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VOL.19 N O . 4


Inspired Learning. Inspired Teaching.

DEPARTMENTS From the Kids VT Staff ............................................4 Readers Respond ........................................................5 See and Say ......................................................................7 Birthday Club..................................................................47 Use Your Words: Essay ..........................................51


Hi, Ho! It’s Back to Work We Go ................................................ 18

The Kids Beat ..................................................................8 Ask Dr. First: When to Call the Doctor .....10 Fit Families: Baby Pump.......................................11 The Librarian Likes ....................................................11 Seeing STARS.................................................................12 The Because Project .................................................13 Home Cookin’: BBQ Sliders................................14 Out to Eat: Ocha Thai ...............................................15 Go Ask Dad: Birth Moments ..............................16 The Art of … Drama in Three Hours ............17

What to expect when you’re no longer expecting

Baby Steps ...... 22 A neonatal nurse practitioner on Vermont’s “smallest survivors”



Know Before They Go.........26

Daily Listings ..................................................................32 Ongoing Events.............................................................33 Story Times ......................................................................36 Playgroups ........................................................................38

Crafting With Kids......................................................45 The Party Planner: Baby Showers ...............46 Puzzle Page ......................................................................48 Coloring Contest .........................................................49

Colby Roberts Cathy Resmer Don Eggert Kate Laddison Becky Tharp Kaitlin Montgomery

Baby Harper and her mother Tiffany Brigham of South Burlington were photographed shortly after Harper’s birth by Fairfield photographer Stina Booth. See more of Booth’s photos at

ext. 77 ext. 74 ext. 71 ext. 73 ext. 78 ext. 72

Circulation Manager Deputy Web Editor Office Manager

Contributing Writers: Maryellen Apelquist, Kathryn Flagg, Carolyn Fox, Madeleine Kunin, Amy Lilly, Cindy Morgan, Ken Picard, Katrina Roberts, Jaime R. Tibbits, Sarah Tuff, Lindsay J. Wesley Photographers: Stina Booth, Andy Duback, Matthew Thorsen Illustrators: Rev. Diane Sullivan Cover image: Stina Booth

Whether you’re interested in our curriculum materials or would like to enroll in our accredited school, May is a great time to get ready for your next school year.

20% OFF Curriculum 10% OFF Enrollment Brattleboro, Vermont 802-251-7250


Da Capo Publishing shall not be held liable to any advertiser for any loss that results from the incorrect publication of its advertisement. If a mistake is ours, and the advertising purpose has been rendered valueless, Da Capo Publishing may cancel the charges for the advertisement, or a portion thereof as deemed reasonable by the publisher. Da Capo Publishing reserves the right to refuse any advertising, including inserts, at the discretion of the publishers.

Production Manager Lead Designer Designers



Published 11x per year. Circulation: 25,000 at 400+ locations throughout northern and central Vermont.


Pamela Polston Paula Routly Meredith Coeyman Kate O’Neill Marissa Keller Justin Gonyea Brooke Bousquet Celia Hazard Rev. Diane Sullivan Steve Hadeka Tyler Machado Cheryl Brownell

MAY 2012

Editorial in Kids VT is for general informational purposes. Parents must use their own discretion for following the advice in any editorial piece. Acceptance of advertising does not constitute service/product endorsement. Kids VT is a proud member of the Parenting Media Association. Kids VT distribution is audited for accuracy.

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Visit our website to request a catalog and view sample lessons, or call our office in Vermont to speak with our helpful staff.


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Or enroll in our fully accredited school for the additional benefit of experienced teacher support and academic credit. An empowering option for homeschooling families!

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Pushing It

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Mom Deserves a Space of Her Own!

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PREGNANCY IS ANTICIPATION that leads to labor’s intense physical challenge and the joy, awe and relief of birth. It’s like Christmas, a Tough Mudder marathon and religious ecstasy all rolled into one wrinkly, squalling newborn. Then the real work begins. And if you work outside the home, you need to figure out how to fit it all in. I was working — at my former job as a technical writer — almost up to the moment my Oliver Laddison son was born. My water broke in the early hours before dawn, and the first person I told was my coworker Najiba, who was online in the company’s Brussels office. She encouraged me to get to the hospital, and I did, carrying my laptop along with my overnight bag. I finished up a couple of work tasks just a few hours before things went awry and I was whisked away for a C-section. Fast-forward eight weeks, and I was back at the office full time, exhausted. I think I only fell asleep at my desk once, but I honestly can’t remember. Those were foggy times. Creating work-life balance is difficult, whether moms and dads stay at home, work 9 to 5 jobs or juggle a mix of part-time commitments. Throw in the need for exercise, alone time and date nights, and there are just not enough hours in the day. Kathryn Flagg’s feature on page 18 looks at how a few local moms have managed the transition back to work. Twelve weeks of unpaid family leave might seem like a long time for employers to give up a valued worker, but in reality, it’s the blink of a baby’s eye. Men are part of the equation, too. In “Go Ask Dad,” fathers share their awe-inspiring thoughts from the delivery room. In a separate story, Ken Picard interviews a male nurse who works in Fletcher Allen Health Care’s neonatal intensive care unit. Want to hear more baby stories? Read the “Kids Beat” for details on upcoming “Pregnancy Circles.” And, a lesbian mom in rural Vermont offers a twist on the traditional birth tale in this month’s “Use Your Words” essay on page 51. We conceive Kids VT every month in hopes you’ll find something new, enlightening, comforting or useful in it. Whether you’re a seasoned, expectant or newly minted parent, I’d love to hear from you. Want to share your story? Email me at


Some of this month’s Kids VT contributors:

Kathryn Flagg (“Hi, Ho! It’s Back to Work We Go”) is a staff writer at Seven Days. This is her first appearance in Kids VT. She and her husband, Colin, raise beef cattle in Shoreham.

MAY 2012


Madeleine Kunin (“Because Project”) was the first female governor of Vermont. She served as deputy secretary of education and ambassador to Switzerland in the Clinton administration. She is currently a James Marsh professor-at-large at the University of Vermont and a commentator on Vermont Public Radio. Chelsea Green Publishing released her third book, The New Feminist Agenda, in April. Kunin lives in Burlington with her husband, John Hennessey. She has four grown children.



Jaime R. Tibbits (“Use Your Words”) lives with her partner, Mary Alice, and their two children — as well as a dog, two cats and a cow — in Fairfield. This month Jaime will receive her bachelor’s degree from Johnson State College. Congratulations, Jaime! k3v-UVMAthletics0512.indd 1

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Readers Respond



People are talking about the April 2012 issue of Kids VT...

A Children’s Department Store

Can’t Wait for the Next Paper Dear Kids VT, My mom and I enjoy the articles in your paper. I love the pictures for the coloring contest. The newspaper is a good way for kids and adults to get reading. Some of the kids who win the coloring contests are really creative and cool. I hope you enjoy my picture. Can’t wait for the next paper. RAVEN DUKE FERRISBURGH







Artist at Work

Zoe Smith, 4, of Burlington, working on her coloring-contest submission. Send photos of your kids coloring their contest entry or crafting this month’s stained-glass vase (see page 45) to:

Children’s Wear • Footwear • Baby/Nursery • Books • Toys 64 Harvest Ln, Williston, VT ~ 802.764.1810 1/2 mile from Tafts Corners Across from the New England Federal Credit Union

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What a great article. I think both my boys will get something out of this. Thanks!

From ON FIT FAMILIES: “JUMP ROPING FOR JOY” Love this! My almost-6-year-old son declared this past weekend that he was planning on becoming a professional jump roper. He’s been jumping at any given opportunity all week. It’s wonderful. ASTRID HEDBOR LAGUE COLCHESTER


Log in and sound off on our website,

Your comments should • be no more than 250 words long • respond to Kids VT content • include your full name, town and a daytime phone number


Kids VT wants to publish your rants and raves.

These kids are amazing! I especially liked reading their insights. They are reflective thinkers and are willing to work hard. Congratulations to all kids who are starting their own businesses!


Speak Up!


Email us at or send a letter to Kids VT, PO Box 1184, Burlington, VT 05402. We also reprint comments we receive via Facebook and Twitter, with permission from the authors. Kids VT reserves the right to edit for accuracy and length.


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4/24/12 9:58 AM

Treat yourself this Mother’s Day, get the ORTHODONTICS smile you DRS. PETERSON, RYAN & EATON deserve!

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• Private and semi private lessons • Teach your child(ren) the importance of water safety • Have fun and learn life-long skills • Convenient schedule For more information, call Jaimie Held at 862-8993 x156 for details.



MAY 2012


A certified lifeguard/ instructor brings swim lessons and water safety tips to your home or neighborhood pool.

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Would you, or did you, opt for prenatal screening for genetic abnormalities that required amniocentesis? Sometimes a little information is enough. Most of our survey respondents — 81 percent — skipped prenatal tests involving amniocentesis or had no prenatal screening at all.


April didn’t exactly deliver its requisite showers last month. But our coloring-contest entries had no trouble imagining rain — along with lots of laughing, squealing, splashing, singing and dancing pigs with rainbows.

These winners get $25, plus an additional $10 when they open a TD Bank Young Saver Account by May 31.

HONORABLE MENTIONS COOL KALEIDOSCOPE OF COLOR “Rainbow Everything” Zoe Smith, 4, Burlington LOVELIEST LANDSCAPE “VT Sunset in April” Cali Gilbert, 7, Essex Junction BLUE SKY, PINK SKY “Piggin’ in the Rain” Garett Ward, 8, North Hero TWO-WAY TIE FOR RAINBOWY-EST RAIN “It’s Raining Rainbows” Maeve McCullagh, 8, Colchester “Rainbow Raindrops” Cooper Cleveland, 8, Essex

64% NO, we had only an ultrasound screening.


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“The Rain Pig”

NO, we opted for no prenatal screening.


PRETTY PARAPLUIE “My Wet Piggy” Audree Gabree, 7, St. Albans PINKEST PIG “Singing in the Rain” Trace Cushing, 10, Burlington BOFFO BOOTS “Every Pig Likes Rain!” Sophie Lee, 9, Underhill BEST PENCIL SHADINGS “Just Snorting in the Rain” Bella (no last name given), 10, Montpelier



PASTEL MASTER “Piggy in the Rain” Madelyn Ford, 7, South Burlington


YES, we screened for genetic abnormalities through amniocentesis.

Zoey Skapof, 4

4 and under

5 to 8

Emma Lowry, 8 BURLINGTON

“Piggy Patterns”

RIGHTEOUS RAINBOW “A Rainy Day for Piggy” Natalie Abair, 7, Colchester

Inside the new ECHO Exhibit

“Miss Piggy Jumps in Muddy Puddles” Nyche German, 5, Milton “A Splash in Time” Mikenna Sherwin, 10, Whiting “Pig Puddle” Jared Hislop, 7, Williamstown “100% Chance of Rain” Brandon Tierney, 11, Vergennes


“April Showers Bring May Flowers”

9 to 12



See the winning submissions at Find this month’s contest on page 49. The deadline is May 15.

Joselyn Gilbert, 9


The new anatomy exhibit at the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center features actual human bodies — dead ones. Wondering whether to take your kids to see it? Kids VT calendar writer Becky Tharp toured Our Body: The Universe Within before it opened and shared her thoughts about it on the Kids VT blog. Read her review at


“Two Dimensions, a Nocturnal Pig and Electric Rain” Max Cleveland, 8, Essex

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Great Expectations Theme and plot structure aside, every birth story is different. Birth Journeys, a doula and childbirth education company, will soon host Pregnancy Circles — discussion groups for expectant moms who want to hear about pregnancy and birth in a supportive environment. That means trained professionals sharing the details — not some woman with a labor horror story in the checkout line at the grocery store. “She was in line when I was pregnant, too,” quips Jenna Thayer, a partner at Birth Journeys. The goal is to counter the seemingly endless supply of freak-you-out birth tales with honest and encouraging accounts. Drop in on twice-monthly classes that start in May. PREGNANCY CIRCLES: Bimonthly discussions offered on a sliding scale, $5-15 per session. Birth Journeys, 4 Kellogg Road, Essex Junction. Info, 324-8809, vtbirthjourneys.blogspot. com.

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Kids VT presents information on everything from family programs and services to products and entertainment.

Why not advertise? Contact Kaitlin today!

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Sweet Spot “I want candy:” Not only is it a popular song, but a familiar refrain with kids. A new store in the University Mall, Candylicious, satisfies those sweet cravings. Color and presentation are important to owner Khuyen Tran, who opened the store at the end of March. “Candy is like fashion,” she says, noting sugary trends come and go with the seasons. And sometimes, what’s old is new again. Currently popular: nostalgic candy from the 1920s and ’30s such as Charleston Chew, Mallo Cups and Sugar Daddy. Two other coming attractions Khuyen identified are fancy lollipops and relatively healthy concoctions like Superfruit Jelly Belly’s made from real fruit juice. Scoop them up at the new store, where most of the treats are sold by weight. CANDYLICIOUS: University Mall, Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. - 9 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Info, 864-7779.

Kaitlin Montgomery 985-5482 x72



MAY 2012


Like what you see?


3/22/12 12:31 PM


Horse Tale Vermont author Jessie Haas captures the hearts of young readers and equestrians with her new horse-meets-girl love story, Bramble and Maggie. Bramble is a horse with a mind of her own, and it’s not ’til she meets Maggie that she finds a match made in horse heaven. Bored with giving riding lessons, Bramble trots too fast, goes backward rather than forward and lies down on the job. Her owners decide to get rid of her, and young Maggie happens upon the “Free Horse” sign. Told from the perspective of both horse and rider, the tale is sweetly funny: Bramble thinks a garden hose is a snake; to the horse, a swing set looks like a strange, lawn-eating animal. Maggie works patiently with her ride and steadily builds their friendship. The engaging watercolor illustrations on every page and easy-to-read sentences make this chapter book a great early reader. BRAMBLE AND MAGGIE: By Jessie Haas, Candlewick Press, 56 pages, $14.99, ages 5 and up. Info,

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Kids at the St. Albans Town Educational Center are acting out against bullying. A pilot program with Theatre-in-Action uses traditional theater games to put students into a bully’s shoes — or a bystander’s mind. Kids draw from their own experiences to create a scene, perform it for classmates, deconstruct the action and then perform it again. “They’re putting solutions into their bodies,” Theatre-in-Action’s Kim Jordan says of the one-hour weekly session for fifth graders. She draws on her skills — and passion for bullying prevention — to draw middle schoolers into the action, unleashing what they’re wondering as well as what they know. “Just because they’re young doesn’t mean their voices aren’t important,” Jordan says.

Orwell musician Michael King has found a unique way to make a Mother’s Day: He expresses maternal k8v-BabiestoBoomers0512.indd 1 4/13/12 11:09 AM love in music. Last year, King experienced two milestones. His band the Jesters broke up after an 18-year run, and he scattered his mother’s ashes. He decided to honor her memory with a music You’ll wonder composition. How does he do the same for moms why you didn’t he doesn’t know? He interviews them. “They do it sooner. have no idea the poetry that’s in what falls out of Chiropractic, their mouths,” he says. From there, he retreats encouraging the to his home studio, where body to heal on he works out the guitar it’s own. We know that the decision part, the words, and isn’t easy, making finally drums, healthcare choices in a world filled with keyboards information requires time and diligence. Dr. Jennifer Peet has been helping parents and other for over 20 years by providing intelligent, tracks. safe, natural healthcare for newborns, infants The & children. Sometimes birth is traumatic; even in the resulting most controlled situations. Your child’s neck music is and backbones can be pushed out of their poignant and normal alignment leading to poor health, ear infections and hyperactivity. personal. And Dr. Jennifer Peet’s experienced, gentle free of charge. hands on approach to your families health So far, 14 moms is covered by most insurance programs. have inspired Are you ready? an original CD from King. “My mom, she would have wanted me Chiropractic for to be expressive, and KIDS & Adults to think, and to give,” he says of his new mission. 2882 Shelburne Road Shelburne/Burlington Area “I love it.”

Acting Out

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Music to Her Ears 802-540-0433

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KIDS & Adults


Dr. Jennifer Peet

MAY 2012



KIDS VT Call for an appt: 985-9500

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THE FIRST FEW WEEKS of your baby’s life are exhilarating — and occasionally frightening. New parents don’t know what “normal” newborn behavior is but may be reluctant to call the doctor about every questionable cry and cough. This month, Dr. Lewis First, chief of pediatrics at Vermont Children’s Hospital at Fletcher Allen Health Care, assures parents that when it comes to caring for newborns, they should feel comfortable asking anything, anytime.

KVT: What should trigger an automatic phone call in the first few weeks of life? LF: Difficulty breathing, fever and any concern regarding the baby’s activity level. If there’s a persistent cough, if the lips are blue, if the baby seems to be working hard to breast-feed because the baby can’t catch his or her breath, call immediately. In the first two months, a temperature above 100.4 degrees F warrants a call.

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KVT: What other conditions should parents watch for? LF: If the baby is not feeding well or is overly sleepy and k8v-VtNanny0512.indd 1 4/12/12 3:01 PMhas a normal temperature, I’d still want to get a phone call. If a baby under two months hasn’t peed in eight hours and hasn’t pooped in a day and is breast-feeding, I would be concerned about the baby’s hydration status. 3 years old

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KVT: What about rashes? They look awful, but do they warrant a doctor’s visit? LF: If parents need advice on a diaper rash or are worried that a rash looks worse than a simple red area, that’s worth calling about. The most dangerous rashes we worry about are those that don’t blanch. A rash that doesn’t turn white or change to a lighter color when pressed with your finger may mean that the redness represents cells that have leaked out of broken blood vessels under the skin, suggesting a serious infection. KVT: Is there such a thing as a new baby sleeping too well? LF: Most babies will sleep 16 hours a day in the first week or two of life. If it’s been four hours and the baby hasn’t woken up, you should try to wake the baby up. The baby should rouse pretty easily; if not, call your child’s doctor for advice.

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KVT: Should parents be concerned about excessive crying? LF: Believe it or not, it’s normal for newborns to cry up to three hours a day. If your baby’s crying or irritability is bothering you, even if it’s less than three hours, it’s worth a call. One of the leading reasons we have accidental trauma and brain damage in babies is when someone shakes a baby who is crying. Oftentimes, that happens after far less than three hours of crying.


Believe it or not, it’s normal for newborns to cry for up to three hours a day.

KVT: What can cause persistent crying? LF: It could be something as simple as gas. It may be that the baby has an infection. Or it may be that the baby has been overfed. But rather than starting to feel frustrated, this is an ideal time to talk it out with the doctor. So check with your pediatrician or family physician and make sure all is well, in addition to giving yourself time out and having someone else watch the baby. We never want to see a parent calm a baby down with physical force. KVT: Why do we get crying with no tears? LF: Parents should know that babies won’t have tears before four to six weeks of age. Since the tear ducts aren’t fully formed yet, germs and bacteria can get in those not-yet-fully open tear ducts and cause a little pus to come out of the eye. It’s easily treatable, but it can look a lot worse than it is.

