I hate to admit it, but I dreaded those first few days at home alone with both Parker and Mia. Aside from the fact that I was still healing and exhausted from waking up several times a night, I had no idea how in the world to take care of two kids — both in diapers — at the same time.
Parker goes to school on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, so Mondays and Fridays are “mommy days” from the time Zach leaves for work around 8 am until he gets home at 6 pm. Truth be told, I was pretty terrified when that first Monday rolled around.
It was rough in the beginning. Parker wanted my constant attention, and he also wanted to climb all over the baby to give her hugs and kisses (usually while I was nursing her). “Baby down” and “put baby in swing” were common phrases out of his mouth; he was much happier when I focused on him alone. I felt like the days were endless, especially since it rained so much which meant we were stuck inside.
But every day with both kids at home got a little easier. We started to establish a routine, and the novelty of Mia wore off for Parker. He got used to having her and is now at the point where he asks for her as soon as he wakes up in the morning. We’re seven weeks in to life with 2, and now I look forward to Mondays and Fridays.
Our days now have some actual structure, which has made all the difference. A typical “mommy day” goes a little something like this.
5:00 am – I set my alarm for this time every day, but I usually don’t end up needing it thanks to Mia. She typically wakes up to eat at about 4:30, so I scoot her rock ‘n play into the nursery, change her diaper, and feed her before putting her back down. Then I go downstairs, make my coffee, and get some work done while everyone is still sleeping.
7:30 am – Parker usually wakes up around this time. I get him up and changed, then bring him downstairs for breakfast. Zach usually feeds him and they hang out together while I take a shower and get ready for the day.
8:00 am – The next couple of hours are nice because Mia sleeps while Parker and I spend some one-on-one time together. If it’s nice we’ll play in the backyard, come in and have a snack, hang out in the playroom, and maybe watch an episode of Daniel Tiger on Netflix.
10:00 am – Mia wakes up, so Parker and I go upstairs to change her (he loves being my helper and throwing away diapers) and then I nurse her while Parker plays in the room. This is the point where I’m ready to get out of the house, so if it’s not raining, we’ll load up the double stroller and go for a long walk around the neighborhood. I love our walks so much, because Parker and I talk the whole time while Mia snoozes. The things that come out of his mouth crack me up. If the weather is bad, we will go run a quick errand — one that doesn’t require leaving the car, like getting gas or running through Starbucks ;)
11:30 am – Parker will usually have a snack when we get home, or if he’s really hungry, lunch. I put him down for his paci-free nap and then nurse Mia. Once they are both asleep, I come downstairs to make myself some lunch and catch up on email.
1:30 pm – Parker wakes up around this time, and is usually hungry again (either for lunch or a snack if he already ate before his nap). I feed him and then we either play in the backyard or in his playroom until Mia wakes up.
2:30 pm – I nurse Mia and then we head back outside if it’s not raining. This time I’ll wear Mia in the Moby wrap and put Parker in his wagon, just to change things up a little. Zach got me a FitBit for my birthday, so I get pretty excited on nice days when I can rack up my steps.
4:00 pm – Come back in for a snack and some chill time. Parker will either play with his toys, ride his train or scooter around, or we’ll all read books together. I try not to have him watch too much TV throughout the day, aside from an episode in the morning and maybe another right before Zach comes home.
5:30 pm – I call this the “witching hour” because Parker starts to get a little stir-crazy and Mia is cranky. At this point we usually go outside and play in the front yard while we wait for Zach. We are all pretty happy when we see him coming down the street :)
We’ve also ventured out for pool days and play dates, and hopefully over time I’ll get more comfortable being out and about with both kids. All in all, I’m starting to get the hang of this “mom of 2” gig, though we still have plenty of bumps in the road. I’m pretty sure that will always be the case, no matter how experienced I am…because, parenthood.
25 episodes feels like a big milestone, so I was celebrating a little as I hit “publish” this week. How is it possible that an entire half of a year has passed since I came up with the idea for this podcast and recorded the first episode? Slow down, life.
