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Join in on Labor Day Lunches to Promote Child Nutrition Act

Slow Food chapters in Denver, Boulder and other Colorado towns will host community potlucks Monday to promote passage of a Child Nutrition Act demanding healthy, nutritious foods in schools. The “Eat In” is part of Slow Food’s national day of action urging change in school lunch programs, including more funding, better quality food and nutritional education.

Denver: Fairmont Dual Immersion Academy, 520 W. Third Ave., noon-3 p.m. youth farmers market. Bring a lunch and hear speakers from Denver Public Schools, Denver Urban Gardens and Operation Frontline.

Boulder: Old Courthouse Lawn, 1325 Pearl Street on the mall, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Gardening activities, food by Culinary School of the Rockies students, local food activists and a bluegrass band.

For more locations, go to slowfoodusa.org, and click on “Local Chapters.”

-Denver Post

Beaver Creek: Tour de Colorado’s Best Front-Range Destination for Families

I chose my family’s final Tour de Colorado destination carefully. We had spent the summer visiting the very best that Colorado has to offer and I wanted to go out with a bang.

Rest assured we had a bang-up vacation at Beaver Creek, my choice for best front-range destination for families. Competition in this category is steep with worthy competitors like Breckenridge and Copper Mountain. In the end, Beaver Creek’s intimate alpine village tucked away near Vail prevailed because it offered ice skating, miniature golf, a climbing wall and a bungee trampoline, not to mention some fantastic freebies.

And with a tagline like “Not exactly roughing it” there were more than a few indulgences along the way.

Beaver Creek Hiking Center

Photo Credit: Beaver Creek

(Photo Credit: Beaver Creek)

I grew up hiking the Canadian Rockies and never once did I go on a guided hike.

Well, with the exception of trailing my bird-loving, binocular-toting father with his black dress socks and shorts.

Beaver Creek’s hiking guide Alex was a breath of fresh air…and information. Our family met him at the Beaver Creek Hiking Center where he loaded us up with Hike-ology notebooks, hike descriptions and maps. We got the lowdown on their many hiking programs that vary from guided nature hikes for all ages and abilities, to private hikes that cover an 80-mile radius. The free Spruce Saddle Loop is one of their most popular and meets daily at the top of the Centennial Express lift.
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We opted for the Family Fun Hike, a 2-hour guided hike around the Spruce Saddle Loop. I was a little bit wary of the 2-hour duration with my young children but that time span took into account the chairlift ride, hike, delicious BBQ lunch atop the mountain, the Big Dig archeological site (a sandbox with fossils), free field games for rent and a few tantrums along the way.

The views of the Gore Range and profusion of wildflowers stun. We saw marmots sunning themselves on granite boulders and a buck with glistening velvet on his horns. We heard pine squirrels (or chickerees), read Hike-ology interpretive signs, identified trees and ecosystems, and played in the ski school’s wooden villages. I don’t know how Beaver Creek did it but we even had our very own mule deer shadow us the entire time.

Talk about the ultimate guided hike.

The Circus comes to Denver and front rooms near you

In honor of Cirque du Soleil’s Denver presentation of Kooza, I thought a little circus fun, of the Cirque kind, was in order.  (Don’t get me started on the other kind of circus — I’m not much of a fan.)

But, I LOVE Cirque – the costumes, the music, the athleticism and the hilarious clowns.  I emphasize the word — hilarious because usually I think clowns are terrifying.  Cirque’s are not.  (I still have tragic childhood memories of my mom performing in her mime troop.  Mime horror — might explain a few things?)

Anyway, whether you bring your child or not — and I recommend you do, over age 4 — take the wonder of Cirque home to your own living room.

Juggle

I learned to juggle while working the front desk at a health club in college – squash balls seemed to work best.  My Klutz juggling book said to start with one ball and then add on. Throw up. Catch. Throw up. Catch with other hand. Add a ball (or beanbag.) Throw up one, when at the top, throw up the other, and catch the first one.  Actually, you better just buy the Klutz book on Juggling.

Contortion

Watch the Kooza contortionists on YouTube.  Please don’t forget to warm up (stretch out) with your child before any crazy moves. (Although, if you do any crazy moves, please post pictures!)

