Archive for March, 2015

Hey, Ho, let’s Go!

Just Add Kids EXPO! 2015 Just Add Kids EXPO! button 2015
Preview Time!
by Just Add Kids Founder,
Paula Herrmann

We hope you accept our invitation to attend our 6th Annual Just Add Kids EXPO! taking place at Case High School on Saturday, April 18th from 9am-2pm.

Not only do we have an amazing line up of exhibitors coming and sharing their family friendly products and services, but a ton ‘o fun for not a lot of dough. In fact, admission is FREE! How does that happen? Well, the FREE comes with a great partnership with Racine Unified School District, as well as support from our expo sponsors Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare-All Saints, Educators Credit Union, Racine County Eye, and The Party Company, LLC.

Let’s open the door to the Case High School field house and walk in. Read more…

You will be greeted by some great young people handing out our event program. Make sure to grab one! (Not a kid, a program.) To the right you’ll see “Just Add Kids Central”. At our home booth, your kids will be able to participate in our Annual “Color Mom Beautiful” Kids Coloring Contest sponsored by Educators Credit Union and Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark. We will kick that contest off online starting in a week!

Just Add Kids EXPO! 2014 pic 2 Educators Credit Union  Photos Just Add Kids EXPO 2012 crowd







So you’re in the north side of the field house…go left and you’ll bump into sponsor row. You know who they are. Check out the fun and hands on activities taking place at their booths. After that, head on over to the south side (or other side of the bleachers). Hit up as many of our vendors as you can: DeRose Children’s Dental  Mad Science of Milwaukee, Inc. Racine Zoo Discovery World St. Catherine’s High School DeRose Family Counseling, LLC Racine Christian School Mad Hatter Adventures Co. Racine County Opportunity Center SaintA Big Brothers Big Sisters Young Rembrandts Racine Community Tennis Association Racine Kiwanis Youth Symphony Racine Theatre Guild Mrs. Myers’ Reading Room Next Generation Now The Academy of Performing Arts – Oak Creek & Franklin Mt. Pleasant Chiropractic & Rehab Usborne Books & More Racine Cooperative Preschool Modern Woodmen Young Living Member #2457011 EverDry Waterproofing Sozo Chiropractic Acelero Learning Wisconsin Racine Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services Department Mother’s Day Out Preschool and Childcare Center Elegance Salon & Spa Kenosha Kingfish Skatetown SCAN (Stop Child Abuse and Neglect)  IMPACT, Inc. Racine Art Museum’s RAM on the Road  …and more to come! Each booth hopes to engage you in some interactive fun for both you and your kiddos.

Just Add Kids EXPO! 2014 PlayZone! pic 2Just Add Kids EXPO! 2014 PlayZone! Jefferson Lighthouse School







Head on out to the cafeteria and visit our area PTAs and Booster organizations as they offer 50¢ carnival games for fun and fundraising.  They’ll also be offering concessions for your lunch or snacking pleasure. Fill ‘er up!

New Olaf Elsa Anna with little elsa  (2)When you’re done there, get yourself back to the FunHub in the south side of the field house. Here is where you’ll be able to visit with Cuddles and Billy Boy the Clowns and their amazing face painting, glitter tattoos, and balloon twisting creations. Also, for a limited engagement, you’ll be able to meet with the Snow Prince, Ice Princess, and Loveable Snowman. Our Racine Zoo will present “Animals of the World” program in the afternoon. Um, don’t forget to bring your camera, or your phone, for that matter!

Rounding out the event, you’ll bump into various characters and mascots and bounce off some energy in the bounce house. Circle back to the north side of the field house, kick back, take a seat, and take in a performance scheduled on our Main Stage. And before you leave, make sure you get your child’s FREE SafeAssured-ID kit which includes a digital photo, personal profile, full set of digital fingerprints, voice sample, and streaming video showing movement and gait.

JEXPO! Jump Up Family Music Starbuck Cheer Pom JT pic 2014Just Add Kids EXPO! 2014 Mascots pic






Please check the Just Add Kids EXPO! page on our website for updates and additions to the show.

