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On Target: My experience with Pumpkin Puree

I just ran into my friend Kathleen at Target.  I felt bad for acknowledging her, as she was busy in the beauty aisle, where no woman wants to be disturbed when she’s trying to decide between mascaras and eyeliners.  It’s like when I am in the hair color aisle.  I try to keep my eyes down as much as possible, barely being able to read the boxes, afraid someone might yell out, “Hey, there’s Lisa!  She went prematurely gray at 18, and has to dye her hair every other day!” 

Seriously, I won’t even take my kids to Target when I need new hair color.   I can’t be distracted, and  I certainly don’t want to talk about it after the deed has been done.   Sure, I’ll talk to myself a bit in the mirror, just enough to berate myself for growing bad hair, and then if the color is really bad, I’ll share my pain with my friend Katie, who’s been known to do a “double dye” in the same day too.  At least she can blame Ben when things go wrong.  He’s her husband and hair care provider, all the while, I only have myself to blame.

I’m getting off track.  Target can do that to a person, in case you didn’t know.  Today was different though.  I went into Target with a purpose.  Okay, a few purposes, the first of which, was to purchase an Icee for my son Will.  I’m not proud to say I sometimes distract him with treats in order to stay focused on my list.

But back to my purpose. 

Thanksgiving 2010 Events and Volunteer Round-up

THANKSGIVING EVENTS

Thanksgiving Day Nov. 25

The Loveland Turkey Trot 2010 starts at 8:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. It starts on Hoffman Drive, just north of the Mckee Medical Center (2000 Boise Driver), then goes through the neighborhood to Boyd Lake Road, and on to the bike path at Boyd Lake. The bike path ends at 18th Street where the route heads back to the hospital. Cost for adults 5K run/walk is $25; 12 and under 5K only is $13; cost for teams of three or more is $20 per person. Fees on race day are $35 adults, $15 kids ages 12 and under 5K only. The Proceeds benefit the Stepping Stones Adult Day Care Program at McKee Medical Center. Info: 970-593-6038. Register at active.com/running/loveland-co/loveland-turkey-trot-2010 or print out a registration form at bannerhealth.com/Giving+Back/Banner+Foundations/Colorado/McKee+Loveland/Special+Events/Turkey+Trot.htm.

The 7th annual Chamber of Commerce Highlands Ranch Turkey Day 5K Family Fun Run/Walk begins at 9 a.m. Thanksgiving Day at Shea Stadium at Redstone Park, 3270 Redstone Park Circle. Registration is from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Baby joggers are permitted for runners; dogs on leashes and baby strollers are welcome for the walk. There will also be a Kids’ Fun Run for ages 11 and under at 10 a.m. Participants will receive a long-sleeved t-shirt, a goodie bag and refreshments. A portion of the

Denver Deal: Black Friday!

I hope you are all ready for the ultimate shopping day!  Black Friday.  While I always love a deal, I am not fond of a 3 a.m. wake-up call to get them.  I know several who are die-hard fans of getting the newspaper on Thanksgiving morning and making a game plan on what stores to attack first, which items must be grabbed first and many work as a team.   I want to give you all some different ideas – because you can all look through the paper to see what is on sale (I highly suggest you do!)

While I can’t honestly say that I have tried this, I did have a couple friends who have and say it works.  The scoop is to find out what items will be on sale, purchase them the day prior (BlackFriday.com lists many).  Then bring the receipt (not the items) and have them price adjust.  If they are doorbuster sales (where the sale price is only good for a certain time-frame), you must bring the receipt during that time frame to have it adjusted accordingly.

If you have a friend you can take with you – the buddy system works well too. Have one person be the cart “driver” while the other is the runner – running to get the deals.  If you have someone who is in decent shape they can often obvert the areas that might get carts “stuck.” 

The Outlets at Castle Rock will open, once again, at 10 p.m. Thanksgiving night to start the holiday shopping off right.  Don’t bother going to bed – stay out late!

Morning Breakfast
In addition to great Friday morning deals, Sam’s Club will be offering free breakfast for members – (they also have GREAT Black Friday Sales/Deals).

Black Friday Perks and Surprises – When you spend $100 at Park Meadows on Black Friday, you will receive $10 gift card and a coupon book full of great deals.  Plus, throughout the day, the secret “holiday team” will be on the lookout for different ways to help you out…games for kids, oversize shopping bags or free valet for the next shopping trip!

Fantastic Shopping App – Amber forwarded me this really great app for your web phones!  Red Laser 2.0 App will allow you to scan the UPC/Bar Code of any item in the store – and in just a few seconds a  list of the same product in different stores (immediate comparison shopping) is sent back to you!  Check it out – plus it’s FREE!

Discount on Ski Equipment Rental – Planning to ski over the long weekend?  MileHighMoms get a 25% discount at Breeze Ski Rental!  www.skirentals.com/mhm

Grouponicus – The juggernaut of great 1/2 price deals – Groupon is offering a special over the holiday season – where groupon offers will be available for an entire week (rather than the single day that is typical with a groupon offer). 

Free Skate RentalEdge Ice Arena (6623 S. Ward Street, Littleton) is offering free skate rental Wednesday, November 24 from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. or 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. when you bring in (donate) a non perishible food item. 

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!  Be sure to forward these great deals on to your friends.

You can also follow me on Twitter (GeeWhy93).  If I find a great deal during the week, I’ll tweet it out!

The Scrooge of Thanksgivings Past

A couple of weeks ago, I casually posted the following status update on Facebook:

Gotta admit I’m just not feeling the Thanksgiving love because we won’t have family here (and cooking a huge dinner for just us doesn’t appeal). Can a person still feel gratitude and order pizza?

I was 1) burned at the stake 2) invited to several people’s celebrations and 3) accused of being sneaky so I would get invited to said celebrations.

Believe me, subtly ain’t my style. I’m nothing if not direct.

Here’s the deal: I get why people love Thanksgiving. I mean, there are certain elements that are great: An attitude of gratitude. Spending time with family preparing and eating a big feast. Being united no matter what denomination or creed.

My disdain for football aside, it’s just never been a holiday I’ve

Thanksgiving craft: Goggle-eyed gobblers

Goggle-eyed gobblers

What would Thanksgiving be without the turkey?

You might not know it, but turkey took a back seat at the first Thanksgiving held in the New World by Plymouth Colony Pilgrims in 1621. Venison, meat from plentiful deer, was the entree for that feast. Turkey, along with many vegetables, was served as a side dish.

The fact that the Pilgrims survived to hold a feast to give thanks for their good harvest was, in great part,

Genetic screening test helps older moms decide on implanting embryos

An increasingly popular genetic-screening test is offering new hope to older women trying to get pregnant through in-vitro fertilization.

The procedure, offered by three Colorado fertility clinics, examines cells from 5-day-old embryos to determine which are likeliest to become healthy full-term babies.

Fertility specialists say the new test, which evaluates a larger number of chromosomes than other practices, is significantly more promising for women in their late 30s.

And it might be safer for embryos, which have been more routinely tested at a fragile three days.

“It is as if we are turning back the biological clock for women ages 38 to 42,” says William Schoolcraft, director and founder of the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine.

For such women as

Flu 101: How to keep your family protected

Do you have questions about this year’s flu virus? Confused about how many flu shots your child needs? We’ve got the flu info you need to help you protect your family.

What is the flu?

Influenza, commonly known as “the flu,” is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract. Flu symptoms include:
• High fever
• Sore throat
• Chills
• Headache
• Cough
• Body aches
• Fatigue
• Runny nose

I’ve heard this year’s flu is different?

Seasonal flu refers to many different strains of an influenza virus. Last year, we saw a new and different flu virus

When Divorce, Chairs and Teeth Collide

The hardest day of my life: I hadn’t been separated from Antonia and Jonah’s father for even a month when a horrible accident happened. Jonah, my three-year-old, had spilled his glass of milk all over my dining room floor about a half hour before it was time to take them to the police station, which at that time was the parent-exchange location every Sunday.

In retrospect, I should have left the stupid milk sprawled to lay where it may until coming back home from dropping them off. I should have been savoring that last half hour I had with them. But the milk on the floor bothered me. And I’m not even a neat freak, by any stretch of the imagination. Nonetheless, for whatever reason, I felt it needed to be cleaned up immediately. I would live to regret that small decision for a very, very long time.

As I moved all the dining room chairs into the living room, lining them up like a train so that I could mop, Antonia rose from the couch and tripped over her packed-and-ready-to-go duffel bag, landing directly on the edge of one of the chairs, the caboose of my train. In an instant, she was screaming and covered in blood. She’d knocked out her four front teeth in one fell swoop. Luckily, they were baby teeth, but that didn’t mean any less blood and pain and panic. I put a washcloth to her mouth to stop the bleeding and rushed her to the emergency room, calling her father from the road to meet me there.

Despite the snail-for-cars that exponentially delayed my trip to the ER, everything turned out okay. There was no permanent damage, just a mouth full of missing teeth. But she was still shaken up and hurting. As it was, this was already a painful time for her. Antonia was taking the separation of her parents especially hard.

Emergency room visit all taken care of, it was time for her and her brother to go with their father. We were all still very new to the idea of packing bags, loading up and saying goodbye to one another every weekend. But the goodbyes were by far the worst even under the best of circumstances. She looked up at me with her swollen upper lip and blood-crusted toothless face and asked me to come with her. She said that she didn’t want anything else in the whole world but for us to be together as a family that night. Just that one night.

Event Round-up: Candyland, Turkey Trot, Holiday Fun in Boulder

Through Sunday. Kid play. Take a tour through Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory when the Northglenn Youth Theatre presents “Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka.” Adapted from the 1971 movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” the musical show follows Charlie Bucket and his grandpa as they find a Golden Ticket and gain entrance to Wonka’s factory. A group of bratty little kids join the tour, too, with lots of unexpected — and funny — results. 7 p.m. today and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. Northglenn Recreation Center, 11801 Community Center Drive, Northglenn; 303-450-8800. $7.50 adults, $6.50 students and seniors.

Before the Holidaze Begin, the Holiday Letter is Done!

It’s really not my fault, even though it does seem hypocritical of me. I mean, how can someone who grumbles about the “Happy Hallow-thanks-ismas” season that morphs and spreads through all the retail stores as soon as they take down the Back To School signs be done with her Holiday Letters?  (Photo credit: The Casual Perfectionist.)

Yes, it’s true.

I stamped, sealed and addressed the last ones on Halloween.

Now, that’s scary.

But, like I said, it’s not my fault. If I don’t do them now, I’ll be rushing to get them done amidst traveling, guests, anniversary celebrations, holiday parties, more traveling, birthday shindigs, and more guests.  (Have I mentioned all the parties, traveling, and guests?)

So, I do them early. This year, I have them done a little bit earlier than normal, because of our overactive travel schedule, but I’ll still mail them out on December 1st. I’ve always tried to get a December 1st postmark on my Holiday Cards. It’s my own little “Welcome to December!” party in my head.

The only year I missed the December 1st deadline by a few days was when I was in the hospital having Claire. But, that’s the year we cheated and had our Very First Family of Three Photo taken in the hospital, and then we used that photo on a Birth Announcement/Holiday Card. Two proverbial partridges got knocked out of the pear tree by the same stone that year.

Every year I pick a different theme or style of Holiday Letter and Photo. This year, I used Photoshop to put together a photo collage of our adventures, and I had them printed as a 4×6 photo. I found specialty envelopes at a local office supply store that fit the size of photo and letter we used, and leisurely cut, folded, stamped and addressed them, well before the holidaze started.

But, don’t you have a blog? Aren’t you on Facebook?  Haven’t you embraced most things technological?  Why do you still send a snail mail Holiday Photo Card and Letter?

Because I want to! Turnabout is fair play, and I love getting Holiday Cards, Letters, and Photos, and we get a ton. It may be old-school, but it’s a tradition that I’m holding on to as tightly as I can.

Plus, I only pretend to share everything online. Some things, like complete family photos, never show up in my blog and rarely does my husband appear in photos on Facebook.  (Don’t worry.  His team of lawyers were familiar with the Holiday Photo Clause and granted me special, though limited permission.)

And, I know this will be hard to believe, but there are some people on our Holiday Card List that don’t read the blog and are not on Facebook. I was curious, so I decided to take time out from bragging about being done with my Holiday Letter and actually count those people. I always send 100 cards, so the math was pretty easy. The result? 79% of the people on our Holiday List do not live their lives online.

That’s a lot, and certainly enough for me to justify keeping this little tradition alive.

What about you? Do you send a Holiday Letter?