Barefoot in High Heels

Archive for September 2008



Did you know it??  I know September is almost over, and I have seen only a handful blog posts about Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.  Nothing in the news, no public service announcements, etc.   Maybe I was living with my head under a rock, but there certainly wasn’t a big to-do about raising awareness.  Nothing like the explosion of pink that will be everywhere in October with Breast Cancer Awareness Month (also a great cause).  

Here are a few facts I found from Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation. Did you know that . . .









12,400 children will be diagnosed with cancer this year






Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children under 15






2,300 children will die from cancer this year






Incidence of cancer among children in the United States is rising about 1% each year, (however, survivorship is rising !)






1 in every 330 Americans develops cancer before the age of 20

Why am I posting this now?  I, for one, have been so blessed with two healthy little girls.  But it breaks my heart to see the agony that children and their families endure throughout their cancer struggle.   And one story in particular really moved me.

Little Sophie Quayle was diagnosed with DIPG (diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma), an inoperable brain tumor, in February of 2007.  She passed away October 6, 2007, just a few months after her 4th birthday.  Sophie’s story is unfortunately like so many others, yet something about this little girl made me think of her constantly (and I still do).  Perhaps it’s because I know her family — I went to school with her aunt and her mom, perhaps it’s because she reminds me of my older daughter in looks — the big blue eyes, the cute chubby cheeks, or perhaps it’s because Sophie was indeed such a special, insightful and bright little girl.  Her mom kept a blog throughout the ordeal and her strength, her determination to fight the cancer, and now her focus on raising awareness for DIPG is remarkable.

For more information on Sophie’s story and the foundation her family has begun, please see  If you can find it in your budget in this struggling economy to help out in any way, I know it would be much appreciated.  Donations are accepted through the website, or you can purchase items like headbands, bracelets, T-shirts, car magnets or puzzles to benefit Sophie’s foundation.  I myself am selling Barefoot Books, and anyone purchasing from me should enter the event code EV74 at checkout (because 7/4 was Sophie’s birthday!) to have a portion of the sales donated to Smiles for Sophie Forever.  (Note:  if you purchase Barefoot Books before the end of the month, receive FREE SHIPPING!).

Thank you for your support!


This offer only comes around a few times a year, and it’s here again!!  From Saturday, September 27 – Tuesday, September 30 there is FREE SHIPPING on Barefoot Books when you order through my website!

Stock up on some early Christmas gifts, or on some appropriate Halloween titles: 


Barefoot Book of Monsters!  $19.99



Experience the thrill of meeting monsters from all over the world!
Inspired by folktales around the world, from the mountains of Nepal to the plains of North America, The Barefoot Book of Monsters! brings readers face-to-face with deliciously terrifying creatures including an abominable snowman, a feathered ogre and a hungry water monster. A high interest topic for reluctant readers as well as for children who devour books, Monsters features stories from Native America, Australia, Nepal and South Africa. Masterfully written by Fran Parnell and illustrated in Sophie Fatus’ uniquely quirky style, this book is essential reading for any child who wants the thrill of meeting some of the world’s outlandish creatures and living to tell the tale!

Written by: Fran Parnell
Illustrated by: Sophie Fatus

Read Alone: Ages 6-10
Read Together: Ages 4-8
Hardcover; Jacketed; Full-color illustrations; 64pp;
9.25 x 11.25 inches

Giants, Ghosts And Goblins – Story CDs  $21.99



New re-release hardcover with double story CDs!
The heroes and heroines of myth and folklore always have to overcome extraordinary challenges — and more often than not, these challenges involve a giant, a ghost, or a goblin. In this action-packed anthology, young readers will meet a very unusual Chinese ghost, a Norwegian giant who keeps his heart in a secret hiding place, and many other colorful and engaging characters. John Matthews’ lively text is magnificently illustrated throughout by Giovanni Manna. This edition also features double story CDs narrated by Jerry Nelson, the voice behind some of the most famous characters in children’s television, including Sesame Street’s Count von Count.
Retold by: John Matthews
Narrated by Jerry Nelson
Illustrated by: Giovanni Manna
Read Alone: Ages 6-10
Read Together: Ages 4-8
Hardcover with CD; Full-color illustrations; 80pp;
8.75 x 10.75 inches
Just checking out this site for the first time?  See my original post about Barefoot Books for more information on the company.  And recently I’ve discussed some other offerings from Barefoot:  The Parrot Tico Tango and the book of poetry, Someone I Like.
And because I’m feeling so generous, and I want you all to see for yourself the high quality of these amazing products, click on the following button to shop and receive 10% off your order.

