Monday, May 31, 2010

Outfit of the Week

Sadie is asleep and there's a load of laundry in the washing machine and in the dryer, so there's not much more that I can do to get ready for the move until morning... which left me with a little time to look at vintage dresses on etsy. I stumbled across this one and it's absolutely beautiful!

It is this week's Outfit of the Week!

This shop has so many beautiful dresses!

Head Covering of the Week.. A New Favorite Blog... And A Moving Update!

I love this veil! I'm not sure that I would wear it because it's so bright! But I love still love it!

I also have really been enjoying the new blog that I discovered. It is the Archdiocese of Washington's blog and I've been spending the last few minutes when I should be rushing to start packing up our clothes, reading Msgr. Charles Pope's posts! He has one on headcovering that is very interesting and informative and another on attire in Church.

But now I have to get back to doing all the things that I'm supposed to be doing today! Tomorrow we officially move in and I'm hoping that they will have cleaned the apartment as promised, because two days ago when we walked through there was still lipstick and dirt smeared on the walls... I did buy something cleaning supplies and tough looking rubber gloves yesterday at Walmart... because I have a feeling that it's still going to be pretty gross tomorrow when we go inside...

A Memorial Day Weekend Sadie Picture

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Home Hunting- Part 6- Getting Ready for the Move...

These next few day are going to be very busy, although I feel like we've already gotten a lot done. Before my last post about moving we had found a washer and dryer on Craigslist for $100. The owner said that they work perfectly (and they seemed to be working since they were running when we got there at the agreed upon time to pick them up...), but that he was moving to a new house that came with a washer and dryer and he needed to get rid of them fast. I was pretty thrilled about that deal, because it will save us a lot, right away.

On Thursday after I posted about the washer and dryer, Paul called the local appliance repair man, who has a great reputation, and he agreed to meet us right away down at his storage locker. It's full of washers, dryers and refrigerators that he's bought and fixed and we picked out a rather old, large Kenmore refrigerator that was also $100. All the washers and dryers were more expensive, although they did come with a guarantee to work. So we're set there too (and I'm feeling pretty good about getting the appliances out of the way for $200!). When we do end up moving for graduate school they'll be back up on Craigslist again and with the demand we saw for washers and dryers I think that they ought to sell pretty easily as long as they still work!

Thursday afternoon Paul emailed the local internet company, after we searched for a big carrier that offered DSL (we thought that because we were moving to town DSL might be an option...) but it appears that even in town we are still in an area without DSL capabilities. That eliminates any possibility of "bundling" phone and internet, which is all that we really need. So we went with the local-only phone service (also no choice since there's only 1 phone carrier out here) without a regional or long distance carrier and a pretty basic internet plan from the local carrier, since Paul really needs it for school and since I'm planning on working a lot more on my little shop once we make the move and I have space to get organized. Sadie is going to miss watching Curious George in the mornings, like she does at Nani and Grumpa's but we do have one season of Curious George on DVD, that I think will become part of our morning routine, while I fix a breakfast.

We also signed our lease yesterday (it's month to month) and found out that things might be a little loud this week at the apartments because the sheriff is coming to evict our next door neighbor. Today we're going to start moving furniture into the garage, although we won't officially move in until the 1st. And that is our Home Hunting update!

Now I just have to remember not to lift anything heavy... that is going to be tough!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Adventures in Sewing: My New Project

Here's the pattern of the dress that I've been working on and the drawings from the Vintage Vogue Website. I have to say that if you're even thinking about buying patterns from Vogue or Butterick or McCall's now would be a good time to go over to their site and take a look.

The three combined companies have one of their super sales going on for Club BMV.com members. This happens fairly often, and I've meant to write about it on here before for those of you who haven't heard about it before. It goes something like this: you buy a Club BMV membership for $15 (that's good for 1 year). And then you get the club discount. Right now if you were to buy two of the club sale patterns you would have already made you money back.

I have to admit, I was a little shocked the first time I saw the full price for a Vintage Vogue pattern (or any pattern for that matter). The price on the pattern is listed at $25 (which to me seems more than slightly ridiculous). The regular price on the website is $15. The sale price today is $3.59. It says that the regular sale price is $3.99, but I remember trying to order before I bought the membership last time around and they rang up at full price until I bought the membership, so I'm not sure how that works.

I'd try it out without the membership first, to see if it works on your computer (because it seems like it should if I'm reading the prices correctly!) but if you sew a lot and buy a lot of patterns (and love the Vintage Vogue patterns like I do!) it's probably worth it to buy the membership!

I haven't bought patterns in a while and don't plan on anytime soon, but the one time I ordered patterns I definitely felt like I got my money's worth! And I can't help but going back to look at all the beautiful patterns that they keep coming up with in the Vintage Vogue section.

There is one pattern that is tempting me (I'm resisting!) that I thought some of the crafty head covering ladies out there might be interested in. Vintage Vogue offers two different hat patterns that can be found here and here. I'm not sure how difficult they are, but some of the hats are very cute!

So far the dress I'm working on is going along slowly (although not so steadily with everything from the move going on... I'm sure things will pick back up again very soon!). The pattern requires so much fabric that pinning and cutting the fabric went along very slowly (it took three and a half nap times!). Once the move is over the actual sewing will begin. I'm just hoping I can finish it before Maggie arrives! Out of the Vintage Vogue patterns it seems like the most simple...

The Beauty of Reconciliation

Who except God can give you peace? Has the world ever been able to satisfy the heart?

-- St. Gerard Majella

As I imagine is the case with many people, my relationship with the sacrament of reconciliation is complicated. Before my conversion it was hardly one of the things that I looked forward to about the path that would lead to my confirmation in the Church. When I first found out that I would have to go to confession before my confirmation and first communion I was a little surprised. I can’t remember my exact reaction, but I believe it was along the lines of “you guys still do that?!?!?” Suddenly my first communion and confirmation seemed to be coming up very quickly.

I was even more nervous when I found that confessions in our tiny parish were done face to face. There’s a room to confess in, but it in no way resembles the confessionals that I remembered seeing in movies and on TV shows. It’s more like a small, white washed closet in the back of the Church with a couple of chairs in it (although at that point most of the confessions were done in the office).

I was a little envious of the people in my RCIA group that weren’t baptized… After all, they didn’t have to come up with a list of sins stretching back twelve years (which was how long had passed since my own baptism) to run through during their first confession. They got to start fresh with their Easter Vigil Baptism without that first nerve-wracking experience.

Over the past few years my view of the sacrament has evolved. I’ve realized that it truly is a gift, although a highly underutilized (and underappreciated) one at that. A few times it’s popped into my head that if more people went to see their confessors (or had confessors!), there might be a lesser need for the number of psychologists who get paid to hear people’s problems.

I’ve related before how I know that I need confession when I most don’t want to go. Major sins are easier for me in one simple way: if I’ve done something that would fall on the “mortal sin” list than I feel like I need to get to the Church right away and will rush straight over to facebook to see if our priest is online and when he can see me. Venial sins are harder… and I’ve heard many people give advice on the forums that I don’t quite agree with.

Someone will bring up confession and how frequently they feel they need to go. Some will encourage the person and talk about the amazing grace of reconciliation. Others will discourage the person. They’ll usually categorize almost any sin as “venial” or even excuse ones that definitely fall in the other category away, and then say “and you know… you don’t have to go to confession for venial sins. It’s between you and God. It’s fine not to go…”

And it’s true… You don’t have to go to confession for venial sins. But just like my earlier post on the gift of the Eucharist, I can’t help but feel that the particular view on Reconciliation leaves something to be desired. It ignores the grace of the sacrament and makes something beautiful a chore (at best)… something that many of us avoid, to our own detriment.

Most of the time when I head into town and ask our priest to hear my confession, it isn’t for anything that would fall in the mortal category. It’s almost hard to explain the reason. I’ve noticed that somewhere, usually around four weeks after my last confession, I’ll begin to feel muddled and disjointed, as if spiritually something is dislocated and needs to be reset. If, because of day-to-day life and responsibilities, I end up going six weeks between confessions, the feeling of spiritual discomfort will be nearly physical. I’ll start to notice I’m snappy and short tempered to everyone around me and I’ll find myself genuinely sorry, yet needing to pray an Act of Contrition a half dozen times a day...

Simply knowing that I’m on my way to reconciliation brings a sense of relief, although nothing that compares to the feeling from receiving the gift of the sacrament.

Because of its very nature, reconciliation isn’t ever going to be on the list of things that are “fun.” But it can be a powerful, healing, cleansing experience… and I always leave feeling uplifted by God’s amazing grace. Reconciliation is far more than something that we should do because we’ve been told that we must… it is another gift through which we receive His grace in our lives here on Earth.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Addicted to Yarn! New Doll Outfit for Sadie's Birthday

I love Walmart's inexpensive cotton yarn. At just over $1 a ball it's one of my favorites (since there's no way that merino wool will be in my budget in the very near future!). I just finished most of the work on this outfit for Sadie's baby doll (for her birthday in less than a month). It's just a little crocheted dress and hat with a matching knit sweater that I'd posted earlier this month. I made the dress yesterday in the car while we were driving to pick up the washer and dryer and just did the hat while Sadie has been napping.

I need to actually learn how to crochet though... I taught myself the single crochet stitch off the internet a couple of years ago and have "made up" a few stitches of my own, but for some reason I haven't managed to teach myself how to read crochet patterns. I can read knitting patterns easily and taught myself with Debbie Bliss books, but every book on crochet I've checked out of the library has just been over my head (maybe it's because most of them are 30 years old and seem to expect a whole understand of crocheting that I just don't have!).

I have a few more balls of cotton yarn... so there should be more crochet experiments coming up (and maybe I'll manage to finish one of my knit projects soon too!).

Indoor Plumbing! and a loss of charm...

Hopefully I will have more sewing posts soon. I'm hoping to set up a sewing/crafting area that is the picture of organization in some little corner of the new apartment. The problem will be keeping Sadie's helpful little hands from de-organizing it. She's very into "helping" and "cleaning" these days... so I'm never quite sure where things are going to disappear to. Her little toy kitchen oven and microwave are always the best place to look when something goes missing in the house...

Paul told me a few days ago that my blog was about to lose some of its charm. When I raised my eyebrows he said that it was because we were going from living in a 10x15' cabin without indoor plumbing of any sort to a snug little two bedroom apartment. I rolled my eyes. I guess I'll have to take the loss of "charm" in exchange for the gain in water (is that why I've lost three followers in the last week?!?!?... no... I imagine that probably has to do with my uptick in anti-abortion posts... which may surprise people who started reading because of crafting and sewing posts... although that's really just a guess...)

Yesterday was a very long day, but I am much more relaxed now that it's over. I have been stalking the appliance section on craigslist this past week and it seems that the washer and dryer market is very competitive. Our new apartment isn't near a laundry facility (and the one we could drive to is supposed to be pretty scary) and there are laundry hookups in the bathroom. Since a load of laundry is currently $3.00 here at the pay places I've seen, buying a washer and dryer started to look pretty good. But every time I saw one in our price range it would be gone by the time we called.

So when Paul woke up yesterday I had him call and leave a message at a number I'd found. The owner called back at 10 and said he had a long list of phone numbers and emails from people that wanted them, but that we were at the top. We said we'd take it and made the hour and a half trip in to pick up our new (to us!) washer and dryer (they're actually about 10 years old) for a grand total of $100. I figure that we'll break even in 25-30 loads of laundry since it usually takes more than one dryer cycle to get Paul's clothes dry.

Now we just need to find an inexpensive used refrigerator, since the apartment is refrigerator-less too...

Five days until we start moving!

ellaOne to be approved in the US?

Here's the latest from Jill Stanek's column over at WorldNetDaily:
On the path to over-the-counter abortions
Posted: May 26, 2010
1:00 am Eastern

© 2010
On June 17, the FDA's Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health will hold a public hearing to begin the approval process of a new abortion pill, Ulipristal acetate, to be marketed by the brand names ella® or ellaOne®.

ellaOne can be taken up to five days after unprotected sex, as opposed to emergency contraception, which can be taken up to three days after unprotected sex.

ellaOne has been marketed in the United Kingdom since September 2009 as an emergency contraceptive, but it does not chemically work the same in a woman's body as an EC.

In fact, ellaOne works the same as mifepristone, or RU486, also known as the abortion pill, which can be taken up to 49 days after the first day of a woman's last period.

While ellaOne and RU486 are composed of different chemical compounds, they are both progesterone blockers, while the EC is a progesterone.

A "fact sheet" by the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, which is pushing FDA approval of ellaOne, confirms "mifepristone [RU486] and ulipristal acetate [ellaOne] are both selective progesterone modulators."

ellaOne blocks progesterone from reaching the cushiony lining of a mother's uterus, the endometrium. ellaOne causes the endometrium to degrade and her days-old embryo to die.

Since RU486 is taken later in pregnancy, it blocks progesterone from reaching a mother's placenta, thereby causing it to degrade and her weeks-old embryo to die.

According to a 2009 report from the European Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, or CHMP, quoted by Wikipedia, "like mifepristone [RU486], ulipristal acetate [ellaOne] is embryotoxic in animal studies."

All of this is not to say the EC cannot be "embryotoxic" as well. It just kills differently by either slowing the embryo down from reaching the uterus alive or by making the uterus impermeable to implantation by the embryo.

The EC and ellaOne may also work by delaying ovulation or making it difficult for sperm to reach egg.

Bottom line: While in actuality the EC and ellaOne may cause abortions, and RU486 certainly does, ellaOne is admitted to be "embryotoxic" and works chemically the same as RU486, so it should not be classified as an emergency contraception...

Read the entire article here.
Prayers that the murder of the unborn comes to an end... and that this new abortion pill isn't approved by the FDA...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bio Oil Compared to the the Generic: The Verdict is In!

A while back I wrote about a product that I was using that I was really happy with: Bio-Oil. I'd read a lot of reviews during my last pregnancy, but was still a little skeptical about actually trying it. I'm not sure why because when I was pregnant with Sadie I went through lotion after lotion that claimed to help pregnant mom's prevent stretch marks and dry, itchy skin, but somehow the jump over to oils didn't happen. I had baby oil, but it was so greasy that it probably contributed to my hesitation to purchase anything else like it. The lotions didn't do much for my itchy dry pregnant skin either so this time I took the plunge and tried Bio Oil. As I wrote earlier, I love it. It has very little, other than "oil" in the name, with the greasy oil that most of us are familiar with.

