We are all happily at home now. Judah is quite the adoring big brother :) And Wesley is quite good about laying still to be adored :)
I'll add more pictures tomorrow! For now it is bedtime for all of us!


Lil Mo

This is Paul, I just wanted to give everyone a quick update.

Wesley Paul David Morris was born 0026 hours June 29. He weighed in at 8 pounds 14 ounces and was 21 inches long. Both Wesley and Jessica are doing extremely well and are expected to be released tomorrow morning. Wesley came out wide eyed and yelling to be fed. Both momma and baby are resting and recovering at this moment.


Fresh From the Oven

I love having Paul home! Last night was the second time since his surgery that he's made bread! Yum! He does an impressive job at making bread - we finished off this loaf within five minutes of it coming out of the oven :)
He is experimenting with freezing bread dough so that he can make large batches at once and freeze the extra, then we can have fresh bread anytime we want to just stick it in the oven! I'll let you know how that goes :)
His recipe for this loaf can be found at the recipe blog - Big Mo's Bread.

Tomorrow Old Navy is having a sale on their flip flops - Five pairs for $5! Adults and kids are included and it's a one day only sale. These are usually $3.50 each, so it's a pretty good deal.
Paul bought two pairs last summer and they have lasted him all year (because yes, he did wear them all winter long. He's weird like that. But he makes good bread. So I get over it.)

As long as Baby Mo allows, we plan on hitting the sale and building up our flip flop collection. We even plan on getting Judah a couple pairs to see if he is coordinated enough to wear them :) He has massive feet and has already out grown his size 7 shoes that I bought him a couple months ago.


Just Hanging Out!

Judah's new buddy, on our back porch

I am still hanging out, waiting for Baby Mo to make the first move :) The hospital bag is all ready... has been for ages, but now it sits near the front door ready to grab.

Judah has been at his 'grandparents' house since Tuesday, since we were so sure some sort of action would occur by now! But since I am not even feeling contractions we decided it was silly to have him away from us, so he is back sleeping in his own bed tonight.
We both missed him, but it was nice to be able to get so much uninterrupted sleep and not have to lift him!
Paul is feeling much better since the surgery, but still has some tenderness. He is still off work until Tuesday.

We've been getting a lot of use out of Netflix! Most recently we watched The Spiderwick Chronicles. I was slightly disgusted that they chose to insert four inappropriate words into a kids movie, but other than that LOVED this movie! It was very different, but creative and cute :)


I heart my doc

I am back from my 38 week appointment. I am entirely too lazy to take a picture. So imagine last weeks picture and then add 4 pounds. :)
The 4lb weight gain is entirely due to Paul being at home. The power of suggestion is real and strong. If he eats something I must eat too. Even if I just ate something five minutes ago.
The 4lbs attest to that. :)

Anyways... have I ever said how much I love my doctor? I really truly do. I am not able to have a midwife due to the cervix issues, and at first I was a little sad about that, but I would not change my doctor for anyone else in the world. He's told me that if he's not on call when I go in to labor to make sure to have the nurses page him so he can be there for the birth. How cool is that?

He is Jamaican and has a wonderful accent. So I just love listening to him :) But he listens to me too, and he really cares. That birth plan I posted in the last thread he is 100% supportive of.
He answers all my questions - and I often have a ton of them for him. I trust my doctor, and I love that.
At the appointment today he checked my cervix and I am now 4 cm dilated. He said that I have "bulging waters" and the little guys head is pushing down. He expects it to be any day now. But he said that last week too. So I am trying to not be hopeful!

During this labor I intend to listen to some relaxation scripts (I'll blog more about it after the birth.) At the suggestion of my doula I mentioned it to my doctor today - the doula thought it was a good idea for the doctor to be 'prepared' for this, as I guess from her experience a lot of doctors don't like to be tuned out. But my doctor was as cool about it as I thought he would be. When I told him his response was something along the lines of "Well, if I need anything I'll just ask your husband, or signal to you that I need to speak directly to you."

I love my doctor.

And I didn't even have to bribe him.

-The birth plan was compiled from reading lots of other birth plans, so for those that asked about copying or taking parts of it and using it by all means go for it!! :)


Bright Eyes

It's only in the last few days that Judah has discovered where his baby brother is. Nearly the entire pregnancy I would point to my tummy and tell him his brother is in there, and when I would ask Judah where his brother was he'd look at me blankly.
A few days ago tho I asked him the question again and he came over and patted my stomach. Now several times a day I'll ask him where his brother is and Judah will pat or kiss my tummy. It is so sweet :)

I think the baby likes it too, and that is why he is staying put. I know I technically have two weeks left until my due date, but I don't want to wait that long! I guess it's kind of nice to know that the stitch wasn't the only thing holding the little one inside, but having anticipated his birth for shortly after the stitch came out it is hard to wait. Patience isn't one of my strong points.

