Valerie Byrd-Fort

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Valerie Byrd Fort was born in Florida, but when she was four years old, her family moved to the midlands and never looked back. She is mom to Katy (human) and to Lucky, Mozzy, and Penny (rescue dogs). She is married to Marty Fort, owner of the Lexington School of Music, Columbia Arts Academy, and Irmo Music Academy. She is an Instructor for the School of Library & Information Science at the University of South Carolina, where she teaches Children’s Literature to future classroom teachers and librarians. She is also Coordinator for Cocky's Reading Express, the University of South Carolina's literacy outreach program. Valerie is passionate about books, literacy, libraries, and reading aloud with children of ALL ages. She writes about books and other literacy related topics on her blog, Library Goddess. In her free time, Valerie enjoys reading, Barre3, going to Target and endless scrolling of social media  
Things I've Googled Since Having a Kid | Columbia SC Moms Blog

Things I’ve Googled Since Having a Kid

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During a recent sick day (and day spent Googling symptoms), I became curious about what I've Googled since having a kid (in no particular order) -  vomit on couch hand food mouth natural remedies ...

Understanding and Supporting our LGBTQ+ Youth

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I recently attended a Safe Zone Ally training at work. This is a network that offers support to college students who are LGBTQ+. If they are having problems, concerns or just need someone to...
Overcoming a Sick Day :: 14 Things to Have on Hand | Columbia SC Moms Blog

Overcoming a Sick Day :: 14 Things to Have on Hand

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When I was a kid, sick days were kind of fun. I sat on the couch in a comfy "bed," watching all the television I could handle, ate all the typical comfort food (chicken...

Free Things to do in Columbia with Kids

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Looking for something FREE to do with your kids now that we are in the thick of summer? Check out this list!  Splash Pads and other FUN with water Columbia’s got several splash pads, all of them...
Severe Weather Tips | Columbia SC Moms Blog

Severe Weather Tips

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Growing up, I had one of those "prepared moms." We always had extra, just in case. As a kid (and especially a teen), I thought she was nuts. Why have all of this extra...
10 Things to Do When Your Parent is Sick & Needs Care Beyond Your Control | Columbia SC Moms Blog

10 Things to Do When Your Parent is Sick & Needs Care Beyond Your...

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I am a 42-year-old only child. I've had a close relationship with my parents my whole life. My mom passed away six years ago from lung cancer and my dad is in his 70s. My...
10 Benefits to Having (and Being) an Only Child | Columbia SC Moms Blog

10 Benefits to Having (and Being) an Only Child

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On #NationalSiblingDay (April 10), my social media feed was so busy. I loved seeing pictures of my friends with their brothers and sisters (and pictures of all their kids). BUT, I am an only...
Mom + Kids = Alcohol? | Columbia SC Moms Blog

Mom + Kids = Alcohol?

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Something has been bothering me. It may offend you, and I do not mean for it to (because I am all about you doing you), but it is bugging me and I have to...
20 (Almost) FREE Ways to Keep Your Toddler Entertained | Columbia SC Moms Blog

20 (Almost) FREE Ways to Keep Your Toddler Entertained

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My little one just turned three and it is getting more difficult to keep her entertained for any extended period of time. I stay home with her and she currently does not attend pre-school,...
What Keeps Me Sane | Columbia SC Moms Blog

What Keeps Me Sane

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This year, I made the transition to a stay-at-home mom (SAHM). This is HARD. Being a mom is hard (actually, being a human is hard), but staying home all day is a whole new...
flu

Do You Suffer From Flu-Phobia?

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FLU.  It is literally EVERYWHERE. I cannot open the newspaper (yes, we still get a print newspaper) without reading a headline about the number of flu cases and how they are the highest they have...
BUY ME THAT! – And so it begins… | Columbia SC Moms Blog

BUY ME THAT! – And so it Begins…

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I used to teach a class at USC called "Using Information Resources." One of the topics I covered was Media Literacy. My students all hoped to be future classroom teachers, so in this particular...
8 Books to Inspire You in the New Year | Columbia SC Moms Blog

8 Books to Inspire You in the New Year

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It is a BRAND NEW YEAR and if you are like just about everyone else (including me), you have some New Year's Resolutions that you are trying out for 2018. It always helps me...
How NOT to Potty Train Your Toddler - UPDATE! | Columbia SC Moms Blog

How NOT to Potty Train Your Toddler – UPDATE!

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Do you remember How NOT to Potty Train Your Toddler? Guess what?! I'm back with an update! How TO Potty Train Your Toddler! That's right! After 4 tries, my toddler is now (for the...