KVT: Any advice about visitors in the first few weeks of life? LF: If someone has a cold, it’s probably a good idea for that person to avoid handling the baby without good hand washing. Unfortunately, you may be carrying a virus even before you know you’re getting a cold. The best thing you can do is wash your hands before handling the baby and then again afterward. KVT: Should we worry about postcircumcision problems? LF: If the bleeding around the circumcision site seems persistent after your baby boy goes home, that certainly warrants another look by the doctor. That may also be a harbinger of a bleeding problem, such as hemophilia. KVT: How about caring for the baby’s belly button? LF: If parents need instructions for caring for the belly button, that’s fair game for calling to discuss belly-button care with your baby’s doctor. If they start seeing pus or discharge, or the stump stays on for three to four weeks or starts to smell bad, they should talk to us. In rare circumstances, that could be indicative of an immune problem. KVT: Can you share any humorous parent phone calls? LF: One of the most common things we use to treat a congested nose are saltwater nose drops. The typical home recipe is a teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of water. I’ve had parents call and say, “I’ve gotten several ounces down the baby’s nose. Do I have to use all eight ounces?” That’s not a problem of the parent. That’s a problem of the health care provider not explaining that we’re only using a few drops of the solution and not all eight ounces. Parents need to make sure they understand the instructions they’re given. If they’re not, call back. 




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Instructor Candice Allembert (on left) with Ali and Adi Bigenho

Pumping Pampers

It’s not about getting to a size zero, it’s about getting fit.

WHERE TO GO: HammerFit

Athletic Club, 21 Essex Way, suite 115, Essex Junction. Classes held Tuesdays from 11 to 11:45 a.m.; $36 for a six-class punch card.


“The Librarian Likes” features a different librarian and book each month. Got an idea for a future LL? Email us at


“Fit Families” is a monthly feature that offers easy and affordable ways to stay active. Got an idea for a future FF? Email us at

Why sign? Research has shown that signing not only eases the frustration of communication between parents and children, but also fosters early literacy and stimulates brain development. Plus, it’s an opportunity to bond. Sign language researcher Marilyn Daniels, who lives in Newport, writes about signing’s benefits for hearing children in her Sign to Speak books, which include songs, rhymes and an appendix of signs. Learn more about helping your young child communicate at 


routine from working out at home with her own children, now ages 14 and 17, when they were babies; indeed, many of the moves lend themselves to a livingroom floor. Doing wide-leg squats while holding the baby, for example, is a no-brainer. But staying home would mean missing out on the camaraderie, the compliments doled out by Allembert — “I love Olivia’s pajamas!” she exclaims to Megan during a set — and all the other adorable babies. My children are 3 and 5 now, and being around all the oxytocin almost makes me want to have another — until a few of the infants squawk for more attention. Everyone makes it to the end of the 45-minute session, but that’s not always the case for new moms who must put their workout on hold for a few hours or a day. Says Allembert, “Sometimes you just have to surrender.” 

MAY 2012

show up fashionably late. “Working out, you shouldn’t feel guilty,” she says. “It’s not about getting to a size 0; it’s about getting fit and having the energy to go up and down stairs with your children.” There’s even a chair in the back where moms can nurse. Allembert then pops in a peppy soundtrack — the ’80s hit The Safety Dance, and songs from The Lion King and The Muppets — as she leads four moms through a warm-up of stepping in place and stretching hamstrings and hip flexors. For now, the four babies are happily snug in their car seats or on soft blankets. Eleven-week-old Jack is sound asleep. It’s just the right tempo to allow near continual motherand-child contact: Lexie laughs back at Jane; Megan plants a kiss on 5-month-old Olivia’s forehead while holding plank position. I think back on how I used to set my 6-week-old daughter next to the treadmill and had to stop running every time she squirmed for fear of upsetting fellow gym members. This is a much better way to exercise with babies. Allembert devised much of the

workout clothes, baby (newborn to about age 1) in car/infant seat, baby toys. HammerFit supplies weights, resistance bands and other gear.


IT’S NOT A GOOD SIGN when your workout makes other people laugh. But as Lexie launches into a series of side lunges at Essex Junction’s HammerFit gym, she doesn’t seem to mind when the person next to her erupts in giggles. That’s because it’s her 7-month-old daughter, Jane, watching her mom from an infant car seat in a Tuesday morning session of “Baby Pump.” Earlier this year, HammerFit owner Jessica Ebert Edelmann started the class as a way for moms to work out, bond with their new babies and meet new friends. A play on the popular Les Mills Body Pump classes, Baby Pump is a 45-minute non- to low-impact workout that uses hand weights, resistance bands and, yes, babies to tone and strengthen. “At first, the moms are a bit nervous and proud that they just made it to class,” says Edelmann. “Two to three times later, they’re enjoying themselves, and the babies are happier because mom is radiating confidence.” Before a recent class, instructor Candice Allembert has a few moments to chat — moms with new babies tend to

WHAT YOU NEED: Comfortable

Achilles’ summary: Curious to know what your baby is thinking? It’s easy to find out with Lora Heller’s boardbook series Baby Fingers, LIBRARIAN: which teaches Tina Achilles, basic American children’s Sign Language librarian at to parents and the Cobleigh infants alike. Public Library Each page of I in Lyndonville Want… features a bright, engaging BOOK: Want … photo of a baby or Teaching Your toddler signing Baby to Sign a word he or she by Lora Heller is likely to find and others useful — potty, from the Baby cereal, bed, Fingers series. etc. A written description AGE RANGE: of the motion Infant offers a chance for reading, and clear, visual demonstrations help both parents and babies pick up the signs.



The grade on children’s programs in Colchester, Essex, Jericho, Milton, Underhill and Winooski VERMONT’S STEP AHEAD RECOGNITION SYSTEM (STARS) is designed to help parents evaluate programs that care for their kids. Sponsored by the Child Development Division of the Vermont Department for Children and Families, STARS assigns star rankings to participating childcare, preschool and after school programs. The process is much more thorough than a simple site visit. To receive a ranking, programs must complete an application that assesses progress in five areas: compliance with state regulations; staff qualifications and training; communication and support of children, families and communities, providers’ self-assessments and plans for improvements; and the strength of a program’s operating policies and business practices. Simply by completing the application, programs demonstrate a desire to go above and beyond the minimum state standards. The STARS coordinators assign applicants one to five stars. A single star

VT spotlights one five-star program from the featured geographical area.



MAY 2012


Children’s Preschool and Enrichment Center Inc.

39 Main Street, Essex, 878-1060 ★★★★★ Type of program: Full-year preschool program Year opened: 1987 Age range of children: 3 to 5 years old; children who have been in kindergarten can attend in summer. Last field trip: Green Mountain Audubon Center Favorite rainy-day activity: “Scary Afternoon” with books and flashlights to help process fears in a safe atmosphere Favorite song: “Jump Up and Down”  Most recent staff development activity: In-service day with “Medicine Administration” in the morning; “Strengthening Families” in the afternoon

means a program is new or examining its practices and working to improve them; a five-star ranking signifies that a program is established and outstanding in all areas. A ranking is good for three years, though each applicant must complete an annual review to maintain it. STARS helps parents assess a program’s quality and professionalism, and it can also save them money. Parents who meet the state’s income eligibility guidelines may pay less for childcare if they enroll their children in programs with three, four or five stars. Each month, Kids VT publishes an excerpt of the list of STARS participants. This month’s “Seeing STARS” features participating programs in Colchester, Essex, Jericho, Milton, Underhill and Winooski. Find more information about STARS, a complete list of rankings and other childcare resources at dcf.vermont. gov/cdd/stars. 

Karen Gray

Organic Kids

Carolyn’s Red Balloon


40 Severance Green, Suite 101, 878-5001

★★★★★ Little Feats Daycare 5857 Roosevelt Highway, 878-4220


8 Murray Road, 879-7559

Summit Street Elementary School 51 Park Street, 872-3266

52 Maplewood Avenue, 893-7501

★★★★★ Little Feats Too

9 Checkerberry Square, 893-4569


Y School Age Program at Essex

Milton After School Kids (MASK)

Essex Elementary School, 1 Bixby Hill Road, 350-2252

Children’s Preschool and Enrichment Center, Inc.

Y School Age Program at Founders School in Essex


Imagination Island Child Care


ESSEX & ESSEX JUNCTION 39 Main Street, 878-1060


Founders School, 33 Founders Road, 350-2249

Milton Family Community Center, 23 Villemaire Lane, 893-1457

★★★ Milton Family Community Center 23 Villemaire Lane, 893-1457


Ed-U-Care Children’s Center





Good Shepherd Preschool

Child Works Preschool and Child Care

5 Ewing Place, 879-4427

EJRP Preschool 75 Maple Street, 878-1375


SHINING STAR Each month, Kids


Essex Town Preschool

1 Bixby Hill Road, 878-2584

273 Route 15, 899-3989

★★★★★ Saxon Hill School 7 Red Mill Drive, 899-3832


63 Timber Ridge Road, 899-4976

★★★★★ Poker Hill School

209 Poker Hill Road, 899-3716

★★★★ Underhill/Jericho Preschool Program



Green Mountain Montessori School

Berry Patch Child Care


Hand In Hand Creative Learning Center

Charlotte Little

Winooski Early Childhood Program




Diane’s Day Care

Winooski Family Center

Hiawatha Early Education


8 Jericho Road, 879-9114

3 Oliver Wight Drive, 524-6028

34 Hiawatha Avenue, 878-1386

★★★★ Kangaroo Corner Child Care Facility

26 Susie Wilson Road, 872-2772

★ Lorrie’s Daycare 14 Colbert Street, 878-4603


49 Strawberry Lane, 893-7822

34 Villemaire Lane, 893-6625

48 Railroad Street, 893-4530

Doodlebug Daycare 724 Route 7 South, 893-0530


6 Irish Settlement Road, 899-4676


WINOOSKI 60 Normand Street, 655-0411

80 Normand Street, 655-1422



BECAUSE PROJECT I was inspired to dream

BECAUSE of a few words a camp counselor said to me.

Madeleine Kunin




The Vermont Children’s Trust Foundation supports statewide prevention programs for children and families to help give all kids a fair chance at success.

The Because Project asks Vermonters to share their stories about people and experiences that have shaped their lives, especially during their formative years — stories that may inspire others to get involved. Because together we can all make a difference.


s I think back on the people who touched my life, I’m reminded of a summer camp counselor named Zelda, who taught us modern dance to the sound of a new and exciting piece of music: Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” She pulled me aside one day and said, “Madeleine, I think you have potential.” “Potential?” I asked. She was not talking about dance, although I would have been pleased to hear that. She was talking about potential in life. I was 14 years old at the time. The camp was located on a farm in Binghamton, N.Y., and, by today’s standards, was very basic. Our activities consisted of piling into the back of a pickup truck with a milk can full of red Kool-Aid, which we would drink at the lake after our swim. We’d come back and play simple games like volleyball and Ping Pong, and when it rained, we would make lanyards. The highlight of the season was the Color War. I was on the blue team. We were all from New York City, and before that, from war-torn Europe. I remember Zelda because she was the first person who said the word “potential” to me. My mother had talked to both me and my older brother about America as the land of opportunity, but I had never interpreted the American dream personally. My older brother was expected to write the next chapter of the Horatio Alger success story for the simple reason that he was a boy. There was no similar Harriet Alger.

Investing in a shared future... We proudly support the events that bring our community together.






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Email them to Submissions should be 300 to 600 words long and respond to the prompt "I am/decided to/ learned to _______ because of ______." Kids VT will feature one of these stories in each issue.

MAY 2012


Submit your stories for the Because Project!



I don’t know exactly what Zelda saw in me that summer afternoon that made her tell me I had potential, but I do know what effect it had on me. Why else would I remember that brief conversation? It made me stand taller than if I had won first place in a dance contest. Her words allowed me to expand my sense of who I was and who I could become. They encouraged me to dream, and eventually, to strive to fulfill those dreams. One small word, said at just at the right time, can make a lifelong difference. Perhaps that is why I recently told a high school student, “You have great presence” after she had just given a campaign speech for “governor” at a workshop for juniors and seniors about how to run for public office. (I was there to deliver the keynote.) The look on her face expressed an emotion that can be best described as relieved happiness. She glowed. “That means a lot to me, especially coming from you,” she said. I knew exactly what she meant. 


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KIDS GET A KICK OUT OF MINIATURE FOOD, from doughnut holes and cake pops to minibagels and bite-size pizza snacks. One of the more healthful mini-food options is the slider, a scaled-down sandwich that can be made with any combination of ingredients. The possibilities, whether vegetarian or meaty, are limited only by one’s imagination. You can go Italian, with mini-burgers topped with marinara sauce, provolone cheese and fresh basil leaves to replace the usual lettuce. Or go Southern, with a sweet-and-savory theme. Made from ground chicken, these honeybarbecue sliders will be a crowd pleaser. Serve them as an appetizer at your next cookout, or pair them with oven-baked fries for a quick and healthy weeknight meal.

HONEY-BARBECUE SLIDERS Patty Ingredients: 2 pounds ground chicken 2 medium carrots, grated* ½ medium sweet onion, grated 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, or more to taste salt and pepper to taste



MAY 2012


Topping Ingredients:


2. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Brush it with olive oil. MAKES 12 SLIDERS

½ medium sweet onion, diced (optional) 1 cup barbecue sauce Steps the kids ¼ cup honey can help with: 12 mini burger buns (dinner rolls work well), split and toasted • Grating carrots and onion 6 slices of your favorite cheese, • Seasoning the meat divided into 12 pieces • Mixing and forming patties • Portioning out cheese slices

*Carrot adds sweetness and moisture to the chicken. It may be replaced with shredded zucchini for a similar effect.

1. In a mixing bowl, combine ground chicken, grated carrot and onion, olive oil, and Worcestershire sauce. Season mixture with salt and pepper and form into 12 patties, each about 2 inches in diameter. Note: An easy method for portioning the patties is to score the meat mixture with a knife — first into quarters, then each of those quarters into thirds — for a total of 12 mounds.

• Whisking honey-barbecue sauce on stove top (older kids) • Assembling the sliders

3. Place patties on the skillet, being sure not to crowd. Cook the patties for about 8 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking time, until juices run clear when a knife is inserted. It may be necessary to cook patties in 2 or 3 batches, depending on the size of the skillet. 4. Set aside cooked patties on a clean platter. 5. Add diced onion to skillet, if using, and cook until translucent. Add barbecue sauce and honey, whisking to loosen any bits from the bottom of the pan. 6. Reduce heat to medium-low and return patties to skillet, flipping them to coat with sauce. 7. Place toasted bun bottoms on a platter. Top each with cheese and a patty, scooping up a bit of sauce to drizzle over the patty. Cap with toasted bun tops and serve.

EaT. LEarn. PLay. Q oUT To EAT B y cindy M o rgan

Ocha Thai Restaurant

From left Aidan Casner, Reed Browning, Ian Browning

JEB WaLLacE-BrodEur

my hUsbAnd And i considEr oUrsElVEs globAl omniVorEs: We eat foods from around the world and are raising our children to do the same. Ethnic restaurants offer foods I can’t, or don’t, make at home and, better yet, force my kids to order something other than chicken fingers or pizza. My family travels the world, one local restaurant at a time. My kids love Thai food but hadn’t eaten it since we left Southern California — and our favorite Thai restaurant — eight months ago. We needed a fix. I didn’t expect Ocha Thai in Waterbury to feel like our restaurant, where the waitress knew our order from memory, but it was time to move on. And we could support a locally owned business in a town hardhit by Tropical Storm Irene. Ocha’s 19th-century brick exterior on Main Street screams Victorian New England, but the interior is a tropical oasis, with pastel walls and enough Buddhas to keep kids counting until the food comes. The dining room has four distinct sections. We were seated far enough away from the couples on dates that I didn’t have to worry that my two 10-yearolds would disturb their chi. With no chicken fingers or fries in this joint, and no waitress with our preferences memorized, my kids spent a lot of time studying their menus. “Do you think I would like the

6 north Main Street, Waterbury, 244-7642

Kid-friEndly AmEniTiEs: Three high chairs; two booster seats. oUr bill for foUr, inclUding AppETizErs, EnTrĂŠEs & dEssErT: $99.25.

duck?� my son — global omnivore in training — asked. “Probably,� I said. “But since it’s our first time here you might try some-

settled on the barbecue Thai chicken, while his sister chose wide rice noodles with chicken in oyster sauce. My husband and I stuck with Thai staples: pad Thai and yellow chicken curry, extra spicy. Our server was gracious and polite and brought our dishes out quickly, a bonus on a school night. The food hit the table so hot we knew it had been in the pan just seconds before. My kids didn’t like the vegetables in the fried spring roll appetizers, but my son chewed his fried noodlewrapped shrimp down to its tail. Our main courses were everything

“Do you think I would like the duck?� my son — global omnivore in training — asked. thing you know you like.� I felt a little guilty for discouraging his adventurous spirit, but a $22 dish would be a pricey experiment. He

we’d hoped for. The curry had a lot of heat, something I wasn’t sure I would find in Vermont. The barbecue chicken was basic but well executed, and the pad Thai was as good as any I have tasted. My daughter’s noodles, a risky order for her in a new restaurant, put the “ooh� in “umami. “ “Do you think I would like the sticky rice?� my daughter asked after reading the dessert choices. Embracing her daring, we ordered the mango version. The kids left the fruit — ripe, juicy and delicious — for me and then scraped up every last bit of sweet rice. It was a good deal all around. K

“Out to Eat� is a monthly family-friendly restaurant review. Where should we eat next? Email us at


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Children: daughter, Elena, 2; son, Jasper, 3 months


The main thing I was thinking when I first saw the head coming out was, Wow! That kid’s got a lot of hair. The next thing was, My God, how did that fit in there? That was my very first impression. The body all unravels, and I couldn’t believe how big he was. Then, in the span of a microsecond, I’m looking for the 10-10-1: 10 fingers, 10 toes and the extra digit. Then you hear him crying, and it’s an amazing relief 21 Taft Corners Shopping Center that he’s healthy. It was a tremenWilliston • 288-9666 DILEEP NETRABILE dous feeling. I was very proud of Class schedule online my wife; she did an amazing job. I Localy owned and operated have to say that I definitely looked at her differently after having gone through the whole labor process. Instruction is Always Available I knew what my wife was capable of, but this exceeded any experience I’ve ever had with her. It was just such k8v-beadscrazy0512.indd 1 4/12/12 3:35 PMa short time period from when she went into labor to when the baby came out, and it fostered a close sense of teamwork. She did most of the hard work, let’s not kid ourselves here, but I was right there helping out wherever Shipwreck Story Day I could and making sure she was as comfortable as she May 26 could possibly be.

