#MindfulMonday: Back to School

The one week countdown to school starting begins today!

So many emotions…

  • Excitement for a new school year.
  • Happiness that at least a few times a week our houses will be SILENT and messes can successfully stay clean (until they come home).
  • Sadness because even though you prayed for more moments of peace and quiet you’ll now miss those monsters while you transition being away from them.  Because as much as they can drive you crazy, you end up missing the crazy 5 minutes after they are gone #momhormones
  • Nervousness that you will be able to keep track of all the extracurricular times, school party sign up lists, volunteer opportunities and teacher planning days.
  • Worry that your children will remember their manners, be grateful and show empathy towards others, and little friends will be nice to them and vice versa.

One emotion we are actively trying to avoid is STRESS.  This year we want to have stress-free first days and first week’s back.  This may be completely wishful thinking, but to calm our nerves and help us at least feel like we gave it a good attempt we started brainstorming.  We tried to come up with a plan to help us enjoy the last week of summer, while also preparing our little ones for the first week back and the schedule it brings.

First day of school & Last Day of School 2015/2016

We decided the best way to do this is to do a few dry runs this last week of summer. We want to get our kids back on the schedule of waking up early (really this only applies to C’s littles because mine wake up with the sun, every morning, without fail).  We want them to be used to getting dressed, making their bed, eating breakfast, and brushing teeth within a reasonable amount of time in the morning.  Summer has been exactly what it should have been; many mornings waking up slow (even if it was at 6am) staying in PJ’s until 10, watching cartoons, and leisurely eating breakfast .  As much as we have enjoyed this routine, it will be a beast to slay when the first week of school is back and their routines are cut down to an hour at best.

That being said, C and I decided our plan of attack.

  1. We are going to pack lunches and layout clothes the night before.
  2. Set alarms as if we needed to get up for school.
  3. Have a set breakfast menu for the week (morning choices can be detrimental for some, so we are keeping it simple)
  4. Find an activity that requires us to get out of the door by school time
  5. Make sure everyone is dressed, hair combed, teeth brushed, and shoes on by that time

This plan is as much for them as it is for us.  There were plenty of mornings last year that were running behind because I forgot to pack lunches. So I’m going to work out those kinks and get in the routine of doing it at night.  I am going to try out a few lunch combos and snacks so I have an arsenal of options to keep them interested for the first few weeks.  We will be sharing these in a post at the end of the week. (Just in time for grocery shopping!)

As much as we want to focus on preparing for the coming week and keeping tears (on all accounts) to a minimum, we also wanted to focus on all the fun we had this summer and still squeeze in a few more fun activities.  We are planning on a beach/pool day (getting out of the door by 8:30 because of our above plan will be spectacular!), lots of end of summer treats (our kids love froyo), and maybe a water day in the backyard (for old time sake since we did this multiple times a week).

To reflect back on all the fun we’ve had this summer, big and small, we have started talking about this at the dinner table.  Every night my husband and I ask, what was the most fun thing they did that day, and then what was their favorite activity from the summer.  This may seem redundant but you would be surprised how often the answers change.  Also this week, I am giving my oldest a few empty blank page books and we are going to make a picture book of our favorite days from summer.  This is an easy activity that can be broken up into small amounts of time each day.

(We had a lot of beach days, pool days, zoo/splash park days, scooter days, and dinners with friends!)

We genuinely would love to hear from you if you have any ideas on how to prepare for the first week back at school, how to ease nerves and stay stress free and also if you have any fun activities you do with your kids to reflect back on the summer and capture all those memories!

Enjoy this last week of summer and for your sake and your littles relax and just do whatever fun activity comes to mind!  (And try to get them out of bed by 7am!!! I think this will be key ;))

(If we are extra put together we may be trying out the new insta stories on one of our dry runs.  So keep an eye out because I am sure it will be much more comical than successful)

LO + CO

 

 

 

#MindfulMonday: Willpower

“Willpower is a muscle. The more you use it the stronger it gets.”


