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Caring for Your Child’s Teeth • page 6 Picking a Preschool • page 14 A Pep Talk for Moms • page 20


Please take this issue with you!

Publisher’s Letter Summer is here, after our once in 100 years winter!


have many wonderful memories of my childhood summers in Annapolis—swimming, boating and fishing. We’re fortunate to live in an area that provides us with so many ways to keep our families active, entertained, healthy and happy. Speaking of health and happiness ... in this issue, Jenny Hoffman advises fellow-parents on how to keep their children’s teeth pearly white and cavity free. Jenn Morson provides some guidance—and reassurance—on finding, choosing and enrolling your Little Einstein in preschool. And Melissa Stanton gives all moms a big pat on the back. Struggling with gift ideas for Mother’s and Father’s Day? Check out “Check it out” for suggestions of presents you might want to give—or get! Have a fun and safe summer! Kim O’Brien


Nesting • May/June 2010

Contents 6 Say Ahh!

What you need to know about caring for your child’s teeth

14 Choosing the

right preschool

Nesting advice for sorting through our area’s many fine options

20 You’re a Mom—

and so much more!

A pep talk for both new and veteran mothers

26 Nesting Support 30 Check it out! Gifts for Moms and Dads

Win a Nesting bag! Share your local “Mom Wisdom” in 75 words or less Recommend a playground, shop, book, mom’s club, destination, etc. Selected tips will appear in a future issue of Nesting, and each winner will receive our environmentally-friendly ChicoBag shopping tote. Email your wise words to featherpublishing@ (Include your name, town and contact information.)


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Publisher Kim O’Brien Creative director Molly Zlokovitz Design Contributors Jenny Hoffman, Kathryn Hope Jenn Morson, Melissa Stanton distribution manager Kernan Bussiere editorial Consultant Cory Place Communications Advertising design Consultant Jennifer Goodman, JGoGraphics Published bimonthly by Feather Publishing P.O. Box 613 Crownsville, MD 21302 Phone: 410.923.2310 Email: The acceptance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement by Nesting of products or services. The publisher reserves the right to reject any advertisement or listing that is not in keeping with the policies or standards of this publication. Feather Publishing assumes no financial responsibility for errors in advertisements. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any part of Nesting by any means without permission is strictly prohibited.

Cover Photograph by Catherine Pelura Pictured: Emily and Leah Ghasdisha, ages 4 and 2, at Homestead Gardens in Davidsonville. Nesting is a registered trademark of Feather Publishing.

Say Ahh! What you need to know about caring for your child’s teeth By Jenny Hoffman

“You don’t have to brush all your teeth— just the ones you want to keep!” My mom kept that quote tacked onto our refrigerator when I was growing up. Once I had a child of my own, I found that I needed a bit more information about caring for her teeth. 6

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FACT: Parents should start brushing their child’s teeth as soon as those teeth erupt. Annapolis-based dentist Nilda Collins, D.D.S., specializes in children’s dentistry. She recommends that brushing start as soon as there are teeth to brush. Her website (drcollinsannapolis. com) provides the following advice: “Use a small piece of wet gauze or a washcloth

to wipe away plaque on your infant’s teeth. And avoid using fluoridated toothpaste on your child until he or she reaches the age of two.” FACT: Parents should floss their child’s teeth. It’s never too early to begin flossing. Daily flossing is an excellent Continued on the next page

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complement to your child’s brushing routine, and it’s a proven method for helping to prevent cavities, periodontal disease, and other dental problems later in life. FACT: A child should make his or her first visit to the dentist by the first birthday. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that infants visit a dentist as soon as their first teeth begin to erupt. Why so early? According to Vickii BinghamLester, D.D.S., who has a general dentistry practice in Gambrills (, the purpose is to educate both the patient and the parents. “It’s like going to school the first day. Your child might be apprehensive the first time, but you’re building a better foundation for long-term care,” she explains. As for educating parents, Dr. Bingham-Lester says, “I recommend no bottles at bedtime, for example. Parents generally know that already, but if you call them out in person they’re more likely to follow the advice.” To prepare a child for a trip to the dentist, Dr. Bingham-Lester suggests parents bring their children with them to their own appointments. She also recommends giving your son or daughter a book or video about visiting the dentist. “There’s a Dora book, Show me Your Smile!, that goes through all the instruments and X-rays,” she says, “You can choose a character your kid likes.” Many first visits are nothing more than introductory ice breakers to acquaint your child with the dentist and the practice. Parents can help their children feel more confident by remaining patient and calm themselves. Continued on the next page

