Monday, November 30, 2009

Making A Move

Soon...very soon...


My Boy And Me will be packing up and moving to a new site with a new name. I've never been terribly in love with my blog's name, and I've finally come up with one that's worth moving for. But, here's the deal...

I'm sort of computer deficient, so I could use some help. Have any of y'all ever imported a blog. I know it's probably easy peasy. Is it really as simple as pressing the button? Is it going to take forever and a really long time? Do I need hours on end to devote to it? Are all of these questions dumb? ;)

Any and all advice would be much appreciated.
Thanks so much!

Oh...and, will y'all please come with know when it's all official and everything? I'd miss you tons if you didn't! You make blogging so much fun.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

And The Count Begins

Just in case you've been on the edge of your seats wondering what I decided to do about that last minute DIY Advent calendar....well, for the sake of my own sanity, I didn't stitch one up. But, I did still make one.
In the end, the paper Christmas mural above my sofa was targeted as the new Advent calendar. (Please excuse the lousy photos. I tried and tried, and this was seriously the best of the bunch...sad...I know. Where the black ring came from, I can't figure out. And, that's so not the color of my wall.)
Instead of giving Levi candies or toys each day, I opted to make small, numbered ornaments for him to decorate the mural with. Each one has a Christmas related activity written on the back. We already have a wooden Advent calendar, so I put the ornaments in their corresponding boxes. Each day he opens a box. If he's into the activity we do it...if not I'm up for something new. Afterward, I stick a bit of tape on the ornament, and he places it on one of the trees in the mural. He's totally into stickers, so this is his favorite part. Can you believe how neatly he placed that #1?!
If you're digging this idea, but you aren't so keen on cutting out an entire snowy scene, there is still hope. Just cut out a paper or cardboard tree, and attach it to a door or wall with painter's tape.
Create the ornaments by gluing together scrap paper circles and squares. Grab a marker and you're good to go on the numbers.
You don't have a wooden Advent calendar? No problem! There's more than one way to skin a cat.
~Put the ornaments in small, numbered envelopes.
~Hide them around the house and have a scavenger hunt each day.
~Place them under your child's pillow tooth fairy style.
~Or just dole them out one at a time.
The delivery methods are endless. Let me know what fabulous ideas y'all come up with.

Hope Advent is off to great start!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Let The Countdown Begin

Does anyone else feel like the holidays have just snuck up on you?
I know this happens every year. That it's a surprise every time probably says something about me. But, seriously, Thanksgiving JUST ended and...Oh. my. This Sunday...yes, that would be tomorrow...marks the beginning of Advent. Which means it's time to pull out the Advent calendars and start counting down to Christmas. As a child, I loved Advent Calendars. My mom would buy the ones with pictures and candy behind them, and my sister and I were thrilled to open them each day to see what was behind the little door.
When Levi was a wee little thing, I bought a pretty wood advent calendar at an after Christmas sale. It's beautiful and will definitely be used and loved, but the make it yourselfer in me is currently debating whether or not to make my own. I have no idea what any little boy needs with two Advent calendars, but I am so itching to stitch one up. I thought I'd share a few links to some Advent calendar know just in case any of you are still debating (the day before Advent begins) whether or not to make one.

:: How stinkin' adorable is this matchbox calendar from Martha Stewart. Unfortunately, Levi would have this one demolished in a nanosecond. Martha has a whole bunch more cute Advent calendars here.

:: This paper chain idea is an extra simple one that kids are sure to enjoy.

:: And, here's a not so simple chain idea that I'm seriously considering for next year. I love that it incorporates daily activities.

:: This one makes me grin super-duper big.

:: I love the knitting needle hanger on this beauty from the Purl Bee.

:: Oooo...and then there's this one from Stitch/Craft with little ornaments to stick on a felt tree. Do you think I could whip that up in one night? Hmmmm....

:: Pickles' fabric cones would be a wonderful addition to a fireplace know if I actually had one of those.

:: And, last but not least, who could resist the recycled cuteness of Maya Made's toilet paper roll calendar?

So, how do you and your munchkins mark down the days to Christmas?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Recap

We are slowly but surely coming out of our food induced comas.


It was a very happy Thanksgiving.
We ate.......a lot.

