Monday, April 29, 2013

Because You Asked...

Since all one of you asked, here are the much coveted pics of my front door and shutter re-do...

Front door

Shutters to the left of front door

The front door was this horrid maroon that appalled me beyond measure. I just decided I couldn't take it anymore...and faded/chipped/rusted faux-gold hardware? Eau neaux! 

Another (decidedly more crooked) view of the shutters

The new hardware (brushed nickel, much more my taste) 

Also, in case you too wrestle with vinyl in your life, be assured - you can paint it! It will definitely peel off if you scratch at it, but y'know what my solution is? DON'T SCRATCH AT IT. It even maintained the fake wood grain look, in case you were worried about losing that...

See? Can you see the beautiful fake wood grain?? Amazing! 

And in case you wanted to see another little project I'm working on, here's my wee succulent pot...and the two smallest one are transplants my neighbor Denise so lovingly let me pick! I think they're taking off and I'm VERY excited.

Succulents. Not to be confused with a succubus (really sorry for that link). 

And as of today, I should have a lot more time for these little projects because, well, today was my last real day at my job! My transition out has been gradual and mutual, and I can honestly say I'm leaving with no hard feelings. Mostly I had to stop working because Zuzu is getting to be quite the handful and Tom and I remain open to giving her siblings in God's timing. We're still really proud to be a part of SJE, and I'm glad to be able to get Zuz on a bit more of a regular schedule! 

Stay tuned for more home improvement fun...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

7QT: darnit

I wrote almost my whole thing...and then did something and lost it. 
Very VERY annoyed. 
Still joining Jen and the gang because I can't resist a good link up. 

I had a party at my house on Friday - and it went great! I loved having so many of my favorite people in one place, and introducing them all to each other. On the plus side, nobody starved (my greatest fear about parties) - although I did feed a friend's children beer margaritas because I did not label the pitcher and apparently they look a lot like iced tea. (sorry about that Marcie) 
Colleen with the babes

Mary chatting with Jen (whose son Dom was being a bit clingy)

Gluten free cookies, lovingly made by Colleen

Keepin' it simple - burgers and dogs

My other bff from college, Colleen, was here this weekend with her baby Miriam, who's only 20 days younger than Zuzu.  It's been so great to have her here and to watch our girls play (and fight) together! I see many more of these trips in the future. 

Mamas and beach babes

The two sweet babies...we can tell from this picture who is the high maintenance one (hint: it's mine) 

I got new running shoes. Asics Nimbus 15: 

I wanted to get those ones that look like I did a color run: 
But those are technically triathalon shoes and with my knee pain, I wanted to go with the shoe that felt the best, which was the Nimbus. 
Very grateful to my mother and father for buying me these shoes. Thank you!! (I know you both read this) 

Ok not really; I haven't given  Zuzu any lessons yet (I think we'll start this summer at our YMCA). But I did take her to the beach with the gals yesterday and actually take her in the water! Not just dippin' the toesies in! 

She didnt' cry so long as I was holding her! She's getting so big!! 

Speaking of getting big, I'm beginning to realize what a big girl Susannah really is becoming. She is trying very hard to pull herself up on things, and can just hang out and play by herself for quite a while. We got a baby sign language kit (well, I have to go pick it up) that I'm going to start with her because I know her brain can process far more than her tongue can yet express. I've been working with her on "more," "thank you," "milk," and "book" right now - the only ones I know off hand! 

(hm a phrase that doesn't even look exciting in all caps)
We moved our ginormous coffee table out of the living room for the party, so that we could use the space for kiddos who didn't enjoy playing in the heat (and it IS hot). Now I sort of like it this way, with no coffee table, a la Kristin's living room - but I don't think I want it to stay looking the mini- FAO Schwartz it looks like now. I need some sign that adults live here...we're not even outnumbered (yet)!

The day before the party I said to my husband, "I'm going to paint the front door! And the shutters!! and you're going to buy and install new door handlesets!" 
Yeah, that happened. I am still grateful to Mr. O for all his hardwork - the doors and shutters look fantastic (don't listen to anyone who says you can't paint vinyl, that's what my shutters are) and we both agree it really freshens up the house. Although now we need to pressure wash our (white) siding in a big big way cause it looks super dingy next to our bright turquoise accents...

