Author Archives: Melissa Cameron

About Melissa Cameron

Melissa Cameron is a freelance writer who loves to research ways to help her readers tackle their lives and handle their big life events. She’s always on the lookout for the best tips for healthy living and often writes on the things near and dear to her heart such as frugal ways to live well, and always adds her special brand of insights developed through her own family experiences.

How Music Therapy Helps Each Stage of Alzheimer’s

By Melissa Cameron, Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Memory Fades Alzheimer 389x276 How Music Therapy Helps Each Stage of Alzheimer’sOne of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s is dementia, the loss of brain function that affects memory, thinking, language, and judgement  Tragically, there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, and it affects millions of people every day.

Alzheimer’s does not just affect people diagnosed with the disease. It also affects family, friends, and coworkers. And although it might seem like a given, Alzheimer’s also affects caregivers, regardless if it is a family member taking care of someone at home or a nursing home employee.

However by using music therapy, medical professionals are able to improve quality of life for Alzheimer’s patients. Even patients who are unable to communicate with language can express themselves through various forms of music.

Some of these forms may include listening to music, interactive singing and clapping, playing instruments, or self-directed music activities on a digital device, like an MP3 player or an iPad. While it is not a cure for Alzheimer’s, music therapy does show marked improvement in symptoms.

Benefits for Every Stage of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (www.alzfdn.org) describes methods that a music therapist to achieve success with a patient. Here are some of the activities that they suggest for each stage of the disease.

Early Stage – Dancing, listening to favorite music from the past, picking up an instrument they used to play, determine a queue of musical favorites that can be used as the disease progresses and dementia becomes more serious.

Middle Stage – During the early middle stages, karaoke can help individuals sing along with their favorite tunes from yesteryear. Music used in conjunction with physical therapy can help improve skills such as walking and even reduce behavior problems during transition times, like going to dinner or bedtime routines.

Later Stage – Sing-alongs using tunes chronicled during the early stage can provide a sense of comfort. Individuals who are still fairly mobile may benefit from exercising to music. Rhythm based activities that involved clapping or drumming can keep individuals engaged for a longer time period.

Why Music Works

Music attaches itself to recollections from our past. It has the ability to stimulate these memories and bring them to the forefront of our thinking. Music that brings up a positive memory, like a wedding, birth of a child, or a special event with family or friends, can reduce Alzheimer’s symptoms.

Patients who receive music therapy are more relaxed, less agitated, and tend to act out less during the sundown time of day, which is typically high-stress for Alzheimer’s patients. They are also more likely to interact with others after a music therapy session.

However music therapy can also work as a sensory stimulation. Using music during transition times like bathing, meals, or bedtime can help reduce aggressive behavior as well as verbal agitation.

Benefits of Hands-On Music Therapy

There are plenty of benefits to hands-on music therapy for Alzheimer’s patients. If a patient knew how to play an instrument before, then picking it back up could help improve their memory. That’s because practice involves repetition which helps relax the individual and reduce dementia symptoms.

For example an Alzheimer’s patient who uses an iPad can learn piano scales even if they do not have the dexterity to sit at a piano bench to play the actual instrument. This is because using the tablet device allows them to play by just tapping or swiping along the screen.

Music therapy does not only benefit Alzheimer’s patients, though. It has also been known to help those diagnosed with cancer, victims of traumatic experiences, and individuals who suffer from things like neurologic disorders.

Music as a Communication Tool

Even Alzheimer’s patients who cannot communicate vocally and are otherwise unresponsive all day can communicate with music. They can come out of a near-catatonic state upon hearing a song that is special to them and sing along with the lyrics in perfect harmony.

Non-verbal Alzheimer’s patients can actually communicate through music therapy. Despite the fact that they cannot speak, they can create art such as painting or sculpture, dance, or play an instrument while music that matches their mood is playing.

Music is also used to shift mood. For example if an individual is acting extremely agitated then soothing music can help bring them to a calmer, more relaxed state. And if a patient is unresponsive then stimulating music can cause them to react, even if it is something minor like shuffling their feet.

About the Author

Freelance writer Melissa Cameron is mother to a two of busy, growing kids. Whether they are searching junk yards for old relics to add to the family man cave or having a sing-along around the camp fire, music is a big part of their lives. When Melissa isn’t writing or spending time with her husband and kids, she enjoys getting back to nature with hiking and kayaking.

Essential Business – 7 Ways to Reduce Distractions, Improve Productivity

By Melissa Cameron, Friday, March 15, 2013

TV Media Concentrate 389x280 Essential Business   7 Ways to Reduce Distractions, Improve ProductivityTwo years ago I launched my own website, it failed miserably because I was utterly clueless. I’ll admit I was hasty, I kept hearing how easy it was to get started that I literally took the leap without looking to see if there was water in the pond. Like a lot of other online entrepreneur’s I found myself struggling to keep up with the breakneck current of the internet.

Rather than taking to the web like a duck to water, I found myself flailing about in confusion. Having so many options for plugins, widgets, banners and networking, it was a headache just juggling these choices let alone find time to focus on regular updates. Sure, I could have found a lot of relief from a media management tool like Hootsuite, but you’ve got to remember I was a novice in those days.

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again

Never one to give up easily, I decided to do a bit of homework before polishing off my profile and establishing my web presence once more. This time around I’ve got the sound advice and know-how of professionals like founder of The School of Internet Marketing (www.theschoolofinternetmarketing.com), James Martell, and president of www.expand2web.com Don Campbell, to guide me through uncertain technological terrain. These two gentlemen have taken the mystery out of internet marketing, demonstrating how easy it really is to build a successful online business that gets noticed.

Start With Quality – Build From There

  • Know what tools are available – I know from experience how tempting (read: misleading) it can be to take advantage of all the myriad plugins that are supposed to make your site better, faster, stronger. The fact is, many of these are mimics of one another and just clog up your works with distractions. All you really need is conveniently packaged within WordPress, right down to the detection of mobile devices and the optimal display settings for those small, smartphone screens.
  • Start with the basics – Mobile users are seldom without their phone, and when they search for a site they are looking for something very specific. Cater to these demanding needs by making your contact information, map and directions, products and services, business hours and specials, all convenient to locate and easy to use. Being able to click your phone number and dial it, or print out a coupon for use towards a purchase, goes a long way towards attracting mobile users.
  • Save the fancy stuff for later – Rather than create an app for mobile users to add to their already app-filled smartphone it’s much more sensible to make sure your site is enabled for mobile devices. Visit your local Best Buy and test out the smartphones, assuming you don’t have one of your own, and see how your site looks on the different screens. If you have to do a lot of hunting, stretching, zooming,and pinching, you’ll quickly see why potential customers aren’t sticking around.
  • Get into the mobile mindset – Mobile users are after a quick fix, and since a vast majority of mobile searches result in a purchase, it’s in your best interest to have your business show up in the natural search results. This means claiming your business on Google + local, FourSquare, Yelp and others. Make sure it’s easy to find your business, contact information, and hours of operation.
  • Establish a presence – Just because mobile users aren’t sticking around to read your blog it’s still very important to continue producing new, fresh, and interesting content regularly. Mobile users spend quite a bit of time on Facebook and are likely to share your content with others. Building a rapport with your audience which solidifies you as an expert in your field results in positive word-of-mouth and repeat business.
  • Link your profiles – The internet is called “the web” for good reason, linking all of your profiles to your website not only reinforces the legitimacy of your business, it also encourages higher rankings in the eyes of Google’s search results. It may sound daunting to try juggling a Twitter account with LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook, and others, but it really is quite easy with the help of a media management tool like Hootsuite.
  • Stick to a schedule – In all truth, this is where most online entrepreneurs fall flat. Contract out, hire friends to help you write and pay them with a nice dinner if you don’t have a budget for hiring freelancers. Just because you need content doesn’t mean you alone have to write it! WordPress makes scheduling and pre-publishing simple, now all you need is a backlog. By publishing fresh, interesting, and original content daily you will easily outpace your competition in a matter of months. Google loves fresh content.

No Better Time Than Now

According to a recent “Coffee Talk”, an internet marketing podcast hosted by James Martell, more than 91% of smartphone users have their phones within reach at all times and over 44% of them are twice as active on Facebook than non-mobile users. It’s crazy not to have a mobile presence for your business. You just have to start somewhere, and it’s as really as simple as I’ve made it sound! Even if you don’t how to create a website there’s plenty of quality, low-cost alternatives that will have you up and running in one weekend.

