April 17, 2013
Mr. Hoo of the Alphabeticians performs music for kids at Milagros. He'll play his guitar, sing some songs, and Hoo knows what else? Ideal for ages 0 to 5. Friday 11am-noon. $3 suggested donation.
Family Friday Concert at Community Music Center. White Rhino Marimba performs African marimba music all over the Portland, Oregon area. Come and dance to the music of Zimbabwe! Friday 7:15pm. Free Admission. Suggested donation: $5 per person or $15 per family.
Nature's Gym Experience at REI Portland. A free and fun day celebrating all the ways to get active, stay fit, and enjoy a lifetime of outdoor adventures. Saturday 10am-4pm. Free!
Eric Carle Collage and Storytelling at the Lake Oswego Library. Portland Children's Museum presents an interactive storytime and paper collage craft. Saturday 11am. Free!
Eighteenth Annual Marimba Student Recital. 8 bands play high-energy music from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana. Saturday noon-4:30pm. Free!
April Kites and Bubbles Kidical Mass Ride North Portland. Event starts with some playtime at Harper's Playground at Arbor Lodge Park, then a ride to Peninsula Park for flying kites and blowing bubbles. There will be some kites and bubbles providers; riders should bring some too. Saturday 2pm. Free!
Pendulum Aerial Arts Community Day & Student Showcase. Following a performance featuring both aerial and ground-based acts, community will be invited to participate in family-friendly activities including learning basic juggling and hooping tricks, taking photos with costumed artists in our interactive photo booth and enjoying healthy snacks. Sunday 12:30-3pm. Youth, Adults, Seniors: $10; Children under 6: Free!
Hillsboro Latino Cultural Festival. Entertainment, soccer, parade, arts village, more. Sunday noon-5pm. Free!
Earth Day Events
Check out the PDX Kids Calendar Earth Day 2013 events guide here.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.
April 10, 2013
Ladybug Nature Walk: Laurelhurst Park. Walk through parks, gardens and natural areas with your youngster (2 - 5 years old) and a nature guide. Friday 10am. $3/child.
Wool Day at Museum of the Oregon Territory. Enjoy free lessons in spinning, carding, knitting and felting, and a special kid's story. Friday 2-4pm. Free!
Portland Chamber Music FREE spring music concerts in the Parkrose and Montivilla neighborhoods. These concerts will feature a variety of popular and classical including pieces by Copland, Bach, Garth Brooks, Schumann, Shostakovich and the Dave Matthews Band. Friday (Parkrose) and Saturday (Montavilla) 7pm. Donations appreciated.
Safety Saturday at the Belmont Firehouse. Drop in to see the exhibits and learn about safety for you and your family. Saturday 9am-3pm. Free.
Family Day at the Washington County Museum. Family fun, history and crafts. Saturday 10am-1pm. Free!
Parrots 4 Show at Sherwood Library. Learn all sorts of fun facts about parrots and the care required to keep them as pets.Saturday 1-2pm. Free!
Drop In and Make! at the Museum of Contemporary Craft.Features a drop-in and drop-out craft activity in the Lab organized by a local artist or designer. Saturday 1-3pm. Free with museum admission ($3).
Komedy 4 da Kids at Gresham Library. Angel Ocasio presents a bilingual and interactive performance combining physical comedy, juggling, balancing and magic. Saturday 3-3:45pm. Free (tickets available 30 minutes prior to show starting)!
Curious Garden at the Curious Comedy Theater. Join Razzie the Fairy, Daisy the Flower and Jojo the Lawnjockey - as well as new garden friends Ribbit the Frog, Dottie the Ladybug and Flappy the Chicken! The Curious Garden is a show for all ages - especially kids 0-8. Sunday 10:30-11:30am. $5 suggested donation.
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.
April 08, 2013
April 04, 2013
Around this time every year, I receive a notice from my youngest's childcare center for a tuition increase. And every time, I am a bit outraged that it has increased by about $75/month. Though the cost is high, I am grateful both my husband and I have stable jobs and reliable childcare. But, what about parents who work in highway trades or similar lines of work that do not have the same level of flexibility or stability? Larry who works for a state transportation department has this question:
I manage a program that provides a variety of supportive services, including child care support, for apprentices working in certain construction trades (carpenters, cement masons, ironworkers, laborers, and operating engineers) that participate in building highways and bridges. I am in the process of considering how we can supplement our current services with some kind of provision for drop-in or as-needed after-hours child care and came across a discussion on your web site. I wonder if you may have some suggestions to share on how we might approach providing this type of service to working parents?
I am attaching a report describing our program as background. We also had a video produced featuring some of the apprentices who have received assistance, which you can find here: http://www.youtube.com/embed/2sNS5xV9Pa8
I know that many of our readers are also childcare providers. Any insight to help him shape this program?
April 03, 2013
First Friday at Art ala Carte PDX sponsored by Metro Parent's
PDX Kids Calendar! Art ala Carte PDX is an open studio for artists of
all ages to have full creative freedom and access art supplies and
endless amounts of recycled goods. All day visitors can enjoy
creativity by paying or donating what they can - any monetary or supply
donations are very much appreciated. Here's the list of supplies
they're looking for this month: buttons, army men, cds/dvds,
construction paper, spray paints, sidewalk chalk, beads, games,
children's books, glitter, costume jewelry, mini hot glue gun sticks and
stencils. Friday 10am-5pm.
Spring Open House - family fun day at Eastside Swap & Play. Come and check out the space, make a fun spring craft or just to play in their play space! Magic show, face painting, balloons animals, gymnastics and more! Saturday 10am-6pm. Free!
33rd Annual Trillium Festival & Native and Hardy Plant Sale. Celebrate the little spring flower with guided hikes, family programs, a native plant sale, vendors, more. Saturday and Sunday. 10 am-4 pm. Free!
Musical Instruments Made By You at Beaverton Library. Easy music-makers created from re-used materials. Ages 3-9 with adult. Saturday 10:30-11:30am. Free!
Portland Youth Spelling Bee at Mississippi Pizza. Just like the Scripps National Spelling Bee, only mellower, funnier, and friendlier. Kids ages 5-18 are welcome to take the stage and demonstrate their budding spelling skills. Saturday 1-2:30pm. Free!
Once Upon a Time Family Theatre presents Sleeping Beauty. Although not elaborately produced, these delightful and engaging productions will soon have you hooked. Saturday 2-3pm. Tickets available online. $1/children - $2/adults.
The "Passport to Adventure! A Magic Tree House Live Reading Tour" at Powell's Books Cedar Hill's Crossing. Fans will be entertained by Jack and Annie - characters from Mary Pope Osborne's Magic Tree House series - through a live, theatrical performance, cool giveaways and a "book stamping." Sunday 2pm. Free!
The Portland Ballet at the Children's Museum. Ever wonder what it takes to be a bellet dancer? join us in the Play It Again Theater for a demonstration and opportunity to learn some moves! Sunday 2 - 2:20pm. Free with admission.
April 01, 2013
March 27, 2013
Looking for Easter Fun ideas - check out this awesome guide for ideas to hunt for eggs, visit with bunnies and eat tasty grub!
Morning Bird Walks at Wapato Access Greenway. These informal walks will focus on the local natural and cultural history, a peek at the rare oak savannah habitat and beginner birding basics. Saturday 8-11am. Registration required. Free!
Classroom Discovery Days at Tryon Creek. See bones, animal pelts, live animals (including new corn snake Pockets), and all sorts of other cool stuff! Saturday 10am-1pm. Free!
I Dig Dinosaurs at Ping Pong's Pint Size Puppet Theatre. Travel back in time to see the dinosaurs with your host Shawnry Connery. Saturday 11am and Sunday 4pm. $7.
Nature's Yucky! at Tillamook Forest Center. Several wild animals of the Tillamook often have icky and gross behaviors. Discover that nature can be disgusting, but also beautiful too. Saturday 11:30am and Sunday 1:30pm. Free!
Shadow Frog Puppets at the Albina Library. Fun includes a short shadow show entitled "I Love Frogs!", as well as a chance to create your own frog shadow puppet! Saturday 2-3pm. Free!
Story and Stroll - Trout are Made of Trees. This program integrates nature exploration, art, literature, music, movement, and outdoor play. For ages 2-6, but all are welcome. Sunday 10:30-11:45am. Registration required. Free!
March 21, 2013
March 20, 2013
at Warehouse Cafe. Weaving together live music, puppetry, and
interactive storytelling, Red Yarn teaches positive values while
reviving American folklore for a younger generation. Friday 10am. $5
Enjoy free admission to the Portland Art Museum. Friday 5-8pm.
Dragon Theater Puppet Shows at Playdate PDX. Friday 6-6:45pm. Show is free to the public, play area and food at venue extra.
Guided Nature Walk at Tryon Creek: Ethnobotany.
Kids' Storytime at Powell's Books on Burnside. Join for a reading of A Little Book of Sloth by Lucy Cooke. Saturday 11am. Free!
Send up the signal in the sky, its time for Superhero Celebration at The Portland Children's Museum! Dust off your super costume and unite with other cape crusaders! Meet out-of-this-world guests and create your very own a one-of-a-kind superhero cape. Saturday 11am-2pm. Free with admission ($9).
All American Magic and Ventriloquist Show. The two hour family show is filled with mind bending illusion, music, dazzling assistants and audience participation, plus the side splitting comedy magic and ventriloquism. Saturday at 1pm and 5pm. $8 children & Seniors, $14 adults, $45 family.
Vernal Equinox Celebrations at L.L. 'Stub' Stewart State Park and Rooster Rock State Park. From beginners to experts of all ages, here's your opportunity to view the stars and other celestial objects up close and personal through telescopes. Viewing begins at sunset. $5 car parking fee.
Spring Whale Watch Week. Cetacea-loving volunteers help spot whales at 24 sites along the Oregon Coast. March 23-30,
Make a Snake Mobile at Lan Su Chinese Garden. Create a twirling, colorful paper mobile for the Year of the Snake. Sunday 1-3pm. Free with admission.
We are happy to announce that friend of urbanMamas and local mama Asha Dornfest of Parent Hacks is a published author. Her book Minimalist Parenting written with Christine Koh of BostonMamas is at your local book store right now. Or you can order from Amazon.
Not only did they publish a book, but they also lead a free fourteen day Minimalist Parenting Camp with tasks and activities to start implementing the ideas and concepts from the book. I signed up and give myself five badges. I still need to do some of the tasks, but they set it up so well that I can go back and do them when I have time.
My mother and mother in-law were unclear about my badges (which I posted on FaceBook) and the ideas in general. Was it let your child do everything? So you do a minimal amount; therefore a ‘minimal parent’? Where were the ‘hands on’ parenting tasks? How did Self Care, Decluttering, and 20 Minutes of Style fit into parenting? I explained that the idea is to give parents more space (physical, mental, emotional) and more confidence (in our appearance, abilities, and knowledge) in order to give more to parenting, not less. I think they got it. And after they read the book, they will really get it. I know I got a lot out of my camp tasks and look forward to finishing them over spring break.
March 18, 2013
Most of my fancy eating out is with kids, and by myself, so I pick restaurants that are indulgent and times when the place isn't packed. When we want to celebrate something, my boys and I invariably go to Pok Pok; it's best between 1 p.m. and 5 on a weekday (usually, our celebrations are right after school). It's always fun to sit among the tourists who have been told that THIS is the place they should come and they MUST eat the fish sauce wings. (Also, they like to gawk at Portland's foodie kids inhaling shrimp chips and drinking vinegars.) When we want to treat ourselves to dinner out, it's Gladstone Street Pizza on a Monday or a Tuesday after the dinner rush if we're splurging, or Little Big Burger if we're on a budget.
My husband's coming home for leave this weekend, and I'm thinking about planning something fancy for a date night sans kids. I read the comments on this thread on Eater PDX and came away thinking Ava Gene's, the new restaurant on 34th and Division (the old Lauro spot) run by Duane Sorenson was the way to go. I've also been wanting to try Aviary, Tasty & Sons, Le Pigeon, and the Woodsman Tavern.
Of course sometimes I look at the menus and think, "pork chop with mushrooms and stewed beans, $30, I could make that for the whole family for that price!" and I wish I'd just eaten at home. Which places are your favorites for going out with and without the kids right now? Which blow your mind with their innovative cuisine? Which would you have skipped and made your own at home?
March 12, 2013
An urbanMama recently emailed:
I am having trouble finding support/meeting groups in Portland for parents of kids with severe food allergies. So far only one in Hillsboro.
March 11, 2013
I hate the time changes, and as I write this my children have gone to bed an hour late and I am terrified I'll be ushering the boys into school tomorrow, shamefaced, late again. I have never seen the point and wrote about this last year.
This year lots of scientists have been writing about it, pointing out "our bodies... will experience a disturbance... one that can affect our mental and physical health. The reason lies in the clash between sensitive, eons-old biology deep within our cells, and human-imposed time-keeping traditions that are barely a century old. Twice every year, when we “spring forward” and “fall back,” our bodies must do battle between “sun time” and “social time.”"
It's always been advertised as an energy saver, but that's no longer true (if it ever actually was). "The proportion of total energy that is used for lighting is miniscule compared to other, time-independent uses like factories, computers, nuclear plants, airport radars, and other facilities that run 24/7. Energy companies themselves have measured the effect, and have concluded that DST does not save energy." Because we're "essentially jet-lagged for a few days" we experience higher rates of car accidents, workplace mishaps, inefficiency, and depression.
March 08, 2013
PASS IT ON has over 600 consignors, 90,000 items in a 30,000 square foot building! This sale features baby, kids and maternity clothes, accessories, shoes, toys, books, games, furniture, equipment and much more- basically anything related to raising children from babies to tweens!
Hop over to our giveaway page to enter to win.
March 06, 2013
Generations~ Ecstatic Dance for the Whole Family at Quaking Grass. Bring the kids, grandparents, parents, and everyone in between! Potluck at 5-5:3, followed by an intention and then Dancing!!! Friday 5-7pm. $3/person
Messy March Madness at the Sellwood Community Center. Join for crafts and active games. Friday 6:30-8:30pm. $10/family of 4 or less, or $3/person.
Bricks Cascade 2013 - a Lego Convention in Portland! This is the perfect activity for families with kids who love Lego and want to see what amazing creations people have done with simple plastic bricks. Saturday 10am-4pm. $8 per ticket, or $28 per family of 4-5
Junior Gardener's Club at The Oregon Garden. A hands-on opportunity to learn about gardening, the outdoors, health and fitness, arts and crafts, community awareness and more. Saturday 10-11:30am. $3 for 1 child and 1 adult (admission not incl.)
