Inspired by Inspiring My Daughter: An Exercise in Inspirational Moments at its Finest!

Mother and Daughter Boxing Team

I love exercising. It’s my way of not only staying fit but relieving stress and turning off the negatives of the world for just an hour or two. On occasion, my seven year joins me. Little did I know how closely she’s been watching me and how much of an impact my exercising has made on her.

Quinn loves doing Youtube videos and decided to do an exercise video for her latest post. She came up with all of the exercises she wanted to include on her own, and I was pleasantly surprised when she said, “Mommy, I want to include boxing as one of my exercises just like you!” As she recorded her video, she said that I was her inspiration.

As I watched her hit the bag and do her other exercises, I thought to myself, “Wow, Quinn is my mini me when it comes to exercise!” She actually inspires me to keep going in knowing that I am her inspiration.

Who knows, maybe we will do a mother and daughter exercise video one day and inspire other mothers and daughters.

All the best,

Tanya

What Would We Do Without It Wednesday: Thankful My Little Girl is Grateful

With a smile on her face, climbing up her “new” jungle gym, my daughter said, “Wasn’t it nice of the neighbors to give this to me!” “It sure was,” I told her. She then proceeded to ask, “Why did they give it to me?” To which I responded, their children outgrew it, so they thought you would like it. “Wow, that was very thoughtful!” Quinn informed me. “Yes, it sure was.” I said.

More and more frequently, I hear people talk about how it’s a cruel world and that everyone is out for themselves or how so many people, especially the younger generations, have an attitude of entitlement. While it may be somewhat true, I sincerely do not believe all people are this way. I have been trying my best to instill positive values such as gratitude and hopefulness rather than entitlement and hopelessness in my four year old daughter, so it warms my heart each time she not only utters the phrase thank you but expresses her gratitude by acknowledging how thoughtful the other person is. I always tell her that when people do something nice or out of the kindness of their hearts, it must be acknowledged because they did not have to do anything.

Just yesterday, my uncle asked her is she wanted to help frost a pink lemonade cake for the July 4th cookout, and she was so excited and said, “Uncle David picked me to help with the cake! That was very nice of him.” After helping, she told him, without me coaching her, “Thank you for allowing me to help decorate the cake, Uncle David.”

I truly believe gratitude goes further than we think and that one is never too young or too old to display it. The world is not so cruel as long as we contribute some positivity towards it. I hope I am modeling a behavior where my daughter will continue to feel the same way I do well into adulthood.

All the best,

Tanya

What Would We Do Without It Wednesday: Meet and Greets with Daddy

“How much longer do we have to wait until Daddy’s train comes, Mommy?” my daughter inquired. “Just about three minutes,” I respond. Then about a minute later she asked, “How many minutes now?” No matter how many times we walk, drive, use her scooter  or ride bikes to the train station to meet my husband as he gets home from work, the excitement and anticipation never dissipates for Quinn (Well, I’m excited to see him too). One time, she asked to wear her Paw Patrol watch so that she did not have to ask me how many more minutes it would take for his train to arrive, and of course this was the time that his train was running a few minutes behind schedule. “My watch says, 5:16, but Daddy’s train still is not here!” she informed me. “It must be running late, but he’ll be here soon,” I reassured her. Around 5:21, his train finally arrived, and a joyous smile came over Quinn’s face as she shouted, “There he is!”  My husband’s serious demeanor shifts to a playful one as he gives her a big hug and ask how her day was. Then I am relegated to push the scooter or bike all the way back home as she holds her dad’s hand or “helps” him roll his work bag up the street.

Even though I think about how wonderful of a bond Quinn and her dad have and how one of the ways it is displayed is through their train station meet and greet, with Father’s Day approaching, I decided to post an entry about how grateful I am to have a terrific husband who is loving and supportive of his daughter. I’m sure I speak for Quinn when I say, “I don’t know what we’d do without our meet and greets with her daddy at the train station.”

All the best,

Tanya

What Would We Do Without It Wednesdays: The Perfect Alarm Clock Stops Traffic!

“Mommy, what time will I wake up in the morning?” “How long will I be sleeping?” “When can I get up, Mommy?” are just some of the night time series of questions from my three year old for the past few months. Actually, I’ve done a few posts in the past on how intrigued my daughter is by the concept of time and how I got her a toy clock since she will often ask what time it is throughout the course of the day. Even though the toy clock does tell time, it’s not an alarm clock, and the digital clock is too small to see across the room in the dark. I needed something so that the last ten to fifteen minutes of Quinn’s bedtime routine was not about discussing how long she would sleep and wake up and when she could get out of bed.

Just a couple of weeks ago we had a playdate, and I shared this issue with my friend. She instantly empathized with me and recommended a stop light alarm clock with a little race car and driver attached on the side that works for her four year old twin boys. Of course,  I was very excited to purchase it for Quinn, but after getting home I did have a little apprehension, not because it was a little boy in the race car but because it did not match the current decor of her room (Yes, I’m “that” mommy!), and I wondered if it would look out of place.

After doing a little searching on Amazon, where my friend told me she purchased it, I was able to find the same clock, but it was in a different color palette and even had a little girl in the race car. While nearly $40 may be a bit steep for most, after using the clock for a little under two weeks, I’d say it is absolutely worth it. Even though Quinn is a patient child and typically did not get out of bed prior to the alarm clock purchase but would simply yell up the hallway if she was awake, “Is it morning?” “Can I get up now?” the alarm clock lets her know that it is time to wake up.

“When the light is red, stay in bed! If the light is green, get up and be seen!” is the phrase I came up with, and it works perfectly. The only possible downside so far is that Quinn wants to follow exactly what the traffic light tells her to do. For instance, today, she was moving around in her bed about ten minutes before the light was going to turn green. I came in and asked her if she wanted to get up early, and her response was, “I have to wait for the light to turn green to get up and be seen!” I chuckled to myself, and ten minutes later she called out, “Mommy, the light’s green. I can get up and be seen!”

If you’re looking for a clock to help with the bedtime and morning routine, both Quinn and I highly recommend purchasing this clock, and I thank my friend, Susan, for letting me know about it.

All the best,

Tanya

What Would We Do Without It Wednesdays: The Roller Coaster of Life

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First of Many Roller Coaster Rides

“Wheee…yaaaay! This is the best ride ever, Mommy!” My adventurous three year old screamed out as we quickly whipped around the corner on the Vapor Trail Rollercoaster lead by Super Grover at Sesame Place. It was just a couple of weeks ago that my little girl got on the roller coaster (or any roller coaster for that matter) for the very first time after my nine year old niece asked to get on. Quinn just made the age requirement, yet an adult had to accompany her.  I was a bit nervous about her reaction and just making sure she did’t slide out of the seat, but she did very well and begged to get on a second time along with my niece. Since there was really no line, I obliged because I could handle a kiddie roller coaster, right? Wrong!

I was quickly reminded why I don’t get on roller coaster rides like I did when I was younger. Ever since I had Quinn, my stomach sometimes gets so topsy-turvy from too much motion. It can be anything from going up and down on a swing too high or for too long to spinning around too quickly on the tea cups (yes, the tea cups). As I was trying to get rid of that “woozy” feeling, Quinn was excited asking to get on a third time, and I had to tell her maybe next time and just endure the pouting and tears welling up in her eyes.

While I could have focused on the negative and allowed the roller coaster to take me down the first time and avoid it on future visits, I decided to focus on the positive.  As Quinn is having fun, she’s learning what she can handle. I too am relearning what I can handle or not handle as well as I once did on the roller coaster of life.

So when I showed my husband the picture of Quinn and me on the roller coaster from today, in a surprised tone he asked, “You got on a roller coaster again?” To which I responded, “Yes! From the last experience, I learned that I have to follow certain roller coaster guidelines for myself: no food at least an hour before riding and no back-to-back rides under any circumstances. As long as I do that, I’m good to go!”

What would we do with out roller coasters allowing us to experience ups and downs and the twists and turns of life.

All the best,

Tanya

What Would We Do Without It Wednesday: Soaking Up the Sun & Catching Waves with My Little Girl

“Here comes another wave, Mommy!” my little girl giddily told me as she tried to wiggle out of my grasp to jump and splash in the ocean by herself as the wave came our way. A couple of weeks ago, I posted a blog entry about having some summer fun with my daughter, so of course this includes going to the beach to have a great, fun-filled day, which we did yesterday.

Since Quinn was one years old, she’s enjoyed splashing around in the ocean, so now that’s she’s three, she can’t get enough of it. “I love being in the ocean!” she cheered with uncontrollable laughter when each wave splashed up against her, and even after one was tall and powerful enough to reach her face and push her back causing me to grab hold of her even tighter out of nervousness, she had a big smile on her face as she rubbed her eyes from the water getting in them. “I’m ready for another wave, Mommy!”

Going to the beach with my sister and her kids definitely added to the fun in the water and building castles in the sand. Plus, with bringing our own refreshments and snacks, we saved a good deal of money.  It was just a matter of paying the gas and tolls to get to the beach. Another bonus is that there are some amusement park rides for the kids to enjoy after the beach activities. The main issue was convincing my daughter to leave when she was having so much fun. There was some pouting and a bit of whining, but I assured her that we’ll be coming back a few more times before summer ends. I’m thoroughly enjoying my summer fun with my little one!

