Back to everything

My ankle wasn't getting any better, so I went to the doctor. Diagnosis: Severe tendonitis. I'll be in an air cast taking anti-inflammatories, megadoses of fish oil, and ibuprofen for the next few weeks.

My morning was actually slightly easier than it usually is. The kids got up and got dressed and ate breakfast and put their shoes on and we left with less fuss than usual. I suspect, however, that that's because they were worried about my ankle and went into caregiver mode to make sure I could get down into the subway ok.

But I'm guessing some of you had some problems getting back into the routine this morning. Which makes me think that we should be sharing tips, because some of us have surely discovered things that could make it easier for everyone else.

My best leaving-the-house tip is actually a packing-lunch tip: I discovered that my younger son loves nori (the dried sheets of seaweed) and thinks it's a huge treat because it's crunchy and a little salty. So I've started packing nori as the vegetable in his lunch. Since it's dried, I can stockpile it and never run out, plus it's flat, and two sheets is a serving of vegetables.

What do you do that gets you up and out more easily?

50 thoughts on “Back to everything”

  1. Nori is a big favorite around here, too.We don’t leave the house (SAHM + small kids) and we’re still having issues getting back into a routine!

  2. We are ritualized in me being the one that gets him out the door. That doesn’t make sense right now but it is how it is still playing out.I’m frustrated.

  3. I remember reading somewhere that whoever gets up first gets to set the tone for the day. I find it true in that if I can have 10 minutes in the morning, just me and my java, I can get things going more smoothly when everyone else gets up. Yes, the java helps, but I think getting a moment to myself first thing recharges the batteries too.

  4. We’re starting a brand-new routine – I’m back to work f/t after the baby’s birth (#2), and now I’m facing the early-morning-scramble combined with too-tired-to-work and a side of oh-my-god-why-am-I-producing-so-little-milk. Seriously, though, if anyone has recommendations on how to boost a supply of breast milk when pumping all day, I’d be grateful. (I normally have a heavy supply, but something about 2 or 3 pumpings in a row with no baby keep my supply really low.) Figuring out how to a) get enough milk and b) get myself out the door earlier than 10 AM are my New year routine challenges.@Elaine: 10 minutes of self + coffee first thing sounds like heaven!

  5. Waking up earlier than Little Man so that I can shower, dress, and caffeinate. If I’m good to walk out the door before he even leaves his bedroom, things go so much better for us. Then I have the ability to focus on helping him get dressed and eat breakfast in the 35 minutes we have before we begin the morning commute to daycare.

  6. What works for getting DD(4) out of the house is letting her either ride her bike (with training wheels) or take her scooter (Chrissie present). Of course this works better in the warmer months, but still the scooter will get the girl out of the house in a flash.DS (6) is happy once he is out of the house, but is at an age where if he could stay at home and play with his lego and read dinosaur books he would. Still I have to resort to some bribing to get him out (this morning it was to drop in at the library for a look see) or like Moxie a walking snack (carrot) or more often than not tell him he doesn’t have any choice in the matter as I’m not going to leave him at home by himself.

  7. I’m on maternity leave and my husband does morning duty with my 3-year-old, so I can sleep in (if the baby’s sleeping, that is) and rest up after the fractured night.So morning isn’t my current challenge, but the rest of the day… my daughter just turned one month old, and I have no idea when or how I’m supposed to get into some sort of groove between the erratic naptimes and feedings. With my son, I didn’t care — he was pretty intense as an infant, so I just went with it, let him sleep on top of me or in the baby carrier if needed. Then, when I went back to work at nine months, the nanny laughed at me for never getting a proper nap schedule. Now that I’ve got two kids to look after all afternoon, I’m desperate to get some sort of “schedule” or “routine” or some state of semi-predictability or anything approximating it. I scoured the Moxie archives, but my sleep-deprived brain couldn’t find anything directly applicable. Can anyone give me any quick hints?
    I’m going to try nori with my suddenly picky and vegetable-averse son. Might work… and if not, I’ll munch on it.

