Tag Archives: dorm life

Numbering, So As Not To Ramble

— 1 —

I admit it. I tend to ramble in blog posts. Also when speaking in public – except church. I always liked being a lector, but haven’t done it for years since both the Cross and the Book are too heavy for me to carry, and I can never predict what days I will actually be able to get out of bed, let alone showered and dressed. Hair and makeup are out of the question. Have you ever seen someone with a significant tremor try to put on mascara, blush, and lipstick? Just visualize the clown in “It”. I scare fewer kids if I go out with no makeup. Sad, but true! And my hair’s always in a bun or a clip.

— 2 —

I’m writing this Sunday night, because this weekend felt like a whole week. Maybe two. It’s Kentucky, so there was a frost, then a heatwave. I’m writing this in front of an open window, hoping for a breeze! A storm just blew through, so my neck is killing me. I was accepted into some sort of “chronic pain trial” and was told I’d be receiving a non-narcotic pain relief medication from the physician who’d reviewed my history. Yeah, right. Here’s what they sent me.

I’m giving it a try, just as I did the cervical spine sit-up machine at physical therapy they had to wipe my tears from every session (turned out my vertebrae had never fused from my second surgery, so each rep was pushing bone against my spinal cord), the muscle relaxer that made my tremor so severe I couldn’t feed myself, and ALL the others. I’m using it on my back and neck twice a day. But it’s Lidocaine. Great for a sunburn, mosquito bites, and toothaches. But I’m trying!

— 3 —

My baby boy’s nineteenth birthday is coming soon. It’s been YEARS since I actually selected my sons’ Birthday or major Christmas gifts. They just send me Amazon links, for which I am very thankful. I always get them little surprises, too, usually geeky little things šŸ˜€ But this year marks not only his nineteenth birthday, but the first anniversary of his close friend’s suicide. #StayStrange was the message they all wore on rubber bracelets the rest of the year. Or rather, until their next friend ended her life shortly before graduation. Then everything fell apart. It’s a miracle the remaining thirty-one kids graduated from their respective schools.

— 4 —

Michael and I did get to spend a longer time with John this weekend than we have since he moved into the dorm. It was awesome to spend time with him, but it’s also great to know he’s got good friends he doesn’t hesitate to bring by the house even though he’s the first to admit I’m not the “average mom” – LOL! AND that he’s working hard, enjoying his classes, and planning for the future. He got Michael hooked on Stranger Things last time he came by, so Michael returned the favor by hooking him on Bloodline, which I’ve watched over and over. I think The Crown next. I loved it, and History just doesn’t interest me. But Helena Bonham Carter? She’s had me since she was Ophelia to Mel Gibson’s Hamlet.

— 5 —

Winnie the Yorkie has been hanging with us this week, and she’s been particularly sweet. Her hair is a little long and I SO want to use a bit of mousse and put it up in a bow! Perhaps right before her Mom and Dad pick her up. Or perhaps some food coloring for devil horns!

— 6 —

Oh, John’s moving to a new dorm. With a room to himself but a common bathroom. He’ll be right next to two of his best friends, and it will be wonderful! He and his current roommate are on opposite schedules and the room is TINY so it’s been hard for either of them to rest well. But of course the Parental Units are not allowed to actually SEE his dorm room, so he just borrowed Michael’s dolly to move his stuff. I’m curious to see how it goes, since he didn’t move a single box on Freshman move-in day. THIS time he’ll have to move it all down from the fourth floor (no elevator) TO whichever dorm it is, and then up to another fourth floor room (no elevator). I wore flip-flops on move-in day, and KNEW I has no business doing stairs. So I just sighed heavily and moved interesting things from box to box until a half-dozen UofL football players (or drummers – they had short hair and muscles) offered to help me take John’s stuff up to his room and set it outside since John had not seen fit to leave me his key. They were MOST interested in the chicken-head mask from a former Halloween costume.

So when Michael and John FINALLY arrived after parking the cars all the boxes were moved and there was a group of students (and fellow parents who joined in when I fell UP the stairs) chanting “Chicken Head Man!” They all high-fived him and moved on, while John gave me his patented, “WTF, Ma?!” look. I’ll update you on that solo move. I may not be banned from campus after all šŸ˜‰

A MANLY (minimalist) Shower Caddy

*This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and LISTERINEĀ®. 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.Ā  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 LISTERINEĀ® 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 LISTERINEĀ® 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 LISTERINEĀ® 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 šŸ˜‰ 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 forĀ  LISTERINEĀ® 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 LISTERINEĀ® 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 LISTERINEĀ® 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, theĀ  $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!

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