About the Author:

Benjamin Baker is a freelance writing addict who spends his free time camping and playing guitar. He loves to check out junk yards with his sons to find manly relics, though sometimes they can find a boot or two when they’re out fishing. He loves that his freelance writing job gives him the opportunity to spend more time with his family.

Summer – Looking Good and Feeling Good Means Lifestyle Changes

By Melissa Cameron, Saturday, July 28, 2012

Summer Girl Health Drink Beach 389x250 Summer – Looking Good and Feeling Good Means Lifestyle ChangesDoes summertime strike fear in your heart? For many people it does, simply because they know that the warmer temperatures mean wearing clothes that cover less of their body. Whether you just want to look more toned, have a significant amount of weight to lose, or if you are looking to lose weight to allow you to feel more confident, you want to find things that you can easily add into your life. A change in attitude and lifestyle is what you need to allow you to reach your goals.

Start A Food Diary

Most of us do not even realize how much food that we eat or what food that we eat. We think that we are eating okay, but when we take the time to write down the food choices that we make, including the amounts, it can be extremely eye opening to us. If you want to see exactly where you stand as far as food, a food diary is a great way for you to do just that.

Make Activity Part of Your Day

While you want to have some time in your day set aside to exercise, you also want to think about ways to increase your activity all day. By taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking further away from the door, you can increase the number of steps that you take. Experts recommend taking 10,000 steps per day for maximum health and wearing a pedometer daily can be a way to make this part of your lifestyle. Realize the importance of exercise. Even John F. Kennedy understood this importance when he said, “Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”

Think About Food Differently

Most of us understand that food fuels our bodies, but we don’t really get it that our bodies need specific foods to work in the most efficient and healthful way. Giving your body junk may help you to feel full, but it will not give your body the vitamins and minerals that it needs for basic body processes. If you want to feel great and look great, you have to change the way that you eat and this means that you need to consider food as more of a fuel, rather than a fun event. That is not to say that healthy foods are not fun, but it does take a change in attitude to get to this point.

Make a Decision to Be Healthy

Most of us are good at making resolutions and promises to be healthy, but the follow through is where we fall short. We need to find ways to keep that dedication and consistency that we feel the first few days. By changing up your activities, enlisting a friend to work out with you, and using music to motivate you, you can help to stay on task and be able to feel better and look better. In addition, you may want to get some equipment for your home. Read some equipment and elliptical trainer review information to find the right choice for your home and your needs.

Be Supportive of Yourself

No one is harder on you than you and this is something that you want to get away from when you are trying to change your lifestyle to that of a healthy one. If you have a slip-up, don’t just give up. Instead, get back on track the next possible moment. By doing this, you will stand a much better chance of success. This is something that is difficult for me, but it is something that really made a difference in my weight loss.

Summer doesn’t have to strike fear in your heart. By getting healthier and toning up your body, you can feel better in your clothes and help yourself to have more confidence in your shorts, tank tops, and swimsuits.

Mom of three and full-time freelance writer, Melissa Cameron, loves writing stories that will motivate others to get healthier. Although still on her weight loss journey, she believes that everyone can succeed with the right information. By reading elliptical trainer reviews and articles, you will have the information you need to be a success.

How to Easily Transition a Nursery into a Toddler’s Room on a Budget

By Melissa Cameron, Thursday, June 21, 2012

Toddler Room1 389x272 How to Easily Transition a Nursery into a Toddler’s Room on a BudgetSo, it’s time to turn your child’s nursery into a toddler room. I remember the anxiety of leaving one wonderful stage of my child’s life and venturing into the unknown. However, I am finding out that each stage seems to bring with it a new and exciting world I would have otherwise not known.

However, as wonderful as the next stage will be, spending a fortune on the transition might not be in your budget. The good news is that it doesn’t have to cost a fortune, not even close.

I am going to share some wonderful tips on giving your child the room they deserve, without having to dive into their college fund to do it.

Furniture Options to Consider

Perhaps you are lucky and have a convertible crib, one that you can change into a toddler bed. It might have cost you a bit more when doing the nursery a while back, but nothing to convert it now.

If not, I would suggest going with a toddler bed, rather than a twin bed. One reason is that they can be less expensive, but you also don’t have to buy a new mattress. You can use the crib mattress, as it’s the same size.

We purchased a small, and low to the floor toddler bed that was in the shape of a boat. It was inexpensive, and fit the theme we had. The down side is that he outgrew it in about a year’s time. However, if you are hoping to save money, it can help by not having to purchase large items, along with everything else at the same time.

We also had purchased a changing table that doubles as a dresser, and an armoire that can be used for any age. However, if you have pieces you no longer can use, sell them. Use Craigslist, eBay, or have a garage sale. What you make from the sale can go towards finishing the room.

Decorating on a Budget

One way to save on the budget would be to use the same flooring and wall color, if possible. Look for themes that your child would like, which wouldn’t require a complete change in wall color, or flooring. You can always add a throw rug on the floor to tie in the theme or color choice.

So, that leaves the walls and bedding. Instead of purchasing expensive wall art, try one of the following ideas:

  • Playful Murals – If you are artistic, paint a mural on one of the walls. It doesn’t have to be extensive with detail, since it’s a room for a child. So, why not make it very child-like in the drawing? This is the room that pretty much anything goes. If you want to draw a stick person, do it. Or, with princess themes for the bedroom, go for a large, but generic castle.
  • Removable Decals – A nice alternative to painting a mural, or hanging wallpaper, is removable decals. They are easy to apply, and just as easy to remove. So, you won’t have to work to get them down like you would wallpaper, or paint over them.
  • Chalkboard Paint – If your child likes to draw, you can give them an entire wall to draw on, with chalkboard paint. Let them put their own artistic stamp on the room, which can be changed on a daily basis. It also provides an area for play, without taking up space.
  • Framed Art – For the little artist, take some of their best pieces and frame them. You can buy inexpensive frames and have instant art that is free…as well as unique, and a part of your child. If you don’t like the frames, paint them, which can also add a splash of color to the room.
  • Hanging Toys – Consider hanging some inexpensive and lightweight toys as wall art. For example, hang some colorful and plastic sand toys such as shovels and starfish. Model airplanes, doll clothes, and kites are more options.
  • Decorative Shelving – Pick up some inexpensive decorative shelving to place small and colorful toys that fit the theme of the room.
  • Framed Photos – There is a wide selection of royalty free photos you can download to frame for the walls. These are often very low cost, if not free. Just search the Internet for ‘royalty free’ photos. You will be amazed at the enormous selection, low cost, and high quality that you find.

As you can see, there are many inexpensive options for the walls to help create a wonderful retreat for your child to enjoy for this new stage in their life.

Bedding and Window Treatments

By adding a splash of color and activity on the walls, you could get away with some very basic bedding and window treatments. This alone could help keep the budget down.

In Closing

I hope that I was able to share some ideas that you like, or at least have inspired your creative side to save some money. After all, college will be coming up soon.

About the Author

Enjoying a career in freelance writing, Kathy Barber typically writes on topics such as medical, family, and travel. She found inspiration for her latest series of articles when looking through Disney cars décor for her son. Kathy lives in Michigan with her husband and son, and enjoys traveling, reading, photography, and music.

8 Tips to Naturally Give Yourself Whiter Smile

By Melissa Cameron, Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Tooth Teeth Dentist 389x389 8 Tips to Naturally Give Yourself Whiter SmileHaving a perfectly white smile is one of the biggest confidence boosters you can have and being able to show it off in a natural way will make you seem more likeable and friendly.  People who are embarrassed about their smile rarely exude the same level of confidence but with a little time and some of these tips you will soon notice that the smile is brightening along with your mood.

1)      The number one way to prevent discoloration, cavities and gum disease is to make sure you follow the normal dental hygiene routine that has been drilled into you since you were a child.  Regular brushing, at least twice daily combined with flossing will help ensure your teeth have the best fighting chance to bolster your smile.

2)      Keeping up on your dental appointments even if you think nothing is wrong to at least get your teeth cleaned twice a year will make maintaining a whiter smile much easier.  Everything you can do that removes any buildup of plaque and other discolorations will make any natural process you decide to use for whitening your teeth further without resorting to expensive cosmetic dentistry that much more effective.

3)      Keep water with you where possible and if you are eating out order water with your meal so you can discreetly rinse your mouth after eating.  Try to stay away from any water that contains fluoride, including toothpastes as fluoride can cause discoloration.

4)      Stay away from drinking large quantities of soda particularly cola, red wine, coffee and tea as they tend to stain your teeth or dental implants, although you can minimize the effect with regular rinsing during the day and using chewing gum to force your mouth to clean itself after drinking a cup or two.

5)      An unusual at home treatment is actually to use hard wood ash.  Hard wood ash contains high levels of potassium which acts as a bleaching agent for teeth.  This method is very effective but should not be used frequently as although the tiny potassium crystal are excellent for removing stains prolonged use can cause your tooth enamel to become weakened.

6)       A better method although slightly slower is to make a paste out of Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide. Hydrogen Peroxide can be obtained from most drugstores and is relatively inexpensive.  To use it mix equal amounts of both ingredients to make a paste and you can add some mint toothpaste to the mixture to make it taste better.  Use this mixture instead of your regular toothpaste a couple times a week and make sure you don’t swallow it.  Once you have finished brushing with the paste add a small amount of the Hydrogen Peroxide to water and use to rinse your mouth afterwards.

7)      Strawberries get a lot of press for their natural teeth whitening properties.  There are a couple of methods you can use for this.  One is to cut a strawberry in half and rubs the half over your teeth using the natural acid to remove any stains.  The other is to squash a strawberry to a pulp and mix it with baking soda to form a toothpaste substitute in a similar way to tip six.  Strawberries however suffer the same limitations as Wood Ash so rare use is advised rather than regular

8)      Try to increase the amount of raw vegetables you eat, if possible have a late afternoon snack of raw carrots, celery and broccoli as theses vegetables will actually clean your mouth as you eat them.

About the Author

Melissa Cameron is a wife and stay at home mother of two, and lives in Austin, Texas. She loves to research, and provide tips and consumer advice.  Her latest project is undergoing research on kid’s dentistry with the assistance of Dr. Diane Birda Vancouver BC dentist.

Making Your Motives Clear- 5 Reasons to Build a Dream Garage

By Melissa Cameron, Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pop Up Expensive Home Garage 389x261 Making Your Motives Clear  5 Reasons to Build a Dream GarageOwning a dream garage is something which only a select few can say they’ve done. It is sad because most individuals never realize their dream of designing their own garage and having it come to life. You see, everyone has their own reasons why they would need (or want) one built. Some people do it for the profits while others doing it for the love. Either way, let’s talk about five reasons why you should consider building your very own dream garage.

Increase the Value of Your Property

First and foremost, adding a dream garage to your property automatically increases the value of your home. Now, this number can be huge or it can be very small depending on how well the garage coheres with the home. For example, if the garage displays colors and designs which match that of the home, and they look like a perfect match, then this definitely makes it much more worthwhile to potential buyers.

A garage doesn’t cost as much to build as you believe it does. You can have a descent one constructed for about $15,000. This is a small amount compared to the total price in which you’ve just increased your property value by.

Fun

Most people who have money are just plain board. They have no hobbies and sit around doing nothing all day long. Building a dream garage from scratch can be an excellent solution to this problem. They can test their artistic abilities and design something really worthwhile. Being creative and constructing something like a garage can keep you busy for a long period of time- not to mention you’ll learn a few things.

Sense of Accomplishment

This sort of goes hand in hand with the previous reason, although it’s a little bit different. People love feeling like they’ve done something productive. If they haven’t, then they may feel like that day (or particular time span) has been a waste. Constructing your own dream garage can really make you feel like you’ve done something special. After all, accomplishing such a feat is not easy and automatically puts you in a rare class.

Keep Your Vehicles Safe

The majority of garage owners are also big time auto enthusiasts. They have an absolute love for vehicles and revolve all of their time, money, and energy around them. If this sounds a lot like you, then maybe a dream garage is something you need. Chances are that if you love cars, then you probably have a lot of them.

You may even find it fun to re-build older vehicles and restore them to a newer condition- you obviously shouldn’t do this in your front yard. A garage can give you the space that you need to work on your vehicles without worrying about being watched or having them stolen. If you find the lowest rates on car insurance, then that is also another layer of added protection.

Sanctuary

Let’s face it: home life can get hectic. Sometimes, having a place where you can run away and hide for a few hours is healthy. Viola! A dream garage might just be the answer. A dream garage can be turned into your own personal get away, filled with your interests and hobbies. For example, some individuals have been known to add separate living quarters in their garages just to get away whenever they felt the need.

