Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Day In The Life

I am a very lucky woman.  I get to be a part-time stay at home Mom as well as a part-time career woman.  I get to experience two very different sides to being a parent.  That being said, there are measures that Hubs and I take to make sure that things run smoothly every single day.  But, the days that I work, there are greater measures we take to go from getting out of the house in the morning to coming home and doing the night routine (dinner, bath, bed...) with the Littles.  Here I am going to break it down for you as to what kinds of things we organize ahead of time to make those busy work days a little easier for all of us.

  • Check my infamous planner.  Seems simple right?  Well, this lovely spiraled notebook of life helps remind me of very important things:  snack duty at school, pj day at daycare, library books are due, appointments...the list really does go on and on.  It's just a good idea for me to check this the night before so I can prepare ahead of time:
  • Set out clothes for the kids.  I get both Sweet Pickle and Peanutty's outfits gathered and set out (in the same spot every time) for the morning.  They know that getting dressed is part of the morning routine, so to have it sitting there for them when they wake up really helps!
  • Get the coffeemaker loaded and ready to roll!  This one is very important.  I love drinking my cuppa deliciousness while I'm driving into work. 
  • Get lunches rounded up - as much as possible.  I take inventory of what's available for lunch in the fridge and cupboards.  I get Peanutty's packed as much as I can (never make a sammy {sandwich} the night before - who wants soggy break, ick!), and get ideas for Hubs and me.  We do the grab and go approach in the morning.
  • Check the meal plan.  Now, with my meal planning, breakfast is one that we never follow.  Huh, you ask?  What I do with my breakfast planning is I take inventory of what we have available for breakfasts (cereal, oatmeal, waffles, french toast, muffins, bagels, pancakes...you get it) and write down one for each day.  We never know what the kids will be in the mood for when they wake up so we let them tell us what they'd prefer.  In some ways it's kind of like being a short order cook (we do NOT let them tell us what they want for dinner, that's set in stone and they get what we make), BUT, we'd much rather them eat a good breakfast to start their day than boycott the food we make if they're not in the mood.
  • Check the meal plan, again.  This is where we look to see what's on the menu for the following night.  This gives us a chance to get meat out to thaw in the fridge, or prepare a casserole, or get a concoction going for the crock pot...whatever it is, we get it "started" for the next night.
  • Pack backpacks.  Make sure that everything (with the exception of lunches) is in the backpack and ready to grab and go!
  • Load and run the dishwasher and/or washing machine - of course only if you have enough for full loads!
  • Wake up early enough.  I know this seems like a no-brainer, but let me tell you, the extra 5 minutes makes a difference.  While I'd like to say that things ALWAYS go smooth when we follow these preparations - it's not always the case.  Someone inevitably: spills milk all over themselves and floor, refuses to get dressed, doesn't feel like brushing their teeth...you get the picture.  BUT, waking up early enough pays off.  For example, the other morning I had enough time to switch out some laundry and unload the dishwasher.  Which made coming home that evening MUCH easier.
  • Load the toothbrushes.  I'm the first one up and at 'em in our home.  So, that means I'm the first to scrub the pearly whites.  Since I'm already loading my toothbrush with the paste, I do everyone's at that time as well.  I just set it on the sink and when it's time to brush, they can easily do so.  Believe me, in my home toothpaste application can be a battle.
  • Start the crock pot, if needed (love the crock pot!!!)
  • Clean up coffeemaker.  I don't leave mine on the counter.  It's that whole clutter in the kitchen feeling I get, so I make sure to clean out the coffeemaker and set it out to dry for the next use.  I'm weird, and I'm OK with that.
  • Turn down or turn up the thermostat.  This is just a little money saver idea for you all!!!  It really does help and if you have a programmable thermostat, that's even better!!!  We do, but don't utilize it only because there are days when we're home.
  • Whoever gets home first gets dinner rockin' and rollin'.  Our kids are STARVING by the time we get home and it has caused some serious meltdowns - so, we solve that by having dinner cooking and almost ready to eat by the time everyone gets back home.  Hubby and I communicate pretty well so we're both on the same page as to whats for dinner, BUT, this is where the weekly meal planner comes in handy.  If he's forgotten, he just checks it and gets things going.  So easy!
  • The first thing we do when we get home is go through the mail. Sort it, throw it, recycle it and then put it in our respective cubbies and yes, this is what they usually look like until the weekly cleaning happens:

  • ***Side note, these bullets are really starting to irk me!!!***
  • We also go through the kids back packs to see what needs to be addressed.  Assignments, notes home, newsletters...etc.
  • Cleaning out the lunch box/bags.  The kids are involved in the going through backpacks to sort through the stuff.  They are also in charge of hanging their coats up, putting away winter wear and hanging their backpacks up. 

All of these preparations lead us into dinner, bath, movie/books and bed.  It's organized chaos!!!  But, we've got a rhythm down and it works for us.  Speaking of meal planning (I know we weren't talking about that but...), I thought I'd share my FAVORITE recipe right now.  I could eat these every week if everyone else was on board!!!  It's easy, doesn't take too long and can be prepped ahead of time!  WOOT!!!

The ONLY alterations I've made to this recipe is that I add about 1/8 cup of vinegar to the mixture before baking.  It adds a little zing to it (my sisters idea actually-doubt she reads this but a shout out to her!)!!!  I also make a homemade instant rice - you could eat this as a side dish or just pile on the meat and veggies to make a fajita bowl (my fave way to eat it).  Here's my recipe for my rice:

1 can (15 oz.) petite diced tomatoes
1 cup water
3 cups instant rice
Garlic salt
Garlic powder
Onion salt
Onion powder

Make rice according to box direction, just add in spices when water and tomatoes are boiling.  It's simple and fluffy!  The dish is delish!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment