Eco-friendly Winter Holiday Tips


Snooze alarm.

Snooze alarm.

Snooze alarm.

Turn alarm off, get back in bed for just “a little longer.”

Sit up! “Oh, shit its raining! I’m going to be late.”

That is pretty much how my mornings start every single day, minus the rain. I love sleep, so much. I love sleeping so much, there are parts of my daily routine that I purposely save for the car ride so I can get a tiny bit more sleep: brushing my hair and eating breakfast. I love sleeping to the point where, if I’m sleepy and hungry at the same time, I will choose sleep. Every. Single. Time. And on week days, when I have to get ready for work, given the choice to wake up on time and get to work 30 minutes before school starts or getting 15 more minutes in bed and getting to school right before the bell rings, I will choose more sleep. Every. Single. Time. Because when you have three

children under the age of 10, sleep doesn’t come very easily, and mornings are the worst!

On this particular day, when I finally crawled out of bed, I realized it was raining. In case you didn’t already know, rain and driving in Southern California equals all kinds of calamity. So, I knew I had to leave my house on time, if not EARLY, in order to get to work before the bell rang. So as you can see, I was already off to an iffy start.

I go into the next room to wake up the big boys, my 9-year-old and 3-year-old who sleep in bunk beds. The 9-year-old, is a morning person. He is easy to wake up. As soon as I turn the light on in his room and say his name one time, he’s awake and getting out of bed. On the weekends, he’s the first one awake in the house. My husband and I had to teach him how to make himself cereal when he was 6 so he would stop waking us up so early to do it for him. Anyway, he gets himself ready so I don’t have to worry too much about him. But the 3-year-old, well he’s a different story.

He is a night owl. He gets sent to bed at one time, but gets out and comes into our room asking for water, or to be tucked in multiple times for at least an hour after he’s been sent to bed. So waking him up in the morning is no easy task. I usually start with a gentle wake up, a rub on the back and say his name just above a whisper. Then, each wake up attempt after that becomes increasingly more aggressive. Until I’m stripping the sheets all the way back and literally guiding his body off the bed until his feet touch the floor. Once I actually get him out of bed, eyes open, I’m almost always greeted with tears. He usually cries because he is hungry, but every now and then there are those mornings when he’s just mad he’s up so early and he cries the entire time we get ready. Well, this was one of those mornings.

He cried while we walked down the stairs. He cried because he finished his breakfast. He cried because he had to go to the bathroom. He cried because I walked upstairs to get dressed without him. He cried because he was cold and didn’t want Darren to help him put on his jacket, he wanted ME to put on his jacket. Then did the same thing when his big brother tried to help him with his shoes. He cried because he was calling my name while I was getting the baby ready and I didn’t hear him. Oh yeah, and there is a baby, and he cries too so there’s lots of crying involved. But we always get through it and make it out the door and today it was on time.

Now its time for the drive. I’ve been making this commute for about a year, so I’m pretty used to it now. Its still not my favorite thing to do and I can think of so many things I could get done in the 3 hours I spend in my car daily, but it is what it is. Remember its raining and I knew as soon as I hit the freeway, I was going to be late, just not HOW late. I am driving in Los Angeles, in the rain, at the same time as every other working adult, so naturally, its bumper to bumper traffic the whole way. My usual just over an hour commute, just turned into 2 ½ hours!

I finally get to my sons’ daycare, and its raining pretty hard. I keep the baby in the car seat, and drape a blanket over him so he can stay dry. I take the carrier out of the car and set it on the sidewalk while I get my 3-year-old out. Before he starts to get up, I make sure he is all bundled up and ready to quickly make his way to the front door so he doesn’t get too soaked. He stands up and gets his feet ready to jump out of the car, over the puddle. I reach my hand out to help him and before he can grab it, he slips!!! Butt first into the puddle. This is not just any puddle, this is a running water, side of the curb, brake dust, oil particles, palm tree branch filled kind of puddle. He is soaked from the waist down, so naturally… he starts crying.

So I pick him up as quickly as I can with one hand, and grab the baby carrier in the other and we’re racing toward the door. The day care teacher opens the door, Brandon is hysterical as I’m stripping off his wet clothes to give him new ones, signing him in, and telling her what happened all at once. I glance over at the carrier and I see the baby, ALSO soaked! What happened to your blanket?!?! I look outside, and the blanket is laid out on the sidewalk, in the rain. I rush outside, bring the dripping blanket indoors, kiss the boys goodbye and rush out the door.

Now, I’m in the home stretch, I’m on my way to work when my phone rings, its my son’s ride to school. But the thing is, his dad is home and he’s taking him to school, so why is she there?! What is happening? How can so many things go wrong in three hours’ time? Anyway, it all worked out and I finally made it to work after all of that…only 30 minutes AFTER the bell.

What was that I was saying about mornings? Oh yeah, they’re the worst!

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