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Peekaboo january 2014

Free Magazine

Happy New Year!

Clothing by:

Northwest Arkansas’ Family Magazine

the PEEKABOO family Kimberly Enderle

Editor-in-Chief (479) 957-0532

Ava. Grant. and Holden. Jonathon Enderle

Creative Director (479) 586-3890


Distribution/ Circulation Joyce Whitaker Judy Evans Marcedalia Salinas Colleen Cook Jeremy Whitaker Michelle Dodson

Peekaboo Publications, PO Box 1036, Bentonville, Arkansas 72712 Peekaboo Northwest Arkansas accepts writing contributions. Please send inquiries to: or call (479) 586-3890 Peekaboo may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Views expressed herein are those of the authors and advertisers, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the magazine.

peekaboo nwa

January 2014

What’s Inside 16

|A Promise Redeemed


| National Birth

26 28

| | Mary Rose


by: Kimberly Crumby


The Tiny Fashionista by: Kate Demond



38 A Page In Our Book Of Life Defect Prevention by: Bonnie Culp King Month seeks to Raise Awareness 48 Kellan Peek-A-News by: Kelli DeClerk by: Patty Bushland

| IT Takes A Village

by: Jane L. Holl, M.D., M.P.H.





I Was Broken

by: Mary Ann Brown



|How to MAke-And

Keep- Your New Years’ Resolutions by: Kirsten L. Speer, L.P.C.


|ABC’s of RSV


|Princess Maddie

by: Susan Averitt, M.D.


|I Will Be




|Dad’s View

by: Julia Bernards

Low T? by: Dr. Jim Elkins

with Ben Lacy

by: Mark & Tammy Morris

On the Cover

Caroline Culp, 6 and Thomas Culp, 4 from Fayetteville. Models are dressed for the new year in coats and outfits by Blu Vintage Pony. Winter boots by Frye and Ugg. Clothing from

3 Monkeys in Fayetteville. www.3monkeysboutiquenwa. Cover photo and 3 Monkeys ad photos by Sweet Portrayal Photography New Year Party Supplies from The Party Place in Rogers!

10 January 2014

Lower your risk by eating a healthy diet and adding 400 micrograms of folic acid to your daily routine through an over the counter multivitamin.

For more information, call 1-877-662-4567 and visit The Arkansas Center for Birth Defects Research and Prevention 13 Children’s Way • Mail Slot 512-40 • Little Rock, Arkansas 72202-3591

The UPDATE Issue:

cannot believe that I am already having to write “2014” at the end of the date. I am almost 100% positive that “2013” was much shorter than 365 days. It had to be, because it was over before we knew it! Last year was a very special one for our family, since we welcomed a new baby boy: Grant, who will turn one next month! Then, just two months later, we welcomed into the world a beautiful nephew: Henry. Last year was full of memories that we will cherish for a lifetime, and I cannot wait to see what this year has in store for us.

them. I am honored to call them my friends and thankful to be even a small part of their amazing life journeys. Through these stories many connections have been made and bonds have been formed among parents and children that will span far beyond a single issue, a season, or even a year.

One of my favorite parts about the changing of the year is a look forward at the upcoming trends and what year or decade they are influenced by. By this point, everything “new” is really just paying homage to something that has already “been there” and “done that.”

Even though these family’s stories only run for a month, readers are always curious to learn updates and new developments. That is why this issue is dedicated to updating you on the stories of a few of the favorite families we have met over the last 5 years.

For example, the names of my little guy (Grant), his cousin (Henry) and even his good friend, Beckett, also born in 2013, are “new” names that are very old-school. I especially love when Ava will wear a “new look” that I did in the ‘80s, or beg for a hot new toy that I am able to dig out of my childhood toy box and give her the “real” version.

I wish everyone a wonderful and beautiful 2014. The start of each new year is like receiving a giant gift, but you only get to unwrap just a tiny piece each day. With each of the 365 days, you get a little glimpse at what the year has in store for you. Then, at the end, you get to reflect on all that has transpired, good and bad, then look forward to yet another year!

Speaking of time flying by, I absolutely love the fact that I have been a part of sharing stories from families across Northwest Arkansas for the past 5 years! I love that I get to cry with these families, rejoice with them and celebrate with

I look forward with great anticipation to all that 2014 will bring with it.

A Look at Upcoming Issues!

Thank you for making Peekaboo a part of your family!

February - Happy 6th Birthday Peekaboo! Amazing birth stories and birthday party ideas. March - Non-Profit issue, spotlighting area non-profits making a big impact. If you would like to be a part of these issues, please email


A Promise Redeemed W

hen darkness seems to hide his face… I rest on his unchanging grace. I’m thinking about how God’s face has seemed hidden to me so often over the last two years. I have found that I either feel His presence so strongly that I can’t miss it, or hardly feel Him at all--not much middle ground there. But even when the darkness of this world and its tragedies and calamities make it hard for me to “see” God, I can rest on the fact that God does not change. His promises are the same as they were yesterday, as they are today, and as they will be tomorrow. The word ‘seems’ really speaks to me too… it may seem as if God is distant (or not there entirely) at certain times in our lives, but that is not true. It’s at those times we have to choose to keep believing, hold on and rest in who we know God is--even when we don’t feel it in our hearts. (blog:, Nov. 6, 2011) Our fun, sassy, smart firstborn, Hannah Grace, was coaxed into the world in February 2005. The first four and a half years were spent watching her change from the world’s easiest baby to a strong-willed preschooler. We played dress-up, watched countless Disney princess movies, and enjoyed being outside. In September of 2009, with basically no warning, we were confronted with a horrible surprise: Hannah was diagnosed with leukemia. The type she had was the most treatable,

16 January 2014

Story by: Kimberly Crumby / Photos by: Amber Dickey

which initially comforted us. However, things began going wrong almost immediately. She suffered brain damage from a stroke, became septic, and developed hydrocephalus over the span of two months. We moved back and forth between the oncology unit and the pediatric intensive care unit at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Hannah Grace, our warrior princess, would just manage to start making progress from these episodes when another medical calamity would come. And all along, she kept fighting leukemia. The final setback occurred in mid-November when another cruel stroke impacted the brainstem. At this point, with her leukemia in remission, she was dependent on a ventilator and a catheter, and she was never really fully awake. After waiting for improvement that never came, and with the guidance of the wonderful doctors at ACH, we made the heart-wrenching decision to remove the ventilator and turn our daughter fully over to God. After the most painful 41 hours a mother could ever experience, Hannah Grace died in my arms in the wee hours of the morning on December 8, 2009. It is difficult to put into words what the aftermath of losing a child is like. Any great loss is difficult to navigate. For me, having to say goodbye to my daughter felt so overwhelmingly unnatural. You expect to have to bury your parents; if you are married, you know that most likely, one of you will go before the other, and you even assume that this will happen at a ripe, old age. However, I never expected to make funeral arrangements for my four-year-old. As we realized

what the most likely outcome was, the thought of losing our child was overwhelming. I wasn’t sure how we would continue living; I just knew that God would have to hold on to us tightly. Four years have passed since that cold December day. We returned to our house that held a thousand painful reminders of the one of whom we had temporarily lost sight. We had to figure out how to keep going. One of my greatest desires was that our two-yearold son would not grow up in a home shrouded with overwhelming sadness. Through the help of the wonderful GriefShare program, counseling, friends, family, church, and, most importantly, God, we have continued living--now, we even experience hope and joy. We have witnessed firsthand how God truly does work all things for good for those who love him. While Hannah’s death could never be called good, God has used this terrible tragedy to bring positive things to pass. Our yearly “Hearts for Hannah” projects continue to help others in some small way, and the Red Cross drives in her honor have netted over one hundred units of life-saving blood. People have received Christ, appreciated their children, and gained perspective from Hannah Grace’s story. None of this helps her death make sense, but I have had to choose to pursue and accept the goodness that has come from it.

Then came the summer of 2012 Blog Entry: July 2012 -- The words that are about to follow are some of the biggest, scariest I have ever written… and that’s saying something considering some of the things I have wrestled with over the last few years. First, though, I’m going to backtrack here for a moment. When James and I were facing the decision about whether to remove Hannah Grace from the ventilator, one thing that was always in the back of our minds was that the odds were very good that we would not ever have another biological child. There are several reasons for this, and, anyway, we were not in any way, shape, or form interested in having another child… or so we thought. I really can’t pinpoint the date that God started planting that little seed in my heart and mind that perhaps we should look into adoption--my sense of time is still something that has not come back normally. I do know that when I went to see Steven Curtis Chapman (which, thanks to the iPhone calendar I see was last October) in concert, I was extremely drawn to his heart for adoption. When he played “When Love Takes You In” and showed the video of his family meeting his newly adopted baby girl, I thought I was going to come unglued there for a minute. And you know how it is

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any more checking into agencies, etc. We then felt that we could take the next step of gathering information. Honestly, it took us a long time to adjust to the idea of adding another child to our family. I would love to say that we felt some sort of peaceful bliss when we thought about adopting, but we didn’t... And that’s okay. As we have come to find out, the journey to adoption is not an easy one. We were especially hesitant to start over again with a newborn; quite frankly, we enjoyed the freedom that came with having a potty-trained child who could walk on his own for long periods of time! After much prayer, soulsearching, and many honest, scary conversations, we decided to pursue an avenue that would allow us to adopt a child or children who were a little older. After many months of work towards this, we unfortunately just weren’t getting anywhere.

A Promise Redeemed once God puts something on your heart! Everywhere you turn, you hear about it: in songs, in sermons, from random people, in books, etc. That was exactly how it was for me. It took several months for me to even admit to myself that this might really be what God wanted for our family. Once I got somewhat used to the idea (meaning a teeny tiny bit), I mentioned it to James. He had mixed feelings about it, the same feelings I had struggled with. I definitely knew this did not need to be a Kimberly-pushed-this-so-I’mgoing-to-agree-thing… so I mentioned it every once in a while but did not put any pressure on him. After several months, he started asking me if I had done

Blog Entry: January 2013 -- We are regrouping a little and looking again at domestic newborn adoption. We had initially ruled that out for several reasons, the first being the fact that we have had the wonderful opportunity to have two babies, while others are desperate for a newborn. Also, we don’t have any of our baby stuff anymore, we are finally about to have no childcare expenses when Caleb goes to kindergarten next year, and we enjoy just picking up and going without the diaper bag/stroller/etc. The big, hairy problem with that type of adoption is cost-we’re talking about $25,000 plus. So, after thinking all those reasons were good enough not to really go there, I am hearing that still, small voice telling me that we need to do our part and cast out a wide net, and God will do the rest. You would think I would know by now that my plans are not his, and my ways are not his ways! Apparently, I haven’t been called to walk an easy road. So, we will keep making contacts, and we have sent in some paperwork to an attorney who matches birth moms with adoptive families. With all that being said, we need your prayers. For clarity, for peace during the waiting, for contentment that our family will be as complete as it can be this side of heaven, however that ends up looking.

The seemingly never-ending waiting continued; then, in mid-February of 2013 we received some information about a sibling group of four who needed a home. We did not feel we had the resources to take four children at that time, but we thought God was working in a mighty way. After an off the cuff conversation, our amazing worship pastor and his precious wife were actually willing to welcome the older two children to their family, and we felt it would be an ideal situation for us to take the younger two. Their mother voluntarily terminated her rights, and the children all came to join our families. However, we were all dealt a terrible blow when their mom changed her mind on day nine of the ten days she was given by law to reverse her decision. Due to concerns about the well-being of the children, they were taken into custody by the Department of Human Services and placed into foster care.

Honestly, it took us a long time to adjust to the idea of adding another child to our family. I would love to say that we felt some sort of peaceful bliss when we thought about adopting, but we didn’t... And that’s okay.

Blog Entry: March 2013 -- I find myself with swollen, red eyes this morning unlike any I’ve had since the aftermath of saying goodbye to our precious Hannah Grace. We have moved from the mountaintop to the valley, back to the mountaintop, and now we find ourselves in whatever would be even lower than the valley. Devastated. Heartbroken. Questioning. This is not the same as having to watch Hannah struggle and lying beside her as she took her last breath, but it brings a lot of that back up. We do not understand why, out of all the things we would have to do in this life, it had to be this... Giving up children who we felt in our heart of hearts were ours to love and take care of. Unbelievable. Two weeks later, just as I felt like I had gained back some small measure of equilibrium, I received a call from the adoption attorney I had contacted several months prior. She wanted to talk to us about a possible match. We were hesitant to put our hearts out there again, and I explained a little about what had just transpired a few weeks beforehand. Come to find out, the attorney who helped us with the two children had also adopted through this same person, and they were both at the hospital waiting on a precious baby to be born the same night we were saying goodbye to what we thought would be our two children. After a

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three, my experiment with seeing if I remember what to do with a teeny tiny little person. She made me wonder what in the world I was doing having a baby at 25... would I have what it takes to be a good momma? She makes me wonder what in the world I am doing having a baby at 34... will I have the energy it takes to be a good momma? She came into the world past due, after being coaxed a little by the kind doctor, with no drama or complications. She arrived early after being coaxed to remain in her cozy, warm home for a bit longer by a good doctor, with high drama and a violent beginning.