This week’s guest doesn’t know the meaning of the word “slow” — with 3 boys and a thriving private practice, how could she!? Oh, and did I mention that she’s also working on her doctorate degree? Karen Sanchez is an impressive lady, as you’ll find out when you listen to this episode.
Karen talks about pursuing multiple degrees and how they have benefited her private practice, lets us in on her strategies for managing her family of five’s busy schedule, and shares how she keeps up her musicianship (in all her spare time, ha!) in Episode 25 of the Guitars & Granola Bars podcast.
Be sure to check out the show notes page for more information about Karen, along with links to the resources she mentions in the episode.
This episode is sponsored by Music Teacher’s Helper, which is software for music teachers and therapists that helps manage your private music lesson studio and/or music therapy practice. I’ve used Music Teacher’s Helper every single day since 2011, and it is one of the best tools I have to keep my private practice running smoothly.
Sign up here for a 30-day no risk trial. If you choose to sign up after the trial using my link, you’ll save 20% off your first month!
Click here to subscribe on iTunes, or search “Guitars & Granola Bars” in the podcast app on your Apple device. Click here to listen and subscribe on Stitcher, or download and search the app on your mobile device.
At just 5 days old, Mia was the perfect model for her newborn photo shoot — she slept the entire time! Our photographer, Tara Long, took advantage of her sleepiness by using lots of different fun props and even taking the shoot outside. I couldn’t believe that despite all the outfit and prop changes, Mia didn’t wake up until the very end.
There was a videographer there filming a promo video for Tara’s website, which turned out so beautiful (and not just because Mia’s sweet face is in it!). You can check it out here. Now on to the GORGEOUS photos of our tiny baby.
I can’t get over how stunning these photos are. There are over 100 of them, and they are all equally as beautiful. The hard part is deciding which ones to have printed. I do know that there will be a giant canvas of the first one (Parker and Mia together) hanging in our house. I’m pretty sure that’s my favorite photo of all time.
It’s a BIG SUMMER for Music Therapy Connections, my private practice and teaching studio. Not only are we moving to our own building next month, but we are also welcoming new members to our team. “Expansion” is the theme of 2015 — both personally and professionally!
We want to kick off all these exciting changes by hosting a Midsummer Music Celebration, and you’re invited. On July 19, our friends, students, clients and their families will gather for music-making and mingling. We’ll host an interactive mini-concert, introduce our new staff, share more about our new location, and enjoy some sweet treats at a reception to follow.
It should be a fun afternoon, so we really hope you’ll join us if you are in the central Illinois area. I’m especially looking forward to it since I’ve been on maternity leave all summer and missing all my wonderful students and families.
One more thing, speaking of growth: we are currently raising funds for a recording studio in our new building. Click here to learn more about why this is such a great opportunity for our students and clients, and how you can contribute!
Every time we get in the car, my 2-year-old son Parker asks for “mama songs”. I have about 200 of ’em loaded up on my phone, but his favorite album is a collection of songs from one of my past early childhood class sessions.
I’ve listened to that album so often that I catch myself humming the songs at random times throughout the day, especially this one. It’s all about playing the — you guessed it — castanets.
I use castanets all the time in both my music therapy sessions and classes because they are so useful for addressing fine motor skills. Plus they make a lot of noise, and that seems to be an important qualification for a well-liked instrument ;)
I also address other goals with this song, including counting to 3, learning directions (up and down), crossing the midline, and keeping a steady beat.
Did you know that you can receive a DOWNLOAD of each new Listen & Learn release (mp3, lyrics/chords, and instrumental track when applicable) emailed directly to your inbox, including this one?Click here to learn how.
Welcome! I’m Rachel Rambach, board-certified music therapist and creator of Listen & Learn Music — educational songs and musical materials for children. I love sharing my work with you, along with my behind-the-scenes creative process, adventures in business ownership, and life as a mom of two little ones.
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Next month’s music therapy sessions, early childhood groups, or classroom music…planned for you in advance.
Click the image below for this free resource and song collection!