Disclaimer: I received a free product for my post! These views are my own and were not at all influenced by the party who gave me this opportunity..
As a military family, we have found that Build-a-Bear stuffed animals can bring a lot of comfort to all of us during our time apart. Before my husband left for his deployment, he recorded personalized messages for both our boys (one of whom was still in my tummy at the time) on a Build-a-Sound piece so we could add it to the boys’ teddy bears (see post HERE.) Our boys listen to those recordings of Daddy’s voice each day, often multiple times, and it brings them so much comfort so it got me to thinking…if Daddy’s voice on the homefront could bring us so much comfort, what if we could send ours to Daddy in Afghanistan…
Recently I discovered that you can actually order stuffed animals with the Build-a-Sound option online! With a brand new baby, a 3-year-old, and a very long trip to the nearest Build-a-Bear, I was so incredibly happy to find out I could avoid the trip by ordering from the comfort of my home AND we were able to ship it directly to my husband’s APO AND on top of that we were able to take advantage of the free shipping deal that was going on–talk about perfect!
I logged onto the Build-a-Bear Workshop website to look around at the different bears and accessories. Since my son is at the age where he is beginning to understand how computers and using computer mice works, I figured I would let him brush up on his skills and handed over the mouse. Even for a 3-year-old the site was fairly easy to navigate as he clicked around to find out which stuffed animal he most wanted to send to his daddy.
Since it was Christmastime, our son picked out Rudolph! My son knows his dad likes deer so he knew he would love this Build-a-Bear. To make Rudolph even more special, we went on to dress the deer. My husband and son are huge Marvel fans so the Iron Man outfit caught his eye right away. We were given the option to send the two pieces separately or to have Iron Rudolph already dressed so we chose to send him fully-clothed and ready for Daddy to snuggle.
As I mentioned earlier, we wanted to find a way to send the gift of our voices to my husband as he had done for us so we added the Build-a-Sound option. After you place your order, you receive a special code along with a phone number to call where you can record your own personal 10 second message to be added to your Build-a-Bear! We have always tried to record in store, but I found we actually had better luck recording over the phone–I managed to capture myself saying a message, my 3-year-old repeating it, and a somewhat fussy and babbly baby letting himself be heard at the end of the message–in store I probably would have had a napping newborn and a preoccupied preschooler.
Of course, the BEST part of all of this was watching Daddy’s reaction as he opened up his package on Skype. You will see a video of this below (please excuse the poor quality–internet connection was not very smooth that day.) My husband thought Iron Rudolph was awesome and he will always cherish the gift, especially all of our voices being recorded onto it; hearing us with the squeeze of a hoof whenever he was missing us brought him a lot of comfort. If you have a spouse or parent deployed or even a friend or family member you love and miss and is simply too far away to see all the time, put Build-a-Bear on the top of your list and definitely consider ordering online! There are so many unique and personal options that will show your loved one you care. Cards get thrown away and singing telegrams aren’t exactly easy to come by, so why not send a soft, fuzzy stuffed friend with a personalized message that can be played over and over and lasts!?
Have you sent a Build-a-Bear to a special someone? Share your story in the comments!
ENTER TO WIN a $25 Build-a-Bear gift certificate!!