A Promise Redeemed

She was the spitting image of her daddy, his strong genes showing in her every feature. She does not carry our DNA but has a tremendous hold on our hearts-especially her Daddy’s.

week of praying over this, we felt God nudging us to give our fears over and trust him by saying yes to this match. Again, I would like to say we did this without reservation, but that would not be truthful. We were still not sure about adding a newborn to our family, had never planned to have children six years apart, and we had no idea how we were going to pay for this adoption.

She was momma’s sweet girl. She is momma’s beauty from ashes.

God indeed provides. Over the course of the next six months, many doors were opened that allowed us to piece the money together without going into too much debt. Our hearts also softened and warmed to the idea of having a newborn. I attended doctor’s appointments with our birth mom and was present during her labor. She was heading towards a normal delivery when suddenly, things began going wrong, and an emergency cesarean section was ordered. I sat in the waiting room hanging on to James, crying, and begging God to bring both mom and baby through this. We fully expected the baby to be in the NICU after what I had witnessed prior to the staff rushing our birth mom out to surgery. I remember thinking that I truly didn’t know if I could weather another storm like this. God had his hand of protection over the baby, however, and there were no serious problems. Our birth mom had to be hospitalized for over a weekincluding several days in ICU. She was released after making a full recovery. So, God has brought Hannah Grace’s story full circle, and he has made her legacy even more complete. God promises to heal the broken-hearted, and through this baby his promise continues to be redeemed. Blog Entry: September 2013 -- She was my firstborn-my experiment with motherhood. She is my number

20 January 2014

She often tested my patience and resolve with her strong personality. She is still in the early newborn days of kitten noises and stretching limbs--her personality unfolding over the next few months.

She left this earth so early after a battle with a cruel, hard disease. She is the living, breathing legacy of the first she… so much so that she carries her middle name. Grace. God continues to prove his faithfulness… his hope… his love… his redemptive spirit. His grace.

s t c e f e D Birth , n o m m Are Co Costly, . . . l a c i t i and Cr READ ME:

National Birth Defects Prevention Month Seeks to Raise Awareness


rkansas Center for Birth Defects Research and Prevention is joining the National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN) to increase awareness of birth defects, the leading cause of infant mortality in the United States. In fact, every 4 ½ minutes, a baby is born with a birth defect in the United States. In honor of January as National Birth Defects Prevention Month-2014, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Department of Pediatrics and Birth Defects is actively focusing on raising awareness among healthcare professionals, educators, social service professionals, and many segments of the general public about the frequency with which birth defects occur in the United States and the steps that can be taken to prevent them. The risk for many types of birth defects can be reduced through healthy lifestyle choices and medical care before and during pregnancy. There are many different kinds of birth defects including congenital heart defects, cleft lip or palate, defects of the brain and spine, bones, muscles and internal organs, and a variety of genetic syndromes such as Down syndrome. Some have only a minor and brief effect on a baby’s health while others have life-threatening or life-long effects, which can often be lessened by early detection and treatment. More than 120,000 babies born with a birth defect (approximately 1 in every 33 live births) are reported each year in the United States with around 500 cases occurring in Arkansas. Birth defects are the most common cause of death in infants and the second most

24 January 2014

common cause of death in children aged one to four years. Public awareness, expert medical care, accurate and early diagnosis, and social support systems are all essential for optimal prevention and treatment of these all-too-common and often deadly conditions. “Most people are unaware of how common, costly and critical birth defects are in the United States, or that there are simple steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of birth defects.” says Charlotte Hobbs, MD, PhD, section chief of birth defects research and prevention and professor of pediatrics at UAMS. “The health of both parents prior to pregnancy can affect the risk of having a child with a birth defect. Food intake, life-style choices, factors in the environment, health conditions and medications before and during pregnancy all can play a role in reducing or increasing the risk of birth defects,” says Dr. Hobbs, chief scientific investigator at Arkansas Center for Birth Defects Research and Prevention. Studies have demonstrated several important steps women can take to help prevent birth defects. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant are advised to: • Consume 400 micrograms of folic acid daily • Manage chronic maternal illnesses such as diabetes, seizure disorders, or phenylketonuria (PKU) • Reach and maintain a healthy weight • Talk to a health care provider about taking any medications, both prescription and over-thecounter • Avoid alcohol, smoking, and illicit drugs

• See a health care provider regularly • Avoid toxic substances at work or at home • Ensure protection against domestic violence • Know their family history and seek reproductive genetic counseling, if appropriate “Small steps like visiting a healthcare provider before pregnancy and taking a multivitamin every day can go a long way,” says Dr. Hobbs. The NBDPN is working with healthcare professionals and public health agencies around the country to encourage prevention and awareness of birth defects among the over 60 million women of childbearing age in the United States. In addition to its efforts in prevention, the NBDPN works to improve nationwide surveillance of birth defects and to advance research on possible causes. It also offers support to families who are dealing with the realities of a child born with one of these conditions. Further information about the NBDPN can be found at Arkansas Center for Birth Defects Research and Prevention is participating in National Birth Defects Prevention Month by distributing information to women and their health care providers across the state, participating in health fairs, and offering presentations at local schools. “We are excited to be part of this national campaign. Through our efforts across the

country we plan to reach millions of women and their families with vital prevention information,” says Dr. Charlotte Hobbs. To learn more, please contact Arkansas Center for Birth Defects Research and Prevention at 501 3645001 or toll free: 1-877-662-4567 Web: Email: The 2014 NBDPN Birth Defects Prevention information packet (as well as archives of past packets) is available online at: http://www.nbdpn. org/bdpm2014.php. All materials can be printed, electronically conveyed, or added to websites for distribution as needed.

Did You Know: In Arkansas • Every 14 minutes a baby is born • Every 5 hours one is born with a birth defect • On average, 1500 babies are born each year with a birth defect Lower your risk by eating a healthy diet and adding 400 micrograms of folic acid to your daily routine through an over the counter multivitamin.

PEEK-A-NEWS Lights, Cameras, Lego action! Do your kids love Legos? Do they love movies? This is a great program to combine the two and let your kids have a great time while learning and gain experience on what goes on behind the camera. Since a new Lego® animation movie is coming soon, Bricks 4 Kidz is providing the opportunity for parents to let their kids have an experience of making an animation movie. Lights, Cameras, LEGO® action! Use LEGO® bricks to tell your story, complete with music, special effects and all your favorite Lego® mini figure characters! In this unique and creative camp, students will plan, script, stage, shoot, and produce their own mini-movie using Stop Motion Animation. Working as a team, students will use Lego® components to build the set and props, then shoot their movie using a camera. When the movie is complete, students will impress family and friends with a screening party on the last day. January Camp Dates: 1/20 - 1/24 3:30PM to 6:30PM Ages 8-14 or call 479-466-9838

Insurance Coverage for Breast Pumps Pumping and storing breast milk for babies just got a little bit easier with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which includes a provision that requires insurance companies to fully cover breast pumps for expecting or actively nursing mothers. Your insurance policy dictates whether the covered pump is manual or electric, how long the coverage of a pump lasts, and when the pump will be provided. In many cases, your insurance policy will follow your doctor’s recommendations on what is medically appropriate. Some insurance plans may require preauthorization to ensure the proper services are provided. These rules apply to Health Insurance Marketplace plans and all other health insurance plans, except for grandfathered plans. If you are covered by a plan that existed March 23, 2010, your plan may be grandfathered. You may not get some rights and protections that other plans offer. Contact Moms Direct for more information. Visit: or call 800-461-5257

26 January 2014


Mary Rose Story by: Patty Bushland

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” -Helen Keller

“Eight is great!” states Mary Rose as she sits at her Perkins Brailler at the kitchen table. Yep, Mary Rose is going to be eight years old on December 21st, 2013, and she is still completely blind from a rare disease called Lebers Congenital Amaurosis (LCA). I say still because, if you knew me while we lived in Arkansas, you probably heard me talking about my prayers for a “miracle for Mary Rose” and my hope in gene replacement therapy that researchers had been working aggressively on. Well, I am still praying and believing that a miracle is in store for Mary Rose and others with LCA. Many advancements have been made, and children with LCA--even some children we met while on our life’s journey to Arkansas--are now in clinical trials for gene replacement therapy. Mary Rose is now another 6 years closer to her “miracle!” I know many families prayed along with us from Arkansas... please continue to believe and pray with us! These past eight years, my little girl has been touching hearts and changing lives! Our family left Arkansas for Minnesota in 2007, and Mary Rose was only 2 years old at the time. The families of NWA and many in Little Rock supported both our family and our cause with open arms and hearts, and I am grateful for this opportunity to let them know how much their kindness meant to us, if simply by sharing a little update about our sweet girl. Mary Rose uses her white cane while out of our home, and is just starting to walk independently without a sight guide. Up until recently, I had been guiding

28 January 2014

her even from our front door to the car. Once in our home, Mary Rose hangs up her cane and walks with “bumpers up” (hands up) independently around the house. One of her most recent accomplishments is being independent in the bathroom, which happened just a few short months ago, despite the fact that Mary Rose has been potty trained since just before she turned 3 years old. The reason she took so long to be independent is because she became promptdependent for her every move--get the toilet paper, pull up your pants, flush the toilet, wash your hands, turn the water on, etc. The accomplishment of seeing Mary Rose go to the bathroom and getting through all steps on her own is a huge step to independence. Our next big goal for her is dressing herself. This means both labeling clothes and keeping drawers organized, not to mention the hand coordination to find the tags and get clothes on correctly. Mary Rose receives occupational therapy at school to help with her fine motor skills and sensory needs. Over the last year, she has successfully figured out how to manipulate a spoon and fork, not only finding the food on her plate but getting it to her mouth before it drops off the utensil. This was always so hard for the family to watch at the dinner table since, of course, our instinct was to help. Instead, as we all knew we just needed to encourage her to keep trying, we would let her know she almost had it! Mary Rose is in first grade at public school. She attends class with her sighted peers, and is pulled out for Braille instruction, orientation and mobility. Our biggest challenge as parents is teaching Mary Rose’s teachers and peers to not put limitations on Mary Rose because of her

blindness. A sign saying, “Hands off, I can do it myself!” might be appropriate at times! She will face enough challenges because of her absence of sight-she should not have to face additional ones based on others not letting her bloom to her full potential. And blooming she is! She is starting to read short stories in Braille, and she can write her name and more on her Perkins Brailler! She is a terrific singer and was even recorded by her older brother’s high school to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” for all of the varsity baseball games. She takes violin lessons and can vocally match any note she hears perfectly. She recently won the softball throw competition at the Dallas Sports Extravaganza for the Blind and Visually Impaired. So, while there are many challenges, there are also many moments of joy in watching her bloom! There are many stories of how Mary Rose has touched the hearts of those around her that I would love to share--for instance, a mom in Minnesota sharing with me that every night her little child goes to bed praying first and foremost for their friend Mary who can’t see. Additionally, we have received countless gifts from classmates of rainbow pictures, beaded necklaces,and bracelets. Children age 7-8 years old from Mary Rose’s class are participating in an event where they are blindfolded and walk with a cane to “Walk in Her Shoes,” if only for a moment (in the cold and rain

no less). Notes from teachers are sent home about caring little hearts at school anxious for their turn to sight guide Mary Rose to the next class or push her on the swing at recess. Clearly, Mary Rose has impacted lives profoundly, and even changed lives. Her oldest brother Jason, age 20, is pursuing a degree in Adaptive Physical Education with a focus on visual impairments, and her sister Sara, age 19, is majoring in Orientation and Mobility, specifically working with the blind. They have both spent entire summers working at Camps for the Blind. While living in Minnesota, all of our children, including Matt, age 16, and Danny, age 13, spent many hours volunteering for Minnesota National Association for Parents of children with Visual Impairments (MNAPVI ) one of the largest NAPVI state chapters. We are proud to be the founders of MN NAPVI as well as AR NAPVI. Currently, we reside in McKinney, Texas and we are happy to say they already have a state chapter of NAPVI that we are excited to be active members of! Sara and Matt organized and ran several fundraisers to help their little sister to see. The “Walk in her Shoes” fundraisers raised over $30,000 for Foundation

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was a matter of a few short seconds before I shook my head and opened my eyes. Feeling relieved I thought to myself, “No, I couldn’t do it,” and never again gave it much thought. Time passed, and in December 2005 I gave birth to my fifth beautiful baby. Just days after her birth, I remember watching another movie, “Ray,” the story of Ray Charles. There was one scene which kept playing over and over again in my mind. Ray had lost his vision as a young boy and as he was exploring his new challenging world he stumbled, calling out to his mother nearby. She does not run to his side, even as he calls and calls for her. She only watches him as she quietly weeps. I sat there watching that movie, with my healthy newborn asleep in my arms as my heart ached for the little boy and his mother. My children, all five, were healthy! I sighed and counted my blessings that evening, as I gently placed Mary Rose in her crib. for Retinal Research (FRR) towards Gene Therapy Research! Currently, Dave (Mary Rose’s Dad) is board president of United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) with fellow board members Gary Remensnyder and Dave Reiff, friends we met while living in NWA who have continued their support of the visually impaired long after we left! It is these positive experiences that make me feel that even on the darkest days, when Mary Rose’s struggles are overwhelming, we can find the light in all of it. We think about her impact on everyone around her, and, as we ask her to pick her chin up and carry on, we do the same! My little girl at nearly age 8 is the strongest person I know. I love her to the moon and back and, as she says back to me, “I love you to the moon and front!” I smile and have no doubt the blessings God has brought to my life through Mary Rose! The following quote is displayed in our home as a reminder of the many doors that have been opened to us: “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” -- Helen Keller We will always cherish our time in Northwest Arkansas and appreciate the chance from Peekaboo Magazine to give you this update on Mary Rose. Perhaps next time she will be writing this herself!

