Mid-Valley MOM | Dec 2023 / Jan 2024

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real local moms


since 2005


Mid Valley | Dec 2023 / Jan 2024


My First Choice for My Child’s Health HOW TO KNOW WHEN TO CALL YOUR PEDIATRICIAN As a parent or guardian, it can be challenging to know when your child needs medical care. It can be easy to second-guess yourself. When in doubt, follow your instincts. If you think something may be wrong, err on the side of caution and call your pediatrician.

Here are a few telltale signs that your child needs to be seen by a doctor right away: 1. They have a fever: If your baby is under two months old, a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher is an emergency. If they are older in age, a fever over 100.4 degrees that lasts three or more days could signify a problem that requires antibiotics or further testing. 2. They are vomiting and have diarrhea: Occasional vomiting or diarrhea is common in children. However, if they have both symptoms simultaneously, there could be a bigger problem, such as an infection or dehydration. 3. They’re having trouble breathing: If your child’s nostrils are flaring when they breathe, their ribs suck in with each breath, they are making a funny noise or wheezing, or they are just breathing quickly for a while, it’s time to call your pediatrician. If their lips or nails have a bluish color, call 911 right away. Do you need to talk to a local pediatrician you know you can trust? Call us to schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified pediatricians.

Schedule an appointment 541-754-1278 | CorvallisClinic.com/pediatrics

It’s what‘s inside that counts

MOM’s favorite local places


Meet the MOM experts ... 4

Winter baking


They know what they’re

Cover MOM: Diana Rose Ryan.............14

talking about.

This mom gets real.

Because I said so............... 5

MOM’s favorite local places.......................18

A message from MOM

More ways to love your MOM mommag.com facebook.com/ lovemommag

Stocking stuffers


Winter baking..................21 Stocking stuffers.............25

Advertise today Want to get the word out about your business? Contact Linda Blair at linda@mommag.com

info@mommag.com We love hearing from you. Email us with feedback, story ideas or nominations.

MOM MagazineTM is owned by Active Media, Inc.

Cover MOM


Photos by Christy Campbell Creative

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

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meet the


[They know what they’re talking about] Learn


Partners in Education with Anna Marie Gosser, page 7

Something to Smile About with Dr. Jay Vaikuntam, page 13

Say Cheese


Health Let’s Talk Health with Samaritan Health Services, page 6

Say Cheese with Dr. Wade Haslam, page 9

Home Reimagine Your Home with Rylee Henderer, page 8

Support Support for Families with Audrey Benson, page 24

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Pets are Family with Dr. Josiah Moses, page 23



Focus on MOM with Dr. Grace Anderson, page 10

Helping Kids Thrive with Karen Swanger, page 27



Play with Adrienne Fritze, page 11

Natural Choices with Jasmin Woodside, page 29

Because I said so!

Publisher Matthew Nelson, Active Media, Inc PO Box 672, Aurora OR 97002-0672 info@activemediausa.com 503-825-2100 Editor-in-Chief Managing Director Audrey Meier DeKam audrey@mommag.com Mid-Valley & Lane County Business Development Manager Linda Blair linda@mommag.com 541-231-7250 Salem Advertising Representatives Kim Leighty kim.leighty@mommag.com 503-510-9036 Tina Toney tina@activemediausa.com 503-991-4547 Designer Sean Carver sean@activemediausa.com

The inky embrace of January awaits us There are times of the year that can take many moms to the brink. There’s May, with its end-of-school-year and registerfor-all-the-annual-things chaos. Then September and October, which have a gazillion kids’ birthday parties, plus back-to-school and fall sports. But do any of these compare with December? If you celebrate Christmas, this month is the Mt. Everest of Motherhood. The challenge is the extra work it brings in addition to regular life of taking care of kids, going to work and keeping the house from falling down upon you. Most schools are out for two weeks, so good luck finding childcare and patching together coverage at work. Kids still need meals, socks, nail trims, permission slips signed…the house is its usual swirl of groceries, dishes and laundry. The holidays become an unpaid, part time job. Mental load, anyone? Before kids, my husband and I hastily threw a string of lights around our front door, decorated a small potted tree and called it Christmas. Then came kids, and oh, how the allure to dazzle them is strong. You must resist some of this to keep yourself sane. Two things that have helped me: Never starting the Elf on a Shelf, because once you start that tradition you are locked into it for at least a decade. And don’t stress about wrapping kids’ presents to look photoshoot ready. You’ve seen their artwork; they don’t care if the barcode on the box is covered or not.

cause we all know it’s more than immediate family — it's inlaws, teachers, neighbors and so on. Plus the surprise events, like spirit days, cookie exchanges and old pals blowing through town. A few moms I know seem to breeze through the holidays, which makes me wonder what exactly are they sipping out of that giant stainless tumbler? Cut yourself a break: take the kids out for dinner to one of the places in our annual MOMs Love Local article in this issue. We have an article on stocking stuffer ideas, too, in case your brain is fried. We wish you peace this season, which means your tape doesn’t run out, your childcare doesn’t bail and no one gets the crud. Your unpaid seasonal part time job will be over soon, and the inky embrace of January awaits us. Cheers, Audrey Meier DeKam Editor-in-Chief

Still, this barely takes the edge off the shopping, cooking and organizing. I shop for an average of 18 different entities be-

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Let’s talk health


Have a question you forgot to discuss at the doctor’s office or are too embarrassed to ask? The experts at Samaritan Health Services are here to help.

