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Is your child’s sunscreen doing more harm than good?

Amy (aka Crunchy Domestic Goddess) is a guest blogger, wife and mother of two who lives outside of Denver. Passionate about attachment parenting, informed birth choices, green living and photography, Amy is trying to change the world, one blog post at a time. Her blog is Crunchy Domestic Goddess.

Spring is in the air here in Colorado and now is an excellent time to reevaluate your child’s sun protection for the summer months ahead.

The Centers for Disease Control recently came out with some bad news for nearly all Americans who use sunscreen. A recent study shows one of the commonly used ingredients in most sunscreens (for adults, children as well as babies), a chemical called oxybenzone, has been linked to allergies, hormone disruption, and cell damage. In fact according to the study, 97% of Americans are contaminated with this chemical. Another study has showed oxybenzone is linked to low birth weight in baby girls whose mothers are exposed during pregnancy. Also worth noting is “oxybenzone is also a penetration enhancer, a chemical that helps other chemicals penetrate the skin.”

Boy in the sunNo FDA regulations
The last time the Food and Drug Administration reviewed the safety of oxybenzone was in the 1970s. It republished its evaluation in 1978, and announced plans to develop comprehensive standards for sunscreen safety and effectiveness. However, it’s been 30 years now and the Agency has yet to issue final regulations. “Instead, it encourages manufacturers

Birthday Wishes for my Beloved Natural Disaster

[photopress:glamor.jpg,full,pp_image]Dearest Hurricane Hadley,

It is that time again – when I reflect upon this past year and divulge items that will be used as evidence in your future therapy sessions. It is difficult to believe you are finally four! The Terrible 3s certainly trumped the Terrible 2s but with them came an increased sense of awareness as you realized that you can indeed conquer the world.

This subsequently means Mommy and Daddy are your servants. But as I have been trying to tell you since birth: I do not run a democracy; the Johnson household is a dictatorship through and through.

Without question, you are the ruler.

You have a bright, spirited personality and keep us laughing every single day. You are beloved by your preschool teachers and would have had an incident-free year if you had not tackled your classmate Cooper a few weeks ago, who in defence hit you with bread. This was your first look at how carbs can be dangerous.

You are an intrepid hiker and love spending time in the back-country. You are well-traveled and visited three countries last year. Hands down, your favorite destination was Mexico where you learned to swim underwater and ate ice cream every day. You often remind me to stop spending all my money at Super Target because in your mind, my obsession with the Dollar Spot is the only thing standing in the way of you and Mexico’s endless ice cream.

Memorial Day Wishes

As you enjoy your Memorial Day with family and friends….

[photopress:ShowLetter.jpg,full,pp_image]

Just take a moment to remember what it is all about.

BabyTime Expo Tickets Giveaway!

Congratulations to Kathy L., winner of our Elitch Gardens family four-pack giveaway!

[photopress:babytime.gif,full,pp_image]I remember walking into Babies R Us when I was pregnant and leaving in tears because I was so overwhelmed about what to buy.

And also because I was a hormonal, stressed-out mess.

I wish the BabyTime Expo had been around. This event gives parents the opportunity to discover the newest products on the market for their infant or toddler. Demonstrations of the latest baby gadgets and gear, exciting new fashions and a question and answer session with best-selling author Dr. Harvey Karp are just some of the Expo’s activities that will provide a weekend of education, shopping and fun.

Children can meet Elmo, jump around in the bounce house or compete in the diaper derby.

Free Grand Opening Weekend at Jungle Quest!

[photopress:jq_head.gif,full,pp_image]Weekends at Mile High Mamas are often dedicated to freebies and we have the ultimate giveaway: a free weekend at play for everyone!

Jungle Quest is opening a new 12,000-square-foot facility in Thornton and their Grand Opening Discovery Weekend (Saturday, May 31 – Sunday, June 1 from 9 am – 6 pm.) is free to the public!

Jungle Quest is an indoor adventure center, featuring ziplines, rock climbing and giant rope swings. Explorers, ages 2 to 12, are invited to join the Jungle Quest Safari Guides for zipline zooming, gravity fighting, carabineer clicking, safari swing riding and rock wall climbing. Toddlers (aged 2-5) may enjoy traipsing through the Mayan temple.

This Hungry Girl’s Biggest Loser Week 8 Weigh-in

[photopress:biggestloser_1_2_3_4_5_6_7.gif,full,pp_image]Eight weeks into Front Range Adventure Boot Camp, I have become bored with my food choices. A person can only eat so much chicken before they have an adverse reaction.

Cluck, cluck.

The only thing that has not caused ennui is incorporating one of my favorite foods – pumpkin – into my daily menu. In the past, I had always associated pumpkin with pies, cookies and rolls. Well, let’s face it – I still do. But now my indulgences of this low-calorie, potassium-rich food have evolved into Kashi’s Pumpkin Spice Flax Bars and pumpkin protein shakes.

