High School (or College) Class Reunions: do you go?

October 12, 2013

I have disappeared from my high school mailing list, having moved enough times in the past couple of decades.  Until a "friend" on Facebook mentioned it, I didn't realize that it was our 20-year high school reunion.  Well, it had passed, in June, but there were festivities at school upcoming in November.

A robust online conversation ensued amongst many of my high school classmates: "we should skip the school reception and just go out for drinks" and "where is so-and-so?" and "why do I feel like I should lose 20 pounds in the next few weeks?"

I keep in touch with one friend from high school, who was also the maid of honor at my wedding.  There are a handful of other friends with whom I am friends with Facebook, and part of me wonders if I would ever see these folks again in real life.  I lurk from afar, "like" pictures of their kids, comment with suggestions to the post "what should I make for dinner?!?"

But, to gather in real life?  I haven't lived within 600 miles of my old high school until a couple of years ago.  Many former classmates still cluster up close to where we all grew up.  Some of them still go out together, keep in close touch.

I never really thought about going to a high school reunion, but suddenly I am thinking: why wouldn't I?  I live closeby and if it is convenient enough, why not?

I know we all had different experiences in high school, maybe some of us keep in touch with old high school friends and some of us don't.  I'm curious to hear about your reunion experiences!  Did you bring partners or kids?  Did others?  Did you have fun?  Tell me!

Throwback Thursday: life with newborns

October 10, 2013

We have many new additions in our lives and many more coming.  We sifted through the archives and found all sorts of great posts related to life wit newborns:

And then:

WEEKEND WARRIORS - OCTOBER 11-13, 2013

October 09, 2013

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.

Parke Diem. Billed as the biggest volunteer event in Portland parks history, join your friends, neighbors and volunteer organizations Oct. 11 and 12 at local parks and gardens to spruce them up before winter. Some of the work parties are already full, so visit parklandia.org to peruse the opportunities and register.

Penny's Puppets at Central Lutheran Church NE PDX: Batunia's Nocturnal Wonderland. Join Batunia the Bat on a musical tour of the creatures that come alive under the night sky. See the beautiful night world in a whole new light. New puppet, songs and special effects make this a show not to miss. Friday 10:30am. $5 each or 4 for $17.

Halloween Craft at Oregon City Library. Make a Halloween craft. Ages 3-10. Friday 11:15am. Free! Registration required.

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - OCTOBER 11-13, 2013" »

"I'm not that hungry"

October 07, 2013

"Will you PLEASE eat?"  This sentence I utter several times each day to my 9-year old.  She often responds, "I'm not hungry."  I find this virtually impossible.  She has a full schedule with sports practices 2hrs a day, 4 days a week.  She is an active, playful child, always running, scootering, or rollerblading around the neithborhood with her free time.  She picks at her meals, taking mere bites of food.  She is adventurous enough, loves to try new things, eats healthy servings of fresh fruit and veggies.  She likes proteins like cheese, salami and nuts, and she doesn't have a sweet tooth like her older sister (who can eat a dozen cookies in a sitting if the opportunity arose).  I fear she is not eating enough!

Could it be a situation like "Picky Eater! Food Rut!" wherein I need to come up with new snazzy food options?  

Other picky eater posts:

Ideas to encourage more volume for my active child?

WEEKEND WARRIORS - October 4-6, 2013

October 02, 2013

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.

First Friday at Art ala Carte - sponsored by PDX Kids Calendar. Enjoy open studio at Art ala Carteevery first friday of the month on donation basis only. No studio fee all day! You choose how little or how much you want to donate! You can make monetary donations or bring in art supplies/recycled goodies or art related books. Most needed this month: Jewelry, baby wipes, toy cars/trucks, army men, pie pans, shoe boxes, shaving cream, happy meal size toys, stickers, construction paper. Diapers for PDX Diaper Bank. CANNOT except Fabric, TP rolls or crayons right now. Friday 10am-5pm

Greek Festival at Holy Trinity in NE PDX. Activities include face painting, gold "medals", ivy wreaths, coloring, games, puppet shows, and more! Children's Corner, 10am-8pm Friday. Noon to 8pm Saturday and Sunday. Admission: two talents. 

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

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - October 4-6, 2013" »

Fun Routes to School

September 30, 2013

Many of us know (and love) Safe Routes to School, but what about FUN Routes to School?  There are plenty of ways to make walking, rolling, carpooling and taking transit fun for the kids:

  • Bike Fairies leave notes of encouragement and praise on the handlebars of students bikes.  Sometimes they also leave treats!
  • Bike Trains are safety in numbers, groups of students and adults who meet at a central location to ride to school together.  Many bike train conductors sport flashy signage, bells and whistles.
  • TriMet Trekkers are fearless transit riders where one adult might chaperon several students along the route and walk them safely to their school destination

We're always looking for great inspiration to make walking, rolling, carpooling and taking transit fun.  Among new ideas:

  • Carpool is cool!  We procured some great prizes for adult drivers.  Anyone dropping off three students per car is entered into a raffle to win: movie tickets, Chinook Books, gift certificates for gas or coffee.  Any other suggestions? 20130930225553793
  • Energizer stations: meet-up spots for middle school students (or even adult morning commuters) who walk & roll solo.  Weekly or monthly treats provided at a central location before the head out to school together, a la breakfast on the bridges.
  • Walking School Bus: it's an oldie but goodie.  Meet new friends on your street or nearby streets.  Sign up one adult to walk the route on a regular rotation, pick up kids along the way!  Bring music to make it a party bus.

What are other fun, outlandish, crazy happy ideas to encourage transit, walking, rolling and carpooling?  Some of our favorites include the musical harmonic swings at the bus stop and the keyboard that replaces the escalator.  Maybe small gift certificates for the local toy shop to students on a walking school bus?  Maybe expansion of the YouthPass program to younger students to provide free transit passes?

We'd love to hear how you roll at your school.

Throwback Thursdays: indoor walking spaces for babes

September 26, 2013

An urbanMama recently emailed:

I’m wondering if you have any suggestions for indoor places to take an infant for walks in the wintertime? We’d still like to get out and get some exercise, but on the days that are nasty outdoors, I’m hoping for better ideas than walking around a mall. Any thoughts, or suggestions where to find ideas?

Let's take it to the archives:

We could use a few more suggestions!  

WEEKEND WARRIORS - SEPTEMBER 27-29, 2013

September 25, 2013

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 theurbanMamas calendar page.

Super Kids Resale Consignment Event in Gresham. Shop  90,000+ quality, gently used items such as baby, kid and maternity clothes, toys, books,baby gear, furniture and anything else related to kids with savings of 50-90 %off retail prices. Thursday - Sunday starting at 9am. Free admission.

Ladybug Nature Walk: Columbia Children's Arboretum. Naturalist led stroll. Ages 2-5, with grown-up. Stroller-accessible. Friday 10-11am. $4/child.

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - SEPTEMBER 27-29, 2013" »

Today's her birthday!

September 23, 2013

Our girl is now of the age that we don't necessarily do anything celebratory at school, though I did jokingly threaten to show up at her middle school during lunch period today (her response was a glaring eye).  

