What started with two sweet “stuffies” given as baby shower presents just before my daughter was born in May of 2012 has since grown to the ridiculous number of 76 on last count. It’s madness.
I’m responsible for just one stuffed animal in the pack; Wolf Wolf, a small wolf from the Alamo gift store. My husband, well, he’s bought about 20 so far — along with numerous action figures and Disney princesses — and he refuses to stop. (“I can spoil her if I want,” he says.) The 50-plus others are a motley bunch care of friends, family and coworkers: from stuffed animal bowling sets and claw-machine wins to the predictable Sesame Street characters and Hello (I’m not a) Kitty dolls of all sizes. The list goes on.
So what do you do when you have too many stuffed animals?
“Just get rid of them,” says my older sister, who after a bed-bug infestation in her home had no choice but to trash stuffed anything: pillows, animals, beddings, etc. But parting with such sentimental gifts can be difficult, especially when they talk and sing so sweetly to you, I mean, your child. (You know who you are, “Peek-a-boo” bear and “Me and my friends…” Scout and Violet.) Okay, so let’s reword that question:
What do you do with all those stuffed animals without upsetting your kid — or your partner — and any of the caring people who sent them your way?
I did some surfing, consulted a little expert and came up with options that both amuse and reuse the stuffed animals in ways that are pretty darn cool.
Make a “stuffie pool!”Now that’s a brilliant idea from my 6-year-old niece, Tai, especially if you’re in the drought-ravaged western United States. Fill those plastic pools with those stuffies instead of water, and then let the kids loose.
Make a stuffed animal outfit or costume.With Halloween coming soon, why buy a costume when you can “stuff” one? This whimsical number is from Miss Malaprop, who made this dress for Mardi Gras. I do believe a friend of mine made a suit of stuffed animals circa 1997 in art school. And, yes, he was popular with the ladies.
Make stuffed-animal furniture.Teddy-bear sofa, anyone? This was on display at Harrod’s in London. If you know how much Harrod’s bears cost, you know you’re looking at a pretty pricey piece of furniture. Just be careful about losing your kid in it.
And this one’s my favorite solution:
Donate your stuffed animals for Stuffed Animals for Emergencies (SAFE). This wonderful organization welcomes donations of new and used stuffed animals and distributes them to children in need. See if there’s a chapter near you by clicking HERE. They also accept other kid-related items as well, so don’t stop with those stuffies.
Have more creative stuffed animal ideas? Share them below!
And don’t forget to enter our latest giveaway. Only one day left!
Summer comes to a close today. Yeah, we know, we’re crying too. But here’s the fun part: It’s a giveaway day and all you have to do to enter is tell us:
Was Your Baby Good or Bad This Summer?
Post your good and bad baby stories below by Tuesday, Sept. 30, at 12 pm PST, to be entered into our random giveaway for one (1) copy of Good Baby, Bad Baby CD & Picture Book. Three (3) winners will be selected! For bonus entries, tweet, share and Pin from this post!
Check out the full Good Baby, Bad Baby song list and samples below. And don’t forget the awesome picture book that comes with this unique collection of lullabies!
And I’m not just talking about viruses — although those are certainly set to increase exponentially now that my kids are back in the petri dish of preschool; I’m talking about lice.
Even typing the word grosses me out.
Remember when they would pass out those black plastic combs at school and the teachers made everyone brush their hair? (Those days were traumatic for me since I have tangle-prone hair and the comb always got stuck.)
But now I realize the comb wasn’t a gift, like I always thought. It was a preventative measure. It wasn’t generosity on the part of the public school system or concern for the quality of our dos —it was a lice check. That’s right — they were searching for parasites in our scalps.
My kids’ school does lice checks once a week and in a manner even more subtle than the free comb day — and much like free comb day, it took me a while to get it.
Mondays my girls come home with the cutest hairdos—adorable, little updos where the teachers have lovingly parted and brushed their hair, and then put it up in a variety of cute ponytails, twists, braids or buns. My usually unkempt kids, who at their best boast crooked pigtails to contain their endless tangles (they’ve got my hair), come home from school looking like the kind of children that populate Gap catalogs — scrubbed, apple-cheeked cherubs.
Okay, maybe not so scrubbed since there’s usually still dirt all over their faces, but at least their hair looks like it hasn’t been through a lawn mower. It looks nice. And for a long time, I didn’t wonder why — I just assumed it was a beloved teacher bestowing some special attention.
It isn’t. It’s a lice check. The best way to look for nits — and to get the kids to sit through the nit pick — is to play beauty parlor and give them cute dos. I found this out not from the teachers but from my oldest daughter who brought me a hairbrush and a bag of hair bands and begged me to look for bugs in her hair.
“You want me to do what?” I asked.
I gave her some crooked ponytails without looking too close at her head. They can get nit picky with it at school.
Do you think there’s anything wrong with this photo?
This is a lesson from my daughter’s preschool, where she started just 3 months ago, and has been doing great. Each week the teachers put her completed lessons in her “Little D” file so we can follow her development. It’s been fun to see her lessons about drawing shapes, identifying letters and things, writing numbers and then, obviously based on the above, learning words that rhyme.
Can you tell what word I had an issue with? I’m asking you, dear readers, because I value your opinion, honestly. Remember when I asked you about these signs at a local store? You had a lot to say.
Am I being ridiculous making a hubbub about seeing the word “fat” in my daughter’s lesson? Aren’t there so many other words that can’t be used in a hurtful way? (I guess “rat” could be too. Or maybe people don’t like being called a “cat” either?) Couldn’t she have used the word “hat” instead?
I know her teachers are sweethearts and by no means would they teach that word to be used in a judgmental way. Hell, maybe they were talking about the fat of food, having a fat bank account. Should I ask them?
A friend of mine said at her daughters’ preschool they aren’t allowed to bring in books with that word, so it’s clear they’re sensitive about the use of the word. Let’s face it, most women are. While all the women (not just mothers) I showed the lesson to all immediately had a reaction to the “fat” content (ranging from, “yeah, they could have used another word,” to “oh…yeah” and a frown), most of the fathers I showed it to didn’t think it was a big deal.
In our household that is among the three-letter words we don’t teach or speak, but more on bad words later. So tell me…
Would you suggest cutting out or ignoring the “fat?”
When do you know you’re ready to welcome a dog into your life?
Or for a couple of us Rockabye Baby team members . . .
When do you know you’re ready to welcome a dog back into your life?
Our VP and Creative Director, Lisa Roth, is contemplating that now . . .
First-Time Mommy’s dog of 15 years, Pogi, sadly passed away during her second trimester, and she waited until her daughter was 2 before welcoming a new furry friend (that’s 5-month-old Charcoal above) into their family last month to join their cat, Cricket, and parakeet, Echo (as in Echo Park). “Having a child didn’t change the feeling that our home just wasn’t the same without a dog. What’s one more set of poop to clean up, right?”
And here are two more lovable four-legged friends in the Rockabye family: Zara belongs to Kyle in our sales department and Penne belongs to Chrissy, our web designer.
So, the question again is Dog . . . or Not? Or would you recommend a different animal?
Post your thoughts in the comments and check out more animal talk posts by clicking on the links!
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?
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.
Does your baby think they were born to run? If your little Boss isn’t tired and wants to prove it all night, tuck them in with these blissful versions of Bruce Springsteen’s classic rock anthems. We promise there will be lots of sleeping in the dark.
Does your baby move like Jagger and keep you up all night? Here’s the secret to a blissful evening - put on these calm and cozy bedtime renditions of Maroon 5. Your baby will never want to leave that crib.