On the Ninth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…A New Perspective on Elf on the Shelf

D40ED47C-7E2B-4455-90BA-ACA1DAEB8D59On the ninth day of Christmas, my daughter gave to me…a new perspective on elf on the shelf. She named her special elf from the North Pole, Lola, and since December 1st, Quinn has looked forward to spotting Lola’s new location. She’s been tucked in a Christmas stocking, hanging out with polar bears, and swinging from light fixtures. The last location was near the living room sofa so she could keep a watch over Quinn. It’s where my poor little girl wanted to rest as we tried to nurse her back to health with a high fever, cough and listlessness before taking her to the emergency room.

Since Quinn was hospitalized on Tuesday, Lola the elf remained at our home. My five year old has been so out of it that she hasn’t even noticed Lola’s absence. But we are so blessed to have many other “elves” watching over Quinn and praying for her speedy recovery. The positive energy and well-wishes from family and friends keeps me hopeful. Elves are known for their small stature, and while people may think posting a comment on social media or sending a text is just a small gesture, it really means the world to me, and I believe our prayers will be answered in a big way.

All the best,

Tanya

On the Eighth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…the Realization that “Ugly” is in the Eyes of the Beholder

On the eighth day of Christmas, my daughter gave to me…the realization that “ugly” is in the eyes of the beholder. Yesterday, I posted about how the Grinch is trying to steal our Christmas with the hospitalization of my little girl. These last few days have been trying, but as I looked through some of the pictures we’ve taken during this holiday season, I was drawn towards the ones of us wearing our “ugly” Christmas sweaters. Though our sweaters are supposedly “ugly,” are they really? We both wore them smiling proudly, even her best friend Grover. They put us in the Christmas spirit and allow us to be festive.

As I look at my daughter while she battles bacterial pneumonia enduring the ugliness of fevers near reaching 105, uncontrollable coughing and lethargy, it upsets me greatly. But I know this ugly illness will make us all stronger and appreciate one another even more. I look to my Quinnie being on the road to recovery so that we can put back on our “ugly” Christmas sweaters and have some great fun while creating memorable moments.

All the best,

Tanya

On the Seventh Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…the Courage to Face the Mean One, Mr. Grinch

On the seventh  day  of Christmas, my daughter gave  to me…the courage to face the mean one, Mr. Grinch. This time of the year has always been joyous for my family. We have such fun partaking in Christmas activities and enjoying each other’s company.

Unfortunately, the figurative Mr. Grinch showed up and is trying to ruin our holiday spirit. Yesterday, we rushed to the ER for the second day in a row. Last Thursday, my daughter was sent home from school after vomiting up her lunch and having a fever. Since then, she’s had a fever almost everyday. With the exception of Saturday morning and afternoon (probably because I told her we couldn’t go to Sesame Place if she still had a fever), my poor five year old has felt terrible.

On Sunday, she barely ate, threw up what she did eat, coughed incessantly, and her temperature reached 103.9 even with Tylenol. My husband and I took her to the emergency room, and it was determined that both of her ears have infections.

Yesterday, after getting her started on antibiotics for her ears and ibuprofen for the fever, she started feeling better. Unfortunately, by noon, her temperature rose to 104.2. As she coughed uncontrollably and had a helpless, terrified look on her face, we knew we had to take her back to the ER: this time to a Children’s hospital.

We waited nearly three hours to be seen in the packed waiting room with an overflow area. Once seen by the doctor and nurse, who were both very kind and professional, they worked diligently to take care of Quinn. After a chest x-ray, bloodwork and checking other vitals, they determined that my daughter needed to be admitted into the hospital for care because of her dire state and possible bout with pneumonia.

Needless to say, this is extremely upsetting for me to see her in this state because I feel helpless as well. As I sit across from her hospital bed on no sleep in over 24 hours, I’m trying to hold it together for her and to focus on all of the positives.

Even though she is weak right now, my little girl is so strong and brave. She did not flinch when blood was drawn or when she got the IV put in. She bravely followed the instructions of the radiologist when getting the chest x-ray. And for some crazy reason when a doctor or nurse asks her how she is feeling, in her weak voice with a grimace on her face from the discomfort, she says, “I’m good.”

I admire my daughter’s courage and have faith that she will make a full recovery. The Grinch will not steal our Christmas or our joy.

Please keep my daughter in your prayers.

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