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How do you handle the chaos that comes with getting back into the school routine?

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The Back to School season is among us and that means lot of running around and juggling multiple responsibilities & hectic schedules.  

Getting the kids to school, shuffling them to after school activities & recreational sports, house chores, last minute errands... the list goes on and on.

We gave 20 moms of CafeMom a $100 American Express gift card to go shopping for any of their last minute Back to School needs.  We asked them to tell us what they bought but also to share their thoughts on staying connected with the kids, keeping their kids safe and more.


How do you handle the chaos that comes with getting back into the school routine?

busy mom         school bus

by on Sep. 9, 2013 at 1:51 PM
Replies (91-100):
mrswillie
by on Sep. 15, 2013 at 7:36 AM
Great smiles.

Quoting DaMama16:

OMG! Chaos is sooo the right word for what we've experienced the last few days! :)  Hi my name is Alex and I'm the proud mom of 2 beautiful kids, my DD Leilani, will be 9 next week and just started 4th grade.  My DS, Cruz, will be 3 in October and was just introduced to the world of pre-school after having been taken care of at home by a sitter.

We're still trying to get it together. The kids go to different schools, which are in opposite directions of each other.  We live in Secaucus, NJ.  I'm a full time working mom and my DH is a Police Officer with crazy hours.  We don't have a very large support system near us but somehow we'll make it work!

There are a couple of things that have been key to keeping on top of things but the most important is COMMUNICATION!   The DH used to play HS & College Football and I'm a Project Manager by trade so we're constantly running through the "plan" for each day (who's doing what in the morning, who's taking who to school, who's doing pickups in the evening, who's covering books, what paperwork needs to get filled out, who's cooking dinner, etc. etc.)  It's also important to communicate with our kids.  I love to take advantage of the 1 on 1 time I have with my daugther when driving her to school in the morning.  It helps me learn how things are going at school, learn about her teachers and friends and any important upcoming dates/projects.  She's growing up so fast and it's nice to have some special mommy/daughter time.

The other thing we rely on to keep it together is TECHNOLOGY.  The DH and I used a free calendar to schedule all types of things that have an impact on the family.  This way we don't forget anything.  Our daughter's school sends updates through a Honeywell System which sends us emails, voicemails and text messages.  Our son's pre-school uses a software called Tadpole to provide us with daily updates on how he's doing with naps, food and potty breaks.  It's amazing what you can do these days to stay organized and in the know.

As much as I like to brag about how organized I can be, I've definitely been a little behind on a lot of things.  I was so happy to be a part of this program.  The $100 gift card couldn't have come at a better time. I ran out to finish up all the pesky back to school errands like buying my DS some more clothes, a book bag and lunch box (forgot he needed that stuff).  I was also able to get my DD some school supplies, an adorable lunch box and some much needed undershirts.  Check out the cute pics of them below :)

I'm hoping we'll have our "routine" together soon! But until then... WISH US WELL!!! HAHAHAHA


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
mrswillie
by on Sep. 15, 2013 at 7:37 AM
1 mom liked this
Awesome pictures.

Quoting countrygirlkat:

Chaos sounds about right, lol.  My name is Kathleen and I am a 32 year old SAHM to three boys ages 7, 6 and 2 and wife to my wonderful DH for the past 9.5 years.  This summer we moved from a small town in Colorado near the Wyoming and Utah borders to a small town on the border of Texas and New Mexico and so far we are enjoying living in Texas.  My older two boys started school here this past week in the 2nd and 1st grade and so far are loving the new school. 

I tried to start preparing my kids to get into the back to school routine a few weeks before school started by having them start going to bed earlier, working on some refresher school work each day and staying on a better schedule.  I think that helped a lot to prepare them for the start of school.  Our school here starts at 8:05 but they serve free breakfast to all kids starting at 7:40.  We only live about 5 blocks from the school so we all bike there each day.  I wake them up at 6:45 and they get dressed and brush their teeth, make their beds and drink some juice and eat a bit of fruit.  I pack their lunches if they are taking lunches and I shower while they are eating.  Then we all pile up on the bikes and head to the school where they eat breakfast and head off to learn.  My youngest and I head home and clean, play, do speech therapy and he naps during the day.  Then we bike back over to pick them up after school.  We all eat dinner around 6:00 each night together after DH gets home from work and then it is homework and bedtime. 