Others have added an array of features including televisions, mini-bars, black lights, and refrigerators. This really gives your garage a nice, home-like atmosphere. Everyone needs a sanctuary and having your own, personal dream garage can be exactly what you are looking for.

Conclusion

As you can see, there isn’t one particular reason why someone would want to own a dream garage. One person may want one to increase the value of their property while another person may want it to work on projects or keep their vehicles safe. Whatever the reason may be, building a dream garage should be fun and help you accomplish whatever it is that you want.

About the Author

Melissa Cameron is a freelance writer providing valuable tips and advice for consumers looking for cheap auto insurance rates. When she isn’t helping people learn how to manage and save their money, she is busy surfing the Internet, learning new things, and looking for good deals. Her husband calls her the walking infomercial!

Sowing the Seeds – Sharing Hobbies with the Kids

By Melissa Cameron, Monday, April 16, 2012

Did I mention that I wanted to have hobbies because I felt I needed to incorporate some me time into my life?  That almost everything I did was for someone else?  Well it would appear that at least initially, my hobbies are a hit not just with myself, but also with my kids!

Green Fingers Everywhere

My gardening hobby has been met with complete enthusiasm from the entire household.  Hubby of course is overjoyed that revamping the garden isn’t falling on his shoulders.  The kids however are falling over themselves trying to help.  I did manage to get a plan and layout done by myself, but the trip to the garden center was a family affair.

Taking a leaf from some garden books (pun absolutely intended) I watched where the sun hit the garden and at what time of day.  With this knowledge we now know where to plant seeds.  The kids and I planted out a small fruit and veggie garden with some carrots, potatoes, and strawberries.  I know it’s not very ambitious, but it’s a start right?  At the bottom of the yard I’m creating a flower garden.  I’m hoping that there will be color all year around down there, at least if the things grow in the months that the packets say they will.  I’m sharing the fruit and vegetable patch with the kids because I’m hoping it will encourage them to eat more veggies if they have grown them themselves, but the flower garden is all mine.  I’m even contemplating the idea of creating a small meditation area down there.

There’s a Music Gene

Although the gardening has created material for my scrapbooking hobby, it’s the piano playing that has made the most impact on the house.  I hadn’t really thought about it but perhaps music is something that’s passed on in the genes.  Despite my own love of music, it isn’t something that I had really thought to encourage with the kids, well not above the usual age appropriate songs or singing along with the radio.  It turns out that without my help, my kids both have a good appreciation for music, and not just because I’m the one playing it.

Piano playing, as I’ve said in other posts, was something that always helped my spiritual well-being.  I stopped playing once my first baby was born because I didn’t want to risk waking him up from a nap – and if he wasn’t asleep, then there wasn’t time for piano playing.  Not playing the piano became a habit.  I was scared to return to the piano because I was afraid of not being able to hit the right notes anymore.  I now know that I wasted a lot of time because it doesn’t matter if I hit a few odd chords, who cares?  What’s important is that I’m playing.  What’s even more thrilling – well OK, almost as thrilling – is how much the kids appreciate the music.

Mistake Corrected

Both of the kids enjoy sitting and listening to me play, but they are very active listeners and tap their feet along with the rhythm of the piece.  That surprised me.  Some of the pieces I play are complicated and have time changes in the different sections, but the kids quickly adjust their foot tapping so that they are almost always keeping in time with the music.  I love the quote from Friedrich Nietzsche, “Without music, life would be a mistake.”  Having ignored music in my life for so long has been a mistake, but now it’s back and I’ve discovered that my kids are musically minded – and that delights me!

Initially I was going to lock the piano lid down when I wasn’t using it.  My thought was that this is “my thing”.  The little ones have shown so much enthusiasm to learn to play piano that I’ve had to lock it open instead (put some secure fasteners on the lid so that it can’t fall on their fingers while they play.  It’s a good job it’s not an expensive piano!  There is plenty of easy to learn piano music so I’ll be able to teach them some simple tunes that will keep them motivated to learn.

My hobbies are still about my creating “me time”, but what I’m discovering is that sharing my interests with my kids is showing me different aspects of their individual personalities, and that’s just as fulfilling as exploring my hobbies on my own.