Month: January 2015

Living with Tourettes: My Son’s Surprising Diagnosis

Six months back, a friend asked my husband and me if we thought our son “Dude” might have Tourettes Syndrome.  I reacted like someone had just stabbed me in the gut.  What an extreme evaluation of my kid.  He didn’t have THAT.  Only people who scream and swear have Tourettes.  He just had minor ticks.  I changed the subject and tried not to act offended.  We were offended.  And incredibly defensive internally. Today, I’m sitting here Googling videos on kids with Tourettes because our little man has Tourettes. There, I said it.   After an evolution of research and therapy and appointments with the best of the best, it’s clear.  Not a day goes by without a tick surfacing and many have become complex ticks, meaning more than one in...

Why motherhood is NOT about mastering unconditional love

I recently read this poem by Courtney Walsh and think it so beautifully describes motherhood in all its glorious messiness as we fumble our way through. Dear Human: You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love. Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of… messing up. Often. You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And then to rise again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love, in truth, doesn’t need ANY other adjectives. It doesn’t require mo...

10 Front Range Indoor Winter Escape Activities for Kids!

With the winter chill fully setting in, the snow blanket freezing summer’s leftover crop, and kids home for days on end, can make any mom feel a little claustrophobic. We’ve gathered some intriguing indoor winter activities, both free and paid, that will help pass school days off such as President’s Day or Spring Break.   REI This Platte river institution is one of my favorites on a grey day. Come summer come fall, come winter, come whenever, the climbing wall is usually in service and the upstairs mini playground in the children’s apparel area is a lifesaver. With a Starbucks on the ground floor to find plenty of caffeine and snacks, this REI is a great half-day excursion.  rei.com/stores/denver.html   Lollipop Park  Open later in the week, this indoor amusement park w...

Denver Deal: Rocky Mountain Sitters, Tykester, Stock Show and More

I was excited to be invited to sit with Lois Melkonian at Channel 31 on Monday to talk about parenting. She writes a blog for them called Living Through It and also highlights some of the blog posts with an “expert” (which apparently she believed I am this week). We talked about why parents are turning to blogs and other online resources for parenting advice and tips. If you would like to see more about our discussion here’s the link:  http://kdvr.com/2015/01/19/parenting-in-2015-with-a-little-online-help/ Rocky Mountain Sitters Are you looking for reliable, college-educated babysitters or nannies? Rocky Mountain Sitters provides families with kind, experienced caregivers who have been personally interviewed and background checked. If you want to ensure your babysitt...

If you can’t take the heat, don’t get “carmationed”

Our society is so squeamish about death. Until the last six or seven decades, I imagine that death was not so hidden. During agricultural times, we were used to farm animals dying and to dressing our own dead, to having their remains sit in the parlor downstairs until we marched them in a pine box to the family plot in the community cemetery. Perhaps death wasn’t such a spook then. Now, we are so unfamiliar with death that we don’t know how to process it when it inevitably comes into our lives. I try to think about it now and then. I allow my mind to “go there” to lessen death’s foreign-ness, at non-threatening times and in a non-threatening way. Witness the lagoon of quicksand that swallows me when I take this stand with my children. A few years ago in the ca...

Task force recommends reducing Colorado testing burden

Despite agreeing that Colorado tests its students too much, a state task force was unable to find many places to cut tests other than in high school, a reflection of both stringent federal requirements and divergent views over the value of assessments. The 15-member advisory panel, created in the last legislative session, met for the final time Monday after six months of talks. Although it still must finalize a report to present to the legislature before month’s end, the task force agreed to urge elimination of all testing for high school seniors and a reduction for juniors. But the group split on continuing to test ninth-graders in math and English, and on whether social studies tests should be scrapped altogether. Beyond that, Colorado has little choice but to follow federal law ma...

Warning: Watch Dax Shepard’s Hilarious Video About Childbirth at Your Own Risk

Is anyone else in mourning that NBC’s Parenthood is in its final season? Dax Shepard, one of my favorite actors from the show, shared the story of the birth of his three-week-old daughter, Delta, on Ellen. The video has since gone viral due to its hilarity. You can’t help but be charmed by Shepard in the beginning but warning: it gets worse. Much worse. As in, when describing wife Kristen Bell’s C-section, he said he “I’d rather see a school bus drive out of her vagina” kind of worse. His hilarious interview is definitely worth watching!

Foodie Friday: Delicious Ebelskiver Recipe for Brunch

My family loves pancakes and waffles as much as the next person but growing up, we’d often indulge in ebelskivers (or aebelskivers), light, puffy pancakes from Denmark that can be filled with fruit, chocolate, jam or cheese and served for breakfast or as an hors d’oeuvre, dessert or light supper.  I wanted to bring that tradition back to our family so my kids bought their dad an evelskiver pan for Christmas and we spent the holiday experimenting with recipes. Our favorite filling is Nutella and the sky is literally the limit with making these (next week, we’ll attempt to make red velvet evelskivers with cream cheese filling). On New Year’s Day, our friends invited us to their house for an Ebelskiver/PJ party, the perfect mix of laziness and gluttony, and what a...

7 Steps to Learn What’s Most Important

Do you ever look back on your week and wonder what happened?!? Does a month go by in a blink that makes you want to shout at the sky: just stop!!! Do you feel exhausted just thinking about your schedule? Me too. I have a challenge for us. Let’s figure out what’s most important and why, then put our focus and energy there. Ready? Step 1: {This might be the hardest.} Find 2-6 hours all by yourself. You might carve out time by putting kids to bed early one night or take a weekend afternoon away to a close mountain getaway where you can walk the trails or sit in a quaint coffee shop. Step 2: Write down what you believe is most important to you and why. Consider this step a brainstorming session – write down everything at this stage. Here’s an example: Working out is important to me because I f...

Colorado Department of Human Services Co-Hosts Foster Care & Adoption Film Festival

The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) Office of Children Youth and Families (OCYF), in partnership with the Denver Film Society, is hosting the Colorado Foster Care and Adoption Film Festival Saturday, January 24.

Colorado School Grades 2014 Rankings Released: How Does Your School Rate?

Colorado School Grades, an online tool created by a diverse coalition of 18 nonprofit community organizations, released its 2014 rankings of every public school in the state. The grades, which are available online at http://www.ColoradoSchoolGrades.com, are intended to help parents, students, educators, and community members better understand how their schools are performing.   Nearly 2,000 Colorado public schools are ranked annually, using data from the Colorado Department of Education and a formula developed with the Center for Education Policy Analysis at the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver. By giving every school an easy-to-understand letter-grade ranking, Colorado School Grades offers the simplest and clearest representation of ho...

How to get your kids to eat while keeping your sanity!

I’m not a nutrition expert. I’m a mom who has reached a relatively peaceful place in regard to what my kids eat so I can spend more energy keeping them from more immediate dangers, such as jumping off roofs or playing with matches. I’m a vegetarian and often get questions from friends looking to incorporate less meat into their family meals. I never know what to say because they are usually looking for recipes and I don’t have a great stash the whole family gobbles up. Feeding our family is more about state of mind.  Keep it Simple…and Separate I’ve been there a million times and know you have too. Finding yourself saying, “…but you like all the things here, they’re just mixed together!” This happened for a couple years before it dawned on me not to mix them together in the firs...