Mid Valley MOM | August / September 2021

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real local moms

since 2005

Mid Valley | August / September 2021







My First Choice for My Child’s Health PREPARING FOR IN-PERSON SCHOOL For many students, this fall will mark the return of physically attending classes for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Here are some tips for preparing for this change. Know Your District Guidelines: Certain standards for in-person schooling will be state-wide, but most will vary depending on where you live. Know the protocol for your children’s school district and contact your local school board with any concerns or questions. Listen to Your Children: While you may be apprehensive about your children returning to school, understand that they may be as well. Whether they are nervous or excited, listen to them and remain positive. Do not let your stress add to theirs. Encourage Connecting with Others: With the return to school, the Oregon Department of Education encourages focusing on relationship growth and connecting with one another. The last year created an unprecedented gap in the typical pattern of relationship building for children. Re-establishing that aspect of their lives is paramount and should be encouraged by you. We are excited to announce the return of The Corvallis Clinic’s annual Run for the Health of It! 5K on October 2nd. All proceeds will benefit local high school athletic departments. Visit CorvallisClinic.com/race for more information.

Schedule an appointment 541-754-1278 | CorvallisClinic.com/pediatrics

It’s what‘s

Parenting Coaches


inside that counts

Choosing a Family Pet


Meet the MOM experts..... 4

Cover MOM:

They know what they’re

Bethanie Gambardella....10

talking about.

This mom gets real

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

Parenting coaches............18

A message from MOM

What are they, and do you

Dip, Dip Hooray


Choosing a family pet.....22 Dip, dip hooray.................25 Snack plates & dips

need one?


More ways to love your MOM mommag.com facebook.com/ lovemommag info@mommag.com We love hearing from you. Email us with feedback, story ideas or nominations.

Cover MOM


Photos by Emily Hall Photography

CONGRATULATIONS to the Corvallis Public Schools Foundation, winner of the 2021 MOM Magazine Community Impact Award. For more information about the Corvallis Public Schools Foundation, see their ad on page 28.

Advertise today Want to get the word out about your business? Contact Linda Blair at linda@mommag.com mommag.com 3

meet the


[They know what they’re talking about]

Health Let’s Talk Health with Samaritan Health Services, page 7



Something to Smile About with Dr. Jay Vaikuntam, page 9

Go Out and Play with Karen Swanger, page 20



Natural Choices with Jasmin Woodside, page 15

About Home Style with Heather Van Eyk, page 24

Pets Pets are Family with Dr. Josiah Moses, page 16

Say Cheese Say Cheese with Dr. Wade Haslam, page 28

Sometimes I question my parenting, and other times I question my child’s childing.

— Just about every mom

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Partners in Education with Carla Towery, page 17

Focus on MOM with Grace Anderson,

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 audrey@mommag.com Mid-Valley & Lane County Business Development Manager Linda Blair linda@mommag.com 541-231-7250 Salem Advertising Representative Kim Leighty kim.leighty@mommag.com 503-510-9036 Designer Sean Carver s.carver@oregonwebpress.com

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.

My favorite child A MOTHER SHOULDN’T PLAY FAVORITES, BUT... Meet Murphy, my beloved four-year-old golden retriever. He’s my favorite child* mostly because he doesn’t talk back, is always happy to see me and loves every meal I’ve ever served him. He sleeps through the night, is completely pottytrained and jumps immediately into my car when we need to go somewhere. Before you judge, you should know that my children also much prefer Murphy over me or any other humans. As is usually the case, our beloved family pet has the best relationship with everyone in the house. It wasn’t necessarily always this way. When the kids were babies it seemed like our dog at the time was always underfoot in an attempt to trip me. In that chaotic swirl of caring for small children, a pet was one more being that needed something from me. But then those babies became toddlers who shrieked in delight when the dog ate food dropped from a high chair. The cat was just so funny when it climbed a tree. As my boys grew into adolescence they discovered a true friend in our big shaggy dog, curling up with her on the floor and fashioning her hair into faux hawks. Now into the teen years, the kids want less of my attention. In fact, they probably share more of their inner thoughts with the non-human beings in the house. As the writer Nora Ephron said, “When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.” Indeed. The reality is that with my dog, the stakes are low. I’m not worried about the fourlegged boy wearing a helmet or playing with fireworks; it’s not on my radar to


remind him about stranger danger (though he would listen and likely wag his tail). I’m not fretting about saving for my dog’s future education, discussing consent or what not to post online. The beauty of being a pet parent is the simplicity. At a high point recently, our household contained a dog, cat, chameleon, two tadpoles and two foster kittens. My kids disagree with me on many things, but we all agree on a love for creatures. I’ve run the numbers, and if all goes well, Murphy will be around for some years after the boys launch. He and I can then look out the window together and wonder when they will come home. Audrey Meier DeKam Editor-in-Chief * Necessary disclaimer about how I love my human children to my core and would throw myself in front of a speeding train for them.

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Reach out to us at samfit.org/BrighterDays to learn more!

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Let’s talk health


Have a question you forgot to discuss at the doctor’s office or are too embarrassed to ask? The experts at Samaritan Health Services are here to help.

Q: How do I know the COVID-19 vaccines are safe for my pregnancy and family?

A: Millions of doses have been administered internationally since last December, and they are proving to be very effective at protecting you against serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. And the complications have been minimal when you consider the number of shots that have been given. While these vaccines were not tested in those who are pregnant, the risks are theoretically low. In fact, getting the coronavirus when pregnant can be far worse. In a study of 23,434 pregnant people, those with symptomatic COVID-19 were more likely than non-pregnant people with the virus to have more severe illness, hospital admissions, death and premature birth.

Q: My wrists are really bothering me from work. If it’s carpal tunnel, what are my options?

A: Carpal tunnel syndrome can be

brought on by repetitive hand movements, pregnancy or medical conditions such as obesity. It’s basically caused by pressure on the median nerve, due to swelling from those repetitive activities. The good news is, there are steps you can take to prevent it from slowing you down. First, take good care of your general health. Maintain a healthy weight, get regular exercise and refrain from tobacco use. This will help keep your arms, hands and fingers strong and flexible while preventing injuries from

Let’s talk health

overuse. When using a computer, maintain proper posture and practice pinching your shoulder blades together. Too much time hunched over is a primary cause of worsening nerve symptoms. You can also rest your wrist on a gel pad placed in front of your mouse. Is your wrist kinked or flexed when you hold your cell phone? Consider investing in a holding device to keep your wrist in a more neutral position. If you can, dictate your text messages instead of using your fingers and thumbs. If you feel tingling and numbness, rest your fingers, hand and wrist and ice them for 10 to 15 minutes. Resume activity gradually once symptoms stop. Try a wrist splint to keep your wrist in a neutral position — not bent back or

Brought to you by:

Health care leaders recommend vaccination to prevent new infections, especially now with the new variants. Theoretically, there is very little harm to your baby through breast milk if you choose to get the vaccine. Additionally, there is potential for you to pass along antibodies to your baby through your breast milk, so that would be a good thing for your baby. I got my vaccine because I wanted to be able to hug my husband and 3-year-old son without feeling like I was unintentionally infecting them. I had some side effects, but my thought was, “If this is just an inkling of what getting COVID-19 is like, I am so thankful that I got this vaccine.” — Juliette Asuncion, DO, Sweet Home Family Medicine

forward. You can even wear the splint at night. We all sleep in positions that are awkward for our wrists. The splint helps ensure your nerve gets all the blood flow and oxygen it needs. If returning to normal activity continues to cause discomfort, see a clinician that specializes in hand and wrist treatment to evaluate your options. Treatment typically consists of physical or occupational therapy for stretching, wrist and posture exercises, oral medications or steroid injections. If conservative treatment doesn’t help, surgery to reduce pressure on the median nerve may be recommended. After surgery, the ligament grows back together and allows more space than before, eliminating your symptoms. — Erin Campaignac, MD, Samaritan Medical Group Hand to Shoulder Orthopedics

Call Samaritan Health Services Find a Doctor line at 800-863-5241 to find a provider who is right for you.

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omism #172: Brush the teeth you want to keep.

Christina Miller, MD

541 704 7304

Raising strong families through personalized care.

School readiness If your child is apprehensive about school starting, point out the positive aspects of going back, like seeing friends, playing at recess and meeting new teachers. To get everyone ready for a successful year: Start your child on their school sleep/wake schedule a week or so ahead of time. Studies show that children who eat a nutritious breakfast function better. Find another child in the neighborhood or friend your child can walk into school with. Check in with your child’s new teacher at the beginning of the school year.

At Willamette Valley Pediatrics we believe that health care is personal. Dr. Christina Miller takes the time to develop relationships with her patients and their families in order to care for their “whole” health.

You and your child’s health are our priority. We know that health concerns are stressful for moms. We offer same-day appointments and can work with your busy schedule. We schedule sports physicals with minimal wait time, because we know that an active child is a healthy child. Dr. Miller knows that children are a blessing. That is why she comes alongside you and your child to help them become their best self. To learn more contact us at 541-704-7304 or willamettevalleypediatrics.com

Create an environment and schedule after school that is conducive to doing homework daily.

Christina Miller, MD

Dr. Miller strives to provide so much more than just a doctor’s “visit.” Located in Albany 1123 Hill Street SE, Suite B. Albany

willamettevalleypediatrics.com 541 704 7304 8 mommag.com


Active kids & healthy teeth What to do if... A baby tooth is knocked out Contact your pediatric dentist as soon as possible. Have your child rinse their mouth with water, and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. Baby teeth should not be replanted as they could damage the developing permanent teeth.

A permanent tooth is knocked out Find the tooth and rinse it gently with milk. Do not use soap and water. Put the tooth in the socket and hold it there gently with clean gauze or a washcloth. If you cannot put the tooth back in, place it in a clean container, preferably with cold milk. If milk is not available, use the child’s own saliva. Take your child to your pediatric dentist immediately.

A tooth is chipped or broken Contact your pediatric dentist immediately. Fast action can save the tooth, prevent infection and reduce the need for extensive future dental treatment. Have the child rinse their mouth with water, and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. Bring the fragment to the dentist if you can find it.

Brought to you by:

Dr. Jay Vaikuntam

pediatricdentistoregon.com 155 NW Hickory St # A Albany, OR 97321 (541) 928-1509

Have your child wear a mouthguard when an activity has any risk of falling or collision. Pre-formed mouthguards are widely available, and custom mouthguards can be made at your dentist’s office. Source: American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

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Bethanie Gambardella Photos by Emily Hall Photography

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Family comes first. All families are unique. Tell us about yours. We’re the Gambardellas. A lot of people look at our last name and think, man what a mouth full! But I love it. We even have a family song to help our girls learn how to spell it. Find us sometime and we’ll gladly sing it — at least, me and the girls will. Nick and I both grew up in the area: I’m from Lebanon and he’s from Albany. Nick is a commercial beekeeper, and it keeps us beezzzzzy. I also lead and teach dance and fitness classes. I’ve been doing it for over 10 years, and most likely will be doing it until I’m 99 because I love it. My girls, Clair and Brooke, accompany me to many farmers markets in the area to sell honey. They enjoy selling their “own section” of little tiny honey bears — and eating all the wonderful goodies you can find at other vendor tables. We also have a hamster named Cheesy. At least that’s her name today…yesterday it was Emily. Every family has their own traditions, rituals or inside jokes. What’s one of yours? A few years back we thought it would be fun to deliver holiday cookies to our friends and knock on their door and run away. However, my at-the-time two- and four-year old girls helped me create these masterful treats, and they didn’t look very appealing. They turned out more like small clusters of mush, but they did taste good. Needless to say, now we make sure to specify who they are from and what is actually in them. When did you know you wanted to be a mom? Always. But just like anyone, I didn’t realize just how amazingly hard and wonderful it can all be at the same time. Profession: Stay-at-home mom/ commercial beekeeper/fitness instructor/dance teacher

Community: North Albany, between Jefferson and Millersburg

Husband: Nick Gambardella, commercial beekeeper

Children: Clair, age 6, and Brooke, age 4

Do you think that parenting is easier or more challenging than when you were growing up? The world is definitely different than it was when I was younger. The simple fact of cell phone creates both blessings and monsters. I really hope my little girls don’t grow up to neeeeeeed their phone 24 hours a day and text their friends who are two feet away. I think there is a real loss of relationship and connection when this happens. And I can only imagine that would make parenting even harder.

Tell us about one of your proudest mom moments. My daughter Clair was at a sports camp recently. A group of kids were talking about a fun birthday party that they were going to later that day, which my daughter wasn’t invited to. And instead of feeling left out, she just shrugged her shoulders and said, “ Well, I get to run in the sprinkler with my mom later.” Running in a sprinkler tops going to a fun birthday party? Total win! I just hope she remembers that when she is a teenager. 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.)? Use the word potty.

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 not good at this, but one thing I absolutely try hard to do is just make time to play with my girls. We don’t always have to “play,” but I feel it is important to let my kids know that I am never too busy to sit on a swing with them for an hour telling made-up stories, or to play Candy Land for the 400th time. House work gets put on the back burner, but when my girls feel included and happy, it makes everything fall where it needs to. Tell us about your work or volunteerism outside of the home. Teaching dance is a fabulous job. I’ve worked with so many individuals for different events. One of my favorites is teaching the dance choreography for Quinceaneras. This is a special party for girls who turn 15 years old. They wear a huge beautiful dress and the parties are always amazing and truly family-oriented. I’m also part of a group who runs the Millersburg Farmers Market. There are nine of us volunteers who give our time to make sure the Millersburg Farmers Market happens June through August, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Millersburg City park. Tell us about a recent achievement you’re proud of, or a personal passion or talent. In 2019 I got the idea to start a Farmers Market in the Millersburg area. Covid hit, mommag.com 11

QA '

MOM s Favorite... …family games: Spot it!, Headbanz and hide-and-go-seek …words to live by: Never give up. …place to hide and find some peace & quiet: There is no hiding. …binge-worthy TV: Mr. Sunshine on Netflix. It’s a wonderful romantic drama set in 1800s Korea. …time-saving app or digital tool: Shazam for finding new music.

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and that put a short pause on that plan. Now in 2021, the Millersburg Farmers Market is a legit thing, with the help of some truly amazing women. When was the last time you failed? What did you learn? I have always been “healthy.” I mean, I work at a gym, teach fitness classes, eat really well, so I would hope I would be healthy, right? Recently I went through a health issue that really had me feeling like a failure. I didn’t understand why this had to happen to me. I try my best to do what I can to stay healthy, so what went wrong? For a long time I blamed myself and came up with a number of things that could have possibly prevented it. It seemed my plans for my life would need to change, and that was really disheartening for me. My sister went through something similar…not once, not twice, but three times and each was an extremely difficult experience. Even though my experience was difficult, in the big scheme of things it wasn’t as heavy as it could be. Talking with my

tetherball pole. The list goes on, but no matter what, we loved each other. My parents taught me that family is the most important blessing we can be given, and if you look at something with a happy heart and grateful spirit, you will find the good in anything. What do you think is the most important life skill or value your parents taught you? How to work. My dad owns BD Stearns Concrete Construction, a business that has been in the area for over 25 years. I remember as a little girl hiding under my covers in the early morning, hoping my dad wouldn’t call my name to come out to work with everyone else. Hey, I was the baby, I could possibly get out of it, right? Well, sometimes I would! But looking back I really appreciate all the times my dad had all us kids hauling panels or picking up metal stakes, and at the end of the day, paying us in hotdogs. When was the last time you did something for the first time? I signed my daughter up for calf riding at the Linn County Fair Kids Rodeo, as she is on a cowgirl kick right now. She saw how big the cows were and looked at me and didn’t need to say a word. The sheer fear that was coming from her little face was enough. I don’t think I would be brave enough to ride them either! She did end up riding the sheep, and she did a great job. sister as someone who experienced this same thing was very helpful. Slowly, I began to accept what had happened and was finally able to come to terms with the fact that there are things I cannot control. Do you have a goal you’d like to accomplish within the next five years? I want to...no, I will a. become a better cook, and b. compete in a sprint triathlon.

