Page 1

real local moms

since 2005

Salem | February / March 2021








Did You Know We Cover Obstetrics and Pediatrics too? In addition to caring for you through your pregnancy and delivery, Dr. Alvale, Dr. Dunham and Dr. McCarthy provide primary care for infants, children, and adults.

Emily Alvale, M D

Sara Dunham, MD

O y, D h t r a cC Eva M

Sublimity Medical Clinic specializes in family medicine for all stages of life. As a family based clinic, patients come here for many medical needs, including well-child and adult wellness visits, vaccines, laboratory services, on-site procedures and management of acute and chronic conditions. In addition to primary care, Dr. Alvale, Dr. Dunham and Dr. McCarthy provide in clinic obstetric care and delivery services, including cesarean section, at Santiam Hospital.



114 SE Church St. ¡ Sublimity

Santiam Hospital & Clinics accept all insurance including all Medicare Plans, OHP, Kaiser Permanente & Blue Cross 2

It’s what‘s

inside that counts

Celebrate Black History Month 18

Birthdays in pandemic times 22

Meet the MOM experts .... 4

Celebrate Black History Month .................18

Spruce up your space ........................27

Audiobooks for families to share during Black History

A refreshing change can bring a much-needed dopamine squirt.

They know what they're talking about

Because I said so ............. 5 A message from MOM

Healthy MOM ................... 8 Spring cleaning your spaces after a long year

Cover MOM: Nicki Marazzani.............. 10

Spruce up your space

Month and beyond.


Birthdays in pandemic times............. 22 How to make the day special, even if it's just for your quaranteam.

This mom gets real


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

Cover MOM


Photos by Joni Loraine Photography

CONGRATULATIONS to the Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, winner of the 2021 MOM Magazine Community Impact Award. For more information about the Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, see their ad on page 17.

Advertise today Want to get the word out about your business? Contact Kim Leighty at 3

meet the


[They know what they’re talking about] Money MOM. Your finances with Caitlin Davis, CFP®, AAMS®, Page 6

Say Cheese.


Say cheese with Dr. Ana Castilla, page 20

Healthy MOM with Santiam Hospital, page 8

Drive. On the road with Kristina Minahan, page 26

“May your coffee be stronger than your toddler.

— Just about every mom



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

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.

WE NEED A NEW WORD FOR COMMUNITY. For decades I’ve been searching for a good synonym for the word community. Sure, there’s village, hamlet, populace, society, and so forth, but none of these words hit the spot for its meaning as we use it today. Community has come to mean more than just a group of people in one geographical location: it’s how people are braided together in a goal of strengthening the quality of life for their members. We publish our magazines in the mid-size city locations of Eugene, the Midvalley and Salem, which are places large enough that you won’t know everyone at the grocery store, but you’re likely to run into at least one person you do. When something goes wrong in our communities, you could say we feel it more acutely than big cities. The wildfires this past September are a perfect example: Thousands of people and animals had to be evacuated, and many families lost their homes and belongings, in a crisis within the crisis of a pandemic. The helpers appeared, offering up their homes, barns and donated items. Many nonprofit agencies are working as helpers constantly, in times of crisis and in calm, like the winners of our Community in Action award. We give this award to nonprofits that actively improve the lives of women and families, right here where we live. This year’s winners are:

Salem winner: The Salvation Army Ray &

I could wax poetic about how crucial these organizations are to their respective locations. The Eugene YMCA stepped up to provide childcare for first responders and essential workers who found themselves scrambling when the pandemic hit. The Kroc Center served meals to wildfire evacuees and responders. The Corvallis Schools Foundation has helped students and teachers in a pandemic year that has thrown everyone a curveball. And this is just a small fraction of the hard work they do everyday to make our — here’s that word again — communities better. We thank them, and as winners of this award, their ad will appear in their location’s magazines throughout this year. It’s their names that should be in the thesaurus as synonyms for community, for they embody the true meaning of the word.

Joan Kroc Corps Community Center

Audrey Meier DeKam

Midvalley winner: Corvallis Public


Schools Foundation

Eugene winner: The Eugene Family YMCA 5

Money MOM














[ Momism

#77: Look

with your eyes, not your hands.

] Did you know?

Healthy sleep, Beautiful smiles, Happy kids

80% of asthma is caused by over breathing.

