Tagged with "activities"
31 Aug
2017
Posted in: parenting
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Joys of Back to School Shopping

Every August I look forward to back-to-school shopping for clothes and shoes for our kids, and every August I’m reminded how taxing the actual shopping excursion is in reality. We try to make a weekend trip away from home to a larger city to make the sometimes tedious shopping more enjoyable. At least in a larger city there are more food options to help in coaxing good behavior.

This year with high school football a new part of our schedule, we found ourselves with less time to finagle a trip out of town in August. We squeaked out a fast and furious trip to get a few items we couldn’t find in our town.

kids eating at Baskin Robbins

Our daughter will shop and shop and shop. She only becomes surly when we shut down the coffers for her spending spree. One son will only purchase clothes that are shades of neon, black and elastic-waisted. If it’s not athletic and moisture-wicking, he doesn’t want to have anything to do with it. Then there’s the son who only tests for the softness of the clothing. Clothing is randomly tossed in my direction in stores with vague promises to wear said articles. Color is never a concern as long as the softness level is extremely high. Another son actually cares about clothes and has some idea of what image he wants to portray. This involves button-down tops and lots of me holding up dozens of shirts to only have one or two chosen for the fitting room. There’s also a lot of grey and black in that ones closest.

All four children have one thing in common: they do not believe their size ever changes. They’re forever attempting to squeeze into sizes they’ve out-grown long ago. It takes much grumbling and arguing for me to convince them of the size they actually wear. The younger children grab random boxes of shoes to try-on, only to have me beg and plead with them to wait for an adult to help read the boxes and choose the correct size. I’ve restocked more shoe boxes than I care to count. Our youngest son likes to find the largest size of shoes he can find at stores. If it entertaining, yes. It is helpful, no. The size 20 tennis shoes he discovered this trip are his largest find yet. Thankfully they were found at the beginning of our shopping while I was still enjoying the process. On day two, I lost two hours of my life at Old Navy. It was much easier when everyone was less opinionated and didn’t need to try clothes on.

back to school shoe shopping

Our first day of school is next week. It seems, from my social media feed, that everyone else in the country is back to school. We’ve learned this August that a high school student participating in fall activities ends their summer much early than everyone else. I’ve been shuttling to football and marching band practices for weeks already. We’ve been sneaking in fun activities around the shuttle schedule for the rest of the household. While it’s annoying to be on a schedule earlier than I’m used to, I’m grateful our son has met plenty of fellow students over the last few weeks. He’s not nervous because the school and the people there already feel like home. I’m a believer in all the studies that point to the importance of kids being active. There’s more happening at school than athletics.

Having a child in high school seems inconceivable. I’m more nervous for high school than him. I’m afraid it will all be over as soon as it begins. I want to soak it all in, even more desperately with the younger three because now I know all the talk of how fast these years go is true. All the parenting cliches are spot on. As nervous as I am, walking the halls of his new school finding all his classes made me excited for him. He’s more than ready for this next phase. Teens can be ridiculously annoying with their hormones, poor listening and questionable decision-making, but they’re also funny, insightful and intelligent.

I have piles of paperwork to sort through before the first day and have yet to sort the driving schedule. We have kids at three different schools for the next few years, two of which start and finish at almost the same times. At least there is never a dull moment with this crew. Enjoy the new routine fellow parents and all the crazy good that comes with the start of a new school year.


 
Take a Trip: Ben & Jerry’s Factory
By     |    Aug 9, 2017
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Take a Trip: Ben & Jerry’s Factory

During the initial planning stages for our epic road trip this summer, I made a list of all of the states we’d travel through and researched top destinations. The Ben & Jerry’s Factory continually popped up in my research as a fun family destination in Vermont, but it was more north than we planned to be in Vermont and seemed out of the way. We were making the trek to the Northeast to see first-hand where important beginnings of our... [Read More]

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Adjusting to a Different Summer
By     |    Jun 21, 2017
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Adjusting to a Different Summer

I miss preschoolers. Maybe I don’t miss everything about having young children, but parenting a teen and a tween this summer has me nostalgic for truly lazy days of summer. I was prepared for life to change when our oldest entered high school. He’s active and involved. I knew certain things, like sports, would require more time. He hit the ground running this summer and his commitment motivated our 7th grader to start his own training program. By 9:45 a.m.... [Read More]

