December 15, 2009

breathe. focus. live.

i think i've mentioned before that i recently started to acquire oak meadow materials so that i can be fully prepared when i start homeschooling the little ones.

it is suggested that you follow a yoga program with your children as early as preschool and i've been waiting for just the right trade or used set to come along before purchasing the materials. since becoming a barefoot books ambassador i decided to just go ahead and get the yoga planet set they offer, as i've been intrigued by the concept since i saw an ad in mothering magazine, some time ago.

so far pea ( formerly known as my three year old) and i have been having "yoga breaks" throughout the day where i let him pick three cards from the yoga pretzels deck (i'm saving the other deck and the book for christmas) and we work through the poses. he is a natural and has so much fun!

i wondered if yoga cards would be as hokey as a children's yoga DVD i once had for bean (formerly known as the oldest), complete with silly poses and activities. i think that's why i held off on purchasing them until now and while some of the suggested commentary on the cards might be considered "silly," it doesn't sound contrived when spoken out loud. i tend to focus mostly on correctly explaining a pose and the importance of posture without also explaining that we're a strong gorilla or soaring airplane. but that's just me. and even for someone like me that once attended twice-weekly yoga classes almost religiously, the poses and, of course, the time spent with my little one are enjoyable even when sprout (formerly known as the baby) is underfoot or testing out his new tricks (pulling himself to stand and promptly falling backwards because he doesn't quite know how to stand unassisted yet). i don't take it too seriously and know i'm not getting a full-on workout but i still feel refreshed and a little bit more grounded after our yoga breaks.

i wasn't expecting to feel so good but it's been a while since i actually did yoga (or any excercise, for that matter). when pregnant with pea, i attended prenatal yoga classes but he wasn't the kind of baby or toddler that stayed in the gym childcare center without screaming so i can't say i picked up any regular workout after he was born. when pregnant of sprout i suffered from severe SPD and the first time i tried yoga, thinking it would help relieve the pain, i was worse off than when i started and unable to get up off the floor for thirty minutes. so it's been years, to say the least, since i've done anything that resembled yoga practice. needless to say, i was surprised by the rewards of taking such a small yogic step.

i am also amazed at how eager the pea is to do yoga first thing every morning, before bed, and when the mood strikes. by the time sprout is old enough to join us, pea will be my little yogi master!

i am not only promoting this because i am a barefoot ambassador, but because i truly believe in the wonder of this, and all other barefoot titles. now would be a great time to pick up the set and invite yoga into you and your child's life. barefoot books has extended their winter sale until december 23rd so you can receive 30% off and free shipping until next week!

December 10, 2009

Barefoot Books Holiday Sale

if you are not familiar with barefoot books now would be the time to get acquainted with one of the best publishers of children's books around! i am serious, i love these books! not only are they beautifully illustrated, but the storytelling is exquisite and rich and creates a place of calm and quiet in both the reader and the listener.

since receiving my first order of barefoot books i am happily reinstating our strict bedtime routine of two stories and snuggles, and not because i look forward to toddler bedtime but because i'm excited and inspired, once again, to offer my child something solid and structured at the end of our busy days *and* most importantly it no longer feels like a chore. i had been reading several "character" books that were beyond dull and trite. it was difficult for me to trudge through the storyline and my three year old could probably sense my lack of enthusiasm. i think the lack of rich, engaging stories is one reason i so easily abandoned our storytime for scrubs re-runs after i had the baby.

but now i honestly have a set of books that we will share over and over again, that will grow with my children. for the past four nights, i have read from the barefoot book of pirates or storytree and each night my three year old has said, "i just love these books."

i know that as my younger two children grow, the stories won't grow old and boring, but rather more rich and meaningful as if they're hearing them for the first time.

i love that i don't have to "pre-screen" the books to make sure there's nothing inappropriate in the plot. in fact, i was slightly worried about the pirate book at first, but quickly found that each story was actually quite heartwarming with heroics and morals, not just needless pirate violence.

i am currently awaiting a pretty large order and the illustrations in the books i just received are so wonderful i wish i had ordered more hardcovers. the variety of authors and illustrators is a booklovers dream and with their current holiday sale, there's no reason not to get acquainted with barefoot books and introduce them to the children in your life, whether they're already avid readers or you'd like to instill a love of learning and reading. until december 15th, enjoy 30%off and free shipping with no minimum order.