pookie play date : mother’s day edition

i saw this listed in the merc this week and was like wow, that’s mega adorable, let’s totally go do that with grandma and we can have a double decker mom day date with seb doing all the heavy lifting (emotionally, not physically although the kid is strong, if his recent baby tantrums are any indicator). how fun though, right?! an event held at adx, portland’s tool-sharing, diy, custom fabrication space?! yes please! i’ve been badly wanting an excuse to go check out their digs. perfect! build a planter box where free refreshments and snacks are in arms reach? yes please! i was already drifting off on a three generation daydream of fertilized soil and succulents when i clicked on the website to snag tickets and gosh dammit it’s for kiddos aged 6-12. sigh. oh well. hopefully it’s a smashing success and they’ll still be doing it 5 years from now. shiet. that’s really far away.

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but the idea is so stinking cute that i’m going to propose it to my ma anyway. i think she’d love if her grandchile and i picked up the ingredients to bake something yummy together and then the three of us could tend to her backyard garden, which is in full bloom right now. you should see her honeysuckle – the hummingbirds are ev-er-y-where and it’s gorgeous. i guess i don’t have any flicks of seb in ma’s yard but here he is during and after kissing planter boxes on our neighborhood walks.

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seb after kissing plants

happiest early momma day to everyone who has pushed a human head and body out of their vagina, had one taken out via cesarean, adopted one, is fostering one or has taken on the role of a lifetime and is caring for one they did not birth, adopt or foster. you are all brave, magical unicorns.

i love you so much mom!!!

mom and seb

Neighborhood outing: Hollywood District

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Yesterday morning was gray. And rainy. And cold. But staying inside is super hard for me and since my vitamin D discovery several years ago, the winter weather doesn’t bother me as much (vitamin shout-out to all women of the northwest, pop the highest IU you are comfortable with – go 5,000-10,000 daily and I pinkie promise you will notice a difference in a couple of weeks – I started taking 10,000 IU every day years ago and haven’t looked back since).


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So after the clothing/shoes/socks dance Seb and I do every morning, we convinced baby daddy to bike with us into the Hollywood District. I’d read on pdxkidscalendar.com that the new kids shop Small Fry was having a singalong from 10-11am, which gave us just enough time to pop into my favorite café, Nectar Coffee Bar, for bagel sandwiches and coffee. Natasha, the owner, is the cutest ever and since she took over the café space a couple of years ago, I’ve major fan girled over her. Her menu is entirely vegetarian/vegan, her coffee is yummy and her fresh juices and smoothies are super refreshing. Load up on anything and leave feeling like you did something healthy for your insides. I also love that I don’t have to think about what I’m ordering because everything is kid-approved and sharable.

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I love the Hollywood district because it exudes that true old school Portland vibe that I only feel when I’m in that neighborhood or in parts of North Portland. A huge chunk of the buildings are all still owned by one family who have fought against the rapid investor growth happening everywhere else in the city. Plus it’s super walkable and now that there’s a giant Whole Foods, New Seasons and Trader Joes all within blocks of each other, it makes for the best grocery game in town.

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So, bellies full, we went around the corner to Smally Fry, a super clean, modern new and used baby/kid store. The owner greeted every soggy parent and child with a smile and a sticker (and gave away tiny tees!). She was jazzed to introduce the first monthly event by musical duo Micah & Me (https://www.facebook.com/micahandme), two proud stay-at-home dads who play banjo and guitar and sing kid classics. They were joined by their friend Christopher Routly, another full-time father who was super nice and humble (he’s kind of a big deal in the daddy world). [daddydoctrines.com]

