Friday, July 31, 2009
In the beginning Sadie slept through Mass. Occasionally she would wake and want to nurse and I would fumble with the nursing cover until she was happily slurping away. When she got older, but was very definitely still a baby, she would sit on my lap and watch everything that was going on around her with wide eyes. Then something happened. Our chubby, quiet baby transformed into a squirming, wriggly toddler. She wants to talk, laugh, climb, chew (on the pews), and run. Sitting on Daddy or Mommy’s lap for an extended period of time is no longer on her list of favorite things to do. I had hoped that since we were going every single Sunday since she was eight days old, she would just learn to be quiet and it would all happen naturally. I was very naive.
The Tactic: I read about this idea on a few different websites and thought that we would give it a try with Sadie. The idea is that you have special dress shoes that your child only wears on special occasions. Because the shoes are only for special occasions, the child learns that they need to be on their best behavior when the shoes are on their feet.
How it Has Worked: I think that Sadie is still little to really understand that it’s serious time when the shoes are on her feet. But I think it’s a good habit to get into and I think it could work later on. So far Sadie spends a good portion of Mass working on getting her Church Shoes off of her little feet. At least it keeps her busy for a while!
The Tactic: Okay, this one’s pretty clear. I don’t really want to bring a bunch of toys into Mass so that Sadie can play, because I think that she needs to learn early on that it’s a very important time and that something very important is going on. So we limit what we bring to a couple of her religious board books (usually We Go to Mass and either her Mary book or her Guardian Angels book) and a couple other appropriate toys (see next section).
How it Has Worked: Sadie loves her Board Books. We went to Mass this morning and she spent a solid ten minutes sitting on my lap turning the pages of her We Go to Mass Book. She would close it and reopen it and go through the entire thing over and over again. Then she went through it pointing out the priest on every single page. It doesn’t keep her busy for the entire Mass, but it definitely can keep her occupied for a while, and the pictures in the book show match what’s going on in the Church.
Rosary and Veil-
The Tactic: Another straight forward idea for keeping little hands busy at Mass. We bring her rosary, along with the board books and veil and keep them in her bag (she usually wears a hat during Mass, or at least for part of it).
How it Has Worked: When she starts to get fussy I pull them out, one at a time (sometimes I take the books out before Mass and put them next to the hymnals so that she grabs at them instead of the hymnals and missals) and hand them to her. When she was smaller the rosary would keep her busy for quite a long time. These days she’s more taken with her veil. She can almost put it on by herself or she wraps it around her shoulders like a little shawl.
Having Daddy Hold Her-
The Tactic: Paul holds her. I like this tactic the best. Now that he’s holding her more often I actually get to experience a bit more, instead of being on the verge of pulling my hair out the entire time!
How it Has Worked: She doesn’t struggle with him as much as she does with me. It doesn’t usually work for the entire time, but she does tend to sit more quietly when she’s with him. Today I also put her down on the pew next to me. She thought that this was hilariously funny and sat still, with a huge smile on her face, for about two minutes (that’s a long time to sit still when your thirteen months old)… then she started to squeal and tried to climb over the back of the pew to visit with one of our friends who was about five rows back, on the opposite side of the church.
What We Haven’t Tried-
We don’t bring snacks or drinks to Mass. It’s only an hour and I don’t want her to get into the habit of needing, or expecting snacks. Sometimes she does bring a doll (if she’s holding it when we leave the house and then carries it in), but other than that we try to limit toys, because it’s not play-time.
If anyone else has any suggestions of things that have worked for their families or friends, we’re definitely open to new ideas. What works seems to change on a daily basis!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
At the Zoo we saw monkeys and bears (it’s a pretty small zoo) and pink flamingos. The funniest thing though was a big white turkey that fell in love with Sadie’s stroller (we think that it has probably learned that food tends to fall from strollers) and followed us for about half an hour. We had to watch Sadie because after gently petting the turkey a few times she started to be less gentle. She didn’t seem to realize that the turkey was quite a bit bigger than her, although she definitely had him in weight.
Sadie also showed that she won’t be influenced by Mommy or Daddy when she got to pick a stuffed animal at the Zoo Gift Shop. We picked out three stuffed cats, a bobcat (that I liked the best), a white tiger (that Paul liked the best) and an orange tiger that I put in just for the heck of it. She immediately picked the orange tiger. “Don’t you like this one?” I asked, pointing to the bobcat. “Or this one?” Paul said. Sadie turned her head away and clung to the orange tiger. Until we paid for it. She hasn’t had anything to do with it since then. I think she was only after his tag! We’ve learned that it’s the best part of every single toy.
