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november 2013

Resources for special needs {Page 36}

Gluten-free birthday parties {Page 42}




Avery, 3, Medina

CoNTeNTs Features

42 hAve YoUr CAKe And eAT IT Too Enjoying birthday parties gluten-free By Maria Midwinter

36 WhAT neXT? After a diagnosis, what are the next steps? By Julie Kendrick

Calendar 26 noveMBer AT A glAnCe

46 BABY rCeS reSoU


28 oUT & ABoUT

on the cover Avery, daughter of Lindsay and Brad Swoverland, gets a ride from dad at West Medicine Lake Park in Plymouth. photo by rachel nadeau • de la Vue photography •

6 November 2013

Minnesota Parent November


Are you currently pregnant or had a baby during the previous month and interested in participating in a telephone-based health and wellness program?

8 edITor’S noTe Time to be By Kathleen Stoehr 9 ChATTer

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

A little bit of news and information for your quiet time reading

• 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)

By Kathleen Stoehr

• Program delivered to you via the mail and phone

10 BABY on BoArd Judge not? By Shannon Keough

• 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

12 ASK The PedIATrICIAn Answering your questions about health By Dr. Peter Dehnel 14 In The KITChen Recipes and more 16 TWeen SCene

Call 612-625-9753 or email 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

It’s a small world after all By Joy Riggs 18 hoT STUFF Holiday entertaining By Kathleen Stoehr 20 groWS on TreeS Food budget follies By Kara McGuire

22 BooK ShelF Arts & crafts By Kathleen Stoehr 24 relATIonShIPS Communications 101 By Sean Toren 50 reAl lIFe Real mom Mary Lauer By Zoe Gahan

November 2013 7

From the editor vol. 28, Issue 11 Co-Publishers Janis Hall Terry Gahan General Manager Chris Damlo 612-436-4376 • editor Kathleen Stoehr Contributing Writers/Photographers Dr. Peter Dehnel Zoe Gahan Julie Kendrick Shannon Keough Kara McGuire Maria Midwinter Joy Riggs Sean Toren Production Manager Dana Croatt senior Graphic Designer Valerie Moe Graphic Designer Amanda Wadeson senior Account executive Melissa Ungerman Levy 612-436-4382 • sales Administrator Kate Manson 612-436-5085 • Circulation Marlo Johnson 612-436-4388 • Classified Advertising 612-825-9205 • 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.

Time to be


ave you ever wondered, “Where does all of the time go?” I know I did. I became curious about how I spent my time each week. What changed? A few weeks ago, I gave myself a task—to create a “time diary.” Basically, we have 168 hours in a week. Then I started subtracting things. Fifty hours a week for work (or more—we know how that goes!); 56 hours a week for sleep (more or less). Wow. I’m already over 100 hours. Now start subtracting the little things: time for grooming to get to work or to be presentable to the world, preparing and eating dinner, laundry, paying bills, walking the dog, grocery shopping, raking leaves, hauling the hose out to water the lawn, or shoveling the driveway. Now subtract out the time you spend running your kids from lesson to lesson, or sit on the sidelines watching a game. Subtract out doctor appointments, bath times, or books to be read aloud at bedtime, worship services, a baby shower you have to attend, or a birthday you want to celebrate. This is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. Voila! How much actual unscheduled, unrestricted time do you have left? Now, here’s a couple more things to subtract out: the time you spend on social media and the time you watch television, enjoying a favorite show or two each week, plus the intimate moments you set aside with your spouse. When I factored all of that, I finished with about 32 hours each week remaining. I figure that’s why I am super good at multitasking, from running laundry while I am also running the vacuum cleaner, and folding laundry while I watch the news, to drinking my coffee while I walk the dog. But only 32 hours? I bring this up because allocating time for you, time to just be—is healthful. I have become fiercely protective of my 32 hours. As parents, we have a knack for self-sacrifice, but you must not let it become all-encompassing. Take time to breathe as the holiday season approaches, and put your feet up. Take a walk without your dog or your kids, so you can concentrate on your own thoughts. Don’t feel “guilty” about leaving a pan dirty in the sink or skipping your son’s game. Respect those hours that can be yours and only yours, and take time to be.

Kathleen Stoehr, Editor

8 November 2013

Life is exciting enough when a baby is on the way, so Metro Dogs has added a new service: Metro Maternity. The boarding and daycare company will keep a kennel at the ready for your family dog, even during its busiest weeks, and a hotline number that can be called at any time the (human) baby decides to make its appearance. Drop your pup on the way to the hospital and feel good knowing your dog is being cared for while the newest member of the family comes into the world. For more info, go to metrodogsmn. com/services/maternity.

New Minnetonka children’s boutique CC & Mays, offering clothing for age newborn to 14 years, has partnered up with Children’s Cup Global Charity and is committing three percent of gross sales for the remainder of 2013 and the entire 2014 year. Located in the Ridge Square Shopping Center, it offers clothing from around the globe along with a carpeted kids play area in the back of the store designed to emulate a home living room full of toys and fun. Go to for more information.

Well Bear, Brave Bear: My Visit to the Doctor by David Woolley, and with photographs by Sheila Kelleher, is an adorable picture book for preschoolers telling the story of a teddy bear going through a typical checkup and immunizations. About 10,000 copies have been distributed by Hennepin County Medical Center and the Hennepin County Baby Tracks program, and it’s now available to be read entirely online for free. Text is in both English and Spanish, side-by-side. You can see it at

Spare Key announced in September that it surpassed $2 million in providing housing payments (rental and mortgage) for families in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin with seriously ill or critically injured children in the hospital, or recovering from a lengthy hospital stay. It helps parents remain a part of their child’s care team and focus on their recovery versus worry about going to work to remain financially stable. Founded in 1997 by Robb and Patsy Keech, Spare Key has now served families in more than 400 cities in the four states. For more information, go to

If you want to hear something to the effect of, “Honey, you look really good” while you are wearing what you consider to be your most cozy pajamas, look no further than the plush goodness of Snoa. Designed for any woman who is frustrated with choosing between a flirty-yet-freezing negligee or a cozy-but-frumpy pair of flannel jammies, you will love the cut and feel of this sleepwear, designed to look hot, and feel that way too. What a boon for our

The International School of Minnesota, Eden Prairie, broke ground in late September on a new residence hall to accommodate boarding school students. It will be ready in time for the 2014–15 school year. This private school serves students from preschool to grade 12 and its student body represents 40 countries.

Minnesota winters! For more info, go to Added bonus: get a 25% discount by entering MN PARENT at checkout!

November 2013 9



Judge not


here’s a great scene in Paula Bomer’s novel Nine Months when the main character, Sonia, is grilled by a friend about her choice in preschool. Sonia: “Tom and Mike go to Open Arms Nursery. That little place down Atlantic.” [Her friend reacts with a look of alarm.] “My theory is, it’s preschool. It doesn’t matter so much. As long as they’re having fun.” Clara: “Fun? Preschool is a very important time. It’s not about fun. It’s about developing the skills that will carry your child through the rest of his or her life.”

The right way, the wrong way What is it about parents judging other parents? I have to say, I was a little blindsided by the general atmosphere of judgment that manifested after having my first child. I’d heard about how it

10 November 2013

takes a village to raise a child and I’d naively expected more of a “we’re all in this together!” attitude from other parents. Au contraire! Once during a mom-and-baby class another woman pulled out a bottle of

formula for her hungry daughter. “Does anyone else use Enfamil?” she asked. “It doesn’t always seem to mix so well…” She was met with silence and a side eye from one nursing mother to another. “Did she even try to breastfeed?” I heard one of the moms mutter to another in the lobby after class. When it comes to judgment from other people, virtually every parenting decision is up for grabs—breastfeeding, circumcision, vaccinations, sleep training, and daycare, to name just a few—and that just applies to the baby years. The impact often goes deeper than a pointed glance at the playground. “I lost one of my best friends because we disagreed about vaccinations,” said ‘Kelly,’ mother of two in south Minneapolis.

