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Peach Dream Crunchy Topping with Ice Cream and Caramel

We have been living, breathing and inhaling peaches around here–everything from simple peaches ‘n cream to peach scones to peach shortcake. I posted a picture of Grandma’s Fresh Peach Pie with Shortbread Crust when my friend Lisa gave me a new addiction: Peach Dream Crunchy Topping. 

In her words, this treat is hot/cold, crunchy/soft, sweet/salty–a juxtaposition of every taste experience. It tastes like the best granola you’ve ever eaten but without the oats. Guaranteed, this will soon become a family favorite!

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21 events for Labor Day weekend in Denver

Denver is packed with fun (and free) festivals, pro sports, live music and plenty of late-summer, family-friendly activities for Labor Day weekend.


WHEN: Sept. 1–4, 2017
WHERE: Civic Center Park

A Taste of Colorado stands proud as the end-of-summer celebration of community pride and spirit in the Denver region. Over 500,000 people make the four-day festival their Labor Day Weekend celebration, enjoying the offerings of more 50 area restaurants, 275 marketplace artisans and vendors, six stages and educational programs promoting the diverse cultural and Western heritage of the region.


WHEN: Sept. 5–10, 2017
WHERE: Downtown Denver

The Denver Food + Wine Festival is a multi-day extravaganza of food, wine and spirits education, promotion and tastings. Through a series of events, the festival aims to highlight industry impact, promote workforce development and celebrate Denver as a culinary destination.


WHEN: Sept. 9–10, 2017 
WHERE: Belmar, Lakewood 

Festival Italiano is known for serving up the region’s best selection of homemade Italian specialties for guests as well as an artisan marketplace, live entertainment and chef tastings surrounding the festival dining booths. This free celebration features live music on two stages, chef demonstrations, wine tastings, kids activities (grape stomping!), a bocce tournament and flag throwers flown in from Italy for the weekend.


WHEN: Sept. 12-16, 2017
WHERE: Various venues
The Biennial of the Americas is a week-long festival of ideas, arts and culture that occurs every two years in Denver. The festival brings the most inspiring artists, innovators, leaders and experts from the Denver metro area and from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean together around the most pressing issues of our time.

For more ideas, don’t miss miss our 18 Labor Day Weekend events, as well as these picks from our event calendar. 

Turkish Free Day 

WHEN: Sep 1, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Global Village Museum is celebrating new Hall Gallery exhibit. TURKISH POP-UP MARKET, 11-6 pm, will feature Turkish rugs, carpets, scarves, and tribal jewelry. Fort Collins Gallery Walk, 6-9 pm celebrates the opening of The Hall Gallery, “Life in Istanbul ~ Village of Millions.” 

Commonwheel Artists Labor Day Weekend Art Festival

WHEN: Sep 2– 4
The Commonwheel Artists 43rd Annual Labor Day Art Festival offers a weekend filled with juried, quality artwork and contemporary crafts, music, art-related activities for kids and food. Commonwheel Artists Co-op brings excellent high-quality fine art and contemporary crafts to the Pikes Peak Region during this annual three-day juried Art Festival.

Rewards and Bribery, Aren’t They the Same?

That’s the question I most often hear after I introduce the concept of rewards to improve behavior. Some parents are resistant to the idea because they assume rewards and bribes are synonymous. They aren’t. There’s actually a huge difference.

Rewards improve behavior while bribery can make it worse. Here’s why.

Children learn at an early age to act in certain ways to accomplish their goals. Generally, kids want more of something desirable (cookies, attention, bedtime stories) or to avoid unpleasant stuff (carrots and baths). The way they’ve learned to achieve all that is through whining, complaining, throwing a tantrum, pushing buttons and negotiating. Parents are often so frustrated by these behaviors that at the minimum they admonish and provide lots of attention to the child. And at worst, parents just give in. When that happens parents are rewarding the very behaviors they want to stop.

