Page 1

september 2013

Beautiful

babies

IS TECHNOLOGY REWIRING YOUR BABY’S BRAIN? {page 26}

REJOINING THE WORLD WITH BABY IN TOW {page 40}

fIRst fInGeR foods {page 44}

Weekend hikes, near and far {page 50}


Be well

and remember your flu shot. Immunizations

Pneumonia

Administered by your community pharmacist, available daily (ages 10 and up).

If you have certain health conditions, check with our store pharmacist to see if the pneumonia vaccination is right for you.

Flu Take charge of your health by getting your flu shot at participating pharmacies. Medicare Part B and D plans are accepted.

TdaP Last year, the whooping cough, or Pertussis, had the highest number of reported cases it had in years. Get your TdaP vaccine in store (ages 10 and up).

1-800-WALGREENS (1-800-925-4733) • WALGREENS.COM


Contents

Minnesota Parent September

Features Scrambled Is technology rewiring your baby’s brain?

Departments

26

50

By Carolyn Jabs

Weekend hikes

6 Editor’s Note

All together on the trail

Go to bed. By Kathleen Stoehr

By Kelly Jo McDonnell 8 Chatter A little bit of news and information for your quiet time reading By Kathleen Stoehr 10 BaBy on board Up all night? By Shannon Keough 12 Ask the pediatrician Answering your questions about health By Dr. Peter Dehnel 14 in the kitchen Breakfast pizza 16 Tween scene Later start is a good start By Joy Riggs 18 Hot stuff Beautiful baby By Emily Mongan

Beyond 40 days Rejoining the world with baby in tow

40

44

First finger foods Transitioning to solids By Emily Mongan

By Jen Wittes

20 Grows on trees YOYO finances By Kara McGuire 22 Book shelf

Calendar

All about baby By Emily Mongan 24 Relationships Facebook face-off By Sean Toren 30 September at a glance 32 Parent picks

58 Real life

32 Out & about

Real parents Nick and Sara Windschitl

On the cover Eden Croatt, daughter of Dana and Heidi Croatt of Maple Grove. Photo by Flash Portraits, Maple Grove • flashportraits.com

4 September 2013

By Emily Mongan


The First Five Years Are Forever

Be Loved.

StepByStepMontessori.com Step by Step MNP 0413 H2.indd 1

763-280-5229 2/27/13 4:31 PM

September 2013 5


From the editor

Go to bed. Recently, I arose at about 2:30 in the morning because our cat, Cleo, was having a fit about something. A bunch of meowing. Probably bored or hungry. As I walked from my bedroom, I saw a dim light on in my daughter’s room, glowing from under her door. I actually walked back to my bedroom and squinted at my alarm clock to make sure I wasn’t wrong about the time. This is not good because I have to get really close to the glowing numerals being I am quite blind without my specs, and I’ve read about how looking at glowing things can be a detriment to peaceful slumber. Anyway, after confirming, I opened her door and hissed, “Get that light off this instant!” She slammed her reader shut, startled by my sudden appearance, and I stumbled off to attend to the cat. Five hours later, as she dragged herself from her room, groggy, I said, “I just feel that you are effectively shooting yourself in the foot by staying up that late. You have a Chem test!” She mumbled, “You know I studied…” Me: “And you are doing yourself no favor at all by approaching it with so little sleep.” I received a look that resembled a snarl coupled with exasperation. Will the battle between child and parent ever end when it comes to sleep habits? I think not. Consider this: I don’t dictate to my columnists exactly what they should write about for each issue. They get a general idea from my editorial calendar (this month being—I’ll bet you can guess by the cover—my Baby Issue), but the choice is theirs whether to follow that topic or not. Between last month and this month, three of my columnists have now approached the thorny subject of sleep: Sean Toren in August, and Joy Riggs and Shannon Keough this month. No one knew what the other was writing about but it sure tells me that just as the earth revolves around the sun, they way one person sleeps in a household affects how most of the others do. Of course, bonus points to my husband, Mark, who seems to be able to sleep through tornado sirens and thunderstorms without any issue at all. This month, Shannon revisits a topic she broached last year at this time but with new insight, getting baby onto a sleep schedule; and Joy talks about school start times and their effect on attendance and depression. I hope these articles help with your happy family slumber!

Kathleen Stoehr Editor

6 September 2013


Vol. 28, Issue 9 Co-publishers Janis Hall jhall@mnpubs.com Terry Gahan tgahan@mnpubs.com General Manager Chris Damlo 612-436-4376 • cdamlo@mnpubs.com editor Kathleen Stoehr kstoehr@mnpubs.com Contributing Writers/photographers Dr. Peter Dehnel Carolyn Jabs Kelly Jo McDonnell Shannon Keough Kara McGuire Emily Mongan Joy Riggs Sean Toren Jen Wittes production Manager Dana Croatt dcroatt@mnpubs.com

Are you currently pregnant or had a baby during the previous month and interested in participating in a telephone-based health and wellness program? The University of Minnesota is seeking women who are currently pregnant or less than 6 weeks postpartum to participate in a research study examining the effect of exercise and wellness on mood following childbirth • Participants receive a motivational exercise program or a health and wellness program, which begins after the birth of your baby (participants can sign up for the program during pregnancy) • Program delivered to you via the mail and phone • Must be 18 years of age or older; must not currently exercise regularly • Must not take antidepressants • Must have a history of depression • You will receive $100 for your time

senior Graphic designer Valerie Moe Graphic designer Amanda Wadeson sales Manager Melissa Ungerman Levy 612-436-4382 • mungermanlevy@mnpubs.com sales administrator Kate Manson 612-436-5085 • kmanson@mnpubs.com

Call 612-625-9753 or email mompro@umn.edu to see if you qualify for this research study U of M - Kinesiology Dept MNP 1212 S3.indd 1

11/15/12 2:37 PM

Circulation Marlo Johnson 612-436-4388 • distribution@mnpubs.com Classified advertising 612-825-9205 • sales@mnpubs.com printing Brown Printing

60,000 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 2013 by Minnesota Premier Publications. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. Address all material to address above.

September 2013 7


In brief You can now “fly through the air with the greatest of ease!” The twin Cities trapeze Center recently opened in the historic Hamm’s Building in St. Paul. Its mission is to provide a safe and fun environment for children age six and older and adults to learn and practice flying trapeze skills. Go to twincitiestrapeze.com for more information on enrollment. twin Cities Public television (tpt) and sciGirls were selected to receive a Media

Literate Media Award by the National Association for Media Literacy (NAMLE). The NAMLE Media Literate Media awards recognize people, programs, initiatives, or organizations in mainstream media that have raised the visibility of media literacy education or media literacy, helped citizens better understand media literacy education or media literacy and provided significant outstanding resources that enhance the ability of educators to practice inquiry based media literacy education. “We are delighted that NAMLE has recognized SciGirls with this media literacy education award” said Richard Hudson, Executive Producer and tpt’s Director of Science. “Even though women currently make up close to half of the U.S. workforce, they hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs. Projects like SciGirls are working to address this issue through

Minneapolis resident Amber Zrust opened rockerBuyBaby.com, an online shop for those parents who don’t want their babies swaddled in pink and blue pastels. Everything from changing pad covers, clothing, diaper bags, blankets, pacifier clips, Boppy covers, burp rags, nursing covers, and bedding can be found with designs like guitars, skulls, tattoo flash art and more.

8 September 2013

MiNNEsota ParENt tEstEd

Birth to booster! This convertible car seat has a full steel frame and accommodates baby to brat (five pounds to 120). Rearface, forward-face—no problem. Best, the seat surpasses federal crash standards and meets NCAP standards, the industry benchmark for verifying child seat performance in severe accident conditions. diono.com; about $340

transmedia efforts that reach girls through video and the web.” washburn Center for Children is responding to a growing community need by building a new facility in north Minneapolis. The ground breaking ceremony, held August 13, had special guests Sen. Al Franken, Mayor R.T. Rybak, Councilmember Don Samuels, and more than 150 community members on hand for the event at 1100 Glenwood Avenue (at Dupont Avenue North)—the site of the new child-centered building. As a community mental health center caring for a wide variety of children’s needs such as trauma,

anxiety, depression, and learning difficulties, Washburn serves more than 10,000 community members annually—2,700 children and 7,200 family members—and has doubled the number of children it serves in the past six years. The building is expected to open in late 2014. hennepin County Medical Center

(HCMC) has successfully achieved re-verification by the American College of Surgeons as a Level I Adult Trauma Center and a Level I Pediatric Trauma Center. HCMC was the first hospital in Minnesota to achieve this status, and in 2014 it will mark its 25th year as a Level I Trauma Center. “HCMC’s dual verification ensures that we are able to provide the highest level of trauma care to patients of all ages, and allows us to keep families together,” explains Dr. Arthur Ney, Trauma Medical Director of HCMC’s Trauma Services. To be verified by the American College of Surgeons as a Level I Trauma Center, an institution is measured against national guidelines and standards of care that ensure that trauma centers provide an organized and systemic approach to the care of the injured patient. Essential elements include highly trained personnel, state-of-the-art facilities, and ongoing performance improvement activities.


and even adulthood…”) and everything in between, everyone has a different approach—and they will likely try to convert you to their way of thinking. From personal experience, I suggest that you largely tune out their advice and follow mine, which is to keep it simple and surround yourself with support and smart people. For me, one of those people was Sara Pearce, founder of Amma Parenting Center and the facilitator of my “new mama” class. “Parent the baby in your arms, not the baby in your head,” is one of her favorite mantras. Whenever I was up at 4:00 a.m., bouncing my wailing, colicky, not-sleeping infant and starting to think enviously of the other quiet, compliant babies from class, I would remind myself of this wise advice.

Shannon

Keough

Getting back to bed

Up all night?

F

or the parents of a new baby, sleep—or lack thereof—is a serious issue. “Sleep now, while you still can!” wrote a coworker in my office baby shower card. “I haven’t had a full night of sleep since my daughter was born 18 months ago,” confided an acquaintance on Facebook in response to a question about sleep training. “Have you written about sleep yet?” asked an exhausted friend, mother of a sleep-resistant four-month-old, when I told her about writing this column. I’ve always loathed the “You just won’t understand until you’re a parent!” attitude that is frequently lobbed at the child-free among us, but it’s kind of true when it comes to the issue of sleep.

10 September 2013

While I’ve struggled off and on with insomnia since childhood and have long had a personal understanding of the suffering that comes with sleep deprivation, there is just something extra special about chronic sleeplessness when there’s a baby in the mix.

Setting expectations Many people have strong opinions about babies and sleep, and if you have a new baby, they will probably want to share them with you. From hardcore cry-it-out enthusiasts (“I let him scream all night, for eight hours…for two weeks…and it worked!”) to anti-cry-it-out evangelists (who argue that cry-it-out can lead to “health and coping problems in childhood

Yet, there is no need to set aside your dreams of a full eight hours (or more) of sleep, although some parents will tell you horror stories (again, ignore them). In my case, young Lydia was sleeping through the night by about six months. (By “through the night” I mean at least 10 hours in a row.) How did this happen? To be honest, the details are a little fuzzy (I was pretty tired). But I know for a fact that we didn’t follow any specific “sleep training” methodology. We basically just followed a few suggestions that I gathered from my classes. We focused on interpreting Lydia’s subtle “I’m tired” cues and then put her in her crib and crossed our fingers. FYI: when an infant is tired, she doesn’t just grab a novel and flop down into bed. Sleep cues for a baby can be tricky—she might stare off into space, avoid your gaze, or get some redness around the eyes. Once she’s yawning and rubbing her eyes, you’d better rush her off to the bassinet. And for the most part, our non-method worked! We’d put her down in bed, maybe


placing a hand on her for 30 seconds or so, and then creep out of her (pitch black, white noise-enhanced) room. Occasionally she would whimper a bit, but she’d usually calm down and fall asleep on her own after a few minutes. After three months of colicky madness, it was a revelation! Pamela Druckerman writes about a similar approach in her book about French parenting, Bringing up Bébé. She describes “the pause,” when French parents step back and wait a few moments before responding to their baby—giving the baby a chance to self-soothe. This also calls to mind the “intentional parenting” that Sara would talk about in class—that we need to be a student of our babies (observing and learning), while at the same time, realizing that we are our baby’s first teachers. “Sleep isn’t a battle,” she says, “but a partnership between you and your baby.”

Learning begins at

birth.

ECFE works to strengthen families and encourages parents to provide the best possible environment for the healthy development of their children.

Shannon Keough lives in south Minneapolis with her husband, Nick, and daughter, Lydia. She can be reached at mnga@mnpubs.com.

Resources Despite my embrace of a “less is more” approach to sleep, sometimes sleep issues require professional support or even medical intervention. There are a variety of great organizations that can help with sleep challenges. Classes Amma Parenting Center ammaparentingcenter.com Early Childhood Family Education ecfe.mpls.k12.mn.us (Minneapolis) ecfe.spps.org (St. Paul) Sleep Education Services Isis Parenting Phone consultations with pediatric sleep specialists for parents of newborns through age four; tinyurl.com/ml7lvq8 or 781-429-1500 Medical Resources Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, Sleep Health Clinic tinyurl.com/lv74u47 or 651-726-2899 Pediatric Sleep Disorders Clinic at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics, St. Paul tinyurl.com/kk2m5hz or 651-220-6258

Parent-Child Classes • Birth – 5 Years Old • www.ECFE.info

Early Childhood Family Education This ad was made possible by the generosity of the Minnesota College Savings Plan. For more information, please visit www.MN529today.com


that may require intervention by speech therapy. This includes children who have additional “dysfluency” problems such as consistently unclear speech or difficulty forming most words. Hearing problems can show themselves as speech issues at this age. Finally, significant stuttering that persists beyond six years of age will likely benefit from intervention help.

Peter

Dehnel, MD

My fourth grader seemed to be sick a lot last year, especially during the winter months. What can I do to help her be healthier this year?

Q

My four-year-old is stuttering a lot and I am worried he will have problems a year from now when he starts kindergarten. What can I do?

Stuttering is a very common issue in preschoolers and is seen in many three- to five-year-olds. Speech and language development is rapidly progressing at this time. The child’s ability to keep up with producing the words that he or she wants to say does not always happen smoothly. This frequently shows itself as stuttering, when a child searches for the right “next word” to use or is trying to say a more complex word than what they have used in the past. It may be helpful to look at stuttering as a kind of brain “software upgrade” as the neural connection continues to evolve and expand. 12 September 2013

There are a few things that parents can do while a child is going through a phase of stuttering. Read to your child a lot during this time. This is good for many reasons beyond just stuttering. Try not to correct your child while they are stuttering; it is likely to not help the underlying condition and may actually increase anxiety around speech development. Finally, some parents benefit their child if they start talking a little slower, which will help model that a slower pace of speech is very acceptable. A small number of children will have speech and language issues at this age

Children and teens in school—especially in the first few years—are susceptible to catching many of the illnesses that are present in their classrooms. Unfortunately, there is little that parents can do to prevent most of this from happening. Good hand washing and not sharing utensils or drink cans will help a little, but most viruses and bacteria can live on tables, doors, desks, counters, and other surfaces for several hours. All it takes is your child touching that surface and then rubbing her eye or eating something by hand. One recommendation that will help prevent one of the more serious viral infections is for your kids to receive the flu vaccine each fall. There is both an injectable form of the vaccine and a nasal spray. People with certain conditions— asthma or suppressed immune systems, for example—cannot get the nasal spray and should definitely get the injectable form of the vaccine. However, the nasal spray tends to be a little more effective, especially when there is not an exact match between the viral strains that are in the vaccine and the flu strain that actually affects the community. This year is the first year there are will be four strains of influenza included instead of three. For kids and adults that show signs of actually developing the influenza infection, there are a handful of oral medications that can help to reduce the severity of the disease. These generally have to be started within the first 48 hours, so


contact your doctor if you or your child starts to develop symptoms of the flu.

My child just started second grade and is worried about going to school every morning. What can I do to help him have a better attitude? Worries about going to school—also called school phobia—can happen for three main reasons: 1) what is happening at home; 2) what they think will happen at school; and 3) after a prolonged or serious illness. If there are major life events happening at home, younger children will likely be afraid of leaving home because of the uncertainty they feel. Having a talk with them with a heavy dose of reassurance added in will help to ease their fears of leaving for the day. Fear about what may happen to them at school needs to be addressed with the school. Fear of the consequences of bad behaviors in the classroom and what the teacher is likely to do about it needs to be resolved quickly. Fear of a bully situation at school—or any place between school and home—also needs to addressed as quickly as possible, but will likely be a more complicated situation. Finally, if your child has a significant health issue or had a prolonged absence, he may be afraid of what might happen to them outside of their more medically protective home environment. Talking through a plan with your child about his or her health worries is a good start. Reassurance ahead of time that knowledgeable people are close at hand is also part of a good strategy for most children as they transition back to school. This column is intended to provide general information and guidance only and not specific medical advice. If you have specific questions about your child, please consult your health care professional. Dr. Peter Dehnel is a board certified pediatrician and medical director with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota. Have a question for Dr. Dehnel? Email mnga@mnpubs.com.


recipe

Egg-thanean breakfast pizza 1 tube refrigerated pizza dough 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar ½ teaspoon dried oregano Sprinkle of salt & black pepper 1 cup fresh spinach leaves, finely chopped 1 cup fresh sweet red pepper strips ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese (1 ½ ounces) 4 eggs Makes four individually sized pizzas.

14 September 2013

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Lightly coat 2 large baking sheets with nonstick spray. Unroll pizza crust onto a work surface and cut into 4 equal pieces. Place two pieces on each of the baking sheets and turn each corner up vertically toward the center to form a diamond shape (this helps prevent the egg from running onto the baking sheet). Bake for 8 minutes. 2. Toss tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, oregano, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl; set aside. Prepare spinach, red pepper strips, and feta, placing each in its own bowl. Set aside.

3. Remove pizza crusts from the oven and brush lightly with olive oil. Top each crust with about ¼ cup of the tomato mixture (drain off as much juice as you can), followed by ¼ cup spinach. With your fingers, create a well in the center of the tomatoes and spinach. Carefully crack an egg into the well you just formed, then top with some of the pepper strips, and feta. Sprinkle eggs with additional pepper. Bake pizzas for 10 minutes or until eggs are set to your liking. Serve immediately. Recipe courtesy of the National Milk Mustache “got milk?” Campaign. For more, check out thebreakfastproject.com.


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Visit us online at ymcatwincities.org Or call us at 612-230-9622 Financial assistance available. You do not need to be a member to register. 12-EC14


Joy

Riggs

Later start is a good start

I

’m not fond of waking up my 17-yearold daughter on school mornings. It can be downright dangerous. Even in a half-awake state, with her head buried under a twisted pile of blankets, Louisa can convey her anti-morning attitude with a powerful kick aimed in my direction. I try not to take it personally. That’s why I found it reassuring to read in a recent Slate article that a 7:00 a.m. alarm for a teenager is like a 5:00 a.m. wake-up for a person in his or her 50s. If Louisa tried to awaken me that early with a cheerful greeting, I might feel like kicking, too. My daughter and her two younger brothers have it better than many teens and tweens. I know that some kids wake

16 September 2013

up as early as 5:30 to shower, eat breakfast, and catch a ride to school. My kids sometimes don’t roll out of bed until 7:10 and still manage to make their 7:30 bus, which drops them off in time for a 7:51 start at the high school, or a 7:57 start at the middle school. And every Wednesday, all the schools in our district start an hour later, so teachers can have professional development time.

Biological breakdown The Wednesday late start is a welcome respite in the middle of a typically hectic week. I just wish the daily school schedule better accommodated their biological need for sleep. It’s surprising, given the continuing research about teen brains and the dangers of sleep-deprivation, that all school districts haven’t followed the path of Edina. In 1996, that district changed its high school start time from 7:20 to 8:30 a.m., based on emerging research about adolescent sleep patterns. A year later,

Minneapolis adjusted its secondary starting times from 7:15 to 8:40, and experienced a reduction in student dropout rates and depression. “They would not go back; they would not change it,” says Kyla Wahlstrom, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Applied Research and Education Improvement. She has studied the impact of later start times on educational achievement and is a nationally recognized expert on the issue. Wahlstrom initially was skeptical when she went to Edina to study the effects of the change. What she found shocked her. “I was blown away by the amount of positive outcomes and comments I heard from the principal and teachers. The teachers were saying, ‘my kids aren’t falling asleep in the first hour.’ The principal said there was less friction in the lunchroom, and less tension in the hallways.” Although the change initially raised some concerns, those quickly faded. Athletic practice times had to be adjusted, but sports teams still excelled. Businesses that employed teens in after-school jobs were unaffected. The change was made at no financial cost; instead of adding buses, schedules were shuffled so that elementary schools started earlier. Elementary teachers found that an earlier start benefited their students. Wahlstrom says elementary students are more flexible with their sleep schedules, like adults, but the teenage brain is different. From puberty through about age 19, adolescent brains go through a final stage of maturation, and experience a “sleep phase shift.” Their brains don’t begin to secrete melatonin—a chemical that makes the body feel sleepy—until 10:45 or 11:00 at night. “There’s no way to change the timing of that—they can’t just go to bed at 10:00,” she says. Once the melatonin secretion begins, teens are in full sleep mode until 8:00 a.m., when the secretion drops off. This means that their ideal wake-up time is about 8:15 a.m. Yet, the majority of secondary schools start before 8:00 a.m.


How a lack of sleep affects adolescents • It limits their ability to learn, listen, concentrate, and solve problems. They may even forget important information like names, numbers, and homework • It makes them more prone to pimples and other skin problems • It can lead to aggressive or inappropriate behavior, like yelling at friends or being impatient with teachers or family members • It can cause them to eat too much or eat unhealthy foods like sweets and fried foods that lead to weight gain • It heightens the effects of alcohol and possibly increases the use of caffeine and nicotine • It can contribute to illness, not using equipment correctly, and driving drowsy — National Sleep Foundation

Resources Go to mnparent.com for a list of resources associated with this article.

