Monday, October 22, 2012

What Morning Looks Like

Today I slept in.  There is no school.  It's a rare break in the Monday through Friday grind.  Three kids and a husband, all with different daily schedules, make for busy mornings.  But for me it usually means the storm before the calm.

Here's what a normal morning routine looks like around these parts:

Brian, William and myself get out of bed by 7:00 at the latest.  Half the time Lucy wanders out of bed with William and the other half she chooses to keep snoozing for another 30 minutes or so.  I immediately turn on The Today Show to see if I can catch the morning headlines.

The big kids sit down for breakfast.  They get a sliced banana in a bowl of cold cereal.  Their choices are usually Cheerios, Rice Krispies or Kix.  Every once in a while they get homemade oatmeal with a handful of frozen berries thrown in.  My kids are big breakfast eaters.  They will sometimes have two or three bowls.

While they eat, Brian unloads the dishwasher.  It's his first "I love you" from him to me for the day.  Then either he or I will get started on William's packed lunch.  He always gets a sandwich of some sort, a whole fruit, yogurt and some whole wheat crackers.

After breakfast William goes upstairs and puts on his uniform and brushes his teeth.  I quickly wet his hair down to erase any signs of bed head.  Then he goes back downstairs and gathers his lunch, backpack, shoes and heads to the front door to wait for the patrol line.  At 7:55 he's out the door.

On to Lucy.  I pick out her outfit for the day, usually a dress so I don't have to hear any complaining, and then grab some hair supplies for tackling her mane.

Once she's ready I can focus on myself and my grumbling baby belly.  I pour myself some orange juice, and put milk in my cereal bowl.  As soon as my cereal is on its way to becoming soggy, it never fails that little Katherine wakes up.  I so appreciate the fact that she sleeps in well past 8:00 almost every day, but how does she sense the exact moment I'm sitting down to eat?

I run upstairs and her full smile instantly wipes away any annoyance I may have had.  After a diaper change it's time for her breakfast as well.  She gets a sliced banana and a packet of instant Cream of Wheat.

It is extremely rare for me to buy "instant" anything but because our mornings are so crunched for time, I've made this compromise.  I choose Cream of Wheat because it supplies a lot of vitamins and nutrients for her since she has long ago given up breastmilk and formula.

Recently Earth's Best sent me a box of their Yummy Tummy Instant Oatmeal and when I ran out of Cream of Wheat I gave it a try.  The verdict?  We love it!  It's just as quick and nutritious as Cream of Wheat and Katherine seems to really love it.  I wasn't sure if she would go for the texture of oatmeal over the smooth-ness of Cream of Wheat but she doesn't seem to mind in the least.

The only thing I would add is that the directions state to mix the packet with water but I opt for whole milk instead.  It gives her the extra punch of calcium and fat she needs.

Once Katherine is finished with breakfast she crawls around from here to there exploring whatever toys the big kids have left on the floor.

Brian and Lucy are out the door by 8:45.  Lucy to preschool and Brian to work.

Once they are gone I settle in on the couch with a cup of coffee and indulge in the remainder of The Today Show, which, I think we can all agree, turns into a television version of People magazine after 8:00.

Katherine and I have the quiet, oh so quiet, house to ourselves for the next two and a half hours.  It's a splendid way to begin a day.

*This post was inspired by products I received from Earth's Best.  All opinions are 100% my own.

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