pregnancy 2.0

Poor baby #2, if my current trend continues, there will be no posts or pictures until she can blog herself!  Part of my hesitation comes out of respect for some people dear to me who yearn to be preggers themselves.  This was the case last pregnancy too, but it was all so new and exciting and I couldn't contain myself.  Not to mention, this is my personal journal and there are some things that need to be recorded. 

This time... if I end the day with a thread of energy, I play with Hazel before I crash on the couch at 7:03pm.  For weeks I've been meaning to get a belly pic, but there's no time for pics in the morning and by dinner... my looks would scare the blind (or visually impaired, whichever is more polite).

The other day I asked Jake if I was this uncomfortable last time and just forgot.  His reply was "well, you sure do complain more this time".  Hmm... I'm gonna go with the idea that pregnancy gets a little harder each time.  Last pregnancy I was SO in love with being pregnant that I was one step away from signing up for surrogacy.  This time, I'm very relieved (and almost positive) that this will be my last go-around :)

My belly is large and protruding.  It feels heavy and awkward.  My back hurts.  I think I waddle.  My outfits border on ridiculous (just ask the group of senior high kids who, after one commented on my striped tights, voted...at my request... on whether I was fashionable or not.  Let me say, it didn't go in my favor... though the kids seemed to enjoy my prancing on the stage and posing.  Oh my.).  My brain is sludge.  I'm tired ALL.THE.TIME (which is totally different from all the other times I've said "I'm tired all the time"). 

I do LOVE feeling her little kicks, a constant reminder of the most amazing miracle and with each flutter I'm reminded of how lucky I am.  I can't believe there's a baby in my future.  I can't imagine feeling this way about another being.  I'm excited...nervous...overwhelmed...impatient...thankful...curious...


decision made

I feel so lucky to have had the chance to "try on" working full-time and part-time.  I worked full-time hours for Nov & Dec and now part-time hours for Jan & Feb.  I've swung back and forth on my decisions and learned that if I want support for working full/part/no-time outside of the home, I need only ask other mothers doing that very thing.  We each make our decision and it is the best decision for us... and so there you have it... perfectly logical, convincing arguments in support of every choice.

Jake and I have talked about this a lot and have decided that I will stop working outside of the home (after February...er... I will stop tutoring after May).  This decision comes with some regrets on my part, but a lot of relief too.  So, we'll be a one car, penny pinching family for the next few years.  I tend to suffer from pitying myself when seeing other people's material goods.  However, when my perspective is right (as it is right now after a full day of working outside the home), I see that the "sacrifices" are NOTHING!  I'll renovate the house in 10 years (or not), I'll buy fashionable clothes in 10 years (or not) and I'll soak up every minute of my daughterS young lives.  I'll go on nature walks with them, give music lessons, read books, cook meals, clean the house/do laundry NOT on weekends, I'll schedule my day around naps (not naps around my day), I'll be (a little more) sane... and so will the other 3 people in this house.

In preparation for a really busy week, I found comfort in one of the hymns I sang in church on Sunday:

"You need my hands, my exhaustion,
working love for the rest of the weary,
A love that's willing to go on loving."

by Cesar Gabarain

So for this week, I will use my hands and love to serve students as their counselor and tutor.  It is a privilege to serve them, just as it will be a privilege to serve my family in the near future... because right now they are only getting my exhaustion with a sprinkling of love.


silver lining to a babe's fever

I'm going to loose my "MOM OF THE YEAR" nomination for this one... but I'm willing to be honest and say there are some up sides to Hazel's fever:  CUDDLES! 

Hazel's nose has been increasingly runny all weekend, but since her friend at Day Care had a runny nose, we were expecting this- no biggie.  Then yesterday she was a cuddle monster!  Dada held her and rocked for hours, not 'cause she was fussy, just 'cause she would let him.  Then I did the same, tho ugh we were sitting and I was singing.  I couldn't BELIEVE she was willing to sit for so long.  Then she wanted a 2nd nap... and I began to worry.  1/2 way through her nap, she was fussy, so I joined her (Sunday afternoon bliss).  I awoke to a steaming baby.  Her fever peaked at about 101.7 and it was a very long night.

However, I'm not working today and her Pediatrician is available to see her this morning.  Double SCORE! 

So this morning I'm VERY THANKFUL for the fact that Hazel has insurance and can be seen immediately when she is sick. 