I was recently at [where else?] Super Target and the woman in front of me noticed the conveyor belt full of pumpkin products.

“Do you like pumpkins?”
“What gave me away?”
“Ha ha. Have you heard of Hungry Girl?”
“What did you call me? Is it that obvious?” (In case you are wondering, I was a comedian in a former life.)
“No, not you. There is a Web site – Hungry Girl – that has a lot of healthy pumpkin-based recipes.”

It was then I knew it was love.

But before this Hungry Girl divulges too much, my weekly weight loss is

Love the skin you’re in

I have always had a weight problem. I am a tall, big bones German girl who is NEVER going to be a waif. It’s taken a long time to accept it, and I still struggle with my weight, but I have learned to appreciate the positives of this Amazon-ish body I was born with.

Back to high school, I hid behind my “fatness.” It was so much easier to rationalize that boys didn’t like me “that way” because I was overweight. Not because I was negative and moody. Not because I was sarcastic and wenchy. But because I could stand to lose quite a bit of weight. What a load of crap.

Luckily I have grown up. Sure, I still have insecurities about my body – but I also have a much better appreciation for what my body is about. I am never going to be supermodel skinny. But over the past few years I have lost 40 pounds and I am in the healthy zone. I have about 15 more to go and I will be golden.

But I still won’t be skinny. Because skinny just ain’t me.

Elitch Gardens Family Four-Pack Giveaway!

Congratulations to Christina Carindale, winner or our $150 Target gift basket and 3 ‘Mo Divas tickets!

[photopress:Ghost_Blaster_Scaremobile_1.jpg,full,pp_image]Since I am likely the only person in Denver who has never been to Elitch Gardens, perhaps I should keep our giveaway – a family four-pack of tickets – for myself! Of course, there is still the issue of my roller-coaster-phobic husband….

If you think you’ve been there, done that at Elitch, think again. The 2008 season has three major changes to please every member of the family.

1) Ghost Blasters. This new interactive family ride challenges your family to a frightfully fun shootout in the new interactive dark ride! Guests will make their way through Boocifer’s haunted mansion using a Boo-Blaster to extinguish ghosts along the way. Digital counters keep each player’s score, making this ride competitive fun for all ages – and different every time you ride.

2) Ten Free Summer Concerts for 2008. The Summer Concert Series takes the stage Saturday nights in June and July and the first Saturday in August showcasing stars like Billy Ray Cyrus, Randy Travis, Smash Mouth and

Grieving Children Unite at Judi’s House

[photopress:judishouse.jpg,full,pp_image]Every once and a while, I come across an organization whose mission really hits home. That is what Judi’s House did for me.

This non-profit caters to the often-overlooked children in society: those who are grieving. When my best friend was 13 years old, her mother died. There were no resources to help her cope and today, she still struggles with her loss.

There are currently 1.5 million kids under the age of 18 who are coping with the death of a parent and that doesn’t include siblings, aunts, uncles, friends, etc. That is why I applaud Judi’s House and particularly their Outward Bound program, which brings these children together to heal. I recently had a Q&A with Judi’s House Director of Development, Anthony Hodes, and Outreach and Education Manager Jason Stout who shared some incredible experiences.

Tell us about Judi’s House and how it was conceived.

While still Quarterback for the Denver Broncos, Brian Griese began to explore ways that he could help grieving children. His interest in this issue grew out of his own experiences growing up as his mother, Judith Ann Griese, died when he was 12 year old. While he had support from others in his family during this time, he still felt alone and as if other kids did not or could not understand what it was like for him. He made a commitment that if he had the means some day that he would do something to help other grieving kids.

In 2001 he began to explore what services there were for grieving children in the Denver metro area and this exploration revealed that while there were more than 40,000 children that would lose a parent, sibling or other loved one in the area, there was no program specifically for these bereaved children.

Biggest Loser Boot Camp Week 7 Weigh-in (as Satan is identified)

[photopress:biggestloser_1_2_3_4_5_6.gif,full,pp_image]I tried an experiment and allowed myself an indulgence last week.

Then again, to consider it an experiment perhaps I need to garner inspiration from my science fair days and write a solid hypothesis and carry out a detailed plan of action.

I suspect my spur-of-the-moment hypothesis, “Those ice cream sundaes and bacon asiago bread look tasty so I will eat them” does not really count.

This must be why I was a science-fair failure.

I know of many diets that give you a free day or free meal so I decided to apply this to my Mother’s Day dinner and lo, I did eat. After all, we were celebrating my motherhood with carbs and ice cream. How could I pass that up?

Did it work? My weekly weight loss is: