Thankful for Precious Moments in Disguise: Turkey Day with My Little Girl!

My four year old smiled saying, “I want to disguise my turkey as Princess Poppy!” Last week, my daughter’s preschool teacher assigned a special Thanksgiving project to the class: disguise the turkey who fears being eaten for Thanksgiving.  The instructions encouraged family involvement, which was fine by me, especially since I love doing crafts. We discussed exactly how Quinn wanted her turkey to look, rounded up the supplies, most that we already had since I am a crafter, and got to work!

It brought back memories of before Quinn was in preschool and was home with her father and me. We would do fun projects all the time. Though we still do them now, it is not as frequent as it once was. When we finished the project, Quinn said, “Thank you so much for helping me, Mommy!” Our turkey looks just like Poppy! She was so excited to show Princess Poppy, the turkey, to her teacher and friends and even asked me to take her picture once all of the disguised turkeys were on display.

Since I teach college courses, the last couple of months in the semester get hectic, and it is difficult to carve out the extra time to just do a fun activity and enjoy each other’s company. Even knowing that this is my first blog entry for this month is a reminder that time gets away from us all, so it’s moments like this that are so precious to me.  I am grateful to have Quinn in my life and am glad for this memorable moment in disguise.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

All the best,

Tanya

 

A Beautiful “Hairy” Situation: The Bond Between Mother & Daughter

My daughter smiled and said, “That’s the one I want, Mommy!” as we scrolled through my hairstyles for little girls board through Pinterest. It was an intricate one, somewhat new for me, but I was up for the challenge. What a difference a few years makes! I recall when Quinn would squirm and fuss about getting her hair done. There were times when we had to complete it in two, sometimes three separate segments so that we both could have a break. I even wrote a blog post when she was a little over one year’s old about our hair battles. I even did one when she was three on little girl hairstyles. Now, my four year old is far more patient, even when we may be going into the second or third hour of completing her hairstyle because she knows she’ll have a carefree hairstyle requiring little maintenance.

While it can be time-consuming at times, especially when Quinn squirms a little as I detangle or part her hair, I enjoy bonding with her. It warms my heart to see that big smile on her face as she looks in the mirror and says, “I love my new hairstyle, Mommy!” She’s then ask, “Can you take a picture so I can see how the back looks?” This most recent time she insisted, “Mommy, may I please wear a beautiful dress to match my beautiful hairstyle!” “Sure,” I told her as I smiled to myself knowing that my four year old approved of her new hairstyle courtesy of her mommy, and Pinterest too.

All the best,

Tanya

You’ve Been Slimed! Stem Fun Preschooler Style!

“I don’t know what the fascination is with slime!” I overheard a lady saying to her kids as she shook her head unwilling to budge on purchasing the kit. My four year old had been asking to make slime for the past few months, and I was avoiding it because well it’s gooey, sticky, messy and gets all over, which is the very reason she wanted to make it.

Upon arranging a play date with our cousins, I figured why not when the suggestion was offered. I was able to get a kit at AC Moore for just under $5, actually half price because I had a 50 percent off  one item coupon. There were so many from which to choose: ones with glitter, ones that glow in the dark, ones that have a scent, etc. I decided to go with the kit that had scents, pink strawberry and blue raspberry.

It actually was a fun project and a great way to teach children how to follow directions, take measurements, hypothesize what will happen and even utilize a few of the five senses by explaining how it feels, smells and looks.

I’m a big kid at heart and did enjoy helping Quinn and her cousin make slime, but I would certainly suggest keeping the slime making contained to an area where there is no carpet, just a plain table or island with no table cloth. Definitely wear old clothes, a smock or apron when making or playing with the slime because it doesn’t seem to come out of fabric as easily as it rolls off of one’s hands.

I’m not too sure of the next time we’ll make gooey, sticky messy slime that gets all over, but I loved seeing the smile of Quinn and her cousin’s face and look forward to the next STEM project.

All the best,

Tanya

Happy Halloween: Ready for Take-off with My Little Astronaut!

During the early summer, my little girl proclaimed, “I’m going to be an astronaut for Halloween!” Like most children, I figured she’d change her mind, especially since Halloween was about a half year away, but each time I’d ask, she’d say, “I want to be an astronaut, Mommy! I want to be an astronaut when I grow up!” Finding her costume was no problem, but figuring out what I was going to be as our family theme was a bit tricky.

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A Quick Selfie with My Little Astronaut before Trick or Treating

Last year, she was Doc McStuffins, and I was Lambie, so I wanted to keep with the idea of not wearing the east costumes but having them be related. I thought about being an alien that my three year old encountered. Then I considered being a planet. As I mentioned it to my mom around August, she said, “How about being a rocket?!””A rocket!” I pondered. I really liked the idea. After getting the “thumbs up” from my daughter, I immediately started looking for costumes and ideas. Unfortunately, I came up empty with finding an adult-size rocket costume, so I put my creative skills to the test again, as I did last year with my Lambie costume, and decided to make a rocket dress.

 

I purchased the silver fabric and tulle from Joann Fabric, using 20 percent off coupons, of course and then watched a few youtube videos on making a basic dress. Then it occurred to me, “Why not use one of my maxi dresses as a template for creating the dress pattern” Even though I sewed the dress by hand, having the template from my maxi dress worked out perfectly and made the process much easier and quicker.

