Tag Archives: school

Summer Plans for Moms of Preschoolers and Toddlers

That dreaded day on the calendar is almost here.

You can feel a bead of sweat start to trickle down your temple.

All of a sudden, your armpits are sweaty.

You can feel your heart pounding in your chest.

You think you might be having a panic attack.

Your mouth is dry and you’re having trouble catching your breath.

All from looking at one day on your calendar.


Last day of preschool!!!!

I remember trying to cram everything I’ve ever wanted to do by myself into that last day of preschool because I knew I wouldn’t get another minute during the day to myself for the next 3 months. Bless the moms who have children under 4 at home during the summer. I know you’ve got your camps planned out, dreams of chore charts, lists of free things to do in your city, and so much more summer fun planned. I know, because years ago that was me. Back when I tried to have my act together, have a plan, be a “fun mom”. I love the idealists and the hope-filled dreamers. We’ve all done it. We have so many well-laid plans and dreams of summer fun. It’s cute really. All is well until things don’t go as planned. Until someone starts whining. Until someone hits his sister. Until someone is SOOOOOO HUNGRY! Until we realize we’ve basically taken a bunch of small humans with mood disorders out into the world who all have a tendency to wander. It’s a crushing reality.


Here’s a rundown of how summer’s going to go:

  1. Camps will be amazing until you pick them up and they’re so cranky from not having a nap you will want to put them to bed at 5:00 pm every day of said camp.
  2. Chore charts will last approximately one week. You will forget to get quarters or $1 bills out so you won’t be able to pay them and then you’ll end up forgetting all together. Then you’ll figure out it’s easier to wipe a counter yourself and you know it’s actually clean when YOU wipe it down, so the “chores” will fall by the wayside.
  3. Guess who likes free things? Roughly everyone, so free events for kids is a guaranteed circus. It will be similar to herding cats because what did we say about children? (“prone to wander Lord I feeeeeel it…”)
  4. The pool will be fun for a while but the work of sunscreen and fixing goggles and “Mom, watch this!” and always scanning the pool to make sure you can see all your kids will become taxing.
  5. You will eat Chick-fil-A approximately 87 times this summer. This is also the number of times you will have to endure the Play Area. You have my deepest sympathies.
  6. You will do so well at the beginning keeping them off all the electronic things but by August, they’ll be looking at a screen for 9 hours a day AND YOU WON’T EVEN CARE BECAUSE YOU ARE SO DONE.
  7. During naptime, you will tell them every 2.5 minutes “If you’re not going to lay down, you have to at least play quietly in your room.” This is will last for infinity.
  8. You need to go to Costco now and buy every snack food they make in bulk because your child will want a snack every 26 minutes. But they will never be hungry at dinner. It’s some sort of voodoo magic they do.
  9. Your home will look like a frat house after a band party. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. It’s fine.
  10. If your potty training this summer…………………

I’m just going to go ahead and start a prayer circle on your                                     behalf.


Sweet moms of toddlers, my prayers are with you. You will make it through. Your ears may bleed from all the whining and you may find yourself hiding in the bathrooms and closets just for time alone but it’s all going to be ok. If you find yourself circling the drain at some point, call a sitter or a friend to watch your kids. Tap out of being a parent for a hot minute. It’s ok. I didn’t do this as often as I should have because I wanted to be a strong mom and one who’s able to handle it all. I was “fine.” Let me tell you something about being fine: it’s overrated and underwhelming. Let yourself have a break and have a feeling. You are doing hard work being with your kids all day. You will survive. And this will be your reward:


(Clearly I didn’t plan my Dr’s appt. to coincide with preschool pick up.)


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Back in the saddle


(Obviously the oldest is too cool for a sign.)

(Obviously my neighbor made the sign.)

(This was after my daughter told her how her mom wasn’t a sign person. We should all feel sorry for Caitlin and her plight of having a non-crafty mother. Sniff, sniff. Thanks, CB for always picking up my slack!)

I can’t believe today is the first day of school. Summer flying by is a new phenomenon for me. My kids being in school has somehow made time start moving at lightning speed. I could’ve sworn they just got out of school two weeks ago. Nevertheless they go back today and while I’m a bit sad we are jumping back into the grind, part of me is excited. That part of me that needs time alone in order to have a thought from start to finish is dying for some attention. It’s the same part of me that has missed being able to write this summer. I guess “able” is a bit strong; I mean, I could’ve gotten up at the crack of dawn like a do during the school year to get some writing in but it’s summer and I want to sleep in. Like I tell my kids, life’s about choices.

