Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Simplifying Mornings

 "I have really bad breath in the morning."

Small Talking
I fully admit that I am 100% stealing this post topic from Andrea at one of my favorite blogs, Simple Organized Living. I started to leave a comment on her post, but then I realized it was going to be a blog-length comment and decided it was better to run over here and talk about it.

Now that Bug is a full-fledged toddler (complete with walking and stair-climbing capabilities) and Bear is schooling at home, it's imperative that our mornings be as simple and streamlined as possible. Here are a few things that keep our mornings running smoothly:

1.) Husband installed the baby gates

I know that sounds obvious, but we live in a tri-level and have two (short) flights of stairs. Most of mine and Bug's morning is spent on the main floor, in the kitchen and living room, so he has access to both sets. We started using the baby gates just in the nick of time. The one going to the top floor is just a pop-in, but the gate to the basement had to be hung. Having those gates up makes my morning far less hectic and terrifying.

2.) I clean up after dinner

Again—DUH. But I mean, I really try to make sure the main living areas are as tidy as possible before I go to bed so that when I get up, I'm not faced with an automatic to-do list. I can enjoy my coffee in a neat, relaxing space. It's really made a difference in my mood.

I also try to pre-pack Husband's lunches as I put dinner away. He usually takes leftovers for lunch, so I frequently put his portions into containers he can just grab and toss into his lunchbox in the morning before he heads out the door. He has to be out the door by 6:30, so I'm not up to help him get ready. And as much of a morning person as I am, I am NOT getting my ass up at 6:00 to pack lunches and give kisses. Hell to the NO. 

3.) I prep the coffee maker the night before

I don't have a fancy, programmable coffee maker like the one Andrea talks about in her blog post. I have a $10 Mr. Coffee from WalMart, which works perfectly and I'm very happy with, but which does not have its own alarm clock. So when I've finished the after-dinner clean-up, I fill the reservoir and put in my grounds so that all I have to do in the morning is hit the button. By the time I strap Bug into his highchair and feed him and let the dog out, my coffee is ready for me. I hate when I forget to do this because then I'm measuring grounds all blurry-eyed and I inevitably spill some and it's all a big clusterf***. No one likes a big clusterf***.

4.) I choose simple breakfasts

homemade cinnamon roll cake (recipe)
Once in awhile I do like to do the whole bacon-eggs-pancakes thing for my family, but most mornings Bear will have cereal (which she preps herself) and Bug and I have fruit or muffins or something equally simple. Sometimes I'll make a cinnamon roll cake and we'll have that for breakfast for a few days, with fruit on the side. It's not fancy and it's probably too much sugar, but Bug throws most of it on the floor, anyway, so it's not too big of a nutritional deal.

5.) We do our mornings at home

Unless we have plans to meet friends or a time-sensitive errand that MUST be run in the morning, I try to keep morning time at home. I don't sleep well if I know I have a ton of stuff to do in the morning, even if I've planned everything very well. And Bear and I are much more likely to butt heads and argue if we're rushing around. That's not to say we don't do things in the mornings sometimes, like meet up at the park or whatever, but for the most part I try to schedule things for after Bug's nap so that we can relax in the morning.

Those are some of the things that work for me (and us) to keep our mornings running smoothly. How do you keep from losing your shit before the coffee (or tea, or soda, or whatever) kicks in?


  1. I like your "mornings at home" rule. I have wound up doing this without really realizing it, because I, too, sit up all night worrying about what we have to do in the morning if we have a.m. plans. I truly don't know how I'd handle it if we had to drive to school or something every day. I think I'd be a basket case. ;) Love all your tips, though! As a morning hater, I welcome them. I've been thinking about switching from my French press to an automatic coffee maker, but duh. I can just fill the electric kettle and grind the grounds the night before so all I have to do is flip the kettle switch and then pour it in the French press. I think it would actually make a big difference because half the time I don't even bother making life-giving coffee because I'm so zombified in the morning. So, thanks!

    1. I'm, like, a motha' fu**in' life coach and shit.

  2. The best thing I ever did was accept a Tassimo machine from our mutual friend SBH, as it keeps the whole coffee ground CF thing from happening in our house. DH used to hand grind beans and leave a huge mess everywhere, and now we just pop a pod in the Tassimo and poof, coffee! Thanks again SBH!