65 posts categorized "NW"

Kids love trucks: 'Pet' some today at NW library event

April 23, 2009

Trucks_trucks_trucks My boys, having many conventional boy passions, love trucks. But I am weary of reading the often very dull books about how excavators and booms and buckets and crawler treads work. In fact, I've been collecting photos to make my own book with language that's more fun to read (I'm thinking excerpts from my college poetry anthologies, but we'll see how it goes.) So I was excited when Larissa sent us info about the Truck Town Party. What better opportunity to combine my boys, trucks and books than at today's Multnomah County Library event?

Where: Con-Way Parking Lot, corner of NW 23rd & Savier St.  Entrance is on Savier, closer to 22nd. (One block south of the library.)

When: Thursday, April 23rd, from 2-5.

What:

  • "Pet" the big trucks including a county Dump Truck with snowplow, Garbage Dump Box (from 2-3), Ambulance, Police Bomb Squad & robots, Police Cruiser, Fire Truck (from 3-4), and the "biggest, baddest" Tow Truck in Speed's fleet. 
  • Storytime - 2:30  & 4:00.
  • Crafts you can do there or take home to do later.
  • Raffling off some cute truck board books.
  • Toy Truck Race Track - kids who bring their toy trucks can race the track.
  • Special gifts to the first 200 children.

See the Swifts at Chapman Elementary

September 10, 2007

We had a surprise picnic on Saturday to see the birds - Vaux's Swifts to be exact- at Chapman Elementary.

The Swift Watch happens every night this time of year until about the end of the month. As dusk nears the sky fills with hundreds and then THOUSANDS of birds. They dart this way and that and fall into formation, creating a huge funnel cloud of wings that pivots around Chapman Elementary's enormous chimney. Then, without warning, ALL of swifts fly INTO the chimney! The flock is so dense that from a distance it must look like smoke is flowing back to its source.

Pack a picnic, brings a big sheet of cardboard  - yes, you heard me right :), dress for the weather and get out there soon because this odd evening dance typically ends by September 26. Find out more about the Chapman Swift Watch on the Audubon Society website.

Mid-Summer Thoughts: Concerts in the Park

July 23, 2007

A few weeks of concerts are now behind us - be it concerts at the parks, Kruger's farm concerts, Zoo concerts.  In the past few weeks, we've seen triple digit temps and rain, which has definitely affected whether we pack the picnic or not.  Last week on a rainy Wednesday, we decided to brave the weather and hope for the best: we hit Peninsula Park for some 'hot 20s jazz'.  The rain decided to stay away, but the concert was cancelled for good measure anyway.  It was just as well: we caught up with old friends and spent the evening picnicking right on the stage.

In the past few weeks, we have picnicked at Sellwood Park, Fernhill Park, Peninsula Park.  We've had several evening jaunts at Jamison, too, of course!  We have found that we all enjoy it most when:  1) the play area is within line of sight from the grassy area so the kids can play while parents catch up on the picnic blanket, 2) we are able to position ourselves in the spot that is just-so -- not too close to the music so we can still catch up with friends, and 3) we have enough provisions for the hungry picnickers.  For these reasons, we have enjoyed our concerts at Fernhill - with the merry-go-round in plain sight from the parents' perch on the grass - even though Peninsula Park is more of our neighborhood park.

So, we ask: Which parks have been great for you and your picnicking family?  What's in your picnic basket?  (We typically have tofu slices, prosciutto, grapes, straweberries, baguette, cheese, water, wine)  How many concerts in the outdoors have you hit so far this season?  How early do you get to the park - a little early to score the perfect spot or after the first set has already begun?

Participate in an urbanFamily Focus Group

June 04, 2007

An urbanMama Nancy is mom to 4-year old Jake, and they live in the Pearl.  A group in their neighborhood are working to establish a community center, affordable family housing and childcare center in the River District. The group that is focused on housing (Central City Concern) would like to talk with parents who live or work downtown and earn a particular income (see below).   Do you live or work downtown and meet the below criteria?  Here is a chance to have your voices heard as part of designing a new community facility in the core of the city.
An exciting new housing opportunity for families is being developed in Portland's River District. Central City Concern, a non-profit organization, is planning to build a high rise apartment building with family size units that will make downtown living affordable for working families. The building will hopefully include a child care center, community center, and other family-oriented amenities.
We are interested in hearing from parents who live or work downtown, to get your ideas about how we can design the housing to best meet the needs of families. We are holding two focus groups in June, and we would like to invite you to participate. We will provide free child care and dinner, as well as a $25 gift certificate to Fred Meyer and 4 TriMet all-zone tickets to thank you for your help.
At the focus groups, parents will have an opportunity to share their thoughts about what kinds of design features and amenities will make this housing project work for urban families. We will have an activity for kids ages 8 and above to get their input, as well as child care for younger children.
In order to qualify to participate in the focus group, you must:
    • Have children living with you
    • Live and/or work in Portland's central city (downtown, inner east-side, and inner northwest neighborhoods) 
    • Income qualify: We ask that participating households have an annual income less than:
    • family of 2 

      family of 3

      family of 4

      family of 5

      family of 6

      family of 7

      <$32,600

      <$36,700

      <$40,700

      <$44,000

      <$47,300

      <$50,500

There will be two focus groups:
  • Monday, June 18th from 6:30-7:30 for families who work in the central city
  • Wednesday, June 20th from 6:30-7:30 for families who live in the central city

When the heat is on....

