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Hurry Up and Wait (part 2 of our journey with Asperger’s)

I find it only slightly ironic that I’m revisiting this chunk of time now…at the beginning of the holiday season…2 years later. If you’d like to catch up on this story, click here.

So, a quick recap. I’m beginning my DREAM job right when we’ve been told that there may be some “red flags” with Z, our almost 2.5 year old son. And both kids (S is barely 1 years old) are going through a culture shock of

It’s here! Mile High Mamas Holiday Gift Guide. The Baker’s Dozen.

It’s the yearly holiday list of the baker’s dozen of clever, thoughtful and creative gifts for everyone in the family. Black Friday is over (thank goodness) and now it’s time to shop locally. Of course every product or idea on this list is Colorado-based. From coffee and chocolates to theater tickets and donations to charity, please read my favorite picks for the 2011 holiday season. I even included a couple gifts for Fido this year. I always want to include so many more ideas, but I know that I would begin to bore all of you with too long of a list. Again, I’m so inspired by the incredible local entrepreneurs and companies that call Colorado home. From their charity work to their community focus, we are lucky Mile High Mamas to be surrounded by such inspirational people.

Event Round-up: Candlelight Walk, Parade of Lights & More!

Through Saturday. The 36th annual 9News Parade of Lights twinkles its way through downtown, starting tonight. This year’s parade brings a couple of new treats to the lineup: A huge, 42-foot-long tiger balloon and an updated float for Santa and his sleigh. Plenty of familiar favorites will be on-hand, too, including the puppy and Major Waddles balloons and a small army of high-school marching bands. Watch for the Westernaires mounted drill team, Colorado Disc Dogs, Rocky Mountain Rollergirls and traditional dancers from a variety of world cultures. Tonight, the Colorado State University marching band will make a special appearance. 8 p.m. Friday, 6 p.m. Saturday. Downtown Denver, 15th and 17th Streets between Tremont Place and Arapahoe St.; grandstand at the City and County building, Colfax Avenue and Bannock Street. Admission is free. Advance grandstand tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for children ages 2 to 12.

Friday and Saturday. Golden officially gets in the holiday spirit with an “Olde Golden Christmas.” The celebration starts Friday with a candlelight and caroling walk. Bring a candle—or buy one for 50 cents—and join the parade through downtown Golden, with warm drinks, snacks and entertainment along the way. A reindeer petting zoo greets kids at the end of the walk. On Saturday, the town begins a series of “Olde Fashioned Hometown Parades,” complete with Santa, elves, Christmas music and floats. Afterward, hitch a free ride in a horse-drawn carriage –or kids can hop into a wagon pulled by a Newfoundland dog. The parades continue on Dec. 10 and 17. Candlelight Walk: 6:30 p.m. Friday. Gather at Foothills Art Center, 809 15th St., Golden, beginning at 6 p.m. Parade: 11 a.m. Saturdays. Washington Avenue, downtown Golden. Admission to both events is free.

Through Jan. 1. The Denver Botanic Gardens will be in full, sparkling bloom—in two locations—during “Blossoms of Light” and “Trail of Light.” “Blossoms” invites guests to wander through the Gardens’ main York Street site, decorated with hundreds of thousands of colorful lights. New this year: four ice sculptures and a synchronized light display in the amphitheater. The “Trail of Light,” at the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield, guides holiday revelers along a glimmering path on the high plains. For younger guests and their grownups, there’s a brand-new children’s play area, too. Both events will have warm drinks available. 5:30-9:30 p.m. daily. Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York St.; 720-865-3500. Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield, 8500 W. Deer Creek Canyon Road, Littleton; 303-973-3705. Admission: $9.50 for adults, $7.50 for seniors and students, $6.50 for children ages 3 to 12. Gardens members receive a discount.

Saturday-Sunday. Gather the whole Christmas crew for a “Christmas with the Children’s Chorale” at Boettcher Concert Hall. The yearly holiday extravaganza features all the Chorale’s choirs, from the young beginners of the Prep Choir to the seasoned singers of the Tour Choir. This year’s show features a special commissioned work by local composer Deborah Schmit-Lobis, plus a globally minded selection of holiday carols. 2 p.m. Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday. Boettcher Concert Hall at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis Streets. Saturday tickets are $24-$80 for adults, $19-$75 for kids and students under 18. Sunday seats are $19-$75 for adults, $15-$60 for kids and students. Buy tickets at or call 800-745-3000.

Saturday. Get a photo with Santa—and plenty of midday playtime—at “Snack With Santa” at the Children’s Museum of Denver. Instead of waiting in a line, kids pick up a “Santa Pass” with an appointed visit time. Before their appointment with the big man, they can play in the museum, stop in at the hot cocoa bar and take a final look at their list. Grownups, be sure to bring a camera, as there won’t be a professional photographer on-site. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Children’s Museum of Denver, 2121 Children’s Museum Drive; 303-433-7444. Activities included with museum admission: $8 for guests ages 2 to 59, $6 for 1-year-olds and seniors age 60 and older.

Kathleen St. John

Colorado ranks No. 2 in parents declining to vaccinate kids

A new survey puts Colorado second-highest for parents refusing vaccines for their kids, a trend that increasingly troubles state health officials.

Vaccine advocates in Colorado said the Associated Press tally of vaccine refusals reflects an abysmal state rate for preventive shots. They said Colorado’s education system makes it too easy to opt out of shots, and a highly educated population is rejecting vaccinations out of too much bad information.

Online Christmas Shopping Haiku

On Cyber Monday
Shopping while in pajamas
encouraged by all.

Nobody will know
I fill my baskets with things
Probably won’t buy.

“Free Shipping!” stores claim.
But I must spend hundred bucks?
No thank you. Really.

Nothing makes me scream

Denver Deal:Photos with Santa, Nothing Bundt Cakes & Cici’s Pizza

I hope you had some great success deal-seeking this last weekend and on Cyber Monday.

AT&T Winter Sports Giveaway and Free Photos with Santa

Seriously, what could be better than giveaways and photos with Santa? AT&T and the National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD) celebrate winter sports season with Winter Sports Giveaways (Free photos with Santa Claus, winter sports gear and the hottest devices and accessories). Friday, December 2 (4 p.m. to 8 p.m.) and Saturday, December 3 (2 p.m. to 6 p.m.) at the AT&T on 16th Street Mall (1001 16th Street) and the following weekend December 10 and December 11 (12 noon – 4 p.m.) at the AT&T Store in Highlands Ranch (1104 Sgt Jon Stiles Dr.).

Nothing Bundt Cakes comes to Westminster

Help the newest location of Nothing Bundt Cakes celebrate their grand opening in Westminster! The store located at 10449 Town Center the Shops at Walnut Creek in Westminster. The celebration includes Ribbon Cutting on Wednesday, November 30 (11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.); Friday, December 2nd – Charity Day (20% of proceeds are donated) and then Saturday, December 3rd starting at 9 a.m. – First 50 customers to make a purchase receive free Bundtlets for a year (one per month for 12 months) and the party continues with balloon art and face painting for the kids from noon to 3 p.m.

Safeway Fuel Rewards

Mile High Mamas loves that grocery stores are helping motivate shoppers to buy holiday gift cards from their stores (plus it’s so convenient!) The Safeway Fuel Rewards has extended their fuel rewards program for gift cards thru Dec. 10. For every $1 you spend, gift cards earn 4X the gas reward points. Every 100 points gets you a 10 cents per gallon reward for a single fill-up at a Safeway gas station. For more information, go here

CiCi’s Special Thank You

All six CiCi’s Pizza locations in the Denver area are joining together to say “Thank you” to their guests this holiday season. On Friday, December 2, 2011 Cici’s restaurants will offer an all-day guest appreciation buffet special for just $1.99 per guest! The buffet is normally just $5 per person including all the great pizza you can eat, pastas, salad bar, soup and dessert! Guess where you will find me and my family on Friday?

Great Deal Sites

Even though Cyber Monday may officially be wrapped up, there are still great deals to be found on websites (and apps). My friend introduced me to Groupon Mobile with the GrouponNow part (it locates where you are and will help find great deals in close proximity) – so when you’re out shopping and want to get a great deal – check your Groupon Now offers (I got one at Old Navy $20 it cost me only $10). is a new site specificially for Deal Savvy Moms – their deal through tomorrow is for a 7 inch Android tablet; $129 plus we have a promo code, if you enter cyber40 at checkout you can get the tablet for $77.40. There are also some great deals on

Ski Areas and Ski Towns

We have been getting so many great deals and events from Colorado Ski Areas – that we have expanded our blog to include a whole separate page all about Ski Deals!

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 so you can forward these great deals 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.

Colorado voter turnout shows high interest in education reform

Near-record campaign contributions, national media attention and large voter turnouts revealed deeper public interest in education in Colorado this year.

Mostly stagnant graduation rates and the increasingly costly needs of remediation for those students who decide to pursue higher education have spurred a reform movement offering myriad choices for quick change.

Others see the movement as a convenient tactic used by corporate reformers to keep them in a profitable business.

In any event, education has caught the public’s attention.

“For a long time, urban school boards were left to special interest groups — which weren’t all bad, but people weren’t

Despite popularity, not everyone’s sold on Cyber Monday

Today is supposedly the day when retailers offer their best online deals, with office workers feverishly snatching them up in between spreadsheet reviews and PowerPoint presentations.

In 2010, the Monday after Thanksgiving ranked for the first time as the biggest online shopping day of the year, according to market research firm comScore, lending credence to the belief that Cyber Monday is the Internet equivalent of Black Friday.

“I’m a big fan of the online deals during this time of year. No Black Friday crowds,” said Falcon resident Al Malchow via Twitter. “I’ll scour the nets extra hard on Monday (today).”

But not everyone is sold on Cyber Monday,

Wounded kids learn how to navigate world at Mount St. Vincent Home

By the time a child gets to Mount St. Vincent Home, he or she has been abused, neglected or witnessed abuse. Some have mental illness, and some have been in several living situations.

Some arrive with only a plastic bag, filled with a few clothes and maybe a favorite toy. They are scared and afraid they will be rejected again, said the home’s director, Sister Amy Willcott.

“We don’t know all of what they’ve gone through,” she said. “We have some pretty darned challenging kids.”

Colorado’s year-round Christmas workshop

When the sun sets and the temperature dips at Santa’s Workshop, the 55-year-old Christmas village and kiddie amusement park nestled in the mountains northwest of Colorado Springs, the last man on site just happens to be the big man on campus.

Santa Claus​, played this year for the first time by longtime area resident Phil Tracy, feeds reindeer and llamas before retiring to a single-wide, on-site trailer he calls home.

“(Santa) is here any time the park is open,” says general manager Tom Haggard.

And as it turns out, Tracy is here when it’s not.

Haggard and Tracy’s friendship dates back to their youth, when both worked at Santa’s Workshop