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Dig in and get gardening APRIL 5, 2012 LIBERTY TRIBUNE THE KEARNEY COURIER GLADSTONE DISPATCH

Let’s be honest, it’s still the best policy

Tooth Fairy continues to collect despite cash crunch

Working moms can be nursing moms


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APRIL 5, 2012

LIBERT Y T R I BU N E , T H E K E A R N E Y C O U R I E R , G L A D S TO N E D I S PAT C H

Though there may be no portion of the school day devoted to it, honesty can be taught. Make sure you don’t let your kids skip this lesson. Lead by example — Lying can be convenient, but resorting to dishonesty when talking to your children is always a mistake. You’ll risk normalizing deceit for an impressionable young person. Worse yet, your kids will have good reason to distrust you after you promise that the flu shot doesn’t hurt a bit.

In today’s fast-paced, wired world, all that separates us from sharing our guiltiest thoughts and darkest secrets with the rest of the planet is a single mouse click or finger stroke across a smartphone screen. And kids today need to be taught early on the difference between being honest and sharing too much, say experts. “Amid the din of oversharing, we mistake spasms of selfrevelation for honesty. And in a time of constant confessional disclosures, we are losing our ability to self-reflect and be truly honest,” says Paul Wilkes, a filmmaker, religion and spirituality writer, and author of “The Art of Confession,” a book that seeks to redefine confession for a multicultural, contemporary world. But honesty is still the best policy. And here are some ways to teach this concept to those born after the advent of a social networking culture:

Encourage a culture of confession — If your child admits to wrongdoing, first be grateful for the honesty. While you must discipline him or her, the punishment shouldn’t be a deterrent for future confession. Hitting, shaming, and generally making your child feel bad will only inspire him to lie in the future. But instead of sending your children to their rooms to play video games, you can help them reflect on how to do better next time. “Confession is not merely a clearing out of that which is wrong in us,” says Wilkes. “It is a realignment of what is best in us and an intention to live a better life.”

Foster good communication — Your child is more likely to be truthful with you if you have a great relationship. You can strengthen that relationship by being approachable, not judgmental. Talk regularly. Make a family dinner a routine part of your life. Schedule game nights, movie nights and other enjoyable activities to do with your children.

Nip it in the bud — Bad habits can start early and are often hard to shake, so it’s never too early to correct dishonest behavior in your child. And you can help kids avoid lying by giving them fewer opportunities to do so. For example, if you know who made the mess, don’t ask “Did you do this?” Confront him or her directly about it instead.

Let’s be honest

Use literature — There are many excellent fiction and non-fiction books that deal with ethical issues and honesty. Your librarian can help you find something age-appropriate to read and discuss with kids. — State Point

3 ways to volunteer today April is National Volunteer Month, and there is no better time for you to get involved in the community. Set a great example for your children by volunteering with them when they are young. Here are a few great volunteer ideas for parents and kids: Visit a nursing home — The simple act of sharing a story or playing a game could brighten an elderly person’s day. Donate food — Have your children pick out items at the grocery store; then take the food to a pantry together. Clean up — Pick up litter in a local park. It could be a fun way to get outdoors and will instill in your children respect for the environment. — State Point


LI B E RT Y T R I BU N E , T H E K E A R NEY COURIER, GLADSTONE DISPATCH

T E AC H

APRIL 5, 2012

G R OW

Kids are never too young to learn how plants grow and where their food comes from. In fact, growing a garden is an ideal hands-on lesson in life science, ecology and nutrition — and is a lot more fun than simply hitting the books. However, some of the concepts of gardening may be difficult for younger kids to grasp. Fun ageappropriate learning activities and ideas can be found online, at such websites as MiracleGro.com/kids.

Giving your kids their very own gardening projects will help motivate them to cultivate their green thumbs. A gardening set designed with kids in mind is a great way to get them started. For example, Miracle-Gro Kids offers a variety of flower and vegetable gardening sets that provide an optimal environment for growth and an opportunity to watch plants progress both indoors and outdoors. Be sure to invest in ageappropriate tools for your children to use, so they can dig in the soil and water the plants right alongside you.

