Barefoot in High Heels

We took a field trip recently.  A class of 3-year-olds at a local nature center, with different rooms that correspond to caves, lakes/rivers, and grasslands.  Lots of insects, snakes, amphibians, slithery-slimy creatures that’s just right for the preschool set!

But not for some of the moms.

You see, I have this major irrational tiny little fear of spiders. 

I’ve gotten much better about the small ones.  I even kill some myself (without screaming!), if found trespassing in my humble abode.  It’s the large ones I can’t handle.   Yes, underneath my calm, rational (ha!) exterior, I DO have a crazy phobia.  Arachnophobia.

I blame it on my mother (Thanks, Mom — I know you’ll read this!) who scared me with the Little Miss Muffet horror story.   And remember the Brady Bunch episode in Hawaii?  You know what I mean . . . terrifying!  And this fear is why I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch the Harry Potter movies, either!  I LOVED the books, but even reading a few small parts with the spiders, I had to read those areas really quickly to speed right through.

But I digress.    Back to the field trip.

I was so proud of my little Miss M, who had no problems holding the slithery snake, picking up bugs, and getting her hands into all the good hands-on learning activities. 

But then . . . there was the spider part.

I actually had to look away, and not make a scene.  I quietly told the teacher of my fear, so she didn’t think I was crazy to have to stand up and walk to the back of the room.  And I stole a quick glance at Miss M . . . she was TOUCHING, or dare I say PETTING a hairy leg of this creature!   YIKES!

I’m getting a little bit anxious just thinking about it right now, and hoping I won’t have nightmares.  I’m also thinking how I could have made this anecdote much more descriptive, but I’m too afraid!

One of the other moms took pictures, and I have yet to receive them.  I won’t bother reminding her, either!

The good thing — and I’m really trying hard — is that I don’t think Miss M is aware of my arachnophobia.  I really don’t want her to be, either.  And as much as it physically pained me to watch this display of insect-love, I was proud of her.  And slightly proud of myself for not passing along this irrational fear to her and making a big deal of it.  


I mean, I can only fake it so much.  But perhaps my willingness for my girls to be exposed to many things and not have their OWN irrational fears will slowly diminish my own.  I mean, really — I used to cry in college if someone even mentioned what one friend calls “the S word.”  I can even say it now.   SPIDERS.     See?!  Look at me!!  I’m almost cured, for God’s sake!  🙂

In the meantime, though, I’ll leave the spider-love where it belongs . . . anywhere but near me.







Barefoot is offering FREE SHIPPING on all orders between now and Tuesday, March 31st.

Not familiar with Barefoot Books?  Click here for a little introduction

With Easter (April 12) and Earth Day (April 22) on the horizon, what better excuse to stock up on some gift books from Barefoot Books? 

Need a new baby gift?  A unique present for a child’s birthday?  Or maybe something to keep the kids occupied during their spring break?  Order this weekend and save on your shipping costs!


Two of my favorite books are on sale now:  The Gigantic Turnip (paperback) for only $5.99, and The Fairie’s Gift (hardcover) for $14.99.  By perusing my website, you can see other great titles on sale for March.

Check out the new spring releases — The Barefoot Book of Earth Tales, and two new lift-the-flap board books:  Walk With Me, and Talk With Me.

Please feel free to contact me for any product suggestions!  I LOVE to talk about quality books (and CDs, puppets and puzzles) for kids!  Barefoot has also compiled some gift sets and gift collections that provide great ideas as well.

Have fun shopping, and HAPPY READING!


I’m not complaining,

Really, I’m not.  

Not exactly.

My husband will often do the grocery shopping.  Not more often than I, but he’ll certainly be willing to tackle our supercenter on a Sunday afternoon (yikes!) or head to our corner gourmet marketplace.  Of course, I make out the list for him, and he still calls multiple times while he’s out, which sometimes makes me wonder why I just don’t go myself and get some time alone anyway! 

