93 posts categorized "SE"

Eastside W[h]ine night Friday, December 9

November 30, 2011

After a very long hiatus, we're planning another Eastside w[h]ine night for Friday, December 9th. Update: We chose Bar Avignon, 2138 SE Division! We are choosing between an overwhelming number of fantastic wine bars in the Central Eastside -- think somewhere between the Morrison Bridge and 28th and Burnside. While we juggle all the options, we wanted to get this on your calendars (and we'll also base our selection on the probable number of guests).

So, here are the details:

   ~~ Friday, December 9
   ~~ 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
   ~~ Bar Avignon, 2138 SE Division
   ~~ urbanMamas will provide event support (i.e. pay for some goodies & wine!)

We like to find a place that allows minors for those who might bring a nursing infant, so please let us know if this is a make-it-or-break-it for you. We also picked a long time frame that will hopefully allow both pre-bedtime and post-bedtime mamas to come along; we don't expect most of you to be there the whole time!

Please let us know if you're coming in the comments. Dads are welcome, although they should know that these events tend toward the girl talk. Also, if you wish to lobby for a particular spot (our list is already long!), let us know why we should hold our event there!

Landmark high school reforms passes, closing Marshall, changing Jefferson

October 13, 2010

In a 4-3 decision last night, the Portland Public School board voted to close the three academies at the Marshall High School campus, a group of Gates Foundation-funded experimental small schools, at the end of the 2010-11 school year. The school had been in decline before the switch to academies, and in recent years, "falling enrollment and rising operating costs" -- along with parents who were generally desperate to get their children in stronger "community schools," as the PPS buzzword goes -- led to the near-inevitable decision. The students in those clusters will go to Cleveland, Franklin and Madison; the teachers will be distributed; the building will be closed.

Another decision, to change Jefferson into a "powerful focus school that offers students the opportunity to earn college credits even as they complete high school," is equally expected but far less understood (and voted for with a strong 6-1 margin). Northeast neighborhood parents, left with two options, Grant and a long-declining Jefferson, often chose Grant; the privileged students went to Lincoln; Jefferson was in dire need of a return to its relatively strong identity in the 80s and 90s as a performing arts school. 

Benson was already "saved," and Grant, despite early fears by parents and community members, was never really in danger (I submit that the idea was grandstanding by Carole Smith meant to soften the blow of her eventual decision; but that's entirely an unfounded conspiracy theory :). In light of our initial discussion when the first plan was released, what do you think? Is this the best option to fix an awkward-if-not-totally-broken school system? Could equity result if everything goes according to plan? How will your family be affected?

The revolution will be put into glass jars

July 05, 2010

Last year, I was invited to join a group of amazing women, mostly food writers or bloggers, but a few simply passionate about preservation, in Seattle, Philadelphia and a few other locales to help promote the Canvolution -- a celebration of Canning Across America all year long that culminated in a weekend Can-a-rama. In cities across the country, canners were invited to host events in which beginning and experienced putter-uppers would join together in something like the harvest parties of old.

The inaugural event was scheduled for the weekend of Hood-to-Coast; much though I wanted to host something, it was a little more than I could juggle. I canned alone on Sunday when I returned home from a lot of mostly-sleepless running. I was lucky enough, though, to be invited to a tomato canning party in September, giving me the community canning fix to get me through the winter (and, for the record, I canned enough tomatoes! -- with my solo jars and the product of our canning party, 70 pints were more than my family needed). I've been inviting a few friends over for strawberry jam-making on Wednesdays, and though it's been a bit chaotic, it's been lovely, too. And the jam has been delicious!

This year I was thrilled to see the Can-a-rama scheduled for the weekend of July 24 and 25. Immediately, I knew I'd host a canning party; every time I've mentioned food preservation here, I've had at least one commenter wonder, how can I learn to can food? This will be just a bit of a lesson, and it will be hands-on and messy and probably hot, but it should be fun.

I'm planning to book a solid day of harvesting and preserving on Saturday, July 24; we'll begin by harvesting some plums from a neighbor's tree, then make a number of preserves based on those plums (including jam, a savory sauce and perhaps plum pickles), and probably some other preserves -- blueberry, apricot, zucchini? -- based on what's bountiful and cheap that week. I'll demonstrate both water-bath canning and lacto-fermentation; but no pressure canning. I think my Southeast Portland home can fit about a dozen mamas and papas; I'd love to see parties clustered around neighborhoods so that you all could use this as a community-building as well as a teaching/learning/food-securing opportunity. (If you want to host but aren't into the coordination, leave a comment and I'll help.)

