Tag Archives: motherhood

“Early to bed, early to rise…”

how to get better sleep - 4 tips for getting a more restful sleep

“…is a great idea unless you’re a toddler’s mom.”

Current status: everyone in my house is sleeping now, except for me. I was able to snag a short nap but was interrupted when my toddler realized that he was awake and I was asleep. I’m not terribly disappointed though, since I do have a bunch of writing to do this afternoon for various outlets.

It’s time for Makeover Your Evenings: Day 6! Today’s topic is sleep. Oh, blissful sleep. How I do adore you.

Before I was a mom, I was convinced I couldn’t function without the full 8-10 hours. I never get 8-10 hours anymore, but I have noticed a few things that impact the quality of sleep I do get.

CALM-DOWN TIME

This is required about 20 minutes before I go to sleep. This is the time where I’m not actively “doing” something. This time is for reading a book, finishing up a movie, or talking to Peter. This is not the time for cleaning up, getting into a conversation on Facebook, or writing an article. My brain needs to wind down and get into “stop-doing” mode instead of thinking of what comes next.

A CLEAN KITCHEN

Earlier this week I was finishing up the dishes at 10pm. Peter asked why I didn’t leave them in the sink and do them in the morning, and I told him that I have noticed a direct correlation between the cleanliness of the kitchen and the amount of restful sleep I get. Having a clean kitchen means I can sleep more soundly, knowing that I don’t have to worry about waking up in time to clean it before I leave for work.

A TO-DO LIST

Writing down the key things to do the next day is a key piece to my sleep. Again, I can relieve my brain of its duty to remember important things the next day when I just write them down. My brain can relax.

DON’T DRINK COFFEE PAST 4PM

If I do, I can’t fall asleep. I will be physically tired but mentally alert. At best, this leads to fitful sleep.

These four disciplines have made a world of difference. I know that life will not always be this crazy. At some point in the future, I will be able to sleep again. Right now, in this season of work, toddler, and writing, my focus is on maximizing the quality of sleep that I do get.

And Sunday afternoon naps are the bomb.

 

Are you following along with this challenge? If you haven’t gotten your copy of Crystal Paine’s Makeover Your Evenings 14-day course, you can purchase it here.

 

{To support my blogging activities, sometimes I use affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure here. Thank you for supporting Crunchy Hippie Life!}

Makeover Your Evenings: Day 2 – The Ideal Evening

Welcome to Day 2 of the 14 day Makeover Your Evening course from the MoneySavingMom, Crystal Paine.

Today’s project is to write down all the things that together would create a perfect evening, and then narrow down the list to the top five priorities. In a quick “brain dump” fashion, here is everything I would like to get accomplished between the hours of 5pm (when I return from work) and 10:30pm, when I would ideally go to bed:

Make/eat supper

plan tomorrow’s breakfast and supper

clean kitchen

tidy up the house (I have a tendency to leave little piles wherever I am. This habit will help prevent that)

shower

brain dump list for tomorrow

blog

exercise

read with Tristan

My top 5 priorities for the evening would be as follows:

Supper

clean kitchen

brain dump

shower

read with Tristan

In this season of our lives, I crave routine, peace, and steady progress towards our personal goals. When I let myself focus on anything else, I find myself in a space of chaos and I stress myself out. I’m going to write these priorities on our chalk board under my “why.” This will help me choose my top “yes” activities and know that I am doing what is best for my family.

If you are following along, comment below with your top 5 priorities!

Cloth diapering: Pros and Cons

Why our family loves cloth diapers and you should too!

We were graciously given a two-week supply of disposable diapers from some very generous friends, and so for the past week we have been using them. After months and months of cloth diaper laundry, it’s been very eye-opening for us to take a break and use disposables!

As a self-proclaimed hippie, it is to be expected that I am all about cloth diapering. As a new mom who is still sometimes having difficulty believing that this little person is truly mine and I’m not just babysitting for a really long time, I wanted to talk some brutal honesty about the differences in diapers.

First, the pros:

  1. The cost. Obviously pictures like this are pretty convincing. I LOVE that I can use these diapers for any future children we might have. You definitely can’t say that about a disposable!
  2. The cute. Guys, cloth diapers are absolutely adorable. And on Etsy, they are even cuter. Like this one. And this one. And this one. Yes they are all Harry Potter related. I can’t help myself. I need them all.
  3. You always have them. You don’t have to run out in the middle of the night after realizing that you just used the last diaper.

