Salem MOM | October/November 2020

Page 1

real local moms

Salem | October / November 2020

since 2005








Cover for Me. Cover for You.



It’s what‘s

inside that counts

Online Learning 20

Fall Family Fun 24

Cozy Casseroles 27

Meet the MOM experts ... 4

On the road ........................ 22

They know what they're

Cover MOM: Rachael Matthews ........ 10

talking about

This mom gets real

rainy season

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

The basics for kids and adults with scoliosis ..... 19

Fall family fun ................. 24

A message from MOM

Healthy MOM ................... 8

Online learning ............. 20

Cozy casseroles ............. 27

Face Coverings for Kids

We’re doing this!

Driving safely in the

Even in pandemic times

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

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]

Smile. Something to Smile About with Dr. Na Xu, Page 6

Health. Healthy MOM with Santiam Hospital, page 8

Say Cheese. Say cheese with Dr. Ana Castilla, page 18

Whoever said, ‘the days are long but the years are short’ did not know about 2020.

— The Salty Mamas @saltymamas 4

Drive. On the road with Kristina Minahan, page 22


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. © 2020 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.

It may take a candy slide this year My first baby, a boy, was born spontaneously on Halloween. What was a holiday I enjoyed turned into a celebratory one: “You had a Halloweenie!” my sister joked. I’m a firm believer in punking my kids every so often, and the year that baby turned eight was when I got him good. Donning an inflated Stay Puft Marshmallow Man costume, I met him at the bus stop after school while not saying a word. He and the other kids were surprised and amused, and they had no idea it was me at first. It’s one of those memories I hope he talks about for a long time into adulthood whenever he thinks of me and his special birthday. With holidays on the horizon, many of us wonder how we are going to manage them, with our kids cooped up and trying to adjust to distance learning. How do we create some kind of normalcy, when we’re all tired of living in unprecedented times? In this issue, we compiled a list of family activities for all ages, and savory casseroles you can enjoy after a day of adventures. We hope it helps you and yours to find some much-needed joy. We’ve also included some tips for online learning, which if you’re like my family, has not been without hiccups and hurdles. Halloween looks like it will bring its own set of challenges this year, too. At first I thought, let’s just call it off — we’re all too tired, especially after the anxiety and sadness of the recent wildfires in our beautiful state. But then, something switched in me and I found my fighting spirit.

At the grandparents' house on Halloween in 2013.

“A what?” he asked, confused. I explained how I want a tube or slide contraption that I can use to send candy down to trick-ortreaters, socially distanced style. My firstborn, now age 14, says he’s not into trick-or-treating this year. But I still love seeing the littles in their adorable costumes. And it seems downright criminal to let neighborhood kids go without something delightful. It’s been a tough year for them, too. So, we’ll figure out some sort of candy delivery system for trick-or-treaters. Heck, I might just spring for full-size candy bars. I think we all deserve them. Audrey Meier DeKam Editor-in-Chief

“Will you build me a candy slide?” I asked my husband. 5

something to smile about


Don’t be tricked by

Halloween treats Follow these tips to make sure those Halloween treats aren’t playing tricks on your child’s teeth. BE SURE YOUR CHILD brushes their teeth 20-30 minutes after eating candy. Flossing is a must too; brushing alone will clean only 60% of tooth surfaces.

Avoid grazing on candy throughout the day which allows sugars and acids to accumulate on teeth. Instead, set aside a time for a treat, like after dinner.

Minimize consumption by having your child sort through their stash and keep only their favorites. Set a limit like a small bag they can fill with their favorites, getting rid of the rest. Or, after a one-time Halloween night binge,

Brought to you by: Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry

2601 25th St., Suite 400, in Salem 503-689-8936

have your child swap their candy for a non-candy treat.

Always offer water after sweets, or even sugarless gum, to help stimulate saliva that will help neutralize acids and clean teeth.

Na Xu, DDS, is a mother of two.

r o f g n Cari ies

il m a f g growin

5 2 9 1 e c sin





Support your local business



Local businesses are vital to our community. When you engage with local businesses, you help your neighbors and friends, and you support what helps make your town special.


Every purchase you make keeps more dollars here, where you live.

E at

Take advantage of curbside pickup, delivery and outdoor seating. Your favorite restaurants are working hard to stay open and support their employees, while keeping you safe.