H A RV E S T

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E N J OY

Now it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor, literally. Once your plants are ready for harvest, work with your kids to find great-tasting recipes they will love, incorporating the foods grown by you. From vegetable pizza to salad to fruit smoothies, the nutritious meals you plan and make together will be extra satisfying when you know the ingredients came from your own backyard.

You’ve worked hard pruning, weeding and watering your plants, and now, you have a blooming garden to show for it. Don’t forget to teach your children the importance of appreciating the beauty of nature. Take a break to sit back, relax and enjoy your garden, as you contemplate what crops and flowers to include the following year. — State Point

Get gardening Spring is here and it’s time to

think about your garden again. This year, as you cultivate your thriving plot, think about ways to get your whole family involved in gardening — which makes for a great fresh-air activity.

ON THE COVER Caylee Gallinger pictured at the 2011 Easter egg hunt at First Christian Church in Kearney.

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LIBERT Y T R I BU N E , T H E K E A R N E Y C O U R I E R , G L A D S TO N E D I S PAT C H

The Accidental Parent Allowing children to explore religion is a leap of faith By Betsy Lee

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We live across the street from a Catholic church. Every Sunday morning, the people march in … and then, an hour later, they file out. As a young adult, I observed organized religions as one would a herd of cattle on the Discovery Channel.They follow the leader.They make the same noises. And every year, typically in December, they come together in mass numbers to eat, drink and socialize. I vowed, long before I swallowed my first prenatal vitamin, that my children would never find themselves part of the pack. Never would I haggle them into dress clothes on a Sunday morning. Or convince them that tithing their allowance would ensure their place in heaven. It’s best to leave it alone, I told myself. That way, they can find their own path. They can possess their journey of faith, emerging on the other side with beliefs that they can wholly claim. The idea works. Only if I find faith as arbitrary as choosing what shirt to wear each morning. I care. Deeply. It’s not necessarily a certain god that I want

my children to embrace. I can’t say that I believe in the father figure sold by Christian religions. Or the beautiful, gauzy tales of Hellenic god and goddesses. But I believe in beauty. I believe in awe. I believe that the world is bigger than the tiny chasm of my existence. I want my children to find spirituality in themselves and their surroundings. The wonder of a brightly colored butterfly and a dip in tepid ocean waters should always be reason to celebrate. The Grand Canyon should make them feel small. The suffering of others should bring tears to their eyes. They should own their actions. They should never accept what other people call fate. Never bow to what others call authority. They should be seekers. The Earth should be their place of worship. Poetry their prayer. Consequences their rosary. Empathy their tithe. I know that in a world filled with uncertainty, religion offers a blanket of security. But too often

that blanket smothers ingenuity and the desire to find answers. In my backyard, watching the church parking lot fill and empty, there was safety in avoiding the questions about God or church or religion. But I’m failing them every time I suggest a trip to the sandbox. Faith, in life and humanity, is a gift I can give my children. Abandoning them to find their own way is akin to dropping them off in the middle of a busy intersection. There are so many people, rushing about spouting off their certainties. My voice should be there. It doesn’t matter that my beliefs don’t come prepackaged in ancient text. Just like I hold their hand when they cross the street, I need to start leading the way when it comes to their faith. And then, when they are ready, they can cross all by themselves. Betsy Lee is a Kansas City journalist and columnist who lives in a perpetually messy house with her husband, three children and two pets. She can be reached at contactbetsylee@gmail.com.


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APRIL 5, 2012

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THE MEDICINE CABINET H E A LT H C A R E F O R YO U R FA M I LY Pain tends to have very bad timing. At age 27, Elizabeth Carpenter was married, working and going to school — all while trying to keep up with her 3-year-old. Not a lot of time for endometriosis. A fairly common female disorder in which cells from the lining of the uterus grow in other areas of the body, endometriosis can bring with it a host of symptoms, like heavy cycles, fatigue and a fair dose of pain. When pain medications aren’t enough, a hysterectomy is often a viable solution.

Speaking from experience Former patient matches others with robotic surgery Carpenter and her husband were done having children, so having a hysterectomy was an option, but a long recovery time was not. So her doctor suggested a robotic hysterectomy, performed on the da Vinci robotic surgical system. As a nurse at Liberty Hospital at the time, Carpenter was familiar with the system but was shocked when she learned how quick her recovery could be. “For me, it was a no-brainer,” she said of opting for the robotic surgery.

Traditional open hysterectomy surgery requires a large incision and can mean significant pain and a long recovery. The da Vinci method uses dime-sized incisions to access the uterus. This allowed Dr. Ward Ohlhausen, an obstetrician/gynecologist at the hospital, to perform the surgery with greater precision, minimize pain and speed up Carpenter’s recovery. After just one night in the hospital, she was home. “I tell people this still to this day

Mary just had a hysterectomy.

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APRIL 5, 2012

LIBERT Y T R I BU N E , T H E K E A R N E Y C O U R I E R , G L A D S TO N E D I S PAT C H

THE MEDICINE CABINET H E A LT H C A R E F O R YO U R FA M I LY

“I’m a woman, and it’s easier to talk to a woman about female issues. I bring down the scare. I’ve done it myself. It can be frightening any time you’re going into surgery, but we have the experience, which I think makes it a lot easier.”

(Continued from previous page)

that I never had any pain,” she said. “After four days, I went to a July 4th celebration, shooting off fireworks. A week after that, we went on a family vacation.” Today, she espouses the benefits of the da Vinci each day on the job. After finishing her master’s degree, she now works as a nurse practitioner at Urology Specialists, P.C., working with patients who suffer from incontinence, pelvic pain, kidney stones, erectile dysfunction and many other conditions. “I didn’t know it could be so fascinating, but I love it,” she said. Part of her job is to also identify patients who would be well-served by da Vinci surgery. Three of the physicians at the practice are trained to use the system, which is invaluable

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“I’m a woman, and it’s easier to talk to a woman about female issues,” she said.“I bring down the scare. I’ve done it myself. It can be frightening any time you’re going into surgery, but we have the experience, which I think makes it a lot easier. “I feel really fortunate here, at Liberty Hospital, to have the da Vinci.” Today, Carpenter stays plenty busy balancing a successful career with her active family, but she is finally enjoying that busy life without pain. “Looking back, I’m glad I did it … I feel healthier now than I ever have been. It was a piece of cake,” she said. For more information about da Vinci robotic surgery at Liberty Hospital, visit www.libertyhospital.org. — Liberty Hospital.

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for many urology surgeries, like prostatectomies (removal of the prostate) and kidney surgeries. “If I see a patient that I know will be a good candidate … I identify that and give them all the information and then refer them to the appropriate doctor,” Carpenter said. Having first-hand experience, she helps demystify the process. “When people hear the word ‘robot,’ they’re kind of,‘There’s going to be a robot operating on me?’ I think for patients … It’s a scare thing,” Carpenter said.“But, you know, if you educate people, go over the risks and benefits, and make sure they can make an informed consent for what they want, then we obviously are 100 percent supportive of it.” Plus, as the only female urology provider in the Northland, Carpenter is in a unique position.

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Annually, more than 60,000 children age 5 or younger are treated in emergency rooms for accidental ingestion of household medicines. Most often this happens after a child has gotten into medicine while their parents or caregivers were not looking. In partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s PROTECT Initiative, CDC and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association Educational Foundation created the Up and Away and Out of Sight educational program to help parents understand how to best store and safeguard the medicines they use at home so young children can’t access them. Use these tips and resources to make sure your child is always protected: ◆ Never leave medicine or vitamins out on a kitchen counter or at a sick child’s bedside. ◆ Never tell children medicine is candy. ◆ Tell children what medicine is and why you must be the one to give it to them. ◆ Remind baby sitters, house guests, and visitors to keep purses, bags, or coats that have medicines in them up and away and out of sight when they are in your home. ◆ Program the poison control center number (800-222-1222) into your home and cell phones. For more information on Up and Away and Out of Sight, safety tips, and resources, visit www.UpandAway.org and pledge to keep medicines and vitamins up and away and out of sight in your home. — Family Features


