Friday, July 29, 2011

The Skirt Wars and the "Sola Skirtura"

This post has been on my mind for a while. It’s a subject that’s come up before in the Catholic online world, with disparaging little comments on forums, but lately it seems to have become more widespread and the insults have become almost “mainstream” (mainstream in the Catholic blogosphere at least), popping up on blog after blog with a hearty amount of comments following in each combox as skirt-wearing Catholic women are thrown under the bus.

I’d never actually heard the term “Sola Skirtura” until I read it in one of my favorite blogger’s posts on the NCRegister last month. It’s a term used to describe Catholic women who only wear skirts or dresses and is generally used in a negative light. There are other terms that seem to be used as insults as well. Recently I’ve heard “Longskirts” and “traderific Tradity-Cat Catholic who wears denim jumpers” (a quote from one of the blogs I love to read that’s actually on my blogroll… ).

It’s all been a bit disturbing to me. I wear skirts. I wear dresses. I don’t wear pants. But I really don’t care if you wear pants. I don’t believe that skirts and dresses are inherently more modest than pants. In terms of potential for immodesty, dresses and skirts usually are more likely to take the cake.

I have personal reasons for choosing to wear only skirts and dresses. In a way it’s a reminder of my vocation and femininity. Additionally I do find them more comfortable and easy to move in (I know many people will find that hard to believe, but once I got over the general unease I felt in a dress I did feel more comfortable. When I went back to pants after my first month-of-dresses experiment my legs actually felt restricted and uncomfortable… and that is actually my #1 reason!).

And, while it may not be PC to say this, I do find that men treat me with more respect when I’m dressed in a modest dress, than they did when I was dressed in my most modest pair of jeans and a baggy sweatshirt.

I first began noticing the differences in reactions that I got when I lived in Africa. I gave it more thought after I returned from the Middle East. You see, when I was in the Middle East I wore dresses almost every day. One day, when we were going to be swimming and hiking, I wore pants. The difference in reactions was enormous. I can honestly say that, had I been wearing a dress I never would have been picked up and flung onto a camel (now that I think about it, I also had that happen in Africa, if you replace “camel” with “some scary guys shoulder” when I stepped off a bus… the reactions in Africa were actually quite similar… maybe someday I’ll have to write a blog about that particular incident…).

The differences in treatment aren’t as pronounced in the US (although in my experience they certainly do exist) and aren’t actually my primary motivation, but I have found that it does make life considerably simpler for me.

Some of you may have experienced the exact opposite and that’s fine too.

I’ve also noticed that when people get going about the Catholic “Skirt Wars” they almost inevitably have to throw in something about “denim skirts” and “jumpers.” Apparently if you only wear skirts and dresses you must be dowdy and the people who make this argument seem to think that “denim skirt” and “jumper” is the embodiment of dowdiness.

I will admit that I own both denim skirts and a jumper. I wear the jumper when I know we’re going to be getting down to some major Sadie projects because it’s tough and easy to wash (or when it’s really cold! Because it’s warm!) and I wear the denim skirts on days when I feel more casual.

If you’re not into dresses this might help you understand: Do you ever wear sweats or old comfortable jeans? You know they’re not the most fashionable choice in the world, right? But they’re comfortable and some days you don’t feel like going all out? That’s how my favorite denim skirts are. I’m pregnant. Some days I’m tired. And even when I’m not pregnant, some days it’s just nice to throw on a denim skirt and a t-shirt and get going.

I don’t go around the internet telling you not to wear pants. So please, fellow bloggers and Catholic forum members, don’t go around the internet making fun of those of us who do decide to wear dresses. It’s our right too. And it isn’t because I “think I’m better than everyone else” (a frequent claim that gets thrown in). It’s because it’s my choice and it works for me. It makes my life simpler and it reminds me to be gentle.

We don’t like to be lumped into one huge, insulting category any more than you do. And maybe, if you got past the pants, you’d find that we have more in common than you think…

The Big Bed

A few months after Paul and I got married we were at Costco and spotted a neat display. A man was selling Amish-made log furniture and the king sized bed was absolutely beautiful. At the time we were living in the trailer (the thirty foot long travel trailer... if you're curious it's the first picture in this post...) and were sleeping on an air mattress that seemed to be half deflated by morning. The bed looked pretty wonderful. We bought it later that week with plans to sleep on it someday.

Fast forward to the move to Florida.

The bed is pretty gigantic. After we built the cabin it took up most of the room. There was about a foot on either side, between the bed and the wall. Not to mention that those logs are heavy. Very, very heavy.

I've spent the week worrying about moving it. It was the first thing we planned on putting in the U-haul (which is also pretty gigantic at 26 feet!) and I just wanted it to be done! I'm not really sure why I spent so much time worrying... except that this bed has a way of bumping into things and putting holes through walls when it's being moved... so I guess my fears weren't entirely unfounded.

Paul and my dad spent a portion of the afternoon taking it apart and loading it into the truck. Then Sadie came into the room and ran around yelling "Where's the big bed?!?!" and giggling because she knew it was in the truck.

When she glanced into the truck her reaction was to giggle and say: "I don't see the big bed!" which is probably because she was expecting it to be fully assembled and to be ready to be jumped on in the truck (Sadie's a big fan of this bed).

So the bed and the dining room table and the couch are in the truck along with most of the boxes that I packed. Now to pack more boxes tomorrow and move the lighter furniture.

I wonder what new moving related fear I'll find to worry about before I drift off the sleep...

Thursday, July 28, 2011


I can't believe it! Paul is about to go get the Uhaul! Where did the last few months go?!?!

It's going to be a busy day! I'll try to blog later on, if I can still lift my arms to type!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Eating out for Less: My Strategy

Yesterday I had to tell pretty much every person I talked to (okay, so pretty much my family) about the wonderful deal I'd managed to snag as I bounced around the house thinking: "Hey, maybe we will be able to go out to eat once in a while, while Paul's in law school." Here's how the deal worked out for me.