My next experiment, however, was to try the CVS generic kind that's supposed to be exactly the same (and if you look at the labels they are basically the same). We have a big incentive with the employee discount to shop for all things CVS generic, and have had mixed results. About half the time the product really does measure up to the brand name. The other half of the time it has nothing in common with the original (cough medicine was a BIG example of that... CVS's "tussin" did nothing compared to the actual Robatussin we ended up having to buy when the generic didn't work at all...).

So I was hopeful when we bought the generic "bio oil."

And I have to say that I wouldn't recommend it. As soon as I started using Bio-Oil my skin felt moisturized. It felt like it actually absorbed into my skin. The generic felt like a layer on top of my skin (and actually made my stomach feel itchier if that's possible). I'm not sure how to describe the feeling, but it almost felt "squeaky." I did use it for the month, but I have to say I was glad when the bottle ran out.

The other Bio-Oil tip I've discovered is that it really is important, at least for me, to use it twice a day. Out of simple laziness I cut back and my skin didn't feel nearly as hydrated (and I spend my days walking around drinking out of a giant water bottle all day too!) The pregnant belly itchiness was almost as bad as it was initially, and I wondered if the Bio-Oil had been a fluke... but as soon as I started using it twice a day the itchiness disappeared. And so far, despite the fact that I'm already pretty gigantic, no stretch marks have made an appearance (making it all 40 weeks will be the real test!).

And just in case you're wondering (because my uncle asked me this when he was visiting) this is a totally voluntary, unsolicited review of a product I'm excited about! But if it helps other itchy pregnant tummies I'm happy!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

33 Weeks!

Sadie gives Maggie kisses every day! She's so quick though that it's hard to catch her on camera. On Sunday Paul snapped this picture.

Maggie is almost too big for my maternity shirts! I have four that I think are big enough to make it, but anything without giant amounts of elastic just isn't going to cut it for much longer! And we're talking about Large maternity shirts here!

Soon I will begin raiding Paul's closet... Unfortunately I have yet to find anything there that is appropriate for me to wear to Mass... so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that those shirts last for seven more weeks!

32 Weeks!

Here's last weeks picture! I'm almost caught up (I'll post this weeks picture next!). Sadie is obsessed with the little pink ribbon that BLM marked this spot with and we have to visit it and twirl around with it every time we go on a walk, which means at least once a day!

Rosaries "Endanger" Students?

Who knew that I was making gang paraphernalia and selling it in my store?
HAVERSTRAW (WABC) -- The parents of a high school student from Rockland County are demanding answers after their ninth grader was suspended for wearing rosary beads to school.

He was suspended even though the school doesn't even have a policy banning them. So did the principal go too far? Jason Laguna is a former altar boy and proud Catholic. He got his rosary beads as a gift, thinks they look cool and sometimes wears them under his shirt at school. But last Friday, right before dismissal, he pulled them out on his way out. He was given a one-day suspension from Fieldstone Secondary School. His mother calls the punishment extreme, considering the 14-year-old is a member of student government and, according to his last report card, "is a pleasure to have in class." Laguna says she was told the school has an unwritten policy regarding beads because they could be used to show gang affiliation. The principal claims it was insubordination, saying Laguna's actions, "endangered the safety, health, morals or welfare of himself or others." Jason was supposed to stay home Friday, but late Thursday the district superintendent put that on hold pending further investigation. It may not be divine intervention, but his mother has contacted the American Civil Liberties Union as she continues to fight the suspension.

Click here to see the video clip.
He endangered the "safety, health, morals or welfare of himself or others" by bringing rosary beads to school? I imagine a search of most schools would show far more dangerous items that rosary beads. A article in our local paper (in our small town) last year showed that 7 students admitted in a survey to carrying guns on campus... but maybe the principal of Laguna's school has eliminated all those other dangers and can now focus on the Great Catholic Rosary Threat.

As the daughter of a retired high school administrator I have to say I have a problem with the fact that this particular policy is "unwritten." And I'm somewhat skeptical that the school would be as quick to ban something that was associated with a religion other than Christianity (I'd be equally disgusted if they did... like the "trying to ban headcovering in some European country" story that seems to pop up on a monthly basis).

The Price of Life in the Golden State

How much is a life worth in California? Not very much according to this article on California Catholic:
“Clinical, chilling and cynical”
State values contracepted or aborted babies at between $4 and $9 each when computing budget, according to California Catholic Conference

As the state teeters on bankruptcy, the California Catholic Conference, the political action arm of the state’s bishops, has asked members of the legislature’s budget committee “why funds continue to be allocated to programs designed to eliminate those at the beginning of life, and at the same time withhold funds from those who are unable to provide for themselves or, in the case of the elderly, those who are at the end of life,” according to the May 21 email alert of the Catholic Legislative Network, “Public Policy Insights.”

“If you're looking for a line item in the California Budget that says abortion funding you will not find it,” said the email. “State Medi-Cal dollars are used to pay for abortions -- more than 80,000 in 2007. Publishing such a number would make it too open to attack.”

In the meantime, said the Catholic Legislative Alert email, “Major funding for abortion providers, such as Planned Parenthood and others, is contained in the California Family PACT program budget. The program has not been cut as drastically as other programs during California's budget shortfall, in part, because of the claim by these providers that Family PACT saves the state money by adverting births. The bottom line -- quoting figures from the study used by providers to argue for minimal cuts -- is that ‘non-births’ save the state $1.88 billion from conception to age two, and more than $4 billion from conception to age five.”

“Abortion proponents, of course, would not openly make such a claim -- most people would find such a justification for abortion horrifying,” the email noted...

...“The bottom line projection then is that by reducing public health and welfare expenditures resulting from ‘unintended’ (their term) pregnancies, every dollar spent on Family PACT saved the public sector $4.30 from conception to age two and $9.25 from conception to age five,” Hogan noted. The purported savings, said Hogan, come from reduced state expenditures for “medical, welfare and other social service costs.”
The full article can be read here. The study that the article is based on can be found here.
Completely putting aside the fact that the state is funding murder to save money, I still would have to question to logic. California is paying to kill future taxpayers, to save money now. Hardly a good long term strategy. Maybe we could spend less on those stupid star studded "Come to California and Stay" ads (and why are those being played in California, by the way? We're already here...) and just stop murdering our future.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Doctor's Visit #8- Week 33

This pregnancy fells like it's going by so much more quickly than the last one. I think it's from all the toddler chasing that goes on around here. Today was my 33 week doctor's appointment (appointment #8). And the baby is big! When the doctor measured my bump I peaked at the tape measure and it said 36 cm... which, according to the little week by week pregnancy book is around 3 weeks bigger than "average."

Today I talked with the doctor about the getting sick in the morning and the heartburn at night (apparently related) and so far the over the counter solution is not working at all...

