Play Room. February 2016

Natty night-lights, Manzanita when it’s stormy and talking style with Beanstalk’s owner.

Take Five: Carmen Ripley Wilson
Getaway: Manzanita
TOP 5…Birthday Cake Bakeries
Pay Attention:
Apps We Love: Page-to-Screen
We Recommend:
Gear Guide: Light the Night
Good Deeds: Blanky Fix
Playlist: It’s a Hoot
Chalkboard: Parks and Recreation
Ask Dr. Corey

Take Five: Carmen Ripley Wilson

Carmen Ripley Wilson, mom to 7-year-old Zephir, opened Beanstalk children’s resale on Northeast Fremont in 2012. It fulfilled her passions to help others and live sustainably — and quickly became a go-to spot for neighborhood families. Ripley Wilson recently opened a second storefront in the Montavilla neighborhood. Here she talks spring must-haves and the joys of having a bigger storefront.

Playroom-Feb16-Take_5-2Q: What’s the hottest-selling resale item of the spring?

A: Shoes! KEEN sandals are amongst our top sellers every year. These versatile shoes are easy for kids to put on themselves and they can run through mud, water, etc. They’re easy to clean, quick to dry and are very durable.

Q: What are some of your favorite kid clothing brands and why?

A: There are a lot of great brands we like for different reasons. Mini Boden, Tea Collection, Hanna Anderson, Naartjie and Peek are probably our most popular clothing brands; they offer great quality pieces in fun patterns and colors. Patagonia is a favorite for outerwear. REI raincoats and rain pants are a must-have in Portland. See Kai Run shoes have nice soft soled options for a beginner walker and also carry more sturdy styles for your little runner. Their shoes are designed with a nice wide toe box and are flexible, allowing for proper, healthy foot development.

Q: Do you carry any local designers or toymakers?

A: We love to support local artisans and we carry a number of new items made in Portland: Lofty Poppy fleece hats kids love to wear, Gannet & Sage bibs, changing pads and wash cloths, Tutu Cute tutus, wings and barrettes, and Ah! Natural Baby handcrafted wooden teething rings, blocks and toys.

Q: What items should parents never buy brand new?

A: Baby gear (high chairs, strollers, carriers, swings, etc.) can be so expensive to purchase new, so it just makes sense to find them gently used.

Q: What new features does the Montavilla store have that the Fremont location does not?

A: Space! The Montavilla location is triple the size of our NE Fremont location, so we have more room to accommodate items. The Montavilla shop carries clothing up to size 14 youth. It features a play area to keep kids entertained while parents shop, a gear room featuring baby and parenting essentials, a dressing room and a designated area to host weekly events.

— Denise Castañon

Getaway: Manzanita

Sun, sand and surf in Manzanita.

Sun, sand and surf in Manzanita.

This tucked-away town on the Oregon Coast is a no-brainer destination in the summertime. But in the winter, it’s easily overlooked – and it shouldn’t be. Head out there this month (Manzanita is about an hour and 35 minute drive from Portland, via US 26 and 101) and you might have the town’s long, lovely stretch of beach almost to yourself for walks, starfish spotting and Oregon jade beachcombing. The beach is at the end of Laneda Avenue, the main drag, which has a pocket-sized independent bookstore called Cloud & Leaf, with a snug kids’ section. When you’re done browsing, go find one of the best breakfast/lunch spots on the entire coast, Bread & Ocean Bakery. (Get there earlyish on a Sunday morning to make sure you get a cinnamon roll before they sell out.) Hardier kids should be up for the 1,400-foot climb to the top of nearby Neahkahnie Mountain for amazing views over the Pacific, as far north as Cannon Beach and as far south as Wheeler. Pro tip: Try to go with friends and do a car shuttle, so that you don’t have to hike a mile up busy highway 101 to complete the loop. At night, feast on pizza from Marzano’s and rest your head in one of the modern homes kitted out by the folks at Coast Cabins (CoastCabins.com) – stay for two nights to get special winter discount rates. Or check out the simple, friendly rooms at the Sunset Surf motel, some of which come with kitchens.

—Julia Silverman

TOP 5…Birthday Cake Bakeries

Playroom-Feb16-BirthdayCake➊ Devotees of the late, lamented Two Tarts Bakery will love its spin-off, the elegant and delicious Palace Cakes, downtown.
➋ Fans of Baker & Spice call The Cakery in Hillsdale their go-to location for special occasion cakes.
➌ Anja Spence, the master baker at Miss Zumstein’s in Cully also makes terrific fancy animal crackers.
➍ Order a cake from old-school, St. Johns gem Tulip Pastry Shop, but get a few doughnuts, too.
➎ Gluten-free Kyra’s Bake Shop in Lake O is a Food Network fave.

