Category Archives: school

Milestones & Memories — They are both in School!

20140818_07323720140818_073234Well, it is another milestone year!  Our little one started Kindergarten, and now they are both in full-day school.  For us it is not a schedule change, and nor were tears shed because we both work outside the home.  The kids are used to going to some sort of school, daycare, etc., year-round. But, it is still a milestone.

Part of me is sad because this signifies the beginning of letting go.  And yet, part of me is relieved to drop off and pick up at the same location.  It’s the little things, really.  We are excited for this year to get going since the first week is a little slow.  We are at a great school and the kids have great teachers so we are stoked.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t share these important milestones.  And low and behold, we are now planning for winter camps, spring break camps, and yes, summer 2015 camps.

Is it really that time already? I think we will blink, and it will be Christmas.  Have a great school year everyone and enjoy your milestone moment, whatever that may be.


Back to School Review of Mabel’s Labels

It’s Back to School time, and that doesn’t just mean shopping for a new wardrobe, a new backpack, lunch bags, and supplies (oh, those dreaded supplies), it also means labeling all that stuff and labeling it so your child’s pink Carter’s jacket doesn’t get confused with the identical one in her classroom. So, this summer, as you are shopping for supplies and all that new gear, don’t forget to get some cool labels for your child’s back to school. For us, our second (youngest) daughter started Kindergarten! But, alas, that means labeling and re-labeling it all including jackets, shoes, lunch box, containers inside the lunch box, and of course, her backpack and supplies.

Mabel’s Labels has a great Ultimate Back to School Combo TM.  Check out all their cool products here and act now to get the amazing discount – it is a great deal. I got to try out their Ultimate Back to School Combo to write about today and let me tell you, we are set.  For just one of my daughters, we received these dishwasher safe, microwave safe, UV resistant stickers that include fun colors and designs, 40 skinny-minis as pictured on their site, and 50 tag mates, 16 shoe labels, and 2 teeny tags. Talk about being set for the new school year.

I have used many of their products for 2 years now, since my eldest started kindergarten and their products are well made, and last – whether you need to label lunch bags, back packs, shoes, books, containers, or anything else, these labels take a beating, a washing, and keep on going!  Give them a try.

Happy Back to School to you!

* Disclaimer:  I received one ultimate combo back for one of my kids in exchange for a review.  The opinions expressed here are my own.  I was offered no additional compensation.  Please read my general disclaimer as well.


From the Mouths of Kindergartners

Mornings in kindergarten
Mornings in kindergarten

I volunteer at my daughter’s school a few times a month and sometimes that is in the morning.  They start their day with the school bell, then the pledge of allegiance, and after that, they all say a bunch of phrases or hymns so to speak.  It can go something like this, “In everything you do, do your best, even if it is coloring.  Try your hardest.  In everything you do, try your hardest.”   There is another one that goes like this, “respect means treating others the way you want to be treated,” and finally, “responsibility means wdoing your job without being told or just one time since you’re a kindergartener.”

I love, love these little sayings, and I started to think everyone in society could benefit from these little sayings.  Think about it:  isn’t life often like a Kindergarten or in some cases, high school?  Simple phrases like this can really serve some people well, and serve to remind them of simple principles that will hopefully help them be true to themselves and others.  I like to add one more phrase to the list, “everyone is not you, everyone is different, and you are not better than any one else.” I think if Kindergarteners learned this up front and throughout their lives maybe they wouldn’t be so difficult to deal with later on in life?

When my friends and I talk, it seems that there is a common theme in most everything they encounter – whether its interactions with other parents, neighbors, at their business, or at the child care centers:  Personality conflicts, lack of respect for others and their property, and the perfecting of interpersonal skills.

Think about the words said by these kids first thing in the morning, “in everything you do, do your best…” Sure, its not coloring but shouldn’t we all be doing our best in all we do- trying our hardest?  How much better would our friendships and relationships be if we heeded the phrase “respect means treating others the way you want to be treated.” This is a common theme in most religions too but just saying these out loud daily or in our heads, could it change the way we view our world, and ultimately, change our world?

