Tag Archives: college

Eight Things I’m Looking Forward to (Dreading) in August

Linking up with Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop this Thursday because by then I’ll be an empty-nester! Even the dogs are stressed.

— 1 —

My baby boy moves into his Freshman dorm this week. I’ve spent the past year building a Pinterest board to make his transition to college perfect. Bluebirds should fly through his window to light on his arms and bunnies should gather at his feet as he recites the Periodic Table.  He’s not on Pinterest, and is not interested in 95% of my college-related suggestions. In fact, he taunts me, as if since he’s eighteen and a high-school graduate he can do anything he wants to.

— 2 —

SO not gonna happen. We’d hoped to get a suite-style room (two guys to a room, four guys share/CLEAN the bathroom in between. Instead, he’s got a large communal bathroom. That’s what I had as a Freshman too. I can’t imagine the filth four male Freshman could inflict on one bathroom.  The cleaning crew probably wears Haz-Mat suits. But he gets AC (thank God). Is it really global warming or are we just wimps? There were only TWO dorms on campus that had AC my Freshman year, and they were at the far end of campus and so tall everyone had to factor in elevator-wait time to get to class.

— 3 —

He has a class schedule, but has yet to show it to me. I love scheduling classes. I carried 18-21 credit hours a semester without ever missing Peak Tanning Hours on at least Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. For four years. One would think this Freshman (who already knows he has to go to Drop/Add because of his AP test scores) would ask his mother’s advice. But alas, no. With his work study job I’ll just have to ask when he’s available for dinner.

— 4 —

Ah, dinner. As in dates. I sincerely hope those are forthcoming. He’s been much more a “hang out with friends” sort of person during high school, which is great. His friends are a very diverse group, and there have been many overnight events at my house. My dogs are EXCELLENT chaperones if Michael and I are asleep. If there is so much as a lingering hug in this house a large snout separates them. Seriously.

— 5 —

My house is a wreck and I can’t find anything. . . except John’s dorm stuff. I’ve made lists, checked sales, ordered online, ordered and picked up in-store, and even ordered from overseas when I couldn’t find just the right thing. John says he knows what he’s taking, but in less than 72 hours he’ll be moved in. How ready can he really be?

— 6 —

I was a little hurt when he said he didn’t want me to put anything away, or even make his bed for him. Aaron, his older brother, let me do all that. But John’s more like me. This is his first place (no roommate yet) and he wants to make it completely his own. I DO understand that. So perhaps I’ll make some breakfast muffins and meet his dorm neighbors and their families.

— 7 —

He can’t have “air-breathing pets”, so I was thinking about a Beta fish with one of those plants in the top of the bowl/vase you see at doctors’ offices. I’ve never really done the fish thing, and I’m not great with houseplants. Anyone have experience in this area?

— 8 —

Once he’s moved in I will have to put all the details out of my mind. He’ll be the one getting emails from teachers, he’ll be the one making sure he eats healthy and gets enough sleep. I’m going to write, tidy up the house, and let everyone know how awesome the newest Nerium products are. And yes, I will demand responses to my texts within a reasonable amount of time of I’ll have a seat under a tree near his dorm and read a book.

A MANLY (minimalist) Shower Caddy

*This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and LISTERINE®. All opinions are mine alone. #BacktoBold #CollectiveBias

Most of the time being a #boymom makes everything easier. But we do miss out on some fun stuff.  Ruffles, bows, lace, and tulle when they’re little are just the start of it. Preparing for their Freshman dorm room is another big one. I’m shopping for neutral colors, essentials only (as per my son’s request). Meanwhile, #girlmoms are snapping pictures of different shades of towels, patterns of comforters, and adorable room accents to complete the theme that the roomies are texting back and forth.

They’ll probably find everything they need at Target, since after nearly sixteen years of shopping for school supplies for elementary, middle, high school, and college students I KNOW it’s the place to find what you need. So I wasn’t at all surprised to find the mouthwash he wanted there. Everyone has nasty morning breath, especially here in the Ohio Valley where we all struggle to breath through the allergens 3/4 of the year. Mornings are for LISTERINE® TOTAL CARE mouth wash. After all, I’ve already spent the equivalent of a full semester’s tuition on this child’s smile, so he’d better protect it!

Oh well, back to my small red carrier. Red is actually considered a neutral on campus since it’s one of the school colors.Here’s the basic basket:

Notice the empty space next to his HUGE flip-flops? That’s where the three add-in baskets come into play. If he has a sink in his room (which I doubt) he can just leave all the small baskets under the sink. I tucked LISTERINE® TOTAL CARE ZERO into his morning basket with his toothbrush and toothpaste.

Then he has his deodorant, leave-in conditioner, comb, and hairspray in another small basket that I bet he’ll just keep in his room. Guys don’t like to admit to actually putting a lot of effort or thought into their appearance even if they do!

He also has a bottle of LISTERINE® TOTAL CARE mouthwash in case he ate something with garlic and onions for lunch and want to be completely sure his breath is still fresh when he gets across campus for a study date. Yes, I realize I’m an overly optimistic mom.

It’s SO much better than just a quick brush and floss. He’ll get 100% coverage on teeth, between teeth, and at the gumline. Then the basket is right there again for bedtime!

Then there’s the shaving basket. Not needed every day, but needs to be handy. It also has nail clippers and a nail file. I’m pretty proud of those two little white bundles. That’s my creative and frugal contribution 😉 They are coffee filters filled with baking soda and gathered tightly with a rubber band. They are to be dropped into John’s black hi-top sneakers for odor control. I really hope he uses these!

While I was in the aisle looking at the mouthwash options two college-age girls came up, complaining about how “harsh” some mouthwashes taste. I told them I was looking for  LISTERINE® TOTAL CARE ZERO (zero alcohol) with a “Fresh Mint” flavor which I’d heard was less intense-tasting, but still just as effective. I showed them the bottle of LISTERINE® TOTAL CARE I’d just found, which lists clearly (no reading glasses needed) on the front label that when used for just sixty seconds twice a day it has SIX benefits.

It not only freshens breath and kills bad breath germs, but it also cleans the whole mouth, strengthens teeth, restores enamel, and even helps prevent cavities. Thankfully, the girls helped me find it. (The Fresh Mint flavor is in small letters on the bottom right when you’re shopping.) Seriously, what else can you do in just two minutes a day that has all those benefits? And if you really want to be productive you can review the periodic table or the cranial nerves while swishing (depending on your major).

The girls were super-sweet, and we all figured out the sales together. Target has a LOT of things on sale right now, and a LOT of $5 Target gift cards up for grabs. But you have to make sure you are buying the right items to qualify. When I left the aisle the girls were negotiating who would buy the 3 LISTERINE® mouthwashes, who would get the $5 Target gift card from that purchase, who was buying the 4 toothpastes and would get that $5 gift card. . . yeah. Plan on two trips so you can use those gift cards before they sink to the bottom of your purse and get forgotten!

BTW, the  $5 gift card offer is valid through 9/9 both online and in stores, so stock up! This is the general area (Health/Beauty) to look if you’re not a regular Target shopper. I can find things in Target easier than I can find my glasses at home!

So I guess since John is my youngest this will be my last “Back to School” shopping post. He’ll have a fridge and microwave waiting for him in his dorm room, but no roommate (yet) so I suspect his room will be the go-to place for late-night gaming on the weekends. It’s been seven years since I’ve prepped a child for their first dorm, and so much has changed! Parents of current college students: what are your best tips? I need all the help I can get – LOL!

A Week of Wonderful

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— 1 —

I’ll be finishing up the Our Lady of Lourdes novena tomorrow. It’s one I say every year. The darkness of winter around here needs as many reminders of miracles as possible, and there’s certainly no shortage of people for whom to pray.

— 2 —

I just got home from playing with a couple of the sweetest little boys ever – I look forward to Friday nights all week! Tonight we watched come cute songs with animation on YouTube. The very first was “Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee”, which took me straight back to Aaron’s daycare and pre-school years. I can see his sweet face with his little-boy haircut like it was yesterday, even though he’s a grown-up web designer with a baby girl due in 10 weeks or so. He liked the verse about smashing the bumblebee best, of course. Both my boys got my dark sense of humor!

— 3 —

Aaron’s expertise was a huge blessing earlier this week when my blog was hacked. I was beside myself because the hacker had replaced my post (a book review) with his vulgar political one and changed my password so I couldn’t log in. Aaron had set himself up a login for my blog as well as a way to access my entire computer remotely while he was in college, so it was evidently a quick fix for him. I would almost surely have had a stroke without both him and my original blog designer talking me out of my tree!

— 4 —

My younger son, John, performed with his high school’s Jazz Band this week. I wasn’t there, but my husband got great video of John’s performance, and I was incredibly impressed and proud when I watched! It’s a good thing we have a studio in the basement – I think it’s going to see more and more action. They had a guest performer – a member of the Air Force’s Band of the Golden West on baritone sax. If you’ve never seen an Air Force Band perform let me assure you: they really are the best of the best. And this guy loved John. He even high-fived him over the drum set after the song where the baritone sax was featured. That is a #proudmom moment!

— 5 —

While John was performing I was at a surprise party – for me! Three of my closest friends and I met for dinner (as we do periodically), but this time we celebrated me turning fifty (I showed off my celebratory navel ring), being an expectant grandmother, and working with these wonderful ladies for twenty-five years! The company I was working for when I was unable to return to work after my fourth spinal surgery because of constant, severe pain still considers me to be on Medical Leave of Absence, and will do so until I can finally get in front of a judge and be officially declared disabled. This means I can purchase insurance for myself and my family for the same price as if I were still working full-time. It’s hard to believe a company in this day and age could be that compassionate, but they have been. They even gave me a twenty-five year award, which I never would have expected. It was an emotional evening for me.

— 6 —

John got his official admission letter from the University of Louisville, so our next step is applying for housing. We get a discount on that deposit, thank God, but we still need to put together some money to get it done ASAP. I’m wading through possible scholarships and forwarding the best matches to John for application, and we have our fingers crossed we’ll get news soon about a really big one! John’s school counselor has been a huge help – there have been many times I’d have been completely lost without her input and suggestions. Keep us in your prayers, please!

— 7 —

I’ve gotten a little addicted to Hometalk, a daily email with several Pinterest-focused DIY/crafty projects. I’m going to have to stop cold-turkey, though. I was already really over anything that involved empty cans, empty TP rolls, or plastic cups or bottles. Then I saw an “upcycle” where someone had turned a bookshelf into a bar cart. Ponder that for a moment. If someone needs a bar cart more than a bookshelf they need to take a long, hard look at their life and their priorities. I need to take some time and better organize my Pinterest boards anyway. I discovered Pinterest early and never realized how huge it would get, so I have categories with names like “Good Ideas” and “Maybe”. Yikes.

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