To create the flame, I used a combination of red, yellow and orange tulle and fabric, interchanging the colors and materials on an one fourth inch elastic band. Once that part was done, I used a hot glue gun to attach it to the dress. I was able to get the NASA logo online and print it on iron-on paper for the dress.

The next step was making a pointed hat as the rocket tip using some of the excess silver fabric. I was able to use some poster board I had from a previous project and opened up a party hat from Quinn’s birthday to get an idea of how I should cut and form the hat. Once that was done, I hot glued and stapled the fabric to the poster board then added blue rhinestones to sell out “USA.”

Even though the design of them was fun and easy to construct, making the wings was more tricky than I anticipated because I had to account for my body measurement to make the straps the appropriate size. I though elastic would work but found that the velcro straps I used to adhere them kept detaching. After giving it some thought, I decided to start all over and used overall fasteners so that the straps could be adjustable as needed. This worked out perfectly.

While designing and putting together this costume took a lot of thought, time and effort, I’m happy with the end result because it put a smile on Quinn’s face! We attended a party of the weekend, and many people loved our complementary costumes. My little girl even commented, “You’re my rocket because I’m the astronaut, Mommy!” Though she meant this literally, it can also be applied figuratively. Even when she is controlling her own destination, I am always willing to be the vehicle or means to help her reach to the moon, stars and beyond.

It was awesome to receive several compliments on our costumes and to big a “kid” again with my little girl trick or treating this evening. Our Halloween this year is out of this world!

All the best,

Tanya

 

What Would We Do Without It Wednesdays: Hairstyles for Little Girls

While having a little girl is fantastic, doing her hair can not only be a struggle but quite time consuming too. “Is it time to get my hair done?” my soon-to-be three year old inquires. When Quinn was just a little over one years old, I posted a blog entry regarding the strategies I employ when doing her hair entitled, “It’s My Hair, and I’ll Cry if I Want Too Baby!”. Almost two years later, she’s far more patient and will even make requests. “I want three ponytails Mommy: two in the front and one in the back!” This was actually my favorite hairstyle when I was younger.

Having go-to hairstyles is great because over time I’m able to do them much quicker, but I must admit that I sometimes dread having to do my little girl’s hair every day for a half hour to even an hour. This is when I am so grateful for people who post Youtube videos and pictures on the braiding styles they’ve done for their little girls. I’m no braiding expert, but I’m very proud with the progress I’ve been making with doing Quinn’s hair. When I finish, she’s so excited. “Can I look in the mirror to see my hair Mommy?” Of course I say, “Yes.” Then without my prompting, she will say, “I love my new hairstyle Mommy! I have to show daddy how cute my hair looks!” She especially loves when I put beads in her hair. I think she likes the jingly sound.

It makes me feel good knowing that my braiding skills are steadily  improving. I don’t know what I’d do without them. I’m sure my daughter appreciates them too.

All the best,

Tanya

Making Easter Eggs to “Dye” for with My Little Girl

When I was younger, I loved dying eggs with my mom for Easter. Now, I’m able to keep the cherished tradition alive with my little girl. There’s so many styles from which to choose instead of the basic color dye, but I wanted something that was not too messy yet fun for my soon-to-be three year old. At Target, one of our favorite stores, we located a decorating kit to transform the eggs into zoo and circus animals for five dollars. Quinn enjoyed dying the eggs but really loved decorating them as animals, as did I.

Now, there’s one major problem. They’re so adorable that I don’t think my husband, Quinn or I can bring ourselves to eat them. It’s a good thing that we only decorated four as animals and left the rest in plain colors. It looks like it’s going to be a Happy Easter for our new egg friends: the tiger, zebra, giraffe and elephant. Happy Easter to you and your family.

All the best,

Tanya

On the Eighth Day of Christmas My Toddler Gave to Me…Christmas Fun with My Little One

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Quinn is ready to get started!

On the eighth day of Christmas, my toddler gave to me joy selecting a Christmas tree,  memorable moments decorating, festive and fun goofing around, partying all night, excitement while visiting Santa Claus, counting down the days, happiness at Sesame Place and bonding time making our own tree! I’ve always loved doing special art projects in school, and though my two and a half year old is not in day school, I want to ensure that she has the experience of doing special art projects for the holiday. Since she loves the Christmas tree, having her make one herself was a perfect idea. I had a vision of what I wanted us to create together, and we were able to get most of the materials from Target: green tissue paper, green shredded paper, colorful pom pom balls in multiple sizes, puffy red garland and a gold bow. We already had the construction paper,  Modge Podge matte finish and scissors.

We used an 11 x 17 green construction paper. I folded it in half and cut the paper on an angle to make the triangular tree. I thin folded and cut up the tissue paper in rectangular pieces. Then, Quinn took over the project by applying Modge Podge to the tree a little at a time with her sponge then placing the tissue paper on top. To give the tree some texture, we added the shredded green paper with a little more Modge Podge Glue. After allowing the tree to dry, we then added the red garland with glue and taped the backs to make sure it was secure. Then, we added the pom pom balls as ornaments. Once everything was dry, we put the tree on red construction paper as a backing and then added the gold bow as the star. This was a fun project for us both, and now we have two trees for Christmas!

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Our work is displayed on Quinn’s special frame for all to see.

All the best,

Tanya

Here’s a slide show of our project below:

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