Q: I am worried about my baby catching RSV and wonder whether she should get the prevention shot?

A: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved nirsevimab for the prevention of RSV — respiratory syncytial virus. This prevention shot is recommended for all infants who are under 8 months of age during RSV season. The season varies but is generally from October through March.

Babies born during RSV season should get the injection within a week after birth. Babies born before the season who are still under 8 months of age should get it at a regular checkup (at 2, 4 or 6 months old). Some children with very severe lung or heart disease will also get nirsevimab during their second RSV season. Ask your child’s pediatrician for more information to help with your decision. — Eddie Frothingham, MD, Samaritan Medical Group Pediatrics Medical Director

Q: If my child gets a respiratory illness this winter, should I take them to the doctor?

If your child is showing any of the following signs, call your pediatrician’s office for advice:

A: As we enter the cold and flu season it is important to know when to seek medical attention when your child is ill. A simple cold, which is caused by any one of numerous respiratory viruses, can develop into a more complicated problem especially in vulnerable individuals — infants, those who have asthma or those with other underlying medical problems.

· Any fever lasting more than three days.

· Earache, sinus pain or pressure. · Drinking much less fluid or having fewer wet diapers.

· A cough lasting more than three weeks. Seek more immediate attention if your child:

· Has very rapid breathing (more than 60 breaths in a minute) or difficult/labored breathing.

Help reduce your child’s risk of respiratory illness by avoiding contact with cigarette smoke, getting all recommended vaccinations (including COVID and influenza), and handwashing frequently.

· Has difficulty breathing AND it is not better after you clear the child’s nose.

· Starts acting very sick.

Although we have no cure for these respiratory viral infections, simple measures such as rest, increasing the intake of fluids and following your medical provider’s care plans may minimize the risk of complications.

· Cannot be consoled or comforted. · Has had no wet diapers for more than eight hours.

· Is extremely tired or hard to wake up. — Eddie Frothingham, MD, Samaritan Medical Group Pediatrics Medical Director

Let’s talk health

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Brought to you by:

Call Samaritan Health Services Find a Doctor line at 800-863-5241 to find a provider who is right for you.

partners in education

Hula hoops are for winter, too A hula hoop might call to mind sunny outdoor days, but they are useful all yearlong in teaching. They can be used in a variety of ways, such as… Showing personal space A key learning area for young children in preschool through first grade is understanding other people’s personal space. Children who can recognize how to give personal space to others and understand their own need for personal play and work space do better socially. When we get too close to others it can cause them to feel encroached upon or uncomfortable. Laying a hula hoop around a child and talking about how to work or play in their circle visually helps them understand their space and others. Focusing during clean-up time Teaching a child how to clean up their room or playroom can feel overwhelming to kids and adults alike. Yet learning how to put items away and create a space of calm is an important life skill. Lay a hula hoop on the floor and ask your child to just put away the items in the hoop. This breaks the tasks into small steps and can support kids feeling accomplished in a task. These techniques are helpful in our own adult lives, like when we need to wait in long lines or get motivated to clean our homes. And if you have the indoor space, why save playing with hula hoops for summer? They are a fun way to get exercise, in any season.

Brought to you by:

www.santiamchristian.org 541-745-5524 x 243

Anna Marie Gosser Santiam Christian Elementary Principal


Explore the beauty of a home birth.

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Julia Bailey CPM, LDM, IBCLC

Liz Baer CPM, LDM

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reimagine your home

A WELCOMING ENTRYWAY The entryway sets the tone for your home, so start your holiday transformation here. Add a festive wreath, twinkling fairy lights and a cozy doormat to give your guests a warm welcome. Consider a fresh coat of paint or a new front door to make a lasting impression. WARMTH FROM THE HEART(H) Update the fireplace surround with stone, brick or tiles to complement your holiday theme. Adorn the mantelpiece with lush garlands and twinkling lights, and hang personalized stockings with love. Complete the look with decorative candles, a holiday wreath and a cozy area rug, creating a warm and welcoming centerpiece for festive gatherings and cherished moments. THE FESTIVE DINING ROOM If you’re hosting a holiday feast, pay special attention to your dining room. A stunning dining table centerpiece with candles, pinecones and seasonal greenery can work wonders. Consider reupholstering dining chairs or investing in a statement chandelier to give the room a fresh look.



THE HOLIDAYS Whether you’re hosting a family gathering, cozy dinner party or simply want to infuse your home with the festive spirit, here are some ideas to help you create a magical atmosphere.

A FUNCTIONAL KITCHEN The kitchen is where the holiday magic happens, so ensure it’s both func|tional and stylish. While we’re late in the season for a full kitchen remodel, pay attention to what might be working or not working for you, to keep in mind for future projects. In the meantime, a fresh coat of paint and new kitchen accessories or tools can work wonders. Don’t forget to organize your kitchen for easy meal prep and cleanup during the busy season. INVITING BEDROOMS For overnight guests or a cozy family retreat, make bedrooms inviting and comfortable. Fresh linens, festive bedding and decorative pillows can transform any bedroom into a holiday haven. Consider a mini-renovation like a new accent wall or refreshed decor to make it extra special. KID-FRIENDLY SPACES If you have little ones at home, involve them in the decorating process. Help them create handmade ornaments for the tree or holiday-themed crafts. Designate a corner of your home for a festive play area where they can immerse themselves in the holiday spirit. With a little creativity you can transform your space into a holiday haven. Happy decorating and happy holidays!

Rylee Henderer | DESIGNER Rylee Henderer grew up around construction job sites, sweeping up endless sawdust in the shop. She formally joined her family’s business in 2017 and learned everything from demolition and framing, to tile and cabinetry installation. From there, Rylee grew into client management, and along the way found a love for design. She is now a full-time designer, creating beautiful, innovative spaces for Henderer Design + Build + Remodel.

HENDERER hendererdesignbuild.com / 541-753-5660 info@hendererdesignbuild.com 2350 NW Professional Dr. Corvallis

8 mommag.com 541 753-5660 info@hendererdesignbuild.com 340 SW 2nd Street Suite 2 Corvallis Oregon 97333

Those tiny rubber bands In orthodontia, we call them elastics, but most patients refer to them as rubber bands. These tiny circular bands are used with braces to move teeth with more force than we can get with braces alone. The elastic bands attach to little hooks on specific brackets. We counsel patients and caregivers how they are to be used, as the direction of attachment is unique to the wearer, as is the amount and length of time they should be worn. Keeping up with regular orthodontic appointments is crucial, as we use different sizes and strengths of bands throughout the course of treatment. For example, as the teeth get closer to where we want them, we will use smaller bands. It’s recommended that elastics come out for eating and brushing, then replaced with new ones afterward. If your child is wearing them, don’t be surprised to find them all over the house. Remind your child to throw away used ones, as they could be a danger to pets and small children.

This smile is brought to you by:

WADE L. HASLAM, DMD, PC 2657 NW Rolling Green Drive Corvallis | 541.757.2440 valleyvieworthodontics.com

Typically, elastics need to be changed several times a day, which is why we give patients generous amounts. If you happen to run out, don’t wait until your next appointment: call us and we’ll arrange to get you more — we don’t want to lose the progress we’ve made in moving teeth. Source: American Association of Orthodontics

Get your tickets online at aquarium.org mommag.com 9

Do night driving glasses work? The need for groceries and taking kids to activities and events doesn’t stop during dark winter nights. Combine rain with oncoming headlights (especially the LED kind), and you get dangerous driving conditions. You may have seen cheap, yellow-tinted glasses advertised online and on TV as a fix for night driving, but they aren’t all they’re made out to be. They were originally made for hunters to see better during the day. Wearing tinted or polarized glasses at night actually makes it harder for light to enter the eyes, making wearing them at night worse for your overall vision. So what’s a mom to do? First, make sure you have a yearly comprehensive vision screening, even if you don’t wear contacts or glasses. There are numerous eye health screenings at yearly check ups you need as preventive care, not just for corrective vision. If you do wear glasses, make sure your lenses are clean. Ask your eye care professional about anti-reflective coating for your glasses that can reduce glare and eye strain. If you wear contact lenses or have post-laser eye dryness, managing dry eyes is key for optimal vision. Keep your eyes moisturized with an appropriate solution. When it comes to your eye care, skip anything that seems too-good-to-be-true. Vision is always best left in the care of professionals. Source: American Academy of Ophthalmology

Brought to you by:

Grace Anderson, OD eyecareassociates.net Albany Willetta St SW (541) 926-5848 Albany Custom Eyes (541) 928-2020

