Sunday, January 31, 2010

My Time At Planned Parenthood

I wasn’t always Pro-Life. Ten years ago I really hadn’t given the issue of abortion much thought.

When I went off to a small “Catholic” liberal arts college as a political science major, it was bound to come up.

The idea of killing an unborn child made me uncomfortable if I really thought about it, so I carefully skirted the issue by saying:

“ I don’t think it’s right, and I would never have an abortion… but I don’t think I have the right to tell another woman what she can or can’t do with her body.”

If I’d given it much more thought I would have had to ask myself why a woman’s right not to be inconvenienced trumped a child’s right to live and I very quickly would have realized the fallacy in the logic behind the argument that it’s a “woman’s right to do whatever she wants with her body.” After all, none of us have the right to do whatever we want. Our rights end when they begin to encroach on someone else’s rights and that becomes especially clear when we plan on physically harming another human being.

But it was much easier to give my quickly thought out answer and say that I was “pro-choice,” (an answer that pleased my very liberal poli sci professors to no end).

During the second semester of my freshman year we were assigned a “community service project” for my Social Justice class. I had to squeeze in forty hours of community service alongside my twenty five hours a week at Starbucks, karate, rugby practice, hundreds of pages each night in reading for collegiate seminar (Roman, Christian Mid-Evil Thought), my second semester of Japanese and my American Government class (I seriously began to wonder if my professors remembered what it was like to be a student).

We were given a list of places that would be suitable for volunteer work and I called the local battered woman’s shelter and rape crisis centers right away. After a week they finally informed me that they didn’t need any volunteers. I finally landed a volunteer position from one of the approved organizations (and by the time I did I was getting desperate and starting to worry about my grade): I went to work for Planned Parenthood.

My job was easy. I brought patients back to the exam room and went over their medical history, took their blood pressure and asked them if there was anything they wanted to talk with the doctor about. I did pregnancy tests and UTI tests in the little lab and cleaned up the rooms after they’d been used.

I passed by the protestors once in a while and I thought it was kind of odd, because I’d been assured over and over again that this particular Planned Parenthood did not perform abortions. They sent women over to a larger facility, since our office was very small and we weren’t allowed to perform them there. The young women I worked with brought up the fact that we didn’t do abortions frequently, which I had thought was odd. I wasn’t sure why they were so preoccupied with it. At the time I really didn’t even realize the relationship between Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry, although I probably would have simply brushed the information away with a “I’m Pro-Choice” answer if I had been told.

However I was bothered by the responsibilities taken on by workers with no medical training. I knew that I wouldn’t want someone who had taken an afternoon class implanting or removing anything in my body. It just didn’t seem very safe.

I was also very bothered by the ages of the girls whose pregnancy tests I was running. I would only have a urine sample and a birthday, and I couldn’t help but notice that I was giving positive results for girls who were twelve years old. They didn’t come in with their parents and I knew that they would be offered abortions without their parents’ knowledge (or consent). How would I feel if that was my tiny beautiful ballerina cousin who was almost the same age?

One day I arrived at work to find an empty waiting room. The receptionist buzzed me in and I wandered back to see what needed to be done. Since there were no patients there would be no samples to test, so I wandered back to the exam rooms to see if everything was ready for the start of the second half of the day (I came in after lunch). There were people towards the back, one of the doctors was even there, and I walked up to the door of the room before I was hurried back to the front by an angry coworker.

But it was impossible to erase the image of what I had seen. There was blood everywhere. White sheets of paper had been ripped off to cover the counters and other surfaces and there was blood spattered across them (I was actually reminded of the examples we’d been given during my lifeguarding first aid classes of arterial spray, but it could have been from anything, taking unborn life is apparently very bloody work).

It was very clear, by the panicked reaction of everyone who was there, that I had seen something I shouldn’t have seen.

And there was only one reason that they would be panicked. There was only one thing that we most certainly weren’t supposed to be doing in that office: abortions.

The more I learn about abortion providers the more I come to realize that breaking the rules to provide abortions isn’t all that uncommon. I guess once you cross the line that keeps most of us from ending a human life, other lines, like legal rules, are easier to break.

I didn’t instantly become pro-life, but the idea that taking a life was wrong was reinforced. My own insecurities kept me from taking the next step though, that would have enabled me to say the simple truth that abortion is wrong. After all, I could ignore the entire problem by simply adding “…but who am I to say.”

I first had to free myself from the absurd chains of moral relativism that my poli-sci professors had been reinforcing and that our secular culture embraces. I had to realize that there is right and wrong, good and evil in this world and as a human it’s my responsibility to speak out when I see the rights of those who are weaker than me violated.

Every child has the right to life and it’s our responsibility to speak out and to defend that right. That is the most basic right that exists in this world and it’s a truth that we simply can’t forget or ignore.

(todays picture is from those same college days)

New Pro Life Blog!

I'm just about to go to bed (I stayed awake until 9 tonight, so I've pushed my first trimester bedtime back nearly an hour an a half, which is a small victory these days) and I wanted to share with you the new Pro Life Blog I've been reading. It's called A Woman for Life. Stop by and say hi!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Nunja Visitation

Since my posts have been so serious over the past ten days I thought I'd throw in something that might actually cause you to break into a smile. And this, in my opinion, is pretty funny. And it's involves one of my favorite topics:

Apostolic Visitation II: Nunjas!!!
This Time We Are Not Taking No For An Answer

Share BY MATT AND PATRICK ARCHBOLD Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Apostolic Visitation started last year with reports of concerns, irregularities about a secular mentality or even a feminist spirit pervading America’s female religious. A letter from the Vatican followed. A simple request and a questionnaire to help the sisters and to respond to concerns for their welfare.

And then things got ugly. Many women religious teamed up and refused to comply. It was like Norma Rae but with off-the-rack gender neutral pantsuits.

But now, in a world where the Vatican’s Apostolic Visitation was rebuffed, many Sisters forgot something. One very important thing. You never ignore Rome.

While many wondered what the Vatican’s response would be, the second wave of the Apostolic Visitation will be carried out under the cover of darkness by…NUNJAS!!!!!!!!!!!

Just when liberated sisters thought it was safe to go back to tai-chi class…Apostolic Visitation II: Nunjas!!! And this time they’re not taking no for an answer.

Make no mistake, these are not your ordinary nuns. They don’t correct the wayward with rulers. When NUNJAS correct you, you stay corrected. They are NUNJAS! These Nunjas mock albino monk assassins…to their pasty white faces.

Read the whole, hilarious post here.

The Non-Logic of the Pro-Death Side

Another Gem from the Abortion Blog Next Door. The title is Stupid Things Antis Say (meaning Anti-Death in case you were wondering). As we near the end of the month and the focus of this blog again becomes more general, please continue to pray for the women who are considering abortions, have had abortions and for the conversion of abortion providers. Tomorrow I will, for the first time ever on my blog, talk about my own experience (pre-conversion) working at a Planned Parenthood in the San Francisco Bay Area during college.

I went back and forth on whether to respond to this post at all, because the responses themselves say quite a bit about the author (and let's face it, they don't really shout out "intelligent!" They really sadly say something more along the line of sad and very bitter...). The quotes from the site are in red below and as always, my responses are in pink:
1. That baby could be the next Gandhi!