Preschools, like Puddletown, often looking for a home

June 30, 2010

A preschool needs a home.

Several friends in my neighborhood have children at Puddletown School; one of the teachers there came to dinner at my house a few weeks ago as part of the Village Building Convergence. Through them, I know it to be a jewel of a Montessori school. Like many preschools, it's been shuttled from church to used-to-be-a-church to senior center through its life, never quite comfortable and permanent. I, too, have worked to find a space for a child's playspace, and I empathize with the community's struggle. I so wish it was easier to find spaces for preschools, who need safe, clean ground floor locations; several rooms; close and easy access to bathrooms; and a nearby outdoor space for active play.

Even through the economy's downturn, though, the sort of real estate appropriate for preschools is expensive and often requires difficult upgrades. Preschools operating in a home's large daylight basement, or ground floor, have it easier, as they need not rely on a landlord's good graces; they do require special approval and licensing, however, which takes precious time.

In this case, as seems to be the concern so frequently, Puddletown is losing its lease because its landlord, the Holgate Center at SE 32nd and Holgate, is using the space for other things. Now, with new families signed up for fall and the older children eager to get back to their teachers, the school is adrift without options. Do you have ideas? Has your preschool been through a similar upheaval? What advice do you have for these families?

Continue reading "Preschools, like Puddletown, often looking for a home" »

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?

Seeking Nutritionist

June 17, 2007

As they say, you are what you eat!  The pregnancy and post-partum periods may be challenging for making sure you eat the right foods, MollyJ asks:

I would like to get connected with a nutritionist in SE/NE Portland or the downtown area. Does anyone have any recommendations? I would like to ensure that I am getting the proper nutrition during my last trimester ( I am 7 1/2 months pregnant) as well as have support and guidance for post pregnancy weight loss and nutrition while breastfeeding.

originally posted by urbanMamas on August 18, 2006.

Another urbanMama writes:

After having a baby, I'm struggling to lose the last 5 lbs.  I'm exercising 3-4 times a week but still need some help.  Since I'm still nursing my 11-month old, I need to find the healthy way to help shed those last few pounds.  Can anyone out there recommend a nutritionist in the NW portland area? 

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!" »

2-for-1 Tickets for The Sippy Cups

April 20, 2007

Tickets for The Sippy Cups Portland concert are available 2-for-1 through ticketmaster for a limited time.  The password for this special deal is JELLO.  Simply enter this code into the special promo box.

We are also giving away  two free tickets at Milagros. You may enter the raffle to win tickets at the store. No purchase is necessary. The winner will be notified on April 28th.

The Sippy Cups will be performing in Portland on Saturday, May 5 at the Aladdin Theater - 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave., All Ages, Tickets are $15

SE Playgroups for kids born 2004-06

April 11, 2007

Looking for a playgroup in your neighborhood?  I had heard about these playgroups in passing, but we've recently gotten the low-down.  urbanPapa Eric is part of the organizers:

We've got 3 playgroups here in Sellwood/Moreland/Brooklyn, mine for kids born ~'04, Kirstin's for kids born ~'05, and Mary's for those born '06.  We each have different activities, based on the different ages we have, but we also have different styles and approaches to the whole thing.  If you're interested, take a look at my blog which I use to post weekly calendar of activities. I try to stay local and develop community interests.

Please note Eric's comment below -- please contact him at chasingmoose@gmail.com if you would like more information on the playgroups!

Thoughts on Arthur Academy?

April 10, 2007

An urbanMama and an urbanPapa would love to hear from you.  They are considering a PPS charter school, of which there are now five (for lower elementary grades) in the Portland Public School district.  In specific, they are looking at Arthur Academy:

We're hoping to hear from people whose children have attended one of the Arthur Academy charter schools.  We know they use Direct Instruction, which we've read up on extensively. We're still trying to decide what we think about it. But more importantly, we're interested in the experiences - positive, negative, neutral, anything, that parents whose children have attended can offer.  Did your child enjoy school and learn?  What concerns did you have?  Was the lack of usual school amenities like libraries, cafeterias, auditoriums, a problem?

