#3in30 – February Week 3 Update + #HelloMorning Update

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I didn’t post an update for Week 2, so… this is two-week update!

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  1. Get up at 6 am every morning (well except maybe Saturdays), as part of the Hello Mornings challenge hosted by Inspired to Action.Humm… I should rephrase that: Go to bed early in the evening, so that I MIGHT be able to get up at 6 am, as part of the Hello Mornings challenge. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Yea. The whole things isn’t working out as well as I had hoped for. As I mentioned in my first post about it, I planned on being gentle with myself. The fact is, I have a not-so-new-anymore newborn around (5 mo on Monday – eep!), as well as a busy toddler, and frankly, the nights are often short. DD2 is often not in bed for the night before 11 pm, at which point DD1 usually decides to make an apparence in the story and wake up – it’s not rare that we finally get some shot eyes around 1 am. Add to that a mid-night (~ 3 am) nurse with DD2, and 6 am comes quick – too quick. And that’s a good night.

    But…. It HAS helped me so far to just GO TO BED in the evenings. I’m a night owl, big time. I would just stay up in the evening, and when the girls would wake up around midnight-1 am, I hadn’t even slept a bit yet. At 7 am when the girls got up… it had been a shooort night. But now, I usually go up around 9-9:30 pm with DD2 for her bedtime nurse, and when she’s done, I hop in bed right away. Sometimes I even start dozing before she’s done… ๐Ÿ™‚

    And then, if the night is pretty good and no one wakes up too much… come 6 am, I wake up and feel refreshed – and get up. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I have to say though, I do really enjoy having some quiet time before the crazyness of the day starts, so I’m not really letting go my Hello Mornings. Just taking it slower. DD2 has started consolidating her day sleep, and will have more of a “schedule” soon, and her bedtime will get earlier and she starts doing more solid and predictable naps. All in due time. Soon enough, I’ll miss those night time one on one times… ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. Work on the activities, games and crafts for Miss A THE MONTH PRIOR.I’m almost done March! I have pretty much all my St. Patrick’s stuff printed and gathered, I’m just finishing up a few stuff like cutting the crafts, or putting together the file folder games. Then I’ll gather a few spring ideas to get us through March 18-31, and April will be Easter. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Next month, this goal will be to put together April’s activities ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  I really like being 1 month in advance – it’s so much easier to have everything together and in the activity drawers when I want to do a game or a craft, then finding an idea, rummaging to find the materials, and DD1 will give me about 5 min of patient waiting before she starts acting bored so it’s just, well, stressful.

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  3. Having more patience and grace.Still going strong on that one! I like being more aware of it, and the days go much more smoothly when I’m not, well, freaking out ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Final week!

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Awesome-ess Breakfast Recipe

EDIT: I KNEW I was forgetting some stuff! ๐Ÿ™‚
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The original recipe calls for a slow cooker. I did try it the first time I made it – but like the last time I made slow-cooker oatmeals, it was all yuck and mushed in the AM… not very good (though it was ok as a toast spread!) It also didn’t keep AT ALL, so I pretty much lost the whole recipe. So I do prefer to do it in the AM, using steel cut oats, and letting it simmer 30 min – perfect ๐Ÿ™‚
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Also, to save prep time in the morning, you still could do the bulk of the prep the evening before. Toss the sugar, spices, apples, cranberries and oats in one container, and the liquids in another. You could maybe add the butter pieces to the liquids, or just cut the butter in the AM. In the morning, toss both containers together in a stove pot, and voilร ! 5 min (+ 30 min lol) oatmeal ๐Ÿ™‚
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On a more positive note from my last post (!), I have this amazing breakfast oatmeal I discovered a few weeks ago, and it has made me love oatmeal again. It i seriously DELICIOUS! And not very long to make. I do a half recipe from the one posted, and it lasts me 3 days – it’s actually very re-heatable, not mushy at all – just add a bit of water!

You can find the original recipe here, but I’m re-typing it here, with the half measures & my modifications.
You’ll see some of the comments say to reduce the liquids if you do it in the morning and not overnight in a slow cooker, but I use the exact amount listed with steel cut oats, and it’s perfect!

