Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

Who or what inspired your name?

Thanks to everyone who entered our recent Story Behind Your Name contest. We enjoyed learning the stories about how many of you got your name. They ranged from being inspired by family heroes or historical figures to just being something “pretty.”



And there was one story we just had to share, because, you’ll want to add these two names to your list if you’re expecting . . . they’re as musical as they come:

From RB fan Randy:

Our son’s name is Halen, as in Eddie Van . . . the name came to us at a Van Halen concert in 2007 . . . my wife and I were there with a friend, a huge Bob Dylan fan, who recently found out that they were having a boy . . .

We were teasing him that their baby’s name would be Dylan . . . that got us talking about cool rock-and-roll baby names. . . as a joke, someone said “Halen” . . . it actually sounded awesome, so that was the name we chose when our son was born 3 yrs later.

We are now expecting a little girl in September, and her name will be Hannah, after Kathleen Hanna from Bikini Kill.

Congrats to your family, Randy! And to your future rockers. Need more name inspiration? Perhaps you’ll find the perfect name in our catalog.


Most of the time, my kid is pretty darn sweet . . . but as she’s gotten older (she’s a whopping 2!), I’ve got to admit that some things she says to me can sting, even though I don’t think she really knows what she’s saying. Or does she?

Case in point, a midnight conversation we had recently when she should’ve been sleeping, and I was trying to meet an article deadline.


I don’t know what annoyed me more, that she wanted to be a princess, or that she wanted me to be the Hulk?



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A couple weeks ago we asked you how you felt about these signs. And people had a lot to say about it.



You voted and we listened.


So our bear went to work!

Do you like what he did or would you have done something else?


Tell us below!


My two-year-old is a screamer: She screams when she’s happy, mad, annoyed, excited — heck, she even screams when she’s indifferent. And it’s not your usual pint-sized shriek; hers is a full-throat, blood-curling, headache-inducing howl. And I’m so over it. I think I’ve got low-level PTSD from her acoustic sucker punches.

She’s little and her verbal skills are still developing, so I get that she needs a way to express her opinions — and for the most part, her loud vocalizations are better than the physical beatings she used to belt out.

The lesson about the difference between an “inside voice” versus an “outside voice” is on repeat in our house, so far without much effect (maybe I need to explain it louder?).

But here’s what I’ve realized trying to turn the volume down on my kid: It’s a noisy world out there with all the people gabbing into phones, the ridiculously loud restaurants, the constant pings and zings of text messages, the Muzak pumped into public places . . . I could go on but I already sound like a grumpy grandpa.

Suddenly, my two-year-old singing “Meow Meow Meow” (her punk-rock ode to kitty cats) at the top of her lungs isn’t nearly as troublesome as the two bros at the café table next to me discussing their conquests the prior night.

We all need to use our inside voices a little bit more. Unless you’re on stage, in which case, belt out your meows as loud as you can. Without the band, the Screamers, after all, there would be no Dead Kennedys or Bad Brains.

I wonder how Tomata du Plenty’s mom put up with it.


For “inside voice” tunes that take down the volume, you know where to go, right?


I’ve been seeing some interesting signage as of late relating to children. Some are quite clever and amusing while others get under my skin, like the ones below. Am I overreacting? It’s actually at a local bird store I used to frequent pre-motherhood.


What’s your initial reaction to them? Did one or both of these signs make you instantly laugh, or did they make you feel like “Breaking the Law” by doing one of several things to them. (By the way, I love birds so I totally get they’re fragile.)

Share your thoughts in the comments below! And cast your vote in today’s poll below to determine what our bear should do to the signs.

We’ll share what our bear’s friends (that would be you fans) decide in a future post.


Rockabye Baby’s Good Baby, Bad Baby is available now! Get your copy now!


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I saw Johnny’s dad naked…sort of.

Ahhh, the swimming pool, an innocent enough pastime, a Sunday afternoon spent frolicking with your kids in the friendly splatter of the community pool, a wonderland of waterslides, hot tubs, floaties, artificial currents and…nearly naked bodies!

Something happens to parents when they arrive at the community pool. It’s the opposite of whatever happens to women when they go to the hot tub with their girlfriends on a ski weekend: “I’m so fat.” “No, you’re not, I am.” “It’s just this muffin top.” “For me, it’s my thighs.” “They don’t rub together like mine!” “Lulu Lemon called, they want their pants back.” “Whatever, I’m the one with the saggy boobs…” And on and on they drone, hating every square inch of their skin like it’s a fungus.