June 03, 2007

Did we break 90 degrees over the weekend?  Or cloJamison_2se to it?  When the heat is on, where do you go?  Jamison Square is always a favorite standby, but it isn't always easy to get to, plus there are no public restrooms!  Have you hit all of Portland's 'municial fountains'?  Can't wait 'til our neighborhood wading pools open up!  Maybe you just fill up a kiddie pool in your front yard and invite all your friends and neighbors?  What did you do this weekend when the heat was on?

Moving to Portland & Seeking Advice!

May 08, 2007

In the most recent "Cities Ranked and Rated", a study of 400 metropolitan areas ranks Portland at number 3.  Even the Places Rated Almanac shows Portland at the top of list, as number 4.  Here at urbanMamas, we know we have a great thing.  We've had numerous conversations here about sense of place and our neighborhoods.  Many of us have lived in different cities and have made the decision to move to and stay in Portland.  Simply put, Portland's 'da bomb'.

Many of us know what it's like to research online to find the perfect neighborhood, school, and community.  We've received a few recent emails from folks moving to Portland, asking specific questions and seeking your input, advice, and suggestions. 

Amy and her family are moving to Portland from the Bay Area:

My husband and I are finally carrying out the dream we've talked about for years: Moving from the Bay Area to Portland.  I grew up in Southern Oregon, and came to the Bay Area for grad school, as did my husband.  Then we just kind of stuck around here. Now, we both work from home, have a toddler son, and we're ready to move. We really want to live near shops, good public schools, and parks —after commuting an hour each way every day to work for eight years, I'm done with driving for a while! Here are the neighborhoods we like:  Irvington, Alameda,
Beaumont, and Laurelhurst. (We want to live really close-in, even Mount Tabor and Multnomah Village felt a little too far for us). Does anyone have thoughts on those neighborhoods, in terms of being family-friendly, close to things, safe, and having good public elementary schools?  Also, some friends recommended we check out the west hills area and NW, but I was unsure after driving around there if young families live there and couldn't tell if the vibe was as friendly
as NE?  Seems like Chapman and Ainsworth are good schools, but I really want to be close to other families and good stuff to do with my son (libraries, parks, museums, etc). Any thoughts would be much appreciated!

Continue reading "Moving to Portland & Seeking Advice!" »

City Versus Suburbia Conundrum

March 07, 2007

We've had discussions on whether you would recommend your neighborhood and feeling a sense of community in Portland, but here's a different side to this question.  Melanie is wondering if you can find of a bit of suburbia in the city.  She writes:

Although my husband and I have lived all over Portland we always chose to stay close to the urban center, but after having kids we headed out to the burbs for lots of reasons: spacious affordable housing, wanted our kids to have other neighborhood kids to grow up with, good schools, very close neighborhood parks, strong community feel (at least in our Burb).  However, we miss living in close for all the usual reasons.  We've been batting around moving back to close in SE, but I'm wondering if I'm having a case of the "grass is always greener syndrome..."  I can give up the big house, I'd LOVE to give up the car a little bit more, but I'm wondering, do those of you that live in urban neighborhoods feel like you have a strong sense of community?  Do you know most of your neighbors, do you see your friends and neighbors at the grocery store, park, coffee shop etc?  Are there kids your kids' ages on your street?  Do most of the neighborhood kids go to the local public school or will you send them off to Central Catholic (or private school of choice) when they're older?  Those are the things I'm worried about leaving behind and would love to hear other mamas experiences with raising their families in the city.

It's Seussical!

February 28, 2007

Everyone loves Dr. Susss. The first week of March will be celebrated by many as Dr. Susss Celebration week, part of the Seussentennial fun. Theodor Geisel's birthday is March 2. In his honor, the National Educational Association has instituted a day to Read Across America. Also to celebrate, our daughter's classroom will "read away the day", coming to school in jammies, bringing loads and loads of books, and read, read, read.

Multnomah County Library has a bunch of stuff planned to celebrate Dr. Seuss. The fun starts tomorrow at a library near you. See this flyer (*pdf) for all Seussical events.

Seuss Storytime: Celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday with stories!
Seuss

For preschoolers:
Thursday, March 1, 10:15–11 a.m. @ Midland Library
Thursday, March 1, 11–11:30 a.m. @ Central Library
Tuesday, March 6, 10:15–10:45 a.m. @ Hillsdale Library

For toddlers:
Wednesday, March 7, 10:15–10:45 a.m. @ Hillsdale Library

It's a Seuss-a-thon!: In honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday, drop by the Belmont Library and be read to by volunteers from neighborhood schools and the community.
Friday, March 2, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. @ Belmont Library

Celebrate Seuss!: National award-winning storyteller Christopher Leebrick shares Dr. Seuss stories as well as delightful multicultural tales. Suitable for ages 5-105!
Friday, March 2, 3–3:45 p.m.@ Northwest Library
Saturday, March 10, 2–2:45 p.m. @Rockwood Library
Thursday, March 29, 2–2:45 p.m.@ Midland Library
Free tickets for seating will be available 30 minutes prior to the program.

