Nightly Checklist

Time for another check in with the Abundant Mama Rise & Shine Challenge (which is taking much longer than the ten days suggested, and I’m okay with that [note how I even used the word “suggested”]). 

In this installment, we are advised to create a list each night that we can do quickly to facilitate the mornings. This is her example: 

On your nightly checklist, you will likely want to include the following:

  • Prepare lunches and snacks
  • Quick clean up
  • Pack bags
  • Pick out clothes
  • Tomorrow’s 3 to 5 Must-Dos

I think I will have to work on this a bit as I go, as I have never really had a regular routine like this, but here goes: 

My nightly checklist:

  • Prepare (and/or plan) breakfast/lunch – currently, only applicable Mondays & Wednesdays, as Lucas only goes to school on Tuesdays & Thursdays
  • Tidy living room
  • Run dishwasher/Clean kitchen
  • Pick out clothes – for me and for the boy
  • Tomorrow’s 3 to 5 Must-Dos
  • Something involving Meal Planning (which is my next “project” to tackle, as we both need to eat better and save money and I need to figure out how to do that)

So, there is it. EVERY NIGHT. I have a white board in my kitchen (Thank you, Pinterest) that I use for this and I do it occasionally, but not enough to be a routine. And that’s what I need. 

Now, the more difficult part. Her previous post was about sleep rituals, of which I have none. I’ve been thinking about these in general the past couple of weeks, and I think what she means are doing things not only like the above checklist, which are incredibly helpful and more importantly, necessary, but doing little things to recharge me.

For example, I am constantly upset that I let my feet get to the state that they are currently in. It may be weird, but I love my feet and my feet are really important to me. Not only are they crazy useful – not having a car, I use them to get everywhere I need to go, but they are also my gauge of wellbeing, as odd as that may sound. If I’m getting too hot, my feet are the first things to let me know it (and the only solution is taking my shoes off). If I’m not eating properly, my feet ache. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve always felt a connection with my feet. I know that sounds weird, particularly in light of the fact that everyone is literally “connected to” their feet. However, it’s how I feel and that’s that. So, that said, I need to take care of them. I need to put lotion on them and scrub off those icky hard heels. Somehow, this is something I can incorporate into a ritual for myself. 

Beyond that, again, this is going to come down to meditation and yoga and I very much do need to figure out a way for myself to integrate that more into my life. I’ll keep working on that. 


Little Boy Blue

photo 4

My little boy is now 26 1/2 months, though I usually do just say he’s “just turned 2” (Mostly because I can’t do math or figure out what month it is that quickly in my head, not because I’m not that annoying mom, because I am…). He’s of course growing so quickly and learning so much every day that I’m astounded. Literally. I find I don’t know what to do with him half the time. He’s somehow right at that point between baby and little boy where he can talk and understand what I’m saying, but not enough. 

His favorite toys right now are cars and trains, which are slightly annoying only because that means setting up and dismantling tracks and car routes approximately a thousand times a day. He also likes to talk about cars on our walks, which means for ten minutes all I hear or think is: “blue car, red car, black car, big blue car, red car go, big black car…” as he points ecstatically from his stroller. 

His favorite words are “big”, “muddy puddle”, “Dankeschöne”, “oops-a-nanny”, “poop” (usually in conjunction with big), “train”, “jump” and his own name.

His favorite film is A Bug’s Life, which he calls “The Anties” and his favorite scene is where they build the “big bird”. He acts out a good portion of the film, especially the part where the children put on a play for the warrior bugs, which ends with the last grasshopper dying: the ant falls over saying “die, die, die”. He acted this scene out on the train the other day, which left me praying that no one around us understood English. 

He is also quite fond of Peppa Pig, which is part of where his love for “jumping big muddy puddles” comes from. 

His favorite color is, of course, blue. While he’s gotten much better recently, for a while there, any time we asked the color of any object (regardless of its actual color), he would happily respond “blue”.

My favorite recent moment? Oddly enough, it involves a poop explosion. We were at our mommy & me meeting, which was held at a Kindercafé, and one of the other moms sort of grabbed him and yelled to me because he had poop coming up out of his pants. I, of course, ran right over, pausing only to grab a clean diaper and wipes out of my bag. The changing table at this particular establishment is out in the open right by the play area so he was standing on this, while I took off his pants and shirt and cleaned off his back and what not (Ah, the joys of children, right?). The other children (all more or less his age) were LOVING IT: pointing at him and saying poop over and over; everyone was totally enthralled. He was standing so very proudly, smiling down at them all and puffing out his chest, pointing to himself repeatedly saying, “Lucas big poop. Lucas big, stinky poop.” Boys. 

Current struggles include: getting him to do anything he doesn’t want to do (most particularly getting dressed or taking off his pajamas, especially if they are his Thomas the Tank pjs), getting him to brush his teeth (which he used to love), getting him to stop when we say stop, finding something for him to do that doesn’t involve jumping off of EVERYTHING and perhaps most importantly, though not his fault at all, finding a new school for him. His school is closing in October (just before the baby comes – perfect) and all of the schools around us are full. It is one of those horrible constantly-at-the-back-of-your-mind stresses. 

Current loves include: his eagerness to give kisses when saying goodbye, his desire to do things for himself and to help, his enthusiasm, his growing fondness for (or acceptance of) cuddles, when he wakes up in the middle of the night and comes into our room to sleep with us and cuddles right up next to my face on the pillow, stares intently into my eyes, smiles and then goes to sleep, his love of counting (which sometimes is very accurate and impressive and others is more just saying all the numbers in any order up to twelve and pointing at random things), his mischievous face (which his father says resembles mine) and his newfound delight in singing and dancing. 

He’s pretty much the bestest. 


“Talk about your Blessings more than your Problems”

photo credit to Sun Gazing

I just saw this on Facebook (I know, I know… Why even go on Facebook anymore?) and my first thought, as it always is, was: “Don’t tell me what to do!” After I laughed at myself, as I always do, however, I got angry. I am so sick and tired of all of these pithy posts about the wonders of being grateful and positive. Because you know what? If I talked about my blessings more than my problems, I would probably already be one of those shiny happy, joy-filled hippies who goes around giving out free hugs. But I’m not. I’m far too negative and therefore, I need to do something drastic like create a blog that sort of loosely forces me to talk about my blessings.

Is it a good idea? Of course. Does it make sense? Of course. Do I need Facebook to remind me that I suck at it? No. Especially when that reminder comes in the form of Jim (sans Huck) on the raft playing with doves. Seriously; WTF?

My real problem, of course, is that it’s perfectly sound advice that I should follow. Particularly fitting is that I just spent an hour on the phone with my mom, complaining about my problems. It should be noted also that I did this whilst the cleaning lady I just hired cleaned my whole house and my husband and sister-in-law took my son to the zoo. Oy vey.

The thing is that these sort of simple one-liners make it sound so easy. Oh, right. If I just focused on my blessings… I hadn’t realized that focusing on my problems made things worse. Well, duh. Of course I realized that. Everyone realizes that, don’t they? What I need is a step-by-step method of actuating it, not a one-liner that I can just like on Facebook to seem wise to all my friends and acquaintances (or to annoy them, as is probably more accurately the case).

Hmm… buy a self help book, you say, rather than sitting around in my pajamas eating cheese, watching Master Chef and tooling around on Facebook? Do you have a step-by-step method of actuating that? If not, probably not going to happen…