You may remember in the not-so-distant past when Hazel was uninsured for about 6 months.  During that time there, I did not ONCE wonder if she needed to see the Docter.  Granted, I was not working and she was not exposed to the public's germs on a frequent basis.  Still, this morning, I'm thanking God for her health and I'm thanking all tax paying citizens for her health insurance.


shriveled deep thoughts

Why don't raisins taste anything like grapes? 

Why doesn't grape flavored candy taste anything like grapes?

These were my deep thoughts as I was passing raisins back to my little snacker during our drive home today.  One for you, three for me... I love being the snack disperser!

A grape-related story:
Years ago, when my sister and I were elementary aged tyrants, my family took a trip to Switzerland to visit relatives.  It was amazing and mind blowing and laid the foundation for my travel lust.  Anyway, one day, my sister and I were given some francs and allowed to walk from the family farm, through a cool tunnel, into town, to the CANDY STORE!  Gah!  What I would give to be able to walk to a Swiss candy store right NOW.  I no longer remember if we bought chocolates or cookies, but I DO remember following the recommendation of the cashier (who thought we were adorable)... we bought GRAPE CANDY.  Gah!  It was the worst thing that ever entered my mouth.  Little square pellets of CRAP.  Seriously, it might have been made from pig by-product from the family farm... it was that gross.

And that my bloggy friends is why I dislike grape flavored things to this day... until I find a candy that's actually GRAPE flavored.  And please, will someone please explain the raisin thing to me? 


I'm proud of you

A very old, very dear friend of mine is facing the unimaginable... and my heart is literally sick.  I've known many people who have fought/ are fighting cancer, but this is the first time that it's struck someone my age.  I'm mad.  I'm helpless.  I'm scared.

Anyway, I'm proud of C because she is dealing with this in the most amazing way.  With HUMOR, POISE, and BRAINS.  Ok, this isn't out of character for her, but seriously!?  She started a blog for others to share this difficult journey with her: check it out:  The Funny Thing About Cancer.  That all being said, I'm sure there will be days when she needs to pour out her heart on it's not gonna all positive, but we can support her on the good days and the bad days with our prayers, comments, ____ (be creative).

Did I mention that she's pregnant?  Or that her husband is deployed?  Seriously.

Her motto is a quote from Bill Cosby:  "Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it."


Just call me a chameleon...

...that is if I lived in the DESERT! 

I just prepped my work outfits for the week.  Hello, my name is Julie and I have a problem.

Side note:  I always intend to prep my outfits for the week, but rarely do it past the first week of work (I've been off for 3 weeks, so I guess this counts).

pretty sure this is EXACTLY what I look like.
Anyway, I prepped SIX outfits and have them pressed and arranged in my closet.  IT'S LIKE DESERT STORM IN THERE!  Four of the outfits are almost completely brown or khaki.  One of the outfits has BLUE and one has BLACK... how exciting!  Seriously, why has no one told me about my color palate problems?  The upside to this dilemma is that I have 3 pairs of brown boots and no black boots.  Since my driveway has a FOOT of snow in it, I'm glad I can cover my ankles almost every day.


18 months of the greatest science experiment of all time

REALLY?  Hazel has been alive and out of my womb for 18 MONTHS?  Many of you have continued to visit this blog after my repeatidive disbelief that my child ages and the reflections on how much I want to stop time when it comes to my daughter.  Thank heavens I didn't!  Yes, I loved her in her "slug like" state, but now... NOW... NOW... oh my goodness she is so FUN!  Jake is always telling her, "waking up to see you makes every day feel like Christmas morning".  Such a perfect way to describe parenthood.

Yes, there are many mornings when I would much rather be selfish and have time to lounge in bed and eat a leisurely breakfast...withOUT sharing.  However, then she cups her tiny hand to my cheek or slides that silky smooth hand into mine or gives me the classic toddler kiss (open lips, press briefly to mama's cheek or other body part... this can get very interesting during yoga) and my heart leaps with the joy of getting to spend time with this heavenly creature.

Hazel, at 18 months, your personality is blooming.  You're a tad stubborn, very observant and LOVE to laugh.  Just try to hide a treat after you've glimpsed it... IMPOSSIBLE!  Even if you "appear" to stop paying attention and I shove the candy cane between the couch cushions... BANG you pull it out.  Very sneaky little one!  Mama clearly isn't sneaky enough!

