Eminem may not seem like the most likely mentor for a kid . . . or for anyone for that matter. But to be fair, you’d be surprised what the guy has to teach when you peel away some of the more “R-rated” bits of his music and just focus on the message he has to share.

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Here’s one of the biggest things we’ve learned from Eminem over the years . . .

Be true to yourself. There’s not one bit of Eminem that isn’t 100% him. He is who he is, imperfections and all, saying what he means no matter the amount of flak he may get from his critics or fans. Plenty of us could benefit from adopting his brazen attitude towards being your true uncensored self.

Working with others is a good thing. In Eminem’s case, a very good thing. Where would he be if not for Dr. Dre? And let’s not forget his collaborations with P!nk, Rihanna, Jay Z, Sia and Dido, to name just a few. Now that’s a diverse mix of people!

Dream. Or in his words, “Dare to Dream.” And here’s more words of wisdom from the rapper: “If people take anything from my music, it should be motivation to know that anything is possible as long as you keep working at it and don’t back down.

What have you learned from Eminem over the years? Share below!

Oh and did we mention: Lullaby Renditions of Eminem is out now!

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Grab your copy today! And here are some lullaby renditions of his friends, too!

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While most people live for the daytime, the sunlight, the start of a new day, I long for the end of it.

I’m a night owl who can’t make sense of the world until the hours of 1 a.m. to 5 a.m., when most people are in bed, lights are turned off and there’s a stillness that I just love. So I was thrilled when a couple weeks ago the most exciting thing happened in my neighborhood in the early evening: a blackout. For me, it was a return to the simple life, something that we’re missing a lot of these days in the Internet and smartphone age, and especially in a place like Los Angeles, where a blackout turns life upside down . . . but you can suddenly see the stars.

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My husband, my 2-year-old daughter and I were actually at dinner down the street when three transformers overloaded on one of the main streets and blew up just blocks from where we were dining, and most of the surrounding blocks suddenly fell into darkness. The sound was akin to bombs going off, but it was likely just too many people in the area using electricity (it’s been a record year in L.A., apparently, as we try to keep cool during an unending heat wave). My very smart husband called our home phone to check if our plugged-in answering machine (we’re old school like that) would pick up and it didn’t. But it wasn’t until we walked up the hill to see our whole neighborhood, all the way up to the Griffith Observatory, was lights out for blocks and blocks in all directions that it was confirmed our power was out. I was elated: 7 p.m. suddenly turned into 1 a.m.

I was instantly transported back to one of my favorite moments, some 15 or so years ago when my sister Tricia, her friend Kirsty and my friend Pam were staying at my parents’ house during a terrible storm when there was a blackout that lasted all night. Rather than trying to take on the rain and venture elsewhere to live as we normally would (with electricity), we stayed in and enjoyed the most precious, most important things in life—each other and ice cream. We lit candles, found some puzzles, got tubs of ice cream (that we weren’t about to let go to waste) and just talked and talked about everything. I’ll never forget that evening.

Fast forward to our 2014 blackout, I was looking forward to having as special a night with my little family. First things first, we had to stay completely calm from the moment the transformers blew up so as not to freak out our daughter or we’d have a very long night; it was her first blackout.

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Listen to our lullaby rendition of “Fade to Black

When we arrived to our pitch-black home, we first made sure the animals were okay. (It’s hard to find a black cat and black dog in the dark, by the way.) I lit some candles and placed them, of course, out of reach of little D, not just to prevent her from burning herself or the house down, but also because toddlers think every candle in the world is a birthday candle that needs to be blown out.

Since it was pretty humid in the house, we hung out on our backyard deck, got two soon not-to-be-frozen fruit popsicles and what was left of a small pint of strawberry Häagen Dazs ice cream from the freezer, pulled out D’s paints and just did art by candlelight while we sang her favorite songs as she danced around. All we were focused on was each other, and the melting ice cream and fruit pops. It was awesome. This made sense.