But this past Sunday he went to BOTH stores, because he thought the deli meat would be better coming from the local privately-owned gourmet International marketplace.   No problem.    The first time he called he said there were great specials at the superstore, and did I need Pop-Tarts?  No.  Pop-Tarts are a sort of once-in-a-while treat I buy, usually when I’m at the store hungry.   But certainly not a staple or necessity, and definitely not needed in 4 or 5 boxes, which is what he had to buy to receive the “great” deal.    And . . . Pop-Tarts were not on the list, were they?

After a few additional phone calls, he returned, laden with the big plastic bags (I know, I know — the horrors!  We haven’t exactly moved to a “green” household just yet!  yikes!), and I began to unload the groceries.

My husband, who is NOT a dessert lover, came home with FOUR — count them — FOUR different treats/desserts.  Entenmann’s chocolate chip cookies, Little Debbie oatmeal cream pies, mini canolis from the marketplace, and a massive chocolate frosted fudge brownie from the marketplace.    When I looked quizzically at him, he said they were “treats for his girls,” meaning the little girls. 

Um, our girls are 3 and 1.  They don’t eat this kind of junk!  He was also quick to point out that the treats were for the kids, because I always tell him NOT to bring home some sort of goodie or dessert from a restaurant or bakery.  It’s something his dad does for his mom, which is very sweet and thoughtful, yes.  But it’s not for me.  I’ll get my own, and to be honest — I’ll just eat it and feel sick.   So buying me calorie-laden sweet goodies doesn’t really work for me.   (Ice cream, though?  That’s a different story!)  

(although I have to admit that I was secretly pleased about the Entenmann’s cookies, and yours truly has eaten most of the box, with a few little ones given to Miss M).

OK, so too many desserts.  No problem, right?

Oh, but there’s more.

Mister Man, who would be out of town for most of the week, purchases a pound of salami, a pound of turkey, and a little bit of bologna.  Now, Miss M will eat some of the salami and turkey, but that’s about it.  In fact, she would probably eat the bologna, too, but it disgusts me so I don’t want to give it to her!   And then he doesn’t take his lunch Monday, and after I MAKE his lunch for Tuesday, he forgets it in the fridge.   So now I have enough lunchmeat to feed the whole block, and hardly anyone to eat it!

And then, the piece de resistance . . .

Incredulously, I unload a large jar of creamed herring, and a large jar of pickled beets.  *gulp*   What?   I just shake my head, and tell him I’d LOVE to see him actually finish the whole thing.  He has good intentions (as this isn’t the first time creamed herring has been in the fridge), and eats a little immediately, and then lets it languish in the refrigerator, while I have to look at it every day (and, I swear, smell it, although I know I really can’t.  It’s just the idea that it’s in there that bothers me!)

Hmmm . . . a tiny 8 oz. jar of cherry juice concentrate.  For $5.99?!?!   Oops — he said.  He hadn’t known the price.  I asked what we were to do with this?  I don’t remember his reply, but it didn’t exactly go with the label, that indicated to add it over ice cream or to pancake batter.   This better be some good stuff.

Of course, I know the REAL reason he wants to go out to the store.  It gives him a good excuse to stop by the wine shop nearby, and come home with more wine!  He says that, since I’m pregnant and can’t share in the libations, he’s drinking for two.   Thoughtful.

Again, I’m not really complaining here, because there are men who do nothing to help around the house and wouldn’t be caught dead in a grocery store trying to find the Yo Baby organic yogurt!    But I’m just perplexed as to the how and why of his grocery contents.

Oh, and those Pop-Tarts?   Yep . . . he came home with TWO boxes!

Hear ye!  Hear ye!  I now announce to the blogging world that in only 17 short weeks I’ll be a mother of three!

That’s right, folks.  For three months I’ll have three kids under four!  Yikes!!  We are so thrilled and excited, and know that we’ll have our hands full for a while.  But we wouldn’t have had it any other way.

One thing I know I’ll miss, though, in those early infant days, is the chance to read.  Really, until the baby is sleeping through the night, it’s hard to stay up and sneak in an extra chapter of a book, when you never know how long that little bundle of joy will be out like a light!  For my firstborn, it was only 11 short weeks before she was consistently sleeping through the night.   The second?  Eleven months.  *gulp*  Let’s hope Baby #3 is as cooperative with his/her sleep as Miss M was!

So now I feel like I’m racing (or reading) against time to soak up some good literature, some new novels, some brain candy quick-reads.  Anything!  Because I LOVE to read!   And with the exception of reading/deciphering the backs of Tylenol bottles by the faint glow of the nightlight, or paging through google searches for good nursing tips, I know that my reading will be put on the back burner for a while once Baby makes its arrival. 

So I’m once again participating in 5 Minutes for Books What’s On My Nightstand? carnival.


I’ve been reading quite a bit lately.  Finished all four books of the Twilight series (see my original post here), and recently read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  I’ll finish On Beauty tonight, by Zadie Smith — an interesting read, although somewhat pretentious.  I was intrigued by the characters, but didn’t actually like any of them as people.  The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch took me about 2 hours tops to read cover to cover, but it’s one I could peruse over and over.  What a compelling story and a courageous man!

So what’s next on my nightstand?

  • The Virgin’s Lover by Philippa Gregory.  I’ve been loving her historical fiction!  The Other Boleyn Girl was fantastic, and then The Boleyn Inheritance and The Queen’s Fool were also intriguing.  I couldn’t put them down!
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife
  • Wicked by Gregory Maguire.  I’ve been wanting to read it for a while, especially after seeing the phenomenal musical!  So my good friend Jen sent me home with this (along with Time Traveller’s Wife and On Beauty) after I spent the weekend at her place in Chicago.  Thanks, Jen!
  • Wally Lamb’s The Hour I First Believed is on hold for me at the library — I wish people would hurry up and read it already!

It’s been a while since I picked up my favorite novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, so I should probably re-read that one soon, and I’d like to tackle Jane Austen’s novels.  I’ve read three of them and was enamored with her writing, and the fact that she could convey such emotion, love, sexual frustration and yearning within the confines of the society in which she was writing.  Fabulous! 

So there you have it.  A fairly heady task, considering all the other things we moms have going on — kids, husband, work, Facebook, American Idol . . . you know, the important things.   But I’ll do what I can, and enjoy the reading while I have the very limited time.

So . . . what’s on your nightstand?

I wrote this “post” before I even started my blog!  I was debating on writing (which I do now SO infrequently anyway), and I started a list of topics that I titled “Musings for a Blog.”    So this one was written about 9 months ago, and is quite true.  I suppose when people asked me “What do you DO all day?” when I was home on maternity leave, or when some think “How is it that stay-at-home moms don’t seem to have time to do certain things?”, here is a small snapshot of an answer:

Why it takes 45 minutes to eat 8 oz of yogurt

  • 9:30 remove yogurt lid
  • Realize 2 ½ year old probably needs to use potty
  • Run to potty
  • Wait till she goes pee and poo poo
  • Clean up potty chair
  • Help wash hands
  • Realize 6-mo-old has pooped
  • Take her out of walker, see poop all up her back
  • Take baby upstairs to change and put down for nap
  • Begin changing, poop all over!
  • Not comfortable with “cleaning” her with wipes
  • Run bath water
  • Find new outfit
  • Run to other room where the clean folded laundry is (and hasn’t yet been put away) to find the matching pants to the onesie.
  • Give baby bath
  • Dress baby
  • Put down for nap
  • Take previously worn onesie and clean it out in laundry tub
  • Separately bag the offending diaper and multiple wipes and throw in laundry room
  • 10:15 sit back down to lukewarm yogurt.
  • Enjoy

We don’t watch many movies here at our house.  PBS Kids is pretty safe, and the PBS Sprout On Demand channel is a big hit with my girls.   But Miss M at 3 years old is very sensitive and takes in EVERYthing she sees and hears.  She is frightened by a car commercial when the music gets loud and the car is racing down the highway. 

