Help Build a Non-Fiction Library for a Classroom in Need!

DonorsChoose Students.jpg

My good friend Cameron is a 1st grade teacher in North Carolina, and she teaches 22 children in a high-poverty area. Here is something that she says about her school and population:

“My school is 98% free and reduced lunch, mostly Hispanic and African American. The majority of my students come from single working parent homes. While some students show up the first week of school with some school supplies, I provide most of the supplies out of my own pocket. Our county took our stipend supply away this year to pay teacher salaries, so I am leaning hard on DonorsChoose.com for materials this year. With no stipend this year, there will be no money left over for books and games.”

This will be her third year in this school and also her third year in first grade. She is an incredible teacher, and constantly is looking to making these children’s lives better. She knows that they have a limited amount of background knowledge coming into the classroom, and on top of teaching the curriculum, Cameron tries to provide them with knowledge of the outer world beyond their neighborhood as well.

My Students: Do you ever remember your teacher having to stop a lesson and goggle (or find) information or a picture about a topic we were studying in class? No. Me either. But I find this to be a daily part of my teaching because my first graders are not coming to class with the same foundation of knowledge.

I have twenty curious and excited first graders. They come to school every day in the best uniform (collared shirt, khaki type pants) they can. Every day their parents send to school the best child they can send. Unfortunately, that student is not always prepared for the lesson at hand. My students come from a very high poverty neighborhood. Frequently they come to me with very little background knowledge about the world outside of their neighborhood. Often, they have very low reading skills. And more often than not they need help with basic life needs.

My Project:Due to the varying nature of the depth of background knowledge, the requested books will help my students gain or further their understanding of the world outside of their neighborhood. The leveled readers will also allow for students of varying reading levels to go on adventures through nonfiction!

My students love to read! However, my ability to provide my students with varying levels of nonfiction reading is very low. Your donations to my project will help provide my students with real life reading examples on each and everyone of their own reading levels.

My students need leveled readers to provide reading material on their reading level, as well as readers that provide a solid nonfiction reading background foundation.”

As you can see, she is trying to create a nonfiction leveled library so that ALL of her students (no matter what their reading level) can be exposed to nonfiction texts.

When I was in elementary school, my favorite books were the non-fiction books in my classroom library. Because of this, I tried to build this up in my classroom when I was a teacher, but I know how expensive this can be. When Cameron asked me to share this DonorsChoose site to help her with my friends, I knew that I had to do more and share it with the whole blog community!

So, please take a look at her DonorsChoose.com site and look at her request. She has priced out exactly what she needs and the cost. She needs a total cost of $1,207.50 to make this a reality. As of now, she has $30 donated. If you cannot donate, please think about sharing her site with someone who may be able to help.

Thank you so much!

Disclaimer: I did not receive any compensation for this post. I just wanted to help out a friend and many children in need of a good classroom library!

 

 

Thank You

Thank You

We have been so lucky to have such wonderful friends and family to help us during these last 8 months (and throughout the pregnancy). I’ve tried to stay up on our thank you notes, but here is our big list.

Thank you for…

  • the meals.
  • the baby-holding.
  • the amazing toys, blankets, gear, etc. to make it possible to survive (and thrive) with two babies at once.
  • the clothes (both maternity and for babies).
  • coming over to visit, because I couldn’t leave the house and needed to see friends and family.
  • supporting our decision to raise our babies in the Jewish faith.
  • liking our Facebook messages, blog posts, Instagram pictures, Twitter tweets, etc. Even that simple “like” is so fantastic to see!
  • following us on Facebook, this blog, Instagram, Twitter…
  • letting us know that it’s ok that every single post is baby-related and that you love seeing and hearing about the twins.
  • asking questions about raising or having twins. I really do like to “teach.”
  • telling us that we are doing a great job and our children are beautiful. We think so too, but we like hearing other people say it!
  • being there to let us vent a little (raising twins is hard).
  • the gift cards. Shopping at Target, Babies R Us, and Amazon happen at least once a week.

