Salem MOM | Aug / Sept 2023

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real local moms Salem | Aug / Sept 2023 since 2005

Lactation Services Offered at Santiam Hospital & Clinics Family Birth Center

Just gave birth at the Santiam Hospital & Clinics Family Birth Center?

Inpatient lactation support is available in-person several days a week. You can expect to be contacted by a lactation specialist during your stay here. You'll also get a follow up phone call once you're home. Inpatient visits and calls are great opportunities to ask questions, share concerns, and schedule outpatient care as needed.

Experiencing challenges with breast/ chest feeding or lactation at home?

We're here to help get things back on track. Outpatient visits are available multiple days a week. These are an opportunity to improve your breastfeeding skills, build your confidence, and troubleshoot any issues that arise. Telehealth visits are also available. Email Jessica Bliss, IBCLC to set up an appointment:

503.769.9522 1373 N 10th Ave., Stayton, OR 3 Too Many Tomatoes 20 School Jitters or Anxiety? 24 Save Money Where You Can 28 Advertise today Want to get the word out about your business? Contact Kim Leighty at lovemommag We love hearing from you. Email us with feedback, story ideas or nominations. More ways to love your MOM what‘s inside It’s that counts Meet the MOM experts ... 4 They know what they’re talking about. Because I said so 5 A message from MOM Healthy MOM ................... 6 Back to routines Cover MOM: Laurel Bice ....................... 12 This mom gets real. Too Many Tomatoes 20 School Jitters or Anxiety? ....................... 24 Save Money Where You Can 28

meet the experts

[They know what they’re talking about]


Support for Families with Audrey Benson, page 8


Pets are Family with Dr. Emily Kalenius, page 18


Healthy MOM with Santiam Hospital, page 6


On the Road with Monika Duke, page 10

She believed she could and almost did until someone asked her repeatedly for a snack and she lost track of what she was doing.

— Just about every mom


Because I said so!


Matthew Nelson, Active Media, Inc

PO Box 672, Aurora OR 97002-0672



Managing Director

Audrey Meier DeKam

Mid-Valley & Lane County Business Development Manager

Linda Blair


Salem Advertising


Kim Leighty



Sean Carver

MOM MagazineTM is owned by Active Media, Inc.

All rights reserved. Any reproduction, in whole or part, without written permission of the publisher, is prohibited. Information in the magazine is provided for general information purposes only with the understanding that none of the content constitutes professional advice.

Opinions expressed by the writers or advertisers are not necessarily the opinions of the magazine or the publisher. Inclusion in the magazine does not constitute endorsement of information, products or services.

No need for an invisibility cloak

I’m already a middle-aged mom

I used to think Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak would be a wondrous thing to have. Imagine sneaking around unnoticed wherever you go. Then I turned 40 and realized I didn’t need one because I was suddenly invisible to society.

At first I greeted this new knowledge with sadness, but now at age 50 I realize what power it contains. Because middle-aged women can move through almost all levels of society without being noticed, we make for terrific spies. No one remembers us in the periphery, making snacks or shopping for shin guards. The government should hire us as confidential informants. We move among the people, like whispers. We are providers of food and logistics, we are liaisons to schools and health care, yet we work in the shadows. Basically, we are the Men Women in Black.

There is a kryptonite you should be aware of, though: home and garden shows. On a recent visit to one, it seemed like every exhibitor jumped out from their booths with enthusiasm to see me. Hi, how are you today! Are you in the market for a new roof/landscaping/house painting?! I had to look behind me on both sides. Wait, they can see me? My position had been compromised. My middleaged invisibility cloak had disintegrated! Hot take: if you’d like to feel wanted, go to a home show. (And yes, I actually was in the market for a new roof.)

Other benefits: no more cat-calls or street harassment. Fashionable footwear has been traded for sensible shoes, which are so much better for your feet. It can be lonely work, this middle-age mom business, but the saving grace is one another. If you’re lucky to have a strong friend group of women your same age, they become your sanctum. When you feel depleted from efforts going unseen — it is tiring — your peers know exactly what to do. A weekend away with them refills your life force and allows you to keep going.

Others won’t see you picking out plants at the farmers market, but I do. In the linen aisle of the home store, I see you. Get yourself the high thread count cotton ones — they’re better for hot flashes. Now back to our formidable, invisible, important work. 5

Back to routines

If there’s one thing that can help maintain a healthy lifestyle, it’s a routine. Make this year’s back-to-school transition easier on the whole family by putting a schedule in place to best serve everyone’s mental and physical health.


It’s back-to-school time, which means back to routines. You’ll likely get your child’s academic calendar for the year, which is the ideal time to schedule well child visits, eye exams, dental check-ups and more. Booking these appointments when your child has an inservice day off school (or on late start/early release days) makes things less hectic during the busy year.

When booking your child’s regular health exams, consider:

• Booking the whole family for regular vision checks. Starting the school year off with a fresh pair of glasses (if you need them) can go a long way to making reading, studying and classwork more comfortable.