My personal favorite is the one on responsibility.  You shouldn’t have to be told – okay, so there is the one-time exception for a Kindergartner.  But I also view responsibility as someone accepting responsibility for their actions as well, instead of blaming everything and everyone around them for their shortcomings.  It comes as no surprise that lawsuits and tort actions are so rampant in our society- no one is ever to blame for anything they do anymore.  And, going back to the adage above of people thinking they are better than everyone else, why would they ever take the blame for anything they contribute to if they always think they are right?  If we recited this phrase daily that we learned from Kindergartners, would more people learn to take responsibility for their actions in society?

Ah, from the mouth of babes!  I love volunteering in my daughter’s kindergarten class.  There are so many parallels between school and daily life – more than I care to admit.  I love volunteering and seeing the interchange between the kiddos.  The same parallels present themselves to the parents of these kids in almost all they do, whether it’s shopping in a grocery store, mommy’s day out, parents’ groups, and working outside the home.  No matter what it is you do, or don’t do, we could all benefit from lessons from the mouths of Kindergartners- to enhance ourselves and our interpersonal relationships … “in everything we do, do our best, even if it is just coloring.”


Get Clued In’s Year in Review- 2012

Well, 2012 has certainly been a roller coaster for our family. It was a good blogging year but I honestly have had a rough 2012 and am looking forward to 2013, hoping some of that bad karma from 2012 is gone for good! Wishing you a very happy 2013 as well, and thanks for following along.

This year’s review of Get Clued In is not as diverse or uplifting as the 2011 Top 10 and Year in Review and honestly, is a more mixed bag. Just like the personal roller coaster year our family had, so are the posts.

Here goes:

10. Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – a gem of a movie (now on DVD) – as far as movies and movie reviews for the year, this one has special place in my heart. I loved, loved (did I mention LOVED) this movie. It’s a must see for 2012 or any year and remember as Sonny said in the movie, “everything will be all right in the end… if it’s not all right then it’s not yet the end.”

9. They really CAN see you- dangers of Group MMS messaging texts– Wow! Did I learn a lot this year about the dangers of group MMS messaging. I learned how to change the settings which can prevent a lot of heart ache later. Also, this one post did get a lot of traffic this year so I am glad the word is getting out. Get smarter than your “smart” phone. Note: Ironically, as I wrote this Year in Review, someone decided to send me a Group MMS and now I am getting texts from people I do not know. I guess keep passing the message on please.

8. Disneyworld on a Dime? Ahhh, Forget about it!– How could I not share a fabulous trip to Disneyworld we had and the opportunities to share tips. Sure, you can’t do Disney on a Dime but you can do it with some tips. It was a fun trip to Florida for my brother’s wedding and Disneyworld BUT we did manage to bring home the plague– not even kidding. So perhaps you can read the plague post after you read about all the fun we had at Disneyworld.

7. Our School-Moon Trip: get Clued In Heads West to California– Before our daughter started Kindergarten, we took a family trip to California- we had a blast! We saw the Bay Area, San Francisco, and San Jose, and got to hang out on the Beach at Monterey Bay/Carmel. We saw family and friends, and really enjoyed San Francisco.

6. New York, New York! We took a trip for Thanksgiving week to New York. The excuse was a wedding for a relative, but we capitalized and saw New York City, and enjoyed some amazing pizza, pretzels, and felafel. I think I gained 5 lbs on this trip from the wedding food, and all the other libations. Wow! Great trip with the kids and we saw a lot of both sides of our families. Great reunion, and a great time!

5. In an Instant– As I said earlier, this year marked the first time for us, on my side of the family that there were some health issues for both my mom and dad. Postings 4 and 2 below relate to all of this too. It was truly eye opening for all of us on many fronts. First, on the health care front in America – truly scary how bad it could have been without good health insurance but second, and more importantly, it made my brother and I realize that life is fragile. We all realized that the time we have on this earth is limited with friends, family, and loved ones so make it all count.

4. With Mom on Mother’s Day– This year, because of the health issues of my dad and then even my mom, was a bit unusual and instead of spending mother’s day with my kiddos, I got to spend it with my mom. I was there to help after my dad’s heart attack but getting that opportunity to spend time with her was just unique and there is nothing like being with mom.

3. Milestones & Memories- First Day of Kindergarten– This one is near and dear to my heart because all milestones are. Our eldest started Kindergarten. What a journey she has ahead and I guess us too!