All the best,

Tanya

What Would We Do Without it Wednesday: Fun in the Sun on a Summer Day

2016-05-23 12.59.51Though we’ve been experiencing some warm and even hot days for the past couple of months, the start of summer just occurred a couple of days ago, and my daughter and I are both excited to have some fun in the sun. Whether it’s going to the park, the zoo, Sesame Place or just playing in the front yard, the long summer days seem to enhance the level of fun we’re having. This summer is especially special because it is the last one that Quinn will be home with her father and me full-time as she starts school this fall. I’m truly enjoying these moments with my little girl and don’t know what I’d do without them. As the cliche’ phrases go, “She’s only a child once” or “Childhood is fleeting,” so I want to not only have fun with my little girl this summer but to make memories that we’ll both cherish and reminisce about as she gets older. Here’s to a wonderful summer with my little girl!

All the best,

Tanya

What Would We Do Without It Wednesday: The Power of Confidence

“I think I can do it!” is a simple statement which eventually leads to the phrase, “I did it!” When associated with fear or inexperience, the latter phrase becomes even more powerful and meaningful to the person accomplishing the task or new skill. From my own experiences, I’ve found that practice or honing one’s skills is important, but confidence is essential. It helps me to not feel defeated and to believe in myself. My daughter, who just turned three just a month ago and is in the process of learning this lifelong lesson.

Sometimes, she grows frustrated when she thinks she can’t do something or has an initial struggle, but with encouragement she will usually persist. When she fears doing a task or new skill, forget about it! She will avoid it at all cost, similar to many adults. That’s when my confidence in her can be quite helpful in giving her the motivation to have confidence in herself and to go from “I can’t” to “I think I can” to “I know I can” to “I did it!” Just this past Monday, we went to the park, and Quinn proceeded to climb of the ladder on the playground equipment. In the past, she’s wanted me to stay nearby, which I had no problem doing as the over-protective mother, but this time she climbed up quickly and without me even prompting her, she turned around and gave me a thumbs up which displayed her confidence. “I did it, Mommy! I was fast too!” she said with a smile on her face.
There will be times when my little girl  or I may experience fear as she has new experiences, but I will always try my best to show her that I am confident in her abilities and motivate her that she can do it! What would we do without the power of confidence?
All the best,
Tanya

What Would We Do Without It Wednesdays: Learning with Grover. The Student Becoming the Teacher

“We have to buckle Grover up in the shopping cart for safety, Mommy!” my three year old insisted. To which I responded, “Sure honey. Let’s make sure he’s in his seat securely.” Grover (from Sesame Street) has been her best friend since she was just one years old, and he usually goes everywhere she goes. Grover has seen and been through a lot with Quinn and even appeared in her second and third birthday photos. Though he needs a good cleaning every once in a while and disappears occasionally sending my little girl until a panic, I love having him tag along not just to keep her company but because I’m able to see if my daughter is not just observing and listening to what she is being taught but that she is emulating the behaviors and actions of her father and me too.

For instance, she will tell Grover to hold onto the rail when they are coming down the stairs and that he needs to wear his seatbelt in the car. I’ve even heard her tell Grover, “We have to look both ways when we’re crossing the street to be safe.” Of course, she does try to be clever and will inform me, “Mommy, this snack is for me. Grover would like a snack too please.” One of the best ways to know if my daughter is learning basic life skills is to observe her interacting with Grover and caring for him as I care for her. What would we do without him?!

All the best,

Tanya

What Would We Do Without It Wednesdays: Witnessing the Wiring of My Three Year Old’s Brain

2016-05-02 16.40.57According to Urban Child Institute, “In the first three years, a child’s brain has up to twice as many synapses as it will have in adulthood.” It’s no wonder why my little girl, who just turned three two week’s ago is growing mentally and intellectually by leaps and bounds. I’m often amazed with how much she already knows and what she has retained based on her interactions. As part of her bedtime routine, my husband or I read her a story that she usually selects. What’s interesting is that I did not know she and my husband read “Jack and the Beanstalk” until we were at the park a couple of weeks ago. As she climbed up the jungle gym, exclaiming, “I’m just like Jack, and this is my beanstalk!” I thought it was awesome that she associated what she was doing with the story she read.

Though I know she is observant and loves imaginative play, I’m noticing her ability to make parallel connections and correlations with what she has read with us or seen throughout the course of her day with a different activity she is doing. Witnessing her brain at work is a blessing because some children may have disabilities that prevent them from making these connections. Also, it encourages me to provide her with a positive atmosphere allowing the blooming and pruning process of synapses to take place so that she can thrive as she reaches the stages of preadolescence, adolescence and adulthood.

All the best,

Tanya