Tuesday, March 17, 2015

March 17, 2000

Fifteen years ago, St. Patrick's Day was a on a cloudy Friday. The night before, Dan was working out of town. I was home watching ER, and I called him after the show to tell him, sort of jokingly, that I was having contractions.  I was really having contractions, but I really did not think they were anything serious. They were really light, and close together, and not at all bothersome. And besides the baby wasn't due until March 25, and I was positive I would never deliver before the 20th. I was planning on about the 29th. I had been to the doctor the day before and came back with a report that everything was still sealed up tight. No indications whatsoever of  labor being imminent. So we joked around about him missing the birth, and I told him to hurry up and get home the next day.

The rest of the that night was uneventful. Friday morning, as was St. Patrick's Day tradition, we had green cream of wheat for breakfast. Mitch and Alisa went off to school, and Duncan, Will and I puttered around the house for most of the morning.  I remembered laying down on the couch in the living room and timing those pesky contractions, which had stayed steady all night, but hadn't changed or increased at all. And they weren't bothering me, other than playing games with my head.

Around noon, I gave up trying to get anything done, and took the boys to the McDonalds in Smithfield. They played in the play area and I ate their happy meals. On the way home, we stopped at an arts and crafts store. I had seen a show on TV where this super artistic mom and taken a plaster cast of her big pregnant belly and then painted it and hung it on her wall. I thought it was so cool, and I was determined to make my own plaster cast of my big pregnant belly.  Crazy, right? I guess my hormones were raging.  I was also feeling bittersweet about the whole pregnancy thing because I was sure this was my last pregnancy. I guess I wanted to preserve the moment or something. Anyhow, thank heavens I did not buy any plaster of paris. I can just picture what might have happened if I had been  home alone with four kids and a middle full of drying plaster when I went into full blown labor.

By the time we got home, Mitch and Alisa were home from school. I was in the kitchen doing something in the fridge when Dan called to tell me he would be home in a few hours. I told him I was fine, but still having contractions, and I was starting to wonder if this might be it. He told me he would hurry and not to let anything happen.  As if I had any control over the situation.

Over the next few hours, the contractions slowly got a little stronger and a little more regular. I called my mom and told her maybe she should come up tonight, just in case something happened in the night.I told her no hurry, Dan was coming, and there wasn't much going on anyway. I called my the doula I had hired to help me through labor and told her I was having a few contractions, but nothing painful. She said I was probably in the early stages of labor, and she would be on call for as soon as I was ready to have her come. The hospital was a five minute walk away (yes, I was going to walk to the hospital. I figured it would be good for my labor.) I was not at all concerned about being at home alone and in labor with four kids for company. I really really felt like the baby would not be coming until the next day. Alisa had a moms and daughters primary activity in the morning and I remember thinking maybe I could still make it to the activity, which was at the church right next door to the hospital, and then head on over to labor and delivery after the activity.

Dan got home before my mom got there. We didn't know it at the time but she was stuck in a terrible traffic jam. By the time Dan got home, I was finally sure I was having real contractions. We packed a bag, and decided we would wait for my mom to get there, then leave for the hospital. I got in the bath to relax a little bit while we waited. Then my memories get a little blurry. I remember Dan was panicked about my mom not being there. I remember Dale Willis showing up on our porch with pizza for the kids. Dan must have called him. And I remember getting out of the tub and thinking, wow! I am all of a sudden in PAIN.  I got dressed and laid down on my bed and all of a sudden, I knew that I was about to have a baby. I was not going anywhere. I was going to deliver that baby right there in the room. My mom finally showed up, the doula showed up, Dan was freaking out, and I remember saying that I just wanted to give birth RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW. The doula was not really keen on delivering by herself with a hospital just around the corner, so between her and Dan they made me get out the door and into the car.  I kept telling Dan I could just walk- that it would be faster than driving, but he didn't listen.  After a one minute car ride, we pulled up to the emergency entrance and walked straight through to Labor and Delivery. Dan, ever the dramatist, yells out to the first nurse he sees, "MY WIFE IS HAVING A BABY!"  and the nurse, says OK, and saunters slowly over to us. "NO", he yells, "SHE NEEDS TO PUSH RIGHT NOW!"  I've never seen a nurse jump quicker than that one did. She grabbed a wheel chair and got me right into a delivery room, and yeah, it was time to push right then.  It was about ten after eight in the evening. They got me changed and ready, and the whole time they are telling me don't push yet, the doctor is on his way, don't push yet, and I'm thinking, why are you waiting for the doctor, you are a nurse! You've seen this done before, you know what to do, and I am doing all the work anyway! I don't remember how much of that I actually said out loud, and how much I only thought. I was just so angry they were making me wait.Turns out the doctor, who was filling in for my midwife, who had told me at my last appointment that the ONLY day she would not be around was on the 17th, was out in his field taking care of his cows. Only in Cache Valley, right?