Pay Attention:

Playroom-Feb16-SalemCapitolOregon’s lawmakers head back to Salem this month for a brief legislative session — kind of like the difference between getting a quick check-up and a full physical (that comes during their 6-month session in 2017.) But that doesn’t mean there won’t be fireworks. The fragile truce between labor unions and big business in Oregon is showing signs of fraying at the seams. An alliance of unions wants to put a measure on the November ballot to raise big corporate taxes to the tune of more than $2.65 billion per year. Their opponents are gearing up to fight back, and might sponsor a measure that would make paying union dues voluntary (which, in turn, would give union-backed groups way less financial muscle). Lawmakers are under pressure to negotiate a truce during the February session — while grappling with other key issues, including a potential rise in Oregon’s minimum wage keyed to the cost of living in different parts of the state. It all matters for families because almost half of Oregon’s statewide budget goes to fund education, from pre-K programs all the way to the university system. In other words, any and all of these fights could have some serious fall-out for the state’s bottom line.

— J.S.

Apps We Love: Page-to-Screen

Turns out, good design isn’t just for coffee table books anymore. Many of our favorite kid author/illustrators are putting out books that are as cool to look at as they are fun to read. Your mod kiddos can extend the fun with these interactive apps from some of the best in the bookstore aisles.

PlayRoom-AppsWeLove-PressHerePress Here: The App
French author Herve Tullet caused a splash a few years ago with his Press Here book, which encouraged kids to poke and prod at a book (and giggle at the turn-the-page results). The app is a natural extension, and is full of imaginative embellishments — press here, and it starts to rain; press again, and it’s a monsoon. $5.99 for iPhone, iPad.

Playroom-Feb16-AppsWeLove-MoontheGoPigeon Presents: Mo on the Go
We’re big Mo Willems fans around here, and this app collects the most beloved characters from his brilliantly drawn books into one great app. Boogie down with Elephant and Piggie, make a Knuffle Bunny inspired photo collage and above all, don’t let that tricky pigeon drive the bus. $3.99. iPhone, iPad, Nook HD.

Playroom-Feb16-AppsWeLove-CharlieAndLola2Charlie and Lola: My Little Town
We would like to move into the bright, modern, cool Britannia world inhabited by the unquenchable Lola and her long-suffering big brother, Charlie. The next best thing is this app, which lets kids dive into author/illustrator Lauren Child’s world, building buildings, composing music and dressing up Charlie and Lola, plus their pals Marv and Lotta. Compatible with Apple, Android and Amazon devices. $3.99.

— J.S.

We Recommend:

Playroom-Feb16-WeRecommendForget Netflix. Pick up The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez – the 2016 selection of the very cool Everybody Reads program at Multnomah County Library.

It’s like a book club, but for the whole city.

– J.S.

Gear Guide: Light the Night

Look, there could be monsters under the bed. Or something spooky in the closet. Sometimes, a kid just needs a night-light — so why not get him a cute one? Here are our picks for the best night-lights to help your littles slumber in peace.

Playroom-Feb16-GearGuideOKtoWake1OK to Wake Clock:
Back in the day, our kids somehow thought that 5:15 am was a totally acceptable time to leap out of bed and demand their breakfast. Then we found this ingenious combo clock/night light, which not only casts an unobtrusive glow over the room at night, but can be programmed to turn green in the morning when it is “okay” to get out of bed. And somehow, the clock’s word is law: Our kids used to lie in bed with their eyes on the clock, and as soon as it changed color at 7 am, we’d hear “Green! Green! Green!” and they’d come scampering down the hall. $32.99. amazon.com

Playroom-Feb16-GearGuide-KindergloTRexKinderglo Tyrannosaurus Night-Light:
Dino-loving kids (and their grown-ups) will dig this simple night-light, which changes color at the touch of a button to red, green or blue — and will automatically dim after 30 minutes, by which time the kid will (hopefully) be asleep. It’s also rechargeable, portable and BPA and lead free. Not a dino fan? The company makes dragon, hippo, owl and elephant shaped versions, too. $24.95. Amazon.com and Babies ‘R Us (9650 SE 82nd Avenue).

Playroom-Feb16-GearGuide-TwilightTurtle_Classic_PRODTwilight Turtle:
A popular baby shower gift, the cuddly Twilight Turtle has a hard shell through which a constellation of night stars is projected onto the ceiling. The lights can glow in green, blue and amber, and will automatically shut off after 45 minutes, so that it will be dark during your child’s deepest sleep periods. Bonus: Actual constellations have been recreated, so your kid can find the Big Dipper and Ursa Major on her own ceiling. $31.95. Piccolo Mondo (4768 Bethany Blvd. and 12345 SW Horizon Blvd., Beaverton) and Kazoodles (13503 SE Mill Plain Blvd. Vancouver) and Amazon.com.

– J.S.

Good Deeds: Blanky Fix

Playroom-Feb16-Good_Deeds-2Lots of littles find comfort in a lovey. And Susan Finch of Beaverton wanted to spread some of that comfort around when she started Binky Patrol 20 years ago. The nonprofit group makes, gathers and distributes blanket to kids in hospitals, homeless shelters and foster care — they basically want to reach any kid going through a tough time. Finch also wanted it to be easy for volunteers to help children, so Binky Patrol has very little in the way of rules. Blankets can be sewn, knit, crocheted or simply cut from fleece. While Binky Patrol started in Oregon, the group now has chapters around the nation. The group also hosts a few “Bink-a-thons” a year, a set time when many volunteers get together to create as many blankets as they can in one day. Kids are welcome to come, too. And their website also features kid-friendly, no-sew patterns that can be done at home. Visit binkypatrol.org to find out more.

