Monthly Archives: October 2014

October Toy and Clothes Tetris

So, it’s October, which means that weather is changing.  Which means that a certain wardrobe changeover is required for two children.  But it’s not like for grown-ups because you don’t just have two categories – winter and summer.  You have something like 5 categories: a.) Summer that fit great but won’t fit next year, b.) summer that might fit next year, c.) Winter that is too big, d.) winter that fits just right, and e.) winter that is too small.  The trick,  you see, is to go through your kids’ clothes and only have drawers and closets with category e clothes.  Sounds easy, right?

Just sit down and have at those clothes and sort them out.  Now, add in 3 bags of clothes from the cousin with the super-awesome wardrobe who somehow never stains anything or wears them out.  You have to mix those in to avoid buying things.  Still, all good stuff and sounds easy.

But the clothes start to come in faster.  My daughter has the addition of a November birthday.  So, already, family are starting to ask what the kids need for birthdays and holidays.  Have to get to that sorting so I can answer the question – the truth is that I have absolutely no freaking idea.

You have to find a spot where all of these clothes can be sorted into the proper categories.

So, you try to go through it a little bit at a time, right?  That makes sense.  As you do a load of laundry, sort out the not fitting so good out of season stuff.  But since you’re slowly sorting, now you need a spot where you can collect the small, summer stuff.  Perhaps a nice bag in the corner of the room or a basket, right?

Good, we’re doing great here.  On our way to neatly organized drawers and closets! Clothes are coming in, but we’ve got this under control.  We’ll just sort and put away and get to the bottom of this “What clothes do the kids need?” question.

Enter two-year-old and four-year-old.  They spy basket and/ or bag of ill-fitting-out-of-season clothes.  Immediately begin putting these clothes on.  Or, at least removing them from the bags/baskets.  Perhaps because you’re busy trying to fold the other laundry or heaven forbid sort the items in the overflowing closets and drawers.  Now the kids have worn the clothes that were designated for removal and the clothes are dirty because they dragged them across the floor, which likely hasn’t been swept because you’re trying to get a handle on this clothes situation.  Now, they go in the laundry again…

It’s okay, though, it’s a nice Sunday afternoon, you’re putting some laundry away, getting ahead of things a little.

You realize some of the clothes from your little collection area have wound up in the toy box, too, which needs to be gone through.  Because you have similar categories of toys, too – too young, too old, just right.  More toys are coming soon, too, on the way with birthdays and holidays.

So you take a minute to start to go through those. Gotta make room. You realize that the toys have subcategories, too, like “needs pics for FB Tag Sale,” niece may want that, “no idea what to do with these little things; who can I pawn this crap off on?!”  You absolutely cannot throw them away, they are plastic and batteries and built for leaking toxins into soil.  You’ll just basically be killing sea turtles and may as well head out and slit the throats some delightful endangered species yourself if you put those in the trash for the landfill.  So you put all of these in the office to get to in a while.

Then, you get back to the kids’ rooms to fold and put laundry away, and do a little sorting.

Guess what the kids find while you’re busy?!  A super cool stash of toys in the office!  They can’t leave those in the office…

And this is when mommy stops to blog and cry a little.

And then someone needs a snack.

And then there’s an email – what about that <insert task I’d committed to completing>?

And it’s already 12:30 pm and we were going to stop by and see daddy.  Or visit the playground.  But I haven’t event vacuumed yet.  And we’ve got a side dish to prepare and candy before a trunk-or-treat.

And this is why my brain buzzes all the time and I can’t. ever. shut. it. off.

I recognize that this is a first world problem – too many clothes and toys.  And I’m grateful.  But I’m stressed and the guilt never seems to end; guilt over throwing away unused toys, not getting tasks done because of the sorting, not letting kids play with toys they suddenly want again…  There has got to be a better use of my brain than this continuous logic puzzle of “stuff.”

But this time of year it’s like Tetris.  I am constantly moving and shifting clothes and toys to perfectly fit the next onslaught of generosity directed at your children.  Because if heaven forbid that l-shape goes on upside down on top of the highest part of your puzzle, next thing you know, all the shapes are just piling up and piling up and next thing you know you’re at the top and it’s game over?

Oh if only….

 

 

 

 

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Suiting Up as a Stay-at Home / Work-at-Home-Mom (AKA VEEP CFO)

How would I fare as the Barney Stinson of moms?

I was watching Madame Secretary the other night and I realized that I think Tea Leoni looks hot. Like the kind of hot I’d want to look like.

Looking at her on the show, I said to myself, “wow, I love that haircut.” Then she put on her glasses and I thought, “wow, those are great glasses.”

teanmeThe thing is, though, I actually HAVE those glasses AND that haircut. That’s me in the smaller picture which was taken in April 2014. The other one is Tea Leone, rocking my look, courtesy of this Variety article about the show dated September 2014.

I’m not talking about her actual face and waif-like physique, I’m talking about her style. It’s hotter than mine. Today, during “Twos are Terrific” at the library today (hey, it’s a great program but my mind wanders a little while we’re there), I finally realized why.

It’s the suits. God, I miss a good power suit. Probably almost as much as I miss the money from the jobs that went with it. (Not enough to get another one of those jobs, though.)

Suits are so ideal. They always match. Everyone looks thinner in the right suit. And smarter. And more serious.

I don’t think women even have to wear expensive suits. The $80-$150 Macy’s jobs look good. Throw a $15-$30 shirt underneath and you are good to go. What casual outfit can you wear for that little money that looks that good?

There isn’t one. Especially when you have my fashion sense. Casual outfits are complicated – too much freedom.  Things like scarves in summer and ballet shoes which aren’t like running shoes.  I’d love to have a better “look” about me, but in casual wear, it eludes me.

Suits are the only outfits that go with my favorite shoes, too. I love a 3 inch patent heel. Preferably with a serious looking buckle. Round or pointy toe, depending on my mood. In general, the sort of thing I can’t tie in with my current mom uniform- which is usually jeans or yoga pants and a race t-shirt. I usually go with flip-flops or my running shoes. Mostly because that’s all I have. Because why would I spend money on shoes that don’t go with suits?

What I was trying to figure out in my head while Miss Laura read some kids’ book about a fall walk was, “how can I start to bring the suit back into my wardrobe without giving up my SAHM/WAHM status?”

If I wore a nice gray pinstripe suit to story time, what would the other moms say? Would they remain quiet and everyone would come at least business casual to sit the floor and do crafts at story time next week?

Would my new look elicit calls to DCF about my state of mind?

Would I be better off (and this ISN’T a deal breaker for me) making up a story about why I’m in a suit every time?

“Oh, had another meeting with the board today!” I’d tell the MOMs Club. And it wouldn’t be a lie- I’m constantly running into things and I’m sure some of them are made from boards. I think we could reasonably expect the “board-meetings” to increase when I’m chasing a toddler around in skinny-heeled pumps.

“Just starting to think about a little more income for my family,” I’d answer when my neighbor asks about my sleek, black long skirt and matching jacket at the grocery store. Again, not a lie. I’m always thinking about that. I may have implied interview, though.

Perhaps I could just go with telling people that this is my uniform as VEEP CFO.

What do you think- can I suit up as a Mom?

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