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More From Our Schools Speaker Series

Want to help ensure that all kids in your community receive the very best education?

Save the Date to join us for the next speaker in the More From Our Schools series!

Thursday, March 4th – from 5:30 – 7:00 pm.
Valdez Elementary school located at 2525 W. 29th Ave. in Denver

The event is FREE, there will be food available and free childcare is provided. There will also be Spanish translation during the program.

Space is limited! Please RSVP to Claudia Winkler at cwinkler@dkfoundation.org or at 720-932-1544.
Let her know if you think you will need child care when you RSVP!

Our third and final speaker is Ben Austin, a member of the Los Angeles Parents Union and the founder of Parent Revolution.

Mr. Austin has dedicated much of his career to fighting for every child in California to get a great public education. Prior to joining the Parents Union, he directed the successful campaign to transform Locke High School from the worst high school in Los Angeles into a college preparatory model of reform. In 2006, he also created Parent Revolution—a coalition of organizations fighting to transform schools in LA. His work with the Parent’s Union is focused on the following belief: “For too long, everyone else had been in charge of their children’s schools: Politicians. Bureaucrats. Special interests. They had the power. Parents were told to do the bake sales. Now it’s the parents’ turn to take back the power over their children’s education. Parents are the only ones who will always stand up for our children, no matter what.”

What is this speaker’s series?
It’s a chance for you to learn how the community can advocate for an excellent education for all youth. We’re bringing nationally renowned speakers to you so you can be empowered to expect and demand more from our schools. Hear new ideas, ask questions, and learn what you can do.

Who’s behind it?
This series has been created by a group of educational and non-profit organizations who want to make sure that Denver parents and communities have the best information to improve our schools. Sponsoring organizations include A+ Denver, Metro Organizations for People (MOP), Padres y Jovenes Unidos, Get Smart Schools, The Urban League, and Stand for Children.

Why now?
Over the last several years, Denver Public Schools (DPS) has wrestled with how to create better schools; yet, despite these efforts, we continue to have a shortage of quality schools to serve DPS students.

● What does that mean to your community, your family, and your kids?
● What role can you play?
● How can you demand more for Denver kids and create change?

Visit MoreFromOurSchools.com to read about the third dynamic speaker, too.

(Photo credit: MoreFromOurSchools.com)

Daily Deal: $10 off Purchase at World Market

If you’re planning on a trip to World Market, print this coupon and save an extra $10.  Spend $30 and you’ll receive $10 off.  This coupon is valid until March 14th.

The restaurant deals didn’t stop!  Receive 25% off your total Einsteins Bros order.

Looking for something to do this weekend? Try doing either of these two free events with your kids.

Email me with great Denver deals!

danielle at milehighmamas dot com
Twitter ID: @denvermetromoms

Don’t want to miss any of Mile High Mamas’ contests and events? Be sure to sign up for our weekly email newsletter!

photo source: kodamakitty on Flickr

Mama Drama: Moving out of the Family Bed

Send your parenting questions to Lisa@milehighmamas.com

Dear Mama Drama:

My husband and I have been practicing the family bed with our son who is now eighteen months olds. We all sleep in the same bed, with him either in the middle or on the outside of me with a portable bed-rail next to him. He also sleeps in our bed during his naps. As he is getting bigger we think he is ready to begin sleeping in his own bed in his room.

We want to make this a smooth transition that maintains the trusting relationship we have built with him. Do you have any recommendations on how to proceed?

~Trusted mama

(photo credit)

Dear Trusted:

It’s great that the family bed option has been so successful for you. In our culture there can be a lot of pressure against co-sleeping, even when parents follow safety guidelines as you seem to be. Being thoughtful about how you move your son to his own bed will help you continue your pattern of attachment parenting. Offering choices and allowing him the time he needs to transition will maintain the trust you have cultivated.

Some families choose to create a bed in their bedroom for their child when they begin the transition from the family bed. This can be a pallet at the side or end of the bed or even a toddler sized mattress on the floor. Others go straight to the toddler bed in their child’s room. Making a big deal about the new bed and having your son help choose the bedding can be helpful in engaging him in the process.

You can begin with offering him the choice of taking his nap in his bed or in mom and dad’s bed. When he is mostly choosing to sleep in his own bed for nap, put him down for nap there without the choice. You can provide other choices about blankets, animals, or stories to read to continue supporting his independent decision making. If the bed is off of the floor, be sure to use the bed-rail so he does not fall out.

