Monday, November 30, 2009

Birth Control Pills Hurt our Bodies AND the Environment

I have to say, I'm rather baffled. I know a few of people who are obsessed with buying organic food and living an otherwise "green" lifestyle. And that's great. One of my splurges is organic whole milk, because my skin goes absolutely crazy every time I drink a single glass of non-organic milk. I've also realized that I get a migraine headache every single time I eat tuna. Because what goes into my body effects it! It's a fairly simply concept.

So what I don't understand is how people can be so concerned with the chemicals and hormones they're putting into their bodies through food, and yet they don't give a second thought to the effects of pumping artificial hormones into their systems through birth control pills.

I wrote about it earlier this year and talked a bit about the harmful side effects that many women accept without a second thought. They include increased risks of heart and blood abnormalities, breast cancer (a Swedish study found it was 5x higher in women who used the pill and that they tend to get it at a younger age), cervical cancer and cervical dysplasia, along with higher occurrences of other types of cancers. And that doesn't even get into less life threatening side effects, which include (but aren't limited to) depression, temporary or permanent blindness and temporary or permanent infertility.

Now if life threatening side effects aren't enough to stop you putting artificial hormones into your body you may want to take a look at its effect on the environment. Birth control pills hurt the environment too! And the news isn't new. Most of the studies I found were at least five years old and showed the serious effects that birth control pills are having on fish.

Take a look at this:
"According to the National Catholic Register, EPA-funded scientists at the University of Colorado studied fish in a mountain stream near Boulder, Colo., two years ago.

When they netted 123 trout and other fish downstream from the city's sewer plant, they found 101 were female, 12 were male, and 10 were strange "intersex" fish with male and female features.

It's "the first thing that I've seen as a scientist that really scared me," university biologist John Woodling told the Denver Post.

The main culprits were found to be estrogens and other steroid hormones from birth-control pills and patches that ultimately ended up in the creek after being excreted in urine into the city's sewers.

The Register says Woodling, University of Colorado physiology professor David Norris, and the EPA team were among the first scientists in the U.S. to learn a cocktail of hormones, antibiotics, caffeine and steroids is flowing through the nation's waterways, threatening fish and contaminating drinking water.

"Nobody is getting passionately concerned about it," Norris said. "It makes no sense to me at all that people aren't more concerned."

The problem is not just limited to Boulder. Similar stories have been reported from coast to coast.

In western Washington, experts found synthetic estrogen – commonly found in oral contraceptives – drastically reduces the fertility of male rainbow trout.

Doug Myers, wetlands and habitat specialist for Washington State's Puget Sound Action Team, told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that in frogs, river otters and fish, scientists are "finding the presence of female hormones making the male species less male.""
And then there's this:
"For three years, Canadian scientists have put birth-control pills into a remote Ontario lake to measure this impact. The results: All male fish in the lake - from tiny tadpoles to large trout - were "feminized," meaning they had egg proteins growing abnormally in their bodies.

The experiment was intended to match the impact that the female hormone estrogen may be having on many American bodies of water, as city sewage systems empty waste into them that is contaminated with residue from birth-control pills.

One-third of male Pearl Dace minnows grew eggs in their testes. The entire population of the common Fathead minnow, once numbering in the several thousands, crashed to near zero because the hormone-stoked fish couldn't reproduce."
And it even effects cows.

I think that we don't hear about this issue because it would be inconvenient for all the hyper-feminists who are obsessed with controlling every aspect of their sexuality. They don't seem to understand that controlling nature has repercussions.

Or maybe this is the true litmus test for all the self proclaimed environmentalists out there. Can a person really call themselves an environmentalist when they're pumping poison into the environment on a daily basis? Just a thought.

And one last note: for women who use birth control pills for health reasons I would strongly suggest talking to a knowledgeable doctor about using NFP charting to determine underlying problems for the causes behind problems with reproductive systems. Google NFP, check out the Couple to Couple League or click on the NFP label on the right side of my page for more info.

Stacking Cups and Other Super Fun Games

I've been so exhausted lately that I've been having a tough time staying awake to post on this blog! It's something that I usually do right after Sadie's fallen asleep, right before my bedtime. Lately though, with the first trimester sleepiness, I've found my bedtime slowly creeping earlier and earlier. There is no way I'm going to make it through a television show that starts at 9pm and apparently 8pm is a little too late to start working on my blog without falling asleep on the keyboard. So today I'm starting a little bit earlier.

Sadie discovered the joys of "stacking" yesterday. We don't have any blocks, because every single set of blocks that I found in the stores say that they are for "3 and older" and Sadie thinks that her stacking rings make better bracelets than stackers. Last night though, she pulled out all of the toy measuring cups that came with her kitchen set and started stacking them. She added one of the teacups from her teacup set and thought that it was hilarious.

Grumpa added to the fun by bringing over three plastic milk glasses and the fun multiplied. Sadie was building towers. She would then carefully take each tower apart and try a different combination of cups to see which was the best. She'd frown when the cups fit together too well, because then the towers tended to be shorter and she was thrilled by the yellow cups that don't fit together as well, because they each add a good five inches to a tower.

She also loves to stand her Wonder Pet figurines in the cups and can spend a ridiculous amount of time holding perfectly still moving the Wonder Pets from cup to cup! I don't understand the rules of this particular game, but Sadie seems to think that it's a LOT of fun!

Bishop of the Week: Bishop Alexander Sample of Marquette, Michigan

When I began my Bishop of the Week posts, Bishop Alexander Sample of Marquette was one of the first Bishops that came to mind. Bishop Sample is the perfect example of a Bishop who speaks out against evil and who faithfully fulfills his job as a shepherd of the faithful. He doesn't allow Church teachings in his diocese to be replaced with whatever is politically popular at the moment.

