Saturday, October 31, 2009

Outfit of the Week

It's Saturday again, and that means it's time for another Outfit of the Week. This dress is from Target and it is one of my favorites. It's long, it stays in place and it usually doesn't have static cling issues, although there was an incident last week, but I think the problem was with the socks I was wearing, not the dress. I must say that severe static cling around just your ankles can make any dress look absolutely ridiculous!

Nap time has just ended, so it's time to get my little angel dressed in her little angel costume!

Really Really Scary All Hallow's Eve Post!

The baby is taking her midday nap and I feel the urge to write a quick "scary" post for All Hallow's Eve. And I think this one definitely needs a Sadie Frown (maybe I'll make that a label now so they're easier to find!). I couldn't think of anything scarier than this article, written by Donna O'Connor-Hunnisett, O.C.D.S. and posted on Catholic Insight.com. O'Connor-Hunnisett attended the first two Women's Ordination Worldwide Conferences and offers unique insight.


"The event was held at University of Dublin, and the sight of a Crucifix, holy picture or statue that would usually identify a conference held in the Catholic tradition, was missing; instead there were four dominant altars to the elements of nature: earth, water, fire, and air. There was also a large linen-covered table with a display of loaves of bread, sheaves of wheat and grapes.

Approximately 300 people attended the conference, most of whom were older women. The largest group came from North America, many from the U.K. and Western Europe. The handful of men who attended were ex-priests, plus a few husbands of delegates. Sadly, there were also two priests in good standing with the diocese who took an active part in the liturgy and events of the conference. We were identifiable as orthodox Catholics, wearing small gold papal keys and pro-life lapel pins. This resulted in angry challenges from some participants, and media interest.
The conference was opened with a welcome hopping dance. The participants linked arms and danced in a chain around the hall chanting, "Earth my body, water my blood, fire my spirit.." This went on for some time before the talks began. During the two days of the conference, we sat through one speaker after another seriously distorting the teachings and doctrine of the Church and her history, and expressing anger and sometimes hatred toward the Pope and cardinals, especially Cardinal Ratzinger. We did not engage in their discussions however - until one of the speakers, John Wijngaards, a former priest and "theologian" from the Netherlands, and a frequent contributor to the London Tablet, stated that the Pope was a dictator worse than Hitler because Hitler only killed the body. When a statement of that nature is made against the Holy Father, silence on our part would have implied consent. When asked to retract his statement, he reluctantly did so, and that retraction was recorded on the conference tapes that were distributed.

The conference liturgy was dominated by New Age and occult practices; many of the delegates wore purple stoles, and some were dressed in full priests' vestments. The most disturbing liturgical practice took place on the Sunday before the conference closed. It was listed as a "eucharist." Our group left the area and returned just as they were finishing this celebration. The room was filled with incense, drums were beating, and each of the participants held an earthenware chalice and paten with the bread that had been displayed on the table, and the grape juice that had been used in the ritual. The two dissident priests from the diocese had taken part in the ceremony."


To read more and read about the second conference click here.
I warned you that it was scary! Sorry about any nightmares you may have of middle aged women doing hopping dances while chanting!"

All Hallows Eve: The Debate and A Great Article

The Halloween debate certainly can get nasty! Until I became a mom I'm not sure I really realized how passionate mom's were about certain issues (I mean other than abortion and the other hot-button topics that much of the country gets riled up over). There's the decision over whether or not to breastfeed and there's the decision over whether or not to nurse. Oh, and then there's the decision over whether or not to let your little ones dress up for Halloween.

I read a book a while back and I liked the author's description of what her family did for Halloween. They dress up as Saint's or Biblical Characters. When I said that that was the plan we were sticking with on one of the forums I was told by one person that the idea was "ridiculous" because it was contrary to the very basis of Halloween (or something like that). I asked him (or her to be fair) to elaborate but they decided not to. Maybe because they had no idea what they were actually talking about.

Thankfully we have people like Deacon Keith Fournier who do know what they're talking about. I was thrilled to see the title of this article and I have cut and pasted a few of my favorite parts, but I would strongly recommend heading over to Catholic Online and reading the whole thing yourself!
"A report out of Rome bore this headline “Vatican condemns Halloween as anti-Christian.” However, a further read of the original source upon which the Telegraph reporter based his article in L’Observatore Romano, revealed a very different headline. The article in the Vatican paper was entitled 'The Dangerous Messages of Halloween.' The priest interviewed for the story warned that the celebration has sometimes been hijacked by occultism and encouraged parents to 'to be aware of this and try to direct the meaning of the feast towards wholesomeness and beauty rather than terror, fear and death.' Good, sound advice for all of us.

“Halloween” comes from “All Hallows Eve”, the Christian Vigil of the celebration of the Christian Feast of “All Saints”. I contend that what it is becoming simply reflects the waning influence of the Christian vision in the West and presents an opportunity for Catholic Christians to do what we have always done, live like missionaries in our own culture. The Church has always recognized that cultural practices can be “mixed”, containing those aspects which elevate the human person and those which do not. However, members of the Church are invited to transform such cultural practices from within through our proper participation. That has been the missionary model of the Church for two millennia."

...

"The Feast of All saints is our family Feast day when we honor all those who have died, marked with the sign of faith, and gone on before us to be with the Lord. They now beckon all of us into the fullness of the communion of love. In a special way we commemorate all who have been honored by “canonization”, the process wherein the Church has acknowledged their extraordinary lives of holiness and holds them up as models and intercessors. This wonderful celebration is grounded in the most ancient of Church teaching concerning the Communion of Saints. The Church proclaims that death does not separate us because it was defeated by Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:28) We affirm and celebrate our eternal communion in Him through the Holy Spirit - and with one another. We honor all of our brothers and sisters, known and unknown, who are a part of that great cloud of witnesses to which the author of the Letter to the Hebrews attests. (Heb. 12:1)."
....

"The vigil of the Feast (the eve) has come, in the English speaking world, to be known as “All Hallows Eve” or Halloween. While some consider Halloween to be “pagan” in origin it is actually the eve of the great Christian Feast of All Saints. Many of the customs which surround it reflect the Christian confidence in our triumph over death in Christ and our bold rejection of the claim that evil has any more power over us. As we approach Halloween this year, let us heed the sound advice of the priest interviewed in the Vatican paper and “…try to direct the meaning of the feast towards wholesomeness and beauty rather than terror, fear and death”."

....

"I cherish that question because it calls me to do all I can to help to form him in the Christian way of life. As for the growing pagan practices around us, I am not afraid. I will do all that I can to ensure that he will be a part of a new generation of those who, bearing the name Catholic Christian, do what Christians always do, bring about the conversion of Nations and cultures. That is, after all, what it means to be a missionary Church. That is why I use the term “Pre-Christian” to describe the state of the West, not “Post Christian”. This is a new missionary age and there is a lot of work to be done.Let's embrace what is good - and transform what is not - in the celebration of Halloween and use it as an invitation to Christian mission."
Read Full Article Here.


The fact that "Halloween" is the All Saint's Day Vigil was pretty much what I thought beforehand, so I guess I did let some of the less pleasant commentators on the forums confuse me a bit. I'm glad I read Deacon Fournier's article. It'll make me feel better about taking our little angel into town for the kid's fair tomorrow afternoon!

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Football Fanatic

Sadie and Daddy spin around...

and around....


and around...


until they are so dizzy they can barely walk!


Touchdown! This is so much fun!!

Sadie is doing her "touchdown" signal all the time. She loves watching football on TV and we think that's where she picked it up from (because when she's sees football she does it and then collapses on the ground like she's just been tackled).

She was a little disappointed tonight, but was a good sport and kept making her touchdown sign even when there wasn't a game in sight. Nani and Grumpa were going to take Sadie into town to see what we thought was supposed to be the last home football game of the year for our local team. These days Sadie cries when bath time is over and it's time to get out of the bath, but when Nani told her that they were going to see a football game she made the touchdown sign and then held her arms up to be lifted out! On the car ride into town she made the touchdown sign the entire way there, giggling. And then they arrived at the school and it was.... dark...

It turns out the game is next week! So instead they went to Starbucks and Sadie had a vanilla milk (which she loves). Next week though, she'll hopefully get to see the Wolves face the Bears!

Donating to the CCHD this Week?

If you're considering donating to the CCHD in the second collection this week you may want to check out this site first. The organizations they give money to don't sound like they have very Catholic ideals...

Reforming the Catholic Campaign for Human Development

Every year on the Sunday before Thanksgiving , many Catholic parishes take up a second collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).

Recognize that organization? If you don’t, you should. Here’s why:

Until 2008, CCHD had been funding ACORN for several years, giving over $7 million to the corrupt organization. The same organization that is being investigated for voter fraud, embezzlement, and other wrongdoing was recently caught in undercover videos in recent months helping a pimp and prostitute set up a business and traffic underage girls for prostitution.

It doesn’t end there. CCHD has funded groups that openly oppose the Church’s teachings, including:

· Young Workers United – supports abortion rights, legalized prostitution and gay marriage.

· The Chinese Progressive Association (San Francisco) – supports abortion rights and gay marriage, actively urging its members to vote against Prop 8 in California, which would define marriage as between a man and a woman.

· People Improving Communities through Organizing (PICO) – currently campaigning for the a version of healthcare reform, which has government-funding of abortion and does not protect the conscience rights of medical professionals who decline to perform or refer for abortions.

More info here.

Sadie's New Hat!

Here is my newest finished knitting project. It's a little beanie that I was knitting frantically so that Sadie could wear it when we went to the beach. I made the pattern up in my head as we went along, and finished it in the car right before we got to the ocean, but I should have made it just an inch longer. It didn't stay on Sadie's head for very long, despite the fact that it's identical to one that I usually wear (and she usually wants to wear what Mommy's wearing). Now I'm frantically trying to finish the cable knit sweater I've been working on because I want to wear it with my holiday dress!


Sadie finds some foam on the beach and points at it. Moments later she decides it needs to be stomped.


Exploring in the sand.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

An Independent Little Angel

We are headed towards another weekend and unfortunately Daddy is going to miss seeing Sadie all dressed up as an angel in her cute little costume, because he has class on Saturday. We won't be doing the house to house trick-or-treating. We'll go to a kid's fair in town and then all the kids go through the historic downtown district and every single shop has a table outside with people handing out candy or other treats. Some of the doctors and dentists even do it. Last year Sadie even got a tooth brush (along with loads of candy, which mommy had to eat for her).

Today while I was doing something in the kitchen Sadie started to have a meltdown. She wanted something and I turned around and looked at her and said "what's going on? What do you want to do? Are you about to walk over and visit Grumpa all by yourself?" (Grumpa was over at Nini and Gigi's building their deck. Their house is about fifty yards away from Nani and Grumpa's house and I was teasing when I said it!). She got up off the ground and walked out of the room. I followed her to see what she was going to do. She walked to the front door and opened it easily before I stopped her. She really had been about to head over to Nini and Gigi's by herself to see what Grumpa was up to! We've really got to keep that door locked because she's quick when she opens it and apparently she thinks she's big enough to go out on her own!

My Blog's Very First Award


Thank you Allison for my very first blog award!

Here are five of my favorite blogs that I would like to pass this award onto!


Ladies, feel free to pass this award on to the blogs that you love!

I Love Autumn!

I love October (and November and December for that matter). It's finally cool enough to go outside after 9am! Sadie loves it and is burning up energy running everywhere. This is my favorite time of year. It's not as cold as it's going to get (although it is pretty cold!) and the leaves are all changing colors. I snapped a few pictures this week and wanted to share them with you!

Enjoying a beautiful local vineyard during a fair!

Another pumpkin patch!

We accidently left a sprinkler on! It is pretty cold here!

Even the lavender and rosemary in the herb garden froze!

We've been keeping busy with trips to the library, walks, coloring (Sadie has just discovered how much fun drawing is) and chasing the cats. It looks like it's going to be a wonderful season! Now I just need to wrangle Sadie and Paul into a picture for our Christmas cards!

USCCB Nationwide Bulletin Insert

This is incredibly important. Read more at Catholic Online or at the USCCB's Healthcare Website. And take action today!

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
3211 FOURTH STREET NE WASHINGTON DC 20017-1194 202-541-3100 FAX 202-541-3166

USCCB NATIONWIDE BULLETIN INSERT

Tell Congress: Remove Abortion Funding & Mandates from Needed Health Care Reform

Congress is preparing to debate health care reform legislation on the House and Senate floors.
Genuine health care reform should protect the life and dignity of all people from the moment of conception until natural death. The U.S. bishops’ conference has concluded that all committee- approved bills are seriously deficient on the issues of abortion and conscience, and do not provide adequate access to health care for immigrants and the poor. The bills will have to change or the bishops have pledged to oppose them.

Our nation is at a crossroads. Policies adopted in health care reform will have an impact for good or ill for years to come. None of the bills retains longstanding current policies against abortion funding or abortion coverage mandates, and none fully protects conscience rights in health care.

As the U.S. bishops’ letter of October 8 states:
“No one should be required to pay for or participate in abortion. It is essential that the
legislation clearly apply to this new program longstanding and widely supported federal
restrictions on abortion funding and mandates, and protections for rights of conscience.
No current bill meets this test…. If acceptable language in these areas cannot be found,
we will have to oppose the health care bill vigorously.”

For the full text of this letter and more information on proposed legislation and the bishops’ advocacy for authentic health care reform, visit: www.usccb.org/healthcare.

Congressional leaders are attempting to put together final bills for floor consideration. Please contact your Representative and Senators today and urge them to fix these bills with the pro-life amendments noted below. Otherwise much needed health care reform will have to be opposed. Health care reform should be about saving lives, not destroying them.

ACTION: Contact Members through e-mail, phone calls or FAX letters.
 To send a pre-written, instant e-mail to Congress go to www.usccb.org/action.
 Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at: 202-224-3121, or call your Members’ local offices.
 Full contact info can be found on Members’ web sites at www.house.gov & www.senate.gov.

MESSAGE to SENATE:
“During floor debate on the health care reform bill, please support an amendment to
incorporate longstanding policies against abortion funding and in favor of conscience rights.
If these serious concerns are not addressed, the final bill should be opposed.”

MESSAGE to HOUSE:
“Please support the Stupak Amendment that addresses essential pro-life concerns on abortion
funding and conscience rights in the health care reform bill. Help ensure that the Rule for the
bill allows a vote on this amendment. If these serious concerns are not addressed, the final bill
should be opposed.”

WHEN: Both House and Senate are preparing for floor votes now. Act today! Thank you!

Federally Funded Abortions Around the Corner if ObamaCare Passes

I just finished reading this article over at Catholic Online. The article is titled, Playing for Keeps: Abortion is IN 'Health Care Reform' and was written by Ken Blackwell and sums up what lies ahead if ObamaCare becomes a reality.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (The American Spectator) - When President Obama was asked about whether abortion was in his health care plan, he answered elliptically. He didn't say it was or wasn't. He said there was a "tradition in this town of not paying for abortion." But isn't he the One elected on a platform of hope and change? Isn't he the One who wants to re-found the American experiment?

Liberals would never have supported him for President if he said -- as Sen. Al Gore once said -- that abortion should not be federally-funded. Gore was running for President in 1988. He faced a buzzsaw of criticism from New York's powerful liberal fundraiser, Harold Ickes, Jr. His opposition to federal funding of abortion effectively ended Gore's quest for the White House twenty-one years ago.

Obama would make no such mistakes in his triumphal march to the Presidency. Now, as we enter the crucial weeks of the nation's long and drawn-out health care debate, we get confirmation that abortion is in the health care takeover plan.

No less a source than the reliably left-wing National Public Radio (NPR) confirmed federal funding of abortion for us. Julie Rovner explained that the reason the abortion issue has loomed so large in this year's health care debate is that "this time they're playing for keeps." All other abortion funding restrictions are annual amendments, Rovner pointed out on "Weekend Edition," but the Obamacare plan will become "permanent law." Both sides of the abortion debate, she reported, know that "there's a lot at stake here."

NPR quoted liberal Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.). Schakowsky said: "Comprehensive health care does include reproductive health care, prenatal and maternity care, screening for breast, cervical and other cancers or [sexually transmitted infections] abortion, contraceptive services. That these are basic health care for women [emphasis added] that we have a right to by virtue of our reproductive organs and our right to control our own bodies."

Thank you, Rep. Schakowsky. You have dispelled most admirably the fog of confusion emanating from the White House fog machine. For liberals, life or death for unborn children is simply a matter of choice. Rights come not from God, but from our reproductive organs. Notice, it's rights squared -- we all have a right to health care and we have a right to say what health care is. Our right to control our bodies implies a right to make taxpayers pay for whatever we decide to do with our bodies.

Read Entire Story Here.

This may be an eye opening article for anyone who is still in denial about whether abortion really has been excluded from this bill. It hasn't and that is, quite simply, unacceptable.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Chilly Day and the Pillow House!

I almost forgot how much fun it is to build forts, particularly on days when it's so chilly that we can't go outside for very long. Here's the reason we've been stuck indoors.


Hopefully the pictures big enough that you can see that this tree is frozen solid! It's really cold!

I get Sadie all bundled up to go outside and layer her stroller with blankets, but she's interested in pretty much everything other than staying warm. She pushes her blankets off and rips her hat off her head. In a matter of minutes her nose is pink and her fingers are ice cubes! So it's back inside where she's mastering the fine art of fort building. She's only in the beginning stages of fort building so far (pillow forts), but at the rate she's going they may take over the entire house. Luckily Nani makes beautiful pillow cases, so the pillow houses are pretty to look at. Here's on of the latest pillow houses (with a box we brought home from Costco that Sadie snagged and spent a large part of the afternoon sitting in).

Oatmeal Bear joins Sadie in the pillow house and they plot taking over the living room.

Sadie peaks out to see if she's being watched! It appears that others have noticed her plans of living room domination and are determined to stop her before there isn't a single clear path through the room!

She begins to blow kisses in an attempt to distract us!

It works! Everyone falls under the Sadie spell and she takes over the entire house, filling every nook and cranny with her Pillow Houses!

Head Covering of the Week

I'm feeling a little nostalgic: This is my very first headcovering (so you may recognize these pictures because I've used them before). Sadie has now claimed it as her headcovering and loves it nearly as much as she loves Mrs. Bunny (her lovey). It's just a normal white chapel veil, like you can find in many Catholic bookstores across the country (that's where we picked this one out).

I was a little nervous when I started wearing this one because I know some people say that the rule is white veils for unmarried women, black veils for widows and beige veils for married women. The people who say that's the rule obviously haven't tried to find a beige veil. It's practically impossible! Believe me, I've searched and so far gold is the closest to beige I've found.

A woman I know who lived in South America for a while told me that the area she lived in had a different color code for their veils. They wore black veils during Monday through Saturday and then they all wore white veils on Sunday because Christ is risen!

I tend to match my headcovering to whatever I'm wearing. I figure that the headcovering is already going to stand out, but maybe it will stand out a little less if it matches what I'm wearing. So if I'm black I try to wear a darker headcovering and if I'm wearing light colors I try to wear a lighter colored headcovering. And sometimes I just wear my red scarf because I love it!

Scanning through these pictures I can't believe how long Paul's hair used to be! Sadie's hair is curling just like his does when it's not super short. Speaking of which, his hair's getting a little long. Time to give my second hair cut ever! Hopefully I'll start getting a little faster at it as I get more practice in!

And of course I had to add this picture of the veil! I guess it ended up being my first chapel veil and Sadie's first chapel veil too!

Daddy's Little Sports Fan

Sadie has a new little thing that she does. I think she picked it up from watching Paul watch sports. Sadie loves to watch pretty much every sport. Football seems to be her favorite, but baseball is a close second.

Today she started lifting her arms up like she's signaling a touchdown in a football game. She does it when we're walking and she finds a pretty rock that she likes and she picks it up and hands it to me. She does it after she picks up a puzzle piece and drops it into my shoe (who knew that finding all the puzzle pieces and putting them all in Mommy's shoe could be so much fun?). And of course she did it when the TV was on and she saw a football player make a touchdown. After the touchdown she collapsed on the floor like she'd been tackled and then jumped up did the goal post sign again and then fell to the ground again and hid her face. I'm not sure exactly what she's thinking when she does this, but she sure seems to be a sports fan! Talk about being Daddy's Little Girl!

She also thinks it's hilarious to push her "breakfast bear" (a toy bear that sits at the table when she eats her breakfast) around the table with her mini bulldozer. This upsets the breakfast bear immensely and he roars at the bulldozer, but Sadie just laughs. It's almost as good as watching football!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

More Pro-Death Chatter

You may remember the abortion blog that I did a post on a little while back. I first saw it on a few other Catholic blogs and was horrified by the description of a pregnant doctor doing a late term abortion. At the same time it offered insight into what abortion providers think of their work. Many see themselves as the heros in this story, helping women that others would just "pray for and ignore" (to paraphrase the sentiment I kept running across).

Apparently quite a few people came from various blogs and were as shocked as I was by what they found. And the abortioneers have been writing about the comments that they have been getting. Here's what they've said:
News Flash: The antis are talking about us and our blog has had an exponential rise in anti-abortion traffic. With that, has come an increase in anti-abortion comments; some of which have appeared to be intelligent, others just hateful.
Any readers who went over there and left comments certainly made an impression! Way to be heard!
What’s not okay: antis stalking our blog, taking our words out of context, twisting our work, and bringing yucky negativity our way. This is our haven. Our safe place.
It's nice that you have a safe place. The unborn children that you rip, limb from limb in their mother's wombs, don't. They are in, what should be, the safest haven of all and you violate that safety and take away their most basic right, the right to life. I gave all of you the link to this blog at the top of the page. Go over and read these quotes in their original context. Believe me, it doesn't get any better.
This increase in muddying-up our blog is annoying at best. I might seem like a coward, but it’s also made me think I should edit myself; like I'm going to have to be careful of what I say so it's not taken out of context, so I can "protect" our field, so I don't dishonor our clients. It makes me uncomfortable I feel this way. I just wish the antis would leave us the f%@# alone. We don’t need to be hassled by people who don’t care about the women we serve and won’t EVER get it. Their rhetoric and picking is a violation. How dare they come here? How dare they think it’s okay to tread on our feet? To dishonour the women we serve? To disrespect the compassion, the love, the angst that we feel doing this special life-work. (No pun intended.)
I have to admit that I edited the swear word, but I'm sure you can fill in the blank. I once had an English Professor who said that people who swear in their writing show the world that they aren't articulate enough to come up with a better description. Thanks Professor Green. Frankly, there's a limit to how much trash I can tolerate on my site and this content alone puts things pretty close to being over the top. But I also think it's good to see the other side of things, even if there's no way we can agree.

She is wrong about not caring about the woman they "serve." And unfortunately quite a few women do "get it." It's just that some of us recognize that murder is never the answer to a problem. That's not rhetoric. It's a fact.

The taking of an innocent life is murder and the fact that this atrocity remains legal for the time being is unthinkable.

I've heard quite a few people argue that abortions should be legal because if they weren't women would keep finding ways to get them, but the abortions wouldn't be as "safe." Let's use that argument with other, similar crimes.

Murder is a crime that is as old as man kind. People just keep on doing it, even though we make laws against it. Since people are going to kill each other anyway, we ought to make it safer for the person who survives, to kill other people...

The logic doesn't really work, does it?

You could use other crimes as well. Fill in the blank. There have been pedophiles throughout human history. There have been rapists throughout human history. Yet legalizing any of these things would turn most peoples' stomachs. How is abortion any different?

It isn't. And that is why we will keep fighting with everything we have.

Anyone who doesn't think that this is murder should check out this site, where you can see an unborn child (11 weeks along) try to evade the abortioneers violent grasp. Any woman considering having an abortion should see it. But be warned, it's very graphic and could break your heart.

"When'll You Have the Next One?"

With a toddling sixteen month old I’ve noticed that one particular question seems to be coming up a lot lately (actually I guess it’s two separate questions, but they are basically the same question when it comes down to it). I hear it from people I know well and from casual acquaintances. They say it with a smile and raised eyebrows and I suddenly find myself grinding my teeth a bit (a habit which I’ve really got to get rid of because it gives me a headache). The answer is simple, in truth, but I’ve learned that the truth doesn’t always bring positive reactions. That’s because in this case, the truth tends to be rather counter cultural. Can you guess what the questions are?

Here goes:

“So, when are you going to have the next one?” or “So are you going to have anymore.”

When we first started getting these questions (about a year ago) I tried plain and simple honesty. To the question “when are you going to have the next one” I’d say, “Whenever God decides to add to our family” and to the question “are you going to have anymore” I’d say “we hope so and if God wills it we definitely will have as many as he sends us” (or something along those lines).

The looks stopped just short of jaw dropping. You would think I’d just let out a stream of profanity. Some people shake their heads, horrified by the idea of letting God dictate how many children we will bring into the world. Now that I think about it, we never actually got a positive reaction. Once I actually heard “oh not that many!” in response to the answer that we would take as many as God gives us.

And that’s probably why I dread the question so much now.

You see, the last century taught women and men that they needed to “take control of their sexuality.” They took control of their fertility too and now many women believe that controlling that fertility is an innate right, regardless of the cost. The idea that we’re letting God decide what happens is foreign these days, even among the majority of young people who claim to be “Catholic.”

Fortunately I think I’ve finally figured out how to answer the question. I won’t lie, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t have to give an actual answer. When people say “when’s the next one coming along?” I smile and shrug and most people take that to mean “not for a very long time.” And the reasoning that leads them to that conclusion is a little bit sad. Our society has forgotten that children are a blessing and a gift from God and not a burden to be carried simply because we must.

We’ll take all the blessings God sends our way!

And that is my honest and full answer to that frequently asked question!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Shoe Shopping

Thank goodness for oatmeal bear! Sadie hasn't been sleeping very well again these last few days and I suspect that tooth #9 is thinking about making an appearance. Sadie's sleeping patterns are heavily influenced by teething discomfort.

Today we went shoe shopping and Sadie fell in love with every single shoe that I slid onto her feet. She loved the red puddle stomping boots I showed her and cried when I took them away to suggest that we try on another size. She tried to insist we buy every pair of party shoes in the place (Walmart has quite a selection) but had to settle for on pair of black patent leather shoes for church.

And then there were the sneakers. Nani found a pair of light up disney princess cupcake sneakers (they really don't leave anything out, do they?) and they fit Sadie's little foot perfectly. She now wears a size 8. I can't believe how fast her feet are growing. She reminds me of a german shepherd puppy with giant paws sometimes!

She did also manage to convince me to get the shiny red boots and when we got home she insisted on wearing them around the house. She has some difficulty walking in them while staring at her feet, but finally got the hang of it. I'm actually surprised she didn't bump into more furniture.

She lets everyone know she's ready to put them on again by walking over to wherever they have been left and standing on top of them with a determined look on her face. She's going to have a hard time convincing Nani that they can come into the house though after they get actual puddle stomping mud on them.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sadie's Almost Kiss

Sadie is finally asleep, after putting up quite a fight. She's so afraid that she'll miss something the moment that she closes her eyes, that she would like to be awake twenty-four hours a day.

Yesterday we drove to a winery a few towns over that was having a wine festival. It was a kid's dream come true. They had a tractor pulling a wagon around the grape vines with free rides. Halfway through the vineyard they had created a pumpkin patch and all the chickens and roosters were spending their day at the pumpkin patch in the hay. Sadie was thrilled. She picked out yet another pumpkin (along with the pumpkins she's gotten at other patches and the ones Nani grew in her garden, we have quite a collection) and we hauled it back to the wagon.

After that we ate lunch in shifts, because Sadie was too excited to sit still (especially without a high chair to lock her into place). I took her over to a big lawn area to run around and there she met Billy. Billy was a little blonde boy who is currently 20 months old (although he came just up to Sadie's ear). Sadie was thrilled to see another little kid her size (there were tons of kids running around, but most of them were at least a couple years older) and she kept running up to him. He would run towards her and then change directions at the last moment (usually they would both point at each other then) and he'd run away with Sadie in hot pursuit.

