On Christmas Day, My Daughter Gave to Me…the Gift of Early Morning Giggles and Smiles

On Christmas Day, my daughter gave to me…the gift of early morning giggles and smiles. I’m so happy and grateful to have her home after the traumatizing experience of her being hospitalized all week. I know she is not fully recovered as yet, but she seemed like her happy, energetic self this morning. Our day is off to a wonderful start! While I’m sure the excitement and busyness of the day will eventually catch up with my five year old, and she may need rest, right now, I’m just living in the moment of her happiness.

Merry Christmas to you and yours,

Tanya

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…the Special Gift of Her Presence

7BA4AC56-E691-412B-B12B-9AC50C09B2D2On the twelfth day of Christmas, my daughter gave to me..the special gift of her presence. It’s been a long, exhausting week leading up to Christmas with my daughter hospitalized. So when we received the news yesterday that she would be discharged just in time for Christmas, my heart was overjoyed. Even though she is still recovering from her illness and not fully her energetic self, just sitting on the sofa with her watching “Polar Express” and “The Santa Clause” with her was such a wonderful gift.

Today, she’s been eating a little more, hasn’t had a fever since being discharged from the hospital, and her coughing isn’t as much as it was jus a day ago. Thinking about my five year old possibly not being present in our lives makes me want to be even more present. We might not be able to do many of our Christmas Eve traditions with Quinn needing to rest often, but I’m okay with that. We still have our baby girl and will have many more opportunities to create memorable moments.

Sometimes, we receive an abundance of gifts or take our time getting around to opening gifts a person put time and effort into getting or making for us. Whether it’s your child, significant other, parent, relative, or friend, don’t wait to “open up.” Please be sure to let them know that their presence is a special gift: not just on Christmas but every chance you get.

All the best,

Tanya

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…The Importance of Cherishing Every Day

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my daughter gave to me…the importance of cherishing every day. One of the reasons that I started my blog, “Mommy’s Baby Steps,” was to not only share my journey as a mother but to chronicle some of those special moments I’ve experienced with my daughter.It’s amazing how time works. When I’m doing planks, 30 seconds can seem like 30 minutes, but when I reminisce about my daughter around this time last year, it seems like it was just yesterday.

Once we got our tree and December 1st came, the anticipation of Christmas coming really set in for my five year old. “I’m trying not to think about it, Mommy. But I’m so excited for Christmas,” she’s been telling me just about everyday. Sadly, this past week. she’s been so ill and listless that she didn’t even realize it was Saturday yesterday. I’ve been losing track of the days too.

As I sat typing this blog entry, the doctor came in with wonderful news. Quinn is doing well enough to go home and continue her antibiotics to battle the bacterial pneumonia and adenovirus. It’s been days since she’s been able to add an ornament to her Christmas countdown tree, and I know she will be so happy. When the doctor asked Quinn what she would like to do, she perked up in the bed and responded, “Go to Chuck E. Cheese!” This gave me such a chuckle to hear her cheerful voice that didn’t sound as weak as it did days ago.

Everyday, I spend a little time reflecting on that for which I am grateful. All of the memorable moments I’ve had with my daughter are often at the top of the list. Everyday that she’s been hospitalized, I’ve thought even more about our past memories and can’t wait to build even more. It will be a Merry Christmas!

All the best,

Tanya

On the Sixth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…Nostalgia Taking a Photo with 🎅

36A47DAD-54A8-4C33-89A3-7900A352743BOn the sixth day of Christmas, my daughter gave to me…nostalgia taking a photo with Santa. Even though my daughter and I were able to see Santa on the Paradise train ride and even at Sesame Place, our main location for taking the annual picture with Santa since she was a baby has been Willow Grove Mall. I love the tradition because I get to see her face light up with excitement. She even gets a little nervous as I did as a child and will ask me if I can join her when it’s her turn to meet Santa. Little does she know, I look forward to seeing him and am glad when she wants me to join her. This year, Mrs. Claus joined him and was such a special treat.

When we started decorating for Christmas and put out photos over the years with Santa, Quinn, herself, reminisced. “This is when I was a baby meeting Santa and Mrs. Claus,” she remarked. I’ve always had a soft spot for Santa, and not just because he brought gifts but because he cared about me and was always so jolly.