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If you’re looking for product recommendations, I’m happy to provide them!!  Leave a comment here and I’ll get back to you with my favorite books for the age range you need.

Happy Reading!

It’s Wednesday, which means another edition of Works For Me Wednesday from Rocks in My Dryer.

Today’s post will help you working nursing moms, or anyone who needs to use their breast pump without the comforts of privacy — a locked door, a private room, someone’s home, etc.

I work part-time in pharmaceutical sales, so I have no physical office space, unless you count my car, strewn with pens, empty water bottles, hair ties that my daughter likes to remove when she’s in her carseat, crumpled gas receipts, and plenty of baby toys and pacifiers.

So what to do when nature calls?  It’s lunchtime for Baby Girl, and I’m stuck in a parking lot?  Simple!  Pump in your car!!

And no, I’m not of the variety that hides in the backseat, hoping not to be seen behind tinted windows.  There’s a very simple solution that will leave you sitting right in the driver’s seat, pumping away, unbeknownst to passersby.

  • Tip 1:  Be sure to actually park your car.   I know this sounds obvious, but I know of a girl who used to pump (one side at a time) while she was driving down the expressway!!  No joke.  Crazy, but true.
  • Tip 2:  While I have pumped in a busy parking lot at Panera Bread, it’s usually a bit more comfortable to find a large parking lot and park a little ways away from other cars, just to ensure total discretion.  Don’t go TOO far away to a remote spot, because that could be creepy if some stranger walked by.  I like a little bit of safety in numbers.
  • Tip 3:  I usually wear a suit to work, so I already have a jacket on.  Sometimes I’ll wear a nursing tank underneath if I know I need to pump in my car — just for simplicity’s sake.  Take your jacket off and loosely put it on backwards — so the arms are in the opposite holes and the back of the jacket is covering your chest and stomach.  (If you’re not in a suit, just bring along a light jacket in the car with you to cover yourself.  Works just as well!)
  • You can now easily pump, and since you’re covered by the jacket, it’s very discreet and simple! 
  • You might need to peek once or twice to be sure you’ve got everything positioned properly, but I swear, it’s just about foolproof.   
  • Additional tips:  be sure you have either a car charger, a batter pack, and/or extra batteries, the cooler to store the milk, and all the necessary accoutrements BEFORE you turn on the machine!  Nothiing worse than finding out you forgot the bottles on the counter at home!  AND, stash a little burp cloth in your pump to cover your lap — I’ve too often gotten a drop of milk on a fresh-from-the-dry-cleaner skirt!

OK, now some of you might use a nursing cover instead of a jacket — that’s would work just as fine.  But since I never used a nursing cover, and the ones I see are usually of some garish fabric, it would seem to call more attention to myself.  The jacket??  Genius — as it looks like something I’d be wearing anyway.  And no one has gotten close enough to my car to even wonder what I’m doing.    (Versus the time I had to pump in the bathroom at a wedding recently, and some young girls said in the next stalls, “What is THAT noise?”  Of course, I answered wearily, “A breast pump,” while they nervously laughed.)

So THAT, my friends, is a tip that works for me.  I’m almost ready to hang up that pump and the nursing tanks, though — my 10 1/2-month-old is beginning to wean herself during the day.  I’m just waiting long enough so I can switch right to whole milk.  Good thing — I’m ready to wear my jackets the way they were intended, and spend my lunch hour in a restaurant instead of my car!  🙂

For more Works for Me Wednesday tips, check out this site!

Two posts in one day!  So prolific, I know.  I wish I were as motivated to clean my house and organize my office.

