Wednesday, July 29, 2009

my latest dream

A couple of nights ago I dreamt that I was at a conference; the Holy Father was also in attendance. There was a bit of a lull in the day and I was hanging out in the lobby. His Holiness was in the corner dozing off. A little bit later I was sitting at a table with vestments and B16 came over to vest for Mass. He pulled out a stoll and I asked,
"Isn't that the stoll the Obamas gave you?"
"Yes, it is."
"Do you like it?"
As he shrugged his shoulders he replied, "meh."

Come on; that's funny!

Monday, July 27, 2009

The mechanic's daughter was right!

The problem with the Stratus was the fuel pump. Way to go, Katie B!

iTunes gift card means new music for me

What have I been buying / listening to lately?

- Miscellaneous covers by Vitamin String Quartet, You Shook Me All Night Long and Snow (Hey Oh) are my faves.
- Lay 'Em Down by Need to Breathe
- Miscellaneous Brandon Heath songs, Trust You is my fave.
- Two Hands by Jars of Clay, along with a few others from their new album
- All I Want Is You by Barry Louis Polisar, from the Juno soundtrack
- It Might Be Hope by Sara Groves
- Canticle of Zechariah by Matt Maher
- More Where That Came From by Dolly Parton
- Start Wearing Purple by Gogol Bordello, from the Everything Is Illuminated soundtrack

And if I weren't so cheap I would have also spent a lot of money on Regina Spektor's music. But I refuse to buy a song that costs more than $.99.

Aside - writing that last sentence made me miss the cent symbol a great deal. I'm feeling all nostalgic for my childhood when there was such a thing. (Pregnancy hormones may not be culpable in this case but they will be blamed nonetheless.)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

July pictures

Lydia with her Daddy waiting for fireworks.

Asleep in the car - sooo cute!

Petting bunnies with her godmother at the 4H fair.

Checking out the animals at the zoo.

Playing with balloons at her cousin's party.

Going down the dirty stairs.

Pretending to be Nick after having eating out at Firehouse Pizza.
(Because Nick always wears pink socks when he's fighting fires.)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Thoughts on the upcoming birth

Last week I woke up one morning and realized that I am NOT mentally prepared for the birth of our third child. I think that in the first 7 months I just didn't let myself think about it, any hint of a worry or wonder and I'd push it out of my mind. But suddenly I was bombarded with thoughts and none of them were good.

- What if I have back labor again?

- What if the baby is facing the wrong way again?

- How long will this labor be?

- How will Lydia react to the whole thing? Will she be scared?

- Just how judged by others will I feel about our circumcision decision? (Seriously, I just might not change boy diapers in front of anyone.)

- I feel soooo much more tired this time around - will I even be able to push this kid out or will I be too exhausted?

- Will we have all the breastfeeding issues again?

- Will he sleep through the night?

- Will Lydia start waking up a lot again?

- What will happen to all my snuggle time with my daughter?

- Will Lydia resent me and the baby?

- Will the baby blues be as bad this time around?

- Will it take 7 months again before I love and like this one?

- Will he have colic like Lydia did?

- What if he's high needs, too? How does one take care of a high needs newborn and a attention-craving toddler?

The list actually does go on. With questions like, "Will I ever feel attractive again?" "Will I lose weight in time for the 10 year reunion?" "Can stretch marks go all the way to my neck?"

I know that I need to deal with all this stuff, because doing so will make me a better mom and will help labor go better... but I just don't know what to believe or trust?

Any help from any second time moms?

Birthday thoughts

1 - I haven't been this excited about a birthday in awhile. I don't know why - nothing extra special is happening and I'm one year closer to 30.

2 - Am I the only mother who feels bad for her mother on my birthday? It's like, now that I know how horrible it all is - I'm so sorry you had to go through that! (but thank you!!!)

3 - Lydia is going to my mother-in-law's today and she's staying until Monday morning. I feel a little guilty that I'm so looking forward to being kid-free on my birthday weekend.

4 - I will be at Barnes & Noble from 1-4 today. It's like my own little Open House, but I don't have to cook or clean anything! If you'd like to stop by and say Hi I'd love to see you. If you have better things to do, that's fine, because I LOVE ordering a scone and iced chia and looking at cookbooks and magazines. You see - a total win-win situation! :)

Monday, July 20, 2009

This is amazing! I know the poor people in charge of this site, along with Joseph who wrote the email are both completely sincere, but I think it's hilarious. I'm not trying to make fun of them, but I really do think it's funny. I guess if you are a vegetarian or vegan, you probably will think I'm a huge jerk, but not only do they quote content I wrote, but I grew up in a house with deer heads hanging on the wall. I'm pro-hunting.

And maybe I should let these people know that the Franciscans would pay the Dominicans the rented from with a bucket of fish. As in dead fish... to be eaten.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

This is what's up

- Nun Visit: Sr. Myriam Caritas of the Lamb of God has been in town this week. She's home from her convent in the Bronx and I have been able to hang out with her several times. I always love getting Fr. Benedict stories from her, and partaking in a Lebanese feast at her mom's house.

- New Job for me: For almost a year I have been working for the Newman Center I worked at my first 2 years after college. I've been working from home creating newsletters, brochures, and other documents. Recently I have also taken on the job of Alumni Development / Fundraising. This basically means it's now my job to grow our contact lists and ask people to give to Newman. (Which, by the way, Newman really needs because our funding was cut by 66%!)

- NFP Training is going well, though somewhat slowly. We've been trying to accomplish one lesson a week.

- Pregnancy Dreams have been crazy lately. This week I've dreamt about Travis cheating on me, a tornado and vampires taking over the world. I guess I'm just working through all the worst case scenarios that could happen in my life. On the positive side, though, I did have another dream that the baby in my womb is a boy.

- Baby Boy Names: We were going to go with Bennet Mark, which was our boy name left over from Lydia. Bennet because it is a combo of Benedict (our beloved Pope) and Benno (my beloved Grandpa). Mark because it's a family middle name on Trav's side, including his. BUT we now know 3 other couples who either just had a boy or are about to have a boy and will be naming him Bennet. We thought the name was a little more unique... New possibilities are: Dominick, Benedict, Elliot, Kolbe, and Blaise.

- Dr. W: My cousin Jamie graduated this summer with her doctorate in psychology. She's the first doctor in the family and I am so incredibly proud of her. She's worked her butt off for a long time and has already accomplished a lot of good.

- Responsible Journalism: I am so tired of the news covering Michael Jackson and Jon & Kate. There are many, many more important things happening in the world - could you please cover those things?! Archbishop Chaput (one of the best the US has!) has a very good piece on this very thing. Imagine how affirmed I felt when he said what I was thinking - just you know, more intelligently and thoughtfully than I ever could have done.

- Travis' Masters Program: He got accepted, enrolled and then we got a bill. It turns out that what we had been led to believe would be tuition-free, wasn't. 2/3 was paid for - which is a HUGE deal and an awesome opportunity - but wasn't enough for my husband, who really had little interest in the program besides the fact that it would get him his masters from a good school for very little money. (We probably sound like ungrateful jerks.) As we discussed it we also realized that while we had prayed that he would get into the program we never once prayed about if he should do it. Turns out that his alma mater has a masters program he's much more interested in that will only cost $200 more a class, and he'll be enrolling with one of his best friends. It'll start a little bit later, but that will give us time to finish up NFP training and get used to the new baby.

- My Birthday is coming up!!! I'm going to be 28. I think I'm celebrating by going to the new Harry Potter movie with my husband and, hopefully, drinking a HUGE iced chai at Barnes & Noble while I illegally copy recipes from magazines and cookbooks. Livin' it up!

Monday, July 13, 2009

on the press

To people with knowledge about cars:

What does it mean that our Stratus putters when it's first started and will lurch, maybe back fire, and shake until it finally dies, but then once it's restarted it runs just fine?

And more importantly, how much is this gonna cost us?

The bills! The bills!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Happily Ever After...

I know that 2 & 1/2 years is not "ever after" and that there are many tough times ahead, but I can't help but think of that expression, one I used to roll my eyes at, and feel that it truly does apply to my marriage.

Last night, as Travis and I lay in bed, we talked about all the struggles and issues we had during our engagement. In fact, I had some fear that he would call everything off. Thankfully, we were always praying during that time and every time we were attacked with worry or doubt we would take it to Adoration. In the quiet of the chapel, looking face to face with Christ, we always came back to peace and the firm knowledge that we were supposed to get married, and we were supposed to do it on Dec 30. Simply put, we knew what God's will was for our lives, we just had to choose to follow.

In a sense we had an arranged marriage (God the Father was our "Yente") but fortunately for us we also loved and were in love with each other. All that being said, it can still be hard not to feel vulnerable when you step out in faith and date for 6 weeks and then are engaged for 6 months... (I mean, I'm just saying...) And the first 3 months of our marriage were pretty hard at times. In fact, all but one of the biggest fights of our marriage came during that time.

