RM Parent Magazine | November | 2022

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NOVEMBER 2022 • RMPARENT.COM

Creating holiday joy after divorce

Holiday travel survival guide Colds, Covid and Flu—Oh My!

Explore indoor activities Travel Essentials for Kids

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contents

DEPARTMENTS 6 8 10 12 14 28 34 36

Perspective Here they come, again—Time to prepare for the holidays Family Health Colds, Covid and Flu—Oh My!

Family Fun Explore indoor activities—Rock climbing, bowling & escape rooms F avorite Things Travel essentials for kids Family Travels Holiday travel survival guide C ommunity news Lifelines, parent resources and new natural area and lunar eclipse C alendar Events and activities for parents, kids and families Time out Mom guilt

FEATURE 18

Creating holiday joy after divorce Holidays can me hard after a divorce. Parents need to put their kid’s needs first and find ways to make the holidays special. Keep it simple and focus on connecting.

Winter Warm-ups SPECIAL SECTION Enrichment and fun await you this Winter. Find activity and program options for your family in northern Colorado.

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Greeley-Evans D6 Nutrition services director attends white house conference on hunger, health; Beam topping ceremonies held at new James Madison School, Martinez P oudre Rain or shine, students become scientists during Eco Week rite of passage T hompson Katie Erkman, Senior at Loveland High School & Thompson School District ITS Department Apprentice

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ABOUT THE COVER Cover kid Evie loves animals, playing with her little brother, singing, playing soccer with her team the Soccer Puppies and is eagerly awaiting the loss of three teeth! Photo shot by Cheri Schonfeld, courtesy of Sky's Open Design. www.skysopendesign.com

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Perspective

SCOTT TITTERINGTON

Here they come, again Time to prepare for the holidays

DOES IT SEEM THAT WE go straight from Back-to-School season to holiday season as fast as you can say change the shelves in the seasonal isle? One day it’s lunch boxes and markers and the next day, papam, it’s goblins and elves. We now have the ghouls behind us with Thanksgiving and the winter holidays looming large. We’ve made some of our travel plans and going around and around about others. The pandemic seems to weigh less and less in our decision-making and we’re back to worrying about the weather and who we’ll upset if we don’t go here or there. Maybe a small part of us is even looking back with envy at the simplicity of the holidays during COVID when we hunkered down and didn’t go anywhere—no travel plans to make, no fighting crowds and traffic, no overthe-top gift buying. We just focused on our tight nuclear families. But that’s a little bit too much bah humbug. Family relationships are strengthened and memories are created when we gather to enjoy our time together and be thankful. Oddly, one of the things that we have renewed appreciation about when we gather is that we can simply gather. We have a couple of stories about the holidays as we draw closer. In her Family Travel column Katie Harris (very glad to have her back on board) writes about traveling and gathering for the holidays along with a different way to look at gift-giving. While Lynn Nichols dives into creating holiday joy after divorce in her feature story. And check out Lea Hanson’s suggestions in her Favorite Things column for ideas to make your holiday travel more fun and hassle free.

‘Tis the other side of the season

Gathering indoors does have one potential downside and that’s the chance of getting sick. Apparently, colds and flu infections dropped precipitously during our isolation period, but now they are back. Claire Sable does a survey of the most common respiratory ailments—cold, flu and COVID-19—with some suggestions of what to do.

The family that plays together

With fewer daylight hours and cooling temps, we’re definitely getting to that time of year when we look for indoor activities. We all like our game nights and our movie nights, but when we want to go out and have some fun, what do we do? Theresa Baer has a few suggestions along with some resources for tracking them down. Indoor climbing has certainly become a familyfriendly activity. Climbing gyms around the area offer instruction that helps make it a safe and fun way to get some exercise and blow off a little steam on a blustery day. Check out her Family Fun page for some other ideas. Happy Thanksgiving! With gratitude, Scott

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NOVEBER 2022 • Volume 26, Issue 6 PUBLISHER Scott Titterington, (970)221-9210 scott.rmpublishing@gmail.com EDITOR Kristin Titterington, (970)221-9210 kristin.rmpublishing@gmail.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR Emily Zaynard emily.rmpublishing@gmail.com ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Greg Hoffman, (970)689-6832 greg.rmpublishing@gmail.com DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Susan Harting susan.rmpublishing@gmail.com COVER PHOTO

Cheri Schonfeld courtesy of Sky's Open Design CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Theresa Baer, Lea Hanson, Katie Harris Lynn U. Nichols, Claire L. Sable

ROCKY MOUNTAIN PUBLISHING PO Box 740 Fort Collins, CO 80522 Voice 221-9210 • Fax 221-8556 editor@rockymountainpub.com www.RMParent.com Rocky Mountain Parent magazine is published monthly by Rocky Mountain Publishing, Inc. Publication of this paper does not consitute an endorsement of the products or services advertised. RMP reserves the right to refuse any advertisement for any reason. The opinions expressed by contributors or writers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Rocky Mountain Publishing. ©2022 Rocky Mountain Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without express written permission is prohibited.

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Family Health

CLAIRE L. SABLE

Colds, Covid and Flu—Oh My! NOWADAYS THE FAINTEST SNIFFLE, never mind a full-blown sneeze, can send even the most unflappable of parents diving for their phones to consult Dr. Google. Here’s a rundown of some common respiratory bugs your kids may encounter during the school year and beyond.

