Get Into The Groove: Back To School Tips That Rock.

The ProNamel® brand has compensated me in connection with statements made in this post.

I think it’s no secret to my blog readers that I struggle with transitions.

I mean, right? I know I’m not alone here. I think you also know that I have had maybe more trouble than many, when Scarlet starting kindergarten in late 2014 nearly knocked me off my feet. That was the same year Des started daycare. Then, in late 2015, I thought it would be smooth sailing. After all, no one was going anywhere new! Scarlet was starting first grade with many friends from her kindergarten class, and Des was starting a second year of daycare. Sounds easy peasy, right? Well, wrong.

In fact, the transition shook me up all over again. I found myself falling behind with paperwork and getting overwhelmed by details. Things like doctor forms, immunizations, school bus forms, school lunch forms, application forms, emergency forms, forms, and more forms. It wasn’t just the details, but it was the emotions involved. I found myself teary-eyed and resistant to change all over again. Luckily, it was easier the second time around, if you can believe that. Now that we’re going for the third time around, I’m more determined to make the transition even smoother. Here’s what I’m doing this time around:

Five Ways To Rock Back To School This Year:

1. Keep your family active. Last summer we began doing family bike rides in the school parking lot every non-rainy evening. Not only did it let off some stress to be together and to be active, but it also made the school parking lot more familiar and safe-feeling to us. Whenever Des came with me to drop Scarlet off, he would say, “This is where we ride bikes!”

2. Tour the school. This is the year we are getting a change. Des is starting a new preschool in September, after two years in daycare. We missed the first open house last winter but will take a chance to meet with the teachers and get familiar with the school, not only before school starts, but before orientation starts. Des is going to the same school Scarlet went to, but he was just a baby then and I don’t know how well he remembers it. Scarlet is starting second grade, which feels BIG.

3. Connect. Scarlet made a very close friend before kindergarten, and that made her first day so much easier. For her, of course. It also helped me to have parents of old babyhood and preschool friends standing in the parking lot with me, going through the transition. School friends can be life-long. It’s powerful for the kids and for the parents. Summer is the time to stay in touch – with play dates and other such ways to build relationships. It’s great finding out the class list before fall.

4. Ease back in. In late summer, you start to think a lot about school. That’s also a great time to start easing into a fall routine, because jumping from summer to fall – without transition – can be rough and stressful. Practice the new school routine within the week before school starts. Set alarm clocks, go through morning rituals, make breakfast, have everyone get dressed, and then get in the car or stand at the bus stop on time. This will help children feel comfortable when it’s go-time.

5. Be prepared with medical/dental/safety information. Now is the time to discuss health and safety – talk about strangers, fire plans, bicycle helmets, food and drink choices, etc.! Fall is the time for paperwork. We do summer well-child exams, because my kids have summer birthdays. It’s about immunization forms, updated medical charts, and more! This is also when we schedule one of the kids’ two annual dental visits and make sure there’s a dental hygiene routine for a new school year.

What we don’t think enough about is that some of the foods that kids eat and love – like oranges, other citrus products, and sports drinks – are quite acidic and can melt away at kids’ tooth enamel. Luckily, we have ProNamel® 6-12 Years Toothpaste for Kids to prevent Acid Erosion during this crucial time in Scarlet’s tooth development. At this time, when kids are losing their primary teeth and growing in secondary teeth, the enamel is particularly soft on the secondary teeth. It takes time for enamel to harden as this grows in. Once enamel erodes, it never grows back. That’s why ProNamel® 6-12 Years Toothpaste for Kids is specially formulated to protect against cavities and everyday acids. Tooth enamel needs to be protected, starting at an early age.

Help protect your child’s teeth for years to come! Coupons are available for ProNamel®, link HERE.

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Checking Items Off Your Bucket List!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyBoldMoments #CollectiveBias

Often, lately, I can’t believe that this is my life and that this is real.

When we met, and everything was a bit of a dream anyway, in a way that only a long distance, cross-country romance can be, we would spread maps on the floor and look at books in bookstores. There was an Internet, but I hadn’t yet learned how to use it to plan a trip. Big trips were wild dreams, and really just that. Always, untouchably far off in the distance. I’d say, “Someday” a lot. I said it so much that I don’t want to say it anymore. Someday is actually now. As in, two weeks from now!

I never thought I’d say this, but I always thought I’d say this. I’m going to Alaska in August! It’s our belated honeymoon!

This has been my longest life dream, right up there with publishing my own book and having my photography on the walls of houses that aren’t mine. This life dream combines writing and photography and moose and whales and northern lights. Add in a midnight sun, some sea otters, and a town with a feline mayor named Stubbs, and I honestly can’t wrap my head around the fact that this dream will be mine. It will be realized. I think about myself writing my blog here, and then I imagine being in the wilderness there. It’s too much! I know that planes, trains, and automobiles will be involved, but it seems so far away.

And yet, it’s nearly right upon me.

Why now? Mainly, it’s why not? We never had a honeymoon eight years ago. Money was tight, and we had a lot of learning to do. I was pregnant only a few months after our wedding, and we had a lot of life changes to adjust to at the time. There have been some hard times during the last two years or so, and this is something we’re doing to celebrate and maybe even cement being on the same page. The kids are old enough to have great fun at their grandparents’ houses, and we are ready to fly.

In so many ways. Are you too?

Checking Items Off Your Bucket List:

1. Dream it and believe it. My Alaska dreams started decades ago, and I always believed in them, although it’s strange to finally be here. I’ve always been one to think big, but if it doesn’t come as easily for you, try it. Think of the one thing that matters most and start to dream it and believe in it. Maybe only a little at first, but more and more, every day.

2. Visualize it. I actually have a photographic memory, which is convenient to my profession. I remember words too – that I have written or read – as long as I have SEEN them. Picture your dreams. Find the specifics. See them into being.

3. Speak it. For me, that’s here, there, and everywhere. I think everyone I’ve ever met knows about my Alaska dream, but it just holds me more accountable to make it real. It’s spoken aloud. It’s remembered. It’s read. It’s heard.

4. Plan it. I suppose this part is the biggest challenge, which is why it’s taken me eight years! If you don’t plan it, it won’t happen, though. You need to sit down with it on a regular basis, and plan how to achieve your dream(s).

It helps to break it into smaller, more workable parts.

5. LIVE it. And for all that is important, ENJOY it! It can be surreal when it’s really happening. It can feel unlike what you thought it would feel like. Anticipation sets you up for strange emotions, I think. Deep emotions set you up for strange emotions. Just remember to be in the moment. Be in the moments. Dreams never feel like how you thought they’d feel, but you know what? Sometimes, they’re even better. After it’s over, dream again, and dream bigger every time. Grow.

Do you know what else is bold? I chipped a back tooth on a popcorn kernel a few months ago, spit out the tiny piece of tooth, and then promptly forgot about it all, because, motherhood. Work. Take your pick. I casually went to my regular cleaning last week and the dentist was appalled at me! I had to go back the day after my birthday to have it fixed! Love your teeth, people! Love your gums! Pay attention! I’ve been swishing regularly now with LISTERINE®. As you know now, LISTERINE® Antiseptic is a key step for me in preparing for my BOLD trip. LISTERINE® Antiseptic is part of my regular morning routine on a daily basis, but is also a key ingredient in feeling my best. I find it in the dental floss/accessories section of CVS:

CVS is my go-to retailer for LISTERINE® – the #1 dentist recommended mouthwash brand – and LISTERINE® is my go-to product for taking on a BOLD day. Or in my case, a BOLD several days, as I prepare for and go to ALASKA!

Brushing misses 75% of your mouth. LISTERINE® cleans virtually 100%, and kills 99.9% of bad breath germs.

How do you prepare for a BOLD day? What’s #1 on your travel bucket list?

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