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Front Range Adventure Boot Camp Kicks [My] Bootie

[photopress:biggestloser.gif,full,pp_image]I have survived my first two weeks of boot camp. No, this maple-leaf-pledging Canuck did not join the American troops but I have ventured out on a new kind of workout and weight-loss program. The kind I hope will not only kick butt but will reduce my protruding one.

Do you know those women whose pounds just seem to magically melt away after giving birth? I am not among them. Following my first pregnancy, I lost most of the weight but after baby No. 2, it is still clinging to me like a blood-sucking leech. Too bad they don’t do fat.

I have participated in a number of great mommy and me exercise classes, most of which I highly recommend. But this time, I needed something different; I needed to focus only on myself to get back on track.

Enter: Front Range Adventure Boot Camp for Women. The program originated out of Orange County, CA and is a part of the largest fitness boot camp in the world. Well, daunting Canadian marine corps notwithstanding.

I was thrilled to begin my four-week outdoor fitness program, nutritional counseling and motivational training. As I was leaving for my first day of class, my husband called out,

“Have fun!”
“This is boot camp, Jamie. I am not supposed to have fun.”
“Well, don’t cry, then.”
“That’s better.”

Lemongrass Spa Products Giveaway

Congratulations to Amy F. of Greely, winner of our Little Hands Learning Activity kits!

[photopress:lemongrass_1.jpg,full,pp_image]I have a confession to make: I am addicted to lotion. I almost called it a fetish but such a descriptor conjures up images of perverts who collect women’s underwear.

Though admittedly many of my creams do hail from Victoria’s Secret. Hmmmm….

I recently talked about my need to use lotion umpteen times a day on our mama-to-mama forum. I was soon contacted by Jill Brenehy of Lemongrass Spa Products who introduced me to her female-owned Colorado company that specializes in spa treats. She offered to send me a sample to review. The chance to feed the addiction? Sign me up.

I am extremely picky about what goes onto my skin. I don’t like it too sticky, harsh, clammy or dry. I have tried countless lotions and Lemongrass Spa is now among my favorites. Their products are unique because

Two ways to make a difference!

Do you know a kid who is kind to animals? I don’t, which is precisely why my young children do not yet have any pets.

But for those who do, the American Humane Association is celebrating its 94th annual Be Kind to Animals Week, May 4-10. To highlight the event, American Humane is seeking nominations for kids, ages 6-17, who are working hard in their communities to improve the lives and welfare of animals.

To enter, fill out the nomination form at www.americanhumane.org/bkaw. Nominations must be submitted online or postmarked by April 15. Nominees must be between the ages of six and 17 during the time of nomination. The grand-prize winner and two runners-up will be selected from each of the two age groups and featured on American Humane’s Web site. Grand-prize winners will receive $2,000 in cash, which can be applied toward their causes.

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April is Autism Awareness Month.

That Which Does Not Kill You Makes Them Laugh at You in the Break Room

Have you ever called Poison Control?

When I was pregnant with our first baby, we called. Did I ingest Lysol? Was I overcome with ammonia fumes? Did I take too many prenatal vitamins? No. I ate an apple.

In the process of apple-eating, I accidently bit into several little black seeds which were clustered together. They were bitter and I tried to spit out the acrid taste. The word ARSENIC suddenly sprang to mind. Don’t apple seeds harbor arsenic, the same stuff Cary Grant’s ancient lace-wearing aunts used to put lonely men out of their misery? My unborn baby was inside. I could see the arsenic absorbing into my bloodstream. I envisioned it coursing through my body and into the umbilical cord of my baby. I told hubby what I had done—ingested apple seeds! He seemed unimpressed until I reminded him how apple seeds are little miniature bombs, loaded with nature’s own chemical warfare. I started sobbing.

He still wasn’t properly concerned, until I hysterically demanded he call Poison Control to see what the next step should be. He dialed. I curled into a ball on the couch, convinced I had done something horrible.

I have no idea what the person on the other end of the line looked like. I am pretty sure he or she was digging fingernails into his or her thigh to stop themselves from erupting into convulsive laughter at my expense. The Poison Controller assured hubby that all was well and I hadn’t just poisoned my baby or myself with apple seeds. I don’t think I quite believed it, but eventually I calmed down enough to give birth to her several months later, no harm done.

Whither I goest, my baby will go

The brouhaha of this past week regarding a blogger junket planned by Johnson & Johnson got me thinking about where it’s appropriate to bring a baby, and where it’s not.

Last summer, when I was still pregnant, many of my fellow bloggers brought their babies to the BlogHer conference in Chicago. Some of them used the child care services provided by the conference organizers, but others carried their babies in slings throughout the days (and nights). I wasn’t disturbed by their presence at all, and even held one little guy on my lap while listening to Elizabeth Edwards’ keynote address.

Since Oliver’s birth, I’ve taken him out several times without incident. (Unless you count his bowel movement at Panera that literally echoed off the walls and ceiling.) We even dined with him at Jax Fish House in LoDo on my birthday. He nursed under a cover for most of the meal, then settled into his carseat next to my husband Kyle as I settled into a glass of port. Not a single peep out of him all evening.

And until J&J clarified that their plans for Camp Baby did not in fact include babies, I was planning for his first plane trip, hotel stay, and taxi ride at just over two months old.

But should I have been making those plans? Is it okay to take a relatively portable newborn places that I wouldn’t take a toddler? Or is it my responsibility to my fellow diners, travelers, and conference attendees to find care or else stay at home?

When you know your Easter festivities have sunk to a new low

[photopress:Easterrun.jpg,full,pp_image]You are one of only a few families invited to a friend’s Easter egg hunt where they stuffed about 1,000 eggs and hid them all over their huge backyard.

You know you have sunk to a new low when:

1) A certain father shadows his daughter around the yard. When her bucket is full, instead of quitting like she wants, you convince her to keep hunting and completely fill your jacket full of eggs.

2) You later find your outgoing daughter, stripped down to her panties, sitting on a bed reading a book while her friends play outside.

3) When you hear there are several eggs with $2 bills inside, a certain mother shoves little children aside to shake every single egg, listening for the money.

4) All of the above.

P.S. How was YOUR Easter?

Little Hands Learning Company Easter Giveaway

Congratulations to Jenny R. of Arvada, winner of our Colorado Mountain Mamas membership!

I still remember when I was in the hospital with my firstborn that I was stupefied the hospital staff didn’t check in on me every few minutes. Did they not know I had never even held a newborn before? And those first poops that looked like tar – what were those all about? Where was my manual for it all?

I have felt the same way about my daughter’s education. Though I have her enrolled in a capable preschool and she has graduated from the mind-numbing Teletubbies to the bilingualism of Dora, I often have this nagging feeling that I should be doing more. But beyond the basics of numbers, letters and reading, I have no idea what she needs to know for kindergarten or how to teach it.

[photopress:activity_kit1.jpg,full,pp_image]Then a friend told me about Little Hands Learning Company. Started by Littleton mom Traci Geiser, LHLC provides quarterly or bi-monthly activity kits for children up to age five. Traci has worked in the early childhood education field for more than twenty years and is the author of over twenty published teacher resource books, including the winner of the 2007 Teacher’s Choice Award.

Each kit provides the following:

*Children’s Consignment Sale Update*

I inquired and you delivered! Many Mile High Mamas came forth with even more information on Colorado’s children’s consignment sales. Missed the first round? Click here.

For those not in the know, these consignment extravaganzas feature children’s clothing from newborn to size 12, maternity clothing, car seats, cribs, bedding, feeding supplies, high chairs, potty chairs, bouncy chairs, swings, strollers, toys, books, videos, etc. at a fraction of the cost. Most of the sales have a nominal entrance fee and have half-price deals on the final day.

And did I mention killer deals?

So. forward this link to your friends and make a day – or month – out of hitting the following sales together….

Mama Blogger of the Month!

[photopress:presnals_2.jpg,full,pp_image]Our Mama Blogger of the Month does not blog in her native language, has lived in more countries with her family than most people have visited in their lifetime and currently runs a popular online store for children. Meet Katja of Skimbaco, our Mama Blogger of the Month!

1) How did you and your husband meet? Is he Finnish as well?

My husband and I met in Frankfurt, Germany, over ten years ago. Matt is from Austin, Texas and he was in the military and stationed in Germany for six months. I was an engineering student, and taking a year off my college in Finland, and studying German in Frankfurt. We dated only for one month in Germany, and I came to the United States a few months after Matt left Germany. It was like in the movies – farewells at the railway stations and international airports, and we finally got married in Alabama after 10 months since we had met. We got married on Matt’s lunch break from the flight school – I had a white dress, everybody else had the pilot’s green uniform, like in Top Gun.

I Had My Children To Ruin Your Pleasant Dining Experience

It was my husband’s birthday, so we decided to celebrate by taking our family out to lunch at a downtown Denver restaurant famous for their dairy-based desserts. Our six kids were very well-behaved, and one of our fellow diners complimented me when I stood to take our toddler daughter to the bathroom.

I thanked the woman. Then she said, “Do you beat your children?”

The look on my face prompted her to add that she was just joking. But I didn’t believe her. It was a little too late and a little too brusque.

We are used to people asking to change tables in restaurants if they are seated near us – even when we are at “family friendly” places. We’ve watched entire tables rise, move their drinks, napkins, bread plates, and menus before we’ve cracked open the menu. We’ve witnessed waitstaff arguing over who has to take our table, not knowing we are really, really good tippers because we require a little more attention. I’ve often left tips and thought of the scene in Pretty Woman when Vivian goes back to the store that snubbed her to tell them they made a big mistake. Big.