We have yet to get them involved in any activities down here yet but in our old town they did swim lessons, soccer, t-ball and church school over the years.  The religious ed at our new church starts in a few weeks so they will do that and then my oldest is going to start guitar lessons soon.  We also own horses so we love to ride as a family, bike and team rope and hike.  I am getting a large Sandra Boyton calendar I will keep on the wall that helps keep track of everybody and their schedules.  I try to keep things packed and ready for activites as much as possible and do have certain things that are left in my vehicle to make things easier.  We try to walk or bike as many places as possible but we do use our trucks a lot too.  I have snacks that I keep in the truck and then we take water bottles with us places.  I also keep extra diapers and wipes in the truck, a first aid kit, kleenex, benadryl, and a whole bag of toys and books.  Sometimes I will keep the kid's bikes in the back of the truck too. 

We were so excited to receive the gift card from Chevy Traverse and CafeMom.  When we went school shopping we only had enough money for the basics and that was in part from our parents giving us a little money.  It was just so soon after the expensive move and we were tight on money.  We got all of their supplies and basic shoes and clothing but couldn't get them anything else.  My kids are cowboys.  We live in a small Texas town like I said and they ride our horses a lot and they wear their western clothing all of the time.  To us cowboy hats are just another part of an outfit and always worn on nice and special occasions as well as many times for everyday.  We felt so bad that they wouldn't be getting new hats for school this year.  Their old ones are almost 2 years old and get worn and torn in that time.  We promised them we would get hats for them as soon as possible, hopefully before picture day.  Receiving this gift card was definitely a blessing for us for this reason!  Decent cowboy hats are not cheap and as they get older we need to buy better quality ones.  At this point we can still get away with about $50 a hat but soon it will be much more, lol.  We live so far in the middle of nowhere I order most things online and these are no exception.  So, here is a picture of the hats I ordered for them(they picked them out).  When we get the hats I will try to come back and update with pictures of them in the hats but just for fun I will post a picture of them in their old hats so you know what I am talking about, lol.


Jason Aldean Resistol Asphalt Cowboy Hat





Shipping: Factory Shipped-allow extra 2-4 weeks for delivery


Size: S






Bullhide Kingman 4X Black Wool Cowboy Hat





Shipping: Drop shipped directly from manufacturer


Size: 6 3/4






Posted on CafeMom Mobile
mrswillie
by on Sep. 15, 2013 at 7:37 AM
1 mom liked this
Wow you got lots of stuff.

Quoting kgmmw:

Mobile Photo

Hello ;) I'm Kimberly. I live in Ky. I have four kids ages 8,7,5 and a 2 wk old. My dd is in the third grade,ds is in the second grade, and my 5 yr old ds is in kindergarten.



In our household we are very busy. With a newborn I am busy throughout the day while the kids are at school but once the kids get home it's total chaos. Although they aren't in activities just yet, we are busy doing homework, eating dinner, baths, story time and bed. We always get school clothes and book bags out at night time to make the mornings a little easier.



We started back to school shopping a little before school started but didn't buy too much. On our shopping trip we got clothes for each kid in school. We found lots of great end of summer deals. The kids really enjoyed picking out new clothes. Here is a picture of all the great clothes we got.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
mrswillie
by on Sep. 15, 2013 at 7:38 AM
DSD used to love hello kitty.

Quoting drhair:

My name is Grace and I have two children. My son is nine and in the fourth my daughter is seven in the second grade. We just recently moved to Alpharetta, Georgia and we love it. Coming from New Jersey our children ended their school year in late June and they started their school year here in the middle of August. It was a short summer for them so I had a very chaotic summer but nothing helps more then a steady ROUTINE. 

After school activities are keeping us very busy my daughter dances three days a week and my son just joined baseball so we are always on the go. Snacks have to be ready and dinner always has to be between 5 and 6pm so that everyone is ready for bed at 9pm. If we feed them too early they will be hungry before dinner and they will need a snack and that annoying...lol Everything has its time and day. I also do grocery shopping on certains days a and I try to also work out 4 days a week. So in the end what is my secret to avoid the craziness?? A schedules Routine! 

Here is a pic of the items I bought to get ready for this school year....notebooks, crayons, backpacks and SNACKS!!


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
dommad2
by Member on Sep. 15, 2013 at 8:25 AM
We really did!

Quoting mrswillie:

Looks like you all had fun.



Quoting dommad2:

So on September 6th I spent 3 hours typing and perfecting my post for the Traverse Influencer assignment, and apparently did not post it. So here's my hours of work, sadly 3 days late.









Hi, my name is Tamara. I am a 30 year old SAHM of two kids. I have also been married for 5 years to my husband Josh. We have one son and one daughter. Domenick is 10 and in 5th grade. Madelynn is 6 and in 1st. They are both very outgoing active kids.






 Domenick is in advanced classes, he plays the tenor sax, he runs cross country, he takes STEM classes at the library, and he dances Hip-hop at our local studio.