Local event cancelled? Consider donating the funds back. Buy gift cards for future use. It all helps. 7


Not all heroes wear capes. But they might wear masks. As we move into the fall months, we are learning more about the novel coronavirus and how it is spread. While we wait for a vaccine, current information tells us that wearing face coverings when in close contact with others outside our family is one of the best defenses against disease transmission. In Oregon, children age five and over are required to wear masks, face coverings or face shields when in public indoors, or when outdoors in close proximity to others. 8

If you’re crafty, there are several easily sewn patterns online. Enlist your child to help pick out some cotton at the fabric store, and make a few masks to rotate throughout the week, washing between uses.

Anyone with a child knows that getting them to wear something they don’t want to (boots, coat, hat, retainers…) can be a challenge. Age appropriate conversations with the child about the importance of face masks, good hand hygiene and social distancing, can help convey the importance. Most young children understand the concept of “rules” or “uniforms” and parents can draw parallels between the face mask rule and other scenarios where children are required to wear a particular item, such as bike helmets or shin guards for soccer. It may also help to indicate to children that at some point in the future, the masks will no longer be required, although we can’t tell them when that will be. For some kids, knowing that there is an “end date” may provide some comfort. Most kids like to have some input into how they dress, and face coverings are no exception. If you’re crafty, there are several easily sewn patterns online. Enlist your child to help pick out some cotton at the fabric store, and make a few masks to rotate throughout the week, washing between uses. Fabric stores have a great selection of licensed character fabric that will appeal to children of all ages (and even some adults!) Make sure that the pattern you choose is specifically for children if you’re making masks for smaller kids. Older children can usually wear the adult-sized masks. Face shields are another alternative for younger kids who might fiddle around too much with fabric or store-bought masks. Easily found online, these clear plastic shields feature a wearable headband that young children can customize with stickers

to make their own one-of-a-kind creations. Fabric face coverings, commercial face masks or face shields provide adequate protection for most kids. If your child is immune-compromised, has breathing issues or other high risk factors, talk to your doctor about the appropriate solution, including N95 masks. Like any new helmet or piece of sports equipment, it’s a good idea to practice around the house if your child is experiencing any kind of trepidation about wearing a mask. Explain to your child the importance of mask wearing, in age-appropriate terms. Try on the mask in front of a mirror so they can put it in place (and you can make any adjustments to the size/fit if it’s a homemade mask).

Smaller kids might want to think of it as a superhero mask that defeats germs! Wearing a mask plays a large part in slowing transmission of COVID-19 (along with other airborne illnesses). However, good handwashing, surface cleaning and other distancing tactics are also important, and are good habits to carry through life, even after the mask-wearing mandate has expired.

Brought to you by: 9


Cover MOM Rachael Matthews has a passion for ending the stigma of mental health — especially for moms. Photo credit: Joni Loraine Photography Family

Husband: Kirk, insurance adjuster

Children: Hayden, age 5, and Harper age 2 Profession: Part-time RN/Part-time SAHM Community: Salem

10 11

QA Family comes first.

All families are unique. Tell us about yours. Kirk and I have been married for six years and moved to Salem when we started our family. He is from here so It was an easy decision. I’ve never felt more at home than I do here. Hayden and Harper are almost three years apart. Harper was supposed to be starting at Buttercup Hill this year and Hayden will be a kinder at Candelaria. We have the most patient 4-year-old Labradoodle, Ollie, who sheds more than any dog you’ll ever meet. Every family has their own traditions, rituals or inside jokes. What’s one of yours? We love a weekend family bike ride followed by a donut! If it’s rainy, we get a donut and go on a family drive. When did you know you wanted to be a mom? I was young. I was always playing house and taking care of my baby dolls; I always said I would graduate college, get married and have kids. And I’ve done just that.


