March 15, 2013 by Scott Klepach
By Suzanne Voldman
“Cloth diapers? Really? I could never do that! Ick!”
That is a common response I get when talking about cloth diapers.
At that point I can almost see the person across from me envisioning large buckets of dirty diapers and water, dunking diapers into the toilet, sharp diaper pins, plastic pants and long lines of diapers hanging on a clothesline. I’ve spent a lot of time telling those people about the many benefits of cloth diapers, but I have found the best way to change someone’s mind is to just show them the diapers.
Modern cloth diapers are soft, just as easy to change as a disposable, and so cute that even the most reluctant often change their mind as soon as they see and touch them. The days of wet diaper pails and sharp diaper pins are gone too!
A “dry pail” method of storing dirty diapers is now recommended as a more sanitary and easy alternative to diaper buckets. Waterproof “wetbags” provide a way to hold dirty diapers while waiting for washing, provide the benefit of holding in any stink and come in a variety of cute styles as well. Modern cloth diapers use snaps and sturdy hook and loop closures that make the diapers very easy to use. New waterproof materials that are soft, breathable and come in cute colors and prints have allowed cloth diaper makers to create diapers and diaper covers that are practical and appeal to trendy parents, too.
These cute and soft qualities lead many to call cloth diapers “fluff.” These new materials are fully washer and dryer safe too, so hanging on the line is great, but optional!
“But, what about the poo?” No matter what kind of diaper you use, there is no way to get away from that! However, tools are now available that make cleaning cloth diapers much easier.
The first thing to remember is that newborn babies who are breast-fed have water-soluble stools, so there’s no need to clean the solids off the diaper. Instead, just put it in your “wetbag” or “dry diaper pail” and wash in the washer when ready. When stools become more solid, it becomes necessary to start scraping or rinsing the solids into the toilet. One of the best ways to do this is by using a “diaper sprayer.” This tool is like a small sink sprayer that hooks onto the toilet and allows the solids to be rinsed away.
There is no need to rinse urine-filled diapers. Simply store in the dry pail or wetbag and wash in the washer. Some cloth diaper users really enjoy using biodegradable diaper liners. These flushable cellulose squares line the diaper and allow the solids to be pulled off and into the toilet easily. These are especially useful for outings to the mall, or anytime you are away from home.
Diaper laundry can vary depending on your routine, but is fairly simple. Follow manufacturer recommendations and use a recommended detergent. Wash diapers anywhere from every day to every third day, depending on how many diapers you have and your personal preference.
The Real Diaper Association has done extensive study on the “science of diaper laundry.” Its recommendations include removing solids into the toilet and doing a prewash in the washer to remove any remaining traces of solids and urine. Follow with a wash in hot water and double rinse the diapers in warm water to be sure all detergent is removed.
Problems with diaper rash are rare with cloth diapers, but are usually related to using too much detergent or not rinsing the diapers thoroughly. You can find more information about diaper laundry on the Internet, but start at the Real Diaper Association for some basic information.
“So how much money can I save using cloth diapers?”
The answer to this question varies depending on what kind of cloth diapers you choose, but even the most expensive options can save money versus the throwaway alternative.
The average price of disposables for 2 1/2 years can average up to $2,500, according to Consumer Reports, and may be up to $1,000 more for chlorine-free or biodegradable options. According to the Real Diaper Association,
“The cost of cloth diapering can vary considerably, from as low as $300 for a basic set-up of pre-folds and covers, to $1,000 or more for organic cotton fitted diapers and wool covers. Despite this large price range, it should be possible to buy a generous mix of pre-folds and diaper covers for about $300, most of which will probably last for two children. This means the cost of cloth diapering is about one tenth the cost of disposables and you can spend even less by using found objects (old towels & T-shirts).”
There are also many tutorials and free patterns online that can teach even those with very basic sewing skills to make their own diapers. This can make cloth diapering extremely affordable. I find that cloth diapers are a very economical option no matter what kind you choose. However, be careful: I know many cloth diapering moms who become addicted to ordering diapers on the Internet and receiving cute packages of so called “fluff mail.”
For some the environmental benefits of cloth diapering make it appealing. The Real Diaper Association has information regarding the many environmental benefits that cloth diapers provide, but personally I find the fact that cloth diapers are reusable to be the most compelling environmental argument. I love the fact that after using my first stash of newborn-size diapers at the age of 6 months, I passed them on to my best friend and she lovingly passed them on to another family in need when she was finished with them.
I estimate that just this cycle of diaper use for three children represents approximately 4,860 diapers that did not have to go into the landfill! This saves valuable landfill space since it is estimated that “disposable diapers” may actually take hundreds and hundreds of years to degrade in a landfill, according to the Real Diaper Association.
One of the reasons that some do not choose to use cloth diapers is because they are not sure how to use them or they may be overwhelmed by all the choices. Modern cloth diapers do offer a lot of choice in style, price and function. My best advice is to do Internet research, or even better, find a local cloth diapering mom, or cloth diapering class where you can find many different styles of cloth diapers to see and touch. Once you see all the options available, you too may look forward to saving money, helping the environment and receiving cute packages of “fluff” as well!
CLOTH DIAPER Resources:
Cutie Bondoonie Diaper Kits – firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CutieBondoonieDiaperKits
Yakima Washington Cloth Diaper Group – Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/280255722081542/
Real Diaper Association – realdiaperassociation.org
Thinking About Diapers – thinking-about-cloth-diapers.com
Changing Diapers; The Hip Mom’s Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering, by Kelly Wells. KellyWells.com.
Top 5 reasons to cloth diaper your baby:
1. Save money! Even the most expensive cloth diapering options will save money versus disposable diapers over time.
2. Fewer diapers in the landfill also means no diapers filling up your garbage can.
3. Clean fresh diapers are only a washload away. No more running to the store to grab diapers.
4. Cloth diapers may make potty training easier. Babies in cloth feel the sensations of wet and dry more than with disposables and this feedback can make potty training easier.
5. Cloth diapers are REUSABLE! This means the initial investment you make can be used again for other children in your family, or passed on to someone else. Also, cloth diapers retain much of their value, so gently used diapers can be sold at a good return rate. Check out local cloth diaper groups or Diaperswappers.com to find gently used diapers for sale.
Cloth diapers/cloth diaper accessories:
1. “All in One” diaper: This diaper is most similar to a disposable. The cover and inner layers are all contained in the diaper. This option tends to be the most expensive and also takes the longest time to dry.
2. Pocket diaper: This diaper has a waterproof outer layer and an inner pocket that can be stuffed with a customizable amount of absorbent layers. These diapers are extremely popular for ease of use, drying time and make wonderful nighttime diapers.
3. Wet bag: A “wet bag” is made of a waterproof material and contains the diapers until they are ready to be washed. These bags make wonderful “dry pail” options, but also are wonderful containers for any wet or messy clothes. Small wet bags can be used to contain diapers or messy clothes in a diaper bag as well.
4. Diaper sprayers: These little sprayers look like a sink sprayer and can be connected to the toilet to rinse any diaper mess into the toilet.
* Suzanne Voldman is the executive director of Cutie Bondoonie Diaper Kits, a local nonprofit organization that educates the community about the benefits of cloth diapering.
By Amy Berkheimer
This is my life. It’s not quite how I planned it, or how I dreamed it would be. But, here we are. I know no other way. I have one child and he has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. He’s 100 percent tube-fed, and that comes with many challenges for him.
Eli is also an amazing little boy with a smile that lights up a room! Well, a room where people know him, anyway. Raising a child with a disability sets you apart from “the norm.” When we are out in a crowd, it’s easy to feel like an alien in a strange land. Sometimes I think to myself, “Are we invisible today?” Other days, I think, “What the heck are they staring at?” But, mostly, I just wish that people would treat us like just another face in the crowd. Yup, we go to the mall, because Eli wears shoes, too!
I sent a questionnaire to several of my friends who are raising children with special needs, asking if they ever feel alone in a crowd. The findings indicated that we all have. What I found most interesting is that all of us take the burden onto ourselves. We understand that people just don’t know how to respond to us, include us or even interact with us.
I feel very blessed to be able to share my story with you, and let you know how this one mommy feels about this subject, a topic very prevalent in my circle of friends.
My circle of friends is rather unique. I gravitate toward others who are on an alternative path in parenting: parents of children with special needs. I connect easily with moms who understand the heartaches of missed milestones, and the joy of delayed milestones we thought would never come.
I have never had the opportunity to potty-train a child. I’ve never turned a spoon into an airplane and then had peas spit in my face. I don’t know what it feels like to have a child purposely defy me, or choose how to discipline my child. We don’t have a chore chart in our house, and my son has never had a consequence for his actions because he doesn’t have bad behavior. I will also never hear the word “mommy” out of his precious little mouth.
Instead, my house is full of syringes, formulas, feeding pumps, drain bags, suction units, wheelchairs, standers and stethoscopes. We are on a first name basis with most of Eli’s doctors, we know the best places to shop around Seattle Children’s Hospital, not to mention the best place to order a pizza if you have to stay the night. Seattle Children’s Hospital is one of my favorite places to be, because it’s the only place we go where we are surrounded by other tube-feeders, and kids with even more equipment than we travel with. This is my life.
My favorite quote from my friend Katy, who responded to my questionnaire, was: “When I’m home with my son, we are normal. It’s only when we go out into the world that people have the power to make us feel less than.”
This really got me thinking. How can we expect others to help us feel like we fit in? My conclusion is that until you know what something feels like, you just can’t really know what something feels like. Deep, I know! It’s so true, though, isn’t it? None of us raising a child with special needs expects anyone to understand everything we are going through. We just want you to withhold judgment in the moment of realization that we are different from you. Maybe our child is being too loud in a public place because of their amped-up sensory processing.
Maybe they are having a meltdown because an interruption to their normal schedule throws them off. Maybe the family wants to try for some “normalcy,” so they are attempting an event that they know is going to present challenges. Can you help us? Can you smile at us? You know that smile that says, “Wow, you have your hands full, but I know you love your child just as much as I love mine, and would do anything for them.” You know … that smile?
The Playdate Expo is coming up March 16 at the Yakima Convention Center. The “Friends of Children’s Village” will have a booth offering activities geared for children with special needs. They will also have a “QUIET ZONE!” If your child has a tough time with any of the noise or activity, please find their special haven created for families just like yours. You just may find out that you are not so alone after all. This is our life!
* I love no title more than being called “Eli’s mom”! We live a quiet life in the country with our 11 cats, 3 dogs, and 2 miniature donkeys.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. Likewise, it takes a similar number of people to make a magazine cover photo shoot go smoothly.
Our Baby Cover Photo contest is an annual tradition. In the past, we have selected one baby out of dozens of submissions for the cover.
This year, though, it felt like the right time to try something different. My idea? Instead of just one baby, why not have a whole group?
As with all big ideas, excitement builds … then someone has to figure out the nitty-gritty details. Correction: A team of people has to figure it out.
When we selected the eight babies for this issue’s photo shoot on a Saturday in February, the Yakima Herald-Republic’s downstairs lobby quickly became packed with staff, babies and family members. (Babies don’t mosey on in all by themselves!)
It could have been total chaos. But despite one mystery mess I had to clean up off the floor after the photo shoot, the session went off without a hitch. That’s because everyone came together to help, including those not directly related to the kiddos in the photo shoot. Suzanne Voldman supplied cloth diapers for the babies to wear (you can read her article on cloth diapering in this issue), which were given to her by Susan Brady of Buckwheat Bottoms, a cloth-diapering company in Richland. Our photographer, TJ Mullinax, was calm throughout. The babies and families were troupers.
So as the saying goes, the “village” truly came together!
The “village” also packed this edition of Playdate, as you’ll see from the many contributing voices in the following pages. Of course, it wouldn’t be Playate without our daily calendar and other fun odds and ends to help you plan ahead as we enjoy the approaching spring. As always, please send questions, comments or suggestions to email@example.com, and be sure to friend us on Facebook.
Enjoy this time with your family, and while you’re at it, enjoy the others in the “village” that make up our community.
Here is a handy guide to local preschools, Kindergarten programs and other resources. Registration is now open for most of the schools listed here. Be sure to contact each school for other possible fees, including application, snack and supply fees, that may be added to the tuition total. Check also for possible discounts and scholarships, if applicable.
Agapeland Preschool & Kindergarten | Preschool & Kindergarten, ages 3-5. Located at Selah Covenant Church, 560 McGonagle Road, Selah; call 509-457-4648 or 509-697-6116 or visit selahcov.com. Three-year-old class meets 9-11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, $78 monthly. Four-year-old class meets 9-11:30 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, $110 monthly. Pre-K (Barely 5s) class meets 12:20-2:50 p.m. Monday through Thursday, $127 monthly. Kindergarten class meets 9 a.m.-noon Monday through Friday, $175 monthly (for 10 months).
Calvary Lutheran Preschool | Preschool only, ages 3-4. Located at Calvary Lutheran Church, 11th and Harrison, Sunnyside; call 509-837-6771 or visit calvarylcs.com. Three-year-old class meets 12:30-2:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, September through December and 12:30-3 p.m. January through May. Four-year-olds have two options: three-day class meets 9-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; five-day class meets 9-11:30 a.m. Monday-Friday. Call for tuition rates.
First Presbyterian Church Preschool | Preschool, ages 3-5. Located at First Presbyterian Church, 9 S. Eighth Ave., Yakima; call 509-248-7940 or visit firstpresyakima.com. Three-year-old class meets 9-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, $95 monthly, with a one-time $35 snack fee. Four-year-old class meets 9-11:30 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, $125 monthly, with one-time $45 snack fee. Pre-kindergarten class meets 9-11:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday, $150 monthly, with one-time $55 snack fee. Your child must be 3 or 4 by Sept. 1 for the respective classes, and 5 by Dec. 31 for the pre-Kindergarten class.
Grace Lutheran School | Classes through grade 8. Located at Grace Lutheran Church, 1207 S. Seventh Ave., Yakima; call 509-594-0715 or visit gracelutheranyakima.org. Two-day preschool (age 3), 8:30-11:30 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, $89 monthly. Three-day preschool (age 4), 8:30-11:30 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, $119 monthly. Kindergarten (age 5), 8:30 a.m.-noon Monday-Friday, $161 monthly. Call to arrange a tour.
Mt. Olive Lutheran Preschool | Preschool & Kindergarten, ages 3-5. Located at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, 7809 Tieton Drive, Yakima; call Molly at 509-966-2190 or visit mtoliveyakima.org. Three-year-olds, 9-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, $85 monthly; 9-11:30 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, $120 monthly. Four-year-olds, 9 a.m.-12 noon or 12:30-3:15 p.m. Mondays, $135 monthly; 9 a.m.-12 noon Monday-Friday, $185 monthly. Four-/five-year-old blend, 12:30-3:15 p.m. Monday-Friday, $185 monthly. Kinder Class (5 years before Dec. 1), 12:15-3:15 p.m. Monday-Friday, $195 monthly. Sonshine Child Care also housed on site for additional day care services, with extra cost.
Redeemer Lutheran Preschool | Preschool only, ages 3-4. Located at Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church and Preschool, 10203 W. Tieton Drive, Yakima; call 509-480-2967or visit www.redeemeryakima.org/#/preschool. Three-year-olds, 8:45-11:15 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, $80 monthly. Four-year-olds, 8:45-11:15 a.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, $110 monthly.
Riverside Christian School & Kindergarten | Classes through grade 12. Located at 721 Keys Road, Yakima; call 509-965-2602 or visit riversidechristianschool.com. Preschool: 8:30-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, or 8:30-11:30 a.m. Wednesdays and Fridays. Pre-Kindergarten: 8:30-11:30 a.m. Monday-Friday, or 12-3 p.m. Monday-Friday. Kindergarten: 8:30-11:30, or 12-3 p.m., Monday-Friday. Call for 2013-14 tuition rates.
St. John of Kronstadt Orthodox Christian School | Kindergarten through grade 8. Location: 706 Steward Street, Yakima; call 509-452-0177 or visit stjohnkronstadt.org. Call for tuition rates.
St. Joseph/Marquette Catholic School | Classes through grade 8. Located at 202 N. Fourth St., Yakima; call Vicki Balmer at 509-575-5557 to schedule a tour or visit sjmms.org. Pre-kindergarten students must be 4 years old by Aug. 31. Program hours are 8:15 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., Monday through Friday; call for tuition information. Hot lunch program and after-school care from 3:00 to 6:15 p.m.
St. Paul Cathedral School | Classes through grade 8. Location: 1214 W. Chestnut Ave., Yakima; call 509-575-5604 or visit yakimadiocese.org.
Stone Church | Preschool, ages 3-5. Location: 3303 Englewood Ave., Yakima; 509-575-3720. Weekly programs range from two to five days a week, with half-day morning classes. School launches this September. Call for more info or to arrange a visit.
Wesley Preschool | Preschool only, ages 3-4, plus 4×4 class. Located at Wesley United Methodist Church, 14 N. 48th Ave., Yakima; call 509-966-2370 or visit wesleyofyakima.org. Three-year-olds, 9-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, $90 monthly, or 9-11:30 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, $110 monthly. Four-year-olds, 9-11:30 a.m. or 12:30-3 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, $110 monthly. Pre-K 4×4 class, 9-11:30 a.m. Tuesday-Friday, $140 monthly.
Westpark Christian Academy | Classes through grade 12. Location: 3902 Summitview Ave., Yakima; call 509-966-1632 or visit westparkchristianacademy.com. Preschool: Two-day and three-day options. Kindergarten: Full day, Monday-Friday. Call for 2013-14 tuition rates.
Wonderland Preschool | Preschool only, ages 3-5. Located at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 6015 Summitview Ave., Yakima; call 509-966-1900 or visit westpress.org. Three-year-old class meets 9-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, $90 monthly, or 9-11:30 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, $100 monthly. Four-year-old class meets 9-11:30 a.m. Monday-Thursday, $125 monthly. Afternoon Pre-Kinder class meets 12:30-3:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, $135 monthly. Kinder Bridge meets 12:30-3:35 p.m. Monday-Friday, $160 monthly.
Yakima Adventist Christian School | Kindergarten through grade 10. Location: 1200 City Reservoir Road, Yakima; call 509-966-1933 or visit yacsschool.org. Call for tuition rates.
Montessori School of Yakima | Preschool (3 years) & Kindergarten, through grade 3. Located at Engelwood Christian Church, 511 N. 44th Ave., Yakima; call 509-966-0680 or visit msofy.org.
Oakridge Montessori School | Preschool (18 months) & Kindergarten, through grade 8. Located at 6403 Summitview Ave., Yakima; call 509-966-1080 or visit oakridgemontessorischool.com.
Central Lutheran Preschool | Ages 18 months-5 years. Located at Central Lutheran Church, 1604 W. Yakima Ave., Yakima; call teacher Annette Courcy at 509-307-6272 or visit clpreschool.com. Toddler program (ages 18-36 months) meets Monday mornings; parent participation required each session. Preschoolers (ages 3-5) meets Tuesday through Friday mornings; students may attend two, three or four days a week; parents required to volunteer at least three days a month. Preschool is friendly to children with food allergies. Call for tuition rates.
Children’s Center Preschool | Ages 18 months-5 years. Located at Zillah Church of the Nazarene, 203 Miles Drive, Zillah; call coordinator Nancy Sealock at 509-829-6165 or visit ccpzillah.weebly.com. Junior Explorers (18 months-3 years), 9-11 a.m. or 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Mondays, $45 monthly. Preschool (3-5 years), 8:30-11 a.m. or 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, $75 monthly (working families), or $100 nonworking families.
Learning Together Preschool | Ages 3-5. Located at Summit View Church of Christ, 100 N. 72nd Ave., Yakima; call 509-966-0733 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Meets 9-11:30 a.m. Monday-Thursday; three-day option, $75 monthly, or four-day option, $85 monthly. Summer program is also available.
Gymnastics Plus Preschool | Located at Gymnastics Plus, 2121 West Lincoln Ave., Yakima; call 509-453-8126 or visit gymnasticsplus.net.
Kid’s Club | Located at 607 S. 36th Ave., Yakima; call 509-469-5437 or visit thelearningtree-uniongap.com.
Melody Lane Preschool | Ages 3-5. Located at 1610 S. 24th Ave., Yakima; call 509-248-9623 or visit melodylaneacademy.com. Three- to four-year olds: 9-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, $115 monthly, or 9-11:30 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, $165 monthly. Four- to five-year-olds, 12:30-3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, $115 monthly, or 12:30-3 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, $165 monthly.
Selah GymKids Academic Preschool | Located at Selah GymKids, 709 North Park Centre, Selah; call 509-698-5437 or visit selahgymkids.com. Preschool class, ages 3-4, meets 9 a.m.-12 noon, Tuesdays and Thursdays, $130 per four weeks. Pre-kindergarten class, ages 4-5, meets 8:30-11:30 a.m. or 9 a.m. to noon Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, $165 per four weeks. All-day child care available, ages 3-5; transportation and before/after-school care for older children.
Children’s Village Collaborative Lab Classroom | Located at Children’s Village, 3801 Kern Road, Yakima; call 509-574-3260 or visit yakimachildrensvillage.org. Serves children ages 30-58 months with social, emotional, communication and behavioral needs.
Special Education Preschool. Located at the Special Services department in the West Valley School District, 1000 S. 72nd Ave., Yakima; call 509-965-2080 or visit wvsd208.org/ss/Preschoolcontacts.htm. Serves preschool children who may have delays in communication, language, motor skills, cognition, social interaction, and adaptive and self-help areas.
VIP Academy | Located at Catholic Family & Child Service, 5301 Tieton Drive, Suite C, Yakima; call 509-965-7100 or visit cfcsyakima.org. Pre-kindergarten program for children who need extra help with behavior and social-emotional skills.
CHILD CARE CENTERS
Working parents may want to consider a child development center that offers preschool curriculum in an all-day child care setting.
Carroll Children’s Center | Located at Catholic Family & Child Service, 5301 Tieton Drive, Suite C, Yakima; call 509-965-7104 or visit cfcsyakima.org.
Country Kids Child Development Center | Two locations: 641 N. Keys Road, Terrace Heights, call 509-453-8688; or 909 N. 21st Ave., Yakima, call 509-453-4462.
Kindercare Learning Center | Located at 5110 Summitview Ave., Yakima; call 509-966-8557 or visit kindercare.com.
YMCA Jewett Center | Located at 212 E. F St., Yakima; call 509-453-7897 or visit yakimaymca.org.
East Valley School District | Full-day kindergarten. Registration at East Valley (509-573-7600), Terrace Heights (509-573-7800) and Moxee (509-573-7700) elementary schools will begin the week of March 21. To determine your school boundary, call the district office at 509-573-7300.
Naches School District | Full-day kindergarten. Naches Valley Primary School offers grades K-2. For more information, call 509-966-5050 or 509-966-7550 for Naches Valley Primary School, or 509-457-8592 or 509-653-2220 to reach the school district.
Selah School District | Half-day kindergarten. Parents may request enrollment at either John Campbell or Robert Lince elementary schools. For more information, call 509-697-0706.
Union Gap School District | Full-day kindergarten. For more information, call 509-248-3966.
West Valley School District | Full-day kindergarten. To determine your school boundary, call the district’s transportation department at 509-966-2403.
Yakima School District | Full-day kindergarten. Students are required to attend their boundary school; to determine which boundary you live in, call Central Registration at 509-573-7024 or see the map at yakimaschools.org.
Spring Break Soccer Camp
Your kids will get a kick out of Ike’s Spring Break Soccer Camp, which runs two days in April. The camp, at Gilbert Elementary, is from 9-10:30 a.m., April 2-3.
The soccer camp is designed for boys and girls, grades K-6. Kids will work with the Ike soccer players to learn soccer skills and have fun. Cost is $20 per child. Registration began March 1. To register, contact coach Tyler Suhm at 509-573-2672 or email email@example.com.
ITTY BITTIES INTRO TO SOCCER Boys and girls, ages 3-4. 6-6:45 p.m. Thursdays, May 10-31. Kids learn dribbling, passing, shooting and basic motor skills. Cost: $40/$48, depending on residency; includes T-shirt. At Chesterley Park. Yakima Parks and Rec: 509-575-6020.
PEE WEE SOCCER LEAGUE Boys and girls, ages 5-6. 6-7:15 p.m. Thursdays, April 5-26. Fundamentals of dribbling, passing and shooting learned with noncompetitive games. Cost: $40/$48, depending on residency; includes T-shirt and ball. At Chesterley Park. Yakima Parks and Rec: 509-575-6020.
YMCA ITTY BITTY SOCCER Boys and girls, ages 3-6. Soccer basics, plus teamwork and sportsmanship. Season begins: TBA. Registration: Opens in mid-April, closes in May. Cost: $45/$55, depending on membership. Yakima Family YMCA, 5 N. Naches Ave., Yakima; 509-248-1202. Contact: Doug Berndt, Youth Programs Director: 509-972-5273 or firstname.lastname@example.org. yakimaymca.org
SELAH FLAG FOOTBALL Boys and girls, grades 2-6. Divisions by grade. No-tackle, pass-only league. Cost: $47.61/$58.43/$69.25, depending on residency; includes T-shirt. Registration: Through April 12. League play: April 30-June 6. At Lince Fields in Selah. Selah Parks and Rec: 509-698-7300.
YMCA FLAG FOOTBALL Boys and girls, ages 5-12. Season starts May 20; registration runs March 15-April 30. Cost: $65/$75, depending on membership. Yakima Family YMCA, 5 N. Naches Ave., Yakima; 509-248-1202. Contact: Doug Berndt, Youth Programs Director: 509-972-5273 or email@example.com. yakimaymca.org
SELAH T-BALL Boys and girls, ages 5-7. Teams play once a week, plus one or two practices per week. Cost: $38.92/$49.77/$60.59, depending on residency; fee includes T-shirt. Registration: March 1-April 9. League Play: Tuesdays & Thursdays, April 30-June 6. At Lince Fields in Selah. Selah Parks and Rec: 509-698-7300.
PEE WEE GOLF Boys and girls, ages 4-6. Four sessions: 3-3:30 p.m. Mondays, May 6-20; 3-3:30 p.m. Mondays June 3-17; 3-3:30 p.m. Tuesdays, May 14-28; 3-3:30 p.m. Wednesdays, May 22-June 5. Preschoolers will learn basics of golf and etiquette, stance, swings and putts. Class size caps at four students. Cost: $24/$29, depending on residency. Fisher Golf Course, 823 S. 40th Ave., Yakima; 509-575-6075.
JUNIOR CHIPPERS Boys and girls, ages 7-11. Three sessions, all Wednesdays-Thursdays: 3:30-4:30 p.m. April 17-May 2; 4:45-5:45 p.m. May 8-23; 4:45-5:45 p.m. June 5-20. Develop proper etiquette, swings, stance and confidence. Cost: $71/$80, depending on residency. Fisher Golf Course, 823 S. 40th Ave., Yakima; 509-575-6075.
JUNIOR DRIVERS Boys and girls, ages 12-16. Three sessions, all Wednesdays-Thursdays: 4:45-5:45 p.m. April 17-May 2; 3:30-4:30 p.m. May 8-23; 3:30-4:30 p.m. June 5-20. Develop proper etiquette, swings, stance and confidence. Cost: $71/$80, depending on residency. Fisher Golf Course, 823 S. 40th Ave., Yakima; 509-575-6075.
Fisher Park offers two Friday Night Glow Ball sessions
This spring you’ll have two chances to golf in the dark with glow balls, May 17 or June 7. Participants will take glow sticks on a nine-hole course and receive glow-in-the-dark necklaces. Cost: $25 per person; includes greens fee, one glow ball and glow stick, necklace and light snacks. Register one week prior to either event. Fisher Golf Course, 823 S. 40th Ave., Yakima; 509-575-6075.
Want disc golf? Disc golf has become quite the popular sport. (Or is it recreation? You be the judge.) Now, disc golf enthusiasts and those new to the game have a special place of their own.
The Wide Hollow Creek Disc Golf Course is now open at Randall Park in Yakima, near the side CLOSEST to 48th Avenue. The nine-disc golf course was made possible by a $4,000 grant from Legends Casino along with more than $2,000 in donations from area businesses.
White Pass Kids’ Clinic Boys and girls ages 5-12 can experience full-day skiing or snowboarding clinics with specialized children’s instructors. The remaining sessions are March 23-24. Registration takes place from 8-9:15 a.m. on those dates in the Talus Room. Clinic participants meet at The Learning Center at White Pass at 9:30 a.m. each day. The cost is $90 single day, $130 weekend; includes lunch, snacks and lift tickets.
Register for either program with The Learning Center at White Pass, 509-672-3101, and check out skiwhitepass.com for more info.
Junior League Starting Kids’ Marathon
Junior League of Yakima wants to get your kids moving! The league is starting its first Kids’ Marathon, which is open to kids 5 and older.
Don’t worry, parents. Your child is not expected to run all 26.2 miles in one shot. Instead, your kids can get started now and have their miles logged along the way.
The actual marathon is set for 10 a.m. May 18 at West Valley Park. On that day, kids will run the final mile of the marathon together. Kids completing the marathon will receive a medal. The last day to register for the marathon is March 28.
A Family Fun Run is scheduled the same day, with registration beginning at 10:30 a.m. There is no cost to participate, but families are asked to bring canned food donations to benefit Northwest Harvest.
To sign up, visit the group’s Facebook page, facebook.com/JlYkidsmarathon2013, where all required forms can be found. You can also contact the Junior League office, 509-966-0930, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even if spring isn’t quite here, you can bring color back into your home with these fun and easy family crafts and cupcakes.
There will be no pinching on St. Patrick’s Day if your kiddo’s wearing this easy DIY sweatshirt. Using foam sheets with a sticky back, cut out the shape of a shamrock. Repeat three times and stick together to add depth to the stamp. Apply a thin layer of fabric paint to the shamrock and then stamp onto the shirt. Repeat with an alternating pattern. Let dry and then wear.
Add zany colors to a regular cake mix, just by separating portions of batter and adding food coloring or gel to each bowl (we have found that kids LOVE to add the color). Then add spoonfuls of each batter to your cupcake tin and bake. Pretty AND delicious.
Mustaches are super trendy right now (even getting a whole month, Movember, named after them). You’ll find them on cups, T-shirts — even the bumpers of cars. If your kids want to get in on the act, then have them make their own! Get a colorful straw (or even a popsicle stick) and different color pieces of felt or card stock. Cut out a mustache pattern either freehand or from the Internet. Glue and let dry. Then hold below your nose and act silly!
By Aubrey Does, Frugal Yakima Mom
Have I ever told you how much I love my iPhone? I more than love it, I luuuuuuurrrvvve it. Over the past year it has basically become an extension of myself. Since myself is frugal, you can bet I’ve found plenty of ways to make it work for me. I’m going to share some of the best ways I have found to save money using my smartphone.
Money Saving Apps
Shopkick. This app allows you to check in when you shop different stores. Recently, I got a $2 Target gift card and saved 15 percent at Old Navy by using this app. You collect “kicks,” which you can turn into a gift card to your favorite store.
Starbucks. If you frequent this coffee joint like my husband and I do, becoming a Gold Rewards member is a must. Come payday, I load money directly from the app onto our phones. We earn freebies and special discounts by paying with our card. And setting the amount ahead of time makes sure we don’t overspend.
Safeway. This store’s app is fantastic. When you pull up the app, it tells you all of the available e-coupons and offers. You load them directly to your card and they’re ready to go.
Amazon Price Check. Using this app, you can scan any item and find out what the price is on Amazon.com.
Old Navy. Let me tell you that this store knows how to make an app! When you download Old Navy’s app, it asks you to scan its logo; then you just get a bunch of coupons and free stuff. I have earned coupons for $5 off any $5 purchase, and another for $5 off a $25 purchase.
Search Engines. There have been plenty of times that we walk into Kohl’s or Children’s Place or some other store and I don’t have my coupon with me. I have searched for the store in Google, pulled up a coupon and used it on my purchase. I have also searched and found free Redbox codes! Heck, I’ve even pulled up my own blog to remind myself which coupon deals went with which grocery store. The possibilities are endless when you have the entire Internet with you.
Lose It! or MyFitnessPal. Instead of paying the monthly membership to Weight Watchers, my husband and I have used free calorie-tracking apps to keep tabs on how much we’re eating. We can also link up to see how the other person is doing. It’s obviously not as extensive as Weight Watchers, but it’s saving us somewhere around $35 a month. We also use the Endomondo app to track workouts.
You don’t have to have a smartphone to save through texting. There are many stores that send text alerts. I choose to keep up with Redbox, Arby’s, A&W, Real Deals on Home Décor, Walgreens and Target.
What is your favorite money-saving app? Leave a comment on Frugal Yakima Mom or Playdate’s Facebook page!
* When she’s not chasing two very busy little boys, Aubrey Does loves drinking coffee and blogging deals. You can read more of her frugal adventures at www.frugalyakimamom.com.
By Tricia Saint Clair
Browsing through the activities in Playdate, I find myself calculating whether I will be able to attend a certain event when it happens. I’m sure I’ll be in town. I’m sure my child would be interested.
What I don’t know right off hand is whether on the day of the event my child will be living with me. This is the predictable quandary of many a divorced parent.
It’s a common enough situation. Half or more of all marriages end in divorce. In my experience, it’s because being married was much more difficult than being single, and in a bad relationship, the rewards of being bound in a legal marriage are nil. Divorce has been mostly a relief to me. Nevertheless, the upheaval of changing from one marital status to the other has its stresses.
So how can you feel so alone when you know that your situation is anything but rare? It’s easy to let that feeling go unattended when you have children with more immediate needs than your own emotional pain. But your own emotions ARE important, and need tending. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation of your lives. And as soon as you can, you must heal enough to provide that.
The way to heal is easier than it might appear. A good therapist or a good book can help you get to a healing place, but ultimately the cure is the same, no matter where you find it, and it’s the same thing you need to give your children. The cure is love and truth.
You need love, and after a divorce it becomes your sole responsibility to love yourself, to heal from the wounds received by the ended marriage. No matter whose shoulder may be there to cry on, in a sense you will always cry alone. And when you do, it is your duty to be kind to yourself. Your former spouse may not have been able to love you, but you can love yourself. You are the only one, in fact, who can do it properly.
And it is no kindness to tell yourself or your children any less than the truth. Not the truths where you spend time blaming yourself, either. Concentrate on the truths that lift you up.
I can only share my own truth, some of which I trust is universal for the divorced. I was almost 30 when I first married. My childhood, teen years and early 20s had prepared me to tolerate a high degree of disappointment, emotional pain and hardship. Marriage had no rude awakenings for me that life had not already delivered.
I knew life could be hard, but still retained the romantic notion that a marriage based on true love would make my burdens easier, would feed my heart with a well-spring of joy, would make me feel strong and better able to deal with life’s dragons. I still think a good marriage with a compatible, caring partner can do that, or what would be the point? But a marriage is much like the Holy Grail from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: while the true grail brings life, a false one takes it FROM you.
So, as it turns out, divorce for me was like removing the False Grail from my lips … or like cutting the strap that tied me to a bobcat in a three-legged race (er, five-legged race?). Forgive my fast-forwarding to the happy ending, but I escaped that race, and I want everyone in that situation to survive as well or better than I did.
So here’s the truth. If you’ve been through a divorce, then you are a survivor, and you deserve a trophy, an awards ceremony and a parade in your honor. You may not get them (I didn’t, at least not two out of the three), but you deserve them. If you’ve divorced and also kept your children fed, clothed and protected from kidnapping, then you are a hero. And if you’ve done it all and never hissed when you heard your former spouse’s name like a vampire at a garlic crucifix, then you are a saint, and I’ll acknowledge you if the Vatican won’t.
The truth is that the marriage, for you, wasn’t a good thing, and divorce is not in and of itself a bad thing, a “broken home.” It also means peace, relief, freedom and empowerment, or chances are you wouldn’t have gone through it.
First notice, and then enjoy those things. Keep your eyes open to what you’ve gained, though the losses seem glaring. You’ve gained so much: the peace that comes from an end to warfare, and an end to a troubled home that didn’t feel right to you, nor to your children. After some time has passed, you will gain certainty, self-reliance, and strength. You’ve gained time that can pass without frequent crises. The life you will lead without an adversary in your home is priceless.
So take heart. You’re here reading Playdate, aren’t you, checking out some fun activities for your kids? And even knowing that you will encounter those happy, intact families, you seek out these things? What a trooper. You want them not only fed and clothed, but laughing and loving life, playing and learning? You’re not only a trooper. You’re not only a survivor. You’re a good parent, honey.
* Tricia Saint Clair is a philosopher, philanthropic volunteer, and stay-at-home mother currently residing in Yakima.
By Dr. David Pommer
As we ponder our New Year’s resolutions from a month ago and slowly consider coming out of hibernation, let’s take a moment to reflect on times we were physically active as youth.
