CK & GK Podcast

Back-to-School Prep: 2 Teachers & Moms Help You Start the School Year Right

July 18, 2023 Jenny GK and Caitlin Kindred Season 2 Episode 77
CK & GK Podcast
Back-to-School Prep: 2 Teachers & Moms Help You Start the School Year Right
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

If you're feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with the never-ending back-to-school shopping lists and constant battles with your children over what they need, then you are not alone!

Many parents find themselves exhausted from running from store to store, only to come home with items that don't fit or aren't approved by their kids. And let's not get into the frustration we feel when those brand-new items get lost on day 2 of the school year.

Instead of the smooth transition you hope for, you're left with chaos and stress. It's time to put an end to the madness and discover tips and strategies that will make back-to-school prep a breeze, saving you time, money, and sanity.

From this episode, you'll be able to:

  • Discover invaluable advice to ease your stress during the back-to-school rush.
  • Equip yourself with usability tips for simple and effective labeling of children's belongings to aid organization.
  • Chuckle with us over our misadventures during a business trip to Philadelphia.
  • Rekindle your love for 90s music with our selection of the decade’s unforgettable hits.

Find more content at this episode's blog post, here. And, check out our Instagram Reels for other tips to get ready for B2S like a pro!

3 Pro Tips From CK & GK:

  • Take advantage of tax-free weekends for back-to-school shopping in your state.
  • Have conversations with your child about what to do with uneaten food in their lunchbox. Be clear about what to throw out and what to bring back home. 
  • When shopping for clothing, buy a few new things before the school year. Wait until after the school year starts and kids have decided what they want to wear to buy more clothes! 

Host Bios:
CK & GK are your go-to gurus for all things back-to-school shopping. Veteran moms and organized(-ish) planners, they know the ins and outs of preparing for a new school year. They’ve turned this once dreaded task into a breeze. Caitlin & Jenny's unique set of tricks and tips are not only practical but have been field-tested on her own family. Earning their stripes in the challenging world of everyday parenting, they’re passionate about making preparations for school fuss-free and ensuring kids get off to a great start.

Find more content at this episode's blog post, here. And, check out our Instagram Reels for other tips to get ready for B2S like a pro! 

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Thanks, y'all!

00:00:00 - Jenny GK
It chicken of China to Chinese Tuesday.

00:00:03 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, my yes, because I'm all about value. Oh, my goodness. You're welcome.

00:00:16 - Jenny GK
It's Tuesday.

00:00:18 - Caitlin Kindred
Keanu Reeves films. Oh, my gosh. So many fun lines from that song. It's Tuesday. We're so glad you're here today. We are not just singing bare naked ladies songs. We are talking about back to school shopping, what to get, when to get it, and our favorite hacks for getting those things. So stay tuned. We've got some good information for you.

00:00:40 - Jenny GK
But first I'm Jenny. And with me is Caitlin. We'll call her the cherry today because she's red, she's sweet, she's a little tart, and I just can't get enough.

00:00:50 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, thank you. You commandingly luminescent model. You're so gorgeous, Jenny.

00:00:59 - Jenny GK
Thanks. I like that one. You're luminescent.

00:01:02 - Caitlin Kindred
Luminescent and model and commandingly. I mean, they don't go together, but somehow Leslie nope. Makes it work. Anyway, good. What's going on?

00:01:14 - Jenny GK
Let's take I do have to give you some bad news.

00:01:18 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, no.

00:01:19 - Jenny GK
We lost a clownfish.

00:01:21 - Caitlin Kindred
No, you lost a clown.

00:01:24 - Jenny GK
The boy didn't make it. And I'm afraid the girl is going to die of a broken heart.

00:01:30 - Caitlin Kindred
Can you get another clownfish?

00:01:32 - Jenny GK
They come as a bonded pear.

00:01:34 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, no, I didn't know that.

00:01:36 - Jenny GK
Yeah, so we're watching her. She made it through the night, but I don't know. But that's not what I'm obsessed with. That's just what I'm having to watch all the time.

00:01:48 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, okay.

00:01:49 - Jenny GK
What I'm obsessed with right now is my new toilet seats.

00:01:55 - Caitlin Kindred
As one is right? Yes. Does it have a cushion in it? Like one of those? Really? No.

00:02:01 - Jenny GK
Okay, that's where I was going to go with this conversation, is I have been asking John forever to put new toilet seats on. Like, even when we moved into this house, we did not put new toilet seats on. So it's like the old owner's toilet seats, and we've lived here for five years, they just get gross. You cannot wash them enough. They start to yellow or they flake or whatever. It's nasty. And for 30 or $40, I'm totally willing to change the toilet seats.

00:02:28 - Caitlin Kindred

00:02:29 - Jenny GK
So I've been begging and begging and begging. We went to the Blue store to buy toilet seats and he was like, oh, let's get this cushioned one. I'm like, no, that's nasty. It's like a peepee sponge. I don't want it.