Then, unfortunately, the power came back on just an hour later: the TV, the cable box, the Wi-Fi, the A/C, the fridge and the lights in our house and all directions—life as we normally knew it. Thanks a lot, DWP, for the prompt service. I would’ve been happy to save the money on my power bill to have the blackout last a few more hours and savor those “each other” moments in the dark. They aren’t scary . . . they’re sacred.

Here are creative ways to light up your life this Halloween: our Rockabye Baby pumpkin stencils!

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categories: Stuff We Like

When I was young, I was a huge Wonder Woman fan, as were most girls who grew up watching the Superfriends or Wonder Woman, played so glamorously by Lynda Carter, who never seemed to lose her cool, even in the most harrowing life-and-death situations. I wore her Underoos, her costume for Halloween and, much later in life, got myself a pair of shiny, knee-length, red boots (sans heels) to conquer each day with. You haven’t truly lived until you’ve walked the world in red boots.

As a kid, I thought, who wouldn’t want to be Wonder Woman, the woman who saves the day, taking on bad guys and girls alike?

Actually, in terms of superheroes, there weren’t a lot of popular female crime fighters to choose from except Supergirl (boring) and Batgirl, who my daughter has chosen to be for Halloween over my favorite Amazon, a move I very much approve of. Librarian by day, crime fighter at night—now that’s cool. Much cooler than princesses, I think. (Sorry, Disney. Oh, wait, you own Marvel now too. Smart move.)

These days, superheroes abound in pop culture, but it’s still those classic characters I see the boys at my daughter’s preschool dressed up as in full costume throughout the year — Captain America, Spider-Man, Batman, Superman — wandering in a sea of mostly Elsas and Annas. My initial reaction to the weekly parade of superheroes at her school was amusement. C’mon, it’s hilarious starting your day off walking by a pint-sized Spider-Man and Batman. And, you see, when my daughter first started preschool there, she didn’t know anyone, but she knew those superheroes. They were familiar even if no one else was, and that kind of made things okay. I really like that her school allows that kind of play and dress up. I don’t see it as a big deal, but that’s not the case elsewhere.

I’ve heard of preschools banning superhero play because it was getting too rough. One father I met recently told me that his kid’s preschool didn’t allow them to dress up as superheroes because they didn’t set good examples for conflict resolution. And my husband heard that childcare administrators at a local YMCA didn’t allow superheroes because they wanted to emphasize that everyone was special.

There are, of course, arguments and research saying healthy superhero play is important. Kids, girls included, get to explore fantasy scenarios and different personalities, can learn the concepts of goodness and fairness, gain confidence and may be inspired to do heroic acts, among other positives aspects of such play.

I’ve seen this kind of play opening up whole new worlds to my daughter so far. Yes, perhaps she’s getting a little too daring with her stunts, so we’ll have to work on that. But Captain America and his friends have even helped me with bath time. She’s much more will willing to bathe if it means the superheroes (and Elsa and Anna) are getting washed too.

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And, honestly, teaching her these different characters’ lives through old and new TV shows, comic books and our own home superhero play (for some reason, my daughter always makes me the Hulk) has also inspired me to be more superhero-like, minus the violence. Reading the news most days is so upsetting I’m wishing for superheroes to come in and save us from all this madness.

I’ve now stopped wishing and have started working toward that safer world that Wonder Woman — but really my parents — gave me March26_DavidBowie_AlbumArtgrowing up. Because I really want my daughter to see the potential in everyone – including herself and her parents – to be heroes.

And for me, it starts with fighting crime right here where we live, which is what I set out to do recently with some friends, just by contacting our local councilman’s office to discuss recent attacks on women in our neighborhood parks. And guess what just a few simple emails from concerned ladies turned into? A community forum with the local police department and park rangers happening this week. Getting that to happen felt really, really good; one step toward taking down the bad guys, and I didn’t even need to wear a cape — or a skimpy outfit. I can’t wait to see what happens next. Won’t you join me?