No joke, this is the color of our front door. Hey we live .8 miles from the water, we can pull it off!! right...

Hope y'alls week was as eventful as mine!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Five Favs

Excited again to tell you what's been churning my buttah this week, joining of course the inestimable Hallie and her gang of loyal gal-pals for another link-up of loveliness...


Just $6 per 16 oz jar at Trader Joe's...which is pretty darn good. 

It's true, I've jumped on yet another hippie band wagon and am totally in la-la-love with coconut oil. So far I use it as: lotion, diaper rash ointment, baby lotion, ointment for cuts/scrapes, massage oil, facial moisteurizer, and oh yeah, cooking. I adore it. 
 BIG PLUS: it does NOT make me smell like a pina colada (which was a not-so-secret fear) 


This is NOT what I look like running, but it IS a pic of the course I ran (Disney Half)
courtesy of wiki commons

God help me, it's back. Several years ago, I was...well, ur, I guess I was a runner? Maybe? I don't want to go making any grand claims. But I started last week and haven't stopped since. Even though today my knees hurt (need new shoes, need to stop running my regular route cause the sidewalk is slanted) and I said I was going to walk...I ran instead. 
Runners high is real. 

This grill: 

It's pretty and shiny, thanks to be all stainless steel, which means it will not rust in our monsoon-like rainstorms. Hooray! So far we've made two meals on it and it's sososo great not to have the oven on in the house (it's 80 degrees or higher out). 
Huge thanks to all those who contributed to the Mr. Oram birthday fund so that he could play with this awesome thing all summer! 

This skirt. 

My darling husband enjoys indulging me so when I got a coupon from the Anthro for my birthday month, he say "Better use it, it's the only way I'll ever let you spend money on that over-priced hipster crap" (paraphrasing). So I did! I went into the dressing room with 7 million items that all cost over 50 thousand dollars and this is the lucky one I chose...even though I wanted everything

This cake: 

From the lovely Sweetapolia

I have already decided I want Zuzu's first birthday to be French-themed 
Short break for a tangent, because it brings to mind: does anyone ever do American themed parties? If so, what does the theme consist of - Budweiser, top 40s, and some scandalous behavior? What else are we known for that's party-appropriate?? No one's going to read the constitution out loud at a party...except maybe law students.
I want this (decidedly not French) cake to be the center piece and I have decided this now so that I have six more months to practice making ruffles and such things. I can make delicious food, but not pretty food. Although my husband doesn't care, I'm starting to wish I were a bit more up on my presentation... 

Hope you all are having a grrrrreat week (a la Tony le tigre) and that you share your favs with Hallie too! 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Seven Quicktakes: Summer Edition!

Seven Quicktakes

Seven Quicktakes by martij on Polyvore

Joining Jen...well, no, Grace...with all the 7 quick takes!

The title is misleading; really...every edition from here until maybe November will be more or less summer, because we live in southwest Florida. But it's starting to feel like summer! Long hours of daylight, gardening projects, and...GRILLING.

Grilling really deserves it's own take. My generous in-laws (Mr. O's parents and sis/BIL) and parents all contributed so that we could get an awesome grill for our birthdays! It's good size, stainless steel, and promises to be the answer to all our cooking woes (the oven makes the house too hot, Zuzu inevitably wants to nurse in the middle of dinner and Mr. O doesn't know what to do when I ask him to 'check' things in the oven...)
We used it for the first time tonight and it was SO awesome!!

Ever since I actually started to like running (2007), it's been a love hate relationship. I love what running does for my body, my self-confidence, my prayer life (long hours running leads to rosary praying). I am proud of the lost toenails and funky tan lines. And yet...when I'm out of it, getting back into it feels like torture!
But today...oh today. I went out and there. I. was. Running! Just running. Running like it was just another day, back to asphalt, oh yeah, do it all the time, what's the big deal, not even winded...

I had a lady doctor appointment today - back to my midwife and the birthing center where Zuzu was born. We haven't been there in...six months! It was awesome going back together. All the gals oohed and awed over lil' missy and we got to go back to the room (The Ocean Room) and pray in thanksgiving for so many prayers answered! A healthy pregnancy, healthy baby, amazing family...we were overwhelmed with gratitude!

My newest obsession is Hallie's 5 Favorites (can you blog about a link up on another link up??? Well I am!). So now I'm trying to hold back on some things here because I am saving them for Hallie!! Whaaat. Crazy.

I redid my blog again! I needed something more colorful, more summery...I really like it.
Also - you like the fun social media buttons to the side? (I'm still playing with them, hate that they're uneven...) I found a great tutorial on how to upload these adorable free icons - and it was (really) idiot proof...and I know that's true because I did it! Very grateful to those ladies for sharing their design ability with mere mortals like myself...

I am enjoying my sewing machine SO. MUCH. Even though all I have been doing is hemming away at those little cloth brings me great joy. I'm getting used to the feel of the machine, how it all works, trouble shooting...really looking forward to getting more creative and doing more projects! However, I do also need to get back to my knitting...I had just gotten the hang of it when babykins came and now, whelp...I hope I remember!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

5 Things: Vol. 1

I know it's all feast or famine over here at SHC-world, but sometimes, you just gotta share. Joining Hallie for the first time EVAH to share all the things I love...

Avocado and bacon. Has there ever been such a heavenly pair? 

In the morning, I like to have avocado, bacon, and one egg on a piece of toast. HEAVEN. Tonight I got super creative and made mango/black bean salsa (mango, black beans, lime juice, pepper, tomatoes...yum) to go over pork + bacon tacos topped with avocado. So easy, so good. 

Monogrammed floppy hats. 

like this fancy one off Etsy (ignore the ugly Tennessee colors - Vols, ew). 
Is there anything to make the beach more glamorous? I am still not feeling, er, exactly in bathing suit shape, but I have the feeling I will waddle walk along the beach with confidence if I doff one of these pretties!

Seagram's Sparkling Seltzer Water.

As much as I'd love to drink something bad for me all day, I can no longer ignore that aspartame could really be killing me not-so-softly and I should probably take care of myself. Since Italy gave me the ability to finally like sparkling water, my pick is Seagram's (usually can find coupons) - it's cost efficient, no calories, no aspartame, but mucho fun (at least, as much as you can have in a can). Plus, it's not regular water, which sometimes has the habit of getting on my nerves. 

Nursing necklaces. 

From DesignML

I don't own one (yet...Mothers Day is coming...HINT HINT HUSBAND) but they are so adorable, so chic! I have all but given up on jewelry with babykins now becoming grabbykins...but maybe this will save me from a life devoid of accessories (this and some clip-ons). 


I have read almost everything the man has written. He writes historical fiction about the lives of saints. Basically, he reads everything available on the saint, including their writings, and then writes a novel version of their life. I have found them invaluable for several reasons: a) they're not dense at all and very simple to understand, which is great since I'm reading them in snatches as I nurse throughout the day; b)  they give real context to the lives of the saints which helps me to better understand their denser writings; c) they inspire me more than reading a 'devotional' book might. 
So far, my favs have been Lay Siege to Heaven (Catherine of Siena) and the Spear (about Longinus, the soldier who pierced the side of Christ and later converted - whose statute is in St. Peter's, bee tee dubs). 

Go to Hallie and check out ALL THE THINGS. 

A Belated: Happy 6 Months, Zuzu.

Darling Susannah -
Somehow, here we are. Six months of motherhood and babyhood and fatherhood...together.

The day she was born

[I would like to say that I did find the only picture in existence of she and I on the day of her, I was lookin' ROUGH. Also, I now understand why my husband was convinced she was born with some sort of deformity and was telling himself it would all be okay, we'd love her no matter what...she did have a bit of a cone head. ]

Six months of falling in love with a whole new person, six months of getting to know someone who had been with me for nine already, six months of realizing that God was true to his word - my vocation would fulfill me more than the world's empty promises ever could. 

Six months of realizing that all the order and discipline that I had in mind for children didn't take into account that you were a person, with needs all your own. The greatest lesson that you  have taught me so far has been that I am just a steward of the greatest treasure on earth; I don't own nor can I control you, and though I have a hand in your path, you are a unique person with your own calling from God. My role is to train you to listen to and follow Him. 

By now, I am even more enthralled and in love with you. You are a gift to the world - everyone who meets you is given the grace to see the joy of children, of life! You have already been witnessing to the Truth that children a blessing - because that is what you are. 

