Back-To-School Blues

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It’s with great sadness that I write, summer is unofficially over. I always consider back-to-school the “new year” and even though there are technically many more days left of summer, I equate school with Fall and Fall with, “winter’s just around the corner”.

Back-to-school time is when we are bombarded with lists of what we need. Christmas is the only other time of year where wish lists meets crazed parents and the result is a frenzied shopping spree. We’re hoping to make things a bit easier for you with our back-to-school guide of must-haves and nice-to-haves.

Let’s all try to keep our sanity for as long as possible once the busyness of school, work, activities, homework and reports takeover. We’ve got some tips for finding your zen . . . or maybe just surviving the dinner hour!

As always we’ve got some great guests lined up. One mom shares the experience of taking her first-born to kindergarten for the first time, and to contrast another mom bravely shares the emotions she felt as she pulled away from the university dorm for the first time.

Our theme week is definitely going to be “bookmark” worthy because we are sharing our best, time-saving, sanity soothing mom hacks.   The debate over school uniforms and dress codes proves to be a hot-button topic and is this month’s At Issue.

We are introducing a new feature this month What We’re Watching, a roundup of binge-worthy television and movies with the occasional podcast thrown in for good measure.   WWW will replace Best of the Blogosphere and we will continue to share content from fellow bloggers on our Facebook page, so be sure to follow us there and share what you’re reading too!

Wishing you happy school days!

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When Bird Woke Up, He Was Grumpy

When Marcelle woke up, she was grumpier still.

We’re on day two of a project to convert our household of larks into early birds. It’s a new world for us: Peter has returned to school part-time and has new job that requires him to be out the door early. I’m trying to accommodate his schedule, the boys’ activities, and the demands of my job. All of this means that I’m trying to get up and out the door significantly earlier than I used to, and consequently, every one else is up early too.

So far, so good.  I’ve not yet bitten off the head of any of my colleagues.

The week is young, yet.

We’re really not morning people. Not one of us. If I were to give in to my own natural rhythm, I’d happily fall asleep at 3 a.m and wake at 10. I’m also a frequent insomniac. Over the Christmas holidays, the boys regularly stayed up until 10:30 (not entirely with our permission, granted) and slept until 10 am. It’s a pattern I’ve seen before. When the boys were babies, each of them transitioned from waking every two hours to waking every three hours to eventually settling into a pattern where they’d wake at around five to nurse and then happily doze for another four or five hours at a stretch. Their longest stretch of sleep, both of them, was usually at a time when most babies were dragging their exhausted parents out of bed for the day. It drove me crazy that our local parenting centre didn’t schedule any activities after 11 am, when my kids both were finally raring to go. Even now, we’re usually dragging their little tushes out of bed at the last possible second, both of them clutching their pillows, chanting my morning mantra: just five more minutes. Just five more minutes.

We live, perpetually, on Pacific Time.

It’s ironic that dawn is my favourite time of day, because I so rarely see it, unless I’ve just not yet made it to bed. This morning, as I set off to work, the sun was just barely pushing its light through the grey, snow dusted sky. I would happily have stayed out there longer, breathing in the damp air, feeling myself awaken to the day. But I had other priorities. As I squeezed myself onto a crowded subway car (so much busier than the one I usually take at 9:05) I wondered what in the world I’d gotten myself into, agreeing to join ranks with the worm eaters. Given my choice, I’ll take the cheese, myself.