Do you think that parenting is easier or more challenging than when you were growing up? Both. Easier because we have more resources and support — the difficulties of motherhood are talked about more now than they used to be. More challenging because of the “perfect life” that social media portrays, and moms feel like they need to live up to those expectations or they aren’t doing a “good enough” job. Tell us about one of your proudest mom moments? Hayden and I were cleaning out her room, which is a task because she is a 5-year-old hoarder and won’t let me get rid of anything, and I told her I was going to donate a couple of blankets. Later that day, the babysitter came over and I left for a while. She sent me a picture with a text that said “Hayden just brought me these things and said she is going to donate them.” My heart exploded. Now tell us about one of your most humbling mom moments? When everything shut down for COVID, I told Hayden that we’d be doing school at home. She asked, “What about my teacher?” I answered, “Well, I’m your

teacher now.” She responded with a very surprised look and said, “Oh geez, I will be the teacher!” What is the most surprising thing you have found wedged between the sofa cushions or behind a car seat? I recently found a poopy piece of toilet paper on a magazine on the shelf next to the toilet. Our almost 3-yearold is finding her independence. What is something you swore you would never do before kids that you now do? (skip showers, go through a drive through coffee in your pjs, etc.)? Bribe my children with donuts and ice cream. Since COVID, it’s been a weekly thing so I can go on a sanity drive. In what way are your children like you? How are they different? Hayden is Kirk, and Harper is me. Hayden is very literal, logical, follows the rules, doesn’t love authority. Harper is willy nilly, goes with the flow and has a death glare if you cross her. It cracks me up how different they are. You know you’re a mom when you hear yourself say…“______________” “Hay, Oll, Har…one of you, come here!” One time I counted at the dog when he wouldn’t come in. I stopped at two and burst into laughter realizing what I was doing.

No one works harder than mom. We know that being a mom is a fulltime job. Tell us about your work. What have you learned professionally, that has helped you as a mom? Flexibility. I am a nurse care manager at the Salem Hospital. Our department handles discharge planning for patients. As a nurse, your day never goes as planned, and the same goes for motherhood. How do you balance (or not) motherhood, activities, work, volunteering, household responsibilities, and life in general? Typically, what falls through the cracks? I feel very lucky to work part time because I feel like I get the best of both worlds. I also have a very involved husband and an incredible village for support. I am really bad about writing things down so I forget a lot. Tell us about a recent achievement you’re proud of, or a personal passion or talent. I just celebrated one year of sobriety from alcohol. I drank for the better part of the last 19 years and decided I was unable to live to my full potential with alcohol involved. I’m glad I had a good chunk of sobriety under my belt before COVID hit because I could

…family game: Yahtzee and Cornhole are a big hit …place to hide and find some peace and quiet: my neighbor’s house

MOM’s Favorite...

…binge-worthy TV: Somebody Feed Phil

Quick-FIRE questions for MOM


…way to get out of making dinner: Cafe Yumm ….me-saving app or digital tool: …parenting book: BabyWise, recommended by our pediatrician and we are still grateful for it.

Tea or Coffee? Coffee Morning or Night? Morning Summer or Winter? Fall Fly or Drive? Fly Gold or Silver? Silver Dog or Cat? Dog Bath or Shower? Bath Math or English? Math Hot or Cold? Cold Sweet or Savory? Sweet Hugs or Kisses? Hugs Ice cream or Chocolate? Chocolate peanut butter ice cream 13

have easily relapsed with all of the stress and uncertainty. The thought of drinking now gives me anxiety, and I am so grateful I am not drinking through this pandemic. Although I had my anxiety under control before COVID hit, it came back with a vengeance and brought its best friend depression with it not long after we went into quarantine. I quickly started anxiety meds again and then began having suicidal thoughts; I was terrified and didn’t want to tell anyone. Not speaking up just wasn’t who I am so that same day I anxiously told my husband, even though I thought he would take me to the hospital because of the thoughts. He responded so compassionately and told me, “You are not your thoughts.” I contacted my provider the next day and started a new medication for depression. Despite the meds, I was still in a very dark place and had an appointment with a psychiatrist. I was soon diagnosed with bipolar disorder and started on yet another new medication. I was an emotional wreck. I felt like my identity had been stripped from me, but at the same time, I felt like I had an answer to my impulsive behaviors that had


been going on for years. I am so proud of myself for quickly reaching out during such a dark and scary time to get the help I needed. Figuring out mental health meds is a long, exhausting process but it is one of the best things I have ever done for myself and my family. When was the last time you failed? What did you learn? I feel like I fail daily but I have learned to not be so hard on myself. A lot of things we see as failing moments are not noticed by anyone else. If you can focus on the positive things you do, the failures aren’t so overwhelming. Practicing gratitude and positivity is a habit. Over the last year I have been able to find peace in giving myself grace. Do you have a goal you’d like to accomplish within the next five years? Get through COVID and be proud of what I learned, and the mother and wife that I am. I have a passion for ending the stigma of mental health and continuing to tell my story to be an example for others, especially moms. It’s the only way to end the stigma.