  8. Parisienne mais presque…I’ve read that infants can’t get into much of a nap schedule before 4 months.I, too, have a new baby and my struggle is figuring out how to put the three month old to sleep for his nap while keeping the 4 year old quiet and entertained.
    One tip that I have for the morning is to let the child pick out his outfit the night before. Clothes and shoes are required to be on before child can leave his bedroom in the morning.

  9. My usually adventurous omnivore turned his nose up an nori. Bummer. Luckily, he’s positively addicted to cucumbers and will eat a variety of cut up raw vegetables (red bell pepper, carrots, cukes, celery and, recently, tomatoes) so that’s always an easy add to the lunch box. Right now he really prefers raw veg to cooked, so I sometimes serve a plate of raw veggies w/ dinner, too.I’m due on Friday w/ baby number 2 and haven’t been able to sleep well the last couple of nights. This morning I was wide awake from 5:30 on, so when DS (who is almost 4) woke up, it was easier to get going. He was excited to go back to preschool. Before the break, we’d been working on getting out of the door more quickly (his pre-school teacher said he needed to work a little on “time management” as he’s been dawdling big time lately). My solution was to buy him a little egg timer (shaped like a cute little pig). He learned how to set 5 minutes on it and then we would race the clock to get ready (this works for getting ready for bed, too). It really has made him more aware of time, though there’s still a fair bit of dawdling here and there.

  10. I have been very anti-showering at night for my entire life – “but I won’t feel cleeean in the morning,” she whined. However, we are still in the depths of the 4 month sleep regression (at 5.5 months! and he was born late!) and most nights Rooster is in bed with me, and he wakes up when I move, and he does not like to get up at 5:30 a.m. So I have finally caved and I’m finding it not so bad and really loving how the extra time makes the morning so much less stressful. However, DS barely stays asleep in the evening long enough for me to take that shower… but I guess that’s another story.

  11. With a husband who travels frequently, I do a lot of solo mornings. The only thing that saves my sanity is doing everything I possibly can the night before. Mornings are stressful and the unanticipated will occur. Having done all the prep possible ahead of time makes a big difference.I always set up the coffee right after dinner, while the kids are finishing homework and cleaning-up their rooms (hopefully with only mild groaning an gnashing of teeth). I run the dishwasher before I read to the kids and do bedtime stuff. That way it’s ready to unload soon after I come back downstairs.
    I leave out all the breakfast dishes we’ll need and pack all parts of the kids lunches possible. I have the kids put all their notebooks, binders, permission slips and folders in the backpacks before they head upstairs. In the case of my 6 y.o. who is a slow mover in the morning, we choose an outfit the night before and lay it out so it’s ready for her.
    My motto, especially when I’m on a solo jag, is to never leave anything for the morning that could possibly be done the night before. I always regret it when I do.

  12. For this morning, it was the question of “What new clothes are you going to wear to school?” that got my kid out of bed. That will last a few more days, and then I’ll be back to poking him every few minutes.

  13. Ugh–today was rough. Baby and I both missed hubby, who was back to work. I missed having him help out and having more than a few minutes to myself to clean or shower. Baby missed having Daddy’s attention and she asked for him all day long. I also miss the energy of the holiday season and having family around.But–I got out for a walk and went for a coffee, a big part of our “get out of the house” routine. I also made a ped appointment and wrote my to-do list-which is my BIG recommendation for getting things done. I write a long list and cross things off–very satisfying and it gives me a sense of accomplishment, especially since life at home is much, much less task-oriented than work.

  14. Am I doing something wrong? I just looked Nori up on amazon because I have a kid who likes unusual veggies, but it’s approximately $30/ounce. I can think of only a handful of things for which I am willing to pay $30/ounce.

  15. My hubby is from Northern Ireland and says the dried seaweed there–which he calls “dulse”–is sold in pubs and restaurants. I wonder if it would be a cheaper variety? The only seaweed I’ve ever eaten is wrapped around sushi, so it’s a bit chewy. I’d definitely like to try the dry, salty kind… mmm….

  16. Trader Joes sells “seaweed snacks” for 99 cents/package. My 4 yo loves it so I often keep it in the car for a quick snack on the way home so she’s not whiny before dinner.

  17. @Erin – have you tried Fenugreek yet? I went back to work at 4mo and that worked for a while. There are also some other herbs that you can mix in for a while. Then because I was so stubborn about continuing to breastfeed and pump, I went the domperidone route. Did lots of research first since it’s so hard to get in the states.

  18. I’m totally going to try the nori with my little guy. I think he’ll find eating ‘paper’ amusing.@Tina, the dry, salty nori is the same stuff that’s wrapped around sushi. It’s just that it gets chewier from the moisture from the rice and fillings. When you buy it in sheets there’s a little silica pack to keep it dry ( ok, probably not silica, but whatever is used for food). If you have a Japanese grocery, or maybe even in Asian grocers, they will sell many varieties.
    We start back tomorrow, so we’ll see how that goes. I’m staying home from work as I’m still sick so it should be an easier transition back. We’ll see…

  19. Night-before is my salvation. That’s DD’s shower and once in a while, mine. That’s taking care of whatever is needed in her backpack and packing lunch. That’s making sure she has something clean to wear laid out, including shoes untied and ready to put. Basically I need it so that all she has to do is wake up, go to the bathroom, get dressed, eat, brush hair and teeth. A couple of times a week we may stop at McDonald’s for breakfast. Her previous school had breakfast included in latchkey program, but not this one. I have to say it was much easier on us all when she had breakfast with her “club”. She would eat a bigger variety of food and in a more timely fashion.

  20. @Erin- good luck! I bought a bottle of capsules from Whole Foods, maybe it was More Milk Plus or something like that. It had fenugreek and fennel, along with some other things. After a really bad stomach bug that caused me to lose 7 pounds in 4 days and left me so dehydrated that there was no milk left, this stuff completely brought back a robust milk supply.I have nothing to say about getting out the door fast. I stay at home with 2 kids, and no matter how much prep I do, it still seems to take an hour leave the house.

  21. +1 for the Mother’s Milk tea – I drank it 2-3x a day while at work and it really helped. I also took fenugreek 2x a day and that helped more.Morning routine is pretty chill for us since BabyT is only 15 mo, plus Daddy mostly handles it since I need to get out the door as early as possible to work a full day before daycare pickup.
    But we pack what we need to take to daycare the night before and leave it out on the counter so we don’t forget. I’m in charge of remembering what’s needed over the weekend (we only do daycare 2x/week as per my work sched).
    Breakfast is usually pretty easy – a banana, some frozen aebleskiver from Trader Joes (OMG YUM) and maybe a fried egg or some sausage links. If she doesn’t eat much, it’s fine, since they feed her constantly at daycare (or so it seems – they have a snack or meal every 2 hours!)
    While BabyT dawdles over her breakfast, Daddy checks email, and gets all the little things ready to go.
    It helps that he doesn’t have a set start time at work, and his coworkers come in on the later side anyway, so even if he drops her off at 9-9:15am, he still gets to work before many people 🙂

  22. Oh, it’s always a mess because the kids dawdle.One way I’ve made my life easier on days when they’ve been up late the night before and have to go to school anyway (school 6 days a week) is to pack lunches myself–my 4 yo usually gets very insulted if he does not get to help–and to offer a “fun” breakfast to make them get out of bed. (House rule is you have to be dressed in order to eat breakfast on school days.)
    So on Sunday morning (they had gone to bed at 10pm, shoot me), I let them sleep an extra 20 minutes and rousted them out of bed with the promise of pancakes–I make triple recipes and freeze in batches–and cafe au lait.
    They got to school on time.

  23. @parisienneAt a month old Mademoiselle will be all over the place as far as schedule goes. Both of mine never had anything that resembled a schedule till around 6 – 8 weeks and then naps were all over the place anyway.
    I made an effort to go out anyway for my sanity ( PPD and all that), even though it was mid-winter (kids born in Jan). In my case, kids were 23.5 months apart and so we had a tandum pusher ( I know that wouldn’t be possible with you guys)and whether bubs was sleeping or not, I would bundle her into her ‘seat’ and out I’d go. When I got to a quiet area I would let Noah walk. I know the weather is probably terrible there where you are right now, but would it be possible for you to get to a park close by with both kids and then let Le Petit run around or something like that?
    Sorry I can’t be of much help.

  24. Lucky that Boo is still to young to know the day of the week or what comes next. He asks me every morning: What are we doing today?My tactic for back to school was to NOT tell him until he was eating breakfast yesterday that I was going to work and he was going to school. After 2 minutes of whining he got caught up in the whirlwind of Getting Out the Door and as we walked to his bus stop he was clearly excited.
    So all was well. Beats the predicted alternative of crying all the way to the bus. Which is why I waited to the last minute to tell him.

  25. @Parisienne:I’m with paola: Little Guy didn’t get into a regular rhythm until well into 4 months. Our rhythm was no rhythm. I was sleep-deprived but otherwise we got on with our lives. Since he wasn’t predictable I just carted him around with us and hoped for the best.
    Around 5 months he started to regularly sleep through the night but even now he regularly wakes up to eat despite my best efforts to stuff him at night. He’s 18 months old and I’m sad to report that I’m used to the 3am waking for 10 minutes.

  26. Parisienne – Everyone here is right – napping and routines did not solidify with us until around 5-6 months. My baby is 9 months now and just recently got into a firm 2 nap a day routine within the last month or so. I wish I would have listened to everyone and saved myself a lot of headaches and grief and panic when my baby wasn’t on a “schedule” during maternity leave! How foolish I was! I feel like I would have enjoyed our short three months together much more if I wasn’t worried so much about routines, naps, etc.Now, as we are in the middle of 9 month sleep regression HELL, I just go with it and feel so much better, albeit exhausted. THIS TOO SHALL PASS. THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
    As far as routines, we have ours broken down into morning/afternoon based on who does pick up and drop off duty for daycare. The morning person does all dressing, drop off etc and the afternoon person does pick up, evening routine, etc. I am still breastfeeding, so all feeding of course is still on me, but we still split it up that way. I also prep all bottles the night before and husby washes up all bottles, pump parts, etc. used that day while I BF baby to bed. It’s a finely tuned routine!

  27. @ Mom in France: it sounds like your son might be in the throws of the dreaded 18 month sleep regression! Moxie has some great posts on this, so I’d recommend googling it here on her site (basically though she says a) it’s not your fault; b) there’s nothing you can do; and c) it will pass!).@ everyone with the milk-tea advice: Thanks!
    I should definitely try to do more things the night before – it can be hard though because the second the two are in bed, I just collapse and am in desperate need of a wee bit of down time.

  28. @s – We went through a period of the kids sleeping in their clothes for the next day. I always felt so awesome and in control…until someone wet the bed and we had to change clothes.

  29. @Kate — did you always have that rule about eating breakfast dressed? We started it this year when DD began kindergarten but fell off the wagon in Oct. and never got back on. She’s always ravenous in the a.m. and I’m a sucker for cries of “But I’m so huuuungry!”You’re inspiring me to try to reinstate that rule and stop wasting time going downstairs/upstairs/downstairs again.

  30. Two plus weeks of vacation and travel have killed our (read his) desire to get up and out of the house. I can’t, won’t!, complain that he’s sleeping in but cramming a leisurely two hour routine into 45 minutes just isn’t working. Two mornings in a row we’ve had a tearful boy at school drop off. So not like him. And I’m still on vacation another week, so thankfully, this is just practice. I think the only thing that will work is going to be getting him to wake up earlier – omg I can’t believe I just put that in writing. The life you have with a baby really isn’t the life you will have forever…

  31. @LittlePumpkin not sure when I instituted it.But my kids often want second helpings of breakfast. If they are being slow to wake up, slow to dress, slow to eat, etc, I can say “Sorry, not today, no time, put on your shoes and let’s go.”
    Much easier to skip the second bowl of cereal than skipping clothes.
    For certain things there has to be an order: you want to get into bed with me in the morning? You must pee first. You want to eat? Get dressed first. If you’re reeeeaaallly hungry? Get dressed faster and stop whining about how hungry you are 🙂
    Saturdays and vacation days they always eat in PJs. Of course.

