Mia Makes Music

Mia 4

Before Mia was born, my friend Crystal told me about a photo shoot idea she had. Her daughter had gotten an American Girl doll-sized grand piano for Christmas — a tiny miniature version of the grand piano in their living room. When Mia began sitting up on her own, we created the vision Crystal had been planning for over a year!

Mia 2

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Mia 1

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Mia was such an angel through the whole shoot. I’m so grateful to Crystal for capturing her so perfectly and in such a meaningful way. Before I know it, she’ll be old enough to sit at that big piano (I can’t even let my brain go there right now) and I will look back at these photos to remember how tiny she once was.

Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Album Cover

As much as I love writing new songs for my music therapy sessions and classes, I think it’s equally important to share familiar songs my clients, students, and their families can sing right away. Sometimes I like to put my own spin on traditional repertoire, but in this case, I kept the recording very straightforward and simple: just the melody and ukulele accompaniment. Depending on the setting, I’ll add sign language or simple movements, though many times we’ll sing this as a cooldown at the end of a session or class.

Everybody who uses music with children should have a solid catalog of familiar tunes, and I’ve found this one to be the most often requested (including by my son, who has been asking for the “Twinkle Twinkle book” every night at bedtime lately). I’ll continue sharing more of the familiar songs I’ve recorded — sprinkled in with lots of originals, of course. What are your favorite songs to pull out when you want to get everyone singing along?

Members of Listen & Learn Plus! have access to all of the above in our shared Dropbox folder. Membership includes just about everything else in my resource library and collection — come over and join us!

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The Naptime Shuffle

Mia Napping

I’m pretty sure every parent in the world would agree that naptime is sacred. It’s taken me a few months to figure out how to best utilize those precious minutes, especially on the days when I’m home with both kids, but I have it down to an art now.

In the early days, I struggled with knowing just when to put Mia down for a nap. Then a couple months ago, I stumbled upon some advice from another mom in a Facebook group I belong to.

She had read that the first nap of the day should start two hours after waking up in the morning, and the next nap should start three hours after waking up from the previous one. According to this mom, it worked brilliantly with her baby, so I was up for giving it a try.

Luckily this schedule has worked out amazingly for Mia, so now I’m a lot better at planning out our days based on when Mia wakes up.

I typically put Mia down for her nap around 10 am, at which point Parker and I hightail into my bedroom. He plays with his lego table and reads books while I take a quick shower and get ready for the day, all while Mia sleeps. If she sleeps an extra long time, I might even sneak in some quick computer work while Parker entertains himself.

When she wakes up, we go downstairs and eat lunch before it is Parker’s turn to take his nap. That time isn’t nearly as productive, since Mia is too young to play on her own for more than just a few minutes (and I always stay within arm’s length unless she’s in the exersaucer or jumpy seat).

Parker Napping

Mostly, though, Parker’s nap time is spent giving Mia some extra attention and getting my fill of baby cuddles. If I have a show DVR’d, this is my chance to watch it since I try not to have the TV on too much throughout the day…aside from a couple episodes of Super Why or Little Einsteins here and there.

Once Parker wakes up, it’s playtime for all of us until the babysitter comes and I head to work. The days I’m home with both kids are pretty predictable and repetitive, partly because I thrive on routine but mostly because I’m not brave enough to venture out in the cold with both of them (unless it doesn’t involve getting out of the car, like a quick run to the bank or Starbucks drive through).

As predictable and uneventful as they are, those naptime minutes are still just as valuable. I feel sort of like a ninja on the days I’m able to time everything out really well and get all the things — you know, showering, eating, maybe a load of laundry — crossed off my list.

I would have never guessed back in the day that those things would become accomplishments, but it seems that comes with the territory of being a mom. As does writing an entire blog post about nap schedules, apparently.

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