13 Songs That Make Parenting a Toddler More Fun!


Raising a toddler… wow! If you’ve got one, you know what I mean.

I absolutely adore my son and generally feel like I’m pretty lucky. He usually obeys. He’s positive and smiles a lot. He usually eats his vegetables and picks up his toys. But I haven’t figured out the potty training thing yet and every once in a while (a lot more often since he turned two) my son throws a really terrible, embarrassing, screaming, throwing, kicking tantrum!

I’ve tried several different tactics for calming the storm but one method has proven to be the most effective so far…

A while back my son randomly picked the TV show “Daniel’s Neighborhood” (a cartoon spin-off of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood) from a line-up of shows on Netflix. We were watching the episode when one of the songs really stuck out to me. It was called, “When You Feel So Mad That You Want To Roar”. As the song played a couple times during the show I sang it under my breath so I could remember it later. I had the distinct feeling that it might help my son calm down.

It helped me that same day!


4 Ways to Fight the Fear “You’re Too Poor to Accomplish Your Dream”


Have the little voices in your head ever said, “you’re too poor to go after your dream?” Oh, you don’t hear voices? Um, I mean..

You probably don’t have the salary you’d prefer. You might not have a savings account. Maybe you don’t own a computer. Maybe you can’t afford a car.

..You might not even have a job!

For a very long time I didn’t work on my dream because I believed the lie that I was too poor to accomplish it.

You see, in 2009 I had already written my first book, “Money C. Counts 1, 2, 3” when I decided to hole myself in a room for an entire weekend (waking up at 7 am and going to bed at 2 am) as a big push to complete the graphics and finally send it off to the printer. I worked really, really hard and got the work done. I was ready to ship.

A few days later I woke up, got my coffee and went to grab my beautiful, shiny, silver Apple Powerbook that I had bought in college. I was in for a big surprise! My computer was so HOT that I actually burned my fingers! I couldn’t even pick it up. I had to go to the kitchen and get my oven mitts in order to carry the computer over to the window ledge where the crisp winter air could cool it down. My precious computer was fried, literally. Even the Apple geniuses couldn’t fix it. (more…)

Lie #1 “That’s SOOO uncool!” (What do clown shoes & hushed tones have to do with my dream?)

A couple weeks ago Jon Acuff (New York Times best selling author of “Quitter”, “Stuff Christians Like” and “Start”) tweeted:

“Adventurers wanted. 24 People. Email me your name, address & phone number. I’m deleting this post in 17 hours”

(or something close, shoulda got a screenshot). So I sent him my info and shortly received an e-mail stating I was “in”.  There are over 1,000 people worldwide that are participating in the START experiment and our 24 day adventure starts on Monday, July 15.  Acuff said a machete and passport might be necessary so I got mine ready just in case.

In preparation for this whole ordeal my husband, Harmony, and I listened to Acuff’s book “Start: Punch Fear in the Face. Escape Average. Do work that matters.” while we drove from Chicago to LaCrosse, WI to visit family for the 4th of July.  We were both inspired to start something new.  Additionally, I decided to share some of my thoughts about START in my blog.

In order to START something significant, you have to learn how to deal with the lies that fear & doubt whisper in your ear.  In my next few blogs, I’m going to unveil some of the fear & doubt dragons I had to slay & some important lessons I’ve learned along the way.

Why don’t I just go ahead and start with the most shallow excuse that I struggled with when starting my book series…


A Running List of Modern Pop/Rock Songs for Piano

As promised in my last post “So your child wants to quit music lessons?“, here is a list of modern pop/rock songs for piano that you can introduce to your child or student (in no particular order).  I plan on adding songs to the list as they are released or discovered.  *Disclaimer: some are not appropriate for kids but would still be good matches for young adult/adult students.

  1. “Say Something” by A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera
  2. “Atlas” by Coldplay 
  3. “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars
  4. “Jar of Hearts” by Cristina Perri (more…)


I’d like to tell you a story and share I song I wrote, so grab a cup of coffee, get comfy on the couch…

A couple years ago I was working at a therapy/rehab center running music therapy groups for adults with mental and physical disabilities.  It wasn’t an easy job.  We were understaffed, underpaid and under resourced, as is the case in many of these types of organizations.  I led groups as small as 2 clients and as big as 30, often without a helper (it wasn’t uncommon to have a chair thrown at me or to have to stop a session so I could keep a client from banging their own head against the wall).

There was one therapy group that made up for the daily craziness, though, and in it was my favorite client, for the sake of privacy I’ll call her Sarah.  Sarah was probably 3 years older than me.  She had a very expressive face, she would look at you with a beautiful, beaming smile… or, sometimes (not often) cry tears that would break your heart.

Sarah was living her life in a wheel chair.  She couldn’t speak but communicated by opening her hand to signal “yes” and closing it to signal “no”.  One of my coworkers, who had worked with Sarah from the start, told me that Sarah wasn’t always like this.  They said that she was a totally functional, healthy teenager until one day when she developed a neurological disorder.  It was slowly taking away her abilities, one by one.*