- USF’s two health insurance plans for employees both provide for abortion, sterilization and contraception. Complaints led USF to drop similar coverage in a student insurance plan, and officials say they are in favor of improving the employee plans, according to reports by Our Sunday Visitor.
- USF’s student health clinic stopped referring students to Planned Parenthood for abortions after the practice was revealed in December 2008.
- USF recently dropped its graduate theology program.
- USF hosted the performance of a play that contradicts Church teaching on homosexuality after San Francisco Archbishop George Niederauer refused to allow it to be performed at a diocesan parish.
- USF bestowed an honorary degree upon Irish President Mary McAleese, despite her public dissent from Church teaching on the all-male priesthood.
- USF hosted a film festival co-sponsored by the USF Gender and Sexuality Department and a homosexual student club, which featured at least two films which promote abortion and same-sex marriage.
- USF touted on its website a “birth spacing” study produced by students which promoted the use of artificial contraceptives.
Today's picture was from my first visit to USF, before he was admitted to the program. I don't know if my husband would have ended up at USF if we had realized how liberal it was. My guess is that we would have ended up in Houston at St. Thomas University. We've learned so much over the course of the last year. Right now I'm clinging to the idea that he will be much better at debating and defending his beliefs then he would have been if he'd gone to any other Catholic University. And maybe that's part of God's plan for him.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
This portion of Kahil Gibran’s book The Prophet, often pops into my head when I’m arguing with someone about modesty or abortion, probably because the issue that comes up the most often in these arguments is “freedom.” Under the current laws we have the freedom to do a great many things. However many of the things we are free to do are not even close to being right. Here’s the excerpt.
“At the city gate and by your fireside I have seen you prostrate yourself and worship your own freedom, even as slaves humble themselves before a tyrant and praise him though he slays them. Ay in the grove of the temple and in the shadow of the citadel I have seen the freest among you wear their freedom as a yoke and a handcuff. And my heart bled within me for you can only be free when even the desire of seeking freedom becomes a harness to you, and when you cease to speak of freedom as a goal and a fulfillment.
You shall be free indeed when you days are not without care nor your nights without a want and a grief, but rather when these things girdle your life and you rise above them naked and unbound.
And how shall you rise beyond your days and nights unless you break the chains which you at the dawn of your understanding have fastened around your noon hour? In truth that which you call freedom is the strongest chains, though its links glitter in the sun and dazzle your eyes.
And what is it but fragments of your own self you would discard that you may become free? If it is an unjust law you would abolish that law was written with your own hand upon your own forehead. You cannot erase it by burning your law books nor by washing the foreheads of your judges, though you pour the sea upon them. And if it is a despot you would dethrone, see first that his throne erected within you is destroyed. For how can a tyrant rule the free and the proud, but for a tyranny in their freedom and a shame in their own pride? And if it is a care you would cast off, that care has been chosen by you rather than imposed upon you. And if it is a fear you would dispel, the seat of that fear is in your heart and not in the hand of the feared.
Verily all things move within your being in constant half embrace, the desired and the dreaded, the repugnant and the cherished, the pursued and that which you would escape. These things move within you as lights and shadows in pairs that cling. And when the shadow fades and is no more, the light that lingers becomes a shadow to another light. And thus your freedom when it loses its fetters becomes itself the fetter of a greater freedom.”
Many times when people tell me they have the right to their choice or the freedom to dress however they want, I can’t help but think that they have become a slave to their own idea of freedom. Yes, you certainly can wear a mini skirt. No one is going to come out and arrest you for wearing next to nothing and prancing down the street. And these days it’s legal to walk into an abortion clinic and kill your unborn child (I want to note that I’m not saying that these two very different things are even near the same magnitude, only that it’s the same rebellion to any outside authority that comes up when discussing the issues). Truly in our day and age freedom has become a shackle. Many people care so much about what they are free to do that they don’t take a second to think whether the thing that they are doing is right!
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Home Sweet Home! I’ve been saying that in my head so often these last few weeks because, as much fun as it is to go away and travel, it always feels even better to return home! I miss the mountains and the quiet when we’re away, although I didn’t miss the three-digit heat. At least in a few more months I will have forgotten about the heat and will be impatient for summer. That’s always good to know.
We had a wonderful time at the reunion. Saint Mary’s was as beautiful as I remembered it, although it is starting to get crowded with all the additional buildings. They only have a certain amount of space and after adding 30 buildings over the course of the last fifty years, space is getting tight. I think they may have to start building up soon, because there isn’t any room to build outward anymore.
