Lane County MOM | December 2021 / January 2022

Page 1

real local moms

Lane County | Dec 2021 / Jan 2022

since 2005







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

Holiday gift guide


inside that counts

Soup’s on!


Meet the MOM experts ... 4

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

They know what they’re

Solo parent travel

talking about.

Holiday gift guide...........20

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

A few of our favorite gifts

A message from MOM

this year.

Cover MOM: Ashley Espinoza...............10

Soup’s on!..........................23

This mom gets real.

the whole family on chilly

Holiday fun & then some


Holiday fun & then some.....................28 Ideas for holiday fun, plus activities to take you into January.

Easy, cozy recipes to warm up winter days.

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


[They know what they’re talking about]

Healthy MOM

Focus on MOM

Beyond the Bin

with Dr. David Hackett, pediatric optometrist, page 7

with Kelly Bell, waste reduction specialist, page 9


Say Cheese

with Dr. Emily Little, perinatal health researcher, page 8

with Dr. Brad Chvatal, orthodontist, page 26

with Annie Ziemba, MSN, CNM, page 6

Vacation MOM with Donnita Bassinger, travel agent, page 18

I looked up my

symptoms online and it

turns out I just have kids. — Just about every mom


Smile with Dr. Erin Estep, pediatric dentist, 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. © 2021 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.

Why we give About 15 years ago, a sweet friend of mine was diagnosed with leukemia. She spent over 70 grueling days at OHSU, which prompted me to join Be The Match national bone marrow registry. Gratefully, my friend survived, and as the years have gone by, my name stayed on the registry. Imagine my surprise when I was recently identified as a possible match for a 60-year-old man with a rare type of blood cancer. I thought I was too old to donate (the preferred ages are 18 to 35), but as long as I was healthy and willing, it would be fine. Before the donation coordinator could finish asking, I was ready to give. They overnighted a new cheek swab kit, invited me to a private Facebook Group for donors, and let me know it would be a few months of waiting to hear back. The online community of donors is a beautiful group. People from all over the country, on any given day, are donating bone marrow or stem cells to total strangers — many of whom are children. Donating isn’t an easy process: you must have a complete physical, several blood draws and five days of injections to increase the number of blood-forming cells in your body. Many donors fly across the country, where they might be hooked to a machine via double IVs for five hours or more. Or, the donation might be done surgically, where marrow is extracted from the pelvic bone. An oft-given piece of advice from donor to donor: use a wheelchair in the airport because you will be sore. The donors in the group are moms, soldiers, college students — people from every walk of life. They put their own lives on hold to willingly help a complete stranger. What’s more is that they are enthusiastic, becoming crestfallen when the transplant isn’t needed. Why are

average, everyday people so willing to go through so much for someone they’ve never met? When I received news about my potential recipient, it was that his care team decided not to pursue a donation at this time, but I could be called back to help. When I asked if the patient knew about me as a match, the coordinator said yes. He then told me something I won’t forget: for a patient and their family, just knowing there is a donor who is willing to help gives them hope. When you have a serious diagnosis, hope is a life raft in an open ocean of fear. So while I’m not immediately needed, there is a deeply rewarding sense of being someone’s hope. It answered my question as to why so many of us are motivated to be donors. In this season of giving, I challenge you to give a gift to a stranger in need. Not everyone can be a marrow donor, but there are many other ways to help. Buy some socks for your local shelter, ring the bell outside the grocery store, pay for the car behind you in the coffee line. However you aid another human on this planet, you give them hope: and hope can carry us all so very far. Have a wonderful holiday season. Audrey Meier DeKam Editor-in-Chief 5

healthy MOM


Waterbirth Waterbirth is a wonderful, safe birth option. In a setting with trained professionals, it can offer an empowering, gentle way to give birth.