Cold comfort Although I’ve been judged for a variety of things, such as my physical activity during pregnancy (“You’re still riding a bike at eight months? Is that even safe?”), and the fact that I supplemented breastfeeding with formula (I was “encouraging mediocrity in parenting” by writing about it publically), I will admit it—I judge other parents, too. I think most of us probably do. But no one likes being judged for their decisions, parenting or otherwise. So why do we keep doing it? What function does this serve? “I think it serves an ethical function,” says Kerry M. Mokalla, a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW), who practices in Minneapolis. “People judge others who they think have crossed a line or ‘broken the rules’—plus, it can make them feel better about themselves.” Jenny Adams Salmela, LICSW, a psychotherapist who practices in Minneapolis, points out the “decision fatigue” that many parents face and how this can pit parents against each other. “Research has shown that when we have to compare options, we become more confident in our decisions—which can lead to judgment of those who choose differently,” she says. “With the range of options, books, videos,

and lifestyles today it’s not surprising that people who adopt a specific parenting style would want to push this on others as the one correct choice. I think it is somewhat natural to want others to make the same choices you do if you have strong beliefs. But is this helpful to others? No.”

Learning begins at


How to deal So what can you do when you’re feeling judged? Salmela points out the importance of being kind to yourself while being kind to others, as well. “When I am feeling judged, I remind myself that I am an intelligent, capable person who loves my children and that I am making the best possible decisions for them in my power,” she says. “I remind myself that being a good enough parent, providing love, support, and safety—but still making mistakes—is all that is necessary for a child to thrive.” Mokalla emphasizes the importance of building a strong support network. “Surround yourself with people who support you,” she says. “Start to learn who your allies are.” And while Salmela and Mokalla (mothers to two and three children, respectively) are both professionals who counsel others on ways to handle judgment, neither are immune to the raised eyebrows and the harsh words of others. “Whenever I allow myself to ‘marinate’ in judgment I practice breathing to physically and mentally center and be kind to myself,” says Salmela. “I try to laugh about how ironic it is that we parents can judge each other so harshly and yet need support from one another so much, and ultimately I try to let it go while reminding myself how it feels so that I don’t carry it forward.” Shannon Keough lives in south Minneapolis with her husband, Nick, and daughter, Lydia. She can be reached at editor@‌

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

Parent-Child Classes • Birth – 5 Years Old •

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


Dehnel, MD


We’re first time parents. What sorts of things should we look for in a daycare provider?

The biggest question to consider as you are choosing a setting is whether it will be a smaller home-based daycare or a larger center. It’s also a good idea to talk with one or two of the current parents at a facility you are interested in, in order to learn about their experiences with the provider. In terms of actual expectations, this may seem obvious, but the first priority for all daycare providers is safety—environmental, in the formula and/or food preparation, and in terms of infection control. For example, making sure that all infants under six months of age are sleeping on their backs is a good question to ask. Another may be: “What are the safety measures taken once infants start to get very mobile toward the end of the first year?” Finally, ask about the type of interaction each of the staff will have with infants and toddlers throughout the day. This will likely increase as infants get older, but from the beginning there should be a certain amount of dedicated time for each in terms of holding, talking, and general nurturing. For example, you could ask how they structure the day—sleep time, play time, meals, reading, teaching sign language, etc.

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Can you help us more effectively deal with our child who may try out for an organized sport but who does not make the team? A critical question here is why is it important for your child to participate in that sport and make it on the team. The answer to this question will help you decide the most effective approach. For example, is your child feeling pressure to play a certain sport just because mom or dad participated in that sport and did quite well? Is your child a perfectionist and tends to be never satisfied with their performance? Does your child have a role

model in that sport that he or she wants to emulate? Are all of his or her friends on the team, and now they are left out of an important social activity? Is there community pressure that kids need to be a part of the team to truly be accepted? These questions may be at the heart of this and it may take some time to fully unlock the reasons for the need to be “on the team.” If and/or when the disappointment comes, reassurance that he or she still has many great qualities and abilities will be a good strategy. Acknowledging that it is disappointing is important. It hurts not to be chosen, and that those feelings are real. Asking what they want to do about it is a next step. Do they want to work harder to stand a better chance of getting chosen next time? Can they comfortably play at a lower level of competition, i.e., “community” instead of “traveling”? Do they want to redirect their time, energy, and effort toward another activity instead? There are, of course, a number of ways this conversation can go. In any case, your child will be better off if their identity and sense of importance is not strongly tied to a particular sport—even if they do make the team. Encouraging them to do their best in whatever they

do will set them on a good course, as will helping them learn to cope with disappointments that may eventually come their way.

When is it too late to get a flu shot? The short answer is that it is never too late to get the vaccine, as long as the flu season is still considered active in the state. But this needs a little more explanation. Each year there is a different strain of influenza—or the “true flu”—that manifests to make a large number of people very sick and miserable, including our infants, children, and teens. In a typical year the flu season can start as early as the beginning of December and can last well into March. There can even be years where there is a kind of “double peak” of flu cases with two different strains of flu affecting a state or even a larger region. Annual flu vaccinations are important for everyone six months of age and older. For infants under six months of age it is important that everyone else in their family and other caregivers get vaccinated so that the infants are protected. There is the typical injectable flu vaccine as well as a very effective nasal spray. Both of these now contain protection against four different strains of influenza predicted to cause illness for that year. These are available starting at the end of August and continue until influenza activity is considered done for the season. At no time is it too late to get the vaccine as long as it is still in your area. The only problem may be finding a place to get the vaccine if you have waited too long and supply is limited or depleted. 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 editor@‌

Park Nicollet Health Services MNP 1113 2-3page.indd 1

10/11/132013 2:01 PM November 13


Butternut squash & linguine Servings: 4 to 6 • Preparation Time: 20 minutes • Cook Time: 22 minutes ½ box linguine 2 teaspoons olive oil 1 tablespoon minced garlic 4 cups butternut squash pieces (about 1-inch pieces) ½ cup dry white wine or chicken broth ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ cup chopped fresh sage or 4 teaspoons dried sage ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese, blue cheese or Parmesan cheese Crumbled cooked prosciutto or bacon, optional Additional cheese, optional Toasted chopped walnuts, optional

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pan; cover and keep warm. 2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in squash, wine and salt. Simmer 12 to 15 minutes just until squash is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in sage. 3. Toss squash with pasta and cheese. Sprinkle with prosciutto, additional cheese and walnuts, if desired. Recipe courtesy of

Appetites, ingredients change with the seasons Just as our wardrobe adjusts to the cooler weather, so, too, do our appetites as we enjoy warm, comforting dishes to stave off the chill in the air. Butternut squash & linguine is one of those great transition dishes that showcase the best of the season’s offerings. Winter squash of all descriptions are at farmers markets and in grocery store produce aisles. Butternut squash is one of the most readily recognizable choices, with its distinctive pear shape. Inside is a flavorful, nutrient-rich, yellow-orange flesh that has a subtle sweetness when cooked. To prepare this recipe, pieces of the squash are simmered with wine and garlic until tender, then a sprinkling of sage is stirred in. A quick toss with linguine and crumbled goat cheese or blue cheese results in a mouthwatering mélange of flavors. For an extra special finish sprinkle with crisp-cooked prosciutto and chopped walnuts. Either way, it makes a delicious main dish, or a side for poultry or pork.

14 November 2013

Minnesota Parent Tested

MN Landmarks MNP 0812 H6.indd 2

7/13/12 3:18 PM

Boxed wine in style Boxed wines are getting better by the month; yet they still have a reputation for being sub par. Plus, they are somewhat hard to serve. Solve both problems with Atlanta-based Boxxle, a three-liter box wine dispenser. Remove the bag from inside the box, put it into the Boxxle, and keep wine fresh for four to six weeks (if you can keep it that long!). Looks good on the countertop; plus the elevated spout makes serving easier too.; about $100

Monogrammed tray Serve straight up martinis on the sophisticated 11" x 17" Lucite tray from Jonathan Adler with stylish monogram. We love how sturdy and easy to handle the tray is. Yes indeed: you are in for a tasteful event. bespokecustomgifts; about $95

November 2013 15



It’s a


he world seems a little smaller and friendlier these days following the two successful cultural exchanges our family had this past summer. We befriended two Japanese law students who were studying American culture at a local college, and we opened our home to a French high school student interested in living with an American family and perfecting his English. We spent a total of 11 hours with the young Japanese women, and 10 days with the French teen. Although the exchanges were relatively short, they provided some of the most memorable experiences of the summer. It still makes me smile when I

16 November 2013

l fter al

a world small

remember how we tried to explain “root beer” to Asuka and Miki during a picnic lunch (pizza, however, needed no translation). I also smile when I picture the sweltering evening at the Minnesota State Fair when we introduced Jules to SPAM and the music of Michael Franti and Spearhead (the latter was a big hit; the former, as with root beer, was more difficult to explain).

Cultural exchange If we could jump back in time and host our visitors again, I would certainly do a few things differently. At ages 17, 15, and 12, my kids are ready to take on the responsibilities of hosting a young person

from another country, but it would have helped everyone if we’d taken more time to talk through these responsibilities beforehand. It can be challenging to anticipate the needs of a guest when you haven’t hosted before, to put yourself in their shoes and consider, “What things do I take for granted that might be interesting for this person to experience?” Overall, I think we provided our visitors with a representative glimpse of our family life. In return, my kids had the opportunity to think more deeply about issues we don’t discuss every day, like: What does being an American mean to them? What cultural stereotypes exist and why? What separates people of the world, and what is universal? Participating in a cultural exchange is beneficial at any age, but it can be especially formative for tweens and teens. According to the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel, students who participate in a youth exchange—either as a host or the person being hosted—develop multiple skills, including improved communication, improved problem solving, greater knowledge and awareness of other cultures, traditions and customs, improved sense of self and purpose, a greater capacity to engage in shared projects, and improved critical thinking. Minnesota families have many different cultural exchange options. One of the most well-known is through Rotary International. Vicki Dilley, officer with the North Star Rotary Youth Exchange, which covers more than 120 Rotary clubs in southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin, says the hosting experience is enriching for everyone involved. “It really makes your family more outward and less inward, and more accommodating to someone who’s not just a guest in your home but becomes another family member,” she says. Dilley and her husband were both Peace Corps volunteers, and they have hosted many young people through the years through many different programs. They started when their oldest child was

Resources U.S. State Department/Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Host families – commonly asked questions North Star Rotary Youth Exchange Council on Standards for International Educational Travel

two—and now she’s a Peace Corps volunteer herself, in Nicaragua. “The world is her platform; it’s where she feels comfortable,” Dilley says. Hosting is not without its bumps. Often, in the early stages of an exchange, Dilley fields calls from families who are perplexed by a particular behavior of their student. She encourages them to think about it from a cultural perspective, as they try to help the student adjust to living in Minnesota. “Just because we do it here doesn’t mean it’s right; it’s just different. I say that over and over to people, ‘It’s not right or wrong, it’s just different,’” she says. Most families make it through the challenges of miscommunication and cultural differences and develop lifelong friendships with the families of their host students, which leads to further travel. And the young people who host a student develop skills that help them become more engaged in the world around them and more willing to reach out to people from different cultures. That seems to be the message my kids have received from our recent experience. When our family travels to France this spring, we are looking forward to reconnecting with our French friend and meeting his family. And although we have no immediate plans to visit Japan, the idea is appealing, especially knowing that we have pizza-loving friends there who would welcome us with open arms.

y a d i l o H rtaining


Plate it It’s that time of year when friends and family are near. Put on a pot, serve up some style, and throw a great (and visually stunning) holiday gathering.

Martha Stewart has done it again, offering up a beauty of a cobalt cake stand for your fanciest holiday treat.; about $48

By Kathleen Stoehr

Name it Holiday entertaining means lots of delicious food, but presenting food elegantly can be tricky. Help is here with a great appetizer tray that lets you tell your guests what you are serving. It has a bamboo base and three removable ceramic bowls, plus (bonus!) chalkboard spaces below to write what’s inside each to avoid any food sensitivity mishaps.; about $40

Run it Metallic tones are always a hot choice for holiday tables. Mimicking an oversized oval chain, this pressed Mod table runner from Chilewich (also obtainable in placemat size) is available in brass, gunmetal, and silver. Easy to clean, too, with a quick wipe.; about $50

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spear it Serve up your appetizers in style with beautifully detailed coral cocktail forks in 24-karat gold-plated brass and stainless steel with coral-motif accents. Adorn your hors d’oeuvres with whimsical flair!; about $135

Drink it The “Socks Rolled Down” glassware line from marimekko is available in a variety of colors and sizes, from flute glasses to pitchers, platters, dessert bowls, and goblets. Each piece is individually made by way of mouthblown glass. Dress up your table in slouchy style.; starts at about $39 for 2 tumblers

November 2013 19

goodies. The little packages are bad for the environment, the cost per serving is too high, and my kids love to raid the stash when my back is turned. But they are very convenient for a working mom of three who loathes making lunch. So I take a balanced approach, purchasing such snacks when they’re on sale and trying to keep them out of little hands (if you saw a lady driving around with a giant box of chips in the passenger’s seat, it’s the only place I can keep them from sneaky kids). Most of the time, I buy in bulk and make my own individual snack packs—although there is also research that shows people are likely to munch through bulk food faster, negating any cost savings. You also don’t want cost savings to show up when you step on the scale.



Reap the rewards. Most stores have

Food budget



ut your money where your mouth is. I knew when I had three kids that I’d spend loads on diapers and the equivalent of a second mortgage on childcare. And I’d heard parents of older kids complain about their astronomical grocery bills. But it wasn’t until this summer, when my kids would lumber in and I’d find myself writing to the rhythmic thumping of the refrigerator opening and closing, opening and closing, that it dawned on me how much food we buy. As in, an entire Costco cart full at least once a month, supplemented with very frequent runs to grocery stores closer by. Being a money person, I should be able to tell you how much we spend on food

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each month and how that’s changed over time. Admission: I’m afraid to look. Here are some tips for ensuring the food budget won’t lead to bankruptcy. Don’t waste. I’ve been guilty of over-

zealous shopping, particularly in the midst of Minnesota’s far-too-short farmers market season. The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that homes and restaurants wasted close to $400 worth of food per U.S. consumer in 2008. Cutting waste is an immediate, painless way to cut your grocery bill. Buy in bulk. I’m Mrs. Inconsistent when it

comes to my opinion of snack-sized

frequent buyer programs. Scan the card at the register and it will unlock lower prices and bonus rewards in the form of cash back, gas discounts, and other deals. If the greeter at Costco knows your name, consider becoming an Executive Gold Star member. It costs $110 per year— twice the standard membership, but you receive a two percent annual cash back reward (up to $750) on all Costco purchases. For example, if you spend $600 a month, you’ll receive a check for $144 at the end of the year. If you don’t spend enough to make the additional membership fee worthwhile, Costco will downgrade you to the standard membership and refund the rest. If you bleed red and khaki, consider a Target Red Debit or credit card, which earns you five percent off your total, immediately, at the register. Know your prices. My family goes through

staggering amounts of applesauce, cheddar cheese, red peppers, and coffee. I can quote you good prices for these items to the penny. It’s tricky to stock up on perishable goods, because not everything survives a trip to our chest freezer and back. But when it comes to shelf-stable items, I’m not shy about stocking up. I’ve trained my eye for

the best prices on about a dozen items by creating a price list by store, regularly checking prices to see if it’s true that Target still has the lowest price for said peanut butter when not on sale or if the honor now goes to the Cub Foods across the street. Forget loyalty. Be loyal to your friends and family. Be not so loyal to stores and brands. If you’re trying to keep grocery costs under control, it’s all about the best price. Refer to that handy price list and buy based on price, not name, or nostalgia. Unless—and this is important— unless you’ve tried alternate brands and know they truly are inferior. Buying a cheap substitute and then never using it won’t save money, or space in the pantry. Be willing to shop multiple stores, but don’t go crazy trying to save some change. Gas is expensive and time is priceless. Careful couponing. I say careful because

coupons can be alluring, drawing you to products you never would have purchased otherwise. The offers are often for unhealthful, processed foods, and the items may cost more than other substitutes, even with the discount. But coupons can also be great money savers, especially when you use sites such as to combine store sales with store coupons and manufacturers coupons. Make a list. If you’re like me, you make a

list and still buy a bunch of stuff you didn’t plan to. But if you can use the list to keep track of all of your must-have items and steer you from temptation, your wallet will surely thank you. Skip the store. Speaking of temptation, by

using an Internet grocery delivery site such as or Lunds & Byerly’s, there’s less chance of impulse buying. If you aren’t buying things you don’t need, you will save money and reap the benefits of convenient pick up or delivery, too. Kara McGuire is a personal finance expert and mother of three living in St. Paul.

You can get there. We can help.

Visit or call 1-877-338-4646

Arts & crafts Whether you need to occupy the kiddos or perhaps encourage them to make gifts for the upcoming season of giving, these books will help give them (and you!) an idea or two. By Kathleen Stoehr

Gifts for Kids to Make This book is full of colorful photos and step-by-step instructions for making edible treats, scented gifts, accessories, and more. Templates are also included for each of the projects in the book. Make chopstick wind chimes, pressed flower boxes, gift tags, and a decorative barrette. For ages 3 to 10 By Cheryl Owen Octopus Books USA; $12.99

The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family’s Life with Art & Creativity Bring out your child’s creativity and imagination with more than 60 artful activities from the creator of These activities are accessible and developmentally appropriate for ages one to eight. Parents will learn how to select materials, set them up, and engage their children. For ages 1 to 8 By Jean Van’t Hul Roost Books; $21.95

Crafts for Kids Enjoy great ideas for every special occasion including gifts, cards, decorations, and even costumes. This is a year-round funfest of 55 crafts, plus hundreds of variations for celebrations. Includes project templates. For ages 2 to 6 By Gill Dickinson Octopus Books USA; $12.99

Sewing School 2: Lessons in Machine Sewing Children are fascinated by the sewing machine. If they know how to safely operate one, the projects in this book can be completed with minimal supervision or help. Clear photos show each step for the projects (20 in all) in detail with pattern pieces included in a sleeve in the back of the book. For ages 7 to 13 By Amie Petronis Plumley & Andria Lisle Storey Publishing; $18.95

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The Big Book of Crafts & Activities Plenty of great ideas to choose from, whether your child has 10 minutes, a few hours, or all day. Explore new interests and enjoy a treasure trove of things to do or make. Make handmade cards, beaded insects, balloon animals, friendship bracelets, and more. For ages 7 to 12 James Mitchem, editor Dorling Kindersley Ltd; $16.99

The Big Book of Things to Make A compendium of cool projects, exciting games, and fun quizzes kids can do inside or outside, The Big Book of Things to Make is an activity book to cure boredom and inspire creativity. Build a castle, learn to juggle (and make juggling balls), build a birdhouse, and learn prehistoric trivia. For ages 7 and up James Mitchem, editor Dorling Kindersley Ltd; $16.99

from having known each other too long.) Add to it that Edna sometimes speaks too…um…you know…(pause)…slowly. Coupled with my cocky confidence in that I know what she is going to say before she says it, it can lead to some awful, crossedwire conversations. Here’s a sample phone call conversation from a recent late afternoon. I was out buying movie tickets and groceries before the babysitter arrived, so we could enjoy a rare night out: Edna: Did you get…the…um…the um— Me: They’re sold out. Edna: Of…milk? Really. Me: What? No. Of tickets. For the movie, right? Edna: I mean the milk. And they’re out? Me: What? I just got here. Edna: Then how do you know they’re out of tickets? Me: I mean I just got to the grocery store. I doubt they’re out of milk…are you even paying attention...? Edna: Yes! Oh, crap, the babysitter just got here. (pause) We need toilet paper, too. Me: Check. Edna: She prefers cash.



Can you hear me now?

Perhaps you, gentle reader, also know the terror of living with a mutterer. Not sure? Check out these well-documented muttering types. The mnemonic mutter: This occurs when


n our world of partnered bliss, Edna and I have our…um, mumble, mutter, sigh…. What’s that, you say? You couldn’t understand that last bit? Welcome to my world. For two people who communicate really well about the big stuff, a lot of our ‘little’ stuff gets lost in translation. I find our miscommunications fall into two categories: ‘bumbling’ and ‘muttering.’ The bumbling often begins with the deadly trailing-off of Edna’s sentences. (I know what you’re thinking: aging man refuses to admit he’s losing his hearing. But I’ve been tested—it’s not me!)

24 November 2013

Her statements often start out something like this: “I think I need to, um…” (The rest too quiet and otherwise incomprehensible.) In response, I try to model clear speaking with well-enunciated endings, but (as Edna will gleefully point out whenever the gloves come off), I usually begin those sentences with my head stuck in the fridge, or while still in the bathroom, saying the first few words before I’m actually facing her, so that she never hears my beginnings, and I never hear her endings. We’ve learned to interpolate from context. (That is, make it up, based on the shared, impatient laziness that comes

the ‘inside’ voice escapes over the mental wall that separates ‘inside’ (the mind) from ‘outside’ the mind (such as in the psychologist’s office, on a city bus, or at high school reunion). It is actually a noble attempt to keep things together. Example: Edna (muttering): I’m putting my keys down RIGHT here, so I won’t forget them...I just have to remember I did this…I should write this in my iPhone… wait…where’s my iPhone? The self-talk mutter: Made famous by cat ladies, this favorite occurs when all the other voices inside their heads have gotten so loud that they have to drown them out

by asking questions (which listeners think are directed at them). Beware: this ‘gateway mutter’ can lead to more debilitating forms of muttering (see next example) and even infect listeners by functionally melting their brains—as I fear it’s doing to mine. Example: Edna (muttering as she walks past me): I don’t know…I could swear I left my keys right around here. Me (too stupid to ignore her): Your left is what? Edna: Did you say something? Me: No, YOU did. Edna (muttering): You’re weird. Me: I guess I am…(muttering) I married you. Edna: What? Me (exasperated): You were muttering again! Edna (finally loud and clear): I was not! The Passive-Aggressive mutter: This one is more nefarious, and only works on partners who have so long been subjected to muttering that they have stopped actually listening to what their partner is saying—and thus fall into their wily traps. Example: Edna (muttering as she fishes a stinky sponge out of the kitchen sink, mimicking perfectly the pedantic drone of my voice): It’s so easy to put your keys away. I don’t know why you can’t do it. Me (flippant): Couldn’t hear you—come again? Edna: Oh, I’m sorry, was I muttering? I was just remarking on how you never manage to RINSE THE SPONGE OUT!

City of Lakes Waldorf MNP 1013 H4.indd 1

9/18/13 8:29 AM

In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre

Maybe I’ll have to start a group, a sort-of Mutterers Anonymous, before my brain melts any further. Organize a Meet-up online…I just have to figure out where I put that…that thing…the…what do you call it? The…(incomprehensible)… mumble, mutter.

Offering performances, residencies and touring shows.


Sean Toren loves living the full catastrophe in Minneapolis with his wife and son. He can be contacted at In the Heart of the Beast MNP 2011 H4 filler.indd 1

8/5/11 2:20 PM November 2013 25

Jan Brett book signing in Mtka

11 12 ———————— ———————— ———————— ———————— ———————— opening night: ———————— Cinderella @ CTC


Election Day

4 5 ———————— ———————— ———————— ———————— ———————— ————————

3 ———————— Fall back: Daylight ———————— Savings Time ends ———————— ———————— ———————— ————————

Fun with Fish @ Como Park Zoo

13 14 ———————— ———————— Minnesota Give ———————— to the Max Day ( ———————— ———————— ————————

7 6 ———————— ———————— ———————— ———————— ———————— ————————

Sun Mon Tues Wed Thurs

national Family literacy day


Microscope day @ Science Museum

Wiggly Snake, Slippery Salamander in Maplewood

Free 1st Sat. @ Walker Art Center



15 16 ———————— Childish Films @ the library: ———————— Celebrating Aardman ———————— ———————— roe Family Singers @ St. Paul Public ———————— library ————————

9 8 ———————— Saturday Live! ———————— Reading with Horse Power! ———————— ———————— Free Science Magic @ The ———————— Bakken ————————


November out About Pull ouT AND sAve!

TPT MNP 0913 4.71x3.59.indd 1

24 ———————— ———————— ———————— ———————— ———————— ————————

Free 3rd Sundays at the Minnesota Children’s Museum

Opening night: The Elves & the Shoemaker @ ChanhassenDT


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happy babies. happy moms.

30 ———————— ———————— ———————— ———————— ———————— ————————

Family Barn dance in St. Paul

FREE admission: MCAD Art Sale


10/14/13 8:21 AM

1560 Selby Ave St. Paul, MN 55104

15% oFF during playdates!

Free coffee for the moms, Babies get to play with the toys!