And there’s no better song to start us on our quest than the lullaby rendition of one of my favorite songs from David Bowie. You know the one.

Listen To Lullaby Renditions of David Bowie – “Heroes”

Don’t forget about our Wicked Halloween Sale!

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Not everyone likes to admit it but . . . we’re almost ALL afraid of something.

Ghosts? Heights? Clowns? Ruining your credit? Scary comes in many forms, doesn’t it? To make you feel better about your fears, the Rockabye Baby team is here to share our own! Plus, we’re treating you to the kind of hysteria that will actually calm your nerves: a free download of “Hysteria” from Lullaby Renditions of Def Leppard.

What REALLY Scares You?

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In last night’s bad dream it was the mafia. Any mafia. I often have bad dreams of them coming after me or my family, which is really absurd (I hope), as I don’t know what I’d possibly do to get mixed up in any organized crime syndicate.

Still, it’s been a recurring dream since I was young, probably from watching too many mafia-related films. But they’re so good! But scary. Note to self: Don’t let daughter watch Once Upon a Time in America, Untouchables, Godfather I–III, Goodfellas, ever. Or have any of her boyfriends make her watch them like Mama’s did. —First-Time Mommy

 

I am absolutely petrified of sharks. I respect them and I am even fascinated by them when I work up the courage to look at them for more than an eighth of a second, but they scare the hell out of me.  I’m pretty sure my fear was sparked during the sunken ship scene in The Little Mermaid when Ariel and Flounder are being chased by that gigantic, toothy shark. All I know is that I want to pee my pants when I see one.  —   Ms. Rockabye

 

What I’m most terrified of are catastrophic natural disasters, which is a little unfortunate given that I’ve chosen to live in Los Angeles, a place where fires, earthquakes, mudslides and severe droughts are more likely than not.Chrissy, lead web designer

 

I have an irrational fear of spiders mainly because I saw the movie Arachnophobia when I was way too young. For about a year after seeing that movie I had to check underneath the toilet for spiders every time before I went. To this day I still can’t stand the damn things. — Bill, sales rep

 

When I was little, I was completely terrified of ghosts. For me, they were real, they were everywhere, and they were never friendly. It would paralyze me at night (which is naturally when ghosts come out, right?). I think it stemmed from being so afraid of the dark because I didn’t know (or want to know) what scary things lived in the dark. This was the only true downside to having such a wild and vivid imagination I suppose.

Now my greatest fear is boring: I’m afraid of flying. I wish that I wasn’t because I love to travel more than anything. I think for me the fear comes from not being in control of anything. Once that plane takes off, I am in that pilot’s hands. At least I can have a Bloody Mary though.Rockabye Grrl

What are you afraid of? Share below and you just might get a treat!

We’re all about giving out Halloween candy, but this year we’ve got an extra special treat for you! You’re familiar with our rolling discount, right? For those who aren’t, here’s how it works:

Just bundle the Rockabye products you want and see your savings grow!
With a $35 purchase, you get a 10% discount
With a $50 purchase, receive up to a 15% discount and free priority shipping

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See: Wicked savings! 

The more you bundle, the more you save, especially this Halloween season!

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This is where the treat comes in: We’re kickin’ up the discount!

For a limited time for Halloween, from October 22– November 3

With a $35 purchase, you get a 15% discount
With a $50 purchase, receive up to a 20% discount

And the savings continue the more you bundle!

Now go on and treat yourself!

And here are some cute Halloween printables as an added treat!

What’s worth “hanging back” for?

I was recently invited to attend a swanky event (so fancy, it was called a luncheon) at a Beverly Hills hotel, which promised to give awards to significant women in the city. Alas, I was not to be one of honorees, but I did receive a genuine invite, which I RSVPed to and soon received a bubbly confirmation from the publicist.

So I sweet-talked a friend into watching my little one, put on uncomfortable clothes and high heels, and drove across town in 100-degree heat. Valet was complimentary, and I felt pleased to be in the company of actual adult women as I entered the arrival queue at the check-in desk. (I work at home and have two young kids; dalliances outside in the adult world are always exciting.)

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When I gave my name to the young attendant, she typed it into her iPad. “Oh,” she said, a note of concern in her voice. Then she looked up and said with a smile, “Would you mind just hanging back for a few minutes?”

“Excuse me?” I stepped back, thinking that maybe she needed more personal space or that perhaps she was about to move the table.

“Just hang back.” She replied cheerfully, like that was an instruction that makes sense.

“I’m sorry. I don’t understand.”

“We need to get some other people in first.”

“I got an invite. I RSVPed.” (I wasn’t defensive, just confused.)

“I know. If you could just come back in 20 minutes we’ll know then if we can accommodate you.”

It took me a moment to get it—I was on the B list. Or maybe even the C list. A crush of well-heeled women was behind me. I left the line, trying to retain some dignity as I fixed my Spanx, which thanks to the heat were creeping up in a most unpleasant manner. It can be cool to get kicked out of a party, but it is never cool to not be let into one.

I walked back into the lobby, where my confusion shifted from shame to getting pissed. Maybe I’m naïve, but when I’m invited to something, I assume that means I’m actually invited to it. Suddenly, the venue seemed intolerably cheesy and reeked of bad perfume. I’d come to celebrate the achievements of kick-ass women while kicking back a few glasses of mid-range Chardonnay. But no matter how good the gift bag might be, there was no getting over the breach in etiquette.

I took the woman’s advice, and I held back. I held way, way back and immediately left. Some cold-salmon-serving luncheon is not worth waiting for—which begs the question:

What is worth acknowledging your low-level status and hanging out anyway to see if the velvet ropes eventually part?

Because if I’m going to be a hanger-on, it’s going to be for more than lunch. So here’s my top list of events I’d “hang back” and wait for (hours, days even):

What would you hang back for?

Check out more of Andrea’s posts HERE and lullaby renditions of some of her favorite bands worth hanging back for.

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Don’t forget to enter our Giveaway!

Some of us here at Rockabye Baby come from places that have eerie, strange pasts . . . tales of devils, witches and ghosts haunting our hometowns. A few brave souls were gutsy enough to share the ghost stories and urban legends from where we’re from, including me. Read on if you dare . . .

 

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The Jersey Devil

My hometown ghost story is an easy one that's fairly well known. I grew up in New Jersey, where for close to 300 years, New Jerseyans have passed down the story of the Jersey Devil (or Leeds Devil), a mythical beast that stalks the Pine Barrens. Legend has it that when "Mother Leeds," so named for her many children and her residence at Leeds Point, learned she was pregnant with her 13th child, she threw her hands up to the heavens in exasperation and exclaimed, "Let this one be a devil!"

And so he was.

The story is especially known by my family, since my grandfather worked at a restaurant for decades at the tip of Leeds Point. Each time we'd drive to eat dinner there, if we'd been acting up in the car on the way as kids, my dad would always threaten to take us to the Jersey Devil, and pretend he was veering towards Mother Leeds's old house. It never failed to get us to behave.

Chrissy, lead web designer

The Blair Witch House

When I was in high school I played football. After my junior season was over we had a get together at the coach’s house, which wasn’t far from where the Blair Witch house was located. Being that it was late, a bunch of us decided to head over there to check it out. One of the other coaches came with us to make sure we stayed out of trouble. As about 10 to 15 of us headed inside, the coach secretly slipped away and snuck in the back entrance of the house.

As soon as there were way too many of us inside the pitch black house the coach yelled, “GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!!!”

The result ended up being a whole team of rough ’n’ tough football players screaming like children while running into the forest — myself included.

—Bill, sales rep

Annie Mary Twente

I grew up in a rural town in southern Minnesota. Living there, it was a rite of passage for local teens to venture out onto the gravel roads south of town to find an old, “haunted” gravesite for the purpose of having the living sh*t scared out of themselves. The gravesite belonged to little Annie Mary Twente.

Annie Mary fell ill with “lung fever” (old slang for pneumonia) in the fall of 1886. Before Annie Mary was put to rest, she slipped into a coma, leading her family to believe that she had died. The Twentes, restless in their grief, were convinced someone had stolen their girl from her grave. The father persuaded a few of his neighbors to help him dig up his daughter. The poor child was found on her side in the coffin, her eyes wide open in terror, strands of her hair clasped in her fists, and scratch marks on the lid of the coffin. She had been buried alive. It’s believed that her spirit haunts the grounds.

Like I said, almost every generation went out to see what went on near the grave. My grandparents did it, my parents did it, and, of course, so did I. One freezing cold night in October my junior year of high school, five of us piled into my best friend Amanda’s white Oldsmobile, aka “The Beast.” We headed out (another friend driving because Amanda was too scared), weaving south down the gravel roads that led there, all of us nervous with excitement (and petrified (though we didn’t want to show it)).

Almost as soon as we arrived the headlights flickered on and off. We screamed bloody murder, but then my friend driving started cackling so we knew it was just her pulling one on us. So we dared her to roll closer to the grave. We parked. Shut the engine off, sat in the dark and heard nothing. Nothing for a looooong time. Then suddenly, there was something on the roof, scratching. It got louder and louder. We all screamed, fired up the engine and kicked it into reverse to get the hell out of there.

Apparently, two nights before we headed to where Annie Mary was buried, someone had tried to break in. Guess she wasn’t too keen on visitors after that.

            —Ms. Rockabye

Have a good ghost story? Post them below. Feeling spooked? These Halloween pics of the Rockabye Baby team will fix that!

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Don’t forget to enter our Giveaway!

What lends more to a scary scene in film than music? Some of the most bizarre, frightful sounds in cinema (specifically sci-fi and horror) can be attributed directly to a number of spooky instruments. From the peculiar Beam Blaster to the theatrical Ondes Martenot — the list of freaky noisemakers goes on and on. Two of our favorite, fearsome instruments are the Waterphone and the Theremin.

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Waterphones

They even look a little scary, right?

  The Waterphone (also known as the oceanharp) produces haunting, ethereal sounds with its varied spokes and metal base (the spokes remind us a bit of frightening playground pangs and chimes and the base of the melodies of whale tones); basically perfect for eerie, goose bump–inducing additions to movie score, right? The underwater warble of the Waterphone has created the mood for movies such as Poltergeist, The Matrix and Star Trek, and TV shows such as The X Files, as you can hear below.

 

The instrument may actually have an “aquatic” name for more than one reason, too. In addition to being named after its inventor, Richard Waters, the handle of the contraption is filled with water, affecting the tones created.

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The otherworldly wail of the Theremin became an almost ubiquitous, signature sound for sci-fi TV shows and films by the mid 1940s, including The Lost Weekend and Spellbound. ’90s films Ed Wood and Batman Forever also received the Theremin touch, the unnerving moan that makes your skin crawl.

One of the Theremin’s most interesting characteristics (that itself seems a bit supernatural) is that it’s played literally by waving your arms around. One or two metal antennas are mounted on the instrument and the musician’s hands control the pitch and volume of the produced sound without actually touching the instrument. And it’s not just movies where you can hear the Theremin! Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page famously brought a Theremin out on tour to extend the instrumental solos of tunes like “Whole Lotta Love” and “No Quarter.”

But if you want to be spooked, try this fan’s Theremin track set to the opening of 1955’s Dementure:

 

Scared out of your wits just thinking about the ghostly sounds of the Theremin and the Waterphone? Don’t worry, we’ve got a little something that’ll calm you right down . . .

