by gillian claire: public school



Making After School Count!


     I'm really trying to up my mom-game this school year. The past few years have felt like a lot of "going through the motions." Lately, I've really caught myself in that pattern and realized that I need to make a better effort to make more of these years of my boys being so young! It's easy to get caught up in the day to day tasks, especially being a working mom, but I truly want to take more time for the little things!


     One change I'm trying to make to set the tone for the day is making the after school transition a more deliberate time of connection. The bus stop is close to my house and my kids are old enough to walk home but I know that they still love when I meet them there. I'm trying to not fall into the selfishness of wanting those last minutes to myself and instead walk down to the bus stop to meet my little boys. I work from home and honestly getting outside for some fresh air is really good for me and helps perk me up anyway. I love seeing my boys run off the bus when they see me as well; it's one of those sweet heart filling moments that won't last forever. :)

     Another thing that I've been doing since day one of this school year is making sure I'm prepared with snacks after school. It's kind of crazy what a difference this has made. Don't get me wrong, I've always had food waiting for my kids after school but I notice that making a little bit of an effort in the snack department goes a long way. My kids are pretty ravenous after being gone at school all day and I feel like making sure they have good snacks to come home to is a way of showing them I care. I am not going full Pinterest-mom in any way here but I just make sure I have easy snacks stocked up and ready to go as well as some little surprises every once in a while!

     Rome and Ash were so excited to come home from school to this fun package from Welch's in honor of their new 100% juice with coconut water and I'm so happy to have them partnering with me on this blog post!

     I love that Welch's brand new juice has replaced regular water with coconut water which adds natural benefits while keeping the great taste of 100% juice with 30% less sugar! My kids can't tell that their juice is more nutritious and they love coming home to find juice in the fridge after school! 

     I have really noticed a difference with these small changes I've started putting into place during our after school routine. It's so important for me to take a few minutes to connect with my boys after they've been away at school all day and it seems like they really love being able to share their day with me! This time of connection is also a great time for me to empty out their backpacks to keep on top of the endless paperwork that seems to pour out of the public school system!

    It can be so tempting for me to want to pick up my phone or get right back to my never empty email inbox but I'm trying hard to take these moments to just be with these little boys whom I love more than anything! 

How do you connect with your kiddos after school! I'd love some more ideas on how to up my mom-game this school year!


Welch's is made right here in the USA with family farmers and Welch's grapes! Both of these flavors were winners with my little guys with their great taste and refreshing goodness: White Grape Mango & Tropical Berry Grape!

back to school.

fab_kids_back_to_school .
Well, the first week of school has come and gone. Roman's school lets out two hours early for the first two weeks due to the heat, which is making for a nice transition. I don't want to think too much about my little boy being gone until 3:00 everyday yet! We went to Target + Old Navy last Friday to finish up our back to school shopping and it was so much fun. Well, until Asher's melt down that lasted two days over the light-up Ninja Turtle shoes he didn't get to buy, yikes...
Roman seems very happy with his class. He miraculously picked a navy blue lunch box over all the obnoxious cartoon character ones which secretly made me happy and he told me all about trading some of his goldfish crackers at lunch with his classmates; it was, "so awesome," he says. Roman was super excited to tell me that he got a chance to be a "behavior bee" in his class, which means that he was rewarded for his good behavior by being able to sit in the bumblebee bean bag chair. His face was just lit up when he told me about it in the car. He really is just the sweetest, sweetest little boy - his teacher is pretty lucky I'd say.
I am exhausted from my first week of school. I feel overwhelmed and stressed and a little in over my head. I really am not used to being so busy and it's just really tiring especially on Tuesdays + Thursdays where my days are 12+ long with work and school now. I'm still trying to figure things out as far as classes transferring / financial aid etc. as well so needless to say, I am super glad that it's Saturday. I don't work OR have school today because Aaron is working in the mountains and I'm hoping the boys will want to pretty much sit around and do nothing all day. Maybe I'll sort through some laundry as well since we have a new (to us) washer + dryer set!
FabKids sent us these "back to school" outfits and oh my gosh, I am in LOVE with them. These little Fender and NPR tee shirts are just the coolest things ever and they are super soft / great quality as well. I've had these outfits waiting in the wings to be photographed for a while now but it's just been too gosh darn hot to put the boys in jeans. Last night was a super cool / rainy / fall weather kind of evening so after baths I took the boys out to the porch to do our traditional back to school sign coloring. I love how Roman went for a "color-blocking" technique and Asher was very excited and worked hard on his as well, although afterwards he ripped both of these papers to shreds in true Asher style! At least I have the photos though, right? ;)
How is the back to school season going for you all?
fab_kids_boy_clothes_2IMG_0319-2IMG_0321IMG_0232IMG_0294IMG_0160-2IMG_0177-2 .
on Asher - NPR shirt: c/o FabKids jeans: c/o FabKids shoes: Old Navy ( on clearance now! )
on Roman - Fender shirt: c/o FabKids jeans c/o FabKids
And hey, if you like flashbacks like I do, here is our very similar back to school post on this same porch from last year! Time flies...
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( This post includes affiliate links to FabKids. If you use my link, you will receive your first outfit for only $15 and in return I will receive points towards free outfits for my kids. FabKids sent me these outfits to share with you all but this post and all opinions are my own. Thanks for reading along and providing my family with these awesome opportunities! )

shifting gears.

( sunset at the reservoir last night )
This week Roman starts 1st grade in public school. I am so overjoyed and thrilled with his teacher. He attended a little summer program at his school for the past few weeks and the teacher that he had during that is the same teacher that he will have for 1st grade. She is everything you could ever dream of wanting in a teacher for your child - just perfectly sweet and wonderful. We visited Roman's classroom on Friday night and saw all the little chairs and colorful decorations and the pet turtle, "Tilda". I always wanted homeschool for my children and there is a part of me that still wants that and may do so in the future. But gosh, there is just something about public school that is so special and fun - there are parts of that experience that I want for my children as well. I loved elementary school and I'm just remembering and being able to re-experience that with Roman; buying new school clothes, going to pick out a pencil box, looking around at your classroom, choosing a lunchbox. It's all so sweet.
I'm going back to school, as well, full time this week. I pretty much decided on this for sure just a couple days ago. I went in and talked to an advisor and brought my transcript and hashed it out a bit. She was such a nice, kind person and so helpful. Our meeting left me really inspired. Who knows how long this inspiration will last but hey, it's here for now. It felt so awesome to look at my transcript and realize how accessible my Bachelor's degree is looking especially since I feel like so many of the classes I have left are specific to my major which will be enjoyable and a breeze.
Asher will be home with us, for now. He broke down into tears during Roman's open house, crying out, "I wannna go to schooooooooool." Oh the hardships of being a little brother. :)
Even though things are changing and school is starting up again, I'm not considering it the end of summer. There is still plenty of time for tank tops + sitting out in the lawn while the boys chase ants and climb pine trees. Things will be busier for sure and I'm happy for that, we need a little less laziness around here. But as far as summer goes, I'm not ready to give up this season just yet.
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