The Bishop was again thrust into the media spotlight this October when he took appropriate steps to keep Bishop Gumbleton from speaking in his diocese. He explained in a letter that can be found on the diocese website, that is definitely worth reading. Here's a highlight:

"As the Bishop of the Diocese of Marquette, I am the chief shepherd and teacher of the Catholic faithful of the Upper Peninsula entrusted to my pastoral care. As such I am charged with the grave responsibility to keep clearly before my people the teachings of the Catholic Church on matters of faith and morals. Given Bishop Gumbleton’s very public position on certain important matters of Catholic teaching, specifically with regard to homosexuality and the ordination of women to the priesthood, it was my judgment that his presence in Marquette would not be helpful to me in fulfilling my responsibility.

I realize that these were not the topics upon which Bishop Gumbleton was planning to speak. However, I was concerned about his well-known and public stature and position on these issues and my inability to keep these matters from coming up in discussion. In order that no one becomes confused, everyone under my pastoral care must receive clear teaching on these important doctrines." (emphasis mine)

It's hardly surprising that those involved who attempted to bring Bishop Gumbleton to Marquette responded in a less than gracious manner to this action claiming that it was a violation of "civil rights." And then there was this rather trashy blog, which accused the Bishop of running a "Catholic gestapo." It's never really popular to do the right thing, especially with our skewed secular culture's way of looking at "right" and "wrong" through morally relativistic lenses.

Thank God that there are still good Bishops in this world who are loyal to the Church's teachings AND willing to stand up for those teachings!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Outfit of the Week

And it's only one day late! Presenting last weeks Outfit of the Week!

I couldn't help myself when I saw this dress! It isn't quite my mother's family's tartan (Robertson) but it was close enough that it reminded me of the beautiful, if very itchy, wool dress that I wore when I was little. I couldn't find my black sweater before I left the house (I was running late!) and the sleeves are a little too slender for my taste (and the skirt is quite literally floor length, which made me trip several times going up stairs!) but I love the dress enough that I overlooked these little flaws and got it a few weeks ago. It is my Christmas splurge (which I guess isn't bad considering that it was something like $24 at Target). It could have been much, much worse! And it's loose enough that it ought to work for a good portion of my pregnancy! I can't ask for more than that!

Sadie's dress, on the other hand, was a bit longer when we started out our day, but she managed to completely destroy the lace, built in slip and so I finally tore it out of the dress (at least it tore straight across, perfectly) so that she wouldn't trip on it a twentieth time. In this picture she is exhausted from watching dancing penguins, a belly dancing hippo and a ballerina elephant (and an actual real horse). With five minutes left in the two hour Christmas show she passed out on my lap and had a ten minute nap before we had to clear out of the theater! What a day!

A Looooooooooooooong Day!

I am not sure how one little, tiny person can go for so long without sleep! We tried out best to do everything right today. We went to a Christmas show (lots of dancing and singing) and the show started at 3pm. Sadie's usual nap time is between 12:30 and 1:30 these days, so we figured she could sleep on the drive in to town. At first it seemed like it might work out perfectly. I fed her lunch and changed her into her beautiful red velvet dress and then nursed her until she was asleep. And then I made the transfer to the car seat.... except that her nap didn't make the transfer. By the time we pulled out of the drive way she was wide away and pointing out every thing that we drove past with a loud "ah" sound (which is the sound she makes when she wants us to look at something she thinks is interesting).

Then she stayed awake.... all the way to the show... which was an hour and a half drive.

The show was in an old theater with beautifully ornate gold and bronze walls. There were lots of kids dressed up in their Christmas best and the theater was filled with chatter. Sadie was reenergized. She sat on my lap (and squirmed, but otherwise did pretty well... she didn't cry at all!) for the entire two hour show (I explained to her before hand that it was going to be like going to Mass, because she knows she's supposed to be quite during Mass). She saw giant dancing penguins, a belly dancing hippo, a line of reindeer, Santa and Mrs. Claus, a ballerina elephant and quite a few other dancers (the show was a mix of costumed dancers that the kids loved and more traditional dance scenes). Sadie would get so excited during the animal numbers that she'd almost start to cry, so I actually liked the traditional numbers a bit more, although the animal costumes were awfully cute.

With less than five minutes left in the show Sadie fell asleep. Disaster!

I waited until the theater had emptied and very carefully carried her down the stairs. After all, we couldn't stay there and we were headed to Grumpa's birthday dinner. It was 5pm and Sadie had not yet had a nap.

The moment I put her into her car seat she was wide awake. She giggled through dinner and then played happily through a quick trip to Target to pick up a few things since we hardly go to town at all these days (I was getting nervous because the happiness had a sort of hysterical edge to it and I sensed she was close to snapping). And snap she did! When we got back in the car she was quiet for a few minutes and then began to cry. Then the screaming started. I tried singing, and I tried reciting one of her favorite books (The Big Red Barn). Nothing worked. I finally started to sing a little song I used to sing to her when she was tiny. She quieted down. Fifty repetitions of the song (it is short, but still, we'd nearly driven through a county!) later she finally put her head to the side and fell asleep. It was 7:30 pm. What a day!

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Visit to See Santa

Poor Sadie! She's been looking forward to seeing Santa since last year. Last year she sat on his lap and smiled for the camera and glowed at everyone! We put the picture of her on his lap on the fridge and she looks at it every day. We had hoped that that might make it a little less scary this year....

Let's just say that it didn't work out exactly as we'd planned. And pictures probably tell the story a little bit better than my words!

But first, here's a picture from last years Santa Visit:

Fast forward to 2009:

She started out happy...

Then started to look a little nervous...

But she was really okay until they got near Santa...

And then the hysterics started...