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MAY 2012


Children: daughter, Taylor, 8; son, Sean, 6

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For our first child we tried to have a natural birth, and it just wasn’t working out. The doctors had to do a C-section. When Taylor was born, it was scary to think that we couldn’t deliver in a natural form, because we had our hearts set on it. For our second child, Sean, we decided in advance that medically it would be more prudent to go with having a C-section scheduled. I had the easy job — I just had to be there. My wife did all the work. It’s incredible to see what kind of strength women can have in delivering babies. I think if men had to do it, I don’t know, we’d be challenged. It’s incredible to see life present itself. We bring life into this world, and it’s a gift. The heartbeat, seeing it, it’s a promise: You want to see a better future, and that is our future. You see a child, and it’s a bond between you and your wife. It’s an experience you can’t really explain. It represents the evolution of the relationship between my wife and myself.

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It was a little different for the two kids. Elena’s birth had been somewhat complicated and prolonged. Her heart rate was dropping off quite severely; my wife Jenny had been in labor for a long time and was exhausted. It was something like 4 in the morning, and everyone else was feeling pretty worn, as well. The doctor decided to intervene and use the vacuum to make sure Jenny’s last couple of pushes delivered the baby, and boom, the baby was out — but there was no time to really think. The baby’s heart rate was low; she was nonresponsive, not breathing. I was told that if I wanted to cut the cord to “do it now and do it fast.” I took the scissors, cut the cord, and the baby was whisked off. In those moments all I remember is worry for my child. All I knew was that the medical staff seemed to be in action, and it wasn’t the smooth delivery we expected. I guess I felt helpless at that point, as I did for most of the pregnancy. I went closer to the table where they were working, and soon we heard Ellie’s first cry. That was such a relief. The next four months of crying would be loaded with fatigue, emotion and frustration, but that first one was a cry of relief — a sign that everything was going to be fine. Finally, I remember feeling gratitude and appreciation to the medical staff. They did their job, did it well and probably saved a life.



Child: son, Michael, 4 months My wife Chasity went a lot sooner than we thought she was going to, and so it was 12:30 at night and she says, “Mike! My water broke!” And we haven’t packed a bag, we just ordered a bunch of stuff three hours ago that we need, and we don’t have a nursery done yet, and we’re going to have a baby. It was somewhat surreal. Her labor was like clockwork. It was exactly the way classes were. I was just happy that everyone got through it OK. Because Chasity was a little bit older, I was worried. Three weeks before Michael was born, she started to show some signs of health issues. I didn’t want anything to happen to her. I kind of knew the kid was OK; we’d been to the doctor periodically for so long, and they had assured us that everything was fine. He was just ready to come out.  — INTERVIEWS COMPILED BY KATE LADDISON

“Go Ask Dad” is a monthly feature in which we ask fathers to answer a question. Got a question, or a pop, you’d like to hear from? Email us at




WHERE TO GO: Saturday

Drama in Three Hours BY A M Y LI LLY

It’s about cultivating the imagination, and the skills with which to apply your imagination in the outside world.

Info, 355-1461,

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The Art of...” spotlights creative skills that enrich kids’ lives. Got a class or teacher to recommend? Email us at

MAY 2012

imagination in the outside world,” she says during a phone interview. The moms say other children got their own interested in theater. Lynn Sutton explains that her son, Thomas, has older sisters who are “very into drama.” Nyarkoa Mensah-Jordan says her son, Zaiah, had a friend in the club. “We create these shows for our neighbors three times a year,” she adds, and Very Merry Theatre seemed like a good next step. “Are you going to leave yet?” Zaiah calls out from the balcony, making his mother laugh. When the parents are gone, the instructors lead the boys in a round of drama games where they take turns acting like “weird people,” whales and police cars. After a snack break, they start talking about their characters. Before long, Thomas is the owner-chef of the Burger Palace, Zaiah is a vegetarian and undercover PETA agent, and the third boy, Kody, is a wild panda. “It all fits together in the end,” assures the experienced Denton. “It’s all very wacky and free form, but it’s surprising how well things gel.” 

4/24/12 10:13 AM


plays by Shakespeare, Dickens, Carroll THREE YOUNG BOYS ZOOM around and Twain. In summer, the company the empty stage at Very Merry uses a traveling theater wagon to Theatre on a recent Saturday mornpeddle its plays at festivals and other ing. One wields a prop — a sign that events. The “camp” sessions that take reads “Burger Palace” — as if it were a place in Charlotte are already sold out sword and charges up to a balcony to for 2012. face his opponent. Another clambers Cofounder Don Wright says the on hands and feet around a painted Saturday Drama Club began almost foam rock. Their moms wait at the four years ago when the company door with drama instructor Jane opened its 333 theater space, a brick Beaumont-Snyder to see if more building decorated with cheerful children will show for the Saturday murals behind Pho Hong on North Drama Club. Winooski Avenue. The club is a He passed the weekly opportunity program on to direcfor 6 to 12-year-olds tor Trish Denton, to create, stage and a Goddard College star in a drama of grad who specializes their own making in physical theater. — all in three hours. Beaumont-Snyder, Along the way, the who is Denton’s kids have a blast and regular assistant, is hone their social substituting for her skills, too. Anyone TRISH DENTON, on this particular can show up, making VERY MERRY THEATRE Saturday. the group’s dynamic A veteran of as unpredictable as Spielpalast Cabaret, Denton uses the 15-minute performance at the end. clowning and miming exercises to Parents drop off their kids and return engage her charges, and says she’s to play the important part of audience seen kids grow more empowered. “It’s for the show. about cultivating the imagination, and Since 2002, Very Merry Theatre the skills with which to apply your has been casting Vermont children in

Drama Club, ages 6-12, at Very Merry Theatre, 333 North Winooski Avenue, Saturdays, 10 a.m.–1 p.m., September through June. Pay $15, or whatever you can afford, at the door. There is no lunch break, but kids should bring a snack. (One is provided if necessary.)

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Hi, Ho! It’s Back to o G e W k r o W

Vermont children ok -bo by are, at least at some he ba l ful is try us point, in the care of ind for e vic someone other than ad of a parent. moms-to-be about g rin du ct “This is not just pe ex to at wh a small segment of maternity and early G AG the society,” says childhood. Got a BY KATHRY N FL ton ax Br t Kids Are Priority question abou s? ion Kelly Ault. act Hicks contr One organizing director enatal Pr t? an gn pre ee women ile thr wh th ng Exercisi Kids VT spoke wi in one of ait aw ers sw pectations an ex e ged Th na n? nutritio out how they ma ab s. s. One works many best-selling guide in those first few month ck ba ing ad he n ma s her baby But if you’re a wo part time. Another bring ng mi co be er aft s ek a classroom to work in the we to the office. The third, l, -al be no ’s ere Th k. luc down the hours she a mother, good fes- teacher, counted pro g cin lan ba for ok her baby. bo end-all hand had to be separated from . od balance tho to y ren wa sion and pa There’s no one right ts to ren pa t on rm singly, Ve rea s ve inc t lea That work and family, bu into the ck ba n itio nsider. ns co tra to ns the te tio negotia there are more op can. Seventyy the st be as e orc rkf wo ren under the one percent — with child least part at ng rki age of 6 — are wo are Priority ds Ki the to time, according ated 40,000 One Coalition. An estim



MAY 2012



What to expect when you’re no longer expecting

FACT: An estimated 40,000 Vermont , children are at least at , some point f in the care oher someone otnt. than a pare


Lindsey Halman


indsey Halman has come to the well-worn conclusion that having a child “changes everything.” Since she gave birth to daughter Aila in late 2010, the 33-year-old teacher had to make some major adjustments, including to the way she views herself as a professional. An educator at Essex Middle School, Halman takes pride in her work: She knows she plays an important role in the lives of her students. Finances required that Halman return to work post partum. Her husband is a doctoral student at the University of Vermont, and the young family depends on Halman’s income. Between parental leave and scheduled school vacations, she managed to eke out 14 weeks at home with Aila. She knows she was lucky to have so much time at home, and her husband’s flexible schedule allowed him to take off four weeks as well. “Those first months were amazing,” Halman says. “I tried to soak up every moment.” Something had to give. Then March rolled around, and with it, the end of “You can’t be 100 percent at both parenting and your Halman’s maternity leave. Not quite ready to send Aila job. That sometimes is frustrating, because I liked to do to a childcare center — “She was so young,” Halman things at 110 percent before,” Halman says. Running on says — she and her husband, Josh, interviewed close to a very little sleep, she had to accept the fact that she wasn’t dozen possible nannies before Halman returned to work. always in top form. She worried if her coworkers noticed, Finally, through word of mouth, they found someone who what they would think of her, etc. But since many had could care for Aila until the end of the small children of their own, it wasn’t a school year. Halman says that having one big deal. person at home with her baby, who could “We all have families, and that’s our maintain Aila’s routine and give Halman priority,” Halman says. If need be, she regular updates, eased the new mom’s adds, “we’ll cover each other.” mind. The good news: The balancing act got But returning to work was no picnic. easier. Halman became more efficient at On particularly emotional days, Halman work, which meant she could focus on counted the hours until she could go home her baby at the end of the day. And, after to Aila. “The first month, I was definitely pining for Aila for those first few weeks, an emotional wreck most days.” she’s happy at work again. The little girl Striking the balance between “mom” attends childcare at the YMCA and “she and “teacher” was complicated by loves it there,” Halman says. LINDSEY HALMAN Halman’s own — very high — expecta“I feel good about being a teacher tions of herself. She was a self-described and the work that I do,” she says. “When “workaholic” before Aila was born, on the job “nonstop.” I have the time with Aila, it makes that time even more Suddenly, though, she had 46 children at school in need special, because I know that time is limited.” of attention and one more waiting for her at home. She didn’t want to shortchange her students, but she also longed to spend time with her new baby. BACK TO WORK P. 20 »

It Gets Easier


You can’t be 100 percent at both parenting and your job.



Back to Work


Laura Rabinovitz

t r a P e h T Time Fix L

aura Rabinovitz never doubted that she’d go back to work after giving birth to twin girls. It was partly a financial decision; daycare is expensive, especially when you’re in the market for two spots. But Rabinovitz, a psychotherapist, suspected that she wouldn’t be happy at home full time. “The first couple of months were very hard,” she says, especially because her daughters were born in the winter and it was difficult for her to get out. So she and her husband started the hunt for childcare early. In the end, they chose to hire a nanny for the first year, because it wasn’t that much more expensive than daycare for two. It came with its own challenges, like getting used to being a boss. But Rabinovitz says the nanny certainly made it easier to get out of the door in the morning. If daughters LAURA RABINOVITZ Stella and Lucy were sleeping, or still in their pajamas, it didn’t matter: Daycare came to them. In some ways, Rabinovitz says going back to work was a relief. Leaving the twins and heading to work meant she found herself in an office that was quieter and more peaceful than her life at home. “It’s a lot less work to be at work than it is to be at home,” she notes. Of course, she missed some Kodak moments — Lucy turned over for the first time the day Rabinovitz went back to work. But she counts herself lucky that she didn’t second-guess or fret about her decision to return to work part time. Spending 24 hours a week away from her children is a far cry from spending 40 or 50 hours a week at the office, she says, and because of that she feels she didn’t face many dilemmas as a working mother. Her husband also has a flexible work schedule. Now that the girls are older, they’re in daycare. Rabinovitz believes they benefit both from socialization with other children and from learning to trust more than just two adults in their lives. “I love my kids to death, but being with them 24/7 isn’t the way I choose to express that love,” Rabinovitz says.



MAY 2012


It’s a lot less work to be at work than it is to be at home.


Best of Bot h Worlds? T

hanks to an innovative “bring your baby to work program,” Brynn Evans may have it all. An accounting and HR administrator at Zutano, the Cabot-based children’s clothing manufacturer, Evans is able to work in the company of her 6-month-old daughter Amelia. While Evans fires off emails, makes calls and dashes between meetings, Amelia focuses on the business of naptime and a pile of brightly colored toys. Brynn with daughter Zutano’s program allows Evans to Amelia Evans bring Amelia to work for the first year of her life. For new parents whose jobs can’t be done with a baby close at hand, the company chips in for offsite childcare costs. Surprisingly, though, the unusual set-up presents some challenges. “She is with me 24 hours a day, every day, plus I’m trying to work,” Evans says. In some ways, that has made this transition more difficult than the one with her first child, David. Evans went back to work — sans baby — just four weeks after her son was born. Her mother provided daycare, and still does, for the now 3-and-a-half-year-old boy. With Amelia by her side, Evans never really gets a break from the baby or enjoys any adults-only time. Amelia is also clingier than her older brother was as a baby, a difference that might be due in part to spending so much time with mom. The logistics of juggling work and baby are in constant flux. “Just when you think you know what your child’s schedule is,”

She is with me 24 hours a day, every day, plus I’m trying to work BRYNN EVANS

it changes, Evans says. That makes it hard to plan meetings or phone calls — which would ideally take place when Amelia is napping or playing quietly. Nonetheless, Evans is deeply appreciative of the chance to be with Amelia. She says she feels productive in the office and can meet her deadlines — all while being able to breast-feed and watch her baby grow. Plus, having a little one around, she says, “gives you something to smile about.” And that applies to Evans’ coworkers. While she acknowledges that the arrangement wouldn’t work for every mom, or every company, Evans thinks other businesses should give the unusual program a try. She thought she might take advantage it for four months or so, but it’s already been six. Soon enough, Amelia will be “out of the office,” spending one or two days a week with her brother and grandmother. 

Getting Ready to Go Back: Transition Tips Plan for your absence at work.

try leaving your baby with his or her childcare provider in advance of your first day back at work. For breastfeeding moms, Evans also recommends introducing your baby to a bottle early, when he or she is just 3 or 4 weeks old. That could help avoid an abrupt or fussy transition from breast to bottle later on.

Breast-feeding mothers also have certain rights once they’re back in the workplace. Employers have to

provide reasonable, but not necessarily paid, time for women to express breast milk. They also have to make a reasonable accommodation to provide an appropriate and private space to do so.



childcare for young children — especially infants and toddlers — is incredibly difficult, says Addison County Parent Child Center co director Sue Bloomer. She recommends families start exploring options about halfway through a pregnancy. Other advocates, like Kelly

Practice makes perfect. If possible,

birth and adoptive parents are allowed to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave. There are a few qualifications: Only companies with 10 or more employees are held to this standard, and the employee must have worked at least an average of 30 hours a week for a year before taking leave. The vacated job — or a comparable position — must be made available to the returning parent. More details about the nitty-gritty of this law are available from the Vermont Commission on Women.

MAY 2012

Start searching for childcare early. In much of the state, finding

Choose wisely. Both Bloomer and Ault recommend that parents visit as many different facilities as possible, ranging from family care arrangements to childcare centers. “What works and clicks for one person isn’t going to work and click for another,” Bloomer says. Finding that “click” is important, she adds, especially when hormones and emotions are complicating matters in the first few months after giving birth. “There’s so much emotion involved in it,” Bloomer says. “You really want to look for a place where someone is willing and able to hold your hand and reassure you, even if you have to call five times a day.” Ault also points parents to ratings

systems at both the state and federal levels that could be useful in evaluating the quality of the childcare facility. The STep Ahead Recognition System — more commonly known as STARS — recognizes the overall strength of childcare facilities with as many as five “stars.” Kids VT publishes some of the the results every month (see page 12). Unfortunately, Ault says, only 25 percent of childcare providers in Vermont have been awarded any stars at all.


Brynn Evans was working as executive director at Meals on Wheels in Morrisville when she gave birth to her first child, the now 3-and-a-half-year-old David. Evans and her coworkers spent months compiling a detailed manual and calendar in anticipation of her departure. That didn’t mean she wasn’t answering work-related questions the day after giving birth; she was. But by planning ahead, Evans says her staff was ready to step up and fill in the operational gaps.

Ault, suggest starting even earlier: With 18-month waiting lists at some infant care spots, it’s not a bad idea to get on a list before conceiving.

Know your due. Under Vermont law,

Bab y&

tern Ma ity Iss


Baby Steps A neonatal nurse practitioner on Vermont’s “smallest survivors” BY KEN PICARD

Now, it’s not unusual for them to survive, and many of them do well. JOSEPH SORENSEN





When I first started there it was very unusual to see a 24- or 25-week gestation infant — you’re talking about six months into a pregnancy — come out and survive.



oseph Sorensen has a very big job working with very small people — about as small as they come. Sorensen is a neonatal nurse practitioner in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Vermont Children’s Hospital at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington. Sorensen attends difficult deliveries and works with full-term infants born with medical complications. His specialty, however, is the “littlest of the little.” His unit receives the extremely low-birth-weight infants, or babies weighing less than 1000 grams, or 2.2 pounds — that are the result of fewer than 28 weeks of gestation. Not surprisingly, they’re among the most complex patients in the hospital. The state-of-the-art NICU, located on the seventh floor of the McClure Building, is the only one of its kind in Vermont. In the large room, as many as 20 babies at a time can receive care, though the NICU usually has no more than seven or eight in clear plastic

isolettes, incubators that protect them from germs, drafts and noise. Others are kept in open beds with overhead warmers. These beds are typically reserved for the most unstable infants. It’s a matter of access: If something goes wrong, Sorensen needs to get his hands on them in a hurry. For obvious reasons, the NICU is an ultra clean environment, and staff and visitors, including parents, must scrub for at least three minutes before entering. In fact, Sorensen says that once these babies go home, they’re rarely readmitted to the NICU — even if complications arise. “Once you’ve been out in the community,” he explains, “you’ve been exposed to so many things that can really wipe out our littlest of the little who don’t have intact immune systems yet.” Despite the stereotype of nurseries being super-quiet, the NICU gets quite noisy at times, due to sounds from ventilators, IV pumps and other life-support equipment. “We try to keep the noise level down, but I can be the worst offender,” BABY STEPS P. 24 »

may 2012

Kids VT


Joseph Sorensen matthew thorsen

Baby Steps 1899 MOUNTAIN ROAD, STOWE 802.253.4411 PIECASSO.COM

Sorensen jokes. “I’m always getting told to shut up!” A major part of Sorensen’s job is transporting newborns to FAHC from other hospitals. His tiny patients may travel from as far away as New York’s North Country, Rutland, even parts of New Hampshire. In such cases, Sorensen travels via ambulance as part of a team of five, which includes a nurse and respiratory therapist. “It’s a fun part of the job,” Sorensen adds. And the ambulance always drives very carefully. Kids VT caught up with Sorensen on one of his rare days off.

