Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Who came up with the term "morning sickness" anyway? My guess is some male doctor whose wife was only allowed to complain when he saw her first thing in the morning. Because anyone who has experienced it knows - it does not limit itself to the a.m.
I am actually one of the luckier ones - I have yet to actually lose my lunch (or breakfast, or dinner) with pregnancy - but instead I am haunted by the gnawing cloud of nausea that just hangs over me nearly all day long. It isn't brutal - but it is an ebb and flow of "yick-ness" and without relief.
This nausea is such a catch-22 for pregnant women. It is a wonderful sign that everything is going well. Feeling the nagging clench in your throat is a beautiful reminder that you are no longer in control, and that a baby no bigger than a raspberry now dictates how you function. This little babe is growing at unbelievable rates and needing every enormous dose of nutrients and hormones that your body has to offer. This rush of hormones, however, is exactly what causes my fair face to flush at the smell of coffee or my throat to close up at the thought of poultry. Nevertheless, I'm thankful for the nausea!
On the other hand, when I have the rare wave of relief from the nausea - when I get to suddenly take a deep breath and not feel like I might be swooning...I'm worried. Where is the nausea? Where did it go? Why do I feel okay? Is everything alright in there??
I wish my baby could have a little tin-can-telephone tied to the teeny umbilical cord just to shout-out a little "Yep, I'm alright! Just giving you a break, mom! Relax!"
But, then, as soon as I start to put my anxiety to the side and enjoy the moment of's back. So, those are the two choices a first-trimester mama has: Nausea or Worry. Well, there is plenty to worry about anyway - so I suppose I'll choose the nausea for now.
Thanks for the reminder, little bean! I'm glad you are growing! I'm glad your heart the size of a poppyseed is thump-thumping away and you are taking all you need to keep developing!
In the meantime...pass me the ginger ale.

Baby Pardy Part Deux

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Well, by now most of you have probably heard the news - we are expecting! Baby Pardy #2 is on the way, due mid-July. Hooray!We found out on November 3rd, exactly 1 year from the day we brought Matilda home from the hospital! The kiddos will be 20 months apart, so they will be close and I'm sure our lives will be crazy, yes - but the most wonderful crazy I can imagine. What a blessing! I love the idea that Matilda will never even remember life without her sibling - it will be a little buddy for her right from the start!
We've already been getting the awkward glances and question: "Was this on purpose?" Let me just clear this up for everyone...Yes. It did happen a little sooner than we predicted (again, that illusion that we have any control over this kind of thing is ridiculous) - it took nearly a year to conceive Matilda, so we had no idea that this one would happen so quickly - but we are delighted beyond words that the time is now! (I'm sure there will be more posts on this in the future.)
And so the pregnancy begins...I'm feeling pretty good. Queasy and achey, all good signs that this little baby, no bigger than a blueberry, is growing every second! Pregnancy is wondrous in many ways, but I am so thankful for it's constant reminder of how God is in control - weaving together this tiny babe, conducting every beat of the new little heart, forming the intricacies that are too small for me to even fathom. God is so good!
Indeed, this Thanksgiving there is so much to be thankful for! It is no wonder that Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday! November is a great month for the Pardys: our Anniversary is November 24th, Matilda was born on November 1st, and now we find out another blessing is on the way in November as well. Thank you, Lord! Not to mention, this holiday is surrounding by wonderful food and the anticipation of Christmas coming. I love it!
Thank you, everyone, for all your prayers for our family! I pray each of you take time to be grateful for God's blessings in your own life, and that you get to enjoy that turkey feast with people who love you!
Happy Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Being a mom who "works outside the home" has its ups and downs. There is nothing that can prepare you to go back to work after spending a joyous 3 months on maternity leave in the gaze of your precious newborn. That time is sacred and to be cherished. I cried for weeks leading up to my return to work, and as I suspected, the anticipation of it was worse than the actual action itself. But, boy, I hated leaving that baby at home. Even knowing that she was in the best of care (an ideal situation with my sister-in-law and niece coming over to our place to keep her) it was still not ME, and so I felt the maternal pangs of abandonment every time I left.
Soon we got into a rhythm, and that helped tremendously. It quickly became normal to juggle getting ready and making sure her food was prepared before I left. No longer was it daunting to wonder how I would manage pumping milk at work and holding back tears when I saw her photo on my cell phone. We got set in a routine and she adjusted beautifully, looking forward to her "playtime" with her 2 year-old cousin, Sofie on those three days I had to go to the office.
But, it still wasn't easy. It still ISN'T easy. I reminded myself that I was providing wonderful things for my daughter because of the income I could provide. I could give her health insurance and splurge on the occasional treat because of the money. Not to mention, I simply didn't have a choice. We wouldn't be able to make rent without the money I was making, and so we were forced to come to terms with our compromised life of three-quarter-time work for me. Still, a day hasn't gone by that I haven't prayed for God to provide a way for me to stay home with my baby. So that continues. But, it felt like it was harder on me than anyone else...until now.
Recently, Matilda has begun the clingy "gotsta-have-my-mommy" kind of routine. She loves other people - she plays great with others and loves to ham it up for attention wherever she goes (she IS a Pardy!) but now in the mornings when I leave for work she does not want me to go. She is sad. Which makes me sad. It is just sad. SAD!
There is nothing like the clutch of your child. She is like a little koala bear, who, I think if I let go of completely, would still maintain her balance affixed to my side because of her crazy grip onto me. It is so sweet, and desperately pitiful.
So, now I have to do the "quick-switch-bag-of-sand-trick" every morning. You know - that classic Indiana Jones scene where he takes the golden idol and replaces it ever so swiftly with a bag of sand in hopes that no one notices it ever went missing??? The greatest switcharoo ever, in my opinion (though it does fail and he is nearly crushed by a giant boulder...) Now, I have to give Matilda her cup of Cheerios, smooch her on the head, turn on a Curious George show and then slip out before the theme song ends so that she is just distracted enough by George's curious wiles that she forgets all about her mommy for a second. AH! Heartbreaker!
I hate pulling the ole switcharoo on her, but I know God is teaching both her and me lessons through this. I know I don't want us totally co-dependent on each other. But still, the mother in me is shouting to protect her from all sadness, be there and stay with her and give her what she wants - and to feel completely and utterly NEEDED is at the heart of all mother's desires.
So, the prayers for future provision continue. And in the meantime, I should probably by stock in Cheerios and send a thank you card to the Man in the Yellow Hat.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Matilda had her one year check-up yesterday. Praise be that she is healthy as a horse. (Or maybe a pony, in her case? But "healthy as a pony" doesn't quite roll off the tongue.) Anyhow, she has been deemed "petite" by our pediatrician, as she is now in the 27th percentile in height and weight, but perfectly on par for herself and totally healthy. Though hearing "petite" from the man who just a year ago called her "enormous" at her very first doctor's visit was a bit surprising. Born at 8 lbs 8.5 oz and 22 inches year later she is now 19 lbs 12 oz and 28.5 inches long. Atta girl! :)
Unfortunately, she also had to get shots yesterday. Boo!! She got five shots total - 2 in one leg and 1 in the other leg and each arm. Sad face!
And on top of it all - as we were waiting for said shots, her stupid mother accidentally injured her! Good grief.
I had decided to get out her pacifier in anticipation of extra-calming being needed, and when I went to clip her paci-holder to her shirt...I pinched her skin! OUCH! Bad mommy. I felt so terrible as my baby screamed and cried...only to then hold her down and have her get 5 more pangs of torture when she got her shots.
Thank you Lord for Tylenol. And hugs. And Dora the Explorer band-aids.
Poor baby.
But, I am thankful to live in a time of modern medicine and vaccines and flu shots. Another lesson learned of doing what is best for your child even if it means having them endure temporary pain to achieve the greater good. (And also a lesson on not trying to clip the pacifier to your baby using only one hand...not good.)

30 Jobs in 30 Years

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

As of last month, I have officially been with my current employer for three years. This may surprise you (since I'm now old, being 30 and all...) but this is the absolute longest I have ever held any job ever. In fact, I haven't even held the same position since being there...but it is still the longest I've been with any employer. And that is saying something considering I have pretty much been working since I was like 14.
I know what you're thinking, "Really? That is surprising since you seem so reasonable. How do you keep getting jobs if your resume is so ridden with spontaneity?"
Thanks for asking. But, in fact, because of my well-rounded experience (see how I spun that?) I am pretty much qualified for just about any entry-level position that doesn't require licensing or education beyond a Bachelor's degree.
In fact, over the last many years, I've obtained work experience in the following areas:

Truck Driving
Video Production
Food Service
Ministry name a few.

"How can that be?" you might ask, perhaps quietly thinking to yourself "I don't consider her to be an expert at any of those things". Correct you are! I am no expert at any of the above tasks. In fact, if I am an expert at anything, it is probably resume writing and job hunting. Haha.

All in all, if you count internships and volunteer positions, along with all hired-for employment opportunities...I have had a grand total of 30 jobs in 30 years. (Yes, you read that correctly.)

The fact is, as I look back on my vast array of employment adventures, apparently people were willing to take chances on me, risk trusting me to be able to learn something I don't yet have any idea how to do...and, along the way, I remain honest and forthcoming and work hard to step up to the plate.
I might not have all the answers or have a stellar resume that helps me climb the ladder to the top...but, I'll fully embrace the experience that is offered me and give you my attention and loyalty as long as the situation continues to be fun, challenging, or simply putting food on my table.
A job has always been a job to me. I leave it at the office and when I am home, I am home. Work will never come before family or love or important celebrations. Jobs will come and go (and come again). There have been some I have loved and some I have absolutely hated. I have never been fired, but I have been known to quit on the spot if there was ever serious, questionable reason. To these many employers of the past (regardless of how we may have parted in the end) I am grateful.
Thinking of all the jobs I've had, it is now easy to recognize that each job was setting me up for the next, without an inkling in my own mind of what that next step might be at the time. Every job has left me with something that has helped shape me in some way that has brought me to who I am today. And when I look at the areas of experience I have gained up to this is like reading the list of pre-requisites for the ultimate job, of which I am now undertaking: Motherhood.
I think it will be quite a while before I am considered an expert at this job as well (okay, never)...but don't worry, there's no chance I'm quitting either.

