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Wildlife Experience: Exclusive discount at one of Denver’s best half-day camps!

How does a summer of expeditions, thrilling live animal interactions, Extreme Theater movies, interactive exhibits, hiking, science experiments, games, crafts and MORE sound to your child?

Mile High Mamas is partnering with the Wildlife Experience in Parker, Colo to offer you an exclusive discount on their weekly summer half-day camps for kids ages 5-7 that run from June 2-August 8, 2014.

With so many summer camps for kids out there, why choose the Wildlife Experience? Their camps are not only fully licensed and have the highest safety rating but they offer three different themes so kids can pick the camp session they are most passionate about!  All nature camps are not only about learning but getting physical with plenty of games to make it fun.  Each day always starts off with yoga, then activities, going outside for a snack, free time to play and even a  3D movie in the Xtreme screen theater.

Plus, the half-day camps are from 9 a.m.-noon, giving you a much-needed break while they keep learning and playing all summer long!

The session choices include:

 wildlifeexperience2Creepy Crawlies Revealed

Campers will explore the secret lives of ants, spiders, worms, grasshoppers, crickets and other creepy crawly critters. Through hands-on activities and live animal encounters, campers will become young scientists – discovering where these animals live in nature, what they like to eat, how they move, and how each animal is important for a healthy ecosystem. They will meet resident tarantuals, learn about how spiders weave their webs and catch their prey. Your little scientists will even perform an ant experiment and will make a hypothesis of how many ants eat different foods placed before them. Was their choice related to color, food, texture, etc.? Campers will collect and learn the difference between grasshoppers and crickets and even dedicate an entire day unto worms–how they move, react to life. And you can’t miss the always-fun cockroach races. Using the scientific method, kids will figure out which cockroaches will win on the obstacle course.

Backbone Bonanza

Delving into the animal kingdom, campers learn about types of animals that have backbones. What is the difference between a reptile and amphibian? Haven’t you always been curious about penguins and the wonders of the Arctic? There will be exciting owl pellet dissections, vertebrate relay races and live animal demonstrations as campers discover the world of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. 

wildlifeexperience1Urban Animals Rediscovered

In Denver, we are surrounded by fascinating animals that often get overlooked. Guaranteed, Urban Animals Rediscovered will help your kids see the world around them through different eyes.  From bats, bees and coyotes to prairie dogs, kids will create bug motels and mini-meadows and learn how to create a habitat for wildlife viewing and exploration.  Nature’s Educators will bring life animal demonstrations including raptors, golden eagles, owls and hawks. During weeks  1 and 3, the Cottontail Rabbit Rescue will share the work they do for the injured and abandoned rabbits and talk about rehabilitation. Not only does this great session expose kids to animals but also opens up many career opportunities for the future. 

What Denver parents are saying

“Jasper had an amazing two weeks of wildlife camp. The staff was amazing and he came home each day with new information about what he had learned.  It was a wonderful combination of learning and playing.  Honestly, I would have registered him for more weeks if there were additional programs available.  He is already looking forward to next summer.  We live in Denver and it is a bit of a drive for us to get there, especially during rush hour, but your program was well worth it.  I was happy that the group size was small, but I’m thinking that will change once word gets out about how wonderful your camp is.  Thank you so much!”

“My child’s favorite part of the camp was seeing cool ‘insider’ stuff at the museum such as feeding the coral reef fish and the live animal visits each day.

 Wildlife Experience Camp Discount

Mile High Mamas is partnering with the Wildlife Experience to offer you a 10 percent discount if you sign-up for a summer half-day camp. Don’t delay–full-day camps are already sold out and this offer is only available during April if you mention this blog post.


 

 

Denver kids: be sure to sign up for free access to pools, rec centers

In the first year of the MY Denver Card program, the city says more than 42,000 youths signed up for the free pass to municipal libraries, pools and recreation centers.

That’s nearly half of the estimated 90,000 5- through 18-year-olds who are eligible. Denver Parks and Recreation said on Thursday, the one-year anniversary of the program, that its first-year goal had been to sign up 25,000.

Parents can fill out applications at any Denver rec center or print one online on Denvergov.org.

The city says it will announce more card benefits later this year. Costs for the $1.2 million-a-year program have been covered by voters’ passage in 2012 of Measure 2A, which allowed the city to keep more tax money by opting out of the spending cap set by the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. “The overwhelming success of this program in just the first year gives me great hope that we are on the right track to fighting childhood obesity and giving our kids the benefits of a healthy, active and productive lifestyle,” Mayor Michael Hancock said in a statement.

Jon Murry

Iconic family-friendly Denver restaurant Casa Bonita celebrates 40 years

When the doors of the legendary Casa Bonita restaurant on West Colfax opened 40 years ago, Marilyn Carmosino was astounded by the line of people stretching down the block.

On Thurday, Carmosino, now 67, sat at a table overlooking the cliff diving pool with her 5-year-old grandson as Casa Bonita celebrated its 40th anniversary.

“I come because of nostalgia, and fabulous entertainment for the kids all in one place,” the lifelong Denver resident said.

(Craig F. Walker)

(Craig F. Walker)

Casa Bonita, draped in kitschy Mexican-themed decor, is famous for the same attractions today that it was four decades ago: a trouble-making gorilla, cliff divers leaping from the top of a 30-foot-tall indoor waterfall, the Old West gunfight and many other trademark features.

“Forty years in the world of restaurants is like 400 years in real life,” said Denver restaurant consultant John Imbergamo. “That’s an incredible accomplishment.”

Surviving four decades in an ever-shifting industry is a remarkable feat, but one that highlights a tried-and-true business strategy.

“One of the things we have found is that our customers really like to know what to expect,” general manager Mike Mason said. “We try to stay true to the formula.”

Mason has been around the place nearly as long as the bottomless sopapilla basket. Now in his 38th year as an employee, he fell in love with the place when visiting on his 15th birthday and applied for a job at age 16.

Business has been up about 10 percent related to the anniversary, officially March 27, Mason said.

With slim marketing resources, the restaurant’s fame continues to spread primarily through word-of-mouth.

The decor inside Casa Bonita has not changed much since this photo was taken in 1988. (John Prieto, The Denver Post file)

 (John Prieto)

It received a friendly boost from “South Park,” which featured Casa Bonita in an episode a decade ago. The show’s co-creators hail from Colorado, and Mason said they grew up with personal memories at the restaurant they described as “the Mexican Disneyland.” (The episode is included in the Denver A-Z exhibit at History Colorado.)

“Our demographics have changed slightly because of the ‘South Park’ episode,” Mason said. “We are now cool with the 18-25- year-olds.”

The 52,000-square-foot restaurant is divided into sections meant to evoke various regions of Mexico. Guests place their food order cafeteria-style, then go around an amusement park-like maze, following the promising music of a mariachi band and the sight of a man-made pool lined with faux tropical trees strung with festival lights.

The Casa Bonita concept got its start in Oklahoma, opening four locations in the Southwest. The Lakewood site was the most lavish and is the only one still open.

“You can understand how Casa Bonita survived the first 15 years, but now … you can eat Mexican food everywhere,” Imbergamo said. “So it has to be all about the entertainment.”

By Kristen Leigh Painter

 

 

20 April Fool’s Day Pranks, Recipes and Ideas!

April Fool’s Day is right around the corner! Every year, I start out with good intentions but then I get busy and don’t have time to concoct some elaborate plan of trickery.

So, here are some quick, easy and most importantly, kid-friendly ideas for celebrating April Fool’s Day at your house!

Want to make it educational? National Geographic shares the origin of April Fool’s Day.

20 April Fool’s Day Pranks, Recipes and Ideas!

1. My kids have never forgiven me for the year when I bought some succulent strawberries and dipped them in sugar…only to find out it was salt.

