Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Best Laid Plan

Im supposed to be out walking with my friend right now. Instead I am sitting here eating junk food and thinking about this crazy life that feels like it leads me more than I lead it.

Every Sunday night, when we take a look at the list of things we have to do during the coming week, we all take a big dramatic sigh, and try to prepare for the onslaught. There is just so much to do on the agenda, and then is so much more that comes up during the week that wasn't even on our radar, much less on the agenda, that every week feels like an Ironman competition.  Then somehow, Saturday night rolls around again,  and we can heave another dramatic sigh of gratitude that we survived and conquered another crazy week.

Just today for instance.  Dan has to work late every Tuesday, but I get off at two on Tuesday, so you would think that wouldn't be so bad right?  I even left work right at two o 'clock today, because Olivia had an eye dr. appt. this afternoon and I was so proud of myself for remembering, and even putting it on my calendar, and I wanted to be sure and give myself plenty of time to get her there.  I just needed to make one stop at Sam's Club for a couple of things that Will needed for his big orchestra trip that he was leaving on tonight. Also, before I left work, I really needed to go to the bathroom, but as luck would have it, the bathroom was occupied. No biggie, I thought. I'll be at Sam's in 15 minutes. It will be fine.

No. It was not fine. I-15 traffic was stopped.  I sat on the freeway, bumper to bumper, for 25 minutes, trying not to fume about being late for the doctor and really wishing I had stopped at one of the many other bathrooms at work on my way out. When I finally got to move again, I knew that if I hurried really fast, I could still stop at Sam;s AND get Liv to her appt. on time.

When I got to Sam's I headed straight for the bathroom. IT WAS CLOSED. For cleaning. And on top of that, they didn't have what I needed anyway. But you can't go to Sam's and not get anything, so I scooped up a bunch of random stuff and beelined it through the cash register and headed to the school.

We were exactly on time for her appointment. And blessedly, there was a clean and open bathroom there. Then we waited for an hour and a half for the dumb doctor. While we were waiting, Will's math tutor called to tell me he had not shown up for his after school tutoring appointment. I reminded him about tutoring this morning!  How could he forget so fast?  So  I tracked  him down, chewed him out,  and made him call her. By this time we were in with the doctor.  The dilating drops really stung Olivia's eyes and she started to cry. Then the doctor told me she had pinkeye.  She does not have pinkeye, I said. Her eyes were just fine til you started putting drops in them, I said. Call me in the morning if her eyes are still red he said. They won't be I said.

Two hours later, we got out of the doctor's office and  I ran home to help Will get packed for his trip. Which was a good thing I did or else he would have forgotten his swimsuit. Then I realized Audrey was not home so I panicked. I knew she had play rehearsal after school, and really should not have been home yet, but I can never pass up even a little opportunity for some good panicking. I would not have panicked if she had answered her stupid phone, and as soon as she did answer, I quit panicking, but still, it got the adrenaline flowing even more than it already was.  Anywho,as soon as I talked to her,  I dropped everything to go pick her and her friend up from school. Most nights, her friend's mom has to drive them because I'm not home, so when I am around, I feel like it's my duty to get them. Mom guilt. Then she reminded me that she needed leg warmers for her costume for the play.  She needed them Monday, but we are always a little behind around here.

By the time we got back, it was time to get Will to the high school so he could catch the bus to San Diego.  I remember taking high school trips in a school bus, but this is a deluxe trip. They have a fancy chartered bus. But it's still a bus. He didn't want me to come in with him or help him with his stuff or anything.  So it was pretty much a dump out in the parking lot. I barely even got a hug.  So I drove into the upper parking lot. I parked the car and tried to stalk him for a while but there really wasn't anything to see. Then I remembered that my visiting teachers were supposed to come over tonight. Those hearty souls try to catch me every month, and every month I have really good intentions of being home when they say they are coming. Then I either forget, or have something else to do and I wind up standing them up. One month we had a time set up for them to visit. They came on time  and rang the doorbell. We were all inside watching a movie. I didn't even hear the doorbell. I found out later that the kids heard it and just ignored it. I am probably going to hell for being a bad visiting teachee.

