1.  Start with a gray and dreary day, but not just any gray and dreary day.  You'll need to select one that is about the fifteenth in a long line of gray and dreary days, and it will also need to be filled with rain.  So much rain that even when it is not actually raining, the ground is still nothing but mush so that small children cannot go outside to expel any excess energy without fear of being sucked down deep into the marshlands disguised as grass.

(Mind you, this post is about three weeks late.  Currently, we've had a string of nothing but blue skies and gorgeousness, and I am SO glad!)

2. In desperation, look around your house for something, ANYTHING for your children to do.  Ask yourself, "What did I do when I was a kid?  What?!"  And then a dormant memory will yawn and stretch.  YES!  Call out to your children, "Girls!  Get your socks on!  I have a surprise for you!"  Your children will be used to fun surprises from you, so they will run to their sock basket in their bedroom with shouts of glee.

Quickly move the dining room table and chairs three feet to the right to create a long strip of floor stretching from the dining room to the kitchen just perfect for sock skating, then run to get your own socks on.

Show the girls how to get a good running start and slide all the way into the stove, then from the back of the line clap, cheer and shout advice while waiting for your next turn.  Laugh ridiculously every time your three-year-old attempts to skate because sock skating is just not her gift.

3. After ten minutes or so, remember that you have bags upon bags of children's clothing to sort through, and now would be the perfect time to drag all those bags into the living room since your children are happily occupied and having lots of fun.
4. Once all the bags are in place, your children will decide that sock skating is not all it's cracked up to be, and they want something else to do.  After running through many, many suggestions that the little whiners veto because they've already done those things in the previous fifteen gray and dreary days, you will need to tell them that they have to come up with their own fun ideas.

5. Ignore the whining that ensues and continue calmly sorting clothing into stacks of winter and summer according to size.

6. When the whining finally subsides, do not think that it might be because your children are up to no good, instead, be thankful that they must have found something fun to do on their own.

7. Realize that peace and quiet never last this long in your house and become suspicious.

8. Upon investigation, find that the entire contents of your nicely folded and organized linen closet are now being used as a dam to prevent entry or exit from the master bedroom.  Stand in silent shock as you survey the scene and wrestle with your emotions while you try to find an appropriate response.  (This is a very important step.  If you leave it out, you may not actually accomplish the losing of your mind which is the first part of our goal today.)

Eventually, determine that the mess has already been made and the linen closet is empty so stopping the activity now would be pointless.  Also, revel in the silence that is still occurring, and decide to say nothing.  Instead,  creep quietly back to your sorting job in the living room.

9.  Interrupt your sorting to break up a fight over the helium balloons from the fair yesterday.  Show your children how to balloon surf instead.

10. Acquiesce to the request to play Cooties, even though you know it will take your three year old a sweet forever to get all those tiny pieces back into the box again when the game is over.  Anything to buy more time and get your sorting job done.

11. In order to facilitate the transition from summer clothing to winter clothing, ask your children to bring everything from their bedroom closet and dump it in a big pile in the living room.

This pile is the contents of three or four plastic bags full of clothing given to us, not the pile the girls created above.

(That is not really what you requested, but this is how they will interpret your request, so you might as well just say it that way in the beginning.) 

As motivation, tell your five year old that she can get the Twister game out when her task is accomplished.

12. After an exhausting game of Twister your children will most likely want a snack to replenish their minisculey depleted energy levels.  Don't fall for this!  They do not need any more energy! 

Instead, feed your pet bunny rabbits a green pepper and the oldest carrots you can find in your refrigerator.  (But make sure your floor is clean.)

13. When your bunnies have been fed, build a fort under the dining room table, hoping that they will stay there and not make any more messes so that you can finish sorting the masses of clothing that have taken over your living room.

14. Cross off "fort under table" from your list of ideas that might keep them busy.  It does not.  Instead, get out the Play Dough Cake-Making Kit from Aunt Jane.  You know, the kit that ONLY comes out when you are at your wit's end because IT MAKES A HUGE MESS AND THE CHILDREN WAIL WHEN THEY HAVE TO CLEAN IT UP.  [And by wail, I mean: the world has come to an end; woe is me for I am undone; accompanied by great gnashing of teeth. (And that's just me!)]   

(I do not have any pictures of this fiasco because I believe it was at precisely this point in the day when my brain exploded inside my head.)

15. Forget it all!  Just plop them in front of a movie and get that sorting done already!

16. Produce a massive amount of tears when your spouse comes home from work.  Make sure you babble like a complete idiot and go into the ugly cry.  (Even though I did not get a picture of it, this is also a very important step.)

17. Breathe into a paper bag and listen from your quiet room while your spouse steps over and around the mess you've created in the living room, enforces clean up the table time with the children and makes supper.  (Because he's a hero.)

18. Venture into the living room after the children are in bed and make it look like this.  Acquire a deep sense of accomplishment.

The bags on the left are to be given away.

The stacks on the right are to go into storage bins downstairs.

Don't forget to make the dining room look beautiful also.

19. Soak in the bathtub until your fingers and toes are all wrinkly.  This is the MOST important step of all, and is very necessary if you want to get your mind back in it's rightful place.

I've been locked out of my blog for a little while.  No idea why, but I'm just glad I'm back!

I suppose this title could have been How A Mother Loses Her Blog Post.  Haha!

Anyway, I'm going to try again with another post.