I hope you always know that I love being your mom. I wish I could say that I've never been cross or frustrated with the (beautiful) burden of motherhood, but that isn't true. (case in point - I've already been interrupted twice in this very blog post!) I have had moments where I wished you would sleep, or not cry, or not need me so much. But I am, in the end, always glad you do...even if the end is only much much later, when I'm getting some much-needed time to be by myself. 

I love to cuddle under the quilt together - the quilt your dad and I bought in New Brunswick, when we were on our honeymoon and praying that you would be sent to us soon. If it's too hot for that (which it often is, despite my love of - and your father's indulgence of my love of - AC), I still enjoy wrapping you in the grey knit blanket we bought just for you in Prince Edward Island, also on our honeymoon. You were always in our thoughts...before God even created you. You are the child for whom we prayed - you and Francis, of course. We commend you daily to Francis' care, since we know as your sibling s/he will take extra notice of you. 

I love kissing your downy head while you sleep on my chest, and I can barely stand how beautiful your I-just-woke-up face is. I really enjoy cuddling you right after you wake up - when my kisses sometimes make your eyes heavy and you fall back asleep for a little bit longer. Those moments - I don't know what to do with them, I overflow with joy and am at a loss! Your beauty leaves me speechless, so often. 

I can barely get enough of watching your dad make you laugh, which is his favorite thing to do. He loves to play "baby in the mirror" with you (where he takes you to any mirror in the house and asks you over and over again 'who's that baby in the mirror? who??'). In the morning, he hangs with you and takes you to 'the best show in town' - i.e., feeding the dog, which you really enjoy watching. You two have many songs you sing together, but I love it best when we all together as a family sing: 

Immaculate Mary, your praises we sing
You reign now in Heaven 
with Jesus our King
Ave, Ave, Ave Maria
Ave, Ave Maria 

We sing that every night, along with another (liturgically appropriate) Marian hymn. You like to sing along and we love that. You watch our mouths and move your mouth and I dream of the day you'll lisp the Hail Mary at my side, just like I see other wee ones doing with their mamas.

Everyone has a great calling from God, Susannah. Some people must journey very far and long to discover theirs; others know it right away. For some, even finding it, happiness is denied them and it is their suffering that spurs them to holiness. We do not know until the very end what exactly was the grand design of the Creator - the beautiful story he was weaving with our lives and the lives of all those we touched. We must be simple and only ask what we should do each day...
And yet, though I cannot see the whole of my life and I am still very young, I do know this: you are an integral part of my calling. To be your mother, and your father's wife, is my greatest calling - my great mission. You are the treasure God has entrusted to me to keep safe, to bring to him having grown you well and faithfully. 
I am humbled by this gift, a gift I cannot possibly merit. 
You gave me the gift of motherhood - you will forever be my firstborn, my first child-love, my darling Zuzu-girl. I love you. 

Fear and Loathing (Over Vaccines)

Just a quick note before our morning doctor's appointment -

Before Zuzu was born, I tried to research the vaccine issue. I have many friends who do not vaccinate and I respect them; I wanted to do my own research and see what was good for my baby. Unfortunately, it seems that a lot of what poses for 'research' on both sides is fear mongering: stories of babies that died with both sides insisting it was because they were vaccinated, or because they weren't. I couldn't find any non-biased research.

The big-corporations-don't-care-about-kids-dying narrative is much more my style, but I come from a family of vaccinators. All my siblings, my parents, etc - we were all vaccinated. And we're fine. Plus, if I wanted to take her abroad at three months, she'd HAVE to be vaccinated.

So that's what we've done.

And yet...every time it comes around I'm now terrified. Those stories have stuck in my head - the 1% of kids that have the really bad reactions to vaccines, that die, that regress developmentally. What if she's the 1%?

So some prayers for us today would be appreciated...I'm sure we'll be fine, but I'm not sure I could forgive myself if she weren't.

Monday, April 15, 2013

200th Post: Nudity!

Just a quick post (do I know any other kind?) to say - it's my 200th post! If I were more organized, I'd do a giveaway!! ...probably of my laundry, but then no one would be interested. Still, if anyone would like one, I'd be happy to offer, just give me some ideas.

So I read this hysterical article on where not to breastfeed. I died laughing at the (non-graphic) pics...but then I thought: "huh. What do I think about nursing without a cover?"

