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Top Ten Tuesday: Things To Do Before School Starts

It's here, guys. The end of summer is nigh and the school year is fresh upon us. Are you ready? Please don't go into this next season feeling overwhelmed and unprepared! We've rounded up 10 easy ways to get a handle on this coming school year and help you make the most of these busy coming weeks.

You got this!

 TTT school starts small


Top Ten Things To Do Before School Starts


1) Fit in one last trip to Kings Dominion, Busch Gardens, or the beach. Give those season passes a workout!

2) Try on last year’s pants. It’s amazing how fast those kids grow. You don’t want to be caught (literally) without pants when the first cold snap hits!

3) Inventory the condition of everyone’s outerwear. Rain boots, snow boots, coats, jackets, umbrellas, snow pants, backpacks... Write down what fits, what’s torn, and what completely worn. Keep that list handy for clearance sales, yard sales, hand-me-down opportunities, etc.

4) Get your master calendar in order. Write down all teacher work days, holidays, half days, doctors appointments, try-outs, travel games, everything! It’s amazing how one forgotten half-day can throw your entire week out of whack.

5) Start sleeping on your school schedule. You don’t want to fight with wide awake kids at 9:00pm or drag cranky kids out of bed at 6:00am, if you can help it! Sleep is everything.

6) Start writing down flexible meal plans. Nothing set in stone, but something to give you an idea of what a typical day will look like and cost. For example:

Kiddos- Breakfast: yogurt, fruit, milk / Lunch: deli slices, string cheese, veggies, milk ( bought at school ) / Snack: goldfish and grapes / Dinner: tacos and raw veggies.

Parents- Breakfast: coffee, hardboiled egg, banana/ Lunch: leftovers or salad / Snack: Larabar or string cheese and fruit / Dinner: tacos and raw veggies.

Having this list tells me that each week I will probably need to prep veggies and hard boil eggs, make sure I have clean coffee thermoses, and put money in my child’s school account for milk. Be mindful of weekly events like Friday pizza night, Sunday brunch at mom’s, pizza day at school, birthdays, etc. That way you don’t over buy at the grocery store, you can keep staples like frozen pizza on deck, and keep an eye out for deals on items you always buy (I’m looking at you Goldfish).

7) Establish your zones. Have a spot for homework, a spot to keep important papers, and a work-free area to decompress. All three are equally important.

8) Upload your pictures. Do you use Shutterfly, mpix, or snapfish? Upload your favorite pictures from this summer and keep them in a marked folder, for easy access. The future you will be eternally grateful.

9) Get the necessary out of the way. Make sure you have all your little one’s shots and records updated, and all necessary paperwork completed before the school year starts.

10) Reflect. Come together as a family and discuss what your favorite parts about this summer have been and what you're looking forward to this coming school year. Bonus points for writing your answers down in a journal or scrapbook.


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Top Ten Tuesday: Surprise Benefits To Being A Mom

Back before having kids, many of us imagined the best parts of being a mom were snuggles (that's 100% accurate) and getting to buy adorable onesies. Sure, you were probably nervous and not looking forward to blowout diapers. That's totally normal! You expect the good with the bad, right? What you didn't anticipate, were all the awesome surprise benefits that came with being a mom. Here are just a few of our favorites!

TTT benefits being a mom

Top Ten Surprise Benefits To Being A Mom

  1. So much birthday cake is in your life! Once you have a baby, it seems like every week they receive a birthday party invite. Enjoy every minute of it, mama! Go to the parties. Connect with other parents. Let friends hold the baby while you pee and wolf down a colorful little paper plate full of watermelon and goldfish. When you’re offered a cupcake, eat the cupcake. Embrace the cupcake. It is awesome!

  2. Your love for Disney is rekindled. It’s probably been a good decade since you’ve sat through a screening of The Lion King. It’s seriously just as good as you remember it. Disney holds up, my friends. This is your chance to rewatch the classics and dive right into the new releases. 

  3. You never realized how cool dinosaurs actually were. Or trains, worms, rare birds, glitter… When your kids become interested in something they are INTERESTED. You’ll find yourself drawn into a million conversations surrounding the same topic. You’ll come home with library books about it, you’ll have YouTube videos saved in your phone about it. After awhile, you’ll basically be able to deliver a dissertation about dinosaurs/trains/ glitter/ whatever. If you’re being totally honest with yourself… You kinda start to understand the obsession. You may start reading articles about trains as they pop up in your newsfeed, or take pictures of cool White-breasted Nuthatches you come across. It's totally normal. 

  4. You find yourself actually understanding and loving sports. This goes along with #3. If you have a kiddo that slays at field hockey, baseball, etc., it doesn’t matter if you’ve never cared about sports in the past. You’ll totally find yourself so wrapped up in your child's games you won’t know what hit you. Eventually, you may find yourself watching professional sportsball on TV, with your kid. Not only that, YOU’LL UNDERSTAND WHAT’S HAPPENING AND CARE. I know! Crazy, right?

  5. You're thinking about your future and doing things about it. Before kids, “The Future” felt like such a far off, fuzzy place. Now, you’ve got goals and a roadmap to achieve them. You’re planning college, your retirement, and trips to Disneyland. It’s a lot to think about, but you're totally on top of it!

  6. You are so productive in the morning!  You used to wake up with just enough time to get ready for work and maybe hit the gym. Now? You do more before 8:00am than some people do in a day. 

  7. Nothing grosses you out anymore. Vomit, boogers, pee, drool. No biggie. Your kid hands you a slug. You're more upset about having to wipe the goo off her hands again. Nothing fazes you, man. You are a rock.

  8. Your heart is ten times bigger. You went from being the girl who never cried during sad movies, to a hot sobbing mess over cereal commercials. You feel other people’s pain and happiness with a whole new intensity, and your own even more so. It’s as though every time you have a baby, your heart grows a little bigger.

  9. They are the ultimate excuse to get out of that awkward social engagement you’re dreading. “Ohhhh, yeah sorry. We can’t make it. The baby goes to bed around that time and he would be a total wreck. Got to keep him on the schedule! Sorry!”

  10. You get to do so many FUN things, without feeling silly - Do you want to hunt for painted rocks downtown and then go get ice cream? How about watch Cars 3, in the theater? Or spend Saturday morning binge watching Phineas and Ferb, on Netflix? Of course you want to do those things! Would they feel a little silly to do alone as an adult? Yeah, kind of. Thank goodness you have kids!

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Pouches' Community Corner

Trains, Planes and Automobiles Kids' Race Series


From a small beginning, Cathy Weise of the Ron Rosner YMCA has developed an ambitious three-race series for kids for this summer, with the help of The Great Train Race, Shannon Airport, Dominion Raceway & Entertainment, the Fredericksburg Area Service League and Race Timing Unlimited.

Great Train Race Director Jennifer Taylor was one of the first on board.