The Beauty in Broken Seashells: A Remarkable Observation by My Little Girl

“That one’s broken,” I informed my daughter. To which she replied, “It’s still beautiful even if it’s broken. I want to keep it!” In that moment, at the beach last week, her statement truly resonated with me. Oftentimes, when people come across seashells at the beach, they only want the “perfect” ones: no imperfections allowed.

But as my daughter observed, there’s still beauty even in the broken, imperfect shells. I pondered over how parents, including me, are sometimes guilty of wanting our children to be perfect. This makes me want to try even harder to always acknowledge her natural beauty and not her ability to be perfect but to try her best. In less than a month, my little girl will be entering kindergarten.  My little seashell possesses so much beauty, and while she make get a chip or two in her shell along the way, it will only add to her wonderful character.

All the best,

Tanya

Reading is Within Sight! Learning with My Little Girl

Who hasn’t heard the adage “knowledge is power” or “reading is fundamental?” Now, something that is truly powerful is observing a child obtain knowledge through learning and reading. Since my daughter was one day old, my husband and I have been reading to her. Five years later, her eyes still light up, and she displays a smile as she picks out a book for us to read together. Since she began talking, she’s always been inquisitive and has expressed an interest in learning to read on her own, so when my mother provided me with information about a Reading Program through Temple University, I was eager to enroll Quinn.

The program was five weeks long, and as she learned sight words, like “I, see, can, and,” I learned different techniques to keep her engaged and to help reinforce what she learned in our hour long class. Even though we have ABC Mouse at home, and I could have just used some of the kindergarten preparation books I purchased, I am glad we did the program and am very happy with the progress Quinn made in a short duration of time.

With the first day of kindergarten just a little over a month away, Quinn is not only more than ready but confident.

There’s Something Fun & Magical About Face Paint: Just Ask My Five Year Old!

“It looks beautiful!” my five year old remarked as the make-up artist held up the mirror to let my daughter see her face all made up. This last weekend makes about the sixth or seventh time I watched Quinn’s face transform into something magical. Whether it’s a butterfly, swan, kitty or a unicorn, as she had her heart set on getting this time, she always has a smile on her face afterwards. She is so careful about preserving her look as long as possible by asking if we may have our lunch before she gets her face painted so that she doesn’t mess it up.

In my lifetime, I’ve provably only had my face painted three times, and there are times when I would love to hop in the seat after Quinn gets her face done to have my transformation of the day as a tiger, butterfly or even a peacock. It’s a totally different experience than wearing make-up for a night on the town or to go to work. It’s just about having fun and becoming the masque I wear for just one day. Perhaps that’s why Quinn and I both enjoy Halloween so much.

Who knows, maybe the next time the opportunity presents itself, I’ll allow the kid in me to come out and get my face painted right alongside Quinn. There’s just something so fun and magical about it.

All the best,

Tanya

 

Preparing Patriotic Punch: A Knock-out with My Little Girl

“This is actually tasty,” my five year old exclaimed as she twiddled her straw slurping up some more of the beverage she helped to make.  With July 4th comes barbecues, spending time with family and friends, parades, fireworks, you name it! So I thought a fun project while celebrating America’s independence would be to prepare a patriotic drink (non-alcoholic of course) with my little girl.

After heading to my favorite go-to app, Pinterest, I came across several samples and decided to go with the drink containing, red punch, sprite, and a blue gatorade. Come to find out, it was actually like a science project because after filling the glass with ice, the different color beverages were able to sit on top of each other without blending because of the grams of sugar. Indeed, we would not regularly have a drink with that much sugar, but it was a nice treat and a great way to not only spend time with my daughter but to have her think critically questioning why the colors did not merge.

If you haven’t done anything like this, give it a try with your child(red). It’ll be a big hit, I’m sure!

All the best,

Tanya

Color Me Celery! Preschool Science Fun

“What’s your prediction? What do you think is going to happen?” I asked my five year old as she added the last piece of celery to the colored water. “Well,” she paused,”I think the celery might turn the same color as the water, but I’m not too sure about the yellow water though,” she informed me. About a year ago, I purchases a lab kit for my daughter, “Primary Science by Learning Resources. The first experiment we did was the volcano explosion. After that, she was hooked.

While she and I both love doing experiments and activities together, I wasn’t too sure about the celery one because it requires more patience in allowing the colored water to do its thing. To my surprise, Quinn was very patient. After leaving and returning to our project within a half hour, she even suggested to give it a day to see if the leaves change colors even more. Even though there were crumpled and a bit dried out on day two, my daughter was excited to find out that her prediction was correct, including the celery in the yellow water not having a noticeable change.

It was a great learning experience, and I love these projects because it requires her to follow instructions, sometimes count and use critical thinking, and I get to see the wheels turning as she takes the lead. However, celery has quite a distinct smell, and Quinn agreed that maybe next time we’ll use white flowers. Here’s to some summer time science fun!

All the best,

Tanya

Happy Daughter, Happy Daddy, Happy Family!

“Guess what I got you, Daddy!” my daughter urged her father as she handed him a gift bag. “A puppy!?” he asked jokingly. Quinn then laughed saying, “No, it’s not a puppy, silly daddy!” My husband looked inside the bag and pulled out a picture cube with each side displaying photos of him and his special girl. After thanking her and getting a big hug, she excitedly presented him with a cake from his favorite bakery for father’s day. “No cake for breakfast though, Daddy!” she told him as his eyes lit up eager to get a slice.

Beyond favoring each other, my husband and daughter have such a special bond and genuinely enjoy each other’s company. I am grateful that my husband is physically, emotionally and intellectually present as a father. He loves playing games, reading stories or just watching cartoons with our daughter. He doesn’t mind answering her many questions, having tea parties and an endless range of activities with her. There is no doubt that he makes her feel special and loved.

Seeing how happy they both make each other makes me that much more happy. I am grateful for the closeness and love within our family. On this father’s day, I hope my husband feels a little more love and a little more appreciation because he absolutely deserves it.

Here’s to all of the stand-up, wonderful fathers around the world.

All the best,

Tanya

Special Moments: My Little Girl’s Pre-K Move-up Day

“I’m excited but a little nervous, Mommy,” my five year old told me. Interestingly, my daughter and I are ending her pre-k experience the same way it started two years ago: both “nervscited!” (A combination of nervous and excited) As she ends this chapter of her life and prepares for kindergarten in September, it has been such a wonderful experience watching her make friends, learn and grow not just physically but emotionally, mentally and cognitively, and it has been a great experience for me interacting with her teachers and playing a role in her educational experience.

Yesterday, we not only attended her special pre-k ceremony acknowledging her achievements and moving on to kindergarten, but we also attended the kindergarten orientation at what will be her new school in September. My little girl is growing up so fast, and at times I struggle on an emotional level to keep up. It’s such an overwhelming feeling, but I will be there supporting her all of the way for every milestone and cherishing memorable moments like this one and many more in the future.

All the best,

Tanya