Dr. Lindquist uses non-invasive removable appliances to help your child grow to his full potential! Contact us today for a free consultation.

(503) 585-4282 • •


call your doctor. she misses you.


Spring cleaning your spaces after a long year Spring cleaning can help us mentally and physically sweep away some of last year’s burden, while still integrating its lessons. The hygiene and sanitation protocols that have gotten us through the COVID-19 pandemic can also help minimize colds and flu.


F YOUR children are still doing school online, tackle their workstations too (and have them help if they’re able!) Put up some of their artwork to make it feel special. If the kids are back to school or daycare, make it a routine to clean items that leave the house with them. • Make sure they have a clean mask daily (and a spare in their backpack) • Wipe down or launder lunch boxes/bags • Some schools do not allow hand sanitizer due to alcohol content, so be sure to check before sending it along • Wash water bottles daily


It’s almost been a year since you traded in your slacks for sweats, and a good time to take inventory of your space.


F YOU, like many others, are still working from home it’s time to reassess your workstation. While the commute might be ideal, and the dress code is business very casual, one thing you might miss working from home is the janitorial staff back at the office. It’s almost been a year since you traded in your slacks for sweats, and a good time to take inventory of your space. • Wipe down all surfaces with an appropriate cleaner, including your phone. (While you’re at it – do all the phones in the house!) • Pay special attention to your computer keyboard. It can get messy if your home desk is also your home lunchroom. • Consider a change in scenery. Re-orienting your desk or computer (even switching a lamp from one side to the other) can give your workspace a fresh look and feel. • When the weather’s nice, take your work outside. The fresh spring air is good for you, and we Oregonians need all the Vitamin D we can get after a long winter.


NE OF THE ODD “gifts” of social distancing and mask-wearing is that people suffered far fewer coughs and colds last year. As we cautiously begin to mingle and maybe even un-mask again, take a look through your medicine cabinet to make sure you’re prepared for spring sniffles. • Check expiration dates on all medications and dispose of properly • Replace over-the-counter medications that your family uses often if they’re out of date • Invest in a box of disposable masks for your family. Normalize mask-wearing if someone in your household starts feeling unwell.

While none of us wants to revisit a global pandemic, we can take the lessons from COVID to keep our homes and families a little safer from “regular” germs.

Brought to you by: 9

NICKI MARAZZANI From helping her community to raising three girls, Nicki Marazzani is finding that balance is a work in progress. Family

Husband Rick Marazzani, Project Manager

Children Alicia, age 22; Isabella, age 19; Chloe, age 12

Profession Program Director for Center 50+ Villages Network and Outreach Services Community Salem

Photo credit Joni Loraine Photography

10 11

QA Family comes first.

All families are unique. Tell us about yours. Rick and I will be married 25 years on May 4. We met when we both worked in radio in Salt Lake City, Utah, and we moved to his home town of Martinez, California, where we spent 23 years. Alicia was born two years after we were married, with Isabella born three years later. Both pregnancies took a toll on my back, and I had back surgery each time. We thought we were done with our family but when the opportunity to adopt came up, we were thrilled and so happy to bring Chloe into our family. She completes us. We currently have three cats (Stop Sign, King Friday and Lady Elaine), two dogs (Luna and Scooter), and six chickens (Eleanor, Caroline, Beatrice, Q-Tip, Guinevere and Queen Rotisserie) . When did you know you wanted to be a mom? I have known I wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a house where my mom provided daycare to kids, so there were always a lot of kids around. I’m the oldest of three and when we were younger and in Montana, family gatherings were huge.


Do you think that parenting is easier or more challenging than when you were growing up? I think it is the same, just different. I’m 52 years old, so there was no internet. Getting a microwave and VCR were huge, and don’t get me started on the Atari. Challenges for my parents were financial, transportation, our friends and school. My challenges are the same, but add the internet. Tell us about one of your proudest mom moments? I have a proud moment for each kid. Alicia lives in California and just ran for city council. I’m amazed and in awe of the job she did and the strength she showed. Isabella at age 12 asked to go to Europe, and I told her if she paid her part, I would pay mine and we would go. When she turned 16, we went to Europe for 18 days. Her determination and hard work was insight to how her brain works and how goal-driven she is. She will accomplish anything she wants in life. Chloe is the athlete of the family, and while I’m proud of her when she wins, I am more so when she does her best. She is a swimmer, loves the scooter and trying winter sports. She is brave and does not give up, that makes me extremely proud, and I know she will succeed in everything she tries.

