Month: January 2015

Kevin Costner’s “Black or White”–What it Says about Adoption & Race

Though Black or White earns its adoption stripes through simple kinship adoption (Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer vie for custody of the granddaughter they share, Eloise, played by the luminous Jillian Estell), the bigger message for adoptive families is the devastating split a person can experience when divided in two by color, race, biology and/or biography. And how not dealing with tough emotions such as anger and grief rarely means they resolve on their own.

Super Bowl Recipe: Homemade Pizza Party!

Make pizza from scratch for a Super Bowl party? Why bother when you can snap your fingers and have it delivered to your door? Here’s why: Homemade pizza tastes better than anything you can buy and it takes much less time and effort than you would think. Making the dough takes just 10 minutes. Then, during the next hour while the yeast is working its magic, you have plenty of time to prepare whichever toppings you and your guests are hankering for — shredded cheeses, sliced meats, vegetables, whatever. The trick is to mix and “knead” the dough in a food processor rather than by hand. It’s quicker and cleaner that way. And as long as you measure the ingredients accurately (going by weight, not volume) and don’t add very hot water, this dough is failure-proof. Th...

Swallow Hill Music rocks with summer camps House of Rock, Belt it Out and Explore Music!

Summer’s almost here! And at Swallow Hill Music, we couldn’t be more excited for this summer. We offers a variety of quality summer camps for kids ages 6-18 where they can hone their musical curiosity with other campers and our incredible, passionate instructor faculty. As a parent of a House of Rock camper recalled, “the instructor’s passion for working with kids is outstanding and really shines through. My son said this was one of the top weeks of his life!”  We offer three different music camps, House of Rock, Belt It Out, and Explore! Music. In each of these camps, campers are actively participating in hands-on learning and making some great friendships at the same time!  As the House of Rock camp enters its 8th summer, teens ages 13-18 look forward to learning the basics of ...

How do I handle the bad behavior of my kids’ friends?

Dear Mama Drama: Hope it’s okay I’m a dad. My wife and I have a 4 year old in preschool and have recently been struggling with whom our little guy is friends. There is one particular boy at school that we feel is a bad influence from whom our son seems to be picking up bad habits. Should we let his teacher know and perhaps ask them to not allow them to spend so much time together throughout the day? (photo credit) We even have the kid’s mother now asking for play dates and we’re not sure if we should encourage our son to hang out with this other little boy. Are we being too protective and controlling?  What would your advice be for encouraging our son to hang out with nicer, more well-behaved kids? Thanks ~ Flustered Father

Bedtime study: Let sleeping kids lie; 90% sleep-deprived

Established rules and routines help children get age-appropriate sleep amounts, according to the 2014 National Sleep Foundation’s “Sleep in the Modern Family” Poll, released Jan. 26. While most parents endorsed the idea of the importance of sleep, 90 percent of children did not sleep the full amount of time recommended for their age group, researchers found. Consequences of poor sleep among children and adolescents include behavioral problems, impaired learning and school performance, sports injuries, problems with mood and emotional swings and a worsening of health-related issues, including obesity, researchers found. Evidence also indicates adolescents’ lack of sleep could be associated with substance abuse, suicidal behaviors and driving while drowsy. The poll’s prime objective was to g...

I Dropped the F- Bomb and Kids Say the Darndest Things

Yes. I dropped the “F” bomb. As in: right in front of my five-year-old. I came home one evening from work and decided to help Husband with the most important part of the dinner: open and pour the wine. As I walked back and forth around the kitchen, I did not bother to read the label on the wine. I only realized upon swiftly and expertly opening the bottle, I was dealing with a sparkling Moscato. As I watched-and felt, mostly- in horror as the Moscato got sprayed all over my face, dress and kitchen floor, I let out a heart-felt, totally-mean-it, “F%%&&K!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I got THE look from Husband and yes, you guessed it,  from the noisy five-year-old, who asked for an explanation.  Now we know the word “FF%%&&K” is a Romanian word (I’m Romani...

Denver Deal: Avalanche, Smile Day, Lift Ticket Deals and More

Nothing makes me feel happier than knowing that I help other moms get a great deal. Honestly, there is a ton to do in Denver that is pretty cheap (inexpensive for those of you who find offense in the word cheap) or even for FREE. And surprisingly there are fun things that aren’t too expensive in the mountains too! The kids and I will be heading up to Breckenridge this weekend for the Snow Sculpture Championships. Teams come from all over the globe to shape giant blocks of snow into amazing sculptures. The sculptures are FREE to view and it is a fun field trip for the family to visit one of the coolest little towns we have in Colorado. When we are there we can also ride the gondola for FREE and see other parts of the mountain! Rocky Mountain Sitters. Are you looking for reliable, colle...

The Great Ear Piercing: Why This Rite of Passage is Painful (On Many Levels)

I recently had a conversation with a friend about getting her daughter’s ears pierced and it brought back a flood of memories. Once upon a time, I was only kidding when I said the following to my daughter: “Hey, Sweetie. Do you think you want to try to get your ears pierced again?” “Yes, Mom. I think I am ready.” Ready for what? Another meltdown that resulted in my anxiety attack? I haven’t had an iron-clad rule like some parents when my child should get her ears pierced. I had mine done in kindergarten and we made the same attempt a few years ago when my daughter was the same age during a family visit to Canada. I was rather indifferent when my sister-in-law Jane suggested it and my daughter was game so we headed over to the mall. But then she saw The D...

Video: The Mother ‘Hood Puts an End to Playground Judgment

There’s something going down on the playground and it ain’t always pretty. Of course, we know that everyone has their own way of parenting but this video produced by Similac is a reminder we’re all on the same side.  #SisterhoodUnite

Kitchen Remodel: 10 survival tips to get you through the process

Here’s the deep dark secret that the kitchen-remodeling websites and magazines don’t want you to know: Between the before and after photos, you live in a house with no kitchen. For weeks, more likely months. And that’s not a pretty picture. My own kitchen remodel involved time on a ladder scraping away popcorn, doing my own painting and cabinet assembly and literally herding cats, not to mention all the major and minute decisions I had to make. Here are the 10 survival tips I learned along the way. 1. Undergo triage When you pack up, sort your kitchen gear into three categories: storage; temporary kitchen; and toss/donate/recycle. This task can be done over time, with the final items leaving the kitchen the night before demolition begins. Give the boxes going to storage d...

Inspiring video: Bullies Picked On Him Until One Simple Act Changed Everything

Bullying isn’t new but in today’s world, physical, emotional, cyber and verbal abuse run rampant. Physical bullying tends to be more common among boys, while verbal and emotional bullying is typical among girls. Additionally, girls are more likely to use exclusion as a form of harassment than boys are. In this video from WestJet, after being bullied, Josh decided to make a change that ultimately had a dramatic impact on his life and on the lives of his fellow students. We hope his story is as inspiring to you as it is to us.

Baking with Altitude: A Fluffy Obsession

I know thin has always been in but, when it comes to cookies, I want them fat and fluffy. Baking at a higher altitude has complicated that for me. Since moving to Colorado, things are happening that high school chemistry didn’t prepare me for. I’ve had cookies so crumbly that they were barely being held together by a wish and a dream. Sure, I’ve tried adjusting ingredients. I’ve added, subtracted, multiplied, and divided, but my cookies are never fluffy.   I shouldn’t need to understand the restrictions of mass and external forces required for space exploration. These are cookies. At the same time, I feel like I’m in chemistry class all again trying to figure out what ingredients and how many to replace before something explodes in my oven.   It’s become an obsession ...

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