Spotting My Daughter’s Smile in a Crowd Makes me Happy

I love that my daughter’s school uses Class Dojo to share events and classroom memories. But last week’s memory was extra special. For the first time in two years, I spotted Quinn’s smiling face immediately. She didn’t blend in with the sea of children wearing masks where I had to zoom in to find her. I immediately spotted her in the middle of the third grade crowd holding with a peace sign in the air with a huge smile on her face.

Most recently, her school made the difficult decision to make masks optional. Since Quinn is vaccinated, my husband and I allowed her to determine if she wanted to keep wearing a mask. She opted not to but said she wants to carry one with her just in case.

Though I blurred out the faces of the other children for privacy purposes, they all looked so happy, and it practically brought tears of joy to my eyes to see all of their smiles. Is the tide officially turning? I hope so! These children are so resilient and been through so much. They deserve to have some fun without constantly worrying about all that came with the pandemic. We all do! Here’s to seeing everyone smile big in the weeks and months to come! 😁

All the best,

Tanya

Am I Officially a Dance Mom? Celebrating My Daughter’s First Dance Competition

There were nearly 100 dance numbers an people everywhere. I was probably a little overwhelmed than my eight year old was as we attended her first dance competition yesterday. We arrived two hours early to get prepared and I summoned what little make-up skills I had to get Quinn “stage ready.” Thank goodness the dance owner of Zero Gravity Dance Company was there to assist me with applying eyelashes.

On the drive to the hotel, Quinn informed me that she was a bit nervous, but once she put in her costume, had her makeup on and practiced her hip hop number, I could see the excitement in her eyes and voice.

Though the event lasted until late in the evening, and I was growing tired, I’m so glad that I was able to support Quinn in her goals and interests. I love helping her do what she loves and felt so proud of her as she danced on the stage with the children in their hip hop number

I don’t think I’ll ever embody all of the traits of a “dance mom,” but I will always make sacrifices for my daughter and cheer her on like a maniac from the audience.

All the best,

Tanya

“Seeing” Myself in My Daughter

When Quinn came home after doing some shopping with her dad a couple of weeks ago, she was excited to show me what she purchased from Claire’s with her gift card she got for Christmas from her aunt. As she took items out of the bag, I was quickly reminded about what I liked when I was about her age: jewelry and glasses.

I didn’t need glasses as a child but always wanted a pair to cover up my mole between my eyebrows. Plus at one point it just seemed cool and fun to wear glasses. Quinn doesn’t need glasses either but was so excited to buy two pair of non-prescription glasses at Claire’s. They do look nice on her, and she looks even more like her dad who did need to wear glasses.

Now, for the past week or so, she’s asked if she could wear them to school. I said sure as I thought about being her age wanting to pretend I wore classes, and of course her teacher and friends even asked if they were real. Occasionally, her teacher will post pictures on Class Dojo of the students doing activities, and low and behold, I saw one of Quinn doing her presentation wearing her “new glasses.” That picture made me see a glimpse of myself as a child.

All the best,

Tanya

My Daughter, My Special Valentine

Most people associate Valentine’s Day with couples or that it’s another way for us to fall into the commercialization of another holiday. While I get this interpretation, I also think it’s a way to share a little extra love with our children. Of course, ideally, we should shower our children with love year round, but sometimes these holidays help us to pause and recognize the importance of family and expressing love.

When I was my daughter’s age, my mom would get my siblings and me a sweet treat or something else special for Valentine’s Day, so it’s always a pleasure when I can take my mom and daughter out together to celebrate our love as a family. It’s times like this that I love and look forward to having as core memories.

All the best,

Tanya

Interwoven Lessons: Learning and Bonding Together

I love learning new skills and being challenged, especially when it’s something that will benefit my daughter and strengthen our bond. Over the summer, after watching YouTube videos on how to do knotless braids, I practiced on myself and then my daughter. To my surprise, they turned out better than I hoped.

Restyling my eight year old’s hair on a daily basis can be time consuming, so when Quinn asked if she could get knotless braids again, I thought why not?

This time around, she asked for beads and is so excited to wear her new style at school. I never thought I would learn and be good at doing knotless braids, so it really puts a smile on my face knowing seeing Quinn smile in the mirror with her braids.

All the best,

Tanya

Parallel Play Can Be Fun at Any Age

Today I observed something I recalled learning about in my early childhood education class: parallel play. It wasn’t involving toddlers as the definition suggests but eight and nine year olds enjoying each other’s company while on devices.

I know some parents and teachers may frown upon this and suggest that children should be playing outside or interacting in a more direct way, which my daughter and her friends, Jack and Alex, were doing throughout their play date, but as they all sat on the sofa together playing a Roblox game, this showed me how play amongst children is constantly evolving.

They were all fully engaged and even chatting and joking with each other occasionally and just enjoying each other’s presence., and that’s what matters.

All the best,

Tanya

This School Year is Adding Up to a Fun Time Learning! Four Months Down & Six To Go!

My daughter’s teacher posted a picture of her on Class Dojo earning a certificate of achievement award for successfully completing the division section in the XtraMath program her third grade classroom uses. Quinn was so excited because this means she completed all of the sections, including addition, subtraction and multiplication.

I was very proud of her too, but seeing the picture and her smiling eyes made me appreciate this school year even more. Last year around this time, Quinn was still learning virtually and had not been in the classroom since March 2020. Though she must wear her mask and there are more Covid cases on the rise lately with the Omicron variant causing the number of students physically in the classroom to dwindle, the more direct interaction she gets with her teacher and classmates is all adding up to a different yet wonderful school year.

Of course, I’m all for safety first, but my fingers are crossed that the Covid cases will subside, Quinn will remain in the classroom and getting to add on terrific learning experiences and interactions for the next six months.

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

It’s a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday!

It seems like more people than usual are struggling to feel festive or have holiday spirit. It’s times like this that I’m grateful for my eight year old daughter and our year and a half old toy poodle who constantly lift my spirits during this time of the year.

They definitely keep me merry, especially Quinn as she opened her gifts this morning displaying appreciation for each one.

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

All the best,

Tanya

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to me… The Joy of Relaxing in Our Matching Pajamas

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to me… The Joy of Relaxing in Our Matching Pajamas.

Very seldom do I give myself a pajama day, but when I do, it’s usually around Christmas time with my daughter.

I’m looking forward to us just watching Christmas movies, baking cookies for Santa and relaxing on Christmas Eve.

All the best,

Tanya