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Downtown Corvallis (541) 757-1120 NW Corvallis (541) 752-4622 Lebanon (541) 451-5808 Lincoln City (541) 614-0946 Salem (971) 377-2703

play Infusing play into motherhood Motherhood — an adventure in itself — is accompanied by a flurry of responsibilities that can sometimes overshadow the lighter, more playful side of life. Yet, the essence of play holds incredible benefits for both children and adults alike. Tabletop games, role-playing games (RPG) and whodunit mysteries are more than just leisure; they’re avenues of connection, learning and creativity. Consider these popular ways to play: • Family board game nights: Set aside a weekly evening for board games like Catan or CLUE. These sessions aren’t just fun but also a chance to bond and delve into meaningful conversations with your children. • RPG for all ages: Dungeons & Dragons isn’t just for teens and adults. Simplified versions or other role-playing games tailored for younger audiences can provide a platform for creativity, storytelling and problem-solving. • Mystery dinners: Spice up dinner with a mystery twist. Use a basic plot or a kit, assign roles and solve the mystery as a family. • Mom’s RPG nights: Remember, adult play is essential too. A monthly role-playing game night with friends is an excellent way to escape the daily grind. Or, have a mystery dinner event with the ladies. Everyone gets assigned a role, and as dinner progresses, clues are unveiled, and the group works together to solve the mystery. For a variety of gaming options, visit us at Conundrum House and explore all the ways to play that add a delightful twist to the daily life of being a mom.

Brought to you by:

In downtown Corvallis at 460 SW Madison Ave. Ste 12

Adrienne Fritze Founder & owner

Visit us online at conundrum.house | 541-224-8114

Happy Holidays from our family to yours!

Explore Summer at Ashbrook!

Say yes to YOU.

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4045 SW Research Way, Corvallis | Register now at www.ashbrookschool.org IN SPIRE | EMPOWER | TRANSFORM F I N D US O N S O C I AL mommag.com 11

Explore Extraordinary! Experience the Ashbrook Difference: Exceptional educational foundation starting in Preschool Challenging core curriculum with advanced math and science Emphasis on critical thinking * Service learning Art, Music, PE, Drama, and 3 world languages Middle school/Lower school Buddy Days Extracurricular opportunities * After school care available

Enrollment still available in some grades for the 2023-24 school year!

Ashbrook Independent School 4045 SW Research Way, Corvallis | www.ashbrookschool.org 12 mommag.com

Come shop our 2nd Annual Holiday Bazaar Dec. 9-10!

Thumbs, fingers, and pacifiers Sucking on thumbs, fingers or pacifiers is normal for infants and young children, and most kids will stop on their own. We advise parents to discourage the habit ideally by age 3. Prolonged thumb sucking can lead to crooked teeth in both baby teeth and permanent teeth that are developing. This can cause the upper front teeth to tip outward, and the upper jaw to narrow in the back. Be sure to use a positive approach and focus on praising your child when they are not thumb sucking. Initially, you could try limiting the time and location where thumb sucking occurs. For example, only at home while the child is in their bedroom. Another good approach is to use a habit calendar with a reward at each big step they make.

Brought to you by:

Dr. Jay Vaikuntam

pediatricdentistoregon.com 155 NW Hickory St # A Albany, OR 97321 (541) 928-1509

Constantly urging your children to stop could be detrimental. Children are smart and quickly recognize that they are getting your attention. Ask your pediatric dentist about strategies and reward-based exercises that go a long way towards minimizing the habit. Source: AAPD

Soulful Strands Beauty Supply! NOW OPEN

We are an ethnic and multi cultural hair care store in the Corvallis area. We have men’s products as well as products not found in stores, from Africa and the UK. We have partnered with some of the best black hair care suppliers. For more information please follow our social media page.

Sweet Candle Express At Sweet Candle Express, we specialize in dessert candles, freeze dried candy, soaps, body scrubs, and bath wash; as well as children’s perfumes and lotions. My 8 year old and I created this business along with our hair supply store.

541-570-2606 (text)

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Family comes first. All families are unique. Tell us about yours. My husband and I met in high school at Crescent Valley and began dating when we were 18, just after graduating. I moved to Eugene that fall to attend the University of Oregon, and he stayed in Corvallis and attended trade school (in Salem) to be an electrician. After earning my bachelor of arts, and six years of dating while living in different towns, I moved back to Corvallis and the rest is history. We’re both now self-employed entrepreneurs: I’m an artist and he’s a contractor/ electrician. We have two daughters, Beatrice and Hazel, and an 11-year-old

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dog named Elvis. We live in South Town and our kids have attended Lincoln Elementary, a dual immersion elementary school, though our oldest is now at Linus Pauling Middle School. We love our neighborhood! We moved to South Town a year before we got hitched and remodeled a small fixer upper house with a nice big backyard. At the time we didn’t realize that we would love the area so much and end up starting a family at the same time as several of our neighbors. So our kids have grown up with their neighborhood friends from birth, and we’ve become close friends with the families nearby. We’ve built a strong neighborhood community and are so grateful that our

kids can romp around the ‘hood knowing so many of the neighbors are looking out for them. Tell us about one of your proudest mom moments. I have proud moments all of the time but especially when I see my kids caring for their community with kindness. Sometimes that looks like helping/playing patiently with younger kids. Sometimes it looks like standing up for other kids at school. Sometimes it’s just being kind and compassionate with their siblings and with themselves when they don’t always get it right. Most of all, I love watching them come into their own and develop their unique perspectives and personalities.

MOM’s Favorite... Tell us about your favorite…

…family game: Clue: The Golden Girls (Who ate the cheesecake?) …place to find some peace & quiet: The forest. I am grateful to have the privilege to enjoy the Willamette Valley forests (ancestral lands of the Kalapuya). …binge-worthy TV: Workin’ Moms …way to get out of making dinner: Burn it to a crisp …time-saving app or digital tool: Alarms and reminders for kid pick-ups/after-school schedules …parenting book or philosophy: The Whole Brain Child by Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

Now tell us about one of your most humbling mom moments. I’ve been blessed with two very strong willed, independent kids that don’t much like being told what to do. During quarantine, I noticed that my stress response was to grip tightly to control, which included directing the activities and behaviors of my family to fit my narrative. I found myself micro-managing everyone’s days and obsessively stress cleaning (partly because of the fear of germs and again partly because I was gripping onto whatever I felt I could control). After a few tough months in a small house together, my family gently and lovingly helped me realize that my over-controlling behaviors were making everyone crazy (including me). Through counseling, mindfulness coaching, attuning to my thoughts and lots of practice I have been working through my triggers and loosening my grip on my ideas about outcomes. What is the most surprising thing you have found wedged between the sofa cushions or behind a car seat? I was cleaning under the couch and noticed that there were chocolate chips raining down from a hole in the fabric. 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. Drinking a glass of wine before giving my eldest a haircut. You know you’re a mom when you hear yourself say, “_______” Alexa, volume down! Your biggest wish for your kids is…That they will cultivate loving and compassionate relationships…with themselves.

No one works harder than mom. Tell us about your work or volunteerism outside of the home. I’ve worked as a teaching artist in the community since 2007. I started my career at the Corvallis Arts Center teaching after school classes and summer camps. I taught at artist residencies in many of the local public schools, at the Children’s Farm Home and at the OSU Craft Center. I continued to teach in the community after having my first child (often packing her on my back with me while teaching classes). After I had my second child I started teaching small private classes at my home studio, which at the time was our converted garage/ laundry room with a few pottery wheels and a small handbuilding table. A few years later, with the expertise, support and plain old-fashioned hard work from my amazing husband, we built a free standing art studio adjacent to our house in South Town. I have been teaching classes and making my own art in the new space since 2018. Often my kids will join me during classes and have developed proficient skills in drawing, painting and on the pottery wheel. Do you have a goal you’d like to accomplish within the next five years? My husband and I would love to collaborate on an art project to exhibit at Burning Man, an event focused on art, community, and self-expression in the Nevada Desert. We have attended the event (without our kids) a handful of times and helped close friends with art installations in recent years.

If mom’s not happy, nobody’s happy. Tell us about your upbringing. How did it shape the mother you are today? I grew up in Colorado and had a great childhood with close friends, family and community there. My mom was a school teacher and a pianist. She taught piano lessons out of our house and played for the children’s choir at church. My dad worked as a shop teacher and was a skilled woodworker. When I was 8 years old and my younger brother was 5, my dad died suddenly and unexpectedly from a heart arrhythmia and that event kind of rocked our world. My mom found out she was pregnant with her third child just after my dad had passed which was simultaneously a joyful and heartbreaking plot twist.

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MOMs Love Local

We love locally owned businesses, restaurants, places and organizations. Share your favorite… …shop to pick up a gift for friend: South Town Co-Op …coffee spot: Interzone …view or scenic lookout: Marys Peak …place to treat yourself to a mani/ pedi, massage or other personal service: Corvallis Community Acupuncture …restaurant to take the kids: La Rockita …restaurants for a date night: Aomatsu …take-out, food truck or quick bite: Tacos El Machin …meetup spot for happy hour: Squirrels Tavern …boutique to find a new shirt or home décor item: The Golden Crane …events in your community: Sage Garden Summer Concert Series, South Town Art Walk

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Shortly after my baby brother was born, we decided to move to the Oregon coast. We chose Lincoln City because of the awesome playground at Rigatta Park and this donut shop with donuts bigger than your head. We eventually moved to Corvallis as my mom got a job teaching French in the Corvallis school district. We still visit Colorado frequently and are able to keep in contact with family and friends there. Losing a parent at a young age has absolutely influenced me. I’ve noticed it hits differently at the different stages of my life and as my kids grow. My dad passed away when he was 36 and that birthday for me was kind of a rough one. I gained a new perspective on how young he really was and how much he missed and is still missing with his grandkids. Experiencing this sudden loss early on, for no good reason, also taught me how little control we really have and the gratitude for each precious moment.

