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Your opinion: Parents must remove screaming kids at restaurant

The owner of a coastal North Carolina restaurant is fed up with screaming children who bother other diners.

So Brenda Armes has posted signs at Olde Salty restaurant in Carolina Beach that read “screaming children will not be tolerated.” She told WECT-TV in Wilmington that the signs have worked by attracting more customers than they turn away.

Customer Gary Gibson agrees, saying he likes the signs because a meal isn’t enjoyable when kids are screaming.

But a mother of two, Ashley Heflin, says parents can’t help it if their children scream.

If a child is screaming, Armes says a restaurant employee will ask the parent to take them outside. They won’t be asked to leave the restaurant for good.

-AP story, photo: Daily Mail

What is your opinion? Does the restaurant have the right to ask screaming kids to leave?

Normal is a setting on your dryer: A dad’s cancer, a mom’s new role & the new normal

What is “normal” and why do we always seem to be looking for it? It makes sense that some would seek predictability once they start a family, but is “normalcy” really something we can attain?

“I can’t wait to have a normal life,” is exactly what I was thinking three years ago in St. Louis, when my husband, Danny, a pilot, was interviewed and hired the same day for his dream job at Frontier Airlines in Denver, then asked to start training right away. We had
moved four times in the past five years, and now with a 6-month-old baby, I had the job of selling our house, packing and moving all on my own… in just one month. Every day I felt on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but would keep my eye on the goal: just make it to Denver, and then life will calm down.

You’ll be happy to know I made it without checking into a mental hospital first, though I kept a few numbers on hand, just in case. We were finally on our way to normal, planning our baby’s first birthday party, when one Tuesday night, while giving Reagan a bath, I heard Danny dropping something over and over again in the hallway. I found him slumped up against the wall, his face and body completely slack on one side, reaching down to pick up a pair of pliers and then dropping them again. Though I couldn’t fathom it at the time, he was having a stroke. At 39 years of age.

At the ER, an MRI confirmed a

Event Round-up: Arvada Harvest Festival, Kids Fun Fest & More!

Friday-Sunday. Celebrate the beginning of fall at the Arvada Harvest Festival. The centerpiece of the fest is the Harvest Festival Parade on Saturday. This year’s parade theme is “Patriotism,” so plan on seeing a lot of red, white and blue among the marching bands, floats and clowns. McIlvoy Park will be one of the centers of the festival: See the Air Force Brass Band at 6 p.m. Friday; on Saturday and Sunday, kids turn the park into the Kids Zone, complete with a kids’ parade at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. 5-10:30 p.m. tonight, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, various times Sunday. Downtown Arvada, Upham Street between Ralston Road and Grandview Avenue. Admission is free. For event schedules and more information, visit

Saturday-Sunday. Lakewood’s Belmar neighborhood transforms into an Italian paradise at the 7th annual Festival Italiano. Local vendors will set up shop throughout the shopping center, peddling arts and crafts, antiquities and lots and lots of food. Chow down on pizza, sausages, pasta, gelato and more. Vino will be flowing, of course: Grownups can sample Italian wines, and kids can help make it by stomping grapes for Balistreri Vineyards. Foodies will want to buy tickets to one of the daily Grand Tasting Events, featuring local star chefs Frank Bonnano and Gabriel Aragon. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Belmar, South Wadsworth Boulevard and West Alaska Drive. Admission is free; tickets for the Grand Tasting event are $25 in advance, $35 at the door. Buy advance tickets at For more information, visit or call 303-742-1520

Saturday. Even though the nearby Mile High Music Festival just went down a few weeks ago. Stapleton is ready for more. The Stapleton Rocks Concert for a Cause starts thumping on Saturday morning. Listening to the bands is free, but tickets for the quad bungee, slide and climbing wall, plus concession stand sales, go to charity. The band lineup includes Honor the Fallen, Bernard and Joel, Control Tower and Youth in Conflict.10:45 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday. Founder’s Green, 29th Avenue and Roslyn Street. Admission is free.

Saturday. Rocky Mountain PBS invites youngsters for a day in the sun at their Kids Fun Fest. Cool characters like Curious George, The Cat in the Hat and Clifford the Big Red Dog will be on hand — or on paw, rather — to greet guests and take photos. Expend some energy with outdoor activities like a bounce house, climbing wall and Urban Farm, or settle in with the storytellers and a performance by PBS KIds host Miss Rosa. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Rocky Mountain PBS, 1089 Bannock St.; 800-274-6666. Admission is free.

Weekends in September. All aboard: Thomas the Tank Engine makes an extended stop at the Colorado Railroad Museum. Thomas will be giving rides on his train throughout the day as part of “Day Out With Thomas: The Celebration Tour.” Rides are scheduled throughout the day — early arrivals are encouraged, though, to ensure everyone makes their train. There’s plenty to do before and after your ride, of course: Have a photo taken with Sir Topham Hatt, play with model trains, visit a petting zoo and just explore the museum. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Sept. 26. Colorado Railroad Museum, 17155 w. 44th Ave., Golden; 303-279-4591. Tickets are $18, with discounts for groups, active military and museum members. Buy tickets at Learn more at

-Kathleen St. John

Writing a Book: What a Novel Challenge!

As they say, “The only constant is change,” and this summer has been evidence of that. In fact, as you may or may not realize, the last days of July signified my last days as assistant editor here at Mile High Mamas!

(Stock photo by typofi)

I’ve loved my time at Mile High Mamas, and I’ll contribute writing pieces every now and then, but it’s time to shift gears. After taking some time in August to travel to New York and San Francisco and as we continue planning our trip to Hawaii in October (What? A girl has her priorities…), it’s time to follow my passion; harness this energy and see where it takes me.

It’s time to start the next chapter.


Yes, I’m writing a book!

So, how does one do this? As a writer, I’ve done a lot of writing via pixels and keyboard keys, and I’ve kicked it old-school by putting a real pen to physical paper. I’ve written essays and papers and blog posts, but never a book. Writing has always come easy for me. But writing a book? How exactly do you do that? Well, I’ve learned a lot about this process over the last few months!

One of the most interesting things I’ve learned is that books and their authors go down different paths, depending on the type of book. Fiction books require a fully completed manuscript before the next phase of their adventure truly begins. Nonfiction books jump into the fray with a completed book proposal.

How do you decide which direction to go? For me, the decision was made for me:

Denver Deal: Mile High Organics, Crested Butte, Del Taco, Children’s Museum

The deals keep getting better!  Yes, we have some very special deals for you this week – just for Mile High Mamas readers!  Perhaps you are getting back into the routine of school and other activities that are certain to come this fall.  We have some money and time-saving deals for you.

Mile High Organics Special for MileHighMamas readers!

I recently read an article in the Denver Post about how eating fruits and vegetables is more expensive than mac and cheese.  I know I am all about the deals – but it is also important to feed my kids right.  Mile High Organics is offering a special for all the Mile High Mamas that want to save some time and still feed their kids right!   This really cool service allows you to place an order for fresh organic fruits and vegetables from the convenience of your computer and then the fresh produce is delivered to your door.  (They offer all kinds of stuff – not just fruits and veggies).  This week if you place your first order you will receive 3 lbs of fresh melon from Longmont when you use the code X.

Crested Butte Celebrates 50 Years of Skiing

Now that you have all of your ski gear (I know you shopped at Sniagrab, Ski Rex or one of the other sales this last weekend) – here is a GREAT deal for trying out all that equipment.  To celebrate 50 years of skiing, Crested Butte is offering a 50/50 Anniversary package.  Here’s the scoop: $50 per person/night AND 50% off lift tickets.  This deal is only available November 23 – December 16.  Plus, there is only a one-night minimum (lodging has to accompany the 50% off lift tickets deal)!  Hurry before the deal is sold out!

Get your Taco on at Del Taco!

Del Taco!  Del Taco is offering tacos for just 39 cents each!  You can feed the whole family for under $5…and the first 15 MileHighMamas that email me will get a $5 gift card!!!  This promotion only last through the fall – so get your taco on!

Children’s Museum of Denver September Specials!

Target Tuesday nights continues tonight (September 7) with free play at the Children’s Museum on the First Tuesday evening 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. brought to you by Target.  (They go through the end of the year!).  And Pajama Party Wednesday kicks off at 4 p.m. Dress in your favorite PJs – and play at the Museum and listen to bedtime stories.  Everyone wearing their PJ’s gets $2 off!

Email me if you know of any great Denver deals! 

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

You can also follow me on Twitter.  If I find a great deal during the week, I’ll tweet it out!

Get 4 tickets to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s new FUNundrum circus for $44!

If you needed one word to describe the circus, it would be FUN.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus presents Barnum’s FUNundrum on September 30 – October 10, 2010 at the Denver Coliseum. This event celebrates the 200th anniversary of the birth of the legendary P.T. Barnum, the Greatest Showman on Earth. With 130 performers from six continents, almost 100,000 pounds of performing pachyderms, 13 athletes on a Russian Bar, seven riders in a Globe of Steel, this is a super-sized spectacle so massive you just can’t miss it!

As a bonus, the Ringling Bros. Animal Open House opens 90 minutes before showtime and is FREE to all ticketholders. Circus tickets purchased from the box office range in price from $18-$85 for adults, $12.50-$85 for kids age 12 and younger (kids prices are only available on weekday performances). If purchased through Ticketmaster additional fees apply or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

Mile High Mamas Discount

Purchase a 4-pack of tickets for only $44 for weekday performances with the code FFAWD or receive $4 off weekend tickets with the code FFAWE. Enter the chosen code at: or call 1-800-745-3000

Disclaimer: Weekday = Wed. 7pm, Thurs. 7 p.m., & Fri. 11 a.m. performances. Minimum purchase of 4 tickets required for 4-pack; additional tickets above 4 can be purchased at $11 each. Offer not valid on Circus Celebrity, Front Row or VIP seating. Cannot be combined with other offers. Service charges and handling fees will apply.

How my family literally looked into the eye of Hurricane Earl’s storm

Poor eyesight. Baldness. Big feet. These are all things that can be passed down from generation-to-generation.

In my family, our inherited trait is bad luck.

And also the aforementioned misfortunes.

We come up a wee bit short in the gene pool.

I hail from an uproarious, fun-loving Canadian family but if anything bad can happen, it usually does. That said, what do you get when your entire Murphy’s Law clan congregates for the first time in 10 years in North Carolina’s famed Outer Banks?

Hurricane Earl, that’s what.

And I only wish I was joking.

Our week-long vacation actually started out smoothly. My generous mother rented a beach-side mansion that accommodated all 15 siblings and cousins in the Outer Banks’ Southern Shores.

For five glorious days, we splashed in our pool, built sand castles, chased the waves, explored quaint fishing villages, kite-boarded, stalked crabs at night and collected sea shells at dawn. It was as close to utopia as The Bad Luck Clan has ever come and I never wanted it to end.

Hurricane Earl had other ideas.

Children’s illness stirs Colorado debate on raw milk

At first, Mary Pierce thought her 2-year-old couldn’t stop throwing up because she had a typical stomach bug. A few days later, she watched in terror as the lethargic little girl was rushed by helicopter to The Children’s Hospital, her little kidneys shutting down.

Then Nicole’s 5-year-old brother, Aaron, fell ill, following her into the hospital and onto a dialysis machine. The cause of their potentially deadly illness: drinking raw goat’s milk from a local dairy.

“I’m not a typical Boulder person,” Pierce said. “We were just trying it because my son is allergic to dairy. We’re not going near it anymore.”

The outbreak in June that sent the Pierce children to the hospital for three weeks and sickened about 30 others has state health officials ramping up efforts to warn people against drinking unpasteurized milk.

Some are calling for a more restrictive state law that would further limit

10 Places Your Kids Will Love to People-Watch (and so will you!)

What makes for a good people-watching spot?

Is it the sheer flood of eye candy? The diversity? The ease with which you can project fake histories and personalities onto your subjects? A comfy bench?

For most people, it’s a mix. Airports and hospitals are fascinating people-watching spots, but unless you’re on vacation (or returning from a disastrous one), no one wants to set foot in either of them.

Parks, plazas and malls are also natural choices, but some are better than others — although all are usually busiest on the weekends.

People-watching tends to happen close to where folks live and work, so everyone’s preferred spot is different. But the best ones tend to have a few things in common, such as walkability, nearby attractions and plenty of places to mingle.

Here are 10 local favorites culled from years of casually observing the rush of humanity in all its messy, hectic splendor.

1. Pearl Street Mall

Downtown Boulder prides itself on its bike- and pedestrian-friendly ways, and the 33-year-old Pearl Street Mall (between 11th and 15th streets on Pearl) is a charming, tree-lined way to luxuriate in one of the country’s most self-satisfied communities. Bizarre, surprising street performers, aging hippies, well-to-do families and college students stream by without end, every day of the week.

Recommended spots:

Mama Drama: Potty Training On The Go

Dear Mama Drama:

My two year old is potty training and has moved into wearing “big girl panties.” I am freaked out about taking her out of the house because I’m afraid she’ll have an accident and will become too discouraged. How can I take her out and help her to be successful?

~ Stuck in the House Mama

(photo credit)

Dear Stuck:

Taking toddlers out in the world while they are potty training can be an adventure. Remember that it takes time to learn to read the signals that your bladder is full, tell mom you need to go, use your muscles to hold it in while you get to the bathroom, and get your clothes off in time. Here are some tips for a dry and happy outing: