Today’s post will also be linked up with Lindsay over at Wedding Rings to Teething Rings!
We’re talking Organization, my friends, and Lindsay, brave Lindsay, has decided to post every day of the month of January about all things straightened, labelled, collated, and dare I say, TIDY. Yep. She’s doing something organized every day of the month.
My brain hurts a little bit just thinking about it. I am doing good to just sidle up warily to my weekly checklists with Organize This – Lindsay’s doing something spic ‘n span-ish for 31 days in a ROW. I KNOW. She’s like the Olympics.
And I’m gonna add my two cents. My input to the Olympian Organization Challenge will be sorta like the Curling event – not really meriting much attention except for a few raised eyebrows, but surely not lacking in zeal. This post is going to tackle what was once my favorite time of day:
Morning time. (dun, dun, DUN.)
When I say “once” I really mean, “I don’t really remember; I think it was before children.”
Here is a small diagram:
Ok, so after I had kids I really thought I still had it going on for mornings. I would get up, grab my coffee, and tackle my day with gusto and a lot of To Do lists. This lasted approximately two weeks.
Ya’ll, I got tired. So often my mornings were spent fuzzily reaching for coffee, pouring it over my Cheerios, and sloshing creamer into my orange juice. After that, I started to lose my enthusiasm. My mornings started to look like this:
I had pajama pants for every day of the week. I specialized in walking around aimlessly from room to room with a cold cup of coffee in my hand muttering the lyrics to Come on Get Happy. I had completed the epic task of feeding two toddlers breakfast. Something in me kinda died inside when I realized that simply cleaning up the kitchen would take up to an hour some mornings simply because toddlers UNHINGE THINGS. They can take a simple bowl of Cheerios and turn it into a performance art involving linoleum, milk, a lot of zeal, and two spoons.
I guess the biggest red flag to demonstrate to you that my mornings had become seriously disabled: I started using these:
So, I did the only thing I could:
a. Got my hair did and threw away the scrunchies. BEGONE 80’s! You only belong on my Pandora station! Not in mah hair!
b. I made a plan to not only “survive” mornings, but to make them THRIVE. Mornings need to be thrive-worthy. Why? Because they are the diving board for the rest of the day. I wish to swan dive, people! No more belly flop mornings.
MOMSIE’S PLAN FOR A THRIVE-WORTHY MORNING:
1. Show up early with your game face on:
The night before I set out my computer, my coffee cup, my journal and any morning reading I plan to be doing (usually this) and then… (wait for it) I get up 20 minutes earlier than I think I should. Yep, you heard me. There is always 20 minutes in there that you can eek out. It helps. If you can, set that alarm across the room, break your snooze, get your hubs to elbow you viciously when the thing starts beeping, but GET UP JUST 20 MINUTES EARLIER.
2. Allow for a warmup: First thing I do is I drop and plank for one minute, every morning. Why? Because I am a STUD. Ok, well really, it is only possible for me to plank because I can do so without thinking or counting or really doing anything that involves major synapses firing and basic intelligence. All I have to do is plank and stare at my phone’s timer. But, and I know you know this: PLANKING WAKES UP LIKE EVERY MUSCLE IN YOUR BODY. Even my cheek muscles (I’m talking the ones in my face) are working. I do this every morning, for at least a minute. From there, sometimes I go into a few downward dogs or maybe a sunrise pose, but that’s only when my studliness has decided to go off the charts for the day. 60 seconds. Add a bit each week. Get the blood working.
3. Hydrate with flair: This might seem frivolous but to me, it was important. I needed a good reward in my morning. I now am the proud owner of a great coffee grinder and I indulge in the good stuff every morning. If you are not a coffee drinker than, well, bless your heart. Get yourself some GOOD tea or a great juice that YOU love and you don’t have to share. Stop it with the sharing and the Dollar Saver coffee. Just stop it.
While you savor that first cup – read something inspirational, spiritual. Journal about 5 things you are grateful for. Take a breath, and whatever you do, do NOT (I repeat do NOT) check email, myface, spacebook, the tweetings, or any other sort of yahoo time sucker. That comes later.
4. Have a fuel plan: In my house, we have a daily breakfast and dinner menu that is SOLID. This simple little posting has saved me many mornings from fuzzy thinking. Fuzzy thinking like asking (at 7:45 am) “What do you want for breakfast, my sweet darlings?” I know. So not a good idea. If you really feel like they should have some sort of (fake) say in their world, have them work up the menu plan with you.
