Monday, November 26, 2012

The Wonder

By the time I reached the end of yesterday, I was feeling pretty rough. Without my sling, Mass was a bit more challenging (it's harder to soothe a baby in a bjorn as opposed to in a sling), and Zuzu was feeling a little starved for attention and didn't want to lay down for a nap...and the bjorn is not good for household chores, because it doesn't allow for the range of motion that the sling does. So...I hung out with my baby. 

All day. 

While my house looked like vandals attacked it. 

If there's one thing I try to do as a wife, it's to make sure that when Mr. O has a long day at work, he comes home to a moderately clean home. Straightened couch cushions, clean kitchen counters, shoes arranged neatly by the door. Nothing fancy, just looks neat - and maybe a few candles lit to make it smell nice. But yesterday, after a very long day of playing four Masses and having a rehearsal, he came home to the house looking like...well, looking like a house looks when you just get back vacation, don't really unpack but rather explode your luggage all over, and then spend most of the day caring for an infant. That is to say, a very messy house. 

I know it was hard on him - it was hard on me too. I like to feel like I'm 'pulling my own weight' and I feel that part of my job is to keep the house in reasonable order. Baby, food, home, social engagements, most correspondence - those are my jobs. I like my jobs. And last night when I finally crawled into bed at 1am, I felt sad that I hadn't done more. My husband had gone to bed long before I did, because he was so tired, and I felt sad...I morosely thought - gone are the days of a clean house and plenty of snuggle time with my husband! Did we even really talk to each other today?? What is happening to my marriage? 

But I saw this great quote today that put yesterday in perspective and helped me enjoy today more. 

Do not spoil the wonder with haste!

Said by Legolas in TLOTR, penned by the great JRR Tolkien, truer words could not have been handed to me today. The wonder...yes, the wonder of baby-land, the newborn stage, her babyhood. I cannot spoil it with my haste - haste to do chores which will get done, haste to give my husband this perfectly-kept home and all of my attention, haste to have my 'normal' schedule back. This is my new normal, this is the wonder I'm called to witness: 

So today I took it easy and just enjoyed her. I ran some errands, but was calm when I cut them short. I got some things done, was proud of that, and just moved the rest to tomorrow's list. I rethought my definition of 'productive.' I prayed and comforted myself that so long as I keep offering myself in loving service to my husband, God will prosper my marriage. 

And lo and behold, when my husband came home today (much earlier than I thought he would, which is why I looked a mess and the floors were still wet from mopping!), he was overflowing with praise. Praise for the effort I was putting into cleaning the house (Zuzu had a good long nap today!) and for our sweet baby. As he watched her sleeping, he whispered in reverent awe "you made her - you grew her in your body. You're incredible." 

He sees it. That this time is for wonder - and we cannot ruin it with haste. There is so much time for her to be big, and such a short time for her to be small. So much time to run errands and have a clean house, and only a little while for her to need me so desperately. I will not spoil this time! I will not hasten away her sweet babyhood. I will stay here in the wonder with my sweet little one. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

What I Wore Sunday: Sans Jen Edition

Joining the fine ladies at Fine Linen and Purple for this totally fascinating post on what I wore today (don't you wish I did this every day??)

Today is our first week with baby, without help! That may explain my crazy eyes and the picture taken in a mirror with a cell phone...but really I shouldn't complain. Who has help w/ their baby for the first six weeks? Rich people? Anyway, I'm grateful for my family and for Jenny Jen Jen (as Tom calls her) for all the help with Zuzu.

I tried to crop out the explosion of our Thanksgiving luggage...traveling with a baby means MORE STUFF 

Deets on the outfit: 

Shirt: Gap bought on pre-Black Friday sale 
Skirt: Marshalls last year 
Hair: Day 3 of a half-hearted blow out done while Zuzu was sleeping in the sling and therefore very unappreciative of hot hair falling in her face
Shoes: Sperrys, not pictured because I could only let Zuzu freak out in her bassinet for so long (6 week growth spurt anyone??) 
Baby wearing device (not pictured): Baby Bjorn, because I LEFT THE SLING IN ORLANDO LIKE AN IDIOT 

So I will get nothing done this week because Jen isn't here, Zuzu is going through a growth spurt thus wanting to nurse for hours at a time, and I left the sling in Orlando. Please do lots of stuff on Pinterest because I will need something to distract me while I am nursing for the 15th time that day.


Shirt: Unkown gift from unknown person 

We had no pants at this point because of a poop issue. But she's still so darn cute. 

Excuse me, I have to go feed my starving (read: fed 30 minutes ago) baby. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

7 Quick Taaaakes

Joining Jen again for taking 7 takes with great speed. 

New blog format! I had been playing with it a while ago; it got all messed up so I made it as plain as possible, but really it needed some pizzaz. I'm still figuring it out myself, though - the format does seem to obscure finding posts by date. But it looks cool! Jen, if you think it's too confusing, I can change it back. :) 

Zuzu is SIX WEEKS today! She's getting so big, I can barely keep up. I have gotten several questions about when Tom and I plan to have another one - which I've been surprised by, but haven't minded. We are loving this so much...I'm not sure if we've really made a decision about when, but I'm not sure we'd mind whenever it happens. 

A picture of Zuzu taken by my brother on my sister's camera - isn't she precious??

Were you wondering? I failed the Bar. My apologies if this is the medium that the news it reaching you and you'd rather have heard it in person, but it's not really something I want to discuss anyway, if it's all the same to you. I missed the mark by just 7 points, 4 from one part and 3 from another, which means I have to retake both - YAY. I'll retake in February, which will be a blast and half. 

Also in February? Our trip to Italy with the choir. We'll be gone from January 29-February 7th. I...probably won't study for the Bar much that week. Sooo...hopefully I still pass. Not sure if I'd be up for take three. 

I tried to do some light afternoon shopping today. Go ahead - laugh. I remember Black Friday shopping from years past and my memories were mostly happy. We approached it mostly as people watching, and relaxed shopping. I did not remember 2 hours of traffic or parking lots that were totally full. This year, I learned my lesson - Black Friday is not for the casual shopper.

One of the best parts about being home this week is watching my older nieces and nephews meet Zuzu. I was younger than they are now when they were born, so it's so funny and sweet to see them fall in love with her! My niece Maddie and my nephew Jake, whose childhoods I got to witness, now get to be here for Zuzu and watch her grow up. How wonderful. 

Cousin love

I got a mani and pedi with my mom this past Tuesday and had a revelation in beauty. I have always done dramatic colors on my nails, but kept my nails in firmly in the pale pink category. But, wanting a bit of holiday fun, I decided to do OPI Kennebunk-port on both my fingers AND toes. I love it!! If you're looking for a great blue-based red, try this one - it brings me some holiday happy every time I look at my hands and feet! 

Happy holidays!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


This past Sunday at Mass, I had a great experience in my prayers after communion that's carried me through this whole week - and set the tone for it.

We sang "Taste and See" - a classic, we sing it all the time. But suddenly the words of the first verse struck me:

I will bless the Lord at all times/
Praise shall always be on my lips/
my soul shall glory in the Lord/
for God has been so good to me! 

God has been so good to me. My life and its goodness bears witness to the goodness of God, and his ability to work with flawed, broken instruments. As I sang the second, and then especially the last verse, I was moved to near tears: 

Worship the Lord, all you people
 You'll want for nothing if you ask. 
Taste and see that the Lord is good; 
in God we need put all our trust.

There is no reason for my life to be so good - no reason except I finally decided to ask God for help. Looking at my life, I do not deserve to end up where I am. When I was younger, despite what I said I wanted, I was on the road of destruction. I had spit in God's face by living contrary to what I knew was good for me, I turned everywhere else for comfort, I actively mocked his followers and tried to draw them away from the Faith. What reason could God have to want me anymore? 

And in thinking about all this last Sunday, I realized - it would have been enough for God to bring me into His love in the Catholic Church. That would have been plenty - I would have been blessed to overflowing just from receiving the sacraments and living under the loving protection of my mother, the Church. It would have been enough. 

But then God brought me to Catholic University, and to Mr. Oram. Not only did I meet my best friend, but God revealed His will for us to marry and seek Heaven together. That - that definitely would have been enough! My husband and my marriage are so incredible, such great gifts that I know would bring me to my God in Heaven above, if I let them. To have a man that I love who loves me, and to build a home and a life with him - it would have been enough. 

But God cannot be outdone in goodness. So he blessed us with children; first with Frances, who was taken home early, and now with Susannah. I have a daughter! A lovely blonde little thing, who smiles and coos and cuddles, all in my arms. A child, a child of my own, that I was able to birth safely and sweetly, the way I wanted. God could not hold back! His love is boundless and He pours it out on those who are least deserving - like me. 

This Thanksgiving, my life is more than enough and I am so grateful for all of it,  because I deserve none of it. 

Happy Thanksgiving. Glory to God. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

What I Wore Sunday: Vol. 1

Joining the ladies at Fine Linen and Purple for the What I Wore Sunday link-up!

Today was Zuzu's debut at the 5pm Mass, which is the Mass that the youth group attends. I had been holding off, knowing there would be a lack of newborn baby etiquette, but couldn't wait any longer - I've really missed those kids!! They were all so excited to meet her and did a great job of satisfying my mommy pride by exclaiming endlessly over her beauty. We didn't stay long, but it was so good to see everyone and catch up a little bit. Hopefully soon I'll be back and leading some small groups again!

Before we headed to Mass, I got a TON done since Zuzu took a long nap. I even got in a nap myself earlier in the day, thanks to the wonderful Jen! However, my shower/prep time came last in my list of to-dos, so by the time I got to it, Zuzu was awake and wanting a good long feed. Hence, I wore jeans:

For anyone who knows me, I am not a jeans to Mass girl. I allow myself to wear them to 5pm contemporary Mass only when desperate. I think it has something to do with being a convert - I had years of casual services and I'm sort of over it. But considering I was just trying to throw on clothes today before Zuzu ate her hand or Mr. O's shoulder, and I fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans!, I'm not complaining too loudly. 

Sunglasses - The Best of Everything (like a super cheap Charmin' Charlies, but it's only in Naples... and Kennebunkport)
White t-shirt with white beading - Nordstrom Rack
Jeans - Lucky Brand via Nordstrom Rack
Shoes (not pictured) - borrowed/stolen from my middle sister for my honeymoon...16 months ago! 
Jewelry (not pictured) - Just plain fake diamond studs and my wedding rings that finally fit! I still can't find my Pandora bracelet that forms the third part of my every day jewelry Trinity...I think it's gone for good :( 
Baby - Zuzu at 5 weeks, wearing her awesome Munchkin reversible sling

Also, hair style credit goes to this great YouTube video which illustrates 5 hairstyles for wet hair, which at this point in time is VERY much appreciated by moi. The flower is actually one that I wore on my dress on my wedding day and is also from the Best of Everything. 

Also, here's a post within a post since Zuzu expressed a desire to participate in the link-up: 

What I Wore Sunday: Zuzu, Vol. 1 

Okay y'all, I'm a baby so I don't have a lot to say, but I love getting dressed in cute clothes and flashing my adorable smile around, so I thought I'd join in. 

My mom has to hold me since my head control isn't the best yet. 

The Deets: 
Headband - hand made for me by my talented Aunt Ali
Dress - vintage 80s, of course, with hand smocking...this is an heirloom piece lent to me by my Aunt Sally! 
Diaper (not pictured) - BumGenius One Size 4.0 in white (hook and loop closure, of course!) 

Happy Sunday! 

7 Quick Takes!

Hosted by the lovely Jen...

Turns out blogging with a baby is more difficult than it appears, hence my sudden absence...for all you mamas out there who  maintain a blog full-time with children, you are amazing!

Zuzu is impressed!

We have switched to cloth diapers full time and it isn't too bad, really. I don't think I'll turn into the die-hard fan of it that some women are, but it seems to work for us. I'm happy about it mostly from a monetary/environment/health perspective (diapers cost a lot/landfills suck/what chemicals are in disposables anyway), and so I think we'll stick with it. The nice thing about starting out doing cloth with baby #1 is that our stash of diapers can grow as she grows - we don't really need to do that $500 investment that most people do. We were also really lucky - my SIL and MIL got us four really awesome diapers for one of our showers, and then I bought seven more at a cloth diaper exchange. Since babies r' us and target sells them now, I also used some of the gift cards we received to buy more. Total cash investment cost? $76! 