However, Levi was thoroughly unimpressed with the food...
The food we spent ALL day cooking.
He didn't even want dessert!
He was way more into playing...
Besides being grateful for all that yummy food, we were extra thankful to be surrounded by family.

Can you tell we're sisters?
Levi was crazy about his Great-uncle Larry...
Especially since Uncle Larry kept him entertained with photos of fish.In between cooking and eating we played Mexican Train new favorite game.
Seriously, I'm hooked. I could play this one for hours on end.

Do y'all like playing board games and such? What's your favorite?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Full of Thanks

Thanksgiving celebrations will be in full swing tomorrow, so I thought I'd take a moment to share a few things that I'm especially thankful for this year...

:: My sweet munchkin, of course. He lights up my little corner of this beautiful world. I'm sure y'all saw that one coming. ;)

:: My incredible family. They are a true blessing.

:: The smell of burning leaves and the crisp crunch of fallen leaves underfoot.

:: The joy Levi gets out of playing in those same leaves.

:: My sister being home for the rest of the week!!

:: Jeans that fit...Can you tell I had a successful shopping trip?

:: Autumn sunlight.

:: An abundance of love.

:: Whispers.

:: Fresh goat cheese from the farmer's market...did you think I could possibly have a gratitude list without some mention of food?

:: Humor me for a second, m'kay? Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, satsumas, rosemary, and all the rest of the yumminess that comes along with the season. Okay, I promise. I'm done with the food.

:: All of you...for reading and humoring me and being so generous with your time and your words.

:: Pansies. Because they grow right now. And, they look so darn happy.

:: Cool air. It feels so nice.

:: The list could go on for miles, but I'll end on the best...the good Lord who gave it all to me.

I hope y'all have a very happy Thanksgiving! I'll be back when the food induced coma wears off.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sweet Dreams

Last week a group of local nuns was putting on a fundraiser luncheon in their community center. Near the entrance of the center is a small thrift shop. On our way out, Levi spotted a wonderful wooden truck. He immediately ran up to it, wrapped his arms around it, and in the sweetest voice said, "My truck, my truck." he'd found his best friend. How could I resist?...especially since it was only a dollar!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ditch The Stuff, Keep The Fun

This time of the year is full of joyful celebrations...and if you're like my family you have a few birthdays tossed into the mix on top of the holidays. In my ideal world, celebrations would be intimate and joyful. Their main focus would be on spending time with the people who are dear to mine and my son's hearts, and, of course, there would be lots of good food.

We recently celebrated Levi's 2nd birthday, and I am very glad to say that we hit my ideal square on the head. The celebration was low key, personal, and very enjoyable (if you don't count Levi's initial, unusual disdain for having guests over).

I know I'm not the only mommy around who feels a tad overwhelmed by all the stuff that comes with all the celebrating. In light of sweet success (and so I'll remember what I did when party time hits next year), I'm going to share my tips on minimizing the stuff from birthdays (or any holiday for that matter) while maximizing the fun and enjoyment.

So, here’s what I’ve figured out…so far:

1. Keep your guest list small. Choose people who you and your child really love to spend time with. The fewer guests, the more time y’all will have to spend with one another.

2. Politely request “No Presents, Just Smiles” on the invitations. If your request is ignored don’t be frazzled by it. Just say a heartfelt, “Thank you!”, and let your child be pleasantly surprised. Not everyone will listen to your request, and that’s okay. The point is not to ban gifts, it's to shift the focus.

3. Dedicate a separate, special time to opening family presents. For small children, especially, parties and present opening can be overwhelming. Separating present time from party time…even by a whole day…can really make the celebration go much more smoothly. I’m very lucky that my family is so good about going for quality not quantity, so even when you add together presents from me, the grandparents, the aunt, and the uncle the amount has thus far been just right. However, don’t hesitate to request no presents from family either. Or, at the very least discuss your wishes with them, so they know what you consider to be too much.

4. Follow your own rules. This might be the hardest part. There are so many cute and wonderful toys out there, and that’s coming from me…the girl who genuinely dislikes most toys. But, really, with all the great handmade and natural toy stores popping up all over the web, the options are nearing limitless. Carefully select the toys you buy for your child. Too much of a good thing is still too much.

