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 - July 4-6, 2014

July 02, 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.

Waterfront Blues Festival plus fireworks in downtown PDX. Enjoy more than 100 performances on four stages, plus more than 35 artist interviews and workshops, Blues Cruises on the Willamette River, activities for kids, dances, after-hours jams, fireworks and more. Admission to the festival is $10 per person per day, Sunday not included. Children 5 and under free. Donations of canned food encouraged.

Annual 4th of July Celebration with Fireworks at Oaks Park Amusement Park. Portland's favorite 4th of July celebration is at Oaks Amusement Park! A full day of fun awaits as you count down to our famous fireworks display over the mighty Willamette River. Rides, roller skating, picnic grounds, carnival games, go carts, and miniature golf open all day! Friday 10am-midnight. $2-5 entry. Rides, games and food extra.

Estacada Timber Festival. Carnival, parade, fireworks, live music. Friday starting at noon. Free!

More ideas for July Fourth celebrations on the PDX Kids Calendar Fourth Fun Guide here.

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - July 4-6, 2014" »

WEEKEND WARRIORS - JUNE 27-29, 2014

June 25, 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.

Ladybug Nature Walks at Powell Butte Nature Park. Explore nature in Portland parks with trained naturalists. Rain or shine. For ages 2-5 with grown-up. Stroller friendly. Friday 10am. $4 per preschooler, no charge for adults.

School's Out Celebration at Village Green Park. Kick off the summer with the Library and the North Clackamas Rec Mobile in Village Green Park, with crafts and games. Friday 2-4pm. Free!

Story Time with Olive and Dingo at Pie Spot. 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 balloons and entertainment. 

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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.

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - JUNE 20-22, 2014" »

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. 

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - JUNE 13-15, 2014" »

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+.

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - June 6-8, 2014" »

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.

WEEKEND WARRIORS - MAY 30-June 1, 2014

May 28, 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.

Ladybug Nature Walks at Westmoreland Park. Explore nature in Portland parks with trained naturalists. For ages 2-5 with grown-up. Stroller friendly. Friday 10am. $4 per preschooler, no charge for adults.

Art in the Garden at Little Garden Studio in Vancouver. A free form art and nature opportunity for all ages to come and create. Art supplies in various mediums will be provided throughout the space for artists and crafters to enjoy, or bring your own supplies for yourself or to share. Come draw, paint, read, write, garden, mold clay, knit ... each week offerings will vary. Parents are required to supervise children and are encouraged to participate. Rain or shine. Feel free to bring a snack. Friday 10-11:30am, 3-4:30pm, Saturday 10-11am. A suggested donation of $5 per child is appreciated.

Music with Mr. Hoo at Village Ballroom. Mr. Hoo (one half of The Alphabeticians), plays fun music for kids and their grown-ups. He plays guitar and kazoo, and sings songs that get the audience clapping and moving and singing along. He's the Village Ballroom (sponsored by Woodlawn Swap 'n Play) every Friday at 11am. $5/family.

Rose Festival CityFair at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Rose Festival overtakes Waterfront Park with rides, games, exhibits, food, and entertainment in the RoZone. Other highlights include the Rose Festival Museum, Walk on the Wild Side, and more. Weekends May 29-June 1, June 5-8. $7. Season Passes are available at Fred Meyer Stores.

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - MAY 30-June 1, 2014" »

End-of-Year Classrooms: Eco-Friendly Tips

May 27, 2014

Reuse-Reduce-Recycle

We came across some great reminders and tips to keep in mind as we approach the end of the school year, so we thought we'd forward them along:

Can you reduce waste at end of the year celebrations?  Consider sharing these tips with staff and parent volunteers at your school:

Continue reading "End-of-Year Classrooms: Eco-Friendly Tips" »

WEEKEND WARRIORS - MAY 23-25, 2014

May 21, 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.

World Language Storytime Week at Beaverton Library. Drop-in and join for stories in various world languages. Friday: Chinese (Mandarin). Saturday: Farsi. Ages 2 - 6 years, with adult. Starts at 10:30am. Free!

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 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. Grown-up required. Friday & Saturday 10am-1pm. $10/child, $5/sibling.

Drop-In Messy Art at Spark Arts Center. During Drop-In Studio little ones can explore art to their content. The focus is on the process not the end product. Come for 1 hour anytime between 9-11 for just $7 or stay the full 2 hours for $10. All supplies provided and projects vary weekly. Friday 9am-11am.

Red Yarn at Warehouse Cafe. Weaving together energetic live music, puppetry and storytelling, Red Yarn teaches positive values while reviving American folklore for a younger generation. Friday 10-10:45am. $5/family suggested.

Rose Festival CityFair at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Rose Festival overtakes Waterfront Park with rides, games, exhibits, food, and entertainment in the RoZone. Other highlights include the Rose Festival Museum, Walk on the Wild Side, and more. Weekends May 23-26, May 29-June 1, June 5-8. $7. Season Passes are available at Fred Meyer Stores. 

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - MAY 23-25, 2014" »

WEEKEND WARRIORS - MAY 16-18, 2014

May 14, 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 are available for your child to explore, discover, and transform. Grown-up required. Friday 10am-1pm. $10 per child, $5 siblings

Music with Mr. Hoo at Village Ballroom. Mr. Hoo (one half of The Alphabeticians), plays fun music for kids and their grown-ups. He plays guitar and kazoo, and sings songs that get the audience clapping and moving and singing along. Friday 11am-noon. $5/family.