Now, try to get your leg over your head.  HA.  Funny.  I bet your kiddo can do it though!

High Wire (or as I like to call it, walking on a jump rope)

Try to walk on the rope without falling off. Add a yard stick for balance and try again. Now, try it on tip-toes.  Please let your child have a turn.

Unicycle

Kidding.

Clowns

Face paint + imagination. Need I say more?

Trip over your shoes. Act silly.   Blow up a balloon and draw a face on it.  Talk to your balloon friend as if it were real.  Aren’t you so silly!

eHow has a video series on Learning Clown Tricks.  *Note:  I do not endorse the sword swallowing, pretend or not.

Find more circus fun at the following links or by going to see Kooza!

Atozkidsstuff
Online game
Crafts

Go Contigo Review

I cleaned out my purse again. The usual suspects where there…some things that I was expecting, and a few “Ah-Ha! That’s where that is!” occurred. But one thing I was not expecting was a slight damp feeling in the bottom of my summer shoulder accessory.

It would seem that while trying to trim down the number of bags I sling on my back, I would do what many moms do in attempts to be efficient…I consolidated. When I jump out of the kid-mobile (aka minivan) I place a diaper, wipe, “boredom” toy for each child and their respective water containing cylinders in my bag purse. The problem therein lies when the purse is placed in a position other than upright or otherwise thrown around as many mom purses are, the “sippy cups” spill, drip, water your belongings.

A few days after the “cleansing of the purse,” I was given the opportunity to review Contigo’s AutoSeal Kid’s Mug, and I think I found my answer. When I received the Contigo Kid’s Mug, I was a little nervous about how well it would work. Would it keep the water in? Would my kids be able to use it? Would they want to use it?

Yes.

Though the kid’s mug is slated for 4+, my 2.5 year old (who is going on 15) was able to use it after a little practice. More than that, she was excited to use it. She had no dribbles, she drank from it easily, with two hands (she is only 2.5 after all); I drank from it with one.

I shook it all around, held it upside down, laid it on its side, my youngest even gave it a good chucking across the floor. The Contigo Kid’s Mug held up. No water dripped anywhere. Ever.

Easy to use, simple to clean. I just put it on the top rack of the dishwasher, and it was done. No parts to mess with – just the top and the bottom, 2 pieces, that’s it.

The best part….my purse is dry..er.

Now I just need to get my 18 month old to be able to use one. And since it looks so grown up, I would love for my 6 year old with special needs to be able to use it as well. Therein lies my only complaint, one that I probably wouldn’t have if I didn’t have a child with special needs…I wish the button (which is easy enough) was easier for my oldest. Other than that, I’m sold!

Looking through their site, they have products for every liquid, in every setting. With a number of products for hydration, kids, hot liquids on the go, coffee mugs with stainless steel performance coupled with the look and feel of ceramic…they have everything, in styles that you, your spouse and your kids would love to have; and their prices are very reasonable.

Now I have to see how I can get my hands on their Stainless Steel Mug. I’m in coffee-addicts love with it and am dying to try it out!

This review was written by one of our Mile High Mama Product Reviewers, Mia Hysteria.

Do you have a product you would like to be considered for review? Contact our assistant editor JoAnn Rasmussen, JoAnn@milehighmamas.com.

Our Bodies: Do We Rent, or Do We Own?

My Dad once told me that we are all TABs: Temporarily Able-Bodied. Being young and invincible, I dismissed his statement as a middle-aged mope.

Years later, I finally see what he means.

In February of 2007, my sister’s husband complained of numbness in the hands and feet. He got on to WebMD and self-diagnosed before he went to his doctor. The doctor said surely he didn’t have Guillain-Barre Syndrome — it was much too rare. Gino whipped out the WebMD printout and the doctor disappeared for a few moments. When he came back, he ordered Gino to get to the hospital — now.

Over the next two weeks, Gino lost function of everything south of his eyeballs. In went a trache tube. In went a feeding tube. In went a catheter. In went two central lines. Lost was the ability to move, to speak, to swallow, to breathe. His immune system had attacked his nervous system, quite effectively.