Other than that it feels like the little contractions are starting again. They started early with Sadie too and I panicked because reality never matched the book description of Braxton Hicks contractions. Contractions every two minutes for a couple of hours a month before my water broke? The books never talk about those!

I can't believe we have less than two months to go! I'm going to feel so much better once we're unpacked at the new place! Whenever I feel that strong pushing down pressure (now accompanied by not altogether painless contractions) I think "Noooooooooooo! Not yet! We have to wait!" But if last time is any indication I should make it to July.

Saint Mary's College of California: Determined to Disappoint

Oh Saint Mary's... I have to say that I've come to a point where I can no longer be disappointed by my alma mater, a college that seems determined to vie with it's neighbors, including Paul's current University, for the dubious title of "Least-Catholic-University-with-a-Catholic-Name." Being disappointed would involve some level of positive expectations and after they gave a scholarship in honor of an abortion provider earlier this year (and then carefully explained why it was 100% okay for them to do so), I can't say I expect anything good to come out of the little school without some major changes in leadership (a tiny bit of common sense wouldn't hurt!).
“Clearly at odds with fundamental Catholic teachings”
St. Mary’s College chooses pro-abortion, Prop. 8 foe as commencement speaker

“The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” -- “Catholics in Political Life,” USCCB, June 2004

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell, a career politician who during 20 years in the state legislature compiled a nearly perfect pro-abortion, pro-Planned Parenthood voting record, spoke yesterday at commencement exercises for graduate and professional programs students at St. Mary’s College of California in Moraga.

O’Connell’s selection as commencement speaker gives California the dubious distinction of having four of the nine Catholic colleges and universities nationwide identified by the Cardinal Newman Society as having invited spring commencement speakers “whose public positions and actions are clearly at odds with fundamental Catholic teachings.”
Of course Paul's School couldn't let SMC have the only controversial commencement speaker. Here's the section on USF from the same article that points out some of there choices:
University of San Francisco
Fr. John Jenkins, president of Notre Dame University, responsible for inviting President Barack Obama to speak at last year’s commencement ceremonies there and who awarded the pro-abortion president an honorary degree. Fr. Jenkins’ invitation resulted in a firestorm of opposition -- including from his own bishop, who refused to attend the commencement ceremonies. At least 83 bishops went on record in opposition to Fr. Jenkins’ invitation.

Lloyd Dean, president and CEO of Catholic Healthcare West, a donor to the Barack Obama campaign, and supporter of the recently passed healthcare reform bill opposed by U.S. bishops.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Pentecost

When Pentecost day came round, they had all met together, when suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of a violent wind which filled the entire house in which they were sitting; and there appeared to them tongues as of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak different languages as the Spirit gave them power to express themselves. Now there were devout men living in Jerusalem from every nation under heaven, and at this sound they all assembled, and each one was bewildered to hear these men speaking his own language. They were amazed and astonished. 'Surely,' they said, 'all these men speaking are Galileans? How does it happen that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; people from Mesopotamia, Judaea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya round Cyrene; residents of Rome- Jews and proselytes alike -- Cretans and Arabs, we hear them preaching in our own language about the marvels of God.'

image from http://www.franciscan-sfo.org/FP/Godslove4.html

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Quote of the Day: Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

"He loves, He hopes, He waits. If He came down on our altars on certain days only, some sinner, on being moved to repentance, might have to look for Him, and not finding Him, might have to wait. Our Lord prefers to wait Himself for the sinner for years rather than keep him waiting one instant."

-St. Julian Peter Eymard

Friday, May 21, 2010

Home Hunting- Part 5- Celebrate!

We got apartment #4 (less than 18 hours after applying for it!)! Now the countdown begins and I can start packing! We move in on June 1st! Thankfully Grumpa has volunteered his three horse slant horse trailer so we won't even need a moving van for the big bed! Yay!

Home Hunting- Part 4

I've been getting a little nervous about an apartment coming along (and our application being accepted) before Maggie is born. With around six weeks left to the big day I want to get things in order and I'm going a little crazy not being able to unpack baby clothes and nest when every hormone in my body says that's what needs to be done NOW!!!! So, instead of calling the relator that manages Apartment #1 and harassing him yesterday, which was a very strong impulse (it's been seven days since we turned in our application and I'm dying to hear back!!!) we went to see one last apartment complex in town.

These apartments have been known as the nicest apartments in our area (and incidentally the most expensive by about $50/ month) so we weren't sure we were actually going to fill out an application. Paul had talked about trying to bargain with them on the price because we'd heard that they've had quite a few empty apartments these past few months and we thought they might be getting desperate too!

One of the first things that we found out when we arrived was that they've just dropped the price by $55 (making it one of the least expensive apartments in town... we don't have much variation here!).

The apartments are two stories with an attached garage and washer and dryer hookups. The bedrooms are upstairs and after Apartment #2 (which we were offered yesterday and turned down because of the steep, scary looking cement steps right outside the front door... that I can only imagine carrying two babies down in snow and ice...) it's the biggest by quite a bit. We liked the space and the fact that these apartments are much newer, although I was still a little attached to the idea of the yard and small garden from apartment #1. And there are three apartments that have been empty since the beginning of the year, so they're in a hurry to get back to us and get us moved in (another major plus!). She said we would know in around three days and that we'd definitely be able to move in by June 1st!

I think that the fact that we're moving for Paul's grad school in a little over a year was the main problem that the people at Apartment #1 were having with accepting our application... when they found out he was a student that was their first question and it was the only real thing that I think we had going against us. I think they're waiting to see if someone else comes along who will be around for more than 15 months in the next two weeks... However, in the meantime we talked about the pros and cons of both apartments yesterday and decided that Apartment #4's central location and space has moved it into our #1 Choice position (the lower price is nice too!).

It has the best neighborhood and is really close to our parish and downtown and isn't near any scary trailer parks (Apartment #1 is near 3...). Paul did point out that we can set up Sadie's sand table in the big garage and she will still have all the acres at Nani and Grumpa's and Nini and Gigi's to run around on.

I'm just praying that we find out where we'll be living soon! It's the not knowing part that is driving me crazy!

Head Covering of the Week..

I have a love of gold veils... I don't actually own one, and I think it will probably be quite a while before I do, but as I was wistfully looking at mantilla shops this morning before starting my day I came across a new shop and fell in love with about two dozen of their veils. There are even a few that Sadie would be enamored with (I think she'd go for the bright blue and the pink, although at the moment anyone can tell by looking at her coloring books that green is her absolute favorite color in the entire world!).

I was a bit nervous at first because I didn't see prices, until I found this link to their actual store and it turns out that the prices, when compared with a lot of the mantilla and chapel veil shops I've seen, are actually very reasonable (lots of stuff under $20).

I think that there will be more Head Coverings of the Week from this site!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Our Gift to God?!?!?!

"When you approach the tabernacle remember that he has been waiting for you for twenty centuries." 

- St. Josemaria Escriva

When I first came Home to the Church there was a certain set of comments that I would hear from time to time that troubled me. The way of thinking that went along with these comments was not limited to Catholics, but it bothered me the most coming from my new brothers and sisters in the Church.

