Barefoot in High Heels

Archive for November 2008

Inspired by this post from Domestic Accident, I give you my Thankful List (in no particular order, except for the top 2):

I am thankful for:

  1. My husband
  2. Our daughters
  3. Having family and friends over for Thanksgiving dinner
  4. Our jobs (yes, can you believe it?  In this economy, we’re both still employed!!  yay!)
  5. Our health
  6. Our home (it may not be perfect, and we would love a new kitchen, but it’s OURS!)
  7. Panera Bread chai tea.  MMmmmmm! 
  8. Online shopping
  9. 24  (yep, that’s right!  Season 7 starts in January.  Woo-hoo!)
  10. Really good books
  11. I’m thankful that Miss M likes to read, too! 
  12. The library
  13. Miss M receiving her first preschool progress report (and a glowing one at that — “She is so sweet and kind to everyone!”)
  14. Miss A sleeping through the night (it took 11 months, but we finally got there!)
  15. The extended family — ALL of them!
  16. My 97-year-old grandpa (and you’d never guess it.  You’d probably think 75-80.  Tops.)
  17. The Internet
  18. Facebook 🙂
  19. My girlfriends.  Love. You. All.
  20. Online banking.  I detest physically writing checks.
  21. Good customer service
  22. My new jeans!
  23. Tall boots
  24. A great impractical pair of heels
  25. Theater.  Quality, live, musical theater.  Not your local multiplex.
  26. Education
  27. The good old US of A
  28. Christmas
  29. Thanksgiving dinner — turkey, stuffing, gravy, potatoes, corn, the works!  And pumpkin pie with whipped cream
  30. A full-bodied California cabernet in a big red-wine glass
  31. Champagne.  I don’t care if it’s a $4 bottle from the drugstore, or Dom Perignon — I’ve had it all and I love it!  Something about the bubbles and the festive-ness.
  32. Fall colors
  33. The four seasons.  The actual four different seasons, not the hotel.  Although I’m sure I’d love that, too.
  34. Hugs from my girls
  35. Laying/sitting in the beanbag chair in Miss M’s room before bedtime, with her saying “Let’s talk!”   Usually it’s “Let’s talk about school.”
  36. Date night!
  37. Trying new restaurants, and being pleasantly surprised
  38. On Demand.  Is it wrong that my daughter knows the little PBS Sprout On Demand song??
  39. DVR
  40. Health insurance
  41. Renters in our previous 2 residences (yep, you heard right.  We own a few houses.  Can’t sell anything here!) who pay their rent!
  42. Traveling.   Doesn’t happen much anymore, but we still love it and appreciate it and can’t wait to do some more when the kids are older.
  43. The first snowfall.   But only the first one.  After that, I’m usually about ready for spring.  I know, #33 said I love the four seasons.  But it would be nice if winter were actually the shortest one.
  44. Opportunity.  The world is our oyster, my friends!
  45. Working on a job share, so I can be home with my girls 2-3 days each week.
  46. My mom watching my girls while I work!!!!!!!
  47. I have great in-laws.  I know not everyone can say that!
  48. Music.   Playing (piano), singing, and listening.
  49. Warm, fuzzy slippers
  50. Photo books from Shutterfly.  It’s the only way for me to organize my pics (although I’m dreadfully behind on this whole task)
  51. Chocolate chip cookies
  52. Ice cream
  53. The Thanksgiving Day parade
  54. Christmas tree-lighting ceremonies
  55. Christmas carols
  56. Sleep
  57. Food.  You know, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and all.
  58. Pure, unconditional love
  59. Democracy in action
  60. A good bra fitting
  61. Staying in pj’s all day
  62. Blogging as a way to stay in touch
  63. No long distance charges on my home or cell phone
  64. Every birthday, anniversary and milestone
  65. Miss A walking/running/climbing
  66. A handwritten note
  67. Receiving cards in the mail
  68. Babies
  69. A new coat of paint can change the look and feel of a room.  Thankfully.
  70. Deep-tissue massages
  71. Successfully nursing my girls for one year each
  72. Preschool crafts (but WHERE do I put them all?)
  73. Hot dutch apple pie a la mode
  74. Good movies that you can watch over and over and know all the lines (When Harry Met Sally, for one!)
  75. Strappy sandals
  76. Five years of marriage
  77. Long weekends
  78. Crossing off things on to-do lists
  79. Contacts
  80. Rare treats like pedicures
  81. Proper grammar
  82. Time (albeit at 5:30 in the morning!) to blog posts like this one.
  83. God’s grace and His work
  84. My nephew and my new nephew arriving next month
  85. $5 pizzas
  86. My kids liking vegetables
  87. Good neighbors
  88. Down pillows
  89. My husband letting me hog the bed
  90. My husband doing most of the laundry
  91. Those Fresh-Mex chains where they build your burrito in front of you.  Yum.
  92. Suave Kids’ detangler!  How else would I be able to brush my daughter’s hair without her crying?
  93. Bobux baby shoes.  Love them.
  94. Saving money
  95. Good sales on things I need
  96. My local international marketplace for fresh food
  97. Target
  98. A company car
  99. A tall glass of pink lemonade on a hot day
  100. Having so many things to be thankful for (or, for which to be thankful)! 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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twilight-coverI finally took everyone’s advice and read Twilight.  It was one of those things where I was dragging my feet, but then didn’t want to be left behind . . . peer pressure, you know??  I felt the same about the Harry Potter series.  But then, once I started, I could NOT put those down!!! 