00:02:42 - Caitlin Kindred
Peepee sponge.

00:02:45 - Jenny GK
And then he says, well, what about the wooden ones? And I was like, no. I grew up in a house with wooden toilet seats. They crack and then they like, absorb.

00:02:52 - Caitlin Kindred
It's disgusting.

00:02:54 - Jenny GK
I said, no, we are getting plastic.

00:02:57 - Caitlin Kindred

00:02:58 - Jenny GK
Now, because he spends more time in the downstairs bathroom than the upstairs bathrooms. We did spring for the nicer toilet seat in the downstairs bathroom. Still not cushioned because I said, that's nasty.

00:03:10 - Caitlin Kindred
It's got to be a throne. It's a throne for a reason.

00:03:13 - Jenny GK
Yes, but the downstairs one is a little bit fancier than the upstairs ones, but that's what I'm obsessed with. The other thing is, and this just happened yesterday, john is a religious listener of the Dan Patrick show. You already know this. Uncle Dan. You call him Father Dan. It's a thing, right?

00:03:30 - Caitlin Kindred

00:03:31 - Jenny GK
Okay, so the playlist a couple of episodes ago was quintessential 90 songs. So John and I, of course, are like, making our own playlist.

00:03:44 - Caitlin Kindred

00:03:44 - Jenny GK
And thinking of it. So I am challenging you now, Caitlin, what would you put on your quintessential 90s playlist? It does not have to be an exhaustive list. I will let you go back and edit if you need to.

00:03:58 - Caitlin Kindred
Closing time by Semisonic has to be on there.

00:04:01 - Jenny GK
That came up between us. I don't know what's on the official list. I didn't listen to the Dan Patrick show.

00:04:07 - Caitlin Kindred
Okay. Probably Green Day. Although I don't care if I hear Green Day anymore. Not that they're not talented. It got burned into my brain in the just don't need it anymore.

00:04:22 - Jenny GK
When I Come Around is the only song I know how to play on guitar because that's how we grew up.

00:04:27 - Caitlin Kindred
In the Portland area. Yeah, yeah.

00:04:28 - Jenny GK
And they taught us in music class.

00:04:30 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah, yeah. That's probably the only one I can still tolerate listening to without, like, immediately changing the radio station. I would say smells like Teen Spirit needs to be on there.

00:04:39 - Jenny GK
That was my first guess.

00:04:40 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, it's going to drive me crazy. It's the song where hit me, baby one more time. No, I'm thinking more like 90s rock. Like, there's a kid who's asked, oh, tell me all your thoughts on god, what is that song called? Tell me all your thoughts on what is the name of that song?

00:04:59 - Jenny GK
Because I'd really like to see him.

00:05:01 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah, that one. Ask her why, where, who we are.

00:05:05 - Jenny GK
Is that Counting blue cars?

00:05:07 - Caitlin Kindred
Yes, it's Dishwalla counting blue cars. That one needs to be on there. Filters take My Picture needs to be on there, which is such a good song. And I think it's incredibly underrated and Filter was so good. Have you heard that song? You know what song I'm talking about?

00:05:25 - Jenny GK
I'm sure I know it, but I cannot think of it because you don't.

00:05:29 - Caitlin Kindred
Want to take my picture. Oh, yeah, that song. Yeah. So that song is about him, like, being drunk and high on an airplane.

00:05:36 - Jenny GK
Okay. Yeah. Can't imagine, like, a more uncomfortable place for those things to happen. I have been drunk on a plane one time and it was never again.

00:05:47 - Caitlin Kindred
Never again.

00:05:48 - Jenny GK
I have been coming back from Vegas and I thought I was going to die.

00:05:53 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah. I have been hungover drunk, like still drunk. That's how I have been on it. And it's the worst.

00:05:59 - Jenny GK
It's one thing to sip a drink on the plane and let me tell you, air New Zealand, it's unlimited free cocktails. So we did take advantage of that. But getting to the point of drunk on the plane is so awful.

00:06:12 - Caitlin Kindred
That's not so awful. No, that's not for me. When we go to London and we are flying over there, they'll give you a glass of wine. So I've done that on the plane, but I just don't get drunk on planes. It's not my thing.

00:06:25 - Jenny GK
Yeah, no. And if you don't have a drink at the airport bar are you even depressed? Come on.

00:06:33 - Caitlin Kindred
I've gotten to the point now where I don't need to have a drink at the airport bar, but if it's the evening, I'll do it.

00:06:38 - Jenny GK
If I'm traveling with my family, no, but if I'm traveling by myself or by myself, you betcha. Double it up, honey.

00:06:45 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah. It depends on the time of day. But I've been known we can come back to this because I feel like there's more, but I think I got a decent start here.

