by: Linda Bartosik
Have I got a deal for you! In case you haven't heard there is a new way to exercise all over Cape Cod. It's called Koko Fit Club. Their tagline is Fit Figured Out and it's not kidding. Koko really does have fit figured out for people who are too busy to maintain a consistent exercise program. Are you one of those people who keep saying you need to find a way to incorporate exercise in your life so you can stay fit enough to keep up with your kids through their college days and beyond? Can you feel age creeping up and stealing your energy and making your joints creak and ache? Then Koko is the answer for you. To see what Koko is and how it can help you, Click here to watch a 2:44 video that explains it all. Oh and yes, I mentioned a deal: You can visit any Koko Fit Club Cape Cod and try it for free. Call the club nearest you and make your appointment for a complimentary session. It will change your life. I have been a member and worked out three times a week consistently for a year now. I just turned sixty years old and the reason I Koko is because I still want to be able to enjoy our beautiful beaches when I turn seventy. I spent ten years trying gym after gym, finding it hard to spend two hours there working out, while teaching full time and raising two young daughters. If I had had a Koko Fit Club near me during those years, I could've easily integrated exercise into my life. I love the whole Koko concept so much, I just started working there, helping busy people like you change their lives. But don't take my word for it - call for your complimentary session today, because... ...IF YOU DON'T TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY, WHERE WILL YOU LIVE?
by: Linda Bartosik
Yeah. I know. I asked the same thing. What on earth is Laughter Yoga? My Bikram yoga buddies shanghaied me into going so...
...here it is, the skinny on Laughter Yoga. Last night I attended my first Laughter Yoga class in West Barnstable, taught by
Bobbi. First let me start off by saying that if there's ever a person that should be teaching Laughter Yoga, it's Bobbi. Bobbi is a fun loving, jovial person with an infectious laugh.
The class started by learning a rhythmic clapping chant that would be used to move us from one laughing activity to another. Then Bobbi proceeded to tell us the rules - no talking - everything is done by eye contact. For instance, one exercise was to hold your hand up to your ear listening to a funny phone call. Then walk up to someone in the group laughing and put it to their ear. They would pretend to listen and start laughing, too. You would proceed from person to person until Bobbi started the clapping chant, then she would explain the next exercise, and so on, for about an hour. That's the general idea of how the class works. Now, what did I think of my experience?
Uh...first of all, if you were with the group of women I was with last night, you wouldn't really need a laughing class. They are warm, kind, and hilarious all at once and have been dear friends of mine from Bikram yoga for three years now. We were the right group for Bobbi to share her first class as an instructor with. Now let's cut to the chase - what did I get out of the class?
The first thing Bobbi did was hold her hands in a circle and go around and have each of us deposit our ego in her basket. I just thought, okay...we need to be uninhibited to do this. I could do that.
Then we began learning the chant. I felt silly.
Then we did the first laughing exercise. I was hot.
Then we did the second exercise. My ears were hurting due to the loud laughter. (We were in a small dining room in a house - not acoustic friendly)
Then we did the third exercise. The glands behind my ears were hurting really bad.
Then we did the fourth exercise.
My jaws were killing me from holding them in a laughing position for so long.
By the fifth exercise I was tired, sore, and my head was splitting. At the end we sat in a circle and talked about our experience during the class. Of course, I had nothing to say because I was 'Miss Crabby Pants" throughout the whole thing. But my dear friend, Lisa, of whom I don't get to see near enough of, says, "You know, we don't take time during the day to make eye contact with the people we meet and we miss learning so much about them."
Wham! I bit my lip and just hung my head. Guess who didn't put her ego in the basket? I once again made the whole class about me and how I was feeling, completely disregarding making any connections with the people I was with. It was hard to keep laughing for so long. I hurt. It was hot. My head was spitting. But
there were lessons to be learned.
Does this sound familiar? It sounds like so many Bikram yoga posts I've written about putting the physical irritants aside and push through to find the wisdom to be gained by the experience. Just like after even the roughest Bikram classes, when we were done last night I felt really good, relaxed, and so glad I came, despite a long work day.
