Busy, busy, busy!

I cannot believe it has really been over a week since I last wrote! Obviously that is indicative of the fact that life has been extremely busy lately.

But, it’s Friday! Hooray! So let’s try one of those Five for Friday things. I will pick 5 things that have happened since last week and share a bit about each. Just a little peek at what’s been keeping us so busy…

1. Ian had his 3rd week of soccer- and did great!
The first week of soccer, Ian was scoping things out and still trying to determine what exactly was happening. The second week was a little better, but this third week was fantastic! He followed almost all the directions and really seemed to grasp what he was supposed to be doing. It was definitely neat to watch.

2. Both my boys FINALLY got haircuts!
Jon’s hair has been getting longer and longer…kind of out of control, actually. And Ian’s hair has been encroaching on his face for a while now. It had gotten to the point where he was pushing it out of his eyes/off his face constantly. The haircuts went pretty smoothly (Ian freaked out right at the end because he had convinced himself that the smock was choking him…. Dramatic much?). And a dum-dum makes everything better. So I consider the event a success!

3. I got all registered for my fall/holiday vendor events!
With the holiday season coming up, there are all sorts of holiday fairs and festivals and shopping events. This is a great chance to get my Barefoot Books to the community, so I picked a few each month (Oct, Nov, and Dec) and got my registrations turned in. I’m excited!

4. I nearly got lost in Cincinnati but managed to find my way out!
For one of said vendor events on #3, I had to drop off a donation for the event’s raffle. The organizer lives fairly far southwest of me (and to the west of Cincinnati). So it was a 30 minute trek to her house. Not unreasonable or unmanageable, but still a trip. Getting there was pretty easy. I looked up directions before I left, and they were pretty straight forward. Unfortunately, one-way streets and I do not get along…so getting home was a different story. My phone decided that GPS was overrated, so I had no help there. Instead, I drove in the general direction I believed I should be going and hoped for the best. After a few minutes of guesses, I saw the shining beacon of the Cincinnati skyline and knew I was almost home free! I was pretty proud of myself for finding my way without the use of any navigational aids! But I don’t have any desire to do that again…

5. I met some lovely ladies from the Cincinnati Mom’s Blog!
The Cincinnati Mom’s Blog is brand new, and I reached out to them to talk about advertising and getting Barefoot Books in front of their audience. The 2 organizers (who are area moms) agreed to meet with me and chat, and we were able to make that happen this week! We tossed around some ideas, and I think this will turn into a beautiful partnership! It is so wonderful to be making these types of connections in the community- something I probably wouldn’t have done without blogging or Barefoot Books.

So there you have it! What stuff did YOU do this past week?

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{Honest Review} Braun ThermoScan 5 Ear Thermometer

Disclosure: I received this product for free from Influenster. I was not compensated in any other way for this review.  All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

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Taking Ian’s temperature has ALWAYS been a pain. When he was an infant, he was extremely wiggly and active and never liked to stay still for more than a few seconds. Now, as a toddler, getting him to be still is even more of a chore.

We bought a forehead thermometer when he was born thinking it would be an easy, quick thing. We were wrong. It had to sit on his temple for a while, and anytime he turned his head or fidgeted, the reading would be off. It was nearly impossible to get an accurate temperature, so we were never 100% sure if he was running a fever.

Next we bought a multi-use thermometer (mouth, armpit, rectum) thinking it might be easier/better.  But I was never overly keen about sticking it up his butt (I’m not sure anyone is, really), and he was too little to really get a good reading in his mouth, so we were again stuck trying to get a fidgety kid to stay still long enough to get an armpit reading.

Ian was never a pacifier baby, so those thermometers that look like pacifiers were never a possibility for us, either. We eventually gave up and instead of relying on the thermometer, we gauged fevers based on how warm he felt and how cranky he was acting. Probably not the best method.

