Monday, August 8, 2011

Back-to-School Tradition

I don't remember how many years I've done this, but it's one of my favorite things I do with my kids every year.
At the beginning of the summer, I take out the calendar and mark in a day for each child where we go back-to-school shopping--just us. We play, shop, eat, whatever. I love the things I learn about each of them as I take this time to focus on them and what they think and need and worry about with school starting.

Lily, of course, wanted to do the most shopping. We tallied eight (EIGHT) different stores and found everything she needed.
These capris were keepers, but the shirt would just require too much ironing and care for her to do.  I've had to have long, serious talks with both of my girls that I don't want them to buy things that I like for fear of hurting my feelings--if the article will just hang in the closet and never be worn.  Both of them have learned this lesson the hard way.  And so have I.  Now, Lily is all about getting what she really wants.  And of course, that's what I want too.
We had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory--split a salad and burger.  Yum.  Something I learned about Lily on this trip:  She doesn't think pink looks good on her.  Interesting.  And she was all into accessories this year--vests, scarves, necklaces.  Can't wait to see what outfits her little perky mind comes up with this year.  Shoes of choice:  gray Cons.

Ben's shopping day ended up being a little bit squeezed, but that was okay, since his school requires uniforms.  All we needed to find were khaki pants, a few football necessities, socks, underwear, and shoes.

We grabbed lunch from Panda Express and raced home with our treasures, including this shirt for football.

Why do you think he had to buy it?  Because it made his arms look like this:
And the lady in charge of the dressing room commented on how buff and tan he looked.  Guess it doesn't matter the age of the woman, flattery works.  Something I learned about Ben:  he doesn't like gum, of any kind.  How could I be his mom for FIFTEEN years and not know this?  Shoes of choice:  plaid Polo boat shoes and canvas Sperrys.  Remember the originals from high school?

Rum and me.  Our first back-to-school experience.  He is so hilarious.  Seriously.  That's how he survives life, I think.  He didn't need many clothes, since Micah had grown so much and just passed his stuff down (which is exciting in its own right), but he still demanded a day of shopping.

His biggest decision?  Gray Cons or Nike running shoes (note the indecision and mismatched feet).  Personally, I have found that no one makes tougher shoes for little boys than Nike.  It's worth ten-fifteen extra bucks at the beginning of the year because they haven't even begun to wear out by the time they're too small.  So I "suggested" that the Nikes made him run faster, and so that's what we ended up with.  Yay.

All he wanted for lunch was a hot dog, blue Icee and blue silly straw at Target, so of course I followed through.  Funny thing he said that day: "Rum, you want any more of your apples?"  "No, you can just go for it."
And since he really didn't need any new clothes, I let him pick out new pajamas.  Star Wars.  Need more be said?

Mikes, Mikes, Mikes.  I love this kid.  He needed the most  since he'd grown many inches over the year.  Head to toe, this kid got what he wanted, including a Star Wars t-shirt and skinny jeans.  He's so skinny that they aren't all THAT skinny, but at least they'll stay on him.  We had lunch at McDonald's, even after I suggested any other place in town. 
What I learned about Micah this trip:  He didn't even really care what his shoes looked like, as long as they were slip-ons.  That kid ALWAYS has his shoes untied, mostly because he forgets the first step--you know, when you tie the laces together before the bunny ears?  Anyway, he was sick of that part of his life, so he got slip ons at Old Navy.  As Mom, I know they'll wear out in about a minute, but hey, they were cheap.
And my favorite thing about Micah this summer?  He still wants to hold my hand.  Love that.

School starts Wednesday morning.  Can't believe it's already here.  This is the first summer that I haven't been dying for them to head back out that door--maybe because we've been traveling so much lately.

School.  Wow. Is summer really gone?


  1. 10 down, one to go for me. Only one to school shop for this year! LOVE that first picture!

  2. What a fun tradition!!! I Love it. I am going to start doing this with my girls. School starts for us in 2 weeks...ahhhh!!!

  3. What a fun tradition!!! I Love it. I am going to start doing this with my girls. School starts for us in 2 weeks...ahhhh!!!

  4. Ben's face cracks me up, as does Hyrum's shoe dilemma and how much Micah loves McDonald's. Love those kids!

  5. What a fun tradition!

  6. This was so much fun to read. Your kids are uniquely appealing.


  7. I used to do just what you did: take each one separately for some one on one time. Good times, sweet memories. I love how exuberant all of your kids are. So cute.

  8. What a great tradition! Makes starting school a bit less painful!

  9. So fun ... I'll have to file this idea away for next year (my kids have already been in school for 3 weeks).

  10. I absolutely love school shopping with my daughter. She starts Wed as well. Love the pictures!

  11. What a great idea! Such a special time for your kids. I totally am going to start this! Though school already started this year for us

  12. Zac bought PJs when we went back to school shopping too. Sooo funny. I said, What? You cant wear that to school. Yes I can...On PJ day, he said!

  13. This week has been crazy for us-Tate's Eagle project and Back to School stuff all crammed in, so I'm just catching up. I love Ben's pictures, Lily looks SO OLD! and Hyrum's shoe dilemma are just the best. You've gotten so good at catching those everyday moments that make life wonderful! HOpe the school year is going well for all of you!

  14. What a fun tradition and a fun post! I love learning about the little details about your kids :) They are so unique. It must be a lot of fun learning new things about them as they grow up :)

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