Even though my ego didn't make the basket, I was proud of myself for pushing through the tiredness, not making an excuse, and actually going. If I didn't, I would've missed not only a great time afterward visiting with my friends, but another chance to learn more about myself. Would I do it again? Absolutely. I'll have a different frame of mind going into it, just like ...Bikram. This is a huge gain for me because three years ago I definitely would've given the tired excuse and not gone at all.
And so, as another day goes by, finally I'm able to put my fear and insecurity regarding trying new things aside and just go for it and see where I land, I always discover I'm capable of more than I think I am, and...I have written.
What about you? Are you willing to try? If so, there is going to be another Laughter Yoga class in West Barnstable soon. When I get the info I will pass it along to you. In the meantime - try something new that crosses YOUR path. Push the envelope. Experience the exhilaration of stepping out of your comfort zone. You might be surprised at your reaction.
* This post first appeared in the blog Another Day Goes By where the purpose is to not let another day go by without writing.
Personal Blog: Another Day Goes By
by: Linda Bartosik
Today is the first day of school and it is no ordinary day, no matter how many times we encounter it. I have a very special video to share with you in honor of this day. Every mom everywhere should experience this video the first week of school. This first month of school is very hectic and emotionally charged no matter how old your children are. It moves fast. We shopped and prepared and now we meet buses, make food, drive, worry, drive some more, rework schedules, and drive some more. As we do these daily tasks, not only this week, but throughout the school year, the minutes tick by. While getting your three year old out of the car seat in the driving rain to pick up your five year old at school, you don't stop and contemplate those minutes. You just do it and all you're thinking of is how you can't wait to get everyone home, warm and dry.
These are our ordinary minutes of our ordinary days with our kids.
But...they are not so ordinary after all. These minutes of these days contain gifts. Gifts we are not aware of while unbuckling that car seat and balancing an umbrella and said three year old on one arm, while closing the car door. And so, as a new school year begins, I give all you moms out there The Gift Of An Ordinary Day, by Katrina Kenison. Enjoy - with tissues - and I wish you and your children the best school year ever!
Children's Author, Illustrator, Blogger, Young Authors Workshops for Children
by: Linda Bartosik
This post first appeared in my blog Another Day Goes By on January 5, 2011. It's a post I keep close at hand for when it's time to send my children out into the world, without me. September is near and whether its kindergarten or college your sending them off to, take comfort in knowing you're not alone. You're just being a mom. Enjoy.
Today I miss teaching more than ever. I walked into yoga and my instructor was really anxious about her first child starting school. I told her (as a kindergarten
teacher of 35 years) that both she and her son would be okay. I said I’ve known you and your child for over thirty years and there wasn’t a one of you that wasn’t okay.
The first day of school is a most painful experience for moms. You hand them their lunchbox, put them on the bus, go in the house and your heart is in pieces all over the living room. As you pick up the pieces you cry and tell yourself this is right and necessary. They’ve got to go out there and do it on their own. You’re confident you’ve given them all you had and they can now deal with life beyond your backyard. All you can do all day until that bus pulls back up at three o’clock is pray and ask that an angel be on their shoulder.
The next “first day” that rips your heart out is leaving them at college. Now you’ve had 18 years to give them all you’ve got to survive in the adult world, and you have to believe you emptied the attic, the basement, and every closet. This time they’re not coming home at 3 o’clock and you’ve got a lot of nights to sit up and pray that that same angel lives in that dorm room with them. Once again, when you get home, your heart is in pieces, not only all over the living room, but down the hall and into their bedroom, and in the dining room
where their pictures are hung, and in the bathroom where you find the wet towel on the floor that they used that morning. No one but a mother understands an empty house with pieces of her children all over it mixed with the pieces of her heart.
And just when we think they are sinking out there in the world, being tossed about on an angry sea and you want to rush to save them, you look up and there they are, flying steady and strong on their own.
Only a mom’s heart knows the hardest part of love is letting go……
If you are a mom reading this, please go download The Hardest Part of Love by Jane Olivor, grab a box of tissues and sit down and cry with me. We will all be okay.