00:06:54 - Jenny GK
Okay. I'll add to I felt like we needed to span the genres, so I'm telling you I went for quintessential. I was thinking not just like popular in the 90s, but made a stand in the 90s. My first guess would be Smell like Teen Spirit because it completely changed the face of music. Genie in a Bottle or Hit me baby one more Time. I wasn't really kidding. But the one that I am going to stand by and I don't know anyone else will support is Bob by Hanson.

00:07:28 - Caitlin Kindred
You know they just redid that song. You know that there's another they just re recorded that song.

00:07:33 - Jenny GK
No, they did.

00:07:34 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah, I swear they did.

00:07:35 - Jenny GK
Was it their kids?

00:07:37 - Caitlin Kindred
No, it's them.

00:07:38 - Jenny GK
I'm just saying, like, they got to be our age or older, those boys.

00:07:43 - Caitlin Kindred
I think the older ones were older than us and I think that the youngest one was about our age.

00:07:48 - Jenny GK
Okay. So that's hilarious. Like, hey, dad, what are you doing today? Oh, I'm going to go rerecord my one hit with my brothers.

00:07:56 - Caitlin Kindred
Listen, if NSYNC can come back and do something, then so can Hansen. No big deal.

00:08:02 - Jenny GK
I also thought cop Killer by Ice tea, not because I love the song, but because it was all over the news.

00:08:09 - Caitlin Kindred
That's true. I'm now thinking of flagpole sita by Harvey Danger.

00:08:17 - Jenny GK

00:08:19 - Caitlin Kindred
And I still know every word of that song and I'm very proud of it. It's like a karaoke song that I would rock out.

00:08:25 - Jenny GK
And if we're going to do karaoke, know every word. John was like, how about Ice Ice baby?

00:08:29 - Caitlin Kindred
See, I don't know every word of that song, but I could get pretty close. Also push it. I could do that one.

00:08:39 - Jenny GK
And of course, Spice girls, I think, need to be on the list.

00:08:42 - Caitlin Kindred
Yes. Okay. Oh, my God.

00:08:44 - Jenny GK
Also, like, talk about a tangent. I'm so sorry. I did not mean to derail us.

00:08:48 - Caitlin Kindred
It is okay.

00:08:49 - Jenny GK
But if you are a listener who was alive in the 90s, tweeted us, DM us tell us what you would put on your quintessential 90s playlist, and maybe in a couple of weeks we will publish one.

00:09:01 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, my gosh. I'm here for it. Let's do this. Let's put our list together. We'll start collaborating now. Yeah. Great. All right, so that's your obsession. I'm into it. I'm just going to randomly yell out song titles in the middle of our conversation today, and I feel it coming. So if it happens, just know that's what I'm doing. So my current obsession right now is my colleagues and I've talked about them before. They're very special people, but we live all over the country. We've got two in Atlanta, All Star by Smash Mouth. There it is. Okay.

00:09:31 - Jenny GK
Sorry. Keep going.

00:09:32 - Caitlin Kindred
No, you're good. Two in Atlanta, one in Pennsylvania, one in New Jersey, one in Denmark. Dude. What? Yeah, I know. It's amazing. She's an expat.

00:09:44 - Jenny GK
Okay, I was just going to say she is in Denmark. And she's like so I got all these workers in America, right?

00:09:50 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah. I'm guessing if you're in another state.

00:09:52 - Jenny GK
Like, name the states.

00:09:53 - Caitlin Kindred
No, the states. Although they do know more about our states than we do about their country. It's crazy.

00:09:59 - Jenny GK
Of course they do, because we're so self centered. We need them to know, otherwise it would be like, wait, you don't know what Texas is?

00:10:06 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, ramp it up in Texas, too, because we were our own country one time, so we're real self important.

00:10:12 - Jenny GK
March 2.

00:10:15 - Caitlin Kindred
Happy birthday, Texas. Anyway, so we're just all over the place and we don't really ever get to see each other. So this is the second year in a row now that I've gone to the giant Ed Tech conference called ISTI. Last year. It happened in New Orleans. This year it was in Philadelphia. And we have a good time together during the day, like on Slack, when we're all in our respective home offices. Then getting together and actually being with these people, it was such a good experience. It was so different, but it felt just as comfortable and happy, and it really solidified how much I like these people. Right.

00:11:02 - Jenny GK
I am so happy to hear you say that. Yeah, the people are so important in the work.

00:11:08 - Caitlin Kindred
Right. And it's like we worked very long days. Yeah.

00:11:16 - Jenny GK
Conferences are terrible.

00:11:18 - Caitlin Kindred
They're really hard. And I mean, my colleagues got to see my hyper fixation as I was assembling a booth. Nice. They were like, okay, you need to stop and take a break. And I was like, no, I'm good. I'm good. I'm fine. It's okay. And I wasn't taking I'm going to.

