162 posts categorized "N/NE"

You should live WHERE?

December 07, 2006

You should live HERE. Yeah, you. Yeah, HERE. We've received email from the producers of a new show for HGTV:

We're currently producing a show for Home and Garden Television (HGTV) called "You Should Live Here," which is a "live life to the fullest" breakdown of where it's great to live in the US. Portland was recently named the Best City to Have a Baby, so we're looking to feature expecting parents who have really taken advantage of all that Portland has to offer. We're very interested in finding people to feature on the show. We'd love to see what couples are doing to get their homes ready, the funky shops they find their kids clothing and any other unique groups or activities they are apart of.

“You Should Live Here,” a brand new one-hour special airing on Home and Garden Television (HGTV), explores some of the best cities to live in the U.S. and the people who know best – you! This spring, this exciting new special kicks off with a fresh look at where Americans are choosing to live and play and a fun interactive poll for viewers at home to make their own decisions.

So, what’s the best city to live in? It all depends on what you’re looking for! Whether you’re looking for the best city to start your own business or the best city for extreme sports, we’ve got you covered with answers that just might surprise you. We’ve got over 20 cities to see and dozens of locals who would love to show you around. Along the way, we’ll be revealing HGTV’s viewers choices for their favorite city attributes, building to our Most Livable City!

urbanMamas represent! We know y'all know what's up. What are the top things to share with HGTV to show 'em what makes our fair Portland the Best City to Have a Baby?

Wintergalactic Puppet Show

December 06, 2006

The Wintergalactic Puppet Show comes to planet Portland this December! Bruce Orr of the Mudeye Puppet Company and Penny Walter of Penny's Puppet Productions have joined forces to create an all-ages holiday puppet show with aliens, forest creatures and even a yeti! Join Quarg, a clueless alien with good intentions and Ralph, a streetwise furry rodent on their adventure to Mount Snowball to uncover the secret of a mysterious glowing beacon. Building puppets from all reused materials in an original script, two of Portland's best known puppeteers have collaborated on a unique and colorful puppet show for the young and old. See the write-up in last week's A&E.

Carla writes:

I saw the show this past weekend at Nocturnal. I can't say I'm completely unbiased, as my husband is Bruce of the Mudeye Puppet Company. We have worked together for four years. We go into schools and make puppets out of reused and recycled materials with children. We also do performances and workshops. This is the first show I am not officially a part of, as I am now three months pregnant and we are making a few changes! But I did sew Ralph, one of the main characters!

Saturday December 9th at 10 am and 12 noon
St Johns Community Center
$7 for adults and $5 for children. Group rates available.
Performances are 45 minuets to an hour (Q&A / meet the puppets after the show)

Questions? Contact Bruce Orr at bruce@mudeyepuppets.org or 503 805 0291. Contact Penny Walter at pennywalter@comcast.net or call 503 282 9207.

UrbanPapa Get Together

December 05, 2006

There was a post on the need for opportunities for Papas and Papas-to-be to meet, greet and swap stories, advice, or what have you. Putting together a group like that has been on my to-do list for many, many months.

I am now a Papa for the second-time - Gael Cesario Fuentes was born on 11/30, all is well with him, his Mama and his adoring big sister. I realize that I just need to do this thing or it may never happen, so here it goes:

What: UrbanPapa Thang - a chance to meet other dads, enjoy some complimentary coffee, and/or just hang out

When: Thursday, December 21, 10 am - Noon at Milagros, 5433 Ne 30th Avenue. If all goes well, this will become a regular thing on the third Thursday of every month. I'll keep you posted on that.

What to bring: Yourself, your infant, toddler, or preschool aged kid(s) - kid is not required. If you want to bring a snack to share, go for it but not required.

If you have any questions, send me an email

Bella Stella Christmas Hysteria Sale

Thanks to all the mamas who have been supporting our great Portland resale and consignment shops. We've just gotten email from Bella Stella, who tells us how responsive the urbanMamas community has been. Bella Stella lets us know:

Bella Stella is having a second wave Christmas Hysteria Sale. Dec 4th through Dec 8th, all new Melissa and Doug toys will be 20% off. That includes the big stuff too like train tables, doll houses, easels...
Plus a special for UrbanMamas only: mention Urban Mamas and get 3 pairs of BabyLegs for the price of 2.

Drop-in Centers

December 03, 2006

Have a doctor's appointment? Have a few errands to run sans bebes? Have a dentist appointment? Where do the kids stay if they're normally with you all day? Anne asks:

I was wondering if anyone had feedback concerning any of the drop-in childcare centers in town. I have a three-year old and am finding I need childcare every now and then for a short period so I can make it to an appointment. I was thinking of using Grandma's Place near Lloyd Center, but would be interested in any downtown or close-in eastside location.

Crafty Mamas Wanted

Calling All Crafty Mamas!

We had a lot of fun hosting Crafty Mama Fairs during the Art of Living in November and the UrbanMamas Bazaar in August.  We are now planning on making the Milagros Crafty Mamas Fair a regular thing beginning on Saturday January 27 from 11 am - 3 pm. After that, we plan on having a mama-made art fair on the fourth Saturday of every month. Our hope is to rotate vendors so there is always something new each month.

If you would like to considered as a vendor, there are a couple of things to keep in mind: 1) You have to make or design the product you are selling (sorry, no resellers) and 2) if you are using any manufactured goods as part of your craft/product (for instance if you are screen-printing on a t-shirt) you MUST be using certified sweatshop-free materials.

We will have five slots a month and we are keeping the table fee as low as we can so that we may provide an opportunity to folks who may not otherwise do this sort of thing. If you are interested in participating, please send us an email at milagros@milagrosboutique.com

Captain Bogg and Salty's Winter Wonder Ballroom Show this Sunday

November 30, 2006

If you're a fan of pirates, or of good kid-friendly rock, or of energy-filled live shows, don your best pair of stripy socks (or other pirate garb) and head over to Captain Bogg and Salty's Winter Wonder Ballroom show this Sunday. We saw Captain Bogg at the Portland Pirate Festival over the summer (I recount the experience here), and have been die-hard fans ever since.