Stories With Alton Chung at Portland Children's Museum. Get comfy in the Play It Agin Theater as you hear Hawaiian Folk Tales told by local storyteller, Alton Chung. Saturday at 11am and noon. Free with admission ($9).
Dinolandia at the NW Library. Join Penny's Puppet Productions to find out how the Dinosaurs makes time for their family in this modern day dino-rockin' puppet show. Saturday 3-3:45pm. Free!
Curious Garden at the Curious Comedy Theater. Come see our old friends Razzie the Fairy, Daisy the Flower and Jojo the Lawnjockey - and meet our new garden friends Ribbit the Frog, Dottie the Ladybug and Flappy the Chicken! Sunday 10:30am-11:30am. $5 suggested donation.
Girl Power Day at Green Bean Books. Let's celebrate some of the smartest, bravest, most creative, and kindest girls in the storybook world! Great for kids ages 4-10! Boys warmly welcomed too! Sunday 1:00pm. 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.
March 04, 2013
It's 2 a.m., and I'm awake. I'm so tired; I was up early this morning to the peep-peeping of a chick stuck in the floorboards (long story, all my fault, but I got her out!) and I have lots of work that I left un-worked-on, or at least, incomplete.
I almost never have insomnia. When I'm tired, I sleep, and I've been that way since college, when I was always tired. In fact, in college, I could fall asleep anywhere, even in every single three-hour British lit seminar class. A friend in my writer's group read an essay about insomnia in a recent get-together, and I felt a lot of sympathy, and badly for every time I'd wished to be the sort of person who couldn't get to sleep. (My theory: I could get more done. Her reality: insomnia is crippling.) But now, my mind's buzzing, and I've done this since "going to bed":
-- remembered about Monroe's missing library book
-- searched through a whole box of papers for said book
-- looked through the kids' whole library for missing book
-- eaten a bunch of popcorn
-- stressed about what I should do for school fundraisers; just send a donation check? Skip it altogether and donate another time?
-- worried about being on time for school tomorrow
-- worried about my kids' dental health
I'm resisting taking Melatonin myself, even though I give it to the kids to help them sleep. As I finally close my eyes and try to rest my brain, how do you deal with insomnia? Do you get it bad, or only occasionally like me? What keeps you awake?
February 27, 2013
Waggle n Flap Family Dance Party at The Village Ballroom. Bring your family, kick off your shoes and dance to music of all genres--funk, hip hop, reggae, bhangra, electro-boogie, afrobeat, and much more. Friday 10-11:30 a.m. at The Village Ballroom--700 NE Dekum st. Portland, OR 97211. $5 per family and free for members of the Woodlawn Swap n Play.Free First Friday at the Children's Museum! Enjoy free admission, special crafts, activities,and musical guests. Friday 4:00-8:00pm. FREE!
Get your family's weekend rolling at Kids Morning Skate at Oaks Park. This session is specifically designed for kids 10 and under and features music chosen by kids for kids, a 15 minute group lesson taught by a USA Roller Sports certified instructor, and cool skating games. Saturday 10:30am-noon. $6/child. Adults free with child's paid admission.
Chinese New Year Celebration with Chinese American International School Students at the Lake Oswego Library. Saturday 11:00am. FREE!
LEGO My Library at the Hillsboro Library. Drop-in and use your creativity to build whatever your imagination dreams up! There are Duplo blocks for kids ages 3-5 and Legos for kids ages 6+. Saturday 2:30-4:00pm. FREE!
$2 days at OMSI. Enjoy discounted $2 admission to OMSI all day! Sunday 9:30am-5:30pm.
Story and Stroll - Owl Moon at Tryon Creek. Program integrates nature exploration, art, literature, music, movement, and outdoor play. It is geared toward families with young children (preferably ages 2-6 but all are welcome.) Sunday 10:30-11:15am. Registration required. FREE!
Kids Karaoke at Pink Feather hosted by Emma Rose - a nine year old extraordinarily talented singer who emcees the event. Kids Menu, as well as Happy Hour appetizer prices for parents, available for the full three hours. Sunday 1:00-4:00 pm. FREE!
March Fourth Marching Band's 10th Anniversary Extravaganza - Matinee at Crystal Ballroom! With a rallying cry of "JOY NOW!" MarchFourth Marching Band (known as M4 by its growing legion of fans) throws itself and the audience into a swirling volcano of high-energy music and spectacle. Sunday 4:00 pm. Tickets $8-$14.
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.
February 25, 2013
Hard to believe, but it has almost been ten years since my first experience volunteering at school. We were planning for a (pre-)school auction, and we had a required number of volunteer hours to fulfill. I figured: Might as well get them all done with an auction activity.
Our leader for the auction that year - I will never forget her. She was a mama to two and she was amazingly gifted at being welcoming, empowering. She was a strong leader without being overly directing or bossy. She delegated well and elegantly. I crawled out my shell and took on a big role organizing all the "easel parties", the sign-up events where attendeeds would typically pay-per-person to participate. It was a great first experience with a school auction, a great first experience with volunteering at school.
The following year, we had a different leader for the big event. She was domineering. She had a vision, and it felt like no one else's ideas could compare to hers. I tried to volunteer for the same job, but all my products and ideas were met with criticism and were denied. I cringed, but I got the job done. I felt like my efforts were all for nothing, but at least I fulfilled those doggone required volunteer hours.
February 20, 2013
Ladybug Nature Walks are in full swing!
Walk through Whitaker Ponds Natural area and explore nature with a friendly and
knowledgeable guide. Friday at 10. $3 per child. Please
see the brochure for exact location.
This Friday enjoy a special $5 admission to Art a la Carte at its new(ish) location in NE Portland. This week, create bottle cap magnets. Friday from 3 to 5.
The Community Music Center is hosting its monthly Family Friday Concert Series on Friday at 7:15. This month they will be featuring The Heritage, a bluegrass/alt-country band. Admission is free, but there is a suggested donation of $5 per person or $15 per family.Saturday is Girl's Day at the World Forestry Center. Girls of all ages can discover the amazing life of the forests and enjoy activities created specially for them. Saturday from 10 to 2. $5.
The First Tech Challenge is at OMSI on Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 4. High school robotics teams converge for a day of mechanical madness. Free with admission.
The Paper Airplane Guy will be at the Evergreen Space Museum on Saturday for a general public show at 10 and at 1. He is the world record holder for distance with a paper airplane, and will be showing his tricks of the trade. Free with museum admission.
There's a special storytime at A Children's Place on Saturday at 1 featuring Dr. Travis Agee. Dr. Agee is a dentist who will read fun dental-related books and lead teeth-related activities. Free!
The Second Annual Family Sock Hop at the Mt. Scott Community Center is Saturday from 6 to 8. Live music, root beer floats, craft stations, and more. $3/person or $10/family.
Check out the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival at the Central Library at 12:30 or at 3. This festival debuts videos that compress the story of a Newbery award-winning book into 90 seconds or less. Free!
The Portland Youth Philharmonic will be performing its Cadenza Concert at Skyview High School on Sunday at 4. Tickets are $10-12.