  32. @Pariesienne – we’ve sort of fallen into the Eat, Change/Play, Sleep Routine. I wouldn’t call it a schedule because I never know if she’ll nap for 30 mins or 2 hours, but when she wakes up I feed her, change, and “play” with her. At six weeks, she can only handle being awake for about an hour. We’ve just started a bedtime routine too – I’m aiming to have her in bed between 6:30 and 7:00 just so I can have time to do DS’s bedtime without interruption. We’re three days in and so far it’s working.

  33. @Erin- I always had good luck with Fenugreek. I wish you lived nearby- I’d give you my leftover supply. I’m almost done pumping for my second and last baby! Also, make sure you get lots of water, and in the early days especially, I found that eating a lot of protein helped my supply. I’d eat a hamburger or steak for dinner, and the next day, I’d have more milk. I figure it is because protein is the one main component of breastmilk that my body can’t make from my fat stores, but that is just a guess.@Parisienne- Pumpkin was a baby who liked to stick to her schedule, and I don’t think I really had one for her until she was about 3 months old. I did the 2-3-4 (or is it 3-4-5) routine with her. I read about it here- it is where you put the baby down for the first nap 2 (or 3) hours after wake up, and then the next nap 3 (or 4) hours after that… etc. But at one month old, I was still happy if she didn’t sleep all day and party all night! When we got on the schedule, it was really me paying attention to what she seemed to want to do and tracking it, and then making a schedule from that.
    Petunia was a baby who didn’t really stick to a schedule at all. Her naps were all over the place until she was almost a year old. Now she is rather rigid about napping at 12:50. But that’s because that is what they do at day care. I really felt bad about her lack of schedule for awhile, because I thought I was just not paying attention to her as well as I did to her older sister- like I was taking advantage of her mellow disposition. But now that I’m on the other side of it, I think it was just that she didn’t need one. Mellow or not, she let us know what she needed.
    Anyway, I’d say don’t try for another couple weeks at least, and then make an empty schedule and fill in what Mademoiselle does for a week or two. Look at the data, and then you can make a schedule that sort of fits what she seems to want to do but also works for you.

  34. Bribes – er, positive reinforcement – work for me! We were having trouble getting the kids ready to get out the door in time, so I helped them each write a list of what they need to do in the morning (get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, pack backpack, etc) and they have to get it done in time. If they do, the Kindergartener gets a “squinkle” – these little plastic toys that come in packages of 16, and the older one got a quarter. After a couple of weeks we’ll phase it out – maybe a prize for two or three days in a row of being on time, then tapering off from there. But it helps them develop the habit.

  35. Well, this morning was our first back to the regular routine. The keys to our success are similar to those already mentioned. Getting changed right after breakfast signals to DS that it’s a daycare day, so he is usually pretty agreeable in doing what he needs to do to get out the door. And If I can take my shower the night before and make sure my coffee is made for my iced latte, then we’re usually on time.All went well this am, and as per usual. We’d been hyping the friends and his caregiver he would see at daycare as we knew the transition would be rough after the holidays (DS having only started at this new daycare a month ago). And Bang! As soon as we walk in the door and I’m about to get his coat off, and his caregiver says ‘Oh, L is in a new room now. He’s moved up. And his cubbie is now over there’. WTF? Why can’t we be told a few days in advance about these changes? Though I was tring to act nonchalant for DS, I was seething on the inside. This is the same BS we had at the previous daycare. I thought this place had a better sense of stuff like this. Grrrrrrrr….

