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Urban hikes and holiday lights


Tamales and tea to see you through


Sanae Ishida’s ‘Animal Friends to Sew’

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Creating cozy outdoor spaces


Navigating holidays without grandparents

T he


Rosie M and au ayes, local f oodxxxxx th Xxxxxxxx xxxx bl xxxx g ge r and he or of ‘I Hxxxxx xxxxx xxxoxxxx e a r tS r son m xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ake m oul Food,’ ag ic in the kit chen

COOKING UP MEMORIES Local families are cooking together, getting out into nature and bringing home pets as they weather this pandemic

At the heart of our region’s progress on clean energy is reliable, affordable natural gas, and renewable natural gas. It’s here for you when you need it most—helping you cook for your family, heat your home, reduce emissions, and provide the foundation to expand wind, solar, and tomorrow’s new solutions. Farmers, workers, and businesses—across the Pacific Northwest—are working together to support you and your family.



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>>Contents Seattle’sChild Winter 2020 / Issue 485

WHAT PARENTS ARE TALKING ABOUT....... 5 DAD NEXT DOOR................ 9 ROMP........................................... 11 CHOMP......................................13 SHOP..........................................15 FEATURE COMFORT & JOY............... 20 MAKING HOME....................29

Morningside Academy ENROLLING NOW FALL 2020 STARTS ONLINE Foundation Grades 1-8

Middle School Grades 6-9

901 Lenora St, Seattle • www.morningsideacademy.org p.11

Challenging K-12 students in an intellectual community through early entrance, online, and outreach programs Transition School•UW Academy•Saturday Enrichment Summer Programs•Online Program•Professional Development


q Because many Seattle-area events have

been canceled or rescheduled amid concern over the coronavirus pandemic, there’s no Calendar in this issue.

„ Find us online at seattleschild.com Cover photo by JOSHUA HUSTON

www.robinsoncenter.uw.edu • 206-543-4160 • rcys@uw.edu Wi n t e r 2 0 2 0

S E AT T L E ’ S C H I L D


Seattle’sChild Winter 2020 // Issue 485

“Seattle is my town. I know this city inside and out… or so I thought until I had kids.” Seattle’s Child is your guide to getting to know your city all over again. Finding things to do, places to eat, and how to get around — it’s a whole new ballgame with kids in tow. We’re interested in how parents make homes in a space-challenged urban environment, how families create community, and what parents are really talking about. Seattle’s Child reflects real Washington families and their broad range of parenting experiences. ANN BERGMAN Publisher, Founder abergman@seattleschild.com BOO BILLSTEIN Art Director boo@seattleschild.com JILLIAN O’CONNOR Managing Editor jill@seattleschild.com JULIE HANSON Website Editor jhanson@seattleschild.com FIONA COHEN Things To Do Editor fcohen@seattleschild.com LEAH WINTERS Calendar Editor calendar@seattleschild.com MIKE MAHONEY Copy Editor JOSHUA HUSTON Photographer JEFF LEE, MD Columnist SARA BILLUPS, MEG BUTTERWORTH, LIZ COVEY, HALLIE GOLDEN, BRETT HAMIL, KATRINA OTUONYE, CLAIRE PHELAN, JASMIN THANKACHEN, ASTRID VINJE Contributors JASMIN THANKACHEN Admin Coordinator/Project Manager ADVERTISING KIM LOVE Ad Production Manager klove@seattleschild.com JULANN HILL Senior Account Manager julann@seattleschild.com 206-724-2453

Seattle’sChild Seattle’s Child has provided useful information to parents since 1979. In addition to our magazine, look for our special themed publications — FamilyPages, School and SummerTime — distributed free throughout the Puget Sound area. Seattle’s Child is published every other month.

ONLINE seattleschild.com Facebook facebook.com/seattleschild Twitter @SeaChildMag Instagram @seattleschildmag MAIL c/o Postal Plus 1211 E. Denny Way, Seattle, WA 98112

Join us for our Virtual Open House! Wednesday, November 18, 6p. More info and registration at lwgms.org/openhouse.

VOICE 206-441-0191 TO ADVERTISE advertise@seattleschild.com MAGAZINE DISTRIBUTION distribution@seattleschild.com STORY IDEAS editor@seattleschild.com CALENDAR SUBMISSIONS calendar@seattleschild.com Deadline is first of the month, one month prior to publication. Include date, time, cost, appropriate ages, address, contact information and description.



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Virtual events Best ways to learn, have fun at home

Talking about race Books and resources for all ages

Winter fun Ideas for staying active and healthy

»What Parents

„ Find more local news for families on seattleschild.com

Are Talking About Education, health, development and more

Matt and Marlene Weiss are making alternate plans since their two sons, Robinson and Russell, won’t be able to see their East Coast grandparents this year.

Holidays without grandparents Many families are staying home, skipping the COVID-19 risk of flying to annual gatherings by J I L L I A N O ’ C O N N O R / photo by J O S H U A H U S T O N

It’s the time of year when Western Washington parents, especially transplants, start buzzing about travel

plans for Thanksgiving and the holiday season. Or, in many cases, families are revving up to pick up relatives at the airport and open up their houses to visitors of all ages, sometimes for weeks. This year, that’s all changed. For many kids, 2020 will be the year without a grandma. Because of fears of picking up and passing on coronavirus to elderly relatives, or to relatives with conditions that make them much more vulnerable to its effects, a lot of

Puget Sound families have decided to stay put this year and celebrate on their own, often for the first time ever as a family with kids. Seattle parent Becky Mackle is disappointed. This year, she won’t get to see her mom, who usually visits from Tennessee for a couple of weeks as she’s done every Christmas of her two teenage grandsons’ lives. Because her mom suffers from emphysema, it’s just too risky to make the trip this CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE >

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NOW OPEN We’re excited to welcome you back! For everyone’s protection, we will be enforcing COVID-19 safety measures including:

6 ft.

A face mask or covering is required Adhere to social distancing guidelines Reschedule your visit if you or a household member has been sick Reschedule your visit if you’ve recently traveled outside the country MON TUE–FRI SAT–SUN Closed 10AM–5PM 12PM–5PM HibulbCulturalCenter.org

360-716-2600 Located less than a mile west of I-5 Exit 199 6410 23rd Ave NE Tulalip, WA 98271



