Barefoot in High Heels

Archive for October 2008

Oh, how we love free stuff, am I right?  For those of you new to the blogosphere, you’ll be amazed at ALL the free stuff you can win over at the Bloggy Carnival Giveaway.  Everything from gift cards (who can pass up free money for Target?) to jewelry to kids’ items . . . and everything in between.  It’s truly amazing how many bloggers out there participating.  Check it out . . . you won’t be disappointed!  Just be sure to have some time on your hands so you can leave comments and get a glimpse of some new blogs to add to your readers (and hopefully win a few things while you’re at it).

So . . . what free stuff am I giving away here???  Barefoot Books, of course!!  For those new to Barefoot in High Heels and unfamiliar with Barefoot Books, you can see one of my earlier posts on the children’s book publisher.  Barefoot Books is an independent children’s book publisher that celebrates art and story while inspiring creativity, diversity, and teaching kids about the world around them. 

I have TWO Barefoot Books to bestow on the lucky winner!   The Gigantic Turnip and The Parrot Tico Tango are two paperbacks that I’ve posted about previously for the 5 Minutes for Books Kids’ Pick Carnival.  My 3-year-old LOVES these titles, and they’re great for the early elementary age as well. 

 

So how do you win??? 

  • Leave me a comment please with either a valid e-mail address or your website where I can easily reach you. 
  • Let me know what book your kids really enjoy reading (or having read to them).  I’m always looking for more ideas! 
  • Or if you prefer, tell me what interests you about Barefoot Books — some titles, illustrations, authors, the Barefoot mission statement, etc. 
  • If you’re interested in Barefoot’s products and would like to be on an e-mail distribution list for recommendations, sale items, coupons, etc., please say “Add Me To Your List.”   Don’t worry — there won’t be any bombarding of messages — sometimes a monthly e-mail to let you know about new products and specials. 

I’ll draw a winner at random the evening of Saturday, November 1st.  US addresses only, please!  🙂 

Most of you reading this are new to Barefoot in High Heels.  I’d love for you to browse around and let me know what you think — I’ve been blogging for only two short months now, and I’m slowly getting the hang of it!  Check out some of my favorite posts if you’d like.

Good luck!!!  I’ll notify the winner personally, and on this blog, too.  Happy Reading . . . and Thanks for stopping by!

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It’s that time again . . . for October’s edition of Five Minutes for Books’ Kids’ Pick Carnival!

Of course, I have another Barefoot Book to share.  The one my daughter has been asking for constantly is The Gigantic Turnip, written/retold by Aleksei Tolstoy, with illustrations by Niamh Sharkey. 

I wasn’t familiar with the story myself, but it’s a classic Russian folktale and a really fun book!  The old man and the old woman plant their vegetables, and have to pull up the GIGANTIC turnip at the end of the row.  The old man can’t do it himself, so the old woman helps, and they enlist the help of all their animals to try and pull up the vegetable.

My daughter (who will be 3 this week!) LOVES for me to read this story.  Although in fact, I’m not doing much of the reading anymore!  There’s quite a bit of repetition in here, with each page just adding more animals to help pull out the turnip.  So she has almost the entire story memorized, and likes to “read” it herself, while pointing out all the animals. 

She also likes to act out the “heaved, and pulled, and tugged and yanked” part, so we really have fun playing the different roles!  But we both also love the ending, where they finally add the hungry little mouse, and of course then with everyone’s teamwork they’re able to pull out that turnip!  (But even funnier for a 3-year-old is when they all fall on top of each other and everyone laughs at the whole debacle!).

A sweet story with fun and quirky illustrations!  This one has been a standard here at our house since we first found (and then subsequently started selling) Barefoot Books last winter.  The Gigantic Turnip is available in paperback for only $7.99, in paperback with a story CD for $9.99, or in hardcover for $16.99.  Feel free to browse my website for more information.

Looking for more Kids’ Picks?  Head on over to 5 Minutes for Books to check out other readers’ kids’ favorites!

We watch a lot of PBS Kids over here at my house.  We’re big fans of Word World, Mr. Rogers, Sesame Street, and yes, even Barney.  And there’s a new show now, Martha Speaks.   Have you seen this?  It’s been on in the background, so I don’t have a lot to say about the content of the episodes.  Seems cute.  Something about a talking dog.  

Here’s the problem.  See, we’re talking about a kids’ program, right?  There’s usually quite a bit of suspension of disbelief for these shows.  A purple talking dinosaur?  No problem.  Teletubbies?  Kids don’t even blink an eye.  But it’s the theme song to Martha Speaks that really gets me.  They for some reason feel the need to explain why the dog speaks.  I’m not sure why this is necessary, as there are plenty of other talking animals on TV shows for kids and they don’t ask how it’s possible.

So here’s their explanation:  Martha “ate some alphabet soup and what happened was bizarre . . . on the way to Martha’s stomach, the letters lost their way.  They traveled to her brain and now she’s got a lot to say!”  Complete with a scientist showing a diagram of letters going into the dog’s mouth and heading toward the brain. 

Is anyone else disturbed by this theory?  I suppose I was happy to suspend my disbelief, as are most kids, I think.  Did we really need to have the scientific details???

I just can’t shake that image of the food going into my brain . .