THE CAPER:
Captain Bogg & Salty’s
Winter Wonder Ballroom Show
Sunday, December 3rd, 2006
1 hour, all-ages show begins at 2 PM.

TICKET PRICES:
Children 2 and under: FREE
Age 3 to 12: $5
Age 13 and older: $9

THE PLACE:
The Wonder Ballroom
128 NE Russell
Portland, OR 97212
503.284.8686

Tickets available through Ticketmaster or at the Wonder Ballroom box office.

Dad's Groups?

November 29, 2006

We mamas know we have a great thing going here with urbanMamas.  While we aren't an exclusive all-mama community, we are admittedly biased toward all things mama.  (Shout-outs go to our most regular urbanPapa participant, Tony at Milagros!).  How does an urbanPapa find his support and community?  Anyone know of ongoing groups or websites?  Kate asks:

I have posted a couple times on the site and find it to be a really wonderful tool.  I am in my second trimester of pregnancy and it has now started to feel real.  My husband is excited and nervous and would love to find a dad's group to meet with soon-to-be dad's to talk about his upcoming role.  He is coming up empty on the web, as am I.  Any suggestions about where he might look for support?

Holiday Kiddie Disco

November 28, 2006

Date: December 9, 2004
Time: Noon – 4:00
Where: Mississippi Ballroom
833 N. Shaver
Portland, Oregon

Come shake what your momma gave ya! Our kiddie disco is sure to give you a break from the holiday stress, a little dancing and some bubbles do the trick every time!  We will have a live DJ, specialty artists and gift vendors, a balloon artist, a children's portrait photographer, a fire engine, police motorcycles, a bubble machine... and a mini spa for mommy! Bring the little-ones, ages 0-4/ big brothers and sisters welcome!

Osterberg Photo will take candid black and white portraits of your children, for $25 you will get 1 4x6" photo to remember the day!  Zenana mini-spa details coming soon. Check out http://www.kiddiedisco.blogspot.com for more details and a list of vendor and sponsor links.

TICKETS: $5 admission/ $20 family rate (2 adults/ 3+ kids) non-walkers are free. Cash or check at the door.

Holiday Camps?

November 27, 2006

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone (although the leftovers still abound), we're looking ahead to holiday fun, like holiday crafty stuffs.  But, for many of us, we will also be faced with needing to find some all-day holiday cheer for our kids whose schools or daycares will be closed.  There are holiday camps, similar to summer camps, offered at larger institutions or community centers:

Children's Museum Camp runs from December 18 through 22, the full week before Christmas.  Full-time care can run from 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM, then there is additional aftercare offered until 5:30 PM.

Oregon Zoo offers 1/2-day camps for children ages 4 through Kindergarteners for $12-14 per day.  Full-day sessions for children in grades 1 through 4 are $27-35 per day.  Good animal winter fun!

Portland Parks & Rec offers Wild Winter Wonderland at the following community centers: Mt. Scott, Fulton Park, Matt Dishman, and East Portland.  Another offering (which seems to be the same offering) is Winter Madness at Sellwood, Hillside, University Park, Southwest Community Center, Montavilla, St. Johns, and Peninsula.  Some centers offer the whole week, others centers register day-by-day.

Do you have any other suggestions for finding holiday childcare or camp fun?  Aisha writes:

Can anyone recommend a good day care for the Xmas break in the North/Northeast Portland area--my hubby's 7 year old is going to be with us on Christmas break at a last minute's notice and we both have to work.  I have tons of recommendations in SE but nothing around our neck of the woods, any suggestions would be helpful and appreciated.  Something like a winter break camp would be perfect--sports or art related in particular.  Thanks for the help and have a great holiday!

Family Night at Dishman

November 12, 2006

Matt Dishman Community Center (along with Peninsula Community Center) is hosting a family night on November 17th - El Carnaval del Caribe (Caribbean Carnival).  Salute Caribbean culture with snacks from Pambiche (YUM), crafts, face painting, carnival games, free family swim, raffle prizes.  Friday Family Fun!  Admission is free with 2 cans of food per person (or 6 cans for the family) or $1 per person (or $3 per family).  Carnival tickets are 4 for $1.  Event is at Matt Dishman, November 17, from 6 to 8 PM.

Family Portraits: Who Do You Recommend?

November 06, 2006

Aaah, the family portrait.  Certainly something my husband and I barely think about and usually scramble last minute for a portrait worthy of sending out as holiday cards.  But if you're a bit more prepared, there are so many wonderful photographers in town...The Sidewalk Studio, Sarah Gilbert, Sherri Diteman, and Lisa Warninger to name a few.  Is it timely that Chari wrote in this request?  Have at it mamas, inquiring minds want to know!

I'm looking for recommendations from Portland mamas on great photographers for family portraits. I'd love to hear from Urban Mamas experiences with local photographers!

Lee Owen Stone Preschool Winter Holiday Sale

November 02, 2006

And if you didn't have anything planned for this Saturday, November 4th, you are cordially invited to attend our First Annual Winter Holiday Sale from 10:00AM to 4:00PM at Lee Owen Stone Preschool on 2728 NE 34th Ave Portland, Oregon 97211.

Come and enter your admission ticket to our door prize raffle! Your $3 admission fee entitles you to:

  • One free raffle door prize ticket!
  • Enjoy yummy treats, cool finds, and great company in a festive environment.
  • You will find everything from antiques to one-of-a-kind items made by local designers and by our very own in-house artists, The LOS preschoolers!
  • Save 20-50% off of retail on gift certificates for local businesses.
  • Get all of your holiday shopping done in one day while supporting your local businesses and neighborhood cooperative preschool!

The current students at LOS and their families look forward to seeing you at our event. As always thank you for your continued support of our historic preschool.

Cloth Diaper Circle

The next Portland Cloth Diaper Circle is this Saturday, November 4, from noon to 2pm at Milagros, 5433 NE 30th Avenue, Portland. The monthly cloth diaper circle is a great place to get all of your questions about cloth diapering answered. The setting is casual and there is no need to RSVP, just show up!

