And Off He Goes

We’ve had a cruiser for awhile now, but last week (April 24, to be exact) Parker decided he didn’t need any assistance. He had taken a step or two in his room, so I grabbed my phone with the hopes of catching it on video. To my absolute surprise, he took his longest walk yet — 10 steps!

After that, it was like a switch had been flipped. Suddenly he was walking everywhere, no longer resorting to crawling if he didn’t have a hand to hold or furniture to grab. It has been both awesome and scary; he thinks he’s a lot faster than he really is and has gotten almost too brave.

It is so insane to watch my 10-month-old toddle across the living room. He is a tiny boy, and it’s hilarious watching those little legs hold him up. We’re still at the stage where we have to do a lot of spotting, but he gets more sure-footed with every day. At this rate, he will probably be running sprints by his first birthday.

{Mama Moment} Parker Rockin’

Parker Rock Anthem

I recently participated in a discussion with other music therapist moms about songs we’ve sung to our babies, and we compiled a pretty impressive list. I did contribute to it by sharing Parker’s original favorite song, but I neglected to include the one that goes like this:

Parker rockin’ in the house tonight
Everybody just have a good time
His smile makes you feel so fine
Everybody just have a good time

Why yes, I did rewrite the lyrics to LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” and sing it to my baby. We even have motions (including fist pumps) that go along with it.

I work with kids almost every single day, so in order to have a little variety from the usual children’s musical fare during my downtime, I like to get creative with Parker. I have “lullaby-afied” songs from just about every genre; it’s pretty safe to say that my child will grow up with an eclectic taste in music.

Parker Rockin'

Don’t get me wrong — all the classic nursery rhyme tunes are a regular part of our repertoire — but it’s fun to supplement with songs that will broaden Parker’s musical horizons. LMFAO may be at the (extremely) low end of the sophistication scale, but the “Parker Rock Anthem” remains a favorite nevertheless.

Evolution of the Listen & Learn Songbook

Evolution of the Songbook

Almost five years ago, a music therapist named Michelle Erfurt approached me with the idea to create a Listen & Learn songbook. I had only been writing and sharing songs for a few months, but I was excited to take the leap into publishing.

We worked our tails off for months — I wrote and transcribed the music while she took care of layout, graphic design, and manufacturing — and then we debuted the books at the 2009 AMTA national conference. The final product was awesome! I felt so proud to have my name on the cover. Michelle and I continued selling the songbooks throughout the next couple of years until they were all gone.

By the time we ran out of inventory, hard copy songbooks seemed to be a thing of the past. I continued creating songbooks, but opted to sell them as digital downloads from that point on. They were faster, easier and cheaper to create and sell, and customers seemed to prefer them because they were in turn more affordable and instantly accessible.

Michelle found her calling during that first songbook project; just a few months ago she launched Music Therapy E-Books with Rachel See. And I’m launching my latest digital songbook collection, Spring Into Summer, a week from today! Until then, you can preorder and get the first two songs PLUS a bonus song that won’t be available after the release. Check it out here.

As much as I love creating digital resources, there’s something special about having authored a real, hard copy book that sits on my bookshelf. And while I don’t see myself going that route again anytime soon, it was an awesome beginning to my songbook publishing adventures!

Spring Into Summer: Preorder Now!

Spring Into Summer PreorderSpring is in full swing and summer is just around the corner, which makes this Midwestern girl VERY happy! In the midst of the most epic winter ever, I knew I wanted to create a resource to celebrate the warmer seasons, which is how Spring Into Summer: Warm Weather Songs for Kids came to be.

This digital songbook includes the melody line, chords, and lyrics for 10 songs, including the never before released title track. It also comes with the mp3s and instrumental tracks for all 10 tunes, since I always encourage you (and your kiddos!) to create your own versions of Listen & Learn songs.

Complete song list:

  • “Spring Into Summer”
  • “Thank You, Mom”
  • “Grow Flower Grow”
  • “Riding My Bike”
  • “Summer Break (Let’s Shake!)”
  • “Going on a Car Ride”
  • “Summertime Tune”
  • “Happy Father’s Day”
  • “In the Swimming Pool”
  • “S is for Summer”

The digital songbook collection will be released in its entirety on Tuesday, May 6, but as of TODAY you can preorder it. When you do that, you will immediately receive the mp3s and instrumental tracks for two of the songs in the collection, including “Spring Into Summer” — PLUS a bonus “Goodbye Song” that will not be available after the full release. Soon after you purchase, I will email you the PDF sheet music that accompanies the 3 preorder songs.

For $10, you get 3 songs (mp3, instrumental track, & sheet music) right away, and then 8 more songs the moment the rest of this collection is released next Tuesday. What better way to welcome spring than that?

Preorder Spring Into Summer Now!


Somebunny’s First Easter

Baby's First Easter with Chicks

Easter has always been a holiday I’ve never gotten too excited about as an adult. Of course I have always enjoyed dressing up, going to church, singing with the choir and reflecting on the meaning on this day, but that was about it. However, this year I learned that Easter is a whole lot more fun when kids are involved!

We started the holiday weekend with an Easter egg hunt, although Parker could have cared less about the “hunt” part. He did, however, enjoy playing with the plastic eggs and chilling out in the sun with his Rambach cousins, Maggie and Ellie.

Baby's First Easter Egg Hunt

On the night before Easter, Zach’s parents always host a Passover Seder to honor their Jewish roots. Parker enjoyed some matza and matza ball soup along with some other yummy goodies. Then on Easter morning, we headed to Washington Park and enjoyed the GORGEOUS weather. We seriously lucked out with an amazing weekend of sunshine and warm temps.

Baby's First Easter with Mommy and Daddy

Here’s our attempt at a family selfie. Haha! Sadie could have cared less about smiling for the camera, but Parker showed off his waving skills. He is getting really good at waving hello and goodbye to people. It is so cute!

Baby's First Easter at the Park

It was so much fun spending time with the Rambach and Wilderson cousins all weekend. Parker absolutely adores his older cousins, especially Mason, who is usually not one for posing for photos. But when Parker was on his lap or next to him, he was all about it!

Easter Cousins

Zach and his dad had a little Easter photo shoot while I was working, and got some funny/adorable shots. How sad is that face in the black and white? Now that is a pouty lip if I’ve ever seen one.

Baby's First Easter Basket

We ended the weekend with dinner at my mom’s house, during which Parker CHOWED. If you have been reading the blog, then you know what a big deal that is! He had veggies, potatoes, a little meat, and even a few bites of our gluten-free/sugar-free dessert.

Baby's First Easter Meal

It’s pretty crazy to think that Parker has now celebrated just about all the major holidays in his 10 months. Only Mother’s Day and Memorial Day are left…followed closely by his first birthday. But I am so, so, so not ready to go there yet! So I’ll wrap up this post with one last family photo from Easter.

Baby's First Easter Family Photo

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