Monday, March 24, 2014

living for THIS moment: morning schedule and routine

My morning routine in the past has never been intentional. I'm not a morning person, not even a little bit. But obviously with kids, things had to change. And in order for me to work toward accomplishing the goals I set for myself, I know that my mornings have to have some kind of structure. After all, they are the foundation of each day. And each day I need to take action steps toward a larger goal.

 The schedule and routine in our home is nothing fancy. But it works really well for us. When Eli was born, I noticed immediately that in order for there to be any order, we needed a schedule. And actually, I had been slowly implementing a schedule for Isaac before Eli even arrived.

Today I'm sharing our morning routine in a "day in the life" format along with my vlog, where I talk more about how I prepare for my mornings, which for me, is just as important as the rest of the routine.

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night before: pick out clothes for the next day

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Wake up. Read the Bible. Journal. This is quick. I usually take 20 minutes or so to do it. Sometimes more if I am afforded the time.

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Get dressed for the day. And get the kids out of jammies and into clean clothes for the day.

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Make breakfast. We usually eat oatmeal with fruit for breakfast. You can see some of the other breakfasts we eat in these posts. Isaac is allowed to watch Curious George either while I'm cooking or while they're eating (depending on what time they got up) and then the TV goes off.

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We usually head into the playroom and do "tot school" for a little bit. We always have music playing, per the eldest's request. If we're in the playroom, music has to be on. We generally listen to the Baby Einstein station on Pandora or worship music. Sometimes I can sneak to my side of the room and get some crafting done, but usually I'm on the floor with them.

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This particular morning Eli was mixing vegetables and we were reading these books together. Isaac was coloring.

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We head outside to let the chickens out of the coop and into the run. I give them fresh food and water.

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The boys check on the chickens too.

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I water all the plants.

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And the boys play outside while I read. We are really enjoying this part of our mornings now while the weather is good. In probably less than a month the temperatures are going to start getting intolerable. So I'm trying to take advantage of it while I can. And of course, they can never have too much outdoor play! (Also, the outside part and the tot school part are interchangeable. Some mornings we go outside first until they are worn out and then spend some time in the playroom).

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At 11:00 I turn on Daniel Tiger for Isaac and they get a morning snack. Something small. Eli will sit with him for about 4 minutes and then he gets bored and comes into the kitchen to help me unload the dishwasher.

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I spend the 24 minutes or so that I get while Isaac watches his show to clean the kitchen from breakfast. This is when I unload my dishwasher from the night before (see my vlog for more about how my nightly routine preps for my morning routine).

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Kitchen is clean and ready for lunch!

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This particular morning I had enough time to get some kitchen prep done for the rest of the week! I put on a giant pot of chicken stock. There is nothing better than the smell of your house when you have stock simmering on the stove all day long.

And that's a typical morning for us. We try to get over to the library or the park a couple times a week and that's always in the mornings. Now that Eli has finally dropped his morning nap, it allows us to get out for longer periods of time, which is nice. They can play as long as they'd like at the park! So long as we're home by noon in time to make lunch for my husband. We are so blessed to live close enough to his work that he comes home for lunch every day.

And now it's your turn! What does your morning routine look like? What changes do you want to make to it? Check out the prompt and link up with your vlog or blog post below and your link will appear here and over at Becky's blog, For This Season.

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  1. Love this blog entry! What a great idea to let the kids play outside while you get some reading in. I'm excited for my littlest to be a bit more mobile so he can play independently in the yard.

    Anders was the same way with his wakeup time, varying anywhere from 6:30-7:30. We recently bought this OK to Wake Owl ( that is helping bring some consistency to our mornings. You set an alarm and the face of the owl turns green when the child is allowed to get up, or in our case, come out of his room. The dim light remains on for 30 minutes. It's a great alternative for young children who can't read a clock yet!

  2. SUCH a good idea to make some sort of breakfast on Sunday to kind of get you through the week. I love making big batches of pancakes on the weekends and then having it to eat off of... need to do that more often...or even make an egg casserole!

  3. I really need to do some stuff the night before, especially picking out clothes. I used to have the boys pick out stuff before bed but we got away from that.

    And I'm SO jealous of your outside play time. We still have 2 feet of snow! Hopefully it will melt soon and we can be outside more.

  4. I love seeing other moms' routines! Don't you feel like so much of the day is feeding everyone (and cleaning the kitchen)? That's the life of a parent, I suppose. It's awesome that your husband can join you for lunch.

    Daniel Tiger is a regular at our house too.