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Kids VT: Help me visualize what a 2.2-pound baby looks like. That’s tiny!

palsy. I think there are limits to what we can do. KVT: There must be huge challenges in handling babies that small. JS: Sure. Most of them require ventilators, which means getting breathing tubes into them in the delivery room. They all require some sort of IV access. We can put lines in the arteries and veins in the belly button. KVT: You must have great manual dexterity. JS: I’m great at household painting. I always do the corners! But yes, you do develop a lot of manual dexterity starting lines. Intubating is always a

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Bring the whole family!

JOSEPH SORENSEN: Think of four sticks of butter as a pound. It’s kind of [double] that size. Open May 12 to October 21

MAY 2012

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KVT: does the age and size of preemies keep getting lower? JS: When I first started there it was very unusual to see a 24- or 25-week gestation infant — you’re talking about six months into a pregnancy — come out and survive. Now, it’s not unusual for them to survive, and many of them do well. There are some places that are pushing those limits to 23 or 22 weeks. But as you get down into those numbers, you’re increasing morbidity, whether it’s neurodevelopmental problems, problems with the eyes or cerebral

challenge, trying to get a breathing tube below the vocal cords. KVT: is it a stressful job? JS: Yeah, but a little bit of stress is always good for everybody. It teaches you that what you’re doing is incredibly important. You’re working with someone else’s child. And all procedures have risks associated with them. I would never become so complacent as to walk in and say, “Oh, this isn’t stressful.” KVT: it must be incredibly stressful on the parents, too. JS: Yes, but we try to offer them as much support as possible. Gone are the days when you would withhold

Complete, patient-first care for every stage of your life‌

information from parents because you felt it was best to try to protect them.

body] is premature and the only way to overcome that is to get them to grow and heal.

KVT: What’s the hardest part of your job? JS: It’s always hard when you lose a baby. Babies do still die and that’s hard. But I think it’s important to keep the family involved, so they can start their grieving process.

KVT: Are you ever taken aback that you’re working on a person that small? JS: Yeah, sometimes you do a double take and think to yourself, My God, that’s really small! But then it’s so rewarding to see them come back in one year, two years, three years, 14 years. I’ve got kids who I took care of when I was a new nurse who are now 25 years old.

KVT: What’s the most rewarding part? JS: Sending the kids home with their parents. The baby who probably wouldn’t have made it 10 or 15 years ago, to be able to reunite that family and send them home. That and being able to support the family

KVT: And you remember when they fit in the palm of your hand. JS: Exactly! We encourage parents to take pictures of that so they’ll

• Fertility & family planning • Prenatal & maternity care • Routine exams & well-woman care • Complete surgical & nonsurgical care • Minimally invasive & no-incision procedures • Birth control & sterilization • Painful or severe menstrual cycles • Abnormal Pap results • Hormone imbalance • Endometriosis & abnormal bleeding • Pelvic or vulvar pain • Cysts & ďŹ broids • Urinary incontinence & bladder problems • Pelvic support problems • Menopause

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Sometimes we’ll have moms or dads take off a wedding ring and

you can usually fit it up to the baby’s wrist on a preemie.

In the battle against whooping cough, she needs more than cute.

Joseph sorensen while they’re there in the unit, taking these little 25- and 26-weekers with breathing tubes and central lines and having mom put on a breast-feeding gown or dad doing “kangaroo care,� where you put the baby right on his chest, cover them with a blanket, kick ’em back in a rocker and let them just hang out.

She needs the safe, proven protection of vaccines. Giving her the recommended immunizations by age 2 is the best way to protect her from 14 serious childhood diseases, like whooping cough and measles. For more reasons to vaccinate, talk to your child’s doctor or go to or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.

Immunization. Power to Protect.

may 2012 Kids VT

      k3V-VtDeptofHealth0512.indd 1


KVT: What’s your unit like? JS: There’s tremendous camaraderie. We’re all in one big room together and with a lot of the nurses, once they move to the neonatal intensive care unit, they don’t go anywhere else. So you work together for years. There’s a core group of people up there who I cut my teeth with, and when you’re all in one room together, you get to know each of them really well. Sometimes too well! I really enjoy it. You have to love it to work there. Anytime you can wake up in the morning and 98 percent of the time you’re happy going to work, you should consider yourself lucky. K

KVT: can babies that small breast-feed? JS: We encourage moms to breastfeed even if the babies can’t eat immediately and might not for several weeks or maybe even a month. We also encourage moms to pump and freeze their breast milk because it really is the optimal food for kids. We’re trying to get food into them sooner and sooner because it’s good for their gut. Everything [in their

remember it. Sometimes we’ll have moms or dads take off a wedding ring and you can usually fit it up to the baby’s wrist on a preemie.

4/23/12 2:20 PM



Know Before They Go What questions should you ask before sending a kid to camp? BY L I N D S AY J. WES TLE Y


There are so many different ways to think of risk and safety when you’re in loco parentis.

It also looks at the suitability and safety of specific programming, the ratio of staff to campers and opportunities for camper growth. In short, an ACA evaluation goes beyond spot-checking the kitchens to really dig into the nitty-gritty of what your child will be doing each day. “Safety is a shared responsibility; camps and families need to partner together to ensure that children and youth have the best possible camp experience,” says Peg Smith, CEO of the American Camp Association. “ACA-accreditation is a family’s best evidence of a camp’s commitment to the health and safety of campers, so if the camp is not accredited, ask why.” There could be a perfectly logical reason. Adventure camps, such as Jericho-based Northland Adventure Education & Therapy Center, often don’t seek ACA accreditation because they report to — and follow guidelines established by — other outdoorindustry organizations. “As an adventure-education camp, we’re closely regulated by the American Mountain Guides Association, the American Canoe Association, Outward Bound and





FAST-FORWARDING TO SUMMER, your camper-to-be probably has a million questions: Will I make friends? Will there be spiders? What’s it like to sleep in a tent? Will we have pancakes on Saturday morning? How do you go to the bathroom in the woods? As a parent, you probably have a few queries of your own, such as: Will my child be happy and safe when he or she is out of my sight? You’re right to ask. Kids go off to camp to push their personal and physical boundaries, but how much pushing is too much? Is there a way to vet camp counselors before entrusting your child to them? One of your first questions should be whether or not the place is accredited by the American Camp Association. It’s not mandatory, but tests the ACA applies during the evaluation process have established a safety standard across the industry. Unlike required state licensing, which focuses mainly on health standards, cleanliness and sanitation, the ACA evaluates emergency protocols, staff qualifications and medical care, collaborating with experts from organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Red Cross.

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Practice Reading Skills using Reader’s Theater and Games SIGN UP FOR 1 - 4 SESSIONS:


Contact: Debbie Tracht, MA



Kevin Sneddon’s Hockey School


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Session I


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Session II Session III

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Treasure Island Myth Busters *closed 7/4

Session IV


Talent Week

Session V Session VI

7/16-7/20 7/23-7/27

Party in the USA Olympics

Session VII


Game Shows

Session VIII Session IX

8/6-8/10 8/13-8/17

Survivor Time Traveler

Session X


Wacky Week *Williston & Essex only

Essex    X  s Williston    s 3 "URLINGTON (802) 658-0080 or (802) 658-0002

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GUTTERSON ARENA UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT Professional Coaching... Affordable Price! 802-324-6876

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for is a place of innovation, fun and fitness offer school age children ages 6-12. We also is run in a Camp Program for 5 year olds, which , we offer onally Additi Edge. Camp with nction conju for our older more diverse and detailed activities program offers group of 9-12 year-old Campers. Our ties including a variety of indoor and outdoor activi more! Our and trips eld fi ts, projec craft , sports g and playin er summ active an campers have learning with their friends!

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Night Eagle

Wilderness Adventures A unique summer camp for boys, ages 10-14, in the heart of Vermont’s Green Mountains tipi living ▲ nature crafts ▲ canoeing ▲ backpacking ▲ wilderness skills ▲ tracking atlatls ▲ ’hawk throwing swimming ▲ archery ▲ hiking ▲ cooperative work & play ▲ and much more! ▲

Call for a full brochure:

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Kids VT

Say you saw it in

1/4/12 2:01 PM

may 2012

caMp ©ThinKsTocK.coM

Know Before They Go conTinued froM p. 26

National Outdoor Leadership School,” says Ed Spaulding, executive director at Northland Adventure. “We have rigorous standards for our instructors, which include requiring five or more years of experience, a bachelor’s degree related to the field and a current certificate in wilderness first aid or wilderness first responder — and, of course, a lifeguarding certification for our water sports.” Other programs, such as Colchester’s Enniskerry Farm horseback-riding day camp, require fewer official certifications, so it’s your responsibility to seek out information. If the camp director is unwilling to meet with you or answer questions over the phone, that should raise a red flag. “Families should ask for references, and check them out — and don’t be afraid to ask tough questions,” Smith says. Enniskerry Farm owner Patty HartAhonen, an experienced horsewoman of 30-plus years, is happy to answer queries from parents or kids, and recommends that families visit the farm before camp starts. “I like it when the kids come to visit first; I’m much more comfortable with that, and the kids are much more comfortable when they arrive,” Hart-Ahonen says. “It also helps the parents to be able to do a walk-through and see that the facilities are suitable and the horses are calm and friendly.” Hart-Ahonen provides

Quizzing camps: is the camp accredited by the American Camp Association? Why? Why not? WhaT is the camp’s philosophy and program emphasis? WhaT is the camp director’s background? WhaT training do counselors receive?

industry-approved helmets, ensures small class sizes and maintains a healthy staff-to-camper ratio. Crunching numbers — like the staff-to-camper ratio and the average age of the staff — is an important part of evaluating a camp’s safety. The amount of time a staff spends in training before campers arrive is also crucial to ensuring familiarity with equipment, trails and potential dangers. In part because it incorporates multi-week expeditions, Plymouthbased Farm & Wilderness camps have a long pre-camp training time for counselors — they spend 19 days honing on-the-trail emergency procedures, food safety and farmmanagement skills. “There are so many different ways to think of risk and safety when you’re in loco parentis,” says F&W Executive Director Pieter Bohen. “There are

the more obvious things, like storms, drowning, broken limbs, but there’s also a much more subtle social dynamic that needs to be addressed, like bullying or a child becoming isolated.” At the eight Farm & Wilderness camps, there’s a broad-ranging policy on acceptance and inclusiveness that applies to both staff members and campers. Bohen calls this “the freedom to present yourself however you wish.” If that means wearing a bear suit all summer, or a purple cape plucked from the overflowing costume chest, that’s okay. Statistics show the most dangerous part of camp, and the most likely source of injury, is the car trip back and forth. So if you’ve done your camp research in advance, and manage to get there without incident, it’s a safe bet that you can relax knowing your child is in good hands. K

WhaT is the staff-to-camper ratio? WhaT are the ages of the counselors? WhaT are desired qualities in camp staff ? WhaT percentage of the counselors returned from last year? hoW are behavioral and disciplinary problems handled? hoW does the camp handle special needs? hoW does the camp handle homesickness and other adjustment issues? does the camp have references?

Here are some of our GREAT camping programs


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Kids VT

May 2012

Leadership Camp ages 14-15 Curious About Camp grades 2-3 Art-n-Fun grades 3-5 Costal Camp grades 6-9 Green/Garden grades 5-7 Canoe/Mountain Bike grades 8-12 Lego Camp grades 3-5 Elementary Soccer grades 4-6

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Pillows, Pj’s & Popcorn grades 6-9 Kids in the Kitchen grades 8-10 Soulfest grades 9-12 A Day at the Beach grades 3-5 Great Outdoors grades 4-6 Amazing Race grades 7-9 Outdoor Adventure grades 7-12 Family Camp ALL!!!

Like us on Facebook Visit our website:


Camping season is end of June to late August!

Jr/Sr Soccer grades 7-12 Golf Camp grades 7-12 Maine Camp grades 6-9 Creating a Masterpiece grades 2-5 Music, Arts, Drama grades 4-12 Rock Band Camp grades 7-12 Mission Camp grades 6-10 Explore Camp grades 5-7

Have in an adve ntu


Questions? Contact us! Kelley Alderman, Executive Director Covenant Hills Christian Camp • 246 Covenant Hills Road • Cabot, VT 05647 4/20/12 12:08 PM

SPRUCEWOOD FARM SUMMER RIDING CAMP • 6 One week sessions beginning June 18th • Private, indoor facility, limited number of campers • Day camp 9am-3pm, early drop off, late pick-up available • Beginner - intermediate riding instruction, horsemanship • And end the day with a swim in the pool!


Sessions filling up fast! Visit our website to download camp form or call to reserve. 802-316-3873 or 802-598-1112 193 Poor Farm Road Colchester, VT 05446

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2012 VINS Nature Camp

The Perfect Blend of Adventure & Discovery

Seminary Art Center Join us for a summer filled with exciting art programs taught by local artists and educators.

VINS Nature Camp Offers Outdoor Exploration, Swimming, Theatre, Art and More! NEW Camp Programs Pre-K to 8th Grade! The Art of Flight, Wild Stage, Team Earth, Advanced Radical Raptors, Junior Naturalist, & Outdoor EdVentures Scholarships and Discounts Available Call us at 802.359.5000 Explore • Swim • Canoe • Hike • Garden • Create

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Weekly sessions available for grades; K-8. Clay, impermanent art, making musical instruments, mural paintings, paper mache, folk art, and much more. • 253-8790 Waterbury, Vermont

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Spring Parent


Thursday, May 10 • 6 pm

Learn more about our school and our holistic approach. Call to RSVP.

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1186 S. Brownell Rd. • Williston • (802) 863-4839 •

Kids VT

for children ages 4-13 June 18-Aug 3


may 2012

Summer Camps


ADVENTURE DAY CAMP University of Vermont

adventure day camp Camp Dates: June 18 - August 3 Age Groups: Rangers: 5-6 Trailblazers: 7-8 Vikings: 9-11

register for a week session or the entire summer!

Field Trips Include: Oakledge Park Shelburne Farms Ben & Jerry’s Factory Carnival Day

Online registration is open!

Daily Activities: swimming sports & games arts & crafts water games and more!

For more info contact Rachel Valyou 802.656.3070 /

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Visit our website for our

2012 Summer Camp Schedule.

2/22/12 10:48 AM

Mini-Summer Intensive June 11-15 & June 18-22 (ages 12-18)


Cinderella Camp June 18-June 22 (ages 4-5) Nutcracker Camp June 18-June 22 (ages 5-6)

To learn about our camps, the schedule or to sign up please visit:

Fairy Tale Ballet Camp June 25-June 29 (ages 3-4 and 5-6)

B U R l i N G T O N C i T yA R T S . O R G or call 865.7166

Beginning Ballet Camp July 9-13 (ages 7-9)

Vermont’s only certified

Coppelia Camp July 30-Aug 3 (ages 6-7)

All Ages…All Levels

Arabian Nights Camp July 30-Aug 3 (ages 6-7)

Did you enjoy watching Riverdance? Why not learn some of the steps!

We also offer a variety of weekly classes at many levels, youth-adult.

Call now for a spot in our Summer program!

Call or visit our website for details on all classes and camps!



MAY 2012


Irish Dance School!

Simply the Best!

Classes offered in Williston & Middlebury

Vermont Ballet Theater School

21 Carmichael St., Essex • 878-2941 4066 Shelburne Rd., Shelburne • 879-7001

Beth Anne McFadden T.C.R.G. (802) 999-5041 k4t-VBT0412.indd 1

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Animal Adventures ages 7-9:

Half-day camp with themes like Dog Day, Feline Friends, Careers, Shelter Day, and Animal Safety. (choose between AM or PM session)

COME GET YOUR GAME ON! Introducing students to all aspects of game development including: Game Art & Animation, Programming, Sound, Testing and Production.

Summer Sessions: July 9-13 | July 16-20 July 23-27 | July 30-Aug 3

Instructed by professionals in the industry!

(Choose Between AM or PM) AM: 9am-12pm | PM: 1pm-4pm

Located at UVM in Burlington.


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Talent Development Institute

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Summer 2012

For advanced students entering grades 4-9 who want to have fun while learning! Johnson State College June 24-30, 2012


“TDI has provided an environment where being intelligent '#$)&'*#"$#-#($",'! $)('("%##(&$)"($&#'!$$ $&+& ($'#,&"%&

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Rocky Knoll Stables, Inc.

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Summer Camp

Summer Day Camp at the

Child’s Garden June 25 – August 17 Monday to Friday, 8:30a–3p

For children ages 5-13 of all levels of riding experience

June 18-22 July 16-20 & 23-27 August 6-10 & 20-24

(with extended hours available)

y Children ages 3–8 y Nature- and artistic-themed weeks y Multi-week discount For more information: Call 802-456-7400 or E-mail



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Awakening the highest potential in every child.


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Licensed, independent school by the State of Vermont. Childcare subsidy accepted.

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Child’s Garden

155 Northfield Street, Montpelier

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4/24/12 2:32 PM


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Wake Up and Smell the Lilacs Nothing says Mother’s Day like fresh flowers. And the Shelburne Museum delivers that — and more — during SPRING FEST, when more than 400 lilac bushes in 90 varieties are in bloom on the museum’s opening day. There’s kid stuff, too: Arts-and-crafts activities throughout the day include a make-your-own garden doll station and a build-a-birdhouse construction area. A scavenger hunt through the gardens encourages children to explore the grounds and 37 exhibit buildings, while roaming musicians entertain families along the museum’s walking paths. One leads to a DOLL TEA PARTY, where dressed-up kids and their dolls sip from dainty cups and nibble delicate sandwiches. Seven new exhibits will be open, including a snowmobile collection with historical and modern sleds and ManMade Quilts, featuring original designs dreamed up and crafted by men. SPRING FEST: Sunday, May 13, Shelburne Museum, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. $10-20 adults; $5-10 kids. Info, 985-3346,



May calendar

Ongoing Events 1 TUESDAY

Food Kids in the Kitchen: Chocolate Pudding: Chocolate lovers make this creamy dessert from scratch and top it off with real whipped cream. Taste testing is required. Healthy Living Natural Foods Market, South Burlington, 3:30-4:30 p.m. $20 child. Info, 863-2569, ext. 1.

Library & Books

Craftacular Tuesdays: Kids get caught up in low-tech projects. Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Montpelier, first Tuesday of every month, 3:30-5 p.m. Free. Info, 223-4665. Creative Tuesdays: Crafters use their imagination and recycled materials. All ages. Fletcher Free Library, Burlington, 3-5 p.m. Free. Info, 865-7216.



Opus 24: Professional musicians perform original compositions by young student composers. All ages. Ludlow Town Hall Theatre, 6:30 p.m. Free. Info, 879-0065.


