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

 

 

Dancing Is Not Cancelled! Thanks to Debbie Allen Dance Academy!

81178884-6b8a-4572-9c16-b60a92780360My daughter excitedly asked, “When does dance class start again, Mommy?” She was ready in her comfortable workout attire eating for it to get underway. Yesterday, we got the chance of a lifetime to dance with choreographers from Debbie Allen Dance Academy live through Instagram. At first, Quinn was doing it by herself because it was advertised for three to seven year olds, but the dance instructor said, “Mommy’s and daddy’s join in too!” As I was watching from afar in the kitchen, “Quinn yelled out, “You can do it too, Mommy! Let’s dance together!”

Though I had on jeans, not the most comfortable for dancing, I quickly raced into the living room where I had the Instagram live feed mirrored to my TV. In knowing this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, I decided to record us dancing together. We moved, wiggled, giggled and even breathed heavily at times as we tried to keep up with the dance moves of the choreographer. Afterwards, my six year old said, “I think Kenzie (her thirteen year old cousin) could have done that dance too!”

We both struggled a bit trying to keep up with the fast paced African dance routine, but it really was so much fun. Plus it was great exercise too. Yes, now has been quite a trying time. There’s so many limitations on what we can do, so I’m so glad that Debbie Allen and her dance studio put together such a wonderful online event with thousands and thousands of people tuning in together. In times like this that we must remember the Zimbabwe African Proverb If you can walk, you can dance. If you can talk, you can sing. My daughter keeps me moving which in turns keeps my spirits up!

All the best,

Tanya

It Might Seem Like All Fun & Games, But Kids Are More “Clued” in Than We Think!

“It was Scarlet with the lead pipe in the garage,” my daughter asserted. We both love playing games. I especially enjoy how it not only gives us quality time together but improves not just her critical thinking but mine too.

Clue was one of my favorite games to play with my sister when I was younger. While I was eager to introduce it to Quinn, I was a bit apprehensive because of the premise of the game: find out who committed the murder, with what and where? According to the box, it’s for ages eight and up, but after giving it some thought and discussing it with my six year old, we determined that she could handle it without the game being too much for her. Boy, was I right!

Though there were newly added rooms, and I had to relearn some of the basic rules, it took Quinn no time to catch on to the concept of Clue. She strategically went to the different rooms to cross off what places the murder didn’t happen, and paid close attention as her dad and I did the same so that she could rule out suspects.

As I determined what cards were in the clue envelope and eagerly awaited my turn, Quinn solved the crime! I was always amazed at how “clued” in she was. A part of me was pleasantly surprised, but then again, she’s always been good at critical thinking. Some people think children are too young to understand certain concepts or lack basic critical thinking skills, but oftentimes it is us adults who are clueless for doubting or underestimating the abilities of children. Time and time again, Quinn reminds me of how adults can learn so many lessons from children.

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

Treasuring Life, Moments & Positivity by Accident with My Daughter

It happened within a few seconds. Yesterday, a car speeding down the highway hit my car and kept going. With my six year old in the back seat, I was shocked, flustered and upset but at the same time grateful, grateful that we were okay and that I was able to handle our car and not lose control. Quinn immediately focused on the positive saying, “Maybe we can catch them. Maybe there’s no major damage.” She even wondered if it was a male or female driver based on how reckless they were. Luckily, we have a dashboard camera, Garmin Speak, (I highly recommend having a dashboard camera) which caught the entire accident along with the driver’s license plate because as residents right outside of Philadelphia coming from Delaware, and I was a bit shaken and really just wanted to get home.

As I contemplated on the drive home, I thought about how our lives could have changed within seconds if the hit was a more serious accident. I thought about how we could have potentially hit another car if we were hit hard enough to be forced into another lane or a car in close proximity.

But rather than focus on the negative or allowing this incident to set the tone for 2020, I’m rejoicing in knowing how important it is to not only treasure life but the moments we have with our loved ones. Though my car has some cosmetic damage, I am so grateful that my daughter and I walked away with no scratches just treasuring life, moments, family and friends as we move forward in 2020.

All the best,

Tanya

Happy to See 2020, a New Year, with My Family, Especially My Little Girl

The crowd was immense, and the noise horns became deafening as we awaited that magical moment: the countdown to the new year. Well, actually, it was the countdown to noon, a kid-friendly celebration at the Franklin Institute to celebrate the ending of one year and beginning of another. My daughter and nieces were excited and ready with their horns as the timer approached zero, and the children and adults alike erupted with cheers, more horn blowing and even a huge nitrous oxide cloud (It is a fun science museum) making its way towards the entire crowd to top off the celebration.

In previous years, we’ve done the countdown til noon at the Please Touch Museum as a family, but what made this year extra special was not just that we were at a different location or that we even got selected to be interviewed for the news, but that last year we were at home still nursing Quinn back to health after she was hospitalized for nearly a week during the Christmas holiday, and yesterday was such a sharp contrast and treat to see that beautiful smile on her face and happiness in her voice as she shared what she hopes the new year will bring.

With this new year, I’m sure many people will reference the 20/20 analogy of 2020 in hopes of “seeing” life more clearly. Though I’m always evolving and learning, I truly am grateful for the vision and growth I’ve experienced as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend and just a person. Though she’s only six, I attribute a great deal of my growth to my daughter.

Here’s to family, friends and many blessings in 2020 and the years to come!

All the best,

Tanya

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…Sweet Family Time in Hersheypark

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…Sweet Family Time in Hersheypark!

Yesterday, my daughter and I had a wonderful time at one of the sweetest places on earth: Hersheypark! Though we’ve been there before, this was our first time going during the Christmas season. My sister and niece joined us, and we all had a wonderful time. It wasn’t overly crowded, it was unseasonably warm, and we got to see Santa’s reindeer, including Rudolph, caught a Christmas show, enjoyed some treats, hot cocoa and the beautiful lights everywhere.

Based on the fun we had, this just might become a new tradition for us each year. Today, I’ll have to keep it short so that my daughter and I can have some Christmas Eve fun! 😉

All the best,

Tanya