Once he is comfortable napping in his own bed and knows where he is when he awakens, offer him the choice of going to bed at night in his own bed. Following the same pattern as with naps put him to bed there regularly once he is choosing it consistently.

While your son may be going to sleep in his own bed, he may not stay there all night at first. You can choose to allow him to sleep part of the night in your bed or keep him in his own bed.  There is no set time period to complete this process. Listening to the needs of your son and trusting your instincts are the best guidelines to go by.

There are many books on attachment parenting that can support you in handling parenting decisions as your son grows. One of my favorites is The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two (Revised and Updated Edition) by William and Martha Sears.

Motherhood is an amazing journey that can have its share of Mama Drama. The Mama Drama column runs on Fridays with everyday mothering questions from readers and answers providing strategies to tackle these daily challenges. Send your questions and challenges to Lisa@milehighmamas.com, and your Mama Drama could be in next week’s column! All emails and identifying information will remain confidential.

Win Some Mom-invented Items – As Seen on TV!

If you’re new to Mile High Mamas… Welcome!  If you’re not new to Mile High Mamas… Welcome back!

Either way, be sure to check out all the things we have in our Daily Deals, Creative Corner, Events, Family Travel, Mama Drama, and our Mama’s Products Picks and Contests sections…to name a few.

Speaking of Mama’s Product Picks and Contests, I had the opportunity to present some mom-invented products on FOX 31 today (Thursday morning, February 25th).

Click here to see the segment!

As an added bonus, Mile High Mamas is offering a giveaway of the products you saw in the segment!

Click here for a chance to win the mom-invented items on the show!

There was a lot of information to fit into the live TV segment, so here are some more details about the products, including prices and official product websites:

Daily Deal: 25% off Ruby Tuesdays

We seem to be on a roll with restaurant deals this week so I decided to keep it going today!

At Ruby Tuesdays you can receive 25% off your entire check.  This excludes alcohol and gift cards, but it’s a nice little chunk off your bill!  Bring this printable coupon with you.  Offer ends March 2nd.

Don’t forget about 80% off Restaurant.com(ends 2/28), Kids Eat Free at Bacaro, a Free Fresco Taco, and earning reward points at Starbucks.

Email me with any other great restaurant deals!

danielle at milehighmamas dot com
Twitter ID: @denvermetromoms

Don’t want to miss any of Mile High Mamas’ contests and events? Be sure to sign up for our weekly email newsletter!

Observations of a control freak

Anyone who blogs or writes is probably a control freak. We write to bring order to chaos. To understand the mystifying. To get people to do something, even just to agree or disagree.

As any of the three people who live with me will attest, I fit nicely into the CF category.

One evening while driving home, I noticed a stunning sunset over the mountains. The clouds had rolled in, and created a canvas on which the sun painted various shades of pinks, blues, purples, and all hues in between.

This sunset happened without any impetus from me.

So I started thinking about other amazing processes and events that I don’t have to influence. They pretty much happen when I just go about my business. Here they are in all their random glory:

  • My digestion, respiration and other bodily functions happen without a lot of controlling on my part.
  • When I go to a store expecting to buy certain things, 99% of the time they are there.
  • Neighborhood streets are clean and passable.
  • Trees shade my house.
  • Water evaporates, becomes precipitation, hits the earth only to evaporate again.
  • My husband comes home every night.
  • My children keep growing taller and wiser, no matter how I might thwart their efforts.
  • Sunrises and sunsets like this happen all over the world every single day!

Truly, I am part of something much grander than I. I can relax. I don’t have to try so hard.

Now if I can just remember that today. All day. Every moment.

Or is that too controlling?

What event in the last 24 hours did you not have to control at all?

(Image from Wikepedia under GNU Free Documentation License.)

Weekly Event Round-up: Chautauqua’s Nature Kids Event, Buffalo Bill’s Birthday and More!

