Lane County MOM | Aug / Sept 2022

Page 1

real local moms



since 2005

Lane County | Aug / Sept 2022



WE’RE HONORED TO CARE FOR YOUR CHILDREN. Providing high quality dental care to children in our community is a pleasure, and we are grateful to families who trust us with their children’s dental care.

Treehouse Kids Dentist provides pediatric dentistry in a warm, friendly and fun environment located in Springfield, Oregon. Parents enjoy our coffee bar, while kids love our indoor treehouse slide­— just a few of the many ways we show our appreciation for the families we serve. 1611 J St Springfield, OR 97477 541-515-6631 |

It’s what‘s

Keepin’ it spicy 20 Meet the MOM experts ... 4

inside that counts

Sustainable back-to-school shopping 24

We all need more fiber


They know what they’re

Cover MOM: Christy Forrest .................10

talking about.

This mom gets real.

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

Vacation MOM.................18

The lettuce on a cheeseburger

A message from MOM

Avoid travel hassles

is not enough.

Sustainable back-to-school shopping............................24 We all need more fiber....28

Keepin’ it spicy..................20 Bust out of food ruts

More ways to love your MOM lovemommag We love hearing from you. Email us with feedback, story ideas or nominations.

Cover MOM


Photos by Fremouw Photography

Advertise today Want to get the word out about your business? Contact Linda Blair at 3

meet the


more[They than pregnancy care know what they’re talking about ]



with Emily Little, perinatal health researcher, IBCLCpage 7



Vacation MOM with Donnita Bassinger, travel agent, page 18

with Dr. David Hackett, pediatric optometrist, page 17

Dana Cummings, MSN, CNM


Beyond the Bin

with Dr. Erin Estep, pediatric dentist, page 8

with WasteWise Lane County in collaboration with Materials Exchange Center for the Community Arts, page 26

Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.



Focus on MOM

— Japanese proverb


Say Cheese with Dr. Brad Chvatal, orthodontist, page 30

Because I said so!

Published by GO Creative, LLC 263 29th Avenue SW Albany, OR 97322 Editor-in-Chief Managing Director Audrey Meier DeKam Mid-Valley & Lane County Business Development Manager Linda Blair 541-231-7250 Salem Advertising Representative Kim Leighty 503-510-9036 Designer Sean Carver

MOM Magazine is sustainably delivered throughout the community thanks to MOM MagazineTM is produced by GO Creative, LLC. © 2022 All rights reserved. Any reproduction, in whole or part, without written permission of the publisher, is prohibited. Information in the magazine is provided for general information purposes only with the understanding that none of the content constitutes professional advice. Opinions expressed by the writers or advertisers are not necessarily the opinions of the magazine or the publisher. Inclusion in the magazine does not constitute endorsement of information, products or services.

The rush hour of life It’s what social scientists call the rush hour of life: the time period when you have kids, a career, partner, mortgage, community obligations and more responsibilities on your shoulders than you likely ever had before. It feels like this: You’re up at 5:30 a.m. after a night of being kicked in the head by your toddler. Then you had to pee, but you couldn’t get back to sleep until just minutes before your alarm went off. It’s a dry shampoo type of morning, someone is missing a shoe and another kid is yelling “WIPE!” from the upstairs bathroom while you are already late-late-late. You drop the kids off to daycare, then go to your job where — blessedly — no one is crawling all over you like a macaque monkey. You didn’t have time to pack a lunch, so vending machine food it is. At home you feel like that goddess with many arms, catching the tossed toy, fetching a napkin, up-down, up-down from the table. You scarf down kid leftovers and call it dinner. It’s bath time then books then internal pleading: Please fall asleep, child. I’ll buy you a pony if you just go to sleep. When I was postpartum with my second, I used to daydream of a complete leisurely shower, where I could shave my legs, wash my hair and even use the three-minute deep conditioner. I would put on a cute, unstained outfit and maybe a bit of makeup. Saddest day dream ever? Maybe. But it got me through the double stroller days. An older mom whose kids were well launched once observed me as I darted in and out of conversation to pluck a toddler away from some danger or another. She said, “I remember those days. I don’t know how I did it because they were exhausting.” And wow, I felt…seen. Not many moms who are up in it with diaper bags

My on-ramp to the rush hour: the birth of my second child, just 23 months after my first. and fishy crackers wants to hear, “Enjoy it now because it goes so fast!” We need to hear that we’re doing a good job and that it gets easier because we could fall over and sleep for four solid days if we had the chance. Now, as my children are teens and capable of making their own mac and cheese, I pay homage to the moms in the trenches. To the moms in the rush hour of life: We see you. To the moms who have been shut in for two and half years of this pandemic, waiting for the moment when their kids under 5 could finally get vaccinated, we see you. To the moms who, when they hit the brakes and an old sippy cup comes rolling out from under the car seat, we see you. We moms on the other side of the hump are rooting you on. We wish we could send you a week of perfect sleep, like one of those power bank chargers for phones. We talk a lot about self-care not being selfish, but what is self-care? Sometimes when you finally get a moment for selfcare, your eyes scan the filthy kitchen and your brain short-circuits with the should-dos. If you’re too tired to think, stop and ask yourself: What healthy thing does my body or mind need right now? Maybe it’s a nap, maybe it’s a zone-out sesh on TikTok, or maybe an overdue eyebrow plucking. Or maybe it’s our fav: kicking back to read MOM Magazine. You’re doing a good job. The rush hour always ends, and when it does, the road opens up wide and you can take in the scenery. Audrey Meier DeKam Editor-in-Chief 5

healthy MOM

The role of childbirth education Labor and childbirth are some of the most momentous occasions of people’s lives. For this reason, it is best to be prepared and have a good idea of what to expect. We recommend our clients attend childbirth education classes starting in their third trimester, so they can feel more prepared prenatally and when the big moment finally arrives. Childbirth education classes provide a framework of what might come and help prepare you and your partner for any expected or unexpected bumps in the road. As midwives, we have seen it all, and often say that babies sometimes seem to have their own plans. We advise families to learn about all of the possible interventions and outcomes because knowledge really is power. As you gain a clearer idea of what to expect, anxiety about what could happen decreases.

Childbirth classes usually review the stages of labor and provide tips for the birthing parent and partner to cope with labor. The class can be a great opportunity to bond with your partner and start conversations about what the next steps of your lives will look like. The childbirth education class offered at McKenzie-Willamette includes a tour of our Labor and Delivery floor, so you can familiarize yourself with the environment where you will meet your baby.

LACTATION CORNER The internet would have you believe you need many different gadgets, pillows and doodads to nurse your baby. In reality, what is truly needed is your confidence in your ability. You can help grow this confidence by attending a prenatal lactation class. Knowledge is power!

There are many different options for childbirth education these days, so choose one that works well for your family and your schedule. Be sure to write down your questions and share them with your midwife at your next prenatal visit.

ing more than pregnancy care

we offer a wide ces, including: care

Kanya DelPozzo , MSN, CNM


McKenzie Midwives & Lactation Services 960 N. 16th St., Ste 104, Springfield (541), 744-8660 care AN PREGNANCY CARE—CONTRACEPTION, WELL WOMEN CARE

Brought to you by:





4 ● SPRINGFIELD 541.744.8660



Dana Cummings, MSN, CNM


Reimagining baby registries A friend just told you they’re pregnant. What’s the first thing to do? Baby gifts are adorable and we can’t deny the cuteness of an itty-bitty onesie even though fast-growing babies will probably get little use out of it. If you want to really nurture the new parents in your life, choose gifts that ease the postpartum period. Instead of onesies, buy a soft skin-to-skin wrap. Skin-to-skin contact can decrease postpartum depression, increase lactation and promote bonding. A soft wrap for the new parent to wear at home in lieu of a shirt will maximize skin-to-skin time — no onesie needed. Instead of nipple cream, buy a prenatal lactation class. Nipple cream is great, but prevention is better. Equip expectant parents with the knowledge of how to achieve a proper latch. Visit our new Perinatal Lounge at 56 East 15th Avenue in Eugene.

Brought to you by: Emily Little (she/her), PhD, is a perinatal health researcher, educator, and advocate. She is the founder and executive director of Nurturely, a nonprofit promoting equity in perinatal wellness and strengthening cultures of support for infants and caregivers. / Text/phone: 541-579-8941 / Whatsapp: 541-579-8941

Instead of bottles, buy a tiny baby cup. Many parents don’t know that babies are able to drink out of cups. For parents who want to breast/chestfeed, using a cup instead of a bottle can strengthen the lactation relationship and latching skills. Some of the best gifts are homemade and/or service-related. Make a batch of freezer meals or DIY padsicles for soothing postpartum recovery, or pitch in with friends to pay for a birth and postpartum doula. Most of all, give the gift of time by being there for your friend with text check-ins, meal delivery and a supportive presence. 7

something to smile about


Flossing for kids We’re not talking about that silly dance that was popular a few years ago. Many parents are surprised to learn that 70% of children’s cavities occur between the teeth. Cleaning between your child’s teeth with floss or a floss aid removes plaque where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Begin flossing when your child has 2 teeth that are touching next to each other. It’s important to remember to floss every night for them after you’ve helped them brush their teeth. Research has shown that children don’t have the dexterity to brush their own teeth effectively until they are age 10, or thereabouts. They are also unable to floss on their own until 10 or 11 years of age. That means parents must floss for their children until that time. Handheld flossers work very well and are the easiest way to access the back molar area. For the environmentally conscious parent, simply rinse off the flosser and use it as many times as the floss allows.

Brought to you by: Dr. Erin Estep is a board-certified pediatric dentist who owns Treehouse Kids Dentist in Springfield. She and her staff are committed to making sure your child has an amazing, safe, memorable dental experience. 1611 J street Springfield, OR 541-515-6631

Eugene Montessori School Educating for a better world since 1962. A quality Montessori education for children 3 through kindergarten. The individualized curriculum includes music and P.E., snacks and a wholesome hot lunch.

Call for a tour! Eugene Montessori School 2255 Oakmont Way 541.345.7124



Momism #55 You’ll thank me later.


Presented by 9

Christy Forrest COMMUNI T Y: SW Hills of Eugene


PA R T NER: Mark Forrest, CEO of Forrest Technical Coatings CHIL DREN: Diana, age 15; Emerson, age 13; Elise, age 12; Julian, age 5; and Quincy, age 3



Family comes first. All families are unique. Tell us about yours. I met my husband right after I moved cross country to Eugene, after finishing grad school in Boston. We have been together ever since — almost 20 years now. We have five children, currently ages 3, 5, 12, 13 and 15; some of them were adopted. Their schooling has been a mix of homeschool/worldschooling, public school, Waldorf and Montessori. All of our kids are neurodivergent. Our household is messy, noisy, passionate, bursting with toys and art supplies, and always keeps us busy. Over the years, we have had four Shelties and two cats. We love Shelties, because they are active enough to go for long hikes, but small enough to fit in a fully-loaded car. Your family has traveled extensively. What sort of trips do you take? I’ve traveled with kids of every age, from three months old up through high school. I’ve traveled with kids in different combinations, with grandparents and solo by myself. We take road, sailing and plane trips. My husband is a sailor, and we’ve been fortunate to be able to charter a sailboat and just go places. We’ve gone on several bare-boat cruises with my parents, another family, and just recently on our own (once our oldest kids were able to be responsible crew).


Most years, we do several small camping trips and one long road/camping trip. We do about one big international trip each year. We aim to go to different areas of the world, with a focus on cultural and nature travel. Everyone is involved in planning the trip, from research through details. Traveling with little kids is hard. How and why do you do it? One of our top family values is being connected to the world. We think it builds empathy and understanding, and it helps our kids grow in competence and flexibility. We also value the different types of time that we spend together when we are having adventures. It’s transformative to step out of the quotidian roles: reminders about homework, driving back and forth,

bedtime routine. When we’re traveling, we have different types of conversations, siblings can be more playful together. It sounds idyllic but it’s a lot of work and frustrations, like parenting on any other day. Believe me, we have tantrums in public, absurdly late bedtimes, kids refusing to eat, lost luggage and canceled plans. Being in a special place doesn’t magically transform the kids into bundles of happy cooperation. And it takes a huge amount of my time and energy to plan a trip for a large group of opinionated people with diverse needs. For us, the work that goes into traveling has a high payoff. Also, we’ve been doing this for a long time. The first big trip we took with multiple children, we ended up leaving three days late and throwing our tent in the dumpster on the way out of the last campground. I have a lot better understanding now for creating a successful rhythm that works for our individual family, and my planning has gotten a lot better. Like anything else in life, family travel goes better after a lot of practice. You’ve made multiple 20+ hour plane trips with babies and toddlers, including as the solo adult. What is your advice to others who want to do the same? It’s simple: my one goal is to arrive at the final destination with the same number of people we started with, and I expect everyone involved to be miserable the entire time. Then at the end I can be impressed that there was an hour or two when the baby was sleeping and the kids were watching movies and I got to read my book, or there was a fun colored lights installation at the airport. As for having to drag the preschooler through the customs line because he refused to walk, getting in to the transfer airport too late to find dinner so we had to share granola bars, and the big kids getting in a tiff because they each think the other person has a lighter backpack…it’s water off a duck’s back, because I never expected anything to go smoothly! 11


Tell us about worldschooling. It means different things to different people, but it’s building our homeschooling around traveling the world. We have regular commitments in Eugene so we don’t travel full time (although we fantasize about living on a sailboat for a couple years). I build our school curriculum around the places that we’re going, so by the time we actually travel, our kids have a lot of knowledge. When they’re younger, it’s more informal, like reading a lot of books. As the kids have gotten older, we base our entire social studies curriculum on the places we are planning to travel, and I try to work in the other classes as much as possible. What is the most surprising thing you have found wedged between the sofa cushions or behind a car seat? I’ve had a child under the age of six in the household for well over a decade, straight, and I have long since ceased to be surprised by anything I find in unusual places. If it’s smaller than a bookcase and not nailed down, it ends up somewhere unexpected. Tell us about your most recent household disaster. Recently the little boys flooded the entire house, in mere minutes. My teenage son came up from his room on the bottom floor and announced that it was raining – inside his room! The little boys were playing with the tub in the bathroom on the top floor. The water went across all the rooms on that side of the house, through all three floors. Five minutes of water playtime is ending up being weeks of work; they haven’t even started fixing all the holes and pulled-out drywall yet. What is something you swore you would never do before kids that you now do? (skip showers, go to a drive through coffee in your pjs, etc.)? I had a lot of ideas about all the wonderful things I was going to do with my children. Basically, I have done everything differently than what I planned, as I have learned to parent for each individual child, and do the best I can for the moment we are in. I’ve done absolutely no screen time, and way more screen time than I ever thought. I’ve been strict about things I thought 12

“For us, the work that goes into traveling has a high payoff... Like anything else in life, family travel gets better after a lot of practice.”

wouldn’t matter, and let go of battles that I had once thought were worth holding on to. I’ve done unschooling sometimes, and other times I’ve made my kids finish school work late at night through their tears. We’ve been more scheduled than I thought we would need, and then we’ve lost almost all our activities and made that work, too.

No one works harder than mom. What have you learned professionally that has helped you as a mom? I have my masters in education, which has helped with my children’s education. The irony is, people would think that would help as a homeschool teacher, but I have used it much more in the public schools. I think my basic personality traits and general

education are plenty to be a good teacher with my children at home, which is more about curiosity and organization than knowing everything. But having children with special needs in the public school system feels like a constant battle, and having comfort with the systems, expectations, and how to find and present research, puts me in a much better position of strength when we have IEP meetings. It also makes me irate that my children get services because of my level of education and ability to organize a rebuttal. This is not fair. Do you have a goal you’d like to accomplish within the next five years? I have an entire book of goals! I have to write things down and plan ahead if anything is going to happen.

If mom’s not happy, nobody’s happy. Tell us about your upbringing. How did it shape the mother you are today? I was born in Nome, Alaska. My parents weren’t married, and they were both adventurers in their own ways. With my mom and stepdad, we went into the Bush, built a cabin, and spent weeks or months on our own, surrounded by nature. With my dad, I spent summers in Asia; he lived there and we would spend weeks traveling around, getting to more unusual places and farther off the beaten track as I got older. We also had a house in Anchorage, where I went to school (and homeschool), practiced piano every day and loved to write. But even if

those off-the-grid adventures were only a few weeks a year, they were the pivots which the rest of my life revolved around. What is something you will NEVER do again? When I was a teenager and young adult, I thought my own experiences were consistent with what other people in life had, at least when they were doing the same thing. I hope that I never again make judgements about people, or drown out their own lived experience with my assumptions. If you could instantly have one new skill (i.e. foreign language, musical talent, eyes in the back of your head, etc.), what would it be? It would be nice to be able to make beautiful watercolor paintings (I’m working on learning, and not very good

yet) or speak the language of any country that I visited. But also, if you could do something instantly, you would skip over the whole process of learning, and the satisfaction in life is in the journey. My children can inform you that I already have eyes in the back of my head. What keeps you sane? I have a big family, and I’m together with my kids virtually all the time. I’m dealing with homeschool and toddlers all day, and the little ones are sleeping with or next to me all night. To me, the key to mothering and staying sane, is to find a way to be myself while I am being a mother. Of course I want some time away from my kids occasionally, but if I put my own self aside whenever I am with my kids, I would shrink down to nothing. So at all the different ages, I build routines and 13