I’m a newcomer to Poetry Friday.  In fact, I just stumbled upon it last night in my tour of the blogosphere.  But each Friday a different blogger hosts this carnival and people post poems, especially ones geared toward or about children.  For more info on Poetry Friday, click here.  And here’s the schedule for future dates.

Right up my alley!  And you, my dear readers, get another plug for Barefoot Books.  Today’s poem is from the Barefoot Book Someone I Like, subtitled Poems About People.  Compiled by Judith Nicholls and illustrated by Giovanni Manna, this book includes poems from such accomplished authors like Langston Hughes, among many others.

Todays feature: 

Best Friend, by Judith Nicholls

When there’s just one square
of chocolate left . . .
she shares,
she gives me half.


When thunder growls like an angry bear
and I shiver and shake
beneath my chair . . .
she won’t laugh.

When I’m grumpy or cross
or spotty or sad,
when I whine or boss . . .
she stays.

When things aren’t fair
and I hurt inside,
when I just want to hide . . .
she’s there,


For more Poetry Friday, head on over to Author amok!  And check out my previous post for a 10% off coupon for all Barefoot Books!





We started preschool this month.   I say “we” because I feel like I’m back in school all over again, which for me is a good thing, since I was one of those weird kids who cried when I was sick because I had to miss school.  Strange, I know.

Now Little Miss M here is my oldest (she turns 3 next month), and she’s extremely bright, talkative and inquisitive.  That is, until she’s in a crowd.  Painfully shy and timid, she will cling to my leg and completely ignore all well-intentioned strangers (or even family members) who try to get her to speak.  Usually they’re too loud, too brash, too in-your-face for Miss M, and I just want to tell these people to step back.  Calm down.  Give her some space.  She takes a LONG time to warm up to new people and situations, and she’s very cautious.  Don’t take it personally.    So . . . that being said, I really wanted her to start preschool to get used to other kids in a group setting.  She does well one-on-one, but oftentimes in a group will be found playing by herself in a corner.

We’ve been talking about preschool for about 7 months now.  That might sound crazy — it sounds crazy to ME, even!  But I know her, and she needs a lot of time to talk about new situations and what’s going to happen when she gets there.  And if I had anything to do with it, she would be READY!

And it finally arrived.  The first day of school.  All alone!  Only 2 1/2 hours, but it was a big deal.  She talked about it all morning at breakfast, was excited to drop off Baby Sister at my mom’s and say “Bye, Grandma – I’m going to school!”  She was so proud of her new purple backpack (even the preschool size looks so big on her!).  And she found her picture on the wall outside the class.  Very cool. 

Until the teacher opened the door, welcomed the boys and girls, and ushered them into the classroom.


Without mom.

Miss M’s feet were planted, and her hand immediately reached to mine.  The tears began, slowly.  She didn’t want me to leave, yet she had specifically given me instructions that I could go to the post office and Target while she was in school.  (She later changed her mind, because Target is her store!)  Thankfully, the teacher scooped her up and brought her inside with diversionary tactics.  I waited with other parents and peeked through the doors.  I was the only one with a crier.  In fact, the other kids I saw were happy to leave behind the comfort of mom and venture into a new fun world filled with kids and toys.   But not my girl. 

However, she wasn’t hysterical.  She was sitting on the teacher’s lap and crying quietly.  So I left.  Nothing I could do.  And in fact, I was pretty pleased that we got through the goodbye with only tears and not screams and tear-choked sobs.  No — more than pleased.  I was relieved!

Driving away from school, I was thrilled.  I have friends who cry when their children start school.  On the other hand, I have friends who can’t wait to get their rugrats out from under them!  But I was neither extreme.  I was SO looking forward to Miss M starting school, and SO thrilled that she was there! (And later, I found out the crying was short-lived.  Extra bonus!).  Not because I wanted more time to myself, or alone time with Baby Sister.  But because I know she’s venturing into a new place where she will learn, grow, explore, imagine, and dream.  There is so much for her to experience and she will (hopefully) relish it all.  I’m happy for her to start school because I’m so excited for her and all the fun she’ll have and the friends she’ll make. 