When I had the opportunity to get the Braun ThermoScan 5 Ear thermometer, I was ecstatic.  Here is some information about the thermometer from Braun, the manufacturer:

Designed to give you some piece of mind when your child comes down with a fever, the Braun ThermoScan Ear Thermometer with ExacTemp Technology has all the features you could ever want in a thermometer. Used by more doctors’ offices than any other infrared thermometer brand, the ThermoScan features a pre-warmed tip that improves accuracy, a unique guidance system that ensures precise results, and infrared technology that takes your child’s temperature in seconds.

When the unassuming brown shipping box arrived on my doorstep, I instantly knew it was my thermometer and couldn’t wait to tear it open and play with it. Included in the box were the thermometer, a protective case, lense filters, and batteries (hooray for batteries being included!!).

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The thermometer also came with a quick start card and a thicker manual, but really, the thing is pretty self explanatory.  The only thing I needed to look up was how to switch from Celsius to Farenheit. Once I got that figured out, I was able to try this bad boy out.

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Oh. My. Gosh. This thermometer is amazing. I’d never used an ear thermometer before and was a little worried about how well Ian would take to it (since he HATES when the doctor looks in his ears), but my fears were unfounded.  He was actually really interested in it and he even stuck it in his ear and pretended to take his own temperature (and mine!).

Part of the reason this thermometer is so great is that it is just so quick! You press the button and before you can count to 3, the temperature is read. I didn’t know it was possible to get a reading that quickly, especially with an at-home product, but it is! And it’s accurate, too! I feel extremely confident knowing that the next time we’re wondering whether Ian is running a fever, I can whip out the Braun ThermoScan 5 and KNOW within a few seconds.

If you’re looking for a new thermometer, you shoud definitely check this one out.  You won’t be disappointed!

#BraunTherms #influenstervox

He’s Gonna Be A Soccer Player!

Ok, so how many of you recognized the quote that I used for my post title? It’s from “Billy Madison” which was one of my FAVORITE movies when I was in high school.  My best friend Emily and I used to quote it back and forth to each other incessantly.  I’m sure it got really annoying.  We didn’t care.  To this day, even though I haven’t seen the movie in a few years, I can still quote most of it… and I can’t help but hear the words in the various character’s voices.

So, naturally, when Ian started showing an interest in soccer (seriously, this kid LOVES to kick a ball around), this quote popped into my head.  And now whenever I watch him kick his ball, I just think of this and grin.  I can’t help it.  And inevitably, I think of my friend Emily, whom I miss terribly and wish did not live 10 hours away from me.  Thank goodness for social media and cell phones because we’ve been able to keep in touch.  But it’s still not the same.

ANYWAY- this post got really off topic!  The whole reason I even bring this up is because our little wildman has just joined an 18-24 month soccer “league”.  I use the term “league” here loosely because it really is just a bunch of toddlers running around aimlessly on Saturday morning for 45 minutes.  Not totally aimlessly, because there is a “coach”, but pretty close.

When we saw that our area offers leagues for kids this age, we laughed.  We couldn’t imagine starting a kid in a sport that young.  But the more we thought about it and observed Ian while he played, the more we started to believe it might not be such a crazy idea afterall.  I mean, it’s really no different than kids doing gymnastics or music class or whatever at that age.  And even though he is in daycare M-F full time, it would be nice to expose him to a new set of kids and a new adult authority figure.

So we took the plunge- we signed Ian up for soccer, and this past Saturday was his first day!

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He seemed to really like it (once he got over the fact that he had to pay attention and couldn’t just spend the whole time kicking the ball wherever he wanted and whenever he wanted).

The coach was really nice and enthusiastic, and she actually did have a structure to the morning.  They started with a warm up- running down the field, then running backwards, then walking sideways, then running again. Then they did some stretching. For the record, Ian was interested in about 0% of these activities (with the exception of the running down the field)…though the next day while we were grocery shopping he was happily doing them ALL as we attempted to make it through the aisles. Finally, she had them do some kicking with the soccer balls… so Ian was in heaven. 