Now tell us about one of your most humbling mom moments? I was probably most humbled when I wasn’t needed by my oldest. At 22, she has traveled the world and been able to do this on her own. I did not plan it, pay for it or have any say at all. I love that I have raised independent young ladies, but I’m still a mom first. We’re all moms so we know that no one is perfect all of the time, or even some of the time. Tell us about your most recent “Mother of the Year” moment. You know, like forgetting to pick the kids up from school. I recently felt horrible when Chloe’s new Christmas pajamas did not show up. Of course, I had not opened the packages, assuming they were all in there so this was a Christmas Eve discovery. Big sisters saved the day and got her one of their Christmas shirts and leggings. In what way are your children like you? How are they different? Alicia is compassionate and driven to do whatever she can in her community. She is headstrong like her dad and not as flexible as I am. Isabella is my fellow animal lover. She is different from me in academics — very science and math smart, while I was more of an English student. Chloe, like me, is game to try anything once. You know you’re a mom when you hear yourself say, “__________ .” No Xbox until your homework is done!

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 am horrible at balance! My family is first and because of the nonprofit work I do, my members are second. My house is never magazine worthy, and I’m very hard on myself, meaning things that are important to me come last. This is more normal than not and something I try hard to change, but it is usually a week or two of balance then months where life is not so balanced. I get a lot of joy out of seeing my family, friends and community members happy, so it’s my trade-off. Tell us about your work or volunteerism outside of the home. I currently work with seniors, helping connect them with other seniors in their area so they can help each other live independently in their own homes. It is a

Challenges for my parents were “ financial, transportation, our friends and school. My challenges are the same, but add the internet.

beautiful thing and brings us back to times when we knew our neighbors and helped them when needed. COVID-19 has changed how this works, and my family is filling in a lot of the gaps to help keep them safe at home. We’re using Zoom for socials, book clubs and trivia, and this is helping to keep isolation for my members minimal. I volunteer in anything my kiddos do. I was a Girl Scout leader for 13 years, a delegate for the council and new leader trainer. It’s in my past, but I am a huge supporter of the Girl Scout programs and would encourage any mom with a girl to get involved. It is not just crafts: my girls did international camporees, scuba diving, rock climbing, axe throwing, etc.

Pre-pandemic, I was volunteering as needed for Chloe’s swim meets. I also keep myself available for my friend’s nonprofits by helping with grant writing when possible.

What have you learned professionally, that has helped you as a mom? My work has made me patient and understanding, which are muchneeded qualities in a mom.

Working in the nonprofit world, I hear stories and needs every day. My work at The United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley has enabled me to help with fire relief, the Red Cart Project and delivery of food boxes during the pandemic. SafeSleep United is their women’s homeless shelter and my family cooks and delivers dinner once a month. My girls are as driven as I am to make the place they live the best place it can be. We are often out helping where help is needed.

Tell us about a recent achievement you’re proud of, or a personal passion or talent. Most of my achievements are work related. Recently, I helped a member get some much needed in-home help that had been denied before. I also helped a member learn Zoom after being in tears because she missed her brother’s wedding anniversary. Proud moments in my household are based around my family’s personal achievements. My husband is volunteering for the Red 13

MOMs Love Local We love locally owned businesses, restaurants, places and organizations. Share your favorite… …shop to pick up a gift for friend: One Fair World …coffee spot: IKE Box …spot to get a good workout: Silver Falls State Park …restaurant to take the kids: La Hacienda Real …restaurants for a date night: Gamberetti’s Italian Restaurant …take-out, food truck or quick bite: The Yard Food Park has something for everyone. …event in your community: World Beat Festival …any other local places you love: Christo’s Pizzeria, Lively Station, Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge

If I wasn’t able to find and embrace the differences, I would be hitting deadends every day.


