rush of baby food and finger snacks, nor does it have to rely all on one partner. Turn mealtime into a romantic experience. Feed the kids something simple for dinner, and then put them to bed. After they’re asleep, go back to the kitchen together, light a few candles, pour two glasses of wine, and prepare something delicious just for the two of you. Put aside any distractions and linger over your meal. You’ll value the time to connect, and as a bonus, feel like real grownups again.

Meet in the Middle. Romance doesn’t always have to occur after the kids are asleep. Make a date to meet for lunch one day before the kids come home from school. You both will enjoy the spontaneity, and the short hour will make you eager to be together again later in the day.

Don’t Be Afraid to Give Your Partner Time to Him- or Herself. While the two of you love spending time together and love your little ones, the occasional guys-only golf game is a must to recharge and unwind. If your partner is overdue for some personal time, don’t hesitate to bring it up. Offer to watch the kids for a night or a Saturday morning so he can go watch a game or she can hang out with her besties. Your partner will thank you for the time to relax and will come home even more in love with you for your good nature.

Take a Little “You” Time. Putting all your effort into heating up your romance could go to waste if you don’t feel up for the outcome. Even though you’re a parent now and might feel like you should put the kids first, don’t deny yourself regular quiet time. Whether you arrange for a babysitter to watch the little ones while you run out for a pedicure or you arrange for your partner to watch the kids while you soak in a hot bubble bath, taking care of yourself is worth it. Your renewed energy and positive attitude will benefit both your family and the life of your romance. Keeping the romance alive as a couple, whether with a new baby or several children, is an investment in the long-term health of your relationship. Having a family comes with its own set of adjustments. The experience is certainly a learning curve, and it may take the two of you a few tries before you figure out what works for you. However, the effort it takes to fan the flame of your romance will be worth it when the two of you experience the many positive results of your connection.

APRIL 25, 2020 | ROANOKE, VA

REGISTER & FUNDRAISE TODAY K O M E N V A B L U E R I D G E . O R G / R A C E S p o n s o r e d

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family: home

2020 Nursery Décor Trends Curtis Burchett, REALTOR

Designing a nursery has come a long way from yesteryear’s pink lace ruffles for girls and trains or sports décor for boys. Today, the baby’s nursery can be modern and sophisticated, whimsical in boho, or serene in muted monotones and minimalist in design. Genderneutral designs are becoming more common, allowing parents to be to get a head start on designing the perfect space for their newborn. Many think of a nursery as the baby’s space, but realistically, parents

are going to be spending a lot of time in this room, so the décor and furnishings should reflect their own individual tastes as well as suit their needs. There is plenty of time to decorate for the child when they’re a little older and have developed their own interests. Today’s furniture is often multifunctional, conserving space while still having an elegant feel. Plus, many pieces are now versatile and grow with the child, like a crib that converts to a stylish toddler or twin bed. TRENDS TO WATCH

Metallic accents


Family • February 2020

Texture is a big trend. For warmth and coziness, choose pillows, wall hangings, rugs and blankets that are big on texture. Layer the textures for even more impact. Take a look at these nursery ideas our team is loving Pop of Color The nursery to the right highlights the impact a bright pop of a single color can add to a room. Soothing Monotone The gorgeous nursery below is made for snuggles. White doesn’t always seem like an obvious choice, but it allows for room to change accessories and add color as the child grows. Dramatic Darks Grey is the go-to color lately, and why not add its gorgeous deep tone to the nursery as well? Lighten the vibe with soft textures, art and plants.

A native of the area, Curtis Burchett has more than 15 years experience as full-time Realtor. He currently lives in Southwest Roanoke County with his wife and 3 kids, so he knows a thing or two about designing a nursery. Family • February 2020


Love is a verb. Love is service. Love is generosity. Love is empathetic. “Habitat not only gave me an opportunity to be a homeowner, they gave me a new life.� -Habitat Homeowner

For more information on how you can help, please call 540-344-0747 or visit www.habitat-roanoke.org Habitat for Humanity Ad Generously Provided by Curtis Burchett of Burchett Homes

The Power in Saying

No. and Meaning It

by: Lesley Butterfield Harrop

Family • February 2020


If you are anything like me, I find myself exhausted after certain times of the year: the non-stop holiday season that lasts three months, the end of the school year where recitals and award programs take up a copious amount of space on the family calendar, and even the summer months where vacations, summer camps, and swim meets are scheduled back-to-back-to-back. So basically, I am exhausted the whole year ‘round. Of course, this is expected, being a mother of four very active and involved kiddos, yes, but who’s with me? My calendar fills up so fast it makes my head spin. I’m betting you feel my pain! Well, I have a secret antidote to the exhaustion: BOUNDARIES!