The common cold COLDS HAVE BEEN WITH US for time immemorial, and while annoying, they are generally pretty benign. They are most often caused by rhinoviruses, and despite the many feats of modern medicine, there is still no cure for the common cold. Colds usually last seven to 10 days with symptoms that include a stuffy and/or runny nose, scratchy and/or sore throat, congestion, sneezing, coughing and fatigue. According to Stanford Medicine

Children’s Health, because cold symptoms can mirror those caused by other respiratory illnesses such as the flu, your child should be examined by their healthcare provider to rule out a more serious illness. Colds usually resolve on their own, though in some cases, secondary infections such as ear infections, sinus infections or bronchitis may develop, all of which mean another trip to the doctor’s office.

Covid-19 THE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS, Covid-19, has been circulating in the U.S. for nearly three years now, and many of us have already had it—some more than once. Symptoms can be non-existent, mild, or in some people, quite severe. According to the CDC, symptoms in children can vary widely. Some may present with only respiratory symptoms, while others may only experience gastrointestinal symptoms. The most common symptoms in kids, according to the CDC, are a cough, or a fever, or both. Additional symptoms may include headache, body aches, congestion, sore throat, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, fatigue, difficulty breathing, gastrointestinal upset, and poor appetite. Testing for Covid-19 can be done at home with an at-home test, available through most pharmacies and various retailers. At-home tests are ‘rapid-antigen’ tests, which can provide results in about 15 minutes. A ‘PCR’ test is generally done at a clinic and can take a few days to get results. For a list of testing locations in Larimer County, go to https://bit. ly/3eA9gLJ. For a list of testing locations in Weld County, go to https://bit. ly/3ENxrkl. The CDC recommends vaccination against Covid-19 for children as young as 6 months through age 17. Vaccinations are given in a series and vary by age and also by which vaccine (Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTtech, etc.) the child receives.

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Influenza THE FLU HAS ALSO BEEN AROUND as long as anyone can remember, and unfortunately, is something we have to deal with on an annual basis. The flu is also a virus, which usually shows up as either type A or B. Both strains can cause symptoms including headache, sore throat, hacking cough, significant fatigue, a runny and/or stuffy nose, body aches, fever and chills. According to the Mayo Clinic, your child’s healthcare provider will evaluate your child and make a diagnosis of flu based on the exam alone, or may screen specifically for influenza through various tests. Perhaps the only positive about the flu is that unlike colds, there are antiviral medications that can reduce flu symptoms and shorten their duration. An annual flu vaccination can also help protect against the flu. The CDC recommends that everyone aged 6 months and above be vaccinated against the flu, annually.


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Family Fun

THERESA BAER

Explore indoor activities

Bowling Bowling is a great, active way to spend time together as a family. With options like ball ramps and gutter rails, it is a game for nearly any age and ability. So strike (punintended!) up a friendly family competition with the usual game rules or mix it up with silly challenges like bowling with your eyes closed or using your non-dominant hand or bowl sitting down. However you do it, NoCo offers several bowling venues from which to choose. • Chippers Lanes, Estes Park, Fort Collins, Greeley www.chipperslanes.com • Highland Park Lanes, Greeley www.highlandparklanes.com • The Summit Windsor www.playatthesummit.com • Sweetheart Ten Pin Bowling Loveland www.sweetheartbowling.com

Escape Rooms Seek clues to solve puzzles in a limited amount of time in order to “escape” a room or set of rooms. Most suggest players be a minimum of 10–12 years old depending on setting, plot and degree of the challenge. Estes Park • Time Emporium, www.time-emporium.com • YMCA of the Rockies Escape Room, www.ymcarockies.org Fort Collins • ConTRAPtions, www.escape.place • Enigma Escape Rooms, www.enigmafortcollins.com • Fort Collins Escape Room, www.fortcollinsescaperoom.com • Fort Fun Escape Experience, www.fortfun.biz/escape-rooms • The Markey Escape Rooms, www.themarkey.com • Time Emporium, www.time-emporium.com • Somewhere Secret, www.somewheresecret.com Greeley • HD Escape Rooms, www.hdescaperooms.com Loveland • Loveland Escape Rooms Clueology, www.lovelandescaperooms.com • Time Emporium, www.time-emporium.com • Time Escape Loveland, timeescapeloveland.com

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Indoor rock climbing Climbing walls offer both physical and mental challenges for all ages. While best for kids ages 7 and up, several gyms work with those as young as 5 years old. Proper safety gear is available to rent or included with admission. Some businesses offer youth-specific programs. The City of Fort Collins offers family climbing days as well. • Ascent Studio—Climbing & Fitness, Fort Collins www.ascentstudio.com • Epic Climbing Gym at Estes Park Mountain Shop www.estesparkmountainshop.com • Greeley Recreation Center, Greeley https://greeleyrec.com/program/climbing • Whetstone Climbing, Fort Collins www.whetstoneclimbing.com • Wooden Mountain Bouldering Gym, Loveland www.woodenmountain.com


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Favorite Things

LEA HANSON

Travel Essentials for Kids THE APPROACHING HOLIDAY SEASON MEANS traveling for most families. Those with the littlest of the kiddos may have never traveled with their kids in a substantial way and have missed out on the “easing into it.” For these folks and everyone, we’ve created a list of our favorite things that make traveling with kids in tow easier and more fun.

Highlights Travel Games Buy Local: Your local Barnes & Noble An occupied and thinking child is (usually) a quiet and calm child. This portable puzzle book with a built-in spinner is a brand-new way to enjoy Highlights activities and games of all kinds. It is designed for one or multiple players, kids can play more than 20 games—from Hidden Pictures® puzzles to fill-in story challenges to silly brain-teaser games— with this innovative puzzle book that includes a built-in spinner. It’s perfect to take along on airplane or car trips.