So when Michelle at Life with Three called me after her vacation positively gushing about the books and subsequently wrote this post, I decided to give them a try.  I just HAD to see what all the fuss was about.

Let me say first that once I finished Twilight ( a bit late.  Oops — sorry to the next person who had it on hold at the library!), I immediately placed a hold on New Moon.  I found myself intrigued by the story, and I’m definitely interested in seeing how the series plays out.  It was a good easy read, and I obviously enjoyed it well enough to get the sequel.

That being said, I was a bit puzzled, and at times even disturbed by some of the story.  I’m not sure why people link the Harry Potter novels to Twilight, except for the otherworldly “magical” aspect.  I think it’s a dangerous comparison, as Harry Potter is certainly more appropriate for a younger audience, while I don’t think Twilight falls in the same category.  Young adult novel, sure.  But not the elementary school/tween crowd.

I think I may have an unpopular opinion of book, as bloggers everywhere are so enthralled with this Twilight craze.  I was glad to read this post today from Jennifer at Read. Imagine. Talk.    Finally a review of Twilight that is only somewhat positive, albeit with some concerns, too.  I feel the same way.

I found myself having to suspend my disbelief sometimes a little too much in this story.   I found it a bit disconcerting that Bella — a normal, average, high-schooler in an average small town — is aware that there are vampires living in her midst and that she’s OK with it!    I got the attraction part, the sort of animal magnetism between Bella and Edward.  She’s entranced by him, she’s consumed by him.  But um, Bella?  He’s still a vampire.  And truth be told, I thought he was sometimes creepy.  And dangerous.  And angry.    I get it — it’s a love story.  But personally, I don’t want to worry when kissing someone if I think my feminine wiles might just be too much for him to handle and he ends up killing me instead of simply smooching.  But that’s just me.   I’m sort of weird like that.

**Spoiler alert — I’ll write the next few sentences in white ink, so if you want to read them, just highlight the following.  If you haven’t yet read the book, don’t you dare peek! **  I was SO glad that she escaped at the end in order to try and save her mother.  I know she was caught up in a flurry of crazy activity and she needed to be kept safe, but come ON, Bella!  Was that really even an option to stay while you think your mom is being tortured?

And then there’s the whole thing about becoming an actual vampire.  When they’re dressing Bella up for the prom, she is actually disappointed when she finds out where they’re going!   Wait a minute.  I’m sorry — is she actually HOPING to have the vampire venom inside of her so she can stop being human and turn into a real vampire??!?!  Come on, people!!  I don’t want to be so cynical here, but sheesh! 

I know it’s supposed to be romantic.  Who wouldn’t want to live forever (quite literally) with their love?  But I just thought it was far-fetched.