Playdate Wednesday! 10:30am – Noon

29 ———————— ———————— ———————— ———————— ———————— ————————

21 22 ———————— ———————— ———————— ———————— Opening night: ———————— Llama Llama Holiday Drama @ ———————— Stages

28 27 Happy ———————— Thanksgiving! ———————— ———————— ———————— ———————— ————————

20 ———————— ———————— ———————— ———————— ———————— ————————

8/7/13 8:46 AM

19 ———————— ———————— ———————— ———————— ———————— ————————

26 25 ———————— IBeW lights in the Park ———————— begins ———————— ———————— ———————— ————————

The Fresh Beat Band @ The O’Shaughnessy

opening night: A Year with Frog and Toad @ old log


Out About Parent pick

Childish Films @ the Library ÎÎA free series of children’s cinema and arts. Each screening features a pre-show activity, an educational introduction, and complimentary healthy snacks. This month: Celebrating Aardman

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

When: 16th; doors at 10:00; show begins at 10:30 a.m. Where: Hennepin County Library, Minneapolis Central Cost: FREE Info: or 612-543-8107

Then Now Wow ÎÎDedicated 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: or 651-259-3000

Potted Potter ÎÎThe Unauthorized Harry Experience, a parody of all seven Harry Potter books is performed in 70 hilarious minutes. When: 20th to 23rd (7 performances)

28 November 2013

Where: O’Shaughnessy at St. Catherine University, St. Paul Cost: $25 to $55 Info: or 651-690-6700

Cinderella ÎÎThe holiday hit is back to the stage in this raucous production updated to wonderously wacky perfection. This classic fairy tale is turned on its head with sidesplitting physical comedy and enough romance and splendor to soften hearts and inspire audiences of all ages to seek their happily ever after. When: 12th through January 5, 2014 Where: Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis Cost: Ticket prices vary Info: or 612-874-0400

Blue Man Group —Making Waves ÎÎThis 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: Through Jan. 12, 2014 Where: Minnesota Children’s Museum, St. Paul Cost: $9.50 ages 1 to 101 Info: or 651-225-6000

Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed ÎÎMaya: Hidden Worlds Revealed is 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: or 651-224-9444

Sideways Stories from Wayside School ÎÎThis is a much-loved craziness! Oops! The builder made a mistake and turned the plans on their side. That’s why Wayside School is 30 stories high with one classroom on each level. You think that’s a little strange? Wait until you see what goes on at the school on a daily basis. When: Through the 10th Where: Stages Theatre Company, Hopkins Cost: Ticket prices vary Info: or 952-979-1111

MCAD Art Sale ÎÎThe Minneapolis College of Art & Design’s sale is a Minnesota tradition that has generated more than $1.9 million for

emerging artists. All art sale proceeds go directly to the individual artists or the MCAD Art Sale Scholarship Fund. When: 21st to 23rd Where: Minneapolis College of Art & Design Cost: Admission fee first two nights, FREE on Saturday Info:

Llama Llama Holiday Drama ÎΓLlama Llama holidays. Jingle music. Lights ablaze. How long till that special date? Llama Llama has to wait.” Everyone’s favorite chronicler of llamas, Anna Dewdney, has created another magnificent story around little Llama Llama, who has so much trouble waiting for anything. When: 22nd through December 29 Where: Stages Theatre Company, Hopkins Cost: Ticket prices vary Info: or 952-979-1111

November 2013 29

Out About

Do you have twins or children aged 6-11?

Want to earn $60?

If so, you may be eligible to participate in a new study in the Family Interaction & Development Lab! For more information, call (651) 523-2935 or email

Hamline University MNP 1012 12.indd 1

9/19/12 1:02 PM

Fiddler on the Roof

Helping Clothe the Twin Cities’ Newborns in Need Collects new and gently used baby clothes for distribution to disadvantaged infants and new moms. Call or email Jennifer with questions 952-920-8111 •

Loved Twice MNP 2011 12 filler.indd 1


fiddler on the Roof Î In the little village of Anatevka, Tevye, a poor milkman, is trying to keep his family’s traditions in place. Yet, times are changing. And when Tevye’s daughters want to make their own matches, he must choose between his own daughters’ happiness 4:00 PM and those beloved traditions that keep the outside world at bay. When: Through Jan 25, 2013 Where: Chanhassen Dinner Theatres Cost: $47 to $82 Info: or 952-934-1525

Complete Cremation Services Professional • Dignified • Economical

IBeW Holiday lights in the Park Î Experience more than 50 larger-thanlife holiday light sculptures and animated displays as you drive through St. Paul’s Phalen Park in the evening hours.

Minneapolis Chapel 4343 Nicollet Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55409 (612) 825-2435

When: 26th through January 1, 2014 Where: Phalen Park, St. Paul Cost: FREE Info:

Edina Chapel 7110 France Avenue South Edina, MN 55435 (952) 924-4100

The Wong Kids… The Cremation Society™ of Minnesota “We are Minnesota’s Cremation Specialist” Serving the entire state of Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Owned and Operated by the Waterston Family.

Î Meet the Wong kids, typical teenage brother and sister that just discovered their hidden superpowers. This rock-‘em, sock-‘em, sci-fi space adventure, that’s part Phineas and Ferb meets A Wrinkle in Time, pits the squabbling siblings against the evil Space Chupacabra in a heroic plight to save the universe. Sophisticated and full of

30 November 2013 Cremation Society MNP 1113 NR2-Urn V6.indd 1

10/17/13 10:40 AM

irreverent humor, Wong Kids in The Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go! combines the hipness of manga and anime with a fantastic voyage of tenacity, courage and in the end, true friendship. Grades 3+ When: Through the 17th Where: Children’s Theatre, Minneapolis Cost: Ticket prices vary Info: or 612-874-0400

The elves & the shoemaker Î An upbeat, whimsical romp about a troupe of elves who help restore a poor cobbler to prosperity by crafting a pair of the most fantastic and magical shoes the town has ever seen. This heart-warming adaptation tells a tale not only of midnight enchantment, but of generosity and virtue rewarded. It’s a holiday story meant to introduce children of all ages to the magic and fun of theater. When: Sundays at 1:00 p.m., 17th through December 29 Where: Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, Chanhassen Cost: $16 per person Info: or 952-934-1525

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: or 651-221-9444

Wee Wednesdays ÎÎWee 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. Where: Midtown Global Market, Minneapolis Cost: FREE Info: or 612-872-4041

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

A Year with Frog and Toad ÎÎThis whimsical story celebrates an unlikely friendship between an eternally optimistic Frog and a rather grumpy Toad as they try to keep their sleds on the ground, kites in the air, and themselves from devouring cookies. Their friendship flourishes through triumphs and challenges, sending a heart-warming message that all ages will enjoy. When: 18th through December 29 Where: Old Log Theater, Excelsior Cost: $16 to $35 Info: or 952-474-5951

Out About 1 fRIDAY Movie Night @ The Garden by the Woods Î See The Avengers and Casablanca outside under the stars. Campfire and concessions, too. When: Campfire at 7:00; movies start at 7:30 Where: Chanhassen Garden Center, Chanhassen Cost: FREE Info:

2 sATuRDAY free first saturday: What’s Happening? Î Uncover surprises around every corner. Celebrate the unpredictable with performances and activities inspired by the exhibition, Claes Oldenburg: The Sixties. When: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (family

activities until 3:00) Where: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Cost: FREE Info: or 612-375-7600

Nature family fun: Wiggly snake, slippery salamander Î Make nature discoveries together and meet new friends. Parents stay with their children during the entire class. For ages birth to 5 When: 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. Where: Maplewood Nature Center, Maplewood Cost: $5 per child per session Info: or 651-748-7280

saturday live! Hunter Marionettes Î Accompanied by music ranging from classical to lively dance tunes, each

member of this cast of intricate, handcrafted marionettes will entertain you with his or her own special talents. In a typical performance, you’ll see a penguin try his luck on the flying trapeze, an ostrich attempt to fly, plus dancing and juggling. When: 11:15 a.m. to noon Where: St. Paul Public Library, Central Library Cost: FREE Info: or 651-266-7034

Diabetes & Your sight Î Complimentary diabetic eye exam and health fair. Volunteer members of the Minnesota Optometric Association will perform exams (pre-registration requested). Other no-cost screenings and features include diabetic health education; dental screenings; flu shots; blood pressure checks, smoking cessation information and more. Light refreshments will be served. When: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Where: Open Cities Health Center,

The First Five Are Forever

Build Confidence. by Step MNP 0313 H2.indd 32Step November 2013


763-280-5229 2/11/13 12:09 PM

Out About 409 North Dunlap Street, St. Paul Cost: FREE Info: 651-251-5954 (to pre-register)

Microscope Day ÎÎThe Science Museum of Minnesota will welcome the Minnesota Microscopy Society (MMS) to celebrate Microscope Day. MMS will be presenting a variety of demonstrations throughout the museum that will be fun for all ages. Microscope Day activities are included in regular exhibit gallery admission. When: 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Where: Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul Cost: $13 adults, $10 kids and seniors Info: or 651-221-9444

7 Thursday Fun with Fish ÎÎEnjoy Lil’ Explorer Thursdays in the Visitor’s Center, meet animal and plant

Science Magic

visitors. See story time, play games, and more.

ÎÎFabulous science-related programming and plenty of fun for no charge every second Saturday of the month.

When: 10:00 a.m. to noon Where: Como Park Zoo, St. Paul Cost: FREE Info: or 651-487-8272

When: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Where: The Bakken Museum, Minneapolis Cost: FREE Info: or 612-926-3878

9 Saturday Saturday Live! Reading with Horse Power!

Book Signing: Moo!

ÎÎLearn all about horses in this unique program featuring a miniature horse. Children will listen to a story about horses and have a chance to pet and interact with a live miniature horse. When: 11:15 a.m. to noon Where: St. Paul Public Library, Central Library Cost: FREE Info: or 651-266-7034

ÎÎAuthors David LaRochelle and Mike Wohnoutka will be reading and signing copies of their new book, Moo!. When: 11:00 a.m. Where: Wild Rumpus Bookstore, Minneapolis Cost: There is a charge for the book Info:

Take a road trip instead of a stressful trip.


EARLY BIRD LIFT & LODGING SAVE $10 per ticket Located in Wausau, Wisconsin 715.845.2846

November 2013 33

Out About Saturday Live! Roe Family Singers ÎÎGet the whole family dancing with this award-winning local band. The Roe Family Singers play good-time, old-time hillbilly music with the rhythms of the banjo, guitar, autoharp, washboard, and more. When: 11:15 a.m. to noon Where: St. Paul Public Library, Central Library Cost: FREE Info: or 651-266-7034

17 Sunday

IBEW Holiday Lights in the Park

10 Sunday Family Day at the MIA: Arts of Africa ÎÎCelebrate the grand opening of the MIA’s newly redesigned African art galleries with a family-friendly event dedicated to the arts of Africa. Make a marvelous mask, hear fantastic folktales, or feel the groove with drum and dance workshops. When: 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Where: Minneapolis Institute of Arts Cost: FREE Info: or 612-870-3000

Book Signing: Jan Brett ÎÎThis beloved children’s author will be signing her new book, Cinders: A Chicken Cinderella. When: 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Where: Ridgedale Library, Minnetonka Cost: There is a charge for the book Info: 612-543-8800

14 Thursday Busy Bugs ÎÎEnjoy Lil’ Explorer Thursdays in the

34 November 2013

Visitor’s Center, meet animal and plant visitors. See story time, play games, and more. Early access for members at 9:30 a.m. When: 10:00 a.m. to noon Where: Como Park Zoo, St. Paul Cost: FREE Info: or 651-487-8272

16 Saturday Saturday with a Scientist ÎÎAerospace engineering and mechanics will take center stage with special guest James Flaten, professor of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics at the University of Minnesota. Participate in demonstrations, experience friction-free motion, and even build rockets—and let them fly! The whole family can take part in a challenge to go through the engineering design cycle acting as NASA’s greatest engineers, to allow the astronauts to complete their missions. When: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Where: Bell Museum of Natural History, Minneapolis Cost: FREE with museum admission Info: or 612-626-9660

Free 3rd Sundays at the Minnesota Children’s Museum ÎÎThanks to the generosity of Target Corporation, visitors can roam the museum free of charge every third Sunday of each month. When: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Where: Minnesota Children’s Museum Cost: FREE Info: or 651-225-6000

18 Monday The Fresh Beat Band ÎÎThe band will perform hits from the first three seasons from its live-action music series on Nickelodeon. When: 6:30 p.m. Where: The O’Shaughnessy at St. Kate’s Cost: From $38.50 Info: or 651-690-6700

21 Thursday Diggin’ Dinos ÎÎEnjoy Lil’ Explorer Thursdays in the Visitor’s Center, meet animal and plant visitors, play games, and more. When: 10:00 a.m. to noon Where: Como Park Zoo, St. Paul Cost: FREE Info: or 651-487-8272

Saturday Live! Circus Manduhai ÎÎThe amazing Mongolian family circus returns to the Central Library with acrobatics, balancing, hula hoops and more! When: 11:15 a.m. to noon Where: St. Paul Public Library, Central Library Cost: FREE Info: or 651-266-7034


23 Saturday

Holiday Open House

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

Family Barn Dance

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.

ÎÎSquare dance with band and caller; all ages welcome; no experience necessary!


When: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Where: Hamline Church, United Methodist, St. Paul Cost: $5; $15 per family Info: or 651-771-8421

27 Wednesday

on easylication app

Share the gift of life

For more detailed information call


or fill out an application online at

ALL ETHNICITIES NEEDED 2828 Chicago Ave. #400 Minneapolis, MN 55407 Accredited by: Diplomats of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies, American College of OB/GYNs and Association for Reproductive Medicine.

Center for Reproductive Medicine MNP 0413 H6.indd 4

3/20/13 12:07 PM

Talk Turkey ÎÎLearn all about wild turkeys and other winter active animals, gather acorns for winter, touch and feel animal feathers and fur, and explore all that a Minnesota autumn has to offer. For ages 2 to 8 When: 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. Where: Maplewood Nature Center, Maplewood Cost: FREE Info: or 651-748-7280

30 Saturday Saturday Live! Musician Ross Sutter ÎÎChildren’s music from America and Northern Europe with accompaniment on the guitar, accordion, dulcimer, and Irish drum. When: 11:15 a.m. to noon Where: St. Paul Public Library, Central Library Cost: FREE Info: or 651-266-7034 •

November 2013 35

Children with special needs often cling to their parents for support. photo courtesy of Washburn Center for Children

36 November 2013

What next?

What to do after your child’s developmental, neurobiological, or mental health diagnosis Keep a notebook by the phone, call your health insurance company and allow yourself some time to grieve. Some ideas for coping—and thriving—after diagnosis. By Julie Kendrick

“I went

through two solid weeks of grieving, when I would sit on our porch and cry every single night,” says a west-Metro resident and mother of two boys, one of whom has been diagnosed as having Asperger’s syndrome, a developmental disorder that affects the ability to socialize and communicate effectively. ‘Mary’ (not her real name) says she still vividly remembers her reaction, 10 years ago, when her family began to face the reality of her son’s diagnosis. “I think I really needed to give myself that time to grieve,” she says. “But I have a very strong belief system, so my faith really helped get me through it.” Now, Mary says, she gets phone calls from friends and acquaintances, seeking her advice when a

November 2013 37

child they love receives a similar diagnosis. “I think it provides comfort and grounding to connect with someone who has walked the same path,” she says. Receiving a diagnosis like Mary’s son can trigger a huge range of overlapping, conflicting, and often very-difficult emotions—relief that you finally have a name for what’s been going on, release of fears that you were just making it all up, and pure, sheer terror about what’s going to happen next. Parents who have had similar experiences, as well as mental health experts, say that there are many steps you can take to help cope in this challenging time.

Not just a phase Jennifer Britton, a licensed independent clinical social worker (LICSW), is the Intensive In-Home supervisor at Washburn Center for Children, a Minneapolis-based facility that serves kids with social, emotional, and behavioral problems. She describes her job as “helping to stabilize kids, provide healing for families, and offering holistic support in the home. “We see children of all ages, but we see quite a few who have just reached the age of 10 or so,” she reports, adding that most families have usually waited about a year before arriving at her facility for a diagnosis. “They keep telling themselves that it’s just a phase, or hoping that their child will ‘grow out of it,’” she reports. “The first thing we tell families is ‘we’re glad you’re here.’”

How many are affected? A National Institutes of Health study reports that half of all lifetime cases of mental disorders begin by age 14. There are often long delays, sometimes decades, between the first appearance of symptoms and the time that treatment is received, which can make any disorder more difficult to manage. The issue of children’s mental health has been coming under increasing focus, in part because it is being identified and treated at earlier ages. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that four million children and adolescents in this country suffer from a serious mental disorder that causes significant functional impairments at home, at school, and with peers. Autism affects one in 88 children and

38 November 2013

one in 54 boys. But even with an increased focus on diagnosis and treatment, the U.S. Public Health Service reports that only 20 percent of children who need help are identified and treated each year.

first things first: the IeP If you sense something is awry with your child’s development, neurobiology, or mental health, trust your gut and seek a diagnosis as soon as you are able. The diagnosis will be an important part of a complete educational evaluation, which is necessary to obtain an individualized education program (IEP) through the public schools. The school team reviews all evaluation results, including the medical diagnosis, to develop an IEP that defines the child’s disability, outlines the skills that need to be learned, sets objectives for what will be accomplished during the school year, and offers specifics about the services the school will provide.

start with a notebook It doesn’t seem as if something as simple as a notebook could be helpful in those daunting days after your child has just received a diagnosis, but Britton says it could help you gain control of a world that might seem to be making very little sense at the moment. Get a small notebook and keep it nearby (and tie a working pen to it if you have to!). “Write down every place you called and when, and the name of the person you talked to. Write down what they told you, and even take a moment to jot down some personal reflections on how it all made you feel,” she says. Later, when you have big decisions to make on things like schools or treatments, those notes can be very helpful. Patterns will start to emerge. Words will jump out at you and begin to make sense in a way they never did before. With all the information gathered in one place, you will start to feel some measure of control in a situation that often feels like it’s spinning out of control all of the time. You can use all the information you gather to conduct periodic “check ins” with the places you called in the early days. “Never give up hope. There can be grant funding changes, or program guideline changes, so if you called somewhere a while ago, and they said ‘no,’ things may be

WHeN To RefeR Early intervention is the best way to ensure a child’s future success and development. Here are some indicators to watch for as your child develops: By four months Not turning toward sounds Not showing interest in people’s faces By six months No big smiles or no expressions of joy No cooing when happy or crying when unhappy By nine months No exchanging back & forth smiles and sounds with family members No back & forth gestures such as giving, taking, and reaching

Are you concerned about your child’s development?


By 12 months Not responding when name is called No babbling such as “ma” “ba” “da” “ga”

We also offer free screenings for sensory processing and self-regulation problems in children 5 years and younger, beginning at 7 months.

By 15 months No pointing gestures to draw attention to something of interest Not using or understanding at least three words such as “mama” “dada” “bye-bye” By 18 months No purposeful pretend play such as feeding a doll or stuffed animal Not indicating familiarity with family names or body parts By 24 months No two-word meaningful phrases (without imitating) Not showing enjoyment in playing with children of the same age By 36 months Not answering simple questions such as “what” “when” “who” Not showing enjoyment in playing with children of the same age Refer for immediate evaluation: No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter No back and forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by nine months or thereafter No babbling by 12 months No words by 16 months No two-word meaningful phrases (without imitating or repeating) by 24 months Any loss of speech or babbling or social skills at any age — Courtesy of and adapted from First Signs Autism Screening Information

screening of fine motor, gross motor, self-care, and play skills for children ages 5 years and younger.

Maplewood & Plymouth Locations

Contact us for an evaluation or free screening: 651.773.0354 Children's Theraplay MNP 1113 H6.indd 1

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A gifted mind in elementary school is a terrible thing to waste.

Wanting More to Learn Seeking Gifted Peers Needing Inspiration

Waiting for a Challenge

Make 2014 the year your exceptionally gifted child is finally inspired to excel. Minnetonka Navigator Parent Information Meetings November 18 or December 12, 7 pm Minnetonka Public Schools, 5621 County Road 101, Minnetonka keyword:Navigator Minnetonka Public Schools MNP 1113 S3.indd 1

10/24/13 2:07 PM November 2013 39

Help is available

There are many national, city, and neighborhood-based programs to assist children and families. Here are several that were suggested by the parents and therapists interviewed for this story:

Starting point Call “211” for free and confidential information and referrals about food, housing, employment, health care, counseling and more, operated by parent agency Greater Twin Cities United Way.

Programs and treatment Alexander Center, part of the Park Nicollet system, says it’s “the largest clinic in Minnesota serving the developmental and behavioral needs of children and their families,” including those with attention disorders, autism, learning difficulties, or communication disorders. Amherst H. Wilder Foundation serves children and their families through comprehensive approaches for early childhood education, mental health, housing and school success. Brain Balance is a non-medical program targeted to children with neurobehavioral and learning difficulties. Fraser provides early childhood services, autism evaluations and services, mental health services, neuropsychology, and rehabilitation.

Help Me Grow connects children from birth to age five who have developmental delays and disabilities, and their families, to free early intervention services. Pediatric Autism and Communication Therapy Institute (PACT) utilizes social curriculum and specialized services for children with autism spectrum disorders, social anxiety, language delays, and other developmental disabilities. St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development provides early childhood education, pediatric therapies, mental health services, autism services, life-phase services, early intervention, and support. Washburn Center for Children focuses on helping children with social, emotional, and behavioral problems. West Metro Learning Connections teaches social skills to children and teens with autism spectrum disorders.

Societies and advocacy Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) educates families, professionals, and the public about autism, advocates for rights and appropriate services, supports families with referrals, and has the goal to “enhance the lives of those affected by autism from birth through retirement.” National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization, dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for access to services and treatment, supports research, raises awareness and builds community.

Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights (PACER) is a nationally known champion for children and young adults with disabilities and their families, especially in the area of advocating for free and appropriate public education for all children. Jenny Britton, the Intensive In-Home supervisor interviewed for this article, says, “If you’re running into a roadblock in school to get appropriate services for your child, contact PACER first.”

Scholarships Metro Friendship Foundation (MFF) provides scholarships for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Time for fun Adaptive Recreation & Inclusion Services are offered through the city of Brooklyn Park. Pump It Up Special Needs Sensory Nights are once a month in various metro areas such as Plymouth and Eden Prairie, and provide a safe, fun, sensory-friendly playtime exclusively for kids with special needs and their families.

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Sensory Friendly Films are free every Saturday at 10:00 a.m., at the Theatres at Mall of America, with lower sound, bright lighting, extra staff, and the encouragement to dance, sing, and move around. Theater Classes through Stages’ Creative Accepting SensoryFriendly Theatre (CAST), a theater education program with a safe, welcoming and comfortable environment for children on the autism spectrum.

While every child is unique, children in general develop in certain standard ways. If you are concerned about your child's development, first contact your health care provider. photo courtesy of

different now. Call back and check; it never hurts to try,” Britton says.

Removing the stigma According to Stephanie Combey, MSW, LICSW, senior director of Children’s Mental Health at St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development, there is still a stigma associated with many developmental, neurobiological, or mental health issues. The good news is that committed, involved parents can help to begin the reversal of those attitudes. She suggests that a good starting point for parents after a diagnosis is to connect with a trusted professional, whether a physician, agency staff, or school professional. “They can help you navigate and work with other professionals. “Parents should recognize that they need to be an integral part of whatever services their child receives. Our perspective is that we are partners with parents, so if someone is saying something you don’t understand, ask, ‘Can you explain that to me, please?’ You should always know what is happening.” Combey says, “There are systems out there to help kids and parents. What’s hard is that we have a way to go as a culture in helping people understand all aspects of mental health, especially with children. We need to help parents so they can feel supported and not so anonymous.”

Asking for help Mary, the mother of the teen with Asperger’s syndrome quoted at the

beginning of this article, acknowledges that the situation can seem even more challenging when treatment centers inform parents of long waiting times for their children to be seen. “Always put your name on the waiting list,” Mary advises. “Things change, people drop off, and it’s been our family’s experience the wait is usually shorter than we anticipated.” Britton says she talks to many families who struggle to make sense of what do next, how to survive financially and logistically, and where to find the best treatment—or multiple treatments—for their child. The amount of time and energy it takes to cope with the system, added to the stress of the child’s disorder, can create a life situation that often seems impossible, but Britton says, “The system can be very tricky, but my advice to parents is ‘Don’t give up.’” Sometimes help can come from unexpected places. “Most health insurance companies have care advocates who specialize in certain areas, and most parents don’t even know they exist. You can start by calling your health insurance provider to find what services are covered and what restrictions are in place,” Britton says. And, while acknowledging that the challenges can sometimes seem insurmountable, she says, “One of the best gifts you can give your child is to actively model how to advocate for themselves. You’re showing them they can trust other people, there are sources of assistance, and that they can ask for help and get it.” •