So many people (perschool teachers, parent friends who have experience in teaching who are considering it for kindergarten, etc) tell me it is a wonderful program but I have yet to hear from any actual parents with kids who have attended or do attend. Any feedback at all would be much appreciated!

Seeking Certified Nurse Midwives

April 04, 2007

We are all in search of an ideal birthing situation. Karli seeks your suggestions and experiences:

I am pregnant with baby #2. After a hospital birth with baby #1, we are looking for a natural birth this time at home with a certified nurse midwife. I am unsure why I hesitate to go with a lay midwife, except that I might feel more comfortable with a CNM, knowing they have the medical training to intervene if the need should arise. I don't know which clinic is the best. I would like to have a referral to the best -- in SW or close-in SE -- if possible. We are looking for a home birth, or may possibly go with a birthing center, but I am leaning towards a CNM. A lot of the feedback on the blog is recommendations for lay midwives. Are there any recommendations for CNM's that deliver at home? I'm also interested in reading that might make me feel a little more comfortable with a lay midwife--as this might expand my options. This will be my last birth, so I want to make sure I make the best decision.

Pilates - Evening Classes?

March 18, 2007

Aaah, the curse of the post-partum squishy tummy.  I'm sure you all know it so well.  Kate's looking for a Pilate's class that will help return her back to pre-baby form.  Any suggestions?

I am on the look out for recommendations for some good Pilate's classes pref. in the evenings since I usually work during the days.  Most of the classes I have been able to find seem to be in the mornings on weekdays.  Gotta' work on the ol' belly....Know of any good evening classes out there (preferably on the east side of town)?

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.

Pilates for Mommies

March 06, 2007

Some tips and insight comes from Suzame.  Thanks so much for sharing your experiences!

I was hoping UrbanMamas would help spread the word about my wonderful Pilates instructor's prenatal and post-partum classes -- the first of its kind as far as I know. I did prenatal yoga, which was great for relaxing, stretching and focusing my mind. Pilates is about about strengthening your core, and can help stabilize joints, reduce joint pain, and make tight areas more limber.
My husband and I have been going to private lessons with Heidi Weiss for almost a year. Even without doing much cardio, the Pilates classes helped me get into my pre-pregnancy jeans, and who doesn't want that?  She and her business partner, Jessica, are great instructors, and they have a nice, secret little studio with brand-spanking new equipment in the SE industrial area, not far from OMSI. Heidi had a baby last October (not that you can tell from looking at her!) and during her pregnancy, she put a lot of thought into how Pilates can help both in preparation for pregnancy and recovery from childbirth. Now Heidi is seeking students for an 8-week prenatal or postpartum class.
And if you're just interested in regular Pilates mat classes (theirs put most gym classes to shame) or private lessons on the reformer machine, she and Jessica do that too (plus they have a new teacher named Mary who has just joined their collective, so there are lots of options and teaching styles available).
If you're interested, call the studio at 503-236-3113 or fill out the contact form at www.pdxpilates.com.

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!

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

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 urbanmamas@gmail.com 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 urbanmamas@gmail.com 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 saraleverette@gmail.com.

Inner Eastside Care - 24/7

January 31, 2007

Here's a unique request of the urbanMamas: recommendations of an in-home provider of 24/7 care.

Does anyone have a 24/7 in-home provider that they love, located in inner NE or inner SE?  We are looking for someone who can accommodate us for one or two Saturdays out of every month.

Infant Daycare SE: Discoveryland?

January 16, 2007

Researching schools and daycares can be difficult. Lauren is seeking your feedback: I'm curious if anyone has experiences (positive or negative) with Discoveryland for infant care (SE 60th)? Any other suggestions in this area (Mt. Tabor/Hawthorne regions) for infants would be welcome too.

Pediatric Dentist: Royce or Butler?

January 15, 2007

Deb is looking for feedback on two specific dentists:

My almost 6 yr old is going to need some work. Our insurance covers two docs in our area fully, pediatric dentists Dr. Royce on SE 10th or Dr. Butler on SE Stark.

The High Carb Solution

Well, I guess since it's OK to blow the New Years resolutions with pudding, why not continue on with cupcakes?  East side mamas who used to need a special occasion to head over to St Cupcake in NW will now no longer need a special occasion!  Saint Cupcake is opening their second location at SE 33rd and Belmont on February 2nd!  There is a Belmont shop menu available already.  I think I just gained another 5 pounds looking at that menu.  Dreaming of chocolate dots with cream cheese frosting mmm mmm good...

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.

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.

Pilates of Portland Grand Opening

December 09, 2006

Nikki wants to spread the word that there's a new Pilates studio in town.  She writes:

We have a wonderful space with two rooms for classes, one for mat classes and the other with pilates machines for Reformer classes and private training.  Attached to our second room it my favorite space, a little "Pirate's Cove" play room designed just for the little ones.   I have taken the same care in choosing decor, safety items, and quality mind engaging toys that I have taken with purchasing own items at our home.  I hope this becomes not only an opportunity for me to meet lots of other terrific parents, but also offers an outlet where moms( and dads) can network and share ideas and information.

Our grand opening is planned for Monday December 11th from 4pm to 8pm.  In place of a non- eventful open house, I have decided to bring in other moms that make or sell items for our opening day.  We are expecting a good variety of vendors, hand knit baby hats, handmade jewelry, soaps, lotions, handbags, discovery toys, an acupuncturist that offers cosmetic acupuncture, and a massage therapist.  We of course will also have our children's room open with a very sweet girl to watch the little ones.  I extend the invitation to anyone that is able to attend.

I would love to meet other mom entrepreneurs to network with and share ideas.  I am also looking for another person that is interested in working in my children's area a couple hours in the mornings and perhaps an hour in the evenings. 

Try Thai Massage

December 08, 2006

Have you tried Thai? urbanMama Deniz passes on her experiences with Thai Massage as well as an urbanMamas special from her new therapist:

I wanted to share with all UrbanMamas my great massage experience. A new tranquil Traditional Thai Massage studio just opened in hip Clinton area of SE Portland. Michael Gill is a specialist in Thai Massage (7 years of experience including training in Thailand), and he is offering a standing $15 discount for new moms (with children under 2 years) and is extending the $15 discount as a holiday special towards gift certificates and any massages booked in December. His normal rate is only $75 for a 90-minute massage.

I recently had my first Thai Massage experience – actually it was my first-ever massage experience and it was truly harmonious. You're fully clothed – it's quite similar to yoga only someone does the stretching and moves for you. Michael consults with you first and customizes the massage – focusing on your specific needs, pain, fatigue and weak areas. It really helped alleviate my aches and pains on my back, hips and shoulders I started to develop from holding, lifting and carrying my 2 year old daughter. The results are felt for weeks after – I have a much better posture when I sit at the desk and can lift my daughter with no forced movements or pain. I'm definitely going to get my husband a Thai Massage.

Michael Gill, LMT
Traditional Thai Massage Studio
(503) 238-0352
2854 SE Clinton Street

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?

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.

Mama & Me 'Pedi's

December 01, 2006

Tons and tons of 'thank you's' to Stephanie for forwarding this one! It's definitely going on my holiday wish-list.

There's a brand new day spa at 7817 SE Stark Street called Sante' (actually "les fleurs de la Sante'" but Sante' for short.) They are right across the street from Flying Pie Pizzeria and the Academy Theater. They offer a "mommy and me" pedicure package called "Pinkie Toes" which allows you to take your daughter with you to the spa and share tea and snacks while you enjoy an herbal foot soak together. Once you're done, you can each pick out a fun nail polish color for your tootsies, and best of all, their nail polish is formaldehyde-free.

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?

Movies + Kids Portraits?

November 28, 2006

With the holidays just around the corner, there has been tons of urbanMama conversation on photographers.  Why not go and catch a movie while the kids' photos get snapped?  Thanks, Stephanie, for the tip!

Photographer Rachel Kubik will be at the Academy Theater on December 2nd and 3rd between 11AM and 9PM with a location studio setup to take your children's portraits.  Simply make a reservation for babysitting with the theater.  When you drop your child off sign up for pictures at the registration table,and pay the $15 fee. Then you can go and enjoy a movie while we have fun playing and taking great pictures!  She will put 10-20 shots of each child on a CD and mail them to you right away.  The digital files will be yours to do whatever you like with them. You can purchase additional copies of the CD with a custom designed cover for $10 apiece.  These make great inexpensive, but priceless Christmas gifts! Make your reservations at the theater early to guarantee a space!