There are many ways to express this attitude in words, but it came down to a basic belief that roughly goes something like this: “When I go to Mass I’m doing something good. I’m giving God the gift of my presence. I suffer through an hour of sitting and standing and kneeling (and may complain slightly about the kneeling) and have done my duty for the week, or month or year (or Easter and Christmas season, as so often is the case)…” Of course it was always worded in a much more sensible manner… but the underlying idea, which would I hope, sound ridiculous even to the speaker if stated outright, was that attending Mass was a gift that they were giving God, occasionally, which He ought to be rather grateful for, because that was all He could really expect from their otherwise busy schedule.

As a passionate, dewy-eyed convert, I wanted to shout from the top of a mountain: “but you’ve got it all wrong! That’s completely backwards! The Mass is God’s great gift to us! We should come before Him with grateful hearts for all that He has given us!”

Yet I could hardly articulate what I experienced as I approached the Eucharist, even to my husband. It was an overwhelming moment when all coherent thought came to a complete stop and my brain seemed to hum along in an ecstatic silence. These days, watching for tiny hands that may be ready to attempt to snatch the chalice, are something different, but the memory of those heady, early weeks will always be imprinted on my memory (and taking tiny children to Mass, while sometimes a struggle, offers its own joyful moments).

I doubted then that I could put the importance into words, but the years in between that have passed have at least convinced me to try:

The Mass is God’s gift to us, through which He pours out His grace. He offers Himself. And He offers this gift again and again. How can we not come forward rejoicing, to receive Him as frequently as possible, realizing that although our sins brought about His death, we have been forgiven?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Quote of the Day: Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

"Priests have received a power which God has given neither to angels nor to archangels. It was said to them: ‘Whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose, shall be loosed.’ Temporal rulers have indeed the power of binding; but they can only bind the body. Priests, in contrast, can bind with a bond which pertains to the soul itself and transcends the very heavens. Did [God] not give them all the powers of heaven?...What greater power is there than this? The Father has given all judgment to the Son. And now I see the Son placing all this power in the hands of men. They are raised to this dignity as if they were already gathered up to heaven"

-St. John Chrysostom

The New "Normal" is Pro-Life

This year I've loved seeing the Gallup Polls that take a look at what Americans think of abortion:
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- "The Gallup released the results of a new survey confirming, for the third time in the last year, that more Americans call themselves pro-life than "pro-choice" on abortion. That's enough for the respected polling firm to say a pro-life majority is the "new normal" in the United States.

According to a May 3-6 Gallup poll, 47 percent of Americans say they are pro-life on abortion versus 45 percent who say they are "pro-choice," supporting legal abortions..."


Here's my favorite part of the article:
"Because this is the third consecutive time Gallup has found more Americans taking the pro-life position, the polling firm calls the results "a real change in public opinion.""

If you click on this link you'll see various graphs that show the divide between the Pro-Death camp and Pro-Lifers broken down by age and political party, along with lots of other information worth reading.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lions and Foxes and Bears, Oh My!... and a Daily Dose of Cuteness


I just love this picture! Sadie was being a wild-flower picking, lady bug watching, cuddle bunny again! She's getting better and better at listening and staying close on our walks...

... which is a very good thing, because I woke up this morning to a 6 am phone call about a bear that was standing in our front yard (he'd already slammed around a bird house that Sadie and I watched a bird build it's nest in a couple of weeks ago). We go walking during the middle of the day usually, but with the mountain lions, coyotes, foxes and bears (many of who no longer have a healthy fear of humans) around I like her to stay with our little group of hikers!

31 Weeks!


Here is last weeks picture! Sadie is getting a little bit heavy for me to haul around these days and I'll be glad when I can scoop her up in my arms easily again (we're a ways away from that though, with the c-section healing taking up its fair share of time). I am a little worried about that. I struggled with not tearing the incision last time with a 10 lb baby. Loading and unloading her in and out of the car was definitely the worst those first few weeks and I don't think I was completely successful. I don't know how moms do it who have a baby and a toddler who always wants to be up! I guess I'll learn pretty quickly though!

Home Hunting- Part 3

We went and saw another apartment and a house today. The second apartment is the least expensive (by $50 a month) of the places we're looking at. It also happens to be the largest (the others are all 2 bedroom 1 baths, while this one is a 3 bedroom 2 bath). We've driven up to the apartment a few times and I have to say I wasn't all that excited to meet the agent there, but Paul wanted us to keep our options open and so I went along.

It wasn't the best timing. I was having the first morning in a while that I could "offer up." A migraine hit last night and lasted through morning and I found myself unable to keep anything down this morning, including any possible headache medicines (it was like being back in the first trimester again!). Still, Nani watched Sadie and I dragged myself out to the car to drive into town.

Here's what we found:

Apartment #2: 3 bedrooms/ 2 baths- The outside of the apartment was a little off putting (now I sound like I'm one of those crazy people on House Hunters!). There was a giant pile of clothes, trash, and household items in the middle of one of the open car ports and it's kind of hard to ignore the mess. Personal belongings are scattered everywhere, just like they were last week when we drove by...

The stairs up to the apartment are also a little intimidating. They're steep and they're cement. I don't like to think about wrangling a toddler and a newborn as I go up and down them. The tiny landing at the top is covered with our would-be-neighbors belongings... and it looks like she sits out there with her kids and smokes...

When the door opens the inside of the apartment smells like... smoke... This is pretty close to a deal breaker for us. The carpets have large pink stains in almost every room, which we discover is nail polish when we see the master bedrooms toilet, which has had a large portion of a bottle of bright pink polish smeared over it. When Paul asks when it would be cleaned we're informed that it is cleaned.

The size is great and I wish the entire time that this floor plan could be in the other complex (although that would probably add several hundred dollars to its value).

We apply before we leave because we want to have a backup plan in case we don't get in anywhere else... But later on when we talk about it, the dangerous stairs and smoking neighbor (who gets into an "interesting" conversation with the manager when we're leaving about her belongings being outside...) pretty much eliminate it from our list... I hope...

Apartment #3: This is actually a house. A 2 bedroom 1 bath house... that looks like it was built 60+ years ago and hasn't been worked on since. The fence is falling down and it looks out on a house that has completely fallen down. The houses on the other side of that house are ones we'd looked at before, but had crossed off our list because they were in a "scary" part of town. The owner assures us repeatedly that the neighborhood is "wonderful."

The yard is full of rusty metal and I'm glad we're current on our vaccines. Inside Paul discovers a hole in the wall (the owner tells us "that's not what it is" when Paul says that it looks like someone put their fist through the drywall... although that is certainly what it looks like) and when Paul asks where the closet doors are she says that the old tenet put them outside in the rain because he didn't like them and they warped and no longer fit. There are wires outside that are exposed that she "doesn't think do anything" and pipes that go into the house through giant holes in the walls...

The owner (who is very sweet, aside from the fact that the words "slum lord" repeatedly pop into my head) tops off the tour by saying that the place obviously needs a lot of work, but that we could fix it up and that it would be really nice... for several hundred dollars less a month that might be a good deal, for the current price I'd be shocked if she rented it for her current asking price. We decide not to apply for this gem...

And I am now fervently praying that we hear from the management company about apartment #1.