Perhaps it was in organized sports. Or it was a weekly race to catch the ice cream truck before it got to the next block. If you were like me, it may have involved evading dodgeballs while trying not to shriek in terror and lose bladder control.
Whatever your experience, hopefully we can collectively promote memorable physical activity for our kids that will develop into lifelong habits.
Exercise (“physical activity”) recommendations from national groups may be more than you would anticipate. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 45-60 minutes of activity “as many days as possible” (healthychildren.org). The Centers for Disease Control recommends 60 minutes or more every day for kids.
So how can kids come close to making the grade? First, let’s talk about scheduled times for activity, then how to add or “sneak” more activity into other parts of their day.
Time outside is often advantageous. If snow abounds, consider building a snowman or snow fort, cross-country skiing, sledding (and walking back up the hill) or snowshoeing. As the weather warms, transition to playing tag, jumping rope and riding bikes.
Older kids might benefit from the camaraderie of team sports. Try to choose sports with a good aerobic component to them, such as swimming, cross country, soccer and basketball. Check out parks and recreation offerings and the local YMCA.
How can you motivate children without an ice cream truck? For younger kids, denoting times of activity through sticker charting might be a good start. Turning off TVs and all “screens” can be beneficial. Consider imposing a rule that before sedentary activity (i.e. video games or a movie) that there first must be meaningful physical activity. For teens and adults, use a pedometer to count steps (with a goal of 10,000 steps per day) or consider a workout partner. A friend participating in healthy activities can be a great motivator.
Next, how do you “sneak” additional physical activity into a day? My own kids’ preference is to follow a cheeseburger and soda with the accompanying Playland, but I think we can be more creative than that. Walk or bike to a destination rather than drive. If you have a dog, take it on regular brisk walks. Park farther away from the entrance in parking lots and use stairs instead of elevators. Stop by a park or the Yakima Greenway in the midst of errands during the day.
So what memories can you create with your children through healthy activity? What habits do you want to change? Let’s try to resist the lure of the ice cream truck together. Best wishes for an active 2013!
* David Pommer, MD, is a family physician with Selah Family Medicine. He is a graduate of Whitworth University and the University of Washington School of Medicine.
January 17, 2013 by Scott Klepach
It’s party time!
The Yakima Herald-Republic’s 4th annual Playdate Family Expo will take place Sat., March 16, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Yakima Convention Center.
The Playdate Family Expo is named for its companion publication, our own Playdate Magazine. Playdate informs parents about fun and useful activities going on in the area, offers recipes, craft ideas and parenting tips. It’s a joy to see Playdate Family Expo follow suit.
Come see dozens of businesses, organizations and vendors, all under one roof. A variety of stage shows, demonstrations and other educational and fun activities will occur throughout the day.
Expect to be delighted by dancing, music and live interactive comedy, just to name a few highlights. And for the first time ever, Friends of the Village will offer a “Quiet Zone” for children who may need a break from the sights and sounds of the lively event.
This year’s sponsors are Fiesta Foods, Friends of the Village, Solarity Credit Union and Catholic Family & Child Service.
Last year, an estimated 1,500 people came out for the big day. This year event coordinators hope to pack in even more fun.
“I think the Expo is going to be our best yet,” says Lisa Kime, Expo coordinator. “We have a great entertainment schedule, lots of exhibitors and lots of fun for the kids.”
Families can also enjoy face painting, arts and crafts, jumpy houses and concessions. Other highlights include a wealth of resources and information on parenting, family, school and health. And this year, guests (kids and adults!) are encouraged to come dressed as a favorite storybook character … join the Playdate Prince and Princess in the fun!
Ticket prices are $6 adults, $2 youth ages 3-17, free for 2 and younger. This year you can purchase pre-sale tickets for a reduced price: $5 adults, $1 youth ages 3-17, available at the Yakima Herald-Republic, 114 N. 4th St. in Yakima.
The Playdate Family Expo takes place at the Yakima Convention Center, 10 N. 8th St. in Yakima. For more information, contact Lisa at 509-759-7893 or visit www.playdatemagazine.com/familyexpo.
Here’s a list of some of the folks who will be at the Expo (and more are being added every day!)
Friends of the Village
Solarity Credit Union
Catholic Family & Child Service
Achieve Health & Fitness
Allied Arts of Yakima Valley
Apple Valley Dental & Braces
Central Washington Pediatric Dentistry
Central Lutheran Church (Parent Representative Panel)
Central Washington Agricultural Museum
City of Yakima Fire Department
Community Health of Central Washington
Country Kids Early Learning Center
doTERRA | Intuition
East Cascade United Yakima Youth Soccer
Ghormley Meadow Christian Camp
Junior League of Yakima
Lincoln Avenue Medical/Dental YVFW Clinic
Melody Lane Academy
New York Life
Office of Foster Care Licensing — Fostering Together
Premier Design Jewelry
Scentsy Wickless Candles
St. Joseph/Marquette Catholic School
St. Paul Cathedral School
United Healthcare Community Plan
Waddell & Reed
Wags to Riches Animal Rescue
West Valley Fire Department
Yakima Divorce Care
Yakima Neighborhood Health
Yakima Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross
Yakima Valley Farmworkers Clinic
Yakima Valley Hearing & Speech
Story by Scott Klepach, Jr.
Photos courtesy of Cristina Navarro
It’s difficult enough to be away from family at any point during the year, especially during a holiday or special occasion.
For military families, though, the distance is felt immeasurably more, when a spouse and parent is separated from family by thousands of miles in an unsafe zone during times of war.
Some troops get to come home for a much-needed reprieve. Some families can never bridge that gulf once tragedy strikes.
This is the story of one local military family, and a chronicle of their reunion.
Cristina Navarro is a Yakima mom of three children, whose husband, Lee Navarro, is an Army soldier. Lee was deployed to Iraq from August 2008 to August 2009, and with extra time spent in training, he was away from the family for a total of 15 months.
On Aug. 14, 2008, when Cristina was pregnant with twins — and just two days before Lee left the U.S. — the couple married. The wedding was during Cristina’s 30-minute lunch break from a local retail store where she was working at the time.
“That’s something I’m going to love to tell the kids,” she says.
The twins, Sophia and Robert, were born in October that same year.
Part of Lee’s time away was during the Christmas season, so Cristina, 21, began a daily winter tradition. She created paper chain links to put on the tree for their kids, including their nephew Shadow, who the couple helped raise. This paper chain link served as a countdown for the family to see how many days remained before Lee came home to visit. Each night they would rip off a link.
“I remember how hard it was for my husband when he was away, and that helped him, too,” says Cristina. “I was lucky to have contact with my husband often.” The couple could typically communicate four days a week on the telephone or via Skype or email.
“It was hard but made him realize how close he was to being home even if it would only be for two weeks,” Cristina says.
She and the kids also kept busy creating care packages for Lee and his friends, always theme-based and even custom made. One gift was a Christmas tree that boosted the soldiers’ morale.
“They told me the smell took them home,” says Cristina. The packages to Lee always included photos, notes and treats, all of which the kids helped decorate.
When the twins were born, Lee couldn’t make it home to be there. Cristina couldn’t even get the message out to him in time, before she went into delivery suddenly at 37 weeks. But Lee was able to call her the next day.
“When he heard them crying, he started crying,” Cristina says. That call was interrupted by sudden motor attacks where he was stationed, and he couldn’t contact her again for another week.
Eventually he was able to come home, if only for a while.
“He held the babies so carefully,” Cristina says. “My husband’s a big fellow and they were still small.”
Christina’s last pregnancy was unexpected, and the couple found out the news the day before Lee had to return to Iraq to serve for another seven months in 2009. Cristina remembers Lee not wanting to leave, knowing he was looking forward to helping out, and had already been getting practice changing diapers and making bottles.
“I remember the night before he left, I helped him pack and I was folding his socks,” Cristina says. “I was crying, rubbing my belly and trying my hardest to tackle those socks. I didn’t realize until I was on my last pair that Lee was taking them out of his rucksack and refolding them. I remember being a bit hysterical, saying that I couldn’t even fold the socks the right way. What kind of Army wife was I going to be?”
When Lee, now 25, finally came home for good, Cristina was seven months’ pregnant with daughter Mia, and Sophia and Robert were not yet a year old.
“He was able to see what he missed before. I know it was bittersweet for him,” says Cristina. “I went through everything alone and it was hard on him.”
Lee was there for Mia’s birth, who was born the month after he returned. So far, Lee has only been deployed once, but remains “on call,” as Cristina calls it, which means he could get sent out at any point.
“I can say without a doubt that if or when he leaves again I will be prepared,” says Cristina. Although Shadow no longer lives with them, they have their hands full with the twins and Mia, now 4 and 3 respectively.
The kids are now old enough to ask what Lee does in the Army — which they pronounce “awe-mee,” — and if “he’ll be home in five minutes, or if he will take them to a park when he comes home,” says Cristina.
“They love telling me we are Army strong, and we are.”
Despite the separation and the “firsts” the family missed out on together, Cristina says she would do it all over again if she had the chance.
“I am proud of my husband and proud of all the past, present and fallen troops,” she says. “The loved ones left behind serve, too, when their loved ones go. It’s tough and not everyone survives, but my husband doesn’t fight because he hates what’s in front of him, but because he loves what’s behind him.”
How you can help and get help
Cristina says Operation Christmas Tree is no longer in service, but there are other ways to send gifts to troops. Here are a few options.