Rewards are really any reinforcement that encourages a behavior. For some reason, rewards can have a negative connotation. But that’s silly. Life is filled with naturally-occurring incentives. If I do good work at my job I’ll get a raise (reward). If I return a lost puppy I might garner a cash reward. Even the nice warm fuzzy feelings I receive when I bring a meal to a sick friend is a reward. And those rewards serve as inspiration for me to do those same actions again.

Bribery is entirely different. Instead of warm fuzzies think negotiating with a terrorist. It may sound like strong words but that’s one important way to tell the difference between rewards and bribery. When parents give out a bribe it feels icky, desperate, and embarrassing. Bribes usually happen when children are acting up at the exact moment parents are most vulnerable: at the supermarket, on an important work call, or waiting in the dentist’s office for an emergency root canal. In that moment of desperation the parent will offer anything for the child to behave.

When that happens the kids have their parents in a headlock. The kids are in charge, and they know it. Parents that use bribery on a regular basis have children that learn to exploit their parents when they are most defenseless. That’s no fun.

Instead of bribing kids to behave parents should ignore all whining, complaining and tantrums. When children see that their behavior isn’t producing the desired result they will cease the behavior. Why tantrum for a toy at Target if the toy never comes? Why beg for a cookie while Mom’s on a work call if the cookie is denied? Kids are incredibly perceptive, and they don’t want to waste their time.

Sometimes kids do need a little extra incentive to act in a preferred way. Parents can use rewards, set up in advance, to he­lp encourage good behavior. Decide what your child need a little extra motivation to do and reward for that behavior. So if your daughter never puts her clothes in the laundry, start rewarding her with a point for every day her laundry is in its proper place. After so many point give her a pre-determined reward such as an extra bedtime story, a snuggle, a sweet or a new app.

Remember these important tips about rewards and bribery:

  • Rewards are never negotiated.
  • Rewards feel good to give a child.
  • Rewards are never given in the moment of misbehavior. That’s a bribe.
  • If a child asks, “What will you give me if I…” that’s a bribe.

Catherine Pearlman, PhD, LCSW is the author of IGNORE IT!: How Selectively Looking the Other Way Can Decrease Behavioral Problems and Increase Parenting Satisfaction. Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. While clicking these links won’t cost you extra money, they help us keep this site up and running. See our disclosure policy.

Colorado’s Best Fall Drives and Festivals

Plan an awe-inspiring road trip through Colorado this fall, and experience the Centennial State in all its glory.  Soak in the scenery as the aspen leaves show off their brilliant yellow, red and orange hues, and take advantage of Colorado’s mild-temperatures, sunny days and blue bird skies. Enjoy hiking, biking, or horseback riding on colorful trails or experience signature fall events like Harvest Festival in Glenwood Springs or Pueblo’s Chile and Frijoles Festival. 

Scenic Drives: 

Aspen to Paonia over McClure Pass. Visitors looking to drive from Aspen to Paonia can take the scenic McClure Pass, an 8,755-foot pass south of Carbondale along Colorado 133 and the Crystal River. The road offers beautiful views of Ragged Peak, a moderately difficult and popular hiking and climbing spot, and Chair Mountain, a prominent mountain summit in the Elk Mountains range of the Rockies. Take in the majestic mountain views and the colors of the aspens along the way.
Boulder County Farm Trail. Enjoy a beautiful hour-long drive with a background of the Rockies that rolls along past a number of farms on the Boulder Farm Trail. Fresh farm surprises can be found at the honor-system farm stands, so bring some cash. Buy the famous sweet corn from Munson Farms, picnic on the barn balcony of Lone Hawk Farm, pick up skins of super-soft wool from Cure Organic farms and keep an eye out around town for non-farm stands. Before the drive, road trippers can enter the lottery for seats to a farm dinner at Meadowlark Farms, or end the evening at one of downtown Boulder’s top restaurants. 
Boreas Pass Road.  Breckenridge’s Boreas Pass Road brings endless fall foliage and panoramic views of Breckenridge. Just a short drive from Denver, start with a scenic overview of Boreas Pass Road, which ascends from downtown Breckenridge to over 11,400 feet. The fall foliage will tower over the road, as if driving through a golden tunnel. Take in the scene full of vibrant fall colors, downtown Breckenridge, the ski resort and other peaks surrounding Breckenridge.
Colorado 17 from Antonito to the New Mexico Border. As you head up the serene Conejos River Valley, stands of pinyon give way to the white trunks of aspen. Some of the oldest and tallest aspens in the state can be seen, photographed and enjoyed near La Manga Pass. For an even more unique experience, ride the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad for views not seen on any highway.
Highway of Legends Scenic and Historic Byway. This route wraps around two of Colorado’s burliest mountains, West and East Spanish Peak. Along the way, the highway passes beneath ancient volcanic walls that rise over tracts of pine, scrub oak and aspen. Nearly the entire route from La Veta to Trinidad on Colorado 12 begs to be photographed.
The San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway. The San Juan Skyway is Colorado’s first National Forest Scenic Byway and has been dubbed “The Most Beautiful Drive in America.” Towns along the route include Durango, a well-preserved descendant of the Old West; Picturesque Telluride, renowned for world-class skiing and film, jazz, and bluegrass festivals; and Silverton and Ouray, Victorian jewels tucked in deep alpine valleys. Another delight is the Mesa Verde National Park, home to one of the densest collections of prehistoric ruins in the U.S. – and five million acres of undisturbed national forest.   

Festivals & Events:

 Colorado Mountain Winefest (September 14-17). The celebration of Colorado’s wine country takes place this September in Palisade. Visitors can taste wine from 56 wineries in the region, meet with wine, cheese and peach growers, and talk with local chefs. The festival offers a chocolate and port pairing, tours of wineries, winemaker dinners and more.
Colorfest in Pagosa Springs (September 15-17). Celebrate the beginning of autumn at the ‘Colorfest’ weekend in Pagosa Springs by watching dozens of colorful hot air balloons ascend over the San Juan River and steamy thermal springs. There are a variety of events from September 15 through 17 including wine, craft beer, and local cuisine tastings; musical performances; a gourmet breakfast with champagne; a balloon night glow; as well as a colorful 5k Fun Run.
Chile & Frijoles Festival (September 22–24). This event is an excellent way to soak in the fall season and taste the pride of Pueblo — a special, intensely flavorful variety of green chile. Served smoking on a stick, chopped and tucked into a quesadilla or sprinkled in salsa, it’s the star of this show. Cooking competitions, live music, dancing, arts and crafts, and a farmers’ market round out the festivities.
Harvest Festival in Glenwood Springs (September 30th). Celebrate the fall colors and bountiful harvest in historic downtown Glenwood Springs with a full farmer’s market, local bands, art– to view, purchase, and create; farms, fall-themed street vendors and children’s activities in the local stores.
Elk Fest (September 30 – October 1). The beautifully haunting bugle of a bull elk is unmistakable, and every October spectators head to Estes Park to experience the phenomenon. The elk gather there, at the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park, to show off for their ladies during the start of the rutting (breeding) season. At Elk Fest, visitors can learn about these beasts’ behavior, observe them in their natural habitat, participate in a bugling contest and see performances by American Indians. 

Other Mile High Mamas Resources:

Top 20 places to see fall colors in Colorado

Colorado travel: 5 scenic byways for fall colors
Fall colors: Five Colorado towns that glow gold
Colorado’s Best Places to See Wildlife This Fall
For more information on places to experience Colorado’s fall splendor, visit 

Triceratops Fossil Found in Thornton

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science has confirmed that the fossil of a Triceratops has been uncovered at Thornton’s new Public Safety Facility at 132nd Avenue and Quebec Street. So far, a horn and shoulder blade have been unearthed. Work will continue for the next several days at the secure construction site to excavate the triceratops.

“I’m excited to stabilize the area tomorrow and collect the fossil and to see how much more is under the surface,” said Joe Sertich, Denver Museum of Nature & Science curator of dinosaurs.

The Museum is looking to tie-in other significant finds in the region to see what was occurring in the habitat when the Rocky Mountains were forming 66 million years ago.


“It is incredible to have this find occur in our backyard,” Sertich said. “We’ve found two dozen horned dinosaurs—including several new species—in the past couple of years outside of Colorado. Some are the largest and most complete skeletons ever recovered. Finds like this help us to understand dinosaur evolution and behavior.”

“The Museum is excited to work with the Thornton community as we learn more about this incredible find,” George Sparks, president and CEO of the Museum said.

Run, Forrest, RUN!

Our school has a cross-country team and I really wanted my daughter Hadley to join because she’s a talented runner but she was reluctant, citing she’s more of a sprint and middle-distance runner, not long distance.

Fair enough. I’m wisely learning to pick my battle with my tween so made the deal that if she joined, I wouldn’t make her do any of the meets…that she could just do it for the joy of running. I motivated her by promising that her increased fitness and endurance would help her with hiking, something she is passionate about (read about her first 14er she climbed last summer).

Out of nowhere, my son Bode piped up. “I want to join the cross-country team.”

“You know it’s running, right?”

“Yes, I know, Mom.”

Bode is many things but a runner is not one of them. First, he has my side of the family’s build (short and stout), not long and lanky like Hadley from the Johnsons. Second, he jerks his head around like a bobblehead because he thinks it makes him run faster. Third, he’s never shown any interest in running and thinks our longer hikes are downright painful.

To his credit, he has enthusiastically attended all his twice-weekly practices, even during sweltering temperatures. And in typical optimistic Bode fashion, he never complained. Another perk I hadn’t anticipated: he has never been better at soccer. That kid can run faster and for longer, which has increased  his confidence and enthusiasm for the game. It has been a joy to watch him this season.

I kept  my promise to not make my kids actually compete until Bode casually mentioned he wanted to try one of their meets.

“You know it’s running, right?”

“Yes, I know, Mom.”

I picked Bode up early from student council and we tore over to a neighboring school that was hosting. He was delighted that in addition to his own peers, most of his soccer team’s buddies were racing as well.

Denver hadn’t seen rain in what felt like months so, of course, the sky was heavy with dark, drooping clouds. A few raindrops started falling so the organizer made the decision to start the boy’s race a bit early. The 1-mile course covered a series of hills and I quickly lost sight of him.

Enter: the downpour.

And then the hail.

Most of the parents ran for cover but I stubbornly stood out there getting pelted. If my boy was going to run through this weather, I was going to be there to greet him at the finish line.  Besides, if anything, seeking shelter from the hail would just make him fun raster, right?

As Bode rounded the final hill, I shouted, “Run, Forrest, Run!” Of course, he didn’t understand the Forrest Gump reference but I beamed with pride as I watched my “non-runner” run his guts out to the finish line.racehailsm

Bode was drenched and his skin flaming red from getting pelted by the hail but he was beaming. Out of a field of about 40 boys, he took 12th, narrowing missing the top 10 medals but he didn’t care. His first cross-country race taught me a thing (or 12) about what it  means to be a runner. And it’s not about running.He’d tried something new that was hard for him and he did his very best. For him, that was enough.

Though, unlike Forrest, he unambitiously stopped at the finish line instead of running from coast-to-coast for an additional three years. 

Better luck next race.

Deals: Free skiing for kids, Labor Day deals

I consider myself a true Colorado Girl. That means that I really do like both the summer AND the winter. I am happy for the warm sunny days of summer and the hiking and outdoor fun that we can have – I am equally as excited when winter comes around and that we are able to have fun outside still. I love to snowboard – and if you’ve not heard, Colorado has a fantastic program where kids can try out the sport for FREE. Yep – a favorite sport (snowboarding) paired with a favorite word (FREE).
Winter is Coming. No, I’m not talking about the line from Game of Thrones. I’m taking about the awesome deals that you can get for yourself and your kids in the fall for the upcoming ski season.
·         Vail Resorts (Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone) are once again offering their Epic School Kids. Four free days at each of the resorts, one beginner ski lesson and equipment on the day of the lesson. You need to take your kids to a Ski and Golf/Ski and Sport/Boulder Sport location along with proof they are in kindergarten through fifth grade.
·         Colorado Ski Country’s Passport is back as well. Register your 5th or 6th grader for their free pass. The pass includes most of the state’s ski areas (that is at 21 awesome resorts). Fifth graders get to try three times at each resort, 6th graders pass has a very minimal fee (of just $105) but you get 4 times at each of the resorts. The pass also includes a beginner level lesson and equipment on the date of that lesson.
·         Junior Trade lets you score a deal on rental gear for kids. Purchase a used setup (both ski and snowboard setups available) at Colorado Ski and Golf (Ski and Sport OR Boulder Ski Deals) locations for around $100 use it all season long. Feel free to trade it back in if the kids grow out of it mid-season. Then, bring it back in the spring for 50% money back.
·         Looking for a deal on ski wear? Look no further than Ski Rex at Colorado Ski and Golf Locations or Powder Daze at Christy Sports locations this weekend! Save up to 70% off (some of last year’s fashions).
A Good Find.  A Good Find is launching in the Denver market! This modernized listing site allows users to buy and sell their stuff, used goods like baby items, furniture etc. to their local market. It’s a way for people near each other to buy and sell locally. This online local marketplace built for 2017, with safety and security baked in from the beginning: cashless payments (no more stacks of cash when meeting a stranger), internal messaging, and a sleek user interface.  There are three kinds of accounts: Free (5 listings per month), Professional (25 listings per month) or Marketplace (unlimited item listings). However, AGF has given me an exclusive promo code, MHMAMAS, which gives you a free professional account for life!
Labor Day in Denver. There are so many activities going down for the official end of summer! Our 18 fun events include A Taste of Colorado, Festival Italiano, the Colorado State Fair and so much more. 
Family-friendly Race Discount. Getaway 5K-10K is a new race series being held on Sunday, Sept. 10 at Cherry Creek State Park in Aurora.  It includes a Kids Fun Run, 1 Mile Family Walk, 5K and 10K as well as a Finish Line Party, Kids Zone and Festival. It’s all about family fun with a beachy theme! Mile High Mamas has an exclusive discount code for you: SunFunRun3C.  The code provides 15% off race fees. That’s approx. $6 off the 5K and $7.50 off the 10K. Go to Getaway 5K-10K to sign up!
Golden Glass Treasure Hunt. Starting September 1 through September 30 find a beautiful one-of-a-kind glass orb in the great “Golden Glass Orb Treasure Hunt” in Golden, Colorado. They promise the orbs will be placed somewhere in plain sight in Golden city limits.  “Finders” are “keepers” of these treasures, handcrafted by local artisans.  Plus, each orb has a special tag and instructions of how treasure finders can register your orb at the Foothills Art Center, where you get a certificate of authenticity and entered in a drawing on Oct. 2 to win a $200 gift card to be used at select spots in Golden. 
Home Again Movie Screening. You and your girlfriends are invited to an advance screening of Reese Witherspoon’s HOME AGAIN, on Wed. 9/6 in Greenwood Village. Visit for your chance to download complimentary passes. (While supplies last, passes admit up to 2. Passes do not guarantee admission as theater is overbooked. ARRIVE EARLY!) #HomeAgainMovie in theaters 9/8.
Parade of Homes.  My Grammy used to call them “Wowee Houses” as we would drive what we thought were mansions. But now, we get to actually go in these homes. Your home showcase summer tradition, the Parade of Homes is your go-to local home show and design houses tour. This free event is a wonderful opportunity for potential home buyers and anyone interested in home remodeling and design to get new ideas and inspiration.
Arc Thrift Labor Day is a well-deserved day of rest…and a day to get 50% off at the annual Arc Thrift Stores’ Labor Day Sale! Amazing deals on clothes, shoes, coats, and household items – and more! – can be found at all 26 Arc Stores across the Front Range. Click here for Arc store
Risas Dental. While some of us will be enjoying the last summer holiday off, the dentists and staff at Risas Dental and Braces will be donating their time for its 6th Annual Labor of Love event. On Monday, Sept. 4th from 8am to 12pm, patients at each of the five Denver-area locations can select from one of four free services, including: Basic Teeth Cleaning; Cavity Filling; Tooth Extraction; Complete Exam with X-rays. Labor of Love kicks off with music, fun activities for kids, and complimentary breakfast for attendees waiting in line. Patients in line before 8am will be guaranteed treatment. No appointments will be required or accepted.  For more information regarding Labor of Love, visit: or  
MindCraft Makerspace Learning LabMindcraft Learning Lab introduces their afterschool program for kids 1st through 8th grade. Every after school session begins with 1:1 conversation with the student – prioritizing assignments and setting goals for their time at the Lab. The facilitator will provide guidance and check for quality and accuracy for all completed assignments. When all goals are met, students engage in educational games that support math literacy and reading and then the fun begins.  If time allows, your kids will be allowed to explore tinkering, gaming, coding and keyboarding in a self-directed and exploratory manner. 
Disney’s Frozen. The smash hit makes its pre-Broadway debut in Denver. Be among the first to see it! Inspired by the hit award-winning film, Frozen features more music, incredible stagecraft, and the epic story you love — now told as a full-length Broadway musical. Tickets starting at just $30. 
Consignment Sales. Mile High Mamas has once again compiled a list of all this season’s best consignment sales.  Next week’s sale: Haute Tots. 
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.
If you’re on Twitter follow me on Twitter (GeeWhy93).  If I find a great deal during the week, I’ll tweet it out.

