URBANMAMAS PODCAST, EPISODE 8: Shanti Hodges

March 12, 2015

Don't just sit at home and count your toddler's boogers on the wall while baby stares at the ceiling fan. Get outside and find your tribe! Shanti Hodges founded Hike It Baby to help moms and dads get moving and get connected in the easiest and most invigorating way she knows how: hiking. It's a movement that has grown to 80 cities in just about a year, and EVERYONE can join in the fun. Below is a partial transcript from the urbanMamas Podcast Episode 8 with Shanti. Check out the links below for how you can find your own Hike It Baby tribe. (oh and hey! thank YOU for leaving us reviews on iTunes! we owe you baked goods and bear hugs.)

Click here to listen on iTunes. Click here to listen direct.

K: Well, Shanti, tell us a little about Hike It, Baby. How it started ...

S: Where do I start? It started in July 2013. I had my son June 28th, my husband was very - we were very outdoorsy and had this crazy adventure life, we'd travel around the world and were constantly on a raft trip or some outdoor trip or another, and all of a sudden we were pretty much going to be inside all summer, cause we had a baby. And so after Mason was born there was a bit of a moment of panic for my husband and I. Like, we sat there with this newborn baby looking at each other, and we attempted to go outside on day 4 and we, like, didn't even know how to carry him! You know, we learned quickly, but we were really panicked about being inside. And my husband actually works in Alaska, on the pipeline, so he leaves for 3 weeks at a time, and I was anticipating what was coming, very quickly, in 6 weeks, that he was going to be gone and I was going to be alone. And it suddenly dawned on me that I have to make friends quickly, and a lot of my friends didn't have kids. And so I had to make friends and get out there. I wanted to be outside. And I would go to new mama groups, that were awesome, I mean I went to Alma, which was amazing, and I had this great experience going to these new mama groups, but at the same time I found we were sitting inside, and July rolled around, and Mason's 2 weeks, and then we were getting on 3 weeks, and I was like "I just want to go for a walk, but I'm really scared to go alone." My husband didn't really understand that even though I looked fine, I wasn't fine. And it was really hard to explain it to him.

Continue reading "URBANMAMAS PODCAST, EPISODE 8: Shanti Hodges" »

Weekend Warriors: March 6-8

March 04, 2015

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

Friday, March 6th

Ladybug Nature Walk at Fernhill Park in NE PDX. Walk through a PP&R Park with your youngster (ages 2-5) and a nature guide. $4/child. Friday 10am.

Red Yarn at the Warehouse Cafe in SE PDX. Check out Red Yarn and his ragtag crew of puppets at this weekly show. $5 suggested donation per family. Friday 10-10:45am. 

The Barber of Seville at the Hampton Opera Center in SE PDX. Portland Opera to Go presents this family-friendly bilingual adaptation of The Barber of Seville. $5 for ages 12 and under; $10 for all others; $20 for family of 4. Friday 7-8pm and Saturday 1-2pm. 

Continue reading "Weekend Warriors: March 6-8" »

urbanMamas Podcast, Episode 7: Leanne Goolsby

February 26, 2015

Below is a partial transcript from the urbanMamas Podcast Episode 7 where we welcome Leanne Goolsby, a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician who helps fill us in on safety seat laws and recommendations in the state of Oregon. At the end of the transcript are resources to ensure your child is riding safely. And please take a moment to rate this podcast and leave a review on iTunes!

Click here to listen on iTunes. Click here to listen direct.

 

(we totally spaced the icebreaker hat)

K: I know I've been doing things wrong probably the whole time my children have been in car seats.

L: Don't worry, you're in really good company. Most people are making mistakes that they're not even aware that they're making and I think that's probably one of the biggest things I've noticed as a CPST and as I've learned more and more over the years about child passenger safety is that people aren't necessarily intending to do things wrong. Nobody wants to put their child in danger on purpose, and if you do, then we've got other problems to talk about. People just don't necessarily know, it's not like you get pregnant and all of a sudden your head is filled with all of this knowledge about laws and recommendations and how to properly install a car seat. It doesn't just magically come to you.

R: It should.

K: The problem is that things keep changing. And that's kinda what prompted this whole thing today. So my kids are now 9 and 6 and really fastly - fastly? - approaching their birthdays, and so we're a bit removed from the infant seat stuff, but then when I was re-visiting how long do I keep my daughter in her booster seat, and I looked at it and went "oh man, I totally did that wrong with my son."

R: So let's just jump straight in. What are the requirements for restraining these children passengers?

L: First of all I do want to point out that there is a big difference between laws and best practice, as far as safety goes. And that is kind of universal. Laws for Oregon, and that's what I'll focus on today is strictly for Oregon. I'm going to read directly from the Oregon Impact website so I don't misquote this: "Oregon child occupant protection law states that child passengers must be restrained in an approved child safety seat until they weigh 40 lbs."

So that's talking about a harness, a 5 point harness, the straps that go over both shoulders. You have a chest clip, and then the straps that come over both hips, and the latch that connects all of those straps together at the crotch. So that's saying that your child, who is under 40 lbs needs to be restrained in a 5 point harness.

R: And there's no age associated with that? It's just the weight?

L: Yes. And again, we are talking about the laws here, and them I'm going to get into what you really should be doing to keep your child as safe as possible. Our law also states that infants must ride rear-facing until they reach both 1 year AND 20 lbs. So, if you're 6 month old is 20 lbs. they haven't reached the point of turning forward facing, according to our laws. If you're 2 year old is only 17 lbs. they also have not reached that limit. It's one year AND 20 lbs. Which I think trips people up sometimes because they think it's either/or.

Continue reading "urbanMamas Podcast, Episode 7: Leanne Goolsby" »

Weekend Warriors: February 27-March 1

February 25, 2015

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

Friday, February 27th

Chinese New Year Celebrations at the Lan Su Chinese Garden. Learn more about Chinese New Year and participate in special events. Children 5 and under are free; $9.50 adults. Friday 10am-5pm. The celebration continues through March 5th. Click here for more ideas to celebrate the Year of the Ram

PP&R Ladybug Walk in NE PDX. Explore Rose City Park with a trained preschool naturalist. $4 per preschooler. Friday 10am. 

Create Your Own Robot Hero at Sparks Art in NE PDX. Disney folks will be handing out Big Hero 6 swag and kids can make their own personal robots. Robot making is free; kids in grades K and up are welcome to stay for open studio for $15. Robot making is Friday 3:30-4:30pm. Open studio runs from 3:30-5:30pm. 

Gogh Kids Canvas Painting Class in Tigard. Create your own masterpiece - a cute little penguin - during this step by step painting class for kids. Advance registration recommended. $15. Friday 4-5pm. 

Continue reading "Weekend Warriors: February 27-March 1" »

Weekend Warriors: February 20-22

February 18, 2015

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

Friday, February 20th

Journey Theater Presents Alice in Wonderland Jr. in Hillsboro. Enjoy this fast-paced adaptation of Lewis Carroll's classic story. $10-15. Friday 9:30-10:30am and 11:45am-12:45pm.
 
Chinese New Year Celebrations Begin at the Lan Su Chinese Garden. Learn more about the Chinese New Year and participate in special events. Children 5 and under are free; $9.50 adults. Friday 10am-5pm. The celebration continues through March 5th. Click here for more ideas to celebrate the Year of the Ram

Red Yarn at the Warehouse Cafe. Weaving together live music, puppetry and storytelling, Red Yarn teaches positive values while reviving American folklore. $5 suggested donation per family. Friday 10-10:45am. 

Drop-in Open Studio in NE PDX. Children in grades K-8 will have access to a variety of art supplies to spark their imagination as they create original masterpieces. $15 for 2 hours. Friday 3:20-5:30pm.  

Continue reading "Weekend Warriors: February 20-22" »

Weekend Warriors: February 13-15

February 11, 2015

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

Friday, February 13th

Valentine's Day Crafting at The Craft Factory with Hattie's Sweet Shop. Decorate a Valentine cookie, craft a trinket box, enjoy a story and more. $12/child. Friday 10am-5pm and Saturday 9am to 1pm, drop-in. 