Razor Scooter Buy local: Sheels in Johnstown

LunchBots Quad Snack Container Buy local: JAX in Fort Collins Any parent knows that having snacks at the ready is a must. A good, portable snack container with compartments is one of the best ways to ensure you have treats ready to go when your kids are about to lose their cool. The LunchBots Quad is healthy snack central, offering four compartments for infinite ways to graze. This multi-talented all-stainless container makes it easy to pack your favorite treats. Four compartments hold an infinite variety of healthy, dry snacks. It’s highquality 18/8 stainless steel and is dishwasher safe and virtually unbreakable.

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It may be a cliché, but the razor scooter is a classic because it’s basically good in every way. The thing people too often forget about it that it’s collapsible and therefore can be packed easily in most any suitcase—including a carry on. Kids (and adults!!) can ride razor scooters most anywhere: ocean boardwalks, city sidewalks, paved campgrounds, airports, and sometimes even in hotel hallways. They are light and fun and a sure way your kids can stay busy and play and get exercise while your family is on the move!


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Family Travels

KATIE HARRIS

Holiday travel survival guide TRAVELING OVER THE HOLIDAYS WITH KIDS in tow is about as high stakes as it gets—the picture-perfect family reunion: Grandpa assembling little Johnny’s new workbench, the aroma of baked goods wafting from the kitchen, and cousins playing happily together in front of a brightly-lit tree, can quickly turn into the kind of full-blown, “What were we thinking?” chaos that would leave any parent swearing off holiday travel for good. A good dose of patience, some careful planning, and a few tricks up your sleeve will have you navigating your holiday travels like a pro.

Make flying a breeze

Manage family gatherings Whether your holiday plans include a cozy gettogether with grandparents or an all-out family reunion, chances are no one’s thinking about your toddler’s nap time, your tween’s food allergy, or your partner’s determination to watch the Broncos play on Christmas afternoon, except you. Avoid frustration with your extended family members by accepting right off the bat that there will be times when you won’t all be able to do every activity together, and be okay with that. If your sister and her teens want to head out late one night on a Christmas light tour, but your kids are 20 minutes away from bedtime, it’s probably better to wave sis on her way and spend a relaxing evening in. You’ll thank yourself the next morning and can take your early birds out sledding while their cousins sleep in. Likewise, if your kids won’t eat what’s on the menu at the restaurant the group chooses, skip the inevitable hassle of dining out with a large party and go out for pizza instead.

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Start your journey off on the right foot by arriving extra early to the airport. Not only will you save yourself stress over making it to your gate on time, but you’ll thank yourself later when the kids have had plenty of time to grab a snack, use the restroom a time or two, and stretch their legs (no one wants to go straight from sitting in a car to sitting on a plane, least of all a hyperactive 3-year-old.) Once you’ve boarded, pop those snacks open and keep ‘em coming. Nothing occupies busy little hands and mouths prone to screaming like a bag of trail mix. Dollar bin gifts wrapped in foil make great distractions throughout the flight, and when in doubt, a tablet with pre-downloaded content and a set of headphones almost always does the trick.

Gift the hassle-free way Sure you could have Amazon ship the kids’ entire wish list to your parents’ house and figure out how to shove it all in suitcases to bring home later, but why would you? The experiential gifting movement has been gaining momentum for years, and screams practicality when traveling over the holidays. For young kids, consider tickets to an upcoming children’s production, trampoline park, or museum. Older kids are ready for gifts involving delayed gratification, like a family vacation, and you’ll have teens jumping for joy over ribbon-tied wads of cash money. Clothes which can be worn on the trip and books for the plane ride also make smart gifts when traveling. Throw in a traditionally wrapped gift for each and consider your holiday shopping complete!


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Creating

holiday joy

after divorce

Keep it simple and peaceful

Lynn U. Nichols IT’S HARD TO FEEL FESTIVE when you’ve recently gone through a heartbreaking divorce. Likely, there’s more melancholy than merry this holiday season. While your feelings can’t be wished away, you can find moments of joy as you navigate a new way to celebrate the holidays with your kids. “After divorce, there’s a deep feeling of grief for parents as well as the kids. You’re grieving the loss of your nuclear family,” says Jen Meyers, LPC, NCC, a counselor in Fort Collins who specializes in divorce and offers divorce recovery workshops.

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By planning ahead, staying aware of your kids’ needs, taking time to grieve, and working to keep the peace, you can enjoy the holidays—and so can your kids. With each year that passes it will become a little bit easier, especially if you’ve reinforced holiday traditions or built some new ones along the way. Plan ahead for a positive holiday It’s a new holiday landscape, so give some extra thought on how you’ll navigate it. You don’t have to create a picture-perfect holiday, just a peaceful one. Decide what

activities and events matter the most, and do them. Remember, you won’t have a partner to help you shop, assemble gifts, bake treats, and fill stockings, so look at this process anew. “On my first Christmas morning after divorce, I realized that I forgot to

put something in my own stocking so I had to quickly scramble and find items. My kids still believed in Santa so they expected my stocking to be filled,” Meyers says. To lessen the chance of surprises and upsets, make


sure your kids are aware of the rules of court-ordered visitations. Then, discuss the flexible time in between. Offer them choices during this free time. Letting your kids take the lead on a few special activities helps even out the loss of togetherness and makes the holidays happier for them. Remember that a younger child’s ability to sort through endless choices is limited, so give simple choices, as in: ‘We have a few days together after your visit with your dad, would you like to go see the light display downtown or have a cookie decorating party with friends?’ “Asking your kids for input on what they want to do helps them find meaning in the holidays and it gives them something to look forward to, which helps balance their grief,” Meyers says. To ease your kids’ stress about going back and forth between houses over the holidays, give them a sense of control with mini choices— like which pair of pajamas or which stuffed animal they want to pack for their dad’s house. Adding new and keeping old holiday traditions With divorce, you’ll likely establish a hybrid of holiday traditions. Consider which holiday traditions hold the most meaning for you and your children, then adjust them as needed. Having familiar traditions helps kids transition to two holiday homes versus one. Let’s say you always went sledding as a family on New Year’s Day. Still do

