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

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

“Rememory:” Stories to Remember with My Little Girl

“The cards are a secret, parent and night. Ooh, I got a good story for this one!” my six year old exclaimed. A little bit before the coronavirus lockdown was enforced, I came across the game “Rememory” and thought it would be an excellent way to strengthen my family bond.

Each evening for dinner, Quinn enjoys opening that little box, filled with hundreds of cards. Little did I know she would have so many stories to share that I would be hearing for the first time. I look forward to not only reminiscing but sharing my memories with my daughter and husband too.

Actually, Rememory has offered me comfort in knowing that this lockdown will one day be a distant memory and story that we will share with our future generations.

Until then, I’m enjoying the stories and memories I am currently sharing and building with my daughter.

All the best,

Tanya

Coronavirus Lockdown: Mother Daughter Weekend Edition!

b965bb0b-889b-470d-a3c5-423d6f87eace“I really wish this weekend didn’t have to end,” my six year old said. I told her, “We don’t need to set aside a special day to spend time with each other and that I enjoy being with her.” Last week, Quinn asked if we could have a mother and daughter day so that we can have extra fun together, and I said, “Why not make it a weekend!?” She wrote out a list of  five activities she’d like to do and asked when our weekend would start. When I told her Friday at 3:30pm, it couldn’t come fast enough for her. She was absolutely ready for our day to commence and let me know when it was a 3:29pm.

On Friday, we used the cotton candy maker from my childhood along with the new flavor sugars I ordered. She went with cherry, and I had blue raspberry. Though I did give mine to my husband since I knew I’d be having a weekend filled with tasty treats.

Bright and early on Saturday after breakfast, I attended a dance party lead by Quinn and learned some new, cool dance moves to Kids Bop songs. My Fitbit watch even noticed how hard I was dancing because it logged me for nearly a half hour of an aerobic workout. We even drew pictures together and used the free app Happy Color to do color by numbers and made it a competition to see who could get done their picture first. We played Mario Kart Tour using the app (another free game) and even got my sister and niece to join in from their home for a virtual race. It was so much fun and brought back memories of when I was younger playing race car video games.

After having some pizza delivered from Papa Johns, I rented the new “Trolls World Tour” movie through Amazon Prime video. We were able to watch on our big screen in our basement, along with my husband, giving it that movie theater feel as a special surprise.  We made our own ice cream sundaes, had popcorn and just a really good time together. Honestly, I didn’t want the fun to end either.

Though many of us are now having even more time with our children as a result of the lockdown, how much of that is “fun” time together? Yes, these are serious times, but it felt so good to just laugh, be silly, play games and enjoy each other’s company. Quinn gave me such a big hug and kiss yesterday and told me, ” I love you so much, Mommy! I can’t wait to have a mother daughter day again!” To which I responded, “Me neither!”

Coronavirus Lockdown: Growing Veggies Together with My Little Girl

766945bc-81f3-4cb8-9ef6-63303d7f1480“You know what, Mommy, if we start growing our own veggies, we won’t need to order them from the store or worry about leaving the house to get them,” my six year old said. A few days ago for our home school science project was planting green peppers and tomatoes in our indoor green house. At first, Quinn wasn’t very interested but then shortly after we started that it was more fun that she thought it would be and how she can’t wait until our veggies grow.

We do projects quite often, but I’m willing to admit that we might not have gotten around to attempting to grow veggies if we were not experiencing this Coronavirus lockdown. For the past couple of days, Quinn has looked at our little green house trying to see if anything has sprouted as yet. I told her it will take a little time. Even still, she’s actually encouraged me to plant more vegetables outside. Though it would require quite a bit of work with preparing the soil and an areas to prevent squirrels, rabbits and other little critters from eating what little we grow, I think this will be an excellent opportunity for Quinn and me to grow together and continue to strengthen our bond.

All the best,

Tanya

Stop By Quinnie’s Fun House: Learning & Playing with My Daughter

There’s a YouTube channel out there for just about anyone who wants to be entertained, learn something, share a review or to have a platform to express themselves, For the past few years, my six year old has been asking to have her own channel, and after giving it some serious thought and researching, I thought, why not?

I want to try my best to always support my daughter’s aspirations if I can, and this one actually gives us an opportunity to strengthen our bond while I sharpen my video editing and digital design skills. I have a feeling that it will also help my first grader to continue expressing herself verbally and further developing her cognitive and critical thinking skills.

She decided on the name all by herself, “Quinnie’s Fun House.” We’re hoping kids come have fun with her while she plays and learns with dolls and accessories, art, games, learning resources and more. Here’s to a new journey I’m looking forward to taking with my little girl!

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

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