Sadie went back over to visit everyone eating for a few minutes (which apparently gave Billy the chance to miss her) and when we went back he was thrilled to see her. So thrilled, in fact, that he ran up and hugged her and then tried to give her a kiss. Sadie froze when he hugged her and then took of at a run when he tried to kiss her! And then they were back to running around together, like two peas in a pod (and it was quite a lot of work keeping up with that little pod).

Then it was home just in time for a nap and a phone call from Daddy who was at class when Sadie almost had her first kiss!

Shabby Apple Dressses

I found this site a while ago and thought I'd share it with everyone! It's called Shabby Apple. Here are a couple of my favorites! They're stylish, cute and modest. A great combination!

I love red!

This one looks perfect for the cooler weather we've been having.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Outfit of the Week

I can't believe that this outfit hasn't already been a Outfit of the Week! I guess it's because I started the Outfit of the Week series in summer, so I was considering more summer dresses. However this skirt-sweater combo is one of my favorites.

My best friend gave me the sweater right before I got married (she saw me eyeing it in the store, but resisting buying it because Express was already outside our budget possibilities) and the skirt is from JCPennys (fall 2007).

The outfit is shown on the right with my favorite (and at the time brand new) headcovering scarf at the Pater Noster Church in Jerusalem. The picture on the left is on a hot day while touring Caesarea earlier in the trip. It was definitely appropriate for traveling in the Holy Land.

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Serious Little Eater

Sadie is serious about food and her tastes are starting to take after Mommy's. She loves artichokes (which I think is a funny thing for a little kid to love) and actually took a bite of a marinated garlic clove yesterday and ate it happily. She also loves dill pickles and green olives. Tonight at dinner she was having cheesy noodles and the rest of us were having pork ribs (she was sharing my artichoke with me). She started pointing over and over again to the ribs and making her little "ah" sound which is the sound she makes when she sees something she's interested in or wants. I wasn't sure she would like the ribs because they are a little spicy (and slathered in barbeque sauce). She ate a piece off of the bone and then sat next to me saying "yum, yum, yum." After that she continued to point to the ribs and even got Grumpa to give her another piece after everyone had finished eating.

Here are some Sadie eating pictures! She looks serious but lately she really does seem to love everything we put in front of her. I like this phase!






Nun Helps Out at Abortion Clinic...

No wonder there's a Vatican Visitation coming up... It can't happen too soon...

Nun Volunteering as Abortion Clinic Escort in Illinois
By Kathleen Gilbert

HINSDALE, Illinois, October 23, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A Dominican nun has been seen frequenting an abortion facility in Illinois recently - but not, as one might expect, to pray for an end to abortion or to counsel women seeking abortions, but to volunteer as a clinic escort.

Local pro-life activists say that they recognized the escort at the ACU Health Center as Sr. Donna Quinn, a nun outspokenly in favor of legalized abortion, after seeing her photo in a Chicago Tribune article.

"I've called her sister several times, and she never responded," local pro-lifer John Bray told LifeSiteNews.com (LSN). "But it's her."

Amy Keane, a pro-life witness for 11 years, says Quinn has acted as escort for "six years, at least." Keane described one incident in which Quinn began shouting at the pro-lifers as they spoke to a woman about to enter the abortion facility.

"[Quinn] was so angry, and burst out very loudly so everyone could hear: 'Look at these men, telling these women what to do with their bodies!'" said Keane. "She was so angry, that it really took all of us aback." Keane says that the group was peaceful, and that the men present were not among those engaging the woman.

"For those of us who are Catholic, to have a member of a religious order so blatantly - it is so disheartening. It really is," said Keane. "She's participating actively in abortion. That is what is so disturbing for us."

Sr. Donna Quinn, OP, is renowned in the Chicago area as an advocate for legalized abortion and other liberal issues.

In 1974 she co-founded the organization Chicago Catholic Women, which lobbied the USCCB on a feminist platform before it dissolved in 2000. She is now a coordinator of the radically liberal National Coalition of American Nuns (NCAN), which stands in opposition against the Catholic Church's position on abortion, homosexuality, contraception, and the male priesthood.

While LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) was unable to reach Sr. Quinn for comment, NCAN's Sr. Beth Rindler confirmed to LSN that Quinn is still a member of their group, which favors unrestricted legalized abortion and disagrees with the teaching that abortion is intrinsically evil. "We respect women, and believe that they make moral decision, and so we respect their decisions," Rindler explained.

In a 2002 address to the Women's Studies in Religion Program at Harvard Divinity School, Sr. Quinn described how she came to view the teachings of her Church as "immoral": "I used to say: 'This is my Church, and I will work to change it, because I love it,'" she said. "Then later I said, 'This church is immoral, and if I am to identify with it I'd better work to change it.' More recently, I am saying, 'All organized religions are immoral in their gender discriminations.'"

Quinn called gender discrimination "the root cause of evil in the Church, and thus in the world," and said she remained in the Dominican community simply for "the sisterhood."

Read Full Story Here.

The Importance of Good Undergarments

I've been thinking a lot lately about the importance of good undergarments. I've also been thinking about the idea of women burning their bras to signify their independence and I can't help but think that they weren't doing themselves any favors. Perhaps some people became so obsessed with ideas of personal freedom that they decided they'd be "freer" without bras, but my post baby body appreciates the support that good undergarments give (although I imagine that the bra burning was, for the most part, figurative).

I really began to notice the difference undergarments could make immediately after my c-section. I had read that wearing a girdle after childbirth could help a woman's stretched out muscles go back to normal more quickly and I had a couple ready to wear when I came home from the hospital. And boy, did I need it. I was pretty beat up. Due to a shift change and a new nurse who didn't want to "wake the doctor" I pushed for five hours with no progress at all before my emergency c-section (those five hours are not something I would wish on anyone). My body was not happy.

After we got home I tried on the girdle I had bought and saw an immediate, dramatic difference. I felt like my stitched up muscles were supported and I could actually make it up and down the stairs (slowly).

