Now that we are so close to the triple threat of school starting up again, new names, and adoption day, I have this huge desire to complete my kids' collection of things that are personalized. There are at least 5 items I want to get for each of my kiddos, each with its own purpose and meaning.
1. Personalized Pencils - Totally Practical
Four of my kids will be in public school this fall. Two of them are changing their names. One of those is changing schools completely. Another is starting Pre-K. I think it would be awesome to send them to school with names on their pencils to help remind them how to spell their new first and last names. The first names are easy to write, once they get used to it (and they've been practicing for months), but our last name is a different story. It's not Smith or Jones or White or Brown. It's complicated. People always mispronounce it and misspell it. The Pre-K kiddo will be learning to write her name (hopefully...). Wouldn't it be great if they had their name on their pencils to act as a reminder without having to raise their hand and ask the teacher to help them spell their own names? And, of course, I can't get these three pencils without getting a set for Logan...that wouldn't be write. (Get it?)
Total Cost: $40 (Oriental Trading Company, Mustache set, Snowflake Set, Hibiscus Set, and Camouflage set + Shipping)
2. Pencil Cases - Fairly Practical
Each of the kids needs to have a pencil case for their class. They are on the required list for school supplies. It would be great if their pencil cases had a bit of personal flair including their name. Not only would it be a second reminder of how to spell their names, it would also be a bit easier to help them keep track of their own cases, not "accidentally" taking a friends home or each others to school. No, it's not absolutely necessary but I'd love to do it.
Total Cost: $40 (Etsy)
3. Water Bottles - Completely Practical
I've learned in the last two weeks that I don't have a sufficient number of water bottles for the various activities we have to attend. I don't even have 8 (one for each of us) so that in itself is a problem. I have several theme-park refillable cups but they aren't seal-able so they can't be packed or really trusted in the hands of my kids. I have sippy cups but my self-respectable "Big Kids" aren't cool with using their baby brother's sippy cups. Now, since I need to buy some water bottles, I might as well buy them with their names on it. Not only is it cool to have their names on their bottles it cuts down on the fighting immensely (That's MY Water Bottle...MOOOOOOOOM).
Total Cost: $60ish I really haven't priced them yet.
4. Sleeping Bags - Meh...Needed and Only Kind-of Practical.
Logan has a sleeping bag. Summer has two, one personalized with her name on it. My other 4 (well, the 3 older ones) have been hoping they get one too. There really hasn't been a need for one though because as foster children they can't spend the night places, they aren't allowed to sleep anywhere in the house other than their beds, and well, camping can be approved but it hasn't been practical knowing that we'd need approval in advance. So, they need a sleeping bag anyway. Summer has one that has her name on it with a cute design. I'd like to do the same for the other 4 (Logan wouldn't care about that...he's proud of his "grown-up" bag). I know it seems like a luxury, and it is kind-of, having their own sleeping bag is a tangible symbol of not having to follow the rules of foster care anymore. Being able to drop their own sleeping bag on the floor in my room or a tent in the backyard is a form of proof that they'll never have to leave.
Total Cost: $240ish from Lillian Vernon
5. Bean Bags - Completely Unnecessary, really
We're redoing our playroom and making it an actual playroom with centers and (gasp) real furniture. We've moved a tv up their for movie nights or when friends are over and the adults want to have adult time downstairs. I really would like to have them all have their own bean bags (again, personalized so they don't fight about them...).
Total Cost: $300-$600ish, depending on whether I can find them all as clearance-priced on Lillian Vernon
6. Bath Towels - Absolutely Practical
I'm also redoing the upstairs bathroom. Towels are chaos. We've never really had a set for the kids other than those ones they've outgrown (you know, baby ones with the hoodies) and so we have a mismatched set of old towels that end up being thrown around the house and not stored well. What I'd like to do is buy two towels for each kid. I'd like them to have their names on them. This way they can each hang their "clean" towel on their own hook in the bathroom and have one in the wash. If they don't hang up their towel or make sure it gets into the wash they don't have a clean towel to use. If I find one on the floor after bath-time I know exactly who it belongs to. You know...all that kind of stuff.
Total Cost: $300ish.
So, there you have it. Unfortunately, with our budget swing post-adoption I don't know if or when I'll ever be able to buy these things for my kiddos. Well, such is life. But now you know what's going through my head.