Sunday, December 30, 2012

7 Quick Taaaakes

Hosted by Jen (of Minor Revisions fame) for more! 

Have you seen THIS: 

It's called Flyebaby and I just might buy it for our upcoming trip to Italy! And horse tranquilizers for me. It's been FOUR YEARS since I left the North American continent. 

I found the blog of cjane and was exposed to M o r m o n  d r a m a. It's nice to know other religions have their own interior debates among the faithful. 

I got a job - did I tell you? Say hello to the new assistant to the pastor. HOLLA. I pray God will use me to help others through this position. 

I talked a lot about the lovely Maddie in my previous post, but I didn't show 
you her 
And her sweet boy, Thomas. 

I am now back from the Rogers Family Christmas. BAH HUMBUG. I even forgot to make cookies - what kind of a domestic goddess am I?? 

This Thurday is Zuzu's Baptism. Mom and I got her the most amazing gown and cap, with French hemstitching and gorgeous pleats. The theme of the party is snowflakes, blue and white, to go with her pretty blue eyes

My favorite Zuzu face and sound is after she sneezes. She makes a little woozy sound, as if she is dizzy after so much effort. 
I love her! 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Bathtime Faces

Zuzu loves the bath.

Her cousin Maddie loves babies. This made for mucho bath time fun. (images courtesy of Maddie)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Rogers Family Christmas

This is Christmas with the Rogers (I was a Rogers, before I became Mrs. Oram). 

We are having Christmas at Kim's house. Kim is my oldest sister, and she loves Christmas.

Kim has two lovely children: Jake and Maddie (and of course a smoking husband, Eric, co-creator of said lovely children). I became an aunt to them when I was just nine.

We have gathered to EAT, drink, and make merry (not in that order), around Kim's huge Christmas tree.

Usually we watch Christmas movies, play Skip-Bo, and giving each other a hard time. But this year we have a new past time: giving new nicknames to the Zuzu. So far we've come up with...

Little Mama 

Little Pretty 
Little Sweetheart
Pooty Poot-well 
Little Peanut 

Can you blame us?

Monday, December 24, 2012

How is Your Christmas?

Are you running around doing last minute things, or are you with it enough to have some peace and quiet?

My house is messy, my family is gathering up in far away places (Orlando and Valparaiso), my darling Mr. O is at work, the high today is 81, and for Christmas dinner we're having a decidedly non-Christmassy pork and pasta.

But it's still such a Happy Christmas!

Do you remember last year's Christmas? I do. It was sad and dark and dim. I still think of, and ask the intercession of, my darling Frances-baby, every night. 

And this year...this year God shows himself to be the God of second chances, the God of fulfilled promises, the God of renewal. This Christmas, just like last year but different, 

I am a mother!

And that is a great reason to say with my whole heart -


Sunday, December 16, 2012

7 Quick Takes!

And they'll have to be quick because the babe is child enjoys a good lie-in, as the Brits would say. 

We had the inordinate pleasure of having our friend David here two weekends in a row. Is there anything more delightful than a single man who likes babies? I think not! Watching him hold and chat with Zuzu was absolutely adorable. She seemed quite taken with him. A note to the single ladies out there - he is also single and looking to find a nice girl. Any takers?? (he's not Catholic, but I think he could be!!) 

We've had a rough couple of days here. Zuzu had her two-month shots on Friday and it was awful. She felt poorly of course when it happened but then last night must've been experiencing some soreness and cried for a couple of hours. It nearly broke our hearts! It's enough to make me anti-vaccine, except we're headed to Italy soon and I don't think she could even get in without them. 

No more pictures, Auntie Jen! 

I'm re-reading one of my favorite books, The Closing of the American Mind by Alan Bloom (whose translation of The Odyssey is quite good, if you're interested). Two lines really stood out to me in particular: "Every educational system has a moral goal that it tries to attain and that informs its curriculum. It wants to produce a certain kind of human being." Isn't that so true? It made me reflect upon what my moral goal is for the education of me child(ren) - the kind of human being I want to produce is, of course, a saint! This should inform all of my education of Susannah. What a beautiful, and helpful, thought. 

Miranda by John Williams Waterhouse

Finally got the tree decorated (pics forthcoming) after having it in the house for a week plus. It makes me wonder if inefficiency before children was just due to laziness?? Because I get more done while she naps than I used to get done in an entire day. 

Jiff makes a Nutella knock-off at half the price of the real thing (Hazelnut spread - please, we see what you're doing there) and I think it's delicious. Jen thinks it's too intensely Hazelnutty. I encourage to do your own taste test!! 

Fresh peonies in my daughter's room. Isn't it such a privilege to have a little girl? 

Mr. O stayed up late last night and took turns with me in walking Zuzu while she sobbed her little heart out. While the one person held her, the other did laundry or dishes or called grandparents/friends (sorry Jen) begging for advice. He's amazing and I am so grateful for a husband who is such a wonderful father. My daughter is so blessed! 

Monday, December 10, 2012

An Unexpected Place

I love motherhood. I just want to put that out there.

And I think, if this were possible, for me to be 'just' a mother, I would be happy doing this forever.

But I'm not. I'm still a wife. I think I'm something like an attorney, but I don't know what my status is without having passed the Bar. I hope I'm still an intellectual, a daughter of the Church, someone who fell in love with Truth because of  Beauty.

How can I be all these things at once? 

To be honest, I'm having a bit of a hard time meshing everything together. I adored being just a housewife, as much as I longed for motherhood. I loved putting all my energy into serving God through loving my husband and being active in my community. Laying in bed discussing articles we'd read, leaving love notes in secret places, making sure to have a nightly "check-in" to see if we had loved each other well throughout the day.

What now? 

I have two goals: to be an excellent wife and an excellent mother. Oh but wait, I want to pass the Bar. And I feel there are real needs in my community that I think I should do something about. And I want to run again, really run, long distances. And I'm hoping I can get back into the swing of gardening. And maybe finish my theology masters and -

What am I preparing for? 

This was a question asked at the homily this past Sunday. That we are always preparing for something and that honestly looking at what we are preparing for shows us what we really value, what we truly love.

Having children has always been so important to me, I can't remember a time when I wasn't preparing for it. Storing up wisdom, researching hot topics, observing friends and the families I'd nannied for, keeping up with child development research, reading books on child education and homeschooling. And now it's here and all I want to do is focus on her. I dislike altering her schedule to fit mine and I dislike it when people imply I should. I have a hard time accepting anyone else's demands made of me - I get frustrated when people ask me to do things, thinking "don't you know I have a baby?"  I guard her ferociously. I want her to have the best of the world - I want to give her everything that is Beautiful and Good. I'll sacrifice so much to ensure that happens, but I can't sacrifice everything.

But I didn't prepare for her plus the rest of life, that hasn't actually disappeared. Maybe there was no way to, but I haven't. I don't know how to still offer myself to my husband as his beautiful wife, but then in a few hours, offer that same body to my baby as her source of comfort and food. I don't know how to spend all day thinking about her and then to turn it off as evening comes and think of him. My perspective on my body has changed - I see it as mostly inherently functional, and see its beauty in its function, not its form.

I'm in an unexpected place. I didn't prepare to be here, and I'm not sure how I ended up here. I am always so confident and so much of my life is exactly what I expected, but...the pieces aren't going together a seamlessly as I thought they would. And I'm not sure what I'm preparing for next.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

What I Wore Sunday: HEAT WAVE Edition

I'm so glad that it's nice and cold where everyone else is...but we are experiencing a heat wave. Not really, but it's definitely hotter than it can be down here in the swamps. I am super bummed - where's my great Fall weather? I left it back in Alabama, apparently. And with no holiday trip to the in-laws, there will be no reprieve from the weather - and no cousin time either! :(

Alright, onto happier things...I got dressed for Mass today with HEELS, which I love. And Zuzu was well-behaved, although she contemplated being fussy since we got there early and so was letting out staccato yells while I walked her around the back of church.

Zuzu and I, with her being very unimpressed and my skirt being decidedly non-modest. 

Full body shot, showing the classy extension cord running across my porch that I insist on because it makes our lighted garland light up the neighborhood

Top: LOFT via LOFT outlet (some years ago, present from my MIL) 
Skirt: NY&Co on super sale 
Shoes: Gift from Grace in the choir 
Belt: Taken from my mom...maybe without permission...years ago! 

My Marian medal from Sacre Coer in Paris combined with the cross my godparents gave me at my baptism 

Lovely woven more detail on the awesome and liturgically-correct top I'm sporting 

Awesome leopard print sling-backs (and aforementioned classy extension cord)

And because my daughter is 10-pounds of cuteness in a 5-pound bag, here are her deets: 

Dress: Gift from an adoring fan, no doubt (maybe Miss Cammie? Mom didn't write it down, so I can't remember) 
Shoes: None, because a) my feet have never touched the ground and, b) girl, it's hot and I am not going to Mass with sweaty feet
Headband: None, because 1) my mom doesn't love me enough to buy me tons of headbands and, 2) I don't have any hair yet so I can't sport all the adorable hair bows that I have (and trust me, I have tons of them) 
Smile: Zuzu original, but I guess it's a combo of Mommy and Daddy 

7 Quick Takes: Sorry It's Been So Long Edition

hosted by Jen at Conversion Diary!

My sweet baby is two months old! I know you are keeping track and that my telling you this is redundant, but hey, thought I'd help you out anyway and provide you with her big girl picture: 

Sitting up on a pillow?? Be still my heart! 

As of today, I have bought a present or have a present idea that is about to come to reality very shortly, for almost EVERYONE in my and Tom's family. This is huge. I want to fall down, sobbing with relief. Side note: why didn't I think of gift baskets like ten million years ago? Really takes a lot of pressure off me and they really do have some great ones out there. 

THRIFTING. Oookay people, do you thrift? If you don't, a bigger question is - why the heck not? So many of the gals who do the link up at Fine Linen and Purple What I Wore Sunday (coming shortly from yours truly) talk about their outfits and how thrifted they are. I used to do this in high school all the time (Savers in Orlando is amazing), but got out of the habit. Jen and I decided to give it a try since everyone there is all about it and we did GOOD. Check it: Four skirts, one dress, one nice cardigan, one pair of nice heels, and a book - for FIFTY BUCKS. That, ladies and gentlemen, is magical. Especially since several of the items were name brand (including a camel wool skirt from J. Crew). I would talk about what I get for Zuzu, but girlfriend's got a wardrobe until she's two. (not kidding...our parish is very generous) 

Enjoying the awesome massage chairs at BB&B (we sat here for 30+ minutes) - that green cardi is a thrift find from the Goodwill on Pine Ridge! 

Started watching Mad Men on Netflix and it begs the question: would I be a better parent if I day-drank? (I'm just kidding, Mom, I swear)... But would I? 

This Advent feels sort of haphazard and pulled together, even though I'm still doing our Advent suppers on Saturday nights (first Saturday was pork tenderloin, last night's was lamb neck over polenta). But the one thing I can say is that I really identify more with that line "And Mary kept all these things in her heart." There are so many things in Zuzu's life that I just keep storing up in my heart - so many sweet moments, funny instances, little faces. I am the keeper of so many memories, and it's such an honor. 

Sleeping Zuzu, photo a la Auntie Jen

I have given up saying she has a schedule. The other night she was up till 1am (just chilling happily), but then last night she slept from 10 till 10 (with several wake ups for food and change). The good news is, I don't have a schedule either. How do moms who work outside the home do it? 

Try to ignore that all I have written about is Zuzu, shopping, and alcohol. My life really is starting to look like something out of the 1950s (with less cheating and girdles, thank God). 
Bye bye for now!