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parentsguide Issaquah 2011

• Picky eaters — Convince, cajole children to eat their peas • Picking a preschool — Learn reputations, get recommendations • The game of kings — Chess teaches math, reasoning skills • Mommy bloggers — Musings about motherhood, marriage, more Supplement to The Issaquah Press and Sammamish Review

• Baby blues — When postpartum issues come with your bundle of joy


A LOOK AT PARENTING AND ISSAQUAH-AREA RESOURCES

PAGE 3 NOVEMBER 2011

INSIDE PICKY EATERS PAGE 4 Experts on childhood nutrition offer ideas for frustrated parents to convince, cajole and outsmart children to eat their peas. MOVIE RATINGS PAGE 10 The Motion Picture Association of America lets some surprisingly grown-up content into PG-13 rated films. PRESCHOOL PAGE 12 For parents picking a preschool, reputation and other parents’ recommendations are paramount. CHESS PAGE 16 Teaching children chess, the game of kings, can help them develop better math and reasoning skills later in life. HOME SAFETY PAGE 20 Learn how to make your home a safe place for children and family members of all ages. OUTDOORS PAGE 22 Issaquah Alps trails and Washington’s natural resources offer opportunities for parents and children to share a love for the outdoors.

PARENT RESOURCES PAGE 26 Connect with other parents and experts through local family organizations. MOMMY BLOGGERS PAGE 28 Local moms turn to blogs to muse about motherhood, marriage and more. CHILDREN’S BOOKS PAGE 34 Issaquah’s children’s librarian suggests books with a beat to boost literacy skills.

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FATHERS PAGE 36 A former educator teaches other fathers how to get more involved in parenting.

Breann Getty Dona Mokin

POSTPARTUM DISORDERS PAGE 38 Learn how to cope when postpartum blues follow the arrival of your bundle of joy.

Dona Mokin

KIDS FINANCES PAGE 40 It’s never too early for parents to teach their kids about the benefits of saving money. HOMEMADE PLAY DOUGH PAGE 42 Forget making a trip to the toy store, and teach children how to make their own play dough.

MANAGING EDITOR WRITERS Warren Kagarise Tom Corrigan David Hayes Christina Lords Bob Taylor

PHOTOGRAPHER Greg Farrar

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PAGE 4 N O V E M B E R 2011

By Greg Farrar

Sophie Citro, 2, with help from her mother Asia, and Benjamin Ireton, 2, with a hand from his grandfather Steve Bauck, learn to mix spiced pumpkin muffin batter during a PCC Halloween Fun food class.

Options abound for picky eaters BY WARREN KAGARISE

By Greg Farrar

Alicia Guy (center), with PCC, sets out a plate of vegetables for Katie Stolte, 3, left, and Gabriella Fonvielle, 3, to create veggie monsters.

The menu is almost always the same for picky eaters: cheese and a carbohydrate — breads, pasta, tortillas. Alicia Guy, a longtime PCC Cooks instructor and mother to a choosy 7-year-old son, often hears stories about children stuck in a single food group or interested solely in monochromatic meals — only white foods, for instance. “It mostly has to do with them just wanting to eat bread and cheese,” she said. “If it’s pizza, it’s just dough and the cheese and no sauce. If it’s a quesadilla, it’s just the tortilla and the cheese. Or macaroni and cheese. That’s pretty much the basics.”

Parents, fear not, for a child subsisting on Wonder Bread, cheese slices and the occasional chicken nugget is not at risk for scurvy or other deficiencyrelated diseases. (Though childhood nutrition experts recommend a quality multivitamin, especially for finicky eaters.) “It kind of freaks parents out and they think, ‘Oh my God, my kid is not growing or they’re not getting enough variety,’” said Tarynne Mingione, a Swedish Medical Center registered dietitian and clinical nutrition specialist in pediatrics. Experts on childhood nutrition recommend a more gentle approach than the eat-yourBrussels-sprouts-or-else ap-


PAGE 5 N O V E M B E R 2011

How to pack a healthy — and tasty — school lunch Experts at Seattle Children’s encourage parents to pack a healthy lunch for children. Use fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains. In addition, milk or water is a better choice than sugar-laden beverages. Start by brainstorming a list of child-friendly foods. In addition to old standbys, such as peanut butter and jelly, consider pitas or wraps stuffed with grilled chicken or vegetables. Other ideas for lunchbox fillers: salads, soups and leftovers. Consider some small changes for a big nutritional impact: ❑ Use lower-fat deli meats, such as turkey, rather than higher-fat lunchmeats, such as bologna. ❑ Try oat, multigrain and wheat breads rather than the traditional white. ❑ Opt for low-fat mayonnaise or mustard instead of fullfat mayonnaise. ❑ Trade fried chips for baked, or pack air-popped popcorn, trail mix, or vegetables and dip. ❑ Bypass fruit packed in syrup for fruit packed in natural proach from decades past. “You don’t want to build a reward system and you don’t want to bribe a kid,” Mingione said. “Parents can use a different approach, like ‘This food is really good for you. It helps you grow healthy and strong.’” Introducing healthy foods to a narrow palate is a challenge, as generations of parents have learned the hard way through dinnertime disputes. “I think some kids just have a more sensitive and a narrower range,” Guy said. “The trick is really not to make it a big, emotional battle.” Encourage a healthy appetite In the child-centric cooking classes she teaches at PCC Natural Markets in Issaquah and elsewhere, she hears from frus-

Continued on Page 6

By Greg Farrar

Henry Sebastian, 2, cuts vegetables with a plastic knife as his mother Cory looks on. In the middle, Sophie Citro, 2, makes a monster face out of raw vegetables. At right, Benjamin Ireton, 2, finds that healthy food is fun. juices. Or include fresh fruit. ❑ For a sweet treat, try trail mix, yogurt or homemade baked goods — such as oatmeal cookies or fruit muffins — rather than store-bought cookies and snack cakes. Though prepackaged lunches for children can be convenient, the grab-and-go meals often lag in terms of nutrition. Instead, create a ready-topack lunch using healthier ingredients.

❑ Create cold-cut roll ups using low-fat turkey, ham or roast beef, and low-fat cheese, on flour tortillas. ❑ Make cold pizza by placing shredded mozzarella cheese and pizza sauce on a flour tortilla, English muffin or mini pizza shell. ❑ Turn whole-grain crackers filled with cream cheese or peanut butter and jelly into cracker sandwiches. ❑ Classic peanut-butter-andcelery sticks make a quick and

easy lunchtime snack. So do vegetable sticks and low-fat dip or dressing. ❑ Quench lunchtime thirst with a 100-percent fruit juice box or a bottle of water. ❑ Dessert could be a flavored gelatin, low-fat pudding, oatmeal raisin cookie, graham crackers or fresh fruit. Pack the lunch in colorful plastic containers, resealable plastic bags or plastic wrap. Source: Seattle Children’s


PAGE 6 N O V E M B E R 2011

From Page 5 trated parents about the challenges in feeding a child committed to eating plain noodles for meal after meal. “That’s probably the thing that parents worry the most about — that their child is picky,” Guy said. “I try to encourage them to relax about it, because they’re going to be fine.” The arsenal for parents interested in broadening a picky child’s palate is not limited to bribery and threats — in fact, Guy and Mingione said a proactive approach is often more successful. “I don’t encourage people to force kids to eat their vegetables or have repercussions if they don’t or dessert if they do,” Guy said. “It’s more about putting it in front of them and being a good example by eating your own vegetables. “Maybe they’re not going to eat theirs right away, but they’re going to see your example of what you’re eating. Eventually, things will just start to sneak in there.” Sometimes, the easiest solu-

“The more involved the child is with the shopping or the cooking or even the growing of the fruits or vegetables, the more likely they are to take ownership of that and be likely to eat it.” Alicia Guy PCC Cooks instructor

tion is to trick a child into thinking a healthy food is his or her idea. “It could be going to the grocery store and saying, ‘OK, go pick out something that’s green or your favorite color, and then we’ll make it however you want,’” Mingione said. Emphasize farm-to-table ties Connecting the fare to a farmer is another tactic to encourage children to try different foods. Guy, for instance, convinced her son to eat carrots after a trip to grower Nash Huber’s Sequim farm. “He won’t eat other carrots,

By Greg Farrar

Perlla Fonvielle holds daughter Gabriella’s hand so they can drop a cupful of batter into a mold for spiced pumpkin muffins during a PCC Halloween Fun food class.


PAGE 7 N O V E M B E R 2011

but he will eat those carrots,” she said. Guy said the grocery store approach is also a success for her 9-year-old daughter and son — “one of the top five picky eaters in all of the years that I’ve been teaching classes,” she added. “With my daughter, that works great,” Guy said. “She always looks for something that is new to try. With my son, we kind of say, ‘Well, you just pick one thing’ and he’ll pick Nash’s carrots or cucumbers. They feel like they’re being more participatory in the whole process.” Offering children some space in a backyard garden or a section in a neighborhood pea

patch plot is another method to raise interest in different foods. “The more involved the child is with the shopping or the cooking or even the growing of the fruits or vegetables, the more likely they are to take ownership of that and be likely to eat it,” Guy said. Gardening can help children averse to produce start to appreciate tomatoes, for instance. “They might like them if

they’re going outside and they’re growing them and they’re picking them,” Mingione said. Inviting children to help prepare meals or complete simple tasks, such as setting the table, can also lead to more interest in foods. Sneaky cooks often come up short Sneaking fruits and vegetables into other foods — puréed

“Offer the food that you know they’re going to eat, but introduce something as well and show interest yourself.” Tarynne Mingione Swedish Medical Center registered dietitian and clinical nutrition specialist in pediatrics

Continued on Page 8

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From Page 7 beets in pancakes, perhaps — emerged as a fad late in the last decade, but critics said the approach seldom yields longterm success. “I don’t think that sneaking anything supports longterm good behavior toward eating,” Mingione said. “I never encourage parents to do that.” Using fruit juices and vegetables purées to increase a food’s nutritional oomph can pose a challenge to home cooks. “If it works, great,” Guy said. “I, personally, haven’t had much success” at home. “The picky one will dissect it if he sees a fleck of something strange,” she added. “He will dissect it to find out what’s going on in there.” Guy said fiber is important, especially for difficult-toplease eaters disinclined to eat fruits and vegetables. So, she surreptitiously mixes oat bran into muffin batter to boost fiber. Parents also exert outsized influence on children’s habits

— and picky parents can lead to choosy children. “Offer the food that you know they’re going to eat, but introduce something as well and show interest yourself,” Mingione said. Though children get on jags for particular foods, nutrition experts said parents should continue to offer a broad selection, but persistence is key. Parents might need to make 10 or 15 attempts before a child starts to show interest in unfamiliar foods. “Rarely do you have parents that are willing to give it a go that many times,” Mingione said. “They get discouraged if they put it on the table once and the kid goes, ‘Ugh, that’s disgusting!’” If all else fails, remember: Most children overcome limited eating habits over time, and creating a broader palate is a critical developmental milestone. Though the affinity for bread-and-cheese combinations sometimes lingers long after adolescence. “There are a lot of grownups that eat that way, too,” Guy said.

By Greg Farrar

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Know what goes into PG-13 rated movies BY DAVID HAYES If you watch the recent summer blockbuster “X-men: First Class” on DVD, you might be surprised by one scene. In short, two of the main characters were told by another to get out, using an expletive not fit for print in a family newspaper or magazine and usually reserved for R-rated movies. Just what is allowed in PG13 movies and are parents aware of that or are they OK with it? Janine Kotan, Issaquah PTSA Council president, said she prescreens movies for any content that might be questionable for her two sons, ages 16 and 13. “When I do see in a movie something inappropriate, I have a conversation with my sons about what’s inappropriate and why it’s inappropriate,” Kotan said. Kotan said now that her boys are both 13 and older, there’s been very few PG-13 movies she wouldn’t outright let them see. However, there

was one movie that portrayed a very casual, overglamorized use of drugs that she forbade them to see. So, from language and drug use to violence and sex, just what is allowed in a PG-13 movie? The Motion Picture Association of America says on its website that PG-13 is “a sterner warning by the rating board to parents to determine whether their children under age 13 should view the motion picture.” It goes on to describe the following criteria: ❑ Drug use requires at least a PG-13. ❑ More than brief nudity, but not sexually oriented nudity, is allowed. ❑ Depictions of violence are allowed, but not both realistic and extreme or persistent depictions. ❑ A single use of one of the harsher sexually derived words is allowed, but only as an expletive. However, the ratings board can still choose to give a movie a PG-13 rating by a two-thirds vote if they feel “that most

American parents would believe that a PG-13 rating is appropriate because of the context or manner in which the words are used or because the use of those words in the motion picture is inconspicuous.” So what does a parent like Laurie Mendoza, PTA president at Apollo Elementary School, think is appropriate for her four daughters, ages 15, 13, 11 and 8? “If it’s rated PG-13, they don’t get to see it all,” Mendoza said of her younger daughters. “My 15-year-old can see pretty much anything PG13.” However, she draws the line at overly sexual content and if it’s too gory, the girls probably wouldn’t want to see it anyway. Mendoza said she heads to the Internet to help her research just what content a movie contains that might be inappropriate. Focus on the Family provides detailed breakdowns of all movies at www.pluggedin.com. The site provides a brief synopsis, and

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By Greg Farrar

Preschool students build tall towers of blocks at a children’s play table, to the delight of teacher Barb Dover, right.

Childcare selection x-factors Reputation, parent opinion are top concerns when choosing preschool BY TOM CORRIGAN Word of mouth. If you are shopping for a daycare or preschool, that seems to be the most recommended means of choosing the right spot for your child. “I think there’s no doubt that No. 1 is word of mouth,” said Barb Dover, owner of Issaquah’s Giggly Wiggly Preschool. She recommends talking with friends or neighbors and finding out where they send their children. Parent Ghada Hamdi said it was, in fact, the recommenda-

tion of a neighbor that first drew her to Giggly Wiggly. She had an older son in the school a few years ago and now sends her daughter. In selecting a preschool or daycare, after a talk or two with your peers, the next step is to visit the potential facility, the experts said. “What we want for our children is unique,” said Mary Fraser, of the Rainbow School in Issaquah. “I highly recommend you go and visit the school, have a physical reaction to it.” Hamdi said she visited Giggly Wiggly before sending her

By Greg Farrar

Students are greeted with a colorful sign on the front door of the Giggly Wiggly Preschool located in downtown Issaquah.


PAGE 13 N O V E M B E R 2011

son there. “I love the hominess of it,” added another Giggly Wiggly parent, Lisa Kumcur. She said she had sent two older children to preschool at another location previously, but wasn’t necessarily happy with the atmosphere, one that emphasized academics. “I think they pushed the kids too soon,” said Kumcur, a registered nurse.

fore sending your children off to a preschool was the advice of Catherine Callan, owner of the Issaquah Goddard School, who also recommended visiting schools. She said to look into the school philosophy, location and just its general feel. Callan added she believes one advantage of the Goddard schools is they are designed as schools, not space that was converted from some other

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Above, Bella Valledares reaches for new engineering heights with a stack of building buttons. At right, students at Giggly Wiggly Preschool line up after recess to return inside.

From Page 13 business. Dover said to look for a fun, safe and loving environment, also suggesting parents drop by unannounced. She said to look for kids and teachers who are enjoying themselves. “Find a place that offers a lot of enrichment,” Dover said. She described Giggly Wiggly as a creative arts school and she clearly believes creative,

imaginative activities are important. Fraser also talked about looking for relatively structured and varied activities. “It shouldn’t be a free-for-all by any stretch,” she said. Double-check licensing, credentials Fraser also mentioned double-checking a facility’s licensing as well as the credentials of teachers and others at the

school. Callan said much the same, adding her teachers all have educational qualifications. She also talked about investigating the school’s security, making sure neither adults nor children can simply come and go. How do you know when your child is ready for daycare or preschool? Fraser noted in cases where both parents work, daycare obviously is a necessity, not a choice. But she said

age is a big factor in deciding when to send a child away from home. According to Dover, children become very social at age 3. “They’re craving to be with other children,” she said. Prior to that age, Dover said children are essentially programmed to be egocentric. With all that in mind, when visiting schools, look for programs that involve all of the children. “The idea should be to include everyone,” she said. For Dover, preschool is a necessity for most children. She said the Issaquah School District does not require children to go to kindergarten, making, in her mind, preschool even more important to get youngsters off to a good start educationally. According to Sara Niegowski, executive director of communications, the state of Washington does not require children to attend school until age 8. Fraser said if children are spending quality time with attentive adults, preschool might not be required. For many children, she believes learning and practicing socialization skills might be the most important aspect of preschool or daycare. Cost can be a deciding factor Cost is another huge factor in both choosing a school and


PAGE 15 N O V E M B E R 2011

deciding whether or not to send your children to preschool, according to all three school owners. “Shop around and try to find a reasonable price,” Dover said. She said she can only speak for her school, but added she regularly gives scholarships to help struggling parents. “Quite honestly, it can take two incomes to make this work,” Fraser said, adding that daycare can often gobble up one paycheck. She said there are state programs that can

By Greg Farrar

Garrett Quigley, Alec Baker and Colin Aldassy, from left, drop marbles down a tower of connected plastic chutes, whirlpools and wheels.

help parents pay for daycare, programs run through the Department of Early Learning. “Cost needs to be a factor, certainly,” Callan said. But she added that hopefully, if parents find a school they like, cost wouldn’t be the deciding factor. Cost was not the only factor, but it was a big consideration for Hamdi in deciding to send her children to Giggly Wiggly. “I think the price is pretty reasonable,” she said, for what her children have and continue to get out of the school.


