Page 1

January 2012

Diapering 101 {page 16}

Don’t lose sleep over sleepovers {page 10}

Fight less, love more {page 12}

BABy (BuSineSS) Boom {page 20}

ne PuL W! CAL Lout end Ar {p

Growing businesses for your growing family

Camp & education resources

age 24}

{page 29}



{20} minnesota’s baby (business) boom Minnesota businesses respond to the Better Birth movement By Julie Kendrick

Departments {8}



it’s my party


Two is for Toy Story

tween scene Slumber parties neW CoLUMn!


fight less, love more A new relationship column by author Laurie Puhn


Book shelf

Budgeting for a baby

Books for babies and toddlers

{15} hot stuff Great options for new parents 4 January 2012


Grows on trees

{46} real life Julie Lynn White Bear-Ortiz

{16} diapering 101 A plethora of diapering options, explained By Julie PďŹ tzinger

Calendar A neW PULLoUTr For YoU FrIdGe!

{24} out & about on the cover Jaimie and Matt Huntress, of Andover, hold new baby Bennett. Photo by Jessica Person, First Day Photo

January 2012 5

from the editor

Use your words


ne of the best parts of my job is occasionally being able to assign myself the task of writing the Book Shelf department. I get to grab a stack of books I’ve received related to one topic or the other, give them a careful read, and decide which should be featured in print. Due to page 74 and 75 of The World According to Toddlers (full review begins on our page 42), I found myself choking back giggles in an attempt to appear like any other normal employee at a publishing company. In this particular selection, found in the chapter “Use Your Words,” only an exploding backyard with lots of hot, shooting lava will elicit an “uh oh” out of a toddler. Most often, toddlers will just study various catastrophes with great interest, and then go about their business. I think the authors must have been hiding in my living room, observing the day my daughter and her playmate knocked a glass of milk over, and then sat there studying the escalating mess as it gushed onto the floor. The expressions on their faces were so…benign; their sense of urgency in taking care of the mess so…lacking. I also love how the authors mention that should a pack of wild coyotes run through your house, you might find yourself yelling in full panic mode, “What the xx—!?!“ while your toddler will merely say, “Doggy.” Kids are so great. If you have them already, I’m sure you have many stories about the ways your child has embarrassed you, ruined your clothing, thrown temper tantrums, and charmed you to pieces—perhaps all within the same day, too. And if you are sitting in your doctor’s office reading this publication with baby on board (so to speak), this is a good issue for you because we have a terrific feature by Julie Kendrick on all of the great maternity and post birth services available to make your new life go swimmingly. Plus, you will find an article on myriad possibilities for diapering. I am well past that phase with my daughter, but I found the findings fascinating. And wait until you read about the newest form of potty training (you can start it with babies just weeks old, even): elimination communication. Intriguing! Happy New Year to all of you from Minnesota Parent!

Kathleen Stoehr Editor

6 January 2012

Vol. 27, Issue 1 Co-Publishers Janis Hall Terry Gahan General Manager Chris Damlo 612-436-4376 • Editor Kathleen Stoehr Contributing Writers/Photographers Alyson Cummings Julie Kendrick Kara McGuire Julie Pfitzinger Laurie Puhn Joy Riggs Production Manager Dana Croatt Senior Graphic Designer Valerie Moe Graphic Designer Amanda Wadeson Sales Manager Melissa Ungerman Levy 612-436-4382 • Sales Administrator Kate Manson 612-436-5085 • Marketing & Events Coordinator Amanda Riley 612-436-5070 • Circulation Marlo Johnson 612-436-4388 • Classified Advertising 612-825-9205 • Printing Brown Printing

52,500 copies of Minnesota Parent printed monthly, available at news stands statewide. Get Minnesota Parent mailed to your home for just $12 a year. Call 612-825-9205 for more information. Minnesota Parent (ISSN 0740 3437) is published monthly by Minnesota Premier Publications. POSTMASTER send address changes to: MINNESOTA PARENT, 1115 Hennepin Avenue S. Minneapolis, MN 55403. Minnesota Parent is copyright 2011 by Minnesota Premier Publications. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. Address all material to address above.

January 2012 7

Local scholarship competition You know your kid is one-of-a-kind and now is your chance to prove it. Through March 21, parents and educators are encouraged to submit an essay of 100 words or less to the Original Kid of the Year contest, sponsored by No Name Premium Meat and Seafood. Grand prize is a $3,000 scholarship prize as well as a $1,000 donation to the winner’s school. Four other finalists will receive a $1,000 scholarship plus $1,000 school donation. Others will receive 2012 Twins tickets. “The No Name Original Kid of the Year contest was created to give deserving kids across Minnesota and Wisconsin the chance to shine,” said Mandy Kennedy, brand manager at No Name. “We know there are tons of incredible kids out there who are doing truly amazing things. We want to hear their stories and reward their good work.” For more information on contest rules and details, visit

New HelpLine for pregnant and postpartum families Pregnancy & Postpartum Support Minnesota (PPSM), a local chapter of Postpartum Support International (PSI), a non-profit organization aimed at increasing awareness among public and professional communities about the emotional changes that women experience during pregnancy and postpartum, has formed a HelpLine for Minnesota families. The HelpLine provides trained volunteer-staffed non-emergency phone support to women experiencing anxiety or depression during pregnancy up through the first year postpartum, and connects them to local resources.

8 January 2012

Gyro bowl You’re in the car and your kid has a bowl of dry cereal to munch on for the trip. But the end result is that most of the food ends up between the cushions and not enough is ingested. Welcome the Gyro Bowl—a product that uses 360-degree technology to keep items inside the plastic sphere. The bowl stays open side up, no matter which way a child decides to twirl, dump, or throw it. There’s also a snap top lid to keep food fresh. Don’t believe us? Watch the short video on the product website.

Parent tested!; about $15 for a two-pack

The HelpLine’s phone number is 612-787-PPSM. “The goal of the HelpLine is to give families support and information, be listened to, validated, and understood,” says Krista Post, co-director for PPSM. “It’s not meant to be a substitute for professional care; it is a way to connect with someone who understands and gives encouragement. It is set up so that callers can leave a message and a volunteer will call them back within 24 hours.” Approximately 15 percent of all women will experience postpartum depression following the birth of a child. Up to 10 percent will experience depression or anxiety during pregnancy. When the mental health of the mother is compromised, it affects the entire family. Women of every culture, age, income level, and race can develop perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Symptoms can appear any time during pregnancy and the first 12 months after childbirth, according to PSI. The HelpLine provides information to callers regarding perinatal mood disorders, directs callers to local support groups and/ or professional help, and can even match callers with a peer volunteer for over the phone support. Mothers, fathers, and even concerned family members are all welcome

to call. The service is available at no cost to the caller and is funded through donations and association dues to PPSM.

In brief Kuman, offering after school math and

reading enrichment, opened its first center in Vadnais Heights inside the Vadnais Heights Shopping Center, visit for more info; Amma Maternity recently changed its name to Amma Parenting Center, to reflect the growing embrace of an infant’s whole family, not just Mama, visit for more info; Minnesota Parent is always looking for families interested in being featured in our Real Life or It’s My Party departments. Email and let us know about you; Baby Boot Camp will have its grand opening on January 25 at the Valley Creek Mall in Woodbury. Call 651-3211871 or visit for more information. Skyzone Indoor Trampoline Park, the world’s first all-trampoline walled playing court, has opened in St. Paul, visit

January 2012 9

Don’t lose sleep over slumber parties

I By Joy Riggs

’m a pushover for sleepovers. Unless our family has a scheduling conflict, I’m usually open to the idea of hosting an overnight guest or two on a weekend night, or to allowing my children to spend the night at a close friend’s. It’s probably because I have fond memories from my own childhood of evenings spent baking cookies, whispering secrets and watching movies with friends, and I’d like my kids to have similar experiences.

