Page 1

XXXX 2017 2017 September


bring hope after a storm of loss PAGE 48

Tips for birth


BABIES IN BOXES not bassinets PAGE 34

BOTTLE FEEDING at its best PAGE 14




Maverick, 1 week old, of Minnetonka


PRECIOUS GIFTS DESERVE OUR FULL ATTENTION. From family planning to delivering an exceptional birth experience to care throughout their childhood, Fairview is an easy choice. Find out what sets The Birthplace and Fairview Clinics apart. VISIT CALL

855-Fairview (324-7843)


54 60




Out & About Calendar

Fear and courage The newly popular term ‘rainbow baby’ is helping families share their stories of birth after loss.



Safe dreaming

Recording memories

The practice of letting newborn babies sleep in boxes – an old Finnish custom – is becoming popular among parents worldwide and in Minnesota.

Minnesota Parent’s Charmed blogger shares her experience using a photographer to document the birth of her third child who came 13 days late.

About our cover kid Name: Maverick Age: 3 months in September City: Minnetonka Parents: Ian and Ashley Paul Personality: Mellow, curious and charming Favorite toys: Mirrors and anything musical Favorite book: B is for Bear Favorite activities: Swimming in the bathtub, napping and discovering new things Favorite foods: Mama’s milk Photos by Danie Bell of Bella Sollè Photography / Want to see your kid on the cover? Find out how at


September 2017 • • September 2017



No two are the same

Your baby (and experiences) may not be the same as others. It’s OK! 12 CHATTER

Precious preemies A new baby book helps parents chronicle their NICU experiences. 14 BUMP, BIRTH AND BABY

Bottle technique Employ these strategic feeding practices for Baby’s best health. 16 THE UNCENSORED TODDLER

Eating challenge Keep your expectations real when dining out with your tots.


MCAD MNP 0917 H2.indd 1

September 2017 •



Mindful moments

Start fine tuning

Learn to enjoy good things while they’re happening.

Try these activities with your baby.


Easy first birthday

Are you in there? Our plugged-in kids are more connected to (real) people than we might think.


We love this Cat in the Hat theme. 30 BOOKSHELF

Proud to be me


These engaging books teach kids to embrace their differences.

Seeing the doctor and losing weight can be powerful forms of self-care for new parents.


Commit to you


Fever triage

You can use Tylenol and Advil at the same time. Here’s how.

Cheesy mac Try Nana’s mac-n-cheese recipe! 66 FROM OUR READERS


Look at your little soccer stars!

8/17/17 9:27 AM


PUBLISHER Janis Hall SALES MANAGER AND CO-PUBLISHER Terry Gahan EDITOR Sarah Jackson 612-436-4385 • CONTRIBUTORS Abbie Burgess, Capernaum Pediatric Therapy, Jamie Crowson, Kimara Gustafson, Shannon Keough, Laura Malm, Laura Groenjes Mitchell, Mary Rose Remington, Kaitlin Ungs, Meredith Westin, Jen Wittes, Jennifer Wizbowski CREATIVE DIRECTOR Valerie Moe GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Dani Cunningham Kaitlin Ungs CLIENT SERVICES Delaney Patterson 612-436-5070 • CIRCULATION Marlo Johnson 612-436-4388 • ADVERTISING 612-436-4360 • 50,000 copies of Minnesota Parent are 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 Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55403. Minnesota Parent is copyright 2017 by Minnesota Premier Publications. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. Address all material to address above.

Struggles, not ‘snuggles’


hen I was a new mother, Facebook was just becoming a big thing. It was so long ago (2008), that we announced our son’s birth primarily by email. But as the months went on, we started sharing photos of our kid — who we were just getting to know — with the ever-evolving social media landscape. It was addictive, watching the likes and comments roll in about how cute our child was! It made parenting in those early days less isolating and more bearable during my maternity leave. Then came a comment that utterly perplexed me: “Oh, I remember that age! Enjoy all those snuggles!” Photo by Tracy Walsh / Snuggles? What snuggles? What was this friend from high school even talking about? My life had become consumed by nursing (which was going just OK), diapers and colicky bouts of crying, crying, crying. When our son was smiling instead of crying, I spent my time taking super-cute photos of him on snuggly blankies to make the world (and me) think everything was only amazing — and not also really, really difficult. Though our son might have looked cuddly/snuggly, I did not have a snuggly baby, nor did I feel like a particularly snuggly mama. New motherhood was just … hard. So her comment — ripped right out of the “they grow up so fast” playbook of parenting clichés — made me feel like a “bad” mother with a “bad” son. Now that our son is 9, and swiftly moving into tween territory, I’m seeing that childhood does fly by at the speed of light, especially after your kid starts school. I’m also learning to accept that those elusive snuggles — which mommy bloggers seem to cite all the time as the norm — will never be mine. Fortunately, my son and I have found many other ways to connect — hugs (usually stolen by me, but not always), back scratches at bedtime, back rubs during TV time, wrestling, tickling and pats on the head. (Despite not having a natural snuggler, I believe strongly in the value of touch between kids and parents throughout the day.) What I’m trying to say, in honor of our annual Baby Issue, is that parenting is a surprisingly “universal experience” that ties you forever to parents everywhere in amazing ways. But at the end of the day, it’s not THAT universal. It’s as individualized and challenging and messed up as we all are as humans. You may not get snuggles. And you’ll definitely face greater challenges than whether you get snuggles or not. You will do everything wrong. And everything right. And your family will be miraculous, and solely yours. Parenting is a mashup of heaven and hell, wonderful and horrible, fearlessness and worry, joy and heartbreak. But one thing it’s not is all #snuggles, no matter what Facebook says. Sarah Jackson, Editor

Building Stable Homes, Strong Futures and Vibrant Communities Since 1971.





GREAT NEIGHBORHOOD... IN MINNETONKA CROWN RIDGE • (952) 546-8600 11367 Fairfield Road, Minnetonka, MN 55305


BRANDES PLACE 763-574-2187, Fridley GRANADA LAKES 651-770-1700, Oakdale LAKE SHORE TOWNHOMES 763-416-3971, Maple Grove SUNWOOD VILLAGE 763-251-3000, Ramsey TRAILS EDGE TOWNHOMES 651-330-1666, Maplewood VALLEY SQUARE COMMONS 763-544-1855, Golden Valley VICKSBURG COMMONS 763-559-0970, Plymouth VIEWS AT CITY WALK 651-262-5700, Woodbury


BLOOMINGTON TOWNHOMES 952-920-6113, Bloomington BOULDER RIDGE 952-891-3111, Apple Valley CROWN RIDGE 952-546-8600, Minnetonka WAYZATA VILLAGE HOMES 763-559-0970, Wayzata WHITNEY GROVE TOWNHOMES 952-432-4644, Apple Valley YORKDALE TOWNHOMES 952-835-1998, Edina


FALLS MEADOWRIDGE 320-632-2576, Little Falls HOWARD LAKE APARTMENTS 320-274-5871, Howard Lake GREENVALE PLACE 507-645-4146, Northfield MAPLE HILLS 651-388-2821, Red Wing NORTHPOINT TOWNHOMES 218-927-3521, Aitkin SUNRISE MANOR 507-794-9631, Sleepy Eye

AMAZING RENTS... FAMILY HOUSING AVAILABLE SUNWOOD VILLAGE • (763) 251-3000 7750 Sunwood Drive NW, Ramsey, MN 55303

• 64 “just right” one, two & three bedrooms

• 47 spacious one, two & three bedrooms



• Community room with serving kitchen

• Convenient laundry facilities

• Below market rents (income guidelines apply)

• Below market rent (income guidelines apply)

• Controlled access entry

• Individually controlled heat and air conditioning

• On-Site Laundry

• Great location, close to shopping & the Northstar Line



A baby book for preemies Eric and Kristin Moan know a thing or two

As the Moans say on their

about premature babies and life in the

website: “While each NICU

NICU. Their twin daughters were born at

journey is different,

24 weeks, weighing 1 pound, 3 ounces and

there are milestones

1 pound, 7 ounces.

we ALL wait for,

Though their girls are now 4 years old and thriving, the Moans, who live north of the

forward to, and

Twin Cities, remember struggling to navigate


the NICU while also trying to celebrate the

others just cannot

many unique rites of passage their daugh-

understand. This

ters reached as they not only survived, but

book is a place for

also grew and matured.

all of that and more!

So the Moans created My Preemie Baby

The My Preemie Baby Book helps parents of premature infants cope as well as track progress in the NICU and beyond.

moments to look

You may think you won’t

Book, a darling 200-page keepsake for

want to remember this

parents, adorably illustrated by Megan

journey, but one day you will.”

Kampa of Minneapolis. It includes a heartfelt

Learn more about the book ($24.95)

letter from the Moans, inspirational quotes, a

— and the Moans’ other beloved preemie

guest book, brilliant advice, journaling pages

program, The Potato Head Project —

and milestone trackers — all preemie


Hayden, Eric, Kristin and Dylan Moan.

Photo by Adrianna Marie Photography

focused and NICU practical.

New kid-rock album Oh, how we love The Bazillions! The Minneapolis-based kindie-rock band has been getting families’ toes tapping since 2010 with guitar-driven tunes and pitch-perfect harmonies with a touch of twang. (Do they remind anyone else of the Barenaked Ladies?) And now they’ve put out their fourth studio album, Rock-n-Roll Yearbook, just in time to get kids excited to dive into the school year. If you attended our fourth-annual Kidfest this past June, then you heard a sneak

↑ Adam and Kristin Marshall of Minneapolis formed The Bazillions in 2010. Photo by David Giese

preview of their catchy, soon-to-be educa-

will help kids though one of the most

tional hits, such as New Shoes. We’ve also

exciting and anxious times in a young

fallen in love with their life-lesson tunes

person’s life — the start of the school year.

Take Turns and You Could Be the One.

The Marshalls started The Bazillions while

Led by former teachers Adam and Kristin Marshall, The Bazillions hope this new album


September 2017 •

they were both teaching at Kenny Elementary School in Minneapolis. Today they have

two children of their own and perform hundreds of shows per year while also finding time to produce videos — for The Bazillions’ YouTube channel — that have been viewed more than 6 million times. Buy all their award-winning albums and check out the band’s concert schedule at

Jen Wittes


Paced bottle-feeding W

hether you’re formula feeding from the start, pumping the occasional bottle for the sitter or practicing for the return to work, there are best health practices for bottle-feeding. A bottle-fed baby should be fed according to feeding cues (mouth movement, rooting, sucking on hands and eventually crying — just as you would feed a breastfed baby) rather than on a pre-determined schedule. That said, a sleepy newborn should be roused to eat every 3 to 4 hours — depending on his or her size and health — whether breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. The most important trick to bottlefeeding success is a method known as paced bottle-feeding. The idea is to mimic some of the biological aspects of breastfeeding, which correspond to Baby’s reflexes and developmental needs.

I know the bottle-feeding crowd can sometimes get a bad rap and that the phrase “Breast is Best” is forcefully fed to the mother from the start of gestation. To talk about paced bottle-feeding and how it aims to imitate breastfeeding biology is not to further exaggerate the “feeding wars.” It’s simply a bottle-feeding technique that helps Baby remain physically comfortable, calm and satisfied, but not overfed.

The idea is to mimic some of the biological aspects of breastfeeding that correspond to Baby’s needs.

Dispelling concerns Assumption: Bottle-fed babies are often found to be gassier than breastfed babies. Truth: Not with paced bottle-feeding. Assumption: One of the main benefits of breastfeeding is development of the muscles associated with rooting and sucking reflexes. Truth: This can still be achieved with paced bottle-feeding. Assumption: Bottle-fed babies were previously thought to have more earaches and ear infections than breastfed babies. Truth: This is because they were fed while lying down, often flat on the back, placing pressure on the ears rather than allowing the food to go down into the digestive track. Assumption: Bottle-fed babies are thought to spit-up more. Truth: Paced bottle-feeding lets Baby decide when she’s full, avoiding overfeeding. Assumption: You can’t properly bond with your baby when you bottle-feed. Truth: Taking time to have a long feeding with Baby allows for more cuddle time, eye contact, cooing and lullaby.