I always nurse with a cover when I'm in public. I find it to be more discreet and I'm a fairly modest person by nature, in that I do not enjoy drawing attention to my naked body. So then I thought "is nursing without a cover, wrong in itself?" Is it wrong for a Catholic woman to nurse without a cover?

I'm not sure. I have seen women nurse without covers who are very discreet - just looks like they're holding their baby close to their body. Others I've seen more, but it hasn't bothered me. I really like breastfeeding, not just for myself, but for all mothers - it's the best way for babies (and mothers) to be nourished. So I want to support it, and I don't want to be the modesty police because nursing is hard as it is - figuring it out, doing it even though it can be inconvenient, etc. Plus a part of me thinks - well, I see more boob than that on a gal at the checkout line at the grocery store! Why should I tell this woman to cover up?

Now, full warning, if I'm at home, I do NOT use a cover and nothing can make me. (although this is a recent decision, I should note) I now make it clear to my guests - I will be nursing in this room, if you don't want to see it, don't come in - if you don't care, neither do I. So far, this hasn't made anyone uncomfortable; my female friends usually will come in and chat with me, and their husbands stay with mine in the other room. It doesn't bother me. Now, this doesn't just go for my living room or bedroom, but for the front porch, back porch, backyard, etc. I am discreet, but I will not wear a cover outside - it's just too hot here and besides, Zuzu needs more Vitamin D and I like multitasking. (only slightly kidding)

So that's what's rambling around in my head. Any thoughts? Would you nurse in public without a cover - even if it's just hypothetical, as in, you have no babies as of yet?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

7 Quick Takes: Birthday sand All that Jazz

Hosted by Grace because Jen is busy lovin' on the new little man!! Congrats Jen! 

Mr. Oram and I's birthdays are one week apart from each other, so we usually like to do something together. However...the week before his birthday, we were struck with the plague, so I didn't do ANYTHING for his birthday. No card, no gift (I had made plans for the gift, but buying/getting it delivered didn't happen), no cake, no dinner...just slow recovery, ginger ale, and lots of laundry. 
WINNING for sure. 

on the other hand, as usual, my husband totally showed me up by surprising me with MY PARENTS for my birthday. Y'all know how much I love my mom...and I got to see my DAD too!! It was blissful. Funny how I spent most of my adult life trying to stay away from Florida and now I'm so happy to be back, and I wish we lived even closer.

Mom, Me, Dad - Bama game!

Have you ever returned to a place of fond memories, only to find you're not sure why those memories are quite so fond? 
For my birthday, we went to my fav French restaurant...only to have me discover that suddenly, this was not my favorite restaurant anymore. The food was good, wine was good, service was fine - but the thing that was the best? The company. That's what really mattered. "the experience" wasn't what I remembered it being. 
Sorry Dad - I still do really appreciate you picking up the check. Next birthday, Taco Bell? I'll buy!

Gratuitous picture of my childless self...just had jetted out to San Diego for a moot court competition...I slept in a queen bed alone. Amazing what I took for granted.

Speaking of that special dinner, while there, Zuzu was playing with bread. She's not really eating yet...just playing with food (baby led weaning, blah blah dirty hippie, blah blah). But I can see she tore off this chunk of bread and doesn't know what to do with it. I feel inside her mouth (wooo parenting!!) just in time to feel it slip down her throat. 'Huh,' I think 'we're either going to have some major choking going on or she's going to gag it up.' So I pick her up in anticipating of either joy and she...throws up. All over my purty dress. ALL OVER. Like Linda Blair here! Endless pouring out! Her cup ranneth over, onto my dress! 
I was cracking up. I've waited 28 years for this - it's here! I'm the mom! The one that gets puked on! It's my kid! For some made me feel so happy. Like "well, I've arrived. I'm the one that gets to deal with the mess." 
Yeah maybe I was just drunk.

coolest baby EVER

Um, so then, as if all that excitement weren't enough, my husband got me a SEWING MACHINE. 

Singer - Quantum Stylist 9660! 

Don't worry, he's not being insulting - I asked for this. And I am so excited to have it! It's perfect 'cause it has some bells and whistles, but not enough to scare a newbie like me to death. So far I've been hemming cloth wipes. Wow, my life is so. exciting. 
But if I mess up, who cares? I know that everyone has better things to do than sit at the playground and say "Did you see what Mrs. Oram wipes her baby's butt with? Such crooked hems!" 

