Monday, September 23, 2013

Routines and back to school . . .

My babies went back to school is August . . . we had loads of good fun over the summer.  We traveled all up the east coast, did some local adventures and had fun at camp, but I think we were all ready for a routine.  Now that all the homework, sports and early mornings are back in full swing, we are all counting down the days until summer break. 
When did they get so big?  Seriously.  Amanda is in 3rd grade this year, and Kyle is in 5th grade.  
This guy . . . in middle school.  I die.  I hate that he's on a different schedule . . . I feel like I get a lot less time with him than I used to, and it makes me sad.  Middle school starts at 9:15 a.m. and doesn't release until 4:15 p.m.  He gets home around 4:30 and relaxes for about a second before we start running.  Some days literally since it's Cross Country season. 
I remember when he went to Kindergarten, and we were the only two awake in the house on those early mornings.  It was a special time for me.  So this year I try to just hang out with him before school and take advantage of our time together . . . I have about a million other things to do but pretty soon he'll be gone, and I just can't waste a second.
Speaking of school starting, wanna know my double top secret magic for being a kick ass room mom and general suck up?  Ready? 
The Back-to-School Teacher Happy Box! 
(cue ohh's and ahh's)
I started this a few years back and (obviously) it was well received.  I think I now have a rep so I've kept up with it . . . tip, it will end when your kids go to middle school.  Ain't nobody got time for that much sucking up.  Even me.
So I fill it with (mostly) inexpensive goodies that I think will make their life easier.  I had to get creative this year because both of the teachers my younger ones have were Ryan's teachers in those grades.  Did you follow that?  I barely did. 

Here's what I put in the boxes this year . . .
. . . along with a handwritten note telling them how much we appreciate them.  I've saved a copy of the note because really, it's brilliant and assuming we have new teachers, I get to use it again.  I know you want it.  So fine, here you go . . .

Dear Ms. _________,
Being a teacher is a labor of love and often times a thankless profession!  Our family appreciates the time and energy that you devote to your students and classroom.  Here is a little care package that will hopefully come in handy this year!  We wanted you to know how thankful we are that you are ___________’s teacher and look forward to the rest of the year!

And here's the list of items I've included in the past . . . do you see how easy I'm making your life?  You're welcome.  And your teacher will thank you too! 

  • Chocolate
  • Twizzlers/Swedish Fish (or other non-chocolate candy)
  • Gum
  • Mints
  • Crystal Light packets
  • Lance crackers
  • Lint brush
  • Clear nail polish
  • Nail file
  • Manicure kit
  • Sewing kit
  • Hand held mirror
  • Plastic silverware
  • Straws
  • Thank you notes
  • Blank envelopes
  • Postage stamps
  • Various sizes of Post-It Notes
  • Dental floss
  • Mouthwash
  • Chapstick
  • Advil/Tylenol packets
  • Cough drops
  • Lotion
  • Masking or Painter's tape
  • Super glue
  • Spray air freshener
  • Change for the vending machine
  • Gift card for the classroom
Yes, I'm that good.  If you doubted before, now you know.  I might just "pin" this to Pinterest my own damn self.  Also known as shameless self promotion.  #someone'sgottodoit

And know what else?  I make a bee line to the classrooms on open house so I can get my name on that Room Parent line before I have to bump somebody off for it.  Occasionally a teacher makes a wrong move and denies me.  I give her the side eye and hand the box over anyway.  It cuts me deep to be denied, but I'm sure they regret it.  Right?  Tell me yes.  The crazy here is duly noted.

And finally, on the subject of back to school, a very innocent back to school pet happened.  Accidentally. 

Amanda and I were doing a little back to school shopping.  To be fair, it was for clothes.  And then some how we ended up at PetSmart and well, fish happens.  (See what I did there?)  Meet Prince.
I text Getzy to ask how much he loves "his girls."  He indicates a lot, and I tell him to remember that.  Amanda is legitimately worried.  Me, not so much.  I mean a fish?  Come on, I've done way worse.  Check it out here.

Getzy was not happy, but I had a loophole.  Freaking brilliant if you ask me.  Amanda used HER birthday money to buy said fish so technically the cashier was to blame for letting a little girl pay.  He pretty much just face palmed, shook his head and mutter something.  I'm pretty sure it was along the lines of "So glad you gals brought home a new fish."  Because he's kind of a pet hoarder. 

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