8 Months Old!

Audrey and David 8 Months

It is incredible to see the changes that have happened between last month’s update and this month. We have two strong sitters (although David still likes to throw his head back sometimes), a constant crawler, and a new fear of electric motors. We also are having better sleeping habits at night and more adventures in eating solid food! Our little people are growing so much every day, and we love them so much!

Audrey Sitting 8 Months

Audrey 8 Months

Things We Love About Audrey

  • how all of a sudden, she had her second teeth, after just two days of being slightly more cuddly and humming (July 3)
  • the progression of crawling: sit-and-scoot –> sitting-to-lunge forward (and repeat) –> crawling on knees while holding onto our hands –> crawling with breaks to sit up again
  • her constant laughing and shrieks of pleasure
  • sticking out her tongue, sucking on her lips, and humming while working on cutting her 3rd tooth
  • how wide she opens her mouth to eat
  • continually pumping her arms and hitting herself, amidst a fit of giggles
  • how she can pull herself up in her crib, in the playroom, on an adult
  • how instead of using the baby sign language sign for “more” she likes to pound her hand on the table, demanding more (like her brother)
  • her love of Toby and Lucy, and her need to pet them
  • the way she sits up in bed, waiting for us to come get her
  • the way she loves to babble “da da da da da” even if she doesn’t quite mean “daddy” yet!

David Sitting 8 Months

 

David 8 Months

Things We Love About David

  • that David is still working on getting his first two teeth at once (any day now)
  • his strength in sitting
  • how he can move around by going from tummy to back to tummy (and the get anywhere he wants to go)
  • his preference for cuddling instead of sitting or lying by himself
  • his fascination with his reflection in the mirror
  • his hourly gurgles (due to excess saliva while teething)
  • the way he keeps wanting to eat solid food and demands more
  • how instead of using the baby sign language sign for “more” he likes to pound his hand on the table, demanding more
  • although he spits up frequently, he does so happily
  • how he has become wary of motors, especially the vacuum and blender

 

 

Helping New Parents

Helping New Parents

Recently, I came across this article from Twiniversity called “How to Help a New Parent of Twins.” This was a topic that has recently come up time and time again both in talking to Tim about things we wished to have help with and with others. In this list, there are some things that I agree with and some that I don’t. So, here’s MY list of how to help out new parents of twins based on Twiniversity’s list and my thoughts.

1. Feed the Family: Yes, yes, yes, and yes!

Don’t get me wrong, we have LOVED the adorable clothes, blankets, loveys, and other gear from our registry. We have used every single item we have been given. They have been wonderful. But as for HELP for us during those first few days/weeks/months, food has been the #1 “gift.” We aren’t picky (at least during this first little bit). We don’t even need full meals. But to open the freezer and be able to pull something out easily has been amazing. For those friends and family that have done this for us, I want to publicly say THANK YOU! You have no idea how little we want to cook and how wonderful it is to not have to cook or go grocery shopping.

2. Clean Their House: Yes and no.

When we first came home from the hospital, we loved the help from our moms to clean the house and do laundry. It was simply one less thing we had to think about. The only reason that this worked is that, in the months and weeks before Audrey and David arrived, our families took the time to learn how we liked things done. As the months have gone on, however, we have felt like we can do a bit more around the house and we want to do more around the house. To have the extra help with cleaning can make use feel inferior or incapable. Although we have twins, we really are managing ok at this point. If you want to help with cleaning the house, please ask us if that is ok. Find out how we want it done and listen to that. Otherwise, we will go behind your back and redo it… and that doesn’t help us OR you. Better yet, find out if we have a cleaning person that we use and pay to have the house cleaned. We had that given to us as a gift by amazing family members, and you have no idea what a relief that is!

3. Take Care of Their Older Children: Yep!

While we don’t have older children, we do have our dog, Lucy, and our cat, Toby. While the cat is pretty self-sufficient, we can’t say that about the dog. When the babies came home from the hospital, my parents took Lucy to their house to stay for about a week and a half while we transitioned into our new lives. Then, we were able to slowly ease into her being there with day-visits first and then finally we had her back with us 24/7 at about 2.5 weeks after birth. Having older children/animals definitely complicates things, and to have this extra assistance is so wonderful. Eventually, it was really nice to have Lucy back with us, and it has been great that my parents have offered to take her for overnights every now and then. As I mentioned with #2, as we have gotten into a routine, it’s comforting to have her here, and it has been wonderful for the offer, but we also appreciate that they understand when we say “Thank you, but no thank you.” Mom and Dad, if you are reading this, we may take you up on it when we travel down to Alabama this summer or for other short trips coming up (traveling with babies AND having a dog might be challenging…).