Happy Birthday, Matilda!

Monday, November 1, 2010

My sweet baby girl, miss Matilda Hazel Darling Pardy turns one year old today! I know I've said it a bazillion times, but I just can't believe it. I've even been preparing myself for months now ("She's six months old...halfway there...She's nine months...She'll be walking soon...") counting down each and every day. I remind myself daily to absorb her - literally, I tell myself "soak this in, this moment right here, eat it up! She will never be this little again! Be here, be thankful, be patient."
I've always had major issues with time. I know that many people feel the "temporal" nature that is required of us in this life - its pressures and its fleeting moments that barely let you escape each day without thinking "where did it go?" And I am to the extreme.
I would say that time, in fact, haunts me. I have always felt it. I remember being seven years old and nearly having a panic attack that I practically wasted my sixth year and would never get to be five years old ever again. (Yes, I know I'm strange.) I remember the night before I turned thirteen thinking "This is it - you are going to be a teenager. You've waited your whole life for this and now it is here - are you ready? Have you done everything you hoped you would do up until now?" (Yes, I know I had some emotional issues.) And if you read any of my previous blogs about turning thirty this year, then you get that I am still plagued with those same kind of questions even years later.
I realize that this must sound emotionally exhausting to some of you, downright kooky to others. Perhaps. But, it also has its benefits.
I remember a LOT. Just ask my family. If anything ever comes up or there is a dispute in recalling something - they all look at each other and say "I bet Emily remembers" and...usually I do! There is some kind of "stop and smell the roses" mechanism in my brain that I believe was put there for a reason - so I try to use my superpowers for good and not for evil.
I also believe that having lived through some hardships in my life, that this "fight for time" has also allowed me to be able to genuinely be intentional about how I spend my time and truly do my best to not take things for granted. I am very firm with my values, and I guard their boundaries with my life: God first, Family a very close second. And I am very deliberate about enjoying the moments with my family - because they are all passing so quickly.
There is such freedom in this! When you are able to gain perspective - and I strive as hard as I can to maintain it - then you will realize that you hardly have anything to complain about. Truly, I used to be the world's best (worst?) complainer. And it is a struggle for me in various areas of my life, for sure (we can all ALWAYS find SOMETHING to complain about - and when you need a buddy for that, I'm your gal - and I'll bring the brownies to serve on the side of that giant plate of whining). But, when it comes to my family, my husband and my baby girl, I really am just so grateful for them it doesn't leave much room for selfishness or impatience. And, let me tell you, (coming from a bona fide Debbie Downer at one point in my life...) that when you suddenly become aware of each moment as a fleeting spark of time, you just do all you can to hang on to it. Therefore, the littlest things become blessings. And the things you THOUGHT were important ("Oh, why didn't he take out the trash!" "Why won't she go to sleep!") become the endearing parts of life that are left as minor frustrations and characteristics! And I remind myself constantly "Enjoy this! Soon you will look back and be thinking 'Oh, remember when Matilda would throw tantrums when you took away the remotes from her! Oh that seems so long ago!' but it's now - right now - soon to be gone!" and so I can sit back and watch her little tantrum with joy (trying to hold back the smile all the while) and regain the patience that I otherwise might have lost. After all, how can I NOT stop myself and make myself enjoy each moment? I am constantly feeling my temporal heart beating to the rhythm of an eternal meter. I am not meant for this world. It is fleeting.
All this to say, last night was an emotional night for me. Even with the entire year of mental preparation, I knew that the first year with my daughter would come to a close (with cause for much celebration!) and so I rocked her extra long last night at bedtime. I always sing "Jesus Loves Me" when I rock her to sleep, but last night I also added in a verse of "Isn't She Lovely" by Stevie Wonder - which Josh and I named as "her song" and we even sang it to her in the womb, and also in the hospital room after she was born. Made from love, indeed, our girl is so lovely.
As I was praying over her, rocking her, I became overwhelmed with gratitude. My heart swelled so big it felt like my throat was closed off, and the tears were soon to follow.
God is so good.
MY GOODNESS, God is so good.
We have been living in a season of such blessing, sometimes it is easy for me to stress out "waiting for the other shoe to drop" - it all just seems too good to be true. But it is true, and it is good - and so, I soak it up. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you for each moment. Thank you for our baby girl. Thank you for Matilda.
And so we celebrate her...and the many moments yet to come.
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