“One of our top family values is being connected to the world. We think it builds empathy and understanding, and it helps our kids grow in competence and flexibility.”

interactions with my kids that are fulfilling to me. I wear my babies and toddlers so I can go for hikes and travel. My little kids play next to me while I do work or writing on my computer, and I chat with them and help them, and stay in touch with friends with text conversations. I figure out how to continue my interests with my kids alongside me — baking, hiking, yoga, sewing. We study topics in homeschool that I find engaging, in a way that I think is interesting. Tell us about taking time for creativity. I tried for years to be a dedicated mom and be creative in a way that benefitted my children directly. I tried to organize preschool crafts, make a garden with my children, teach them to bake. It always felt like there was too much to do to take any time for myself – kid chores, household chores, community chores. I could find some time for doing things for myself with one child, but that time disappeared as our house became full. Somehow there was never time to play piano, train the dogs, or make things. But when I wasn’t happy, I ended up putting off doing anything at all, and realizing guiltily that most of the day had passed and I hadn’t done anything useful or anything joyful. When I had my fourth child, it was obvious that the to-do list was always going to be longer than any human being had hours in her day, so I might as well be happy while getting through part of it. I was intrigued by quilting, so I just started reading books and sewing things. When we needed to move, I put a “space of my own” on the top of the priority list, and I have a little room behind the kitchen for my sewing studio. I’ve expanded beyond quilts into garment sewing. For calmer and more portable art, I do embroidery. I design and stitch my own pieces, mostly based off nature and many of them inspired by my travels. This winter I decided that one of the skills I needed to make my embroidery visions come to life, would be to improve my drawing. Then I was inspired to learn how to paint with 15

watercolors, which is related to many fiber arts. It’s a steep learning curve, though. What’s your guilty pleasure? (dark chocolate hidden in the pantry, TJ Maxx, daily latte habit?) Nice pens. Actually, I don’t feel guilty. None of these things are hurting anyone!

“You can be true to

Listen to mom.

matter to you, and let

What advice would you give your younger mom self? What do you wish you knew then that you know now? No one piece of advice or parenting philosophy is right. You can be true to the core values that matter to you, and let go of most of daily “shoulds” — especially around sleep. Take care of yourself, because parenting is a long, long marathon. Make time to create.

go of most of daily


the core values that


Why do eye prescriptions seem to change each year? The human eye is a living, fluid sphere and it’s hard for it to be exactly the same shape as it was 12 months ago. The eye’s length and shape determine if an image will be in focus. Our brains are sensitive to vision and can detect these small changes, which is why at eye exams we say, “pick one or two.” This is called refraction, and it’s how we fine-tune prescriptions.

Brought to you by:

As children grow, their eyes grow and change. They often don’t have a way of knowing if things are blurrier than “normal” since they only have their own experience for comparison. They don’t know how clear things should be, and they may not have the language to communicate the topic. This is why regular eye exams are important, and where pediatric optometrists have the tools and knowledge to help. Adults even have small changes in eye shape over time. Fun fact: even adjusting the front surface by the thickness of a human hair could change the prescription significantly — around four diopters (-4.00 DS). The good news is that vision tends to stabilize in our early 20s and throughout the 30s, which makes it an ideal time to explore laser vision correction for eligible patients.

David A. Hackett, OD, FCOVD Lifetime Eye Care a division of Sterling Vision 1011 Valley River Way Suite 110, Eugene LITTLE TOES 541-342-2201 or 866-4EYELUV






10 little toes...


10 big reasons to have your baby at McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center:



• All-in-one labor, delivery & recovery rooms (including whirlpool tubs) • Water birth available • State-of-the-art newborn safety system • 24/7 in-house laborists (OB)


• 24/7 on-call certified nurse midwives and lactation services • 24/7 on-call pediatric hospitalists • Level II special care nursery • Maternity Care Coordinator

Visit, maternity services for more information

• Childbirth education/classes • Nitrous oxide option during labor 17

Airlines serving the Eugene Airport Aha!: Alaska Airlines: Allegiant: American Airlines: Avelo Airlines: Delta: Southwest: United:

Avoid Travel Hassles


The world has changed dramatically since COVID, and the travel industry was hit hard. While this can still be a challenging time to travel, there are steps you can take to make it easier. Planning ahead and being prepared will make for a great vacation in 2022 and beyond. TRAVEL INSURANCE

It has always been a good idea to purchase travel insurance, especially for trips out of the USA. Because of the pandemic, it is necessary that everyone has proper insurance coverage. A comprehensive policy provides coverage for issues such as trip cancellation, medical expenses, emergency evacuation, bankruptcy of suppliers and emergency assistance. Some international destinations require visitors to have travel insurance to cover medical expenses. Regular health insurance policies usually do not provide coverage outside of the United States. A professional travel agent can assist you with travel insurance policies to find the best option for you. AIRLINE TICKETS

One of the few good things to come out of the pandemic is that all major airlines have revoked change fees, previously between $125 and $350 per ticket, on their regular tickets for domestic and international travel. This does not include basic economy discounted tickets. Be aware of basic economy type tickets and read all fine print. Many times, they do not allow carry-on bags, no changes for any reason, no pre-assigned seats and they force you to board last. If the airlines cancel a flight, they are to give you a refund, but you have to ask for it and they do not make it easy. Do not expect a refund if you choose to cancel a reservation. The airline will hold onto the amount you paid for your tickets to be used as a credit for future travel, usually within one year. You do not have to travel to the same place, just use the same airline. When choosing flights, try and take non-stop options from your local airport to minimize hassles. Luckily there are more nonstop flights available from Eugene Airport than ever before. Low-cost airlines are not listed on the online travel sites, so you 18

need to go to their websites directly. Remember to check Southwest, Avelo, Allegiant and aha! when you need flights. USE THE AIRLINE APPS

Every airline has a free app you can use to check-in online and monitor your flights. This is essential as flight delays, gate changes and cancellation notices will be sent to you via the app on your phone. You can use the app to reschedule your flights if needed. SMART PHONES ARE ESSENTIAL

Today it is almost impossible to travel without a smartphone. You will need a phone for online check-in, using QR codes, getting menus, activity schedules and communication. Make sure your cell phone plan covers any countries you will be visiting. Take extra charging banks and cords with you in your carry-on. Take photos of all important documents and share with your traveling companions. BE PREPARED…AND FLEXIBLE

During this time of overbooked flights and understaffed airports and airlines, you need to expect that delays may happen. Do not book a flight to arrive the same day your cruise ship departs or that you need to attend a wedding. Build in some leeway in case of delays. When you fly, bring lots of snacks and things to do; this is especially important if traveling with children. Have your hotels and rental cars or transportation reserved in advance. Bring copies of your confirmations. BASIC DON’TS

This is not the time to grab the first internet deal that you see advertised. Unfortunately, there are many scam artists ready to take advantage of the pent-up demand. There are also legitimate travel companies that may not survive until you take your vacation, so paying too far in advance is not a good idea.


You will be required to show either a passport or a driver license with Real ID as of May 3, 2023 for boarding all airline flights within the US. The Real ID requires a new driver license, presenting extensive paperwork at the DMV and paying $70. It’s much smarter to get a passport: they’re good for 10 years and the cost is $165 for adults and $135 for those under 16 (valid for 5 years). You need a passport book (not the card) to travel anywhere outside of the US. It can take 3 months or longer to get a passport processed so start the process early and pay extra to expedite if you need them sooner. The services of a professional travel agent are more important than ever to help you navigate the post-pandemic world of travel. A skilled agent will have your personal safety as their top concern. They will consider all issues when choosing a cruise line or tour company for your vacation and take care of all the important details. Most importantly, if something does go wrong, you will have someone on your side to help make things right.


Rules change often so check the following websites for up-to-date info. Real ID TSA Trusted Traveler Programs Passport Info USA State Department for Covid-19 Alerts Centers for Disease Control


Vacation MOM is brought to you in partnership with Eugene Airport Donnita Bassinger has been a travel agent for three decades and she enjoys sending families on vacations around the world. She is mom to three boys and lives in Eugene with her husband. She is the owner of VIP Vacations, Inc. and she is happy to chat with you about your travel plans. Contact Donnita at 541-913-5272 @VacationMOMpage 19

Keepin’ it




Food and nutrition experts have been telling us for decades that properly seasoning our food can make it tastier. If you’re looking for inspiration, you might find that the right spice makes all the difference.

Time to break out of your food rut and try something new-toyou. There are differences between the herbs and spices — it comes down to which part of the plant they come from — but for the sake of simplicity, we’re going with spices.

west ocean waters. From pure sea salt to infusions with rosemary, lemon and others, their products are handmade. Side note: they sell salted caramels, which sound divine. Available from local vendors and at



You can put this on everything: potato salad, broccoli, eggs, soup, salmon, you name it. Hate the mess that traditional everything bagels make in your toaster? Instead, toast a plain bagel, top with cream cheese and sprinkle with the seasoning. Less mess, same taste. Some brands are saltier than others, so take a look at the label first and adjust accordingly.