Feel free to download any of the below items for sharing! Click on them to pop open, right click, save, share! We appreciate you including on your Facebook page, in your school newsletters, or if your a business…your website? Thanks so much!

Just Add Kids EXPO! 2015 Leaderboard

JAK ExpoFlyer 2015 final color-page-0 (2)JAK Expo Flyer 2015 SPAN final-page-0 (2)








Big Box ad Just Add Kids EXPO! 2015Just Add Kids EXPO! button 2015



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Front and CENTER!

A New Model of Prenatal CareWFH_All Saints 2Cstk_Co (2)

Sponsored by
Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
– All Saints


Finding out you are pregnant can be one of the happiest yet most overwhelming times in your life. You’re not alone. Many women need support from people who are going through the same thing. All Saints is offering a new way of providing pregnancy care for women. It’s called CenteringPregnancy. Read more…

What makes CenteringPregnancy so unique?

CenteringPregnancy uses a group model of prenatal care that combines three important factors – health assessment, education, and support.

In this model of care, not only do women get to spend more time with their health care provider, they engage with other pregnant women, which gives them a chance to learn a lot more about pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting.

How does it work?

Rather than each woman meeting with her health care provider in the doctor’s office, they are placed in a group with other women with similar due dates. Each group meets for 10 sessions throughout the pregnancy and early after the baby is born.


Wheaton Prenatal Care Co (2)








What can I expect?

About the Group Setting: In each of the sessions, you will have private time with your doctor, who provides the same routine exam you would receive during a regular clinic visit. Then you will spend time with the other pregnant women in your group and your doctor. The group will discuss questions, concerns, and solutions on topics including:

  • Common symptoms of pregnancy
  • Nutrition
  • Family relationships
  • Relaxation and stress management
  • Labor and delivery, and hospital procedures
  • Breastfeeding
  • Care and feeding of infants
  • Physical and emotional experiences after the baby is born

About Self-Care: Your doctor will deliver the same care you would have during a normal office exam, but you will participate as well. You will also receive information and tools to help you make healthier choices for you, your baby, and your whole family.

About Time Management: You will be given a schedule of when your group meets at the beginning of your pregnancy. This makes it easy for you to plan ahead.

About Proven Positive Results: Studies show that group pregnancy care reduces premature births, increases breastfeeding, and improves socialization. This can be attributed to the combination of education, support, and knowledge that participants gain in a group setting. Plus, you may find lifelong friends.

Why choose All Saints to have my baby?

All Saints provides prenatal care and high risk pregnancy care under one roof. They also have the only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unity in Racine and Kenosha counties.

Additionally, All Saints is an approved as a CenteringPregnancy® site from the Centering Healthcare Institute (CHI). Site approval is a quality assurance activity that provides practices with expertise, support and guidance to strengthen Centering. It is CHI’s official recognition that a Centering site has met the standards that are specific to the model and its 13 essential elements which range from planning to outcomes. While other sites may offer a similar “centering” model, they may not be an approved site.

The first CenteringPregnancy group of expectant moms met at All Saints for the first time in February 2012. Currently six OB/GYN physicians utilize this model of prenatal care. They include Andrew Alexander, MD; Dustin Brown, MD; Veronica Carver, MD; Anya Hartley, MD; Tasha Johnson, MD; and Rachel Laven, DO.

If you are looking for an OB/GYN, call (262)687-8460 or visit


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Don’t Bring Me Down

The Lift Up Desiree Lincoln Middle School
by Just Add Kids founder,
Paula Herrmann

The winner: The bullied

The loser: The bully

 The best thing to pass through my social media newsfeeds this week has to be the story of the 8th grade cheerleader with Down syndrome from Lincoln Middle School in Kenosha, who was being bullied from the stands at a basketball game this past Monday. The heroes of this scenario are the three boy’s basketball players, or so it seems.

Here’s the link to the original Today’s TMJ4 news segment that quickly went viral:  Basketball players defend Kenosha cheerleader targeted by bully.

