On the 5th day of school, Mazzy came down with a pretty bad cold and stayed home sick. I stayed with her in the morning, then Ruth took over at noon and I went to work. At about 2pm, she texted me the photo above. I had totally forgot. Our school photo tradition. Nothing says #thebigkidyears more than your daughter taking it upon herself to continue your longstanding joke.

You may remember that Mazzy was also sick the 4th day of 4th grade last year.

She fared much better the 3rd day of 3rd grade.

This whole tradition started in the second grade when I forgot to take a photo on the first day.

And all these years later, Mazzy is still keeping it alive. How little does Mazzy look below??!!! Pass the tissues, please.

The first month of school was filled with new bus routes, after school activities, stuffy noses and much needed time back in the office. It’s both sad and a relief to be back to our regular routine. You can read all how the girls started the school year, which included both excitement and trepidation.

I’ve been talking a lot about Harlow’s struggles with drop-off and how she is dealing over on Instagram. Harlow has a tough time with change and transitions, so I think having to adjust to new classmates each year is a bit of a struggle. In preschool, she moved up with the same class of kids for three years, but since she started elementary school, it often feels like she has to start from Square One each year. I was worried the first couple of weeks, but now I can see that she is already branching out and making new friends. Ultimately, having a new set of kids in her class makes the school smaller for her, because now she also sees and recognized friends in the hall.

She’s been bringing Bravery Kitty to class to help her feel comfortable and has a little booklet of family photos in her cubby to look at when she misses us. We also got some great advice from Harlow’s teacher to bring her to class early. She even let me come a few times before class started, so that Harlow could help set up. I think walking into an empty classroom and seeing the kids slowly trickle in, is a lot less overwhelming for her than walking into a class full of kids already engaged with each other in groups. My new goal is for Harlow to always be one of the first kids in class.

As for Mazzy, she’s got more homework in 5th grade and more advanced topics. On September 11th, Mazzy came home with homework on the Twin Towers falling and said the word “terrorism” for the first time. I wrote about the conversation I had with Mazzy as we went over her assignment. We also decided to continue getting her extra help in math. I shared some tips for how to find the right tutor, if you are looking too.

In lighter topics, VSCO girls seems to be a big point of discussion amongst Mazzy’s friends. Is being a VSCO girl cool? Is it uncool? Was it ever cool? Is it all just a parody? A parody of what exactly? After extensive research, I think I’ve figured out the trend and wrote a “Mom’s Guide to VSCO Girls” which is a MUST READ, especially if you think you might have a VSCO girl at home. Since I make my living in social media, I feel I am uniquely qualified to understand how we got to this very confusing place!

Of course, I couldn’t fully cover VSCO girls if I didn’t share a new episode of Harlow’s News, where Harlow explains the trend and pretty much calls out her big sister for being one herself. You can watch that here.

Then to top it off, Mazzy had a playdate yesterday and within five minutes of her friend coming over, they emerged from her room laughing, “Look! We’re VSCO girls!!!” They were doing it as a goof, and for what it’s worth, it did make me realize that although they obviously own all the things one needs to be a VSCO girl, there IS a difference (however subtle) between what Mazzy and her friends look like and what a #VSCOgirl looks like.

In giveaway news, I’ve got a doozy! You can see all Mazzy and Harlow’s back-to-school clothing picks from Mini Boden and enter to win a $500 Boden gift card here. I also shared my own major fashion revelation— I’m PETITE! It only took me 44 years to figure out why dresses never fit correctly. FYI, you can totally use that Boden gift card for yourself.

If you haven’t seen them yet, go check out the new beverage consumption guidelines for kids ages 0-5, which is the very first time that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association have all come together to agree upon one standard set of guidelines. You can read all about that here.

September is also Neve’s birthday! She is FOUR! Can you believe it?

We celebrated at American Girl Place. The whole experience was pretty hilarious and I highly recommend you watching it on my Instagram story highlights. Trust me.

And last but not least, over on Instagram, I finally revealed the before and after pics of my master bathroom! There was a middle phase photo that I left out, because I really just wanted to show that things on the renovation front are looking up. I’m excited to start showing off more HAPPY after photos soon!

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