On Christmas Day, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Mesmerizing Smile and Eyes that lit up the room like a Christmas Tree!

On Christmas Day, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Mesmerizing Smile and Eyes that lit up the room like a Christmas Tree!

My six year old is her mother’s daughter. By 4am she was up, ready and excited to come downstairs to see what she got for Christmas from Santa, her dad and me. She opened the gifts and excitedly said thanked us. Though she repeatedly said, “I’m so happy,” she didn’t have to say a word because the big smile on her face and the way her eyes lit up said it all. Though I’m on just about four hours sleep and a bit tired, her excitement will carry me throughout the rest of the day.

Merry Christmas To You and Your Family!

All the best,

Tanya

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…Sweet Family Time in Hersheypark

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…Sweet Family Time in Hersheypark!

Yesterday, my daughter and I had a wonderful time at one of the sweetest places on earth: Hersheypark! Though we’ve been there before, this was our first time going during the Christmas season. My sister and niece joined us, and we all had a wonderful time. It wasn’t overly crowded, it was unseasonably warm, and we got to see Santa’s reindeer, including Rudolph, caught a Christmas show, enjoyed some treats, hot cocoa and the beautiful lights everywhere.

Based on the fun we had, this just might become a new tradition for us each year. Today, I’ll have to keep it short so that my daughter and I can have some Christmas Eve fun! 😉

All the best,

Tanya

On the Ninth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Memorable, Merry Mommy’s Girl Moment

On the Ninth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Memorable Mommy’s Girl Moment!

Since day one, my daughter’s been a daddy’s girl. Yes, she loves us both, but I admire the closeness and special bond she has with her father. Those two are inseparable. So when the opportunity presents itself for us to strengthen our mother/daughter bond, I’m all in!

Dressing alike or with similar color schemes is something we both enjoy, so my six year old was so excited when her Elf on the Shelf gifted us matching pajamas.

“Let’s both come out of our bedrooms at the same time with our pajamas on,” Quinn suggested. With a big smile on her face, she actually asked if we could take pictures together when I’m usually the one asking to take pictures . This truly was a memorable, merry mommy’s girl moment that I will cherish for years to come.

All the best,

Tanya

On the Eighth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…Fun & Creativity with Elf on the Shelf

On the Eighth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…Fun & Creativity with Elf on the Shelf.

“I didn’t see her anywhere!” my six year old said. “You Don’t,” I inquired from the kitchen as Quinn sat at the dining room table eating her breakfast. Each day, our elf friend from the North Pole checks in only daughter and even leaves occasional messages leading up to Christmas Day. This time, she wanted to dress up as Santa, so she hopped in his jacket hanging on the clothesline garland. With a little coaching, my daughter eventually found her.

For the past few years, she’s just been in different places throughout the house, but this year, with the help of Target, she has a few outfits, a chair, suction boots, a candy cane hook and red and white string for dangling from special locations. These accessories have really helped me to have more fun and to get even more creative. There’s signs to use for counting down the days to Christmas, one for a scavenger hunt and one encouraging Quinn to perform good deeds, which she was eager to do at school.

I wish I had an elf to visit me when I was younger. Quinn has already told me that she’ll miss seeing her elf when it’s time for her to go back to the North Pole. I’ll miss her too. But until that day comes, I’m having a lot of fun with her…and Quinn too 😉

All the best,

Tanya

On the Second Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Gorgeously Decorated Christmas Tree

On the Second Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Gorgeously Decorated Christmas Tree…

“Fluffy already looks good, but she’s going to look fabulous once she’s all decorated,” my six year old informed me. Fluffy is not our pet cat or dog but our Christmas tree who got its inspired, allegorical name from my daughter. Every few years, we change the theme or color scheme of our ornaments, but this year, we both decided to keep purple, pink and blue (well more of a turquoise) because it reflects both of our favorite colors.

Though we already had plenty of ornaments we purchased last year, we went to Michael’s and got a few more for our tall tree to make it even better. Once the day came to decorate, I took care of putting in the lights, and Quinn did a good amount of hanging the ornaments with my assistance. She made it clear that she wanted to hang the ones that looked like sweet treats, such as donuts, lollipops and popsicles and that she wanted to hang the different birds and “special” ornaments too. I remember being excited to hang ornaments when I was younger, and I still am because I get to do it with my daughter and create special memories with her.

We’re both pleased with our tree that not only provides happiness but a feeling of accomplishments we admire its gorgeous ornaments.

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 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 Second Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…Her Inspired Theme for Our Christmas Tree

On the second day of Christmas, my daughter gave to me…her inspired theme for our Christmas tree. A major part of getting a Christmas tree is decorating it. It’s an opportunity to express creativity, to create a theme and to simply display your favorite colors or items. For the past three years, we’ve had a rainbow theme tree, but this year my five year old wanted to do something different.

Back in October, she said, “Mommy, how about a tree with our favorite colors? Pink and purple for me and blue for you?” I loved this idea but knew it was going to require us to go shopping for some new ornaments to really make our tree theme perfect. This was just fine with me because shopping for ornaments together is all a part of the fun process.

We started our search at Michaels in early November checking out their beautiful ornaments at 50 percent off, of course. Quinn then said, “How about a treat tree theme with different candies and cupcakes?” While I loved that idea too, I knew it would not only require a more in-depth search but more money too. So we put our heads together and came up with a theme: a pink, purple and turquoise tree with a few treats here and there to make our tree extra sweet.

Decorating our tree was a real treat! We had our Jackson Five Christmas music playing to set the mood, a step stool so that Quinn could easily reach some of the higher branches, and a strategy to make sure it was a nice balance or pink, purple and turquoise ornaments. I then made sure Quinn was still okay with naming our tree Gerald since it would be pink, purple and turquoise. She then reassured me that boys can wear pink and purple if they want and that it’s not just for girls. My response was, “No problem!”

The decorating process took a few hours. There’s beautiful ballerinas in turquoise and purple, a pink flamingo, pink elephants, a purple hot air balloon, purple, pink and turquoise birds and butterflies, a purple poodle, pink frosted donuts, pink and purple popsicles, cupcakes a roller skate, a unicorn, of course, and even Ralphie from the Christmas Story in his pink bunny suit.

We finished off our tree, Gerald, with purple, pink and turquoise tulle is wrapped around it from top to bottom with GlowBalls beautiful lights set in pastel hues to cascade off of the ornaments. I’m so happy Quinn asked about doing a new theme this year and am happy with the finished product.

Not only is the tree beautiful, but the experience of decorating it with my little girl is too.

All the best,

Tanya

On the Second Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…Too Much Fun Decorating

On the second day of Christmas, my daughter gave to me…too much fun decorating and one great outing selecting our Christmas tree. Whether purchasing a real Christmas tree  or digging the artificial one out of the attic or basement, the hope is that it will be a fun time for all decorating the tree and that it will not be just one person doing all of the work.

Luckily, my four year old loves decorating and wanted to start putting ornaments on our tree as soon as it was erected in our dining room corner. We waited one day in the event that the tree expanded some after being tied up to our car and in the cold, and that Sunday after Thanksgiving we got to work.

Last year, Quinn wanted a rainbow tree and asked for the same this year. While she handled the lower colors: green, blue, purple and pink (I know pink is technically not in the rainbow, but Quinn loves the color), I handled the upper colors: red, orange and yellow. This was such a great activity because Quinn loves sorting the colors as she did last year. This year, she even asked if her doll’s could help. How could I refuse? “Sure, the more the merrier,” I told her.

After we finished decorating, she asked me, “Do you think Heavenly Brownie (That’s what she named our tree) likes the way we decorated him? Do you think he’s happy to be in our home?” I responded, “Absolutely!”

All the best,

Tanya