Cross, Alicia is helping with a needle exchange program, Isabella is working and going to school, Chloe is doing great with online learning and keeping in touch with friends. The pandemic caused everyone in our family to pivot somehow, and I am tremendously proud of how they have handled it. When was the last time you failed? What did you learn? I failed in speaking up for something I wanted professionally. I think with the pandemic, I tend to give a lot of grace, thinking how hard it is for everyone right now. In turn, I am not taking care of that part of my life, which goes back to balance. Do you have a goal you’d like to accomplish within the next five years? A big goal is to make an annual road trip with my family to National Parks, going to at least three a year. My kids are growing up and it’s probably not realistic for many more years, so I will take whoever is available. Car time is so important because that’s when kids talk!

If mom’s not happy, nobody’s happy. Tell us about your community/upbringing growing up. How did it shape the mother you are today? My family was lower middle class growing up. We never wanted for anything, but also didn’t ask, knowing it would be hard. My family is from Montana, but we were the ones that moved, as my dad worked for IBM (I’ve Been Moved) until retirement. We lived in Montana, Salem and Atlanta during my home years. As an adult, I have lived in Salem, Salt Lake, California and back to Salem. I think moving a lot taught me to go with the flow and I do that as a mom. Kids change everything: you are dealing with different ways of thinking, different personalities and different goals for each person. My kids prove that just because you grow up in the same house, you are not the same. If I wasn’t able to find and embrace the differences, I would be hitting deadends every day. What do you think is the most important life skill or value your parents taught you? My parents expected us to work, so working hard is what we do. It has never mattered what job we were doing, we just knew to do it well and go beyond what was expected.

When was the last time you did something for the first time? It was probably food related, I eat the same things a lot and my kids are more adventurous. Since they have been cooking more, I’m trying things I would have never made. What is something you will NEVER do again? Live in the snow. I have realized I only like to visit it or can do the light dustings. Which good habit do you wish you started earlier? Weekly car cleaning. I can’t get my house cleaned top to bottom in an hour, but boy can my car look good. When did you realize you were no longer a child? At age 16, when I graduated and went to work full-time. What are three words your best friend would use to describe you? Resilient, strong and dedicated What are three words your kids would use to describe you? Alicia said “mom,” Isabella said “selfless,” and Chloe said, “cuddly.” 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? I would love to have a good singing voice. I love music and my family is more known for our terrible singing than not. What’s your superpower? Compassion If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, in which event would you win a gold medal? Running errands. I like to get them all done quickly and be back home. Name one thing that is part of your daily routine that you just can’t live without. The first cup of coffee in the morning. It always tastes the best, sets the mood for the day and makes me feel like I’m ready to accomplish anything. Tell us something about you that would surprise your kids (or your husband). I love line dancing (but hate country music). 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? Get a drink and a book, read on the couch with 80’s love songs in the background. What is the best way that you let off steam? I like to hop in the car and drive. Sometimes I make it to Albany, sometimes I make it to Lincoln City. 15


MOM s favorite... …place to find some peace & quiet: I tend to go for drives to think or just have some time alone. …binge-worthy TV: Bridgerton, The Queen’s Gambit …way to get out of making dinner: With a full house right now, there is always a volunteer chef for the night, so I am actually cooking less while the kids are cooking more. …inspirational quote: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou …time-saving app or digital tool: Google Calendar


What is your greatest extravagance? Shoes. I hate wearing them but apparently like owning them. Who is your favorite fictional hero? I am not big on fictional heroes, but I can deal with Wonder Woman. Who is your favorite real-life hero? Anyone who breaks barriers or stereotypes: Juliette Low, Martin Luther King Jr., RBG, Ellen, the Obamas to name a few.

Listen to mom. What message would you like to share with other moms? Remember to tell it like it is. Don’t forget your partner. Your kids will grow up, they will have their own lives and you don’t want to be sitting across from a stranger. The time does fly: I have two grown-up kids, just like that. Make the most of those moments, take them out of school for vacations (within reason and

with planning with the school), let them get a fish or a chicken, hug them every day and it’s okay to ground them, and even more okay to say no. What’s the best advice you’ve received from another mom? My mom told me to choose my battles. Knowing that hair color is not a big thing prepared me for the tattoos and piercings later. Who and what has influenced the mother you are today? My grandmother influenced me the most growing up. She was so caring, no matter what. She always had love to give and welcomed everyone. Is motherhood what you expected? What surprised you the most? I think in general motherhood was what I expected until they turn 18. Then you have the “becoming adult” stage. It’s not the best, so enjoy them when they are little. It’s really hard being supportive while setting them free.

