Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

Drinking at home just hasn’t been the same since I became a dad.

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But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Cheers, fathers. My song pick for moments like this: Metallica’s “Welcome Home (Sanitarium).” Enjoy.

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Lullaby Renditions of Metallica

 

For more daddy moments, see posts below.

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Drive, Baby, Drive 

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How Rock Came Between Me and My Baby

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Signs Your Child Is Becoming Punk Rock

Whether you call it a harness or a leash, it’s a device that (hopefully) keeps your kid within reach, and they’ve been around longer than you think.

 Do you think it’s one of the best or worst ideas of all time?

 We’d love to hear your off and on the leash stories! Post your comments below, or chime in on Facebook.

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How Do You Feel About These Signs?

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 Don’t forget to enter our giveaway!

CLOSED! Congrats to our winner Leah Shumack

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Don’t you have those moments when you just wish you were a kid again?

Lying on the floor in public places . . .

Peeing in your pants . . .

Talking to yourself . . .

Screaming loudly just because you felt like it, anywhere, anytime . . .

Grown-ups just can’t do those things and have it considered normal behavior. What do you really miss? See what people at Rockabye Baby HQ had to say and to enter this week’s giveaway, tell us:

 

What do you think is the hardest part about being a grown-up?

Post your answer in the comments below by April 15 at 6 pm PT to be entered to win this grown-up bundle: one (1) Rockabye Baby! mug and one (1) Adult Organic Cotton T-shirt. One winner will be selected.

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I think the practicalities of being an adult can sometimes trump the wonder and endless imagination you have as a child, it’s a little bit of work to keep that front and center but worth the effort. —Hannah

The hardest part of being a grown-up is: I can’t eat Frosted Flakes, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with Fritos, Mallomars, Fluffernutters, Screaming Yellow Zonkers, Sara Lee brownies, frosted brown sugar Pop Tarts, and fried-chicken TV dinners and actually function. —Lisa

Yeah I’d have to say the hardest part of being an adult is trading carefree innocence for responsibility.  Things like slowing metabolism, paying taxes, filling multiple roles (spouse, employee, child, parent, sibling, friend, etc.) can really wear you down. —Chrissy

The hardest part about growing up, and I’m learning a lot especially lately, is that time marches on no matter how badly you’d like it to slow down — even just for a little bit. Savoring every good moment when I recognize it gets more and more important the older I get. Wanting everything to move faster or come quicker isn’t something I’m concerned about too much anymore. —Stacie

The hardest part about being an adult are the expectations, both the ones society places upon you and the ones you place upon yourself. When you’re a kid, you’re expected to screw up and make mistakes, because that’s how you learn, but you aren’t always afforded that when you’re a grown-up. And being a grownup woman, the expectations are even worse — we have to look young, but act mature; we have to have babies, but aren’t allowed to gain any weight; we have to be fiercely independent, but not too much or it’ll scare people. It’s exhausting! —Sarah

Are you a baby-talker?

There’s no shortage of articles weighing in on if baby talk is good or bad for babies—and what types. One article says a “sing-song voice” can be good, but avoid cutesy words. Another says “Speak Parantese, Not Baby Talk.” And “new findings” appear every year. It’s exhausting to keep up with.

But it’s difficult to resist reading these articles when they’re popping up on your social feeds or favorite news site each day. I unfortunately find myself clicking through them at the same rate I click on those horrifying news articles about tragedies involving babies/kids/etc. Why? Because . . . I’m human: I want to know if what I believe is good/bad for my kid is in sync or totally out of sync with what the rest of the world thinks.

If the latest research says goo-goo ga-ga and squishing my face up and talking nonsensically to my baby hurts her development do I automatically stop doing it?

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What I’ve certainly learned about going from the “all about me” stage to the “oh, sh*t, I am actually responsible for this little person” is that it can make you feel incredibly vulnerable, or so crazy obsessive about what’s right and wrong to do that it’s paralyzing. But, of course, you want to keep up on all the research and commentary to make sure you’re not screwing up your kid: from the way you talk to your baby to what kind of bed you place that little one in at night.

Other days, it’s just “give her whatever she wants so she stops crying.” So if high-pitched, gooey baby talk does the job, you do it. If saying the alphabet in a deep baritone voice makes you and your baby happy, you do it. Parenthood can’t always be about planning ahead, especially when you have a newborn. It’s often about what’s the best decision I can make for my kid today?