4. Help with Late-Night Feedings: Eh, not really

We had our moms stay with us for the first two weeks that we were home from the hospital. They were enormously helpful, from cleaning to laundry to doing the 6:30-9:30 baby shift while we had 3 hours of sleep. They always told us each night: “Come get me in the middle of the night if you need me.” Maybe we were stubborn or gluttons for punishment or it really  wasn’t that bad, but we never got them. We have always done the middle-of-the-night feedings by ourselves. It was simply too much trouble for me to pump and give the milk in a bottle. Now, the one time we did have help with the night feedings was at about 2.5 months when my parents stayed with the babies, we went to a hotel, and we could sleep all night long. It was glorious and we did nothing but talk about the babies the whole time. We missed them so much, that we haven’t done it since then (not even for our anniversary). And you know what, that is ok! But that one night was really nice!

5. Listen to Parents’ Needs: OH YES!

Please listen to the parents. Our needs change as the babies change. What we need on Monday may not be what we need on Tuesday. Listen to us. Ask us. Sometimes we will not know, but ask anyway. If we don’t know and you see a need, ask if it’s ok if you do so-and-so, and then do it. Having twins is hard, but probably harder than anything is the feeling that we aren’t independent anymore, like WE are the children again. We aren’t. We can do it, but it is just easier with help. Thank you so much ahead of time for respecting our need to feel capable to do this. I mean, we did survive a multiples pregnancy and birth! We can do this (there’s a little cheer for the MOMs reading this)!

6. Encouragement: PLEASE!

I really feel like this goes along with Listening to Parents’ Needs. We do NOT need you to tell us how you did XYZ with one baby (unless we ask). We do NOT need negativity of ANY kind (whether it is aimed at us or someone else). We need sincere, honest encouragement. If we choose to breastfeed, be our cheerleader. If we are able to go out with the babies to the mall, tell us how proud you are of us. If we took a shower for 3 days in a row, hire a marching band and start a parade. Please just be an honest encourager for us, no matter the choices we make. Keep your opinions to yourself. No, really, please do that. Don’t tell us how you or your cousin did it, whether she had one baby or 4. Tell US that we are doing it right and well. That’s what we need now more than anything. If we ASK, you can be honest (to a certain extent). Otherwise, keep your mouth shut, please!

 

So what do you think? Are there any tips that you new (or experienced) moms might give to those that want to help you out?

Review: Zipit Baby Clothes

Disclaimer: I received the following products for review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

When I go to dress Audrey and David, I will always pick comfort first. If it’s a hot day, the babies will be in just a onesie (or even just a diaper if we are staying at the house). If it’s cold, they will be in fleece pants and a warm top… even if that means their clothes don’t match. Still, now that we have figured out both babies’ personalities, they have developed a style within these comfortable parameters. Still, we always will choose items that are soft and easy to dress (and undress) before style.

When I heard about Zipit Baby Clothes, I was so intrigued. As their tagline says, “Dressing with zippers means more time for playtime.” I couldn’t agree more! We need quick, easy outfits for “costume changes” and quick dressing. Don’t get me wrong, we love the onesies with the snaps at the crotch, but there is something so easy about a full zip-up outfit.

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

We received a coordinating set of milk and cookie rompers in Zipit’s 6-9 month size, and it compares perfectly with other clothing brands in this size. Even before I could take the rompers out of the box, we had a hit on our hands.

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

Once I was able to wrangle the boxes away from the twins and get out the clothes, I was immediately struck with how soft these clothes are. Seriously, I would like to own this for myself (although I don’t think it would be appropriate to have a picture of cookies on my bottom).