Don’t forget to hold and cuddle your baby as much as he wants and needs, and as much as YOU want and need. You can’t spoil a baby with affection, and it’s important to have physical contact outside of feeding time so Baby doesn’t ask to be fed in order to be held. Of course, you and Baby will figure out your own particular quirks and rhythms that work best for you when it comes to feeding. Trust those instincts, but also trust the wisdom of Baby’s biology. Follow those cues!


September 2017 •

ATTENTION WOMEN 21-33: Would You Consider Being an Egg Donor?

How to do it ⊲ Baby is held somewhat upright, as if sitting up, only slightly reclined. Make sure to support the neck.

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 dedication.

⊲ Rather than force the nipple into your baby’s mouth, brush the tip of it against his lips and let him actively take it. ⊲ Hold the bottle at a horizontal angle so that Baby must actively suck to receive the milk. ⊲ Take pauses every five minutes or so. This emulates rhythm of the letdown reflex of breastfeeding and is the instinctive pattern to which a baby is designed to nurse and — eventually — feel satiated. ⊲ Switch “sides” midway through the feeding, changing arms, so that Baby is stimulated evenly and sees you, the bottle and the world from all angles. ⊲ When Baby has indicated that she’s done — refusing the nipple or turning her head — be done. Don’t force her to finish the bottle. Overfeeding a baby will likely cause her to spit up and/or become fussy with gas.

2828 Chicago Ave #400 Minneapolis

NEoW nline

easy cation li app


For more information: 612-863-5390 or fill out an application online Accredited by: Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies, American College of OB/GYNs and American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).

Center for Reproductive Medicine MNP 0514 S3.indd 1

4/14/14 12:50 PM

One more thing: Burping As a postpartum doula, I burped a lot of babies. Traditionally people pat-pat-pat on the back, with Baby hoisted over the shoulder. This is tried and true — and it works! But for stubborn, stuck, fussy gas, try sliding your hand up the back (to sort of squeeze the air out) with gentle pressure. You can also usually feel the gas bubble as a firm pocket on the tummy. Concentrate your burping efforts to the corresponding area on the back side. Jen Wittes is a certified postpartum doula and writer who now works in marketing and communications. She lives in St. Paul with her two kids, her two cats and her husband. Send questions or comments to • September 2017


Shannon Keough


Restaurants: Enter at your own risk S

o, just because you have kids doesn’t mean you have to change anything about how you live your life, right? I mean, all the stuff you used to do just needs to be done in a way that includes your little cherubs, who — by definition — do nothing but broaden and enrich the experiences you already enjoy. This is especially true in restaurants: You can expect your toddler to sit docilely in her booster seat coloring until the food arrives, at which point she’ll daintily eat what’s on her plate with obvious relish while you and your spouse discuss political developments and the workplace gossip of the week. LOL!! As if!! In reality, going out to eat with toddlers is more like reenacting one of the Saw movies. While being tortured in macabre, unforeseen ways, you watch in paralyzed horror as you lose complete control of the situation while lots of gloopy stuff flies around (mayonnaise, milk and mustard). Many parents simply decide to forego dining out until their kids are 7, 10 or 21 years old. But many others make a valiant effort to keep the tradition of over-spending on food consumption alive throughout the toddler years. So how does one mitigate the risks of dining out with toddlers?

An insider’s guide First and foremost, you must select the restaurant with care. For example, we finally accepted that sushi places were a no-go for our toddlers — the food took too long to prepare, we didn’t yet know that gyoza were a kidfriendly appetizer, and rolls, maki and


September 2017 •

In reality, going out to eat with toddlers is more like reenacting one of the Saw movies. sashimi all looked weird. We’ve definitely had more than one sushi meal cut off at the seaweed salad course. On the other hand, we noticed pretty early on that Quang (2719 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis), the Vietnamese pho mecca, seemed to have a calming effect on both of our kids. The food comes out quickly, there’s lots of white noise and the wait staff are adept at dealing with kids on the premises: “Hot soup coming through!” they holler, encouraging parents to secure their young ones. Quang doesn’t have the usual trappings of a kid-friendly restaurant. You’ll find no children’s menu, no crayons, no play corner for feisty tots. We assumed that Quang was an unknown perfect place to take kids. Then we finally looked at the framed awards on the wall, which included one

declaring Quang to be a “Best Restaurant for Kids.” (I guess the secret is out.) Another great place to take kids is Amazing Thailand (3024 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis, across from Calhoun Square). Their children’s menu is pretty amazing: For something like $4.99, kids get two cream cheese wontons and a mountain of stir-fried vegetables, chicken and rice. We always leave with enough leftovers for at least an additional meal or two. Also, the “umbrella room” ceiling can always be trusted to occupy the attention of our toddlers for almost a minute.   FIKA, meanwhile, at the American Swedish Institute (2600 Park Ave., Minneapolis) features indoor and outdoor spaces (including an enclosed courtyard with a little cart full of whimsical playthings), plus affordable “New Nordic” cuisine that’s earned the restaurant many awards, including “Best Lunch in Minnesota” (Star Tribune 2013). Brunson’s Pub (956 Payne Ave., St. Paul) offers delicious, fancified bar food and a child-friendly patio (as well as a kid’s menu). Food isn’t available at Flat Earth Brewery (688 Minnehaha Ave. E.,


Joy booster

Quick, punchy, easy-to-jump-into chapters — penned by Erin Leyba, a family counselor, parenting blogger and mother of three — are the draw for Joy Fixes for Weary Parent: 101 Quick, ResearchBased Ideas for Overcoming Stress and Building a Life You Love. “Joy fixes are not about chasing happiness — a temporary pleasure,” Leyba writes. “Rather they are about nurturing joy — a deep-down sense of peace and connection.” $16.95 •

St. Paul), but you’re welcome to bring your own and enjoy good local beer. You’ll find a large downscale patio, featuring what can best be described as “garbage can beer pong.” Of course, as parents, you get to make the decisions. Therefore, it’s your prerogative to dine wherever you choose — including those establishments that are “too spicy” or otherwise deemed unacceptable by your toddlers. For example, the jerk chicken at Pimento (2524 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis) is one of our favorite local meals, but the kids can never seem to find anything they want on the menu. Our solution is to talk up the other appealing features of the restaurant, such as the “fun” bathrooms there. (There are some lovely shells arranged on a plate near the sink — a toddler-pleasing feature if there ever was one.) In short, dining with toddlers can be harrowing — but it can also be tolerable and sometimes even enjoyable. Remember: Pack some snacks, bring plenty of wipes and always order the food as soon as you can.    Shannon Keough lives in St. Paul with her husband, Nick (who contributed to this column) and their two children. Send questions or comments to skeough@

MacPhail Center for Music MNP 0917 2-3page_#1.indd 1

8/8/17 3:37 PM

Making the most of it S

ummer is fading into a collage of memories. Looking back, I’m truly grateful for the special moments I was able to create and for the experiences I had with my family. Though my kids are older now (6, 8, 10 and 12), it seems like just yesterday I was trudging through the thickness of my early years of parenting. (Leaving behind the days of diapers and kids in daycare were significant milestones for our family!) These days I find myself both celebrating and appreciating their growth and independence, while also savoring time I get to spend with the four of them as kids, both individually and together. As a kindergarten teacher, I’ve had the privilege of being a stay-at-home mom during the summer months. This has given me much opportunity for long periods of interaction and connection. I admit, sometimes being fully immersed in SAHM life can drive me a little crazy, but my time with my children over the years also has given me a deep sense of fulfillment and joy. Naturally, each summer at home with my children feels a little different than the last. As they’re getting older, my children are getting busier with friendships, sports, interests and activities, pulling them in many different directions. And they’re nurturing their own strengths and abilities. I know that (in just a few years) our big kids will be teenagers, busy working summer jobs and spending even more time on their own. When that time comes, I won’t hold them back. But right now they’re still kids. We want them to experience an unrushed child-


September 2017 •

hood, rich and balanced with play, new experiences, family time and lots and lots of time outdoors. How are we doing it? Here are some of our tips: ⊲⊲ Identify and stick to your family values and ideals. What is it that you really want for your family? Do you want to travel? Maybe you’ve found a love of spending time

Though our society has pegged ‘busy’ as a status symbol, being busy doesn’t necessarily lead to a full or happy life.

together on the ball field during little league season? Do you want your children to spend time with their grandparents? My husband and I have found that we’re drawing on the fond memories we had as children, including family trips and time outdoors. We’re doing our best to set aside the time, money and energy to make it possible to share similar experiences with our children. ⊲⊲ Be mindful of commitments and distractions. My husband and I try to keep our family schedules in check so we don’t end up overcommitted. This involves some thought and planning and also some give and take. When you’re overcommitted, you’re constantly racing around. I know when I’ve been overcommitted when I feel tired from just thinking about what I have to do in a day. It’s not fun, nor is it sustainable. Though our society has pegged “busy” as a status symbol, being busy doesn’t


Magnetic storyboard Is your kid ready to go beyond sight words? Encouraging interactive wordplay and early storytelling is the goal of My First Magnetic Story Board, featuring 100 word and punctuation magnets that help kids create simple sentences and even basic stories! $29.99 •

necessarily lead to a full or happy life. Being busy and being distracted can go hand in hand. It’s easy for both adults and children to waste time in front of our devices. We can, however, assert some control over our technology use, so our habits don’t interfere with our relationships or our connections with the real world. When we’re too busy, it can lead us away us from the meaningful connections, moments and experiences that will help us create the memories we want to make with our children. I encourage you to be mindful about how you use the time you have with your children. ⊲⊲ Keep a positive attitude. When times get tough (and they will) work to focus on the good. Practice gratitude and celebrate the joys that come from parenting. After all, it takes only a string of lasting, positive memories to create a happy childhood. Remember, “The days are long, but the years are short.” Make the most of this time with your children! They grow up quickly. Megan Devine is an elementary school teacher who lives with her husband and four school-age children in Northeastern Minnesota. She blogs at

LEARN THROUGH PLAY YMCA PRESCHOOL Ages 2 to 5 years A part-time program featuring: • Creative and fun learning environment to develop classroom socialization and school readiness • Preparation for school success • 3 locations throughout the metro area

YMCA EARLY CHILDHOOD LEARNING CENTER Ages 6 weeks to 5 years A licensed full-time program featuring: • Value-based curriculum designed to enhance your child’s learning and growth • Healthy meals and snacks • 7 locations throughout the metro area

Find your location at

Financial assistance available. Membership not required to enroll. 17-EC15

Learning to love T

eenagers need family. They may not say it. In fact, their outward actions seem to defy this. Their eyes are always on their phones. They hide in their rooms, binge-watching Netflix, while still texting in five group chats at once. Sometimes, I think I’m really having a good conversation with them and I realize they didn’t hear my last verbal montage. Instead, I catch them tipping their heads to the side, taking another selfie to Snap. A month ago, my father-in-law passed away. He was 93. His parents were Polish immigrants. He put himself through medical school on the GI bill. He saw the devastation of world war — including the hydrogen bomb — through the eyes of his camera lens. Yes, he was part of the unit flown over to Nagasaki to film the aftermath of the bomb. He was among the Silent Generation. He was also my kids’ grandpa.

Coming together When we lived in California, just a three-hour drive away from the grandparents, we went regularly for weekend stays. It was part of the norm to have holiday meals together. Then we made a few job changes, which resulted in moves that eventually landed us in Minnesota. Our weekend visits turned to annual ones. When Grandpa passed, he received much-deserved military honors at his


graveside service. I watched my grown teenagers — the ones that often respond to my questions in snorts and mumbles. My daughter held tightly to her grandmother’s hand through the entire service. They were locked in a full squeeze that held through shock of the 21-gun salute, the handing over of the folded American flag and the sobs that shook Grandma’s body. I watched my son, who used his gift of warmth and communication to sit at tables with distant relatives he’d never met and engage in 30-minute conversations.

Making connections With all the moves we’ve made, I’ve often wondered if I haven’t created enough of a community around my kids. We’ve been gifted deep friendships in the places we’ve called home. I’ve always been lucky enough to have just the right

Young adult fiction

neighbors present for each stage of life and parenting. Good friends (for us and our kids) often took the place of family who couldn’t make it over the holidays. Over the years, our many friendships — gained and stretched apart again because of distance — have taught my kids how to love deeply wherever they’re at in life (geographically and developmentally). They’ve also learned how to value and cherish family whenever they get the chance. We just got back from a family wedding on the East Coast. Over the years, it hasn’t been easy to connect with my or my husband’s extended family. My brother’s position in the Army only made it harder as he was moving his family around the country, too. We never seemed to be near the same part of the country at once. We made it work

Once You Know This — the debut novel from Emily Blejwas, a Minnesota native and mother of four — tells the hopeful story of an 11-year-old girl who struggles to make her future bright, amid the makeshift family that emerges around her. Bonus: Blejwas will read from her book on Sept. 28 at Moon Palace Books in Minneapolis. $16.99 •


when we could, of course, but not nearly as much as either of us would’ve wanted. So as I watched my brother’s teenagers with mine, laughing and jumping into the waves of the ocean, I was surprised and delighted. They screamed with joy, they laughed fully, they connected with the pulse of the sea. My heart was full.

Savoring the moments Time changes not just our age and the way we look, but also our circumstances: Our kids go from our laps to young adulthood so quickly! But it doesn’t change the depth of love in our hearts meant for our families — even among teenagers. What time (and growing up) does do, is refine that love. Sometimes, I wonder where my teens are at in their development. There’s so much going on in their heads that doesn’t make it out. It’s like they’re mini factories, churning and chugging, and we’re on the other side, impatiently waiting to see what the process of maturity finally produces. I still worry so much, as I think other moms might do. But I think our kids are showing us something really amazing: They’re capable of great love. They embrace with arms open those times they get with distant family, and it’s like they know how to absorb years of love in just a few days. The things my teenagers may not verbalize, instead are demonstrated in their actions. It reminds me to be content with where the path of life has taken us, and trust in the steps they take as their paths veer off far ahead of me. Jennifer Wizbowski lives in Excelsior with her husband, and daughter and son. Send comments, questions and story ideas to

Sarah Jackson


This is adulting I

s getting enough exercise and eating right on a regular basis really easy for anyone? Add in the enormous feat of carrying and birthing a baby (or even babies!) and it can feel monumentally more challenging. Impossible. As a new parent, you have few #adulting assets — no sleep, no time (relative to your recent past), no money (in many cases) and no free child-care fairy (or grandparent). If you’re a working, commuting parent, dream on. Add in a dash of guilt about the very thought of taking care of yourself (instead of your kids or spouse), and you’re doomed. And I’m not just talking about mamas.

Dads suffer much of the same fate. Now, wait a few years (or eight) as you grind through the physically and emotionally demanding toddler and early-elementary years, and watch as your metabolism begins to plummet. Because, hey, you’re OLD now (or on your way). What can you do? You can stop making excuses and — in the immortal words of Nike and Shia LaBeouf ( — just do it. Find your thing. And then, when you inevitably lose it or it changes, find it again. It feels impossible, I know. But it’s not. I know because I’ve recently

↑↑Before: Val, a mother of three (pictured with her daughter Olivia, 4), felt tired before she changed her diet.


September 2017 •

seen two millennial moms take charge of their health amid real challenges. And their stories seemed to me like the definition of #adulting. They’re my friends and co-workers at Minnesota Parent, Val and Dani. They both lost significant amounts of weight — 17 pounds for Dani and 33 pounds for Val. How? They used the Herbalife shake program. (Note: This article isn’t about HOW they did it. It’s THAT they did it.) The most striking story is that of Val, a 37-year-old mother to toddler twins (turning 2 in October) and a 4-year-old daughter. After her twins were born, she was

↑↑After: Val poses with her favorite Herbalife shakes at the Uptown Hub Nutrition Club in Minneapolis.

Meanwhile, I continually made poor food choices. I remember thinking, ‘What does it matter what I eat if I’m going to look pregnant forever?’ exhausted and depressed, despite the joy of her healthy wonderful tots, a rock-star husband, gainful employment and relative stability. Due to her multiples pregnancy, she had suffered severe diastasis recti (a separation of the ab muscles), which meant she couldn’t even do a sit up without her intestines visibly pushing outward. She had to wear a belly band every day, even at home, to even stay put together. She hid her body under big sweatshirts. “At first, it seemed like my insurance wouldn’t help me try to fix the issue. Meanwhile, I continually made poor food choices. I remember thinking, ‘What does it matter what I eat if I’m going to look pregnant forever?’” Eventually, Val had a surgery to repair her abs. (Insurance covered all but $2,500.) But that didn’t help with all of the weight she gained consuming “frappuccinos and donuts for breakfast, crackers, candy and too much pizza.” Then something awesome happened. “In March of this year, I finally decided to start #adulting and take care of myself,” Val said recently to one of her online MoMs groups. “At my annual exam with my OB, I asked about a mammogram.” (Though she’s only 37 years old, there’s a history of breast cancer on both sides of Val's family.) She also requested a referral to a gastroenterologist to help with her constipation issues (a common problem after pregnancy) as well as a referral for physical therapy to help her retrain her core body muscles. Yes! That’s self-care. That’s adulting.

“I also started to think about my health and weight,” Val said. “I was depressed with how I looked and felt miserable and tired all the time.” Then Val started watching Dani, another busy mom, sitting 4 feet away from her, drinking shakes, eating apples, nuts and string cheese (instead of Cheez-Its). Dani, who learned a ton about nutrition, was falling back in love with her own body. She, a mother to a 2-year-old boy, had more energy and loved what she was eating. “Meanwhile, I was sitting at my desk eating junk food all day. I felt miserable, tired and constantly hungry.” So Val did it, too. It started with the Herbalife three-day trial. She loved it, so she kept going and never looked back. Even though it involved letting go of processed foods and treats (which were all around her, all the time, at home and work), she just DID it. Like Dani, she found her thing. She went down to a size 4 and lost 33 pounds and 30 inches off her body and

↑↑In four months, Val lost 30 inches from her body, including 12 inches off her waist and hips.

reduced her body fat by 10 percent — in four months. I won’t lie: She was religious about her regimen. She resisted temptation constantly. She took pictures of the desserts and carbs she didn’t eat. There were lots. Along the way, she gained energy and confidence and even summoned up the courage to seek a promotion. (She got it.) Her new nutrition plan helped with her constipation issues as well. “I feel amazing,” Val said. “I never thought I’d be able to feel this great and fit into size 4 jeans after having twins.” We’re talking about a stressed-out, full-time working, commuting wife, and a mother of a preschooler and toddler twins, who had no time, no budget and no energy either. But she found her thing. And she sucked it up and did it. She stopped making excuses about her lack of self-care. She’s attending physical therapy regularly and looking forward to starting an exercise program via Wii Fit. Wow. Adulting looks different for everyone. It might mean yoga, barre, walking, marathon running or Weight Watchers, Keto, Paleo or taking up a new sport you’ve never done before: Tennis, anyone? (That’s my story for another time.) It might start with a simple doctor appointment or an inspiring fellow parent in your midst — or it might begin with this very article. Just do it. Adult yourself. Sarah Jackson is the editor of Minnesota Parent. Val said if we mention Herbalife results, we have to add this: “People who use Herbalife Formula 1 twice a day as part of a healthy lifestyle can generally expect to lose around 0.5 to 1 pound per week.”

Dr. Kimara Gustafson

Fever help! I’ve heard it’s OK to give infants Advil and Tylenol at the same time when treating fever. Is this true? I get many questions as to how to best administer these medications in combination. The honest answer is that there is no one, single way.  Both Advil (ibuprofen) and Tylenol (acetaminophen) work to reduce fever. And, indeed, in children older than 6 months, it may be more effective to manage a fever with both Advil and Tylenol. It isn’t recommended, however, to use Advil for children younger than 6 months old. (Tylenol is OK to use for these young infants.) And for infants less than 3 months old, it’s recommended that you first contact your primary care provider regarding any fever, rather than trying to manage it at home with medicine.  Though the combination therapy of the two drugs can be more effective than using either individually, this practice can cause confusion regarding which drug you gave last and how much you gave of it. There can be an increased risk of accidental inaccurate dosing, especially if the doses are different for the two medications. Some parents find it easier to give them at the same time, and others find it better to alternate. Tylenol can be given every 4 to 6 hours and Advil can be given every 6 to 8 hours, so often I recommend that parents give both drugs at the same time every six hours (for ease of math). Another option is to alternate by giving one medication


September 2017 •

every 3 hours as needed. If you go this route, I recommend keeping a written log or schedule to help reduce the middle-of-the-night confusion. It’s also important to remember that dosing of both Advil and Tylenol is based on your child’s weight (not age); if you have any questions regarding the appropriate dose, you should contact your clinic or pharmacy. It’s also recommended that parents not rely on dosing information in the form of “teaspoon,” but rather in specific milliliter amounts (such as 5 milliliters) as there can be confusion among caregivers regarding the correct amount of a teaspoon.  Also, parents should look to see how a child is acting and feeling, rather than just focusing on a thermometer number. Medicines may not fully reduce the fever back to normal, but will, one hopes, bring it down enough for improved comfort. I’ve seen kids running around, playful and laughing with temperatures of 101, who may have looked pretty darn draggy

with a temp of 103. Fever is generally a sign that the immune system is doing what we want it to do — fight off infection. We just want to make your child as comfortable through that period, so he or she can rest, drink fluids and stay hydrated and recover as quickly as the illness will allow. X

My son seems to have really flat feet. And he trips a lot. Would special shoes help him? A flat foot refers to a condition in which the arch of the foot disappears or diminishes when a person stands. Most often, the arch will reappear if the person is sitting or standing on the tiptoes. Almost all babies and young infants are initially flat footed as the muscles and soft tissues in their feet are



just developing the strength associated with standing and walking. In older children (around age 8 or older) and adults, if the arch continues to be flat with standing, but reappears with the change in position (sitting or standing tip-toe), this is called a flexible flat foot. If the arch doesn’t reappear with sitting or standing on the tiptoes, this is called a rigid flat foot. If a flat-footed child doesn’t have any associated symptoms, most often a physician will recommend a “watch and wait” approach. Other than the appearance of the foot/feet, this condition should not limit movement or prevent a child from fully participating in any sports or physical activities. If a child does have symptoms — which can include foot or leg pain, tenderness and/or cramping, heels that tilt/turn greatly outward (or greatly inward), a change in the manner of walking, or pain or discomfort while walking — then your physician may recommend further evaluation. An evaluation may include imaging and/ or a referral to a physical or occupational therapist or orthopedic physician. Shoe inserts may be considered. Inserts typically can be placed into regular shoes, so special shoes are generally not needed. If you’re worried your son’s flat feet are interfering with his mobility and balance, be sure to discuss these concerns with your child’s physician. X

Claire Mielke, DDS Peter H. Mielke, DDS Michele Olson, DDS 651.779.9002


9/21/16 4:43 PM

Dr. Kimara Gustafson is a Minneapolis mother who works as a pediatrician at Masonic Children’s Hospital and the Adoption Medicine Clinic, both at the University of Minnesota. Send your questions to Childrens Theatre Co MNP 0917 V2.indd 1

7/31/17 2:47 PM • September 2017


Capernaum Pediatric Therapy

First-year fine motor skills D

id you know that tummy time, crawling and side-sitting can actually help with your baby’s fine motor development? These basic movement patterns — and the postural control and stability needed to perform them — can affect skills later in life such as handwriting! What can you do to help ensure that your baby’s fine motor development is on target? Do you need to spend money on the latest gadget/toy to help strengthen those little hands? No! Developmental motor sequences are hard-wired, and babies are set up to naturally master fine motor skills without engineering or technology. You can encourage exploration and competence by providing opportunities throughout your daily routine to practice these foundational skills. Here are some key concepts in fine motor development and some simple activities to try:

Postural control and stability This is the combination of strength and balance that enables us to keep one part of the body still while another part moves. For example, shoulder stability affects the ways in which the arms and hands move. Incorporate lots of floor time into your baby’s day. Reaching while in different positions on the floor — on the tummy, lying on his/her back, side-lying and sitting — can help strengthen your baby’s core muscles and improve shoulder stability.