2. Speaking of salt, sprinkle a bit of it on your child’s toothbrushes the night before.

3. Put a couple of very small drops of food coloring on your child’s toothpaste. They won’t notice until they start brushing and their mouth turns a different color.

sleepy4. If your kiddos are deep sleepers, carefully put them in a different bed when they are asleep. There’s nothing like waking up in a difference place.

5. Lunch surprise. Open a small bag of Cheetos from the bottom and replace them with carrots before carefully taping it back up.

6. Open up the lid of your child’s shampoo and put a piece of saran wrap underneath. Nothing will come out when they go to wash their hair.

7. Grüß dich. For older kids, go in and change the language on their smart phone. Just make sure you know how to switch it back!

 8. Stuff some toilet paper into the toes of their shoes so they’ll think they grew overnight.

7. Take down some wall hangings and replace them with your child’s shoes. Or put them in funny places.

8. Swap the cereal in the boxes so they  need to track down their breakfast in the correct box.

9. The night before, pour their cereal and milk into a bowl and freeze. The next morning, they’ll have a frozen surprise when you call them down for breakfast.

10. Turn their room upside down while they’re asleep. Everything from furniture to toys to pictures to books.

11. While they’re sleeping, adjust their alarm clock a half-hour early. This one will go over splendidly well. 🙂

12. Tell your kids to clean their room. When they do it, have a co-conspirator go in and mess it up a bit again. When you go to check their work, laugh at their reaction.

13. Take a rubber band and wind it tightly around the sink’s spray nozzle and leave it aimed at the person’s face. When the water is turned out, they’ll get drenched. Note: be sure to do this one before they get dressed.
 
14. This one is for the husbands. Block the remote signal with a piece of opaque tape.
 
meatloaf cupcakes

meatloaf cupcakes

15. For a fun April Fool’s Day dinner, make meatloaf and put them in cupcake tins and wrappers and top them with colored mashed potatoes that look like frosting.

 
16. Do your kids love chocolate chip cookies? Whip up a batch of mashed potatoes (emit spices and pepper) and mix in some black beans. Bake them as you would cookies and serve. Oh, the anti-climax!
 
17. Do you have someone who checks their email first thing in the morning? Put part of a post-it note over the tracking ball on a computer mouse — it won’t work!  Or, turn up the volume as high as it can go on someone’s computer or radio before they turn it on.
 
18. Hide all the utensils in the house and make the rule everyone has to eat with their hands. Kids will love the break!
 
19. Do your kids love Oreos? Scrape the filling out and carefully replace a few of them with toothpaste.
 
20. Take all their underwear and hang it in embarrassing places around their room. What a memorable way to wake up!
 
 

Just Like Mom’s: A Quick & Easy Meatloaf Recipe That Your Kids Will LOVE

Warm, filling meatloaf is the classic comfort food.  You most likely have a favorite recipe, whether its a family recipe passed down from grandma, or the kid-approved version that you’ve picked up along the way that you now call yours.  If not, or if you’re just looking for a new spin on the classic this recipe is for you.  With only using four ingredients (salt and pepper are freebies) which you probably already have in your fridge and pantry, this meatloaf is ready from start to finish in only 45 minutes!  

Top Five Memorable Reasons to Spend Spring Break in Steamboat Springs

Once upon a time when I was a Utah-based travel writer, I fell in love with a foreign land of steaming hot springs, world-class mountains, a charming rodeo and 7 miles of multi-use paved trails that wind through downtown along the roaring Yampa River.

That was summer in Steamboat Springs and though I’ve lived in Colorado for 10 years, I had yet to visit during the winter. We finally made it happen this week during Spring Break.

Five Great Reasons to Spend Spring Break in Steamboat Springs

5) Hot springs.

Old Town Hot Springs

Old Town Hot Springs

Steamboat isn’t Steamboat without soaking in one of their two natural springs. Strawberry Park Hot Springs’s stone-walled pools 9 miles north of town are in an idyllic forest range and water temperatures range from 102 to 104 degrees. But be warned: clothing is optional after dark.

