Mornings.  I use to be a morning person until I had my second child.  Now I go to bed so late (like 1 am most nights) that I will sleep until 7 am the next day, even on a work day.  I’ve made a rule for myself since my daughter was old enough to play that from the time I get home at night (usually around five) to the time Liam goes to bed (around nine – Payten goes to bed around eight), that time is devoted to the kids.  The first part devoted to making dinner and dishes (I can’t go to sleep with dirty dishes) and the second half of the night devoted to playing with the kids and baths.  Once the kids go to bed, that’s my time and some pretty much all nights, “me” time lasts for a few hours until the early morning of the next day.  This time is usually spent editing photos on the computer, catching up on tv shows, going to kroger, journaling, coloring, or a house project.  There is the occasional night I’m in bed at nine with Liam but that’s usually only once a week.

Back to mornings.  They are such a fire drill right now.  Payten is the first
to wake, we put her in bed with us with a cup of milk and she will lay next to Andy and I drink her milk.  Once she hears Liam’s awake, she runs into his room and jumps on his bed and continues to “pat” his back to wake him up which usually responses a “stop hitting me” from Liam.  I laugh and know that it is time for me to get up.  The kids are really good about playing in their rooms or in our room while we get ready.  Payten is really into playing with my jewelry right now and even my makeup.  She’ll imitate everything I do in the morning and I even give her a dab of lotion for her hands or belly and a brush she can rub against powder foundation.  She usually ends up putting both lotion and foundation in her hair.
Once I’m dressed, time for the kids.  That’s a battle.  Payten thinks it’s a game to run from you and Liam just wants to go downstairs to play.  Especially since it’s winter, gathering all the winter gear (snow boots, snow pants, snow gloves, hats, extra socks), change of clothes, and their book bags for Miss Carries is a chore, not to mention getting myself coffee, lunch for the day and setting something out of the freezer for dinner.  There are some mornings, like today, I simply let them play in the garage with the garage door closed while I gather everything.  My children love being outside (even in our closed door garage).  They could be fighting with each other and the second I open up the door to go outside, they are both in a great mood and their feelings toward each other turn from frustration to love.  It’s a nice option to have as a parent to diffuse those situations. 
I always think to myself that I would love to get back into my early morning routines.  When I was engaged to Andy, I would workout every single morning at five am and I felt great.  I’d love to just wake up at five am and take Barkley for a walk or journal with a cup of coffee but I think those wishes will have to wait until my children are a little older.  Payten is a light sleeper and if she hears someone (even Barkley) go down the steps at any time of the night/morning, she will stir and sometimes wake.  
Although my mornings feel like a marathon to round the children up and get them into the car and get to work on time, reflecting on this particular morning made me smile.  Children are so happy and energetic in the morning and I’ve learned through their actions that each morning brings a new day and possibilities and that’s exciting.  Live in the excitement that you get a new day to make new memories, learn new things, and develop new relationships. 
I found this quote from Jim Carrey of all people and it speaks to my heart this morning:
“I wake up some mornings and sit and have my coffee and look out at my beautiful garden, and I go, ‘Remember how good this is. Because you can lose it.'”

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