[ Momism


Before you judge, stand in the other person’s shoes for a moment.

] 17



Chapter 1




TROMBONE SHORTY Troy Andrews, Bryan Collier (illustrator), read by Angela Bassett Recommended ages: all In this autobiographical story, we follow Troy as he pursues his dream of becoming a musician. Through Angela Bassett’s masterful reading we experience the unique culture and sound of New Orleans.

AS FAST AS WORDS COULD FLY Pamela M. Tuck, Eric Velasquez (illustrator), read by Dulé Hill Recommended ages: Grades 3 - 5 Mason Steele is an intelligent boy living in a time of social unrest and civil rights activism. He is able to handle the prejudice he faces with dignity and maturity. Listen to the clickety-clack of his typewriter as he learns that we can create positive change in the world simply by being our very best selves.

A COMPUTER CALLED KATHERINE Suzanne Slade & Veronica Miller Jamison Recommended ages: Grades K - 4 Katherine Johnson, also featured in the movie “Hidden Figures,” was a girl who broke racial and gender stereotypes. Her prodigious mathematical ability led her to become an American legend as she worked for NASA’s space programs. Girls and boys will be inspired to reach for the stars as they listen to this biographical tale.


CLAYTON BYRD GOES UNDERGROUND Rita Williams-Garcia Recommended ages: Grades 4 - 8 (chapter book) Loss and pain send Clayton on a journey of discovery both about his family and about himself, but it is love

and the blues that save him in the end. The musical undercurrents of Clayton’s life make the audiobook format ideal.


HENRY’S FREEDOM BOX Ellen Levine, Kadir Nelson (illustrator) Recommended ages: Grades 4 and up Based on the true and amazing story of a slave who went through the ordeal of mailing himself to freedom in a crate. Driven by the love for his family and the pain of being separated from them, Henry defies the odds and lives to tell one of the most dramatic tales from the underground railroad. This story easily taps into a child’s innate sense of justice and the righting of wrongs.


ALL BECAUSE YOU MATTER Tami Charles, Bryan Collier (illustrator) Recommended ages: Grades K - 5 A great bedtime listen while taking in the sweet illustrations. The author was inspired by her own child and by the raising of our collective voices in the year 2020 demanding civil rights. In her own words, this book is “a loving tribute to the greatness that lives within my beautiful, brownhued, brown-eyed boy and within all children, of all colors, everywhere… YOU MATTER!”

THE UNDEFEATED Kwame Alexander, Kadir Nelson (illustrator) Recommended ages: Grades 4 - 8 Written in poetic form, this Caldecott Medal Book with illustrations by the talented Kadir Nelson features many icons of African American history as they toil, survive and overcome. What could be better than watching the author read it himself? Prepare to be uplifted and inspired.

HEART AND SOUL: THE STORY OF AMERICA AND AFRICAN AMERICANS Kadir Nelson Recommended ages: Grades 3 and up An award winning introduction to African American history with the audio recording performed by Debbie Allen. Follow along with the gorgeous illustrations and become a more educated American no matter what your own background may be.



CROWN: AN ODE TO THE FRESH CUT Derrick Barnes, Gordon C. James (illustrator) Recommended ages: Grades 1 -5 Winner of several literary honors, Barnes uses rhythm and cadence to show how a simple trip to the barbershop becomes an exploration of a young boy’s sense of pride in how the world sees him and what he feels and knows he can contribute. Enjoy the wonderful illustrations while listening to the text.


Adapted from CloudLibrary, StoryLine Online and Amazon.

Berta Higgins lives in Corvallis with her family. She works in biological science research and loves to read. 19

GOODBYE GOOEY PUTTY, HELLO TECHNOLOGY Using 3D modeling beats messy putty when it comes to capturing teeth impressions in orthodontic care.


his is great for just about everyone, because no one really liked the messy putty: it had a funny taste and smell, and it was uncomfortable to breathe and swallow normally while waiting for it to harden. We value our patients’ experience, which is why we have been using a state-of-the-art digital impression system for over four years. It allows us to digitally capture a color 3D model of your teeth and gums. It’s cleaner, more comfortable and faster, and it’s safe for kids, teens and adults.