And then we did this great, amazing thing: we went on our honeymoon. Scotland was the best thing we could have done for our marriage. We shared an adventure and with it many laughs, and we came home as best friends.

Our lives are filled with stress: a fixer-upper house, paycheck-to-paycheck living, bills, older cars, an unplanned pregnancy, one bedroom, no cable... but I trust in my husband and our relationship. I know that he'll take care of me and our family, and that we can relax and recharge with our friendship. I am so happily married.

I just feel bad for all the rest of you, because I got the best there is. ;)

Monday, July 6, 2009

2/3 of what I am

If I had to describe myself in 3 words they would be wife, mother and Catholic. I love being all of those things and I try very hard (most of the time) to live out those titles well.

Today I came across a few blog posts that were good food for thought on the mother and Catholic sides of things.

Jen at Conversion Diary has a great post about a couple who are adopting 2 HIV positive children from Ethiopia. I loved the things this adoptive mother had to say about how she felt God calling her to this path. I also admire her courage in following.

Travis and I have always discussed adoption as an option in our lives. I am friends with a woman who has adopted 2 baby girls through the foster care system. Seeing her and her husband grow their family in such a beautiful way has always made me want to do the same, in a very ambivalent, non-committal way. Last winter I heard a talk given by Catholic Charities that really made me think about becoming a foster parent and possibly adopting an older child instead of an infant. They told the story of a almost 18 year old girl who never was adopted, had no real family and was soon to be released from the system. She told the Catholic Charities employee that she still wanted to be adopted, to have a family to go home to during her college breaks. (Break my heart!)

This is not the time to pursue adoption, but I do feel like I should keep the idea of foster care and adoption tucked away for later. But I also know I first need to deal with some fears I have such as, Will bringing an older child into my home also bring the potential of danger for my own child if the foster child has a history of being sexually abused? and How do you bring someone into your home and earn their love and respect when you're a crazy woman? and What if I don't "click" with the child? Will I just hurt and reject them even more?

Fr. Longenecker at Standing on My Head has a series of 3 posts on Authority and papal infallibility. He wrote them as a "thinking out loud", as he describes it, and I think they are all interesting reads. As many non-Catholics (and even "Cafeteria Catholics") have serious issues with the Pope, I think Father does a good job of talking about the relativism that can come forth without an authority. Especially when the only authority many want to claim is the Bible, which is a collection of separate books assembled, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, by Catholics during early Church Councils. (Council of Laodicea in 360 and Council of Rome in 382, followed by the Councils of Hippo and Carthage. All of these councils list the same Old and New Testament books that can be found in modern day Bibles.) See here and here for where I got my details.
The reason I love to hear Fr. Longenecker's perspective is because he was raised Protestant and even attended the fundamentalist school Bob Jones University. He then converted to Anglicanism and became an Anglican priest while living in England. However, as the Anglicans began to squabble, he searched for an answer and was led to the Roman Catholic Church. Of course, as a Catholic, one could argue that he's biased to our ways, but he seems really well educated and has passionately lived out his faith in a variety of ways which definitely brings a different perspective to my way of seeing things.

Authority 1:
To put it simply, the non-Catholic Christian (without a recognized infallible authority) can only be relativistic, but in order for his world not to drift and melt away totally, he has to behave as if his personal opinion or the opinion of his pastor or the decisions of his denomination are, in fact, infallible.
Authority 2:
The Catholic Church, on the other hand, is the only religious grouping which can claim to be both historical and relevant, universal and local.
Authority 3:
Furthermore, it must not only be intellectually credible, but it must have the underlying intellectual tools to construct credible responses to the world.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

a little bit of propaganda

"...the Roman Catholic hierarchy would rather women die of AIDS, and they and their children die of hunger, rather than a sexual partner use condoms or themselves use artificial methods of birth control or be able to attain a safe, legal abortion." from the Daily Kos

Wow, talk about a complete misunderstanding of Catholic teaching! This is so incredibly wrong that I actually laughed when I first read it. I'm not sure where the author of the article is getting his information, but sadly someone is lying to him. He also seems one part jaded with a tint of conspiracy theorist, but I'd say that overwhelmingly we (pro-lifers and orthodox Catholics) have done a poor job of practicing what we preach and explaining what we believe.

*If you read the whole article you should read the comments, too. It is anti-catholic propaganda at its best. Seriously, I hope I never sound as ignorant as some of those people.