manipulated, or shamed into saying yes?! That is the million-dollar question. But here are a few tips compiled fresh from a recovering people-pleaser:

Say no and mean it. Don’t say, “Well, maybe I can (insert some way of accommodating the request here). Just stick with no. Other terms that can be substituted are: “I can’t,” “Not today,” “Sorry, that won’t work for me,” and “That won’t be possible.” Remember, there is no need to offer any additional explanation of why you can’t do ____. You don’t ever need to explain how many family

What Are Boundaries? Say what? I know what you’re thinking: What are boundaries and how do they help *me* with my constant and neverending exhaustion? Boundaries are personal rules or guidelines that you commit to in order to interact reasonably with others. Boundaries are healthy and helpful! But we’ve all known those people who push our limits and don’t respect our boundaries. Anne Lamont said, “‘No’ is a complete sentence.” If you are struggling with saying no, learning about and perfecting your own boundaries should be a top priority and the word no adopted as your number one creed! Saying no to something can be difficult for us peoplepleasers. (I should know, trust me!) Saying no can be extremely helpful, obviously, but I am guessing that everyone already knows this. It is the act of saying no that some of us (myself included) could use some guidance on.

4 Steps to Saying “No” With a Smile So how do we say no and mean it? How do we say we cannot do something and not be guilted,


Family • February 2020

“‘No’ is a complete sentence.” -Anne Lamont

members you have coming in for the holidays or why you didn’t get it together enough to bring a plate of cookies to the dance recital. Just simply say no kindly and mean it!

Let the guilt go. This is the most difficult part of implementing boundaries — oftentimes, it’s so hard for us to let go of the expectations we have for ourselves. We must be able to learn how to not feel the imaginary guilt we think others are placing on us. How does this happen? It’s difficult, but employing self-care and mindfulness skills to help us move beyond those thoughts that we are disappointing everyone is crucial. If

you happen to feel guilt or worry about saying no, recognize and acknowledge the thought, label it as an unhelpful thought, then tell the thought to take its place in the back of the line. Letting the guilt go can help you to be able to move forward in your practice with boundaries.

Practice makes perfect! Don’t be disappointed if your first

attempt at boundaries is a complete and total failure. Boundaries can be tricky, and they can also be fluid! The important thing is that you remember you get to choose and the choice is always yours. As you work on setting those boundaries and learning where your own line is to ensure that you don’t overextend yourself, you will fast become a boundary bombshell.

Evaluate your priorities! Saying yes to things you enjoy and that don’t feel like a burden is important. Volunteering is great for anyone, and pitching in is a good thing! But choosing things that bring you joy can help you identify the things and activities you want to prioritize as highly-likely to participate in. Be strategic about what you can commit to in order to make sure you keep those commitments. As always, be kind and courteous when declining to violate your own personal limits. Anyone can be assertive and kind at the same time. We can be direct and nice all at once. When we identify our limits, practice our skills in saying no, and perfect our boundaries, we will cultivate a healthy self-care framework that values our own time, talent, and skills as much as we value others.

Growing Up.

Family • February 2020


REAL Advice

s m o M E M I T T S R I F r Fo by: Shannon Smith

Maybe you’ve been trying to have a baby for years, or maybe your pregnancy is a total surprise. However it happened, you are expecting your first child, and you have certain expectations and ideas about what that will be like. Maybe you expect the baby to get on schedule within his first month, or you just know you’ll breastfeed until she’s one. You have visions of your new little family taking strolls through grassy parks and posing for your holiday card photo. The truth is, motherhood can be a lot like that, but it can also be very, very different. Here are some of the things you really need to know about becoming a new mom.

One: You will be really tired. You will be more tired than you ever have been before. You will understand how sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture. You will be tired to the point that you’d cry if only you had the energy. Well-meaning friends and family who suggest you nap when the baby naps either don’t have kids or it’s been so long that they’ve forgotten what it’s like. It’s true, babies do sleep a lot. They also poop and spit up, which means laundry needs to be done. They also eat, which means you either need to prepare bottles or, if you’re breastfeeding, make sure you are being well-fed. Plus, you know all those tasks you need to do around your house now? They don’t disappear when the baby arrives. Expect to be more overwhelmed and exhausted than you can even begin to imagine.