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

 

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

As soon as I went to put these outfits on Audrey and David, I knew these were incredibly well-made. The zipper is so easy to zip up and down, and it completely unzips diagonally, for easy diaper changes. Plus, the details of the zipper are even adorable.

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

I love that there isn’t a tag to scratch the back of the babies’ necks.

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

I also really like the way that there is a top snap to secure the romper in place so that the zipper doesn’t fall down.

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

 

Plus, you can’t get a much cuter tushie (or two).

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com
Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com
Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

One other added perk with these rompers were the lengths of the legs. They hit at just below the knee, which is perfect for the baby that is learning to crawl (like ours are). They won’t scratch up their legs as they work to support themselves on their knees and rock back and forth.

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

 

And with all of this, I will say that the boxes are still more interesting to my peanuts.


Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

Bottom line: As a mom to twins, we are constantly looking for something to easily dress and change our babies, as we often have one child crying while the other is getting our attention. ZipIt clothes are the perfect solution to help us get each baby changed quickly and on to the next! Plus, these adorable coordinating rompers are perfect for the duo like ours, but they still aren’t too matchy-matchy!

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com
Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com
Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

The best thing is that ZipIt clothes have gift sets (carrying case, playsuit, blanket, and top hat), playsuits, dresses, rompers, onesies, pants, gowns, blankets, and hats. To find out more information or to purchase your own ZipIt outfit, you can visit the following:

Zipit Baby Clothing Review - DoyleDispatch.com

 

 

 

Sponsored: Huggies Plus Products at Costco

Disclaimer: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Huggies® Brand. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

Huggies Costco Ambassador

I am so excited to share that I have been chosen to participate in the Huggies Costco Ambassador Program, which is fantastic because it combines two of my favorite things: anything having to do with the twins and buying in bulk. We have actually been fans of Huggies (both their diapers and their wipes) long before this promotion, and we always purchase diapers from Costco (sponsored). Hey, when you are buying for twins, you get anything you can in large quantities. It saves you immense time (and money) later.

We have actually been buying the Huggies Snug and Dry Diapers and the Huggies Natural Care Wipes for many months now, long before I found out about this campaign (one of the reasons that I jumped at the chance to be an ambassador for this). I can’t say enough about these items! Their tagline is “Plus up your care,” and it really is true. The wipes are amazing. They clean everything from constant spit-ups to diapers to peas-up-the-nose. They are thick and soft, yet they have a simple formula and don’t have a strong fragrance or taste (yes, since we are using them on the face so much, I did try it to see what the taste was like). When compared to Huggies Natural Care Wipes, they are thicker and more absorbent to pick up any mess (a “plus” that is only available at Costco). One benefit to buying these wipes in Costco that isn’t always evident is that you will receive a wipe holder AND a travel wipe dispenser with each big box of 1160 wipes. One of the wipe cases is the new Clutch ‘n’ Clean, which I am obsessed with! We use the larger boxes all over our house, as you never know when you will need some wipes and the Clutch ‘n’ Clean containers in our car and while out and about. Seriously, we love these containers (long before this promotion)! That alone is reason to buy these big boxes at Costco!

The Snug and Dry Plus diapers are extra absorbent for day or night wear. I know that many companies (Huggies included) sell a night diaper. After trying night diapers for about a month, my advice, however, is to just use the Snug and Dry Plus diapers in a size larger for nighttime. These particular diapers have a “Leak Lock” system and a “SnugFit” waistband with special grip tabs to better keep the diaper in place. With two major squiggly children, we need as much help from our diapers as possible.

Again, Costco is the only store to sell Huggies Plus products, and as a way to promote this venture between these two companies, we wanted to invite you to try a free sample of Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus Diapers and Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes, while supplies last. I received a sample of these diapers and wipes, and I loved them. Very absorbent diapers and soft, odor-less smelling wipes. Because our babies have sensitive skin, we don’t like to have anything with scents and dyes, and we feel like we can do that with this brand.

So I highly recommend that you pack those kiddos in the car (or ask Grandma to come over for a couple of minutes), and visit your local Costco warehouse to purchase your exclusive Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus Diapers and Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes (sponsored).