Family Friday Concerts at The Community Music Center. Oregon Renaissance Band performs. All Family Friday concerts start at 7:15 pm and run about an hour (no intermission). Admission is free, with suggested donation of $5 per person or $15 for a family. Doors open at about 6:45 pm.

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - MAY 16-18, 2014" »

Striving to compete: to be a role model for my girls & boy

May 12, 2014

As my kids get older, I realize more and more how they are watching me intently when I set goals and work hard to meet them.  I have daily goals (do 5 loads of laundry today, go to the supermarket), but I want them to see me striving for more lofty goals.  Recently, I made the decision to peruse a senior position at a new organization.  I went through a long interview process, and I would debrief with the family all along.  At the end of the day, I negotiated it all to go my way, from start date to work-at-home expectations and from salary to job location.  I was proud of myself, so proud, and they were proud of me, too.

I am a mama runner, and all of my “brfs” (best running friends) know that I have a problem with commitment.  “Let’s run this marathon or that half!”  Registrations ensue and I remain silent on the matter.  

Running a race is a huge commitment of time and money.  Each race sucks at least $50, plus there is picking up race packets plus showing up on race-day early.  That is all time I just don’t have.  Then, there’s the actual training.  What if I don’t have the time to fit on that 12 mile run this weekend if the kids have tournaments, events, practices, birthday parties or other commitments? 

Continue reading "Striving to compete: to be a role model for my girls & boy" »

A balancing act: A guest post from a performing artist parent

May 10, 2014

Guest post from Camellia Nieh, who will be performing with TEMPOS Tuesday and Wednesday.

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photo © Dan Kim

A year ago, my husband I joined a performance group called TEMPOS, blending acrobatics, dance, and physical theater with live music. My husband writes and performs music for the group, and I perform acrobatics. Acrobatics is my passion…it makes me feel strong and alive. Music is my husband’s. We feel so lucky to have found an outlet that enables us both to work creatively together.

Our six-year-old son, Uzi, is less thrilled about our artistic projects. TEMPOS takes up a lot of our time. Friends and family support us a lot with childcare, and we have a fantastic babysitter whom he loves. But Uzi still wishes we would just stay home with him every night. Sometimes he cries when I have to leave for a rehearsal.

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photo © Ty Chance

I feel conflicted about the time I invest in creative pursuits. My husband is less conflicted. He assures me that it’s better for Uzi to see us dedicating ourselves to what we love. That it makes us happier, more balanced parents, and that it sets a good example, too. Fundamentally, I think he’s right. My hope is that when Uzi is older, he’ll look back and be proud of us for being performers. He’ll feel enriched by the evenings he spent hanging out backstage, tumbling with a crew of playful acrobats, or in the music studio in our basement, learning drumbeats and experimenting with the mixing board. Also, my mother sacrificed her personal aspirations to raise our family, and while we’re deeply grateful to her for devoting so much of herself to us, it was also hard always knowing that she felt so unfulfilled.

How do you balance what you love to do with the needs of your children? Do you feel conflicted about the time and resources you invest in doing things you love? Do you wish your own parents had invested more in their own passions, or less?

WEEKEND WARRIORS - MAY 9-11, 2014

May 07, 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.

Free Mother's Day Stroller Strides Class & Celebration at #MPFamFaves Jamison Square. Join FIT4MOM Cedar Mill for their annual Mother's Day Celebration at Jamison Square. There will be a free Stroller Strides class, swag bags, raffles prizes, refreshments and fun for all. Friday 9am-noon. Free!

Story Time with Olive and Dingo at Pie Spot. Full of comedy, songs, stories, balloons and laughter, sure to get the jumpers jumping, the dancers dancing, wigglers wiggling and the noise makers cooing. Balloons twisting and fellowship is at the end of the show. Friday 3-4pm. $5 per child for balloons & entertainment

Día del Niño/Día del Libro (Day of Children/Day of the Book) at Clark College. Families are invited to this free, public event that celebrates children, reading and the Latino culture with a bilingual puppet show, Mexican folk dances, crafts and refreshments. Friday 5-8pm. Free!

Kids' Craft Night: Shrinky Dink Monsters at collage in Sellwood. Make a miniature monster family from shrink plastic and pipe cleaners. Not into monsters? They'll have options for other creatures available too. Ages 6+. Advance registration required. Friday 6:30-8:30pm. $20. 

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - MAY 9-11, 2014" »

"He has trouble with transitions"

May 06, 2014

When I rang the doorbell at my son's friend's house, I immediately heard his screeching from the other side of the door.  The 2-hour playdate was culminating in fits of "I don't want to go!" and "Can't I just borrow this toy?", clutching at a light saber.  Apologetically, I said to the friend's mom: "He has trouble with transitions."

Again it happens when this same friend came to our house for a playdate.  The mom rang our doorbell, and my boy's response was identical: "No, I want him to stay forever!" and "I want to go home with him."

I apologized through the squirming and I talked through the screaming: "Thank you for coming over!"  The other mom understood.  And, most other parents do.  My child is not the only one who has "trouble with transitions".  Mostly, it's leaving friends' homes or having to watch a friend leave.  Often times, to ease the transition, there is some compromise bribe: "We have to leave now, but you can have extra lights-on time in bed tonight" or "He has to leave now, but you can have a little treat."  Transitions like leaving school are never very bad, although drop-offs tend to be clingy and sensitive.

Does your child have "trouble with transitions" and what does that mean for you?  What are the ways you deal with the transitions?  I don't feel wonderful about offering the "compromises" but maybe you have other great ideas for me?

I said this to my daughter: "I feel fat"

May 05, 2014

I was having a water-retention day, just an unconfident and unenergetic day.  My 13-year old daughter was watching me get ready, waiting for me.  I put on a pants and a shirt, and the words just slipped out of my mouth: "I feel fat".

The moment I felt the words slip away, I regreted it.  I wished I never said it.

I am physically able and fit.  I have the privilege to be strong and the privilege to have time to dedicate to running, biking, and yoga.  I am not fat.

I never want my girls to feel like we are judged by our shapes.  It was the wrong statement for me to make; it is a class of statement I often try to refrain from making.  It gives my girls the wrong message.

This is my mama regret of the moment.

Elitism & Parent Volunteers: It happens to all of us

May 01, 2014

A few times now, I have read "When Elite Parents Dominate Volunteers, Children Lose".  A few of my circles of friends on Facebook have been reading, thinking, and commenting on how this article opens our eyes to the diversity of our circles and the importance of living inclusively.

In my first world, at this moment, I am living this.  I am stuck in the middle.  My daughter is in an elective class at school that culminates in an end-of-year competition and trip.  The whole year is littered with performances, extra fees for transportation or uniforms, required after-school practices.  This has consumed my daughter's free time as well as our discretionary income.

All along, parent volunteers of this class have oozed accolades for this trip: "It's so worth it.  The kids have a fabulous time and they learn so much."  Also: "The first payment of the $550 trip fee is due in two weeks."

Uh, OK.  When I talk to other parents, they tell me how much this is a priority for their student to participate in the competition and trip.  So, "we make sacrifices in other areas so they are able to attend".  

What if even just putting food on the table is a sacrifice?  What if the student's bus pass is a sacrifice?  What if a new pair of shoes to replace the ones with holes is a sacrifice?  That means there is nothing left for $32 uniform shoes or $15 bus fees (called "optional") or - definitely not - the $550 competition and class trip.

When I ask what a student should do if they cannot commit to this intensive course, I am told: "Students can opt to take the 'intermediate' class if they feel that the time and financial commitment of the 'advanced' class is too much for their families."  Really?  So, if I cannot afford the Algebra textbook, I should just take Pre-Algebra, even if the Algebra course is the appropriate level for me?

This whole discourse makes my blood boil, and perhaps we do it to ourselves by affording to rent in the "good" neighborhood and attending its privileged public school.   I wonder how these discussions would be on the other end of town?

The good news is that we do have the privilege to make some sacrifices and our student went on the trip.  The bad news is that our student has friends in the same class whose families couldn't send their students on the trip.

WEEKEND WARRIORS - May 2-4, 2014

April 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.

Music with Miss SaraMag at Rain City Coffee. Combining songs that get kids moving with uplifting lyrics, Miss SaraMag empowers children to be all they can be and follow their dreams. She sings and plays the piano, as well as incorporating sign language and dance for interactive fun. Friday 10-11am. $5 suggested donation.

Superkids Resale Vancouver Event. Come shop bargains galore at this bi-annual kids consignment event. Save 50-90% off retail prices on 60,000+ items including clothes, toys, baby gear, maternity, books, furniture and much more. On Saturday, May 3rd and Sunday May 4th: Princess and Super Hero Photos with Van Pop Parties. Cinderella will be there from 10-4pm both days. Multiple background choices, like Star Wars and Frozen. Friday: 9am to 8pm, Saturday/Sunday: 9am to 5pm. 

Pioneer Family Festival in Oregon City. Fun for all ages as part of Oregon City's Family Fun Days. Highlights include the huge carnival and midway, continuous music on the festival Main Stage, great food from local vendors, and vendors offering commercial goods, crafts, and community information. Other festival events include a climbing rock wall, lazer tag, go karts and more. Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Free! 

Free First Friday at the Children's Museum. Enjoy free admission the first Friday of every month, with special crafts, activities,and musical guests. A perfect opportunity to check out the new Outdoor Adventure exhibit! Friday 4-8pm. Free!

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - May 2-4, 2014" »

Giveaway: 2 Tickets to "Night to Nurture"

We have a new giveaway up! Win 2 tickets to Mother and Child's "Night to Nurture" event. It would be a faubulous Mother's Day evening out! Click here to enter to win.

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"What will you be when you grow up?"

April 28, 2014

They say hindsight is 20/20 vision.  When I reflect upon my childhood hopes and dreams, I feel like I can see how early on I exhibited signs of what I would "be", although "what I will be when I grow up" is an ever-refining answer.  I knew, always, that I would be a working mama that attempted to juggle career and family at the same time.  This I learned from my own mama, who - to this day - impresses me with her commitment to career, community, and family.  I knew I wanted to be like her, a career woman that was also a leader in my community.  

I was flipping through a magazine recently and noticed the line "Eames knew from an early age he would be an architect and designer" and there was mention of sketches from as early as 8 years old.  Granted, not everyone has such a strong calling at such an early age, but don't we have inklings?

I have a 13-year old daughter and I constantly wonder: "what will she be when she grows up?"  I don't want to pressure her to choose, but I want to help her dig deeper into her interests.  If she loves art, I want to help her find outlets to explore art more.  If she likes math or science, I want to help her find ways to express that interest (there is the math club at school).  If she likes fashion, maybe there is a sewing lounge?

When she was younger, we tried it all.  Some of it she liked (sports & music), some she didn't (dance & theater).  How do you listen to your youth for cues on how to help them explore more into their likes and loves?  Do you sometimes envision what your young one will "be when s/he grows up?"

