Writer: Kelli Gillespie Richardson, Co-Founder, Family Entourage
When I was little, I remember my mom singing and rhyming all the time. I remember sitting in my dad’s lap as he read stories. I remember playing and performing with my brother. While the memories are solidified in my mind, I wish I had a tangible recording too.
I’m confident it became the foundation for my career in the arts. Whether it’s broadcasting, interviewing or writing, sharing stories and connecting with others is the underlying passion. So, it was only natural that once I became a mom, I found our family reading, singing and rhyming too. In an age where technology reigns king I knew there had to be a way to capture our creativity while continuing to connect our family. That’s when I found SoundBub by WavHello.
We invited Benji the Bear into our home and he’s been a great addition. Our two-year-old son loves the style, size and portability of the device. He takes it from his bed, to the car, to the stroller, to the park, to the beach, he’d probably take it in the bath if it could get wet! He can easily navigate it himself switching between the white noise soothers, music and Bluetooth options; he can even control the volume.
What my husband and I enjoy most is the way it can be adopted into our lifestyle and connect us more as family – specifically through the new features on the VoiceShare mobile app. Since birth we have read to our son every day. He absolutely loves books. We read in the morning, before nap, during the day and of course bedtime stories. He definitely has favorites that we read over and over and it is incredible how quickly his vocabulary is expanding and his depth of understanding in broadening. We love that in the READ section of the VoiceShare app we can download stories and record our voices reading the story. Now, when we aren’t able to read, like if we are traveling or driving to the grocery store and our little guy wants a story, we just sync the SoundBub with the app and he can hear us read the stories as many times as he desires. It also is great for our extended family because they can use their voices to read stories and close the gap of the numerous states that separate us.
The TALK section is my personal favorite. There are prompt cards that can be used for inspiration or a StoryMakers game that shows four icons to be combined into one story, but I love it for the blank canvas that it is. I used to be a big scrapbook person because I wanted to save my favorite memories in a creative way. Now I look at the TALK section as a verbal scrapbook. Before I had Benji the Bear, I would keep a running list in the notes section of my smart phone. It was organized by month and under each month I would list bullets of milestones and moments I didn’t want to forget – everything from his first smile to favorite foods, key phrases, events and places visited. But with the SoundBub I can record it. I can audibly share what was said, where we went, and if I want I can have my little one participate in the conversation to capture his sweet voice too. Plus, I love to rhyme. Give me a word and I will turn it into a rhyming song. I think it so fun and the lyrics stick. The TALK section allows me to preserve my ditties for all time.
The SING section is huge for my husband. Our son loves the sound of daddy’s voice. I distinctly remember driving home from another city when our little guy was just months old. He was so upset in the car and was crying and screaming and so I called my husband on the phone and had him sing a specific George Strait song overhead because it was the perfect tempo, familiarity and feel to soothe the little one to sleep. For the future, we can now record him singing that song and other songs in a bunch of different genres, and of the course the popular nursery rhymes and lullabies. My husband also has an extensive song library and is the one creating the soundtrack for our family. We have spontaneous dance parties and there are specific songs that trigger our son to jump up and bust a move.
It fills my heart to know that not only are we creating real time moments, but we are capturing and saving them so they can be remembered, and listened to, forever.