Do you live Barefoot?

When Milena was a baby, some of our favorite books to check out from the library were the “Cleo the Cat” books, and our car rides were filled with the sounds of Putumayo CDs. It wasn’t until recently that I realized they (plus many of our other favorite books) were from the same publisher: Barefoot Books. I was even more excited to learn that Barefoot Books offers their readers a chance to become Barefoot Books Ambassadors, allowing me the chance to work from home while doing what I love: staying at home to raise my daughter while sharing these wonderful stories with my friends and neighbors!

Barefoot Books products are all about exploring our planet, other cultures, and ourselves. As an avid reader who’s mother to a 2 year old who already has an expansive library, I know how difficult it is to buy books for a book lover. Barefoot Books make great gifts, because they’re not available in most stores (although they’re so lovely, you may be tempted to keep them for your own family!).

As your local Barefoot Books Ambassador, I can help you find the perfect books for your kids or just the right collection of products to give as a gift. You can order online through my personal marketplace (KidsReadBarefootBooks.com). If you live in the Madison area, you can also order directly through me. I’m also available for home parties, fundraisers, and more! You can follow me on Facebook: Kids Read Barefoot or e-mail me for more information: kidsreadbarefootbooks@gmail.com.

Do you live Barefoot? I’d love to hear about your family’s favorite Barefoot Books products!

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MadisonMamas.com

There’s a new resource for Madison area parents! MadisonMamas.com is a website that lists hundreds of links for pregnancy, groups, classes, activities, fitness, services, dining and shopping. Features showcase local events, specials, books, project ideas, recipes, decor, new products and much more. You can also post questions and comments to other local parents on their Facebook page: Madison Mamas

I’ve already found the website extremely useful for finding new kid-friendly places to shop and eat in the area. The site is so well organized, it’s simple to find exactly what you’re looking for. And I love the “Features” section – it’s given me some great ideas! (and MadisonMamas.com was kind enough to feature RM blogger – and local Barefoot Books Ambassador – Kat yesterday! Thanks, ladies!)

Blog Catch Up

Okay, I admit it, some days the last thing I want to do during Milena’s nap time is sit in front of the computer and write blog entries. And I’m realizing it’s becoming more and more common for me to just click “share” on Facebook and post events/etc on our FB page without a single thought to our blog readers.

My apologizes!

So here’s what you may have missed recently (plus some new stuff for our devoted FB readers!):

Bellypallooza at Happy Bambino: Treat Your Girls Right! This Saturday, June 18, at 1 pm.

Adria Cannon, Happy Bambino’s fabulous Lacation Consultant, will discuss how your breasts change through pregnancy, breastfeeding, and beyond.

Alison will go through the basics of finding a great-fitting bra to give your hardest working assets the support they deserve and discuss why having a good nursing bra is so important.

Adult Swim at the Madison Children’s Museum, Friday, June 24 at 6 pm.

No kids allowed in a children’s museum? Yes, you read that right! MCM’s first Adult Swim event in March was a smashing success, with more than 400 grownups getting to be kids for the night. No, we don’t have a swimming pool, but we’ll honor the time-honored “adult swim” tradition at public pools as we kick the kids out so adults can have the museum to themselves. It’s a great event to attend with a group of friends, family, or co-workers!

The event features the disco beats of the Madison supergroup V05; favorite activities from our Retro Technology Nights, including vintage films, theremin-playing, and Pong; plus wine, beer, and Roman Candle pizza available for purchase. Climb the Hodgepodge Mahal, drive the Punch Buggy, and take in the work of more than 120 local artists who contributed pieces to the new museum!

Event schedule:
6:30–7:30: Lounge music in Possible-opolis by Dave Adler of The Gomers
6:30–8:30: Vintage cartoons, commercials, and film rarities from the collection of Biff Blumfumgagnge
6:30-8: Make a Tie-Dyed Silk Scarf ($5 materials fee)
7:30–9:30: VO5 dance party on the Rooftop Ramble
Throughout the evening: Elevator Music by MCM’s Tom Teslik

Ages 21 & up only
Tickets: $10 advance, $12 at the door; includes one free drink ticket. Tickets are on sale now at MadisonChildrensMuseum.org.

RM reader Mallory passed along this link to us today:

Wisconsin Explorer Booklet for ages 2-5. (the site says “3-5 years”, but I know my two year old will love this!)

Follow footprints, be a tree detective, watch the clouds, look at the stars, play “I Spy,” and find special places! Preschoolers will need a caring grown-up to explore with them.

Kids can pick up a free Wisconsin Explorer booklet at a participating state park, forest, trail, or recreation area OR download the booklet here.

And don’t forget to have your kids pick up a Nature Passport this summer! (Milena already has 5 stamps in hers!)

Nature Passport is an educational nature “scavenger hunt” for children and parents. Explore Nature Net nature centers, parks and museums in the Dane County area at your leisure and, using your senses, record observations in your own Nature Passport. See if you can meet Ringo Raccoon’s nature challenge this year! During your visit, stamp your Nature Passport to mark your adventures. Visit as many Nature Passport sites as you want!

Nature Passport Includes:

For Kids…
Each child receives a special Nature Passport containing pages to draw and write about their amazing journeys at various Nature Passport sites! This year’s theme also includes a “Movin’ Mission” to encourage healthy, physically-active kids.

For Parents…
Look at the online Parent’s Guide for fun facts and explanations to help spark your kids’ imagination and answer those big questions like: How do we see color?

Madison Public Library’s Summer FUN Agenda

Looking for some family fun in the downtown area this summer? We’ve got your FUN Agenda! The Madison Children’s Activity Calendar features entertainment, hands-on fun, and learning for kids and their families. A collaboration among the Madison Children’s Museum, the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, the Wisconsin Historical Museum, the Madison Public Library – Central Library, UW Space Place, the Madison Mallards, and Monona Terrace, the program includes a variety of fun and educational events for the whole family.

Start off with the FUN Agenda kickoff event on Wednesday, June 15, 10-11:30 am. in the Monona Terrace Exhibition Hall (1 John Nolen Drive). The event will feature seven different activity stations for children aged 4 – 8:

Madison Public Library – Central Library
Paper Dragon Masks, in celebration of our “One World, Many Stories” summer reading club we will be making paper dragon masks. Kids can color, cut, and decorate their own mask!

Madison Children’s Museum
Plant a garden and run a market stand with our Let’s Grow mobile exhibit, which promotes nutrition education while providing an opportunity for kids to learn about cultivating healthy foods and getting them onto the table. Plant seeds in Dixie cups and visit with the chickens.

Madison Mallards
Come get your photo taken with the team mascot, Maynard the Mallard, and take a leap onto the Velcro Wall. Don’t forget to pick up your Madison Mallards pocket schedule.

Monona Terrace
Frank Lloyd Wright not only designed buildings he also designed carpeting. Come design your own carpet pattern and using crayons, markers, and colored pencils add color to your design.

UW Space Place
We will be doing the ever popular alka-seltzer rockets and making sun necklaces.

Wisconsin Historical Museum
Join staff from the Wisconsin Historical Museum as they celebrate 25 years on the Capitol Square by fabricating a celebration spiral decoration to take home.

Wisconsin Veterans Museum
Commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with educational games and making bald eagle hand puppets.

In the event of inclement weather, program will be moved inside.

Local Resale Events

I love rummage sale season! Especially when I happen upon something we actually need/want (Milena’s princesses finally have a castle! Hooray!). But I hate having to drive from sale to sale. It’s so much in and out of the car (generally TOO much in and out for my little girl), which is probably why I love Half-Pint Resale as much as I do. Everything is right there, in one room, and organized by type and size!

Over the last few months we’ve become aware of other, similar resale events, and we wanted to share the info with all of you! And please share your finds in the comments below.

Just Between Friends

At these events, consignors bring their new and gently-used children’s and maternity merchandise to sell. Shoppers can then browse and purchase these items at great savings, usually far below retail prices. Children, Junior, and Maternity items are available. Anything and everything child related, including: clothing, toys, books, games, baby equipment, furniture, outdoor riding toys, sporting equipment, etc. The next Just Between Friends sale will be September 30 to October 2 at the Waunakee Village Center.

Moms of Multiples Sale

The Madison Area Mothers of Multiples, Inc. club is a support group for families with multiples … twins, triplets, quads or more! Many of the members also have single birth children.

The next sale is Saturday, September 10, 2011. Go here for more information, including times and location, and read through the FAQs.

Dandelion Resale

Dandelion Resale is owned and managed by two local moms. Their website offers high-quality new and like-new children’s clothing, maternity clothing and baby gear.

If you missed it last year, here’s a link to the “Thrifty Kiddos” resale reviews we did last summer!

Birthday Giveaway {Part 4}

Giveaway #4 is great for parents and kids alike!

This week’s winner will receive: a $25 gift certificate to Daisy Cafe & Cupcakery along with these goodies from Nicki’s Diapers: Best Bottom Diaper Trial Kit (1 shell, 3 inserts) and a Planet Wise Bag Your Snack Stuff Gift Set (1 Sandwich Wrap, 1 Window Bag, and 1 Snack Bag).

Daisy Cafe & Cupcakery is a popular cafe, cupcake shop, and coffeehouse located on Atwood Avenue. It’s one of Kat’s favorite local places to eat!

Nicki’s Diapers is located on the westside of Madison at 739 N. High Point Rd in Sauk Point Square. Along with supplying everything a cloth-diapering family may need, Nicki’s also carries baby carriers and breastfeeding supplies. The store also offers many classes (most FREE!) along with a breastfeeding clinic. You can find more info about Nicki’s Diapers on its Facebook page (along with Best Bottom Diapers and PlanetWise). All three are also on Twitter: nickisdiapers, bestbottomdiapers, and planetwiseinc.

To enter this giveaway, answer the following question in the comments (one entry per person. Please include your first & last name when commenting):

What is your favorite local family-friendly restaurant?

Comments must be received by midnight on Friday, May 27. Winner will be chosen using random.org and announced Sunday, May 29.

Birthday Giveaway {Part 2}

We hope all you mamas out there had a wonderful Mother’s Day yesterday!

Because Raising Madison started out mainly as a resource for new parents, we thought it only fitting our next giveaway be geared toward them (though all parents are welcome to enter!).

The winner of this giveaway will receive a membership and $25 gift certificate to Happy Bambino along with a David Landau DVD and Smiling Planet plate & 12 month shirt from Capitol Kids.

Happy Bambino is a great local resource for new and seasoned parents. Along with selling great toys, books, clothes, nursing & cloth diaper supplies (and much more!), Happy Bambino also offers numerous classes (both for parents and for children), parent groups, and breastfeeding support.

Capitol Kids is locally-owned and operated by mother-daughter team Peg Scholtes and Jenna Hansen. It is one of our kids’ favorite toy (and clothing) stores, located on the Capitol Square at 8 South Carroll Street. You’ve probably seen their mascot, Webster the Bear, sitting outside the store!

To enter this giveaway, answer the following question in the comments (one entry per person. Please include your first & last name when commenting):

What is your favorite resource to share with new parents? It could be a store, website, toy, business, etc.

All entries must be received by midnight on Friday, May 13. The winner will be chosen using random.org and announced Sunday, May 15.