For some reason I thought of the website yesterday at lunch time. I know that in the past they've had periods of time when there have been 80% off coupons so I headed over to and searched for the website and found that an 80% off deal had in fact been posted yesterday (I was nursing a sleeping Mae at the time or I would have done a little dance of joy at that lucky news! Although it does seem like they put out the 80% off coupons frequently.).

Then I had another idea. I've just started using EBates and wondered if maybe, just maybe Ebates had a deal. So I put in the box and of course they do have a deal (today it's 15% back on purchases simply by clicking through Ebates). Which means 80% off plus 15% back on any money you do spend.

Now the way works is roughly like this: You go to the site and put in your zip code or city. They bring up restaurants in your area (you can adjust distances from your zip code depending on how far your willing to drive). I put in our soon to be new zip code and found three pages of restaurants within 10 miles. Then you look at the restaurants and prices. I'll admit that I look for kids meals or just a general family vibe from the menu (and that was before reading yesterday's anti-kids article!). When in doubt I googled the restaurants to learn a little more.

I also look for restaurants that have a deal like this: get a $25 gift certificate for $10. Usually you must spend $35 when you're there to use the certificate (other rules are explained in the box for each restaurant). At some places (less common) you have to spend $50 to us the $25 (I try to skip those).

I added 16 gift certificates to my cart for $170 dollars. That was the going price for $395 in gift certificates. Then I put in SAVE, the coupon code that's good until the end of this month, and it knocked the price down to something like $35. Since I went through ebates I'll end up getting a few dollars back (I think it will end up being around $31 for $395 in gift certificates). And we have gift certificates that make a meal as a family around $10 (plus a tip). Not a bad deal for those nights when I'm exhausted and don't feel like I can cook another meal (I'm 12 weeks along and I'm thinking third trimester...), or for when we're celebrating an extra special occasion!

So if you're thinking about going out to dinner you might want to try this deal for yourself and see if there are restaurants in your area on the site (if you live in a city there will probably be quite a few!).

The Kid Bans Expand

Has anyone else been following the recent bans on children in various establishments with mixed emotions?

I have to say that my initial reaction is something along the lines of: "I kind of like the idea of places that aren't kid friendly putting up a sign that lets us parents know... because if they don't want kids there, I don't really want to give them my money."

At the same time I can't help but be annoyed every time I read one of the articles. I have a one year old and a three year old who know how to be pretty quiet. They sit through Mass at least an hour a week (that can be very tough). They find it much easier to sit in a restaurant and look at a book or color in the little coloring pack I bring along in a restaurant.

On the rare occasion that one of them is having an off day, either Paul or I whisk them outside for a few minutes and they're usually pretty eager to come back in to have some food after standing around being bored in a parking lot.

So I don't like being lumped into any sort of classification with parents who don't care what their kids are doing and let them run wild (I've seen it, when I'm with my kids and been horrified...) because... well... I don't belong there (and I imagine most of you don't either!).

Here's a highlight from the latest article (prepare to be offended):
"...Brat bans could well be the next frontier in destination and leisure-product marketing," writes Robert Klara in an article on the child-free trend in AdWeek.

Klara points to, a travel website for kid-free vacations, with a massive list of yoga retreats, luxury resorts and bargain hotels around the world that ban children.

"Call me a grinch, a misanthrope, a DINK (dual-income-no-kids), or the anti-cute-police, but I hate (hate a thousand times over) ill-behaved children/infants/screaming banshees in upscale restaurants (ok, anywhere, really, but I don’t want any death threats)," writes Charlotte Savino on Travel and Leisure's blog. She lists a slew of a popular destination restaurants with kid-free areas and policies for travelers looking for quiet vacation dining.

Traveling is one thing, but what about in kids' own hometowns? Should kids been banned from local movie theaters, like they were at a recent adults-only Harry Potter screening? In Texas, one cinema chain has even flipped the model, banning kids under six altogether, except on specified "baby days".

Even running errands with toddlers may be off limits. This summer Whole Foods stores in Missouri are offering child-free shopping hours and in Florida, a controversy brews over whether kids can be banned from a condominium's outdoor area. That's right, some people don't even want kids outdoors.

When did kids become the equivalent of second-hand smoke? Blame a wave of childless adults with money to spare. "Empty nesters continue to wield a huge swath of discretionary spending dollars, and population dips in first-world countries mean more childless couples than ever," writes AdWeek's Klara..." (picture from Shine Article)
I guess it makes sense. We can kill our kids in utero. They seem to be seen more and more as a commodity or an accessory. And now they're a pesky problem that shouldn't be seen at all.

These article have shown me one thing: I now appreciate the local movie theater in town here more than ever (although I must say, I can't imagine taking a small child to see the new Harry Potter movie to begin with!). When we took Sadie to a movie once we assured the owner that we'd take her out if she made a peep. The owner told us that was fine, but to make sure we told her if we had to leave... because she'd give us tickets to use to come back later.

I'd much rather give my money to a business like that, than one that feels an inclination to put up a sign banning all kids. So while I'm disturbed by the mentality behind the bans I am slightly thankful for the warning. Don't worry Mike Vuick... we don't want to spend our money at your restaurant either!

I'll keep looking for descriptions like "family friendly" when I'm looking for a new place to try. Kids menus are a plus too!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Babies on the Brain

Sadie and Paul had an interesting little discussion last night.

I was standing in the doorway of the bathroom, telling Paul about Sadie's earlier baby comment, while Sadie played in the bathtub. Halfway through the conversation I asked Sadie the baby's name and she gave a repeat performance when Paul asked about the possibility of the baby being a boy. Sadie adamantly denied that there was any chance of that happening.

At some point someone said something along the lines of: "Wouldn't it be nice to have a little brother named Patrick?"

Sadie's response: "No it would not be nice."
Me: "That wouldn't be nice?"
Sadie: "No!"