February 13, 2013
Check out Mo Phillips' blend of soul, rock, blues, and
kindie goodness at Treehouse Boutique on
Friday at 10. $5/child.
On Friday from 12:30 to 1:30 you can make Red Fans for the Lunar New Year at the Midland Library. Decorate red accordion fans with origami paper, Chinese character rubber stamps, glitter, and other materials. Free!
Head to the Charles Jordan Community Center on Friday from 6 to 8 for a Family Dinner Night. There will be dance, arts, and, of course, food. Free!
On Saturday from 11 to 3:30, check out Museum Family Saturday at the Oregon Maritime Museum. Explore the exhibits, turn the steering wheel, learn about maritime communication, and make nautical flags to take home with you. Families of up to 2 adults and 2 children under 14 will be admitted free.
Saturday from 11 to 3 is Community Day at the Oregon Historical Society.
In celebration of Black History Month, there will be special activities for all
ages with a focus on black history in Oregon. You can also check out the
newest exhibit, "All Aboard! Railroading and Portland's Black
Community." Free admission.
There are two opportunities to check out Tears of Joy Theatre's bilingual performance of Papagayo this Saturday. Saturday at 11 at the St Johns Library, and at 2 at the Central Library (tickets available 30 minutes in advance). Free!
On Saturday at 11, head to Powell's on Burnside to listen to Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats. This book is being read in celebration of the new Storyland Exhibit at The Children's Museum, which opened this week! Free!
Make your own snow globes at the Gregory Heights Library on Saturday from 1 to 2. Preregistration is required - 503 988 5234. Free!
Celebrate the Lunar New Year at the Midland Library on Sunday from 2 to 4. There will be traditional lion dance, music, games, foods, and crafts. Free!
ComedySportz brings its improv games to the 12 and under crowd with ComedySportz 4 Kidz on Sunday at 2. Reservations are recommended - 503 236 8888. $8 kids, $10 adults.
Music Together's Concert & Scholarship Fundraiser is this Sunday at the Alberta Rose Theater. There will be two showings - one at 3 and one at 5. Last year the concert sold out, so you may want to buy tickets in advance. $10 adults, $5 children.
February 07, 2013
on Friday, Feb. 22 at 7:30! The super fab folks at gDiapers (2808 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97212) are offering up their space for everyone to mingle, swap and sip. We even have a raffle or two (or more...??) up our sleeves! Come hang out with us- reconnect with your friends in the uM/ gDiapers community, check out the adorable gPants and leave with some new threads all at the same time!
-Bring a bottle of vino or a snack to share. If you can't bring a drink or snack, please bring a $5 donation.
- Bring as many clothes, shoes and accessories as you want to off-load. All sizes and maternity are encouraged! The chunk-o-change and the left over clothing will be donated to a local women's charity.
-Leave kiddos at home, unless s/he is a babe in arms (or Mya or Moby or Ergo or just generally part of your outfit). This is a mama's night out event and we want you to take a break!
See you all soon!
February 06, 2013
Beginning Friday and lasting through the weekend, OMSI is
hosting the 62nd annual agate and mineral show.
Free with museum admission. Winter hours are 9:30 to 5:30.
This month as part of Powell's at Cedar Hills Crossing's writing workshop Book Fan Friday, kids ages 10 to 18 can take part in a discussion with author Kirby Larson about reading other people's letters and how they help inform historical fiction. Friday at 4:30.
Dragon Theater Puppets is now performing a weekly show at Playdate PDX every Friday at 6. This week they will be performing Rapunzel Redeems Rumpelstiltskin. Free !
Saturday is family day at the Washington County Museum (note the new location in Hillsboro). This month, join the museum to make crafts, play games, and honor the county's Hispanic community. Saturday from 10 to 1. Free!
The Northwest Family and Kids Festival at the Washington County Fair Complex is this Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 4. Games, facepainting, petting zoos, pony rides, bounce houses, mad science, and other activities for kids. $10/family. ($2 coupon available on their website.)
Yikes! Valentine's Day is next week already! If your
kiddos haven't yet made a card for that special someone, there are lots of
opportunities this weekend at your local library. Make a Valentine Saturday at 12 at
the Sellwood Library, at 1 at the
Hollywood Library, or at 2 at the Central Library. Free!
Art a la Carte is taking it on the road on Saturday! Head to the Gresham Library from 2 to 4 for an artistic free-for-all. Free!
The traditional Chinese rod puppet theater, Dragon Art Studio, will be performing traditional Chinese folk tales and other stories with traditional rod puppets at the Clark County Historical Museum on Saturday at 2. Free with admission of $2 kids, $3 seniors/students, $4 adults, of $10/family.
The Chinese New Year celebrations begin at Lan Su Gardens on Sunday and last through the 24th. Today you can enjoy lion dancing, make-a-snake activities, calligraphy demonstrations, and more. Details here. Hours are 10 to 5. Regular admission rates apply.
Oodles 4 Kids is also ringing in the new year with dragon face painting, dragon crafts, dragon puppet making with help from Olde World Puppet Theatre (at 1), book readings of traditional Chinese tales. Festivities last all day!
For even more ways to ring in the Chinese New Year, check PDX Kids Calendar’s complete guide here.
February 05, 2013
It's only Tuesday and I am beat, worn down, tired. On most nights, it's after 9 pm when I can slip away from the kids in their room reading or sleeping. But by then, I barely have enough energy to do more than hop on the computer to peek at my email or Facebook and then it's off to bed for me. Many chores are left undone; the piles of laundry, toilets needing a good scrub, and rugs that could use vacuuming. I could go on and on. I used to be a night owl and treasured the few hours after the kids were in bed to get a couple of more chores done, do more work, or unwind with a glass of wine. I traded the couple of late night hours for an early morning workout. And when I mean early, I mean that my alarm goes off at 5 am. While it's become routine and I don't think I can sacrifice it, I do struggle with not having much downtime in the evenings. Do you have downtime during the week? How do you spend it?
January 30, 2013
Come and meet the amazingly talented illustrator, Stephen Savage, as he presents his latest book, "Polar Bear Morning" at Green Bean Books! He's also well know for other artistic books such as "Little Tug," "Where's Walrus," and "Polar Bear Night"! Friday at 4. Free!Third Annual Candlemas Festival of the Bees, presented by Shining Star Waldorf School, is Saturday from 10 to 3. Activities include beeswax candlemaking, crafts, live music, storytelling, games and more. $5/person or $10/family.
The Lunar New Year celebrations begin this weekend at the Gregory Heights Library! Celebrate with traditional dance, food, games, and a craft project on Saturday from 1 to 3. For other options for celebrating the Year of the Snake, check PDX Kids Calendar’s Chinese New Year guide.Celebrate Groundhog's Day with an all-ages storytelling event with Will Hornyak at Stonehenge Studios in SW on Saturday from 1 to 2. Reservations are recommended online or by calling 503 224 3640. $7/person.
Students from the Native American Youth & Family Center will perform a
- a storytelling dance that highlights using multiple hoops to create
interesting shapes. At the Central Library
on Saturday from 2 to 3. Free!
Professor Banjo is coming to Portland for the last time in quite a while. Word has it he's gonna be a daddy! Come say goodbye as he plays at Mississippi Pizza on Saturday at 4. $10 and up suggested donation per family.