Since I was already too late to catch them, I went shopping for leg warmers. Got home at 8:30, heated up lasagna for dinner, and now should be starting on the housework and laundry.  Instead I am sitting here, standing up my walking buddy, and stuffing my face. And trying not to think about everything there is to do before Saturday night.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

No Date Yet

It's Official! They are engaged!

Wish I had a picture of Duncan's face when I told him that he was getting a new brother.

I'm already looking at wedding cakes and color schemes.

I can't believe I am going to be a mother-in-law.

I think she picked a good one though.

Friday, January 16, 2015

In-n-Out Birthday

Oh my. I thought the days of my family being known as a traveling circus were over, but apparently not. Will may never go to In-n-Out with his family ever again.

He wanted to go to In-n-Out for his birthday. Easy enough. But then we wanted to get together with Grandma and Grandpa too, so I had the brilliant idea of meeting them at In-n-Out, and having a little party there. That would save them from having to drive out to Syracuse, and I thought, if Will wants to go do something afterward, he would still have time.

So we loaded up presents and pecan pie and headed out.  For extra good measure, I remembered candles, whipped cream, cupcakes for the non pecan eaters in the family. I also remembered cards.  I thought I was doing so good

Everything was great as far as dinner. Will was a little surprised when he found out we were going to sing and open presents at In-n-Out, but in his seventeen years as a Metcalf, he has learned to roll with the punches. So we loaded up and headed in. Grandma and Grandpa were already there waiting for us. We even beat the pre-Jazz game rush. About the time we got our food, it started to get really busy with people wearing Jazz jerseys. After we were done eating, we stuck the candles in the pie, and it was then that I realized I had failed to bring plates and forks. No problem, we got some to go baskets and plastic forks. Then Duncan went to the bathroom, and left us all hanging for about fifteen minutes. By the time he got back, I realized I had also neglected to bring matches.  Will was all, "lets just go do this at home," and I was on the verge of agreeing with him, because I doubted In-n-Out was going to be too keen on lending me a match. Grandma Sally saved the day though.  She hopped up and said she was going to find a match.  She went all around the restaurant, striking up conversations with people at their tables and asking for a match. After about the fourth try, she found a nice older lady with a big purse who graciously loaned us a match.  We lit the candles and sang loudly and raucously and off key, much to Will's chagrin. And pleasure, I think.  And then, I went to cut the pie and realized I didn't have a knife to cut it with. I tried to saw through it with a plastic fork, but that was not cutting it, (play on words!) so back up to the counter I went for a knife. All they would give me was a plastic one, but it was better than a fork  By the time I got back, the cupcakes were all on the floor, as were Duncan and Grandpa, who were trying to clean it up. "What happened?!" says I, and Will says disgustedly, "The two least able bodied people here opened the cupcakes, that's what happened" I believe he may have been referring to the two whose initials are DJM and OGM, but I will not confirm anything, except to say that those would also be the two who were most anxious for cupcakes. They were also the two that picked the cupcakes off the floor and ate them anyway.

Fnally, everyone got some sort of birthday dessert, we opened presents, and wrapped up the party, leaving only a sticky smearing of chocolate frosting on the floor under our table as evidence that we were there. Of course, before we left, Duncan went BACK to the bathroom while we all stood around waiting for him.

When we got home, everything was saved by one last surprise birthday gift from Duncan to Will. It was Duncan's idea to get it, and he paid for it with his own money. The two of them disappeared into the basement after that and that was the birthday.