WEEKEND WARRIORS - APRIL 25-27, 2014

April 23, 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.

Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Woodburn. Enjoy the lovely colorful fields. Daily activities include Children's play area with duck races, slides, swings and more. Cow train $2 person. Weekends (weather permitting) include pony rides ($5), steam tractors, jump tents, rock wall zip line ($3-$7), archery tag ($5) and paint ball ($7). Daily 9am-6pm through May 4. $10 per car, $30 vehicle season pass

All You Can Make Art at Art ala Carte. Drop in - pay one low price - create as much art as you would like using supplies from their restaurant salad bars into art bars. Kids fill up trays with seemingly endless supplies. No time limits, no supply limits and the best part - they help with clean up! Beads, glue, modge podge, collage, feathers, paper, paints, playdough and more. There is something for everyone - every age, ability and skill level. Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 10am-2pm. $9 for ages 0-4 and $11 for ages 5+

Penny's Puppets: Ants in Your Pants at Central Lutheran Church. Join Antsy as she makes you want to Dancy in this musical fun filled variety show. Singing, laughing and joking are all part of the fun. Let’s see if we can get everyone on their feet and shaking it out by the end of the show. Audience participation unavoidable. Friday 10:30am. $5, 4 for $17

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - APRIL 25-27, 2014" »

Reality for a Saturday night: a dislocated arm

April 17, 2014

Last Saturday night, we were gathered with several families for a potluck and merriment.  There were 5 kids under the age of 5.  There were 5 kids over the age of 5.  The younger kids were playing pretend fighting.  There was also a dad giving 'superman' rides to the little kids, then there was a dad hanging kids upside down.  My 4.5 year old boy was dangling upside down from a dad, when the dad's own boy said, "Dad, do that to me, do that to me!"  and he yanked my boy's arm.

The boy was crying wanting to have the same upside down ride from his dad.  My boy was crying because his arm hurt.  Other kids continued to play.  It was generally chaotic.  There was crying, and there was screaming from playing.  We did not respond immediately.  

My boy's cries were rather shrill.   His cries were ongoing, whereas he would have usually stopped fussing by now under normal circumstances.  We went to go see what was wrong.

Our boy was crying on the couch where everyone was getting situated for a movie.   He was holding his arm.  When we went in to look at him, he said, "My arm hurts" and he was tearing as he held up his injured left arm with his right.  We offered him an ice pack.  He reached for it with the uninjured right arm.

We sat with him for a while, observing.  He had stopped crying.  His arm looked like it was turned inward.  He would not let anyone touch.  We held out my phone (a treat!) and asked him to play a game on it.  He reached with his right hand.  We held down his right arm and asked him to play a game on it.  He wouldn't.

The family gathering was attended by a good representation of medical staff: two nurses and a pediatric neuroscience physician's assistant.  We cleared the room of kids and sat down to focus on our boy.

With his arm turned inward, one of the dad-nurses palpated and felt the forearm bone indeed dislocated from the elbow.  Not dealing with children often, neither nurse felt equipped to replace the dislocated forearm.  The pediatric neuro PA, also, dealing mostly with brains and not with limbs, did not feel equipped to do the job.

Another dad, non-medical in background, entered the room.  "OH!  Yes, this has happened 6 times to our 3 year old son," and he offered to fix it the same way his doctor showed him.  In two quick and confident moves, he repositioned the forearm into the elbow socket and motioned the hand up to reach the shoulder to confirm proper placement.

PHEW!  Wow, what excitement on a Saturday night!  What a scare it was for us for a minute there.  Have you had experiences with dislocations?  Perhaps emergency situations?

Friends of Tryon Creek Nature Day Camps Giveaway

Win 1 free week of Nature Discovery (children ages 4 and 5) or Explorers (K-1) half-day Camps or 1 free week of Wildlife Rangers full-day camps (grades 1-5).  Friends of Tryon Creek (FOTC) camps are a fun way for kids to actively challenge their minds and bodies and use their creativity and imaginations in a natural setting. Each camp offers unique, age-appropriate activities that expose children to new and exciting outdoor adventures in a safe and friendly environment.  

Continue reading and enter to win here!

WEEKEND & EASTER WARRIORS - APRIL 18-20, 2014

April 16, 2014

Here’s the scoop for the weekend -- including some fun events to celebrate Easter. 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 Walks at Kenton Park. Ladybug Walks are perfect for preschoolers and parents who want to explore nature in Portland's parks with trained preschool naturalists. 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 per preschooler, no charge for adults.


Aaron Nigel Smith and One World Chorus in Lake Oswego. Wonderful family-friendly music. Friday 7-8pm. $5 suggested donation.

Urbanmamas & Popina Swimwear Fashion Show and 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. Friday 7pm. $5 at the door.

Continue reading "WEEKEND & EASTER WARRIORS - APRIL 18-20, 2014" »

Giveaway: The Little Rascals Save the Day Blu-Ray/ DVD

April 10, 2014

LRSTDEnter to win 1 of 2 copies of a Blu-Ray/ DVD combo pack of the movie The Little Rascals Save the Day! Click over to our giveaway tab to enter!

WEEKEND WARRIORS - APRIL 11-13, 2014

April 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.

Portland Canstruction® Event at Pioneer Place benefiting the Oregon Food Bank. An annual art show, design competition, and food drive all rolled into one, Canstruction® raises hunger awareness by challenging teams of architects, engineers, and construction personnel to create larger-than-life pop art masterpieces made entirely out of unopened cans of food. The structures will be on display and open to the public on both sides of Pioneer Place, April 7-13, M-F, 10am-8pm, Sun 11am-6pm.

