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November 2011

Being a dad isn’t what it used to be


{Page 14}

Good stuff for sick kids {Page 9}

THE POWER OF TOUCH Physical affection and its effect on health and discipline {Page 20}

Singing the praises of music education {Page 12}

DVDs we dig! {Page 26}


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The shifting role of fatherhood By Patricia Carlson


Departments {8}




Tween scene

Book shelf

Singing the praises of music education

The creative process



Hot stuff Good stuff for sick kids

{10} Grows on trees Make it a habit

Real life


Real mom Therese Tennessen

Discs we dig DVDs for every age

On the cover • Nicole Sjoberg of Northfield with her son, Kai. • Photo by Robb Long 4 November 2011


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{20} The power of touch How physical affection helps with discipline

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{29} Out & about

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Of Mice and Men

A Wrinkle in Time November 2011 5

from the editor

You want the best for your child. We’re with you on that.

At Hopkins Public Schools, our teachers make all the difference. We know we are preparing students for jobs that currently don’t exist. Using innovation, imagination, and a solid educational foundation as our base, Hopkins Public Schools provides students with a world-class education infused with technology, collaboration, flexibility, and academic rigor.

Big hugs


t wasn’t until I became a mother that I also became a decent hugger. I’m fairly reticent and usually don’t impinge on personal space unless I’ve been invited. I’m not sure what this says about me, but those people who can just walk up to each other and hug have always drawn my admiration and envy. But somehow, when my daughter was born, a lot changed. That “power of touch,” as writer Kelly Bartlett discusses in her feature article, is a driving factor in the emotional connection you have with your kids. Those first weeks, with my daughter falling asleep on my chest not only bonded us, but transformed something within me, too. There were afternoons when I would sit for hours, just holding her while she slept, unwilling to put her down to even pick up a book. My attention was so focused, it didn’t matter that I wasn’t doing anything else. My husband says he clearly remembers the first time our daughter chose to lean against me, as if I was just any old object to lean against. Now, that physical gift was transferred. She’d reach for my hand; say “uppa” when she wanted to be held; hold onto my leg when she didn’t want me to leave. These are powerful actions. The bond that is forged through physicality is not just good for our mental health, but is a positive force for our physical health, too. These days, she still runs to my arms for a hug, and offers hers up when I’m having a bad day. She took my hand recently when we went shopping, and it meant so much to me, I felt overwhelmed with gratitude. So go ahead, find your little ones, find your partner, find your parents, your friends—and give them each a big hug. Let your kids sit on your lap when you’re reading to them, take your gloomy teenager by the hand when walking to the dinner table— and also show your kids how it’s done by holding your spouse’s hand occasionally when you talk. Every positive touch says, “I’m here for you”—and for a child, for anyone you love—that means everything.

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Kathleen Stoehr Editor

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Vol. 26, Issue 11 Co-Publishers Janis Hall Terry Gahan Editor Kathleen Stoehr Contributing Writers/Photographers Kelly Bartlett Patricia Carlson Alyson Cummings Robb Long Kara McGuire Joy Riggs

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From a child’s perspective Every year, approximately three million children and adolescents are hospitalized, but when it comes to evaluating their care, their parents are usually the ones who complete the patient satisfaction surveys. A new study, conducted by an interdisciplinary team of researchers to be published in the January 2012 issue of the Journal of Nursing Care Quality and available now online, reveals that soliciting children’s perspectives on the nursing care they received can be helpful in evaluating and identifying ways to improve that care. The study is the first-ever to systematically elicit the views of hospitalized children and adolescents on the quality of their nursing care, and also the first to evaluate children’s perceptions of nurses’ behavior for evidence of any disparities across demographic groups. The study included 496 children and youth, ages six to 21, who were treated in a free-standing children’s hospital. They were asked: 1) “What do you like most about your nurses and what they do for you, and how does that make you feel?” and 2) “What don’t you like about your nurses and what they do for you, and how does that make you feel?” Their responses were sorted into 18 categories of nurse behaviors, 12 that were regarded as positive (such as “gives me what I need when I need it,” “checks on me often,” “talks and listens to me” and “is nice and friendly to me”). These positive behaviors made the children feel cared about, safe, and happy. Six categories were regarded as negative (such as “wakes me up” or “doesn’t give me what I need when I need it”). Researchers found that, overall, children felt like their nurses cared about them, regardless of how many behaviors they did or did not like. For more information, visit CurrProf-1749.html.

8 November 2011

Build a Beezer Robbinsdale husband and wife team Ben and Julie Lindaman recently created a portable and collapsible playhouse made of recycled cardboard, called Beezer Playhouses. Recognizing that while cardboard playhouses are fun, there are some inherent challenges, such as their lack of durability, and the fact that eventually they have to be taken down, inevitably leading to their destruction. The Lindamans also created the BeezerBits Construction System—quarter turn fasteners that hold the walls and roof panels together—as well as plastic doors and windows, capable of withstanding the wear and tear of creative, active play. Every playhouse comes with a storage carry-case.

New book: Your Family Matters Dr. Keith Kanner’s new book, Your Family Matters: Solutions to Common Parental Dilemmas, offers enlightening advice and tips on how to triumph over parental hurdles such as how to avoid babysitting nightmares, how to prepare siblings for a new baby, and simply understanding why moms sometimes get dumped by their children. Teaching children the right behavioral patterns (while remaining sane!) can be a daunting task if you’re not ready. Dr. Kanner hopes to pad the landing. Drawing from his professional knowledge as a family therapist and also from personal experience, Kanner created an informative reference guide for parents.

The playhouses are now available for pre-sale through November 2011 at, a crowdfunding website dedicated to funding and following creativity. For more information visit

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Need a Cooqi? Last fall Judy Malmon, owner of the popular Cooqi Gluten-Free Delights bakery in St. Paul, closed her bakery to focus on developing a collection of four gluten-free baking mixes, made of organic whole grains. She found that many of her bakery customers came from well beyond the Twin Cities, inspiring her to create a line of baking mixes that would allow people to bake their favorite Cooqi products at home. The mixes are now available locally at select co-ops and also available online through the new website, Minnesota Parent got its hands on a few of the gluten-free goodies and gives it an enthusiastic thumbs up. Two pound bags of gluten-free flour are about $10.

Sick stuff Buzzy When they’re under the weather, these products will make your kids feel better

The Buzzy system lessens the pain of needles through the use of stimulation and nerve distraction. The palm-sized buzzing “bee” sits on the child’s arm, and uses an ice pack and vibrations to distract nerves in order to reduce needle pain. The company also designed a series of “Bee-Stractor” cards and posters that feature puzzles to help distract your child further while the needle goes in. Clinical trials showed that pain was reduced significantly without compromising procedural success.

By David Kelly about $35

B.R.A.T. Feel Better Drink Inspired by the “bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast” diet that helps settle kids’ stomachs during the flu, this organic drink was designed to act as a base to re-hydrate and settle upset stomachs, while avoiding common allergens like dairy, gluten, or soy that often make stomach sickness worse. The drink comes in four flavors, has no sugar, and is full of vitamins and calcium. about $35 for a pack of six

Hot Dogs

Boogie Wipes

Comfort is essential to children when they are feeling under the weather, and this pillow by Aroma Home aims to provide it with warmth and soothing aromatherapy. The soft plush dog exterior is perfect for children to cuddle up with, and the removable inner cushion can be heated in the microwave to turn it into a warm pillow with a relaxing and calming lavender scent.

Crusty boogers? Runny nose? Yuck. A runny nose is miserable, and regular tissues often cause the skin to dry out or crack, only making things even worse. Boogie wipes keep the nose clean without becoming chapped or irritated, providing relief with gentle moisturizers and a fresh, fruity scent. Plus, kids can’t help but love the name.

