The final hours before one leaves for vacation are... long... chaotic... crazed? Can I get an amen? I put a ridiculous amount of pressure on myself. (ie. The car --and the people!-- must be fully loaded and ready to go when Daddy pulls in the garage. Out of one car and into the other. It's so pretty, and simple, and neat... in my head.) However, there are children to entertain (while packing for yourself and 3 other people), lists to check and *gasp* a schedule to keep!
One could spend these moments tongue-lashing innocent by-standers-- "We're leaving for Nana's when Daddy gets home from work in THREE HOURS... that's SIX more Dora episodes! STOOPPPP ASSKKIINNGGG MEEEEEEE!"-- or... bottle that energy and be effective.
I am a list-maker. I've been known to do things that weren't written on my original list, so I go back and add them to said "original" list just to be able to cross them off. I know, it's sick.
I heartily believe that because some extra time and energy is expended before departing, the arrival back into normalcy isn't such a bummer. (Oh yes, it's still a bummer... just not such a bummer.)
Here's my vacation to-do list... in case it can be of any use to you:
-Do laundry- You will bring plenty back with you. It's best to start with a clean slate! Plus, when you're packing, all wardrobe items are fair game! They're clean and ready to be packed!
-Clean/straighten house- The depth of this one is totally dependent on time allotted. At minimum, straighten up. If you're super-mom, dust, vacuum and clean toilets. (It's best to not let anyone else know if you've gone this far. You. Will. Be. Judged.)
-Update return calendar- Say what? You know. You maximized your vacation time. Therefore, 10 hours after you pull in the garage, life is back into full-swing. That means you're responsible for pre-school snack for 18 starving children; Hubby has to pick up the car that was left for an oil change while you were out of town; and, it's your turn to drive carpool. Taking a few minutes to assess the situation before you depart will make the return to reality no big deal. It might also make you savor those last few minutes of vacation :)
-Pay/mail all bills- People. You're about to spend all your dough on vacation. Pay your bills BEFORE you leave and come home to no worries!
-Stop/hold newspaper and mail- No, you don't want the burglars to know you're away; however, they probably already do because you posted it all over Facebook. Justsayin....
-Print boarding passes- I HATE it when we forget to do this! It's on the list, though, so consider it done.
-Empty trash and recycling- Nothing gnarlier (add it to Websters?) than a weeks worth of trash, rotting inside your home. Throw in a few week-old diapers and... yummy! Spare yourselves this calamity.
-Run dishwasher- If you're super-mom you will also unload it. But, just running it will be satisfactory.
-Close all windows/blinds. Set thermostat at 60* or 78*- depending on season. No need to heat/cool air that is unused.
So there you have it. Go! Play! Vacate! Am I forgetting something??