Thursday, November 14, 2013

Picture of the Week - 11/14/2013

I get to have LOADS of fun several times a week.  (I am also very punny!)  The following is partly a rant and partly making fun of myself and partly a public service announcement.  It's also entirely about one of my least favorite things so it's very possible this will come across as a giant whine. 
I wanna talk about laundry.  (Fun huh!)  ((Also clothes in general and the bi-yearly seasonal clothes swap that I love so much.))  (((Please sense the extreme sarcasm!)))
There are some things that come with the territory when you become a "grown up".  It's expected that you will, at some point before you move away from home, figure out how to feed yourself and groom yourself.  You become the manager of your calendar and owner of your very own bank account.  You will, PLEASE, figure out how to trim your own nails and tame your own cowlicks.  And along with getting to decide if you want to wear jeans or sweatpants out of the house, you also get to learn how to do laundry. 
Laundry has never really bothered me.  It's one of those chores, much like doing dishes, that is never really done.  It doesn't matter how often I wash and fold and put away, there are always more dirty clothes.  The thing is, I never really thought about the exponential growth of the laundry pile when Bob and I were deciding to have kids.  We talked about moving the guest bedroom.  We talked about getting a safer/bigger car.  We talked about where to store the stock of diapers and how to manage changing schedules.  The thought never crossed my mind that adding a baby is adding more laundry.  Even after we'd been through it 3 times, it STILL didn't dawn on me as I waddled around during Beckett's pregnancy that I was adding ANOTHER pile of dirty clothes to the mix. 
Having a big family means many things.  Two of the things that no one will ever warn you about is the fact that you must have a refrigerator dedicated to gallons of milk and you will forever be up to your knees in laundry. 
I consider myself to be pretty organized.  (I will pause here while I allow my mom time to clean up the drink she just spit on the screen!)  Done?  OK, carrying on...  I am certainly not OCD about MOST things - and just about every closet and drawer in my house could use a good purge.  But my organizational style (stop laughing Berber!) works for us.  I usually know where things are.  We rarely miss events or important things at school or work.  I am usually on time with birthday gifts and stuff like that.  And I can get a crazy household ready and out the door to be on time to just about every activity or event we attend.  Even my laundry process works, for the most part.  Of course we lose socks and the boys sometimes have to wear a t-shirt to bed instead of pjs, but no one leaves the house dirty and they nearly always match.  It's good stuff. 
Until the season changes.  Oh. My. Gosh.  I hate (H.A.T.E) doing the seasonal clothes swap.  Hate it.  It's right up there with the *(#^&*$ time change.  And the fact that these two events regularly happen at the same time just cements them into my mind as things I can not stand.  I have to go through the whole "I can't believe he's too big for that" drama times 4 twice a year.  And it sucks.  And I am HORRIBLE at it!  I admit...  I'm terrible.  (Which is probably why I hate it so much...)
This year I have reached a new low.  After going through Zane's room and packing away all the things he's too big for (sob), I realized that he didn't have very many long sleeve shirts.  Around the same time it dawned on me that Quinn was regularly looking like he'd just come out of the flood and I knew* that he was going to need pants because he wasn't going to be wearing the hand-me-down husky pants from Spencer anytime soon.  So I went shopping.  I bought Z some stuff.  I bought Q some stuff.  And for good measure, I also bought some stuff for Spencer and maybe a shirt or two for Beckett.  Everyone should have some new stuff - right!
*remember that I suck at this...
A few weeks went by as we had a warm spell and everyone went back into t-shirts and shorts for a while.  And then the temps really dropped and I couldn't put off the inevitable any more.  So I set aside a day and started doing the Beckett clothes swap.  Imagine my surprise when I found an ENTIRE BIN of 4T shirts.  Huh...  so that's where they were!  Zane now has enough long sleeve shirts for 3 boys.  I'm embarrassed by his closet. 
In Beckett's room, I packed up summer things and pulled out bins and bins of winter stuff.  I dutifully sorted things to try to sell and things to give away and pitched anything that was stained or torn.  (It's amazing how beat up clothes get after going through 4 boys...  go figure!)  After I was done with Beck's room I had a very big problem on my hands.  He had more pants than I could fit into a drawer, but only had a handful of shirts.  I was missing an entire bin (at least) of 2T shirts.  We have searched the entire house...  can not find them.  I have no little undershirts for him.  I have very few play clothes.  It. Is. So. Weird!
I am terrible at this!
So I licked my wounds a bit and then tackled the big boys' closet.  Where I found, because of course I did, a whole stack of pants for Quinn to wear.  Hmmm...  maybe I'm not as organized as I thought I was.  I am only batting .250 on successfully swapping seasonal clothes for the boys.  Wonder if I can get sent down to the minor league...
Laundry related public service announcement - if you have made it this far, congratulations.  This has been a particularly rambly email...  I wanted to share that when it comes to certain items, some brands are CLEAR winners!  If you have any additions to my list, please share them!  I'm all for tried and true personal recommendations!
1. The best underwear = Fruit of the Loom  (I use Fruit of the Loom for Q and Hanes for S to help keep things separated and the Fruit holds up WAY better for both underwear and undershirts!)
2. The best socks = Gold toe (I get them at Target.  I love that they have stripes on the toes to help me separate sizes because all the boys wear gold toe socks.)
3. The best layering t-shirts/PJ shirts = Lands End Super Ts - these do NOT shrink, do NOT fade and are SO soft!  Worth the extra $
4. The best PJs = toss up between Children's Place and Disney.  They both hold up remarkably well through several kids!
5. The best knock-off Under Amour = BCG at Academy Sports.  It doesn't snag too badly and is about 1/3 the cost!
6. The best laundry aid = Shout Color Catchers - They really work and allow me to throw a load of mixed colors in every day (if I'm not feeling lazy!)
And one final non-laundry related (but potentially California specific) public service announcement - if you should find yourself in a situation where you have a rodent (let's say a raccoon for kicks) in your attic, it's perfectly reasonable to attempt to subdue the animal with a flashlight and a can of Lysol.  (Hi A. M.)
Have a great week everyone!  We have a SUPER busy weekend planned.  A visit to a local BBQ competition, a playoff football game (one and done...  and we're hoping for a win, I think...), a family football party, a visit to Christmas in Central Park (ha, the one in Cumming, not the *famous* one), and a family dinner with my parents and sister's family.  Phew!  So many fun things.  What a fabulous time of year!

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