An early start to the morning

This morning my baby woke up at 5 am, and after nursing him he still wasn’t interested in going back to sleep.  At times like these I figure I’m being sent an opportunity to get an early start on my day – no use bemoaning not being able sleep as much as I’d like!

I got up with him and we sat outside on the front porch for a little bit, enjoying the quiet of the early morning. We got a little damp while sitting there since yesterday (naturally soon after posting about how hot and dry it’s been) we had a fantastically wonderful day of rain, rain, rain!  It was quite a downpour and within a half hour, all three of my empty 50 gallon rain barrels were full.  My plants have gotten a wonderful soaking, which they really needed.  So my porch seats were damp, too.  But I didn’t mind a bit – I was so glad to enjoy the beautiful morning!

Then we went inside and I set the table for breakfast, then started making pancakes – ds11 made the batter last night before he went to sleep so it could soak overnight.  I thought I’d feed the baby some pancakes, make enough for everyone else for breakfast, and go back to sleep with him before either of the other littles woke up, but things didn’t work out quite like that. The boys woke up and went to shul, dd9 woke up and chatted with me a while and helped me make pancakes, and then ds4 woke up.  That was the end of my thoughts of going back to sleep!

He came downstairs and earnestly told me, “We have to do something about my sheet – it keeps making my clothes wet!!”  He’s usually dry at night but a couple of times in the last week he hasn’t been, and he really thought it was the sheet that was doing it!  When I explained to him that he‘s making the sheet wet, he indignantly told me, “Nah uh!  I hold it in!”  😆  I asked dd9 to keep an eye on the pancakes while I gave him a quick shower and dressed him.

We headed back downstairs together and ds4 helped me flip the pancakes and remove them from the pan when they were done.  Little opportunities like this make kids feel like a big help while building competence. A sense of accomplishment helps build self-esteem, too.

Then we needed to take the ducklings out of the hay-lined box where we keep them at night and put them in the yard; ds8 woke up and helped me with that since dd9 was busy feeding the baby bird we found (feeding baby birds is very intensive – they have to hand feed him frequently) and then had to daven (pray).  The kids have been teaching the baby bird to fly and are really enjoying having it as a pet.  We borrowed a cage for it yesterday but it seems to be sitting on someone’s finger most of the day, so it doesn’t spend too much time in the cage.

Once we were outside and finished getting the ducks set up with fresh food and water, I took the opportunity to do some much needed weeding in the garden beds.  Since the ground was so moist it was easy to do.  I had to pull up the spaghetti squash plant (that yesterday I mentioned getting two large squash from) since it was the first casualty of the season from the dreaded squash borer.  I saw another squash plant this morning that will be dead in the next couple of days because of this bug, and decided to just be happy to get anything from my squash plants before they’re wiped out by the squash borers.  It would be nice, if as the ducks get bigger, they eat these bugs before they wreak havoc on my garden!

Ds2 woke up around now and came out, and he helped me plant some onion bulbs, which he enjoyed.  I have about fifty tomato plants that I didn’t get around to planting a few weeks ago when I planted the bulk of them, so I planted a few of them today (only four or five).  Then I pulled up a few plantain plants by the roots, which grow wild and are considered a weed – probably about three pounds of it.  I never thought to eat these until a year ago, when someone here on the blog commented about it when I mentioned harvesting it for medicinal use.  Today I’ll prepare them as a cooked vegetable for lunch, chopped and sauteed with butter- it’s packed with nutrition and is tasty prepared like that.

By the time I came back in at 8:30 am for breakfast, I had gotten lots done!  While I’d love to be able to get up this early on a regular basis, that’s not something I’m currently able to do, so I’m grateful that I was able to enjoy the opportunity today.


8 thoughts on “An early start to the morning

  1. hi avivah! dunno if this is the right place to ask, but could you throw out some ideas for healthy (nutritionally dense) but very easily digestable foods? thanks so much- j

  2. I an awed that you are able to put a positive spin on getting up early. My little guy likes to get up between 5-6 am recently and I have been not so positive about it. 😉 I hope you get some rest soon.

  3. We have had problems the last 2 years with the squash borer. This year we were advised to hold off planting until early June, when the borers are already further along in their life cycle. This is supposed to prevent the damage. I’ll let you know if it works :)

  4. thanks for mentioning your younger kids :) i have a great desire to be up at least 15-30 min before my kids in the morning to heat up breakfast, say brochos and enjoy the quiet before chaos enters… but i’m so tired that it never happens! this morning i woke up early but so did they, i didnt take them out for at least 5 minutes while i heated up breakfast and it still made a big difference. i wish i could get up early but i have such a fear of being exhausted and i’m scared to rely on a nap later in the day which i may or may not get (sometimes they’re on different sleeping schedules).
    on another note, i like seeing how your kids are involved in helping around the house. the only other big family i’m exposed to is my sis-in-law (7 kids k”h) and it is 24/7 chaos there. the kids don’t have chores or any sense of responsibility and i always had this fear that my kids would end up the same way. i asked my 12 year old nephew to take out the garbage while he was waiting for me to make HIS lunch and he looked at me simply and said no. and there is zero consequence for such behavior so why should he take out the garbage. B”H my kids are already in a better direction (i hope). My ds3 is already very active in participating with daily chores- from folding laundry to putting groceries away to making the coffee, etc, and my dd2 is very good about cleaning up her toys and loves throwing things in the trash (sigh at what she decides to throw in), and loves wiping down the table. another family of 8 kids k”h i know has a full time cleaning lady. the kids are much more aidel then my nieces and nephews but still have no sense of cleaning up after themselves or pitching in. thanks for teaching your kids real family values. they will not regret it growing up- on the contrary, they will appreciate that life is full of responsibilities and their future families will appreciate it. :)

    1. Yael – don’t think my first reaction is always to smile and be happy to be awake after 4.5 hours of sleep; it takes practice to be positive, but it’s worth it since life seems to go so much more smoothly!

      Alisa – thanks for the tip! That’s very encouraging since most of our squash plants got a late start.

      Estee – I have the same struggle. I think getting up early lends itself to a smooth running day but it’s really hard for me to consistently exercise the discipline necessary to make it happen!

  5. Aviva — you wrote this post just in time for me :-) My baby just decided to wake up this morning at 5:30 and I thought to myself, “well if Aviva can wake up with a smile on her face at such an early hour, so can I!” Thanks for the chizuk :-)

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