On our recent visit, we had a grand time at the more family-friendly Old Town Hot Springs with their eight hot spring-fed pools, a 25-yard lap pool, a fitness center, exercise classes and massage services. A huge hit was the climbing wall where attempt after attempt was made to climb to the top, ring the bell and jump back into the water. There are two 230-foot water slides for kids over 44 inches that are open seasonally (winter and summer). I screamed in trepidation the whole way down while both my kids laughed, which means the slides are actually really fun for those who don’t need a pacemaker.

4) Horseback riding with Del’s Triangle 3 Ranch.

Steamboat Springs is renowned for its Western charm so we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go horseback riding with one of Colorado’s oldest licensed outfitters, Del’s Triangle 3 Ranch, which offers hourly horseback rides (kids need to be at least 6 years old) and summer pack trips. The half-hour shuttle ride from town to their 6,000-acre ranch in the Elk River Valley was my favorite part of the trek as fourth generation Steamboat native, Olympian and cowboy Ray Heid delighted us with stories of his family’s colorful history in the valley.

horsebackThere are around 40 horses housed at the ranch. My husband rode Kirby, Bode teamed up with Music, I was on Boots, while Hadley rode Bode, which made my son humorously uncomfortable to think of his sister riding his namesake. For our winter horseback ride, we wore our ski clothing but turned out we didn’t need them. Though the snow sparkled around us, the spring temperatures were toasty as we rode through the aspen forest with staggering views of Hahn’s Peak and the knees of the Sleeping Giant (a.k.a. Elk Mountain) bowing before us.

There were moments of excitement. When Bode’s horse lagged behind, Music kicked it into gear with a full-fledged canter. “Was it totally fun?” I asked overly-cautious Bode. “Not really,” he dryly retorted (read: understatement). Later in the ride, another horse bit my horse Boots’ behind, to which he responded with a swift kick to the horse’s face, freaking out Jamie’s ride. Lesson learned: don’t nip my butt. Kissing is just fine.

3) Steamboat Sleigh Ride Dinner at the Haymaker Golf Course

Put this one on your bucket list for next year because the final day of Steamboat’s Sleigh Ride Dinner is March 29, 2014 and the 8 km of cross-country ski and skate tracks and 3 km of snowshoe trails will close April 1.

sleighI’ve been to a few sleigh ride dinners and usually the drill is to ride to dinner in the sleigh, eat and return. However, we took a shuttle bus from the Steamboat Grand to the Haymaker, warmed up with hot beverages and appetizers (I’m still salivating over the fried artichokes) and placed our dinner order. We then journeyed back in time as we snuggled up under a blanket in our 20-person sled as a pair of draft horses kicked up plumes of snow while they pranced through the Yampa Valley’s dazzling white dreamscape.

Upon our return, a gourmet three-course dinner was promptly served and the lineup included choices like a sultry roasted red pepper and tomato soup, beef tenderloin (my daughter’s “most favorite steak ever”), Macadamia nut crusted halibut and warm molten chocolate lava cake with raspberry sauce. While my kids played cards by the fire, my husband and I watched the sunset, wishing this Frozen evening could last forever. Just call me Elsa.

2) The others.

Photo: Howelsen Ice Arena

Photo: Howelsen Ice Arena

There so many things to do in Steamboat Springs that we couldn’t fit everything into our two-day visit. An absolute must is F.M. Light & Sons. If City Slickers want a real pair of cowboy boots, this is the place to find ‘em with literally hundreds of choices, as well as stylish western wear and novelties the kids will love. Be sure to pop into Lyon Drug & Soda Fountain next door for awesome gifts, cards, lotions, potions and spring for an old-fashioned soda. Another local’s favorite is Freshies Restaurant. Their breakfasts are legendary but this time we did lunch, which was equally delicious. Dear Freshies’ specialty salads, sandwiches and onion rings: I’ll be back.

Bucket list: Bump-n-Skate. Bumper cars on ice? You betcha! These bumper cars have four tiny wheels and are propelled by a small motor with hand controls that will have you bumping, sliding and laughing at Howelsen Ice Arena. Be sure to check their website for their bumper cars on ice schedule as well as public skate sessions.

1) Steamboat Springs, The Mountain.

skiingThe thing that keeps everyone coming back is Steamboat Springs’ 2,965-acres of champagne-powder bliss. Steamboat is actually a complete mountain range: Mount Werner, Sunshine Peak, Storm Peak, Thunderhead Peak, Pioneer Ridge and Christie Peak. Despite the vastness of the terrain, what I loved most about Steamboat was they have only one base area, making it easy to navigate.

When we dropped the kids off at ski school, they were each outfitted with a Flaik GPS device and we were later able to track their whereabouts. Jamie and I took a private lesson with 27-year Steamboat veteran Dave Hartley who did a phenomenal job teaching us the secret to skiing (ski uphill fast), had a gray jay eating out of my hand (literally), and pushed us to our limits by having me conquer my worst nemesis: trees (his advice was don’t ski the trees, ski the open space!)

At the end of an exhilarating day, we picked up Hadley and Bode. Hadley was thrilled to graduate to a Level 6 skier with Bode hot on her trail for next season. We skied as a family until last chair and they were eager to show off their refined skills. We hit one of Steamboat’s four terrain parks, Lil’ Rodeo Terrain Park, which is more challenging than it sounds with small boxes, jumps and a mini half pipe.

familyMy kids loved the mini-half pipe (or rather, a quarter pipe a.k.a. a half-pipe for wussies). My first time through the terrain park, I inadvertently caught about three feet of air on a jump, swore, somehow landed on my feet and regrouped.

I later concluded that learning to fly at Steamboat Springs wasn’t so bad after all.

Steamboat Springs closes on April 13, 2014 with plenty of fun events in the line-up including the 34th Annual Cardboard Classic, where costumes and themes go a lot further than engineering and craftsmanship for these corrugated creations. On closing day, the Splashdown Pond Skim tests the mettle of those who dare brave the freezing water at the base of the mountain. Thanks to Steamboat for hosting!

Mama Drama: How to Grow Independent Problem Solvers

Dear Mama Drama:

(photo credit)

I’m afraid I’ve created a monster (or two) by being an overprotective mom. My kids can’t seem to solve even the smallest problem by themselves. If something doesn’t turn out the way they think it should, they fall apart and for every little thing it’s “Mom, mom, mom!”

How can I help them become more independent?

~Overprotective Mama

Dear Overprotective:

Good for you for realizing that you are the link in this chain of helplessness that you have the control to change. It’s hard to admit when our behavior has led to difficult behavior in our children.

There are many small things you can do to help your children increase their independent problem solving skills. It just takes a shift in thinking, a lot of teaching, and a bucketful of patience. 🙂

First, help your children develop problem solving language:

  • Be a loud thinker (talk out loud about how you are solving everyday problems). Kids often think everything is easy for adults because they don’t hear all the problem solving we are doing in our head.
  • Prompt your child to say what s/he wants and wait, “My turn, please.” “I want the car, please.” “Can I join your game?”
  • Teach problem solving options such as asking politely, sharing, playing together, taking turns, doing something else, and asking for help (make this the last resort unless it’s something dangerous).

Increase problem solving confidence:

  • Ask your child for help in solving everyday problems, such “How many plates will we need at the table?” “I only have one apple, how can we all have some of it?” “We both have a show we want to watch, how can we solve that?”
  • When s/he shares a problem, ask your child what s/he can do to solve it. Make sure you do this with kindness, not sarcasm.
  • Allow your child time to think and find solutions without taking over or solving it for him/her.
  • Allow your child to try out solutions you don’t think will work. Learning from mistakes is a great way to become a better problem solver.
  • Recognize when s/he has solved a problem with specific verbal praise, “You used your thinking brain.” “That was hard, but you kept trying and figured it out.”

Support safety and self-advocacy strategies when peers or others are physically or emotionally hurtful:

  • Teach your child to say “Stop! I don’t like that.” “Stop! Be gentle.” “Please ask first.”
  • Remind him/her to ask a grown up for help if needed.
  • Teach them to tell a trusted grown up right away if someone’s behavior feels uncomfortable to them.