Bilateral coordination This refers to the efficient use of both hands during an activity. As a child gets older, one hand often stabilizes or helps, while the other hand manipulates.


September 2017 •

Help your baby play patty cake, peek-aboo or other simple action songs.

Sensation Hands are one of the most sensitive parts of our body! Our tactile sense interprets what we touch and helps guide movements. For fine motor skills, we rely on touch, vision and proprioception (an unconscious sense of joint position and movement). Allow your baby to learn by mouthing toys (no choking-sized objects) and playing with food (such as “painting” with pudding).

Dexterity There are 35 muscles that move the fingers and thumb — 17 in the palm of the hand

and 18 in the forearm. Dexterity skill involves the small, precise, accurate and efficient movements of the hands. ⊲⊲ Hand separation: Babies’ hands have two sides that do two different jobs. Precision and manipulation are accomplished by the side of the hand with the thumb and first two fingers, while stability and power are provided by the pinky and ring finger side. Use picture books to encourage pushing, poking and pointing with the index finger. Banging toys on the table or floor helps strengthen the other side of the hand. ⊲⊲ Grasping patterns: Encourage babies to hold onto a variety objects of different sizes, shapes, textures and weights. Container play with common household objects of different sizes can help babies

Do you need to spend money on the latest gadget/toy to help strengthen those little hands? No! practice grasp and release. Start with larger objects and proceed to smaller ones. Encourage your child to put things into containers and then take them out again and again. Dumping, banging, hiding and stacking items should be encouraged as well because such actions all require different grasping patterns. ⊲⊲ Palmar arches: The arches of the hand enable grasping objects and help provide a base of support for skilled finger movement. Crawling as well as pushing up while in a tummy-time position can help develop the muscles and arches toward the pinky side of the hand. Rattles and finger foods, meanwhile, help develop the skilled side of the hand (thumb and first two fingers). If you have concerns about your baby’s fine motor development, contact your pediatrician who may refer you to a rehabilitation specialist such as an (occupational or physical therapist). Some red flags in the first year could include not bringing hands to mouth, making no attempt to reach for or hold objects, the absence of bringing both hands together in play or weakness in the ability to hold onto objects. Capernaum Pediatric Therapy of Edina uses a play-based approach to help children achieve developmental milestones and maximize their functional potential. This article was inspired by occupational therapists/teachers, including Mary Benbow, Rhoda Erhardt and Maryanne Bruni. MacPhail Center for Music MNP 0917 2-3page_#2.indd 1

8/8/17 3:32 PM

Mary Rose and Laura NANA & MAMA

An easy-peasy first party MAMA: One day, when I was dropping Kellan off at daycare, his teacher asked me how I felt about him turning 1 in a few weeks and the upcoming switch to the next-stage daycare room. I looked around the infant classroom that had been his home for the past nine months and it hit me that he was no longer one of the youngest babies in the room: He was among the oldest! After some reflection with my spouse about how quickly the last year had gone, we began to plan Kellan’s first birthday party. A quick Google search for ideas had us completely overwhelmed. We found Pinterest boards showcasing extravagantly themed — and expensive — parties. It was inspiring, but it seemed like way too much for a child who wouldn’t understand or remember much, if anything. So my spouse and I opted for a more low-key, low-budget approach. We were lucky enough to have the help of both of Kellan’s grandmas in planning and hosting the party. Since our house is far too small to comfortably fit more than four adults, we had the party at my in-laws’ home. We used to send invitations and told our family and friends we’d have an open-house style party from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. They were welcome to come whenever they could — and leave whenever they wanted. This worked especially well for all of our friends who have young kids and needed to work around nap schedules, soccer games and other obligations. Because we’re trying to take a more minimalistic approach to Kellan’s toy collection — and to ensure the party wasn’t focused on present-opening — 28

September 2017 •

Laura, somewhat flippantly, responded: ‘How about a ‘My son is turning 1, so come over for some cake,’ theme?’

Get the recipes! Learn how to make Cat in the Hat Cookies at cat-hat-cookies; check out our In the Kitchen department on Page 32 for Nana’s Homemade Mac and Cheese recipe; go to to see the recipe for Uncle Tyler’s Addictive Guacamole.

we asked for no gifts. As Nana explains below, the party went off without a hitch! Laura’s lessons learned: Beware the pressure of Pinterest; plan a party that matches your (and your partner’s) style. And don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for help.

NANA: One of the ways I soften the blow of saying goodbye to my daughter and her family at the end of our visits, is to quickly plan the next trip. So as the little family prepared to leave Minnesota for Colorado after the holidays, I asked my husband to book us flights to Denver for our grandson’s first birthday in April: I just couldn’t miss it! As I reminisced about all the birthday parties I planned for my three kids over the years, I remembered how much work they could be, so I asked my daughter, “Is there something I can do to help? And what kind of theme are you considering?” Laura, somewhat flippantly, responded: “How about a ‘My son is turning 1, so come over for some cake,’ theme?” I knew I’d need to be strategic with my theme pitch: Since she's an educator, I suggested a Dr. Seuss / Cat in the Hat theme. She bit, and we were on our party-planning way! Laura and her mother-in-law, Jisele, and I each did some research and then shared our ideas in group emails. Next we listed

the duties and food options: • Send Evites four weeks prior. • Purchase Dr. Seuss-themed paper products, including wraps for cupcakes. • Gather multi-colored goldfish (One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish) and make Cat in the Hat treats — Oreo cookies layered with strawberries and bananas. (They were easy to make and a big hit with guests!) • Prepare guacamole and chips; homemade macaroni and cheese; beverages including root beer, fruit-infused water and a few adult drinks; and cupcakes. • Buy Dr. Seuss books to serve as party favors for each child. The day before the party, we met Laura’s in-laws for lunch and finalized plans.

The two grandmas did the grocery shopping, others ran to the liquor store and we all arrived the next morning a couple hours before the party to prepare the food. Even my son’s girlfriend’s parents visiting from California helped out! With all the busy hands, everything was ready by the time the doorbell rang. As expected, baby Kellan — the guest of honor — was oblivious to the preparations as he napped in the bedroom. When he awoke, the house was filling with wellwishers, and he good naturedly obliged everyone who wanted to hold him. Kellan instinctively knew he was supposed to make a mess with his cupcake, and he did, smashing it all over his smiling face. He looked happy, his parents looked proud, and since many of the guests lingered two hours past the open-house end time, the two grandmas high fived, and proclaimed it a successful party. Nana’s takeaways? Go easy-peasy on first birthday parties: Keep it simple, have a theme, consider an open-house format, accept all help and, of course, take lots of photos! Mary Rose Remington, a baby boomer and new grandmother, lives in Minneapolis. Her daughter, Laura Groenjes Mitchell — a millennial first-time mom — lives in Denver. They’ll be documenting their generational differences with this occasional series in both Minnesota Parent and its sister publication, Minnesota Good Age. • September 2017



Uniquely me By Kaitlin Ungs

Variety is the spice of life, and these books celebrate that fact. Being different is hard, especially for children who are trying to fit in or just beginning to understand societal norms. These books all feature lessons about how it’s important to be true to yourself and celebrate the diversity in life.

I’m a Girl! A little mouse who loves to be fast, loud and messy is often mistaken for a boy — even though she’s a girl. Then she meets a boy who likes playing with dolls, and together they decide that there’s no one they’d rather be than themselves. Ages 3–6 • $16.99

I Like Being Me

My Cousin Momo

This book of poems has it all — kindness and friendship, and lessons about making good choices, developing character and celebrating differences. As one poem says, “Boring, boring, boring / That’s what my world would be / If everybody looked and talked / And acted just like me.”

Momo is a flying squirrel who does things a little differently than the rest of his family. On superhero day, he dresses up as muffin man and no one understands. Other things come up, too, and he gets so frustrated he wants to leave. His cousins, however, eventually try things Momo’s way to see his perspective of the world. And it turns out Momo knows what he’s doing!

Ages 4–8 • $9.99

Ages 3–5 • $16.99


September 2017 •

Children Just Like Me Take a trip around the world with big, glossy photos of children from across the globe. If your little one is curious about what other kids in the world like to do, what they eat, where they live and what their families look like, this book is an endearing geography lesson. For each copy of this book sold, the publisher will donate a new, ageappropriate book to a child in need. Ages 3–10 • $19.99

Introducing Teddy What happens when your friend feels like a girl instead of a boy? This gentle story explores how a teddy bear — a Thomas who wishes he was a Tilly — navigates gender with friends and how children ultimately want their friends to be happy. Ages 3–6 • $16.99 • September 2017


S ’ e e s a D e n a E a N eM Ch m D o N H a

C a M

Throwing a gathering any time soon? This crowd-pleasing recipe — courtesy of our Nana & Mama columnists — is easy to double, and it’s kid friendly, too. Check out the latest Nana & Mama story on Page 28 in this issue! 32

September 2017 •

Ingredients ½ pound elbow macaroni, cooked al dente and drained 6 tablespoons butter, divided 3 tablespoons flour 1 tablespoon dry mustard 3 cups milk ½ cup yellow onion, finely chopped 1 bay leaf ½ teaspoon paprika 1 egg 12 ounces shredded cheddar cheese 1 teaspoon salt Pepper to taste 1 cup bread crumbs

Directions Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large pot. Whisk in flour and mustard, and keep stirring, about five minutes, until free of lumps. Stir in milk gradually, then add onion, bay leaf and paprika. Simmer 10 minutes; remove bay leaf. Slowly whisk in the egg, and stir in all but a few ounces of cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold in the macaroni and pour the mixture into a greased 2-quart baking dish or a 9-by-11-inch pan sprayed with oil. Top with remaining cheddar cheese. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a sauté pan and toss in bread crumbs to coat. Top macaroni with bread crumb mixture. Bake for 30–35 minutes or until golden brown on top. Remove from oven and rest 5–10 minutes before serving. Adapted from Alton Brown’s Baked Macaroni and Cheese at

Inspired by the Finnish tradition of baby boxes, an increasing number of parents are opting for the simplicity of a baby box as a newborn sleep solution.


September 2017 •

Photo courtesy of Finnbin

Think outside the crib a

a finnish tradition takes off in minnesota, giving parents a simple answer to the question: where should our newborn sleep?

By Laura Malm

manda Lindquist can see that her 2-month-old son, Jacob, is getting tired — yawning, fluttering his eyelids, rubbing his eyes. After he falls asleep her arms, she doesn’t move him to a crib. Rather, she reaches for a box tucked beside the couch. She lays him down inside its four cozy cardboard walls where he rests soundly for almost two hours. The concept of putting a baby in a box may sound odd to most people, but this isn’t just any box — this is a baby box designed specifically for safe newborn sleep. Lindquist, who lives in Duluth, adores hers and uses it frequently. “When I started using the box, I figured out quickly that it’s a great place for Baby to sleep because it’s easy to relocate the box to wherever I am,” she said. “On top of that, our son liked the smaller space from day one.”

Think outside the crib a solid start

Baby boxes may be a little-known concept in the U.S., but in Finland they’re just a part of the culture. For more than 80 years, expectant mothers in the Scandinavian country have received a baby box full of newborn necessities from the government. Each box, which includes a starter kit of essential supplies such as clothes, bibs and diapers, is lined with a mattress and provides a safe sleep space. According to a 2013 BBC article, “Why Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes,” Finland was a poor country in the 1930s, and infant mortality was high; 65 out of 1,000 babies died. But the figures improved rapidly in the decades that followed the introduction of baby boxes, plus improved prenatal care for all women in the 1940s, (and a national health insurance system and the central hospital network in the 1960s). Today Finland boasts one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world — 2 deaths per 1,000 live births, according to United Nations data, compared to 6 per 1,000 in the U.S. Every Finnish mother today gets the choice between receiving a baby box or taking a cash grant. Roughly 95 percent opt for the

Boxes, unlike most cribs and some bassinets, are small enough to fit next to a parent’s bed, or even next to a parent on the couch, making it an easy option to use throughout the day. Photo courtesy of Finnbin

box because it’s worth much more. Since the original BBC article was published four years ago, the story has been viewed 13 million times and — according to a follow-up story by the BBC — has sparked global interest in the idea, including new companies selling the boxes. Finnbin sells baby boxes ranging in price from $65 (including a sleeping pad, pad cover and fitted sheet) to $450 (fully stocked with items from trendy brands such as Aden+Anais, Skiphop, Chewbeads, FridaBaby and others). The Baby Box Co., based in Los Angeles, offers filled boxes from $69.99 to $225 and emphasizes free prenatal and infant-care education for parents with its Baby Box University portal online.

moved in minnesota

Inspired by the BBC article about Finland, women and men in many other countries have taken up the cause with new box projects to address infant mortality rates, such as the Barakat Bundle in India (which includes a mosquito net) and the Thula Baba Box in South Africa (a plastic box that can be used as a bath as well as a sleep space). In Scotland, all babies born after Aug. 15 of this year will receive a baby box, too, featuring a forest fairytale design including Highland cows, squirrels and the Loch Ness Monster, according to the BBC. In Minnesota, Danielle Selassie of Fridley decided in 2015 to start Babies Need Boxes, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization headquartered in Minneapolis with a goal of providing a safe and supported start in life for every child. For Selassie, the box and its contents are more than just

if we can get parents practicing safe sleep from the time the baby is first at home, we know that, longterm, parents will use these practices more consistently. — Danielle Selassie founder of Babies Need Boxes of Minneapolis

useful. She noted the last line of the BBC article that spoke to her so deeply: “The boxes are a symbol of equality and the importance of children.” “I wanted to show members of our community that we cared about their success as parents and to provide something that was meaningful,” Selassie said. “I thought that the baby boxes were a really practical way to provide tangible support and safe-sleep education to parents.” In the beginning, Babies Need Boxes took small steps toward big change — by providing baby boxes and newborn-care supplies to seven mothers at a Minneapolis high school. “It was a really powerful experience and showed me that there are some families in our community who start out with nothing — no diapers, no baby clothes and no safe sleep space for their baby,” Selassie said.   In November 2016, Babies Need Boxes expanded its efforts, thanks to a partnership with The Baby Box Co., which makes the boxes Selassie uses in her packages. “We now offer baby boxes to any family in the Twin Cities Metro area, regardless of demographic or socio-economic status,” Selassie said. Mothers-to-be who are interested in boxes are asked to complete an online class via the Baby Box University, featuring information about box safety, sleep guidelines, vaccines, breastfeeding, car seat use, shaken baby syndrome and prenatal and infant health, all presented on video by physicians and other experts. (Anyone can access the educational content.) Mothers who complete the class, which takes about 20 minutes, then receive a certificate to present at a pick-up location in the Twin Cities. They also receive access to more than 7,000 videos on a wide range of topics through Baby Box University. Selassie said: “By engaging families in conversations and education related to safe sleep practices, newborn care and other information, we hope to arm people with not only the tangible support Hennepin County Human Services MNP 0917 2-3page.indd 1

8/3/17 4:08 PM • September 2017


Think outside the crib needed to be successful, but with valuable information needed to feel confident as they start out or continue as parents.”

a co-rooming solution

Another factor that may significantly boost the boxes’ popularity is the American Academy of Pediatrics’ 2016 recommendation that parents and babies share the same room — but not the same bed — for the first six months (optimally the first year) to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Boxes, unlike most cribs and some bassinets, are small enough to fit next to a parent’s bed, or even next to a parent on the couch, making it an easy option to use throughout the day. “Initially I thought I would only use the baby box for naps,” Lindquist said. “I had hoped he would sleep in his crib at night, but I quickly discovered that the baby box was super convenient.” She could set it up in the living room while she played with her older son, who is 3. “We put it on the dining room floor while we ate, so Baby could be nearby,” Lindquist said. “At night, Baby is right next to me in his box. It’s been great.” Baby boxes, which are relatively low cost when compared to bassinets, can also help parents adhere to the AAP’s other sleep guidelines: Place baby on his or her back on a firm sleep surface such as a crib or bassinet with a tight-fitting sheet. Avoid the use of soft bedding, including crib bumpers, blankets, pillows and soft toys.

long-term, parents will use these practices more consistently.” The Baby Box Co. assures parents on its website that the boxes are free of “PBDE flame retardants, ozone depleters (CFCs), formaldehyde, prohibited phthalates, mercury, lead or heavy metals.” The Baby Box Co. plans to introduce a stand sometime in late 2017 to accompany the baby boxes as an accessory. The AAP’s website doesn’t recommend boxes, nor does it warn against them: “Currently, there is insufficient data on the role cardboard boxes play in reducing infant mortality. Finland does experience a low infant mortality rate, but they have never collected data on the possible role of cardboard boxes. There are many factors that may contribute to the country’s low infant mortality rate — women receive excellent prenatal care; there is very little smoking in the country; and almost all babies sleep on their backs.”

going nationwide

The grassroots efforts of Babies Need Boxes have already expanded beyond the Twin Cities. Inspired by a KARE 11 news story about the organization, Lindquist reached out to Selassie to see how she could help. Today she’s the director of “Northland Operations,” including Duluth. There are also Babies Need Boxes chapters in Ohio, Iowa and North Carolina. Babies Need Boxes is also registered in Canada and the United Kingdom. Other individuals and organizations, meanwhile, are starting their own programs across the U.S., including the University Health System in San Antonio, which expects to provide 400,000 free baby boxes to new mothers in the coming year in partnership with The Baby Box Co. Programs are also in the works in select parts of Massachusetts, California, New York and Missouri. And perhaps most striking of all, government agencies are

are baby boxes safe?

While there are currently no mandatory safety standards for the baby boxes, The Baby Box Co. voluntarily complies with bassinet safety standards as determined by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Of course, just like a bassinet, a baby box isn’t meant to be a long-term sleep solution. As a general rule, when an infant can roll over or stand up it’s time for a new safe sleep space, typically at about 5 or 6 months of age. “They are intended to start parents off with good safe sleep habits from the beginning,” Selassie said. “If we can get parents practicing safe sleep from the time the baby is first at home, we know that,


September 2017 •

↑↑Filled Finnbin boxes, which range from $189 to $450, come with items from brands such as Aden+Anais, Bamboobies, Chewbeads, Dapple, KicKee Pants, Magnificent Baby, ONE condom and SkipHop.

Learn more

Only S tride Rite loc ati open in on the Twin C ities




Closest parking: upper level between Macy’s & JCPenney • 651-633-6821

Stride Rite - Rosedale MNP 0917 12.indd 1

8/10/17 8:34 AM

Photo courtesy of The Baby Box Co.

taking notice: According to a story from CNN, The Baby Box Co. this year is partnering with New Jersey’s Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Board — using a grant from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention — to give out 105,000 baby boxes in 2017 to help every baby born in the state. Selassie dreams of a much broader program in Minnesota, too. “My hope for the next year is that we are able to develop a network across the state of Minnesota to get safe sleep education and baby boxes into the hands of every parent,” Selassie said. “Five years from now, my hope is that every family has access to a baby box.” Laura Malm is a writer, editor and storyteller who lives in Woodbury with her husband and two daughters. • September 2017


Meredith Westin Photography + Birth Services /


September 2017 •

A moment in time Should you open up your birth experience to a camera? After trying it with my third, my answer is … absolutely! BY CHRISTINA RIES

A moment in time


e go to great lengths to photograph life’s big moments — those first smiles and steps, all the birthdays, the start of each school year, graduation day, wedding vows. So why wouldn’t we capture the very first one, the beginning of it all? Yes, birth photography may seem like an act of exhibitionism to some — a cruel-and-unusual addition to an already painful process. (Surely the last thing needed by a woman mid-contraction is a wide-angle camera lens in her face or, ahem, elsewhere.) But it’s nothing like that, I can assure you. Earlier this year, my husband and I enlisted a birth photographer to document the arrival of our third child. It was a late-night, third-trimester decision.

Why now? Why our third and not our first or second? A friend had posted a few birth photos of her third-born — captured by Meredith Westin, a Minneapolis-based birth photographer. When I saw one of the black-and-white images on Instagram, I was moved. Struck by the look of joyful discovery in her husband’s eyes, leaning in to get the first glimpse of his newborn son. Awed by the heroism of my friend, fierce in labor and tender in receiving her baby. Envious that they had his arrival preserved forever — perfectly and permanently. A gift no one could ever take from them. A week later, Meredith and I met at a Caribou Coffee to go over the plan. She felt like both an old friend and a consummate professional, keen and sensitive. She pledged not to share any images publicly without my permission. She had good questions: What was I expecting for the birth? Would I want to know if I had mascara streaked down my cheeks? Were there certain regions I wanted her to keep out of the frame? Without hesitation, I gave her a carte blanche. Might as well do this full-fledged and edit or omit later. Meredith’s background prepares her well for this unique gig — a decade of photography experience (with a well-honed journalistic lean) and expertise in low-lit concert photography. She is even a trained doula! Christina Ries, accompanied by her husband, Ted, welcomed → overdue Archie after being induced — and then going through many stages of labor, including the use of oxygen and an epidural. Check out her blog at for her birth story (coming soon)!


September 2017 •

It’s a distinct privilege to be able to get pregnant and deliver a baby — and, in the long view of motherhood, such a fleeting stage. I want to hold it in my heart forever.


APPLE ORCHARD Apples, of course, and Apple Cider, Apple Bakery - A Family Outing -



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

City of Edina MNP 0917 12.indd 1

Capturing anticipation and wonder Meeting with Meredith had an unexpected effect: It filled me with excitement for labor. Of course, I was already eagerly anticipating our baby’s birth, yearning to see his face, learn his gender and snuggle him close. But meeting Meredith heightened the happiness factor. It’s nice to look forward to labor, to know you’ve added something sweet and special to it. I waddled out of the coffee shop with a spring in my step. Meredith became a welcome support system as the countdown ensued. I texted her updates and inklings. Mucus plug shed. Membranes stripped. Pressure mounting. Induction scheduled. Finally, 13 days after the original due date, which my OB bumped back, Archie arrived — 9 pounds, 11 ounces. Every labor has its own dramatic arc, and Meredith captured it all. Her pictures brought the blur of events into sharp focus, frozen in time. When I look at them, I remember anew. At the same time, I’m presented a much wider lens than I had from the hospital bed, revealing things I missed in real time. Ted’s ready support, his look of worry and wonder. I see the whole scene, intricately arranged to welcome and warm, snip and stitch.

Join us for our 8/15/11 Great Scarecrow Festival!

8/16/17 Pine 3:58 Tree PM Orchards MNP 0911 12.indd 1

11:12 AM

September 9th – October 29th, 2017

100+ scarecrows on display!

U-pick • Raspberries • Apples • Pumpkins

MINNESOTA’S DESTINATION FOR FAMILY FUN! Tour Groups are welcome! Educational & FUN tours! Make your reservation today! Tour info: 952-873-3006 Hwy 169 & Cty Rd 3, Belle Plaine MN Emma Krumbee's MNP 0917 H4.indd 1

Half Peck play area with a monster truck, pirate ship, tractor and train, mountain slide, live music, goat habitat and many new attractions!

visit our facebook & website for orchard updates & more! 8/10/17 12:02 PM • September 2017



birth photography

After having such an ideal birth-photography experience, I’m now quick to recommend birth photography to my pregnant friends. Surprisingly few of the moms-to-be I’ve mentioned it to were even considering it. Here’s what I discovered:


It’s prudent to confirm that your hospital is OK with birth photography and/or to note the presence of a photographer in your birth plan. Most medical professionals are fine with it, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. The team at United Hospital in St. Paul had no problem with it.


Knowing we were having the birth documented made me a bit more mindful of my appearance when labor felt imminent. There was no Kim Kardashian glam squad to enlist, but I found myself pulling out my flat iron and mascara wand during several false alarms. I appreciated the impetus to refresh during those difficult final days, even though I felt like a beached whale with lipstick!


Having a birth photographer present adds a layer of support to the labor experience, akin to having a doula in your room, advocating for you. (I’ve hired a doula before.) Somehow Meredith managed to be transparent — I wasn’t aware she was there — while also lending a comforting presence. She seemed to have perfect instincts on when to get up close and when to step back.


September 2017 •


A hired photographer’s presence relieves the husband (or partner) to do what he’s there for — supporting the woman in labor. Done right, this is an all-consuming job. Asking him to grab a camera and document Baby’s arrival takes him out of the moment, adding a regrettable distance and unfair burden.


The black-and-white that birth photographers use conceals a lot. It’s not gross or bloody. It’s artistic and photojournalistic.


A skilled birth photographer can work small miracles with angles, revealing the right parts and covering others. I look at Meredith’s photos and wonder: How did she do that? The fluorescent lighting in a hospital room is almost impossible for an amateur to bend to his or her will. Meredith’s photos made the room look positively celestial.


Birth photography preserves all the details that can be so readily wiped away from memory — the clock, the whiteboard, the heart-rate monitor, the scale, the crib card.


Documenting the intimate moments your child’s birth doesn’t automatically make you an oversharer. If you publish one modest, artistic black-and-white to Instagram, I guarantee it’ll be a huge hit — probably your most popular post of the year. But you also can keep all the other images — private, just for you.


You’ll cherish the “first glimpse” photos, as Meredith calls them, of the baby’s first visitors — a new grandparent, a newly promoted big sibling, a dear friend — a big part of your child’s birth story.


These images can function as a birth announcement. Meredith, who is known for her speedy turnaround, provided a sneak peek of our session within 24 hours of the birth. She said her clients often remark on what an awesome experience it is to gaze at the images so shortly after delivery — still in the hospital, exhausted and elated. I texted our preview link to various friends and relatives, which felt like the coolest possible way to break the news and also spared me the effort of tapping out the FAQs in between nursings, naps and nurse visits.

Keep your child safe.

More than 60,000 young children end up in emergency rooms every year because they got into medicines while their parent or caregiver was not looking. Always put every medicine and vitamin up and away every time you use it. Also, program your poison control center’s number in your phone: 800.222.1222.

To learn more, visit In partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Up and Away MNP 2012 Filler H6.indd 1

“Downtown Minneapolis is our backdrop...

3/27/12 4:52 PM

The Sculpture Gardens, Loring Park...our backyard.”

Since 1963 “Total Environment” Montessori School and Day Care Center, Inc. Full-time Care for 6 wks – 6 yrs of age Open 7:30am to 6pm, M–F Exceptionally low child to staff ratios Extra curriculum includes Music, Foreign Language and Physical Ed Onsite Chef serving lunch & 2 snacks with many organic options

Call or Email for a Tour • 1601 Laurel Street (next to the Basilica) 612-377-1698 • • Child Garden Montessori MNP 0917 H4.indd 2

8/16/17 10:31 AM

28th Annual Pumpkin Patch Festival Nelson Family Farm, Litchfield, MN Weekends & MEA

Sept. 23th–Oct. 29th MEA: Oct. 19th–20rd Saturdays & MEA 11am–5pm Sundays 12pm–5pm Nelson Farm MNP 0917 H4.indd 1

Visit Our Website For Special Events, Activities, Daily Schedule and Admission Fee 320-693-7750

8/1/17 3:06 PM • September 2017


A moment in time

A couple hours after Archie’s birth, his sisters came to meet him. Meredith captured the scene deftly — breathless peeks, flickers of uncertainty, big laughs. These images are among my favorites.

FIND A BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHER Check out a detailed directory of Minnesota birth photographers at

Sisters, meet your brother A couple hours after Archie’s birth, his sisters came to meet him. Meredith captured the scene deftly — breathless peeks, flickers of uncertainty, big laughs. These images are among my favorites. How remarkable it will be to one day show the kids: “This is when you met your brother!” I am so grateful for the pictures taken by Meredith, with help from Nicole Hollenkamp Photography, a knowledgeable mama and fellow birth photographer, who swooped in to cover until Meredith returned from a trip up north. It’s a distinct privilege to be able to get pregnant and deliver a baby — and, in the long view of motherhood, such a fleeting stage. I want to hold it in my heart forever. One day, when I’m well into menopause, when my babies are having babies, it will be so meaningful to have these images to harken back to the moment it all began. Christina Ries is a freelance writer who lives with her husband and three young children in Inver Grove Heights. To see more pictures of Archie, now 6 months old, visit her blog at Meredith Westin is Minneapolis-based birth photographer and doula. Learn more at

Children learn about language by listening and talking. Talk as you play and choose books that interest your children so you have more to talk about.

Songs slow down language so children can hear the sounds that make up words and learn the rhythm and rhyme of language.

Children who enjoy being read to are more likely to enjoy reading themselves, which increases their likelihood of success in school.

Provide your children with many opportunities to scribble, write and draw. By writing they learn that printed letters and words have sounds and meaning.

Children develop language skills by interacting with others and their physical surroundings.

Need books for babies? Make your next stop the library.

Come to one of the 101 public libraries in the seven-county Twin Cities metro to learn more!

Photo by Amanda Nesgood / A. Nesgood Photography


September 2017 •


Families who welcome rainbow babies — children born after infant loss, stillbirth or miscarriage — face unique challenges BY ABBIE BURGESS



eghan Marrinan Feliciano was due to give birth to her third child, a daughter named Sybil, in July 2016. The pregnancy went smoothly, the baby reached full term and the hospital bags were packed. She and her husband, Garrett, thought the early stages of labor had begun, but instead they received the devastating news that their baby no longer had a heartbeat. “I remember when the midwife told us there was no heartbeat, I still didn’t quite comprehend/accept that the baby had died,” Feliciano said. “I really needed her to spell it out.” An umbilical cord knot caused Sybil to be stillborn, forever redefining life for Meghan, Garrett, and their daughter, Josephine, nearly 5 at the time, and son, Harlan, almost 3. Despite their shock and overwhelming grief, all four Felicianos — plus Meghan’s parents and Garrett’s brother and sister-in-law — gathered to hold Sybil and say goodbye while a remembrance photographer with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep captured some of the moments on film. “The hospital gave us as much time as we wanted,” Feliciano

said. “We could have spent the night, but decided to be home when our older kids woke up in the morning.” They had time to meet with a chaplain, too; they even put Sybil into pajamas and did their kids’ bedtime routine with a story, prayers and two favorite songs. “Our family had one precious day as an almost-whole family,” Feliciano said.

Remembrance This year, as the first anniversary of Sybil’s birthing day approached, the Felicianos asked friends and family to do random acts of kindness in honor of Sybil, and then send her a birthday card sharing the experience. The resulting basket of cards grew day by day and gave the family something positive to focus on as they anticipated the difficult remembrance. On Sybil’s birthday, the Felicianos gathered in their St. Paul home to open the cards together. Just weeks earlier, they had welcomed a new baby, Walter. Josephine and Harlan ate birthday pie topped with one candle with a framed photo of Sybil propped beside them on their kid-sized table. Newborn Walter slept snugly nearby in a bouncy chair. Of the 1 million families in the U.S. who experience the loss of a pregnancy or infant, many conceive again. Between 50 and 80 percent of women who experience prenatal loss become pregnant again within 12 to 18 months. Babies born after such tragic losses hold an extra-special place

While Walter is truly a rainbow of hope, and all three of our living children bring us joy every day, this does not mean our storm of grief has passed. ↑↑The Feliciano family had a day to say hello and goodbye to baby Sybil, who was stillborn at full term in June 2016. Photo by Beth Hegney / Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep


September 2017 •

in most families’ hearts. There’s even a popular term for them — rainbow babies. But the birth of another child doesn’t erase the impact of loss on the family, Meghan Feliciano said. “While Walter is truly a rainbow of hope, and all three of our living children bring us joy every day, this does not mean our storm of grief has passed,” she said. “As I smile at Walter’s newborn quirks, my imagination has an easier time picturing Sybil, and missing her even more.”

Fear and courage For Feliciano, it was hard to fully enjoy being pregnant again with Walter. “We talked about the whole thing differently, using words like hope and if,” she said. “It was terrifying until the moment he came out.” Subsequent pregnancies after loss can be emotional and even traumatic for parents. Grief, confusion, anxiety, guilt and fear are all common emotions. Even a routine ultrasound can trigger these feelings, bringing up memories of the pregnancy before this one. Therapists specializing in grief and loss can be a benefit to the whole family. After all, children are far from oblivious, as Feliciano learned. When Feliciano was pregnant with Walter, little Josephine voiced concerns similar to Feliciano’s own by saying, “I’m excited for the baby. But — after Sybil — I’m afraid.” Harlan was a little more straightforward, asking on multiple occasions, “Is this baby gonna be dead, too?” “They add another layer of how to parent them through grief,” Feliciano said. Finding a local support group for mothers coping with the loss of a child — a Sisterhood of Loss group at Blooma in Minneapolis — offered some healing for Feliciano. Many of the other grieving parents in her group ended up being pregnant with rainbow babies, too, adding another step in their journey to navigate together.

Rainbow babies Kelly McDyre is the executive director of Faith’s Lodge, a retreat facility in Wisconsin offering programming for families coping with the death of a child. Seeing her clients return to Faith’s Lodge with their new babies is the most heartwarming part of her job. For McDyre, the term rainbow baby implies that grief can coexist with joy. “You can allow yourself to grieve and allow space in your heart to celebrate new life,” she said. The origin of calling children rainbow babies is unknown, but it’s become a universal metaphor for a baby born after the loss of a previous baby, like a rainbow brightening the sky after a storm.

↑↑Meghan Marrinan Feliciano of St. Paul — with her children, Harlan and Josephine — experienced a wide range of emotions during her fourth pregnancy. Photo by Anna Ayers Looby

After a photoshoot of mothers in brightly colored dresses holding their rainbow babies went viral in 2016, the phrase gained widespread use. “The term is one that is fairly recent, but very popular,” said McDyre, who sees the term as a way for parents to connect with others who have experienced loss. But it isn’t popular with everyone, which she learned after an article reposted on the Faith’s Lodge Facebook page received negative comments. Lindsey Henke, a licensed clinical social worker from Bloomington, founded Pregnancy After Loss Support (PALS) in 2014 after going through the experience herself. The online support group offers a way for people — even in rural settings or with limited schedules — to find that connection and community. Henke has mixed feelings about the trendiness of the term. She explains that some parents prefer their baby-to-be develop its own identity without a label of any kind. Others don’t like the implication that a rainbow makes everything better after the storm of grief. “This baby is a separate baby, not a replacement for the one that passed away,” she said. Her own rainbow baby, Zoe, was born 15 months after her daughter, Nora, was stillborn. “We talk about Nora, but it’s important to keep Zoe as her own person, so she doesn’t live in Nora’s shadow,” Henke said. Feliciano said she appreciates having a relatable term for new life after infant loss, but it runs the risk of coming off a bit too lighthearted or even “cutesie.” “It doesn’t really do justice to the long-term complexities of grief/losing a child,” Feliciano said. Since the term “rainbow baby” is so new, those bestowed the title have yet to reach preschool age. We don’t know yet how • September 2017



they’ll feel about their rainbow-colored childhoods. But qualitative research by Joann O’Leary at University of Minnesota suggests that children born after loss understand grief and death at an early age. They’re also emotionally sensitive, empathetic and perceptive. She considers these traits gifts from the siblings they never knew.

Creating cultural change In previous generations, miscarriage and stillbirth were all but invisible in society, a burden families carried mostly alone. The term rainbow baby is a step toward changing that by giving grieving parents a way to share their stories and connect with others who have experienced similar loss. Big Bang Theory actress Melissa Rauch recently wrote an emotional piece about her previous miscarriage and current pregnancy for Glamour. Reality Star Jamie Otis openly talked about her miscarriage on social media in 2016. Then in January, photos of a rainbow painted on her new baby bump received more than 62,000 likes on Instagram. A Los Angeles psychologist started a popular campaign, #IHadAMiscarriage, which has sparked conversation on social media. She also launched a line of rainbow-baby themed apparel for moms and kids. Legally, there have been changes, too. In 2005, Minnesota began offering birth certificates for stillborn babies. Beginning this year, the state of Minnesota became the fifth state to offer a one-time tax credit to parents who experience a stillbirth. Previously, there was almost no legal recognition for these children.

the family. Determined to find positives amidst the tragedy, she went back to educate the hospital about the importance of sensitivity and comfort for parents who are grieving the loss of an unborn child. “Be aware that from the moment of conception to birth, that’s their child,” she said. “Even if that’s not your belief, you have to be sensitive to that family.” Feliciano said her midwives and nurses handled her daughter’s 2016 death with profound empathy and professionalism. “Things are changing,” she said. “Our medical team acted with nothing but compassion as they shared the heartbreaking news of Sybil’s death, assisted me through labor, delivery and postpartum, and accompanied me through the ups and downs of Walter’s pregnancy and birth. I believe this treatment has had a huge impact on how Garrett and I have processed this tragedy — and welcomed Walter.”

What to say Knowing how to talk about infant loss involves a bit of a learning curve for most people. Even the innocent question, “How many children do you have?” is tough to answer. After struggling for years with how to reply, Kenney now proudly says, “Three on Earth, one in Heaven.” Her youngest child, Emmett, now 16, was born two years after losing her daughter, Sean. “We have so many blessings,” she said. “This little angel in heaven, she will always be part of our family.” Meghan Feliciano admits that despite her personal experience, even she isn’t always sure what to say to someone who is grieving. But she does know that it’s OK to talk about the loved one

Talking about loss Eighteen years ago, Kassy Kenney of St. Paul was a part of making changes for other grieving families. When she was six and a half months pregnant — and at the doctor for a routine ultrasound — she remembers the radiologist entering the room with the callous announcement: “Your fetus is unviable; we need to make a plan for termination.” An emergency C-section followed to deliver her stillborn daughter, Sean. Her living children, aged 2 and 4, were what got her out of bed during the foggy days of grief that followed. “The love gets you through it,” Kenney said, remembering neighbors who dropped food off and friends who checked in on


September 2017 •

↑↑Kassy Kenney of St. Paul and her husband, Mike Adam — parents to Maeve, 22, Liam, 20, Emmett, 16 — suffered a stillbirth (a daughter, Sean) before Emmett was born. When asked, “How many children do you have?” Kenney responds: “Three on Earth, one in Heaven.”

who is gone. She loves hearing Sybil’s name, “You don’t make me sad if you bring her up!” Missing Grace Foundation, a Minnesota-based organization supporting families after loss, offers an online guide on what to say and do if someone you know is grieving the loss of a child. It’s all right to admit that you don’t know what to do or say, and delayed acknowledgements can be better than none at all, the guide advises. “It will get better,” Kenney tells other grieving parents. “Time does help, but it doesn’t make it go away. It’s like my C-section that left a scar. But I can live with the scar.” Abbie Burgess is a Twin Cities freelance writer and lifestyle blogger at ↑↑Earlier this year, the Feliciano family of St. Paul welcomed baby Walter, who carries the newly popular term of “rainbow baby” because he arrived after the tragic stillborn loss of his sister, Sybil. Photo by Amanda Nesgood / A. Nesgood Photography


Organized by Angela Miller — the author of You Are the Mother of All Mothers — this online support community is for anyone suffering from the loss of a child, at any age/gestation and from any cause of death.


This newly established nonprofit organization offers support for those facing loss and resources for children who have lost a loved one.


Located in Resurrection Cemetery in Mendota Heights, this garden is open to people of all faiths as a place of healing, prayer and reflection.


Dedicated to helping every bereaved parent, sibling or grandparent, this national organization has local chapters throughout Minnesota.


This retreat center near Danbury, Wis., is for families who have lost a child — age 20 weeks or more gestation through 19 years — within the past three years.


Based in Rogers, Minn., this organization offers support groups, care baskets and other services for families experiencing a miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal loss.


Photographers with this group offer free on-call remembrance photography for families in Minnesota and around the world facing the untimely death of an infant.


Founded by a Bloomington mother, Pregnancy After Loss Support is an online community-support resource that helps women choose hope over fear while nurturing grief during a pregnancy after a previous loss.


Published in April, this award-winning memoir tells the story of Alexis Marie Chute, who lost her son, Zachary, in her arms at birth — and her emotional journey through pregnancy again. • September 2017



Birthing Centers


Creative Kids Academy

Especially for Children

Fairview offers everything you need for obstetric and pediatric care. From family planning to delivering an exceptional birth experience and beyond, The Birthplace and Fairview Clinics is an easy choice.

Creative Kids Academy provides exceptional early education for children 6 weeks to 12 years. We are NAEYC and MN Parent aware accredited. Our interactive enrichment programs such as Yoga, Spanish, Karate, Story Telling and Music are all FREE. Visit one of our 9 amazing locations!

For 41 years, Especially for Children has provided high quality, nurturing childcare and play-based education. Our programs foster children’s social, emotional, physical and cognitive development. Visit us to meet our caring, qualified teachers and see our programs in action.

Fairview Health Services



September 2017 •

Anoka, Apple Valley, Centerville, Elk River, Lexington, Maple Grove, Minnetonka, Mounds View, Orono 763-360-6730

Bloomington, Circle Pines, Coon Rapids, Eagan, Eden Prairie, Edina, Inver Grove Heights 952-857-1100 Kinderberry Hill Child Development Centers Highest-quality care and early education with a heartfelt dedication to nurturing intelligence. Our premier programs feature an experienced staff, onsite nurse, a commitment to health/nutrition and a custom curriculum designed to nurture brain development and emotional security. FT/PT, infants to pre-K. Six family-owned locations: Downtown Minneapolis, Eden Prairie, Edina, Plymouth, Roseville and Woodbury

Mis Amigos Spanish Immersion “Giving Children The World.” Serving ages 6 weeks to 5 years. Half- and Full-day options available. Native Spanish speaking teachers. Call or email to schedule a tour today! Parent Aware Highest Rating – 4 stars. NAEYC-accredited. Hopkins: 952-935-5588 Minnetonka: 952-935-5588 St. Paul: 651-728-3261

Pregnancy & Postpartum Support Minnesota MN Chapter of Postpartum Support International

New Horizon Academy New Horizon Academy is a Minnesota family-owned childcare program that provides exceptional childcare to over 7,000 children, ages 6 weeks through 4th grade, every day! All eligible programs are accredited through NAEYC and hold a 4 star rating through Parent Aware.

There is help available. You do not have to suffer or go it alone! Text-Call-Email HelpLine 612-787-PPSM (7776)


Parent Aware Parent Aware helps families find the quality care and education their children need to succeed. Parent Aware is a search partner. We work side-by-side with families, offering free resources to help them make informed choices about high-quality care and education.

Pregnancy Postpartum Support MNP 0917 12.indd 1

7/26/17 2:00 PM

Statewide Locations 888-291-9811

baby. kid. modern. local. north loop 612.623.8123 highland park 651.330.8747 50th and france 952.767.6565 city center skyway 612.767.6330 • September 2017

Pacifier MNP 0917 4.indd 1


8/10/17 8:44 AM

BABY RESOURCES ADVERTISER LISTINGS Playworks Playworks is the South Metro’s premier provider of quality childcare and family fun. Offering certified teachers, state-ofthe-art facilities, and excellent care options, Playworks is a safe and exciting place for your child to play, laugh and learn. 2200 Trail of Dreams Prior Lake 952-445-PLAY (7529)


Dentistry for Children & Adolescents Our dentists and team members are committed to providing your child with the highest standard of pediatric dental care from birth to age 19. We believe with


September 2017 •

good home care, regular dental visits and preventive procedures, your child can grow up cavity free. 7373 France Ave S #402 Edina 952-831-4400 14050 Nicollet Ave S #100 Burnsville 952-435-4102 6060 Clearwater Dr #210 Minnetonka 952-932-0920

Maplewood Pediatric Dentistry At Maplewood Pediatric Dentistry, our pediatric dentists and their team provide gentle encouragement in a child-friendly atmosphere to children ages 1–18. We build trust with your child, so that he or she will love going to the dentist now and forever.

1915 Cty Rd D E Maplewood 651-779-9002


Minnetonka Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) Explore new parenting experiences, meet other families, and grow and learn together with your child. ECFE serves all families with children ages birth to kindergarten. Get the information, friendship, and support you need parenting a young child. 4584 Vine Hill Rd Excelsior 952-401-6812

Fitness St. Paul Ballet

This non-profit, community dance school offers lessons for ages 2–100, year-round for all income levels and abilities! Children ages 7+ perform in two major shows yearly; winter and a Spring Showcase of students. Birthday parties and drop-in classes available. 655 Fairview Ave N St. Paul 651-690-1588

Resources Better Beginnings

Postpartum doulas and lactation professionals specializing in premier day or night in-home support for families welcoming new babies. Advanced training and experience supporting families with multiples! Lactation home visits, oncall sibling care during birth, placenta encapsulation, private classes, and gift cards also available. 651-747-6954

Help Me Grow MN Young children grow, learn and change all the time. Keep track of the developmental milestones your child reaches. If you have concerns about your child’s development, talk to your doctor or refer your child to Help Me Grow MN. 866-693-4769

Hennepin County Foster Care & Adoption Kids come into foster care for a variety of reasons, but they all have one thing in common: They deserve a safe, stable place to grow and heal while their parents work through their issues. Foster a childhood today. 612-348-5437

Minnesota Department of Health WIC Program The Minnesota WIC Program provides nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding support, referrals, and healthy foods to income eligible women (pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum), infants, and children up to the age of 5. 85 East 7th Pl, Ste 220 St. Paul 651-201-4404 • September 2017



St. David’s Center for Children & Family Development St. David’s Center, a leader in early childhood education and early intervention and treatment. Our Minnetonka Center includes an inclusive preschool, pediatric therapy clinic (speech, OT, feeding therapies), autism center and children’s mental health clinic. 3395 Plymouth Rd Minnetonka 952-548-8700


September 2017 •


Bellies to Babies


Bellies to Babies offers tens of thousands of previously loved maternity clothes throughout our 4 Twin Cities locations. Plus, get cash on the spot for selling your items back to us. Visit our website for the whole scoop.

An urban baby + kid boutique offering gifts, clothing (up to size 8 years), toys + gear. Shop 4 Twin Cities locations or at Free in-store pickup always available, too.

Richfield: 6634 Penn Ave S 612-869-0164 Hopkins: 912 Mainstreet 952-935-2944 St. Paul: 965 7th St W 651-224-2867 Osseo: 8833 Jefferson Hwy 763-420-1066

North Loop Minneapolis (flagship): 612-623-8123 Highland Park in St. Paul: 651-330-8747 50th & France in Edina: 952-767-6565 Pacifier City Center Skyway: 612-767-6330

Kinderberry Hill MNP 0917 H4.indd 1

Stride Rite Rosedale Center The only Stride Rite store open in the Twin Cities area. Locally owned and operated for over 38 years. Come stop by and see us in our new location on the upper level of Rosedale Center, near JCPenney! Hours: Mon–Sat 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.–6 p.m. 1595 Hwy 36 W Roseville 651-633-6821

8/8/17 3:42 PM

Since 1968! The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends the first dental visit should occur shortly after the first tooth erupts and no later than the child’s first birthday.

The GREATEST gift you can give your child is the gift of healthy teeth! Edina 952-831-4400 Burnsville 952-435-4102 Minnetonka 952-932-0920


COMPLIMENTARY NEW PATIENT EXAM Please mention offer code “Baby” when calling to schedule an appointment at our offices. Please note: for all family members 15 and under; first time patients. Offer does NOT include cleaning or x-rays.

Dentistry for Children MNP 0417 H4.indd 1

3/23/17 12:41 PM • September 2017



SEPT. 15–OCT. 8

Photo By Deen van Meer


⊲ This Disney Theatrical production, adapted from the Oscar-winning animated film, makes its Minnesota premiere, including many of the cherished songs from the original movie soundtrack. More than 100 moving lights and 300 costumes animate the show, along with special pyrotechnic effects and a magic carpet that actually flies. When: Sept. 15–Oct. 8 Where: Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis

AUG. 26

Cost: Tickets start at $39 Info:

SEPT. 8–10

SEPT. 8–OCT. 29

Monarchs in the Prairie

Taste of Greece

Sever’s Fall Festival

⊲ Find out why and how monarchs are tagged, learn about their magnificent migration and see them in their lifecycle stages at this free, all-ages, drop-in program.

