Parenting by the Book – or Not


By Tara Lindis


Within a few days of arriving back in my hometown of Portland, Oregon after spending the last year abroad, I take my twenty-three month old son over to my sister’s house to meet my six-month old nephew. The joke that gets tossed around in the family is almost a cliché, that no one cares about seeing my husband or me, and we don’t care about seeing my siblings or their spouses, it’s about seeing the children. Except, I am excited about seeing my sister.


In her son’s room, we sit on a quilt with our boys. We catch up and talk about how beautiful and amazing our boys and each others’ boys are, and before long our conversation turns to our favorite books or how one of us read a book that beautifully illustrates exactly what we are talking about.


This book exchange conversation is not new to our relationship; it is not a thing that came out of both of us becoming mothers. When I leave her house with the books I am borrowing in my purse, it is not the first time I have left her house having taken books off the floor to ceiling bookshelf in her family room. It is also not the first time that I tried to reserve a book at the library, found it was not available and then discovered it wasn’t available because my sister had checked it out ahead of me. I find it on her coffee table upon walking in to her house. Her bookmark is in the middle.


I do read and research a lot about parenting, but I read and research a lot in general. Reading and researching has always been one of my better coping mechanisms. My husband jokes that I have my maternal instincts, then I read everything I can get my hands on until I find the authorities who agree with me. I have since learned that I’m not the only one who does this. My sister does it too. For me, the researching habit is part of my process of gaining confidence. Even if I don’t follow all of what I read. In fact, most of it goes out the window, and I can’t think of one book where at some point I didn’t disagree with the author. Parenting, I’ve learned, is not like buying a bedroom set en masse, but more like helping myself to a buffet, where I only have to take what I like.


As my sister and I walk to the park to ease my son’s boredom, we also talk about our parenting instincts, those times we don’t read what to do and instead follow our gut feelings and our child’s lead. Some things can’t be learned from a book, and some things have to be learned from experience. We talk about those painful moments when we didn’t listen to our instincts and ended up sorry and kicking ourselves. I start to realize how fortunate we are that overall, as mothers, we trust ourselves and we trust our children. I’ve overheard other mothers in bookstores talking – how glad they were for that one book so they knew how long to let their baby cry before picking her up or how they wanted to pick their baby up but the book said not to. It’s heartbreaking – not that the baby ended up crying, but that the mother trusted an “authority” -but nonetheless a stranger who had never met her or her baby – over herself.


Plenty of people talk about how important the job of parenting is and far more talk about how hard it is, but after my afternoon with my sister and nephew, I realize that not very many people talk about the opportunity of parenting – to find trust, confidence, and grace in ourselves as we define the kind of parents we want to be. I’m always grateful for how many resources there are for parents, but I’m just as grateful that I’ve learned to trust myself, my son, and my parenting along the way.

Music Learning | Metronome – tool for music learning.

What is a metronome?


A metronome is an instrument giving an audible or visual signal to indicate a tempo speed at which music should be played. It is mostly used in the study of a partition, the establishment of an interpretation or research timing (timing) of a musical work.


Practicing with a metronome is the best possible way to learn to keep a steady pace throughout a song, and it’s one of the easiest ways to match the tempo of the piece you’re playing to the tempo conceived by the person who wrote the pieces.


Role of Metronome in partiture learning


In learning a piece of music, a metronomic progression achieves gradually tempo requested and perfecting his instrumental or vocal technique. It consists of several days (or weeks or months … or even years) to play with the metronome a technical difficulty in starting a slow tempo as you climb gradually to bring it to its limits of perfection. This is one of the core activities of any instrumentalist.


On a partiture the metronomic indication generally follows the indication of movement (Adagio, Andante, Allegro, Presto …) and is composed of a miniature figure often note and a number separated by an equal sign (=) : the figure indicates the time unit (black, white, crooked …) and the number corresponds to the scale, usually between 40 and 208 beats per minute.


When was metronome invented?The metronome was first invented in 1696 by the French inventor Étienne Loulié. Loulié’s first prototype consisted of a very simple weighted pendulum. The problem with his invention, though, was that in order to work with beats as slow as 40 to 60 beats per minute (bpm), the device had to be at least six feet tall. It wasn’t until more than 100 years later that two German tinkerers, Dietrich Nikolaus Winkel and Johann Nepomuk Maelzel, worked independently to produce the spring-loaded design that is the basis for analog (non-electronic) metronomes today. Maelzel was the first to slap a patent on the finished product, and as a result, his initial is attached to the standard 4:4 beat tempo sign, MM=120. MM is short for Maelzel’s metronome, and the 120 means there will be 120 bpm, or 120 quarter notes, in the piece played. Like the concept of the minim, the metronome was warmly received by musicians and composers alike. From then on, when composers wrote a piece of music, they could give musicians an exact number of beats per minute to be played. The metronomic markings were written over the staff so that musicians would know what to calibrate their metronomes to. For example, quarter note=96, or MM=96, means that 96 quarter notes are to be played per minute in a given song. These markings are still used today for setting mostly electronic metronomes, particularly for classical and avant-garde compositions that require precise timing. How is Metronome notation? Although the metronome was the perfect invention for control freaks such as Beethoven and Mozart, most composers were happy instead to use the growing vocabulary of tempo notation to generally describe the pace of a song. Even today, the same words used to describe tempo and pace in music are used. They are Italian words, simply because when these phrases came into use (1600–1750), the bulk of European music came from Italian composers. If you have a metronome, to properly appreciate the differences from one tempo setting to the next, you may want to try setting it to different speeds to get a feel of how different pieces of music might be played to each different setting.

