Five Months into COVID-19 Restrictions: Amazed at What “Masks” Are Revealing with the Help of My Daughter!

Mother & Daughter Mask

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.

All the best,

Tanya

Color Me Happy! This Mommy Loves Bonding with Her Daughter

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.

All the best,

Tanya

Time to Make the Donuts! Sweet Memories with My Daughter

Anyone who was around 1980s and 1990s May be familiar with catchphrase, “Time to make the donuts,” somberly uttered by “Fred the baker” in Dunkin Donuts commercials. While he didn’t necessarily sound happy to wake up at the crack of dawn, he took pride in doing his job and preparing the best donuts.Of course, Dunkin Donuts being the “best” is debatable, but I can definitely relate to the character Fred.

Though I‘m tired sometimes, I love being a mother and take pride in being there for my daughter and giving my time and hopefully plenty of wonderful moments to cherish. Last week was a scorcher, but my seven year old was looking forward to making donuts together, as was I. Instead of frying them, I located a few good recipes for baking them and allowed Quinn to pick the flavor: vanilla glaze with sprinkles.

To our surprise, they didn’t take too long to prepare. Even though they had more of a cake taste than donut taste, they turned out better than we hoped. During these times of COVID 19 restrictions, there’s so much more on our plates, especially parents. But that won’t stop me from “making the donuts” and sweet memories with my little girl.

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

On the Ninth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Memorable, Merry Mommy’s Girl Moment

On the Ninth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…A Memorable Mommy’s Girl Moment!

Since day one, my daughter’s been a daddy’s girl. Yes, she loves us both, but I admire the closeness and special bond she has with her father. Those two are inseparable. So when the opportunity presents itself for us to strengthen our mother/daughter bond, I’m all in!

Dressing alike or with similar color schemes is something we both enjoy, so my six year old was so excited when her Elf on the Shelf gifted us matching pajamas.

“Let’s both come out of our bedrooms at the same time with our pajamas on,” Quinn suggested. With a big smile on her face, she actually asked if we could take pictures together when I’m usually the one asking to take pictures . This truly was a memorable, merry mommy’s girl moment that I will cherish for years to come.

All the best,

Tanya

Magical Moments with Mommy’s Mini Me

“Mommy, are you going to wear the dress that looks like mine? You promised!” My five year old asked and informed me. Before my daughter was even one year’s old, we would often dress alike. I had a few reasons for this. It was a way for her to learn colors, I would always know what color she was wearing if for some reason she got separated from me, and let’s face it, I think it’s fun and cute for us to dress alike or at least in similar colors from time to time.

Yesterday, we attended a special dance hosted by her dance school. Quinn’s father was her initial plus one, but I was eager to come too so that I could take pictures of her at her first “dance.” When I let her know about the event, she excitedly told me, “I have an idea! How about if we both wear our special blue dresses that look alike. Then we can be twins!”

Even though Quinn spent most of the time dancing the night away with her dad as I snapped pictures, it made my day that she wanted us to be “twins.” I’m not sure how much time I have before she no longer enjoys dressing a like. Maybe it’s something she will always look forward to doing for many years to come. For now, I will just consider these moments with my mini me as magical memories I will hold near and dear to me heart.

All the best,

Tanya

Grateful to See the New Year of 2019 with My Little Girl

The last few weeks of 2018 were a roller coaster ride for my family as we dealt with my daughter being ill and hospitalized and then rejoiced in her being home for Christmas and having a great recovery. Even though gratitude is something that I try to practice and teach my daughter regularly, I decided in 2019 I would make a more conscious effort. I also made a resolution to be even more present with my family.

Both my daughter and I received gratitude journals as Christmas gifts, so I thought it would be awesome for us to talk and write together about that for which we are grateful. It’s also a perfect way to promote writing with my little kindergartener. We started our journals on January 1st and actually were grateful for the same thing: a visit from my mom (her nana) and my aunt (her great aunt).

It pleases me that my daughter is grateful for her family because I certainly am grateful for her. I’m looking forward to bonding and sharing wonderful moments together with my five year old as we write about that for which we are grateful throughout 2019.

All the best,

Tanya

My Birthdays Are So Special With My Little Girl!

On October 11th, I reached my own milestone and turned a year older. While the level of excitement is not the same as it once was when I was younger, my daughter’s enthusiasm and secretive planning for my big day truly made me feel special. Her planning actually started in the summer. I would overhear her whispering to my husband (her dad) about what she’d like to do and what she gift she would like to get me.

So when the day finally arrived, she could not contain herself. I have to leave early in the morning to get to work and did not see her until the afternoon, so as soon as she arrived home from school, she screamed out, “Happy birthday, Mommy!” and gave me a big, long hug. “We have special plans for you,” she informed me. My five year old selected Outback Steakhouse as the restaurant. “I know you love their salmon and baked sweet potato, Mommy,” she said. I thought to myself, wow, she knows me so well. Usually, she sits next to her dad, but she said that she wanted to sit next to me since it was my birthday.

At the restaurant, she presented her card and gift to me. The card’s wording was perfect and selected by Quinn. The gift was a beautiful key locket necklace. My husband later told me that she picked it out herself and insisted on getting me a pretty necklace since she knows I like wearing them. She even gave input on the cake and wanted blue to be used since it is my favorite color.

Knowing that my daughter is so caring and was excited to make me happy for my birthday warms my heart and is truly the best gift I could ever ask for.

All the best,

Tanya

Mother and Daughter Twins: Flattery from my Little Girl

“Mommy, do you think we can dress alike or wear the same colors for the performance tonight?” My daughter asked. “Sure, honey. Why do you like dressing alike?” I inquired. To which Quinn exclaimed, “I love when we’re twins! Then I’m just like you! Do you like being me twin?” I smiled and said, “Of course, I do.”

Since my daughter was a baby, I’d often dress us alike or in color coordinated. Now that she’s almost five, it melts my heart that she wants to dress alike and will request that we do. Though, in my opinion, she resembles her father more than she resembles me, I am so flattered that she wants to be just like me. We do have similar mannerisms and personality traits. Many people often tell me that I am a caring and thoughtful person. These are attributes I clearly see in her.

Of course, I would never intentionally try to make my daughter a carbon copy of me. I simply want her to learn from me and always put forth her best effort. It am, however, flattered that my sweet girl looks up to me and wants to be my twin.

All the best,

Tanya

I Don’t Want to “Let Go,” But I Must Let My Daughter Build Without Me, Occasionally That Is!

She took a quick look at the next instruction and then surveyed the table in search of the next piece. “Here it is, Mommy!” Quinn said with enthusiasm. She then shared with me, “The pink piece goes right here!” Building with Legos was one of my favorite activities when I was younger. Well, actually, I still enjoy building with Legos, so I enjoy partaking in this activity with my daughter.

Before we got started with her new Lego set, she examined the box and informed me, “It says this is for children who are five years old to twelve, but I can still do it even though I’m four!” I shook my head in agreement and let her know that I can be her helper. “Thanks, Mommy, But I might not need your help. I just have to follow the instructions and pictures.” While I was proud of her wanting to do it by herself, in that moment I was a little disappointed that she didn’t need nor want my help.

She made me think about how there will be times when I need to just be content with observing and letting her take the lead so that she may grow and become her own person. I must be happy that she wants to build on her own and wants to be independent. Now, we can occasionally build using our Legos side by side with her knowing that I am there for her if she needs me to help with instructions or to locate a piece to construct whatever she may be building.

All the best,

Tanya