Music with Mr. Hoo at the Village Ballroom. Sing along with fun, interactive original and traditional songs. $5/family. Friday 11am-12pm. 

Valentine's Ball at Playdate PDX in NW PDX. See your friends from Frozen, a puppet show, and play in the indoor structure.  $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Friday 4-6pm. 

Continue reading "Weekend Warriors: February 13-15" »

urbanMamas Episode 6: Tamara Rubin

February 08, 2015

Below is a partial transcript from the urbanMamas Podcast Episode 6 where we welcome Tamara Rubin, Executive Director of the Lead Safe America Foundation and creator of the documentary, MisLead: America’s Secret Epidemic. Tamara is a Portland mama to 4 kids, 2 of whom were lead poisoned in 2005.

Click here to listen on iTunes. Click here to listen direct.

Links and resources for lead testing your home are available at the bottom of this transcript, as well as how you can help support MisLead and increasing awareness of the prevalence of lead in our schools, homes and environment. Please help this information go viral. Share this post on your Facebook page, email it to your community groups, your daycare, your school, your local legislative office, and help us fill a petition to get 100,000 Portland parents on board with demanding we fund lead clean up in Portland Public Schools.

 

We’ll start with the Icebreaker Hat

Tamara: "If you had to move out of Portland, where would you go and why?" Well actually I've been having a lot of difficulty with the Portland Public Schools, and the school system keeps referring my son to schools with lead hazards. And since he has medical fragility and has a compromised immune system from being poisoned as a baby, I don't want him to go to a school with lead hazards and his doctors have said he shouldn't go to a school with lead hazards. But the PPS says "Well, all of the kids here are going to schools with lead hazards, so why should your kid be any different?" And so I've been looking desperately for a school without lead hazards, and we've interviewed at several schools. We just found one in Lake Oswego that we, hopefully, may get a transfer to. And if that doesn't work out, I might have to move to L.A. because they have a publicly funded public school that is a safe school for autistic kids on the spectrum, anywhere on the spectrum, from pre-K to early 20s. And is free, but if you live out of district it's a $20,000 a year private school. And it has integrated therapies, like occupational therapy, speech therapy, focused learning for any deficit areas like reading. And it's like a magical school. And so I would go to L.A. and try to find a place to live in the L.A. unified school district so my kids could go to school for free.

R: Let's talk about lead!

K: So, you have this documentary, MisLead, and you've been working on it for awhile now.

T: Yeah, I've heard from other documentary filmmakers that the average documentary gets produced in about 4 years, and some take 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 years. And so this is now the beginning of our 4th year, we just hit the 3 year mark in December. I feel bad that aren't getting this message out faster, but also I'm going with the limited funding I've had to work on the film, and we're doing something that I don't know that any other documentary has done, is we're trying to make a feature film that hopefully will be shown in theatres and will have a Hollywood and NY premiere, but we're doing it completely on donations. So over 900 people have donated something, either time or a dollar or $10,000 to help pull this together.

K: $10,000. Good job whoever you are!

Continue reading "urbanMamas Episode 6: Tamara Rubin" »

Weekend Warriors: February 6-8

February 04, 2015

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

Friday, February 6th

Baby Boot Camp Grand Opening. Celebrate the Grand Opening of Baby Boot Camp SE PDX and Happy Valley with a free demo class. Bring your stroller, your little one(s), and get ready for a great workout. Please RSVP. Free. Friday 9:30-11am. 

Open Studio at the Portland Child Art Studio in NW PDX. Paint, draw, sculpt and have a great time getting creative and messy. $10/child. Friday 10am-1pm and 2-5pm. Read our review of this amazing studio here

Clowns Without Borders Benefit Show. This show incorporates physical comedy, juggling, acrobatics, music, and more. All proceeds benefit Clowns Without Borders-USA's work of relieving trauma through laughter in areas of crisis around the world. $9-30. Tickets can be purchased in advance. Friday 7:30-9:30pm. 

Zen Shorts in SE PDX. It's the opening weekend of Zen Shorts, Tears of Joy Theatre's puppet production extravaganza featuring over 30 puppets, video projections, and original songs. Best for grades K-5. $15-22. Friday 7:30-9pm. 

Continue reading "Weekend Warriors: February 6-8" »

Weekend Warriors: January 30-February 1

January 28, 2015

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

Friday, January 30th

Free Dance Week at Moxie Studios in West Linn. Check out one of many dance classes offered for kids ages 2-9 today and tomorrow. Free. See website for schedule. 

Heart of Hearts at the St. John's Library. Get creative by making your own origami Valentines with artist Eileen Holzman. Please pre-register. Free. Friday 1-2:30pm. 

Long Winter Knights at the Sellwood Library. Learn about knights and the Middle Ages with the Knights of Veritas. Free. Friday 2-3pm. 

World Friendship Celebration in Vancouver. See performances by Kingsley Garden Music, Tepeyac Pre-Hispanic Dance, and en Taiko in celebration of performing arts from different cultures. $2-5. Friday 6:30-8pm. 

Continue reading "Weekend Warriors: January 30-February 1" »

Weekend Warriors: January 23-35

January 21, 2015

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

Friday, January 23rd

Six and Under Shred at the Lumberyard. Kids six and under can enjoy Portland's unique indoor bike park, including jump lines, pump tracks, skill sections and technical trail riding. $6. Friday 9am-12pm.

Stitches in Bloom Quilt Show at the Oregon Garden. See beautiful quilts and watch demos by quilting vendors. $5-11. Friday 10am-4pm.

Music with Mr. Hoo at the Village Ballroom. Mr. Hoo of the Alphabeticians plays fun music for kids and their grownups on his guitar, ukulele and kazoo. $5/family. Friday 11am-12pm.

Continue reading "Weekend Warriors: January 23-35" »

Weekend Warriors: January 23-35

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

Friday, January 23rd

Six and Under Shred at the Lumberyard. Kids six and under can enjoy Portland's unique indoor bike park, including jump lines, pump tracks, skill sections and technical trail riding. $6. Friday 9am-12pm.

Stitches in Bloom Quilt Show at the Oregon Garden. See beautiful quilts and watch demos by quilting vendors. $5-11. Friday 10am-4pm.

Music with Mr. Hoo at the Village Ballroom. Mr. Hoo of the Alphabeticians plays fun music for kids and their grownups on his guitar, ukulele and kazoo. $5/family. Friday 11am-12pm.

Continue reading "Weekend Warriors: January 23-35" »

Weekend Warriors: January 16-18

January 14, 2015

Here’s the scoop for the weekend. For more ideas on what to do this weekend, check the Events Calendar on Metro Parent's PDX Kids Calendar and the urbanMamas calendar page.
 
Friday, January 16th

Storytime and Craft at The Craft Factory. Hear a special storytime by Maggie Mae's Kids Mobile Bookshop while working on your craft masterpiece. Special deal of two tiny craft bases for $5. Friday 10:30am. 

Nature Mobile in Beaverton. Enjoy hands-on activities and learn what makes some animals ready to brave the cold and snow. Best for grades K-3. Free. Friday 3-5:30pm drop-in.

No! Go! Yell! Free Kids Self-Defense Class in SW PDX. Try out this fun and empowering self-defense class for free. For ages 6-11.Friday 4-5:30pm. 

Continue reading "Weekend Warriors: January 16-18" »

Weekend Warriors: January 9-11

January 07, 2015

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

Friday, January 9th

Free Admission to Lan Su Chinese Garden. Receive a free admission with each donation of a non-perishable food item. Food to benefit the Oregon Food Bank. This offer runs through January 11th. Hours are 10am-5pm. 


Tallulah's Daddy at Cafe au Play. Listen to fun, energetic, and interactive acoustic music. $5/family suggested donation. Friday 10-11am. 

Music with Mr. Hoo at the Village Ballroom. Dance, sing, and clap along to funny original songs and classics. $5/family. Friday 11am-12pm. 

