You Know It’s the End of the School Year When…

If you’re a mom you don’t need to look at the calendar to know it’s the end of the school year. There are many signs, some obvious, others more subtle, to let you know your children are about to be home for the next two months or more. In case you didn’t realize, that’s 56 days, perhaps more depending on when your kids are getting out and when they go back.

That’s a lot of trips to the liquor store!

Take a look at these signs and how to deal with them to survive this crazy time of year.

Your child tells you his shirt is too short when he raises his hand in class. If your child says this you can simply tell him to just stop raising his hand. It’s an easy fix.

Your child tells you her pants are getting too short. There’s a simple answer to this one too. They’re not too short. They’re actually these really cool new type of pants that get shorter as it gets warmer so you can wear them as capris.

Your child tells you there are no more potato chips to take to school with his sandwich. Show him where the potatoes are and tell him to improvise. Wait, I still have to make sandwiches??

Your child brings home tests and papers from October. It’s unclear whether they were in their desk for this long or if the teacher just got around to giving them back now. Either way you no longer need a table cloth for your kitchen table because it is now covered with dittos and tests. Somehow you need to get rid of these when your child is not looking because you’re expected to keep every piece of paper they ever put their name on. #impossible

Oh look, another field trip permission slip is shoved in front of your face. So basically kids are not doing any more school work these last two weeks, is that right? Great.

Your child wants to wear a poop emoji shirt to school and you don’t even flinch. As long as it’s the rainbow poop emoji and not the original it’s all good. The original would be bad.

A birthday invitation for a classmate’s party in August comes home in June. You don’t even know this child. Your child “thinks” it’s the kid who sits in front of her. She’s not even sure! Did I mention the party is not until August?

Your child doesn’t want to get up for school and you don’t drag them out of bed. They won’t even notice if he’s late. Are they even taking attendance any more?

Your child’s book bag has a hole in it and he wants a new one for the last two weeks of school. No. Simply, no.

Third grade math has stumped your child and you are of no help, none whatsoever. Go in the bathroom and just Google the answer. She’ll never know and you won’t have to admit you can’t do third grade math. Five months ago you would have sat and down and tried to get the answer and explain it, but not now.

Your child wants to wear a wrinkled shirt to school. You let it slide. You have no interest in ironing. Your child could care less and at this point you’re right there with him.

End of the year activities are consuming you. Forget about keeping up with the Kardashians. You can’t keep up with the Kindergarteners.

Let’s do one more year-end fundraiser. Let’s not and say we did. #overit

Let’s face it, as much as the kids are going to get on your nerves over the summer, we’re all ready for a vacation from school and all the craziness that goes along with it. So when your kids are fighting over which Barbie gets the glitter dress, remember, it could be worse. You could be doing fractions and multiplication tables every night and making lunches…wait you will be in another 56 days! Happy summer!








A Letter to My Daughter on the Last Day of Kindergarten

Dear Mariella,

Where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday that I wrote a letter like this to you as you were starting Kindergarten. I was so excited for you as you started “big kid” school. I couldn’t wait for you to begin your little journey.

Now, here we are at the end of the school year. I am amazed at how much you have learned and how much you’ve grown. You can now write your name so much neater. It doesn’t look like a rainbow of letters searching for a home. You’ve mastered those pesky 2’s and 5’s. I can’t even remember what your old numbers used to look like. You can count to 100 without skipping a number. You were so proud this year once you made it to the “100” club. You made me proud too.

The reading. Oh, the reading. It has been wonderful to watch you discover words and sound them out. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been frustrating too. Sometimes Mommy forgets just how hard it is to learn to read. I’ve been doing it for so long I don’t remember what it’s like not to know words. I know it gets you mad when a “y” sounds like an “e” at the end. You can’t stand the fact that it’s just the way it is. Nevertheless, you read the words. I absolutely love when you read to me and your sister. It makes my mommy heart do cartwheels.

You’ve also came out of your little shell during this Kindergarten year. Gone is the little girl who used to hug my leg like a stage-four clinger. Gone is the little girl I would have to force to go play with the other kids before the school bell rang. Now, you just run off, never looking back. You’ve become quite the social butterfly, spreading your beautiful wings. Although it makes me a little sad inside, I know this is the way it’s supposed to be.

You’ve learned what it is to win and what is to lose. You’ve learned that just because you don’t get an award doesn’t mean you haven’t done well or accomplished your goals. Sometimes, things just don’t go your way. Sometimes other people win. That’s a part of life. Be happy for them and be proud of yourself at the same time.

On a lighter note, you’ve learned that it’s okay to use the school bathroom. It’s nearly impossible not to during a six hour day. I hope you are washing your hands like you claim. But, if you’ve noticed, when you get home I make you scrub like a doctor preparing for surgery…just in case.

I’m excited to hang out and do things with you over the summer before first grade starts.  I hope you are too. Please stop growing up so fast, my mommy heart just can’t take it.






A Letter to My Daughter As She Starts Kindergarten

Dear Mariella,

I can’t believe you are starting Kindergarten in just one week. It may sound cliché (not that you know what that means) but it really feels like just yesterday that I held you in my arms for the first time.

Although you’ve been going to pre-school for two years, Kindergarten is different. At least that’s what I’m told. I haven’t been there in some thirty years. Kindergarten is the start of “big kid” school. There are so many things you need to know. I know I’m not going to remember to tell you everything.

You’re about to learn so many things that your little head may spin. But, knowing you, you’ll be able to keep it all in check. You’ll learn how to write your name neater. You’re going to learn more numbers and hopefully your teachers can help you better with those pesky “2’s” and “5’s” you struggle with so much. You’re also going to learn more of those site words we started so you can read to yourself like you told me you wanted to. You can even borrow my book light that you stole off the counter.

You’re going to meet so many new kids. Some you’ll like some you won’t. Some kids may not like you either and that’s okay. I know that’s hard for you to understand. Some kids may even give you a hard time for one reason or another. That’s not cool, but it may happen, so be ready for it in case it does. It’s okay to stick up for yourself, just don’t get called into the principal’s office please.

When you’re at school, if you see or hear something that’s scary or dangerous, please tell your teacher. There are a lot of crazy things out there that I don’t want you to ever find out about, although I know someday you will. Now that you’re in “big kid” school I’m always going to be worried about your safety.

Be your own person. I know I’ve told you this so many times before, but don’t do something just because someone else is. You have a good sense of what’s right and wrong, so trust that little voice inside you.

I know you don’t like to do it, but you’re probably going to have to use the bathroom at school. You may even have to poop. It happens. Don’t fight it. Just do it. Remember no one will be there to wipe your butt or remind you to wash your hands. So please remember how very important these two things are.

I know as you make new friends, you’re probably not going to want or need me around as much. I guess that’s okay. It’s part of all the growing up you’re going to be doing over the years. Just remember, mommy is always here and I’m going to want to still do stuff with you even when you don’t want me to. Deal with it.

Oh Mariella, I can’t wait to see and hear about all the new things you’re going to do. This is such an exciting time for you. You’re probably going to deal with it a lot better than I will, so you may have to help me out a bit.

Have fun, please be good and remember to wash your hands!






My Dad Does Tricks & I Have a Brother

I’ve always known my daughter has an active imagination. A very active imagination. She makes up friends, talks to them, plays with them, and sits next to them at the table. She’s crazy when it comes to stuff like that. I just never thought she would take it outside the walls of our house. I was wrong.

This morning, we had our first parent-teacher conference. I was wondering what the pre-school teacher was going to say. I know they have been doing Kindergarten readiness tests with the kids, so I was very curious to see how she scored. As a parent, I was obviously concerned and wanted to make sure she was on track with everyone else. Thankfully, we’re just where we need to be when it comes to the ABC’s of learning and ready for Kindergarten in the fall.