Now, we get to start gearing up for Will's San Diego trip with the orchestra!  He leaves in two weeks!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

January 13, 1998

Will's due date was January 9- Duncan's third birthday.  By the 28th of December, I was SO ready to get him here.   I was very uncomfortable, and I knew he was going to be big- I could just tell from the way he kicked and moved that he was a bruiser.  Not to mention that on the day after Christmas, 1997, we packed away the Christmas tree and all the decorations and presents, and moved 90 miles north to a whole new town, away from everybody and everything I knew and loved.  If you have never moved the day after Christmas, while nine months pregnant, with three small kids, I just can't suggest strongly enough to you that you avoid it at all costs.  I really don't know how we survived that.  I do remember being alone in our old house, dead on my fat swollen feet, scrubbing walls and bawling about leaving.  Dan was in Logan, unloading a moving truck.  I also remember my mom and dad coming over to send me home while they finished cleaning the old place. I don't know what I would have done without them.

At any rate, by December 28, I was so hopeful that all the stress of moving, combined with Duncan having come early, and knowing that the baby was big, would lead to a pleasantly early arrival with baby number four.  I know my doctor and I discussed inducing me on December 28, and I don't remember if I backed out or if he did, but at any rate, it did not happen.  Thank heavens.   Having a baby three days after moving?  I must have been nuts.

New Year's came and went.  Mitch and Alisa started their new school, we got a new dryer, unpacked boxes,tried to get things organized,  and ran back and forth to Salt Lake for doctor appointments. I was huge and swollen and exhausted.   I just kept hoping that the baby would come early, on his own.  My doctor wanted a planned induction because he didn't want me getting stuck in a snow storm on the way to Salt Lake and delivering on the side of the road. That sounded like a reasonable plan, So we scheduled me to come down to the hospital on Monday, January 12 and have the baby on January 13.  That weekend was Duncan's birthday, which we celebrated in Logan, and I kept hoping all that weekend that baby boy would make an appearance on his own.  He did not cooperate.

Monday morning, my mom came to Logan to stay with the kids, and Dan and me headed off.  It was sunny and warm, not a snowflake in sight. No chance of getting buried in a snowdrift at least.   We stopped at the doctor's office for a check up, and he told us that I was progressed enough that I didn't have to spend the night in the hospital after all.  I could just show up bright and early the next morning.  So we went to dinner and to see the movie Titanic, which was a major blockbuster hit at the time.  That night, I started having contractions, and when we left for the hospital at six a.m, I was pretty sure I was already in labor. Just like when we had Duncan, it was warm, not like January at all, even in the early morning. And it was raining that morning.

By the time we got to the hospital (which I was still referring to as Holy Cross, but had officially changed to Salt Lake Regional Medical Center- lame), I had changed by mind and decided I didn't want to have a baby that day after all.  Hormones, go figure.  My doctor came in and talked to me, and was very nice and understanding, and said that if I didn't want to do it that day, we didn't have to.  My husband was not that nice.  He said that he had taken time off for this, and he couldn't afford to miss any more days.  So I felt kind of pressured.  Okay, I felt a lot pressured, and wish I would have told him to go jump in a lake.  However, my calm, rational  doctor also told me that since I was having contractions already, if I did go home, he was pretty sure I would be coming back later that day in labor.  He also reminded that this was a BIG kid, and I was four days late already, and it might be best to just get on with it.