It hit me today hard when I heard the news of the shooting death of 15-year-old majorette Hadiya Pendleton. Just last week she was performing at the inauguration. Today, she's a casualty of gun violence; her death, in a park just a mile from President Obama's home in Chicago, was apparently random. She had no history of affiliation with gangs. (And we have to say that, which makes me sad, too.)
Sometimes it seems insensible: that stricter gun control laws have not been put into practice before now. One more repeat of "but criminals will get guns anyway!" and I'll throw something at the radio; according to experts I've heard tell, it's all about economics. If you make it hard enough (read: expensive enough) for criminals to obtain guns, gun violence will fall like a stone.
What can we do?
In the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting, a new group has sprung up: “Million Moms for Gun Control”. Million Moms just marched on Washington D.C. last Saturday to ask for reasonable updates to gun policy. The local Portland chapter is planning a family friendly rally on Feb. 9, 10 a.m. at City Hall. Information about the event and other ways you can help is on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OneMillionMomsForGunControlPortland
Ceasefire Oregon is another local group working to reduce access to guns. Ceasefire organizes gun turn-in events once or twice a year and they promote the ASK (Asking Saves Kids) campaign. ASK encourages parents to ask if there are firearms where their children play. On the legislative front, Ceasefire Oregon is planning a rally at the state Capitol on March 12 to ask for tighter gun laws*.
January 25, 2013
It's been awhile since we've given something we absolutely love away to our dear readers! We love supporting local companies and excited to team up with Plywerk just in time for Valentine's Day. Plywerk is an eco-conscious photo mounting and art panel company based right here in Portland Oregon. To enter, tell us about your favorite photo you'd frame in the comments section of the Plywerk's Giveway post. Use discount code URBANMAMA20 for 20% off your Plywerk order, and good will be good until the end of the the day on 2/1.
January 24, 2013
My five-year-old is so much like me, sometimes I blink and wonder if we're not one and the same. He really loved the lessons on Martin Luther King, Jr.; he had an amazingly deep and broad grasp of them. ("He was against the bad laws," he said. "And he broke them to show how bad they were.") Bravo, kid!
I was trying to get his older brother to finish his homework, tonight, all about how we're living Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream. My oldest was frustrated because I'd told them all we had to help Truman do his homework before anyone could play on the screens (employing the much-maligned-by-me football coach strategy). When Truman said he couldn't think of anything to write, his older brother called him stupid! I was pretty mad.
"Everett," I said, "you're being really unkind."
Fast as a wink and outraged, Monroe shot, "you're not living Dr. King's dream!"
And Everett and I both burst out laughing, and finally, I was able to return to making subscription lists for the magazine.
How have your kids reacted to the school's annual MLK, Jr. history lesson? I love this time of year because it seems we're all studying the same thing; but I never know if the context gets lost, or not.
No one told me that when the kids reach school-age, I could spend all of my spare time coordinating and supervising playdates. Sure, it wouldn't be bad if it were just one. But all three of my boys ask for them, on a daily-non-stop basis. The littlest one is 3, and he asks for them because his brothers ask for them. He's had one, and on that one opportune occasion, he got lice :-)
If you can't tell from the tone of this post, I am not fond of playdates. Whatever happened to the spontaneous kids dropping by to see if your kids are home to play? I like the drop by since the expectation is that I am not responsible for coordinating, text, emailing, and calling other parents. We do get those, and more frequently in the warmer months.
What about you? Do you subsribe to the playdate circuit? Do you lay down limits?
January 23, 2013
Celebrate the Japanese New Year at Mochitsuki 2013. There will be free mochi samples, demonstrations, hands-on activities for all ages including mochi pounding, calligraphy, games, and more. Plus there will be Taiko drumming, dancing, music and other entertainment. Sunday from 11 to 4 at the Scottish Rite Center. Tickets are $4-10 in advance, $5-12 at the door. Free for children 3 and younger.
Sounds continues at the Children's Museum through this weekend. On Friday,
check out Natya Leela Academy, on Saturday see Fools in Paradise, and on Sunday
it's DJ Anjali and the Incredible Kid. All shows are at 11 and 12 and are
free with admission.
Admission is free to the Portland Art Museum this Friday from to 8.
The Community Music Center hosts its monthly Family Friday concert on Friday at 7:15. This month, hear Classical Revolution PDX. Tickets are free, but there is a suggested donation of $5/person or $15/family.
Author Tom Angleberger will be reading from his newest book "The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee: An Origami Yoda Book" at Powell's on Saturday at 2. Free!
Learn about the Incredible World of Bugs with the Bug Chicks at the Woodstock Library on Saturday at 2. Free tickets available 30 minutes in advance.
Local musician Cat Doorman is releasing her new CD at Mississippi Studios on Saturday at 3. Tickets are $6-8 in advance, $8-10 at the door.
The Portland Youth Philharmonic is performing music by Wagner, Deems Taylor, and Bloch at the Widen & Kennedy Building on Sunday at 4. Tickets are $15-20.
January 18, 2013
The urbanMamas originally met through a Yahoo! group. We certainly know the value of these connections. Katy is looking for your suggestions. She writes:
My husband and I (and our little one) are considering moving from SF to PDX. I'm wondering if you could direct me towards a Portland parent/mama yahoo type group. I tried a couple of the yahoo group links on your site, but they didn't work (maybe I was on the wrong page). I'd love to connect with other mamas/families who have moved from the Bay Area to PDX.
January 16, 2013
Get an early start to Martin Luther King Day of Service on Monday with The United Way's Weekend of Service. There are dozens of opportunities to chose from - tree planting, community center sprucing, food bank stocking, and loads more. Opportunities are available Saturday through Monday and require pre-registration. Many of the projects are appropriate for all ages. You can also check out PDX Kids Calendar’s post of kid-friendly volunteer opportunities here.
West Linn Library is hosting a Snowflake Ball on Friday from 10:30 to 11:30. Babies and toddlers (0-3) are invited for winter-themed music, dancing, and treats. Fancy dress is encouraged. Please pre-register. Free!
Did you know Oaks Park hosts a family skate every Saturday morning from 10:30 to 12? Well, they do! The session is specifically designed for ages 10 and under and includes a 15 minute group lesson, skating games, cool music, and more. $6/child, which includes skate rental.
This Saturday from 11 to 4, families of up to 2 adults and 2 kids get free admission to the Oregon Maritime Museum. Explore the exhibits, pretend to be the sea captain, and learn to tie some nautical knots.
Portland's Old-Time Music Gathering is happening this weekend at the Scottish Rite Center. Saturday features jamming, lots of kids programming, concerts, and family dance. Performers include Professor Banjo. Tickets are $5 at the door, and free for ages 12 and under. Kid-friendly sessions begin Saturday at 12:30.
Enjoy one of two performances of Play after Play's "The Gentle People" this weekend at Brookyln Bay. After the play, enjoy some gentle play with the performers. Saturday at 10, or Sunday at 2. $7, ages 2 and under are free.
And – the Sellwood Bridge is being moved this Saturday! See it in person or watch it on time-lapsed video on Sunday here.
January 09, 2013
Happy Birthday, J.R.R. Tolkien! Celebrate the birthday of the creator of "The Hobbit" with movies, a costume contest, Willamette Radio Workshop, music, and other fun. Saturday at the Kennedy School beginning at 11. All ages welcome. Free!