The fun part came when the teacher went over some answers to some simple questions. She asked her when her birthday was and how old she was. July and 4.


She asked if she had a birthday party. Yes. She even named some people who were there.


She asked how many brothers and sisters she has. She answered correctly about her sister and then added that she has a five-year-old brother named Michael.

Wait, what? My husband and I started laughing. She has no real brother. At home she has an imaginary brother who pops up every now and again. We can’t tell who he resembles, but he’s there and sometimes has dinner with us…when he’s good, my daughter says. But, I never thought she would tell her teacher about him.  Like I said, she has a very active imagination.

Next, she was asked what Daddy does and where he works. She got the place right, but said he does “tricks”. He’s not a magician, but he does do a lot of fun things with them that could be considered “tricks” I guess.  Thankfully she didn’t say mommy does anything with “tricks” because if she did we would have had a lot more to talk about!

Then, she asked what I do. My daughter said I work at the same place as Daddy. I don’t. I am a SAHM and do some freelance writing. I was really  afraid she told her teacher I shop because that’s what she came home and told me she said one day. My daughter also said she told her teacher I drink wine. Not a lie, but not something I need to talk about with her teacher!

I guess the saying, “from the mouths of babes” is true. You never really know what kids are going to say. I know it could have been much worse. At least we got some good laughs!


“Mean Girls” Getting Younger & Younger

As a Mom, I’m always worried about my kids, especially when they are not with me. My oldest daughter will be spending more time away in the fall as she heads to Kindergarten . So, when I heard a bullying story involving 5-year-olds this morning, my ears immediately perked up. Apparently, the “mean girls” phenomenon is hitting girls younger and younger. Check out this clip from “Good Morning America” if you missed it today.

It’s so sad that things are like this these days.  Do you worry about bullying in school?

Trapper Keepers & A New School Year

Ever since I was a kid I’ve always loved the first day school. I loved the smell of new notebooks and pencils. I loved picking out new shoes for my school uniform and I really, really loved picking out a new Trapper Keeper. Yeah, I know I’m a weirdo. But, it’s the honest truth.

Besides the new Trapper Keeper and color coded folders, I think I’ve always liked a new school year because it signifies a beginning. Everyone gets a fresh start. There is the promise of something new. There is the anticipation and, of course, the fear of what lies ahead. There is so much to learn, so much to be discovered.

Although my school days are a part of history, I can still enjoy the start of a new school year vicariously through my children. I knew I had them for a reason! Even though my daughter is only in Pre-K and not yet fully invested in the whole school thing, I’m still excited.What can I say? I guess I’m still a bit of a nerd at heart.

I can’t wait to see all the projects she’s going to bring home. I can’t wait to hear about all the things she is going to learn.  I can’t wait to pack her little snacks. I could go on for days about all the things that I’m excited about, but you would probably fall asleep.

I always think of the beginning of the school year as a great time to start new things and new routines, no matter what age you are. It’s a great time to kick start a workout regime or maybe just work towards some type of personal goal. I know I have a lot of things in mind myself once I turn that calendar to September, which by the way is something else I love…switching the calendar to start a new month, but I digress. Anyway, I think you get the drift. This self-proclaimed nerd can’t wait for the start of the school year! Maybe I’ll even go out and buy myself a Trapper Keeper just for nostalgia 🙂

Surviving Pre-K

   They said it was going to happen and it did. Boy, did it happen. I’m talking about the tears on the first day of Pre-K. I’m not even talking about myself. I’m talking about my daughter. Yep, we were that family the first day of school.