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? I loved my upbringing so dang much. Growing up in Lebanon as the youngest of six kids was the best world a kid could ever ask for. My family wasn’t perfect: we would fight like crazy, from my sisters yelling at each other during a softball game when one was the pitcher and the other catching, to my brothers tying my other brother up to the

Which good habit do you wish you started earlier? Going to bed earlier. What are three words your best friend would use to describe you? Outgoing, accepting and brave. What are three words your kids would use to describe you? Crazy, loving and adventurous. 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? For sure, to speak better Spanish. And to play the electric violin.

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

…shop to pick up a gift for a friend: Tin Roof Boutique, Pure Beauty Aesthetics, Modern House Plants …coffee spot: Mill Town Coffee for drive through, and for sit down, Little Wuesten Café …spot to get a good workout: West Albany track, Talking Water Gardens trails …place to treat yourself to a mani/pedi, massage or other personal service: Real and Raw Beauty by Corrinda …restaurants for a date night: Gamberetti’s, Frankie’s, Growler Café, Los Tequilas …meetup spot for happy hour: Frankie's, Los Dos Amigos …place where the kids can let off steam: Millersburg City Park and Bryant Park bike trail

What’s in your mom purse right now? A better question would be, what is NOT in my mom purse right now! If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, in which event would you win a gold medal? Dance walking. I think I would have a pretty good chance at winning gold.

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Name one thing that is part of your daily routine that you just can’t live without. Wearing a watch. If I don’t have it, my entire day is a little off. Tell us something about you that would surprise your kids (or your husband). I used to be deathly afraid to read in front of anyone. I was so scared, it would make me sick. 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? Unfortunately, the dishes. What keeps you up at night (apart from kids, of course)? Anything: good ideas, bad ideas, you name it. Insomnia is my middle name.

Listen to mom. Is motherhood what you expected? What surprised you the most? To be 100% honest I didn’t have that outpouring, overwhelming connection with my first baby after giving birth. I was like, wow,

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that was really in there? It wasn’t until a little later that I finally felt that unbreakable, undeniably true deep love that a mother can only feel for her child. And it has made my life magical. Who and what has influenced the mother you are today? My mom. She is awesome… actually, awesome doesn’t even do her justice. She is outstanding. If I was the absolute worst at anything, I never really believed it because my mom would cheer me on like I was the world champion. Her positivity and love was felt from every part of her. I love her, and I’m so thankful I get to be her daughter. What message would you like to share with other moms? Remember to tell it like it is. Just keep trying. Some days suck, and that’s okay. Just know that no one is perfect, and that mom who seems to have all her crap together probably doesn’t have her underwear on straight.

When it’s too hot to cook SUMMER DAYS, O NtheSWELTERING last thing you want to do is add more heat to the house by turning on the oven. The Co-op Kitchen offers a great selection of Grab ‘N’ Go meals, sides and snacks to keep your family fed and your house cool.

Take a dip The Co-op Kitchen’s Classic Hummus is a perfect addition to just about any meal or snack session. Made fresh with organic garbanzo beans, it makes a creamy and delightful complement to your favorite chips, veggies, pretzels and more. It also makes a savory and delicious spread on sandwiches, wraps and pitas.

Come to First Alternative Natural Foods Co-op for all of your grocery needs. It’s the natural choice.

Grab ‘N’ Go goodness Whether you’re quieting a little rumble in your tummy or feeding a rowdy carload of hungry kids, the Co-op Kitchen is ready to satisfy. Look for wraps and burritos made with local ingredients and cage-free eggs, seasonal salads made with organic produce, and a huge selection of fresh-baked cookies, scones, muffins and cupcakes. It’s always nice and cool at the Co-op, too, so stop in when you need to chill. The Co-op Kitchen and Deli are cooking for you, every day.

Two locations in Corvallis 1007 SE 3rd • 541-753-3115 2855 NW Grant • 541-452-3115 Open daily www.firstalt.coop

Jasmin Woodside of First Alternative Co-op and her children.

CRUISIN’ THE FOSSIL COASTLINE Join us for an all-ages exhibition features life-size sculptures, models, and images of prehistoric creatures and authentic fossils. Exhibit Organized by Anchorage Museum Art by Ray Troll

Get tickets today at AQUARIUM.ORG mommag.com 15

pets are family



s a pet parent, you’re probably well aware of how dangerous summer temperatures can be for your beloved pet. But something more to consider, especially for dogs, is the surface temperature of the pavement during walks. A dog’s paw pads are made of thick skin, but they are still vulnerable to burns. Pavement — with black asphalt being the worst offender — can heat up to an astonishing 60 degrees more than air temperature. And that hot pavement (also sand, metal or other heat-conducting surfaces) can burn paws.