Costco Members – Click HERE to register for a FREE sample of Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus and Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes. Hurry and register now, there will be a limited number of samples each day starting today (July 17) through July 26, 2014, so try back tomorrow if you aren’t able to get a sample today! You must be a Costco member to get a sample and limit 1 sample per household.

Be on the lookout as well, because I will be having some opportunities in the future for you to win a gift card to Costco as well as a coupon code in upcoming blog posts! If you don’t want to miss these chances, make sure to subscribe to get my posts in email.

To connect further to the brands discussed in this post or find information about this campaign, you can access the list below:

Huggies Twitter: @Huggies
Huggies Website
Costco Twitter: @Costco
Huggies Costco Product Page
Campaign Hashtags: #SnugandDryPlus and #MC

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Huggies® Brand. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

Introducing Baby Sign Language

Image: http://developachild.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/please-more.png

Image: http://developachild.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/please-more.png

At 4 months old, we started signing Mommy loves you and Daddy loves you, just for fun. At 6 months old, we started signing more when we were eating solids. We have also now introduced milk. Now, they will get excited when we make their hands sign more, which I hope is the first step towards them communicating back to us. We have also introduced gentle and dog. I can’t wait to see them sign back to us!

I definitely encourage you to take a look at this post about another first-time mom and friend of mine (Beth, as mentioned in this post about Barefoot Books) about signing with her little one.

Caprese Crostini

I first became obsessed with this dish at a local restaurant. This would become a weekly Friday ritual to go there after work with some co-workers and order the Caprese Crostini.

Now, I can make it myself!

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Ingredients:
Loaf of French bread (or similar style and shape)
Fresh mozzarella cheese
Sun dried tomatoes
Balsamic glaze

Directions:
1. Cut the bread into thin slices. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for about 5 minutes until crispy and slightly tan color.

2. Remove the pan from the oven, but keep the oven on.

3. Add 1 slice of the mozzarella to the bread

4. Add 1 sun dried tomato to each bread/cheese bite

5. Cook in the oven again for about 5 minutes.

6. Remove and add balsamic glaze overtop.

7. Serve and enjoy!

Introducing Barefoot Books

I wanted to introduce you to Beth, a very dear friend of mine, who just happens to be my Alpha Phi Omega Little Brother (yes, she is a girl- we were a part of a co-ed service fraternity). So obviously, she is an amazing person, with an adorable family, and now she has a terrific new business to tell you about. Enjoy this interview all about Barefoot Books!

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Tell us about you and your family!

I’m a full time working mom of one silly toddler (Ian), married to my high school sweetheart (Jon).  My husband and I have known each other since we were in elementary school, but we didn’t start dating until our senior year of high school.  We both went to Virginia Tech together for college, and he proposed shortly after we graduated.  We got married in August of 2009 and have been living in the suburbs of Cincinnati, OH, for close to 5 years (but I still consider Virginia to be “home”).  Our sweet boy came into our life in October 2012, and things have never been the same since!  He is always keeping us on our toes and making us laugh.  I can’t even imagine what we did before he was part of our family.  He loves to play soccer outside with us and snuggle into my lap with a few good books. He’s starting to talk and develop a very distinct personality of his own, which is so much fun to see!

I love all things crafty- scrapbooking, cardmaking, sewing, crocheting.  Even though I’m not an expert by any means, I love to get absorbed in a creative project!  I also love home DIY projects- my husband and I installed our own tile in the kitchen and bamboo floor in our main level.  We’re also putting the finishing touches on a shed.  Sometimes we get a bit too ambitious for our own good, but it’s always a learning experience!  I started my own blog about a month ago (http://beingfrankenfield.com) and use it as a way to document our life and our various adventures in parenting, DIYing, and more.  I’m hoping to grow it more as time passes, and I’m so grateful to Dory for giving me this opportunity to speak about myself, my family, and Barefoot Books!

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What is Barefoot Books?

