INSTAGRAM MESSAGE: THIS TIME NEXT WEEK THESE 3 WILL BE POSING FOR A FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL PIC LIKE THIS (2015-2016).

INSTAGRAM MESSAGE: THIS TIME NEXT WEEK THESE 3 WILL BE POSING FOR A FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL PIC LIKE THIS (2015-2016).

This has been my first summer of having the perfect balance between being active and relaxing. The perfect yin of my kids fighting to the yang of them being swell playmates.  Most summers I am too busy to enjoy it and one summer I made the mistake of scheduling nothing and I was kicking myself after 2 weeks.  This summer, for a change, I am one of the moms that wishes my kids didn’t have to go back to school so soon. They go back to school in a week. Whaaa!

I probably should have been tapering the sleep time for the kiddos a week or two ago. In other words, shut down the summer late night hours and ease into the early morning wake ups.  But like I said, I’ve been living in bliss this summer so this will be an abrupt change in our daily routine.  The ugliness of adjusting our sleep patterns awaits. Yippee!

Another dramatic change from summer to school year is - media time.  This will not only be tough for the kids but what about me?  Media was a perfect way for them to transition from hot, sweaty outdoor activities to going with me on errands. Every morning my kids would get dressed for the day and brush their teeth as soon as they woke up because they knew if it was already 8am, chances of them watching TV or playing on the iPad were pretty good.  Now what will I use to get them to accomplish these vital steps in order to leave for school on time? When school starts - we go back to the “No Media M-F” rule. None. At all. Let me clarify - no TV or iPad. With the exception of some sporting events.  Other than that, the kids have to wait till 5p on Friday nights to watch their goofball shows or play Madden or Minecraft on the iPad. If you think the kids will be tortured, think of me! Ay caramba!

But change is good. Over the weekend I cleaned out both kids’ closets. “Donations” in one bag, “To Sell” in another, and “Save-for-the-nieces-and-nephew” in another bag. What was cool about this process was learning that there is a difference between what I wanted their style to be and what they actually wear. This awareness will change my spending habits for sure. Right now their closets are pristine (I promise to do this once a quarter).  All I have to replenish are: 1) underwear and socks. Easy…Mini Boden.  2) My son needs shorts - only the athletic kind. No more shorts from Crew Cuts, Gap or Oscar de la Renta (don’t ask).  Just Under Armour or Nike. 3) For my daughter, she just needs a few more shirts - the kind that are long enough to cover her booty. {I miss uniforms}. Our school provides all the supplies we need so our only school shopping consists of new backpacks and tennis shoes.  I’m proud to say that those items are checked off the list. Boo-ya!

A sign of maturity when he doesn't want Star Wars or Super Hero pictures on his backpack. He chose this one out of the many, many we saw at Target.

A sign of maturity when he doesn't want Star Wars or Super Hero pictures on his backpack. He chose this one out of the many, many we saw at Target.

1 pair of tennis shoes for P.E. and the other pair for the rest of her wardrobe. We had to order her  back pack  off of Amazon because Target would have been too easy for me.

1 pair of tennis shoes for P.E. and the other pair for the rest of her wardrobe. We had to order her back pack off of Amazon because Target would have been too easy for me.

Folks, the purging didn’t stop at the kids’ closets.  I also cleaned out the toy closet!  Sorted: “Donate”,  “Pass Along” and “Trash”. It felt so good to drop off the toys to Good Will today!  With all that gone, it changed the way the closet was set up. Now that I could see all the remaining toys, I became aware of how many great board games we have. I’m inspired to re-establish Family Game Night again.  And since I’ll be the M-F evil media dictator, I am hoping the kids will resort to the board games to keep them out of trouble. Come on, a girl can dream. Sigh!

Did I stop? No, I kept going (to the tune of Ice, Ice Baby)… I purged our packaged food items in our pantry.  Oh yes I did.  I’m making a change to try to make snacks instead of buying packages. The key word is TRY.  Who knows what can happen but I’m starting off the new school year with a clutter-free pantry!! Bon Appetit!

My reward for this pantry purging is finding this bad boy that I hid long ago. Which I’ll have to eat now. You know. Because of the change and all. Come to Mama!

My reward for this pantry purging is finding this bad boy that I hid long ago. Which I’ll have to eat now. You know. Because of the change and all. Come to Mama!

From here, my “To Do” list is relatively easy because it’s what I do EVERY single year.  It's my way of giving my kids thoughtful pinches.  The night before school starts I:  A) give each child a (little kit) - replenished because the hershey kiss and lifesaver are always gone by the first day.  B) sign their Back to School cards and set them on the breakfast table. C) hang the banners in their doorways and D) write a cheerful message on their mirrors.   

Change is good but traditions rock. 

Pinches,

Barb

Epic Party

To Gather