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Showing posts from March, 2010

C'est la Vie: Fight City at Grumble Park

This could be the new name of our backyard. On the up side, at least they are outside. But back to the down side: the kids just can't seem to get along! Is it the full moon? The yo-yo weather? The pressure of another major holiday looming? Who knows. What I know is that I can hardly stand it. I'm a fan of saying, "This to shall pass." But WHEN?? Has this happened to you? Stupid question. Of course it has. Maybe your little people are suffering from the same syndrome... and if someone hasn't told you lately: you're not alone . So go ahead and tell us what your kids are at eachother's throats about. And more importantly, someone please have mercy on us all and share if you've figured out what to to about it Happy Wednesday!

Start a Community Garden

It's not too late to start gardening for this year! It's also not too late to find a plot of earth and commission your very own community garden. It will take time and a lot of work, but if you've been thinking about getting to know your neighbors and making a difference planting a garden is a great way to start. And there is no doubt that Colorado is a great place to do it. I found an excellent website that answers basic questions and starts you on your journey toward fresh produce and friendly conversation with your neighbors and friends. Keep in mind, between planning and planting this could take a couple of months (could be more or less depending on how things work in your particular community). If you want to try this on a smaller scale this year, you could talk to just a few friends or neighbors who might be interested and determine if one of you has a plot of yard suitable to try a garden. Start with just a few plants or herbs and see how it goes. If you are pl

Mom Spot: What's For Dinner?

If you've spent any time exploring here at Mom In Progress, hopefully you've found the Food Network Recipe of the Day! You have to scroll down quite a bit... we'll see if I can do something about that. Wouldn't you agree that it takes the stress off if you know what you are cooking before the day gets away from you? I know that my anxiety rises when I realize it's 4:45pm and I have no idea what I'm going to make for dinner and anything that I could make is going to take at least an hour and a half. I have tried plenty of different strategies for getting a delicious and healthy dinner on the table. I'd love to hear what works for you! Regardless of how you do it, planning must take place. So here are a few other great recipe websites that will help you do answer that looming  question: what's for dinner? Epicurious Rachael Ray (love her or loathe her, the girl can cook... and have you seen the menu planning complete with shopping lis

C'est la Vie: Money, Money, Money

What I am about to confess to you is very embarrassing. I realize I'm confessing out of my own free will, but that somehow doesn't make it better. I received a check in the mail yesterday for a good deal of money. It was from our previous mortgage company. I was both excited and suspicious when it arrived. Mostly because it was the third check we've received from them since closing that old loan and refinancing our home in December. I decided to call someone who is much more intelligent with these things than I am: our mortgage broker. After having a good laugh with me about the debaucle, she asks, "You didn't have the account on auto-payment, did you?" Apart from an error on the side of the mortgage loan company, she could not think of any other reason why they would be sending us check after check. I laughed back at her and said, "I think we'd notice if THAT much money was moving out of our account on top of our new mortgage payments!" Or w

SSPR Easter Events

Whether or not you live in the South Suburban Parks and Recreation District, you will want to check out all they have to offer this weekend. The festivities commence on Friday night at Colorado Journey for Night Light Egg Hunting and Mini Golf. Sheridan Community Park is hosting the Great Egg Scramble and Lone Tree Golf Club and Hotel will be serving Easter Brunch. Check out all the details here .

Mom Spot: Child Bribery

If you are feeling badly about your parenting skills, take heart. You are not alone. We all question our parenting tactics sometimes. Here's a website I love: Mile High Mamas . In particular, here's yesterday's feature blog on bribing your children. You'll laugh! But best of all, you'll be reminded that we are all on the same journey of motherhood.

C'est la Vie: Hostessing Hospitality

Last night was fun. It was grown-up fun. My husband was hosting a conference and thanks to him I was able to play hostess too. I didn't do all of the rubbing shoulders and intellectual conversing, but I got to cook! One of my favorite things in the world is to make a delicious dinner. I absolutely love to feed people in a way that says "You matter this much." The more time I spend on other, more immediate things the less time I have to make every meal feel like an occasion. Last night was a refreshing turn back to cooking with extravagance. Not everyone enjoys this and so I try to see it as the gift that it is. I also have been reshaping the way I hostess by realizing that I am a mom and simple is always best. I don't mean pop open a can or pour something from a box. No, no, no. I just mean to say that if you are thinking about hostessing in a hospitable way the whole thing is quite simple. Have a clean house (especially your kitchen and bathroom) and keep the fo

Copper Mountain Egg Hunt

I'm asking for some group participation today! There must be hundreds of Easter egg hunts happening this weekend all over Colorado. I can't mention them all. Copper Mountain boasts Colorado's largest . "50,000 Easter Eggs will fill the Village and Mountain this Easter Sunday at Copper.  There will be an all-ages hunt on the mountain and two kid’s hunts in the village. Plus there will be special “Copper Eggs” in each of the hunts that can be redeemed for great prizes!"   If you're looking for Easter fun in the mountains, check this out and report back. Otherwise, leave a comment and let us know where to find you hunting for Easter treasure this weekend.

Mom Spot: Do What You Love

I just read a great article by Anne Lamott (Sunset, April 2010) in which she says, "...there is nothing you can buy, achieve, own, or rent that can fill up that hunger inside for a sense of fulfillment and wonder. But the good news is that creative expression, whether that means writing, dancing, bird-watching, or cooking, can give a person almost everything that he or she has been searching for: enlivenment, peace, meaning, and the incalculable wealth of time spent quietly in beauty." Creativity and joy in creation gets to the heart of who God has made us to be. Find beauty today. Create it or go be in it.

C'est la Vie: Beauty Treatment

I'll confess that I probably spend too much time and money on keeping my face looking good. My cosmetic bag is stuffed with creams, cleansers, and all kinds of skin treatments. I stumbled upon a new book at the library that has made me rethink what I put on my skin. Narine Nikogosian's book Return to Beauty has simple tips on making your own cleansers, toners, masks, scrubs and moisturizers. You will never believe how easy it is to care for your skin! And most of what you use to make your own beauty treatments can be found right in your kitchen. For example, her Grape Cleanser for normal-to-dry skin consists of blending 1 cup mashed grapes, 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt (or baking soda), and 1/4 cup milk. It can be used morning and evening with just a rinse of warm water. If you are looking to save money while also feeling like you are doing something great for yourself, this could  be a perfect solution. Her recipes call for sour cream, honey, cucumbers, and yog

Colorado Rapids Opening Day

I have never talked so much about sports as I have in the last two weeks! It's spring time and sports are kicking off all around the metro area. The Colorado Rapids opening day is next Saturday at 2pm at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Soccer truly is the sport played all over the world and this is a simple way for kids (and us) to see some of the best players in the world right here in Colorado. You can find their entire season schedule at their website.

Mom Spot: Friends

C.S. Lewis wrote, “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”   Ladies, this is the single most important thing we can give to one another. The feeling of knowing we are not alone. Someone else is struggling with the same thing. We are not the only one who thinks these thoughts or questions our own judgment. Especially as mothers, there is no greater validation than to know we are all in this together (Go ahead... hum the High School Musical song!). Thank God for friendship. Be sure to be a friend today.  

C'est la Vie: Some Days are Longer than Others

I would like to be asleep by now, but I'm on my way. One last thought for the day. And since some days are longer than others, it happens that this post is coming later than I'd like. Mom's you know what I mean. Wake up time will come too soon. And if you're still in those early months of infancy, that mid-night feeding will be coming sooner than you'd like too. "C'est la Vie!" On the upside, I received the latest issue of Sunset magazine in the mail today. Which although long, makes this one of my better days of the month. If Sunset isn't on your subscription list, this particular issue (April 2010) is a must have for Coloradans. More on that another day. If you're feeling motivated looking toward the weekend (and maybe like me, getting the itch to start digging in the dirt), here are some great backyard projects from the Sunset website. You'll find so many great ideas for living in the west all over this website. And if you're n

Colfax Kids Fun Run

I wish I was a runner. Maybe that's why I push my kids to run at every opportunity. Okay, not every opportunity. Grocery stores, malls, into the street... those are all no-no's. But if we are out of doors, in open areas, at the park, we make a race out of just about anything. Colorado is full of marathons and races of all sorts and gives plenty of options for getting started. I'll be mentioning a few others in the weeks to come, but this page gives you some information to get started for the May 15th race. Get a few friends together and who knows, maybe you and your kids will become runners together.

Mom Spot: Flowers for You

Freshly-cut flowers are one of my favorite decorating touches. It's fun to get them for a special occasion, but why wait? For under $10 you could treat yourself to a nice bouquet from your local market. And if you treat them well, they could last for nearly a week. So if you need a little pick-me-up, try this simple tip: fresh flowers. Here is a link to some flower arranging tips. That $10 will look like a $50 arrangement with just a little finesse in your kitchen. There are some great tips and articles at . One of my favorite tips is: Go for the understated look by placing individual flower stems in separate containers. For single stem flowers, use bottles or containers with narrow openings. Oil and vinegar bottles work great. Be a bit bolder by placing gerbera daisies in their own individual bottles and set the bottles on top of a mirror. Jazz things up by adding some bracelets and charms around the necks of the bottles. There are phenomenal pictures that wi

C'est la Vie: Two Seasons, One Day

Good grief! I shoveled hundreds of pounds of snow only for the sun to come out and ferociously melt a good two thirds of the mounds of snow we got last night. Go figure. I just keep telling myself, "Think of all the calories you burned!" And it's true. Physical activity is a blessing, even if mother nature could do most of the work for you. Life is like that sometimes. You find out after the fact that something could have been done in a way that would have saved you lots of time, money, energy... and sometimes all three. But on the bright side, that's how we learn. It's why when we are teenagers no adult knows more than we do. We have to figure it out on our own. Go our own way. Make our own mistakes. I like to call it "character building." Maybe shoveling snow isn't the greatest example of this, but it sure is a good reminder. We are never going to make the ideal choice all the time. But we have to learn from life. Grow from life. Then get out t

Childrens Hospital

Here in Colorado we are fortunate to have one of the Top Ten Children's Hospitals in the country right at our fingertips. If you have had a child suffer some kind of trauma, chances are you have experienced the amazing treatment the facility has to offer. And as we all know, great care comes at a price. If you are looking for somewhere to give back, Children's Hospital could be the place. Their website gives you details on how to give in a variety of ways from volunteering to giving blood. Click here to find out more.

Mom Spot: Romance Tonight

Romance doesn't have to be something we just read about or watch in movies. Romance can happen today, in our marriages... in out homes. I'm a big fan of Family Life . My husband and myself have attended their conferences and always come back feeling refreshed. Here's an article for women on how to make time for romance in your marriage. Read it today and do your part to bring romance back tonight .

C'est la Vie: Day Two

Spring Break: Day Two. It was a full day and I'm beginning to fall behind on my normal "chores." The day was full with playing and talking and making fun snacks in the kitchen and then cleaning up after these fun ventures. Do you ever feel like you spend more time cleaning than actually enjoying the activities that made the mess??? I'm squeezing in a few of my regular daily activities while still making extra time for kid fun. At the same time I'm doing some self-talk to remind my mommy brain to just enjoy myself instead of worrying about all of the things that are going un-done. I haven't yet come to terms with this. Being a mom is a constant balancing act of spending just the right amount of time doing what has to be done and what we want to be doing. And all the while not feeling guilty when the things we want to do are not necessarily the playing games and the making snacks and the chit chatting about the latest toy on the "I want" list with o

Celebrate Winnie the Pooh

The Sheridan Library, part of the Arapahoe Library District , is hosting a "Celebrate Winnie the Pooh" event this Saturday at 3pm. "The fun begins when you create your own Pooh ears! Then we'll play some games in the Hundred Acre Wood, hear a Pooh story, and enjoy a special treat." Sounds like great fun! There are great activities and programs like this going on week after week at the libraries of the Arapahoe Library District. Check out their calendar and find events close to you.

Mom Spot: You're Not Alone

I was looking for something encouraging for you this morning and I hope this will do the trick. Whether you're set to have a great day or already feel like you'd rather crawl back into bed, we never know what to expect with kids! We all have those stories about when things started off bad and just didn't get right again. There are the days too when unexpected sweetness from our kids, our husband, or a friend just makes you feel like the luckiest girl in the world. This blog at the Living Proof website is called Life Before Noon . It's the look into one of their bloggers moment by moment start to the day. I think you'll laugh and be encouraged that you're not the only one...

C'est la Vie: Mother-Daughter Time

I taught my daughter how to make fresh, homemade pasta tonight for dinner. It was just the two of us and I wanted to do something really special. I'm hoping she'll remember it someday. Better yet, I hope it is the beginning of many more kitchen adventures for us. The relationship between a mother and daughter is definitely a unique one. There are times I feel like we are completely opposite and other moments when I just know we are thinking the same thoughts. Just another reason being a mother is so wonderful...

Colorado Mammoth

If you are looking for a new sports experience, chances are lacrosse would fit the criteria. As a bonus, this Friday is "Blackout Cancer Night" with the Colorado Mammoth. You can purchase tickets online or at the Pepsi Center. There are just a few additional home games in the month of April before the season is over. The Mammoth also has a Sticks for Schools program that runs through the month of April. This program is available to PE programs in schools across the Denver-metro area. The program is slated to begin again in November. This would be great information to pass along to your school's PE teacher too.

Mom Spot: Poetry for the Soul

Women know The way to rear up children (to be just) They know a simple, merry, tender knack Of tying sashes, fitting baby shoes, And stringing pretty words that make no sense, And kissing full sense into empty words. -- Elizabeth Barrett Browning Isn't that a beautiful way to start your day? I always feel a bit more alive inside when I read timeless words of wonderful authors from the past.  I hope it reminds you that the little things we do are what make up the love we share. Our kind words whispered to a crying child may make no sense to them, but they know they are loved. Our kisses are the action that connect the love in our hearts to the words from our mouths. What a blessing to be a mother! Remember the simplicity of love today...

C'est la Vie: Two Seasons, One Week

I can't help but mention the irony of this week. Technically, it is still winter. Up until today, it has felt like spring. Spring starts tomorrow, and we'll be celebrating with a thick blanket of snow on the ground. As we all say around here, "That's Colorado for you." The funniest part is that it doesn't seem to phase kids at all. My daughter woke up as excited as ever that it was snowing. She immediately capitalized on the situation and asked for some hot chocolate with her breakfast. I caved. It was a good morning. The change of the seasons always remind me of the Bible verse (it may remind you of a popular song from the 60's too) that says, "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven." (Ecclesiastes 3:1) Even when spring arrives under a frosting of white, the flowers will still bloom, the grass will turn green, the clouds will roll away, and the birds will still sing. It's nice to know that there is a r

Colorado USTA

The snow may have ruined tennis plans for today, but Colorado really does allow for nearly year-round tennis play. It is a great lifelong sport that kids can learn at a very young age and adults can play well into retirement. There are plenty of local connections, but if you want a broader view of what is available in Colorado, the United States Tennis Association of Colorado is the place to go. You can find leagues for Juniors and Adults as well as link to the Tennis Welcome Center . There you can find out how to get started with a positive experience in the sport. Just provide your zip code or city to find a facility close to you. Our family has been enjoying tennis together for a couple of years. Our kids are still young, but they can hold a racquet and hit the ball over the net. That's about as good as I am. Plus it gives us time as a family to be outside and enjoy just being together. What other sports would you recommend to play as a family, even with young children?

Mom Spot: Time for You

If you even bothered to make a New Years Resolution (which we've already established I did not), odds are it has worn off by now. Now that weather is getting warmer you are probably thinking about shaping up for summer. And if you are like 99.9% of women I know, taking time to workout always seems to end up at the bottom of our list. So what if we combined time for ourselves with our workout? It will still take some discipline, but the results will be a vibrant and rejuvenated mom. Here are some tips from author Lisa Whelchel from her book Taking Care of the Me In Mommy . Do a different activity each day. Monday you could swim, Tuesday could be a nice evening walk, Wednesday could be the treadmill, and so on. This may help you think of the time as an activity rather than "I have to exercise." Walk on the treadmill during your favorite TV show. While kids are at baseball or football practice, walk around the track or parking lot. Organize a neighborhood "stroller

C'est la Vie: A New Language

We've lived in suburbia for years, but recent events have found my life colliding with Mexican culture. No more than five minutes from my home, virtually entire neighborhoods are speaking Spanish in their homes. I consider myself a fairly intelligent person, but unlike other friends I graduated high school with, I elected to take French classes instead of Spanish. Naturally I was going to travel to France and all of Europe someday. As of today, I have not crossed an ocean. But I have crossed cultures. Too bad for me that I still can't communicate. So at thirty years old, I am struggling to learn a new language. (Oddly enough, the French translations immediately come to mind.) Spanish is a fairly easy language from what I have been told. Now could someone please tell my brain that? My vocabulary still consists mainly of numbers, greetings, and "please" and "thank you." It's a frustrating process, but I'm still hopeful. Learning a new language is a w

Bemis Library Spring Break Offerings

Spring break is nearly here! Bemis Public Library has some great offerings for kids. You do need to sign up for these special events, so take a look at their March 2010 newsletter and cross your fingers that there are still openings available. I'm sure there a lots of activities being offered at recreation centers and libraries all over the Denver-metro area. Tell us what you find in your neck of the woods.

Mom Spot: Coffee Crazed

Coffee is part of my daily routine. A few years ago I dedicated myself to using whole beans and grinding them fresh daily. More recently, I am enjoying the free trade, organic variety. It all sounds very sophisticated until I tell you what I do with that exquisite cup of perfection. Coffee lovers brace yourselves. I add flavored creamer. What can I say? Nobody's perfect. I wonder what that says about me? Maybe it means something like, "I care about what I put into my body but only if it still tastes really, really good." Or it could be, "Organic is important, but spike it with a good dose of sugar thank you very much." How do you take your coffee? What do you think it says about you?

C'est la Vie: Daddy's the Best

My son absolutely adores his father. Daddy is definitely his favorite person in the world. If I have had to reprimand my daughter for anything, daddy quickly becomes her favorite too. And I will concede that my hubby is much cooler than I am when it comes to parenting. Today my son brought a picture home from school where he drew a picture of something he was thankful for. The caption read; "I am thankful for my daddy." It made me think how thankful I am too that they have a daddy... and such a great one at that. I guess I can live with not being the coolest parent in our house since I am at least married to the coolest parent. And maybe some day, some time I will get the coolest parent title. Maybe. Do your kids like to play favorites in your house too? Tell us a funny story about it!

Make a Difference: Saint Baldricks

Every Wednesday, I hope to share with you a way that you can make a difference right here in Colorado. There are so many organizations and intiatives.... so many great causes to care about! I'll be sharing a range of causes to choose from, because I know that we are all passionate about different things. As always, if you have an organization or event you would like me to highlight please send me a message or leave a comment. Saint Baldrick's is a fundraising organization best known for shaving heads to support research for kids with cancer. There are plenty of ways to get involved with this worthy organization, but here's the link to events being held in Colorado .

Mom Spot: St. Patricks Day

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! If you are Irish, I'm sure you have some wonderful family traditions. I would love to hear about them... just leave a comment! For those of us not so lucky to be Irish, it is a fun holiday filled with whimsy. If you haven't thought about activities to do with the kids, no problem. Check out Family Fun for tons of ideas!  Irish Countryside from Irish Views "May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night, and the road downhill all the way to your door." ~ Irish saying

C'est la Vie: Springing Ahead

There is definitely a mixed reaction from moms about "springing ahead." Even though we love the idea of more sunshine and warmer days ahead, it is hard to get past the struggle of rearranging kids' schedules. Our household has struggled this week. Kids don't want to go to bed at night. Somehow they are still waking up only marginally later than usual. They are cranky. I can tell I need a mid-afternoon nap. But, this too shall pass. Life is always throwing us some unexpected (or in this case expected, but semi-dreaded) twist. Things change. Kids quirks are different from week to week. Moods shift. Interests wane. Time shifts. We can't make our days longer (there are only 24 hours regardless of how late the sun shines), so how do we stretch what we have? Mom is synonymous with multi-tasking, so how do we make it work? Decide what is important. Find some quiet for yourself (I'm finding this lately in the car... even if it's only five minutes with the ra