So we started the pitocin, and labor commenced. It took a while to get going, and nothing got very exciting until about four or five that afternoon.  My doctor came over about two, and couldn't believe we didn't have a baby yet.  He came back at five and thanked me for waiting until after office hours.  Everything seemed to be moving slowly. The epidural guy came sometime that afternoon, and it kicked in and worked great again, just like with Duncan.  They broke my water around five, and then things picked up, but it still seemed like it was taking this kid forever. Then the baby was sunny side up (face up), and I think they had to turn him, I don't remember if they had time.  I didn't have too much pushing to do, and at 6:10 pm, we had our baby boy.  What is funny is the first glimpse I got of him, I thought, "oh my gosh, he is so tiny!"  Then a few minutes later they weighed him, and he was anything but tiny. 10 lbs. 5 ozs. That was a big baby, even for me.  But gosh, he was cute.  And dark.  He was my darkest, hairiest baby yet.  He was also nameless.  We had debated so many names for our third son, and were 99% set on naming him Nicolas.  But from my first look at him, I knew he was not Nicolas. He didn't look anything like a Nicolas.  He was Will.  William was my favorite boy's name, and Dan had always vetoed it, but even Dan agreed that this little tiger was Will. So unlike some of our other kids, he did not remain nameless for very long.  He was William Daniel before he was even out of the delivery room.  He quickly became Baby Will, then Chief Yum Yum, Wilberforce, Will I Am, and to the two younger sisters who came after him, he was Wiw for a while.  And now he is seventeen, and such a blessing.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Shadows of a Birthday

Can't have a birthday around here without a little bit of cake and ice cream, and blowing out some candles.

We also went bowling and had pizza.
This guy is just the best.

Friday, January 9, 2015

January 9, 1995

The day before Duncan's birth,  I spent the evening babysitting for a friend's four month old baby.  Mitch and Alisa loved having a baby in the house, and it made us all more anxious to meet our own new baby, who was due in six days. However, since my first two kids were both several days late, none of us were planning on having a baby anytime soon.

It was a Sunday night and Dan was working late, so after the baby left, I got my own kids in bed, and crashed in bed myself, around eleven. About midnight I think, I woke up for a few minutes when Dan got home, then I went back to sleep while he stayed up.  It was about one in the morning when I woke up again, thinking I had wet the bed. Or at least wet myself, since there really wasn't enough there to wet the bed.  I told Dan what was going on, but since I wasn't sure myself, and since I wasn't having any contractions, I tried to sleep for a while.  I figured if my water had broke, at some point, there would be a big gush of water, but there was only a light trickle every now and then. I also thought I would be having contractions if my water broke, and I was not feeling anything.  I really thought maybe there was something wrong with my bladder.

I was up and down for a few more hours, and neither Dan nor I slept much.  Finally, about five in the morning, with no other symptoms, I called my doctor.  Oh my goodness, I hated to wake him up, but I figured I at least had the decency to wait til almost morning. He sleepily told me to head on over to the hospital and they would check to see what was going on.  So then we started calling relatives to see if someone could come stay with the kids.  Just a few days before, EVERYONE we knew had generously offered to come stay, anytime, day or night, when it was baby time.  Just call, they said, and we will be there asap.  Well, now that we were actually calling at five o'clock on a Monday morning, somehow, nobody could come.  My dad was going to work, my mom had an important meeting, Amy had something else going on, and Linda couldn't come either.  We were like, HELLO FAMILY, we are having a baby.  It's not like we can postpone this until it's convenient!

Finally, my dad said he could come up and stay with the kids, and when my mom's meeting was over, she would come up too.  Waiting in the early morning dark for my dad, with the kids still asleep in their beds, I sat on the couch, waiting for a contraction to come, and hoping and praying that I wasn't inconveniencing everybody for no reason.  I really could not believe that a baby of mine would make an appearance ahead of schedule.  I was sure that it was going to turn out to be a false alarm.

When my dad got to our house, we took off. It was still dark, but it was unseasonably warm, like 50 degrees. I had always pictured driving off to the hospital for our January baby in a freezing blinding snowstorm, and here it was as balmy as April.  I wondered if I was even going to need that sweet little new born sized snow suit I had bought my baby boy.