Castilla Orthodontics 503-399-0721 434 Lancaster Drive NE, Salem

It also allows us to provide a smile preview and treatment simulation with Invisalign and braces, which helps keep patients more informed and motivated about the orthodontic treatment process. Scans are available immediately, and the system allows us to get a precise fit for aligners and retainers. Bonus: we never need to retake impressions. Farewell putty, and hello faster, cleaner technology!

Ana Castilla, DDS, MS is a board-certified, Oregon-based orthodontist. She is passionate about helping patients attain their perfect smile, so they can live their lives to the fullest!

Does your Financial Advisor: Understand your goals? Have an established process? Design a personalized solution around you?

In our office, we partner with you and your family at every stage of life. By revisiting your goals, risk, tolerance, and the strategies we’ve developed, we keep you on track to achieve what’s most important to you. How are we different? Visit our office today to find out. Caitlin Davis, CFP®, AAMS® Financial Advisor 515 Taggart Dr. NW, Suite #130 Salem, Oregon 97304 Tel. 503-585-1464


[ Momism

#35: Inside voice!



real local moms


Get seen by moms! Advertise with MOM Magazine.


Walking with Peety A memoir by Eric O’Grey Eric O’Grey was overworked, overweight, depressed, and sick. He went to a new doctor, who surprisingly prescribed a shelter dog. And that’s when Eric met Peety: an overweight, middle-aged, and forgotten dog who, like Eric, had seen better days. The two adopted each other and began an incredible journey together, forming a bond of unconditional love that forever changed their lives. Walking with Peety is for everyone who knows the joy, love, and hope that dogs can bring.

We invite you to a month of free virtual events in February 2021 at: Salem Public Library Foundation PO Box 325 Salem, OR 97308 | 503-588-6183 21


Celebrating Birthdays IN PANDEMIC TIMES MOMs everywhere have been trying to keep their kids’ spirits up this past long year, and when it comes to birthday parties for the kids, well... it’s another challenge for our creativity in terms of logistics. How do we have some kind of celebration, even if it’s only our quaranteam, in a pandemic?

There are ways. By now you’ve probably been part of a drive-by birthday parade for friends or family, which is a safe bet for well wishes (just make sure that the driver has eyes on the road, not the commotion). But if you’re searching for ways to level up your kid’s birthday, here are a few more to try...



Digital Delights BIRTHDAY WISH FROM THEIR HERO Hire soccer legend Mia Hamm to wish your child a happy birthday. Yes, the real Mia Hamm will make a custom video message for your superfan child, for $125 with proceeds benefiting families in need of marrow or cord blood transplant. That’s beyond winning, in our book. Visit to peruse the many participating actors, athletes, musicians and other celebrities.

HOST A MOVIE WATCH PARTY Host a Netflix or Disney+ watch party. If you’re tech savvy, the interwebs have plenty of how-to articles about pulling off a group watch of a favorite show or movie.

VIDEO WELL WISHES If you and yours aren’t too Zoomed out, you can always host a party through the popular app. Asking for friends and loved ones to record video well wishes is another option, which is especially forgiving when relatives live in different time zones. 23


Yard hooplah PINATA TIME!


What better way to take out our frustrations by beating an inanimate object to a pulp? And then have candy. A Coronavirus pinata is a timely one from Party City.

Arrange for large, fun yard signs for your child, like those available from Hooray Yard Cards. Hooray Yard Cards offer service in many Oregon communities. Visit Facebook. com/hoorayyardcardscorvallis for info, or salem@

AIR DANCER Buy an air dancer (and share it with your mom friends for their kids’ birthdays). It’s silly, different and wonderfully outlandish.

HONK, IT’S MY BIRTHDAY! Put up a “Honk, it’s my birthday!” for a few hours (and only a few, or your neighbors may have words with you). You can go custom on signage, too. Ask a local sign maker in your area, as they know what materials stand up best in Western Oregon’s climate.

Homespun with love JOY JAR Ask their friends and relatives what they like best about your child. Write each note down on slips of paper, fold them and put into a decorated jar. This one may turn out to be quite the keepsake. Even non-mushy types like to hear compliments.