We finished LOST! I had a few friends in college who were super into it, but I never was. We watched it on Netflix and it was such a great show - I highly recommend it. Honestly, there isn't another show on TV today like it - it's incredibly sophisticated and smart, not to mention the musical score was amazing. It might be a show in a category all its own; I know it's talked about as a drama, but it's so much more. A lot of people were frustrated by the ending, but I felt it was fitting for such a cerebral show, so I guess watch at your own risk! 

 I have realized that I have a hard time admitting when aspects of motherhood are hard. Other moms  have tried to get me to open up about my struggles, but I've just stayed positive - which is great, but maybe not so honest. So here's me trying to be honest: the one thing I really struggle with is that, due to nursing, my wardrobe is restricted again (just like during pregnancy) and now it mostly smells! I was so excited to learn the other day that I fit back into most of my pre-pregnancy clothes already (yay!) - but sadly, there's a good portion of them I can't wear because they aren't nursing friendly. And what I can wear, constantly gets milk or spit up on it. I love my wardrobe, which consists of a lot of investment pieces plus good basics in neutral colors, and so it's hard to not have worn a good portion of it for almost a year! Because even if I can fit back into my Ralph Lauren blouse, even if that blouse is button-up for easy nursing, do I really want to be trying to get breast milk out of silk? 

Cotton scoop neck tee? Not as fashionable but much easier to nurse in and clean!

So I'm pretty much ready to get back into the swing of things, especially with exercise. I want to be in much better shape than I am and fall is the time to get that geared up in south Florida. But I have found that sports bras, even my nursing sports bra, is just really not good to wear during this time in my life. Tighter bras can restrict your  milk flow and, for me, just be really darn uncomfortable. But how does one run without a good sports bra? I guess I'll stick to walking and try to get to the gym for elliptical and swimming...

My baby hates her car seat. 
This is NOT the norm!

Which is going to make our 3-hour drive home tomorrow SO MUCH FUN. But in reality, even the prospect of driving with a screaming infant cannot dampen my enthusiasm to go home. I am so excited! And it's even more fun since I get to stay with my sister Kim, who I don't usually get to see as much when I am home, and she lives close to my other sister Ali so I should get to see her as well. My mom has the whole week off and we'll be there the whole week, so I should get mucho mom time too!! I haven't spent a Thanksgiving with my family in four years now, so I am really really excited!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Zuzu: One Month

My Dearest Susannah,
You were one month old yesterday, and it was so bittersweet to celebrate! It has been the most delicious month of my life, a whirlwind romance for your father and I wherein we have fallen deeply in love with you.
I realize that you will not remember this time of your life, which is such a tragedy, because this is a most magical, blessed time. Because you won't, I will try to preserve it for you in bits and pieces as best I can. You smiled for the first time the day you were born, and you've smiled every day since. Oftentimes in your sleep, you laugh - deep belly laughs, where your whole body shakes! The three of us, Aunt Jen, Daddy and I, love it when this happens and all gather round you, giggling and staring when it happens.
You love hot baths - like I do, like I thought you might. So tonight I took you in the shower with me, since you were a bit fussy, and see how you liked it. I wrapped you in a soft, thin blankie and just like the Mama's girl you are, you did not cry - pressed skin-to-skin on my chest, your big intelligent blue eyes gazed around the shower in your calm way. You didn't flinch even, but relaxed in my arms as the water ran down your back. I sat down in the tub and gave you a wee rinse off, and true to your nature, you fell fast asleep. Some spray caught in your blonde eyelashes and held there, catching the light and sparkling. I held you tight and whispered to you how much I love you.
I wish you could store up all the love that is being poured into you in these days in the form of compliments! Every where we go, people exclaim how lovely you are - your beauty astounds everyone who sees you. Your eyes are so big, accented perfectly by your blonde eyebrows, and your little face is so expressive. You have precious rosebud lips and soft blonde fuzz all over your head. Everyone remarks upon how alert and attentive you are, and have been from the very first. All parents think their children are exceptional, so it's been especially rewarding for your father and I to hear the praise heaped upon you by all.
There's more. How you hate your carseat, but love the bath so much it'll stop you mid-cry. How Aunt Jen does a tribal dance around the living room to entertain you; how you love being outside and feeling the wind. You are quickly showing us how fearfully and wonderfully made you are - and we adore every moment.

It's going by so fast and I'm trying to hold on. I hope I remember these days always; they have been a dream come true.

With great love I remain -

Your Mama