Monday. Young musicians play with the pros at the Littleton Youth Symphony’s “Side by Side” concert. Joined by the Colorado Chamber Orchestra and conducted by Thomas Blomster, the LYS presents an eclectic concert of classic and contemporary music. The program includes Pachelbel’s Canon in D, as well as a minimalist Steve Reich composition and “Kashmir,” by Led Zeppelin — it’ll be that kind of a night. A reception follows the concert. 7 p.m. Monday. St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 8817 S. Broadway, Highlands Ranch. Admission is free. For more information, call 303-800-4597 or visit littletonyouthsymphony.org.

Saturday. Opera buffs of all ages are invited to a performance of “The Worth of a Man,” an original opera written by students of the Central City Opera and Colorado Springs Conservatory. The students attended the CCO/CSC’s Summer Performing Arts Intensive in summer 2009, where they researched and wrote the opera. The high-school-aged students based the opera on Springs historical figure Winfield Scott Stratton, exploring his legacy and those of other Springs settlers. Doors open at noon for family friendly activities before the show. 2 p.m. Saturday. Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, 215 S. Tejon St., Colorado Springs; 719-385-5990. Tickets are $10 per person, or $25 for a family of three. For advance tickets, call the museum or visit the museum store. Learn more at cspm.org.

Tuesday. Learn about Colorado wildlife and ecology at the “Nature Kids” event at the Colorado Chautauqua. Presented by the Thorne Ecological Institute, the program features hands-on “exploration stations” where kids can get down and dirty. Touch real animal skulls, make some nature art, do the “Animal Cake Walk” and more. After playing at the stations, jam out to an interactive, nature-themed concert by Thorne instructor Jeff Kagan The program is designed for kids ages 3 to 5, but kids of any age are welcome. 10 a.m. Tuesday. The Community House at Colorado Chautaquua, 900 Baseline Road, Boulder; 303-442-3282. Admission is $5. Infants under age 1 are free. For more information, visit chautauqua.com.

Sunday. Celebrate Buffalo Bill’s birthday at a party at the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave. The western legend would be 164 years old this year, and no doubt still riding the range. Sunday’s party starts with a cake-cutting ceremony attended by a slew of Buffalo Bill lookalikes. After having a slice, explore the museum with costumed volunteers and get warmed up for the next event: A buffalo-chip tossing contest, complete with prizes. Noon to 3 p.m. Sunday. Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave, 987 1/2 Lookout Mountain Road, Golden; 303-526-0744. Admission is free. Learn more at buffalobill.org.

Saturday. LIttle LEGO fans will love the Kids’ Saturday Nickelodeon at the Starz FilmCenter — the feature is “The Adventures of Clutch Powers,” an animated LEGO film. The movie follows Clutch Powers, “the best builder and explorer in the LEGO universe,” as he travels through time and space to defeat the forces of evil. Parents will love it, too: The movie is free. And on March 21, the FilmCenter’s Saturday Nickelodeon series becomes a weekly event. 3 p.m. Saturday. Starz FilmCenter, 900 Auraria Pkwy.; 303-595-3456, ext. 250. Admission is free. For more information, visit denverfilm.org.

-Kathleen St. John

Gunfire hits 2 kids at Deer Creek Middle School in Littleton

The scene unfolded Tuesday afternoon with shocking familiarity — a shooting outside a Jefferson County school, wounded students, heroic teachers, frantic parents.

When it was over, a man with a history of mental problems was in jail, accused of opening fire with a hunting rifle; two eighth-graders were hospitalized — one in critical condition; and one person after another realized it could have been so much worse.

The bizarre burst of gunfire that erupted just after 3 p.m. at Deer Creek Middle School, 9201 W. Columbine Drive, ended when David Benke, a 57-year-old math teacher, rushed the shooter, wrestled him to the ground and held on as others helped him subdue the man.

“I haven’t cried in 20 years,

but I cried like a baby and thanked Jesus,” said Bob Wilson, who pulled to the side of the road to gather himself after his daughter, Elizabeth, called to tell him what happened. “This day could have been so much worse.

“You never know when your whole life could turn upside down.”

The two injured teenagers were identified as Matt Thieu and Reagan Weber.

Matt, initially treated at Littleton Adventist Hospital, was later transferred to Children’s Hospital, where he was in critical condition late Tuesday night. Reagan was treated at the Littleton hospital and released a few hours later.

Jefferson County authorities identified the alleged gunman was Bruco Strong Eagle Eastwood, 32. He was held on two counts of attempted murder, said Jacki Kelley, spokeswoman for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

His father, Bruco War Eagle Eastwood, said his son heard voices and struggled financially.

“I don’t know why he did this, but he’s always had problems. I don’t know why, though,” the elder Eastwood said. “He’s different, just different.”

He also has an arrest record dating back to 1996 — including three incidents in which he was accused of threatening someone with a weapon.

The elder Eastwood said the gun, a bolt-action .30-06, was his, though he was not sure when his son took it.

Deer Creek and nearby Stony Creek Elementary School will be closed today. It is the second shooting at Deer Creek — in 1982, a teen shot and killed a student outside the school.

Deer Creek is located just a few miles from Columbine High,

Daily Deal-Enjoy Your Latte & Earn

If you’re a Starbucks Lover, you’ll be glad to hear about their new rewards card.  The more you drink Starbucks, the more you earn.

Starbucks just introduced their Starbucks Reward Card in which you’ll earn a star each time you make a purchase.  The more stars you earn, the bigger the reward.

One key thing to this program is you have to purchase the gift cards to get the rewards card.  It’s their way to get you to pay ahead for your coffee.  However, you’ll get a free coffee on your birthday and 2 hours of WiFi free each day.

Do any of you have the Starbucks Reward Card?  What types of rewards are you earning?  Is the program worth purchasing gift cards ahead of time?

Email me with additional Denver deals and events!

Printable coupons, printable coupons, and eCoupons! Saving you money!

danielle at milehighmamas dot com
Twitter ID: @denvermetromoms

Don’t want to miss any of Mile High Mamas’ contests and events? Be sure to sign up for our weekly email newsletter!

Trying not to be too ready

Guest Blogger Gwen is expecting…for the second time. And once again, no baby bump or stretch-marks will grace her with their pending bambino. Step inside their world of growing a family through adoption. Follow along here at Mile High Mamas and her blog and get a candid feel for the ups, downs, highs, lows and surprises that go hand in hand with the struggles of infertility and the miracle of adoption.

I went to BABIES R US…Why did I DO that?

We bought baby bedding. I know. Why would we do such a thing? We don’t even have the inkling of a placement at this point in time. I convinced myself that dude needed new sippy cups, so naturally, Babies R Us is the only place that I could go to find said sippy cups. And in lieu of sippy cups, I found baby boy crib bedding. And really cute onesies. And super soft blankets that every baby wants to be swaddled in. And I went home feeling giddy with baby glee and also really bitter at all the pregos walking around, ready to pop out their home grown newborns. It’s commonplace at BRU to look at every woman’s stomach as you pass by. How far along are YOU? They all look at me and assume that my flat stomach is shopping for gifts or that I’m overly gung ho in my very early stage pregnancy. And I have to tell you – I’m SO tempted to park in the “Parking for Expectant Mothers” spots every time. But I would be glared at.

Back to the “we bought bedding” issue. Why? Because this bedding is so beyond our “cute without being cutesy” standards and it was half off and we don’t like 99% of the boys bedding out there and I need something to get me in the baby mode. And so we bought bedding. And we’ll return it in 90 days if there’s still no sign of a bambino. And then my neighbor will come with me so she can re-buy it and we’ll then have another 90 days to hope for a reason to use it. And then if it’s still not happening I’ll return it again. And by that point I’ll be pretty darn depressed about it. What if we get a girl? Well, that’s a whole different issue. I haven’t found girly bedding that’s half off that meets my standards yet.

Welcome to my brain these days. I’m beyond the point of not thinking about our future family on a day to day basis. I think about it. And I daydream about it. And I make up birth moms in my head and analyze what our relationship will be like with her. And I wonder what color skin the little dude or dudette will have and what pitch their cry will be. Don’t worry – I’m not obsessing. It’s just becoming more of a reality than it was before. Why? I don’t know since my fingerprints are still sitting on an FBI agent’s desk somewhere, waiting to be rejected again. Yes, we’re still waiting on that. Our agency won’t put us online nationally until this happens. They say they’ll show our book locally if a birth mom matches us, so we’re banking on that promise at this point.

What’s the point of this random post? We’re ready. I’m ready. And trying my darndest not to be “too ready.” So for now I’ll be working on living my life as is and hope hope hoping for baby news sooner than later. And I’ll hide that super cute bedding in the depths of my guest room closet where I can only get a glimpse of the cuteness from time to time.