Friends of Tryon Creek Nature Day Camps Giveaway

April 17, 2014

Win 1 free week of Nature Discovery (children ages 4 and 5) or Explorers (K-1) half-day Camps or 1 free week of Wildlife Rangers full-day camps (grades 1-5).  Friends of Tryon Creek (FOTC) camps are a fun way for kids to actively challenge their minds and bodies and use their creativity and imaginations in a natural setting. Each camp offers unique, age-appropriate activities that expose children to new and exciting outdoor adventures in a safe and friendly environment.  

Continue reading and enter to win here!

WEEKEND & EASTER WARRIORS - APRIL 18-20, 2014

April 16, 2014

Here’s the scoop for the weekend -- including some fun events to celebrate Easter. For more ideas on what to do this weekend, check the Events Calendar on Metro Parent's PDX Kids Calendar and the urbanMamas calendar page.

Ladybug Nature Walks at Kenton Park. Ladybug Walks are perfect for preschoolers and parents who want to explore nature in Portland's parks with trained preschool naturalists. Children are guided along the trails of various parks in all corners of the city by an Environmental Educator. Walks go at just the right pace and introduce children to forests, water, insects, plants and animals. Friday 10am. $4 per preschooler, no charge for adults.


Aaron Nigel Smith and One World Chorus in Lake Oswego. Wonderful family-friendly music. Friday 7-8pm. $5 suggested donation.

Urbanmamas & Popina Swimwear Fashion Show and Mama's Night Out>! Come grab a glass, watch a fashion show and find that perfect suit for the summer! Popina is offering 25% off all suits purchased at the event. Friday 7pm. $5 at the door.

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Giveaway: The Little Rascals Save the Day Blu-Ray/ DVD

April 10, 2014

LRSTDEnter to win 1 of 2 copies of a Blu-Ray/ DVD combo pack of the movie The Little Rascals Save the Day! Click over to our giveaway tab to enter!

WEEKEND WARRIORS - APRIL 11-13, 2014

April 09, 2014

Here’s the scoop for the weekend. For more ideas on what to do this weekend, check the Events Calendar on Metro Parent's PDX Kids Calendar and the urbanMamas calendar page.

Portland Canstruction® Event at Pioneer Place benefiting the Oregon Food Bank. An annual art show, design competition, and food drive all rolled into one, Canstruction® raises hunger awareness by challenging teams of architects, engineers, and construction personnel to create larger-than-life pop art masterpieces made entirely out of unopened cans of food. The structures will be on display and open to the public on both sides of Pioneer Place, April 7-13, M-F, 10am-8pm, Sun 11am-6pm.

Weekly Storytime + Craft Activity at The Craft Factory. Listen to picture books while crafting the morning away at The Craft Factory's weekly Friday morning storytime. Friday 10:30am. The storytime is free for all ages, though geared toward toddlers and pre-schoolers.

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uM & Popina Swimwear Fashion Show

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Grab your girlfriends & RSVP on our FB event page!

"Mama: Why can't I go to the petting zoo?"

April 08, 2014

Some schools or daycares just don't let up on the endless "optional" offerings: the pizza party for $7, the school tee for $10 or the petting zoo for $5.  Then, there are larger requests: yearbooks for elemtary kids for $30 or a mid-week family camping trip for $100 per adult (so, wait: I'm going to pay for daycare, then I will take days off from work, and then I will pay still for my kid to go camping then for me to camp with him? Holy wow).  I cannot keep up; these costs add up across multiple kidlets.

While this is the reality, it can be sad.  Tonight, my boy said: "Mama, why can't I go to the petting zoo?"  Well, we just don't have another $5 for you to pet the goats that they are bringing into the school yard tomorrow.  

Sad face.

What else are you going to do? 

Happy No Housework Day?

April 07, 2014

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Denise on BlogHer's Facebook page announced, "Happy No Housework Day!" Not that she is celebrating the day properly. Not that I am any one to judge.

I've had my own very (very very very) tortured relationship with housework. On one hand I love housework; I said once that every essay I write could begin, "I am washing the dishes. I am washing the dishes again." And in this daily task is often a kind of meditative calm that I desperately long for when I'm too busy to wash the dishes (or too busy to wash the dishes contemplatively).

Today is such a day. Too busy for housework, though indeed I will do some, I suppose, thank goodness I have people in life who take so much of the load from me. I can never decide, do I love to do housework? Do I value creating more; writing and painting colors on walls and growing things in the garden?