Celebrate the Slavic New Year at the Gresham Library. Internationally-known musician Trio Voronezh will demonstrate conventional usage of Russian instruments and folk melodies. Sunday from 12:30 to 3:30. Free!
January 08, 2013
One of our founding mamas went through a divorce early in the history of this site, and it was overwhelming; her experience took her, largely, off the blog. I've personally watched many of my friends go through divorce and it seems so, so hard -- I've even taken to exploring my thoughts about it in fiction. Co-parenting while divorced, for me, sounds even harder than co-parenting while in a difficult marriage. Another mother asks:
Does anyone have good resources or personal experience to share with a newly divorced mama? My ex and I are fairly amicable, but I find myself really struggling with how this new world order works for the kids as they split time between us. Everything I've found to read about divorce addresses the nightmare scenarios when parents say nasty things about each other to the kids or manipulate them to win affection. That's not us at all. Those stories make me very thankful for how our divorce has gone. And still, I wonder if it ever feels normal to live in 2 different houses, have 2 different dogs, 2 sets of neighborhood friends... having grown up with 2 parents and a super stable home life, I feel a little heartbroken when I think about it too long. I know my kids don't necessarily think about it the way I do, but it would help me to have exposure to success stories of growing up equally with 2 parents in two houses.
Do you have any advice or stories to share?
January 03, 2013
January 02, 2013
Check out the Waggle 'n Flap Dance Party at the Village Ballroom on Friday from 10 to 11:30. DJ Acidwash will be spinning the beats, plus there will be an art corner, snuggle corner, and other fun. $5/family.
Join Penny's Puppet Productions for a free performance of "And They're Off" at the Central Library on Saturday from 10:30 to 11:15. Free! Or see Penny perform the Remarkable Snowflake at the Woodstock Library on Saturday at 1:30. Free!
Celebrate the O-Shogatsu New Year's Festival at the Portland Japanese Garden on Sunday from 12 to 3. Try your hand at calligraphy and celebrate this auspicious day. Admission is free with admission - $0-$9.50, depending on age.
December 31, 2012
The year 2012 was truly a landmark for me; though I hadn't set out to start a literary magazine for parents on January 1, I'd accomplished that, and even more awesomely, I'd gotten all my three boys to school successfully. On many occasions, I went a whole six hours without having to worry about any of them a whit. My husband started what will (we hope) be his final deployment overseas. I came up with some crazy ideas and made them happen! I won an honor for my writing! I wrote lots and lots.
When it came to marking the year, though, I felt a little lost. I've made lists and long essay-like wrap-ups in other years; I've made calendars and year-in-review letters to send to friends. But this year I've been feeling overwhelmed with all I have to do (something about this wild 2012 has been: overcommitment exploded); I've felt the regular holiday excitement, even, was more than I could manage. As usual, I had so many ideas I ended up standing in my dining room, spinning around, not knowing where to begin.
Then I saw a post from Mara on Facebook. She was doing interviews with each of her boys; audio interviews, requiring nothing but the voice memo app on her iDevice. She gave me a list of her questions, things like, "What was the best thing about 2012?" and "What are your favorite things?" and "What scares you?" I set about recording immediately.
December 19, 2012
Things are winding down this weekend after completely packed weekends the past few weeks. But there are still lots of fun events to choose from. For more ideas, check PDX Kids Calendar and the urbanMamas calendar page.
This is one of your last chances of the year to catch some of the glorious light displays around town. Choose from The Grotto Festival of Lights, Winter Wonderland at Portland International Raceway, the lights at Peacock Lane, and of course, Zoo Lights - among others. Check PDX Kids Calendar’s holiday guide for full details.
This Friday and Saturday from 10 to 1 head to the Washington County Museum for some merry fun, including a Santa visit on Friday and ornament making. $4-6.
Penny the Puppeteer will be performing "Who Stole the Stockings" at Central Lutheran Church on Friday at 10:30. $5/each or $17/4.
Get in the holiday spirit with Festival Brass, a seven-piece brass ensemble playing holiday favorites. Pioneer Courthouse Square on Friday from 5:30 to 6:30. Free!
In addition to its usual Saturday storytime, Powell’s will be hosting special holiday storytimes every day from Friday through Christmas at 11. Sample stories include "Dinosaur versus Santa" and "The Night Before Christmas" Free!
Let the Alphabeticians entertain you and Mississippi Pizza feed you on Saturday from 4 to 5. $10/family.
Mix up some reindeer food with Heather of Creative Recycling Workshops at Queens Mab on Sunday from 11:30 to 12:30. Free!
December 14, 2012
I didn't know what to say after the Clackamas Mall shootings. We have the radio on a lot, and maybe my kids are just used to tuning out stories about gun violence -- BBC shares a story of an explosion or shooting death almost every day. My kids didn't say a word, and I felt I should say something before they went back to school because maybe other kids would be talking about it. I said it plainly. "There was a shooting, and two people died, and people are really sad and scared." They didn't ask any questions. No "why would someone do that?"
I hope this is because of fiction; because we read a lot of books with rather strong evil vs. good storylines, and watch TV shows like Dr. Who and Merlin in which people do die, we talk a lot about what motivates people to do terrible things. It's often the small things that take the most explanation, but we talk a lot about fear, fear of change, fear of difference, fear of being found out to be a fraud, fear of punishment, fear of facing one's own shortcomings, and how terrifyingly motivating that can be. How people shut themselves down to the hurt they are causing others and act protectively in terrible ways. How people want to be loved and feel connected, and when they don't they act out. How a lifetime of being hurt in some way -- physically, or being abandoned, or being treated with indignity and contempt -- can change someone into an unrecognizable mess of hurt. How they take power back any way they can.
That's the story of Lord Voldemort, and the story of Uther, and the story of many of the most violent evil characters in fiction and history. It's why I turn to fiction so often to tell my story.
I, again, don't know what to say about this latest tragedy. It's on all the radio shows and on all the Facebook statuses. I feel like I can't escape it and so my kids shouldn't either. Should I? Should I get out a guide to how to talk to your kids after a tragedy? Should I, like so many people are saying eloquently, look for the helpers? Should I do what I can myself? Should I work on this web site, whose stated goal is to help you find community? Should I work on this magazine, whose stated goal is to share the real stories of parenting so that we can all feel less alone? Should I retreat to fiction, pull up a good chapter of Harry Potter where Harry gets to exercise that power we all think we lack? Should I give kids power in my own fictional work?
I think I want to do all of that. I feel the only power I have in this is to tell stories and to help other people share theirs. I feel that the cure for violence is love and the cure for isolation is seeing another person through their history. I feel the cure for sadness is knowing you're not the only one feeling sad. I feel the way to heal from everything is to reach out and be together; not to draw in and be apart.
What do you do? Where is your power? How will you exercise it? Is there a cure?
December 12, 2012
Sing along to festive tunes while you construct your gingerbread masterpiece at the Mt Scott Community Center on Friday from 6 to 8. Free!
Kids aged 10 to 18 can head to Powell’s Cedar Hills Crossing for Book Fan Friday on Friday at 4:30. This month, author/illustrator Barry Deutsch will talk about creating comics and graphic novels. Free!