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Then she had them dribble/carry/put the soccer balls in the goal (this cute little net that was maybe 3 feet tall) and she pulled out a thing of bubbles.  Naturally, all the kids went crazy (what is it about kids and bubbles??)- and the coach had to keep reminding them of the rules (no hands; kick or step on the bubbles; use your feet only!).  After everyone was bubbled out, there was more fun with the ball.  This time each parent built a tower of cones and the kids had to kick the ball into the tower to knock it over.  Ian was really good at this!  He even helped us put the tower back together after he had knocked it over.  Then the coach pulled out big squishy balls and had each kid kick that around for a while.  Finally, they put all the balls away and she pulled out a parachute.  Another little kid favorite.  They played parachute games for a while and ended the practice with hand stamps for everyone.

I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting, but my husband and I enjoyed ourselves, and Ian did, too.  So I’d say it was a success!

Does your little one play any sports?  What age did they start?

A Football Profile

Football season is back!  There are so many fantastic things about fall, from pumpkins to Halloween to Thanksgiving to CANDY (I love my mellowcreme pumpkins and candycorn!), but chief among them is the RETURN OF FOOTBALL. But instead of writing a novel about why I love football, I thought I’d try to condense it down into a profile/bio type format, a la ESPN. 

Name: Beth

Blog: www.beingfrankenfield.com

Favorite NFL Football Team: Washington Redskins

Why: I was born a Redskins baby- my grandfather was a Redskins fan, so was my father, and they passed that love and passion down to me.  My grandfather had season tickets and would take my dad and one or two of us kids along to every game.  Now that he has passed away, these are some of my most cherished moments and experiences, and every time I see my Redskins play I grin and think of him.  My dad has the tickets now, and he tries to take me when he can (which is maybe once a year because I don’t exactly live close anymore).  It’s always a treat to go to a game- no matter what the outcome.

Favorite NFL Football memory: Any of the many times tailgating with my dad and grandfather at RFK stadium or FedEx field.  There was always plenty of food and plenty of laughter.  And I loved building this relationship with these two wonderful men.

Worst NFL Football memory: I don’t know if I have one of these.  I can’t think of one truly horrendous experience. Plus, I am a Redskins fan, so if I let a loss rain on my parade, I’d never see the sun shine. 

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Favorite College Football Team: Virginia Tech Hokies

Why: I graduated from Virginia Tech, and the three years I spent there account for some of my fondest memories. I wasn’t really a college football fan before I went to Virginia Tech, but you can’t help but fall in love with it when you go to school there.  It’s everywhere.  And it’s fun.  The tailgating, the celebrations of victory, the collective dismay of defeat, the experience at Lane Stadium (seriously- if you don’t believe me, google Virginia Tech Enter Sandman and you’ll see what I mean), the Hokie pride.  It’s contagious.

Favorite College Football memory: My junior year, we beat Clemson at home, at night- in a game we really weren’t supposed to win.  It was amazing.  We flooded the field and hooped and hollared until we were forced to get off.  I have a picture somewhere of being hoisted on the shoulders of one of my friends and screaming with glee. It’s just one of those experiences that can’t be duplicated.

Worst college Football memory: This would probably have to be our loss at the Orange Bowl in Jan 2008. The whole campus was ecstatic that Tech was going to the Orange Bowl and everyone was making plans to go. Jon and I decided we should do it- buy tickets to the game, find a flight, and head to Miami. So we did. But when we got to Miami it was chilly and rainy- I don’t think it ever got out of the 60s. Our seats weren’t awful, but the game was. We lost. In a soul-crushing defeat. I think Jon actually ripped up his ticket as we trudged out of the stadium that night. If I could do it all again, I’d still go to the game; I wouldn’t change it. But that loss sure was tough to swallow.

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If you could tell non-football fans one thing, what would it be: If you ever get a chance to go to a game, GO TO A GAME.  I don’t care who’s playing.  I don’t care if you don’t know what “False Start” means.  Or if you are confused why there is both a score and a player called a “Safety”.  It doesn’t matter.  Just go.  It’s such an experience, and you will almost certainly enjoy yourself.  If nothing else, the tailgating makes it all worthwhile!

So, who wants to play along?  What’s your football profile?

Travel the World in Books Readathon

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OK, everyone…this is pretty cool, and I am extremely excited to be participating! Mom’s Small Victories, Lost in Books, and Savvy Working Girl have put on an around the world readathon to help encourage diversity and exploration/appreciation of other countries and cultures.  The point is to discover new books you may not have otherwise considered!  The readathon runs from September 1-14, and you can read all about it here: http://momssmallvictories.com/travel-the-world-in-books-readathon-schedule-september-2014/

I’m participating through my Barefoot Books business- it’s just such a great fit! We have so many globally inspired books that I just COUD NOT pass up this opportunity to skip across the world with all of you.

For the duration of the readathon, I’ll post a new book each day on my Barefoot Books facebook page and my Instagram account (@bethbfb) that highlights a different country/culture. So if you don’t already follow me there, make sure to do that so you don’t miss out! This should be a lot of fun!

So are you currently reading something from a different country than your own (author, characters, or both)? I’d love to hear all about it (Barefoot Books or not).  I’m always on the lookout for great stories! And if you need some inspiration, let my country hop on Facebook and Instagram guide you!

Disastrous Outfits

Jon and I both work full time, and so Ian is in daycare full time. There are times when I really wish he wasn’t, and I was staying home with him instead- most days I miss him terribly while I’m at work and would so much rather be going on adventures with him. And then there are times when I’m really glad he’s in daycare- he’s learning so many fun things, meeting new friends, and having to respect and listen to other adults. But that conversation is really better suited for its own post, and that’s not why I’m writing today. I only bring all this up to make the point that Ian is a daycare kid with 2 full time working parents.

So, anyway, I have an approximately 45 minute commute from the house to work. Jon has an approximately 4 minute commute. (Yeah, we planned that well!) We knew we wanted Ian to go to daycare closer to home so that his friends wouldn’t be 45 minutes away. And I didn’t want him to be in the car forever each morning and evening. So the daycare we picked is about 1 mile from Jon’s office. Which means that the husband has daycare duty- drop off and pick up- unless something comes up at work and he needs me to step in.

This is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I can leave the house early enough to beat traffic (and take a carpool!) and get an early start to the day- thus ensuring an early departure in the afternoon. Also a blessing because I don’t have to deal with the heart-wrenching teary goodbyes in the morning (which don’t really happen anymore, but whenever I dropped him off when he was under 1, it was pretty common…thankfully I didn’t have to endure that very often). But a curse because I don’t get to see him when I leave in the morning, kiss him goodbye, or tell him to have a great day. A curse because I don’t get to interact with his daycare teachers as much as I would like. And also a curse because my husband has sole responsibility for dressing the little monster….and sometimes that leads to *interesting* outfits (OK, so maybe you think curse is too strong, but maybe you should look at the pictures first…).

For instance, look at this gem from last week.

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Ian came home from daycare, ran to me, gave me a hug- and I looked at his striped shirt and plaid pants and asked Jon, “Was it mismatch day at daycare today?” In typical husband fashion, he looked at me with a confused smile and slowly said, “…no…why?” And as I smirked at him and gestured at our son, he smiled sheepishly and said defensively, “what? That matches!!!” OK, sure, honey.

But I think my all time favorite mismatch outfit is this one, from when Ian was 11 months old.
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Again with the stripes and plaids…I’m not quite sure why Jon thinks these things go together- maybe because they share a color? Oh, silly man.

Considering I don’t do the waking up-changing diaper-herding child-dressing child routine, I can’t complain too much about it. I should probably be happy Ian is clothed! But in all fairness, Jon normally does a good job picking out an acceptable outfit for Ian each day. It’s just every now and then when he throws in a wacky one- but at least it keeps us laughing!

What’s the strangest thing your kid has ever worn??