Remember how excited you were to receive your first parenting magazines?  Never mind your growing belly and the fetal kicks and the maternity clothes, your first subscription somehow made it official;  You had joined the ranks of mom-hood and wanted everyone (and all the mailing lists to whom they sell your name) to know about it!

I grew a little weary of these magazines after the first year.  But of course I signed up again (for my FREE subscriptions — even better!) when I found out I was pregnant the second time.  Parents, Parenting, Baby Talk, American Baby . . . there was nothing I wouldn’t know about how to raise my child the best possible way!

There were some helpful tidbits, that’s for sure.  In fact, I still have the article taped on the inside of my cupboard about food ideas to start your baby on solids.  But the second go-around of reading these magazines cover-to-cover really got me frustrated.  They were ALL. THE. SAME!  How many times did I need to read articles like “Sleep Strategies for Your Toddler” or “Ten Tips for Picky Eaters” or “Questions You Need To Ask Your Pediatrician” or “Taming Those Tantrums.”  Even worse were the mom-centric features:  “New-Mom Makeovers” or “Five Ways to a More Fabulous You.”  They were almost insulting. 

I found an alternative.  And I love it.  I’m almost afraid to buy the newest copy because I know I’ll read it cover to cover, and I want to prolong the joy of reading.  (is that crazy?  Am I the only one who does this?)   BRAIN, CHILD MAGAZINE is the answer!!  The magazine for thinking mothers (their words, not mine, but I love them nonetheless).  ***edited to add:  I’m having trouble with some of my links here.  But their website is www.brainchildmag.com ***

Oh, Brain, Child!  *sigh*  Go to their website (www.brainchildmag.com)  to read a few of the articles online.  It’s such a tease, though, because you’ll really want to run and get your own copy to have access to the whole shebang.   One of the quotes on the homepage is “BRAIN,CHILD provides an appealing mix of humor, wit and intelligence.”   There are essays, here, people.  Essays.  And debates.  A few months ago it was about childhood vaccines, and the last issue was about raising children with your political values.   This time is about vegetarianism.  Sound a little too liberal for ya?  Sometimes.  But both sides of each debate I’ve read were so well-written, insightful and intelligent that if you don’t agree with them, you can at least respect their opinions and their well-thought-out stances. 

Essays, debates, and fiction — oh my!  Can you tell how much I love this magazine?  You can imagine my excitement when I checked the website recently and saw the new issue.  Borders, here I come!  Brain, Child is published quarterly, so each issue is awaited with much anticipation.  And, you won’t have the trouble of receiving another one before you’ve even finished last month’s copy (I know I’m not the only one who had stacks of the “other” parenting magazines that I breezed through because next month’s stash was arriving in the mail).

So there it is.  BRAIN, CHILD works for me!  For other Works For Me Wednesday tips, head over to Rocks in My Dryer at http://www.rocksinmydryer.typepad.com/

 

Dropping off my daughter at preschool this week, I noticed a different attitude and demeanor in one of the moms.  She is normally unhurried, lugging her 4-month-old daughter in the baby carrier while she removes her son’s all-too-big backpack and ushers him into the classroom.  This time, however, was a little different.  She was focused, she was no-nonsense, and she was dressed, well, not in jeans!  She looked nice, with more makeup and donned in smart business-casual attire.

 

After 4 months of maternity leave, she was back to work.

 

And it reminded me all-too-well of my first day back, only a few short months ago.  I was lucky enough to stay at home for six whole months after both my daughters were born.  But that first day back to work was a big jolt into the working-world reality.  I remember driving to a meeting with my manager.  While on the outside, I may have looked the ultimate professional, a further inspection would have revealed cracks in my professional façade. 

 

The smart pin-striped suit?  Just a tiny bit of baby drool on the shoulder.  The shell underneath?  A nursing tank, complete with pads to absorb the leaks.  The boxy briefcase on the passenger side floor?  My trusty breast pump.  My portfolio with the calendar?  Well, let’s just say it was a little outdated.  With a 2007 calendar.  And it was already May 1st.  Oh yes, I did have the 2008 calendar in my bag, but it was filled with contact lists and phone numbers for moms’ group members instead of customers!

 

*sigh*  At first, I felt like such a “poser.”  But then my imagination went a step further.  Poser?  Pshaw.  More like “action hero.”  I could hear the announcer’s voice in the background (you know, the “faster than a speeding bullet . . .”): “She can leap over strewn toys with one quick step!  She’s more powerful than a tantrum-throwing toddler!  She’s faster than a crawling baby toward an uncovered outlet!”  I was SUPER MOM! 

 

Who needs Wonder Woman’s magic lasso when one deeply furrowed brow and “the look” would coax the truth from a reluctant child?  Like Clark Kent’s suit and tie covering his cape and tights, my jacket and heels were masking the new mom’s staple attire!  Sure, Batman keeps all his tools in his signature yellow toolbelt, but we all know that moms’ diaper bags can fit even more essentials!  And I saw a T-shirt (and flair on Facebook, too) that said “I Make Milk.  What’s Your Superpower?”   

 

Like these superheroes, we working moms sometimes live in alternate realities, too.  Or sometimes in both realities at the same time (every try changing a diaper while on a conference call?)!  But working outside the home or not (or like me, a little of both), we all have our SuperMom powers and SuperMom moments (notice I said “moments” because sometimes they are fleeting!)

 

Kids are crying for me, so I’ll have to go.  I’m off to save the world . . .