00:11:34 - Jenny GK
Sleep for 14 hours after I finished this, but I have to get it done first.

00:11:38 - Caitlin Kindred
But I had to get it done first. And they were very much like, you need to take a break. And I was like, no, I'm okay. I'm okay. I couldn't. And so they got to see all that, but also they were very much like, okay, now you're going to step away with me. We all just did a good job of trying to take care of one another, and it was really special. And then when we got to go out and be together, we had a great time just relaxing and laughing and all that. So they're my obsessions right now. They're such great people, and I'm very fortunate to be working with them. It's really special.

00:12:11 - Jenny GK
That's awesome.

00:12:12 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah, that's really cool.

00:12:14 - Jenny GK
All right, time for my favorite part of the show, the gem of the week. Mine comes courtesy of my four year old, which has happened in the past, and I am going to set the scene for you. We are at a coffee shop. We are sitting outside because it is not yet 95 degrees. 94 sit outside, 95 inside. We're sitting at the picnic table and we are playing cards, john, Kit and me. Abby is at a class, and we're just killing time while she finishes up her class. And we are playing what you would imagine to be a normal card game with a four year old. We've taught him the rules. We're playing the game. And at one point in the game, Kit just throws his hand down and says, this game is way too complicated. It was go fish. I don't know. A less complicated game. Sorry. Besides, like, look at the cards or 52 pickup. I don't know what complicated.

00:13:29 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, no. Poor baby. It'll take some time, but he'll get better at it. Oh, I can just see the frustration.

00:13:36 - Jenny GK
It was great.

00:13:37 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah. Okay, so here's me once again, not paying attention to my surroundings. So I mentioned I was in Philadelphia for this conference. One of my colleagues and I, we are the nuts last year who decided we were going to get up early despite having gone out and been out with clients and imbibing too much. We were the ones who were like, we're going to go work out in the morning. So last year we worked out in a gym, in the hotel gym and ended up getting COVID from the hotel gym. This year, we decided we were going to go for walks outside. I should mention that I did still get COVID from this conference, but it wasn't from the we have a saying.

00:14:23 - Jenny GK
At A and M. Texas A and M?

00:14:26 - Caitlin Kindred

00:14:26 - Jenny GK
The friendliest campus of the world. We have a saying if it happens twice, it's our tradition.

00:14:32 - Caitlin Kindred
I'm two for two. Here we go. Yeah. So this year we decided we're going to go for walks outside.

00:14:41 - Jenny GK

00:14:41 - Caitlin Kindred
Smart, right? We're like, oh, we're going to avoid COVID by not going to the hotel gym. We're going to go outside and walk.

00:14:46 - Jenny GK
Did you walk at a playground in West Philadelphia?

00:14:49 - Caitlin Kindred
No. But I did decide to spend some time chilling out, max and relaxing. All cool. I did silver plot in between all of my working. So the first day we went for a walk. We found a dog park. We got obsessed with the dogs and all that stuff. But the second day, we were like, you know what? Let's just take a straighter route. It'd be fine. And we're walking through central Philly, which is a beautiful area, and it's such an old city, right?

00:15:20 - Jenny GK
It's a cool city.

00:15:22 - Caitlin Kindred
It's a very cool city. Lots of cool buildings. Walk by. Love park, all these cool places. And we get to the art museum. Here's how non self okay, here's how non self aware both of us were. We're looking across the street. We're like, oh, those are pretty. Do you want to go, like, run the steps? Let's just go see.

00:15:52 - Jenny GK
Oh, my God.

00:15:53 - Caitlin Kindred
We go over there. We're like, let's run them. Let's not walk. Let's just run them. So we run the steps, and then I was like, I wonder if these are the Rocky steps.

00:16:01 - Jenny GK
Jenny, there is a statue.

00:16:04 - Caitlin Kindred
Well, we walked past it, and we missed. And what's hilarious about it is that we walked across the crosswalk that directly runs you right into the statue. Okay?

00:16:16 - Jenny GK
That is hilarious.