Doing my little investigative reporting here, you all must know, evidence of rallying behind Desiree Andrews, the cheerleader, is obvious weeks before this news story (as wonderful as it is) broke! Read more…

Not much of a journalist here, yet, I was curious to see what was going on at the school; how they were celebrating the popularity of their school’s breakout heroes and heroine.  Thank goodness for Facebook!

As reported in Tuesday’s Today’s TMJ4 news report, the school is going to officially called the gym “D’s House” dedicated to Desiree.  Yet, celebrating Desiree and the gym dedication has been the plan for several weeks (if not more)! It did not come as a result of this specific bullying issue. Note the date on the school’s Facebook post.

Lincoln Middle School

My point here is that the culture of inclusion and celebration of this classmate and student with Down syndrome isn’t and wasn’t isolated to this awesome feel good, news and viral-worthy story.

Chase, Miles, Scooter Lincoln Middle School

Again, kudos to the highlighted basketball players Miles Rodriguez, Scooter Terrien and Chase Vazquez; the initially reported heroes of the story. And even better, their humbleness and sharing of the glory given to their teammates in this follow up news report: ‘Stand up for your friends’: Athletes who defended bullied cheerleader talk lessons learned

As many have chimed in on social media, these young men’s parents need to be applauded. They must be pretty proud. As a parent, I know I would be. The parents…more heroes.

School staff have to be recognized as well. How about that Athletic Director, Timothy Nieman, who it seems had something to do with the renaming of the gym. Not to mention, the Lady Knights Cheerleading Squad’s coach(es) and the other cheerleaders.

This is a HUGE story about inclusion before all of the stardom. The probably very regretful kid or kids that took the wrong route to call out Desiree for her differences are being stood up against with their unwelcomed bullying. The shift to see the majority of us (I hope) now refer to disabilities as uniqueness; and the embracing and inclusion of those with disabilities, is refreshing.

You Rah Rah Lincoln Middle School!

On a related note: World Down Syndrome Day 2015, is coming Saturday, March 21, 2015  Please celebrate by keeping this local, now international, feel good story alive on your social media platforms.  It hits several very important topics and words that are #hashtag worthy: #downsyndrome #WDSD15 #lotsofsocks #DsHouse #StopBullying

What does Lots Of Socks mean? Down Syndrome International invites everyone across the world to wear LOTS OF SOCKS on the 21st of  March 2015 to raise awareness on World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD). Get people talking about WDSD by wearing socks…BUT NOT JUST ANY SOCKS…brightly colored socks, mismatched socks, long socks, printed socks, 1 sock…maybe even 3 socks (or EXTRA socks) for 3 chromosomes. Or if you don’t normally  wear socks, the wear them this one day. Just so long as they are socks which people will ask you about. I’m in. You?

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Oh, the People that You Meet…

The Traffick Stop
by Just Add Kids founder,
Paula Herrmann

…When you’re walking down the street. They’re the people that you meet each day.

Well, we certainly hope not! But, maybe so. I’m talking about those engaged in human sex trafficking.

You do remember that song from Sesame Street, right?

That was from a day when my parents felt safe letting us kids run around in the neighborhood for hours on end. Riding our bikes for miles to get to our friends. That surely isn’t the picture that’s painted these days. Is it. Read more…

I am a seeker and processor of information. A lot of things have crossed my path, more so since starting and running Just Add Kids.  It’s my job and my duty to you. Anything baby, kid, family, mom….my eyes and ears perk up.

So why when I first started seeing the phrase “human trafficking” show up, I’d just pass it by? Quite honestly, I never thought that modern day slavery was part of the culture of the United States.  I have a heart for international concerns, really, I just have to pick and choose as my time is limited, right?

Just a few months ago, I had a guest blogger, Karri Hemmig, founder of the Racine Coalition Against Human Trafficking, write about the subject in advance of a seminar that focused on internet safety, sexual predators, and human trafficking in Southeast Wisconsin. [See: Cha, cha, cha, changes. “Keeping Kids Safe In A World Of Rapidly Changing Technology”] Interesting, yes! Yet, I knew about internet safety. I’d seen Special Agent Eric Szatowski at a previous event. In fact, I wrote a series of blogs on the insight and knowledge I gained. [See: Jeepers Creepers! Creeper Alert! Proceed with Caution]. If I am to dialog about/monitor/keep tabs on/whatever/everything with my kids’ activity out there in game land, social media, the texting nation…we’ll steer clear of the creeps. Mom fail in that regard. Aware of the dangers? Of course! Are my kids in the harm’s way. Um, I think so.