• Schools, particularly elementary, often provide screenings for scoliosis, vision and hearing. While these are useful, they are not a replacement for regular well-child exams with your child’s health care provider.

• Kids who play sports will need physicals. These are usually required for any team tryout, and also serve as a good baseline for children who do not require frequent medical care. Typically your child’s health care provider can provide them to you at regular well child visits, which is a time saver.

• Dental appointments can fill up fast, so book early. If you have more than one child, see if you can book back-to-back appointments. Doing so keeps your kids on the same schedule for their next visits, too. Getting back into the rhythm of going to bed early and waking up for school can be jarring to the system. It can make for a very tiring first week of school, but there are ways you can ease back in. For all school-age children, reinstate a sleep routine a week or two before school starts. It’s difficult to go to bed when it’s still light outside, but it will lead to better mornings for all.

Sleep is one of the most important factors in both mental and physical health, so it makes good sense to prioritize it. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children ages 6 to 12 get 9 to 12 hours of sleep per night, and ages 13 to 18 years get 8 to 10 hours. It may be frustrating to find your teen sleeping in or dozing off, but remember they have to fit in a lot of hours between school, family, sports and after-school jobs.

Good eating habits are one of the first things to be tossed aside when busy or under stress, so plan ahead to avoid going off the rails (and drivethroughs). Meal planning can feel a bit onerous, but consider taking it a couple days at a time. Buying groceries for a few meals at once takes the pressure off at the end of a work day, and can even save you a little at the grocery store. Fewer trips mean fewer impulse buys. Get in the habit of preparing lunches the night before, when possible, and involve the kids in the choices and prep.

By layering in healthy routines, the whole family can benefit from a more enjoyable school year. With your preventive health care needs scheduled, good sleep for all and a bit of meal prep, you might enjoy less colds and illness, as well as improved moods. Here’s to a healthy school year for you and your family!

Brought to you by: 7
By layering in healthy routines, the whole family can benefit from a more enjoyable school year.

Audrey Benson

922 NW Circle Blvd, Ste 160-112 Corvallis, OR 97330 | 1.888.360.0360

Your rights and IEPs

When you have a child with specialized education needs, you’ve likely encountered an Individualized Education Program (IEP). At its core, an IEP is a legally binding document that provides accommodations for students with disabilities.

Knowing your rights as a parent is crucial in the creation and execution of your child’s IEP. There are six rights you should learn and advocate for:

1. Right to Information: You have the right to be informed about the special education process, including eligibility, evaluation procedures and IEP development. Schools must provide written notice before any changes occur.

2. Right to Participation: You can actively participate in meetings and decision-making related to your child’s education. This includes attending IEP meetings, contributing to goal setting and collaborating with school personnel.

3. Right to Consent: Schools require written parental consent for evaluations or changes in services. You can review evaluation reports, receive copies of the IEP and provide input on services and supports.

4. Right to Independent Evaluation: If parents disagree with the school’s evaluation or services, they can request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) at public expense. The IEE results must be considered.

5. Right to Review and Revise the IEP: You can review the IEP annually and request changes as needed. You can also request additional meetings to address concerns, propose modifications or discuss progress.

6. Right to Dispute Resolution: If disagreements arise, you have the right to pursue dispute resolution options such as mediation, due process hearings or filing complaints.

While creating and implementing an IEP may have its challenges, you’re never alone in the journey. FACT Oregon, a nonprofit, is a go-to for providing families exceptional guidance. With a little know-how, navigating the IEP process is less intimidating and more empowering for parents in supporting their child’s education experience.

Brought to you by:

KIDS NW connects families with compassionate caregivers, specially trained in serving individuals with disabilities.

8 support for family
8 9


Consider your season of life

Gone are the pre-kid days when we’d hope for a push-start of our clunker car from whoever was standing nearby. When it comes to vehicles, most moms seek reliability, fit and safety. With kids in tow and a million errands to run, we need a car that starts every time — and bonus points for onboard wifi.

The new/used debate

Sometimes buying brand new makes the most financial sense, even with the knowledge that cars depreciate quickly. Buying new allows you to know that your vehicle will start when you need it to and not leave you stranded. If it’s not reliable, you will throw money away on towing fees, taking time off work, missing important events, etc.

Buying used will save you money on the purchase price. But the sweet spot of mileage, age, wear and tear can be difficult to mentally sort through. We get it. It helps to talk it out with a no-pressure expert. At Capitol, our mission is to see you happy in choice, be it used or new. Come in for a chat (and snacks) and we’ll help you figure it out.

Determine what you can afford

For new cars, Edumunds recommends that your car payment be no more than 15% of your monthly take-home pay. That’s just the payment, though; you want to factor in an additional 5% for insurance, fuel and

maintenance costs. That bumps things up to about 20%. Again, remember that this is based on your monthly income after taxes and other deductions.

We have a payment estimator on our website, as well as an instant pre-approval for financing. Have a look after you put the kids to bed, as well as shop our new and used inventory online.