5. Give. As a response to a previous post, Toni made a great suggestion. Why not turn your party into a can drive? There are loads of different ways you could incorporate charitable giving into your party. For, older children, by all means, get them involved in deciding the type of charity to collect for and creative ways to go about it. Not only would this help someone in need, it would also encourage generosity in your child.

6. Purge. Get a box. Mark it “Giveaways.” Go through your child’s current toys (preferably with your child if he or she is old enough), and decide which ones are no longer being used. Give them away. This makes room for the new and goes with #5’s theme of promoting generosity.

7. Decorate! Make the party feel special by personalizing it to the birthday child’s interests. Levi was thrilled to wake up to paper cut outs of vehicles taped to the doors and walls. There are plenty of ways to personalize a party without going out and buying loads of stuff. Get your kids in on the action, and make paper chains to string around the house. Decorate with toys you already own. Or, surprise, your child by decorating with some of the presents from you.

8. Music is a must. Play good, fun music….not too loud though. You still want to be able to have meaningful conversations. We’re huge fans of Smithsonian Folkways, so we opted for Alan Mills’ Animals, Vol. 1.

9. Keep it relaxed. Don’t over plan. It’s fine to have games or activities for children (although, I promise, they can and will entertain themselves if left to their own devices), but leave plenty of room for just plain enjoying one another.

10. And, last but not least…Food. All good things revolve around food. Even Jesus was into feeding people. So, make your child’s favorite easy dishes in big batches, frost a cake, and let the party get started.

Please tell, do you try to minimize birthday and holiday stuff overload? If so, what are your methods?

Friday, November 20, 2009

"Egmo" Kisses

The best part of toddlerhood has to be the words.
The cuteness of them kills me.
Levi just learned about Eskimo kisses...he calls them
"Egmo kisses"
I can't get enough...Align CenterOf course, real kisses melt a mommy's heart
every single time...
And, the
the secrets make my heart go fluttery.
The sweet sound of that tiny voice in my ear...
whispering "I love you."
If it gets any better than this
my heart just might burst.

I hope y'all have an incredible weekend full of "egmo" kisses, real kisses, and loads of lovely whispered secrets.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Under Construction

Barefoot Childhood is currently under construction! If you'd like to know when we're up and running, please subscribe or become a follower using the links on the left sidebar.

Thanks for stopping by.
Come back soon!

Can You Photograph Lightening With A Run Of The Mill Camera?

So, we did eventually get around to taking those fall family photos. It turns out, though, that two shall I put this?...difficult. It's become a little like trying to photograph lightening...bipolar lightening. No, ladies and gents, the following photos are not the out takes. They are the best of the bunch...I kid you not.Hmmm...I think I need a new photo op strategy. Maybe a faster camera is in order. I mean there were moments where he was facing the camera and actually near us all at the same time. I think my camera just isn't fast enough for him. I so think Santa needs to bring me a new one...a new camera that is...the kid is pretty cute, so I think I'll keep him.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Barefoot Favorites

A list of the Barefoot Mama's favorite reads...frequently updated...and in no particular order. These are the gals in the blogosphere who I would love to live next door to. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Casual Friday Every Day: Nell is a genuinely sweet, hardworking mama to three adorable little boys. Her posts are down to earth and wonderfully inspiring. You're sure to love her!

Homemade Rainbows: Leanne is one very cool mama, writer, gardener, dreamer, and maker of things. Speaking of making she makes me want to move to Australia. Her garden looks so incredibly exotic and delicious.

Red Chocolate: Bek is one of the sweetest, most generous bloggers in town. (Okay, so in town is stretching it a wee bit since she lives in Australia.) She is the mum to two of the most adorable munchkins in the Southern Hemisphere, and she's always pulling something fabulously crafty out of her sleeve.

Mama Sparkles
Mama Sparkles: Marissa is a super sweet mama to one very cute little fella'. She always has a kind word and a smile.

Marvelous Kiddo: Leigh is a babywearing, breastfeeding, homebirthing mama with a killer sense of style. She resides in New York with her husband and two marvelous kiddos. You really must check her out.

Mulberry Spot: Hannah is a sweet stay at home mama to three beautiful little ones. She's fashionably frugal and full of great, down to earth advice. Metropolitan Mama: Stephanie is one of my all time favorites. She's a pastor's wife and a mama to two lovely little ladies. Her blog shines with her sweet and generous nature. And, lets not forget, she's extra smart and savvy too! Oh, and she just wrote her first book...I highly suggest it.