MAKE THE MORNING CHEERFUL When your child goes to bed, decorate their bedroom doorway with streamers and balloons. Draw a silly face and message in dry-erase markers on the bathroom mirror so they see it early in the day.

GIFT SCAVENGER HUNT Uplevel the gift-getting with a scavenger hunt around the house. It extends the fun that much more. Make your own hunt, or search the many options on Pinterest.


La Vida Local

PET PARADE Got a dog lover? Ask your neighbors for a pet parade at a designated time. You might be pleasantly surprised by reaching out through apps like Nextdoor to find what your neighbors are game to do when it comes to making a child smile.

LIVE PERFORMANCE Hire a performer, like a professional juggler or princess, who can stay at a safe distance yet still entertain. Albany mom Janelle Bennett hired a fire dancer for her teen daughter’s birthday and loved how it was personalized to her daughter’s favorite song. For more info: Radiance Works, Facebook. com/RadianceWorks. Try to explore more local performers.

FABULOUS CAKES Get that cake you your child always wanted. This is the excuse you needed to order a fabulous cake from a local baker. We hear great things about confections from Metropol Bakery in Eugene, and Gerry Frank’s Konditorei in Salem.

GOT SOME GOOD IDEAS OF YOUR OWN? Sis, tell us all about them at 25

on the road

Oh, gnaw!

When uninvited guests make a home in your car’s engine.

FactOR Myth Myth: Rodents like the taste of wire coating

You may have heard something about car makers using soy or other organic products when making car wires in regards to why rodents chew on them.

Fact: Rodents’ teeth keep growing

If you’ve ever had to deal with a vehicle with wiring damage from rodents,

then you know the level of havoc it can cause. It’s one of those automotive issues that’s been around since the automobile was invented, and it doesn’t matter how new or old your vehicle may be: rodents frequently find cars and other vehicles a great place to call home.

Imagine if you were all curled up for a nap when your couch turns out to be a massive and noisy engine. That's why we typically see damage from rodents in vehicles that are kept outside and not driven regularly. Try to drive the car regularly or at least move it from one spot to another. This is especially true this past year when many people are working from home and driving less.

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Park away from bushes and shrubbery that might attract rodents. Bird feeders are a secondary source of food for them, as well, because they go after dropped seeds. So park


Keeping their teeth trimmed is the primary reason that rodents like squirrels, mice, and others need to chew on things. If they don’t, their teeth will grow to the point that they wouldn’t be able to eat. In fact, one theory on why rodents seem to always find the wiring harness under the hood is that it resembles the natural growth of shrubs and bushes in the wild. The chewing on car wires gets all the attention because it’s so destructive. However, rodents will also chew on plastic or anything else in their reach.

away from them, as well as any other food source like dog and cat food, compost, garbage cans, etc.

Myth: Car wiring emits

If you can, park in a garage. If you’re still experiencing issues, call in the pros. A licensed pest control professional can help offer solutions for your home and garage. And keep your car clean on the inside: find those long-lost fries and get rid of the food wrappers. Rats especially have an extraordinary sense of smell, so by keeping your car’s interior clean, it will be less of a temptation for them.

While there is some evidence mice may be able to detect magnetic fields, there’s far less evidence that this is the reason they decide to call engine compartments home.

MEET KRISTINA MINAHAN Kristina Minahan enjoys working in sales at Capitol Toyota and is the proud mother of three: twins Khloe and Konner, age 10, and Karsyn, age 11. As a family they love to go on long bike rides, enjoy the great outdoors and go to Disneyland any chance they can. Contact Kristina at Capitol Toyota for your next Toyota purchase at or 503.399.1011.

an electric/magnetic signal that attracts rodents

Fact: Engines are warm, dark and downright attractive to rodents

Until we can sit down and ask a rodent for their secrets, the most likely explanation is that a car just makes a great habitat. It’s typically dark with lots of nooks and crannies for a critter to hide in and stay safe. In the winter, an engine bay can offer warmth and a hiding spot from predators.

SPRUCE UP YOUR SPACE In life before kids, your home was used, but we bet it wasn’t nearly to the degree it was after kids came along. Some might even call it abused, what with the boogers wiped on walls and toys flushed down toilets. 27


long comes a pandemic with all of us staying at home, and most of us have just been trying to keep the trains on the tracks in terms of feeding the kids, much less being able to stay on top of chores. Still, a refreshing change can bring a muchneeded dopamine squirt. And sprucing up your space doesn’t have to be arduous, especially if you focus on just one area. Small changes can go a surprisingly long way in bringing you delight.

Treat yourself to... A new door mat can perk up your day. Try for truly funny ones. A new shower curtain. Goodbye moldy oldy, hello fresh and clean.

A new end table. Or, upcycle one with new hardware or paint. A new desk light, mouse pad or fun notebook for your home work space. Finally, something just for you. A new area rug: have you tried the popular washable kinds? Do tell.

New sheets. Oh, heavenly new sheets! If you really want to spoil yourself, try for the ultimate luxury brand. If you’re not as ambitious as all those Tik Tokers stripping their bath towels, new towels are divine in their fluffy goodness. The older ones can be demoted to grunge towels. Do away with the unfocused kitchen hand towels and commit to a color or theme in new ones.


New cleaning products. This is the equivalent of getting new workout clothes to motivate yourself to exercise. Marley’s Monsters is based in Eugene with online sales of a wide variety of earth-friendly cleaning products. Your online cart will burst with colors and cuteness.

Fresh flowers perk up a place instantly. So do greens cut from your backyard: try a clear vase with one or three sprigs of greenery.

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The rule of 3S And also 5s, 7s and 9s

Home stylists use this philosophy all the time. It’s simple: items look better in 3s because apparently our brains are drawn to oddnumbered arrangements. Consider a tablescape with three small plant arrangements. Or a shelf with three candlesticks, in varying heights. Try it with wall art, throw pillows, a personal collection, and more.

Change up the vibe in any room by...

Rearranging the furniture. Adding a plant. Or, re-potting a few plants using the Rule of 3s. Painting an accent wall. One mom we know is doing this with glitter paint. So sparkly! Taking out an art piece and swapping it for something different from another room. Switching out a builder’s grade light fixture for something more you. Mini chandelier, anyone? Mixing up the throw pillows. Getting new pillow covers is an inexpensive way to try a trend like geometric shapes. Making it smell nice: use up older cinnamon, cloves and other fragrant spices by adding them to a few cups of water on simmer. Throw an orange slice in there, too. 29


When it s safe to do so, consider hiring the pros for...

Carpet and upholstery cleaning: Sure, you can do it yourself, but the pros are faster and have better equipment. Duct cleaner (tip: tell them the age of your house and furnace before they come over, as the duct work in some older homes may not be eligible.) Grout cleaning: have you seen the before and after images online? Have a look and enjoy the scroll hole.

Use a sunny day to... Open the windows and bring in the fresh air. Stale air is gross, plus it’s not healthy.


Wash one window. Just one. Stand back and become so inspired, you do another… and another.


Run the self-clean cycle on the oven. This can get stinky, so do it on a day you can ventilate. Shake out your pet’s bedding. Washing leashes and toys is another way to love on your favorite child (because they never give you sass).


Did you know?

Sweep the front entrance of your home, all the while soaking up some much-needed vitamin D.

...sprucing up your space doesn’t have to be arduous, especially if you focus on just one area. Small changes can go a surprisingly long way in bringing you delight. 30


Every year, the Pantone Color Institute selects a color of the year. For 2021, they chose two colors: the yellow evokes cheer and happiness, and the gray is associated with composure, steadiness and resilience.

[ Momism

#184: Please stop picking up the cat.


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Creating Confident & Independent Kids in the Kitchen

Whether your child is an independent chef, or is still learning, join OSU KidSpirit’s Virtual Cooking Academy! With KidSpirit staff, your child will prepare a wide variety of delicious meals twice-a-week for the family! Virtual Camps, Live Instruction

3-week sessions twice-a-week for all ages:

Beginning Chef: Master Chef: Begining Chef: • Back to Basics

• Original Edition • International Cuisine • Root to Table

Cooking Develop Kitchen & Life Skills • Measuring • Knife Skills • Kitchen Safety • Basic Nutrition • Substitutions

Register at:

• Creativity • Following a Sequence • Math & Science • Cause & Effect • Social Skills & Fun! or contact us at 541.737.KIDS (5437).

3-week sessions for all ages begin Feb. 1! 32