Business as usual

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life39 Comments


Ah, the first day of school. Life is back to normal.

But really, not as normal as it used to be for this year, the kids are both at different schools. That's right: my baby girl is now in 7th grade. God help me.


After a highly nutritious breakfast of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, we headed out to the front yard for the Predictable Scrapbook Mom Documenatation Session (PSMDS), and snapped a few key shots, namely, the First Day of School Outfit Choice, which let me tell you, wasn't chosen in haste.


I should point out, this is the first time in her entire academic career where she didn't have to wear a uniform. It's a big deal. She said: "I feel like I'm breaking every single rule in the book." Oh sister, I KNOW how that feels.

Cole, on the other hand, is and will be restricted to a uniform policy for another four years. What concerns me though, is this: has he grown much since his first day of preschool, four years ago?

You decide.


Or did the backpack get bigger?


Whatever the case may be, it's business as usual. Let the fall commence.

And if you're wondering if I let my PSMDS get out of hand when I dropped Aidan off at school, you can relax. It's 7th grade. I know WAY better than to have her pose by the school sign for another series of shots. No. This time, I showed a tiny bit of grace and restraint and let her go in peace.

More or less. Knock 'em dead, kiddo. Love, Mom.


Cathy ZielskeBusiness as usual

39 Comments on “Business as usual”

  1. #1

    I keep forgetting that the 80s are back – leggings are cool again?!?!

    You’re making me miss Back to School – DD isn’t there yet (she’s only 2 going on 13 – mouthy little punk).

    So what is Cathy going to do with herself…

  2. #2
    Heather Blanarik

    I Just love Aidan’s pick for a first day of school outfit. I belive if I look back through my first day of school pics there will be a similar outfit from 20+years ago. My mother was right, ‘if you wore it the first time around, it probably isn’t a good idea to wear it the second time around.’ So no leggins for me. But I just loved wearing them back in the day.
    And Cole, I’d like to see an in depth discovery session on what he carries in that large backpack.
    Hope everyone has a great 1st day of school.

  3. #3

    OH gosh! I can relate… my three are in 9th grade, 5th grade (which is Middle School in our school) and 1st grade. And if they all didn’t go to a small K-12 school, I’d have 3 different schools. And I have all girls. The first day outfit was a major “thing” around here, let me tell you! Oh, and I just read in our paper that Rock of Love 3 will kick off in our great city of Louisville, KY. Let the games begin! lol!

  4. #4
    Carmen King, Avondale, AZ

    Is Cole downing a cup o’ joe there and reading the business/political section?! Goodness, how they grow up so fast…regardless of the size of the backpack.

  5. #6

    Have you swallowed the lump in your throat?
    I can’t imagine my elementary aged first child matriculating. Nearly overwhelming…enjoy the silence.

  6. #7
    leigh ann

    AH—the first day of school—that was like five weeks ago for us–good memories. Don’t hurt yourself doing the happy dance today.

  7. #8

    this is the first year that I have no “first day of school”. dan graduated this year and so I am watching the kids walk by on their way to school…surreal! ciao!

  8. #9

    I am such a bad mother. I FORGOT to take the back to school shots. Can I cheat and do it when they get home?!

    However, I can tell my kids are growing up…when we pulled up to the school, this was the conversation:
    DS10: You’re not coming in, are you?
    DS13: That would be EMBARRASSING!

  9. #10
    Laura H.

    Aidan is so cute. I never looked that put together in the 7th grade. I was still wearing the lovely, overly round plastic framed glasses. Ick! I love Cole having his morning coffee and reading the paper. Funny!

  10. #12

    Just love that photo of Cole with the paper – and Aidan is so grown-up! You mean you get to wear your own clothes at her school? Wow! I was still wearning uniform when I was eighteen at my (state) school! Seems no time since you posted those photos at the start of the holidays…. πŸ™‚ alexa

  11. #13
    Ruth in Western Australia

    Thanks for sharing these photos, I was very envious of the breakfast choice-sadly, this wonderful breakfast treat is not available across the big pond, and I, sadly, fell for it big time whilst in the States, stock up every year we come for CHA, but for some reason, it doesn’t last long! πŸ™‚ Ruth
    ps: not sure I am in ‘lurve’ with the blinky ads on the right of the blog, but hopefully they will grow on me.

  12. #14

    Ha-I took the same photo from the car of my son on his first day of 7th grade last week….glad I am not the only one! Like you said I knew better but I was dying to jump out and get a couple more shots! I’m sure she will have lots to share after school today!

  13. #15
    Kirsten Drew

    Just got back from my own PSMDS, same as I’ve done since DS #1 started junior kindergarten. He’s starting grade 5…wah! I thought I still got to choose his clothes. He decided otherwise! πŸ˜€ DS #2 still wore what I put on him.
    Aidan looks lovely. She has good taste, and skinny legs.
    And we too had Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Saved only for Saturdays. And first days of school.
    Thanks for your blog btw!

  14. #16
    lynne moore

    I believe that is the same backpack my son has….He’s 16 and it looks too small for him…LOL He’s in uniform too this year and I wish it was as easy as it sounds. Still waiting on some to arrive – 3rd week of school starting.

    My daughter still looks like she is in 5th grade, but wears the high school outfits – she actully still in middle school at 8th grade, but has the comfortable “cool” skinny jeans and graphic t’s look down to a science.

  15. #17

    So…umm….are you beating the boys off with a stick yet? She is SO stunning! Although I don’t remember girls looking that put-together when I was in the 7th grade. I can still remember the first day outfit in Jr. High – 501’s, two polo-shirts – collar up, Nike’s, as many Swatch watches as I could manage, and a Jansport back-pack. Ahhhhhh…those were the days!

