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THE ROCK FATHER: THE POP CULTURE MAGAZINE FOR FAMILIES THAT ROCK.

Back to School: The First Days of Pre-K...

This week, Addie started Pre-K. It was our first official "Back-to-School" season, following her run in "Twos and Threes" and "Threes and Fours" programs last year. The summer "break" wasn't a huge deal since we'd kept her going in "Ducky Day Camp" in June and July, two mornings a week at the same place, with the same teachers, in the same classroom. After a month off, she returned, moving up to "Pre-K" and adding a day to her schedule. Three days a week, 2½ hours a day. It's probably a bigger deal for me than it is for her.

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Back to School: Lucy's Cookies (Allergy-Friendly, Gluten-Free, and Vegan, too)

Since Addie officially went "Back-to-School" today, this is probably the last food-related post I'll do for my inaugural BTS season. While we've been very fortunate to have a pair of healthy kids with no allergies thus far, studies show that 1 in 13 kids suffers from a food allergy. Because of this, we're always mindful of the snacks that are around when groups of kids are present. For parents looking for some special treats for special dietary needs, Lucy's might be exactly what you're after. Her Cookies and Brownies are All-Natural, Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Allergy-Friendly with no peanuts or tree nuts, milk or eggs. In addition, everything is crafted in a dedicated bakery.

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Back to School: Funley's Delicious Super Crackers & Wholly Granolly Clusters... Lunchbox Treats that Rock!

In doing my first-ever round of Back-to-School coverage this year on The Rock Father, I started running across some things that were new to me overall... some of which I wasn't even aware of until they showed up at my door. One example: Funley's Delicious. An assortment of SUPER CRACKERS and WHOLLY GRANOLLY CLUSTERS arrived here for review consideration, and to say that they were a hit is an understatement... they were gobbled up by kids and grownups alike, sending this Dad and some fellow parents on a hunt for more. 

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Back to School: An After-School Treat with RUBY's ROCKETS

While it's the unofficial end-of-summer this weekend and the temperatures are still reaching nearly 100 degrees here at Rock Father HQ, both of my girls - at 4 and 14 months - have been loving their icy treats. One new addition to our Ice Box Arsenal (Rock Father slang for "the freezer") has been RUBY'S ROCKETS Frozen Fruit & Vegetable Pops. Since summer is ending and Addie goes Back to School this week, I'm thinking that Ruby's Rockets are a perfect after-school treat, and here's why...

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Back to School Giveaway: Score a $25 RUUM American Kid's Wear Gift Card!

We really dig RUUM American Kid's Wear, and if you're not familiar with why... check out this post from earlier this month. In addition to offering rockin' fashions for kids, the folks at RUUM have some great deals, fun stores, and seem to really enjoy what they do. Having experienced RUUM a couple of times ourselves, I'm giving you a chance to check out RUUM and get some cool clothes for your little ones. RUUM American Kid's Wear and The Rock Father will get one lucky reader hooked-up with a $25 Gift Card good at one of their 23 stores (click here for locations) or online at RUUM.com!

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Back to School: Keeping Kids Healthy in the Last Days of Summer... #healthykids

With this being our first official "Back-to-School" season, keeping the little ones healthy and ready to rock is important. While my four-year-old will begin Pre-K this year, I'm not so much worried as I am concerned about the other kids she'll come into contact with - a motley crew (or Crüe?) bringing who-knows-what kind of germs into the school, and thus onto her, who will bring them back to Rock Father HQ and my 14-month-old. We've been very fortunate to have some really healthy kids, and in the roughly 49-months (that's 4 years, one month) since I became "The Rock Father," our oldest daughter has only been truly "sick" a couple of times... and we're not talking serious ailments of any kind. So how do we keep our little ones healthy? Is it common sense? Is it luck? Is it dark magic? I'm not entirely sure, but here's three simple tips on raising healthy kids during Back-to-School season, based on my non-scientific experience as a parent...

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Back to School: Rockin' Fashion from RUUM American Kid's Wear

It's funny how things work out sometimes. A few weeks back, we made a stop at Gurnee Mills to check out the first completed wing of their ongoing remodel. Among the new stores, I spotted one that caught my eye: RUUM American Kid's Wear. The store was fantastic, and only a few days old when we made our first visit. Colorful, and staffed by a friendly bunch, we ended up leaving with outfits for both of our girls (a treat from my Sister-in-Law). I was so immediately impressed that I actually started following RUUM's social networks before we were even done checking out. I tweeted a photo that I'd posted to Instagram - my daughter, Addie, trying on a cute little biker jacket. The folks from RUUM (pronounced "room," btw) noticed, and then asked if I'd like to go back there to explore their store in a more formal capacity as part of my Back-to-School Coverage here on The Rock Father. Mission accepted.

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Back to School: Getting Ready to Rock with Fashions from Gordmans #GordmansBTS

Well, it's official. Addie is signed up for her "fours and fives" Pre-K for Fall. I just got it all taken care of this past week, and now our first Back-to-School season is officially official, and we're getting ready to rock. Last year was "twos and threes" preschool, and while we kept her going through summer in "Duckie Day Camp" (same place, same teachers, largely same class), Back-to-School shopping should be an exciting part of the Fall ritual - one my wife and I both enjoyed as kids. A new stop for us this year was Gordmans, relatively new to our area, but known for their savings of up to 60% off the competition's ticketed pricing. Read on for our experience, The Rock Father's "unexpected" connection to Gordmans, and your chance to WIN a $1000 VISA Gift Card and a $100 Gordmans Gift Card to help with your Back-to-School Shopping!

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Back to School Giveaway: Orbit for Kids BUILT Lunch Tote and Oral Care Prize Pack!

Keeping kids' teeth healthy is something that I've been worried about since day one as a parent. Even though my little ones have their "baby teeth," regular dentist visits for check-up and cleaning have already become a part of our regular routine. As they get older, it's time to start thinking about those sugary treats, and with those - the bad things they can help bring... things like cavities. To help combat that, the folks at Wrigley have introduced Orbit for Kids - new, sugarfree chewing gum that helps protect teeth, and has been awarded the ADA (American Dental Association) Seal of Acceptance for it's oral care benefits. With Back-to-School upon us, Wrigley and The Rock Father are going to get one lucky parent hooked up with a rockin' Orbit for Kids oral care prize pack and lunch tote to start the school year off right!

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Back to School: Avoiding the Mix-Up Mishap with BRIGHT STAR KIDS...

This is the first year that we've done a real "Back-to-School" here at Rock Father HQ. Sure, Addie just turned four, but she's in "Pre-K" - coming out of "twos and threes" Preschool and getting into the "fours and fives." I registered her yesterday and paid the first month (this stuff is getting expensive), and we did some Back-to-School shopping. As I'm re-experiencing the school world again through my daughter, I can't help but think back to my own school days... and some of the mishaps and misadventures that took place. Including the preventable Mix-Up.

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