I did feel a bit of pressure this year to celebrate with some big familial party, so other members of our extended family could honor our celebrant.  To be honest, I didn't have it in me (a rare thing).  We have many traditions to celebrate as a family, just our own family, starting with early morning presents and card-reading first thing in the morning.  There will be cake (sort of, actually just a leftover cake) and there will be dinner of her own choice (she wants "breakfast for dinner").  This is our way of celebrating and it is everything she wants and more.

There were some other great ideas in an old thread, "A non-party birthday celebration".  What are some of your birthday celebrating traditions, small-style or big-style, with family or friends?

Throwback Thursday: Extracurricular Activities

September 19, 2013

As we settle into our school-years, some of us settle into a schedule of extracurricular activities.  Today's Throwback Thursday recounts past conversations on extracurriculars:

And some open threads:

And - finally - what do you do while waiting?

WEEKEND WARRIORS - SEPTEMBER 20-22, 2013

September 18, 2013

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.

Oaks Park Oktoberfest. German-style fall festival with authentic food, Paulaner beverages, live oompah music and dancing in two festhallen, local craft vendors, wiener dog races, agility dog demonstrations, cooking demonstrations, Kinderplatz children's activities, the Chicken Dance contest, and more! Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Gate fee $2-5.

Tears of Joy Theatre Free Community Night at Markham Elementary. Launching their year-long partnership, event includes a free community performance of Malika, Queen of the Cats as well as snacks, craft activities, and live musical entertainment by Julia and Tarik Banzi of Al Andalus Ensemble who composed and recorded the original music for this production. Friday 6-8:30pm. Free!  

Sidewalk Chalk Festival in Forest Grove. Come out and join in the creative fun or view the art work. There is no judging, only admiration. Saturday 8am-4pm. Free to watch, $7-12 to participate.

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - SEPTEMBER 20-22, 2013" »

Does your family dine together? How often?

September 16, 2013

It's dinnertime!  We are a few weeks into the new school year, and the schedules are getting a bit hectic.  What I realize: we only have one evening during the Monday-to-Friday stretch when we can all sit down and have dinner as a family, a calm time when we can catch up over our days, check in on school, friends, new developments.  Only one evening?  I feel it is not enough.

It's said that sitting down to a family dinner eases family stress, makes for happier children, even results in teens who are less likely to smoke, drink, or use drugs.

I believe it.  I want to have it.  How many evenings during the week do you manage to sit down to a dinner with the kids?

A play-date at a new friend's house: things to ask?

September 13, 2013

My daughter came home the other day saying she scheduled a playdate with her new friend whose name I didn't recognize.  They were in the same class this year, she tells me.  She handed me a piece of paper with all her parents' contact numbers.   20130913_125857

Just then, my phone rang.  Great timing, it was the friend's mom.  One of our phones was a bit choppy, but all I gathered was: "Hi, this is [so-and-so's mom]".  Due to a weird connection, I couldn't even catch her name!  But, what I did catch was the fact that her daughter and mine would walk home together after school and that they'd play.  "Could you pick her up at 5?" she asked.  I said, "Sure," and I took down the address.

It occurred to me: I didn't know this family, I didn't know this friend, I didn't know anything about them.  It made me nervous.  I turned to last year's school directory, and we looked up my daughter's friend.  I saw the names of her parents listed (no address) and I did a quick google search on each.  Nothing much came up aside from "yellow pages" and other random directory listings.  Hmpft.

Do your kids have playdates with friends you might not even know, whose parents you definitely don't know?

Giveaway: tickets to see Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2

Head over to the giveaway tab to enter to win tickets for your family to see Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2!

Throwback Thursday: It's Dinnertime!

September 12, 2013

Last week was lunch, this week is dinner.  So, here goes.

WEEKEND WARRIORS - SEPTEMBER 13-15, 2013

September 11, 2013

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.

Mt. Angel Oktoberfest. Four days of fun-filled activities, including live music on four stages, free Kindergarten with rides and shows, arts and crafts show, and more! Thursday - Sunday. Most events are free. 

Tallulah's Daddy at Cafe Au Play. Come sing and dance while Tallulah's Daddy sings and plays his guitar, bass and cajon. Friday 10-11am. Suggested donation.

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - SEPTEMBER 13-15, 2013" »

An "other" wo/man: infidelity, open relationship, or separation

September 09, 2013

I am sixteen years into my monogamous relationship, and I am thirteen years into my marriage.  In these past years, I feel lucky there have been no other love interests on my end, and I am not aware of any other love interests on my partner's end.  There have been close friends who have decided to open their relationship to others.  There have been people close to us who have opted to have extramarital affairs.  In some cases, the affairs have become known to all parties.  In some of these cases, they have decided to stay together.  In other cases, they have decided to separate or divorce.

Many of these scenarios have occured in relationships that are over the decade mark, and some of these relationships are closer to the two-decade mark.  

What I wonder about recently is: is this part of our progression in a relationship?  Is want for "another" a reality for many as a relationship stretches into the decades?  I became all the more curious when we received a media pitch from a company that promotes itself as a "discreet social network for men and women seeking secret affairs."  I found myself wondering whether I am in the minority and whether we adults are increasingly looking for new partnerships and connections, especially after our relationships stretch into the decades.

Giveaway: Ever After Resale Consignment Event

September 06, 2013

Ever After Resale is giving away 2 $25 gift certificates to uM readers! Pop over to the giveaway tab and enter to win!

Throwback Thursday: What's for Lunch?

September 05, 2013

Back to school means back to packing lunch. Daily. (For many.)  Dig into the archives for tips and ideas:

Find ideas & feel free to suggest more.

WEEKEND WARRIORS - September 6-8, 2013

September 04, 2013

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.

First Friday at Art ala Carte, sponsored by PDX Kids Calendar. Enjoy open studio at Art ala Carte every First Friday of the month on donation basis only. No studio fee all day! You choose how little or how much you want to donate! You can make monetary donations or bring in art supplies/recycled goodies or art related books. Most needed this month: shoe boxes, small wood pieces, feathers, stickers, hot glue sticks, tempra paint, glitter, pom poms, happy meal toys, jewelry and beads, game boards and pieces. Friday 10am-5pm. Art ala Carte. 319 NE Wygant St. 503.750.0522

Swift Watch at Chapman School. Watch thousands of Vaux's swifts swirl into the chimney at Chapman School. Audubon Society has info table most nights. Evenings through September 30th. Free! Please be courteous guests! Parking is very limited.

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - September 6-8, 2013" »

Skateboard for a Preschooler: Yay or Nay?

September 01, 2013

My almost-four year-old has been pining over skateboards of late. "I really want a skateboard..." And "I can't wait to get a skateboard for my birthday." It is a tiny bit surprising since we don't have too many friends who skateboard. Nonetheless, it's something we're considering. Mamas and papas: do you have thoughts or experience to share? Make, model and sizing tips?

Throwback Thursday: Back to School

August 29, 2013

We're pretty sure you've already started to think along these lines.  Still, a little back-to-school reading from the archives wouldn't hurt.