I apologize for smearing on the chart. Blonde wanted to sabotage the menu chart with “hotdog day” and it ended up looking rather…. well like something you’d come up against in a 7th grade sex ed diagram. It got nixed.
And by the way, when the sweet darlings sit and eat their porridge, what should you do? You SIT and EAT too. Listen to your Momsie.
5. Run drills – pee wee version: Also on our daily menu plan? Chores. Little chores for the littles. Blonde sweeps. Every day after breakfast, rain or shine, cereal performance art or no, he sweeps. Red wipes. I then go back and do it again after they leave, but it’s part of the plan. We are training them up to eventually TAKE OVER ALL CHORES FOR THE ENTIRE HOUSE. That’s why we have children, right? Labor? It’s only fair.*
While they do their chores, get dressed. In real clothes. Add lip gloss. Fold the jammies lovingly and bid them a fond farewell. You will miss them, I know. Avoid mom jeans as well. Invest in some cute stuff that you can wear with a degree of sophistication. (Breaking this down: If sloth lady is a 1 and Angelina Jolie is a 10, you want to go for a 5 or so. You can do this.)
6. Run drills – Momsie version: Momsie also has chores. I have split up the basic “How to make sure my house is somewhat tidy and clean” chores and assigned to the days of the week. Sunday is my day off, of course. Jesus said so.
7. Take a break: After breakfast, cleanup, morning chores, and the horrible run in with planking, sit down, have a cup, re-read your morning devotional, rest. This is important. Then, plan your day. Get out of the house. Figure out the shopping list for a project you want to tackle. Plan your spring garden. Get the big picture in play, if you wish. But don’t attempt this until after steps 1-6. Otherwise, you might get sideswiped by the constant tangled distractions of life. Ok, which means, NOW you can check the facespace, mybook, endless chirpings, and other drizzles. Perhaps set a timer. I speak from experience.
9. Prepare to lose a few morning games: Eyes on the prize and all that until… a kid is sick, the dryer blows up, or you really just kinda miss this pretty lady:
There is nothing wrong with an occasional Jammie Day. My toddlers love this: We eat pancakes (on Wednesday? So not on schedule! Rebel!) and we watch Curious George (bad for our brains! Whatever! Livin’ on the edge!), cuddle for extra innings on the couch (but what about fresh air? gasp! You’re outta control!) And. we might even sneak out a scrunchie or two. Nobody needs to know.
The nice thing is – if you stick to a plan like above, Sweet Momsie Sloth of the Cute Jammies can show up once in a while. And she will have her coffee with lots of creamer, but free from guilt and stress, for sure.
Recipe for Momsie’s Famous Oatmeal that Even Blonde Likes: (makes two good servings)
Bring saucepan of 3-4 cups of water to boil. Before the boil, throw in about 4 handfuls of oats, NOT instant.
(The ratio is water to oats 2:1, so you can adjust accordingly. But you know I don’t like to measure so I use handfuls. Handful = 1/2 cup).
Add a pinch of salt and allow oats to come to a boil. As SOON as they do so, stir and turn OFF burner. We like our oats a little chewy. You can simmer gently up to 5 minutes but I think this is too mushy. Anyway, if you allow this stuff to simmer it has a tendency to suddenly rise up in rebellion and bubble over all bubble, bubble, toil and trouble-like. Not pretty.
Take off heat. Add raisins, craisins, and a finely cut up apple. Or a banana. Or some strawberries. Whatevs.
Add a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, dash of vanilla.
Add a tablespoon each of wheat germ and flax seed. I keep these around in my (beloved) mason jars and throw them into every baked good or hot cereal item I can. I use Mom Guilt Brand Flax-seed and Wheat germ. Great stuff.
Also, add a glug or two of molasses or honey. If none available, use brown sugar. Throw in a pat of butter when oatmeal is no longer molten. Stir to glossy perfection. Top with a bit of milk.
Oh, at last minute, sprinkle like 5 chocolate chips on top with a HUGE flourish. The toddlers will be all: YOU DA BOMB MOMSIE! YOU DA BESTEST EVERRRRRRRR.
This adoration of the Momsie will continue for about 5 minutes. Along with one more cup of coffee.
*Get it? “LABOR”?? I know. Hilarious. I’ll be here all blog.