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«What Parents Are Talking About CONTINUED

year or to have visitors fly in. “I usually host Thanksgiving here, and just people from around the city come. I’m not going to do that either,” says Becky with a sigh. How are her sons handling the news about the holidays? “I think they’re going to be sad to not have Grandma here — she’s been here every single year since they were born, every Christmas here,” says Becky. “She just had her 80th birthday on Saturday so they spent a lot of time talking with her, and she’s more on their minds right now. “I think it’ll be hard.” The Mackles have recently been trying to get her a device to make video calls. But a video call just won’t be the same as making Christmas cutout cookies together as a family this year. Tracy Osheroff of northeast Seattle usually hosts her mom and brother from Iowa to celebrate Thanksgiving with her husband and three kids — twin sons Nolan and Caleb, 11, and daughter Alana, 8. As Tracy points out, the only practical option, with family being more than 2,000 miles away, is flying. And because of location, they can’t fly directly and would have to incur the potential exposure risk of switching planes, too. “It’s a lot of travel and a lot of risks,” says Tracy. “Not only for her, but also even for us because Nolan has type 1 diabetes, so he is in a higher-risk category also.” She had considered extensive masking and looked into N95s, but decided against that. “We’re just sort of stuck in this,” says Tracy. “We have no idea when we’ll ever be able to see them again. “This whole pandemic makes you

realize just how far away you are from family when maybe you didn’t realize that before, because it just seemed so easy to be able to jump on a plane and go anywhere you wanted to go.” Marlene Mejia Weiss of Seattle and her husband, Matt, have two sons, Russell, 8, and Robinson, 11. In a normal year, they would travel to the East Coast on winter break to meet up with family in Philadelphia and New York — or to her parents’ new place in Florida. But this year, it’s all up in the air. “I don’t think we have a real fear of flying, COVID-wise. I just don’t know that we have a real strong desire because when you’re there, there’s just not much to do there,” says Matt, noting that once they arrived, they wouldn’t be able to visit with most relatives because of COVID precautions, and that there wouldn’t be many places to visit safely either. Marlene notes that family gatherings would be severely constrained compared to previous years. “When we do go back to visit, it’s like, we’re seeing everyone,” she notes. “Is it worthwhile to travel across the country to just sit in another house?” The kids are at impressionable ages, and as Matt points out, they are at times “really profoundly upset” that they can’t see their grandparents and other relatives. But the kids understand the dangers, even at these younger ages. “They’re pretty scared too. Russell’s 8, and he’s growing up — he’s spent seven months — in a world of COVID. “It’s dominating, I think, his memories. And so they really don’t want to get it.” So this year, the Weisses have decided to figure out holiday plans as they go. “One half-baked idea,” says Marlene. “We take a road trip somewhere, just to get a change of scenery. “Maybe getting together with one other family that’s been in our pod.”


What every parent needs to have on hand

Finding meaning during the COVID crisis ‘Look for the light’: A psychotherapist writes about parenting in 2020 by L I Z C O V E Y


In these strange COVID-19 times, the use of air quotes has become a standard way to communicate. As in, “Will we see you at the ‘birthday party?’ ” (which is a drive-by parade). Or, “Your son did really well in the ‘recital’ last week!” (which was a chaotic video conference). My recent favorite is talking to anyone with a stake in the matter about how they feel about “school” this year. When I ask my 12-year-old, who was a sixth-grader and still daunted by the newness of middle school when the ax fell in March, taking with it all the meticulous progress she’d made in gaining social traction, she looks at me like I’m crazy: “How do you think I feel about it, MOM?!” Recognizing that most of that inflection is a product of her being 12, it’s still an accurate read on what it’s like to live in this moment. In tween-ese, what my daughter’s telling me is that it’s bananas to think that this is in any way close to what “school” actually is, and what it means to kids and families. Gaslighting In psychology, we’ve talked for some time about “gaslighting,” a concept that recently made its way into everyday jargon. Gaslighting is the phenomenon of being told or led to believe that something is a way that it isn’t, and then being criticized or scrutinized for reacting to the way it actually is (not the way it is promoted to be by the gaslighter). Gaslighting is happening to us parents today, but the villain is not so easy to pinpoint. It’s the crazymaking of COVID as it intersects with institutions that were already stretched too thin, and which were very much unprepared for this pandemic, all of which led to a breakdown of life as we know it. As it became clear that the ship was

going down, parents were continually getting the message (some official, some not) that things could work, and that we could somehow pull this off. But as we all know by now, it’s simply not true. Or not true in any way that isn’t grueling for us parents. As a psychotherapist, parent coach, and also as a parent myself, I hear and feel the prescient questions related to what it means to be raising kids today in the absence of school-as-we-know-it and other necessary supports. For the sake of normalization, and also in the spirit of cutting the supply of fuel to the gaslight, I want to make the case that what we are experiencing as parents today is nothing short of a true existential crisis. Death, meaning, isolation and freedom Irvin Yalom, a well-known existential psychologist, has written that there are four “givens” of the human condition: death, meaning, isolation and freedom. This could be the shortest known description of the past few months in our nation. (And yes, I include freedom. Those of us who are parents would never have dared to dream of such a wide-open calendar, everything having been canceled or moved to a Zoom-zone on the dining room table. The unhurriedness of life’s tempo these days is a silver lining for many of us.) Facing and learning to relate to these “givens,” and overcoming our reluctance to doing so, Yalom and other existentialists would say, is the crux of growing and developing as human beings. And COVID gives us all one heck of a chance to do just that. So how do we parents face these things, as people who are carrying the full weight of the family world on our shoulders with hardly any assistance? We, who are responsible to make a living and somehow also have time to structure all


Safety& Learning& Fun!


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It’s so much more than a gift!


Washington State Heirloom Birth Certificate A portion of the proceeds from each birth certificate benefits the Children’s Trust Fund of Washington, administered by the Washington State Department of Children, Youth & Families Strengthening Families Program.


• This official birth certificate is personally signed by the Governor and State Registrar.

• Certificate is 8 1/2 x 11 and includes the name, date and place of birth, as well as the name and birthplace of the parent(s). • Frameable keepsake. • For each $45 purchase of an Heirloom Birth Certificate, $20 is tax deductible. To find out more information on Children’s Trust and child abuse prevention in Washington State visit: www.dcyf.wa.gov/about/governmentcommunity/community-engagement or visit the Department of Health to order your own Heirloom Birth Certificate. DCYF FS_0013 (09-19)

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«ToolBox of the tasks of our children. We, who must keep the kids from boredom, and from drifting too far away. And we, who must help our children get their social and emotional needs met — the thing that school does better than anything, but mostly in between classes. In other words, how do we, who have a burden greater than anyone can reasonably bear, help our kids cope with this time of necessary gaps, and still stay healthy and sane? Finding meaning Rest assured: As much as existentialism gets a bad rap for being dour, and shedding light only on the dark, it is also filled with hope. Viktor Frankl, the writer, existential psychologist and Holocaust survivor, founded a school of psychology that believed chiefly in the healing power of meaning-making. He developed a way to make sense of psychological suffering that envisions a strong and healthy core at the center of every person, one that will inevitably be tested by the tragedies that occur in the course of living, including the Holocaust and COVID. His theory suggests that having a sense of meaning in one’s life would help to unlock the gifts at the core, many of which assist us in facing life’s adversities, no matter how great. He goes so far as to specify where to place your focus in times of crisis: By being creative, and taking action; by experiencing things and people with presence of mind; and by having an accepting attitude toward the unavoidable nature of suffering in a human life. To my mind, this is a solid list for today’s coronavirus-weary parent. A chance to make it better We may not be able to mend our broken systems right now, but we’re able to face the tough stuff and look within, to the healthy core of who we are, for some key insights, a practice that there wasn’t enough time to do in our previously overcrowded and divided lives. Let’s take this crisis as an opportunity to focus on making meaning in a time of senseless tragedy. As Leonard Cohen put it, “there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” Our society has cracked. So now’s the time to look for the light. Liz Covey is a psychotherapist, licensed mental health counselor and parent coach based in South Seattle.