So most “kids’ movies” aren’t really appropriate for her.  Or for too many 3-year-olds I know, yet most of them are watching.  Almost all the Disney movies all have some scary parts in them, whether it’s a villain or a parental figure dying.  Not something I need to have them see.  Or, to be more accurate, I don’t really want to be up all night with a preschooler who’s having nightmares!

Mary Poppins has been our first — and only — movie so far.  And while it was a bit boring and old-fashioned for me , Miss M enjoyed it, which was the intent.  We’ve sung the songs a few times, and she’s asked to watch it again (side note — gotta love the $1/week rentals at the local library!).

But then I traumatized my daughters with Disney’s Fantasia.  


I figured ” How simple can you get?  An orchestra (and my girls LOVE music) — and a Mickey Mouse cartoon.”      Perfect.   Except for it wasn’t.  At.  All.

The first part of the movie starts out with silhouettes of the musicians tuning the instruments, and then the conductor walking out to the stage.  Even at this part, I should have known.  Miss M  kept asking trepidatiously, “What’s going on??  Who is that man?  Who’s talking?”   And then the first notes of the music scared Little Miss A, who started crying and running toward me (I think I had the volume a little high).

So it got pretty boring, and I figured we’d just fast forward to the Sorcerer’s Apprentice part.  A cute cartoon, right?   Wrong. Very wrong!

It started innocuously enough, with Mickey dancing with the broom.  But then . . . and my memory is getting foggy here, as this was a couple months ago . . . Mickey wants to rest or something, and locks up the broom (?).  Regardless, the broom escapes (according to Wikipedia, Mickey cannot control the magic he has tried to use), and we watched in horror as Mickey tries to kill the broom.   Yep, that’s right.  Miss M was watching, completely wide-eyed and silent, as we see in the shadows that Mickey takes an axe to hack the broom to pieces, all in a very menacing and violent way. 

Now, that may not seem like a big deal to you and me, but to my girls, it was almost as if I had turned on Children of the Corn and told them it was a fun movie!  Miss M is whimpering “I don’t like this movie,” while she can’t look away and keeps asking “What is he doing to the broom?” with grave concern.

We turned it off quickly.  So much for a family movie time!  I will always think of Fantasia now as the horror movie for my kids!

So I need help.  What movies can my 3-year-old watch??  Nothing scary, must be G-rated, the shorter the better, and if it has music, that helps, too!

Please leave me some tips in the comment section.  We’re getting a little tired of Bob the Builder and Angelina Ballerina 30-minute segments On Demand!


Do you keep your New Year’s Resolutions?

Do you even make them?

Of course, we all want to save more money, eat healthier, and DE-CLUTTER!    We want more “me” time and “girlfriend time” and to read more.  But will it really happen??  I hate putting qualifiers on these things that we really WANT to do, and then if we haven’t had a girls’ night out in the last few months, feel like it’s a chore just to schedule in order to fit it in under our pre-defined resolution timeframe.   It defeats the whole purpose.  Who are we to fool ourselves year after year.  I mean, why should THIS year be any different??

So I’ve decided to come up with some resolutions I can stick with.  Here goes:

  • I resolve to continue checking Facebook and collecting friends.
  • I resolve to devise a budget and save money continue wandering aimlessly through Target, buying the essentials, like matching holiday shirts for my girls, or the super-cute hat or fabulous beach bag.
  • I resolve to keep my house clean maybe hire a cleaning service.
  • I resolve to turn off the computer!   Wait . . . what?   Maybe not.
  • I resolve to be more active and work out  run, but only to my car when it’s raining, or if someone is chasing me.
  • I resolve to eat healthy, as long as daily indulgences are OK, like ice cream after dinner, or chocolate chip cookie snacks.

So it looks like another banner year is ahead!  And this way, I’ll be able to easily keep my resolutions and avoid the nagging guilt. 

Hooray for 2009!!

What are you doing differently this year?