Your Child’s First Dental Appointment An initial examination will typically include: • A gentle but thorough examination of the teeth, jaw, bite, gums, and oral tissues to monitor growth and development and observe any problem areas. • If needed, a gentle cleaning, which includes polishing teeth and removing any plaque, tartar build-up, and stains. • X-rays • A demonstration of proper dental hygiene. • An assessment of the need for fluoride.

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Scheduling the appointment early in the day when your child isn’t tired may be a good idea as well. FACT: Pediatric dentists specialize in the specific oral health concerns of children. However, not all children need to see a pediatric dentist.

Common Symptoms of a Cavity • A painful toothache • Higher sensitivity in teeth too hot or cold • The presence of decay, such as white spots • Tooth discolorations


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Ashley Fuchs of Crofton, a pediatric nurse and mother of two, takes her children to a family dentist. “I look for warm, personable staff-people who treat us as a family, know us as a family and show an obvious interest in children,” she explains. “I look for people who know how to talk to children, who know how to make the experience fun and exciting.” And how do Fuchs’s son, age 3, and daughter, 7, fare during dental visits? “My kids look forward to going to

the dentist. They’re never scared, they’re excited,” says Fuchs. Dr. Bingham-Lester refers patients to a pediatric dentist if they show signs of severe bruxism (teeth grinding), baby bottle tooth decay, or serious apprehension and discomfort about being treated. “A good dentist knows his or her limits,” she explains. FACT: Children are more susceptible to cavities than adults. But since cavities aren’t always painful, it’s important to schedule your child for regular, routine dental visits. Left untreated, cavities can lead to serious problems, such as infection, deterioration, and even the loss of the tooth itself. FACT: A child’s toothbrush should be replaced at least once a month. Not all agree on this high frequency, but Dr. Bingham-Lester stands by it “because children get sick so often. Their toothbrushes can harbor bacteria and viruses, causing reinfection.” On that point, when your child is sick, replace the toothpaste as soon as they’re well. FACT: Proper nutrition plays a crucial role in keeping your child’s teeth healthy. Dr. Collins recommends avoiding highsugar foods, especially sticky treats, “because the longer the food stays on your teeth and gums, the greater the likelihood a cavity will form. A proper, balanced diet is one of the best things a parent can do to ensure that their child grows up with strong teeth and gums, and a healthy smile.” N Jenny Hoffman is a writer, editor, and mother of a four-year-old girl.

By Jenn morson

From the moment you discover you’re going to be a parent, you’re inundated with decisions. One of the most stressful choices for a parent— especially a first-time parent—is what preschool to send their child to. Here’s hoping Nesting can help you figure out what to do. Continued on page 16


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When to Start the Process About a year (yes, a year!) before your child is due to start preschool is the best time to begin your search. Since applications are typically due between December and March, working far in advance will allow you time to research and visit your choices. How to Start Before visiting any schools, write a list of what you’d want in your ideal preschool: Do you want a school close to your home, or to your office? What kind of activities do you want your child to engage in? How many children would you want there to be in the class? What types of parent involvement do you favor? What kinds of snacks would you like served? (Is the occasional cupcake okay?) Basic Standards When narrowing down your choices, consider each school’s safety standards, cleanliness, and accreditation. At the most basic, schools must have fire extinguishers, first aid kits, secured windows above the first floor, locked cupboards for medicines and cleaning supplies, toys and playing surfaces that are free of small, removable parts and unsafe wear. Additionally, the building must be secure: strangers should not be able to walk off the street and have access to the children. Check the cleanliness of the school. Is it free of trash? Are the toilet areas clean, and are they are far enough from where food might be prepared. If the school you are looking at doesn’t have a current accreditation, move on.


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Your Needs Equipped with an idea about your perfect school, consider your child’s parameters.

About a year (yes, a year!) before your child is due to start preschool is the best time to begin your search. Will he or she be potty-ready by the time the school year starts? Does the school require that students be potty trained? If your child has any food intolerances or allergies, will the school work with you on snack alternatives? How many hours do you want your child to be at preschool? Some schools, like The Young School of Waugh Chapel (youngschool. com), offer all-day school, for five-, threeor two-year-old programs, while Crofton Nursery School (croftonnurseryschool. com) offers two half-days for three-yearolds and three half-days for four year-olds. Decide on your budget as well. Preschool costs vary greatly. There are several coop schools in the area that utilize parent

involvement to defray costs; this option allows you to keep your expenses down while also being directly involved in your child’s education. What’s Your Philosophy? Unless you were a child development major in college, chances are you don’t have a lot of knowledge about preschool philosophies. That’s fine. Now’s the time to research and learn! Some schools don’t declare a specific philosophy, but several do. The Crofton Nursery School is a cooperative preschool that encourages children to learn through play. The Chesapeake Montessori School ( in Continued on page 19

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Nesting 410.923.2310 •

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Annapolis adheres to the Montessori method, which is a style of teaching focused on the idea that children learn by doing, and that they learn best by being actively involved in purposeful work. Teachers trained in the Montessori method guide the children through formal, individualized lessons using materials designed for this purpose. Each community of students has a three-year age span that enhances socialization and creates a stimulating learning environment. The Young School in Waugh Chapel adheres to the Reggio Emilia approach, which believes that children must be a main contributor to their learning. At the Young School, there are four teachers for each age group. Each teacher presents the lesson of the day to the students, and the students

choose the one they would like to learn. Parents are considered an equal partner in their child’s education and volunteers are strongly encouraged. St. Martin’s in-the-Field Day School ( teaches in the Christian philosophy. The preschool utilizes a learning-through-play approach in a structured environment that includes two teachers and one teaching assistant. You CAn do it! The schools mentioned here are just a handful of the many fine preschools located throughout the Nesting area. Take your time, visit several schools. You’ll find the best preschool fit for you and your family. N Jenn Morson lives in Crofton. She has two children.

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— You’re a Mom and so much more! A pep talk for new and veteran mothers. By melissa Stanton


Nesting • May/June 2010


s we all know, a baby changes everything. Those changes are wonderful (you have a new little person to love) and terrifying (you have a new little person to care for 24/7). Often, in the excitement of the moment, women and their partners lose sight of how a baby can redefine a woman’s priorities, relationships and sense of self. The transitions that come with motherhood involve going from no children to having a child (or multiple children), and they typically require that a woman either balance work and family or switch gears from pursuing a career to staying home full-time with kids. Each scenario is a major life change that can be both energizing and overwhelming. tHe FirSt-time mom While you’re thrilled to have a baby of your own, you’ll be shocked by how this tiny being will consume every moment of your life. The realization will make you kick yourself for never having fully appreciated the freedom you once had. Other changes: Your childless friends won’t understand why you don’t return their calls and emails. Your home will become less tidy. You’ll neglect the pet you once doted upon. You’ll continue to wear maternity clothes—since your real clothes don’t fit and, besides, you’re getting spit-up on so often. Some advice Try, as best you can, to live in and enjoy the moment. Your first child’s first year is a fascinating journey. Take pictures on his or her monthly birthdays and you’ll be awed by the changes occurring so quickly before your eyes. Try not to agonize too much about your career, your body, your social life, your “To Do List.” At least once in a while, nap Continued on the next page

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Motherhood brings enormous joys, challenges, and transitions we can all use some help getting through.


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when the baby naps, and enjoy cuddling your sleeping son or daughter in your quiet home. Becoming a Mom, Again When your kid count increases, you’ll likely look back on your days as a mother of one and wonder, “What was I complaining about? Why couldn’t I get anything done? One was so easy.” The challenge of having more than one child is that there’s still only one you. Two or more kids are a job unto themselves. Some advice Do your best to not disappear beneath the demands made by your growing family. As a mother of three, including twins, I frequently feel all I do is respond to the needs of my offspring and attempt to contain the chaos left in their wake.