  16. #18

    Honestly, every time I see a photo of your daughter I think, “Someday that kid is going to rule the world.”

    Seriously. She just has that look in her like she will always land on her feet; and always have something to say about it when she does. That’s a sure sign she’s had a great mom!


  17. #19
    sue Treiber

    I got one picture of each of them before I got the stink eye. MIne are in diff schools this year too. It’s freaky!
    Her outfit rocks!

  18. #20

    Ah, first day of school….I’m relishing in the quiet (even though I still have a 2 year old home with me!) but miss my boys’ faces…they’re both in middle school, 6th and 7th grade…took my oldest to college a couple of weeks ago – 2 year old is wondering “Where is everybodeeeee?” πŸ™‚

  19. #21
    Sara S

    I love the PSMDS shots! And, yes, restraint is good… even though tough at times. Our middle school starts at gr5. So I have 3 in 2 different schools – but all still ride the bus together.

    Happy Day 1 of school!

  20. #22

    Hilarious photo of Cole – or is that Dan?! Love Aidan’s outfit and loving leggings are back! I need a pair to wear under my skirt… might borrow my 19 yr. old’s pair tonight for concert… ;)!

  21. #23

    Gosh, Aidan gets more beautiful every year. She rocked that new outfit. Cole cracks me up. Bummer that such a creative person is stuck wearing uniforms though. πŸ˜‰
    Hope your wrists are better. I’ve joined you in the wrist brigade….elbow one..tendonitis…from “old age”. WTH?!

  22. #24

    Gosh, Aidan gets more beautiful every year. She rocked that new outfit. Cole cracks me up. Bummer that such a creative person is stuck wearing uniforms though. πŸ˜‰
    Hope your wrists are better. I’ve joined you in the wrist brigade….elbow one..tendonitis…from “old age”. WTH?!

  23. #25

    it’s been so fun watching your kids grow over the years, Cathy. Mine are out of school and mostly out of the house! Yet I remember those days as if they were yesterday.
    thanks for sharing your moments with us.

  24. #26

    way to restain yourself mom. I on the other hand would have been like have to smile..or went afterschool and got my shot! my daughter also started the seventh grade..but here sixth grade is where you make the middle school transition! my two younger, luckily are still at the same school!
    welcome fall!

  25. #27

    The backpack cannot be getting bigger… notice how much of the straps hang off his shoulders in today’s photo.

    Also, I don’t know what changed with your links, but when you click on one it no longer opens in its own window. I liked this feature because I could read your blog at work (shhhh) and catch Stacy’s and Dooce without having to reload your page.

  26. #28

    My daughter, my baby, started grade 7 today too! It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Tomorrow is the first full day so it might be worse.

  27. #29

    Restraint is good. I love the photo from the car. I took my last baby to college two weeks ago. I did get a parting photo of her alone and one with her new roommate. I did not cry when we left her but I did tear up looking at Aidan’s pictures today and remembering those days with my baby girl. Cole is so awesome! Karen

  28. #30
    Sonda T

    coffee and the paper? Lord help us! hahaha that photo is too funny! Aiden is looking more and more just like you, Cathy! WOW! I can really see the resemblance now. You’re such a cool mom…getting a pic from inside the car! πŸ˜‰

  29. #32

    Ah, the eighties leggings are back, too bad I don’t still have those skinny legs to go with them. About the backpack well, it looks as though he is set for a trip to the Artic, seriously that thing looks like it could withstand everything an elementary age boy can dish out.

    PS. Love the opening coffee shot πŸ™‚

  30. #33

    I was just going through photos to do a collage for my son who will be 30 on Mon and saw all the standard posed on the patio first day shots. Ah…where did that time go?

    I do think the backpacks have grown!!! Am I imagining this?

  31. #35

    I love Cole with the “coffee” and paper. Too cute. And Aiden’s outfit is cool. I almost wrote adorable, that is not the right teenage word at this point, I know I have one.

  32. #36
    Laura from Calgary

    I’m the kind of Mom that hasn’t found the first day of school too hard – I am usually doing the “dance of joy”. But this year was different as my “baby” entered Senior High School and with a broken ankle to boot. It was difficult leaving her to fend for herself among 1700 students who, unfortunately for the most part, couldn’t care less that she was on crutches and in a cast. No one helped with doors or seats. I know she will survive and I hope to hear all sorts of good stories when she gets home.

  33. #37
    Carla Cavellucci Landi

    Oh, today was the first day of High School for my son… I’d love to take some pictures of him waiting for the bus, but he was so embarrased to see me around (and at he same tme, he didn’t want to make me feel bad and unwanted..) I couldn’t do anything but just look at him and say insode of my head… “God bless your day”…
    Tomorrow my 5th grader starts, and the camera will shine!! πŸ˜€
    Happy back to school!!!

  34. #38

    THANKS so much for these pics!! That post just cracked me up!!! Which is SO good for this morning! LOVE your style to write, LOVE IT!!!
    Take care! Anne

  35. #39

    Tuesday was my “Last first day”. Sigh, Grade 12! I didn’t only get the stink eye, he flipped me the bird! (Does it count against him if he was flashing his dazzling boyish grin as he did it?) I’m sure I have a sticker in my stash with which to cover up the offending digit.

    How can this be the last one when the first one is still such a clear memory? “Okay sweetheart, now when the bus stops climb up and stand next to the driver and give me your best smile.” Up the steps he ran and straight down to the last seat which he ducked behind, refusing to emerge for the planned photo. Jesse, the boy behind him in line, did indeed climb aboard and pose next to the bus driver. So somewhere in my collection, I have a great photo of some kid named Jesse’s first bus ride to kindergarten. Should have known then that my beloved only child would be flipping me the bird on his last first day of school. Bless his bratty little heart …

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