Breast-Feeding-Mom Support: New mothers get to know each other during this informative and informal session. Children welcome. Trinity Episcopal Church, Rutland, first Wednesday of every month, 10:30 a.m.-noon. Free. Info, 747-8665.


DCF Book Discussion Group: Kids discuss their opinions of Storm Runners by Roland Smith. Ages 8-11. Burnham Memorial Library, Colchester, 6:30 p.m. Free. Info, 878-0313. Social Thinking: Meetings focus on social-skills development for kids with nonverbal learning disabilities, Asperger’s syndrome and highfunctioning autism. Call for times. Ages 6-17. Preregister. Maple Leaf Clinic, Wallingford. Info, 446-3577.


Cookie Decorating: Budding bakers doll up treats with sprinkles, frosting, sugar and nuts. Panadero Bakery, Burlington, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Free. Info, 863-8278. Kids Cook Up Stories: Hungry for words? Readers bring lit to life in the kitchen. For prekindergarten-age children. LACE, Barre, 10 a.m. $3 suggested donation. Info, 476-4276.

Health & Fitness

‘Lyddie’: This play tells the story of a young girl who works to regain her family farm in Vermont. All ages. Lost Nation Theater, Montpelier City Hall Auditorium, every Thursday and Sunday until May 19. 7 p.m. $20-35 ticket. Info, 229-0492. Pollywog Drop-in Art: Tots get their art fix with a variety of craft materials, from homemade play dough to colorful ribbons. Ages 6 months-5 years accompanied by adult. Burlington City Arts Center (BCA), 9:30-11:30 a.m. $5-6 child/ parent pair. Info, 865-7166.

Baby & Maternity

Breast-feeding Support Group: Lactating moms bring their babies and share stories, advice and company. Preregister. Family Birthing Center, Northwest Medical Center, St. Albans, first Thursday of every month, 10 a.m.-noon. Free. Info, 524-7970. Middlebury La Leche League: Breastfeeding moms and kids gather for fun and conversation. Expectant mothers welcome too. Junebug Mother and Child, Middlebury, first Thursday of every month, 10-11 a.m. Free. Info, 382-1589.


Food for Thought: Teens chat while working on library projects. A pizza dinner finishes off the evening. Grades 7-12. Dorothy Alling Memorial Library, Williston, first Thursday of every month, 4-5 p.m. Free. Info, 878-4918. Highgate Youth Advisory: Kids in grades 5-8 plan projects with the Crossroads after school program. Highgate Public Library, Highgate Center, 3-4:45 p.m. Free. Info, 868-3970. Homeschoolers Book Group: Bibliophiles share thoughts on recent reads. Ages 8-10 and 11 and older. Preregister. St. Albans Free Library, first Thursday of every month, 1 p.m. Free. Info, 524-1507. Jericho Evening Family Story Time: Kids and their parents gather for parable and playtime. Snacks are served following the tale. Ages 3-8. Preregister. Deborah Rawson Memorial Library, Jericho, 6:30 p.m. Free. Info, 899-4962. Shelburne Magic Club: Fantasy-card-game lovers play and share tips. Grades 5-8. Pierson Library, Shelburne, first and third Thursday of every month, 6-8 p.m. Free. Info, 985-5124.



Family Clay Drop-in: Parents join kids for some work on the wheel. All ages. Burlington City Arts Center (BCA), 5:30-7:30 p.m. $5-6 includes one glazed/fired piece; $5 per additional piece. Info, 865-7166.

Mom’s Matinee: Parents and their wee ones catch a flick with dimmed lights and babyfriendly volumes. Palace 9, South Burlington, 10:30 a.m. $7.25 adult; $6 child; free for kids under 2. Info, 864-5610.

‘Lyddie’: See May 3, 8 p.m.


VYO Spring Concert: The Vermont Youth Orchestra is joined by the VYO Chorus and environmental activist and author, Bill McKibben, for the premiere of “A New Eaarth.” This orchestral/choral piece is an original composition by Music Alive Composer-in-Residence Robert Paterson. Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center, Stowe, 8 p.m. $10 adult; $5 child. Info, 655-5030.

Anthroposophy Today and Tomorrow: Author and chair of the Education Department at Antioch University, Torin Finser, discusses his philosophy on schools, leadership and improving the current educational system. Adults. Orchard Valley Waldorf School, East Montpelier, 7 p.m. Free. Info, 456-7400. Building Blocks for Literacy Webinar: This webinar series educates professionals and parents on literacy development and gives playbased activity ideas to help early readers hit the books. Online, Burlington, 1 p.m. Free. Info, 878-2332.

Health & Fitness

Hot Mama Workout: Kids are welcome while moms squeeze in some fitness. City Hall Gymnasium, St. Albans, 9-10 a.m. Free if preregistered; $10 drop-in. Info, 524-1500, ext. 266. Stroller Gathering: Walkers and their wheeled counterparts meet for a recreation path promenade. Fairfax Community Park & Recreation Path, 9:30 a.m. Free. Info, 782-6332. Winooski Family Gym: Indoor playground equipment gives tumblers a chance to burn off some energy. Ages birth to 7. YMCA, Winooski, 10:30 a.m.-noon. $5 family with one child; $8 family with multiple children. Info, 862-9622.

Preschool Clay Drop-in: Kids craft cool stuff using the wheel or working by hand. Preschool ages. Burlington City Arts Center (BCA), 9:3011:30 a.m. $6. Info, 865-7166.


First Friday Family Dance: Supper kicks off a wholesome evening of live music and dancing. All ages. Worcester Town Hall, first Friday of every month, 5:30-10 p.m. $5 person; $8-$12 family. Info, 229-0173. Park Exploration with Big Mo: Mo the moose takes curious visitors on a guided tour of the park followed by a snack and games. Ages 3-5 with adult. Preregister. Schmanska Park, Burlington, 9:30-11 a.m. $12 child. Info, 864-0123.


Parent-Child Sign Language: Wee ones use their hands to communicate with mom and dad. Ages birth to 5. Preregister. Burnham Memorial Library, Colchester, 10 a.m. Free. Info, 879-7576.

4 friday, p. 34

Red Clover Book Project: Families read and discuss award-winning books, then gather for related projects and activities. Grades K-4. ECHO LAKE AQUARIUM AND SCIENCE CENTER Info, 864-1848 Our Body: The Universe Within: Real human bodies are displayed with attention to the functional systems of the anatomy. Exhibits allow visitors to peer under the skin to discover the complexity and beauty of hominid biology. Opens April 14. FAIRBANKS MUSEUM & PLANETARIUM Info, 748-2372 Wildflower Table: This living exhibit reflects the abundance and diversity of flowers, grasses, berries, ferns and evergreens found in the Northeast Kingdom. Kids are introduced to more than 400 species displayed throughout the year, in both fruit and flowering stages. INDEPENDENCE PETTING FARM Info, 948-2429 Animal Menagerie: Rain or shine, families visit, pet and feed a variety of animals at this educational, hands-on farm. Open daily, year-round. All ages. Montreal Science Centre Info, 1-877-496-4724 Star Wars Identities: Combining LucasFilm archive memorabilia with interactive elements, this exhibit explores the development of identity. Visitors explore character development within the themes of origins, influences and choice. Fan then explore their own existence by combining their identity with fictional elements to create a unique Star Wars character. Through September. MONTSHIRE MUSEUM OF SCIENCE Info, 649-2200 Charlie and Kiwi’s Evolutionary Adventure: Young visitors learn the basics of evolution through story, exhibits and activities about a boy and his favorite bird, the kiwi. VERMONT INSTITUTE OF NATURAL SCIENCE NATURE CENTER Info, 359-5000 Through the Eyes of Raptors: Kids who explore the natural world through the eyes of raptors are usually amazed by these efficient predators. Bird programs cover the mechanics of flight, seasonal migration and conservation issues. All ages. Raptors up Close: Little nature lovers discover the fascinating lives of birds in this exhibit featuring touchable artifacts and handson materials. Kids learn how hundreds of birds are rehabilitated each year and the fundamentals of how raptors are trained. All ages.

Submit your June events by May 15 at or to


LEGO Afternoons: Youngsters create freely from big buckets of building blocks. Parents encouraged to send a snack; popcorn provided.

Assisting Your Child With Music: Musician Paul Ruscak teaches caregivers to share a love of music with kids. Participants bruh up on instrument care and tuning while gaining confidence. Adults. ArtisTree Gallery, Woodstock, 6:30-7:30 p.m. $15. Info, 457-3500.

Info, 626-5475

Kids VT

Library & Books


Food for Thought: Teen volunteers chow down on pizza and work on library projects. Grades 7-12. Dorothy Alling Memorial Library, Williston, first Thursday of every month, 4-5 p.m. Free. Info, 878-4918.

May 2012

Kids Open Gymnastics: Tykes tumble and jump while adults connect with other families. Snack is provided. River Arts, Morrisville, 10-11:30 a.m. $5 child, $8 two children, $10 three or more children. Info, 888-1261.



Library & Books

Afternoon Hoops: Basketball-loving high school students spend the afternoon dribbling, shooting and scoring. Preregister. St. Albans City Hall, 2:30-3:45 p.m. Free. Info, 524-1500, ext. 266.

Ages 6 and up. Lincoln Library, 3:30-4:30 p.m. Free. Info, 453-2665.


Wild Things Wings and antennae may “fly” at home. But the ALL SPECIES DAY PARADE AND SPRING PAGEANT — a 20-year Montpelier tradition — invites kids to spread their wings on the streets of the state capital. Revelers dress up like their favorite species, celebrating spring and the interdependence of earth’s life forms, and join a parade from Hubbard Park to the golden dome. On the Statehouse lawn, the Birth of the Spring Goddess Pageant sets the stage for sprightly maypole and flower-children dances. Feeling antsy about dancing? There’s a rehearsal the day before. ALL SPECIES DAY PARADE AND SPRING PAGEANT: Sunday, May 6, Hubbard Park & the State House lawn, Montpelier, noon-4 p.m. Free. Info, 222-1242,

4 friday (Continued)

Health & Fitness

Afternoon Hoops: See May 2. Family Gym: Indoor playground equipment provides active fun for kids and their parents. Ages 7 and under. YMCA, Burlington, 10:30 a.m.noon. $5 family with one child; $8 family with multiple children. Info, 862-8993. Kids Open Gymnastics: See May 2.

Library & Books

After School Movie: Film buffs put their feet up and watch a flick, popcorn in hand. KelloggHubbard Library, Montpelier, 3 p.m. Free. Info, 223-4665.



Kids VT

May 2012


Fabulous Fibers: Crafters turn fibers into works of art by learning techniques of felting, weaving and tying. Preregister. Purple Crayon Productions, Woodstock, 10 a.m.-noon. $15-30 child. Info, 457-3500. Family Art Drop-in: Folks get creative with crafts, drawing and painting whenever the mood strikes. All ages. Burlington City Arts Center (BCA), 1-3 p.m. Free. Info, 865-7166. Girls Rock Vermont Rock Lotto & Instrument Drive: Musicians from all genres get chosen

at random to join up and form five bands. They have until 9 p.m. to come up with a 20-minute set and perform for an intrigued audience. Instrument donations will be accepted throughout the day to support a nonprofit music education program for girls. Monkey House, Winooski, 10 a.m. Info, 503-0409. It’s All About Mom: Make mom a special garden gift and learn to make flower greeting cards. All ages. Gardener’s Supply, Williston, 10-11 a.m. Free. Info, 658-2433. ‘Lyddie’: See May 3, 8 p.m. Saturday Drama Club: Thespians help Very Merry Theatre produce a show in just three hours. All ages. Preregister. Very Merry Theatre, Burlington, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. $15 (or whatever you can afford). Info, 863-6607. Seussical The Musical: Well-loved Dr. Seuss stories get a musical makeover in this retelling of classic children’s stories. Paramount Theater, Rutland, 2 p.m. $12.50-19.50. Info, 775-0903.

Baby & Maternity

Everything Pregnancy and Baby Expo: Naturally You Childbirth hosts an event all about babies and mammas. Experts on childbirth education, breast-feeding support, chiropractic care, baby clothes and gear, and lots of other reproductive topics will be on hand to pass out advice and peddle their wares. Williston Central School, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $5 adult; Free for

Submit your June events by May 15 at or to

kids under 16. Info, 363-9597; eronsnycoflove@

Lake Champlain Waldorf School, Shelburne, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. Info, 985-2827.

Postnatal Yoga: Moms and their brand-new babies connect through movement and breathing exercises. Central Vermont Medical Center, Berlin, 10:45-11:45 a.m. $10 mom/baby pair. Info, 778-0300.



Fairy Playshops: Believers in magic explore the world of fairies and elves, see where they might live, and learn to make houses to attract the wee ones. Ages 4 and older with an adult. City Market, Burlington, 10-11 a.m. Free. Info, 861-9757. Green Up Day: See Spotlight, pg.42. Spanish Community Breakfast: Elementary students and their families gather for morning eats, games and conversational Spanish language instruction. Russ Sholes Senior Center, Middlebury, 8:30-10 a.m. Free. Info, 382-9325.


Teen Skin Care: Learn to make your own beauty products and leave with all the skills to give yourself a complete facial. City Market, Burlington, 12-1 p.m. Free. Info, 861-9757.

Fairs & Festivals

Mayfest: Families with kids birth to 6 celebrate the return of the sun with pony rides, maypole, face painting, arts and crafts, and snacks galore.

Sweet & Savory All-You-Can-Eat Pie Breakfast: Hungry locals fill their bellies with pastries fit for the first meal of the day. Christ Church, Montpelier, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. $25 family; $7 person; free for children under 5. Info, 456-7400.

Health & Fitness

Children’s Space Fun Run: Speedy feet choose a 1K or 5K course. Routes take runners on Intervale paths and dirt roads. All ages. Burlington Intervale Center, 9 a.m. $10 adult; $5 child; $20 family. Info, 658-1500. Earl’s Bike Swap: Cyclists upgrade their old wheels choosing from a variety of new and used pedal-powered vehicles. Earl’s Cyclery and Fitness, South Burlington, 6, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. Info, 864-9197. Onion River Sports Bike Swap: Bikers get ready for the upcoming season by trading in their old bikes, trailers and strollers for different models. Those selling drop off their wheels in the week preceding the event. Free. Onion River Sports, Montpelier. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Info, 229-9409. Prenatal Yoga: Moms-to-be explore meditations, postures and breath work tailored to their minds and bodies during pregnancy. Central Vermont Medical Center, Berlin, 9-10:30 a.m. $10 person. Info, 778-0300.

See “First with Kids” videos at

Winooski Family Gym: See May 3.

Nature & Science

Ephemeral Zoo: Amphibians and aquatic creatures are special museum guests and the topic of activities a about their daily life and survival. All ages. Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Museum Admission. Info, 649-2200.



‘Lyddie’: See May 3, 7 p.m. VYO Spring Concert: See May 4, 3 p.m. $15 adult; $10 child.


All Species Day & Spring Pageant: See spotlight, pg. 34. Dairy Day at the Farm: Milk and all its products receive an honorary day at the farm. The Brown Swiss herd are available for curious visitors to view and pat the calves. Adventurous types try milking a real cow. All ages. Shelburne Farms, 1-4 p.m. $5 car; Free for walkers. Info, 985-0328.

Health & Fitness

Hot Mama Workout: See May 3.



Waldorf Observation Morning: Prospective families take a tour, meet teachers and parents, and learn about this independent elementary school’s programs. Preregister. Lake Champlain Waldorf School, Shelburne, 8:30-10:30 a.m. Free. Info, 355-7023.

Library & Books

Creative Tuesdays: See May 1.

Health & Fitness

Drawing Birds and Blossoms: An artist and a naturalist lead artistic nature lovers in capturing the form of delicate spring blooms and winged beauties. Ages 8 and older. Green Mountain Audubon Center, Huntington, 1-4 p.m. $15-20. Info, 434-3068. Leafcutter Ants: Nature fans examine the secret life of insect fungus farmers during this hands-on investigation. All ages. Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich, 11 a.m. Museum admission. Info, 649-2200.

Kids in the Kitchen: Twice Baked Potatoes: Little chefs scoop out the potato insides and then start mashing and mixing with cheese, herbs and veggies before putting it all back into the jacket for a final bake. Healthy Living Natural Foods Market, South Burlington, 3:30-4:30 p.m. $20 child. Info, 863-2569, ext. 1.


Baby & Maternity

Baby Time: Babies gather for board books, lap rhymes and songs. Ages 18 months and younger. Siblings welcome. Deborah Rawson Memorial Library, Jericho, 10:15 a.m. Free. Info, 899-4962.

Mirror, Mirror: Science fans learn about symmetry and reflection while creating cool and complex images. Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich, 3 p.m. Museum admission. Info, 649-2200.

Burlington La Leche League: Moms bring their questions, babies and older kids, too, to this breast-feeding support group. Lending library available. Fletcher Free Library, Burlington, second Wednesday of every month, 9:30 a.m. Free. Info, 985-8228.



Baby & Maternity

Donkeyball: Good sports from town government and school administration attempt to play basketball while riding donkeys. Laughs are guaranteed and proceeds go to a support a young person beginning college in the fall. All ages. BFA Fairfax, 6:30 p.m. $6-7 person; Free for kids under 4. Info, 324-2998.



‘Lyddie’: See May 3, 7 p.m. Mulan Jr.: Young thespians perform a celebration of culture and fighting spirit set in ancient China. All ages. Edmunds Middle School, Burlington, 4 p.m. Free. Ooey Gooey Icky Fun: Youngsters learn the art of ick by making slime, glurch and other messy media. Ages 3-5. Miller Community Recreation Center, Burlington, 10-11 a.m. $24 child. Info, 864-0123. Pollywog Drop-in Art: See May 3.


Stowe Kids Night Out: An evening away from home includes free play, ice skating, movies and games, all supervised by camp counselors. Ages 5-15. Preregister. David Gale Recreation Center, Stowe, 6-10 p.m. $10. Info, 253-6138.

Library & Books

Book Reading by VT Author: Doug Wilhelm reads from his newly-released “True Shoes” and talks to fans about his twelve other young adult books. Brown Dog Books & Gifts, Hinesburg, 1 p.m. Free. Info, 482-5189. After School Movie: See May 4.



Family Art Drop-in: See May 5.


‘Peter Pan’: See May 11.

Building Blocks for Literacy Webinar: See May 3.

Health & Fitness

Hot Mama Workout: See May 3. Stroller Gathering: See May 3. Winooski Family Gym: See May 3.

Library & Books

Highgate Youth Advisory: See May 3. LEGO Club: Building-block lovers get busy. All ages. St. Albans Free Library, second Thursday of every month, 3-5 p.m. Free. Info, 524-1507.


Mulan Jr.: See May 10, 7 p.m.