00:16:18 - Caitlin Kindred
So then we turn the corner, and there's signage everywhere. That's like rocky. Rocky. Rocky. And we get to the top of the stairs, and there's, like, gold shoes embedded into that. And both of us are like, these are so cool. And I'm going, I wonder I feel like these are the Rocky steps. They might be the Rocky steps. And then we see all these people taking pictures, and they're, like, all excited and stuff, and I'm like, a reason, right? And, like, doing the arm when they get to the top, and we both are just like, Wait, I wonder if and then finally we look down, and we're like, oh, my God, we're so stupid. Yes, these are the Rocky steps. Like, literally signage everywhere. We're finally seeing it, and I'm so embarrassed that I had no idea. But then here's where I really nerd it out. This is what a dork I am. My boss goes, Now I actually need to watch the movie, which made me laugh so hard, because it was like, it's not a thing for a lot of women to have watched the Rocky movies, you know what I mean? A lot of us just didn't really ever care. But I dorked out because I used to do a boxing workout all the time. And with chickens. No, it was Joel on beach body. And he goes to all these places on his boxing tour. They go to the market in Dallas. That open air market. That the stock whatever market, not the stock market. That's a different thing. But you know what you're talking about. Thank you. And then he goes to some really famous boxing gym in Brooklyn that I can't remember the name of now. And then they end up on the Rocky steps for their last workout. They are on the Rocky stairs. Doing it, and I'm like, oh, my God, this is where my boxing workout was videotaped as right here. I felt so dumb saying that out loud. Really stupid.

00:18:27 - Jenny GK
Really stupid. So I did a similar thing when I was in college. I was at the mall in College Station, okay? That's the name of the town, College Station, because there's nothing else there except Textaian University and then the businesses that have grown around the school. But the name of the town is the train station that brought people to the school.

00:18:49 - Caitlin Kindred

00:18:50 - Jenny GK
I'm at the mall, and I saw someone wearing an A and M T shirt, and I ran up to her, and I was like, oh, my God. You go to A and M? Me, too.

00:18:58 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, dear.

00:18:59 - Jenny GK
Yeah. And the other 50,000 people who live in this town, right?

00:19:03 - Caitlin Kindred
All of us go there. Yeah. Oh, my goodness. Yeah.

00:19:07 - Jenny GK
I can't believe this is where my video was made.

00:19:10 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, I nerd it out so hard. I'm like, they're standing right here, and they're throwing combinations, and I'm like, I felt so stupid. And then when I walked down the stairs, and I'm like, oh, my God. Literally, Rocky. Here's the Rocky, like, shoe prints in gold in the concrete. And here's, like, Rocky, sign here, rocky, sign there. Oh, look, there's the Rocky statue. I missed all of that walking up and had the audacity to speculate. I wonder if these are the Rocky stairs. And they were.

00:19:39 - Jenny GK
I've been to Philadelphia a couple of times. One of them, I was eight weeks pregnant with Abigail oh, my goodness. And ran those stairs.

00:19:49 - Caitlin Kindred
Good for you.

00:19:50 - Jenny GK
And almost puked.

00:19:53 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah, I could see that, being pregnant and running the stairs, and I was.

00:19:57 - Jenny GK
In that part of the pregnancy where it's like all you do is puke.

00:20:00 - Caitlin Kindred
Right. And if you don't immediately roll over and shove a saltine into your face, the second you wake up, you're going to throw up. Yeah, I got you.

00:20:07 - Jenny GK
That's when I ate nothing but corn tortillas for an entire week, because that's all I could keep down.

00:20:11 - Caitlin Kindred
OOH, corn tortillas. Corn tortillas also sucked down, like, a ton of water at the same time.

00:20:17 - Jenny GK
That would be so.

00:20:20 - Caitlin Kindred
Man. Okay, well, that's my gem. Just me just not paying attention to the world around me, as per usual.

00:20:26 - Jenny GK
All right, so we have to chitchat before we get our job done, but we are here to do a job, and we are here today to talk to you about back to school shopping, because that time is coming.

00:20:37 - Caitlin Kindred

00:20:37 - Jenny GK
And we have broken it down into a couple of different topics underneath back to school shopping. And so the first thing I want to address is school supplies. Do it, and I'm going to curse. I'm sorry, but you just got to buy the damn list, okay? If the school has published a list and it's at your grocery store or they email it out or whatever. Just buy everything on the list. Buy the brand that they tell you because that teaching team has agonized over that list to make sure that everything on it is what you need for the year. So just buy it.

00:21:18 - Caitlin Kindred
A lot of teachers teams in particular, they're very mindful of the pushback that a lot of parents were giving them about, don't buy extra stuff because I'm not paying to supply the entire class with my money. Everything that you buy is going to be utilized by your child. It's not like you're funding the entire class supply list. You're not doing that. I will say if you can send extra supplies, those are always going to be appreciated. It's a great thing to do because there are kids who struggle to get everything, of course, and no one's going to stop you from doing that if you can be extra generous and send tissues. Always appreciated. I will say one other thing. This is my favorite thing that my child school does. They've partnered with a school supply company.

00:22:14 - Jenny GK
To package where you buy the kit.

00:22:17 - Caitlin Kindred
You buy the kit all at once and it's like $50 for all of the supplies for the entire school year. And it's like second grade boys, second grade girls. I don't even know why it makes a difference if they're boys versus girls.

00:22:34 - Jenny GK
But they might have girls buy tissues and boys buy Hannitizer or something like that.

00:22:38 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah, maybe. But it is such a good idea. It seems like it's going to be more expensive. I promise you it's not more expensive. Just buy the kit. Do that. If that's an option.

00:22:51 - Jenny GK
If that's an option, I always take it. It's so good.

00:22:54 - Caitlin Kindred
Saves your and most of the time they get shipped directly to the school. So it's just sitting there on your kid's desk and you don't have to do anything with it.

00:23:02 - Jenny GK
Well, and it also solves the problem of like yellow folder with Brad's, right?

00:23:07 - Caitlin Kindred
Because you're not hunting down. And usually what happens is the reason you don't get the things on the list is because you've already gone to two stores, you can't find the thing that you need, and you're just like, you know what? Any yellow folder is fine, when really it's not fine. Because the teacher is asking for that particular thing for a reason, and we get your frustration over that. So just buy the kit if you can. It's just easier.

00:23:29 - Jenny GK
That's awesome. Now, if there's not a kit and you're having a hard time finding the yellow folder with Brads, I suggest that you actually tell the teacher that you're having a hard time finding the yellow folder with Brads because they might have a backup plan. They might say, oh, well, we actually aren't using orange for anything, so go ahead and grab an orange. And throughout the year I'll say yellow or orange. Or they'll say, oh, don't buy it. Let me see if I can find it somewhere else, and then I'll let you know where it is. Just email it's. Fine. And the chances of your student using the school supplies on the very first day of school is so small. So if you have the teacher's contact information and can say, hey, I just couldn't find the clear plastic ruler, all I can find is clear is the pink plastic ruler. Oh, don't worry about it. We're not going to use rulers for another three weeks. Just keep your eye out when you go to the grocery store.

00:24:28 - Caitlin Kindred
Yes, perfect.

00:24:31 - Jenny GK
Just contact. Okay. The next thing is clothing.

00:24:34 - Caitlin Kindred

00:24:35 - Jenny GK
Now, this wisdom comes from my mother. We would always go back to school shopping before school started, and she would let us buy one or two outfits. Yeah, this is when we were older, right? If you're sending your kid to kinder or first grade, just buy the clothes, right? You do the brand with the animals that everything matches or whatever. And if you happen to be lucky enough to send your children to a school that's uniformed yes. Love it. How easy is that? But if your children are older, just buy a couple of new outfits. And the reason that my mom used to do this was she would let us go to school for a week, see what our friends were wearing, and then go shopping that first weekend after school started to buy clothes that quote.

00:25:31 - Caitlin Kindred
Unquote fit in, my jaw just dropped open. That is brilliant. Why have I not thought about that before?

00:25:38 - Jenny GK
Oh, my gosh. And she would say, Look, I know that I'm either going to buy you things that you aren't going to wear or you're going to have a hard time choosing. So buy yourself a couple of outfits for the first week, and we'll go shopping after that. If you live in Texas, tax free weekend is August the 11th through the 13th, and there are so many things that are tax free that weekend, you can just Google tax free Weekend, Texas, and it will tell you exactly what is on sale. School supplies, clothing, backpacks, tons of stuff are tax free that weekend. You just have to look into it.

00:26:17 - Caitlin Kindred
That's smart.

00:26:18 - Jenny GK
Even if it's hot. Okay. We happen to live in a state where, like I said, 95, you sit inside, 94, you sit out. Even if it's hot. Consider getting a light jacket or a sweatshirt, because if it's hot outside, it's air conditioned inside, and it might be too cold for your kid in the classroom.

00:26:37 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah. At least in Texas, that's going to be the situation for sure. I know that there are some schools that don't have air conditioning, and I went to one.

00:26:48 - Jenny GK
We went in the morning and the evening, and then we took the afternoons off because there was no air conditioning.

00:26:53 - Caitlin Kindred
Because it was too hot. Yeah, and I get that. But it does get chilly in those buildings. This is that time of year where people blast the AC so hard that when you step outside for a split second, it actually feels good for the first five minutes. And then you're like, all right, now I'm sweating.

00:27:09 - Jenny GK
I'm sweating.

00:27:10 - Caitlin Kindred
Right. But definitely consider something light to send with your kid. Can we skip ahead to something real quick? I see that you have this on the list. While we're talking about clothes, can we talk about labeling everything?

00:27:22 - Jenny GK
Oh, my gosh. If it layers, it labels.

00:27:25 - Caitlin Kindred
You have to label everything. Right.

00:27:30 - Jenny GK
It doesn't matter how old your kid is. I promise you, if they're in middle school, they're going to lose their sweatshirt, write their name on it. Because the thing is, when it gets found, if it has the kid's name.

00:27:41 - Caitlin Kindred
They bring it back. They'll give it back to them.

00:27:43 - Jenny GK
Often gets returned to the kid before it goes to lost and found.

00:27:48 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah, they'll bring it back. The number of times that we've lost stuff, and then it just shows up in his backpack the next day because it had his name on it and they just returned it. It was so helpful. So helpful. But there's a couple of ways you can do this to make your life a little easier. Yes. You can write names with a marker if you want. However, there are companies that make stickers with your kid's name on them and you can customize the stickers to look however you want. Like, Sam liked these frog ones, so we got frog stickers and it has his name on it and we just slap it on everything. Mabels labels is one name, bubbles is another. There's tons of companies like that. Right. What?

00:28:22 - Jenny GK
I used to buy them from Inch Bug. I don't even know if they're still in business.

00:28:25 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah, you can also get them at like the grocery store, I think, and they're blank. And you just write the name on them with the marker and then you start Connor. It's not a big deal. What I love for clothing is name stamps.

00:28:38 - Jenny GK

00:28:40 - Caitlin Kindred
And it's just like an ink stamp that you put on the clothes and it just yeah, you just don't even have all you do is just stamp. I used to stamp the inside of his cloth masks with that.

00:28:52 - Jenny GK
That is so smart.

00:28:54 - Caitlin Kindred
And it was amazing because I didn't have to worry about a sticker like peeling off or anything like that. The stickers don't really peel off of the clothing that much. They do sometimes, but they stick really well to most plastic things. But in terms of cloth, you just want something that's going to be easy. The ink doesn't rub out, the ink doesn't smell. It's all great.

00:29:12 - Jenny GK
It's designed for that job.

00:29:14 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah, it's great. I would highly recommend it. But in terms of school supplies, when you're labeling things, only label the things that your teacher tells you to. Some stuff will be communal. You. Don't need to write names on Kleenex boxes. Sometimes crayons get dumped into a communal situation. But so just pay attention to what they ask you to label and what they don't ask you to label. But for the most part, especially if your child's in elementary school, they'll help you with the labeling piece. They've usually got stickers. They print them all out, and they have the kids stick it all over everything. It'll work out fine.

00:29:48 - Jenny GK
The other thing you should not put names on don't put your child's full name on their backpack. I am the monogram queen. You know this about me. I do. But I do not put my kid's name on their backpack, just their initials. The reason is safety. If Abby's wearing a backpack that says Abby, someone knows her name now.

00:30:12 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah. And then they can use it to call to her. They can use it to call, pretend that they know her. Yeah.

00:30:17 - Jenny GK
Right. So I did put her full name on her lunch box because it's going inside the backpack. But the backpack itself just a monogram.

00:30:28 - Caitlin Kindred
Yes, I'm here for it. Or you could put something that's kind of unique to that. Sam's backpack has an interesting patch that I have per monogrammed onto it, so it has his initials on it, too, but it also has this extra special thing that he wanted added onto it. So we did that. And so at this point now, he's had that backpack for a few years, and everybody knows that it's his, and it's got that patch on it.

00:30:54 - Jenny GK
That's super smart.

00:30:55 - Caitlin Kindred

00:30:56 - Jenny GK
Okay, let's begin of lunches.

00:30:58 - Caitlin Kindred

00:30:59 - Jenny GK
You need to practice every new container before the start of school. Unless your child has an age that is double digits. Practice every container. And you can do it in a sly way. Right. You don't have to say, like, hey, can you open your thermos? Put something in it, put it in the fridge. And when your kid says, I'm hungry or thirsty, say, oh, there's a container of snack in the fridge.

00:31:21 - Caitlin Kindred
Go grab it.

00:31:23 - Jenny GK
And so now they're practicing opening it. The reason is not just because teachers have to open it. It's because they have to wait for a teacher to open it. So this is not me saying I don't want to open things. I have opened plenty of things. And let me tell you my first question.

00:31:38 - Caitlin Kindred
Can you open this?

00:31:39 - Jenny GK
Has it been in your mouth? I have to ask that every time.

00:31:43 - Caitlin Kindred

00:31:44 - Jenny GK
But it's not about whether or not I want to open things. It's about the idea that your kid might have only 15 minutes to eat with travel time and clean up, they don't want to spend three of those minutes waiting for someone to come and open their container.

00:31:58 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah, it's not a lot of time. They really don't have time for that. When we were practicing for the week leading up to school, when there was no camp or anything like that. I put his lunch in there every time. So I started he's got like a bento box. So I started just by using the bento box itself, the divided pieces, just that as a plate. And I put everything in there and he had to go through and pick out his stuff. And then I started to put it in. I put it in the container that it went into and I didn't shut it all the way, but I did have it closed. And then the next day I latched it and then he could leave it open. And then the day after that I latched it. But then he had to close it up again to put it back into his lunchbox. So I just eased him in for it and it was a really great way to do that and it seemed like he figured it out pretty quickly. The other thing is we always sent him with one of those it's like a baby food, like smoothie pouch thing, just to get a little extra fruit into him and it goes fast and he can kind of have one hand on that while he eats a snack and then the other. You know what I mean?

00:32:59 - Jenny GK

00:33:00 - Caitlin Kindred
We have to make him practice opening those too. And any kind of if you're going to send them to school with a granola bar, make them practice opening the granola bar on their own. The things that you don't think about, like if you always open the granola bars, you need to have them hand it to them and say, look, here's how I do it. See this part that has black on it? That's where you pull and see what happens. And they can do it. You just have to give them a chance to try.

00:33:23 - Jenny GK
When it comes to food, you got to have some real conversations with your kids. If you don't want food coming back in the lunchbox, have that conversation. My daughter is almost twelve and I still have to tell her, if you didn't eat it, throw it out. By the time it has sat in your lunchbox for an entire school day, it is no longer edible. So I don't want it back unless it's like a closed bag of chips or something.

00:33:51 - Caitlin Kindred
If it's a closed something, that's different.

00:33:54 - Jenny GK
If you didn't eat the sushi, you toss it.

00:33:59 - Caitlin Kindred
And with my child, it's different. I actually want him to bring it back because he's on medication. That kind of suppresses his appetite. So I want to know right.

00:34:09 - Jenny GK
There you go. That's what I'm saying. You got to have the conversation.

00:34:12 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah. So we've talked about how don't throw out snack if you don't eat it. If it's closed up still, please don't throw it away. Just put it back in your backpack and we'll look at it later. But definitely having those conversations is important. Some kids are going to bring it home. No matter what. So if you really want them to stop doing that, you do need to say, this is what you're going to bring home. This is what you're not going to bring home. And then you're going to practice at home. Okay. Look at your tray. Is it full of food? If your tray is full of food, what do we do with it? And just reinforce it as much as you can.

00:34:42 - Jenny GK
We have the first place in our nasty stuff. It was so gross because on a Friday, she didn't eat her whole lunch.

00:34:51 - Caitlin Kindred
And she left it in the car.

00:34:51 - Jenny GK
And she left it in the car all weekend.

00:34:54 - Caitlin Kindred
It was so gross. Nasty.

00:34:58 - Jenny GK
Stop bringing it back.

00:35:00 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah, but I get it.

00:35:03 - Jenny GK
I totally understand, right? Like, if you're trying to keep track or whatever. Yeah. Bring it back. This is our conversation. This is what we're going to do.

00:35:10 - Caitlin Kindred

00:35:11 - Jenny GK
All right. That's all I got. And I know that the lunch kind of moved away from shopping, but it starts with if you're going to buy new containers, just practice with them. I don't even know what to say. My kid lunch now. I just told her, look, I can't do it. And we have an arrangement that it's a dollar extra per day that I have to pack her lunch. So on Monday, it's a dollar. On Tuesday. It's $2. On Wednesday.

00:35:36 - Caitlin Kindred
Oh, my God.

00:35:37 - Jenny GK
$3. On Thursday. It's $4.

00:35:40 - Caitlin Kindred

00:35:40 - Jenny GK
So by the end of the week and she doesn't go to school on Fridays. By the end of the week, if I've packed all of her lunches, she owes me $10.

00:35:48 - Caitlin Kindred
Dang yeah. I love that.

00:35:51 - Jenny GK
Yeah. And I buy her whatever she needs. We go to the grocery store on the weekend together. We make a plan. And I'm happy to help her prepare. Like, she loves to bring veggie sushi. It's like, super easy pressed avocado cucumber. We just roll it up on Sunday night. It saves all week in the fridge. It's fine. And I'm happy to help her do that, but my disdain for packing in the morning, it's one more thing. I said, you know what?

00:36:20 - Caitlin Kindred
I'm not doing it at night anymore. I do it at night.

00:36:23 - Jenny GK
I just said, I'm just not doing it anymore. You pack your own lunch or you pay me a buck.

00:36:28 - Caitlin Kindred
Yeah. It's the worst. Okay, well, I hope that this episode was helpful for you. Again, these are just a few of the things that we learned over the years, and we can definitely provide more. If there's interest, please let us know. And please do send us your 90s stuff. I'm really interested in it. Now I have oh, my goodness. Now I have counting blue cars in my head. Alanis Morissette needs to be in there some.

00:36:55 - Jenny GK
Oh, yes.

00:36:56 - Caitlin Kindred
All right, guys. Make good song choices.

00:36:59 - Jenny GK
Man. Turn 98.

00:37:05 - Caitlin Kindred
All right.

00:37:06 - Jenny GK
Like Caitlin said, make your choices.

00:37:08 - Caitlin Kindred
And good luck with back to school shopping.

00:37:11 - Jenny GK
Bye. Goodbye.

Back-to-School Prep