it, but this time with friends. Also, continue to display those special seasonal knickknacks and decorations that say Hanukkah or Christmas—and give some to your ex to display as well. Having these items at both homes will bring comfort. “It’s good to keep holiday traditions going, and it’s also fine to come up with your own new traditions. New traditions anchor the meaning of holidays at each parents’ house now and in future years,” Meyers says. Keep the peace and cooperate for the kids Even if you feel stung by your ex-spouse, do your best to be there for your kids. Of course you are going to feel sad or even angry at times—maybe over lost time with your kids— but find support in people other than your kids. “When things are hard, tensions at the holidays can run high. It can be tempting to make negative comments about the other parent, so resist and rally support elsewhere,” Meyers says. Of course, you don’t need to be perfect Sometimes, emotions may overcome you, and that’s okay. Explain that you are sad or frustrated, but spare the details. If you involve your kids in your pain or dissatisfaction with your ex, it’s simply too much for them to handle. They have their own grief and stress with a new way of living. Plus, they want a relationship with both parents, so if you complain about their other parent

they will feel protective and possibly resentful. “There are times you will cry, and that’s okay. Kids need to know that relationships can be hard, but they need to know you are there for them,” she adds. If the courts order you to split the holiday (for example, Christmas eve/morning and Christmas morning/eve) agree with your ex-partner that you can each access the kids via video or phone.

from your ex’s house. Try to be excited for them, anyways. Resist asking prying questions or making statements about feeling lonely, which will only make them feel guilty for their own happiness. If you are grieving, call a trusted friend after you put the kids to bed, or plan a social outing when your kids are gone to avoid feeling lonely. “If you find that the divorce agreement made the

“Acknowledge that it’s hard and that you understand that they miss their dad (or mom). Periodically offer that they can talk to their other parent or set up a time for a video chat ahead of time so that they know what to expect,” Meyers says. “Reassure them that you will make sure they get time with both parents and that you will keep relations as peaceful as possible.” You might feel sad that your child is gone and it might be hard to see them come home all excited

holidays stressful, consider how you can make changes for next year to make it easier on the kids,” Meyers says. If you get along with your ex-spouse and you decide to share the holiday, go for it. Just make it clear that you are not getting back together, you simply wanted to share the holiday together. Don’t worry about creating the perfect holiday experience. Instead, keep it simple and focus on connecting. With time, your holiday joy will return in full.

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School District News: Greeley-Evans D6

Nutrition services director attends white house conference thrive, then provide it to them free of charge as a part of the school day. This is possible and it makes sense.”

DISTRICT 6 NUTRITION SERVICES DIRECTOR Danielle Bock had the opportunity to attend the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health in Washington D.C. “What an awe-inspiring opportunity,” Bock says. “I was in a room with 500 people who have the authority and capacity to

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halt the rise in diet-related diseases in this country.” The goal of the conference was to strategize around ending hunger and increasing healthy eating and physical activity by 2030, so that fewer Americans experience diet-related diseases like diabetes, obesity and hypertension. That starts with feeding

children healthy food and teaching them healthy habits. “Every time a speaker mentioned universal free school meals the crowd would erupt!” Bock adds. “I have never been in a place with a more universally popular idea. The reality is that we can teach our children how the body works and what will help them

Beam topping ceremonies held at new James Madison School, Martinez Students at both Madison Elementary School and Martinez Elementary School were able to celebrate the placement of the final steel beam at their new school and addition. A Beam Topping Ceremony is a tradition among builders, to honor the placement of the final or tallest beam in a building under construction. Also called a “topping out,” a tree is placed on the beam to honor the American Indigenous custom that no building should be higher than the trees. Students and staff at each of the schools were given the opportunity to sign the beam before it was placed. Now, their signatures will be there for as long as the building is. Madison Elementary is being rebuilt on the same site as a PK-8 school with the new name, James Madison STEAM Academy. Martinez Elementary School is getting a classroom addition that will replace the portable classrooms currently on the site. The addition will also include some office space and additional restrooms.


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School District News: Poudre

Rain or shine, students become scientists during Eco Week

ON THE LAST OFFICIAL DAY of summer, fifth graders and teachers from O’Dea Elementary School left behind the city and made the trek to the Colorado State University Mountain Campus for Eco Week, where golden leaves spread across the mountain terrain, and everyone could feel fall rolling in with the clouds. “The views were breathtaking!” says Cherie Maul, a fifth-grade teacher excited to attend Eco Week with her class after COVID prevented trips the past few years. Eco Week is almost a rite of passage for many fifth graders in Poudre School District. Classes from some elementary schools go to the CSU Mountain Campus or get outdoors in other places so students can

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dig into nature and build community with their classmates. For some students, this is the first time they adventure out beyond their homes and schools, experiencing independence away from parents and technology. O’Dea’s fifth graders experienced adventure right away. Joyful cheers, yells, and shouts of “You can do it” or “We believe in you!’ carried across the mountain as students explored the challenge course. After climbing the rock wall and jumping off the platform, Dalanie Guerrero reflects on her experience while walking to the next rotation activity. “Eco Week is fun and cold!” she says, later adding that climbing the rock wall felt scary. Even though this experience intimidated her at first, Guerrero realizes that

a person can be both brave and scared when overcoming fears and challenges. Going from bird’s-eye views on the challenge course to up-close encounters along the river, the students couldn’t beat the rain before literally jumping in to learn about stream ecology. Donning their multicolored ponchos and rain jackets, nothing could stop O’Dea. Some students felt hesitant about the rain, but a little water did not stop Ceci Broeckling from analyzing the macroinvertebrates she caught with her team. “I like it because I’ve never done it before,” says Broeckling of her experience of examining the stream’s inhabitants under a microscope. After the hands-on

activity, students got out of the rain and returned to a classroom to finish their ecology lesson. “You are true scientists now, rain or shine!” says Rylee Bundy, a CSU Mountain Campus Eco Week instructor. For Bundy, life in this moment came full circle. Once a Lopez Elementary fifth grader, she remembers participating in the exact activity she now teaches. Before wrapping up day one, O’Dea students took a moment to reflect on their history hike that explored the original mountain campus homestead. No matter their favorite part of the trip, students agreed that the lessons learned during Eco Week will serve them not only today or in middle school but for the rest of their lives.


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School District News: Thompson

Student Spotlight: Katie Erkman

WHEN KATIE ERKMAN JOINED the Lucile Erwin Middle School Robotics Team many years ago, it created a career path for the now-senior at Loveland High School that would result in years of experiences Katie never imagined as a child dreaming of one day becoming a professional singer. “STEM came out of left field,” explains Katie. “I am a nerd and love math. You don’t have to love math to be in engineering, but that’s what keeps me going.” Participating in LEGO robotics, and later the robotics team at LHS, prompted Katie to look for more opportunities to learn

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about technology, becoming one of the first students in the Information Technology Pathway at Thompson Career Campus (TCC). “I began when it was just starting out, and I was one of three women in the program,” Katie recalls. “It really opened my eyes into more of a career side of tech rather than just the creative side. I started thinking ‘How can I help the most people?’” Katie started by serving as a summer intern for the ITS Department for TSD. As interns, selected TSD students are paid to work for the ITS Department over the summer and are given high school credits as well. After

working as an intern, Katie was given the opportunity to apply to be one of a handful of apprentices who work as IT technicians in the district throughout the school year. “It’s so eye-opening,” Katie says. “I find it really interesting. My goal is to learn as much as I possibly can, because you never know what you don’t know until you learn.” Katie says the most interesting part of being an apprentice for the ITS team has been learning how to use classroom lessons to work in the field. “At TCC, we discuss everything in theory. We learn what a router is and

how it works. There’s a lot of textbook work and visualizing,” Katie explains. “One day I’m a student, the next day I’m a staff member. When you’re helping the principal at the school you go to, it gives you a sense of pride.” As a senior with just one class in the building at LHS, most of Katie’s day is spent doing college classes through Front Range Community College and working as an apprentice. This is Katie’s second year in the three-year apprentice program, and the ambitious senior has goals of attending college to study engineering and continue with a career in technology. “My dream school is School of Mines,” Katie says. “I want to go there so badly. They have a really cool AI program that would be really fun to learn about and explore.” After graduating next spring, Katie will enter the third year of the apprenticeship, working fulltime as an IT technician— something this selfdescribed tech addict can’t wait to undertake. “It’s funny, my mom is like ‘you need hobbies,’ because tech has taken over a lot of what I do,” Katie says. “But I’m like any other teenager. I like to play video games and hang out with friends. I also really like reading—especially calculus textbooks.”


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Community News

THERESA BAER

Lifelines, resources and new natural area health and wellbeing counseling; conflict resolution and healing; and navigating the teen years, or parent resources. Each year, The Center puts together a collection of Larimer County community resources that may be useful to youth and families called “The Parents Need to Know Book.” The book contains information related to substance abuse, housing support, legal representation and much more. If you or someone you know may find it helpful, download the book at www.tcffo.org/parentsneed-to-know. Dial 9-8-8 for Suicide & Crisis Lifeline 988 is the new three-digit dialing code that routes callers to a “national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the United States.” Modeled after 911 and designed to be memorable and quick, 988 connects callers experiencing a mental health crisis to trained mental health professionals, as opposed to typical emergency response personnel that arrive when 911 is called. People can call or text 988 or visit 988lifeline.org for themselves or if they are worried about a loved one.

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Total lunar eclipse this month A total lunar eclipse will take place on Tuesday, November 8 as the southern limb of the Moon will pass through the center of the Earth’s shadow. This is the second lunar eclipse of 2022 and the next total lunar eclipse won’t take place until March 14, 2025. Totality–when the Moon is completely darkened–will occur from 3:17-4:42am and while most families will

be sleeping, the eclipse provides an opportunity to learn and talk about this natural phenomenon. For those that want to experience the eclipse firsthand, volunteers from the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society will be available with telescopes at Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area in Fort Collins on Tuesday, November 8 at 3am. Learn more and register (highly suggested but not required) at www. fcgov.com/events. Parents Need to Know Book The Center for Family Outreach (www.tcffo. org ) provides education, prevention and early intervention for substance use counseling and therapy; emotional/mental

New recreation & natural area for Greeley The City of Greeley, with the Trust for Public Land, recently acquired one of the last large parcels of land suitable for open space in western Greeley. The 978acre property will be used “as a hub for recreation and habitat conservation, eventually offering a network of trails between Greeley and Windsor and a spur trail to the 40-mile Poudre River Trail.” The City seeks community input not only on renaming the property but also on how the public would like to use the property while balancing the need to protect wildlife habitat. To learn more and provide your input, visit https://speakupgreeley. com/newest-natural-area.


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For 25 years the big blue NightLights tree has served as a beacon of hope for children who have been abused, neglected or are at-risk in our community.

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Community Calendar

THERESA BAER

November events FESTIVALS & COMMUNITY EVENTS SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5 Day of the Dead Community Reception & Celebration Live music/refreshments while viewing Nicho Altars. Loveland Museum, LV. www.lovgov.org/Home/ Components/Calendar/ Event/100357

NOVEMBER 18 THROUGH 20 Applewood Art Festival Artisans selling gift/holiday/ food items. Budweiser Event Center, LV. www.treventscomplex.com ENTERTAINMENT THROUGH NOVEMBER 6 The Scarlet Pimpernel Swashbuckling action/ adventure musical. Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, Johnstown. www.coloradocandlelight.com

THROUGH NOVEMBER 19 Día de los Muertos Showcases altars created by school/community groups. Global Village Museum, FC. www.globalvillagemuseum.org

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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4 Whose Live Anyway? with Special Guest Drew Carey Live improvised comedy (includes some PG-13 language.) Lincoln Center, FC. www.lctix.com

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9 Warren Miller 73rd Film: Daymaker 73rd annual ski and snowboard film. Rialto Theater, LV. www.rialtotheatercenter.org

Jake Owen Country chart topping singer/songwriter. Budweiser Event Center, LV. www.treventscomplex.com

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10 National Geographic Live: Social by Nature Lincoln Center, FC. www.lctix.com

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5 Fort Collins Symphony Escape Concert Lincoln Center Performance Hall, FC. www.lctix.com

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11 Warren Miller 73rd Film: Daymaker 73rd annual ski and snowboard film. Lincoln Center, FC. www.lctix.com

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 6 The 101st Army Band, Colorado National Guard Free world-class concert honoring veterans. Monfort Concert Hall, GR. https://ucstars.showare.com Rob Lake Magic View astonishing illusions. Rialto Theater, LV. www.rialtotheatercenter.org

The Long Run, Colorado’s Tribute to the Eagles Rialto Theater, LV. www.rialtotheatercenter.org

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13 Flor de Toloache Latin Grammy®-winning, all-female group. Lincoln Center, FC. www.lctix.com FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18 The Queen’s Cartoonists Music accompanies classic/ contemporary animation. Monfort Concert Hall, GR. https://ucstars.showare.com

NOVEMBER 11 THROUGH 13 Jurassic Quest Life size animatronic dinosaurs, fossil science, etc. Budweiser Event Center, LV. www.treventscomplex.com

ACTIVE-ITIES SATURDAYS Kids Nite Out Loveland & Windsor Safe active fun. Chilson Recreation Center, LV or Windsor Community Rec Center, WS. www.kidsniteout.org

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12 Blues Circus Award-winning blues musicians. Rialto Theater, LV. www.rialtotheatercenter.org

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5 Bell Ringer 4 Miler Honors nation’s veterans. North Lake Park, LV. www.sweetheartcityracing.com


HOLIDAY & SEASONAL EVENTS NOVEMBER 4 THROUGH FEBRUARY 14 Fort Collins Downtown Holiday Lights Thousands of LED lights lit at 6:30pm. Old Town, FC www.downtownfortcollins.com

NOVEMBER 18 THROUGH DECEMBER 18 Santas Quest Family-friendly scavenger hunt. Downtown FC www.downtownfortcollins. com/event/santas-quest

MID-NOVEMBER THROUGH JANUARY 2 Loveland Winter Wonderlights Walkable holiday lights display and musical light shows. Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra, LV www.visitlovelandco.org/ winterwonderlights

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19 Fort Collins Nursery Holiday Open House Santa visits 10am-3pm. Fort Collins Nursery, FC www.FortCollinsNursery.com

MID-NOVEMBER THROUGH FEBRUARY Ice Rink at The Promenade Shops at Centerra The Promenade Shops at Centerra, LV. www. TheIceRinkAtTheShops.com THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17 Tour de Turkey Donate FROZEN turkeys to neighbors. Fort Collins and Loveland. www.foodbank larimer.org/tour-de-turkey NOVEMBER 17 THROUGH JANUARY 8 Irving Berlin’s White Christmas Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, Johnstown. www.coloradocandlelight.com NOVEMBER 18 THROUGH 20 Elf The Musical Fort Collins Children’s Theater. Lincoln Center, FC www.lctix.com

Estes Park Tree Lighting Ceremony Santa, wagon rides, crafts and music. George Hix Riverside Plaza, EP www.visitestespark.com/ events-calendar/winterevents/tree-lighting-ceremony

FRIDAY & SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 25 & 26 Holiday Artisan Market Features 100+ artisans/ crafters. Senior Center, FC www.fcgov.com/events NOVEMBER 25 THROUGH JANUARY Old Town Square Skate Rink Old Town Square, FC www.downtownfortcollins. com/skate-rink NOVEMBER 26 THROUGH DECEMBER 24 Santa’s Workshop Old Town Square Visit with Santa. Old Town Square, FC www.downtownfortcollins. com/event/santas-workshop

NOVEMBER 21 THROUGH DECEMBER 23 Classic Holiday Movies at the Rialto Rialto Theater, LV www.rialtotheatercenter.org

NOVEMBER 26 THROUGH DECEMBER 3 Festival of Trees Holiday magic supporting the arts. Union Colony Civic Center, GR. www. greeleyfestivaloftrees.com

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24 Fort Collins Thanksgiving Day Run Family 4-mile run/walk. Mountain & College Avenues, FC www.fctdayrun.com