While waterbirth is often associated with homebirth, some hospitals offer it as an option, such as at McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center, with labors attended by highly trained midwives. Having a hospital-based waterbirth is often seen as the best of both worlds for patients who want minimal interventions but like the peace of mind that comes from being within a hospital setting. Giving birth in water naturally supports physiologic birth. The benefits of waterbirth are an improved experience of labor, decreased pain and lower rates of birth interventions. Not everyone is a candidate for waterbirth, but your

midwife can discuss the risks and benefits with you, as well as your eligibility. A hallmark of midwifery care is the principle of shared decision making. You may have heard of “informed consent.” Shared decision goes a step further. Midwives inform patients of all aspects of a decision, as we want our patients to take the lead in choosing what is best for them. We believe fundamentally that each person is the ultimate expert on their own body and choices about their health. This approach leads to long-term relationships between midwives and patients throughout their reproductive lives, as well as improved health outcomes.

Annie Ziemba, MSN, CNM McKenzie Midwives & Lactation Services 960 N. 16th St., Ste 104, Springfield (541) 744-8660


Just because lactation is “natural” doesn’t mean it’s easy! Early and consistent lactation support is key to success. In addition to immediate postpartum visits in the hospital, seeking lactation visits after you go home can improve the latch, baby’s weight gain and your postpartum experience. With nurse-midwives, Certified Lactation Counselors and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) on staff, we are ready to support our entire community, no matter where or how you birthed. We also offer a lactation preparation class during pregnancy as well as ongoing postpartum lactation support.

Brought to you by:

Vision toys and games Vision is much more than just “20/20.” It is a combination of sub-skills which can be learned and developed. Each of these entertaining gifts builds different foundational visual skills. Eye Spy Eagle Eye

Play-doh, clay


Fine-motor control

Concentration, match

Pretend-play toys: dolls, dress-up

Visual memory

Imagination and visualization

Ping-Pong Visual pursuit

Brought to you by:


David A. Hackett, OD, FCOVD Lifetime Eye Care a division of Sterling Vision 4765 Village Plaza Loop Eugene, Oregon (541) 342-3100 or 866-4EYELUV

Total Office Solutions Get in touch with our workflow experts today for customized office solutions.

Gravity maze Visualization

Legos, Duplo, K’NEX Several skills

Chess, checkers, jigsaw puzzles Several skills

Rubik’s Cube, ball maze

Eye-hand coordination

Spot it!

Visual perception

Form constancy

Coloring books



Visual memory

Visualization, eye tracking

Eye-hand coordination

Many screen-based activities and games provide so much stimulation that a child’s brain is overwhelmed with observing rather than developing the abilities to create, visualize, imagine and problem solve. This gift-giving season, consider giving games and activities that enhance a child’s brain and assist in their vision development. For more information on each of these foundational visual skills and an excellent child development timeline, visit


PHONE: 541.747.9396 | FAX: 541.747.9454 201 West 8th Avenue, Eugene, OR 97401

expand your reach with print 541.926.3000 magazines • inserts • maps newspapers • postcards catalogs • calendars 7


Magical Human Milk Pregnancy and postpartum are often times of immense pressure, when a parent is taxed with a new level of hypervigilance to ensure their baby is healthy and safe. In the COVID-19 pandemic, parenting and healthcare decisions have become even more intense. We call human milk “magical” for good reason: it is a live, active substance that behaves more like a medicine than food, as it makes antibodies in response to the environment. For instance, during lactation a parent’s body is always taking in signals from their environment that tell them exactly what the baby needs. The milk of parents whose babies are born premature has increased immunofactors in comparison with the milk made for full-term babies, showing that the parent’s body adjusts to make milk that is especially helpful to the vulnerable preterm baby. Similarly, when a baby is sick, human milk adjusts to increase the production of antibodies to help fight the baby’s illness. A growing body of research shows that parents who get vaccinated against COVID-19 while they are lactating actually provide passive immunity to their baby through antibodies in the post-vaccination milk. The vaccine itself doesn’t actually pass through the milk to the baby. Rather, the MRNA vaccine sends messages to the pregnant and lactating parent’s body to create an antibody response that helps fight COVID-19 infection, and this is the part that passes through the milk to the baby. It’s understandable how human milk earned its description of being magical. To learn more, visit and take a look at our Magic Milk program, as well as a range of free support for expectant parents.

Brought to you by:

Visit our new Perinatal Lounge at 56 East 15th Avenue in Eugene.