If mom’s not happy, nobody’s happy. When was the last time you did something for the first time? I really love trying new things! We just rented a trailer and went camping for the weekend. I have been tent camping but this was a whole new learning curve. We can’t wait to do it again. Which good habit do you wish you started earlier? Waking up early What are three words your best friend would use to describe you? Energetic, thoughtful, introspective What is the quality you like most about yourself? It used to be spontaneity, until I was recently diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Now I have had to stop and think about why I am being spontaneous, and if it is beneficial and healthy, or if I am running away from emotions I need to deal with. 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? Definitely speak a foreign language. I speak what I call Spanglish but I would really love to actually speak and understand the language.

“I have a passion for ending the stigma of mental health and continuing to tell my story to be an example for others, especially moms. It’s the only way to end the stigma.” 15

What’s your superpower? Self-awareness and taking advice or constructive criticism. Taking advice is not an easy thing for most people but I appreciate other people’s opinions and insights. If I can learn and be a better person by making small changes than I’m all for it. If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, in which event would you win a gold medal? Kirk would say buying things on sale that I don’t need. 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? If I am at home, I will find something around the house that needs to be done. If I am away, I will Zentangle (it’s amazing, check it out) or read a book. What keeps you up at night (apart from kids, of course)? Nothing really anymore, as I have learned to calm my thoughts with meditation (also takes practice and repetition).


What is the best way that you let off steam? Exercise and talk. I am an external processor so talking through my struggles is key for me. What’s your guilty pleasure? (dark chocolate hidden in the pantry, TJ Maxx, daily latte habit?) Baskin Robbins two kids’ scoops: one peanut butter chocolate, and one jamoca almond fudge.

Listen to mom. Who and what has influenced the mother you are today? If it weren’t for my husband and my mother-in-law, I would not be the mom I am today. What advice would you give your younger mom self? What do you wish you knew then that you know now? Motherhood is the most unpredictable and emotional ride you will ever experience in your life. You can go from being so upset to incredibly joyful in a matter of seconds.

What message would you like to share with other moms? Remember to tell it like it is. It pains me that so many of us moms sit in silence and feel the need to be better. We are incredible humans who need to give ourselves grace and know that we are enough. It’s okay to struggle. If you are struggling more often than not, reach out to your doctor or a counselor. Seeking help does not mean you are weak. It means you are strong because you are taking care of yourself. I drank away my anxiety for years and now I have the tools and resources to cope with the struggles that come with life and motherhood. That’s not to say that I have all the answers or don’t still struggle because I do. But I’m able to deal with the hard times in a healthy way and we all deserve that. We deserve to know that we are worthy and it is okay to take time for ourselves.

[ Momism #43

You’re not hungry, you’re bored.



It is our intent to be nimble and adaptive in our response to the needs of women and children in our community, striving for lasting social change in our Mid-Valley region. Join us.


We are a philanthropic group of women who take action on important issues affecting women and children in our community. Join us every first Friday of each month at the United Way office for our Brown Bag Monthly Meeting.




WOMEN UNITED is a subsidiary of United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley | (503) 363-1651 | 17

Vibrant fall colors...

for your braces

Bright colors burst in the fall, so why not on your teeth, too? Colorful ties or O-rings — the tiny bands that wrap around each bracket — come in a variety of colors to jazz up braces. They are a fun way to celebrate what might be meaningful, such as: Favorite sports team colors A favorite color, color pattern, rainbow, etc. A color that complements the wearer Something for the season Color ties can be swapped out at regular adjustment appointments, which are typically every six to eight weeks. The novelty can even inspire kids to floss and brush more often. Kids and adults enjoy the happy splash of color. Want to make your teeth look whiter? Choose a darker tie color. Clear ties are always available too, and caring for bracket ties is the same no matter what hue.

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

Every mom is worthy of the cover of MOM Magazine. Who would you like to see as a Cover MOM? Fill out the form on


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!

The basics for kids and adults with scoliosis By Bailey E. Denno, Doctor of Physical Therapy BSPTS C2 Certified Schroth Practitioner | (503) 926-3383 | Located in Corvallis

Do I have Scoliosis?