Madelynn is also a dancer. She takes Tap, Jazz, and ballet at the same studio.






Between my two kids and the three I nanny during the day I live in my van! We head out at 8:15am to drive Maddy to school and go to our morning activity. We make it home by 10:00am, have lunch at 11:00am, and then the other kids get dropped off at school at 1:00pm.






This is when I get a three hour break from the kids but not my car. I get thehouse cleaned and all of my errands run just in time to get back for Domenick. We get homework and chores done and then hit the road again. This is everyday and I live off of it!






I was so thrilled to be selected for the program and did a little dance when my gift card came in the mail on Tuesday the 4th. I sat down with my husband that night to plan out when I would do the shopping. Wednesday night was out because of dance class, Thursday night out due to choir practice, and we were going our of town for the weekend in celebration of our sixth wedding anniversary!






Then Josh came up with a "brilliant" plan! I could go Thursday during the day because the kids were off of school! (This is when you can tell he wasn't volunteering to go himself...) It was a great plan though because whats more authentic than me with all four kids!?!






However well laid out the plan though, life always changes things. Domenick came home from school on Wednesday, at 3:15. and did not bring the shoes he needed for dance. The school was closed so.....off to the store we ran!






We made it to Payless and picked out new gym shoes JUST in enough time to run back home, pick up Maddy, and get to dance on time. One crisis over and another in the wings!






Surprisingly shopping Thursday went very smoothly!

We got Domenick 4 pairs of jeans, 2 T-Shirst, 4 Button ups, his dance sneakers, and a Hoody.

Maddy got 2 dresses, 2 Skirts, 2 Shirts, and a pair of knee high boots!



I am posting a ton of pictures from our trips!







Thank you so much CafeMom and Chevy Traverse!

Kaci
by Bronze Member on Sep. 15, 2013 at 1:23 PM
We were always prepared for the next day the night before. Makes things less hectic
Bmat
by Bronze Member on Sep. 15, 2013 at 3:44 PM

We keep it low key and as just part of life.

Bob192
by Bronze Member on Sep. 15, 2013 at 11:02 PM

Looks like you all got loaded up!!

Quoting DaMama16:

OMG! Chaos is sooo the right word for what we've experienced the last few days! :)  Hi my name is Alex and I'm the proud mom of 2 beautiful kids, my DD Leilani, will be 9 next week and just started 4th grade.  My DS, Cruz, will be 3 in October and was just introduced to the world of pre-school after having been taken care of at home by a sitter.

We're still trying to get it together. The kids go to different schools, which are in opposite directions of each other.  We live in Secaucus, NJ.  I'm a full time working mom and my DH is a Police Officer with crazy hours.  We don't have a very large support system near us but somehow we'll make it work!

There are a couple of things that have been key to keeping on top of things but the most important is COMMUNICATION!   The DH used to play HS & College Football and I'm a Project Manager by trade so we're constantly running through the "plan" for each day (who's doing what in the morning, who's taking who to school, who's doing pickups in the evening, who's covering books, what paperwork needs to get filled out, who's cooking dinner, etc. etc.)  It's also important to communicate with our kids.  I love to take advantage of the 1 on 1 time I have with my daugther when driving her to school in the morning.  It helps me learn how things are going at school, learn about her teachers and friends and any important upcoming dates/projects.  She's growing up so fast and it's nice to have some special mommy/daughter time.

The other thing we rely on to keep it together is TECHNOLOGY.  The DH and I used a free calendar to schedule all types of things that have an impact on the family.  This way we don't forget anything.  Our daughter's school sends updates through a Honeywell System which sends us emails, voicemails and text messages.  Our son's pre-school uses a software called Tadpole to provide us with daily updates on how he's doing with naps, food and potty breaks.  It's amazing what you can do these days to stay organized and in the know.

As much as I like to brag about how organized I can be, I've definitely been a little behind on a lot of things.  I was so happy to be a part of this program.  The $100 gift card couldn't have come at a better time. I ran out to finish up all the pesky back to school errands like buying my DS some more clothes, a book bag and lunch box (forgot he needed that stuff).  I was also able to get my DD some school supplies, an adorable lunch box and some much needed undershirts.  Check out the cute pics of them below :)

I'm hoping we'll have our "routine" together soon! But until then... WISH US WELL!!! HAHAHAHA



captainjack
by Member on Sep. 16, 2013 at 1:05 PM

We plan for the week.

Babygirl384
by on Sep. 17, 2013 at 8:20 PM
The night before school I had their uniform ready backpack ready and I shop for they school clothes 1 month ahead before school start I shop online on clearance
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