I came across this quote on a fitness website as I was casually scrolling through for half marathon training tips (we’re still full-steam ahead on that goal!).  Actually, it was the page that pops up with an ad before it lets you go to the article.  Initially I was annoyed (I am way too impatient for these 3 second ads), then during the 3 seconds I had to wait to click to the article, I was moved by the quote.  It left enough of an impression on me for me to take an extra 3 seconds, before moving on to the article, to screenshot it and send it to C.

120612-willpower-1

I started to think about all of the choices in daily life that requires willpower.  I can speak for myself, and I believe I have a good enough idea to speak on C’s behalf, that we fill many different roles, wear many different hats in our daily lives.  Mom, wife, daughter, aunt, friend, employee, volunteer, room mom, nutritionist/chef (you definitely are these if you plan family meals!), Chief Financial Officer (as I call myself at home), the list can go on and on.  All of which require varying degrees of willpower.

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Mindful Monday

I read this Forbes article yesterday titled “What Successful People Do On Sunday To Be Productive All Week”.  The title alone hooked me because, first of all, who doesn’t want a successful week and second of all, I am the absolute worst at letting the Monday Blues creep into my Sunday Funday.  You know what I am talking about.  That dark cloud that looms over you because Monday is coming.  I will admit, the Monday Blues have gotten slightly less blue since I have stopped working full time and heading into the office on Monday morning.  None-the-less that Monday cloud still makes its way over at some point on Sunday, because Monday means the fun from the weekend has stopped and the onslaught of to-do lists begins.


Even though I don’t go into the office anymore, I am still looking for ways to make Monday’s less of a Monday and overall more enjoyable.  Which led me to read the article linked above.  The tips mentioned in the article can easily be applied to anyone in any stage of life (so obviously I applied them to at home mom).  The first tip stuck with me the most: Steal an Hour to Get Organized.  It suggested that if you steal a little time from Sunday, preferably in the morning, to get organized for the week it will help clear head space (i.e. any to do items looming over you for Monday) and make Sunday more enjoyable.  Ways to do this could be throwing on a small load of laundry, meal planning for the week, cleaning out the fridge, vacuuming, anything that you usually do on Mondays to prepare for the week that could quickly be done on Sunday.  Don’t take too much time from Sunday, just enough to get a few things done and clear up some of the to-do’s for Monday.

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Motivational Monday

CO

I’m one of those moms that puts on workout clothes to run errands. Although I played soccer, ran track in high school and jogged quite often in college (to sweat out the hangover) I honestly could never stick with a workout routine for too long after that. Then kids came, I was working full time and exercise was completely off the radar (although to give credit we have always eaten pretty healthy and little ones do keep you on your toes). My husband played sports his entire life all the way through college so he claims he doesn’t know how to do life without working out. He’d wake up early to workout or train for a race and I’d be on the sideline cheering and wearing his well earned “top finisher” hat for the following months to come. After our second child J was born I joined a gym and never stepped foot in the place until I walked in to cancel the membership months later. #fail

Then, when J was about 8 months old I started staying home. I would take them on walks a lot, but there was definitely no challenge or pep in my step. My husband tried to get me to workout at his gym and I quit. It was too far away. The workouts were too intense. I didn’t enjoy it. They were all excuses, but it boiled down to the fact I just didn’t want to be there.

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Mindful Monday

 

 

il_570xN.653166268_8aluGood Morning!

Lo thought of this so I’m not even going to take credit but this week starting with #mindfulmonday try to take time to tell people in your family something you love or admire about them. If you’re anything like me you might have those thoughts throughout the week but then it gets lost in an activity, responsibility or small distraction and is never voiced. I’ll admit it’s often much easier for me to say things like “I’m so proud of you” or “That was so thoughtful” to my children than to my husband, peers or other family members. But, think back to when somebody DID speak up and say that to you. It warmed your heart, right? #bombdiggiy If you want to buy the card above you can here.

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