Sherazade's Children Stories that Changed the World in SW PDX. Storyteller Will Hornyak shares stories from a variety of traditions and provides engaging presentations to inspire discussion. Free. Friday 7-8:30pm. 

Continue reading "Weekend Warriors: January 9-11" »

Weekend Warriors: January 2-4 (2015!)

December 31, 2014

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

Friday, January 2nd

Mr. Hoo at the Village Ballroom. Clap and sing along to Mr. Hoo of the Alphabeticians as he plays the kazoo, sings funny songs, and makes everyone happy. $5 suggested donation per family. Friday 11am-12pm.

The Tangled Threads at Cafe au Play. A nine-foot-tall ukelele player and a human doll rhythm section make up this band. Sounds intriguing. $5 suggested donation. Friday 11:30am-12:15pm. 
 
ZooLights at the Oregon Zoo. This is the last weekend to see the magical ZooLights this year! $7-10. 2 and under free. Friday beginning at 5pm and throughout the weekend.  

Closing Weekend of NWCT's Mary Poppins. This is your last chance to see all the magic of NWCT's rendition of Mary PoppinsYou can check out PDX Kids Calendar’s review here. $18-22. Friday-Sunday at varying times.        

Saturday, January 3rd

Free Admission to Lan Su Chinese Garden. Receive a free admission with each donation of a non-perishable food item. Food to benefit the Oregon Food Bank. This offer runs today through January 11th. Hours are 10am-5pm. 

The Alphabeticians Perform at Lil' Lentils Playgroup in SE PDX. Ring in the New Year with one of Portland's favorite kindie bands. Suggested $3-5 donation per family. Saturday 10am-noon. 

Kids Club: Grow a Pet Treat in Woodburn. Plan an indoor treat for you cat or dog that will keep them happy in the winter. $5 per child. Saturday 11-11:45am. 

Kids' Morning Skate at Oaks Park. Special skating session just for kids 10 and younger and their families features kids' choice music, games and skate specials, and a free group lesson. $6.25/child. Saturday 10:30am-12pm.

The Amazing Bubble Man in SE PDX. Louis Pearl - The Bubble Man - has been thrilling audiences around the world for nearly 30 years with the art, magic, science and fun of bubbles. $6-11; tickets can be purchased in advance. Saturday and Sunday 2-3pm. 

Tallulah's Daddy at Mississippi Pizza. Grab some dinner while being entertained by the musical stylings of Tallulah's Daddy and his friends. $10 suggested donation per family. Saturday 4-5pm. 

Sunday, January 4th

$2 Days at OMSI. Explore the museum and all exhibits for only $2 today. Sunday 9:30am-5:30pm.

Thingamajig Bookmaking Class with Sarah Fagan in NE PDX. Read Beverly Cleary's Janet's Thingamajig then make handmade blank books to use as image journals. Best for ages 4-8. Please pre-register. $8/child. Sunday 1-1:30pm. 

Hope this gives you some ideas. Have fun out there! And don't forget to double-check event details by calling or checking the website of the venue, performer, or host organization

Weekend Warriors: December 26-28

December 24, 2014

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

Friday, December 26th

Extended Open Swim Hours at PP&R Pools. PP&R is offering additional open swim times to keep your kiddos occupied during the break. See schedule for all the details. 

FROGZ in SE PDX. As our reviewer stated: "FROGZ is more a series of performances, with dance, costumes, lighting and puppetry as the common denominator." Check out PDX Kids Calendar's review here. $17.50 and up. Friday 12-1pm and throughout the weekend. 

Portland Youth Philharmonic's Concert-At-Christmas in SW PDX. PYP's Concert-at-Christmas is a festive holiday tradition for the whole family featuring all four PYP ensembles and an alumni orchestra. $22-56. Friday 7:30pm. Check out PDX Kids Calendar's preview here.

Continue reading "Weekend Warriors: December 26-28" »

Weekend Warriors: December 19-21

December 17, 2014

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

Friday, December 19th

Italian Language Mommy & Me Playgroup. Children ages 18-36 months and their caregiver can be exposed to Italian in this relaxed, play-based program. Free. Friday 10-11am. 

Mo Phillips at the Treehouse in North Portland. Rock out to Mo's unique, upbeat blend of Americana, soul, and blues. $5/child. Friday 10am. 

Peacock Lane Holiday Lights Display. One of Portland's most beloved holiday traditions. Enjoy the beautiful light displays and cocoa and cider. Friday 6-11pm and throughout the month. 

Opening Weekend of Echo Theater's Make It Home. See this non-traditional holiday show full of aerial arts, dance, acrobatics, humor, and non-linear storytelling. $18-25. Friday 7:30pm and throughout the weekend. 

Continue reading "Weekend Warriors: December 19-21" »

urbanMamas Podcast Episode 5: an ER, split family, Elf on the Shelf kind of Christmas

December 15, 2014

This is a partial transcript from the urbanMamas Podcast, Episode 5 with Rae Ann Peil and Kelli Martinelli. To hear the full story about Kelli’s emergency trip to the ER (without health insurance), a conversation about managing the holidays as a split/blended family, ideas on how to ask and give in your community, and that little bastard Elf on the Shelf, click on the link below. Or subscribe to the urbanMamas Podcast on iTunes.

Click here to listen via iTunes or click here to listen directly.

R: How's it goin?

K: It's going. It's been another week in this household ...

R: In the life of Kelli Martinelli! I do have to say I appreciate your partner, Tim, posting updates on you on Facebook, because otherwise I would've never known that you have been so sick.

K: Yeah, I stayed off of it, but he did, so. I'm talking a little slower today because I've got ...

R: You sound drunk. Or stoned. I don't know.

K: I do have some pretty fantastic pain meds going through my body at the moment, but I had an emergency appendectomy over the weekend. Friday night. And yeah, Tim, he said "Okay, who do I need to notify?" And there was the obvious ones. My mom, and my ex-husband, and then he said, "Oh and I went ahead and covered Facebook, too." Thanks. You know me pretty me well.

R: He knew what to do.

K: I was glad it was -- I disconnected the whole time, but ...

R: You mean you weren't Snapchatting your appendectomy?

K: I DO have a picture of it if you'd like to see it somewhere. It's pretty gross and fantastic. So Thursday I thought I had the flu, I had these sharp pains. And I had two really awesome things planned that day. I had a massage that was a gift to me from my birthday a few months ago at Mudra, and it was one of those kinds where they walk on your back, so what is that, Ashiatsu? So I was gonna go do that. And then I had a wine tasting in the evening and I had to cancel both of those cause I'm like, oh no! I have the flu. And then on Friday, it wasn't any better. I was stuck in bed. And times that I've had the flu in the past I was still up. I could go to the couch and I could watch a movie. And I couldn't move. The weird thing was it was increasingly hard for me to move my right leg.

R: Your right leg? That's strange.

K: Which really started me thinking that maybe this was something bigger, and your appendix is on the right side. So I'm like, maybe it's connected to the muscle ..

R: I would've never put all of this together, this is really intelligent thinking for being sick.

K: I had time to think. So it got really hard to walk upstairs and the worst thing was getting in and out of bed. Just couldn't do it.

R: God forbid you have to pee!

K: Yeah, that's been an adventure every time. But so I recently signed up for insurance. I've been trying to navigate Cover Oregon since I started freelancing in May, and it has not been for lack of trying, it's just been really hard.

R: Awful.

K: If you look at my logistics, I freelance, I'm divorced, and I claim one child on my taxes and my ex claims another, and when you're figuring out your healthcare coverage, you -- I needed it for my kids, too -- then you can only do the child that you claim.

R: Right.

K: So it was very complex. So as I was lying in bed going Ahh, I have the flu! Or maybe not. Maybe I just ate too much mac and cheese and kicked myself into lactose intolerance (totally wondered this by the way), like well I can't really go to the doctor, I'm not covered yet. But on Friday afternoon it was just, it was so bad, that we finally went to Zoom Care. And walked right in and the doctor saw me, in the lobby and she said "Oh no no, sweetie, no, this is not okay, you have to go to the ER."

