Sesame Street Live

Parker at Sesame Street Live

Zach surprised us with tickets to see Sesame Street Live at the Prairie Capital Convention Center over Labor Day Weekend, and as much as Parker LOVES Sesame Street, I wasn’t sure which way this would go. I figured he would either love it or be scared to death of his beloved characters in life-sized form. Luckily, the former was true — Parker had what we are pretty sure was the best day of his life.

Parker at Sesame Street Live

The excitement began before we even walked through the door. Parker couldn’t get over the fact that Elmo was on his shirt, and kept pointing to him. He knew something was up, maybe because we were all so excited. He practically skipped up the sidewalk and into the building.

Parker at Sesame Street Live

The first thing Parker spotted was this Count sign, holding $8 Elmo and Grover balloons. We practically had to tear him away to go inside the auditorium.

Parker at Sesame Street Live

And you better believe that he was a proud owner of one of those $8 balloons at intermission, thanks to Grandma Libby. As much as he loved the balloon, it didn’t come close to his sheer amazement as he watched the show.

Parker at Sesame Street Live

This child has the attention span of a knat, yet his eyes didn’t leave the stage once. Not a peep, and the only moving he did was from lap to lap without looking away from the action.

Parker at Sesame Street Live

I’m pretty sure that Zach, his parents and I enjoyed this experience just as much as Parker. Seeing it through his eyes was so special — it was definitely an afternoon to remember.

Parker at Sesame Street Live

I wasn’t sure how Sesame Street on the small screen at home would hold up after seeing the live version, but luckily Parker is still a fan. Just hearing the theme song throws him into full-on dance mode. I suppose there are worse things he could be going gaga over than Elmo (or, Memmo, as Parker lovingly calls him).

New Studio Tour (Part 1)

Music Therapy Connections studio

Day 1 in our new studio is officially in the books! Yesterday was a whirlwind of administrative tasks, moving the last few things, putting the final touches on my office, and finally, welcoming students for the start of the fall session.

Our new space includes my office/studio, Katey’s office/studio, a therapy room, and large group space. Today I’ll give you a look inside my office/studio, since it’s the closest to being “done” in terms of stocking and decorating. I really love how it has shaped up, but it’s definitely going to take some getting used to since it looks and feels so different from my old studio.

Music Therapy Connections studio

Katey and I wanted a uniform look throughout, so we went with all new furnishings — including desks, pianos, shelving, and rugs. I’m keeping my home office intact, so almost everything in the old studio stayed behind. The color scheme in our new space is blue and green with pops of pink (of course).

Music Therapy Connections studio

One of the biggest changes is our new pianos, which will take some getting used to. They are beautiful instruments, but very different from the good ol’ Cable upright I’ve been playing since I was a toddler. My students have so far been pretty excited about this change, especially checking out all the cool features that come with a Clavinova.

Music Therapy Connections studio

Several pieces of student artwork did make it over to my new office, though there is plenty of blank wall space left to fill. I’m reserving my bulletin board for photos of my piano students with their certificates (which I call the “wall of fame”).

Music Therapy Connections studio

Of course, no studio would be complete without a mirror for voice students. Most of them resist singing in front of one at first, but after a few lessons, they not only get used to it, but begin to enjoy observing themselves as they sing. I think it is so important to be aware of your breathing, posture, facial expressions, and overall body language.

Music Therapy Connections studio

My desk is pretty stark at the moment, which is how I like it. I try to keep papers filed or in my planner rather than stacked on my desk, though when life and work get a little crazier, that won’t always be the case.

Music Therapy Connections studio

I’m not one for clutter in general, which is good since my new office/studio is considerably smaller. I love that all of my music therapy instruments now have a dedicated home in the therapy room, which frees up lots of space in here.

I have a feeling this room will look and feel much more “lived in” after a couple of weeks, but for now I am enjoying the extreme organization and newness of it. Stay tuned for part 2 of the new studio tour!

First Day of Work

Keys to New Studio

Today marks my 8th “first day of work” after summer break at Music Therapy Connections, but this year is different. I have a new office, studio, and coworker, so it almost feels like I’m starting a brand-new job. Luckily, I’ll be surrounded by the familiar faces of my clients and their families; a girl can only handle so much change at once.

It’s always an adjustment, going back to a regular jam-packed schedule after a low-key summer. Having only worked 4 days a week, and for only a few hours each day, returning to my full client load this week will be a bit of a challenge. But since I survived it last year — after taking maternity leave the entire summer — I am feeling pretty confident in my abilities :)

This fall I’ll have more help with Parker during the day, which will allow me to get more work done during daylight hours so that I can relax with my family at night and on weekends (the majority of which I spent burning the midnight oil last year). I know that the idea of w0rk-life balance is a bit of a myth, especially when you own a business, but my goal this year is to get just a little closer to achieving it.

My agenda for day 1 on the “new” job: hang out with Parker until 9 when his sitter arrives, meet Katey at the bank, head to the new office/studio to put the finishing touches on my room, go home for lunch with Parker, return to work, see students from 3-7 pm, and finally, hightail it back home. Tuesdays will get a little crazier once I add my early childhood class in two weeks, so I’m going to enjoy the extra little bit of downtime before then.

As apprehensive as I am about all the changes going into effect today, I’m pretty stoked. I feel so fortunate that I’ve been able to grow my little business into what it has become, and I have high hopes for another great year. Starting…now!

Places to Go, People to See

Playing at Funshop

Out of all the ways that becoming a mom has changed me, turning into an extrovert is the one I didn’t see coming. I guess it makes sense, though; spending most of my time at home with a toddler leaves me craving adult interaction now more than ever.

Over the past year, I’ve made a few great “mom friends” through the baby group at St. John’s Hospital, swim lessons, music class, and through mutual friends. I really look forward to playdates so that Parker can have fun while his friends while I get in some grown-up conversations. Win-win situation.

Playing at Ergadoozy

Most recently, a few of us met up at Ergadoozy, which was a huge hit! There were tons of toys to play with, things to climb, and slides to go up the wrong way. An added bonus: the nice long nap that Parker took when we got home.

He’s at the age where he can participate in a lot more activities, which will be great for keeping us busy throughout the week this fall. Last week we attended our first Funshop class, which was quite the experience! There were SO many things to take in and experience that I think it was a bit of sensory overload for Parker, but he had a great time.

Playing at Little Gym

We also tried out the Little Gym, which has a “gymnastics” class for toddlers. It was so funny watching Parker run wild all over the big mat and dancing to the music. He was completely terrified of the gym equipment until the very end of the class, when he decided to try out the little balance beam. Of course, when it was time for everyone to come back to the mat (where he had been the entire class), Parker refused to get off the beam. Typical :)

Swim lessons start back up on Saturday, so our schedule really is going to be chock-full. We have to get all of our fun in before winter hits, especially if this year is anything like last. Until then, we’ll be getting out and about as often as we can (and taking plenty of long naps as a result!).

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