iFly Denver: Skydiving Takes New Heights Indoors

Have you ever wanted to fly? My kids and I were supposed to take flight at iFly Denver earlier this summer but when my daughter unexpectedly broke her arm on a giant floating marshmallow (you can’t make this stuff up), we were grounded. Literally. 

Thankfully, time heals most wounds and we were thrilled to check out this high-flying adventure the week before we went back to school. Skydiving has always been on my bucket list but as I’ve grown older, that bucket has been filled with holes and I’m not the adrenaline-junkie of my youth. 

 iFLY indoor skydiving is the perfect way to experience the freedom of flight without jumping from a plane. This indoor flight facility in Lone Tree offers the simulation of true freefall conditions in a vertical wind tunnel, with room for parties, meetings and even lessons. 

What you should know

Upon checking in, we went through a brief training session where we were tutored on two important things: 1) Keep your chin up and 2) Hold still, which is no small feat in a flight chamber with up to 150 mph winds. We learned four hand signals our instructor would be using to communicate and got outfitted in our flight suit, goggles, helmet and earplugs.

Prior to our session, we watched experienced indoor skydivers flip, twist and spin and I was excited to make my own attempts…until I realized as a rookie, my challenge was just to learn to simply fly on the wall-to-wall cushion of air. Our group entered our “wind tunnel” waiting area and one-by-one, we were given a 1-minute turn in the flight chamber. As I stood at the open door to the flight chamber, I suddenly felt anxious but my fears were assuaged when my instructor motioned for me to lean forward…and I was immediately flying as he closely monitored my every move. 

 A traditional freefall out of a plane lasts anywhere from 45-60 seconds and we had that amount of time to make our own attempt. Initially, I felt like a failed superhero as my arms and legs flailed in the wind but I quickly remembered to keep my chin up and relax…and I was able to fly on my own. It was one of the most exhilarating feelings in the world to give up control and just trust the wind. 

