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When Mamas Go Wild–Mile High Mamas Night Out Revisited!

[photopress:Dnote.jpg,full,pp_image]Let’s face it: being a “mommy blogger” does not just entail writing about the kids. Sometimes we like to break out and have a Moms Gone Wild Mama’s Night Out. Because great eats + live music the offspring = good times.

Many of Colorado’s most prominent mommy bloggers gathered at the D Note in Arvada for food, drinks, mingling and live music last Wednesday night. Freebies were in abundance and giveaways came from Random House, a Potty Tots Potty Training Kit (which a few mamas fought over), BornFit, (our favorite activewear for moms that is also locally-based), a gift certificate for Menu of the Week, and the grand prize was a professional teeth whitening from Town Center Dentistry and Orthodontics, a $350 value! I did the drawing and was delighted to select my own name for the grand prize.

It wasn’t rigged, promise.

And yes, I did award it to Jen of Laughing at Chaos. Bummer.

In an effort to maximize mingling, I visited everyone’s blogs and selected a few gems about each blogger. I then set them loose to try to discover who matched the descriptions. A little insight into the evening and those who attended:

*A relative unknown named Ellen Degeneres helped launch her career. Ask her about it! (Olivia of BabyCandy and Congrats from Colorado)

*Recently entitled a post—Blogs I’m Reading: Photography and Hemorrhoids but NOT Photography of Hemorrhoids. Known to wear flip flops, whatever the season. Claims to be from California but could be part Canuck. (Holly of What Was I Saying Again?)

*Is rumored to have said, “You haven’t seen me naked” during a 9News interview. (Lisa, owner of BornFit)

*Is such an optimist that she has coined

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Share Your Recipes at Mile High Mamas’ Spring Recipe Swap and Win!

I recently attended an event where Qdoba Mexican Grill unveiled their tasty new Chile Verde. The Colorado-based head chef gave us a tutorial on cooking with chiles and best of all? He divulged some of his favorite recipes such as the restaurant’s to-die-for mango salsa.

To quote my 2-year-old son: “DEWICIOUS!”

After sampling Qdoba’s fresh, healthy food my cravings for more fresh, healthy recipes kicked in. And so Mile High Mamas is launching our own Spring Recipe Swap. Simply go to our Recipe forum and share your favorite dishes for spring and summer. Got a favorite salad? What about a great marinade for grilling? And please don’t leave out dessert. If you have a favorite site with great recipes, please share that, too!

[photopress:babyfat.jpg,thumb,pp_image]Your efforts will not go unrewarded. Not only will we have a collection of great recipes but Qdoba Mexican Grill is kicking in free entrees for 20 of our favorite submissions. We are also offering a copy of The Baby Fat Diet by authors Monica Bearden and Shara Aaron. This book offers 30 simple health and nutrition tips that are imminently practical, along with delicious recipes. Nothing that takes excessive time or preparation made it into this book, only tried and true advice. Mom’s “me time” comes in spurts so this book is written in short chapters, none of which have to be read sequentially.

Bearden and Aaron also offer tips on easy substitutions for favorite recipes, healthy menus, shopping lists, lifestyle changes to boost metabolism and much more.

To participate in our Spring Recipe Swap, all you need to do is go to our Recipe forum, click “New Topic,” and enter your information. If you are not yet a member of our forum, membership is free and it takes less than one minute to sign up.

My Dad Gets Schooled in Facebook

Returning guest blogger Heather lives outside of Denver with her sons who are five and two-and a-half. When not blogging at A Mama’s Blog, Heather is an almost full-time stay-at-home mama, who works part-time as an office administrator. Heather enjoys blogging about daily life with her sons, pregnancy and birth, and everyday life as a mother. In her spare time Heather enjoys spending time with her family in Denver, catching up with her friends, attending Mom’s nights out whenever possible, reading, and exercising.

My dad is a Baby Boomer. He is going to be 60 in a few short weeks. I love him to death, but he is not–shall we say–very fast to embrace technology.

He loves to take pictures. For years, my siblings and I encouraged him to get a digital camera. We told him how much he would love to be able to see his pictures right away instead of having to take all 24 pictures on his 35mm film and then wait for it to be developed. Nope–he was having none of that. Finally, my step-mom bought him one about two years ago, and as we told him, he LOVES it. He laughs about it now, wonders why he waited so long to go digital.

