The kids and I just returned to our own lunacy from a five night getaway to the lunacy of others. I put out my "Welcome to my World" sign, as I feel compelled to do when unleashing our ten year old and our close-enough-to-a-teenager on others. (Ok, I require a bit of a disclaimer myself at times!) Our family lovingly welcomed us into their world as well!
When I am away from home for a bit, it eventually seems like I can mentally restore order to my home. During the four hour car ride this afternoon, I had pretty much sorted all of my clutter and was ready to make a list of the projects I wanted to embark upon in my free time. I was a little hazy on exactly where I was finding this free time, but I was certainly going to make the most of it. This spring would be different than the five that have come before...yes, THIS would be the year that I had it all under control without losing my mind. Gone would be the crazed look in my eye of Mays past.
We made excellent time (in part because I only asked about lavatory needs once, and when my daughter said she was hungry for lunch--I gave her a chocolate chip cookie and an apple). When we got off at our exit, I was a little heady with all of my plans and ambition. Two miles later, in the comfort of my own driveway, I nearly wept at the thought of unloading the car. The thin coat of dust, empty fridge, and lunatic dogs made it painfully obvious that I had been a tad delusional; but I was tempted to just start scrapbooking, or upload the 248 photos I had taken.
About five years ago, I realized I could finally cope fairly well with "the usual". However, when what I call a "plus one" occurs, all bets are off. Some examples of a "plus one" are: heat (I hate being hot!), headache, financial distress...you get the idea. This is not to say that I immediately crumble when another ball gets thrown into my delicate juggling routine. It just means there is a chance I will drop it all. I am sharing this information on my "plus one" theory, because I have to tell you that it was warm out when we got home....oh...and I was very tired...uh-oh!
I enlisted some help from the two passengers who had walked inside empty handed. (Seriously? Who's raising them?) We got everything in the house, and THAT is when I hit the trifecta!
1) All of the groceries from this trip's Trader Joe's run needed to be put away. (Maybe part of what I love about going to Trader Joe's there is that I don't unpack my typically non-perishable groceries. Shopping without unpacking? Bonus!)
2) There was a large duffle bag full of dirty laundry...ew! Maybe next time we will sort as we go and fill a bag of whites and one of darks to bring home. That would eliminate one step of the laundry process. Yes, I know I could've done laundry at my father and step-mothers, but I prefer to pretend I don't have any for the time I am away. I just act oblivious when my brother is looking for clean clothes--they aren't with my stuff! There were clothes we didn't wear, so those needed to be put away. I did all of the laundry in the house before we left, but I didn't put it all away. Yup, clean clothes on the kids' beds that also needed to be put away.
3) There was nothing in the refrigerator that could become dinner without a fairy godmother's wand! Because of my issue with guilt, or stupidity, I felt I should make dinner since my husband had fended for himself for five days. In the meantime, I had been treated to my father shopping AND cooking (and making a mess of the kitchen, but I am willing to overlook that). By the time I got to the store for emergency provisions, the "aren't you glad I'm back to feed you" meal was hot dogs. My husband only wanted one hot dog because he was going to have the one leftover piece of sausage from when he cooked for himself (it looked yummy)...and he had hot dogs the other day. I announced that I'd have gladly cooked something else, if it was here when I arrived! I tried to console myself with the boxed macaroni and cheese, canned beans, and salad that I paired with our meal. (By the way, the kids were absolutely delighted with our dinner--perhaps just with relief that I was finally feeding them!)
Now since I was pressed for time, I did the quick shop at the meat market (yup--hot dogs are what I left the meat market with...oxymoron perhaps). Now I can curl up in my own bed with visions of getting up in the morning to go grocery shopping...and I'll have to put those groceries away. Here's hoping tomorrow is just the daily double!