Cooking Up Something Special with My Little Girl: Never Too Young to Become a Chef

Since my daughter was barely two, she’s loved helping me cook and bake. She enjoys the entire process from gathering the ingredients, measuring them, mixing everything together and cooking or baking to get to the finished product. So when we were invited to a cooking birthday party at the the local Giant in their Cooking School, I knew my soon to be five year old would be elated. When we arrived, she immediately knew to wash her hands and eagerly put on her chef’s hat. As she eyeballed the pan of dough in front of where she was seated, she pondered about what she and the other children would be making. “I think it might be bread or maybe pizza,” she said.

When the children all got settled and the chef said, “Today you’re all going to make your own pizza,” a big smile came on her face. “I was right!” she told her father and me. I was very impressed with how most of the children were able to follow the instructions, including Quinn. I was so inspired by the experience that I’m looking forward to more “mommy and me” cooking and baking opportunities in the kitchen. It’s such a fun way to bond.

All the best,

Tanya

A Happy Easter Weekend with My Little Girl

 

This Easter weekend flew by so quickly, but I couldn’t let the day go by without acknowledging and celebrating the fun moments I had with my daughter. We spent time with our family, something we both look forward to doing. We went on an Easter egg hunt yesterday, dyed eggs, and at Quinn’s request, we made rice crispy treats. She woke up excited to see what she received in her basket and immediately wanted to divide up her treats with her father and me so that we’d have some Easter treats too. I’m so grateful for such a sweet and thoughtful daughter. Happy Easter to you and yours.

All the best,

Tanya

Mother and Daughter Twins: Flattery from my Little Girl

“Mommy, do you think we can dress alike or wear the same colors for the performance tonight?” My daughter asked. “Sure, honey. Why do you like dressing alike?” I inquired. To which Quinn exclaimed, “I love when we’re twins! Then I’m just like you! Do you like being me twin?” I smiled and said, “Of course, I do.”

Since my daughter was a baby, I’d often dress us alike or in color coordinated. Now that she’s almost five, it melts my heart that she wants to dress alike and will request that we do. Though, in my opinion, she resembles her father more than she resembles me, I am so flattered that she wants to be just like me. We do have similar mannerisms and personality traits. Many people often tell me that I am a caring and thoughtful person. These are attributes I clearly see in her.

Of course, I would never intentionally try to make my daughter a carbon copy of me. I simply want her to learn from me and always put forth her best effort. It am, however, flattered that my sweet girl looks up to me and wants to be my twin.

All the best,

Tanya

Score! My Preschooler Wants to do Chores!

“Mommy, can I help you clean? What chores do you think I can do?” my four and a half year old asked me. I asked, “What chores do “you” think you can do?” My daughter quickly responded, “I can dust, clean tables, rinse out my dishes. I can do anything you need me to do, Mommy!” Since my daughter was a little over a year, she’s express interest in helping out around the house and doing chores. She would grab her little broom to help sweep, and at three she was asking to help with the dishes.

“I want chores to do too, Mommy,” Quinn says quite frequently as she sees me folding the laundry, vacuuming or doing any other household chores. Though I want her to enjoy her childhood and have fun playing, I am so impressed with my little girl. At a young age, she understands the importance of contributing towards our household, not to earn an allowance or treat but because she sincerely wants to help. My fingers are crossed that she continues on this path and is eager to do chores even when they are not so fun.

All the best,

Tanya

A Glimpse of My Little Girl’s Preschool World

“Mommy, are you coming to my school this week?” My little girl asked me with a big smile and eagerness in her voice. “Not this week, but I’ll be coming in next week. “Next week, we’ll be learning about the human body. Maybe we can find a book about it,” she suggested. At least once a month, I have the opportunity to come to my daughter’s four year old preschool classroom to read a story, participate with Shabbat (though we are not Jewish, we both enjoy the service and what it represents) and snack time. The last time I came, Quinn and her classmates were learning about the solar system, so she suggested that I bring in Dr. Seuss’s There’s No Place Like Space. It was a big hit with the children, and they were all eager to help out and identify the different planets. Little did I know, my daughter’s teacher was taking my picture as I read to the children.

I remember when I was younger, and my mother would occasionally come to my class. It was a wonderful feeling having her there. Now that I’m a mom, it feels awesome being able to go to my daughter’s classroom. After each classroom visit, Quinn gives me a big hug and kiss and then thanks me for coming to her school. I hope as she gets older I’ll be able to continue to be a part of her world at school.

All the best,

Tanya

Surprise! LOL with My Little Girl

“See, this little sister is color changing, and she squirts water from her mouth,” my daughter explained as she showed me the enclosed booklet. My four and a half year old was so articulate and had no problem telling me all about the different L.O.L. toy options and how these little surprise toys can be categorized. There’s Big Sisters, Little Sisters, Pets, and charm fizz all waiting in different size L.O.L. Balls in the aisles of Target, Walmart and other retail stores where children, young and old, empty the shelves hoping to collect all within a series or that special one that will fulfill the collection group.

While they do come with little pieces and are basically knick knacks that amount to clutter over time, I do love seeing my daughter’s eyes light up as she unpackages her latest L.O.L surprise. She has even made an effort to take on chores around the house to earn them. I know I would have wanted them when I was her age, so I find myself laughing out loud as she surprised me becoming the teacher and I becoming the student learning all about L.O.L surprises.

All the best,

Tanya

Being a Mom is No Piece of Cake, But Baking One with My Daughter is a Wonderful, Memorable Experience

“I’m so excited, Mommy!” my daughter exclaimed as we gathered up the ingredients to bake a cake. She’s helped me bake cookies, cupcakes and even dinner in the past, but yesterday was the first time she helped to bake a cake almost all on her own. As we did our measurements and added the ingredients, it made me think about the phrase, “Life is  no piece of cake!” Being a mother and trying to balance family life and work life certainly is no piece of cake at times, and it truly is a sweet treat when it all falls in place from time to time.

Actually, as we were preparing the frosting, I realized that I did not let an extra stick of butter sit out to be softened, and it made me think about how as a mother it is sometimes necessary to improvise and find a way to make it work, In this instance, softening up the butter was an easy fix, but there are some instances when it’s simply not. For instance, I would not feel comfortable using regular flour instead of cake flour or using some type of egg substitute instead of real eggs for the recipe. But something my grandmother taught me about baking still resonates with me. The recipe and ingredients are just guides. As I begin to feel more comfortable, I will eventually make the recipe my own.

I feel like the same applies with motherhood. I don’t have all of the answers, but as time goes on I am beginning to feel a little more at ease with my child rearing techniques in hopes that we will have more sweet moments than bitter ones.

As Quinn frosted her cake, she nervously said, “Mommy, I’m trying to frost it like you showed me, but it’s getting everywhere.” I assured her that it was okay and the more she bakes the better she will become. It just takes time and patience. I just love how there is a teachable moment in just about everything we do, and I hope that I am demonstrating this lesson to my daughter as well as we share these memorable moments together.

All the best,

Tanya