On second thought, perhaps I could get used to being a vampire.  Imagine how much more you could accomplish if you never had to sleep!   Perhaps my house might finally be clean.  

Probably not.  Although if I didn’t have to sleep, I’ll tell you one thing . . . I would have turned in Twilight to the library on time!

 

To read what’s on everyone else’s nightstand this month, click on over to 5 Minutes for Books!

Well, I’m a little late for this month’s Kids’ Picks carnival over at 5 Minutes for Books.  Oops!  I blame it on my bloglines reader not updating me with the feeds from their site recently (Bad Bloglines!).  It could, of course, be due to my complete lack of organization and not knowing what day it is, but it feels better to blame it on a faceless website.

We’ve been to the library quite a bit lately, my 3-year-old and me.  She likes to play with the Thomas the Train set there while I search for all the books, but rest assured, she is a big fan of reading, at least when we get the books home.

Readers of Barefoot in High Heels know that I am a stallholder for Barefoot Books.  Our local library has a decent selection of Barefoot titles, and while I picked up a bunch of books for my daughter (classics like Eric Carle favorites, Chicken Soup with Rice, the Giving Tree, and of course Fancy Nancy!), I brought home some Barefoot titles as well.  In fact, I had recently purchased Thesaurus Rex as a Christmas gift for my daughter, and then I sold my copies at some events I had last weekend!  

Tonight before bed we read Thesaurux Rex, by Laya Steinberg and illustrated by Debbie Harter.  Cute concept, and of course, the fun visuals as well.  But what part does my daughter like the best?  Is it the fact that she’s learning synonyms?  Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, here!  Nope — She likes it when Thesaurux Rex gets caught in the mud (and the muck, mire, etc.) and then has to wash (soap, scour, scrub, etc.) himself in the tub!    Aren’t 3-year-olds cute?

thesaurus-rex1

thesaurus-rex-2

And here’s the best part!  Between today and Tuesday, November 25th, Barefoot is offering FREE SHIPPING!  And, if you order $50, you’ll receive a free activity book as well.  Get your holiday shopping done early!

Funny thing, this blogosphere.  I know, we all talk about how we “chat” with our “friends” and how we feel as if we know some of our fellow bloggers so well, yet we’ve never spoken or met in person.

Even stranger is how I “know” Soccer Mom!  We “met” in an online shopping group, and she lives only a few miles away!  So many bloggers are somewhere way down south, but Soccer Mom is around the corner.  Quite literally.  I’ve been to her house to drop off some Barefoot Books information but just left a packet on the porch, as no one was home.  She also has been to my house to drop off the Daisy Blue Naturals products she sells (LOVE the smell of my rosemary-mint shampoo and conditioner, by the way!) but alas, I was the one not home that day.

So someday, we need to meet up for coffee.  Or better yet (as I don’t drink coffee), a Panera Bread chai tea.  Mmmm.  yum.

Anyway, I was so thrilled when Soccer Mom bestowed some honors upon me and upon my blog recently!  Yay!  Check these out!

uberamazingblogaward      kreativ_blogger_award_copy

What a lovely surprise!  *blush*   THANK YOU!

And, she has also tagged me with my very first meme!  (Why is it named that, exactly?  Is it because it’s “all about me! Me!” ??)

Anyway, this one is simple:  list 6 random things about yourself, and then tag 6 other bloggers to play along.  OK, here we go . . .

1.  Someday I want to be a contestant on Jeopardy!  I used to say that I’d wait until I was 40, because think of how much more I would learn before then!  That milestone is getting closer (7 years left!), yet my brain cells are getting weaker.  Maybe it’s the lack of sleep or something, but I need to brush up on my skillz before I try out.  But someday you’ll see me on that show!

2.  I clip coupons, but end up throwing most of them away after they expire.  I have good intentions, but poor planning!

3.  I once took a Michael Jackson dance class at the YMCA.  I know.  How lame is that?  But it was 1984, I was 9 years old, and I can still moonwalk with the best of ’em!  And hold me back when I hear “Beat It,” “Billy Jean” or “Thriller.”  There’s a whole dance routine!