No picture on Santa's Lap this year...

One Terrified (and Very Silly) Little Bunny...

But at least she got a candy cane!

You Want Me to Sit on Who's Lap?!?!

Poor Sadie! She's been looking forward to seeing Santa since last year. Last year she sat on his lap and smiled for the camera and glowed at everyone! We put the picture of her on his lap on the fridge and she looks at it every day. We had hoped that that might make it a little less scary this year....

Let's just say that it didn't work out exactly as we'd planned. And pictures probably tell the story a little bit better than my words!

She started out happy...

Then started to look a little nervous...

But she was really okay until they got near Santa...

And then the hysterics started...

No picture on Santa's Lap this year...

One Terrified (and Very Silly) Little Bunny...

But at least she got a candy cane!

Women Religious Claim Vatican Investigation is a "Cycle of Violence"

Some people are professional victims. They go through life seeking to turn any conversation or event into attack. They may frequently accuse every single person they come across as being "violent" or "abusive" and they play the victim in a way that might actually be convincing to people who don't know them very well. The saddest part of this reality is that they actually believe the lies that they tell themselves and shuffle through life as dreary, self made victims, feeling sorry for themselves.

I've watched a family member struggle with this sort of illness, for it really seems to be an illness, and have seen how this sort of anger can eat away at a person until they are paranoid and hardly sane. As I read through one of my favorite blogs, Hanc Aquam, and then clicked over to see the news story Father Philip had linked to at NCR Online I seriously began to wonder how many women in the leadership of the LCWR have this sort of complex. The paranoia in the women who commented to NCR was apparent to anyone who isn't a Vatican Conspiracy Theorist.

Here are some of the responses to the voluntary visitation of the women religious in our country:
"This was a grassroots response. It was not organized. It came out of a widespread sense that the Vatican action was an unjust affront to women religious."
So a voluntary investigation is an "unjust affront to women religious?" I thought it was especially interesting that, after hearing so much about how horrible the retirement conditions are for these women, they are deeply offended that the Vatican is inquiring about their retirements. You can't really complain that the Vatican isn't doing anything to help, when you won't hand over the information about what's going on!
"All along, said one woman religious, the challenge has been to respond to the Vatican in a way that breaks a cycle of violence. She said that the women religious communities have attempted to respond by using a language "devoid of the violence" they found in the Vatican questionnaire and within the wider study. She characterized the congregation responses as "creative and affirming," and part of an effort to set a positive example in "nonviolent resistance."
"On the one hand we didn't want to roll over and play dead," she said. "So the question was, "How do you step outside a violent framework and do something new?' That was the challenge that emerged." One congregation, she said, cited a U.S. bishops' statement concerning domestic abuse in its response letter to Millea. "The point is, there have to be more than two choices: Take the abuse and offer it up, or kill the abuser.""
I have to say that as a woman who had a boyfriend during my teen years pick up a two by four and slam me across the back with it, I find this statement and the comparison of women religious with abuse victims to be offensive. My feelings are somewhat dulled by the decade that has passed between that incident and the present time. A voluntary investigation by the Vatican is hardly "violence." These women claim in the interviews to be out in the world and ghettos living out the spirit of Vatican II, but they really seem to living in a fantasy world that is completely out of touch with reality if they think that words and investigations are equatable to domestic abuse. I can't help but feel sorry for them and will offer up prayers that God will grant guidance to them and heal the anger that they very obviously feel towards the Church they claim to love.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

My mom and I got lots of cooking done yesterday, so this years Thanksgiving should be pretty relaxing. Now I've just got to go downstairs and get the turkey ready. Here's a look at last years Thanksgiving. It's fun to think that next year at this time we'll have a little one that's just about that age!


A Present? For Me?!?!

Thanksgiving Toys from Nani and Grumpa!

Sadie's first meal of rice cereal!

Sadie's Second Football Game

Sadie got to go to her second high school football game tonight and she made it all the way through halftime before we went home. She would have made it longer, but between the morning sickness and the cold I wasn't feeling great and we decided to call it a night. Sadie may have been a little disappointed! She was excited to drive home with the moon roof open on the car though so that she could see the moon. It's been so foggy around here at nights that the moon has rings around it and while Sadie's already pretty obsessed with the moon as it is, the rings make it even better.

Sadie had an appointment down at the Health Department today, where we got our H1N1 vaccines and they weighed her and checked her height again. She's still 30 lbs (the same weight she was at her 1 year appointment but now she's 31.6 inches (we think she is at least, she could be taller, because she was not thrilled about the measurements and fought tooth and nail to get off the measuring machine). The people at the Health Department are so nice and I'm definitely going to think about taking Sadie and the baby there for future vaccines (which would save a ton too). Now it's time to get a little sleep before the baby bunny wakes up again!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Head Covering of the Week

This hat has been with me for a long time, and while it may not be the prettiest headcovering in the world it is definitely one of the most snuggly warm and practical in cold weather. It's made of very thick yarn and I used to wear it during my lifeguarding days when it was freezing outside and the pool, for some reason was still open (with no one there I got a lot of reading done for classes and who can argue with sitting around for six hours getting paid to read while waiting to see if anyone will show up?). I had a number of friends tell me it was the ugliest hat they'd ever seen, but it's blue, it matches a lot of my dresses and I love it! So here is my Head Covering of the Week, my not so pretty, sensible knit cap!