Buy from a reputable dealer

If you don’t want to get into the weeds of the math, be sure to work with a dealer who has a long, solid reputation of keeping customers happy. The pop-up seller who is there one minute and gone the next might be more interested in getting as much money out of you in the moment, without regard to how you’ll manage in the future. We’ve been in the car business for over 90 years, so we’ve seen how this goes. Choose a dealer who has an investment in your community — we aim to keep you as a customer for life.

Don’t skip routine maintenance!

If you don’t properly maintain your vehicles in terms of oil changes, routine maintenance, tires, etc., you are throwing your money away. Say that louder for the people in the back: you save money by taking good care of your vehicles. It also makes sense to have your maintenance done all at one place. At our service center, we keep impeccable track of what has been


done and when, as well as when you need to return for routine maintenance.

When not to DIY

Those TikTok videos might make changing out your spark plugs look easy, but if you have to hire a babysitter to watch the kids or take time off of work to do this, you are not saving any money. Put a price on your time: how much money do you burn when you outsource yourself? Your time is valuable, and many tasks make better budget sense to leave to the pros.

Sell or trade-in a vehicle you don’t use

If you have a car just sitting around, it’s not fulfilling its mission in life, which is to drive! A vehicle that sits for a long period of time is also prone to costly problems: batteries lose their charge, fluids go bad, tires rot. The longer it sits, the more it also likely depreciates. We’re always buying used vehicles; just give us a call or stop by.

Check out incentives, rebates and coupons

Car manufacturers are constantly offering incentives and rebates, which can give you a nice cushion of savings. These numerous offerings change frequently, and we keep them posted on our website. If you are a military household, you could also qualify for a special rebate. And who doesn’t love a good coupon? Visit our service page for current savings on parts and labor.

Monika Duke, executive assistant, has been with Capitol Auto Group for 21 years. She is the mother of two daughters: Lauren, age 18, and Morgan, age 17, who were born on the same day exactly one year apart! Monika enjoys working at Capitol because of the great owners and her co-workers. She also loves the freedom Capitol provides to do her favorite activity outside of work: watching her girls play competitive soccer all over the West Coast.

Brought to you by:

on the road
There’s much to consider when buying and selling a car — and many ways to save.
783 Auto Group Ave. NE. Salem, Oregon 800.888.1391 OVER 850 NEW & PRE-OWNED VEHICLES AVAILABLE! Shop our beautiful campus and let us treat you to award winning service! 11

Laurel Bice

PROFESSION: Photographer

COMMUNITY: Independence

PARTNER: Tyler Bice, farmer

CHILDREN: Cayden, age 13; Baylor, age 5; Jackson, age 3; and Lively, age 2


Family comes first.

All families are unique. Tell us about yours. I’m married to my hunk of a farmer husband and so blessed by his work ethic on the farm and in our home too. I met him when I was just a 21-year-old spring chicken and he was a dad to the sweetest 3-year-old (my now 13-year-old stepson Cayden). I never once thought that being a stepmom was in the cards for me, especially at such a young age. But, sometimes God can see the full picture and knows what we need versus what we had planned. The family we’ve built here in the country is truly everything I could have ever dreamed of. We have chickens, and our sweet dog Leia. Our children are the type of kids that I consider “free range,” meaning they run free on the farm most of the time barefoot or riding in tractors. They are muddy and dirty and quickly go between their farm clothes and sports uniforms. Our lives are packed full of sports, plus my husband and I both coach baseball and basketball, have volunteer work, work and more work, and attempt to stay as present in the fun aspect of our children’s childhoods as possible. Every family has its own traditions, rituals or inside jokes. What are some of yours? Our household is basically one big pun. We have constant jokes happening, and not much said in our home can be taken seriously and I love it. Even sweet Lively gets in on the jokes and it may be the sweetest thing that her humor even at age two fits right in. As far as traditions we love our holidays and big family gatherings. We don’t have any extended family locally so we always look forward to the holidays and having people gather in our farmhouse.

When did you know you wanted to be a mom?

Unfortunately at a young age I was told that children may not be in the cards for me. Although I always wanted a big family I had mentally prepared not to until I met my husband and his son. I loved that I had fallen in love with such a kind man who also brought that family I wanted so deeply. Early in our marriage we had a miscarriage and I felt defeated but also encouraged that maybe even just that ability to get pregnant was an option. We now have had three more babies, and I would have more if that was an option for us.

Tell us about one of your proudest mom moments. We had one of our sweet friends over: she’s

about 3 years old and she was missing her mom and crying. My 3-year-old, Jackson went up to her and put his hand on her back and said “I know you are sad but I just want to be sure you feel safe?” I wanted to shout and cheer and clap. I felt like every ounce of kindness and love I’ve attempted to breathe into my children was shown in that moment. What is the most surprising thing you have found wedged between the sofa cushions or behind a car seat? Does a half-melted fruit snack covered in every option of crumbs count? So gross!