Mitch and Alisa were both born at LDS Hospital, but with Duncan, we decided to deliver at Holy Cross Hospital, the same hospital that I was born at.   Holy Cross was smaller and more personable than LDS, or so I had heard, It was in the process of being renamed Salt Lake Regional Medical Center, and I thought that was the dumbest, most generic name for a hospital that I had ever heard.
But the hospital was beautiful and comfortable and brand spanking new. We got sent right up to labor and delivery, where some random intern, after a brief exam, informed me that I was definitely in labor, and was not leaving the hospital until I had a baby.  So we got admitted and waited for things to commence.  Before too long, they gave me the best drug I have ever had in my life.  It is called Fentanyl, they gave it to me through an IV, and it soon had me in a very happy place.  Until they said I could only have it in the early stages of labor.  Then between that point and the point where Duncan arrived, things are kind of fuzzy, probably thanks to the Fentanyl.  I know I had an epidural at some point, but I don't remember anything about it. I do remember that the epidural was perfect, as far as epidurals go. The pain was very manageable, but I could feel it enough to know when a contraction was coming, and I knew when to push.  At 11:42 a.m. Duncan Joseph was born.  Right toward the end, he was in a little distress, and he did the whole meconium thing so they called in the respiratory therapist, who  remember very clearly, much more clearly than anyone else in the room that day, and she worked him over good for a few minutes before I even got to see him.  As soon as he got the okay, they brought him to me, and he was blowing bubbles and looking all around at everything, calm as can be.  While this was going on, my doctor and a nurse were having a small panic attack because for a few minutes after Duncan was born, the fetal heart monitor was still picking up a pulse.  I saw the doc look at the nurse and the nurse look at the doc, and they both looked at the monitor then back at each other. Nurse very quietly said, "Is there another one?" and the doctor looked nervous, just for a minute.  Before I could really register all this, the moment passed, the doctor relaxed and laughed a little bit, and said "For a second there, I thought we were going to get a surprise."  Wouldn't THAT have been fun?

I was perfectly happy with my one perfect, beautiful boy.  He had his own unique look about him right from the start.  He didn't look much like either his brother or his sister, except that he definitely looked like one of our babies.  9lbs. 2 ozs, a little dusting of brown hair, and big blue eyes. I couldn't believed I could be so lucky three times in a row.  We waited nearly four years to have our third baby, and boy oh boy, was he ever worth the wait.  It felt so good to have another baby in our arms.

Frenzied Productivity

Found out last night that  Olivia had a dr. appt at eight this morning, and then realized that Duncan had one at nine, at the SAME CLINIC. Hello karma.  I wish I could remember whether or not I actually planned ahead, and scheduled them that way, or if it was just a happy accident.

We found out at Olivia's appointment that she is highly allergic to dogs and grasses, and slightly less allergic to cats and horses.  So of course tomorrow we are hauling off all the animals and pouring cement in the yard. I wish.

After that, I dropped her off at school.  She solemnly swore to me she would stay off the grass.  I thought about trying to explain the whole allergen thing to her, then thought better, and told her yes, avoid the grass at all costs.  Then, when she was safely tucked away in the school, Duncan and I, in one fell swoop, mailed a long overdue package to Alisa, washed the car, groomed the dog, finished Will's birthday shopping, and went to Sam's, then to Walmart. He took me to lunch.  I am finding bonuses in having working children.  Then we went home, where with great assistance from Audrey, we put all the Christmas away, as promised, by Duncan's birthday, cleaned up the downstairs, went back to Sam's and Walmart for forgotten items, picked up the dog, picked up Will from school, fixed the vacuum, got homework done, cleaned the bathroom, made dinner  (with another trip to Sam's on Dan,s' part), hosted book club, then started at eleven this evening on baking the birthday cake Duncan requested- a chocolate job with a layer of vanilla ice cream in the middle, so that it looks like a giant oreo.  His idea, not mine.  He has had a bit of an obsession with Oreo cakes on his birthday for a couple of years now.  None of them have turned out very spectacularly, but we soldier on.  And Dan, predictably, is back at Walmart, buying last minute gifts. We like to live on the edge around here.  Roll with the punches. Fly by the seat of our pants. We function best under pressure.