Don’t forget to enter our Giveaway!

categories: Music, Stuff We Like

Is there anything more creative than a child’s imagination? Case in point: this amusing yarn written by our own art director, Hannah, when she was a kid.

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Thursday December 7th
The sea faring captain
This man is call-
ed  captain long
faced he doesn’t
work any more
becaus he had
a wooden leg. E-
very day he goes to the pub to have
a booz and he
goes to find a
girl friend. and
he gets sent out.

 

Note the “pub” mention. She’s originally from England! The inspiration for her wooden leg–wearing former captain protagonist who is looking for the ladies . . . not even Hannah knows where that came from: “I can’t even imagine what was going on in my 7- or 8-year-old brain!”

What stories did you write as a child?

Now it’s time to share your childhood stories (or secrets, even better!) with us to enter our giveaway. Post yours (or one from the child in your life) below and/or feel free to share a link to a photo from your collection in the comments below, or post it to our Facebook page or Tweet it to us by Tuesday, Oct. 21st, at 12 pm PST, to be entered in our random giveaway for one (1) CD of your choice from our 2014 releases: P!nk, The Clash, David Bowie, Good Baby Bad Baby, Maroon 5, Bruce Springsteen, and Eminem. Three (3) winners will be selected! For bonus entries, tweet, share and pin from this post!

Read official contest rules here. 

F-A-T. . .

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Boy, did we ever stir it up with last month’s post about whether or not it was okay for the word “fat” to be included in a preschool lesson. (See all the blog comments and Facebook discussion.) Some said First-Time Mommy was right to be concerned, others said she was being overly sensitive and even censoring her kid.

Whatever your take on the matter, I think we can all agree that we live in a weight-obsessed culture, one where “fat” people get treated differently than thin ones. Kids—even ones as young as three- and four-year-olds—can already understand the pejorative connotations of this other F word. Even if they aren’t quite sure what “fat” means, they know it’s bad.

As someone who grew up close to someone with an eating disorder, I don’t want my daughters suffering the same fate. I watched a young woman waste away, riddled with self-hatred and a totally distorted view of her body that took years of therapy to heal. And I don’t want your sons or daughters or friends or anyone for that matter to have to go through that sh*t. But the message to be impossibly thin is all around them—and being fat, in our culture, means an association with being lazy or even evil.

Here’s a general rule I’ve learned the hard way to use around my kids: Don’t say anything around them you don’t want them to repeat. Because children are whip-smart, they hear everything, and are really good at whipping out the perfect word at the perfect moment for maximum parental embarrassment. And it’s not the curse words I’ve uttered that I’m ashamed of—it’s the time I asked my husband if a pair of jeans I had on made me look fat. My four-year-old was in the room and though I haven’t seen evidence of damage done (she hasn’t repeated the word in a degrading way), every time I think about it I wince. Because not only was it a total parental fail in promoting a healthy body image, it also contradicts everything I believe in, which is to treat people (including yourself!) respectfully. I used a word in a way that I definitely don’t want her to repeat.

Until we can stop putting a moral value on obesity and using the word “fat” to degrade and diminish people, I’m going to watch how the F word gets used in my house. That means first off censoring my own damn mouth—and then secondly, patrolling its use in books, movies, and magazines (just as I skip over the words “stupid,” “ugly,” and “hate” in stories, I’m skipping over “fat” unless it refers to cutting meat).

Words have power. As a parent, it’s my job to use them in a manner that empowers my kids and to teach them to love bodies of any shape and size. That means being careful—and sensitive—about the use of the F word. It’s not being oversensitive; it’s doing what we can to counter the way words are used to damage us.

Share your thoughts in the comments below! And enjoy today’s free download from Lullaby Renditions of P!nk and Good Baby, Bad Baby: “F**kin’ Perfect.”

For more from Andrea, click HERE.