But I do sometimes have sleepover remorse. As the mom of three children, now ages 15, 13, and 11, I have learned through trial and error that not all sleepovers are created equal. Some go so smoothly, one is tempted to extend them for several more hours, while others are so chaotic and stressful that they have no business being associated with the word “sleep.” What can parents do to improve the

10 January 2012

chances of having a positive sleepover experience for their child?

Consider your child’s age, personality, and maturity level. According to PBS Parents, sleepovers are most popular among kids aged eight to 14, at a developmental stage when they are seeking to be more independent and

are building self-confidence as they develop friendships with peers. If kids are younger than eight but have had experience staying overnight with a cousin, or a grandparent, they may be ready to stay with a good friend. Be prepared in case a child wants to go home early; if you are the host, have a way to reach the parents; or, if your child is the one who’s new to sleepovers, make sure the host parents know how to contact you. For kids with separation anxiety, the fear of the unknown can lead to worry and physical symptoms like nausea and headaches. The NYC Child Study Center recommends that parents allow children to express their concerns, answer their questions calmly, and help them develop a plan of action for when they feel homesick; don’t give excessive reassurance or ignore the problem. Even in sleepover situations where the host parents enforce a set bedtime, kids may not get enough sleep. If your child is one of those kids who can’t bounce back quickly from a night of disrupted sleep, you could consider the half-sleepover option, where you pick up your child at bedtime, or you could host the sleepover at your house.

Communicate with the other parents. It sounds like common sense, but some parents think nothing of dropping off a child at a friend’s house without establishing the basics. Who will be supervising the children? What time will the sleepover end? Where can the parent(s) be reached during the night? Does the child have any allergies? If you have restrictions about particular movies or video games, be sure to mention them, and don’t be afraid to ask specific questions. Clear communication is especially important when a friend hails from a different cultural background. Sleepovers are considered a normal part of adolescence in the United States, but parents who were raised in other countries may have specific concerns about what the children will be doing and how they will be supervised.

Set and enforce ground rules. If you’re the hosting parent, establish expectations from the beginning after discussing them with your child, such as where everyone will sleep, and what time the lights will go out. Are guests allowed to have cell phones and electronic games during the night? Or will you collect them at the door, and monitor their use? Don’t hover, but let the kids know that you are present, and be willing to act on signals that a guest is feeling excluded or uncomfortable.

Plan ahead. Most tweens don’t need any help figuring out how to spend their time, but it doesn’t hurt to have a few back-up activities in mind, like some kind of physical activity that will tire them out and aid sleep. Involve your child in this, as well as in the planning of the snacks and beverages you’ll serve. A make-your-own pizza or a sundae-topping bar can be a way of feeding and entertaining guests at the same time.

Take some time after the sleepover to discuss it with your child. What did he or she enjoy most? What would have made it a better experience? Use this information to help you plan the next event, or to evaluate whether your child is ready for another sleepover.

NYU Child Study Center Sleepovers and Sleep-Away Camp es sourc

Re Slumber parties articles/article-slumberparty.html University of Minnesota Extension Family Development familydevelopment/ components/00266-8.html

January 2012 11

Loving—and liking— your spouse


love my husband, but I don’t always like him.” That’s a comment I hear quite often in my couples mediation practice. Over the years, I discovered something: Many people are nicer to strangers than they are to their spouses. By Laurie Puhn

The “liking” feeling tends to disappear as everyday job stress, parenting decisions, financial woes, and child-induced sleep deprivation start to bring out the worst in us. When overwhelmed by life, small things may seem like “the last straw,” and you might even wonder if you are married to the right person. As a lawyer, couples mediator and author of Fight Less, Love More, people turn to me for my expert relationship advice. Many assume that because I have the answers, I must have a perfect marriage. The truth is, I have a happy marriage and I love my

Resources Laurie Puhn is a lawyer, couples mediator, relationship expert, and bestselling author of Fight Less, Love More: 5-Minute Conversations to Change Your Relationship without Blowing Up or Giving In. You can find her online at

12 January 2012

husband, but still, we have the good and bad days that strain the liking feeling and require me to put my own communication advice into practice. Conflict is normal, especially for parents, but how we choose to respond to it will either strengthen or weaken the relationship. One day, my husband told me he’d be home from work earlier than usual. He even told me which train he would to take. I put his early arrival time into my afternoon schedule so my (then) two-yearold son and I would be home to greet him, and enjoy some playful “Daddy time.” When my husband’s designated arrival time passed, each additional minute pushed me into a worsening mood. At 50 minutes past his planned homecoming, I was furious. Why wasn’t he here? Why wasn’t he answering his cell phone? Enraged at this point, the only excuse that could save him was a train delay. My husband showed up more than an hour after I expected him displaying a freshly trimmed head of hair, acting like

nothing had happened. “So you got a haircut?” I asked. “Yes, I had time today, so I figured, why not?” That was it. I ripped into his thoughtless selfish behavior and the fight began. But minutes later, reality hit. In our pre-child days, I would have been more understanding and explained how I felt about his late arrival. Now, with my energy drained from attending to a very busy two-year old, I acted as if his haircut was akin to finding out he cheated on me with his hairdresser.

Our best selves Frequently, I witness this over-reactive response from my clients. We are our best selves early in our relationship. We show each other empathy, respect, and patience. As time passes, we come to expect those things from our partner, but we tend to deliver them less and less. Use of the words “thank you” and “please” become sparse, replaced by comments like “You have to…” and “Why didn’t you…” which are set-up comments for a fight. So what can a person say to prevent such unnecessary battles?

The answer is to stop and ask yourself one wise question when you feel your blood beginning to boil: Ask, “What do I want my spouse to do differently next time?� In my situation, I wanted him to call me in advance to tell me that his plans changed and that he would be home later than expected. If I had shared this future-oriented solution instead of yelling at him for what had already happened we would have skipped an unhappy battle. As soon as I realized my short-tempered mistake, I apologized and asked for what I wanted. Interestingly, during that brief conversation my husband was flattered to learn that I was looking forward to his coming home early and was disappointed by his lateness. I also shared that I had rescheduled a play date for our son so we would be home to greet him. Our fiveminute talk ended with the agreement that if his plans changed, he would immediately call me. To this day that agreement has had a positive influence on our relationship. So my advice for couples who want to love, and like, their mate for a lifetime is: Don’t focus on the problem. Do focus on the solution. A little wisdom makes a big difference.

January 2012 13

try it out for a few months, if possible. So if you want to stop working, start living on your partner’s income and save yours. How does it feel? 5. Don’t get caught up in the baby industry.

Baby budgets


t’s a lot of money: $226,910, to be exact. That’s the estimate for how much a middle income family will spend raising a child in the first 17 years. Add college into the equation, and the sum becomes downright terrifying.

By Kara McGuire

It’s no wonder that birth rates ebb and flow with economic concerns. Latest data show births in the U.S. have declined since 2007—the year before the economic downturn settled in. In 2007, 4.3 million babies were born in the United States. Preliminary numbers show just a hair over 4 million babies came into this world in 2010. Minnesota is experiencing the same trend, with births declining just over 7 percent from the 2007 peak of 73,675 to 68,407 in 2010. The largest declines came from women who didn’t go to college and mothers ages 20 to 24. Women with advanced degrees actually had more babies in 2010. That could be because women with more degrees have more stable, well-paying jobs. Or maybe these women delayed having a family to continue school and can’t wait any longer to start a family. Trends aside, babies are born in good times and bad. It’s better to plan financially for your new arrival than it is to bury your head in a baby name book and hope it all works out. Here are eight money must-dos to prepare for baby:

14 January 2012

1. Sign up for Baby Boot Camp., a personal finance website for moms, has a free “Baby on Board Bootcamp” that features 10 emails full of to-dos and tips for moms-to-be. Go to 2. Mock up a first year baby budget.

