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

Mo Phillips at Treehouse Children's Boutique. Mo has devised a fine, music blend of Americana, soul and blues in his secret ninja laboratory and is not afraid of a poppy hook, or straight rocking' out! Friday 10am. $5/child.

Healthy Kids Day at multiple locations. Celebrate the YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day® with a free community event that encourages families to move, learn and live healthier. Event features fun, educational activities such as Zumbatomic, crafts, and obstacle courses. Come learn about the importance of keeping kids’ bodies and minds active when out of school.

Family Art Festival at PNCA. Enjoy family-friendly art activities, try new creative processes, spend time with family and friends, and nibble on locally and sustainably grown snacks. Activities include mask-making, face painting, drawing bigger than life and creating animations with a zoetrope. Be among the first one hundred visitors and personalize your free PNCA t-shirt by running it through a real printing press. Saturday 11am-1:30pm. Free!

Opening weekend of Little Red 'Riding Hood' at NW Children's Theater. All Little Red wants is to race cars, but when she’s told girls can’t take shop class, her dreams are dashed. Luckily for Red, Grandma has some tricks up her sleeve, "if The Wolf doesn’t find out first. Set to the tune of fifties doo-wop, Little Red “Riding Hood” is the story of the girl who steers her own path. Best ages 5+. Saturday & Sunday noon and 4pm performances. $18-$22

Día de los Niños/ El Día de los Libros at Beaverton Library. Celebrate Children's Day/Book Day - children, families and reading. Crafts, bilingual bingo, (in Spanish and English) and Andean folk music by Chayag! Ages 2-8 with family, drop-in. Saturday 1-2:30pm. Free!

Opening weekend of Oregon Children's Theatre's The Giver at the Winningstad Theatre. Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices, individuality, or emotions -- they are against the rules. When Jonas turns twelve he is selected to train with The Giver, who is the keeper of the entire Community’s memories, both good and bad. Now Jonas must shoulder the burden of memory and learn the harsh truths of what it means to live a life of sameness. From acclaimed Newbery Award-winning author, Lois Lowry. Best for ages 9+. Saturday performances at 2pm and 5pm, Sunday at 2pm. $15-$28

Ruckus in the Lobby at Artist Rep: Johnny Appleseed. Planting apples and wisdom. John Chapman, an early American naturalist, travels the newly- expanding nation learning from Native Americans, and spreading his growing knowledge to the pioneers. He plants both apple seeds and a love of nature wherever he goes. His lessons of environmental stewardship, conservation and sustainability are especially relevant to children today, as they learn to protect and respect the beauty of nature around them. Sunday 11am. Kids 0-2 years old are FREE all others are $5.

The Rainy Day Family Concert at the Village Ballroom. It's raining, it's pouring, it's time to get up and dance! Join The Rainy Day Family with your favorite children's musicians: The Alphabeticians, Tallulah's Daddy, Pointed Man Band, Matt Clark, and special guest puppets from Penny's Puppets! Go on an adventure that takes you out of the rain and into your endless imaginations. This show is also sponsored by Woodlawn Swap 'n Play. Sunday 4-5:30pm. Doors at 3:30. $8 per person in advance ($10 at the door if available). Babies in arms are 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.

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

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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

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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.