Barefoot Books is the brainchild of Nancy Travery and Tessa Strickland.  Founded in 1992, the aim of Barefoot Books is to create bright, colorful books for children that combine beautiful artwork with captivating storytelling.  So many of the books have educational components (such as end notes or study guides), and almost all celebrate or encourage cultural, social, and/or ecological diversity.  This is one of the things that really sets Barefoot Books apart from other children’s books- the wide range of cultures and stories represented.  Combined with the outstanding quality, they truly create products that are hard to beat!

bear-in-a-square-picture

What ages is Barefoot Books suitable for?

Barefoot Books offers products for ages 0-14.  The majority tend to be targeted towards babies through about 7, but there are some great titles (and other products) for the kids at the higher end of the age range, which Barefoot labels as “Independent Readers”.  For example, I am really excited about the Greek Mythology line of books (ages 8+) and the three Inuk Quartet Books (The Shipwreck, The Raiders, and The Snowstorm; ages 10+).  There are also a lot of books that are rated for all ages; they can be read together with younger children and really grow well with the child. A good example is the “Barefoot Books World Altas”.  The pictures are amazing, and there is so much information on each page- and it even comes with an app for the iPad!

earth-tales-pictures

What kind of products are available?

Obviously, Barefoot Books specializes in children’s books, but that’s not all that’s available!  There are also activity books, puzzles, puppets, and board games.  I love that a lot of the images and characters from the books are carried over into these other products; it makes the books very interactive and helps reinforce concepts introduced in the stories.

animal-boogie-pictures

How did you find out about Barefoot Books?

I subscribe to Citrus Lane, which is a monthly (mail) subscription box for kids 0-5, and I received my first Barefoot Book in my second Citrus Lane box.  We got “Bear Takes a Trip”, and it was an instant hit.  The pictures are so colorful and really interesting, and there is SO MUCH STUFF to see on each page.  I also love that it will grow with Ian; the overriding concept is learning to tell time which, obviously, at 20 months (or 9 months, when we got the book) is too advanced for him, but I can definitely see stressing that aspect as we continue to read this as he gets older.

Read-Barefoot

What made you want to start selling Barefoot Books?

We own 5 Barefoot Books titles (“Bear Takes a Trip,” “Animal Boogie,” “Starlight Sailor,” “Cleo’s Color Book,” and “Cleo in the Snow”), and I love every single one.  The pictures are fantastic, and I love the learning aspect to each book.  Ian also really enjoys them, as they seem to be constantly part of his book rotation.  I’d never seen these books in stores, so I went to the Barefoot Books website to see where I could buy them (the answer: in the Boston or Oxford store, or online/through an Independent Barefoot Books Ambassador).  This is the first time I’d heard of the ambassador program, and I was really intrigued.  I did some researching and weighing of pros/cons (namely trying to determine if I’d have enough time to truly devote to this) and finally decided to take the plunge.  I know that a lot of my friends and family have never heard of Barefoot Books, so this seemed like the perfect way to introduce them to some really fantastic books and help build my own library!

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What is your favorite book that you’ve found so far?

Oh, gosh- so many.  I will always have a place in my heart for our first ever Barefoot Book (“Bear Takes a Trip”) because it’s what introduced us to the company and the entire line of Barefoot Books.  My favorite seems to change as soon as I see a new title, but my favorite at the moment is probably “Out of the Blue.”  It’s a new release that is wordless, so it encourages the reader to supply their own story.  It also has educational endnotes about marine life, lighthouses, and other beach-related topics.

beartakesatrip

How can I purchase books through Barefoot Books?

If you live in Boston, MA or Oxford, UK, you can go to the Barefoot Books store.  Otherwise, your best bet is to locate an Independent Barefoot Books Ambassador, like me!  All ambassadors have an online marketplace where you can place an order yourself. You can access my marketplace at: bethbfb.barefootbooks.com.  I’m also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/BethBarefootBooks. If you are loving a lot of books and are starting to see that subtotal climb, you might want to consider hosting a Barefoot Books party.  This would allow you to receive some discounts and/or free books.  Parties can range from a simple online party (with an open ordering window and not much else fanfare) to “live” Facebook party to a home party where you invite your friends (and their kids, if you want) and get a chance to see and experience the books in person.  The benefit of having a party and working with an ambassador, instead of just buying directly online, is that you get to hear their recommendations and gain some additional background and insight into the books, and you also receive a host(ess) gift!  The parties are a lot of fun, and it’s a product that a lot of people can feel good about buying.