That baby could also be the next Jeffrey Dahmer or "Jersey Shore" cast member.
So because they "could be" an idiot or a murderer (or an abortioneer!) they should be murdered and never given the chance to go one way or the other? Besides there's a good chance the "Jersey Shore" cast members will grow up, something the unborn children you murder will never have a chance to do.
2. How would you feel if you were aborted?!

.....I wouldn't.
Actually you would feel the agony of being ripped, limb from limb as you tried to evade the surgical instrument that had invaded your mother's womb.

3. Pick on someone your own size!

Bring it on, similarly-sized anti.
Some responses are so tempting that they probably shouldn't be responded to. And this brings out a side of me that was fairly well developed after years of full contact tournament fighting and playing rugby on two continents. So I'll just leave this one be... and simply pray for an end to abortion in the U.S. and the world.
4. Keep your legs closed!

Everyone has sex. Even priests. With small children.
This really says something about the state of mind of the author and the warped way that they view the world. Or maybe this is something that they tell themselves as an excuse for lowering their standards. Everyone does it. That's simply not true, but if you lie to yourselves about what you do for a living, each and every day, you can lie to yourself about anything.
5. Babies are miracles/blessings!

Not to the women who end up killing their children -- you know, somewhat less legal than abortion. Also, we all know where babies actually come from, and it can be pretty unmiraculous.
Denying the sanctity of life doesn't make it true. And at least our society is still sane enough to recognize that killing an older children is evil. Hopefully the law will soon recognize every child's right to live. Society is already leaning that way. I love seeing the polls that show that the pro-life side is steadily growing. Maybe it's because we aren't killing our children or contracepting them out of existence.
6. I will help you raise your baby!

No you won't. When have you even given your address and phone number to a pregnant woman for free child care? Oh right, you only give out that information about clinic staff so your anti friends can stalk them.
I live in a little tiny town and yet I personally know two families who took in drug babies, one of who would have most definitely been aborted (the mother actually showed up at the door and said "if you don't adopt my baby I'm going to have an abortion). Both had been exposed to meth in their mother's wombs. Both are growing into amazing people (one is in high school, one is in pre-school).

And this completely ignores all the parents out there who would love to adopt a child! My best friend (and daughter's godmother) was adopted and I thank God that her mother chose life. There are so many families out there waiting for a child. So the idea that you're "stuck" with a baby is absurd.
7. Your baby wants to see your face!

Eh. I'm not sure babies actually want to be born. It's a frightening experience for them. That's why they scream bloody murder. The real world is noisy and freezing.
It is kind of blurry when we're born (especially after those eye drops!), but I can guarantee that your baby wants to hear your voice. When Sadie was born she stopped crying and grabbed onto Paul's finger the moment she heard him speak. It was an amazing moment. She recognized the voices of all the important people in our lives! And I'm sure that being born doesn't compare with being ripped apart. Heck, I'm sure the five hours of pushing I went through trying to deliver Sadie doesn't compare with it.
8. I don't want my tax dollars to pay for abortions!

Yeah, well MY tax dollars pay for wars and bailouts for shoddy industries, but it's something I have to deal with.
Hmmmmm... so the author clearly thinks that two wrongs make a right... "Well if our tax dollars keep the rich bankers getting bonuses than they might as well pay to kill unborn children too..." You've got to love that logic.
9. I regret my abortion!

Your bad. Most women don't.
What a sensitive response. And all of the women who I've talked to who had abortions do regret it. There's often a sense of brokenness because of this tragic past "choice" that simply can't be taken back...
10. The government is Socialist!

Really? Awesome.
Not sure how this fits into the abortion debate? But then again, I can't claim that the logic the author of this piece had really flowed as it was, so I guess I'll just call it a day.

Maybe the anger that pervades the responses isn't totally negative. Maybe it's a sign that somewhere, deep down, her soul is rebelling against the daily destruction of life that he's involved in.

Keep praying. Prayer truly is our greatest weapon against the evil or abortion.

Friday, January 29, 2010

More Than One Life Lost...

The abortion providers at this clinic in Queens (which is also reported to provide plastic surgery, laser wrinkle surgery, skin depigmentation and liposuction) clearly really care about women. That's why they can tell the media that "Nothing happened here." Maybe when you destroy lives every single day adding an extra, unexpected death to the others doesn't seem like that big of a deal. It is a big deal:
Queens, NY ( -- A botched legal abortion killed a Hispanic woman earlier this week at a shoddy abortion center in Queens, New York. In an interview with a local newspaper, staff at the abortion center were dismissive of the woman's death, prompting outrage from a pro-life group that monitors abortion facilities.

As has reported, 37-year-old Alexandra Nuñez was killed after a botched abortion claimed her life at the A-1 Women's Care abortion center located in Jackson Heights.

Despite the abortion death, staff at the abortion center, who did not return a phone call seeking comment, told the new York Daily News that everything went properly during the abortion procedure and that they are still booking women for abortions.

"The patient was transferred to the hospital, she didn't die at the clinic," a woman from the clinic told the newspaper. "Nothing happened here."

That has Operation Rescue president Troy Newman beside himself.

"Nothing happened there -- except fatal injuries during a botched abortion which cost a woman her life," Newman told

"It is so typical of abortion clinics to hide the truth, but this time, the truth is out. The clinic is under investigation, and we will be forwarding information about this tragedy to the New York State Medical Board and demand disciplinary action against the abortionist," he said.

Entire story here.
Maybe the abortion providers over here who brag about "helping" Latina women should add this story to the others that they told.

Please pray for Alexandra Nuñez, the Nuñez family and the conversion of the abortion providers out there who spend their days destroying life.

Planned Parenthood says "Young People are Sexual Beings"

I first saw this article over at A Catholic View. It truly shows how the pro-death movement attempts to twist and pervert sexuality on a daily basis:
New York, NY ( -- In its new report "Stand and Deliver," the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is demanding that governments, religious institutions and society at large provide "comprehensive sexuality education" for children as young as ten years old.

In a foreword, Bert Koenders of the Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, which helped fund the publication, asserts that, "Young people have the right to be fully informed about sexuality and to have access to contraceptives and other services. These rights are enshrined in various internationally agreed human rights convention and treaties, but – unfortunately – they are still not universally respected."

According to IPPF, as "young people are sexual beings," it should be self-evident that "sexuality education promotes individual well-being and the advancement of broader societal and public health goals." IPPF argues that "comprehensive sexuality education" must be mandatory in school, and governments must also ensure that this education is delivered to those young people who are out of school.

IPPF claims that "With young people as partners, today's adult decision-makers have the chance to recast sex and sexuality as a positive force for change and development, as a source of pleasure, an embodiment of human rights and an expression of self."

IPPF contends that comprehensive sexuality education is necessary to encourage young people's "self-esteem, thoughtful decision-making and negotiation skills and it helps them to develop satisfying and pleasurable sexual lives." Moreover, IPPF expounds that the "power" of comprehensive sexuality education "to challenge traditional gender roles" must not be underestimated.

Read the entire article here.

This goes hand in hand with Education Czar Kevin Jennings ideas for "education" in our schools. So much for just letting kids be kids. I was still playing with dolls when I was ten!

Doctor's Visit #3- 16 Weeks Along- Part 2


The appointment went well and we heard the baby's heartbeat, which is always amazing. The baby actually kept moving away from the heartbeat monitor thingy and so we could actually see the little bump zooming all over the place, which was pretty cool at only 16 weeks! It was the first time, this time around that I'd actually seen my bump move!

I am a bit stressed out about the other part of the appointment though.

