In addition to her number one single “Stay (I Missed You),” Loeb also had hits with “Do You Sleep” and “I Do.” In the years since, she’s recorded two children’s albums, written two kids books, done voice overs, developed an eyewear line and started the nonprofit Camp Lisa Foundation (which benefits from sales of her Wake Up! Brew). Her latest record, No Fairy Tale, was released in January.
In her most recent blog, Loeb catches us up on the past year and what it’s like being a touring musician with two little ones at home.
Happy birthday Emet! – Courtesy Lisa Loeb
I can’t believe my little Emet turned one!! Already!
In some ways it does feel like a year passed, when we look at all of the photos and the stages he went through: smiling, laughing, dancing when music comes on, sitting, pulling up, cruising, trying to talk (I think his first word other than “mama” and “dada” seems to be “Lyla”!)
In other ways, the time really flew by, which I think has something to do with Emet being our second child. Since we already had some experience with a baby, some of the decisions that we thought long and hard about with our first child were already made — which bottles, sunscreen, and baby shampoo to use (and when to use them), which brands of clothing we like best, what’s easiest to dress the baby in for sleeping, how to do a swaddle, and even getting through the tough first night out of leaving him with a babysitter during a date.
The crying on the way to sleep didn’t seem so extreme to us since we had gone through it once (and luckily, there wasn’t a lot of it), developing his nap schedule didn’t seem as complicated. We knew how to put together a balanced baby meal that gradually included finger foods, that he stuffs into his mouth himself in the cutest way!! (In fact, sometimes we have to keep him from stuffing too much of his grandmother’s meatloaf in at once…), which carseat to get when he was born and then which ones he’d get when he was tall enough to move out of his infant carseat.
In his case, we decided, with the help of a carseat expert I know, Tamara from Car Seat Savvy, suggested that we actually get larger, new carseats for Lyla and let Emet use the Britax seats Lyla had been using. They were very well-maintained, so they wouldn’t pose a safety issue, and Lyla will have new Britax seats that feel more like big girl carseats, while still providing the safety features we need.
We had a really sweet birthday party for Emet on his actual birthday. Instead of the larger, sometimes overwhelming parties we’d had for Lyla along the way, we decided to keep it more intimate, including the grandparents and friends who’d spent a great deal of time with Emet through the year.
Like Lyla’s first party, this was a backyard get together, but it was Emet’s birthday, so we included some of his favorite things: balls, music, and meat! A singer brought her guitar, some instruments and puppets and led the kids in a sing-along. She also brought a parachute to bounce around balls and Emet. We ordered chicken and steak burritos and other Mexican food, and the grandmas baked homemade cake and cookies too!
For his first birthday cake, I made Scott Peacock and Edna Lewis’s triple layer carrot cake, deliciously moist and chocolate-free… I think there was something in the rule books about not feeding the baby a lot of chocolate yet….
Now I can’t believe it’s already time to give away his little baby clothes and toys. We’ve been sorting through the onesies and footsie pajamas and some of the toys he’s already grown out of and giving them to friends who are expecting or other people who need things for their babies. With Lyla I felt like so many of her clothes had so many memories attached to them, but with Emet, it’s like time just zipped by.
Although I try not to hover over Emet and his sister at all times, it’s a little tough. They’re just so cute and smart and beautiful, and since I’ve been touring with my new record, the time I’m at home with Emet and Lyla is even more precious.
It’s been complicated figuring out how to balance my work as a creative person with being a mom. Since I don’t leave to go to an office everyday, it’s hard to carve out the space and time I need to get settled into writing songs, thoughtfully answering written interviews, or much of anything that takes a little brain space.
Also, I’ve been experimenting with how many days I can travel away from my kids. The kind of touring I do isn’t really great with young children: too much moving from place to place, strange hours, and if I brought them along, because of the strange hours of early morning promotion and later night concerts and everything in between that, I wouldn’t get real quality time with them. I’ve found that keeping them in their regular routines with familiar beds is a better plan.
That being said, my work is partially on the road –I did several two week long tours, which were very satisfying as a performing musician with a new album out, but not so satisfying as a mom. I saw lots of photos messaged to me and called home to check in constantly, but was bummed to miss their everyday lives. I’m lucky because I know I have more choice than some other working traveling moms, but it’s still a struggle to figure it out.
In the meantime, I’m growing my at-home career in voice over work, hosting a radio show, and some other projects I can do from home. People tell me that the kids won’t remember me being away, but I’m not sure that’s true. I think they feel it in their beings. And more than that, I don’t like being away from home when they’re so small. When they get bigger I can travel more with them. It’ll be a big adventure.
I’d love to hear from you: Tweet me @LisaLoeb, follow me on Instagram to see what I’ve been seeing along the way: it’s often the small everyday things that yield the most joy and wonder. I’ll be out there touring a little too, so come see me!
With my girl Lyla – Courtesy Lisa Loeb
– Lisa Loeb