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

Still Puzzling Times, But My Daughter and I Pieced It Together…For Now

500 Piece Puzzle Done!

A few weeks ago, posted about the puzzle my daughter and I started and how I found the experience to correlate with the puzzling times we’re currently experiencing. While I focused on the frame of the puzzle, my seven year old focused on sorting the matching colors, a strategy I eventually employed once the frame was complete.

Another strategy we both use was sorted the pieces into categories base on their similar shapes which actually helped when we could clearly see what type of shape belonged in what space. Though Quinn was a willing participant and helped out with the 500 piece puzzle more than I anticipated, at times, she became frustrated and a little overwhelmed as she struggled to figure out what puzzles pieces went where. That’s when I stepped in to keep progress going, which is something we all occasionally need.

Something else I realized as I stressed and drove myself nuts trying to find the last puzzle piece is that we could be overlooking most the obvious place to “literally” piece it all together. After about a half hour or searching, Quinn causally walked over and noticed that the puzzle piece made its way under the table cloth.

Within these last couple of weeks, not only did we have some mother daughter bonding time, but it was an eye-opening experience on all that can be learned from simply working on a puzzle.

All the best,

Tanya

An Absolute Treat: Making Ice Cream Cupcakes with My Sweet Girl

Making Ice Cream Cupcakes
Ice Cream Cupcake Results

Ever since a few weeks ago when my daughter saw an article on our Echo Show on how to make your own ice cream cake, she’s been dying for us to give it a try. It was for a strawberry crunch reminiscent of the Good Humor ice cream treats and caught my attention too considering that it’s been quite some time since I’ve had one. With her school year coming to a close and having hot and humid days all last week, I thought it would be a nice way to celebrate.

A few days ago, Quinn then saw another advertisement of a Reese’s ice cream cake and wanted to try that one too, so I figured why not do both of them on a smaller scale as cupcakes? After doing a little searching on Pinterest and checking out alternative recipes that were not too involved, I found the perfect recipes.

For the strawberry crunch recipe, we used golden Oreos, butter, vanilla ice cream, strawberry ice cream, cool whip and freeze dried strawberries. For the Reese’s cup treat, I just followed the strawberry shortcake recipe using Quinn’s ideas for the modifications. We used regular Oreos, butter, vanilla ice cream, Reese’s chocolate and peanut butter hard shell, chocolate ice cream, cool whip and mini Reese’s cups and pieces. Making the ice cream cup cakes was actually not as difficult as I thought it would be, but waiting overnight for them to set before getting to try them was for my seven year old.

As soon as we finished dinner yesterday, she said, “I’m so excited to try our ice cream cup cakes!” Since this was my first time trying to make them, and I modified the recipe slightly since I was doing cupcakes and not a cake, I wasn’t sure on how they would turn out. To my surprise, they were delightfully delicious! My husband and I both had the strawberry crunch ice cream cakes, and the golden Oreo and freeze dried strawberry crumble on top really did taste just like the Good Humor bar if not better! Quinn thoroughly enjoyed her Reese’s ice cream cup cake, and I’m tempted to try one for next time.

Summer isn’t officially here yet, but I’m eager to make many more treats with Quinn as these are sweet moments I will always hold dear.

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

I’m Game for Building Connections With My Daughter!

Fun with Checkers and Connect Four

Yesterday, my daughter and I played a few rounds of checkers and connect four. Both games were my favorite to play when I was younger. I’d always excitedly say, “Smoke before fire!” There was something about going first that made me feel like I had an extra edge to win the game.

“You didn’t see that jump?” I asked my seven year old as we played checkers. “Aww man, I see it now,” she said as I jumped over her piece and removed it from the board. From that point on, Quinn put on her game face and was ready!

As we continued to play both checkers and connect four, I saw how serious Quinn became. Her lips curled slightly, and she squinted a little as she looked at the board determining her next move. She reminded me of myself.

In thinking about the concept and strategies of both games, a big part of them is keen observation. This made me think about life and how “it” will happen whether we’re paying attention or not. Overlooking one move or piece on the board can cause the entire game change course.

As the Coronavirus lockdown continues, I’m trying my best to be observant and focus on the positive side of life. I must be mindful of my moves not just for me but my daughter too.

All the best,

Tanya

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

Coronavirus Lockdown: Yoga Together with My Daughter

It’s going on the fourth week since my six year old has been physically in her classroom since the Coronavirus lockdown, and I’ve been trying my best to give her sense of normalcy with a daily schedule that mimics what she would be doing in school. While I could have just focused on reading, writing and math, I decided that it is equally important to focus on the special subjects like, art, music, science and gym. So each day, we’ve been doing a fun activity. I decided to share my experience in hopes that it may give parents an idea to try with their child or children.

Last week, for gym, Quinn and I did yoga together. While I’m sure there may be some videos on YouTube geared towards children, I have a DVD on Yoga for kids, and it was perfect and challenged us both. “I can’t wait for the tree pose and the warrior pose,” Quinn said. As we looked at each other and smiled, sometimes teetering a little in the different poses, I thought to myself, what a wonderful bonding experience. After we finished the series of poses, she asked if we could do yoga again for “gym” because it’s relaxing and fun. “Of course,” I said.

Even though we’re both adjusting to the new norm, which will require more adjusting again when the college courses I teach resume all online tomorrow, I’m grateful for the extra time and activities we’re getting to do together.

All the best,

Tanya

 

 

This Mommy’s Treading Lightly: Carefully Addressing the Seriousness of the Coronavirus with My Little Girl

Getting some fresh air

This past week has been a roller coaster ride. My first grader‘s school has been closed since March 10th and might reopen on March 30th, fingers crossed. While dealing with the “new norm,” as a result of the Coronavirus, involving her schooling, my job and the many business closures in my area, I’m a bit conflicted with if I‘m providing my six year old with the necessary information, tools and support as we embark on uncharted territory.

I explained to her that some people are very ill, and her school wants to make sure she and her classmates are safe, so this is why there’s no school. Like any normal kid, she was initially happy about having time off, but she did say that she misses her friends and teacher.

Though I’ve been making an effort to practice “social distancing,” I haven’t really explained that to Quinn. The park is usually empty when we’ve gone to get some fresh air, but a few days ago, we did see one of her classmates who she immediately wanted to hug. I didn’t know how to address it or if I should have stopped her from hugging her friend.

I gave her a wipe as we were leaving the park, as I have been doing for years. When we got home, I just told her to wash her hands for snack, as we normally do when coming from the park.

Yesterday, Quinn asked to go to the park to film some of her video for her YouTube channel, Quinnie’s Fun House, about ten things to do when you’re bored. So before going to the park , I did explain to her that more people are getting ill and that we want to keep her healthy. I informed her that I’d be spraying the swing with disinfectant to get rid of germs and that she’d use a wipe as she always does upon leaving the park. Quinn was okay with this and even reminded me about the wipe and not wanting germs from other people.

While I’m glad she’s taking it all in stride, I am concerned about making her scared or leery of interacting with people for fear of becoming very ill. Also, I know how important interactions with children her age are for her, especially since she’s an only child. I’m trying my best to tread lightly and be a sensitive yet strong mom for her.

I wonder, how are other people coping with explaining all of what’s going on to their young children? Any advice!?

All the best,

Tanya

“Lucky” Number 13! Hoping & Wishing My Six Year Old & I Will Still Be Close

“I’m not looking forward to you turning 13,” I told my six year old, as we sat at the dining room table. Quinn asked, “Why not?” To which I responded sadly, “Once you’re a teenager, you won’t want to hang out with me.” This discussion came about because her cousin just celebrated her 13th birthday, and it made me think about how time is just flying by. My little girl made my day and said, “Of course, I’ll still want to hang out with you, Mommy! Hanging out with you is one of my favorite things to do!”

As a smile came across my face, I thought for a moment and then asked, “How about we record a video of you saying that?” She eagerly obliged, but her refused to be a witness. I guess he knows that she’ll evolve in years to come and may or may not still feel the same way. My hope is that  our bond will be even stronger, and we’ll both get a chuckle from watching the video. If not, I’ll always have it to look back on bringing a smile to my face as I recall how enjoying each others company was one of our favorite things to do.

All the best,

 

Tanya

Having a Great Time Bonding at Quinnie’s Fun House!

A little over a month ago, I decided to fulfill my six year old’s request to help her start a YouTube page: Quinnie’s Fun House. While I was certain that it would be involved and a fun experience, I find myself wondering why I didn’t help her start this page when she asked a couple of years ago.

With 14 posts ranging from topics on dolls and accessories, kid spa sets, adventures on the go and Adventure Academy, we’ve bonded over ideas and discussed the importance of confidence. It also allows for many teachable moments where I remind my daughter that it’s okay to make mistakes, and it may take practice to get the video to be just how she wants it. I let her know that I’m so proud of her for simply trying her best.

Though we’re still in the early stages, we’ve found ways to incorporate the videos into her everyday activities without them becoming intrusive or feeling like work. Quinn even said, “Some things can be for Youtube, and others can be special just for us!” I love the way she thinks and let her take the lead.

It makes me feel so good to help her by filming and editing the videos and posted about them for family and friends on her page, quinniesfunhouse.com and mine because they’re not just for YouTube but for us. I’m already envisioning looking back on her videos when she’s ten or even sixteen with a smile on my face wondering where the time went.

All the best,

Tanya