Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

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If you have an infant in the house, sure, you’re probably excited to celebrate your first Thanksgiving with the little tyke, but at the same time, you’re probably thinking: How in the hell am I going to pull this off when I can barely get a shower in these days?

Our #1 solution: Get someone else to host.

Our #2 solution: Pick up your Thanksgiving meal from a local restaurant. (Angelenos, we suggest Auntie Em’s! Call them stat.)

But one thing likely missing from the above options is baby-friendly dishes. In that case, you’re stuck, so you’ll have to at least cook some of the feast. No worries! If you’re scrambling to pull off the ultimate first Thanksgiving for you and your baby, we have done some of the work for you, selecting plenty of deliciously divine dish suggestions you can try!

Now enough with the chatter, we’ve got chowing down to do! So let’s take care of the smallest mouth first with three easy tasteful delights exclusively developed by Chef Jeff Parker for Rockabye Baby for your wee babes to celebrate Thanksgiving!

Big Pumpkin” from Lullaby Renditions of Jay Z

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Gourd Day, Gourdnight” from our compilation Good Day, Goodnight

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Pumpkin Perfect” from Lullaby Renditions of P!nk

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And for the adults in the house (although we know you’ll probably sneak a little grownup food to baby because it’s a special occasion) we have courses that you’ll thank us for!

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Green Bean Casserole via Crunchy Cream Sweet

World’s Simplest Thanksgiving Turkey via Food Network

The Great Pumpkin Pie via Sally’s Baking Addition

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls via Pioneer Woman (for Thanksgiving morning!)

Sweet Potato Casserole via Chew Out Loud

 

Do you have more baby-friendly dishes you suggest think Thanksgiving!

Please share them below!

There’s no way to sugar coat it – sharing is hard. It’s tough for adults, so why do we expect kids to do it flawlessly? When I have that last bit of chocolate cake on my plate and my husband swipes it, I want to sock him. And that shirt my BFF is wearing that I want? I might borrow it and never give it back.

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Still, sharing is a crucial skill to develop, or else we would live in a world full of selfish, entitled brats. But before we chastise the young so much, I think it’s important to acknowledge that sharing sometimes sucks. It’s okay, every once in a while, not to do it.

What are the times I cut my kids (ages 2 and 4) some slack from sharing? The following:

1. When it’s a lovey: Every kid is entitled to have one stuffed object in this world that is for his or her affection only. Once designated as “a lovey” said object can only be held, loved, hidden and maimed by its owner. However, this does not mean you can decree that every object in the room is your lovey, as my eldest attempted. One lovey per person, please.

2. Brand-new toys or clothes: When it’s fresh out of the box, I allow a little solo flying time before asking anyone to share. Usually, my girls do it on their own because they quickly realize it’s more fun to play with someone else with the toy. Clothes are a trickier situation, especially if it’s the Elsa dress.

3. Food: You don’t share the food on your plate or in your lunch bag. Mostly likely it’s half-eaten bits anyway. But we do always share if it’s a meal (dinner on the table), or in a box (a container of crackers) or bag (Pirate Booty). And my girls ask all the time if they can take boxes of  seaweed or blueberries or other special treats to school to share with their classmates. The rule there is that if you are going to share food, you have to have enough for all.

I think the school’s rule about sharing is really important: the idea of having enough for all. That’s the main thing I want to instill in my kids—not the forced habit of sharing, but a natural desire to make sure there is enough for all, even when there isn’t. The sight of my two daughters splitting a tiny M&M in half this morning (hey, Halloween just happened, I’m still letting them eat candy after breakfast) filled me with joy. They were sharing—chocolate even—without any big to-do over it.

And it also meant there was more candy left for me.

See more of Andrea’s posts HERE. And here’s something worth sharing…

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Rockabye Baby HQ is based in Silver Lake, which is essentially Williamsburg West, or, in short, hipster central. So we know a thing or two what it means to be “with it” — we’re surrounded by cool parents — which is how we came up with this handy list of signs that you’re a hipster parent.

Take a look and see how you score on the hipster parent scale.