All the best,

Tanya

On the Fifth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…The Importance of Spending Time With Family

On the fifth day of Christmas, my daughter gave to me…the importance of spending time with family. For the past few days, my five year old hasn’t been feeling well. Her cough and runny nose has been accompanied by a fever. It all started on last Thursday when she was sent home from school due to a fever and becoming ill during lunch. On Saturday, she had no fever and was starting to feel better, so we kept with our scheduled plan and had a blast at Sesame Place. Unfortunately, late on Sunday, her fever came back with a punch, and over night it spiked to 104.2, so my husband and I decided to take her to the emergency room. (Where we are right now)

While this is an unsettling experience for us all, and it is upsetting to see my little girl so listless and ill, she still constantly reminds me of the importance of family togetherness, especially during this time of the year. For almost ten years, I’ve thrown a Christmas party and invited my extended family and some of my dear friends.

Since Quinn was born, it’s become even more special. She’s always excited to spend time with family and will ask me who’s coming to the party. In life, it seems like everybody is so busy. There seems to be a limited amount of time to simply enjoy life. I am grateful to have a daughter like Quinn. She helps me to not get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and to just appreciate my family. I truly am grateful for the experiences I have with them and love them all dearly.

All the best,

Tanya

On the Fourth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…Sunny Days Chasing the Clouds Away at Sesame Place

On the fourth day of Christmas, my daughter gave to me…sunny days chasing the clouds away at Sesame Place. Quinn just loves Sesame Place and all of the characters, so for the past few years, we’ve looked forward to seeing Elmo, Abby, Cookie Monster, Ernie and Bert, and all of the other characters to enjoy “A Very Furry Christmas Celebration.”

We went yesterday, Saturday, December 15th. While the temperature was nearly twenty degrees warmer than last year, which was great, we still weren’t too sure about how much outdoor fun we’d have since the forecast called for all day rain. So we started our day by enjoying the Dine with Elmo and Friends buffet for an hour. We were able to enjoy our food and tasty treats and meet and take pictures with many of the Sesame Street characters as well as Santa.

After lunch, it was misty yet not raining, so we quickly headed over to get on Oscar’s Wacky Taxi rollercoaster which was just erected in April 2018. It’s a real scream! Afterwards, we got on Super Grover’s Vapor Trail Rollercoaster and then checked out, “A Sesame Street Christmas” show where Abby Cadaby learned all about Christmas. It is such a lovely show that kids and adults can enjoy and contains most of the characters.

Apparently, the rain forecast meant that the crowd was much smaller, which was fantastic! We had no problem doing all of the activities Quinn wanted to do. We got on a few more rides and played some games too. Then we caught another show, “Elmo’s Christmas Wish.” I have a feeling that I enjoy the shows more than my five year old does! There was even an outdoor section with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Clarice that we did not get to see last year since it was so cold. It was nicely set up and looked just like the land of misfits.

We ended our day at Sesame Place with the special Christmas Parade. My husband jokingly said, “Isn’t this the 100th time you’ve seen the parade?” No matter how many times we’ve been to Sesame Place or seen the parade, it is always the icing on the cake  not just Quinn but for me too. There’s such a positive energy and fun-filled happiness when we go to Sesame Place. Even if it was a dreary day,  the fun and memorable moments made it a sunny day to add to our Christmas memories.

All the best,

Tanya

On the Third Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…Family Fun Time on a Christmas Train Ride

On the third day of Christmas, my daughter gave to me…family fun time on a Christmas train ride. Last year, my daughter, husband, mother and I had such a fun time on the train ride with Santa at Strasburg Railroad, so it was on the top of our list for fun activities this year. On December 1st, we traveled to Ronks, PA, a little over an hour commute from our home, to board Santa’s Paradise Express to Paradise, PA and back. There was a bit of a chill in the air, so we were bundled up and ready to enjoy ourselves.

Before boarding the train, we were able to have a tasty lunch at the restaurant located at the station. Then we headed down to the boarding platform. “Here it comes, Mommy!” My five year old shouted as the train came down the track for us to board. I quickly snapped a picture of my family, and we eagerly hopped aboard and claimed our plush seats. The ride is 45 minutes, and within that time we met Santa, who gave Quinn a special wooden Strasburg Railroad ornament for our tree, enjoyed people caroling and playing instruments and just taking in the sights along the way.

The fun didn’t stop after our train ride. We were able to do some of the fun activities, such as meeting Mrs. Claus, writing a letter to Santa, and doing some of the riding activities. Luckily, we were able to squeeze in everything because it started to rain in the later part of the afternoon.

“I can’t wait to go on the train ride with Santa again next year,” Quinn told me. Actually, I can’t wait either!

All the best,

Tanya