So here’s my take on baby talk that isn’t based on a University of Washington study or some science institute in Tokyo (both are fascinating, though!): Frankly, when our daughter was a baby, my husband and family just talked to her the way we talked to each other, like people who loved each other — and that was enough.

See more posts from First-Time Mommy below.

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Sound Garden

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Animal Talk

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Family Vacation Hangover

Sickness . . . it’s catchy, especially with kids. As I wrote in my earlier post, kids can be pretty dirty and gross

Is anyone else out there sick of hearing about sick kids? Because I am stuck singing the same old song—since the fall, my little lamp-post-lickers have been down with one virus or another. We are currently coming off 11 days of fever for the 4-year-old—a mystery virus that it turns out is pneumonia. And, after spending all day yesterday at the doctor’s office going over the slew of lab petridish-fbtests they gave her, we came home starving and started eating a humble dinner of whatever I could throw together fast. As is apt to happen, the 2-year-old hopped up in the middle of supper to announce she needed to use the restroom, because here at our house, it’s not a meal unless someone takes a #2 in the middle of it.

Anyhow, she does her thing and then calls for me to help, and what I find waiting for me was the stuff of a horror film; I’m not going to be too descriptive because it literally will make me sick. One word: pinworms.

So I have Little Ms. Pneumonia and Ms. Wormy Poop, and I haven’t worked for two weeks and aside from the real-world consequences of such—our bank account dwindling, unpaid bills, up-teen apologies to clients who are waiting on me—there are other, less concrete ways this ongoing sickness sucks. My kids are now addicted to TV, jonesing for it like junkies and having high-level hissy fits when I won’t let them watch it. Emotionally, my 4-year-old has been sick long enough that she seems to have forgotten life before, when she went to school, did her thing, and was a somewhat independent person. Now she has separation anxiety and cries when I go in the next room. As a result of all this forced time together while feeling crummy, I’m worn-out, resentful, and so ugly I can play the lead hag in Pinworms, the horror film.

But the truth of it all is that I’ve been a really angry person — yelling at insurance agents, throwing pillows, and generally acting out — because, yes, taking care of two sick kids is a pain. But as my father, the good armchair therapist taught me, I know this ferocious anger is only serving to mask my fear. Before we found out it was pneumonia yesterday, I’d taken my daughter to the doctor three times and each visit they couldn’t pinpoint anything actually wrong. She kept running high fevers, which don’t scare me (fever is a good sign of the body fighting something off) but her ongoing lethargy did. She was pale as onionskin, sleeping all the time and losing weight. When I’d find her each morning lying on the couch after just waking up from bed instead of playing with her sister or ravaging the kitchen for breakfast (her usual, healthy behaviors), it was as if someone threw an anchor at my chest, mooring me down to the bottom of the sea.

That sinking feeling of not being able to help your kid is horrible. All the crazy supplements, the bone broth soup, the raw onion I made her sleep with, the urban witch brews, nothing was working to make her better. And the doctors had nothing to say about it other than come back in, again.

If this experience has taught me anything, it’s just a small glimpse of what parents whose children are really sick go through—a tiny peep into a world that I am fortunate to know so little about. The cliché about taking health for granted is totally true, and for almost five years now, I’ve had incredible luck—sure, they catch all the normal bugs and annoying viruses that children do. Some are gross and some last longer than others. But they are ordinary, finite, and ultimately, make them stronger in the end.

Today, as I wash every article of clothing and bedding in the house, hoping to deworm it all, I do it with hot water, Tide, and immense gratitude. And I hand my daughter her icky antibiotic with joy, grateful that she has something so common, so easily curable, and that the means to heal her sick body is right here, in my hands. We are so freaking lucky. We are not shipwrecked at the bottom of the sea.

Read more of Andrea’s posts below.

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Once you have a kid you realize every random person you meet on the street has an idea about how you should raise your new baby. My husband’s favorite was people who would say, “That baby isn’t happy,” or “Your baby is crying,” when our daughter was crying. “Really?” he’d ask stone-faced and then work hard to squash his desire to punch the interloper in the face.