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


What is Nuturely? Based in Eugene, Nurturely is a non-profit organization that aims to share objective information to empower parents to access optimal wellness for themselves and their babies. We promote equity in perinatal wellness and strengthen cultures of support for infants and caregivers. Learn more about us and our community partners at

WasteWise Holiday Tips! Practicing waste prevention and waste reduction in our daily lives is a great way to reduce carbon impact and protect our environment. During the holidays, we can reduce our impact by reusing and recycling typical items, but some things can be tricky and more wasteful.* We’re fortunate to have local recycling and reusing options. These items don’t belong in your recycling bin but they can be recycled/reused at these Eugene locations: Block Styrofoam: St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County, 2167 West 11th Avenue Electronics: Next Step Recycling, 245 Jackson Street Foil or plastic coated gift wrap & gift bags: MECCA (Materials Exchange Center for Community Arts) 449 Willamette Street Ribbons & bows: MECCA (Materials Exchange Center for Community Arts) 449 Willamette Street

Brought to you by:

String lights: Next Step Recycling, 245 Jackson Street Have more recycling questions? Download the free WasteWise Lane County app, available in the App Store, for information on where to recycle or reuse common household materials.

Kelly Bell is the Master Recycler coordinator for the Lane County Waste Management Division. She feels privileged to support the many citizen waste prevention educators who LITTLE volunteer their time. Learn more atTOES




*According to a 2021 analysis by the Center for Biological Diversity, Americans generate 23% more waste in December than in other months of the year.



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 9


Ashley Espinoza Consider it a masterpiece in progress: for Ashley Espinoza, life works by spinning plates, occasional failing and therapy as a priority of self-care. Photos by: Fremouw Photography

Profession: Director of Sector Strategies, Lane Workforce Partnership Community: West Eugene Husband: Melquiades (Chares) Espinoza, Union Carpenter, Interior-Exterior Specialist Children: Aidan, age 15; Orlando, age 10; and doggie child Luna, age 2 11

Family comes first. All families are unique. Tell us about yours (spouse, significant other, children, pets, etc.). My husband and I have been together for 12 years, and this year we celebrated our 10-year marriage anniversary. He started working in construction when he was very young, shortly after he immigrated here, so seeing him grow into his career and become a master in his trade and gain the respect of his co-workers and colleagues is something I’m so proud of him for.


We have two amazing boys and a beautiful dog we adopted through a local rescue last summer. My older son is definitely the quiet and reserved one in our family, very wise and mature beyond his years. Our youngest, Orlando, is confident, smart, funny and has a heart of gold. He makes friends everywhere he is and steals the hearts of those that get to know him. Aidan and Orlando are almost five years apart, so it’s important to us that they maintain a good relationship and can be there for one another. Orlando was

considered nonverbal up until his sixth birthday, which created a unique dynamic and different challenges we didn’t necessarily anticipate. At the time, we didn’t have a network of people who had navigated something similar, but we’ve been fortunate to have friends and family who have loved us unconditionally and supported us through it all. I am especially thankful to my mom for being there for us since day one, helping in any and all ways. When we adopted Luna it was because my older son, Aidan, had always wanted a dog, but Orlando for a long time didn’t like the

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

…shops to pick up a gift for a friend: Rhythm and Blooms, Provisions Market at the 5th Street Public Market …coffee spot: Sweet Tree Cafe & Espresso and Meraki Coffee Co. …place to treat yourself to a mani/pedi, massage, or other personal services: Number One Nails & Spa in West Eugene … restaurants to take the kids: Steelhead Brewery, McMenamins North Bank, Killer Burger, Papas Pizza, Sizzle Pie …restaurants for a date night: Sabai, Sushi PURE, Hacienda Amigo Mio, Memo’s, Marché, Ambrosia …take-out, food truck, or quick bite: El Super Taco, El Taco Express, Dos Banderas, Fruteria Lalitos, Saigon Cafe, Sushi Ya


