My Birthdays Are So Special With My Little Girl!

On October 11th, I reached my own milestone and turned a year older. While the level of excitement is not the same as it once was when I was younger, my daughter’s enthusiasm and secretive planning for my big day truly made me feel special. Her planning actually started in the summer. I would overhear her whispering to my husband (her dad) about what she’d like to do and what she gift she would like to get me.

So when the day finally arrived, she could not contain herself. I have to leave early in the morning to get to work and did not see her until the afternoon, so as soon as she arrived home from school, she screamed out, “Happy birthday, Mommy!” and gave me a big, long hug. “We have special plans for you,” she informed me. My five year old selected Outback Steakhouse as the restaurant. “I know you love their salmon and baked sweet potato, Mommy,” she said. I thought to myself, wow, she knows me so well. Usually, she sits next to her dad, but she said that she wanted to sit next to me since it was my birthday.

At the restaurant, she presented her card and gift to me. The card’s wording was perfect and selected by Quinn. The gift was a beautiful key locket necklace. My husband later told me that she picked it out herself and insisted on getting me a pretty necklace since she knows I like wearing them. She even gave input on the cake and wanted blue to be used since it is my favorite color.

Knowing that my daughter is so caring and was excited to make me happy for my birthday warms my heart and is truly the best gift I could ever ask for.

All the best,

Tanya

This Pup Pumpkin’s Gotta Fly! Making a Skye Paw Patrol Pumpkin with My Little Girl

“Wow, Mommy! My pumpkin looks just like Skye! This pups gotta fly,” my daughter said as she compared her toy to the pumpkin she decorated with my help. For the past few years, we’ve been gong to Shadybrook Farm in Yardley, Pennsylvania for some pumpkin patch and halloween fun. Each year, my daughter comes up with a great idea for decorating her pumpkin. One year it was Super Grover, another, it was Marshall from Paw Patrol, last year it was Abby Cadaby from Sesame Street, and this year it was Skye from Paw Patrol.

After selecting our pumpkins, my five year was eager to get home and start decorating, which is something I enjoy doing too. I love these outings and projects because they promote family togetherness, require some creativity and it’s just plain fun. I usually design a pumpkin for myself too. This year, I created a pumpkin unicorn.

Seeing the look on my daughter’s face when she found that perfect pumpkin and then when Skye the pumpkin came to life put a smile on my face. I truly love this time of year, especially the projects and fun activities that come along with it.

All the best,

Tanya

 

My Little Girl Has Character Strengths! How About You?

 

“Hmmm,” my daughter said as she closed her eyes and thought deeply  prior to answering the question, “What are your character strengths?” As her eyes widened a smile came on her face, she said, “Kindness, creativity, aaaaannd, bravery, I guess!” I smiled back at her and said, “Those are wonderful strengths, Quinn! You truly are creative, kind and brave.”

Last week, one of the assignments for her kindergarten class was to discuss the importance of character strengths and to help Quinn identify three of her own strengths. This was a fun and thought-provoking activity because it made me think about my own strengths as well. It also made me think about how I must help my daughter to not only recognize her many strengths but to help her see why they are strengths and how they will benefit her and others throughout the course of her life.

As she matures, I hope she will continue to be creative, kind and brave. I also hope that I can be a shining example of a creative, kind and brave mother, family member, friend and person in her life and the lives o those with whom I come in contact.

What are your character strengths?

All the best,

Tanya

My Little Girl: My Colorful Work of Art

“Look, Mommy! I just made orange by mixing a little red with yellow!” My five year old smiled as she informed me. When she was a toddler, she loved painting and creating, and today she loves it even more, and I simply love watching her create. Whether she has an artistic gift or not, I’ve taken pleasure in watching her artistic abilities blossom. She strategized, gives some thought to what she wants to paint before getting started and enjoys sharing her finished work with her dad and me. I love how colorful her paintings are, especially because it fits her colorful personality. Quinn truly is my work of art, and I and so happy to be a part of her masterpiece.

All the best,

Tanya

Losing Teeth Bites! More Milestones of My Little Girl

It all started last year in December 2017. One was a little wiggly and came out. Within a few weeks on Christmas day, the other one followed. Now, nine months later, four came out within five days: two on the same day last week! In my photo memory feed, a picture came up from 2013. My four month old daughter was smiling happily and toothless. I chuckled to myself because now in 2018, my five year old is basically toothless with no front teeth again.

I remember being so excited when her first two baby teeth started showing through her little gums. Why am I not as excited about her losing those same baby teeth for the adult ones to come in?  She’s excited and loves looking at her “new” gummy smile. She couldn’t wait to “show and tell” her teacher and classmates all about her missing teeth.

Me, on the other hand, I couldn’t help but think about my little girl growing up so fast and wishing she’d slow down just a little bit. While time and milestones coming so quickly bites at times, I am definitely grateful for my daughter and being able to witness her many milestones and to see her grow into a healthy, smart little girl.

All the best,

Tanya

Teaching My Daughter the Ropes to Jumping

“I did it! I did it,” my five year old screamed out with a big smile on her face.  Last week, we started working on her learning to jump rope. The first few times she pouted as her legs got caught up in the rope or the rope caught on to her ponytails as she whipped it around her head, but with a little encouragement, she kept on trying.

As I watched her continue to try, I was taken back to years ago when I first learned how to jump rope and remembered that a big part of it was developing a rhythm and being prepared to jump a second or two right before the rope got to my feet. I showed Quinn the technique I used; she watched intently and got it! While she’s not quite jumping rope like a pro, she’s so excited to jump over the rope two or three times in a row.

With her rope in her hand, she smiled and said, “Mommy, if I keep practicing, I’ll get better and better. I’ll be jumping rope like you before I know it!” Showing my little girl how to jump rope makes me think about teaching her the “ropes of life.” Sometimes it’s difficult, and the sting of the rope might hurt her legs, or her legs might get caught up in the rope causing her to trip and fall. Other times, she might have a good rhythm going, and be able to jump or skip rope like a master. Either way, I’ll be right there with my rope in hand ready to model how to jump and will show her that sometimes the rope gets tangled up on my legs too, but I can always start over again and keep jumping.

All the best,

Tanya

How Do I Raise a Black and Proud Little Girl Who’s a Human First?

 

A few weeks ago, my five year old daughter and I traveled to Washington, DC to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture among other historical landmarks. While we both enjoyed ourselves, I had a bit of an epiphany as we walked through some of the exhibits. Even though we identify as African Americans, we’ve never really discussed race within our household. We live in a multicultural neighborhood, and Quinn attended a multicultural preschool and now a multicultural elementary school. I truly do love that we come in contact and embrace many different races, nationalities, cultures and even religions, but am I negligent in not focusing as much on our African American heritage?

We do talk about relatives who are no longer alive, and when it is African American History month or Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday may talk about the accomplishments of African Americans, but we’ve never really talked about the “struggle” of our ancestors and sadly the “struggle” some African Americans still face today with racism and unfair treatment.

I actually made the decision to stay clear of the slavery exhibits because I just didn’t feel ready for the questions Quinn would have and did not want to expose her to those types of evils. As we walked through the segregation exhibit and witnessed the disparities between blacks and whites, she asked, “How come people had to be separate, Mommy?” As my mind raced for an age appropriate response, I just told her that is used to be that way long ago. Some people are mean and may not like you for different reasons, but everyone is not that way. I told her how many people fought for us so that we could all be together, go to school together and even eat together today.

Everyone’s experience is different, and it saddens me in 2018 that some people are still treated like they are less than human because of the color of their skin. Yes, I want my little girl to be proud of her heritage, but more importantly, I want her to be a proud human being who cares for others regardless of their skin color and just so happens to be African American. I hope that I am a good role model for her to emulate and that she will not allow any future racism or poor treatment because of the color of her skin to deter her from being a good person. As she gets older and more questions or even instances of racism surface, I hope and pray that I am raising a brave and proud daughter who can handle it.

All the best,

Tanya