What’s “in” About Cooking Out? Family Togetherness

As the unofficial end of summer nears, we decided to have an intimate cookout with our family yesterday. Of course, spending time with family is always nice, especially with spending mor time than usual apart as a result of restrictions for over a year.

But what really made cooking out “in” this time around was the eagerness of my eight year old. Without hesitation, she went and grabbed her apron and insisted on helping prepare some of the food. She smiled at me and said, “Mommy, I love baking and cooking food with you. It’s so much fun.” Hearing her say this and want to help without me nudging her really made my day.

I snapped a few pictures of her in action, and she decided to snap a few of me as well. The icing on the cake is feeling like all hope is not lost with our future generation. While many kids of 2021 may not know how nor have interest in cooking, other than popping something in the microwave or air fryer, my Quinn will have baking and cooking skills.

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

Grateful for My Daughter’s Great Dad on Father’s Day

Some people grew up never knowing their father. Others knew of their father but only as being a deadbeat or emotionally or physically physically absent from their lives. Then there’s those who are lucky like my daughter to have a great dad in her life who’s caring, present and loving.

Quinn is totally a daddy’s girl, and I don’t blame her. If I had a dad like hers, I would be too! Happy Father’s Day to all of those who are great daddies to their children and raising them to be wonderful people.

All the best,

Tanya

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

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!

Ready for the New “Old” School: Transitioning to Hybrid Learning

First Day of In-Person School

The big day went from Monday to Thursday due to snow, and I was just as nervous and excited as I was when my daughter started kindergarten. Three months as a first grader and her entire experience as a second grader have been all virtual, and she would be returning to school in-person after learning virtually since March 2020.

Though her school was thorough in providing virtual information sessions, materials and videos regarding the procedures, I didn’t know how many children opted to remain virtual and how many would be in person. I feared Quinn being all alone I. Her classroom with just the teacher. As tempted as I was to email her teacher midway through the first day, I held back, and her teacher kindly sent an email with a few pictures of the children in the classroom.

It’s a small group, just four girls, and one of them was in my daughter’s kindergarten and first grade classroom. This put my mind at ease some. When Quinn walked through the door from school, our puppy was so happy to see her, as was I, especially hearing the smile in her voice.

“I had an amazing day, Mommy!” Quinn told me. I listened intently as she told me all about her day and how everything was set up. Though we have a long road ahead of us with the Covid-19 restrictions and vaccination process, I’m so happy that Quinn is getting more socialization with children her own age.

All the best,

Tanya

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