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CHRISTMAS MORNING OATMEAL (May be enjoy year round)

Ingredients:

  • 1/6 cup (or, 40 ml – I use 2 teaspoons & 2 tablespoons) brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ยฝ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 Granny Smith apple – peeled, cored, and sliced ยผ inch thick (I used any apples, and I don’t peel them, and just cube them, and it’s always fine!)
  • 3/8 cup dried cranberries
  • ยผ cup butter, cut into pieces (I think it makes a difference to put it, so I do. I just cut a couple of mini pieces, I don’t measure it)
  • 1 cup steel cut oats (I’ve also used same quantity of quinoa, and it worked just as well! Mixes it up a bit ๐Ÿ™‚ You could probably do ยฝ cup each too)
  • 1 cup water
  • ยฝ cup apple juice
  • ยฝ cup cranberry juice

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Directions:

  1. Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, apples and cranberries in a stove pot. Top with butter pieces.
  2. Add oatmeal, water, and juices. Stir briefly to mix.
  3. Cook on Med-High heat for a few minutes until it starts simmering, then bring heat down to simmer for ~ 30 min, or until liquid is well absorbed, stirring once in a while.
  4. Enjoy!

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To reheat:

You can store unused portions in a container in the fridge. The next morning, just take what you want out, put on the stove with some water, and heat on low-med heat. Keep an eye on it, bring heat down it it overboils, add more water if needed. Re-enjoy – it’s just as good! ๐Ÿ™‚

3 in 30 – February Week 1 Update

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Well, week 1 of February is done! Time for a little goal meeting update…

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  1. Get up at 6 am every morning (well except maybe Saturdays), as part of the Hello Mornings challenge hosted by Inspired to Action.
    On and off. The INTENTION is there every day… But the reality… Some evenings I didn’t make it to bed until past midnight, others I couldn’t sleep until 2-3ish am, one other DD1 kept waking up every hour… But that was expected. I want to get better starts to my mornings, having time for myself and to get the day going before the craziness of the kids, playgroups, errands, entertainment, etc. gets rolling, but I’m not expecting it to be perfect with a 4 mo around… ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Yesterday I went to bed early – that sure does help! ๐Ÿ™‚ I had my alarm for 6 am, but DD2 woke at 5:30 am to nurse. After a quick feed and her back asleep, I was downstairs ready to start on breakfast at 6:10 – yay ๐Ÿ™‚
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  2. Work on the activities, games and crafts for Miss A THE MONTH PRIOR.
    Moving along! I’m planned until Valentine’s Day and have most of my crafts and materials ready. I want to finish a few road trip activities for the last 2 weeks of February in preparation for our trip to Raleigh, NC. (yes, with both girls. In the car. For 15 hours. Yes, I’ve doubted my sanity too.) And I have a few ideas lined up for March!
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  3. Having more patience and grace.
    I have to say… I’m doing good with this one! ๐Ÿ™‚ Sure, it’s not perfect – like now. Bath time (well DH is doing bath time – blog updates and bath do not go well together ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). Tantrum city. Both girls are exhausted. We ate in 5 min with a kid each on our laps. Bingo night is cancelled due to extreme tiredness. Well, it would be easy to loose patience. But I want to keep it together. So I will. I will go up there, nurse DD2 to sleep… and leave DD1 with DH… bhaha ๐Ÿ™‚
    No, seriously, I’m being more conscientious about my emotions, temper, and energy levels, which helps.

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On to week 2!
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Hello Mornings – How to Reclaim My Mornings

I’m up! I’m up!

It’s 6 am.

