Extreme Laundry

Today, in the middle of May, we had visions of standing outside on a beautiful spring day, temperatures in the 60s, under that famous Tahoe sun, watching the cyclists in the 2011 Amgen Tour of California whiz by us. Everyone in Tahoe has been excited for this event, the largest event of its kind to come to the area since the 1960 Winter Olympics.

But wouldn’t you know it, Mother Nature had other plans. The Winter of 2011, as it turns out, is the winter that just keeps on giving. And giving. We woke up this morning to about 6 inches of snow outside and full winter conditions. It’s still snowing six hours later.

I don’t even feel like skiing anymore. I am ready for hiking and biking and flip-flops and tank tops. Sigh.

Instead, what I decided to do with the extra hours afforded by the delay of the race, is to deal with the aftermath of the avalanche that slammed into our house two months ago. You know how when someone tries to steal your car by breaking the window and the car alarm goes off so they run away, but now you still have a headache on your hands because you have to spend time and money fixing your car? That’s kind of how I feel about the avalanche damage. It’s been one big suck of time and money.

Today, it’s sucking time. And water. We had six years worth of Child #1 and Child #2’s old clothes in garbage bags in the garage, waiting to pass down the girl’s clothes to Child #3 and give away or sell the boy’s clothes. All were completely buried under 6 feet of snow in the avalanche. I have been procrastinating for 2 months, but finally, out of pure concern that Child #3 would only have moldy clothes in her future, I started bringing in the bags of clothes and dumping them out on our living room floor. That’s a lot of clothes.

I also discovered that a varmit or two was having a field day in some of the bags, pooping and munching to their hearts’ content. It was like a bunch of mice threw a frat party in a bag of pink clothes, and the aftermath isn’t pretty. Little teeny poops everywhere. Jackets with holes in it. Pure joy for me.

The loads of laundry that are in my future are daunting. I debated bringing everything to a laundry mat, but that could just be a bigger headache, what with having to find $100 worth of quarters. Not to mention hanging out in a laundry mat for a day with creepy people. Why are there always creepy people at a laundry mat? One time when I was living in Washington, DC, I watched a homeless guy take a piss in the corner of a laundry mat while I was washing my clothes. I didn’t come out of there feeling very clean.

I’m thinking I might bring a bag of wet clothes with us when we watch the peloton race by. I’ll hang all the clothes on a wire, and the pure speed of the cyclists whizzing by will dry them. Or maybe that’s just as much wishful thinking as the hope that winter will one day stop giving.

Moldy tennis shoe, anyone?

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Don’t Flush, Baby is Sleeping

Yes, I know, it’s been ages since I last wrote a blog post. I am sure you all have been bereft at my absence.

I could make many excuses – like the fact that Siigo blew out his knee skiing and had to get knee surgery, leaving me to care for not 3 but 4 children, or the fact that our house got hit by a Class IV avalanche, demolishing our garage, cars, and shed…but really, those are just run-of-the-mill excuses that I’m sure happen to the average mom across the world. Right?

But finally, at long last, a window of opportunity has opened for me today to update all my loyal (i.e. my mother) readers. The kids are at school, the baby asleep, articles finished, cat puke on the rug being ignored. I am sure you are on the edge of your seat thinking, “Oh, Mountain Momma, with what excellent stories are you going to regale us with today?”

The topic of the day is thus: my baby sleeps in the laundry room. Or in the closet. Or bathroom Whichever you want to call it since my closet is also the laundry room which is off the bathroom. Either way, I don’t think it makes us sound like the best parents.

But really, Child Number Three is only 9 months old. What does she care? We have played musical rooms with her. She of course started out in our bed as a newborn, then we transferred her to a cradle at the foot of our bed, but when it came time to start letting her cry it out, I needed to be able to drown out her cries with a closed door. We put her in her REAL crib in Kaya’s room, but her middle-of-the-night cries kept Kaya up. Plus, I really didn’t enjoy walking up a flight of stairs at 3 a.m.

Next, we put her in Kaiden’s room and had him sleep in the playroom. But that still required me to walk up the stairs. So the only room left with a door – my closet/laundry room/bathroom. There are some bonuses: it’s nice and warm and quiet. And close to my bed, so I don’t have to walk far to get her.

But there are some drawbacks. I can’t do laundry when she is sleeping, which as all moms know is prime laundry time. I have to be extra quiet brushing my teeth and getting ready for bed at night. And, above all costs, I CANNOT flush the toilet.

I know most babies have cute little rooms all decorated for them – with colorful wallpaper and matching furniture and a mobile over the crib. None of that for Child Number Three. She gets a pack-and-play in the laundry room.

But that also means Mommy sleeps better. And we all know that’s worth a baby sleeping in the bathroom.