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Books for

Picky eaters Page 22

July 2019

Happy hours for parents

Where to dine with toddlers

Anthony and Bryant of Maple Grove

e The kid-siz t Bambini a za Punch Piz

A Z Z I P

T S E B 0 1 THE

R O F S E C PLA FAMILIES


JULY

VOLUME 34 /// ISSUE 7

E U S S I S T A E L A C O L

24

Punch Pizza in Maple Grove

Family night out! We found the 10 best pizza places in the Twin Cities for families. Is your favorite on our list?

About our cover kids Names and ages: Anthony, 7, and Bryant, 5 City: Maple Grove Parents: Nick and Jooyun Chou Personality: Anthony is thoughtful and imaginative; Bryant is playful and affectionate. Favorite toys: Anthony enjoys building with LEGO blocks, especially Minecraft; Bryant loves his Hot Wheels and Transformers.

30

Jax Cafe in Mpls

Favorite books: Anthony loves Jurassic Park and Skippyjon Jones; Bryant loves Pete the Cat and Five Little Monkeys.

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6 happy hours

Healthy discourse

We’ve got the all deets on where to go, what to eat, what to drink and even where to go afterward on your next date night.

How to argue in productive ways in front of the kids when conflicts come up.

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July 2019 • mnparent.com

Favorite activities: Anthony likes to read, paint and swim; Bryant also likes to swim, pet animals and go on amusement park rides. Favorite foods: Strawberries, chocolate, ice cream and pizza  Photos by Tracy Walsh / Tracy Walsh Photography


6 FROM THE EDITOR

14 SCHOOL DAYS

22 BOOKSHELF

Find your family’s local go-to happy (food) place with the kids.

Our resident expert shares all the best places to explore!

Food can be fun. Serve up these cool new kid books as proof!

16 WORLD’S OKAYEST MOM

42 FROM OUR READERS

Suddenly, I saw a young girl looking back at me. Not a baby.

Splish, splash, slide: These kids know how to have fun.

A foodie’s paradise

Go see Ely

Rearview mirror

Ravenous

Summer joy!

18 ASK THE PEDIATRICIAN

The art of the IEP Setting up a special plan can help your kid succeed in school.

8 CHATTER

A new tot spot

& About 36 Out CA L E N DA R

The MiniSota Play Cafe emphasizes imagination. 10 BUMP, BIRTH AND BABY

Nurse it off?

Does breastfeeding really allow you to eat 500 extra calories? 12 THE UNCENSORED TODDLER

20 IN THE KITCHEN

Dining out with kids requires patience, but it’s worth it.

These muffins include walnuts, nut butter and even nut flour!

Little dumplings

Protein power

Excelsior, MN

FAMILY FUN at the Old Log Theatre

ing r! Com inte sw thi

Tickets & info:

952-474-5951 or

OldLog.com Old Log Theatre MNP 0719 H2.indd 1

Matinees NOW–August 16

Tickets on sale October 15 6/17/19 12:56 PM

mnparent.com • July 2019

5


FROM THE EDITOR

A foodie’s paradise I mnparent.com

PUBLISHER

Janis Hall • jhall@mnparent.com

SALES MANAGER AND CO-PUBLISHER Terry Gahan • tgahan@mnparent.com

GENERAL MANAGER

Zoe Gahan • zgahan@mnparent.com

EDITOR

Sarah Jackson • editor@mnparent.com

CONTRIBUTORS

Megan Devine, Katie Dohman, Ed Dykhuizen Dr. Madeleine Gagnon, Rachel Guyah Shannon Keough, Olivia Volkman-Johnson Tracy Walsh, Jen Wittes

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Valerie Moe • vmoe@mnparent.com

SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Micah Edel

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Brenda Taylor

OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR

Amy Rash • arash@mnparent.com

AD COORDINATOR

Hannah Dittberner 612-436-4389 • hdittberner@mnparent.com

CIRCULATION

Marlo Johnson 612-436-4388 • distribution@mnparent.com

ADVERTISING

612-436-4360 • sales@mnparent.com 40,000 copies of Minnesota Parent are printed monthly, available at 1,100 locations: mnparent.com/racks Go to mnparent.com/subscribe to get this magazine mailed to your home for $18 a year.

Minnesota Parent (ISSN 0740 3437) is published monthly by Minnesota Premier Publications. POSTMASTER send address changes to: MINNESOTA PARENT, 1115 Hennepin Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55403. Minnesota Parent is copyright 2019 by Minnesota Premier Publications. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. Address all material to address above.

6

July 2019 • mnparent.com

t’s happening, guys: You’re holding Minnesota Parent’s first-ever Local Eats issue! We’re so delighted to bring you this fun little romp through the Twin Cities food scene. Of course, we’re only scratching the surface of what’s available in our local culinary mecca, which has been basking in James Beard awards and national-media accolades in recent years. If you have kids, you know they can be terrible diners. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to eat out — especially now in summer when the roads are dry and the weather is patio-friendly. Can’t afford a family vacation? Tour the world locally with cuisines from Scandinavia to Somalia. But keep in mind, you don’t have to go to all of the “it” restaurants. As our toddler columnist, Shannon Keough, says this month: One of the coolest things about dining out as a family is finding a place that feels like home. Hers is a local pub. Mine is Shuang Cheng in Minneapolis. It’s a Dinkytown gem offering, I’d argue, the best Chinese food in the city (sorry, Lucky Cricket). It’s where I’ve bonded with my longtime boyfriend’s two kids, who love the place so dearly. It’s where we almost always go, especially if I have my son with me, too, and we want to try being a blended family of five in public (a delicate art, to be sure). The staff know my boyfriend by name and the rest of us by sight, even grandma, who’s 80 and loves it, too. We drink gallons of the incredible, bottomless, free, house tea and we always order the same few dishes — orange-peel chicken, stir-fried green beans, cream cheese wontons and a dish we refer to as “crunchy bean noodle.” It goes by some other name, but the staff always knows what we mean. And even when we don’t have the requisite 10 people, they let us sit at a huge table with a lazy Susan in the middle, perfect for sharing plates piled high with insanely huge portions that come quickly and at delightfully low prices. Shuang Cheng is where my boyfriend’s daughter (pictured above) was asked to prom with a fortune cookie, lovingly altered to pose the question. It’s where my son, who isn’t an adventurous eater, was convinced to try lo mein, instead of just eating white rice. It’s where we land after U of M sporting events and where we pilgrimage in winter, when we can’t stand to stay cooped up any longer. Yes, the carpet could use a refresh and the wine selection is so-so. But we’d take it any day over anywhere else. Where’s your family’s special place? Write me at editor@mnparent.com. Now: Order up! Sarah Jackson, Editor


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Sarah Jackson

CHATTER

A new indoor play space!

Where can you beat the heat with little ones this summer? Answer: The MiniSota Play Cafe in Champlin, founded by a local mother of two! Here parents can sip cups of bottomless Peace Coffee ($3) while the kids explore “Minnesota in miniature,” including the City of Mini Grove — complete with a grocery store, hardware shop, hair salon, post office, jail, hospital and music studio. The venue — which puts a heavy emphasis on imaginative play — also has a separate area called Infant Grove Heights, geared toward not-yet-walking babes. At Lake Minitonka, children can take a boat for a cruise, do some magnetic fishing or join dance parties, yoga or music classes, crafts and other group activities, offered as part of in-house Caretaker Coffee Breaks. The Voyager’s Cafe, meanwhile, offers espresso drinks, hot chocolate, Italian sodas, smoothies and packaged snacks and beverages. Kid admission is $5 for ages 6–12 months, $10 for ages 1–9 and $3 for ages 10 and up. Adult admission (usually $3) is free with a drink purchase. Discover 35 local indoor play spaces at mnparent.com/indoor.

Free eats for kids 8

July 2019 • mnparent.com

Summer can be a tough time for food-

at neighborhood sites, offering breakfast,

insecure children.

lunch, snacks and/or dinners through August.

In fact, nearly half a million children, ages

The GPS-enabled app offers easy

birth to 18, are at risk of hunger in Minnesota.

information about free meal sites and food

Fortunately, Summer Eats Minnesota,

truck stops, including hours of operation,

a free mobile app, is in its third summer of operation, helping kids find free meals

menu options and even driving directions. Learn more at summereatsmn.org.


mnparent.com • July 2019

9


Jen Wittes

BUMP, BIRTH AND BABY

Does breastfeeding really burn 500 calories? C

asual myths are often thrown around about breastfeeding and post-pregnancy weight. Don’t worry, your baby’s gonna help get that baby weight right off. It makes sense that it takes calories to make calories for Baby. But does breastfeeding actually increase metabolism? Does it help you lose weight?

Eating for two, again, sort of Milk production requires 300–550 calories, with the peak level occurring around 4–8 months, when Baby is consuming more, but not yet relying on solids. To put that number of calories in perspective — it’s a bagel, or a small steak, five bananas, one Belgian waffle. This does not necessarily mean that you need to consume 500 extra calories to make milk. A majority of Baby’s milk, at first, comes from fat stored during pregnancy. In this regard, yes, your infant will help you lose weight. That’s what the fat is for. If you’re feeling extra hungry — eat! This is a time of recovery, bonding, milk production and long sleepless nights! Listen to your body. Nourish it. Get your energy!

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July 2019 • mnparent.com

Hormones at work It seems there are two camps when it comes to breastfeeding and metabolism. There are women who claim they can eat whatever they want and then some while breastfeeding, and still lose weight. These women often describe feeling ravenous while nursing. Other women claim that they hang on to an extra 10 pounds while breastfeeding — couldn’t lose it if they tried. Hormones are at the root of both scenarios. The common threads are twofold: Pregnancy, postpartum and breastfeeding really mess with your hormones; and they change the way you metabolize calories, one way or another. Here’s what I mean: Prolactin is our milk-production hormone. On one hand, it makes calories, which takes calories. On the other hand, it naturally inhibits production of the hormone adiponectin, the hormone responsible for speeding up metabolism. Prolactin disrupts adiponectin to ensure that the breastfeeding mother doesn’t get too skinny: She can’t! She’s feeding a baby! Sometimes prolactin will put a hard stop

on adiponectin simply because Mom isn’t taking in enough food. Because prolactin is both calorieproducing and metabolism-restricting, it just kind of depends on the individual in terms of how it tips the scales. Know that your body is smart and you are perfect. Enjoy your (temporary) new body, be it svelte or extra curvy. Finally, there’s another hormone at play — cortisol, known as the stress hormone. Cortisol raises blood sugars and can cause the body to crave sweets. A little cortisol is normal in healthy individuals. Chronic overproduction of the hormone can cause weight gain or loss. Though new parenting is stressful, try to keep your mood and corresponding hormones in check. Take naps and baths. Light candles. Walk. Meditate. Talk to a friend. Talk to a professional. This, of course, is about more than weight. Stress can inhibit milk production, cause friction in an already depleted couple and make both Mom and Baby cranky.


JOIN US

SUMMER EVENTS JULY 28 Duluth Family Picnic

JULY 13 Summer New Family Breakfast

AUGUST 18 DSAMN Day at the Farm

JULY 14 Rochester Family Picnic

@ 21 Roots Farm in Grant, MN

JULY 21 St. Cloud Family Picnic

SEPTEMBER 14 Fall New Family Breakfast

Twin Cities Family Picnic JULY 26 Brainerd Family Picnic

New-mama superfoods

WWW.DSAMN.ORG/EVENTS/

SEPTEMBER 22 Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk

JULY 27 Bemidji Family Picnic

Family Festival @ Como Park

Down Syndrome Association of MN MNP 0719 H6.indd 1

6/13/19 4:44 PM

• Steel-cut oats for milk production • Salmon for omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D • Beef for zinc, iron and B vitamins

Weeklong camps | Half-day and Full-day Limited, need-based scholarships are available.

• Leafy greens for a power pack of vitamins A, C, E and K, plus fiber • Avocado for energy and satiety • Apricots for prolactin production • Potatoes — sweet potatoes for vitamin A, yellow or white for mental health • Yogurt for calcium and probiotics, which help prohibit growth of yeast/thrush.

Eat for you While you don’t need to eat twice as much while breastfeeding, you should eat well and eat enough. You may be anxious about the baby weight, but you should avoid dieting until solids are well established. Let your cravings be your guide. It’s not uncommon for breastfeeding moms to crave foods high in iron, calcium and vitamins C and D while breastfeeding. Listen. Learn. Eat good food. Jen Wittes is a marketing director, writer, certified postpartum doula and mom of two living in St. Paul.

2424 Franklin Ave. E. | Minneapolis, MN 55406

EXERCISE PREGNANCY STUDY The University of Minnesota is seeking women who are currently less than 20 weeks pregnant to participate in a research study examining the effect of exercise and wellness on mood following childbirth.

ESTUDIO SOBRE EL EJERCICIO DURANTE EL EMBARAZO La Universidad de Minnesota está buscando mujeres con menos de 20 semanas de embarazo para participar en el estudio de investigación que examina los efectos del ejercicio y la salud del estado de ánimo posterior al parto

• Program delivered to you via the mail and phone

• Programa ejecutado vía correo o teléfono

• Must be 18 years of age or older

• Debe ser mayor o igual a 18 años de edad

• Must not currently exercise regularly

• No debe hacer ejercicio regularmente

• Must not take antidepressants

• No debe tomar antidepresivos

• You will receive $100 & a FitBit for your time (you will be allowed to keep the FitBit after the study is over)

• Usted recibirá $100 y un FitBit por su tiempo (será permitido quedarse con el FitBit después de la culminación del estudio)

• Program can be delivered in English or Spanish

• Debe considerarse de bajos ingresos, lo cual se define como:

• Must be considered low-income, defined as: - Enrollment in any government assisted program (e.g., WIC, SNAP) AND/OR - Annual income that is considered low (less than $45,510 for a family of four, less than $30,044 for a family of two, and less than $22,311 if single). English: Call or TEXT to 612-345-0325 or mompro@umn.edu to see if you qualify for this research study.

U of M - Kinesiology Dept MNP 0318 S3.indd 2

- Inscripta en cualquier programa asistencial del gobierno (por ejemplo, WIC, SNAP) Y/O - Ingresos anuales considerados como bajos (menos de $ 45,510 para una familia de cuatro, menos de $ 30,044 para una familia de dos y menos de $ 22,311 si es soltera). Español: Llamada o TEXTO 612-237-1004 o mompro@umn.edu para ver si califica para éste estudio.

2/14/18 11:13 AM

mnparent.com • July 2019

11


Shannon Keough

THE UNCENSORED TODDLER

Dining out? Just do it “W

hat could be more kid-friendly than momo?” This was our reasoning as Nick and I approached Himalayan Restaurant on East Lake Street, our two toddlers in tow. We sat down and ordered the signature steamed dumplings as well as some chicken tikka masala and a couple glasses of wine. Despite our standard speech about “restaurant behavior,” both children quickly popped up out of their chairs and went capering across the room, heading straight for a steep staircase leading to the basement. Fellow diners glared at us as we dragged our loud, squirming scamps back to the table. Then, having once again settled in, one of the children immediately upended a glass of red wine. At this point we asked for the check and a few to-go boxes.

Is it worth it? Dining out with toddlers can be a fraught experience. But according to some inspirational meme I saw on Facebook, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over fear.” With that in mind, toddler parents, I encourage you to face your fears and step

heroically into the unknown (e.g. Black Sheep Pizza). Read on to learn about some of the dining establishments that have, against all odds, delivered some pleasant experiences with our toddlers.

Sweet treats If you can’t face an actual meal in a restaurant, but still want to leave the house, consider one of these places for a quick treat: Mel-O-Glaze (4800 28th Ave. S., Minneapolis): This neighborhood bakery is one of the city’s best bets for tasty, affordable doughnuts. It’s been around since I was growing up in then-unfashionable South Minneapolis, and the prices reflect this history. Leave the $6 “artisanal” doughnuts for the 20-something yuppies in Uptown. If your kid isn’t into cake, the mega-size donuts here can easily stand in for a birthday cake; just add candles. Yogurt Lab (throughout the Twin Cities): Despite the hints that this organic yogurt place might be “a healthier choice” — what with all the sugar-free, fat-free options and the fresh fruit toppings

Mel-O-Glaze, Minneapolis

— everyone knows the real joy of Yogurt Lab is discovering just how high a yogurt tower you can construct (all for one flat rate)! Hint: Put a whole bunch of toppings in the middle of the tower so you don’t weight it down at the top.

Actual meals Ready to take your over-tired toddler out for dinner? Here are some of our favorites: Moscow on the Hill (371 Selby Ave., St. Paul): Known for their infused vodkas and potent cocktails, Moscow on the Hill might not seem like an obvious choice for a family night on the town. But for some reason, it works. The staff are friendly and unpretentious, the lighting is dim and the bathrooms feature dramatic, toddlerentrancing paintings. Good choices for kids include the Moscow fries and the dumplings, naturally: Felix likes the Siberian pelmini; Lydia prefers the vareniki. Kyatchi (308 E. Prince St., St. Paul and 3758 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis): Kyatchi is the rare Japanese restaurant with a kids’ menu, featuring everything from ramen to hot dogs. The food is good, the atmosphere is relaxed and there’s a giant fish on the wall that captivated Felix on our last visit. I should also mention that the desserts are excellent, particularly the cheesecake and the ginger panna cotta. Your preferred hangout: Kid-friendly restaurant suggestions are all well and good, but you ultimately want to find something that’s steady and dependable — something of your very own. We’ve developed a long-term relationship with our beloved Brunson’s Pub (956 Payne Ave., St. Paul).


TODDLER STUFF

Bath toy

This magnetic fishing rod set from Munchkin features floating characters kids can catch with a bobber. Best of all, the little creatures are air-tight “to limit mold and mildew.” Win! $8.99 • amazon.com

Why Brunson’s? It’s close to home, we all like the food and the owners are great people. It’s our go-to place when someone’s visiting from out of town or we have a birthday to celebrate. It’s where we told the kids that my husband, Nick, had cancer. I fully expect at least one of our kids to get engaged at Brunson’s in 30 years or so. So I encourage you to get out there and take your toddler to restaurants, and experience all the highs and lows that come with it. But when you stumble upon that one restaurant that accepts your family the way you are, that welcomes you with open arms, that really sees you — well, you don’t have to put a ring on it, but acknowledge the beauty and give them your regular business. (And don’t forget to tip well.) Shannon Keough lives in St. Paul with her husband and two children. Send questions or comments to skeough@mnparent.com. mnparent.com • July 2019

13


Go to Ely this summer! F

or those of you who are regular readers of my column, you may have come to realize that I’m not an urban city dweller. Although these pages are published in the metro area, my monthly contribution to Minnesota Parent magazine originates several hours away from the hustle and bustle of big-city life. From my own little corner of the world, nestled in the pines, I type away on my Macbook each month, sharing insights and ramblings of my parenting journey from my perspective as a Northern Minnesotan, teachermama of four. As we approach the peak of the summer, I thought I would share some fun highlights and insider tips from my neck of the woods. Why not take a road trip up north, to visit the popular Minnesota summer travel destination I call home: Ely, Minnesota. Go to the digital version of this story at mnparent.com/meg to find links to all these fabulous destinations:

Ely Pebble Spa offers a full menu of services, including “ginger snap” treatments for ages 3–13. Photo courtesy of Ely Pebble Spa

FAMILY-FRIENDLY HIKES ⊲ The Kawishiwi Falls Trail is a kidfriendly hike (less than a mile). You’ll have the opportunity to see a beautiful set of waterfalls. You can extend the hike by walking the portage down to Fall Lake. ⊲ Hike to Dry Falls and back (1.7 miles) on the rugged Bass Lake Trail north of Ely. Many visitors pack a picnic and jump in the lake for a swim. ⊲ Semers Park and Beach: Play on the beach, let the kids run around on the playground and take a short hike across a bridge that connects to two wooded

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July 2019 • mnparent.com

islands in Shagawa Lake. Semers Beach is also an ideal place to watch U.S. Forest Service float planes take off from a nearby seaplane base.

BEACHES, CAMPGROUNDS AND MORE ⊲ Bear Head Lake State Park: This park has a great swimming beach, nice campgrounds and family-friendly hiking trails. My kids have a lot of fun catching fish off the dock.

⊲ Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park: Located in Soudan on the shores of Lake Vermilion, about 30 minutes southwest of Ely, this park features Minnesota’s oldest, deepest and richest iron mine. Tours of the historic mining facilities — and an active underground physics laboratory — are also open to the public. Camp at the newly developed Vermilion Ridge Campground sites, which offer electricity, screened picnic shelters, modern shower buildings and WI-FI.


⊲ Fenske Lake Campground: Set up your basecamp here for exploring, fishing, hiking and canoeing in Superior National Forest and the nearby Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. I spent many hours at this beach with my kids when they were younger. There’s a fishing pier near the beach as well. ⊲ South Kawishiwi River Campground: Paddle on the river and enjoy the picnic area and swimming beach. This campground also has a boat landing and a 1-mile hiking trail. The Kawishiwi River provides access to Birch Lake to the south and the BWCAW to the north. ⊲ Fall Lake Campground: Perched on the shores of the lake, this campground provides direct access into the BWCAW and is a super place to camp or just visit for a afternoon. There are plenty of opportunities for swimming, hiking, boating and fishing. Bonus: There’s a playground near the beach as well.

SHOP AND DINE Check out all of the fun, unique stores and restaurants lining Sheridan Street and Chapman Street. Here are a just a few of my favorites: ⊲ Legacy Toys: If you’re shopping for (or with) kids, you have to check out this extra-special toy store. It has a large selection of playthings, games and books, a 400-gallon saltwater aquarium and a whole room full of candy treats. ⊲ Ely Bike and Kicksled: Stop in here if you’re looking to purchase — or rent!

REACH OUT! If you make your way up to Ely, keep a lookout for me and my tribe of children. You will likely find us outdoors on the water or hiking the trails. Tag me on Instagram @megtdevine, I would love to see some of your Ely adventures!

Ely’s exports include Grey Duck Bags by Tara Boerst, cool-pattern Gypsy Bandanas and some of the best fishing in the world (including dock fishing for kids).

— mountain bikes or fat tire bikes (for both children and adults). Check out their selection of kicksleds if you’re looking to try something new this winter. Described as “scooters on skis,” these self-propelled riders (made with renewably sourced Finnish birch) come in all sizes and make for unique gifts ($195–$320). ⊲ Crapola Bakery: Swing by this beloved destination for a good cup of coffee and a snack. Watch how Brian and Andrea Strom make their granola. Then pick up a bag to snack on — and grab another to bring home.

Hot Stone Massage, a Fragrant Forest Wrap, a Northwoods Facial (my fave, on special this month) or Blueberry Pie for the Feet. They also offer saunas, spa parties and even “ginger snap” options designed for ages 3–13. ⊲ Insula Restaurant: This is my favorite place to eat in town! Featuring a warm family-friendly atmosphere and locally sourced menu options, this fusiondining experience is a sure win for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

⊲ Sisu Designs: If you’re a knitter, be sure to check out this quaint and cozy yarn shop, which sells a large selection of natural fiber yarns and patterns. There’s always someone knowledgeable on hand to answer questions and it’s also one of the few places in town that sells Tara Boerst’s popular, locally made Grey Duck Bags.

⊲ Spirit of The Wilderness: If you’re looking to get outfitted for a canoe trip into the BWCAW, need bait or are looking to rent a canoe, kayak or standup paddleboard, check out this store — stocked with fishing gear, camping supplies and even ENO hammocks, water tubes and Beth Ohlauser’s locally made Gypsy Bandanas products. You’ll also find nets for kids to catch minnows, jars for capturing bugs and butterfly nets.