Weekly Storytime + Craft Activity at The Craft Factory. Listen to picture books while crafting the morning away at The Craft Factory's weekly Friday morning storytime. Friday 10:30am. The storytime is free for all ages, though geared toward toddlers and pre-schoolers.

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

uM & Popina Swimwear Fashion Show

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Grab your girlfriends & RSVP on our FB event page!

"Mama: Why can't I go to the petting zoo?"

April 08, 2014

Some schools or daycares just don't let up on the endless "optional" offerings: the pizza party for $7, the school tee for $10 or the petting zoo for $5.  Then, there are larger requests: yearbooks for elemtary kids for $30 or a mid-week family camping trip for $100 per adult (so, wait: I'm going to pay for daycare, then I will take days off from work, and then I will pay still for my kid to go camping then for me to camp with him? Holy wow).  I cannot keep up; these costs add up across multiple kidlets.

While this is the reality, it can be sad.  Tonight, my boy said: "Mama, why can't I go to the petting zoo?"  Well, we just don't have another $5 for you to pet the goats that they are bringing into the school yard tomorrow.  

Sad face.

What else are you going to do? 

Happy No Housework Day?

April 07, 2014

Dishes_urbanmamas
Denise on BlogHer's Facebook page announced, "Happy No Housework Day!" Not that she is celebrating the day properly. Not that I am any one to judge.

I've had my own very (very very very) tortured relationship with housework. On one hand I love housework; I said once that every essay I write could begin, "I am washing the dishes. I am washing the dishes again." And in this daily task is often a kind of meditative calm that I desperately long for when I'm too busy to wash the dishes (or too busy to wash the dishes contemplatively).

Today is such a day. Too busy for housework, though indeed I will do some, I suppose, thank goodness I have people in life who take so much of the load from me. I can never decide, do I love to do housework? Do I value creating more; writing and painting colors on walls and growing things in the garden?

Continue reading "Happy No Housework Day?" »

Seeking Science Project Tips & Tricks

April 04, 2014

It's that time of year at many schools: science project season.  We are trying to start early in this household, so we don't get into the proctrastination situation.  My 10-year old and her project partner are getting together soon to "brainstorm" ideas.  

Last year: we had done "which bubble gum brand blows the biggest bubble?"  A fun and silly question pursued in the scientific method.

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What projects have you done in the past?  We are collecting ideas!

Giveaway: VillaSport Athletic Club and Spa

VillaSport Athletic Club and Spa is giving away a $100 giftcard to a lucky uM reader! Head over to the giveaway tab to read the details and enter to win. Good luck!

WEEKEND WARRIORS - April 4-6, 2014

April 02, 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.

Ladybug Nature Walks at Gabriel Park. For preschoolers and parents who want to explore nature in Portland's parks. Children are guided along the trails at just the right pace and introduce children to forests, water, insects, plants and animals. Friday 10am. $4/child.

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

Opening weekend of Raven Stories from Tears of Joy Theatre at Imago Theatre. An all new production based on that trickster of Native American lore, Raven. Like his cousin Coyote, Raven uses his wits and cunning to get what he wants. He may be sneaky but his tricks have given us the sun, fire, and more! Raven Stories is written by Shoshone-Bannock poet and storyteller Ed Edmo and features original music. Friday 7:30pm, Saturday 11am and 1pm, Sunday 1pm and 3pm. $18, adults, $15 students, $13 ages 0-13. Performances through April 13.

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - April 4-6, 2014" »

Full Belly Fare for Everyone!

April 01, 2014

A fabulous offer from Lyla at Full Belly Fare:

"If you don't win the giveaway but still want to give my services a try, here's a great deal for urbanMama readers! Order for up to four weeks in advance, for a total of $200 or more worth food and get $30 or more OFF (total of 15% off your first order)!  The more you order the more you save.  Use the code 'urbanmama' at checkout for this limited time offer (expires April 30th)."

Eat well, friends!

Giveaway: Full Belly Fare

March 27, 2014

Full bellyHead over to the giveaway tab to enter to win a weeks worth of meals from Full Belly Fare

WEEKEND WARRIORS - MARCH 28-30, 2014

March 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.

Spring Break with Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the gang at World Forestry Center. The Peanuts...Naturally exhibit takes a light-hearted look at Charles Schulz's exploration of the natural world through Peanuts comic strips, videos, objects, and interactive stations. Throughout the week, explore the wonders of the natural world with hands-on interactive activities, focusing on a different element each day. Through Friday 10am-5pm (activities until about 2pm).

Celebrate Spring Break at Mimosa Studios. Enjoy tasty treats, a daily drawing for cool art supplies, and 10% off all week. Everyone is welcome, no matter what skill level, Walk-ins are welcome, although it might be a good idea to call ahead to assure your spot. Through Friday 11am-6pm. Prices starting at $5.

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - MARCH 28-30, 2014" »

Spring break in the rain

Spring_petals
Oh! The "opening weekend" of spring break for PPS was gorgeous. Epic. We have put tables and chairs outside and are eating meals there when the weather is good enough, and this weather took "good enough" to extreme. We were planning the summer in all its beauty, the kids were all asking, could we go to the pool? How about tomorrow? No one jumps to the logical extreme like a child with a taste of warm spring sun. Monday, I took a bunch of kids with me to the nursery, and we picked out plants with the glorious excitement that can only come in that sort of beautiful weather. I went for a run with my oldest through the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden and it just seemed like the most beautiful spring break ever devised.

