10. Calendar I’m a huge calendar fan, and I sync my iPhone to the desktop that sits in our family room so that we’re all working from the same electronic calendar. On the fridge I use a white board weekly calendar to plot out school activities (who needs swim stuff? library books? an early start for cross-country?) and meal planning. This year I’ve also added a large 2’x3′ wall decal calendar from Pottery Barn that the kids are free to add their own plans on to (birthday parties, playdates, etc).
We’re approaching the end of the first month of school, but every time I turn around we’re starting a new program or filling out a new form, so I can’t say we’ve completely found our groove yet. While the newness of our routine is still with me, I thought I’d share my own personal top ten must-haves for the start of the school year.
9. Labels You’ve invested a lot in new shoes, new lunch boxes, water bottles and knapsacks. Unless you want to replaces all of those over the next few months, invest in some labels. I’m a fan of Mabel’s Labels because of their cute designs and variety of styles.
8. First aid kit When was the last time you freshened up your first aid kit. I’ve spent the summer carting bandages, antihistamines, Children’s Advil and cough and cold medicine back and forth between home and the cottage, losing bits along the way. I use September to take stock and restock.
7. Bottle of wine Speaking of restocking, make sure you’ve got a bottle of wine in the wine rack at all times. You never know when you’re going to be invited over to a friend’s while after a school meeting, or enjoy an evening at home with your spouse while the kids are at sleepovers. Like a boy scout, be prepared!
6. Frozen pizzas I’ve been good this school year at plotting and planning meals for the entire week on Sunday, and I’m able to stick to the meal plan most nights. However, there always ends up being one evening when I’m running late from work, or the kids need to be at hockey early, and there is nothing faster than a frozen pizza to feed the masses!
5. Tissues Stock up on boxed tissues the next time you see them on sale at the grocery store. Every year around this time we get desperate pleas from teachers and class parents asking for donations for classes full of sniffling kids. You’ll also be glad for a tissue in your pocket as you drop your baby off at school for the first time!
4. A charged camera battery This is the one that almost got me on the first day of school. Kidshad their outfits, schedules and shoes, but I’d forgotten to charge the camera for that first day of school photo op. Because they had to wait for a my battery to charge, their smiles weren’t quite as fresh as they would have been earlier!!
3. A well-stocked stationery supply You’ll need to send notes to school regularly, thank you notes to your girlfriends for those nights of wine and laughter, notes to other parents to arrange playdates, and many other notes over the next few months. Keep your eyes open, and when you see some stationery that you like, stock up. You don’t want to be the parent who sends in a note to the teacher on the back of your VISA card statement!
2. A new cheque book Treat yourself to a fun design at the bank and splurge for a new cheque book….you’re going to spend an awful lot of time looking at it as you pay for program feed, parents’ association fees, agendas, uniforms, pizza lunch, field trips, school supplies, etc).
And the number one must-have on my back to school list?…
1. A good night’s sleep! We all do so much better approaching something new if we’re well rested and refreshed. So can someone please tell me where I can find this magical, mythical thing…this good night’s sleep??!!