Another Day Goes By
by: Linda Bartosik
You say yes, your child says no. You say no, your child says yes. There's a lot of foot stamping and arm folding. Maybe a stomp down the hallway and a door slam.
Your child is quietly eating a sandwich at the counter. A sibling enters the room. Your child flings something (verbal or otherwise) in hopes of getting a reaction. You're wondering why this child is always like this. Pushing boundaries. Seeking attention (mostly the negative kind).
Hey mom, all this is perfectly normal. Your child is trying to gain control of his or her world by provoking you and other family members so they can practice negotiating the situations. They are learning to make decisions. They are learning how their choices play out and affect others, and in turn affect them. They need a safe arena to practice these skills. That safe arena would be the home and school environment.
Your children need a safe place in which to try things and fail or succeed. In over 35 years in the classroom I have found this the case is some way, shape, or form with every child. Some were more active and vocal than others, but in essence it was all toward the same goal - to practice taking on and balancing the challenges life presents.
For my last 23 years, I taught kindergarten. I reassured parents I would always be there for their child, but I would not jump in and do everything for them each time they struggled. At lunch I would require every child to try opening their own milk. I'd let them struggle a bit and usually they'd get it without my help. There's nothing like that "I did it!" smile when they saw me watching them. If they struggled too long, I'd walk over and pull the cardboard a bit and encourage them to try again, knowing they'd be successful. That bit of
control that I didn't steal by doing it for them was another brick put in place on their confidence wall.
Once a child feels that control over little things in their world, the testing of our patience usually subsides for a bit, but don't relax - in a few weeks they'll be back at it again. They experience a growth spurt and want more independence and control. Do you ever wonder "what got into my child lately"? Your child is growing and they need to make more choices and do more things for themselves so they get a feeling that they are heard, valued, and can control their world - kid power.
The next time you say no and they say yes, don't argue or keep repeating yourself. Stand your ground. Let them stomp around. They'll figure out on their own it isn't going to work. Then, when they are quiet, let them know your willing to listen to their "side", even though you're not changing your mind. By doing more listening and less arguing, you are not only setting the example for dealing with conflict, but you will learn surprising things about the way your child views the world.
One of my favorite things about teaching was talking to parents about their children. If you would like to talk about your child with a teacher, feel free to email me at email@example.com. I would love to hear from
Personal Blog: Another Day Goes By
by: Linda Bartosik
An art bar? What is that? I thought one day when I was walking past it in Mashpee Commons. I peeked into the windows. Wow. Tables all set up with paints and easels and a sign advertising have a cocktail while you create. What could possibly be more fun than painting while sipping a cold glass of Chardonnay? I had to investigate this further.
It turns out that this is for everyone - no experience necessary. All the materials are included in the price and everyone paints the same painting, step by step, with the instructor. At the end of the evening everyone takes home a beautiful painting. It's BYOB They do not serve alcohol so the price is much lower than other "art bars". (I didn't even know there was such a thing as an "art bar".) This sounded so cool and I knew it was something I'd love to do, but I was not sure my husband would share my enthusiasm. (I envisioned this as a cool date night.) I walked away and thought we'd probably never get around to it.
This morning I was perusing Facebook and the Cape Cod Art Bar added new photos of some of the paintings. One was of the two Cape bridges. I fell in love with it. How cool would it be to have two paintings of that to hang in our house - one by me, and one by my husband - but yet totally different? I looked at the post again and discovered they were doing The Bridges this Saturday night. Do I dare ask him? Hey, why not? What's the worst he could say? No? I texted him the post and the info. Just as I suspected, he was hesitant at first, then said, "Let's do it! Sign us up!" Yay! He really wanted to jump in with both feet and have an adventure. He wasn't dragging himself there to just please me.
After signing up I got to thinking how, as we grow from children to adults, we lose that sense of artistic play. Our play as adults consists of concerts, football and baseball games, family dinners, etc. All fun stuff, but all situations where we sit and are entertained by others. Here is a venue that brings us back to that childhood, immerses us into creating again, and puts a drink in our hand as we do it. The best of both worlds. I have to commend my husband for throwing caution to the wind, and with a "Hell, yeah" diving in. Thank you dear, I can't wait until Saturday night.