My blood pressure was up 40 points (this may answer the headache questions I've been having lately), but our doctor was in a hurry and rushed in, prescribed hydrocordone for the headaches, said she's see me in a month and rushed back out! So I'm going to start using Grumpa's blood pressure cuff to keep track of any blood pressure/ headache relationship that might exist.

I came home and googled pregnancy and hydrocordone and now the chances of me taking it are pretty slim...

And I'd lost half a pound in the past month! Which is absolutely insane because I'm eating a lot (apparently breastfeeding and being pregnant takes more calories than I can actually consume without becoming physically ill? I'm eating all day!)! While this is a problem I'd usually love to have, it's not one I'd like right now, because I don't want to have the "you're going to have to wean" talk (although we've been gradually weaning and are back to two short feedings a day which are really just for comfort before nap and bedtime).

On the up side we are having our ultrasound a week from today and hopefully we'll get to find out if it's a little boy or a little girl we'll be welcoming into the family!

I can hardly wait to find out!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Blessing on the Way!

I almost forgot that today is THURSDAY! Delta Flute over at My Twisted Life's Journey is going to be induced tonight! Prayers for a safe, easy delivery and a healthy little one! I can hardly wait to hear about your new little blessing (although take your time and rest! A new baby is the best excuse in the world not to be online!).

The Best Seat in the House

Here is a picture of Sadie, in her tractor pajamas, sitting in the refrigerator. She's pretty thrilled with the situation. The tractor pajamas (which are tied with the rocket ship/moon pajamas, and rank only a bit bellow her Wonder Pet PJs that have a beautiful red cape) are some of her favorites. She picked them out (if you let Sadie decide between tractor pajamas and princess ballerina pajamas the tractor pajamas will win EVERY time) and she loves them.

Last night she did spot her Wonder Pet pajamas though, and I think we may have a struggle convincing her that it's time to get dressed. Actually, I'm expecting a full out tantrum. She spent the morning running around the house showing everyone that Linny, Tuck and Ming Ming are on her shirt. Yes, I'm definitely not looking forward to changing her into her day time clothes (during the storm when we stayed inside all day she got to spend two whole days in PJs, one in tractors and one in spaceships and she loved it!). But she has to! We're headed to Redding for Doctor's Appointment #3 today. I can hardly wait!

Doctor's Visit #3- 16 Weeks Along- Part 1

Sadie wasn't thrilled when she realized we were heading into the city today. She's been promised a trip to the local Park/Aquarium, and usually the mere mention of the Park makes her face light up. This time however, she got a little frown and a "thinking" look. I think she's realized that a promised trip to the Park means three hours round trip in the car... and unfortunately she's never been the type of baby who sleeps in the car. She's too busy fussing and looking for trucks to point out (she was the only one in the county who was happy when they had the freeways in the area torn up for most of summer... there were more tractors to look at and she thought the drives were much more interesting).

We're headed to the city for doctor's appointment #3! This will be the first time Paul will be there to hear the heartbeat (yay!) and we should be scheduling the ultrasound today. I am so impatient to know if we're expecting a boy or a girl... And I'm especially excited since the nurse at the office says that the imaging center they're sending us to also does a DVD of the ultrasound!

And hopefully the doctor has some idea about the insane pregnancy headaches I've been having (and making them stop)! A headache almost every day is just too much!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bishop of the Week: Bishop Ronald Gainer

I've thought for a while that Nancy Pelosi has had ample warning about her Pro-Death stance and should be denied communion. Here is another Bishop who is brave enough to speak out about this (apparently) difficult issue:
WASHINGTON, January 26, 2010 ( – Speaking with (LSN) after the Vigil for Life Mass last week, Lexington Bishop Ronald Gainer said that the Church has been “patient enough” with outspokenly pro-abortion Catholic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

LSN questioned Bishop Gainer on whether Pelosi should be denied communion due to her public stance as a ‘pro-choice’ Catholic. While acknowledging that it was up to her local bishop, the Lexington prelate did say that “something should be done.”

Pelosi’s latest salvo claiming to support abortion and yet be a faithful Catholic came in a December Newsweek interview. "I am a practicing Catholic,” she said, while suggesting that this made the U.S. bishops uncomfortable. "I practically mourn this difference of opinion,” she said regarding her conflict with the Church over abortion, “because I feel what I was raised to believe is consistent with what I profess, and that is that we are all endowed with, a free will and a responsibility to answer for our actions.” She added: “And that women should have that opportunity to exercise their free will."

Reacting to Pelosi’s stance, Bishop Gainer said, “to make these public statements is a betrayal of our Catholic faith and discipline.” The bishop noted that her position was a “contradiction” and stressed that “our Church is clear on what the teachings are regarding the sanctity of life, on the inviolability of human life.”

Pelosi’s latest salvo claiming to support abortion and yet be a faithful Catholic came in a December Newsweek interview. "I am a practicing Catholic,” she said, while suggesting that this made the U.S. bishops uncomfortable. "I practically mourn this difference of opinion,” she said regarding her conflict with the Church over abortion, “because I feel what I was raised to believe is consistent with what I profess, and that is that we are all endowed with, a free will and a responsibility to answer for our actions.” She added: “And that women should have that opportunity to exercise their free will."

Reacting to Pelosi’s stance, Bishop Gainer said, “to make these public statements is a betrayal of our Catholic faith and discipline.” The bishop noted that her position was a “contradiction” and stressed that “our Church is clear on what the teachings are regarding the sanctity of life, on the inviolability of human life.”

Read full story here.
Here's a link to a canon lawyers explanation of denial of the eucharist that Paul had me read a while back.

Archbishop George Niederauer has spoken with her. He's advised her. And yet Pelosi continues to parade around, advocating the murder of innocent children.

Which brings me to, a short note to Archbishop Niederauer:

Your Excellency (if you somehow come across my little post) , please take a page out of Bishop Vasa's book: Ms. Pelosi's very public actions ARE completely incompatible with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Ms. Pelosi's statements repeatedly show that she thinks that her beliefs are acceptable and that it truly is just a "difference of opinion." Most second graders could understand easily that it's far more than that. The Vatican has been clear on the issue and what should be done. You've spoken with her and given her every chance to change her stance. Nothing has changed. Now it's up to you to take the next step... Our prayers are with you as you govern what must be a difficult Archdiocese.

(Photo Courtesy of

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Abortionist Realizes the Truth

Former Abortionist Dr. McArthur Hill graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in Medicine in 1968 and enlisted in the Air Force. Here is part of his story. The entire story can be seen here and tells how he began doing abortions as an Air Force doctor and ultimately realized the great evil in the work that he had done:
"...I did not consciously select the words I used in dictating the operative report, but my subconscious mind was obviously at work trying to protect my conscience mind through denial. As you were listening to what I said, you heard me say the words "uterine contents," you heard me say the word "tissue," "fluid and tissue," and "procedure." They are all words which denied what really happened that day.

The pathology specimen that we sent down was labeled, "Products of Conception." The operation performed was called a vacuum curettage. But on the operation request and report, under special circumstances, were found the words "living fetus." The gymnastics which my mind performed in dictating that report could not totally erase the fact that something living was killed that day..."

"...and since I was in California during my training, abortion was legal under conditions which threatened the mother's health, mental health and her life.

Most, if not all, of the abortions which we performed were done so that the patient's life would not be interrupted by the pregnancy and delivery of a baby..."