The Three Kids vs. One Mom dynamic can be tough, and it was often very tough for me during my many years as a stay-at-home mom. When possible, I tried to disappear (into my home office or by leaving the house alone or with my husband). I also tried to spend one-onone time with each child. That way we could be together without me shouting things like, “Hold on,” “Just wait,” “I’m one person, you guys are three.” BECOMING AND BEING A Stay-at-Home MoM When two incomes aren’t absolutely essential to a family’s economic wellbeing, having a mother leave the workforce to care for kids is often looked at as the solution to all work-family problems. But for a woman who had a career and active life before becoming an at-home parent, the transition to stay-at-home motherhood can be filled with a host of mixed emotions. Some advice I believe that a key to “surviving”—and enjoying—stay-at-home motherhood is to look at stay-at-home motherhood as a job. Not everyone loves his or her job every minute of the day. So when you have a rotten day during which you want nothing more than to get away from your kids, that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom. It doesn’t mean you regret your decision to be at home. It means you’re having a really bad day at work and you need a break. Because stay-at-home motherhood is a job, it’s not fair for a spouse to come home from his job and veg out while his wife’s workday goes on and on. After all, no one in the paid workforce is expected to work around the clock. As I’ve said to my husband and other men: “Imagine Continued on the next page

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if you lived and worked in your office. Imagine if you were on active duty for an 18-hour-plus shift every day and then you were on-call. Image if anytime you left the office your boss, colleagues and direct reports came with you!” Enough said.

Advertise your business or service in the next

Nesting and reach thousands of Nesting moms!

Coming In our July/August issue.... • Family Day Trips • Summer Skin Solutions • Kid Friendly Restaurants For more information: 410.923.2310

Nesting 24

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Juggling WorK And FAmilY One of the biggest parenthood challenges is finding quality child care so a parent (or two) can continue to earn an income. Each option—hiring a nanny or au pair, using a day care center or provider, rearranging a work schedule— has its pros and cons. Even families with the most perfect child care arrangements can be plagued with dread that someday, something will go wrong. Some advice If you or your partner can work a flexible, family-friendly schedule, go for it. When looking for hired child care help focus as best you can on the here and now. For instance, if you’ve found a child care provider you think will be great for your baby or toddler, don’t agonize that she might not be as super with school-age kids. While planning ahead is important, even the best laid plans go awry. Live in the present. You can’t control the future. So whatever your motherhood scenario, remember that you are a mother, and more. And you’re the only person who can take care of—and best advocate for— for—you. N Melissa Stanton is the author of The Stay-at-Home Survival Guide: Fieldtested strategies for staying smart, sane, and connected while caring for your kids (Seal Press). Learn more about the book at

Nesting Support Groups & Clubs Annapolis AP Moms Group

For moms who practice attachment parenting (i.e. co-sleeping, breastfeeding, etc.) Email:

Annapolis Hip Mama Meetup Group


Anne Arundel Moms Group Phone: 410.551.2345

Chesapeake Moms Club

From the Bay Bridge to Centreville Website:

Columbia Area Mothers of Multiples

Serving moms in Howard and Carroll counties and the surrounding Baltimore metro area Location: Christ Episcopal Church, Columbia Website:

Learn how Nesting got its start Check out our appearance on ABC 2 News at


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DC MetroMommies (Anne Arundel County Chapter) Phone: 410.867.6854, Email:

Isabel’s Gift NICU Support Group Location: Anne Arundel Medical Center Contact: Kari Barcome, NICU social worker, 443.481.6114

MIS (Miscarriage, Infant Death and Stillbirth) Support Group

St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church, Edgewater Contact: Ann O’Sullivan, R.N., 443.481.6114

MOMS Club of Annapolis

Website: Email:

MOMS Club of Pasadena, NW Phone: 410.863.1125 Website:

MOMS Club of Severna Park

Support for mothers in Severna Park, Arnold and Millersville Phone: 410.544.9778 Website:

Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) Phone: 410.798.1413 Website:

Professional Moms at Home (PMAH) Serving full- and part-time stay-at-home moms throughout Anne Arundel County Website:

Subsequent Pregnancy Support Group

Location: St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church, Edgewater Contact: Ann O’Sullivan, R.N., 443.481.6114

Parenting Resources Annapolis and Glen Burnie Family Support Center

Free educational programs, parenting and childbirth classes, and developmental assessments. Child care is offered for parents attending the programs. Phone: 410.269.4478

The Stay-at-Home Survival Guide Field-tested strategies for staying smart, sane, and connected while caring for your kids By Melissa Stanton Seal Press/Perseus Books

“Perfect for ... any mom who has felt she has the best job in the world, and the worst job in the world, all within a two-minute timeframe.” — “A terrific resource [with] plenty of practical advice.” — Washington Parent

Don’t Stay Home Without It! On sale now at and other retailers. Visit with the author and other moms at

Continued on the next page

“The Stay-at-Home Survival Guide speaks volumes without being preachy, overtly tongue-in-cheek or feeding the ‘Mommy Wars’… There’s support throughout the book that is relative to all aspects of motherhood, whether you are a SAHM (stay-at-home mom), WAHM (work-at-home mom), or a mother re-entering the workforce.” — Mom Writer’s Literary Magazine

“Becoming a stay-at-home mother shifts your entire world, and Melissa Stanton gets it. This intelligent, sensible, hands-on guide will help at-home moms navigate the rocky waters of time, money, self-image, self-esteem, sex, friendship, and everything else.” — Ericka Lutz, author of On the Go With Baby

“Thanks to this book [stay-at-home moms] have somewhere to turn whenever [they’re] feeling a little lonely, under-appreciated, or overwhelmed.” —

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Nesting Support Continued from the previous page

Better BedRest, Inc.

Advocacy, public awareness and volunteer driven non-profit providing support, resources and information to pregnant women who have been prescribed bedrest by their physicians or midwives Phone: 410.740.7662

Holistic Moms Network

Resource for holistic parents and individuals interested in becoming one Phone: 877.HOLMOMS, Website:

International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN)

Non-profit organization working to improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans,


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providing support for cesarean recovery, and promoting Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) Phone: 800.686.ICAN Website:

La Leche League

Serving Maryland, Delaware and the Washington D.C. metro area Website:

Milk Share-Breast Milk Donation

Clearinghouse for parents to learn about milk donation and connect with other families Website:

Tot’s Line for Anne Arundel County Free information, advice and referrals for parents and caregivers Phone: 877.817.TOTS N

Check it out! Gifts for Moms and Dads When searching for memorable and inspiring gift ideas for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, a local garden shop or nursery is a great place to start. One suggested destination: Visit Gary’s Gardens (651 Ritchie Highway, Severna Park, pictured at right) and head directly for the “Knock Out” roses, which are lowmaintenance plants that provide an abundance of blooms all season long. Since theses roses can be planted and displayed alone or as part of a group, you can buy a single plant this year and add to the garden every spring hereafter.

If you’re shopping for someone who’s on-the-go, help them keep up the pace. Fleet Feet Sports (318 6th Street, Annapolis) and Charm City Run (in the Annapolis Towne Centre at Parole) cater to people who run for fun as well as to complete. Both stores carry a variety of footwear, apparel and devices for tracking distance, pace and heart rates. 30

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Enchanted Art & Sole Comfort (in the Annapolis Harbour Center) specializes in casual and dress shoes (from Mephisto, MBT, Dansko, Birkenstock and others) for people who spend a lot of time on their feet and want style, support and comfort. Another plus when shopping for mom: The store is home to a vast collection of fashion accessories (including Vera Bradley and Hobo handbags) and jewelry from artisans and popular brands such as Brighton and Camilla. Since selecting shoes and jewels for someone else can be extremely difficult, each of these businesses sells gift certificates. Still don’t know what to give? Between us, you can’t go wrong with a heartfelt card and sincere “I Love You.” N

Nesting Magazine  

A Local Resource Guide for Moms Family, Home and Wellness