A quick home assessment is easy. To do this, check shoulder height in relaxed standing. If one shoulder is higher than the other, it could mean there is an underlying scoliosis. To screen further, have the person being assessed bend forward at their trunk. Look at their back to see if there is a more prominent region (or “rib hump”) on one side of the spine. What should I do if I think my child has scoliosis?

If you think you or your child may have scoliosis, contact their primary care provider. The provider will need to order a full spinal X-Ray or EOS X-Ray (less radiation exposure) of the whole spine, from skull to pelvis – front to back, and side to side. If I don’t do anything will it get worse?

Most likely yes. Scoliosis progresses throughout life. The risk of progression is calculated based on the patient’s age, the degree the spine is curved (the Cobb angle), and how much growth a child has left before growth plates close. Progression during adolescence

Some scoliosis is evident in infants and young children. Pediatric or primary care provider assessment is vital early on in order to identify scoliosis as soon as possible. If your child has scoliosis, assessment by a scoliosis specialized professional is essential. The scoliosis professional will develop an early intervention plan which can help minimize the effects of scoliosis. In kids with scoliosis, there is evidence to show the bony spinal column grows faster than the spinal cord lengthens. This can cause a buckling of the spine under the spinal cord tension. There is no single cause of scoliosis, rather a myriad of many factors. According to a 2012 article in the Journal of Children’s Orthopedics, prevalence of scoliosis can be up to 5.2% of our population. Since the

spine is still developing in adolescence, early intervention is important, whether it be conservative (PT, bracing), invasive (surgery) or a combination of interventions. Postural balance and improved symmetry with specialized exercise can benefit people before and after surgery. Progression during pregnancy

The role of specific hormone changes during pregnancy (specifically, an increase in relaxin and progesterone) allows ligaments and muscles to extend more easily. Muscles, tendons and ligaments provide joint stability and support to our bodies; thus this increased extensibility increases joint mobility to allow the birthing process. Isn’t joint mobility good? Yes, mobility is not a bad thing. What is a bad thing is that new mobility in your joints means the muscles, tendons and ligaments aren’t used for controlling or stabilizing. This is why research has changed the way we stretch: we no longer encourage prolonged sustained stretching before an athletic activity. Scoliosis is all about forces (muscle pull), levers (joints) and center of mass (in pregnancy it moves forward, increasing the forward pull on the spine). The scoliotic spine is already deviating from a region of neutrality atop the pelvis. When changes in center of mass occur during pregnancy, the biomechanics of the system are changed, applying different force directions on the spine as well as overall increased loading of the spine. Progression during menopause

Again, there is a change in the hormone balance during menopause. Also, we know the skeletal system is compromised as we age (both male and female) due to declining bone density. Everyone will go through natural joint degeneration, but with the asymmetry of scoliosis there is also an asymmetrical wear and tear that happens throughout the life of the scoliotic spine because gravitational forces are not being distributed evenly throughout the loaded spine. Now what?

There is misinformation and outdated information about scoliosis out there, so it makes the most sense to work with a scoliosis specialist when it comes to your own care or for your child. Changes can be made to reduce postural asymmetry no matter your age or your scoliosis severity. There is hope for anyone suffering with scoliosis. 19


We’re doing this! W

hether we want to or not, distance learning is likely part of our collective new normal. How do we do this, when this fall’s online curriculum is more rigorous than in the spring? We jump in, fumble around and figure it out. The upside: we’ll all learn something — probably us, learning technology from our own children. There will be follies, too, like when your first grader’s class overhears your toddler’s news about peeing in the potty. How we act in the face of challenges impacts how our children will learn to cope when faced with something difficult. So laugh if you need to, cry if you need to, then hug it out and get back to it. Some tips to keep you on track...



syn·chro·nous / ˈsiŋ-krə-nəs/ Some distance learning programs are synchronous, meaning they are live and in real-time. That means your student needs to be present online and on time.


a·syn·chro·nous /ā-ˈsiŋ-krə-nəs/ Asynchronous learning is when your child is learning on their own, not necessarily logged in at a specific time and without live instruction.



“Have a designated space for each child, set up with all of their needed supplies away from TVs and other electronic devices,” said professional organizer Megan Warren, of Shipshape & Organized Spaces. “This allows them to get in the habit of being in school mode when they are in that space and concentrate without distraction.”

There’s a time for work and a time play. “Keep them on a schedule just like they would be on if they were going to school in person,” said Warren.

It’s ideal if each child has a desk of their own, in their own room, but not everyone has that type of space. A quiet corner or shared space can suffice. Headphones keep the noise from traveling too far. Cute holders and caddies for freshly sharpened pencils can put your child in a learning mode, and plants and framed photos can give life to a personal space. HONOR HOW YOUR INDIVIDUAL CHILD LEARNS Got a broad thinker who likes to pace? Consider a white board. That way they can sketch ideas, doodle and literally draw the big picture. Emily Adler Mosqueda, MS, CCC-SLP, is a bilingual and bicultural pediatric speech-language pathologist at the University of Oregon, and author of My Big Feelings and The Big Bad Virus. Her advice? “Offer physical modifications like a standing set up for video calls/lessons. Technology can be propped up on stacks of books, or on a counter or table.” A fidgety kid might also like using a gym ball chair that allows for some movement while seated, she said. A super social butterfly may want her pals on Facetime while they work through math problems. “What works for a while might need to be adjusted and that’s okay. A curious growth mindset about distance learning, and life in general, is a great thing to model,” Adler Mosqueda notes. She also recommends making adjustments as needed. Try some modifications for a few days or a week, then ask your student how they felt with those changes.

A visual schedule can serve as a reminder to stay on task. It could be handwritten or printed out and pinned to the wall, or fancy and large on colorful paperboard. Let your child’s individuality be the guide. SOCIALIZE FROM A DISTANCE Your child can arrange to have lunch with his pals via video call. It’s not a typical lunchroom, but it allows for banter and chatter that humans need. MODEL THE BEHAVIOR If you’re working from home too, your children take notice of how you participate in your own video calls and deadlines, which might help them figure out how to act for online learning. Of course some workers are essential and must physically attend their jobs; if that’s the case, you are showing your children, through your own actions, the very meaning of commitment. (And we all thank you!) ASK YOUR STUDENT TO TEACH YOU To teach is to learn, as the saying goes. When the moment is right, ask your child to teach you or share how they came up with an idea for a story. AFTER SCHOOL PLAY Several sports clubs and other activities have been successfully modified to maintain CDC health standards. Playing soccer in a mask is a thing. Same for volleyball, cheer and many other sports. Some parents are using the time we have at home with kids to teach life skills. This can be a good hands-on way to undo all that time spent sitting in front of a screen. Bake a pie together, brush the dog, learn how to inflate a flat bike tire — all sorts of life skills are useful. 21

on the road

Driving safely in the rainy season Northwesterners may like to think of ourselves as pros when it comes to driving in the rain. Still, we all need to take care as rain brings reduced visibility, less tire traction and unpredictable car handling. Some tips from the Oregon Department of Transportation are important to review, no matter how many years you’ve been driving:

• Give yourself extra time to get to your destination. Visit before your journey to make sure there aren’t any other delays or conditions that could get in your way.

Brought to you by:

• Lower your speed so you are prepared for sudden stops and wet-weather hazards


like debris on the roadway. Also, driving through several inches of water at high speed can cause you to lose control, so take it easy on the gas. • If it hasn’t rained in a while, expect road surfaces to be slick. Oil and grease build up on the road over time. When mixed with water from rain, the road can become slick. • Watch for hydroplaning conditions. If you hydroplane, ease off the gas, gently apply the brakes and steer straight ahead. • Turn on your headlights to improve visibility, even in daylight. • Disengage your cruise control. • Keep your distance: A car needs two to three times more stopping distance on wet roads. ​Source:

Maintenance checklist for fall Check wipers for signs of damage and replace wiper blades regularly. Test the defroster to make sure it’s functioning properly. Examine tires to ensure they are in good condition and at the recommended inflation level. Driving on over-inflated or under-inflated tires is dangerous on wet pavement, as it reduces traction and control. Check your brakes. After driving through a puddle, check that brakes are working properly by tapping them gently a few times. Get all of your regularly scheduled maintenance such as oil changes, transmission fluids, and key mileage check-ups.

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.

Are you making an impact? MU COM NIT

RD 2021 WA


The MOM Magazine Community Impact Award honors a local, not-for-profit organization serving mothers and children in the community. The recipient will receive a free 2021 advertising contract, editorial feature and social media promotion.

Nominate a deserving organization for the MOM Magazine Community Impact Award

Nomination period is Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, 2020. To nominate your organization or learn more about the MOM Magazine Community Impact Award visit See terms and conditions at 23



When the nights cool and the sunlight takes on that watery autumn glow, it puts you in the mood for all things fall. Whether that’s pumpkin spice everything, your favorite boots or hauling out the Halloween decor, the crisp bite in the air that this season brings is still meant to be enjoyed, pandemic or not. Round up the family for these fall activities you can do together.



After you've carved pumpkins, roast the seeds: they are high in fiber (and what kid doesn’t need more fiber) and protein. Rinse and let them dry flat overnight. Toss with olive oil and salt, roast on a cookie sheet for about 25 minutes at 325 degrees. There are loads of variations on this, from boiling them first to adding seasonings like turmeric and chile powder. And use the pumpkin "meat" to make pumpkin muffins, bread or cake. Sure, there are hundreds of healthy recipes too, like soup, but those might be a hard sell to finicky young eaters.


Highway 101 is a gorgeous orean-front drive. Also beautiful: the Columbia Scenic River. Stop for lunch at McMenamin’s Edgefield in Troutdale and enjoy the artwork and grounds. Continue on to the 1918 Vista House for stunning views and a glimpse into history.

TAKE IN THE ART Visit the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem. Don’t miss Brenda P by Barkley Hendricks, on loan through March 2021. See for details.


Older kids find it fun to find the oddest pieces of trash while participating in a community clean-up. You might find that ripping out invasive ivy is surprisingly satisfying. From city spaces to cemeteries, visit solveoregon. org to find an event near you.


Remember circling everything you wanted in those holiday catalogues? Have the kids start making lists. The anticipation and dreaming are part of the fun. 25


Stop by a farm stand you always meant to check out, like Blue Raeven Farmstand Pies in Amity or the Melon Shack in Corvallis. For info:,


From sailors and marines, to teens and tweens, knitting is a great way to destress. Your maturing daughter may want nothing to do with you, but she might be interested in making a slouchy hat.


A favorite American seasonal kid’s craft: have your child trace their hand on paper and create a turkey picture from it. Make one for each place setting.


Get out the fall decor and do it up this year. If you always wanted a fog-breathing dragon or another inflatable for your Christmas collection, now is the time. Make your own spooky fun house, complete with a “guess what you’re touching” game. Take a cardboard box and cut arm holes. Use peeled grapes as pretend eyeballs and cooked spaghetti noodles as worms.


Detering Orchards in Harrisburg is a family favorite for many. Visit to plan your trip.



Little kids delight in watching the water splash up from their feet. Plus, it’s exercise for cooped-up kiddos.



Cozy Casseroles When the autumn rains start, it puts us in the mood for all things cozy and warm. In Denmark they call this feeling “hygge,” pronounced “hoo-gah.” Think sweaters, warm socks and of course, comfort food. Casseroles have to be in the top tier of comfort foods. On a cold night, a dish of goodness bubbling away in the oven fills your house with rich smells. Plus casseroles usually involve cheese, and who doesn’t love cheese? We thought it would be fun to share some of the MOM team’s favorites, along with a few others. Enjoy! 27

Cozy Casseroles

Audrey’s Go-To Hashbrown Casserole Our editor-in-chief Audrey is always looking for fast recipes that are approved by all four family members. Why she likes it: “It has potatoes, which are technically vegetables, so let’s consider it healthy-ish.” I NGR E DI E N T S



pounds of frozen hash browns


oz. sour cream


cup of onion, chopped


cup melted butter


can of cream of chicken soup

1. In a big bowl, mix the sour cream, onion, soup, garlic salt, pepper and 1 cup of the cheese. Add the hash browns and melted butter. It helps to do this about a third at a time, as the mixture gets harder to stir.


cups grated cheddar cheese

teaspoon garlic salt

teaspoon black pepper

Sean’s Mom’s Breakfast Casserole Our graphic designer enjoys his mother’s delicious breakfast casserole. Why he likes it: “This casserole is one of my favorites because it brings back so many memories, from camping in the RV around Oregon or family gettogethers at my parent’s log cabin home,” said Sean. “Part of the tradition was to wake up early and eat outside in the brisk mountain air, enjoying family stories with a steaming cup of coffee making it that much better. I’m also a sucker for a cheese-loaded, hearty breakfast.”




