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Letter from the Editor October 2010

Jenna Hammond

While September is defined by children heading back to school and returning to routine, October is all about having fun. Halloween is on the horizon, as well as everyone's mindsó including kids whose birthdays fall in October.

To give kids with upcoming birthdays more reasons to celebrate this month, we pack this issue with tricks to make each autumn celebration extraordinary, and treats that every parent, birthday child and party guest will cherish.

For starters, flip to "Fall Festivities" by party guru Penny Warner. Covering the key elements for hosting the perfect bash, from invitations and decorations to refreshments and favors, Warner makes planning a fabulous fall fete as enjoyable as trick-or-treating. She even throws in seasonal games and activities to keep guests entertained. Best of all, there are tons of ways to customize a fall affair to shine the spotlight on the birthday child as the star of the celebration.

Regarding treats for birthday honorees, parents and party guests year-round, our Birthday Directory follows the "Fall Festivities" article. The coveted directory reveals the latest, greatest and most experienced names in the birthday biz. Find short profiles on the leading entertainers, party places and services, right in your area. With all of the exciting resources, you'll likely want to plan a dozen affairs to remember this autumn. Fortunately, you can create an awesome celebration, every day of the year, by relying on the people and places in the Birthday Directory. How's that for having your cake and eating it too? And yes, you'll also see listings for places that provide delicious birthday cakes and other sweet treats in the directory.

Another notable aspect of the October issue is that our Special Needs and Health & Fitness Directory resumes this month, continuing through the December issue. Talk about something to celebrate. That means for three bonus months you have a section devoted to the experts, therapists, doctors, psychologists and other key players intent on managing your family's care and wellness. You'll also find a handful of articles in every issue focusing on health and special needs.

Fittingly, our feature article "Obstetrical Care" offers a blueprint for choosing the right OB provider. Turn to the article by Linda Burke-Galloway, M.D. MS, FACOG, for insight on the five groupings of healthcare professionals trained to treat pregnant women. Keep reading for tips and interview tactics to ensure you're handpicking the ideal provider, whether you're expecting your first child or anticipating a sibling.

Once your anxieties about party planning and expanding your family are quelled, you may want to explore your children's anxieties. Written by clinical psychologist Jerome Bubrick, Ph.D., the article "Should I be Concerned?" addresses whether a child's worries are normal versus unhealthy and possibly debilitating. Frequent fears of monsters lurking under the bed or ghosts in the closet? You'll discover that being afraid of imaginary creatures is typical of kids ages 4-6. Still, the article might provide guidance when it comes to choosing Halloween costumes and decor; perhaps ghouls shouldn't haunt your house this year!

Whatever your plans for autumn celebrations, enjoy the issue.

Jenna Hammond