Currently

Reading // Nothing at the moment! I have a couple of books sitting on my shelf that need to be read, but I haven’t found the inspiration to crack either one of them open yet.

Watching // Old episodes of Grey’s Anatomy again. I stopped (very briefly) to binge-watch Orange is the New Black and now that I’ve finished the season I’m back to Grey’s.

Listening to // A lot of the Pop2K channel on Sirius XM. The channel takes me back to high school and while I don’t know if this is a good or bad thing it’s amusing to hear all the songs I loved once upon a time.

Loving // Listening to Isla read to herself. She’s come really far and I’m super proud of her wanting to read things on her own.

Thinking // That this smoke is lame and all I want to do is take the kids outside so they can burn off their sillies but I can’t. Ugh.

Needing // A sweater. With the smoke comes cooler weather and it’s August and I’m wearing jeans and needing a sweater to stay warm.

Looking forward to // Joe Rogan’s comedy show!

What are you currently watching, reading, or listening to?

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Kindie Survival 101: Bracing for the Germfactory

It’s no secret that any place that hosts a large group of people in a confined space is considered to be a germ factory. Airplanes, cruise ships, you name it, if someone has even the slightest sniffle you’ll be sure to catch it as well.

Kindergarten, and school in general, is no exception. Kids are taught to share everything, but germs are the gift that keeps on giving.

Image result for kindergarten germ meme

I wouldn’t say that kids will for certain be sick all the time when they start going to school, but I will admit that I found Isla waking up with a runny nose WAY more often than when she was even in preschool twice a week. No matter how hard you hammer the “Wash your hands, cover your mouth” ritual into their brains, catching multiple colds during the school year is inevitable. We battled some variety of germ at least once every 6 weeks. Sad, but true.

I wish I could give you tips on how to prevent your kids from getting sick, but I fear there is no way. The best advice I can give would be to not stress out when your kid is sick, and don’t feel guilty if you feel he or she isn’t well enough to go school. Kindergarteners generally don’t miss out on too terribly much when they skip a day or two, and I personally believe that if they’re not feeling well they’re not paying attention in class anyway.

Once Isla had told me that she wasn’t feeling well, but she wasn’t running a fever so I sent her to school anyway. There was a special presentation her class was putting on, and between her turns she just laid on the gym floor completely out of it. I felt horrible when I took her temperature and she was burning up. Needless to say, she stayed home for two days until she was well enough to go back.

Germs, of course, are not limited to just colds and the flu. There’s pink eye. Head lice. Hand, Foot, & Mouth Disease. Don’t those just sound lovely? There’s a vaccine for it now, but chicken pox were the trendy virus back in my day. Thankfullllly we had no serious issues with any of those and *only* one child got pink eye but it was caught before it was spread throughout the classroom. An email was sent home as a precaution so we could properly sanitize anything that went to and from school and we hoped for the best.

I think hoping for the best is the only thing you can really do when it comes to preventing your child from catching bugs and germs. Do your best to have your child wash his or her hands regularly with soap. Have them practice using their “Cough catcher” (i.e., coughing or sneezing into their “elbow pit”). Remind them about personal space and to not get too close to anyone’s face. Just be prepared at home with Tylenol, Kleenex and whatever else you may need to make your child feel better sooner, and take everything else in stride.

Oh yes, and be sure to prepare yourself too, because nothing is harder than trying to get your child out the door for the day when you feel like death yourself. Vitamin C and echinacea are my go-to’s, and I start taking them the moment either child has signs of the sniffles.

Also – kids who went to preschool and/or daycare get sick just as frequently as kids who don’t. There’s no need to question or blame yourself if your child seems to fall ill more than Susan’s kid who went to preschool full time.

Kindie Survival 101: PAC Pressure

I will not deny that the Parent Advisory Council, or PAC, works their butts off every year to make amazing things happen for both the school and the students. Supplementing the school’s budget, the money raised by the school’s PAC volunteers allows our children to go on short field trips for little to no costs, have hot lunch programs, fun days, and more. I give mad props to our PAC for the work they do, so I’m not knocking them one bit.

All that being said, there’s a heck of a lot of pressure put on by the PAC sometimes to volunteer, go to meetings, and raise money. The latter, especially, is what gets me the most.

I understand that fundraising is the single-most important way to help our school acquire the things it needs, but the pressure is intense to pitch in and contribute. Whether it’s coupon books, flower sales, or coupon books, I personally feel compelled to at least purchase or donate something myself if I’m not going to hawk tickets and the like to family. (I hate asking people for donations most of the time as it is.) BUT – without raising money our school wouldn’t have many of the tools it needs to help our kids learn and grow. Whether it’s playground or gym equipment, tablets, or books, a lot of that isn’t obtained without putting a whole hell of a lot of effort behind fundraising.

There’s also a bit of pressure to volunteer your time, not just within PAC functions, but in the classroom as well. Having a younger child at home made for a convenient excuse, but there was always a bit of guilt when I couldn’t contribute.

I suppose that the point of this Kindie Survival post is to not feel pressured to do anything and everything when it comes to volunteering for the school, whether it’s in the classroom or for the PAC committee. Kindergarten is a huge learning process for both yourself and your child, and by no means should you feel pressured to do more than what you’re comfortable with. I ended up feeling satisfied with my contributions throughout the year, even though I didn’t raise my hand for every opportunity. I couldn’t chaperone field trips, but I pitched in a batch of cookies, veggies, and plates for classroom functions. I had no desire to volunteer with the PAC, but I did my best to help Isla sell raffle tickets.

It’s okay to take the easiest option if you want to, because even the simplest jobs are appreciated by the school and its PAC. Everyone really seems to work together as a community, and when that happens the kids benefit the greatest.

How involved are you with your child’s school? Or, if they’re not in school yet, how involved do you plan to be?