Preventing burns and discomfort is straight-forward: don’t walk your dog in the hottest part of summer days. Instead, choose early morning or late evening. For midday potty breaks, soft trails or grass will be more comfortable for your pooch. Note that after swimming, your dog’s paws may be more sensitive to heat, so plan ahead to keep them comfortable. If in doubt as to whether or not the pavement is too hot for your pooch, put your bare hand on it: If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for them. Source: Oregon Humane Society

In partnership with Willamette Veterinary Hospital & Ark Animal Hospital

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Brought to you by: Josiah Moses, DVM Eastgate Veterinary Clinic

It’s perfect, honey!TEACHING Have you ever noticed that we love our children’s artwork, no matter how purple the sky or red the grass they’ve drawn? We don’t expect it to be perfect, yet we find joy in it anyway. We find joy in their imperfection, yet we often expect no less than perfection from ourselves or our spouse. When we reflect on our


lives, we see what we don’t have. When we look in the mirror, we see our flaws instead of the blessings. Can we take a step back? Can we accept those few extra pounds, or scuffed shoes, or not-so-new car—even with itsEING occasional rattles—and allow to A GOOD FRIEND may notourselves come naturally to some children, and sometimes experience satisfaction with what we have and whowe wehave are?to Peace our kiddos what with ourselvesteach liberates us to be our that ownlooks “best.”like. What better time than right before school starts? Today’s the day. Give yourself a break from the expectation of Preschoolers start by playing beside their classmates, perfection and say, “I’m okay.” rather than with them. Then, as they grow and mature, gradually It’s called GRACE. Givethey yourself some begin today!cooperative play.


Practice taking turns with your child’s favorite toys. If they experience the frustration of learning to brought to you by with you, they are more likely to be able to share share with their friends without tantrums or tears. Model how to be a good friend by having your own friends and let your children see what that looks like. Carla Towery is a Santiam Christian Schools Spending time, sharing, back-and-forth conversation teacher, Kindergarten www.santiamchristian.org and genuine care and concern for each other are Christian Schools 541-745-5524“friend x243 basics.”Santiam Moms need friends too, so call up one of your own as part of preparing for back to school.

Brought to you by:

Carla Towery, (retired) teacher Santiam Christian Schools

www.santiamchristian.org 541-745-5524 x 243

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PARENTING COACHES W HAT A R E T H E Y, A N D D O YO U N E E D O N E ? IT SEEMED STRAIGHTFORWARD: have a child and raise it using the vast knowledge of parenting you gained before having said child. Then along comes this kid with her own mind and ideas. This marvelous, smart, sentient being with...demands, love, hostility, kindness and that mouth. Those pre-child notions of parenting are yeeted out the window. Now what? Entering the chat: parenting coaches. 18 mommag.com

What are parenting coaches? A parenting coach is someone who serves as a consultant to you in how to navigate the challenges of raising children. They provide tools, training and advice that is specific to your needs. Parenting coaches do not act as therapists or diagnose mental health conditions; what they do provide is practical ways to make parenting less frustrating and more joyful. For instance, imagine you and your daughter have locked horns about brushing her teeth. You know she needs to keep her teeth healthy, and physically forcing such a thing is ridiculous. How do you move beyond the impasse? That’s where a parenting coach comes in. They might suggest a new way for you to approach the conversation, such as asking your child, “What do you need to do to get ready for bed?” Or, “Talk to me about what you know about keeping our teeth healthy.” We interviewed two local parenting coaches: Sophie Grow of ProSocial Parent Coaching in Philomath, and Tami Meyers of Passionate Parent Coaching in Salem. Tami Meyers worked in mental health and education before becoming a certified parenting coach. “I came to realize that counseling kids was more of a bandaid. It didn’t get to the root issues, which is usually the pain and struggle of parents that is passed on to kids,” said Meyers. Meyers said parents who reach out to her are often “Overwhelmed and struggling with isolation. Parenting can feel lonely,” she said. Meyers specializes in working with parents who have children who might be considered neurodivergent, including parents who have a child with ADHD or who have the condition themselves. Parenting coach Sophie Grow has a background as a birth doula and parent educator, and she is currently in a graduate program studying infant-toddler mental health. “Coaching isn’t therapy, but it’s an excellent complement,” she said. “Parenting is both hard and beautiful,” said Grow. “If a child is acting out — what many parents call ‘mischievous’ behavior — almost always what that child really wants is connection.” In her work with parents she focuses on active, compassionate listening and skill building.

or video call. You might sign up for a six-week plan of individual coaching which would involve an hour per week, along with some supplemental articles or videos. Parenting groups or circles offer a way to gain insight from peers, with a coach as the facilitator. Costs for individual coaching can range from $60 - $150 per session. You might pay around $400 for an eight-week session, and less to join a small parenting group. If cost is a concern, ask about sliding scales. Grow gives thoughtful prompts to her clients, such as “What do you want out of parenting?” Or, “What’s the suitcase you need to pack for your child as they go into life?” She might also draw visuals and share diagrams and analogies.

If a child is acting out — what many parents call ‘mischievous’ behavior — almost always what that child really wants is connection.

She said that many parents are driven by the desire to be more present with their kids. Sometimes the conflicts that people are scared of having is the opportunity to show up as their best selves. They’ve felt so isolated and have pent up shame around these issues. Meyers guides parents in exploring conscious parenting. “The focus is on connecting rather than punishing,” she said. “We talk about the struggles that came up over the week, and we work through them. I’ll often ask parents to look at the stories they tell themselves. For instance, I’ll hear a parent say ‘I never made friends and now my child isn’t either.’” Meyers invites them to share that pain, validate it and then challenge the conditions. “Maybe it’s not for you to judge or fix; your child is a different human.”

development and education, and their careers have typically been focused on children. There are certification programs, such as Parent Coach Certification, the Jai Institute for Parenting, and many others. If you seek a certified coach, explore the program they trained in to see if it aligns with your core beliefs and values. Perhaps you watched that Supernanny show and thought, I’d sure like that British lady to come to my house and tame this wild bunch. It made for good reality TV, but it’s not what you’ll get with a parenting coach. Be prepared to look in the mirror because it’s more about you than it is about your kids. In fact, your children very likely won’t be interviewed or coached at all. Grow said, “It’s all about the parents. Kids are not interviewed or involved in parenting coach sessions.” Meyers said parents should understand that “Parent coaching is about healing the parent, not fixing the child. It is an opportunity to understand what our triggers are, and why they impact us the way they do…and recognize that when our children exhibit difficult behaviors, they are struggling and need our support the most.” Most parenting coaches offer a free consultation, to see if you fit. Meyers advised that there is a style of parenting coach out there for everyone, so shop around until you find the one that feels right for you. Choose someone you feel comfortable with in sharing details of yourself and your family’s inner workings. Finding a parenting coach also depends on if you want someone local or not. Plenty of coaches offer services via phone and video calls, which means you could work with someone from virtually anywhere in the world. If you’re seeking a local coach, ask your friends, your child’s pediatrician or teachers, or hit the internet. We found a few this way, and there’s something to be said for engaging with a coach who knows about local culture and resources.

She also likes to bring in tools to inspire meaningful changes. “It’s not a quick fix, it’s a gradual shift of awareness.”

So how does it work, exactly?

How do you find one, and what should you look for?

Many parenting coaches offer individual sessions as well as group sessions, which can be in person, but more likely by phone

Parenting coaches come from a variety of experience and training. Many have backgrounds in counseling, childhood

Sophie Grow

Tami Meyers

ProSocial Parent Coaching in Philomath

Passionate Parent Coaching in Salem

mommag.com 19

When mild frustration is a good thing


ASSLES AND SETBACKS ARE A PART OF LIFE. We get stuck in traffic, the item we want is backordered, we forget to set a timer and burn dinner. How we handle these moments is part of what psychologists call frustration tolerance. Do we yield to anger and start yelling, or do we move through the frustration and onto a solution? Activities at Kidspirit are conducted in an atmosphere of encouragement and support. For a child wanting to make a basketball shot from the three-point line, maybe throwing the ball too hard makes it bounce off the backboard. In a cooking class, the pasta came out too tough and chewy. These outcomes are frustrating but they teach us. It’s data that helps us learn and grow — and it makes our successes and wins all that much sweeter.

Brought to you by:

Karen Swanger is the Director of OSU KidSpirit Oregon 4-H Youth Programs kidspirit.oregonstate.edu

Growing our frustration tolerance is part of the emotional scaffolding children need in developing emotional maturity. Strong frustration tolerance allows us to problem solve and not give up before finding a solution. Remind your kids (and yourself) that mistakes are proof that you’re trying, and really what you’re doing is learning patience and a stick-with-it attitude.

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Momism #198: Take your phone — and make sure it’s charged!




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mommag.com 21



EFORE YOU COMMIT TO A PET, consider your family’s lifestyle and budget. Are you a go-go-go group, or a chill-at-home type of family? Do you have the budget for veterinary care, food, pet sitting, toys and supplies? How much effort do you want to put into the care and feeding of a pet? It’s a lot to take in. When making your choice, consider the annual needs, said veterinarian Dr. Josiah Moses of Eastgate Veterinary Clinic in Corvallis. “General annual recommendations include an exam, about two to four vaccines (depending on the year and age of animal), annual lab testing to check for parasites and other early disease monitoring, and monthly flea and heartworm prevention,” said Dr. Moses. You also need to factor your own experience level, and how much you and your family will need to learn (which can be quite fun for all of you). “For children, taking care of a pet develops compassion, caring and responsibility,” said veterinarian Emily Kalenius of WilVet Salem. But once you choose your pet, you get to enjoy the beauty of the human-animal bond.

such as fur on your clothes and the 4 a.m. zoomies are all forgiven when you look at their adorable feline faces. This phenomenon has been described as kitty mind control, or being owned by a cat.

Cats and why they win the internet Is it their beseeching eyes, sweet purrs and general allaround adorableness that made cats the keepers of our hearts? Their antics in play and affection certainly make them wonderful family pets. Cats are also easy to leave at home for stretches of time, as long as food, water and litter boxes are available. The minor drawbacks 22 mommag.com

While kittens are undeniably adorable, they grow up quickly. Consider adopting an older cat, as they often have much love to give. Want some short-term kitty goodness? Try fostering through a local humane society. It gives your family a chance to learn what it’s like to have a pet in the house...and whether you want to commit to scooping litter regularly.

When are children old enough to help with pet care? Dogs: An ongoing love story with humans What started with cave humans tossing a few scraps of leftover meat to wolves turned into dressing your dog in a tutu and having a professional photoshoot. Our years together have evolved, to say the least, into a beautiful and enduring friendship. In terms of effort, dogs require a solid investment of time: they need to be exercised,

Notice we say help with and not take on 100 percent of pet care duties. If you’re looking to put all the responsibility of pet care on your child, rethink your decision. Consider your child’s age and maturity before you commit to a pet, and make peace with yourself that at the end of the day, you are the overall responsible party for both pets and children in your household.

so daily walks or trips to the dog park are key. They are incredibly bonded to us and need love and attention, which can be an issue if you and your family don’t spend a lot of time at home. The joy dogs bring us is undeniable: these loyal friends are just happy to be with us. Consider size: is a small dog right for your household, or a bigger dog better? How much fur you want to deal with is another question: short-haired dogs like boxers, greyhounds, Boston terriers and many mixed breeds have minimal grooming needs with little shedding. Doodle dogs — poodles mixed with another breed or more — are having a moment, but know that the poodle lineage can often mean higher grooming needs. Training is a must, as you want a doggo who knows some basic commands and doesn’t jump up on visitors. Adolescents and teens do great in structured dog training classes.

Prepare for the unexpected

Two is better In Switzerland, it’s illegal to own only one guinea pig. These social creatures need company and do best when they have a pal of the same species.

The fascinating world of reptiles Got allergies to furry creatures? A reptile such as a bearded dragon, chameleon or gecko can be an engaging pet. There’s a learning curve to the habitat you’ll need for them, but a reputable reptile business or organization can offer guidance on enclosures, lighting, water misting, etc. For your kids, learning about reptiles and the care they need can be a fun project. Note that some reptiles will need live food, like crickets and mealworms. It’s not for the faint of heart. If a tortoise or turtle is more your family’s style, remember that they live a long time — like 50 years for a well-cared for tortoise and 30 for a turtle.

A little birdy told us Bird lovers enjoy the companionship of feathered friends for good reason: pet birds can be social, smart and affectionate. Birds work well in small spaces, and the cost of feeding them is low, making them a budget-friendly pick. They can be quite loud though, as bird noise in the wild is meant to travel over distances, so be mindful if you share walls with neighbors. Also be prepared that birds can live a very long time, as in decades or even over 100 years for some parrots.

You can find goldfish that do not require bubblers or temperature regulation. Once you launch into more exotic fish, however, you enter the land of freshwater vs. saltwater, temperature regulators, algae control, etc. It can get complicated, so best left to an adolescent or teen who is motivated to learn the details and put in the effort.

Pocket pets: small size, big personalities The term pocket pets encompasses small animals such as guinea pigs, gerbils, hamsters, etc. They are often school classroom favorites, as they are easy to care for and fun to interact with. Nutritional needs are specific and varied; chewing blocks or other supplies are often called for to keep teeth from growing too long. Chinchillas, hedgehogs and sugar gliders are nocturnal, so they’ll be more active at night. Habitats for pocket pets are quite specific, so have your setup ready before bringing one home.

How to train your goldfish An ode to the humble goldfish: give them a roomy bowl full of water and some fish flakes, and these guys can live happily ever after. Believe it or not, you can train a goldfish to do tricks, like swimming through a hoop.

Emily Kalenius, DVM

Josiah Moses, DVM

Wilvet Salem

Eastgate Veterinary Clinic

As with many things in life, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so it makes sense to keep your pets up on regular veterinary care. But sometimes the unexpected happens — the dog eats a superball and needs surgery, the cat develops a weird lump — these events can come as a shock emotionally and financially. “Depending on the severity, the diagnostics, treatments and hospitalization situations can have a very wide price range. It can be very simple and inexpensive, to upwards of a few thousand dollars,” said Dr. Moses. Dr. Kalenius sees emergent cases only at Wilvet Salem, such as pets hit by cars, or those suffering from vomiting, diarrhea, or infections. Dogs and cats can be curious eaters, and on the list of oddities pulled out of stomachs via endoscope include: 7 L.O.L dolls, socks, foam bullets, ear plugs, ribbon and hair ties. No one likes those surprise bills of thousands of dollars, so pet insurance or a savings account just for your pet needs might be worth looking into.

mommag.com 23

The art of hanging art H

ANGING ART can be a hassle, and if not done properly, it can look distracting in a space. Some tips to make the most out of wall decor:

5. Lean art against a wall it might go on before you decide to set a nail.

1. Hang art at eye level.

If you’re making a gallery wall, use matching frames, a cohesive color palette or similar subject matter to unify the look. Space the frames equal distance apart for a designer-quality finish.

2. Choose canvas pieces for walls vulnerable to glare. 3. Hang art away from window and door frames to avoid overcrowding. 4. Collect art that you love, carries meaning and resonates an emotion.

Heather Van Eyk is a mother of two and principal designer at NW Design House & owner of Budget Blinds located next to Starbucks in North Albany.

6. Hang alternative art pieces like framed mementos, tapestries and textiles.

Brought to you by:

541-738-2806 | nwdesignhouse.com


Growing Leaders Early Learning Center focuses on building an educational foundation for children ages 3 to 5 through enrichment programs that provide learning opportunities for everyone in our community. Visit ymcaalbany.org for more information about this exciting program or to register. For more information: Ashley Thomas 541.918.2255 | elcdirector@ymcaalbany.org

expand your reach with print 541.926.3000 oregonwebpress.com magazines • inserts • maps newspapers • postcards catalogs • calendars

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MOM's Black Bean Dip

DIP, DIP HOORAY ! Snack plates can double as meals in our book, especially when it’s too hot to cook.