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Seeking Science Project Tips & Tricks

April 04, 2014

It's that time of year at many schools: science project season.  We are trying to start early in this household, so we don't get into the proctrastination situation.  My 10-year old and her project partner are getting together soon to "brainstorm" ideas.  

Last year: we had done "which bubble gum brand blows the biggest bubble?"  A fun and silly question pursued in the scientific method.

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What projects have you done in the past?  We are collecting ideas!

Giveaway: VillaSport Athletic Club and Spa

VillaSport Athletic Club and Spa is giving away a $100 giftcard to a lucky uM reader! Head over to the giveaway tab to read the details and enter to win. Good luck!

WEEKEND WARRIORS - April 4-6, 2014

April 02, 2014

Here’s the scoop for the weekend. For more ideas on what to do this weekend, check the Events Calendar on Metro Parent's PDX Kids Calendar and the urbanMamas calendar page.

Ladybug Nature Walks at Gabriel Park. For preschoolers and parents who want to explore nature in Portland's parks. Children are guided along the trails at just the right pace and introduce children to forests, water, insects, plants and animals. Friday 10am. $4/child.

Free First Friday at the Children's Museum. Enjoy free admission the first Friday of every month, with special crafts, activities, and musical guests. Friday 4-8pm.

Opening weekend of Raven Stories from Tears of Joy Theatre at Imago Theatre. An all new production based on that trickster of Native American lore, Raven. Like his cousin Coyote, Raven uses his wits and cunning to get what he wants. He may be sneaky but his tricks have given us the sun, fire, and more! Raven Stories is written by Shoshone-Bannock poet and storyteller Ed Edmo and features original music. Friday 7:30pm, Saturday 11am and 1pm, Sunday 1pm and 3pm. $18, adults, $15 students, $13 ages 0-13. Performances through April 13.

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - April 4-6, 2014" »

Full Belly Fare for Everyone!

April 01, 2014

A fabulous offer from Lyla at Full Belly Fare:

"If you don't win the giveaway but still want to give my services a try, here's a great deal for urbanMama readers! Order for up to four weeks in advance, for a total of $200 or more worth food and get $30 or more OFF (total of 15% off your first order)!  The more you order the more you save.  Use the code 'urbanmama' at checkout for this limited time offer (expires April 30th)."

Eat well, friends!

Giveaway: Full Belly Fare

March 27, 2014

Full bellyHead over to the giveaway tab to enter to win a weeks worth of meals from Full Belly Fare

WEEKEND WARRIORS - MARCH 28-30, 2014

March 26, 2014

Here’s the scoop for the weekend. For more ideas on what to do this weekend, check the Events Calendar on Metro Parent's PDX Kids Calendar and the urbanMamas calendar page.

Spring Break with Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the gang at World Forestry Center. The Peanuts...Naturally exhibit takes a light-hearted look at Charles Schulz's exploration of the natural world through Peanuts comic strips, videos, objects, and interactive stations. Throughout the week, explore the wonders of the natural world with hands-on interactive activities, focusing on a different element each day. Through Friday 10am-5pm (activities until about 2pm).

Celebrate Spring Break at Mimosa Studios. Enjoy tasty treats, a daily drawing for cool art supplies, and 10% off all week. Everyone is welcome, no matter what skill level, Walk-ins are welcome, although it might be a good idea to call ahead to assure your spot. Through Friday 11am-6pm. Prices starting at $5.

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Spring break in the rain

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Oh! The "opening weekend" of spring break for PPS was gorgeous. Epic. We have put tables and chairs outside and are eating meals there when the weather is good enough, and this weather took "good enough" to extreme. We were planning the summer in all its beauty, the kids were all asking, could we go to the pool? How about tomorrow? No one jumps to the logical extreme like a child with a taste of warm spring sun. Monday, I took a bunch of kids with me to the nursery, and we picked out plants with the glorious excitement that can only come in that sort of beautiful weather. I went for a run with my oldest through the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden and it just seemed like the most beautiful spring break ever devised.

And then came the rain. I went running yesterday at lunch and the wind had begun to lift all the blossoms off the cherry trees on the waterfront and they were blowing everywhere like, I said, snow or ash or confetti. When we went out with kids it was for errands and we got so wet.

Later I went to the thrift store on bikes with kids and we dodged the rain on the way home and we laughed and brought home our finds to show off with relish but I got back and saw the just-begun garden and was hit with the wow realization that the rest of the break would be like this: little if any opportunities for digging or planting or outside adventure or sipping coffee in the little "cafe."

If you have your children at home for the rest of the break, what are your plans to cope with the downpour that looks pretty constant from here on out? Or if you have them in camps, how are they liking the wet weather? How about this weekend: a rainy visit to the beach or just holing up at home?

