Barefoot in High Heels

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Twas the night before Christmas Eve

And through the messy house

The presents were finally wrapped

With some help from my spouse.

 

The stockings aren’t hung

On the mantel with care

Because Baby A will pull them

Then holders fly through the air!

 

The girls are now nestled

All snug in their beds

While to-do lists are being

Checked off in my head

 

And I with my laptop

(while husband is out at a game)

Am thinking about my Christmas cards

(And hanging my head in shame).

 

When outside my house

There arose such a clatter

I peered out the window

To see what was the matter.

 

The neighbor next door

Was snowblowing our drive

“Is she crazy?” I thought

“She’ll be frozen alive!”

 

So I stay inside

Cozy, calm and mellow

And give her a Christmas gift –

A bottle of limoncello.

 

If you’re like me

And your cards haven’t even been sent (!),

And you can’t figure out

Where the stocking stuffers went

 

And the ornaments on your tree

Are all up near the top

Because you say “don’t touch”

But your little one won’t stop!

 

I hope you can laugh

And remember the reason

We’re all going crazy

To celebrate the season.

 

I’ve given up on the decorating

And didn’t even bother baking

But hope we’ll really remember

All the other memories we’re making.

 

Spending time with each other

Is the best thing of all

Singing carols, reading stories

And having a ball!

 

So I leave you with one thought

And hope with all my might:

“Merry Christmas to all

And to all a good night!”

 

*with apologies to Clement C. Moore

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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!

 

 

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 www.smilesforsophieforever.org.  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!

That’s right.  I went Barefoot.   Barefoot Books, that is. 

Last fall, in my 3rd trimester insomnia, I could often be found at 3 a.m. online.  Wide awake, knowing I had to be up in a few hours to work/take care of toddler/surf the net(!), I would spend that time not relaxing in a calm state, hoping sleep would overtake my weary, very-pregnant body.  Oh no.  That would be asking too much of myself.  Instead, what better way to lull yourself back to slumber than by staring at a high-energy laptop screen, blinding white in the early morning darkness.  Needless to say, I very rarely fell back to sleep.

So in those wide-eyed internet hours, my VISA got a good workout (I was Christmas shopping early — who wants to plan to do holiday shopping at crowded malls with an infant and 2-year-old?), my friends received a multitude of e-mails from me, and *BONUS* — it looked like I was really burning the midnight oil when I would do some work and send e-mails late at night.   “Wow — she sure is dedicated!  Eight months pregnant and analyzing sales data at 4 in the morning!”

But I digress.  I was also nesting at the time, and in the myriad of other things I had to do before Baby arrived, I thought it would be fun to host a home party.  Now, I’m not usually a “home party” hoster.  I attend them and buy the requisite jewelry/candle/kitchen utensil/purse/other item I don’t need.  But I’d rather have my friends over for no other reason than to hang out, instead of spending money so I get free loot.   Because there was nothing I really wanted or needed from these home-based businesses.  But for some reason, I was determined to host a party and find something that I would actually like to purchase.  Something for kids.  And NOT toys.  

Enter Barefoot Books.  (*cue the “Halleluia Chorus”).  Wow.  Now THESE were some products I could get behind!  I had a small home party with kids’ storytime, and I was hooked.  Sign me up!  I joined as a Barefoot Books stallholder in February and have been going strong ever since.

Barefoot is an independent children’s book publisher.  Just check out their core values — inspiring creativity, celebrating diversity, giving back, building a community, creating better products, and protecting the planet.     And from the CEOs’ story and vision, the mission statement really spoke to me: 

Our Mission
At Barefoot Books, we celebrate art and story that opens the hearts and minds of children from all walks of life, inspiring them to read deeper, search further, and explore their own creative gifts. Taking our inspiration from many different cultures, we focus on themes that encourage independence of spirit, enthusiasm for learning, and sharing of the world’s diversity. Interactive, playful and beautiful, our products combine the best of the present with the best of the past to educate our children as the caretakers of tomorrow.
 
Yes, folks.  We’re talking about all of this and more in children’s books.  And wait till you see them.  So richly illustrated, such gorgeous colors, such touchingly beautiful stories, and all high quality, too.  I fell in love with them.  (So did my older daughter). 
 
So that’s my Barefoot beginning.   This blog will serve as a way to provide great recommendations for children’s books, puzzles, CDs, puppets.  But I first had to introduce you to the company itself.  (And no, don’t worry.  My blog isn’t ALL about Barefoot Books!  It’s only HALF the title!).  I’ll feature books for different age ranges and give you some great gift-giving ideas, too.   But I encourage you to check out my website to see all the products, find out what Barefoot opportunities there are for you (sign up for a home party, just purchase directly through me, host a fundraiser for a charity, a book fair for your preschool, and if you love it like I do, sign up to sell!), and discover what Living Barefoot is all about!
 
Now . . . it’s 6 a.m. on a Saturday, and THIS time, my insomnia over the last two hours was due to a 30-second check on my daughter who was crying for her pacifier.  You’d think I could do it in a dream-like state for less than a minute, right?  Oh no.  Wide awake again, I head down to the computer.  Some things never change . . .