Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

An unlikely lullaby

Saying that I got a bit restless while pregnant and forced into bed-rest is like saying that pushing a baby out of your hoo-hah is uncomfortable.

Bedrest sucked.  It was hard.  I turned into a bit of a Psycho.  Weeks of not being able to get out of bed for more than a few minutes at a time will do that to a person.  Trust me.  There was a side of me who wanted to break free of pregnancy bed rest constrictions and run around the block naked with a bottle of Jack Daniels in one hand and a pack of Marlboro Reds in the other.


But, because I am not actually a psycho, I spent a lot of my bed rest time planning elaborate music mixes for Tucker.

I even broke out my old summer-camp songbook (a book that I was supposed to return but pretended to lose because I really wanted to take it home…sorry, Sanborn) to find more songs that I loved as a kid.

For daytime activities, our playlist consisted of tons of happy kid songs like Itsy Bitsy Spider, Wheels On the Bus and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.

Our nighttime mix included all the lullaby compilations I could find spiced up with some good old classics like What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong and Puff the Magic Dragon.  We listened each night while pretending that Tucker was going to fall asleep.

One night, in a fit of tears, I had to remove Puff from his playlist.  That song is fucking sad, people!   So I started singing it to him myself and changing the words to a happier version.  A much happier version.  Even the not-so-sad line of “A dragon lives forever but not so little boys” became “A dragon lives forever and boys grow into men.”  Because.  Hello, implications.

I began making up words to all of the songs and singing them myself (by the way, in case you are wondering, I am not exaggerating when I say I am the world’s worst singer.  The one and only time I tried karaoke, the DJ came up on stage with me to help.  I was that bad.).

Anyway, I began singing my versions to Tucker.  I do to this day.  And guess what?  Just a few nights ago, Tucker surprised me by sort-of singing along to his nighttime songs.  At the end of each line, he’d (in his way) join me in the last word.  Not only has he been paying attention but he’s remembering multiple words from His Personal Nighttime Song!  I feel like it’s a breakthrough.  And also a call to maybe get a little bit more original than changing the lyrics in It’s a Wonderful World to “…and he’s the most wonderful boy! And I’m the luckiest mom…”

On second thought, if those are the words that sick with him as he flutters into dreamland, I’m cool with not being the most original songwriter.  If Tucker’s dreams begin with the words that he is the most wonderful boy and that I’m lucky to be his mom, that’s a win.


What songs do you play your kids?  What songs do they love?  Feel free to participate in Jen’s Twisted Mixed-Tape Tuesday by writing your posts.  Send us the links and we’ll include them here.

Twisted mixed-tape Tuesdays is brought to you by DJ Jenny Jen:


Tucker and I have become DJ’s too…just for this.  See?



  • Shay - You are seriously awesome. I LOVE the cartoon b/c it is hilarious yet so damned true, and I love the rest b/c you were able to illustrate some real emotion, too. Funny AND real? Way cool.April 16, 2013 – 12:12 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi - Holy hell more true than I’d like to admit. I swear that I had pregnant fantasies about that shit. For real. and who is awesome? YOU.April 16, 2013 – 12:43 amReplyCancel

  • Michelle Liew - When I was a kid, I liked Puff…I agree, sad song! If you ask what I’d like I would say What a Wonderful World too. Thanks for sharing!April 16, 2013 – 12:29 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi - Changing the words (and you would do this better than I as you are a poet) is sometimes just important. And necessary!April 16, 2013 – 12:44 amReplyCancel

  • Joy - I did that, too. Change the lyrics to some songs because I thought they were too sad or had a meaning I did not like. Love that he is paying attention and starting to sing along! <3April 16, 2013 – 6:18 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi - Funny how us moms find even the unlikeliest ways to protect our kids (and ourselves).April 16, 2013 – 7:44 amReplyCancel

      • Joy - Yes! One very famous lullaby says something along the lines of “tomorrow morning you will wake up again – if God wants you to” and I always found the thought so frightening that maybe God would not want him to wake up again. So I changed it to “tomorrow morning, sweet Sunny, you will wake up again” (of course it rhymed in German 😉 )April 16, 2013 – 8:20 amReplyCancel

        • Kristi - That’s perfect and yeah, I’d have done the same thing. Why are so many lullabies full of words about there possibly not being a tomorrow, etc? Just sad. And wrong. Thank heaven for moms like us who change the words!April 16, 2013 – 8:33 amReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - Sweeeeet post!! Kinda got a little teary with Tucker singing along. I used to have to play a song from the movie Dream Girls when Christopher was about 3 and I was driving him to daycare. He loved it. Now he doesn’t remember knowing it :-/ We are listening to Kidz Bop right now. It’s the morning routine gets us hype for school – wakes me up enough that I don’t go back to bed. Anyway one day he was singing “You don’t know you’re beautiful”, the kid pays attention to lyrics. He said, “That’s what I would say to my girlfriend if I had one.” I said, “Awwww” then I got all anxiety attacky about him being a ladies man in the future.April 16, 2013 – 6:25 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi - Awwww to him saying “you don’t know you’re beautiful” to his future girlfriend. So so sweet. And yeah, I’d get “anxiety attacky” (heehee!) about the future ladies man as well. I suppose us moms will find something to worry about, no matter what. By the way, I’m sure that Christopher will have all of the Ladies Man makings but be the most respectful boyfriend ever (you know, way later…down the line…not anytime soon because he’s still a kid and you don’t need to worry about it yet…and…)…
      Err…Okay I’ll shuddup now.April 16, 2013 – 7:47 amReplyCancel

      • Kenya G. Johnson - LOL!!!! Thanks. You made me calm down and get all anxiety attacky again in the same comment.April 16, 2013 – 10:13 amReplyCancel

        • Kristi - I’m good at that. Trying to offer helpful advice and just causing people more stress. Sorry, I try…I really do. But well, just not one of my best talents.April 16, 2013 – 10:18 amReplyCancel

  • The Social Butterfly Mom - I love that you sing to your kid even though you’re the (self-proclaimed) worst singer. Some moms in my son’s music class just sit there; it makes me so sad for them and their kid. Sing at the top of your lungs, dance the “grocery cart” from ’95, run around naked before bath time (with blinds drawn, of course). Be SILLY!April 16, 2013 – 7:26 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi - That’s such a bummer that some of the kids in your son’s music class just sit there! I agree – break out the silly whenever you can! Make life fun and interesting and memorable! I’d rather have my son remember me being silly and goofy than me being poised and quiet. Thanks for the comment!April 16, 2013 – 7:48 amReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie - I was so on bed rest, too. And remembered feeling exactly how you described. I used to joke that I wished I could live in my bed and make a career out of sleeping, when I was younger. Yes, this made me see that one in a whole new light.

    As for the music, I have always sang “You Are My Sunshine” and my wedding song, “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You”!! Also, very much loved how you changed the lyrics to make it happy and not sad. Really so sweet 🙂April 16, 2013 – 8:57 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi - Janine, I thought I’d enjoy it too. Lay in bed, watch movies, sleep, play games on my phone…but yeah, that only lasted for about three days before I wanted to run around the neighborhood naked.
      Aww to You are My Sunshine! Tucker’s nap son is “you are my Tucker!” to that tune. Awesome stuff.April 16, 2013 – 9:49 amReplyCancel

  • The Sadder But Wiser Girl - You asked for it, let the former music teacher chime in:

    Since my ears were still bleeding from listening to one of two cds during naptime for YEARS as an infant/toddler/preschool teacher I most certainly made my own mixes for my son when he was born and then brought them back to work with me! I love Enya and have all of her CDS, so those were a staple in my repertoire. I dig some of the world music-there are a couple of really good CDs that I took the songs I loved and put in my mixes, because there were others that annoyed the pee out of me. Dreamland: World Lullabies and Soothing Songs, Mediterranean Lullaby, and Celtic Lullabies are all great lullaby CDs. I also added a few from the various Pure Moods CDs. I think I even had a mix of Classical music, and I know I had a Beatles for Guitar, which is a GREAT CD.

    I don’t think I ever changed the words, but most of them are in other languages anyway… So between that and the odd things I suggested over at Break the Parenting Mold, that’s a pretty eclectic group.

    Now that my kids are older my son listens to my old Ipod that I loaded with country music. My daughter loves the Laurie Berkner band, as do I. Don’t ask me about Gangnum Style though, because I might kill you…April 16, 2013 – 9:14 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi - Sadder, you are so cool. I have the World Lullabies and Soothing Songs album loaded on Tucker’s playlist, too. So cool. And we put a bunch of classical music on there as well. I read something that classical music helps kids with math later. We’ll see how that works out. I’ll have to check out Beatles for Guitar.
      Oh and regarding the country music? I used to hate it but Tucker LOVES it so now I do too because it makes him happy. His favorite is, of course, Big Green Tractor. Awesome.
      Also not familiar with the Laurie Berkner band – will totally check that out too. Thanks so much for chiming in. You are awesome.
      And I won’t ask you about _____ because I like breathing and stuff.April 16, 2013 – 9:51 amReplyCancel

      • The Sadder But Wiser Girl - This is funny to me about the Big Green Tractor song. My husband works for an agricultural company that makes big farm sprayers. We’ve replaced the chorus of it to reflect the company “Take you for a ride on my Hagie sprayer…” They have karaoke night on Friday, and I keep saying a bunch of them need to do it. I won’t get to be there of course (SOMEONE has to stay with the kids, again). I think I’m going to build a Sheldon Cooper type robot so I can at least see what’s going on…April 16, 2013 – 10:01 amReplyCancel

        • Kristi - OMG if they actually do it, you have to have somebody record that because, well, AWESOME! Now that song will be stuck in my head all day with your lyrics “Take you for a ride on my Hagie sprayer!” Ha. And hey if you build that robot, can you clone it so I can have one, too, please? Pretty please?April 16, 2013 – 10:17 amReplyCancel

  • Kerri - Allie refuses to let me sing. Every time I try, she shudders. She even asked Santa to either bring me a better voice OR make me stop singing.

    But I love that Tucker is joining in. You will have a new mix tape 🙂April 16, 2013 – 9:33 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi - That’s hilarious about Allie asking Santa to bring you a better voice or to make you stop singing! Hahahha! I guess we could break some eardrums if we ever tried karaoke together, huh?
      And yeah, I love that Tucker’s joining in, too. Awesome stuff. 😀April 16, 2013 – 9:52 amReplyCancel

      • Kerri - Last night she wasn’t feeling well and as I was rubbing her belly I asked if she wanted me to sing to her. She replied, MOM I am already sick to my stomach don’t make it worse!!!April 17, 2013 – 9:37 amReplyCancel

        • Kristi - hahahah! OMG that is hilarious! Awesome.April 17, 2013 – 9:47 amReplyCancel

  • Maggie Amada - I love that Tucker remembers some of the words. Songs are sometimes more powerful than words. Way to go, making up your own lyrics. You can record them and put them in a teddy bear or something he can hear your voice even when you’re not there. I did that for my daughters and they loved it.

    Maternal songs stick with you. My mom used to sing A Hymn to Motherhood in Spanish (I’m not kidding) and the words still evoke emotion to this day 30+ years later. I’m told that emotion is the surest way to fire up memory.April 16, 2013 – 10:02 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi - Maggie,
      I got a little choked up when reading that your mother’s song sung to you in Spanish still evoke emotion for you. And it’s true that emotion does fire up memory. I can hear certain songs and I’m BACK, in a car, in a field, wherever, back to being 17 and in love, back to being 18 and heartbroken. Back. It’s amazing and I look forward to Tucker looking back on these silly songs and finding happiness (I hope).
      I love the idea of recording the songs and putting them in a teddy bear! (just as long as I am not the one who has to listen) What an awesome idea! Thank you!April 16, 2013 – 10:20 amReplyCancel

  • Melissa S. - Love this! I am a terrible singer as well, and was really hesitant to even sing to my babies until one of my friends pointed out, they don’t care what you sound like. They just like listening to YOU. So kudos to you, mama, for making up your own words. And still being able to remember them later. 😉April 16, 2013 – 11:17 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi - Here’s to being a terrible singer! Here, here! And true that our babies don’t care about our awful voices. Yet. And um, the words are pretty easy 😉April 16, 2013 – 5:26 pmReplyCancel

  • K - Oh my gosh, I love this post! How is it that your words can make me laugh and cry at the same time?

    I can totally relate about the songs though…my mom teaches kindergartners and needed to put together a playlist of songs for them. She asked me to help her for a few minutes, and let’s just say the two of us spent HOURS looking for songs – it is ridiculously addicting! Some of the ones we really liked were “Morning Will Be on the Other Side” by Sara Groves, Ordinary Miracle, You Are My Sunshine (I remember my mom singing this to me when I was little!), and We’re Going To Be Friends by Jack Johnson. 🙂April 16, 2013 – 12:28 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi - OOH I’ll bet you and your mom had a blast going through songs together for her classroom. That sounds like a perfect day, actually. I don’t know Morning Will be on the Other Side but I’ll check it out. You are my sunshine is one of Tucker’s made up songs (the nap time one) where I sing “you are my Tucker” instead…silly. And I do love the Jack Johnson song. Thanks so much for commenting!April 16, 2013 – 5:29 pmReplyCancel

  • Alana Terry - That’s funny – I never thought about Puff being a sad song until you mentioned it. How cute Tucker’s singing along now! Gotta post a video, Mom!April 16, 2013 – 6:06 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi - Alana, while I would LOVE to post a video, I think it would be really hard to do. I could hide the camera in Tucker’s room (because if he sees it, he either says no or wants to grab it and do it himself). Plus, the words at the end of each sentence aren’t exactly understandable to anybody but me. So like at the end of one line, it’s “the most wonderful boy” and he’ll sort of sing boy. And dude, Puff is SO SAD. *SNIFF*April 16, 2013 – 6:33 pmReplyCancel

  • clark - uh Kristi, about that song list (from the Doctrine)…you might want to pre-screen some of the songs before you turn it to 11 (visual from Risky Business: turning up the stereo)

    These song-mix Post(s) are more challenging than they look… fun tho

    enjoyed this week’s PostApril 16, 2013 – 6:11 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi - Clark! Thanks so much for the comment! And yeah, they’re challenging – but mostly because I am dumb and spent an hour messing with the links to the songs. Duh. Heading over to The Doctorine now!April 16, 2013 – 6:34 pmReplyCancel

  • MJM - Yeah…me too…like when I was pregnant or somethng…oh yeah…and I was totally not a psycho either…just ask all the voices in my head.

    As a kid my mom used to jam out to Elvis and the Beatles…we used to rock ourselves to sleep…literally.

    Great blog my friend…you are awesome.April 16, 2013 – 6:47 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi - Hey don’t knock the voices in your head. Sometimes, they are very wise. Well…actually, I don’t know about the voices in YOUR head, but the ones in my head can be pretty darn clever at times. And also pretty mean sometimes either like when they remind me what an idiot I am.
      That’s so cool that you rocked yourselves to sleep with the Beatles and Elvis.
      And it’s YOU who is awesome. just sayin’April 16, 2013 – 6:55 pmReplyCancel

      • MJM - The voices in my head are pretty cool…if not for them I would have no friends…no friends at all.

        I can’t tell if I’m the way I am because my mom was cool and hip…or if it is because she drank and smoked when she was pregnant me…or it could even be that she dropped me on my head when I was a baby…who knows.

        For the final time…you are the most awesome…way more than me! No take backs.April 16, 2013 – 8:23 pmReplyCancel

        • Kristi - The voices in MY head are both my worst enemies and my best friends. Cause I have no friends either. *SNIFF*
          You are the way you are because you are. No blaming mama, because, well…my kid. And yeah.
          Anyway, fine. I can be the most awesome ever. The most awesome dumbass! Because even I admit…I do rock at being a dumbass.

          PS fuckyouverymuch spell check for STILL not understanding that dumbass is a word and just leaving it alone.April 16, 2013 – 9:19 pmReplyCancel

  • Jen - Wait! I thought I replied, I was totally stalking all of your comments, got to the bottom and said “where the heck am I?” My first comment was better, now my brain is fried. Who knows what happened while I was trying to comment. I probably got lost in a reverie about little boys not living for ever?!?! What?! Why would you even put that in a song? When Isaiah sings it, I just hear la la la la la la…..and do I miss those smokes. Don’t tell the boy, smoking is disgusting.April 16, 2013 – 7:31 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi - Ah the smokes….


      Oh wait. Where was I? Oh. Right. And sorry if I was the person responsible for you going to the “little boys not living forever” place. I tell myself all the time that that just means they grow up but I do not like the words because you know. Interpretation. Implications.
      Your the awesomest host ever. Your idea is brilliant. Thousands will link up and follow.

      Loves.April 16, 2013 – 9:17 pmReplyCancel

  • Mod Mom Beyond IndieDom - I love that Tucker knows the words and is singing along. Really cool. This is a really fun idea. Thanks for co-hosting.April 16, 2013 – 7:35 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi - I love that he’s getting the words, too. Hopefully that means that music has opened his mind and more words are coming. And thank YOU for hooking up with us.April 16, 2013 – 9:15 pmReplyCancel

  • Rachel - Yay, that he is singing the songs with you! It is an amazing breakthrough. I think that Mama’s words are always better than the originals. Keep ’em coming!April 16, 2013 – 9:40 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi - SORTOF singing….but the fact that he is paying attention to the words? Huge.April 16, 2013 – 11:01 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi - I like to think of it as a breakthrough as well and thank you huge for the encouragement. And mama’s words will always be better than the ones that imply that boys don’t live forever, right?April 16, 2013 – 11:20 pmReplyCancel

  • Jean Heff - Tucker will remember that when he is older. I remember my mom singing me “Away in a Manger” (at all times during the year). Only when I got older did I realize her singing voice was really just her half falling asleep and half traumatized for having to sing that song about 1,000 times a night. No matter how you sing, it’s the most beautiful voice for him.
    As always, you nailed it with your picture. Naked pregnant party lady= awesome.April 16, 2013 – 10:48 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi - I almost cried about Away in the Manger – is there a more beautiful melody than that? Oh. Greensleeves. I cried the first time I heard it and I think I was in third grade. I am. so. not. cool.
      Thanks, sweets. I needed to hear that he will remember…really….April 16, 2013 – 11:03 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi - hahah Naked pregnant picture going CRAZY. And yeah, I hope he will remember…so much…thank you for reminding me that my horrible voice is the best – and the one he wants to hear…April 16, 2013 – 11:21 pmReplyCancel

  • Angie Ryg - I am so thrilled to connect through BB and FTSF. I loved your last post and this one made me remember how I used to make up sweet songs for my children when they were little. Now, I “sing” raps to them. And I have trained them to think I am

    And sometimes I sing different words because I never knew them. And then , when I find out the right ones, I still sing the wrong ones because I have been doing it for thirty years! Case in point: Secret Asian Man…I always thought that sounded a little wrong, but I sang it. Yeah, it was wrong…because it is Secret Agent Man!

    I love the words that your little boy will fall asleep to…knowing he is a very loved little boy!

    AngieApril 17, 2013 – 12:51 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi - Angie,
      Ditto! So glad I found you, too. Awesome stuff that your kids know that you’re the best rhymer/rapper EVER 😀
      That’s really funny that you sing different words because you don’t know them. Reminds me of that movie (27 dresses maybe??) where they’re singing “Benny and the Jets” and sing “electric boobs.” Every time I hear that song, I try to figure out what the real words are but don’t have the heart to look them up because “electric boobs” works for me. 😀
      Thanks for visiting and for the comment!April 17, 2013 – 7:53 amReplyCancel

  • Stephanie @ Mommy, for real. - Two things: I have my music therapist hat on for both. First of all, I sing Puff with my music class kids and they throw scarves in the air and dance while I sing it. I *always* skip the last verse. Hello? He sadly slipped into his cave? His head was hung in sorrow? F*ck that. Also, what you mentioned withTucker finishing the song phrases is a straight-up music therapy technique called “phrase completion” or something slightly more technical that is legitimately useful in improving spontaneous language. So, wow. Go you!April 17, 2013 – 9:49 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi - WOW, really?!?!? Holy cow you are wise. I’ve never heard of “music completion” and now I want you to fly here and work with him. For real. And yeah, Puff doesn’t slip sadly into his cave for my version either. No sorrow. Fuck that, as you said with an * instead because you have more class than I do.April 17, 2013 – 10:40 pmReplyCancel

  • Anita @ Losing Austin - Love the power of music- though I’m a terrible singer too! I just make up fun jingles all.the.time. and now my kiddos do too. We can regularly be heard singing things such as, “I’m going to brush my teeth now, oh yeah, I’m going to go to bed after that, oh yeah, and we’re going to read two books…” and so on!April 29, 2013 – 12:32 pmReplyCancel

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