Tuesday, October 27

Rock out with Lullabies for Baby!

Buttercup and I share a love of music and it's a bond I cherish. My little girl was humming "Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star" at 10 months, is begging Santa for a piano at two-years-old, and loves to try playing her daddy's old guitar.

I say she's destined for Broadway. But for now, I'm content to sing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" as many times as she requests. Okay, okay, so even a big music lover like myself can get a bit tired of the kiddie songs that come standard with Toddler Territory, so getting the chance to listen to some Aerosmith with Buttercup tonight was a huge treat for both of us. It was awesome; she fell asleep and I couldn't stop smiling.

And no, I did not deafen my daughter to sleep with rock legends blaring on the iPod. It was really a much more soothing experience thanks to Rockabye Baby! The company, which specializes in lullabye renditions of music parents actually want to listen to like AC/DC, Green Day, Queen, The Beatles, and Coldplay, was gracious enough to send me a review copy of the newest addition to their library, which includes liner notes by Steve Tyler!

It's.Just.Awesome. And I'll tell ya, listening to "Dude (Looks Like a Lady), and "Walk This Way," in a genius rendition soothing enough to almost lull me to sleep but so good I could hear the lyrics in my head was just the coolest musical experience I've had since becoming a mother.

My husband loves it, too, and we're already planning on adding to our collection. I see Metallica in Buttercup's future. (And I'm going to admit here and now that I'm adding the Aerosmith collection to my own mp3 player for those crazy moments when Mama needs some soothing of her own.)

So who wants to call dibs on cool music for your kid that you can't wait to tell your own friends about?

To enter, simply visit the site and leave a comment telling me which CD you'd love to get if you are selected the winner. Please note that the winner also has the option to choose the new green Digital Download Card option instead of a traditional CD. Make sure to include your email or Twitter ID so I can contact you if you are selected as winner. Entries will be accepted until midnight, EST, on Nov. 3, 2009 and winners have four days to respond or an alternate will be selected.This contest is limited to US residents only, and to those 18 years and older.

Additional extra entries are also available if you:
* Blog about contest and link to this post.
* Tweet about this contest and leave me a comment with the tweet.
* Non-bloggers can email three of their friends about the contest at berriesweet.info (at) gmail (dot) com and CC me on the email. Girl Scout's honor that I will never bother these sweet people. I promise!

Please note all entries MUST include a valid email address or Twitter ID to be considered for the drawing! That means that well, all entries must include an email address or Twitter ID to be considered valid. Simple enough, right? ;)

Monday, October 26

Sweet Sunday

One of my favorite books when I was a kid was a sing-along version of "Turkey in the Straw," complete with the cassette tape that allowed me to belt out the tunes as I flipped the pages. I was off-key, probably hurting the dogs ears, and happy as happy can be. Because right in front of me, I had my two favorite things in the whole world: Music and words.

Times have changed, but the power of music and the magic of a storybook are still enough to delight any child. Take our recent experience with Sunday in Kyoto, the new children's storybook-music CD from the award-winning publisher, The Secret Mountain. It's set for release tomorrow, Oct. 27, and Buttercup were given the opportunity to take a sneak peek, and oh what a peek it was.

Sunday in Kyoto features illustrations by Stephanie Jorisch, who has created sets for Le Cirque de Soleil, and songs by Gilles Vigneault, a central Canadian music figure. Vineault also wrote the 14 pages of text for the story, capturing his love of nature, culture, and travel, while telling the story of a Cajun musician enjoying a Sunday afternoon jam session in Kyoto with friends from far away places.

Sounds great to parents, but what's this all mean to kid? And to an American, at that, one who has never heard of these famous artists? Buttercup will tell you...it's magic. The combination of all creative talent fused into this one musical story-telling event is enough to whisk my two-year-old to a magical place where T.V., toys, and afternoon tantrums don't exist.

And I have to smile each time she tugs on my shirt and looks up with an expectant smile on her face. "Music story, mama. Please?"

Sunday in Kyoto will be released tomorrow. You can get more information by clicking here.

Monday, October 5

Stuff those stockings with Prima Princessa!

I love it when I'm right. Last year, right about this time, I had the pleasure of reviewing a brand new DVD produced by two moms called Prima Princessa presents Swan Lake. It's a sweet little production designed to introduce little girls to the world of ballet with a fairy princess ballerina named Prima Princessa as the star of the show.

What's not to like? So I was pretty excited when Prima Princessa present The Nutcracker arrived in my mail box. Ijust knew that this was going to turn into a successful series!

As in the original DVD, Prima Princessa transports a group of pre-school girls to see a professional baller performance. And what's better than The Nutcracker for the upcoming Christmas season?

Prima Princessa narrates the story (which makes it a lot more interesting for me, too, and now I actually can say I understand the story behind the performance!) and seems to know exactly when to break to allow her young charges time to practice the ballet moves they've learned. That little intermission gives Buttercup time to play, pretend, and laugh along with the girls on TV.

Prima Princessa presents The Nutcracker is definitely going to be played a lot as the holidays draw closer, and each time Buttercup gets more and more excited when the opening credits start up. Why not order now and stow it away for a sweet little Christmas stocking stuffer for your own little princess?

And an FYI from one mom to another---make sure the volume is turned off on your computer speakers before checking out the product site. I'm a huge Prima Princessa fan, but am not crazy about sites that automatically start talking to me (and Prima Princessa has a lot to say!), especially since I do a lot of online shopping when the family is asleep. So if you wanna keep it a surprise, and I'm sure you do, just hit "mute" and make it a Merry Christmas!

Saturday, October 3

Fun with Charlie

Buttercup might be all about princesses and butterflies right now, but the girly-girl in her can't seem to resist the universal call of dinosaurs that seems to attract all kids from the age of two on up.

And while she may be too young to question how she got here or where the dinosaurs went, she is not too young to enjoy learning as she grows and having fun with both every day.

Enter Charlie's Playhouse: A super-smart company with the aim to provide children and educators with fun learning tools to help teach children about evolution. Buttercup and I were treated to the Giant Timeline Floormat ($49) which she fell in love with as soon as she realized her "Dinos!" were a primary focus. This illustrated, walk-on play mat is one smart toy. Kids ages 4-10 can sit and read it like a book, stand it up like a fort, and spread it across the living room floor for an 18 foot lesson spanning 600 million years!

The Giant Timeline Floormat is printed on enviromentally-friendly and durable synthetic paper, can be cleaned with a damp cloth, and is printed in the USA. What's not to love?