Look Out Third Grade! Here She Comes!

“I don’t know why, but I think this is the most excited I’ve been to start school! Maybe it’s because we weren’t in person when we started school last year,” my third grader told me. A few days ago, I shared with my daughter that third grade was one of my favorite school years. I loved all that we learned and thought my teacher was the best.

Quinn told me that she has a feeling that this year is going to be great for her too. So far, her teacher sent a lovely welcome letter addressed to Quinn, called us at home to speak with my husband and me and to welcome Quinn and had a smile in her voice and eyes when we met her in person today. Though the school is set up for social distancing, I am hopeful that all will go well and that Quinn will come home with a smile on her face and eager to learn and make friends throughout the school year.

Seeing her happy face and excitement has actually helped me feel less nervous as I start my new semester teaching in person for the first time since March 2020.

Here’s to a fun, productive and wonderful school year!

All the best,

Tanya

The Beauty of a Perfect Beach Day Before the End of Summer Break

In just two days, I’ll be going back to work after a great summer break doing activities with my daughter. So I decided, why don’t we take a trip to the beach one more time before it’s back to work and school. My niece was happy to join us as well.

The weather forecast changed quite a bit with a hurricane coming up the coast over the weekend, so we had our fingers crossed that the rain would move out for us to have some fun. Just like magic, the rain stopped and the sun even made an appearance once we got on the beach.

I’m not sure if it’s because this may be our last time coming to the beach before summer ends or the joy from the rain moving out, but our smiles were bigger, as were the waves, and our laughter was louder. There was something so beautiful about the beach today! It certainly was spending it with my daughter and niece too.

All the best,

Tanya

A Few Days as an Empty Nester: Enjoying Adult Time But Missing My Little Girl

Yesterday, while walking my dog, I came across a neighbor who was walking her dog. We stopped and chatted for a bit as our dogs “chatted” too. Then she asked, “Where’s your daughter? Is it too early for her?” When I informed my neighbor that Quinn was having fun at a granddaughters’ sleepover my mom puts together every year and how excited she was to go, my neighbor smiled and said, “I’m sure you’re excited too! You get a few days to yourself!” I nodded, but I wasn’t as excited as some parents may be.

Yes, we’ve spent so much time together as a family, especially with the restrictions and home schooling of 2020 and half of 2021, and while I do enjoy having some time to myself to just relax or maybe watch shows that may not be age appropriate for my eight year old, I really do enjoy her company. Also, I don’t know how many more years I have for if and when she decides that she doesn’t want to hang out with me. Even if I’m lucky enough for that day to never come, at some point she will go to college or venture off on her own, and I won’t see her as much, so I want to take advantage of the moments we have together.

My mom has been sending me pictures for the past few days of their activities, and it’s clear that Quinn is having a wonderful time with her cousins and Nana, which I’m more excited about than me having time away from her. She’s a great kid with a bubbly personality, and I’m excited to have her home in the next few days.

All the best,

Tanya

Life One Year Later as a Dog Mom

I never thought I’d be gathering up toys, preparing meals and excitedly sharing stories and pictures a second time as a “mom.” But when Zack became a member of our family a year ago, I immediately fell in love. There was so much to learn as a puppy/dog mom, and though I’m sometimes frustrated when my little guy decides to be sneaky and steal a sock or bacon from the dining room table or tired when I have to take him out to go potty or for a walk when it’s raining or cold, it’s all been worth it.

He’s brought an abundance of love to our family, and seeing him play with his big sister always puts a smile on my face, even when I have to admonish one of them for not playing nicely. He’s also helped Quinn become more responsible. Even my husband who initially claimed he belonged to Quinn and me has come to love Zack and enjoys having him around.

I truly am so happy that we decided to become a dog family and am proud to be his dog mom.

All the best,

Tanya

The Great Adventure with My Daughter on the Jersey Devil

This was it! There was no turning back. I was locked in place. My eight year old was seated right in front of me, but I couldn’t really see her. The clink, clink sound got louder as my heartbeat seemed to match its pace feeling like it was coming out of my chest. We were at Six Flags Great Adventure on the Jersey Devil roller coaster.

After quickly asking Quinn is she was ready and okay, all I could do was close my eyes tightly and prepare to scream at the top of my lungs, struggling to believe that I was about to experience this crazy ride. I used to love roller coasters, but since having Quinn and being older, I just can’t handle them like I used to and was just grateful that I didn’t have any food on my stomach.

Why on earth would I get on the ride? Two words: for Quinn! Though she said it was okay if she didn’t get on the ride since everyone was too scared, when I looked at her face and heard the inflection in her voice, I knew I had to get on even if it meant I would feel like I was experiencing an out of body experience.

The ride lasted a few minutes, but I know my willingness to get on the Jersey Devil just for Quinn, especially since she knows my “tummy gets funny,” will stay with her for many years to come. That makes it all worth it!

All the best,

Tanya