What stories move you most this time of year? A beloved Christmas classics? A Hollywood cult favorite (insert A Christmas Story here)? Or is something more personal?
We checked in with members of the Rockabye Team and asked them:
What is your favorite holiday story?
My favorite is actually my own story. I always loved Christmas trees as a child and I remember one year asking my mum if we could get one but was told that we couldn’t afford it that year. I remember being disappointed but not heartbroken, more “c’est la vie” than devastation. Anyway, about a week later, just days before Christmas my mum asked me to look in the front garden. There was a perfect Christmas tree that someone had apparently dumped. We lived across the road from a convent and as much as my parents are both nonbelievers, I couldn’t help thinking the nuns had a hand in it somehow. Magical. — Hannah
My favorite story is the first story I remember my parents ever telling me, and it’s a simple one: I sent my mom to the hospital Christmas evening—and then I was born 10 minutes after midnight.How’s that for a gift? #birthstory — First-Time Mommy
P.S. That’s not my dad in the photo, that’s my mom’s doctor.
I remember the time my entire family rented a cabin up at Lake Arrowhead when I was 7 and it was like a National Lampoon movie: there was a possible gas leak so everyone freaked that the place was going to explode (there wasn’t and it didn’t), everyone fell down on the ice that covered the driveway, I decided to “rescue” two dogs and brought them to the cabin, and we basically stole a Christmas tree. — Rockabye Grrl
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I had the PERFECT present planned to share with everyone this holiday season. It was the ultimate gift that every person would enjoy, that would get old but not in a boring way, and would give back again and again: news of another baby.
My husband and I would tell my family and friends at the end of my first trimester, when most expectant parents share their big news. That was our plan. With our first child, Little D, we unveiled my bulging belly to my family on Thanksgiving, when I was five months pregnant. But this time around, we thought, surely, Christmas was ideal.
But I just found out, I had another miscarriage. (Big sigh and many sobs go here.)
Yes, another. This is my third, and second in a row. I’ve been pregnant four times in four years — but only one has worked out. Because of this and so many other reasons, I don’t take any day with my daughter, now 2 ½ years old, for granted.
You probably can imagine how heartbreaking this situation can be when you really want to have another child (or child, period). It simply sucks. It quadruple sucks when you actually get to see another heart beating inside you — twice — and two weeks later, the fluttering is gone. (Another big sigh goes here.)
I’ve had three miscarriages.Not that many people in my life know I’ve had one, much less two. But I’m going to tell more people this time around. Why? Miscarriages happen. Now that wouldn’t be a pleasant bumper sticker at all, would it? But it’s true. And rather than being so private about it, I want other women to know that it’s okay, and to be open to all the feelings you have if it does happen to you. Some people are able to totally shrug it off, others never do. I didn’t know how common miscarriages were and how to heal from them physically and emotionally until I talked to other people about it.
But know that I didn’t write this post to throw a pity party. I wrote this because I want people who have loved ones who have had miscarriages to also know that while there really are no right words to make us feel better, we appreciate your love and are grateful nonetheless for your support.
Here’s what people have said to me:
“It’s nature’s way.”
“Miscarriages are totally normal.”
“It will work out next time.”
“I told you that you need to take care of yourself.” DO NOT say this to someone who’s just had a miscarriage, please. (Moms, how do they love us so much, but find the absolute wrong things to say on some occasions? Mom, you’re forgiven.)
“I’m sorry.” These two words are always welcome, as is this question, “What can I do to make you feel better?”
My dear friend Andrea — seriously an expert at making anyone feel better — brought me a Baskin-Robbins mint ’n’ chip and chocolate ice cream cake after my first miscarriage, because she knows it’s one of my favorite desserts. After my second miscarriage, she brought me the same cake. This time around, I told her I would happily have a serving of her turkey pumpkin chili.
Okay, this isn’t a joke, but we have to power through these disappointing moments in our lives and find the strength to be happy again, to try really, really hard not to blame ourselves (or others) and to continue to open ourselves to the love around. Despite this loss, I know I’m not alone in this experience, and in my hope for the future.