It seems like it took him forever, but in retrospect, I'm glad he didn't come in smelling like manure. He must have walked in about 8:30, sat down at the bedside, and caught Audrey on her way into the world at 8:36 p.m. weighing in at 8 lbs. 13 oz. And it really was that fast. No IV, no monitors, no drugs, no dilation updates, and almost no doctor.  It was the perfect delivery. Well, nearly perfect. I still wish I just would have had her at home. The worst part of the whole night was getting into the car to get to the hospital.

About an hour after she was born, my mom brought the whole crew right into the delivery room to meet their baby sister. Alisa was absolutely beside herself to finally have a sister. Will was oblivious to the baby and just wanted to sit on the bed with me. Duncan thought she was pretty cool, and even Mitch was impressed with how cute and little she was. Dan and I were both flying high. I was deliriously happy for weeks after, amazed at how easy her birth had been, and how perfect she was. We had picked out the name Audrey months before, before we even knew she was a girl. Then, the week that she was born, one of the cable channels was hosting Audrey Hepburn week, and playing nonstop Audrey Hepburn movies, and to us it was a sign that we had the perfect name for our perfect baby girl. Even though that dumb doctor kept telling me to name her Patricia.

She is SUCH an Audrey, and I am so blessed to call her mine.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Ides of March

Egads, the wedding is five months from yesterday. I'm pretty sure I am supposed to be doing something about that. I just wish I knew what. Anyway, wedding plans have been put on hold for a bit, while we pay for a new water heater in Logan, pay our taxes that we didn't know we were going to owe, pay the tax guy that told us we owed taxes,  pay for Dan's new car, pay for Dan's old car, pay for Dan's dad's car, which Dan wrecked, pay for registering my car, and pay for car insurance for pretty much the whole world. Do you need car insurance?  We should have quite the group rate going on by now. Call me. I'll sign  you up. And did I mention I hate cars?

Audrey got a job at Lagoon for the summer. She has a yellow shirt and is going to be working in games. I may be spending my summer on I-15, She is also going to try out for the summer play in Syracuse. She has signed up for classes at Clearfield High next year, and is taking honors everything. Will is taking honors and AP everything, and yoga. He will need that yoga I bet. Will and Olivia started piano lessons too. Now if only we had a piano.

Mitch and his girlfriend are in California, visiting Alisa and Erwann. Alisa's friend Margaret is also visiting, along with two of Erwann's French friends. Did I mention Alisa and Erwann live in a one bedroom apartment? With two cats? I just keep repeating over and over and over to myself, itsnotmyproblemitsnotmyproblemitsnotmyproblem.

 Piper is insanely jealous of the cats because they get to eat soft food out of a can. The smell of that stuff is more tempting than her little doggie nose can stand. So now, while we are eating dinner, she sits under the table and barks and whines at any cat that gets close.  Like she is telling them," Look felines, they volutarily give you wet smelly food.  I have to beg for mine. So back off of my territory!" Of course, the only cat that begs at the table for our food is Buck. So Buck gets the brunt of the barking, snapping and in-your-face tail wagging. Still, it doesn't make for a peaceful mealtime. We used to give Piper a taste of the cat food. Then she barfed it up in our bed and that was the end of that. Anyway, she's too fat.Ides

Needless to say with all of the above going on, my paleo diet plans flew out the window about a week ago.  I have fallen hard off the wagon, and am now in the midst of a sugar bender. Which makes me so angry, because I lost six pounds and was feeling great. Sometimes though, you can choose health or you can choose chocolate. It's just that simple.





Monday, March 2, 2015

Some Things to Do While it Snows

Oh hey sure, now that it's March, let's have a snowstorm!  Our grass is actually white with snow, the likes of which we have not seen for quite some time.  It started snowing about 6:30 and last I checked, it was still coming down pretty good. We get spring through all of February, and just when you get used to the nice warm weather, here comes snowy old March. Bleah.

To cheer things up, please enjoy this video made by Audrey and her friends for a project in Honors English:



https://vimeo.com/120999120

Be sure to stay tuned for the bloopers at the end, where in Audrey gets stabbed in the foot.

Also, please send all intelligent vibes to Will, for tomorrow he takes the ACT, that four hour long test that gives you a headache for the next eight hours after you take it, and only determines the direction of the rest of your life. The good news is, as soon as he is done with the test, he gets to leave school. He is heading directly to Arby's for a little debriefing time.

Also, Olivia is off track (of school, not life) for the next three weeks, so please pray for all of us.

Thank you, and goodnight.

Friday, February 20, 2015

A Place Where Nobody Dared to Go

Just another hoppin Friday night at the Metcalf's- Dan took the kids to Walmart. For milk. I am home making paleo granola. And I'm pretty excited about that. Yes, I am still doing my Paleo diet adventure.
I've already lost track of my days. I think we are on day 44, or somewhere. And except for a few small incidents with cheese, and one tortilla ambush, it is going very well.

And now, some random pictures from Audrey's junior high school musical, closing night last week.
 Audrey is there in the back somewhere. This is a shot of the whole cast after the show was over.



 Catch the name on the jacket.

