One Sweet Girl, One Cool Cat, One Fun Dad & One Loving Mom Trying to Find Her Place

For Christmas, we welcomed a new member into our family, Tori the cat! My five year old has been wanting a pet for a while and settled on a six month old rescue kitten  to shower with love. My husband just went along with the plan even though he was apprehensive about getting a pet since he still holds on to the memory of his pert cockatiel who he had for decades that passed away, while I excitedly went out to purchase all of the necessities for Tori’s arrival.

Actually, Tori arrived just a day after Quinn was came home after being hospitalized for nearly a week with bacterial pneumonia and the adenovirus. So we tended to her until Quinn was feeling much better and up for some cuddle time.

I imagined building a bond with Tori along with Quinn. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it went. Tori immediately bonded with my daughter but had limited interest in me. But for some reason, she absolutely adores my husband. Months later, she follows him around the house, wants to play and snuggle with him, and tends to avoid me whenever possible.

Sadly, it is bringing back those torn feelings I once had when I saw the special daddy and daughter bond Quinn and my husband have. Of course, we are close, which I am grateful for, but daddy can do no wrong. Now, the pattern continues with Tori. She plays games with my daughter and husband and is so sweet with them while I try to when her over day after day.

Interestingly, my five year old has been consoling me and has suggested that I keep trying. She’s convinced that Tori will eventually come around and want to be with me just as much as she enjoys being with Quinn and my husband. Her kind words and optimism gives me hope. I’m so grateful to have such a sweet girl and am glad that she is able to bond with Tori even if it’s going to take a little time for me to bond with her.

All the best,

Tanya

Magical Moments with Mommy’s Mini Me

“Mommy, are you going to wear the dress that looks like mine? You promised!” My five year old asked and informed me. Before my daughter was even one year’s old, we would often dress alike. I had a few reasons for this. It was a way for her to learn colors, I would always know what color she was wearing if for some reason she got separated from me, and let’s face it, I think it’s fun and cute for us to dress alike or at least in similar colors from time to time.

Yesterday, we attended a special dance hosted by her dance school. Quinn’s father was her initial plus one, but I was eager to come too so that I could take pictures of her at her first “dance.” When I let her know about the event, she excitedly told me, “I have an idea! How about if we both wear our special blue dresses that look alike. Then we can be twins!”

Even though Quinn spent most of the time dancing the night away with her dad as I snapped pictures, it made my day that she wanted us to be “twins.” I’m not sure how much time I have before she no longer enjoys dressing a like. Maybe it’s something she will always look forward to doing for many years to come. For now, I will just consider these moments with my mini me as magical memories I will hold near and dear to me heart.

All the best,

Tanya

Zingo! Fun Telling Time with My Little Girl

“I got 8:35!” my daughter said as she placed the 35 minute card on to the proper place. I just love the “Zingo” spelling game I got for my daughter last year as does she. So when I saw that there was one teaching children how to tell time in a fun way, I quickly added it to my five year old’s Christmas wish list. The game has a similar set-up to the spelling version with double-sided cards. The green side uses digital and analog clocks, and the advanced red side uses only analog clocks. We played a few rounds of the game, and I was impressed with how quickly my daughter caught on and was trying to use just the analog side to tell time.

Actually, I think some adults who struggle with telling time could benefit from this game. During these cold months, if you are looking for a fun game to teach your child a helpful skill, Zingo Time Telling might be the perfect one for you!

All the best,

Tanya

Mark My Words: Science is Awesome! Colorful Fun with My Little Girl

“Can we make purple next, Mommy?” my five year old excitedly asked. “Sure, what colors do we need?” I inquired. “Red and blue,” she quickly responded. My little girl loves drawing and doing projects, so the “Marker Lab” was perfect for some weekend fun. It comes with a kit that allows a person to create eight markers in various colors from start to finish. While it had the potential to be messy, the process actually went rather smoothly. We read the instructions together, determined what colors were needed and how many drops of color would be needed and got to work!

“To make green, it says we need 1.5 milliliters of blue and 1.5 milliliters,” Quinn informed me. She carefully added the color to the tube with the included the eye dropper, with little assistance from me and eagerly waited for the marker tube to fill up with the marker ink. I then helped her to assemble the marker, and voila they were ready for writing and drawing.

Where was the marker lab when I was a little girl?! I found this really fun project at Home Goods for just $12.99 and was probably more excited than my daughter to make the markers. I highly recommend this kit to any parent who wants to sneak in science, math, writing and a bit of art with a lot of fun.

All the best,

Tanya

Life Lessons of Winning & Losing: Fun & Games with My Little Girl

“Let’s play a different game!” my five year old insisted as she started putting away the “Connect Four” pieces. “Why?” I asked. To which she quickly replied, “You won the past two games!” Yesterday, we spent a few hours playing games from Hungry Hippos (a classic for me), Disney’s Surprise Slides, which is a variation of Shoots and Ladders, Who Shook Hook, Guess Who and a few others.

I can easily recall when I was younger having game day with my mom and my siblings. Though I enjoyed this family time, I often struggled with being a sore loser when we played “Sorry” or “Old Maid,” which I always seemed to be. It might have been the feeling that I’d never win, the hope that my mom would just let me win or even the occasional taunting from my siblings, but there were times when my eyes would fill with tears, and I’d utter those famous five words, “I don’t want to play anymore!”

Now that I’m older, losing isn’t necessarily easier to accept, but I am able to look at it through a different lens for the sake of my daughter. Though she handles losing much better than I did at her age, I can tell that it still upsets her. As we play games together, we laugh, have fun and hi five, there are also opportunities to discuss life as it correlates to games.

I told her that we all need to learn how to lose and win gracefully. We also discussed how we all can improve with practice, as she did with “Connect Four. When we first started playing when she was around three years old, she was still learning the concept of the game of getting four in a row, and diagonal was definitely tricky. Yesterday, she was really strategizing by making sure to block me and really gave me a run for my money. She legitimately won quite a few times without me going easy on her and just needs to balance blocking me while keeping an eye out for how she can get four in a row simultaneously.

Quinnie’s technique actually made me think about how people, sometimes focus so much on blocking others from winning that they still wind up losing because they aren’t paying attention when the opportunities for them to win present themselves. We went over how her strategy will continue to improve and played a few more rounds before moving on to “Hungry Hippos.”

I am so proud of her for her willingness to keep playing even when she was not winning. She even learned with Disney’s Surprise Slides that it’s not over until it’s over. She was far ahead on the board, and I managed to catch up with her. She then kept saying with each turn, “I don’t think I’m going to win!” But she still kept playing. I was on her tail, when she spun the red Mickey Mouse to win the game. A big smile was plastered on her face as she said, “I can’t believe it! I won! I thought I was losing for sure!” That’s when I told her, “Sometimes that’s how it goes! You think you’re going to lose, but you still win. That’s why you always keep trying your best!” We learn so much from life but sometimes more from games reflecting how life works.

All the best,

Tanya

The Little Things Are Sweet Treats: Notes to My Little Girl

Who hasn’t heard the phrase, “It’s the little things that count?!” When it comes to children, some parents, including me, might extend these grand, pricey gestures to our children when in actuality many small gestures to demonstrate love often add up to huge  hugs and love from my little girl. Though I do make an effort to be present for my little girl, sometimes, life just gets so busy that I might fail to let her know how much she means to me. So when she returned to school in the new year, I decided to surprise her with a little something special in her lunch back, not extra cookies or juice instead of milk but a little note to show my love. While I could have just wrote notes on post-it cards, I decided to order cute motivational cards from Amazon.com. It came in a pack of 60 for a little over $10.

After my little kindergartner saw the first note, she was so excited when I picked her up from school, “Mommy, I saw the note from you, and I was able to read it all by myself!” Quinn even wrote down that she was grateful for the note she received in her gratitude journal later that day. I even got my husband on board to write her little notes too as it not only shows her love but helps promote reading.

This past Friday, I immediately realized how my little notes were already leaving a positive impact on my daughter. I had to rush out with limited time in the morning for faculty in-service and mistakenly left the note for her on the table instead of insider of her lunch bag. When I picked her up from school, she immediately informed me, “Mommy, your special note for me wasn’t in my lunch bag!” I felt so bad and made sure to show it to her as soon as we got home.

I truly believe that positive notes cannot only remind us that we are loved but lift our spirits. They even lift my spirits as I write them knowing that they will put a smile on my daughter’s face and result in a huge hug when I pick her up as she tells me what the note said.

All the best,

Tanya

 

Grateful to See the New Year of 2019 with My Little Girl

The last few weeks of 2018 were a roller coaster ride for my family as we dealt with my daughter being ill and hospitalized and then rejoiced in her being home for Christmas and having a great recovery. Even though gratitude is something that I try to practice and teach my daughter regularly, I decided in 2019 I would make a more conscious effort. I also made a resolution to be even more present with my family.

Both my daughter and I received gratitude journals as Christmas gifts, so I thought it would be awesome for us to talk and write together about that for which we are grateful. It’s also a perfect way to promote writing with my little kindergartener. We started our journals on January 1st and actually were grateful for the same thing: a visit from my mom (her nana) and my aunt (her great aunt).

It pleases me that my daughter is grateful for her family because I certainly am grateful for her. I’m looking forward to bonding and sharing wonderful moments together with my five year old as we write about that for which we are grateful throughout 2019.

All the best,

Tanya