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Saturday, August 17 marked a turning point in my life: my husband and I became Empty Nesters after we delivered our youngest of three children to college. Until our drive, I had assumed that he was itching to fly our nest, feeling outgrown of his bed and desk and our rules. After an easy move-in and (calculated) tear-free good-bye to our son, we pointed the truck north and mulled over our new status. After reading plenty of  coping strategies on-line, I am counting on the following ones to sustain me.
My first draft of this post, written before the Move-In, contained a smorgasbord of things I had big plans to do with my new EN-status: taming the clutter beast, refreshing and renewing the decor of our well-worn home, and traveling as much as work schedules permitted.
For half of our lives, most of our identity has been associated with our children, and our social lives have been inescapably intertwined as well. With the numerous ways to connect with my children, I’m beginning to realize that although my physical nest is empty, I can maintain a Virtual Nest. So often the Gracious Posse provides inspiration when I need it – fresh ideas for traveling, reading, decorating, or cooking.
It also could have said…after taking all the first day pictures on your phone immediately post them on Facebook, exclaiming what wonderful, amazing children you have! See here is the thing, all of these extra supplies aren’t for your children they are usually pooled together for other peoples children, while schools are using state and federal funds for socially relevant projects(read Communistic) you are expected to make up the difference.
At your baby’s four month check up, the pediatrician will do a basic physical exam similar to the one at your last visit. After the physical exam (and sometimes during), your pediatrician will ask you about your baby’s sleeping and eating habits, and ask for an approximate count of her daily wet and dirty diapers. Your pediatrician will address any concerns or questions that you may have at this point, and then tell you what you can expect from your baby in the next month or so, and answer questions you may have about that as well. Immunizations: Your baby will get a second dose of the Pneumococcal vaccine (PCV), the DTaP (Diptheria, Tetanus and Pertussis), the Haemophilus Influenza Type B Conjugate vaccine (Hib), and the Polio vaccine, combined as before, and a second round of the Rotavirus vaccine (RV), once again, given orally.
What started as an innocent on-line baby book to chronicle Jill Smokler’s stay-at-home days with her children, quickly transformed into a vibrant community of parents, brought together by a common theme: Parenting doesn’t have to be perfect.
In the lamest terms, what that means for me is that it is physically impossible for me to tan and my eyesight is atrocious.
And, as vain is it is, getting sunburned when everyone else’s skin glows with a Hollywood-golden hue kind of sucks sometimes. And, if I’ve learned nothing else about being albino, I at least know this: I don’t have to worry about tan lines. The kids absolutely flipped over these pancakes and I found myself snacking on them throughout the morning since they make a ton.  I am planning on freezing the rest (if they make it through the day) and pulling them out for a fun treat. Beneath his confident exterior was my only son wondering how he will establish his new life away from his known comforts of home, school and friends in RVA. LDB, my wiser-half, said we’ve done our job to prepare our children as best we can to grow up and live happily on their own. You go from really missing your babies to enjoying more spontaneous outings with your hubby. LDB‘s take on the situation is not to do anything drastic with the new freedom for 3 to 6 months. As much as I will miss my children, I’ll also miss the constant flow of their friends and parents as we cross paths at home, sporting events, school and related social functions. Text messaging, Skype, Instagram, Facebook, even old-fashioned email and phone conversations allow us to stay in touch with our offspring like no parental generation before us.
I will be in your boat this time next year, with my baby off to college in August and my silver wedding anniversary in September. My husband was in the military so we move around a lot and felt it was important to be there for my kids.
Take the kids downtown to go shopping at Sears for back to school clothes the last week of August. On the night before the first day of school (that would be the Sunday night after Labor Day, of course, you know, mid-September) throw the kids in the way back of the station wagon and drag them downtown to Eckerds, K-Mart, Ames, Dollar General, Drug Fair or the like and hurry them over to the back-to-school area to pick out a lunchbox.
Buy yourself a pack of Virginia Slims on the way out and smoke three of them on the way home. Include a red delicious apple even though you know that damned apple is just going to come home uneaten again, which is fine because you can keep adding the same one until it practically rots. Take children to the child psychologist to prepare them mentally for the difficult transition to a new grade, new teacher and new classroom.
Fill a Siig bottle with filtered water and also include a box of chilled coconut water in the Bento Box because children can never be too hydrated.
Dress kids in coordinated outfits and spend 35 minutes posing and photographing them (with your phone).
When they are safely in their new classrooms, return to your car to cry for the next 20 minutes.


Her blog, “Wide Lawns and Narrow Minds,” was voted 2011’s Best Humor Blog by the South Florida Sun Sentinel, and her personal essays have been anthologized in I Still Just Want to Pee Alone, Scary Mommy’s Guide to Surviving the Holidays, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and My Other Ex. Create your own curriculum for practically nothing (seriously I spent less than $30 this year) using the internet and a couple of text books from amazon.
Back then if you had an allergy you were taught to stay away from whatever it was you were allergic to instead of making an ENTIRE classroom responsible for YOUR health problems. We would have to sweat it out for the last few weeks of September until it got colder in October. My dad was an early health food guy, and at the time I hated it because I got teased for my lunch with fruit, nuts and whole wheat bread sandwhiches.
Your baby will be weighed and measured, and the doctor will discuss her progress on the growth chart. You will also be asked about your baby’s bowels movements at this visit-not only the quantity, but also the color and consistency of them too. I lived five minutes from the beach, the weather was often a mild 62 degrees, and the sun was always shining.
I love to make each child’s birthday special by surprising them that morning by decorating the kitchen with balloons and streamers and making a yummy breakfast. She shares her love of family, recipes, reviews, crafts and everything in-between on her blog, All Things Mamma. Part of me is excited, and the rest of me wonders how I became old enough to be at this juncture.
As I expressed to him my mixed feelings about the empty nest, he also revealed the changes that he foresees. Full-time mothers seem to face the hardest adjustment, followed by career-consumed parents who wish they’d spent more time with their children. It was very easy to adjust to less grocery shopping, fewer dirty dishes and lots less dirty laundry!!
Much like our children will have to work at maintaining those hometown friendships, we will have to work at keeping up with the parents without the built-in activities to facilitate those treasured relationships.
Our daughters have made us learn this new style of parenting-from-afar, and it has allowed us to be a part of their lives without smothering them. I am looking forward to being up on the Oscar contenders this year with our new-found flexibility. Although I have mixed emotions about this next stage in life, I will be happy for some RIVAH time! Make sure to tell them get a move on because you don’t have all night for them to make a damn decision. This is extremely stressful because the last thing you (or anyone) wants to be responsible for is sending a second grader into anaphylactic shock. This will take 4 hours and 15 minutes because you have to read every single label to make sure you are purchasing organic, locally sourced, non-GMO, gluten-free, allergy friendly products.
Fill containers with organic, local strawberries intricately cut into the shapes of sea creatures. Make first day of school signs for each child to hold as you photograph them on the front step. She also regularly contributes to Elephant Journal, and her writing has appeared on or is forthcoming from Scary Mommy, Babble, among other blogs and websites. My mother would leave 3 piles consisting of a quarter and dime on the kitchen table so we could buy school lunch. My mom also used to pack hard boiled eggs, and more than once she mixed up the cooked with the raw and I ended up with a raw egg which I cracked on my friend’s head one time.
I also loved the comments about riding in the back seat of the station wagon facing the other way!
This progress will be discussed in terms of percentiles, but don’t stress out if it’s lower or higher than you expect it to be. The doctor will most likely discuss with you things like your baby’s crying patterns, oral thrush, teething, diaper rash, starting solids, reflux, her sleeping positions, and the importance of tummy time. And while you may look at us and wonder, “Why won’t she just get a tan?” when the apex of summer has arrived, you will still remember us. She writes for Scary Mommy, Babble, The Huffington Post and other sites that she can't remember because she's exhausted from being a SAHM to two toddlers. We found unexpected common ground there: both of us will be feathering a new nest and adjusting to a new routine. We have decided to compromise and tackle the clutter beast first, but I will hold his feet to the fire about the travel! Go put some Barry Manilow on the record player and celebrate that your kids are out of the house until dinner time.
They will need paper, pens, folders, notebooks, a calligraphy set, fifteen new apps for their tablets, a graphing calculator, a scalpel, an electron microscope and a centrifuge.


You’ll be back in six hours to pick them up and drive them to Synchronized Swimming, Cello and Urdu classes this afternoon. The reason for the allergy thing is obviously because there were issues with kids getting sick. Yup, lunch was 35 cents, except on Friday pizza days when we could get a second slice for another dime and then there would be a quarter with two dimes. The charts are to measure her rate of growth, and as long as it’s steady from one visit to the next, you’re right on track.
You will also probably discuss things like constipation, what to do if your baby has a cold, what sounds your baby makes now, and how well her motor skills are developing. When I visit my childhood home, old teachers stop me in Starbucks because they remember me. I tell her to politely say thank you even though some comments aren’t exactly compliments. The loneliness is challenging for single parents, but they are often relieved to have the heavy parenting duties lifted.
Parenting is a creative process that often leaves little time for other creative activities.
They’ll grab them, along with a frosted, dutch apple Pop-Tart on the way out the door as they walk a half mile down the road to get to the bus stop. Don’t worry, you still have time to order BPA-free bento boxes and authentic Indian tiffins made with special stainless steel that did not involve any child-labor, sweat shops or animal cruelty.
It includes a ten pound bag of flour and several cleaning products and also requests a Costco-sized package of toilet paper. I agree on the amount of money parents have to spend, but that’s because REPUBLICANS gut Education every chance they get.
So forgive me for thinking my child’s hundreds of dollars worth of school supplies is excessive.
We had to tell our teacher in the morning if we were going to purchase lunch and if we wanted that extra slice. While friends and family would slather on lotion, lie on their towels, and work on their tans, I was unable to take part in their reindeer games.
The funny thing is people always remember me because of her, and I have always preferred to blend in.
If I walk with her most of people will stare to my child, i wonder they curious to her or some people are already now and just smile looking to her a unique appearance .. Many mothers and fathers, no matter their status, discover that if they stay active and engaged, their lives remain full even though their nests aren’t. When the nest is empty, it is a great time to delve into long lost creative pursuits, or perhaps ones you’ve always wanted to try. Chris Christie cut education and then told a teacher if she didn’t like paying for supplies to stop being a teacher. LOVED RIDING IN THE WAY BACK and took a family vacation to Mexico in the 70’s riding back there the whole time.
Anyone who’s ever used my computer knows that everything is VERY BIG in order for me to see it without squinting. I would oftentimes have to request paper copies of any projected overheads or PowerPoints used in class because I couldn’t read them. Anyway my daughter has a wonderful spirit about all the attention, even when it is unwanted or a comment we have heard for the thousandth time that year. My sister still lives there and will occasionally run into people from school and they always ask her about me because I was memorable—not different.
People are all the time commenting on her appearance and even ask to take her picture or have their picture taken with her. You buy the special soy peanut butter that the school approved but STILL get notes sent home. I love your positive attitude and when she is feeling insecure or different, I will be sure to tell her she is memorable.
I do have a few friends that I do things with and am able to talk to about this on occasion but I still can’t help being a little sad.
Remember to save some grocery bags so they can cover their textbooks with them after the first day of school. Although people do take a lot these days, but is a visual memento of your kids childhood a bad thing? Now take everyone to the Woolworth’s lunch counter for grilled cheeses and chocolate milk.



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