Denver Post Holiday Feature!

I’ve been working like a madwoman compiling all my top picks for the holiday season and I was delighted when the Denver Post made it their feature story. I’ve included some of my favorite brands and a few new discoveries so be sure to scroll down to “What Mama Wants for Christmas.” Read the article here.

Denver Post print article, page 1

Denver Post, Page 3

I’ll also be doing a segment on 9News showcasing a few of these gifts next Monday. My column and the segment were supposed to run concurrently but the newspaper wanted to bump it up to today. Worked fine for me but not the kids who are bitter they haven’t appeared on 9News since their back-to-school special.

Next time, they’ll be demanding an agent.

Political Ads: Are Your Kids Noticing Them? (My 9News Interview)

The end is near.

No, this isn’t some doomsday announcement but rather I’m voicing my relief we will finally be witnessing a ceasefire for all the political ads, tweets and Facebook postings. I almost resolved to go on a media fast but then remembered, “Oh. That’s what I do for my job” so I’ve muddled through it, trying to remind myself this is a privilege! We live in a free, democratic society where people can openly voice their opinions!

Now, after tomorrow’s election, will everyone please shut-up? :-)

Last week, TaRhonda Thomas from 9News came to my house to interview me about what to tell kids about the scathing political ads on television. Click here for the video.

If you haven’t already voted, remember to do so tomorrow. I’m Canadian so will be doing it in spirit. Last weekend, I scored this great “voted” badge from Colorado Ski Country USA at the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Expo.

I’m what I like to call “politically neutral.”

Halloween 2012: The Slime Bucket, Digging for Eyeballs and the Pumpkin’s Celebrity Encounter

This year, Jamie was delighted when The Great Pumpkin had an encounter with celebrity. TaRhonda Thomas of 9News fame was at our house interviewing me for an unrelated story and was flabbergasted with what she found when she pulled up to the house. And unlike some broadcast journalists I’ve worked with in the past (read: snobby), she’s every bit as fun and lovely as she appears in the picture.

One of the bonuses of having kids at different schools is they had their Halloween parties at different times so I was able to give each of them my undivided attention. I started with little B. The volunteers were divided up into different stations. The Room Mom asked if I wanted to do the craft.

“Err, no thanks,” I politely declined.
“Really? You look like the crafty type,” she responded.

I assure you that’s the first time THAT has ever happened.

I instead volunteered for the messy slime bucket, which was green jello that was refrigerated with plastic body parts. To demonstrate, I stuck my hand in it and pretended it was getting devoured. What’s Halloween without a bit of traumatizing?

For Dorothy’s party, she was thrilled she was the kid who got to put the finishing touches on her teacher’s mummy wrap and did a muzzle over her mouth.
I’m sure she was thinking, “That’s for all that miserable math homework.”

They did plenty of crafts and games and once again, I volunteered for the messiest of them all (sensing a pattern here?): Searching for eyeballs (marbles) in a mass of brains (spaghetti) with their feet. Disgusting. Especially when the brains got accidentally flicked down my shirt.

That evening, we met at our fire station where they handed out drinks, cupcakes, cookies, free HarperCollins children’s books and then a fire truck led a parade.

From the archives: 3-yr-old Bode at the parade. #Love

Our neighborhood pretty much rocks Halloween.

This is the first year we’ve been able to carve The Great Pumpkin because it’s usually rotting down the driveway. Since the weather was so nice (it’s been 70 degrees), we sat on the porch to hand out candy and could hear the stunned reactions of the trick-or-treaters. A large crowd was usually congregated around the pumpkin to take pictures. The Pumpkin Man was in his element.

Our neighbor Steve told us his wife Angella took a picture of their family with The Great Pumpkin. She’s a pharmaceutical rep and made it into a card to hand out to various doctor’s offices and clients. He said it was an awesome conversation-starter and opened a lot of doors.

Next year, I’m demanding a commission.

Not my cup ‘o tea

Airing out the archives. Here’s another post in my draft folder I wrote on May 9 but never published.

On Monday, I did a segment on 9News for Mother’s Day. I had several products I was showcasing, as well as some ideas for homemade gifts.

The problem with homemade gifts is you need to make them. At home. Yourself.

So, I sat down with the kiddos and we made some cute Popsicle flowers and a footprint stool. I was juggling a bunch of others things so as usual, crafting was stressing me out.

Jamie walked up to me. “Don’t be offended but….why are you doing crafts?”

Offense taken.

Behind-the-scenes at 9News’ Back-to-School Segment Part II

If you’re just tuning in, be sure to read Behind-the-scenes at 9News’ Back-to-School Segment Part I.

Despite my best efforts to pull together two back-to-school segments for 9News (and believe me, both segments were a ton of work) one very important thing started unraveling the day prior: Haddie wasn’t feeling well.

I assumed it was because we’d stayed up late at our neighbor’s outdoor movie theater and gotten up early for church but she ping-ponged from OK to worse as she claimed stomach pains. I debated replacing her with her friend but then she’d recover enough for us to see the silver lining and hope she’d be OK.

She wasn’t.

Around 1 a.m. she came into our bedroom claiming nightmares about the sound of necklaces (can you say hallucinating?) so I let her stay. Problem was she thrashed and turned all night and I had to be at 9News by 6 a.m. for my first segment.

Translation: I barely slept.

The plan was for Jamie to bring the kids later for our fashion segment that aired at 8:40 a.m. My first segment on back-to-school products went just swell (find them here that includes the coolest alarm clock) but when I called Jamie to see how she was, he simply said, “Not great,” but that they would be there.

Once they arrived, we hung out in the green room and Haddie seemed pretty OK and my hope was renewed we’d survive the segment.

The Green Room (that is not green)

About 20 minutes before our segment, TaRhonda came to get us and the kids got a little tour of the newsroom. Much to Bode’s delight, he met his celebrity crush, Meteorologist Becky Ditchfield.

Blurry Becky. Apparently I was excited for him

At the end of the segment when Becky was talking to TaRhonda on-air, Becky called Bode “pretty dang awesome.”

Warning: Don’t tease him about it. He starts to blush and roars, “STOP IT!”

Once in the studio, we did a couple of dry runs and all the kids did great.

And then came SHOW TIME! Be sure to check-out the video here (kids’ segment starts at about 4 minutes and for clothing/product info, go here).

Jamie was a stellar stage father, guiding and helping the kids behind the scenes and they were all amazing. Hadley, in particular because she sucked it up and still performed when she felt sick.

Ignore the flash; no time to remove it

Steph was adorable, Bennett was cool but that Bode? For a kid who has a canned smile, the little dude stole the show.

Becky raving how awesome Bode is.

When the segment was over, we were all relieved, grateful and elated with how well it went. As we were walking back to our green room to retrieve our belongings, Hadley confessed:

“I threw up.”

“WHAT? When? Where?”


I turned to Jamie and he confirmed it. Turns out she was still having stomach problems and the moment they got out of the car upon arriving at the 9News studios, she vomited all over the next parking stall. She recovered enough to perform for the segment and has been down-and-out with a feverish stomach flu ever since.

“Yeah, and Daddy told me not to say anything to you about throwing up until after we went on TV!”

Wise, wise man that Jamie.

And that, my friends, is how you leave your (literal) mark on your television debut.

Behind-the-scenes at 9News’ Back-to-School Segment Part I

When TaRhonda Thomas asked me to do a couple of of back-to-school segments on Denver’s top news station 9News, I readily agreed to one but took a big, long pause for the other.  I’m fine with pitching products–I’ve done plenty of those on-air segments. But she also wanted me to pull together a fashion show for the second segment. Me? The woman who wears North Face and Arcteryx all winter long?

I reluctantly agreed and admittedly had the most fun pulling that particular segment together. Both were a lot of work–between researching what products I wanted to use, working with the company’s corporate office and then individual stores to get the item and not to mention finding models.

I needed two younger kids and was surprised when both of mine were enthusiastically on-board.

I think Bode secretly wanted to meet Meteorologist Becky Ditchfield (whom he has a crush on).

Next, I recruited Stephanie, a cool sophomore from church was elated to do a shopping spree at H&M (they got to keep their clothes).

But then came the teenaged boy. Turns out most of ‘em don’t want to be on TV. Modeling. Excuses ranged from “I have to work” to “I have band camp,” to my favorite, “Ohhhhhh no. I respectfully decline. I could never do that.”

How many teenaged boys even talk like that?

It got to the point where, at a stake BBQ where a number of wards congregated after a community service project that I lamented to Jamie, “I JUST NEED A TEENAGED BOY.”

And then I realized how that sounded.

My friend Lisa finally recommended my guy who was the son of a friend. Bennett is a cool sophomore who didn’t mind basking in the limelight and did a stellar job.

But, of course, there were problems (this is me, right?)

Be sure to read Part II for all the sordid details of the stress…and the puke as my kids made their television debut.

Bode’s New Obsession

Bode has added a new obsession to his growing repertoire: meteorology. He’s a numbers guy. We call him Rain Man because he’s constantly counting and observing. During the long drive to Canada, I assigned him to track the speed limit…and he continues to inform me of every single speed limit sign.

In case you’re not very observant, there are a lot of them.

And he also reams me out when I’m exceeding them.

But the weather has taken his numbers obsession to a whole new level. When Jamie bought his iPad, I spent an entire morning with Bode on learning about temperatures around the world.

I haven’t dared to tell him about the Weather Channel.

Every morning as the kids get ready for school, I tune into 9News and then the Today show. The past few months, I’ve started to notice a pattern with Bode whenever the weather came on. First, he’d hush us down so he could listen but now, it is the end of the world if we do not stop in tracks to find out what 9News’ Becky Ditchfield is sharing

I’d like to think he has a secret crush on her but I suspect he’s just awestruck by her meteorological phenomena.

Bode is not a dramatic kid and coils in disdain whenever Haddie convinces him to perform her little ditties with him. But the weather? A whole new Bode is born.


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Watch out, Becky. The singing kindergarten meteorologist is coming for you.

How to be anti-social on TV

On Sunday afternoon, Jamie and I took a long, luxurious nap. The problem was when I tried to fall asleep at my normal time (10:30 p.m.ish) I was wired.

Hyper chick disclaimer: More wired than usual.

After a mere four hours of sleep, I leaped out of bed with puffy eyes (also thanks to an allergy attack), slapped on some make-up, got the kiddos ready and headed down to the 9News studio.

The reason? Today was a big day for me. My column has been running in The Denver Post for a few months but this was my first time it was the featured story that ate up the majority of the front page.

(They posted part of my article online here).

Though I’m pleased as punch, I’m most happy about the exposure this Mother’s Day article gave some well-deserving local mompreneurs.

I talked about some of these products on the 9News segment. TaRhonda Thomas (the reporter)  told me to arrive by 8:20 a.m. and we’d go live at 8:40 a.m. But at 8:30 a.m., I was still standing in the newsroom waiting for her.

And moderately stressing out that I wouldn’t have enough time to set everything up.

But TaRhonda is a pro. She casually sauntered over and walked us into the studio. All of my previous segments have been more hands-on as we stood behind a long table. This time, we crammed everything onto a coffee table as we sat on the couch.

I got hooked up to a microphone, anchorwoman Kyle Dyer tossed to TaRhonda and before I knew it, we were LIVE without any forewarning. When showcasing items, I’m supposed to look at either the reporter or the items I’m explaining and I always like to look straight into the camera at the beginning and the end.

The problem is there were two side-by-side cameras and I hadn’t been given the chance to figure out which was the correct one.

And so I ignored the camera.

Though the segment went pretty smoothly, I really don’t enjoy watching myself but Jamie later forced me to do just that and it didn’t turn out as badly as I thought.

Minus the fact I was being anti-social with the television viewers.

Better luck next month.

Life: According to Instagram

Sometimes life is best followed by a glorious little app called Instagram. I’m woefully behind on life so here are our happenings before big Spring Break in Utah:

Hadley competed in her second Destination Imagination tournament whereupon she performed the riveting role of a mouse.

Suffice it to say, she was seriously bummed to snag up that role before she realized she could have had the role of a lifetime: a cat.

Speaking of which, our amateur photographers have been taking lots of pictures of Fat Kitty in his element….

….Whining and longing to go outside.

They also documented Fat Kitty’s love story. A new family moved onto our street and they brought Austin the cat with them. It was Fat Kitty’s first kiss ever.
Even Bode who shuns any signs of flirtation admitted he couldn’t turn away from the burgeoning romance.

Imagine their disappointment when they realized Austin was, in fact, a dude.

We’ve been spending a lot of time at the skate park and playground with our neighborhood besties.

A hint of many glorious evenings to come this summer.

Hadley and I are training for her first 5K, The Color Run. First item of business was shopping for running shoes and second was her first run.

She’ll be passing me in no time.

Every day when Hadley comes home from school, she holes herself up in her room to create something amazing.

This is what happened to my office chair during one of her many sessions.

One Saturday, we were Junior Naturalists at the Lookout Nature Center.

Or rather, the kids were. Jamie and I are more in the “senior” camp.

As for me, I’ve been keeping busy. One day, I appeared on Denver’s top news station, 9News, showcasing various baby shower items.

I miraculously survived without stuttering too much.

And through my almost-daily adventures, I’ve seen winter slowly seep into spring. From this hike up Matthews Winters in my Yaktrax….

to Confluence Park.

To a very steep hike up Apex Park to my new favorite overlook of the city.

To mountain biking Standley Lake.

To more mountain biking.

Only in Boulder would a trail with the name Community Ditch be so beautiful.

Some people call March Denver’s “shoulder’s season.”

If that’s the case, I can’t wait to see what our regular season will bring.

Unintentional Blog Hiatus

Between Bode getting sick, Hadley’s non-stop Destination Imagination rehearsals this week, recovering from my own illness, appearing on 9News yesterday for a segment on baby showers, trying to crank out my column and volunteering at school, I’m on temporary blogging hiatus.

What that really means is I am between blogs right now.

Jamie started my new blog’s design and transferred over allll my archives (no small feat; I’ve been blogging for many years now). He just needs to put the finishing touches and it will be live.

But here’s the problem: he’s busy.

Apparently he thinks working for clients who pay our mortgage is more important than this here blog.

At this point, I have to manually input my posts in both blogs and that’s just a bit too much for me to handle right now.

So, stay tuned. Next week, I’ll have details on our ski day in Loveland (it’s a doozy) and hopefully will be announcing my new site very soon.

I just need to start nagging The Pumpkin Man to do it.