“Adopt a U.S. Soldier.” This program allows anyone to become a soldier’s pen pal or send care packages. 7440 S. Blackhawk St., Suite 15-106, Englewood, Colo., 80112. adoptaussoldier.org
“Adopt a Platoon.” This program screens givers beforehand. “They call the supporter,” says Cristina, “and then match them up with single or married deployed troops so that a single person doesn’t write to a married one just in case that is uncomfortable for anyone.” Donations can be sent to AdoptaPlatoon Soldier Support Effort, P.O. Box 234, Lozano, Texas, 78568-0234. adoptaplatoon.org
“Military Significant Others and Spouse Support.” This is where significant others of troops can go to find support. Through this organization, Cristina says she has formed many bonds with other military wives and significant others. militarysos.com
Story and photos by Suzanne Voldman
“Your son is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. You must practice ‘strict avoidance.’ He must have two doses of epinephrine with him at all times. He is at risk for anaphylaxis.”
Those are the words that changed our lives two years ago. Our pediatric allergist gave us a book, some pamphlets and a 5-minute Epi-pen training. He gave us a prescription for Epi-pens and sent us on our way.
By the time we made it to the parking lot, I was sobbing. The words were sinking in and I knew our life had changed forever. My husband, who was still not really sure what had just happened, seemed confused by my emotional reaction. I knew he didn’t really “get it” yet, but the scary reality of the situation sank in for him, too, over the next few weeks as we both educated ourselves on managing life-threatening food allergies.
The diagnosis was in such a matter-of-fact manner that it was hard to comprehend the profound impact it would have on all aspects of our life. The word “anaphylaxis” loomed heavy on my mind. Most people understand that anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause death, but for me this word was very real.
The previous year I had seen my mother hospitalized after suffering an anaphylactic drug reaction. She was put on a ventilator for a week and despite the predictions of her doctors, she suffered no brain damage. She recovered, but the future for Abe, my then 18-month-old son, looked terrifying.
I read everything I could about food allergies. I found many online communities that shared valuable information and the empathy and support that none of my friends or family could really give to me. Most of all I desperately wanted to talk to someone personally who understood.
I contacted two friends I had known in high school who had children with food allergies. I wanted someone to tell me the secret to dealing with the fear and anxiety that a food allergy diagnosis brings. They gave tips and advice, sharing ideas about how to deal with birthday parties and pointing out “safe” restaurants and products.
Ultimately, each shared the same advice distilled in this way: “Your son deserves to live his life fully. Do the very best you can to keep him safe by educating yourself and everyone else around you. You will get tired of repeating yourself with friends and family, but that is what you need to do. Don’t let the fear rule your life. Pray.”
While I was still in the pit of grief, this advice seemed rather simplistic and it left me feeling rather helpless. Is this really all I could do? They had been dealing with this for a long time; surely there was some other secret to managing this new life? It took months and months for me to appreciate and understand the wisdom they had shared.
As I researched more, I began to feel somewhat lucky that the only allergies we faced were peanuts and tree nuts. I learned that many people deal with multiple food allergies that severely restrict their diets. Our diets were more limited than one would suspect, however, because although it is easy to remove nuts and nut butters from a diet, “cross contamination” from nut products during the production process makes many more products dangerous.
Foods like ice cream, bakery items and most chocolate became off-limits because the cross contamination risk was too high.
I learned about the real risk of “cross contamination” when my son developed mild hives after eating a pancake mix. There were no nuts listed in the ingredients, but after a call to the manufacturer I discovered that the production line used for the pancake mix was also used for a trail mix containing almonds. “Cross contamination” had been a vague, unlikely concept before this. It is really difficult to imagine that such miniscule particles can be life-threatening, but that incident made it a very real and believable concept. This constant level of scrutiny and fear can make food feel like an enemy.
I was just starting to come to terms with our situation a month after the initial diagnosis when Abe had another reaction to tangerines. The next few months led to new reactions and more rounds of testing. Six months after our initial nut and tree nut allergy diagnosis, Abe had been diagnosed with allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (including peas and lentils), peaches, pineapple, kiwi, oranges, tangerines and lemons. I was now one of the “multiple food allergy” moms I had felt sorry for only months before.
I researched obsessively. I talked to other families in online support communities. I read articles, blogs and books that gave tips about reading labels and cooking for children with allergies. I got a lot of answers, but for those six months I became obsessed with questions. Would his grandparents understand and be willing to keep him safe? How will we ever have a playdate? Would we ever be able to leave him with a baby sitter? How will he ride the bus safely? Will I trust his teachers to understand and keep him safe? How will he go to school safely? When he becomes a teenager will he be able to protect himself? Will I make a mistake?
The questions I had were difficult and during that time felt overwhelming. Over the next year and a half I have come to terms with those questions. Most of them have no real answers. My friends’ advice has echoed in my mind. I get it now. This is what I have to do. I don’t like it. I wish it was different. A life of “strict avoidance” is not convenient, and it’s not fun sometimes. Our lives revolve around food, and almost every social situation will involve food.
There are lots of misconceptions about food allergies. I do get tired of repeating the same information and answering the same questions, but those questions are important because the answers I give keep my son safe. Awareness keeps him safe. Teaching others about food allergies is my responsibility now. Every day I work to let go of my anxiety and refuse to let fear rule my life.
My son is probably going to live with this condition for life. I am showing him how to ‘live fully’ with this challenge. I want him to be safe, not live in fear. We try to focus on the food we can eat instead of focusing on food we miss. We eat good, healthy food that makes us happy and is safe for all of us. As parents, we want to be the role models that show him how to advocate for himself without apology or shame. We need to show him how to manage social situations with grace so that as he enters adolescence he feels comfortable doing it himself.
I have also come to terms with the fear that I will make a mistake. I will. I have. It will probably happen again. Part of living with food allergies is knowing this fact and being prepared to deal with it effectively, and so I pray. I pray for the courage and strength to do all of this with grace for myself and others.
The simple advice my friends had given me months before was, in fact, my new strategy for life with food allergies: “Eat, Read, Teach, Pray.”
* Suzanne Voldman is the mother of two boys. She is is a food allergy advocate and runs a local non-profit group that promotes cloth diapering.
Food Allergy resources
Allergic Living magazine. First started in Canada, the U.S. version of Allergic Living kicked off in 2010, and features food allergy and asthma news, personal stories, tips, medical information and recipes. allergicliving.com
Food Allergies for Dummies. By Robert A. Wood, MD. An accessible, thorough book on food allergies. Part of the “For Dummies” series, published in 2007. $19.99 in paperback.
The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN). The website offers a wealth of information on all major food allergies and includes a link to a useful pamphlet called “The Peanut Answer Book.” A toll-free number is available any time of day or night if parents need to call to ask questions. foodallergy.org
Kids with Food Allergies. A nonprofit organization that promotes and develops plans for children with food allergies to live nutritious and healthy lives. The group focuses on educating the public about food allergies and providing networking to those with food allergies. kidswithfoodallergies.org
How to Manage Your Child’s Life Threatening Food Allergies: Practical Tips For Everyday Life. By Linda Marienhoff Cross. Another acclaimed and helpful resource book, first published in 2004. $16.95 in paperback.
Mayo Clinic. The website lists the eight most common food allergies and their symptoms. These food allergies are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat. The site also provides tips on reading labels properly and how to allergy-proof your house. mayoclinic.com/health/food-allergies/AA00057
The Nut-Free Mom blog. Jenny Kales runs one of the most popular and informative blogs on the subject of peanut and tree nut allergies. nut-freemom.com
WAFEAST — Washington Food Allergy, Eczema, and Asthma Support Team. Based in Seattle, WAFEAST provides networking, support groups and education for those dealing with food allergies, asthmas and other concerns. wafeast.org
Y-FAST — Yakima Food Allergy/Intolerance Support Team. Brand-new food allergy/intolerance support group in Yakima. Stay tuned for resources, events, and connecting opportunities. Playdate magazine will offer updates.
By Lacy Heinz
As 2013 approaches, I find myself getting nostalgic. It will be 13 years since I graduated from college, 18 years since I graduated from high school and 35 years since my birth.
As much as I have been looking forward to the coming year and what it will mean for me, I have found myself reflecting more on what it will mean for my children. What milestones are in store for them? How will they grow? How can I help them? As my parents predicted, I am getting to the point in life where “someday you’ll understand” is actually today.
For instance, I understand the value of money. It was like watching money literally fly down the drain when my 3-year-old daughter poured my salon-splurge shampoo out to make bubbles for her rubber duck. “Do you know how many Starbucks treats that could have been?” I found myself grinding out through clenched teeth when I realized the situation. Images of lost coffee stand treats blended with hours sitting at the computer cranking out adoption paperwork for my clients.
In that moment, I realized that my first-born baby wasn’t quite a baby anymore and could start learning a real connection between hard work and everything that we enjoy. New school shirts, coloring books, fresh food and, yes, even shampoo, come from the hours Daddy and I put into our jobs. I never knew the time for that discussion would come so soon.
Realizing I was actually upset about the sweet-scented bubbles bathing the shower floor, my girl looked at me and said, “I’m sorry, Mama. I’ll never do it again!” While those words were meant to bring me comfort, I could not tell if my daughter actually understood their meaning. Was it already time for a talk about the value of kindness and understanding how actions affect other people?
As her preschool teacher has said, my daughter is exceedingly polite. She says “please,” “thank you,” and “I’m sorry” by rote when circumstances demand it. However, “I’m sorry. I’ll never do it again!” does not necessarily acknowledge the effect of wasting another person’s overly pricey organic hair treatment. Or how someone feels when he or she is knocked down on the playground. Or when the last birthday cupcake is eaten.
So as I toweled off my little girl, we talked for a few minutes about how to respond meaningfully when other people are upset. It was not our first talk about feelings, and it will not be our last. But it was an important one, as I could tell she was able to understand more than ever before.
Predictably, the last part of this scenario involves love. My absolute, all-encompassing, nearly terrifying love for my children. I now understand, as I was promised I “someday” would, how much a parent can love a child. I always struggle with mindful parenting in the moment. I was genuinely dismayed by the loss of my fancy shampoo. I clenched my teeth. I huffed and chuffed. We had life lessons on money, hard work and kindness. Then this little person, my perfect little person, wrapped her arms around me while we put fuzzy jammies on before bed, and I couldn’t believe I cared about that dumb shampoo for even a second.
I guess maybe that is the ultimate lesson: that we huff and puff, teach respect and kindness because we love them this much. These lightning quick moments of complete and fulfilling love for our children are what keep us going, muddling through the teaching moments.
In 2013, my shampoo-dumper will turn 4 and my mischievous, table-climbing baby boy will turn 2. There will undoubtedly be bigger messes, unkind words exchanged, fights over toys and other little battles that come with the toddler years. There may even be bigger worries — financial woes, grief and loss, struggles at work — really disruptive things that can create family hardship. But, despite what may come, I am confident that our family will be OK because I know the secret: that our children get us through these life lessons. Our pure, visceral love for them. Our need to teach and protect them. Our desire to keep going day after day, just to see them get bigger and stronger and wiser.
So here’s to another year of parenting, another 52 weeks of baby kisses, 365 days of setting limits, and 8,766 hours of loving them with all we’ve got. Cheers.
* Lacy Heinz is a Mom with a capital M who loves to read, root for the Oregon Ducks, and do a little legal work when time and preschoolers permit.
By Dr. David Pommer
As a physician, I get a lot of junk mail. I shudder at the number of rain forests that have been clear-cut so that I can receive glossy brochures of new medicines and esoteric conferences.
Most of the mail hits the recycling bin unread. As I skimmed one magazine recently before its inevitable freefall, I read about a consultant who explained how physicians can see 10 patients per hour. Ten patients per hour? I laughed out loud. I’m lucky if I can see three or four.
Fortunately, I have not had those kinds of expectations placed on me. But your doctor may be under pressure to see more patients and spend less time with each patient. How do you maximize the available time? Here are some tips to keep in mind for that next office visit.
First, let your provider know within the first minute or two what your priorities are. I don’t want to spend 15 minutes talking about toenail fungus, and then find out your child was in the emergency room last week for a seizure. Consider making a list of what you want to address, and share that early in the visit. Be flexible about having everything addressed. You and your doctor can determine the top priorities and hit the high points that day.
Second, bring outside records and prescriptions with you. What happened in the emergency room? And what exactly was that good-tasting pink medicine you were prescribed? This will also save time for nurses, so that they are not playing phone tag with other hospitals or clinics to get old records. By supplying your care team important information, the best decisions on future care plans can be made.
Third, use the art of paraphrasing. This is a two-way street. A good physician will briefly summarize what you’ve told him or her and “check for understanding.” As a parent, you should similarly try to paraphrase your provider’s diagnosis and treatment plan in a sentence or two at the end of the visit. This will give the provider an opportunity to clarify any element that wasn’t communicated clearly.
Fourth, be on time. I know what you’re thinking: why do I have to be on time, but the doctor is almost never on time? I try to apologize readily when I am running late, which is more often that I would like. But if you show up 10 minutes late for a 15-minute visit, that doesn’t provide us much time to address your needs.
Fifth, please limit technology. If you are answering a phone call or texting when we are talking, it makes it more difficult to obtain the information I need so we can make the best plan for your child.
Finally, and this should go without saying, try to see your own provider. Continuity of care is a hallmark of family medicine and makes for the best medicine. Do your best to see your own primary care provider whether it is for preventative care or an urgent visit.
That is, unless they happen to be at a nice conference in Hawaii. Now where did I put that glossy brochure, anyway?
* David Pommer is a family physician at Selah Family Medicine. He is married with three children. It did take him more than six minutes to write this story.
November 21, 2012 by Scott Klepach
A brand-new ice skating rink has come to town.
Chalet Place Ice rink, which opened Nov. 14. It features a small rink made from sheets of polyethylene, which isn’t cold and doesn’t require refrigeration or electricity, allowing for the possibility of a year-round outdoor skating rink.
“Come July,” says Frank Hieber, co-owner of Incline LLC, which operates Chalet Place Ice Rink, “you might see people in shorts and tank tops skating next to the shaved ice area.”
The cost of admission is $5 per person, which includes a skate rental. If you already have your skates, the cost is $4. There is an unlimited amount of time within the hours of operation, which is 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.
Chalet Place Ice Rink is located in the Chalet Place shopping center at 56th Ave. and Summitview Ave., Yakima.
Check out their Facebook page at Chalet Place Ice Rink.
November 15, 2012 by Scott Klepach
By Aubrey Does
Frugal Yakima Mom
The weather has cooled and Halloween is over, which means the season for buying gifts is here. Hopefully these simple tips will take some of the stress away from all of the cost associated with the holidays.
The first and most important thing to do is to make a list of the people you will need to purchase gifts for and your approximate budget for each person. When you make your list, be realistic and decide on amounts that are attainable without having you go into debt.
Once I set my budget amounts for each person, I work really, really hard to try to come in as far under that number as possible. This doesn’t mean that I get cheap gifts, I just try to get as good a deal as possible on the item.
So how do I save on the actual gifts?
The answer is any way I possibly can. I am a huge fan of Black Friday and often save a lot of money just by braving the crowds. Shopping online during the holiday season is a big part of my savings, also. In-store be aware of special coupons.
Keep an eye on the ads, know what you’re looking for and buy it when the price dips.
Don’t wait until December to start thinking about the financial side of Christmas. It’s no surprise that it comes every year but somehow many families end up going into debt over the holiday.
Come January, they get a depressing credit card bill that makes for a bleak start to the new year. Plan ahead and put a little aside from each paycheck! Also, check big toy clearances throughout the year and stockpile your gifts for the holiday.
So there you have it! Probably nothing new to all of you frugal shoppers, but maybe some of you needed permission to spend less this year. I have already started to share great deals for gift items on my blog – you can check it out at frugalyakimamom.com
Together we can help keep each other from overspending and focus on the importance of the season!
* When she’s not chasing two very busy little boys, Aubrey Does loves drinking coffee and blogging deals. You can read more of her frugal adventures at www.frugalyakimamom.com.
November 7, 2012 by Scott Klepach
There’s nothing bizarre about having so many great bazaars in November and December. Our chronological list should help you plan to make it to all of them, if you so choose!
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8
Harvest Bazaar and Dinner. 4:30-7:30 p.m. Homemade crafts, baked goods. Tieton Presbyterian Church, 740 Franklin Rd., Tieton. Contact: Amanda at 509-952-1978.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10
Ahtanum Pioneer Church Holiday Bazaar. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Local crafters and home businesses, holiday gift items, homemade pies, caramel corn and candy. Coffee and pie for sale. Located in the Ark at 8500 Ahtanum Rd. in Yakima; 509-969-5217.
Annual Pink Ribbon Bazaar and Luncheon. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. More than 40 vendors. Raffle items. Selah Civic Center, 216 S. First St., Selah. Contact: Sharon at 509-575-6600.
Christmas in the Nile Craft Faire Bazaar. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Holiday gifts, pine need baskets, hand-crafted stocking caps, hand-sewn items, hand-crafted jewelry, bake sale and lunch. Nile Community Club Building, 1891 Nile Rd., Goose Prairie, Wash.
Christmas of Hope Holiday Bazaar. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. More than 45 vendors, with special guests, plus music from Yakima Flute Troupe. Glenwood Square, 5110 Tieton Drive, Yakima. Contact Nora: 509-833-2739.
Holiday Treasures Christmas Bazaar. 9 a.m.-2 p.m., with lunch served 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Start with coffee and cinnamon rolls and then crafts, baked goods, and gourmet items. Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 327 E. Edison, Sunnyside.
Holly Jolly Bazaar. 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Hand-crafted items, children’s booth. Raffles and lunch served all day. Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 1112 W. Fremont, Selah. Contact: Cathie at 509-697-3046.
Holy Redeemer Holiday Bazaar. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Variety of vendors, homemade decorations, jewelry, linens, baked goods. Snacks and lunch available for purchase during the day. Holy Redeemer Church, 102 W. Pierce St., Yakima. Contact Tammy after 6 p.m. at 509-853-8937.
New Hope Chapel Holiday Bazaar. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Local vendors and hand-crafted items, a Scentsy consultant and a church bake sale. New Hope Chapel, 2007 Cornell Ave., Union Gap.
Selah Nazarene Women’s Ministry Annual Bazaar. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Many vendors and items. Selah Nazarene Church, 401 N. First St., Selah; 509-697-4342.
Selah United Methodist Church Bazaar. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Dishes, crafts, needlework, quilts, children’s toys, pet items, puzzles and books. Prizes and baked goods. Free coffee. Selah United Methodist Church, 1061 Selah Loop Rd., Selah.