Infant Childcare in NE

October 31, 2006

I was talking to a mama recently, who has a great new job and is seeking childcare in the NE for her 10 month old son. She prefers in-home care, but is interested in different scenarios accommodating part-time schedules.

Also, Christie is looking:

I am due in March and looking for child care for my infant beginning in June (probably 4 days a week, maybe 5). I think nannies are out of our price range, but will take suggestions for good childcare in general. I would really like to find somewhere in Cully, Alameda, Irvington, Hollywood areas (we live off Fremont and 50th and both will be working downtown). Does anyone have experience with Growing Seeds, Little Pandas, Alameda Beaumont Childcare (not sure if they take infants), or anywhere else?

A few previous posts: Preschool Wanted in NE, Seeking Childcare in NE/SE/NW. A couple of comments on Growing Seeds. Also, here is a comment on Alameda Beaumont Childcare. I don't think we've heard anything yet on Little Pandas. If you have any thoughts or insight for NE childcares, please share!

Vegetarian Meals Ready To Go

October 30, 2006

Lisa recently emailed us a question regarding vegetarian-friendly meals ready to go.  If it doesn't exist, seems like a great mama-praneur opportunity?!?

Does anyone know of an all vegetarian or very vegetarian friendly meal prep business in Portland? The ones I have come across (Dream Dinners and Dinner Voila) are meat oriented and, while some say you can substitute and make entrees vegetarian, I am looking for something more intentionally for vegetarians (preferably with organize, local produce, etc...). If you're not familiar with the concept, though I'm sure you are, someone else plans the entrees, buys the food and preps it, and you get all the glory of putting it together in a group kitchen that someone else cleans - all for a price, of course. Thought urbanMamas would be a good forum to ask this question.

Babywearing Info Event

October 24, 2006

The Portland chapter of Nine In Nine Out will have it's next babywearing gathering on October 28th, 10 am - Noon in The Family Room at Milagros, 5429 NE 30th Avenue, Portland, OR 97211. This month's meeting will provide a brief intro to all types of baby carriers with more in-depth information on using mei tai styled carriers (a carrier we are interested in learning more about!) NINO meetings are a casual forum for getting your questions on babywearing answered by other mamas and/or to share your own babywearing stories. Complimentary coffee will be provided. More info

We've Got Short Shorts!

October 15, 2006

This is a vanity post. It doesn't have a direct relationship to kids, parenting, or what have you, so read on at your own peril...

During Jen's pregnancy (she's due 11/25), I have been at the store more and more. A common query I receive is "so what else do you do?" I usually respond with "a lot" or "too much".  I'm not trying to be evasive, I just don't have a short answer for that question. Basically, although it hasn't been formally accepted as a psychological defect, I am certain that I suffer from a rare condition that should be known as "Career-ADD".

My work experience has run the gambit from musician to filmmaker to rock climbing guide to writer and everything in between. My affliction also makes it nearly impossible for me to work for anyone but myself. Thus I have never held a "real job" for more than two years - much to my father's dismay.

SO! Despite the fun provided and energy required by Milagros (and, yes, I truly LOVE partnering with my dear wife on that venture), my condition still results in me straying into WAY too many other projects.  And this, fearless readers, brings me to the whole point of this post and an explanation for the title...

One of the "other things that I do" is direct the Portland International Short Short Film Festival. This film fest is better know by its distasteful acronym (my apologies to any gentle readers out there). Anyhoo! P*** Fest! showcases films from around the globe that clock in at 10 minutes or less - indeed, my short attention span goes beyond my "career"... wait, I think I see something shiny...

Where was I? Oh yes! If you have a hankering for some super short cinema, and who doesn't?..Run, don't walk, to the historic Hollywood Theatre October 19 - 21 for the 5th Annual P*** Fest! ...and we are doing more this year than just showing films, why should I limit myself?...

All you mommies who drink should join us at the kick-off party at the Jupiter Hotel on October 19. Fearturing Full Sail Beer and a performance by Portland's own sexy/dance/mayhem provocateurs, Fleshtone. The party is FREE with a festival All-Pass or your ticket stub from the first P%%% Fest! show. It's $5 for everyone else - still a bargain...

Any  would-be filmmakers should check-out our panel discussion "How to Support Your Short Film Habit by Getting Paying Gigs on Richer People's Projects" on October 21 in the dreamBOX at the Jupiter Hotel...

And anyone else who suffers from "Career-ADD"...Fear not! I plan on starting a support group soon...it is definitely on my to-do list...somewhere...

The Independent Child: How Much? When?

October 12, 2006

Morning and bed-time routines, nothing's more frustrating than when you're responsible for herding the whole family out of the house on limited time.  Heather's looking to other urbanMamas to see how to get her kids to help ready themselves in the morning:

I have a question for moms with school-aged kids. I have a 5 year old kindergartner and an almost 8 year old second grader. Getting them up and dressed and ready for school every day is the most time-consuming part of my morning, and at bedtime, it's the same. I also feel like so much more could get done if I didn't have to be helping so much; my kids rarely brush their teeth before they go to school, and I often leave the house with eating my own breakfast because I spend the whole morning getting them ready (and they spend it fooling around). How much independence should I look for from them at these ages? It's like they either want me to do everything (get me dressed, pick out my outfit, you brush my teeth, etc.) or I feel like I have to constantly remind them what to do and when, even though we do the same routine every day. I've got kid #3 on the way in Feb and I can't imagine a universe in which my older kids need me to do every little thing for them. Help!

Portland Public Schools Local Option Levy 26-84

October 11, 2006

Pdxschools You've probably seen the yard signs around Portland, but what does it really mean?  Mama Picture This sent us some factoids so we can spread the word on this measure for the upcoming election.  For more information, visit:  http://www.hope4schools.org/ .

Why do Portland Schools need a local option levy?  The Portland Public Schools Local Option Levy will pay for 380 teaching positions (including some in every school) and for updated curriculum and materials. These teaching positions will help to prevent overcrowded classrooms and will allow teachers to spend more time with students who need individual assistance. The levy will also provide up-to-date textbooks, workbooks, and teaching materials as well as vocational and technical classes that provide skills that prepare students for the workplace.

What happened to the previously approved local option levy? Portland voters approved a local option levy for schools in 2000 but it expired last year.

Continue reading "Portland Public Schools Local Option Levy 26-84" »

Pediatrician for Preemies, Eastside

October 06, 2006

We've had several recommendations for pediatricians before, but Kirsten has a specific questeion:

I was wondering if anyone might have recommendations for a pediatrician on the East side?  I prefer one who has experience working with "preemie" babies.

Coffee Shops: Nursing Friendly?

October 05, 2006

Here's an interesting spin on a much-loved topic, coffee shops.  Joanna wants to know about your favorite nursing-friendly java joint:

I'd love to know (and forgive me if this has already been posted--I did a search and couldn't find anything) about coffee shops that are good for nursing my baby--my criteria being really comfy chairs, good coffee, and a cozy atmosphere.  I'd love to know about any and all coffee shops in both portland and the surrounding areas. I like exploring, taking long walks in different portland neighborhoods and going to parks and there has been many times since my two month old son was born that I've just gone home to nurse when I would have preferred a closer place to hang out and feed my son.  In my neck of the woods, the Willamette Coffee Shop in West Linn is great, as is the Borders at Bridgeport Village.

Are you crafty or want to be?

September 27, 2006

Calling All Crafty Mamas!

We had a lot of fun hosting the UrbanMamas Bazaar in August.  We are now planning our next mama craft fair as part of a neighborhood event happening in Fox Chase on November 11 called the "Art of Living."

Our mini mama-made craft fair will be from 11 am - 3 pm. We will also have complimentary coffee and treats, balloon artistry, and more. We still have some slots left for crafty mamas, so if you are interested in finding out more info, please send us an email at milagros@milagrosboutique.com

Do you want to be crafty?

Our friend, neighbor, and wonderful local crafter Paige Haxton will be teaching an introduction to wool felting class at Milagros on October 7, from 2 pm - 4 pm.  You can learn the basics of wool felting and create your own unique Huopa soap (a fun felt covered soap that exfoliates while it cleans!) Class fee is only $8 per person - that even includes the cost of all materials. To reserve your spot, sign-up at the store, call, or email us.

Single Moms Group

September 20, 2006

Typically we receive more emails from mamas looking for groups, but every so often, someone emails us about a group that they've started.  As always, we're more than happy to pass along the information.  Debby writes:

We are starting an on-going group for women who deliberately became single moms. The moms we are looking for went through pregnancy and childbirth, or the adoption process, without partners, and are raising their kids as single moms, or they are currently pregnant with this same expectation. This can include women who deliberately got pregnant the old fashioned way or by donor insemination, and women who may have gotten pregnant unexpectedly and have chosen to do it all on their own. The group is aimed toward offering support and social contact for single moms, but it can also serve as a play group. So far there are 4 of us, with kids ranging from not-yet-born to 14 months. We have mostly only met by email. We are hoping for many more members, all with different stories and different insights into our situations! We are meeting this Saturday, September 23rd at the East side Urban Grind at 2pm. Hopefully the baby room will be available, but if not, there is lots of other space for the kids to play! We hope to see you there!  Contact Debby for questions and more information.

Sunday [at] Urban Grind NE

September 17, 2006

So, if you were caffeine-deprived at 11 AM on a Sunday morning with a coupla girls in need of food and in need of distraction, where would you go?  We have outta-towners with us also, so we decided to hit up one of our all-time faves: Urban Grind in the NE.  As we walked up to the door, our friend read a sign: "Free Coffee Sundays, 9 AM to 4 PM".  Hot dawg!  It's our lucky day!  We walked in to find our free hot coffee waiting for us, as well as a wide array of fresh free pastries.  To finish off my excitement, our girls found that the little tree in the corner of the play area now had been opened up into a new place space complete with slide and tons of play stuffs.  Talk about being a lucky day.  They are in there RIGHT NOW playing their hearts out and I will have this place to thank for giving me tired kids ready for their nap.  The Urban Grind proprietors tell us that they want to give the community a safe place to hang and chill, so they open their coffee house to the public for free treats and coffee on Sundays.  We will definitely put this on our list of "awesome things to do in Portland on a Sunday."

Reading: It's a Girl & It's a Boy!

September 09, 2006

Thanks, Shari, for passing on info. We definitely enjoyed previous readings of It's a Girl:

On Tuesday night, September 12, I'll be reading from my essay in IT'S A GIRL: WOMEN WRITERS ON RAISING DAUGHTERS. Also reading that night will be Jennifer Lauck and Marjorie Osterhout, who are also contributors to Andrea Buchanan's IT'S A GIRL and IT'S A BOY anthologies. The reading is at Broadway Books, 1714 NE Broadway, at 7 p.m. on September 12th. Come one, come all, urbanMamas! I'd love to see you there!

Parenting Group [at] Concordia New Seasons

Part of the beauty of the urbanMamas community is when other urbanMamas email us with great tips and resources.  Thanks Meg for your email!:

I’ve been reading the postings at Urbanmamas since before my son was born.  I just wanted everyone (especially the moms and dads of new babies) to know about a weekly group that meets from 10 am to 11 am on Wednesdays at the Concordia New Seasons.  It’s led by a doula named Erica and it’s free.  It started as a breastfeeding support group and is now a general parenting group.  Right now, the numbers are low because a lot of the babies were getting older and the parents were going back to work.  Today, it was just me!  This was great because it was a free hour with the doula, but it’s great when more babies are there.  If that’s not enough of an incentive, usually there is a beautiful tray of organic fruit.  I hope to see some urbanmamas there next week.

Nannysitter Available with Glowing Reviews

September 04, 2006

Childcare, it's probably the hottest topic on the urbanMamas.  Whenever we catch wind of a good find, we'll try to pass it along.  Here's one from one of our readers:

We are letting our nanny/sitter of 8 months go starting 9/1 because we're expecting another child in December and we snagged a spot at the preschool where we were wait-listed much earlier than anticipated. She's a gem of a caregiver, so I thought we'd give the urbanmamas first crack at her.

Her name is Beth, she's 23, creative, attentive and always prompt. She has honored every request we've made regarding our daughter's care and is always up for last-minute changes. She has her own transportation, loves going to the park, and can manage a toddler and a trip to the coffee shop. They go on long walks, do all kinds of art projects, and Beth has taught her most of the colors and shapes. She's an ace hair-doer and is amazing a the art of distraction after a boo-boo. She makes meals and tidies up after the kid-stuff, her rate is reasonable and we'd really love to see her go to a family that will love her and appreciate her as much as we do. She's willing to consider full- or part-time. If anyone is interested, they can email me at bitemycookie@gmail.com. She comes with glowing references, in addition to ours.

Immediate Preschool Openings Fall 2006

August 29, 2006

Don't you feel like getting your child into preschool is as competitive as getting into college these days?  The nightmarish waiting list, and ultimately, what if it's not a good fit?  We'll for those that have written off the process completely, and feel like you've missed the boat.  We've been informed that there is an immediate opening at Growing Seeds Hollywood.  Do you know of any others?  Can you help some other urbanMamas out by posting any additional openings in the comments?  A good school is hard to find, but the right timing sometimes may even be harder.

Fun for the Whole Swashbuckling Family!

Lynx Ahoy mateys! It is not too early to mark your calendars in ink for a pirate festival fit for the whole family. The Portland Pirate Festival brings a cargo-load of music, flair, and fun to scenic Cathedral Park on September 23. Among the many activities, the event will feature performances by Captain Bogg & Salty and other groups, pirate re-enactments, a pirate play village, and - most impressively - a replica of a "privateer ship:"  The Lynx.

Don't be afraid to come in costume!

urbanMamas Bazaar, next Saturday

August 12, 2006

We started calling it an 'art fair', but we've recently been referring to it as a bazaar. We've had a tremendous response from mamas wanting to share goods and services with the rest of the urbanMamas community:

Amy McMullen of Amy McMullen Photography
Larissa Brown and her handmade items
Leigh Rubio of New For Baby
Michaela Santen of BumpStyle
Robyn Taylor Barbon of Portland at Play
Angela of Rowanberry School
Cynthia Thompson of Zoom Baby Gear
Kate Haas of Miranda Zine
Anna Hoffert and her Handmade items
Lisa Golightly of Kiki & Polly

Hope you can join us for some coffee, delphina pastries, and some good company! How many of you think you can join us? Please RSVP in the comments...

urbanMamas Bazaar
Saturday, August 19th
10 AM to 2 PM
Milagros Family Room
5429 - 5433 NE 30th Avenue
Portland, OR 97211
503-493-4141

*** thank you to Milagros for co-hosting this event ***

World Breastfeeding Week Events

August 02, 2006

Chris Musser, the Reluctant Lactivist, has co-founded a support group for Mamas nursing in public called Mom's Milk Anywhere or MomMa for short. This week, in celebration of World Breastfeeding Week,  MomMa is hosting gatherings to show support for nursing Moms:

August 2nd, 10AM: Nursing moms' coffee at Starbucks at the Civic Center in Hillsboro
August 3rd, 11AM: Nursing moms' coffee at Milagros Boutique, 5429 NE 30th Avenue
August 4th, 2PM: Nursing moms' coffee at Washington Square II Barnes & Noble Cafe
August 5th,11AM: Nurse-out and family picnic at Pioneer Courthouse Square

'Mama Mornings' at Tour de Crepes

August 01, 2006

We urbanMamas could always use another recommendation on a spot for coffee, nourishment, and play-space for the tykes. Amy, thanks for the tip on Tour de Crepes on Alberta:
Brenda Drain, my friend and the owner, is very mama-minded. We are starting a little something called "mama mornings" starting this Wednesday. It's a sort of happy hour for mommies, with 20% off our delicious foods and drink. We have a sandbox, patio for sidewalk chalking, and are really trying to encourage mommies to have a place to enjoy a decadent meal or snack, AND have a cool place for the kids to hang.

Seeking Childcare for a 2-yr old, NE/SE/NW

July 08, 2006

uMamas, we came across another request via the We Are Family thread.  Jocelyn is looking for suggestions for her 2-year old:

I have a 25 month old. I am a working mama and I work in Wilsonville. When I returned to work after maternity leave, I wanted my son near to work so I could nurse him. The benefits of having him close-by outweighed the negatives (long commute for a small baby/toddler). But now, there is no reason for him to be out here, when we live in NE. I am looking for childcare in NE/SE/NW to bridge the gap between now and the time he is potty trained and 3 years old. Help. Is there any hidden gem out there. Everywhere I look, the wait list is long, for example Growing seeds and Providence on NE 47th ave. I looked at Alameda Montesorri and decided against it for now. What else is available out there. HELP!! The commute is getting worse and worse as my little angel learns to assert his wants and dislikes. He does not like being in the car that long!!

Free kid movies at Lloyd Mall this summer

June 26, 2006

Every summer, Regal Cinemas puts on a Free Family Film Festival: every Tuesday and Wednesday morning at 10AM, local Regal theaters show a free G or PG movie. In Portland, that means the theater in lovely Lloyd Mall. So brave the food court and come on down...first come, first served. I'll be at Curious George tomorrow with my kids!

Lloyd Mall 8
2320 Lloyd Center Mall
Portland ,OR 97232
800-326-32646

06/27-06/28 Curious George (G), Robots (PG)
07/04-07/05 Jonah: A Veggie Tale Movie (G), Zathura (PG)
07/11-07/12 Doogal (G), Charlie & The Chocolate Factory (PG)
07/18-07/19 Clifford's Really Big Movie (G), Yours, Mine & Ours (PG)
07/25-07/26 Rugrats The Movie (G), Madagascar (PG)
08/01-08/02 Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (G), Nanny McPhee (PG)
08/08-08/09 Rugrats In Paris The Movie (G), Hoodwinked (PG)
08/15-08/16 Wallace & Gromit (G), Aquamarine (PG)
08/22-08/23 March Of The Penguins (G), Cheaper By The Dozen (PG)

Mamas Seeking Other Mamas

June 13, 2006

We receive many questions regarding finding out more information about play dates and meeting other mamas, especially from those new to the area.  Diane writes:

I am new to the Portland area, and I have a 7-month old daughter.  I am interested in learning about new moms' groups/playgroups so that I can meet other new moms and my daughter can interact with other children.  I live in NW Portland and while I can definitely travel to other parts of the city, I would be most interested in learning about groups near me.  Thoughts or suggestions?

Catherine writes:

I very much want to meet other moms and arrange some play dates for my 1 1/2 yr old son Dylan. I'm not sure how to post a note on your site to see when moms are meeting at Urban Grind or whether there are other moms groups around Lloyd Center.

Then there is the case of new-found mamahood, and the need to connect with other mamas.  This was my situation a few years ago.  I was in desparate need of companionship and support.  I spent time searching for on-line groups to join being that I was a "work-outside-of-the-home-mama".  I joined a couple of Yahoo groups, an MSN group, and even Moms Meetup in my quest for some friends.  I talked to just about every parent at the local parks and Book Babies.  I would exchange numbers with new mamas, but mostly never followed up.  I felt like I was dating again, having a hard time connecting.  Maybe I was trying too hard.  I know it sounds like complete overkill! But eventually it did happen.  On one of the Yahoo groups, Sarah shared her link to their family Web site, and then another, and the rest is history.  Some of us urbanMamas do post about gatherings, but these are not standing play dates.  There are others that have sent us notices about their groups and regular gatherings.  We want to continuing being a conduit to help other mamas meet up. Can you share your success stories?  Do you have a playgroup that you'd like to post about?  Can you offer any of your experiences?

Family Room at Milagros

June 07, 2006

urbanMamas love Milagros, and this is why!  Tony recently sent us some updated information on their family room.  He writes:

We are happy to announce that The Family Room at Milagros is finally licensed and ready to go. We will be open for coffee and community on Saturday June 10th from 10 am - 2 pm. Our initial plans for regular coffeehouse days and hours are Thursday - Saturday, 10 am - 2 pm. Keeping in line with the values that define the baby and mama products we offer at Milagros, all of the coffee offered in The Family Room is certified organic and fair trade.

You may be wondering, what about all the other hours and days? We envision The Family Room as a community space - not a coffee shop or a cafe. We want to host special activities during "non-coffeehouse hours" that are of interest to mamas and families - events, classes, seminars, film screenings, meetings, even birthday parties!
We are keeping The Family Room rental rate very affordable (only $15/hour), so if you have an event seeking a fun and kid-friendly space, feel free to contact us. We would also love to hear ideas from Mamas and Papas out there on what types of classes, seminars, etc. they would find of interest. Send us an email at milagros@milagrosboutique.com with your ideas or visit our website at http://milagrosboutique.com
The Family Room is next door to Milagros at 5429 NE 30th Avenue in Portland.

Hit the Lakes!

June 05, 2006

Just in time for summer outdoor outings. Thanks Tony of Milagros for sending in this Family Adventure Suggestion

We have always been big fans of the Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area on N Marine Dr in North Portland. Now it is better than ever, boasting a new parking area, improved bike path, fun sculptures, a picnic shelter, improved restroom facilities, and - our favorite - a canoe launch!

Walking: The area has a trail (the interlakes trail) which provides access to viewing blinds for both Smith and Bybee Lakes. The trail is paved and level, perfect for a family stroll. Wildlife we have seen in the area includes turtles, fish, beavers, herons, ducks, snakes, rabbits, countless dragonflies, and much more. The best wildlife viewing is early morning and near dusk but you will always see something any time of day.

Paddling: The quality of paddling in the area depends on the time of year, right now the water level is very high and the paddling is excellent. The lack of motor boats and abundant flora and fauna make this a great paddling experience for kids. However shore access away from the canoe launch is undependable, so make sure all 'potty' needs are met before you get in the boat. There is no significant current in the lakes but paddling on windy days is not recommended. Remember that every member of the family should always wear a PFD regardless of conditions.

Biking: The bike path is part of the 40 mile loop and provides level riding around Smith Lake and all the way to Kelly Point Park. Be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen! And please respect the 'no dogs' rule for this wildlife area. Here is more info.
Here's a great little write-up on a North Portland Tour, a bike ride that starts and ends at Peninsula Park.

NE Portland Mamas Group

May 22, 2006

Are you a new mama living in NE Portland?  Wanna meet other mamas?  Looks like Sarah's starting a playgroup in her 'hood:

I am starting up a new mama group! I am the only one with a babe in my friend group and need to build a mama community. Having been entirely unsuccessful at finding a group to join that I didn't have to pay for (totally lame!) I have decided I can make my own. I'm hoping to find mamas with similar-ish age babies (0 - 1yr) to chat, vent, learn from one another and have some fun too. The first meeting will be at Extracto (that new coffee shop on Killingsworth at 30th, they seem quite friendly) on the first tuesday of June at 2:30, bring your babies (of course). We can figure out then where, when, and how often to meet. If you want to be part, but can't make that time, feel free to e-mail me (sarah@steelheadrealty.com).

Weekend Warriors: May 19-21

May 18, 2006

As we delve further into spring and approach the summer, we'll find more and more outdoor fairs, but there will be more events in general. Please pass on news of goings on via email, and we'll put them in our weekly "Weekend Warriors" editions!

Alberta Art Hop. 'This year the 7th Annual Alberta Art Hop expands to two days, presents four stages of music, mounts international and city-sponsored art retrospectives, initiates a festival partnership with Oregon Country Fair, shifts evening revelers inside for “Alberta After Hours,” while still managing to pack in more art than you can shake a paint brush at. Be it bands, strolling performers, impromptu street performance, sky-high bicycles, neighborhood kids hawking hot dogs, or the hundreds of artists displaying/selling their own creations street side, there is something to delight anyone open to “the surprise of art.”' See complete details here. Sat & Sun, May 20 & 21.

Portland Cloth Diaper Circle at the Milagros Family Room. This will be a great circle for learning about cloth diapers! Washing, drying, fastening, all-in-ones, pocket diapers, prefolds.... there is much to share about in the world of cloth diapering. No need to RSVP, just show up! Saturday, May 20; 10 AM to 12 N.

AsiaFest 2006. The month of May is celebrated as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. 'Portland’s AsiaFest 2006 offers the opportunity to see a show, listen to music, and experience the craftsmanship and creativity of a variety of Asian cultures.' The event will also feature cuisine from local Asian restaurants, a silent auction, and more. Oregon Convention Center, Saturday, May 20, 11 AM to 6 PM.

Babywearing Workshop at Urban Grind Coffee at 2214 NE Oregon St | (503) 546-0649. Learn how to wear your baby in different kinds of ring slings, an Ergo, Fleece Pouch, Wrap, Mei Tai, etc. and swap carriers as well. We will have the Babywearing DVD (Tummy 2 Tummy) and Babywearing books available for loan or purchase, as well as free babywearing advocacy buttons for all. This is a not-for-profit event, but simply to help make the joys and wisdom of babywearing accessible to more people. There will be several experienced mamas on hand to answer questions and demo carriers for all ages/sizes of babies. Sunday, May 21, 11 AM to 1 PM. (Thanks Emily for the heads-up )

Rose City Race. Have fun and raise some money for PPS while you're at it.

Mama Matinees now at Academy Theater

May 16, 2006

Thanks Margaret for bringing this to our attention!

I live near Montavilla neighborhood. I'm not affiliated with the Academy Theater but I am really excited about this and wanted to get the word out: the Academy Theater in the Montavilla neighborhood has decided to start having "Freedom Fridays" - an 11:30 am movie matinee for grownups WITH babysitting!  The idea is to give us mamas (or papas!) a break while our kids play in their nice playroom upstairs. They will start on this friday, May 19th.  The Kennedy School has Mommy Matinees, but you are supposed to bring your baby with you to the movie and that isn't really a break. And it doesn't work for those of us with older toddler/preschool-aged children. So, see you at the movies!
P.S. Here's a previous post on Academy Theater, the movie theater with babysitting.

urbanMamas Day 2006 - Saturday | May 13th | 10 AM - 2 PM

May 03, 2006

We're thrilled to be able to host urbanMamas Day 2006, our first annual celebration of all things [urban]Mama! On the same weekend as Mother's Day, we hope to meet new friends, enjoy one another's company, lounge in the comfortable community space Milagros' Family Room, and - most of all - connect with other mamas and their families.

We'll provide the Delphina's breakfast treats, Milagros is graciously providing their Family Room and the Kobos coffee, and you all will provide the urbanMama community that we love so much.

We have some goodie bags in the works, and if you'd like to share with the urbanMama community, just email! So far, our bundles of fun include:
- treats from Portland Picks
- gift certificates for the much-drooled-over Mama & Papa Calling Cards at Event Bliss
- gift cards for services by Amy McMullen Photography
- bath & body potions, plus gift certificates for nail, hair, & skin services, compliments of Madeline Roosevelt.
- BellyBars: nutrition for before, after & during pregnancy.
- % off cards for Pumpkin Noodle products.

.!!. and surely more to come .!!.

Plus, we'll have our hot-off-the-presses urbanMama tees for sale!

Let us know if you plan to come & rsvp on the evite (just add your name to the list, and pass the word on to others).

................

urbanMamas Day 2006
Saturday, May 13th, 2006
10 AM to 2 PM
Milagros Family Room
5429 NE 30th Avenue, Portland, OR 97211
503.493.4141

Childpeace, Emerson, .... Thoughts?

April 26, 2006

We are faced with two really great opportunities for our daughter next year.  She'll be in the 1st grade, and the two options are: Childpeace Montessori and the Emerson School.

Childpeace is is a Montessori elementary school recognized by AMI.  Their space in the Northwest is nurturing, bright, and safe.  We feel like our daughter could thrive there, be happy there, love to learn there.  BUT, a couple of major drawbacks of the school include 1) cost and 2) lack of ethnic and socioeconomic diversity.

Emerson is a charter school in the Portland Public School system.  Their location in the Northwest (on the North Park Blocks) sometimes feels a little cramped.  We love how integrated into the city and into the world at large the students become, as a function of the school's child-directed project approach.

I'm wondering if anyone has any insight or perspective to share on either school?  Do you have a child who goes there?  Or know someone who goes there?  We'd love to hear your thoughts!

Tour De Crepes - On Alberta

April 21, 2006

Thanks Shari for the scoop on another kid-friendly find.  We're so excited to try this place out!  Read on mamas:

Mention has been made of the new crepes place on Alberta and I cannot give it a more rousing endorsement or bigger thumbs-up. Many of you have previously met the owner, Brenda (www.tourdecrepes.com): formerly the manager at Urbangrind (NE location), which was super kid-friendly under her benevolent, mama-wise management.

Her new place is Tour de Crepes at 2921 N.E. Alberta. I believe the hours are 9 to 9, Thursday through Sunday. Brenda is da bomb, she loves kids and mamas and will do anything she can to make your experience a great one, and on top of all that her crepes and other French goodies totally rock. I believe there are also meet-ups (and possibly classes) in the works for the rest of the week (Monday through Wednesday; I'm not sure when those will begin). The food is fabulous and, yes, there are a couple of sandboxes that the kids totally love. You get your food out back and then eat either in the funky building, which was once the carriage house for the dairy on Alberta, or out front on the patio (which I sure plan to do a lot now that the sunny weather is finally making its appearance). Stay as long as you like.

Seriously, there has never been a mama-owned, mama-run business more worthy of supporting. I consider Brenda a great friend, and there's no limit to the number of people in this town who would say the same thing. (Once you meet her, she'll be your friend, too.) The place is brand new, so please forward this info to everyone you know! If you need a new hangout or a place for coffee playdates, or if you're looking for a great breakfast/lunch/snack place (or a place for a mama/kid date!), get on over to Tour de Crepes! (Open for the Alberta art walk on Last Thursdays, too! Maybe a good time/date for a mamas' get-together?) I can guarantee that there isn't a business owner in the city more interested and invested in providing a quality place where mothers, children, and families (and, of course, individuals) can relax and enjoy themselves. Viva la crepes!

Tuesday. In Other Words. Be There. (Please.)

April 17, 2006

Just a quick reminder, ladies, that this Tuesday night is the reading for It's a Girl: Women Writers on Raising Daughters at In Other Words. You couldn't ask for a better bookstore to support, and we would absolutely love to see as many of you there as possible! Whatever the age of your daughter (baby, grade-schooler, teen, emerging adult), this anthology touches upon the experience of mothering a daughter her age. Here's the updated information:

Please join Jennifer Margulis, Jennifer Lauck, and Shari MacDonald Strong as we read from our contributions to Andrea Buchanan's newest anthology, It's a Girl (a collection of stories about mothering daughters), and talk about the mothering life with you THIS Tuesday, April 18, 7:00 p.m., at In Other Words bookstore (now at 8 NE Killingsworth St.). Come see the new location and enjoy the privilege of supporting one of the only non-profit feminist bookstores in the U.S. (Check out their story on their website's home page; I knew they did a lot for women, children, and families in Portland, but I had no idea how much. Please help us to support this amazing, invaluable community resource.) For specific directions, call In Other Words at 503-232-6003. Please note: In Other Words is no longer at their Hawthorne location.

Preschool Wanted - NE, Part-Time, Five Day Program

April 09, 2006

Ahh, the beloved topic of preschools!  We've started a long thread of posts but even with all the discussion you'd think it would be easy to find the right fit, and it seems like every family has a different need and it doesn't always fit the mold.  Rebecca is looking for a preschool near the NE Alberta, does anyone have any advice?  Read on:

I'm moving to Portland on or around May 1 from Berkeley, CA (and share Erica's love of the Berkeley Parents Network). I have 2 boys, the oldest of whom just turned 3. He is currently in a family-run daycare. Since the arrival of his younger brother, I haven't wanted to shake up his world any more than it already was by starting him in preschool. Now, though, I'd like to get him into a preschool, and I'm totally clueless about how to start. I would ideally like to find a 5-day program for him (albeit short days). Does anyone have any recommendations or know of any openings? We will be living around 9th and Alberta.

Wanted / Needed - Fabulous Nanny

Psst.  Pass it on:

Our fabulous nanny has availability on Tues. & Thursdays from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. through the first week of June (she is going to grad school, despite our efforts to convince her otherwise). Also, come June we will need a part-time nanny to take her place, M-W-F.

She's available because one of her families has put their toddler in full-time daycare. She'd prefer a family in NE since that's where she lives, but she'd be willing to consider other neighborhoods.

We found her through a friend of a friend who has known her for 14 years. Additionally, our backyard neighbor has known her since she was a toddler and her parents live two blocks away from us, all of which lent a great deal of confidence to us when we hired her.

She has been caring for our 7-1/2 month old son since December and he loves her. Her personality is laidback and low-key, which we like. She tries to get outside with our baby every day for walks in the stroller or Baby Bjorn; she takes him to Book Babies at the library and reads and sings to him. She is also fluent in Portuguese and Spanish. Besides caring for our son she also does his laundry and runs to the grocery for us. She's also an excellent cook. Besides caring for infants, she also has experience caring for 3-year old twins as well as a 13-year old.

If you're interested, please email suzcloset@yahoo.com and I'll put you in touch with her. And if you have any nanny referrals I'd appreciate you sending them on.

Another Weekend Event

April 07, 2006

A heads up from Wendy.  Keep the tips coming!

I really know nothing about this event, other than, as a movie lover, I've been waiting for the opportunity to take my daughter to her first movie theater experience. Maybe this'll be it? The "Shorts for the Youngest" on Saturday at Kennedy School sounds like it could be right up our alley.

The Lil' Longbaugh Festival is showing at 3 pm on Friday, April 7th, and at 10 am on Saturday, April 8th.

Save the Date - Mother Talk (and More) is Coming!

April 05, 2006

Thanks Shari, for passing along this info:

At last, the long-awaited Mother Talk event is almost here! Thanks to everyone who sent in their email addresses for an official invitation. For every woman interested in wine, good writing, and fabulous company, Mother Talk is a little slice of heaven. But don't take my word for it. Join us...please. I'm looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible. In fact, we've got two great Portland events on the horizon.

First, please join Jennifer Margulis, Jennifer Lauck, and Shari MacDonald Strong as we read excerpts from It's a Girl! and talk about mothering with you on Tuesday, April 18, 7:00 p.m., at In Other Words bookstore (now at 8 NE Killingsworth St.). Come see the new location and enjoy the privilege of supporting one of the only non-profit feminist bookstores in the U.S. (Check out their story on their website's home page; I knew they did a lot for women, children, and families in Portland, but I had no idea how much. Please help us to support this amazing, invaluable community resource.)

The next night -- Wednesday, April 19, at 7:00 p.m. -- we'll be back for a "Mother Talk": an old-fashioned literary salon with good food, good company, and good conversation. The release of It's a Girl! provides a great excuse to get together with other smart, savvy women, but discussion won't be limited to talking about mothering daughters (so mothers of sons, please come, too!); the sky's the limit, and the group will steer the discussion. Please join us for this fun event!

To view the Evite for this event and/or to RSVP, please go to: http://www.evite.com/pages/invite/viewInvite.jsp?event=STECXCBRYIAFAQADZNKN Feel free to forward this invitation to others who might be interested.

I hope to see you then!

Our schools

March 30, 2006

Yet another family moving to Portland! Here's what Nora is wondering about:

We are relocating from San Francisco to Portland for my husband's job, and we are in the process of looking for a house. I am so confused about which elementary schools are good, even though I've looked at the Oregon Department of Education website. I also am confused about whether the public schools in Portland are in the midst of a crisis. Any advice about which elementary schools are the best? And will they stay strong for the long haul through our three children's education?