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APRIL 5, 2012

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THE MEDICINE CABINET H E A LT H C A R E F O R YO U R FA M I LY

Working moms can be nursing moms Going back to work after having a baby can be a challenging transition for new moms — especially for those who want to breastfeed. While the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for at least 12 months, only 35 percent of babies are exclusively breastfed at three months, and not quite 15 percent at six months, according to the Centers for Disease Control 2011 Breastfeeding Report Card. Research suggests there are many challenges that moms face that prevent them from reaching this breastfeeding goal. Some of these obstacles include lack of breastfeeding information or supportive health care resources; lack of support at home; or challenges with finding time and privacy to express breast milk in the workplace. As a working mother of five who breastfed all her children, including twin boys, registered nurse Amy O’Malley, director of education and clinical services for Medela, understands both the importance of breastfeeding, and the challenges women face in doing so. “The longer a baby is breastfed, the greater the health benefits for both mom and baby. Yet at three months, we see the most significant drop-off in breastfeeding, which is around the same time most nursing moms return to work,” O’Malley said. “Fortunately, today there are many tools that can help Mom continue to breastfeed and provide breast milk to their babies even when they cannot be there. Breast pumps, for example, allow moms to keep that connection while providing optimal nutrition for their babies. It also allows dads and other caregivers to bond with babies when mom is away.” And many moms agree. A recent survey of 1,000 women with infants, commissioned by Medela, found that 78 percent of breastfeeding PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES moms use a breast pump. O’Malley shares some tips and useful information for breastfeeding mothers returning to work: ◆ Plan in advance with your employer/human resources about your breast pumping needs. If your employer is unaware, let them know how breastfeeding will benefit all. Not only will you and your baby be healthier — research has shown that there are fewer missed work days and shorter absences for mothers who breastfeed. ◆ Familiarize yourself with the Protection and Affordable Care Act, which now requires certain employers to help support breastfeeding by providing working mothers a private place and time to pump, so that they can express breast milk and maintain their supply. In addition, a new provision will require health plans to include breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling without cost sharing for insurance policies with plan years beginning on or after Aug. 1, 2012. ◆ Use a double-electric breast pump to help you maintain your breast milk supply and breast pump more efficiently while at work. Research shows that when

using a double-electric breast pump with 2-phase Expression® technology, a mom can yield 18 percent more milk than single pumping. ◆ A new tax benefit allows women to claim breastfeeding-related supplies to be covered as medical expenses. Learn more at www.breastfeedinginsurance.com. ◆ Stay as close to your breastfeeding schedule as possible when you pump. ◆ Help preserve all of your breast milk’s benefits by understanding safe storage. Storage and collection tips can be found at www.breastmilkguidelines.com and at the CDC’s website, www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding. ◆ Breastfeed your baby as soon as you get home. ◆ What you will need: a picture of your baby, an insulated cooler bag with cold packs, food-grade bottles/bags to store your milk, labels to note time and date of expression, and breastpads to protect your clothes and conceal leakage For moms with iPhones, download the free iBreastfeed App, which provides helpful information, practical advice, a locator to find local breastfeeding and pumping-friendly places, baby activity log and more. It’s available through the iTunes App Store. Learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding, as well as making the transition back to work at www.medela.com. — Family Features

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APRIL 5, 2012

LIBERT Y T R I BU N E , T H E K E A R N E Y C O U R I E R , G L A D S TO N E D I S PAT C H

Mary just had a hysterectomy.

Next week,

we’re going on vacation. Da Vinci surgery. Recover faster. We’re proud to say our surgeons are some of the region’s most experienced in robotics. That means the right choice for your robotic surgery is right here. Visit libertyhospital.org to view a list of our robotic specialists and the procedures available. And ask your doctor whether robotic surgery is right for you.

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LI B E RT Y T R I BU N E , T H E K E A R NEY COURIER, GLADSTONE DISPATCH

APRIL 5, 2012

Tooth Fairy still cashing in The average gift from the Tooth Fairy dropped to $2.10 last year, but she’s still visiting nearly 90 percent of homes throughout the United States, according to The Original Tooth Fairy Poll sponsored by Delta Dental. That average gift is down 42 cents from $2.52 in 2010. The 17 percent drop in value is one of the larger declines since Delta Dental began conducting the Original Tooth Fairy Poll in 1998. “Like many Americans, the Tooth Fairy needed to tighten her belt in 2011, but she’s hopeful for a recovery this year,” said Barbara Bentrup, chief financial officer for Delta Dental of Missouri. “More importantly, Delta Dental is encouraged that parents are still making visits to the dentist a priority for their children.” In fact, 90 percent of those surveyed say they take their children to the dentist every six months. The Original Tooth Fairy Poll, which surveyed 1,355 parents across the country, yielded these additional findings: ◆ The most common amount left under the pillow by the Tooth Fairy is $1. ◆ Most children find more money under the pillow for their first lost baby tooth. ◆ Thirty-five percent of those surveyed allow their children three to four sugary drinks a day. Dentists say that’s too many. ◆ Seventy-one percent of those surveyed first take their child to the dentist between 2 and 3 years of age. Dental professionals recommend parents take their children to the