– D.C.

Playlist: It’s a Hoot

Raffi.

Playroom-Feb16-PlaylistHe’s been around since you were a kid. And I think I know the reason. His voice is like vocally transmitted melatonin. I admit, I was not a fan — until I started playing his new CD, Owl Singalong, in the minivan while shuttling the kids around. If my toddler was in huff or my 11-month old who HATES the car was crying — it all magically melted away. My daughter would start singing along. And the baby would almost always be out cold by the fourth track. I don’t have to tell you how priceless that is. And after only hearing the CD a few times my daughter started singing I’m Not Small unprompted. Our other favorite tracks include Raffi’s cover of Pete Seeger’s Garden Song, Dog on the Bus, Somos El Barco and Lion Pokey — the fact that he’s singing in a lion voice never fails to charm and thrill my daughter. Looks like I’ll be loading up on Raffi albums at the iTunes store.

– D.C.

Chalkboard: Parks and Recreation

Feb16_Chalkboard-Parks and RecIt’s hard to remember on the umpteenth day of winter rain, but living in the Pacific Northwest has its perks. And a big one is that we live within driving distance of some of the most beautiful places on earth, places that people from other parts of the country can only envy. But taking care of these mountain ranges, rushing rivers and serene lakes comes with a price tag, and costs are climbing. Planning on taking the kids to Crater Lake this summer? Be prepared to pay a $15 entrance fee to check out Oregon’s only national park, and take note that in another two years, it will be $25 per visit. Similar fee increases are playing out at national parks around the region, from Olympic National Park in Washington to Lewis & Clark National Historical Park in Astoria. So where does the money go? Mostly, straight back to the park you’re visiting, to fix old roads and buildings and infrastructure that’s just plain out of date. A portion of the money will be sent to help with upkeep in national preserves that don’t charge any admission fees at all, like the John Day Fossil Beds in eastern Oregon, which includes the indescribably lovely Painted Hills National Monument. Fee hikes haven’t kept people from visiting the national parks; visitor levels reached record highs in 2015. And there are some deals out there. The Obama administration’s Every Kid in a Park initiative is offering FREE national parks admission to all fourth graders and their families, through August 31 — find more info at everykidinapark.gov. Meanwhile, the National Parks Service turns 100 years old this year, and is celebrating with 16 free admission days, including April 16-24 and again August 25-28. See you on the trail!

— J.S.

 

Ask Dr. Corey

Q: My son has terrible separation anxiety – every time I drop him off at preschool, he cries and cries, and breaks my heart, even though it’s a great school with kind teachers. Any suggestions? Is this a harbinger of a more severe emotional problem?

A: As a parent or caregiver, seeing someone you love in emotional distress can be heart-breaking.

Most developmental experts agree (and so do I) that separation anxiety — defined as anxiety in your child when they are apart from you — is not only completely normal, but the result of deeply rooted and complex evolutionary biology. In fact, separation anxiety likely contributes to normal brain and emotional development in children.

Generally separation anxiety can begin in infancy and continue as long as age 5 or 6. This is entirely different than the far-more-rare separation anxiety disorder, an extreme version which lingers as a child ages.

So what can you do about it?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there are a few tips to help ease transitions.

The first is to keep goodbyes short, sweet and consistent. Be kind, but don’t drag out that goodbye hug, as this will only serve to worsen the anxiety of your child.

Second, teach your child that you will return when you say you will. This will help give them confidence that they can handle things without you AND that they can trust you. Also, phrase your return time in a developmentally appropriate manner such as “after snack,” instead of “2 o’clock.”

Third, during goodbye time, make sure your child has your undivided attention. Don’t think about your work meeting, check your personal device, send out a tweet, or otherwise divert your focus. Practice mindfulness and be in the moment. It’s going to be short and sweet anyway, right?!

There are also some interesting things you can do that may help minimize separation anxiety before it even starts.

A 2015 study by Canadian researchers looked at maternal and childhood factors which predict higher levels of separation anxiety and risk for separation anxiety disorder. Factors such as maternal smoking, maternal depression, co-sleeping, and childhood sleep less than 6 hours consecutively at night (at an age where this would be reasonable and expected) were all linked with higher levels of separation anxiety.

In the end, most separation anxiety is completely normal and you should not feel as if you are doing something wrong if your child cries when you drop them off at daycare — or anywhere else for that matter. And remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to drop them with the grandparents or a babysitter for a few hours.

Dr. Corey Fish, a Pacific Northwest native and graduate of the University of Washington School of Medicine, is a pediatrician at Sellwood Medical Clinic. When he is not at work, he likes backcountry skiing with his wife and their border collie/Australian shepherd mix, and playing his guitar. Got a question for Dr. Corey? Get in touch at editor(at)metro-parent.com and we’ll pass it along.

PDX Parent Staff
PDX Parent Staff

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