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Friday, December 16, 2005

it's the most what-ev-er time of the year

I don't mean Christmas. I mean a time that we have four times a year. I mean the end of the semester. And I don't mean for me. I mean for my husband.

Darin has been going to school the entire time I've known him. I think he took the summer term of '97 off because we got married then, but I don't really remember. He graduated with his bachelor's degree when li'l ~j. was 8 days old. He got his masters a few years later, and now he's working on his doctorate. It's been a lifelong goal of his to get this degree number three, and I stand by him and support it. But this end-of-the-semester thing is getting old.

Though I'm used to it now, it still turns our home upside down and shakes it a little. The chaos is due to two main things: 1, I am a spoiled, spoiled wife, and 2, Darin needs his sleep.

By spoiled wife, I mean that when Darin comes home, he is home. He cleans, cooks dinner most nights, bathes the girls every night...and most nights, he does this while I am out doing whatever I feel like I want to do gosh. I go teach a Mary Kay class or go run errands or go shopping or just go to be by myself or with friends and he gives me that space and time that grants me sanity. He does work full-time and go to school and have a time-consuming calling, but he's a dedicated father and doesn't bring his work home. Darin is not a gamer, he doesn't play on the computer. He rarely even ever watches SportsCenter, but it makes me happy when he does because it means that he's indulging in something that he enjoys - a rarity for him. But more often than not, when I get home, he's sleeping.

By Darin needing his sleep, I mean that he never stopped the mission habit of getting up at 5 for scripture study. (I tried to join him on this at the beginning of our marriage. That lasted for about a day.) Because of this, his body just...shuts down at around 8:30 or 9. He can't help it. He has fallen asleep reading aloud.

Now, because he falls asleep he doesn't easily (if ever) pull an "all-nighter" to get a paper done. That is, unless it's the end of the semester. Due to my absence in the evenings, he is doing the wifely duties and not homework. But when crunch time arrives, ie, finals week, I curb my runaway enthusiasm for the sake of Darin getting his schoolwork done. No facials, no shopping, errands with the kids. And I pull all-nighters to help ensure that the finals/papers get done.

This week has been as described above. It's not easy, but the less stressed he is, the less stressed I am, so we plow through. Last night as an example: he got home from work, but I did have a few errands that needed to be done. Logic tells us that I will finish said errands sooner if I don't have to take the time to deal with carseat buckles, so I did get to go by myself. When I got home, the girls had been fed and were sparkly clean and ready for bed. I sent Darin away to work and he hid in one of the bedrooms with his laptop and piles of paper spread all over the floor. I sent li'l ~j. to bed, and Curly followed shortly thereafter. Superstar was another story. She saw Darin when he came downstairs for a drink and cried for him to come downstairs. He decided to lay down with her on the couch, and they both fell asleep. This was at around 10. On any other night during the semester, I might just go to bed then and be done with it all. But since he's got this #@*! paper to finish, I decided to make sure that this sleeping he was doing would only be a nap. I picked a sleeping Superstar up off of her Papi's chest and put her in her crib, and then I had some vital me-time: doing laundry and catching up on shows on the DVR that I hadn't yet gotten to watch. This was until 1:45 when I tried to wake Darin. This is no easy feat, but I've done it before, like so:

me: *poke poke poke* Darin. DARIN.

D: mmm?

me: Time to wake up.

2 minutes pass.

**repeat above three times**

me: Darin. DARIN. PAPI!

D, startled as a reaction to the use of Papi: HUH??!!?

me, half-yelling, or atleast it would seem so to a sleeping person: You need to get up now and finish your paper. It is almost 2 a.m. and I am going to bed so you'd better get up now because I won't wake you up again.

Next thing I know, he's up and headed to his own personal dungeon while I go to sleep. I wake up to Darin fixing breakfast for the girls and am thankful that we only have a few more days of this craziness. That is, until April.


More Caffiene, Please said...

Good for you guys on getting the Doctorate! What is he getting it in? I feel your pain, Chad is doing the Masters right now and his last final was today. Now I get three glorious weeks of not having to type/edit papers for him. :-)

~j. said...

His Docorate will be in Educational Leadership. It's an Ed.D rather than a Ph.D. He should be done with course work by this time next year, leaving only (?!) the dissertation. What's Chad's Masters degree in?