Hmmm... I'm thinking we better find out the gender at twenty weeks if at all possible to help Sadie be ready for either possibility!

Sadie has actually been quite the little font of baby information lately (both true and not so true). She loves looking at one of the pregnancy books I have, that has images of babies in the womb. And since seeing those pictures she sees "pictures of babies" pretty much everywhere. A star being consumed by a black hole in a magazine? That's a baby. And not just any baby. That's our baby. She's got babies on the brain.

Then there was this afternoon's startling information. She was looking at her own baby pictures and she commented on her "icky belly button." When asked where it came from she said "the doctor" very seriously. The belly button obsession of the afternoon may have been a result of an earlier conversation when Sadie was trying to figure out how the baby was nursing inside of my tummy and I told her the baby got it's food from a tub that went in through the baby's belly button that gave the baby everything it needed. Sadie's eyes were probably the size of saucers by the end of the explanation. She thought about it for a few minutes, examining her own belly button. And now if you ask her how the baby gets food she points to her belly button.

Now if she'd just stop accusing her sister of "trying to eat the baby" every time Mae nurses...

Daily Dose of Cuteness: Spot the Sleeping Mae Bae

After a long day of packing (18 boxes down... quite a few more to go!) Paul got home from work and we unburied the dining room table so that we could sit down to dinner. Someone, however, was apparently exhausted from all the work she'd been doing...

As Sadie ate her spaghetti Mae fell began to close her eyes between bites of bananas.

I finally gave up and let her sleep!

She was really out!

Unfortunately she thought this was a nap and woke up an hour later ready to rock and roll. It took me another hour and twenty minutes to get her back to sleep (ahhhh!!!!). I can't wait until we're past the "I-don't-want-to-sleep-because-I-might-miss-something phase..."

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sadie Quote of the Day...

Sadie's thoughts on whether the baby is a boy or a girl...

Sadie: "Mary in your tummy."
Me: "But what if the baby's Patrick? It could be Mary or Patrick."
Sadie: (adamantly) "Mary! Mary! Mary! Mary!!!!"


It's official. We began packing today. And now, with Sadie sitting in one corner playing with potatoes (she moves them back and forth from one pot to another for long periods of time) and Mae attempting to use a box of soda, a plastic container of ice tea and a six pack of paper towels to climb up onto my exercise bike (thankfully she still can't quite get up on it) I am taking a quick break.

I began packing the toys in the living room (they've actually made their way out of the girls' room and colonized the rest of the house pretty completely) with Sadie and Mae both on board and ready to help. Mae actually kept picking up little toys and putting them in the box and Sadie ran around collecting toys and packing them, in a panic the entire time that something might not make it into a box and might be left behind when we move. She was pretty certain, it seemed, with each finished box, that the other toys that were still unpacked might be left behind (which was more of a problem because I was trying to convince her to leave her favorite toys out to bring along on the plane, but she wanted to make sure that they were packed first...).

In other news, the people at the local Uhaul store, told us that it would actually cost less to get the 26 foot Uhaul instead of the 20 footer. Apparently the 26 footer gets around 10 miles to the gallon and the 20 footer usually gets around 6, so we'll save more than the $200 price difference on gas going cross country. Hopefully that means there will be more than enough room for the giant double stroller and the red wagon. Now back to packing. Six days until the truck leaves and 13 days until the girls and I make the move. I can't believe it snuck up on us so quickly!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

11 Weeks Along

Tuesday will be 12 weeks so I had to put up the 11 week picture!

Waking Up to Tragedy...

I keep reading the articles that pop up on the various news tickers about the tragedy in Norway. After an evil event has unfolded it’s difficult for many of us look away, as our brains work overtime to try to make sense out of senseless violence. And so the media works to give us every detail, and we absorb those details, trying to put the pieces together and understand the motives of someone who obviously had major problems (that feels like the understatement of the year).

My heart breaks for the people of Norway, for the young lives that were lost and the families that are mourning children and brothers and sisters… but also for the country as a whole, because I imagine that for many, even those not connected directly to the tragedy, life will never be quite the same.

There’s a feeling that I get now and then when I wake up in the morning, that’s been with me for about ten years (has it really been that long?) that will probably remain for the rest of my life. It’s the uncomfortable knowledge that something horrible can happen, while we’re asleep and that we may just wake to find that the entire world has changed in a way we’d never imagined. It’s usually just a fleeting thought, a question almost, of whether or not this morning, when I turn on the radio or check my computer, some horror will have played out while I was safe and sound in bed.

Before that day a decade ago, we’d all seen awful things on the news, but usually they were half a world away, and while horribly sad there was a certain distance that existed between the living room where I would watch the news and the scenes that played out in quick clips from around the globe at six o’clock each night. Attacks that are closer to home feel… closer to home…

And so I pray for the people of Norway and all who have lost loved ones to violence, and for those who have had their world transformed by that violence. And I pray that the mornings where we wake to such horrible news are few and far between…

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Giveaway at Crafty Catholic Mamacita

One of my favorite bloggers/etsy shop owners is having her first giveaway! And despite the fact that I already have several of her flowers I keep finding more that I absolutely love! The one she's giving away is one of my favorites! The fabric is just so sweet!

Confession on My Mind...

I've had confession on my mind lately, mainly because I really, really need to go.

My prospects for going however, are rather poor at the moment, and don't look to be improving any time soon.

It's not as if I have anything major to confess. If I did I would find a way to move every obstacle out of the way to get there. It's just the little things that build up when I make mistakes, the way most of us tend to do, and the uncomfortable feeling that it has been more than a month since my last confession and that after a month I start to feel a little bit grimy (if that makes sense) when I haven't received this sacrament. I find that I have a shorter fuse (which isn't really helped out by the insane pregnancy hormones or the fact that I've been having contractions for the past hour that seriously hurt).

Being an hour away from our parish doesn't help either. Once, when I desperately wanted to go to confession, we got there early on a Wednesday and Paul asked one of the priests if he had a few moments to hear a quick confession. He told Paul yes in a friendly enough manner and then proceeded to lecture me in the confessional about not making it on Saturday (I hadn't needed to confess on Saturday! Sins are not limited to weekends!). I think I'd rather he said "no, I'm busy" (after all we'd asked if he were to busy), than be as humiliated I was by the time I left the confessional.

Hopefully not many people have this sort of experience in confession. I actually look forward to going confession because it's easier for me to live the way I know I should live in the time that follows. I feel peaceful. I know that a lot of people don't like going to confession and that a lecture, like the one I received would possibly put them off from going... at all...

Despite my attachment to the sacrament that "event" has made me a bit more timid about going to confession. Paul works on Saturday afternoons. I'm not going to drive an hour each way and brave the forty minute line in a silent church with Sadie and Mae by myself for a less than mortal sin. And the odds of me asking anyone for confession, no matter how much time there is before Mass, is somewhere between slim and none.

I'm hoping I'll have more opportunities very soon.

And for those who feel bold enough to share: How often do you feel the need to go to confession? Is it usually when you feel like you have a reason or do you get that "I need to go" feeling after a set amount of time?

A Snood for All Seasons: And the Winner is...

I just remembered it's Friday! And that means it's time for this week's A Snood for All Seasons Giveaway! I used to generate a winner and here's what I got (and again I put in 1-24 but when I copy and paste it always shows 1-100 for some reason!):

True Random Number Generator 9
And that means that the winner is Beth! Congratulations Beth! Send me the info to the address you'd like your new snood shipped to and I'll get it in the mail to you at the start of next week!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Dee and Mae Bae: The Vendetta Continues

Oh the imagination of a three year old. It began with one sentence, repeated over and over again. But the story has grown as Sadie has spent the last couple of months telling it over and over again, several times a day. Parts are true. Parts are pure fiction (Mae never went to the hospital for a cat scratch). Lately it's been getting more and more elaborate every single day. Here's the latest:

"Dee scratched Mae Bae. Mae Bae go hospital. But I heard, Mae Bae pulled Dee's tail. And her ears. And her whiskers. And her paw. Then Dee sat on Mae Bae's cake. Dee had a time out. Mae Bae ate Dee's food."

And she's said it so many times that it stay exactly the same every time she says it (she usually pauses, hoping someone else in the family will throw in a few words since we all know what's coming next).

Can you guess which part of this story actually happened (and more unfortunately, actually happened today)?

Here's the clue... It was not the highlight of my day.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Daily Dose of Cuteness: Baby-zilla Attacks Computer

Tonight after dinner Mae Bae attacked my computer (I did let her watch Netflix on it once so she may have been searching for Diego, who she's pretty much in love with).

It was sitting all alone and she walked over and started slamming her little fists on the keys to make it go. Apparently she activated the camera, and as I grabbed her little furious fist the computer snapped this picture.

She looks pretty determined as she attempts to free her little fist to continue pounding on the keyboard...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Sadie Frown (trying to capture a Sadie Smile!)

It had been a while since I'd captured a Sadie Frown... however, when I was trying to get Sadie to smile for the camera tonight I captured this. She was pretty determined not to be caught smiling. Until I told her not to smile...

The moment I told her not to smile, the frown began to crumble...

She tried...

But what toddler can resist being told not to smile! Finally a smile and a wave for the camera (which was, of course, a bit out of focus for the best picture!)!

The Latest Sewing Project: Sadie's Princess Dress- Night #1

A week or so ago we received this catalog in the mail. Sadie went through and showed me her favorite costumes. Then she came across this costume. It was love at first sight. She sat, staring at the picture, and protested if I suggested she look at some of the other dresses.

Since we aren't going to be in the market for an incredibly expensive, quickly outgrown costume anytime soon, I decided to begin sewing a princess dress for Sadie. If this one turns out I'll get some blue fabric next time it's on sale and make her a Cinderella dress eventually (she's a big Cinderella fan). I'm hoping to find a certain brocade that I'm very fond of on sale again!

I began work on the top half of the dress after I tucked the girls in tonight. It's going to have puffy light pink crepe sleeves, light pin crepe skirt poofs (for want of a better word... I'm really not sure what those round-ish things are called that are on the side of top of the skirts of most Cinderella dresses...) and a bright pink crepe skirt. Since I have quite a bit of each of those fabrics the only thing I don't have on hand is the velcro for the back.

I do see a lot of hand sewing in my future. The beaded lace is really very thick and I know there's no way my sewing machine could do anything other than make a huge mess out of it... So after I finish my blog posts for the night I'm going to start stitching.

Here's what I have so far (I didn't show the two back pieces which have also been cut out):

And a close up of the project so you can see the different fabrics...

Paul's pretty proud of the fact that he picked out the lace trim. It did seem like the perfect added touch!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hope for Philadelphia?

I know, I know, it's all just Catholic blogosphere buzz.... but... does any one else think that Archbishop Chaput would look great in red?

I do!

In fact, that would make my whole day!

Super Important Prayer Intention!

I'd really, really, really appreciate your prayers today for a special intention. One of my favorite people in the world will be facing some pretty destructive, grave evil today (unfortunately not an exaggeration... oh how Satan attacks those who do good in this world and help others...) and any and all prayers would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Today's Mass: The Good, The Bad and the Strange

Last Sunday I got through an entire Mass without being... "inspired"... to write a blog post. No one placed their whole hand on my tongue. I made a point of not looking at the missal so I wouldn't get upset that we weren't using the actual psalm for the day (I did that again today!). And during today's Mass I tried to ignore the fact that there were three elderly couples sitting together who would jerk their heads around in unison to glare at Mae if she so much as sighed.

Okay, so maybe a bit of the godzilla I've been repressing in other instances peaked out. I glared back (they didn't see me. They were too busy giving my twelve month old death glares while she was held silently by her father). Paul was standing at the back with Mae Bae, who does better away from me during Mass, and was ready to take her out if she made acted up.

In my opinion glaring just because a baby is present in the parish is directly related to the fact that some churches have such a hard time getting families to attend. She did make several giggly, happy baby sounds during Mass. I'm surprised none of the members of the glare-committee (one of whom was an usher: "Hi, welcome to Saint Joe's!") didn't have to be carried out as a result.

There has been an interesting development in our parish these past two weeks. It seems that we now have Eucharistic Bouncers. Two men stand at the front of the church, one behind the priest and the other behind one of the Eucharistic ministers and they watch and make sure that the Eucharist is consumed. Paul and I had noticed that it seemed like more and more hosts were being dropped each week. I'm not sure if it's related and I do wonder if an event inspired this change. Either way it seems like they're being very careful these days.

Besides the Eucharistic bouncers, our parish has ushers who walk up to the front and make sure that everyone stays orderly in the communion lines. I do, kind of wonder, why our parish feels that it's necessary to have an entire flock of Extraordinary Ministers crowd around the altar at every weekend Mass.

Do we really need eight people down there so that no one has to stand in line for more than two and a half minutes? Would it be the end of the world if people stood in line for four minutes to receive from the priest or deacon? I mean, I understand having extra people on a holiday or if there's an actual need, but there just doesn't seem to be a need. Why draw out every other part of Mass with show-tunes only to rush through the main event?

There is a reason for my attitude about this (which you probably already guessed). Sadie and I were seated in the back this morning after the entire family woke up late and barely made it to Mass and we moved over next to Paul and Mae when everyone got in line.

This put us at the very end of the priest's line, which I prefer, since Monsignor isn't going to panic when he sees someone receiving on the tongue (and he was the one saying Mass today! I love his Masses!). Quite a few people moved over, into the priest's line, and most of those who we let go in front of us were in the 90+ age range, who had slowly made their way over to the line.

As we neared the front the Eucharistic Minister's line ran out of people and the usher tried to force the elderly in our line over to him. They refused. He gestured for anyone to move over. A few went right away, but no one else would (again, I was apparently in fine form this morning and actually shook my head as he tried to make us move over... I was really annoyed at the way he was treating the people in front of us... it reminded me of a school yard bully...). He finally walked through the line and went over himself, obviously annoyed with us all (which was actually more evident later, when we left the church).

I know, I know, it's the same Eucharist. But I'd rather not have the distraction of having someone put their whole hand on my tongue, or dropping the Eucharist because they're so horrified at the thought of someone receiving on the tongue. And I know Monsignor isn't going to be wearing a bottle of perfume that will be coating the Eucharist by the time it makes it's way into my mouth. Maybe it's just the pregnancy hormones making me extra picky? Probably not. I think I'd be bothered, pregnant or not...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Chocolate Brown Lace Snood

I may have a new favorite snood! This is the perfect snood for someone who has darker hair and who loves the classic beauty of lace, but who's wants something subtle (at least that was what I kept thinking when I was sewing!). I love lace at the moment!

And hopefully I'll be able to come up with something with a bit more substance later tonight. My mind lately has gone in a circle of eat, sleep, play with the girls, sew. This is vergine on blogging-block!

Mae Bae's Favorite Book of the Moment

Mae Bae is in love with this book. If it were up to her, we would read it all day long, possibly with breaks for food and sleep, but without breaks for diaper changes (Mae isn't a fan of pausing her busy schedule for diaper changes these days).

Peek-a-Who is a simple board book with cutouts so that the baby can look through and see part of the next page.

We actually bought it after Sadie repeatedly checked it out of the library between her first and second birthday. She loved it and it's become a family favorite because of the smiles it inspires in both girls (Sadie will still pause to hear me read it!).

At an age when Mae is quickly frustrated with books (she wants to turn the pages, but struggles with the motor skills required at this point) and wants to turn the pages before I finish reading anything more than a few words, Mae loves the wording (it's pretty much "Peeka" on one page and then another word like "choo choo!" on the next) and the Peek-boo theme!

(picture from amazon book page)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Our Newly Car-less Family (for now)

We did it! We sold the car! It was a little bit sad, but after walking into the dealership this morning we walked out, a little over an hour later, with a check. It's funny to think that the check is equal to more than we've made in a single year for several years.

It will cover our moving costs and the costs to buy a used mini van when we get to Florida (yay!).

I was surprised at how great the dealership was. We didn't really expect to sell it to them when we went down to talk with them after they emailed us (they saw our craigslist add). We figured they would offer us thousands of dollars less than the ad. However they had a check list which they went through and after crunching the numbers we pretty much agreed on the price (it was more than I'd even planned on asking on Craiglist originally... Paul convinced me to ask more!) and that was that!

We borrowed Nani's car to get home (after stopping by Joann's which was having an amazing sale that when combined with my 20% off sale items coupon meant we got a lot of fabric for next to nothing!).

And now we're one step closer to law school! I can't believe how quickly this summer is going by! It's bitter sweet...

A Snood For All Seasons Snood Giveaway: The Blue Floral Cotton Snood

I made a few changes to my store this morning and to celebrate I'm having another giveaway! I dropped the price of my dupioni silk snoods to $22 and the linen snoods went all the way down to $17!

If you see a snood that looks like mine that's less expensive let me know because I do price match (and I try to beat competitors prices!) if it's at all possible so that you get the best possible snood at the best possible price!

I've also been sewing up a storm and adding at least one new item a day!

But now, on to the giveaway!

This morning I'm giving away my latest blue cotton floral snood. I had enough fabric to make two, so there will be one in my store and one for the giveaway! I was very tempted to keep this one because I love the color... but... it's here instead!

Here are the rules:

Make sure that you leave a separate comment for each entry (i.e. one comment for the free entry, one comment saying you're a follower, one comment if you blogged about it, one comment if you tweeted about it... and so on... I want to make sure everyone gets all the entries they deserve when I use the random generator!). If you don't leave separate entries the counter only counts them as one!