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November 2011 9

Make saving a habit

I By Kara McGuire

t pained financial consultant Sam Renick when client after client came into his office saying they wish someone had taught them early in life about the importance of investing. His parents taught him about saving when he was a child, but he knew many young people aren’t so lucky.

So he created Sammy Rabbit, a lovable character who teaches kids to make saving a habit through stories and songs. Over the past decade, Sammy has visited eight countries and 35 states teaching kids how to save. I caught up with Renick, who recently finished a music video featuring Sammy and friends, at his home in Los Angeles. What’s the most important money truth for kids to learn?

For me, it was pay yourself first. Since young kids typically do not get paid, I translated the message into “saving is a great habit” and “from every dollar save a dime.”

“The number one thing parents can do to help kids with money is turn off the TV.” Sam Renick

10 November 2011

Why a rabbit?

When I was eight or nine, I wanted a rabbit. However, my father would not allow me to have one. I will never forget his reason: “rabbits multiply.” For me, one of those magnificent characteristics of money is it multiplies or compounds when you save and invest it regularly. Compound interest is a great equalizer. It provides people of all income levels an opportunity to improve their financial standing. Does Sammy have a target age group?

Sammy has multiple target groups. He focuses on children ages four to eight and their parents, but he connects with teens as well. He also speaks to educators and community outreach people who train and teach children about smart money habits and life empowering skills. In addition to the books that you’ve written, what else has Sammy been up to?

We’ve developed what I believe is the largest library of songs and stories on financial education for children. We have

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For parents who are interested in teaching their kids about money, what are three things they can do?

The number one thing parents can do to help kids with money is turn off the TV. That will drastically reduce kids’ number one stimulus for the “gimmes.” Second, parents can make an even stronger effort to role model good financial behavior for their children. Third, parents should take advantage of every opportunity they can to talk to, and get kids involved with, money related activities. As early as ages two and three, parents can have kids color moneythemed pictures, they can read their kids stories on saving, have them listen to songs on smart money habits, and deposit coins into self-created saving jars. Later, parents can have children make shopping lists, fill out deposit slips or make online entries, cut coupons, and do work around the house or neighborhood in exchange for pay. Kids, as well as adults, seem to value money differently, when they earn it. For more on Sammy Rabbit, visit or

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November 2011 11

Singing the praises of music education

W By Joy Riggs

hen I attended a meeting last spring about proposed cuts to our school district’s budget, I wasn’t surprised to see parents and students speak passionately in favor of keeping the elementary orchestra program. I wasn’t surprised to see parents and students advocate for the elementary gifted and talented program. And, knowing about the connection between music education and brain development, I wasn’t surprised to notice how much those student populations overlapped.

The hearing had a bittersweet result. The school board eliminated the gifted and talented teacher position, but it did keep orchestra. Although the program is intact for now, I realize that its future is tenuous, even though our district values music education. School board members’ hands are increasingly tied by budget woes and No Child Left Behind mandates. The frustrating thing is, research clearly shows that studying music improves kids’

ResouRces MacPhail Center for Music Minnesota Boychoir Minnesota Music Educators Association

12 November 2011

math and literacy skills, as well as their social and emotional skills, and their cognitive, language and critical thinking skills. It is not a fluff subject. Rather, as stated by the Minnesota Music Educators Association, “Music is a core academic subject that is vital to successful students and schools.” Students who participate in band and orchestra are less likely to use alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs, and schools with quality music programs have demonstrated significantly higher graduation and school attendance rates.

Higher levels These benefits have proved true locally as well as nationally. For example, students at Whittier International Elementary School in south Minneapolis who participated in a music education partnership with the MacPhail Center for Music performed at

higher levels, compared to their peers, in attendance, social skills, and academics. These benefits increased with each successive year of music instruction. Dianna Babcock, director of MacPhail’s early childhood music program, says music has a huge impact on infant, child, and young adult development. Because it engages both sides of the brain, it helps students control their impulses and stay on task. It also helps with problem solving and critical thinking. “It’s really important to get your kids involved in some capacity in music. You’ll find that it’s lifelong opportunity—it will enhance their lives forever in many, many different ways,” she says. Mark Johnson, artistic director of the Minnesota Boychoir, has seen this occur in his organization, which serves boys ages 7 to 18. Participating in an ensemble helps students develop self-confidence and patience, and can nurture feelings of being connected to a community. “We perform great music, we introduce the boys to different types of music, and we work on musical skills and building


personal skills. Boys and young men grow up in this organization,” he says. The Minnesota Boychoir is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Boys participate in different choirs based on age and ability, and the demanding rehearsal and performance schedule requires a commitment by the boys and their families. “We give them a different outlet that offers discipline, some rules and regulations, and I think kids need that. I think they want that. They excel when that structure is there,” Johnson says.

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Even if parents are convinced of the importance of music education, keeping children motivated to practice can be a challenge, especially for younger students. Melissa Falb, director of group instruction at MacPhail, has these suggestions: • Set up a routine for practicing, based on the time of day that works best for your child. It might be after school, after dinner, or in the morning. “I know it sounds really simple, but the more practicing just becomes part of your daily routine, the better it is,” she says. • Have students perform for an audience. It doesn’t have to be a formal recital; try making a YouTube video of your child playing a piece and send links to family and friends. • Have your child invite friends over who also play musical instruments. They will discover that playing for one another is a great form of entertainment. If children continue to struggle with practicing, Falb says it could be that they haven’t found the right instrument, or the music they’re playing is too difficult, and they need to choose a different piece that builds their confidence. It’s also possible that the teacher isn’t the best fit. “Finding a teacher that the kid enjoys is a huge factor in motivation. If they really connect with their teacher and love their teacher and want to do well for their teacher, you’re going to have a lot less work at home,” she says.


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14 November 2011

real dads and fiCtional fathers The shifting role of fatherhood By Patricia Carlson

Ward Cleaver. arChie Bunker. al Bundy. When you think of the American fathering experience, these iconic television characters might spring to mind for all the wrong reasons. Cleaver was a typical 1950s suburban dad portrayed on Leave it to Beaver. He came home from work everyday expecting a hot meal from his housewife. At the end of every episode, he would dole out a moral lesson to his two young sons. Contentious Bunker, the 1970s patriarch of All in the Family, used slurs and insults to get his point across, be it to his wife, his daughter and son-in-law, even neighbors. And you could always count on Bundy to ‘assume the position’ in the 1990s sitcom, Married... With Children. Inevitably in each

November 2011 15

episode, viewers would see Bundy propped on the sofa with a beer in one hand and his other hand tucked under his pants’ belt, while his promiscuous teenage daughter and mischievous son trotted in and out of the house, unsupervised by either Bundy or his flaky wife, Peg. Boy, how times have changed. While the ding-dong dad might still be a beloved television character (I’m talking to you, Phil Dunphy of Modern Family fame), it appears real world fathers today are more involved in their children’s lives than ever before. A recent fatherhood research study of more than 1,000 fathers commissioned by The Goddard School and Dr. Kyle Pruett, clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, shows that dads are active decision makers and caregivers. Ten aspects of fatherhood were measured, including teaching kids to respect their mothers and providing a safe home environment. Dads surveyed said providing basic needs of food, shelter and clothing was most important. But they also placed a high value on telling their child that they love them. “That’s been a growing trend since the 1980s but this is the first survey that’s really solidified that finding,” says Pruett. “It’s not the mother telling them to do it, but fathers have discovered the strength of that emotional relationship. Dads are learning that how you fall in love with your children is directly related to your ability to talk to them about how you love them.” Even though dads ranked spending quality time with their children last, this study proves that it’s still better than it has ever been. “This has been a growing trend that I think has not been necessarily reflected in literature, or even marketing

I thInk that I not only have a responsIbIlIty to my chIldren as a caregIver but also to my wIfe so she Isn’t frIed. — Jeremy Anderson photos by laurel sexton

16 November 2011

toward fathers,” says Pruett. He says this is the first study of its kind that examines how all fathers, regardless of income, ethnicity or location, view their identity. And the results demonstrate that in the last 30 years, dads have become much more aware of the importance of spending time with their kids, even if they’re still figuring out how to accomplish that in everyday life.

Emotional connections Mike Detloff, a 39-year-old father of two from Barnesville, Minnesota, says although he knew his children would need his attention once they were born, he totally underestimated the amount of time that would actually take. He says he struggled with finding the right balance between maintaining his career so he could provide for his kids and spending “quality” time with them. Luckily, as his son and daughter grew up (they’re now tweens), they made it clear to him that any time spent with their dad is quality time. “They really don’t care … that necessities are provided for them, what matters most to them is just having time together,” Detloff says. “They don’t care about all the fancy things or nice trips, but they still ask for it. If they had to choose between that or spending time with me, they would pick just staying home and playing board games or other things as a family.” The study further shows that fathers find it important to provide stable home lives and superior educations for their kids, and to connect emotionally with their children. “That was certainly not the case for our [own] fathers,” explains Pruett. “Mom was mostly home and dads were mostly financial providers. But here’s dad saying, ‘I don’t want to just provide but I want to understand and relate emotionally.’” Craig Jordan, a 31-year-old dad from Washington state echoes the sentiments of the dads surveyed. Jordan says he knew he wanted, “to be more caring and affectionate with my son than my father was with me.” Jordan also says prior to having


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November 2011 17

their son, he and his wife spent time talking about their dads and the roles they played in their lives. It was during these conversations that Jordan began to craft the type of father he wanted to be. “I want to always be my son’s ‘father,’ which means more to me than just providing half the DNA code—but teaching him how to be a man, and how to live a trustworthy and meaningful life full of love for others, and confidence in himself,” says Jordan. The study didn’t measure ‘why’ this shift in dads’ parenting involvement is occurring, but Dr. Pruett has some theories, one of which involves the growing number of dual-career families. He says as more women started going back to work in the 1980s and ’90s, fathers had more opportunities to connect with their children and learn more about what it takes to be an emotional caregiver. And perhaps unsurprisingly, they liked it. Says Pruett, “we now know that fathers are going through hormonal changes before the birth of a child, so they’re being prepared physiologically, emotionally, and in a sensory way. But for a long time, men were not encouraged to speak up about how connected they were feeling to this little eight pound thing. Now, with

women going back to work, dads are becoming more engaged in family life.”

Gender roles That also includes crossing traditional gender roles within the household. Just ask Jeremy Anderson, a 35-year-old father of two boys from West Fargo, North Dakota, who says he and his wife equally share household chores like laundry and dishes. “I think that I not only have a responsibility to my children as a caregiver but also to my wife so she isn’t fried because she is taking care of our kids as well as working at her job.” Anderson calls it ‘tag-team’ parenting and marketers, advertisers, and public relations specialists are taking notice. Lisa Fisher, director of communications for Goddard Systems, Inc., says that’s one of the main reasons Goddard commissioned the study. Fisher says over the past dozen years, she has seen a marked increase in dads doing things like pick-ups and drop-offs, signing permission slips, attending dad’s day events and participating in choosing which school is best for their child. The study proved that dads place a high value on providing a good education for their kids and, as a result of that finding,

I want to always be my son’s ‘father,’ whIch means more to me than just provIdInG half the dna code.

— Craig Jordan

18 November 2011

Goddard is re-evaluating how it communicates with fathers. “That’s the key from a business perspective. We have to be considerate about also attracting dads. What we say in an ad, but also where we put an ad,” explains Fisher. For example, Goddard now advertises on sports talk radio stations whose majority demographic is men. “Dads know that they’re included in our marketing,” says Fisher. “They never would’ve heard about us before and now they do.” Pruett says that kind of acknowledgement and communication further validates the expanding role of fathers and can only serve to support dads’ efforts to balance the traditional role of provider with that of an emotional caregiver. Shawn Griego, a 35-year-old dad of two from Moorhead, Minnesota, says balancing that dual role is sometimes easier said than done. Griego says he loves finding ways to be more involved in his daughters’ lives (having their friends over is one way he accomplishes this) but his main goal as a father is to teach his two daughters responsibility and respect. “I want to let them learn from their mistakes. I’ll be there to correct the mistake, explain why and how to change it,” Griego says. “But I will also praise them on the hard work they do, even if it is small. I never want to forget that they’re new to this life.” Perhaps Randal Hand, a 32-year-old father of one from Baltimore, Maryland, describes this shifting fatherhood role best. “As a father, I hope my children know that I love them first and foremost. I also hope to be a mentor to my children, providing them with the skills necessary to navigate today’s society. I want my children to become kind, honest, and happy people, and I believe the best way to achieve this is to live the principles I value most. So, now that I’m a father, I have begun to further scrutinize my own actions and how my actions may be perceived by my children.” And there is little doubt Hand’s young son is watching him carefully to find out what it really takes to be a father ... and not just play one on TV. •

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Snow Day


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November 2011 19

l How physica s affection help e with disciplin

THE POWER 20 November 2011

Tussle Time Physical play promotes the release of positive brain chemicals and brings families closer together in a fun, physical way.Â

r of Touch By Kelly Bartlett

November 2011 21

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22 November 2011

parenting class, when one mother shared a moment from the previous week. “My daughter had a fit the other day when I told her it was time to get in the car.” Every head in the room nodded in recognition and understanding. Another dad said, “My son threw LEGOs at the TV because I told him to turn it off.” These types of exchanges are shared by the most well-meaning parents; and despite even the most positive parenting efforts, kids can get mad. Their immature brains do not have the capability to remain calm while working through challenging feelings. They “flip their lids” easily; the higher brain functions of the prefrontal cortex, such as logic and reasoning, are not fully able to communicate with the emotions felt in the middle brain. Not even close. It helps to understand what is going on in those young minds and bodies so that parents can know the best way to diffuse a

tough situation. Author of the Positive Discipline series, Dr. Jane Nelsen educates parents on non-punitive discipline. She advocates that punishments do not work, and they weaken the parent-child connection. Of the numerous positive disciplinary tools parents can use as an alternative to punishment, many are centered on the use of touch. Physical affection is as equally important to older children as it is to infants, and it has an effect on brain chemistry that is conducive to positive behavior. As Dr. Nelsen says, “children do better when they feel better.”

Be proactive You don’t need to wait for children to come to you for touches, hugs, whole-

body-scoops, and kisses. Being regularly physically affectionate with your kids—no matter what age—helps maintain the emotional connection they share with you. Margot Sunderland, author of The Science of Parenting, says, “as long as a child wants cuddles, parents should give them.” Parents should also find ways to keep physical affection alive as kids get older. This keeps the chain reaction of brain chemicals (opiods, oxytocin, seratonin) active and the parent-child bond strong. When that bond remains strong, challenging behavioral situations decrease and discipline becomes less intense overall. Some ways of being physically affectionate with kids on a regular basis include: Cuddles: With your younger children the

opportunity to get physically close presents itself frequently and naturally. Little ones need lots of picking up, holding, and hugging. As children grow and become more independent and social, opportunities for cuddling naturally diminish, and it becomes important for you to take extra effort to find ways to physically connect. Reading to your child on the couch or in bed is a wonderful way to get close, as it invites leaning into, lying on, snuggling, touching, and arm-wrapping. Even watching a TV show or movie together is a great occasion to sit close and connect. Physical play: As with other types of

touching, physical play also releases positive-behavior-promoting chemicals, such as opiods and serotonin, in the brain. When played on a regular basis, person-toperson contact games naturally inhibit children’s impulsiveness; kids are able to sit still longer and have an increase in focused attention. Games such as horsey rides, piggy back rides, wrestling, tag, or even Red Rover involve person-to-person contact, and they all promote the release of positive brain chemicals and bring families closer together in a fun, physical way. Touching base: You may intuitively touch base with your kids verbally; regularly asking them about their day, their friends, and their interests. But you should also

take time to touch base with your kids physically as well. This begins quite A place for early childhood environmental learning naturally when children are very young; they will instinctively take time to explore We offer part-day classes for children ages three to the world away from mom and dad, and five years old, with a then continually come back to the safety degreed staff experienced in early childhood and of a parent’s arms to touch base and nature education. physically reconnect. It is important to note that older children need this as well—time on their own to play and be independent, then a physical reconnection with mom or dad. It could be sitting close, 651.455.4555 leaning in the crook of an arm, or lying on a lap. It could mean having her hair stroked, or getting a foot rub or shoulder Dodge Nature Preschool MNP 1111 12.indd 1 10/12/11 massage, or just snuggling while reading together.

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Tickling: Tickling is not recommended as an effective means to positive physical play. Tickling, though it may be a customary way for parents to get kids to laugh, can be deceivingly hurtful. Patty Wipfler, parent educator and director of Volunteer with Junior Achievement. Hand in Hand Parenting, says, “The main You can empower young people thing that makes tickling problematic is to succeed in the global economy. that children may not be able to say when they want it to stop.” She explains that laughter is an automatic response to Junior Achievement MNP 2011 12 filler.indd 1 8/8/11 tickling, whether a child likes it or not, and tickling may be detrimental in the long run to the child’s acceptance of positive physical affection. Wipfler suggests that parents phase out tickling and transition their play into more tussling-type contact that allows children to be inventive and in charge. In the Heart of the Beast

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As helpful as positive discipline is as a In the Heart of the Beast MNP 2011 12 filler.indd 1 8/5/11 proactive measure, it is quite often needed as a reactive approach to discipline as well. Touching calms and reinforces the earn money, compete, emotional bond between parents and and lose weight! children. When children touch a calm parent in a loving way, the chemical balance within their brains begins to be AFTER reinstated; their “flipped lids” begin to close again. Human brains are equipped HOLLY LOST 108 LBS. BEFORE with mirror neurons, which are hardCall for dates & times wired to imitate the emotional state of the environment. It’s why laughter can be


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contagious, or why people feel sad or cry when they see others crying. Here are a few approaches to discipline that are based on physical affection: Hugs: Giving a child a hug when they’re


having an all-out screaming fit may not be the first thing that comes to a parent’s mind. Probably, more likely is the temptation to scream right along with them! But a warm, secure hug given during a moment of emotional chaos works miles in the right direction; physical contact from an adult’s mature body helps calm the immature one. Restoring the chemical balance in a child’s brain is the first step toward having a rational conversation or solving any problem together. Connected conversations: A huge part of

positive discipline is about listening for understanding. Effective listening involves showing empathy, validating a child’s feelings, and demonstrating active listening skills. Every day, parents have opportunities to communicate with their children and connect with them with words; to express an understanding of what they’re going through and what

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A warm, secure hug given during a moment of emotional chaos works miles in the right direction; physical contact from an adult’s mature body helps calm the immature one.

they’re feeling. Going one step beyond the verbal connection is adding the element of touch. Parents can make their words even more effective when they simply get down on their child’s level and hold hands. Similarly, a gentle hand placed on a child’s shoulder gives spoken words more impact. It nonverbally tells a child, “I’m here for you,” and brings a subtle addition of physical connection to everyday conversations. Quieting the senses: Some children may

become overly-stimulated by being touched too much or too irritatingly. Carol Stock Kranowitz, author of The Out of Sync Child, describes this “tactile defensiveness” as a trigger for frequent or intense melt-downs. For these children, it helps to have a quiet place to go to play or work without the risk of uninvited touching from overly-physical siblings or exuberant pets. For extra-sensitive children, some time alone does a world of good, until an understanding parent is able to reconnect with them with an appropriate touch or hug. Deep pressure: Consequently, there are certain types of activities that involve applying a sensation of deep pressure to

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Dr. Jane Nelson, author of the Positive Discipline series, educates parents on non-punitive discipline.

the body and are very physically stimulating. For some kids, this is a welcome sensation and helps to relax an overly excited mind. For many people (children as well as adults), a deep tissue massage is pleasant as an ultimate stress reliever. Other, unconventional ways of delivering extra pressure and sensation to soothe children’s frayed nerves may include ball pits, enveloping bean bag chairs, or weighted blankets or vests. Some kids even like to be rolled and unrolled in and out of rugs because of the even pressure that swaddles their bodies. When children receive the sensory input they crave, their minds and bodies are better able to communicate effectively. So if a child hurls LEGOs at the TV or throws a fit when it’s time to get in the car, it’s nothing personal. It’s all about brain chemistry and emotional connection. And when that physical affection is combined with positive discipline strategies, parenting takes on a new level of effectiveness. Parents and kids are able to communicate nonverbally as well as verbally, enhancing their interaction and strengthening their relationship through even the toughest of times. •

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November 2011 25

DVD roundup By Kathleen Stoehr

Gift giving season is upon us…or maybe you just want to buy a few discs to keep the kids occupied while Thanksgiving dinner is being prepped or digested. Here’s a look at a few recent releases to please a variety of ages.

Strawberry Shortcake: Growing Up Dreams Strawberry Shortcake and her friends can’t wait to grow up, and they wonder what they’ll become some day. Imaginations soar and the friends see what it’s like to be busy in a career. But when Peppermint Fizz becomes Mayor and gets berry, berry THREES bossy, the girls learn WORD about getting along, Chatty l olorfu c working together, and sparkly believing in dreams. Cartoon, 44 minutes, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

Planet Earth, Special Edition This 2007 blockbuster series looks more beautiful than ever thanks to new advances in HD technology. THREE Showcasing Earth through a fresh, new WORD S Stunnin lens, Planet Earth g educa tio celebrates the spectacbeautif nal ul ular diversity of our planet, revealing the vast as well as the intimate—from the highest mountains to the deepest oceans. Bonus episodes and video diaries also included.

Part boy, part ghost, 14-year-old Danny Fenton (Phantom) is a regular boy but also part ghost, due to an exploration gone awry in his parents’ Ghost Portal. Unpopular but good natured, he lives with his strange, ghost hunting parents and his older sister, Jasmine, who THREDES WOR reads books like Gooey Surviving Adolescence busy fun Through Therapy. Now a ghost hunter/eradicator, he fights lunch lady ghosts unhappy with school menu changes and haunted shaving implements bought at garage sales. Catchy theme song, yo. Cartoon, 300+ minutes, Nickelodeon

Six discs with 11 regular episodes, plus 6.5 hours of bonus content and 110 minutes of video diaries, BBC Earth

Adventure Time Nielsen Media Research places this new cartoon in a demographic for boys aged 2 to 11, but its appeal is wide ranging and its quirkiness places it in the “must watch” THREES column for teens of both sexes. The DVD WORD contains a collection of 12 episodes, each just 10 Edgy quirky minutes long, headlined by the “My Two Favorite silly People” episode. Follow unlikely heroes, buddies Finn and Jake, as they traverse the mystical Land of Ooo and encounter its bizarre characters in need of unique assistance. Minnesota Parent suggests ages 10 and up. Cartoon, 12 episodes, 120 minutes + special feature, Cartoon Network

26 November 2011

Danny Phantom, Season 1

Marley & Me, The Puppy Years It’s tail-wagging fun when Marley returns—and unlike the original movie, in this THREDES one, Marley speaks! With OR W a frisky voice and an Sweet attitude to match, the funny furry mischievous Marley and his summer pal, Bodi, wreak havoc on a neighborhood dog contest. Mild rude humor, but our tester says his kids, both under age 10, loved it. Live action, 86 minutes, 20th Century Fox

The creative process Touch art, build robots, and write what’s in your heart By Katharina Gadow

Guido’s Great Coloring and Drawing Book By Guido van Genechten Clavis Books, $16.95 Ages 7 and up

Find King Henry’s Treasure By Julie Appel and Amy Guglielmo Sterling Publishing, $12.95 Ages 4 to 6

Do you abide by the “do not touch” rule at museums? Well, grab this book and touch away! With famous paintings and portraits from all around the world, including Portrait of Henry VIII, Las Meninas, and St. George Struggling with the Dragon, you and your family can learn about the history of the painting while little pieces of the painting are enhanced, just for touching pleasure! Don’t neglect reading the accompanying tale full of brave knights, scary dragons, stolen treasure, and royalty!

If your young ones are Guido van Genechten fans and want to be just like him when they grow up, rest assured, you have found the perfect book! More than just your average coloring book, Guido has pulled out all the stops, filling the book with pictures, ideas to finish, items to trace, challenges, prompts, and places to let your children draw on their own. Some assignments are harder then others, but all guarantee discovering the artist within.

The Robot Book Created by Heather Brown Accord Publishing, $16.99 Ages 3 and up

How does one even begin to build a robot? What does a robot need? Nuts, bolts, gears, legs, arms, and eyes seem pretty important, but what else? This interactive book with working and moving parts explores these questions and more, turning any little one into a full-fledged engineer. Follow the story, play with the parts and build the robot.

Count Monet’s Lilies By Julie Appel and Amy Guglielmo Sterling Publishing, $12.95 Ages 4 to 6

A new addition to the Touch the Art series, Count Monet’s Lilies was concocted to introduce kids to fine, world-renowned art. Kids can touch, tug, snap, and pull their way through Cézanne’s Still Life with Apples, Monet’s White Waterlilies, Rousseau’s Woman Walking in an Exotic Forest, and van Gogh’s Fishing Boats on the Beach. Turn the pages to learn more about the famous art or to read the fun narrative that weaves its way through the book.

Diary of a Minnesota Kid Artwork by Cyd Moore Sleeping Bear Press, $9.95 For all ages

Kids can reveal the writer and artist in them with this interactive journal. There is plenty of space to record memories, thoughts, and adventures, and helpful prompts are available, just in case writer’s block rears its ugly head! Designed to encourage the creative process, this journal also offers children a way to connect to all things Minnesota with state facts, history, and landmarks.

November 2011 27


Nov. 18 - Dec. 26

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WORLD PREMIERE! Peef the Christmas Bear was created from scraps of material provided by Santa’s elves. After a wonderful beginning to his life at the North Pole, Santa asked Peef to become a special gift to a lonely child. Peef, of course, said yes. Now Santa visits Peef to see how things are going for his creation. What he finds is not what he expects: a torn, dirty toy who has lost his voice. What is Santa to do now?


WORLD PREMIERE! When Baby Llama faces bedtime, concerns arise. Is Mama still here? Will she come back if Llama calls? If Llama calls and she doesn’t return, what then? Can this crisis be averted? Based on the first of the extremely popular Llama Llama series written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney.

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Out About Through December 4

A Wrinkle in Time ÎÎTheÎ1962ÎbestÎsellingÎnovelÎbyÎMadeleineÎ L’EngleÎhasÎbeenÎadaptedÎforÎtheÎstage,Î takingÎaudiencesÎonÎaÎjourneyÎthroughÎ spaceÎandÎtime—aÎjourneyÎfilledÎwithÎ mystery,Îdanger,Îadventure,ÎandÎsurprise.Î ThisÎclassicÎtaleÎofÎsiblingsÎlookingÎforÎtheirÎ missingÎfatherÎhasÎcaptivatedÎreadersÎforÎ decades;Îit’sÎsuchÎaÎtreatÎtoÎseeÎtheÎbookÎ comeÎtoÎlifeÎinÎsuchÎaÎsatisfyingÎway. When:ÎNowÎthroughÎDecemberÎ4 Where:ÎChildren’sÎTheatreÎCompany,Î Minneapolis Cost:Î$16ÎtoÎ$30,Î17ÎandÎunder,ÎstudentsÎ andÎseniors;Î$26ÎtoÎ$40,Îadults Info:Îchildrenstheatre.orgÎorÎ 612-874-0400

November 19 & 20

2011 Minneapolis Kennel Club Dog Show ÎÎTheÎshowÎattractsÎoverÎ1,200ÎdogsÎinÎall-breedÎconformationÎcompetitionÎandÎjuniorÎ showmanship.ÎParticipatingÎdogsÎwillÎcomeÎfromÎallÎofÎtheÎAmericanÎKennelÎClub’sÎ recognizedÎgroups:Îsporting,Îhound,Îworking,Îterrier,Îtoy,Înon-sporting,ÎandÎherding. When:Î9:00Îa.m.ÎtoÎ4:00Îp.m.ÎSaturday;Î8:00Îa.m.ÎtoÎ4:00Îp.m.ÎSunday Where:ÎCanterburyÎPark,ÎShakopee Cost:Î12ÎandÎunderÎFREE;Î62ÎandÎolderÎ$4;ÎallÎothersÎ$8 Photo courtesy of MinneaPolis Kennel club


November 2011 29

Out About OngOing ikebana Show ÎÎDiscoverÎtheÎartÎofÎJapaneseÎflowerÎ arrangingÎatÎaÎuniqueÎshowÎinÎtheÎBonsaiÎ GalleryÎatÎComoÎParkÎConservatory. When:ÎNovemberÎ7ÎtoÎ13 Where:ÎComoÎParkÎZooÎ&ÎConservatory,Î St.ÎPaul Cost:ÎFREE Info:ÎÎ orÎ651-487-8201

A Silent night for Peef ÎÎPeefÎtheÎChristmasÎBearÎwasÎcreatedÎ fromÎscrapsÎofÎmaterialÎprovidedÎbyÎSanta’sÎ elves.ÎAfterÎaÎwonderfulÎbeginningÎtoÎhisÎ lifeÎatÎtheÎNorthÎPole,ÎSantaÎaskedÎPeefÎ toÎbecomeÎaÎspecialÎgiftÎtoÎaÎlonelyÎchild.Î Peef,ÎofÎcourse,ÎsaidÎyes.ÎNowÎSantaÎvisitsÎ PeefÎtoÎseeÎhowÎthingsÎareÎgoingÎforÎhisÎ creation.ÎWhatÎheÎfindsÎisÎnotÎwhatÎheÎ expects:ÎaÎtorn,ÎdirtyÎtoyÎwhoÎhasÎlostÎhisÎ voice.ÎWhatÎisÎSantaÎtoÎdoÎnow?ÎThisÎworldÎ premiereÎisÎforÎallÎages. When:ÎNovemberÎ18ÎtoÎDecemberÎ26 Where:ÎStagesÎTheatre,ÎHopkins Cost:ÎPricesÎvary,ÎfromÎFREEÎlapÎpassesÎ toÎtheÎtopÎpriceÎofÎ$15ÎforÎÎageÎ18ÎtoÎ59 Info:Îstagestheatre.orgÎorÎ952-979-1111

About the CAlendAr Minnesota ParentÎwelcomesÎ informationÎaboutÎeventsÎforÎfamiliesÎ throughoutÎtheÎstateÎofÎMinnesota.Î CalendarÎlistingsÎareÎFREEÎandÎcanÎ beÎsubmittedÎonlineÎatÎmnpubs. com;ÎclickÎonÎEventsÎ>ÎSubmitÎanÎ event.ÎYouÎcanÎsubmitÎaÎlistingÎatÎanyÎ time,ÎbutÎtheÎdeadlineÎforÎpossibleÎ inclusionÎinÎtheÎprintÎpublicationÎ isÎsixÎweeksÎpriorÎtoÎtheÎmonthÎofÎ publication.Î(ForÎexample,ÎJuneÎ15ÎforÎ theÎAugustÎissue.) AllÎeventsÎareÎsubjectÎtoÎchange.ÎÎ BeÎcertainÎtoÎcheckÎwithÎtheÎeventÎ sponsorÎeitherÎbyÎvisitingÎtheÎwebsiteÎÎ orÎcalling,ÎtoÎensureÎtheÎfeaturedÎ eventÎisÎstillÎviable. EventsÎtakingÎplaceÎforÎmoreÎ thanÎoneÎweekendÎinÎlengthÎwillÎbeÎ listedÎinÎourΓOngoing”Îarea,ÎspaceÎ permitting.

30 November 2011

Making Spirits Bright

Book nook Story Time

ÎÎTheÎArboretumÎisÎcelebratingÎtheÎ holidayÎseasonÎwithÎfestiveÎdisplaysÎandÎ programs.ÎTourÎthroughÎtheÎLandÎofÎ Gingerbread,ÎtheÎGreatÎHallÎofÎTrees,ÎorÎ WindowsÎonÎWinter,ÎandÎenjoyÎliveÎmusicÎ onÎweekendÎafternoons.ÎThereÎareÎalsoÎ hotÎchocolateÎwalks,ÎgourmetÎdinners,Î andÎmore.

ÎÎAvailableÎatÎallÎCreativeÎKidstuffÎStores.Î BringÎyourÎlittleÎoneÎinÎeveryÎThursdayÎ morningÎfromÎ10:00Îa.m.ÎtoÎ11:00Îa.m.ÎtoÎhearÎ storiesÎfromÎyourÎfavoriteÎpreschoolÎbooks.Î

When:ÎNovemberÎ26ÎthroughÎ DecemberÎ31 Where:ÎMinnesotaÎLandscapeÎ Arboretum,ÎChanhassen Cost:Î$9ÎforÎnonmembers,ÎFREEÎforÎ membersÎandÎchildrenÎunderÎ16 Info:Îarboretum.umn.eduÎorÎ 952-443-1400

Rollerblade at the Rollerdome ÎÎThroughoutÎtheÎwinterÎtheÎupperÎandÎ lowerÎconcoursesÎofÎtheÎMetrodomeÎ becomeÎtheÎRollerbladeÎRollerdome,Î annuallyÎhostingÎthousandsÎofÎinlineÎ skatersÎwhoÎcomeÎtoÎrelax,Îexercise,Î train,Îsocialize,ÎorÎjustÎwatchÎothersÎturnÎ endlessÎeffortlessÎlapsÎonÎtheÎroughlyÎ half-mileÎsmoothÎconcreteÎloop.ÎParkÎyourÎ carÎinÎtheÎfreeÎlotÎadjacentÎtoÎGateÎDÎandÎ enterÎtheÎrevolvingÎdoors.Î When:Î5:00ÎtoÎ9:00,ÎvariousÎeveningsÎ throughÎMarchÎandÎsomeÎweekendÎ daysÎfromÎ2:00ÎtoÎ6:00 Where:ÎMetrodome,ÎMinneapolis Cost:ÎPre-teensÎ&ÎseniorsÎ$4.50;ÎStudentsÎ $5.50;ÎAdultsÎ$6.50;ÎskateÎrentalÎ$5.00.Î SeasonÎpassesÎalsoÎavailable Info:Îroller-dome.comÎorÎ612-825-3663

Holiday Lights in the Park ÎÎVisitorsÎwillÎexperienceÎmoreÎthanÎÎ 50Îlarger-than-lifeÎholidayÎlightÎsculpturesÎ andÎanimatedÎdisplaysÎasÎtheyÎdriveÎ throughÎSt.ÎPaul’sÎbeautifulÎPhalenÎParkÎinÎ theÎeveningÎhours. When:ÎNovemberÎ22ÎthroughÎJanuaryÎ1Î fromÎ5:30Îp.m.ÎtoÎ10:00Îp.m.Înightly Where:ÎPhalenÎPark,ÎSt.ÎPaul Cost:ÎFREE Info:Î

When:ÎOngoing Where:ÎCreativeÎKidstuffÎlocations Cost:ÎFREE Info:Î

Caboose Ride ÎÎTakeÎaÎcabooseÎrideÎfromÎTheÎGreatÎ NorthernÎRailway’sÎhistoricÎJacksonÎStreetÎ RoundhouseÎinÎSt.ÎPaul,ÎaÎformerÎsteamÎ engineÎmaintenanceÎfacility.ÎTravelÎthroughÎ theÎpastÎwithÎhistoricÎtrainÎrides,ÎexhibitsÎ featuringÎlocalÎandÎregionalÎrailwayÎhistory,Î anÎoperatingÎroundhouseÎturntable,ÎandÎ vintageÎsteamÎengineÎrestorations.Î When:ÎWednesdaysÎandÎSaturdaysÎ year-round Where:ÎSt.ÎPaul Cost:Î$5ÎtoÎ$10,ÎdependingÎuponÎday Info:Îtrainride.orgÎorÎ651-228-0263

4 FRidAy The Learning Fairy ÎÎOpenÎEyeÎFigureÎTheatreÎblendsÎchild’sÎ playÎwithÎrockÎandÎroll,ÎsprinklingÎinÎpuppetryÎ andÎsomeÎoldÎschoolÎtheaterÎmagicÎtoÎcreateÎ modernÎdayÎfunÎforÎallÎages.ÎTheÎLearningÎ FairyÎextolsÎtheÎjoyÎofÎplayingÎoutside,ÎbeingÎ goodÎtoÎyourselfÎandÎyourÎcommunity,ÎandÎ celebratingÎwhatÎmakesÎusÎdifferent. When:Î7:30Îp.m. Where:ÎOpenÎEyeÎFigureÎTheatre,Î Minneapolis Cost:Î$8Îchildren;Î$12Îstudents;Î$15Î adultsÎplusΓpayÎasÎable”Îoption Info:Îopeneyetheatre.orgÎorÎ612-874-6338

5 SATuRdAy Free 1st Saturdays at the Walker Art Center ÎÎTheÎWalkerÎArtÎCenterÎisÎaÎcatalystÎforÎ theÎcreativeÎexpressionÎofÎartistsÎandÎtheÎ activeÎengagementÎofÎaudiences.ÎFocusingÎ onÎtheÎvisual,Îperforming,ÎandÎmediaÎartsÎ ofÎourÎtime,ÎtheÎWalkerÎtakesÎaÎglobal,Î

Now enrolling for 2011-2012! multidisciplinary, and diverse approach to the creation, presentation, interpretation, collection, and preservation of art. Walker programs examine the questions that shape and inspire us as individuals, cultures, and communities. When: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Where: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Cost: FREE Info: or 612-375-7600

BlueSky is a Minnesota online high school serving students in grades 7-12

All About Dogs Day

• Flexibility is the #1 thing students like best about BlueSky

Î Celebrate your canine friend with a walk on Three-Mile Drive at the Arboretum! A Pet Expo, goodie bags, and more!