YOU KNOW YOU’RE A HIPSTER PARENT WHEN…

  • You live in Silver Lake or Williamsburg.
  • You gave your kid an unconventional name, or if you did give your kid a common name, you spelled it unconventionally.
  • You drive a Prius.
  • “Organic” is your unspoken middle name.
  • You, dear fathers, sport a biblical beard or well-groomed mustache.
  • This is where you shop in order of preference: farmers’ markets, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods.
  • You Ergo.
  • You’re a mother who breastfeeds proudly in public — with no cover.
  • Your kids wear Toms and so did you, before they became trendy. (Now you prefer moccasins.)
  • You still have a vinyl collection.
  • You or your spouse are or were in a band, filmmaker(s), writer(s) — possibly even all of the above.
  • Your or your partner/spouse or both of you have tattoos you don’t regret.
  • Your or your partner/spouse or both of you have piercings you don’t regret.
  • For your kid, clothing is optional.
  • You own at least 3 Rockabye Baby CDs!

If you checked up to 4, you’re definitely a hipster parent-in-training. Don’t worry, you can still change your son’s name and grow that beard.

If you checked up to 8, congratulations you’re absolutely a hipster parent! You can teach the people above a thing or two about being in the know!

If you checked 11 or more, you’re a whole different level. Perhaps hipster royalty — the equivalent of Brangelina. Perhaps a more fitting comparison would be “Mikeranda.” (If you get who we’re referring to, give yourself 4 free checks as you just moved up a level. ;)

How did you score?

If we missed any signs, post below!

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy…

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Signs Your Child Is Becoming Punk Rock

Oh, how I long for those days when my toddler didn’t talk much.

Now, at two-and-a-half she keeps up with the best of them, her mouth running non-stop, whether she’s negotiating for what she wants (treats, toys, her sister’s shoes) or correcting the rest of us on all our wrongdoings (her favorite phrase is “Mama, you’re wrong and I’m right.”). Sometimes I still need her big sister to translate, but most of the times my little chatterbox is clear and confident in her ability to “use her words.”

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Unfortunately, she often chooses to use her verbal gifts to talk trash. “You not Elsa, me Elsa!” she’ll sling at her big sister, which if you know anything about preschool-age girls you know is fighting words for sure. She also loves to rub in unsettling situations: “Me still have Popsicle, you don’t.” Or to her sisters’ entire class: “I no like you.” Maybe that’s a second-kid thing? Since you can’t physically take the big kids, you gotta prove it by puffing yourself up with insults and boasts?

When she’s not egging the big kids on, she’s entertaining them with the worst part of her trash talk: When it actually gets dirty, and by dirty, I mean scatological. Look, I know nothing is funnier to kids than potty humor, but with her it’s off the hook. “You go poop?” she’ll ask anyone, and then laugh hysterically. “Pee pee, pee pee, poop!” is what she considers a proper greeting at our front door. And when she really wants to drive me crazy, it’s a non-stop chorus from the backseat or the stroller. Other people look at us with great alarm and I am forced to assure them, “It’s okay, she doesn’t need to go, she just likes talking about it.”

At first, I tried to play it cool and not make a big deal out of her excessive potty talk, but then I started wondering: Why is my kid obsessed with her bodily functions? Her teachers reassured me all is normal — in fact, it’s good to be fascinated by all the wonderful things your body can do — but she’s probably mostly doing it because it gets a strong reaction from me. So I was right to play it cool, but, they informed me, I needed to enforce a rule as well: If you want to potty talk, you’ve got to do it in the bathroom. So if she starts in, I take her to the proper place for such conversation.

We are spending lots of time in bathrooms.

Do you have a potty mouth on your hands? Clean it up with a chill-out lullaby like this one:

 

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Enjoy The Silence

See more of Andrea’s other invaluable, not-so-dirty tip posts below!

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How to Say Goodbye

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Rock and Roll Preschool

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How to Keep Kids Busy While You Cook

Dear Adults (or those pretending to be ones),

If you’re reading this post while you’re having dinner at a restaurant, attending a funeral, watching your kid’s talent show or, worse, driving, please stop. This behavior isn’t very becoming of you. It’s rude and, in cases when operating heavy machinery, dangerous. You, too, Mom.

There’s been all this hubbub about how kids and teenagers “check out” when they use technology or how toddlers and babies seem to be the ones disturbing the peace during the most annoying times (give them some Rockabye Baby lullabies to listen to already!), but, c’mon, they don’t know any better. But you know who should know better? Grown-ups. But they don’t. I forgot that.

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After spending most of my nights and weekends with a two-year-old wreaking entertaining havoc (I like her wild, actually), I look forward to those rare occasions outside of work when I can just spend some time with “adults.” You know, those people who are eligible to vote, supposedly can tell right from wrong, and whose conversations (hopefully) don’t involve any potty talk? Yeah.

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The view of Marina Del Rey from the grown-up event!

 

Recently my husband and I attended an event honoring the former governor of California, Gray Davis. It was one of those complimentary valet, classy hors d’oeuvres, silent auction, hosted bar and awards ceremony kind of affairs that grown-ups go to. (While that list of activities doesn’t sound so thrilling, then maybe you too would be driven to some bad behavior.) Well, since they were honoring a former governor we wrongly assumed that people would be respectful and classy. Not a chance.

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That’s a dude blocking our view while Gov. Gray Davis received his award.

It was adults-behaving-badly night; we just didn’t get the memo. Because, while the average age in the room of 100 or so people was probably 55, the majority of them acted worse than my toddler does at public events. Here are my gripes:

1. Line cutting is not cool. With a spread that included pulled pork and sirloin sliders, seasoned fries, mini chimichangas and a mac & cheese bar, among other things, the lines were pretty long once the food stations opened. And where there are long lines, there are cutters. You know who you are; sliding in front of people engrossed in conversation, or engaging someone in line in conversation so you could get closer to the front. (Toddlers can’t stand lines; they’ll just cry and people will send them and their parents to the front. At least they’re just expressing themselves as opposed to being sneaky.)

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That’s Gov. Gray Davis talking while someone’s frying mac & cheese with bacon

2. Please don’t talk once the event starts. Not even your inside voice. Whisper – didn’t your parents teach you that? People were speaking loudly during most of the ceremony. Three or four speakers kicked off the evening and attendees were just gabbing away over them. No shushing or charismatic presenters could get these folks to quiet down. It wasn’t until the governor came out that the talking somewhat calmed down, though he had to contend with the sound of frying pans just across the room. (Party planner, probably best not to have chefs cooking during the presentation. You, adult, planned poorly.)

3. Selfies, too, were happening during the ceremony. And, mind you, it wasn’t like this was a huge crowd. Whoever was on the stage had full view of what everyone was doing. (My daughter despises selfies.)

4. And where there are selfies, there are Web surfers. At least two or three people in the first row of tables were clearly viewing websites, game scores, who knows what, while people were speaking. (See, my daughter would never do that. She’d instead start singing or something, which is much more pleasant.)

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This lady blocked half of the room’s view for several minutes.

5. Don’t block my view, please. Take your photo and move on . . . Isn’t that the courteous thing to do? (My daughter isn’t tall enough to really block anything.)

 

What do you consider bad behavior?

 

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If you enjoy laughing (and occasionally poking fun at hipster parents) you should really start following @TheLosFelizDayCare, a local Los Angeles “day care.”

Grab yourself an organic kale and avocado smoothie and read some of our favorites below . . .

 

 

The account’s commentary on the local parenting styles of our little corner of Los Angeles is pretty hilarious . . . and believable; so believable in fact, that a few of us thought it was a real account when we first stumbled across it.

 

And while Valentine’s Day is months away, we dug this one up because it’s so good . . .

Reading through the first few tweets we all had a chuckle and rolled our eyes. But once we realized that it was all just poking fun at some of the more hipster, yuppie tendencies of our “affluent hillside neighborhood” we couldn’t enough of what this mastermind has been posting.

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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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!

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.