A Silly Daddy and a Fun Walk

Sadie thinks that Daddy is pretty hilarious. He does an amazing impression of cookie monster (and we don't watch Sesame Street but we have some Sesame Street books and Paul was doing the voices and Sadie was practically falling over from laughing so hard). Even better he was wearing a fire shirt today (from one of the summer forest fires that pop up near our house on a nearly yearly basis) and Sadie loves to look at the tractors and fire trucks that are on the back of the shirt. Which is what I think she was doing when she started hiding from Paul, behind his back. She would giggle for a second and then run around on his left side and squeal and put her face right next to his to make sure he'd seen her and then she'd sprint back around his back and dive across in front of the other side, landing in a pile between his leg and my leg since I was sitting right next to them. She did this about twenty times, laughing uncontrollably the entire time. I think she's definitely feeling better today! I'm also hopeful that she might sleep fairly well (only 3 night wakings?) tonight.

Sadie also walked an entire mile today outside! Our walks take a bit of extra time, because while Sadie practically runs when she's moving, she also has to stop and pick up every pretty rock and leaf that she spots. And right now there are a lot of pretty leafs on the ground. There is one particularly rocky patch of earth that we actually have to carry her over, otherwise our walks would be at least a half hour longer. After she picks up a rock or leaf she hands it to one of us to carry for her. Our walks take a lot of extra time these days!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Father Thomas Reese Gives a Great Example of an Idiotic Statement

If only it were Friday, my Idiot of the Week day... Quite a few people are vying for the title this week, although I have to say I'm always surprised when the candidate is an actual priest.
“It's important to make a distinction between people who are pro abortion and people who are pro choice.”
This amazing quote came from Father Thomas Reese, a Jesuit Priest, while debating Father Mitch Pacwa on prime time news. Father Reese came up with this stellar statement while attempting to explain why pro-abortion politicians should be allowed to receive communion.

I've done a number of posts on that issue and my opinion on it is pretty clear (as is the Canon Law that allows it). So I'll stick to the quote today.

Father Reese believes that there's an important distinction between the titles "pro abortion" and "pro choice." Are the babies that are murdered as a result of the votes cast by "pro choice" politicians any less dead?

Maybe we should all just use the term "pro death." It seems just a little more honest and less confusing than "pro choice." After all, the terminology did manage to confuse Father Reese into thinking that murdering someone as a matter of "choice" is somehow less evil.

The Manhattan Declaration

I've been putting a lot of Sadie Frowns on here lately and when I saw this document this morning I knew instantly that it deserves a Sadie Smile. The Manhattan Declaration was put together by Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical Christians and is absolutely amazing. It is long, but it's worth it to read the entire thing. Here is one of my favorite sections, although the whole document is amazing:

"While the whole scope of Christian moral concern, including a special concern for the poor and vulnerable, claims our attention, we are especially troubled that in our nation today the lives of the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly are severely threatened; that the institution of marriage, already buffeted by promiscuity, infidelity and divorce, is in jeopardy of being redefined to accommodate fashionable ideologies; that freedom of religion and the rights of conscience are gravely jeopardized by those who would use the instruments of coercion to compel persons of faith to compromise their deepest convictions.

Because the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as a union of husband and wife, and the freedom of conscience and religion are foundational principles of justice and the common good, we are compelled by our Christian faith to speak and act in their defense. In this declaration we affirm: 1) the profound, inherent, and equal dignity of every human being as a creature fashioned in the very image of God, possessing inherent rights of equal dignity and life; 2) marriage as a conjugal union of man and woman, ordained by God from the creation, and historically understood by believers and non-believers alike, to be the most basic institution in society and; 3) religious liberty, which is grounded in the character of God, the example of Christ, and the inherent freedom and dignity of human beings created in the divine image.

We are Christians who have joined together across historic lines of ecclesial differences to affirm our right - and, more importantly, to embrace our obligation - to speak and act in defense of these truths. We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence. It is our duty to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in its fullness, both in season and out of season. May God help us not to fail in that duty."
If you feel strongly about these issues and agree with the document click over and add your signature!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Baby Bull

Sadie and I are sick today. We're hoping tomorrow will be better but if it's not I think we'll make an appointment at the clinic because it hurts to swallow and has for a couple of days. I was hoping it was just because the hotel air was so dry with the air conditioning, but I'm afraid that was just denial. We have caught a bug. And it is a sore throat type of bug. At least we know we have already had the H1N1 vaccine. That does make me feel a little bit better (actually it makes me feel a lot better).

Sadie did have a lot of fun acting like a little bull yesterday. She got the idea from playing with one of her cousins with his sweatshirt and now whenever she sees someone take off their sweater or sweatshirt she starts to giggle hysterically. She'll head for it full speed like a bull running after a matadors cape, giggling non-stop and closing her eyes when she runs by. We have to stop her from running into furniture constantly, because she gets so excited. The first time she did it to Nani, Nani wasn't sure what she was doing and was just trying to put her sweatshirt away and Sadie kept trying to pull it down with her hands while shrieking and running circles around Nani trying to run past her shirt.

Speaking of running in circles, that is another favorite Sadie event. She thinks that it's hilarious to run around in circles until she falls down. And she's been trying to do somersaults (no idea where she got the idea for this and I don't like it because she's so little it looks like she's hurting herself, but she puts her head down like she's going to flip over and giggles). She just never stops moving!

Pro-Choice Catholic Politicians Who'll Do ANYTHING to Get Elected

I ran across this quote in the article Kennedy dispute reveals divide among Catholics on this morning. "Church Observer" and author Michael Sean Winters was again referenced as an apparent "authority" on the matter:
"Michael Sean Winters, author of "Left At The Altar: How the Democrats Lost the Catholics and How the Catholics Can Save the Democrats," said he found the public dispute unseemly, even though he opposes abortion and thinks Kennedy is wrong. He said bishops are not making appropriate distinctions when penalizing people over abortion.

There's "a difference between being an abortion doctor, procuring an abortion for yourself or your spouse and saying, 'I don't think abortion should be illegal,'" he said."

What Mr. Winters doesn't seem to understand is that while there is a difference between having an abortion, being an abortion doctor and saying "I don't think abortion should be illegal" there is yet another category to add to this list. It is the category of "politician fighting to make sure unborn children can still be torn piece by piece from their mother's womb." The Church doesn't go out looking for people who say "I don't think abortion should be illegal" to bar from the communion line but if you're a Catholic politician who has chosen to be in the public eye, advocating abortion, you have freely placed yourself in a scandalous position. More than that you are working to ensure that more women can kill more children. Because of their influence in lawmaking and policy that means that Catholic politicians who support abortion are responsible for the deaths of the children that their policies allow to be murdered.
The article quotes another politician, former Democratic New York Gov. Mario Cuomo as saying: "If you're required (by the church) to make everybody follow your Catholic role, then nobody would vote for Catholics because it's clear that when you get the authority, you're going to be guided by your faith."

Mr. Cuomo also seems to be missing the point. Abortion isn't simply a "Catholic role." It's a matter of life and death. And recent polls have shown that the majority of Americans recognize that abortion is wrong. However the quote also makes it pretty clear that, like many politicians, Mr. Cuomo can separate moral issues from political expediency in order to get elected, although it doesn't seem that it helped him stay in the public eye.

What many "pro-choice Catholic politicians" don't seem to understand is that abortion isn't simply a Catholic issue. It's a very cut and dry matter of morality. Murder, that is the taking of an innocent life, is wrong. Even country and religion in the world recognizes this. The idea that a life is not a life simply because the child has not taken it's first breath is absurd.

Representative Kennedy Lies About Order from Bishop Tobin

When I showed my husband my "Bishop of the Week" post yesterday he scanned the article and then wondered aloud at the timing. Many democrats are very upset about the influence the Bishops have had in blocking federal abortion funding these past few weeks. Was this simply a ploy by Kennedy to attempt to make the Bishop look bad in the press?

It seems that it was.

Today it was released that the letter from Bishop Tobin to Representative Kennedy, requesting that he refrain from receiving the Eucharist, was written in 2007. Why is Kennedy suddenly bringing up (and twisting) a letter that was written nearly three years ago? Because it's politically expedient. Representative Kennedy would do whatever he can to make the Catholic Church look bad, because he (very publicly) disagrees with the Church's teachings. His statements this week are quite simply a continuation of his earlier attacks on the Church. Here's the latest from the AP:

Providence bishop disputes Kennedy’s take on Communion message
By John E. Mulligan

Journal Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Providence Bishop Thomas J. Tobin on Sunday disputed key details of Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy’s account of their 2007 communication about whether the congressman should take Communion, given his support for abortion rights.

The leader of Rhode Island’s Catholics criticized the timing of Kennedy’s decision to publicize what the bishop called a private, “pastoral” message. He termed “absolutely inaccurate” Kennedy’s assertion that the bishop had instructed the priests of Rhode Island not to give him Communion.

“If I had told 300 priests of the diocese in any format not to give Communion to Kennedy or anybody else, you think that would have remained confidential?” Bishop Tobin asked.

Bishop Tobin spoke in an interview after Kennedy’s assertion in The Providence Sunday Journal that the “bishop instructed me not to take Communion and said that he has instructed the diocesan priests not to give me Communion.”

“If he took it as an instruction, so be it, but it was really a request,” Bishop Tobin said upon releasing excerpts of a Feb. 21, 2007, letter to the Rhode Island Democrat. The bishop said he felt he had to comment on the letter because Kennedy had chosen to “break it open.”

“My correspondence with him was nearly three years ago — and I think it’s important to stress that — [and] was intended to be personal and confidential and pastoral,” the bishop said. “It was never intended for the public domain.”

Read Entire Story Here.

Can we really be surprised that Kennedy is doing something slimy and twisting the truth for his own ends?

I'm not. This is a man who regularly defends the killing of unborn children. Anyone who defends wholesale murder on a daily basis is likely to have no problem lying to make himself look good.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Outfit of the Week

This weeks Outfit of the Week comes a day late because the battery in my camera was dead and Sadie went into a full out fuss when she thought I was going to put her down to try and find the charger (it was right around bedtime). Putting this outfit together last week showed me that finding appropriate clothing for a memorial service isn't all that easy sometimes.

The challenge was pretty typical. Every dress that I found was either too short or too low cut (or strapless). I finally compromised and layered (that always seems to be the solution these days). I found a cable knit sweater "dress" at Old Navy and fell in love. It wasn't long enough to wear as a dress (in my humble opinion) but I began searching for the second half of my outfit. I found it in the clearance section. A long, strapless black sport knit dress left over from summer. I tried on the small (they only had a small and a XL) and amazingly it fit perfectly (I am not a small these days, for the record). I put the dress over it and was perfectly covered. My black snood didn't make it in time, but I did put in the order at the last minute. Hopefully it will arrive soon.

I was a little surprised to see pretty much everyone at the Memorial Service for my grandmother dressed like they were going to a picnic. It was on a boat, so I expected people to be bundled up (I wore tights and a jacket and was a little too warm once the sea sickness set in) but I didn't expect such casual attire (and my immediate family was the one who handled the plans so I know there weren't instructions to "dress casually"). I believe it was even more casual than the status quo at most Masses these days. Maybe I'm just old fashioned (okay, I know, I am) but I find that odd. And I was the ONLY person who wore black (my immediate family wore dark grey and Paul wore black pants, but everyone else was colorful, again, like they were going to a picnic). It's just strange to me!

We're Home!

It's good to be home! I expected to be able to post here while we were down south, but the hotel charged $9.99 a day for internet access and that was a bit steep for me these days! While I was very tempted I just couldn't justify it and so my blog and email got put on hold.