This makes it a scheduling challenge for adolescents to get the recommended 8.5 to 9.25 hours of sleep a night. What can parents do to help adolescents get the sleep they need? • Become educated about the developmental features of adolescent sleep, and the connections between a lack of sleep and depression, risky behavior, and unsafe driving. • Help your own children get more sleep by enforcing a policy of no cell phones in the bedroom at night. Studies show that 87 percent of teens sleep with their phones—a practice known to disrupt the quality of sleep and the teen’s ability to fall asleep. • Approach school board members, the high school principal, and teachers to advocate for later start times in your district.


Cuddle it

l u f i t u a Be baby Pamper your little bundle of joy with these innovative baby products.

One part stuffed animal, one part pacifier, the WubbaNub is an adorable take on the traditional pacifier. The attached plush toy isn’t just there to look cute, either; it’s a good size for little hands to grab and easily manipulate. Available in a variety of animals, including monkeys, lambs, and bears. — available locally at Babies R Us, and online at Amazon.com, about $13

By Emily Mongan

Carry it Tote those burp cloths in style with Skip Hop’s Light and Luxe diaper bag. It’s lightweight and functional, made from easy-to-clean laminated fabric and has zippers that make changing its shape from a tote to a handbag a snap. Available in three bold Jonathan Adler prints, making it as fashion-forward as it is functional. — skiphop.com; about $70

Mix it Fumbling through late night or on-the-go feedings is a thing of the past. With the Mixie Baby Bottle, mixing formula with superhero-like speed is as easy as pushing a button. Just fill the special air tight compartment in advance with formula, and the bottle with water. Whenever hunger strikes just push the button to release the formula, shake it up, and you’re ready for feeding time. — mixiebaby.com; about $19

18 September 2013

swaddle it Swaddling your baby has never been simpler than with the TrueWomb swaddling system. Its innovative design allows babies to move and kick while staying safely and snugly wrapped. It’s easy to use, and designed to help alleviate problems like colic that interrupt baby’s sleep—and yours. f — truewomb.com; about $40


Soothe it Autumn is on the way, and that means one thing: cold weather is too. Protect your baby’s delicate skin with Noodle & Boo’s Ultimate Ointment. Chock full of vitamins and skin-loving ingredients, it helps reduce dryness, redness, and inflammation and creates a protective barrier on the skin to repel moisture and sources of irritation. — available locally at Nordstrom, or online at noodleandboo.com; about $15

Rock it This is one comfy cradle. The BabyBjörn Cradle Harmony is made of lightweight, transparent, breathable mesh fabric that allows for easy supervision. Its innovative design—free of any bars or parts that could trap little hands and feet—turns a baby’s movements into gentle rocking that soothes and relaxes them to sleep. — babybjorn.com; about $350

September 2013 19


when it seems like there’s an app or calculator for most every financial task. For example, we can all:

Kara

McGuire

• Check our free credit reports each year at freecreditreport.com to look for any mistakes or fraud on our credit record • Add up the amount of credit card debt and other consumer debt we have • Sign up for whatever workplace retirement fund is available, making sure to save enough money each month to take advantage of any corporate matching funds • Track our mindless spending using an online personal financial management tool like mint.com. Most banks have such a tool, too

yoyo finances

R

esources are limited. That’s the basic truth that Atlantic writer Theodore Ross addressed in a recent article (tinyurl.com/ l5p5tyz) about why it’s hard for parents to calm down when it comes to raising their kids. He says, “Anxiety around childrearing originates from America’s YOYO (You’re On Your Own) parenting world.” Continuing, he says, “It may take a village—but only if we’re talking about one with barbed wire fencing encircling the huts, crappy afterschool care, astronomical college costs, and no one to mind the goats in the afternoon.” Borrowing from Ross, I think most parents feel they are living in a YOYO financial world as well. I know I do. At one point, childcare for our family cost more than our mortgage. Retirement benefits are leaner than they once were, and college costs—well, Ross is right about prices in the stratosphere. No

20 September 2013

wonder most of us fall short of meeting our financial goals; the money runs out long before our needs, wants, and desires are met. Wouldn’t it be nice to find someone who could nimbly navigate our money lives and fashion a workable plan? Finding a financial adviser is one of the most common questions I’ve received in my 10-plus years covering the money beat. There’s no shortage of advisors, but finding one that you can trust, one that understands your particular situation, and wants to work with possible limited means can be challenging. So where to begin? Here are some thoughts:

do you need an adviser? There are some items on everyone’s to-do list that can be accomplished without the help of an advisor, especially these days

Tackling that list is not always easy. Like a personal trainer or a diet coach, a financial planner can squelch the inertia that keeps many of us from accomplishing our goals. For busy families with plenty else they want to spend their time doing, working with an adviser can free up precious minutes, or provide a sounding board to prioritize goals and alleviate “what-if” worries.

pinpoint your main purpose. Once you’ve decided to get help, you need to figure out whether you want to work with a financial adviser on a long-term or per-project basis. Do you want a comprehensive financial plan that leaves no question unanswered? Someone who will manage your investments for life? Or, do you want the answer to a single question: like how much to save for college per child or whether you have the right mix of investments in your retirement plan?

figure out compensation. All financial advisers get paid. No one can give out loads of free advice and also make a living. But it can be confusing to figure out how a financial planner gets paid. Some are paid a fee


Many professionals consider the CFP, or certified financial planner, to be the gold standard. Whatever the designation, find out if the adviser is a fiduciary 100 percent of the time, which means they put their clients’ interest first, no matter what.

based on a particular project. Others charge a small percentage: for example, 1% of assets under management on the amount of money you’ve given them to invest is fairly standard. Yet others are paid a commission earned for selling a certain type of investment or insurance. And of course there are those who are paid a mish-mash of those compensation types. There are pros and cons to each method, but the bottom line is that a good adviser will be explicit about how they are paid.

Determine their designations. CFP, CFA, CLU, CDFA. There are scads of professional designations that can accompany an adviser’s name based on education, training, and experience. Many professionals consider the CFP, or certified financial planner, to be the gold standard. Whatever the designation, find out if the adviser is a fiduciary 100 percent of the time, which means they put their clients’ interest first, no matter what. FINRA.org has a handy list of designations on view.

Ask a lot of questions. Don’t worry about making the adviser feel uncomfortable or seeming to be distrusting. In the post-Bernie Madoff era, advisers should expect potential clients to be inquisitive and be prepared to show investors proof of education, fees, and a decade’s worth of disciplinary history if prompted.

You can get there. We can help.

Visit www.MN529today.com or call 1-877-338-4646


All about baby Expecting a new addition to your family? Stock up on these books about and for babies! By Emily Mongan

Ma! There’s Nothing to Do Here! The life of a baby waiting to be born can get pretty boring, as the tiny bald protagonist will tell you. With comical illustrations that bring the big plans this baby has in the outside world to life, Ma! will make an excellent gift for an expectant mother or future big brother or sister. Ages 2 to 5 By Barbara Park Random House; $7.99

Baby, Where Are You? Help these animal moms and dads find their babies in this adorable board book. Little ones can pitch in by pointing or lifting the cartoon flaps to discover photographs of each animal, and help the animal parents find where their babies are hiding. Ages birth to 3 By Mack Clavis; $10.95

97 Ways to Make a Baby Laugh This pocket guide is for parents, grandparents, and anyone who wants to fine-tune their skills in baby comedy. The tricks and tips include sight gags, practical jokes, and funny faces to help coax a laugh or two out of a little one. Blank pages are added at the back for filling in your own triedand-true tricks. By Jack Moore Workman Publishing Company; $8.95

Baby Faces Baby Faces features colorful illustrations of babies making all sorts of silly faces. While making the faces while reading along with the book isn’t mandatory, it’s highly encouraged! Baby Faces is part of the Indestructibles series of chew-proof, rip-proof, nontoxic, and washable books built to put up with all the chewing, grabbing, and spilling that a baby could throw at it. Ages birth to 2 By Kate Merritt Clavis; $4.95

22 September 2013


Baby Parade Get ready for what might possibly be the cutest parade ever! Babies in wagons, babies in backpacks, and babies learning to walk on their own all go past in the Baby Parade, and it’s our job to wave at them all. This adorable parade will be irresistible to toddlers (and caregivers) everywhere. Ages 1 to 4 By Rebecca O’Connell Albert Whitman & Company; $15.99

Move Babies are on the move in this lively board book that celebrates all the joyful ways babies propel themselves and interact with the world. This book, part of the “Happy Healthy Babies” series, includes black and white photographs along with playful colored illustrations that show babies on the go. It also includes tips for parents and caregivers on encouraging movement and motor development in babies. Ages birth to 2 By Elizabeth Verdick and Marjorie Lisovskis Free Spirit Publishing; $6.99


Sean

Toren

Facebook face-off

I

n almost any relationship there will be discrepancies between spouses regarding time spent on interests. Me, I’ll sacrifice almost anything to hit single track on my mountain bike. And Edna? It’s reading. Back before our son was born, I considered myself quite a reader. But I realized that I was deluding myself once I shacked up with someone who belongs in the pantheon of the World’s Greatest Readers. (Note that I use ‘great’ here in its 24 September 2013

‘infamous’ sense, such as ‘the county’s greatest thief’ or ‘the Earth’s greatest catastrophe’.) Edna will read anything, anywhere, anytime. Don’t get me wrong: it’s good for writers to be partnered up with readers. It makes for a pretty symbiotic relationship, and back when we started up, books were something that connected us. But now Edna reads a certain book too often that instead has divided us: A virtual fake book. That is, Facebook.

My beautiful wife (with her reading addiction and fear of ‘missing out’ on anything her friends are doing) had succumbed to the seductive wiles of Facebook, the sexy site with cloven hooves and spiky tail. Destroyer of cuddle-time and all things decent—now optimized to work with her iPhone! How’s a normal guy to compete? Facebook has all the right moves: it offers flirty titillations in the form of hunky exes asking to be ‘friended’; it fans the flames of her fear of ‘missing out’ on banal updates concerning like-minded peoples’ food consumption and photos of their pets in costumes; and it provides shared, tribal, outrage over puppy mills and the Supreme Court and (pick your flavor) politicians. Things were already bad, but the addiction got even worse during our recent, incredibly long winter. If I went to bed before her, my wife would hit Facebook like one of the neighborhood raccoons that clamber into our compost bin to get tipsy on fermenting fruit. I once woke to find her wandering around the house in the dark, her face lit up only by the glow of her laptop, addled and exhausted, as she attempted to follow friends’ links with the goal of actually reading and viewing everything that had been posted that day. I was at my wits’ end. How could I get her to stop? 

Stop in the name of love One snowy June evening this year, after trying to get her attention for the better part of a weekend, I had a brilliant idea: sabotage. Should I hack the Wi-Fi? Have the microwave ‘blow the fuses’? Forget the pay the Internet bill? Then I decided I’d have to confront this Facebook problem face-to-face. I girded my loins (not as easy as it sounds) and approached her at the dining room table, manfully slamming down the lid of her laptop. I had imagined this intervention dozens of times by this point, which always ran something like this (after the manly slamming part, of which there were a few variations, depending on the loin girding): “This affair with Facebook—it’s got to stop,” I say, outraged.