Original Story Shared in May 2008: I remember years ago watching “The Miracle Worker” the very touching story of Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan. I was a young girl and can picture myself the next day stirring in my parents’ station wagon on the drive to school. I recall being in a daze starting out the window, and then closing my eyes. I imagined the world of a person who is blind. It

Just a few short months passed, and I found myself kneeling beside my bed, my world turned upside down as I prayed for my precious 4 month old baby, who I was told was severely blind. Mary Rose has a rare genetic disease called Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis (LCA). I recall the look of chock on my husband’s face as he sat and listened to the doctor in disbelief. Upon hearing the doctor’s news I sat in the examining chair tightly pressing my sleeping baby in my arms as my tears fell upon her angelic face. She laid there unaware of the difficult journey life had in store for her. My heart racing as if.... well, I cannot explain, for it hurts all over again. When we returned home we sat our other four children down. We told them that Mary Rose is blind and we need to pray for her and believe in miracles. We all hugged for a very long time and each of us began grieving this unexpected turn of events in our own way. If I wasn’t praying, I was on the internet looking up LCA, which in turn caused me to immediately begin praying again. How could it be that I now find myself as that mother who weeps as her child struggles through the challenges of a visual impairment? I read early on that raising a child with a visual impairment is a roller coaster of emotion. I agree! Of course, I now know better than to try and predict what my emotions will be. Take for instance the time when at 19 months old Mary Rose finally cruised around the kitchen for the 1st time. She bumped into the stool, turned, walked into a chair, and then banged right into the wall. I had cried while imagining that moment a dozen times, but truth be told I was so proud of her, that with butterflies in my stomach I clapped my hands and praised her! The other thing I have learned is the importance of learning from other parents of children with visual impairments. I look forward to all that Mary Rose will teach me! She is my miracle!

The National Children’s Study

It Takes a Village


.e have all heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” This expression has been repeated over the years in many different ways and can be used with the National Children’s Study (NCS) as well. We know that parents in Benton County want happy, healthy children. We, as a community, are concerned about why some babies are born too early, or with birth defects or why some develop conditions such as asthma, diabetes, obesity or behavior, learning, and mental health problems. In 2007, Benton County, Arkansas joined the national effort to improve children’s health, growth, and development by taking part in the NCS. The NCS is one of the largest and most detailed research studies focused on children’s health, development, and wellbeing in the United States. The NCS is a long-term study that follows children from birth or before birth to 21 years of age. The NCS includes samples and information about the

32 January 2014

air our children breathe, the foods they eat, where they live, learn and play, and how we get along with those around us. Data is collected from questions asked to the child’s primary caregiver, both inperson by a data collector and over the phone from a call center. Some samples are collected from both children and their parents (blood, urine and saliva) while other measures, such as height and weight, are obtained on the children only. With this information, the NCS hopes to help improve the well-being of children everywhere and our understanding of children’s health. The NCS will take place in two parts. The first part is the Vanguard Study, which will look at how much the study will cost to carry out, how best to gather the data and information, and how best to stay in touch with families as their children grow older. The second part will be the Main Study, which is expected to begin in 2015. The Vanguard Study started, in 2007, recruiting

women between the ages of 18 and 49 before and during pregnancy. The NCS is not currently asking any more parents or children in Benton County to join the Vanguard Study. The Study is now taking place in 40 locations across the US. Benton County is one of these locations. The Vanguard Study will collect data from about 5,000 families over the next 21 years. The NCS is more than just a long-term study in a community like Benton County. “The National Children’s Study is about all children in the United States,” explains Jane L. Holl, M.D., M.P.H. a pediatrician at Northwestern University and an NCS South Region Co-Principal Investigator. “Benton County NCS participants and their families are making health history and their children are health heroes. These children are representing all the other children just like them,” continues Holl. A study this large and long needs support at many levels and at many points in time. Most of all, we need to show support for Benton County NCS participants and their families. Highlights and findings about the Study will be shared through partnerships with healthcare providers, community leaders, and the local media, to remind the community that, through their participation in the NCS, Benton County, children and families are helping to improve the health of all children for generations to come.

The NCS is led by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) along with a group of agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Recently, the NIH started a new regional approach for managing the NCS. Benton County is now part of the South Region which is being led by a research team from Northwestern University in Chicago, IL, Delve, a Focus Pointe Global company in St. Louis, MO, and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, AR. If you are a Benton County participant in the NCS and have recently moved or lost contact with us, please contact the NCS South Region at: (877) 749-0333 or email NCSSouthROCoperations@ To follow the success of the NCS in Benton County, LIKE us on Facebook at NCSBenton, and follow us on Twitter; or visit Jane L. Holl, M.D., M.P.H., Co-Principal Investigator of the NCS South Region Team and Director of the Center for Healthcare Studies at Northwestern University in Chicago.

I as Broken W

Mary Anne Varwig

by: Mary Ann Brown


his is a story of desperation and triumph. one of great joy that wells up many emotions in me. This is a story about my son. As it is with most parents, he is my world. I would do anything for him. I would take his pain. I would lay down my life if I had to, in order to save his. He is a happy, loving little guy. He brightens everyone’s world when they meet him, and he will keep you laughing with the funny things he says. Notice that I did not say he was healthy? That is because he hasn’t always been healthy. In fact, he is what one would call a sickly kid. He was so sickly, in fact, that I actually lost a job when he was a baby because he was always sick and I was always off work,

taking care of him. After I lost that job, my husband and I split up our work schedules to keep him out of daycare. Our hopes were that, by kindergarten, he would be a little stronger and not be sick all the time. We continued to have seasons of sickness before he started school. He seemed to always have a runny nose and a little cough, and he was always on an allergy medication. But he was otherwise okay, somewhat healthy… Before he went to school. Then, kindergarten started. I was a hot mess of emotions and tears. I told myself it was a good thing and that he was growing up. But, in the back of my mind, I had this fear that his health was going to take a major dive. By the end of the first week of kindergarten, my fear was confirmed. He was sick, and he just wouldn’t get better. I needed answers. I needed him to be fixed. We switched from a local family doctor to a pediatrician in another town. That pediatrician referred us to different specialists: an ENT, an allergist, and a pediatric pulmonologist. He missed a lot of school. I missed a lot of work. He was diagnosed, numerous times, with bronchitis and sinusitis. Then he was diagnosed with asthma. Then he was diagnosed with allergies. He kept running random fevers. He couldn’t catch a break! Then he lost his appetite and started throwing up often, so the doctors diagnosed him with GERD. I was beginning to think I needed to be diagnosed with depression and anxiety.

34 January 2014

I was desperate for answers. Every time we went to the

doctor, I was hoping it would be “the fix.” Medications just kept being added to his list. Every time, I was assured they would find the right combination of meds that would work. They did tests, x-rays, and blood work many times. Everything came back fine. The doctors always called it inconclusive, instead of fine. Fine meant that he was healthy, inconclusive meant that they could see he was sick but couldn’t figure out exactly why. His med list was growing. He was taking over 20 medications daily. These included antibiotics, inhaled steroids, nasal steroids, oral steroids, oral antihistamines, nasal antihistamines, and a cocktail of stomach medications. Our medical bill was also growing. By the end of last year, I was spending close to $500 a month on medications and our medical bills were closed to $10,000. I was so frustrated. Most nights, after he was in bed, I would cry and pray and just feel defeated… BROKEN. I would lose sleep as I laid there and listened to him toss and turn, moan, cough, and wheeze. I slept next to him often because I was terrified at times, that he might stop breathing or that his respiratory system would shut down. Over the course of the year, with more and more medications being added, he started exhibiting behavioral symptoms. He couldn’t think straight. He couldn’t stay on task. He had angry outbursts and impulsive behavior. This behavior was very unlike my sweet, loving boy. I decided to talk with his pediatrician about it and he told me that often times, children with asthma often have ADHD. I expressed my concerns that I thought it was all the medications he was on and that I didn’t like the medications. The doctor told me it was highly unlikely it was from the medications. I argued that steroids and antihistamines have side effects of: agitation, excitability, impulsiveness, mood swings, and altered thought process. I even showed the doctor the information in print. His behavioral was a side effect, because it was definitely not his normal demeanor. The doctor finally admitted that there was a possibility it was from the medications. But he said there was no other way. And that if the behaviors became too much, we could medicated him with ADHD medication. I nearly hyperventilated before we got out of that office. I had a meltdown-style tantrum that would put a toddler to shame. I had no clue what I was going to do! I prayed so hard, on my knees, and I’m so glad that God can understand words when you can’t speak, because I was speaking in sobs and wails. This process continued. I constantly prayed and researched other ways. I kept trying in spite of all the failed ideas. I knew God would show me a way.

Until August. It was the last straw. I was hanging on a balance of losing faith and losing my mind. School had started back. He was sick, again. I had taken him to the doctor, again. When the process first started, I was always so happy to get answers at the doctors office, but by now, walking in that place was like standing on the corner of desolate and destroyed. He had been started on antibiotics and oral steroids. The doctor had written his note that he could go back to school, and in spite of me not wanting to send him, I did. And I cried the whole day. I told God that I just couldn’t do it anymore. I told him to take it, because I couldn’t. I told him to fix it because I was going to be locked away from craziness and despair. When I went to pick him up, I was standing in line, wallowing in my own grief. I was trying my best not to look at anyone and block the world out. But then, I heard three little words: immune boosting juice. Then I heard: helps with sickness. And: my friends kiddo has asthma and it has helped that too. I was curious. I sucked in my grief and prayed silently that this was the answer. I walked up and asked what the lady had been talking about. We exchanged phone numbers and that lady has became my friend. She showed me an amazing total health system. I ordered this mysterious juice stuff for my son and told my new friend that if it worked, it would be my answer from God. Two weeks later, my little man was getting better. I was weaning him off of all of his medications and he just wasn’t sick anymore. From that point in August to the present, he has done great. He is now off of the 20+ meds - one ounce of immune juice and two vitamins daily have replaced it all! And he doesn’t have behavioral problems either. I got my son back, happy AND healthy. His teacher has noticed a huge improvement in him this year. He is growing by leaps and bounds and is staying on task. My whole family uses this health and wellness system now. It has been a gift from God in the form of a natural plant based system. We are all reaping benefits from it and I cannot wait to see what this new life has in store for us--a life of a healthy husband that’s getting to a healthy weight. A life of healthy kids, and one that doesn’t take (what seemed like) a million meds a day. A life where I am not anxious and desperate. I get teary eyed when people talk about how well things are going. Who am I kidding? I’m teary eyed now. If you have questions about what I have found, please feel free to email me at

Kate Demond is a mommy to 2-year old Annaliese (aka Tiny), wife to Bret, Cincinnati-native but happy NWA transplant, Safe Sleep and SIDS Advocate for Charlie’s Kids Foundation and blogger. You can read about her life with the Tiny Fashionista at

Big News: Annaliese, the Tiny Fashionista, will earn another title this month... BIG SISTER!

I’m not one to publicly declare news via Facebook and the worldwide interwebs, or even a magazine article, but I feel like my cloak of denial has lasted long enough. We’re eight months into this thing, and the belly is clearly getting harder to hide under loose fitting Piko Tops... It’s really happening.  We’re having another baby girl! We are over the moon to welcome another little lady into our family, but to step into our house you’d think to yourself, “Yep, they’re still in denial.”  Nothing has been done.  By this time in my first pregnancy I had purchased more tiny clothes and shoes than an infant could possibly wear.  We painted, we sanitized bottles and pacis and we delicately washed sheets and clothes in special detergent that babies “have to have.”   I’m pretty sure I’d read nearly 25 baby books, and had a birth plan... show up at hospital, get drugs.  Oh wait, that box I can still check.  Birth plan, done. But seriously, this whole second child thing seems a lot less stressful (at least the preparedness part).   Cause here’s the thing, raising a 2 year old is blowing the lid off my pregnant mama stress-o-meter.   I don’t have a single minute to worry about whether I’ve reached my 200 mg of caffeine per day that the baby books say I’m allotted. I drink the coffee because I need the coffee. Chasing Tiny, and worrying about getting her to school and dance and play group on time with clothes on, (not to mention trying to make her a good and kind and polite and happy human being) is about all I can handle.   Tiny continues to be spirited.   That’s the nicest way I can say she’s got an opinion about every teeny tiny thing, and my life has become a guessing game of Which Which?   She wants to do everything “by

36 January 2014

myself!” This includes dressing, diapering, climbing in and out of the car, the high chair, the bed.   But everything takes 10x as long. Couple that with the fact that I’m pregnant (read: angry and slow) and it’s a real mess every morning.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays when I’ve dropped her at school by 8:30AM (okay, okay 8:40AM, if we’re being honest), I give myself a giant high five in the form of a Gingerbread Latte for a job done (Well, not well done, but she’s there and dressed). My husband and I spend a lot of time talking to Tiny about her baby sister.   She participates in the conversation, but still, I wonder if she understands her world is about to be rocked.  She says there’s a baby in mommy’s belly, but then sometimes she says there is a baby in her belly.  Like now when she tells me her tummy hurts, she says “my baby hurts.”   We read her books about the baby coming, and her favorite is a book without words.  The idea is we can make up the story for each illustration to match our own family experience.  Daddy reads this to her every night.  So, I’m putting her down for a nap this week and she wants me to “read” it to her.  A couple turns in, there is a page that shows a mommy stepping on a scale.   And, I delicately say, “Mommy steps on the scale every week to make sure the baby is getting bigger inside her tummy.”   This upsets her and she starts screaming “Bs! Bs!”   I try to play along but clearly Daddy has different words for this page. When I ask him later, he says, “Oops! I tell her, ‘This is where Mommy steps on the scale to find out how many L-B’s (as in pounds, ya know lbs.) she’s gained.’” And, my gut reaction is to hurt him.  Except its funny and the vain part of me knows it’s the truth.   So, now when we play the weigh game, Tiny stands next to me and asks “How many lbs. mommy?!”   The flashing number less painful to process, when she high fives me and says, “Yay! Baby’s getting bigger!”





in our

Book of Life

Story by: Bonnie Culp King / Photo by: Staci Coston Photography

anuary 5th marks the 5th anniversary of my husband’s death. When Peekaboo Magazine first published our story, I was in a place of uncertainty, but feeling optimistic about the future. --June 2009 --

Christmas break 2008 was such a special one. Being a teacher meant that my husband Thomas had two weeks off and that he and I would get to spend every day of the break together. A couple of weeks before Christmas, I found out I was pregnant. Our family would be going from three to four! I wrapped up a picture of the positive pregnancy test and let our daughter Caroline give it to Thomas before we left to be with his family for Christmas. During the last few days of our break, we took Caroline to Baby Bookworms at the Fayetteville Public Library. We also took her to her first Ladyback basketball game and attended a birthday party for a friend’s baby who had just turned one. All were things that we enjoyed, but in the moment might have been taken for granted. The evening before he returned to teach, we played with Caroline, ate ice cream and watched Planet Earth. Alone, the events were not necessarily “special,” but it was a beautiful evening that I will always cherish. Thomas and I never took each other for granted,

38 January 2014

and that night I felt a strong pulling of my heart to write him a note telling him how thankful I was that he worked so hard so that I could stay home with Caroline. I told him that I loved him. I left the note for Thomas next to his car keys for him to find on his way to work. On the morning of January 5, 2009, my husband, Thomas, kissed me good-bye. Two hours later he stood at the gates of Heaven. We had watched the weather the night before Thomas was to return to work. There was no call for concern, yet a patch of ice on a bridge near our home turned my life upside down. How could a single patch of ice be so lethal? Soon after I received the news that broke my heart, the story began to fill the news channels. Since we had an early miscarriage last fall, we had planned to not tell anyone we were pregnant until my 12-week mark. Unfortunately, all of our family and friends found out I was pregnant when the television news channels announced it the day of the accident. I had been so sure that Thomas and I would grow old together... That he would be by my side when we delivered our second baby. That he would walk our sweet Caroline down the aisle on her wedding day. Instead, I was now planning his funeral. I wondered about the note I had written the night before the horrible accident. What if he didn’t see it? I mentioned it to some friends and they said they remembered seeing it in Thomas’ car when they went to clean it out

for me. They went back to the car and rescued it for me. The accident happened so close to our house that I know without a doubt the love I have for him was on his mind when he went to Heaven. I take so much solace in that.


-- Update --

osing my husband in that awful accident left us to deal with a gigantic hole in our hearts, as well as adjusting to a new “normal” life we needed to establish. I had no idea what God had in store for our family of three, but He was constantly providing support for us, both physically and emotionally. The Har-ber High School community, our church and countless family and friends surrounded us with love and prayers. I went through a support group called *GriefShare” twice, knowing I wanted to be as mentally healthy as possible for my two young children. God slowly woke me from my grief so that I could function again. Then, in the spring of 2010, I felt God restore joy in my life. I definitely tried hard to appreciate baby Thomas growing out of babyhood, but the joy had to be returned by God. He gave me a lighter heart so that the burden of grief was not all consuming. To this day, grief still plays in the background of my life, but

it stopped being the filter through which I saw the world. I started truly laughing again and enjoying my children as they grew without constantly crying about the fact that Thomas wasn’t here physically to share it all with me. I knew he was rejoicing in heaven. I let God have control of my grief, recovery, and my precious husband with the promise I would see him again, and I threw myself into what our new life would need to be without him. I remember people asking if I would ever date again. I would laugh it off. I had no desire to be married again and raising two kids on my own kept me ridiculously busy. I already had had my time being married and I felt this must be the story God has for me. Jesus and I were going to raise these kiddos! Well, I was wrong. My story wasn’t ending, it was unfolding in ways I never dared dream for myself. I tried to sell my son’s baby items and my maternity clothes, but for some reason my sister kept getting mad about it. She kept pulling things out of my garage sale and telling me she would keep them. I thought she meant for herself. But, just a few months later I started to play an innocent phone game called “Words with Friends” with a guy who was friends with many

[ story continued next page ]

f Life A Page in our Book o

of my own friends and who went to our church. We both attended the same campus ministry in college, but we never crossed paths at the time. Then, instead of playing the game we would start sending messages to each other. It was not long after that when I felt God pressing on me to open my heart again to the idea of dating. I resisted, but God is pretty persistent when He knows the plans to prosper us! As I started thinking this might turn into something more, I knew I needed the blessing of my family. I decided to drop the bomb on my precious sister while we were driving (so I wouldn’t have to look her in the eye when she told me I was crazy for considering it!) When I told her “Would you think I’m awful if I told you I have feelings for Tyler?” She was quiet for a moment, so I was ready for her to tell me how it is too soon, too complicated, but instead she started crying! The next words out of her mouth still shock me to this day, “God told me you would be with Tyler… a year ago.” I really thought she was kidding, but she had even told our mom about it at the time. She felt God tell her within her spirit that she didn’t need to worry for me and my future and that He would have Tyler in my life. Wow. God knew I would need that kind of direct message to move ahead in my continuing story He had for me. She also knew better than to tell me about God’s plan or I would have ran the other way fast! It had to be God’s timing. So, with this green light from God, Tyler and I began dating and knew right away that God had placed us together. He wanted a wife and children, and God sure provided it all at once for him! Our campus minister we both had from college performed the ceremony on August 5, 2011 as we were surrounded by our barefooted friends and family on a beach in Florida. This must be my story now, I thought to myself, the four of us as a family.

Tyler and his family have been such a blessing to us. He and the kids bonded so quickly and they love him with their whole hearts. This past year we decided to build a new house together. It was hard on Caroline and I to leave what was our dream home with her daddy in heaven, but we have also learned that new dreams are a reality, not just a possibility. We moved into our new dream home and a few months later started praying about whether or not to expand our family again. I kept having fears creep in to my mind as to whether or not I could go through a pregnancy again, if we could even get pregnant, whether the children would bond, and, most importantly: would I pull my hair out with three kiddos? Finally, I calmed myself down enough to listen to God instead of my anxiety. He reminded me through many sources that we are not to make decisions based on fear. When we think about the future we do not picture Him there with us, and that is definitely a scary feeling. He tells us to trust, obey and we will be provided with what we need to get through whatever the future holds. I thought I had already learned that lesson, but here it came again. So, we obeyed and released our fears. We learned we were pregnant in June. Holy cow, here we go! We are thrilled and a little nervous. Over the months we have relied on God’s strength to give us peace about how our lives are about to change… again. Now we are turning the page to the next chapter in our story. We find joy in the day to day coming and going of our lives with two precious children, and we will soon be joined by a baby boy in early March. We know the blessings of our life have been a result of fervent prayers for our family over the last five years. There are not enough words to thank everyone for what that means to us. We have learned that everyone’s story is continually unfolding until that sweet day Jesus calls us home. At times it feels whatever circumstances surrounding us might be our “story.” It is my desire to always remember today is just a page in our book of life. If you do not like where your story is now, I promise it will not stay the same if you follow God’s calling on your life. And if you do like where your story is now, enjoy it to the maximum. It’s a gift from God. We all are on a path where the only constant is change. I have learned to not take one single thing for granted. I laugh loudly, cry with friends, and set my eyes above this Earth. This is not our final destination, thank goodness, but we have been provided amazing resources in our friends and family to hold our hands as we experience the highs and lows of the road. I have been brought joy from my mourning and I cannot wait to hold this new life in my arms. He will learn of how he has come to be through a story I would never had imagined for myself. I will teach him to carry on his story to comfort and encourage others as I have been. For more information on GriefShare visit


Your Super Bowl Party Headquarters! 20% off ONE regular priced item

(Certain restrictions may apply. Limit one per customer. Expires 1/31/14)




We Springdale Public Library Storytimes Wigglers & Jigglers Pre-School Story Time (Ages 3-5) 9:30 Rattle & Rhyme Toddler Time (Birth-Age 3) 9:30

5 Pinnacle Hills Promenade and the NWA Mall Starlight Skatium 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm $5 612 N. College Avenue Fayetteville, AR 72701 Phone: 479-444-STAR


Giggles CLASSES Little Giggles Indoor Play 10:00 - Toddler Music (18 months+) 11:00 - Enrichment Mondays!! (FREE with admission - for all ages but best for ages 2 years+)


Storytime Fayetteville Library Baby Bookworms Mon & Thur @ 9:45AM Birth to 24 months Toddler Time Mon & Thur @ 10:30AM - 2 to 3 years

Giggles CLASSES Little Giggles Indoor Play 10:00 - Toddler Music (18 months+) 11:00 - Enrichment Mondays!! (FREE with admission - for all ages but best for ages 2 years+)


Broadway on Ice January 17 - 19, 2014 Walton Arts Center Event Details: A celebration of the beauty, grace, and artistry of figure skating, embraced by the magic of the Broadway musical. The show features a dazzling international “All Principal” cast, guest stars wingers and pianists. Presented within the intimate environment of the theater or in the grandiose spectacle of an arena, Broadway on Ice® brings Broadway’s most memorable show-stoppers to life.


Giggles CLASSES Little Giggles Indoor Play 10:00 - Toddler Music (18 months+) 11:00 - Enrichment Mondays!! (FREE with admission - for all ages but best for ages 2 years+) Storytime Fayetteville Library Baby Bookworms Mon & Thur @ 9:45AM Birth to 24 months Toddler Time Mon & Thur @ 10:30AM - 2 to 3 years

Storytime Fayetteville Library 9:30am - Toddler Storytime 10:30 am - Preschool Storytime 3:30 pm - Read to Cody 6:30 pm - Family Storytime


Family Night Events - Every Tuesday at Chick-fil-A in Rogers and at Bentonville location from 5:30 - 7:00

21 Expert Hour (ages 5-12) Rogers Public Library 2:00 PM Expert Hour program allows children to explore, discover, and learn from a variety of topics such as art and science. Every 3rd Tuesday of the month at 2:00 and 3rd Thursday of the month at 4:00 for ages 5-12. Registration is limited and required for this program. For more information call 621-1152 ex. 26.

Storytime Fayetteville Library 9:30am - Toddler Storytime 10:30 am - Preschool Storytime 3:30 pm - Read to Cody 6:30 pm - Family Storytime

Fayetteville on College and 6th St. Bentonville on Walton Rogers on Walnut and Pleasant Grove

For ages 3 to 5 with an adult. Parents or caregivers participate with their preschoolers in gallery conversations and art-making

Preschool Art Classes | Trees Crystal Bridges January 8, 15, and 22, 1 to 2:15 pm



Preschool Art Classes | Trees Crystal Bridges January 8, 15, and 22, 1 to 2:15 pm

Family Night Events - Every Tuesday at Chick-fil-A in Rogers and at Bentonville location from 5:30 - 7:00


Starlight Skatium 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm $5 612 N. College Avenue Fayetteville, AR 72701 Phone: 479-444-STAR


Storytime Fayetteville Library 9:30am - Toddler Storytime 10:30 am - Preschool Storytime 3:30 pm - Read to Cody 6:30 pm - Family Storytime

Family Night Events - Every Tuesday at Chick-fil-A in Rogers and at Bentonville location from 5:30 - 7:00

For ages 3 to 5 with an adult. Parents or caregivers participate with their preschoolers in gallery conversations and art-making

Preschool Art Classes | Trees Crystal Bridges January 8, 15, and 22, 1 to 2:15 pm For ages 3 to 5 with an adult. Parents or caregivers participate with their preschoolers in gallery conversations and art-making

Springdale Public Library Storytimes Wigglers & Jigglers Pre-School Story Time (Ages 3-5) 9:30 Rattle & Rhyme Toddler Time (Birth-Age 3) 9:30


ed Wigglers & Jigglers Pre-School Story Time (Ages 3-5) 11:00

Starlight Skatium Thursday (Adult Skate 18+) 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm $7 612 N. College Avenue Fayetteville, AR 72701 Phone: 479-444-STAR


Mini Art Camp Imagine Studios Village on the Creeks, Rogers 9am to 12pm Ages 4-12

8 activities each week. Each session includes three consecutive Wednesday classes. $30, ($24 for Members) / 3 classes. Register online or at Guest Services.

Preschool Playdate | COLD Crystal Bridges 11:30 am to 2 pm

Starlight Skatium 7pm to 11pm $7 612 N. College Avenue Fayetteville, AR 72701 Phone: 479-444-STAR




Your Super Bowl Party Headquarters!

Mini Art Camp Imagine Studios Village on the Creeks, Rogers 9am to 12pm Ages 4-12


Monthly Preschool Playdates feature a live presentation at 11:30 a.m. by children’s performer Shaky Bugs, art projects, story time, a gallery tour with complimentary “I-Spy Gallery Glasses” for each child, and creative play with Marie Vukin of Project Play Every Day, all based on themes from our collection. Activities are geared for children ages 2 to 5 with an adult. Free, no registration required.


Family Game Night Siloam Springs Community Building 110 N. Mt. Olive St Siloam Springs

20% off ONE regular priced item

Family Game Night is an opportunity for families to come together to play Bingo and multiple board games. Admission: Free


Starlight Skatium 7pm to 11pm $7 612 N. College Avenue Fayetteville, AR 72701 Phone: 479-444-STAR

Homeschool Open House Crystal Bridges 11 am to 2 pm


Homeschool families are invited to learn more about the programs and resources available at Crystal Bridges for homeschool educators, and provide our Education team with feedback about how we can better serve your needs. Meet Museum Educators, experience new educational tours now available, and receive teaching resources. Free, no registration required.

Wigglers & Jigglers Pre-School Story Time (Ages 3-5) 11:00

Starlight Skatium Thursday (Adult Skate 18+) 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm $7 612 N. College Avenue Fayetteville, AR 72701 Phone: 479-444-STAR




Wonders of Winter Wildlife Hobbs State Park Visitor Center January presents an ideal time to experience the wonders of winter wildlife in northwest Arkansas. Join us for a weekend of wildlife-oriented activities designed to delight every member of the family, and to cure early onsets of winter’s cabin fever. Contact the park for a detailed schedule as the event draws near.


Saturday Surprise Rogers Public Library 2PM Ages 3-12 are invited to join us the 4th Saturday of the month for our Saturday Surprise craft program. We will provide the craft supplies and you will provide the imagination. No registration required. Children under the age of 7 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. For more information call 621-1152 ext. 26.

January 2014



(Certain restrictions may apply. Limit one per customer. Expires 1/31/14)

Broadway on Ice January 17 - 19, 2014 Walton Arts Center Event Details: A celebration of the beauty, grace, and artistry of figure skating, embraced by the magic of the Broadway musical. The show features a dazzling international “All Principal” cast, guest stars wingers and pianists. Presented within the intimate environment of the theater or in the grandiose spectacle of an arena, Broadway on Ice® brings Broadway’s most memorable show-stoppers to life.

activities each week. Each session includes three consecutive Wednesday classes. $30, ($24 for Members) / 3 classes. Register online or at Guest Services.






story by: Kelli DeClerk / photo by: Jenny Bradley


ife has been a little crazy in the DeClerk household the past year and a half. When we welcomed Deacon into the world 10 weeks early on March 4, 2012, we knew our family was complete. Although part of me thought I might want another baby in the future, I knew that my body couldn’t handle another pregnancy. My doctors, including my husband, agreed! They all said absolutely NO more! After three complicated pregnancies and three premature deliveries, we were just thankful to have three healthy kids. After Deacon came home from the hospital last year, he blended into our family perfectly. I wasn’t sure how difficult adding a third would be, but I have to say it wasn’t that bad. He was pretty laid back compared to our first two. He was a relatively healthy baby considering his prematurity. His main issues were failure to thrive and having some physical delays due to his small size, which he continues to be in therapy for. He is still small, but is a happy, smart, well-adjusted toddler!

Note: Last year we had the honor of sharing sweet Deacon’s amazing journey into this world. This month we not only get to update you on his story but his new baby brother Kellan’s as well. To read Deacon’s full story visit

48 January 2014

When Deacon turned one, I decided to quit breastfeeding so I could schedule my hysterectomy (due to the BRCA2 gene). I had an appointment to discuss my surgery with my doctor, which I was going to schedule in the next couple months. Although I knew it was the right decision, part of me was sad that my childbearing days were over. Well, God has a funny sense of humor, because a week later, we found out we were pregnant! It had taken us two years and numerous losses to have Deacon, and here we had done everything to make sure we would

not get pregnant and were now pregnant with our fourth child. We just couldn’t believe it! I was terrified to call Dr. Gorman, so I made my husband call him and give him the news. Needless to say, we were all in shock and very nervous about what lay ahead. I was not ready to go through another horrible pregnancy. I was once again crippled by the fear of losing yet another pregnancy and, at the same time, didn’t know if my body could handle one. My pregnancies are so complicated, and extremely hard on my body and my babies. The first trimester was challenging. I experienced several episodes of bleeding, which made us nervous, and I was extremely sick. This made it very difficult to take care of my 3 kids, but we got through it by God’s grace. Once we made it to the 2nd trimester, we decided to tell family and some friends, which made it easier to explain why I felt and looked so sick! We were still very guarded because of the complexities of my pregnancies, but hopeful at the same time. I saw Dr. Gorman, who took wonderful care of me, every week, and saw Dr. Wendel at UAMS by telemedicine. They layed out all the things that could, and probably would, go wrong in this pregnancy. Needless to say, it wasn’t a pretty picture, but Dr. Gorman kept saying we would get through it. I know he gained a few grey hairs, and I had my typical pregnancy issues. I had severe hyperemesis, bleeding, contractions that

started at 13 weeks and hypertension which began at 16 weeks. Not to mention, I was on heparin injections and I was now 36 years old. It felt like groundhog day all over again. We set a goal of making it to 32 weeks and anything after that was icing on the cake. I was put on partial bed rest at 18 weeks due to my contractions and hypertension. During this time, I missed holidays and vacation, which was not easy but I knew it was worth it. On August 11, I had reached my first goal of 23 weeks 5 days. Ryan and the kids had gone to White Water and had no phone service, but he figured nothing would happen in those 5 hours. Well, in typical Kelli fashion, it did! I started bleeding, cramping and my contractions increased. I drove myself to Willow Creek and learned I was dilated to 1cm and 50% effaced and the baby was very LOW. The biggest concern was my cervical length had gone from 3cm to 1.7cm in 3 days and I had funneling. I received my first steroid shot for the baby’s lungs and was given meds to stop labor. After one night, they decided to send me to UAMS (which is where I had delivered Deacon, too). I was given magnesium sulfate and my second steroid shot and sent by ambulance to Little Rock. It was so hard to leave my kids AGAIN! I had told the kids I would not be going to UAMS and I had to go back on my word.

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Kellan I knew it was going to be so hard on everyone and I felt so guilty. I just couldn’t understand why my body hated pregnancy so much! From the moment I got to UAMS I had two goals: To stay pregnant and to get back to NWA close to my family. Even though I had been there with my last

50 January 2014

pregnancy and knew most of the nurses and staff, who were wonderful, I desperately missed my family! I drove Dr. Wendel crazy and he is a good man for putting up with me. I asked (begged) him everyday to let me go back home. After 10 days in the hospital, I had progressed to 2cm and 75% effaced with the baby still engaged and me still contracting. Despite this, I was stable and was given the option to go to camp (a hotel near UAMS for high risk ob patients). So, of course, I chose CAMP. I had to lay around all day in my room which is not something I’m good at! Thankfully, I had my sister-in-law, Shea, who lived close by. She took care of me and made sure I had everything I needed and kept me somewhat sane! Dr. Wendel said if I made it to 28 weeks, I could head back to NWA and be on bed rest there. I was so excited to have a time frame to get back home. Ryan and the kids visited a couple weekends, but it was so hard when they left. I was just so isolated from everything and everyone and I missed my kids so much it physically hurt! I did have a couple of false alarms and trips to the hospital but was able to go back to camp. At my 26 week appointment, I learned my cervical length was down to 1cm and my fetal fibronectin came back positive. This was not good but we hoped I would make it a couple more weeks. At my 27 week appointment I was told I could go back to NWA the following week….I was so excited (Although we didn’t tell the kids because we knew things could change instantly). Well, in typical DeClerk fashion, my water broke 2 days later. I just couldn’t believe it! So I had to stay at UAMS until delivery, which would be at 34 weeks, unless I delivered earlier. Once my water broke, my contractions picked up to about every 1-2 minutes and they were very painful. They thought delivery was imminent so Ryan headed to Little Rock as fast as he could. After several hours of medications they were able to slow things down, although Dr. Wendel didn’t think I would last very long. On top of all my other issues, now we had to worry about a possible infection from ruptured membranes. Well, I always know when something is about to happen. After just one day, I told Ryan I didn’t feel well. The baby continued to look good but I just felt sick. On Sunday, 4 days after I ruptured, Ryan went back home and my mom came to visit and I told her I felt bad, my contractions had picked up and I felt like the baby was really low. After she left that night, I was miserable. I was freezing but drenched in sweat and felt like I had the flu. And I kept feeling something “down there.” I just assumed it was the hand because the baby had been head down the night before when they checked me. After an entire night spent on the monitor and slowly seeing the baby’s heart rate increase and me showing some signs of infection, the doctor decided to check me. Let’s just say it’s a good thing she did!

I heard the words “I see body parts,” and knew instantly what she saw. There was a foot in my cervix! No one could believe it because I had been checked the night before and the head was down. I kept thinking, “So, that was what I felt down there the last 12 hours.” These are words that the nurses on the antepartum floor don’t like to hear, and let’s just say I was RUSHED down for an emergency c-section. Things happened so fast because they had to get the baby out ASAP. It was 4:30AM on Monday and no one was there with me. Fortunately, Shea lived close and made it just in time to be with me. At 27 weeks and 5 days, I delivered Kellan Anderson DeClerk, weighing 2 ½ lbs and 14 inches long. Afterward, the doctor said he had never seen a baby turn footling breech after being engaged for so long and with ruptured membranes. Ryan and I truly believe that God turned Kellan around because I was developing an infection that could have caused him serious problems after birth or even death. Once again, I made for a good case study! After a couple hours I was able to see Kellan as they took him to the NICU. He was perfect and I was just relieved it was all over. Or that’s what I thought! We had just been through this with Deacon 18 months earlier ,so we were very familiar with everything. Kellan had been given every benefit before birth because we knew he would come early, so he did relatively well early on. Thankfully, he was only on

the ventilator for a short time. He just had typical 27 week-er issues. I, on the other hand, was very sick. The day after his birth, I spiked a fever and had the worst abdominal pain I had ever felt. I had developed a uterine infection from being ruptured so long. I have never felt so bad or been in so much pain in my life (and that’s saying a lot)! It was horrible! After 8 days of IV antibiotics, I finally started feeling better and was discharged. After nearly 2 weeks, he was transported to Willow Creek NICU so we could be closer to home. Kellan had a tough time with the transport and required quite a bit of oxygen support after that. He eventually recovered and just needed time to grow and mature. His only set back was a viral infection around 34 weeks, which made him very sick and he had to be intubated for 3 days because of respiratory distress. But once he recovered from that, he really turned a corner. He came home after nearly 10 weeks in the NICU weighing 4 lbs 12 oz. We are all adjusting to having another baby in the house and having two kids under 2 again. It is crazy at times and Kellan probably misses the quietness of the NICU! Having four kids is very hard, but we are so thankful for them and can’t imagine our lives without them. God has blessed our family richly and for that we are grateful. We always said that God ordained this baby from the beginning, so we knew He would get us through it and He did!

How to Make... and KEEP your New Year Resolutions by: Kristen I. Speer, LPC


h, the joys of a new year! The excitement of starting over and making all of those grandiose resolutions to change your life once and for all! I was surprised to read that half of all Americans make resolutions and 88% fail at keeping them. That’s a pretty disappointing statistic, and you can definitely include me in that 88%. But no one ever teaches us how to make resolutions. It’s our tendency to say, “My resolution this year is to quit smoking!” Wow, what a lofty goal! But how are you going to do it? What’s your plan? How will you deal with setbacks? Where do you start? Therein lie the reasons we often fail. If you want to get scientific, there are actual neurological reasons why we are often unsuccessful at keeping our resolutions. The key is willpower, defined as the deliberate decision to do, or not do, an action. Willpower is controlled by our prefrontal cortex, the area of our brains that controls focus, short-term memory, and conducting abstract tasks. Our prefrontal cortex is constantly at work and can become easily overwhelmed with these complex tasks. Willpower is one of those tasks that can overwhelm our brains if it is not trained properly. If we do not train ourselves to exercise willpower then we are likely to fail. Change requires new neural pathways derived from new thinking patterns. So how to we do that? We have to look at making our resolutions habits instead of just goals. According to research, there are four ways to increase your success rate from 12% to 50%. • Pick one resolution that is most important to you. Some professionally recommended goals are exercising, decreasing anxiety and stress, nurturing relationships with those you love, stopping unhealthy habits, (smoking, drinking, overeating) and increasing self-confidence. But again, these are very lofty goals and too overwhelming to leave at that, which leads to… • Make your goals into tiny habits. For example, your goal is to quit smoking. So you might start by saying, “I will not smoke my after mid-afternoon cigarette and will eat an apple instead”. You are replacing one habit

with another. Another example—“I will turn off my phone every time I sit down to eat with my family”. Or, “I will go for a walk every Tuesday and Thursday for at least 15 minutes”. There is no deliberation, no bargaining, no “what ifs”. By making these into specific routines, you are more likely to continue them. It’s just a part of your day, like getting up and going to work or taking the kids to school. • Accountability. The simple act of telling another person your goals reduces your anxiety about them. Surround yourself with supportive people who will encourage and motivate you. Join a weight-loss support group with those who are facing the same challenges. Reduce interactions with those known to tempt you, discourage you, or criticize you. Another way to improve accountability is to write down your goals. Make an inspiration board of quotes, uplifting and motivating pictures, reminders of the reasons why you have made these goals in the first place. Write sticky notes of kind, supportive, and encouraging phrases and place them throughout your home where you need to see them the most (refrigerator, bathroom mirror, next to your bed). • Incorporate positive feedback and rewards. Don’t get too overwhelmed by the big picture. Recognize and celebrate all the times you were successful. It is perfectly fine to celebrate with a reward after successfully eating right throughout the week. Treat yourself to a new outfit, a manicure, or a golf day. Praise yourself for a job well done. Tell others and enjoy the experience of doing something great for yourself! If you change nothing, nothing will change. Here’s to a wonderful 2014—May it be your best year yet! Kristen has been a therapist in a community mental health center for 8 years and is excited to accept new patients in private practice at the Center for Psychology and Counseling. She works with adults in individual, family, or couple’s therapy using various evidencebased techniques. Kristen stays busy as a mother of two boys and wife of 15 years, while pursuing her dream of helping others.

(479) 444.1400 see ad next page..

479.575.9359 5501 Willow Creek Drive, Suite 104

Susan Averitt, MD Board Certified Pediatrician


very year, pediatricians’ offices are plagued with certain infectious illnesses that we know are coming! We try to prepare ourselves for the busy winter season, knowing full well we will see our share of coughs, fevers, vomiting and the like. Some years are worse than others, but without fail, these illnesses revisit us every winter! One of the most common viruses that presents to my office every winter is RSV. Respiratory Syncytial Virus shows up in November or December and makes its presence known by infecting nearly ½ of all young children. First time parents are often unaware of the common nature of RSV or perhaps have never even heard of it. In fact, it is a recurrent myth that RSV is very rare and extremely serious in all cases. This is simply not true. RSV is one of the most frequent causes of the “common cold”. In healthy children and adults it typically causes a runny nose, cough and fever. Sometimes they will have chest congestion or perhaps mild wheezing. Most people who have RSV never even know it! It is fragile babies and small children (as well as the elderly) who suffer the greatest negative impact of RSV. Premature babies, those with severe congenital heart disease or severe neurological problems, do not do well if they get RSV. RSV causes excess production of mucus secretions in the lungs that can be very hard for these babies to handle. Their tiny lungs can fill with mucus, making air exchange and breathing very difficult. These babies often end up hospitalized for supportive treatments such as IV fluids, oxygen, or even assistance with breathing. Another misconception that parents may have regarding RSV is that there is a vaccine available to prevent this disease. This is not true but can be confusing because there is a shot offered to help protect certain patients from getting severe RSV disease. This shot provides antibodies against RSV rather that inducing an immune response within the patient. The antibodies are short lived, so the shot has to be given monthly through the winter season. It is very expensive to produce and provide this shot, so patients must qualify based on their health status. It

56 January 2014

‘s of is given to extremely premature babies and patients with severe heart disease or neurological diseases who are very young. No one over age two qualifies for these shots. Even if a baby gets an RSV shot, she can still contract RSV. The antibodies help reduce the chances that the RSV infection will be severe— decreasing the incidence of hospitalization and severe complications. Perhaps the biggest misunderstanding about RSV is that it is treatable. There is no treatment for RSV. When I make the diagnosis of RSV, I am only able to offer suggestions and support as to how to make the child feel better. The illness has to run its course, and this can last up to several weeks. The child is contagious to other children, so this is a consideration for children in daycare. Each daycare has its own policy regarding returning to class when a child is known to have RSV. For these reasons, it is not necessary to test children for RSV. Knowing for sure that a child has RSV does not provide any additional assistance in making the child well. We do test babies at times when we consider hospitalization or when a diagnosis would assist us in determining what the next best step is in management—for example whether to order more tests or prescribe antibiotics. Often small children with RSV will wheeze, and so treating the wheezing with asthma medications may be a valid option. Sometimes this helps, but other times it doesn’t improve the symptoms at all. If a baby is wheezing and breathing hard, I will usually try a breathing treatment in the office. If the baby improves, I will prescribe steroids or inhalers at home. If there is no change, I do not waste the parents’ time or money on asthma medications. Experts in RSV do not recommend treating infected children with asthma medications. Antibiotics do not treat RSV. In short, RSV is common and often causes only a cold in most patients. It can be severe in babies and in children with certain health conditions. It is not necessary to test most patients for RSV. We do not have specific treatment for RSV and it has to run its course. If you need further information about RSV check out or talk with your child’s pediatrician.


by: Mark and Tammy Morris

Whil livingperconnected tonotanidealIV, wefor 16 ehours day is are thankful for it. Thankful that she has survived.

-- June 2011 --

seriously wrong and our roller coaster ride had begun.

y first Father’s Day was certainly not as I had imagined. We were in a strange city, in a huge hospital and within days of making the most difficult decision my wife and I would ever make.

We were told that she “must have some sort of intestinal obstruction” and that surgery would likely be required. She was immediately transferred from Willow Creek to the NICU at Northwest Medical Center in Springdale. My wife was having issues with her blood pressure and recovering from the c-section. The next four days I agonized over needing to be in two hospitals at once - an impossible feat.


Ten months earlier, on August 22, 2007, our only child, Madelyn Kate, made her entrance into our world. After four years of praying for a child, Maddie was conceived with our third (and decidedly final) IVF attempt. We knew we had been blessed with a miracle. I was so ecstatic just to be able to hold her that I found it difficult to breathe. On her second day of life, Maddie could not tolerate any feeding and began vomiting bile. We knew something was

X-rays showed that, to everyone’s surprise, there was no true obstruction, but that the transit time through her intestines was markedly delayed. Her intestines functioned as if she were a 30 week old, premature infant. We were told that it should simply be a matter of weeks for her intestines to mature before we could take her home. Within days, her tiny tummy became so distended that it looked like she had a watermelon in it and she screamed in pain. A tube was inserted down thru her nose and taped to her face to drain the stomach contents so that she wouldn’t have to vomit them. When the vomiting would quell for an hour or more they attempted feeding thru this same tube; it was just a few drops at a time but all to no avail. We could no sooner get her clean and dry before she would vomit again. We felt helpless, desperate and frustrated. After 3 weeks with no improvement, Maddie was flown to St. Louis Children’s Hospital, one of the top 5 children’s hospitals in the country. We spent another few weeks trying to increase feeds by mouth and feeding tube. Maddie was tested for every disease and disorder they could think of. They tried numerous medications, but in the end nothing helped. Each time we received just a single positive word or

promising test result it gave us enough strength to pull ourselves out of the sadness that came with each bit of bad news. At one point, we overheard a doctor tell another, “We’ve given up feeding her.” The words were like daggers to our already-fragile hearts. Family and friends were concerned and worried for our sweet girl, but repeating the stories of each day’s dramatic events over the phone to each individual meant my wife had to keep reliving them over and over again. It quickly became too painful. So, to help communicate with everyone at once, we set up a Caring Bridge site. My wife spent much of her time weeping as she rocked Maddie in the dark, lonely NICU room. In the absence of a cause for Madelyn’s intestinal failure, a tentative diagnosis of chronic intestinal pseudo obstruction was made. Chronic intestinal pseudoobstruction (CIP) is a rare disorder of gastrointestinal motility where coordinated contractions (peristalsis) in the intestinal tract become altered and inefficient. When this happens, nutritional requirements cannot be adequately met. At just 6 weeks old, our tiny, baby girl had already had four full-thickness small intestine biopsies. While most parents of newborns are concerned about things like getting their baby to sleep through the night or who will be on diaper duty, we were waiting in prayer as doctors placed a tiny catheter in a vein just under the skin in Maddie’s chest that was then threaded through the blood vessel all the way to the tip of her

heart known as a central line. All of her nutrition would now go through this IV line. It was around this time that my wife asked one of the doctors “is pseudo-obstruction something that could kill her?” The reply was, “I don’t think we can answer that just yet.” Madelyn had been on TPN (total parental nutrition or IV nutrition) 24-hours a day since shortly after birth. The solution was causing its own set of problems. The TPN was causing liver damage, and she was shockingly jaundiced. Although it was giving the nutrition she needed to survive, it also ran the risk of causing the liver to fail and/or have life-threatening blood infections, metabolic bone disease or anemia. Incredibly enough, we found a pediatric GI motility expert (one of a handful in the country) about two hours away in Kansas City. When Maddie was 10 weeks old, we transferred to Kansas City. The doctor was able to perform a test that would give us a definitive diagnosis of intestinal pseudo-obstruction. We felt relief that we knew what to call it, but devastated that there is no cure and that she would be “chronically ill” for the rest of her life. She was in surgery the next day to have a permanent feeding tube put in her stomach, an ileostomy placed and more intestinal biopsies. The “feeding” tube that

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she still has to this day allows us to drain the bile and formula (or food) that has backed up into her stomach as needed to hopefully prevent vomiting. Just two days before our first Thanksgiving as a family, we were finally able to take her home. Learning to handle her IV nutrition, tube feeds and ostomy care was terrifying, even with the help of 5 grandparents, other family, and many friends. We rarely slept more than 2 hours at a time and it was very hard to think straight. The first year, she threw up about 30 times a day, around the clock. You have never seen two people jump out of bed and change a crib, a onesie and move some laundry through with the speed, agility and teamwork we have.


-- Update --

addie turned six in August and is thriving in kindergarten at Fayetteville Creative School. Reading to her hour upon hour in the NICU and at home the first few years of life made

60 January 2014

an impact as she is now reading at a third grade level. Due to intestinal failure she remains on intravenous nutrition known as TPN which is infused through a central venous line in her chest. Her infusion time has decreased from 18 hours to 16 hours over the past two years. Her bag of TPN is placed in a backpack (which an adult carries for her) or placed in a stroller or rolling backpack that she pushes so that she is able to be mobile while her IV nutrition is infusing. The bag of TPN is much too heavy for her to carry herself on her back, but when she is older this will be an option. We typically begin her nutrition at 3PM and it runs throughout the night until 7AM the next morning. We are able to adjust her TPN schedule slightly a couple of days per week so that she is able to attend art and dance after she gets out of school. Maddie is an excellent artist and was once asked if she was going to be an artist when she grew up. She replied, that she already was an artist! We are thankful that she has a love for art and reading as we cannot get Maddie’s central line immersed in water so Maddie is not allowed to swim. There is too much risk of infection. So far we have been able to keep her busy enough in the summer that swimming has yet to become an issue. Bathing and hair washing are modified at our house- tricky, but still fun! After bathing, her central line dressing and ileostomy pouch have to immediately be changed as they usually get wet. This process is usually reserved for Sundays when we have a large chunk of time to do all of it. She still has a g-tube in her tummy and an ileostomy which allow us to drain bile and other normal bodily fluids that she is unable to process through her digestive tract. One of her grandmothers is on site at school in case of emergency and to help take care of her medical needs. She is on several medications that are administered through her g-tube throughout the day and monthly iron infusions through her central line. Her iron infusions have been decreased from weekly to monthly. Maddie eats by mouth for pleasure. Some days when she feels well she will eat small amounts of food that

will break down easily. Some days she will not feel like eating at all. Occasionally what she has eaten makes her feel nauseated she will tell us she feels “sick” and we are able to drain this back out of her g-tube in order to keep her from vomiting. Sometimes when she does really well for a week or so I fantasize that she is better. My brain knows that the chances of this are about as miniscule as the proverbial mustard seed but I do have my dreams for another miracle. Since our last article, she has only been hospitalized twice. She was hospitalized in April of 2013 for suspicion of true bowel obstruction and in September of 2013 with a high fever to rule out central line infection and/or blood infection. Both hospitalizations were short, thankfully. Upon our last hospitalization, we were told that we were known to the staff at Arkansas Children’s as not being a “hospital family” so they would try to get us out of there as soon as possible. I looked at the resident who told me this with a puzzled look and she told me that some of their families with chronically ill children actually liked being in the hospital. I can’t imagine how difficult their home life must be if they prefer to be hospitalized and seek it as a respite. Most of the providers in the hospital have not heard of neuropathic chronic intestinal pseudo obstruction and do not understand the intricacies of caring for our daughter. We have to be hyper vigilant that a mistake isn’t made while we are inpatients. Hospitalization also puts her at risk of getting a hospital acquired infection like MRSA or C-Diff. Approximately 5% of hospitalized patients acquire an infection, according to the ‘centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and these infections cost the US $10 billion annually. Very early in her life we were told to, “get her out of the hospital before she REALLY gets sick” by her GI motility specialist. We consider ourselves very blessed, as most children on TPN spend much more time in and out of the hospital with life threatening central line infections and other various illnesses. Maddie has some sort of central line guardian angel because she has never had a central line infection. When we tell doctors and nurses this that meet her for the first time many don’t even believe us. I know saying the entire “Hail Mary” while I “scrub the hub” of her central line cap with alcohol before I connect her TPN surely helps. Most days all things run smoothly, but some days are very hectic, overwhelming and can be downright scary. It takes an extraordinary amount of organization, constant planning and help. The ordering and organization of supplies, medications, refills, coordination of appointments for monthly labs, and doctors’ appointments at various offices within Northwest Arkansas and with several departments

[ story continued next page ]

NICU in St. Louis. While there, our room was across the hall from a newborn who had GI issues very similar to Maddie’s. She was one of a set of twins. The birth mother had given her up for adoption and had chosen to keep the “healthy one”. The child’s foster mother, the age of a typical grandmother, who also had three other foster children at home, traveled 40 minutes each way to visit this child and learn to care for her (g-tube and TPN). One day as she visited, she discovered the birth mother had stolen all the clothes she had bought for her new foster child. I often wonder how the “healthy one” will feel when she finds out that she has a sister out there, just as precious as Maddie. While I applaud the birth mother for realizing that she was unable to care for the special needs of one of her children I often wonder if perhaps the “healthy one” would have been better off staying with her sister.

at Arkansas Children’s in Little Rock. Her GI, nephrology and surgery docs are beginning to hold clinic more frequently in Lowell which is much more convenient. Like all first-time parents, our social life has diminished from what it was pre child, however ours has taken much longer to recover than most other couples. We have been out to dinner or to social events only 3 times in the past year! It is difficult to find a babysitter to care for a child with Maddie’s medical issues. It would require an RN or someone with several weeks of hands-on training. Honestly, it just isn’t worth it to be away from her for a few hours and we end up talking about her the entire time we are out anyway. Luckily, we have a small group of loyal friends that are very understanding and haven’t abandoned us yet. We have never spent a night away from her and we continue to share a bedroom in order to be there in case she is feeling sick during the night or her infusion pump malfunctions. We rarely feel sorry for ourselves in this life that has chosen us. Anytime I begin to feel down that we are missing a tailgate party or dinner on Dickson with friends, I take myself back to a conversation I had with a mom in Alabama who had moved her family to Nebraska for 14 months for her daughter’s small bowel, liver, pancreas transplant. I asked her for her email address so that we could stay in touch. She plainly said, “No, I don’t have email--we lost everything, our computers, our cars, our house, we lost everything, EXCEPT OUR DAUGHTER.” Let me tell you that the paint color you are having a hard time choosing, the extra 15 lbs. you want to lose, the snide comment someone made, none of it matters, none of it. Not all parents are cut out for this life. Writing this article floods me with memories of the

62 January 2014

We are often asked if Maddie will grow out of this. or what the plan is for her. That question is very difficult to answer. Unfortunately, there is no cure for chronic intestinal pseudo obstruction. She is not a candidate for small bowel transplant because she is doing quite well on TPN. Children on TPN can suffer from liver damage and are always at risk of blood sepsis if their central line becomes infected. Also, there are only so many veins in the body that can support a central line. Central lines tend to have to be moved if they frequently become infected. Central line access has not become an issue for Maddie so far and we are told that it will not be. Some children on TPN tend to have a hard time growing. She has remained at about 10th percentile on the growth chart, and the doctors remain happy with that. If her liver ever began to fail again or if she began to lose central line access, she could be listed for transplant. However, at this time transplant is NOT a cure for this disease. The five year survival rate is still only 60%. Five years is not long enough for us. 60% is not acceptable. It has been said that with intestinal transplant you are trading the devil you know for the one you don’t, but sometimes it is the only option in patients with Maddie’s disease. We are ONE good anti-rejection drug away from transplant being a cure. Our feeling is that a stem cell treatment that repaired non-functioning nerves in the intestine will likely replace transplant as the best treatment option. The researchers tell us we are 10-30 years away. While living connected to an IV for 16 hours per day is not ideal, we are thankful for it... Thankful that she has survived. Many children with this disease and others like it have died while on the transplant list waiting for organs. Organs from children for children are very hard to procure. Please consider organ donation. It is a conversation to have with loved ones before it becomes necessary. Thank you for your prayers. You can visit Maddie at madelynmorris

Voice recognition service allowing Deaf and Hard of Hearing to use the telephone.


I. Will. Be. by: Julia Bernards


-- April 2011 --

t is amazing how quickly the path of our lives can change. Before Isaac was born in August of 2009, I had expected to simply slow down for a couple of weeks after he arrived to enjoy him before jumping right back into the full swing of our busy lives. That wasn’t how our lives were to go, however. When I went into labor with Isaac, my husband Sam put his hands on my head and gave me a blessing. Afterward, we looked at each other and wondered “What will follow?” The answer to that was much more than we could ever have expected, because, unbeknownst to us, Isaac had a number of birth defects. Within hours of his birth, it was discovered that he had a diaphragmatic hernia. His abdominal organs, including his stomach and most of his intestines, were in his chest cavity, where they had displaced his heart, kept his right lung from inflating and compromised the development and inflation of his left lung as well. It was the real-life angels (our midwife, doctors and nurses) that were responsible for keeping him alive before he was life-flighted to the Arkansas Children’s Hospital NICU. In the quiet hours that it took for us to drive to Little Rock, we contemplated the real possibility that we wouldn’t see him alive again. Grief, accompanied by exhaustion and a lot of hormones, set in later that evening and continued to grow over the following weeks. We watched Isaac make incremental progress day by day, week by

66 January 2014

week, but Isaac was still struggling. He was fighting off pneumonia and couldn’t get off the ventilator until his lungs could handle breathing on their own. He was also agitated and in pain—even a light touch caused his face to bunch in protest (he couldn’t cry because of the breathing tubes). I sensed that he was so discouraged that his will to live was waning. There hadn’t been much in his short life to be worth holding on to. I began to pray for a miracle. Along with our prayers, my husband and other elders from our church gave Isaac a blessing of healing. That was Sunday night. The following morning, Dr. Arrington, Isaac’s neonatologist, took us aside to look at the daily X-rays. He showed us x-rays from the previous weeks that showed his lungs full of fluid and little sign of the left lung at all. “Now look at today’s X-ray!” he exclaimed, and there were Isaac’s lungs, fully inflated and beautifully clear. “I don’t know what we did—I’ll have to check the log.” I knew, though, that this was my miracle. On Tuesday Isaac was off the ventilator, and in my arms. I was in heaven. I am so grateful for the kind, excellent nurses who attended to Isaac and looked out for me at the same time. I am also grateful for institutions like the Ronald McDonald House that gave us a private, convenient place to stay, and the hospital, which organized scrapbooking and game time gatherings for the hospital parents. Finally, we were able to bring Isaac home. Miraculously, he had no lingering complications, though we were warned not to take him into public until the spring in order to avoid illness. He did well,

and I spent many happy hours just holding him and rejoicing. The winter was long though, and lonely. My life revolved around Isaac—doctor appointments, physical therapy, quiet days and long nights with colds, chronic ear infections and frequent feedings. Isaac’s next birth defect was identified in February 2010 by his physical therapist, who was concerned about the lack of flexibility in his feet. She asked me to go to a pediatric orthopedist for an evaluation. After a perfunctory examination, the doctor diagnosed “rocker bottom feet.” I didn’t feel convinced by the exam and diagnosis, though, and decided to do some research on my own. A few hours on the internet revealed Isaac’s problem: congenital vertical talus (CVT)—basically the reverse of clubfoot, caused by a misalignment of the bones and requiring months of serial casting, surgery and years of leg braces for correction. I was floored. We started going to St. Louis for Isaac’s treatments every week. The local Shriners helped us with transportation, lodging, and anything else we needed. I was so grateful that Isaac was finally being treated, yet having him in full leg casts was an emotional shock. While he took it bravely, I was forever worrying about his discomfort, about not being able to bathe him, and about more developmental delays. I felt like I was constantly

coordinating care for my other children.