I've had a couple people ask about the birth plan we've written up, so I thought I would post it here. I have it printed on pretty paper and have a basket of M&Ms and Fuze drinks to give to the nurses along with the birth plan. :) Bribery is not beneath me. I want them to like me and cooperate. So I thought chocolate was my best bet :)

Our Birth Goals

Our goal is to have as natural a birth as possible. Jessica has been practicing good nutrition, exercise, education and relaxation techniques to make this goal a reality.
We have hired a doula, Christen P***, to help us achieve our goals.

We realize no natural event can be scripted and are grateful for the support and knowledge of our nursing staff and our doctors. The following is a summary of our wishes to help our doctors and nurses understand our preferences for the birth of our second child.


*We would like labor to progress naturally and will be trying natural methods to control/minimize pain. *We would like to keep vaginal exams to a minimum.
*We would like to avoid induction medication unless there is an emergency. We will not agree to Misoprostol (Cytotec) administration.
*Please do not offer pain medication. We are aware of our options and will not hesitate to ask if it becomes necessary.
*We would prefer no IV, but are willing to have a heplock placed in case an IV becomes necessary.
*We would like the freedom to drink clear fluids (water, sports drinks) and eat light snacks (crackers, fruit) to help keep up strength and energy.
*We do not want a routine episiotomy

*We would like to do self directed pushing as long as the baby is doing well.
*We are excited at the prospect of choosing our own position in which to push.

Post Delivery
The first few moments after birth are important to us for so many reasons. Jessica is eager to start breastfeeding immediately to begin bonding as well as to aid in placental delivery and to slow bleeding.
We would like to wait until after the cord has ceased pulsing before clamping or cutting it.
· We are trying to avoid Pitocin administration for postpartum bleeding. For this reason, we ask that no traction or pulling of the cord be done. We would like, barring unusual circumstances, to allow the placenta to come on it’s own so as to reduce the chances of excessive postpartum bleeding.

Requests for Care of our Newborn

We request that all newborn checks that cannot be done while our baby is with mom to be done after an initial 1-2 hour period of bonding and breastfeeding is allowed. We also request those checks be done in the room with us if possible. If not, we would like Paul to be able to accompany him. We would like to have our baby room in with us if possible. If, for some reason, our baby is taken to the nursery, please bring him to Jessica for ALL feedings. As we plan on exclusively breastfeeding, please do not offer pacifiers, bottles, or sugar water.

Please do not administer the hepatitis B vaccine as we will have our family doctor administer any and all vaccines.

We are planning on circumcision, but would like it performed by the urologist.


We would like to be informed of any problems and their associated risks if/when we come to that. We would also like to know of our options in each case. As long as time allows, we would like the opportunity to make informed, final decisions together.


We cannot express enough our thanks for the kindness and support of our doctors and nurses. The health and well being our baby and Jessica are our top priority, and we know all decisions will be made with this as the most important consideration. Thank you for supporting us in our efforts to make this a safe and wonderful event!

Learning New Skills


The Last Few Days

We have had an eventful last few days. :)
Tuesday, about noon, the doctor cut the stitch out and said the baby could come anytime, he thinks by this weekend. Thankfully, as of right now, the baby wasn't listening to the doctor, and as much as I am dying for him to arrive, it's probably best for him to stay put for a little bit longer.
You see, Paul decided to go above and beyond with the whole "pregnancy sympathy" thing ... on Tuesday he woke up with "a stomach ache." By Tuesday evening it was bad enough to go in to the ER - long story short about 3 am Wednesday morning he was getting his appendix removed.

We're now the most pathetic couple ever.
We both waddle.
We both grab for our stomachs if we're laughing too hard (which we've been doing a lot of. This is the most ironic and funny situation. Ever.)
We both take about 5 minutes to get down on the floor, and about 10 minutes to get back up on our feet.
We both hang out in elastic waisted pants and loose shirts because that's what feels good.

Paul is having to take pain meds to help manage the pain - which means the pain is horrible for him, because Paul doesn't like to take meds. But it also means if I go into labor we will have to get someone to drive us both to the hospital. Which means it would probably send us into fits of laughter at the oddity of it... which would leave us hugging our aching sides and stomachs.

I love being married to someone :
Who finds humor in what others would find terrible.
Who looks for the good in situations.
Who lives like he believes that God is in control.

God has provided us with a great home church that is so supportive and loving, and a work environment that has also been very supportive and loving - when Paul woke up from surgery about 3:30 am his Sgt was there, and hung out till about 5 am! And then sent balloons :) I just think that's cool.