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1 CSU Marching Band Parade of Lights Preview Parade UCA and CSU Trial Gardens, FC. www.fcgov.com/ specialevents/calendar

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 25 Annual Estes Park Catch the Glow Parade & Celebration Elkhorn Avenue, EP www.visitestespark.com/ events-calendar/winterevents/holiday-parade

DECEMBER 1 THROUGH 3 Lighthouse Dance: Nativity The story of Jesus’ birth told through ballet, contemporary and hip-hop dance. Rialto Theater, LV www.rialtotheatercenter.org

Face Vocal Band: Merry & Bright All-vocal rock. Lincoln Center, FC. www.lctix.com

DECEMBER 1 THROUGH 31 Realties for Children NightLights Help shine light into the darkness of child abuse. First Presbyterian Church, FC. www.giveanightlight.com

SATURDAY DECEMBER 3 Homesteader’s Holiday Historical house tours, holiday crafts, music. Centennial Village Museum, GR. https://greeleygov.com/ greeley-calendar Windsor Wonderland Santa, tree lighting and more. Boardwalk Community Park, WS www.recreationliveshere.com

DECEMBER 9 THROUGH 11 The Nutcracker Canyon Concert Ballet presents with Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra. Lincoln Center Performance Hall, FC. www.lctix.com Loveland Choral Society: A Very, Merry Christmas Rialto Theater, LV www.rialtotheatercenter.org

DECEMBER 9 THROUGH 24 Garden of Lights Gardens on Spring Creek, FC. www.fcgov.com/ gardens/garden-of-lights THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15 Hazel Miller & the Collective Holiday show. Rialto Theater, LV. www.rialtotheatercenter.org DECEMBER 16 THROUGH 17 Night Trains with Santa Colorado Model Railroad Museum, GR www.cmrm.org/events A Candlelight Christmas Larimer Chorale presents. First Presbyterian Church, FC. www.lctix.com.

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We are now collecting new and gently-used bicycles for ages 2-17 We are years! now collecting new and

are now DROP-OFF We LOCATIONS: Trek Bicycle gently-used 202 W. Laurel St., Fort Collins 2-17 years! 931 E.LOCATIONS: Harmony Rd., Fort Collins DROP-OFF

DROP-OFF DROP-OFF LOCATIONS: DROP-OFF LOCATION e are now Wecollecting are now(please collecting new and new We are and now collecting new andLOCATIONS: DROP-OFF LOCATIONS: (please noJohnstown rips, tears, r 4880 Thompson Pky., #110, no rips, tears, rust, or chipped paint) DROP-OFF LOCATIONS: We are now collecting new and DROP-OFF LOCATIONS: e are now collecting new and for Trek Bicycle gently-used bicycles for ages Trek Bicycle Trek Bicycle Trek Bicycle ently-used gently-used bicycles for bicycles ages gently-used ages bicycles for ages Trek Bicycle LaurelTrek St., Fort Collins The Phoenix Cyclery 202 W. Laurel 202 FortW. Collins Laurel St.,202 FortW. Collins 202 W. Laurel St., Fort Collins De Bicycle gently-used bicycles forSt.,ages Trek Bicycle ently-used bicycles for ages Donation Donation Deadline: 2-17 years! W. Laurel St., Fort Collins 931 Fort E. Harmony Rd., Fort Collins 17202 years! 2-17 years! 2-17 years! 202 W. Laurel St., FortSt., Collins 931 E. Harmony Rd., 931 Fort E. Harmony Collins Rd., Collins 931 E. Harmony Rd.,D, Fort Collins 1532 E. Mulberry Ste. Fort Collins 202 W. Laurel St., Fort Collins 931 E. Harmony Rd., Fort Collins 2-17 years! 4880 Thompson #110, Johnstown (please no rips, tears, rust, or chipped paint) 17 years! 931 E.Pky., Harmony Rd., Fort Collins Sunday, Dec 4880 Thompson Pky., 4880 #110, Thompson Johnstown Pky., #110, Johnstown 4880 Thompson Pky., #110, Johnsto ase no rips, tears, (please rust, no or chipped rips, tears, paint) rust, or chipped paint) (please no rips, tears, rust, or chipped paint) Sunday, December 5 931 E. Harmony Rd., Fort Collins 4880 Thompson Pky., #110, Johnstown Breakaway Cycles 4880 Thompson Pky., #110, Johnstown (please to no rips, tears, rust, or chipped paint) 4880 Thompson Pky., #110, Johnstown ase no rips, tears, rust, or chipped paint) If you are unable to tr If you are unable transport your donated bike and need to The Phoenix Cyclery The Phoenix Cyclery The Phoenix Cyclery The PhoenixBlvd., Cyclery Deadline: The Phoenix Cyclery Donation 2237 Eisenhower Loveland onation Donation Deadline: Deadline: Donation Deadline: arrange for pick-up, arrange for pick-up, please callThe Alacrity Travel & 1532 Lifestyle at 1532 E. Mulberry St.,W.Ste. D, Cyclery Fort Collins The Phoenix Phoenix Cyclery 1532 E. Mulberry St., Ste. E. Mulberry D, Fort Collins St., Ste. D, Fort Collins 1532 E. Mulberry St., Ste. D, Fort Colp 1532 E. Mulberry St., Ste. D, Fort Collins Donation Deadline: onation Deadline: Sunday, December 5 970-224-9392 1532 E. Mulberry St., Ste. D, Fort Collins or em email Team@AlacrityTravel.com . Collins unday, December Sunday, December 5 970-224-93925 orSunday, December 1532 E. Mulberry St., 5 Ste. D, Fort CyclesCycles BreakawayRecycled Cycles Breakaway you are bike unable to transport your donated bike5 andyour need to Breakaway Cycles Breakaway Sunday, December unday, December 5Iftodonated Breakaway Cycles ou are unable to If you transport are unable your transport your and donated need If to you bike are and unable need toto transport donated bikeCycles and need to 2237 W. Eisenhower Blvd., Loveland