What about you? Would you do it? Would you throw caution to the wind and step out for an evening of child's play?
PS- Calling all Cape Cod Mommies - they also offer a wonderful array of sessions just for children and families too! Check it out!
And so, as another day goes by, I'm glad we're rediscovering our inner child - together, and...I have written.
...for your young beach-reader this summer!
by: Linda Bartosik
Last summer, children's author Sara Pennypacker, did a signing at Titcomb's
Bookshop here in Sandwich. She introduced her latest middle grade novel,
The Summer of the Gypsy Moths
I downloaded and read the book. I absolutely loved it. Once again Pennypacker
masters the art of weaving internal and external conflict and takes her
characters on a journey of change and growth.
Pennypacker tells the story of two twelve year olds, Stella and Angel, and their amazing summer on Cape Cod. Family drama, a dead body, catering to cottage renters, and evading social services all combine to profoundly change these two young girls in the space of a few weeks.
Stella replays the movie in her mind about where her life is headed. Angel takes care of herself, doesn't need anyone, and has definite plans for her life. After I finished the book, I was left in a quiet state of awe. The end of every page kept me wanting to go to the next one and I couldn't put the book down.
So if you have a young beach-reader to take to the shore this summer, make sure
by: Linda Bartosik
...and living in Sandwich! If you are the mom of a child who is artistic and/or loves to write, this post is for you.
Have you checked out the Splatter Art School yet? It's a hidden gem on Quaker Meeting House Road. One morning a colorful sign caught my as I was driving to Mashpee. It said Splatter Art School. Mmm...it sounded interesting. When I arrived home I checked out the website and was amazed at the art opportunities offered for grade school children. There are numerous art classes, as well as open studio times where children can come and create. Last week I stopped in to see the studio. It's adorable and completely stocked with every art material imaginable. The room is big, bright and beckoning. THIS is a place for children to explore and create.
If you have a child that loves to write, come meet me on my iTeach website. Click on the Young Authors Workshops and see what kids can do. I will be holding a class here in Sandwich the week of July 22. I can take up to six students grades K-5. Email me at iTeach@lindabartosik.com for more info.
The arts for children are definitely alive here in Sandwich. Every child is an artist and an author with a story to tell. Check out these two websites for creative fun for your child.
Welcome summer on Cape Cod!
Cape Cod Mommies is excited to add to our Board of Advisors! Join us in Welcoming: Linda Bartosik. Linda is a Certified Elementary Teacher, with a M.S. in Reading, M.S. in educational Administration.
Linda taught fourth grade and kindergarten in the Broadalbin-Perth School
District for thirty- five years in upstate New York. Linda's passion for writing
and children's literature encouraged her students to become enthusiastic
readers and writers. Each year, Linda's kindergarten class published a hard
cover book. Titles include "Look What Kids Can Do" and "I Want To Be A Rockstar and...".
Currently, Linda lives on Cape Cod, and has become an inspired writer who speaks to the hearts and minds of young children. She believes children should be encouraged to follow their dreams, so she writes books that motivate children to become whoever they want to be when they grow up.
To date, Linda has written six picture storybooks, one ready to be submitted for publication, is currently illustrating a picture book for another author, and writes a daily blog called Another Day Goes By, professing to make writing a part of her every life. Her blog can be found at: www.anotherdaygoesby.com
Linda sits on the board of directors of the Cape Cod Writers Center as second vice-president, belongs to a blog group, and is a member of the Cape Cod Children's Writers group. Linda participates in writer conferences and retreats whenever possible to perfect her craft In the summer months, Linda teaches her own Young Authors Workshop, encouraging out-of- the-box creative thinking and writing to elementary age children.. Info can be found at: http://www.lindabartosik.com/
Linda has two adult daughters and lives with her husband, marsh-side on East Sandwich Beach. She is an avid reader, enjoys drawing and painting, is interested in spirituality and personal growth, and is also a Bikram yoga enthusiast. Daily beach walks and meditation keep Linda grounded and inspired.
We are extremely excited to be having Linda join our team and we look forward to her blogs and expertise that she shares with all of us!
Her contact email is:
Cape Cod Moms