idea of a dog or a pet of any kind. Luna has been a godsend, the perfect addition to our family. Luna and Orlando are now the best of friends, and she’s developed a strong bond and relationship with each of us, but I’m for sure her favorite. Has the pandemic changed the way you parent, beyond just the practical and logistical parts? If so, how? I’ve always worked outside the home, so us being together 24 hours, 7 days a week was a huge shift for us. My kids didn’t even know what I did for work before the pandemic, and now they see balancing between work, household duties and being present as their mom. The most challenging part since the start of the pandemic is finding a healthy medium with screen time, especially that they both love video games and YouTube, and I’m 20 feet away from work at all times. We’re constantly negotiating and finding ways to get away from the screen when we don’t need to be. The struggle is real! Tell us about one of your proudest mom moments. When we did the walk-through while our home was being built, my kids were able to write their names on a stud in their bedrooms before the sheetrock went up. Their very own bedrooms! I felt like my husband and I accomplished something so huge, important and only in our wildest dreams. Now tell us about one of your most humbling mom moments. When Orlando was three he was life-flighted to the children’s hospital in Portland. Seeing my son intubated, transported by ambulance to the airport (EUG), then to a tiny plane on a stretcher, and knowing that at that moment, I had zero control of the outcome. I had to trust in all the amazing people that were involved, and ground myself in my faith and stay strong for my family. It was a very scary but humbling moment. What is the most surprising thing you have found wedged between the sofa cushions or behind a car seat? A smashed peanut butter and jelly sandwich in a zippy bag, between the couch cushions. I couldn’t tell you how long it had been in there either. Yuck! 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.)? Think of others before thinking of my self-interest first. It’s a big wake-up call when you see the bright-eyed baby staring at you, and at that moment you realize your life has changed forever.

…meetup spot for happy hour: B2 Bar & Grill, Thinking Tree Spirits, Wetlands Brew Pub, SideBar, barTini bistro, and the Beer Station in Junction City …event in your community: The Eugene Symphony, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and First Friday ArtWalks 13


You know you’re a mom when you hear yourself say, “__________.” Yelling, “Dinner’s ready!”

No one works harder than mom. We know that being a mom is a full-time job. How do you balance (or not) motherhood, activities, work, volunteering, household responsibilities, and life in general? What sometimes falls through the cracks? I constantly feel like I’m spinning a ton of plates in the air and at any time they could fall. However, with time I’ve been able to structure my work and activities where a lot of it informs itself, and all are things I am extremely passionate about. I also have learned to kindly say no and use those opportunities to recruit others that are a better fit, have the time, or have an interest in getting involved. At home, we all help each other and everyone is pretty independent and has reasonable expectations of the other. Tell us about your work or volunteerism outside of the home. I work as the Sector Strategy Director with Lane Workforce Partnership, the workforce board of Lane County. Sector Strategies are business-led partnerships supported by community stakeholders and partners for talent development, job creation and business competitiveness. We use local labor market data and analysis to inform our work and to identify the regional industries essential to our local economy and respond to the ever-changing needs of industry and its workforce. In 2016 I began coordinating Latino Professionals Connect, and in most recent years, I was appointed to the Commission on Hispanic Affairs and the State Apprenticeship & Training Council. I’ve been a leadership council member with The Oregon Community Foundation for several years, and serve on the board of Centro Latino Americano/ Huerto de la Familia/Downtown Languages recently merged organization (name coming soon!). In May I was elected to the Bethel School Board after being unanimously appointed in January of this year. When was the last time you failed? What did you learn? Gosh, I feel like I fail all the time. I just don’t let “failure” bother me honestly. I let myself have my feelings but I don’t allow myself to dwell in them. I fall, cry for a bit, get myself up, dust myself off, analyze the situation, learn from the good, bad and ugly, and give it another go. Do you have a goal you’d like to accomplish within the next five years? My husband and I would talk about going to Venice for our 10-year anniversary at the beginning of our relationship, which at the time 10 years felt like forever. We have now surpassed that milestone and we weren’t able to go this year, but hopefully, within the next five years we’ll go on a long and beautiful Italian vacation.

If mom’s not happy, nobody’s happy. Tell us about your upbringing. How did it shape the mother you are today? We learned to do a lot with a little. Growing up in a working-class family and seeing my mom do her best at juggling, balancing and being a woman herself. It did teach me a lot and most definitely has shaped me into the mother and woman I am today.