Family Clay Drop-in: See May 4. ‘Lyddie’: See May 3, 8 p.m. ‘Peter Pan’: The 1982 adaptation of the children’s beloved classic is performed with a combination of live actors and puppets bringing Tinkerbell, Captain Hook and the Darling children to life. All ages. Black Box Theatre, Burlington, 7 p.m. $20 adult; $15 child. Info, 863-5966.

Mulan Jr.: See May 10, 7 p.m. Saturday Drama Club: See May 5.

Baby & Maternity

Postnatal Yoga: See May 5.


Bolton Community Yard Sale: Deal seekers peruse new and used wares. Toys and goods for kids and babies abound. Smilie Memorial School, Bolton, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. Info, 434-5468. Car Seat Safety Checks: Car seats get checked over by careful eyes watching for correct installation, recalls and proper fit. Seats will be available for purchase. Burlington’s #2 Fire Department. May 18 event is at the Milton Fire Department, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. Info, 847-5164. Children’s Room Tag Sale: See May 11. High School Monopoly Tournament: Local high school students face off in public bouts on a life-sized board of the classic capitalists’ game. Winners receive a MacBook Air 4G. University Mall, South Burlington, 10 a.m. Free. Info, 8631066, ext. 11. Spanish Community Breakfast: See May 5.

Preschool Clay Drop-in: See May 4


Children’s Room Tag Sale: Bargain hunters find clothing, toys, furniture, sports gear and more at

12 SATURDAY, P. 37


TeenPower Workshop: Young adults learn assertiveness, boundary setting and how to create safety plans in order to increase independence and prevent violence. Ages 13 and older. Preregister. Rock Point School, Burlington, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Free. Info, 425-KIDS.

Kids Open Gymnastics: See May 2.

‘Lyddie’: See May 3, 8 p.m.


Social Thinking: See May 2.

Family Gym: See May 4.

Mom’s Matinee: See May 3.

Georgia Family Game Night: Candyland, checkers and Monopoly bring gamers to the library. Visitors are welcome to carry in other favorites, too. Georgia Public Library, Fairfax, second Wednesday of every month, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Free. Info, 524-4643.

High School Morning Preview: Interested students and their families visit Waldorf classrooms, meet faculty and enjoy a welcome tea. Lake Champlain Waldorf High School, Charlotte, 8:30-10:30 a.m. Free. Info, 985-2827.

Afternoon Hoops: See May 2.


Yoga After Baby: New moms focus on their core, pelvic floor and arm strength, bringing their infants along if they choose. The Shambala Center, Montpelier, 11 a.m.-noon. $10. Info, 778-0300.

Kids Cook Up Stories: See May 2.

Cookie Decorating: See May 2.

MAY 2012

Montpelier Prenatal Yoga: Moms-in-the-making focus on relaxation, strengthening and focus. Yoga Mountain Center, Montpelier, 5:30-7 p.m. $15. Info, 778-0300.

Health & Fitness


Baby Yoga: Mini yogis and their minders stretch and move to soothing music to build coordination, strength and balance. Ages 3-10 months. Preregister. Move You Fitness Studio, Essex, 10:45-11:30 a.m. $10 baby/adult pair. Info, 734-0821.


Drum, Song and Dance of Guinea: The sights and sounds of West Africa fill the studio as kids learn the cultural traditions of a far-away land. Ages 6-12. ArtisTree Gallery, Woodstock, 3-5 p.m. $20 child. Info, 457-3500.


Nature & Science

LEGO Afternoons: See May 2.

Library & Books

Teen Craft: Show mom how much you care with a bouquet of duct-tape flowers. Instruction and supplies provided. Ages 10 and older. Preregister. St. Albans Free Library, 4-7 p.m. Free. Info, 524-1507.

Nature & Science

low prices. Waterbury Congregational Church, -12, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Info, 244-5605. Kids Night Out: Parents get a break while the younger crowd play games, get crafty and snack. Grades K-5. Preregister. Robert Miller Community & Recreation Center, Burlington, 6-9 p.m. $15. Info, 865-7091.

Kids Open Gymnastics: See May 2.

‘Beauty and the Beast’: The fairy-tale musical with an accompanying animated film visits Burlington. Flynn Main Stage, Burlington, 7:30 p.m. $27-76 seat. Info, 863-5966.

Storytime in the Nestlings Nook: Little ones listen attentively to stories all about our feathered friends. Tales are followed by a nature walk. Birds of Vermont Museum, Huntington, 10:3011:30 a.m. Museum admission. Info, 434-2167.

Family Gym: See May 4.

Afternoon Hoops: See May 2.

Game On!: Kids learn new diversions or play old faves. All ages. Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Montpelier, second Tuesday of every month, 3:30 p.m. Free. Info, 223-4665.

Open Barn Day: Folks of all ages meet therapy horses, learn to groom the horses and hear about the benefits of horse-assisted therapy. All ages. Pease Farm, Middlesex, 1-4 p.m. Free. Info, 223-4828.

Earl’s Bike Swap: See May 5.

Health & Fitness


Story Times MONDAY Bristol Toddler Story Time: Lawrence Memorial Library, 10:30-11 a.m. Free. Info, 453-2366. Burlington Stories With Megan: Fletcher Free Library, 11-11:30 a.m. Free. Info, 865-7216. Colchester Preschool Story Time: Burnham Memorial Library, 10 a.m. Free. Info, 878-0313. Marshfield Story Time: Jaquith Public Library, 10 a.m. Free. Info, 426-3581. Milton Infant Story Time: Milton Public Library, 10 a.m. Free. Info, 893-4644. Richmond Pajama Time: Richmond Free Library, 6:30-7 p.m. Free. Info, 434-3036. St. Albans Story Time: St. Albans Free Library, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Free. Info, 524-1507. Stowe Family Story Time: Stowe Free Library, 10 a.m. Free. Info, 253-6145. Stowe Monday Morning Story Time: Stowe Free Library, 10-10:30 a.m. Free. Info, 253-6145. Waitsfield Story Time: Joslin Memorial Library, 10 a.m. Free. Info, 496-4205. Waterbury Toddlers-’n’-Twos: Waterbury Public Library, 10 a.m. Free. Info, 244-7036. Williston Story Time at Buttered Noodles: Buttered Noodles, 10-10:30 a.m. Free. Info, 764-1810. Woodstock Baby Story Time: Norman Williams Public Library, 10:30 a.m. Free. Info, 457-2295. TUESDAY Alburgh Story Hour: Alburgh Community Education Center, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Free. Info, 796-6077. Barre Children’s Story Hour: Aldrich Public Library, 10:30 a.m. Free. Info, 476-7550. Burlington Science and Stories: ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, 11 a.m. Museum admission. Info, 324-6386.




Colchester Toddler Story Time: Burnham Memorial Library, 10 a.m. Free. Info, 878-0313. East Barre Kids Story Hour: East Barre Branch Library, 9:30 & 10:30 a.m. Free. Info, 476-5118. East Middlebury Preschool Story Hour: Sara Partridge Community Library, 10:30-11 a.m. Free. Info, 388-7588. Essex Preschool Story Time: Brownell Library, 1010:45 a.m. Free. Info, 878-6956.

Early literacy skills get special attention during these free read-aloud sessions. Some locations provide additional activities like music, crafts or foreign language instruction. Contact the story time organizer or visit for details.

Essex Toddler Story Time: Brownell Library, 9:10-9:30 a.m. Free. Info, 878-6956. Fairfax Preschool Story Time: Fairfax Community Library, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Free. Info, 242-9000.

South Burlington Tiny Tot Time: South Burlington Community Library, 10:30 a.m. Free. Info, 652-7080.

Middlebury Preschool Story Hour: Ilsley Public Library, 10:30-11:15 a.m. Free. Info, 388-4097.

Williston Story Time at Buttered Noodles: See Monday.

Montgomery Story Hour: Montgomery Town Library, 10-11:30 a.m. Free. Info, montgomery.

Georgia Pajama Story Time: Georgia Public Library, third Tuesday of every month, 6:307:30 p.m. Free. Info, 524-4643.

Woodstock Toddler Story Time: Norman Williams Public Library, 10:30 a.m. Free. Info, 457-2295.

Grand Isle PJ Story Time: Grand Isle Free Library, first Tuesday of every month, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Free. Info, 527-5426.


Highgate Toddler and Preschool Story Time: Highgate Public Library, 10 a.m. Free. Info, 868-3970.

Colchester Pajama Story Time: Burnham Memorial Library, third Wednesday of every month, 6:30 p.m. Free. Info, 879-7576. Essex Preschool Story Time: See Tuesday.

Hinesburg Preschool Story Time: CarpenterCarse Library, 11 a.m. Free. Info, 482-2878.

Highgate Toddler and Preschool Story Time: See Tuesday, 11:15 a.m.

Hinesburg Toddler Story Time: CarpenterCarse Library, first Tuesday of every month, 9:30 a.m. Free. Info, 482-2878.

Jericho Preschool Story Time: Deborah Rawson Memorial Library, 10:30 a.m. Free. Info, 899-4962.

Milton Preschool Story Time: Milton Public Library, 10 a.m. Free. Info, 893-4644.

Middlebury Baby and Toddler Story Hour: Ilsley Public Library, 10:30-11:15 a.m. Free. Info, 388-4097.

Montpelier Story Time: Kellogg-Hubbard Library, 10:30 a.m. Free. Info, 223-4665.

Shelburne Story Time With Mary Catherine Jones: Pierson Library, 10:30 a.m. Free. Info, 985-5124. South Burlington Baby Story Time: South Burlington Community Library, 10:30 a.m. Free. Info, 652-7080. St. Albans Story Time: See Monday. Stowe Preschool Story Hour: See Wednesday, every other Thursday. Vergennes Story Time: Bixby Memorial Library, 10:30 a.m. Free. Info, 877-2211. Westford Story Time: Westford Public Library, 11 a.m. Free. Info, 878-5639. Williston Story Time at Buttered Noodles: See Monday.

Montpelier Story Time: See Tuesday.


Richmond Story Time: Richmond Free Library, 10:30-11 a.m. Free. Info, 434-3036.

Realms of Reading Crafts: East Barre Branch Library, 3-5 p.m. Free. Info, 476-5118.

Enosburg Story Hour: Enosburg Public Library, 9-10 a.m. Free. Info, 933-2328.

Shelburne Story Time With Webby: Shelburne Museum, 10:30-11 a.m. Free with admission. Info, 985-3346.

Richford Story Hour: Arvin A. Library, 9:30 a.m. Free. Info, 848-3313.

Georgia Preschool Story Time: Georgia Public Library, 10 a.m. Free. Info, 524-4643.

South Burlington Story Time: Barnes & Noble, 10 a.m. Free. Info, 864-8001.

Huntington Story Time: Huntington Public Library, 10 a.m. Free. Info, 434-4583.

Stowe Preschool Story Hour: Stowe Free Library, 10:15 a.m. Free. Info, 253-6145. Swanton Story Hour: Swanton Public Library, 10-11 a.m. Free. Info, 868-7656. Warren Story Hour: Warren Public Library, 10-11 a.m. Free. Info, 496-3913. Waterbury Baby Lap Time: Waterbury Public Library, 10 a.m. Free. Info, 244-7036. Williamstown Story Time: Ainsworth Public Library, 10-11 a.m. Free. Info, 433-5887. Williston Story Time at Buttered Noodles: See Monday. THURSDAY Bristol Preschool Story Time: Lawrence Memorial Library, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Free. Info, 453-2366. Colchester Preschool Story Time: See Monday. Franklin Story Time: Haston Library, 10 a.m. Free. Info, 285-6505. Jericho Preschool Story Time: See Wednesday, 10 a.m.

Lincoln Children’s Story Time: Lincoln Library, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Free. Info, 453-2665. Milton Toddler Story Time: Milton Public Library, 10 a.m. Free. Info, 893-4644. Montpelier Story Time: See Tuesday. South Burlington Story Time Adventures: South Burlington Community Library, 10:30 a.m. Free. Info, 652-7080. Stowe Baby and Toddler Story Time: Stowe Free Library, 10 a.m. Free. Info, 253-6145. Waterbury Preschool Story Time: Waterbury Public Library, 10 a.m. Free. Info, 244-7036. Williston Story Time at Buttered Noodles: See Monday. SATURDAY Barre Story Time: Next Chapter Bookstore, 10:30 a.m. Free. Info, 476-3114. Colchester Saturday Story Time: Burnham Memorial Library, 10 a.m. Free. Info, 878-0313. South Burlington Saturday Story Time: Barnes & Noble, 11 a.m. Free. Info, 864-8001. South Burlington Second-Saturday Stories: South Burlington Community Library, second Saturday of every month, 10:15 a.m.-noon. Free. Info, 652-7080. Winooski Preschool Story Time: Continues through May 19. Winooski Memorial Library Champlain Mill, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Free. Info, 655-6424. Winooski Story Time: Winooski Memorial Library, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Through May 19. Free. Info, 655-6424. Woodstock Story Time: Norman Williams Public Library, 10:30 a.m. Free. Info, 457-2295. 

See “First with Kids” videos at


Fairs & Festivals

Evergreen Preschool Children’s Fair: Mini golf, games, face painting, food and fun create a lively atmosphere for springtime reveling. Ages 3-9. St. Peter’s Parish Hall, Vergennes, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. Info, 877-6380. Kids Day: It’s all about young people as Burlington celebrates youth with a parade, performances, food, games and fun at the park. All ages. Battery Park, Burlington, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. $1 person. Info, 864-0123.

Health & Fitness

The Kids Are All Bike: A two-wheeled festival promotes safety and fun with a ride along the Stowe bikepath, a bike rodeo, a rec path raffle course, bike safety checks and other fun activities like a bounce house and face painting. All ages. The Rusty Nail Bar and Grill, Stowe, 1-5 p.m. Free. Info, 253-8686. Kids Night Out: Mom and dad take a break, while the youngsters are entertained with a movie, a bounce house, pizza and a swim. Ages 5-12. A little-kids version for ages 1-4 takes place simultaneously. Preregister. YMCA, Burlington, second Saturday of every month, 5:30-8 p.m. $816. Info, 862-9622. Prenatal Yoga: See May 5. Winooski Family Gym: See May 3.

Library & Books


Baby Ready

Family Gym: See May 4.

Flower Power Mountain Bike Race: Racers ready. Catamount starts the season with wheeled races on open, rolling terrain and single track. A variety of distances suit each member of the family. Preregister. Catamount Outdoor Family Center, Williston, 9:30 a.m. Free for kids under 8. Info, 879-6001. Mother’s Day Bike Ride: Moms and their offspring peddle 16, 30 or 55 miles to raise money for the Lund center. Riders stick around for food and fun. All ages. Rice Memorial High School, South Burlington, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Free; suggested fundraising minimum $200. Info, 861-2585.

Nature & Science

Gearing Up: Little engineers create machines to explore how gears work. Ages 9 and up. Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich, 3 p.m. Museum admission. Info, 649-2200. Sundays for Fledglings: Little learners get the scoop on birds. Investigations include outdoor and indoor fact-finding and creative expression. Ages 5-9. Preregister. Birds of Vermont Museum, Huntington, 2-3 p.m. Museum admission. Info, 434-2167. Who Sank the Boat?: Newbie boat-builders craft a vessel, then see how much weight it can hold before sinking. All ages. Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich, 11 a.m. Museum admission. Info, 649-2200.

Kids Craft: Kids fashion tissue paper into “stained glass” windows. Ages 7 and older. Preregister. St. Albans Free Library, 1 p.m. Free. Info, 524-1507.


Nature & Science

Infant Care: Up-and-coming parents prepare for taking care of Junior. Preregister. Timber Lane Pediatrics, South Burlington, 6:30-9 p.m. $30 family. Info, 658-5959.

Celebrate Migratory Bird Day: Friends paint bird nest boxes, learn about wild, flying creatures and go on a quest to find and identify winged beauties. All ages. Vermont Institute of Natural Science Nature Center, Quechee, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Info, 359-5000. Creeping Colors: This science-packed session teaches kids about capillary action as they watch water crawl up paper and find hidden colors inside a marker. All ages. Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich, 3 p.m. Museum admission. Info, 649-2200. International Migratory Bird Day: Live bird demonstrations get observers in the mood to discuss feathers and beaks. Guided walks in search of common and illusive varieties follow. All ages. Shelburne Farms, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. Info, 985-8686. Magnetic Moments: Budding scientists experiment with electric currents. All ages. Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich, 11 a.m. Museum admission. Info, 649-2200.



‘Lyddie’: See May 3, 7 p.m. ‘Peter Pan’: See May 11, 2 & 6 p.m.

Fairs & Festivals

Baby & Maternity Baby Yoga: See May 7.

Montpelier Prenatal Yoga: See May 7. Yoga After Baby: See May 7.


Parenting the School-Age Child: An openforum discussion provides parents a chance to talk about tricky issues like computer use, playdates, hygeine and nutrition with others. Adults. Preregister. Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, 7-8:30 p.m. Free. Info, 847-2278.

Health & Fitness

Hot Mama Workout: See May 3.


Education Scoring Points: Improving Health Through the Power of Video Games: Think all those video games are bad for Junior? Think again. UVM/ Fletcher Allen researchers present novel findings on the development of video games to improve learning, behavior, social responsibility and even health in chronically ill children. Preregister. Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, 6:30 p.m. Free. Info, 847-2886.

MAY 2012

Spring Fest: See spotlight, pg. 32.


15 TUESDAY, P. 39


Free Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries: Bring mom in for a treat on her special day, courtesy of Laughing Moon Chocolates. Laughing Moon Chocolates, Stowe, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. Info, 253-9591.


BIG SISTER, BIG BROTHER: SIBLING PREPARATION: Saturday, May 19, Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, 9:30-11:30 a.m. $30 per child, $25 for each additional child. Appropriate for kids age three and older. Info, 658-5959, beginningschildbirth. com

Health & Fitness


The nursery’s ready. Mom’s ready. Dad’s ready. But what about little bro or sis? These days, there’s a class that prepares kids to deal with siblings. Soon-to-be big brothers and sisters learn about the important job of being the eldest and the benefits and the challenges that come with the promotion. The class focuses on celebrating the changes that come with a new baby and on important questions such as: What’s that strange belly button “raisin” all about? Sibs-to-be learn how to hold a baby and why sharing food and toys is a no-no — at least in the beginning. New siblinghood brings mixed emotions. Kids learn that it’s normal to feel excited and proud one minute and frustrated the next, when the newest member of the family becomes star of the cute show. The class winds up with a hospital tour and an art project.