Over the next few months I got used to the support of the girdle and I started to notice an improvement in my posture when I was wearing it. It makes me more conscious of how I'm sitting or standing. Lately I'm paired it with the corset that I wore under my wedding dress, for a more seamless look. It isn't a heavy duty corset (I wouldn't want to deal with wearing something tight, or uncomfortable), it's just the kind that hooks up the back and it adds to the improved posture. I like that I don't have to worry about bra straps slipping and it stays in place because it's a larger garment.

And now I finally have a full slip that fits (I do also have a large fluffy half slip that I wore under my wedding dress, but it's not exactly practical for everyday wear).

Getting dressed has become quite a process, but when I don't have supportive undergarments on under a dress I feel kind of naked! Even when I wear pants around the house without the girdle or corset I feel rather exposed and under dressed.

The best part about finding undergarments that work well is that I don't have to worry about panty lines showing through or dresses that are too sheer without a slip (and some dresses made of surprisingly thick material can become semi see-through in the sun) because I'm already covered. It doesn't guarantee that every dress will pass my own personal modesty test (some just can't be helped) but it certainly helps!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Running 'til Nap Time

Sadie has so much energy that I took her outside today and let her run around the track near our house. It’s a dirt track that is a third of a mile and Sadie ran around it twice today. It really seems to help her burn off the excess energy that would otherwise be used to chase down the cats and pull their tails (never a good scenario).

So this morning we went out and she did her first lap and then I let her explore around the houses. She slept much better at nap time than she usually does and after her nap woke up and seemed happy with the idea of going outside, so Nani and I took her on another walk (this time pushing the stroller just in case she got tired). Instead she raced around it again, stopping multiple times to look at rocks and trees and little piece of dirt.

She also has decided that she wants to “feed“ us. She thinks its very funny to pretend to scoop up food and then to pretend put that food into the mouth of whoever happens to be sitting next to her. We have to watch her though to make sure that it is actually pretend food (air) and that she hasn’t picked up an cheerio that fell down into a crack in her high chair at breakfast and is squeezing it between her grimy little fingers. It is a very real danger and Sadie would think that was even better than feeding Mommy or Daddy pretend “food.”

Head Covering of the Week

I've been doing Outfits of the Week for a few months and today decided to start doing a"Head Covering of the Week."

This one is one of my favorites because it stays in place without pins and I don't have to worry about it slipping off my head. Paul bought it for me in Bethlehem, when we were visiting the West Bank while I was pregnant (and very sick), and bought it from a woman selling scarves on the street. We had just visited the Church of the Nativity and were rushing back to the bus.

And it matches Sadie's holiday dress for this year (and her coat too!)!

You Can't Have a Valid Opinion... You're Catholic!

I got an email from an old friend this morning that made me a little bit sad. She had posted a link on facebook last night that I will repost here (I saved it because I thought it would make a great addition to the NFP posts that I never have time to write). The article is about how a study found that taking the pill impairs muscle gains in young women. She had posted the link twice, so I wrote a quick comment back saying, here's another link (it was at an NFP sight) and if you scroll down to "side effects" you can read all about some of the other really bad side effects that go along with taking the pill.

This morning I saw that I had two (not one but two) emails in my facebook inbox. I had a bad feeling. What I wrote agreed completely with what she wrote, but, coming from a Catholic (or anyone who is known to be a practicing Christian), you never know how people will take your words and discard them or twist them to suite their own vision of life.

A little back ground on my friend. In junior high she was a wild child and self proclaimed atheist that shocked all of us with crude statements. In high school she went to a Bible Camp with one of my friends whose father was a pastor and became a born again evangelical. She was suddenly a completely different person (it really was an amazing transformation). She said she was going to save her next kiss for her wedding day and could preach all lunch period on her experience and Jesus' love. After high school she went into the army, met a soldier, got married and had a little girl (we haven't talked in years, with the exception of facebook, so this part is vague). A few years ago her status changed from "married" to "divorced" and then she started posting picture after picture of herself in string bikinis (most shots focused on her cleavage).

Anyways, back to todays email. It started:

"I had a funny thought tonight. When I saw your comment about natural family planning, and read the article... I felt inclined to make several counterpoints. I understand that you an Paul are both Catholic and this fundamentally fits with your belief system. I certainly have a different opinion on the matter. Anyway, that's not exactly the point. I quickly decided that facebook may not be the best format for debate, especially one so based on personal choice, and ultimately futile."

My first though was that I wasn't trying to start a debate at all. My second thought was that this seems strange coming from a girl who spent four years trying to cram her religious beliefs down our throats and telling us that we could never be pure enough to get married if we'd even kissed our boyfriends (at this point I was 15 had never been kissed and wanted to be a Baptist missionary when I graduated from high school).

I guess the actual medical facts in the article are automatically put aside because it comes from a religious source. In the same way my opinion on any subject, religious or otherwise, would be put to the side simply because it's coming from someone who's Catholic and who's entire worldview is colored by those beliefs.

I wrote back and said I wasn't trying to start a debate, I was agreeing that the pill is dangerous and offering more information on the subject (although it was in the form of a religious site). Personally, having done the research I have done and noticed the difference between how my body feels when it's full of artificial hormones and not, I would not let one of those little pills touch my lips even if I had a complete crisis in faith and didn't know what I believed in anymore.

Now there are quite a few things I wish I didn't have to see on facebook everyday and they include: All the anti-republican comments, all the anti- Christianity comments and all the "you're an idiot if you don't agree with Obama" comments. But making those disappear would involve deleting half of my friends from high school and college and I'm not quite annoyed enough to do that yet.

Shopping for Slips

Paul has a huge amount of reading and studying to do this week and we had eaten through just about all the food in the house, so my mom and I took Sadie and made the hour and a half winding drive into town to stock up on supplies. Our first stop was at CVS for diapers (the CVS close to our house never has size 5's). Then we went over to Target to pick up a few things.