Not so at the community pool. All that self-conscious, body-loathing, inner/outer speak evaporates from the cells of their subcutaneous like chlorine from a 140-degree hot tub. It happens somewhere between the pool deck and the family/group/unisex (throw in old people)/special change rooms — where parents act like they’re in the comfort/privacy of their rumpus room.

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“Johnny, socks off, the floor’s wet,” screams the mom stripped down to her string bikini, ass up, stuffing jackets into a locker, muffin top firmly atop. “Suzie, underwear off before you put your swimsuit on!” barks the dad with man boobs as he bogarts a change room from a five-year-old looking to pee in a shower.

Formerly respectable, overly body-conscious folk suddenly become titans of the community aquatic experience, and they could care less whose brand-new leather boots they just kicked to the drain, or that their kids dismounted the shower head in the change room and are spraying it all over the “dry” bench while their Captain America doll whirls about the swimsuit spinner battling evil water droplets. It’s a bloody free-for-all. The only thing worse than the change room experience is the pool itself — like we all volunteered to be ringside for a typhoon and are actually enjoying it.

The capper on this wet, miserable experience is the awkward sightings. You know what I’m talking about. There you are in your elastically challenged bikini, all those much-loathed body parts you left in the roundabout now front and center, like you actually became a giant thigh, there’s nothing else to you, just thigh and fat, and more fat. And in front of you is that hipster dad who you saw once or twice at school drop-off, sorta looks like Adam Levine and (not that it matters because you’re happily married) he’s damn cute and you’re definitely not because you’re naked and wet.

But wait, just wait, he’s no prince himself. Who knew he had a fur jacket? And what’s with those toes, are they webbed? He could work out a little more. Jeez, amazing what clothes hide. And it happened, that jolt from fleeting insecurity back to smug, as you head to the change room, giggling that you just saw Johnny’s dad (sorta) naked, and he’s not as cute as you and the rest of the moms thought he was. In fact, someone get that boy to the gym. Your thighs are suddenly glamour gams and, for all you care, your body is a ringer for Cameron Diaz.


What’s my point? Why do parents lose all inhibition at the community pool and fall right back to our “chimpanic” roots (made that word up), picking fleas off our kids in the hot tub, strutting near-naked, scratching our privates… What is going on?

Whatever it is, there’s something healthy about literally/figuratively stripping away all protection and throwing in the towel (pun intended) amidst the chaos of the community pool. Maybe we should have our PTA (or PAC) meetings there, our Christmas concerts and bake sales. Bring on the skin, it will be the only time I see Johnny’s dad naked!

Read more of Shannon’s posts HERE.

And because no song seemed more fitting to go with this post, we’re treating you to a FREE download of “Show Us What You Got” from Lullaby Renditions of Jay Z. Yeah, we know you want to sing along, too.

We shared our good daddy stories on Tuesday, and today we’re going to continue sharing more dad stories on the blog . . .  but with a little twist.

There are bad dads, but who wants one of those, right? So today we’re all about badass dads!

Now, before we begin, we have to first establish that dads can be badasses in different ways. For instance, how Action Movie Kid’s dad turns his son’s everyday activities into exciting adventures is totally badass:

And some dads are badass in their willingness to compromise their interests to appease the interests of their kids:


And here are a few of our own Badass Dad stories:

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My dad is still badass on a daily basis, but when we were kids he used his casino industry experience for all manner of real-life applications. When I was having trouble with the concept of probability in math class, Dad tutored me by teaching me how to play Blackjack. As an added bonus I also learned how to shuffle cards at a young age, and our Christmas tree was regularly adorned with voided red casino dice instead of popcorn on string. I think that’s pretty badass.” – Chrissy P.

My Dad, while an Ensign in the US Coast Guard and on a weather mission (?) in the Central Pacific during the Korean War, organized a fishing contest at sea. One of the contestants caught a large tiger shark and brought it up alongside the thin hull of the USS Finch, a reconditioned WWII destroyer escort (small, cheap). Due to the danger of bringing a live and very pissed-off shark onto the deck, my Dad, coolly unsnapping his holster and removing a service-issue .45, dispatched the hapless creature.