 Audrey and her good buddy Kaitlyn. Yes, Kaitlyn is as tall as Audrey. Maybe ever a hair taller.

XANADU

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Day Number Forty Eight

Today in the mail we got an ad for a new Chinese restaurant that has opened up by us. The restaurant's whole menu was described in great detail on the ad. Deep fried appetizers, ham fried rice, lo mein and more. Audrey begged and begged to go there for dinner tonight. I told er only forty eight more days until I can eat rice again.

For dinner tonight, we tried cauliflower rice. It's made by throwing cauliflower into the food processor until it comes out the general consistency of rice. Then you cook it in a saucepan with some oil and seasonings and it is supposed to take the place of rice.  It wasn't too bad I guess. The kids gave it mixed reviews. Duncan laughed and said it was awful. Will said it was okay.  I didn't like it because it tastes like cauliflower.

We also tried sweet potato chips, which we made ourselves. Well, me and Audrey tried them. They didn't get crispy enough, but they were still pretty tasty. I devoured nearly the whole sweet potato.
We baked them in the oven with coconut oil but next time I might try deep frying them to see if they come out crisper.  I don't know that deep frying is allowed on this diet, but neither is diet coke, and that is one thing I am not giving up for the next seven weeks.

Olivia is after me to go make a video with her dolls and her. I am trying to drum up some enthusiasm.  We just had a screaming, thrashing meltdown over changing her earrings. She HATES to take her earrings out.  She claims she is done messing with them and wants to take them out forever.. I told her she has to wait a while longer. She claims they hurt so bad. I don't really believe that they hurt that bad. She says she is extra sensitive and things like this bother her more than they do most people. That part I do believe. Maybe I should tell her that her earring tantrums just suck all of my video making desires clean out of me.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Denial

Today is the first day of the next forty nine days of my life.  From now until Easter, I'm vowing to eat a Paleo diet- in simple terms that means no dairy or grains, no sugar.   All meat, all fruit, all veggies all the time. Sounds fun right?

Believe me, this is a desperate measure. That old scale in the bathroom has been creeping up unnervingly fast over the past six months, and no matter what I do, I can't seem to slow it down. I do not want to get diabetes, which my doctor tells me I am prone to developing if  I gain weight. Also, I don't want to be fat in Alisa's wedding pictures. So on top of getting back into the groove of running three miles a day, I HAVE to start eating better. And I'm not good at moderation in any form. I'm an all or nothing kind of gal, so I'm going all in for 49 days of no junk.  If I feel better and lose some weight, well, right on.  If I don't feel better and I don't lose weight, then pass the phentermine.

Only today was not a good day to start. I woke up sick to my stomach this morning. I ate a banana and it got worse. So I started gulping down the Pepto Bismol, which helped a little bit, but the only thing that really helps when I feel this way is a coke slurpee.  So I had two of them today.  On the day I'm supposed to start being all healthy, my diet consisted of one banana and two coke slurpees. I'm still counting it as a win though. The sugar was medicinal.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Six Months Minus One

Yesterday marked six months until Alisa and Erwann's wedding. I am slowly getting used to the weight of wedding planning that has been draped around my shoulders, and I am not obsessing about it every single second. Just about every five or six minutes now.

I think we are on track. We have a date. We have a venue. We have a photographer. We are all praying for good weather on August 9. Please feel free to join us in that endeavor. We now need to find an officiant. Preferably one that is inexpensive and speaks French. I'm working on a plan for food, but I keep changing my mind. Invitations are in the capable  hands of Erwann. We need to get the church reserved for the big basketball game the Saturday before. These are the thoughts in my head all the time, along with the everyday thoughts of what to make for dinner and do I have any money in my checking account.

I finally broke down and got a Pinterest account.  I have been purposely avoiding Pinterest for many years because number one, I don't care that much to look at all the stuff I could be doing, and two, who has time? I already waste too much time online.  But I guess I will give up my 2048 game and devote myself to pinning wedding items for the next few months.

Last night, I was supposed to run three miles. Instead, we took the kids to Cherry Berry to celebrate Will's 87% on his math test and Olivia's 100% on her spelling!  Will got a math tutor, which has helped him immensely, and Olivia, well what can I say?  With Olivia I have found that a little of the proper motivation goes a long way in helping her to study and do well in school. So we made a little deal that if she gets 100% on her spelling tests for two weeks in a row, she gets to pick out an Ever After doll to buy. Making deals like that with her has changed her whole attitude. I don't know if it is good parenting to bribe your kids, but it sure has changed the dynamic of homework between the two of us.

Audrey finisher her play with great success. Now she has mock trial coming up. And French club. And tryouts for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. And a boy.  Yes, there is a boy in her life, but she doesn't like to talk much about it.  I think it is all good. She is a good girl. She surprised me and made dinner last night while I was at work. So when I came home, everything was all ready to go.  She made tuna casserole, and Dan said it was the best tuna casserole he ever had. If you know Dan's feelings about tuna casserole, you know that is a major compliment.  And it was really good. In fact, I think the kids should cook every  Monday night>