I find packing, for any length of time, to be a serious source of stress. Loads of laundry rise from loads of laundry on both ends of the trip. I know it shouldn't be as hard as I make it, but I panic over the idea of not having everything I MIGHT possibly need readily available to me. Even with my father's voice murmuring in the back of my head, "You can always buy it." But I already have it! I don't want to buy another one.
Perhaps it would not be quite as bad if I were only packing for myself. But, usually, I am packing for at least three of us, if not four. And Dan is really the least of my concerns, because he doesn't really care what he wears or if it matches, so literally, I can throw anything into a bag as long as I remember underwear and deodorant. I, on the other hand, agonize over what I should bring for myself. Which is odd, because any one who sees me on a regular basis can tell you I am usually wearing some variation of the same outfit. I have, in my possession, enough black t-shirts to take me through at least two weeks, and now with the addition of my new colored ones, well, I am good for three more days. Yet, every time I prepare to pack I morph into a snappy, curt bitch. More so than usual for those of you reading and wondering how it is any different from any other day. ;)
If it were just my black t-shirts that needed to be organized, again, I might be able to get over myself. But add two kids into the mix, and that it a whole other story! Diapers, bibs, pajamas, bathing suits, towels, sunscreen, baby Tylenol, Children's Tylenol, binkies, Natalie's collection of important "aminals", her two princess pillows, sleep sacks, kid toothpaste, the correct number of pullups and extras just in case, a diaper bag, a beach bag, raincoats, a survival kit in case the bird flu finally infects us all...there is so much more than just t-shirts to think about.
Natalie suggested I make a list for N. Jersey so that I don't forget anything. I entertained this idea and asked for her help because she often thinks outside the box. The following is the list she provided me and I believe it is in her order of importance.
Ah, to be four.