Why am I up at the gruesome hour might you ask? (Ok, 6 is not THAT gruesome…)

It’s part of the Hello Mornings challenge at held by Kat at Inspired to Action.
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I gave this challenge a go back in the summer before DD2 came around, but it didn’t really work out. I’m so not a morning person… Though I’ve learned to be more of one since I had kids – maybe I can learn to be even more of one. I must be crazyโ€ฆ but Iโ€™ll give this challenge another go ๐Ÿ™‚

I say crazy because I do have a 4 month old at home! (and a 2.5 yrs). Which means my days are NOT predictable. Sure, they are better than when she was newborn, but although she naps, itโ€™s never really at the same time each day yet, and her โ€œbedtimeโ€ highly depends on her naps โ€“ and if she decides she would prefer to cluster feed until 1 am that evening or not (not a rare occurrence).
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Nevertheless, I strongly believe that if I get some โ€œmeโ€ time in the morning, I will be a better mother to my girls, because Iโ€™ll be able to get those little indulgences โ€“ and chores, too, mainly computer-related chores & home management planning stuff, you know, the things you can’t really involve the kids in like with laundry or sweeping (ok older kids get help plan) โ€“ out of the way before the fam gets up, and then be so much less distracted during the day. I will be able to give them my full attention โ€“ or more of it anyway ๐Ÿ™‚ I wonโ€™t have all these tasks that needs to be done nagging me โ€“ like the weekly meal plan, the grocery list, edit a few blog posts (like this one!), filling away the recipes, checking my e-mails, seeing if new playgroups have been scheduled, printing and organizing activities for my oldest (I make her lots of file folder games and fun activities, we plan on homeschooling, so we donโ€™t homeschool yet, but I use a lot of homeschool planning tricks to organize her crafts and activities to do โ€“ otherwise we end up starring at the wall wondering what to do if I donโ€™t have a general plan!). And also devote some time to my personal Bible studies, and just greet the day with a good start!
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So Iโ€™m thinking, the kids wake up typically around 7:30 am, and I know just 1h of me time wonโ€™t be enough โ€“ by the time I fixed breakfast, woke up, and checked my e-mails, itโ€™ll be over. I can be slow in the morningโ€ฆ ๐Ÿ™‚ (just this morning I almost burned my oatmeal by putting it on the stove and then promptly forgetting about it – but I rescued it just in time). Plus thereโ€™s always the odd times when one of the girls wake up at 6 or 6:30. So Iโ€™m thinking 5 am might work, and when I counted back 7 hours it brought me to 10 pm and that seems reasonable!
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Disclaimer: Iโ€™ll be gentle on myself. I do have a 4 month old around. If she nurses and cluster feeds until 1 am โ€“ obviously we scratch the next morning wake up. If the girls decide the day is so marvellous they need to start it at 6 am โ€“ weโ€™ll try again tomorrow. DH can’t be fully on early riser duty yet as I do need to nurse DD2 when she wakes up. If DD2 wakes up 5 times in the night โ€“ sleep in a bit. Iโ€™ll still probably have more early days than less, which means things wonโ€™t pile up as much anyway. And Iโ€™m always more productive in the morning than in the evening โ€“ which is often spent cluster feeding from dinnertime to bedtime, anyway. Very, VERY frustrating trying to get things done in that time period.
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So there we have it. I had the alarm on for 5:30 this morning, but it was a rough start of the night. DD2 wouldn’t sleep in the evening, so I nursed her to sleep at 10 pm until 10:30. Got in bed, tweeted a bit more my Nook (love that thing!), then was ready to fall asleep when DD1 woke up around 11:30 with what seems to be growing pains (she’s had those a few times these past weeksย  now… always in the feet… hmm…) So bed was at 12-12:30 am. Then DD2 woke up to nurse at 4:00 am. Wouldn’t fall back asleep for at 4:30 am Daddy took her to rock her to sleep. He came back up with her at 5:25 (she didn’t take an hour to fall asleep ๐Ÿ˜› He stayed with her for a while), so I turned off the alarm to not wake her up; thought I’ll just rest my head a second but I’ll think hard about things so I don’t fall asleep and get up in a minute or two.

Yea. Right.

Got up at 6 am ๐Ÿ˜‰

But now I have a blog post written (this one!) and I might edit another one, and then if I have time left (she nursed at 4 am so maybe!) I’ll work on DD1’s road trip journal. Later this morning we have playgroup in the neighbourhood!
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Good luck to everyone doing the challenge! ๐Ÿ™‚