It’s My Tenth Mommyversary, But I Still Have Big Shoes to Fill!

I can’t believe I’m celebrating my tenth “mommyversary!” I’ve learned and grown so much, but I still have big shoes to fill. Interestingly, one of the gifts my husband and daughter gave me was quite symbolic and reminded me of this fact. About a month ago, my husband sent me a text about a pair of sneakers he planned on purchasing for our daughter for her ninth birthday, and I replied back saying that I wouldn’t mind a pair of those as well and have always loved the classic Adidas sneakers. Little did I know, he was purchasing a pair for the both of us to wear together on Mother’s Day because Quinn wanted us to be twins. She was so excited, and I was too.

Then, the card she gave me just added to the symbolic gesture. It said, “Mom, I’ve got some really big shoes to fill.” She then told me that she picked the card because she loves wearing my shoes and how she hopes to be like me when she grows up. This made my day but made me think about how I’m still learning and growing as a mother. Quinn is in her last year of single digits. Her interests are constantly evolving, and she will be a tween before I know it. I noticed on the side of the sneaker it says, “Superstar” in gold, which is how she often views me. I hope that I can continue to fill those shoes and be the mom that she needs in the years to come.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms, mothers to be, aunties, mother-like-figures, etc.

All the best,

Tanya

Fighting to Be a Caring Mom & Role Model As Someone Watches & Emulates My Every Move

I love to make videos of myself during kickboxing to help me improve my form and to potentially inspire others on their fitness journeys. But another major reason just surfaced today as my daughter was on the bag next to me.

As I watched my footage to edit a small video montage, I caught a snippet of Quinn observing me as I put on my gloves to get ready for the next round and combination. When I showed it to her with excitement, my eight year old claimed she was looking at the kickboxing instructor demonstrate the moves, but the picture definitely gives the impression that she was looking at me.

In knowing that she asked to join me and wanted to exercise with me, I’m still excited about her emulating what I believe to be some of my positive qualities. I will fight as hard as I can to be a caring, supportive mom who she looks up to as not just her mom but a role model.

All the best,

Tanya

“Seeing” Myself in My Daughter

When Quinn came home after doing some shopping with her dad a couple of weeks ago, she was excited to show me what she purchased from Claire’s with her gift card she got for Christmas from her aunt. As she took items out of the bag, I was quickly reminded about what I liked when I was about her age: jewelry and glasses.

I didn’t need glasses as a child but always wanted a pair to cover up my mole between my eyebrows. Plus at one point it just seemed cool and fun to wear glasses. Quinn doesn’t need glasses either but was so excited to buy two pair of non-prescription glasses at Claire’s. They do look nice on her, and she looks even more like her dad who did need to wear glasses.

Now, for the past week or so, she’s asked if she could wear them to school. I said sure as I thought about being her age wanting to pretend I wore classes, and of course her teacher and friends even asked if they were real. Occasionally, her teacher will post pictures on Class Dojo of the students doing activities, and low and behold, I saw one of Quinn doing her presentation wearing her “new glasses.” That picture made me see a glimpse of myself as a child.

All the best,

Tanya

This School Year is Adding Up to a Fun Time Learning! Four Months Down & Six To Go!

My daughter’s teacher posted a picture of her on Class Dojo earning a certificate of achievement award for successfully completing the division section in the XtraMath program her third grade classroom uses. Quinn was so excited because this means she completed all of the sections, including addition, subtraction and multiplication.

I was very proud of her too, but seeing the picture and her smiling eyes made me appreciate this school year even more. Last year around this time, Quinn was still learning virtually and had not been in the classroom since March 2020. Though she must wear her mask and there are more Covid cases on the rise lately with the Omicron variant causing the number of students physically in the classroom to dwindle, the more direct interaction she gets with her teacher and classmates is all adding up to a different yet wonderful school year.

Of course, I’m all for safety first, but my fingers are crossed that the Covid cases will subside, Quinn will remain in the classroom and getting to add on terrific learning experiences and interactions for the next six months.

All the best,

Tanya

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