WEEKEND WARRIORS - AUGUST 30-SEPTEMBER 1

August 28, 2013

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.

Music Class with Mo Phillips at The Treehouse. Mo has devised a fine, distiller music blend of americana! Soul and blues In his secret ninja laboratory and is not afraid of a poppy hook, or straight rocking' out! Friday 10am. $5/child.

Build-A-Terrarium Workshop at Floare. Participants are guided to choose a container,select the type of plant, then design and install a lovely little world. Floare has soil, rocks, sand, moss,shells, dinosaurs, ladybugs, and many other decorative accents from which to choose. Saturday 10am-noon. $15/participant. No registration necessary, first-come, first-served.

Mama & Baby Yoga at Pod + Kin. Bring your new little one for this playful, interactive postpartum yoga class. Class is tailored to suit your postpartum recovery needs, so come as soon as you feel ready. Ages newborn until your busy mover "graduates" to the YogaTots class. Saturday 11:30-12:30pm. $14 drop-in.

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - AUGUST 30-SEPTEMBER 1" »

Mamas: We are NOT supernatural

August 27, 2013

I have always had this tendency to overcommit.  Back in college, I recall getting involved in so many campus activities, in addition to taking a full academic load, plus working.  One day, I just crashed.  I went to bed, exhausted, at maybe 7pm one night, and I did not wake up until 9 or 10pm the following day.  I literally slept for over 24 hours.  I also had a moment in college when I was so overcommitted, I had to drop half of my courseload part-way into the semester.  I had gotten so far behind that I knew I couldn't pull myself back.

As a mama, I struggle with similar tendencies.  I watch fellow mamas struggle with the same.  What is the right balance, how much should I volunteer even if I am working a full-time out-of-the-house job?  As school is ramping up once again, I am already receiving requests to coordinate an event or lead another initiative and - "oh, by the way" - could I also pick up the donated pastries for the first-day-of-school coffee social?

I had to stop and remind myself: Mama, you are not supernatural.  I am starting this school year with a cold, disorganized from a late summer vacation, and overwhelmed returning to a full load at work.  There is no way I can take on much more than I had originally committed to at the end of the last school year.  So: my goal.  Say "no" to a commitment, but say "yes" to another one, one that serves a grounding or self-preserving function.  So: say "no" to picking up those pastries, but say "yes" to a yoga class this week.  Say "no" to heading another committee, but say "yes" to taking a 30 minute walk with a neighbor.

We have enough to manage with our kids' extracurriculars.  We should keep it simple for ourselves.  How *much* do you do?  Where do you draw the line?  How much is too much, and what is on your "no" list?

EMAIL YOUR QUESTIONS: Surgeon recommendation

August 21, 2013

A mama just emailed with this question: 

"I have both a Cystocele and Rectocele after having three kids. I have done several rounds of PT for the pelvic floor with different therapists and was really hoping it would work for me. I also have just  recently used the InTone device also which is great but did not fix my problem. I am thinking surgery is my next step. I am very reluctant but am also pretty desperate to be able to exercise again without peeing. I am terrified that it will not work or with leave me with chronic discomfort.

Does anyone have a Surgeon you would recommend? If you had the surgery, how do you feel? Can you exercise?"

 

Lunchbox Dilemmas

August 16, 2013

As soon as Spring Break hit a few months ago, I knew I would need to replace my girls' lunchboxes that had been doing overtime for two years. I found myself completely sucked into a thread on the *Portland Mamas FB group that had been discussing lunchboxes for the last two days, which caused the topic to resurface in my head. This is big stuff, folks. I like newfangled technology as much as the next modern mama, but sometimes I just wonder if the metal Rainbow Brite lunchbox of my childhood was really just fine.

My oldest had been carrying a Blue Q bag that originally contained a birthday gift. She was more into the bag than the gift so it became an accessory as part of her daily ensemble. I have to admit that in a world of the Thermos, insulated sides, waxed canvas, removable liners, and 100% machine washable, I was suspicious! As the months dragged on, that super cute polypropylene bag did its job, and did it well. It suffered endless half-empty, half-closed containers of applesauce, sticky fruit leather, and tuna fish smeared all over the inside. At first, this stressed me out, but after a quick rinse and a wipe with a soapy sponge, the smell would go away and the bag would be ready to go for another day.

Continue reading "Lunchbox Dilemmas" »

WEEKEND WARRIORS - AUGUST 16-18, 2013

August 14, 2013

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.

Clackamas County Fair in Canby. A classic county fair filled with amazing BBQ, a rodeo, rides, and entertainment for the whole family. Runs through August 18th.

Ladybug Nature Walk: Irving Park. Naturalist led stroll. Ages 2-5, with grown-up. Stroller-accessible. Friday 10-11am. $4/child.

Once on This Island at Broadway Rose Theater. The Broadway Rose summer teen workshop participants present an enchanting, calypso-flavored musical fable that tells the story of forbidden love between people from two different worlds. Thursday - Saturday performances. $8.

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - AUGUST 16-18, 2013" »

Mamas Need Back to School Clothes Too: a Naked Ladies Party

August 09, 2013

Once again, uM is partnering up with gDiapers for a Naked Ladies Party! Purge your closet, dresser, shoe rack, and jewelry box and let's swap! 

Where: gDiapers HQ, 2808 NE MLK Jr Blvd Suite g. Portland, OR 97212

When: Tuesday, August 20th, doors at 7:30pm; swap 8- 10pm

Who: YOU! and all of the girlfriends you can pull together! Leave the papas at home and tiny bebes in arms only, please. 

Please bring: as many items of clothing and accessories as you can fit in your car or on your bike (maternity clothes, jewelry, and shoes are always welcome), a $5 donation, and a bottle of vino or a snack to share. Oh, and friends! Bring lots of friends!

RSVP on the event Facebook page to be kept up to speed on all of the details and to invite friends! We can't wait to see you!

Back to School Shopping Blues

August 07, 2013

After spending nearly $100 on back to school supplies (fortunately ordered from <a href="http://www.schoolhousesupplies.org/">Schoolhouse Supplies</a>, it hit me that I know have to start thinking about shopping for clothes. It's the thing I face with dread with two school aged boys that are fairly picky about what they wear. The younger ones lives in shorts and t-shirts; and refuses wearing any jackets that he considers bulky. This is a source of frustration during the 9 months of the year when it is cold and rainy. He will also wear through and stink up a pair of sneakers in a matter of months. The older one will only wear skinny jeans; and rips the knees in a matter of weeks. So while it is great to have a brood of boys, after a certain age hand-me downs are few and far in between as a result of the wear and tear, or personal preference.

School starts in a matter of weeks and I need to take inventory of wearable clothes and supplementing with a few new pieces and a new pair of shoes. I know some moms limit their kids to a certain number of items of clothing, but to be honest, I've never been that organized. In reality, they boys probably cycle through a certain number of their favorites. I am curious, what's your strategy for back to school shopping? Do you participate in the ritual? Or do you replace items when needed?

 

WEEKEND WARRIORS - AUGUST 9-11, 2013

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.