Seussational! Crafts! Games! Seussical snacks! Become a Daisy-Head Maisy! Play with your Green Eggs and Ham! Create your own zoo animal!
Saturday, March 3, noon–3 p.m. @ Capitol Hill Library

Discover the Lorax: Celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday with a reading of The Lorax, and create your own three-dimensional Truffula tree with artist and storyteller Kathy Karbo.
Saturday, March 3, 1–3 p.m. @ Capitol Hill Library
Sunday, March 4, 2–4 p.m. @ Gregory Heights Library
Saturday, April 7, 1–3 p.m. @ St. Johns Library

Registration required; call 503.988.5397.

Dr. Seuss Birthday Party Celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday with stories, games and more!
Sunday, March 4, 2–4 p.m. @ Fairview-Columbia Library

The Next Friday Knights

February 15, 2007

Back by popular demand, Friday Knights is scheduled for Friday, February 23rd.  We went last time, and our girls had a super-duper time.  They came home with fun stuff, like journals and pens, and they spent the evening making huge life-size drawings, playing card games, and playing the night away.  The best part was that we adults could steal away for a couple of hours of grown-up time and grown-up drinks.

Mark your calendars and RSVP now!  Sydney's is modifying it's format, pricing, and timing, so here are details:

Sydneys2_3Friday Knights at Sydney's
Friday, February 23, 2007
6:30 to 8:30 PM (feel free to drop off at 6:15 to help kids get situated)
Kids ages 5 and up (Kids as young as 3 are welcome when accompanied by an older sibling)
$15 per child, $10 for first sibling, and $5 for each sibling thereafter

Advance registration required: [email protected] or 503 241 4313.

urbanMamas Childcare Referral Forum

February 04, 2007

If you've sent us an email recently regarding seeking childcare resources in Portland, we just want to let you know that it has not been lost.  We just get many, many requests and have been trying to figure out a way to spread the word and get you in touch with someone that can help you out.  In response to the frequent and recurring requests, we have dedicated a portion of the urbanMamas site to posting the various childcare requests we recieve from our readers.  We call it the urbanMamas Childcare Forum.

For childcare seekers: send an email to [email protected] and include the following in your email: geographic area, type of childcare, frequency needed, ages of children, and contact email.

For childcare providers:   send an email to [email protected] with details of your opening, event, or open house along with contact information.

We strive to respond to all emails we recieve in a timely manner.  However, please note that if there is a backlog of emails which there is often, we may not be able to immediately post your request! Childcare questions of general nature will still be posted on the main site.

Keep Unhealthy Drinks out of PPS!

February 02, 2007

Before this school year started, all soft drinks, non-100% juices and sports drinks were removed from Portland Public Schools (PPS) vending machines.  Due to increasing concern about the epidemic of childhood obesity, PPS enacted a number of healthy changes to make the nutrition environment better in all schools.  Coke employees were kept informed of this process.

Now Coke is pressuring Portland Public Schools for making these healthy changes, even though PPS now has a policy dictating healthy vending machine options. Portland Public Schools should not be fined for doing the right thing for the health of our students!  We cannot allow Coke to dictate the sale of unhealthy beverages to our kids in our schools! Tell Coca-Cola Enterprises to leave Portland Public Schools alone! Coke should support PPS’ efforts to improve children’s health and respect PPS’ autonomy in deciding how to do that.

Call Matt Wilson, Coca-Cola Market Unit VP, 503-682-5107.  Join PPS Citizen Wellness Advisory Committee this Saturday to support PPS to keep kids healthy!

Portland Exposition Center
2060 North Marine Drive, Portland, OR 97217
February 3, 2007 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

The PPS Citizen Wellness Advisory Committee (WAC) invites you to join us in saying “Keep our vending machines healthy!”  At the Celebrate! PPS event, visit the WAC booth # 134 to call Coke or sign a petition to voice your support of PPS’ beverage changes. Let’s keep liquid candy out of our students’ hands. For more information, please contact Sara Leverette, Chair of the PPS Citizen Wellness Advisory Committee at 503-381-0821 or [email protected].

Mommy 'n' Me Knitting

January 29, 2007

Thanks for the feedback on Mommy 'n Me Knitting.  Sydney's Cafe is proud to present its first of anKnit ongoing group for mamas and their little ones to gather an knit.  It's a great time for those of all ages and skill levels:

  • Have your child learn to knit
  • Finish that knitting project you have been working on
  • Meet up with a friend to chat and knit
  • Cozy up to comfy chairs and a latte while learning this craft
  • Collaborate with other knitters in the community
  • And simply have a wonderful Saturday morning!

Everyone is welcome!  Every Saturday beginning February 3rd at 10 AM.

Sydneys1Sydney's
1800 NW 16th Avenue
[email protected]
503 241 4313

updated March 1, 2007:  Due to schedule conflicts, Mommy 'n' Me knitting will now be every SUNDAY at 10 AM.

Friday Knights is TONIGHT!

January 19, 2007

Join the Sydney's family for a night of games, pizza, music and art projects.  It's a perfect time for mamas and papas of older kids to steel away for a few moments, a bite to eat or a drink on the town.

Friday Knights
Friday, January 19, 2007
7 to 9 PM
Kids 6 and up, $15 per child
Sydney's Cafe
1800 NW 16th Avenue, at Thurman
[email protected]
503 241 4313

Montessori Schools in Portland

January 14, 2007

Even though the new year is still so new, it's time to start thinking about the options for the fall. Lydia is gettiing a head start and researching Montessori preschools:

I'd like to ask other urbanMamas about the Montessori schools in Portland. My daughter will turn three during the 07/08 school year, so I'm researching now and getting ready to apply by the end of next month. We live in the Mt Tabor area - so far we've visited the Franciscan Earth School and Harmony Montessori and had good impressions of them both. I'm particularly interested to hear from any mamas who are NOT happy with the schools their children attend, and why.

Another eastside Montessori School is Providence Montessori.

On the westside, there is Childpeace Montessori, Odyssey Montessori, West Hills School, Two Rivers, Child's View.

We welcome your feedback, if you'd had experiences with these schools.

NW Mommy and Baby Group

January 11, 2007

Now meeting every other Saturday at the Friendly House

Moms with babies 1 year and younger are welcome to come to meet other  moms and babies to share experiences and ideas, ask questions, or simply make new friends. This is a great opportunity for first-time moms to find advice and learn from other moms. A topic or theme (Is my baby
having stranger anxiety and what do I do?, Any good sleeping tips?  etc.) will be discussed during each session but there will also be an opportunity for moms to ask specific questions. This group will meet every other Saturday (2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, except for March) to accommodate working moms or moms that just can't make it to  the usual groups that meet on weekdays. The first group meeting will be on January 13, 2007 at 9:30 am. at The Friendly House.  No registration required and members can join at anytime.  For more information, contact Nannette Sato at [email protected].

Help a Mama help her Mama

January 09, 2007

People in Portland love their neighborhoods, and there are many reasons why. Dana's mom is considering moving to Portland from Ashland:

My question is regarding what areas of Portland people have found a sense of community, with a progressive attitude, and decent price range for real estate. What neighborhoods have people experienced that they know and maybe even like their neighbors?

If she were to move up here it would be really important for her to find a neighborhood that could still give her some of those things that Ashland did. Of course Portland is a big city and Ashland is not, but Portland has nice little pockets of cool spots. Although one usually follows the other its not just about the shopping and good restaurants for her. I think she wants to be able to get involved in the community some. Join some local groups, walk to the coffee shop and see people she knows, and of course support for local libraries. One thing I find you run into w/ bigger cities is life gets faster and everyone goes about their busy lives. She wouldn't like that.

I live in Piedmont so I'm not sure what other neighborhoods are like to live in. I know she likes Alameda, and Irvington, and Grant Park areas. Maybe Mt. Tabor but not sure if that will be in her price range or not (400-500K) or in SE some place. She would love to find a little place w/ a separate apartment or a duplex or something to rent out as well.

I Heart Sip and Kranz

January 02, 2007

09.jpegFor many years I lived in Boston trying to become a rock star.  To make ends meet, I had a job delivering art to Manhattan galleries once a week. We would fire up the truck at 4 am, deliver to all the hip galleries in town and double park a lot, hit a “Ray’s Pizza” for lunch, and make it back to bean town around 10 pm for a couple of beers at Foley’s.

The job made for a long day but I enjoyed the opportunity to soak in NYC once a week. The galleries we served and much of the art we delivered were models of modern design.  Modernism - its simplification of form- has always captivated me but part of my admiration is no doubt based on my inability to ever be that unadorned in style.

Like it or not, my sense of style bounces between hippie and grunge (thus I always have an excuse to be unkept). I am much too cluttered in thought and deed to ever inhabit any structure found in the pages of dwell (even though I subscribed to the magazine for many years). Regardless I remain captivated by crisp, clean lines, and the fact that white comes in more than one shade. Which explains in part why my new crush in the world of kid-friendly cafes is Sip and Kranz.

What will you find there? Wonderful modern atmosphere, tasty, affordable and simple cafe fare (salads, sandwiches, etc.), good coffee, beer and wine, free wi fi, and a glass-enclosed play area for the kids - so you can watch your kids with the volume off.  Other than my desire to tear the BIG SCREEN TV out of play area, my only complaint is that I can’t walk there.

All said, I could easily spend an entire day at Sip and Kranz imbibing coffee and counting the different shades of white. Hopefully they will never enforce a dress code.

Sip and Kranz is located at 901 NW 10th Avenue in Portland near Jamison Square.

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?

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 CardMaking at Sydney's

November 28, 2006

Thank you to Tim, Amanda, Brianna and the rest of the Sydney's staff for hosting some great coffee playdates. Sydney's is coming up with new and great ideas to keep us all happy and occuppied (and us mamas caffeinated). Sydney's is hosting a drop-in Holiday Cardmaking event:

Enjoy classical and holiday music while you set down to put together holiday cards. We will reserve the large community table and set up supplies (stamps, drawing utensils, paper, stickers, and more) for moms and kids to use. Parents are encouraged to bring in their own suppies (but just make sure all the supplies don't get mixed all together!). Don't forget to get the kids some mini hot chocolates to enjoy on the couch as a break from all the craft-making.

Sounds like a great time for mamas with older children, for mamas with infants, and even for mamas whose kids are in school! See you there: Sydney's, 1800 NW 16th Ave, December 4 at 10 AM.

P.S. If you have ideas on fun events for mamas and kidlets at Sydney's, please email: [email protected].

Return to Audubon

November 26, 2006

We have a house full of people waiting for a baby to be born, which is a little stressful. So when the sun made a special guest appearance yesterday, my Pop and I took off for a hike. Not wanting to be too far from the house, we went stomping on the Wildwood Trail.

During that trek, we took a break at the Audubon Society of Portland and I spent every minute there mumbling to myself..."Why has it been a year since I brought Mila here?" Not only are there plenty of kid-friendly trails, you can view birds that have been rescued by the Society.  This menagerie includes Julio the Great Horned Owl and Finnegan the Peregrine Falcon. You will also find a natural history display and The Nature Store.

The Nature Store has plenty of educational and whimsical items for young and old alike. PLUS you can save $10 off your purchase of $30 or more if you have a CHINOOK BOOK!  To top it all off the Society has guided hikes, kid camps, and other educational activities all year round - including a performance by children’s musician David Hall on December 9 at 1:30 pm.

One of my New Year resolutions will be to get my family there more often (this joins Tryon Creek State Park  on an always expanding list), I hope to see you there:

Audubon Society of Portland
5151 NW Cornell Road, Portland OR 97210
Off-street Parking on site

*Another option is to park at Macleay Park and hike the Lower Macleay Trail to the Wildwood Trail (the junction is at the Stone House, continue straight at that point - don't go up the hill). The trail stays level as it follows Balch Creek and briefly heads uphill before reaching a parking lot. Head west 1/10 mile from the parking lot to the Audubon Center. This scenic hike is approximately 1 1/2 miles each way and is definitely kid-friendly.

lucy warehouse sale

November 08, 2006

Every six months or so, lucy hosts the famed Lucy Warehouse Sale
featuring items direct from the stores! The sale is held at the warehouse location: 3135 nw industrial street, portland, or 97210.

11am 6pm, thursday, november 9. 11am 5pm*, friday, november 10. *or while supplies last

tops: $5- $10
pants: $20
jackets: $20
accessories: $5- $20

all sales final, cash or check only

In the past, I have found the lucy warehouse sale really overwhelming, but... if you DO get in with decent selection in your size, the deals are great!

Monday Morning Coffee Playdate

Before there was Sip & Kranz, there was Sydney's.  Any mamas up for a coffee play date this upcoming Monday morning at 10 am?  This won't be your average play date, bring the camera (digital or otherwise) you most use and the talented Lisa Warning will go over some basics on lighting and composition with the group. She'll also give spend some one-on-one time with each interested mama to answer questions about their camera; and give quick 5 min individual lesson with mama and child while the rest of us chat and enjoy coffee.   Sound fun?  RSVP in the comments.  Here are the details:

When: Monday, November 13th
Where: Sydney's, 1800 NW 16th Avenue, Portland, OR
When: 10 am

And if you're lucky, Olivia might show up in her red boots!

Emerson School Auction

November 07, 2006

'Tis the season for school fundraisers. Sareena wrote us to let us know that Emerson School is holding theirs this Saturday:

As a charter school, Emerson receives 80% of it's funding via Portland Public Schools. The remaining 20% is raised via donations and fundraising.

This Saturday, the 11th of November, we invite people to attend our second annual Emerson School Auction, held at PNCA, in the Pearl District. Proceeds from the auction are used to offset full-day Kindergarten fees for lower-income families as well as hopefully funding a new and needed Emerson School Library.

Tickets are $25 a person and include hors d'oeuvres, beer & wine and live music! Auction items run the gamut from spa baskets to portrait sessions, massages to week-long getaways in Mexico!

We hope to see you there. Please call 503-525-6124 for tickets.

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!

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.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

October 25, 2006

I wasn't even paying attention to the radio when OPB announced its incentives for its current membership drive. Philly, however, was tugging the heck out of my sleeve. "Mama! Mama!" She had heard it there first. And, she was so ready and excited to go: the Mary Poppins Sing-Along. The event runs a WHOLE WEEK, from November 3 to 9 at 7pm at Cinema 21. Extra matinees on November 11 and 12 for the wee ones. I'm already planning our costumery. We need to make a trip to the Goodwill to find our get-ups. I still have to decide if I'm going as Mary Poppins or Winifred...

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!

Cloth Diaper Sewing Class

Cynthia Thompson of Zoom Baby Gear is holding a "Diaper Sewing Class" Saturday, October 21 from noon to 3 pm at RCT Fabrics - 2515 NW Nicolai St., Portland, OR

This will be a fun, hands-on sewing class where you can learn to convert basic prefold diapers into fitted, semi-fitted and even All-in-One diapers. Techniques for regular sewing machines and sergers will be covered. You can bring your sewing machine to sew along or just watch and take notes. There is no charge for this informative class. Babes in arms only please!

The regular Cloth Diaper Circle will return to Milagros on November 4.

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" »

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.

Sip & Kranz official opening 10.05.06

October 04, 2006

Sip & Kranz has its official grand opening tomorrow, Thursday, October 5th!

11 am - Wee Sing sing-a-long and book signing for the little ones
6pm - appetizers, wine, beer, music and fun

Sip & Kranz is at 901 NW 10th Avenue next to Jamison Square. They're open from 7am to 9pm most nights. Ironically, I scheduled a meeting there tomorrow at 10, so I may see some of you there!

See the swifts before they head south

September 26, 2006

We went to see the Vaux's swifts twirl into the Chapman Elementary School chimney tonight. What a marvel! As you may already know, the swifts return each year to roost at Chapman on their way south for the winter. I had no idea that this is the largest known roost of migrating swifts in the world.

Wednesday night, 9/27, is the last night of the Audubon Society Swift Watch, so take advantage of the warm evening, bring a picnic and a blanket, and join the companionable crowd on the Chapman lawn. The swifts head in for the night at sunset, so get there by 7pm (NW 27th Avenue and Pettygrove). It's the best free show I've seen in a long time.

Monday Morning Coffee Playdate

August 20, 2006

So, now that the busy weekend is over, how about a coffee playdate?  JJ mentions that she and Blair will be meeting up at Sip and Kranz, then heading over to Jamison.  Let's say...  9:30 AM?  See you there!  Look for a couple of mamas with their li'l babies and their bigger kids, too!

the next new thing: Sip and Kranz

August 17, 2006

Thanks to all who are emailing to get urbanMamas over to the new spot, Sip and Kranz.  Featured in last week's Portland Picks, Sip and Kranz is definitely a spot for the urbanMamas.  Betsy shares:

In a comment to a Weekend Warriors post, someone mentioned a new coffee shop called Sip and Kranz that had a play area near Jameson Park in the Pearl.  I checked it out today... wooohoooo!!! The place is awesome.  It has a cute little sunny play area that the kids can't easily escape from with toys for many ages.  It has Stumptown coffee and good muffins.  It has abundant parking during the week.  And, top this, it even has a little potty in the women's room for the kiddos.  I'm in love.   Most of the moms there seem to have the "it takes a village" attitude.  I stayed in the playroom with about 6 kids for an hour, then another mom came in and I went out to enjoy a muffin and a steamer and enjoy the view of kids happily playing.  What a great addition to Portland.  It looks like they are applying for a liquor license too.

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!!

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?

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!

Strings at Sydney's

April 15, 2006

Mark your calendars: everyone's beloved kid-friendly coffehouse Sydney's is hosting a concert entitled "Hello Strings" by the Muse Trio on Friday, April 21st at 3:30pm. Get there fast to get seats because 3:30 on a Friday is prime after-school time and the place is always packed with regulars.  While this concert will be aimed at introducing the younger set to string instruments, the Muse Trio will also be playing at Sydney's on Saturday, April 29th at 7pm (reception starts at 6:30 pm) as well as Sunday April 30th at 3pm. If you haven't been to Sydney's it's at the corner of NW 16th & Thurman.

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?

Why Portland Rocks

A recent comment made on the We are Family post made me think not only about the fact that most of the mamas and papas reading this have probably moved here within the past 10 years, but it also started me questioning why I came back to this great hometown of mine.  As a former reporter in both southern Oregon and the Portland area, I got a unique perspective on why people keep moving here, and why so many Oregonians choose to stay. Since there are quite a few families I know who are thinking about moving here and reading this blog, I thought I'd share my top five reasons to raise my family in Portland:

1. The most abundant variety of great beer and wine anywhere on earth. This is the main reason we haven't yet packed up and moved to Paris.

2. The beach is only an hour away, the mountain is 45 minutes away, and the desert is just about three hours away - whatever we're in the mood for, it's close.

3.  Sydney's, Laurelwood and Peanut Butter & Ellie's. Places like this don't exist in most cities, and my pals across the globe are envious. Not to mention, we can take our son to almost any restaurant here (even Olea) and it's ok.

4. Here, everyone is family. We're here for you, always, and we know that you will be there for us when the time comes. It's the Portland way.

5. We get our Christmas tree from our nearby neighbor's tree farm, our organic fruits and veggies from different neighbors' farms down the street, our flowers from the local nursery down the street, and fresh seafood from local fisherman (aka, my dad and his buddies). It's not hard to go local here - it's just a way of life.

The list could stretch for miles, including public transportation, the amount of parks per capita, etc. but that's my top five. Let's help encourage other families thinking about moving here to join our big happy family! What's your top five for being here?

How would you save $57 million?

March 15, 2006

We all know that the Portland Public School system is short some cash for next year, roughly $57 million give or take a buck.  PPS is now taking your thoughts:  How would you balance the budget for Portland Public Schools?  Cut administrative spending, cut programs like athletics or Outdoor school, close 4, 6, 10, or 13 schools, reduce staff at schools and increase the student/teacher ratio anywhere from 24.5 to 27.5, limit wage increases, limit contributions toward employees' health care, tap into a one-time funding source, cut a week of school or shorten the school year, spend toward longer-term investments.  There are choices, but many of them look bleak.  PPS is collecting your thoughts via the web-based worksheets.  The website states: "Your ideas will help inform the discussion as the Superintendent and School Board make their budget decisions."

Where to Donate Toys and Clothes

March 13, 2006

Reuse, recycle, reduce. It's the Portland way.  So, what if you have some gear and clothes that you'd like to donate rather than sell or exchange?  Here are Kim's kind words about urbanMamas (thanks!) and question:

I would like to start off by saying I love your website! I stumbled upon it looking into Childcare/Pre School info for my 2 1/2 year old son.

I had one question do you or any of the "urbanMamas" know of a place I can donate his toys etc.? When he was younger we went to the Children's Exchange to trade things (which is a great place) I would really like to know if there was a way to find families in need to help with toys and clothes.

Saturday Morning Playdate!

It's been a long time coming! We've been wanting to do a Saturday morning playdate for a while, so why not this upcoming Saturday, March 18th? It'll be a great time for connecting urbanFamilies - mamas, papas, and kiddies alike!

Saturday Morning Coffee Playdate
March 18 / 10:30 AM
Sydney's
1800 NW 16th Ave
Portland, OR

Summer is right around the corner, Part 1

March 09, 2006

So, I know we just had snow today, but I'm still thinking about the summer, which is just three months away! Our biggest girl is 5-1/2 this summer, and I am hoping that she'll have more summer options than before. Here's our list with some highlights (she's not going to all, but these are just a 'few' of the things we're thinking about):

Ethos Music Camp: For five (non-consecutive) weeks through the summer, from late June to the end of August, Ethos offers a variety of music camps focusing on guitar, percussion, piano, strings, and even hip-hop and rock band ensembles. Cost is $195 per week, from 9-5 daily, grades K-12. Ethos is a well-respected music school with several community programs for school-aged children. Each child can enroll for a maximum of 2 sessions per summer.

Grace Art Institute Camps: Last year, it was India. This year, it's Greece. This summer Grace Art Institute summer camp will explore the fascinating and historical Greek culture. Cultural folktales are the heart of each week's curriculum and campers choose to immerse themselves in a variety of performing and visual arts, including dance & music, drama, glass art, ceramics & sculpture, fibre arts, visual arts, book arts. Cost is $205 per session, from 9-3 daily with a Friday art celebration, ages 4-12. (Before & After care can be arranged.)

smARTworks / PNCA: for 1st graders to middle school, this year's focus is storytelling. Cost is $235 per week and camp runs 8-5pm.

Children's Museum summer camps: These are among the pricier ones, but I thought I'd still put it out there. Camp runs 8:30 to 2:30 ($200) with aftercare available ($90). Still, there is art, drama, activities, games, crafts.

Audobon Society: "Audubon Summer Camps inspire children to love and protect nature, in the very best way, by exploring, learning, and having fun." Camps run for ten weeks throughout the summer. Half-day (9-1) sessions for first graders, and full-day sessions for 2nd graders and older. I can't find the cost in an obvious place online, so let me know if you find it!

Oregon Zoo Summer Camps: Use interactive activities, crafts, zoo exploration to learn more about the animals. All camps include guided zoo tours, animal visits in the classrooms, Discover Birds show, visits to the family farm and pygmy goat kraal, lorikeet feeding, songs, games, stories, a train ride (except Penguin Camp), snacks and a ZooCamp t-shirt. 3rd – 8th grade camps include a visit to the Washington Park play structure and Elephant Barn picnic shelter. Half-day camps for kindergarteners ($85 for members/$100 for non-member); full-day camps for 1st graders and up ($190 for members/$220 for non-members). Before and after care available.

YMCA - Camp Collins: Day camp for children in grades 1-6. "Campers will participate in archery, arts and crafts, hiking, nature activities, climbing tower, field games, and believe it or not, much more!" Camp runs for 9 sessions; fees are a sliding scale ranging from $165 to $215 per week. Daily bus service to camps run from Alameda school (NE), Gresham and the North Clackamas Aquatic Center.

Camp Ky-O-Wa: "Explore a trail in the woods, enjoy the cool waters of a lake, try your luck at fishing, bounce on a trampoline, sing camp songs, and discover other fun summer activities. Camp Ky-O-Wa is an integrated day camp for children ages 5-11, with and without disabilities." Sponsored by Portland Parks & Recreation.

Summer Nature Camp: Also by Portland Parks & Recreation, for children ages 5-12, week-long sessions "provide youngsters with a firsthand experience with nature through hiking, storytelling, scientific observations, and forest crafts."

OMSI Summer Science Camps: Junior Naturalist camp, Naturalist camp, Adventure camps. These camps are serious all-week camps at various locations throughout the state. Without a doubt, our kids could get an invaluable experience (camps run $385 for the week). But, our biggest girl is still eons away from spending the whole day and night away from us! Programs run for youth ages 7-18. Camps run from 1 to 3 weeks long! We are SO not there yet. Someday!

Mad Science: For some reason, I had it in my head that Mad Science camp would be so fun for our biggest girl once she became of age. Now, I see that they've only got one location in the inner eastside, and it's isn't even a full-day (it's only 9-3pm). So, it won't work for us, but maybe the locations and times will work for you! It's about $129 per week for ages 4 and up.

And, actually, this listing of summer camps is pretty good.

Fuzzi Bunz: a pdx wild-goose chase

March 05, 2006

I used Fuzzi Buzz dipes for our second daughter.  We love them through and through!  Now that our second girl is now out of diapers (yipee!), we want to keep the fuzzi bunz love going.

As one of those 'stretched to the limit' sorta mamas (yeah, whatever), I had 1 hour last Friday to find a coupla fuzzis as a gift at a colleague's baby shower.  I checked the Fuzzi website to find that there were only two Fuzzi retailers in Oregon: one in Eugene and one in Grants Pass (which is where I made one big original fuzzi order way back when).  I thought to myself, "what the????"  I could've sworn that at least one Portland kiddie shop carried the Fuzzis.  I surfed onto Mother Nature's and saw that they carried Fuzzis.  BUT, did they have any?  Alas, a call over to Mother Nature's told me there were no Fuzzis to be had.  In fact, I was told that Fuzzi Bunz hadn't fulfilled an order for months and months and that Fuzzi-luvin' parents were frantically trying to find them all throughout the Portland area!  I was surprised at the story.  The last bit of info from our conversation was that only one other retailer carried the Fuzzis in Portland, a primarily-online retailer BabyWorks.

It was 11:10 am and I was on SE Clinton and I had to find the Fuzzi Bunz (size medium, preferably in bright colors!) and get back to the office (such a fun-filled place for a baby shower!) by 11:30.  I 411-ed BabyWorks, confirmed availability of my needs, and zipped on over to a live/work space in the NW.  When I walked into BabyWorks, I was in awe at this treasure!  Organic cotton baby layettes, varied diapering systems, beautiful diaper bags.... and the oh-so important flushable Kushi diaper liners, which - until today - we've only been able to find at two Portland stores (Mother Nature's and Milagros).  I felt lucky that we had this online shop headquartered in Portland.

The women at BabyWorks were helpful and very busy.  I arrived at the baby shower at 11:34 am, with a package of a bright orange fuzzi and a bright red fuzzi, each stuffed with a Mother of Eden fleecy liner.

All of this to say: uMamas, BabyWorks is awesome!  Since they are primarily online retailers, their retail hours are limited, so check the website for details.

Quiet Off-Leash Dog Parks

March 04, 2006

A question from one of our readers:

I have two children - a baby and a canine- so I'm wondering if anyone can tell me their favourite off-leash dog park. In my experience, some off-leash dog areas can be scary, if there are out of control dogs fighting in the vicinity. I'm looking for an off-leash dog park that isn't frequented by too many dogs during the day. One that I can feel safe in. Hope to bump into those mamas with pooches some time. I'll be the crazy one yelling and running after my dog, baby in tow.

WOW Walking Series - Hosted by REI

February 28, 2006

So, would anyone be interested in meeting up with other urbanMamas at the WOW Walking Series, hosted by REI

Join Portland REI and Wonders of Walking for the last two walks in the series intended to get you active while discovering the beauty of Portland. Each session will begin with coffee/tea, energy bar of the week and a power clinic covering such topics as motivation, target heart rates and cold weather gear. Following the clinic, participants will head out on a 30 – 45 minute walk designed for all abilities.

There are two Saturday walks left, March 4th and March 11th.  Walks are from 9AM to 10:30AM, and cost is $7 for members/$10 for non-members.

Sounds kinda fun....  (I won't be able to make either walk, but I hope that some of you can!)  RSVP & connect with others!

FRIDAY + SYDNEY'S + PORTLAND AT PLAY

February 15, 2006

Friday's are made to be good days. Join us on Friday at 10 AM at Sydney's, a new urbanMama haunt for sure. We're also going to screen Portland At Play DVD on the big flat panel.  Here's what Robyn, creator of Portland at Play, has to say about her project:

Before I moved here with hubby, two kids and Australian terrier in tow, I searched everywhere for as much info as I could find about kid stuff in Portland and found the info scattered and sometimes difficult to find. My hubby and I were looking for a visual guide (when I read there were 240 parks in the Portland area alone... where to begin?? I wanted to SEE some of them, SEE the play-structures, SEE the splashing fountains (Keller Fountain and Jamison Square are both terrific but SO different)...

Anyway, long story a bit less long, we decided to produce our own visual guide - on DVD. We began researching, distributing questionnaires to long-time portlanders and new residents, taking our girls to every place that was recommended... and 18 months later... "Portland at Play" was officially born last month.

The DVD offers a visual tour of many of the kid-friendly activities and attractions available in and around Portland and is loaded with ideas for fun things to do any day of the year, rain or shine. We cover outdoor spots like parks and playgrounds, U-pick farms and splashing fountains as well as activities like hiking, biking, skateboarding, boating and snow play. We cover indoor activities like museums, theater, climbing gyms, indoor pools, etc. We also cover the basics -- the lowdown on finding your way around the city as well as info on downtown -- and day trips. With seasonal info and age-specific recommendations, we're hoping the guide will be a really useful resource for Portland families -- especially newbies who haven't figured out their way around yet.  We give web addresses of the places we mention and when we introduce an activity, we always try to let people know its just to get them started and then we point them where to go to learn more... The whole thing is completely unsponsored -- no one paid to be in the DVD -- so hopefully parents will trust it as being info presented to parents from parents.

Hope to see y'all there, mamas!  Just talked to Tim, the owner, who promises to have plenty of special pastries and other goodies just for us!

COFFEE PLAYDATE - I'M IN LOVE

February 12, 2006

Hot bloggity!  Reason #51 why Portland rocks - the coffee shops, specifically Sydney's.  Sydney's is brand spanking new, kid-friendly and urbanCool.  It also has Wi-Fi.  Put it on you calendar for this Friday, February 17.  We'll be there at around 10 am.  It's on 15th and NW Thurman across from Childpeace Montessori School.  Let us know if you can join us.

P.S. Parking is available in the lot next to the cafe.  It was plentiful for a Sunday, not sure how it is during the weekdays.

P.S.S Don't forget that Karen and Tori, and other urbanMamas are gathering on V-Day at Urban Grind!

Photos courtesy 5-yr old Philly.

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