Glad My Daughter Has Self(ie) Confidence!

Selfie Confidence

Ever been scrolling through your phone and come across random pictures you don’t recall taking but quickly realize that your child had a little fun taking selfies? As tempting as it may be for some parents to delete them and possibly admonish their child for taking crazy pictures, silly selfies or even using snap chat and different filters, I find myself smiling and chuckling at the pictures my seven year old takes.

When I was her age and well into adulthood, I struggled with self-esteem and lacked confidence. Though I enjoyed taking pictures of other people with my Fisher Price camera, long before the days of phones with cameras and cell phones in general, I was often nervous about taking pictures and had an awkward, forced smile. Sometimes, I wonder if I had an opportunity to take wacky, silly selfies if I would have been more comfortable and confident as a child and young adult.

Quinn uses my old cell phone through wifi, so any pictures she takes automatically are added to the cloud for me to see, and I just love seeing her smiling face, pursed lips or tongue hanging out in a crazy way displaying her not only her confidence but innocence too. Of course, there’s a thin line between being confident in one’s self and being self absorbed, so I try my best to model the right behavior. Also, selfies do have the potential to become an issue if filters become the norm, so we often talk about taking pictures and using filters for fun and how I love seeing pictures where it’s just her being natural with no filters at all.

I’m so glad my daughter has selfie confidence, and with virtual learning and her being at home even more, I’m sure she won’t disappoint by having more random pictures appear through the cloud in the weeks and months to come.

All the best,

Tanya

Take Notes…The Little Things Aren’t So Little

Lunch notes

Since my daughter started kindergarten, I would put a little note in her lunchbox. Sometimes, it has a wacky fact, and other times it had a joke or just a few words of encouragement. A few days ago, My seven year old, with a big smile on her face, told me, “Close your eyes, Mommy! I have something special for you!”

She then put I box of candy with one of the notes I gave her before virtual schooling started last year. All I could do was smile and then give her a big hug and kiss. I thought it was the sweetest gesture. “I miss getting notes from you with my lunch, Mommy,” Quinn told me. Can you still write me notes sometimes even though I’m learning at home?” I responded with another hug, “Of course, sweetie.”

It didn’t even occur to me to still write notes. If anything, she’s needs them more than ever now. When is the last time you wrote a note to give your child during lunch? We mustn’t let this “new norm” stop us from doing things that put smiles on our children’s faces and ours as well.

All the best,

Tanya

Small Yet Memorable Moments with My Little Girl

At the Regional Rail Train Station

Since my daughter was a toddler, she would ask if we could meet her dad at the train station so that we could all walk home together when he arrived from work. Since a March, my husband’s been working from home and only reported to the office a handful of times. So when he went into work a few days ago, my seven year old said, “I have an idea! Why do we meet Daddy at the train station? It’ll be Zack’s first time too!” Zack is our toy poodle puppy.

Though we take neighborhood walks often, walking to the train station to meet my husband reminded me of we must appreciate the little things. We’ve had so many fun moments and great conversations on our walks. As we waited for my husband’s train to arrive, I thought about how simply walking to the train station and waiting on a loved one to arrive is a luxury and a moment worth embracing.

When his train arrived, Quinn started cheering, and Zack’s tail started wagging in overdrive. I couldn’t help but smile myself as I imagined this simple task eventually being the norm again.

All the best,

Tanya

First Week Back: A Walk to Remember on the Pathway to Getting “Schooled”

A Walk to Remember

Virtual learning is less stressful and far more relaxing, right? Wrong! Well, maybe for some, but for me…the jury is still out. The first week back teaching virtual courses and interacting with students synchronously and asynchronously, helping my second grader through the process and addressing a technical issue or two while tending to our 15 week old puppy and taking him to his first puppy grooming midweek and then class today left me wonder how I’m going to manage to balance it all in the coming weeks.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. I can only imagine how parents with multiple children who may not be able to work from home are holding up. So with this in mind, I may be feeling a tad exhausted at times, but I’m grateful.

Who knows when, but one day I’ll find myself reminiscing about the moments of us all being home, bonding and working through it all together. There’s so much to learn right now, and I’m trying my best to keep that in mind when I start feeling overwhelmed.

All the best,

Tanya

Breaking for Happy Moments as the COVID 19 Summer of 2020 Comes to an End

Just like that, summer break is winding down, and the new school year’s about to start in the coming weeks. With this summer quite different from the past ones due to COVID 19 restrictions, I tried my best to be creative and even asked my seven year old to come up with a list of activities she hoped to do. We successfully tackled most of the activities on the list and even added a couple along the way.

Though we did cancel her postponed birthday party, we still had a great time at a restaurant with outdoor seating with my sister and niece. With a smile on Quinn’s face, she said, “I had a great summer, Mommy!” There’s so many memes circulating about how 2020 is the worst year ever, so it definitely puts a smile on my face knowing that despite all of the negative circumstances my daughter still has a positive outlook and enjoys the little things, just like her mom 😊.