Great Choices at South Suburban Parks and Recreation

You will hear me over and over again talk about how much I love Colorado. Specifically, I am in love with Littleton. If you live in Littleton (or in the surrounding area included in the South Suburban Parks and Recreation District), you definitely want to take advantage of the wonderful offering of activities available to you. The week of April 5th is Customer Appreciation Week and a discount is being offered for passes or punch cards. Here are some other activities to check out: Nature classes for preschoolers Tennis classes Parent participation golf lessons Even planning a trip with your playgroup or neighbors can make for a great day out this spring. The picture is just a glimpse of Ketring Park - one of my personal favorites. You can view all parks or all trails at the website as well. 

Mom Spot: Putting More Shine in Your "Rise and Shine"

I have countless friends who have participated in a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group. It's a great way to get out of the house and meet other moms when you have little ones. I love their resources even though I haven't had the pleasure of joining a group. Here's a great article on making mornings a little nicer in your home.

Planning Ahead

I am a Mom In Progress. One thing I've never been very good about is planning ahead. If you are friend or relative this is something you know all too well... painfully well. Although I love being a spur-of-the-moment kind of person, it can wear on a mom. I will confess that there a plenty of times when I actually miss out of great events and opportunities because I just didn't plan ahead. You might call my earlier post a step in the right direction. When I post the Colorado Link each day, you will find that some of them are for specific events that are upcoming. Case in point: Rockies Opening Day. Moms, we've all been there. You find out it's a free day at the zoo on THE day it's going to be free. That just stresses me out. So, look for great ideas for places to go, things to do, organizations to support, and just good fun each and every day! You'll want to have your calendar handy to pencil in an event now and then. And of course, if you have an event you

Colorado Rockies Opening Day April 9th

In just a few short weeks our Colorado Rockies will start another season. It has been quite a ride the past few years! If you haven't attended Opening Day before, maybe this is the year. Be sure to check out Rockies Kids online to join the Kids Club and play an interactive game.

Surprises and Inspiration

I would have missed this entirely if it had not been for my daughter. She was looking out the window and exclaimed, "Look at all the tree branches!" I'm not sure she knew how to describe what she was seeing. Each branch was dripping with glistening rain drops. It really was beautiful and I was captivated. Don't miss the beauty in your day today. It might be in your child's face as they discover some wonder in their world or it could be in a moment of enjoying nature like this one. A big "thank you" to everyone for spreading the word about what's happening here at Mom In Progress. This is one of many inspirations to come. Enjoy the day!

March Into Something New

That is such a lame title, but here's the thing: New Year's never phases me quite the way I think it should. Maybe if I started really thinking about how I could change on January first I wouldn't be here starting the second week of March just beginning to ponder something different. But that's just water under the proverbial bridge. So it's March. Life goes on. For those of you who are regular readers, I'm giving you a head's up. Things are going to start looking different - and I want you to tell your friends! No more weeks on end between postings, and no more "inside my head" journaling exclusively. I'm going to try a new format and I am going to need some feedback. Starting Monday, March 15, you'll be finding more daily goodies here at Mom In Progress. I'll be starting the day off with a very special "Mom Spot" that I pray will bring hope, encouragement, or laughter to your day. For a bit of local flavor, I will be s

Good Fun

I just returned from a brief trip to the hardware store. I was in and out in under three minutes. Luck should have it that on my way out I saw an elderly man walking in. He is probably in his mid-seventies and his expression showed no particular sign of jubilation or dismay. He was however balancing himself on the sidewalk curb. It was just as you are imagining it. His arms were extended at his sides just slightly to keep his center of gravity. His posture was similar to a four-year-old who might be doing the same thing: knees bent a bit and shoulders and head leaning forward to keep a close watch on his steps. I think his end-game was simply to keep his shoes dry from the rivers of melting snow in the parking lot. None-the-less, I was so pleased with this momentary and somewhat involuntary people-watching moment that I had to share. How often am I so worried about what others will think that I just end up with cold, wet toes? Do I miss moments of child-like pleasure because I am t