Injury & Athletics: dealing with disappointment

March 24, 2014

To be involved with "competitive sports" is a luxury in and of itself.  We pay a premium for more practices, then we pay for matching outfits, and then we pay again for our children to compete in their matching outfits.  What a racket!  But: that's another story.

Our 10-year old came home one day last year stating she wanted to compete in gymnastics, and she said the coaches thought she might be good at it.  The cost would be twice as much, the practice time would be almost three times as much.  She wanted to do it, so we supported her.

She had a great competitive season this spring, bringing home second and third place overall in her two meets this spring.  She loved going to practice and never complained that it ran too late or that she was too tired to go.  We could tell she loved the sport, and - even if her parents knew little about it - we wanted to support her if we could.

Last week, when her dad picked her up from practice, she was sitting on the side-line with her leg iced and elevated.  Her coach carried her out to her dad and reported that she twisted her ankle while practicing vault.  Her dad reports that he felt his heart sink.  As athletes ourselves (albeit recreational ones, at this point), we hate to miss out any training time or games due to injury.  We hate to feel mortal.

In the following days, we confirmed she had an "incomplete fracture" in her foot, and she was on crutches.  The doctor advised no weight on the foot for 3 weeks.  Already, we were going through the calendar in our head: she would miss the state gymnastics meet, and she would miss a few other events.  Several times we asked the doctor: "So, when do you think she'll be on it again?"  We didn't want to hear it.

Knowing our daughter, it is taking everything out of her to stay still.  She is one who can barely get through her homework without doing a front walkover or going to dribble a basketball.  After homework, she always asks to go outside to shoot hoops or rollerblade.  She is an active girl, and - yet - she is keeping her disappointment quiet.  She admits she is so sad to miss the state championship, but she knows there will be next year and the year after and then the year after that.  I admire her for her patience, for her positive spirit, for quietly listening to her body (I keep urging her to try to bear some weight, "Maybe it's already almost healed?", and she shakes her head "no"), for keeping her eyes bright and wide as she waits for the right time to resume.  Little does she know that I'm taking a cue from her, too, learning that we need to accept our own mortality and slow down when our body says to.

On school choice: any decision is the right one

March 21, 2014

For years and years, we have had to make school choices, even from a young age.  Which childcare and why?  Which kinder?  Which middle school?

Our oldest is entering high school in the fall, and we have had to make choices.  What is the right environment, the right size, the right academic mix?

We have asked these questions of ourselves before.  Ten years ago, I stayed up worrying about what decision to make.  We have faced these choices several times since.  At the end of the night, at the end of the day, my co-parent and I have agreed on one thing: whichever school we choose, it will be the right one.

To have a choice is a luxury.  To research our choices as fully as we do is so much more than other families are able to do.  To have communities - like our playgroups, neighborhood families, our local yahoo groups, or urbanMamas - where we can discuss every angle and pro/con for every option is a treasure.

As we enter this decision-making season as acceptance and wait-list notices are being issued, rest assured that the school you choose is the right one.

WEEKEND WARRIORS - MARCH 21-23, 2014

March 19, 2014

Here’s the scoop for the weekend. For more ideas on what to do this weekend, check the Events Calendar on Metro Parent's PDX Kids Calendar and the urbanMamas calendar page.

Special Down Syndrome Day at Dizzy Castle. World Down Syndrome day is this Friday March 21st. Dizzy Castle is offering free admission for children with down syndrome from 9am- 12pm.  Members from NWDSA will be attending in hopes everyone will have the opportunity to meet new friends! Siblings will receive discounted admission of $7 for children 3 and over and $3 for children under 3yrs old.

Cut Arts Silhouette Portraits at area locations. Karl Johnson's silhouettes are all hand cut, original works of art. Each one created live by simply looking at his subject matter and cutting out an exact likeness freehand with scissors.
Thurs. 3/20: 10am-6pm (Child's Play)
Fri. 3/21: 11 to 5pm (Mamababy Boutique)
Sat. 3/22: 10am-6pm (Village Toys)
Sun. 3/23: 10am-6pm (Coffee Kids)
Mon. 3/24: 10am-1pm (PDX Posh Baby) 2:30-6pm (Beaverton)
Tues. 3/25: 10am-5:30pm (Spielwerk Toys)
To make an appointment, please contact the store of your choice for a 5 minute appointment. All ages are welcome, even the squirmy ones. Original portraits $25.

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - MARCH 21-23, 2014" »