And then came the rain. I went running yesterday at lunch and the wind had begun to lift all the blossoms off the cherry trees on the waterfront and they were blowing everywhere like, I said, snow or ash or confetti. When we went out with kids it was for errands and we got so wet.

Later I went to the thrift store on bikes with kids and we dodged the rain on the way home and we laughed and brought home our finds to show off with relish but I got back and saw the just-begun garden and was hit with the wow realization that the rest of the break would be like this: little if any opportunities for digging or planting or outside adventure or sipping coffee in the little "cafe."

If you have your children at home for the rest of the break, what are your plans to cope with the downpour that looks pretty constant from here on out? Or if you have them in camps, how are they liking the wet weather? How about this weekend: a rainy visit to the beach or just holing up at home?

Injury & Athletics: dealing with disappointment

March 24, 2014

To be involved with "competitive sports" is a luxury in and of itself.  We pay a premium for more practices, then we pay for matching outfits, and then we pay again for our children to compete in their matching outfits.  What a racket!  But: that's another story.

Our 10-year old came home one day last year stating she wanted to compete in gymnastics, and she said the coaches thought she might be good at it.  The cost would be twice as much, the practice time would be almost three times as much.  She wanted to do it, so we supported her.

She had a great competitive season this spring, bringing home second and third place overall in her two meets this spring.  She loved going to practice and never complained that it ran too late or that she was too tired to go.  We could tell she loved the sport, and - even if her parents knew little about it - we wanted to support her if we could.

Last week, when her dad picked her up from practice, she was sitting on the side-line with her leg iced and elevated.  Her coach carried her out to her dad and reported that she twisted her ankle while practicing vault.  Her dad reports that he felt his heart sink.  As athletes ourselves (albeit recreational ones, at this point), we hate to miss out any training time or games due to injury.  We hate to feel mortal.

In the following days, we confirmed she had an "incomplete fracture" in her foot, and she was on crutches.  The doctor advised no weight on the foot for 3 weeks.  Already, we were going through the calendar in our head: she would miss the state gymnastics meet, and she would miss a few other events.  Several times we asked the doctor: "So, when do you think she'll be on it again?"  We didn't want to hear it.

Knowing our daughter, it is taking everything out of her to stay still.  She is one who can barely get through her homework without doing a front walkover or going to dribble a basketball.  After homework, she always asks to go outside to shoot hoops or rollerblade.  She is an active girl, and - yet - she is keeping her disappointment quiet.  She admits she is so sad to miss the state championship, but she knows there will be next year and the year after and then the year after that.  I admire her for her patience, for her positive spirit, for quietly listening to her body (I keep urging her to try to bear some weight, "Maybe it's already almost healed?", and she shakes her head "no"), for keeping her eyes bright and wide as she waits for the right time to resume.  Little does she know that I'm taking a cue from her, too, learning that we need to accept our own mortality and slow down when our body says to.

On school choice: any decision is the right one

March 21, 2014

For years and years, we have had to make school choices, even from a young age.  Which childcare and why?  Which kinder?  Which middle school?

Our oldest is entering high school in the fall, and we have had to make choices.  What is the right environment, the right size, the right academic mix?

We have asked these questions of ourselves before.  Ten years ago, I stayed up worrying about what decision to make.  We have faced these choices several times since.  At the end of the night, at the end of the day, my co-parent and I have agreed on one thing: whichever school we choose, it will be the right one.

To have a choice is a luxury.  To research our choices as fully as we do is so much more than other families are able to do.  To have communities - like our playgroups, neighborhood families, our local yahoo groups, or urbanMamas - where we can discuss every angle and pro/con for every option is a treasure.

As we enter this decision-making season as acceptance and wait-list notices are being issued, rest assured that the school you choose is the right one.

WEEKEND WARRIORS - MARCH 21-23, 2014

March 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.

Special Down Syndrome Day at Dizzy Castle. World Down Syndrome day is this Friday March 21st. Dizzy Castle is offering free admission for children with down syndrome from 9am- 12pm.  Members from NWDSA will be attending in hopes everyone will have the opportunity to meet new friends! Siblings will receive discounted admission of $7 for children 3 and over and $3 for children under 3yrs old.

Cut Arts Silhouette Portraits at area locations. Karl Johnson's silhouettes are all hand cut, original works of art. Each one created live by simply looking at his subject matter and cutting out an exact likeness freehand with scissors.
Thurs. 3/20: 10am-6pm (Child's Play)
Fri. 3/21: 11 to 5pm (Mamababy Boutique)
Sat. 3/22: 10am-6pm (Village Toys)
Sun. 3/23: 10am-6pm (Coffee Kids)
Mon. 3/24: 10am-1pm (PDX Posh Baby) 2:30-6pm (Beaverton)
Tues. 3/25: 10am-5:30pm (Spielwerk Toys)
To make an appointment, please contact the store of your choice for a 5 minute appointment. All ages are welcome, even the squirmy ones. Original portraits $25.

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - MARCH 21-23, 2014" »

Happy St. Patrick's Day, but: How do kids celebrate?

March 17, 2014

Irish_cooking
"What IS St. Patrick's Day?" questions have been coming fast and loose from the kids around me today. My best answer is "a celebration of Irish culture," but when I looked up the Wikipedia page on St. Paddy's Day I don't think I realized that the religious feast day in Ireland to celebrate the isle's patron saint includes a Lenten loophole -- restrictions on lush behavior are lifted. (Don't tell those people in kilts -- kilts? -- I saw already drunk on Friday night.) So I started describing how and why people drink like crazy on St. Patrick's Day.

