My Daughter’s Last Day of (Being) School(ed) with an Interesting Semester

It’s officially the last day of school for my second grader, and like many other children, she overcame the many unprecedented changes and hurdles that came with COVID-19 restrictions from virtual learning to hybrid to even receiving her learning materials in a different way. I’m very proud of the way Quinn rose to the challenge and just went with the flow, and I’m grateful that she eventually had an opportunity to interact with her main teacher and the teachers of special classes, like art, gym music and library, and some of her classmates.

While there’s no clear way of knowing what third grade will look like for her, I know if she could make it through this year with a smile on her face and still eager to learn that she’ll be just fine.

All the best,

Tanya

Hip Hop to You Don’t Stop! Looks Like I’m an Official Dance Mom!

Most of 2020 into 2021 has been an interesting year, especially for children who are used to going to school in person and participating in extra curricular activities. One of those activities for my daughter is dance; it’s been a part of her life since she was a toddler. She was so excited to take a Hip Hop petite class two years ago when she was six, but with the initial closures and then restrictions, last year there was no recital, and this year, it was moved outdoors for safety reasons.

Today was the special day, and seeing all of the children from toddler age to teens ready to go off to college eager to dance for their family and friends was a lovely sight. What made even more lovely was seeing how confident and ready Quinn was to take center stage for her hip hop number with her dance class. Of course, most parents are proud of their children and will cheer them on, but as I saw Quinn on the stage, it confirmed that she has something special, not just the gift of dance and movement, but the ability to command the stage even at a a young age.

Next year, she will be joining the hip hop competition team, and though I admittedly am not looking forward to the time commitment and traveling that comes along with being a “dance mom,” I am willing to do what it takes to support my daughter and look forward to Quinn continuing to hone her skills as a dancer and to become even more confident not just on the stage but in all aspects of her life.

All the best,

Tanya

The Colorful Moments of Motherhood

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m a kid at heart. There’s a long list of activities that I enjoy doing with my eight year old. Coloring on the sidewalk with chalk is definitely one of them. We both discuss our ideas, work together as a team to bring it all together snd of course have fun admiring our work. Also, I love using multiple colors because it reminds me of how beautiful life and memories can be when they’re vibrant and lively, just like Quinn. When is the last time you used sidewalk chalk? Give it a try. It’s not just fun but relaxing too.

All the best,

Tanya

The Perfect Image: Twinning and Loving My Mini Me

After spending about four hours doing knotless braids on my hair for the first time, my daughter smiled and said, “Your hair looks amazing! Can you put my hair in braids just like yours please?” Now that Quinn is officially eight years old, I wasn’t sure if she would still like to “twin” with me, but after I did her hair, she requested that I put it in a bun so that we could look like twins.

It makes me feel good to know that she still looks up to me, and when given the choice, she wants to be seen in my image. This also reminds me that I must be mindful and try my best to put forth a positive image for her to want to model. I love my mini me so much and will always cherish these bonding experiences that bring us closer together.

All the best,

Tanya

Celebrating My 9th Mommyversary!

Last week, my daughter turned eight, and today, I celebrate my ninth “mommyversary!” This year, was still low key as we transition back into doing outings after the restrictions, but that in no way diminishes how happy I am to celebrate being a mom. This year, I’m also celebrating being a puppy mom for the first time on Mother’s Day. 

Though I’ve come a long way as a mommy taking baby steps, I know the journey is just getting started. Right now, Quinn let’s me hold her hand as we walk together. When the time comes that she loosens her grasp, I hope I’m able to hold onto that confidence and be all that she needs as a mother walking beside or even behind her and guiding her from afar.

Happy Mommyversary to all moms, mom-like figures, grandmas, aunties and any woman whose been a positive role model in a child’s life.

All the best,

Tanya

Eight Is Great! Celebrating My Daughter’s Birthday

Eight is great! I’m not just saying that because it rhymes, is a nice round number, or that it’s a beautiful skating move, but because it’s a new year for my daughter who’s officially eight years old today! Though I’ve been keeping a blog and chronicling moments with Quinn since she was just one years old, I still can’t help but wonder where the time went. As a birthday surprise, I took her to the hair salon for the first time, and we even did a family photo shoot with my niece snapping some pictures.

I looked at her all dolled up with her hair down it be a clear that in just two more years, she’ll be in double digits!

I’m in no hurry for her to get there and am just embracing the kind-hearted, thoughtful and talented girl she is right now. Seven was heaven, but eight is absolutely great!

All the best,

Tanya

A Little Styling Goes a Long Way: Hair Salon Fun With My Daughter

Photo Credit: Muse Hair Studio (Tracie Stroman)

“I love it! I absolutely love it!” My soon-to-be eight year old exclaimed as she looked at herself swaying her head from side to side. This truly made my day! For the past couple of years, Quinn has been dying to wear her hair straight, so I thought what better way to kick off her birthday by taking her to a hair salon to have it professionally styled. Then I thought, why stop there? Why don’t I treat myself too since it’s been years since I’ve been to a salon or even worn my hair straight. Plus, this was a wonderful opportunity for us to bond together.

As we pulled up to Muse Hair Studio and I revealed the surprise to Quinn, she could barely contain herself. She was excited to go through the entire process. She sat in the booster added to the salon chair like a pro, and I couldn’t be prouder as I looked at her and snapped a few pictures sitting in the adjacent salon chair. The stylist, Tracie, and her assistant were, in Quinn’s words, “Amazing!” They treated Quinn like a little lady and even made her feel special by taking before and after pictures. (I felt extra special too!)

I asked her what she liked about the experience, and she said, “Everything!” Getting her hair washed with a massage, sitting under the dryer with the deep conditioner, getting her hair blow dried, flat ironed and styled were all of her favorites. I enjoyed this experience so much and even observed a couple other pairs of mothers and daughters, older than Quinn, getting their hair done or making appointments to get their hair done too.

I didn’t realize how much I missed having my hair done professionally until yesterday. It reminded me that self-care and just relaxing and having someone take care of me is needed, and I want Quinn to feel special and to embrace feeling good and taking care of herself as well as she gets older.

Photo Credit: Muse Hair Studio (Tracie Stroman)

All the best,

Tanya

Anticipating Celebrating My Daughter’s Birthday!

In a little over a week, my daughter will be eight years old! Time is flying by! It’s actually been about a year and a half since she did her first YouTube video on her channel, Quinnie’s Fun House. She’s created so many cool, fun and educational videos that children and some adults may enjoy and even learn from,and I am so proud of her! We’re both so excited that she has a little over 90 subscribers, and she is hoping that she will reach 100 very soon. Want to wish Quinnie a happy birthday? Subscribe today to make it extra special!

Sugar Rush Family Edition: 80s Theme PAC-Man Edition

Yesterday was our fourth “Sugar Rush” Zoom bake-off with my sister and niece. Our theme was 80s, and upon my sister seeing our matching t-shirts, she knew that for the first time we both had the same idea: Pac-Man! Quinn initially picked Pac-Man because she’s familiar with the game and enjoys playing it even though it was out way before she was born. We went through a few different ideas, like a boom box radio, roller skates, Adidas and a cassette tape, but Pac-Man was our final decision.

This was a tricky one because we incorporated fondant, and this was our very first time using it. After watching plenty of Sugar Rush episodes, I decided that we could give it a try. Since fondant is an acquired taste, we made the ghost out of it and made the star of the cupcake, Pac-Man, out of lemon buttercream frosting. To make his both stand out, we thought about black frosting, but in knowing that it’s not our favorite, we got creative and used crushed Oreos to cover part of the lemon cupcake. We also had plenty of leftover black Sixlets from when we made puppy cupcakes, so we were able to use them for the eyes.

Though I can use a bit more practice with fondant, we both agreed that the cupcakes turned out better than we expected. Though my sister won’t be able to join us for a few months, we definitely look forward to continuing this fun activity in the future!

All the best,

Tanya

Tag! About Time to Laser in on Some Family Fun!

It’s been quite a while since my daughter and I’ve attended a birthday party. So when my cousin invited us to attend her son’s 13th birthday party at iPlay America, we were both excited. Admittedly, I felt like I was coming out of the wilderness after surviving off the grid for over a year with limited social gatherings, but once we pulled up and were inside with my sister and niece, who rode with us, there was an overwhelming feeling of joy to see our extended family and to just have some fun enjoying each other.

Of course, we were all wearing masks and still looking for the nearest sanitation stations or restroom to wash our hands after each activity, but these practices are the norm now and did not stop us from having a great time. Quinn was so happy to get on rides and play games, and I was happy to get the first ranking in laser tag. I know we still have a ways to go before masks will be a thing of the past, but I’m hopeful that we’ll have more fun outings with our family and friends allowing us to appreciate life and each other even more.

All the best,

Tanya