You get one entry for leaving a comment with an email address!

You get one entry for following A Woman's Place!

You get one entry for blogging about this giveaway and letting me know!

You get one entry for tweeting about this giveaway and letting me know!

You get one entry for going to the new facebook page and "liking" this blog (or telling me that you already have!)!

And you get one giveaway for mentioning this giveaway on facebook and letting me know!

Those are all the guidelines! God Bless!

The giveaway will end on July 22nd when the winner is announced!

A Snood For All Seasons Headband Giveaway... And the Winner is...

It's time for the latest giveaway! I used and because there were 50 entires put in between 1 and 50 (although it never shows that way when I copy and paste the results!) and got this:

True Random Number Generator 34

Which means that the winner is...Rachel!

Congratulations Rachel! As soon as I get your mailing info I'll get your new headband in the mail!

Mae Bae: The Baby Who Won't Sleep!

Mae Bae is developing quite the little personality. She already knows how to make sure her voice is heard in our lively little home: by being louder than anyone else.

You can make Sadie dissolve into laughter by telling her not to look at Mae Bae's Dora doll, because if Sadie so much as looks at the doll (which was Sadie's at one point... but Sadie's is very sweet when it comes to her sister and is constantly bringing her toys and giving them to her...) Mae lets out a ear piercing squeal. Thankfully, Sadie is incredibly patient with Mae and loves to make her sister laugh (and when Mae isn't objecting to toys being taken away she spends her time giggling at Sadie's antics).

Bed time is the biggest battle of the day. Mae is pretty sure that she's missing out on a lot of fun each night when, after she's tucked snugly in her crib. And so she resists sleep with every ounce of energy in her body. Tonight it took a grand total of two hours of nursing before she was out for good (or at least "for good" so far).

I remember this being the most difficult sleeping age with Sadie too (between about 10 months and a year). I think a lot of it has to do with the frustration that goes along with not being able to express themselves yet at this age. So far Mae has said "Ma," "Bo-pa" (directed at Grumpa) and "Up!". She's babbling quite a bit though, and I have a feeling she's going to be talking early, just as she was walking pretty early (she's transitioned to walking pretty much everywhere now).

Throw teething into the mix and the nights have been a little bit long. Mae was up, roughly, from 11pm to 1am last night. And that's probably why the only topic I could think of was Mae... and sleep deprivation!

I can hardly wait to get past the long bedtimes... for a little while at least... I hope we have at least a couple months of semi restful nights before the new baby arrives (or at least as restful as sleep can be in the third trimester!).

Thursday, July 14, 2011

10 Weeks Along... The "Insta-Bump"

As I used my computer to snap a few pictures for my Year of Dresses Blog (I had some major catching up to do!) I turned to the side and took a few "bump" pictures. And, while I know my bump is big for being ten weeks... I have to say I was a bit surprised by how big! Now, I'm still below my starting weight at this point... but I would say I'm definitely "showing!" I think it definitely has to do with it being baby #3 and with there not quiet being a year between this pregnancy and the last! But wow! Do I have a bump!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Homeschooling and One Priest's Confusion

I love reading pretty much anything I can get my hands on about homeschooling. After spending one year as the cheerleading advisor at our local high school I was completely convinced that the threat of jail would never compel me to put my children in a situation like that (oh my goodness! I went to public school! But how things had changed, at least in my area, in the past ten years!!!).

I'm sure there are schools out there that are great. I went to one. Academically I think the one in our current area is very good. Lots of great teachers. A wonderful assortment of AP and Honors classes. Great coaches. However, as I heard the stories my sixteen girls told in practice about their... exploits (that made me want to scream: "You're fifteen! What the heck is going on here?!?!?!") I became more and more convinced that homeschooling would be the right path for me family. Paul, who remembers a particular primary school teacher coming to school obviously drunk, and dancing around in front of the class of kids, who were something like eight years old, quickly agreed. And the bullying stories I've heard in the past years... are enough to make my hair turn grey!

So, as I mentioned above, I pretty much devour anything I can find on homeschooling. I loved reading Melody's post yesterday on the approach of the school year (and the picture of her family the year that they had matching sweaters is pretty adorable!). Then I followed the link in that story back to this story and then to this story and my jaw dropped.

Have you heard about this? The priest that insists homeschooling is tantamount to disobeying the Church?

I know I'm a little late on addressing this, but I was pretty shocked when I began to read through all the material I could find yesterday:
"...There are several reasons to prefer Catholic schools, Father Stravinskas told Our Sunday Visitor, including that the Church Fathers made clear that catechesis is the job of the whole Church, with the main responsibility resting on the shoulders of the pastor, not the parents.

And Catholic parents who choose to home-school when there is a Catholic school available at least implicitly send the message that they do not trust the Church to educate their children properly, and the children get that message.

“On the same property where they go to church on Sunday is a school where the parents don’t wish to send them,” he said..."

Read the whole thing here...
Fr. S goes on to say that he thinks it's unhealthy for children and mothers to spend so much time together. However after discovering a bit more of his work... I find it hard to take anything he says very seriously. If this interview is really a response by Father Stravinskas, which it appears to be, then he's indicated that he thinks using NFP is a sign that families think they're better than everyone else, and that receiving the Eucharist frequently is a very bad thing... and that it "breeds contempt..." Which too me, sounds a bit backwards and crazy. But what do I know? According to Fr. S I'm not responsible for the children entrusted to me.

I'll admit, my first thought, when I read the OSV article was: "I know kids that went to Catholic schools... I went to college with them... and most of them are atheists now." More than that, most of them seem to have been raised with an unhealthy contempt for the Church and all of her teachings. Again, I'm sure there's wonderful public and Catholic schools out there... but for those of us who are a bit gun shy because of the formation we've seen take place... I'd say seeking out other options is a valid response.

Father Stravinskas couldn't be more wrong... and his understanding of the domestic Church, which is very much a part of the Church, is sadly misinformed. He says, that homeschoolers try to set up a "church within the church." But the family is a church within the Church. Look at what Pope John Paul II said:

"Marriage is an act of will that signifies and involves a mutual gift, which unites the spouses and binds them to their eventual souls, with whom they make up a sole family - a domestic church."
-Pope John Paul II

"As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live."
-Pope John Paul II

So I don't think I'll be abdicating my responsibility for my children's formation any time soon... I think the past century has taught us that that is a very, very bad idea.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sadie Quotes at 10 Weeks Along

Sadie has been pretty hilarious this week. Her favorite topic of conversation is: "The baby in Mommy's tummy." As I mentioned before, one night the baby was "Pooh Bear" and for a while "George Monkey" although she pretty much always comes back to "Mary" or "PatrickorMary" (like it's one name). I did ask her if she liked the name "Holy Baby" for the baby and she looked at me like I was insane, and told me that the baby's name is "Pooh Bear" and that Mae's name is "Don Bosco" (in other words, she's Holy Baby!).

However, the sweetest moment came when we were sitting in the girl's room playing and Sadie said to herself: "I love the baby in Mommy's tummy! I love the baby in Mommy's tummy!" and Mae, not to be outdone, crawled over to me and actually kissed my tummy. So I guess Mae has noticed all the talk!

That may not have helped Sadie's... Mae Bae accusations...

Sadie has a new phrase that we've been hearing a lot lately. I hear it most often after Mae Bae has nursed. Sadie will look over, giggle and say "Mae Bae is trying to eat the baby in Mommy's tummy!!!!" and of course I will say, "No she's not." and Sadie will repeat it over and over again.

I wonder what they'll come up with next...

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Pregnancy Cravings

I need to do some serious food shopping, since our cupboards are looking a little bare, but I did manage to come up with this dinner the other night. It was exactly what I was craving! In my pregnant state it is the perfect grilled cheese sandwich!


Green Onions
American Cheese (not Kraft...)
1 Large Tomato
Sourdough (I believe it was called "Traditional Sourdough" and was different than the kind we usually get. It looked like white bread but tasted like sourdough.)

Layer cheese, bacon and tomato slice on bread. Sprinkle with chopped green onions and shredded cilantro. Butter outside of bread with margarine and cook over medium heat on stovetop!

And I served it with a new family favorite. I combined by veggie stew (which I had on hand and had substituted celery for artichoke hearts this time) with a box of tomato soup (a box? But that's what it was...) and added a bit more basil, oregano and garlic! I topped the soup with Parmesan cheese and the extra green onions.

And it was a pregnancy craving meal that the whole family enjoyed!

And here's the nine week bump! Tomorrow's ten weeks!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Some Good Car News (One Step Closer to a Van...)

Paul and I listed our car on craigs list this week. It was kind of a sad moment, because that car has been his baby (we bought it before Sadie was born, back when he was working 100+ hours a week in social work...) and he was hoping to have it for years to come. He's had the oil changed religiously (there was a deal with the dealership so that it was free). However, it's downfall was not being able to fit three car seats in the back.

So he washed it and got it all ready and we snapped a few pictures and posted them. The price was about $6000 lower than the other cars that were the same description (I really couldn't believe they will sell for that much! It's almost full price!).

And tonight I just got an email from the dealership we bought it from. Apparently they watch the listings and they want to buy the car back! I think Paul will probably call them tomorrow... It would be really great if it was that simple and we wouldn't have to worry about the things you worry about when you meet someone you don't know to sell a car! This made my whole night!

Appropriate Responses to Joyful Baby News...

The joys of first trimester pregnancy hormones may only be rivaled by the fact that they are usually accompanied by first trimester morning sickness (blessedly not in this case… so far!). And let me tell you, first trimester pregnancy hormones, at least in my experience, are not pretty.

During the second trimester I’m a joyful bundle of energy, bouncing around the house organizing and nesting. The world is a beautiful, wonderful place and I’m thankful for everyone in it. In the third trimester I’m a somewhat more exhausted version of the second trimester (usually added to be the fact that so far I’ve only been in the third trimester during late spring and summer… It will be nice to try the third trimester in winter this time!).

But in the first trimester… Paul watches from a distance, hoping I don’t burst into tears because there weren’t any ripe avocados at the store (I didn’t… I went back to the store by myself and found the ripe avocados… and stomped back into the house triumphant).

It was during the first trimester that I nearly punched a man in the nose at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem (in my defense he’d grabbed my arm and tried to stop me from going with my tour group. However in normal, non-pregnant life, my first reaction isn’t to instantly cock my arm and threaten to punch someone…).

So the comments my family has been receiving lately, while indisbutably rude in any state, may feel a bit more serious in my current state: In other words I feel a bit like King Kong shut up in a cage made of… oh I don’t know… aluminum cans glued together with Elmer’s glue, being poked with a cattle prod. You just know that something is about to happen and that it’s not going to be pretty.

The thing is that I knew that it was coming… I just thought it would be a bit further off! We have two children. We’re expecting our third. Our family is certainly not large by Catholic standards. However the (real life) comments began rolling in as soon as we announced the pregnancy and the simple “Congratulations” that we’ve received are few and far between.

Instead we hear (and all in a similar disgusted tone… because many of these same comments could be perfectly fine in a joyous tone!):

“You’re having ANOTHER one?!?!”
“You’re having A THIRD?!?!”
“You’re wife is PREGNANT AGAIN?!?!”
“You’re poor wife!!!!”
“Was this one planned?!?!”
“So, you’re done now, right?”
“Are you going to keep trying for a boy?”

We’d already been getting the “don’t you know what causes that” and “don’t you have TV?” comments which I thought was a little strange because, let’s face it, two kids isn’t a huge family by any standards.

I know that our culture is less focused on manners than it probably was at pretty much any other point in history. Profanity on television is pretty much the norm (although I guess it’s not considered profanity any longer?). And apparently disgust is a normal response these days when a person hears that a bouncing bundle of joy is expected.