Sadie had an amazing time on our trip. She was excited to meet more of her cousins and second cousins. My sisters kids, ages 16, 15, 13 and 10 were there and my cousins three younger kids were there too (the youngest is 2 and a half and Sadie was thrilled to have someone her size around). And I took a ton of pictures, which you'll be seeing here over the course of the next few weeks.

We did discover on the trip that Sadie is most definitely the most sea worthy member of our family. Both Mommy and Daddy got very sick on the boat. There were 9 foot swells and it was pretty bumpy. We were all okay until they killed the boats engine for the memorial part of the service and then the bumpiness got to be a little bit too much. Sadie is the only one who has a chance of being a sailor in this family.

Sadie was relieved to see that all her toys were still her when we got home. She always seems to worry that they'll disappear when we're away and has to check every one when we get back (even when it's just a day trip shopping). Now it's time for sleep! Sadie has been bouncing off the walls all day and I'm worn out!

Bishop of the Week: Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence

There have been several Bishops in the news that I've wanted to feature in this section this week, but an article I spotted on the yahoo news section helped me make my decision as I clicked over to see what the Associated Press had to say about Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence Rhode Island. Here are a few highlights:

"Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin has banned Rep. Patrick Kennedy from receiving Communion, the central sacrament of the church, in Rhode Island because of the congressman's support for abortion rights, Kennedy said in a newspaper interview published Sunday. The decision by the outspoken prelate, reported on The Providence Journal's Web site, significantly escalates a bitter dispute between Tobin, an ultra orthodox bishop, and Kennedy, a son of the nation's most famous Roman Catholic family."

It seems these days that standing up for key Church teachings that are quite literally matters of life and death make the good Bishop "ultra orthodox."

The article goes on to say that while Bishop Tobin is in compliance with Church Law in his decision, a "church observer" and author Michael Sean Winters states that:
"It's really bad theology. You're turning the altar rail into a battle field, a political battlefield no less, and it does a disservice to the Eucharist."

Really Mr. Winters? I would say that allowing prominent politicians that lead others into sin and encourage murder would be a "greater disservice" to the Eucharist. Representative Kennedy is fighting, quite publicly, to allow women to kill their unborn child. He is working to preserve the "right" of women to commit an incredibly grave sin. The entire world can see that there is no way he is fit to receive the Eucharist and I am personally grateful that there are still bishops out there who have the courage to stand up and do what is right.

I should add that the article does state that the Bishop's office will not confirm the order but does say that the Bishop has not discussed the matter of public officials receiving communion with pastors of the diocese as Kennedy claims.

Kennedy's response earlier in his argument with Tobin included this statement:

"While I greatly respect the Catholic Church and its leaders, like many Rhode Islanders, the fact that I disagree with the hierarchy of the church on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic. I embrace my faith which acknowledges the existence of an imperfect humanity."

This portion of Bishop Tobin's response, which was plucked out by the AP for the article sums up a part of the response pretty well:
"Sorry, you can't chalk it up to an 'imperfect humanity.' Your position is unacceptable to the Church and scandalous to many of our members. It absolutely diminishes your Communion with the Church."

Read the entire letter here. Or learn more about the Bishop at the diocese website.

Thank heaven that we have good bishops like Bishop Tobin standing up for the rights of the unborn in this country!

Update: The letter that Representative Kennedy was talking about was sent in 2007 (funny he brings it up now when so many reporters are slamming the bishops for standing up about abortion not being a part of federally funded health care) and did not demand that he stop receiving communion but merely requested that he not receive it. To read a less biased account than much of what's being written these days, click here.

I'm still glad there are bishops who don't remain silent about this and who let their views be known!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Home At Last!

Home at last! And it is cold! Sadie and I are cuddled up in the bed because it was 42 degrees inside the cabin when we got here. It's finally warm enough to put my hands out of the covers to type, but only just barely. I would estimate it's in the fifties now. Sadie is toasty warm, bundled under the sheet, blanket, quilt and then an additional three fleece throws, but I have always been a wimp when it comes to cold and I am still chilly (I used to wear sweats and a sweatshirt when I was lifeguarding and it was in the nineties).

I was planning on blogging this entire week, but when we arrived at the hotel I was unpleasantly surprised to find that they were charging $9.99 a day for internet access. While I was actually tempted several times to insert my credit card number in the little spot that kept coming up when I'd check to see if there was, by some wonderful development, free internet, I ended up being too tired to actually do it, which saved us at least $30. Now I have some catching up to do! I have a few fun, busy days coming up responding to comments and catching up on the blogs and forums during nap time.

Sadie, in an amazing feat of endurance stayed awake for seven of the eight hours that it took to drive home from the memorial service. She didn't cry at all, but was relieved when we finally got home and ran around Nani and Grumpa's house checking on her toys to make sure that they were all still there.

Time to get some sleep! It's so good to be home, even when home is as cold as an icicle!

And since I've started typing it is starting to get warm in here! Apparently the space heater works as something other than a door stop.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Head Covering of the Week

Now that fall is upon us I've put away this hat until the sunny weather returns. It was however, the covering that really helped me get comfortable covering during Mass. I wore this hat for most of the spring (we sit in the back on Sunday's so that we can stand with Sadie if she's fussy, which means that I'm not blocking anyone's view) and for some reason I didn't feel like it stood out as much as a veil. That's kind of strange when I look at it in pictures, because it's so much bigger than a veil! Regardless of the reason, when I wear veils, snoods and scarfs these days I feel much more comfortable. And that makes this one of my favorite hats (and it was on sale at Target!).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Busy Days: Pregnancy, Morning Sickness and a Memorial Service

We've had a busy couple of days and, which have been added to by that first trimester pregnancy sleepiness that seems to hit several times a day. I dreamily look back on my pregnancy with Sadie and remember the long naps I was able to take. Back in those days I was a sports writer for our local news paper, which meant, apart from attending games, I had a very flexible schedule (that usually involved writing at the last minute on Sunday night to meet my deadline). I slept late. I took a lot of naps. And I wondered how mom's who already had kids dealt with the tiredness.