Apparently Mexican oregano is a totally different plant than the oregano you likely have in your cabinet, i.e., Mediterranean oregano. Mexican oregano has citrus undertones that make it great for salsas, rice and rubs. Penzeys Spices makes a good one. Give it a go on eggs and hashbrowns for a pop of flavor in your breakfast. GOOD OLD CINNAMON

There’s nothing outrageous about this ancient spice derived from tree bark, but there are unconventional ways to use it. Go beyond the baked goods and try it in chili, pot roasts, butter chicken, carnitas and other savory dinners.


Yes, we saw this on Shark Tank. But it got us curious. It comes from a salt mix that’s widely used in Australia that was reinvented by two doctors with a mission of lowering sodium and not skimping on taste. Bonus: it’s vegan! Try it on sweet potato fries or popcorn. JACOBSEN SALT CO

It’s local: Jacobsen Salt Co makes artisan salt in Netarts Bay, from cold Pacific North-


CLEAN OUT YOUR SPICE DRAWER If you want your food to taste right, toss those outdated ones — it’s like putting dust on your food. It’s not that expired spices will likely harm you, it’s more about taste: old ones lose flavor, potency and aroma.

This traditional Ethiopian spice is a warm blend of fenugreek, ginger, paprika, cardamom and numerous other variations. Try it in a rub for baked chicken. 21


Momism #21 I’m proud of you.

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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. Wellsprings Friends School is a place where the education of an individual student is as treasured as the interconnectedness of our community. An independent, alternative high school with a focus on creating lifelong learners, Wellsprings is home to a dedicated team of teachers that is fully committed to the academic and socio-emotional growth of each student.

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back-to-school shopping



We asked teachers: why do so many supplies get returned with children at the end of the year? The most common answer: Lists are not created by teachers. They are often general lists made by districts or the school itself, likely because teachers may not be assigned to classrooms until well into August. You can avoid over-buying by getting the basics — folders, pencils, notebooks — and waiting until the academic year gets underway for the rest. Or, save the supplies from each year and draw from your existing stock.

Go for longevity and spend more on a durable brand with strong zippers that won’t break in a year. Reinforced bottoms keep the weight of books from breaking through. Ditch the vinyl adornments. MOM advice: don’t buy a rolling-style one until you know if your child’s school allows it. Sometimes they don’t fit in lockers or cubbies.

Reusing is simple: Keep a storage bin of school supplies you already have that are in good condition, and shop from your own wares first. For the durable items you need to buy, try thrift stores like St. Vincent de Paul’s, the Salvation Army or used stores that support a cause you believe in. Swaps with other moms and deals through Facebook MarketPlace are also sources.

And that cute Pottery Barn Kids backpack with the embroidered name on the back? Totes adorbs, but skip the custom embroidery and label it on the inside tag. Advertising your child’s name could be an invitation for predators, and also when your child outgrows that print, the backpack is more difficult to reuse unless you know another Brayden.



Backpacks are the epitome of back-to-school essentials, but a new one every single school year isn’t necessary. Proof: take a tour of the pile of backpacks available at most thrift stores…it’s a museum of children’s media characters.

Crayons: You’ll likely have to get new ones each year, unless you are beyond organized at pulling together a full set from your bin at home, because these tend to break, labels fall off, etc. But fear not with those old crayons: they can be melted down into fun crafts. Avoid imported ones, as they have been found to contain asbestos (plus that whole carbon footprint thing of coming from overseas).

Before you buy: choose one that is well-made and in a style that will grow with your kid, which means opting for plain over the Marvel superhero du jour. If this makes you feel like a fun sponge, remember the larger goal: you want there to be a planet that can sustain your children’s future children.

Notebooks and paper: look for items that list the actual percentage of recycled materials they contain — beware of the glossed over labeling that’s getting away with a tiny fraction of recycled material.


