Welcome to August — the month we parents go broke on school supplies, school clothes, school pictures, device insurance, lunch money and musical instruments. Two weeks from today, at least here in my town, the 2019-2020 school year will begin.
We always switch into back-to-school mode about mid-July, when I start buying school clothes, new shoes and school supplies for the boys. This year Michael and Gabriel came along for a short little back-to-school shopping trip. I order most of the boys’ stuff online from Swap.com, in keeping with my secondhand thrift shopping goals. But I do buy them a few brand new things from the stores, as well as new sneakers. Their dad buys them a pair of tennis shoes as well (plus half of their school supplies and socks and underwear — even though he pays child support, he still wants to do more to help out with back to school and it’s pretty awesome that he does that), so they’re set for casual and PE.
Hunter got a new pair of DC high tops, which we had to order on Amazon because for whatever reason the high tops are impossibly hard to find here in our town. For Logan, though, he requested a pair of Vans since all of his friends at the skate park like them so much. We found him a cool pair of gray checkered Vans at Shoe Carnival, and since they were doing a buy one get one half off deal, Michael was able to pick up Gabriel a pair of new Filas so we could take advantage of the deal.
If you have boys and you’re looking for a good quality pair of shoes…I honestly really recommend the DC’s. They’re Hunter’s favorites, and he wears them every single day (seriously, every day), and they last the entire school year right up until we buy him new ones for the next school year. They survive school, they survive BMX at the skate park, they survive outdoor hiking and shenanigans…it’s impressive how well they hold up! I paid $94 including tax for his high tops on Amazon, and they were worth every penny! These are the ones he picked for this year.
We also went to Game Stop and Target for some shirts and pants. Logan had just been binge watching Stranger Things (Michael and I had already done that the weekend before!) before shopping, so he found a lifeguard hoodie from the show that he had to have, and also requested a Stranger Things shirt from Amazon since the ones he found at Target weren’t in his size. Now that we have that all done, this coming weekend we just need to get school supplies (it’s tax free weekend in my hometown!), and have them make their final selections from Swap.com so we can get an order placed.
Now that I have Michael and his kids in my life, the end of July is a bit different for me than it used to be. Mia’s birthday is at the end of the month, so he threw a party for her on the last Friday of the month. I helped him make the food and the cake, while he got the house ready inside and out. Side note – he pressure washed and cleaned up his screened-in deck and now we get to use it all the time. I love sitting outside but the mosquitoes are so bad this time of year. It’s so nice to have a bug-free place to sit, and I am strongly considering buying one of those gazebos with the mosquito netting for my own back patio now. I really love my back yard, but it’s impossible to use it right now without drowning yourself in mosquito repellant!
Anyhow…he had his family over for her party, and her mom was in town for the party as well. Mia’s birthday weekend is also the weekend of Michael’s family’s annual golf tournament and reunion, so he went to play golf on Saturday and I went with Mia and her mom, Rachel, to do some birthday shopping and get some ice cream.
After shopping Rachel left to go back home, and I went with Michael and his kiddos to the family reunion to meet all of the extended family as well. His grandma had 12 kids, so all of their families were there, including Michael and his six siblings and their significant others and kids. I’m not unfamiliar with a crew that large, because my Grandma was the oldest of 15 kids born into a Catholic family as well, but it was definitely a lot of people to meet and names to remember!
After that, Michael and his kids went on a family lake trip with all of his immediate family to Kentucky Lake, and I had a few days all to myself since my boys are still with their dad. It gave me a chance to have some down time, as well as figure out what else they need for back to school and confirm their orientations. Next Wednesday, for both boys. Hunter has freshman orientation (OMG I have a freshman!!) all day, and Logan’s is come-as-you can between 8 and 3.
It’ll be a full day for all of us, and an expensive one. I have to take care of their device insurance (they have school-issued chromebooks for everything and don’t even have textbooks to take home anymore), putting lunch money in their accounts, Hunter has school pictures that day, and I may have to rent Logan’s violin (we will get the details on that at orientation). In the meantime, this weekend is school supplies and Seminary Picnic time.
Our church hosts it’s annual picnic the first weekend of August every year, and has been doing it for over 100 years now. Usually it’s miserably hot, but this year looks like it’ll be in the 80’s and pretty comfortable. Hunter gets his back-to-school haircut (I usually cut Logan’s myself because he likes buzz cuts), then Michael and his kids are planning to come up and go to the picnic with us in the afternoon. I’m giving each of the boys $20 to spend, then I’ll get us some ice cream. After that will be 4:30 mass at my hometown church where I still sing in the choir on the occasional weekend, and then a chill Saturday night.
Sunday will probably be beach time at the local lake, and then the boys go back to their dad’s for one more week. Next Sunday evening they will come home for the school year…which is truly unbelievable! This summer has flown by so quickly that it’s almost hard to switch myself over to life-tackling mode. The month of August is definitely going to be my get-it-together month, and I will be sharing more with you about how I structure our home and life for the school year later this month. Because like I told Michael recently — if I didn’t plan out and structure everything ahead of time like I do, I wouldn’t know which end is up and I would exhaust myself just trying to figure out what direction to turn first! Such is the life of a single parent!
Coming up next week — the first Mediterranean Monday of August, and a post about the importance of making time for yourself and how I spent my few days of “me time” this week. Until then…