Tag Archives: Portland Oregon

I Went to a Parenting Conference So Now I Know Everything

I hate going to conferences. While I’m there I usually want to poke my eyes out with a fork. That’s probably because “experts” aren’t always great presenters.

But on Saturday I went to the Parent Child Preschools Organization’s Building Lifelong Learners conference. Though based on my session selections, it should have been called Clinging to Your Sanity. (I went to “Challenging Behaviors I,” “Challenging Behaviors II,” and “Success with Siblings.”)

K-Pants has been having more tantrums lately. Baby Woww learned to scream. And if I’m not being hit, then they’re probably hitting each other. It’s not really that bad. Sometimes they pull each others’ hair.

Truly I have very easygoing kids who are generally well-behaved at preschool, for grandparents, and at other people’s houses, but I’m with them a lot of the time, and, well, momma needs some new strategies.

So I packed all the gourmet food I could find in my house and headed to a conference on Saturday at 8 a.m.

It was easier to leave after Baby Woww threw a jar of peanut butter on my toes in the midst of a fit that seemed like it might last all day.

Bye, Honey! Did I mention that I signed up for two afternoon sessions– Happy Hour I and Happy Hour II? I’ll be back late.

I wish. But you know what, I had a great presenter (the same woman, Lynn Collins) for all sessions.

Here’s my main takeaway: I’m doing a good job. And so are you.

We all try to be consistent and stick to our guns. We try to keep our kids safe and find positive ways for them to play. We feed them, show them they’re loved, read to them, and look out for their general well-being.

Even though we’d all like for the cameras to pan in on our parenting at any time and find us in the midst of another amazing moment of positive discipline, that ain’t always happening. And that’s okay.

Lynn said that about 10% of our parenting is filled with the amazing, teachable moments we strive for; 80% is us getting by, trying to make sure our kids are doing well and the rules haven’t been thrown out the window; and the other 10% is when dragon-parent comes out.

(Lately Dragon Lady had been making more of an appearance at our house, which is why I was there.)

I’m not sure that this parenting breakdown is what Lynn wanted to be my biggest takeaway–she said it as kind of an aside–but I’m pretty sure her goal was to empower us as parents. And I feel good knowing that I’m doing okay.


am excited to share some more specific ideas for the benefit of friends who had wanted to attend, especially from “Success with Siblings,” which I found to be the most useful. In the meantime, here’s to you!

Portland Rose Garden Guest Post

I love connecting with Pacific Northwest bloggers!

Have you met Brenna over at Almost All The Truth? She’s a green-living blogger in Oregon. Today I’m guest-posting on her blog!

Check out my photo diary about rediscovering the Portland International Rose Test Garden through the magic of a toddler. 

Visiting Oregon: Choose Your Own Adventure

Coming to visit Oregon sometime before the next rapture sucks us all up to Heaven? Here’s a photo list of some of the places you might go. (Let your mouse linger on the photo to see where it’s from.)

If you need motivation, hopefully these pics will make you say, “I want to go to there!”


West Portland, the ‘Burbs, & Wine Country

Columbia River Gorge

Oregon Coast

Now you just have to let me know where you want to go!

*Note: If you are from Oregon or have visited, I’d love to post a pic of your favorite spot in the Pacific Northwest! Get in touch or post a comment.


Photos can be used for non-commercial/non-promotional purposes. Please credit to Evelyn Shoop, 2011.

We’re Heading West!

The grass is always greener on the other side, right? I’ve been down on New York for a few months now. It’s lost its luster. Walking down the street, I used to think, “I live here! Can you believe it!?” Now, when I’m down in Midtown I think, “Can’t I just get a hotel and pretend I’m a tourist? Do I really have to get on the subway and go home?”

The subway system is a cruel joke on thinking individuals. The MTA recently put up signs intended to improve rider confidence:

Instead of waiting until everything in a station is broken, now we fix something right when it breaks.

Which Mercedes-driving MTA executive got that brilliant idea one morning and sent it to the PR team? “Tell them we’ll fix things right when they need fixing! It’s cutting edge! They’ll eat that sh*& up!”

But it’s really not the city that’s changed, it’s me of course.

I used to weather subway delays because I had a good book or The New Yorker. Now I have a squirming toddler who’s trying to lick the subway poles and hold a screaming contest. Instead of being able to skip up the subway stairs, I have to carry the toddler and stroller sherpa-style.

So we’ve been thinking about a move for a little while.

Our immediate families aren’t in New York, so we cast our net out to our family hubs. We looked online at all the space we could get. And that same excitement that we had when we sold our cars to rely on public transit is back, but in the opposite direction. I can’t wait to have wheels again so I can drive to Trader Joe’s anytime I want. I can fill my cart with blue cheese and gouda and not worry about having to carry it home with the toddler, relying only on my biceps for support.

So here’s the BIG NEWS that is rocking our world: this big-city family is packing everything onto a covered wagon and hitting the Oregon Trail.

We are moving to Portland, OR! Next week!

Hopefully we won’t get cholera along the way. I also hear the winter is a bad time to cross the Rockies in a wagon train.

I’m not sure what the change in scenery will mean for me. Will I be nicer? Less sarcastic? Will I stop running people over with the stroller? I’m going to try my hardest not to get into any knife fights during the first few months of big city detox.

In the meantime, please send some good vibes thissa-way. Momsicle’s going to be on hiatus until February, when it will come back slightly schizophrenic, full of cheese, and wearing Birkenstocks with socks.

Bon voyage!