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After chatting with the fellas and taking some quick pictures of the shop’s cuteness, we walked across the street to the Hollywood Library, a place Seb gets to go every Tuesday afternoon with grandpa and abuelita for Book Babies (https://multcolib.org/events/book-babies), an adorably educational weekly for littles that involves singing, reading and bubbles. I’d gotten an email that after a two-month wait, a copy of The Marshmallow Test was on hold and I wanted to grab it. Living a life with less need for instant gratification? Umm, yes please. I think the book talks about how to achieve that for yourself and how to parent in that vein. Hoping I make the time to get through it before it’s due back. That and All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood are the two books I really want to get into. [NPR Fresh Air interview with All Joy and No Fun author here : http://www.npr.org/2015/01/30/382428335/are-we-having-fun-yet-new-book-explores-the-paradox-of-parenting]
In addition to these spots, there is Velo Cult bike, coffee and beer shop where you can ponder custom-build bicycles for two, Just 4 Kids consignment boutique and the Hollywood Farmer’s Market, which is so fun in warmer weather. Tons of vendors hocking farm-fresh and prepared foods. This type of thing is Portland at its finest. Hollywoodfarmersmarket.org for all the deets!

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Kiddo Outing – SpielWerk Toys

SpielWerk Toys


SpielWerk Toys

Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm / Sunday 10am-5pm


SpielWerk would probably go under the same category as Powell’s Books, a store that sells things but supplies a kid-friendly port-in-the-storm space where you are welcomed and encouraged to come and kick it, in whatever state of sloppiness or exhaustion you may have found yourself that day. This toy store is delightful and I often feel like I’m in some quaint European city while browsing through their goods, which is exactly what I think the store owners hoped for, as they source many of their items from small studios in Europe. They believe in classic and simple, handcrafted toys that inspire imagination. The first time Seb and I snuck in was to bridge the gap of time between putting in our group number for brunch at Tasty n’ Sons (the outing of which was only made possible by visiting friends – two hour waits for breakfast with an infant on board is not only cruel but should be made illegal. that being said, nothing can fuck with their Potatoes Bravas or their Radicchio salad, which is served in a pre-chilled bowl and is the greatest morning companion to warm eggs and potatoes and a mug of Stumptown coffee, made with several spoonfuls of sugar and fresh cream, which they always have, and is always fresh). I’d walked past the place so many times but never been inside. The whole front area of the shop is an open play space. At the time, they had a cardboard kid house, a mini height-right table filled with stuffs and thingys to play with and a giant wooden loft with a make-believe house and kitchen underneath and a stairway up to the second story, which was enveloped in a gauzy, fairy covering. I got to sit and sip still-warm coffee while Seb did his baby thing with a couple other kiddos. The whole brunch wait time flew by so much more painlessly than ever before and I was so thankfu that the next time I needed to pick up a baby gift, I made it a point to spend my loot there.

Kiddo Outing – OMSI!

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Dad at OMSI

I couldn’t help but feel like we were getting away with a wonderful crime these last few months – the sky was blue, the sun was bright and the usually soggy sidewalks were way too dry. With a non-stop 17-month old munchkin, I can attack the weekdays with all their activities. Between the community centers, libraries, kid-friendly cafes and Church basements, the Monday through Friday block is packed and all moms have to do is show up (“all” gives the illusion that getting out of the house with an infant is easy. ha.). But many of these are closed during the weekend forcing us to fend for ourselves during rainy, chilly weekends. Lately, I’ve been wishing I had set up more inside play dates during the week so that I wouldn’t be last man standing come Saturday. With a small apartment and a cranky Chihuahua who Sebe will go after to take out his pent-up stir-craziness on, we have to get the fuck out the house. We definitely go on bundled walks when all else fails, which is great except when mittens and hats keep getting pulled off. Blue baby hands are not a good look, I’m pretty sure. I know Portland is small and these things are easy to find but maybe there’s one someone didn’t know existed, thus helping salvage a stir-crazy weekend day.

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OMSI

1945 Southeast Water Avenue
(503) 797-4000

omsi.edu

9:30am-5:30pm Tuesday-Sunday

Adults $13 + $5 per parking space

Kiddos 3-13 $9.50

The annual membership is seriously the way to go – you and your baby daddy/partner or any guest plus a kiddo under 3 is $85 a year and comes with free parking. Go just four times and you’ve already paid for it. So. Worth. It.