1. Butter the bread slices and place facedown in the baking dish, covering the bottom. Use the rest of the butter to saute mushrooms and onions then spoon over the bread.

slices of bread, crusts removed

4 tablespoons softened butter

2. Transfer it to a greased casserole dish and sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes until bubbly. Remove the foil and broil for five minutes to give the top a nice finish.


large onion, chopped


cup sliced mushrooms


cup cooked sausage


cups grated swiss cheese


tablespoons flour

Notes: You could add chopped ham to it if you want, but watch how salty it gets. And if you’re out of sour cream, you can get by without it.

4 eggs ½

teaspoon salt


teaspoon garlic powder


teaspoon regular mustard

1 ½ cups milk


2. Brown the sausage, drain, and then add to the baking dish in an even layer. 3. Place flour in a large plastic bag with grated cheese and shake to mix. Sprinkle the cheese flour mix evenly over the sausage. 4. Beat eggs and milk with seasonings and pour over the top of the casserole. Refrigerate overnight. 5. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 35 minutes until fluffy. Cut into squares and serve.

Our Mid-Valley & Lane County business development manager Linda loves to cook, but sometimes she likes a fast dish to feed her crew. Why she likes it: “It’s easy! And the ingredients are easy to keep on hand,” said Linda. I NGR E DI E N T S



oz. of ravioli, refrigerated or frozen


oz. red pasta sauce


cups shredded mozzarella cheese


teaspoon dried basil

1. In a sprayed casserole dish, spread about ½ cup of the sauce. Make a layer of half the ravioli. Add half of the remaining pasta sauce and sprinkle on a handful of cheese. Repeat the layer.

2-3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Midwestern Hot Dish In the Midwest, casseroles are often called “hot dish.” In fact, at one time, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport had a restaurant called Hot Dish. Here’s a classic one to serve for supper. I NGR E DI E N T S



pound ground beef


medium onion, chopped

1. Brown the beef with the onion and celery. Take off the heat and drain.

1 ½ cups celery, chopped 2

cans cream of chicken soup


cup uncooked rice

Cozy Casseroles

Linda’s Go-To Ravioli Casserole

2. Add the soup, rice and water to the beef mixture. Put everything in a casserole dish and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

1 ½ cups water

2. Sprinkle the remaining cheese, dried basil and parmesan on top, cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Take the foil off and bake for another 10 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. 29

Cozy Casseroles

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner Casserole I NGR E DI E N T S



cups rotisserie chicken meat


cups bread cubes


tablespoons onion, chopped

1. Combine the chicken meat, bread cubes, onion, milk, salt and poultry seasoning. Spread into a greased casserole dish.


cup milk


teaspoon salt


teaspoon poultry seasoning


cup butter


tablespoons flour


cups chicken broth


cup plain potato chips

2. In a saucepan, melt the butter, then add the flour and chicken broth and cook until thickened. Pour over the casserole mix. 3. Crush the potato chips and sprinkle over top of the casserole. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Kim’s Family’s Inside-Out Ravioli Salem advertising representative Kim shares a family dish with sentimental value. Why she likes it: “This is my favorite! My mom got this recipe at a Lamaze class when she was pregnant with me.” I NGR E DI E N T S



pound hamburger


cup onion, chopped


clove garlic, minced


oz. frozen chopped spinach


pound spaghetti sauce with mushrooms

1. Brown the hamburger, onion and garlic. Cook spinach, drain and reserve the liquid, then add water to make 1 cup. Add liquid to the meat mixture.


oz. tomato sauce


oz. tomato paste


teaspoon salt


oz. shell macaroni, cooked and drained


cup cheddar cheese, grated


cup soft bread crumbs

2 eggs ¼

cup salad oil

Dash of pepper

TIP: Invest in a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish with a lid, as it’s a great way to store leftovers. Even better if both dish and lid are dishwasher safe.


2. Add spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce and tomato paste, along with salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes. 3. Combine spinach with macaroni and remaining ingredients. Spread in a casserole dish and pour the sauce over. 4. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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