Two: You will hate your significant other. The fact is, even the best dads out there have it easier than the moms. This is especially true if you’re breastfeeding and dad can’t feed the baby, but even if you’re bottle-feeding, Mom just always seems to do more. Maybe it’s because moms know intuitively what their little one needs, or maybe it’s just nature. Whatever it is, you will do more, and you will resent your partner. You will especially resent him when he has the audacity to yawn in your presence.

Three: Breastfeeding is hard. Breastfeeding is absolutely wonderful and an important gift to give your child. That doesn’t make it easy. Few babies come out and nurse without issue. Even when they do, Mom often experiences painful, cracked nipples. You will worry that your baby isn’t getting enough to eat. You will worry that you’re not doing it right. The good news here is that if you can get past the first eight weeks or so, breastfeeding really is easier than bottle-feeding because you don’t need to pack bottles when you travel, worry about storing cold milk, or have to prepare and wash a bunch of bottles at night.

Four: Bottle-feeding is a lot of work. The nice part about bottle-feeding is that others can take a shift and let you sleep. That’s about the only nice part. Buying formula will put you in a bad mood because



it’s expensive. Preparing bottles will upset you because it’s a pain to get them filled with water, measure the formula, and shake them up. Washing bottles is no fun because the formula gets stuck in there, and you need a special brush to break it free. Also, it seems everyone conveniently forgets to tell you that you need to buy new nipples for the baby’s bottles as he grows older so that the flow of the nipple matches his ability. Lest this all seem like doom and gloom, there are good, wonderful parts to motherhood, as well. If there weren’t, none of us would be here. I’ve saved the best two pieces of information for last.

Five: The hardest part only lasts eight months or so. Sure, parenting is never easy. However, it’s not always so exhausting. A toddler and older children may challenge you mentally, but at least they let you sleep at night and have learned to feed themselves.

Six: You will never, ever know love like the love you feel for your child. It’s a truly awesome experience that cannot be duplicated. You simply cannot know it until you live it. When you’re up feeding your little one for the fifth time in one night, try to take a deep breath and take it all in, because babyhood — the good, the bad, and the truly beautiful — is fleeting, and someday you’ll ache to have those moments back.

540-985-6550 Michael Craft 4750 Valley View Blvd geico.com/roanoke

Limitations apply. See geico.com for more details. GEICO & affiliates. Washington, DC 20076 © 2019 GEICO Family • February 2020


growing up: pregnancy

Introducing HUM: Huddle Up Moms! A

re you a Roanoke-area mom? Well, girl, are you in luck. Huddle Up Moms (HUM) is a brand-spankin’-new organization in Roanoke that is all about YOU. They’re dedicated to empowering women through education, support and connection. Their core stance is that all moms deserve to flourish in all aspects of their lives — and they know it takes a village to raise a family. As Jaclyn Nunziato, HUM director, put it, “We believe in empowering women to prioritize their well-being and in connecting mothers to resources they need to be happy, healthy, and confident.” What does this mean for you? For one thing, it means monthly learning panels focused on women’s health (every third Tuesday at 5 Points Music Sanctuary). For another, it means peer-led support


Family • February 2020

The next HUM event is February 18! February is Love Your Body Month, so this event will be a panel discussion entitled “A Holistic Approach to Women’s Health.” Join us at 5 Points Music Sanctuary, located at 1217 Maple Ave SW, Roanoke, Virginia 24016. For more information, email Jaclyn at jnunz24.hum@gmail.com.

groups around topics like infertility, NICU experiences, LGBTQ+ issues, pregnancy and infant loss, perinatal mood and anxiety, single moms, etc! And for another, it means resources that matter to you. Their website, huddleupmoms.org, is chock-full of resources for whatever is concerning you right now: health and wellness, mental health, lactation, family resources, and more. On the following page is the most recent blog post from their website, all about healing the postpartum mommy belly. Keep up with them on their site, through their newsletter (which you sign up for on their site), and on Facebook (@ huddleupmoms).

Mommy Belly The Medical Explanation and How to Heal It. If you are at home and you are thinking to yourself, “I cannot lose this stubborn postpartum belly no matter how many crunches I do,” or you are still struggling to fit into your favorite pre-pregnancy jeans because of your pregnancy pooch… The problem may not be what you think it is. It may be something called diastasis recti. What is Diastasis Recti? Diastasis is the separation of the rectus abdominis muscle — aka that six-pack you used to have before you gave birth (or in my case, the six-pack I always wanted but haven’t had since middle school).   For those of you that don’t know, your ab muscles consist of a group of muscles that make up and help support your overall core strength and your pelvis!! Don’t be too hard on yourself if you are missing those ab muscles. You grew a tiny human from scratch and you did that by allowing your body to adapt to a growing baby by making room in your pelvis. How Does Your Body Stretch so Much?   The two culprits responsible for diastasis recti (DR) are called relaxin and progesterone. They work by creating laxity of the connective tissues and muscles. The diagnosis of DR is made after you give birth when these muscles separate more than 2.5–2.7 cm along the linea alba (the connective tissue that runs right down the center of your abdomen).

