While I love autumn and the beautiful colors of the leaves, they eventually find their way on the ground, yard and sidewalk. The nostalgia of jumping in the leaves as a kid and watching my daughter play in the leaves giggling and tossing them everywhere is fleeting.
But there’s new moments which may not be as fun but are memorable. While most nine year olds are glued to their devices and have to be cajoled and pried off the couch to do chores, especially yard work, my nine year old volunteered even without the incentive of earning an allowance. So of course, I decided to give her a little something for working hard and expecting nothing but just wanting to help me. 🥰
Here’s to hoping that she keeps this work ethic well into teenage years. ☺️🤞🏽
Since my daughter was a toddler, we’ve been going to the pumpkin patch to get pumpkins. It’s something the entire family, including my mom (Quinn’s Nana) enjoys. All week, we’ve checked the weather and watched the chance of rain fluctuate from a 30 percent chance of rain to a 100 percent chance of rain. The question loomed over us: would we be keeping with tradition and going to the pumpkin patch the first weekend in October or postponing our plans.
Lucky us! There were clear skies for a brief “patch” of time, and we excitedly yet quickly picked out our pumpkins for Halloween decorating. Though we didn’t do the hayride or corn maze, it was still wonderful having that time together and keeping our tradition.
My nine year old had a wonderful school year and is officially on summer break! So I thought why not keep our tradition going by celebrating her hard work and accomplishments with a third annual spa day.
While I could have made arrangements for us to go to a pricey spa at an exclusive resort, she deserved the top of the line. She received the full pampering treatment from head to toe at the “Fabulous & Fancy Franklin Spa.”
Quinn had a foot soak, scrub, hydration, rub and pedicure as well as a manicure. She had a lavender face mask with rejuvenating eye gel pads and her hair washed and braided with the color of her choosing. Though the entire process took nearly seven hours, it was worth it to see that smile on her face and to receive a big hug and thank you demonstrating her gratitude. I want her to know that I’m proud of her and enjoy the time we spend together and hope she felt that today.
Today, my daughter along with 57 third graders did presentations on the United States of America. About a month ago, each student selected a state to investigate and find out facts to share for this special day. Quinn excitedly told me, “I picked Michigan because Daddy went to University of Michigan!”
Though she worked on the project independently in school, my husband and I occasionally asked her random questions about Michigan to make sure she was prepared. We discussed ideas for her outfit, she helped locate images for me to iron on her shirt. Her dad let her borrow his University of Michigan hat and “Michiganopoly” game.
We both proudly came wearing our navy blue and gold to support Quinn, and she did not disappoint. I noticed that quite a few parents stopped by to hear her presentation as I circulated around the room to hear about other states from different children. I’m so proud of Quinn and so glad my husband and I were able to be there for her.
A couple of weeks prior to Easter, my eight year old asked if we would be taking pictures with the Easter bunny. I was pleasantly surprised when she asked because it seems that she’s been maturing and a more rapid pace since entering third grade.
She was so excited to have her picture take with her toy poodle “brother” Zack, and I was too! Not sure if she’ll want to take pictures next year, but I’ll definitely be holding on to this memory.
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.
As I looked across the mat at kickboxing this morning, I noticed that the person and I were in sync as we did high knees. What made this mirror image extra special is that it was my soon to be nine year old giving it her all during the ten minute warm-up. Yesterday, Quinn asked if she could come to kickboxing with me early this morning. Of course, I said sure, especially since she’s joined me before, but this was the first time she joined me on the mats for the warm-up.
I was so impressed with how well she did lasting the entire ten minutes even after jumping rope along with me prior to the start of class. This just reinforces that our children are watching and following our lead. Seeing her made my workout even more rewarding.
I love learning new skills and being challenged, especially when it’s something that will benefit my daughter and strengthen our bond. Over the summer, after watching YouTube videos on how to do knotless braids, I practiced on myself and then my daughter. To my surprise, they turned out better than I hoped.
Restyling my eight year old’s hair on a daily basis can be time consuming, so when Quinn asked if she could get knotless braids again, I thought why not?
This time around, she asked for beads and is so excited to wear her new style at school. I never thought I would learn and be good at doing knotless braids, so it really puts a smile on my face knowing seeing Quinn smile in the mirror with her braids.
Picture day is fast approaching and will be here is just a few days. Just like when I was a kid, decades later, and it’s now a big deal for my daughter. Picking out that perfect outfit and how she’ll wear her hair is a big deal. Upon going to the hairstylist and getting a silk press for her 8th birthday, Quinn knew that she didn’t want ponytails, which is what I had for my third grade picture, but to wear her hair out.
I decided to honor her request since she doesn’t wear her hair out often; unfortunately, the stylist who did a wonderful job on her hair is unavailable. Instead of being disappointed, Quinn insisted that “I” do her hair.
When I told her that I’m not a stylist but will try my best, she reassured me that I would do a terrific job. Instead of waiting until picture day or the day before, I decided to give it a try last week after watching a few videos on YouTube. To my surprise, it turned out better than I hoped, and Quinn said, “You did a fabulous job, Mommy!”
Though it made me so happy seeing that big smile on Quinn’s face, I saw something else. My baby girl is growing up so fast! In two short years, she’ll be in double digits! But until then, I’m excited to see how her pictures turn out, and know that she’ll have a big smile on her face as my sweet little girl.
I love dressing up with my daughter for Halloween, so when we both decided on being “Tune Squad” characters, Lola Bunny and Granny, after seeing the new Space Jam Legacy movie over the summer, the wheels were turning on how to bring our characters to life.
Granny was much easier than Lola Bunny. I ordered the Tune Squad jersey top and shorts through Amazon, and then ordered the sweatshirt through Etsy, just in case it got chilly. My granny wig, accompanied with glasses, a glasses chain and necklace came from Amazon as well. It just so happened that I had blue tights to wear under my shorts and blue and orange sneakers to match my outfit.
Lola Bunny, on the other hand, required me to use my creativity and crafting skills. It was hard to find the kid-size thick jersey top and shorts, but I stumbled upon a Tune Squad dress on Target’s website. I then found the blonde wig through Amazon. Though there were some rabbit ears available, they were either the wrong color or just looked cheap. So I decided to make Lola Bunny ears after watching a helpful YouTube video. I got all of my supplies, including a cute tail to add to the dress, from Joann Fabrics, and they turned out better than I had hoped.
Since Quinn’s dress was sleeveless, a sweatshirt would definitely be needed, but after searching for a while, I failed to find a Tune Squad sweatshirt for kids in blue. So I ordered a plain blue sweatshirt through Amazon, purchased picture files through Etsy, printed out the images on iron-on paper, and made a Tune Squad sweatshirt with Lola Bunny. Quinn loved it and thought I purchased it that way. I also found a Lola Bunny mask on Etsy, which was perfect!
Of course, doing Halloween activities, family fun and trick or treating makes it all a memorable experience. But putting my time, effort and creativity into making our costumes come to life makes it that much more special!