"...I discovered an interesting thing, too, at that time because I would ask them for the year of their abortion, and I discovered that when they gave me the date that many of them did not give me merely the year, they gave me the exact date of their abortions as easily as most women recall the birthdates of their babies...."
As with the other doctor's who are members of the Pro-Life Action League Dr. McArthur ultimately realized that abortion is a great evil and began speaking out and educating others about what actually goes on when a tiny human life is destroyed.

Where were the Young Pro-Life Activists? At the March for Life!

Good Morning! This is a refreshing article from a pro-abortion writer from the Washington Post. I find it refreshing because it's one of the first articles I've seen in the mainstream media that doesn't downplay the attendance of the young members of the pro-life side.
Young activists adding fuel to antiabortion side
By Robert McCartney
Sunday, January 24, 2010

"I went to the March for Life rally Friday on the Mall expecting to write about its irrelevance. Isn't it quaint, I thought, that these abortion protesters show up each year on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, even though the decision still stands after 37 years. What's more, with a Democrat in the White House likely to appoint justices who support abortion rights, surely the Supreme Court isn't going to overturn Roe in the foreseeable future.

How wrong I was. The antiabortion movement feels it's gaining strength, even if it's not yet ready to predict ultimate triumph, and Roe supporters (including me) are justifiably nervous."

"...In this case, I was especially struck by the large number of young people among the tens of thousands at the march. It suggests that the battle over abortion will endure for a long time to come...."

"...Activists who support abortion rights conceded that there's less energy among young people on their side of the debate..."

Read the full article here. (emphasis mine)

Have a wonderful morning!

Monday, January 25, 2010

16 Weeks!

Keeping the 1st Amendment Intact

There are quite a few in the pro-Death camp that would like to make sure that religious groups can't teach that abortion is wrong. Here's a perfect example (and our prayer intention for the day...).

Sometimes I wonder if people intentionally misunderstand the first amendment. However, I think it's far more likely that they just hear what everyone else is saying and parrot the argument, without really thinking about the absurdity of the the words that are coming out of their mouths (after all, if our genius political representatives are saying that any Church that has an opinion on marriage or the sanctity of human life risk loosing their tax exempt status then it must be true and more ridiculously, it must be based in the first amendment.).

Fortunately the 1st amendment is exactly what protects religious institutions from this type of attack. Let's take a look at what it actually says:
Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The founding fathers were outlawing the founding of a national church (an equivalent of the Church of England) that would be established by congress. They weren't saying that churches couldn't teach on moral issues. The first amendment protects the free exercise of religion and it takes a denial to a whole new level to imagine that the opposite is true.

The sort of rant in the blog above, and those given by several liberal members of the house in the past months, shows exactly why the first amendment was put in place and exactly what it was intended to protect against.

I do wonder if this will go before the Supreme Court eventually and we'll all get a lesson in 8th Grade Government to help our legislators and liberal arts professors understand what most 13 year olds get on the first read.

Now on to the second most frequently misquoted text:
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, "Let me take the speck out of your eye," when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. (Matt. 7:1-5)
Does this mean that we can't judge whether or not something is sinful? No! But I'll let an actual apologist explain:
"If we break this passage down line by line, it becomes clear that Jesus was not telling his disciples that they could not ever judge the behavior of others. Rather, he was cautioning them to live righteous lives themselves so that their judgment of others’ behavior would not be rash judgment and their efforts would be effective in admonishing their neighbors.

"Judge not, that you be not judged." By itself, this statement could be construed to mean that one may escape even God’s judgment simply by not judging the behavior of others. Of course, everyone is judged by God, so this cannot be a proper understanding. Jesus goes on to reformulate his statement in a positive way: "With the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get." Jesus indeed expects his disciples to judge but he warns that they, too, will be judged in a like manner.

This is reminiscent of the line in the Lord’s Prayer, "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us" (Matt. 6:12). Much more than a simple warning that God will treat us as we treat others, this is an appeal to each of us to be as much as we can like God in the way that we treat others. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, "there has to be a vital participation, coming from the depths of the heart, in the holiness and the mercy and the love of our God. Only the Spirit by whom we live can make ‘ours’ the same mind that was in Christ Jesus" (CCC 2842).

In the next two lines Jesus cautions against hypocrisy: "Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?" Judging hypocritically is not effective. A petty thief admonished by a bank robber only scoffs at his admonisher.

Jesus then explains how to judge rightly: "First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye." Much to the point of this article, there can be no doubt that those final words—"take the speck out of your brother’s eye"—are, indeed, permission to judge so long as it is done rightly."
The article goes on to explain that we are not to judge whether another is condemned to Hell. That judgement is reserved for him alone.

After all, if the skewed interpretation of "Judge not" were true than the spiritual work of mercy "Admonish the Sinner" would be a sin.

I feel like I should print out the entire article above and carry it in my pocket at all times so I can hand it to the next Catholic who use Matthew 7:1 as an excuse. We've all heard it (in my pre-conversion days I even used it): "Well I know abortion is wrong, but I can't judge someone else's decision."

Really? You can't say that it's wrong for someone else to commit murder?

One Year Old and Chocolate Ice Cream

If you ask Sadie how old she is this is the response you get!

Of course if you ask her how old she is in public, all bets are off.

We've had a long week! With all the rain we haven't been able to spend very much time outside walking (when there are breaks in the rain we go out, and have found that Sadie will puddle stomp with, or without her boots on) and Sadie is going a little stir crazy.

Last night I realized that there is a drastic difference between giving Sadie a few bites of ice cream and giving Sadie a few bites of ice cream with chocolate in it. When Sadie has ice cream we usually don't see any noticeable difference in how she acts. After sharing Mommy and Daddy's mint cookie ice cream after dinner (and they were tiny bowls she was sharing out of) she went wild. She spent an hour running, non stop, back and forth across the living room and Nani and Grumpa's squealing! When she was put into bed half an hour later than usual (and she usually crashes if she gets put in bed after 7:30) she sat back up and grinned...

And that was when I knew we were in for a long night...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Stand Up for Life

"We will stand up every time that human life is threatened. When the sacredness of life before birth is attacked, we will stand up and proclaim that no one ever has the authority to destroy unborn life. When a child is described as a burden or is looked upon only as a means to satisfy an emotional need, we will stand up and insist that every child is a unique and unrepeatable gift of God, with the right to a loving and united family."
~ Pope John Paul II, Homily at the Holy Mass at the Capital Mall, October 7, 1979 ~

Saturday, January 23, 2010

March for Life 2010

I have to say that I wish I could have been at one of the marches yesterday! The second half of Paul's winter term always starts back up on this particular weekend and I am not quite daring enough to make the ten hour round trip drive by myself to go to the closest march (and besides, we only have one car and since Paul has it I'm stuck out here in the booneys). Each year I hope that the professor will cancel class, or maybe even say, "hey, since this is a Catholic theology program, you know what we should do?"... but it's highly unlikely that that will ever happen (at my Catholic College, which I actually think might be a little more orthodox than Paul's, we were encouraged by Professor's to get extra credit by going to pretty much any far left protest... usually the type of thing that ended up being organized by

So on Friday I was at home, adding my prayers to all the others out there, that this will be the year that, after 37 years, the unspeakable horror and slaughter that goes on daily in doctor's offices and clinics and hospitals across the country, will finally comes to an end.