Clark County Fair - Pirates, petting zoos, music, monster trucks, and all you've come to expect from this county fair! Friday - Sunday. Admission $10 adult, $7 ages 7-12, free ages 0-7.

LEGO® Master Builder at Washington Square. Help a real LEGO® Master Builder construct an eight foot tall The Hulk™ during a three day LEGO building event at Washington Square. Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10am-6pm. Free!

Loose Goose Hot Air Balloon Rally at Evergreen Museum. Come see the colorful balloons take flight in the morning and light up the evening sky with the "Night Glow."  Balloon launches: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 6am. "Night Glow" and summer concert Saturday 5:30pm. Concert $3.  

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - AUGUST 9-11, 2013" »

How to be a Proper Play-Date Host

August 02, 2013

My preschooler, now in summer session with limited daycare, is fully on the play-date circuit.  With new friends circling through the house and with him going to different friends' homes, I am noticing trends.  Little folks get possessive and territorial, it is hard to share!  This is normal, I realize, but I often run out of ways to mediate.  When we host, I let the boy know that he needs to put things away if he absolutely cannot share.  Everything else is fair game.

At his friend's house the other day, there was a squabble over a particularly shiny race car.  The host boy ran to his parent for assistance.  His parent said: "You're the host.  Let your friend play with it."  It wasn't the answer the boy was hoping to hear.

I've never used the comment: "Be a good host" with the connotation that he should let the other friend have the toy/turn.  Perhaps I'm not a good host.  What are the elements for our youngest folks, the preschool set, to be the "proper play date host"?

WEEKEND WARRIORS - August 2-4, 2013

July 31, 2013

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.

Music with Mo Phillips at The Treehouse. A rockin' music blend of americana! Soul and blues in a secret ninja laboratory - join for some straight rocking' out! Friday 10am. $5/child

First Friday at Art ala Carte PDX - sponsored by PDX Kids Calendar. Enjoy open studio at Art ala Carte on the First Friday of the month on donation basis only. No studio fee all day! You choose how little or how much you want to donate! You can make monetary donations or bring in art supplies, recycled goodies or art related books. Most needed this month: Room divider/screen, mini fridge, rug for paint area, mini hot glue sticks, glitter, army men, small toys, pine cones, scotch tape, tempura paint, tiles, construction paper, white drawing paper, and straws/plastic utensils. Friday 10am-5pm.

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - August 2-4, 2013" »

Weekend Warriors - July 26-28, 2013

July 24, 2013

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.

Enjoy free admission to the Portland Art Museum. Enjoy free and easy bike parking, free Museum admission, and snacks from some of Portland's finest pedal-powered food carts, including Taco Pedalers, Salt & Straw Ice Cream, Moberi-Bike Smoothies, Masala Popcorn, and more. Friday 5-8pm.

Flicks on the Bricks at Pioneer Courthouse Square. The Square will be transformed into Portland's largest outdoor movie theater for the entire community to enjoy. This Friday Finding Nemo. Friday at dusk. Free!

Kids' Discovery Hike. Enjoy the breathtaking beauty of this Northwest forest while learning about native plants, wildlife, and the inspiring history of Portland's Forest Park. Designed for kids ages 4-10 with parent accompaniment, hike is free but space is limited, so reserve your spot now! Saturday 9:30-11:30am.

Continue reading "Weekend Warriors - July 26-28, 2013" »

Birth Centers, Home Births and OHP

July 22, 2013

An email recently blew through the uM account and the reader has the following question: 

"I'm currently working as a babysitter and I do not have insurance. I am 7 weeks pregnant and am interested in having a midwife, and either having a home birth or a birth center birth (ideally not a hospital birth unless it is my only option). I am just wondering if anyone knows how to have an "alternative" birth covered 100% by OHP, because I don't have any other source of income to cover the costs. I know that Andaluz and Alma offer discounts for patients on OHP, but without being covered 100% by OHP I can't afford them. Can anyone recommend other resources? Any information would be helpful."

Have you been through a similar experience when planning for birth? Do you know of any resrouces or businesses that can help mamas on OHP, SNAP, WIC, etc... get alternative care/ help?

 

WEEKEND WARRIORS 7/19-7/21/13

July 17, 2013

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.

This Weekend

 

Toot Toot Beep Beep Art Adventure at Central Library. Join artist and educator Anya Hankin and participate in an energetic reading of Toot Toot Beep Beep and then get creative with glue, tissue paper, pens and googly eyes as you make your own vibrant vehicle collages come to life. Friday 10:30-11:30am. Free!

Storytime with Olive Rootbeer and Dingo at Open Space Cafe.  Join your favorite story tellers and singers Olive Rootbeer and Dingo for an hour of singing, jumping, bellowing and monkeying. Friday 3:30-4:30pm. $5 donation.

Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum Summer Concert Series. An evening of music with The Folsom Band - a Johnny Cash Tribute Band - on the lawn with wine, beer, and food (for purchase). Friday 5:30-8pm. $3.

Bicycle Big Top at Portland Art Museum. This event combines a traditional bike show with all of the excitement and spectacle of the circus. Saturday 10am-5pm & Sunday noon-5pm. Free with museum admission.

Children's Day at Portland Aerial Tram. Fun children's activities, including face painting, crafts and more. Kids 17 and younger can ride the Tram free of charge with a paying parent from noon to 4 pm. Saturday noon-4pm.

Hillsboro Tour de Parks. Bring the whole family for an enjoyable ride as you explore the hidden treasures of Hillsboro's parks while emphasizing bicyclist awareness and rules of the road. Saturday noon. $5 donation/adult.

Woodstock Farmers Market's Fruit Festival. Live music, delicious food, a cooking demonstration, free kids' activities, and a fruit pie contest. Sunday 10am-2pm. Free to attend.

Alpenrose's Dairyville. A fun pioneer exhibit where visitors can peak into Grandma's Bakery, the Great Western Bank, the Dairyville School, and the post office. Sunday 1-4pm. Free!

ComedySportz 4 Kidz. Join for a show just for kids with games and suggestions focused on the 12-and-under crowd, LOTS of audience volunteers and a rip-roaring good time. Sunday 2-3pm. $8 kids/$10 adults.  Reservations highly recommended.

Weekend Festivals & Fairs

 

Battle Ground Harvest Days. Carnival, parade, talent show, car cruise, kids activities, Radio Disney, 4H animals, music, shopping, art & wine, food & brew and more. Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Free admission. Food and activities may charge.

Celebrate Hillsboro. Music, free health screenings, arts and crafts, eco-friendly activities. Saturday 9am-4pm. Free!

Glendi Greek Festival in Beaverton. Mouth-watering Greek food, entertainment and children's activities: face painting, crafts, pony rides, bounce house and more! Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Free admission. Food and activities may charge.

Portland Saturday Market. Celebrates 40 Years. Activities, give-a-ways, artist demonstrations, as well as all the Market's artisans selling handcrafted wares, an international food court and a main stage featuring local Pacific Northwest favorites. Friday and Saturday. Free admission. Food and activities may charge.

West Linn Old Time Fair. Great food, musical entertainment, carnival rides, custom car show, games, and activities for the whole family. Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Free admission. Food and activities may charge.

Yoshida's Sand in the City at Pioneer Courthouse Square. fun for all ages with majestic sand sculptures, interactive youth exhibits, live music, entertainment and more. Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Suggested donation $4/individual, $10/family.

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 7/12-7/14/13

July 10, 2013

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.

TurkeyRama in McMinnville. Fabulous community festival honors the once-thriving turkey business. BBQ, carnival rides, car show, street dance, foot race, lots of entertainment, more. Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

Reptile Man at Portland Children's Museum. Meet Reptile Man, Richard Ritchie, and his reptile friends in the Play It Again Theater. Friday 10-10:20am. Free with museum admission.

Oregon Berry Festival at Ecotrust. Children's activities, cooking demos and booths filled with fresh berries, berry candies, berry wine, berry cupcakes, berry vinegars and berry varieties and products you have only dreamt about. Friday noon-6pm and Saturday 11am-4:30pm. Admission is free!

Ice Cream Churn-a-ment at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Ice cream lovers of all ages are invited to watch a churning competition and sample some of the 22 million gallons of ice cream produced in Oregon every year. Friday noon-1pm. Free ice cream!

Tree-Mendous Second Saturday at World Forestry Center. Storytime, craft, games hike and more. Saturday 11am-3pm. Free with admission ($6-$9).

Mississippi Street Fair. Street fair fun with lots of music and a special kids stage in Mississippi Pizza. Saturday 10am-9pm. Free!

Bastille Festival at Director Park. Live music, art exhibit, fun children's activities & a book sale. Saturday noon-6pm. Free to attend.

Ice Cream Social at Birds & Bees Nursery. Plant sale - free coffee and ice cream! Saturday 2-4pm.

Bee-friendly Storytime & Honey Tasting in NE PDX. Community event at 6) Carolyn's House - featuring storytime with bee-eautiful books and honey tasting. Apt for ages 4-8 but all are welcome. Sunday 10:30-11:15am. Free!

2nd Annual Breweries for Books! A free, family-friendly event benefiting First Book Portland and The Children's Book Bank (CBB). Sunday 1-6pm.  

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.

When can you leave your kid home alone (legal version)

July 08, 2013

A couple of months ago there was conversation about when you could leave your kid alone. Was there a law? An age limit? What was the deal in Oregon? I asked urbanMama lawyer Trina Montalban to do some research and let the urbanMamas know - what was the LEGAL answer. Here is her response. /courtney

My name is Trina Montalban. I am a lawyer and a mama, and have been an avid reader of UrbanMamas for years. Although my law focus is on estate planning and administration, when Courtney asked if I could research what age we can leave our children home alone, I agreed because it gave me the opportunity to look into this issue for myself.

Huge disclaimer: I am not giving legal advice. If you have a legal question, you should speak to an attorney.

I first looked at whether there is any law on point. There is none. There is, however, a law on child neglect in the second degree for children under the age of 10 and a law on reckless endangerment. See Oregon Revised Statute (“ORS) 163.545 for the law on child neglect in the second degree and ORS 163.195 for the law on recklessly endangering another person.

In the Oregon Court of Appeals case, State v. Paragaon, 195 Or. App. 265 (2004), the court stated that a conviction of child neglect in the second degree requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt “(1) that leaving the child unattended was likely to endanger her health or welfare, (2) that the risk of that harm occurring was substantial and unjustifiable, and (3) that the defendant’s lack of awareness of that risk was a gross deviation from the normal standard of care.”

In the following three situations, a parent was charged with child neglect in the second degree, but the court found that the parents were not guilty.

  1. A 4-year-old opened an unlocked door and took a ride on his tricycle out into the street while his mother was home asleep. A passerby found him and called the police
  2. A 2 ½-year-old wandered across a street to a store while her mother was taking a shower. A store clerk found the girl and called the police.
  3. Parents left their seven-year-old and nine-year-old children alone to go the emergency room. The parents were gone for 45 minutes. The parole officer of one of the parents found the children alone while visiting the home.

In the following two situations, a parent was charged and found guilty of child neglect in the second degree.

  1. A mother left her 8-year-old and 22-month-old children at home alone for five hours with matches and candles within easy reach. After 2 hours, friends stopped by and saw the children watching TV. When the mother returned home, she found the house in smoke and her children dead. The court found that the amount of time the mother left the children alone was a factor. The court also found that a reasonable person should know that it is a significant risk to leave children alone with matches.
  2. A mother left her 3-year-old and one-year-old children in the car while she ran to the store to buy diapers. The windows were rolled down enough, such that a person could take the kids or the children could fall out. The 3-year-old was seen reaching her hands outside of the window and pulling on the handle. The grocery store was in a high crime area and the mother was gone for about 30 minutes. The court found that responsible adults should know that harm from strangers is a likely danger when a very young child is left alone, visible, and accessible in a busy parking lot for a period of 30 minutes.

These cases made it clear to me that the question isn’t simply when can we leave our children home alone, but how can we keep our children safe when there is no way to keep our children under constant supervision. We all need sleep and showers…

The Oregon Legal Research Blog has a useful post on the question of when you can leave children home alone. http://www.oregonlegalresearch.com/content/when-can-i-leave-my-kids-home-alone. The blog provides the exact language of our Oregon laws. Additionally, they provided information on an important resource: the American Red Cross in Oregon class titled: “When I’m in Charge for children 8 to 11.” Classes cost $50.00 and are held throughout the year in various locations. The class description states: “If your child is 8 to 11 years old, this course will prepare them to respond safely to a variety of “home alone” situations. http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/course-class000000003887483.

Keeping our children safe is not easy and not always in our control. But, this class sounds like it gives our older children some tools to keep themselves safe if they ever find that they are home alone.  

WEEKEND WARRIORS 7/5-7/7

July 03, 2013

Here’s the scoop for the July 4th holiday and weekend.

Looking for fun for the Fourth? Check out this comprehensive July Fourth Fun guide for festivals, fireworks, rodeos, carnivals, music concerts, hikes, and lots more!

And here are our picks for the weekend ... 

Waterfront Blues Festival. Cozy up with 100,000 of your friends and hear great music by more than 100 performers on 4 stages. Special kids' area with workshops, stories and fun. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday noon-10pm. $10 + 2 cans food per day.


Story and Stroll at Tryon Creek. Nature exploration, art, literature, music, movement, and outdoor play. Geared toward families with young children (preferably ages 2-6) but all are welcome. Registration required. Friday 10-11:15am. Free!

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

Musicalu Summer Concert: The Alphabeticians at Gresham Arts Plaza. The best of the Northwest's "kindie" music scene performs at Gresham's Arts Plaza this summer for Musicalu, a free, family-friendly music series. Saturday 11am-noon. Free!

Once Upon a Time Family Theatre presents Jack and the Beanstalk. A magical mix of theatrical simplicity and grand storytelling for kids and their families. Saturday noon-1pm. $1/child; $2/adult.

Explore Color with Nature's Fireworks at AC Gilbert. Create a rainbow and checking out other colorful displays found in nature. Saturday 1-4pm. Free with admission.

Mi Pinata at Rockwood Library. Students will learn about the Mexican piñata and the meaning and role of this tradition in Mexican celebrations. Participants will craft their own cardboard piñata and decorate it with colored papers. Saturday 1:30-3:30pm. Free!

$2 days at OMSI. Enjoy discounted $2 admission. Sunday 9:30am-5:30pm.

DJ Anjali & The Incredible Kid All Ages Bhangra Dance at Viscount Dance Studio. All-Ages Bhangra Dance Party. Early dance lesson, snack and alcohol-free, family-friendly dance party. Sunday 5:15-7:15pm. $5.

Hope this gives you some ideas. 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. 

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.

Summer Homework?

June 28, 2013

Trina, a mama lawyer I met at an urbanMama lunch a couple of years ago and now someone I consider a friend, had an idea for a post for the mamas. So here it is:

Last night I spent a few hours surfing the internet on workbooks for children to keep up on their math and reading skills.  I have mixed feelings about this.  I don’t want my son to lose much of the skills he learned last year.  But, I also want him to enjoy the break from school.  He is at a camp for most of the day that has no focus on academics. 

 In reviewing workbooks, it appears that Brain Quest and Evan-Moor Educational Publishers received the most positive reviews. I also liked one reviewer’s comment that we don't always need workbooks.  She decided to just buy a lined notebook with space for pictures and asked her child to draw and write each day.  She said her child kept up on his writing skills and they had a great memento at the end of the summer. 

 What are your views on academic work in the summer?  Any workbooks that you love or hate?


WEEKEND WARRIORS 6/28-6/30/23

June 26, 2013

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.

Art with you Body at AC Gilbert in Salem. Discover tips for face painting and use your hands and feet to create your own 'body' art. Friday 11am-pm. Free with admission.
 
Music with Mr. Hoo at Village Ballroom. Mr. Hoo (one half of The Alphabeticians), plays fun music for kids and their grown-ups. Friday 11am-12pm. $5/family.

Hop on your bike and head to the Portland Art Museum for Free Fourth Friday. Enjoy free and easy bike parking, free Museum admission, and snacks from some of Portland's finest pedal-powered food carts, including Taco Pedalers, Salt & Straw Ice Cream, Moberi-Bike Smoothies, Masala Popcorn, and more. Friday 5-8pm. Free!

Kids Day at Hollywood Farmers Market. Come with the whole family to enjoy free face painting, kid's activities, music by Tallulah's Daddy and Steve Cooper & Friends. Saturday 8am-1pm. Free!

Recycled Arts Festival in Vancouver's Esther Short Park. With over 120 artists, great onstage entertainment, stilt walkers, jugglers and clowns, and more! Saturday 9am-5pm and Sunday 10am-4pm. Free!

World Beat Festival in Salem. Food, music and discussion from around the world. Children can explore the kids' activity tents and collect passport stamps from every continent. Saturday 10am-11pm and Sunday 10am-6pm. $5 donation

Johnny & Jason at Musicalu Summer Concert -- Gresham Arts Plaza. The best of the Northwest's "kindie" music scene performs at Gresham's Arts Plaza this summer for Musicalu, a free, family-friendly music series. Saturday 11am-noon. Free!

Tunde's Trumpet at Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center. A puppet musical for kids and families about making music & keeping your eye on the prize. Saturday 1pm and 4pm. Family admission (up to 2 adults and 4 children) $20, individual tickets $10.

Tears of Joy's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea at Hollywood Theatre. The TOJT hit returns for one special showing. Hold your breath and submerge yourself in Tears of Joy Theatre's underwater adventure. Saturday 4pm. $10.

Astronomy Day at OMSI. A festival of all things celestial, with opportunities for starry-eyed guests to learn little-known facts about the universe, constellations, stars and planets. Sunday 10am-4pm. Free (does not include museum admission).

Kid's Concert at The Old Church. Two of Portland favorite children's groups "Johnny and Jason" and Mo Phillips team up for an afternoon of fun and music. Wine/beer available for adults. Sunday 2:30pm. $10/family.

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.

Giveaway: Sneak Peek Tickets to See Despicable ME 2

June 24, 2013

Head over to our giveaway tab to enter to win tickets to see Despicable ME 2 this Thursday!

Summer Media

June 22, 2013

In these early days of summer, the kids have been getting up (late) and bee-lining it straight to the TV.  Not even asking us, they'll put on a show, a movie, something else to watch.  Usually, it is of the mindless variety.  So I ask: is there a high-media trend in your household now that "summer vacation" is here?  Will it continue?  Will you renegotiate terms and differentiate summer usage versus school-in-session usage?

Northeast Sunday Parkways

June 20, 2013

PicFrameCome see us this Sunday, June 23rd, at Fernhill Park (near the playground) as a part of Sunday Parkways- an 8 mile loop that is closed off to cars and wide open to bicyclists, skateboarders, scooter riders, walkers, runners, hula hoopers...!

We have some yummy treats provided by Saint Cupcake and Dry Soda as well as fresh-off-the-press uM stickers and Stealing Time subscriptions, tattoos and stickers!

Be sure to drop off a business card in our raffle jar too- one lucky winner will be drawn at random to get a free month of advertising on uM! 

So... pump up those bike tires, grab your helmet and rally the kids! We cannot wait to meet you! Want to coordinate a group ride? Let's chat about it on our FB page!

Click here to view the NE Sunday Parkways map and highlights. The route opens at 11am and closes at 4pm.

WEEKEND WARRIORS 6/21-6/16/23

June 19, 2013

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

Ladybug Nature Walk: Westmoreland Park. Walk through parks, gardens and natural areas with your youngster (2 - 5 years old)  and a nature guide. Friday 10am. $3/child. 

Festival of Balloons in Tigard. Hot air balloons, craft & vendors booth, music, rides, clowns, and more! Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Gate admission $5, parking and rides additional.

Lakewood Festival of the Arts Kid's Day at George Rogers Park. Bring the kids for some exciting outdoor crafts, games and entertainment. Friday 12-4pm. Free!

Community Day at Oregon Historical Society. The day will include docent-led gallery tours, stories from real-life history makers, kids' activities, live music, and food vendors on the plaza. Saturday 11am-3pm. Free!

Wetlands Painted Turtle Walk at Smith and Bybee Wetlands. Take a close look with a telescope, learn about the turtles' natural history and examine turtle shells found in the wetlands. Suitable for ages 5 and older. Registration and payment of $6 per adult or $11 per household required in advance. Saturday 1-2:30pm. 

All About Bugs! at Albina Library. 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! Saturday 2-3:30pm. Free!

Woodstock Farmers Market's Solstice Celebration. Bring the whole family for live music, delicious food, and free kids' activities. Sunday 10am-2pm. Free!

All About Edibles - Kids Gardening Club at 7 Dees Lake Oswego. Learn about what food crops gardeners can grow in our area and when and how they grow. Sunday 2-3pm. $5.

A family music show with Portland's own Cat Doorman and The Good Ms. Padgett (sister-in-law and frequent touring companion of Elizabeth Mitchell and You Are My Flower) at Mississippi Studios. Sunday 3pm. $10 adults, $8 ages 2 and up.

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.

uM & Popina Swimwear Fashion Show TONIGHT!

June 12, 2013

563385_10151546705253573_199344317_nuM and Popina Swimwear are co-hosting a mama's night out! Come grab a glass, watch a fashion show and find that perfect suit for the summer! Popina is offering 25% off all suits purchased at the event... cause they're awesome like that! 

Mark your calendars now for Thursday, June 13th and invite all of your girlfriends!

Be sure to check out the Popina shop online. Be warned though: their physical store is HUGE and you will certainly find a suit to love and that loves you back!

Check out our FB event page for up to the minute details, to coordinate carpooling and spread the word!

$5 suggested donation (please and thank you!) -- Beer and wine provided -- Doors open at 7:30pm, fashion show will be at 8:30pm.

Popina Swimwear: 2030 NE 42nd Ave, Portland, OR

WEEKEND WARRIORS 6/14-6/16/13

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.

Drop-In Family Fun at Blue Lake. Explore an active worm bin, dig for "fossils," discover, rub and sniff plants, find the softest leaves, and see what wildlife have to say about natural gardening. Come for the garden and stay to enjoy the park's many recreational activities. Friday, Saturday, Sunday 1-5pm. Free with $5 per vehicle ($7 per bus) fee, free for bicycles and pedestrians.  


Play the Summer Reading game at your library. Read for fun and prizes this summer. Babies, kids and teens are all welcome, and participation is free. Sign up at any Multnomah County library beginning June 14.

BFFs 4 Eva at Child's Play. Celebrate your BFF with silly photos, free glitter tattoos and the chance to win a sweet slumber party prize pack including a $10 Salt & Straw Gift Certificate, Sweet Shop Lip Balm Kit, and a Coke or Pepsi Quiz Book! Friday 3-5pm. Free!

Kruger's Berry Jam on Sauvie Island. Hayrides, kids' jam-making, face painting, live music, strawberry shortcake, and of course - plenty of strawberries to pick and eat. Saturday and Sunday 11am-4pm. Free admission!

Portland Scandinavian Midsummer Festival at Oaks Park. Dancing, food, crafts. At 1pm join for the raising of the Maypole. Two stages of entertainment and a beer garden. Scandinavian roots not required! Saturday 11am-8pm. $6 adults, $3 ages 6-12, $15 family of 4.


Feed your need to read with Hawthorne Burgerville's Summer reading program! Join the fun with several organizations promoting education at the kick-off party. Activities, prizes and entertainment. Saturday noon-5pm. Free!  

Johnson Creek Rock Stars at Bobwhite Theatre. A kids concert to celebrate the release of "Songs for Johnson Creek," a digital-only benefit album that raises money for Johnson Creek salmon habitat. Concert features a superstar line-up of Portland kids musicians: Mo Phillips, Red Yarn, Mr. Hoo, Tallulah's Daddy, Matt Clark, and Buttercup Bill Aubrecht. Saturday 1-3pm. $7 adults, $5 children; non-walkers free.

Teddy Bear Tag-Along with Olive Rootbeer and Dingo at Mt. Tabor Park. Start at the playground area, parade and end at the top in the grass. Sit and hang with our bikes and bears for a storytime with all of our favorites. Hand twisted balloons follow for all to take home. Saturday 3pm. $3-$5 donation.

Opening Day Celebration at Lents International Farmers Market. Family-friendly activities and performances including music, martial arts, group exercise, strawberry freezer jam making and container gardens for kids demos, and more.  Sunday 11am-4pm. Free! 

Fabulous Father's Day Fancies at Tigard Library. Dads and kids, come celebrate with stories and crafts. Moms are welcome, too, but only dads get to wear crowns! Sunday 1:30-2:30pm. Free!

PDX Kids Calendar has also updated their Summer Fun Guides, including Summer Fun (movies, music, theater, festivals, street fairs and more), Water Fun (water parks, splash pads & more), and Farmers Markets for the 2013 season.

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

The END is coming!

June 06, 2013

Yesterday, my kids told me that they were having parties in their respective classrooms. I interpreted that to mean that I didn't need to pack them lunches. They report they ate chips and cookies for lunch (one of them ate five cookies). *shrug*

Nine months ago, we were up at the crack of dawn each morning. I was baking a fresh loaf of bread (in a machine) almost every morning. We had fresh ground nut butters for sandwiches, assorted fruit for smoothies, mom's homemade hummus. The fridge was stocked. Today, the fridge is empty. We don't even have beer.

Nine months ago, when the classroom parents emailed announcements, I reviewed every word and made sure to make note of every calendar item. Yesterday at 10pm, I realized that today was the end-of-year picnic and I had to send my child to school with a potluck item to share.

The list goes on and on, and I had to chuckle and snort as I read "Worst End of School Year Mom Ever" because: isn't it so true?

Aren't we all waiting with bated breath for that last day of school?

WEEKEND WARRIORS 6/7-6/9/13

June 05, 2013

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.

Spanish Story Time Fun at Green Bean Books with Portland Early Learning Project. Friday 11:15-11:45am. Free!

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

Free Fishing Clinic for Kids at Trillium Lake. Fish with an expert angler, learn "catch and release" techniques, participate in a fishing derby, have opportunities to learn to fly fish, and have lots of fun. Saturday 9am-2pm. Free

Library StoryWalk at Spring Garden Park. Bring the whole family for a special storytime - explore a book and the park at the same time. Saturday 10:30am. Free!

Busy Bees at Vancouver's Three Creeks Community Library. A workshop on mason bees put together by Sherian Wright. Saturday 2pm. Free!


Berries, Brews, & BBQs at French Prairie Gardens. Activities include: U-Pick Strawberries, Hayrides, Tube Slide & Pyramid Slide, new Animal Barns & Farm Animals, Pig Barrel Train Rides, BBQ, Brew tasting and more. Saturday and Sunday. Free admission & parking. Food and activities extra.

Summer Celebration/Native American Salmon Bake in Ridgefield, WA. Cathlapotle Plankhouse will be hosting a Summer Celebration and Salmon Bake in partnership with OMSI - event includes special presentations, tasty food, tours and children's activities. Sunday 12-4pm. $3 vehicle fee.

Family Farm Day in Oregon City. Cowboy Jerry's Horses and Beaver Lake Stables Barn are hosting community day - BBQ, pony activities, and prize drawing. Sunday 12-4pm. $5/family or $7/car.

Pedalpalooza Family Ride - Laurelhurst a la mode. Start at Laurelhurst Park Duck Pond. This ride will alternate between ice cream and cupcake stops. We will end at the Laurelhurst playground to run off our sugar highs. Sunday 1-4pm. Free!


Rose Festival events

 

Rose Festival CityFair at Waterfront Park. Metropolitan fair features live exotic animals, a wide variety of shopping in the CityFair Shopping Center, carnival rides, special attractions. Thursday & Friday 3pm-11pm. Saturday and Sunday 11am-11pm. $7 admission for ages 7 and older. Free admission for everyone on Thursday June 6.

 

Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Races. 80 teams compete (including local, national, and international teams) with heats of four teams competing every nine minutes. Saturday and Sunday 8am-4pm (approx). Free!

 

Rose Festival Grand Floral Walk. A fun, party parade through the streets of downtown Portland. Saturday 9:30am.

 

Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade. Glorious floats, royalty and more glide through downtown. Saturday starting at 10am. Free viewing along route.

 

Milk Carton Boat Race at Westmoreland Park. It's a family friendly, wholesome and 100% milk-powered celebration. The event features handmade, human-powered water-crafts, made from milk jugs or cartons. Sunday 11am. 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 5/31-6/2/13

May 29, 2013

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.

 

Final Milagros performance for Mr. Hoo of the Alphabeticians - Milagros will no longer be hosting children's entertainment starting in June - which means that Mr. Hoo will have the final performance in this amazing community space. Come and enjoy some great kids music - he'll play his guitar, sing some songs, and Hoo knows what else? Friday 11am-noon. $3 suggested donation per walker.


May Parent's Night Out at the Playground Gym. Head out for some quality adult time while your children have a blast in a safe and super fun environment. Pre-registration is required and spaces are limited. Friday 6:30-10pm. $20-26.


Oregon State Parks Day. Celebrate our state's spectacular parks with special activities. Free camping and day use. Ranger tours and activities at various parks. Check out the web site for the special activities at your favorite Oregon State Park. Saturday all day. Free!


National Trails Day. Featuring a series of outdoor activities, designed to promote and celebrate the importance of trails in the United States. Individuals, clubs and organizations from around the country host National Trails Day® events to share their love of trails with friends, family, and their communities. Check the web page for all the local events. Saturday all day. Free (some parking fees).

 

Calico Critter Fun Day at Child's Play. Bring a camera and meet Mrs. Fisher Cat, do a coloring activity and collect some free stickers (while supplies last). Plus you can enter to win a Calico Critter prize pack. Saturday 10am-noon. Free!


Family Field Trip Day at Columbia Springs. Twice a year Columbia Springs opens their beautiful site to the community with fun, hands-on learning stations, craft projects, and nature hikes for the whole family. Preregistration encouraged. Saturday 10am-2pm. There is a $5 registration fee for each child, adults free.

Open House at Sunnyside Swap Shop & Family Play Space. Play inside or go outdoors to enjoy the fenced backyard area while your family learns more about the space and membership. Saturday 11am-2pm. Free!

 

Village Toys in Tigard's Bridgeport Village (across from Peet's Coffee) is having a Grand Opening Party and you're invited! Join the fun, including giveaways (3 BIG prizes), face painting, toy demos, discounts, a photo booth and FUN! Village Toys Grand Opening Party. Saturday June 1 - 12-3pm. All ages welcome. FREE


Summer Reading Kick-Off Carnival at Tualatin Library. This is the first day to sign up for the Summer Reading Program and the library will be celebrating with carnival games, face painting, magic, prizes, and more. Games and activities for kids, teens, and adults. Bring the whole family. Saturday 1-4pm. Free!


$2 days at OMSI. Enjoy discounted $2 admission to OMSI the first Sunday of every month. Sunday 9:30am-5:30pm. $2.

 

Woodstock Farmers Market Opening Day. Bring the whole family - Green Zebra will be hosting a cooking demonstration with samples, and El Cuadro Gallo will be playing traditional Flamenco music from 11am - 1pm. Kids area fun includes balloon twisting with Olive Rootbeer and a photo opp with Metro-Parent/PDX Kids Calendar. Red Yarn will also be onsite for crazy critter puppet making. Teaching artist Andy Furgeson of Red Yarn Productions will lead this exciting craft, taking the old paper-bag puppet to a whole new level. With paper, fabric, and all sorts of cool recycled materials, kids will create their own crazy critters and will be puppeteering in no time! Of course, your favorite vendors will be there to fill up your market baskets. Woodstock Farmers Market Opening Day. Sunday June 2 - 10am-2pm. Key Bank Parking Lot - 4600 SE Woodstock Blvd


Alpenrose's Dairyville - A Western-themed "town" located right on the 52-acre dairy farm. Visitors can peek into Grandma's Bakery, the Great Western Bank, the Dairyville School, and the post office. Sunday 1-4pm. Free!

Dino Play Lab at Portland Children's Museum. Stop by the East Studio for a special dinosaur play lab. A Museum Educator will share Jurassic facts and present prehistoric activities. Sunday 2-4pm. Free with admission.

 

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.

Marry a Family, Divorce a Family?

DSC_0650Somehow, through my extremely long and messy divorce, I have managed to stay somewhat close with my in-laws. My ex-husband's dad and step mom have been committed to my girls and me from the very beginning. This is not to say that they're not in a difficult position, but they are very diplomatic and still consider me family. We go on long weekend trips to the coast and they sweetly remind me that if I ever move on to a new relationship and decide to grow my family, those new additions will be welcomed into their open arms. This relationship has been so comforting and I'm incredibly grateful. I recognize how lucky I am and how unusual this probably is for most ex-daughters-in-laws.

So here we are, almost 3 years since the separation and I still adore my in-laws and they seem to find value in our relationship as well. Sometimes I think that my father-in-law tolerates me, my homemade life and my choice to homeschool my youngest daughter, but I know that I can quickly bring him back around when I cook or bake for him. My mother-in-law is the most comfortable of the two and probably one of my closest friends. In spite of the circumstances of the last few years, we have been able to talk with utter transparency which is sometimes really hard and other times it's really healing. I'm starting to think everything is going to change though.

My ex has a serious girlfriend. He's had many girlfriends in the last few years, but nothing so serious. This girlfriend has a child and seems to be on the prowl for a stable relationship. My ex is either serious about her or he is just playing along- I can't tell yet and we are not able to talk about much, let alone our relationships.

It's funny because I don't care that he's moved on (although I used to). I don't want to know too much and I don't really like hearing my kids prattle on about what they do when they're visiting their dad and his girlfriend. I get mad when they tell me that they spend so much time with her when really all they want is to be with their dad, but when it comes to my ex moving on to something more serious, I don't care... except that I really love my in-laws.

It's already getting complicated too. My mother-in-law feels torn between me, who she loves, and her stepson and his new interest. She knows that at some point she is going to have to meet this new girlfriend (sooner than later) and it will get even more complicated because she will probably like her. This will be the first thing that we won't be able to talk about. In the history of our 12 year relationship, this has never happened. She's not going to want to hurt my feelings and frankly, I'm not going to want to know too much. I expect that I'll feel jealous of their time together and of their new relationship and as childish as it might seem, I worry that I will be pushed out.

I have been lucky to count my mother-in-law as one of my best friends and it's devastating to be sensing this shift coming into our relationship and realizing that there's really nothing I can do about it. I just have to stand back and let it unfold. It really has become one of those situations that keeps me awake at night as I search my brain for ideas that would keep us close, and yet I continue to come up blank.

I'm really going to miss her, that I know for sure.