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„ Read all of Jeff Lee’s columns on seattleschild.com

Spruce Street School


Elementary Education, Ages 5 - 11

A little encouragement from across the fence

A collaborative academic environment where every child is valued for who they are.

by J E F F L E E , M D

December 5, 2020 10:00am January 9, 2021 10:00am

Pretend worlds aren’t forever

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Downtown Seattle

Repetitive play is easier when we realize we’ll long for connection as kids become teens For the past couple of years, Pippa has been fixated on dragons. As 9-year-old obsessions go, it’s better than most. She never subjected us to Malibu Barbie beach parties, or multiple viewings of Frozen, so I guess I should be thankful. Still, as the pandemic continues and she remains trapped in a bubble with only her mom and me as playmates, her dragon-mania is beginning to wear on our nerves. “Playing dragon” consists of Pippa being either a dragon, a baby dragon or a dragon trainer, and the two of us taking whichever roles are left. Occasionally a dragon pet store owner makes a cameo appearance, but mostly it’s like a reality show based on the surprisingly mundane domestic lives of dragons and their owners. The types of dragons vary, along with their magical properties, personalities and “breath weapons,” but the script doesn’t really change. We go to dragon school to learn how to fly and hunt and not kill humans. We eat at dragon restaurants and visit dragon friends. We go to dragon concerts and compete in dragon sporting events. And all this takes place within the confines of her active imagination and our little home.

Aside from the occasional siege and annihilation of an unsuspecting village, life as a dragon is more or less the same as life as a human — or at least how life was, pre-pandemic. At times it’s hard to tell which is the wilder fantasy: dive-bombing terrified villagers with flames erupting from our maws, or going out to a restaurant. Despite the elaborate veneer of magic and myth, Pippa’s current fantasies seem to be mostly about normalcy and routine. In that way, she’s not so different from the rest of us. Caught in this relentless loop of repetitive dragon play, I’ve kept my sanity by reminding myself that it won’t last forever. The time is coming when Pippa will leave her world of mythical beasts behind, and us with it. She won’t be begging us to sack villages with her. She’ll be demanding that we get out of her room and shut the door behind us. The advantage of going through parenting a second time is that I now know what’s coming. That makes it easier, not just to endure the present, but to cherish it. Right now, Pippa invites us into her world because she loves us. If we can’t enjoy that while we have it, the loss is ours. A dear friend of mine recently CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE >

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Do you know a girl who LOVES to sing? SEATTLE GIRLS CHOIR has a non-audition prep choir

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creativedance.org 10


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Nurturing Baby Family Dance Creative Dance Dance & Art Ballet Modern Hip Hop Adaptive Dance


complained that his 28-year-old son only calls him when there’s “news.” “He’ll call me to tell me he got a raise,” my friend said, “or a new dog or something, but he never calls just to connect, or to say that he cares.” I can’t help but wonder if connection and caring were exactly the point of those calls, but that they got lost in translation. When our kids start to pull away from us (or push away with all their might), they learn to deliver their messages in code. “Dad, I got a raise” might mean “Are you proud of me?” “Mom, we got a new dog” might mean “I’m building a home and a family, just like the one you gave me.” It’s not easy to embrace and detach from your loved ones at the same time. It makes for an awkward, fitful dance. Besides, our kids aren’t the only ones who send their love through encrypted channels. Who among us hasn’t tried to give our children helpful advice, only to have it received as meddling or criticism? And how many times have our own parents done the same? It’s a cycle that repeats from generation to generation on a continuous loop — an endless succession of mommy and daddy dragons, spraying a little breath weapon with every blown kiss. In the end, we need to forgive each other for the messiness and clumsiness of love. People rarely convey it in the form that we long for, but it’s love nonetheless. We can accept it gratefully, or reject it and go without, but we probably can’t trade it in for a version that’s more to our liking. Loving a human is like owning a dragon. You can’t have the wings without the fangs and the fire. ABOUT OUR COLUMNIST

Jeff Lee wakes up as a dragon with morning-breath weapon in Seattle.

5 things to do

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Holiday lights all around!

Right under your nose!


Last call: Minecraft at MoPop

You can reserve a timed ticket for MoPop, grab a mask and hand sanitizer, and check out Minecraft: The Exhibition before it leaves in spring 2021. (It was recently revamped for COVID-19 safety.) It’s an immersive version of the best-selling video game, and kids and parents can get up close to a giant iron golem and a creeper. Adults can gain perspective on how to play — and how players build worlds in this decade-old phenomenon. 325 Fifth Ave N., Seattle, mopop.org


Lanterns light up the holidays This year at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, light displays go wild. The event is now WildLanterns; watch out for light-up jellyfish and tigers and bears. Nov. 13–Jan. 17. Timed tickets only. 3 zoo.org/wildlights

2 Drive-thru festivities Stanwood’s Lights of Christmas has gone drive-thru in 2020. Highlights: Snacks (hot mini doughnuts!) and costumed characters. Nov. 27-Dec. 30.

Things to do with kids

3 thelightsofchristmas.com


Point Defiance comes alive ZooLights illuminates Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma again with 700,000 dazzling LED lights. Look out for light tunnels and Sasquatch! Nov. 27Jan. 3. Timed online tickets only. 3 pdza.org/event/zoolights


Big, beautiful and by the lake Preston and Safiyya Witt, with kids Sonia and Haris, get outside at the Olympic Sculpture Park. (Maskless photo moment.)

Take a hike, downtown Wander off the trail to see Seattle’s outdoor sights by J A S M I N T H A N K A C H E N / photo by J O S H U A H U S T O N

Fall and winter weather is dark, wet and cold, with shorter days. But in this particular year, we seek the comfort of the great outdoors. With harsher weather and gray skies, traditional hikes are few and far between.

Mix it up this season with urban trails instead of your usual walk around the neighborhood. Take routes that explore Seattle’s popular landmarks and hidden treasures, including cobblestone walks in Pioneer Square and skyline views. Bundle up the kids,

grab your masks and hand sanitizer, and walk the town in a whole new way.

Fantasy Lights at Spanaway Park was ready for 2020 as the state’s largest drivethru light display. The trail runs alongside scenic Spanaway Lake. Nov. 21–Jan. 3. 3 co.pierce.wa.us/1253/ Fantasy-Lights

5 Neighborhood merriment

Elliott Bay Trail Water views and sunset strolls Distance: 2 miles What to know: Jogger stroller-friendly, many walkers and runners, bike-heavy Difficulty: Easy Start your walk at the Seattle Aquarium. Head north on Alaskan Way to Pier CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE >

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Round up friends for a merry distancing and caroling walk to see neighborhood lights. Take COVID-19 precautions: Don’t be too insistent that anyone bring you some figgy pudding.

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66, where kids can run along the path, looking out over Elliott Bay. Continue north to the Olympic Sculpture Park and check out large pieces of outdoor art. Take a quick selfie with the Space Needle and head into Myrtle Edwards Park, then Centennial Park. Skip rocks at the beach and count cargo ships coming and going in one of the city’s most scenic places, with the occasional amazing sunset over the Olympic Mountains. Pike Place Market Architecture and history Distance: 1.2 miles What to know: Jogger stroller-friendly, busy streets Difficulty: Moderate Start out at Victor Steinbrueck Park at the north end of Pike Place Market; be sure to measure your height against the 50-foot cedar totem poles carved by local artist James Bender. Walk through the market; browse the food, flowers and art. Stop at the bronze market pig, Rachel, to rub her nose and snap a picture. Make your way out of the market and turn onto Post Alley to see the Gum Wall, where you can chew a piece of bubble gum and stick it to the wall! Head back up Post Alley and walk south on First Avenue for two blocks. Pause at the colossal mechanical sculpture Hammering Man outside the Seattle Art Museum.