COLLECTION Monetary donations accepted at:

Breakaway Cycles 4031 S. Mason St., Fort Collins Breakaway Cycles arrange forcall call Alacrity Travel & Lifestyle at 2237 W. Eisenhower 2237 W. Eisenhower Loveland Blvd., If need youplease are unable to transport your donated bikeBlvd., and need to ou are2237 unable toarrange transport your donated bike and to W. Eisenhower Blvd., Loveland ange for pick-up, pleasefor call pick-up, Alacrity please Travel &pick-up, Lifestyle Alacrity at Travel arrange & Lifestyle for pick-up, at please call Alacrity Travel & Lifestyle at Loveland 2237 W. Eisenhower Blvd., Loveland 2237 W. Eisenhower Blvd., Loveland 2237 W. Eisenhower Blvd., Loveland 970-224-9392 or email Team@AlacrityTravel.com . arrange for pick-up, please call Alacrity Travel & Lifestyle at nge for pick-up, please call Alacrity Travel & Lifestyle at 0-224-9392 or 970-224-9392 email Team@AlacrityTravel.com or email Team@AlacrityTravel.com . 970-224-9392 . or email Team@AlacrityTravel.com . Recycled Cycles Cycles Recycled. Cycles Recycled Cycles Fort Collins BikeRealities Co-op For Chil Realities 970-224-9392 For Recycled Cycles or email Recycled Team@AlacrityTravel.com -224-9392 or email Team@AlacrityTravel.com . Children Recycled Cycles 4031 S. Mason St., Fort4031 Collins Recycled Cycles 4031 S. Mason St., 4031 Fort S. Collins Mason St., Fort Collins S. Mason St., Collins 4031 S.donations Mason St., Fortaccepted Collins Monetary donations accepted at: 308 E.Fort County Road 3 1501 N. College Ave., Fort Collins 308 E.at: County Road 30, Collins, CO 80525 onetary Monetary donations accepted Monetary at:Fort donations accepted at: 4031 S. Mason St., Fort Collins 4031 S. Mason St., Fort Collins

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Time out

KATIE HARRIS

Mom guilt I REMEMBER MY MOM SAYING to me years ago, “Being a mom is really just constant guilt.” At the time I remember lifting a brow and thinking, “Wow, Mom, great outlook you have there,” but four kids later I’ll tell you this: she wasn’t wrong. Let me preface by saying, I can’t imagine ever feeling the level of joy I do as a parent through anything else, and not one day goes by that I don’t count my blessings as I tuck each of my babies in bed at night. But gosh, darn it, the guilt. It creeps up on you at first. Maybe you’ve finally returned to work after years at home, only to find that field trip permission slip in your daughter’s backpack and realize that, for the first time, you won’t be attending as a chaperone. Or you recently had another baby and haven’t had time to do laundry, so your oldest went to school in dirty jeans this morning. For me, the mom guilt really peaked shortly after my third child was born. My oldest two were in middle school by that time, and deep into their competitive sports. Knowing baby three would make his appearance sometime around the start of baseball season, I’d envisioned myself bouncing from field to field for games, cheering, while the new babe snuggled against my

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chest in blissful slumber. Two weeks after coming home from the hospital, we headed out to our first 7pm baseball game. As expected, my newborn son contentedly slept the game away as I watched happily from the bleachers, and we loaded him back in his car seat afterwards with barely a fuss. It wasn’t until we made it home that the trouble began. We’d successfully made the transfer from baby wrap to car seat, but our attempt to move him from car seat to crib was met with wails of resistance, which continued deep into the night. Exhausted, I resolved to skip the next game and stay home with him. I stayed true to my decision, and my little one went to bed easily and on schedule, while I waited up in silence, watching my phone for updates on the baseball score and my older son’s at bats. Late that night, he hit his first home run, and as my phone rang out with texts from every other mom on the team, telling me how proud they were of him, I sat in the dark house and cried because I would never get that moment back. I spent the rest of that year waging an internal battle, one moment convinced that I could attend every game

of the season, and my baby would adapt to the occasional late night, and the next, kicking myself for keeping my little one out so much later than I ever did my older two, and resolving to skip the remainder of the season. Months went by and I was no closer to a guilt-free solution, only to a nervous breakdown. A year went by, and we were once again expecting. This time I was prepared for the uphill battle I would face. My husband and I made a plan, and it worked, kind of. Learning from past mistakes, I prioritized bottle acceptance, and it served me well on a few occasions when I escaped to cheer on the big kids without a baby in tow. Sometimes I stayed home with the younger two while the rest of the family headed off to the game. On

those nights, I reminded myself to appreciate the time that I had with them before it raced away. I watched them sleep, I took in the silence, and I counted my blessings. The guilt is still there. Always lurking, it rears its head every time I can’t help with an algebra problem because the toddler’s throwing a tantrum, or I get home late from parent-teacher conferences to find the little ones sound asleep, unable to wait up for one more snuggle that I needed more than they did. I remind myself to be grateful for being torn between my loved ones as it’s a reminder of how lucky I am to have loved ones to be torn over. I remind myself that I’m doing my best, and that it’s okay to give myself grace. And some days, I let go of the guilt and choose to believe it.


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