"All people do is EAT and GET DRUNK?" came the angry rejoinder. I got a demand to "do something fun outside!" -- but other than hunt for four-leaf clovers or gold pots at the ends of rainbows, I can't think of a thing.

What do you do with the kids for St. Patrick's Day, other than wearing green and making (my favorite part) Irish food? Anything we can fit in before the end of the day?

Reorganizing your dreams through a divorce

March 16, 2014

I've been quiet here, because for the past six months I've been in the throes of divorce. I think I knew even in the months leading up to the decision what I would eventually do, so for a long time beforehand I was afraid to say anything because everyone who knows me knows I wear my heart on my sleeve and everything I write.

There has been a lot of hard in this process, and it's far from done. But I think one of the worst parts has been to reorganize my dreams; for myself, for my family unit, for my boys. I've done such expansive and heedless things as write a piece on how I don't plan for divorce with my finances (I still stand behind that post); I've written extensively about what some people call "radical domesticity" and been one of the subjects of a book about it. I know I've said a dozen or a thousand times that I've chosen in the past several years to let my husband take the primary breadwinner role -- his work was intense, too, serving in the Army in Kuwait for three years -- and lead a life that's low on luxuries so I could spend time with the kids, at home, with my writing. (Really, the ultimate luxury.) I've loved how much I could shape the environment for my kids, especially my oldest, who I've unschooled for much of the past three years to help find him a place he can truly belong.

Now I have to find a way to navigate the life I want with a distinctly different set of resources.

Continue reading "Reorganizing your dreams through a divorce" »

WEEKEND WARRIORS - MARCH 14-16, 2014

March 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.

Impulse! in NE PDX. OCT's hilarious student improvisational troupe, take the stage to deliver fast-paced comedic scenes and games - all based on audience suggestions. No scripts, no costumes, and no idea what's about to happen! Recommended for ages 7 and up. Thursday, Friday & Saturday 7pm. Tickets $10 in advance / $12 at the door.

Friday Storytime + Craft Activity at The Craft Factory. Now you can listen to picture books while crafting the morning away. Friday 10:30am. Storytime craft special: $5 for any two ornamental crafts.

Red Yarn at Warehouse Cafe. Weaving together energetic live music, puppetry and storytelling, Red Yarn teaches positive values while reviving American folklore for a younger generation. Audiences will sing, dance, act, and experience the joy of community during this interactive show. Friday 10-10:45am. $5 donation.

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

WEEKEND WARRIORS - March 7-9, 2014

March 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.

Music with Mr. Hoo at Village Ballroom. Mr. Hoo (one half of The Alphabeticians), plays fun music for kids and their grown-ups. He plays guitar and kazoo, and sings songs that get the audience clapping and moving and singing along. Friday 11am-noon. $5/family.

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

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - March 7-9, 2014" »

WEEKEND WARRIORS - FEBRUARY 28-March 2, 2014

February 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.

Ladybug Nature Walks at Ventura Park. Explore nature in Portland parks with trained naturalists! For ages 2-5 with grown-up. Stroller friendly. Friday 10am. $4/preschooler, no charge for adults.

Story Time with Olive and Dingo at Pie Spot. 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 per child for balloons and entertainment.

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - FEBRUARY 28-March 2, 2014" »

Throwback Thursday: Family Management

February 20, 2014

This is what we do day-to-day.  On the brain of late:

"Mama, you never keep promises"

February 19, 2014

"Mama, you never keep promises," she says.

You know what hurts most about being a working-poor single mama of three remarkable girls who deserve to receive everything life has to offer? It's not necessarily the political or policy issues that work against me. Or even the need to defend myself while simultaneously doubting myself. It's those words.

I do keep the promise of good food, a comfy bed, a trip to the doctor when they need it. But those are non-negotiable items in the contract of motherhood: I meet their basic needs no matter what it takes. And as oft I can I give them an ice cream cone, a day at the beach, a guinea pig, even. Those are childhood entitlements, so I consider them basic needs, as well, though they have no idea how challenging it is to provide them.

But the day at an amusement park, the weekend camping, the lessons in whatever interests them or the big gift they really really want, well, those are un-kept promises, it's true. Actually, I don't promise them, I typically tell them "Someday I will make this happen for you when I can." So they want them. From me. Because I'm mama. This is the part I think is hard to understand for anyone else outside this fishbowl. It means that even the most simple things for me are left undone - a yoga class, an hour walk, a doctor visit - because they all have a concrete cost that's just too hard to justify. To me they are not fixed expenses or basic needs. Yes, I would love to focus on my art, take care of my body, take care of my heart.  Of course that makes sense to me.  But in the balancing sheet of the life and sacrifice of single motherhood, it just doesn't make sense to move dollars into your children's 'expense' column, even though they go into your 'income' column.  It just doesn't feel right.

I'm left with little emotional bandwidth to do much else as my own dreams quickly diminish in the rear-view mirror on our journey.  I make compromises to my heart that anyone looking inside might find unimaginable, but they don't see the internal accounting in my head. Yet even still, I'm left with those words, so innocently spoken as mere fact from her perspective.  I'm meeting the basics, yes, yet there's still more because you teach your kids to dream, and childhood is magic; they deserve *that* childhood entitlement even more than anything else.  Yet, it's also true too that I have been home teaching my youngest girl (and one more though he recently moved away) for months now because I just couldn't fathom sacrificing the gift of time and focus that my prior professional life stole from me with my first two.  And she just sat down and read her first book to me, at age 4, with a look on her face of having conquered the tallest mountain and an air of confidence that displayed to me *of course* she conquered the tallest mountain.  I gave her hope and knowledge.

