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Showing posts from November, 2020

BR Parents Blog: A Christmas We Didn’t Expect Might Be the One We Need

Originally posted on Baton Rouge Parents magazine blog. 2020 has been a year we didn’t expect, so a Christmas that looks different will fit right in. In this upside down season in an upside down time, some of the Walker family’s holiday traditions can remain intact. I’m not entirely bah-humbug and am looking forward to making at least some sparkly magic with my girls at the end of this unbelievable year. One thing we love to do each year, which is on-brand with my goal of raising readers , is open a Christmas-themed children’s book each night in December leading up to the big day. 2019 Mari did 2020 Mari a solid by wrapping them–all 48, because although my girls will share, it’s really hard to watch someone else open a gift, even reopening the same book for the fifth or tenth time. To wrap, I used tissue paper sourced from after-Christmas clearance (see you again in 2021, I hope), so all I have to do is get out the wrapped books, put them in a basket and let both girls

BR Parents Blog: Wanna Play? Navigating Playdate Etiquette

First published on Baton Rouge Parents magazine blog . How do you get started in the world of playdates? When babies are small, if you have an established community of your own friends with similarly aged babies, playdates are straightforward. They’re basically mom coffee dates with tag-a-long snuggles. Low-stakes library story times and similar walk-in events can make things easy, too.  But once school starts, the world of playdates seems to shift dramatically. Suddenly, mom is no longer calling the shots, although she is still required to initiate the actual social contact.  Maybe for more extroverted people this comes easily or naturally, but as for me it’s been work, and I’m never quite sure I’m doing it correctly or to the benefit of my daughters. I started thinking about and drafting this post pre-pandemic, but I think my questions still apply in our current weird time and space. As my oldest started second grade, her teacher was very concerned about her socializ

BR Parents Blog - Halfway Thru Her Childhood

Originally posted on Baton Rouge Parents magazine's website .   Nine years ago, my baby girl came bursting into the world, sliced out of me in inelegant fashion. Her first moments included pooping on the doctor, craning her strong neck around the room, and in general, seeming ready to take on the world. This girl I’d been dreaming about my whole life was finally here. Blink a few times, and now she’s turning nine, everything I’d dreamed and more. Nine is halfway to 18, which feels monumental. We are at the halfway point of her childhood, and I know the little kid stage is quickly ending. Perhaps it already has. Because Little Sister is close behind at four, Big Sister is really a big kid by comparison, hurdling toward tween-dom and beyond. Although I love writing and graphic design, motherhood is really the truest calling I’ve ever felt and easily identified . My happiest days were my babies’ first ones. After recovering from that C-section and settling into motherho

BR Parents Exceptional Lives -- Taking a First Step: Learning to Walk Again After Spinal Injury

First published on the Baton Rouge Parents magazine website and its November 2020 print issue. Nearly 2,000 accidental shootings happen in the United States each year, and on April 7, 2019, it happened to 24-year-old Devin Puckett while he and a friend were hanging out after playing basketball. “My friend and I were sitting in the house, and he was cleaning his gun and the gun accidentally went off,” Devin says. “He immediately picked me up and rushed me to the hospital.” The single bullet went through Devin’s right arm, through the right side of his back, came out the left side of his back and hit his left arm. His spine and kidney were injured. After he was stabilized, doctors told Devin’s parents, Cassandra Puckett and Calvin Williams, that the injury to his spine was likely permanent and so severe that his feet could no longer move up and down. The sad news was that Devin would not walk again. “That’s what they told my parents, and my parents told me,” Devin says.

BR Parents - One Amazing Kid: Jay Iyer

First published on the Baton Rouge Parents magazine website and its November 2020 print issue. Jay Iyer’s journey with science started with his grandpa in the garden. “My grandfather was probably the most influential person in my life,” Jay says. His first science fair project was inspired by the time they spent together. That science fair was the first of many that Jay would win. This summer, the Baton Rouge Magnet High School senior participated in the Center for Excellence in Education’s prestigious Research Science Institute and created a top written presentation. Jay’s family was the inspiration for pursuing medicine, as several members, including his beloved grandfather, have suffered from neurological diseases. An experience in summer 2019 solidified those professional goals. Jay traveled to Guatemala with the nonprofit Agape in Action and worked in a medical clinic. “It was one of the best experiences of my life,” he says.  Outreach is important to Jay, who tur

BR Parents - November 2020

As Education and Community sections editor, I wrote pages 16-23 and page 28 of the November 2020 issue of Baton Rouge Parents magazine (except the Mother Son Dance brief on page 16). See the web layout on the magazine's website .