In the first 36 hours since getting the news, I’ve done the following to not let 3 Ms get me down: told my sisters and parents, played couch potato for three hours accompanied by many helpings of Häagen Daz ice cream, not done any dishes, got the tightest hug from my daughter when I picked her up from school, hugged my husband, kept dinner plans with out-of-town friends (who coincidentally have had back-to-back miscarriages, followed by two kids), went to sleep, got up and packed lunches, dropped off my daughter to school in the rain (by choice, she wore a Minnie Mouse jacket, Darth Vader shirt, pink sweat pants, a Smokey the Bear hat and Batman rain boots), went to work, listened to the Belle and Sebastian Pandora station, wished two of my friends “Happy Birthday” on Facebook, walked and hugged my dog, tolerated a tantrum from my daughter, kissed my parakeet, brushed and hugged my cat, put two bags of recycling out, ate some leftovers, made donations to Wikimedia Foundation and the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project and wrote this post. I smiled more in that time than I cried.
How do you find joy when it’s hard to be joyful?
I’d love to hear from you.
Finally, have I ever told you how incredible my husband is? He’s been my hero through every tear, laugh, and smile. This song is dedicated to him, and to everyone who lifts you up and brings you joy. (Thank you, too, Dre.)
More than half the country is covered in snow right now. (Sorry, Los Angeles isn’t, but if we drive just two hours, we’re with you!)
And this snow generally brings kids joy, the coveted “snow days,” snowball fights, you name it — fun, fun, fun . . . for them. Adults, on the other hand, are often faced with scraping frozen windshields, shoveling driveways and entryways and, oh yes, those winter heating bills!
As always, we’re here to remind the parents of those joyful kids about how to be smart during the season. This rocking parent tip comes from the parents of Bill in our sales department, and it’s an important one!
Do you have a great parent tip? Post it below and you may see it in an upcoming post! We’d love to hear from you.
This parody follows the once-famous British heavy metal band Spinal Tap (played by Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer) on tour through the United States while being documented by fan and filmmaker, Marty DiBergi, played by Rob Reiner. The film was directed by Reiner and was also written (although most of the film was ad-libbed) by he and the three “bandmates.”
The first time I ever saw This is Spinal Tap I was 16 on a trip to Washington with my best friends (my parents let me drive across the country unsupervised because they were nuts . . . and weirdly trusting). The friends we were staying with insisted that we watch the movie and that we watch it with the commentary on. So my first ever viewing of the film was with Guest, McKean and Shearer commentating over the movie acting as the members of Spinal Tap. I didn’t know what the hell was going on but I was laughing my ASS off.
Some highlights to look forward to: Stonehenge set mix-up, getting lost backstage, bizarre drummer death stories—and much more. This movie (even while primarily listening to the commentary) is damn genius and not to mention endlessly quotable. It’s almost gotten to a point where I’m pretty sure every other sentence I say in real life is a line from this film.
So in honor of this daft, lovable movie, here are some of my favorite lines and moments from This Is Spinal Tap.
Note: Out of context a lot of these quotes won’t make all that much sense but that’s all the more reason to finally watch! If you have seen it, this’ll be a great reminder to watch it again immediately.
So here we go . . . and yes, this list goes to 11.
And of course…
And it just so happens that my friends and I were Spinal Tap this year for Halloween. What do you think? My friend Jenna NAILED Derek.
TAP INTO THE HOLIDAYS!
Don’t forget to enter our giveaway for the chance to win a $50 Rockabye Baby gift card!
There was one gift that I always, always wanted when I was a kid that my parents for some reason would never buy me—the Slinky. But I totally understood why later, it had one of the shortest life spans of any toy. Every kid I did know with one had that thing wound up in the wrong direction within minutes, then would throw tantrums while their parents had to somehow, usually unsuccessfully, try to coil it back into shape.
Now that I have a kid of my own, I do my best to only get her gifts that will last: won’t break (right away), won’t harm her or any of our pets, that she will treasure years from now, and will entertain her as much as they entertain me. (Sounds like a Rockabye Baby album, right?) So, to tell the truth, I’ve bought her very few presents — books, mostly, art supplies, and essentials — while her father buys her at least two a week, including stuffed animals, DVDs, dolls and action figures, and says he’s making up for my lack of gifts.
Maybe it’s partly me being a middle child that prevents me from spoiling her, an only child, but I always tell my husband, “I just don’t want her to want things that she doesn’t need,” especially in this age. I only like to give her things she needs and convince her that she really, really wants them. It’s actually not that hard! A cute toothbrush, colorful tights, Batman rain boots (what kid, doesn’t need a pair?). But, yes, kids want more, and when I was a child these were among the gifts on my wish list for the holidays or my birthday.
Do these date me, or what? Were any of these on your wish list?
What are the gifts from your youth that still make you smile?
I may have to put it on my shopping list this season for my daughter! Here’s one gift from my parents I’ll always treasure.