His reward for this decisive act was reception of an admonition from the captain for risking the sinking of his boat by putting a hole through the aforementioned thin hull with the slug my Dad fired. Luckily, he missed the ship (he hit the shark).” - John Miller




My dad is a badass for a lot of reasons: he fought in Vietnam, he’s been a professional actor his whole life, and he’s put up with me for 30 years. But one of the most badass things about him (and that he has been doing my whole life) is that he rides a motorcycle. And not just around town; he goes on epic road trips, always with my step-mom holding on tight behind him.  Even before I knew motorcycles were cool in general I thought my dad was the coolest, because no other dads at my elementary school had a motorcycle. My mom typically picked me up from school, but occasionally, my Dad would pick me up on his bike…and I felt like THE most badass (even though I wasn’t allowed to say that word) kid that had ever existed. I even had my own little helmet. And, of course, my Dad was always covered from head-to-toe, because riding safely is how you be truly badass.” – Rockabye Grrl 



The Karaoke King Versus The Martini Kings

Why My Dad is the Baddest of Badasses by First-Time Mommy

  • Survived raising three daughters
  • Survived the L.A. riots
  • Survived two major brain injuries
  • Survived being held up at gunpoint, twice
  • And . . . in times of crisis, I’ve seen him rise to the occasion and lead, time and time again
  • Plus, he married my mom, which means he can take on anything!


Now it’s your turn! Share why you think the dads in your life are badasses in the comments below!


Good Baby, Bad Baby arrives June 24, 2014!
Listen to snippets here!

With Father’s Day coming up this weekend, we thought it would be fun to ask the staff here at Rockabye Baby to share some of their favorite photos or memories of their dads.  And by golly, we got quite a few cute stories and photos.

Read on below!


“Here’s my dad and I on my uncle’s wedding day. He was the best man and I was the flower girl. While I walked down the aisle, I placed the petals down one by one, only putting them down near the people that I ‘liked.’ He gave me a dollar for doing a good job right after this photo was taken.” Ms. Rockabye


“I have so many great memories of my Dad from my childhood, because he was always trying to entertain me and make me laugh. He’s an actor, so there was never a shortage of imagination in my house. One of my favorite memories is a Christmas morning tradition we actually still keep up to this day. Every Christmas morning since I can remember, after all the presents had been opened, the French Chef would come to visit. My Dad would transform into this over-the-top French character and make us all French Toast. Even as an adult, when I would visit from Chicago, I would ask my Dad if the French Chef was coming. This Christmas tradition is so important to me that when I went to Texas last year for Christmas, and was away from my Dad on Christmas morning for the first time, my fiance’s mom made us all French Toast to keep the tradition alive.” Rockabye Grrl


“My bear, as I call my dad, is adventurous, hardworking and the most knowledgeable person I know. He came to the US at 16 and learned English in just 6 months because, other than his family members, nobody in his neighborhood spoke Spanish. I was taught how to read at age 4 thanks to his patience. Lastly, he’s also a jack of all trades and kind of a MacGyver type —creating things with what he has on hand, like that spaceship costume he made for my kindergarten Halloween party. Love my bear!” — Debbie


“My dad died suddenly when I was 22. I miss him. This is my favorite picture (one of the few) that I have of him, and one of my very fondest memories is when he played the ‘monster’ game. Occasionally, before bedtime, my dad would round us up in the living room (me, my 2 sisters, and my brother) and get down on all fours (he was a big guy….6’5”). He would signal my mom, who was on standby, to turn off all the lights.

“As soon as it went dark we kids would do a mad scramble and my dad would crawl around and try to find us while making these crazy monster noises. Of course, it wasn’t hard for him to do so as all he had to do was follow our giggles. In retrospect, this was maybe not the safest game (plenty of bumps and bruises to be had in the dark), but it was definitely a memorable one that has provided me with memories I will cherish for a lifetime. Wouldn’t have been possible without my good/bad ass dad!” — Toni


“Good daddy . . . that would be my husband! (No offense, Dad.) I’ve known so many people who have had barely present fathers or none at all growing up. (Granted, some of them were better off that way . . .) I’m so happy to know that my husband, no matter what, will always be in our daughter’s life the way he is in this photo: always looking out for her, always willing to hold her hand when she needs him — and probably always wearing a pair of Converse. Thanks, Papa.” First-Time Mommy


Hurry and shop our Father’s Day Specials!


Thanks to everyone who entered our Sh*t My Mother Says Giveaway last month. There were some hilarious quotes that we’ve shared, and a couple unfortunate slip-ups like one mom not knowing the meaning of LOL. Check out all the responses HERE. We did, however, discover some great life tips from your moms. And here’s one submitted by Betsy Shapp we had to share.

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Here’s some advice worth taking! Don’t miss out on our Father’s Day Sale and Father Four-Pack Giveaway this week.




As you all know, our bear is quite the traveler. He’s made his way to Spain, New York and recently made his way to the Bay Area over Memorial Day Weekend.


Buena Vista Park, San Francisco

Where do you think he’ll pop up next? Or did our Rockabye Baby Bear travel with you on a recent vacation?

Share your vacation photos with us on Facebook or Twitter and he may pop up in your photo next!


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