I thought of twenty blogs to write while I was away (it’s amazing how many blogs on modesty I would be able to come up with if I lived in the city full time!), although my mind definitely touched on other topics too. The main question I came home with was whether or not it is now the norm for most women to go to Mass with their shoulders bare. I know there are lots of things that are much worse than that that you probably see each week, but the reason it stands out is that otherwise conservatively dressed women bare their shoulders and go to Church. I feel uncomfortable with bare shoulders in Church! Maybe it’s because when I was little my Dad told me stories about talking high school students to Italy and the strict rules at the Vatican about the women’s shoulders being covered.
Well, I will hopefully have time to jot down more ordered thoughts tomorrow. It’s been a long couple of days and it’s time to put Sadie down for the night.
After a long day of driving we are finally home! Sadie is playing with Paul, because after a couple of nine o’clock nights she has come to believe that that is her bedtime (it’s not!). The reunion was a lot of fun, but the days were also very long! We got to SMC at 8:30 and we ended up going home after the reunion Mass Saturday night before meeting up again with Danny and Michelle for dinner at our hotel. That meant we finally got back to our room at nine o’clock, making it a 12+ hour day. That’s a long time to be away from hotel or home with only a diaper bag, especially in 97 degree heat.
The reunion committee sent us an email on Thursday claiming that the high for the weekend was supposed to be 82 degrees. As we were walking out the door Grumpa checked on his computer and the forecast was 97. Grumpa’s forecast (unfortunately) turned out to be the right one.
Sadie finally got to meet Rosy, one of my best buddies from college, who was deployed to Iraq about a half a year before Sadie was born. After just under a year and a half deployed she is back it was great to see her! Sadie also got to see both Rosy and Michelle jump in the pool fully clothed. It really was that hot!
Now it’s off to get Sadie ready for bed. Maybe we can get that bedtime back to normal! I'll post some of the numerous pictures that we took tomorrow!
Friday, July 17, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
My Alma Mater is a “Catholic College,” or maybe I should say that it has a Catholic name and is run by the Christian Brothers, although there aren’t many Brothers left there. It certainly won’t make it’s way into the Newman Guide for Catholic Education anytime soon, although when I just checked the Cardinal Newman Society’s website it hadn’t done anything to make the front page of the website in the recent past (it had made the front page a few months ago). My husbands current school, University of San Francisco, can’t make the same claim, with it’s current President set on driving it into the ground (I will be relieved when my husband finishes his degree at USF. We’ve realized how important it is to find a truly Catholic University over the course of the past year).
Of course I only had to go to the third page of the news to find this…
(5/1/09) Professor explained to students how she does not believe in marriage
On March 24 the Gay-Straight Alliance of Saint Mary’s College hosted “The Bash,” an event of monologues, musicals and skits promoting the acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle and criticizing California’s Proposition 8, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman. The event featured a presentation of “Prop 8: The Musical,” in which Jesus Christ is mockingly portrayed and the Bible is scoffed at for its prohibitions against homosexuality. One student gave a speech about her “girlfriend,” which culminated in giving “a promise ring to her girlfriend of six months.” Saint Mary’s College professor Cynthia Ganote explained during the event that she does not believe in “marriage because it puts women into stereotypical roles and the institution of marriages does not ‘leave room’ for transgender individuals and homosexuals.” Source: SMC Collegian
It makes me so sad when I see how far many of our Catholic Colleges have strayed from their missions. My husband was fighting to keep his school’s Graduate Theology program not that long ago. While claiming it doesn’t have money for it’s Theology Program, USF expands it’s Business School and provides abortion coverage for it’s faculty and Staff. It’s so disheartening! I wonder sometimes if he should have gone to University of Dallas, or St. Thomas in Houston (they both make it into the guide!) but maybe this current experience is just helping form his character. He’s certainly had to defend his beliefs more thoroughly because of where he is.
Keep our Catholic College and Universities in your prayers! They certainly are in desperate need of it, for many of them have forsaken their Catholic Identity’s without seeming to know what they have given up!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Puddy walks over and sniffs the baby. Sadie holds perfectly still. Maybe this time she senses danger, however if she does it certainly doesn't show in the delight on her little face. Instead she beams at the cat... right up until the moment that Puddy bites her... not hard but still...
After nipping Sadie's hand Pumpkin feels that it would be prudent to move on. Sadie however has other ideas and goes flying after her, adoration showing in her expression. They are such an odd little pair!