Tuesday, April 10, 2007

We Made It!

We survived our conference weekend! I learned a lot this time around though, including:

1. Think realistically. I will not have time to feed TWO kids by myself AND be done with enough time to be of any useful help in the kitchen clean up. So note to me: Don't sign up for clean up unless there's no one else that can. Especially for Supper clean up. There was the same amount of time for each meal, but for some reason the rush for supper is much more crowded than the one for lunch and in order for me to have any time to clean up I HAD to be one of the first ones through the line.

2. Do not start out with Great Expectations. Don't even try to keep your kids on a decent schedule. Conference is exciting why would they even consider sleeping? Accept any and all help when it comes to your kids, and ASK for help when it's needed (which is a lot of the time!) I'm terrible at asking for help. I feel like it's not fair for me to burden some innocent person with one of my very wiggly kids. So, because of that, I almost fell apart by the middle day of conference. At first people would say 'I'm available if you need help'. That was fine. As long as I realized when I needed help. But I don't usually notice that I need help until it's way past when I needed it and by then I'm not thinking rationally. Then people said stuff like 'I can take one if you want'. That's when I would feel guilty for considering the option of dumping one of my kids on them and I would just not tell them that I really could use a little help. Finally a few started asking me for my kids. For some reason I was most comfortable with that. I felt like THEY wanted one of the kids and not so much like they were doing ME a favour. Because of those people, I survived. I even was able to enjoy parts and pieces of some of the meetings. It's so discouraging to be so busy that you don't get anything out of conference and it was so much work just to get there.

3. Be flexible. Don't stress out when little things go wrong. There will ALWAYS be little things that go wrong. What is important to you, sometimes isn't even noticed by most people. It's OK if people use the nursery as a shortcut to the meeting room. It's OK if 5-12 yr. olds use the quiet room to have 'secret meetings' or to hang out during a meeting. Getting upset about the little things only ruins your spirit and makes you an unprofitable servant.

Thursday night our kids got to bed over two hours late due to the excitement of conference starting and having guests stay with us. That meant they slept in a bit Friday morning which was good for them, but put me in a rush to get them fed and ready to go with time to get to meeting before the first meeting began. Friday Dolly didn't take a nap at all, and PC was really cranky and only slept for about 45min throughout the whole day. That night he got sick while he slept and I had to change him and his bedding in the middle of the night. It also meant that he needed a bath Saturday morning which put the time crunch back on me for the second day. Saturday both kids were starting to fall apart. They were getting tired, but wouldn't sleep. I was getting overwhelmed too. I finally packed them up halfway through the second reading and took them home. They had naps, I fed them, bathed them and put them to bed early. Then I took a shower and went to bed early myself. We all needed it and I felt so much better the next day in spite of getting up with PC SIX times that night. Consequently Lord's Day didn't seem nearly as difficult as the other days and I was able to enjoy a lot more of the meetings.

The Readings were in Revelation 2&3. They took up the history of the Church. I missed the last reading, but all of the meetings are online at the Recorded Ministry website. Including the last sing talk which wasn't included in the sets. I'm looking forward to going back and listening to the meetings that I missed or couldn't pay attention to. There was a faithful gospel given each evening, three addresses, and an open meeting on the last day.

The weather forecast was supposed to be rain, rain and more rain. There were a lot of prayers that went forth leading up to conference and the Lord provided a clear Thursday evening, a beautiful sunny and comfortable Friday, a partly cloudy/sunny and dry Saturday and a cool, breezy and barely misting Lord's Day. Perfect weather for so many people in a crowded building! We have so much to be thankful for!

I packed our camera all three days, but I don't know what I was thinking. I was always so busy that I managed to completely forget about it each day. So, I didn't get any pictures. I did get a chance to say 'hi' to a few people which was better than nothing at all.

We all stayed late Sunday night. Sir had stayed behind Friday and Saturday nights working on the recording copies and I had gone home with the kids after gospel or earlier. A lot of people had headed home throughout Lord's Day so it almost seemed a little more relaxed that evening. Maybe it was just because I was more rested. I vacuumed a bit after gospel, took a break and cleaned the bathrooms while the Young People were in the meeting room for the Sing and then finished the vacuuming when the sing was over and they were all in the Cafeteria for refreshments. I know how much work it is to clean the meeting room normally and after conference would be a lot more work than normal. I couldn't' leave it all for Aunt Knittery to do by herself. Sir worked on the recording sets and our kids stayed out of trouble for the most part. Dolly didn't have a single accident throughout the whole conference which was far better than I had even dared to hope for. She even came and found Sir and myself a few times to tell us she needed to go potty.

So, we're almost back to normal. The kids and I took two naps yesterday. Today seems to be ok so far. We're gradually putting the house back to normal. Today the toys are going to all move back to the playroom, but we're going to vacuum and clean the carpet in the playroom first. Yesterday we tackled the dining room and living room floors. -And I need to get going. It's lunchtime and PC just woke up from his AM nap.

*Photo compliments of the Chatty Housewife


  1. Conference is always a hard time for kids! Especially a busy little person like Dolly! I was watching her during Yp meeting the last night rearranging her toys and her energy amazed me! The baby room arrangement was great, and I think I heard you were responsible for that. Glad you survied! I'll see how I do for Walla Walla when my husband is busy taping! At least I only have one to care for and lots of willing family near by!

  2. I'm burning you a disk with a bunch of pics my sis took at conference. :) I only took about 5 photos even though I had my camera with me all three days, and no squirmy kids. :)

    There are some ADORABLE ones. Like this one:

    So tired, but so cute.

  3. Oops, copy and paste that link, and add:


    It got cut off.

  4. I'm sorry you were having such a hard time. I wish we could have talked some more at conference but it is a busy time when you have kids. Conferences are hard on baby's. I know Little Miss Priss only took very short naps, too. I appreciated the baby room arrangement, too. You did a very good job. It'll be my turn to be as busy as you in a couple months at Walla Walla conference! I felt like Richmond was kind of a test to see how it'll be at Walla Walla conference. It might be harder though, because I imagine Little Miss Priss will be crawling and that makes it more challenging. PC looked so cute walking!

  5. I had a very strong suspicion you were tired and overwhelmed and overworked during conference, with two extremely active and sometimes fussy little ones! Can I encourage you to be real about how you are, for then people will understand and try to help, support, and encourage you. Take comfort that this stage will pass, and someday you will know how to help other young burned out moms!
    If I wasn't so exhausted myself at the time, I would have helped you. Pls never feel afraid to ask for help from me, because if I can, I am more than happy to help you anytime. I know only too well what it is like to feel overwhelmed and tired and cranky! Keep pressing on.

  6. Joy...I totally hear you! Here's my take on conference survival: have VERY low expectations(try to visit with one or two different people a day, make sure the kids don't have any accidents), plan to just listen to all the meetings on cd afterward(that way if you actually get anything out of the meetings, its bonus!), expect the kids to be at a low funcioning level and just work with it, take any and all help when offered(it's like a marathon...you have to pace yourself), don't worry about what people think of you if you have to leave early, arrive late, or forget to put a headcovering on your daughter before sending her to sit up front in Sunday School. :) For what it's worth, I think you did good. :)

  7. P.S. Upon further reflection...you really need to take up coffee...it's a lifesaver sometimes! :P

  8. Hooray for Dolly and the accident-free conference!!!

  9. Sounds like you were a real trooper! I wish we could get out to more conferences. And congrats to dry Dolly, btw! Love the photo!

  10. i have to agree with tracy. coffee is great! and i would have made as many as you needed :) seriously tho if you ever need some help with your kids, just ask, i dont mind and i know my mom loves kids :)