R: Geez.

K: And what do you do? You have to!

R: You go to the ER!

K: So went to the ER and sat there for several hours.

R: Which ER?

K: Legacy Emanuel.

R: 3 hours?

K: 3 hours in the ER, and it was 4 hours until I got pain meds.

R: That is not okay.

K: No, it was not okay. I know they have the triage nurse and they have to do what they can do to make sure that everybody gets seen, but, I feel like I'm gonna sound so selfish, but I'm sitting there going, "Why is this person in here? Why is this person in here? I don't see anything wrong with you."

R: They need labels! Like everybody should wear around a sign around their neck so that we all feel like it's fair maybe.

K: Sure! Cause maybe you do have something very serious that I can't see happening right now. You could say like, "You can't see it but my gallbladder hurts!" or "I'm trying to pass a kidney stone at this moment."

R: With a pain scale, I think the pain scale should be identified.

K: But the people that were in there, they just kind of looked chill, they were watching a basketball game on T.V. Meanwhile I'm sitting in my double wide wheelchair ...

R: Ready to punch a baby.

(oh my god, Rae, did you really just say that? ha! and yeah, kinda accurate.)

K: Oh my god. I was HOWLING. I had lost all inhibition whatsoever and I was howling with pain. But I wasn't registering a temperature, so the triage nurse saw that I was hurting and had abdominal pain, but no accompanying temperature, so I just didn't get bumped up. Anyways, lots of pain, lots of nurses, lots of doctors, and around midnight or so I went in to surgery and that was bliss. They pulled that puppy out. It was a ruptured appendix. But one thing that they clarified with me, it was certainly a misconception, is that a rupture appendix doesn't like BOOSH, it's not like the gum that squirts out all the stuff on the inside, do you remember that?

R: Yeah.

K: It's a perforation.

R: Like a slow leak.

K: Yeah. But once it is perforated then it starts to go a little bit faster, so mine was perforated but it was still pretty close in to the actual appendix itself. But what possibly made mine worse is that your appendix, if you're a woman, your appendix and your ovaries are very close to each other.

R: Of course they are!

K: And I have a cyst on my ovary. So, I had basically had my appendix and my ovary kind of fighting.

R: A war of internal organs.

...skipping ahead...

K: My boyfriend, he is a fantastic mom. Tim was just off the charts.

R: Tim took care of you.

K: Just everything that I needed, without flinching, without hesitating, no tough love, no suck it up, solider, you're gonna do great. He was there for me. And then, my ex-husband brought the kids in to the hospital to see me.

R: Sweet. Good.

K: So I got to see my two kiddos and they brought me in a couple things. My son brought me a card that says "Get out soon!"

R: Like he thought you were in jail.

K: Get out soon and have a Merry XMas!

R: Maybe I'll see you next year?

K: And my daughter brought in a picture of our family, but it's our WHOLE family. It's the whole split/blended family. So,

R: Love that.

K: My two kids, and Tim and I, and then my ex-husband and his partner and her two kids.

R: So sweet. I like how she wrote Mom three different times.

K: You know, the split/blended family thing it's not easy, and I don't think that anybody would ever say that it is, even if you're under the best circumstances that you could possibly have. But, the holidays, how do you do the holidays?

R: Yeah, well I'm a single parent, so. It's tricky. Our first Christmas that we were split up we did Christmas together, which was really sweet, because it we were both really raw, I think, and we weren't really wanting to let go of that, and so we both just really put everything aside to do it together with the kids. And it was really sweet. And I'm actually really glad that we had one more year that we maybe wouldn't have otherwise had. And then since then it's been this division, as the kids have gotten older they go with their dad for longer chunks of time. And we've always kind of let them determine what they're comfortable with. So this year they've said that their max is about five nights, which is the most they've ever been gone anyway. So fortunately their dad is great about that. I work really hard to make sure that time is still balanced and even per our parenting agreement and that all days get made up, because we like to allow each other some flexibility in that. It works out, but it's hard. Our division happens on Christmas morning.

And then Kelli slurs Bohemian Rhapsody. You can continue the conversation with us on managing the holidays as a split/blended family on the urbanMamas Facebook page. Please tune in to the podcast to hear more as we discuss deconstructing the idea of the nuclear family, ideas on how to ask and give in your community, that bastard Elf on the Shelf and more.






Weekend Warrior December 12-14

December 10, 2014

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

Friday, December 12th

CHAP Holiday Bazaar and Open Art Studio in SE PDX. Everyone is welcome to enjoy unlimited art supplies and to create their own masterpiece. $5/hour/art maker. Friday 10am-6pm and throughout the weekend. 

Loving Touch Infant Massage in SE PDX. Learn the history, theory and practice of infant massage while practicing on your own infant. Free. Friday 2-3:30pm. 

Winter Crafts in Beaverton. Get out the glitter and enjoy some fun winter crafts. Best for grades K-3. Free. Friday 4-5pm.

Holiday Concert Series at Cafe au Play. Na Rosai plays traditional Irish and Appalachian music. $5-10 donation. Friday 7-8pm. 

Continue reading "Weekend Warrior December 12-14" »

Weekend Warriors: December 5-7

December 03, 2014

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

Friday, December 5th

Reindeer Magic at Seven Dees in Lake Oswego. Visit with Santa and his reindeer, enjoy festive make-and-take activities, and more. Free. Friday 10am-5pm. (Continues on Saturday at the SE Powell location and Sunday at Cedar Hills.)

Providence Festival of Trees. Wander through a winter wonderland and view dozens of uniquely decorated Christmas trees, visit with Santa, decorate cookies, make crafts, and more. $4-6. Friday 10:30am-5pm and Saturday 9am-5pm.

Music with Mr. Hoo at the Village Ballroom. Mr. Hoo plays fun, interactive music including original and traditional songs that will get everyone dancing. $5/family. Friday 11am-12pm. 

Free Admission to Portland Children's Museum. Enjoy free admission to the museum this evening. Friday 4-8pm.

Holiday Concert Series at Cafe au Play. Chuck Cheesman kicks off the series playing original contemporary folk and Americana music. $5-10 suggested donation. Friday 7-8pm.

Continue reading "Weekend Warriors: December 5-7" »

Weekend Warriors: November 28-30

November 26, 2014

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

Friday, November 28th

Macy's Holiday Parade in Downtown Portland. The parade will feature floats, marching bands, hundreds of costumed characters, and more. Free. Friday 9-10am. 

Penny's Puppet Productions in NE PDX. Join this beloved Portland puppeteer for a presentation of The Sharing Carrot. $5/person. Friday 10-11:30am. 

Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation's Holiday Express Train Rides Begin in SE PDX. Join Santa and his elves for a magical ride in a steam locomotive through Oaks Bottom. $12.50-$19. $5 speeder rides will also be available. See website for times and to order tickets. 

The Portland Ballet's Tales from Mother Goose & The Enchanted Toyshop in SW PDX. These two ballets will be accompanied by the Portland State University Orchestra. $5-35. Friday at 1pm and 5pm and throughout the weekend. 

Portland Downtown Tree Lighting. This year's event will feature a holiday sing-along with members of Pink Martini and Oregon's Own 234th Army Band. Free. Friday 5:30-6:30pm. 

Continue reading "Weekend Warriors: November 28-30" »

urbanMamas Podcast Episode 4: Torie Nguyen of Crafty Wonderland

This is a partial transcript from the urbanMamas Podcast, Episode 4 with Torie Nguyen, Crafty Wonderland co-founder, kickass jewelry maker, and mama. To hear the full story about Crafty Wonderland & The Super Colossal Holiday Show (Dec 13th and 14th), Rae Ann’s childhood mailman (Hi Luke!) and how Kelli may actually have mistaken her childhood for an episode of Who’s The Boss, click on this link (have something against iTunes? Click here). Or subscribe to the urbanMamas Podcast on iTunes.

Rae: So we're here with Torie Nguyen from Crafty Wonderland. And we're just going to jump in I suppose. I really want you to do the Icebreaker Hat.

Torie: Okay. I'm excited. I'm admiring this gold hat. "Do you know your mailman's name? Or mail person?" Sadly, I do not. And it has changed, I have a different person than I used to because I knew the previous person's name, and I actually found out that his son goes to school with one of my friend's sons. But the new person probably doesn't like me cause I have 2 dogs, and they bark like crazy every single time he comes.

Kelli: That was my last situation. I used to have the front door open all the time in the summer and -- you've seen Dexter, he's a beast! -- and I would watch the mailman walk up trepidatiously, with his arm out holding the mail toward the house. He looked really scared. I have a quick funny mailman story. When we first moved in my mail wasn't getting picked up. And I had things that needed to go! My mailman wasn't picking it up. And I called after him one day, I was like "Heyyy, heyyyy," trying to catch his attention to take it, and he didn't turn around, and I'm like "Ugh. What a jerk!" Seriously.

Yeahhhh, he's deaf.

Continue reading "urbanMamas Podcast Episode 4: Torie Nguyen of Crafty Wonderland" »

Weekend Warriors: November 21-23

November 19, 2014

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

Friday, November 21st

Free Week of Stroller Strides (throughout PDX). Bring your stroller and little one for a great one hour workout. All workouts are free this week at all locations. See website for schedules and locations. Monday-Saturday, various times.

Open Studio at Portland Child Art Studio in NW PDX. Your kids can do as much art as they'd like, and you don't have to clean up. $10/child ($5/child for Oregon Trail Card card-holders). Friday 10am-1pm and 2-5:30pm. 

Micah and Me Singalong at A Children's Place Bookstore. Sing and dance along to the sounds of the guitar, ukulele, harmonica, and mandolin. $5 suggested donation. Friday 10:30am. 

Storytime with Olive & Dingo at the Pie Spot. Check out these bright, cartoony characters who love to entertain families through songs, dance, stories, and balloons. $5 suggested donation. Friday, 3-4pm.

Puppet Show at Playdate PDX. See Dragon Puppet Theatre perform  The Pirate and His Pet. Free with admission ($4-$8). Friday 6:30pm. 

Continue reading "Weekend Warriors: November 21-23" »

urbanMamas Podcast Episode 3: Boobs, Chickens & Gratitude

November 18, 2014

This is a partial transcript from the urbanMamas Podcast, Episode 3. To hear the full story about boobs, fruit hacks, chickens and a rant about gratitude, click here. Want to listen online and not via iTunes? Click here. Or subscribe to the urbanMamas Podcast on iTunes. And hey, while you’re in there, we’d love it if you’d leave us a review! We’d be ever so GRATEFUL! 

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This picture will make sense in a few minutes... keep reading.

Continue reading "urbanMamas Podcast Episode 3: Boobs, Chickens & Gratitude" »

Weekend Warriors: November 14-16

November 12, 2014

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

Friday, November 14th

Free Italian Language Mommy and Me Playgroup in NW PDX. Chidlren ages 18-36 months and their caregivers can sing, dance, play, and enjoy simple crafts while being immersed in Italian. Free. Friday 10-11am. 

Kids Yoga in North Portland. Kids' classes this month will focus on the principle of grounding, with poses and indigenous stories celebrating the earth and what it produces. $12 drop in. Friday 4:15-5pm (ages 6-10) and 5:15-6pm (ages 3-6). 

Friday Night Films For Kids at Poa Cafe. Take a break and let your kids watch a free family-friendly film. Friday 5-7pm.

Opening Night of Tears of Joy Theatre's Alice in Wonderland. This original adaptation of Lewis Carroll's classic tale, told with puppets, is sure to captivate. $13-22. Friday at 7:30pm and throughout the weekend.  

Continue reading "Weekend Warriors: November 14-16" »

Giveaway: 2 Tickets to 2BWell's Cooking Class

November 08, 2014

Everything you need to know about healthy Thanksgiving side dishes. Sample 2BWell's very own cooking genius, Maryam Milani-Baladi's, delicious food and leave with more food and a jar of fermented veggies.

Saturday Nov 15th, from 4 to 6:30 PM

Head over to the post in the giveaways to enter to win 2 tickets to this fantastic class! 

urbanMamas Podcast Episode 2: Sabrina Williamson

November 07, 2014

This is a partial transcript from the urbanMamas Podcast, Episode 2 with Sabrina Williamson, mom to 6 year old Ollie. To hear the full story about adoption, Halloween candy, dead rats, lice, and your uterus, click here to listen or subscribe to the urbanMamas Podcast on iTunes. Want to listen online and not via iTunes? Click here.

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Sabrina and her list of resources. Links below.

(Kelli) So today we'd like to welcome Sabrina, a friend of mine from a very long time. Hi Sabrina.

(Sabrina) Hi.

(Kelli) How's it going?

(Sabrina) Fabulous.

(Kelli) Awesome. Rae Ann, do you wanna break the ice?

(Rae Ann) Yes! This is where we have the Icebreaker Hat with all of these random questions in it and you get to draw one and answer it.

(Sabrina) These scare me.

(Rae Ann) They should! They're terrifying.

(Sabrina) Oh! Well that's easy.

(Rae Ann) Oh well then put it back you've gotta do a different one.

(Sabrina) How often do I shower? (whispers) Everyday.

(Rae Ann) Seriously?

Continue reading "urbanMamas Podcast Episode 2: Sabrina Williamson" »

Weekend Updates: November 7-9

November 05, 2014

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

Friday, November 7th

PP&R Ladybug Walk in SE PDX. It's the last Ladybug Walk of the season! Meet at Mt. Tabor for a guided nature walk with a trained naturalist. Best for ages 2-5. $4/preschooler. Friday 10am. 

Craft and Storytime at The Craft Factory. Join for a free story followed by a special storytime craft special - $5 for any two ornamental crafts. Friday 10:30am.

OMSI Animation Film Festival. From independent shorts to feature films, there something for everyone at this film festival. $5-18. The festival runs Thursday through Sunday. Click here for details

Story Time at Pie Spot with Olive & Dingo. Get silly with this storytime full of comedy, songs, stories, balloons, and laughter. $5 suggested donation per child. Friday 3-4pm. 

Free First Friday at the Children's Museum. Check out the museum's interactive exhibits and play areas for free on the first Friday of every month. Friday 4-8pm. 

Continue reading "Weekend Updates: November 7-9" »

urbanMamas Podcast Episode 1: Rosalee Rester

October 31, 2014

This is a partial transcript from the urbanMamas Podcast, Episode 1 with Rosalee Rester, founder of Baby Wit. Subscribe to the urbanMamas Podcast on iTunes and be sure to check out the introductory episode while you're at it. Want to listen online and not via iTunes? Click here.

(Kelli) Welcome to the urbanMamas podcast with Rae Ann Peil and Kelli Martinelli. Every couple of weeks we'll be bringing you stories from in and around Portland about the mamas in our community who are doing amazing things from small biz, to advocacy to everything in between. urbanMamas are your neighbors, your friends, the moms you pass in the hall at kindergarten but haven't yet said hi to, etc. urbanMamas is YOU.

Today we welcome Rosalee Rester, founder of Baby Wit, unique and iconic designs for babies and toddlers, proudly made in Portland.

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(Rae Ann) We also have a swear jar. We're working really hard to keep this podcast something you can listen to in the background with your kids hanging out, so in an effort to do that, we have a jar where we are going to drop coins, which will later be donated to the Portland Women’s Crisis Line, and then if we can come up with like really cool, creative swear substitutes, we'll donate twice as much money.

Continue reading "urbanMamas Podcast Episode 1: Rosalee Rester" »

Weekend Warriors: October 31-November 2

October 29, 2014

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

Friday, October 31st

A Not So Scary Halloween at the Children's Museum. Enjoy trick-or-treating, treat bag crafting, a scavenger hunt and more. Most activities free with admission. Friday 9am-4pm. See website for complete schedule. 

Toddler Trick or Treat Party at the Zoo. Take part in this annual Halloween party, complete with real animals and animal mask-making. Free with admission. Friday 9am-2pm. 

Sweet Tooth the Ghost Puppet Show and Halloween Celebration in NE PDX. Join Penny's Puppets for a Halloween Puppet show followed by a short costume parade. $5/person or 4 for $17. Friday 10:30-11:15am. 

Trick or Treat in Multnomah Village. Join hundreds of other ghosts and goblins as your trick or treat your way through the village. Free. Friday 3:30-5:30pm. 

Trick or Treat Alberta Street. Trick or treat along the incomparably quirky Alberta Street. Free. Friday 3:30-6pm. 

Continue reading "Weekend Warriors: October 31-November 2" »

Weekend Warriors: October 24-26

October 22, 2014

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

Friday, October 24th

Ladybug Nature Walk in Forest Park. Children are guided along the trails by an environmental educator as they learn about forests, water, insects, plants, and animals. Only a few walks are left this season! $4/child. Friday 10-11am. 

Squishing of the Squash at the Oregon Zoo. Watch as some of the world's largest land animals demolish some of the area's largest pumpkins. Regular admission rates apply. Friday 10:30am. This event marks the beginning of the weekend-long celebration of "Howloween" at the zoo, where costumed trick or treaters learn about wildlife in a fun scavenger hunt throughout the zoo. 

Halloween Enchantment at the Micha-el School. Take your child on a journey in the autumn twilight, where they will encounter many enchanting characters. $10. Call to reserve your tour time. Friday 4:30-8:30pm.

The Great Garden Home Pumpkin Hunt. Enjoy Halloween-themed activities, a flashlight pumpkin hunt, prizes, treats, and more. Come in costume and bring your flashlight. $10. Friday 6-8pm. 

Continue reading "Weekend Warriors: October 24-26" »

Weekend Warriors: October 17-19

October 15, 2014

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

Friday, October 17th

Hood River Harvest Fest. This old-fashioned fall festival brings together 125 vendors with food, arts & crafts, and more. There will also be a kids zone with bouncy houses, face painting, and other activities. Kids 12 and under free. Daily admission $3-6; kids Kids under 12 are free. Friday-Sunday.

Geology Rocks! Geologic Map Day Open House in NE PDX. This event features hands-on geology activities, Q&A with geologists and cartographers, and more. Free. Friday 11am-4pm. 

The Tangled Threads at Treehouse Children's Boutique. Check out their inaugural performance at this venue! The Tangled Threads includes music, dance, juggling, clowning, stilt-walking, and more. $5/child. Friday 4pm. 

Continue reading "Weekend Warriors: October 17-19" »

Resources for Women in DV Situations

October 12, 2014

Domestic violence seems to be becoming more and more a part of my peripheral world. At the moment, it's one person removed from my bubble, but there have been times when it was a friend or family member that was the mama on my mind. Today I received an email about one such mama and her friend is trying to collect resources to pass along. 

Let's rally.

Leave a comment with your resources for a mama who is trapped in an abusive, hostile relationship and feeling hopeless. A couple of things to note: finances are extremely tight, he's controlling, there are children involved, and she doesn't have any local friends. 

I would like to add that if you find yourself in a similar situation, please contact the Portland Women's Crisis Line503-235-5333 and click here for additional resources. 

Weekend Warriors: October 10-12

October 08, 2014

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

Friday, October 10th

Parke Diem Parklandia. Give back and beautify Portland today and tomorrow with this community-driven volunteer extravaganza. There are over 70 projects at 60 parks, gardens, and natural areas to choose from. Many are family-friendly. Please pre-register. 

Gem & Mineral Show in Hillsboro. In addition to many rocks and gems on display and for sale, there will also be a kids corner with games and activities, exhibits, presentations, and demonstrations. $5 adults, kids 12 and under free. Friday 10am-6pm and throughout the weekend. 

Portland Nursery Apple Tasting Event. Taste as many as 60 varieties of apples and pears and see cider pressing demos. On the weekend, additional activities abound. Friday-Sunday, 10am-5pm. 

9th Annual Northwest Indian Storytelling Festival in North PDX. This family-friendly event allows you to listen to and learn from generations of Native Americans through the art of storytelling. $20. Friday 7-8pm.

Continue reading "Weekend Warriors: October 10-12" »

Weekend Warriors: October 3-5

October 01, 2014

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

Friday, October 3rd

Ladybug Nature Walk at Irving Park. Preschoolers can explore a different location each week with a trained naturalist. $4/child. Friday 10-11:15am.  

Weekly Storytime and Craft at the Craft Factory. Enjoy storytime followed by the opportunity to make a craft. Storytime is free. $5 for 2 tiny craft bases. Friday 10:30-11:30am.

Free First Friday at the Children's Museum. Check out the museum, plus the new Wizard of Oz exhibit, for free! Friday 4-8pm.  

Continue reading "Weekend Warriors: October 3-5" »

Delayed Gratification equals Success: do you believe it?

September 29, 2014

My line of work brings me into contact with lots of schools, many of them charter schools or alternative schools.  One site visit last week brought me to a charter school in a low-income neighborhood, where the administrator stated a few times that the staff believes in the studies of delayed gratification where they result in better adult outcomes: more success in school, career and life.  

I had never heard of the "marshmallow experiment" wherein researchers presented children with a marshmallow, stating that - if they waited - they could have two marshmallows instead.  That was in 1972.  After following those same marshmallow kids, the ones that delayed their marshmallow desires to wait for the two marshmallow treat were the ones that got better grades.  AND: they dealt with stress better and they were less likely to be obese and on and on.

Having never heard of this study and having never really noticed my kids' abilities to delay gratification, I suddenly started to notice.  My teenager wolfed down some brownies the other day immediately when she got home from saying "Oh my god, I am so hungry."  My five-year old boy spied a new Matchbox car at the store, and when I said: "your birthday is in just a week; let's put this on your wish list!",  he burst into a tantrum unable to fathom waiting.

Does this mean they will be less likely to succeed when they grow up?  Should I be training them to withhold pleasure and delay gratification?

 

Weekend Warriors: September 26-28

September 24, 2014

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

Friday, September 26th

Open Studio at the Portland Child Art Studio in NW PDX. Get unlimited studio time and use of materials at this creative, kid-friendly space. $10. Friday 10am-1pm and 2pm-5:30pm. 

 Ladybug Nature Walk in NW PDX. Preschoolers and parents can explore nature in Portland's parks with trained naturalists. This week, go on an expedition in Wallace Park. $4/preschooler. Friday 10-11:15am.

Annual Swift Watch at Chapman Elementary. Time is running out to see the spectacle of thousands of swifts converging on Chapman Elementary school's chimney. Audubon society volunteers will be on hand to share information. Free. Friday 6-8pm. 

Girl Be Heard at the Sellwood Playhouse. This unique performance will raise awareness around issues such as bullying, homelessness, mental health, body image, race, and identity, among other issues facing girls today. $10-15. Friday 7:30-8:15 pm.  

Continue reading "Weekend Warriors: September 26-28" »

Weekend Warriors: September 19-21

September 17, 2014

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

 Friday, September 19th

After School Enrichment at Creative Roots. Take part in daily activities such as puppetry or yoga, tutoring, and studio art time. Visit their website for full schedule. $10-15/hour. Monday-Friday, 2:30-6pm. 

Mommy (or Daddy) and Me: Creative Movement in Tigard. Children ages 4 months to 3 years and their caregiver can move and play together. Each class will incorporate a literary theme. Friday 12-1pm. $10/parent-child combo. 

The Paulaner Oktoberfest at Oaks Park. This annual event kicks off on Friday with oompah bands, Kinderplatz children's activities, chicken dance contests, and more. $2-5/person. Friday 3pm-midnight and throughout the weekend.

Band & BBQ at Whole Foods in Tigard. Celebrate music by Riverside Northwest, who will play a variety of classic oldies covers. Music is free; BBQ is $6. BBQ starts Friday at 6:30pm, music is from 7-9pm. 