Don’t fixate on that $226,910 faint inducing sum. Focus on baby’s first year. Consider daycare, diapers, gear, and other supplies, and how they will fit into your budget. 3. Master your benefits.

From maternity leave to health care, it’s time to get cozy with your company benefits packets. Understand the out-ofpocket costs for having the baby, what paperwork you need to complete to make sure your short-term disability kicks in, and where you can breast pump when you return to work. 4. Explore working versus staying at home.

Maybe you’re hoping to go from two incomes to one, or one-and-a-half once baby arrives. Mock up a budget based on your ideal post-baby work scenario and

By that I mean the stuff-for-baby industry. From knee pads for new crawlers to video baby monitors, there are a lot of unnecessary and costly gadgets to overwhelm a parent-to-be. This is where your friends and family that procreated before you come in. Ask them for common sense advice on what baby gear you really need. Odds are they might even have an old baby swing or playpen that they’ve been dying to pass along. 6. Polish that crystal ball.

It’s hard to know what the future will bring. But given the uncertain economy, be safe. Think of worst case scenarios with employment and make sure to save enough money so you can survive at least six months without a job. 7. Don’t fixate on that quarter-of-a-million figure from the United States Department of Agriculture.

It’s a very general number that can’t reflect the unique family circumstances we all have. If you’re morbidly curious, have some fun with the department’s Cost of Raising a Child Calculator (http://www. And then tuck that frightening figure away. 8. Protect your growing family.

Scraping the money together to buy life insurance or write a will isn’t easy. I admit our will was never updated to reflect our third baby, who is almost three. But that’s not an excuse for you! Term life insurance is pretty cheap and can be researched online at sites such as Willmaker, a do-it-yourself will making software can suffice if your situation is straightforward and you absolutely can’t afford a lawyer. Spending money on a will and life insurance will help you sleep at night. Believe me, you’re going to need the sleep!

Good guava

s t c u d o pr for new s t n e r pa

Keep scratches and germs away from babies aged 0 to six months with guavamitts, an infant mitten with two-part closure, incorporating bold graphic patterns to also engage babies’ eyes. And, because they are made of 70 percent bamboo and 30 percent cotton, the mitts block 99.97 of UVA and UVB rays, to keep baby’s delicate skin protected.

Who would have thought certain basic things, such as keeping socks on your baby, would be so challenging? These products are sure to help.; about $12

By Kathleen Stoehr

Sock it to me Socks can slip off easily just from baby’s kicks and tugging. Keep them firmly in place with this mom-invented innovation that keeps socks snug and on baby’s feet. Sock Ons, available in many colors and two sizes, are worn over the sock, keeping baby’s feet warm and protected. Available at Creative Kidstuff or visit; about $8

Your breast bottle Snooze on Stop draping blankets and help babies get the sleep they need wherever they are—be it stroller, buggy, or carry seat. A simple and secure alternative to loose covers, as well as lightweight and compactable, SnoozeShade creates a shady, well-ventilated place for sleep, with “Sneak-a-peek” front to access and quietly check on baby.

Mimicking the breast has been the goal of every bottle manufacturer since day one. With natural colors, textures, and forms, the mimijumi baby bottle provides a great complement to breastfeeding, as well as good transition to bottle feeding. Bottles are produced with high quality standards and are BPA and latex free. Skid free base makes filling a bottle with just one hand, easier.; about $35; about $14

January 2012 15

When it comes to diapers, there are certainly plenty of options to consider, including flat, pre-fold, pocket, hybrid, flushable, compostable, and disposable.

Diapering 101 By Julie Pfitzinger

16 January 2012

t. Paul mom Karina Crockett jokes that she is “going to miss diapers terribly” when her youngest, daughter Mathilde who just turned three, soon bids them farewell once and for all. As the mother of two children (son Charles is five-and-a-half) Crockett has learned more than she ever thought possible about diapers. As is the case for all new parents, life seemed pretty overwhelming when Charles was born and everything about parenting—including diapers—seemed like an experiment, which is why Crockett says she and her husband Andrew “have used all different kinds of diapers” over the years. “We talked about cloth diapers when I was pregnant with my son, but I didn’t think I had it in me to wash [them] all the time,” she says, adding they used disposables for several months, but were never fully comfortable with that particular choice. “We used Seventh Generation disposable diapers for awhile because it seemed like a good product if you weren’t going to use cloth,” she says. After trying one or two other brands, Crockett, who was expecting Mathilde at the time, decided to look into cloth options for both of her children. During a visit to Peapods, a baby care and natural toys store in St. Paul, Crockett, who had spent a lot of time researching diapers online, took the opportunity to inspect several different varieties of cloth diapers. It was there that she saw an advertisement for Do Good Diapers, a home delivery service based in Minneapolis, and decided to call owner Peter Allen with a few questions. “I think I caught him when he was driving a van full of diapers around town, but he took the time to address all my concerns, “says Crockett, who soon opted to ditch the disposables and made the switch to cloth.

The diaper brigade When it comes to diapers, there are certainly plenty of options to consider, including flat, pre-fold, pocket, hybrid, flushable, compostable, and disposable. You can wash cloth diapers at home or call on a service to wash them and deliver a fresh stack to your door each week. According to Twin Cities diaper purveyors, families make their choices according to what they believe is best for their circumstances, value system, and budget. Patti Cross, co-owner with husband, Martin, of All Things Diapers in Blaine, says one of the biggest misconceptions about cloth diapers is the cost. “You can literally save a couple thousand dollars by using cloth during the entire time your child is in diapers,” she says. “It is true that you’ll make an initial investment to buy the diapers and covers, and then again when they move to the next size, but it is still less expensive than purchasing disposables week after week.” Cross says some parents do opt to use disposables for the first two weeks of their baby’s life due to the number of diapers they tend to go through and the fact they are still

January 2012 17

trying to adjust to life with a newborn. After that, Cross says the switch can be easily made. Cloth diapers, in all of their various forms, seem to be fairly buzz-worthy right now, although the grandparents and great-grandparents of today’s babies hardly used anything else. According to Allen, after disposable diapers began to gain popularity in the late 1960s, there was a resurgence of interest in cloth during the late 1980s and early ’90s, during what he refers to as “the glory days” of cloth diapering. “There were four or five diaper services in the Twin Cities at that time, but then the interest really died down,” he says. “Now, so many parents want to make environmentally friendly decisions for

that my oldest is more mobile, it’s harder to put the diaper on when he’s standing up, but that’s not even a big deal.” While many day care homes and centers will not use cloth diapers, both A long way from long pins Allen and Cross say more day care Erin Sindberg Porter of St. Paul has a providers are contracting their services all two-year old and a newborn. Through the time. When Sindberg Porter was first Allen’s service, she has used the regular looking into childcare for her two-year pre-fold cloth diapers from the beginning old, whether or not a provider was willing with both her boys. Sindberg Porter says to use cloth was “a dealbreaker” because she and her sister were raised wearing she was so adamant about using cloth cloth diapers and she still remembers “the diapers for her baby. long pins.” (A thing of the past—diaper Another stumbling block for some covers generally fasten with snaps or parents is a practical one: while disposable Velcro now.) diapers are affixed with an adhesive strip, “I think there’s a misperception that cloth diapers seem at first glance to be a cloth diapers are more work, but I just little more tricky, which is why Amma don’t believe that’s the case,” she says. “The Maternity in Edina, All Things Diapers, only negative I can possibly think of is now and Baby Love in Eagan all offer classes in diapering for expectant and new parents. “Parents want to know how cloth diapers work and how to take care of them,” says Katrina Balvance, who teaches a class at Amma and also owns an online diaper store called My Sweet Pickles. The class typically lasts an hour and Balvance says many parents will stay Pocket diapers: Popular since behind to look at the different styles of the early 2000s; outer cover diapers or ask more questions. Not (fastens with Velcro or snaps) everyone is sold on the cloth option, she is waterproof; inner liner, made of different fabrics like fleece or bamboo adds, although many parents do hemp, slides inside cover. Form fitting, inquire about the chemicals used to slimmer on baby. One time use, wash and make disposables. use again. Like Crockett, Balvance did not All in ones: A cloth diaper and cover in one, initially use cloth when her oldest one time use, wash and use again. These are child, now four, was born. considered a more ‘high end’ diaper since they can run as high as $35 apiece. “Everyone pooh-poohed me when I’d talk about switching Pre-folds: Least expensive to start out with, must use with a cover, unbleached cotton is the most to cloth diapers. Pun popular. One time use, wash and use again. intended,” she says with a Flats: Also popular and less expensive option. laugh. Before long, Balvance Typically come in one size, can be used on newborns realized that washing the and older babies, one time use, wash and use again. diapers and reusable cloth Hybrids: This is the style for parents not entirely wipes (she uses basic Tide, sold on cloth—part washable, part disposable (uses puts her diapers and a biodegradable liner which can be discarded and reusable cloth diaper wipes flushed, although not extremely user friendly for older plumbing systems). in the dryer, and air dries Compostable: Single use, made of a plant-based the diaper covers) just material. Within six to nine months, the diapers will wasn’t that difficult.

their families, they want healthier diapering options, and they want to support local businesses.”

Types of Diapers

become compost.

disposable: Several varieties available. A typical cost for a 66-count package of size 3 diapers (larger than newborn size) is right around $20.

18 January 2012

diaper elimination There’s also another new twist to the diaper scene called

Resources for New and Expectant Parents Diaper services Do Good Diapers • 612-990-2183 All Things Diapers • 763-439-1973 Diaper retailers My Sweet Pickles (online) Peapods • 651-695-5559 Smart Snugs Cloth Diaper Co • 612-819-4696 Diaper classes Amma Parenting Center • 952-926-2229 Baby Love (also offers class on elimination communication) • 651-200-3343

elimination communication. Brittany Kubricky and Veronica Jacobsen, owners of Baby Love, offer a class for expectant and new parents on how they can work with their baby and read his/her cues to understand when the baby needs to be held over the toilet. (The baby should be put in cloth diapers to allow this method to work the most effectively.) According to Kubricky, who has used elimination communication with her own 17-month old daughter, the technique can be started with babies who are only a few days old. “Pottytunities,” which is what Jacobsen calls them, can be taken after a baby has nursed or awakened from a nap. “Anyone who has ever potty-trained a two-year old will see that it’s basically the same idea except for a younger child,” she says. “It is really all about training the parent.” Both women think it’s possible that elimination communication could once again revolutionize the diapering industry. “Elimination communication is really not as counter culture as people think,” says Kubricky. “It’s kind of looked at the same way cloth diapers were six years ago.” •

January 2012 19


Boom By Julie Kendrick

20 January 2012

photo by kathleen stoehr

I am standing in a circle of yogis, most of them pregnant women, stretching from the Lake Harriet Band Shell, around the benches, and up and down the grassy hills. I am squatting in Goddess pose, touching palms with the woman next to me. Well into her third trimester, she’s already had a mapping session today; her belly is painted with colorful designs and an outline of her baby’s position. We begin to wave our hips in figure eights, chanting oms and sending out energy to women all over the world who are giving birth right at that moment. “Every birth counts,” the leader enthuses. “Every birth is a sacred act!” We chant and gyrate while she urges us on: “Send love to your uterus! And men, send some love ‘down there,’ too! We need you!” Welcome to the current state of giving birth in Minnesota, a place where events like the second annual Bellyrama, which was held last September, can attract more than 300 pregnant women, new mothers and their friends, along with all the people who want to offer them products and services like the aforementioned belly painting, prenatal yoga DVDs, professional photography sessions of their nine-months-and-counting bodies (or their baby’s first day), upscale maternity lingerie, postnatal body therapy, postpartum in-home care and, of course, t-shirts. The landscape for businesses that cater to expectant and new mothers is a rapidly growing one. In the past 10 years, an increasing number of local women have started businesses that are prospering and expanding. This Better Birth movement is based on the theory that women deserve a better pregnancy and birth experience, and a better entry into motherhood, than they’re currently receiving. The capering, gyrating woman who was offering love to uteruses back there at the Lake Harriet Band Shell is one of many credited with bringing significant attention to that “something better” many women feel they deserve—and are willing to pay for—in their birth experiences. She’s Sarah Longacre, founder of Blooma, a “one-stop shop” for birth-related wellness services, education, and yoga. Longacre, a Minnesota native,

January 2012 21

60. With three locations, she has plans to enlarge the space in St. Paul, add a presence in the western suburbs, and potentially grow into other states. She pulls all this off with energy, exuberance, and a style that embraces the silly and accepts the real. “Life is messy,” she says more than once during the Bellyrama practice, which also includes a mention of children lost to miscarriage or stillbirth. When someone arrives after the start of session and apologizes, Longacre offers a beatific smile. “At Blooma, we have a saying—no one is ever late, not even at 42 weeks.” Her playful, danceinspired teaching is designed, she says, to help women loosen up and learn what their bodies can do, perhaps unleashing an inner goddess in the process. Sara Pearce teaching a class at Amma Parenting Center.


photos by cassie gifford

left what she describes as a “nine-to-five gig with a 401K” at Nike in Portland to follow her passion and become a doula. She’s not only attended more than 500 births, but she’s also started a mini-empire that’s in the process of expanding as quickly as a nine-months-and-counting belly. Her business includes prenatal yoga and a larger menu of wellness and education services, supported by a staff of

Longacre is far from alone in her efforts to support these goddesses-to-be. Today’s older, well-educated moms may be planning to give birth just one or two times, so they insist that every aspect of the experience cater to their demanding consumer taste. One “mompreneur” who has built a successful business on this understanding is Sara Pearce, founder of Amma Maternity (now Amma Parenting Center), which offers prenatal and new mom classes that are, she says, “Miles

away from the ‘drag your pillow through the basement of the hospital and watch some outdated VHS tapes-type of birthing classes” that earlier generations have endured. Pearce says her business has grown 80 percent in the past year, and she doesn’t anticipate a slowdown anytime soon. “We have a thriving and robust retail store in our Edina location, and plans are in the works to open a new center somewhere on the east side,” she reports. Amma is also now affiliated with three metro Fairview hospitals, Methodist hospital and also three HealthEast hospitals. Rachel Swardson uncovered her own niche by providing a post-delivery in-hospital healing service. Feeling exhausted after the birth of her third child, she remembers thinking, “There must be a better way to bring a mother into this world.” After years of research and interviews, she reconstructed ancient postpartum healing rituals and launched Bavia, which provides Postnatal Body Therapy, a hands-on service designed to celebrate and restore new moms and dads, right in their hospital room. Says Rachel, “It’s a wonderful first family moment, without interruptions and distractions for the new parents, and it gives them a chance to bond with their newborn.” Clients can order the service as gifts, pre-order, or call in by 4:30 p.m. for same-night treatments. Her

Giving birth to something better “We’re so lucky to be able to give birth with electricity, hands to help us, and medical equipment if we need it,” says Sarah Longacre of Blooma. “Birth matters to this community, and people want to be of service and put their money and time into the right places,” she adds. In that spirit, Minnesota Parent offers this guide to some organizations, global and local, that support moms and moms-to-be in need. Advoca What would you do if you couldn’t afford diapers for your newborn? Each year, thousands of Twin Cities moms come home from the hospital without even the most basic supplies. This group works with hospital social workers to provide supplies critical to bringing baby home, with no red tape or strings attached. Volunteers can contribute just a couple hours to organize and pack supply bags. Visit

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Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery Overnight residential childcare for kids aged 0 to 6 years, in danger of neglect or abuse, is the focus of this Golden Valleybased group. Volunteers can donate new items, or can come into the facility to care for kids, provide enrichment activities or by prepare simple meals for the children. Visit

Jenny’s Light This organization is committed to improving and saving lives by increasing awareness of perinatal mood disorders, including postpartum depression. Named in honor of a new mother who took her own life and that of her newborn’s, the group offers a number of resources, including local support groups. Visit

Off the Mat Into the World Founded in 2007 by yoga luminaries Seane Corn, Hala Khouri, and Suzanne Sterling, OTM’s mission is to use the power of yoga to inspire conscious, sustainable activism and ignite grassroots social change. Longacre was part of their recent trip to Uganda to help build an eco-birthing center. This year’s focus is on Haiti. Visit

Today’s older, well-educated moms may be planning to give birth just one or two times, so they insist that every aspect of the experience cater to their demanding consumer taste. team of uniformed massage therapists are currently rolling their sanitized carts—equipped with LED candles, eucalyptus-infused steamed towels and sound systems preloaded with relaxing music—through the hallways of 14 Twin Cities hospitals, and one in New Jersey. The concept has garnered national attention, and Swardson, who just received more than a million dollars in venture capital, will be expanding to 40 additional locations. The concept of in-room, boutique-style services has also been the foundation for Jessica Person’s business, First Day Photo. A mother of six, Person hit upon the idea of replacing the standard hospital newborn pictures with those that were artistically pleasing and ready to share online. Even better, the sessions take place right in the room, so mom and dad can be in the pictures, too. Her business is built around offering a high-quality product. “We complete the session in less than half an hour, and parents see the photos the same day. There’s no obligation to buy,

Resources Amma Parenting Center childbirth and new mom classes Bavia in-room postnatal body therapy Blooma prenatal, postnatal and family yoga, wellness services, education and community-building First Day Photo in-room professional photography Welcome Baby Care postpartum home health service

and they can be shared online right away.” Her high-service, high-style photographs have caught the attention of hospitals in other states, which are on the lookout for ways to satisfy the increasingly demanding maternity market. First Day Photos are currently available in Minnesota, California, Arizona, and Missouri.

After birth These businesses can help a family get through pregnancy, labor, and back home again. Another savvy businesswoman, Carey Lindeman, focuses on what happens after that return to the freshly painted nursery and the beginning of many long, long nights. Her company, Welcome Baby Care, provides professional, certified postpartum doulas for families with newborns. It’s a service that’s grown 80 percent in the past six months, Lindeman says, noting that busy or outstate grandmothers are frequent purchasers of gift certificates. “People would much rather give this service than another burp cloth,” she says. And when you consider one of her most popular offerings, the overnight visit from a doula with mom and newborn expertise, you can understand why. While parents are sleeping at night, the doula tidies the kitchen and bathroom, does laundry, and soothes the baby (or babies; the business sees a lot of multiples) until feeding time. Then she delivers baby to mom—who stays in bed—for nursing, and, when finished, returns the infant to the nursery for diaper changes and sleep. If this sounds like a slice of heaven for new parents, the success of Lindeman’s business is understandable. And she insists that it’s an important factor in creating a healthier family all around. “Postpartum depression is the most common complication associated with pregnancy and childbirth. We take

Carey Lindeman of Welcome Baby Care.

pressure off the family as it adjusts to this new reality.” She says, “The greatest gift a child can receive is parents who feel rested enough to enjoy their baby.” One thing all these business owners agree on is that Minnesota offers an especially welcoming culture for their services. Pearce, the childbirth class maven, says, “I’ve only found one other company nationwide that outsources classes for hospitals.” She credits our metropolitan vibe as part of the reason, saying, “The Twin Cities’ lifestyle makes it easy to be a parent, given our good schools and decent cost of living. From a business owner’s perspective, working with hospitals is simpler here, because most of them are organized into multihospital health care systems.” Those who have branched out into other states, like Person from First Day Photo, are convinced that their initial path was easier because they started their businesses here. “The Twin Cities has a unique trifecta. First, the community fosters entrepreneurial activity. Then, we have some wonderful people running truly wonderful hospitals. Finally, we have highly educated consumers, with sophisticated palates.” She adds with a laugh, “So all we have to do is fill their marketing desires and do it really, really well.” •

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Out About

Saint Paul Winter Carnival ÎÎThe coolest celebration on earth, now in its 126th year, will celebrate all things winter. Highlights include ice carving competitions and Moon Glow Pedestrian Parade on January 26; Snow sculpture contest and the Royal Coronation on the 27th; Grand Day Parade on the 28th at 2:00 pm; and more. When: January 26 to February 5 Where: In and around downtown St. Paul and the Capital City’s surrounding areas Cost: Most events are FREE Info: or 651-223-4700

Llama Llama Red Pajama ÎÎWorld premier! 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, children and their families are sureto enjoy this remarkable adaptation. When: January 13 through February 12 Where: Stages Theatre Company, Hopkins Cost: Prices vary depending upon performance and seat Info: or 952-979-1111

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Ongoing John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon ÎÎThe historic 390-mile Beargrease is the longest sled dog race in the lower 48 states and a prequalifying race to the Iditarod. Events stretch across a week, with the official start of the race on January 29. Prior to the start of the race, however, myriad events, many of them free, occur. Among them: the awwwinducing Cutest Puppy Contest, held at Fitgers Complex. Canine contestants (all breeds and mutts) between the ages of 16 and 36 weeks will show their adorable selves for two hours, with judging beginning at noon. When: January 27 to February 2 Where: Various locations around Duluth Cost: Most events are FREE Info: or 218-722-7631

The Lion King ÎÎThe Lion King roars again. It’s the phenomenon that dazzled audiences during its 1997 Minneapolis world premiere and now the musical recaptures the Orpheum Theatre for its fourth local engagement. This breathtaking spectacle of animals is brought to life by a cast of more

than 40 actors and includes unforgettable music by Elton John and Tim Rice. When: January 11 to February 12 Where: Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis Cost: Tickets vary depending upon performance and seat selected Info: or 800-982-2787

Harold and the Purple Crayon ÎÎOne crayon. One character. Go. Take a ride with Harold and his trusty crayon as he hops a ride on a flying saucer, shares a pie with French-speaking critters, and explores the heavens above using stars as stepping stones. This imaginative

world-premiere musical uses breathtaking animation, inventive puppetry, and an indie-music score to bring Harold’s purple-hued world to life. When: January 17 to February 26 Where: Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis Cost: Prices vary depending upon performance and seat selected Info: or 612-874-0400

Brrrmidji Polar Daze ÎÎThe more snow the better as people play and socialize through the community. You can start your weekend with the Skate Under the Stars and then do the 5K Polar Challenge Run/Walk, enter your homemade sled in the sled derby and star gaze on the ice.  When: Bemidji, January 20–28 Where: Various locations around Bemidji Cost: Most events are FREE Info: or 218-444-3541

Ragtime: The Musical ÎÎJourney back to turn-of-the-century America, where Scott Joplin’s ragtime music fills the air with an infectious beat. Ragtime: the Musical, weaves a spellbinding story of three families whose lives collide against the backdrop of New York in “the American Century.” It’s the biggest show ever on Park Square’s stage, also presented with an orchestra. When: January 20 to February 9 Where: Park Square Theatre, St. Paul Cost: Previews $35; Regular run $48 and $68 with discounts available Info: or 651-291-7005

3 Tuesday Playdate Tuesday ÎÎVisit the Science Museum with your preschool-age children and take part in a special promotion that will keep little hands busy and little minds buzzing! Enjoy “Make and Take” projects, puppets and plays, storytime with a ranger and more.

When: Every Tuesday, 10:00 a.m. to noon Where: Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul Cost: Children 5 and under are FREE; regular or member admission required for parent Info:

4 Wednesday Wee Wednesdays ÎÎWee Wednesdays offer plenty to see and do for toddlers and their families. Free, educational programming geared toward children 5 and under. Wee Wednesday also features hands-on activities and free lunch for children five and under at participating Midtown Global Market restaurants (with the purchase of an adult meal). When: Every Wednesday beginning at 10:30 Where: Midtown Global Market, Minneapolis Cost: FREE Info: or 612-872-4041

6 Friday Family Night at the Global Market ÎÎFree live music, a children’s play area, and free balloons for the first 50 children. Businesses will validate your parking (for up to three hours) with purchase if you park in the 10th Avenue parking ramp. When: Every Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Where: Midtown Global Market, Minneapolis Cost: FREE Info: or 612-872-4041

7 Saturday Snowshoe Open House ÎÎA naturalist will show you how to strap on and walk, run, and turn around with your snowshoes, answer nature

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Out About questions, and orient you to the nature center trails. Sleds will be available for pulling young kids. Hot chocolate for all attendees! Snowshoes available for ages 4 to adult. When: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Where: Maplewood Nature Center Cost: Snowshoe rental: $5/pair Info: or 651-249-2170

Jigs and Jives ÎÎMacPhail’s Free Family Music Series features the music of Willow Brae. Learn folklore and history while listening to the dance rhythms of music from Ireland and Scotland. Live concert, a music-themed art project and treats. Plus, before and after each concert, kids of all ages get the chance to meet the musicians and try the instruments featured in the performance. When: 10:00 a.m. to noon Where: MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis Cost: FREE Info: or 612-321-0100

Saturday Live! Hunter Marionettes ÎÎAccompanied by music ranging from classical to lively dance tunes, each member of this cast of intricate, hand-

About the Calendar Minnesota Parent welcomes information about events for families throughout the state of Minnesota. Calendar listings are FREE and can be submitted online at; click on Events > Submit an event. You can submit a listing at any time, but the deadline for possible inclusion in the print publication is six weeks prior to the month of publication. (For example, June 15 for the August issue.) All events are subject to change. Be certain to check with the event sponsor either by visiting the website or calling, to ensure the featured event is still viable. Events taking place for more than one weekend in length will be listed in our “Ongoing” area, space permitting.

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crafted marionettes will entertain you with his or her own special talents. When: 11:15 a.m. to noon Where: St. Paul Public Library, Central Library Cost: FREE Info: saturday-live or 651-266-7034

9 Monday Benilde-St. Margaret’s Open House ÎÎBenilde-St. Margaret’s, a private Catholic school for grades 7 to 12, will host an open house for all prospective families. When: 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. Where: Benilde-St. Margaret, St. Louis Park Cost: FREE Info: preregister at admissions or 952-915-4344

12 Thursday Brr, Brr, Birdie ÎÎDeeDee the chickadee puppet will help you learn all about Minnesota’s birds. Make a pinecone birdfeeder. Best for ages 3-7 with adult or small day care groups. When: 10:00 to 11:15 a.m. Where: Maplewood Nature Center Cost: $4 per child, preregister by Jan 10 Info: or 651-249-2170

14 Saturday Saturday Live! Magician Star Michaelina ÎÎStar combines high-energy magic, slapstick comedy and audience interaction in her fantastic show! When: 11:15 a.m. to noon Where: St. Paul Public Library, Central Library Cost: FREE Info: or 651-266-7034

15 Sunday Target Free 3rd Sundays at the Minnesota Children’s Museum ÎÎVisitors can roam the Museum free of charge every third Sunday of each month. When: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Where: Minnesota Children’s Museum Cost: FREE Info:

21 Saturday Saturday Live! Dakota Wild Animals ÎÎEach presentation includes 10 to 12 critters from around the world. Discussions center around habitat, feeding, and other characteristics unique to these animals. When: 11:15 a.m. to noon Where: St. Paul Central Public Library Cost: FREE Info:

Frosty Fun Festival ÎÎEnjoy ice bowling, ice mini-golf, puppet theater, a bonfire, and more. Dog sled rides for children ages 4 to 12 must be preregistered and pre-paid. When: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Where: Dodge Nature Center Cost: Under 2: FREE; General public $5 admission or $20 per family; members $3 each or $12 per family Info: or 651-455-4531

28 Saturday Early Childhood Education Fair ÎÎLots of great booths, exhibits, & entertainment. Performances throughout the day by the Teddy Bear Band. When: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Where: Maplewood Community Center Cost: FREE Info: or 651-249-2170

advertiser listings

Camp resources Academic Camp Invention Unleash the creative genius in your child! Children entering grades 1-6 participate in four exciting hands-on classes every day, presented by local teachers. Take apart appliances, make new inventions, build a magnet-powered city, crash land on an alien planet, travel through time, create your own games. Camp invention is a STEM enrichment program from the non-profit Invent Now in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. New curriculum every year. We make learning fun! 40 camps at local schools in Minnesota 800-968-4332

Arts Art Academy, The City Pages Winner: Best of the Twin Cities! Year-round traditional drawing and painting classes and camps for students ages 5-18. Exceptional student/teacher ratio. Homeschool Program. A Renaissance Program for adults also offered. See samples of student artwork; visit our website. Call for a brochure. Classes held at: Holy Spirit Elementary 515 S Albert St St. Paul 651-699-1573

Kidcreate Studio Kidcreate Studio offers art camps for young artist ages 3-12. Our camps are designed to inspire and educate in an environment filled with fun. Camps focus on art principles and introduce students to many types of art media. At Kidcreate, making a mess is the best! 7918 Mitchell Rd Eden Prairie 952-974-3438

Camp resource guide

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Loft’s Young Writers’ Program, The The Loft’s Young Writers’ Program offers more than 50 classes this summer that foster creativity, enrich talents, and create friendships. Classes run all summer for ages 6-17 at all skill levels. Open Book 1011 Washington Ave S Minneapolis 612-215-2575

MCAD Summer Kids Classes The Minneapolis College of Art and Design’s Summer Youth Program offers exciting classes and weeklong camps on art and design topics for kids ages 5-18. Nurture your child’s creativity through these handson studio classes led by professional artists. 2501 Stevens Ave Minneapolis 612-874-3765

Dance/Music/ Performance Chan DT Theatre Camp Chanhassen Dinner Theatres offers summertime theatre camps for kids and teens (ages 8-18). It’s a fantastic week of 1/2 day long sessions focusing on musical theatre fundamentals taught by Chanhassen professionals throughout the summer. Register now! PO Box 100 Chanhassen 952-934-1525

