State of the Young Child to be held on St. Patrick’s Day

There’s not much time left to register for this Thursday’s State of the Young Child luncheon and symposium in Missoula. Yes, this Thursday is St. Patrick’s Day, too. So wear something green to the luncheon.

This year will mark the sixth annual such gathering hosted by the Healthy Start Council of the Missoula Forum for Children and Youth in the Missoula County Office of Planning and Grants. The public – and especially parents – is encouraged to attend the very affordably priced event (it’s just $5 per parent, $7.25 for others; and free childcare is available on a limited basis).

For your money, you get lunch and the words of Montana Kids Count research analyst Thale Dillon; Missoula County Public Schools’ Carol Ewen, who will be talking about the literacy readiness of incoming kindergartners; parent and inspirational speaker Karen Marsolek of Made You Think LLC; and Richard Manning, a research associate in childhood trauma at the University of Montana’s Institute for Educational Research and Services and the National Native Children’s Trauma Center.

It’s all taking place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. this Thursday, March 17, at the City Life Teen Center, located at 1515 Fairview Ave. For more information call Susan Barmeyer at the Healthy Start Council at 721-3000 ext. 1022 or e-mail

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Know who loves butterflies and insects? Kids!

When my daughter was 3 I took her to California to visit my sister, and we all spent a day at the San Fransisco Zoo. And it was like, wow. If my daughter wasn’t an animal-lover before that, she sure was afterward. We were there ALL DAY, lingering for hours over every exhibit.

And the place Willow wanted to linger the longest was the Insect House. Seriously, the zoo keepers had to kick us out of there at closing time. My daughter was fascinated by the butterflies, the moths, the beetles, the centipedes and even the American cockroach exhibit.

ButterfliesWhich is why I have to cheer on biologist Jen Marangelo in her quest to open a Butterfly House and Insectarium in Missoula. Hooray for Jen Marangelo!

To learn more, or find out how to donate to the Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium capital campaign, visit or call (406) 543-1478.

AND, take note that on April 23, the third annual Spring Hullabaloo, hosted by the Neuro Networking Club, will include an art auction – with proceeds going to the butterfly house! The “carnival-like event for children of all ages” will take place from 1-3 p.m. at the University Center Ballroom.

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Missoula moms talk shop on the radio tonight

The YWCA‘s Jen Euell (a new mom), invited Mamalode founder and publisher (and mom extraordinaire) Elke Govertsen, and yours truly, to talk about motherhood and media for the In Other Words radio show on KUFM tonight.

So if you happen to find yourself conscious and near a radio at 10:30 p.m., tune in to Montana Public Radio and listen to three Missoula moms talk about community, connection and the bonds of parenting.

– MM

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Women, women everywhere

March is Women’s History Month, March 8 is International Women’s Day and tomorrow, March 6, is the day of Missoula’s third annual Women’s Fair.

The free event is open to all ages and offers a variety of exhibitions, booths, activities and other entertainment “covering every aspect of a woman’s life,” according to the Web site. Oh, and did I mention the bachelor bid?

There’s also a “Baby Sitter Speed Dating” thing happening, which sounds like it works just like other speed dating operations only it’s aimed at matching parents with potential babysitters.

Check out the Web site for more info, or better yet, just show up at the University of Montana Ballroom on the third floor of the University Center between the hours of 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and see for yourself.

– MM

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PLAY Network hosting open house tonight

Just a reminder: The open house for the new PLAY Network in Missoula is tonight, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Children’s Museum. The Children’s Museum is located at 225 W. Front St. The open house is free!

Here’s the info from the invite:

“This event is a wonderful time to meet current members and find out more about the PLAY Network, a part of Families First. The Open House will be catered by Organic Sprouts. We will also have door prizes including birthday parties from Wingate Inn and Bitterroot Gymnastics, a massage from a local massage therapist, gift certificates from Jaker’s and Bernice’s Bakery, toys, and much, much more!

“The PLAY Network is parents and caregivers volunteering to create a community of mutual support, learning, and fun for children and families in Western Montana. The PLAY Network offers playgroups and activities fwr families. Visit the Open House to learn more about joining! Call 406-541-PLAY for additional information.”

Go! Have fun!

– MM

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Here’s the link to the Missoula Mama listserve

An earlier post that mentioned Traci Rasmusson’s listserve neglected to include the link to the site. Here it is, in a post all its own:

The first page of the site gives the run-down on what the Missoula Mama Group (MMG) is all about:

“- sharing information about child related events in Missoula area
– sharing information about child related lessons in Missoula area
– buying and selling child related items (no commercial vendors please)
– inviting other members to meet at child related events
– arranging playdates or childcare exchanges
– asking questions related to children and parenting”

So go check it out!

– MM

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