Per Google, a “life hack” is “a strategy or technique adopted in order to manage one’s time and daily activities in a more efficient way.” As parents, we often come across these things in a very necessity-is-the-mother-of-invention kinda way. Now, I don’t have too many hacks that I originated because I am low on the Martha Stewart quotient. I did realize that if you freeze a banana, which you must do with no peel, it makes your blended smoothie much creamier and your kids think this it is a treat. You probably knew this already but I had to “discover” it. I, embarrassingly enough, learned from “Jon and Kate Plus 8” that you should definitely use a pizza cutter to cut things like pancakes, French toast, and quesadillas.
I have what I consider a “life hack” for you but it’s really just a reminder or gentle nudge. The calendar is out for the Edmonds School District 2013-2014 school year, HERE, now is the time to print this bad boy out AND add it to your phones calendar. I only suggest this because for the last 2 years I have learned the hard way, read from my friends on Facebook, that my kid had an early release or a non-student Friday. My husband even scheduled a wisdom tooth surgery for a non-student day, answering the question, “What’s worse than getting your wisdom teeth out?” with “bringing a 7-year-old to get your wisdom teeth out.” I use Google’s calendar, which is synced with my phone, which is synced with my husband’s phone, and I can access it online easily from work or home. It didn’t take me too long to add the, what feels like, 8 million days off during the school year to the calendar. I’ve added just the plain text to the bottom of this page in case your device isn’t PDF friendly. If you have a smart phone, it likely has the capacity to sync to a calendar of some sort, even if you just use a PC or laptop or an OG wall calendar, the time is nigh! Do it while you are thinking about it and don’t drag a 7-year-old to the oral surgeon’s office.
I got the synced calendar idea from two Edmonds Moms, Chris Cossu and Elaine Helm who use theirs to manage two jobs, “The Boy,” and a busy Roller Derby schedule. Chris and Elaine, who are seemingly full of life hacks, also run the Facebook page Fun Kids Lunches, which has incredible ideas for out of the box, and downright fancy bento box lunches. They chronicle their daily creativity, as they make, and take pictures of, lunches for their adorable Edmonds school-ager. While this style of lunch isn’t something I see myself pulling off, the low-key pair also cover make-ahead options and show you the “tricks of the trade” for turning a regular sandwich into an edible Lorax.
At our house, we use a gingerbread man-shaped cookie cutter to turn a PB&J in to what we call a “dude,” but that is as far as I have gotten and it’s frankly where my talent/ambition ends. I have, however, picked up a few lunch staples from following along during the school year, the most important being “a crusher.” They are individual serving-size pouches of pureed vegetables blended with applesauce and they are responsible for all of the vegetables my older son consumes. I get mine at Trader Joe’s, Target and PCC.
Life hacks come in all areas, and can often be found in your news feed. I found this list that is all kid hacks and follow ParentHacks.com on Twitter, but hacks are handy in all areas. My most favorite is the water bottle egg yolk trick and while it isn’t something I really need, it is fun and somehow endlessly entertaining.
Good luck with the school year and PLEASE add any life hacks you have in the comments!
And now for those Edmonds School District important dates:
First Day of School: September 4, 2013
Veterans’ Day: November 11, 2013
Thanksgiving Break: November 28-29, 2013
Winter Break: December 23 – January 3, 2014
Martin Luther King Jr. Day: January 20, 2014
Presidents’ Day: February 17, 2014
Spring Break: April 7-11, 2014
Memorial Day: May 26, 2014
Last Day of School: June 17, 2014**
Early Release Days
October 21-25 (Early release is only for full-time kindergarten and grades 1-6; no part-time kindergarten, due to parent conferences.)
January 23 (Districtwide)
March 19-20 (Early release is only for full time kindergarten and grades 1-6, no part time kindergarten, due to parent conferences.)
June 18 (Districtwide)**
Non-Student Days/Teacher Professional Development
Non-Student Day/ Teacher Noncontract Day
**This date and the early release schedule are subject to change if snow days occur and must be made up. The following dates have been designated as possible snow makeup days and are listed in the order that they would be implemented if necessary:
Snow Makeup Days, if needed (in order of usage)
1. June 18
2. June 19
3. June 20
4. June 23
5. June 24
– By Jen Marx
Jen Marx, an Edmonds Mom of two young boys, is a traffic reporter by dawn and writer and PBJ maker by day. She is always looking for a fun place to take the kids that makes them tired enough to go to bed on time. You can contact Jen with your local event at email@example.com or find her trying to make sense of begging kids to ” just eat the mac n cheese” at SnackMomSyndrome.com. If you have a kid-friendly event you’d like to share, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.