What is special about where you grew up? I grew up in Junction City. At the time, our family was one of very few Latino/a/x, bicultural families in a very small tight-knit community. Knowing how different my family life was compared to my school friends was a constant insecurity for me growing up and stuck with me into adulthood. I’ve worked hard my entire life to learn to love myself and own my identity. I’m a masterpiece in progress. What do you think is the most important life skill or value your parents taught you? My parents have always been super hard workers and surprisingly open-minded, which culturally was somewhat unique. I never felt judged by them unless they really thought I was getting close to crossing any lines that would put me in a bad position. It was more constructive feedback, and I appreciated the honesty, guidance and space. When was the last time you did something for the first time? I do new things quite often but the most memorable for me was being invited to be a part of a Bunco group. I had never played Bunco or been part of a group/club as an adult, outside of work, so it’s been such a fun experience. The hostess duties rotate every month between the members and we eat, laugh, play and win fun gifts and cash!


In what way are your children like you? How are they different? Both of my children have good hearts and are empathetic people. I have so many examples that warms my heart when I think of them. They differ from me in not being such busybodies. They enjoy being home, and I’m a fun-seeking social butterfly. Through the pandemic, I’ve learned to slow down and actually enjoy the homelife and downtime.

MOM s Favorite... …family games: UNO, Lotería, LIFE and Texas hold’em poker …words to live by: We can do hard things. …place to find some peace & quiet: Walking around my neighborhood and nearby public spaces. Luna loves and appreciates it, too. …binge-worthy TV or podcast: The School of Greatness (podcast) and Explained on Netflix …inspirational quote: Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. — Maya Angelou …time-saving app or digital tools: Grammarly, Calendly, Truebill, MDLive and Digit 15

What is something you will NEVER do again? Crazy roller coasters. When I was a kid I loved roller coasters, but since I became a mom, I just can’t do it anymore. Which good habit do you wish you started earlier? Therapy, saving, investing, stretching and developing an expressive writing routine. What are three words your best friend would use to describe you? She said: loyal, powerful and resilient. What is the quality you like most about yourself? I’m very persistent. When I want to accomplish something I keep my eye on the prize and goal. What’s your superpower? Bringing people together. If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, in which event would you win a gold medal? Strategic planning. Name one thing that is part of your daily routine that you just can’t live without. Morning meditations and making my bed.


It’s Saturday afternoon and you suddenly find yourself at home alone for a few hours (we know, it never happens). What do you do? I like to use that rare time to clean out cluttery spaces and paper piles. What keeps you up at night (apart from kids, of course)? We are living in such interesting times. Human beings are a social species and we thrive in community, and the divisiveness we’re experiencing now really keeps me up at night. What keeps you sane? Seeing my therapist on a weekly/biweekly basis. I’m a verbal processor, so having a licensed professional that I can trust and bounce ideas off of has been crucial in my self-care and personal growth. What’s your guilty pleasure? Binge-watching Bravo Network and my Ross shopping sprees. Who is your favorite real-life hero? I have so many. Anyone that shows up in brave ways for the greater good.

Listen to mom. Is motherhood what you expected? What surprised you the most? It surprised me to see how different each child and person is even if raised similarly. Everyone is so uniquely special. What’s the best advice you’ve received from another mom? To not be so hard on myself and that children are resilient. What message would you like to share with other moms? Remember to tell it like it is. I think it’s important to know that we can live our own lives, away from the expectations and what we believe is acceptable compared to the norm. We, myself included, try so hard to live up to certain social norms and I personally missed out on a big chunk of my life trying to live up to standards that weren’t me and would never be me. I’m constantly learning and growing. I like to believe that my kids and family are proud of me, and the life we’ve built together. I know I’m a much happier person now and it has set the tone for our family and household.


Momism #63: Please wear a coat.


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 17



Disneyland or Walt Disney World

All-Inclusive Family Resorts in the Caribbean or Mexico

Solo parent travel

Escorted Family Tours all over the world


There are many reasons that a parent would be the solo adult when traveling with children. Single parents obviously fall into this category, but there are also times when a grandparent takes a child on a special excursion or a parent brings kids along on a business trip. A wonderful tradition in some families is for one parent to take each child on a vacation alone for some bonding time. This can be a rite of passage to celebrate a certain birthday, the start of middle school or completion of high school, etc.