As my kids start back on a schedule today, I can’t help but feel like I’m starting back too. I’ve got lots of posts rolling around in my brain that I want to share with you! I wish I could tell you about the laundry list of amazing things I accomplished with my kids this summer but alas, that would be a lie from the pit. I think we maybe did two things off our “Summer Bucket List.” I was just glad I managed to get my oldest to read his ONE book he was required to read this summer. When I asked him what the book was about, he told me the age of the main character and where he lived. Let’s all bow our heads and pray there’s not a test over this material. Anyway, we had a great summer packed with camps, travel, and out-of-town visitors (I know our trips to Dollywood and Holiday World are enough to make you swoon over how glamorous our vacations are). It was a fantastic summer that went by far too quickly but I’m pumped about getting to work on some writing projects I’ve got in the hopper. I promise I’ll spill some details when I have more information because I’ll definitely need your feedback!

I’d love to stay and chat but I’ve got to go make pancakes as requested for the first day of school. Let the record show we’re having pancakes and bacon…in the morning…on a weekday. For the longest time I think my kids thought pancakes were a dinner food because we only ate them for dinner. Who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner? But since today is “special”, I’ll suck it up and make pancakes in the morning hours. Did I mention middle school starts a whole HOUR before elementary school? This is distressing. It is also the reason I will use for not making hot breakfast for the rest of the school year. Enjoy pancakes in the morning today, kids; the rest of the year your hot meals will come out of the microwave or toaster.

Happy first day, friends!!


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The one tool you’ll need to get your kindergartener ready for school

It’s almost here. The beginning of a new school year. And if you’re anything like me this is about the time you start thinking about how you’ve let your kids slack during the summer on any kind of school work. Many of you are those over achievers that make your kids do the summer packet to turn in at the beginning of school. If you know me at all, or have read my blog for any length of time, it will come as no surprise that we have done next to nothing related to school this summer. I did make my oldest read his REQUIRED reading for 6th grade. I know, I really play hard ball.

Two weeks before school is usually when I start trying to get my act together and make my kids do more regular reading. I want to tell you we practice math also, but that would be quite the fib. Reading is about as far as I go. Sorry, math teachers, you will have to re-teach my kids every year because I am totally inept at math. I use words like “inept” to make up for my mediocrity in this area. Now that my kids are older I realize not everything falls out of their head during the summer so I don’t worry about it as much.

When my oldest was little, I worried a lot more about sending him to kindergarten. These days it seems that’s the big question: “Are they ready?” Parents go back and forth over this ad nauseam trying to figure out should they send them on to kindergarten or should they hold them back. And since many parents aren’t teachers by trade it’s hard to know what the little ones need to know before they start “Big Kid School.”


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The Kindergarten Toolkit.

Guys, I don’t have kids going into kindergarten anymore but if I did this little kit would’ve been a lifesaver! It has EVERYTHING you need to set your child up for success in their first year of school. And I can tell you after having seen a kindergartener’s report card/assessment, this kit is on point in giving you EXACTLY what you need to practice with your child.

Let’s take a looksy, shall we?

First of all, how cute is the little bee logo?

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When you open your toolkit, this is what you’ll find. Flashcards, a dry erase marker, a workbook, a dry erase board, and a business card from the amazing Carrie Ball, creator of the Kindergarten Toolkit.

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Flashcards. Yes. Flashcards are awesome because once your kids get the hang of it they can go through them on their own…while you fold laundry, or cook dinner, or check email, or clean a toilet, or do any other chores that need to get done. The flashcards include colors, shapes, numbers, and sight words, all of which will be taught in kindergarten so knowing some of these ahead of time may give your child some confidence going into their first year. I like that all of these are included in this kit so I wouldn’t need to buy any others. I’ve got everything I need in one box.


I’m not sure I’ve ever met a kid who doesn’t like a dry erase board and markers. It’s an excellent tool for practicing letters, numbers, shapes, and words. It’s also good for drawing pictures when your child needs a break. For older kids, this would be great to take in the car to let them practice their writing. For the littles, I would stick to flashcards in the car. If your littles are anything like mine were, marker would just end up everywhere except the white board.