You love saying the word "baby" and use it for pretty much everything you want.  Usually a doll or paci (you're currently on day 6 of falling asleep without that.  This part of the "science experiment" is a little rough, but overall you're doing great... and I'm spending part of every evening in the fetal position till you stop screaming).  I've noticed that you do say other words, they're just a little hard to understand because you mostly just say the first syllable.  My favorite new "sound" is when you SING "la la la".  You do this mostly when someone else starts singing a song on "las".  Your Gma K is the one that figured that out.

You HATE the word "no", unless you're the one saying it.  Just the sound of that word convinces you that whatever it is you were doing or wanted is the most important thing in the world.  If we don't give in, you lie face down on the carpet and cry.  Oh how do you know the classic tantrum pose?  Well, in response to this phenomenon, your dada and I have pulled out our "Love and Logic:  Parenting for early childhood" book and have started time outs.  Monday morning you had 6 time-outs before 10:00 and you've quickly adjusted and already rarely need them!

You can walk, run, feed and cuddle your dolls, cook fantastic pretend meals, turn pages in books, play peek-a-boo till the cow's come home, and bring everyone joy.  I wonder what tomorrow will bring?


p.s.  For the record, Hazel almost always wears clothes, just not for the photo shoot sessions.  I'll have no one to blame, but myself someday when you choose an "alternative" career!


I just CALLED to say I LOVE YOU!

Ok, since everyone who has communicated with me in the past 24 hours has mentioned my phone issues... I need to say, CALL ME... IT'S COOL! 

I mean, my Grandma called me five times today and I answered the phone EVERY SINGLE TIME and I still love her.  So, if you call me less than 5 times, I'll definitely still love you too :)

Oh, and I totally think people should have pets as companions! 


Eleven Truths

I'm borrowing an idea from K.Starr (again).  In honor of 2011, here are 11 truths you probably didn't know about me:
  1. At least once a day, I hear a car in the driveway and walk to the window...only to discover that I'm cracking up 'cause there is no car there!
  2. On days when I'm feeling really indulgent, I don't brush my teeth... even though I LOVE the feeling of clean teeth.  I don't get it either.
  3. I spend all day pining for a nap and then spend all evening avoiding bed.  Seriously, what's wrong with me?
  4. I only began to enjoy wine during the past five years.
  5. I'm ADDICTED to chapstick, however most chapsticks make my lips more chapped.  HUH?
  6. Back to my teeth... I prefer to brush my teeth with warm water.
  7. I really dislike talking on the phone and will spend weeks working up the willpower to call a friend.
  8. Oh, I also HATE listening to voicemails and often don't :(  I know, this annoys my mom and sister greatly!
  9. I could eat Pepper Triscuits and Laughing Cow Swiss Cheese every day and never get tired of it!
  10. I'm not an animal person.  I love my cats (however, I prefer that they cuddle on my lap when I desire and the rest of the time are invisible) and I like other people's animals once I get to know them, but in general, NO, I DON'T want to pet your dog/cat/hamster and if they LICK ME... I will avoid them (and you if it's a package deal) forever!
  11. I have a vivid imagination and can "taste" the foods I imagine.  However, typically this gift annoys me as I obsessively imagine car accidents while I'm driving.  CREEPY!


Orris family Christmas present

This year for Christmas, I decided to take advantage of some visiting Alaskans who I love very very much and arranged for a family photo shoot. 

I should mention that due to travel schedules and nap schedules, the photographer came to my HOUSE, set up extensive backdrop and lighting, and took the pics.... ON CHRISTMAS EVE morning. 

And that my bloggy friends is a perk of keeping a friend since Kindergarten.  Some might call it extortion, but when you've got someone near and dear who is so talented, well, I'd be a fool not to ask for a favor (psst to Jamie:  after all these years, you need to learn to say NO to your craz-o friend, Julie)!

Here are a FEW of my favs:
Hazel in her Christmas dress from her Gma B.  This would be the LAST smile we saw during the photo shoot ;)

If I could bottle the love Hazel has for her cousin, major world leaders would be singing Kum Ba Ya... though they might also sit on each other... Hazel really wanted to sit on top of Annaliese!
This is my favorite photo of ALL TIME!  CLASSIC.

My gorgeous family.  I love them.

The original Orris quartet. 

Thanks Jamie for going the extra mile for this craz-o family!  For the rest of you, head over to http://www.wilsonklughphotography.com/ if you live near western PA.