First Sunday of every month is $2 entry. Go. Spend the whole damn day there!


OMSI is so special. It’s an acronym, standing for Oregon’s Museum of Science & Industry and it’s been around since 1944. I remember when it was housed where the Children’s Museum currently is (see below) and it was rad back then. I also remember watching them build their new digs on the East waterfront and being like, whoah, this is going to be amazing. And it is. The museum boasts permanent and rotating exhibits for bigger kiddos and a gigantic, interactive room for the littles, complete with water, sand, lego, woodland creatures and grocery store areas, plus tons of science-y stuff and a soft baby play corner. They also have a large room for robotics and messy, sticky, wonderful projects like making your own goop. There’s an area for eating, restrooms and water fountains all inside kiddo-land so you never have to leave. Never ever. Oh, and my Dad volunteers once in a while for the bigger kid exhibits. Ask him anything, science-related or not. You’ll get answers.

Uh oh…

Seb & I, blog post 1

Well hello there internets! It’s been several years, pounds, haircuts and poor purchase choices at Goodwill but a lot of shit has gone down and I felt like maybe I wanted to start this mess again. So here we are, mother and child, decked out in handmade and thrifted outfits, just the way I like, circa present day Portland, Oregon (where, I pridefully feel the need to note, is where I was born and raised), just out here trying to function, as the kids would say…

This is Sebe and me. This is also not atypical of any other photo I attempt to take of us but that’s okay because it lovingly feels like life these days; blurry, unsteady and a bit baby obsessed. The kiddo is 17 months old and his mom is…well, a lot older than that. And my birthday was on Sunday, which is just a shitty reminder that time doesn’t stop when you give birth but it should because now I want to live forever, just to be able to see him grow all the way up, to be around for all the good, bad, ugly and really ugly decisions he decides to make, hopefully laughing all the way. Laughing is the best part. Uncontrollable, can’t breathe, cheeks hurt laughter. It’s why we have kids, isn’t it? It’s what makes all the now poop, pee, spit-up, food, food-related, snot and booger stained clothing, home dec items, bedding and generally every object in our apartment, the dog included matter not. one. tiny. bit.

I took this the other day after we magically arrived early at the Laurelhurst Park Studio for a toddler music class (it has taken me these last 17 months but I feel like I’ve gotten getting the hell out the house in a semi-timely manner down now; it’s all about the evening before prep: clothes, cloth diaper and plastic liner that still smells like urine from a hasty hand-washing ready in a pile on bathroom floor, yogurt and applesauce mixed together in a container ready in the fridge, day bag packed with all the unnecessary crap most of us haul around in our purses plus a few books, toys and snacks for Seb ready by the door and my baby daddy’s trusty denim jacket that I have stolen for myself whose pockets are loaded with cell phone, chapstick, car keys and dollar bills for baby gym outings and on the fly mommy coffees). I was kind of hype because while I don’t remember much of anything when I was Seb’s age, I do remember a little later in life when I used to take ballet (and maybe tap?) classes in this studio. So I had one of those, whoah, life, moments as we stood in the empty space and I realized I was holding the next generation, anxious to do with him the numerous mommy & me stuff, at all the same places my Mom used to take my brother and I.

I pulled some photos to back-track the last year and a half because 1) it’s been wild and I want a place I can put photos and write thoughts before too much time has passed and I forget juicy details like what my boobs felt like trying to breastfeed for the first time and 2) I looked bomb as a 9 ½ month pregnant bride in a hand sewn dress and ankle boots and I just want to spread the word.

It actually feels pretty darn awesome writing again. Thanks for hanging out. Let’s get together for a play date soon at Saint Simon and drink decaf vanilla lattes while our wee ones spill stuff all over the floor. Don’t worry, I know the baristas and they’re the nicest ever.