  36. Thank you all for reassuring me that I don’t need to sweat the schedule just yet, because I was starting to feel really inadequate about it. Today I just let Mademoiselle take three random naps, two in the Moby while I vacuumed or played Legos with le Petit, and everyone was happy at the end of the day. I’ll follow @cloud’s suggestion of charting it out in a few weeks.@Jac – we’ve got a bedtime routine, but it’s just bath, a “hey, it’s time for bed!” snuggle, plus nursing down. Except I’m wondering if the bath isn’t too much excitement, since it is taking tons of time to nurse her down, up to an hour, now often with a “I can’t take it anymore” break where I hand her off to my husband who paces the room with her while my milk and my sanity replenish a bit. We put her down on the late side, after her brother is asleep, and I’m beginning to wonder if we’re missing the sleep sweet spot. But I want to go to bed when she does, so…
    @Mom in France — they’re big into teaching the days of the week at le Petit’s school, and he has a chart with a squirrel and acorns to follow the progression at home, so there’s little chance we can fool him. My husband’s come up with a strategy for the mornings when he refuses to go to school, however: they decide to go by the school building “just to see if it’s open,” and usually by the time they get there le Petit is excited about it again.

  37. @mom2boy: Thank you thank you thank you thank you for: “The life you have with a baby really isn’t the life you will have forever…”Although I know this and have been trying to remember it lately, we sort of feel like we are just barely surviving with a baby with allergies and a 3yo who’s acting out quite a bit probably in reaction to all of the attention Rashy Eczema Baby is getting. Sometimes I feel like, “Why did I choose this? I ADORE my kids, but why is this so hard, and zero fun? Why do I HATE this??” It helps to remember that THIS part of life might just be something we have to grit our teeth though until we get to the more balanced part.

  38. @ Cloud: Aww, thanks! I find it so strange that I have a super ample supply right until the minute I try to work f/t and pump all day. I know intellectually pumps don’t work as well as nursing, but it’s still kind of shocking to see so little milk in the bottle! Just makes life a bit more stressful when you have to worry if you can keep up. And surreal for me because I have so much milk when not working I’ve donated many many hundreds of ounces. But your comment about your leftover milk makes me ask – have you ever heard of Eats on Feets? It’s a social networking- informal milk sharing site, connecting moms with extra milk with moms who need milk, by state/city. If you’re looking to donate your milk!I’ll try to protein load tonight!
    @parienne: I’m always struck by how most babies gradually move into a ‘schedule’ on their own, or with just a small bit of nudging. I let my #2 go wild with no schedule because I’d had such a nap struggle with #1 as an infant, and yet #2 eventually (around 4 months) eventually fell into his own 2/3 nap a day rhythm with minimal effort from me.
    @the milliner: That’s maddening! (the daycare switch-up)

  39. @parisienne, I remember we had to shift DS’s bath to morning as it would stimulate him too much. we still don’t do showers or baths at night & he’s 5!

  40. @the milliner – they switch rooms without telling you in advance? WTF?? That seems like a huge change you’d want to prep your kid for. Ugh, I’m so sorry.

  41. We allow TV for 10mins on preschool/childcare mornings (3 times/week) as long as both kids are dressed. This has resolved a HUGE battle, as both my kids hate wearing anything. I bring the clothes downstairs in the morning, and let them change in front of the heating vent. And I briefly encourage the nearly 5 year old to dress himself, but just do it for him if there is any reluctance.And I no longer require jackets. I carry the jackets, and they put them on if/when they get cold in the stroller/on the bike on the way to school. (San Francisco area) and the 2.5 year old only has to put shoes and socks on just before we walk out the door, and if he refuses then I just take them in the stroller and he puts them on at school. I am sure that his poor little toes must be freezing, but this seems to be his strong preference!
    In the summer they go to sleep in their clothes, but in the winter they wear warm, fuzzy PJs.
    Also my husband and I focus on getting completely ready to walk out the door while the kids watch TV, and we give them a 2 minute warning only when we are completely ready.
    And am savouring this one year when they are at the same “preschool” that provides lunch. Bliss! Next year there’ll be 2 locations and different schedules and packed lunches.

  42. My morning was actually slightly easier than it usually is. The kids got up and got dressed and ate breakfast and put their shoes on and we left with less fuss than usual. I suspect, however, that that’s because they were worried about my ankle and went into caregiver mode to make sure I could get down into the subway ok.

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