Stephanie adds: I've seen some of Rachel's work in person - her portraits decorate the play space at the Academy Theater and they are wonderful. She has additional examples of her portraiture posted on her web site.

Connected Parenting Series

November 25, 2006

Zenana Spa and Wellness Center is offering a Connected Parenting Series.  Here are the details:

A 6 week Class and Discussion/Practice Group series. A new session starts January 10th - register now to reserve a spot - childcare fills quickly!

Cost: $120 per person, $160 per couple, plus $45 for childcare for one child, $65 for two in the same family for 6 week session. SLIDING SCALE available - contact Lyla@zenana-spa.com.

Meets once per week for 1.25 hours per week. This group is focused on the primacy of connection in parenting children of all ages and on parenting without punishments or rewards. Look deeply past difficult behaviors to discover the underlying needs of our children (and ourselves), and begin to use concrete tools to respond effectively to parenting challenges. Incorporates concepts from the work of Alfie Kohn, Lawrence J. Cohen, Dr. Gordon Nuefeld, and Mary Sheedy Kurchinka as well as the professional and personal experience of Lyla and Emily.

Facilitated by: Lyla Wolfenstein, B.S., IBCLC, RLC - Parent Educator, Lactation Consultant and Mother of 2; and Emily Troper, ECE - Early Childhood Educator and Mother of 4
Schedule: Wednesdays from 10am - 11:15am

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!

Playgroup: Gresham / East Portland

November 03, 2006

Amber wrote to us a while ago about seeking other mamas in Gresham.  Anyone with suggestions?  She writes:

Can you help me? I'm in serious need of a social life, and it feels impossible since I moved away from downtown. Does anyone know of any playgroups or mama's groups way out on the east side? I'm east of Gresham, almost to Sandy. Please help get me out of the house!

Infant Playgroup in SE

October 30, 2006

We all know how important it is for us to connect with like-minded urbanMamas. We exchange tips, dramas, challenges, and triumphs. We need a mama community. Ally writes:

I am a first-time mom looking for other mothers who be interested in forming a play group for 7-8 month olds. None of my friends have any kids so it would be nice to meet up with new moms to bounce ideas off etc. I live in inner SE.

Now that the colder, wetter weather is on its way, perhaps its time for us to resume some semi-regular coffee playdates?

New Day School Harvest Festival

On Sunday, November 12th from 3 to 6 p.m. Friendship Masonic Center, 5626 NE Alameda Street, the New Day School will be holding their annual Harvest Festival fundraiser.  This is a great opportunity for parents who are interesting in sending their child to the school to meet other parents and kids, to learn more about the school from those best able to describe their experiences.  There will be entertainment (Play After Play - interactive theater for kids and Uncle Wiggly), food, and a silent auction.  The New Day School is much loved by it's community of parents, kids, and teachers.  It's one of the only full-time preschool options in the inner SE.  Come and support this terrific school whether you are intending to send your children here or not.  Tickets are $15 each for adults.  Childcare is available for those still not breastfeeding or can be toted around in a sling.  For more information or if you'd like to make a donation, please email: urbanmamas@gmail.com.

Vegetarian Meals Ready To Go

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.

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.

Little YOLO: Eco-Friendly Paint

October 03, 2006

Embarking on remodeling a room to prepare for the arrival of a new babe, or looking to redo a kids room?  There is a greener option available:

YOLO Colorhouse, creators of premium, environmentally responsible interior paint, will deliver a new line of custom designed colors created with young families in mind. Called “little YOLO,” the line is formulated zero-VOC, Green Seal certified paint, trading the dangers of noxious fumes and toxic chemicals, for healthy air and whimsical color.

Little YOLO is available in select paint and environmental building supply stores in Portland, and online at http://www.littleyolo.com. The suggested retail price is $37 per gallon.

Part III: Reading, Writing, and Radicchio

September 28, 2006

Direct from the Reading, Writing, and Radicchio press release (thanks, Sarah!):

Reserve your place at the table for “Reading, Writing and Radicchio” – a three-part series presented by Ecotrust’s Food and Farms program in partnership with Portland Public Schools Nutrition Services and Abernethy Elementary. The fall series offers a full-serving of insight, information and entertainment to highlight the comprehensive efforts underway at Portland Public Schools (PPS) to improve children’s eating habits, help children and their families learn about food, and promote wellness.

Lunch and Learn at Abernethy Elementary

The series entrée is a full-day Lunch and Learn event for the community held at Abernethy Elementary School on Saturday, October 14, from 11:30 a.m. - 4p.m. This celebration of the work being done to manifest wellness in public schools will begin with an “open cafeteria” with Chef Linda Colwell and her staff preparing lunch for the public Abernethy style. After lunch, head off to classrooms for a series of workshops perfect for parents and teachers on topics including: Starting your own edible school garden Local food in local cafeterias – Making Institutional Changes in Public School Cafeterias Farm tours:

  • Connecting Students to their Food Sources
  • Teaching kids to cook
  • Wellness model development at the school, district and national level
  • Developing innovative food, and garden curricula

Workshops are free, but space is limited. Reserve a spot by registering in advance at http://www.readwriterad.org

Recess has not been overlooked. Running concurrent with classroom workshops will be activity stations on the school grounds where the kids and adults can continue their edible experiential learning experience. Look for pumpkin carving with children roasting seeds in the kitchen; meet dairy, potato and pear farmers, and satisfying your curiosity about all things agricultural; or visit the Slow Food tasting table where children are invited to sample salty, sweet, sour and bitter flavors– these and many other activities await your attention and hands-on participation.

The following organizations are generously supporting the Reading, Writing and Radicchio educational event series: Injury Free Coalition for Kids, Kettle Foods, Organic Valley Family of Farms, New Seasons Market, Truitt Bros., Inc., Stahlbush Island Farms, Nancy’s Yogurt, Stoel Rives, Portland Nursery, Cardinal Nutrition, Food Services of America, Egg Press and West Coast Event Productions.

Zenana Grand Opening Party: Don't Miss It

September 27, 2006

Zenana-Spa is throwing a Grand Opening party and inviting mamas, families, and everyone to come check out what they are offering at the spa.  Who can say no to a FREE mini treatment right (mini spa facials, hand and foot massages and chair massages)? And snacks from Vindalho?   Who can resist? Their focus is on pregnant and nursing women, parenting families, new mamas and mamas in general.  It's the place to be on Saturday, September 30th from 4 to 7 pm!

Part II: Reading, Writing, and Radicchio

September 21, 2006

Direct from the Reading, Writing, and Radicchio press release (thanks, Sarah!):

Reserve your place at the table for “Reading, Writing and Radicchio” – a three-part series presented by Ecotrust’s Food and Farms program in partnership with Portland Public Schools Nutrition Services and Abernethy Elementary. The fall series offers a full-serving of insight, information and entertainment to highlight the comprehensive efforts underway at Portland Public Schools (PPS) to improve children’s eating habits, help children and their families learn about food, and promote wellness.

A+ Lunch

Grab a “spork” for the second course in the Reading, Writing and Radicchio series and eat lunch cafeteria style – plastic tray and pint of milk included – while learning about the pilot scratch kitchen at one school, Abernethy Elementary. On Tuesday, October 10, at 11:30a.m., the Jean Vollum Natural Capital Center conference room will be transformed into a lunchroom for grown-ups. Guests will experience the very meal that Abernethy students will eat that day in the cafeteria across town and hear from a panel of public school officials, including: Chef Linda Colwell, Abernethy Elementary Farm to School Coordinator, Chef Ann Cooper, director of Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School’s Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley and author of “Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children” (Collins; September 2006) and Kristy Obbink, PPS Nutrition Services Director. Panelists will share case studies of the work being done at the national and local level to reform school lunches, including an in-depth look at Abernethy Elementary’s comprehensive approach to wellness, which includes an outdoor garden, curriculum integration, and, best of all, a newly retrofitted scratch kitchen which turns out 50 hot breakfasts and 200 hot lunches each day.

Guests will be among the first to hear the outcomes of the analysis of the pilot farm to school program, led by Ecotrust’s Food and Farms program, and how the lessons learned will shape district-wide change in the years to come, beginning in the 2006-2007 school year.

Tickets to the A+ Lunch are $65 with proceeds supporting Abernethy Elementary’s Garden of Wonders and the nonprofit Ecotrust’s work to research and transform public school lunch programs. Reserve a spot in the lunch line by visiting http://www.readwriterad.org or by calling 503-227-6225.

Part I: Reading, Writing, and Radicchio

August 31, 2006

Direct from the Reading, Writing, and Radicchio press release (thanks, Sarah!):

Reserve your place at the table for “Reading, Writing and Radicchio” – a three-part series presented by Ecotrust’s Food and Farms program in partnership with Portland Public Schools Nutrition Services and Abernethy Elementary. The fall series offers a full-serving of insight, information and entertainment to highlight the comprehensive efforts underway at Portland Public Schools (PPS) to improve children’s eating habits, help children and their families learn about food, and promote wellness.

Oregon’s Omnivore Dilemma

The first course starts with a City Club Friday Forum entitled “Oregon’s Omnivore’s Dilemma” to be held on Friday, September 15. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. The program begins at 12:15 p.m. The forum is inspired by author Michael Pollan’s best-selling book The Omnivore’s Dilemma. This Friday Forum brings the dilemma home to Oregon with a panel discussion that will revolve around deconstructing typical lunches served by well known, local institutions. The process will reveal where the meal came from and respond to questions about the challenges and opportunities meal providers face in sourcing ingredients.

A panel, moderated by Deborah Kane, vice president of Ecotrust Food and Farms program, will feature Kristy Obbink, Portland Public Schools Nutrition Services Director, Lisa Sedlar, president of New Seasons Market, and Tara Wefers, vice president of marketing and communications for The Holland, Inc., the parent company of Burgerville. Tickets to this Friday Forum cost between $5 and $20. Lunch will be available to attendees, if they make advance reservations. Both tickets and lunch reservations can be purchased in advance by calling City Club at 503-228-7231 ext. 103. For more information visit: http://www.pdxcityclub.org/forums-events/friday-forums.php

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?

Rock'n Roll Mamas on Live Wire

June 12, 2006

Filmmaker Jackie Weissman and Kristin Hersh of Throwing Muses will be talking about Jackie's documentary, Rock'n Roll Mamas, on the next taping of Live Wire, a live radio show at the Aladdin Theater and broadcast on OPB. What's Live Wire? I'd never heard it myself, but it looks and sounds fascinating: the website describes it as "Fresh Air meets The Partridge Family, but without the bus." (Here's more.) Who could resist? Other guests include esteemed Oregon writer Karen Karbo, more musicians, some haiku, some comedy...and, I'd imagine, a few surprises.

Event details: Friday, June 16, 8pm (doors open at 7pm), Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Avenue. $10 advance (Aladdin box office or Ticketmaster)/$12 at the door

Mother- / Baby- / Family-Friendly Spa & Wellness Center

June 05, 2006

urbanMamas are all about spas and salons. When Annee sent us this email about seeking help for a spa & wellness center that will be opening soon, we were delighted to pass on the word! 

Hi Mamas. We are posting to several groups at once before we advertise publicly, in hopes of finding just the right people for several part time or full time positions. We are a spa and wellness center focused on pregnant and parenting families (all ages of children) opening this summer in the 7 Corners area of SE Portland (SE Clinton and 21st.)

We are currently seeking to fill the following positions. All positions are flexible in terms of hours and days, and and can be job shared very easily. We are committed to being a family friendly/mother friendly/baby friendly employer! All employees will receive mother friendly/baby friendly training.

- Aesthetician to provide facials and other services using natural, low fume products. Must be willing to provide services to mothers while they hold and/or nurse their babies.

- Nail Technician to provide acrylic free, low fume pedicures and manicures using natural nail polish. Must be willing to provide services to mothers while they hold and/or nurse their babies.

- Childcare providers for drop in childcare for families receiving services on site. Must have experience with children and an interest in respectful communication and conflict resolution with young children (all childcare employees will receive training.)

- Receptionist/Boutique Clerk to welcome guests, answer phones and direct calls, register and schedule class attendees, and lactation, massage, and spa service clients, and assist guests with boutique purchases. Must be a great multi-tasker, with wonderful people skills and a commitment to supporting families. Retail experience a plus.

To apply for any of these positions, please visit our web site at www.zenana-spa.com, and send your resume and a letter specifying for which position you are applying and how you heard about the opening. Please feel free to re-post this to other groups, or to pass this on to anyone who might be interested.