We’re all moms so we know that no one is perfect all of the time, or even some of the time. Tell us about your most recent “Mother of the Year” moment. You know, like forgetting to pick the kids up from school. Oh man! The other day my sitter fell through and I had a photography session to get to. Amanda, If you’re reading this, God bless your patient soul! I brought my kids with me hoping they could just quietly play behind me while I took some cute photos and all would be perfect… rookie mistake. It was the hottest of all hot messes. I wanted to cry, they were all crying, and I still want to cry about it. My voice raised. It did not help, if you were wondering. I was embarrassed as both a business woman and a mom and just felt overall defeated. It was a great time.

What is something you swore you would never do before kids that you now do? (skip showers, go to a drive through coffee in your pjs, etc.)?

I was the mom that planned to make all my kids fresh purée foods, including veggies in every meal, no McDonald’s…it makes me want to laugh now. Pretty sure my kids are partially made up of McDonald’s at this point. It’s just so easy! I know, I know. It’s not the best for them and one of these days I’ll learn but for now I’m going with quick and easy and I’m not mad about it. Cheers to all the moms that do everything I had planned to do though, you’re the real MVP.

In what way are your children like you? How are they different? Their humor and high energy is me to a T. They are quick with their wit and could bounce off the walls for hours. It’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me! They are different in that they are timid and shy like their dad. But put them in a room of people they feel comfortable with and they shine bright.

You know you’re a mom when you hear yourself say, “____________.” Do you need to pee before you get in the car? Get your hands 13 QA

MOM’s Favorite...

Tell us about your favorite…

…family game: It’s a tossup between baseball and basketball. We have two of those Little Tike hoops in our living room and baseball bases in our front yard. We live and breathe sports in our home.

…words to live by: Be kind, always, and it’s okay to be both scared and brave at the same time.

…place to find some peace & quiet: early morning gym workouts

…binge-worthy TV or podcast: Manifest, Yellowstone

…way to get out of making dinner: Have your kids in sports. You don’t have much of a choice if you’re running between work, games and practice all evening.

…time-saving app or digital tool: TimeTree. You can connect your calendar with family members and friends. My mom, husband and best friend can all see my schedule. It’s the best!

out of your pants. Why are you so sticky? Where are your shoes? Get your fingers out of your brother’s ear.

Your biggest wish for your kids is… That they are kind and always feel loved and know who loves them. I never want them to question their worth, and I pray they never make anyone else question theirs too.

No one works harder than mom.

We know that being a mom is a full-time job. How do you balance (or not) motherhood, activities, work, volunteering, household responsibilities, and life in general? What sometimes falls through the cracks?

When I find out I’ll let you know! For real, my brain is always in overdrive and calendars help so much. I make sure to put everything on my calendar, from snack days to

sports, to clients and my husband’s schedule. If it’s in the calendar, it will get done and it will get done right, but if it’s not then don’t plan on it. The biggest thing to fall through the cracks is self-care for my husband and I both. We have to plan ahead for date nights and time away to reconnect with friends and ourselves. It’s hard to balance it all but it’s also so worth it if you can make it work.

Tell us about your work or volunteerism outside of the home. My community is so important to me. My husband and I both coach and volunteer in our kids’ sports. My husband is the coach of the tournament basketball team in Dallas, and I coach our son in Rookie baseball. I also have found myself on the board for different sports programs in Dallas. I love staying involved and giving back to our community.

Tell us about a recent achievement you’re proud of, or a personal passion or talent. I’m feeling honored as I recently had my photography published in a few photographer magazines and even was featured as the cover artist. I was also awarded silver for best photographer in the Willamette Valley, and I’m blown away by that nomination and the votes I received.

If mom’s not happy, nobody’s happy.

Tell us about your upbringing. How did it shape the mother you are today? This one is hard for me but I also want to be transparent as my life now is truly a blessing but getting here hasn’t always been easy. I was raised by a single mother, I have my two full sisters and my two half-siblings, they are all 100% my family though. My dad left my mom while she was pregnant with me, and my mom raised us on her own for most of my life. She remarried once after my dad and unfortunately from this person, abuse occurred that left us all very broken, and honestly I don’t think I realized how broken until I became a mom myself. There was always more than enough love in our home, but also a lot of pieces that remained broken and no one spoke about how we could put it all back together. Even to this day.

I’m told often, as an adult and mom, that I over communicate with my kids. I apologize when I’m wrong and talk to them often about their body safety. I think it’s so important for them at all ages to understand that they have a say in their own lives, and that they can say no and adults should apologize when they are in the wrong. I want my kids


MOM’s Love Local

We love locally owned businesses, restaurants, places and organizations. Share your favorite…

…shop to pick up a gift for a friend: The Find in Monmouth

…coffee spot: The Sippery

…view or scenic lookout: the top of Basket Slough. Head up there for a short hike for sunset, you won’t be mad about it.

…place to treat yourself: Bliss Beauty Bar in Dallas

…restaurant to take the kids: Lively Station

…restaurants for a date night: Rudy’s Steakhouse

…place where the kids can let off steam: bringing our scooters and bikes to parks in Salem and Dallas

to feel safe with me and who I place in their lives, I want them to know they can tell me when they disagree or need something more. I want them to have a voice!