Continue reading "Weekend Warriors: September 19-21" »

Weekend Warriors: September 12-14

September 10, 2014

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

Friday, September 12th

Mt. Angel Oktoberfest. Enjoy, music, dancing, food, cars, and much more at this annual event.  Most events are free. Thursday-Sunday, all day. 

Music with Miss. SaraMag at Rust Coffee Lounge. Sing, dance, and move with this dynamic performer. ASL is incorporated into the show. $5 suggested donation. Friday 10-11am. 

Storytime at Pie Spot with Olive & Dingo. Don't miss stories, songs, and balloon creations with this zany duo. $5 suggested donation. Friday 3-4pm.

La Luna Nueva: Andean Dreams at Milagro Theater. A representation of the Andean world with music and dances inspired by the Quechua literature of the ancient Inca Empire. $12 children under 12; $23 adults. Friday-Sunday 7:30pm. 

Swift Watch at Chapman Elementary. It must be fall! Swift watch is on. Check out this not-to-be missed event every evening in September. Free. Begins one hour before sunset. 

Continue reading "Weekend Warriors: September 12-14" »

Raising Them Jewish (When Mama Wasn't)- A Guest Post

September 08, 2014

Standing in our synagogue social hall at a recent event, balancing a paper plate of bagels and tuna salad in one hand, and a paper cup of coffee in the other, I was  talking with another mother from my kid’s Hebrew school. She was reminiscing about Jewish foods from her childhood- holiday favorites and her mothers kugel recipe. Popping into my head, on the other hand, were visions my mom’s Pineapple Bread Casserole, yellow, sweet and buttery, served at Easter. Trying to add to the conversation, I defaulted to my usual “non-Jew-of-origin” survival technique-  recalling what I know of my husband’s upbringing. Had he ever told me of a special family favorite, say tzimmis or blintzes? No. My husband, raised in a decidedly Jewish home, thought of Chinese food outings with his grandparents as traditional Jewish cuisine.

I know that when my sons are adults and they will tell their friends and wives that their mom made the best matzah-ball soup and hands-down the most fantastic latkes- crispy on the outside and soft inside. It may never dawn on them that such dishes don’t come from a hip-bumping, kitchen sharing, handing-down of tradition, but rather pouring through Jewish cookbooks and unabashedly asking every sixty-five plus member of our congregation for her secrets.

Before we had children we were determined to raise them with Jewish holidays and traditions. I knew I wanted them to follow in their father’s footsteps and have a bar or bat mitzvah, a coming-of-age ritual that has always been important to my husband’s sense of self.  But I wasn’t sure how to do it…how to learn what I needed to know to raise little kids who felt part of the Jewish people.

Years later, I now have the privilege of helping run a group called Mothers Circle. This empowering 16 week course is a program of the national Jewish Outreach Institute and supported locally by the mainstream Jewish congregations.  It is taught by an open, warm Bubbe who is an experienced educator. I wish it had been around when I was starting out with little kids. It is an empowering program where women without a Jewish background who are choosing to raise their kids with Jewish traditions, values and holidays, can learn more and also commiserate a little bit about a common experiences (mother-in-laws come up in conversation now and then!).  The program is free and childcare is provided through the Mittleman Jewish Community Center.

Years later occasionally I still have moments where it is clear that I have different childhood memories and reference points, however I know that now there are resources to help me and others seeking information. 

If you are interested in learning more about Mothers Circle, contact Jennifer Greenberg at 503 293-7313 or jgreenberg@nevehshalom.org.  Check out the Facebook page for one-time events and resources.

Weekend Warriors: September 5-7

September 03, 2014

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

Friday, September 5th

YogaTots at Studio Mamalates. Introduce your toddler to yoga through music, rhymes, story, and play. Best for ages 18 months-3 years. $10/child. Friday 9:30-10:30am. 

Music with Mr. Hoo at the Village Ballroom. Enjoy fun, interactive music that incorporates traditional songs and goofy new ones. $5/family. Friday 11am-12pm. 

Free First Friday at the Children's Museum. Enjoy free admission the first Friday of every month. Friday 4-8pm.

Continue reading "Weekend Warriors: September 5-7" »

WEEKEND WARRIORS - AUGUST 29-31, 2014

August 27, 2014

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

Friday, August 29th
Open Jump at Pump It Up in Beaverton. Let the kids work off that end-of-summer energy. $7. Friday 10am-12pm. 
 
Mo Phillips and BBQ at Whole Foods (Tigard). Celebrate summer with some rockin' kindie tunes and BBQ. Music is free. Burgers are $6. Friday 7-9pm. 
 
Flicks on the Bricks in Downtown PDX. The final movie of the season ends with a bang with Frozen. Free! Movie begins Friday at dusk. Pre-movie entertainment by Ryan Van Dordrecht begins at 7. 

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - AUGUST 29-31, 2014" »

WEEKEND WARRIORS - AUGUST 14-16, 2014

August 13, 2014

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

Friday, August 15th
Music with Miss SaraMag at Rust Coffee Lounge. Sing and dance along with Miss SaraMag as she sings, plays the piano, and incorporates percussion and American Sign Language. $5 suggested donation. Friday 10-11am.
 
Family Yoga at Green Bean Books. Using the power of yoga, storytelling, and your imagination, embark on a yoga-inspired magical adventure. Free! Friday 3:30-4:15pm.

En Taiko in Clackamas. Listen to the sounds of Japanese drumming, then try it yourself! Free! Friday 6:30pm.
 
Flicks by the Fountain in Beaverton. This week's movie will be Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (PG). Pre-movie, enjoy a short film from Beaverton School District's student film contest. Free! Pre-movie entertainment begins at 7pm; movie at dusk.  

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - AUGUST 14-16, 2014" »

WEEKEND WARRIORS - August 1-3, 2014

July 30, 2014

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

Friday, August 1st 
Free contemporary dance workshop with Portland Ballet in SW PDX.  Dancers ages 12-19 can join for this free workshop.  Please register to attend. Friday 10am-1pm.
  
Music with Mr. Hoo at the Village Ballroom.  Mr. Hoo of the Alphabeticians performs fun music for kids and their grownups.  $5/family.  Friday 11am-noon.  
 
Free admission to the Children's Museum.  Join for free admission, plus special crafts and activities.  This month, craft your own boat! Friday 4-8pm. 

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - August 1-3, 2014" »

WEEKEND WARRIORS - JULY 18-20, 2014

July 16, 2014

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

Friday, July 18th 
Yoshida's Sand in the City Pioneer Courthouse Square. The greatest beach party in the country is once again coming to Pioneer Courthouse Square. Yoshida's Sand in the City features fun for all ages with incredible sand sculptures, interactive youth exhibits, live music, entertainment and more. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. By donation.

Story Time at Pie Spot with Olive & Dingo. Not your average story time. Full of comedy, songs, stories, balloons and laughter. Sure to get the jumpers jumping, the dancers dancing, wigglers wiggling and the noise makers cooing. Friday 3-4pm. $5/child for show and balloons.

Let's Go Camping - Fort Stevens State Park. A fun-filled weekend camping experience for novice camper families. They provide tent, sleeping bags, sleeping bag liners, mattress pads and use of a camp stove at no cost if you need to use them for the weekend. Lots of fun activities for parents, grandparents and children. 14 weekend events scheduled at various state parks. Click the link for more info. 

Saturday, July 19th

Music Fun at Pirate Ship Park. Join Music Together for songs, dancing, and instrument play at this unique Beaverton park. Saturday 10-11am.  $10/family. Please register in advance.

Oregon Lavender DAZE Festival (Hood River). Enjoy live music, vendors, food, kids' activities, classes, and, of course, lavender at this scenic family-friendly event. Saturday 10am-7pm and Sunday 10am-5pm. Free!

Family Fun at the Portland Aerial Tram. Join the fun at the bottom of the Portland Aerial Tram where they will be making instruments, listening to music, and enjoying balloon and makeup artist's talents! All ages welcome. Saturday 10:30am-1:30pm. Free -- Tram ride/tour: Adults ($4) Children - 17 & under (free with paying adult). Tram T-shirts ($10)

Pointed Man Band at Musicalu Summer Music Series. Get to know some of Portland's best family musicians at this weekly summer music concert in Gresham's Arts Plaza. Afterwards, stop by the Gresham Farmers Market for a bite to eat. Saturday at 11am. Free!

Live interactive story time performances with Curious George at Lloyd Center. Enjoy fun dances, songs and games. Saturday. Three half hour performances at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Located in Nordstrom Court. Free!

The Science of Swordfighting at Albina Library. The Knights of Veritas present this exciting and scientific view of swordfighting on Saturday 11am. Free!

Runaway Tomato at Green Bean Books. Join local author Kim Cooley Reader as she reads from her new picture book Runaway Tomato. A tomato-face craft will follow the reading. Saturday 1pm. Free!

Summer Forest Music Concert Series at Tryon Creek. The inaugural summer forest music concert of the season features Da Boogie Band, a New Orleans Style swing band. Saturday 6-7pm, $10.

Chalk It Up! at Tualatin Commons Park. Part of the city's annual ArtSplash event, join artist Daniel Wood in creating a chalk masterpiece. All supplies are provided. Sunday 10am-2pm. Free!

Bike Fair at New Seasons Market (Williams). In addition to getting your bike fixed up, enjoy a variety of family-friendly events, including face painting and making your own smoothies via bike power. Sunday 12-4pm. Free!

Hope this gives you some ideas. Have fun out there! And don't forget to double-check event details by calling or checking the website of the venue, performer, or host organization.

WEEKEND WARRIORS - JULY 11-13, 2014

July 09, 2014

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

Sundown at Ecotrust. Quintessential summer in Portland - equal parts indie concert, block party, and classic Portland street fair. Each evening, the musical performances will be complemented by a themed street fair-style Showcase.  This Thursday July 10th features music from Portland Cello Project and an all ages dance party. The "Sundown Kid's Corner" hosted by PDX Kids Calendar will feature free art and educational activities with the Portland Child Art Studio and Little Wing. Cold frothy beverages and tasty local fare will be provided by Hot Lips Pizza and Laughing Planet. The series will be powered by a green power source. Thursdays in July (10, 17, 24, 31) from 5:30pm - 8:30pm. Free!

Open Studio at Portland Child Art Studio. Kids and their families are invited to come and use the studio as an art educational resource. All the materials are there for your child to explore, discover, and transform. Two opportunities for creativity: drop-in (parents stay) and drop-off (parents leave.) During the summer months, PCAS will be open Tuesday thru Saturday, 10am-1pm. $10-$20.

Friday Night Movies in the Park in Vancouver. A free screening of "Up" at LeRoy Haagen Memorial Community Park. Bring a blanket or some lawn chairs, grab a bite to eat at the park, or pack some snacks - come early for the pre-show activities. All movies start at dusk. Free!

Superhero Fun Run 2K 5K 10K and Kid's Fun Walk supporting music education in the Portland Public School District. Saturday 8am-noon. 

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - JULY 11-13, 2014" »

WEEKEND WARRIORS - JUNE 20-22, 2014

June 18, 2014

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

Summer Art Open Studio at Portland Child Art Studio. Open studio gives visitors the opportunity to use the studio as an art educational resource. All the materials are there for your child to explore, discover, and transform. Most often, kids take the lead and engage in a very natural way with the space and the art materials available to them. Drop-in or drop-off options available. Tuesday-Saturday 10am-1pm. $10-$20.

Ladybug Nature Walks at Council Crest Park. Children are guided along the trails of various parks in all corners of the city by an Environmental Educator. Walks go at just the right pace and introduce children to forests, water, insects, plants, and animals. Friday 10am. $4/preschooler.

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WEEKEND WARRIORS - JUNE 13-15, 2014

June 11, 2014

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

Micah and Me Singalong! at A Children's Place Bookstore. Micah and Me Singalong with rollicking kid's songs. Friday 10:30am. Donations welcome.

"Pie Time" Pedalpalooza Ride with Olive & Dingo. Come ride your bike with Olive & Dingo: that's what this ride is all about. The number 3.14... and of course the food. Friday 2pm. Starts at the kids play area at Laurelhurst Park, and ends at Pie Spot for delicious pie & story time. Bring at least $8 for: balloons animals, entertainment and food.

All About Bugs at Belmont Library. The Bug Chicks are back! You will not be scared of bugs after learning about all the amazing things they can do. Join the Bug Chicks, two female entomologists (bug scientists), in exploring the world of insects, spiders and their relatives. You can even hold, pet and look at all sorts of crazy creatures including tarantulas, cockroaches, scorpions and more! Friday 3pm and 4:30pm. Free tickets 30 min prior.

Berries, Brews, & BBQs at French Prairie Garden. Bring the whole family out to enjoy a fun family friendly festival featuring: free animal barns & farm animals, Pig Barrel Train rides, and brew tasting in the new Covered Event Area. Oregon Craft Brewers will showcase their best brews. Saturday 9am-6pm, Sunday 10am-6pm. Free admission. Charges for some activities. 

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Where are the gay kids?

June 05, 2014

Balloons
Nearly three weeks ago, same-sex marriage was legalized in Oregon and my kids and I were thrilled! One kid was was even more thrilled than the rest of us though. My youngest, who just turned 8, has identified as gay since she was 4 years old and I have known her sexual orientation for just as long. As we were discussing Judge McShane’s ruling, my 8 year old’s eyes welled with tears and she said, “Mom, I’M gay! Now I can marry whoever I want?!”

I am not here to debate whether children know or do not know their sexual preferences at an early age. I have promoted acceptance, love, tolerance, justice, and empathy. Our family consists of blood relations and chosen folks. We exist in a community full of blurred lines, but we are not confused. Love wins, every time. It is from this foundation that my children have grown into the people that they are. My 8 year old is one of the lucky few to be supported by loving adults; she has had the confidence and the room to speak her truth since she was a preschooler.

I consider my family lucky to be surrounded by such a diverse community. But what we are missing is a diverse peer group for my littlest human. I have spent hours (that turned into days) on the interwebs, trying to find out where the other gay littles are. Instead, I always end up at sites that talk about accepting transgender children or bullying because of sexual orientation. Although these subjects are definitely important, my 8 year old is begging for me to find “the other gay kids.”

I find myself desperately longing for a lesbian auntie to take her under her wing. I want her to have an example of a strong, confident, proud, lesbian woman who will understand her in a way that I never will be able to [as a straight woman]. My daughter’s experience is not unique, and even though most folks know at a young age how they identify (although they may lack the language), there are very few resources out there for the gay littles.

So I’m asking you, mamas and papas, do you have any resources? If you identify as a part of the LGBTQI community, how old were you when you realized you were not straight?  How did you process this as you were growing up? What do you wish your parents/ community had done for you? Do you have a child that identifies as LGBTQI? I am a fish out of water here and I will be damned if my baby becomes a statistic.

 

WEEKEND WARRIORS - June 6-8, 2014

June 04, 2014

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

Open Studio at Portland Child Art Studio. Open studio gives kids and their families the opportunity to use the studio as an art educational resource. All the materials available for your child to explore, discover, and transform. Most often, kids take the lead and engage in a very natural way with the space and the art materials available to them. Grown-up required. Friday 10am-1pm. $10/child.

Rose Festival Fleet Week at Waterfront Park. Ships from the US Navy return to the Waterfront Park seawall for shore leave and ship tours. Free public tours will be on a first-come basis, usually from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm. Ships set their own schedules, so some may not offer tours during these times. Wednesday-Sunday. Free!

Rose Festival CityFair at Waterfront Park. Final weekend to enjoy entertainment, food and rides on the waterfront. Thursday & Friday gates open at 3pm, Saturday & Sunday at 11am. $7 admission, rides extra.

Pedalpalooza - various locations. Three weeks of bike fun all over town. Click the link for specific times and events. Some are 21+.

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Giveaway: Costco Membership

May 30, 2014

Muller Corner Yogurt is giving away a Costco membership to a lucky uM reader! Click over to the giveaway tab to enter to win.