Dog Tired but Loving Being a Mom and New Puppy Mom

So, I’m going into my second week of being a puppy mom, and I definitely have my hands full. Prepping meals for Quinn and Zack, tending to both of their needs and carving out a little time for myself has been tricky this week. Thank goodness for my seven year old who’s been helping me along the way. Just like a new born baby, Zack, woke up a couple of times throughout the course of the night to “go potty” leaving this puppy mom with four or five hours sleep.

Luckily, for the past few days he’s been sleeping through the night, possibly because he’s starting to feel more comfortable, we’ve been playing with him even more and running him up and down the block with him for a little while after he’s “gone potty,” which he seems to really enjoy.

Though he’s not a human, I love seeing how happy Quinn is with her puppy brother. I have a feeling that they are going to learn so much from each other, and I’ll continue learning so much from the both of them as well.

It’s Just Like Riding a Bike! Treasured Memories with My Daughter

Bike Riding Memories

“This is one if the best days of my life! I’ll never forget this day,” my daughter said as she pedaled on her bike with no assistance from me. I’ll never forget this day either. The pure joy in her voice and sense of accomplishment made me feel so happy. The memories of when she first said “mama,” started crawling, took her first steps and began learning to read all came rushing back to me!

Quinn asked, “How did you know I would be able to ride my bike today?” With a smile on my face, I told her, “I could just feel it!” I recall having that same feeling when she took her first steps. Days before we headed out for my daughter to practice riding her bike, she told me that going in bike rides with me using the trailer bike made her feel more confident and that she was ready to master riding her own bike. I really think that the combination of Quinn’s confidence in herself and the confidence I had in her ability to ride her bike is what gave her that extra edge in reaching her goal.

She couldn’t wait to put together a video on her YouTube channel, Quinnie’s Fun House, helping other children or even adults with tips for beginners learning how to ride a bike. I love how she always want to help others even while she’s still learning.

With each bike ride, Quinn is getting better and better, and I’m looking forward to our rides together headed towards countless destinations and memorable moments.

All the best,

Tanya

Spinning My Wheels for the Past Three Months: Mirroring Hope, Persistence and Gratitude through My Daughter

As we biked down the road, Quinn said, “It’s so nice today. I love doing outdoor activities with you, Mommy!” It’s been nearly three months since the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted our way of life, and even though the transition to online learning for her and finding different ways to have fun while practicing social distancing has been going smoothly, hearing the happiness in her voice and giggle as we sped down the hill let me know how much she misses regular outdoor activities and outings.

Though it was hot yesterday, neither one of us cared because we were both just happy to be outside doing something more than a walk around the neighborhood. The light breeze, the beads of sweat forming as we pedaled in over time to get up those hills with the trailer bike, and whizzing down a hill or two were all greatly appreciated and sought after.

When we got home, Quinn eagerly asked if we can go for a bike ride again tomorrow and then said, “Even if we can’t do a lot of outdoor activities like last year, we can still have a fun summer.” This statement made me think about how resilient my seven year old has been throughout this entire ordeal. She’s went with the flow, is full of energy, which helps to keep me going when I’m feeling depleted, and she demonstrates hope for when “things get back to normal,” as she often says.

We all may find ourselves “spinning our wheels” longing for normalcy, but for now, I’m trying my best to mirror the hope, persistence and gratitude my daughter often displays.

All the best,

Tanya

Piecing it Together With My Daughter During These Puzzling Times

Working on a 500 piece puzzle!

With some Kidz Bop music playing in the background, my seven year old and I sat at the table quietly sorting through all of the puzzle pieces, 500 pieces to be exact! Since I can remember, I’ve always liked doing puzzles, and Quinn is the same way.

Though we both enjoy doing puzzles, we have different techniques for getting started. I tend to focus on the edges and piecing together the frame of the puzzle, and she prefers to sort through the colors looking for similarities. Though my strategy yielded quicker results, leaving Quinn a little frustrated with her progress, I reassured her that once the frame was done, I too would be following her technique.

While we’re just getting started, this activity is perfect to constructively pass time as we continue to practice social distancing. It also made me think about how there’s so many things to piece together during these puzzling times. Just like working on this 500 piece puzzle, it can initially be overwhelming, but we must be patient and work together diligently. Over time, everything will start to come together and be clearly presented. Then, we’ll be able to admire our hard work and Pat each other on the back for working together as a team.

All the best,

Tanya

When Getting “Schooled” Really Hits Home: Coronavirus Lockdown Two Months and Counting…

A few days ago, we received a notice from my daughter’s school district informing us of the potential plans for the next school semester in accordance with the CDC guidelines. As I read the possible scenarios of continuing online learning, rotating in a biweekly schedule or a hybrid situation with online and in class time, it quickly became apparent that my hope for a “normal” second grade experience will not be a reality and will instead be replaced with more uncertainty.

While I’m grateful that these last two months of my first grader learning from home has been an overall good experience with her being eager to learn and do special projects, I know she misses her friends, teachers and simply being in the school atmosphere.

There’s just a few weeks left for this school year, so instead of growing concerned about how everything will play out come September, I’m trying to focus on right now and how we can still have a fun and memorable summer together.

Here’s to all parents and guardians trying to keep their children and themselves motivated while making it through these last few weeks of the school year!

All the best,

Tanya