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You also realize how much bad parenting advice there is out there: Have you tried local honey? A woman at the farmer’s market asked me in regards to my infant’s cough. Honey, lemme tell you something about honey: it shouldn’t be given to a child until they are one year old or you might have an allergic reaction. She’ll sleep through the night better if you give her cereal in her milk. No, but she might just develop celiac disease, thanks. And half my Southern family tried to get me to rub down the 4-month-old’s gums with bourbon when she started teething. No thanks, but I’ll be happy to slug down some myself.

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Whether it’s good or bad, parenting advice is as susceptible to trends as blue jeans. Some years it’s skinny (cry it out!); some years flares (don’t ever let them cry!); but most of the time you are okay if you just wear straight-leg 501s (sometimes babies cry).

Reading through one of my mother-in-law’s baby books, I found a chart detailing how much orange juice to give an infant each day. Yes, OJ for infants. Try finding a pediatrician to back that today. Might as well offer the baby a Snickers bar.

In just two short years—the amount of time between my two kids—so much of what I did for the first baby was proved wrong. When we started feeding her solids, I limited it to one new food a week, waiting till she was a year old to give her citrus, eggs, nuts—all per doctor’s orders. Each food was pureed down to a paste, which I carefully spooned to her eager mouth. By baby #2, the advice was to let her eat whatever she wants, except for honey, and don’t puree it. If she can bring it to her mouth, she can probably figure out a way to chew it and get it down. Seriously?

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Sleep, potty training, even sunscreen—I worked so hard to get all the “right” info so I could do it correctly with my first kid, and then, there I was two years later with parenting advice that was so outdated it was like wearing last season’s jeans. I might as well have just given my new baby the two teaspoons of OJ the 1956 chart suggested.

So when it comes to parenting and jeans, I’m here to tell you this: trust your instincts. Today’s stone wash is yesterday’s two-tone. Stay open to change, but stick to what you know to be true: boyfriend jeans are always comfortable (babies love to be held) and blinged-out pockets are always bad (don’t give the infant a Snickers bar). 

Give infants this… modern parent-approved!

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Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see what lullaby album

you can get for $5 each day this month!

Family vacation.

Those two words can mean many, many things to different people. And with Spring Break upon us, you’re either bracing for or crazy excited about yours.

What was your most memorable family vacation?

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Sand-tastic Cousins
Credit:
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There’s the National Lampoon’s version that is essentially the nightmare trip that only gets worse, or on a lesser scale, your parents only embarrass you half of the time in public, your whole family gets caught in some storm and has to sleep in an airport terminal overnight and/or the airline only loses your luggage versus the rest of the family’s. (Happened to you, too?) And you’d definitely need to recover from that kind of vacation you wish you never took.

Then there’s the other end of the spectrum when you have such an amazing time on your family vacation, so incredible, in fact, it’s like those commercials that feature that ridiculously happy family exploring amazing, faraway places — that you would usually totally dismiss as fiction and think, “yeah, right!” like it was an impossibility. I just came back from two weeks of the latter and I’m now a believer.

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My ridiculously happy family about to explore Puerta Princessa’s Underground River
Credit: Felix Perez

My teenage, ungrateful, rebellious self could not allow such a moment, rarely looking forward to or enjoying that thing called a “family vacation,” unless one of my friends were in tow. My husband can relate: “I didn’t want a vacation with my family when I was kid, I wanted a vacation from my family.

I’m admitting to this now and asking for my parents’ forgiveness for all the times my teenage (and preteen) self ruined ours with endless complaining, scowling faces in photographs, and overall poor behavior. All of you kids (and adults) who have this same tendency to ruin family vacations, please don’t do it!

Again, Mom and Dad, so sorry for all those times. I totally get how important that time is now that I’m a parent. I’m so thrilled at the prospect of spending 24/7 with my daughter and husband, eagerly counting the days to the family vacation, how sh*tty would it be for my kid to act like a jerk during it? I’d be crushed.

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The Senior-Citizen Selfie
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I’m not going to brag to you about all the details of our recent family trip overseas to see even more family (100 plus at a reunion), because this lovely beach you see is just a small glimpse into what was an especially dream vacation care of my generous parents (thanks to all of you friends and family who made those discounted rates and cool adventures possible!). And you’ll just hate me if I shared more photos of glorious tropical sunsets as you look out the window at snow, rain, etc.