Nutrients of Life: Amber's words and wonderful attitude will have you loving and embracing this beautiful life. She's currently expecting her third little one. So, go on over and give her a big "Congrats!"

Myrtle and Eunice: Tania is a witty, wickedly talented Australian mum. Her blog is delightfully beautiful, and she offers up some lovely looking crafty tutorials. Oh, and did I mention how very friendly she is?

Casablanca: Dera just needs to move a couple states over this way, so we can have lunch and playgroups together. She's a mama to two of the funniest, prettiest, most talented little girls imaginable, and one of those little munchkins even has her own blog named makes me want to squeal!

It's Your Movie: Oh, you really must meet Erin. She is simply wonderful! And, her munchkins...oh. my. does it get any cuter?!! This gal is smart, sweet, witty, and talented. She is a must read.

A Little House by the Big Woods: Go on over for a visit, and you'll quickly be hooked on the adventures of Jill's family in their little house by the big woods. Her tales of farm life are enchanting.

Heart Go Boom-Boom: Yana is a stylish and delightful newlywed. And, she's about to be a new mama. Her blog is delightful and covers all the topics that make her heart go "boom-boom."

Tropic of Mom: Holly is a Florida mama to two little boys. She shares humor-filled stories of life as a stay at home mama, envy inducing photos of Florida sunshine, and tips on motherhood.

Adventures in Babywearing: Stephanie writes from the heart about mothering 3 cuter than pie little boys and 1 gorgeous little gal. Her posts are poetic and endearing.

Spoken For: Andrea is a down to earth, Canadian mama to two with one more little blessing on the way. She has a positive attitude and a generous, friendly spirit.

When She Has Kids...

...I hope they'll love me as much as he loves her...She is officially, the "best Ah-Ah whole wuld"...translation "the best Aunt Annie in the whole world."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

About The Barefoot Mama

Welcome to Barefoot Childhood!  Around here we like to run around barefoot, laugh...a lot, cuddle as much as possible, and make everything that pops into our heads.  Right now "we" includes me (Madeline a.k.a the Barefoot Mama) and Levi (the Barefoot Munchkin).  However, big changes are afoot in this barefoot household...a wedding is in the works for February.  So, whole new adventures are coming soon.  I hope you'll join us.

Currently, Levi and I live in a sweet cottage out in what I lovingly refer to as the middle of nowhere. We are so very lucky to be right next door to my parents, affectionately known as Nanno and Baw-Baw. And, of course, what would country life be like without a whole lot of animals--these include but are not limited to horses, chickens, and dogs.

Soon, though, we'll be heading for the suburbs to start a new life with Stephan, the sweetest fella' this side of the mighty Mississippi.  Stay tuned for adventures in remodeling a house, finding our footing in a new city, and blending three lives.

If you're new here you should definitely check out the "He Sleeps With What" series. You'll get a kick out of all of Levi's crazy bedfellows. And, if you're wondering what else I blog about.  Well, my interests and hobbies are varied, but they mostly revolve around making stuff. I love art, sewing, cooking, cutting and pasting, knitting, crocheting, and quilting...the list could go on for quite some time. I've nearly always got about 10 crafty projects going at once, and I like it that way. We are avid readers around here, so check out our book suggestions. We find some good ones!  You can also take a gander at our favorite recipes and craft ideas by clicking on the links.

And, please, do introduce yourself.  Making new friends makes my day.  I'd love to hear from you.

Sweet Dreams: A Party Edition

All partied out...
Can you tell he's a wee bit obsessed with all things that go vroom?

Monday, November 16, 2009

And, Where Were The Presents?

Okay. I admit it. I'm one of those mothers. Not only do I toss Halloween candy and not have a television...I also request no presents on birthday invitations. Gasp! I know...I've been told already.
No worries though...Levi is not entirely deprived. Sunday we had a special, family present party. This little outdoor bash was just what our day needed...
Cars and trucks (of course), a race track play mat made by mommy, wooden puzzles, fire truck jambies, a set of blocks, and books were wrapped up under brown paper and ribbon. It was just exactly enough...not too many and not too few.