Make a left onto University Street, then a right onto Fourth Avenue. Check out the Seattle Public Library, home to more than a million books. The beautiful architecture by Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus is astounding, even for the smallest eyes. A right turn onto James Street takes you to Pioneer Square. Head south on Washington Street into Occidental Square Park. It’s time for a rest, with enough space for kids to explore on their own. Be sure to check out Waterfall Garden Park close by at Second and Main. Near the UW Urban birdwatchers and nature seekers Distance: 1.5 miles What to know: Stroller-friendly; stay on trail Difficulty: Easy Park at the University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture (3501 NE 41st St.). Head into the Union Bay Natural Area, filled with native plants, shrubs and trees. A great space for birdwatching, the natural area is one of the city’s largest wetlands. From the Wahkiakum Lane trail, choose between the Yesler Swamp Loop or Loop Trail. The Yesler Swamp Loop, east of the Douglas Research Conservatory, is a boardwalk, making for a perfect walk (or run) for little legs. The Loop Trail, a little over a mile, hosts two pond habitats. Look closely for turtles and frogs. Listen for birds and try to spot one of the more than 150 species that live in this area. On a clear day, you’ll see the 520 floating bridge and Mount Rainier.

What to expect

Socially distant Santa Saint Nick will pose for photos at Westfield Southcenter and University Village this year, but there’ll be a few coronavirus-conscious changes beyond Santa Claus wearing his signature gloves: In a contactless visit, masks will be mandatory for Santa, his helpers and visitors. Reservations for in-person visits are strongly encouraged, and social distancing will be enforced. The jolly old elf and his staff will have daily health screenings and temperature checks. At University Village, visitors will also be screened and scanned upon arrival. Nordstrom won’t host Santa for photos in 2020, but its stores will connect kids to the North Pole for 15-minute virtual chats, as well as collect emails and handwritten letters to Santa. Southcenter: whereissanta.com; University Village: santaphotos.com; Nordstrom: nordstromrsvp.com

THE BURKE MUSEUM IS OPEN! COMING SOON Cruisin’ the Fossil Coastline Opens December 5, 2020 Masks and advance tickets required More information: burkemuseum.org/welcomeback 12


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Art by Ray Troll. Organized by the Anchorage Museum.



„ More on feeding your family at seattleschild.com

y iendl he r f y l i t d fam ut on „ Fin et take-o s to g place

hild C s ’ e l Seatt

Festive eats

Tamales and tradition


In Mexico, tamales are served on special occasions and all during the Christmas season. But why limit yourself? Frelard Tamales is open year-round. The meat flavors include salsa verde chicken and salsa roja pork, with four vegetarian choices and three vegan options, including tasty caramelized pineapple. Delivery and takeout only. All gluten-free. 6412 Latona Avenue NE, Seattle. frelardtamales.com

»Chomp Eating with kids

’Tis the season

Hot and soothing Tea can inspire a lot of debate: Green tea? Black tea? And are herbal teas really tea at all? Here are a few local spots where you can buy a variety of leaves for your next cuppa, either in person or online. Vital T Leaf: Known for organic Chinese loose-leaf teas and accessories, including House Special Pu-erh. 651 S. Jackson St., vtlseattle.com

Author Rosie Mayes and her son, Giovanni, who’s learning to cook from his mom.

Sharing the joy of food Blogger Rosie Mayes, a Seattle native, makes her debut as an author with ‘I Heart Soul Food’ by A S T R I D V I N J E / photo by J O S H U A H U S T O N

Food is a powerful force. It can conjure memories, elicit emotions and strengthen relationships. For Seattle-based food blogger Rosie Mayes, food not only nourishes the body, it nourishes the soul.

In her debut cookbook, I Heart Soul Food, just released by Sasquatch Books, Rosie shares the recipes from her childhood that bring her comfort. The cookbook is an homage to her Southern roots, filled with dishes

passed down by her grandmother, aunts and mother from Louisiana’s capital, Baton Rouge. Each recipe reflects the care her family members poured into their well-loved dishes. “I’m showing everybody how to make food like their mom and grandma used to make,” she says. “These dishes have memories attached to them. Through these CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE >

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Market Spice: Its Pike Place Market roots go back to 1911. Its signature blend: Cinnamon Orange Tea. 85A Pike

Place, marketspice.com

Seattle Best Tea: Specializes in Taiwanese loose-leaf teas, including many oolongs. 506 S. King

St., seattlebesttea.com

Queen Mary Tea Emporium: North of the UW in Ravenna, hailed for classic British-style black teas. 2809 NE 55th St.,


Steepologie: Its TeasMe Box, a monthly sampler of four teas, helps you choose favorites. Fremont, Issaquah, Alderwood Mall and Southcenter. steepologie.com

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.691..2625 seattlecountryday.org 206. 691 206 2625 seattlecountryday.org OUT AND ABOUT WITH KIDS

Four ultra kid-friendly coffee spots

Fall is in full swing and summer’s a distant memory. It’s time to trade the splash pools and outdoor parks for somewhere a little more roof-friendly. Enter a new trend of coffee shops, geared less toward hipsters and more toward families, offering parents a place to eat and drink whilst their kiddos play and stay dry. Here are some great options in Seattle and beyond.



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recipes, we can re-create memories and pass them down to our kids.” Soul food was influential throughout childhood for Rosie, who hails from a large family. In I Heart Soul Food, she describes how every family gathering was a big event. The table was always filled with the staples of a delicious home-cooked Southern meal, from tender beef brisket to hearty gumbo, savory collard greens and sweetened candied yams. While crowd-pleasers like smothered chicken and Southernstyle mac and cheese make the book appealing for any soul food lover, it’s creative recipes like pineapple upside-down cheesecake that set I Heart Soul Food apart from other Southern food cookbooks. Additionally, recipes for dishes like salmon croquettes and smoked salmon give a nod to the Pacific Northwest, where Rosie grew up. Rosie believes soul food is a lost art. While she’s lucky to have inherited these Southern culinary traditions, many of her friends are not as adept in the kitchen. That’s why, since 2009, she’s been sharing this well-honed skill through her YouTube channel I Heart Recipes with Rosie Mayes and website iheartrecipes.com. “I started off sharing recipes that were really hard to find online,” Rosie explains. “I’ll add my own spin to a traditional recipe and make them more modern by changing up a few ingredients.” It’s not just with her followers, or “online cousins,” as Rosie affectionately calls them, that she shares her recipes. Rosie also passes down these dishes to her 13-year-old son. Even at such a young age, he’s already a master at grilling meats and making hearty meals in the slow cooker. For parents who are new to cooking with their kids, Rosie advises them to have patience. “Start with something really simple that can build their confidence,” Rosie suggests, “and they’ll feel more comfortable doing other things.” With Rosie’s easy-to-follow directions and illustrative photos, I Heart Soul Food is a guidebook of sorts to help families connect through food. And like Rosie’s family, parents and children can use the power of food to create lasting memories.