Almost made it through without baby waking lightening quick:

Our microwave broke. PANIC. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Good Home

Back from the ninth level of hell, and looking at everything with Anne-like eyes again. Are you surprised? 

Mr. Oram and I had the chance to move to another dream house (same neighborhood as the last one). 3500 square feet, five bedrooms plus an office, a pool...and maybe even affordable if we scrimped and worked and held our breath. My husband, ever my champion, insisted "if this is what you want, I'll get it for you" (never underestimate the power of a woman). And I looked and I thought and I imagined...all that room, the formal living and dining, the pool, the huge bathrooms...the parties we could have, the guests we could host, Zuzu's swimming lessons in the pool (safely protected by a gate, of course)...

And I said no

Because I also looked around my little 1400 sf home, with its funky vinyl siding and its porches that are falling apart - not to mention the yard that has lately enjoyed sprouting stinkhorns (a most unholy and lurid fungi) - and thought, I'm not done yet. I'm not done transforming this little ramshackle bungalow into a home. I'm not ready to leave! I have tree swings to hang, landscaping to do, a mailbox to replace, doors to paint, bathrooms to redo...I can't trade it in yet. I'm not - and we're not, as a family - ready.

I probably get my perfectionist home-improvement streak from my daddy - shown here at a football game. Roll tide!

The home is of vital importance - and what makes it important is what we make of it. And I realized that to buy a big house just to have the room to fill with things...that was not the kind of homemaker I want to be. I am the queen of my little home; I say what we need. And I realized that what my family needs right now isn't more things or more space - it needs to get used to being centered on prayer; we need to get used to focusing on the needs of our little threesome; I need to have more time to settle into being the heart of the family.  None of that requires a bigger house.

I read the most inspiring thing on LMLD the other writing about why making a home is more important than being famous, Auntie Leila said

"This is the key to understanding how it is that a woman's call to love the little place of her home is such a great and even momentous action in the world -- if you have ears to hear it. If you can love the hidden and resist the lure of the oversized and loud and lucrative claim to fame, you will have the privilege to know how it can be that one woman, one family, one home -- yours -- can change and build and restore."

Last week was hard. Being sick with a baby was really upsetting - while worrying about work at the same time. I was so tired (and when you're tired, you never think straight) and so frustrated. But now I'm in better health, praise God, and happily surveying my little domain. 

It's a very sunny little domain - Easter 2013

I know there are women out there who are not happy with their roles. They have a heavy cross, because homemaking is hard and it feels unnatural to them. There are women who are uncomfortable with traditional femininity and so they have to forge a new path to find out how to be the best version of themselves. I am lucky. I truly love - love - being a wife and mother. I asked my dear friend Shaelena, who was here this week from London, "do you think it's weird that I like being a housewife?" Drolly she answered "No. Do you think it's weird? I was under the impression that this was the plan." 

I had to explain - it as the plan because I feel it is right. Ever the rationalist, I took my own experience plus lots of studies and thought: homes function best when they have a full time manager. Babies need moms to be around when they're little. Thus, for continuity and best career success, I should stay at home and he should go to work. That's how that decision was made for me. But it didn't mean that I would like it. I didn't know what I would think! For years and years, all I thought of was myself - God, of course, but God's plan for me, me, me. 

God's plan for me was to get married and have Zuzu. And I'm happy doing it. I cannot express how wonderful it is to be happy doing what I am called to do. I know it's not as interesting as talking about how unhappy I am or how somebody pooped on the floor or shoved Desitin into their bellybutton - but this is my reality right now. There will be years to come of feeling overwhelmed and frustrated...I'll enjoy the honeymoon while it lasts. 

Gratuitous pic of my two nephews, Jake and Jack, taken right after a Bama victory...almost three years ago!! How time flies! 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Greetings from the Ninth Level of Hell

Quick Footnote before we begin: 
So while I was writing out the title for this post, I thought, y'know maybe I shouldn't play around with the levels of hell - afterall, Dante probably put a lot of thought into that categorization and maybe he'd like some artistic credit. So I looked them up (with very good primary sources, obs) and found out that I am wrong - whereas I thought the first level would be the worst, it actually isn''s a scale of 1 to 9 with nine being the worst. But I was thinking of the levels of Hell as a "Who Is the Woooooorst Sinnaaaaah" game show where first place meant you were the most dastardly...I was wrong. Learn from me - know your levels of Hell so that you may invoke them properly.

