What If Your Family Is Not a Four-Pack

Who’s idea was it to package four tickets to an event (usually with a meal of some sort) as a “Family Four Pack”? Probably some genius marketer. I can say that because I used to be in marketing. Ostensibly to marketers “family” means two adults and two kids. Which means that to get a deal on tickets (it is most often four tickets, four meals, four drinks). What happens if you really only need three? You can’t break down that ticket rate to $22 each (using the example of $88 for a four pack). I am a deal hunter – but when I have to spend extra to get a discount…it’s not a deal. Even television shows seem to be getting this right more and more. Sometimes “family” is a divorced mom with two kids (or a blended family, or extended family, or…)

So here is my dilemma. I get invited to things from time to time and I’m offered a family four pack. There are three of us (I’m divorced and have two kids). That is where the fighting usually ensues. My kids argue over who got to bring the extra friend last time or even if it is appropriate for that particular gender (really even if it is my son’s turn I’m pretty sure that he would not want to bring one of his teen friends to Disney’s Princesses on Ice). So far, I have let them be the one with the extra friend – not me. Some times we let the ticket go because I don’t feel like driving in circles to take a friend home late at night.

So really marketers – are we really not a family because there are only three of us? What about those families that have more kids? Who do they sit at home? The other adult? Which child has to sit this one out? Usually the marketing genius has also booked the entire section for families – meaning there are no additional tickets available anywhere near where the family section is. Do you sit one in a different side of the theater/auditorium/stadium just so they can see it too?

I Signed Up Again For The Bolder Boulder 10K Race

Last year, my sister talked me into running the Bolder Boulder. The race is a Memorial Day 10K that ends at the University of Colorado’s Folsom Field (and the last 1/4 mile is all uphill!).

Despite the race page saying you can run in the wave with your friends. Even though I wrote down both my sister and her sister in law’s name – I was placed in a wave that was to start a full hour behind the one they were running in. When I tried to run with them (in the FJ wave instead of the G wave), the security said they would call the cops on me and arrest me (I paid my full race fee but apparently they are NOT JOKING when they say you have to run in your wave) if I tried to run with them. I talked to another official who basically was at least slightly nicer and told me to go to the end of the fence and I could jump in there but I would not get an official time. That was fine. I was more interested in running the race with my sister than I was getting an official time.

The post race was a lot of fun watching the waves of runners entering the stadium. Seeing the Memorial Day entertainment, fly over and recognizing military athletes that are participating. There were several vendors and fun freebies after the race. I still carry my lunch bag – which says runGRY? – which I find funny since my initials are GRY.

Even with the awful start (and what I thought were the funny looks from the security along the race route), I ran side by side with my sister. (My foot timer would not work because I didn’t start on my official time – offense apparently big enough to land me in jail). They (my sister, brother in law, nephews, my sister’s sister in law) just signed us up to do that again! I really want to do a couple things this year: 1. Get a real race time 2. Run faster 3. Actually train.

Now what? How do I train? Does anyone want to help me?

Denver Deal: Rocky Mountain Sitters, Tykester, Ski 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, 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 babysitter has a passion for working with children, try out Rocky Mountain Sitters. Mile High Mamas is offering an exclusive discount: Use the promo code “RMS” for your first month free! http://www.rockymountainsitters.com/

Tykester. Do you hate being away from your young kids? Tykester is a newly-launched FREE app that is a super easy and fun way for childcare providers and parents to stay connected.Parents get real-time updates on their children, instead of waiting for a paper daily sheet or a conversation when they arrive to pick them up.The best news is Tykester isn’t just for working moms with kids in daycare and users run the gambit—from grandparents, aunts and uncles to deployed military to weekend babysitters to truly anyone who wants to get updates about your child. Tykester is also doing a giveaway for a $100 VISA gift card for anyone who downloads the free app.http://www.milehighmamas.com/blog/2015/01/13/app-parents-kids/

Cinderella at the Denver Center. February 3 before the show Cinderella at the Denver Center. Ticketed guests can take advantage of fun kids events in the lobby (starting at 6 p.m.) and participate in the Q&A after the 7 p.m. show. In addition, with the purchase of each adult entrée, kids receive one free kids’ meal off of the kids’ menu at Hard Rock Cafe. Dinner reservations: 303.623.3191

Winter on the Mountain at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Winter brings dazzling lights and magical adventures as Glenwood Caverns
Adventure Park turns into a winter wonderland full of fun. Enjoy 500,000 lights adorning the park, one of the largest holiday light displays in Western Colorado! Also, for the first time both the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride and the Alpine Coaster will be lighted for evening rides. And there is holiday lighting inside the King’s Row cave section, making the tour even more colorful. Get 50% off using Mile High Mamas’ Winter Funday Pass MHMAMA14. http://glenwoodcaverns.com/park-tickets-hours.html

Starbucks. The Starbucks “treat receipt” is back. They are now offering a yummy pastry for just $1 when you bring that morning’s receipt back to a Starbucks after 2 p.m. (Through Monday, February 2).

Give Kids A Smile Day. Dental offices across Colorado join forces on February 6 to Give Kids A Smile. Kids have to be under 17 years old, your family must be low income and not have dental insurance, you must get your own transportation and arrive to your appointment on time. Visit the Colorado Dental website at http://www.cdaonline.org/gkaspatient for more information.

Ski Deals. January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. Make sure to check out our round-up of deals. Also the deadline for the 5th and 6th grade passport from Colorado Ski Country deadline is January 31.

Grand Adventures. Grand Adventures is a Snowmobile Tour and Rental Company with the only tour in Grand County to the top of the Continental Divide up 12,000 ft!Go with a guide or get maps and explore on your own. They have 4 locations to choose from all with a variety of terrain for beginner to advanced riders. Try out our location in Grand Lake, The Snowmobile Capital Of Colorado and drive your snowmobile to local restaurants and shops. Great for all ages and abilities – super fun with the kids! http://www.grandadventures.com (970) 726-9247

Lift Ticket Deals. When you visit a Smashburger purchase an Entrée and a Drink get a two-for-one certificate for Winter Park. Fill up (10 gallons or more) at a Shell gas station you can get a coupon good for a buy one get one free ticket at Winter Park, Copper, Loveland and more. Liftopia has some of the best deals for skiing on Super Bowl Sunday! Plus, since most of the lifts stop at 4 p.m. you can make it back in time for the big game.

Avalanche Family Night. Want something fun to do for the whole family at a discount? Try going to anAvalanche hockey game during a Family Night. For just $119 you get four tickets, four Pepsi’s, and four meals. The next one is January 30.

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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.

Kids Eat Free Mile High Mamas has rounded up a huge listing of local restaurants where kids eat free or for a discount with a paying adult.

Do You Rearrange Your Dishwasher?

For the longest time, I have tried to act like I’m not just a little “Type A” personality. I thought that the life of a gypsy sounds like a ton more fun. There are certainly elements of my life that I do tend to be a “go with the flow” personality. At least that was true when comparing  myself to my sister or my dad.

My dad is sort of neurotic. He puts his packing list on a laminated card (for whenever he’s going on a trip so that he doesn’t forget anything), he mows the law in straight lines, he cleans his car every week (and NEVER were we allowed to bring any kind of food in the car – forget fast food drive-thru’s in his car).

But the other night, after one of my kids did the dishes (it is one of the only chores I insist they do). I found myself opening the dishwasher and re-stacking the plates so they all faced the same way (toward the middle where the water comes up), and making sure that the drink glasses were within the “rows” on the top. I thought, “Oh boy, I’m turning in to my dad.” Then I mentioned it to a friend. That is when I realized…I’m not the only one! She re-stacks the dishes in the dishwasher too! Do you? Does that make me a Type A?

load dishes

My Showcase Showdown

When my sister and I were younger – we would catch an episode of “The Price Is Right” every once in a while. We would tell each other that we didn’t understand when a person chose a trip over a car. “Why would they take some trip and not have anything to show for it” was our mentality. I mean, after all, what do you really GET from taking a trip? AND you can’t SELL it to make some money.