Santa Claus is coming to town, and he's arriving in style! Santa will be touching in down in the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum helicopter on Saturday at 9:30 while choirs perform Christmas carols. Stick around for a showing of The Christmas Carol starring Jim Carrey at 10. $12 youth, $14 adults.
Play after Play performs The Faerie's Gift at the Brooklyn Bay on Saturday at 10 and Sunday at 2. This is a sweet story about generosity and caring for others, and is most appropriate for ages 2-8. After the show, children are invited to connect through gentle play. $7/ticket.
Enjoy the sights and sounds of the holidays for free at the Oregon Historical Society on Saturday from 10 to 5. Hear holiday carols by The Dickens Carolers, watch a historic model train in action, and make your own journal. Family programs run from 11 to 3 on Saturday.
Enjoy free admission to the Maritime Museum on Saturday from 11 to 4, plus make your own sailboat tree ornament to take home. Free!
The Toy Trains will be performing at Mississippi Pizza on Saturday from 4 to 5. $5 for ages 12 and up. Stick around for the Percy Twig Christmas Family Show at 6.
Make dough ornaments and play dough at Café au Play on Sunday from 10:30 to 12:30. $2 suggested donation per child.
Read and sing along to holiday stories, craft your own Elf Hats and get your portraits taken as whimsical and wintry magical creatures at Green Bean Books on Sunday from 1 to 2.
Enjoy the Posado Milagro at the Miracle Theatre on Sunday from 1 to 5. This community celebration is filled with Latin American traditions and reflects on the journey of Mary and Joseph. Theater, crafts, storytelling, a pinata, and more. Admission is free, and first-come, first-served.
Join Aaron Nigel Smith and the One World Chorus for Holiday Songs from Around the World at the Mt Park Recreation Center in Lake Oswego on Sunday from 7 to 8. This talented chorus is comprised of children from across Portland and beyond, and the songs are sure to delight! $5 suggested donation.
December 05, 2012
Local holiday celebrations continue throughout town this weekend. Some of the highlights include the Fremont Festival of Lights on Friday from 5 to 9, with a visit from Santa and a children's crafts tent, and Beaverton's Tree Lighting is also Friday from 5 to 9, with another appearance by Santa and a children's holiday workshop. There are plenty more holiday happenings around town - check PDX Kids Calendar’s Portland holiday guide for the scoop!
Are you ready for some
reindeer? Reindeer Magic returns to
Dennis 7 Dees locations around town throughout the weekend from 10 to 5.
Kids will enjoy activities, cookies, cocoa, cider, music, Santa, and real
reindeer! Free! Check their website for location
Green Bean Books hosts its monthly Spanish Storytime with Portland Early Learning Project on Friday from 11:15 to 11:45. Free!
Free admission to the Portland Children’s Museum Friday from 4 to 8!
Drop in any time from 9 to 3 on Saturday for Safety Saturday at the Belmont Firehouse. See firetrucks, gear, and meet with some firemen. Free!
Free admission to the Washington County Museum on Saturday from 10 to 1 with the theme of "space." There will also be a special craft - making a solar-themed ornament for the holidays - astronaut ice cream to sample, and other festivities.
Café au Play is hosting lots of kid-friendly activities this weekend - recycled crafts, paper bag reindeer puppets, and music on Saturday, and face painting, Red Yarn puppet show, and more music on Sunday. Check their website for the exact schedule. Most activities are free, but some have a small charge or donation requested.
Make an ornament with Santa at Drake’s 7 Dees on Saturday at 11. This event is free, but can food donations are requested.
The 22nd Annual Tuba Christmas Concert is happening at Pioneer Courthouse Square on Saturday at 1:30. Over 200 tubas will play! Free!
Head on over to the gorgeous Milagros Boutique on Sunday at 1 for a showing of the movie "Elf" and some popcorn. Suggested donation of $5 or one can of food.
Local author Arthur Bradford will be reading from his book Benny's Brigade and signing books at Oodles 4 Kids on Sunday at 3. Free!
Chanukah Wonderland is Sunday from 1:30 to 4:30 at Beverly Cleary Middle School. There will be crafts, a play zone, legos, entertainment, and lots more. $4 child or $12 family.
November 28, 2012
Celebrate the holiday season with Santa's Workshop at The Oregon Garden Friday through Sunday from 12 to 8. Visitors can hop aboard the Holiday Express and travel to the Rediscovery Forest, where they will find Santa's Workshop - complete with Santa and his live reindeer! Music, stories, photo ops, games, and crafts too. Free with garden admission - $11 adults, $9 seniors, $8 students 12-17, $5 ages 5-11.
The Providence Festival of Trees is this weekend at the Convention Center. Stroll through "village" streets and survey over 80,000 lights on more than 30 decorated trees. Santa, crafts, model trains, and more too. $4 kids, $6 adults. Friday from 10:30 to 4, with a special show for the 5 and under crowd from 10:30 to 12:30, and Saturday from 9 to 6.
Have you checked out a Rookie Rock class at its new location at the lovely Treehouse Boutique. Mo Phillips will be rocking out Friday at 10. $5/child.
Holiday Express gears up this weekend and the following two weekends.
Ride aboard a steam locomotive through Oaks Bottom. Santa will be on
board with candy canes. Check the website for available train
times. $11 kids ages 3-12, $17 adults.
The Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum is hosting a FIRST Lego League tournament this Saturday and Sunday beginning at 9. Watch teams construct robots out of Legos and compete. $5, which includes admission to the Space Museum.
Celebrate the sights, sounds, tastes, and traditions of a Scandinavian Christmas at ScanFair at the Memorial Coliseum. Traditional and modern arts and crafts come together at this festival, complete with a room for kids to make traditional Scandinavian crafts. $6 adults, 12 and under free. Saturday from 10 to 5, Sunday from 10 to 4.
Join Nuestro Canto in singing traditional Latino songs while learning about their meaning and origin. At the Troutdale Library on Saturday from 1 to 2. Free!
The Annual Sherwood Winter Festival is taking place on Saturday in Old Town Sherwood. The festivities begin with a community parade at 4, followed by tree lighting, music, Santa, kids activities, cookie decorating, and more fun. Free!
Discounted $2 admission to OMSI on Sunday from 9:30 to 5:30!
In honor of Elf month, create your own Picasso-inspired work of Elfin art at Green Bean Books on Sunday from 11 to 4. Free!
November 22, 2012
I don't know if there is anything like Thanksgiving for bringing out Portlanders in all their Portland-ness. If the vivid argument in the comments in one of my recent posts is any indication, those of us who are not minorities, who are not lower-income, who are not struggling, feel a great deal of guilt about our relative status. We as a people (we Portlanders) are either pointing out our own wronged status, or we're identifying so much with other wronged peoples that we get in internet (or public) arguments in which we passionately assert the rights of minority groups to be angry about the wrongs inflicted upon them. And are we not all minorities, in some way? Surely all of us have some part of our experience that marks us, makes us different, would (if called out by someone else at, let's say, a Thanksgiving dinner table) give rise to judgments and widened eyes.
And Thanksgiving. With its focus on food and the fraught relationship between the caucasian immigrants and the dark-skinned natives. How some of our ancestors were grateful and others were slaughtered. How all this is caught up in religion and bigotry and intolerance. All of us come from people who were, at one point or another, viewed as The Other. All of us at some time in our lives have participated in the celebration of the corporate food-purveyor who, slowly and viciously, turned our regular commemoration of harvest into a week-long orgy of consumerism, from the branded stuffing mix to the branded turkey to the branded standing in line for Black Friday and all the black days after that. When we spend to show our gratitude, our patriotism, our love.
I asked my oldest son to research, to tell his brothers about the real story of Thanksgiving.
November 20, 2012
A couple of years ago, we hoped to amass a list of volunteering opportunities for families with their children. It is around this time every year that many of us start to think about how we can involve our children in contributing time, effort, and money toward causes important to us. An urbanMama recently emailed:
I don't know if it's the impending holidays or coming out from the fog of my third child's early childhood years, I've been thinking more about volunteering as a family or with my oldest child (age 8). Service to others has always been an important part of my personal and professional lives, but most of my energy has been focused on my kids for several years. My husband and I donate money regularly to many organizations, but those donations are not necessarily tangible to my kids. I'd like to do better at communicating to my kids the importance of helping individuals in need and the wider community. I'd like to find ways for us all to help. Any suggestions?
November 15, 2012
November 14, 2012
There are many ways to
celebrate Native American culture this weekend. On Friday beginning at
3:30, the East Portland Community Center is hosting Native American Family Day, featuring a blessing by Native
elders, arts & crafts, swimming, and more. On Saturday at 2, see Painted Sky Northstar Dance Company combine traditional
Native American dance and music with contemporary music in a high energy show
at the Midland Library. And on Saturday
at 3, learn about Northwest Coast Native American culture through mask making at the Kenton Library. All events are
Olive Rootbeer and Dingo, clowns, balloonists, musicians, and storytellers extraordinaire, have a new weekly show at Laurelhurst Café on Fridays at 9:30. Come by and say hi! $5 suggested donation.
The Community Music Center’s Family Friday concert series continues on Friday at 7:15 with a performance by the Portland Cello Project. The concert is free with a $5/person or $15/family suggested donation.
This Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 to 4:30 dig out those bell bottoms, get your tie dye shirts ready, and put on those dancing shoes because its time for Baby Woodstock at the Children’s Museum! Enjoy music by Aaron Nigel Smith, The Alphabeticians, Lorna Miller, and Johnny and Jason and crafts like friendship bracelets and tie dye. Most activities are free with admission ($9) but there may be additional fees for crafts. Check the PCM website for the full schedule.
There's a Fix-it-Fair this Saturday from 9:30 to 3 at Madison High School in NE. Sample exhibits include gardening with kids, container gardening, energy saving tips, nutrition on a budget, ecoroofs, and lots more. Free!
Discover Portland's maritime history at the Portland Maritime Museum on Saturday from 11 to 4, and make a craft project to take home. Admission is free!
Speaking of The Alphabeticians.... They are playing a kid- and adult-friendly set at Jam on Hawthorne Saturday from 6 to 8. Eat some great food while listening to some fun music! $10 suggested donation per family.
Give time for thanks this pre-Thanksgiving weekend with a nature walk at Oxbow Regional Park. While walking along the Sandy River, take time to celebrate the simple gifts of nature. Sunday at 10:15. Advance registration required. $5 parking fee.
The Portland Youth Philharmonic is playing a prelude concert at Skyview High School in Vancouver on Sunday at 4. Highlights include Dukas's Sorcerer's Apprentice. $10-12.
November 08, 2012
Oregon Humanities is producing an amazing series of videos called "Bring your own," with the concept that we can all bring our own ideas to the table (like lunch!). I connected with this video in particular, because I have been loving the ideas my own children have been developing lately.
When I launch into one of my passionate lectures on life and the meaning of "safety" or "abortion" or "free speech," my kids listen and then come up with ideas of their own. How to look at it a new way. How to fix things. I think I should listen more. I think I should let them make a couple of videos.
November 07, 2012
The 26th Annual Veterans Day Parade at Fort Vancouver is Saturday beginning at 11. Rain or shine, this community event pays tribute to our country's veterans and those currently serving in the military.
What is life like in space? Join staff from the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum as they tell us all about it, and check out a real space suit and helmet. At the Sellwood-Moreland library on Friday from 1 to 2. Free!
Siren Nation Arts and Crafts Show comes to the Kennedy School on Sunday from 11 to 5. Throughout the show there will be lots of free workshops, including yoga, journal making, sugar crafts, and others. Free!
The Willamette Falls Symphony Fall Concert is Sunday from 3 to 5 at the Oregon City Methodist Church. Music by Beethoven and Stravinsky will be performed. Free for kids 12 and under, $10 students/seniors, and $12 adults.
An open letter to Charlie Hales:
written by Sarah Gilbert, who has not run these opinions by the other mamas who run the site yet but hopes they agree.
I don't know if we trust you. Let's be upfront here: we were not particularly thrilled with the choices we had for mayor. That's probably already clear to you by the 8% of us who chose to write-in our vote. After much agonizing and largely because of your rather wishy-washy stance on transportation, as well as the quite clear disingenuity of your income tax history, I voted for Jefferson Smith. I didn't like his personal history much, but I thought his policies would better reflect the non-powerful. I loved that he was from outer east Portland, a historically vastly under-represented part of the city.
I -- and I think I am safe in saying, "we," -- didn't love the way Sam Adams did things. He was clearly invested with too much of a sense of personal and political mandate. He made his own way. He did not seek consensus. He gave off the scent of backroom dealings. Don't do that. Don't let your personal life get in the way of your mayoral business. Please please don't let us find out you've lied to us. (Or, if you have, come clean now, let's get it out of the way before you take office.)
This is very much a city divided. Sure, we look good from the outside and lot of people worldwide hold us up as an example. Everyone I know outside Portland is jealous of where I live. We have a very vibrant arts scene -- the writers! the musicians! -- we celebrate counter-culturism, we love to Do It Ourselves, we have backyard chickens and front yard kale gardens. We are the U.S. leader in family biking! (I made that up, but it's probably true.) We affirm natural medicine and rights for people no matter their disabilities or incomes or races or whatever, we have more doulas and birth centers here than just about anywhere else, we have so many farmer's markets it's almost silly (but silly-good!).
November 06, 2012
Guest post by Stephanie Pearson
Nutritionists, like myself, love to share their geeky scientific knowledge about food. We can reach a sort of cerebral high when we get to breaking down and classifying nutrients into their chemical constituents. There is a point, though, at which dissecting the fascinating interplay between enzymes, peptide chains, and our own physiology falls short. When we single out and supplement the parts rather than taking in the whole food, what are we missing?
This is what pulls me out of nutrition geek-talk into my love affair with the simple perfection of food in its whole form. Thinking in terms of food rather than nutrients is a more tangible, more traditional way to ensure high health during pregnancy. Indigenous cultures from all corners reserved specific foods to be consumed by mothers during preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum periods. We too deserve and need to eat special foods during the childbearing years. Certain foods that were repeatedly prized in traditional cultures were wild oily fish, grass-fed butter, liver, greens, olives, seeds, seasonal fruits and vegetables. Together these foods provide the most important vitamins and minerals for fetal development, including: vitamins A , D, B (including folate), C, and E, calcium, protein, omega-3 fats. Beyond what conventional nutrition tells and encapsulates for us, bringing actual foods to plate during pregnancy may provide a source for the important and mysterious co-factors that allude the lens of science.
Here’s what’s on the plate: