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Saving Time is Delicious

I was pondering some efficiency methods to make life run smoothly when I returned to school in the fall. As in most houses, getting everyone up and fed took the most courage and planning. The lack of a good night’s sleep for even one member of a household affected everyone. I am a sleep zealot. I try my best to get seven hours every night. I get up before everyone else to get the day started well and prepare a good breakfast. I also really need a few minutes of quiet time before starting to interact with other humans. My morning smoke is crucial planning time for me and I consider my morning ritual a chance for me to work on autopilot until I am fully functional.

With such a high premium on getting each day started right, I was going to tackle breakfast differently this year. I am planning on stealing a few minutes after dinner each evening to get everything in place for breakfast. I don’t want to dumb down these good meals but I figured some meals could be made more mom and time friendly, much like casseroles do for dinner. I was going to start out with making a Baked French Toast casserole. It’s special enough to make my family feel my love but not so unusual for them to reject it without tasting it.

My next big task would be getting the children ready for the school year with clothes and shoes. Daisy enjoys this task more than Junior, but boys are easier to buy multiples for once you know their size. Once I have established the right size for pants for Junior, I just pick up four more in different colors. I try and choose shirts that are neutral enough to go with most of the pants. His sock choices are easy as long as they “don’t itch.” Shoe buying required a whole afternoon and since I always put it off until the last possible day, it remains the most stressful. I like to start to talk about the fact that we are going to go shopping for school clothes long before we actually do it; that helps get the children used to the idea. If I start really early, I can let them off the hook after their first protests by telling them I will put it off a little longer. That way, I remain the understanding mom who can be tricked into seeing things their way. Little did they know, I was way ahead of them. I usually followed up a week later with another warning about the upcoming shopping day. During this announcement, I like to muse aloud about maybe having time after shopping to get an ice cream sundae. Then I change the subject entirely before they can add anything. Progress in difficult tasks takes time. I actually read that in one of my textbooks last semester; I checked to see if a woman wrote it since it sounded just like mom-talk. By the time we actually get to the shopping day, all resistance is futile and the children will be grudgingly looking forward to it. Now I need to find a way through my issue with shoe shopping for them. Those last minute buying days are always with packed with kids who have too much nervous energy.

Last night before dinner, I gathered the ingredients for the Baked French Toast and put them on the end of the counter. After dinner and finishing most of the dishes, I left the sink full of soapy water, another great time saver. I assembled the casserole and placed it in the icebox. This morning, I surprised everyone with a delicious hot breakfast treat and they all liked it. I am going to add a few more morning casseroles to my repertoire over the next few weeks. It’s nice for me because I don’t have to rush around as much in the morning. I need to make sure I have plenty of time for a good breakfast too.

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