There's one other place in town that we've heard is renting, but they have a very bad reputation for ripping people off... So I'm back to praying! I'm so impatient! I just want to know where we're going to end up!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Two Tiny Sweaters: I'm Knitting Again!

I've been so busy with various projects that I neglected my knitting. However, since knitting is so calming for me I've been making an effort to fit it in at least a couple times a week (usually when we're driving to town or to a doctor's appointment). I didn't use a pattern for either of my most recent projects I just estimated sizes and lengths. Unfortunately I estimated a little too small with Sadie's summer sweater and it ended up being just a tiny bit too small across the shoulders (I guess Maggie will be the first one to wear it!).


It's a really simple pattern for the stitches, it just alternates knit stitches and purl stitches on each line and then begins with the opposite stitch above it.


I had one ball of this cotton yarn from Walmart (I love that there is a ball of 100% cotton yarn for $1.20-something) and I decided to make Sadie's doll a sweater for it. Sadie loves pretending that Lucy is her baby and carries her around and feeds her and burps her. The sweater is going to be a birthday present next month.


And the colors are just perfect for a baby doll sweater!

Full of Grace Creations Wedding Rosary: #1

My big goal for today was taking pictures of some of my rosaries that I designed with weddings in mind. I'm really pleased with how the pictures turned out! Since Paul was at work all day my mom helped me during nap time and here's what he came up with. Here's the first one! If I get a chance I'll post some of my other favorite pictures tomorrow!









Saturday, May 15, 2010

Picking Wildflowers: One of Sadie's New Favorite Pass Times

A sweet little princess bunny picked these for me a few days ago and then very proudly brought them over and presented me with them. Here they are after I plucked off the roots that were dangling from the bottom. I've been pressing a lot of the flowers that she's been giving me inside of books, but we've got so many wildflowers right now that I decided that taking pictures of them might be a better way to go. I love spring!

Although the weather has put a damper on any gardening plans I might have attempted this year. We're still reaching freezing temperatures at least once a week, which is a fun mix when thrown in with the 87 degrees and thunder storms we're supposed to have today!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Did Maggie Just Drop?!?!?!?!

There was a moment yesterday, when, after looking at the apartment, I stepped out of the car to walk across the street with Paul and thought that I was about to go into labor.

There were no contractions (although I'd been having a little bit of cramping, but that's fairly typical these days).

The baby was suddenly much lower (by the height of the kicks it feels like a good five inches... they aren't even near my ribs now). It was as if there was an enormous weight pressing down on my pelvis and lower back (especially my lower back). My pregnancy waddle, which was always pretty noticeable, is now barely functional. I look like on of the duck's in one of Sadie's book struggling to get from place to place (Sadie's excited because she likes ducks!).

I always thought that babies were supposed to drop later in later pregnancies. When Sadie dropped, all 9 lbs 4 oz of her, I barely noticed. This was (and is) a definitely noticeable shift. I can now fit my fist sideways between my bust and my bump and still have room! I definitely couldn't do that yesterday morning.

I know every pregnancy is different, but have any of you had babies drop really early? 31 weeks seems very early to me! I have a feeling these next nine weeks are going to feel very, very long!

Home Hunting- Part 2

We went and looked at the apartment yesterday and I am still a little giddy.

I am apparently much easier to please than the "average" person who appears on House Hunters. I'm always amazed when I watch that show and one of the people on it says something at the beginning like- "we really need a bigger place and fast, because we're expecting our second child and our 2500 square foot house is just starting to feel tiny." There's also the man that I saw on the commercial last night who walked into the kitchen, looked at the glass top stove, put his hand on it and said "this is a deal breaker!" Then there's the woman who said that she and her husband were looking for a "starter home" in the $1.5 million range...
We didn't actually get to see the apartment that was available yesterday, because it will be occupied until the end of the month. We did get to see two that are currently in the process of being refurbished, that have the same floor plan though.

Here's what I would see if I put on my House Hunter glasses and took a look around: The bedrooms are relatively tiny (although it would be a huge increase in space for us), the walls are that dark wood paneling that was popular sometime right before I was born (the double wide we lived in for the first seven years of my life had the same stuff) and one of the two apartments had shag carpet so long that Sadie would be able to hide entire cereal bars in it for Mommy to discover later...

However by the time we were done I was trying my best not to jump up and down and ask when we could move in!

This apartment is definitely my favorite so far for several reasons: 1) The manager is a retired sheriff's deputy who has really cleaned the place up by evicting lots of people (and in our area that is huge!). 2) The apartment we'd be moving into has a fairly big (for an apartment) fenced yard for Sadie to run around and play in, with a fence that's taller than me! 3) Two bedrooms! Two bedrooms! Two bedrooms! 4) And last, but not least, it will be available the first week in June!

I guess I'm just not picky enough to be on House Hunters. Any place that we live in will be Our Home.

Now to go drop of the application!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Home Hunting- Part 1

We've been on a waiting list for the only affordable apartment complex in our town for the past three and a half months. When we first went in we were told that the waiting list was 3-6 months on average and since I was due 5 months from that conversation I was somewhat optimistic that we would be in a place with indoor plumbing and more than 150 square feet of room by the time that Maggie came along. We were also told that there would be updates on our status on the waiting list every month, and I was starting to panic and think that we'd somehow been taken off the waiting list since we still hadn't heard anything, so I sent Paul down to check and see if he could get an estimate of where we were on the list and how long the manager thought it would be before we made our way up to the top.

Her response this time was a little different. Instead of repeating 3-6 months she said that there were people who had been on the waiting list for 2 years who still weren't in yet, so there was no way we'd be at the top of the list anytime soon.... And she couldn't have told us that in January?!?!?

So yesterday we began exploring our other options, a process which was complicated by the fact that Paul woke up in pain with a loud clicking sound in his knee, went to the local clinic and was told that he had torn his meniscus. So now neither of us are particularly good at chasing after and scooping up a 30 lbs escaping bunny.

We've also realized after talking to relators in town that apartments are a hot commodity as there are too many people and too few apartments... some of the management companies have no apartments on the books. I found one that has one two bedroom that we're going to see today at eleven... and Paul found one that has a three bedroom in the same price range, but hasn't gotten the realtor that shows it to call him back.

There are a lot of scary slum looking places available that scream "There's-a-meth-lab-next-door" so we're being careful to avoid those (clue #1: 3 pitbulls growling outside dingy apartment with windows blocked by tinfoil).

I just hope this works out and we have a little time to move in before Maggie arrives. I think that if we pool our income and take out larger student loans this year, we can make this work...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A New Blog I Just Have to Share: The Children I Cannot Hold

I just stumbled across the most amazing blog! Dr. Gianna's Blog, The Children I Cannot Hold, is wonderful and I spent quite a bit of time last night reading it (I kept going back further and further reading older posts!). After four out of her previous five pregnancies ended in miscarriage I'd like to ask all of my readers to storm heaven with prayers for her family and little one, that it's God's will that her current pregnancy brings her a second healthy blessing that she may hold in her arms and watch grow. It seems that these next few weeks are very crucial for the baby's survival and I know that just from reading her posts I'm anxiously waiting for the next update.

The California Gubernatorial Race Continues... without a pro-life choice in either major party

About a week ago I posted about how I am not a Meg Whitman fan...

Now I can also say that I'm not a Steve Poizner fan either and that I have no idea who I'm going to vote for in the upcoming elections.

And I am getting more and more annoyed with the Republican party in California (although the alternative would be far worse on the same issues that upset me, so it's not as if I'll be switching sides anytime soon).

I must live in a fantasy world where I automatically assumed that Steve Poizner's ads accusing Meg Whitman of supporting abortion meant that he was not a Pro-Death candidate. However Whitman's campaign ran an ad in response and I went and did a little digging (praying that the ad wasn't true) and found Poizner's website where, like Whitman, he identifies himself as a "pro-choice" candidate. In the not so distant past he supported State Funded Abortions (Whitman still does).

I'll freely admit that I have an innate distrust of politicians who flip flop on this subject each time they're up for election, because they certainly aren't going to stand up for this issue because it's a matter of life and death, they're going to do whatever is politically expedient to be elected.

How sad is it when the "better" choice is one who thinks that the state shouldn't pay for abortions (which California already does) but who's okay with slaughtering unborn children?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

American Academy of Pediatrics Endorses Female Genital Cutting?

This topic, which I first read about over on A Shepherd's Voice, makes me ill. Fr. Malloy sites these highlights from the New York Times article:
"In a controversial change to a longstanding policy concerning the practice of female circumcision in some African and Asian cultures, the American Academy of Pediatrics is suggesting that American doctors be given permission to perform a ceremonial pinprick or “nick” on girls from these cultures if it would keep their families from sending them overseas for the full circumcision.

The academy’s committee on bioethics, in a policy statement last week, said some pediatricians had suggested that current federal law, which “makes criminal any nonmedical procedure performed on the genitals” of a girl in the United States, has had the unintended consequence of driving some families to take their daughters to other countries to undergo mutilation...

A member of the academy’s bioethics committee, Dr. Lainie Friedman Ross, associate director of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago, said the panel’s intent was to issue a “statement on safety in a culturally sensitive context...."

“If we just told parents, ‘No, this is wrong,’ our concern is they may take their daughters back to their home countries, where the procedure may be more extensive cutting and may even be done without anesthesia, with unsterilized knives or even glass,” she said. “A just-say-no policy may end up alienating these families, who are going to then find an alternative that will do more harm than good.”
This response sums up my reaction to the article since I'm too disgusted to be particularly articulate right now:
Georganne Chapin, executive director of an advocacy group called Intact America, said she was “astonished that a group of intelligent people did not see the utter slippery slope that we put physicians on” with the new policy statement. “How much blood will parents be satisfied with?”

She added: “There are countries in the world that allow wife beating, slavery and child abuse, but we don’t allow people to practice those customs in this country. We don’t let people have slavery a little bit because they’re going to do it anyway, or beat their wives a little bit because they’re going to do it anyway.”

Doctor's Visit #7- Week 31- Part 2

I shouldn't really be surprised. I've watched the scale slowly creep up at home (the way it's supposed to when your pregnant... only a little bit on the fast side for my liking!). Yet I was still a little shocked yesterday when I stepped on the scale at the doctor's office (I can always tell myself that my little $9 CVS scale is broken... horribly, horribly broken...) and quickly did the math to figure out how much I've gained so far...

...38 lbs... and two months to go!

Since my first pregnancy I've stared in wonder when I read about women who gain the standard "20-25 lbs" that most of my pregnancy books recommend. I'd lost nearly that much when I left the hospital three days after giving birth! I guess that was a combination of giving birth to an almost ten pound baby and being on a clear liquid diet for the nearly 72 hours that followed (I really think someone forgot about me when they carted me down to pediatrics because they didn't have enough beds up in the OB wing, because they'd promised me days earlier that I was ready for solids!). It did take me a full 12 months to get all the way back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but I was within 10 lbs of it for six months before I finally reached it.

As the nurse and I ran through the checks I did come to the conclusion that this pregnancy has been much easier than the other. With Sadie my legs were gigantically swollen half the time. This time around I took off one of the rings I usually wear during the first trimester, but other than that I haven't even noticed anything. And my blood pressure has been back down for a while 115 over 62. Added to the fact that my almost non-stop contractions were just about to start at this point in the last pregnancy (over a month of contractions... yuck...) and this time around is feeling like a walk in the park. At least that's what I'm telling myself when I'm feeling the general aches and pains of the third trimester.

Maggie Rose's heartbeat was 140 and when the doctor measured the height it was 32 cm. I asked her if she could tell which direction the baby was laying, because all the movement I feel are all the way out on my sides, and I can tell at least that Maggie's head is no longer wedged up under my rib cage. She said that she is head down now, but that her feet are all the way over on my right side, while her butt is all the way over on the left. I spent a bit of time wondering how long she must be if that's true, because the distance across my stomach isn't exactly small! I can hardly wait to find out!

This was the first appointment that Paul hasn't been to in a while, which is why, I imagine, the doctor slipped in this question: "I can't remember if we talked about it already, but are you going to want a tubal with the c-section?"

No. No I'm not.

It did make me wonder how many women make that decision on their own, while hormonal and pregnant, without discussing it with their families. The achingly painful third trimester just doesn't seem like the best time to make such a permanent decision. It seems like a time to make a choice that you might regret later...

The President's Nominee...

It would be naive to imagine that the President would even think about appointing a person to the Supreme Court that would respect the dignity of life from conception to death. So this article from California Catholic Daily is hardly surprising.

"...“Elena Kagan has no judicial record from which to determine her position on Roe v. Wade, but she has publicly criticized the 1991 Supreme Court ruling to allow the Department of Health and Human Services to restrict funding from groups that performed or promoted abortion, and has also criticized crisis pregnancy centers,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life political action group the Susan B. Anthony List.

“Additionally, President Obama has said he prefers a Supreme Court nominee who would take a special interest in ‘women’s rights’ -- a barely masked euphemism for abortion rights,” Dannenfelser noted. “Through the judicial confirmation process the American people must know where Elena Kagan stands on the abortion issue, and it is the responsibility of the U.S. Senate to find out.”

Dr. Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, similarly criticized the move, saying on Monday that “Elena Kagan has strong ties to abortion-advocacy organizations and expressed admiration for activist judges who have worked to advance social policy rather than to impartially interpret the law.”..."

Full article here.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Doctor's Visit #7- Week 31- Part 1

Since I took such a long time on the last post I'm in a hurry! We're about to run out the door to my seventh prenatal doctor's appointment! I can hardly believe we're up to the every two-week appointments! Update my probably two-minute long appointment later!

The Best Mother's Day Present!

Yesterday was pretty wonderful!

Anyone who's never tried to make it through Mass with a hyper toddler may not understand my excitement, but I was thrilled with Sadie's "mother's day" gift.

Up until now we've had ups and downs with Sadie's Mass behavior. The first few months were easy. I made sure she was fed and changed right before we went in and while there were still disasters (how many diapers can a baby go through in an hour?!?!?!) we did all right. Then she started walking and we went through another difficult phase, when Mommy or Daddy saying she had to stay up on their laps could result in a full scale tantrum. Moving our seats up to the very front row of the Church seemed to solve that problem (Sadie was so fascinated with what was going on that she was pretty much silent for the first couple of months) but lately she's been testing her limits again and I've been a little nervous each Sunday before we leave for Mass.

