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CSI: Suburban Denver

My son Ryley approached me one recent evening as I reclined on the couch. The look on his face told me he had Big News: “Mom, I have something very important to tell you.”

Okay.

“There is a mountain lion at school.”

“There is? How do you know?” I was taken aback, expecting his important news to feature something scandalous one of his siblings just did, like shamelessly eating his blueberry yogurt while using my wedding gown for a picnic blanket.

My Christmas Wish List

(Editor’s Note: Join us in welcoming guest blogger Jenn Starbuck who is slowly being converted from the world of print journalism to blogging.)

I’m cranky and it’s just barely Christmas season.

Well, I guess in today’s world the festivities begin the day after Halloween, with the stringed lights, nativity scenes and tree lots going up almost as soon as I put out my jack-o-lanterns.

Yes, I was that one mother you saw on Halloween morning, with kids in tow, searching from one store to the next for pumpkins. After three retailers, I ended up at a local nursery eyeballing a half-dozen shriveled, pint-sized gourds. We took four of them home and carved our wimpy family just in time for trick-or-treating.

After that slacker-mom experience, I vowed to get my Christmas gift-buying done by Thanksgiving. But there goes the crankiness again.

I’ve got girlfriends who have been ready for weeks now, so what’s wrong with me? I’ll tell you.

Baby Candy Christmas Onesies Giveaway

Congratulations to Lesha Anderson who won our Santa Correspondence Kit!

We have two other fantastic giveaways:

1) A Family Four-Pack of tickets for Disney on Ice – Princess Wishes (see sidebar for entry details).

2) Baby Candy’s delicious Christmas onesies, “Dear Santa” and “Sugar Daddy.”

Another One Bites the Dust

Kyra, my two-year-old, recently attended a day care where you were considered an over-the-hill parent at 25, where everyone (disabled or not) parked in the disabled parking spaces, left their Hummers humming, and allowed rappers named after pocket change to cascade freely through their open windows. Sure, it wasn’t ideal, but we probably could have been more tolerant had it not been for the fact my two-year-old’s older sister was enrolled in another day care, one more conveniently located, one whose staff would use the word “profession” to describe their line of work, as opposed to the dreaded JOB.

The reason that Kyra wasn’t at the same day care with Emma was because of their policy to only take children who are fully potty-trained. Something that Kyra was not. So, in an effort to reunite her with Emma and keep my nerves from imploding, we diligently worked on the potty training.

In all regards, Kyra seemed ready. She could differentiate between underwear and a diaper. And, whether it was true or not, she would hop out of bed and announce, “I have to go potty!” Just as emphatically, she would yell “All done!” at the appropriate time as well. She wiped. She flushed. She pulled up underpants and wave goodbye to the water. All systems were go

Desperately Seeking Presents That Won’t Be Recalled in 6 Months… and Some Holiday Spirit

Anyone else sick of sorting through the bin and taking toys away from their children because of safety concerns? My favorite was the Aqua Dots fiasco, where the little pellets were filled with the date rape drug GHB. How does a DATE RAPE drug get into our toys? I mean, a Stoli martini maybe… but little plastic balls that you glue together with water?

I admit I find myself at a bit of loss this holiday season.

I took the Buy Handmade Pledge, and have been doing some searching on Etsy, but I have a general malaise I can’t shake. Why do I have to run around franticly from the day after Thanksgiving until December 24th, buying stuff, stuff, STUFF? And trust me, it’s not so much the consumerism that bugs me, it’s the consumerism crammed into 30 days, where I am supposed to find the perfect gift for the perfect price for the perfect person and wrap it perfectly and then in my case, ship it cross country because my whole family lives on the east coast, so then I really only have 3 weeks to get all this done counting shipping time and why am I bothering because they all have everything they need ANYWAY.

{Sigh.}

Black Friday’s “Blowout”

I am unsure how Black Friday even got started. It was probably some raging psychopath who thought it would be fun to use bargain hunters and desperate toy-seeking parents as puppets. Plan a shopping spree in the middle of the night after people have devoured inordinate amounts of sleep-inducing hormones from their turkey? Sounds like fun!

My hubby was among them. The insane, that is.

The reason he went shopping was not because of any particular sale but because we cannot sleep past 6 a.m. (an illness exasperated by the recent time change). Even though I was awake at 4:45 a.m., I let him brave the crowds while I stayed home to watch the kids and obsessively write my Christmas cards.

Because the world will come to an end if my Christmas newsletter is not post-marked by December 1st.

Let the Games Giving Begin!

The turkey and pumpkin pies have been successfully devoured. We now turn our attentions (and stomachs) to the glories of eggnog, gingerbread and even more gluttony as the weight-loss centers devise their New Year’s repentance campaigns.

Here at Mile High Mamas, we are givers. And takers.

We have some fantastic giveaways lined up for your enjoyment these next few weeks. Giveaways that will whisk you away to the land of Princesses on Ice, dancing nutcrackers, live Santa telegrams, BabyCandy’s delicious holiday onsies and today, Santa’s Little Helper – A Children’s Christmas Correspondence Kit.

A Blogspot Book

After our twin boys were born in Boston, my husband and I moved back to Florida, primarily so I could stay home with my children. And also so my mother could provide free babysitting every weekend. For life.

Ten minutes into my new gig, I realized the key to emotional happiness and domestic bliss was simple. I had to turn off the television.

Commercials kill a new mom’s self-esteem. Viewers are either bombarded with ways to earn a degree from home or endlessly urged to call now if hurt in an auto accident.

Between commercials, trying to find missing socks, and getting babies to appreciate Mozart – no wonder full-time moms start drinking in the afternoon.

That’s why I decided to write.

Happy Thanksgiving!

[photopress:peacock.jpg,full,pp_image]Enjoy your Turkey Day!

XOXO

The Mamas

Editor’s note: I realize baby Maddie is dressed as a peacock. But you try finding a cute picture of a kid dressed up as a soon-to-be-overstuffed slab of meat.

A Family Who Bags Together, Learns Together

I completely abhor raking leaves. It comes from growing up in Maryland, where there are a LOT of leaves, and a LOT of wet, gooey leaves. In fact, when Bryan asked me to marry him, I said yes only on the condition that I would NEVER have to rake another leaf again. And Bryan had held true to that promise for the most part.

Except here in Colorado, we have lovely, dry, crunchy leaves. So I actually pitch in every once in a while. Every ONCE in a GREAT while.

And now we have a 5-year-old minion to do our bidding.

So the boys did a bunch of raking this weekend. And bagging. And raking. And bagging. And I yelled “woo hoo!” from the porch.

Until we had a gigantic pile of bagged leaves sitting on the front lawn. Declan was amazed at how many bags we had from our little yard. (So were we.)