What to dip Vegetables Snap peas

Green beans

Celery sticks

Cherry tomatoes

Red, yellow and green peppers

Sliced cucumbers

Sliced mushrooms

Broccoli, cauliflower “mini trees”

Asparagus sticks

Carrots, julienned

Sliced radishes

mommag.com 25

What to dip Crackers & chips Mixed crackers


Tortilla, bagel and pita chips

Focaccia, sourdough, French bread


Garden Veggie Straws


1 can black beans, drained and rinsed 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons sliced jalapenos or pickled jalapenos (might serve on the side for grown-ups only)

2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped 1 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS Put all ingredients into a food processor or blender. Note that sometimes with blenders, a little water is needed. Pulse until smooth. When serving, sprinkle with a pinch of oregano for presentation.

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1 - 2 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped 1 cup drained, cooked garbanzo beans 4 tablespoons lemon juice 2 tablespoons tahini 1 teaspoon salt Black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Transfer into a serving bowl, and drizzle with olive oil and garnish with fresh chopped parsley and paprika, if desired.

You saucy thing If you don’t feel like making your own, these store-bought sauces double as delicious dips. Café Yumm! PNW favorite Café Yumm! sells its special Yumm! Sauce in grocery stores, and its rich nutty-tangy flavor is addictive. Available in original, roasted garlic and chipotle flavors. Bitchin’ Sauce No, it’s not a euphemism for a mom rant, it’s a bold, smoky sauce made from almonds. Younger children might be averse to its hint of cayenne and declare it “too spicy,” which is fine because it means you won’t have to share.

mommag.com 27

Fun facts about orthodontia It’s Greek to all of us: “ortho” means to straighten or correct, and “dont” means tooth. Literally, orthodontics is to straighten teeth. Humans have been trying to change our teeth for ages. In fact, Egyptian mummies have been found with crude bands around their teeth.

Teeth move when under pressure over time, which can be a good thing when we want to move them into healthier positions. Orthodontics became an organized field in 1900, and gold was used to fashion orthodontic appliances. Those must have been some grillz! Teeth move when under pressure over time, which can be a good thing when we want to move them into healthier positions. But pressure from thumb-sucking or misalignment can move teeth and supporting bone in unhealthy ways. This smile is brought to you by:

WADE L. HASLAM, DMD, PC 2657 NW Rolling Green Drive Corvallis | 541.757.2440 valleyvieworthodontics.com

It takes 10+ years of education and training beyond high school to become a board-certified orthodontist. It’s a challenging but rewarding profession, with the joy of making patients smile. Source: American Association of Orthodontics


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Momism #44: You’re perfect just the way you were made.


Bring your own picnic and games to enjoy before the movie. Food and beverage concessions will be limited to pre-packaged snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. Please leave your pets at home. Bike valet available.

mommag.com 29

Astigmatism or a stigmatism? Let’s clear this up


ou’ve likely heard of this term when it comes to eye health, but perhaps its meaning is a bit fuzzy. First things first, let’s clear up confusion about the word itself: it’s astigmatism (not a stigmatism, as some folks mispronounce). Astigmatism is blurry and distorted vision caused by a curvature of the eye, specifically the lens or cornea. Think of a normal eye being shaped like a basketball, and an eye with astigmatism being shaped more like an American football. You can have astigmatism with or without the need for corrective lenses, as astigmatism is a separate condition

Brought to you by:

Grace Anderson, OD eyecareassociates.net Albany Willetta St SW (541) 926-5848 Albany Custom Eyes (541) 928-2020

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from near or farsightedness. It tends to run in families, so watch your children for eye strain, headaches and squinting. Don’t skip regular eye exams with an optometrist, as astigmatism can’t be diagnosed in simple eye chart screenings. In our exams we ask you to look at letters through various lenses and choose which is better, one or two? That’s how we determine the location and measurement of astigmatism, as well as how to correct it with prescription glasses, contact lenses or possibly surgery. Source: American Academy of Ophthalmology

Downtown Corvallis Office (541) 757-1120 NW Corvallis Office (541) 752-4622 Lebanon Office (541) 451-5808 Lincoln City (541) 614-0946

With you every step of the way Samaritan’s pediatric clinics in the mid-Willamette Valley and central Oregon Coast offer comprehensive health care focused on the unique needs of each child and family. Our pediatricians take the time to get to know your child and listen to your concerns. Whether your child needs a wellness visit to ensure optimal growth and development, vaccination, sports physical, care for illness or injury or behavioral health support, we’re with you every step of the way.

samhealth.org/Pediatrics mommag.com 31

263 29th Avenue SW | Albany, OR 97322 541-926-0353 | 541-926-1515 fax mommag.com | info@mommag.com

The views, information and content in this magazine are not that of the organization that may have provided MOM Magazine to readers as a courtesy. MOM Magazine and its distributors assume no liability for the contents or events arising out of its distribution.

No matter what fall looks like... KidSpirit is here for your family! Check out our fall in-person gymnastics classes at kidspirit.oregonstate.edu/programs. kidspirit.oregonstate.edu


Langton Hall 125, OSU

Articles from Mid Valley MOM | August / September 2021