As a full-time mom, you get excited about things such as a morning routine. We recently made some changes to ours, hence the excitement. It used to be that my morning centered around the dog's necessary outing. After the two showers and getting dressed, we'd eat breakfast and then I'd hustle to get Harvey ready for the outdoors as Dan hustled to get ready for work. As the weather got colder, the process of getting Harvey ready and out the door grew more arduous. Also, now that he's older and wants to walk everywhere himself, it can be a test of patience (everybody's).

I started complaining to Dan a few weeks ago that despite not going to work I was finding the mornings really stressful. Indeed, I was dreading the morning walk and the preparations it demanded. So we came up with a different scheme, one where I walk the dog alone at 6:30 and Dan watches Harvey. It isn't exactly a panacea. I skip a shower; the dog doesn't always want to walk that early; and Harvey screams bloody murder when I leave. But compared to our previous routine it seems like an enormous sigh of relief. I get a brisk walk and some quiet time to myself. Harvey only takes on a few minutes of separation stress, as opposed to an hour of stroller stress. And when I get back we all have time to play and see Dan off to work in a more relaxed manner.

An unexpected bonus of the schedule change is that I found out that once Dan is gone I can still shower sometimes. In fact, Harvey's new favorite thing is going in the shower. He clings with his arms in a Koala death grip around my neck, but he loves being under the water and he sighs in contentment when the warm water hits his back. Indeed, when we woke up this morning he asked, "Mama showah? mama showah? mama showah?" It was 5:30 in the morning, but oh well. We still have some kinks to work out.