Sunnyside Presbyterian Church County Blessings Bazaar. 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Baked goods, creative items. With raffle and lunch. Sunnyside Presbyterian Church, 737 S. 16th St., Sunnyside.
Union Gap Senior Center Thanksgiving/Christmas. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., with stew feed from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Cost: $5 adults, $2.50 kids 10 and under. Vendor items and handmade items to be raffled. Union Gap Senior Center, 1000 Ahtanum Rd., Union Gap; 509-248-2668.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17
BBDA Bazaar. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. More than 40 vendors. John Campbell Elementary School Sunset Gym, 408 N. 1st St., Selah. Contact: Anita at 509-594-2041.
Caring for Kids Bazaar and Luncheon. 9 a.m.-3 p.m., with lunch served 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Gift items, chiildren’s activity table, baked goods, books and jewelry. Presented by Daughters of the Nile. Englewood Christian Church, 511 N. 44th Ave., Yakima; 509-966-6550.
Holy Family Holiday Festival. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Come see more than 100 craft tables, along with lunch, espresso bar and raffles. Holy Family Queens Gym, on the corner of 56th and W. Chestnute avenues in Yakima.
Kittitas County Farmers’ Market – Holiday Market Event. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, eggs, breads, baked goods, pickles and jams, tea, herbs and sauces, cupcakes, nuts and candy. Holiday decorations and a variety of art. Hal Holmes Center, 209 N. Ruby St., Ellensburg; 509-899-3870.
Tree Top Annual Holiday Bazaar. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Selah Civic Center, 216 S. First St., Selah. Contact: Jessica Barry at 509-698-1546.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24
Winter Bazaar. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Crafts and home-based businesses. Lunch will be served. Selah Civic Center, 216 S. First St., Selah. Contact Joelle at 509-833-3482.
Yakima Evangelical Church Annual Bazaar. 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m., with Santa from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Live DJ and vendors. Yakima Evangelical Church, 80th and Nob Hill Blvd., Yakima. Contact: 509-941-8645.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 30 – SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2
Annual Merry Makings Crafts Fair. Nov. 30: 12-8 p.m.; Dec. 1: 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Dec. 2: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Come see the Lighted Implement Parade and homemade and hand-crafted items. Mid Valley Mall, 2010 Yakima Valley Highway, Sunnyside. Contact Nancy at 509-528-5107.
Mighty Tieton Holiday Craft Bazaar. The event features handmade crafts, antique items and food. Come see the chandeliers, the annual tree lighting and Santa. The bazaar runs 5-8:30 p.m. Nov. 30, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 1 and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 2. Mighty Tieton Warehouse is located at 608 Wisconsin Ave. in Tieton. Call 509-847-3034 for more details.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1
American Legion Christmas Bazaar. 9 a.m.- 3 p.m., with soup and salad bar from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. American Legion Auxilary #36, 1120 N. 34th Ave., Yakima. Call Linda at 509-248-3194 or Betty at 509-248-5642.
Christmas Bazaar and Bake Sale. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Hand-crafted gift items. Pictures with Santa for $4. Tree of Life Lutheran Church, 410 N. 37th St. in Terrace Heights.
Christmas of Hope Holiday Bazaar. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. More than 45 vendors, with special guests, plus Toys for Tots. Glenwood Square, 5110 Tieton Drive, Yakima. Contact Nora: 509-833-2739.
VFW & Eagles FOE Joint Holiday Bazaar. 9 a.m.-4 p.m., with lunch served at 11 a.m. Yakima Eagles, 307 W. Chestnut, Yakima. Contact Kellie (VFW) at 509-697-4338 or Sharon (FOE) at 509-248-3564.
Wesley United Methodist Church Bazaar. 9 a.m.-2 p.m., with lunch served from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., with homemade pie, soup, and sandwiches. Homemade items, baked goods, candy, Redware (embroidery), and fresh Christmas swags. Wesley United Methodist Church, 14 N. 48th Ave., Yakima; 509-966-2370.
Zillah Annual Christmas Bazaar. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Zillah Civic Center, 119 First Ave., Zillah.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7
Woman’s Century Club Open House. 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Soup and bread luncheon and bazaar. Cost: $10. Woman’s Century Club, 304 N. Second St., Yakima; 509-453-3921.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8
Catholic Daughters of America Bazaar. 8:30-11 a.m. Breakfast with Santa. Bring your camera for photos with Santa. Cost: $4 children 3-11, $7 ages 12 and up. Holy Family Church, 5315 Tieton Drive, Yakima. Contact: 509-910-1691 or 509-453-4262.
Winter Bazaar. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Crafts and home-based businesses. Lunch will be served. Selah Civic Center, 216 S. First St., Selah. Contact Joelle at 509-833-3482.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14 – SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15
Christmas Bazaar at Winter Lodge at Cultural Heritage Center. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Hand-crafted native jewelry, art, holiday decorations, baked goods. Yakama Nation Cultural Center, Spiel-yi Loop and Buster Road, Toppenish. Contact Kiona at 509-930-3752 or 509-930-8510.
Now you can eat for two or three people at Thanksgiving and not feel quite as guilty about it.
That is, if you follow up those meals by participating in Camp Prime Time’s annual Leftover Turkey Trot, set for 10 a.m. Nov. 24 at the Yakima Greenway.
This 5K walk or run (or hobble-while-you-gobble … I don’t think anyone would really mind) will help you lose those calories while gaining funds for Camp Prime Time.
The cost is $20 for adults and $7 for children 10 and under. The fee includes a T-shirt. Call 509-453-8280 for more information, or visit campprimetime.org.
Text and photo by Robin Salts Beckett
(Recipe courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen “The Best Simple Recipes”)
Fall to me is all about comfort food, and this recipes fits the bill. Creamy, rich and yet so easy to put together, this riff on a chicken pot pie is a knockout any day of the week.
1 rotisserie chicken, skin discarded, meat shredded nito bite-sized pieces (about 3 cups)
2 (5.2 oz.) packages Coursin cheese, ?crumbled
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Salt and pepper
4 scallions, sliced thin
1 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Directions Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Heat chicken, Boursin, 1/4 cup cream, 3/4 cup broth, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, scallions and vegetables in pot over medium heat, stirring often, until cheese is melted and mixture is heated through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to greased 13 by 9-inch baking dish.
Meanwhile combine flour, baking powder, cheddar, remaining cream, remaining broth, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in bowl. Space heaping spoonfuls of batter (about 2 tablespoons each) about 1/2 inch apart over chicken mixture (you will have about 20 biscuits). Bake until biscuits are golden brown and filling is bubbling, about 20 minutes. Serve.
By David Pommer, MD
Allow me to present a familiar scene. Imagine you and your significant other are about to take a trip after months of planning. Tickets have been purchased, reservations have been made and bags are packed. The night before departure, your toddler develops a cough. You might be asking yourself, “Why now and what should I do?”
When I first see children with a cough, I often ask questions about other aspects of their health. Do they have a significant fever? How is their appetite? How is their energy level? If these areas are abnormal, my ears perk up: this child may be fairly sick.
Next, I may ask about duration of the cough. Did this start a day or two ago? If the answer is yes, I may lean toward this being a self-limited viral upper respiratory infection. If the cough has persisted for multiple weeks, I may give stronger consideration to pertussis, bronchitis, asthma or other maladies.
Let me walk you through some of the things I look for during an exam that you can look for at home without a stethoscope. Initially, I try to determine if a child is very sick (and perhaps needs to be in the hospital) or if he or she is just feeling a bit under the weather.
If a child is experiencing abnormal breathing, we call this respiratory distress. Here are some signs that your child may be in respiratory distress. First, their nostrils may be flaring in and out due to rapid breathing. The child also may grunt when trying to breathe. When you look at the skin between the ribs, it may move in-and-out quickly; we call these retractions. The fingers and toes may have a bluish hue, suggesting the child is not getting good oxygenation to the extremities. These are all reasons to be seen right away at an emergency room.
I mentioned earlier about appetite and energy level. If a baby or toddler can’t feed well because of difficulty breathing, that is a red flag. A significant decrease in wet diapers suggests dehydration. Finally, if a child is lethargic and difficult to arouse, that is another reason to be seen right away.
For kids with milder symptoms, a question I hear often is will cough medicine help? The answer will vary by physician, but I would say in most cases that cough medicines are not particularly helpful. You would think with the amount of over-the-counter medications available they would be very helpful, but that has not been found to be the case. And in toddlers, some cold medications are no longer made because of adverse reactions.
Sometimes a child can have a significant and persistent cough and when you take them to see a doctor you don’t leave with an antibiotic prescription in hand. That is because many causes of cough do not warrant an antibiotic. Viral upper respiratory infections, RSV (respiratory synctial virus), and bronchitis don’t respond to antibiotics. When you don’t receive an antibiotic, please resist the urge to think negative thoughts about your provider; medical professionals truly have your best interests in mind.
So let’s reconsider the article’s headline: When should you see a doctor for a cough? Long duration, fever, lethargy, poor oral intake and respiratory distress are good reasons to pay a doctor a visit. For less severe and mild symptoms, it might be wise to stick to ensuring adequate rest and good hydration for a few days. If the symptoms don’t improve on their own a visit may be warranted. And if you read last issue’s installment on immunizations, thanks for being immunized against pertussis and the flu; I won’t get to see you quite as much.
David Pommer, MD, is a family physician with Selah Family Medicine. He is a graduate of Whitworth University and the University of Washington School of Medicine.