In the past several years, I have found that I have had a total change of heart on that. While I don’t have a lot of money, the time that I spend with my kids, parents and sister are far more valuable than the car I drive or the furniture in my living room. While I’ve tried very hard to purchase the right gifts for any occasion. Hello – has anyone tried to find that right gift from Santa just to be driven crazy not finding it. (That’s not to say that I don’t buy my kids gifts at all. I do. I give them Christmas and birthday presents. I give them random stuff). But the things that are talking about for years afterwards are the big trips and little trips. That time we hiked Mt. Crested Butte (the summer after Grampy got his hip replaced), that time we went snowmobiling in Snowmass, that time mom flew with P to LA for the Taylor Swift Concert, that time mom took D to the Broncos game – just us, that time we went to D.C. with Nanny…and she got a blister on the first day. That time P got sick on a plane…and these are just the trips that I have had with my kids. Not to mention the trip to Paris and London with my mom and sister (lots of good stories out of this trip), or when I missed my plane back to the U.S. because my friend and I were sitting on a beach in Cancun.

I make annual yearbooks for my kids of all the great things that we do each year (I use Mixbook.com and LOVE it. I’ve tried others that just aren’t as good). I want them to remember the things that money can’t buy. I want them to remember what made us laugh (or cry or get us frustrated or we danced for joy over).  That even if the Price was Right you can’t really put a price on time spent with your loved ones.

If you had the choice of designing your own Price Is Right Showcase prize, what would it be? Would you want the car or the trip or something else?

My Son Is Now Driving…YIKES

I haven’t even gotten into a car with him behind the wheel. My son passed his written exam on Friday allowing him to obtain a driver’s permit. He will hold this for one year. In that time I’m supposed to try to come to terms with the fact that a. my son is old enough to drive and b. my son can and will be safe on the road.

So I’m pretty sure that each and every state has different rules and ways of getting a licence. In Colorado, your teen has to pass an online class (teaching them the stuff in the book) and receive a certificate for passing that class. S/He may also take a class from a certified class location (although I found these to be very expensive). Once they have that certificate they need to go the DMV and pass the written exam. (I hear the DMV takes appointments – so that is the way to go – rather than waiting your turn which could take HOURS!). Once they have passed the exam they get their provisional license (a piece of paper until the other one with a photo arrives in the mail about two weeks later). They should drive on this permit with a licensed adult in the car with them for a certain number of hours (40) which include city driving, highway and nighttime driving. The parent(s) have to sign off on this practice driving.

To be honest, I am actually glad that it is my son that will be on the road before his sister. He is a much more even keeled temper (despite her being hyper organized). He is a rules follower and has even made me hand over my phone to place it in the glove box while I’m driving. “No texting and driving” he says. We will start with just learning how to operate the car – by taking it to a nearby parking lot. No traffic just yet and no, I will not make him go on the highway on his first driving foray.

All my dear neighbors and friends. Do please take caution as you walk the streets of our town. Please be patient with my frazzled nerves. Please forgive us when we are late. I’ll keep you all updated on how this is progressing. Since he got the license he is a little scared to drive and says he wants to do his first time with his dad. Fine with me.

Do you have a new driver in the house? How did you learn to calm down?

Deals Reminder

I write a weekly deals post at MileHighMamas.com. This is just a reminder that you visit my part of the site there weekly. While most of the information is local (to Denver) there are some that you can take advantage of Nationally….Below is one of my posts there.

Denver Deal: DelTaco, Soybu, Stock Show and More

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I love the idea of a once a month delivery service about two weeks ago. I must have seen an ad on my Facebook page or something. But with the combination that I love mail and I like getting fun new products.  I have signed up for a new sock delivery service – Sock101.com. I’m pretty excited to receive my first pair (I will get one pair a month). I may even be tempted to get another service and something else fun delivered. Have you ever done it? Was it what you thought it would be? What would you recommend?

Celebrate with Soybu. Hurray! Our favorite Colorado-based women’s activewear and yoga brand Soybu is hosting a special event in the Women’s Active sections at Macy’s Park Meadows & Westminster Saturday Jan. 17, 2015 from 11-3pm. The events will include a fashion show at the top of every hour, raffles, giveaways, gifts with purchase and more! http://www.soybu.com/

Sportsmen’s Expo. While my son will have to sit through my daughter’s cheer competition at the Colorado Convention Center  this weekend – then I will make her go on up to the Sportmen’s Expo which is free for kids under 15 and military with I.D.Admission is $15 (cash only) for adults – but I understand there are several stores with discount coupons among which include Sports Authority, Big 5, Circle K, O’Reilly Stores, KMarts and WalMarts. The show features hunting and fishing as well as other outdoor interests with demos, exhibits, seminars and workshops.