   It’s a real shame, because it seemed so promising. My daughter was sooo excited about school. We even had a discussion about how Mommy and Daddy couldn’t stay and how she was going to make all new friends. She seemed okay with it all. She wasn’t. The excitement level disappeared and turned into sheer panic as soon as we motioned towards the door. The tears started and they did not stop. I mean they did not stop!
My heart broke into one-thousand little pieces. She was so upset. I was upset too. I really thought we had this thing in the bag. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

   After seeing how upset she was, I really didn’t know what to do. I looked around. No other kids were crying. No other parents were staying like they said we all could that day. I truthfully was waiting for another kid to crack. Nope. No other tears. Against my better judgement, I stayed. I was able to calm her down with the help of some Dora toys. Gracias Dora, I owe you one. Then I “went to the bathroom” and escaped until the shortened day was over. I could hear her ask for me a couple of times. But, she was also starting to play with the other kids and teachers. Thank God!

   When it was time to leave she seemed okay. She said she had fun, so I thought we were golden for day two. Once again, I couldn’t have been more wrong. I went in bribing her with pizza if she stayed without crying. Once again, everything was great until I said that dreaded word…bye. The eyes got watery. Then she told me she didn’t want pizza and wanted to go home! Okay, so I totally wasn’t expecting that one. I told her that wasn’t an option. But, she wasn’t buying what I was selling. After a couple of minutes of crying, the teacher told me to run for the border. She told me to just rip the band-aid. So, I did. I left me child sobbing as I walked down the hallway feeling like the worst mother in the world.

   Truthfully, I expected to get a call from the teacher at any moment telling me to come back and calm her down. But, after an hour passed without a call. I figured I was in the clear. But, I still felt like crap. I had planned to do so many things with just one child in tow. The weird thing was I felt lost. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t stop thinking about her and what she was doing. Was she still crying? Was she having fun? Was she making friends? I was driving myself crazy. So, I thought about what would make me happy. The answer was simple…retail therapy and caffeine. I have to admit it did help!

   When I arrived to pick her up, I was expecting to find a miserable little girl who was so mad at me for leaving her with strangers. Instead, I found a little girl who was so excited to show me her little project and tell me everything she did. She was so happy! And, guess what? She wanted her pizza too! Score 1 for Mom and Pre-K (atleast for now)!

Pre-K Pre-Jitters

   So, my baby starts pre-k next week and guess who’s nervous? Yep, me. I mean she could very well be nervous too and just not telling me. But, that’s what makes me nervous. She’s excited for now, but what’s going to happen the first day? She could be waving goodbye with a smile one minute and crying her eyes out the next. That’s what I’m nervous about.

   I know it’s just pre-k, but still, it’s her first school experience. I’ve left her with family before, but never with complete strangers. So, of course, this makes me nervous too. The school she’s going to has been in business for 49 years, so there is some comfort there. But, now they have my baby. That’s what I’m nervous about.

   On the list of “are you kidding me lady, chill out”, I’m also worried about what kind of snack to pack. They say to pack a “healthy” snack. Well, I have one of the pickiest eaters ever and healthy isn’t always on the menu, so this should be fun. Yes, I know this is dumb, but this is what I’m nervous about.

   Since we’re talking about the whole food thing, it would be a good time to mention the fact that we were sooo late to the lunchbox party. I figured shopping for a lunchbox two weeks before school would be okay. Yeah, I was wrong. I went to four stores. The stuff was so picked over and jammed together I thought I was watching “Hoarders”. Oh and since when are thermoses not included? For the love of God, I’m still trying to find a darn thermos! I remember the days of the old plastic lunchboxes that always came with a thermos…but I digress. Anyway, my daughter walked in wanting a Dora or Abbey lunchbox, but settled for Hello Kitty.  I know she doesn’t care, but this is what I’m nervous about.

   On the list of things she could care less about, but is giving me gray hair, is her outfit the first day of school. Of course I bought some new outfits, but they’re fallish. So what if it’s 85 degrees the first day of school? What does she wear? I know it doesn’t matter. But, this is what I’m nervous about.

   So folks, we’ll see what happens next week. I know in the end, we’ll find the “right” outfit , the “right” snack, and the “right” thermos. But, for now I’m just going to be nervous!