Anonymous said...

Between your husband and my sister's, y'all make me want to puke:-)

What would it be like? Alas, I will never know....

~j. said...

Tara - You mean Sei? What are they up to? I want to send them a Christmas card but I don't know where they are...are they still in my neck o' the woods?

Carina said...

We feel your pain. Joe took a Calc 3 final for FIVE HOURS today. This is the last day! Until, as you pointed out, April.

La Yen said...

I toy with getting a JD and a PhD, and then I remember that there is no one else to clean the poop off of The Jooj.

I'll be fine without school for awhile!

Bek said...

Jen, you do have a good husband!!

As for the falling asleep thing, we have that same thing in our house! My husband has many talents, staying awake is NOT one of them. He works at 4:00 am (he works "on" Wall Street and needs to be available before the market opens on the east coast). By 7:30 or 8:00 pm, he is knackered. His body actualy shuts down. He has fallen asleep while helping Lauren brush her teeth, while reading a story, etc. Poor baby.

We just finished our grad school experience in June. It was nice to have Derek home a lot (we lived just blocks from Stanford). He went to the business school, but has always harbored a dream of being a teacher or professor, so he got his masters in education too!! Crazy boy. He would be so jealous of your husbands Ph.D.
At least the tests are before Christmas. When we were undergrads, finals were the first week of January. On the good side, you had all break to study, but on the bad side, who studies over Christmas break? Huh?

~j. said...

Bek - I'm familiar (through friends, etc.) with that weird schedule of finals in January, and I agree -- who on earth wouldn't want to finish up before the holidays??

And I forgot to mention -- lest it sound like I'm trying to pass our family off as Nibleys, here's my own educational background: I stayed home the year after I graduated from high school to work as a nanny (call it an internship); I enrolled at UVSC the next year and majored in never going to class, only playing my guitar, and dropping out. Though I don't take any classes now, Darin working at BYU has given me opportunity to take classes for free so here's what I've taken: Jogging, Beginning Singing, Beginning Guitar, Beginning Piano, Fitness for Life, Water Aerobics, and a few religion classes, and intro. to interiors (right before they dropped the program). The irony is that, even with my blatant disinterest in taking classes to go towards a degree, I have a 4.0 at the BYU.

Bek said...

Ha!! That is always the way it is. Someday you will graduate from the BY with a 4.0!! :-) I used to think about going to law school or doing another degree. I am busy enough as it is and I likes my free time........

Stephanie Aurora Clark Nielson said...

cute christmas card!!

Anonymous said...

Jenny, yes, Tori and Sei are still in Provo (333 W 1610 S) and he waits on her hand and foot. He still works at the jail and is on the SWAT team. They are expecting a girl in January and are also about ready to open up a boys home in Orem for boys with addiction problems.
So if you know anybody who's a drug addict send them their way!:-)

~j. said...

Back at you, Steph. ;)

Thanks for the update, Tara. I'll send them a card.

QueenScarlett said...

So this is totally lame... but I've been trying to figure out if Papi is prounounced Papi - rhymes with Happy or Papi - rhymes with Poppy.

I've been thinking about this for a few days already.

Lorien said...

Ahhhhh. I have a good wife, too. He's just the best. I'm so grateful when I'm in a food shlump (for the last 2 weeks now) that he just gets dinner going without me. And mine respects my need to go out with the girls now and then, too. I'd have a really hard time if I had a husband that didn't "let" me go out or didn't do "women's" work. (besides the fact that I never would have dated, not to mention married, someone like that anyway--wouldn't have worked with my personality, if you can imagine that!)

~j. said...

Queen - good question. Since it's spanish, it sounds like "poppy".

Lorien - I was just talking with a friend about this yesterday. I have friends who ask me to a movie and say, "Will Darin let you go?" Let me? He's not my dad.

QueenScarlett said...

Are you and/or Darin Spanish?

... Ry always encourages me to go out with the girls... at least once if not more a week. He thinks I need it for sanity-sake... I LOVE IT.

Hubbies who don't... are real-life neanderthals. I agree with Lorien... if a hubby can't get down and dirty with housework... and be more balanced when it comes to roles of men and women...sharing... toss 'em back into that shallow gene pool.

~j. said...

Neither of us are of Spanish descent. Darin only speaks Spanish to the girls, though.