We're all sick. 

Me, the hubs, Kristin, the baby. We're all sick. 

Now, for those of you who don't know me very well (but how could that be - I overshare so much), I am sort of like an ox. Not like Tommy de Aquino, but like a big animal...that never gets sick. My illness are so rare that I have a great sense of pride about it. Hahaha, germs! You can't get me! I may be built like a bowling ball more than a woman, but at least it means I never get sick! 

Pride really do goeth before a fall. 
After enjoying a great party at the Boda house on Sunday, I awoke Monday...happy to have the day off...then awoke Tuesday, to find death had visited me in the night. Fever, chills, nausea, horrific stomach cramps. I cried. I wanted nothing more than to stay in bed and have no one touch or speak to me, which is my defacto cure for all illnesses. 

I now have a BABY. And Mr. Oram is sick too! And Jen has to work! And my mom is three hours away! And has to work!  

I received a ton of help. Despite having to work, Jen came over and watched the babe so I could pass out sleep for a couple of hours. Tom then got up and took her so I could continue to die rest. Babykins only joined me for feedings and sleepings - which were more frequent, since I gather she is not feeling the hottest either (although it's not as bad as ours, thank goodness - no fever!). 

So congratulations to all the naysayers, I found it - the moment where being a mom doesn't feel like the fulfillment of my prayed-for vocation, or beautiful sanctifying sacrifice and grace-filled suffering. It sucks. I do not want to take care of another person when I feel like my innards are being stirred with a red-hot poker. I do not want to rejoice at the blessing that she is - I want to sleep for more than four hours at a time. 

But at least the sickness is temporary and she is, even in the midst of my torment, pretty darn cute. 

Also, Mr. Oram played the piano with her feet today and the dog started howling, so that was funny. Video forthcoming. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Your Picture from the Outside

So I was at the playground with a bunch of moms maybe a couple months ago, chatting and such, while Zuzu napped in the Boba. 

Jen stylishly wearing Zuzu in the Boba...Florence.

Most of my married friends have 3+ kids...I can only think off-hand of two friends with one child, and neither of them are local. So their 6 years olds, 3 year olds, and one year olds (and everything in between) were all running around, a joyous mix of kiddos used to playing together. As everyone started to gather up kids and diaper bags and strollers to attend the noon Mass, one group of siblings in particular were playing a bit further away. (we'll call them the Jones kids) My friend saw the youngest Jones girl in particular wandering away, and told the older girls to get their sister - which they did, with gusto. But then got distracted and just started playing. With her best mom voice and her finger in the air, my friend looked up and yelled: "Jones girls!! Leeeets GO!" 

It was obviously her I-mean-move-it voice because the three little girls turned and huffed it back to their white mini van, ready to head off to the next adventure. I watched it all with a bit of awe and amazement. To have a clan - a bunch of kids that know the score, that are part of your group, that form your little family - I wondered if my friend knew how much some people long for that, that simple cry: "Oram girls! Leeeets GO!" 

Not doing too much running around...yet...

Not that I'm complaining that we only have one - babies come one at a time for a reason, and I am content to led God take charge of our family size, and he'll give us another when the time is right. I just wish I could tell my friends what an envious sight it is - how, although it must be so tiring and such a big job, it is one that is so incredible to watch. I know they see their kids fighting, three or four pairs of shoes to keep track of, another person to make demands on them - but what's also there is the joy of sibling love, more sweet toes to kiss, more little people who lisp the word "mama." 

I told my mom this story and she sighed and said "mmhmm. If only they knew how their picture looked from the outside." That's exactly it. While we're living in our picture, I think we lose perspective. We forget that others might be looking in and thinking "what I wouldn't give for that!" We forget that our blessings can of course feel like burdens, but they're still blessings because they're making us holy. 

This post doesn't have a grand lesson or a point; it's just to say that I hope we realize that our picture is being seen from the outside as much as felt from the inside. Sometimes what we're suffering through is a cross another person would gladly request. 

Happy Easter from the Orams