I have to say that the media coverage has actually been rather exciting to follow. From the National Catholic Register to The American Spectator you can read about what really happened at the Marches. But what is really the most telling is the mainstream media's confused (intentionally or not) coverage of the event. The woman writing at Newsweek (whose hardly coherent article they attempted to explain at the American Spectator) doesn't seem to understand that "The March for Life" was a Pro-Life event. It's amazing that Newsweek would post something that was so confused, but I guess that just shows how far gone they are (my parents stopped their subscription months ago, and Newsweek keeps on sending the magazine along with final notices. They'll actually be happy when they get the final final notice.).

Steven Greydanus at NCR writes about his experience and refutes the mainstream media's claim that there were no young people there. Here's part of his description of the day in D.C.:
"Yesterday, tens or even hundreds of thousands of pro-life demonstrators rallied in Washington, DC. Catholic News Agency cited “hundreds of thousands” and quoted an EWTN estimate of 300,000. A police officer at the march told me that the unofficial police estimate was 50,000, but added, “There’s way more than that.” Numerous police officers on the ground told me that attendance was significantly up than last year’s record-breaking levels. One officer seemed a bit worn out by the sheer size of the crowd and the length of the time it took the whole march to get up Constitution Avenue. All I know is it took me from 2:00 to 4:45 to get from the rally site to the Supreme Court building—a distance of about a half-dozen blocks.

Were there counter-demonstrators also? A few, apparently. I’ve seen pictures that show they were there..."
Yet CNN says that "Abortion rights supporters and opponents" were there protesting? Here's more from Greydanus on CNN's wording:
"Supporters first, opponents second, with no indication whatsoever of the relative sizes of the two groups. Nowhere in the article is there any indication whatsoever of how many of each group were present. Not even “tens of thousands” or even just “thousands” of pro-lifers. Just “Abortion rights supporters and opponents.”

This is sheer mendacity—not even just biased journalism, it’s outright malicious deception.

This was not a meeting or juxtaposition of two opposed demonstrations, however equal or unequal. It was a massive pro-life demonstration with a few counter-demonstrators. We were the event; they were a tiny footnote. That is simply a fact that the piece is nakedly attempting to bury."
The article goes on to talk about CNN's claim that young women were missing from the March. Yet if you just glance at the pictures of the crowds it's plain to see that that is simply not true. Maybe that's why CNN was showing pictures of five pro-death demonstrators instead of the hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers that were there? It would have only taken a good look at a photo of the March to reveal the lie.

The Pro-Life movement is large enough that the media feels the need to twist the facts in order to fit their small, relativistic view of reality. And it's only going to keep growing!

Clinic Worker Tells of Late Term Abortions

Luhra Tivis was a member of NOW when she went to work as a medical secretary for George Tiller. Here is her story:
"...He said that he only did late abortions on severely deformed babies or for reasons of a medical crisis—in others words, for a valid reason. Then very quickly he said "And besides that, at this stage, those babies' lungs are so underdeveloped that they couldn't survive outside the mother anyway." I knew in my heart at that point in time that it was wrong, but I said to myself, "He's a doctor. I can trust him...""
"...I thought they were going to tell me how they want the information sheet filled out and how to keep the phone record and this and that. But what I was handed instead was a packet of information—materials to study—on how to be a high-pressure salesperson over the phone, like telemarketing: how to convince somebody to buy your product.

I started doing all the filing on the medical records. In over 95% of these babies, and it's probably more than that, there was nothing wrong with those babies at all—nothing—and these were third trimester abortions..."

The rest of her story, which is posted here by the Pro Life Action League, tells about the four day process that Dr. Tiller's patients went through during their abortions. Ms. Tivis ends by saying:
"I can't say I am glad I was there, but I'm glad that I'm standing here today to give my testimony to you, because if I can inspire you to help save babies' lives, that's what I want to do."
Keep praying to end this evil!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Two Lives Lost: An Abortion Story

The Pro-Life Action League reveals, from the doctor's point of view, what really goes on during abortions. While all of the stories of the doctor's and clinic managers show the awful, hideous face of what goes on when doctor's (and sometimes untrained personal) murder an unborn child, they also offer hope. These men and women recognized the evil of what they were doing and now speak out against the murder of innocents.

Here is part of Joy Davis' story. The entire story can be viewed here, at the Pro-Life Action League.
"Fourteen years ago, I was offered a job in an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama. A very short time after working there, I realized one thing: we were not there to help women. We were a business—a money-making organization..."

"...I never spent the first day in medical school. I really knew nothing about medicine, other than what I had seen other doctors do, but I started doing abortions. I started actually performing surgery on women. I did norplants, cryosurgery, pap smears, pelvic exams—anything he did, I did.
And I was real proud of that because I felt I did it better than he did. I never put a woman in the hospital, and he was putting them in the hospital almost every month, in very critical condition. So I really had a big head..."

"... Then one day a young girl came to us. She was not healthy enough to go through a late second trimester abortion. So I turned her down. I told her that she needed to go to a hospital where they could find out what was wrong with her. Dr. Tucker came in and insisted that I put her through. He said she had paid an $1800 deposit and that he was not going to give her the money back.

The doctor came in and did her abortion. I monitored on ultrasound while he was doing the abortion. And as soon as he was through he walked out of the room.

As she started coming to, she started having difficulty breathing. Her blood pressure bottomed out. Everything was going wrong. I sent for the doctor to come back in the room. We were running around, trying to resuscitate her, trying to do everything we could to stabilize her..."
"...When the doctor found out that I called the ambulance, he was furious. He canceled the ambulance. He told me, "I'm the doctor here. I'll make those decisions. We cannot send this patient to the hospital in this condition. They'll hang us. Now try to stabilize her..."

"...So they transported her to the hospital. I felt relieved that the responsibility had been taken off of me. I then received a phone call from the hospital, which informed me that she had died..."

"... I went to the medical board; I went to the D.A.—I turned over all the information of all the negligence that we had done. I turned myself in for practicing medicine without a license and gave them the proof that I was doing so..."

"...I went back to the medical board in Alabama and I said, "Why aren't you doing anything?" They said abortion was a hot political issue and they really didn't want to touch it..."

"...But I then remembered two people that were sidewalk counselors in front of our clinics. They were very, very much against what we did, but they loved me. And when I had no one else I could turn to, I called them. I told them that I couldn't face another day, that I needed help. And she said, "Joy, what you need is God." She told me how God loved me. How he died for my sins. She prayed the most beautiful prayer I had ever heard, a heat ran all the way through my body. I was on fire and I fell to my knees and begged God to forgive me...."
Yet the Pro-Death Camp would have us all believe that abortion helps women and that abortion providers are just trying to liberate women from the oppression of having children. In reality the dark truth involves murder and money and doesn't involve liberating anyone.

Abortion is Murder.

"Words are potent weapons for all causes, good or bad".
--Manly Hall

Our culture has realized that words, written and spoken, can be very powerful. Every day the list of "politically correct" (or non-correct) terms gets longer and I've even found myself reading articles by pro-life writers who have been sucked in by the absurdity. They say that it's not "helpful to the dialogue" to call abortion "murder."

It's odd to me that some pro-lifers can recognize that the act that is being undertaken is so evil that they don't even want to speak the word (and they'd go so far as to tell others not to do it).

But abortion is murder. It is violent.

The form of execution that most resembles it- being drawn and quartered, was used in the middle ages, but was seldom used in the centuries that followed and was taken off the books in the UK in 1814.

Who would submit a child to that type to torture (and remember most criminals were hanged before they were drawn and quartered, aborted children aren't even given that small mercy)? And yet abortion providers do every single day.

Abortion providers murder children. Abortion is murder.

So keep speaking out. Your voice, when God uses it to speak the truth, may just be what gets through to a sadly confused woman who is trying to figure out what to next.

"How forcible are right words!"
Job 6:25

"How often misused words generate misleading thoughts."
--Herbert Spencer (Principles of Ethics (1879) bk. 1, pt. 2, ch. 8, sect. 152)

Please pray for "Eve" who writes this very sad blog after having an abortion last year.

And now, in the interest of keeping this post from being too long, I'll post another hopeful story of an abortion provider who realized that she was murdering children and who stopped and began to speak out about the evils of the abortion industry.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

No Excuses Exist for the Destruction of Life

As I said yesterday, I'm asking my readers to pray for those in the abortion field, that their hearts may turn from this evil, and for those whose lives have been effected by the horror that is brought by the destruction of innocent life. Please pray for all the abortion providers at this site, particularly the one that wrote the post that we'll focus on today (be warned before clicking over onto the site that the language they use varies from post to post and can be very strong although the language in this particular post is mild compared to the others... my thoughts in pink):
"I feel burned out. I feel bitter. I am angry I have a job which is very demanding and I am changing people's lives and doing good, and I have to spend my free time defending it. Some people would say that I am bitter and burned out because it is God finally intervening and showing me the light.

This is not true..."
This paragraph is one of the reasons I decided to begin with this post and to ask for your prayers for this particular provider. This woman can clearly feel that something is wrong and while she still denies it vehemently she cannot ignore the impact on her life. As the former abortion provider who tells her story at the bottom of this page shows, there is hope. Eventually this woman may realize that this is about so much more than a choice. It's about life.
"...When people in the government are working to take your rights away it's hard not to get angry..."
When the lawmakers who are part of the majority party in congress are trying to work to take away your right not to pay for the slaughter of unborn children, it's hard not to get angry.
"When you hear how hard some of these women have it, it is difficult not to get upset. When people don't even know how deeply disenfranchised many of these women are. What it would be like to walk a mile in her shoes. What it would be like to have a monthly budget composed of $237 from food stamps for you and your two small children. And that's it. People don't even know and they make judgments and want to decide this woman's life for her. It's not fair..."
This is a common theme in many of these posts: the idea that the people who are against abortion cannot possibly understand the women who make the decision to have an abortion because they can't possibly understand the situation that these women are in.

Every time I read or hear this argument I am tempted to respond. I CAN understand poverty. While I'm not a single mother, I can (from personal experience), understand what it's like for three people to survive on $200 of food stamps each month (actually when I saw that I thought that where we are $245 is expected to feed two children and two adults). I can even understand what it's like to live in a 100 square foot cabin without running water with a toddler, while pregnant. And yet we are joyful because God has entrusted another life to our family!

Yes, I think I can understand many of these situations pretty well...

Yet there is no excuse for destroying a life. Life can be very hard. But the difficulties we face cannot be used as license to harm others (much less kill).

It's not about wanting to "decide a woman's life for her." It's not about choice. It's about recognizing the sanctity of human life and realizing that there is never a reason (any reason) that gives human beings the right to destroy a life.

Now for something a bit more uplifting.

The first person I'm going to profile is Carol Everett, a former abortion clinic owner, who joined the abortion industry in 1973 after her husband and doctor successfully pressured her to abort her third child. After the abortion her life fell apart and her marriage ended.

A psychiatrist helped her to "get her life together" and eventually she began to work in the abortion industry. Finally after realizing how profitable the industry could be she decided to open her own clinics. Here are a few highlights from her story in her own words. I strongly suggest reading the entire story for yourself:
"We opened our clinic and the first month we did 45 abortions. The last month I was there, with two clinics functioning in the Dallas area, we did over 500 abortions a month in that clinic. I was compensated at the rate of $25.00 per case plus one-third of the clinics, so you can imagine what my motivation was. I sold abortions.

I had made $150,000; was on target in 1983 to make $260,000; and when we opened our five clinics, I would have been taking home about a million dollars a year. I expected to make more than that after we were functioning..."

"...I'm sure you've seen those numbers advertised that say "Problem Pregnancy," "Abortion Information," or "Pregnant?". When a young girl finds out she is pregnant, she may not want an abortion, she may just want information.

But when she calls that number that's paid for by abortion money, what kind of information do you think she is going to get? Remember, they sell abortions. They don't sell keeping the baby. They don't sell giving the baby up. They don't sell delivering the baby in any form. They only sell abortions.

The counselor that the girl speaks to on the telephone is paid to be her friend. She is supposed to seduce her into a friendship of sorts to sell her the abortion..."

"...I've never been able to come up with the words to describe the abortion procedure. There are no words to describe how bad it really is. It kills the baby.

I've seen sonograms with the baby pulling away from the instruments that are introduced into the vagina. And I've seen D & E through 32 weeks done without the mother being put to sleep. Yes, they are very painful to the baby. But, yes they are very, very painful to the woman. I've seen six people hold a woman on the table while they did the abortion..."

"...Every time you pro-life activists are standing in front of the clinic you are holding a light on inside that clinic. You are holding those people accountable.

That day they are less likely to do an abortion on the woman who is not pregnant, or the woman who is too far along. The abortionist who brags about doing eight, ten, even twelve abortions an hour will slow down. He's afraid of you."
Your prayers do make a difference. During the protests and vigils your voices are heard. Keep speaking out! Keep fighting! You voice may be the one that is heard... the word you speak may be one that saves a life...

A Good Night!

Yay! We had a successful night last night! Sadie got into her Big Girl Bed at 7:30 and woke up at 6:15. I did get up and rub her back for about a minute when she started to fuss at 12:05, but that was it. This is definitely the most consistent sleep we've both gotten in a while.

I am currently a little annoyed with Huggies diapers. You see, Huggies Night Time diapers only go up to size five and then they switch over to Pull-Ups. Now there is now way that Sadie is going to fit into a size five ever again. Our greatest challenge at this point is... dryness. And after seeing how useless the swim diapers are (and to my eye they look a lot like pullups) I'm don't think that pullups would be great for a baby that isn't using the potty at all yet!

And while Sadie's a big toddler, it's not as if she's so far above the average that Huggies doesn't need to make a size that fits! I haven't even checked out Pampers, because they just don't work on Sadie. I think Huggies are usually better on tall skinny babies and Pampers are designed for a shorter body (we actually usually use the CVS diapers, but they don't make nighttime ones either! At least not that are carried at our store).

Right now Sadie is preparing for her morning hour of television. She can hear the music for KIXE,the local PBS station, from her highchair in the kitchen and she will scream at the top of her lungs to get down and run into the other room so that she can be there when Curious George comes on. Then she'll grab her two monkey dolls and they'll all watch George's adventures together. After that it's Sid the Science Kid (we love to dance to the songs) and Sadie thinks it's hilarious for Mommy to substitute "Sadie" for "Sid" in the songs and then the TV goes off.

Hopefully today we'll get a break in the storms that have been battering us. We just need a good solid hour to go out, puddle stomp, swing on the gate at the top of Nini and Gigi's property, check the water tanks (Sadie LOVES checking the water tank with Nani to see how full it is) possibly because it's right next to the old green gate, and going on a long walk to get our wiggles out. Long walks are usually even longer when puddle stomping is involved.