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The toolkit also includes goals and has lessons for each goal. This gives non-teachers like me direction and ways to assess how much my kids know when we begin and an end goal to work toward. The lesson plans are well layed out and easy to follow. There is a lot of repetition in the lessons so it’s easy for the kids to catch on. I also love that it gives examples of ways to utilize the toolkit while you’re out running errands. As parents our lives sometimes seem to revolve around errands so it’s nice to have ways to teach your kids while you’re getting stuff done. I think it also helps promote conversation in the car which can be easy to miss when we’re listening to the radio or our kids are watching a show or playing electronics. Not that we would ever do that, wink wink.

I can’t tell you how I wish I had had one of these when my kids were starting school. It tells you exactly what to work on with your sweet one before they go off to big kid school. And it comes with its own box that’s big enough for all its supplies. It practically organizes itself for those who may be challenged in that area i.e. me. If your kids are in preschool, you need this toolkit. Here’s how to get one…


Or you can email Carrie directly at:  thekindergartentoolkit@gmail.com

Hang in there, moms of littles, summer is almost over. You can almost envision going to the bathroom by yourself again.


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Relief for some, panic for others


Dirty feet. A sure sign of summer. And little boys.

I don’t know about you but this time of year I’m so stressed out from kids’ activities to end-of-the-year school stuff, I’m just ready for summer. I just want my kids out of school so we aren’t slaves to the routine anymore. I don’t want to make any more lunches at 7:00am. I’m just done with all of it.

But there was a time not too long ago that the thought of summer would send me into a cold, sweaty panic. Many of you moms with toddlers know what I’m talking about. I want you to know I SEE YOU. I KNOW IT IS ABOUT TO BE SO HARD FOR YOU. Having toddlers and babies at home 24/7 for 3 months is no joke. For me, it felt like I was living the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day. It was the same day over and over again for infinity. Or that’s the way it seemed. I mean, how many times can an adult listen to Elmo talk before she starts twitching? How many times can we endure the God forsaken park? How many messes can we clean up? How many times can we lose a paci? How many times can we say “No”? How many half-eaten meals will we throw away only to be asked for a snack 20 minutes later? How many pounds of goldfish can we feed our children? How many times can we hear the words “I hungryyyyyy” without our ears falling off? How many times can we hide in the bathroom just to get some alone time? I can’t tell you the exact number of times you will do these things; all I can tell you is it will feel like infinity. Moms of littles, I SEE YOU. You can do this. It’s 12 little weeks. Mark off the days on the calendar if you have to. (Of course, don’t tell anyone or you will be shamed endlessly for not wanting to spend every waking moment with your precious children.) Call in back up (read:: grandparents) if you have to. You will survive.

I can tell you these things because I am now on the other side of it. I’m finally one of those moms who can’t wait for summer! It finally happened! I never thought I would make it to this point. When my kids were little they were fun but they needed so much of my physical attention that I was always exhausted. Now, my kids are pretty self-sufficient and are fun to take places and do stuff with. They’re a little more independent which makes life a lot less stressful for me. They can actually walk themselves to the neighbor’s house and I don’t have to go with them. And I don’t have to call it a play date. I was never good at scheduling a social life for my kids; let’s be honest, I have a hard enough time scheduling my own that’s why I married someone who likes to do that sort of thing.

Moms, the littles will not eat you alive this summer. Hang in there. It only gets better. Promise.


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Anyone else have kids doing state testing at school this week? This Ecard is so on the money with how teachers must feel about standardized testing. Good luck teachers! Remember you are brave every day you show up to teach your class. If I had to be in a room with 20-25 kids for 8 hours a day, nine months out of the year I would go ahead and dig my own grave. You are the underpaid and under appreciated. Thanks for all you do and all you put up with all year long. I wish I could tell you I’ll be making my kids practice math and read books this summer but we all know that’s a lie from the pit. The proof’s in the pudding every August. Sigh. Thanks for putting up with us parents too.


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It’s almost here…

My daughter reminded me this week that there are only 5 weeks until summer break. 5 WEEKS!! Here’s to sleeping in (fingers crossed) and making kids’ lunches at lunchtime instead of at 7:00 am!



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