Good Shoes are Not a Crock

standard September 1, 2011 6 responses

Thank you to Crocs for sponsoring this blog post. Please click here to learn more about Crocs’ new Back to School line. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.

 Back in May I dragged the girls to a shoe store to get some shoes that could get us through the summer.

My goal was one pair of shoes each, somewhat tough, somewhat durable, definitely comfortable, and overall cheap, because I knew they’d be trashing them in no time.

We left with two pairs each. One fancy and totally non-functional and one pair of what I thought were brilliant no-lace sneakers.

I ended up ruing those shoes all summer long.

Little L’s were fine because we got them on the small side.

C’s were a nightmare. Too big, didn’t stay on her foot, and caused me to spend the whole summer wondering when she’d finally fall down and break her foot.

Today. That’s when.

This very morning I was making mental plans to take the girls shopping for “real” shoes so they’d have good, sturdy, reliable footwear for the school year. Not four hours later we were at the hospital having her foot x-rayed.

It’s a bad joke really.

I’ve procrastinated on every part of our back-to-school shopping. I’m paying extra to rush ship C’s backpack. I had to riffle through the last of the Target school supplies to finish off our class list. And now C’s paying even more for my slacker attitude about back-to-school clothes and shoe shopping.

Poor kid… now she has to do it all on crutches.

One of the reasons I was dragging my feet on this particular shopping excursion is that shopping for shoes is always more challenging than it is fun. The girls always want something cute, fun, or just plain comfy. I’m always angle for something sensible that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

This Fall I might have found something that will fit all of our criteria. The new line of Crocs go way beyond their original slip-ons and even feature some adorable sneakers that I can’t wait to get my hands on. And now? 13 designs are school approved, so not even the strictest teacher can keep your feet from having fun!

Crocs knows that it’s not just toes that want to give up their freedom, so they’re trying to make this back to school season a tad more fun by giving you a chance to win a trip so you can really extend summer into autumn.

And if you want to have fun while discovering the new line, check them all out in this video. Stay alert! The video is interactive. Click on shoes you like to be taken to the site and keep your eyes peeled for this little “easter egg.” Click on it for a surprise!

We’ll go shoe shopping when C’s foot is all better and she can enjoy the experience and I’ll try to not feel too guilty about having slacked on my shopping duties.

Back-to-School Jitters: A Fill the Backpack ’11 post

standard August 30, 2011 Leave a response

C goes to a school that has 60 students.

60 kids from pre-K to 8th grade.

Yes. That’s it. It’s a small school.

You’d think with those numbers, and knowing that she’s been there a year, already knows her teacher well, knows the school very well, and already knows 99% of her incoming classmates, that her first day next week would pose no anxiety at all.

But she’s my C. My anxious C, so of course she’s not so sure about the whole thing at all.

We’ve had to discuss the boy who wasn’t so nice last year. We talked about how kids often mature over the summer. We remembered that at the end of the year they were pretty much friends.

We’ve had to discuss how having actual desks isn’t really all that different from having tables.

We’ve had to chat about how it’ll be different now that the Kindergarten teacher has left the school, but how it’ll be a lot the same thanks to the other teachers.

We’ve even had to think about what people mean when they say that “1st grade is so much harder than Kindergarten.”

And then this morning she told me what was really bothering her.

After a summer packed with family time – long weekends, trips, lazy weekend mornings – next week we go back to our routine. And last year that routine was grueling.

We ended the year on a really low note. Hospital visits, sick daddy, much stress on everyone’s shoulders. The summer hasn’t been all roses and kittens, but at least we got to spend a lot of quality time together.

What C doesn’t know is that I changed my work schedule on purpose so that she wouldn’t be in after care until 6 every day any more. It won’t be an every day thing, but I’m really hopping that I can pick her up at 3 at least twice a week. I think it’ll make a world of difference to all of us.

If anything it’ll give us time for a few more Family Love Dinners. And who couldn’t use a little more love in their days?

Welcome to Fill the Backpack ’11, a Splash Creative Media campaign co-hosted by 8 amazing bloggers. For a month we’re going to be talking about all things back-to-school related. (Well, the other 7 started last week. I’m a slacker.) If you missed it, check out the giveaway of the year – $750 worth of awesome back-to-school goodies to make your year sweeter.

Want to check out other Fill the Backpack posts? Visit the Splash Creative Media bloggers. They’ll be thrilled to have you!

Make a teacher’s dream come true.

standard September 15, 2010 Leave a response

Every teacher I have ever met pulls out a personal credit card on a regular basis to purchase classroom supplies. Tissues, crayons, dry erase markers. You name it. They’ve bought it. They have to, the state doesn’t give them enough supplies to last through the year.

The irony here is that the state doesn’t exactly pay them a whole bunch either, so it’s not like those credit cards can stretch very far in the first place.

Teachers are teaching our children. Our future. Your kids might not be in a public school. Your kids might even be in an affluent school where teachers don’t have to make pencils stretch down to the nub. But the kids who are in those classrooms are still our children and they deserve better.

You might not think you can help, but you can. is a fantastic where teacher can post their classroom wishlist. It’s where they can close their eyes and imagine everything they’d have in the ideal classroom. They let their imagination soar… and then they ask for those things. You, me, the guy who bought coffee in front of you this morning, can go and pick a wish to help along. You can pick a classroom, a school, a PTO… and donate something. Could be enough to buy a box of tissues or enough to get that smart board a teacher has been coveting.

If you hear your school debating the merits of various fund-raising options, throw in the mix. It’s a great alternative and and easy way for many people to make a huge difference in the lives our children.

In the meantime you can mention to any teachers you know and any parent who might know some teachers. 

And please pass on this blog post to any teacher you might know, to your principal, to the administration and to your parenting organization. There are just two days left to enter the Dream Classroom Giveaway on Fill the Backpack. On Thursday night, the entries will close and 2 winning dreams will be randomly selected as winners. Those two winners will each receive a $500 credit to to purchase items to make her dream classroom a reality.

$500 can go a long way in a classroom. So spread the word. Help a teacher achieve a dream.

Not so little anymore

standard September 7, 2010 1 response

On Thursday I took Little L for her 3 year check-up. This is the first of the “big girl” check-ups. The one without the baby scale and tape measure. She stepped on the scale and stood up straight and tall to let the nurse measure her. The results astounded me. She however was completely unfazed and went on to ace her eye exam. She skipped off to the exam room where she charmed the socks off the doctor. One no-shot-today happy dance later and we were out of there, medical record sheet for the school in hand.

As I buckled Little L into her car seat I marveled at how big she’s gotten. She was talking a mile a minute and for a moment I couldn’t see even a glimmer of the baby she used to be.

Her big girl status isn’t just being tested by the doctor’s office; she starts preschool tomorrow. In the morning I’ll pack a change of clothes and some diapers into her brand new Dora backpack and I’ll walk her into her classroom. Tomorrow I get to spend the morning with her, but Thursday I’ll have to leave her at the door. I’ll be leaving her with teachers I don’t yet know, but who come highly recommended by people I do know and trust. She already has a friend in the class, and knowing her she’ll have ten more by the end of the week.

You’d think I’d weep as I walk away. But I really don’t think I will. 

This is going to be an amazing thing for my baby, the one who is already rhyming and learning her letters. She’s going to be on her own there, not in her sister’s shadow, and she is going to shine. I see glimpses of the preschooler in her when I watch her do crafts – cutting things out with intense concentration. Or when I hear her starting to stand up to her rather bossy older sister, insisting that the game go the way she wants it to for once. And I know that preschool is going to be great for her because it’s going to allow her to hone all those skills and develop new ones.

On Thursday she measured a whopping 38 3/4 inches tall -that’s a full 2 inches and a quarter taller than her sister was at that age – physical proof that I’m not kidding when I tell my friends that my baby is a monster. Or rather, as the doctor put it, that she looks like a 4-year-old and it’s a good thing she speaks and acts like one too.

So, yes, my baby hasn’t really been a baby for a while. She’s not even a toddler anymore. Tomorrow morning she’ll officially become a preschooler and while I’m sad to say goodbye to our infant years, I’m not worried about her in the least. On Thursday when the doors close, I’m going to walk away knowing that she’s good and ready for this transition.

Whether I’ll ever be ready to stop calling her Little L is a whole other question.