• Unique student support model assigns 3-person teams to every student

When: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Where: Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Cost: $25 per dog (plus one human) Info: or 952-443-1400

Saturday Live! Schiffelly Puppets present The Little Mermaid Î A mystery under the sea? Something smells fishy to me. Join Ariel, King Triton and other underwater friends as they try and teach the evil Ursula a lesson about bullying. Enjoy this family friendly parody of the classic tale filled with humor and plenty of audience participation. When: 11:15 a.m. to noon Where: St. Paul Public Library, Central Library Cost: FREE Info: or 651-266-7034

• Certified teachers and staff offer more contact and 1-on-1 help than other online programs • Accredited Aventa-based curriculum offers rigor and meets all MN state requirements

To request information go to, call 651.642.0888 or email BlueSky Charter School MNP 0911 S3.indd 1

8/4/11 2:35 PM

ATTENTION WOMEN 21-32: Would you like to be an egg donor?

Accredited by: Diplomats of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies, American College of OB/GYNs and Association for Reproductive Medicine.

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Mount Olivet Holiday Bazaar & Art Fair Î Mount Olivet’s Annual Holiday Bazaar and Art Fair features a variety of wonderfully handcrafted items, delicious baked goods and food products, holiday decorations, pottery, Scandinavian gifts, textiles, jewelry, doll and baby clothes and much more. Continental breakfast and lunch served. When: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Where: Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, Minneapolis Cost: FREE parking and admission Info: or 612-926-7651

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November 2011 31

Out About

She’s my biggest investment.

That’s why I depend on NARI.

Visit or call 612-332-6274 to find a NARI-certified professional for your next remodeling project or to become a NARI member. The NARI logo is a registered trademark of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. ©2008 NARI of Minnesota.

6/28/11? 1:07 PM Pregnant or considering a pregnancy

NARI NewMNP 2011 NR5 12.indd 1

Help us learn how where we live – from the air we breathe to the water we drink – impacts the health of our community’s children. The National Children’s Study at the University of Minnesota is seeking women who are  between the ages of 18-49  pregnant or considering pregnancy  living in Ramsey County

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10/6/2011 2:52:41 PM

Chance to

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ÎÎEnjoyÎaÎreadingÎandÎbookÎsigningÎbyÎ authorÎJohnÎCoy,ÎtheÎauthorÎofÎawardwinningÎpictureÎbooksÎNight Driving,ÎStrong to the Hoop,ÎVroomaloom Zoom,ÎandÎTwo Old Potatoes and Me.ÎHisÎ4ÎforÎ4Îseries,Î forÎmiddleÎschoolÎreaders,ÎexploresÎtheÎ importanceÎofÎteamwork,ÎfriendshipÎandÎ beingÎopenÎtoÎchangeÎbothÎonÎandÎoffÎtheÎ field.ÎBooksÎwillÎbeÎavailableÎforÎpurchaseÎatÎ theÎeventÎandÎ20%ÎofÎproceedsÎwillÎbenefitÎ literacyÎprogramsÎatÎtheÎYWCAÎSt.ÎPaul. When:Î10:00Îa.m.ÎtoÎnoon Where:ÎYWCA,ÎSelbyÎAvenue,ÎSt.ÎPaul Cost:ÎFREE Info:Î

Harvest Tales ÎÎWhenÎitÎcomesÎtoÎharvesting,ÎeveryoneÎ hasÎaÎstory.ÎComeÎenjoyÎhilariousÎtalesÎ whisperedÎallÎoverÎtheÎfieldÎbyÎJerryÎBlue,Î well-knownÎlocalÎstorytellerÎandÎlibrarian.Î ForÎkindergartenÎthroughÎgradeÎ6. When:Î2:00Îp.m. Where:ÎAugsburgÎParkÎLibrary,ÎRichfield Cost:ÎFREE Info:Îhclib.orgÎorÎ612-543-6200


Alice in Wonderland To EnTEr: Like Minnesota Parent on Facebook by January 20th •

32 November 2011

Lutsen Mountains MNP 1111 V6.indd 1

ÎÎAÎreadingÎofÎtheÎstoryÎwithÎspecialÎsongÎ andÎdanceÎperformanceÎbyÎcostumedcharactersÎfromÎtheÎlocalÎtheaterÎgroupÎ MixedÎPerception.ÎAfterÎstoryÎtime,ÎmoveÎ upÎtoÎtheÎsecondÎfloorÎtoÎdecorateÎyourÎ ownΓAliceÎinÎWonderland”ÎcharacterÎ

10/18/11 5:55 PM

cookie.ÎForÎagesÎpreschoolÎtoÎgradeÎ2. When:Î10:30Îa.m. Where:ÎMinneapolisÎCentralÎLibrary Cost:ÎFREE Info:Îhclib.orgÎorÎ612-543-8000

Paws to Read ÎÎCertifiedÎvolunteersÎwillÎhelpÎputÎyoungÎ readersÎatÎeaseÎsoÎtheyÎcanÎcuddleÎupÎwithÎ aÎdogÎorÎotherÎanimalÎandÎpracticeÎreadingÎ aloud.ÎCallÎaheadÎtoÎfindÎoutÎwhatÎtypesÎ ofÎanimalsÎwillÎbeÎvisiting.ÎForÎgradesÎ kindergartenÎtoÎ6. When:Î12:30ÎtoÎ2:00Îp.m. Where:ÎWayzataÎLibrary,ÎWayzata Cost:ÎFREE Info:Îhclib.orgÎorÎ612-543-6150

The Learning Fairy ÎÎSeeÎdescription,ÎFriday,ÎNovemberÎ4 When:Î11:00Îa.m.ÎandÎ7:30Îp.m.

6 SundAy Fidgety Fairy Tales Festival ÎÎFidgetyÎFairyÎTalesΖÎtheÎMentalÎHealthÎ MusicalsÎreimagineÎfamiliarÎfairyÎtalesÎsuchÎ asÎLittleÎRedÎRidingÎHoodÎandÎGoldilocks,Î toÎshowÎpositiveÎportrayalsÎofÎmentalÎ healthÎdisordersÎandÎtoÎraiseÎawarenessÎ aboutÎmentalÎhealth.ÎTheÎhour-longÎoriginalÎ

Chateau LeVeaux on Lake Superior

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musical theatre productions are performed by talented casts of 9-18 year olds both with and without mental health disorders.

• Daily and Weekly Rentals • Only 6 miles to Lutsen • Indoor Pool • Love Skiing? Check Out Our Ski and Stay Packages!

When: Shows are at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Where: Minnesota Children’s Museum, St. Paul Cost: FREE Info: or 651-268-1238

The Learning Fairy Î See description, Friday, November 4

Ski at Lutsen Mountains, stay at Chateau LeVeaux and get a discount on both!

Call us at 1-800-445-5773 or visit our website Chateau Leveaux MNP 1111 H6.indd 1

10/14/11 1:57 PM

An active kid...

Minnesota Valley Gymnastics offers progressive and competitive gymnastics classes for girls and boys, preschool through high school.

When: 4:00 p.m.

12 SaTurday Saturday Live! The Okee dokee Brothers Î The Brothers are back at Central Library! The Okee Dokee Brothers engage children with “Music Edu-tainment.” Every child will be involved through audience participation, instrument recognition, music appreciation, and a myriad of other interactive songs and activities. Come and join the fun! When: 11:15 a.m. to noon Where: St. Paul Public Library, Central Library Cost: FREE Info: or 651-266-7034

is a happy kid!

Bring in this ad and receive $10.00 off your registration fee! Session II runs November 1-December 26. Reserve your spot today!

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Î Certified volunteers will help put young readers at ease so they can cuddle up with a dog or other animal and practice reading aloud. Call ahead to find out what types of animals will be visiting. For grades kindergarten to 6.

15 TueSday Jan Brett Book Signing Î Beloved children’s author/illustrator Jan Brett will be doing a presentation

10/20/11 10:19 AM


Paws to read

When: 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. Where: Sumner Library, Minneapolis Cost: FREE Info: or 612-543-6875

8103 West 126th Street Savage, MN • 952-746-5222

includes fees




DEC 13 - JAN 1 l 651.224.4222 November 2011 33

When: 7:30 p.m. Where: Park Square Theatre, St. Paul Cost: $38 & $58 with discounted tickets also available Info: or 651-291-9196

18 Friday Of Mice and Men Î See description, Thursday, November 17 When: 7:30 p.m.

19 saTurday saturday Live! Magician Matt dunn OF MiCe and Men

and signing for her new books, Home for Christmas and The Night Before Christmas. There will also be Hedgie hedgehog for photos with kids, and a Swedish Christmas marketplace in the foyer area, with stations for making Swedish heart ornaments, sampling Christmas cookies, etc. (This will keep the little ones busy during the book signing process.) When: 5:00 p.m. Where: The Book Case at Wayzata Community Church Cost: $5 per person or $15 per family, fully redeemable toward the purchase of Brett’s books Info: or 952-473-8341

17 Thursday Of Mice and Men Î Travel with John Steinbeck’s George and Lennie, two of the most unforgettable characters in American literature, through this beautiful tale of friendship, loneliness, and the longing for home. Bound by a promise George made to care for the developmentally disabled Lennie, these oddly matched friends scratch out a living as farm hands during the Great Depression by traveling from ranch to ranch. Recommended grade level is 7 to 12. Publicized morning matinee performances on other dates are for school groups only, at a reduced rate.

34 November 2011

Î Join Matt Dunn for a special show filled with 40 minutes of out-of-thisworld magic that children and adults go wild over. Audience participation is a major part of the show as is everyone’s favorite rabbit, Houdini. When: 11:15 a.m. to noon Where: St. Paul Public Library, Central Library Cost: FREE Info: or 651-266-7034

holiday Fair Î Get your holiday shopping done early. This is a multi-level shopping extravaganza. There will be several vendors to shop with, great discounts, a DJ, door prizes, and more. Most vendors will have items for cash and carry or will guarantee items will arrive just in time for the holidays. The event will also be collecting items for the Boys and Girls Club. When: Noon to 4:00 p.m. Where: Uptown VFW, Minneapolis Cost: FREE Info: goldenkeyevent or 763-228-9314

read to a dog Î Certified volunteers will help put young readers at ease so they can cuddle up with a dog and practice reading aloud. For grades kindergarten through 6. When: 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Where: Nokomis Library, Minneapolis Cost: FREE Info: or 612-543-6800

20 sunday Target Free 3rd sundays at the Minnesota Children’s Museum Î Thanks to the generosity of Target Corporation, visitors can roam the Museum free of charge every third Sunday of each month. Due to the number of visitors on Target Free 3rd Sundays, MCM suggests leaving strollers at home or in the car. When: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Where: Minnesota Children’s Museum Cost: FREE Info:

Of Mice and Men Î See description, Thursday, November 17 When: 2:00 p.m.

25 Friday holiday stroll Î Kick off the season in Red Wing and enjoy the Holiday Stroll. A pancake breakfast ignites the day as area merchants welcome holiday shoppers. Evening festivities begin at 6:00 p.m. Activities include a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, a live nativity scene, chili sampling, St. Brigid’s Festival of Trees at the St. James Hotel, Santa’s Reindeer and horse drawn wagon rides. The lighting of a 50 foot tree outside of City Hall will complement the lighted parade, followed by fireworks from the bluffs. When: 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Where: Red Wing Cost: FREE Info: or 651-385-5934

26 saTurday saturday Live! Minnesota Zoomobile Î Zoomobile Naturalists use live animals, biological artifacts, theater techniques, story telling, and audience participation to create a dynamic, personal, and fun program for all ages. When: 11:15 a.m. to noon Where: St. Paul Public Library, Central Library Cost: FREE Info: or 651-266-7034

childcare/education 35 • home 35 party pages 36-37 • retail 37

• miscellaneous 36 • new & expecting moms 36

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Miscellaneous ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

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36 November 2011

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November 10/7/11 2011 37 11:29 AM

“Now, I always try to think, ‘If you have enough time to complain, you don’t have anything to complain about.’”

this. Now, I always try to think, “If you have enough time to complain, you don’t have anything to complain about.” As soon as Josh woke up from surgery, my number one job was to make him happy. You were blogging a few hours after Josh’s death. Was that helpful to you?

Part of it was getting out what I was feeling inside, and part of it was feeling the need to remember what was happening. I was able to tell everyone in our life what happened without having to share the story over and over. I felt everyone around me while I was writing, and that was very comforting. Tell me about Dinosaur Days.

real MoM

Therese Tennessen Therese Tennessen and husband Gordon Weil lost their son Josh in 2003 to cancer when he was three years old. The pair now savors every day with Grace, who just started kindergarten, and Danny, who the couple adopted from Guatemala. Therese learns about parenting from younger mothers while giving back to Children’s Hospital, which was with the family throughout Josh’s treatment. — Alyson Cummings

38 November 2011

Q&a Tell me about what got you through Josh’s sickness and eventual death.

Children’s Hospital has an incredible support system. I remember telling friends that I couldn’t go through it, and I can’t do

Josh was big on dinosaurs and trains. We give out little dinosaur trinkets and treat bags, one for each kid staying in the hospital and one for each sibling, because they sometimes feel left out. It gets bigger and bigger each year, and Trader Joe’s started donating cupcakes. We also host a get-together the Sunday before the anniversary of his death, which is December 13. We have food and share memories and invite just about everyone we know to celebrate the time we had with Josh. His death was just one day of his life. The rest were full of joy and that’s what he left with us. Tell me about being a Midlife Mama.

I’m tired all the time. I’m sure I’m the oldest kindergarten mom. I’ve learned a lot from mothers who are young enough to be my children. It’s a little isolating, but I do have a good group of friends who are 10 to 15 years younger than me. I think about starting a Midlife Mama group, where we could hang out and take a nap before we go home. Real Life is an opinion page and not necessarily the opinion of this magazine. Want to tell us a little bit about your life? Email

Treasure today. Plan for tomorrow. The Minnesota College Savings Plan can help. Saving for a college education may seem overwhelming, but it is attainable. The Minnesota College Savings Plan makes it easy to start and simple to save. Affordable to start: A contribution to an account can be made with as little as $25 in any investment option. Tax advantages can help: Account earnings can grow free from Minnesota and federal income tax if used for qualified college expenses. Flexible to use: The account can be used to pay for tuition, fees, books, required supplies, and certain room and board costs. A great gift: Friends and family can contribute, too. Start saving for their tomorrows by opening a Minnesota College Savings Plan account today.

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Consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing in the Minnesota College Savings Plan. Please visit for a Disclosure Booklet containing this and other information. Read it carefully. Account value in the investment options is not guaranteed and will fluctuate based upon a number of factors, including general market conditions. Before investing in a 529 plan, you should consider whether the state you or your designated beneficiary reside in or have taxable income in has a 529 plan offering favorable state income tax or other benefits only available if you invest in that state’s 529 plan. The tax information contained herein is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties. It was written to support the promotion of the Minnesota College Savings Plan. Taxpayers should seek advice based on their own particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor. TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc., Plan Manager. C51561

November 2011 39


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November 2011  
November 2011