I’m having a harder time being polite in response to rude comments with the hormone… surges… coursing through my veins. I have managed to not say anything rude in response to anyone (although it can be very tempting… and several bloggers have already come up with clever responses…). However, I’m pretty sure my face gives away the lie that the fact is that I don’t think that sort of comment is appropriate.

And let’s keep our fingers crossed that King Kong doesn’t escape from the aluminum can cage any time soon… because I can promise you one thing… it wouldn’t be pretty…

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Snood For All Seasons Pattern

I've done it! After much deliberation and a few notes from women who cover and wanted to make their own snoods (which were very persuasive!) I've listed my pattern on my etsy shop! I hope those of you who purchase it have as much fun sewing these snoods as I do! There will be lots of photos in the instructions!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sadie Quote of the Day...

Here is my favorite Sadie quote of the day. Sadie looked at me with a very serious expression and said... "Want to name the baby in your tummy... Pooh Bear!" and then proceeded to laugh hysterically and repeat it to anyone who would listen. She's developing quite the little sense of humor.

In other news Mae is barreling around the house at a gate between a walk and a run. After "taking steps" for the past two months (at a maximum of four at a time), she decided to take 11 steps on her birthday and now alternates between walking and crawling. I've found putting her in dresses encourages her to walk more because she can't do her little sprint crawl in a skirt!

Sadie Frown of the Week: The Philippine's "Reproductive Health" Bill

I hadn't heard much about the "reproductive health" bills being pushed through in the Philippines these last couple of months. This article from NCR gives us an update. And it doesn't look good. Hopefully the Philippine's aren't going to be following in China's footsteps with their "reproductive health" policies. I don't find the wording the be reassuring, however:
MANILA — When Philippine lawmakers return on July 25 for the second session of the 15th Congress, they will continue debates on two reproductive-health bills that would undermine the Catholic culture of the populous Asian nation.

Similar in content, both the House and Senate bills seek to mandate government counseling on artificial contraceptives and promote sexual education for children as early as fifth grade.

Backed by powerful international population-control groups, the bills also recommend two children per family as a way to reduce poverty and foster economic development. The Philippines has a population of more than 90 million, about 82% of whom are Catholic...

Read the entire article here.
I'm just wondering how far they're willing to go to enforce that "recommendation." And while the president claims that people should be able to make that decision for themselves, be also says:

Yet, he also stated:
“In a situation where couples, especially the poor and disadvantaged ones, are in no position to make an informed judgment, the state has the responsibility to so provide.”
I'm afraid that makes his other statements less reassuring... And if you make it to the last paragraph you probably won't be surprised to see who's funding the whole drive for this bill...

The Father Corapi/SOLT Situation

Does anyone else feel as if this whole Father Corapi debacle just can't get any uglier... until they wake up each morning and read the latest update and then the update response and then the response to the response and realize that that their earlier conclusion (about things not being able to get any uglier than they already were) was horribly wrong? And then you wonder if it can get any worse and you wince a little because it can and, since the whole thing seems to be steaming along at a nice little pace in a downhill direction, it seems that it's likely to.

First there was this from SOLT (Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity). There was also this from the National Catholic Register, confirming that that earlier link was in fact a genuine SOLT statement (wouldn't it have been lovely if it wasn't?).

We all probably could have guessed what would happen then. A portion of the Catholic blogosphere would not be able to refrain from pointing out how they knew he was guilty, how his stupid cult followers were just going to fall apart now, and how anyone with a bit of sense could have seen this coming from a mile away. A reader might be left wondering when perusing these posts, exactly what happened to love and charity and sorrow when confronted with grave evil (because if this is true it's pretty serious). Instead we find a lot of "I told you so's" and comparisons with a certain president who had a strained relationship with the truth.

I'd waited for Father Corapi's response with a sinking heart. You see, I knew after the latest round of bashing, that the truth was buried so far beneath the lies, that we could never really know if he did or didn't do whatever the letter to the Bishops said, unless he came forward and confessed and everyone's stories suddenly fell into line (which seems unlikely). The response came today.

The entire situation is sorrowful and has the fingerprints of Satan all over it. Someone (or multiple people) is lying. Someone (again... or multiple people) is telling the truth (or a closer version of it). And, as we tear each other apart in the comments sections of various blogs and news outlets, and in actual blogs as well, I'm pretty sure Satan is laughing at the discord that has been sown.

We should pray for Father Corapi and the priests of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. We should pray for the Bishops. And we should pray that we, as Catholics can come together rather than being torn apart by this whole horrible situation.

Maybe we also should realize that we don't need to know everything, a hard realization to come to in an age of instant online news, where everyone promises to keep us updated on everything we could possibly want to know.

God will judge those who have caused this scandal (and I really wouldn't want to be trying to explain that at judgement if I hadn't made a really, really good confession...) just as He will judge all of us.

Most of all I hope that the scandal caused by these lies (because, one way or another, someone is lying) doesn't cause any of the faithful to lose faith in the Church that was established by Christ to guide us.

I'll end with a few Saint Quotes. Because... we all could use a little saintly wisdom at the moment...

"Not the goods of the world, but God. Not riches, but God. Not honors, but God. Not distinction, but God. Not dignities, but God. Not advancement, but God. God always and in everything."
-- St. Vincent Pallotti

"Who except God can give you peace? Has the world ever been able to satisfy the heart?"
-- St. Gerard Majella

"Charity unites us to God... There is nothing mean in charity, nothing arrogant. Charity knows no schism, does not rebel, does all things in concord. In charity all the elect of God have been made perfect."
-- Pope St. Clement I

"Those who commit these types of scandals are guility of the spiritual equivalent of murder, but I', here among you to prevent something far worst for you. While those who give scandal are guilty of the spiritual equivalent of murder, those who take scandal- who allow scandals to destroy faith- are guilty of spiritual suicide."
-- St. Francis de Sales