Now I need to go find the camera cord so I can upload the new pictures that Paul took of Sadie yesterday!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It's Not a Choice! It's a Life!

Two days remain until the 37th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. Across the country marches and prayer vigils will be held this weekend as men and women around the nation mourn the ongoing slaughter of the most defenseless members of society.

Over the past few days I’ve been focusing on the upcoming weekend and turning over in my head what can possibly be said or done to make a difference. When faced with tragedy on this scale, coming up with the right words (or any words at all) can be a little overwhelming. However silence is especially unthinkable during these difficult times. We must find the words to help our secular nation remember the very basic truth that life cannot be thrown away simply because it isn’t convenient.

As I sometimes do (when I can stomach it) I went out and began to read some of the pro-death blogs that you find out there in cyberspace.

It’s odd to read the writings and rationalizations of abortion doctors and other abortion proponents who would like to boil the entire issue down to choice, while at the same time feeling the tiny life moving about in my womb (someone is clearly taking offense to the usual position of my laptop when I type or read). It’s bizarre because the argument, which has become standard these days, makes no sense whatsoever.

In what twisted world could you say, “it’s my choice to kill you?” to someone. I remember back in my Politics 001 days reading about personal rights and how my right to swing my fist ends where the nose of the person I’m punching begins. My “right” to make decisions is entirely dependent, every single day, on the impact that it would have on the rest of society (after all, the threat of prosecution hangs over the other bad choices that we all could make).

Yes, we have choices, but it’s impossible to honestly justify the “right” to have the “choice” to end someone else’s life.

For the rest of the month I plan on doing a daily post that focuses on abortion. I’m going to post links to some of the abortion blogs I’ve visited and talk about their views and I’m going to ask my readers to join with me to pray that God touches their hearts and that they realize the evil that they are doing and change their lives.

For those of you who pray the rosary here’s a possible idea (and what I’m doing, although all kinds prayers are appreciated and everyone is welcome to join in!):

  • One decade dedicated to the conversion of abortion doctors that their hearts may soften and that they may realize that it is truly evil to destroy innocent lives and be truly transformed.
  • One decade dedicated to lives and families (men, women and children…both living and dead) that have been damaged and destroyed by the blight of abortion.
  • One decade for politicians and lawmakers that they might realize that this is about far more than getting elected: it is a matter of life and death.
  • One decade for women who are considering ending the life of their unborn child, that they might stop before they make a decision that they will never be able to take back and recognize that every life is a gift from God.
  • One decade that this horror might end in our country and in the entire world.
Here are some abortion providers that I've been praying for if you want to join in right away. If you've read my posts there's a good chance you've seen the link before and will see it again in the next week.

The above suggestions were the intentions (roughly, since it was the middle of the night) that came to me when I was trying to convince my little one to go back to sleep at 2 am.

And to add a little hope to this rather bleak topic, I’ll also be posting profiles of former abortion doctors whose eyes were opened through the grace of God and who work today to end the massacre that occurs every day in our nation.

Prayers for all of you that will be out marching and at clinics this weekend!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Can Cavities Get Better?

What a strange day! Tomorrow I hope to get back on track blogging, checking and responding to any emails (I'm a little scared to see the size of my inbox after leaving it be for this many days) and catching up on comments during nap time.

Today's post has a lot to do with teeth (hence the close up picture where I'm giving Paul the "you better stop taking pictures because I really don't need 500 more pictures of myself" look). Paul and I journeyed down out of the mountains for a teeth cleaning in The City.

We switched dentists a few weeks ago (you may remember my emergency appointment for what turned out to be a flossing injury... which my new dentist was nice enough to not charge us for... or laugh about.) because our old one was so expensive. My mom and I had started comparing dental bills and her procedures cost hundreds of dollars less than ours.

I was beginning to get a little suspicious that our old guy was overcharging us. He would bill our insurance (back when we had insurance) and then charge us an additional $300 (or so) because our insurance "hadn't paid for everything."

Now I should go back a bit further to explain. I don't like going to the dentist. I had managed to avoid it for five entire years when I met Paul. Before college I had gone every six months, had braces twice, years in retainers and invisaliners and frankly the fear I'd developed was pretty close to a phobia. So I expected things to be bad when I went in for a cleaning.

Before the appointment I'd never had a cavity. I ended the day with an appointment to come back with five fillings. Paul, who'd been seeing a dentist regularly, came home with an appointment for something like four fillings. We were both surprised.

I was more surprised however, when we went back two cleanings later and he found more cavities. We'd both become much more careful with our daily cleaning routines (you should see me now, it's insane... hence the "flossing injury"). He said I had one and that Paul had three more cavities and probably needed a root canal. Then he handed us a bill that included around $500 in x-rays in addition to the cleaning costs. When I placed the credit card on the table I knew it would be a while until we could afford to come back.

Fast forward 14 months. When we went in today we figured we'd pay for those months away. I wasn't getting x-rays until after I have the little one, but Paul did and we were expecting bad news. If he needed a root canal 14 months ago, imagine how bad it would be now!

They cleaned his teeth, took the (free) x-rays and examined them. And guess what they found?

Nothing! Not one single cavity! In fact, they said his mouth looked great and they couldn't even see a spot where it looked like a cavity might be forming.

I spent the entire car ride home (an hour and a half) trying to figure out some other explanation to excuse the contradiction. Cavities don't just disappear completely, do they?

I've been searching to see if it's possible (I'd like to believe that it is and that this guy was only charging way too much, rather than charging way to much to fill teeth that were perfectly healthy...). Most of the sites I've found say it's not. One dentist wrote that she'd seen it in a friend's child who was using ACT (which is actually what we've both been using twice a day).

If it is the ACT it's pretty amazing. But can you really go from needing a root canal to perfect teeth in one year from mouth wash?

Anyways, I'm just relieved we aren't about to get another huge bill for fillings! Now I'd better get some sleep. I have big ideas for tomorrow's post!

Monday, January 18, 2010

One Step Closer to Rome!

Instead of using my nap/blogging time today for blogging I used it to do a little digging about graduate school funding. When I began I wasn't very hopeful. I don't know why, but from the very beginning Paul and I assumed that he wouldn't be eligible for US Student Loans if he went to Italy to study (see his dream school here). After a half dozen unsuccessful internet searches I found this.

The next part was a little bit trickier because in order to find a school's code you need to have the right name (or a part of the correct name anyway). I tried to type in the whole name in English but ran out of room after "Pontifical University." So I searched that with no luck. Then I tried "Thomas" since it's "The Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas." I was starting to feel a little depressed when I finally typed in "Tomasso."


The Pontificia Universita San Tommaso has the Federal School Code: G11044! So there's actually a chance we'll be able to get a loan!

Since Paul worked the 10-7am shift last night he is asleep and will not appreciate this phenomenal news for another few hours. And in an extraordinary act of willpower I will not run down to the cabin to wake him up.

This opens up a whole new world of possibilities (and the tuition is like 20x cheaper than the comparable US school!) and I can just see myself living here...

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Where is Grumpa? I just can’t find him!

Oh! There he is! Under the giant pile of toys that Sadie is carefully arranging on his chair.

Sadie’s favorite game of the day involved getting her Wonder Pets School House and sitting it on Grumpa’s lap. Now lately her favorite game has been filling the School House with a line of trucks. Today the game changed. I would sing the Wonder Pets theme song…

“Wonder Pets, Wonder Pets we’re on our way, to help a little ____________ and save the day. We’re not too big and we’re not too tough but when we work together we’ve got the right stuff. Go Wonder Pets!”