Edna’s face clouds—then bursts into tears. “I know, Darling,” she says, surprising me (because she’s never called me ‘Darling’). “I’m out of control. Save me.” Suddenly shirtless, I tear the Wi-Fi box out of the wall and toss it across the room as if it weighs nothing, then snuggle her in my arms, cooing the words, “It’s over…it’s all over now.” The terrible Facebook monster would be vanquished. I would be a hero—and have the mother of my child (and cuddle time) back. No one was more surprised than I when, after I actually did slam down the lid of her laptop, Edna did NOT burst into tears, or snuggle in my arms—though her face did cloud over. “What the H..E…double toothpicks are you doing?” is what she finally hissed, rising slowly from her roost. She bared her fangs, and her bat wings began to unfold (or at least I think they did—I was too afraid to look at her). “We need to talk,” I said with a tiny voice, looking down at my girded loins for courage, “Something’s got to change.” “Don’t you ever—!“ “I want my woman back,” I pleaded, my voice barely a whisper, “Please.” My wife froze. The fangs re-sheathed themselves, the bat wings retracted. A tear formed in the corner of her computerwearied eye. Somehow I’d broken Facebook’s demonic grip and I finally had her attention. The following conversation was difficult to say the least, but we were able to plow our way through it, and we made a promise that we’d have no Facebook within an hour before bed. We set a goal of decompressing together at the end of each very long day with a bit of actual face time. A couple of months in, the strategy seems to be working and we’re actually talking more in the evening (though it hasn’t hurt that, strangely, the “darn microwave keeps blowing the fuses,” either). Sean Toren loves living the full catastrophe in Minneapolis with his wife and son. He can be contacted at mnga@mnpubs.com with thoughts or suggestions.

Mid-America Festivals MNP 0913 H6.indd 1

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The Little Gym helps children reach their greatest potential. From 4 months through 12 years, classes promote development and build confidence during each stage of childhood. Call to schedule your introductory class. The Little Gym of Edina thelittlegym.com/edinamn 952-924-0083

Little Gym MNP 0913 H4.indd 1

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ATTENTION WOMEN 21-33: Would you like to be an egg donor?

The Center for Reproductive Medicine is seeking women between 21 and 33 years of age to donate eggs for couples who cannot otherwise achieve pregnancy. You will be compensated for your time and inconvenience.

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2/7/13 9:59 AM September 2013 25


I s

t e c h n o l o g r e w i r i n g b a b y ’ s b r a i

26 September 2013


g y y o u r i n ?

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By Carolyn Jabs

a rule nearly every parent breaks. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children under two have no exposure to screens. That guideline was hard enough to follow when it applied to background TV and baby videos. Now that very young children are reaching for smartphones and tablets, most parents hand them over sooner or later. Some experts argue that these screens are different because they are interactive. When a little child pokes the screen, something exciting happens. There’s no question that this kind of cause and effect is mesmerizing, but is it good for little brains? The honest answer is no one knows because there hasn’t been time to do the relevant research. What scientists do know is that baby brains grow dramatically. At birth, each brain cell has about 2,500 synapses or connections to other brain cells. Around age three, the typical brain cell has 15,000 connections because of the baby’s astonishing ability to learn. The AAP argues that there’s no reason to take chances with that development. Even if there’s no evidence that screen time is bad for baby brains, there’s also no evidence that it does anything to promote healthy growth. In some ways, this mirrors the conversation about sugary foods. Parents PPA - Cloudy Meatballs 2 MNP 0913 V2.indd 1

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know candy and cookies aren’t necessary for growth. And, in large quantities, they displace other essential nutrients. Yet, sooner or later, most parents introduce kids to the pleasures of lollipops and birthday cake. Depending on how it’s done, the child may accept these foods as occasional treats or he may whine for candy every time he finds himself in a checkout aisle. Until we have evidence that screen time is good for babies and toddlers, access to technology should be limited and thoughtfully supervised by parents. Since you can’t see what’s happening in your baby’s brain, you’ll need other indicators to be sure development is on track. Here are a few questions worth asking: is your child excited to play with you?

Experts agree that a deep connection with parents is crucial during the first two years of life. Early interactions in which children learn to make and break eye contact or to take turns making sounds become the foundation for emotional intelligence. Having face-to-face fun with your baby sets up a lifelong assumption that interacting with people is rewarding for its own sake. do people talk to your child—a lot?

Research done in the 1990s demonstrated that babies who hear around 2,000 words per hour do better in school and even have higher IQs. That’s because the language centers of the brain are especially absorbent during the first three years. Recorded words don’t make much of an impression. Language needs to be tailored to the child, responsive both to what she is doing and her emotions. Parents, of course, aren’t the only ones who should be talking to babies. Be sure other caregivers are aware of how important it is to use language with children who seem like they are too young to understand. does your child enjoy three-dimensional play? Babies and toddlers figure out the world by picking things up, chewing on them, poking, throwing, rolling, and stacking them. Not only is this fun, but it also gives your child the basis for

28 September 2013

concepts like round and flat, fuzzy and smooth. A touch screen may reference these ideas but it takes lots of real life experience to get them fixed firmly in the brain. Healthy babies are always reaching and exploring. Most of what they find should stimulate multiple senses. Can your child detach from the screen?

Some parents report that little ones become fixated on smartphones and tablets, whining for them when they could be doing other things and melting down when parents take them away. According to Michael Rich, director of Boston’s Center on Media and Child Health, this occurs because the visual stimuli of many apps give children a regular squirt of dopamine, a brain chemical that creates sensations of pleasure. Too much of this can create cravings that babies—and adults—can’t resist. is your child able to settle down for quiet time and sleeping? Because baby brains are growing so rapidly, they can easily become overstimulated. Being able to settle and sleep peacefully is a lifelong skill, and most parents intuitively help little children calm down by gentle rocking, singing, and stroking. Research indicates that the light emitted by screens stimulates brain waves in ways that interfere with sleep, so screentime should never be part of a baby’s bedtime routine (just as it should never be a part of yours). Can you focus on your child? No matter

what you say, young children will mimic what you do. If you are tethered to your devices—checking email during diaper changes, texting during playtime, talking on the phone during walks with your baby—your behavior will imprint on your child. More important, your distraction will keep you from playing what Uri Bronfenbrenner, co-founder of Head Start, called “ping pong” with your child: Your baby giggles and you repeat whatever you did to make her laugh. Your toddler says something that sounds like Mama and you respond with delight. As Bronfenbrenner famously put it, healthy development occurs “through the process of progressively more complex exchange between a

ReCoMMended ReadInG Plop your kid in your lap, pick up a book, and enjoy reading about how these cute characters eschewed the electronics. Doug Unplugged by Dan Yaccarino Doug is a robot. His parents want him to be smart, so each morning they plug him in and start the information download. After a morning spent learning about the city, Doug suspects he could learn even more about it by going outside and exploring. Blackout by John Rocco This book is set in Brooklyn and is inspired by the Great Blackout in the summer of 2003. When an entire city goes dark, a family finds joy on the rooftops and streets of their community. Chloe by Peter McCarty When a new, large television takes over family fun time, Chloe must convince her parents and 10 brothers and sisters of what every toddler already knows: the packaging is much more fun than the gift! hello! hello! by Matthew Cordell Lydia’s family members are all glued to their personal screens. When Lydia’s screen goes dark, an open doorway lures her outside. What she discovers out there is so marvelous she encourages her family to drop their electronic devices and join her. — Recommended reading courtesy of Kinderberry Hill, who just completed its first-ever “Screen Free Week”

child and somebody else—especially somebody who’s crazy about that child.” If you can answer “yes” to all these questions, you can be confident that your baby’s brain is getting what it needs. Under those circumstances, handing over the smartphone to secure a moment of quiet isn’t any more harmful than offering a cookie for the same reason. Neither is likely to undermine healthy development for your baby, unless you turn it into a habit. •


September 2013 29


Give ‘em a hug; it’s National Grandparents Day

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16 17 ———————— ———————— ———————— Opening night: Charlotte’s Web ———————— ———————— ————————

18 19 ———————— ———————— ———————— third thursday at the Mia ———————— ———————— ————————

Make Your Bed Day

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3 4 5 ———————— National Cheese Pizza Day ———————— Groovin’ in the Garden ———————— @ Como Park Zoo ———————— ———————— ————————

10 11 9 ———————— ———————— ———————— ———————— tuesdays ———————— toddler @ Moa: Cloudy a Chance ———————— with of Meatballs

1 2 ———————— ———————— ———————— ———————— ———————— Kid’s Day @ MN State Fair ————————

Sun Mon Tues Wed Thurs

Monarch festival

free first saturday @ walker art Center

Fall Kids Open House @ McPhail Center for Music

7

Sat

opening night: lilly’s Purple

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Blue Man Group – Making Waves opens @ MCM

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14 13 ———————— admission ———————— FREE @ The Bakken Museum ———————— ———————— scarecrow fest opens @ Emma ———————— krumbee’s ————————

family Night at the Global Market

6

Fri

September out about

pull out and saVe!


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Your last day to HUZZAH! The Ren Fest closes

23 24 ———————— ———————— Preschool ———————— Playdate ———————— ———————— ————————

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8/7/13 8:46 AM

26 27 ———————— ———————— ———————— ———————— First steam ———————— locomotive run (1825) ————————

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Wee Wednesdays

25

Plastic Purse

8/14/13 10:48 AM

www.teenybeeboutique.com

1560 Selby Ave St. Paul, MN 55104

happy babies. happy moms.

Hide & Seek @ Lebanon Hills Park

fall festival: Get out & Grow!

Museum Day Live!