I’ve always felt that art for me has been a tremendous outlet for processing difficult and uncomfortable emotions, even if just on a subconscious level. The process of making art supports self-expression and exploration in ways that can truly assist in processing and healing. For the past 18 years I have been making “skully mugs” which are ceramic vessels (often mugs, but also vases, bottles, planters, etc.) with little skeleton faces on them. The faces started out as pretty plain skeletons with a kind of Jack Skelington vibe, the main character of The Nightmare before Christmas. Over the years they’ve evolved and I’ve added sculptural embellishments around the eyes including flowers, bugs and pollinators, unicorns, oceanic elements and other natural imagery. This body of work represents the life that persists even in death as well as the beauty of the memories and stories we carry about our loved ones that have passed on.

Which good habit do you wish you started earlier? Mindfulness and meditation. Tell us something about you that would surprise people who don’t know you. I named my first child after Beatrice Arthur, the actress who played the character Dorothy from the 80s sitcom, The Golden Girls. In college, my best friend Rose introduced me to the show (that she had taped on VHS tapes) and we would binge watch episodes after our classes. I have been a Golden Girls fan ever since. Who is your favorite real-life hero? I deeply admire humans living their lives authentically, especially when they are able to use their platform to lead, lift and encourage others. Right now I particularly love Pattie Gonia, a drag queen environmentalist and activist. I also love the work of Ashani Mfuko, an anti-racism coach who provides classes, podcasts, and social media posts to inform and educate.

Listen to mom. Who and what has influenced the mother you are today? First and foremost, my mom has been my biggest parenting influence simply by being a great mom. She has been a steady lighthouse for me even during her own darkest, most painful years after losing her husband. She has showered me with support and love and has been a guiding light in my parenting journey. When our kids were little my husband and I participated in the “Live and Learn” Preschool Program at LBCC. It’s a researchbased program focused on teaching parents of young kids parenting tools and creating secure connections with their children. Going through this preschool program together definitely informed how we parent together. What message would you like to share with other moms? Remember to tell it like it is. In this digital age where we are all constantly bombarded with the myriad of ways in which we’re not enough, I think the most important message is simply: You are enough.

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Favorite Local Places


It’s our second year of showcasing local places that our cover MOMs chose as favorites in the Willamette Valley. Made the list two years in a row! MULTIPLE MENTIONS, meaning local MOMs really like these places.

Our cover MOM's 2023 Favorite Local Places


ALBANY, CORVALLIS & PHILOMATH AREAS ...shop to pick up a gift or or something for yourself: The Book Bin The Inkwell Home Store Restyle Seoul Sisters Boutique ...coffee spot: Coffee Culture The Brim Coffee Co. New Morning Bakery Timber Towne Coffee ...restaurant to take the kids: American Dream Pizza The Barn Cascade BBQ

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The Dizzy Hen El Palenque El Sol de Mexico Tacovore Sky High Brewing Sugar J’s Ice Cream Workshop ...restaurants for a date night: Block 15 Brewing Ixtapa Mexican Restaurant Sada Sushi & Izakaya TacoVino The Vault 244 Vinwood Taphouse

...spot to get a good workout: Burn Boot Camp Orangetheory Fitness OSU Campus ...events & places where the kids can let off steam: Corvallis Farmers’ Market Corvallis Knights Baseball games OSU sporting events S&K Wacky Indoor Bounce Philomath Frolic & Rodeo

...take-out, food truck or quick bite: Local Boyz Hawaiian Cafe La Rockita Market of Choice Tacos El Machin Yogurt Extreme

Visit mommag.com to see what MOMs in Eugene and Salem chose as local favorites.

Open Your Heart & Your Home No Child Should Be Alone for the Holidays— Become a Foster Parent Today. • Full Support Through Licensing and Placement • Free Training

• Stipend Upon Licensing

• Long-Term Placements Encouraged

Scan the QR Code or Call For More Information (541) 205-9923

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T Meet Dr. Austin Brunson Dr. Austin Brunson has joined the practice of Dr. Jeffrey Carl. Dr. Brunson was born and raised in Albany and is deeply rooted in our local communities. He graduated from West Albany High School and then from Oregon State University. During school Dr. Brunson worked locally at O’Brien Dental Lab before attending dental school at the Roseman University of Health Sciences. He has a kind heart, a warm smile and is committed to providing excellent patient care as well as outstanding dentistry. 3120 Pacific Place SW Albany, OR 97321-3568 541-926-6089

he Eugene Airport is a proud part of what makes Western Oregon such a unique place to live and visit, with direct routes connecting to hundreds of destinations.

It’s more than a home. It’s your best memories in the making.

Here to help with all your real estate needs.

Charlotte Willer

Real Estate Broker | Realtor® www.charlotte-willer.com (541) 231-0564 charlottewiller@windermere.com

New patients are always welcome. Schedule today by calling 541-926-6089.

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Simple to make, low in sugar, good nutrients, and superb flavor.

Quick & delicious dinner ready to go in 20 minutes or less!

