Sunday, October 3, 2010

I Hate Call Weekends

My kids are going to be the death of me.

I know, most of my posts I'm crying about how fast they are growing up, how I want to freeze time and all that, but this weekend, as my Aunt Jan would say, God love 'em, but they do suck the life out of me. Absence truly makes the heart grow fonder.  At least a little breaky break here and there.  (Hats off to single mothers everywhere. And military wives.  You have my full sympathies if you unwittingly beat your children at times.)

This is the result of a looooong call weekend.  You would think I'd have learned my lesson by now.  Brandon's been taking weekend call for almost a decade now, but apparently I like to learn my lessons slow and hard.

The problem is, sometimes weekend call is not so bad.  Sometimes it's downright quiet.  It's when you have a few quiet call weekends that the trouble comes, because you get your hopes up the next time call comes around thinking it won't be that bad.  That's the trouble.  The expectation always kills you.  (This applies to wedding anniversaries and family vacations as well.)

The other problem with this particular weekend is that I thought I would deal with the challenge of a potentially busy call weekend for Brandon by not making any outside plans.  I would just stay home and "get things done."  Like I was a single woman or something.  (Speaking of which, I was googling "cleaning schedules" to get ideas for family chores since Dina didn't move to Utah with me, even though I begged her to, and this is The Year Of Saving Lots Of Money To Make Up For The Stupid Mistake Of Buying A House In L.A. Three Years Ago so I'm not getting a cleaning lady here anyway, and I found the blog of a newlywed woman with the most hysterical lists of routines and cleaning schedules that she found rather grueling.  Why do I always want to shake the shoulders of women B.C. [before children] who feel like life is so hard and busy and yell at them to just bask in the easiness of it, will you?) Can you tell I'm on edge today and need to vent? Anyway, "getting things done" at home alone with four bored children is just about the most counter-productive plan anyone could ever come up with.  The more you try to get done, the more work they produce.  One of the great paradoxes of life.

To top it all off, I thought I would get all this stuff done while enjoying General Conference in the background since it was "General Conference Weekend".  (General Conference, for you gentiles that may read my blog, is the bi-annual conference of the LDS church held in Salt Lake City and broadcast live via cable and satellite all over the world wherever there are LDS people.  If you live in Utah in 2010, it also means it's an LDS child's dream come true, because rather than get dressed up and go to church for the usual three hour marathon, you get to stay home and watch "church" on TV in your jammies after eating pancakes and bacon.  If you're a child that grew up in Illinois in the 70's however, you got to dress up and go to church for even longer hours, sitting in the dark with your coloring book while your parents watched the satellite broadcast.  My kids are lucky.)

So going into the weekend I was thinking, maybe he'll have to go in a little, but it really shouldn't be that bad, and we'll get to finish hanging pictures on the walls, and we'll clear out and organize the office, and we'll listen to conference, and our children will just sit there and listen too, or willingly help us with our work . . .  like I said, it's the expectation that kill you.  To be honest, I didn't actually think about what the kids would do.  Sometimes I'm just stupid enough to think they will occupy and content themselves when I'm in the mood to do house projects.  Silly girl.  Hollywood has done this to me.  Have you ever noticed how young children are always just kind of there in the background quietly playing with a toy or something, until someone tells them to run and brush their teeth and get in bed after which they quickly scamper away?  Where are the children that don't stop talking or moving for 14 hours straight?  The children that want you to pretend you are a dog for half of that time and interact with them through barking or licking, the children that don't come in to eat after you've called them 5000 times, the children who scatter honey roasted sunflower seeds all over the freshly swept kitchen floor?

Did I mention it's also Rachael's birthday and I haven't done any shopping yet?  So I also thought that surely there would be a few minutes (or hours?) I could slip away alone and go shopping for Rachael's birthday.  Never happened.  Still don't know how that is going to pan out.  Her birthday is tomorrow.

Long story short, Brandon spent most of Saturday until 8pm in the hospital, which pretty much ruined our evening and half of this morning because of the 5 second fight we had when he got home and I saw that he had a bag from the BYU Bookstore which meant he had enough time to himself during the day to go shopping.  I couldn't resist making a snarky comment, weak in my late-hour frustration and exhaustion, and he couldn't resist responding in anger after his equally long and tiring day.  (Turned out he had an hour to wait at one point before the O.R. was ready for him, so he quickly went to the bookstore to get a couple of books for Rachael's birthday to help me out.  I love it when I turn out to be super jerk.)

Why is it so hard for me to recover from a really crabby day?  Today was really quite lovely, with Brandon home between 10 and 4:30.  We made up, we actually sat and watched quite a bit of conference, we did hang some pictures, and I had that urge I often get on Sundays - especially this time of year - to make something yummy, which I did, and even though the kids didn't totally appreciate all my culinary efforts (what's new?), I felt domestically and creatively fulfilled (that is, until I saw the dirty dishes I produced by making pancakes and bacon, apple crisp and pot roast).

And now, I feel compelled to share pictures.

This first picture may have been the best part of the process: local orchard apples covered in sugar, lemon juice and nutmeg.  YUM!

Doesn't this look so good?  It was, believe me.

On another happy note, I did track down Stephanie Nielsen at the concert on Friday night.  She was just leaving, after extracting herself from other blog readers I'm sure, her sister Lucy by her side acting as a body guard of sorts, and do you know what I said?  DO YOU KNOW WHAT I SAID?  I said, "No really, I'm your #1 fan."  And then I told her I was sad I missed her big speech at the BYU ballroom and asked her to if she could give it to me again minus the boogers,  Yep, miss smooth talker, that's me.  She laughed though, and we joked about it, but then I let her go without saying anything else because I thought it would be cheesy and creepy if I brought up Power of Moms.  Maybe next time.  

It was a great concert.  Kind of a Jesse James Comes to Jesus vibe.  Last pic: 


  1. I laughed out loud. I know, how awful to laugh when you had an awful day. You're just so darn funny I couldn't help myself! And I really really really wish I had that apple cobbler right about now. :)

  2. Oh my gosh you are funny. And the snarky comment vs. big jerk...been there before. Hard not to be after 24 hr./7 day a week call WE are on!


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