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Since school starts next week for my boys, I thought I’d share five back to school tips that I have found particularly helpful.

Tip #1: Get into the swing of things now

If you’re like me, you’ve let your kids sleep in until 8 am and get dressed around 10 am all summer long. Which is fine right up until the first day of school when the kids need to be up and dressed by 6:45 and out the door by 7:30. So this year I have instituted a “Going Back to School” schedule. The whole family is starting their day just as if school had already started. That means earlier bed times and wake ups, beds made, dressed, fed and ready to face the day by 7:30 am. At least I can get the grumbling out of the way now instead of on the first day of school.

Lunch BoxTip #2 Plan out those lunch menus

I’ve blogged about menu planning before but I think it’s important enough to repeat here. Sit down with your kids and plan out a couple weeks worth of lunch menus which all of you can live with. And, if your child packs his or her own lunch, they have a guide to what to bring for lunch on any particular day. It really nips the whole “But I didn’t know what to make so I took candy instead” argument in the bud.

Tip #3: Go to Back to School Night

Even if you are exhausted from a long day at work, the kids are cranky, and it’s pouring rain/sunny and 150 degrees. Everyone is nervous about that first day of school and it isn’t just limited to your kids.

The teacher is getting a whole new set of children in the classroom, 5 year olds are heading to a new phase of their life, and you need to get a feel for the classroom and teacher. So, it’s a good thing to meet & greet before that first day of school.

Tip #4: Create a Central Calendar

Everyone in the family has a list of activities that come in to the house through a number of ways, i.e. through papers coming home from school, emails from colleagues, party invitations sent in the mail. The best way to coordinate schedules is to use a central calendar. There are literally hundres of calendars available through stores and the Internet for you to use. Pick one and post it where everyone can see it (even the 3 foot tall kindergartner!).

Tip #5: Spend Time With Your Kids

It will be all too soon that they are gone all day and involved in their own lives once school starts. While you, and I, may look forward to that, the excitement wears off pretty quickly. So, take the time now to let your kids know that you love them and that you are there for them (no matter what happens). Enjoy it becuase childhood doesn’t last forever.

Do you have any back to school tips? Please share them with me!

[juiceboxjungle height=”396″ width=”320″ video=”iframe/embed/68752_2009-03-13-122952?amazon_id=diaryofawahm-20″]

More parenting videos on JuiceBoxJungle

Ooo talk about a controversial subject! As a WAHM, tv time (excessive vs none) is thrown into my face everyday. But each day is different depending on what’s going on. I have a meeting or need to get some work done and the boys are bored. What do I do? If the weather is good, outside they go. They’ve got decent imaginations and a buttload of toys in the backyard.

But if the weather is bad, I might: 1) turn on the tube and put on Diego; or 2) send them to their room to play until I am done with my meeting; or 3) wait for naptime to get the really big stuff done.

Not the world’s most perfect solution but it is a solution. And, truthfully, there are some days when I don’t monitor their tv time as closely as I should and they end up watching it most of the day.

Am I a bad mom? Nope. Am I a busy, full time employee with three energetic and easily bored boys? Yep.

Can I afford day care? Nope. Is it easier to let the boys watch tv while I keep a roof over our heads, food on the table, and clothes on our backs? Yep.

So really it’s a balance and I figure that, in the end, the time I do spend with my kids (which is a lot) will undo most of the stuff that tv is doing to them to begin with.

What do you think? Are you okay with tv in moderation or are you no tv household? Let me know!

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

I can’t believe it’s been nearly two years since my last party! Sheesh, where does the time go? Anyway, pull up a chair and hang out with me! And, while you’re visiting, feel free to sample a “Blogging Betty,” a cocktail for all you blogging moms out there.

Blogging Betty, a recipe from “Blogging with Moxie” by the girls at Moxie Design Studios

  • 6 oz chilled pink champagne
  • half a shot of peach nectar
  • drizzle of raspberry liqueur
  • fresh raspberries

Using a chilly cold champagne flute, pour in the peach nectar and then the liquer. Fill to to the top with pink champagne and garnish with yummy fresh raspberries. For an even chillier treat, add in frozen raspberries!

April's Mini-Me

Join me all week as I hand out more fabulous recipes and if you comment, I’ll add in you into a drawing for a personalized Mini-me, like the one to the left.

There are just too many cool prizes listed on The Ultimate Blog Party 2009 Prize Page. I want all of it. Really. I’d be happy with anything on the list. But, if I have to choose, the following piques my interest the most: 14, 57, 66, 111, INTL 36, USC 8.

Sunday Party Blog – Muffins for all! Take a moment just for yourself and have a muffin. Or two. Or three.

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