Michelle Kemper Brownlow: The day that brings me a mix of emotion is coming. It's a day where I realize my kids are one year older. It's that time of year I realize how much I enjoy being home alone. But it's also a time where I miss the giggles and the company of three little humans.
Along with the anticipation of back-to-school and all the excitement that goes with it, there is a lot of preparation for D-Day. I, for one, have a to-do list longer than the school bus.
Schedule adjustments: This is when I need more order so I can ease into the new school year. Lists on bathroom mirrors detailing every move each of my three students should make when getting up and when going to bed serve the purpose of keeping me from blowing my top when a crusty-toothed child kisses me as he steps up on the bus.
Bedtime changes: Two weeks before school starts we decide the kids will start the school night schedule. This is a two-fold plan. First, it gets them into a routine. Second, my husband and I have more time for wine-sipping on the back porch. Of course, you add in fall sports practices, last-minute week-night birthday parties and school shopping and that plan is shot to hell.
School shopping: This makes me shudder. I hate it. I hated it when I was a kid, too. But as an adult, the stress of spending all that money pushes me over the edge. I don't even want to talk about the stress this causes me.
Organizing the HUB: The HUB is our over-sized laundry room. Hooks for backpacks, bins for shoes and a magnetic door where we hang things-to-remember lists and notes that need to go with them to school make life easier. During summer the HUB is our everything-pool station. Beach towels, drying bathing suits, bags of snacks and pool toys fill the four walls. Making the switch from summer to fall is a bit of a challenge.
Finally, the most crucial item on the list:
Scheduling appointments: Of course, time doesn't stop while you are readying for school. Keeping appointments current cannot be ignored. A couple of calls to the spa, the salon and a handful of girlfriends updates my busy back-to-school calendar in a very special way. (wink, wink)