I am unabashedly swiping this idea from another blog - the idea of Fashion Friday. [By the way, I used the word "unabashedly." I thought I was using it correctly, but - being the perfectionist I can be at times - decided to look it online up just to make sure. The first definition pulled up, "...in an unabashed manner." Uhhh... Didn't that website's mommy (or English teacher) ever tell it not to define a word with the same word?] Getting back on track... I doubt that this will become a regular entry for me as I'm not "into" fashion so much as I am "into" being comfortable - and oft times, fashion is sacrificed for comfort. Also, I don't buy clothes for myself very often - I've got four rapidly growing children, so their clothing needs take priority. Nonetheless, here I am, awake at 12:30 a.m. because I'm wondering if my husband and two of my children are freezing to death on the Appalachian Trail - on Blood Mountain (nice name especially considering my worries), so I'll participate in Fashion Friday.
In my neck of the woods, it's consignment sale season and two are going on within minutes of my house. Although I did find a few cute little numbers for the kids, I found even more clothes which were stained, faded, missing buttons, or were WAY overpriced. Here's a hint when you're consigning items: See what the same or similar items are going for on Ebay - not what the seller is selling the item for, but what people are actually paying for the item. I saw the ugliest, faded, stained dress priced at $8. Hello? I wouldn't buy that dress for $8 brand-spanking new - and I'd be surprised if someone pays $4 for it when the prices are discounted tomorrow[today?] afternoon at the half-price sale! (I should have taken a picture of it. Oh well, another Kodak moment lost, I suppose.)
I also went shopping with my mother (and a 3 year old and a 3 month old) to find something to wear for Easter and to a wedding the following weekend. I would love to have a new dress, but I am breastfeeding, therefore dresses are out. So is anything made of a silky, satiny sort of material - one drop of milk and I'll be spotty for the day (there's no way of hiding a liquid spill on shiny material, so I'm not risking it). Button-up blouses are also out - I would have to wear it untucked, not to mention that it's hard to be discreet when you're unbuttoning a blouse. (Granted, I've done it, do it, and will do it in the future; however, for a wedding and Mass on the most important holy day of the year, I'll pass on the under-the-receiving-blanket strip show witnessed only by my nursing baby... and anyone who catches a glimpse of me struggling with a button blouse and said blanket.) After searching for a while (well, 30 minutes, but shopping with the obstacles I had today wasn't as fun as it could be so the 30 minutes seemed VERY long), I settled on a skirt and blouse [sans buttons]. I think my mom liked the skirt better than I did, but her excitement for it convinced me I wore it well, so I got it. The ensemble wasn't cheap, but fortunately, it was on sale and... [drumroll, please] mom had her store card and a coupon for an extra 20% off. I got a SWEET deal on my Easter/wedding outfit.
Lucky for me, I have the perfect pair of pink crocs to go with my new outfit. [I am kidding. Seriously.]
Now that the baby is here, I'm struggling to keep up with the laundry. I'm failing miserably. I remember a time when I could see the bottom of any given laundry basket in the house. Those days have come and gone.
I feel as though I have to do laundry every day. If I "take a day off," I pay for it later. I try to do at least a load a day - and several loads on Fridays and Saturdays. I also do the easy loads (linens) on the days I work - "easy" because they are easy to gather, easy to sort, easy to wash and dry, easy to fold and put away.... easy. I also do one load of baby laundry on one of the days I work.
Essentially, the laundry breaks down like this (keep in mind, we don't have a front-loading or extra large capacity washer): 2 loads of baby laundry (with some kid stuff mixed in) 4 loads of kid laundry 4 loads of adult laundry 3 loads of towels 2 loads of sheets, blankets, table linens
... per week. And that's a normal week. However, out of the ordinary events occur cause more laundry; events such as catastrophic spills, basement flooding, snow adventure clothes, etc.
See? There's a reason I don't use cloth diapers... the only thing that would be clean would be the diapers!
Recently, I started a thread on a board where I post occasionally. I asked the moms there how many loads of laundry they wash in a week - and with that, I wanted to know the number of people in their household and what kind of washer they have. I was astonished by several of the responses... not because they wash vast amounts of clothing, but in fact, quite the opposite. Two moms with families of 4 posted that they only do 3-4 loads per week. PER WEEK?! How??? Another mom, with a family of 5, posted that she does THREE loads of laundry a week. WHAT?! Some of these low-load moms said that their families re-wear clothes - or they only wash clothes if they are "dirty." Hello? In my (not so) humble opinion, if someone wears something on their body for 6 - 8 hours or longer, it's dirty. With the exception of jammies. Actually, I would probably have to add one more load to the kid count if they didn't wear their jammies two nights in a row (something I started once the baby joined us).
I don't know... maybe it's because I have a couple of accident-prone-messy-eater children; maybe it's because I have a seven year old daughter who likes to wear a different outfit every day; maybe it's because I like my clothes to feel fresh and, well, clean. We do reuse towels - we each use 2 towels a week. [That's another thing - some of the moms posting said that each person in their house only gets one towel a week. Ick. Maybe it's a bit more humid here than where that mom lives - I can't imagine the mildew smell coming from a bath towel after using it every day for a week. For that matter, I also can't imagine the mildew smell my hair would have!] Sheets are (supposed to be) changed every other week. Table linens are changed weekly. With that, there is no way we could have a mere 4-5 loads per week.
I've also gotten smart and realize that my children can help with this daunting task. For now, all they have to do is put away their clothes. Beside the washer and dryer, I have a plastic 4-drawer cart - one drawer per kid. Whenever I wash their clothes, I fold them and place them into each child's particular drawer. Every day they check their drawer and put away any clothes that have accumulated. Before too long, I'll start the older two folding their clothes... maybe I'll teach them that today! (Who says education should only come from books?!)