For our second attempt, our instructor had a surprise for us–the first 30 seconds we flew on our own but for the second half, he grabbed onto us and we soared up, down and around the chamber with giant sweeping motions. I felt like a bird in flight dive-bombing for my food and just as we were about the hit the bottom net, we effortlessly soared to new heights again. 

My kids had very different experiences. From the moment my 13-year-old daughter entered the chamber, she felt empowered and electrified as she quickly learned to surf the wind. Eleven-year-old Bode, traditionally more cautious, struggled to fly on his own and the instructor was constantly tweaking his position (which happened with most of the younger kids).  He was fighting off tears as he waited for his second session and he divulged his frustration: he couldn’t understand what his instructor was telling him to do. I advised him to just relax and let the wind do all the work. On his second attempt, he did much better and finally caught a glimpse of what it felt like to soar.

Be sure to bring someone who can take pictures for you or buy the DVD of your experience for $15. Really, the only downside to our adventure is we did the introductory 2-flight package for $59.98, which sounds like enough until you realize each “flight” is only one minute long. 

But rest assured, it was two minutes we’ll never forget. 

iFly Denver is located at 9230 Park Meadows Dr, Lone Tree, (303) 768-9000. Be sure to follow their Facebook page for updates and promotions. 


The gut-wrenching parenting ad that you will love

I don’t know about you but Windex doesn’t make me teary-eyed. Usually. But “Give Life a Sparkle” is a new gut-puncher-of-an ad that focuses on the relationship between a father and his daughter as he watches her grow up. 

or an ad will make parents everywhere Who would have thought an ad for glass cleaner would have us reaching for the tissues? Well, prepare yourselves, parents everywhere. Because Windex just released a new ad as part of its “Give Life A Sparkle” campaign that focuses on the relationship between a father and his daughter as he watches her grow up.

Denver Zoo celebrates its first-ever hatching of a Sarus crane

Denver Zoo is celebrating its first-ever hatching of a Sarus (SAHR-uhss) crane, the tallest of all flying birds. The chick, whose sex is still unknown, hatched on the morning of August 17 and hasn’t been named yet. Along with first-time parents, mother Violetta and father Alfredo, the chick can be seen now at The Kenneth King Foundation Crane Lagoon at the Zoo’s Toyota Elephant Passage.

“Denver Zoo is proud to celebrate its first hatching of a Sarus crane with Alfredo and Violetta,” said Assistant Curator of Predators Matt Lenyo. “We are happy to see the chick growing stronger each day, and the new parents are proving to be naturals.”

Zookeepers found the chick’s egg on July 15 and checked on it several times a day before moving it to the Zoo’s Avian Propagation Center for artificial incubation. In its place, the parents were given a “dummy” wooden egg to brood. This was done to ensure the chick’s best chance of survival. The chick was returned to its parents upon hatching and keepers say they have been providing excellent care ever since. Keepers say it has become very mobile and can be seen walking long distances around its enclosure. Both parents have spent time brooding and feeding the chick worms. Violetta or Alfredo are always by the chick’s nest and the birds are all vocalizing to each other.

Alfredo hatched at Lowery Park Zoo in Florida in August 2003 and he came to Denver Zoo from Calgary Zoo Canada in November 2011. Violetta hatched at San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park in October 2006 and she arrived at Denver Zoo from San Diego Zoo Safari Park in May 2007. The two were paired under recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), which ensures healthy populations and genetic diversity among zoo animals. The chick’s hatching brings the Zoo’s total number of Sarus cranes to three.

Sarus cranes grow to nearly 6-feet tall and are native to Southeast Asia and Australia. Their bodies are almost entirely gray and white, except for their red necks and heads. The species is classified as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). Their major threats include a combination of loss and degradation of wetlands, as well as the hunting of adult Sarus cranes and collection of eggs and chicks for trade and food.