O'Fallon Progress

Little Peek Boutique gives expecting families first look at parenthood

Little Peek Boutique owner Melissa Thurlow with her husband, Jon Thurlow (on right), and father, Mark Jones.
Little Peek Boutique owner Melissa Thurlow with her husband, Jon Thurlow (on right), and father, Mark Jones.

Melissa Thurlow opened Little Peek Boutique at 701 S. Lincoln in O’Fallon in May. It was created with the focus of offering expecting families exceptional services that are not found everywhere — providing virtual HD ultrasounds, pregnancy massage and prenatal support along with a baby boutique offering many one of a kind items.

Virtual HD is an innovative technology that uses a moveable light source inside the ultrasound probe to provide a realistic view of the baby. Little Peek Boutique typically performs the ultrasounds in-studio with accommodations for plenty of family and friends. They also have the advantage of being able to provide in-home ultrasounds, whether for gender reveal parties, a baby shower or for the comfort and convenience of being at home.

The importance of “,ade in the USA” is the driving force behind the boutique and is the reason Little Peek Boutique is proud to sell exclusively American-made baby and maternity products, with most of the inventory being created by local artists.

Expectant mothers can enjoy the benefits of pregnancy massage on a custom designed table. Prenatal massages have been proven to provide several benefits including reduced anxiety, decreased symptoms of depression, relieving of muscle aches and joint pains and improving labor outcomes.

Registration is now open for prenatal, postpartum, and newborn massage classes. For questions, call Thurlow at 618-978-8203 or visit littlepeekboutique.com

The O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Little Peek Boutique on June 27.

“Melissa Thurlow has come up with such a unique business concept. We think Melissa and her Little Peek Boutique are a great addition to O’Fallon,” said Chamber Executive Director Debbie Arell-Martinez.


St. E’s re-designated as “Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital”

St. Elizabeth’s Hospital was recently re-designated as an Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital by the Illinois Department of Public Health for three years.

St. Elizabeth’s first achieved this this designation in 2014 by implementing emergency stroke care policies and procedures to align with nationally recognized evidence based standards and criteria, like those from the American Heart/Stroke Association and Brain Attack Coalition.

“The renewal of the Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital designation signifies that St. Elizabeth’s Hospital continues to provide high-quality stroke care to our patients,” said Amanda Ernst, coordinator for St. Elizabeth’s Teleneurology Stroke Program.

When a potential stroke patient arrives at St. Elizabeth’s, staff alerts an on-call expert for immediate consultation through telemedicine, or video conferencing. The specialized neurologist is then face-to-face with the patient, family members and Emergency Department staff in order to make an immediate diagnosis and begin advanced stroke treatment and interventions. This innovative technology allows residents from the metro east, to remain close to home, saving valuable time, when it matters most.

“It is important to catch a stroke early, but even more important to prevent strokes all together, which is why St. Elizabeth’s often educates our community about the signs and symptoms of stroke as well as what to do if symptoms present,” said Ernst. “Recognizing signs and symptoms of stroke and immediately calling 911 to be taken to an emergent stroke ready facility, like St. Elizabeth’s, can make a difference in the number of treatment options available and the overall outcome for stroke patients.”

For patients and families who are faced with managing the effects of stroke, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital offers a free stroke support group. The goal the group is to foster a better understanding of stroke recovery, rehabilitation and prevention of recurrent strokes while providing a way for stroke survivors to meet others with similar challenges.

The next meeting will be held Wednesday, Aug. 2 at 2:00 p.m. in the Millennium Room of the hospital, located on the first floor of the Prairie Heart Institute Building, 340 W. Lincoln St. in Belleville.

The upcoming session’s topic is “Social Worker Services” and will be presented by David Lysakowski, a clinical social worker from St. Elizabeth’s Comprehensive Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit.

St. Elizabeth’s encourages the public to learn the signs and symptoms of stroke, which include:

▪ sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body

▪ sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding

▪ sudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, sudden severe headache with no known cause

When symptoms present it’s important to act fast, by following the F.A.S.T. acronym:

▪ Face – Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

▪ Arms – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

▪ Speech– Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?

▪ Time – If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.

For more information about stroke services at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, visit our web site at www.steliz.org, or for questions about the stroke support group, call 618-234-2120, ext. 1519.

Real Estate

Metro-east housing statistics released

As temperatures continue to rise, so do home sales in the metro-east. The number of homes sold in May in St. Clair County rose 21.5 percent since last month. Randolph County home sales also rose over 63 percent and Clinton County saw a 3.7 percent rise since April as well.

Looking at year-over-year, home sales have increased 40 percent compared to May of 2016, while Randolph County saw a 5.9 percent ride in home sales since May of last year. Days on the market decreased 70 percent in St. Clair County and 38 percent in Randolph County compared to May of 2016.

“It’s a busy time for Realtors and the numbers are proving it,” said Mike Gross, president of the Shiloh-based Realtor Association of Southwestern Illinois. “Homes are selling at a faster rate. We are excited about the unique opportunities this market presents for buyers and sellers in the metro-east. Stable home prices coupled with low mortgage interest rates are huge benefits to the housing industry.”

Median home prices have increased in both Monroe and Randolph counties since May of last year. The median home price in Randolph County rose 16 percent over May of 2016 and Monroe County saw an increase of 1 percent under the same comparison. In the Midwest as a whole, the median price in the Midwest was $203,900, up 7.3 percent from a year ago, according to NAR chief economist, Lawrence Yun.

New home development in O’Fallon to offer “simplified living”

Spencer Homes is set to begin construction on a new development in O’Fallon at the corner of Old Collinsville and Milburn School roads.

The development, named The Enclave at Augusta Greens, is designed for maintenance-free, simplified living, according to the developer. These single-family homes will all feature a luxury master suite with a walk-in closet, two or three baths, full basements and oversized two-car or three-car garages. Some plans also offer a flex room appropriate for a home office, hobby or guest room. A homeowner’s association also offers lawn care and landscape maintenance services.

“This is our third simplified living development in three years, and we are so excited to be expanding into the St. Clair County/O’Fallon area,” said Mike Rathgeb of Spencer Homes.

The Enclave at Augusta Greens homes provide open floor plans, tall ceilings and large windows and private outdoor living space. Rathgeb said the homes also feature designs for long-term mobility.

“We construct our simplified living homes with longevity in mind — no steps from the garage into the home, wider doorways and hallways as well as seamless transitions into showers and outdoor living space,” Rathgeb noted.

There are 39 home sites are available, and the first homes are expected to be started in the late fall.