Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Final Countdown

Sadly for all of you fellow children of the 80’s I’m not talking about the song by the group Europe.

My final countdown is for our children going back to school.    

For the most part we’ve had a pretty okay summer.  The weather has been horrible which has created some challenges and some crabby moods, but we are doing our best to make the most of it.  In the next week or so we are going to squeeze all we can out of the summer days that Mother Nature gives us!  Because…..

In just 10 glorious days two out of our three children will be heading back to school.  Big T will be entering 2nd Grade and Sweet Pea will be starting Pre-K…which means its time for all of our Back-To-School traditions. 

Truth be told, shipping the kids back to school planning for Back-To-School is really one of my favorite things about this time of year.  Maybe it’s because I remember my mom making it so special for my brother and I and I want to pass that feeling onto my children, or it might just be that I love traditions of any kind.  Either way we have a lot of fun!

The first of our Back To School traditions is of course the clothes shopping.  I take each of the kids out one by one to do our shopping and then we go out to lunch or dinner afterwards, just the two of us.  The conversation is usually about school.  What they are excited about, what they might be a little nervous about, and what they think they may learn this year. 

Both of the boys schools have an open house the day before school starts.  For Big T, it’s a chance to meet his teacher (take pictures) and find his room (take more pictures), re-connect with old friends and have ice cream (take even more pictures).  It’s a ton of fun!  For Sweet Pea, since it is a preschool he basically already knows the teachers but he gets to see his new room (take pictures), and this year…this year his room will have frogs, and turtles, and a snake in it (take more pictures).  To which my son says ‘this is just way cool mom.” (take picture of the biggest grin you’ve seen all year)

When the big day comes, that is when my favorite traditions start.

My husband takes the morning off and we both go into the boys room to say good morning and help them get up for the day.  We take the clothes out of the closet that were picked the night before and lay them on the bed.

Then I start making breakfast.  The boys get whatever breakfast they want for the first day of school which is always…always pancakes, some bacon and a small bowl of blueberries. 

Then my little boys come downstairs looking so grown up…even more so than the previous years and my eyes well with tears.  They don’t see them because, hello? there are pancakes on the table.  Nothing gets in the way of my boys and their Back To School Pancake Breakfast.  And that’s how it should be. 

After breakfast I get to do the proud mommy, I want to capture this moment forever thing.  I get to take pictures of my kids in their brand new clothes by themselves, in their brand new clothes with their backpack on, in their brand new clothes, backpack on, and holding their lunchbox.  I take pictures inside, and (if it isn’t raining) outside.  Then I take a picture of each of them with their daddy.  Then I get my picture taken with them individually.  Then they get pictures taken with each other.

After the boys are completely annoyed with getting their picture taken, it’s time to take them to school and for some reason they are ready, willing, and able to get the heck out of the house and away from the camera.  Go figure!

After the kids have been kissed, hugged, told that they will forever be loved and are where they should be, my husband and I usually go get a coffee together and talk about how our boys have grown up right before our eyes so quickly, and how blessed we are to be their parents.

Later that evening when everyone is home, we make their favorite meal for dinner and talk about the day.  It’s so fun to see them so excited for the start of a new year!  Mommy and Daddy breathe a sigh of relief.  It’s going to be a great year!

Are you as excited about Back To School as I am?  What are your Back To School traditions?


Minivan Mama said...

Back to school is exciting for my kids and for me too! Love creating family traditions like you have! They will always remember them!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I love your traditions! We had blueberry pancakes before JDaniel first day of preschool. My husband came home from work and we had pizza for lunch.

Thank you for linking to Back to School Traditions.

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Minivan Mama,

I think that knowing they will always remember these traditions is what make is all so exciting for me!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

JDaniel4's Mom,

Thanks! I think pancakes must be the universal "Going Back To School" Breakfast!! SO YUMMY!!

Thanks for creating the link! :)

Stasha said...

Lovely traditions! And for the record, I cried when they drafted the lead singer of Europe and they cut his hair. And now the song is stuck in my head...

Bridget said...

Look at you with a great back-to-school plan! I love it! We don't have any back-to-school traditions. I guess we should start!

Kim @ Mamas Monologues said...

My son goes back to school on Tuesday and I am so not prepared for it! We have a few things purchased but the next couple days we will running around like crazy people!

Maytal said...

Wow can't believe September is tomorrow. BTW, don't miss out on the pictures, they will appreciate it when they get older.

Anonymous said...

My son is in preschool, we don't really have what I call a tradition but I did tell him this year we will have more of a home cooked breakfast and not just something quick.
Sounds like you all have it figured it. Enjoy! Wishing you and your family a great school year.

Shell said...

Such sweet traditions!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...


Thanks so much! I can't take the credit though. My mom set these in motion a LONG time again!

That song has been stuck in my head since I came up with the title for this post! Sorry for getting it in yours as well!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...


Thank you! They really are a great way to start of the school year on a positive and fun note!!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...


I did that one year and got so stressed out I vowed never to do it again!

I totally understand how it can get away from you though, I'm still in denial that the summer is over.

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...


Thanks so much for coming by and visiting!

I'm a stickler for the pictures. We definitely won't forget those! Thanks!

Hope you come and visit again soon!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Optimistic Mom,

Thanks! I'm hoping it will be a great year!

While I make them a pancake breakfast on the first day of school, I by no means do it every day. Most of the time they have cereal and some fruit! But that first day of school is special in so many ways!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...



Now if only I can make it to the first day of school with some of my sanity still in tact...I will be golden!

The Woven Moments said...

My oldest goes to kindergarten in six days. 6 DAYS!!!

I've been thinking about school traditions. I'm thinking ice cream party the night before... and I love the idea of favorite dinner that night.

Good call, mama!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...


WOW!! 6 days! Kindergarten is such a big day! You guys are going to have a blast!!

An ice cream party sounds like a great tradition to start! Sort of a goodbye to summer! LOVE IT!

Cass said...

Yah, thanks for The Final Countdown song stuck in my head--your disclaimer at the top is not enough to make you non-liable, you know! :P

Bees With Honey said...

Sounds like we share similar traditions. Isn't back to school time fun? It has always been my favourite and will continue to be until all my kids are grown. *sigh*

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...


I know, I know! But if it makes you feel any better I've been singing that song for two solid days!!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...


It IS fun!! I hope the boys will still want to participate in these traditions as the grow up!

Missy said...

GREAT traditions! And I cracked up at your reference to one of my favorite songs EVER!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...


Thank you so much for visiting my little space in the blogosphere! It truly means a lot.

Something you must know about me, I am, and will forever be an 80's girl! Although I can't pull off the fashion anymore! LOL!!

Liz said...

You still have 10 more days?!? We're in the middle of our 4th week! How different it is!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...


Yes 10 more...wait today is almost over...9 more days! It's the way our school system likes to torture us!

Krista @ Not Mommy of the Year said...

My kids are too young for school traditions but I remember that my mom always took the first day off of work and was waiting for us when we got home.

Your traditions sound amazing. I'm sure your kids will love thinking back on them too.

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...


I'm convinced its my mom that put my love of Back To School Traditions in motion! She has always made even the little things special and memorable!

mamamash said...

I'm in this weird place where back to school means nothing because I'm not longer a teacher and my kid isn't old enough for school.

But my favorite thing to do is shop for supplies. Oh, the smell of the school supply aisle.

Hope it's a good year for y'all!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...


Just wait! Being the annoying mom who takes all the photos on the first day of school is SO MUCH FUN!!

I completely choked on my wine when I read that you like the smell of school supplies!! LOL!

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

I love how you make a day out of it! And have some time for you and your husband too.

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

Grumpy Grateful Mom,

Thanks! It really is so much fun! My husband and I try to squeeze time in together whenever possible. Even if that is just getting a coffee!

Kate F. (@katefineske) said...

I am excited about Back to School yet nervous about it all in the same mouthful... It's the change that I have a problem adjusting too. The changes that come with the end of summer and the beginning of fall just really throw me (and my kids!) for a loop.

This year my middle son starts Kindergarten - his first day is tomorrow. I - like you will be breaking out the camera! Although, unlike you, our school prep and traditions seem to be "dropping like flies" the more kids we have. :)

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...


It definitely takes a few weeks for me to get back into the groove of things. I'm definitely not excited for the backlash of the boys having to wake up earlier! UGH! Will need wine to cope.

I'm hoping I can keep of the traditions but I just take it year by year!