A Happy Father’s Day: Grateful I Picked a Loving Dad for My Daughter

 

Ever heard the phrase, “You can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family?” If you think about it, this is only partially true. While I didn’t get to pick my own parents, I did get to pick who I would start a family with. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the best relationship with my father and was often emotionally and verbally abused by him (when my mother was not present) as a child causing me to lack self-esteem and often feel depressed. I was elated when my parents divorced because I was no longer subjected to my father’s ill treatment and vowed that I would try my best to protect my future child from suffering the same fate at the hands of her own father.

Gratefully, I was lucky enough to find a dear friend and significant other of nearly twenty years, and we’ve been married going on eight years. Sometimes, we fall in love with people but don’t take the time to envision how they will be as parents or they unpleasantly surprise us once we’re married revealing a person we didn’t realize was there. With this in mind, I feel so blessed that how I envisioned my husband as a parent based on his beliefs and values actually surpassed that for which I was hoping. It has allowed me to love him even more over the years.

From day one in the hospital after I gave birth, he was there, instantaneously in love with his daughter. He’s so caring and in tune with her needs. He offers her praise and positive reinforcement, and she just can’t get enough of him. Though my daughter and I have a great relationship and bond, If I’m honest, at times, I long for the special closeness they have. Quinn is not just a daddy’s girl, but my husband is definitely a daddy wrapped around his little girl’s finger.

For Father’s Day, he just wanted nothing more than to stay at home spending time with our little six year old, and she just wanted the same. On this day and every day, I am grateful not just for a caring husband but for a loving father who’s showing his little girl her true worth and how she deserves to be treated not just through his words but his actions too.

Here’s to all of the strong fathers and father figures, who offer physical, mental and emotional support and love, not just to their children but the mothers of their children too! May it be returned back to you ten fold. 

All the best,

Tanya

24 Karat Magic in the “Ear” of My Little Girl: Another Major Milestone!

“Are you ready, Quinn? There’s no turning back! Once it’s done, it’s done!” I informed my six year old. She smiled as eager as can be, “I’m ready!” For the past couple of years, my daughter occasionally asked about getting her ears pierced to which her father and I would respond, “Maybe when you’re a little older because this is a major decision. We want to make sure you’re absolutely sure.” We both decided before Quinn was born that we would not pierce her ears until she could verbally tell us that it’s what she wanted instead of making that decision for her.

Since she turned six on May 3rd, the main topic of conversation on a daily basis has been getting her ears pierced. She wanted to know when I got my ears pierced (I was a baby) and why most of her friends in school already have their ears pierced. “I watched a YouTube video where a little girl got hers done at Claire’s, and it only hurt for a split second,” she told me. Baffled, I asked, “How’d you find that video?” My kindergartener, who is a pretty sharp reader and writer, informed me that she typed in kids ear pierce, and the video came up. As a result of this, I knew she meant business. After discussing it with her dad, we decided that it was time and that she’d get it done as a special reward after her kindergarten graduation event.

We headed to Claire’s at Willow Grove Mall, and I probably had more butterflies in my stomach than Quinn. She skipped right up towards the store where I took her “before” pictures, and she was so excited to sit in the ear piercing chair holding their teddy bear, Petunia, who had her ears pierced. After looking at the many earring choices, she settled on 24 karat butterfly earrings: butterflies, what a coincidence!

To make the process easy, the Claire’s ear piercing specialist suggested having both ears done simultaneously to which we all agreed. First, I read over and signed the contract, which was probably the most difficult part with all of the warnings and precautions that must be taken into account to ensure that Quinn’s ears heal properly with no infections. Then the location for the piercings was designated and agreed upon. After that, the intense part of getting the actual ear piercings was performed. Quinn held Petunia and sat very still. Then with two simultaneous, loud clicks, and a quick bat of the eyes from Quinn, she was all done: no tears or scream of pain. “That didn’t hurt at all,” she said proudly.

It was such a magical moment over in a matter of seconds. Afterwards, she smiled so wide looking in the mirror and picked out a few more pairs of earrings to wear when she’s all healed. I told her, “Seeing you with earrings is going to take some getting used to for me. It means you’re really a big girl now!” Quinn just smiled and responded, “I am a big girl, Mommy!”

Though there’s so many more milestones to go, this one really “pierced” my heart letting me know there’s no turning back, and with each passing day my daughter is evolving into a big girl and will one day be a young lady and then a grown woman.

All the best,

Tanya

Red, White & Blue: Mommy’s Little Girl’s a Sparkler Too!

“Ooh, it’s sparkling all over, Mommy!” my six year old  said while the sparkler illuminated as she held the end of its stem. This Memorial Day weekend, we had an intimate family cookout to not only remember the fallen soldiers but to celebrate my husband’s birthday too. As my daughter eagerly put on her red, white and blue romper and was ready to spend time with her family, I knew it was going to be a fun time.

As the day went on, I pulled out the sparklers I purchased. These are one of my favorite little fireworks from childhood. Though it may not cause much stimulation for adults, I knew the kids would enjoy them.

When I attempted to light the first sparkler, the wind picked up each time making it more difficult to get a spark. So we had to find a corner to shield the wind and find the right angle to light the sparkler. Even with trying to get the “right” angle, it took a little time. But once we developed a technique and realized that we couldn’t just hold the flame at the tip but had to slowly move it up in down from the tip a few centimeters, we finally go the sparkler ignited. After getting the first one, the others were much easier to do.

My daughter was so patient throughout this process. Yet at first, she was a little nervous about holding the sparkler. But once she did, she held the sparkler confidently and asked, “Can I do another one, please?!” Lighting the sparklers made me think about how much of a sparkler my little girl is. She truly illuminates my world. When her eyes light up about something that sparks interests within her, it fills me with hope and reignites some sparks in me that I thought fizzled years ago.

A sparkler may last just a minute or two, but the fun and experience from holding and waving them, for me, lasted well into adulthood. It is my hope that the passion and hope my daughter currently has will last a lifetime keeping her filled up and determined to leave her spark on the world.

All the best,

Tanya

So Happy It’s Not a Chore to Get My Little Girl to Do Chores!

“You know, Mommy, sorting and rolling socks together is actually kind of fun,” my newly six year old informed me yesterday as she helped with the laundry. Since my daughter was a toddler, she’s been helping around the house with basic tasks like putting away her toys, sweeping, clearing the plates from the table and even washing dishes. Most people would agree that chores can not only be a time consuming but be the tasks they dread doing the most. So it pleases me that my daughter has actually been begging for more chores to do around the house.

When she was a toddler, she’d help sort clothes by color or by item, such as tights, shirts or pants. But now she’s insisted on doing more, so she helps with folding undershirts, underwear and socks. “There’s a lot of socks here, Mommy!” Quinn started counting them and told me, “I folded together twenty-one pairs of socks, Mommy!” I love chores that stimulate critical thinking and allow my daughter to use math. Even afterwards, on her own, she decided to carry several of the socks in her shirt wrapped up at the bottom so that she could carry more at once. “Very clever technique, Quinnie!” I told her.

While I am sure there will come a time when Quinn may dread doing a certain chore, for now, I am grateful that she has fun doing them and understands the importance of contributing towards our household.

All the best,

Tanya

It’s My Mommyversary! Six Wonderful Years of Motherhood

In 2013, just a week after giving birth to my little girl, I celebrated being a mother for the first time. Now, six years and hundreds of blog posts later, I have many baby steps behind me yet many more to go! Being a mother is such a rewarding experience, and my daughter has played a significant role in helping me to grow not just as a mother but as a person. I truly am lucky to have my own mother available to share advice and words of wisdom and to have a thoughtful and caring daughter who both make the challenging journey of motherhood an absolute joy.

Here’s to all of the mothers everywhere! May your baby steps into motherhood turn into bountiful leaps and jumps of joy filled with wonderful memories.

All the best,

Tanya

American Girls on the Move and All Dolled Up!

 

Unable to contain herself, she repeatedly said, “I’m sooo excited! I”m just soo excited!” For my daughter’s sixth birthday, we drove a little over three hours on Friday night to Vienna, Virginia, right outside of Tysons Corner, so that we could get a bright an early start going to the one and only…”American Girl” store! Though the store opened at 10am and our salon appointment wasn’t until 10:15am, Quinn begged if we could just go to the mall and walk around until the store opened.

Would you believe that we spend nearly three hours in the store and bistro?! Would you believe me if I told you I could have spent all day in the store even if my daughter wasn’t with me? There was so much to see and explore. It was like going to an interactive doll museum. With this in mind, over the next week, I plan to do separate posts about our experience as “American Girls” on the move. If you’re a doll lover, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as we did! Until then, check out this video preview.

All the best,

Tanya

Six Wonderful Years: Celebrating My Little Girl’s Birthday!

 

Six is a nice, even, perfect number and symbolizes beauty and ideals. Today, it’s also how many years my little girl has been on this Earth! Quinn is such a sweet, caring, thoughtful and confident person. Of course, one may think I’m saying this as her mother, but in her short six years of life, she truly has made a positive impact on so many lives of children as well as adults.

Interestingly, six also represents completeness, and I truly didn’t realize how much my life was missing until she became a part of it! I am so grateful and happy to celebrate her special day and want to make sure that she always knows how much I love her not just today but everyday.

All the best,

Tanya