{Guitars & Granola Bars} Episode 29

GGB Episode 29 Poster

I’ve heard some pretty fascinating stories on this podcast, but Alana’s might just take the cake. I’m sure you’ll be just as riveted as I was when you hear all that Alana has been through — including the devastating Hurricane Katrina in 2005 — and overcome to get to where she is today.

Alana’s perspective on life and her approach to both motherhood and music therapy is inspiring, and as I mention in the episode, I could have continued chatting with her for hours on end.

Alana talks about having her life interrupted by not 1 but 4 hurricanes, the birth and postpartum experiences she had with her two girls, and the parallels between being a mom and a music therapist in Episode 29 of the Guitars & Granola Bars podcast.

Be sure to check out the show notes page for more information about Alana, 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!

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All Signs Point to Music Therapy Connections

Music Therapy Connections :: Springfield, IL

We signed the least on our new building back in May, but it wasn’t until I spotted this sign from the street that it hit me: Music Therapy Connections has a new home!

What started as a solo music therapist traveling to clients’ homes now has 2,300 square feet of dedicated space and a team of 6. Our doors at 1234 Centre West Drive open in less than two weeks, and I couldn’t be any more excited!

Music Therapy Connections LLC :: Springfield, IL

I designed our exterior signage based on our logo with the guidance of Matt Larison at Ace Sign Company here in Springfield, and they did an amazing job producing and installing it. I feel a little silly admitting this, but I drove past our building four times on Monday just to admire the sign from the street. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to seeing it and knowing that thousands of people drive by it every day.

In fact, I’ve already gotten two phone calls from people who drove by and were curious about our services. I guess I never really considered that having our own building and sign would be marketing in and of itself.

This is only one of many exciting moments to come in relation to our new headquarters. Tomorrow the carpet installation will be complete, which means we can start moving in furniture, instruments, and equipment. We’ll have the whole team together the week after next, and then we’ll actually start working with our students and clients there — the culmination of 6 months of planning, saving, and hustling.

But until that day comes, I’ll be driving past to get a glimpse of our sign at every opportunity and pinching myself each time.

World Breastfeeding Week

World Breastfeeding Week

This is the 3rd consecutive year I’ve celebrated World Breastfeeding Week by — wait for it — breastfeeding. We’ve attended the annual World Breastfeeding Week Zoo Walk, hosted by the West Central Illinois Breastfeeding Taskforce, each year since 2012, when I started providing musical entertainment during the event.

In 2013, I was just a couple months in to motherhood and still working to get the hang of nursing Parker. He was a huge supporter of breastfeeding from the start, as you can see ;)

World Breastfeeding Week

In 2014, he was down to nursing just in the morning and at bedtime, but neither of us were quite ready to give it up altogether. (He self-weaned a little over a month later, literally on the day I found out I was pregnant.)

World Breastfeeding Week

And this year, I’m right back at the beginning with Mia, who is just 10 weeks old. Nursing her has been so much easier than it was with Parker, which I attribute to knowing what I’m doing this time around and feeling much more confident.

World Breastfeeding Week

We always have a great time getting together with friends I’ve met through the mom & baby group at St. John’s Hospital, and this year was especially fun now that Parker is old enough to really enjoy the zoo.

I’m hoping that I can celebrate this week next year by continuing to breastfeed at least until then, if not longer. As exhausting and consuming as it can be at times, there is nothing better than having this girl snuggled up to me.

The Best Stage Yet

Parker at Age 2

The other day, I took Parker and Mia over to my friend Crystal’s house for a playdate. She has four kids ranging from under 1 to 10 years old, so I pretty much consider her a seasoned expert on parenting. We were talking about how the time goes by so quickly, and she said something that really stuck with me.

Even though you think these early months and years are the best stages, it just keeps getting better and more fun. Every stage is the best stage. 

Parker at Age 2

I’ve only been in this parenting game for two years now, but I can already tell she is right. Infancy and early toddlerhood is adorable and exciting and fun, but man is it hard. I know my perspective is a little skewed since I spent months 15-23 of Parker’s life pregnant, but I think any parent would agree.

When Parker turned 2, a whole new world opened up for us. His language has exploded in these last two months, so we are having full-blown conversations. He understands so much more, he has an amazing sense of humor, and he is becoming my little helper — it’s truly awesome.

On my first day home with two kids, I had no idea how I would make it to 6 pm, let alone through the end of the summer. But now I truly look forward to my days with both of them. They can still be difficult and overwhelming at times, but mostly they are just fun.

Parker at Age 2

The very best thing about this stage is watching Parker develop into a loving big brother. He is over the moon for his baby sister, and is always genuinely concerned when she is crying or spits up. “I rock her,” he’ll say when she’s getting fussy in her bassinet or carseat. And he makes sure she is included in whatever we’re doing, whether it’s going for a walk in the stroller, playing in the backyard or running an errand.

Parker at Age 2

I really do feel like I have the best of both worlds right now, with a two-month-old and two-year-old. I get to enjoy ALL the baby snuggles while looking forward to living this stage again in a couple years when Mia turns two. (However, I can’t handle the thought of Parker being four, so I just ignore it for the time being.)

Parker at Age 2

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