2. Because of the Sacrifices they made – As you know this was a rocky year for our family, specifically my parents both had health issues and I thought this post was heartfelt and even reading it now, gives me goose pimples as the tears roll down my cheeks. My favorite quote from the movie The Odd Life of Timothy Green holds true as I think about the time we all have with each other on this planet especially our kids and parents: “there are two people in the world who want you more than anything. They will do their best, they’ll make mistakes, and you only get them for a short time, but they will love you more than you can ever imagine.”

AND FINALLY…. (drumroll please)

1. Decision 2012: Why Social Issues Matter – What would 2012 be without a political post or two. So, of course, I’d be remiss to not talk about how President Obama won this election despite all that is going on with the economy. It was a rough campaign and very ugly, and some of the posts I wrote before define it all but in the end, social issues do matter. Here are some other posts on the heated and historical election year: Why do you Vote? and my post after seeing President Obama for the first time ever: Politics 101


Milestones & Memories – First Day of Kindergarten

All dressed up and ready to go – first day of K

The big day is finally here!  She started Kindergarten today.  My mother-in-law said, “it’s not like you dropped her off at college or anything… relax.”  She is right but, it is these moments, little by little, step by step, moment by moment, and all the memories in between that prepare us for the day they leave, right?  The anticipation of every new milestone, getting through each one with grace, as few tears as possible, and enjoying every moment you possibly can – that is what will get us through the day they finally fly the nest- or will it?

Great things will come!



As you can see from the pictures, it is not my daughter that freaked out because she is starting a whole new chapter in her life with a brand new school, a brand new teacher, and all new friends.  It was me- I freaked out.  Of course, that is how it is.  It was a process to start this day too.  In our County, we get the option to choose either our neighborhood school which is amazing by the way or choice enroll our kids into a plethora of other public charter schools.  We tried to do the latter just so we could compare all the local schools, and see what shook out.  It was an opportunity to see all the different curriculum, teachers, administrative staff, and of course, the schools and facilities too.  For us, the biggest draw to the school we chose was the way the curriculum is taught and the leveling.  So, if a child is reading at the 6th grade level, they will actually read at that level in this school!  Not that my child is a super star by any means and not that I expect that but I like the concept of making sure the kids that need to be at the K level or lower are in the proper group, and the kids that need 2nd and 3rd grade advancement get that so they do not get bored or irritate others in the class by being mixed in with those who may need a little extra help reading.  Similarly, for math if she is higher level, she would be placed with a higher group.  So, it works out well all around.  The drawbacks for our choice school: the time that it starts (super early) and no bus she can ride but maybe we can set up a carpool someday.  Ho hum!  All in all, we are excited and nervous at the same time.  I think the change is harder on us than her.

November 2009 – first day of daycare

Of course, all this being said, moving schools and going to school all day (even up to 12 hours a day) is not new to our family.  Here is a picture of our Kindergartener as she started her first day care in November of 2009, after being in home care where she was the only kid since she was 6 months old!  We both work so our kiddos have been in some sort of care since they were each 4-5 months old.  Luckily, for a lot of it it was family-like care which is very nice.  We were so comfortable with home care but we knew she was ready for interaction with other kids and needed to learn some things so it was time to cut the cord and ship her off to a good day care and then two years later, we changed day cares so she could be closer to home- that was just last year!  I was a nervous wreck and was so worried she would not like the new place but not surprisingly, she did fine- it was an adjustment for me!  You can read about her starting a new day care here when I posted around this time last year.  Our big adjustment last year was packing lunches.  Now, it’s a whole new game and we are all geared to set alarms all over the house too!  That is unheard of because our children are generally our alarm clocks.

Our Kindergartener at only 3 months old!

Our little girl is growing up- it’s only Kindergarten after all but it is these milestones and the memories that will come that will all help prepare us to release them into the world… slowly, but surely.  A good friend once said to me, when I was debating quitting work and staying at home because I had a hard time letting her go at daycare, “Ratna, we raise them to let them go. We raise them to become mature, good, kind people to go out in the world and do great things. We slowly learn to let go- we have to.” She was right and I hold on to her words every time we reach a new milestone.  We raise our kids to let them go just like our parents did to us.  And, no matter what they do, we need to know that we tried so hard every single day even on the days we couldn’t keep our eyes open from the fatigue. Milestones and memories, memories and milestones- enjoy every moment I say… it ends too quickly.  Now, I pray for strength to not stalk her school all week long, then all will be fine.

Letter we wrote to her and put in her backpack – for her first day. Words of love and encouragement