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Out About

ParENt PiCk

Monarch Festival Î The fifth annual Monarch Festival celebrates the monarch butterfly’s amazing migration from Minnesota to Mexico. Using art, music, dance, games, native plants, prairie tours, and food, the festival also raises awareness of the need to provide and protect monarch habitat. Festival participants can look for monarch eggs and get an up-close look at live monarch caterpillars and butterflies. Approximately 400 butterflies raised by the University of Minnesota’s Monarch Lab will start their 2,300-mile migration. when: 7th; 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. where: Lake Nokomis Naturescape Gardens, Minneapolis Cost: FREE info: tinyurl.com/bntd93n or 612-313-7784 info: mnstatefair.org

Kidstock

ParENt PiCk

Î Designed with young kids (and their curiosities) in mind, this open house for children 10 and under will give kids the chance to get a feel for music! Try an instrument, make one to bring home, and sing and dance during the performances. Also featuring a performance by The Bazillions. when: 7th; 9:00 a.m. to noon Cost: FREE

where: MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis info: macphail.org or 612-321-0100

onGoInG fall into Whimsy Î Tease magic out of seeds, twigs, and leaves to turn them into fairies, gnomes, and elves. Then take them outside into the Green Play Yard and help build them an elfin kingdom under the trees. when: Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 4:00 p.m. where: Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska Cost: Age 13 and up, $12 info: www.arboretum.umn.edu/ or 952-443-1400

32 September 2013

and then they Came for Me Î A multimedia journey into the life and world of Anne Frank, and two Holocaust survivors whose lives she changed forever. Combining interview footage with live theater, this gripping drama is a groundbreaking retelling of Frank’s famous story. when: 27th to Oct. 13 where: Youth Performance Company, Minneapolis Cost: Children/seniors $10; adults $12 info: youthperformanceco.org or 612-623-9080

scarecrow festival Î 30th annual festival with wagon rides, giant haystack jump, petting zoo, maze, and more. when: 14th through Oct. 27; 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. where: Emma Krumbee’s, Belle Plain Cost: $5 per person; under 2, FREE info: emmakrumbees.com or 952-873-3654

Renaissance festival Î King Henry and his court invite one and all to his 16th century European


village featuring 12 stages of musicians, magicians, jugglers, and mimes. Over 250 artisans will fill the festival marketplace to display and sell their handcrafted goods for a truly unique shopping experience. Patrons will interact with hundreds of memorable characters and enjoy more than 500 entertainers. Check the site for themed weekends, such as Royal Ale Festival, Shamrocks & Shenanigans, Highland Fling, and more. when: Through the 29th, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. where: Intersection of Hwys 169 and 41, Shakopee Cost: Admission fee info: renaissancefest.com or 952-445-7361

Minnesota state fair Î The Minnesota State Fair is one of the largest and best-attended expositions in the world, attracting nearly 1.8 million visitors annually. Showcasing Minnesota’s finest agriculture, art and industry, the Great Minnesota Get-Together is always Twelve Days of Fun. when: Through the 2nd where: State Fairgrounds, St. Paul Cost: Admission fee info: mnstatefair.org

Walker on the Green Î Artist-designed mini golf, two eight hole courses in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden with garden gnomes, a scale model of a French chateau, gopher holes, and contours mapped from the course at the legendary Augusta National Golf Club.

when: Through the 8th where: Minneapolis Sculpture Garden Cost: $9 and up, includes gallery admission to the Walker Art Center info: tinyurl.com/o85j6ke or 612-375-7600

art In nature Geocache Î Explore Saint Paul’s regional parks through geocaching! Natural Resources staff hides caches monthly from May through October with activities designed to encourage learning and exploration of regional parks. Participants who successfully navigate to the provided GPS coordinates, find the cache, and complete the activity described inside are entered in a monthly prize drawing. when: Through October 31 Location: Saint Paul’s Regional Parks Cost: FREE info: tinyurl.com/43ava97 or 651-632-2455

Enroll in an ECFE class TODAY

www.ECFE.info

planet spooky Î Join Snoopy and the Peanuts gang andECFE MNP 0913 V6.indd see a storytelling witch, enjoy a coloring contest, and more. New this season, PrehistROARic Treat Trail at Dinosaurs Alive! The only treat or treat trail that allows guests an opportunity to receive candy from a 25-foot Tyrannosaurs Rex (extra charge).

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8/1/13 9:01 AM

when: Weekends through Oct. 27 where: Valleyfair, Shakopee Cost: Admission fees info: valleyfair.com or 952-445-7600

Walker on the Green

September 2013 33


Oct. 5 2013

10am-2pm

then now Wow Î Dedicated entirely to Minnesota history, Then Now Wow is the largest exhibit ever created by the Minnesota History Center. Designed primarily for children, visitors of all ages will enjoy exploring Minnesota’s distinctive places from the prairies and forests to the cities, along the way they’ll meet the people who have made their homes here. when: Ongoing where: Minnesota History Center Cost: $6–$11; FREE ages five and under info: mnhs.org or 651-259-3000

m i n n e s o t a p a re n t ’s EDUCATION FAIR Enjoy a fun day at the zoo, and learn about education options for your child

held at como park zoo & conservatory

FREE visitor center Admission + FREE Parking FREE Entertainment ARTrageous Adventures Creation Station Simply Jane Face Painting & Coloring Activity

door prizes + goodie bags

University of Minnesota’s Goldy the Gopher

Minnesota & the Civil War Î The Civil War holds a pivotal place in the history of the United States. Citizens of the new state of Minnesota were a major part of the national story, from being the first state to offer troops, through their dramatic role at Gettysburg, to Appomattox and beyond. when: Through the 8th; closed Mondays except for holidays where: Minnesota History Center Cost: $5 and under FREE; 6 to 17, $6; seniors and college students, $9; adults, $11 info: minnesotahistorycenter.org or 651-259-3000

Charlotte’s Web Î When Fern saves Wilbur, the smallest pig in the litter, from her father’s axe, Wilbur feels like nothing bad can ever happen again. The wisecracking barn animals, however, know why the farmer wants to make his new pig fat and tender. Wilbur finds help in the seemingly fragile web of Charlotte the spider who weaves a path to freedom for the pig. Grades K+ when: 17th through Oct. 27 where: Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis Cost: Prices vary depending upon seat and performance info: childrenstheatre.org or 612-874-0400

for more information

mnparent.com/edfair or 612.825.9205 Sponsored By

lilly’s purple plastic purse Î Lilly is a youngster who looks at things very simply. She loves everything! Her friends Chester and Wilson share her excitement and wonder at discovering the

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world around them. when: 20th through Oct. 20 where: Stages Theatre Company, Hopkins Cost: Prices vary depending upon seat and performance info: stagestheatre.org or 952-979-1111

dora and diego— let’s explore! Î The exhibit features beloved characters Dora and Diego from Nickelodeon’s hit preschool series Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego, Go!, along with their friends Boots, Map, Backpack, Isa, Tico, and of course Swiper, now in their own exhibit for your preschooler to explore as they learn and play along. when: Through the 22nd where: Minnesota Children’s Museum, St. Paul Cost: $9.50 ages 1 to 101 info: mcm.org or 651-225-6000

Blue Man Group— Making Waves Î This 1,500-square-foot exhibit is designed to bring together science and art and will take the whole family through a multi-sensory exploration of sound that provides an opportunity to play together while discovering the fun of music. when: 21st through Jan. 12, 2014 where: Minnesota Children’s Museum, St. Paul Cost: $9.50 ages 1 to 101 info: mcm.org or 651-225-6000

Blue Man Group— Making Waves


Out About Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed Î It’s the world premiere of Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed, a brand-new, original exhibition that sheds light on this mysterious and majestic ancient culture. when: Through Jan. 5, 2014 where: Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul Cost: $9 to $28 info: smm.org/maya or 651-224-9444

Run! Jump! fly! adventures in action

Malt Shop!

Î Run! Jump! Fly! Adventures in Action motivates children to be more active by experiencing the fun in physical activity. It features four adventure scenes, an action star training center, and a toddler pyramid. Each adventure scene provides an imaginative setting in which kids can try out a high appeal physical activity. when: Through the 8th where: Minnesota Children’s Museum, St. Paul Cost: $9.50 ages 1 to 101 info: mcm.org or 651-225-6000

Amma Parenting Center is the top resource for new and expecting parents. Childbirth classes, breastfeeding help, new parent classes, and the best baby boutique in town! Trusted by hospitals and families since 2009.

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preschool playdate Î Each Tuesday, the Science Museum offers preschool appropriate activities that will keep little hands busy and little minds buzzing. A Preschool Playdates ticket includes admission to the exhibit galleries, take-home science experiment, preschool perfect Science Live performances and science demonstrations, and various discounts. when: 10:00 a.m. to noon where: Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul Cost: Under five, FREE; $13 for adults info: smm.org/playdates or 651-221-9444

Wee Wednesdays Î Wee Wednesdays have plenty to see and do for toddlers and their families. Free, educational programming geared toward children five and under; also features hands-on activities and more. when: Every Wednesday beginning at 10:30 a.m.

September 2013 35


Out About where: Midtown Global Market, Mpls Cost: FREE info: midtownglobalmarket.org or 612-872-4041

family night at the Global Market Î Free 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 to 8:00 p.m. where: Midtown Global Market, Minneapolis Cost: FREE info: midtownglobalmarket.org or 612-872-4041

4 WednesdaY Groovin’ in the Garden

SEPTEMBER 15, 2013

Î While the grownups get their groove on with some of the Twin Cities best bands, the kids will be entertained by a climbing wall, bouncy house, and lawn games. Pack the dancing shoes, spread out a blanket & join us for these FREE outdoor concerts & activities. This week: Barbara Jean Band when: 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. where: Visitor Center lawn, Como Park Zoo Cost: FREE info: comozooconservatory.org or 651-487-8200

7 satuRdaY kidstock Î This open house for children 10 and under will give kids the chance to get a feel for music! Also featuring a performance by The Bazillions. when: 9:00 a.m. to noon where: MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis Cost: FREE info: macphail.org or 612-321-0100

free first saturday: from the Garden with love Î It’s a harvest festival and a birthday party, rolled into one. It’s the 25th anniversary of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and the closure of the Foraging Circle project by artist Fritz Haeg. when: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (family activities until 3:00) where: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Cost: FREE info: walkerart.org or 612-375-7600

saturday live! Woodland puppets Î The Woodland Traveling Show is a variety puppet show with a constantly changing line-up of acts. when: 11:15 a.m. to noon where: St. Paul Public Library, Central Library Cost: FREE info: tinyurl.com/bulsmwh or 651-266-7034

Monarch festival Î The fifth annual Monarch Festival celebrates the monarch butterfly’s amazing migration to Mexico. when: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. where: Lake Nokomis Naturescape Gardens, Minneapolis Cost: FREE info: tinyurl.com/bntd93n or 612-313-7784

free family flicks: over the Hedge Î Enjoy a free movie. First-come, first-served to theater capacity. when: 10:00 a.m. where: Theatres at Mall of America, Bloomington Cost: FREE info: theatresmoa.com

10 tuesdaY arty pants: Your tuesday playdate Î Features activities for adults and

36 September 2013 Mpls Park & Rec Board MNP 0913 V3.indd 1

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youngsters ages three to five. Art projects, films, gallery activities, and story time. when: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. where: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Cost: FREE with gallery admission; Walker members and kids ages 12 and under are always FREE info: walkerart.org or 612-375-7600

11 WednesdaY Groovin’ in the Garden Î While the grownups get their groove on with some of the Twin Cities best bands, the kids will be entertained by a climbing wall, bouncy house, and lawn games. Pack the dancing shoes, spread out a blanket & join us for these FREE outdoor concerts & activities. This week: The Melvilles

Do you have a

who is 2 - 3 years old?

when: 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. where: Visitor Center lawn, Como Park Zoo Cost: FREE info: comozooconservatory.org or 651-487-8200

Is the toddler a late talker? Or wears a cochlear implant? Compensation includes:

Up to $220 • FREE hearing screening • Toys and books

Must be native English speaking children. Must not have delays in development.

14 satuRdaY saturday live! Magician Matt dunn Î An action packed, fast paced, interactive comedy magic show for the entire family! Don’t miss the live rabbit, live goldfish, and magic, too. when: 11:15 a.m. to noon where: St. Paul Public Library, Central Library Cost: FREE info: tinyurl.com/bulsmwh or 651-266-7034

living landscapes Î Fabulous science-related programming and plenty of fun for no charge every second Saturday of the month. when: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. where: The Bakken Museum, Minneapolis Cost: FREE info: thebakken.org/Saturday or 612-926-3878

http://learningtotalk.org • (612) 626-1935 learningtotalk@umn.edu Dept of Speech-Language-Hearing MNP 0913 H4.indd 1

Dentistry for Children & Adolescents “Creating Healthy Teeth & Happy Smiles!”

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Edina 952-831-4400 | Burnsville 952-435-4102 | Minnetonka 952-932-0920 Dentistry for Children MNP 0913 H4.indd 1

8/15/13 8:30 AM September 2013 37


Out About Playing Singing Ear Training Composing Ages 3-Adult CHILDREN’S YAMAHA MUSIC SCHOOL Celebrating Over 40 Musical Years in Minnesota!

CYMS Edina: Edina Community Center 5701 Normandale Rd

CYMS Roseville: Hamline Center 2819 Hamline Ave N

19 tHuRsdaY

23 MondaY

third thursdays at the MIa: lol MIa

kate diCamillo Book launch

Î Get silly with local comedians from The Theater of Public Policy; create your own comic strip; improve games; photobooth. when: 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. where: Minneapolis Institute of Arts Cost: FREE; refreshments for sale info: artsmia.org or 888-642-2787

www.cyms.ws • 612-339-2255

PINE TREE

Children's Yamaha MNP 0113 12.indd 1

12/18/12 9:17 AM

APPLE ORCHARD Apples, of course, and Apple Cider, Apple Bakery

Minnesota and the first World War

- A Family Outing -

651-429-7202

Jacobson’s

21 satuRdaY

Î Learn about Minnesota’s role in the Great War and see what life was like for Minnesotans during this crucial era.

North of White Bear Lake Off E. Hwy. 96 on Apple Orchard Rd. www.pinetreeappleorchard.com

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saturday live! Minnesota Zoomobile Î Zoomobile Naturalists use live animals, theater techniques, storytelling, and audience participation to create a dynamic, personal, and fun program for all ages.

specializing in Music TogeTher®

when: 11:15 a.m. to noon where: St. Paul Public Library, Central Library Cost: FREE info: tinyurl.com/bulsmwh or 651-266-7034

Suzuki Piano and music classes for children with special needs Babies Classes (0-8 months) Mixed Age Classes (birth-K) Big Kid Classes (5-7yrs.)

+++++++++++++++++ contact us to attend a

free class

free family flicks: free Willy Î Enjoy a free movie. First-come, first-served to theater capacity.

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8 metro locations

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38 September 2013 Music Together - Ensemble Music MNP 0913 V6.indd 1

when: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. where: Historic Fort Snelling Cost: $11 adults, $9 seniors & college students; $6 kids 6–17; Kids 5 and under and MHS members FREE info: historicfortsnelling.org or 612-726-1171

8/15/13 3:42 PM

when: 10:00 a.m. where: Theatres at Mall of America, Bloomington Cost: FREE info: theatresmoa.com

Î Morning Edition’s Cathy Wurzer will sit down to talk with Kate. Kate will also be reading excerpts from her new book, Flora and Ulysses, and will take questions from the audience. There will be prizes and surprises for kids, young and old. when: 7:00 p.m. where: Fitzgerald Theater, St. Paul Cost: $8 ages 12 and under; $15 13 and over + $2.50 facility fee info: ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000

24 tuesdaY arty pants: Your tuesday playdate Î Features activities for adults and youngsters ages three to five. Art projects, films, gallery activities, and story time. when: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. where: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Cost: FREE with gallery admission; Walker members and kids ages 12 and under are always FREE info: walkerart.org or 612-375-7600

28 satuRdaY Museum day live! Î For one day only, participating museums across the United States will open their doors for free to those who download a Museum Day Live! ticket. when: Museum hours vary where: See website for participating museums Cost: FREE with pass info: smithsonian.com/museumdaylive

Hamline Midway library love 3k Î Walk, run, or stroll Minnehaha Avenue from the Hamline Midway Library to Lexington and Minnehaha streets and back, and support your neighborhood library. when: 9:00 a.m. (registration begins at 8:00) where: 1558 W. Minnehaha Ave., St. Paul Cost: Varies depending on time of


registration Info: https://librarylove3k.webconnex. com/2013 or 651-771-8421

Saturday Live! Ten Penny Tunes ÎÎCome clap and sing along as Ten Penny Tunes introduces a wide variety of folk music from Appalachian Mountain to Zydeco performed on an array of fun and unusual instruments. When: 11:15 a.m. to noon Where: St. Paul Public Library, Central Library Cost: FREE Info: tinyurl.com/bulsmwh or 651-266-7034

Fall Festival: Get Out & Grow! ÎÎThis outdoor event is for all ages and abilities. Enjoy up-close encounters with animals in nature as well as interactive art, live music, and energy-boosting activities that promote positive growth in all areas of child development. When: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Where: St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development, Minnetonka Cost: FREE Info: stdavidscenter.org or 952-548-8614

Hike & Seek ÎÎA family outing that inspires a child’s sense of adventure by combining a nature hike and scavenger hunt. Enjoy a one to two mile hike with interactive “Stop & Study” nature stations and more. When: 9:00 a.m. to noon Where: Lebanon Hills Park, Eagan Cost: FREE Info: hikeandseek.org

Free Family Flicks: Horton Hears a Who! ÎÎEnjoy a free movie. First-come, first-served to theater capacity. When: 10:00 a.m. Where: Theatres at Mall of America, Bloomington Cost: FREE Info: theatresmoa.com •

September 2013 39


Beyond the first 40 days For me,

{

Rejoining the real world with baby By Jen Wittes

it was a Mommy & Me exercise class at the Chesapeake, Virginia hospital where my daughter was born. I’d received a flyer in my discharge packet: Get Back Out There! Get in Shape! (*And bring a doctor’s note giving you permission to resume exercise.) I was late, of course, because Baby Girl wanted to nurse when she wanted to nurse, which was still somewhat unpredictable. And then she pooped—even more unpredictable. And then she pooped again—on her clothes. Then she spit up on mine—all 40 September 2013


while looking utterly adorable. So it goes. Frustrated, nervous, sweating, driving about five miles per hour while speaking in new, chirpy tones to—basically—the back of her rear-facing infant seat, I almost gave up on the whole thing, turned around, and went straight back home, with a plan to call the Wellness Center for a class refund. I nearly went back to my little cave to breastfeed and burp and change more diapers because at this point, she was hungry again. But I didn’t. I made it to class, which was well under way when I finally arrived. Everyone waved and smiled and made a fuss. New baby, new mom. They knew this was a big day for me. Weeks before, months before, these women—all with babies of different ages—had shyly walked through that door for the first time. They had taken those same baby steps toward rejoining the world at large and—let’s face it—toward reclaiming sanity.

Rejoining The class was absolute genius: A stroller segment—dancing in front of baby and pushing her around to fun, happy music. A carrier component—baby-wearing and moving in a circle so that the little ones could look at one another and begin their own “out in the real world” socialization. And finally, matwork with babies on blankets—playing and exploring a new environment while the mamas worked on reestablishing stable core muscles. What was great about the class was not the exercise in particular but the fact that I was out there doing something for 42 September 2013

myself, but not at the expense of my baby, my breast milk, or our developing routine. It was completely normal to stop midclass to feed or bust out a diaper. Here were other mothers: frazzled after fussy, sleepless nights and over-enthusiastic about their child’s painstaking roll from tummy to back. They were speaking my language. They understood the highs and lows. They were living proof that someday—not too far in the future—I would have time to brush my hair again, maybe even wear matching socks, and eventually dare to throw on a thin coat of pale, sparkly lip gloss. And they were also there, kindly, to remind me that even months from now, there would be those days when I would leave the house without the bare necessities: diaper bag, bra, my mind. Eventually there were invitations to potluck brunches, storytime at the library, walks around the park. Occasionally, I’d just sit with one mom after class—in our workout clothes, on the ubiquitous balance balls—and we’d bounce our babies to sleep, chatting through the spontaneous in-arms naptime about birth, marriage, and our college majors. These moments were everything to me—at once an appreciation for this crazy new life and also a reminder that we possessed history and texture beyond the obvious sleep deprivation. Sure, we were now mothers, but we were still individuals—with quirks, hopes, dreams, ex-boyfriends, and silly parlor tricks. I still have such affection for the moms I met during that first year postpartum, when I briefly lived in Virginia—a million

lifetimes ago. Or merely nine years ago. Seems like a million when your heart is dragging helplessly behind time—infant, toddler, little girl, kid. These women who saw me through my best and my most uncoordinated are not my closest friends, but rather acquaintances now—inspiring me to stop and smile as I scan the Facebook feed. Their now-grown children were once babes in my own arms. Then, we had each other’s back, without hesitation or expectation. I suppose the positive support network I had during that first year of motherhood partially shaped my eventual work as a postpartum doula.

Finding your tribe When I work with new mothers, my objective is not to do things for them or even to tell them “how to handle their baby.” Instead I help guide and encourage their own leanings and instincts, offering mere tidbits from my experience in the field. It is support over hard instruction and the goal—honestly—is to be taken out of a job. What I love most is when a client tells me—with confidence—that she is ready to let me go. It is my hope that by the time my work with a family is through, they are ready to leave the cozy, restorative birth bubble and rejoin society. The bleeding has stopped, the body has healed, and the Moby wrap is mastered. It’s time. I always insist that whether Mom’s exile from the safety of home is mandated by a return to work or whether she’s just sick of the same four walls and ready to flee, that her first few outings with child be completely baby-friendly and momfueling. The initial attempts at being “normal” should not involve Target, the gas station, the DMV, or the dentist. New motherhood is isolating. As you fumble in the dark, through the hormones, beneath itchy nursing pads, it takes more to lift you up than the cereal aisle could possibly provide. You need more. Find the dead hour at your favorite breakfast stop. Eat pancakes while making faces at baby. Invite a friend. Join those playgroups. “Pick up” other mamas at parks and coffee shops simply


Classes with class There are a number of companies throughout the Twin Cities that offer classes for new parents. Here are a few: Blooma Minneapolis & St. Paul blooma.com/classes The Childbirth Collective Minneapolis & St. Paul childbirthcollective.org Enlightened Mama St. Paul • enlightenedmama.com Everyday Miracles, Inc. Minneapolis • everyday-miracles.org Welcome Baby Care Edina • welcomebabycare.com Amma Parenting Center Edina • ammaparentingcenter.com

Joyce Preschool MNP 0913 H6.indd 1

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The time is now to...

Mother Baby Center Minneapolis • themotherbabycenter.org

by asking, “How’s it going for you?” As your confidence grows and you get to know your baby, as you eventually get out there, it is imperative that you find your peers—and by peers I mean the people that make you happy. Mama drama? Judgment? Cattiness? Move on. Find your tribe. You do not have the time or energy for anything other than be-yourself and feel-good. Try La Leche League or Attachment Parenting International if that’s your thing; Stroller Strides or Bump Club if you want a broader spectrum. ECFE is an amazing combination of enrichment and community. Find your place. Seek it out. Join up. Open up. Embrace. Be unafraid to say, “Hi.” Be unafraid to say, “I hate this sometimes.” You need to be allowed to hate it sometimes. You need a community willing to hear you hate it—and love it obsessively—with unconditional compassion and understanding. For me, it was a Mommy & Me exercise class in Chesapeake, Virginia—my baby girl dressed to the nines in pink bows and rosebuds, me in maternity PJs and curdled spit up. It was messy and it was hard, but I got out there. And there is little that I look back on with more fondness. • Jen Wittes is a freelance writer and mother of two living in St. Paul. She also works as a postpartum doula with Welcome Baby Care in Edina.

how we communicate what we believe our students can accomplish how we engage with our community, parents and students the way we support all our students our attitude the way we think about teaching our understanding of what our students and families value how we learn from our failures how developing the whole child affects how we teach our definition of rigor our understanding of what is possible how we market ourselves how we think

how we act Reshaping the educational experience at Minneapolis Public Schools

1250 W. Broadway Ave. | Minneapolis, Minnesota 55411 | Phone: 612.668.0000 | mpls.k12.mn.us

September 2013 43


First finger foods By Emily Mongan

44 September 2013


New flavors and textures to eat…and wear. Introducing your baby to solid food is definitely a tale of epic proportions. Thank heaven for bibs! While most babies are ready to transition between four and six months, you should keep your eyes open for the signals: • Your baby is using a pincer grip to hold things • Your baby can sit well in a high chair • Your baby’s birth weight has approximately doubled • Your baby seems hungry, even after having what you consider a good amount of breast milk or formula • Your baby seems curious about what you are putting into your mouth If your baby seems to be on that path, congratulations! chances are positive that it’s time to introduce finger foods! Introducing solid foods is an exciting part of your baby’s development, and sets the stage for the eating habits they’ll have throughout their lives.

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September 2013 45


A HEALTHY START

ON THE GO

The first foods you offer your baby have to pull double duty; they should be prepared in a way that makes them safe and easy to eat, but also pack a nutritional punch to fuel baby’s growing body. These new and old favorites are nutritional powerhouses, and great for little ones learning the ropes of feeding themselves.

Life with little ones can get hectic. When taking the time to cook and prepare foods for a sit-down meal isn’t an option, these standbys can be prepped ahead of time and easily transported for (relatively) mess-free on-the-go eating.

BANANAS

CHEERIOS

When it comes to fruits, few are as perfect for babies as bananas. They’re loaded with carbohydrates, vitamins, and potassium, and soft enough for babies to mash between the gums before they have teeth. Plus their sweet taste makes them popular with even the pickiest of eaters. Prep tip: Aside from mashing them into a delicious paste, make sure the banana is ripe enough to be easily mashed in baby’s mouth, should you decide on very small finger food-style bites.

Cheerios are a tried-and-true classic when it comes to finger foods. They’re small, they melt in the mouth, and they can withstand being tossed around purses, diaper bags, and cars without taking too much damage. Just toss them into a plastic container for crush-proof storage and they’ll be ready for snack time at a moment’s notice, wherever you are.

AVOCADO Can you say superfood? Avocados have the highest nutritional content of any fruit (surprise, they’re not vegetables at all!) and are filled with good fats and protein to sustain baby’s development. The soft, creamy texture of a ripe avocado is perfect for tiny mouths to chew. Prep tip: When buying avocados, check that they’re ripe enough for baby to eat by popping off the button-like stem; a ripe avocado will be yellowish green underneath. Brown is a sign that it’s overripe and too mushy to hold and eat.

CARROTS We all know carrots are great for eye health. But the beta-carotene also converts into vitamin A, which helps support growth and bolster a healthy immune system. Prep tip: Make sure any carrots you serve are well cooked, easily mashable, and diced into small pieces. Never serve a baby uncooked carrots.

46 September 2013

PASTA Well-cooked spiral shaped pasta cut into small pieces can make a great on-the-go snack. It can be prepped ahead of time and kept in the fridge for up to three days (although the fresher, the better). If you’re planning on making a meal of it, cook up some veggies—like cooked peas, finely diced cooked carrots, or cooked sweet potato—and toss them in for added nutritional value.

CHEESE Softer cheeses like mozzarella and non-sharp cheddar cut into tiny pieces (no larger than a quarter inch) are a calcium-packed option for a fast, mess-free snack. Avoid super-soft cheeses like brie, as these can contain bacteria that can cause food poisoning.


PACKAGED PERFECTION When feeding time strikes and you’re out and about, pre-packaged finger foods can come to your rescue. If you’re worried about giving your baby processed or packaged foods, look for these organic products that can save you time and still deliver nutritional benefits.

LITTLE DUCK ORGANICS TINY FRUIT

AuPair Care MNP 0913 H6.indd 1

8/1/13 11:02 AM

These freeze dried diced fruit combos are gluten free, 100% organic, and free of added sugar. They’re naturally sweet and come in flavors like strawberry mango and blueberry apple, sure to please little fruit fans everywhere. Available locally at Whole Foods

HAPPY PUFFS These melt-in-your-mouth snack puffs, made from 100 percent fruits and vegetables, are free of artificial flavors and preservatives, and fortified with vitamins and minerals. They come in a variety of flavors, but superfoods like sweet potato, purple carrot and blueberry, and greens are some of the standouts. Available locally at Lunds, Target, and Walmart

PLUM ORGANICS LITTLE CRÈMES These creamy drops are made of rice milk and organic fruits and veggies, so they’re dairy-free and easy for tiny tummies to digest. They’re available in nutrient packed flavor combos like super reds (pomegranate, beet, and berry), super purples (acai, blackberry, and purple carrot), and super greens (kale, apple, and sweet potato). Available locally at Target

September 2013 47


PERSONALIZED PURÉES Thinking about stepping into the kitchen and making your own baby food? Homemade baby food makes a lot of sense; you can customize it to your baby’s tastes or nutritional needs, it’s cost effective, and you’ll always know exactly what’s in it. Check out these products that make creating your own baby food a snap.

INFANTINO FRESH SQUEEZED BABY FOOD SYSTEM This line of products is a must-have for the on-the-go baby food making pro. Make your own food in the Peppy Purée, and use the Squeeze Station to store in easy-squeeze pouches. Check out the spoon attachment for simple feedings straight from the pouch. Available at Babies R Us and Target. about $25 for the Squeeze Station, $20 for the Peppy Purée, and $4 for a two-pack of spoon attachments

MAGIC BULLET TURBO STEAMER This happy looking little gizmo is a food prep powerhouse. It comes with various inserts for steaming vegetables, cooking eggs, and defrosting frozen portions of baby food in minutes. Plus there’s a special sterilizing tray for sanitizing pacifiers, toys, and bottles. available locally at Target; about $60

48 September 2013 MN Lynx MNP 0913 V6.indd 1

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FRESHFOODS FREEZER TRAY Who says that making your own baby food has to be time consuming? Make a batch of baby food ahead of time and freeze up to nine portions in this lidded tray. It’s made of flexible BPA-free silicon, so popping out a portion is a breeze when it’s time to eat. available online at amazon.com; about $9

CHECKLIST Here are a few foods you should never feed to a child less than a year old: Honey (risk of infant botulism) Raw vegetables (choking hazard) Nuts (choking hazard, possible allergies) Grapes and other large pieces of fresh fruit (choking hazard) Caffeine

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Weekend hikes near and far By Kelly Jo McDonnell

iking with kids is a great way to keep them connected to the outdoors, but it can be challenging for the parent planner. Take our advice: don’t choose anything too long or strenuous for your first couple of outings. For kids, the hike is about adventure. Pick a trail that has a waterfall, cliffs, or a stream. It gives them a goal to reach. Kids are natural explorers, so plan plenty of time for it—you’ll be traveling at their pace. Oh, and pack lots of snacks.

Choosing your hike Choosing a destination can be the trickiest part of the whole process. Luckily, we Minnesota parents are sitting on a gold mine of parks and forests. Minnesota has a wonderfully diverse state park system: over 227,000 acres in 73 parks and recreation areas. (That 50 September 2013

comes down to 1,030 miles of hiking trails.) The trick for us is narrowing it down. “Each Minnesota park has unique characteristics,” explains Kaija Helmetag, information officer with the Minnesota State Park and Trails, “and all of them have great hiking and, for the most part, have family friendly trails.” She suggests checking out park websites first. “All have links to PDFs with maps, so you can see the trails, the trail mileages—it’s a great resource. There are also blurbs at the beginning of each page that give you an overview of the park, as well as its natural and cultural history. You can get a quick snapshot of what the park is all about.” For beginning hikers, keep it simple and close to home. Here are just a few of the gems:


Interstate State Park Location: Taylors Falls Nice touch: Glacial potholes (the world’s deepest) and a waterfall! Bonus: watch for rock climbers on the cliffs that line some of the trails.

An easy walk to the water will reveal paddleboats and kayakers. There’s the self-guided Sandstone Bluffs Trail (one mile), and the River Trail is two miles. The four-mile hiking trail is more rugged, with countless steps. Skip that one for now. There’s commercial and individual rock climbing permits offered at Interstate, and kids have fun watching the experienced climbers scale the boulders. This park has naturalists galore, and in September and October activities include prepping for a fall hike, Autumn Adventure Scavenger Hunt, and Leaf Art—all with their on-staff naturalists. “All of our state parks have tons of free interpretive programs that are aimed at families,” reminds Helmetag, “So if you are in the park and plan in advance, you can attend all kinds of naturalist-led activities.”

Fun Birthday Parties for children ages 3 and up!

Call 651-487-8272 for more information or to schedule your party.

Como Zoo MNP 1011 H6.indd 1

8/31/11 4:08 PM

William O’Brien State Park Location: Marine on St. Croix Nice touch: It’s along the banks of the St. Croix River and is a migratory pathway as well.

There’s a self-guided wheelchair accessible trail that begins at the picnic grounds (Riverside Trail) that is about 1.5 miles, dotted with interpretive signs. The other trail, 12 miles, ranges from easy to difficult at times, as it winds through wooded areas as well as wetlands. Dogs are permitted, as long as they are on a short leash. There are also a variety of programs offered yearround, such as a Voyageur Encampment Weekend the end of September, and Starlight Starbright and Geocaching101 activities (October).

September 2013 51


foRt snellInG state paRk  location: West St. Paul

Children’s Music Classes Ages 0-7

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Nice touch: The historical aspects of this park make it a good day trip for many reasons: after hiking, you can explore the fort, which dates back to 1820. There is also excellent birdwatching due to its proximity to the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge.

The trails link to Minnehaha Park and the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. The summer hiking trail is 18 miles long, and is easy to moderate. (I’d suggest just doing part of it.) It offers 11:14 AM an array of things to look at, which with kids’ ever changing attention spans, is perfect. The trails lead through wooded areas, but also along rivers and lakes. Pack a lunch and use one of the sheltered picnic tables near the visitor center, then go inside for the interpretive exhibits afterward.

afton state paRk location: Hastings Nice touch: Afton doesn’t disappoint with the scenery, as it offers prairies, deep ravines, and bluffs that overlook the St. Croix River.