How Do You Know if You Have DR? Here are 10 common signs:   1. Weakening of pelvic floor muscles 2. Pelvic floor dysfunction 3. Incontinence (leakage of urine) 4. Pelvic pain 5. Lower back pain 6. Pain during intercourse 7. Poor postpartum posture 8. Umbilical hernia 9. A cone shape or protrusion of your lower abdomen 10. Inability to tighten your core muscles Will You Be One of the 60 Percent That Will Have DR?   Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing, but there are risk factors and ways to help prevent this while you are still pregnant. Some of the risk factors include:   1. Multiples babies at once 2. Larger babies 3. Weaker abdominal wall to begin your pregnancy 4. Narrow pelvis 5. Short interval between pregnancies 6. Over the age of 35 Exercises to Avoid Before and After Pregnancy It’s a common mistake to over-exercise the ab muscles after delivery. Many women think if they do enough crunches, they can fix their DR — but that is not the case. In fact, doing crunches may actually worsen your diastasis. Avoid these movements at all possible:

1. Push-ups 3. Heavy lifting 4. Planks 5. Crunches/sit-ups 6. Core twists 7. Leaning forward to pick up items on the ground 8. Most importantly, avoid increased pressure on your belly. Prevention Tips For During Your Pregnancy 1. Roll over to your side to get out of bed to avoid engaging and stretching those ab muscles. 2. Try ab-safe core moves. 3. Correct your posture. 4. Do Kegel exercises. 5. Strengthen your other muscles, like arms and legs, to take pressure off of your core (squatting is great). Just a reminder: to learn more, please seek medical advice from your health provider. This information is not meant to be allencompassing and should NOT replace seeking advice from your health care provider for specific questions, solutions, and concerns about your health.

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Helping create your perfect experience.

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1409 S. Colorado St., Salem, VA funtimesvirginia.com Family • February 2020


growing up: infant

How To Choose The Best Diapers For Your Baby By Sandi Schwartz


ith parenthood comes many challenging choices — co-sleep or crib, bottle or breast, cloth or disposable? Your diaper choice can impact your family’s health and the natural environment, so it is important to evaluate the many benefits of choosing organic baby cloth diapers for your little one. Although each diaper option comes with its pros and cons, cloth diapers offer advantages by minimizing environmental harm, reducing health impacts, and saving money.

Environmental Impact The top reason to choose cloth diapers is their eco-friendliness compared to disposable diapers. Disposables use more raw materials to make, contain harsh chemicals, create so much more waste by filling up landfills, and degrade very slowly. Americans throw away an estimated 20 billion disposable diapers each year, creating about 3.5 million tons of waste that can’t be recycled or composted. That translates to more than two tons of waste per child! Unfortunately, studies show that diapers in landfills take up to 500 years to degrade.


Family • February 2020

Chemicals are a big problem for disposable diapers. To start, the manufacturing process uses volatile chemicals that can end up in the ecosystem. The Real Diaper Association explains that disposable diapers contain ingredients that could harm animals, humans, and the environment, including polyethylene, petroleum, wood pulp, dioxins, the endocrine disrupter tributyltin, gelling material, perfume, and polypropylene, as well as non-renewable, petroleum-based ingredients. As the diapers sit for years in the landfill, they can leach these dangerous chemicals into the soil and water, while also creating methane and other toxic gasses in the air.

effects of these pathogens are still being studied, experts agree that they could seep into the water source, potentially polluting drinking water. Finally, we can’t forget about our precious trees. It is estimated that up to 200,000 trees are lost each year to make disposable diapers for babies in the U.S. alone.

The average baby will use $4000 worth of diapers in their first two years.

There is also concern about the human feces in each diaper as it sits decomposing for years. According to a report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, disposable diapers introduce pathogens into the environment from the solid waste they contain. While the

Health Concerns

Besides harming the environment, the materials used to make disposable diapers have been found to cause health issues as well. Unfortunately, there is no government oversight or medical testing required to determine whether diaper materials are safe or a law forcing companies to provide a complete list of ingredients used in their products. Therefore, we have to rely on nonprofit

organizations and existing studies that indicate what exactly is in disposable diapers so that we can make the best choice possible for our children. Many traditional diaper brands contain chlorine, latex, perfumes, and dyes that can cause skin irritations and rashes. More serious, studies have found that being exposed to chlorine for an extended period of time can cause cancer. Next, the wood pulp core of diapers is bleached with chlorine, a process that contaminates the end-product with dioxins, which are highly toxic and carcinogenic. Finally, disposable diapers generate emissions that your baby can inhale. A 1999 study examined the respiratory effects of repeat exposures to diaper emissions and found that more than a dozen chemicals, including toluene, styrene, and trichloroethylene, impacted the respiratory tract and can cause or worsen asthma.

washers that have that logo use 25 percent less energy and approximately 33 percent less water than standard models. Clothes dryers use approximately 20 percent less energy than standard models and incorporate advanced features that combine less heat with sensor drying to prevent over-drying. •

Air-dry the diapers with a dehumidifier turned on instead of using the dryer.

Purchase a small, portable washing machine to wash one day’s worth of cloth diapers. You only need to add 1-2 gallons of

water for one load, compared to the 50 needed for a full-sized washer. The wash cycle finishes in about 30 minutes as long as you don’t overload the machine. •

Avoid using a cloth diaper cleaning service, since the transportation involved uses large amounts of energy and you do not have control over the type of washer and dryer units they have.

Cost Savings Another huge benefit of using cloth diapers is the cost savings you will notice. Disposable diapers can start to really add up. On average, children will require about 8 diapers per day from the time they are born until they are potty trained. That is a total of 8,000 to 10,000 diapers! That cost comes out to an average of $4,000 per child over a two-year period. Yikes. On the other hand, the cost of using cloth diapers and laundering them yourself is between $800 and $1100 over three years, which is a huge savings from disposables. The other great news is that you only need to purchase the cloth diapering system once because you can reuse it for your next child. Then, when you know you are done with them, you can donate them to a cloth diaper bank.

How To Address The Biggest Con: Energy Consumption The biggest challenge with baby cloth diapers is the amount of energy consumption needed to wash and dry the cloth between uses. However, the following tips will help ensure that you stay as eco-friendly as possible when choosing cloth diapers. •

Choose energy-efficient appliances, such as those labeled with the Energy Star logo. Clothes

Family • February 2020


growing up: infant

Five Benefits of Making Your Own Baby Food by Brittany Madera Whether you’re a new parent or have had children before, it’s common to wonder what kinds of options you have for feeding your baby. You might have heard about how other parents are preparing and cooking their own purees for their children. Perhaps your parents or grandparents have mentioned that they never used store-bought baby foods either. Making your own baby food can be a challenge when you first start, but there are many benefits that make it worthwhile. By making your own baby food, you know exactly what you are feeding your child. There is no guesswork about any “extras” that the manufacturer might have included. You also know that the food was prepared in a safe place by loving hands. You can keep an eye on nutritional values. This is even more important if your baby has specific dietary needs, but any parent can benefit from knowing how their baby’s meals were made. For environmentally concerned parents, creating baby purees by yourself is a more


Family • February 2020

eco-friendly option. You won’t have to worry about how much it damages the environment to ship jars of baby food from one end of the world to the other. You’ll make an even greater positive impact if you can buy most of your foods from a local farm. Preparing and pureeing your own baby food can be less expensive than buying it prepackaged. This can be especially true during harvest time if you grow your own vegetables or know someone who is willing to share some of their home-grown produce. While it’s not always the case that you’ll save money when you make your own baby food, it can certainly be a motivating factor. You can choose which fruits and vegetables you make into a puree. This can give your baby a wider range of flavors than would be available in the supermarket. You can also be creative with mixing flavors, such as combining fruits and vegetables into one puree. You might find that your baby will turn his or her nose up at a particular food when offered it by itself, but that same food

might become a favorite once mixed with something else. Along that same line, making your own baby food will let your baby become accustomed to the same food your family eats. If your family eats avocados frequently, you might want to introduce them to your child, as well. However, you’d be hard-pressed to find avocado baby food in the grocery store. The same goes for many exotic fruits that your family may love to eat. By creating your own baby-friendly meals, you can prepare your new child to enjoy the meals she will likely eat in the future. While you might be nervous about preparing your own baby food at first, remember that choosing the homemade option instead of store-bought could make a positive difference in both your life and your baby’s life. You’ll have more control over what goes into your child’s tummy, and you might even save some money along the way. These benefits are sure to outweigh the slight inconvenience of making baby food at home.


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How a Parent’s Affection Shapes a Child’s Happiness for Life By Sandi Schwartz

How often do you hug your children? We all live busy, stressful lives and have endless concerns as parents, but it is clear that one of the most important things we need to do is to stop and give our kids a big, loving squeeze. Research over the past decade

highlights the link between affection in childhood and health and happiness in the future. According to Child Trends, the leading nonprofit research organization in the United States focused on improving the lives and prospects of children, youth, and their families, science supports the idea that warmth and affection expressed by parents to their children results in lifelong positive outcomes for those children. Higher self-esteem, improved academic performance, better parent-child communication, and fewer psychological and behavioral problems have been linked to this type of affection. On the other hand, children who do not have affectionate parents tend to have lower self-esteem and feel more alienated, hostile, aggressive, and antisocial.

What the science says: There have been a number of recent studies that highlight the relationship between parental affection and children’s happiness and success. In 2010, researchers at Duke University Medical School found that babies with very affectionate and attentive mothers grow up to be happier, more resilient, and less anxious adults. Five hundred people were followed from the time they were infants until they were in their 30s. When the babies were eight months old, psychologists observed their mothers’ interactions with them as they took several developmental tests. Then, 30 years later, those same individuals were interviewed about their emotional health. The adults whose mothers showed “extravagant” or “caressing” affection

were much less likely than the others to feel stressed and anxious. They were also less likely to report hostility, distressing social interactions, and psychosomatic symptoms. Researchers concluded that the hormone oxytocin may be responsible for this effect. Oxytocin is a chemical in the brain released during times when a person feels love and connection. It has been shown to help parents bond with their children, adding a sense of trust and support between them. This bond most likely helps our brain produce and use oxytocin, causing a child to feel more positive emotions.

Then, in 2015, a study out of the University of Notre Dame showed that children who receive affection from their parents were happier as adults. More than 600 adults were surveyed about how they were raised, including how much physical affection they had. The adults who reported receiving more affection in childhood displayed less depression and anxiety and were more compassionate overall. Those who reported less affection struggled with mental health, tended to be more upset in social situations, and were less able to relate to other people’s perspectives.

“Babies with very affectionate and attentive mothers grow up to be happier, more resilient, and less anxious adults.”

Next, a 2013 study from UCLA found that unconditional love and affection from a parent can make children emotionally happier and less anxious. This happens because their brain actually changes as a result of the affection. On the other hand, the negative impact of childhood abuse and lack of affection impacts children both mentally and physically. This can lead to all kinds of health and emotional problems throughout their lives. What’s really fascinating is that scientists think parental affection can actually protect individuals against the harmful effects of childhood stress.

Researchers have also studied the benefits of skinto-skin contact for infants. This special interaction between mother and baby, in particular, helps calm babies so they cry less and sleep more. It has also been shown to boost brain development. According to an article in Scientific American, children who lived in a deprived environment like an orphanage had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol than those who lived with their parents. Scientists believe that the lack of physical contact in the orphanages is a major factor in these physical changes.   Finally, numerous studies on the effects of massage show the positive benefits it offers to reduce anxiety in children. Massage is also a good way for parents to connect to their children, both physically and

emotionally. Starting in infancy, a parent can begin to massage his or her child, which can create a strong bond. Studies have shown that children and adults who receive massages experience less anxiety during academic stress, hospital stays, and other stressful events.

So, how can you bring more hugs into your family’s day? From the moment you bring your baby home from the hospital, be sure to hold, touch, and rock him in your arms. Spend many precious moments caressing your baby so that his skin can touch your skin. As your child gets older, be playful by doing fun activities with her, like dancing together or creating silly games (like pretending to be a hugging or kissing monster). Set a reminder to make sure hugging is part of your daily routine. In the adorable Trolls movie, the Trolls wore watches with alarm clocks that would go off every hour for hug time. If that’s what it takes, then set yourself an alarm. Or make sure to give your kids a hug during certain times of the day, such as before they leave for school, when they get home from school, and before bedtime. Another interesting idea is to use affection while disciplining your child. As you talk to him about what he did wrong, put your hand on his shoulder and give him a hug at the end of the conversation to assure him that, even if you are not pleased with his behavior, you still love him. If your child hits her sister or brother, hug her and explain how hugging feels better than hitting. Finally, be careful not to go overboard and smother your kids. Respect their individual comfort levels and be aware that this will change as they go through different stages.

Family • February 2020


MORE THAN 85% OF BRAIN DEVELOPMENT HAPPENS BEFORE THE AGE OF 5. Prepare your child for success in school and in life. Fill out a Smart2Start application for your child, from birth to age 5, to secure affordable, high-quality childcare for the upcoming school year. Signing up is easy and free!

Visit smart2start.org or call (540) 283-2785 for more information or to enroll your child today!

Join Us on Campus in 2020!

FREE Bilingual Storytime

Preschool & Kindergarten Information sessions

February 3* April 20 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. *snow date: February 10

February 27* 7:00-8:00 P.M

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R.S.V.P Victoria@communityschool.net or call 540-563-5036.

R.S.V.P Admissions@communityschool.net or call 540-563-5036.

Open to children ages 3-5. Enjoy English/Spanish story time, a craft and refreshments.

Putting children at the center of the learning process since 1971. Serving students ages 3 through middle school.




African American Film Festival - FEBRUARY 2020 In honor of Black History Month, the Grandin Theatre presents these four films every Tuesday throughout the month of February !

All films are FREE ADMITTANCE and start at 7:15 pm.


1310 Grandin Road, Roanoke, VA 24015

education: books

by Rachel Levine Babies and board books, like milk and cookies, are the perfect pairing. Once upon a time, storybooks were only for older children who wouldn’t tear pages, or, let’s be honest, eat the book. With the rise of board books, parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends can all share their love of books with their littlest loved ones. With beautiful pictures, funny stories, and sweet messages, board books promote both literacy and bonding (another fabulous duo like peanut butter and jelly). Based on my on-the-job research with two cutie pies of my own, these are six essential, not-to-be-missed board books to share with your new sweetie. Look for Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boynton at Little Free Libraries around Roanoke.

Snuggle Puppy

Everywhere Babies

You love your child with every fiber of your being. Love that deep and powerful can be hard to express, but Snuggle Puppy does it brilliantly. In Snuggle Puppy, a parent doggy serenades its puppy with a message of complete and unconditional love. This is a book you will find yourself singing aloud, not reading, and don’t be surprised if you find yourself whispering the sweet lyrics to your baby outside of storytime. You will want to share this message of love with your own snuggle puppy all the time.

Babyhood and parenthood are beautiful, messy, challenging, and exciting adventures. Everywhere Babies celebrates babies and families in both their diversity and universality. Words and images show babies nursing, having bottles, in strollers, and in baby carriers. Parents are depicted as loving and silly, with a good dose of that first-year exhaustion. This is a marvelously relatable book that celebrates the joy and newness of babyhood and the love that binds us all together.

by Sandra Boynton

by Susan Meyers

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow

Silly rhymes are a siren’s song for older babies and toddlers. The classic song “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” has been made into a fantastically silly and slightly naughty board book sure to delight. As the title says, five little monkeys jump on the bed — and despite repeated warnings from their mama and doctor to stop, they don’t listen one bit. In a silly twist, in the end it turns out the mama hasn’t learned her lesson either. This goofy book is sure to bring giggles into your bedtime routine!

With beautiful pictures, funny stories, and sweet messages, board books promote both literacy and bonding

Freight Train by Donald Crews

It is never to early to introduce your baby to a love of cars, trucks, and trains. Freight Train is a classic Caldecott Honor book, and it deserves the hype. Vivid and bright illustrations are used to describe all the different types of cars on a train while also introducing your cutie to their colors. After exploring the train, readers get to see it start off on its journey. This is where the magic really happens, as the colors of the train start to blend and stretch. The movement of the train is visually spectacular. This is an oldie but goodie that you don’t want to miss.


Family • February 2020

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle

Babies are drawn to animals from a very early age. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? is a wonderful way to teach your little one the names of different animals and colors while enjoying rhymes and beautiful art. Eric Carle’s gorgeous and bold animal collages are iconic and make this book a must-have.

Where is Baby’s Belly Button? by Karen Katz

Peek-a-boo is one of the first games we play with our babies. Where is Baby’s Belly Button? will take your peek-a-boo game to a whole new level. With a lift-the-flap design, babies help find a baby’s eyes, mouth, hands, and feet. It is a great way to help your little one learn the names for his or her own body parts, and babies and parents just love all the fun, interactive flaps!

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www.reproductivepossibilities.com Family • February 2020


education: science

Science Eggs-periment Supplies

February 22 @ 7:00pm Waldron Stage

6 new plays written by middle & high school playwrights All tickets are "pay what you can" donation & only available 30 minutes before the performance. Visit millmountain.org for more information.

Narrow necked bottle (opening smaller than the egg, preferably glass Peeled hard-boiled egg Matches Long strip of paper (shorter than the bottle) Water or vegetable oil

Directions 1. Dip the narrow end of the egg in water or oil and take it out, shaking to free any large droplets. 2. Light the strip of paper and place it, flaming end down, completely inside the bottle. 3. Quickly place the egg, narrow end down, on the mouth of the bottle. 4. Watch as the egg is sucked into the bottle when the flame goes out.

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Family • February 2020

What’s happening? When the paper is lit and placed inside the bottle, it heats the air, which expands and escapes past the egg (you might even see the egg wiggle a little). When the fire goes out because it has consumed all of the oxygen in the bottle, the air inside the bottle cools down. Cool air takes up less space than hot air. When the experiment began, the air outside had equal pressure to the air inside but when the fire goes out and the air begins to cool and takes up less space, it also is pushing less on the egg. This means that the air outside the egg is pushing down more than the air inside is pushing up so the egg is pushed into the bottle.Â




Experiment provided by The Science Museum of Western Virginia Family • February 2020



Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy by Rowan Martin

During pregnancy, it’s important for a woman to make healthy dietary choices, both to support her own body and to protect the development of her baby. A huge range of foods can be enjoyed safely, but there are some that should be avoided or limited. If you’re in any doubt about what’s safe to eat during pregnancy, seek medical advice to stay fully protected. Following these five simple rules is a great start to optimum health at this special time of your life.


Family • February 2020

Mold-ripened soft cheeses Stay clear of mold-ripened soft cheeses like brie and camembert, along with soft, blueveined cheeses like Roquefort and gorgonzola. These provide a moist atmosphere where harmful bacteria, including listeria, can grow. Although extremely rare, listeria can have devastating effects during pregnancy (leading to miscarriage, stillbirth, or severe illness in a newborn.) Stick to hard cheeses like cheddar and parmesan, or pasteurized soft cheeses like mozzarella, cottage cheese, and ricotta.

Caffeine Coffee and other caffeinated drinks can still be enjoyed during pregnancy, but consumption should be kept under 200mg per day to decrease the risk of miscarriage and low birthweight. Don’t forget that tea, chocolate, energy drinks, and some cold and flu medicines also contain caffeine. Try replacing these with decaf varieties, herbal teas, fruit juices, and mineral water. A mug of instant coffee contains 100mg of caffeine. The equivalent amount of drip coffee contains 140mg of caffeine, and a mug of tea has only 75mg. Energy drinks can contain up to 80mg per cup.

Fish Fish is great for your health, and many types can be eaten during pregnancy. However, steer clear of swordfish, marlin, or shark, as these can contain high levels of mercury and may damage the nervous system of an unborn child. For this reason, you should also limit tuna to two steaks or four cans per week. Oily fish like salmon, trout, and mackerel should only be eaten bi-weekly, as it may contain harmful pollutants. Always cook shellfish thoroughly, as raw mussels, crab, prawns, and clams can contain harmful bacteria and viruses that lead to food poisoning. Smoked fish, like salmon and trout, are considered safe to eat freely. Many women choose to avoid store-bought or restaurant sushi during pregnancy, as it’s hard to know how this has been prepared. Vegetable or cooked fish varieties provide great alternatives.

Eggs The majority of eggs are produced with good safety standards and pose very little risk of salmonella, even if raw or partially cooked (i.e. soft boiled or in mousses, soufflés, or fresh mayonnaise). If you’re unsure of the origin of your eggs (while eating out, for example) it’s best to ask for them to be thoroughly cooked until the whites and yolks are solid. While salmonella food poisoning is rare and unlikely to harm your baby, it can lead to a severe bout of diarrhea and vomiting. Goose, duck, and quail eggs should always be fully cooked.

Raw or undercooked meat Avoid raw or rare meat during pregnancy, as both may lead to toxoplasmosis, a symptomless, potentially damaging infection. Meat and poultry should be cooked thoroughly until steaming hot with no trace of pink or blood. Good kitchen hygiene is also important, so wash all surfaces and utensils thoroughly with an antibacterial cleaner after preparing raw meat to avoid the spread of harmful germs. Be sure to wash and dry your hands well, too.


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Profile for Roanoke Valley Family Magazine

Roanoke Valley Family Magazine February 2020  

Volume 8, Issue 6

Roanoke Valley Family Magazine February 2020  

Volume 8, Issue 6