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"urbanMamas" - 5 new articles

  1. Weekend Warriors: December 19-21
  2. urbanMamas Podcast Episode 5: an ER, split family, Elf on the Shelf kind of Christmas
  3. Weekend Warrior December 12-14
  4. Weekend Warriors: December 5-7
  5. Weekend Warriors: November 28-30
  6. More Recent Articles
  7. Search urbanMamas
  8. Prior Mailing Archive

Weekend Warriors: December 19-21

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

Friday, December 19th

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 20th

Lil' Lentils Playgroup and Performances in SE PDX. This weekly playgroup features different performers or activities each week. This week, join for a pajama party and viewing of The Polar Express. $3-5 suggested donation per family. Saturday 10am-12pm. 

Meet Santa on Alberta. Skip the lines and support a good cause. $5 for every purchased photo will go to support the rebuilding of the playground at Couch Park. Free kids crafts cocoa, and apple cider while you wait. Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm. 

Kids Club: Flower Pot Reindeer Bell Ornament in Gresham. Celebrate the holiday season by making a reindeer ornament and enjoying some cookies and punch. $5. Saturday 11-11:45am. 

Where's Winter? An Original Holiday Play in SE PDX. Can Mother Nature and her forest friends change the season from fall to winter before it's too late? $5-$8. Saturday at 3pm and 7pm. 

Winter Solstice at Tryon Creek. Celebrate the changing of the seasons, learn the science behind the solstice, and explore the forest on night walk, and lots more. Free. Saturday 4-6pm.

The (Recycled Gift) of the Trashi in North PDX. Come see this musical and interactive puppet performance focusing on friendship, sharing, and selflessness. $5-10. Saturday 6-7pm.  

Sunday, December 21st

The Alphabeticians at Cafe au Play. Sing, dance, and learn the alphabet backwards and forwards with this crazy duo. $5/child. Sunday 10-11am. 

Oregon Children's Theater Presents The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs. Get your tickets to this hit show before it's too late! $12 (advance purchase required). Sunday 11am. 

Chanukah Wonderland in NE PDX. Join for loads of Chanukah fun, including arts & crafts, Chanukah play zone, theater, mad science, and a Menorah carved from ice. $5. Sunday 1-4:30pm. 

Music and Merriment with Portland Youth Philharmonic in SE PDX. Enjoy an afternoon of musical performances, hors d'ouevres and drinks with family and friends. Tickets $15-$30. 10 and under free. Sunday 3-4:30pm. 

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


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

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

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

R: How's it goin?

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

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

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

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

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

R: He knew what to do.

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

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

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

R: Your right leg? That's strange.

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

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

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

R: God forbid you have to pee!

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

R: Awful.

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

R: Right.

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

R: Geez.

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

R: You go to the ER!

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

R: Which ER?

K: Legacy Emanuel.

R: 3 hours?

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

R: That is not okay.

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

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

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

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

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

R: Ready to punch a baby.

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

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

R: Yeah.

K: It's a perforation.

R: Like a slow leak.

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

R: Of course they are!

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

R: A war of internal organs.

...skipping ahead...

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

R: Tim took care of you.

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

R: Sweet. Good.

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

R: Like he thought you were in jail.

K: Get out soon and have a Merry XMas!

R: Maybe I'll see you next year?

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

R: Love that.

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

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

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

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

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


Weekend Warrior December 12-14

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

Friday, December 12th

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 13th

Tree-Mendous Second Saturday at World Forestry Center. Kids 18 and under enjoy free admission all day. In addition, from 12:30-1:30 learn about the birds in your own backyard. Saturday 10am-5pm.

Johnny Keener at Sunnyside Library. Move and groove to the music of this alt-folk-bluesy Portland favorite. Free. Saturday 10:30-11:30am.

Free Family Day at the Washington County Museum in Hillsboro. Enjoy free admission and learn about the physics behind some of your favorite toys. Free. Saturday 10am-4pm. 

The (Recycled) Gift of the Trashi at the Sellwood Library. Check out KCPuppetree's new musical and interactive puppet show about friendship, sharing, and selflessness. Free. Saturday 12-1pm.

Second Saturday at the Water Center in Vancouver. Enjoy an old-fashioned holiday by making hand-crafted gifts at the Water Center. Free. Saturday 1-3pm.

Trackers Holiday Special in SE PDX. Join the Trackers for music, a variety show, face painting, crafts, free open archery and range skills, a waffle potluck, and more festivities. Free. Saturday 1-6pm.

Sunday, December 14th

Miller Family Free Day at the Portland Art Museum. Enjoy free admission to the museum all day. Plus from 12:30-2:30pm join Rachelle Doorley for an all-ages workshop that explores art making and creativity through process-based experiments. Free. Sunday 10am-5pm.

Gnome Day at Green Bean Books. Listen to gnome stories, craft clothespin gnome dolls and make magic mushroom wands. Free, but registration is required. Sunday 1-2pm.

Posado Milagro in SE PDX. This community celebration filled with Latin American traditions includes music and folkloric dance, arts & crafts, activities for kids, storytelling, and a piñata. Free, with tickets distributed on a first-come basis. Saturday 1-5pm. 

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


Weekend Warriors: December 5-7

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

Friday, December 5th

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 6th

Lil' Lentils Playgroup in SE PDX. This week, the playgroup will be hosting a holiday storytime with stories representing many different cultures and observances. Families are welcome to bring gently used books for a book exchange. Suggested $3-5 donation. Saturday 10am-12pm.

Winter Faire in SW PDX. Children can visit the crystal cookie cave, do crafts, and dip candles. Grownups can buy gifts from local artisans in the marketplace. Saturday 10am-4pm. 

Read to the Dogs in Beaverton. Spend some time with these adorable trained volunteer dogs. For grades 1-5. Free. Saturday 10:30-11:30am. 

Kids Storytime at Powell's. This week's story will be Edie's Ensembles by Ashley Spires at the downtown location. At the Cedar Hills location, Dr. Seuss's The Grinch will be around for a reading of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Free. Saturday 11am-12pm.

Flower Pot Reindeer Bell Ornament in Woodburn. Make a cute little reindeer ornament then join for cookies and punch. $5/child. Saturday 11am-12pm.

Make Light in NE PDX. Come to this family-friendly craft fair for an afternoon of craft demos, workshops, puppet theater, and innovative handmade gifts. Free. Saturday 12-6pm.

NWCT presents Mary Poppins. It's the opening weekend of this beloved classic. See the website for show times. $17-23. 

Sunday, December 7th

$2 Days at OMSI. Explore the museum at a discounted price. Sunday 9:30am-5:30pm.

NW Dance Theater Presents a Nutcracker Tea at the Tualatin Library. See this abridged, family-friendly adaptation of the Nutcracker ballet. Best for ages 4 and up. Free. Sunday 3-4pm.

Book Release Party and Oregon Humane Society Fundraiser in NW PDX. Award-winning mom-son authors Lisa and Michael Cohn celebrate the release of their book Bash and Lucy Fetch Jealousy. In addition to the reading, enjoy music by Mr. Hoo, autism service dogs, caricatures, and more. Sunday 4-6:30pm.

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


Weekend Warriors: November 28-30

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

Friday, November 28th

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 29th

Terrarium Ornament and Holiday Wreath Making in SE PDX. Stop in for DIY holiday fun. Ornaments are $10 each; wreaths and swag $20. Come by Saturday any time between 10am and 6pm. 

Toddler Storytime at the End of the Oregon Trail. Bring the kiddos to a free storytime at the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, then stay to explore the Center. Storytime is free; regular admission rates apply for the museum. Free. Saturday 10:30-11am. 

Silly Saturday with Miss Jeanie in SE PDX. Join this local children's librarian and musician for a morning of songs, fingerplay, rhymes, books, and puppets. Donations welcome. Saturday 10:45-11:30am. 

Saturday Crafts in Milwaukie. Drop in for a fun, free fall craft. Best for ages 5 and up. Saturday 2-3pm.

Sunday, November 30th

Children Holiday Activities in Tigard. Join Between the Lines for an afternoon of free children's activities, including Elf on the Shelf storytime, crafts, and carolers. Free. Sunday 12:30-3:30pm. 

Family Open Studio in SE PDX. Media offered includes drawing, collage, paint, and various mixed media. $20 for 2 family members for 2 hours. Sunday 1-3pm. 

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


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