That's how it balances out and I pray that someday all three of my girls will have the graceful gift of perspective to see this.  Someday, with any luck, my girls will know this struggle to be present for them right now is the greatest gift of all.  It sure is hard when you're raising your kids alone.  I want to be someone who keeps promises.

WEEKEND WARRIORS - FEBRUARY 21-23, 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.

Ladybug Nature Walks at Kelley Point Park. Perfect for preschoolers and parents who want to explore nature in Portland's parks with trained preschool naturalists! 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. Ages 2-5 with grown-up. Stroller friendly. Friday 10am. $4/child.

Lori Henriques in Concert in Lake Oswego. Award winning musician Lori Henriques performs jazz music for the whole family. Friday 7pm. $5 suggested donation.

Continue reading "WEEKEND WARRIORS - FEBRUARY 21-23, 2014" »

WEEKEND WARRIORS - FEBRUARY 14-16, 2014

February 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.

Valentine's Day for the Animals at the Zoo. Watch zoo animals enjoy Valentine's Day enrichment treats and toys. Friday 10:30am-2:45pm. Free with Zoo admission.

Great Backyard Birdcount. The Great Backyard Bird Count, Feb. 14-17 is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are. Everyone is welcome--from beginning bird watchers to experts.

Preteen POP Night- BFF Fun at Art Ala Carte. A chance for creative kiddos (9-13 yr olds) to make new friends, create art and learn from local artists. Pop night features POP music, POP corn, soda POP and POP art. Friday is a special Vday edition giving parents a chance to enjoy a romantic night out. Parents can stay in the studio and hang out- or they can make it a date night at one of the many delicious restaurants on Alberta. Friday 6-9pm. $15 use promocode PDXKIDS for 15% off your tickets - purchase here.

Valentine's Night at Out of this World. Includes pizza & salad buffet, drink, dessert & a $5 game card. Dance and play with your kids with their DJ-hosted Stellar Play and Valentine's dance starting at 7pm. Try your luck with Bingo and hourly giveaways and light up your kids with glowstick bracelets. Friday 6-9pm. $12 age 5-Adult, $10 age 2-4 yrs, Under 2 free.

Find more Valentine's Events on the PDX Kids Calendar Family-friendly Valentine's Events Guide.

Spring Community Day at Oregon History Museum. Take a look at a temporary exhibit created by Roosevelt High School students about local "Freedom Fighters," community leaders who have fought for social justice. Meet the students and some of the Freedom Fighters themselves. Also, take one last look at the Windows on America exhibit before it closes. Free admission all day from 10 AM to 7 PM, activities for all ages between 11 AM and 3 PM.

Final weekend to see Oregon Children's Theatre's Charlotte's Web. Intelligent, funny, and heartfelt, the book by E.B. White has captivated young readers for generations. When an affectionate pig named Wilbur is saved from slaughter and sent to live on a nearby farm, he finds a barnyard full of animals who quickly become family. But it's the most unlikely of friends that prove to be his best - a spider named Charlotte who uses her skills to save Wilbur's life once more, even as her own is slipping away. Saturday 2pm and 5pm, Sunday 11am (show added) and 2pm. $15-30.

Johnny & Jason Mini-Concert at Green Bean Books. Welcome the talented musical duo Johnny & Jason. They'll be singing songs from their latest album, "Be Alive!" It's music for kids... and their adults! Saturday 1-1:30pm. Free!

Let the Wild Rumpus Start at Cascade Park Community Library. Craft program based on Maurice Sendak's "Where The Wild Things Are." Saturday 3-4:30pm. Free!

Wildlife Care Center Open House at Audubon Society. Once a year, Portland Audubon's Wildlife Care Center opens its doors to the public and gives visitors a peek at what goes on behind the scenes in Oregon's oldest and busiest wildlife rehabilitation facility. Also meet and greet the education birds, raptor education station, Q&A with vets, kids can make raptor art and get their faces painted. Sunday 11am-5pm. Free!

African Flower Dance at Troutdale Library. Join the Mathias Galley African Dance Ensemble in learning the ceremonial African flower dance that is performed during weddings, births and holidays. Mathias will do a short performance before teaching these moves to the audience. In this fun and energetic workshop, Mathias will use native instruments, including African drums and bells, to get the audience up and moving to the beat. Sunday 2-3pm. 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.

ND on OHP?

February 11, 2014

Devon needs recommendations for a Naturopath that accepts the Oregon Health Plan. She asks: Both my little girls (5 and 1) are on the new Care Oregon/Health Share Medicaid program. So far in their protected lives, they've only been treated by my acupuncturist (a pediatric specialist from out of town) and our midwife/ND here in town (Catherine at A Gentle Beginning). We love both of them, and we pay for them. For financial and practical reasons, I really want to get my ladies set up with a PCP within our provider directory (these terms! infuriating!). Are there even MD/NDs in the Kaiser/Providence/CareOregon network? Does anyone have any advice - either a beloved family doc who might be within our network (and then actually accepting new OHP patients...) or experience with the Health Share network itself (which is so overwhelmed by calls right now they just tell you to hang up)?