⊲ Ely Pebble Spa: Schedule a treatment or just explore the fashion and gift boutique. Spa services include massage, facial treatments and a variety of body treatments such as a Lake Superior

Megan Devine is an elementary school teacher who lives with her husband and four school-age children in Northeastern Minnesota. Follow her blog — Kids, Lakes, Loons and Pines — at megdevine.com. mnparent.com • July 2019

15


Katie Dohman

WORLD’S OKAYEST MOM

Counting the memories W

e were driving to pick up Remy and Eero at daycare when it came lilting on the radio. One, two, three, four … Tell me that you love me more. Ruby piped up from the back seat: “Hey, uh … don’t I know this song?” It took me a beat. I looked into the rearview mirror. I saw a young girl looking back at me. Not a baby. A wrecking ball to the chest. The song was Feist’s 1234, which had been adapted for Sesame Street a few years back. When I went back to work after Ruby was born, and I was figuring out how to get out the door on time in one piece, William would take Ruby and watch Sesame Street clips on his phone with her in bed, to distract her from her personal milk machine, harried and hurrying around. 1234 became a near-daily tradition. I remember squeezing into my polka-dot Target jeans — the only pants that fit me at all — and the feeling in the pit in my stomach at leaving

16

July 2019 • mnparent.com

my baby and going to work. My rage. The heartmelt of my husband and babygirl snuggled together in bed. God, I was a mess in 2013. Overjoyed and yet internally screaming. Counting the scarcest drops of breastmilk. Feeling like the worst parent. Because — despite my absolutely unending ocean of love — I could not stop time, stop the world, stop the need to pay bills, to be with her for every second of her babyhood, even the seconds I yearned desperately for a break.

Her little mint-green onesie with the popsicle printed on it. She was instantly the light, the center, the reason.

I used to drive home with a beehive in my chest. (A mother I adore in a secret Facebook group said that once and I’ve never forgotten it.) I couldn’t wait to hold her and inhale her scent, to try to make up for all that time we were apart. It was visceral. Oh, oh, oh you’re changing your heart … Oh, oh, oh you know who you are. That little Kewpie doll with her uneven baby mohawk, one dimple, giant eyes with long black lashes. Her little mint-green onesie with the popsicle printed on it. She was instantly the light, the center, the reason. Now her hair is halfway down her back. She has written whole stories, solved math problems, tied her shoes, navigated difficult diplomatic schoolyard relations. I found myself completely choked. Sleepless long nights … That is what my youth was for.


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“Mama?” “Yes,” I finally managed. “You know this song. It was a little different the last time you heard it—” “SESAME STREET!” she yelled, trigger tripped before I could finish. A contrast sharp enough to hurt a little, this budding reader in my backseat, well beyond her Sesame Street interest. Sometimes I battle myself: Do I want another child, or do I just want to be able to rewind back and do it again with the ones I have? Ugh, I have no answers. All I am sure of is how lucky I’ve been, even on the worst days. One, two, three, four, five, six, nine or ten. Money can’t buy you back the love that you had then. Katie Dohman is currently living in the midst of a full-house renovation with her three kids, two pets and one husband. Follow her adventures at instagram.com/dohmicile. mnparent.com • July 2019

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Dr. Madeleine Gagnon

The ins and outs of the IEP I

n 2004, Congress passed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), guaranteeing assistance to each public school child who receives special education and related services in the form of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). To be eligible for an IEP, a child must have one or more of the 13 disabilities listed in IDEA that adversely affects education performance, such as hearing, vision or physical impairments; mental challenges (such as anxiety and depression); learning disabilities such as dyslexia or ADHD; or others. (See a clearly spelled out list at Understood.org.) The disability must affect the child’s ability to learn in a general education environment, and the child must need specialized instruction to make progress in school. Each IEP must be tailored to the needs of the specific child in question. In the past, many children who had cognitive or physical disabilities were often kept out of the classes of their peers. They were educated separately, and inherently, unequally. The idea behind IEPs was to create a framework that would allow children who have disabilities to participate in a mainstream school day so they could be out in their communities and thrive. An accurate and comprehensive IEP can provide your child with special services and instructions, such as providing different ways of learning. For example, for a child with dyslexia, an IEP might allow for audiobooks and oral reports rather than printed books and written tests, while still maintaining the same curriculum requirements. An IEP can be a guide for the school and family as well as a vehicle for advocacy for your child.

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Getting started If you think your child may have a special need, you can request a free evaluation from your child’s school or seek out a private evaluation. (See understood.org or pacer.org for a guide to that process.) If your child is not of school age yet, you can review milestones and decide if your infant or child should be evaluated for free early intervention services and/or evaluations at helpmegrowmn.org. Once your school-age child is found to be eligible for special education, the IEP process can begin. An IEP outlines the services your school district will provide to your child at no cost. During the IEP-establishment process, parents or guardians meet with a team that includes: a qualified school district representative; one of your child’s special education teachers; at least one of your child’s regular teachers; and a person who is qualified to interpret evaluation results. IEP meetings can help you to reach common ground with your child’s educators and medical providers and should provide a clear-cut document that lays out plans and expectations for the coming year. The IEP team must review the IEP at least once a year; and the child must

be reevaluated every three years to determine whether special instructions or services are still needed. Minneapolis-based PACER — an information, training and advocacy center for families who have children and young adults with disabilities — offers a printable Guide to the IEP for Minnesota Parents, plus other resources, at pacer.org/parent.

Outside experts It’s important to note that school districts are required to consider evaluations from independent evaluators. At Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, for example, we provide a variety of testing options such as neuropsychology testing, speech-language pathology evaluations, audiology testing, and occupational and physical therapy evaluations. Families can ask the school district to pay for an independent educational evaluation (IEE) by an outside expert. The district doesn’t have to agree. In that case, parents can fund the process.

504 plans Not all children with disabilities qualify for an IEP. In these cases, parents can request a 504 plan, which is a plan based on Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which has a broader definition

Resources Help Me Grow Minnesota → helpmegrowmn.org

PACER → pacer.org/parent

MN Department of Education → education.mn.gov/MDE/fam/sped

Understood → understood.org


of a disability than IDEA. This can include many of the disabilities covered under IDEA, but rather than showing it adversely affects academic performance, it must be shown (in a separate evaluation) to substantially limit one or more basic life activities such as learning, reading, communicating and thinking. Though less formal than an IEP, a 504 plan can define how the school will provide supports or special accommodations, such as allowing a child with ADHD to take a test in a separate room with fewer distractions. (See the differences between IEPs and 504 plans in a side-by-side chart at understood. org or visit pacer.org/parent.) At Gillette, social workers help families ensure the recommendations (or testing) provided at Gillette are accurately incorporated into either a 504 or an IEP. Social workers can also assist families navigating communication with a school when there are disagreements.

Stay positive An IEP (or 504 plan) isn’t a silver bullet or cure-all, but it is a tool that, when used effectively, will offer your child a greater opportunity to participate among his or her peers. I encourage you to work with your child — and include your child in IEP meetings when appropriate — as well as your child’s educators to find effective solutions. Dr. Madeleine Gagnon is a complex-care pediatrician at St. Paul-based Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, which has clinics in the Twin Cities and throughout greater Minnesota. See gillettechildrens.org.

mnparent.com • July 2019

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Olivia Volkman-Johnson IN THE KITCHEN

NUTS FOR MUFFINS a

Lazy summer days call for easy, picnicfriendly snacks like these gluten-free muffins, which include walnuts, nut butter and even nut flour. They’re so filling you can even serve them for a quick breakfast!

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PALEO BANANA NUT MUFFINS 3 large eggs 2 cups mashed bananas  (about 4 medium) 1/2 cup peanut butter (or almond butter) 1/4 cup olive oil (or butter, softened) 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 cup almond flour (or coconut flour) 1 tablespoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1 cup chopped walnuts 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease or line 12 muffin cups. Combine eggs, bananas, peanut butter, oil/butter and vanilla in a large bowl and stir until combined. Add the almond flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Spoon batter into muffin tins until 3/4 full. Bake for 15–18 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the middle of the muffin comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from muffin tin and store in refrigerator for up to four days. Adapted from gimmedelicious.com. Olivia Volkman-Johnson is a freelance writer who is studying to become a pastry chef.

mnparent.com • July 2019

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Ed Dykhuizen

BOOKSHELF

Eat these up!

Who doesn’t love food? Well, some kids, as it turns out. Or at least, they love a handful of bland meals and treat the rest like bowls of battery acid. The following books can teach a thing or two to picky eaters while also regaling that rare, heaven-sent specimen — the pint-sized food lover!

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In this age of allrecipes.com and food blogging, cookbooks have to step up their game. This one represents the gold standard, filled with enticing images that will make kids want to flip through the pages and get excited to both cook and eat.

