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Poor Parenting?

The following conversation occurred between my kids and a not-so-nice child in the somewhat recent past:

“Do you have an XBox360?

“No.”

“How about a PSP?”

“I… don’t think so.”

“A PS2?”

“Nope.”

“A PS3?”

“Negative.”

“How about Guitar Hero?”

“No, but we have Rock Band!”

“Man, you guys are poor.”

As you can imagine, I was shocked when I heard that the definition of poor had changed so drastically over the last twenty years. When I was a kid (cue the violins and collective groans) it meant

The Mystery of The Great Pumpkin FINALLY Solved!

There are two words to summarize my weekend: babies and pumpkins.

1) Babies. Mile High Mamas had a booth at the Oh Baby! Baby & Family Expo on Saturday and Sunday. I met many great women, saw some fantastic products and there were babies. Oh, so many babies. Welcome if you are visiting us for the first time and we hope you will become an active part of our fun community!

[photopress:fampumpkin.jpg,full,pp_image]2) Pumpkins. Not just any pumpkins, but The Great Pumpkin that my husband Jamie has been giving suck from the womb growing for many months now. Friday night was the pumpkin’s open house.

Because we are just kooky enough to hold a party for an inanimate object.

But do you know what? Our friends were kooky enough to attend, bring pumpkin gifts and pose for pictures with The Great Pumpkin. And the highlight of the event? The great ribbon cutting vine snipping, followed by hauling it to the trailer. And just how did they do it? Eight men + one pumpkin lifting tarp + a whole lot of muscle. And even more sore backs.

Colorado’s largest pumpkins congregated at the Rocky Mountain Giant Vegetable Growers weigh-off on Saturday. If you had ever asked me as a little girl if I would marry a man who would become conjoined with such an organization, I would have laughed until I was blue in the face.

Or orange.

And the results all [five] of you have been waiting for? The Great Pumpkin’s weight is

Ultra Cool (or for when it’s hot) Attachables Clothing Giveaway

[photopress:LAF_Rocks_Tshirt___Pink_Mic___Flat.jpg,full,pp_image]Here’s the thing about autumn: I love the changing colors but not the temperamental temperatures. And though I relish the cooler climate, the unpredictable weather sends me into a tizzy when trying to dress my children in the morning.

That is why I fell in love with LAF Brand’s Attachables™ Clothing. With removable sleeves, these great shirts help your infant, toddler or preschooler always dress right. When it’s cold, put the sleeves on, or when it’s hot, simply take the sleeves off! The sleeves attach by Velcro and only the soft side will touch your child’s skin.

I am a big fan of the convenience and my kids love the styles.

Following Up on the Denver Preschool Program

[photopress:dpp_logo_color150.jpg,full,pp_image]I am a big fan of preschool. Or rather, my daughter is a fan and has blossomed both academically and socially since she began last year. I am just the grateful recipient of the fruits of everyone else’s labors.

And the three hours I get to myself every day isn’t so bad, either.

Mile High Mamas recently touched base with James Mejia about the Denver Preschool Program (DPP) who is a father of a preschooler and CEO of DPP.

What is the Denver Preschool Program (DPP)?

Denver Preschool Program (DPP) is the result of a ballot initiative approved by Denver residents in November 2006. Currently in its second year of existence, DPP offers tuition credits for families living in the City and County of Denver to assist them in sending their children to quality preschool programs. The program is open and voluntary for all families with children in the last year of school before kindergarten.

DPP also provides quality improvement grants for preschool providers. All licensed providers that agree to participate in the DPP quality-improvement system are eligible – for-profit, non-profit, public and private providers operating centers as well as family child care homes.

How can a family find out if their child(ren)’s preschool is enrolled in DPP? Does the preschool have to be in Denver?

I don’t even know their names

Guest blogger Kagey is a mom of three living in southeast Centennial with her husband, Mr. Adventure and her dog. Her house is never quite clean, her clothes are always a little out of date, and she is always looking for more time to write, but at least she can laugh about it all.

After a successful checkup, I recently took the kids to a playground by the doctor’s office. As my son and daughter scampered to tackle the slide, a teenage boy walked up with a small boy, about 2 years old.

The teen turned out to be the boy’s uncle. We stood together watching the kids play, and he began talking. It was as if he was the ancient mariner from Coleridge’s poem, and I was compelled to listen, even though I could tell right away it was a story I didn’t want to hear. It was the stuff of my nightmares.

Somewhere in the hospital behind me was a mom, the teen’s older sister, making decisions about life support, watching read outs of brain activity with desperation. A few days before, the mom, dad, two year old boy, and two month old girl, had come to Denver for a short vacation. The mom stayed in the hotel room with the baby while the dad went to play in the pool with the son. Something – a heart attack? a small stroke? they aren’t sure what – happened to the dad while he was swimming. The boy was not in the water, thankfully, but he had to watch as his dad thrashed in the pool until strangers arrived to help.