4.  I am sort of in love with Facebook.  And Word Challenge, the super-fun nerdy word game on Facebook.  Unfortunately, I invited some of my friends to play along, and then my brother beat my high score.  So we go back and forth beating each other.  But I whooped him GOOD recently and he hasn’t caught me yet.

5.  A huge pet peeve of mine is when the receipt doesn’t print at the gas station when you pay at the pump.  When I see “clerk has receipt” or even worse, when you can hear the little churning of the receipt printer but nothing comes out because they’re out of paper . . . ooooh it BURNS me UP!!!  What’s the point of paying at the pump if you need to go inside to get your receipt???   I used to need a copy for work purposes.  But now I don’t.   So when that happens now I just leave.   Especially if I have my girls in the car.   I DETEST going into gas stations!

6.  I know all the words to the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life.”  I used to recite them when I watched it, too, which really annoyed my friends.  It’s my favorite movie of all time, but it’s honestly been a couple of years since I sat and watched the whole thing.   But the Christmas season is coming!!  I’ll brush off my old VHS tape and pop it in.  All season long.  My husband will be thrilled.

 

There you have it, folks.  Riveting information about yours truly.  So here’s 6 bloggers I’m tagging to play along:

Michelle at Life with Three

Pocketfuls of Sunshine

Shelley at Diaper Bag Diar

Domestic Spaz

Laurie at Rocks in the Dryer

Jennifer at Playgroups are No Place for Children

And if you’re reading this, go check out these blogs — some good ones here to add to your reader!

My college roommate was Michelle at Life with Three.  Oh, some stories I could tell!  I won’t, though.  Because she probably has WAY more dirt on me.  I CAN tell you, though, about Michelle and the Miss America night.  Yep, that’s right.  We were freshman, just getting to know each other, and Michelle got us all excited about the Miss America pageant on television one Saturday evening.  The other gals and I were willing participants, of course, but it was Michelle was initiated the “glitz and glamor.”  See, she made some paper crowns for us.  And curled my hair.  Oh, we were HOT, people!  HOT, I say!  I have pictures to prove it (big hair and all.  It WAS the early 90’s, of course!). 

Oh, we had fun, even if some of our enthusiasm for the pageant was in jest.  And whatever your thoughts on the whole “beauty pageant” spectacle, once in a while your inner girly-girl just has to shine through, right?

Well, brace yourself, Michelle, because have I got a story for you!

My mom’s group meeting hosted a speaker recently, the former Miss America Kaye-Lani Rafko-Wilson.  She’s somewhat of a local celebrity as she’s a hometown girl from the area.  What an inspirational woman!  My girlfriends and I are still talking about her, weeks later, because she was so warm, compassionate, funny, and had such compelling messages about volunteering, giving back to your community to help others and following God’s plan.  She really is a true beauty, both inside and out!

And then . . . if that weren’t enough . . . Kaye-Lani brought out a box.   And opened it slowly.

*gulp*

It was the crown.

THE. CROWN.

We 30-something-year-old women were swooning.  It was almost embarrassing, but I felt like I was again back in junior high when Kaye-Lani was crowned!  This was the. real. thing!  She passed it around the group, and once it got to me, I just couldn’t resist.  Never accused of being shy, I asked if we could try it on.  I guess she had already told us yes, but those before me hadn’t done it yet!  I certainly didn’t need to be told again!

And of course, I couldn’t let the moment pass and simply place the Miss America crown on my head.  Oh no, that would be too subdued for moi.  So ever the original, I show you my crowning moment!  First, the surprise, and then the glory (yes, complete with wave). 

I won?!  What a surprise!

I won?! What a surprise!

 

I'm ready for my walk down the runway!

I'm ready for my walk down the runway!

 

So as much as I loved reminiscing about our paper crowns from 16 (yikes!) years ago, this one takes the cake.  And while my reign was fleeting, it was a glorious few moments. 

I’m just so glad there was no swimsuit competition.

I can’t wait to check out all the links on this week’s Works For Me Wednesday post.  It’s a themed edition — Toys Worth Buying. 

Well, considering I have a bunch of big, plastic-y toys (none of which I have bought personally!) that I do NOT want cluttering up my living room, I’m all for some good ideas.   And I have a few of my own. 

Here’s the thing.  Listen up aunts/uncles/grandparents/in-laws:  STOP BUYING THE PLASTIC BATTERY-OPERATED JUNK!  We had a birthday party for both of my girls this past weekend — one turned 3 and Baby turned 1 — and I swear the wrapping paper and cardboard boxes were just as fun as some of the toys!!  And, I’m all about creative play, imagination, art sets, no batteries needed.  So here are some good ideas from my own personal experience:

1.  Barefoot Books.  I know, I know, if you read this blog often, I can expound on how much I love Barefoot Books!  So much so that I started selling them last winter.  You can NOT go wrong.  And even better, if you’re buying for kids that are not your own, you never know what books are already in their library.  Since Barefoot isn’t as well-known as some of the big publishers, and WITHOUT LICENSED CHARACTERS (yay!), my guess is that MOST kids don’t already own any of these.  Check it out.  You WON’T be disappointed.

2.  Stacking/nesting blocks.  Two years ago I purchased a set that featured artwork from Eric Carle’s Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?   

ericcarleblocks

We.  Love.  This.  Toy.  I love that each side of the block features something different (an animal, a number, a touch/feel side, etc.  I love that it matches a book that we know.  And I love that the blocks are nesting, too, so they fit inside each other, and when put away don’t take up much room at all! 

3.  You can’t go wrong with some outdoor-fun toys.  As simple as it sounds, sidewalk chalk and big bubble machines or wands are a huge hit! 

4.  I’m buying one of these for my girls and my nephew this year:  Kids Busy Box.  How cool is this?  A whole set of arts & crafts supplies, complete with the glue, scissors, tape, felt, glitter, etc.  With instructions.  For me, who is woefully inadequate in the craft department, I have no more excuses when I shy away from crafts with the kids.  It’s all in here for you.  I can’t wait to try it!

5.  I bought my nephew a magazine subscription last year for his birthday.  His second birthday.  That’s right — there’s a few companies out there who cater to kids that young, but I chose the National Wildlife Federation and their Animal Baby magazine.  Every month he received a board book/magazine in the mail, and it was perfectly age-appropriate!  I want someone to buy this for my kids.  It’s educational, it’s fun to get mail, and you can throw it away recycle it when you’re finished.  No mess, no junk.   Love it.

6.  Now I’m not one for DVDs.  But I make an exception for one:  The Laurie Berkner Band.  My friend bought this for us when my daughter was 18 months old, and 18 months later, we still love it!  The 1/2 hour DVD is like a music video for a bunch of songs, and the kids will get up and dance.  The tunes are catchy, and the kids love it!  It’s great for a 30 minute diversion when I need to blog cook dinner.

7.  OK, OK, so I’ll add one brand of battery-operated toys here.  My daughter has really loved the Parents brand cell phone and the Parents microphone.  She sings her little heart out on her “stage” (the fireplace hearth) and she loves that she can record a snippet of her voice on both toys.  They’re small, they’re cheap, so again — they won’t take up much room!

8.  We also bought my 3-year-old a kitchen this year (but I spent about $35 instead of the uber-expensive sets.  I mean, it’s all pretend play — I don’t NEED the best out there.  She’d play with the $300 one the same way as the $35 one!).  We’ve had it for 2 weeks now and it’s a big hit.

So there you have it, folks.  Shop away.  But if I could offer some advice for you — wrap the gift in some fun shiny paper.  Because your kids will still probably have more fun with the wrapping and bows than what’s inside the package.  🙂

Comment #6 from Marybeth!

Marybeth wins a copy of The Parrot Tico Tango and The Gigantic Turnip, both lovely children’s books from Barefoot Books. 

Marybeth said:  “my daughter is reading everything she can get her hands on – Dr. Seuss, Junie B Jones, classics, etc. Both of these books look great.”

Thanks to all who entered — I appreciated the comments and suggestions on books your kids love to read!

Congratulations, Marybeth!  Send me your contact info so I can get your prizes to you.  Hope your daughter enjoys these new books!