So enter the promotion of the movie “8 Days” brought to our community again by Karri’s organization, Racine Police Department, and SC Johnson. Again, this subject of human sex trafficking passes through my newsfeed on Facebook. I read the flier. It peaks my interest…..”1 in 3 children on the street will be lured into prostitution within the first 48 hours of running away from home.” Sad statistic, yet, my kids aren’t the runaway kind, and most of my friends and family members, not high risk for that. Compassionate, yes! I check out the movie clip and start digging into some of 8 Days’ Facebook posts. I finally turn the corner from aware, to “Oh My God”.

I read the transcript from an interview w/Jaco Booyens, director of the film that was posted on their wall on February 1st. Things that stuck out to me:

“…it starts with something as little as soft pornography, that’s where it starts.” “It’s about 80% men” “To buy drugs, nobody starts with heroin. They start somewhere else and they end up there right. So, this lust for something that can’t be filled and it ends up with our children being in motel rooms.” “You drive the streets and you pull into a little market or you’re going for — at a nail spa, there’s things happening in the back.”

Then I find myself reading more… “A shocking statistic, and one of many stats that will make you cringe, like the average age of entry into the sex trade is 12 years old and victims may be forced to have sex 20 to 48 times a day.” (Ref:

Runaway or not, these kids surely didn’t bargain for this.

Next, enter DeAnn. I met her back when I just launched Just Add Kids. She stumbled upon a young victim of human sex trafficking right in her neighborhood. And she doesn’t live in the inner city, my friend. You might be horrified to find out what may be happening right in your neighborhood. [See video here: Activist discusses suburban sex trafficking]

Fast-forward to last night….news outlets reporting that two young girls, ages 13 and 16, from Milwaukee are rescued by the Racine County Human Trafficking Task Force and The Internet Crimes Against Children Unit. Where? Yorkville. It’s real. It’s here.

Getting back to this past weekend’s event, “8 Days”. Did I go? Yes. Impactful. Once again, “O.M.G.” (and I don’t say that lightly). After decompressing and processing, I’ve become energized to join in the campaign against human sex trafficking.

My first step is here. Informing you once again. Maybe this blog post is what incites your desire to become aware, educate yourself and your loved ones, be vigilant, make a difference. Everyone has their calling. This is just another social challenge in my community that I cannot turn my back on. Too many lives. Even just one life that I can positively impact is worth the little effort on my behalf.

Interested in learning more? There is so much to tap into, whether it be research on the internet, or conferences to attend. Find your place in this world of modern day slavery. If at the very least, keep your eyes open and report anything that instinctually just ain’t right.

Here are a few upcoming conferences in our area:

“Restorative Justice and Human Trafficking – from Wisconsin to the World” Conference at Marquette University, Milwaukee
Thursday, March 19 4:30 p.m. — Keynote: Human Trafficking: Listening to Survivors, Fighting for Justice
Martina Vandenberg, President, The Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center (FREE, must register)
Friday, March 20 – Conference (SOLD OUT)

“Hope Run Kenosha Human Trafficking Forum” at Journey Church, Kenosha
day, March 20 1-4 p.m. — Professional: Law Enforcement, City Officials, Social Services, Educators, Healthercare Providers, EMT, Hospitality Industry, Youth Organizations
Friday, March 20 7-9 p.m. — Community: Everyone is welcome. Recommended for ages 10+
Saturday, March 21 9a.m.-noon — Faith-Based: Church Leaders and Faith-based Organizations
(Forum Tracks are FREE to attend, registration requested for Professional & Faith-Based Tracks)

Racine Coalition Against Human Trafficking
Hope Run Kenosha






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