Congratulate your kids as you see them using their problem solving skills.

Congratulate yourself as you notice yourself teaching, waiting, and providing the space and support for your children to grow.

Remember to be gentle with them and with yourself. There will be some bumps in the road, but that’s how you’ll all learn from mistakes and find better solutions the next time.

Motherhood is an amazing journey that can have its share of Mama Drama. The Mama Drama column runs on Thursdays 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 the next column! Lisa is also available for private consultations. All emails and identifying information will remain confidential. Read more of Lisa’s parenting perspective at her Laughing Yoga Mama blog.

 

Girl’s shaved head draws national furor at Grand Junction school

The phone on the front desk at Caprock Academy rang incessantly Tuesday as a flustered receptionist admitted she had given up trying to answer it. The charter school’s website was jammed. So was its Facebook page.

The K-12 school was in the midst of a bald crisis precipitated by a dress code gone-wrong.

Caprock third-grader Kamryn Renfro had shaved her head over the weekend to show support for good friend 11-year-old Delaney Clements, who is not a student at Caprock. Clements has been fighting the childhood cancer neuroblastoma since she was 7 and is bald from chemotherapy. Caprock administrators told Renfro’s parents their daughter couldn’t return to classes Monday because her bald head violated the school’s dress code.

On Tuesday, school administrators relented and allowed Renfro back but not before her upset mother had posted a message about her daughter’s suspension on Facebook. Clements’ mother also posted Facebook comments about the incident. A social-media firestorm erupted. While thousands of “likes” and messages popped up supporting the girls, Caprock Academy became the scourge-de-jour of the digital world.

“This is preposterous!!”

KEEP READING

Denver Deal: $20 Massages, Bicycle Trade-Up, and Whole Foods Class

I was recently invited to a special yoga session at the River Yoga and tasting session with FairLife Milk.(I wore my awesome Soybu outfit). The milk promises 50% more protein and 50% more calcium (and 50% less sugar in the chocolate). Their “Believe in Better” is not only their tag line but something their company really believes in and they take care of the whole process of being dairy farmers from the cow to the milk. My daughter absolutely fell in love with the chocolate milk and giggled on the way home that she was going to “trick her brother into eating something healthy.” I love that my daughter has become my health conspirator – and was actually reading the nutrition label!
 
Children’s Consignment Sales
We have a complete list of all the great consignment sales happening in the Denver area. There aren’t any THIS weekend – but several next weekend. For a full list go here http://www.milehighmamas.com/blog/2014/02/24/denver-consignment-sale-2014/
 
Elevate – The Ultimate Life Success Formula with FREE Bonuses! $50 OFF A FULL PRICE MASSAGE!
Dr. Keppen Laszlo, the clinic director of Discover Health and Wellness office (there are six in the area),  wrote a book called Elevate – The Ultimate Life Success Formula.  The book will inspire you to greatness and address challenges we face every day. The digital version of the book is only $0.99 at Amazon and their office is offering $50 off of an hour-long massage for people who come into his office with a copy of the receipt (making the massage only $20!) Find out more information here from our blogger Lindsie at Mom’s Bistro.
 
 Bicycle Village Trade Up
The last  Bicycle Village Kid’s Trade Up event offering great Deals on Wheels winds up next weekend beginning at 9 a.m. April 5-6 at 2100 28th Street in Boulder.  The program is designed to save parents on the cost for new and right-sized bikes for their kids. Adults can get previously rented bikes for 60% off (and Trek bikes for just $99.99).
 
AMF
AMF Bowling Centers are also celebrating Spring Break. If you’re looking for something fun to do this spring break, consider just $10 for all you can bowl at AMF (shoe rental costs a bit more). Valid through March 28 until 5 p.m.
 
Whole Foods Tamarac
My kids loved the cheese making class at Whole Foods Tamarac location. We have been carefully watching their calendar for another event that would interest my kids. We think we found one with the Moroccan cooking class. Recipes will include Moroccan Tomato Salad, Seafood Tagine, and Chocolate Coffee Tiramisu Cake! (Ok, so I really think it was the dessert that made my daughter want to join).