In a switcheroo from the traditional script, little Matilda Macaroni is fascinated by all kinds of foods while her parents refuse to try anything but burgers, pizza and grilled cheese. So she hatches a plan to expand their culinary horizons. Picky eaters may laugh in recognition of their own behaviors, and, who knows? It may even coax them into trying something new!

When a little green monster discovers his favorite hot dog stand is closed, he swells from a mild-mannered lizard into a hangry Godzilla! This simple, quick story can both entertain little kids and introduce to them a valuable concept — that angry feelings could be caused in part by hunger.

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July 2019 • mnparent.com


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Many of us grew up in households where pasta was considered exotic; thankfully the world of food has expanded immeasurably. Get your kids (and yourself) hip to cuisine from 14 different countries through recipes, history, fun facts and even illustrated crop maps.

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Any lessons about food take a back seat to silly jokes in Terry Border’s popular series, famous for fascinatingly fun pictures made from food and wire. Peanut Butter learns he will soon be a big brother, and he is excited, but a bit nervous. He’s told it’s easy as pie, so of course he asks his friend Pie. It gets goofier from there! Ages 3–7 • $17.99 Ed Dykhuizen is an associate editor at Minnesota Parent and father of three who lives in St. Paul. mnparent.com • July 2019

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Bryant, Anthony, Jooyun and Nick Chou settle into Punch Pizza in Maple Grove. Photo by Tracy Walsh Photography


Pizza, pizza! A parent’s guide to the 10 best pizza places for families in the Twin Cities!

By Jen Wittes

T

hin crust, deep dish, hand-tossed, wood-fired, square cut. Sicilian, Neapolitan, New York style. Extra sauce, extra cheese — you know — obscenely gooey, please! Pizza. What’s not to love? Arguably the most perfect food in the world, it’s a complete meal, the ultimate comfort food, a crowd pleaser, a treat — worthy of worship and adoration. Even bad pizza is really pretty good. And pizza is the quintessential family food. It’s hard to find a kid who doesn’t like pizza (we know they’re out there, though) and it’s a heck-of-a-lot more parent friendly than nuggets or mac. It goes well with beer. It pairs well with wine. It’s great left over. It’s great cold! Easily shared, easily served, blissfully devoured. In celebration of the Great Cheese and Tomato Pie, we’ve come up with a fresh-baked list of the 10 best pizza places for families on the go in the Twin Cities. Enjoy!

mnparent.com • July 2019

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Giordano’s

Minneapolis, Richfield This is Chicago-style pizza on steroids, a rite of passage for any pizza-loving kid. Named Chicago’s best pizza by the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, NBC and basically everyone, Giordano’s sauce-topped pizzas take the term “pie” to a whole new level. But did you know the chain also makes a super-thin crust pizza, which is also a Windy City tradition? Yep. Chicago thin — aka Chicago tavernstyle thin — is the B-side to that ubiquitous deep dish and can be more approachable for kids. Photo courtesy of Giordano’s

Bonfire Wood Fire Cooking Eagan, Woodbury, Blaine, Savage

No, this isn’t a pizza joint, but it does boast a wood-fired oven for making all kinds of good food, including delicious pizza pies, featuring crust with those amazing airy, doughy bubbles and a crispy, golden exterior. Bonfire gets our nod for tasty cocktails and apps, plus a make-your-own pizza experience for the kids. A server escorts littles up to the cooking counter to create their own meals. It’s delightful, keeps them busy and gives them a sense of accomplishment when their piping hot creations finally emerge from the oven. The cherry on top? Bonfire follows this act with a makeyour-own sundae bar with sprinkles, fudge, the works. Photo courtesy of Bonfire

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Pizza Luce

8 Twin Cities locations Fresh, real and “gourmet” without being stuffy, Luce offers something for everyone. Kids love the bready, hand-tossed crust, and parents love the outside-the-box, fusion-cuisine and seasonal options, including the Baked Potato Pizza (!), the Fire Breathing Dragon (with jerk chicken and sweet chili sauce) and The Bear (ALL the meats), plus gluten-free and/or vegan versions of most menu items. And don’t overlook the salads here, or the Peking wings. Special shout-out to the sunny patio at the Roseville location and the stellar Mother’s Day brunch, which includes free Mom-osas for every well-deserving mama. Photo courtesy of Pizza Luce


Galactic Pizza Minneapolis

Our scene begins in the Lyn-Lake neighborhood, where Spandex-clad, caped heroes deliver locally and sustainably sourced meals in eco-friendly boxes by electric car. Super-cool, super-Uptown, super-hero and space-age-inspired, Galactic pizza will have the kids hooked at first glimpse of the 3D menus, made readable with red and blue 3D glasses. Bonus: Vegan and gluten-free options abound, plus pastas for pizzaphobes. Though usually only the delivery drivers are dressed up, a trip to Galactic is an adventure in and of itself, a magical finishing touch to a day at the lakes. Galactic’s values-led, “planet-saving” mission is a dinner out you can feel good about, too! Photo courtesy of Galactic Pizza

Don’t see your family’s fave?

Delicata Pizza & Gelato St. Paul

Nestled in the Como Park neighborhood and State Fair adjacent, this gem occupies the old Java Train location, once the blessed home of a mommy group meetup of the same name. But now the place is home to the best crust and sauce ever, plus split bottles of prosecco. Even more to love about Delicata: The Big Mixed Salad (marinated tomatoes, egg, gigande beans, prosciutto, fontina, toasted almonds), a famous Coconut Cake, Drunken Cheese Bread (white wine, prosciutto, red onion, fontina, asiago) and the lovely, unassuming patio. Kid options include PB&J, grilled cheese and “pizzettas.” Make it a day with a trip to Como Zoo, Como Town or Como Lake! Photo courtesy of Delicata

Give us a piece of your mind at mnparent.com/pizza. mnparent.com • July 2019

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Fat Lorenzo’s

Minneapolis, Bloomington

Yes, we’re skipping to dessert. Grand Pizza at the site of Grand Ole Creamery offers yummy pizza, including fun, creative pies such as Buffalo Chicken Salad and Welcome to the Jungle (veggies and pesto) — and amazing calzones, too. But the real treat is, of course, the ice cream. It’s iconic, award-winning, a Minnesota State Fair staple. And you might remember the newsworthy crowd the ice cream parlor drew when President Barack Obama stopped in for a cone. Grand manufactures its own flavors — 200 of them, though only 31 are available per day — and offers a signature Whopper-at-the-bottom homemade malted waffle cone. So, yeah: Save room for dessert. Grand Ole Creamery’s second location near Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis offers its own set of flavors, but no pizza yet.

For those of you who object to the word “thin” being anywhere near a pizza, this one’s for you. Authentically Italian-American, this joint feels like a little slice of the Bronx. You can’t go wrong with the sausage pizza (all the pizzas are perfectly cheesy by default) or the simple, but gigantic homemade twisty breadsticks (baked with garlic herb butter and a bit of parm). They’re only $2.99 each, but one is enough to feed even a big kid, especially when it’s dipped in a sweet side of marinara (included). Loud and proud murals line both the interior and exterior walls and the tablecloths are covered with butcher paper, perfect for crayon unicorns or a game of hangman. Make room in your belly and in your day for homemade gelato, followed by (or preceded by) a little paddle boarding on Lake Nokomis.

Photo courtesy of Grand Pizza

Photo courtesy of Fat Lorenzo’s

Grand Ole Creamery & Grand Pizza St. Paul

Carbone’s Pizzeria 30 Twin Cities locations

This is your hometown pizza chain for a reason. The secret to their success is darn good pizza. Cracker-crisp thin crust, loaded with toppings and sauce with a kick. It’s addictive pizza; pizza that makes you feel. Carbone’s pizza comes in square-cut, four-bite slices, perfect for little hands. Each location has a bit of a different feel, but the vibe is always “neighborhood.” You’ll see the school principal at your local Carbone’s — your Zumba teacher and the dad you make small talk with while your daughters take tap class. Various Carbone’s locations offer recreation in the form of pool, darts, arcade games, pinball, trivia nights and poker nights — local-to-the-core family fun. Photo courtesy of Carbone’s

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Cossetta’s St. Paul

Enormous, must-fold-to-handle, floppy New York slices are alive and well at Cossetta’s. But this is no run-of-the-mill Manhattan “by the slice” joint. It’s a St. Paul institution, opened in 1911 by an actual Italian immigrant. Eventually, Cossetta Alimentari expanded to create a true Italian marketplace with the classic pizzeria, a formal ristorante, a pasticceria, a gelatoria and traditional Italian grocery. Take the kids. Linger. Enjoy old-world everything and go on a treasure hunt for treats. This is culinary experience meets education. Buon appetito! Photo by Jason Branson

Punch Pizza

12 locations across the Twin Cities This is classic, Neapolitan pizza, inspired by travels to Italy, friendship and love of food. Born in the mid-90s — well before its time, in St. Paul’s Highland Park — it’s an ideal pizza place for kids. You’ll find fluffy crusts, imbued with the freshest ingredients, including olive oil and crushed tomatoes (and add-yourown toppings galore) — all ready in 60 seconds, thanks to each location’s 900-degree wood-fired oven, cranking out kid-size pizzas faster than you can say, “Bambini!” Carb conscious? Must-try salads here include the mixed-greens Punch and the arugula-festooned Rocket. And don’t forget the Chocolate Hazelnut Panini (think Nutella quesadilla but WAY better), served hot. Photo by Tracy Walsh Photography

Jen Wittes is a mom of two who lives in St. Paul. Having lived in Sicily for three years, she knows good pizza!

mnparent.com • July 2019

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Happy hours for Parents

Your schedule is clear. The sitter is booked. You finally have a night set aside for a date. Yay for couple time! But who has the energy to come up with a cool place to go that won’t cost an arm and leg? We do! Don’t pressure yourself to find the perfect restaurant. Instead opt for a happy hour! Skip the table and sit at the bar — or seriously just sit side by side. Rub shoulders. Hold hands. Put your arm around your person. Flirt. Reconnect. Touch. This is date night! — Sarah Jackson

GOURMET BURGER

Borough

SUPPER CLUB VIBES

Jax Cafe

Enjoy the best burger in the Twin Cities (for real) with the best fries and seriously good cocktails in the bright, airy and urban Borough bar.

Score a spot in the lush courtyard or at the inviting indoor bar and surround yourself with a groovy supper-club vibe.

When: 4–6 p.m. Monday–Friday

When: 3:30–6 p.m. daily; 8:30 p.m.–close

Where: North Loop, Minneapolis

Where: Northeast Minneapolis

Drinks: Half-off select beers, $6 wines, $7 tap cocktails

Drinks: $4 beers, $5 wines, $7 sangria, $8 specialty cocktails

Food: Get the $10 burger — a triple-threat blend of ribeye, brisket and chuck topped with white American cheese — perfect for sharing when you add the handcut fries ($3) and a generous plate of gorgeous mixed greens ($4). Afterward: Pop into the basement (via a secret interior staircase) for a nightcap in the beloved Parlour Bar, recognized by Playboy (ahem) as one of America’s best bars.

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Food: Get the prime rib sandwich special (trust us, you’ll love it, even if you’re not into prime rib), which includes a frosty mug of Grain Belt Nordeast for $10. Add house-cut fries for $3. Splurge on the Baileys Irish Cream cake for dessert. Afterward: Grab a nightcap, one block away, at the exotic and fun atmosphere that is Hai Hai, a Southeast Asian street food restaurant with a cool outdoor bar.


HIPSTER SCENE

Icehouse

This is the place to haunt when you want a grown-up dinner out, but it’s not quite in the budget. The low lighting and velvet-curtained stage of the music-venue area will make you feel young (and eligible) again. When: 2:30–5 p.m. daily Where: Eat Street, Minneapolis Drinks: Go for the excellent wines, taps and rail cocktails ($2 off during happy hour) or try the anytime sipping shots — a steal at $5 in this City of Mixologists — featuring drinkable but boozy flavors and fun-to-order names like Strangers in the Night, Straight Cash Homie and Keyser Soze. Food: Everything here is good. And many options can be made gluten-free, including the indulgent pastrami and egg with fries ($14) or the third-pound Icehouse Burger & Fries ($10) with onion confit, triple cream and aioli. Afterward: Check out the Pimento Jamaican Rum Bar next door for music and (some nights) dancing. (Glam Doll Donuts is down the street if you’re craving dessert.)

HOMETOWN FEEL

Groveland Tap Feel like a low-key Mac-Groveland local when you settle into this friendly institution for the lovely phenomenon of the daytime happy hour (yes, even on weekends). When: 11 a.m.–5:30 p.m. every day, plus late night options Where: St. Paul

LAKE VIEWS

6 Smith Indulge in eclectic fusion cuisine and cocktails on the shores of Lake Minnetonka. Happy hour is offered in the bar area only, but you can see the lake. And you always can hit the patio (or rooftop) afterward for an outdoor experience. When: 3–6 p.m. Monday–Friday; 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Saturdays; all day on Sundays, plus late-night options Where: Wayzata Drinks: $4 beers and mixed drinks, $7 wines and cocktails Food: Tasty apps range from $6 (double-dipped fries and oysters Rockefeller) to $7 (cheeseburgers, calamari and empanadas) to $8 (carne asada tacos and spicy lobster mac), plus many other enticing options. Afterward: Assuming you’ve kept your drinking in moderation, set your map app to take you on cruise around the lake (via Highway 15 through Navarre) and close out your night at Adele’s Frozen Custard in Excelsior.

UPSCALE MEXICAN

Jefe Urban Hacienda Savor the city’s best margarita and authentic tacos in the gorgeous brick spaces of Jefe or — even better — on the Jefe patio, where you can feel the breeze and watch passers-by. When: 4–6 p.m. Monday–Friday

Drinks: $3 draft beers, $5 wines

Where: Mississippi Riverfront, Minneapolis

Food: All “beer snack” prices drop to $5–$7.59 during happy hour, including a poutine made with Ellsworth, Wisconsin cheese curds, or try the sweet potato tots with chipotle peanut pesto aioli.

Drinks: $4 for a beer and a bump (a Tecate plus a shot of tequila or rye whiskey), $5 margaritas and beers, $6 sangria and wine Food: $3 gourmet tacos and $3 tostadas with salsa flights

Afterward: Get a scoop of ice cream to share (they’re huge) at Nelson’s Ice Cream, one of the best parlor’s in the city, a mile away.

Afterward: Walk along the Mississippi Riverfront and share an exquisite gelato at Wilde Café & Spirits, just down the cobblestone street. Sarah Jackson is the editor of Minnesota Parent. Don’t see your favorite place listed here? Share your thoughts at mnparent.com/happy-hours.

mnparent.com • July 2019

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Fighting in front of the kids Arguing with your children present can be harmful. But not if you can learn to do it in a healthy way. By Rachel Guyah

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‘Babe, no!’

“No! No, babe!” my toddler shouted, waving his pudgy pointer finger. My heart sank as the guilt crept in. My son had heard my husband and me arguing the other day and was now mimicking the words and gestures from that suppertime spat. Like so many parents, we had vowed to never let arguments escalate in front of our child. But even the best of intentions can get lost in the stress and mess and everyday living. Here’s how to fight fair and in a way that helps (not hurts) your child’s wellbeing:

Why parents argue If you’re new to parenting, you may discover that the transition to parenthood is one of the most stressful and growth-producing stages of marriage. That’s according to Maureen Campion, a Twin Cities psychologist known as the Marriage Geek (marriagegeek.com). “Both partners are stepping into new roles and expectations,” she said. “No one is getting enough sleep or down time.”

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Fight right! Here’s how to develop your own couples’ conflict-resolution skills — yes, even in the heat of the moment! Remain calm and kind: Try to stay peaceful and loving throughout the discussion. Big no-no’s include shouting, name calling and other forms of verbal and physical aggression.

1

“When we fight in a destructive way, our harshness can scare kids and make them feel insecure,” said Twin Cities psychologist Maureen Campion. “Children are naturally self-absorbed, and when there is tension, they put themselves in the middle, making the situation about them, their behavior and their needs.” To model healthy emotional expression, use “I feel” statements and respectful language throughout the disagreement.

2

Know when to press pause: If you find an argument turning more aggressive, model healthy boundaries by asking for a break from the conversation.

Campion said: “If it moves into an unproductive, emotionally out-of-control place, then it’s best to take a time out and agree to come back at another time.” Local therapist Lindsey M. Henke added that it can sometimes be difficult to have complex discussions in the presence of kids: “Young children demand attention, and when parents try to have important conversations with their children around, they might just become more frustrated.” Sometimes it’s best to table the topic for after bedtime or for a time when both partners can focus exclusively on the discussion. Remember: You’re on the same team: Don’t look at arguments as a competitive battlefield, but rather as an opportunity to work together to solve a dilemma. Stay on topic, and display empathy by acknowledging the other person’s perspective and feelings.

3

By watching you join forces to find a solution, kids can learn important conflict-resolution skills to use in their own relationships later on.

4

Explain the situation: As the argument unfolds — and after it’s over — acknowledge what happened and explain it to the kids in language they will understand, Henke said.

You might say to a preschooler: “Mommy is just having a lot of big feelings right now because something isn’t going her way, like how sometimes you get angry when you don’t get something you want. That can be hard.”

5

Let them see you make up: The most important thing to teach kids is that people argue and still love each other.

Marriage researchers such as John Gottman — as well as parenting experts such as Daniel Siegel, author of The Whole-Brain Child — suggest repairing the argument in front of your children. But what if the issue gets resolved later on, in private? Henke said it’s OK to repair the argument again in front of the kids to show them healthy conflict resolution. And, hey — kissing and making up twice can’t hurt, right?

6

Apologize if you made a mistake: If you lost your temper or said some mean words, it’s important to acknowledge that in front of the kids, too. Admitting fault is a skill kids need to learn, too.

“Commit to honesty and openness,” Campion said. “Apologize if you blew it. Take responsibility for your own actions.”

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Indeed, studies have shown that sleep deprivation can dampen our moods and disrupt the brain’s ability to process — and appropriately react to — emotional stimuli. And it’s not just the reduced slumber that affects new parents’ moods. It’s the fact that they’re forcefully roused several times a night: A 2015 study published in SLEEP showed that frequent, forced awakenings had a greater impact on mood than sleeping those same amount of hours uninterrupted. In addition to sleep deprivation, new parents often have very little spare time or privacy, Campion said. And that can be a recipe for hurt feelings and misunderstandings.

How conflict affects kids Butting heads in front of young children can be bad news for their development and wellbeing — and there’s a wealth of research to back this up. Kids whose parents express anger, frustration and aggression to each other are more likely to suffer from emotional insecurity and behavioral problems. Children from high-conflict homes also learn to become hyper-vigilant in social situations and process interpersonal emotion differently than children from low-conflict homes, setting the stage for potential relationship issues later on.

Young children demand attention, and when parents try to have important conversations with their children around, they might just become more frustrated. — Twin Cities therapist and social worker Lindsey M. Henke


Kids need to know that people can see things differently, get their feelings hurt and still remain committed to having a healthy relationship. — Maureen Campion, a Twin Cities psychologist known as the Marriage Geek

“Ideally, we want to limit fighting in front of our children,” said Lindsey M. Henke, a Minneapolis-based clinical social worker and emotional regulation therapist who teaches moms coping skills for managing mental health and anger. “Research has shown that children get aroused and dysregulated when their parents are aroused and dysregulated — especially when negative emotions are thrown back and forth between their two main caregivers.”

Reading list ⊲⊲Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner’s Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship by Stan Tatkin ⊲⊲And Baby Makes Three: The Six-Step Plan for Preserving Marital Intimacy and Rekindling Romance After Baby Arrives by John Gottman and Julie Schwartz Gottman  ⊲⊲Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting by Laura Markham ⊲⊲The Relationship Cure: A 5-Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family and Friendships by John Gottman

And it’s not just big kids who suffer: Studies show that babies’ brains and heart rates react differently to anger and conflict — even while they’re sleeping (eek!). Additionally, children living in homes with high marital conflict have higher levels of cortisol (the body’s stress hormone),which has been linked to impaired immunity and mental cognition, as well as damage to the hippocampus — the region of the brain responsible for learning and memory. There’s a spillover effect, too, when we spar with our partner: Parents who fight have been shown to nag and yell more at their children after the argument (insert major mommy/daddy guilt).

Is all fighting bad? So if research (and common sense) reveals the damaging impact of quarreling in front of the kids, then what’s the solution — avoiding conflict altogether? Not so fast. Keeping issues bottled up can result in resentment, which can chip away at a relationship and sneak its way into nonverbal communication. The result? Parental withdrawal, detachment and avoidance, which studies have shown can impact kids’ behavior and school adjustment. In other words, when you give your spouse the cold shoulder, the kids won’t be oblivious — they can sense the tension, and it can impact their brains and behavior. If all of this sounds depressing, take heart: When done constructively, disagreements can actually benefit children. “Arguing can be a great opportunity to model our best conflict-resolution and mood-regulation skills,” Campion said.

MOMS EMOTIONAL COPING SKILLS GROUP What: Open to pregnant women and mothers of children up to age 8, this weekly group focuses on skills such as mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation and communication and interpersonal skills. The goal is to help mothers better manage their emotions and those of their children; to tolerate day-to-day stressors and life events; and to better navigate relationships. When: 4:30–6 p.m. Tuesdays or 10–11:30 a.m. Wednesdays Where: Psychotherapy & Healing Associates, Golden Valley Cost: Most insurance is accepted; 16 weeks of participation is recommended. Info: phawellness.com

Henke added: “We’re human — we don’t want to teach our children that conflict in relationships never happen. But we want to teach them how to handle that conflict appropriately.” Henke said minor disagreements in which both partners remain calm and use respectful language, gives kids the chance to see and learn appropriate ways to interact when upset. And research seems to back this up: Studies show that more constructive styles of parental conflict are linked to better problem-solving strategies and emotional security in children, as well as lower levels of aggression. Campion said: “Kids need to know that people can see things differently, get their feelings hurt and still remain committed to having a healthy relationship.” Rachel Guyah is a Twin Cities-based writer and mother of two young boys. See more of her work at rachelguyah.com. mnparent.com • July 2019

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Out & About

JULY mnparent.com/calendar

Red, White and Boom ⊲ Enjoy live music, food, family activities and fireworks in one of the city’s biggest events of the year. When: July 4 Where: Downtown Minneapolis Riverfront Cost: FREE Info: minneapolisparks.org

ONGOING

JULY 3

⊲ Hop on a ride through Roald Dahl’s land of pure imagination with this adaptation, featuring songs from the 1971 film.

⊲ Bloomington’s pre-Fourth festival includes music, food and fireworks.

Willy Wonka

When: Through Aug. 4 Where: Stages Theatre Company, Hopkins Cost: $14–$21 Info: stagestheatre.org

Fantastic Mr. Fox ⊲ Mr. Fox saves his family and friends from a trio of farmers in a musical adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic. When: Through Aug. 9 Where: Sidekick Theatre, Bloomington Cost: $5–$18 Info: sidekicktheatre.com

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Summer Fete When: July 3 Where: Normandale Lake Park, Bloomington Cost: FREE Info: bloomingtonmn.org

JULY 3–4

Funfest

⊲ Enjoy a parade, carnival fun, a car show and one of the region’s largest fireworks displays on July 4. When: July 3–4 Where: Central Park, Eagan Cost: FREE Info: eaganfunfest.org

JULY 4

Farmer’s Fourth of July ⊲ Celebrate the holiday with a picnic on the front lawn (while listening to rousing speeches); play 19th-century games; enjoy ice cream samples; and make your own kite to take home. When: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. July 4 Where: Oliver Kelley Farm, Elk River Cost: Included with $6–12 site admission Info: mnhs.org/event/6809

Independence Day Celebration ⊲ Discover how Americans celebrated the holiday two centuries ago, complete with cannon and musket salutes, military-dress parades, fife-and-drum music and more.


When: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. July 4 Where: Historic Fort Snelling, St. Paul Cost: Included with $6–12 site admission Info: mnhs.org/event/6551

JULY 6–7

Hmong International Freedom Festival ⊲ Celebrate local Hmong history and culture with music, dance, sports and more at this 39th-annual community event. When: July 6–7 Where: McMurray Fields, St. Paul Cost: $7 Info: theunitedhmongfamily.com

JULY 10

Family Lighter Side Concert

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Stay up-to-date on the best events for fam ilies at mnparent.com/cal endar

⊲ Minnesota youth musicians join the Minnesota Sinfonia, a professional nonprofit orchestra that holds free concerts for underserved communities. When: July 10 Where: Como Park Pavilion, St. Paul Cost: FREE Info: mnsinfonia.org

JULY 11–14

Hamel Rodeo ⊲ Professional cowboys and cowgirls compete for prize money and the championship belt buckle. All proceeds will benefit organizations in Hamel and the surrounding area.

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When: July 11–14 Where: Corcoran Lions Park, Corcoran Cost: $10–$18 Info: hamelrodeo.org

Whiz Bang Days ⊲ Experience a full slate of fun events, including block parties, sales, tournaments, an annual parade and fireworks. When: July 11–14 Where: Downtown Robbinsdale Cost: FREE Info: robbinsdalewhizbangdays.com

mnparent.com • July 2019

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Changsha China Friendship Garden.

Out & About JULY 13

Celebrate Creativity Street Fest Visit hobt.org or call 612.721.2535 for more info.

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⊲ The Minnesota Children’s Museum is putting a spotlight on creativity with music, performances and open-ended play activities.

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When: July 13 Where: Seventh Street between St. Peter and Wabasha streets, St. Paul Cost: FREE for outdoor events; indoor events require standard admission of $12.95 for ages 1 and up. Info: mcm.org

Family Farm Tour ⊲ Learn about rural life as you meet sheep, goats, pigs, chickens and horses. You can also tour the pastures, barn and hayloft. When: July 13 Where: Dodge Nature Center, West St. Paul Cost: $7 per person Info: dodgenaturecenter.org

Dino Fest ⊲ Meet resident paleontologist Dr. Alex Hastings, arriving fresh from the field and eager to share his new discoveries. When: July 13 Where: Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul Cost: $8.95–$19.95; free for ages 3 and younger Info: smm.org/dino-fest

JULY 13–14

Dragon Festival One hour east of Twin Cities (715) 778-4414 Spring Valley, WI

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July 2019 • mnparent.com

⊲ Racing teams paddle in ornately designed boats representing the mythical creatures of Chinese folklore. Plus enjoy martial arts demonstrations, music and dance performances and kids’ activities and the grand opening of the St. Paul-

When: July 13–14 Where: Lake Phalen Park, St. Paul Cost: FREE Info: dragonfestival.org

JULY 13–21

Raspberry Festival ⊲ Check out live music, a family day, a senior day, an arts and craft fair, a car show, a soap box derby, fireworks (July 20) and a parade (on July 21). When: July 13–21 Where: Hopkins Cost: Most events are FREE. Info: raspberrycapital.com

JULY 14

World Refugee Day ⊲ This family-oriented celebration highlights the stories, art and music of refugees in Minnesota with cultural exhibits, plus art and food vendors. When: July 14 Where: Loring Park, Minneapolis Cost: FREE Info: tcworldrefugeeday.org

JULY 15, 17–21

National Puppetry Festival ⊲ More than 400 puppet artists and fans gather for workshops, demonstrations


and performances. A Saturday Community Day (July 20) features free shows and activities for families.

Cost: FREE Info: highlandfest.com

Lowertown Blues and Funk Festival

When: July 15, 17–21 Where: University of Minnesota, Minneapolis Cost: Saturday admission is FREE; most performances cost $15 — or $20 per adult-child pair. Info: puppeteers.org

⊲ This all-ages festival features a variety of local and national acts alongside food and beverages vendors. When: July 19–20 Where: Mears Park, St. Paul Cost: FREE Info: lowertownbluesfestival.com

JULY 18

Youth Science Day ⊲ Discover the exciting world of STEM and meet members of the KAYSC (Kitty Andersen Youth Science Center) and other youth organizations. When: July 18 Where: Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul Cost: Buy one full-price adult ticket, receive up to four free tickets for kids ages 4–17. Info: smm.org/youthscienceday

Hey Mama, You Matter! We offer: Individual & Couples Therapy Emotional Coping Skills Groups

Middle Eastern Festival ⊲ Experience authentic cuisine, live entertainment, a traditional marketplace, games for kids and camel rides. When: July 19–21 Where: St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, West St. Paul Cost: FREE Info: mideastfest.com

JULY 19–21

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JULY 20

Highland Fest ⊲ Popular traditions of this festival include live music, a juried art fair, demos by the St. Paul Police K9 Unit, wiener dog races, a home improvement village, a 5K run, inflatables and more. When: July 19–21 Where: Ford Parkway, St. Paul

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⊲ Learn about other cultures with exhibits and activities, including a kid’s village with henna, games, books and coloring, plus music performances and dancing.

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⊲ Bands include the Okee Dokee Brothers, The OK Factor, the Sawtooth Brothers, Ellis, Red Yarn, Annie Mack and Nicholas David, a fan favorite from the hit TV show, The Voice. Kid activities will be spread out over the school’s eight-acre campus, too. When: July 20 Where: Minnesota Waldorf School, Maplewood Cost: $35 for adults and $20 for kids Info: mwsmusicfestival.org

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Kids Obstacle Challenge

Out & About

JULY 24–27

Aquatennial

⊲ Geared toward ages 5–16, this adventure and race series features a dozen fun and challenging obstacles. When: July 20 Where: Afton Alps, Hastings Cost: $36–$60 Info: kidsobstaclechallenge.com

When: July 20 Where: Nicollet Commons Park, Burnsville Cost: FREE; tickets for food/activities will be available for purchase. Info: intlfestburnsville.org

When: July 24–27 Where: Downtown Minneapolis Cost: Most events are FREE. Info: aquatennial.com

JULY 21

Minneapolis Sister Cities Day

JULY 20

⊲ This all-ages celebration of Minneapolis’ 12 sister cities features ice cream, multicultural entertainment, music and children’s activities. A special program will celebrate the 10th anniversary of Minneapolis’ relationship with Najaf, Iraq.

Apollo Anniversary ⊲ Commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing with a 5K and a fun run; games, crafts and learning activities, featuring lunar samples and NASA artifacts.

When: July 21 Where: Nicollet Island Pavilion, Minneapolis Cost: FREE Info: minneapolis.org/about-us /sister-cities

When: July 20 Where: Bell Museum, St. Paul Cost: $10–$20 Info: bellmuseum.umn.edu

⊲ Celebrate the City of Lakes with a festive nighttime parade, including preparade activities designed for families on July 24 at Loring Park; and a familyfun zone before the spectacular riverfront fireworks on July 27.

JULY 26–28, AUG. 2–4

Day Out With Thomas ⊲ Kids can take a ride in their favorite tank engine, meet Sir Topham Hatt, explore activities in the Imagination Station and more. Train rides last about 25 minutes each, but the average visitor stays for two to three hours. When: July 26–28, Aug. 2–4 Where: North Shore Scenic Railroad, Duluth Cost: $22; add the “Percy Combo” for $8 more. Info: northshorescenicrailroad.org

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CHILDCARE/EDUCATION

Mis Amigos Spanish Immersion Now offering infant child care in Hopkins!

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Great times for all ages at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

The largest selection of professional artists and performers in Minnesota!

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FROM OUR READERS

Summer fun! Oh, July! How we love your warmth and special brand of joy. These kids? They get it — always living life to the fullest!

↑ Felicity, 7, and Julianna, 5, in their Minneapolis backyard with a turtle they found in the alley

↑ Miriam, 7, and Adeline, 4, of Maple Grove fishing near Exeland, Wisconsin

↑ Sovi and Kaius, both age 1, of Bloomington at Oak Hill Park Splash Pad in St. Louis Park

GIVEAWAY! Looking to see if you won our Quarterdeck Resort giveaway? Check our Facebook page for updates on Tuesday, July 2! (Our one winner will be contacted by email.)

Learn more about this toy on page 13! ↑ Gabi, 5, Bauer, 3, and Elsie, 9 months, of Prior Lake on their deck

↑ Peyton, 4, of Spring Park at The Big Bounce America in St. Louis Park

Want to see your kid on this page? Send photos with your child’s first name, age and city to editor@mnparent.com.

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Profile for Minnesota Parent

July 2019  

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