Wednesday, September 2, 2015

What I Hope My Son Learns In School This Year

My son is heading back to school and I'm a mix of emotions. On the one hand we really need a return to routine but, on the other hand I hate the idea of us needing to be out to door by a certain time every day. I'm nervous how he will do in a new classroom with a new teacher, I hope all of his friends will be in his class and that if they are not, that he will find new ones. And even though it's just pre-k, I know that this year is going to bring lots of new learning experiences and I hope he enjoys them all. While I'm excited for all the educational lessons he will learn this year, there are a few other lessons I hope he learns.

back to school wishes

Ask lots of questions.
Yes, I know you do this every day at home and sometimes I'm overwhelmed by all of them, but if there is any place where asking lots of questions is appropriate it's at school. So ask away. Challenge the teacher. If something confuses you or interests you ask questions about it.

Be interested in everything
There will be subjects you don't love, books that you don't enjoy, and activities that aren't your favorite. But give them all a chance. Be interested in every new thing presented to you in school. Sometimes you might discover that something you didn't think was "your thing" is suddenly your thing. And even if it isn't your thing, learn a little about it.

Ask questions but also listen. Listen to answers, to your teachers, and your classmates. I know sometimes your brain moves ten steps ahead and the words fight their way out of your mouth, but try, please, to stop and listen to what people are saying. You can learn so much just by listening to others. So make sure to listen just as much as you talk.

Speak Up
If something is wrong say something. If someone is bothering you or bullying you or treating someone else poorly speak up. Find a teacher and tell them that something is wrong. Never let anyone make you feel like you can't say something.

Wait your turn
I know it's hard at 4 to know when it's time for someone else to play with the dinosaurs but let someone else have a turn before you snatch it out of their hands. It won't always be your turn and learning to wait and to be patient is an important life lesson. Being gracious while you wait is a great quality that people will appreciate.

Be Kind
There will be kids that are new this year and kids like you that are nervous those first few days. Treat everyone you meet kindly. Make new friends and if someone is playing by themselves, invite them to join in. No one likes to be left out and you can never have too many friends.

Be a Leader but...
I know you love leading your friends in a game of Batman or being in charge of the days adventure but remember that sometimes it's OK to let others be in charge. And that it's nice to let someone else run the show from time to time. It doesn't make your ideas any less valuable or fun, it's just giving someone else a chance to be in charge. So if someone suggests playing Avengers instead of Batman, let them and do it without sulking or complaining that it's unfair.

Be You
I love you, for you and so do your friends and teachers. You are smart, kind and funny. Remember those things. You sometimes march to your own beat and that is OK. It's a waste of time to try to be someone you are not. Be yourself always. And if it doesn't feel true to you, don't do it.

While reading, writing and math are important, it's more important to me that you learn these skills. It is these skills that will make you the kind of person that other people want to work with and be friends with. These skills are just as important, as all of the other lessons you will learn, and trust me you will use these skills more often than you use algebra or geography.

Monday, August 31, 2015

8 Ways Moms Can Celebrate Back to School

The kids are back to school – are you ready? Lunches, snacks and good nutrition, as well as more free time for parents, homework struggles and organization. Gina of Embracing Imperfect decided to gather a group of bloggers to share their best Healthy Back to School tips with you! 

School is almost back in session and as much as I love summer and hate to see it go. I love Fall and the return to a routine. And if you're like me you've spent the past 10 weeks making sure your kids summer has been filled with fun, you deserve to do something for yourself.

Here are some ideas for how moms can celebrate the start of the school year.

1. Poor a mimosa or Bloody Mary, hell throw a shot of Baileys in that coffee. Or crack a cold beer open as soon as that school bus pulls away. Raise your glass to the start of another school year.

2. Get a manicure and pedicure. Even though summer is the season of open toed shoes I can say that my feet have seen better days, like June when I last had a pedicure. Go give your toes a much needed treat, after all it's still open toed season for at least another month. 

3. Take a nap. Or just simply go back to bed. But seriously put your feet up and rest. 

4. Clean the house . I know how boring but I love finally getting back in a routine and something about a clean house sets the tone for that. And after 10 weeks of being at home the house could definitely use some cleaning. 

5. Meet a friend for coffee and drink it while it's hot. And make sure to go to one of those coffee shops that you always want to linger in but know your kids won't let you. 

6. Read a book. I always have really good intentions for summer reading but with a 4 year old around those plans easily get put aside. 

7. Enjoy the silence.No whining, no nagging, no children's television show at full volume, no demands for snacks 5 minutes after their last snack. No nothing, just silence. 

8. Turn your own music up really loud in the car. As you pull away from the school crank the Taylor Swift (or whatever you guilty please of choice is) and sing your heart out. 