Paul is off work for two weeks now recovering. The baby isn't due for another three weeks, but the doctor thinks he will come soon. We're hoping he comes soon too, but with mixed emotions since Paul is still in much pain.
All we can do is wait and see when God has planned for Baby Mo's birthday to be :)



My Boy

Judah is growing and changing so much every day - it's so much fun!!

He loves to grab on to Paul or my leg and "walk" around with us. It makes walking slower. M.u.c.h. s.l.o.w.e.r. But slowing down and enjoying the moment is important, and I try to enjoy those slow moments :)

From the minute he wakes up he asks "Wassat?" and points out different objects. I think we get asked this a hundred times a day. Which means we should have a super intelligent child, right?!
A buddy of Paul's gave Judah a book on the human body (a very appropriate gift as he's studying to be a doctor. I love when the gift has the personality of the giver.) Anyways, Judah adores looking at this book and asking "wassat?" on each page. I think it is the dullest book ever written. Thankfully Judah hates being read to, so I only need to tell him what each thing is that he points to :) I don't have to read what's written (unless I don't know what he's pointing at... then I read real quick the description beside the picture. Smart me.)

Judah is entirely clueless that he will soon go from only child to oldest child. I try to get him to rub the belly to say hi to his brother, but he treats the belly more like a drum set. He will occasionally give it a kiss, but it doesn't mean much. He kisses the knees of strangers when we're out in stores.
I pulled out the Moses Basket the other day in an attempt to get ready for the baby, and Judah tried laying in it. :) He is entirely too big for it, but it was cute.


My Loves

I am making an attempt this week to fill our freezer with food. Every supper will be at least doubled, so that we can have quick and easy meals for lazy days ahead :)

I made a new dip this evening - Curried Carrot Spread. Does anyone know if it would work to freeze? It's just carrots, peas and onions pretty much.

Paul has been inspired and is whipping up a batch or two of his Chocolate Chip Cookies. Yum! I can't wait :)

My mother in law gave me a new cookbook for my birthday - Fix It and Forget It Cookbook - and I have four new recipes from it that I intend to try this week. We'll see if I am so inspired as the week goes on :)

Paul and Judah decided to celebrate my birthday a bit early - yesterday I was treated to an afternoon at the Spa from the two of them! :) It was really, really nice.
Just before our wedding I had gotten a manicure done, and at the wedding someone commented on it, and asked me if I'd gotten a pedicure done too. I hadn't, and said so. The person responded that it was a shame I hadn't, and I really should get one done.
I have often thought back on that comment and laughed about it. It's just such a random and odd comment to make. And I happen to like remembering random and odd things people say or do to make myself laugh when I'm bored.

Anyways... ever since that day I've wanted a pedicure. If it's important enough to tell a bride that it's a shame she didn't get one, well, it must be pretty good, huh?
A couple months ago when Paul asked what I wanted for my birthday (yes, my husband is a rare breed. He starts thinking about birthday and Christmas gifts months before the event. I like it. But feel pressure to do the same for him ;) I told him that I would love a pedicure before this baby was born. You know, so that while my legs are hoisted up I can lay back and look at my pretty toes. And then remember the comment made at the wedding. And then laugh to myself.
So anyways... I mentioned the pedicure once. Maybe twice. Months ago. And the dear man remembered. And not only remembered, but went above and beyond.
He bought me a package which included a pedicure, a facial and a maternity massage. Happy, happy birthday to me. :)

When I got home later that afternoon him and Judah were ready to go out to eat at my favorite restaurant. He'd asked me last week what my favorite restaurant was. My response was something along the lines of "Well, it depends on what day it is."
Yesterday my favorite restaurant was this great Greek place we discovered a couple months ago. The food is delish and the staff is super nice. One appetizer and one main course has enough food for the three of us for supper and enough left overs for all three of us for lunch the next day! And it is just.so.good!


Money Matters

I think accountability is a great motivation to stay on track for anything. Paul and I spend several hours at the end of each month reviewing how our budget worked for the previous month and tweaking and detailing it for the next month.
We do all of our banking online and monitor our account almost daily just to make sure things are coming and going like they're suppose to :)

We keep an Excel sheet that encompasses what each of our monthly expenses should be, and then lists what each month actually comes out to. I love having it done this way as it motivates us to try to lower expenses if they end up being higher than the month before.

Like our Power Bill. It is $42 more this month than it was last month. $42!! That's insane. Seeing the huge jump between Aprils costs and Mays costs has inspired us to not make the AC quite so cold and to start using our ceiling fans. We'll see if there's a difference when we get next months bill... it is only going to get hotter so I am not too hopeful about the bill being lowered.

Having the Excel sheet is also encouraging. Our grocery/household expenses bill has dropped the last couple of months. We budgeted $350 a month for all groceries, diapers, toiletries and any other household item. In April we (saying "we" sounds better than saying "I"!) spent $400+ ... in May I spent $318! May is when we started pulling cash out of our bank account, so I only have the $350 cash to carry us through.
If I manage to keep it under budget through June then we'll lower the grocery budget and apply the extra money to Student Debt.