dentist by age 1 or within six months of their first tooth erupting. The Original Tooth Fairy Poll has generally been a good barometer of the economy’s overall direction. The trend in average giving has tracked with movement of the Dow Jones Industrial Average in seven of the past 10 years. The Original Tooth Fairy Poll reflects a partnership between the Tooth Fairy and Delta Dental to promote good dental hygiene habits that encourage healthy mouths and healthy smiles across America. To help the Tooth Fairy and Delta Dental keep track of this longtime tradition, take the Original Tooth Fairy Poll at www.theoriginaltoothfairypoll. com. The site also offers access to oral health information, the ability to ask the Tooth Fairy questions and the opportunity for children to post how much money they recently received for their lost teeth. And, to get a sense of the taste and style choices of the Tooth Fairy, you can follow her at pinterest.com/origtoothfairy. — The Hauser Group

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APRIL 5, 2012

BOOK BUZZ: Yarns from days gone by Your bee-buddy’s turning his red specs to yesteryear with his “Good Ol’ Days” theme. The books he’s chosen are about an era when life was simpler, but not always easier, when the only “net” people used was to catch fish, and keyboards were found primarily on pipe organs in church and pianos in main street saloons. So pull up a chair, young readers, and kick off your boots. It’s time to “Page On” as we “Page-Back” for a spell.

Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea Ready for a tale as tall any told by Paul Bunyan? Outfit yourself with a honey, “Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea, A Fairly Fabricated Story of a Pair of Pants,” by Tony Johnston. So it seems ol’ Levi is responsible for providing sturdy drawers for miners out California-way when they were rushin’ West to capitalize on nuggets they pulled from the streams. Sakes’ alive, these guys needed jeans. Levi hit solid gold when he used fabric from tents. With a few snips and spools of thread, those miners no longer had to be “naked as jaybirds” and wear barrels when their flimsy duds gave out; no longer were the streams jammed with remnants of garments that gave out and floated in the “rills and rivulets.” Cleverly illustrated by Stacy Innerst, this western uses text as art, too. It’s a barrelful of fun that will have you bustin’ a gut.

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“Nine mouths to feed with no money” is a heavy load to bear. In “Born and Bred in the Great Depression,” by Jonah Winter, a boy recalls stories his dad told him about a time in history that pressed hard on the hearts of those who lived through it. Plenty of pluck and muscle were necessary to make ends meet, and everyone had chores to do — building fires in the woodstove, pumping water from the cistern, milking Bessie and weeding the garden. During the Depression, many only had food if they grew it and eggs if they raised chickens. Hoboes rode the rails and depended on the kindness of others to feed them in exchange for work. Evenings were spent listening to the radio, playing checkers or sitting by a kerosene light reading a library book. All the hard work and homespun pastimes of those years come to life in this marvelous book, adorned with warm-hued illustrations by Kimberly Bulcken Root.

Courageous beyond belief is the only way to describe “May B.,” the heroine of a book by the same name, written by Caroline Starr Rose, who’s already making a star of herself with this her first book. It’s the 1870s and May B. lives on the prairies of Kansas with her parents and brother. Everyone must sacrifice to scratch out a living, but May B.’s sacrifice is a heartbreakingly lonely proposition. “We’ll get you home by Christmas,” May B.’s parents say as the date approaches for her to move away, into the sod house of a newly married couple arrived from the city. May B. will cook and clean for the wife. It’s a fate she detests — but one she must fulfill — even more when she arrives at the homestead. From the onset the experience is fraught with trouble, but things go from bad to worse and before long May B. is forced to reach deep to survive a winter on the plains neither she, nor her parents back home, can even imagine. Written in verse,“May B.” is a fast read that will captivate from the first page. Reprinted with permission, Missourian Publishing Co. Copyright 2012.

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