9 cups frozen blueberries, marionberries, & raspberries 6 Tbsp. sugar 3 Tbsp. + 2 Tbsp. water, divided 3 Tbsp. cornstarch 1 tsp. vanilla 1 1/2 cups granola

Winter baking

Get the kids involved and make the house smell great with these recipes for delicious baked treats.


cup butter, softened


cup sugar


teaspoon salt




cup molasses


tablespoon white vinegar


cups flour


teaspoon baking soda


teaspoons ground ginger


teaspoon cinnamon


teaspoon nutmeg


teaspoon cloves

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Cream together the butter, sugar and salt. Stir in the egg, molasses and vinegar. In a separate bowl, blend the flour, baking soda and all the remaining spices. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. If the dough gets sticky, refrigerate it for an hour and then roll out on a floured surface to ¼-inch thickness.


cup butter, softened


cup sugar




cup milk


teaspoon vanilla


cups flour


teaspoons baking powder


teaspoon salt


cup frozen blueberries

2 to 3 tablespoons coarse sugar for topping Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Cream butter and sugar together, then add eggs, milk and vanilla. In a separate bowl, blend flour, baking powder and salt.

½ lb. ground beef ½ small onion, chopped 1 – 9 oz. bag corn chips 1 cup grated cheddar cheese 2 cups shredded lettuce 1 bottle taco sauce or 1 pint salsa Cook ground beef with onion until browned. Drain excess fat. Coarsely crush corn chips and place in bottom of ungreased 8x8” square baking dish. Spoon hot meat over chips. Top with cheese. Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes or until heated through. When casserole is heated through, sprinkle with shredded lettuce and serve immediately with taco sauce or salsa.

Mix fruit, sugar, and 3 Tbsp. water in a saucepan. Heat to boiling. In a small bowl mix cornstarch and 2 Tbsp cold water. Stir into boiling fruit mixture. Bring back to boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for 1 minute, no longer. Remove from heat; add vanilla. Pour into 9×9 pan. Sprinkle granola over the top. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes, or until granola is golden brown.

Add dry to wet slowly until flour lumps are gone, but be careful not to overwork the batter.

Use a glass to create classic round cookies, or use cookie cutters for traditional shapes. Put on a cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes.

Spread half of the batter into the baking dish, then add a layer of blueberries on top. Pour the remaining batter on top of the blueberries. Sprinkle coarse sugar over the top.

Allow the shapes to cool completely before decorating or glazing. A simple glaze of powdered sugar and water works well.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until an inserted fork comes out clean.

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pets are family How long can I leave my pet at home alone? There’s a wide range of feelings and viewpoints about how long pets can stay home alone. Cats are usually fine home alone. Frankly, they might not care that you left (or maybe even less that you returned). As long as they have the necessities of food, water, litter, etc., they can still flourish in your short absence. And by short, that means your workday barely disrupts kitty’s 16 hours of daily napping. With dogs, it’s a bit more complicated. How long or where they can stay generally comes down to two factors: medical and temperament. Medical issues may require more bathroom breaks, medications or monitoring. Talk with your veterinarian for guidance. A typical healthy, adult dog can generally be home alone for 8 to 10 hours if provided with the necessities, but some breeds/temperaments require more exercise or mental stimulation. Temperament can range from a high-energy working dog that needs physical and mental stimulation, to a dog with separation anxiety. Many pet parents use supplements or calming pheromones available through various retailers.

Brought to you by: Josiah Moses, DVM Eastgate Veterinary Clinic In partnership with Willamette Veterinary Hospital & Ark Animal Hospital

Doggie day care or hiring a dog walker is not necessary for all dogs. But, if your life schedule does not allow for the needed amount of exercise and attention, some dogs can really benefit from more activity to break up a long day. All pets appreciate a regular sleeping area or bed, and crates provide a safe “den” or calming space. A surprising amount of people leave music or the TV on when they leave their pet home alone. And low-cost cameras offer a way to keep watch over your pet, too.

Get Pie Five Pizza for your holiday parties! Gift certificates make great stocking stuffers and are available online or at the counter.

Located in the Corvallis Timberhill Shopping Center | piefivepizza.com | 541-286-4394 | @piefivecorvallis mommag.com 23

support for family

The unspoken language of behavior Behavior is a powerful form of communication, especially in individuals who may have difficulty expressing themselves through words. However, sometimes challenging behavior can leave us scratching our heads as to why the behavior is occurring. Behavior is a language worth decoding. Let’s look at the four most common functions of behavior: Attention Positive or negative, attention is attention. If you notice your child acting out when they’re not getting enough oneon-one time or putting on a show to impress you or their teacher, they might be craving more of that spotlight. Escape In this case, a behavior is occurring in order to escape a demand. Your child might suddenly develop some impressive ninja skills when you ask them to tackle dreaded tasks like tooth-brushing or chores, all in a heroic effort to dodge those less-than-thrilling demands. Tangible Simply put, the function of tangible behavior is seen when a child wants an item or response. Picture your child’s face and actions when they want more screen time or they’re on a quest for that irresistible sugary snack. Automatic Some behaviors just feel good for our little ones; it’s their body’s way of giving them a little pick-me-up. For some kids, it might look like stimming, where a physical movement calms their nerves and brings comfort. Behavior of all kinds is used to convey thoughts, emotions and needs. Taking a step back to examine behaviors can help give caregivers and parents the insight needed to provide alternatives, flexibility or skill-building opportunities to get needs met. It’s worth the work, as a deepening of understanding goes a long way in connecting to a child.

Audrey Benson Behavior Supervisor 922 NW Circle Blvd, Ste 160-112 Corvallis, OR 97330 kidsnw.org | 1.888.360.0360

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Brought to you by: KIDS NW connects families with compassionate caregivers, specially trained in serving individuals with disabilities.

Stocking stuffers for all

Practical paternal figure Back scratcher Stim-u-dent dental picks Carabiners Dude Wipes Gorilla Glue Sport team or alumni car decal

Darling diva You’ve gotten the big stuff, but what to do for stocking stuffers? We have ideas for everyone, from your brother-inlaw to your big sis, and everyone in between.

Nail polish & remover wipes Headbands Makeup brushes Face masks Bath bombs

The neatnik Purell singles mini packs Phone screen wipes Travel lint roller Scrub Daddy Wool laundry dryer balls Clothing stain remover pens

Hostess with the mostess Battery-operated candles Swedish dishcloths Square silicone ice cube mold Reusable beeswax food wraps Command hooks

Gardening goddess Farmers Almanac Organic seed packets Plant markers Mesh vegetable bags Compost tea

TikToking teen Airpod case holder keychain Compact mini phone tripod Apple Air Tag 4-foot phone charging cable Clip-on LED selfie ring light

Classic kid Slinky Jr. Pocket Etch A sketch LEGO Brick Separator Bath crayons Silly erasers Mini boomerang

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Kids love cooking Cooking helps kids develop skills in counting, measuring, following a sequence, following directions, and cause and effect. Most importantly, cooking can help develop a child’s confidence and independence in and out of the kitchen. Our cooking classes encourage children in thinking, problem-solving and creativity. Try making this delicious and healthy recipe together:




Cut pears in half, then cut a small sliver off the underside so the pears sit flat when placed on the baking sheet.

4 Anjou pears ½ cup pure maple syrup ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract Optional toppings: maple pecan granola, Greek yogurt Brought to you by:

Karen Swanger

OSU KidSpirit, OSU Extension & Outreach kidspirit.oregonstate.edu

Director of OSU KidSpirit

Preheat the oven to 375 °F.

Using a large or medium cookie scoop or soup spoon, core out the seeds. Arrange pears, facing up, on the baking sheet. Sprinkle evenly with cinnamon. Whisk the maple syrup and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Drizzle most of it all over the pears, reserving about 2 Tablespoons for after the pears are finished baking. Bake pears for about 25 minutes until soft and lightly browned on the edges.Remove from the oven and immediately drizzle with remaining maple syrup mixture. Serve warm with granola and yogurt. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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Baking delights At the Co-op, we’re all about making baking fun, easy and delicious. Sourcing locally is always our first goal, and our knowledgeable staff is always ready to answer any questions you may have or offer up tasty suggestions. Here are a couple of ideas to get you baking: Bakers love bulk: In the Co-op’s Bulk department, you can always get as little or as much of something as you need. This means you’ll always have fresher ingredients, and that you are free to experiment to your heart’s content. Only need one cinnamon stick? Curious to try star anise in your cookie recipe? In Bulk, you can find new favorites without wasting money. A “grate” way to soften butter: Ever get ready to bake some buttery baked goods only to discover that all you have are rock hard sticks of butter from the fridge? Soften butter quickly by grating it! Use your largest grater to grate the butter directly into a mixing bowl. Let it sit a few minutes, then it will be ready and it’s ready to cream with sugar or use with other ingredients. This works well for recipes that call for softened, but not melted, butter.

Come to First Alternative Natural Foods Co-op for all of your grocery needs. It’s the natural choice.

Two locations in Corvallis 1007 SE 3rd • 541-753-3115 2855 NW Grant • 541-452-3115 Open daily www.firstalt.coop

Jasmin Woodside of First Alternative Co-op and her children.

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Join a community focused on healthy, active youth.

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Listen to your body

When you pay attention to your body, you are more in tune with your health and well‑being. You know your own body best, and its signals are keys to feeling good and living fully.

You listen to your body, and the obstetrics and gynecology providers of Samaritan Health Services listen to you. Let’s listen together so we can provide the care, healing and support you need to thrive. Learn more at samhealth.org/Listen.

Obstetrics & Gynecology

PO Box 672 | Aurora, OR 97002-0672 503-825-2100 | 503-776-9185 fax mommag.com | info@mommag.com

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