Solving A Back To School Equation

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Simpler times: first day of school 2007 (3rd grade and Kindergarden, respectively)

I’m stressing out. It’s almost back to school and this year is a big one for our family. See, my daughter is entering 8th grade and my son is going into the 5th and in New York City, that means we are beginning the high school and middle school application process for each respective aforementioned offspring. “What’s the big deal?” some of you many be asking–particularly if you live away from this insane place where middle and high school placement isn’t treated like college admissions.

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September’s Top Toys: Hot Picks For Fall

If you’re anything like me, you start holiday shopping in October so get ready for tomorrow…because it is ON. As luck would have it and as I do at the end of every month, I’m rounding up the the top toys — by popularity and rating as tracked by Amazon.com — across a number of categories and I’ve already earmarked a few ideas for my Christmas and Chanukah shopping lists. ¬†Featured below are selections from: action & toy figures, dolls and doll accessories, construction & blocks, arts & craft, outdoor gym & swing sets, learning & educational toys, play vehicles and games. Bear in mind, the prices listed are “List Prices” however, on Amazon you can often find items deeply discounted (many of these featured items are), so make sure to check.

PS – Stay tuned for special Halloween posts coming soon too. Happy Fall!

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Giving Back: Operation Backpack

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I’m very lucky. I try to count my blessings often and every once in a while I am reminded of just how blessed my life truly is. For example, back to school shopping means accompanying my children and their 2-3 page lists of teacher-mandated items to Staples and Target, filling their carts and getting ready for the year ahead. This activity fills them with anticipation, excitement, probably some anxiety… and they get to exercise some control over the future (yes I want that pencil box, no not that book bag) and that’s cathartic in some way, I’m sure (ok, maybe it just is for me). It’s easy to take these things for granted: that I have the ability to provide for them, that they are happy, pretty well-adjusted kids living a safe, relatively normal life and that this is time we get to spend together.

It’s not like that for everyone.

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