Mother Daughter Bond: Exercising Mirrored Behaviors Together

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.

All the best,

Tanya

My Daughter: One of the Reasons I Strive to be Healthy and Fit

We’ve all heard the cliché phrase, “Tomorrow’s not promised,” and perhaps it really hit home during the pandemic. For me, having my daughter at 35 made me think about my own mortality and how I want to do everything in my power to be around and healthy for her.

My eight year old is one of the reasons I go hard when taking kickboxing classes, strength training classes or even going for a run. She’ll often ask to come with me when I’m working out, which makes me feel good.

Something else positive that‘s come from my motivation to be healthy is that Quinn is watching me even when I don’t realize it. More and more, she mimics my behavior. Like me, she wakes up early to exercise. She often finds kid-friendly exercise videos on YouTube.

Most recently, we got similar workout clothes, and she asked if we could both wear them when I did my strength training class yesterday. If I’m honest, I still feel a bit awkward if my stomach shows exposing stretch marks from being pregnant with Quinn, but she makes me feel more confident, which is another way I’m becoming more healthy because of her.

All the best,

Tanya

A Smile and Happy Feeling All from a Vaccine Shot

At Quinn’s last wellness appointment this past May, she was delighted when the doctor told her, “No shots this time around.” But this past Friday, she was excited and counting down the days. The week prior she even reported that one of her classmates already got his and that she couldn’t wait to get hers. The day before getting her shot, she asked her dad and me how ours felt. We both said it was like a pinch. So she was ready to take it like a champ.

When the day finally arrived, I picked her up from school, and we drive to the vaccination site about twenty minutes away. It was cold outside, so I had the heat on full-blast not realizing that I was “roasting” Quinn. When we were a few minutes away, she started taking off her jacket and telling me she was hot. Upon arriving and having the nurse take her temperature from the car, Quinn had a 100.7 degree temperature, and I was beside myself wondering if she wouldn’t be permitted to get vaccinated.

Both Quinn and I a looked at each other with nervousness, and me with disappointment. Could we make it this far with Quinn being well and then turned away? Luckily, the nurse could feel the extra warmth coming from the car and suggested that Quinn walk around outside for a few minutes before retaking her temperature. For the second reading it was right at 97.6 degrees, and I was bubbling over with joy inside.

Quinn had a little grimace as she got her shot but reported that it was just a little pinch like we said. Then she told me, “I don’t know why, but I feel so happy getting my Covid vaccine shot!” When I asked her what the shot means to her, she said getting back to normal, no masks and getting to have more fun with my family and friends. Then she said, “I guess that’s why I’m happy.” She couldn’t wait to show off her sticker and Tweety Bird bandage to her dad when we got home. No side effects except a little arm soreness, and she’s already talking about the second dose.

Why does seeing my daughter get vaccinated make me even happier and excited than when I did? She’s the future, and I look forward to her having a normal childhood where she can enjoy her family and friends with limited restrictions.

All the best,

Tanya

The Crew is Back for Some Boo at the Zoo Fun!

“I’m so excited! We’re all going to be back together again, Mommy!” My daughter said as we got ready this morning. When I informed Quinn that we’ve seen our cousins and her Nana (my mom), she said, yes, but this is the first time since the pandemic that we’ll be together. The last time was actually at Boo at the Zoo in 2019.

After many restrictions and adjusting to the many new norms, I felt a sense of joy knowing that we would finally be reconnecting with our usual crew too. We all came ready in our cool and creative costumes with smiles on our faces, occasionally behind our masks while in large groups, and had a great time trick or treating while strolling along and seeing the animals. There was a chance of not just rain but thunderstorms. Instead, the sun was shining, and it was unseasonably warm. We didn’t even need our sweatshirts and got ice cream to cool off.

I just love seeing Quinn with her cousins having a blast. We both missed these interactions so much and am glad we were able to have fun together this year at one of our favorite Halloween events.

All the best,

Tanya

An Extra Special Back to School Night!

As my husband and I entered our daughter’s third grade classroom with soft classical music playing, I was filled with joy, not only because her teacher reminds me so much of my third grade teacher but because this was the first time I was back in my daughter’s school, let alone classroom for over a year and a half!

Though Quinn did such a wonderful job adapting to virtual learning last year and never complained about not being in the classroom, when I read her “About Me” presentation that she put together for my husband and me, I came to the realization that she missed being in person more than I thought.