⊲ Enjoy live music, dancing, cultural events, church tours, authentic food and desserts and a Greek boutique at this annual festival.

⊲ Bask in Minnesota’s favorite fall traditions, including corn and hay-bale mazes, an exotic petting zoo, a giant slide, pumpkin blasters, pig races, zip lines, a gourd walk and many other activities.

When: 1–3 p.m. Aug. 26 Where: Maplewood Nature Center, Maplewood Cost: FREE Info:


September 2017 •

When: Sept. 8–10 Where: St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church, Minneapolis Cost: Admission is free. Food tickets are $1 each. Bring three nonperishable food items to receive two free food tickets. Info:

When: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays Sept. 8–Oct. 29, plus Oct. 19–20 Where: Shakopee Cost: $15 for ages 4 and older at the door. Go online for discounted tickets and coupons. Info:

Minnesotan and Latin food.


Bellyrama ⊲ Celebrate 10 years of bellies, mamas, community and yoga at Blooma with this annual event, featuring activities for all ages, such as yoga and a family dance party. When: 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Sept. 9 Where: Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis Cost: FREE Info: RSVP on bloomayoga.

Minneapolis Monarch Festival ⊲ Honor the Monarch butterfly’s amazing 2,300-mile migration from Minnesota to the mountains of Mexico with live music, a parade, dance performances, art activities and games conducted in Spanish and English, plus

SEPT. 15–17

When: 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Sept. 9 Where: 49th Street and Woodlawn Boulevard., Minneapolis Cost: FREE Info:

Nativity County Fair ⊲ This 43rd-annual event in the Macalester-Groveland neighborhood features rides, games, food, beverages, an art market, creative activities, bingo and ongoing live entertainment.

SEPT. 15–16

St. Paul Oktoberfest ⊲ Enjoy beer, bratwurst and authentic cuisine at this annual event, showcasing the centuries-old German traditions of bed races, dachshund races, live music, polka dancing, games and family fun. When: Sept. 15–16 Where: Historic Schmidt Brewery, St. Paul Cost: FREE Info:

When: Sept. 15–17 Where: Nativity of our Lord Parish & School, St. Paul Cost: Admission is free. Info:

SEPT. 15–OCT. 15

The Abominables

⊲ Minnesota’s unique youth hockey culture is the star of this one-of-a-kind world-premiere musical, created by and for Minnesotans. Geared toward ages 8 and older, the story follows Mitch, who’s



t iologisming Office d u A d o e Licens arm & Welc in a W

MN Kid Photographer!

We offer Pediatric Care!


We Specialize in Them Classes for Couples & Parents Miscarriage Support Group

• Mild hearing loss impacts development of language & speech. • State law provides hearing benefits for children 18 years and younger.



Licensed Audiologist 20+ Years Experience

952.767.0672 |

Pregnancy & Postpartum Depression & Anxiety Labor & Delivery Anxiety & Difficult Birth Recovery New Roles / New Identities, Creating Balance Couples Counseling & Parenting Issues Infertility / Perinatal Loss / Adoption

The Postpartum Counseling Center

Offices in Mpls, St. Paul & Edina

(612) 296-3800

Conveniently located at Hwy 100 & 36th St in St. Louis Park, MN 55416

Professional Services Directory MNP 0917.indd 1 Chears Audiology MNP SPEC 2.36x3.95.indd 1 12/16/16 12:44 PM

8/17/17 12:55 PM • September122/20/16 2017 2:24 PM Postpartum Counseling Center MNP 0117 2.96x3.95.indd


Party in the Prairie ⊲⊲Experience local flavors, super-fun outdoor activities and live Americana, folk and bluegrass performances in a beautiful setting at this beloved annual event. When: 3–8:30 p.m. Sept. 23 Where: Richardson Nature Center, Bloomington Cost: Tickets are $9 for ages 2 and older Info: (capacity is limited); $7 tickets are available at North Face retail locations in the Twin Cities.

always played on the A team, but is worried he might get sent down to the B team. When a young hockey-playing yeti appears at Bantam tryouts, things go from bad to worse. When: Sept. 12–Oct. 15 Where: Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis Cost: Tickets start at $15; $5 lap passes are available for children newborn to 3 years. Info:

SEPT. 16

Lantern Lighting Celebration ⊲⊲Families are invited to honor deceased loved ones by decorating and releasing a floating lantern in their memory. Celebratory activities include live music,


September 2017 •

food trucks and a nondenominational remembrance ceremony. When: 5 p.m.–8 p.m. Sept. 16 Where: Lakewood Cemetery, in Uptown Minneapolis Cost: A $5 donation is requested for each lantern. Info: Reserve a lantern by registering for the event in advance at

Wild Rice Festival ⊲⊲Celebrate wild rice and Native American culture at this annual gathering, featuring activities, educational presentations, engaging exhibits and food trucks. View historical vignettes, including a replica tipi with representative artifacts of traditional Dakotah life as well as honey-extraction

and cider-pressing demonstrations. When: 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Sept. 16 Where: Harriet Alexander Nature Center, Roseville Cost: FREE Info:

Excelsior Apple Day ⊲⊲This Lake Minnetonka street festival features live music and local art, crafts, food vendors and a kids’ corner, plus a pie-eating contest, a wine and beer garden and an old fashioned street dance in the evening. When: Sept. 16 Where: Downtown Excelsior Cost: FREE Info:

SEPT. 23

Get Out and Grow ⊲ Explore the outdoors, participate in children’s activities and visit food trucks at this 11th-annual fall festival, preceded by a 5K Fun Run along picturesque Minnehaha Creek. When: 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Sept. 23 Where: St. David’s Center, Minnetonka Cost: FREE. Race fees apply. Info:

Museum Day Live! ⊲ Smithsonian magazine’s annual event includes free admission to many museums nationwide, including more than a dozen Minnesota destinations, such as The Works in Bloomington and Gibbs Farm in St. Paul. When: Sept. 23 Where: Minnesota Cost: FREE. Downloadable tickets, good for two people each, are required. Info: museumday

SEPT. 24

Czech and Slovak Festival ⊲ Savor the sights, sounds and flavors of Czech, Slovak, Bohemian and Moravian cultures at this annual festival with live music, ethnic food and beer, folk dance performances, children’s games, craft booths and more. When: 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Sept. 24 Where: CSPS Hall, St. Paul Cost: FREE Info: • September 2017


SEPT. 23–OCT. 29

SEPT. 24

Twin Cities Harvest Festival and Maze

Washburn Games ⊲ At this annual fund-raiser, ages 4 to 12 can take part a sports sampler featuring more than 20 different sports activities. All registered participants receive a T-shirt, medal and goodie bag. Proceeds benefit Washburn Center for Children, a nonprofit organization helping kids struggling with emotional challenges.

⊲ Check out Minnesota’s largest corn maze, plus a corn pit, straw bale maze, live music, petting zoo, hayrides and more. This year’s maze offers visitors a chance to honor the Minnesota Vikings, who will be vying for a chance to play in Super Bowl LII at their very own U.S. Bank Stadium.

When: 1:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. Sept. 24 Where: Bryn Mawr Meadows, Minneapolis Cost: $10 in advance, $15 at the event Info: Register at

Cost: $10 per person online or $12 at the gate; children shorter than 36 inches can attend for free. Info:

When: 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays Sept. 23–Oct. 29, plus Oct. 19 and 20 Where: Brooklyn Park


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

Catalina’s Preschool Spanish

Your child is a natural... Playing

Southwest Mpls/Linden Hills


Ages 3–Adult



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


Free Preview Classes

Call 952-935-5588 and schedule a tour!

Locations in Hopkins, Minnetonka, and St. Paul Mis Amigos MNP 0116 2cx2.2.indd 1

Catalina's Preschool Spanish MNP 12/16/16 0117 1cx1.indd 9:44 AM 1

CHILDREN’S YAMAHA MUSIC SCHOOL Celebrating Over 40 Musical Years in Minnesota!

SAFETY. HOPE. HEALING. • 612-339-2255 Schools in Edina & Roseville

12/4/15 Children's 1:56 PM Yamaha MNP 0615 2cx2.2.indd 1


Creative Kids Academy

5/15/15 10:45 Tubman AMCenter MNP filler 1cx1.indd 7/19/17 1 9:55 AM

Imagine the Possibilities... Early Education * 6 Weeks–12 Years






Free Music, Spanish, Yoga, Storytelling and Karate!

sing. play. learn.

Bring Growing With Music to your child care program or playgroup! ~

Anoka * Apple Valley * Centerville * Lexington * Maple Grove Minnetonka * Mounds View * Orono NEW LOCATION — Elk River! 763-441-5550 844-ckakids email: Nationally accredited and Parent Aware 4 star rated

MNP 0917 Classifieds.indd 1


September 2017 •

Growing With Music MNP 0616 3cx2.2.indd 1

8/17/17 12:54 PM 5/9/16 Creative 2:00 PM Kids Academy MNP 0617 2cx2.2.indd 1

4/24/17 4:26 PM

CHILDCARE/EDUCATION Learning Center & Day Care|6 Wks - School Age



March 2017

Family Owned, Family Run Since 1985

8736 Nicollet Ave S, Bloomington


Rainbow Montessori MNP 0816 2cx1.indd 2

for Real advice S MOM

g 30 Page

NEW Page 12

April 2017




age 36 Page

Design a

Baked gus aspara fries


2 g 42 Page

Page 28

Learn to SAIL Page 46


the Maternity issue

Easter fun for kiddos!

Become a

Page 62


Page 8



I Natalie Nyhus, Minneapolis

Page 52




Page 32

6 Page 56

Get SOCIAL Page 60




Page 66


4 C Calvin, Eden Prairie


Get Minnesota Parent delivered to your home

5:50 PM

log on now to

Page 42

Questions? Call 612.825.9205

Granola apple stacks Page 30

MNP 0317.indd


MNP 0417.indd


3/23/17 3:47 PM

7/18/16 Subscriptions 3:18 PM MNP 2017 3cx1 filler.indd 1

ONLY $12.00 for one year (12 issues)

5/23/17 2:51 PM

Rainbow Montessori


Go back in TIME

MN MUSIC HALL of FAME AT YOUR PARTY! Choose band size &/or Panda! • Music for all ages available! • Special rates for flexible scheduling • (612) 861-3570


GreatBand timesMNP for all0717 ages 2cx2.2.indd at Teddy Bear 1

Year Round Riding Lessons Available for All Ages Horse Camp · Birthday Parties Rosemount, MN


6/22/17 Party 2:51 PM Resources MNP 2013 1cx2.2 7/29/15 filler.indd 10:11 Sunnyside AM 1 Stables MNP 0216 2cx2.2.indd 1

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

1/21/16 1:32 PM

- Rockin’ Reptiles - Botany & The Beast B-DAY - Buggy Birthday BASH! - Crazy About Cats - Polar Bears & Friends - Party With The Primates - Zebras, Giraffes & Foxes, Oh My! •

7 party themes to choose from For children ages 1 & up

Reserve your fun! 651.487.8272 or visit

Como Zoo MNP 0917 1cx2.indd 8/16/17 1 Davey 2:32 PM Doodle MNP 0817 2cx2.2.indd 1

7/14/17 4:09 PM

You can empower young people to succeed in the global economy. Volunteer with Junior Achievement.



Junior Achievement MNP 2011 2cx1 filler.indd 1 MNP 0917 Classifieds.indd 2

9/21/11 5:54 PM 8/17/17 12:54 PM • September 2017



Soccer stars! ↑↑Benton, 5, of Blaine

↑↑Aubrey, 3, of River Falls, Wis.

↑↑Dylan, 2, of Eagan

↑↑Cal, 6, of New Hope

↑↑Dominic, 5, of Bloomington

↑↑Henry, 4, of West St. Paul Want to see your kid on this page? Send photos with your child’s first name, age and city to


September 2017 •

September 2017  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you