Let’s Keep the Kids Entertained With Coloring Pages!

It is amazing to think about how endearingly popular Coloring Pages nevertheless continue to be. Never ever mind how the world modifications, our kids nowadays like to color in simply as much as we did when we were children. It is an exceptional family interest and one you ought to make a regular time out to relish with your child.

It not just increases concentration abilities, hand eye co-ordination and the picking up of colors, it is also an excellent chance for us grown-ups to obtain some quality time with our children. It is so enjoyable to offer feedback as your child gets more practiced and better at staying in between the lines, or coordinating the correct colors to the best location on the character on the page.

For children, it has to be princess my little pony coloring pages and hi cat. The most popular overall is Disney Coloring Pages, which is no surprise!

And maybe the best thing about coloring pages is that they are complimentary. You simply print them out (most homes have a printer these days) and as long as you have something to color in with, you’re good to begin.

By sticking your kids arts around your home (typically the kitchen area or playroom) you will also be subtlely demonstrating how happy you are of their efforts and adding to the structure of their self-regard. As time passes and they see their development it will likewise teach them that with practise and persistence they can get better at anything they put their mind to. After all, practice makes ideal.

Imaginative use of creativity is motivated by this free pastime. Why not ask your kid to elaborate on what is happening in the scene or to add characters to the background? By engaging your kids like this you are teaching them to use their imagination, creativity and shooting up their brains to much better comprehend the world around them.

We hope you can see this cheap activity is a really rewarding one for kids.

Facing the (Holiday) Music: Six Helpful Tips to Comfort Grieving Hearts

Ready or not, here they come: and whether you are ready to face them, the holidays are approaching the same as any other year. For most, they represent a time for families to gather, and for Santa to spoil children, and for reflecting on the blessings of the year past. It’s a time for special presents to those that you love, and kisses stolen under the mistletoe. Unfortunately, many families across the country will be facing the empty place around the holiday table that was once filled by a beloved spouse, parent, sibling, friend, or child, who was tragically lost. And what was once a season of warmth and peace is instead filled with sadness, longing, and regret.


Author Joni Aldrich knows that feeling all too well. In 2006, she lost her 45-year-old husband to a rare form of cancer, and found out just how upsetting it could be to face her first holiday without her husband. “The first holiday season after I lost my husband was awful, because we had so many special traditions that we shared,” explains Aldrich, author of The Losing of Gordon: A Beacon Through the Storm Called “Grief”. “We had no children together so the holiday traditions we shared essentially stopped without Gordon there. Every Christmas Eve, he waited until I went to bed to fill the stockings and leave presents under the tree,” Aldrich remembers fondly. “Without him, Christmas just wasn’t the same.” This year lightning struck again when Aldrich learned the sad news that her 83-year-old mother has terminal lung cancer, and faces yet another season of celebration shadowed by cancer. “The person who filled the void for me after Gordon died was my mother,” she explains. “Now, this holiday season my family may face the sorrow of yet another loss—either through anticipatory grief or real grief. One of the pillars that supported me after Gordon died may be leaving me, and from the same killer.”


Silver bells and cheery carols can highlight loss just as easily as they can bring good will towards man. Through her own personal experience, Aldrich offers six suggestions for other grieving hearts that might make this holiday season a little easier to navigate.


Make a list (and check it twice). There’s no way to avoid it—holiday bliss will smack you in the face at every turn. From the first store decorations in September, until the ball drops on New Year’s Day there is no shortage of special occasions to remind you of your loved one. And if each one of these is somewhat painful due to grief, you may find yourself thinking it’ll never end. You may wish you could just hide under a rock until the last fruitcake has been thrown away. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way. There are others in your family and friends circle—perhaps even children to consider.


Aldrich suggests that thinking through the holidays ahead of time will help you to feel more prepared and to cope easier. “Start preparing early by making a list of the things you may want to keep the same during the season, and those that you want to adjust somewhat—at least for this one holiday season,” Aldrich recommends. “Try to dial into your internal comfort gauge ahead of time—what would be too difficult for you this year? Really focus on the answer to that question. For a while, I even dared anyone to give me presents or offer holiday greetings. That was unrealistic and unfair to others. Survival requires looking deep inside yourself to determine what you might do to make this season tolerable, but harmonizing that with reasonable expectations.”


Adaptability is your answer for “first” holiday survival. As you start navigating the holiday waters, keep your emotional compass handy. Which way will the wind be blowing today? If you’re in a store and feel the need to walk all the way around the back to avoid the holiday decorations, then do it. Yes, you may feel a little silly, but the point is to spare your feelings. If you start writing greeting cards, and find you can’t continue—adjust your list of “outs.” They’re guidelines, not rules. If you’re not sure how you feel about an activity, give it a try. If it becomes too painful, alter the scope of what you’re doing or just stop it altogether. Don’t be hard on yourself about it. “Think about what you can and can’t do in a matter of degrees,” explains Aldrich. “Maybe you don’t want to put up that 14-foot Frasier fir this year, but can you put up a small fiber optic tree? Will the world stop if you serve lobster instead of turkey at Thanksgiving? The answer is no. Those who love you will completely understand and support your point-of-view—and they may even like changing it up a bit. It’s important to stay integrated into the outside world. Never beat yourself up over the ‘can’t do’ list. If it’s that important, ask someone else to do the shopping or cook the goose for you.”


Embrace a balance. No matter what you do, you are going to be overwhelmed by emotions during your first holiday season after a loss. And it’s okay to let the emotions come. Talk about how you feel with your family and children—they are probably experiencing their own painful feelings of grief as well—but don’t let it be the only topic of conversation around your holiday table. Aldrich says that it’s important to try to find a balance between the two. In other words, don’t force yourself to exclude the remembrance of your loved one, just because you think it might be awkward—but don’t overdo it either. “Trying to keep your emotions bottled up inside can lead to a major meltdown,” warns Aldrich. “Be alert for overloaded senses and remember that grief never fits into a neat timetable. No matter how prepared you think you are or how much of your life you think you may have rebuilt after suffering a devastating loss, grief can still bowl you over with emotion at any time: And it’ll happen at the oddest time when you don’t expect it. The point is that it’s okay to remember those whom you loved and lost through words, pictures, treasures or a kinship of tears. Just don’t let it be the focus of every holiday celebration.”


Replace the sting of loss with the joy of giving. Despite the festive spirit of the holiday season, you may find yourself focusing on what you don’t have. Instead, Aldrich suggests embracing the season of giving by transferring your love and caring to others that are important in your life, such as your children, grandchildren and friends. It’s helpful to focus on the human gifts of love that are still here with us. And it’s a good time to give to neighbors and friends in need.



“Consider giving a donation to your favorite charity in lieu of gifts to the adults on your shopping list this year,” she says. “Or you can opt to adopt a family and help to provide them with a wonderful holiday. If you can’t afford a donation, consider donating some of your time to the local homeless shelter or soup kitchen. Here’s an added bonus—giving to charity makes you feel good about yourself and you can give in honor of your loved one. It’s a special way to give back and honor the memory of the person you have lost.”


Give yourself the gift of counseling. Depression during the grieving process can often lead to a feeling of hopelessness and despair, especially during the holidays. Individual counseling or a support group can help you get through the rough edges. There is no shame in seeking out support to help you through your grief. Often times the burden is too much for you to bear on your own—and a friend or family member may not be able to provide you with the help you need. “Grief is not about being mentally challenged—it’s about being emotionally challenged,” Aldrich says. “I went to grief counseling that was offered around the holidays after the loss of my father many years ago. That’s when I found out how vital to the healing process it can be. There was something very comforting about simply interacting with a group of people who had also lost their father. That was my first experience knowing that—even though grief is different for everyone—there are commonalities that every person goes through. Often it simply helps to know that you are not alone—that there are other people that are suffering painful memories, too.”



Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Aldrich’s final point is a difficult one, but one that deserves addressing. The holidays are full of emotion, memories, and gatherings with people you may not have seen for awhile. The combination can be overwhelming for someone who is just starting to come to terms with a loss. Each new milestone after losing a loved one can bring all the feelings you’ve worked hard to deal with rushing back—and Aldrich says that for many the burden is just too much to bear. Grieving families sometimes get into accidents or do harm to themselves because they’re in a fog. Watch out for any conscious or unconscious harmful tendencies. Above all else, if you feel any suicidal tendencies, get help immediately. Call a friend or family member, your counselor or 9-1-1. “There’s a treacherous balance between appearing superhuman, but underneath being super-depressed,” Aldrich warns. “I painted on my façade very effectively for several years after Gordon died. You have to come out of the charade sometime, and the holidays can force that on persons who are grieving.


Don’t force yourself into emotions that just don’t match what you feel. If you feel as though you are slipping into a dangerous place, ask for help immediately. And keep reminding yourself that your loved one wouldn’t want you to be sad or do anything self-destructive while grieving for them.” “There is a ray of light at the end of the holiday tunnel,” concludes Aldrich. “Each one that passes willbe a little easier. New traditions will become cherished over time, but you should still return to the memories with your loved one. I will always treasure the holidays Gordon and I shared together—the memories are still with me, even though Gordon is not. Life is always a combination of good and bad. We should all appreciate the good, and know that when bad things happen, the only way forward is to take one small step at a time. I think of it like walking on shells barefooted at the beach—you must step down gingerly before applying more pressure, or you might get cut by a broken shell. Either way, the wounds will heal.”