What is special about where you grew up? I was born and raised in Hood River, Oregon, and if you’ve ever been then you know. It’s absolutely stunning and the outdoor playground that it provides in all aspects is magnificent.

What do you think is the most important life skill or value your parents taught you? To be able to provide for myself. My mom always told me that I need to have something to fall back on for when things don’t go my way.

When was the last time you did something for the first time? I’m an adventurous soul so you’ll always find me saying yes to the newest and most extreme adventure. Skydiving? Yes! Bungee jumping? When and where? Let’s do it!

Which good habit do you wish you started earlier? Exercise. I wish I had built the foundation for good, daily exercise before I became an adult and not just in sports but intentional exercise.

When did you realize you were no longer a child? When I wanted more for my own children: when I demanded to end the cycle of trauma in our families. I then realized that I was healing myself as a child by protecting my own kids. That’s when I realized I was becoming the adult I needed as a child.

What is one thing you never had that you want for your kids? I feel like I get so emotional when I connect my childhood to what I want to be different for my kids. I want them to have more. More of a voice. More safety. My connections. More experiences. Just more.

What are three words your best friend would use to describe you? I asked my best friends because I didn’t want to assume. They narrowed it down to adventurous, funny and kind.

What are three words your kids would use to describe you? I also asked them. They said mommy is funny, snuggly and special. What is the quality you like most about yourself? My favorite quality is my ability to make things happen. I’m great at juggling a lot of different things and making sure they are all at 100% and still able to make a joke here and there.


If you could instantly have one new skill (i.e. foreign language, musical talent, eyes in the back of your head, etc.), what would it be? The ability to heal.

What’s your superpower? Can we consider ADHD a super power? I think that’s mine!

It’s Saturday afternoon and you suddenly find yourself at home alone for a few hours (we know, it never happens). What do you do? You’d probably find me editing my photo sessions.

What keeps you up at night (apart from kids, of course)? Everything. My brain continually races to be sure everything is done.

What is your least/most favorite household chore? Folding laundry. Just avoid my bedroom all together, we call the pile Mountain of Clothes.

What’s your guilty pleasure? (dark chocolate hidden in the pantry, TJ Maxx, daily latte habit?)

Sour candy, peppermint KitKats and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos with a cold sugar-free Red Bull. Don’t judge, it’s my go to snack. Outside of your family members, who/what

inspires you to be better? My community. I would not be here in my business without my community of support and I want to be the best for them.

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? Travel alone. I have yet to do it but I plan to travel more in 2024.

They say that everyone has a book in them. What’s the title of your book? Cracks in the Pavement

Listen to mom.

Is motherhood what you expected? What surprised you the most? Not at all, I never expected to love my kids as much as I do. I never realized the mama bear of protection that would come out of my tiny body. I’d do anything for them.

What’s the best advice you’ve received from another mom? My oldest son’s mom once told me that I’d never fully understand until I had my own. I’m not sure that’s really advice but it’s always stuck with me. Before I had kids this made me so frustrated

because I felt like my stepson was a portion of mine too so I assumed I did understand but honestly, until I birthed my own kids or had kids just mine I didn’t even understand the capacity of how much I loved my stepson. I didn’t understand the love I had in me and how much I had to offer until my heart truly beat outside my chest.

What advice would you give your younger mom self? What do you wish you knew then that you know now? Be patient. Hold them longer. Let them sleep on your chest and pick them up when they have tears. It’s so cliche but time goes so fast. Take it all in now.

What message would you like to share with other moms? Remember to tell it like it is. Raise good and kind kids. It’s up to us to raise up a generation of cycle breakers and healers. Raise up leaders and lovers, and children that want to help others be and do good. Protect their hearts and minds from the toxicity of the world but also allow them to learn right from wrong. Lean into your community, other moms and learn from each other. 17

Multi-kitty mealtime dilemma

If you have more than one cat in your household, you might notice that one likes to eat more, while the other eats less. This can be a concern if you have one cat on a weight loss regimen or in need of a therapeutic diet. The good news is that there are a variety of high- and low-tech options to decomplicate the multi-kitty mealtime dilemma.

Automatic feeders are a high-tech solution that only allow access to specific cats. These feeders are great if you need to keep a cat with a diagnosed food allergy away from a certain food. You can also get a separate feeder for each cat to make sure they only have access to their specific food — both the type and amount. Such feeders are programmed to open based on a microchip or radiofrequency ID tag that the cat is wearing.

A low-tech way to manage multiple cat dietary needs is to place one food bowl up high for a more agile cat to access, while restricting your overweight or arthritic cat to their own food on ground level. But take caution not to set up a situation where anyone gets hurt trying to reach a bowl. Another option is to feed each cat in a separate, closed room or in his or her own cat carrier. This also trains cats to love their carriers and can assist with transport to the vet.

Creative solutions and a little extra effort can make mealtimes less like herding cats, and more of a delight in knowing you’re keeping your beloved felines healthy.