There’s something special about being in person. That interaction with classmates and the teacher is needed for most and allows them to thrive and socialize. Though knowing that the vaccine is not available for Quinn’s age group still makes me a bit nervous, I’m grateful that she was not robbed of another year of limited to know socialization with her classmates and teacher.

On top of that, she was selected as the student of the month for her classroom which makes me very proud. This truly is starting off to be a special “back to school” experience for my daughter and me as well.

All the best,

Tanya

Life is Like Skateboarding : A Lesson from My Daughter

As I quickly snapped a picture of my eighth year old before she started her skateboarding lesson, it occurred to me that life is a lot like skateboarding.

Some of us may be eager and even excited to embrace all that it offers, but others may be nervous about getting hurt or self conscious if they’re not as skilled to handle the skateboard as others may.

Even still, we kick and push through, learning to balance, to move faster, to take corners and hills. We learn special tricks along the way not to simply show off our skills, but to help us maneuver and get through “life.”

When I arrived a few minutes early to pick up Quinn, I observed her focusing and listening carefully to the instructor just as life often requires us to focus and learn from others. Now, if only I can get up the might to take an actual skateboarding lesson as my daughter hopes I will in the near future.

All the best,

Tanya

Family Togetherness: A Good Harvest & Great Meal

This past Wednesday, my friends invited my daughter and I to visit their community garden. This was such an exciting experience for Quinn because it was her first time at a garden growing vegetables and fruits in addition to plants and flowers. My mom had a garden when I was a little girl, and seeing Quinn happily harvest tomatoes, green peppers, egg plants and herbs as well has made me want to start a beginners garden for us to grown organic veggies and fruits together.

The fun didn’t stop there though. Quinn immediately wanted to wash the vegetables and begin looking up what we could make. Yesterday, my eight year old couldn’t wait to start cooking. She settled on eggplant parmigiana, and I decided to add a side dish with green peppers and tomatoes from the garden along cauliflower rice and broccoli topped with marinara sauce. Though she asked that I hand,ev the knife while cutting the eggplants, tomatoes and green peppers, she did an awesome job preparing the eggplants with the Italian breadcrumbs and arranging them on the baking sheet.

There’s something special about cooking together, but what’s going to make it extra special is growing and harvesting our own vegetables and fruit next year around this time then preparing a meal together with those fruits and veggies.

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

A Few Days as an Empty Nester: Enjoying Adult Time But Missing My Little Girl

Yesterday, while walking my dog, I came across a neighbor who was walking her dog. We stopped and chatted for a bit as our dogs “chatted” too. Then she asked, “Where’s your daughter? Is it too early for her?” When I informed my neighbor that Quinn was having fun at a granddaughters’ sleepover my mom puts together every year and how excited she was to go, my neighbor smiled and said, “I’m sure you’re excited too! You get a few days to yourself!” I nodded, but I wasn’t as excited as some parents may be.

Yes, we’ve spent so much time together as a family, especially with the restrictions and home schooling of 2020 and half of 2021, and while I do enjoy having some time to myself to just relax or maybe watch shows that may not be age appropriate for my eight year old, I really do enjoy her company. Also, I don’t know how many more years I have for if and when she decides that she doesn’t want to hang out with me. Even if I’m lucky enough for that day to never come, at some point she will go to college or venture off on her own, and I won’t see her as much, so I want to take advantage of the moments we have together.

My mom has been sending me pictures for the past few days of their activities, and it’s clear that Quinn is having a wonderful time with her cousins and Nana, which I’m more excited about than me having time away from her. She’s a great kid with a bubbly personality, and I’m excited to have her home in the next few days.

All the best,

Tanya

Playing it Cool, and Celebrating National Ice Cream Day with my Sweet Girl

There seems to be a national holiday for just about everything from chocolate to spaghetti to pizza day, so National ice cream day is certainly no surprise. Though I recall celebrating it a few years ago with my daughter at the Please Touch Museum, I lost track of the day until it came up in my photo memory.

What made it extra special this year is that I purchased an ice cream maker, and it just so happens that we made our own ice cream together! I have fond memories of ice cream socials when I was younger. My mom would allow my siblings and me to pick out toppings at the store and our favorite flavor ice cream.

What made eating ice cream special was not just picking what we wanted but socializing and experiencing togetherness as a family. That’s exactly how I feel when having ice cream with my husband and daughter. Making it together just adds the cherry on top.

All the best,

Tanya