How much can I expect to spend? What is shipping?

Most books range from $6 to about $13, depending on the format, age level, etc.  Some, such as hardbacks or those with story CDs will tend to be a little more expensive, closer to $20.  Shipping costs can vary.  My customers that order through me directly (not through my marketplace website online) either one-on-one or via a party receive free shipping.  This is fairly standard practice for ambassadors, but it’s not guaranteed, so you’ll want to make sure you ask.  Orders placed on the Barefoot Books website through your ambassador’s marketplace that are under $60 are subject to a shipping charge that is computed by the company and varies based on weight/size of the order.  All orders over $60 ship for free!

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Is there anything else we should know?

Barefoot Books is extremely enthusiastic about charitable causes and fundraisers.  There are a lot of schools that do their book fairs (both order-form based and cash/carry based) through Barefoot Books, which is a great way to get fantastic books into the hands of little readers while earning free books for the classrooms/library!  Some schools also choose to donate some of their free gifts to underprivileged groups and schools, which is really neat!  Outside of schools, though, your Barefoot Books ambassador can help you fundraise for just about anything- from donating to a charity to raising funds for a local community group.  You just explain your goals to your ambassador, agree to the profit sharing terms, and begin planning the event together.  There have been a lot of very successful fundraisers done through Barefoot.  I love that the company encourages their ambassadors to reach out to the community, get involved, and give back!

If someone is interested in becoming a Barefoot Books Ambassador, what do they do?

If you’re interested in learning how you can become a Barefoot Books Ambassador and share these great products with your community, send me an email (ehfrankenfield *at* gmail.com) or a Facebook message.  I’d love to tell you all about it!

To connect with Beth’s Barefoot Books business, you can check out her website, blog, Facebook page, or email (ehfrankenfield *at* gmail.com).

 

Thank you so much, Beth, for letting us know more about Barefoot Books! I can’t wait to get my own books for Audrey and David!

 

Three Encounters as a Twin Mom

Encounters of a Twin Mom

I encountered three people today, and I wanted to share my interactions with them in short scenes:

Scene 1:

(Coming out of the gym’s nursery, pushing the babies in the stroller. I stopped, while waiting for Tim to come out of the men’s locker room.)

Woman: (to no one in particular) Twins!? (to her friend, but so I could hear) Oh, double trouble.

Me: No. My children aren’t trouble at all. Double the love.

(Tim came out of the locker room and we walked away.)

 

Scene 2:

(Walking around Babies R Us, a woman, her husband, and her sick-looking 3-year-old child encountered us.)

Woman: Oh, twins. How awful!

Me: No. It’s actually quite wonderful!

Woman: Well, I keep children all day…

Me: I do too (pointing to my two children)

 

Scene 3:

(Walking around Costco, me pushing the stroller and carrying David after he was upset, Tim pushing the cart. We were approached by an older woman.)

Woman: Twins! How beautiful.

Me: Yes! Thank you!

 

These events prompted me to write this on my personal Facebook page:

If you are out and about and see someone with twins, the proper response is “How wonderful” and not “How awful” and “Double trouble.” I usually try to be a good Twin Mom Ambassador, but with those two hateful comments spoken directly to me about my children (who are not trouble or awful and are absolutely wonderful), I wasn’t going to let it slide today. I had to point out how rude they were to say that to me about my children (who they don’t know). This is an epidemic, where people feel like they can say whatever they want. Again, usually I try to be good and patient, but the tone of these two women’s comments were so ugly, I was caught off guard.

 

Of course, Tim’s reaction to all of this was anger, as mine was. You know, every time we go out, I know that we might encounter either of these types of people (positive or negative). Some days I handle it better than others. Today was anger. Tim was relieved that he didn’t overhear the woman in Scene 2, or it would not have been as “nice” a conversation.

After my Facebook post, I was so happy with the outpouring of support from my friends and family. It was what I needed.

And then, at dinnertime, this happened:

I love my children!