Whatever you do to celebrate the kids being back in school, remember to take some time for yourself. 

More Back to School Ideas for 2015:Need more ideas for this back to school season? Here are more post from my amazing fellow bloggers participating in this Healthy Back to School Event:5 Healthy Lunch Box Ideas - O'Boy! Organic 5 Tips to Keep Your Child Organized - Momma Lew 5 Tips for a Successful School Year - Mommy University Back to School: Extracurricular Activities - A Life in Balance Healthy Back to School Eating for Mom - Embracing Imperfect One Month of {Allergy-Friendly, Healthy & Balanced} Nut & Egg-Free Kids Lunch Ideas {No Repeats} - Busy Bee Kate School Supplies Aren't Just for the Kiddos - Friendspired Things Moms Should Do to Celebrate Back to School - Wine In Mom

GiveawayTalking about healthy back to school eating, we have an amazing giveaway JAM PACKED with goodies and treats from our participating vendors! Take a peak at all the prizes one winner will have delivered: Alfie the Allergic Alligator Goes to School:Alfie the Allergic Alligator Goes to School helps children begin to learn about food allergies and how to cope with the diagnosis. Alfie experiences several emotions as he deals with starting school among his non allergic peers. This book will encourage discussion and help children, parents, and teachers promote food allergy awareness and acceptance.

AllerMates: Lunchbox, choice of color Beanfield Snacks: 1 case of chips (12 bags) in various flavors Biena Foods: Biena Snacks variety pack, which includes a 5 oz bag of all of their 5 flavors Blue Avocado: $50 (re)zip ultimate kit 10-piece reusable nontoxic storage bag kit Boiron USA: $50 Cold & Flu Back-to-School Survival Kit Don't Go Nuts: one flavor, winner's choice, of each of these: 16oz. jar of soy spread, 1 box of snack bars (12), 1box of dips (8) Enjoy Life: 2 boxes of chewy bars, 2 boxes of decadent bars & box of pancake mix Good Health Snacks: Mickey Shaped Veggie Chips - 24 pack pantry box Peter Rabbit Organics: 1 case of pouches (10) Red Plate Foods: Sampler pack of their new granolas (Dark Chocolate, Vanilla Berry & Swirl) Skinny Pop: 5 SkinnyPacks Sneaky Chef: Chocolate No-Nut Butter and Creamy No-Nut Butter - 2 cases each (6 jars/case) SunButter: Gift Box Stationery Studio: $50 gift card StickerKid: 50 + FREE SHIPPING coupons for labels and wall decals Stonyfield Organic: $50 worth of coupons and a bag full of Stonyfield goodies.Sun Cups: Variety PackSurf Sweets: 30 bags of assorted single serve treats for a class party WOWBUTTER: 1 Case (6 Jars )
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: The participating blogs were not compensated for this post. A special thanks to all the participating sponsors and their generosity!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Why I Keep Making My Son Angry

Dear Son,

Right now you're in your room, slamming drawers and pouting. You just asked in a demeanor that makes me think your father has been letting you watch too many Avengers cartoons, "why I keep making you so angry".

kids need to do chores

And I'll tell you why, it's because I want you to grow up to be conscientious . I want you to be the kind of person that other people want to be around. The type that does his part, someone who is self sufficient. The type of person that people don't complain is an awful roommate in college because he can't grasp the concept of washing his dishes. The type of person that a woman will want to marry not just because he's a great guy, but because he doesn't leave his socks on the living room floor every night.

I get that at 4 you may not think it's important to put your laundry in the hamper but trust me when you are 28 and newly married this topic will come up frequently if you do not have your shit together. Let me put it this way 70% of the arguments your father and I have involve him not putting his laundry in the hamper, the other 29%, those socks left on the living room floor. You could save yourself 99% of your future spousal arguments by simply dropping your clothes in the right place.

And it's not just the clothes, which yes, you do need to put in the drawers after I've washed them. It's all the stuff in general. Cleaning up after yourself goes a long way in any relationship. And as your mother I feel this is my lesson to teach you. No one likes the guy who leaves his stuff everywhere, who can't be bothered to put his dishes in the dishwasher (not the sink, it's not layover on the way to the dishwasher), nobody wants to spend the rest of their life picking up someone else's underwear, no one wants to wonder why your mother never taught you how to take care of yourself.

So son, this is why I'm making you so angry about picking up your toys and putting away your clothes. This is why even at 4 I think it's important that you start learning to do your part around the house. No one wants to live with someone who can't do their part to keep the house clean, not at 4 and not at 40.

And, honey, trust me someday your future wife will be thankful to have found a kind, caring, funny guy who knows where his dirty socks go.