Now the cons:

  1. It’s a lot of laundry. We do laundry 2-3 times a week, and you have to do a short cycle  first to clean off all the gross before adding in the other clothes (unless you have enough cloth diapers to fill an entire full load, we have about a half load’s worth).
  2. Sometimes it takes awhile to find a brand that fits your child’s specific build properly, and the process can be frustrating. When we first started cloth diapering, we were lent a bunch of cloth diapers by some friends, but they didn’t fit Tristan’s long skinny  legs very well. He was always leaking and we almost gave up on cloth diapering altogether until another friend sold us her Thirsties cover and it fit him so well it was quickly my favorite!
  3. If you’re easily grossed out, cloth diapers probably aren’t for you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to scoop mess out of diapers before I could put them in the wash. The pro for the disposable diapers is definitely that you only see that once.

Every once in awhile, it is very nice to have a break from tons of laundry (thank you friends!). In general for our family, the pros of cloth diapering outweigh the cons. Though the investment seems like a lot, once you do the math and realize how much money you save by not having to purchase diapers regularly (especially if you have more than one in diapers at once!), the cost per diaper goes down drastically. Even for the Harry Potter diapers.

How I changed from a night owl to a morning person – and found freedom! 

how to wake up happy in the morning

When I was a baby I rarely went to sleep before 11:30pm. I’ve always said I was naturally a night owl, and when I was a teenager you could usually find me wide awake at 2am. This was helpful when I became a nurse and worked night shift, but after I left the hospital environment I was still very much a night owl who hated mornings.

This only got worse as I got older and became a wife and mom, but recently something changed in me and I’ve been able to take control of my life and find the freedom that comes with taking advantage of the still of the morning.

Here’s a peek at my “new” life:

– I rarely go to bed with a dirty kitchen. This allows me to wake up feeling like I’ve already won the day, and not like I’m already behind on something.

– I have found the time to blog! Writing has always been a passion of mine but as a new wife and new mom I was having trouble making it a priority. Now that I wake up at 6am and usually I can get some blog work done while the house is quiet.

– did you get that last part? I wake up at 6am! This night owl has reformed, my friends.

– I have a bedtime routine that involves picking up whatever Tristan has lovingly reorganized around the house, settling him down for bed, getting all my work things together and mentally picking out my outfit for the next day.

I went from being frazzled, disorganized, and chronically late in the mornings to now I am calm, organized, and on time. I wake up happy, and even if I don’t want to be awake I am usually energized after just a few minutes. Even Peter has commented and asked how I can be alert and joyful before my coffee now? Ahem. Miracles happen.

All these changes are thanks to the 14-day “Makeover Your Mornings” course by the Money Saving Mom, Crystal Paine. And as her holiday gift to us, she is offering this course for the lowest price it’s ever been – just $9! Is peace in your home worth $9 to you? What about accomplishing your goals for 2016? Cultivating discipline? This course is on sale from December 26-January 8, so grab it and get started!

 

{this post contains affiliate links. Please read the disclosure here}

Makeover Your Mornings: Day 5&6 (Part 2)

I’m a day-dreamer and pie-in-the-sky goal-setter. It legitimately surprises me when I actually accomplish goals that I set for myself, because they are usually so big that they stay only ideas. So it’s no surprise that I had great fun with the first part of this exercise (choosing goals) and much less fun with the second part (actually creating an action plan).

I have a long list of things I would like to accomplish in this lifetime. As an avid Harry Potter fan, one of my dreams is to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in London and have a holiday feast in the Great Hall (yes, you can actually do that). I want to grow this blog to be a full resource of frugal, “crunchy” ways. I want to build a holistic health clinic with my husband after becoming certified as a health coach where I consult with clients and he trains them. I want to live in an RV and travel the country and give Tristan the coolest childhood possible, full of travel and learning and exploration.

Thankfully I married a man who seems to have his PhD in making his dreams happen. If he says he will do something, he figures out a way to get it done. I wish it were as easy as telling him what I want to do in life and he makes it happen…but I can learn from him!

The second part of the exercise is the hardest.  Here are two goals broken down into “action plans.” The deadline for these goals is January 1, when my 2016 goals will begin. 🙂

  1. Be a fun, involved mom
    1. read a book with Tristan after work every day
    2. spend Sundays off of social media so I can be more present with my family
    3. try to keep my computer time to a minimum while Tristan is awake (so…most of my blogging stays early morning)
    4. laugh with Tristan daily (this usually happens anyway, but I want to be intentional!)
  2. Improve the blog
    1. Spend one hour each Saturday (except Tristan’s birthday) making behind-the-scenes improvements to the blog/marketing the blog
    2. keep a running list of blog post ideas and add to it daily
    3. create a “blog calendar” for scheduling future posts

It’s so exciting to not only have dreams but have the concrete, measurable things to do.

What are your goals?  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, be sure to check out the Makeover Your Mornings course and join the fun!

 

This post contains affiliate links. Read the disclosure policy here.