But to be honest, even if you took away ziplining over the China Sea (no toddler in tow, then!), the fancy meals someone else paid for, the whirlpool bathtub, private Shetland horse ride, etc. Take that all away, and I’d still be saying I had an amazing time, because the best part of the whole trip was because of that one thing: family.

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Underwater Auntie-Niece Bonding
Credit: Felix Perez

Because it’s not every day you get to spend two weeks straight with people you love — immediate family and extended family and family friends included! (I believe it had been almost 15 years since my sisters, parents and I had gone on a family vacation before this trip.)

Much of our weeks are usually filled with loads of dirty dishes and laundry, stressful hours at work or in traffic, paying bills or pretending they don’t exist, trying to get our kids to sleep or to wake up for something, and people who don’t give a damn about you, along with those random strangers who go out of their way to help you.

Am I geeking out on family and clinging to my family vacation nirvana because now I’m a mother? Maybe. Is it because I’m older and realize how these moments can’t be taken for granted? Most likely. Or is it because I was so touched seeing the joy my daughter and niece brought to my parents’ faces when they all played together on the beach/in the hotel room/at the airport/at meals/in the mall while my sisters and I were in the distance. Hell, yeah.

So, yes, I’m suffering from the worst family vacation hangover. And there’s only one cure for it: plan the next one.

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For more travel-related posts, click on an image below.

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Family Vacation Survival Guide

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How to Travel with Tots

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The Art of Face-Planting

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I was raised in a home where raising our voices (aka screaming at each other) was the norm, but not in an abusive way! It’s how we communicated. Still do. (We all have selective hearing.)

For those who come from less vocal homes (aka, my husband and my sister’s husband, anyone not in our immediate family, actually), our volume level could probably rattle you, but for us, it’s normal. We do love each other a lot, and even when we do express such a sentiment, we say it loudly. As my dad says, “I’m not screaming, this is the way I talk.” (File that one under “Sh*t My Dad Says.” )

So I’ve been doing my best to not pass this on to my toddler, but it appears she’s fitting right in with us. Because especially when you’re the youngest kid at preschool, it seems you have to scream to be heard, in her book. But as an adult speaking to a child, whether a parent or not, when is it okay to raise your voice?

My husband isn’t dramatic and is fairly quiet, cool and calm. This carries over to how he talks to our daughter. He rarely raises his voice to her or anyone, except if she is putting herself in danger. Sounds reasonable, right? But it’s pretty tough to keep your cool about just the big things when you’re sleep deprived, trying to multitask, etc. And I’m referring to my kid here.

So I’ve employed the counting technique to help the both of us chill out versus resorting to a time out. We hold hands and just count to 20 when we’re losing it or about to.

When do you think it is okay to raise your voice?

And what cool-down techniques do you have when someone big or small raises theirs?

I’d love to hear from you. And you might want to participate in these conversations as well.

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Don’t throw those stained clothes away!

You know, the ones spotted with yesterday’s dinner, or baby’s spit up, or what you thought were semi-permanent markers . . . or much worse.

Here’s our Rocking Parent Tip  for what to do with that stained clothing that, if you’re creative, can make them even better!

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1. Pin it! Whether it’s the classic punk-rock safety-pin treatment or buttons as we’ve done here, it’s easy to cover up a stain or rips by just covering them or folding fabric over them and pinning! Notice we also cut the bottom of the dress for extra edge.

2Fringe it! If you have stains at the bottom of a shirt or dress, just cut up the bottom for a little ’70s flair.

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3Patch it up! You can get some iron-on patches and cut out a fun shape to cover the spot, or sew on a felt image. Like our warrior-inspired touch?

4Tie-dye it! And here’s the ’60s treatment that will add a new psychedelic dimension to your wardrobe.

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5. Draw over it! Have someone artistic in your family or circle of friends, give that clothing to them to give it new life.

 

For more of our DIYs, check our Pinterest board or browse our Rocking Parent Tips.

Follow Rockabye Baby’s board DIY on Pinterest.

Every family has its own unique sleeping arrangement. What’s yours?

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We’d love to hear your “family order!” Is it phone, kid, significant order? Sandwiched between two kids and husband in another room?

Now in which order would you listen to these lullabies?

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