YeeHaw National Western Stock Show! Denver celebrates our Western Heritage with the National Western Stock Show through January 25 (Fan Appreciation Day). The fun is affordable for the whole family. Free with grounds admission is a petting farm, CSU Ag adventure, Ames Activity Pavilion, National Western Nursery, and many more exciting activities and animals for kids and families to see. Also note worthy is the Thank a Farmer Magic Show, and the Catch-A-Calf competition.  Grounds Admission tickets are only $10 for adults. Kids 3-11 years old are $3. Kids 2 and under are always FREE. And grounds admission is free on the 20th. There are also professional rodeos through the week at an additional cost.

Fred Meyers Grand Opening. The sixth Fred Meyer’s location in Colorado opens at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, January 14 inside King Soopers on Smoky Hill Road in Aurora (at Serenity Ridge) will open by giving the first 100 customers a FREE pearl bracelet (valued at $65) plus deals and free jewelry cleaning.

Free day. 

  • The Denver Botanic Gardens will host a free day for all Denver area residents on Monday, January 19.
  • Children’s Museum of Denver is offering admission of just $1 (for family of up to 10) for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) recipients. To receive the discount show your SNAP EBT card.

Ski Deals. January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. Make sure to check out our round-up of deals.

Weird science. What do you get when you mix kids and hands-on experiments? An afternoon of family fun. Lakeshore Learning Store (8680A Park Meadows Center Drive in Littleton) hosts a free kid-centric Science Fair on Jan. 17 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fair will conjure up lots of STEM-themed (that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) activities. For instance, using the fairy tale “The Three Little Pigs,” youngsters can engineer a happy ending by designing a house that can’t be blown down by you-know-who. Other projects include constructing a mini-vehicle and creating a working catapult out of craft sticks and tape. lakeshorelearning.com

 

DelTaco. My daughter has sort of become obsessed about eating healthy. (I have to admit I like it at the same time that is seems weird that a 13 year old came up with that herself. But I was happy to find that Del Taco has a free turkey taco (which actually tastes better than the beef ones) with any purchase coupon posted on their website. http://www.deltaco.com/turkey. Note the coupon may not be combined with the free drink offer.

 

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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.

Kids Eat Free Mile High Mamas has rounded up a huge listing of local restaurants where kids eat free or for a discount with a paying adult.

My Mail Obsession

I think I may have missed my “calling” in life. I am probably a decade too late as well. I love getting mail. I’m serious! While many of my friends hate getting mail – I can’t say that I love getting bills in the mail – or those pesky traffic ticket photos that so obviously indicate that is me driving – I love the mail. I have since I was a little kid.

My parent’s house has one of those old-school mail drops that lands the mail right on the kitchen floor. My sister and I would see the mailman coming up the drive and we would hide behind the wall with our hands outstretched to be the first to get the mail before it hit the ground. There was rarely anything for us – but when there was – it was exciting! A letter from a friend (which was mostly unnecessary as we didn’t move much and didn’t have friends or family in far away places)? A catalog with all kinds of things we didn’t really need or could afford?

As I got older, I ordered magazines to ensure that I would get mail on a regular basis. I would occasionally order from magazine just to make sure that I stay on their list and continue receiving the magazines. I would send postcards to myself. Mail is like a little surprise every day that you don’t really have to do anything to get! It comes to you but you don’t really know WHEN. Although I will say when you order off a website they do their best to try to guesstimate when you receive the item you ordered – it doesn’t really come on time. And my mail man is late! I have driven up to my house at 7:30 p.m. and the mailman is just getting there. And since I live in an apartment, it can take him quite some time to do all the apartments!

I am so excited I just joined one of those monthly delivery services. What took me so long?!?? I will be receiving socks from Sock101.com. EVERY MONTH! How exciting is that? I’ve not even seen them. Are they good quality? Are they fun designs? Will they be so “out there” that I won’t really wear them? Have you ever ordered from a monthly service/club? What did you get? Was it cool stuff? Would you do it again? Why don’t they accept PayPal?