There’s a 20-mile hiking trail; however, there are shorter choices, such as the .75-mile self-guided tour that begins at the visitor’s center or the four-mile paved bike trail. Afton is about 40 minutes from downtown Minneapolis, so close enough to be handy, but far enough away that your family will still have that ‘in the middle of nowhere’ feeling.

Metro Deaf School, a free public charter school serving students Preschool-12th Grade from the Twin Cities and western Wisconsin, provides a bilingual and interdisciplinary curriculum using American Sign Language (ASL) and English for students who are deaf, hard-ofhearing and deafblind.

Phone: 651-224-3995 VP: 651-964-1630

BunkeR HIlls ReGIonal paRk location: Andover Nice touch: After you’ve made the kids hike, there are plenty of other options for entertainment, including swimming and water slides, and horseback riding.

Miles upon miles of paved, limestone aggregate, and natural surface trails are offered in a large loop, with additional trails shooting off the main area for an additional easy workout. They are multi-use trails, so walk, bike, or rollerblade to your heart’s content on this 2.5-mile beauty with stretches of sun, coupled with shade from the impressive oak stands.

tHe noRtH CountRY tRaIl location: Thomson, about 10 miles southwest of Duluth Nice touch: Considered one of the best-kept “secret” trails, it wanders 4,600 miles and stretches across seven states!

www.mdsmn.org 1471 Brewster Street St Paul, MN 55108

The goal is not to hike the whole thing, of course, but sections of this trail are great for families. The trail enters Minnesota near Jay Cooke State Park, where the Superior Hiking Trail begins. You can choose the area and the scenery, as this path really offers it all. Even the City of Duluth’s leisurely lake walk is part of this trail!

52 September 2013 Metro Deaf School MNP 0913 V4.indd 1

8/12/13 2:57 PM


10 tHInGs to BRInG

(Besides your kids and your patience!) 1. water bottle (.5l-.75l). Something small to carry and to keep hydrated. Keep them drinking water to prevent heat exhaustion, which can occur even in the balmy days of fall. 2. hiking shoes. It doesn’t have to be the latest and greatest, but something that can grip in loose dirt and mud will keep the trail walks going. 3. No cotton clothing. When cotton gets wet it stays wet and nothing ends a trip faster than a cranky kid. Synthetic shirts and pants dry fast and protect even when wet.

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4. Backpack. Something your kid can load some of his or her own stuff into (i.e., snack and water, plus a treasure found on the path) to contribute to the family trip. 5. sunscreen. When you are out for a day/weekend a sunburn makes it harder to enjoy. 6. hat (brimmed or baseball). Something for a little more sun protection. 7. rain gear. Conditions can change quickly and being prepared will keep everyone calm and happy. 8. snacks. A simple granola bar or even a Clif for Kids snack will keep the youngsters fueled for the next leg of the trek. 9. Magnifying glass. Something to explore leaves and bugs with. 10. Bug net. Find butterflies and fire flies and get a closer look by catching and releasing. alt 1. walking stick. If they are tired or need a little more leverage on an incline/ decline a collapsible walking stick will keep the trek moving forward to the next spot.

P ie Season is here!

alt 2: Binoculars. Best way to see birds and other critters up close. — Andrew Clarke, Sports Manager at Joe’s Sporting Goods, St. Paul

Rules and ReGulatIons ReMIndeR Year-round state park permits are $25, and one-day permits are $5. The yearround permit provides unlimited access to all 76 Minnesota state parks for a full year from the month you purchase it. Note that regional parks have separate fees.

September 2013 53


Baby resource guide

Escape to the Lakes wheelfunrentals.com

Child Care auPairCare AuPairCare is a premier agency that has placed over 50,000 au pairs from around the world. Our carefully screened au pairs are qualified, affordable, and love working with children. 800-428-7247 aupaircare.com

entals Water R 765 12-823-5 lhoun: 6 a 26 C 2 e k -9 a 2 L 2-92 rriet: 61 9-1127 2 Lake Ha -7 2 1 6 komis: Lake No 76-0005 len: 651-7 a h P e k a als L Rent Bike -2660 12-729 Falls: 6 29-1127 a h a h e 7 Minn : 612-1180 okomis ark: 218-722 Lake N P l a n 5 a 0 –C 6-00 Duluth 651-77 halen: Lake P

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Child Care aware of Minnesota Child Care Aware of Minnesota fosters the healthy growth of children and the professional growth of child care providers. We help families across Minnesota find quality child care and understand their options through local resource and referral services. Statewide Locations 888-291-9811 childcareawaremn.org

education Blooma

7/18/13 11:49 AM

Blooma nurtures the mind-body-heart of women and their families. Blooma offers prenatal and postnatal yoga, yoga bonding, family yoga, childbirth education, plus classes for active moms looking to get fit, unwind, and connect. Childcare is offered during many classes. Be Blooma Well! 5315 Lyndale Ave S Minneapolis 612-223-8064 493 Selby Ave St. Paul 651-340-8538 blooma.com

ECfE Early Childhood Family Education offers educational, fun, and affordable family classes and resources for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and their parents. ECFE helps build healthy families and helps prepare children for success in school and in life. Early learning matters! ecfe.info

isd 191 Community Education Explore energizing, enriching, eventful, enjoyable opportunities for every age!

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ECFE, birth - school age child care, aquatics, chess, driver education, fitness, language, preschool, coffee talks, sports, music, art, gifted and talented programs. Lifelong learning for every age! 200 W Burnsville Pkwy, Ste 100 Burnsville 952-707-4150 communityed191.org

Joyce Bilingual Preschool Joyce Preschool is a bilingual SpanishEnglish program for children ages 3-5 with strong emphasis on kindergarten readiness, second language acquisition, early literacy, and parent involvement. Also offering parent-child classes and summer camps. Two locations for 2013-14: Joyce Preschool: 3400 Park Ave Minneapolis Joyce at Windom: 5821 Wentworth Ave S Minneapolis 612-823-2447 joycepreschool.org

Music together Music Together: Music and movement classes for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and the grownups who love them. 45 minutes of pure fun every week at several locations in the Twin Cites and surrounding metro areas. We invite you to try a FREE class. Statewide Locations 800-728-2692 musictogethermn.org

fitness little Gym of Edina, the The Little Gym is a non-competitive gymnastics facility that offers classes for children between the ages of four months and 12 years old. We offer gymnastics classes, dance classes, parent-child classes, and sports classes. If you have kids, we have options. 8223 Hwy 7 St. Louis Park 952-924-0083 thelittlegym.com/edinamn


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Health Care south lake Pediatrics South Lake Pediatrics specializes in providing health care for children from infancy through young adulthood. We offer evening and Saturday appointments as well as the option of easyCARE, a walkin service for illness and minor injuries. Check us out with a no-charge, “get to know you” visit. Chaska, Children’s West, Eden Prairie, Maple Grove, Minnetonka, Plymouth 952-401-8300 southlakepediatrics.com

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other Minnesota College savings Plan The Minnesota College Savings Plan is a flexible tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan designed to help families save for a loved one’s future college education. The Plan is administered by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and managed by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. 877-338-4646 mn529today.com

Retail tickled Green organics Tickled Green Organics is a St. Paul based organic food company specializing in 3.5oz squeeze pouches, great for busy families. Current flavors are Simply Apples, Simply Pears, and Simply Sweet Potatoes. Call or go online to order. 651-600-0326 tickledgreenorganics.com

September 2013 55


— 23 years of excellence —

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Nannies from the Heartland

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Create Child Garden has been a leader in the all-day, all-year Montessori Environment for over 50 years Full-time Care for 6 wks – 6 yrs of age • 2 locations near Downtown Mpls Open 7am to 6pm, M–F • Lowest ratios in the state Onsite Chef serving lunch & 2 snacks with many organic options Curriculum includes Spanish, Music, Art, and Dance

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Fun music-based classes for ages 1½-6 & parents

A DEVELOPMENTAL MUSIC PROGRAM FOR TODDLERS AND PRESCHOOLERS™

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6/13/13 Helping Clothe the Twin Cities’ Newborns in Need

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Birthday Parties Unlimited Variety of Beads Take Home 3 Original Creations

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Half Pint Parties

Magic • Facepainting Balloon Animals Characters for Parties & Events

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Lessons * Horse Camp * Birthday Parties Public Guided Trail Rides by Appointment Only

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Year Round

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Riding Lessons Indoor Arena

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Fun Birthday Parties

for children ages 3 and up! Call 651-487-8272 for more information or to schedule your party.

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Real Life “The blog gave us an outlet to turn our daily worry into lighthearted humor, and hopefully it will become something the girls can go back and read when they are older.”

worry into lighthearted humor, and hopefully it will become something the girls can go back and read when they are older. We just hope they don’t get too upset when they realize their first poops were broadcast over the interweb to thousands of people.

What is the best lesson you’ve learned since Bryn and nora were born? Nick: We’ve learned how to give up control. Like many new parents, we had a lot of expectations of how our pregnancy would go, how childbirth would be, and what having babies at home would be like. But starting very early on in our pregnancy, when Sara was put on hospitalized bedrest, we realized we had to let go of all of those expectations and roll with the punches, trusting our doctors, nurses, and relying heavily on our faith—not easy for two people who always felt like they controlled their own destiny! rEal ParENts

Nick and Sara Windschitl After being born prematurely at 27 weeks, Nick and Sara Windschitl’s twin girls Bryn and Nora spent almost 100 days in the hospital before being healthy enough to come home. During that time, Nick and Sara started a blog, The Twinschitls, to keep friends and family up to date on the girls’ progress and give advice to other parents of preemies. — Emily Mongan Q&a

Your blog is a candid look at just how far your family has come over the past year. What inspired you to write about your experiences? sara and Nick: When the girls were born,

there was obviously a lot of concern for their welfare. We had to strictly limit 58 September 2013

visitors, but wanted to keep people informed of the girls’ progress. Thus, The Twinschitls blog was born. We wanted as many people as possible to know about our miracles and pray for them, and this seemed like a great way to get the information out. Most importantly, the blog gave us an outlet to turn our daily

What’s life like now that the girls are almost a year old? sara and Nick: Everyone told us this, but the girls being mobile is a total game changer! They somehow manage to find every non-childproofed thing in our house and bring it to our attention. But, we are definitely enjoying this more interactive age.

You’ve been active in helping promote the Mother Baby Center at Children’s Hospital. Can you tell me a little more about that? Nick: After such a high-risk delivery of very critical babies, the last place mothers and fathers want to be is blocks away from their babies. When Children’s asked us to speak at their annual Star Gala this past April, we could think of no better story than Nora and Bryn’s to highlight the need for more funding for this amazing facility. And this also gave us a larger stage for thanking Children’s Hospital, who we owe our firstborns to!


1 billi on assets in an growin d g You can get there. We can help.

Visit www.MN529today.com or call 1-877-338-4646

September 2013  
September 2013