The advance of the syndrome finally stopped, and Gino was able to move from intensive care to a rehab facility. He spent six more months getting reacquainted with his body. As his nervous system reconnected, he experienced both great pain and small gains.

Hospital staff loved visiting Gino’s room to see his latest abilities. You see, Gino was in a rehab hospital dedicated to spinal and brain injuries. Most of the people there were NOT getting better — they were merely learning how to live in their new normal.

People at that hospital were proof that we are all TABs. An ATV accident changed everything for the man with a 3 year old. A stroke from birth-control pills turned a 32 year-old woman’s life — and that of her partner — 180 degrees. The trucker who didn’t wear his seat belt was not able to hold his wife’s hand when she gave birth to their first child.

Gino was lucky. He once again became Temporarily Able-Bodied.

This summer, I was reminded again about my dad’s TAB concept, when my husband ended up in the hospital for 11 days due to a go kart accident.

Mamas’ Weekly Event Round-up

I confess: I was a Cirque du Soleil virgin. Then I saw Kooza. Now I am a convert. The bendy girls (on what planet do they find beings with pipe cleaners where bones should be ?)—the feats—the daring! The disco juggling! And that thing—they call it the Wheel of Death. I call it “Give your audience a heart attack.” Kooza is worth the money, friends. And mostly kid-appropriate, with just a few adult-oriented jokes that the kids may not get anyway. The merchandising rivals anything you’d see at Disney, so be prepared for that. Cirque du Soleil runs well into September. Buy your tickets now.
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This Saturday is the SkirtChaser 5k. It’s too late to register online, but go to Outdoor Divas in Boulder or Cherry Creek to register in person, or register the day of the race. Write the Mile High Mamas code (MHMC) on the registration form, and you can still receive the discount. Join me and represent for Mamas across the metro area. The race starts at 5:00 (men start at 5:03— Bring it!), and the block party afterward promises a happy hour-like atmosphere.

Or: If all of the above just does not suit you: Head up to the Hotel Boulderado for the Michael Jackson Dance Party. On Saturday, August 29 (MJ’s birthday), the Hotel Boulderado hosts a benefit for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Tickets are $19, and that gives you the freedom to wear your glove, penny loafers, and glittery socks, and rock out to your favorite MJ tunes. All for a good cause.

Labor Day is fast approaching, so be thinking about attending the Taste of Colorado, downtown in Civic Center Park. If you’ve never been, you must go. They’ll have all sorts of kid activities, as well as live music and entertainment. And the food. . . I’ll have a complete rundown for you next week.

Finally, some important news for pregnant women: On September 8, Exempla Lutheran Medical Center is offering a free educational session for pregnant women, to provide information about the flu, including that annoying H1N1. If you’re pregnant, or think you might become pregnant, this session will help you figure out how to stay safe and healthy during flu season. Call 303-425-8154 to register. The class will be held at Wheat Ridge Recreation Center, 4005 Kipling Street, in Wheat Ridge.

And now, let’s get on with it!

Summer Concerts
Friday, August 28, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm: Sounds of Southlands, Southlands Shopping District, E-470 and Smoky Hill Road. Southlands has extended their concert series by a week, with a special performance by Message in a Bottle. Yes, that’s a Police cover band.

Saturday, August 29, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm: Concerts on the Green Summer Concert Series, Founders Green, 29th Avenue and Roslyn Street, Stapleton. Chris Daniels and the Kings close out this popular concert series.

Wednesday, September 2, 6:30 pm (doors open at 6:00 pm): Swallow Hill’s Shady Grove Picnic Series at Four Mile Historic Park, 715 Forest Street, Denver. Swallow Hill wraps up this long-running extravaganza with a CD release party with Wendy Woo. Tickets are $10/adults, $2 kids 12 and under.

Summer Movie Programs

Friday, August 28, 7:00 pm: Westminster Movies in the Park presents The Tale of Despereaux, Westminster City Park, 105th and Sheridan Boulevard.

Friday, August 28, dusk: Flicks in the Square presents Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Olde Town Square, 57th and Olde Wadsworth, Olde Town Arvada. Ryan Flick performs at 7:00. The kids may not love it, but it’s definitely a classic, and probably worth finding a sitter. Or if you have older kids—well, I could see a teenage girl getting all Audrey Hepburn after seeing this.

Saturday, August 29, 7:30 pm: Boulder Outdoor Cinema presents High School Musical 3, 1750 13th Street, Downtown Boulder (behind the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art). Suggested donation of $5 at the door; concessions available for purchase. Pre-show entertainment (movie shorts, etc.) begin around 7:00, movie begins around dusk.

Happenings and Other Fun Things to Do
Saturday, August 29, and Sunday, August 30, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm: Chile Harvest Festival, Lakewood’s Heritage Center in Belmar Park, 801 South Yarrow Street, Lakewood. It’s definitely that time of the year, with chile stands everywhere. Get the real deal at the Chile Harvest Festival, and enjoy live music and entertainment, children’s activities, and some truly authentic cuisine. Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for children ages 3 – 12.

Saturday, August 29, 7:30 pm: The Colorado Chautaqua Association presents the Mamma Mia Sing Along, 900 Baseline Road, Boulder. I wasn’t sure if this should go under “Music” or “Theater” because it’s certainly bound to be both. So I compromised, because it’s also sure to be a very Fun Thing to Do. Belt out your favorite ABBA tunes, including “Dancing Queen” and “Mamma Mia.” Tickets are $10.

Through September 20: Cirque du Soleil presents Kooza at the Big Top on the grounds of the Pepsi Center. Show times and ticket prices vary; check the website for complete details and ordering information. And see my gushy little note above about how much I loved the show.

Theater and Music
Through November 14: Sleeping Beauty at the Heritage Square Music Hall, 18301 West Colfax Avenue, Golden (30) 279-7800. The classic story we all know and love, especially for children. Shows are on Saturdays at 1:30 pm. There are often 3:00 pm shows, but call to confirm. Ticket prices are $6.00 for children and adults, $5.00 for seniors (age 62 or over).

Through September 5: Annie at Boulder’s Dinner Theatre, 5501 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder. The Broadway musical you love. . . with dinner! Special matinees added for families, so you can bring the little ones and you can all leave singing “It’s a hard knock life. . .” Check the website for show times and ticket prices.

Farmers’ (and other) Markets

Saturday, August 29, 9:00 am – 2:00 pm: Sweet William Market, Founders Green in Stapleton. This market only runs through September. That leaves you one more month of shopping bliss. Get to it.

The Farmers’ Markets are organized by region, to improve your shopping experience.

Central:

Saturday, 8:00 am – 1:00 pm. Cherry Creek Fresh Market, 1st Avenue and University (in the Bed, Bath, and Beyond parking lot), Denver. www.coloradofreshmarkets.com

Sunday, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm: Stapleton, 29th and Roslyn, Denver. www.coloradofreshmarkets.com.

Sunday, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Old South Pearl Street Farmers’ Market, 1500 Block of South Pearl Street, Denver.

Sunday, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. City Park Esplanade Fresh Market, East Colfax Avenue and Columbine Street, Denver. www.coloradofreshmarkets.com.

Tuesday, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm: Denver Civic Center Outdoor Market and Café, Colfax and Broadway, Denver. www.coloradofreshmarkets.com.

Wednesday, 9:00 am – 1:00. Cherry Creek Fresh Market, 1st Avenue and University (in the Bed, Bath, and Beyond parking lot), Denver. www.coloradofreshmarkets.com.

South:

Saturday, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Highlands Ranch Farmers’ Market, Highlands Ranch Town Center, 9288 Dorchester Street, Highlands Ranch. www.denverfarmersmarket.com

Monday, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. Tamarac Square, Tamarac and Hampden, Denver. www.denverfarmersmarket.com.

North:

Saturday, 8:00 am – 1:00 pm. Northfield Stapelton, Northfield Stapleton Shopping Center, I-70 and Quebec. www.laughingdogfarms.net

Saturday, 8:00 am – 2:00 pm. Boulder Farmer’s Market, Downtown Boulder on 13th Street between Canyon and Arapahoe 303-910-2236.

Sunday, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. Orchards Farmers’ Market, 144th Avenue and I-25. www.laughingdogfarms.net

Northwest:

Thursday, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. 4260 Wadsworth Boulevard, Wheat Ridge. www.denverfarmersmarket.com.

Southwest:

Saturday, 8:00 am – 2:00 pm. Metro Denver Farmers’ Market, Southwest Plaza SE Parking Lot, Wadsworth and Bowles, Littleton. www.denverfarmersmarket.com.

Wednesday, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. Aspen Grove, 7301 South Santa Fe, Littleton. www.denverfarmersmarket.com

East:
Tuesday, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. Aurora Farmers’ Market, 333 N. Havana, in the Maya Sports Bar and Grill parking lot. www.denverfarmersmarket.com

Southeast:

Saturday, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Lone Tree, Yosemite and Maximus. www.laughingdogfarms.net.

Saturday, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Southlands, E-470 and Smoky Hill Road, in the Southlands Shopping Center, Aurora. www.laughingdogfarms.net. Open Saturdays, 9:00 – 1:00 and Thursdays, 10:00 – 1:00.

Sunday, 8:00 am – 1:00 pm. Parker Farmer’s Market, Northwest corner of Parker and Main Street, in the Crossroads Shopping Center. www.laughingdogfarms.net. Runs through October.

Thursday, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm: Southlands, E-470 and Smoky Hill Road, in the Southlands Shopping Center, Aurora. www.laughingdogfarms.net.

To be considered for inclusion in our weekly event picks, be sure to email Jennifer at jennifer@milehighmamas.com

Wise Stamps: Create an Email Signature with your Social Media Contacts and More!

I wanted to share a neat FireFox extension called WiseStamp.

This fun extension allows you to create an email signature on any webmail service.

On WiseStamp.com you can customize your email signature to include your IM, Social Media profiles, website links and more. You have a choice of creating a personal signature or a business signature.

It is lots of fun! Get creative and create a WiseStamp email signature!

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Enter Mile High Mamas’ Cutest Kid Picture Contest!

Got a cute kid?

Be sure to enter our monthly contest! The winner will be featured on Mile High Mamas and also our weekly newsletter.

Any Colorado-area mom may enter our Cutest Kid Picture Contest. Please, no professional photographs. We want to see your kids in everyday life. To upload your photo, go here. You will need to briefly register or login first.

Enter away!

Not Starting Over; Starting Anew

Guest blogger Janalee Card Chmel is co-owner of MA! motherhood with attitude and is a Denver-based freelance writer. She was shocked at the age of 40 to find out she was pregnant. Follow her journey each month.

Since finding out on May 27 that Dave and I were apparently meant to have THREE children and not the TWO I had assumed, I’ve often said, “We’re starting all over!” My girls will be 6 and 8 when this baby joins our family and I have focused on the fact that we are returning to diapers, breast feeding and long nights. We’ll be anchored to the house again by naps. Not to mention…

* The transition to solids
* Crawling
* Walking
* Once again removing all the breakable and unsafe objects from our home, which we finally felt looked “grown up” again
* Teaching the ABCs and colors and numbers again
* Potty training
* The Terrible Twos (threes, fours…)
* The list, of course, goes on. I’m sure many of you could help flesh this out a bit

And yet, lately, I have also been thinking about what I will not have to re-learn. Though we are going back to the beginning with a new baby, we are not starting out with a clean slate. For example…

Going Abroad (And Not Crazy) With Your Kid

I hemmed and hawed over whether it was a good idea. We wanted to go to Ireland, sure, but Declan – at age 6.5 – was he really ready? At least, was he ready for the kind of trip *I* wanted to take, with museums and castles and history and all that crap? I’d been to Germany several times by the time I was Declan’s age, but that was to visit *family.* This was going to be a real, bona fide, run around the country like tourists VACATION.

With whirling lights and whirling traffic (on the other side of the road, no less) and about a thousand miles of running around the Irish countryside.

How would he handle it?

declanyell

Mostly, awesome.

Sure, the first day in Dublin was heinous. We’d only one hour of sleep, after all. Who wouldn’t be heinous?

And there were several bouts of selfish, unreconcilable, incomprehensible 6/7 year old behavior.