IMPORTANT WEBSITES Passport info: passport Eugene Airport: CDC guidelines:


required to carry a passport. To obtain a passport for a child, both parents must apply in-person along with the child. This is one of the measures taken to try and prevent disputing parents from taking a child out of the country unlawfully. If you’re traveling with a child out of the US and both parents are not present, you should bring a notarized letter from the non-present parent(s) giving you permission, including dates of travel and contact information for all parties. When you are the only adult, travel as light as possible with luggage you can manage by yourself. Take the most efficient route to and from your destination and have your transportation arranged ahead of time. In our family, I take each child on a special trip after the first year of middle school. This is an age when it’s important to keep the relationship strong, as pre-teens begin exercising their independence and may spend more time with friends than with their parents. Getting out of town with just the two of you is a great way to reconnect and find things you enjoy together. I did a trip to Northern California with my oldest son, Seattle with my middle son and I am planning a visit to San Francisco with my youngest. We’re lucky that there are lots of low-cost airlines flying out of the Eugene Airport that make it affordable to take a quick solo parent vacation. The rewards from this type of travel can last a lifetime. When planning your trip, some of the important issues include logistics, safety and costs. LOGISTICS

If your travel plans will take you outside of the United States, every person is

A great option for travel to places you are not familiar with is a guided family tour. These specially designed tours are perfect for a solo parent, as all the details are taken care of and you are traveling with other families. It’s an ideal way to experience international destinations as well as visits to historic areas of the US such as the Deep South, New England or national parks. Transportation, hotels and sightseeing have been planned to maximize your time and money while enjoying the local attractions that will appeal to kids and adults. A family tour also allows you to focus on enjoying an adventure with your children while the tour guide takes care of all the important details. SAFETY

As a parent, you’re always concerned with your child’s safety. Make sure children have your cell phone number at all times in case you get separated. Remind them that if they lose you to look for a mom with a stroller and ask her to call you. You can also point out what employees

and police officers look like wherever you happen to be. Do this at each point during your travels — at the airport, the hotel, the amusement park, etc. Personal safety is especially important for single moms. All-inclusive family resorts such as Club Med, Dreams or Beaches offer a great vacation in a protected environment. These resorts have high security and non-guests are not allowed on the grounds. Cruises are also a fun way for mom (or grandma) and the kids to have a great vacation together. Staying in an on-site hotel when visiting Disneyland or Walt Disney World will make you feel more secure and make transportation easy. COSTS

Single parents are usually concerned with keeping down costs when they travel. Many family resorts offer special “single parent” rates during their less busy times. Check the school calendar for no-school days so a long weekend can be turned into a memorable trip. A good travel agent can advise you of the best options and make your travel hassle-free. Consider making a special “mom and son” or “dad and daughter” trip a tradition in your family. It can be as simple as an overnight at the coast or a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Costa Rica. If your child is learning a foreign language, a visit to another country where they can practice their skill would be a great incentive for them to study. Think about doing something that is connected to their skills or interests such as a visit to a special museum, a cultural festival or a sporting event. If you have never taken your kids on a solo parent vacation, now is the time to make it happen. The experiences you share will be priceless.

Brought to you by:



Donnita Bassinger is a busy mom of three who lives in Eugene and is active in many local charities. She has been a travel agent in Oregon for 30 years and has enjoyed many vacations as a solo parent as well as with her family. As the owner of VIP Vacations, she is happy to chat with you about your travel plans. Contact Donnita at 541-913-5272 or on @VacationMOMpage. 19


Holiday Gift Guide Bonus: many are from talented, local makers!



04 01




A refillable catnip taco toy that makes crinkle noises will drive kitty wild in a good way. From Brownsville maker Chariss of BooBoyCatToys. 02 CHARMING




From Daisy Yang of Linlan Design in Eugene. 03 YES-PLEASE BATH AND BODY PRODUCTS

Made in Corvallis by Ethos Body available online and in their downtown Corvallis location. 04 TOTES ADORBS 05

Halsey-based creator Mandy Deaube sells items like this hexagon-patterned canvas clutch. 05 CUSTOM HOUSE DRAWINGS


Salem-based artist Heidi Toepfer specializes in custom house portraits with gentle lines and delightful watercolors. See more on Instagram @ rosehipheidi and at her online store.

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.

3590 w. 18th Ave Eugene, OR 97402 Contact: (541) 686-1223


Salem-based maker Jessie, of Zilldy Gifting Co., can set you up with custom gift boxes. Perfect for pals, events and maybe just to treat yourself. 21

Holiday Gift Guide 06




Do you need a tortilla blanket? No. But do you You’ve been hilariously want a tortilla blanket? Yes, singing it wrong all these years. Look for Merriweather because burritos make everyone happy. products at Ricky’s Bubbles Mermaker on & Sweets in Salem, Many Hands Trading in Corvallis or Hiron’s Drug in Eugene. 05 FOOD, YA BURNT Blue Q products have kept us laughing since their original flat cat in 1988. Look for 02 T-REX WALL ART their kitchen towels and It’s art you semi-make with oven mitts at Market of pre-cut and pre-creased Choice and other local paper. Shop by age for retailers. masks, lamps and other animal-inspired items. GLASSES



Wrestle those caps off with these fun bottle openers by Kikkerland. 04




Puffy, colorful and made from recycled material, Rumpl blankets are headquartered in Portland.


TACO SOUP 2 1 1 15

cups rotisserie chicken, shredded small onion, chopped red bell pepper, chopped ounces of corn, frozen or canned (drained) 15 ounces pinto beans, drained and rinsed 1 packet of taco seasoning 2 cups of chicken broth 15 ounces of tomato sauce ½ lime, juiced 1 teaspoon garlic powder salt and pepper to taste Combine ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 4 hours. Can be served with tortilla chips, cilantro, avocado slices, radish slices and additional lime.

WHITE CHILI 2 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded 12 ounces chicken broth 2 cans white northern beans, drained and rinsed 6 ounces Monterey jack cheese 4 ounces diced green chilis ¾ cup sour cream Combine chicken, broth, beans, cheese and chilis into a slow cooker. If you want a thinner soup, add 1/2 cup of water. Cook on low for 4 hours, then add the sour cream before serving and stir well. Top with shredded cheese and cilantro if desired. 24

SMOKY CHILI 1 1 2 15 28 15


potatoes, chopped into 1-inch pieces 14 ounces of kielbasa, sliced into ½-inch pieces 1 medium onion, chopped 4 celery sticks, chopped 2 cubes chicken bouillon 4 ounces Velveeta, cubed 1 can evaporated milk Brown the sausage and onion in a skillet over medium heat, then put into a slow cooker with the potatoes. Add the celery, bouillon, Velveeta and enough water to cover the mixture. Cook on low for 4 hours until the potatoes are tender, then add evaporated milk.

2 1 SOUPÇON VS. SOUP’S ON They sound similar, but carry different meanings. A soupçon means a tiny bit or trace of something, usually in reference to cooking. The expression “soup’s on” has come to mean “dinner is ready” or “come and get it.”

¾ ½ ½ ½

pound ground turkey, browned and drained small onion, chopped cloves garlic, minced salt and pepper to taste ounces tomato sauce ounces Bush’s Baked Beans ounces black beans, drained and rinsed tablespoons brown sugar teaspoon smoked paprika (the smoked variety is key) teaspoon salt teaspoon garlic powder teaspoon onion powder teaspoon cumin dash of cayenne pepper

Brown the ground turkey with chopped onions and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drain and add meat to a slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients and ½ cup of water if it’s too thick for your liking. Cook on low for 4 - 6 hours. Can be topped with shredded cheddar cheese and sliced green onions before serving. 25

Say Cheese

So many reasons to smile this season If you have orthodontic insurance, a flexible spending account or an HSA, a new smile with braces or Invisalign is a great way to make use of these accounts at year-end or the start of a new year. If you’ve had a nagging tooth that’s turned when you stopped wearing your retainer, or a bite issue you’ve been neglecting, there’s no better time to get it fixed than right now.


Brought to you by:

Come in for a completely free consultation — including all photos and X-rays — and our skilled insurance and financial experts can help you maximize your use-it-or-lose-it accounts and get you ready for lots to smile about in the new year.