Now I know. They ignore it. A couple of times I've laid down in the middle of Sadie's play area when I've felt really sleepy and closed my eyes. Sadie takes these little, almost naps, as a personal challenge. She decides that Mommy will be the horse and she will be the rider and she jumps on my back and starts bouncing up and down (Let me say that she is not a small little girl... Yesterday she stepped on and off the scale in the bathroom twice and held still. The same weight came up twice. Sadie is weighing in at not quite seventeen months old, at 39 lbs. She's a string bean, but she's very, very tall. Taking after Daddy it seems). Or she comes around and stands directly above my head and stares down at me. I usually get a "danger" feeling when this happens and open my eyes just in time (her balance isn't great yet). It's funny how she can be playing on her own for a half hour, but if I lay down her Mommy sensor goes off and she needs me!

So the answer to my question, what do Mommies do about the first trimester tiredness when they already have one? They ignore it and keep going! I also focus on the fact that bedtime really isn't too far away (after nap time I only have seven hours until I can climb into bed!).

I am doing much better with the morning sickness this time around. When I was pregnant with Sadie I really think that I inadvertently made it much, much worse than it had to be. You see, I found out that I was pregnant with Sadie the night before we left for a pilgrimage to Israel. The flight over and Israeli airline's security checks would have been stressful enough without the morning sickness and then we were off and running with a tour group that had breakfast at 6am and lunch at 2pm with no time for snacks in between. I was hardly able to force myself to eat during most of the trip and stumbled around grouchily.

This time I've learned that if I eat every two hours on the dot I'll only be sick for about fifteen minutes in the morning (instead of all day and all night). So far it's working. I start the day with a couple ginger cookies just to settle my stomach. Within half an hour I'm usually hungry enough to eat breakfast and I feel well enough to do it. If I forget to eat in the next two hours I'll start to feel the sickness coming back, so we've stocked up on snacks and it's working amazingly well. I'm not sure if eating super frequently would have made the nausea better last time around, but it definitely would have been worth a try for anyone dealing with it. Morning sickness is not fun! I feel so grateful this time that I'm able to control it (so far) for the most part!

Right now we're traveling down the state to carry out my grandmother's last wishes. She passed away last summer, after a long battle with Alzheimer's, and the whole family is coming together to celebrate her life on what would have been her 89th birthday on Thursday. She grew up on the ranch that is now Point Lobos State Park and loved the area. I'm so glad that she got to know Sadie. She would always light up when Sadie came into the room. Sadie was named after her grandmother and we think that she may have recognized the name, since she was so clear on the names from her youth.

... Now the true test of my morning sickness cure will be the four hour boat ride that is part of the service.

It's time to get a little bit of sleep before we hop back in the car in the morning and keep driving. Less than two hours until we get to the coast.

A Long Day of Driving

I just have time for a quick post. I'm so sleepy these days that my new bedtime seems to be 8:00 and it's almost half past eight right now. Sadie is finally asleep, she had a tough time drifting off and seemed preoccupied with where each of her stuffed animals was, probably because we're in a hotel room.

We left the house at half past nine this morning and headed south. We're headed to Point Lobos for my grandmother's memorial service on Thursday and decided to take the long drive down in two parts for Sadie's sake. Sadie managed to stay awake for the first three hours and after a gleeful lunch at KFC (gleeful because there was a pack of feral cats outside the window) she got back in her car seat and fell asleep, just before we got to the gas station we'd planned on stopping at. After quietly getting gas we were back on the road...

Less than an hour later, Sadie was awake. I don't know why, but she's only taking one very short nap these days (please don't tell me she's outgrowing them and that our napping days are drawing to a close!). We had made it to Stockton by then, but we were hoping to get even I pulled out Grumpa's portable DVD player and popped in a Wonder Pets DVD. Bingo. Sadie's eyes were glued on the tiny screen. She sat silently for the next sixty miles and probably could have made it all the way to the ocean. Instead we stopped for the night in the Central Valley. Tomorrow we'll head over to the coast. We should get there pretty early! We're only an hour and a half away right now.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Not So Awful Day (Unless You Ask Sadie)

From Sadie's Point of View:

Today was a pretty fun day, but then Mommy had to go and spoil it with a trip into town tonight. I thought that the trip into town was going to be fun. Mommy let me bring Ming Ming, the Wonder Pet duck that says "this is serious" and I sat in the back in my big girl seat and tried to kick the back of Nani's seat, which doesn't work because when she drives the seat is further forward than when Grumpa drives. I can always give Grumpa's seat a good kick to make him say "who's kicking my seat!"

We got to a building that I recognized and it seemed like we were going to have some fun. There were a lot of people there and most of those people had kids with them. I knew exactly where all the toys are in this place, so I headed over to the table with all the toys and showed a little blonde boy how they worked. He just watched me though. Mommy was standing in a line, but Nani came over and helped me play and kept me from making the little boy cry by taking the toys in front of him (he was older than me! but I was quite a bit bigger). More and more people kept coming into the room and standing in the line and pretty soon it was filled all the way to the door! Then a door at the other end opened and Nani said we had to go and she took me over to stand by Mommy.

This is where things get bad. All the sudden I heard it. Kids crying. Babies crying. Then the big boy in front of me started panicking and screaming. I started wondering where Mommy had brought me! What did these kids know that I didn't know! I was rightfully concerned. We finally get to the front of the line and Mommy, who is usually pretty smart, looks at me and says the craziest thing. She says "okay Sadie, now watch Mommy, she's going to get a shot." And that's when I realize why we're here. Mommy smiles while she gets her shot and then tries to roll up my pant leg and I realize she thinks I'm going to get a shot too! So I start to scream to let her and everyone else know that she's crazy. And they give me the shot anyway!

To make matters worse after dinner (which was mac and cheese, which almost made up for the whole shot debacle) Mommy announced that tonight we're going to wash my hair! She knows I hate washing my hair! Tomorrow is definitely going to be better though! There's no way Mommy could top taking me to get a shot and washing my hair in one day, EVER!

Bishop of the Week: Bishop Juan Antonio Martinez Camino of Madrid

I've been thinking about adding a new weekly post to my blog to offset my "Idiot of the Week" posts, which take a look at the Anti-Catholic public personalities in our country (I think I can find enough of gems in that category to write a years worth of post in an afternoon). Since I've started reading many of the Catholic news sites and quite a few blogs I've been impressed with the stories I've read about many of the amazing Bishops in the Catholic Church. And since it's the Year of the Priest I've decided a "Bishop of the Week" would be appropriate. I already have several in mind for the next few weeks and the first Woman's Place Bishop of the Week will be... Auxiliary Bishop Juan Antonio Martinez Camino!

Bishop Martinez Camino is standing up to those politician's in Spain who support the slaughter of unborn children. Anyone interested in the Canon Law side of his statement that pro-death lawmakers should be kept from receiving the Eucharist may be interested in Dr. Edward Peters' explanation of just how the Eucharist can be denied to pro-abortion Catholic politicians. It's always refreshing to see strong leaders who stand up for the unborn! The Bishop also spoke out earlier in the month against the EU Court decision banning crucifixes from classrooms in Italy.

And that's what makes Bishop Martinez Camino this week's Bishop of the Week!

MADRID, November 13, 2009 ( - The secretary general of the Spanish bishops' conference, Auxiliary Bishop Juan Antonio Martinez Camino of Madrid, warned that Spanish Catholic legislators who vote in favor of a bill to liberalize abortion which is currently before parliament would publicly place themselves in an "objective state of sin" and therefore may not receive Communion.

"Excommunication is provided in the Code of Canon Law for those who cooperate actively in the practice of abortion," Bishop Martinez Camino stated in an AFP report.

He said Catholics cannot support the legalization of abortion and if they do "they will objectively find themselves in a public state of sin and may not be admitted to Holy Communion."

While "the Church cannot judge their subjectivity," he added, those who "directly collaborate" in or promote abortion incur excommunication.

Read Entire Story Here.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Top Obama Advisor Says President Will Have Abortion Funding Ban Removed from Bill

As if the Patriot's loss to the Colt's didn't give Sadie more than enough reason to frown, I opened my computer, nearly asleep myself after she drifted off and saw this article:
Washington, DC ( --"Top Obama advisor David Axelrod on Sunday confirmed what pro-life advocates already suspected would happen. He said President Barack Obama will work with congressional Democrats to remove the abortion funding ban the House approved in its version of the government-run health care bill.

Axelrod says that, because the Stupak amendment allegedly goes beyond the status quo under the Hyde amendment (which bans abortion funding under Medicaid), Obama will make sure the amendment is yanked during the conference committee.

That's the part of the legislative process that will occur if and when the Senate approves its own health care bill, which will likely start debate with abortion funding.

"The president has said repeatedly, and he said in his speech to Congress, that he doesn't believe that this bill should change the status quo as it relates to the issue of abortion," Axelrod said today on CNN's State of the Union program.

"This shouldn't be a debate about abortion. And he's going to work with Senate and the House to try and ensure that at the end of the day, the status quo is not changed," he added. "I believe that there are discussions ongoing to how to adjust it accordingly."

Axelrod said that an agreement with ruling Democrats in Congress to remove the ban on taxpayer funding of abortions "can and will be worked through before it reaches his desk."

Axelrod's comments come after Obama's own remarks which made it appear he would favor removing or weakening the Stupak amendment."

Read full story here.
This just goes to show that even when it seems as though we're gaining ground, we can't stop fighting for a moment. There is truly great evil in this world and it is intent on normalizing the idea that killing one's own children is absolutely acceptable. And they'd like to make sure that we all take part in the slaughter when we pay our taxes (it already happens in California, I know that for sure... I can't say about other states).

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sadie brought Robbie into the pillow house today for a ride. She doesn’t seem to realize that stacking pillows and putting a giant rubber horse on top of them, with the intent of riding him, could be a potential danger. She just knows that it’s a little more bouncy. I had to stage a rescue after she face planted, on purpose, into the pillows and was pinned by Robbie (and the fact that she’d gotten her arms behind her). I really hope she would have been able to get out on her own, but she seemed pretty stuck!

Sadie also got to see Taylor, the little deer that was born the same month as she was, hanging out on the lawn between our cabin and Nani and Grumpa’s house. He has certainly grown. He has little spikes now and you can recognize him by his fluffy white nose. Sadie stood at the window and watched him for at least ten minutes, hardly moving a muscle. His older brother, Tucker, has been spotted around too, and made it through hunting season safe and sound, now that he’s got forked antlers.

And in super happy news: The whole family now has health insurance! Yay! What a blessing!

And here's a Sadie Flash Back Picture!

Sadie Frowns

During nap time today I was looking through some old Sadie pictures and I found some brand new Sadie Frowns. Here's a preview of what will be in the Sadie Frown Line-Up in the coming months.

It's like she knew the Patriots were about to lose...

No More Easter Pictures!


I Can't Bend My Knees in These Pants Mom!!!

A Post Dinner Frown