Take Notes…The Little Things Aren’t So Little

Lunch notes

Since my daughter started kindergarten, I would put a little note in her lunchbox. Sometimes, it has a wacky fact, and other times it had a joke or just a few words of encouragement. A few days ago, My seven year old, with a big smile on her face, told me, “Close your eyes, Mommy! I have something special for you!”

She then put I box of candy with one of the notes I gave her before virtual schooling started last year. All I could do was smile and then give her a big hug and kiss. I thought it was the sweetest gesture. “I miss getting notes from you with my lunch, Mommy,” Quinn told me. Can you still write me notes sometimes even though I’m learning at home?” I responded with another hug, “Of course, sweetie.”

It didn’t even occur to me to still write notes. If anything, she’s needs them more than ever now. When is the last time you wrote a note to give your child during lunch? We mustn’t let this “new norm” stop us from doing things that put smiles on our children’s faces and ours as well.

All the best,

Tanya

Small Yet Memorable Moments with My Little Girl

At the Regional Rail Train Station

Since my daughter was a toddler, she would ask if we could meet her dad at the train station so that we could all walk home together when he arrived from work. Since a March, my husband’s been working from home and only reported to the office a handful of times. So when he went into work a few days ago, my seven year old said, “I have an idea! Why do we meet Daddy at the train station? It’ll be Zack’s first time too!” Zack is our toy poodle puppy.

Though we take neighborhood walks often, walking to the train station to meet my husband reminded me of we must appreciate the little things. We’ve had so many fun moments and great conversations on our walks. As we waited for my husband’s train to arrive, I thought about how simply walking to the train station and waiting on a loved one to arrive is a luxury and a moment worth embracing.

When his train arrived, Quinn started cheering, and Zack’s tail started wagging in overdrive. I couldn’t help but smile myself as I imagined this simple task eventually being the norm again.

All the best,

Tanya

First Week Back: A Walk to Remember on the Pathway to Getting “Schooled”

A Walk to Remember

Virtual learning is less stressful and far more relaxing, right? Wrong! Well, maybe for some, but for me…the jury is still out. The first week back teaching virtual courses and interacting with students synchronously and asynchronously, helping my second grader through the process and addressing a technical issue or two while tending to our 15 week old puppy and taking him to his first puppy grooming midweek and then class today left me wonder how I’m going to manage to balance it all in the coming weeks.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. I can only imagine how parents with multiple children who may not be able to work from home are holding up. So with this in mind, I may be feeling a tad exhausted at times, but I’m grateful.

Who knows when, but one day I’ll find myself reminiscing about the moments of us all being home, bonding and working through it all together. There’s so much to learn right now, and I’m trying my best to keep that in mind when I start feeling overwhelmed.

All the best,

Tanya

The “Reality” of Virtual Learning & Teaching: Thanking My Daughter for Tips

Quinn is ready for virtual learning

Tomorrow is the first day of school for my daughter as a virtual learner and me as a virtual professor. The excitement and anxiety are definitely there: more on the excitement side for my daughter and anxious side for me.

Yesterday, she had an idea for her YouTube channel to post tips for virtual learning and came up with them all on her own. As I recorded her, edited and watched the video, seeing her confidence and positive outlook actually eased some of my anxiety as our new reality starts tomorrow.

For anyone else who’s nervous or anxious as a parent or caregiver, sometimes we can simply observe the calm demeanor and logical reasoning of our children. While the virtual learning situation may not be ideal for some, it definitely gives us an opportunity to challenge ourselves and overcome obstacles while strengthening our bonds with our children.

All the best,

Tanya

Breaking for Happy Moments as the COVID 19 Summer of 2020 Comes to an End

Just like that, summer break is winding down, and the new school year’s about to start in the coming weeks. With this summer quite different from the past ones due to COVID 19 restrictions, I tried my best to be creative and even asked my seven year old to come up with a list of activities she hoped to do. We successfully tackled most of the activities on the list and even added a couple along the way.

Though we did cancel her postponed birthday party, we still had a great time at a restaurant with outdoor seating with my sister and niece. With a smile on Quinn’s face, she said, “I had a great summer, Mommy!” There’s so many memes circulating about how 2020 is the worst year ever, so it definitely puts a smile on my face knowing that despite all of the negative circumstances my daughter still has a positive outlook and enjoys the little things, just like her mom 😊.

Dog Tired but Loving Being a Mom and New Puppy Mom

So, I’m going into my second week of being a puppy mom, and I definitely have my hands full. Prepping meals for Quinn and Zack, tending to both of their needs and carving out a little time for myself has been tricky this week. Thank goodness for my seven year old who’s been helping me along the way. Just like a new born baby, Zack, woke up a couple of times throughout the course of the night to “go potty” leaving this puppy mom with four or five hours sleep.

Luckily, for the past few days he’s been sleeping through the night, possibly because he’s starting to feel more comfortable, we’ve been playing with him even more and running him up and down the block with him for a little while after he’s “gone potty,” which he seems to really enjoy.

Though he’s not a human, I love seeing how happy Quinn is with her puppy brother. I have a feeling that they are going to learn so much from each other, and I’ll continue learning so much from the both of them as well.

Taking Baby Steps as a New Puppy Mommy with the Help of My Sweet Little Girl

Welcoming Zack the Toy Poodle to Our Family

Motherhood is full of countless emotional roller coaster rides, trial and error, hope, happiness and even concern along with rewarding moments. As I prepared for the the arrival of our new addition this Friday, the range of emotions I experienced with my daughter, who’s now seven, all came rushing back. But this time, there’s one major difference. Our new addition is a puppy!

Zack is an eleven week old toy poodle who’s just too cute for words. But this is our family’s first time having a puppy or dog, for that matter. I never had one as a child, nor had my husband, so this is completely new. While I’m excited, I am nervous too because I want to be a good “puppy mom.”

I’ve done tons of reading, watched several a videos from the leading experts and probably over-purchased toys, food, treats, grooming items, you name it, to make sure Zack has a smooth transition and loves his “fur ever” family.

Something that definitely helps me as I take baby steps as a “puppy mom” is the help from Quinn, my sweet little girl. She too has read through her puppy training book, watched videos, been loving towards Zack and wants to help take him out to go potty and to get his food ready.

We’re only two and a half days in to having Zack join our family, but having him here and seeing how happy my daughter is and how well she interacts with him lets me know that I’ll have her hand to hold as I take on the journey as a puppy mommy.

All the best,

Tanya

Five Months into COVID-19 Restrictions: Amazed at What “Masks” Are Revealing with the Help of My Daughter!

Mother & Daughter Mask

This morning, it just occurred to me that we’re just about five months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and though some restrictions have been “lifted” or modified in my area to allow people to return to work, exercise and dine out, we’re still nowhere close to being back to “normal.” Even still, I’m thankful for all that’s been revealed during these trying times.

This summer is quite different than many anticipated, but whenever my daughter and I go on a walk, play at the park, or are simply out and about, a smile most certainly would be revealed underneath my mask and under hers too. While I was initially concerned about my seven year old feeling disappointed about the limitations to our outings, Quinn actually said, “I’m just glad that we get to spend time together and are healthy, Mommy!”

Several people are having so many revelations as they make sacrifices and continue to adjust to these ever-changing restrictions, and I’m no exception. But when I look at how well my daughter is handling everything, from wearing her mask to using sanitizer and being conscientious about washing her hands to just going with the flow, it makes it that much easier for me to do the same.

All the best,

Tanya

Time to Make the Donuts! Sweet Memories with My Daughter

Anyone who was around 1980s and 1990s May be familiar with catchphrase, “Time to make the donuts,” somberly uttered by “Fred the baker” in Dunkin Donuts commercials. While he didn’t necessarily sound happy to wake up at the crack of dawn, he took pride in doing his job and preparing the best donuts.Of course, Dunkin Donuts being the “best” is debatable, but I can definitely relate to the character Fred.

Though I‘m tired sometimes, I love being a mother and take pride in being there for my daughter and giving my time and hopefully plenty of wonderful moments to cherish. Last week was a scorcher, but my seven year old was looking forward to making donuts together, as was I. Instead of frying them, I located a few good recipes for baking them and allowed Quinn to pick the flavor: vanilla glaze with sprinkles.

To our surprise, they didn’t take too long to prepare. Even though they had more of a cake taste than donut taste, they turned out better than we hoped. During these times of COVID 19 restrictions, there’s so much more on our plates, especially parents. But that won’t stop me from “making the donuts” and sweet memories with my little girl.

All the best,

Tanya

Happy Father’s Day: Celebrating a Wonderful Daddy Who’s Helped This Mommy Take Many Baby Steps Throughout Seven Years of Motherhood

Seven Years of Fatherhood

Before my daughter took her first steps, I remember her coasting by holding onto furniture or even using my leg or her dad’s leg so she can stand up and balance. Though she’s now seven years old and can walk, skip, run and jump, she still holds onto my hand on many occasions.

While my blog may be called “Mommy’s Baby Steps,” I must give credit to my husband, Quinn’s dad. His presence on my site is rare since he’s not a very public person, but he’s been walking with me as we support each other in parenthood from day one. He’s been a wonderful father who is loving towards our daughter and builds her up with confidence.

Even though they have a special bond quite different than the one I have with Quinn, perhaps even stronger, I admire their relationship. Knowing that he’s occasionally holding my hand and giving me the balance I need allows me to feel more confident in my ability as a mother to take steps towards raising a well-rounded, caring, independent and intelligent daughter.

Sadly, on Father’s Day, some may say, “I don’t even know who my father is!” or they may have a fractured relationship with him. For me, it’s the former, and I’m at peace with that since the relationship was toxic. That’s why I’m so grateful my daughter has her father in her life showing her the steps a man should take to be there for his little girl.

Wishing him and all of the stand-up fathers, pop-pops, uncles and father-like figures a wonderful Father’s Day! I couldn’t imagine nor do I want to do this without him.

Seven Years of Fatherhood Video Montage

All the best,

Tanya