Wednesday, September 28, 2011

And speaking of laundry...


 Twenty what, you ask?

 Twenty laundry baskets. That's how many it takes for me to do my laundry. Are they technically called laundry hampers? Oh well,  soft shell tortillas aren't called tacos and a Suburban isn't a van, but that's never stopped me from using my very own vernacular.

 You may think I am over compensating for my lack of true laundry talent. And I may have an entire summer of unsorted socks that would agree with you. Well, I did have an entire summer's worth before Peter kindly matched them up the other day. My plan was to ignore the pile and continue wearing sandals until my toes froze off.

Want to know why any sane person would own 20 laundry baskets? I'll break it down for you:

3 are for the kids' bedrooms (one per room). Yes,they're mostly for looks. I'm not sure I've ever found dirty clothes in them. Empty chip wrappers, lost library books, and the shirt I've washed 10 times without seeing worn once- this is what I find in these laundry baskets.

6 are for sorting dirty laundry: 2 darks, reds, lights, whites, and blue jeans. I only do laundry once a week, so I fill all 6 overflowing each week.

Four kids still aren't done. Hmmmm.
9 are for sorting clean laundry: one for each person (Peter and I split 3 between us.) As you might have gathered from my last post, my kids think of them as a mere extension of their actual dressers. I found them on clearance, or I probably would only have 6. "Only six"would seem less crazy, right?

2 are for towels. Which run on an entirely different schedule from laundry. Or, more accurately, run only when I'm forced to dry off with a washcloth due to towel shortages. See the "towel hamper" full of socks? I wasn't kidding about the Summer Sock Sort. That is the basket AFTER it has been raided for two weeks.

(3 is the number I'm still short as I have no basket downstairs and two of my dirty laundry baskets double as bathroom baskets.)

My weekly pile (unsorted)

If twenty baskets makes one of my least favorite chores a little more tolerable, it's a small price to pay. And by "small price" I don't mean small price at all, laundry baskets are expensive! Anyway, please tell my I am not the only person with an odd collection of random storage/cleaning/household supplies. Confessions are encouraged to help me feel better about my obsession ... makes me look like a hoarder in training .... my hobby ... no, that sounds even worse... my quirkiness.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Laundry Purgatory or A Piece of Heaven?

Laundry was taking a while. Approximately eternity, give or take an infinity. That's how it seemed anyway. That is pretty much how it always seems. I gathered, sorted, washed, dryed, resorted and began folding. 

Now I am no fool. My kids fold their own laundry. But I am neglectful sometimes, and my two youngest had at least two weeks of unfolded clothes. Last week it had seemed easier to let them live out of the laundry basket than enforce rigorous folding regimes. Since I am also  impatient sometimes, I decided this week to fold and put them away myself.

So after I folded my clothes and my husband's clothes (don't ask*), and after I got after the older four kids to get theirs done (I confess. I had purposefully overlooked more than just the youngest two's lack of folding. In fact, only one child had folded their clothes last week), I folded and put away Joseph's clothes.

One more basket. ONE MORE BASKET. Laundry purgatory nearly escaped!! But as I walked to my room with Matthew's basket on my hip, Joseph bounded up, boldly smiling his toothless grin, "Mom, want help folding Matthew's clothes?"

Of course I didn't! If I wanted his brand of help I would have encouraged him to fold his own. I was only one stinking basket away from finished!

But his enthusiasm struck me dumb a moment. One moment. A pause. A reflection. What was a little more time in laundry purgatory compared to answering his earnestness with gratitude?

"Sure thing, I'd love some help," I answered in the faux-what-a-fun-adventure voice all mothers master.

My apprentice folder added at least 5 minutes to my folding time. In those five minutes we talked about the first 3 weeks of school. I learned a silly writing exercise his teacher assigned in class ("Can you believe it, Mom?" he giggled, "it was so funny.") and how many of Matthew clothes used to be his ("All these pajamas used to be mine! I loved this one!"). We joked, we laughed, we folded. He talked, I listened.

Those five minutes were the best of my entire day.

Who knew I could find heaven by staying in laundry purgatory a little while longer?

Mommy Snark

*Fine, do ask. I fold my husband's laundry. And I feel like I should be ashamed by this. And then I feel bad that I don't feel ashamed. So I think I should pretend to be ashamed, but I can't bring myself to do it. So if my laundry folding insults you, please feel free to get a life.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Autumn despite the weather

I couldn't wait any longer. School has started, my birthday is past, and days are noticeably shorter. Despite the weather still tipping past 80 (sometimes flirting with 90), it is soup weather.

After all, isn't it included in the extensive Labor Day rules of etittiquette? White shoes must be put away and soup should be served at least once a week. I know I learned it somewhere.  My mind said, "still too hot," but my heart yearned for Chicken Noodle. And last week I could hold off no longer. I ground my wheat for homemade bread and pulled out the slow cooker.

It isn't just the soup, thoughI've found myself eyeing my jackets and sweaters, trying to decide if the inevitable heat stroke would be worth it. It just feels like it should be time to bring out the warmer clothes even if reality feels like I'm melting when I walk outside.

I long for cool mornings, colorful leaves, and apple cider. September means summer is over and fall has begun. But, it is becoming increasing difficult to ignore the stubbornly high temperatures. Even the desert-induced cooling at night is only a weak substitute for proper autumnal temperatures.

Maybe it's worse because this is our first autumn since leaving New England. Perhaps I'm must be suffering from major Fall Season Withdrawals.

Despite the fact that nothing can ever compete with New England Autumn, I hope to survive this difficult transition by cranking up the air conditioner a bit and snuggling under a blanket with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate.

If reality won't play nice, I'll just use my imagination.


Friday, September 16, 2011

A Quick Hello

Hello?    Hello ...    Hello . . .  Hello  .  .  .  hello.

Is this thing even still on? {Tap} {Tap}  {Tap} {Screech}

Maybe if I wipe some of this dust off. {A-choo!}

Summer was exhausting in its fun. It was full of camping, swimming, golf lessons (for the kids, not me), and a trip- complete with 48 hours of driving- to Disneyland. We put together no less than eight 700+ piece puzzles, read some books, and forgot the meaning of "bedtime."

Many things left me this summer. Old Red is finally dead and was replaced by a less bold, newer model Suburban. My iPhone is now a Droid. Which was stolen out of Old Red and replaced again.Oh yeah, my oldest was magically replaced by a high schooler; I swear it happened while I was blinking my eye.

And with my brand spanking-new laptop, I can finally have some time online again! Good thing, because it turns out I need to write to keep any semblance of sanity. Speaking of which, if you find where I've currently misplaced mine, will you let me know?