He does have a computer, but I suspect that was my step-mom’s doing too. Every now and then he will tell me something like, “I got on the computer, and looked up that Google….wow, you can find a lot of stuff there.” Usually at this point, I use our standard teasing line with him, “Welcome to <whatever year it happens to be>, Mr. Banks.” We took that from Father of the Bride, when Steven Martin’s character (George Banks) is in shock over how much the wedding was costing and Franck, the wedding coordinator, laughs at him and says, “Welcome to the 90’s Mr. Banks.” (This line occurs right around the 3:40 mark)

Yes, my dad is the Mr. Banks of technology. He knows it exists but that’s where it ends. Last night, while we were visiting with our out-of-town cousin (Peter) and his girlfriend (Megan), my sister, Mara, decided to show my dad Facebook on her laptop. It went like this:

Mara (opening her laptop): So Dad, this is Facebook.
Dad: Face-what?
Mara: Facebook
Megan: It is a social-networking site.
Dad (already lost–has that deer-in-headlights look)
Mara (pulling up her profile page): This is my–
Dad (cutting her off): Hey, that’s

Lunch will be served in the machete aisle

When I nurse in public, I am nervous.

Is someone going to glare at me? Will they abruptly steer their children in the opposite direction once it’s clear the baby hidden under the green blanket isn’t simply asleep? What if a security guard, store manager, or Citizen Busybody leaps into action, operating under the authority of protecting the masses from the threat posed by a 12-pound bundle of sweet instinct?

What would I do?

I’ve heard the stories and so have you. Nursing moms have been confronted in restaurants and lingerie stores, shoe stores and at 35,000 feet. Word spreads, indignation grows, polls are taken, opinions are divided.

Meanwhile, another baby is hungry and another mom must wrangle with the logistics of lifting her shirt while trying to live a public life. It shouldn’t be this hard.

My most recent nursing-in-public experience was at an

Secret Questions

Why do you REALLY want to know what color mascara I wore in high school?

My employer has finally gotten with the times and decided that, in order to secure the very important and confidential information on our intranet, I need to answer five personal, random questions lest I forget my coveted password. There are several questions to choose from on a variety of arbitrary subjects.

Pseudo examples:

What top secret name did you give to your favorite childhood teddy bear?
What book have you STILL not returned to the public library after twenty five years?
Which of your body parts is screaming for plastic surgery?
Where have you hidden the paper trail that leads to the boots that you bought online three months ago?

Random my butt.

My bank did this to me back when I was setting up my online banking account years ago. It all seemed so innocent. So nonchalant and unsuspicious. And yet I can’t help wondering if my husband was somehow involved in the making of these questions:

On average, how many times do you use your debit card on the weekends?
How much money do you plan on spending this Christmas? The honest answer, please.
When was the last time you opened mail pertaining to your Roth IRA?
And by the way, where have you hidden that secret stash of leftover Halloween candy?

This system might work for the bank and the government and the non-paranoid of this world. It doesn’t work for me. Back when I did actually lose my password and had to reset it, I struggled remembering what lies I’d told them six months before. That’s why I’m all for the

To spank or not to spank?

While there were definitely some parenting philosophies on which my husband Kyle and I had to compromise, one area where we were in agreement from the start is physical punishment.

We don’t spank. We think it’s illogical to tell children not to use physical force against one another, and then use it ourselves against them.

Beyond that, we believe there are better ways to get a child’s attention. I’m actually working on my own tactics in that area, as I tend to raise my voice more often and with less provocation than I probably should. Yelling loses its desired effect when it’s employed so often.

Also, I have to admit that when I yell, it’s usually more about me than the kids. My fuse is significantly shorter when I don’t have an inbox full of fires, looming deadlines, and fifty pounds of laundry to fold. The same transgression under more stressful circumstances generates a much louder response from me, and that’s really not fair to the kids.

Likewise, I wonder if parents who do use physical punishment – typically in a controlled, non-reactive manner – sometimes end up lashing out when they’re feeling stress. I gave myself permission to yell, and now I sometimes abuse it. Do parents who spank

Tough mom decisions: how did you decide?

I never aspired to be a stay-at-home mom.

Reflecting back upon it, I never aspired to do much of anything. It was not that I was lacking in ambition. I was that annoying overachiever in athletics and academics but I just didn’t know what I wanted to do when I “grew up.” I didn’t declare Broadcast Journalism as my major until my junior year of college. Even upon graduation, I did not know if I wanted to purse journalism or a career in public relations. Decisions were made day-by-day, minute-by-minute and I ended up dabbling in both.

Getting married and having a family were not on my radar in my 20s. I was too busy “finding myself,” traveling the world and having a good time. I never aspired to be the president of a company but opportunities came–an account executive with the corner office at a PR agency, a freelance gig as a travel writer. It wasn’t until my 30th birthday that I stopped to reflect upon it all and I surmised I had spent all this time climbing the ladder, only to realize it was leaning on the wrong wall.

Shortly thereafter, I met my husband, moved to Colorado, married and was pregnant six months later. My wanderlust life was grounded. When we discussed our childcare options, my husband humbly submitted he would like me to stay home and raise our children. I agreed. I never really saw it as a sacrifice but as the next step. I had seen what I wanted to see, done what I wanted to do.

My foray into motherhood with a colicky newborn

Special Needs Children Given a Voice

Mia Hysteria shares her inspirational, humorous and sometimes heart-wrenching journey of raising 3 young children, one with special needs, while managing a life of chaos, in her blog: General Hysteria. Mia has been blogging on General Hysteria since September 5, 2008 about her son, Ben (1), her daughter, Violet (2) and her oldest son, Alex (6). Alex has cerebral palsy, autism, sensory processing disorder, developmental delays, epilepsy, and ADHD. On a laptop, in a cul-de-sac, somewhere in Colorado, Mia is single-handedly attempting to share her stories, thoughts, frustrations and elations so that no person feels isolated, forgotten or unworthy of their own journey.

Alex is a kindergarten student at The Elementary School with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy. Alex’s parents reported that Alex is verbal, with about 60-70% intelligibility. Organizing his communication is still a struggle for him. Alex can get overwhelmed or over stimulated easily. In the classroom, Alex’s writing was described as slow. Miss A reports that he has difficulty with sentence formulation.

This is the beginning of the Assistive Technology Report we received from SWAAAC, State Wide Augmentative and Alternative Assistive Communication with the Colorado Department of Education System, providing alternative services of communication for students.

The SWAAAC Team that evaluates student’s needs for communication alternatives are interdisciplinary, including a Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Special Educators, Psychologists and Para-professionals, as needed. The goal of the team is to assist in designing communication devices to assist students with disabilities in achieving full access and participation in all educational opportunities.

According to their site, “In the broadest sense, Assistive Technology (AT) is any tool or device that helps a person with a disability function more effectively or independently at home, school, work or play….services can include: training the student and classroom staff in its use, consulting on the positioning or mounting of the device and coordination with other services.”
[photopress:intellitools.jpg,full,pp_image] The result? Alex has been given a voice; an opportunity to participate in the classroom, with assignments involving writing, and learning sentence formulation. The struggle of learning and participation, and the ability to reach success has been made easier.

For Alex, they implemented the IntelliKeys system by IntelliTools.

Schooltime Interrogation

Has anyone else noticed that when kids finally go to school, they clam up? I mean, literally STOP TALKING.

“How was school today?”


That’s it. That’s all I get. Sorry, kid, but when you’re out of my sight for a full day, one word answers do not pass muster. This is the same kid who used to be a constant flow of chatter from the minute he woke up till his head hit the pillow at night. A stream of words and commentary on anything and everything he saw. And now I just get “good?”

We have resorted to making him think we are playing games, but we are actually engaging him in conversation. For example, we will ask him what his most favorite thing about his day was. What his least favorite thing about his day was. List three kids you played with! What was the thing in the top left corner of your lunch tray? How many times did you get to slide down the slide at recess? Details. Details! Anything to keep this child talking!

And it seems to be working. We are getting more information and having to do less chipping away to get it. He even flummoxed us the other day by asking US how OUR day was.

Yes, you read that correctly. My six-year-old son inquired after how MY day was.

Now if I can only keep him talking till he’s 16, when their mouths clamp up tighter than a steel trap…THAT will REALLY be saying something.

How do you encourage your children to talk about their day?