It’s My Tenth Mommyversary, But I Still Have Big Shoes to Fill!

I can’t believe I’m celebrating my tenth “mommyversary!” I’ve learned and grown so much, but I still have big shoes to fill. Interestingly, one of the gifts my husband and daughter gave me was quite symbolic and reminded me of this fact. About a month ago, my husband sent me a text about a pair of sneakers he planned on purchasing for our daughter for her ninth birthday, and I replied back saying that I wouldn’t mind a pair of those as well and have always loved the classic Adidas sneakers. Little did I know, he was purchasing a pair for the both of us to wear together on Mother’s Day because Quinn wanted us to be twins. She was so excited, and I was too.

Then, the card she gave me just added to the symbolic gesture. It said, “Mom, I’ve got some really big shoes to fill.” She then told me that she picked the card because she loves wearing my shoes and how she hopes to be like me when she grows up. This made my day but made me think about how I’m still learning and growing as a mother. Quinn is in her last year of single digits. Her interests are constantly evolving, and she will be a tween before I know it. I noticed on the side of the sneaker it says, “Superstar” in gold, which is how she often views me. I hope that I can continue to fill those shoes and be the mom that she needs in the years to come.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms, mothers to be, aunties, mother-like-figures, etc.

All the best,

Tanya

A Merry Christmas with the “Presence” of Family

When I asked my daughter what she enjoyed most about Christmas yesterday, she said that she loved getting presents, but it made her feel good to give presents too because she loves seeing how happy people are as they open gifts. But she also said getting to spend time with family was something she really enjoyed.

Last year, we were stayed at home for Christmas as Covid restrictions were in full swing, there was limited vaccines and it was highly recommended that people limit their interactions to just their immediate family. With the Omicron variant on the rise, we may find ourselves back under restrictions as it continues to make its way to more people.

It’s times like this that I’m glad we have a relatively small family and that we’re all taking precautions to remain safe. While no one knows for sure what will happen in the days or months to come, just like Quinn, I’m so glad I got to enjoy the presence of my family for Christmas.

All the best,

Tanya

My Daughter’s Eight and a Half! Cherishing Past Moments As Time Flies By

Not too long ago, my eight year old reminded me that she’s officially eight and a half. On top of that pictures from past years came up on my phone, social media and Amazon Echo devices reminding me of the many special moments over the years. I’m truly amazed at how much my little girl has grown, not just physically but mentally, socially and emotionally as well. I’m so clad that I decided to chronicle special our special moments together because it allows me to slow down a little and just appreciate her life and my role as her mother.

Though there are still many more years to go, I’m still often brought back to those times when she was a baby just learning how to talk, crawl and walk. Now, she’s dancing, skating boarding, reading, multiplying and even writing plays. As life continues too become hectic again, I’m going to try my best to cherish our moments together as time flies by.

All the best,

Tanya

The Little Things Make a Big Difference

While scrolling though my Instagram feed, I came across a picture of a familiar girl in a setting that’s been unfamiliar to her for nearly a year. It was my daughter in her second grade classroom posing for Reading Across America Superhero day. Though her mouth was hidden behind her required face mask, due to Covid-19 restrictions, I could see her smile through her eyes. It was a smile of joy to be back in the classroom simply doing a classroom activity. A smile may not seem like much, and being in the classroom certainly would have been considered a regular occurrence last year. But after missing seeing her teacher and classroom in person, I know Quinn and her other three classmates, who are in-person on a hybrid schedule, consider these little moments to be a big deal. I know I do!

All the best,

Tanya

Snow Day Memories with My Daughter

“A snow day! For what?! School is online!” are some of the posts I’ve seen on social media. My husband even said it when our daughter got a snow day yesterday and today. I, on the other hand, find myself empathizing more with my daughter and think most children are deserving of a snow day or two.

Many, including my seven year old, have been enduring and adapting to these ever-changing COVID-19 restrictions like champs, but that doesn’t mean they’re not under stress like some parents may be. Though I loved school at her age and beyond, I loved getting that message that school was closed and I could play in the snow all day if I wanted.

“Do you want to build a snowman?” wasn’t something Quinn asked me to do but something I asked her if she wanted to do. This Monday was actually supposed to be her first day back in person on a hybrid schedule, so I felt this was nature’s way of saying make the best of these last days of having her home full-time. I’m glad we did, and we’re both happy with our snowman, “Chilly.”

We got to have some fun with our puppy, Zack too!

All the best,

Tanya

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Sugar Rush Family Edition: Baking Puppy Cupcakes

About a month ago, my daughter and I have a fun time having a “Sugar Rush” Zoom bake-off with my sister and niece, so since we all had off today, we decided to do it again, and it was just as much fun if not more! Our theme was animals, so of course we immediately knew what we wanted to create: cupcakes that look like our eight month old puppy, Zack!

He’s been with us since August 7th and is such a wonderful addition to our family. After looking at various ideas on Pinterest, we decided on a chocolate cupcake with a caramel center. We tinted our buttercream frosting and used star piping to mimic his coat. For his eyes, we used black sixlets. After giving some thought, we decided on halves of milk duds for the nose, which turned out better than we expected. For his cute little tongue, we used Starbursts by heating it a little to remold it, cutting it into fourths, reshaping it and using a toothpick to give the line in the tongue. For his floppy ears, we used Werther’s soft caramel creams.

Our cupcake is almost as sweet as our puppy. We can’t wait to do this again in February!

All the best,

Tanya

Breathe and Just Be: My Daughter, Barbie and Me!

“Repeat after me. I am strong!…I am loved…I am unique.” These are positive affirmations we all can benefit from, especially children. While I’d like to take credit for sharing these with my daughter, it was her new “Breathe with me Barbie” leading my seven year old in a brief meditation.

Watching Quinn close her eyes and repeat these words made me think about how powerful words can be and how important it is for us all to take a few moments to relax, relate and release any negative feelings whole letting in positive ones. Though we’ve meditated together on a number of occasions, we haven’t really included positive affirmations. I think I’ll be taking Barbie’s lead and making sure we include them in ours in the future.

All the best,

Tanya

Sugar Rush: Family Edition! Baking Cotton Candy Cupcakes with My Sweet Girl

Sugar Rush: Cotton Candy Cup Cakes

“Just ten minutes bakers!” My husband yelled out and startled me as my daughter and I raced to put the finishing touches on our cotton candy cupcakes. Being cooped up in the house can be real downer at times, but it also is a wonderful opportunity for some family time. A few weeks ago, my sister came up with a terrific idea for us to have a Zoom Sugar Rush competition against her and my niece just like the Netflix show. Both Quinn and I were both on board with this idea, and once all settled on the carnival as our theme, we knew immediately that we wanted to do cotton candy cupcakes, so I ordered us matching aprons for the theme.

The only problem is that I never made them before! So I scoured Pinterest and YouTube looking for ideas and piecing together recipes we both felt comfortable using. We baked cotton candy cookies. I found this perfect and simple recipe using cotton candy sugar. I also ordered cotton candy flavoring for the buttercream frosting and simply swapped out the vanilla extract for the cotton candy flavoring. Lucky for us, we already have a cotton candy machine, so it was able to be freshly spun. The cupcake itself was a yellowcake recipe I learned from my grandmother.

Both Quinn and I agree that while it was a lot of fun, the pressure was on to put together a tasty treat, especially with my sister and niece on the Zoom call making delicious funnel cake cupcakes! It was such a fun experience that we all agreed to do it again. Our next theme is animals, so stay tuned!

All the best,

Tanya

On the Sixth Day of Christmas Jib Jab gave to me…A Fun Video with My Daughter and Our Puppy

Christmas in Hollis!

On the Sixth Day of Christmas Jib Jab gave to me…A Fun Video with My Daughter and Our Puppy!

I’ll never forget the excitement I had when I saw Run-DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis” music video. My siblings and I would rap and dance along, and my mom, who’s never been a huge fan of rap, even enjoyed the song too. So when my sister texted me a link to a Jib Jab video she created with her, my nephew and niece, I couldn’t resist creating one with my daughter and “puppy son” too.

Though I’ve played the song around Christmas time, Quinn didn’t really know the words, especially considering that it debuted when I was just ten years old, three years older than she is now. But as result of creating our video, she just loves the song and wanted to create more Jib Jab videos including the entire family. I do too!

All the best,

Tanya

Never Tabling a Montage of Memorable Moments

I enjoy spending time and doing projects with my daughter. I especially love when those projects are meaningful and double as DIY home projects. Most recently, we worked on repurposing her old table by doing a Mod Podge of colorful pictures. We talked, laughed and reminisced as we prepped pictures, cut them, decided which ones we wanted to go where and adhered them to the table. It took a few hours, but the finished product is perfect and a constant reminder of what matters most.

Family, friends, joy, love, togetherness: a montage of memorable moments over the years will never be tabled. Thankful Quinn and I will always have our project to remind us of what’s most important.

All the best,

Tanya