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Big Push to Finish School Year
By     |    May 4, 2017
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Big Push to Finish School Year

The month of May is one of my favorite and least favorite months. Summer is right around the corner and the weather is improving. There are 22 days of school remaining and 50 days until we enjoy another much-anticipated epic vacation. But May is also the month when everyone has everything on every day…all month long. It’s inevitable with four children that our evenings will be full of recitals, concerts, track meets and practices. It’s never one thing at a... [Read More]

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For the Love of Humanities
By     |    Apr 27, 2017
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For the Love of Humanities

It was evident early in our parenting journey that our children had an affinity toward sports. They enjoyed playing anything we exposed them to and watching sports was a family activity we rallied around. As a former sports reporter, having children who enjoyed something I loved was an easy way to connect. Early on we decided, as parents, that our children would be exposed to a wide array of experiences. We didn’t want their childhood to solely revolve around fields... [Read More]

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Genius Hour and Growing Lifelong Learners
By     |    Mar 6, 2017
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Genius Hour and Growing Lifelong Learners

I want my kids to love learning for the sake of learning and to hunger for knowledge. School projects that actively enforce those principles  are my favorite. Genius Hour is a prime example. The idea behind Genius Hour has been utilized in corporations to increase productivity. Employees are given a set amount of time each week to work on pet projects in their field. Google has seen success with this route. Gmail anyone? I’m more motivated to apply myself to... [Read More]

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Gifting Experiences Over Things
By     |    Dec 12, 2016
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Gifting Experiences Over Things

I watched our seven-year-old come on stage to walk-through her part in The Great Russian Nutcracker with big eyes and slightly hesitant steps. The stage was bigger than she’s used to dancing on with movable backdrops and multiple props lining the stage’s wings. Professional dancers from the Moscow Ballet company waited in the wings or on the stage. They were speaking Russian and looked aloof and marginally bored. As I watched our daughter and her fellow snowflakes, I was impressed... [Read More]

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Our Traditional Summer List
By     |    May 26, 2016
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Our Traditional Summer List

I have to stop looking at my social media feeds for the next two weeks. I have several friends, in and out of state, who already are on summer break from school, and I am jealous. The end is in sight for me but not close enough. We have eight school days remaining this school year. The kids are excited for the field trips and picnics and less-rigorous final days of school, but I’m over it. I want to wake-up... [Read More]

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May Madness
By     |    May 13, 2016
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May Madness

The month of May is when I’m in high-mama gear. Four school-aged children means that on any given weekday from now until the last day of school, someone has a field trip or track or junior Olympics or an assembly or a concert. Some days it’s multiple children requesting a parent make an appearance. If field tripper was a profession, that would be my career in May. The build-up to the end of the school year starts at the beginning... [Read More]

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Tips for Gingerbread House Construction
By     |    Dec 17, 2015
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Tips for Gingerbread House Construction

The last time I made a traditional gingerbread house was years ago. Everything was chugging along smoothly until the three boys realized their were only two sides to the roof. The fun was sucked right out of house decorating. The best part of a gingerbread house is the roof for my kids. My job became referee. Heaven helps us if one brother had more design input on the roof than the other brothers. We finished the house, and I vowed... [Read More]

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Halloween Costume Craftiness
By     |    Oct 30, 2015
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Halloween Costume Craftiness

It’s a good thing I’m crafty. I’m not sure what my children would do for Halloween if their parents didn’t enjoy creating costumes. By enjoy, I mean I’m excited at the start of the costume fabricating process, but by week three, I’m ready to send kids off in whatever I have finished. Our kids are notorious for picking costumes you can’t simply go buy at Target. They have specific visions for Halloween, and I relent. This year was no different.... [Read More]

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Shaking the Worry Over the Middle Child
By     |    Oct 20, 2015
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Shaking the Worry Over the Middle Child

Our middle son came into the world quietly. He spent the first few hours of his life wide-eyed staring at us, but the quiet didn’t last long. He struggled to gain weight those first few months and refused to sleep most of his first year of life. He cried a lot, and I shed my share of tears. Those first 13 months were riddled with worry for that boy, and I never really shook the extra concern for him. Fast... [Read More]

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