It may be a slow start — and I know we’re only talking preschool here, people.  But it’s the first step to her independence, to growing into her own person, to her future.  And her future?  Well, to paraphrase the one-hit wonder Timbuk3: it’s so bright, she’s gotta wear shades.

Today I’m participating in the Tuesday carnival from 5 Minutes for Books.  This week’s topic is kiddie lit — a book that your kids have read recently (or in my case of an almost-3-year-old and a 10-month-old, a book you have read to them) that they have enjoyed.  I could write a whole blog on this topic, of course, with our love of Barefoot Books!

One of our favorites here at home is The Parrot Tico Tango, written and illustrated by Anna Witte.

We love the rhyming text and the rich, vivid illustrations!   I love the message behind the story of this greedy parrot who steals fruit from his friends.   After a while, he can’t hold all the fruit so he drops it all, much to the delight of his friends who get all their fruit back and have a little party!   Poor Tico Tango must repent in order for him to participate, but has to give a little in return.

My daughter really likes to point out all the animals and their expressions, too (the tears, the surprise, etc.) and she’s always asking about the fruit and the kind of animal on each page (it’s nice because it’s not the usual “farmyard” animal, but monkeys, leopards, lizards, etc.).

Not only are we captivated by the colors, rhyme, and message, but it’s a great way to introduce children to some tropical fruits to eat.  How exciting at the store the other day to show my girls the figs, papaya and mango, and put it into context of the story that my daughter loves! 

Barefoot lists product details as

Read Alone: Ages 4-7
Read Together: Ages 0-4
Paperback; Full-color illustrations; 24pp;
10.25 x 10 inches
Check out some other pages of this beautiful book!

So . . . we love this here at home and read it over and over (and over and over).  Join in the repetition fun at your house, too!  🙂
And now for my self-promotion:  Get your copy for only $6.99 — who can beat that price?  It also comes in Spanish (El Loro Tico Tango).  (And check out the Scarlet Macaw puppet for $27.99, too).
And for a really special treat, order through my Barefoot Books website for 10% off all Barefoot products!  (Shipping is about $6.50, so while you’re there, you might want to stock up on a few Christmas gifts, too!)  You must use the following button for the discount:

10% Off Standard Button

Happy Reading!  Hope you and your kids love this parrot and his friends as much as we do!

What is the fascination with blogging, the blogosphere, the blogrolls, the bloggy carnivals?? 

(side note:  I’ve mentioned before that I really don’t like the word “bloggy.”  It reminds me of an overweight, booze-soaked, old man.  I imagine that Shakespeare’s Falstaff would be called “bloggy,” perhaps. . . .Or Ted Kennedy.)

But really, why are we so focused on the hits, the links, the page views, the comments (YAY!  More COMMENTS!!!  And from someone who is not even related to me!!!)   I say we because I’m SURE I’m not the only one.  Right?   Right?  (at least I hope not!  Then I really AM lame!)

I just started blogging a few weeks ago.  And it’s become — dare I say it? — an addiction obsession enormous time waster!!  Y’all know what I mean.  And . . . I also just got hooked online last week with Facebook.  I was amazed at all the people I knew on there!  It was a like a party I didn’t even know was happening!   And again — don’t you just LOVE adding new friends??   And the Flair . . . oooh, I just figured out how to search for all the fun flair and add it to my profile! 

But then I finally close my laptop and think . . .

Who is this person I have become?!?!   AAAGGGHHH!”

Yes, blogging has created such supportive communities of people, and Facebook has already allowed me to reconnect with some people that I was really glad to “see” online.  But I think sometimes we need to look at our own personal lives and “friends” (no, not Facebook friends — although I have almost 50 already!!  yay! oops — I digress) and reconnect the old-fashioned way.  Or make more meaningful connections with those we love, rather than racking up friends or comments electronically.

Although . . . for now, since I’m still new at all this, it is sort of fun, isn’t it??

What do you think?  Leave me a comment, because you KNOW how happy that make all of us bloggers!!  🙂    And if you’re reading this from a google or bloglines reader, click on over so that it boosts my page counts for the day . . . you know, let a girl get excited over the little things.   I am SO not the only one who thinks this way, right (or am I?)??