(541) 683-8490 • 1400 Valley River Drive, 240, Eugene 1130 E. Main Street, Cottage Grove 2215 Willamette Street, Ste. B, Eugene

Livia Fremouw - 541.844.9429 Modern, timeless, custom portraits since 2004. Newborn babies, toddlers, children, seniors and families. 26


#11: When I was your age...


Healthy sleep, Beautiful smiles, Happy kids Dr. Lindquist uses non-invasive removable appliances to help your child grow to his full potential! Contact us today for a free consultation.

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GIVE TODAY! Where kids will explore, create and grow their minds in expanded youth development programs! 2021 Winter MOMS Magazine.indd 1 11/15/2021 8:55:06 AM 27








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Day trips Salem/ Keizer/ Silverton NOV. 26 - JAN. 9 Silverton Christmas Market at the Oregon Garden Lights, snowless tubing, market and more.

DEC. 3 - 12 Annie the Musical Historic Grand Theatre

DEC. 11 Keizer Holiday Light Parade, River Road N KeizerHolidayLightsParade

DEC. 19 - 23 Magic at the Mill at the Willamette Heritage Center Lights, children’s activities, miniature trains and more magic-at-the-mill

DEC. 3 - 17 Albany Storybookland Tiny tots will have eyes all aglow at holiday scenes and model trains.

DEC. 5 Downtown Twice Around Christmas Parade & Community Tree Lighting

Santiam Excursions Trains They had us at Candy Express and Ugly Sweater rides.

Splatterbox Splash one another with paint for messy good fun.

NOV. 20 - DEC. 24 The Eugene Saturday Market’s Holiday Market Inside at the Lane Events Center

Albany/ Corvallis/ Lebanon

DEC. 17 - 23 The Nutcracker at the Hult Center, presented by the Eugene Ballet Company

NOV. 26 - DEC. 31 Pastega Christmas Lights, Benton County Fairgrounds A drive-through event

Watch whales at Depoe Bay. While the whale watching center may be closed, the viewing deck is usually open.

Eugene/ Springfield

DEC. 4 Springfield Christmas Parade Known as “Oregon’s Oldest and Coldest Parade.”

Awesome Indoor Playground Pizza and a playground sounds great for rainy day fun.

Go sledding at Santiam Sno-Park. Note that you’ll need a sno-park permit. Don’t forget sunscreen!

See the Spruce Goose at the Evergreen Aviation Museum.

Check Facebook events

Demolition Zone Smash some stuff as a family.

Look for wintering dusky Canada geese at the Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge. baskett_slough/ 29

something to smile about


Preventing tooth decay in baby teeth Tooth decay can begin as soon as your baby’s teeth come in. Decay that is left untreated can lead to cavities and cause pain and/or infection, so get your baby off to a healthy start. Pacifiers • Do not put a pacifier or spoon in your mouth before giving it to your child. Decay-causing bacteria that is in your mouth can be passed on to them. • Do not dip a pacifier or nipple of a bottle in anything sweet. Bottles, sipping & snacking • Do not give your baby fruit juice until after they turn 1 year old. • Do not let your child sip sugary liquids all day (including juice drinks). Limit sugary liquids and sweets to mealtimes.

• Never put your child to bed with a bottle or training cup. • Avoid giving your child sugary, chewy or sticky foods like candy, cookies, chips or crackers. Give them healthy snacks instead such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and cheeses. Breastfeeding • After each time you breastfeed, wipe your baby’s gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth. • Once your child’s first tooth comes in, brush their teeth after each feeding. Children should have their first dental visit after their first tooth erupts and before their first birthday. It may seem early, but it’s a great start for a lifetime of good dental care.

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

Offering more than pregnancy care As midwives, we offer a wide range of services, including: • Well women care • Contraception • Lactation services • Menopausal management • Gynecologic care OFFERING MORE THAN PREGNANCY CARE—CONTRACEPTION, WELL WOMEN CARE, MENOPAUSAL MANAGEMENT, LACTATION SERVICES AND GYNECOLOGICAL PROBLEM VISITS.








Momism #14: Make good choices!

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263 29th Avenue SW | Albany, OR 97322 541-926-0353 | 541-926-1515 fax |

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