Look for PVC-free and bisphenols-free (note that is plural, as in all bisphenols, not just bisphenol-A). Stainless steel is a solid bet for water bottles and lunch containers, and likely your best way of avoiding products containing lead. As always, look for US-made products, or better yet, ones made locally. CLOTHES

The average American has an astonishing number of clothing items, and many are made from oil-derived polyester. Good quality hand-me-downs are perfect for growing kids who put on two inches of height each year. So shop your own home before you head out for more. If you need gently used or new, look for 100-percent cotton, pants with reinforced knees and high-quality brands that are longer lasting than fast fashion. If you have the means and are itching to shop, find a local organization that puts together back-to-school items for children in need. Also ask your teachers what they need: last year colored paper was at a premium and many local schools were without. If your child wants to be part of the process, take them shopping with you to model how we help others. 25

Making art accessible to all In collaboration with the Materials Exchange Center for the Community Arts (MECCA)

Everyone is an artist, but not everyone has access to raw art materials. MECCA’s mission is to change that by making art materials accessible to all. Since 1999, MECCA has worked to divert materials from the waste stream toward the community’s creative endeavors to equip and inspire local artists. The organization encourages the reimagining of items often considered trash, thus breaking down barriers to art-making. “Art supplies are really expensive,” says Heather Campbell, MECCA’s executive director. “But when they’re on hand, you’re far more likely to create. And if you can look creatively at your recycling bin, at items like the open side of a cereal box, egg cartons, or plastic tubs, you might realize that you have supplies after all.” MECCA does its best, Campbell says, to make art supplies affordable, even providing them for free to local educators and homeschool teachers. It’s working so well that they’ll be moving into brand-new digs this summer, in the 5th Street Public Market in Eugene.

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“We’ll have more room for programming, and we’re looking forward to bringing back workshops and events that were on hold during the pandemic,” Campbell says. Learn more about MECCA’s mission at

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Momism #148 Please text me back.


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Appointments are preferred for dog adoptions. Because we are a Safe Housing emergency boarding partner with local law enforcement, our dog kennels are currently closed to the public. 27

You already know the many benefits of fiber-rich foods, but a quick review of the highlights: better digestion, weight control, immune and brain function, and more. Getting more fiber in our diets should be a high priority.



t starts innocently: you hear that bananas are the perfect food for your baby to try as a first solid…but too much banana leads to constipation, and a constipated baby is not a happy one.

A word about supplements: There’s no shortage of fiber supplements on shelves, some infused into enticing gummy characters. Most experts agree that getting fiber from your food is far better than relying on supplements.

Then into elementary school years where it’s one pizza party after another, and the stomach aches start. Everywhere you turn, our culture has enticing — and low fiber — foods calling out to us. And moms, we’re looking at you here too: after downing an extra tall mocha whip, you polish off the rest of your kids’ fries on the way to soccer practice, only to get home exhausted with only enough energy to bake a premade freezer meal. You need fiber too.

Persist: The experts are right in that you may have to present a food about 20 times before a child will like it. Don’t make it a battle, and make sure you eat your vegetables as a good example.

Make it tasty: season your food in new ways. See our article on spices in this issue.

Bring out the good with the not-so-good: melt cheese over the broccoli if it gets it down the hatch. If ranch dressing is the key for eating baby carrots, so be it.

Get sneaky: Add mashed black bean to brownies, or cannellini beans to deviled eggs.

Chew your food: berries, pears and apples are all good sources of fiber. Beware the smoothies, as those liquified fruits and vegetables are more fiber-adjacent: they pass through you faster than food you chew, making you feel hungrier sooner.

To reward, or not to reward: Some parents are against using dessert as bribery for healthy eating, saying it sets up an unnatural system of rewards. The rest of us keep it real and shake a bag of M&Ms if it gets those green beans eaten.

It’s a great goal, but how do you get your family (and yourself) on the right track? •

Swap out refined breads and pasta for whole wheat or whole grain varieties. Boom, your spaghetti dinner now has fiber.

And if your kid likes brussel sprouts, go ahead and celebrate…and please, tell us how you did it. *Disclaimer: If you have any health condition that impacts your diet, this article may not be for you. Follow your health care providers’ recommendations. 29

Say Cheese

Back to school with braces Share these tips with your child to keep them smiling into the school year: 1. Eat braces friendly foods. Look for foods that aren’t sticky, hard or chewy. Go for the mashed potatoes instead of the potato chips, and the applesauce instead of the apples. 2. Brush your teeth before you go to school. Eating a pop tart on the way out the door is a surefire way to have food caked in your teeth all day which could ruin the perfect selfie. Want extra credit? Keep a toothbrush in your locker and brush after lunch, too. 3. Keep a mirror in your locker to check if you have something stuck in your teeth. Or, use your front facing camera to help keep your smile looking great.


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4. Drink water. It not only helps hydrate, rinsing your mouth with water gets rid of those food bits stuck to your smile.


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Momism #97 Didn’t you just eat?


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