Well technically Jax is playing a ukelele. But he calls it his guitar and I haven’t bothered to correct him. No one we know plays ukelele, but lots of people play guitar, and he wants to play too. This was his second birthday present from Benjamin and I. It’s one of the best gifts we’ve purchased for him, because it took him 2-3 months to stop playing it daily. That’s a pretty good record considering how quickly he tires of new toys (hours or days).
I finally caught up on client photos sufficiently to work on personal ones from the last few months. These are from April, about a month after his birthday.
Here’s the links to where we bought everything for him.
Ukelele (we bought black). Comes in lots of fun colors. Partly plastic, and has held up to plenty of abuse already. I wanted something that had a decent playable sound, but wasn’t so expensive I would worry about him throwing it on the ground or banging it on the wall (neither activity we encourage, but it has happened).
We replaced the strings with these. They sound much, much nicer (when he doesn’t detune it). Worth it if you are a musician and care how your kid’s instrument sounds.
These wall hooks are also fabulous. They keep the guitar from otherwise living on the floor. He can hang it up on a wall and get it down himself, since we installed them at his level. They work great and are cheap. They also work for larger instruments.
We also got cheap pegs for to hold on a strap (from a local music store) and $5 super cheap guitar strap from there too. I cut part of the strap off, and safety pinned / sewed it to a length that works for him.
Kristin’s dad came to visit for an afternoon. He brought scrapbooks and treasures from a grandmother who had recently passed away. Some jewelry and mementos in a little box. Extremely old letters with handwriting and vocabulary so antiquated it was difficult to make out.
We celebrated Zeke’s belated birthday and Grandpa gave him the BEST gift. A giant box full of crayons and paper and various art supplies, plus skiens and skiens of rope. Zeke loves to tie things up, and Grandpa gave him enough rope to tie to his heart’s delight.
Then, because he is a musician and a music teacher, Grandpa played the ukelele. He made up silly songs involving Zeke and Jax and various animals. Zeke kept begging for more and playing along with his kazoo. He made us all laugh. Jax was enthralled.
And then there were tickles and giggles galore.
I love how baby girl’s sonogram photos can be seen here, hanging up on the wall next to the piano. That same baby girl, showing through her momma’s belly, listening to the music.
How beautiful it is, the body that carries and nourishes a child.
Kristin is a musician. She studied it in college and still lives it every day. In the corner next to the piano reside her other treasured, and costly instruments. A cello, a harp, a guitar, and a flute. The flute “isn’t very good” she’ll tell you. Her good one, a gift from her musician father, was stolen while they lived in San Antonio.
Also in the corner is Zeke’s ukelele. While I was there, he was mostly interested in playing his kazoo. But Grandpa came over and played the ukelele one afternoon, to my delight. I’ll share those photos soon.
I love that Daniel and Kristin’s kids will grow up with music. Not just Pandora on an iPod, but real, hands-on music. Several days while I was there, Kristin pulled out some classical sheet music and sat down to play. I love listening to the piano as much as I love playing it, and I wish I had kept up with reading sheet music sufficiently to be able to sit down with a piece like she does.
The piece she’s playing, which can be read in one of the photos of the sheet music, is appropriately titled, “Song of the Pilgrim.” When this little one is born, she will remember being soothed by the sounds of the keys, comforted by the sad and sweet melodies. What a gift.