November 2013 41

Have your cake and eat it too g Enjoyin y birthda pa r t i e s  free glutenria By Ma

ter Midwin

42 November 2013


irthday parties are supposed to be happy events, but imagine that you are four years old, and everyone has cake but you. Instead, the parent of your little friend digs up a banana or an old sucker from last Halloween. Once your parents get a look at your party favor bag, they pull out the candy bar, the Amma cookies, and the little carton of rainbow Parenting Center is the top goldfish and throw them in the garbage. resource for new and Cruel as this may sound, it is all done expecting parents. Childbirth with the child’s best interest in mind— classes, breastfeeding help, new she has celiac disease. parent classes, and the best baby The number of people diagnosed with boutique in town! Trusted by hospitals celiac or wheat sensitivity has increased and families since 2009. dramatically in the past few decades. Four and a half times more people have celiac now than in 1950, according to a study by the Mayo Clinic. Put another way, one percent of people in the U.S. have celiac, which means virtually everyone knows someone who can’t eat PARENTING CENTER wheat, rye, and barley. (952) 926-BABY For kids with celiac, maintaining a gluten-free diet is especially important for long-term health. According to Mayo clinic dietitian Julie Bucholtz, R.D., L.D., Amma MNP 0613 V6.indd 2 5/20/13 10:59 AM straying from the diet can lead to anemia, stunted growth, and even cancer later in life. Those with wheat sensitivity react to fructan, a carbohydrate in wheat, as opposed to the protein gluten. While the major symptom— digestive upset—is the same, there are not the same concerns about long-term health. “Celiac is quite severe and you need to make sure the child has a gluten-free diet because it’s really going to cause problems later on that will keep kids from reaching their full potential. With wheat [sensitivity] it is up to the individual to decide,” explains Bucholtz. Though initially daunting, most families find going gluten-free at home quite easy. For most, the hardest situations are events like birthday parties.

Planning ahead So what can be done to cheer up the little kid at the party without jeopardizing her health? With a little planning and creativity—a lot. “It’s about parents educating their

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child and being prepared, pre-prepared, for those situations,” says Bucholtz. Calling ahead to check on the party menu enables parents to anticipate the pizza, mac and cheese, cake, and other gluten-filled snacks. Sometimes the best route is to approximate the menu as closely as possible. Other times, it’s best to simply bring something you know your child loves. A chocolate truffle may even be better than a sub-par cupcake! Talk it over ahead of time. Find out what your child would prefer. Party favors that include wheat-filled treats are usually handed out at the end, and a parent may be able to go through the bag before the child even sees the forbidden items. When that’s not the case, a creative trade can soothe feelings. Safe snacks or small toys can replace cookies or crackers. For older kids, a candid discussion about why it is important to stay glutenfree may be the most important thing a parent can do. “Kids that age are going to make mistakes, mistakes intentionally or

44 November 2013

not intentionally,” says Bucholtz, “but [parents] need to continue to send the same message, that they need to be on this diet for their long term health.”

Glitches in the plan Despite all that preparation, there still may be hiccups in the plan. I have two wheat sensitive kids. The last time I took one to a party, she was very excited about her gluten-free cupcake—until she saw the big birthday cake decorated with blue and red frosting. Suddenly the cupcake didn’t look so appetizing. The kids and parents around us tried to help—maybe we could move the frosting to the gluten-free cupcake? Maybe ice cream would help? In the end my daughter deemed it best to put the frosting on the ice cream and ignore the cupcake. But within 15 minutes all desserts were forgotten. She gathered with the other children around the birthday boy as he made short work of a pile of presents. Wrapping paper flew, cameras and phones

flashed. Though cake is at almost every party, it is far from the main event. Accommodating a child with celiac at a birthday party may sound like a bit of a chore, and frankly, it is. Throwing a party for a gluten-free child is actually, by comparison, a piece of cake. When hosting, it is often easiest to make the cake gluten-free. Once the frosting is on, most kids (and adults) won’t know the difference. Gluten-free cake mixes are now available at most grocery stores. As for the oft-served party pizza? Galactic Pizza in southwest Minneapolis and Pizza Lucé (various locations) offer gluten-free pizza crusts. The Twin Cities is also home to a number of bakeries that have gluten-free options, if a ready-made cake is more appealing. Be on the alert if any of your guests have a nut allergy, as some gluten-free flours use almond meal. Bittersweet Bakery in Eagan is exclusively a gluten-free bakery. When owner Lareen Narva switched to gluten-free eating 30 years ago, there were few

options. The dry cardboard-like products drove her to the kitchen to create something better. Her friends and family prompted her to open a bakery, which has now been making gluten-free goodies for a decade. In the south metro, French Meadow Bakery, Common Roots Cafe and People’s Organic have a number of products for gluten-intolerants. Ice cream sundaes, fruit parfait, pudding, macaroons, or meringues can also make a tasty birthday dessert. As long as there is a place to stick the candles, any dessert can become a birthday dessert.

school day parties At school, Bucholtz stresses the importance of communicating with teachers. “I always encourage parents to talk to the teacher to know when kids are bringing in birthday treats so that they can make sure they prepare and give their child something that’s similar or something they enjoy, so they’re not missing out on the fun.” Having a box of favorite gluten-free cookies on hand at school can keep surprise birthday treats from being a disappointing situation. Keeping all the allergies in one classroom straight can be a challenge. Wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, and citrus were all off-limits the last time we brought a birthday treat to school. Sometimes it is nearly impossible to accommodate everyone. Fun erasers or birthday pencils are one way to celebrate without having to worry about dietary restrictions. All those allergies also go to show that even if your child is the only one in the room that can’t have wheat, in a broader sense, he or she is not alone. In many ways, there has never been a better time to have a dietary restriction. No longer an anomaly, children are less likely to be seen as strange or different, because they and their friends all know other people with food allergies or sensitivities. And the foods available at the grocery store are catching up too. Dietitians agree. “Nowadays the bread products that are out there are so much better than they used to be,” Bucholtz says appreciatively. “There are many gluten-free cake recipes out on the web and there are mixes…now more than ever it is easy to be gluten-free.” •

Odds of a child becoming a top fashion designer: 1 in 7,000 Odds of a child being diagnosed with autism: 1 in 110

Some signs to look for: No big smiles or other joyful expressions by 6 months.

No babbling by 12 months.

No words by 16 months.

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Baby resource guide Blooma


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

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!

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

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


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

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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

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November 2013 47

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Real Life “There is no balance between work and family—you must give 100 percent to both. We decided early on that we were going to raise our kids ourselves and do what we had to do to be with them.”

is as much or more than adult clothing. There is also a perception that it would be better to just buy cheap clothing for kids, because they outgrow it so fast. I think the opposite is true. It is better to buy a few really great pieces that wear well, wash well, and look great. Many of the products in your stores are locally made. Can you talk about why this is important for you and your customers?

My clothing line, Oh Baby!, is designed by me and handmade by the same sewers that have been with me from the beginning. The entire line is made right here in the Twin Cities. It’s important to my customers to know that they are purchasing clothing for their children that has been handmade one at a time, not mass produced. What’s your philosophy on preserving balance between family and work?

real mom

Mary Lauer Faced with difficulty in finding clothing for her twins’ sensitive skin, Mary Lauer took it into her own hands and began making outfits herself. Demand for her gentle-onthe-skin and easy-on-the-eyes clothing rose, and after years of carting both twins and clothing to art fairs, Lauer and her husband Tom are Q&A the successful owners of What kind of challenges do you have designing and selling children’s clothing? children’s clothing store Oh Sometimes we face the challenge of “perceived value” when it comes to Baby! and interior design children’s clothing. Just because a shirt is store Que Sera, both located sized for a two-year-old, it is not worth 1/10th of what a 20-year-old might spend in Edina’s Galleria. — Zoe Gahan

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on her clothing. The cost of designing and the difficulty of sewing children’s clothing

There is no balance between work and family—you must give 100 percent to both. We decided early on that we were going to raise our kids ourselves and do what we had to do to be with them. When we started our first store, my mom or sister stayed with the kids, while I manned the store; Tom picked them up after his day at the office and brought them to the MOA, handed them off… and I took them home for dinner while he closed the store. Our kids always thought that everyone’s family had a store—it was just a part of our family life. It’s no secret that running a business with a spouse can be challenging. Care to comment?

We are fortunate to actually enjoy spending time together, and we have the same investment in the business—the same determination to make it successful. We also have divided the workload to match our strengths. I’m the designer, the salesperson, the merchandiser, the lead buyer—more of the whole-picture visionary with a sometime manic drive. Tom brings a more measured approach to the business. He’s a recovering attorney with a background in advising small businesses and solving other people’s problems.

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November 2013  
November 2013