„ More shopping local on seattleschild.com


Where do you love to shop around the Sound? Teresa Wheeler Bainbridge Island parent of two

Lollipops Children’s Boutique on Bainbridge Island. The owner is a warm, lovely woman with a passion for children’s clothing. She knew my daughter’s shoe size by sight and helped her select a fabulous and practical outfit for her birthday. The dressing rooms are fun with a play kitchen to entertain young children.

Things we love

Sasquatch spotting Clover Toys in Ballard provides a welcome break from screens — and a chance to play with toys made of wood and fabric, like this fluffy Bigfoot made

»Shop Lively + locally made

by Aurora. The independently owned shop features unique toys, including well-crafted finger puppets, which, coincidentally, come in handy for tech — namely video calls with the little ones. 5333 Ballard Ave. NW, Seattle 3 shopclovertoys.com

Sanae Ishida makes sewing accessible in her new book Animal Friends to Sew.

Chocolate for a cause

Homemade snuggles Little ones can help craft adorable gifts found in Sanae Ishida’s ‘Animal Friends’ by K A T R I N A O T U O N Y E / photo by J O S H U A H U S T O N

Rather stay home than go out to shop this season? We understand. With a little guidance, you and your child can make simple gifts at home. Sanae Ishida’s new book, Animal Friends to

Sew: Simple Handmade Decor, Toys, and Gifts for Kids, can teach a beginner to make a houseful of tiny buddies in very little time. The 15 tested patterns create handmade animals, decor and toys, so you can surprise

a child with a squishy gift — or have them make something right alongside you. “There’s something about a handmade gift,” Ishida says. She’s self-taught at sewing and got her start making her then-toddler’s Halloween costume back in 2007. She bought a “ton of red felt” to make her daughter into an adorable ladybug. “I hand-stitched CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE >

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Sales of Theo Chocolate’s organic All in WA 70% dark chocolate bars help workers and families most affected by COVID-19. Theo reports that 100% of net proceeds will go to the charity coalition All in Washington, making sure state residents get the emergency resources they need during the pandemic. 3 theochocolate.com

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Girls learn the right tool for the right job in Girls Who Build.

Book review

Tool time

‘Girls Who Build’ may inspire her inner artisan With the pandemic giving us all more time at home and much less to do, my 12-year-old daughter has already been envisioning the holiday gifts she’ll craft and concoct. Girls Who Build (Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers) could not have arrived at a better time. Written by Katie Hughes, founder of the Portland nonprofit Girls Build, this 272-page book was right up her alley, and she’s fascinated by the sketches, the tools (“They’re actual tools!”) and the profiles of the featured girls. And I’m impressed by how the book takes girls (and safety) seriously and doesn’t pander to them with cutesy projects. — Julie Hanson

Attalia’s cement tea light holders

Anfal’s gas pipe-fitting candleholder

q Find step-by-step instructions for these two projects on seattleschild.com



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everything,” she says with a laugh. Since then, Ishida has written five books, including a children’s book series, starting with Little Kunoichi: The Ninja Girl, and the crafting guide Sewing Happiness: A Year of Simple Projects for Living Well. Many of the patterns in her fifth book, Animal Friends to Sew, offer multiple variations in soothing, warm tones suitable for a nursery or playroom, or just for a friend for a child to hold in a car seat. She draws inspiration from Japanese and Scandinavian design, with wabi-sabi — an aesthetic of accepting transience and imperfection — and French influences too. Her work balances the magical with a minimalist take on only keeping things that you feel are useful or beautiful. It makes for a well-balanced life. “Functionality is really important to me,” Ishida says. And she wanted to make things that were fun and valuable. Each pattern in Animal Friends to Sew is designed for beginners and was tested by seasoned stitchers and newbies, including several kids. Beginners can make any of these themselves, and you can ask kids if they want to help, too. Ishida believes that sewing is one of the most underrated but powerful skills. The basics are fairly easy to master, and from there, especially with a pattern, sewing things — like adorable animal friends for your child — is as simple as following a recipe. Ishida has a hard time choosing a favorite from the book, which includes soft blocks and a plush sheep backpack. Her favorite? The polar bear pillow. The book is available now and comes with a lookbook at the front, a sewing and embroidery primer, beginner-friendly instructions for each project (with photos and step-by-step illustrations), and templates at the back. Aspiring stitchers can check out the gorgeous patterns — and start sewing.


STORIES THAT REMIND US ALL WE’RE PART OF SOMETHING BIGGER Community. Community. Community. If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it’s how important this element of our lives truly is. And what better time to reflect on this than before and during the holidays? — Claire Phelan, Third Place Books

Our Little Kitchen by Jillian Tamaki Family is often who you surround yourself with. During a year in which not everyone will be able to see their families for the holiday season, this delightful story of neighbors coming together to cook a meal for their community is a reminder of how rewarding it can be to give back to those around you.

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell; illustrated by Frané Lessac This glimpse into the Cherokee tradition of year-round gratefulness offers a reminder that there are things to be thankful for all year long. Books like this one are an important anchor for whose existence we should say “otsaliheliga.”

Freedom, We Sing by Amyra León; illustrated by Molly Mendoza This book gives readers a chance to breathe, something they may have forgotten to do this year. With interwoven pages of “Inhale, Exhale” throughout this joyous song about what freedom means, it’s the perfect book of reflection in such a busy time of the year.

Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora Omu gives until she has no stew left to eat. But instead of going hungry for the night, a knock at the door reveals every neighbor who ate Omu’s stew, ready to give back to her. It’s an important reminder of community and how special it is not only to give, but to receive. (Also, newly available in Spanish.)

The Little School ABOUT OUR SCHOOL We nurture each child’s curiosity through inquiry and exploration, helping them learn and grow with a focus on community and stewardship. Our blended indoor/outdoor classrooms extend into our wooded 12.5-acre campus, developing skillful and passionate life-longer learners who advocate for themselves and others. Address: 2812 116th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98004 Phone: (425) 827-8708 Email: reganw@thelittleschool.org Website: www.thelittleschool.org/explore Serving grades/ages: Preschool-5th Grade

What kids will love:

What parents will love:

• Encouraging creativity, learning and play in our 12.5 acres of woods

• Nurturing balanced academic and social-emotional growth

• Dynamic and responsive program that engages their curiosity

• Inquiry-based and curiosity-driven program taught both indoors and outdoors

• Building relationships with caring friends and experienced teachers

• Afterschool offerings that are an extension of our program

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1.2 miles of family fun at your Seattle waterfront

Short lines at your Seattle waterfront

Park FREE at your Seattle waterfront*


up to 3 free hours of parking at the Pike Market Garage with a purchase on the waterfront, or pay 75¢ an hour on city streets.

Open air seating at your Seattle waterfront

Search for the Kraken at your Seattle waterfront

Mask up for a day of safe, clean fun.


Families are finding peace an


While Melissa Cox works at home, Margot, 10, and Nina, 13, plan their next baking projects.



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nd happiness, even in uncertain times

ORT & JOY When COVID-19 lockdowns entered our lives in March 2020, it seemed like we were all experiencing an eerie but temporary change. Months later, we know that the change has come all too slowly, but meanwhile we’ve found other ways — some old, and some new to us — to adapt, to grow and to take joy in life’s simple pleasures. Fin din g comfor t & joy in food

F lour power Two young bakers rise to the occasion in 2020 by J I L L I A N O ’ C O N N O R / photos by J O S H U A H U S T O N

Cooking can be very comforting. And back in March, two northeast Seattle girls knew they really liked to bake, but their habit took on a whole new dimension once COVID-19 lockdowns started. “I like trying new recipes, and they don’t always turn out great, but it’s fun to try them,” says Nina, 13. She and her little sister are now prolific bakers, tackling a lot of complicated recipes. Nina says she tends to gravitate towards yeastbased recipes, including challah and babka.

She has even woken up the family to freshly made morning doughnuts, coated in cinnamon sugar. “She did the yeast batter the night before, and then she woke up before school to make the doughnuts,” says their mom, Melissa Cox. “It’s very pleasant, as a parent, to wake up to the smell of doughnuts!” Margot, 10, has ventured into developing her own recipes. “I have my own recipe for banana-chocolate chip muffins and I also have oatmealchocolate chip cookies,” says Margot. (Bon Appétit, take note.)

Margot’s favorites include an apple cake she’s made. “I really like making cakes, because you can decorate them however you want,” she says. Since they’re both fans of Gamewright’s board game Dragonwood, she created frosted cupcakes in the image of the Bucket of Spinach card found in the game. The girls have found baking can be a very calming and tranquil activity after online schooling ends. “I think it’s very relaxing,” says Nina. “It’s just really satisfying to follow a recipe CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE >

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through and then have the result.” But despite the fun, there comes a point where you can have too much of a good thing. “We had a problem for a while where each of them would bake every day, so I had just way too many baked goods … and they were all good,” says Melissa. “That’s why they started taking turns,” adds dad Landon Cox. Thankfully, they haven’t had issues with the flour and yeast shortages other bakers encountered in the spring, but there is one ingredient they can’t seem to find anywhere: pumpkin purée, for Melissa’s pumpkinchocolate chip muffins. “The whole city is out!” says Melissa. When being interviewed, the girls were looking forward to an upcoming family weekend at a Hood Canal cabin near a beach packed with oysters. They would not be unprepared, as Landon was already planning how they could make food writer Mark Bittman’s no-knead bread for the occasion. Priorities. Put baked goods at the top of that list.

Fin din g comfor t & joy in nature

Getting out there Families step outside and find a whole new world during COVID-19 by M E G B U T T E R W O R T H / photo by J O S H U A H U S T O N

A funny thing happened last April. Life slowed down. Was it forced upon us by a global pandemic? Sadly, yes. But despite



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the frustration, uncertainty, fear and grief that have accompanied our changed lives in 2020, some families have made lemonade out of their lemons. With more time on their hands during quarantine, two Seattle families have reconnected with their city’s outdoor offerings, as well as with each other. Daisy Tsang of View Ridge says that before the pandemic, she and her teenage daughters might have gone to a park once a month, but not much more than that. Between Daisy’s job as a Mandarin teacher at the Seattle Waldorf School,

and her teenage daughters’ swim lessons and piano lessons, there wasn’t much free time. Once the stay-at-home order was in place and schools transitioned to remote learning, Tsang says that she started to walk a lot. Almost every day. She was bothered by how much screen time her daughters were getting: “I just suddenly felt like we needed to take care of ourselves.” Tsang adds that since they were isolating at home, they didn’t have to rush and go places. “During that time, I started to have


Shin Yu Pai, husband Kort Bergman, and their son have discovered the joy in spending more time outside since COVID-19 lockdowns began.

a rhythm,” Tsang says. Around 5 pm, she would go out for a walk on the nearby Interurban Trail, often accompanied by one or both of her daughters. Tsang noticed that her older daughter started getting closer to her. “She talked to me about her friends and changes. That was the bonus,” Tsang recalls. In August, the family enjoyed a trip to Deception Pass before a return to remote learning in September. Tsang’s 77-year-old mother came too. “We hiked a little bit and we spent most of the time at the beach. We enjoyed sitting there talking,” recalls Tsang. “I think we missed that family togetherness outdoors.” Shin Yu Pai of Bitter Lake says that more free time has allowed her family to be spontaneous. Prior to the pandemic, she and her husband, Kort Bergman, both worked and had to wait until the weekends to spend time outdoors with their 7-year-old son. Even then, it was mini-

mal and typically involved neighborhood walks. “The shift to a new routine during the summer was pretty big,” says Pai. She became the primary earner after the naturopathic clinic her husband worked for closed. Although it was an unexpected change, her husband can now spend more time with their son while she works from home. In April, her in-laws, who live in Texas, shipped them the bicycle her son usually rode when he visited, knowing he wouldn’t be able to visit this summer. At the time, neither Pai nor her husband had bikes. Pai’s husband quickly ordered a bike online in May (which took about a month to arrive due to the high demand last spring) and Pai purchased a used bike on Craigslist. After working with their son on his own bicycling skills and familiarizing him with the roads, the family set out together. “The whole summer was basically long bike rides, up to Echo Lake and down the Interurban towards Greenwood,” says Pai. Trips also included regular visits to her son’s kindergarten teacher, who lives nearby. While picking berries from her bushes and smelling the roses in her garden, they would talk and catch up. “It was a really special thing for him to see his teacher … it became hard to feel connected because the quarantine happened so abruptly.” Since our region’s cooler, wetter fall weather rolled in, Pai’s family has replaced their bike rides with twomile walks. A few weekends ago, they took their first trip to Carkeek Park since the pandemic began. The beach had been their son’s favorite place to go the summer before, to dig in the sand and play in the water. Despite fog and overcast skies, Pai says, “It was transformative for my kid. He didn’t complain about how far to walk. It reminded us how important it is to get into nature.” Pai says that being outdoors has also benefited her and her husband. It became very clear how much when Seattle experienced more than a week of hazardous air quality in September due to smoke from forest fires. “Up until then, we were both managing our grief and frustrations around the pandemic really well … When we couldn’t go outside and breathe the air without endangering ourselves, that took a huge toll. “I felt depressed about the inability to be in nature and have that reset.” As 2020 has shown us, we can’t take anything for granted, especially all of the benefits that come from simply being outside.