Spring Break Ski Deals

Are you looking for something to do for Spring Break? What about vising one of the ski areas because there are some great deals out there. One place to get inexpensive tickets is at Liftopia.com. (They have great deals here in Colorado and also other states if you are wanting to go somewhere out of state). At Keystone, kids ski FREE with a two-night stay (plus at Keystone there is a cool snow fort atop Dercum Mountain). If you are a skier/snowboarder – now is the time to get your season pass for next year (yeah, they started selling them already) with some great deals and the cheapest prices for NEXT year. Speaking of skiing/snowboarding – now is the time to secure your passes for next season. Most places are offering great incentives if you buy early! Viceroy Snowmass has introduced its Linger Longer Packagewhich includes a complimentary, third night on any reservation through the end of ski season.
 
Natal to Nest
Natal to Nest in Highlands Ranch knows how to nurture moms, family and community. From the moment you walk in, you know you’re not in a typical yoga studio.  The center provides fitness classes, education, information & resources for those trying to become pregnant, already expecting & new families as well as massage and nutrition consultation. Childcare is available. They are offering MHM readers an AMAZING deal!
 
Unlimited one month $52.80, usecode MHMomas5280.New customers only.Valid towards-fertility, prenatal, mom&baby yoga chat, vinyasa yoga, barre, baby at the barre. Can not be applied towards child care. Check schedule for class times. Online registration required.
 

 

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Hello Working World, Remember Me? A Denver mom’s reluctant return

Growing up, all I wanted was to be a mom. It was the answer I gave whenever someone asked what I wanted to do with my life. Even through college, honestly. I had a terrible time picking a major because no career path drew me in the way motherhood did. Of course I knew the pay was nonexistent so dutifully went to college and chose a theatre major because it was the only thing I could stand doing with my time. If I had to work, I guessed I wouldn’t be miserable working in theatre, biding my time until I got my big break in the parenting world.

Then reality hit when my husband and I were ready to start our family. After a handful of years sticking my feet in stage doors, I found myself happy and comfortable in a reasonably secure theatre job in New York City. Without noticing I was settled into a working world I had resisted for years in a place that had always scared the daylights out of me. I was proud of myself. Still yearning for motherhood, I had no trouble switching gears a bit but had to change my long held vision of four children to one. Living an artist’s life in New York City does not translate into the amount of living space one typically looks for with a large family.

Long story short, we had a baby and a year later decided to change our life plan. My husband applied to grad school and we moved to Colorado. While here we managed to create another human being and kept our noses to the grindstone. I got a job as a Resident Manager which allowed me to stay home with the kids and keep our heads just barely above water financially.

I’ve known my return to work outside my home is inevitable. We have to start chipping away at our debt as soon as that piece of paper hits my husband’s hands. In theory going back to work doesn’t scare me, despite having treasured my stay at home mom life. My time in New York taught me I do actually enjoy being a working mom, but envisioning specifics of my post grad school life has been impossible. Our work here has been grueling and rumors of the post grad school job market mysterious and scary. So I’ve done my best to live in the moment, day by day, for five years.

Now, here we are at the end of our Colorado chapter and I’m faced with it. In theory, I’m excited. I’m game. I’m also terrified and sad. I’m wrestling with what I know and what I feel, searching for harmony and finding none. I know once I get to work, I will find my rhythm but my feet are stuck in some serious mud on the path there and I need a hand getting out. Or maybe I just step out of my shoes and leave them behind.

Sarah Stith lives in Boulder with her husband and 2 children (2.5 and 5.5) while her husband attends grad school.  Before moving to Colorado, the family lived in Brooklyn, NY where Sarah worked as a dresser at The Lion King on Broadway.  She now works from home and manages to find time between diaper changes to build her organization, “Raising Little Heroes” (http://raisinglittleheroes.wordpress.com/), a group devoted to finding volunteer opportunities for families with young children.