PAGE 16 N O V E M B E R 2011

By Jill Dixon

William, standing at left, and clockwise, Wes, Nation, Akito, parent Jill, parent Ami, Seth, Meiers, Adam and Ren play matches in the Cougar Ridge Chess Club during a tournament.

Taking up the game of kings Chess is a game of math, logical reasoning and fun BY BOB TAYLOR Whether there is a future Bobby Fischer or Susan Polgar in the Issaquah School District, only time will tell. What is certain is that many Issaquah elementary school and middle school students are discovering that chess is a stimulating and entertaining activity. Students have discovered

that while television, Internet and video games have some enjoyment, such devices do not provide the personal interaction they get from playing chess. With 64 squares and 32 pieces (16 black and 16 white), students can be entertained for many hours. Brad Stensland, Chess4Life manager in Issaquah, has seen students’ interest in the game grow in the district. He manages chess clubs at Endeavor, Cascade Ridge, Grand Ridge, Creekside, Discovery, Sunny Hills and Newcastle elementary schools in the Issaquah School

District. “We have between 20 and 80 kids at a given school. This number varies greatly from school to school,” Stensland said. “For many kids, it’s a fun way to compete in a friendly environment where they know if they keep practicing they can see their improvement and if they compete they have a very good chance to win a trophy.” Stensland holds a quad tournament every Friday for students, grades kindergarten through 12. There are tournaments for beginners on Saturdays. And in November, qualifying matches for the state

tournament. In addition, Stensland teaches chess to a wide range of ages and skill levels at numerous elementary schools. Students gain critical thinking and math skills While he notes there are many benefits for children to learn chess, Stensland notes that the biggest value chess gives is helping students with critical thinking and math skills. “It also teaches sportsmanship in being a good winner and loser,” he said. Jill Dixon, an assistant


PAGE 17 N O V E M B E R 2011

leader of the Cougar Ridge Chess Club, agrees. “For young students, learning sportsmanship is one of the most important benefits of playing chess,” Dixon said. “The ability to shake an opponent’s hand, following a round, and say, ‘Nice game,’ or ‘Better luck next time,’ does not come naturally. With each match, kids practice losing or winning graciously.” Patrick Ford, a teacher at Beaver Lake Middle School, adds that other benefits include complex decision-making, concentration, logical reasoning, problem-solving, and belonging to a good and diverse crowd. He notes there is a correlation between chess and mathematics. “In math, one can reason by analogy, induction or deduction. Those same reasoning skills are used in the game of chess, too,” he said. Stensland points out that many studies have shown that chess can help with critical thinking and math skills.

“In every game of chess, a child should be doing math, even as basic as adding and subtracting the values of pieces to determine if a capture would be a good trade or not,” Stensland said. Test scores improve, too According to national research statistics, students who are engaged in chess also improve their test scores. Although it is a rarity in the United States, in many nations chess is incorporated into the scholastic curriculum. Ford, who has coached sports for many years in the district, picked up coaching chess three years ago. He started playing the game when he was in junior high, played in college, and has maintained an interest in chess ever since. At Beaver Lake, Ford begins holding meetings for the school chess club in January. Some club members have played chess for years while others are just learning the game. “We have a diverse group. It

ties with our mission statement, ‘BLMS has a place for everybody,’’’ he said. Another value of chess is that it often becomes a family activity. Dixon got involved in chess when her children began playing chess in the Cougar Ridge club. “I started by assisting the existing club leader. I didn’t know how to play chess at that time, but I could facilitate pairings and mediate disagreements,” she said. When the club leader stepped down, Dixon took over the role. She then began a crash course in learning chess. “I checked out beginning chess books from the library and downloaded free chess applications to my smart phone,” she said. “I needed to know the vernacular to communicate with kids who knew more than I did.” Two other parents now lead the club with Dixon serving as an assistant. However, when the club was in danger of dissolving a few years ago, she kept it going.

“The ability to shake an opponent’s hand, following a round, and say, ‘Nice game,’ or ‘Better luck next time,’ does not come naturally. With each match, kids practice losing or winning graciously.” Jill Dixon Assistant leader of the Cougar Ridge Chess Club

Cougar Ridge’s club membership ranges from 20 to 30 students a year. The club meets twice a month after school. It does not host any matches, but students are encouraged to enter competitions. Many Cougar Ridge students have competed in local tournaments and in state elementary school tournaments. “Some students join because a friend taught them the game

Continued on Page 19


PAGE 18 N O V E M B E R 2011

By Jill Dixon

Adam, left, and Mackenzie finish a game of chess at their board, as Kai, seated, waits for his opponent to make a move during a Cougar Ridge Chess Club tournament.


PAGE 19 N O V E M B E R 2011

From Page 17 and they thought it was fun. Others have parents who encouraged them to get involved,” Dixon said. “Either way, new players are comfortable joining the club because of its informal culture. Kids can ask questions and make mistakes.” Patience is No. 1 Dixon believes the best way for children to learn chess is with a parent or peer. “Parents have the maturity to assist their children with decisions. They also have the graciousness to permit a child to ‘take back,’ or re-think their moves, thus cultivating the child’s decision-making skills,” Dixon said. “Peers also are good partners, provided both players know the rudimentary rules of the game. Playing with a peer is nonthreatening and provides a fun, social outlet.” But she notes that it is not always wise to have a child learn from a “hyper-competitive older sibling.” She said that “can lead the younger person to feel hopelessly inadequate. Such negative encounters can extinguish the joy of learning the game.” While math skills can help a child learn chess, patience is really the No. 1 prerequisite. “A desire to learn and a tiny bit of patience,” Stensland said. “Almost anyone can learn the basics of chess, including some strategies that will make them into a decent chess player.” If a child wishes to improve his or her skills, he or she can always take lessons from a pri-

Famous chess players Parents in the Issaquah community contemplating special programs or games to stimulate their children might consider chess. Chess, which has been around for more than 1,000 years, is one of the world’s oldest games. It is a game that has been played by many famous people. Before he was connecting on the sky hook shot, the great basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar spent his leisure hours hooked on chess. Before he became James Bond, actor Sean Connery used his astute skills to force opponents into checkmate. Madonna, the “Material Girl,” has long been a queen on the chessboard, and Willie Nelson always has his chessboard when he is on the road again. And it is likely the great playwright William Shakevate tutor or a chess school, such as Chess4Life. Ford adds that there are websites where children can learn about chess. Chess is a game that can be learned at an early age. “My youngest son began to play when he was 4,” Dixon said. “At that age, he knew the particular abilities of each piece. For him, it wasn’t too different from memorizing the powers of each Star Wars action figure.” Nathan Lee, of Issaquah,

speare spent hours concentrating on what moves were “to be, or not to be.” Many U.S. presidents have played chess. Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States, made sure chess was a family activity. His wife Rosalynn and daughter Amy also played chess. Actors, baseball players, football players, coaches, world leaders, practically every segment of society has had a famous person who played chess. So, before you sign little Archibald or Angela up for that basketball camp, give them a shot at chess first.

rationally. 3. Chess increases cognitive skills. 4. Chess improves children’s communication skills and aptitude in recognizing patterns. 5. Chess results in higher grades, especially in English and mathematic studies. 6. Chess builds a sense of team spirit while emphasizing the ability of the individual. 7. Chess teaches the value of hard work, concentration and commitment. 8. Chess allows girls to compete with boys on a nonthreatening, socially acceptable plane. 9. Chess teaches children to try their best to win, while accepting defeat with grace. 10. Chess makes a child realize that he or she is responsible or his or her own actions and must accept the consequences.

Benefits of chess What does chess do? These are some of the benefits: 1. Chess instills in young players a sense of self-confidence and self-worth. 2. Chess dramatically improves a child’s ability to think

Source: New York City Schools Chess Program Report

started playing the game in the first grade. In 2010, when he was attending Issaquah Middle School, he became a national champion. Fischer, and Polgar, who rank among the best chess players from the United States, started playing the game at an early age. When he was 6 years old, Fischer and his sister learned how to play chess using the instructions from a chess set bought at a candy store in

Brooklyn. By the time he was 15, Fischer was one of the best players in the world. Polgar, a four-time women’s world chess champion, began winning tournaments at age 4. By 15, she was the highest-ranking female player in the world. Whether Issaquah has a budding Fischer or Polgar on the horizon, one thing that chess coaches point out is that the game provides children with benefits that will carry them through their lifetime.

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Take steps to prevent burns, drownings BY TOM CORRIGAN Not surprisingly, said Harborview Medical Center Chief of Pediatrics Brian Johnston, most young children who suf-

fer injuries are injured at home. “It is, of course, where children spend a lot of their time,” said Johnston, who is also medical director for Safe Kids Seattle.

“So, some effort spent in improving safety around the home can really pay off,” he added. Johnston said that there exist hundreds of hazards parents

could address, but he placed at the top of his list of recommendations those hazards that lead to especially common or severe injuries. Johnston’s top prevention recommendations are: Scalding water Hot water heaters should be set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent unintentional burns from tap water. Drowning If you have an in-ground pool, beach access or dock, make sure that isolation fencing with a self-closing gate is present. Falls Every year scores of children fall from windows, Johnston said. Move furniture out from under windows and install window guards or stoppers that prevent windows from opening more than a few inches. Never rely on screens to keep children safe. House fires Have a working smoke detec-


PAGE 21 N O V E M B E R 2011

Johnston’s top five recommendations all made the commission’s list as well. Here are their other suggestions.

Doors Install doorknobs and door locks on entryways to any area where possible dangers exist.

tor on every floor of your home.

Latches, locks Place safety latches and locks on cabinets and drawers in kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms or any other area where items are stored that could lead to poisonings or other injuries.

Water heater Set your water heater at 120 degrees as Johnston suggested, but the commission also states you should purchase anti-scald devices for faucets and shower heads.

Carbon monoxide poisoning Install a carbon monoxide detector in the home, especially near sleeping areas. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission lists 12 safety devices every home with small children should have.

Gates Use safety gates to prevent falls down stairs or to keep children from entering potentially hazardous parts of your home. Replace older gates with “V” shaped slats that could trap a young child’s head.

“Some effort spent in improving safety around the home can really pay off.” Brian Johnston Harborview Medical Center Chief of Pediatrics

Furniture, fireplaces Place corner and edge bumpers against sharp edges of furniture or fireplaces to help prevent injuries from falls. Outlets Use electric outlet covers of a type not easily removed by

children. Cords Put a tassel on each separate window blind cord and inner cord stops on mini blinds to help prevent accidental strangulations. Anchors Use furniture anchors to avoid accidental furniture or appliance tip-overs. To be effective, devices must be property installed. The commission also cautions that no device is completely childproof; a determined child can find ways around them. Learn more safety tips at www.cpsc.gov or call 800-6382772 toll free.

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By Greg Farrar

Toby Keeler, 7, Henry St. Pierre Nelson, 6, Dylan Moe, 6 and Finn Satava, 5, (from left) run ahead of their dads on an old railroad trail during a YMCA Adventure Guides hike Oct. 16 to see the old site of the Grand Ridge Mine company.

Outdoor options for every interest Parents, children can connect with outside activities BY CHRISTINA LORDS Family-friendly outdoor opportunities abound in our area. From taking a guided day hike on Cougar Mountain to getting wet at kayaking classes on Lake Sammamish, there’s plenty for kids and parents alike to do, see and experience locally without breaking the bank. Here are a few options for kids to put down the video game controllers and head out into the wilderness:

By Greg Farrar

A group of Issaquah boys and their dads in the YMCA Adventure Guides group Wolverines take a guided tour of the old Grand Ridge Mine with a member of the Issaquah Alps Trails Club.

Kayak and paddle sports For the past 14 years, the Kayak Academy of Issaquah Paddle Sports has offered children between the ages of 8 and 15 an opportunity to develop an appreciation of paddle sports.

Youth program creator Barbara Gronseth said children are able to experience a range of paddling activities, from sit-on-top single and double kayaks, to a one-person recreational or touring kayak during the academy’s five-day Kids Kayak Camp on Lake Sammamish. Kids learn basic paddling and safety skills while enjoying activities and water games, like sponge tag, races and kayak treasure hunts. The academy’s activities in 2012 will run from mid-May to October. Children must be able to swim to participate, and cost is about $385 with equipment and dry/wetsuits included in the registration. “The things I like about these programs are that they


PAGE 23 N O V E M B E R 2011

help kids understand the waterways we live next to and what it means to have a healthy environment and water system,” Gronseth said. Learn more by calling 206-527-1825 or email info@kayakacademy.com to make a reservation. Ski and snowboard For children looking to get their outdoor fix during the cold winter months, the Issaquah Ski and Snowboard School offers transportation and lessons for youths to hit the slopes at the Summit at Snoqualmie. The school offers transportation via charter bus in three pick-up locations — the QFC in the Renton Highlands, Issaquah Valley Elementary and Discovery Elementary schools. The seven-week session starts in January. Packages for the 2012 ski season range from $285 for a beginning skier or snowboarder to $480 for private lessons. Children in fourth grade or older are encouraged to participate. “For a lot of them, this is the first time they’ve ever skied,”

Get more out of your winter with Issaquah Ski & Snowboard School! Lessons begin January 7th for 7 weeks (3 week extension available!) Transportation included.

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“The things I like about these programs are that they help kids understand the waterways we live next to and what it means to have a healthy environment and water system.” Barbara Gronseth Kayak Academy of Issaquah Paddle Sports

said Phil Scott, president of ISS. “We take beginners to anyone on up. We have fourth- and fifth-graders who don’t know how to put their boots on to kids doing jumps and flips and turns.” The school is a nonprofit group comprised completely of volunteers. Adults chaperone every trip.

Continued on Page 24

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From Page 23 Learn more by going to the ISS website at www.issaquahskischool.org. Hiking Established in 1979, the Issaquah Alps Trails Club offers more than 100 free guided hikes per year — about two per week — and actively promotes protection of open spaces, trails and access to the outdoors. David Kappler, president of the club, said getting youths involved in hiking gives them an appreciation and respect for the sport early on, which can translate into a lifetime of outdoor enjoyment. Each of the club’s scheduled hikes has a difficulty rating associated with that day’s activi-

ty. Kappler said he’s always happy to arrange climbs specifically geared toward youths, with local history and insight about the flora and fauna of the area included in the hike. Parents taking their children on their first hike should chose something fairly easy with little elevation gain and a lot to look at, such as Little Si or Twin Falls near North Bend, he said. The guided hikes facilitated by the club are free, but a donation to help with gas money is encouraged. All hikers — including children — should wear appropriate shoes and carry a pack with water, snacks, raingear and warm clothing. Check out the club’s scheduled hikes by going to www.issaquahalps.org.

Youth archery The Tiger Mountain Archers Youth Archery Program teaches students how to fletch an arrow, make a bow strong, tune a bow and develop an understanding of the tools and equipment associated with the sport. The program, sponsored by the Issaquah Sportsmen’s Club, is open to any child 7 years old or older. The archery season begins the first Wednesday of November and goes until the first Wednesday of the following August. Cost is $40 per year for the first family member and $30 for each subsequent child of the same family. Some equipment is provided for children participating in their first year, but students are encouraged to bring their own equipment if they have it. Register for archery lessons online by going to the Sports-

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men’s Club’s website at www.issaquahsportsmensclub.com and clicking the “Youth Archery” tab on the left side of the page. Fishing While children can fish in any lake, river, creek, saltwater body and pond open to other anglers, there are also juvenileonly fishing spots in King County. Those locations include Coal and Kimball creeks near Snoqualmie, the Old Fishing Hole Pond near Kent and Mill Pond near Auburn. All fishing in those locations is restricted to the last Saturday in April to Oct. 31. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife recommends making safety a priority when fishing with children. Under Washington state law, children 12 and younger must wear a USCGapproved life jacket when under way in a boat or other vessel less than 19 feet in length, unless it is in a fully enclosed area. Young children should also wear life jackets anywhere near the water. Washington fishing licenses are not required for youths age 14 and younger. Learn more about fishing with children at www.wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/kids.

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Family’s the focus in parent programs Bridging the Gap at Kindering Center A community of women raising children 6 and older with special needs — sharing resources, emotional support, networking, promoting advocacy and creating connections. It meets from 6:30-8:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesday. Email info@arcofkingcounty.org.

Childcare Resources Get help identifying childcare options in your area. There is an income-based fee. Call the referral line at 206329-5544 or 1-877-512-3948 toll free, or go to www.childcare.org.

Healthy Start A parenting education and support program for young families designed for parents, age 22 or younger, who are parenting their first child. Program benefits include home visits, group activities, developmental and health screenings, and referrals to community resources. Call 885-9375.

Eastside Mothers & More A social network for all mothers. The group meets several evenings per month for adult interaction and fun. Learn more at www.eastsidemothersandmore.org.

Early Intervention A program for infants and toddlers, ages birth-to-3, that provides therapeutic developmental services for children with special needs. It starts with a multidisciplinary team, including speech, occupational and physical therapists, earlychildhood development specialists and family resource coordinators. The team conducts standardized assessments and helps families plan an individualized program for their children. Call 888-2777 or go to www.encompassnw.org.

Mom’s Moment A support group for parents and caregivers of children with special needs. Participants gather to share information regarding resources and, most

importantly, camaraderie with others in a similar situation. Find meeting locations and details at www.encompassnw.org.

Fathers Network Get peer support, resources and education, as well as social events for fathers of specialneeds children and for those having children with special health concerns. Call 6534286.

First Choice In-Home Care A program dedicated to providing responsive, respectful and caring support to vulnerable adults and children and adults with disabilities. Call 747-5000 or go to www.fcihc.com.

Friends of Youth Get a wide range of services for youths and young adults ages 6-24 — and their families — in King County, overseeing eight programs at 20 sites and serving between 10,000 and 15,000 teens, young adults, parents and families each year. In addition to operating the only overnight youth shelters on the Eastside, it offers youth development initiatives, inhome family support for young parents of newborns, parent education, youth and family counseling, substance abuse counseling, therapeutic foster care, residential treatment, and transitional housing for homeless young people and teen mothers. The Issaquah office is at 414 Front St. N. Call 3926367 or go to www.friendsofyouth.org.

Toddler Time A Issaquah Parks and Recreation Department program for children ages 1-3, is from 8 a.m. – noon Mondays through Fridays. This daytime class with an indoor playground lets children play and parents get a chance to bond. Fee is $2 per child. Call 837-3300.

The Cancer Lifeline A program, in cooperation with Overlake and Evergreen hospitals, for children ages 612 whose parent or other significant family member has

By Sriram Shankarlal

A mother need not raise a baby alone when there are many community programs ready to lend a hand. cancer. Call 206-297-2500 or 800-255-2505 toll free.

Kinship Care A program that helps kinship caregivers understand and navigate the services available for children living with relatives other than their own parents. Call 800-737-0617 tollfree or go to www.dshs.wa.gov/kinshipcare.

The Eastside Macaroni Kid Dedicated to delivering the scoop on all the family-friend-

ly events and activities happening in their communities each week. Check out Macaroni Kid’s list of communities and sign up to receive your free weekly newsletter at http://theeastside.macaronikid.com.

Moms in Touch Mothers meet, grouped by area school, for one hour each week to pray for school concerns, teachers and their children. Call 800-949-MOMS or go to www.momsintouch.org to find a group near you.


PAGE 27 N O V E M B E R 2011

MOMS Club of Sammamish

Pine Lake Co-op Preschool

Moms and their children get together for mom activities and kid activities, including playgroups divided by age. Go to http://momsclubsammamish.org.

A nonprofit organization sponsored by the Bellevue Community College Parent Education Program, combining parent education with an interactive program for parents and their children. Call 392-0496 or go to www.pinelakecoop.org.

MOPS Mothers of Preschoolers is for mothers with children from infancy through kindergarten. Moms have the opportunity to share concerns, explore areas of creativity and learn from various speakers. Find a group near you at www.MOPS.org.

National Alliance on Mental Illness Eastside Group seeks to improve the quality of life of persons affected by acute and chronic mental illness through support, education and advocacy. Services include support groups, education forums, classes and more. All programs are free. Call 8856264 or email info@nami-eastside.org.

Youth Eastside Services A lifeline for kids and families coping with challenges such as emotional distress, substance abuse and violence. Through intervention, outreach and prevention, YES builds confidence and responsibility, strengthens family relationships, and advocates for a safer community that cares for its youth. The SUCCESS Mentoring Program recruits caring adults to serve as a positive role model to young people who are struggling with their academic, social or personal lives. SUCCESS mentors encourage

youths to develop the skills and qualities they need to be successful in life, help them build self-esteem and provide them with continual support and guidance. Gay/lesbian youth, anger management and parenting support groups are available. Counseling, case management,

information and referral, and cultural adaptation programs are available for immigrant and refugee youth and families. Prevention programs are offered at no charge. Call 747-4937 or go to www.youtheastsideservices.org.

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By Greg Farrar

The Raines Family — Alec, 15, Chase, 12, father Beau, mother Heather and Parker, 9 — teams up for a pasta dinner in their Trossachs-area home.

Moms use blogs to muse about parenthood BY WARREN KAGARISE Heather Murphy-Raines — mother to a teenager, a tween and a son in elementary school — offers a glimpse into domestic life, straight up, to thousands of online readers. “There’s no perfect marriage. There’s no perfect kid. There’s no perfect anything,” she said in a recent interview. “I’m going to keep it real.” Murphy-Raines and other Issaquah-area mothers at keyHeather Murphy-Raines’ blog, the United States of Motherhood, is about daily life with her family.

On the Web Read local mothers’ blogs at: ❑ Dana Macario’s 18 Years to Life: www.18years2life.com ❑ Erin Wing’s Small Types: www.smalltypes.com ❑ Anne Taylor Hartzell’s Hip Travel Mama: www.hiptravelmama.com ❑ Heather Murphy-Raines’ The United States of Motherhood: www.unitedstatesofmotherhood.com boards comprise a local group of so-called mommy bloggers offering a constant stream of commentary about families and parenting. If the setup sounds a little too Good Housekeeping, Murphy-Raines and others seek to


PAGE 29 N O V E M B E R 2011

“Whatever happens to be going on in your life in the moment, you can get it out — I was going to say on paper, but on screen — and it sort of helps you get a different perspective of what you’re going through with the kids.” Dana Macario Issaquah parent blogger

dispel the notion about all mommy bloggers being as sweet as apple pie. “Who wants to read Martha Stewart? There’s only one Martha Stewart — and we already know she went to prison,” Murphy-Raines said. The eclectic collection of local mommy bloggers offers more than musings about spitup and diaper changes, although posts about such topics crop up more often than not in the mommy blog domain. Issaquah resident Anne Taylor Hartzell is Hip Travel

Mama, a sage source for parents on the hunt for advice and anecdotes about family travel. “Everybody’s looking for people you identify with,” Taylor Hartzell said. “The beautiful thing about blogs is that they create a sense of community. If you think about a blog, you get to know a person, you get to know their interests and you identify with them.” Dana Macario, another Issaquah resident, joins other mothers of young children to share dispatches from the domestic front on 18 Years to Life. Erin Wing, Taylor Hartzell’s neighbor, blogs about “creating a print-rich home” for children on Small Types, a literacy blog for parents. Murphy-Raines, a Sammamish resident, dishes about marriage, motherhood and more on The United States of Motherhood. Readers appreciate her tart tongue — keyboard, rather — and unfiltered approach to the blog. “If my uterus is bugging me today, I talk about my uterus,” she said. “If it’s my kids talking about masturbation, we talk about masturbation.”

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Erin Wing writes about literacy on her blog, Small Types. Not just potty training The United States of Motherhood is nominated as Funniest Mom Blog in the Parents maga-

zine Best Blog Awards. Murphy-Raines took up

Continued on Page 30


PAGE 30 N O V E M B E R 2011

From Page 29 blogging after her husband Beau Raines started a blog. The experiment started so she could offer another side to his posts. In the years since, The United States of Motherhood has grown into a juggernaut. “I never expected it to get this big,” Murphy-Raines said. “I’m always shocked at who’s reading.” Macario started posting to 18 Years to Life last spring. The former Western Washington University journalism and political science student is a marketing consultant, so she embraced the opportunity to reach readers. “That’s sort of what makes blogging attractive,” she said. “Whatever happens to be going on in your life in the moment, you can get it out — I was going to say on paper, but on screen — and it sort of helps you get a different perspective of what you’re going through with the kids.” The idea for a blog germinated after a friend suggested the idea on Macario’s Facebook profile. “I was talking, probably a bit too much, about my kids on Facebook,” she admitted. Other 18 Years to Life bloggers include Macario’s best friend from kindergarten — based in Hungary due to her

By Greg Farrar

Heather Murphy-Raines, author of the parenting blog The United States of Motherhood, gets a visit from the family dog Sebastian, as she sits at the kitchen table with her laptop. husband’s military career — and another mother in Maple Valley. From the keyboard of her Dell laptop, Macario offers in-

sights on potty training — again — and, in a recent post, the Mommymobile. The used sport-utility vehicle — a behemoth featuring aftermarket

rims and a tricked-out exhaust — does not quite fit Macario’s image, but the hulking, rumbling vehicle provides plenty of fodder for the blog. Gaining a following Macario also writes for TODAYMoms — a group of “Today” show-affiliated parent bloggers from across the nation. The blogs serve as a way to connect to other parents, to “have other people say, ‘Yes, I’m going through that, too’ or ‘I went through that. You’ll survive this,’” she said. Macario puts together the entries on a weekend. Then, she uploads the posts — about one per week — during her children’s naptime on a weekday. In addition, the 18 Years to Life accounts on Facebook and Twitter need tending, too. Macario, a marketing consultant, considers the blog and social media services as a way to stay connected as she works from home and raises her young daughter and son.


PAGE 31 N O V E M B E R 2011

“I feel that what we’ve done with our Twitter and learning how to connect with people that way and with the Facebook account, there is a fair amount of marketing in just trying to get in touch with people,” she said. “I feel that I’ve been able to learn a lot about social media and keep fresh on that and how people are using it.” Like Macario, other local bloggers combine parenting and professions. Wing started a blog focused

on literacy, Small Types, a little more than a year ago. The former elementary school teacher sought to encourage other parents to promote reading and learning at home. “I wanted a way to kind of keep my teacher brain sharp, something to stay connected with the field of education while I was home,” she said. Wing often tests educational activities on her young children and then shares the expe-

Continued on Page 32

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From Page 31 rience on Small Types. The writing happens as her husband watches the children, or after the children go to bed or school. Sometimes, she hauls her computer to Starbucks to write and post.

“I blog about what works, sometimes what doesn’t work,” Wing said. “I try to keep things positive — blogging about what’s most helpful for people.” Taylor Hartzell, or Hip Travel Mama, used to work for a travel website, and then decided to focus on motherhood.

“After kids, everybody says, ‘Great, now you’re homebound,’“ she said. Undeterred, she started the blog to highlight child-friendly destinations and offer ideas for family travel. “I’ve always been a writer and I love to share,” she said. “I think the blog was a great

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medium for me to be able to share my inspiration with other parents and say, ‘Yes, you can travel with your kids.’” Ideas for blog posts come from conversations on the playground or at school, as she encounters other parents interested in travel. “My inspiration comes a lot from talking to friends about trips,” she said. “We get together for dinner and we share inspiration about trips we want to come up.” Balancing blogs, family Taylor Hartzell and her family sailed on the Disney Dream cruise ship in January and, upon returning, she tapped out a post on her MacBook Air and shared photos from the trip. Hip Travel Mama readers ogled photos of sugar-sand beaches and costumed Disney characters, as Taylor Hartzell led visitors through a play-byplay of the cruise experience, from fine dining in adults-only restaurants to lounging on Disney’s private island in the Bahamas. “We only get so many years with our kids and to be able to


PAGE 33 N O V E M B E R 2011

make every experience — no matter what your budget — meaningful and memorable for everyone in the family is critical,” she said. “Before you know it, they’re grown and gone.” The local bloggers also face a balancing act in terms of sharing the experience and protecting privacy. Some do not post photos of their children and others do not use their children’s names. Especially embarrassing or icky episodes sometimes do not make the blogs. “I try to be sensitive about how my kids might feel about things in the future,” Macario said. The concern is not trivial. Though traffic varies from blog to blog, local mommy bloggers reported a healthy number of unique visitors each month. “I think when you set out to do anything, you hope that it will be wildly successful,” Taylor Hartzell said. The children, however, do not show much interest in their mothers’ handiwork. “They do think it’s cool, every once in awhile when they see something that they’ve done” on the blog,

Wing said. The blogs also demand time — a precious commodity, especially for parents attempting to juggle young children and a burgeoning online audience. “It’s all about balance, as anything in life,” Taylor Hartzell said. “Blogging takes a considerable amount of time and parenting takes a considerable amount of time. I think that when you’re doing it right, putting family first is always the first rule with blogging.”

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Books with beat at the library! BY ANN CREWDSON Parents, if you’ve been reading to your child at least 20 minutes per day, you are already giving them the gift of literacy. It’s not too late if you haven’t started yet. You can come into the Issaquah Library and let the children’s librarians show you some great books or come to story times. The library has age-appropriate story times for young toddlers, toddlers and preschoolers, and books for all ages. Here are some great take-home titles, free to check out from the library:

Preschool (ages 3-6)

allows him to rummage around in his comfy red pajamas. He quickly gets bored after taking yucky medicine, playing with his tractors, drawing pictures and making letters. Then, uhoh, mama gets sick too. What can they do together, now that they are both sick and bored at home? Llama Llama knows what’s best — read books together and rest.

“Katie Loves the Kittens” By John Himmelman Sara Ann introduces Katie to her brand new kittens and she goes wild! Like all affectionate dogs, Katie tries too hard to impress them by rushing at them with all her might. Despite Sara Ann’s repeated coaching, Katie can’t calm herself down. Only when she learns the true meaning of patience is Katie able to win the kittens over in the end.

“Dog in Boots” By Greg Gormley Illustrated by Roberta Angaramo Dog reads a book about Puss in Boots and is inspired to find the perfect pair of footwear. He tries on high heels, webbed feet and skis. Each one gives him leverage in certain terrain but presents a challenge. Finally, he enters the shoe store to talk to the shoemaker with a last desperate attempt for a solution. He finds him the most suitable pair of pads, which were coincidentally right before his eyes.

“The Boy and the Moon” By James Christopher Carroll The howling, the dancing and the merriment cease when the moon gets stuck in a tree. Of all the friends in the group, it's the little boy who possesses the imagination and ingenuity to solve the problem. What happens when a small boy reaches for the moon, fearlessly climbs the great heights to embrace it with compassion? The metaphors in this book are as delicious as the bright red apples picked from the tree and fed to the moon until it's "full." The cool blue tones and swirls are soothing. The dancing begins again when the moon is no longer sad. “Llama Llama Home with Mama” By Anna Dewdney A sick day for Llama Llama

“Happy Birthday Hamster” By Cynthia Lord and Derek Anderson Bulldog helps Hamster with the shopping list, finding the right cake, choosing the toys, party favors and decorations. Even the right fur-style makes a difference. Repetition, rhyme and opposite words with color help hamster with birthday party preparations. Each page has a refrain for a group to chime in — “Which would you choose?” New storytellers will be delighted to find how easy it is to read along, each page guiding your voice and engaging your young ones.

“Jonathan and the Blue Boat” By Philip Christian Stead This definitely reminded me of “A Sick Day for Amos McGee.” And after I read it — what do you know? — it was written by the Caldecott winner’s husband, Philip Stead. The illustrations are charming with residual newspaper print in the background. And even though it doesn’t make logical sense, the boy, the bear, mountain goat, circus elephant, little girl and the whale all fit together somehow like they belonged all along.

“Little Goblins Ten” By Pamela Jane Illustrated by Jane Manning What a cute adaptation of "Over in the Meadow." I sang it through just to see if it works for story time and was quite pleased. Children will never fear with this cute book about mummies, witches, skeletons and goblins (the cutest of them all) right before Halloween. For the skilled storyteller, creating a flannel board adaptation would be easy to do.


PAGE 35 N O V E M B E R 2011

Young toddler (ages 1-2)

“Grandpa Green” By Lane Smith

“Farmyard Beat” By Lindsey Craig and Marc Brown

“That’s How!” By Christoph Niemann Young children often wonder about their surroundings. How does a fire truck work? Is it powered by an elephant on its back spraying water? Does a steamroller roll because of two bears being tickled by a bird to power the wheels? The book visually explores cross-sections of trucks to airplanes, freighters to trains, in colorful pages of pink diggers and red bicycles. Children will puzzle and laugh over what makes things go.

A great book for story time. The beats are cleverly disguised so that you’re guessing just what farm animal might be on the next page. The animals each have their own beat from peep peep to jiggity jig to woof woof and whoo whoo.

Toddler (ages 2-3)

Topiary art chronicles the life of one man from birth to his golden years, where his grandson picks up where he left off. His memories are shaped by each new event in his life from contracting chicken pox, to reading his favorite books, to hiding in secret gardens. Small green bushes charm the readers while he tells his tale of enlisting in the services, falling in love, getting married and having great grandkids. Over the years, the garden expands to include a giant rooster, a plane and the Eiffel Tower. It lives on and preserves Grandpa’s memory so that he may pass it down as a gift to his descendants.

down to have a picnic on a nice sunny spot only to be surprised by what seem like their seats cracking and falling apart. Out pops a baby dragon who becomes their faithful friend — they have tea, toast marshmallows and pick pumpkins. But then dragon grows bigger and bigger and bigger until one day he gets stuck in the house and can’t get out. So they all work together — Hedgehog, Rabbit and Dragon — to build the perfect house for their gigantic friend, a castle!

“The Umbrella” By Ingrid and Dieter Schubert “Stop Snoring Bernard!” By Zachariah Ohora

“Press Here” By Henré Tullet Press on the dot, it divides into two. Use two fingers and it divides faster. Shake it up and it’s all over the place. This unique interactive book will delight young readers as they magically clone, erase and start over. Not since Lionni’s “Little Blue and Little Yellow” has a yellow dot been so compelling.

Bernard loves taking naps at the zoo with his otter mates. Curling up has only one drawback, however. No one is able to sleep with his loud snoring. Grumpy Giles finally has it and says, “Snore somewhere else, Bernard!” Bernard decides to check out for the sake of “otters.” He tried a lake, the fountain and even a cave. Each time he is turned away by all of the other zoo animals. He finally decides to leave the zoo entirely when he is stopped by his otter friends who had been sleepless and panicking without him. Some things are worth compromising for friends.

“I Must Have Bobo” By Eileen Rosenthal Bobo disappears one morning and causes a little boy to run frantically around the house calling his name. He thinks he can have Bobo all to himself, unaware that there’s a four-paw following him everywhere he goes, casting shadows on the wall and curiously observing his every move. The boy finds the unlikely suspect with Bobo in his mouth. Who will emerge as the winner of the adorable stuffed monkey? “A Dragon Moves In” By Lisa Falkenstern Rabbit and Hedgehog plop

Wordless books inspire children to narrate and create their own stories, which are important components of early literacy. From Ingrid and Dieter Schubert, a Dutch husband-and-wife team, comes a book about a terrier that leaves his provincial life armed with only an umbrella to fend off alligators on a tropical island, ski through treacherous mountains and surf tsunami-sized waves. His journey comes to an end when he circles back to the very same tree and softly lands, just as if it were another autumn day. Ann Crewdson is the Children’s Section Supervisor at Issaquah Library, King County Library System. For more information, go to www.kcls.org/issaquah.


PAGE 36 N O V E M B E R 2011

Contributed

Tim Ryan and sons Dylan, left, 4, and Quinn, 6, on dad’s back.

Children need fathers, too Former educator now teaches dads how to get more involved in parenting BY TOM CORRIGAN Issaquah’s Tim Ryan recalls that when he started his career as a second-grade teacher, he was the only male elementary school teacher at staff meetings. While the situation has changed somewhat, there’s still a disparity between the numbers of male and female teachers, especially in lower grade levels, Ryan said. But inspired by his parents, Ryan has done what he could do to improve the involvement of the male gender with education and parenting in general.

“Working with children is just something that I really enjoy doing and something I always wanted to get into,” Ryan said. After leaving the classroom, he founded Ryan Educational Resources. Based out of his home in the Issaquah Highlands, the company is an education consulting service that specializes in promoting the involvement of men in parenting. “I think it’s important for men to realize the importance they can have as male role models,” Ryan said. He has a number of pro-

grams with which he is involved, but one of his latest efforts is a male parenting group at Grand Ridge Elementary School. He held his first event in early October, an evening for watching football and munching pizza, for fathers only, at a local pizza parlor. Ryan said the evening was intended to kick off the group, to explore ideas of how fathers can get involved with Grand Ridge and the Grand Ridge PTA. Another event held Oct. 24 was aimed at fourth- and fifth-grade students and their fathers. For the future, Ryan said he hopes to plan game nights and so on. He said attendance has not been tremendous, but he is confident the involvement of

“I think it’s important for men to realize the importance they can have as male role models.” Tim Ryan Ryan Educational Resources

fathers at Grand Ridge is going to increase. “It’s kind of exciting,” he said. “We’re getting a lot of backing from the PTSA.” That organization asked, in fact, for Ryan to explore creating a men’s group at the school. Overall, Ryan added, there are still a lot more parenting and kid-centered organizations catering to women rather than men. “I think there’s still some-


PAGE 37 N O V E M B E R 2011

what of a belief out there that fathers are not as equipped to be a parent,” he said. According to Ryan, studies show children who have a male parent involved in their lives do better in school and make friends faster. They will even build up a higher-level vocabulary. And fathers gain in multiple ways, including simply having a rewarding, close relationship with their children. By the way, Ryan promotes fathers being engaged in the lives of their daughters just as much as in the lives of their sons. Since boys grow into men, the importance of a good male role model for sons is pretty obvious, he said. But that same worthy male role model can, for example, teach girls what to look for in a boyfriend or husband as they grow older. “I still teach my kids to open doors for a lady, even

though I know that’s kind of going away,” Ryan said, later noting a lot of his ideas and love of helping children came from his parents, Jack and Phyllis Ryan. All in all, at different times, Tim Ryan’s parents had 53 foster children pass through their home. Some stayed for a week, some for as long as a year. Those children were welcomed on top of Tim and five siblings. “My mom was always involved with places that helped kids,” Tim Ryan said. He walked away from the classroom when his first son was born. He essentially became a stay-at-home parent and now has two children. “It’s been a great opportunity to be with my boys … I got the chance to walk the walk, to practice what I preach,” he said. Ryan founded his consulting service in 2006. He offers “Dad

and Me” parenting classes through Bellevue College. With a grant from Seattle’s Foundation for Early Learning, he is helping to launch a new group known as the Fathering Coalition for Washington State. The coalition’s first event was dubbed The Big Event and happened in Renton on Oct. 22. The day was to include workshops, speakers, food and entertainment. About 200 men were expected to attend. Besides that new group, Ryan also runs a local branch of All Pro Dads, the national group started by former NFL coach Tony Dungy. The group holds monthly breakfasts. “It’s been a little up and down as far as attendance,” Ryan admitted, though he’s not about to abandon the group. “It’s kind of a passion of mine,” he said.

On the Web Tim Ryan recommends the following parenting resources for men: ❑ www.allprodad.com ❑ http://strongfathers.com National Fatherhood Initiative ❑ www.zerotothree.org Really relevant info on children ❑ http://bellevuecollege.edu/ health/parented Parent education ❑ www.earlylearning.org ❑ www.peps.org Group for new parents to connect ❑ www.parentmap.com Local resource on things to do with kids Learn more at www.ryaneducationalresources.community.officelive.com.

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More than just the baby blues Postpartum disorders affect one in 10 women who give birth BY CHRISTINA LORDS With a bachelor’s degree in psychology and women’s studies, Heidi Koss knew the warning signs. And while 85 percent of mothers get the dreaded baby blues, Koss knew something was different after she gave birth to her first daughter. She knew she was ultimately supposed to feel a resounding joy after the birth. What she felt was sadness, anxiousness and hopelessness after not being able to find the right treatment when she knew something was seriously wrong. “I had a host of things,” Koss said. “I had depression, anxiety, intrusive thoughts, some PTSD. My moods were cycling all over the map, and it took me a while to find a

Where to turn Several health care providers and other support groups in the area offer services for mothers and fathers experiencing postpartum disorders. Overlake Medical Center Balance After Baby This professionally led dropin support group at Overlake’s Bellevue campus provides emotional care for new families and women who may be experiencing a postpartum mood disorder or otherwise struggling with their new roles as mothers. Husbands, partners and babies are encouraged to join, as are preg-

health care provider that could appropriately identify and appropriately treat me.” “A while” ended up being 17 months before she found a doctor that could help her get back on track.

nant women with a history of difficult postpartum adjustment. The group meets every second and fourth Tuesday of the month. The group is free. Learn more by calling Overlake’s Family and Community Education department at 688-5259. Swedish/Issaquah Medical Center Understanding the Moods of Motherhood? This free, drop-in support group is for new mothers interested in recognizing and working with postpartum mood disorders. It meets the second Monday of each month (except

Women and men can have postpartum issues Koss, the executive director of Postpartum Support International of Washington and a licensed psychotherapist, had postpartum disorders associated with the birth of her second

major holidays) from 4:15-5:15 p.m. in the Swedish Health Building, 801 Broadway, seventh floor, suite 718, Seattle. Learn more by calling 206-386-3321. Postpartum preparation This class aims to help expectant moms and dads understand and prepare for important emotional changes that take place after childbirth. Newborn development, normal postpartum emotional adjustments and postpartum mood disorders are discussed on the Issaquah campus. Call the medical center at 206-215-3338 for class date and time information.

daughter six years later. She also hosts a meetup.com group for people experiencing postpartum issues, especially those who have gone through traumatic births. Feelings of hopelessness or despair, sleep disturbances, loss

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of appetite, suicidal thoughts and increased irritability are only some of the symptoms of postpartum disorders women and men can face after the birth of a child. She knew she wanted to safeguard other women from a similar experience and to have a place to turn when bringing home a baby isn’t what a mother and father expect it to be. “I just don’t want people to have to struggle so much,” she said. Koss said mothers and fathers should know about the warning signs of postpartum depression and other birth-related disorders before the birth even takes place. Parents should consult the baby’s grandparents and extended family about their birth stories and ask questions about any postpartum issues they may have had. The sooner a parent experiencing negative postpartum

thoughts, feelings or symptoms consults a health care provider or therapist, the sooner he or she will be able to reconnect and have a normal, functional relationship with the baby, Koss said. Support groups can help One effective way new mothers and fathers can take the first step of dealing with postpartum issues or disorders is to join a support group, said Theresa Demeter, manager of women and infant outpatient services for Swedish Medical Center. “So many women experience undetected and untreated postpartum mood disorders, which affects their mood and lives in so many ways,” she said. “It affects their relationship with themselves, their relationship with their baby and their relationship with their partner.” Health care providers are recognizing how important it is to not just prepare a mother

and father for pregnancy and the actual birth, but also what comes with bringing a baby home in that first postpartum year, Demeter said. Swedish offers services including providing breast pump rentals, workshops and support groups, and car seat checks by a certified technician to ensure a family gets off to the right start, she said. Koss credits her daughters as the reason why she became a postpartum doula and went on to finish her master’s degree in applied behavioral science and family systems counseling to become a licensed therapist. “In general, health care providers are getting better about talking about it pre-emp-

“It affects their relationship with themselves, their relationship with their baby and their relationship with their partner.” Theresa Demeter Swedish Medical Center

tively and putting it on women’s radars,” she said, “but there is still a strong shame associated with this.” Learn more about Postpartum Support International of Washington by going to its website at www.ppmdsupport.com.

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Teach children about finances It’s never too soon to start teaching your children about financial literacy. With changes in the global economy and an ever-evolving workforce, today’s children need to be prepared to meet the financial challenges they will face in the future. “Today, children are seeing their family and friends struggle with finances and credit card debt due to a poor economy,” said Dr. Julie Ducharme, chair of the College of Business at Argosy University, San Diego. “As parents, it is our responsibility to teach our children about the world. It is important we teach them about finances as well,” she said. Curriculum in schools starts as early as second grade in

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teaching children the basics of money and the credit/debit system, but parents play the greatest role in teaching children about finances. Children need to understand what money is, how it works and that it is a limited resource. “Whether it is helping compare prices and brands at the grocery store or conserving electricity to lower the energy bill and help the family budget, everyday life is full of important ways to teach your kids the basics of money,” said Dr. Roberto Castaneda, an adjunct professor in the College of Business at Argosy University, Chicago. “A savings or checking account in your child's name is a great way to introduce them to the idea of savings,”

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommend that children visit their dentists by their first birthday, as their first tooth

Contributed

Parents should teach their children early on the benefits of saving money. Castaneda said. Giving your child a set of chores around the house and compensating him or her for those chores builds responsibil-

ity and self-confidence in your children, as well as helping them learn the value of earning money. Once they have earned money, have them de-


PAGE 41 N O V E M B E R 2011

posit a portion of that amount into a savings account, which shows them the importance of preserving and growing it. “This is an excellent way to set goals to help your children become financially literate,” Ducharme said. “It is important to discuss with your children the ways that they can save money, not just spend it.” While it’s important for children to have money to make their own purchases and buying decisions, parents should set up a regimen to divide the money that they receive into savings and spending to stress the importance of each. According to the Federal Reserve Bank, Americans hold nearly 610 million credit cards and the average credit card debt per household in the United States in $14,743. When it comes to credit cards as a financial tool, parents need to be cautious. “Require your child to talk with you before signing any fi-

nancial contracts — particularly for credit cards,” advised USAA, a leading provider of banking, insurance and investment services to the military community. “A recent study by Sallie Mae, the country’s largest student loan provider, reveals that the average college student carries $3,173 in credit-card debt. And nearly onethird of students now put their tuition on plastic.” “Avoid credit cards wherever possible and speak with your children to help them understand how they work and how interest charges can add up,” Castaneda said. “The idea of debt and paying interest is especially important for children to learn,” said Ducharme, who encourages parents to loan their children money to help them understand how debt and interest work. “The cost of having your new video game taken away because you didn't repay the loan your mom gave you to

buy it is a far less expensive lesson to learn than having your car repossessed at 26.” The best way parents can teach their children about finances, according to Ducharme and Castaneda, is to teach by example. “If you want your children

to be financially responsible, you need to demonstrate that responsibility to them through your own finances,” Ducharme said. “Since our children are our future leaders, teaching financial responsibility is of the utmost importance to our future society.”

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Make kids their own doughy fun Playdoughrecipe.com has several easy-to-make concoctions for homemade playdough. Here are three of the site’s most popular.

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This is a great adaptation for the holidays! This play dough recipe smells like freshly baked gingerbread cookies. Ingredients ❑ 1 cup flour ❑ 1/2 cup salt ❑ 2 teaspoons cream of tartar ❑ 1 cup water ❑ 1 teaspoon vegetable oil ❑ Spices — cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg Directions Mix the dry ingredients together. Add in small amounts of the spices you prepared until it smells great. Mix water and oil in a separate bowl, and then mix both bowls together into a large pan. It needs to cook for two to three minutes, or until

it is dough-like.

Edible playdough This is kids’ favorite kind of playdough, and can you blame them? After you’re done making monsters, trees and pets, feel free to eat them all up. This recipe is 100 percent edible and can be eaten immediately. Ingredients ❑ 3 teaspoons of cream of tartar ❑ 1 cup of flour ❑ 1 cup of water ❑ 1 package of Kool-Aid mix (any flavor of unsweetened) ❑ 1 tablespoon of cooking oil ❑ 1/2 cup of salt Directions Mix dry ingredients in a large/medium pan. Add water and oil. Stir over medium heat until it looks like dough. Whatever the color of Kool-Aid used should be the end result. This takes about 8 minutes.

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2011 parent guide