This is the year I draw a birthday line in the sand. For years, I’ve been one of those parents who goes a little overboard for my twins’ birthday. We’ve had parties at our (fairly small) house, with babies and their parents perched on every available surface, parties at local pumpkin patches where toddlers wheeled through the corn mazes and teased for pony rides, outdoorsy lunchtime parties where I lugged along vats of homemade soup to feed everyone in drizzly October weather, righteously refusing to take the easy way out and order the pizza that the kids would surely have preferred. It’s always been a “the more the merrier” kind of affair, with invitations issued to everyone in their preschool class, piles of presents collected from all the guests despite my coy protest of “no gifts necessary!”, and homemade cupcakes dutifully presented. (Well. At least until I realized that they always came out pretty dry, and decided to spring for the delicious ones from Le Cookie Monkey in NW Portland instead.)
It stops now, though. This year, the kids will be six, and just as A.A. Milne put it, they think they are “clever as clever.” So they each get to pick six friends to invite, and that’s it. We will not go bananas with the presents. And I’m getting pizza. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it … but if I were going to backslide, I’d use our handmade birthdays feature as my go-to guide. It’s just one of the fun, local stories that you’ll find in this month’s issue of MP, along with a great DIY art project from Vibe of Portland, and the debut of both our new real estate and family finance columns. Now get reading, and don’t forget to blow out those birthday candles in one go, so everyone’s wishes will come true.
— Julia Silverman
Top kid-friendly coffee shops, plus a Gorge getaway.
Two PDX-area moms take our editor through their from-scratch kiddo birthday parties.
Sustainable budgeting, the Portland way.
Moving To … Milwaukie
Metro Parent’s inaugural real-estate column looks at the market in this up-and-coming burg.
First Person: Baby Steps
Our new columnist, Catherine Ryan Gregory, on learning to love her epidural.
Vibe of Portland’s got the blueprint for an easy, at-home, messy art marbling project.
Paleo bites, fit for small fry, at Cultured Caveman in NoPo.
New Seasons nutritionist Christi Reed shares lunch box-friendly recipes.
PDX’s best September activities, from consignment sales to square dancing.
Portland in pictures.
Our adorable cover subject, Koa Moreira, all decked out for his first birthday celebration. Local photographers Chris and Kathy Schreiber of Vancouver, Wash.- based Rusty Aperture Photography took this great shot at Mount Tabor Park on June 21, 2014.
Click the cover image to see a digital PDF of the complete Metro Parent September 2014 issue.
Correction: In our August issue, we mistakenly said that our Take 4 interview subject, Leanne Littrell DiLorenzo, had been a legislative staffer. In fact, she was a campaign manager. MP regrets the error.