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

Life Lessons: The Big Monopoly on Fun & Games

The other day, I overheard someone saying that “Monopoly” is one of the worst board games ever. I responded jokingly, “How dare you!? That’s one of my all-time favorite games!” “It’s just too long of a game,” the person replied. I said, “But that’s the whole point. It’s just like life and is all about strategizing.”I used to play Monopoly for hours with my sister and brother. Luckily, my six year old feels the same way as me and can’t get enough of Monopoly Junior. I asked her what she likes about the game, and Quinn said, “I like buying properties and collecting rent, but I have to be smart so that I don’t run out of money paying other people rent.” What great life lesson some adults are still learning!

One time when we were shopping we saw an LOL version, and she asked me how many different Monopoly games are there. After doing a quick search, I was amazed to find out that there are 1,144 different versions! There’s a Fortnite version, Stranger Things, a Pizza version, Cheaters edition, the classic version, and the list goes on and on. Who says video games and electronic devices have the monopoly on fun? Some kids do like good old fashioned board games. It’s a great way to have family time, talk, sharpen those critical thinking skills and to address the importance of not being a sore loser or an overly gloating winner for both the kids and the adults.

All the best,

Tanya

American Girls on the Move and All Dolled Up!

 

Unable to contain herself, she repeatedly said, “I’m sooo excited! I”m just soo excited!” For my daughter’s sixth birthday, we drove a little over three hours on Friday night to Vienna, Virginia, right outside of Tysons Corner, so that we could get a bright an early start going to the one and only…”American Girl” store! Though the store opened at 10am and our salon appointment wasn’t until 10:15am, Quinn begged if we could just go to the mall and walk around until the store opened.

Would you believe that we spend nearly three hours in the store and bistro?! Would you believe me if I told you I could have spent all day in the store even if my daughter wasn’t with me? There was so much to see and explore. It was like going to an interactive doll museum. With this in mind, over the next week, I plan to do separate posts about our experience as “American Girls” on the move. If you’re a doll lover, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as we did! Until then, check out this video preview.

All the best,

Tanya

Play Dates: Not Just for Kids but Parents Too!

“Please, Mommy! Can you give me another clue? Who’s coming over for a visit tomorrow?” my little girl pleaded. Quinn is an only child and does well playing by herself or even playing with her dad or me, but there’s no denying that there is something special about having time to play with children around her own age. Yes, she has an opportunity to play at recess or interact during gym and music, but an actual play date involving an activity or even just going to a family member or friend’s house or having them come to our house is a wonderful experience for us both.

While some parents may dread play dates or just don’t see the significance of them, I look forward to them just as much as my five and a half year old does. For the most part, she is a cheerful, easygoing child, but the smile that comes over her face when she has a play date let’s me know that it is something she enjoys immensely. Also, it gives me an opportunity to see how she interacts with children directly. Does she share, is she kind, is she a good sport if they are playing a game?

Yesterday, when my cousin visited with her daughter, Quinn did a wonderful job sharing and cared about her cousin’s interests by taking turns while helping to bake a princess cake. She also allowed her cousin to pick out her headband color first since she was our guest as they worked on their other crafty project. I also enjoyed being able to observe them and help them go through the process of preparing and baking their cake.

Something that impressed me was how the both of them were able to go with the flow when the fondant for the cake didn’t quite turn out as they hoped. It was a teachable moment that sometimes you may follow the directions, but the results may still not turn out as you anticipated. I was able to quickly whip up a buttercream frosting and match the pink of the fondant, and the girls were eager to decorate the dress. They commented on how pretty she looked and said, “We can’t wait to eat her for dessert!” This gave me such a chuckle!

From baking to crafting to playing games and eating together, it was fun for all. I’m so grateful we have family and friends to get together with for good-old fashioned fun!

All the best,

Tanya

Scream of Amusement: Enjoy the Ride, Little Girl

Both full of emotion, they screamed out displaying all of their teeth. While my two year old niece’s screeches suggested her displeasure and possible fear, my four year old’s screams were not from fear at all but screams of amusement as the airplane ride swung like a pendulum taking them high from side to side. Throughout the duration of the ride, the smile never left Quinn’s face, and she even held on to her cousin offering her comfort as Skye continued to scream out in displeasure, which I thought was so sweet. “That ride was so much fun, Mommy!” she told me.

My daughter just loves getting on amusement park rides and will eagerly run over to each ride measurement to see if she’s tall enough to ride. She would want to get on the tallest, biggest and fastest roller coaster if the ride measurement indicated she was tall enough. I was just like Quinn when I was younger and loved getting on all of the rides too. Sadly, after giving birth to her, I just can’t stomach some of the rides like I once could. Even the teacups makes me a little woozy.

The first time she was tall enough for the roller coaster ride at Sesame Place, she wanted to get on it multiple times because the line was not long. Since it was just us two and she still needed an adult to get on with her, I got on twice. Big mistake: I knew that I’d have an upset stomach the rest of our time there if I got on one more time. She pouted and said,  “Why can’t we get on the roller coaster again?” I felt so bad, but after explaining to her that getting on some rides too many times gives me a tummy ache, she was more understanding, and we still had a great time doing other activities.

Though I do love accompanying her on some rides, I’m so glad she’s now tall enough to get on many of the rides by herself. I’m also amused when I p see her smile and hear her squeal of happiness as she enjoys the ride.

All the best,

Tanya