-- Update --

ver Thanksgiving, we visited my dad, an Alzheimers patient, who is now living in a nursing home in North Carolina close to my mother. One of the times we visited, we found the residents in the midst of an activity, all gathered in a circle, singing songs and having snacks. Isaac was delighted. He made his way to the center of the circle and entertained the residents with his antics. He was turning somersaults, dancing, and talking to the “grandmas and grandpas” around him. One by one, the residents began to smile. Those who had been sleeping woke up, and the grumpy ones didn’t deter Isaac—he won them all over. At last, he started giving hugs. He went around the whole circle and put his arms around every waist or neck. He laid his cheek on his shoulders and smiled brightly. This is Isaac—one little four-year-old boy, brim-full with the power of love and life. Isaac walked a difficult road for the first several years of his life. I believe his exuberant spirit was influential in pulling him through, along with excellent medical

[ story continued next page ]

care and a loving, supportive family. Born at home with a previously unknown diaphragmatic hernia, Isaac’s life was in jeopardy from the moment he was born. For two months in the Arkansas Children’s Hospital he battled forward, healing from surgery only to contract pneumonia, and finally, thanks to prayers, fasting and Priesthood blessings, overcoming that and progressing towards strength. Then, during subsequent physical therapy to help him through developmental delays, we discovered he had another

Isaac is a survivor. My mom has nicknamed him “I Will Be,” shortened from his name: Isaac William Bernards. Though I once had to come to terms with the possibility of life without him, I can scarcely imagine it now. In 2012, Isaac returned to the

This is Isaac—one little four year old boy, brim-full with the power of love and life.

I. Will. Be.

birth defect called congenital vertical talus—like club foot, but with feet and bones distorted in the opposite way. Months of weekly trips to St. Louis for serial casting of both legs and feet, followed by surgery and 18 months of orthotic braces slowed Isaac down, but didn’t stifle his spirit. He continued to be a joyful, friendly boy, delighting family, friends and caretakers with his smiles, fun, and gentle heart. He learned to crawl with full-legged casts and to stand while wearing the orthotic braces, joined with a bar. Now he runs, jumps, and loves going to gymnastics!

Arkansas Children’s Hospital with life-threatening pneumonia, and lay in the PICU on a ventilator for nearly a week, but we simply knew he would pull through, and he did. Recurrent pneumonia and a weak immune system are Isaac’s only health concerns, now. All winter I keep a sharp watch out for the three indicators of pneumonia--cough with fever and shortness of breath--and we head to the doctor when any two appear. Last winter was the first he avoided hospitalization for pneumonia, and we are hoping for a repeat this year!

In the meantime, Isaac is just Isaac! He loves to be with friends, enjoys preschool, plays cars and Legos with his siblings, and rides his balance bike like a pro. Isaac identifies with superheroes (Spiderman being his favorite) because, like them, he is powerful and good. With his boundless energy and agility, Isaac loves gymnastics. This year, Isaac will start kindergarten, a new phase of life, and that sort of blows me away. The scars he takes with him are fading. His heart and mind and body are strong, and his spirit is undaunted. I believe the Lord has a plan for Isaac—one which manifests His power, grace and love. Being present each day to witness the wonders and mark the miracles in the life of this vibrant little boy is a source of great joy. As he shares his spirit and the grace of God with those who need it, as he did in the nursing home with my dad, and as he does in many ways, most every day, I believe his life will be a great one.

68 January 2014


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LOW-T? by: Dr. Jim Elkins

ow T means low testosterone, which is not good! Let’s talk about Low T in men.. then I will discuss Low T in women in another issue. Yes! Women make testosterone too! (so stay tuned.) Testosterone is one of the most important hormones in the body. It is associated with strong, adequate muscle strength and lean body mass, healthy strong bones, mental sharpness, active sexual libido, decreased fat mass, increased energy, increased desire and endurance for exercise, a strong secure immune system, and a sustained, powerful cardiovascular system—just to mention a few areas where testosterone is a key factor.

natural, bio-identical testosterone results in a decrease in total cholesterol and an increase in HDL (the good cholesterol). Studies have also shown that a Low T is linked to increased heart and vascular disease, worsening blood sugar levels in diabetes, increased Alzheimer’s disease, decreased cognitive function and memory, and more aggressive prostate cancer.

Testosterone, in men, is produced primarily in the male reproductive system. Testosterone naturally begins a slow decline around age 30 and continues to decrease as we age. Symptoms of testosterone deficiency can include fatigue, weight gain, loss of libido, decrease in mental sharpness, loss of motivation, mood swings of irritability, declining muscle mass and muscle strength, and an accumulation of excess fat mass in all areas of the body. Many of these symptoms and some diseases (osteoporosis, arthritis, degenerative joint changes, and others) have been associated with normal aging. The simple fact is that these symptoms are actually secondary to low hormones which can be fixed! Replacing testosterone with a natural, bioidentical testosterone is healthy, safe and effective. Men who use testosterone replacement report they feel more masculine, stronger, healthier, and have more energy!

Testosterone research has gone through quite a learning curve. In the past there have been many questions about replacing hormones to a youthful level, but current knowledge indicates that testosterone replacement is safe, effective, beneficial, and even protective. Early replacement, as soon as symptoms develop, with proper, natural, bio-identical hormones given in proper doses and being monitored to achieve and maintain blood levels (similar to blood levels in men in their early 30’s) is recommended. Currently testosterone is given through the skin, on a daily basis as a cream, gel, or patch. Injections are also available which allow direct blood access by bypassing the liver. Experience is very important when it comes to hormone replacement. Too much testosterone or too little testosterone can cause problems. Blood levels are the most accurate way to evaluate and monitor testosterone replacement.

In the past, testosterone replacement was associated with an increased cholesterol level. This was related to the use of synthetic testosterone that resulted in liver dysfunction and subsequent elevation of cholesterol. Current studies have shown that replacement with

If you are a man over 30 or you are a woman who loves a man over 30—be smart!! Consult an experienced doctor to get started on hormone replacement. I have been using natural, bio-identical hormone replacement in my practice for over 30 years. I’ve seen many positive results which equals happy, healthy people that live happy, healthy lives!

70 January 2014

Simple, common sense tells you that the time in a man’s life when he feels the best, performs the best, and looks the best is the same time in his life when he has the most testosterone—usually before age 30. This is when his testosterone begins to decline.

Dad’s View

with Ben Lacy

Happy New Year!!!! We’ve made it through the holidays, and now it is time to get the kiddos (and adult-os) back on schedule! No more Xbox all-nighters and chocolate IV’s. Since school is about to reboot, let’s begin this article with a math problem to clear out those Christmas cobwebs: Three guys are looking for a cheap hotel room and find one that is $30 per night. They all stay in the

Word Problems

same room and divide the cost evenly so they each pay $10 ($30 / 3 = $10). They give the innkeeper the $30 and go upstairs to their room. After they leave the innkeeper thinks “Geez, those guys were pretty cool. I’m going to give them $5 off the cost of the room” ($30-$5 = $25). He then gives $5 to the bellhop to take up to the room where the 3 men are staying. However, on the way up to the room the bellhop remembers that the guys didn’t tip him so he takes $2 out of the $5 given to him by the innkeeper and

puts it in his pocket. $5 - $2 = $3 so he gives the 3 guys $3 back in total; so each man receives $1 each. If you remember they each paid $10 for the room, but now they’ve each received $1 back and $10-$1 = $9. Well, $9 x 3 = $27 and the bellhop took $2. $27 + $2 = $29. The original amount was $30. Where is the other dollar? Apologies for taxing you with a story problem so early in the year; ask your friendly local math teacher and they will easily explain my fiendish trickery, but it is a fun illustration on how sometimes getting numbers to add up isn’t so easy (and it’s a lot easier to figure out than the BCS system). Here’s another story problem. Your twelve-year old daughter comes home from school and is eager to see all of her friends at dance practice. However, she has enough homework to gag a dozen donkeys. Dance class is pre-paid and she needs to attend to make sure her group is synchronized for competition. But, she had a low “B” in science last grade period and item #1 on tonight’s homework dossier is “Tomorrow: Science Mid-Term Exam.” What do you do? How about another? A friend is in desperate need of support due to some serious curve balls life has thrown at him. His needs are pressing and, because of our modern silly schedules the only time you can get together with him is Thursday at 7:00PM, which just so happens to be the exact time your in-laws are scheduled to be in town to have dinner at your house. What do you do?

tomorrow’s train wreck since, as we all know, “Man Plans, God Laughs.” Side note: Do any of you have a family calendar? My wife used to put a dry erase board in front of my sink that had every meeting, appointment, practice, sports event or happening for the entire month, color-coded by day by family member. One day she found me in cold sweats hiding in the back of the closet chanting “Serenity now.” Since then, she only shows me the current day’s agenda. An entire month was just too much for my melon to manage. I can only take 24 hours of story problems at a time. So, what do we do? Try as I might, I have yet to find a book that lists the answers to life’s story problems in the back and, yes, I would totally cheat if I found one. But now, we are the story problem teachers of the little students that inhabit out habitats. And, while the above problems can’t be solved with a Big Chief tablet and a trusty #2 pencil, they are just as important to teach children as the 3 R’s. Like math problems, there is usually more than one way to come up the correct answer and each of us has our own methods. Just remember, the choices we make also teach our children what to do as they grow and face life’s story problems.

And one more. You just found out the final tournament game for your son’s basketball team is scheduled for next Saturday at 9:00AM. He loves his teammates, and they are facing a team that beat them by one point in overtime two weeks ago. This Saturday morning, also at 9:00AM, is his youth group’s local ministry trip to work at a local food pantry. The mission trip was scheduled months ago. What do you do? While growing up ,I routinely avoided story problems like the plague, but apparently and unfortunately my teachers were right when they told me I needed to learn how to solve these problems. Maybe they were trying to teach me life lessons along with (gag) algebra; either way, these problems are tricky. The real bummer is there aren’t cut-and-dry, blackand-white answers to many of life’s story problems; especially when you throw 1 or 2 or 3 or 19 kids into the mix. What is more important: school or dance? What is more important: family or friends? What is more important: church or sports? These are not simple questions, and the answers can differ, both by child and by day. Today’s perfect schedule is


At a Glance ARTS and MUSIC

At a Glance

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First Security Bank (Pg. 18)


ABC Happy Kids Learning Academy (Pg. 67) (479) 621-6126 Better Beginnings (Pg. 9) 1-800-445-3316 The Kid’s Studio (Pg. 77) (479) 268-6675 Larson’s Language Center (Pg. 32) (479) 633-9900 Mary’s Little Lambs (Pg 57) (479) 273-1011 Seeking Sitters (Pg. 60) (501) 203-3097


National Children’s Study (Pg. 80)

Little Giggles (Pg. 11) (479) 268-4949 Mad Science (Pg. 41) (479) 444-0303 The Party Place (Pg. 43) (479 ) 230-9494 Rogers Historical Museum (Pg. 69) Starlight Skatium (Pg. 59) (479) 444-STAR Walton Arts Center (Pg. 47)


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TCBY (Pg. 3) (479) 636-8229 (TCBY)


Mommy and Me Nail Salon (Pg. 39) (479) 903-7033 Pigtails and Crewcuts (Pg. 25) (479) 935-4121


Dr. Jim Elkins (Pg. 71, 75) (479) 636-0300 Friendship Pediatric Services (Pg. 78) Siloam: (479) 770-0744 Siloam: (479) 524-2456 West Fork: (479) 839-3359 Plexus Slim (Pg. 46) (479) 957-0532 or (479) 271-6338 Tate HealthCare (Pg. 61) (479) 271-6511 /


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Walnut Farm Montessori School (Pg. 79) (479) 271-9424



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76 January 2014

To advertise in PEEKABOO 479.586.3890


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David Adams (Pg. 71)


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Bentonville: (479) 273-1212 / Fay: (479) 443-5425


Pediatric Vision Development Center (Pg. 68) (479) 795-1411


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NWA Center for Plastic Surgery (Pg. 2) (479) 571-3100


ABC Happy Kids Learning Academy (Pg. 67) (479) 621-6126 The Kid’s Studio (Pg. 77) (479) 268-6675 Larson’s Language Center (Pg. 32) (479) 633-9900 Mary’s Little Lambs (Pg. 57) (479) 273-1011 Walnut Farm Montessori School (Pg. 79) (479) 271-9424

Gifted Journeys (Pg. 52) (818) 505-3026



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Baby Face and More (Pg. 50) ; (479) 270-7391


The National Children’s Study (NCS) is the largest long-term Study ever conducted in the US with the goal of learning more about children’s health. The Study is looking at how children’s health is affected by a number of factors, including their family health history and the places where they live, learn and play. Benton County families are making health history by taking part in the NCS. Their children are health heroes. The NCS South Region Team would like to thank these families and their communities for their commitment and support of the Study! Everyone in the community can follow the success of the National Children’s Study. Subscribe to the NCS newsletter for Study updates and to learn valuable health information for your family by emailing Like us on Facebook at:

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Your child. Your community. Your country. Children everywhere.

January 2014  
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