18 pets are family Brought to you by: Emily Kalenius, DVM Wilvet Salem 120 Ramsgate Square S | | (503) 741-8858 Open 24/7
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There are over 10,000 varieties of tomatoes in the world. If you’re lucky enough to have a bumper crop, it may feel like you have 10,000 of them in your backyard. But it’s a good problem to have, as tomatoes are delicious fresh, or easy to freeze for later.

20 IS A G O O D


2 pounds of fresh tomatoes, any kind

8 diced garlic cloves

4 – 6 fresh chopped basil leaves

½ Tablespoon of sugar

1 Tablespoon of Italian seasoning

½ Tablespoon pepper

¼ cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, basil, sugar, Italian seasoning and pepper. Set aside. Coat a large cookie sheet with the olive oil, then sprinkle half the seasoning mix over top.

Cut tomatoes in half and place cut side down on cookie sheet until cookie sheet is full.

Sprinkle the remaining half of the seasoning on top of the tomatoes.

Cook for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Scrape everything into the blender to mix until it is saucy.

Use fresh and freeze leftovers. Enjoy with a variety of dishes such as pasta, pizza, spaghetti squash, meatball sub sandwiches and others.


6 – 8 cups diced fresh cherry tomatoes

1 sweet onion, diced

1 jalapeño, de-seeded and de-stemmed, chopped finely

1 bunch fresh cilantro, depending on the bundle size use ½ or all

½ of a fresh squeezed lime

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

Pinch of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and enjoy fresh. If desired, blend about 3 cups in a food processor, then recombine with the chopped portion.

This salsa is great for dipping and perfect for parties.


Cherry, grape or roma tomatoes, sliced lengthwise (if using romas, take out the cores)

Sea salt

Olive oil for storage

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, place tomatoes cut-side up. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.

Bake for two and a half hours. You may want to go longer if the tomatoes still seem to hold too much moisture.

Store dried tomatoes in a jar of olive oil, in the fridge. These will keep for about 4 days, and taste great on pizza or bruschetta, with mozzarella and fresh basil. 21
Fast-and-lazy freezing method: wash, dry and de-stem whole tomatoes, then shove them into large freezer bags. Come winter, you can plop rock-solid frozen beefsteak tomatoes right into a soup, stew or other recipe.

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resolve quickly upon returning home. Falling asleep may be harder for a short time. But overall, your child is the same happy kid you’ve always known.

Symptoms of a deeper problem may include intense emotional swings, difficult to console fears, lasting changes in appetite or sleep patterns, inability to calm down at school even with help from a teacher or friends, and an overall shift of your child’s mood to one that is much more anxious, angry, fearful or negative than you’ve seen. Children who experience these issues may benefit from meeting with their school counselor and pediatrician.

How does anxiety appear in a little kid versus an older child?

School Anxiety


is it run-of-the-mill jitters… and when is it a serious concern?

It’s a tale as old as time: a child who doesn’t want to go to school feigns a stomach ache to stay home. But when this happens often, or there is a significant amount of distress, there might be more to the story. We talked with local experts for insights: Dr. Pilar Bradshaw, a pediatrician with Eugene Pediatric Associates, and Abby Demchak, a social worker with Samaritan Health Services.

Everyone gets nervous now and then. How can I tell if my child has typical first day jitters, or if there’s a bigger concern?

Dr. Pilar Bradshaw: Most children are nervous occasionally, but sometimes back-to-school jitters are actually the tip of the iceberg of a larger problem with anxiety. Most minor adjustments to back-to-school are short-lived, consolable episodes of fear or crying that

Abby Demchak: While there is no straightforward rule to how anxiety presents in different ages, there are some behaviors that can be more common in little versus older kids. For example, kids in elementary school, when anxious about school, may cry, throw tantrums, cling to parents, not want to get ready for school, and tell teachers they aren’t feeling well. While older kids may have some similar behaviors, it is common for older kids to also refuse to get out of bed, stress about tests and grades, isolate from peers and ask to stay home from school.

Should I just let my anxious child stay home? They’re so distressed!

Dr. Pilar Bradshaw: Letting anxious children stay home often backfires because it reinforces that giving in to a child’s anxiety is the answer. Untreated anxiety is like a box that grows smaller and smaller over time, keeping a child from ever more normal life activities. A better approach is to talk with your child about their fears and find meaningful solutions. If a parent doesn’t feel equipped, reach out to your child’s doctor, teacher or counselor for professional tips or direct support.


How do I best talk to my child about their feelings? What should I say not say?

Abby Demchak: One of the best things you can do to support kids’ anxiety (and every other emotion) is to listen and be supportive. Saying things like “Just get over it,” or “It’s no big deal,” can be dismissive and add shame to their already strong emotions. Instead, you want to open a line of communication that prompts open discussion. Saying things like, “I see you are really nervous about school. Can you tell me what is making you feel so nervous?” can be a great way to help them learn to talk about difficult things, as well as get a glimpse into their mind.

It can also be helpful to normalize discussions about mental health. No one should feel alone in their mental health journey and reminding your kids that they are not alone can be even more reassuring. If you feel comfortable, maybe you can even tell them something that makes you feel anxious and what helps you to feel better. Should I say something to my child’s school and teachers? If so, what?

Dr. Pilar Bradshaw: If your young child is afraid, it’s helpful for their teacher to know so they can be ready to help. Share any specific worries your child has (for example, “Maggie is afraid nobody will play with them at recess,”) so the teacher

can know what to watch for that day. The older tween or teen who is struggling may also benefit from a parent giving that information to the school counselor. If anxiety is impeding older kids at school, a formal plan may be necessary to address their mental health needs.

Abby Demchak: It is always a good idea to advocate for your child, especially if you see them struggling. Schools often have resources that can help them, but teachers and other school staff may not even know your child is anxious unless you open up that conversation. My pre-teen will literally not get out of the car at drop-off. What should I do?

Dr. Pilar Bradshaw: If a tween or teen refuses to get out of the car at school drop-off, I recommend against making a scene — this usually intensifies the child’s discomfort at school. Instead, try to remain calm as a parent, drive away from the door, and have a discussion with your child. School is their job and they need to attend. If you cannot convince them to get out of the car, notify the school of their absence and make an appointment to see their pediatrician. Truancy from school indicates that your child’s anxiety is significant enough to require professional support.

What if my child is neurodivergent?

Dr. Pilar Bradshaw: Neurodivergent children often struggle with anxiety, so school may be an extra source of worry for these kids. Enlist your child’s medical and mental health specialists, as well as their teacher, school counselor or principal to help develop an individualized approach for children with developmental or behavioral issues. But always remind your neurodivergent child that their talents and sparkle are an important part of their school community, and help them find their “super powers” that they can use to help make their education fun and rewarding.

Abby Demchak: First, let’s talk about what neurodivergent means! Being neurodivergent means that your brain works a little differently than the mass population. Autism and ADHD are the most common examples of neurodivergence, but anything that is a learning or developmental disability also falls under the neurodiversity umbrella. In fact, the neurodiversity umbrella is quite large. It’s fairly common for neurodivergent kids to feel anxious about school, whether it be stress of trying to fit in, pressure to get good grades or anything of the sort. There are a lot of ways that neurodivergent children can receive support in a school 25
“Saying things like ‘I see you are really nervous about school. Can you tell me what is making you feel so nervous?’ can be a great way to help them learn to talk about difficult things...”

setting, such as individual education plans (IEPs) and 504 plans, both of which are designed for kids with identified disabilities (yes, ADHD is a covered disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act).

What resources are available for my child?

Abby Demchak: Whether it is school counselors, advisors, teachers or therapists in the community, there are people there to help support your children. Your pediatrician’s office will have mental and behavioral health resources or can help you find someone to support your child. Individual counties have great mental health programs that offer individual and family counseling, and there are many private practices that offer the same in the community. A quick search on the internet will help to start finding resources. If you are having trouble with that, schools and doctors’ offices can help find and navigate local resources.

Pilar Bradshaw, MD, FAAP

Dr. Bradshaw practices the full spectrum of pediatric medicine, seeing patients from birth to young adulthood. Her special interests include the treatment of asthma, medically fragile children and adolescent eating disorders. She sees patients at Eugene Pediatric Associates, an independent pediatric practice in Eugene.

Abby Demchak, LCSW

Abby Demchak primarily sees children and adolescents and specializes in treating anxiety disorders and attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder, with clinical interests in anxiety and LGBTQ health. She practices at Samaritan Lebanon Health Center.

Calming the anxious child

It can make you feel powerless to see your child struggling, but there are immediate, practical ways you can help. We asked Jenifer Trivelli of the Salem-based WiseMind Educational Services, for tips.

As the saying goes, you put your oxygen mask on first. Our nervous systems send cues of either safety or alert to our children. These get communicated nonverbally, through facial cues, posture, tone and rate of speech, breathing patterns, and other signals we parents may not be aware of. Grounding yourself first is key.

A parent’s first reaction is often to try and fix whatever the child identifies as the cause of their overwhelming emotion. After grounding yourself, consider making your focus to help your child return to emotional balance first, so their brain works better. You might try telling them to look at your eyes and see that you’re not worried or scared. You can also try directing them to look around and name things as they

see them. This is not distraction; when we turn our head and move our eyes, we send soothing signals to our “on alert” brain by helping it recognize that the environment is safe.

Break down overwhelming situations into achievable small steps. This allows your child to begin making forward movement toward the larger goal. Find out exactly where your child gets stuck and work backwards from there. A manageable amount of anxiety can be useful fuel for growth and learning new skills.

Create rituals and use transition objects. Rituals create a sense of safety through familiarity in situations that may be unfamiliar. A transition object can be anything your child can access a sense of safety or comfort through. Some ideas include a piece of jewelry, a special stone, a photo of a pet or happy memory, or clothing that is comforting. It’s likely they know what could work if you prompt them with the question.

Jenifer Trivelli is an author, speaker and founder of WiseMind Educational Services based in Salem. She combines neuroscience and mindbody education for children, teens and the adults who care for them in her books and in partnership with local schools.
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• Have a clothing & home goods swap with your friends. Make a fun night of it!

• Learn to sew. Replacing a button or patching up a rip will save you from having to replace clothing.

• Kids are hard on clothes — and they outgrow them at lightning speed. Shop gently used clothing for great deals.

• Return unworn items with tags. If it’s too late to do so, take them to a local reseller for cash.

• Before washing, turn shirts with delicate printing or adornments inside-out to make them last longer.

• Keep your wardrobe — and your laundry pile — small by going through it once a quarter. If you haven’t worn it in a year, donate it. This allows you to truly see what you have and avoid buying duplicates.

The cost of seemingly everything has gotten more expensive. How do you keep the sharp rise in prices from bottoming out your bank account? You get savvy about where your money goes.


• Nab those printed and digital coupons! If you forget to bring or use your printed ones, take them to customer service the next time you’re in the store along with your receipt. Some retailers will honor them retroactively.

• Use your reward card to benefit from perks and savings.

• Use free grocery pickup orders to prevent impulse purchases.

• Make your own coffee at home. And if you have leftovers, pour it into a lidded jar and store it in the fridge for iced coffee.

• Pick your own berries or fruit. Make a day of it with the kids at a local farm — they’ll love it. You’ll also probably get better-tasting fruit that’s less expensive.

• Freeze everything: beyond just meat, there are loads of foods you can freeze, such as that unused tomato paste when a recipe only called for half a can, bread on sale, leftover cake, pesto, fresh ginger and so much more.

• Broccoli stems: chop and eat them yourself, or give them to your dog as a healthy treat.


• Save on internet cost: you could save up to $30 a month on your internet bill with the Affordable Internet Connectivity Program. visit to see if you qualify.

• Find a childcare share: this is when a few moms share childcare duties with one another, allowing them to each have a much-needed break.

• Check your city’s event webpages for a plethora of free or low-cost events. Local libraries and parks & recreation have loads of free or low-cost activities for kids and families.

• Fix your stuff rather than replace it. Local repair fairs are excellent places to take that broken bike/fan/ sewing machine. You can learn valuable skills, save money and help the environment. Watch for these: In Eugene, Fix-it Fairs are regularly hosted by or

In Corvallis/Albany, OSU Campus Recycling hosts Repair Fairs. In Salem, follow RepairFairSalem/ for events throughout the area.


That adorable purse is calling your name, and technically it’s a need…you do require some place to put your money and sunglasses while you’re out and about. But unless you’re starting with zero purses, a new one is not a need. Don’t let temptation convince you otherwise.


Instead of making an impulse purchase, take a picture and wait a day or more. Those cute throw pillows you saw at a store? Chances are high that the sense of urgency you had to buy them has decreased over time. If you’re still thinking they’re perfect for you, consider asking for them as a gift for an upcoming birthday. Practice delayed gratification to save yourself thousands.


Need a new serving platter? Want a holiday wreath for your front door? How about a stack of kids’ books? Online marketplaces and local second hand stores are terrific sources. Bonus: there are new items almost daily.


This old-timey saying is a classic for a reason. If you can get by just fine without something, your bank account will thank you. 29
30 DONATE BY PHONE Use your phone's camera Assistance League Salem-Keizer is a charitable, all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax-exempt organization. Fed ID # 93-6030372 Thank you to all that have volunteered, donated or shopped in our shops. Because of you, we are able to continue our mission of strengthening our community. Smiling faces because of you. Ways you can help Become a member Shop the Daue House Gift Shop or Encore Furniture Consign your gently used items. Learn more at

Top tips for a stress-free flight

Picture this: your little ones smiling and giggling as you embark on an adventure together. Traveling with young children can be a joyful experience, especially when you have the right tools and tips to make it a breeze. At Salem Health, we understand the challenges of jet-setting with kiddos in tow, and we’re here to help you make your flight unforgettable — for all the right reasons!

1. Pack smart, pack light: When it comes to traveling with young children, less is more. Focus on essentials like diapers, wipes, snacks and a few new-to-them toys or books to help keep flights and layovers manageable. And don’t forget to bring a change of clothes for unexpected spills and accidents!

2. Timing is everything: Plan your flights around your child’s usual naptime or bedtime, so they can snooze through the trip. If that’s not possible, aim for times they’re well-rested to minimize crankiness (and tantrums!).

3. Ears Popping? To ease discomfort during takeoff and landing, help equalize pressure in their ears by encouraging your child to swallow or chew with a sip of water or a snack. If your infant takes a pacifier, offer the pacifier. For school-aged children, offer sugar-free gum.

By following these tips, you’ll be well-equipped to create a stress-free flight for you and your little adventurers. You’ve got this! Enjoy the journey and embrace the wonders of travel with your young ones. Bon voyage! Brought 31
to you by Salem Health Family Birth Center.
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