Fin din g comfor t & joy in faith

Taking a day off from the pandemic Darker days, quiet nights remind us all of the deep, spiritual need for rest by S A R A B I L L U P S

I recently wrote a list of what’s happened — in the world and in my own life — since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic: The millions of lives we’ve lost to COVID, each born to a mother like me. The economic blows to people I care about. The Seattle-area businesses I frequent and love that have shuttered. The many political and cultural rifts in our country. The death of RBG. Personally, this year has brought caring for sick parents while supporting my young children in remote learning. Like a lot of my peers, I’m part of the sandwich generation, pandemic style. I’ve adjusted to remote work. Navigated a breast cancer scare. Been convicted of my own role and complicity in a racist system. When I think through the gifts of these months — an unexpected amount of time with my kids, unscheduled talks with neighbors from one driveway to another, and the time I’ve spent writing instead of commuting — I’m grateful. I’m also grateful I’m able to support my kids in remote learning during the school day when many families don’t have that luxury. Heading into the winter holidays, families come from traditions that offer their own celebrations: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, Las Posadas and the Dongzhi Festival, to name a few. One practice my family especially looks forward to during the holidays — and tries to practice during the rest of the year — is Sabbath and Shabbat dinner. A little history Sabbaths are common in the Jewish and Christian faith traditions. A day set aside for rest is based on the creation account that God rested on the seventh day, and the Fourth Commandment in Hebrew scriptures: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” My dad is Jewish, and as a kid his family attended a Reform synagogue. Dad was CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE >

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COMFORT & JOY < Taking

a day off



bar mitzvahed and observed the High Holy Days. But the most regular part of his family’s rhythm began each Friday night at sundown, when my grandmother Roslyn prepared a Shabbat meal. When I was a kid, hearing Dad remember what was served at Shabbat always sounded unsavory: pickled gefilte fish, tough brisket, or cow’s tongue. A formal dining room and a stiff button-up shirt and slacks. It wasn’t until I was much older and had my own kids that I began observing the Sabbath and serving Shabbat dinner. The regular weekly rhythm it offers has especially been a balm to

my husband, kids and me during the uncertainty of the pandemic. The basics While the Jewish tradition begins the day of rest at dusk on Friday evening — starting with the Shabbat meal and ending at dusk on Saturday – some families choose a weekend day with the least amount of activities planned. Families with a parent or caregiver who works on the weekend could pick another rhythm, or try a half-day of rest. We’re far from perfect in our practice. Our weekly rhythm is easily thrown off by a vacation, illness or lack of planning. But every


There’s a place a short ferry ride from downtown Seattle where you can reconnect with nature and yourself. Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island— 150 acres of gardens, meadows, forests, water, wildlife, and comfortable walking trails designed for slowing down and breathing deep. Advance tickets and masks are required for entry. Visit our website for hours, tickets, directions, and more. Come discover what a walk in the woods can do. Get Your Tickets Online bloedelreserve.org/tickets

OPEN TUESDAY–SUNDAY, RAIN OR SHINE. 206–842–7631 | bloedelreserve.org



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time we pull it off, family members tend to emerge more rested and present, with each other and ourselves. Traditional Jewish Shabbat meals include challah bread, potato kugel, gefilte fish, matzoh ball soup, and sometimes in winter cholent, a slow-cooked stew. As card-carrying Presbyterians, we bend the rules and add a Pacific Northwest flair: gefilte fish is swapped for salmon. Challah is traded for my husband’s very good homemade sourdough loaves. The dinner is simple, easy to prepare, and quick to clean up. We light candles and begin the meal, reading Gospel and Hebrew scripture passages that correlate with each portion of the meal. Wine is poured for adults, grape juice for the kids, while we read Psalm 23. The bread is cut and served after we read from John, where Jesus is called the bread of life. Salmon is served after reading about the disciples, fishermen, catching so many fish their boat almost sinks. Settling into rest Our day of rest begins at dinner and continues after the meal, when we settle in for a family activity. Sometimes, that includes starting a fire and telling stories from our family’s past — something the kids have never heard from our own childhoods — or their own embarrassing moments and favorite memories from the summer. We plan simple meals during the remainder of our family’s 24-hour rest day and try not to do the dishes, fold laundry, clean or run errands. Sometimes, we watch a movie, listen to old “Live From Here” radio shows on NPR, play board games or read. If the rain holds off, we go for longer-than-usual walks. Digital day of rest Whether or not you’re interested in or able to carve out time for a weekly day of rest, putting in place digital restraint practices is a practical way to care for yourself and be a little more present with the people you love. Try to approach a digital Sabbath with self-kindness. My goal is to set 24 hours each week away from my phone and laptop. That includes not checking the news or scrolling through social media. I do my best to stay away from the New York Times homepage, with mixed results. You could try turning your phone off completely, which quickly breaks any subconscious compulsion to reach for it. A friend takes her family’s digital Sabbath a step further, nixing all movies, video games, phones and digital devices from Saturday to Sunday. Even with the occasional sulky teenager, she reports the benefits of more time together have more than outweighed the complaints.

COMFORT & JOY F i nd i ng comfor t & joy in pets

New ferret livens up old routines A family’s quirky new pet reminds them how important it is to just have fun by H A L L I E G O L D E N / photos by J O S H U A H U S T O N

Each morning, after Rachael Adkins climbs out of bed in her Woodinville home, she heads into the bathroom to get ready for the day. And each morning, Socks, her family’s white, red-eyed ferret is by her side, climbing up her leg or even playing around with the toilet plunger as she goes about her business. Adkins adopted the 3-month-old just a few weeks ago, but she and her son Jack, 10, and daughter Devyn, 7, have already fallen in love with the creature, whose playful personality and nonstop cuddles offer respite from the many stresses and unknowns that accompany daily life during a pandemic. For Adkins, despite Socks’ rather pungent smell, the small mammal helps her relax from

Rachael Adkins and her kids recently adopted Socks, a cute white ferret.

her work as a real-estate photographer. For her children, the furry animal, who loves to play fetch and chase cat toys, is an excellent

companion around the house. “They can’t play with friends. We can’t go CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE >



Reserve your entry time today! Closed Mondays, November 26 and December 24 & 25

Get tickets and information at zoo.org/wildlanterns

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Jack, 10, and Devyn, 7, take turns holding their new pet during remote classes.


Holiday Fun for Everyone! 2020

Annual I s s a qu a h

Re i n d e e r Fe s t i v a l December 1-23 December 26-30 Tickets available for presale online November 1st All festival proceeds benefit the Reindeer and their animal friends at the Cougar Mountain Zoo

www.CougarMountainZoo.org A non-profit, tax exempt, charitable 501(c)3 organization.



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do half the things that we would normally do,” says Adkins, “so it’s nice to have something to do at home that’s not a book or not a video game or not TV, something that interacts with you and has a personality.” Just a few weeks ago, Adkins wasn’t planning on getting a ferret. She was actually out looking for a rat. Jack’s hamster had recently died and the family’s cat had run away, so while her children were at their dad’s house, she was hoping to surprise them. But she couldn’t seem to find any rats. And when she came face to face with Socks in a Petco in Lynnwood, she says she knew within 20 minutes that she was the right addition for their family. Since then, Adkins has done plenty of research on ferrets and learned just how many things they need in order to thrive. From purchasing a combination of freezedried raw food and high-quality cat food for her meals, to fitting a 5-foot-tall cage into the living room and “ferret-proofing” the entire room with plastic baby gates and tinfoil so the new pet can run around, her adoption has come with plenty of work and expenses. Adkins says when she initially brought Socks home, she thought, “My gosh, what did I get myself into?” But those doubts were quickly quashed when she saw how fun she is to play with, and how cute she is when she passes out in your arms. “Everything’s so uncertain right now, so it’s just nice to have something to come home to that brings you joy,” says Adkins. Four days after the adoption, she introduced the unique addition to the family to her two children inside their small bathroom. Jack was immediately smitten, happily watching as the ferret tried to pull down his socks (which was how she got her name). But Devyn started crying because she was scared of the animal biting her. Adkins says after she explained that Socks is just a baby and doesn’t know any better, and that even if she does bite, it’s not very hard, Devyn quickly calmed down and grew to love the animal. Now she and her brother play with the ferret on breaks from remote learning, and fight over who gets to hold her when class is back in session. Meanwhile, Adkins has noticed that the ferret has helped her find her own time to take breaks from her nonstop daily schedule. “Coming home to that and knowing that she’s not going to be stressed or worried about daily life or what’s going on, she just wants to play, that’s all she wants, it gets me to stop what I’m doing, stop working, stop focusing on negative things and sit down and just play with her,” she says. “It’s such a great stress relief for me.”


Fi n d in g com for t & j oy in mindfulness

NOV 27 - JAN 1

how to breathe deeply and unwind


Classes teach self-compassion through meditation


by J A S M I N T H A N K A C H E N

I sink deep into the ground, feeling almost weightless. A big breath fills my lungs, traveling into my stomach, opening my hips. I feel it in my toes. It’s the first real breath I’ve taken all day. Being stressed, overwhelmed and exhausted are familiar feelings to most parents in this strange time of isolation. Coronavirus or not, parents continue to juggle their jobs and care for children and their homes. Taking a moment to breathe deep and unwind seems like an impossible task. That’s where mindfulness courses like Finding Strength for the Long Haul and Finding Our Way come in. Funded by grants, the program is brought to the community by Seattle Children’s Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic in the Central District. The classes meet once a week over Zoom and provide a safe space for community and learning, as well as an avenue to explore self-kindness and compassion. “I’m raising three children, two of which have chronic illnesses,” says Foxy Davison, a parent participant-turnedfacilitator. “Not only that, being brown and a woman in my community, it [mindfulness] helps me to realize some

Celebrate the magic of the holiday season in Lake Chelan.




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to experience all that GAGE has to offer. GageAcademy.org @gageacademy | 206.323.4243





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< Mindfulness CONTINUED

of the stresses that I probably don’t address day-to-day because I’m used to living through them.” “It just gives me pause, a moment to process and acknowledge and to plan how I want to navigate within community.” Finding Strength for the Long Haul, a drop-in class, was started in 2018 by a group of moms who needed a way to cope with the stresses of raising children with chronic health conditions or disabilities. Collaborating with other parents, they created the program from the course Mindful Self-Compassion by psychologists Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer. The course Finding Our Way was added later to help new parents develop positive relationships with their young children, from birth to age 5. “Mindfulness practice is a way to be with the many stressors and challenges in people’s lives and can provide some tools/practices to help with selfcare, self-compassion and well-being. As a pediatrician, I know that if I can support the well-being of parents, their children will do better too,” says Dr. Lenna Liu, a mindfulness facilitator and Odessa Brown pediatrician. Facilitators lead a four-to-fiveminute guided meditation, focusing on breathing techniques and relaxation. Participants then take turns sharing their thoughts about the meditative practice and discuss the challenges of their days. The program’s mission promotes accessibility and inclusion, providing both courses at no cost and in different languages. “Our lens is definitely trying to bring mindfulness to spaces that it hasn’t been, and trying to bring content within our mindfulness meditations that address race: How we manage it, deal with it, and talk about it. We want our mindfulness practices to be a part of that conversation,” says Davison. Individuals come to the class with varying levels of experience, each sharing their own stories, while forming deep connections and bonds with one another. “Hearing them [parents] say that they are remembering to take a breath when they are in a hard moment with their child, or taking time at the end of the day to just sit in silence and come back to themselves, is why we do this,” says Dr. Liu. q For more information and to sample guided meditations, visit seattlechildrens.org/ contact/odessa-brown/programspartnerships/mindfulness-program/

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Living large in small and unique spaces

Christina Ellis and her family have covered up the yard at their house in Maple Leaf with a sail from Amazon, DIY style, to make the most out of outdoor time.

Cozy outdoor hangouts These families are remaking yards into dry, COVID-safe spots for socializing and fresh air by H A L L I E G O L D E N / photos by J O S H U A H U S T O N

Over the summer, with the coronavirus continuing to spread across Seattle and the rest of the U.S., Christina

Ellis and her husband, Paul, turned to the large, charcoal-gray patio sail they’d barely touched in months to help them regain a sense of normalcy. With options for safe activities outside of their house in Maple Leaf extremely limited — both for them and their three children, Nate, 13, Kienan, 11, and Talia, 8 — they set up the 103-pound butterfly sail so that it covers a portion of the patio on the side of their

house, giving the very outdoorsy family an outside space protected from rain and glaring sun where they could safely socialize or do their work or read at the long table set underneath. Now, with the pandemic still very much a reality as the season shifts once again, the Ellises also want to make this space work for winter weather. They have two Adirondack CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE >

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chairs, a small table, a heating lamp and a fire pit in the alcove area next to the long table, and they’re looking to cover it with a triangle sail that connects to the butterfly sail so that the whole large space is comfortable in the rain – or even possibly snow. “We just didn’t want, especially our boys, who are both ADHD, to be spending their entire day inside the house,” she says. “We thought it was really important for there to be some portion of the day where the kids are actually out in nature.” Her family is not alone. As the leaves change color and fall and the temperature drops, transforming backyards into safe and comfortable spaces to gather during the winter months of the pandemic has become a priority for many families. Erin Vey and her family live in Bothell and are very thankful for a covering they added several months ago in their backyard. It extends from the side of their house and is equipped with skylights, patio heaters, lanterns and even a chandelier. They had started the construction on the addition in December, and planned to add a gas fireplace and television next spring. But



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The Ellises are hoping to keep the patio space warm in winter, too.

with the cold weather coming and a pandemic still making traditional socializing a challenge, they decided to speed up that timeline, and now expect to have it all installed soon, potentially within the next month. Vey said she and her husband have been using the space a lot to have a few friends over while maintaining social distancing. For their two children, ages 7 and 10, it’s

meant they have a place where they can play with their neighborhood friends. “For the kids, it’s just been really important for their mental health to keep up with the neighborhood kids, to see them, play with them,” she says. “Because we haven’t opened up the inside of our house yet, if it’s raining, they still have a place to go.”

in us in Bell o j ev e m ue o C

Candy Shoppe

An in-person candy pop-up! December 16 -19

Bellevue Square

Bring the family to Bellevue Square and journey through our classic Gingerbread Candy Shoppe! Choose all your favorite treats and receive a gingerbread kit to decorate at home. Safety is paramount and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve made sure everything is in place to ensure a safe and comfortable experience.

Visit KidsQuestMuseum.org for registration or call us at 425-637-8100.

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our birth plan is designed by you and delivered by us.

At the new Virginia Mason Birth Center, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll listen to your needs and collaborate with you on an extensive range of birth plan options. We are now open and determined to create the most personalized experience anywhere, keeping you at the center of everything we do. Our highest priority is the health of our patients, and we continue to follow recommended COVID-19 guidelines to keep every mother and baby safe. To learn more, call 206-287-6300, or visit virginiamason.chifranciscan.org/birth-center.

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Seattle's Child "The Comfort & Joy Issue" November/December 2020  

Seattle's Child "The Comfort & Joy Issue" November/December 2020