Friday, January 30, 2015

Breakfast and Lullabies

   I know I have a few days left before I reach ten days from when I began, but I feel the need to move on with other goals. My final thought that I intend to write down on the matter is that I think getting up early is a great thing for me.  Even on days that I find myself grouchy and tired those days are more productive. I am able to accomplish more of the tasks I set before myself. I still have along way to go before my days are as productive as I would like, but there is lot's of time for that.

   As I considered what I would like my next objective to be I reflected on my children's sleeping habits. My girls tend to do a lot of exercise right around bedtime, most parents know the drill. "Mama I need some water." "Mama I need to go to the bathroom." "Mama I had a bad dream even though I only went to bed 30 seconds ago." I have not always taken it well, and more often than not I am too wiped out and out of patience to deal rationally with this behavior. So my next goal is hopefully a way to cultivate some patience and deal with it in a new way.

   A failing on my part has been sending them to bed with little to no help. It was a failing brought to my attention at a parenting class I attended recently. Some constructive criticism of my parenting endeavors was that I needed to be with my children more when I have given them a task, and that I needed to work on creating routines. It was hard to hear the things that I have been doing wrong, but I was grateful for the ideas to improve some of the things I have found frustrating.

   Anyway, the goal I have in mind is a step toward both the situation with the girls getting up at night as well as the beginning of building some routines. The next mission I have given myself is to be there with the girls when they go to bed at night, and when they get up in the morning. I have already begun implementing a routine the evening. It includes a final drink of water, the brushing of teeth, A final trip to the potty, a lullaby, and prayers. So far it seems to be helping with the problem of keeping the kiddos in bed, but I already feel myself drifting away from the desire to keep it up. So I am making it official. I am setting an actual goal in actual writing in plain view of others. My goal is to keep up with that routine for a week from now. In addition to that I also intend to be there with the girls in the morning. To wake them up at a specific time and get them dressed and eating breakfast first thing.

   I'm hoping that by making this change for my girls that we will have a little more peace in our home, as well as build some good memories for my sweet children.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Oh what a Beautiful Morning!

I am feeling great today! Last night I went to this awesome parenting class. I had been dreading it a little bit, but to my great surprise it was absolutely wonderful. I got some great advice on things I need to work on, as well as praise for the things I do well. There were some great ideas that I am excited to try.
   This morning I rolled out of bed around 5:30 when my sweetheart finished his use of the bathroom. I sleepily rolled out of bed and marched myself downstairs where I did an AM Yoga workout designed to help you wake up. With the sleeping children it was pure bliss. I had a moment to stop and ready my brain for the day and for the things I need to get done. I am really optimistic about how the rest of my day will be.
  Anyway duty calls. My six-year-old is awake and in need of her Mama. GOOD MORNING!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Rising Early: Update

 I found it impossible to get up early on Sunday. Saturday night I had a headache that felt like it was going to crack my skull. I allowed myself to sleep it off. I was the last to get out of bed that day. The first part of the day didn't go as smoothly as I would have liked. Breakfast was delayed, and even at 1 PM when we were to be at church we were pushing to arrive on time.

On the other hand I discovered yesterday that getting up early does not always mean better energy. Sunday night was long and arduous. My little man was vying for my attention most of the night, and when the alarm went off I groaned in sleepy agony. I didn't get up exactly with my husband, but I was up and at it before the kids. Despite my exaustion and cantankerous mood, I still accomplished tasks better yesterday. I am still caught up on the cleaning of the kitchen and now the livingroom is also manageable once again.

After a full night's sleep last night I am optimistic for what the day will bring today. I have less housework to do, so who knows what I can accomplish.

To be continued...

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sleeping in on Saturday

   Last night about 8PM I headed out the door to go have a girl's night with some friends. I called back to hubby over my shoulder "I'll be gone and hour, maybe an hour and a half". At 11 PM I texted him to tell him I wasn't ready to come home yet ( one of my girlfriends decided she wanted to be awesome and do my nails.) He replied "have fun honey." At 1 AM I finally got home, having had a thoroughly relaxing and fun time, and I dragged myself to bed realizing that 5 AM was going to come really early. I sleepily shrugged it off and decided against getting up that early, only feeling slightly like a flake.

   This morning I woke up about a quarter to seven to the sound of my little man wanting his first breakfast (like a hobbit he has two). The house was pretty quiet and Hubby was sleeping peacefully. Rather than poke him and hand over the baby so I could get a few more minutes/hours of sleep I got myself out of bed, threw on some clothes and started my day. By 8:30 my Saturday was already looking vastly different then the norm. The living room had been picked up (mostly) and vacuumed in places. I went and made French toast for breakfast, which was eaten at the table all together. Eating together has been a rare occurrence at our house, and it felt nice.  Now it is 10 AM , and the TV has still not been turned on. Breakfast has been cleared away and cleaned up. Overall there is a peaceful, and happy feeling in our home.

   I'm still going to try and get up at five during the week with my sweetheart. However, I am realizing that what I want with this goal is not to get up at five AM, but to be one of the first in my household to be awake and moving. Being up first (especially on the weekend) seems like a good way to have a more productive morning.

Friday, January 23, 2015

And... We're back

     After nearly two weeks of being sick I am finally getting my energy back (YAY!!!). So I am starting again with my early to rise plan. I have refined my plan a little over the course of my illness though.  I spent some time on Facebook

, and I ran across an article that was talking about sleep. It went into details like what healthy sleep looks like, and tips for getting a better nights sleep. It recommended that rather than forcing yourself to go to bed early that you go to bed when you are tired and be very specific about the time you get up in the morning. The article suggested that this be done for 10 days with the theory that most people wind up starting to wake up just before the alarm after this amount of time. It made sense to me so I think I am going to try it.

     It was closer to 11PM when I finally headed off to bed last night, but I still got up with my husband at 5:15. I took a quick shower to wake me up and got a little yoga in before my oldest came down the stairs. She watched me finish my work out, and afterward we had a little chat about how Mama likes alone time sometimes, so next time she gets up early would she please just quietly grab a book and read instead of getting Mama's attention first thing. Those first moments of peace before she got up felt pretty good. Anyway, after I worked out, I strapped on an apron (thanks Mom it's awesome!) put Pandora on my phone and into my pocket and I got the kitchen cleaner than it's been since before I got sick.  I fed the kids a simple breakfast that wouldn't dirty the kitchen I just got cleaned, and then a friend of mine came by. The sweet person that she is she pitched in and helped me finish up the floor.  then we had a nice little chat. I don't know if it is because it's Friday, and I'm not doing home school with the kids today (we do it four days a week, but today feels pretty relaxed. I'm tired, but not to the point where I can't manage it. Maybe I'll snag a fifteen minute snooze when I put the baby down for a nap, but If I don't get it I think I'm going to survive just fine.

Since this is only day one of ten I can't for sure say that my day has been better because of my choice to get up earlier, but it s definitely a good start.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Early to Bed, Early to Rise Day 1

I was in bed at 9 PM, like I planned. I found it fairly difficult to fall asleep. Part of that may have been the hour but I think it is more likely that the cold I have been fighting was affecting my ability to fall asleep (note to self: use night time cold medicine if symptoms continue)

This morning I enjoyed a few moments of good conversation with my husband. I made him breakfast while he got ready for the day. It is not something I do usually because I am in bed. I think he appreciated it. When he left and I had a few minutes to myself I began work on a menu  for the last few days of this week. I didn't get very far into it when my little man woke up. I fed him and then he wanted me to hold him so I didn't get much else done before the girls woke up. I think he is just used to me cuddling him first thing in the morning.

By 7:30 my energy was already way low, but that could also be affected by my cold, My oldest wanted a shower so I closed my eyes for about 10 minutes while she showered and the other two played next to me. If I wasn't sick I might try to push on and make sure I am really tired at the end of the day, but being dead tired before 9 AM is not going to help anybody.


It is now 9:05 PM and the monkeys are still wanting drinks and asking questions. My cold symptoms are a little worse (my head feels like it's in a bubble, and my ear is ringing a little) Had a very crazy, stressful day, which included blood, sweat, and lots of tears (some of them my own).  My idea yesterday was that if I put this off because I'm sick than it will just be something that I do halfheartedly or not at all, but I am really sick and my body really  needs rest. So I am putting this experiment on hold until I am feeling just a little better. Will return to being awesome soon....

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Experiment #1 Control Observation: Early to bed, Early to rise

I like to stay up late. I REALLY like to stay up late, but every morning I moan when my sweet, early-rising husband brings in the baby for his morning feeding. On weekends my sweetheart whisks the baby away post haste and I snuggle in for another hour or more. On weekdays I linger in bed until either my oldest two demand breakfast, or I feel too guilty to stay a minute longer.

This may sound very luxurious and cozy. While reading this you may feel completely jealous of my amazing husband (I won't discourage that he IS pretty terrific.) However, there is a price for starting my day later.

On weekends my absence downstairs encourages the use of the tv and Amazon Prime as the first thing we do on Saturday. When I finally show up in my pajamas I frequently join my little flock for the end of a show and maybe two or three more 20 minute cartoons depending upon how much I get into the story. At that point my hubby and I look at each other and decide who will make breakfast and what to make as it is now 10 AM and breakfast time is quickly turning into lunch. Occasionally when I have actually planned something on the weekend like a shopping trip or an activity, the lateness of the hour is used as an excuse for no one to make breakfast and we eat out instead.

During the week I rush to get ready (kind of) sometimes I just hang out in pajamas. I throw some breakfast together for the kids ( which I may or may not eat as I am more picky than my little monsters that eat anything). I force myself to do a lesson with my girls, I am currently homeschooling a kindergartner and a preschooler. Lunch again is way off and kind of thrown together. By now I am winding down big time. The rest of my day blurs most days in a hazy mess. I neglect to get anything done and I find myself frequently looking at the clock longing to have my husband home so that A I have another adult around, B we can have another discussion about who's making dinner/ what are we having (leading once again to frequent patronage of our local eateries,) and C the kids can finally be chased to bed.

My hypothesis: Going to bed late and rising late influences our finances, productivity, and general well-being in a negative way. Going to bed early and rising early will lower our cost of food, allow more time for getting things done, and improve my energy and motivation.

Experiment: Everyday for a week I will go to bed at 9 PM and rise at 5 AM

I certainly don't expect things to turn around overnight, but I believe that changing my habits will lead me to greater joy in my life.