Back To School, the 2013 Edition

The letter from her teacher read:

Are you a kid who likes to have fun? (“Yes!” she shouted.) Do you like to play games and work with friends? Do you enjoy reading stories and using your imagination? (Vigorous head nodding ensued.) Do you like to solve math problems? Do you enjoy writing, drawing or creating art projects? (“I love all that”, she cried.) If you said “YES” to any of these questions, you will LOVE SECOND GRADE!

Piercing squealing followed. “MOMMY. I LOVE ALL THOSE THINGS. THIS YEAR IS GONNA BE GREAT!” (Are all second graders this enthusiastic? I think so.)


* * * *

My son’s response to his teacher assignment was more subdued – a fist pump, a “YEEEESSSSS!”, followed by “he has a couch in his room” signaled his approval of the teacher. I’m sure there was a casual hair flip somewhere in his comment. Because, you know, he is too cool for all that these days.

Until the texting between parents regarding teacher assignments kicked in. THEN he much more interested and enthusiastic…


 Not that you can tell it by this photo. Too cool, eh?

It has been a long summer, particularly for kids who are used to a six-week summer holiday. We didn’t get to do as much as we had hoped, and there has been a lot of stress, be it from to living on top of each other in cramped corporate housing, our move back to our old house (finally), and (ashamed to admit) not getting enough attention from me because I’ve been distracted by finalizing details of our kitchen renovation before it started.

We didn’t get to the pool as often as we would have liked.

We didn’t make as many excursions as I thought we would take.

They didn’t have enough playdates with friends to keep them from terrorizing each other by the start of August.

This summer has really been a huge missed opportunity, but thankfully, to steal a line from a friend “they don’t know how great our summers can be”. *next year*

So I’m ready to put this #momfail of a summer behind me, and start an awesome school year.

And it wouldn’t be the start of a new school year without one of the few Pinterest projects I can manage:

Second Grade Favorites

fourth grade favorites 2013

Overachiever Pinterest moms ain’t got nothing on me when it comes to back to school. Did you see those last-minute personally designed signs they are holding? Ok, not so impressive, but I made an effort.  My kids have escaped the madness of my Nikon for the better part of the summer, so I did have a blast shooting them and was chuffed that they were both ready on time – early, no less – to get pictures taken since last year we staged them at the end of the day.

They turned out well, despite all the, erm, *adjusting* that took place.


That’s my girl. It’s hard work to be that weighted down by glitter, sequins and pearl beads chic and stylish.

I still can’t get over how much they have changed since last year! Gone are the tidy be-uniformed and plaited British school children. Behold my new-and-improved all-American kids. (Would someone please tell me why Miss M has her skirt up to her armpits?)  Anywho….It’s scary.  Miss M is growing up. Boo has shot up, again, and looks so much older than 9.

“When did they get to be so grown up?” Isn’t that every mother’s first-day-of-school lament?

And while I am sad to see them gone all day – this summer was tough, and I really want a do-over, but I know that’s only for the movies – I confess, I’ll get over it quickly.

Ok. I’m just joking. Kind of. But really, I’m excited for THEM.

THIS is going to be an awesome school year.

Sam n mad back to school

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