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Aktualisiert: 21. Jan 2019

Reclaiming a strong family core... one morning at a time.



The late, great Shel Silverstein always found the words...

Is this your life? Wake up. Breakfast. School/work. Lunch? Shop for dinner. Pick up kids/ change gear. After school activities. Homework. Cook/ eat/ clean up. How is it 9 pm already (pour glass of wine)!?! Kids in bed (not an instantaneous process). Push the laundry through the next rotation. Feed the cat. Book keeping or book reading? (It's on "the list" at least.) Fall into bed, forgetting aforementioned wine. Sleep and repeat. The blur of the modern family schedule is a familiar chaos to parents across the globe. And while I for one yearn for the Andy & Opi moments of yore (you know, those slow-motion teaching moments where as a parent I get to impart some nugget of my accumulated wisdom to my children's hearts that will repeat itself in their futures), those moments are increasingly few and fast-forwarded between the hum-drum details that keep the well oiled machine of our routines running. With each year galloping into the next, quicker than the last, sometimes it feels like I'm missing all the good stuff. Well Folks, this year is different: I am adding to "the list". I want my Mayberry moments back.


New Year, new you, right? As a single mom of two great pre-teens, I need more time spent enjoying them as opposed to herding them. I have always believed that each parent has certain gifts that they are meant to impart to their kids. As a retired professional chef turned Pilates Studio owner/ trainer mine are relatively obvious. It is important to me that my kids grow up with sound information regarding their bodies and how to keep them healthy. Every family has their priorities. Ours are good nutrition, good relationships, healthy fitness, and sleep. Education and spirituality are also very important. I just need a couple more hours per day to accomplish all this wonderfulness: So I am going to take them.


"Take them from where?" you may ask... However, I think you know where I'm going with this: )

Yes, those hours of the wee-morn when more rational (or at least more comfortable) people are still nestled all warm in their beds. Welcome to my family's Early Birds Challenge 2019. What the heck is that you ask? Well friends, it goes something like this...


I wake at 5:00 am. Hop on the spinning bike for 25 mins. (leading by example, right?). Then the real fun starts!


We have an old metal alarm clock, the kind in the Tom & Jerry cartoons that jumps off the table with the exertion of ringing. The clock's name is Daisy. (Because it's hard to hate something with a name like Daisy, even at 5:30 am.) Daisy is set on the dining room table before the kids head off to bed. The dining room table is one floor beneath the children's bedrooms. If they wish to quiet the cartoon cacophony that is Daisy at 5:30 in the morning at our house, they must rise and shine their way to the dining room. So, the kids wake at 5:30 am. We grab our shoes and jump ropes and jump like crazy people for two songs on the morning playlist (roughly 6 minutes). Then we hit the Pilates matts for the intermediate/ ideal level matt workout, efficiently stretching and strengthening the housing of our souls (thanks Joe!). We work as far through the repertoire as 20 mins. will get us, then it's time for the kids to hit the showers for a quick rinse, hair, teeth, deodorant and it's back downstairs for KP (kitchen patrol for those of you that didn't grow up saluting).





The clock's name is Daisy. (Because it's hard to hate something with a name like Daisy, even at 5:30 am.)





My favorite part comes next: We cook breakfast together. A hot, nutritious breakfast that they can use to impress their in-laws in years to come. As a professional cook, the Skills Accumulation Schedule begins with eggs, naturally. As luck would have it, the neighbors have free-range-super--happy chickens creating a seemingly limitless supply to our culinary demands (Aunt Bea would certainly approve). My kids are 10 and 11 years old. With this being their first foray into la cuisine as practitioners, I thought it best we start with the more gentle cooking methods. Namely, the perfectly delicious 7 min soft boiled egg, and the glorious poached egg. Really, the fantasy of Eggs Benedict being served to me in bed on Mother's Day never crossed my mind. (Mimosa's will be covered at a later date. It's all for the children, Folks; )) Then it's grab the gear, and we're off, torpedoing through another day.


This is the plan. It's the plan for the entirety of 2019. I have mentally prepared myself for the resulting early morning tantrums, the possible disappearance of Daisy, failed plan days and successful plan days, and at some point they will most certainly band together in outright mutiny. The goals of the plan are balancing pre-teen hormones with exercise, nutrition, enough sleep and the feeling that they are empowered to employ healthy habits to feel good in their bodies and in their lives. Last but never least, I am counting on enjoying time spent with my children imparting skills and sharing knowledge and values as I am gifted with a little bit more of their time each day to meet the amazing people they are becoming.


I will post a monthly update complete with a grading scale for the month, tracking our Early Birds Challenge 2019 progress. Recipes and pictures of the glories and failures of our journey into the art of feeding oneself will be included, framed within the context of what is happening in our funny little lives that particular month. Sometimes it's through sharing each others experiences that we can relax the very high expectations that we place on ourselves as parents and caregivers of children. Because lets face it, there is no "normal" when it comes to families, the best we can hope for is "quite often happy". After all, some crazy people wake their kids up at 5:30 in the morning to do Pilates...; )


Onward into the new year,

K



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