On the First Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…a Ginormous Christmas Tree!!!

On the First Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…a Ginormous Christmas Tree!!!

“You two are out of control! Each year it gets bigger and bigger,” my husband said, as my daughter and I went up and down the aisles looking for the perfect tree. He’s right though. When Quinn was a baby, the tree was maybe six feet. This year, it’s eight feet. “But daddy, it needs to be bigger than last year’s tree so that we can have even more ornaments,” she told him.

Upon getting the tree home, for the first time, carrying it in the house was a two person job with Quinn assisting by holding the door open and directing us towards the tree stand. Once we got it in place, my husband shook his head as the top of the tree scraped the ceiling.  My daughter and I both smiled at our new tree eager to decorate it.

Keeping with tradition, we named our tree as a part of our family. We’ve had BG, short for Big Green, BGJ, short for Big Green junior and BG3, short for Big Green the third. Heavenly Brownie! Last year, she picked Gerald. This year, Quinn names our tree Fluffy to fit its appearance.

Here’s to fond memories with our 2019 Christmas tree: Fluffy!

All the best,

Tanya

Practice Makes “Hairstyles”: Making Ponytails is No Easy Feat!

She took a deep breath before getting started with a look of concentration her face. Then, she made sure her hands and fingers were positioned properly. This wasn’t a piano lesson nor a valiant try at tying her shoes but another life skill that will certainly come in handy not just for herself but possibly applying it to others as well: making a ponytail.

Just about every Saturday, I restyle my six year old’s hair and then “freshen” it up throughout the course of the week. Oftentimes, I’ll allow her to pick which style she wants from my Pinterest saves. Though I’ve gotten good at recreating styles, sometimes they’re quite involved, and the process may take hours. Before long, Quinn is asking, “About how much longer do you think it’ll be, Mommy?” To which I usually respond, “Hopefully not too much longer. Remember, if you want it to look nice, I need you to be patient.”

Within the past year and a half, Quinn has taken an interest in having her dolls’ hair styled, so I find myself styling two and sometimes three heads. But lately, during her screen time, she’s been watching videos on how to style her doll’s head and tries her best  do it without asking for help. Though I’ve sat down with her before and given her some advice, today, after seeing her frustration, I did a step by step process with her. I never realized how complicated putting in a simple ponytail could get!

After about four tries, she finally got the ponytail into Luciana’s hair. I’m pretty sure braiding the hair is next, which can be tricky too, considering that I still can’t do a fishtail braid even after watching videos myself. Who knows, maybe one day Quinn will teach me  how to do that technique.

All the best,

Tanya

Mommy’s VIP Starting of the School Year on a High Note!

“Guess what, mommy! Mrs. Moore picked me as one of the student VIP’s,” my first grader excitedly told me. To which I responded, “That’s great, honey! Tell me what being VIP means.”  “I get VIP all-access to the special scented markers and other things. I get to sit at a special desk closer to the teacher, and get to have a special lunch where I eat with the teacher and other VIP students!”

We’re just three weeks into the semester, and it makes me so proud to know that my six year old is putting forth her best effort in class and has already been recognized by the teacher.

Last Wednesday was the back to school night, and the teacher’s exact words when I asked about how Quinn was doing was, “I just love Quinn! She’s so pleasant and such a hard worker. She always raises her hand. I’m so happy to have her in class.” While taking a tour of her classroom, I was able to take a few pictures: one of Quinn’s locker and her VIP all-access achievement.

I know she still has many more weeks to go, but I am confident that she will have a wonderful school year and continue to exceed my expectations not only with her love of learning but the respect and pleasant demeanor she consistently displays towards her teacher and classmates. I truly and grateful to have a daughter like her. She’s always been one of my VIP’s, and it is such a rewarding feeling knowing that her teacher feels the same way.

All the best,

Tanya

Life’s a Bike Without Training Wheels: Gotta Have Confidence & Balance!

My little girl and I’ve gone bike riding quite frequently, either on her bike with training wheels or her trailer bike attached behind my bike. But yesterday was a major milestone. We went out for her first practice ride with one missing training wheel and then with both taken off. Quinn told me, “I’m excited but nervous, Mommy. Do you have any advice?” I immediately said, “A big part of riding a bike without training wheels is having the confidence that you can do it, and another part is being able to balance!”

We spent about an hour at the neighborhood park’s lot for a flat surface: a half hour with just one training wheel attached and the other half with no training wheels attached. Without me coaching her, she repeatedly said, “I am confident, I am confident…” as she tried to balance, pedal, steer and look where she was going. There were times when her father or I was along the side or in the back and even a few instances when she was able to ride with minimal assistance.

While she  managed to get accustomed to just the one training wheel, no training wheels definitely proved to be more arduous. I could see the frustration starting to seep in as she tipped to the side when she pedaled a short distance, and I didn’t want her to feel defeated. I shared with her that I didn’t learn to ride a bike in just one day and that it may take some time.

Right next to the park’s lot we could see a couple of teens practicing tricks at the skate park, and I  asked, “Do you think they learned how to skate board or do those tricks in one day?” Quinn said, “No.” I responded, “Exactly! They probably practice a lot, and the more you practice the better you will get at riding your bike with no training wheels.”

This made me think about how so many tasks and activities in life require confidence and some level of balance in order to succeed.  Everything from bike riding to skate boarding to roller skating and even walking needs these features. If you think about it, the people who lead the most successful lives tend to be confident and well-balanced.

I also feel confident in saying that most would say this isn’t something that happens over night. Parents, teachers, mentors and many other people and “helpers” may be our “training wheels” in the early stages of life. Sometimes, people don’t need them at all, others need them for a little while, and some need them longer than others. I’m not sure how long it will take my daughter to confidently balance without training wheels, but I plan to be right by her side encouraging her that she can do it not just with riding a bike but with anything in life.

If you have any tips for riding without training wheels, please feel free to share.

All the best,

Tanya

Last Day of School but Many More Days of Tending to the Garden

 

 

Garden for the children: the German meaning of the word kindergarten. This year, my daughter was one of many in that lovely garden. It was the perfect environment to allow her to blossom with a wealth of knowledge, flourish by socializing amongst the other beautiful children while under the tutelage of wonderful teachers who know exactly what it takes to tend to many children burgeoning all at once. 

Quinn has learned and grown much in that magical garden in such a short duration of time. She’s like a little book worm excited to read stacks of books everyday, many on her own. She’s a busy bee, constantly expanding her vocabulary and sharing their meanings. She’s a little scientist exploring the different subjects often eager to share what she’s learned. She’s a caterpillar who went through the metamorphosis process right before my eyes in a multitude of ways. Not only is she a little taller and lost many baby teeth and grew big girl teeth, but she’s matured so much in just just about eight months.

Though her days of kindergarten may be over, I will make sure that I’m doing my part to tend to her growth and development as she continues her education and beyond!

All the best,

Tanya.

24 Karat Magic in the “Ear” of My Little Girl: Another Major Milestone!

“Are you ready, Quinn? There’s no turning back! Once it’s done, it’s done!” I informed my six year old. She smiled as eager as can be, “I’m ready!” For the past couple of years, my daughter occasionally asked about getting her ears pierced to which her father and I would respond, “Maybe when you’re a little older because this is a major decision. We want to make sure you’re absolutely sure.” We both decided before Quinn was born that we would not pierce her ears until she could verbally tell us that it’s what she wanted instead of making that decision for her.

Since she turned six on May 3rd, the main topic of conversation on a daily basis has been getting her ears pierced. She wanted to know when I got my ears pierced (I was a baby) and why most of her friends in school already have their ears pierced. “I watched a YouTube video where a little girl got hers done at Claire’s, and it only hurt for a split second,” she told me. Baffled, I asked, “How’d you find that video?” My kindergartener, who is a pretty sharp reader and writer, informed me that she typed in kids ear pierce, and the video came up. As a result of this, I knew she meant business. After discussing it with her dad, we decided that it was time and that she’d get it done as a special reward after her kindergarten graduation event.

We headed to Claire’s at Willow Grove Mall, and I probably had more butterflies in my stomach than Quinn. She skipped right up towards the store where I took her “before” pictures, and she was so excited to sit in the ear piercing chair holding their teddy bear, Petunia, who had her ears pierced. After looking at the many earring choices, she settled on 24 karat butterfly earrings: butterflies, what a coincidence!

To make the process easy, the Claire’s ear piercing specialist suggested having both ears done simultaneously to which we all agreed. First, I read over and signed the contract, which was probably the most difficult part with all of the warnings and precautions that must be taken into account to ensure that Quinn’s ears heal properly with no infections. Then the location for the piercings was designated and agreed upon. After that, the intense part of getting the actual ear piercings was performed. Quinn held Petunia and sat very still. Then with two simultaneous, loud clicks, and a quick bat of the eyes from Quinn, she was all done: no tears or scream of pain. “That didn’t hurt at all,” she said proudly.

It was such a magical moment over in a matter of seconds. Afterwards, she smiled so wide looking in the mirror and picked out a few more pairs of earrings to wear when she’s all healed. I told her, “Seeing you with earrings is going to take some getting used to for me. It means you’re really a big girl now!” Quinn just smiled and responded, “I am a big girl, Mommy!”

Though there’s so many more milestones to go, this one really “pierced” my heart letting me know there’s no turning back, and with each passing day my daughter is evolving into a big girl and will one day be a young lady and then a grown woman.

All the best,

Tanya

My Heart Danced to the Rhythm for My Little Girl! A Lesson in Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone with Persistence, Confidence & Positivity

 

“Are you excited about the dance recital, Mommy?” my six year old asked. To which I replied,  “Yes, I’m excited but a little nervous. How about you?” Quinn said, “I’m a little nervous and excited too!” In September, I enrolled my daughter in a local dance school for tap and jazz, and for months, they’ve been preparing for the dance recital which was just held this past Friday and Saturday.

About a couple of months ago, a notice was sent out recruiting moms to do a dance routine as a part of the recital.  As soon as I mentioned it to Quinn, her eyes lit up, and her smile widened. “Mommy, can you please do the mom dance? That would be so cool if we both were in the show!” Initially, I was excited because the song selection was “Rhythm Nation” by Janet Jackson, and the wheels were already turning with how I’d put together my outfit. But when I realized that there’d only be five rehearsals to learn the choreography, (a modified yet still involved version from the video) the anxiety set in big time.

Even though I loved being on the stage many moons ago rapping and doing spoken word,  I was extremely nervous. As a child, I was rhythmically challenged and lacked confidence. I’ve gotten a little better as an adult, but I still consider dancing to be out of my element and not my strong suit. But, I’m proud to say that I did not allow my nervousness to overwhelm me causing  me to bail out of the dance number.

It actually was an experience full of lessons, some old and some new, allowing me to grow as an adult. Even if I do not believe I am the “best” dancer,  I still gave it my all and remained confident on stage even if there was a missed step or two in the routine. Believe me, this was tough for me with my type A personality constantly critiquing my practice performances, but I, for the most part, remained positive and did have a lot of fun.

It felt good teaching by example and making a conscious effort to live by the lessons I try my best to instill in Quinn. What made it even more rewarding was seeing my little girl step out onto the stage full of confidence with a smile on her face.  I hope that as she rewatches my performance in the years to come that she will not just watch me dance with the group of moms but will actually listen to the lyrics of the song, “Rhythm Nation” as they still apply today and still will for many years to come.

“People of the world today
Are we looking for a better way of life
We are a part of the rhythm nation
People of the world unite
Strength in numbers we can get it right
One time
We are a part of the rhythm nation”

All the best,

Tanya