I was especially nervous yesterday. Truthfully I was so nervous that I was thinking about it Saturday night as well. You see, we were attending the closest Tridentine Mass to our home... which we only rarely have the opportunity to do, since it's over three hours away in a different diocese.

The first (and only other) time that we were able to attend a Latin Mass was something of a disaster. Sadie and I ended up alternating between standing in the back and going outside while she went through tantrum after tantrum. It was one of the longest hours of my life and I'll admit that I burst into tears when we got into the car (Sadie was going through one of her biting-phases at that point and it was very, very, very frustrating).

That memory, added to the last three somewhat difficult weeks she's been having with sitting quietly (despite our seats in the front), added to my nervousness. I talked to Sadie quite a bit about what a big girl she would be when we went to see Jesus at Mass.

We walked through the doors at Mass at Saint Joseph's and Paul took us to our seats and then went back outside to find a restroom, leaving Sadie and I alone. She started to squirm and whine. I hushed her, but finally let her off my lap, at which point she did the first thing that surprised me. For the first time in her life she knelt down on the little kneeler like she sees Mommy and Daddy do and held perfectly still. Daddy returned and Mass started.

Sadie allowed herself to be scooped up into my arms and hugged me. She then spent the rest of Mass on my lap, sitting perfectly still with her head against my chest.

When Mass ended she went back to her normal bouncing-off-the-walls self and we ended up letting her run around at a local redwood tourist site for about an hour before putting her back in the car.

I do wonder if our daily nap time prayers have anything to do with her model behavior. Every day before nap time Sadie and I say a rosary together in Latin. The one we say as a family before bedtime is in English, but we really wanted our kids to be familiar with both so the nap time one is in Latin. I do wonder if Sadie now equates hearing Latin with settling down on Mommy's lap and closing her eyes. Either way, I was thrilled. Having my little cuddly bunny sitting quietly on my lap made the Tridentine Mass an even more awesome experience!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Full of Grace Silver Sacrifice Bead Set Giveaway: And the Winner is...

Home Sweet Home! We had quite a bit of driving to do today, so my drawing was a little bit late, but here it is...


Nani picked the winner...


Congratulations Shannon!

As soon as I get the info for the address that you want the sacrifice beads shipped to I'll have it in the mail!

30 Weeks!

30 Weeks down. 10 Weeks to go.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Ocean Bunny

Sadie loves to dance (if you click here that's a clip and if you click here there's another one). But we've found one thing that she loves more than dancing: playing in the ocean... the very, very, very cold Pacific Ocean:


Dance Sadie Dance

Okay, since we have a little more band width where we are right now I just had to share a little more Sadie dancing. I made this months ago, but with satellite internet I've never been able to upload it. Here's my try at using iMovie (and Sadie's fantastic dance moves):

The Dancing Bunny

Since it would look kind of ridiculous if I showed you the happy dance that I did when we once again reached 80 followers I decided to play a Sadie dance. Sadie loves wearing Mommy's shoes these days! And she loves dancing!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Bishop Jaime Soto's Article "Freedom that will give us true peace"

Here is a piece of one of Bishop Soto's articles (although I strongly recommend clicking right here and reading the entire thing from beginning to end). It isn't the most recent article, but as I was scrolling through a list of them this morning this one jumped out at me and I wanted to share it with you. I tried to edit it down to a shorter clip, but I couldn't find one part that seemed less important than the others (although I did leave out the end, which is also pretty powerful...). Here it is:
"...In the Gospel of John, the Lord Jesus comes into the midst of his timid band of disciples after his resurrection from the dead. (Jn. 20. 19-23) To say “timid” is putting it mildly. The disciples of Jesus were scared out of their mind. They had seen from a distance or had heard the graphic details of Jesus’ crucifixion. They knew how he had been tortured beyond recognition. His flesh had been whipped and torn. He hung suspended on the cross for three hours anguishing for every breath.

These images haunted them. Their own abandonment of the Lord in his hour of need tore at their souls and shamed them into hiding. Hiding is exactly what they were doing. Their fear and shame made them close and lock the doors. They were trapped in a prison of their own making.

They were also afraid of the fate that awaited them. If the authorities had so brutally tortured Jesus, what chances did they have of escaping the same treatment? The Lord Jesus had already warned of them of this earlier in the week during his last meal with them the night before he died. He told them: “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.” (Jn. 15.18-19) These words too must have hovered over the disciples as they were gathered together.

Into this frightened huddle came the Lord Jesus and he said to them, “Peace be with you.” The Lord offered them peace. He offered them his peace. Now, keep in mind, that nothing has changed about their circumstances. The world was still a hostile place. Those who had sought Jesus’ death were still in power. The Roman soldiers were still patrolling the streets. Yet, the Lord Jesus offers his disciples peace. What peace could these disciples have if they were still hated and despised, shamed and belittled?

The Lord Jesus tells them, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.” (Jn. 14.27) While the world was still a hostile and cruel place for the disciples, one thing had in fact changed. The Lord Jesus, who had died because of this hostility and cruelty, had overcome death and had returned to be with his disciples.

More than just rising from the dead, the risen Christ came back to his friends, to his chosen ones to give them peace by being with him them. He breathed out his spirit upon them and the disciples breathed in this Spirit. Those who had lost their breath from fear and shame now inhaled the energy and vitality of the risen Christ.

The disciples were still in lots of trouble. The Acts of the Apostles tells us that they would continue to get into trouble with the authorities but they were at peace even in the midst of their travails because Christ was with them. They had begun to live for God in Christ Jesus. Their peace of mind, their own tranquility even in the face of adversity was solely rooted in knowing Jesus, the Christ.

The fear and the shame that the disciples experienced was the result of sin, the sins of others and their own sins. Their being trapped and locked in the room because of fear is always the consequence of sin. Sin starts out with the notion that we can live without God. Sin takes root in our hearts when we start to live for ourselves. We begin to move away from God because it no longer suits us or because of illusions or temptations that make us think we can do better without God. Sin by thought, word, deed or omission is a decision to live for ourselves, not for God. How does living for ourselves become a sin?

St. Augustine tells us that our hearts are made for God and our hearts will be restless until they rest in God. We are made to live for God, for only in him will we find the happiness, peace, and beauty that our own being craves. By this design, God is the one who guides us to the way, the truth and the life that will make us truly happy, that will truly free us. When we begin to believe that our happiness is found in living for ourselves and doing what we want we begin to lose our bearings. We begin to get lost because we no longer know the way, the truth, or the life that was made for us.

More often than not, this begins with a distorted notion of freedom. Freedom has come to mean doing what we want when we want. Each person decides what happiness means and no one should keep us from seeking happiness according to our own design. Lots of people talk about being pro-choice, believing there are no bad choices since each one gets to choose what one wants. When this happens, then the only guide for our decisions becomes our own pleasure and our own ego. Anything that stands in the way of pleasing ourselves or glorifying ourselves is perceived as bad and must be feared or hated. This path will only lead to one place, a room where we are locked up by our own fears or chained by our pleasures..."