See more memorable presents from yesteryear on our Remember When Pinterest Board! And don’t forget these latest releases from Rockabye Baby to consider for your loved ones, big and small.
Like most kids, mine love shiny, sparkling objects, all the more so if they have sharp points and a real potential for dismemberment.
So knives are a sure-bet— if there’s one in the room, they are going to find it, sniffing it out with the same mysterious sixth sense they have for finding sugar and wrapped birthday gifts. My oldest daughter was obsessed with knives since her early days; if I cut up an apple in front of her she never cried out for a slice, she wanted the blade. Even with cake, it was all about the instrument (well, and the icing).
Like most first-time parents, I knew enough about infant safety to keep the sharp objects away, and now that they are older, I still abide by the no-running-with-scissors rule (scissors are a whole other story — any unsupervised use of scissors around here results in toddler-made haircuts). But I’m letting my four-year-old use a paring knife on a regular basis these days — always with me overseeing her, of course. And it’s great—she helps me prep and cook dinner almost every night. She’s a girl who loves her knife.
Two years ago, when she first started preschool you can imagine my surprise when, on her very first day, I walked into the classroom with her and there were a bunch of toddlers wielding butter knives. (Okay, not nearly as bad as it sounds. In reality they were three of them sitting at a table, very competently cutting soft, boiled potatoes on cafeteria trays, all under the close watch of a teacher.) But still, it shocked me that this activity was deemed appropriate for people I still don’t trust to even carry a glass of water around.
As much as I stared at the scene in disbelief and horror, my daughter, who’d spent her short life on this earth dying to get a hold of one of these shiny, metallic magical cutting wands greeted it like Christmas Day. She sat down, had a few seconds of instruction on how to properly hold the knife and where to place her fingers, and happily began gutting a perfectly innocent potato.
Ever since then, she’s been happily cutting up soft veggies (steamed or cooked) and fruits (melons, berries, kiwi) along with pastas, breads, and her personal favorite—butter. But she wanted to do more, and when I saw her come at a piece of raw broccoli with her dull knife, I realized it would be safer for her to use a sharp blade. So I started letting her use my smallest size paring knife—always with me right beside her. Now she can cut raw veggies —carrots, celery, cauliflower—and hard fruits. I’m still somewhat freaked out when I hand a sharp knife over to my four-and-a-half year old but as long as she follows the rules my fear is outweighed by the joy of seeing the pride she takes in her work. And being entrusted with something she knows is dangerous boosts her confidence. Plus, it’s nice to have my own prep cook too. (Although she refuses to do onions.)
Our House Rules for Playing with Knives
1. Never play with a knife. They are tools used for cutting food only.
2. Always have a grown-up with you.
3. Hold the knife properly (we do it with one hand, pointer finger on top of the blade).
4. Protect your fingers. I teach them to curve in the fingers they are holding the food with so as not to lob off the edge of a digit. This is the area that makes me the most nervous so I sometimes hold the food for my daughter, or just make sure my veggies are super long so there’s a safe distance.
5. Never take the knife off the cutting board. (I’m trying to teach her to cut while keeping the tip of the blade on the board, chef-style, which is harder but gives her more control.) When not cutting something, always put the knife down on the cutting board.
6. Keep your attention on the knife at all times. Distraction is a real danger when holding a sharp object — say your baby sister comes running in the kitchen with her underwear on her head. You can’t look up until you put the knife down in a safe spot.
I’m not a professional cook or certified childcare provider, so if you really want to school your kids on knife safety, there are lots of good video tutorials and other tips online.
But knives have taught me two things about parenting: first, kids love to do real work (it’s “play” for them) and two, taking the time to teach them to use an instrument properly and with respect saves time in the end.
So, are you excited or annoyed by the holiday season? It’s a hectic time for most of us, and wouldn’t it be amazing if a genie just popped up and granted us each a wish to make our lives easier this month? Now, if one did, tell us:
What would you wish for this holiday season?
Bring snow to Los Angeles? Have someone magically do all the food shopping? Make sure your cat doesn’t destroy any holiday decorations? Wash your dishes after Christmas dinner? Pay for your travel home? To make Santa real?
While we can’t grant all your wishes, for this week’s giveaway, we can help you with a little shopping . . . we’re offering a $50 gift cart to one (1) lucky fan in our random draw! To enter, just post your holiday wish in the comments below. Enter as many wishes as you like by our deadline, Tuesday, December 16, 2014, at 12 pm PT. Good luck!
And just for entering, here’s an early holiday treat: FREE download of “Holiday” from Lullaby Renditions of Madonna.