I was headed towards baby food when I got side tracked and stopped off in underwear. More specifically I ended up in the slip section. I have noticed lately (since the Great Dress Experiment began) that I desperately need a new slip. While most designers these days seem to take into account the fact that most women and girls don't wear slips (unless they're "slip dresses") the built in slips in many of my dresses are quite annoying. The fabric is still clingy and seems to be particularly static prone. These dresses seem to need a separate slip even more than my dresses that don't have slips built in.

So I walked over, casually, with Sadie, telling myself I really shouldn't buy anything other than what I'd come for, and glanced at the slip section. The slips were pretty picked over. There were only full slips left. I decided to look at the tags just to see what size they were. They were both my size. That meant I had a decision to make.

I remember a time, in the not so distant past. when I was constantly shopping. I had two closets in my little apartment that still couldn't contain the avalanche of clothes that tumbled out when I opened the door. Then my priorities shifted. I met my husband and did a lot of growing up. We paid off our credit cards a few months after we got married and these days we rarely have an opportunity to shop for clothes. Shoes are worn out before new ones are bought (sometimes for quite a while) and small tears are mended. We even dyed Paul's work pants black again after bleach spilled on them at work.
After checking the size of the slip I checked the price. $16.99. I put it into the cart and worried. I worried as I picked out baby food for the rest of the month and I worried as my picked up a container of cat litter. I worried through the store and actually walked half way back to the slip section once, to return the slip to its rack. I laughed a little because my old self would never have imagined worrying about such a little purchase, but that didn't make the decision any easier.

I think a lot of times moms have a hard time spending money on themselves. I can justify buying a fluffy new dress for Sadie to wear at Thanksgiving dinner, but my work (around the house and yard) jeans were tattered and threadbare before I finally bought a new pair (with a gift certificate back in April). Paul constantly picks up little things that Sadie needs, but tried to super glue the soles of his sneakers back on for weeks before admitting that they were done for and springing for new shoes. Parents sometimes have a hard time justifying their own expenses, especially when the expenses aren't actual necessities.

I finally broke down and bought the slip. I reasoned that I need the slip to modestly wear half the dresses that I own and it's ridiculous to have these dresses and not be able to wear them, because I don't have a slip. I also made myself feel a little better by telling myself that Paul and I had agreed that I need a new belt (the two pairs of pants I own are not staying up very well with all this toddler chasing going on) and the cheapest belt in the store was $22. This will further discourage me from wearing pants. So really I saved five dollars (or so I tell myself).

This post is on the long side so I'll save my thoughts on the importance of undergarments for another day (or maybe just tomorrow is Sadie doesn't fight me on the idea of "nap time").

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ewwww! Baby Feet!

Sadie and I have this little game that we play. It started months ago when she was nursing and started to take her foot and pull it up and put it next to my face. I would make a face when she did this and say "ewwwwwww, yuck, baby feet" and pretend to try to blow her feet away from my face. She would immediately start to giggle and put her foot back down until a few minutes later when I would see her foot sneaking back up next to my face.

We hadn't played the baby feet game in a while, but yesterday when Sadie was sitting on my lap she stretched out her flexible little leg and put her little foot right next to my cheek. This time instead of saying "yuck baby feet" I pretended to sneeze and said "oh no, baby feet, I must be allergic!" This, in Sadie's eyes, was even funnier than "ewwww, yuck, baby feet!" She laughed hysterically. As soon as she stopped laughing I would grab her foot and pretend to sneeze again and repeat "baby feet, I must be allergic, achooooo!"

Now she spending quite a bit of time trying to sneak her feet as close to me as possible to see if I'll sneeze and then laughing hysterically if I do.

She also figured out how to blow bubbles in her milk with a straw today at lunch. I'm hoping she forgets this new talent for a little bit longer!

I also purchased a monkey backpack "baby leash" today. Sadie has no problem racing off into a crowd on her own (or trying to jump into the ocean) so this may be handy. Sadie may not like the monkey quite as much though when she realizes what it is....

Eureka! My Search was a Success!

I started the search for last weeks "Outfit of the Week" late this afternoon and after about five minutes of searching amid the mouse droppings under the house, I was getting rather discouraged. The boxes that I thought that the dresses were in were actually full of books and while I'd found some baby clothes (mine and Sadie's) and quite a few stuffed animals, there was no sign of the box of dresses I was looking for. Then I saw them. They must have been buried under the Christmas decorations, which got moved around earlier this week after the mice got into them (you would never know that we have 5 cats on the property here... apparently none of them are mousers). I dragged the box up onto the porch and carefully removed the top.

There they were: my pre-pregnancy dresses.

I began looking through the mound of clothes, sorting what I would take inside to try on and what I would leave in the box from the start. As I glanced at a few tags I became nervous. Size 0. Size 2. And only slightly more reassuring, Size 4. I am not any of those sizes anymore and I feared that I'd just end up packing everything away again in a rather depressed mood.

Taking the dresses inside I automatically put a few of the 0's and xs's into a pile to take back outside. There was no way those dresses would have even fit over my shoulders.

The results were 50/50 (which was better than I expected). All of the pants went back into the box (for an idea of where my "redistribution of weight" has gone... I am now 10 lbs less than I was when I got married, but the sizes are all so off that I'm beginning to think it was 10 lbs of pure muscle that's disappeared!). Half of the dresses made the cut (including my favorite holiday dress in the above picture) and quite a few of the shirts fit, although they were for the most part, stretchy exercise shirts that I'm hoping will motivate me to work out more). It feels a little bit like I have a new wardrobe though! I haven't seen this dresses in two years! Now I just need to wrangle the box back under the house in the morning.