The dad’s heart was stopped for a long time, and he was technically dead

“I don’t want to mess up our friendship”

Yes, I was that girl in high school. “The friend.” At the time I actually thought I was a fat, ugly pig… but as I look back at my high school pic compared the the Beautiful People… I must have been wearing Teen-Colored Glasses. Meaning, I wasn’t as pretty as the Beautiful People by a longshot – but I certainly wasn’t as fat and ugly as I thought I was. Certainly the 80’s hair, fashion and make-up didn’t do much for me – but it looked pretty horrible on the Beautiful People too… so I consider us even on that score.

I was 18 when I lost my virginity. In some ways I am proud of that because when I did it, I was ready for it. But in some ways, I honestly know it happened at that age because I just couldn’t get a guy to date me to save my life. I can’t tell you how many times I got the “I just want to be friends” or “I don’t want to mess up our friendship” speech. There are many variations of it, but it all of them come down to pretty much the same thing. “I just don’t want to date you.”

There was a guy I had a crush on since 7th grade. We became friends around 9th grade. That year I asked him to Homecoming. He went with me, but “just as friends.” Talk about embarrassing. The good news is he and I ended up being *real* friends through the ages and still talk every once and a while now.

I had a dream the other night,

Triathlon Mama and a Mile High Mamas Race for the Cure Team

When we moved to Colorado in 2005, one of our first purchases was a set of bicycles. I got a comfort bike, Kyle got a hybrid, and we started riding on the Cherry Creek trail.

Kyle had always been a recreational runner, and when he heard about the local rec center’s annual sprint triathlon, he decided to ramp up his swimming and sign up for the tri.

Honestly, I didn’t understand his enthusiasm until that clear, blue-skied September morning when the girls and I cheered him on through the transitions and across the finish line: “Go, Daddy! GO!”

I watched all the participants – anticipating their start, persevering through all three races, and triumphantly completing the course – and thought to myself, “Damn, that looks fun.”

I’m no athlete. Never have been. But after three years of watching Kyle and the other triathletes – including my father-in-law last year – last May, I told Kyle to sign me up.

Soccer Moms Unite as a Soccer Mom is Born!

[photopress:HaddieAlex_1.jpg,full,pp_image]Gretchen recently confessed she is the anti-soccer mom and refuses to enroll any of her six children in team sports.

Last weekend, I became a soccer mom for the first time. I am in the camp that loves sports. I have always loved sports. And I have always wanted my children to love sports. That said, I do not believe children should be pushed into activities they do not want to do. I believe in giving them a choice.

Unless that choice does not involve soccer.

In all seriousness, I debated waiting to enroll my daughter Hadley in soccer. At 4, she has done a myriad of sports that include gymnastics (her face and the springboard often met their match), dance (she performed an unscripted solo at the recital) and murder ball (her little brother is often the target).

But soccer is a sport Hadley really wanted to try. Last Saturday was her first game and my husband Jamie has been prepping her for weeks. His initial strategies centered around scoring and ball handling. But after a series of mishaps and subsequent tantrums, he instituted the No. 1 rule of soccer: “No crying.”

Someone should have told me that before we got completely massacred.

Guess the Pumpkin’s Weight, Win Four Tickets to Elitch’s Fright Fest 2008!

[photopress:MHMpumpkin.jpg,full,pp_image]I am married to a man who is obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin. The end of the growing season is near and the weigh-off showcasing Colorado’s biggest pumpkins is on September 28th at Jared’s Nursery in Littleton.

To try to make sense of the madness, I am kicking off Mile High Mamas’ Halloween season by offering four tickets to Elitch’s Fright Fest to the person who is the closest to guessing his pumpkin’s weight. Because I am a nice wife and want to help promote his obsession.

But mostly I just want to get him off my back.

The only thing scarier than the amount of time he has spent nurturing his orange monstrosity is when Elitch Gardens transforms from theme park to “scream” park in October. From haunted houses to a free Trick-or-Treat Trail, there’s something for the whole family to enjoy. Fright Fest 2008 runs Fridays 5-10 p.m., Saturdays 12-10 p.m. and Sundays 12-9 p.m. weekends in October through Nov. 1st. Some highlights:

Mile High Parents Campaign Launches in Denver Schools

[photopress:mhparents.jpg,full,pp_image]Denver Public Schools Parent Empowerment Council recently announced the official launch of the Mile High Parents Campaign. The program is designed to increase parent engagement and to celebrate the hundreds of things parents already do to further their kids’ academic success.

Structured as a multi-year initiative, the 2008-2009 school year marks the official kick off of Mile High Parents. By enrolling in the program, parents agree to proactively engage with their children and invest 5,280 minutes, or 30 minutes a day per school year. Parents then track their time through forms provided by participating schools and eventually through an online system.

Mile High Parents will be the driving force of encouragement and support for parents and participating schools throughout the process. Suggested activities include reading with a child, attending cultural activities like the zoo, helping with homework, or discussing current events like politics and the importance of elections.