Summer 2020 was very different for my daughter and me: no amusements parks, trip to the beach only once and limited outings to the park. So today was extra special when we, along my sister and niece, went to Six Flags Great Adventure. It was such a lovely day with a cool breeze and the sun shining.
We got on some rides, had yummy funnel cake, had some Halloween fun with a mirror maze, corn maze and trick or treating and enjoyed each other’s company. Though the experience was different with Covid restrictions, we had a a “great adventure!”
Since my daughter was a toddler, we’ve been decorating pumpkins together as one of our Halloween activities. I can admit that I may love this tradition the same or even more than she does. This year was a tad different with a COVID 19 restrictions. Though the usual pumpkin patch we visit to select those “perfect” pumpkins was open, we opted to get them from a local store this year.
For the past few years, my mom (her Nana) joined us, and this year my niece (her cousin) joined in on the fun too. Quinn even decided to feature it as her YouTube video post this week and on her blog page, Quinnie’s Fun House.
There’s something soothing yet fun about decorating pumpkins, especially with my family. I’m hoping next year we will return to the pumpkin place, but in the meantime, we have our wonderfully decorated pumpkins to remind us of the fun times associated with Halloween and family togetherness.
I love exercising. It’s my way of not only staying fit but relieving stress and turning off the negatives of the world for just an hour or two. On occasion, my seven year joins me. Little did I know how closely she’s been watching me and how much of an impact my exercising has made on her.
Quinn loves doing Youtube videos and decided to do an exercise video for her latest post. She came up with all of the exercises she wanted to include on her own, and I was pleasantly surprised when she said, “Mommy, I want to include boxing as one of my exercises just like you!” As she recorded her video, she said that I was her inspiration.
As I watched her hit the bag and do her other exercises, I thought to myself, “Wow, Quinn is my mini me when it comes to exercise!” She actually inspires me to keep going in knowing that I am her inspiration.
Who knows, maybe we will do a mother and daughter exercise video one day and inspire other mothers and daughters.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This morning, it just occurred to me that we’re just about five months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and though some restrictions have been “lifted” or modified in my area to allow people to return to work, exercise and dine out, we’re still nowhere close to being back to “normal.” Even still, I’m thankful for all that’s been revealed during these trying times.
This summer is quite different than many anticipated, but whenever my daughter and I go on a walk, play at the park, or are simply out and about, a smile most certainly would be revealed underneath my mask and under hers too. While I was initially concerned about my seven year old feeling disappointed about the limitations to our outings, Quinn actually said, “I’m just glad that we get to spend time together and are healthy, Mommy!”
Several people are having so many revelations as they make sacrifices and continue to adjust to these ever-changing restrictions, and I’m no exception. But when I look at how well my daughter is handling everything, from wearing her mask to using sanitizer and being conscientious about washing her hands to just going with the flow, it makes it that much easier for me to do the same.
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.
When I was younger, I loved coloring. Who am I kidding…I still love coloring; it’s just a matter of making time for it! But when it comes to making time for my daughter, I know how fleeting it can be, so I’m constantly trying to find activities that will not only be fun but will bring us closer together.
A few weeks ago, my cousin recommended the Me & My Coloring Book for Mom & Daughter by Latoya Nicole. I took a look at it through Amazon.com and loved the pictures, so I purchased it the same day. When the book arrived, and Quinn looked at the cover, she was so excited for us to use the coloring book. “There’s so many cool pictures in here, Mommy!” In some of them the little girl looks like me, and you look like the mom!” She decided on a picture that was all too familiar for us, “A mother and daughter eating popcorn and watching a movie.”
We sat on our deck with music playing in the background as we colored occasionally remarking on how we liked the colors the other person was using. “Next time, you get to pick the pictures we’ll color, Mommy!” Quinn said.
My daughter adds so much color to my life, so I’m grateful that I made time for us to color together.