The morning hustle and bustle can be a complete chaotic meltdown or it can be a smooth transition from bed to car, it just depends on how you do it. I am not a morning person, I am just going to lay that out there for you all to know. The warmth and comfort of my bed feels so darn cozy when that alarm clock starts to ring, that the concept of getting out, getting dressed and getting out the door is there very last thing I want to do. With that said, I am a very happy, bubbly person and I wake up looking forward for the day ahead. I just need a minute, or two or ten. I am also not really ready to chit chat, I like my routine and then I am all ears. eyes and hugs. When things get busy, routine can start to slip though the cracks when actually this is when you need it most. I was reminded of this recently as my mother was visiting and staying with us. Nothing normal happened during this time and by the end of her stay my home life felt turned upside down. I love my mother, I love her visiting but you know how it is... MOM'S! So I had to haul it in, took a few weeks of getting back on track and now we are in full happy easy rhythm. (the hardest part during this transition back was waking up, I was waking up not rested but tired which makes the mornings so impossible, I can totally relate if this is how you are feeling. I will blog about getting out of this funk soon...Being overly stimulated, stressed and emotionally taxed will totally make you feel unrested even after 8hrs of sleep)
I thought I would share what a good morning looks like in our house, because I often need reminding of how important these little steps are to creating a smooth, gentle and quick transition. Mornings can be hard for every member of the family, some of you are lucky and naturally have early risers (some consider that not so lucky at 430am!) I would love to know what your mornings look like too, I love incorporating new ways to make our mornings before school fun yet structured so that we can get to school on time and remember everything we are supposed to take with us for the day...
The first thing I do upon waking is walk to the kitchen, well maybe I pee first (and then wash my hands...) I turn the kettle on and the oven on to 400. No matter what.
Turning the oven on means it's ready once I have come back down, showered and dressed. First thing in the morning I have no idea what I am making for lunch or breakfast that day. That is Goal #1 to start planning all meals not just dinner. For now this works great. Whilst I am getting ready I think about lunches. I usually throw in some sweet potatoes or a roast veggie mix. Once a week we do mini pizza's.
After I turn on the oven and kettle I go back to my room. This is my time to get ready before the kids are up. It is usually 630, I give myself a half hour for some ME time and prep time in peace. I can oil pull in the shower because no one is going to talk to me yet, this is key if I want to get that in.
I then make our bed every morning, This is a big part of our morning rhythm to set the intention for the day. We are starting with a clean tidy room so our day can be less manic and full of calm organized thoughts. So i've been told... I then spray my own blend of Awake all over the room to freshen up. I usually carry the spray around with me and starting misting all the rooms so when its time for everyone else to wake up they are already being simulated and activated with a gentle notion. I wish someone was doing that for me! (ps if you want to order these spray blends from me just email me, store coming soon)
Back in the kitchen. Now I start the pour over for my husband, the smell of coffee in the morning is so stimulating. Not just for our senses but also for our bowel movements. I don't drink coffee any more but the smell still gets me in every way, I love it. We both usually start with hot water and lemon juice. Then Jahmin has his coffee and I have my green tea.
I always have a rice cooker going. This was one of the best purchases I have made over the years. A Korean friend of mine suggested doing this and it changed my life. We tend to eat a lot of rice so it makes sense for us. I put the rice in before bed and let is cook over night. So I either have lunch already warm and ready to go, or I have an after school snack option or a even dinner option. We do the following lunches with it: brown rice and pesto with a side of roasted veggies, black beans and Spanish rice with a side of tortillas and corn, sushi rice with a side of seaweed for rolling and cut up avocado (squeezed with lemon to stop browning) and organic non gmo edamame. Just a few to give you an idea... It is super easy to come up with ideas when half the cooking/prep is already waiting for you!
I usually repack Coco's lunchbox as soon as I empty it so it is replenished for the next morning. Her school asks you pack a napkin, placemat, cup, fork and spoon as well as stainless steel lunch boxes. We also use this basket as do all her class mates. Next year she will move into a insulated lunchbox as these are stored in a cool room in the class room.
Time to pack up school lunch. I add other stainless steel snack boxes for fruit, nuts, chips, crackers and on some days we do a thermos for pasta, pizzas, rice and soup.
Rise and shine my little sleep head. Time to greet the day. What fun exciting adventures await, no time to whine, let's jump and climb.
As I mentioned before we all try our best to make our beds daily. Some days her bed is skipped if we are having a more challenging morning and mommy does it for her, but we always give it a try. Last night Coco had growing pains and was up for a little bit, so this morning we were softer on our schedule as she was pretty tired. We go with flow but try to stick to it where we can. The trick is to have a rhythm yet not be confined to it, because life doesn't work that way!
Most evenings as part of our bed time routine we choose clothes for the next day. Oh how I wish for school uniform some days. However, we are out of the battle stage. Getting dressed is much easier these days but I feel for some of you who have younger kids. This technique really helped wipe away that morning fuss. Somedays though she changes her mind last minute as were walking out the door, so even so 99% of the time we are prepared, things are all headed in the right direction there are those curve balls. This usually means we will be late but rather that fight it, we change and know that maybe tonight our choices for the morning maybe better or it could just be that today she woke up and wasn't feeling that vibe. Happens to me all the time! Most of the time its easy breezy, she gets up, her clothes are laid out and ready for her.
One chore Coco has every morning is to feed the dog. This way she feels apart of the 'doing' in all of us getting ready for school. We also make almond milk some mornings each week. You can read about that post and recipe here.
When she is ready to come down for breakfast I try to put something out for to entice her to eat, sit and move into the next part of our routine. Coloring, puzzles, toys...
Shoes on, teeth brushed, lunch boxes in hand. We are ready. Beds are made, kitchen tidy. Ready to start our day. However, I usually am not ready to eat with the kids as I am still finishing lunches as they sit down to eat. I always make a smoothie to go. I used to be the smoothie queen and now my husband has taken over this and has put me to shame. I have to admit it is nice to have someone make me a smoothie while I am running around checkin the over, putting shoes on and letting the dog out to pee. And then my friends we are out the door. See you later!
I do have some more goals to achieve for this morning routine. Goal #1 is to get lunches planned ahead in a weekly meal planner. Goal #2 is to get up at 6 so I have an hour before the kids are up.. this way I could get my stretches in, or a quick 10 minute meditation or my gratitude list. However, these are all happening after I get back from school drop off and but it eats in to my day! Goal # 3 a really early morning romantic moment with my man... maybe Im stretching realistic goals to fantasy goals... I will stop here!