From reading all the other frugal blogs $350 a month is a lot of money to spend on the household budget. I think we could easily get ours down to $250 a month, but we are stockpiling our (new!) freezer right now and are learning along the way :)
Paul also likes to have meat at every supper - and not little bits of meat amongst other ingredients. He likes "real" meat, so we have it every day. It's not something that can be eliminated from our budget, so that expense will remain.
We also eat a ton of fresh fruit and veggies, which is another thing that we will not eliminate.
We probably eat $20-$30 of fruit and vegetables a week and $10-$20 of meat a week.
I buy some dairy, some canned beans and bread almost weekly and then occasionally oils, vinegars, jams, salad dressings etc.

I avoid the aisles in the grocery store as much as possible to avoid spending extra money :)
Between coupon-ing and CVS I have been able to get a stash of cereal, cookies, coke, Fuse, M&Ms and Chex Mix for pennies or free, and those are the items we pull out when we're feeling like junking out or have company over.

I also now keep a granola bar or two and a bottle of water in my purse to help ward off any hunger while shopping - I spend way more money when I am hungry :)

Oh, another trick I have started for "saving" money - our commissary has just opened a self checkout with a recommended maximum of 40 items. Not only is the self check out line WAY shorter and faster than regular checkout, but it is no fun with a baby and a ton of items to check out. So I use self checkout as a motivator to not buy items not already on my list :)

My goal for the month of June is to keep the grocery/household budget under $300.



I received a mini-cookbook in the mail this week and it had two recipes for Finnish Pasties ... I couldn't decide which one to make, so combined the two with the ingredients I thought sounded yummiest, and added a few things on my own.
They turned out really well, and one day when we're feeling ambitious we plan on making a whole bunch of them at one time to stick in our new freezer!
I think they'll be great to pull out and microwave for lunch or supper. I am going to post the recipe over on the recipe blog, so you can make them too :)

Has anyone ever made Jamacian patties? We both really want to try making them, but want a tried and true recipe. Suggestions?


The Beach

Judah loved the water!

And his bucket and shovel :) He wouldn't let either Paul or I rest!

He was a little adventurer and took every opportunity to explore.

He loved his daddy's sunglasses!

Chillin' out after playing in the water.



Budget Busters

I was doing some blog hopping and somewhere along the way found a link to a bunch of articles written by Donna Freedman on MSN Money. I have started reading through them and thoroughly enjoy her thoughts and writing style. Check her out!
She links to lots of other resources and blogs. Following one of the links I came across the starter of the 5 Budget Busters Challenge Meme.
So I thought I would jump in and play!

The rules are simple:

"The rules of the challenge are that you have to tag 3 people to carry it on and link back to the person who tagged you. Please also use the graphic at the top of this post. You can link to it or copy and paste it."

We are very careful with our money, but there are definitely things we buy or pay for that challenge our budget. My Five Budget Busters are:

1. Netflix. I justify in my head that the $17.11 each month is necessary for my sanity, especially when Paul is away for days on end :) I know I could live without it. But I'm just not willing to give it up!

2. Clothes for Judah. Especially at .25 cents a piece. If they're stylish, good condition and his size (or a size he'll grow into in the next three years...) then I have been guilty of buying it. A child only needs so many t-shirts, jeans and jackets - I have never paid very much for his clothes, but he has enough for three kids. I tell myself I can turn around and sell the clothes for a profit. But I don't think I could ever part with them.

3. Losing weight. An odd one I know, but I found as I lost weight with Judah I wanted to buy clothes for my new size so that I felt good and not frumpy. Even tho I have the clothes from when I had Judah the actual act of shopping for clothes is half the fun in feeling good, so I know I'll be fighting (but probably giving in to...) that urge.

4. McDonalds Ice Coffee. I think the Large is about $2. I bought one when they first came out a year or so ago and thought they were gross. I don't know if they've changed how they make it, or if being pregnant has changed my taste buds, but I now LOVE their Iced Coffee. $2 sounds cheap ... but I once bought three in one day. In my defense it had been a sleepless night and I needed something to keep me happy :)

5. The middle aisles of the grocery store. I make a list when I go to the grocery store, and I am fairly strict about sticking to it. Most of what I buy is from the outer "ring" of the grocery store and I very rarely go down any of the aisles. But when I do go down the aisles I am so tempted by the attractive packaging or the big "sale" signs or sudden pregnant cravings. Those little things can easily add an extra $5 - $20 a week to the grocery bill. That's a lot for a spur of the moment decision!

The three people I will tag are:

1. Alison
2. Chelsea
3. Bethany
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