I would fill in the blank with whatever toy my eyes happened upon. Sadie would race across the room, grab the toy I’d named and run back to place it on Grumpa’s lap. Things were already getting pretty crowded when I added “Robby” Sadie’s bouncy horse to the song and she tried to shove him on Grumpa’s already crowded lap. She finally enlisted Nani’s help (she wasn’t about to give up) and Grumpa disappeared entirely beneath the stuffies. We took a few pictures and I’ll try to remember to upload one tomorrow.

Sadie’s also taken to given a bottle to her “Beast” Doll (from Beauty and the Beast). She doesn’t like him sitting anywhere near her princess dolls, and she refuses to burp him (which is pretty notable because she burps pretty much everything these days) but she will pick him up and shove a bottle in his mouth. It’s kind of funny to watch!

Will the Governator and His Delta Plans Ruin My Chances of Having a Garden?

Today I feel much better! I didn’t take Tylenol last night (breaking the headache at night, take a Tylenol, wake up sick, cycle) and this morning the “morning sickness” had completely vanished.

I’m starting to think about planning this year’s garden and I’m determined to find a happy medium. I’ve had a vegetable garden for three of the last four years.

In 2006 I struggled to break up the hard packed dirt and then plant and fertilize two small, heavily fenced plots (we have some very aggressive plant eating deer here, who just aren’t satisfied with the huge area of pasture grass my parents planted for them).

In 2007 I went a bit overboard. I started early and planted all the seeds I could in my grandparents’ abandoned green house in January. And with the years of compost in the green house those little seeds flourished. I transplanted the 90+ tomato plants, along with the bell peppers, Anaheim peppers and eggplants and then added carrots and radishes, pumpkins, gourds, watermelon, cantaloupe, zucchini and cucumbers to the mix when the freezing weather passed. The garden was enormous (I’d bought 300 feet of deer fencing) and produced enough to keep our house and the local soup kitchen supplied. However it was a full time job. (Today’s pictures are from 2007.)

In 2008 I knew my limits. I was enormously pregnant (with a 9lb+ baby) and I barley waddled outside often enough to keep my herb garden alive.

This past year, 2009, my dad built a raised garden in our yard (we’re the only ones with a deer fence) and mom took care of it. I helped a little bit, but for the most part she did all of the work. Sadie especially enjoyed stealing pumpkins from Nani.

I would like to have a small garden this year. I’m event tempted to clean out the green house (which would be a huge project, because we have these annoying trees called “Trees of Heaven” that are classified as noxious weeds in our county and they sprout everywhere, including in the green house… it would take a lot of muscle to reclaim the space).

Unfortunately there are other drawbacks. With over 50% of our water going to Southern California to fill their sparkling blue swimming pools (it’s amazing how you would need to go through a half dozen agencies to put in a pond here, but you can put in a pool there with a permit, despite the drought) we aren’t left with much (I bet the farms would get more water if the the swimming pools and golf courses got less!). Our well goes dry every single year, pumping silt and mud into the house (not pleasant if you’re the one in the shower when it happens and it happens frequently). The lakes are nearly dry despite the rain and they keep sending more water south in the canal.

Worse, the Governator is now campaigning to pass a “Save the Delta” plan that would take nearly all the remaining water from the local watersheds to rehabilitate the Delta. The funny thing is, that they’re very concerned about the well being of the Smelt, a two-inch long fish that lives in the Delta. But I wonder what will happen to the salmon and trout in the Trinity and Sacramento Rivers with further reductions (I’ve heard 90% of the water would be headed south instead of the paltry 50% they already take). The economies in many of the counties in our area depend heavily on fishing tourism and will be destroyed if the water and fish are gone.

I don't understand much of the logic behind environmentalist politics. Save on portion of the state by sacrificing another. Save one tiny fish by sacrificing entire eco-systems.

And of course any garden will be out of the question if water becomes that scarce.

I guess I’ll start planning and planting and hope it keeps raining. If my garden survives, it survives. No thanks to the California water politics (wow, I didn’t even know this was going to be a “Save the Delta” rant when I started!).

Sadie's Giant Lime Green Monkey

Sadie is asleep in her big girl bed, but with her molars coming in (and really bothering her) all bets are off as to whether or not she'll stay there very long. Last night she made it all the way to 4:10 am but the night before she only slept until 12:30am. I'm hoping for an all night sleep tonight.

Even more impressive I am awake and it's after 9 pm (although that won't last too much longer, especially after being sick for most of today... I am very unhappy with Tylenol.).

We went into town today and since we had a gift card we each picked something out. Sadie's choice was a large lime green monkey. Daddy defended Sadie's choice and I was not able to convince her to switch it for a very cute bear in a pink dress. The lime green monkey (who is as of yet unnamed) appears to be going everywhere with us (Sadie showers him with kisses on an hourly basis). He's even moved up into the big girl bed, although he's on the far edge so I'm pretty sure he'll fall out fairly soon (Sadie is a pretty rowdy sleeper).

Sadie is also becoming something of a cookie monster. She somehow figured out what the cookie jar in Nani's kitchen is, and started screaming and pointing at it. We've had to make a one cookie a day rule to prevent her from running into the kitchen and begging for a cookie every three minutes. She would live on cookies and cheese and milk if we let her.

Now it's time for bed. Hopefully my new found energy and bedtime will mean that I can post more regularly again.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Tylenol Gets a Well Deserved Sadie Frown

I am a little annoyed. Actually I'm more than a little annoyed. You see lately I've been getting sick. I was confused at first, because I thought that the morning sickness had ended a couple of weeks ago. And this wasn't quite the same as morning sickness. I couldn't put my finger on it, but something was off.

Still, I figured that every pregnancy is different and that this time morning sickness must be different from the last time, coming and going randomly without cause.

One consistent throughout my pregnancies has been migraine headaches. I've kept the medicine cabinet stocked with Tylenol Extra Strength, since it's one of the few medicines the doctor automatically okays (along with Benadryl and Robitussin) and am just thankful that the headaches usually don't last very long. Last night, however, I had one of the worst migraines of my entire life. It finally faded towards morning, but when I got up I found myself incredibly sick to my stomach.

After getting sick I decided that it was probably a mixture of a sensitive stomach (during my pregnancy with Sadie I had a bleeding ulcer) and taking Tylenol right before bed on an empty stomach (or a kind of empty stomach anyways, I'd had dinner about three hours earlier). And of course I partially blamed morning sickness. Since I still had a little headache I decided to take another Tylenol (on a full stomach after breakfast) before we headed into town to do our monthly Big Food Shopping.

A few hours later I was sick in "The City," thankful that Sadie had a small toy bucket that we'd brought along.

And now I see this. Johnson and Johnson issues recalls of lots of Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl, Rolaids, Simply Sleep and St. Joseph. And looking back over the last month I think there's a pretty strong correlation between my headaches, taking Tylenol and being sick the following morning.

This website allows you to search to lot numbers of these drugs if you have them in your house.

The lot my bottle is from is not listed. However it's right next to some that are listed and frankly since this is the second recall this month I wouldn't be surprised if more followed. I can tell you one thing for certain, I'm not going to be taking another pill out of that bottle.

Johnson and Johnson definitely get a Sadie Frown.