Friday, April 22, 2005

Byproducts of an overstuffed life

"It's just been one of those days"

We all say it every now and then, but I have found myself saying it more and more in the last year. In fact, today was one of those days, yesterday was definitely one of those days and it all started the day before that.

Why are those days so typical for me lately? There are so many reasons, including but not limited to:
  1. Sharing my life with two little people (who I love to death)
  2. Being naturally distracted and disorganized
  3. Being easily overwhelmed
  4. Being Relief Society President
  5. Taking on all kinds of extra things that I "think" I can handle

So what are those days like for me? Let me just give you a blow-by-blow description of the last three days and it will all become clear...

I'd say it started just before I left to take Bria to preschool. (Why did I answer the phone?) A sister in the ward called desperate for a babysitter. She is single and her regular babysitter canceled on her. After trying several other women, she finally gave up and called me. I have watched her daughter on several occasions and she is really quite easy. The catch is, Mary works the late shift and this would be from about 1:00 in the afternoon to almost midnight. I could hear the tears behind her voice and I told her I'd do it.

I took Bria to preschool and Chloe and I came home to prepare for Lindsey. When she arrived, Joel came home shortly after (thank goodness) and I actually still could do one thing for myself. So I did a quick scrapbook page. In the meantime, the kids really trashed the house. Oh well....I can deal with it. I got them dinner, Joel left for his Tuesday night late class and I sat down to the computer to get some work done. After they ate, they continued to trash the house. I could not practice the violin with Bria amidst the chaos. Oh well...I guess I can deal with that, too. I finally got them interested in an activity (having a picnic under the kitchen table and pretending they were characters from Dora the Explorer) while I cleaned their mess. Cleaning the playroom and living area took me more than an hour. When it is just my kids making the mess it only takes about 15 minutes. I finally got everyone in jammies, teeth brushed and my girls in bed....At almost 10:00 pm! Yikes! Lindsey stayed up with me and watched every Dora video in the house while we waited for her mom to come. I couldn't believe she never fell asleep.

Next morning, my kids slept in more than an hour. And, since they are my alarm clock, so did I. Unfortunately, Wednesday is not a good choice of a day to sleep in. I got them up, practically threw breakfast at them, dressed Bria and rushed out the door to her violin lesson. Notice I did not dress Chloe...She went in her PJs, although I did change her diaper. Bria did quite well in her lesson despite the minimalistic practicing of the past week. (Did I mention that Tuesday was not the only day we missed? Oops.) We rushed home from violin and I made them go play while I had a phone appointment to set up the month's visiting teaching roster. This is no small job, as we live in a student ward and graduation is coming up. That means everyone is moving out and we don't really know who is moving in. Makes things super difficult. Meanwhile, Bria and Chloe are having a grand old time doing their favorite activity...trashing the house.

After I get off the phone, we rush through lunch and I hurriedly get Chloe down for her nap and stick Bria in front of Snow White. This is so I can actually shower, even though it is 1:00 pm. I get ready and barely have enough time to eat and vocalise before we are rushing out the door again to go to my rehearsal with Joel's orchestra. Campus is 35 minutes away on a good traffic day, but just my luck, it wasn't such a good day. I hit some sort of bottleneck and it takes me 20 minutes just to get to the on-ramp. I call Joel, tell him I'll be late but I'll still be in time for start. Then, the clincher. I'm speeding along on the freeway and I hear Chloe make an unpleasant sound and her little voice say, "Mommy, I just burp." I turn around and move her blanket to see that she has thrown up all over her clothes, her blanket, her carseat, her favorite puppy...oh, boy. Then Bria, who cannot stand for anyone to throw up and becomes very distraught, realizes what is going on and, well, becomes distraught. I call Joel again and tell him of the new development. I will stop at Walgreens because that is the only place I can think of between where I am and where I am supposed to be that might possibly have something for her to wear. I get there and rush Chloe into their restroom, strip her down and clean her as best as I can with paper towels, water and soap. She wants her dress back on, I won't let her (she's very modest for a 2 year old) and we run out to the sales floor to see if they have anything she can wear. They don't. We go back to the car and I try my best to clean her seat so she can sit in it. She doesn't want to sit there (who can blame her) and cries and cries. Bria is still very upset, too.

Well, we finally get to Joel who is waiting on the curb for is now about 10 minutes before start time. We rush to Dan and Allison's house where they have a t-shirt waiting for Chloe (Thank you Joel!) and Dan volunteers to watch Chloe at the rehearsal so we don't have to leave her with the possibility of getting their baby sick. Bria stays with Allison to play with the baby. We literally run to the rehearsal and get there just in the nick of time. I was so flustered by the time I got there that the first run through was nothing short of horrendous. I missed entrances left and right, forgot the French and mixed up verses and had to stop the orchestra. The nice thing about having your husband be the conductor is that he understood why I sang so poorly and gave me the time I needed to calm down. After that, the rehearsal went remarkably well....Joel was thrilled, so I guess I was, too. Chloe sat happily with Dan drawing pictures and flirting with the Trombone section while the Bass section flirted with her.

Rehearsal ended at 5:30, we picked up Bria and started home. Of course, it is now rush hour so it took a while and I had to make a detour to make some copies for Relief Society. So we got home around 7:00 pm. Chloe threw up again as soon as we walked in the door. Bria freaked out and hid behind the chair. Chloe went straight into the tub. Nobody wanted dinner until about 7:30 when the kids saw me hurriedly eating cottage cheese and both wanted some. I wasn't sure if I should give any to Chloe, but I did because she was hungry. I left them eating their cottage cheese and applesauce to go play the piano for some girls who needed to rehearse their musical number. Before I am home from that I get a call from Joel...Chloe has thrown up 4 more times and he just can't deal with it anymore. I came home as quickly as possible to find her crying in the tub, Joel saying a prayer with Bria because she was by now in hysterics over all the throwing up, and vomit all over the place.

What can I do? Just clean it up, calm both kids down and try to maintain some sort of sanity. Let Joel finish his homework, get Bria in bed, make a last minute run to Target to buy Chloe some Sprite that will hopefully settle her tummy. Get a phone call while in Target to solve some minor Relief Society crisis (why do people wait until 10:00 pm to call with this stuff?) Finally drag myself to bed after midnight.

Today was similar, but I just don't have the energy to relive it all! It included more rushing, forgetting to bring the backpack to preschool and making do with whatever was in the car for show and tell, and lots of tears shed by the girls (including Mommy).

Yes, those days have become much more typical around here than the other sort. So I think I will change the semantics. From now on, those days will become the days where everything went smoothly, I spent wonderful quality time with my children, the house was cleaned, we didn't rush anywhere and everyone was as happy as can be. I will look forward to the day when I can say:

"It's just been one of those days."

Lara Neves
Lara Neves

Lara is mom to three daughters—two teens and a tween. She loves to share her parenting and homemaking triumphs and failures here at Overstuffed! She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015 and has been fighting it ever since. When she isn't working on her mother of the year award, you can find her reading, singing, or taking photos.

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