Mother Daughter Bond: Exercising Mirrored Behaviors Together

As I looked across the mat at kickboxing this morning, I noticed that the person and I were in sync as we did high knees. What made this mirror image extra special is that it was my soon to be nine year old giving it her all during the ten minute warm-up. Yesterday, Quinn asked if she could come to kickboxing with me early this morning. Of course, I said sure, especially since she’s joined me before, but this was the first time she joined me on the mats for the warm-up.

I was so impressed with how well she did lasting the entire ten minutes even after jumping rope along with me prior to the start of class. This just reinforces that our children are watching and following our lead. Seeing her made my workout even more rewarding.

All the best,

Tanya

My Daughter: One of the Reasons I Strive to be Healthy and Fit

We’ve all heard the cliché phrase, “Tomorrow’s not promised,” and perhaps it really hit home during the pandemic. For me, having my daughter at 35 made me think about my own mortality and how I want to do everything in my power to be around and healthy for her.

My eight year old is one of the reasons I go hard when taking kickboxing classes, strength training classes or even going for a run. She’ll often ask to come with me when I’m working out, which makes me feel good.

Something else positive that‘s come from my motivation to be healthy is that Quinn is watching me even when I don’t realize it. More and more, she mimics my behavior. Like me, she wakes up early to exercise. She often finds kid-friendly exercise videos on YouTube.

Most recently, we got similar workout clothes, and she asked if we could both wear them when I did my strength training class yesterday. If I’m honest, I still feel a bit awkward if my stomach shows exposing stretch marks from being pregnant with Quinn, but she makes me feel more confident, which is another way I’m becoming more healthy because of her.

All the best,

Tanya

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

Never Too Young to Learn the Art of (Penny)War Through Supporting, Sacrificing and Strategizing

The talk of war, especially with the current and tragic events of What’s going on with Russia and Ukraine, is all around us, and at my daughter’s school is no exception. Luckily, their “war” is all in fun and for a good cause to raise money for the classes and school through the PTO event of “Penny Wars.” When Quinn was in kindergarten, I helped as a volunteer of the PTO and collected buckets and helped kindergarten classes decorate theirs. Unfortunately, this annual tradition did not happen when Quinn was in first or second grade due to the COVID restrictions, so she and I both were excited to see it being advertised on Class Dojo.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that my eight year old went to her own bank container of coins to gather pennies to support her class rather than asking her father or me if we had pennies. Once the status came out in the middle of the week, and she found out her class was in the lead out of all of the third grade classrooms, she was ready to do whatever it took to maintain that lead.

The wheels were turning, and she began strategizing, so this time around, she was collecting quarters, dimes, nickels and even dollars to increase the gap between her class and the others. She told me her classmates planned on doing the same. As I saw all of the dollars in her ziplock bag, I informed her that she didn’t have to contribute all of her own money and that I could see if I had some coins too, but she still insisted on using her own money even with the contribution from her father and me. She informed me that she really wanted to give it in not just to help her class win the pizza party but because the money will go to the school and help when she graduates from fourth grade.

Even if Quinn’s class doesn’t win the pizza party for her grade level, I celebrate her willingness to support her class, to make sacrifices by contributing her own personal savings and even taking the time strategize to help her class win.

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

Do You Want to Build a Snowman? A Simple Request from My Daughter

The overnight forecast calls for snow and then rain. Still not enough for a snowman, my daughter informed me. A little over a week ago, we got our first snow, but with technology and the kids using Zoom and Google classroom throughout the pandemic, there was no snow day.

While this was a little disappointing for Quinn, she was happy to see her teacher and classmates online and to have enough snow to build a tiny baby snowman after school ended online.

I remember longing for the snow when I was Quinn’s age and wanting to build a huge snowman. While she longs for the same thing decades later, she now has a different and new concern. Will she get an actual snow day if it happens on a school day, or will she still have school online using Google classroom?

This is an instance where I can empathize with her and children who are being robbed of their snow days. I’m hoping that if we do get a lot of snow this year that Quinn doesn’t have to wait until after her Google classroom meeting to build that snowman and is actually granted a snow day.

All the best,

Tanya