Playgroups MONDAY Barre Open Gym: Sunrise Gymnastics, 10 a.m.-noon. $10 child. Info, 223-0517. Burlington Crawlers, Waddlers and Toddlers: St. Joseph School, 11 p.m. Free. Info, 999-5100. Essex Open Gym: Regal Gymnastics Academy, 11 a.m.-noon & 1-2 p.m. $8 child; Free for children under 18 months. Info, 655-3300. Isle La Motte Playgroup: Isle La Motte School, 10-11:30 a.m. Free. Info, 527-5426. Jeffersonville Hometown Playgroup: Cambridge Elementary School, 9:30-11 a.m. Free. Info, 885-5229. Montgomery Playgroup: Montgomery Town Library, second Monday, Wednesday of every month, 4-5 p.m. Free. Info, 527-5426. Morristown Hometown Playgroup: Morristown Graded Building, 9-10:30 a.m. Free. Info, 888-5229. Swanton Playgroup: Mary S. Babcock School, 9:30-11 a.m. Free. Info, 527-5426. Williston Music With Raphael: Dorothy Alling Memorial Library, 10:45 a.m. Free. Info, 878-4918. Winooski Fathers and Children Together: Winooski Family Center, 5-7:30 p.m. Free. Info, 655-1422. TUESDAY Bristol Playgroup: Bristol Baptist Church, 9:30-11 a.m. Free. Info, 388-3171. Burlington Family Play: VNA Family Room, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. Info, 860-4420. Burlington Fathers and Children Together: VNA Family Room, 5-7:30 p.m. Free. Info, 860-4420. Burlington Music With Robert: Fletcher Free Library, 11-11:30 a.m. Free. Info, 865-7216. Essex Open Gym: See Monday. Hardwick Playgroup: Hardwick Elementary School, 8:15-10:15 a.m. Free. Info, 652-5138. Johnson Baby Chat: Church of the Nazarene, fourth Tuesday of every month, 10-11:30 a.m. Free. Info, 888-3470. Middlebury Playgroup: Middlebury Baptist Church, 9:30-11 a.m. Free. Info, 388-3171. Milton Playgroup: New Life Fellowship Church, Thursdays, 9:30-11 a.m. Free. Info, 893-1457.




Montpelier LEGO Club: Kellogg-Hubbard Library, third Tuesday of every month, 3:30 p.m. Free. Info, 223-4665. Montpelier Tulsi Morning Playgroup: Tulsi Tea Room, 10 a.m.-noon. Free. Info, 223-0043. South Hero Playgroup: South Hero Congregational Church, 10-11 a.m. Free. Info, 527-5426. St. Albans Playgroup: St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 9:30-11 a.m. Free. Info, 527-5426. Worcester Playgroup: Doty Memorial School, 9-11 a.m. Free. Info, 229-0173. WEDNESDAY Barre Open Gym: See Monday. Burlington Moving and Grooving: Fletcher Free Library, 11-11:30 a.m. Free. Info, 865-7216.

Kids enjoy fun and games during these informal get-togethers and caregivers connect with other local parents and friends. The groups are usually free and often include snacks, arts and crafts or music themes. Contact the playgroup organizer or visit for site-specific details.

Charlotte Playgroup: Charlotte Central School, 12:15-1:15 p.m. Free. Info, 764-5820. Colchester Music With Raphael: Burnham Memorial Library, 12:30 p.m. Free. Info, 878-0313. Colchester Playgroup: Colchester Village Meeting House, 9:30-11 a.m. Free. Info, 264-5640. Enosburg Playgroup: American Legion, 1011:30 a.m. Free. Info, 933-6435. Essex Open Gym: See Tuesday Essex Welcome Baby Playgroup: Essex Junction Teen Center, 10 a.m.-noon. Free. Info, 872-9580. Fairfield Playgroup: Bent Northrup Memorial Library, 10-11:30 a.m. Free. Info, 527-5426. Hinesburg Playgroup for Dads: Annette’s Preschool, 5-7:30 p.m. Free. Info, 860-4420. Morrisville Open Gym: River Arts, Fridays, 10-11:30 a.m. $5 child, $3 additional child. Info, 888-1261. Shelburne Sing-a-long: Lemon Peel Café and Creperie, 10-11 a.m. Free. Info, 985-9511. South Royalton Playgroup: United Church on the Green, 9:30-11 a.m. Free. Info, 685-2264. Vergennes Playgroup: Congregational Church of Vergennes, 9:30-11 a.m. Free. Info, 388-3171. Williston Baby-Time Playgroup: Dorothy Alling Memorial Library, 10:30 a.m.-noon. Free. Info, 658-3659. Winooski Open Gym With Princess: Regal Gymnastics Academy, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. $12 child. Info, 655-3300. THURSDAY Burlington EvoMamas Playgroup: Evolution Physical Therapy and Yoga, second Thursday of every month, 2-4 p.m. Free. Info, 864-9642. Burlington Family Play: See Tuesday. Essex Movin’ Moms: Move You Fitness Studio, first Thursday of every month, 10:30-11:45 a.m. Free. Info, 734-0821. Essex Open Gym: See Tuesday Fletcher Playgroup: Fletcher Elementary School, first Thursday of every month, 9-10:30 a.m. Free. Info, 527-5426. Johnson Hometown Playgroup: United Church of Johnson, 9-10:30 a.m. Free. Info, 888-5229. Milton Playgroup: See Tuesday. Montgomery Infant Playgroup: Montgomery Town Library, 10-11:30 a.m. Free. Info, 527-5426.

Williston Music With Raphael: See Monday, 10:30 a.m. Winooski Playgroup: O’Brien Community Center, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. Info, 655-1422. FRIDAY Colchester Playgroup: See Wednesday, 9:3011 a.m. Essex Center Playgroup: Memorial Hall, 9-11 a.m. Free. Info, 878-6751. Essex Open Gym: See Tuesday. Fairfax Playgroup: BFA Fairfax, 9-10:30 a.m. Free. Info, 527-5426. Ferrisburgh Open Gym: Ferrisburgh Central School, 9:30-11 a.m. Free. Info, 388-3171. Hometown Playgroup Stowe: Stowe Community Church, 9:30-11 a.m. Free. Info, 888-5229.

Morrisville Baby Chat: First Congregational Church of Morrisville, first Thursday of every month, 10-11:30 a.m. Free. Info, 888-3470.

Montgomery Tumble Time: Montgomery Elementary School, 10-11:30 a.m. Free. Info, 527-5426.

Richmond Welcome Baby Group: Richmond Free Library, second Thursday of every month, 10 a.m. Free. Info, 899-4415.

Morrisville Open Gym: See Wednesday. Shelburne Playgroup: Trinity Episcopal Church, 9:30-11 a.m. Free. Info, 985-2382.

Spanish Musical Kids: Warren Town Hall, 10-10:45 a.m. $15. Info, 917-1776; constanciag@

St. Albans MOPS: Church of the Rock, first Friday of every month, 8:45-11 a.m. Free. Info, 891-1230.

Swanton Late-Morning Playgroup: Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 10-11:30 a.m. Free. Info, 527-5426. Williston Playgroup: Allen Brook School, 9-10:30 a.m. Free. Info, 876-7147; jakruwet@ SATURDAY Franklin Playgroup: Franklin Central School, second Saturday of every month, 10-11 a.m. Free. Info, 527-5426. Morrisville Weekend Baby Chat: Lamoille Family Center, second Saturday of every month, 10-11:30 a.m. Free. Info, 888-3470. South Burlington Tots and Tykes Open Gym: Chamberlin School, 9:30-11 a.m. Free. Info, 846-4108. SUNDAY Essex Sunday Open Gym: Regal Gymnastics Academy, May 6, 1-5:30 p.m. $8 child; Free for children under 18 months. Info, 655-3300. 

See “First with Kids� videos at

Real Science.



Food Kids in the Kitchen: Carrot Cake Cupcakes: Orange-colored root veggies transform into frosted cakes in the hands of new bakers. Preregister. Healthy Living Natural Foods Market, South Burlington, 3:30-4:30 p.m. $20 child. Info, 863-2569, ext. 1.

Health & Fitness

Itty Bitty Game Time: Young’uns get creative with pool noodles creating structures for play. A giant parachute is on hand for group games. Ages 3-5 with adult. Schmanska Park, Burlington, 9:30-11 a.m. $12 child. Info, 864-0123.

Library & Books

Creative Tuesdays: See May 1.



Leap of Faith Dance Theatre: Little ballerinas stay on pointe in a performance featuring original kid coreography. All ages. Town Hall Theater, Middlebury, 7 p.m. $10. Info, 382-9222.


Early Education Workshop: Early childhood educators learn from author and director of the Alliance for Childhood Joan Almon. Workshop titles include, “Crisis in Early Education� and “Crisis in the Kindergarten.� Preregister. Champlain College, Burlington, 2-5 & 6-8 p.m. $25-35 person. Info, 383-6603.

Library & Books

Highgate Youth Advisory: See May 3. ‘PBS Kids Go!’ Writers Contest Showcase: Prose competitors share their stories submitted to Vermont Public Television. St. Albans Free Library, 6:30 p.m. Free. Info, 524-1507. Shelburne Magic Club: See May 3, first and third Thursday of every month, 6-8 p.m. Info, 985-5124.


‘Lyddie’: See May 3, 8 p.m. ‘Peter Pan’: See May 11. Preschool Clay Drop-in: See May 4. Scrapbooking Extravaganza: Memory keepers gather mementos with the help of some instruction and available materials. Ages 1014. Preregister. Milton Elementary School, third Friday of every month, 6-8 p.m. $12. Info, 893-4922. Spring Spectacular: Very Merry teams up with the Champlain Philharmonic for classic children’s theatrical performances, including Peter Pan and The Velveteen Rabbit, accompanied by the sounds of 60-piece orchestra. Vergennes Opera House, 7:30 p.m. Free.

Car Seat Safety Checks: See May 12, Milton Fire Department, 3-6 p.m.


Family Gym: See May 4.

Kids Cook Up Stories: See May 2.

Health & Fitness

Afternoon Hoops: See May 2. Kids Open Gymnastics: See May 2.

Library & Books

LEGO Afternoons: See May 2.



Drum, Song and Dance of Guinea: See May 10. ‘Lyddie’: See May 3, 7 p.m. Ooey Gooey Icky Fun: See May 10. Pollywog Drop-in Art: See May 3.

Community Education

Building Blocks for Literacy Webinar: See May 3.

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Afternoon Hoops: See May 2. Kids Open Gymnastics: See May 2.

Library & Books

After School Movie: See May 4. Youth Night: Teens and tweens hang out and enjoy movies, snacks and projects. Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Montpelier, third Friday of every month, 6-9 p.m. Free. Info, 223-4665.



Family Art Drop-in: See May 5. ‘Lyddie’: See May 3, 8 p.m. Major Mess: Young artists explore holidaythemed projects with mixed media. All ages. Children under 4 must be accompanied by an adult. Purple Crayon Productions, Woodstock, third Saturday of every month, 10:30-11:30 a.m. $10. Info, 457-3500. ‘Peter Pan’: See May 11. Saturday Drama Club: See May 5.

Baby & Maternity Big Brother, Big Sister: Sibling Preparation: See spotlight, pg. 37.

MAY 2012

Health & Fitness

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Mom’s Matinee: See May 3.

Montshire Museum of Science • 802.649.2200 Exit 13 I-91, Norwich, VT


Health & Fitness

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Family Clay Drop-in: See May 4.

Social Thinking: See May 2.

Cookie Decorating: See May 2.

Montshire Museum!


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Postnatal Yoga: See May 5.

Hot Mama Workout: See May 3. Stroller Gathering: See May 3.


Winooski Family Gym: See May 3.



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4/23/12 2:24 PM

Spring Fest Sunday, May 13, Mother’s Day! Opening-day festival featuring activities for visitors of all ages. Tour gardens, build a birdhouse, plant flowers. Mother’s Day doll tea party and over 400 lilacs! S P R I N G F E S T I S A F A M I LY D A Y S P O N S O R E D B Y :


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Big Truck day: Little truckers climb on impressive vehicles and get up close with every part of the machines. A horn-free hour from 10-11 a.m. gives those with sensitive ears a quiet time for exploration. Monty the Moose and Clifford provide high-fives in between jumps on the bounce house, crafting activites, face painting and savenger hunting. All ages. Hinesburg Nursery School, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. $5 child. Info, 482-3827. Big Truck day Burlington: Fire, dump and tow trucks serve as jungle gyms to curious kiddos. Music, dancing, food and raffles round out the day’s experience. All ages. Robin’s Nest Children’s Center, Burlington, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. $5 family. Info, 864-8191.

Vermont residents $10 admission; children $5

car seat safety checks: See May 12, Buttered Noodles, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. k6h-ShelburneMuseum0512.indd 1

Roger Ehret, MD

Roger Knowlton, DO, FACOG


Kids VT

May 2012

Julie Vogel, MD, FACOG

Gail Yanowitch, MD

Sheila Glaess, MD

Rebecca Montgomery, CNM, MSN

Christine Malcolm, Colleen Horan, NP, CNM MD, MPH

4/17/12 11:45 AM



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4/23/12 2:10 PM

Family Fun Night: A movie, swimming, a bounce house, food and more highlight the evening. All ages. YMCA, Burlington, third Saturday of every month, 5-8 p.m. $3-5. Info, 862-9622. Family Fun Volunteer day: Do gooders lend a hand in trail maintenance and veggie garden start up. Volunteers get a free lunch and tours of the grounds. Common Ground Center, Starksboro, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Info, 453-2592. High school monopoly Tournament: See May 12. spanish community Breakfast: See May 5.

Fairs & Festivals

Bird day Festival: Budding ornithologists celebrate the migratory birds’ return to Vermont and see a winged demonstration, go on a guided bird walk, make feathered crafts and dance to live music. All ages. Birds of Vermont Museum, Huntington, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. $2 person. Info, 434-3068. Horticulture Farm spring Festival: Families celebrate the warmer weather with a nature treasure hunt and wagon rides. UVM greenhouse staff sell hanging flowering baskets and state entomologist Jon Turmel leads a bug walk at 11 a.m. UVM Horticulture Farm, South Burlington, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Info, 864-3073.

Health & Fitness

Prenatal Yoga: See May 5. Winooski Family Gym: See May 3.

Library & Books

12:30-2:30 p.m. $10 parent/child pair; $5 additional child. Info, 985-8686. cells!: Compare plant and animal cells using a compound microscope. Then, using the lab’s video microscope, take a close-up look at your own cheek cells. Ages 9 and older. Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich, 3 p.m. Museum admission. Info, 649-2200.



‘Lyddie’: See May 3, 2 p.m. ‘Peter Pan’: See May 11, 2 & 6 p.m.

Baby & Maternity

cloth diapering 101: Parents looking to start a new baby off on the reusable types and those wanting to switch over from disposables get tips for choosing the best bum covers. Participants receive $10 off their first order. Birth Journeys, Essex Junction, 2-3 p.m. $10. Info, 881-9451.

Health & Fitness Family Gym: See May 4.

Walk to cure diabetes: Over 600 pedestrians high step to raise money for diabetes research. Preregister. CVU High School, Hinesburg, 9 a.m.-noon. Free. Info, 1-866-256-0832.

Nature & Science

Build Your own Birdhouse: Invite feathered friends to your backyard by constructing a cozy home just for birds. Families with kids 4 and older. Green Mountain Audubon Center, Huntington, 10 a.m.-noon. $20-25 family. Info, 434-3068. Hoopster Gliders: Kids create a craft that flies. All ages. Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich, 11 a.m. Museum admission. Info, 649-2200. skulls: Science lovers explore skeletal remains of local wildlife. All ages. Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich, 3 p.m. Museum admission. Info, 649-2200. sundays for Fledglings: See May 13.


Baby & Maternity

Baby care Basics: Dr. Lewis First puts parentsto-be at ease with information on the growth, development and care of a newborn. Adults. Preregister. Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, 6:30-8 p.m. Free. Info, 847-2278.

Horse Lovers Book Group: A horse expert leads a discussion on all things equine. Learn about good reads on animal care and get tips to start the riding season off right. Ages 8-16. Preregister. Flying Pig Children’s Books, Shelburne, 11 a.m. Free. Info, 985-3999.

Baby Yoga: See May 7.

Nature & Science

Yoga After Baby: See May 7.

Breastfeeding Preparation: Moms-to-be learn the basics of feeding baby the natural way. Preregister. Timber Lane Pediatrics, South Burlington, 6:30-9 p.m. $30 family. Info, 658-5959. montpelier Prenatal Yoga: See May 7.

About Air: Kids create mini-parachutes to learn how air resistance slows down falling objects. Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich, 11 a.m. Museum admission. Info, 649-2200.

Health & Fitness

Amazing Amphibians: Young scientists seek frogs and salamanders in their natural habitats. Mud boots highly recommended. Ages 4 and older. Shelburne Farms, 9:30-11:30 a.m. &


Hot mama Workout: See May 3.

Health & Fitness

itty Bitty Game Time: See May 15.

submit your June events by may 15 at or to

See “First with Kids” videos at


Lockstepping Out


Every year, Essex Junction hosts a MEMORIAL DAY PARADE to pay homage to U.S. servicemen and -women. A special flyover by the Green Mountain Boys launches the procession of World War II vets striding in crisp uniforms, followed by the younger generation of soldiers. An impressive line-up of high school marching bands makes it one of the largest assemblages of onfoot musical talent in Vermont. Themed floats vie for awards as the parade wends from gate F of the fairgrounds, through the Five Corners onto Route 15 and back to the fairgrounds. The procession begins at 10 a.m., but find a spot a half hour in advance to ensure safe viewing. Post-parade happenings include another Memorial Day tradition: great grilling at the VFW’s chicken barbeque. ESSEX JUNCTION MEMORIAL DAY PARADE: Saturday, May 26, Champlain Valley Fairgrounds, Essex Junction, 10 a.m. Free. Info, 878-1375,

Health & Fitness

Afternoon Hoops: See May 2. Kids Open Gymnastics: See May 2.

Library & Books

Creative Tuesdays: See May 1.

Library & Books


LEGO Afternoons: See May 2.

Social Thinking: See May 2.





Kids Cook Up Stories: See May 2.

Art Safari: Tots dive into stories and art activities related to the museum’s collections. Ages 3-5 with adult. Preregister. Shelburne Museum, fourth Wednesday of every month, 9:30-10:30 a.m. $5. Info, 985-3346.

Cookie Decorating: See May 2. Kids in the Kitchen: Deviled Spring Chicks: Deviled eggs get a cute makeover to appear like hatching chicks. Preregister. Healthy Living Natural Foods Market, South Burlington, 3:30-4:30 p.m. $20 child. Info, 863-2569, ext. 1.

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Kids in the Kitchen: Hashbrowns: Budding chefs get busy shredding potatoes learn to make a fresh breakfast side. Preregister. Healthy Living Natural Foods Market, South Burlington, 3:30-4:30 p.m. $20 child. Info, 863-2569, ext. 1.

Health & Fitness

Hot Mama Workout: See May 3.


Stroller Gathering: See May 3.

Ooey Gooey Icky Fun: See May 10.

Library & Books

Drum, Song and Dance of Guinea: See May 10. Pollywog Drop-in Art: See May 3.

Winooski Family Gym: See May 3.

Highgate Youth Advisory: See May 3.


Mom’s Matinee: See May 3.


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Early Childhood Programs designed specifically for the developmental needs of children.

Full-time and part-time openings Richmond 434-3891

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ATTENTION CLASS INSTRUCTORS! List your class in Kids VT for only $15/month! Submit the listing by the 15th at or

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Monday - Friday 7:00 am to 5:30 pm for children ages 6 weeks - Pre-K

One Kid’s Trash For 40 years, volunteers for GrEEN uP dAy VErmoNT have pitched in to “spring clean” the state. last year, Vermonters removed more than 40,000 bags of rubbish from the Green Mountain roadsides. interested community members contact a local organizer — easily found by visiting greenupvermont. org — to find out how and where to pick up trash in their area. Many hands make light work, and green-up garbage bags are provided. Some towns offer snacks and prizes. in rochester, they’re hiding necklaces amongst the trash. Find one to win an iPad. this year’s Green up day kicks off a new season of post-irene recovery work. Helping out will make the whole family feel good — and tired. k8h-SpareTime0211.indd 1

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GrEEN uP dAy: Saturday, May 5. Cities and towns all over Vermont, all day. Free. Info, 229-4586,

May 2012

Nature & Science

Kids VT



24 THursdAy (continued)

Preschool clay drop-in: See May 4.

Feathered Frenzy: Bird lovers build nests, investigate feathers up close and marvel at delicate birds’ eggs. Ages 3-5. Green Mountain Audubon Center, Huntington, 10-11 a.m. $8-10 adult/child pair; $4 additional child. Info, 434-3068.

25 FRIDAY Family clay drop-in: See May 4.

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Health & Fitness

Afternoon Hoops: See May 2. Family Gym: See May 4. Kids open Gymnastics: See May 2.

Library & Books

After school movie: See May 4.



saturday drama club: See May 5.

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Baby & Maternity

Yoga After Baby: See May 7.


Hot Mama Workout: See May 3.

Postnatal Yoga: See May 5.

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum Opening Day: Seaworthy folks visit floating relics, learn the history of water travel on Lake Champlain and take part in special activities on the seasonal opening. All ages. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $10 adult; $6 child; Free for children under 5. Info, 475-2022.


Kids’ Triathlon: Young athletes test their mettle in a three-part race, beginning with laps in the pool then spinning on a stationary bike and finishing with loops on the indoor track. Kids are separated by age and all abilities are welcome. Preregister. YMCA, Burlington, 11:45 a.m.-3 p.m. $25 child. Info, 862-9622. Prenatal Yoga: See May 5. Winooski Family Gym: See May 3. Yam Scram: Racers run in 1/2-, 1- and 2-mile courses. Ages 4-14. Preregister. Burlington’s Waterfront Park, 8:30 a.m. $20 child. Info, 863-8412.

Nature & Science

Magnetic Moments: See May 12, 3 p.m. Playing Telephone: Kids craft paper-cup phones and explore the properties of sound waves. Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich, 11 a.m. Museum admission. Info, 649-2200.


Baby & Maternity

Newborn 101: Moms- and dads-to-be get the skinny on tiny babies and how to enjoy the first three months of parenthood. The class covers tips on setting routines, breastfeeding basics, newborn care, how to handle prolonged crying and participant questions. Preregister. Franklin County Home Health Agency, St. Albans, fourth Sunday of every month, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. $30 couple. Info, 527-7531.

Health & Fitness Family Gym: See May 4.

Nature & Science

¡ Cloth 101 classes ¡ FREE consultations

Kids Cook Up Stories: See May 2. Kids in the Kitchen: Veggie Pinwheels: Wouldbe cooks make rolled sandwiches cut into bite-sized pieces. Preregister. Healthy Living Natural Foods Market, South Burlington, 3:304:30 p.m. $20 child. Info, 863-2569, ext. 1.

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Cookie Decorating: See May 2.

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Creative Tuesdays: See May 1.

Social Thinking: See May 2.

Disney Bouncers • Sponge Bob • Finding Nemo Parties • Schools • Fairs • Company Promos & Events

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Library & Books

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Health & Fitness

Afternoon Hoops: See May 2. Kids Open Gymnastics: See May 2.

Library & Books

LEGO Afternoons: See May 2.



Drum, Song and Dance of Guinea: See May 10. Pollywog Drop-in Art: See May 3.


Mom’s Matinee: See May 3.

Health & Fitness

Hot Mama Workout: See May 3 Stroller Gathering: See May 3.


Library & Books

Highgate Youth Advisory: See May 3.

   !     """# """   ! 


St. Albans PJ Story Hour: Soon-to-be-sleepy kids say goodnight with songs, crafts and snacks. All ages. St. Albans Free Library, 6:30 p.m. Free. Info, 524-1507. 



Montpelier Prenatal Yoga: See May 7.

24 HOUR / TOLL FREE: 1-800-395-HELP (4357)

Kids in the Kitchen: Italian Sodas: Fromscratch fruit-flavored syrups start the process toward fizzy drinks. Preregister. Healthy Living Natural Foods Market, South Burlington, 3:304:30 p.m. $20 child. Info, 863-2569, ext. 1.

Winooski Family Gym: See May 3.

Baby Yoga: See May 7.

91 South Main St., #2 St. Albans, VT 05478


Sundays for Fledglings: See May 13.

Baby & Maternity


56 Colchester Ave. Burlington, VT 05401

MAY 2012

Kitchen Chemistry: Kids explore scientific reactions with household products. All ages. Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich, 11 a.m. Museum admission. Info, 649-2200.


Kids Inatable Obstacle Course


Fossils: Science enthusiasts handle fossilized remains and use clues to guess their origins. Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich, 3 p.m. Museum admission. Info, 649-2200.


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Sound Science: Curious kids experiment with sounds and how they travel. All ages. Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich, 3 p.m. Museum admission. Info, 649-2200.

Health & Fitness

New Kids Game Show & Visual Dunk Tank Magic • Juggling • Balloon Sculpturing • Costumed Deliveries

of Burlington & St. Albans

Nature & Science

Spanish Community Breakfast: See May 5.

Memorial Day Parade: See spotlight, pg. 41.


Health & Fitness

Straw Rockets: Science lovers discover the power of air during this hands-on session. All ages. Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich, 11 a.m. Museum admission. Info, 649-2200.

Pregnancy Tests Limited Ultrasound Compassionate Care Accurate Information about Abortion Risks & Alternatives Post-Abortion Support


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GIVE THE EXPECTANT MOTHER THE GIFT SHE WON’T EXPECT Studies show that prenatal massage can reduce swelling, relieve joint pain, and even improve labor and newborn health.

Find relief today at Massage Envy in Williston.

call 879-0888 • 2141 Essex Road - Williston • Convenient hours 7days a week: M-F 9-10, Sat 9-6, Sun 10-6

Mother’s Day

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Cake & Card Event! Order a cake then preregister to come in on May 12th to decorate and make mom a card.

To order and register by May 10th call: Church Street Marketplace 862-9620 Waterbury Factory 882-1240 ext. 2264

Vaccines. Defend him against 14 serious childhood diseases, like measles and whooping cough, with the safe, proven protection of vaccines. Giving him the recommended immunizations by age 2 is the best way to protect him. For more reasons to vaccinate, talk to your child’s doctor or go to or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.

Immunization. Power to Protect.

Kids VT

may 2012

Help him fight measles with the most powerful defense.



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Stained-Glass Vases

April showers bring May flowers — and Mother’s

Day on May 13 could bring some of those blooms right to your table. Crafty youngsters can contribute these découpage DIY vases, which use strips of tissue paper to create a surprising stained-glass effect ... with surprisingly little effort. It’s as simple as breaking out the Mod Podge and grabbing a jar from the recycling bin. They pass the test of time, too: My mom still has the sunny yellow vase I made for her more than 15 years ago. —By Carolyn Fox

materials • glass jar, bottle or vase, cleaned and with label removed — baby food or spaghetti-sauce jars work great! • scissors • several colors of tissue paper • sponge • Mod Podge découpage glue


Mix it up:

Experiment with different colors and sizes of tissue paper. You can even cut the paper into squares and make a patchwork pattern. Reuse the vases to hold pencils, tea lights, toothbrushes and more.

Kids VT


Share your fun craft ideas with us! Send them to

May 2012



Begin by cutting tissue paper of varied colors into inch-wide strips. Make sure the strips are long enough to go around the glass jar with about an inch to spare. 2. Use a sponge to apply Mod Podge evenly around the bottom inch of the jar. Gently lay a strip of tissue paper over the glue, and use the sponge to apply a thin coat of Mod Podge on the strip to smooth out any bubbles or rough edges. It’s OK if the tissue paper wrinkles or overlaps; this will make your jar look more interesting in the end. Continue applying Mod Podge and tissue paper all the way up the jar, alternating colors as you go. If there are gaps or small tears, just lay another strip of tissue paper over it. When the jar is covered, let it dry for about 15 minutes. Then use the sponge to apply one final coat of Mod Podge over the whole jar, sealing down any flyaway edges. Let it dry completely before use.


4/17/12 11:51 AM

Bab y&

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’ve had my share of baby showers and loved them all. For the first of my three pregnancies, I was treated to four — yes, four: the family shower, the girlie shower, the work shower and the coed shower. With our second baby, I enjoyed a Sunday brunch with a small group of friends and a family party at Great Grandma’s. Finally, when I was expecting last winter, I spent an indulgent day at a spa with two close friends.

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Celebrating a pregnancy is fun, whether you are expecting yourself or planning a shower for someone else. If the parents-to-be aren’t sufficiently forthcoming about how they want to be feted, here are some pretty good guesses. FIRST TIMERS For a new mom, find out what she wants. If she says, “Oh, you don’t have to do that,” ignore her, but organize a simple event with close friends. The traditional shower involves food, beverages, something sweet to eat, a few silly baby games and presents. It lasts no more than two hours and is usually held at a friend or family member’s home. Every new mom should have at least one of these. IT TAKES TWO Don’t forget the dad: Coed showers are all the rage. Send some fancy invitations, and serve yummy hors d’oeuvres and mocktails for mingling couples. Instead of gifts, collect money for a gift card from the couple’s registry.


MAY 2012


WHATEVER SHE WANTS If your mom-to-be has done this once or twice, or won’t stand for a full-blown party in the baby’s honor, here are some ways to pamper the parent. •

Organize a premade meal service for the last two weeks of pregnancy. Friends and relatives make dishes to freeze, so the new family has yummy, homemade food after the little one arrives. Check out, a website that makes organizing a group meal effort a whole lot easier.

Take her to a spa — something I highly recommend.

Hire a cleaning service. Spend some time in the company of an expectant mother, and you might notice that a cleaning and nesting neurosis sets in around two weeks before birth. A home detox before the little tyke arrives is practical, and very much appreciated. 

Got an idea for the Party Planner?


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May Birthday Club winners:

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Grand-Prize Winner SOPHIE lives in Essex and turns 7 in May. She is a Daisy Girl Scout who enjoys traveling, skiing, biking, dancing and writing.

Sophie wins a $75 gift certificate from Bounce Around VT.

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May. He likes to be outside playing in the mud, in the sandbox or helping with yard work.

To enter, submit information using the online form at

Liam, Oakley and Eliza win $50 gift certificates from Bounce Around VT.


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Back yard Parties! OAKLEY lives in Ferrisburgh

and turns 6 in May. He loves animals and enjoys swimming and biking.

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answers p. 51


Kids Across/Parents Down

Enjoy fun time with Mom, Dad or your favorite grown-up. The across clues are for kids and the down clues are for adults.

Get Going! Kids Across

1. Postal carriers drive a mail _____

6. Thousands of people each day use the Golden Gate Bridge to go ____ San Francisco Bay 7. Every airplane has a pair to let it soar into the air


9. What a fisherman needs to keep on top of the waves BY HELENA HOVANEC


Kids VT

may 2012

Riddle Search — Musical Terms

12. In 1903, Wilbur Wright and his _______, Orville, were the first people to fly in an airplane

Look up, down and diagonally, both forward and backward, to find every word on the list. Circle each one as you find it. When all the words are circled, take the UNUSED letters and write them on the blanks below. Go from left to right and top to bottom to find the answer to this riddle: Where do geologists go to listen to music?

anthem Ballad beat chant Chord conductor duo hymn key lullaby

lyrics march melody rhythm soprano tempo theme song tone voice

10. Stop right there!: It’s what you use to bring your bike to a halt

2. If nice guys finish last, in which train car would you most likely find them? 3. It gets revved up on the Autobahn 4. Copter topper 5. Until the ______ is lifted, a ship is going nowhere 7. Uplifting song: Silent support Bette’s friend provided beneath her “wings” 8. If it could talk, it surely would say, “I spend the night at my hotel and go to the airport each day” 11. What every vacationer is happy to get

14. What Jack and Jill used to fetch water 15. The side of a snowy hill that skiers hurry down 18. A car has five of these (if you count the one the driver uses to steer) 19. Early sleds and wagons were made out of ____ 22. The words above the number on a white highway sign: Speed _____ 23. A saddle is a leather ____ on a horse’s back

Parents Down

12. Colorful craft for a sightseer determined to rise above it all 13. What people do when they’re in a hurry 16. What bicyclists do that motorcyclists don’t 17. Manual labor: Stick shift driver’s options 20. Cruise man 21. Happy returns: One who goes to war and returns to a hero’s welcome (for short)

Riddle Answer:

___ ___


___ ___ ___ ___

___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

© 2012 Jan Buckner Walker. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

COLORING CONTEST! Send us your work of art by May 15 for an opportunity to win $25, sponsored by TD Bank. Be sure to include the info at right in your submission. Winners will be chosen in the following categories: (1) ages 4 and younger, (2) ages 5-8, and (3) ages 9-12. The best artwork will be featured on, and winners will be named in the June issue of Kids VT. Send your high-resolution scans to or mail a copy to Kids VT, PO Box 1184, Burlington, VT 05402.

Title _______________________________________ Artist _____________________________________ Age _______________________________________ Town _____________________________________ Email _____________________________________ Phone _____________________________________



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Find out how WIC can help your family grow. Call 1-800-649-4357 or visit our web site at 4/24/12 9:54 AM

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Kids VT

may 2012

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WIC is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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The Other Mother

A lesbian mom redefines family in Franklin County JAIM E R . TIBBITS, AS TOLD TO C AT H Y R E SME R

Every time I talk about the kids, at some point, I have to come out.



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JUmbLES boy, card, poor, blob RIDDLE ANSWER: How he felt after getting kicked out of his shell? cRAbby


RIDDLE SEARcH ANSWER: To a rock concert.


“Use Your Words” is a monthly essay in which writers reflect on parenting and childhood. Got a story to share? Email us at

Submit your info by the 15th of the month online at or to

MAY 2012

him 11 pounds, 5 ounces. He put his hand on my arm and said, “You poor girl.” And I said, “Oh, it wasn’t me; it was my partner.” There are lots of moments like that where I can either mislead the person I’m talking to, or I have to correct them. It forces me to out myself. For me, it’s awkward, because you never know how people will react. I’m just always thinking, Please don’t let this go down a road where we’ve gotta talk about it. We’re talking about my kids. Why should I all of a sudden have to talk about my sexuality? But sometimes I feel like I need to bring it up, to challenge people’s definition of family. I’m taking an online class right now through Johnson State College, and I emailed my professor privately saying, “We just had our son, I’ll do my best to post online, but I might be a little absent this week.” And then she posted on the forum for our whole group something like, “Jaime might not be participating as much this week. He just welcomed a new son into his family.” I never indicated a gender for me or my partner, but she thought I was a he, based on just my name, I guess. That was interesting. I emailed her back privately and said, “Thanks for the posting, and by the way, I’m a woman. My partner and I just had a son.” Not in a sassy way, but just to let her know. I didn’t correct her public message because I didn’t have the energy, and it’s not my problem. She emailed back and said, “LOL, I’ve had this happen before.” I couldn’t help but think: Wouldn’t that make you less likely to make assumptions? I just wish people would think outside the box. I’ve never encountered any negativity, though. After I came out to the guy at the library, we just sort of glazed over it and started talking about something else. I’ve been taking Mania and Hobie to a local playgroup, and people there probably assumed I was a straight mom. But when Mary Alice came, too, all of the grandmothers oohed and aahed over Hobie and just accepted us. Who knows what people say when we’re not around, but so far, we’ve only received a positive response. I was ready for anything, but I’ve been amazed — I feel like I’ve underestimated my community. 

List your event for free in the Kids VT monthy calendar.


BEFORE I KNEW WHERE BABIES CAME FROM, I used to pray at night for God not to give me one. I guess I put two and two together — Mary getting pregnant with Jesus through immaculate conception — so I asked God not to let that happen to me. I always imagined that I would have kids, but I never wanted to be pregnant. Fourteen years ago, I started dating Mary Alice. That’s the beauty of a lesbian relationship: two wombs. Mary Alice has always wanted to have kids, and she wanted that mothering experience. She was able to carry our daughter, Mania, who’s now 3, and she gave birth to our son, Hobie, last month. Being a parent has completely changed my perspective on what’s important. Before I had kids, I think I kind of defined myself by what I did, whether it was my work or my extracurricular activities. But now I prioritize my family. And I’m more fiercely devoted than I was when there were just two of us. I do feel that the bonding experience is definitely different for me, because I’m not breast-feeding. I don’t actually physically want to breast-feed, but I do appreciate the bond it creates. With Mania, I had to feed her with a finger tube for the first 48 hours. I felt like I had this connection that I feel is slightly lacking with Hobie — he’s been breast-feeding from day one. Mary Alice is the most important thing to him right now because of that, and I think I get a little jealous. I always struggle in the baby phase: Where do I fit in? Now that Mania is older, I feel like I’ve bonded with her quite well. I work for a landscaping company, so I stay home with her all winter, and I involve her in everything I do. We cook together. We make bread together. She helps me work on the car and do construction projects. I hope Hobie will do all of those things, too. One thing that frustrates me about being a two-mom family is that every time I talk about the kids, at some point, I have to come out. We were at the Fairfield library last Sunday, and I was talking with a town official. I had Hobie in the baby carrier. The town official asked, “How old is he?” I said, “2 weeks.” At some point, he asked how much Hobie weighed at birth, and I told

Planning a kids event?

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Kids VT - May 2012 - Baby & Maternity