Children’s Yamaha Music School Keyboard classes for children ages 3-8 encourage creative self-expression; & include singing, hearing, playing, reading, writing & ensembles. The focus is on total musicianship, including imagination, theory, composing & performing. Free preview classes each February & July/ August. Private lessons available for ages 9+ in piano & more. CYMS Edina: Edina Community Center 5701 Normandale Rd Edina CYMS Roseville: Hamline Center

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Camp resource guide

2819 N Hamline Ave Roseville 612-339-2255

StageCoach Summer Camps See why parents and students love the unique StageCoach experience. Your 6–16 year old will be part of a fun-packed, creative summer camp. Camps include classes in dance, acting, and singing and end in a musical theatre presentation. Locations in Edina, Minnetonka, St. Louis Park, & St. Paul 952-300-5893 651-775-2849 952-367-6032

Stages Theatre Company - Summer Theatre Workshops 2012 Calling all actors, singers, or dancers: have fun learning about theatre from some of the area’s finest teaching artists. Stages Theatre Company offers a variety of age appropriate workshops for students ranging from ages 4-17. 1111 Mainstreet Hopkins 952-979-1111 952-979-1138

SteppingStone Theatre School for Young Actors This spring and summer youth ages 3 1/2-17 will spark their creativity at SteppingStone Theatre. Young actors tap into their potential in unique ways-building confidence and acting skills while having tons of fun! Scholarships/early-bird pricing available. 55 Victoria St. N. St. Paul 651-225-9265

day Yoga Center of Minneapolis Kids 6-8: M-F, 1:30 to 4 p.m. Preteen 9-12: M-F, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Confidence, strength, focus, body awareness, and balance are woven into yoga classes, artwork, dance, games, and creating sequences with other campers. Give your kids the chance


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Camp resource guide

Camp resource guide

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to groove, create, and connect. Preteen Camp: 212 3rd Ave N #205 Minneapolis Kid’s Camp: 4200 Minnetonka Blvd St. Louis Park 612-703-96011

Horseback Riding Sunnyside Stables Horsemanship Summer Camp Sunnyside’s camp is a place to discover horses and new friends. Each day includes riding--rain or shine, as we have an indoor and outdoor arena as well as scenic trails. You will discover the basics of grooming, saddling, body language, posture, contact, and balance to develop independent riding skills. 15400 Emery Ave E Rosemount 651-226-2027

Other Minnesota Children’s Museum At Minnesota Children’s Museum, children will have a blast discovering an exciting, interactive world that fosters their creativity, increases their understanding, and sparks an appreciation for lifelong learning. Each of our seven galleries is uniquely designed to provide a hands-on, stimulating environment for children six months to 10 years old. 10 W Seventh St Downtown St. Paul 651-225-6000

Minnesota Parent’s Camp Fair February 25, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Summer’s here! Or, at least it will be when you attend Minnesota Parent’s 6th annual Camp Fair. Get a jumpstart on planning for day or overnight summer camps, be it music, art, technology, sports, and everything in between. Como Park Zoo & Conservatory 1225 Eastbrook Dr St. Paul 612-436-5070

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Overnight Audubon Center of the North Woods Youth, adult, intergenerational, and family camps that expand your horizons! Our camps have a focus on wildlife, nature, and outdoor skills. Overnight and day camps in June and July. East side of Grindstone Lake near Sandstone 888-404-7743

Camp Olson YMCA Since 1954 Camp Olson has been providing unforgettable and life changing experiences for youth and young leaders through quality camping programs. Traditional summer camp available as well as specialty programs in sailing, horseback riding, nature study, and leadership development. 4160 Little Boy Rd NE Longville 218-363-2207

Specialty Computer Explorers Technology Summer Camps Nationally recognized technology camps for ages 3–14. Where learning is fun, innovative, challenging, and hands-on. With over 300 camps in Minnesota, we offer exciting classes in Robotics, Video Game Design, Movie Production, Animation, Solar, Aerospace, Rollercoaster Engineering and more! Throughout Minnesota 651-730-9910

Sports and Fitness Loppet Adventure Camp Six, weeklong camps this summer for kids ages 9-13. Kids will experience the yearround athletic lifestyle of a cross-country skier through outdoor activities including roller-skiing, mountain biking, running, adventure racing, canoeing, Ultimate Frisbee, and other games. Wirth Beach, Theodore Wirth Park Minneapolis 612-604-5333

Camp resource guide

advertiser listings

education resources Charter BlueSky Online School

BlueSky Online School is a free, public school open to Minnesota students in grades 7–12. Founded in 2000, BlueSky accepts enrollments year-round and offers a unique, dedicated three-person student support team. Graduating students receive a Minnesota state-approved diploma. BlueSky Office: W St. Paul Online School: Statewide 651-642-0888

Montessori Step By Step Montessori Schools

Step By Step Montessori Schools serves children 6 weeks – 8 years of age. The philosophy of Step By Step is to help each child develop a positive self-image within this carefully planned environment. The child develops skills for a lifetime. Locations in Brooklyn Park, Chaska, Corcoran, Maple Grove, Plymouth, Southdale, St. Anthony Village, & Wayzata 763-557-6777

Other Minnesota Children’s Museum

At Minnesota Children’s Museum, children will have a blast discovering an exciting, interactive world that fosters their creativity, increases their understanding, and sparks an appreciation for lifelong learning. Each of our seven galleries is uniquely designed to provide a hands-on, stimulating environment for children six months to 10 years old. 10 W Seventh St Downtown St. Paul 651-225-6000

Preschool New Horizon Academy

New Horizon Academy, with 53 Minnesota locations, offers exceptional early

education resource guide

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education resource guide

education programs for children ages 6 weeks - 12 years. Full-time, part-time, and flexible schedules are available. 53 convenient Twin Cities’ locations. Visit us online to find a location near you! 763-557-1111

YMCA The Y is for Youth Development, nurturing the lives of children through value based enrichment programs and serving the needs of infants, toddlers, preschool, and school age children. We are your partner with over 70 program locations across the metro area. 612-230-9622

Private Cedarcrest Academy Offering an exceptional Catholic education, Cedarcrest focuses on academic excellence for every student from Pre-K through eighth grade. Our mission is to provide the educational foundation and personal character skills required to prepare our young people to be moral, spiritual, and civic leaders for the 21st century. 6950 W Fish Lake Rd Maple Grove 763-494-5387

Epiphany Extended Day Program Hours: M-F, 2:10 to 6 p.m. school days; 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. release days & summer. Grades Served: K-6 (beginning the summer before entering Kindergarten). Services: school age, after school, release days, and summer. 11001 Hanson Blvd NW Coon Rapids 763-755-7341

International School of Minnesota, The ISM is a private, nondenominational, college prep school for preschool through twelfth grade. In addition to a rigorous curriculum, there are opportunities for all students to participate in music, sports, art, drama, and Student Life. ISM is a world-class education in your backyard committed to preparing students for

education resource guide

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college and for life. 6385 Beach Rd Eden Prairie 952-918-1840

Minnesota Waldorf School Supported by almost 100 years of successful Waldorf pedagogy, MWS is an extraordinary find. A strong core of academics is skillfully woven with music, movement, world language, and art, inspiring children to become lifelong learners: curious, motivated, and conscientious. 70 E County Rd B St. Paul 651-487-6700

Public Minneapolis Public Schools Minneapolis Public Schools promises an inspirational educational experience in a safe, welcoming environment for all diverse learners to acquire the tools and skills necessary to confidently engage in the global community. We offer a wide variety of academic programming from pre-K-12. Below is a list of all of our schools. American Indian OIC Andersen United Anishinabe Academy Anthony Middle Anwatin Middle Armatage Montessori Bancroft Barton Open Bethune Community Broadway ALC at Longfellow Bryn Mawr Community Burroughs Community Center School Cityview Middle Cyber Village Academy Dowling Urban Environmental Edison High Emerson Spanish Dual Immersion FAIR Crystal FAIR Downtown Field Community Floyd B. Olson Middle Friendship Academy of Fine Arts Green Central Park Community Hale Community Hall International

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education resource guide

Harrison Education Center Henry High Heritage Science & Technology Hiawatha Community Hmong International Academy Hospital Agencies Jefferson Community Jenny Lind Elementary Kenny Community Kenwood Community Lake Harriet Community Lower Lake Harriet Community Upper Lake Nokomis Community Keewaydin Campus Lake Nokomis Community Wenonah Campus Loring Community Loring Nicollet Lucy Craft Laney at Cleveland Park Lyndale Elementary Marcy Open Menlo Park MERC High School MERC Middle School Metropolitan Learning Alliance Middle School at Ramsey Minneapolis College Prep Minnesota School of Science MPS Metro SJ

education resource guide

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Nellie Stone Johnson Community North High Northeast Middle Northrop Community Phoenix Academy Pierre Bottineau French Immersion Pillsbury Community Plymouth Youth Center Pratt Community River Bend Educational Center Ronald McDonald House Roosevelt High Sanford Middle Seward Montessori Sheridan International Fine Arts South High Southwest High Stadium View Sullivan Community Tatanka Academy Transition Plus Urban League Academy Elementary School Urban League Academy High School VOA Opportunity High School VOA SALT High School Waite Park Community Washburn High Wellstone International High School Whittier International Windom Spanish Dual Immersion

Minnetonka Public Schools Minnetonka Public Schools is among the state’s highest performing public school districts, recognized nationally for use of technology as an accelerator of learning in every classroom. Minnetonka Kindergarten options include full day, half day, traditional K, Spanish Immersion, or Chinese Immersion. 5621 County Rd 101 Minnetonka 952-401-5000

Pierre Bottineau French Immersion PBFI is a French Immersion school opening 2012. Grades K-3 and growing to K-5. We offer a proven model for excellent results with students from all backgrounds, emphasizing the contributions of the 30+ countries around the globe who speak French. 1501 N 30th St Minneapolis 612-668-2252

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education resource guide

Two is for Toy Story By Laurel Belmore, Owatonna, MN

I love party planning and take my son, Ty’s, birthday as my opportunity to have fun with it and go all out! On his first birthday, I went with a Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs & Ham party. For his second birthday the theme was Toy Story, with an emphasis on the character of Woody, coupled with a western theme. I ordered Ty a Woody vest and sewed it onto a yellow shirt with large bottoms so he would look like his favorite character, complete with cowboy boots and a cowboy hat! When the kids and parents walked in, I had a table set up with cowboy hats, bandanas, and sheriff badges to wear. There were only a handful of kids there, and mostly adults. Everything went as

planned. It did rain the night before, but the weather was great all day and we were able to be outside and also go out on the boat. We had a fire and roasted marshmallows and made s’mores before bedtime. I got the idea for a little snack buffet on—it’s an online pinboard that allows people to organize and share beautiful things and get inspiration. Each basket was filled with something different: goldfish crackers, pretzels, animal crackers, cheesy Chex mix, and Cinnamon Burst Cheerios. It was a huge hit with the kids! My sister and I made the cupcakes. We enjoy playing around with fondant and looked up some ideas online, but most of the designs we came up with were just inspired by the movie.

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Books for (and about) babies & toddlers Indestructible books for the kids, and one for you

Creep! Crawl! flutter! fly! Wiggle! march! By Kaaren Pixton Workman Publishing, $4.95 each

By Kathleen Stoehr

Torn edges, ripped-out pages, mysterious bite marks—yet another book ruined? Not with these indestructible, 100% baby-proof books, built for the way baby “reads”: with their hands and mouths. Colorful illustrations are printed on waterproof, 100% washable high-density material that looks and feels like paper, but is not. Make up your own stories based on the lovely images.

the World According to toddlers By Shannon Payette Seip and Adrienne Hedger Andrews McMeel Publishing, $12.99

The best way to navigate the world of toddlers (and stay sane) is to have a sense of humor. The World According to Toddlers offers comic insight into the entertaining and often exhausting toddler lifestyle to help parents find the humor and appreciate this once-in-a-lifetime stage. Colorfully illustrated with stories, cartoons, diagrams, and more, this book will help parents through epic meltdowns, potty training, troubles and bizarre wardrobe choices.

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Barnyard dance! Pajama time! Belly Button Book! By Sandra Boynton Workman Publishing, $9.95 each

Three of Sandra Boynton’s most beloved, best-selling titles are now available as lap-sized board books. With their appealing format and sturdy board construction, these three titles are easy for little fingers to grasp, and a good size for big people to read aloud during story time.

how Big is the Lion? my first Book of measuring By William Accorsi Workman Publishing, $14.95

Though the book says age 4 and up, older toddlers love to take the small wood ruler and lay it over various animals, hearts and other objects to see how long they are. A great, interactive book for parent and child to use together. Also comes with a growth chart decorated with illustrations from the book.

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44 January 2012

January 2012 45

“It’s absolutely important to me to preserve our culture and language. The kids see where they’re coming from and get involved in dancing, sewing, beading, and quilting.”

traditional foods (Hidatsa, Ojibwe, Mexican, and Ibo) together at home. We make sure at least one traditional food is on our table at all times. It’s absolutely important to me to preserve our culture and language. The kids see where they’re coming from and get involved in dancing, sewing, beading, and quilting. They get to see another world we don’t see often since we live in an urban area. What about your family’s health issues?

real mom

Julie Lynn White Bear-Ortiz Julie Lynn White Bear-Ortiz’s family is a mix of different cultures and heritages. Parents José and Julie Lynn are working to instill a sense of tradition in their children while dealing with multiple health issues and challenges. Phillis, who is adopted, and Manuel participate in traditional pow wows in and around the Minneapolis area and Michael is a student in Kansas studying music and education. 46 January 2012

— Alyson Cummings

Q&A How do you keep the kids interested in their heritage?

I make sure they know what’s going on in the community. We keep up with ethnic foods and languages and are a part of community events. We celebrate Nigerian holiday, the Nigerian Independence Day, Cinco de Mayo. We also go back to my home reservation and attend pow wows. We’re very connected with our family and celebrate birthdays, rituals, and different ceremonies together. We also prepare

I was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1993. I’m still being treated but as of now I’m in remission. I’ve also had diabetes since January of 2000. It’s fairly well controlled: I take 20 pills a day and insulin at night. If I have too much sugar it affects me, but there are so many things going on I can’t let it bother me too much. I’ve got the household, a marriage, and the children. The past three or four generations have died because of diabetes-related things and it’s very prevalent in the American Indian community. We try very hard to encourage the kids to eat healthful foods and be active. Manuel has ADHD and a speech disturbance. It’s a challenge, but we keep him organized and do what we can. Any parent of a child with a disability knows how difficult it is. You’ve been nominated to be on the State Advisory Council on Mental Health. What work will that involve? What are some things you would like to see happen if you’re appointed?

The State Advisory Council on Mental Health is a citizen group of 30 people from throughout Minnesota; we would meet once a month to advise the governor and legislators. It ranges from experts to people like me; who are the parents of or work with people with mental illnesses. I do both; I’ve worked with people with mental illnesses and the homeless for 29 years. I don’t have a definite agenda right now. I can safely say that I will commit to the best interest of the children, adults, elderly, and families who have mental health issues in Minnesota.

January 2012  
January 2012