Monday, December 28, 2009

Is it too early to be exicited...

...for the next Harry Potter film?

I just finished watching my very own copy of Half Blood Prince (the most awesomest Christmas present in the world! Thanks Ma!). On the "extras" disc is a sneak peak at Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Parts 1 &2. They come out Nov 2010 and July 2011 respectively.

I almost peed my pants with glee and am full of so much anticipation I feel like I used to before my secular Christmases as a kid. Hee hee!

Did I mentiom that the only 2 movies I have bothered to see in the last 4 years of baby-rearing are HP V and HP VI? Yep. I am a HP geek.

Now if I can just get my Griffondor House Emblem bag and Griffondor Quidditch sweater knit before the next movie...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Knitting On

Update:

The first Mitt is done, except for the thumb. I tried doing it and it came out with holes next to the gusset. I ripped it out and will try again when I have the brainpower to wrap myself around that problem-solving issue. Other than that, I LOVE it!! It came out just the way I wanted it to. And I think I may publish the pattern (humbly) when it is done.

The little twists are so pretty. The sizing is much better. It's warm and soft and cozy. And while I prefer the look of gloves to that of mittens, I think these will be infinitely warmer, especially on those below 0 days (we had LOTS of those last year). I am very hapy with my decision.

While my brain relaxes, I have been working on the Rainbow Hat. Plain stockinette in the round is mindless and enjoyable - a wonderful change from all the thought and effort I put into the mittens, writing down every details as I knit and reknit.

*sigh* And I am still hard at work on the Husband Sweater. One sleeve done, about 5/6 of the body completed too. The lace shawl is again on hold, but what's new?

Oh, new!! I have been commisioned to finish a pair of socks. Ok, my friend was given this pair of socks to finish for HER friend like a year ago. She still has them. They are toe-up and my friend has worked them both past the heel-turn. She just had a baby and is feeling guilty about them not being done. She asked me if I would/wanted to finish them and I accepted.

The yarn is so pretty. I think she said it was Cherry Hill Yarn, or something like that. They are being knit with a nylon thread held together with the yarn. I am supposed to knit the leg with a lace pattern (after I decrease the gusset stitches). Any ideas? She just wants something "lacy". That's all the description I got.

Pictures will come when I can get my laptop to some wi-fi, promise.

Comment response, Blackberry style

I have been trying to get back to you, La Gallina. Blogger, or maybe it's Blackberry, will not let me comment after your comment on my post.

So you get a whole post to yourself. :)

I am working (and by working I mean "seriously thinking about it a lot when I think about blogging") on my conversion story. I am a little crazy about attention to detail so it would ebd up being a rather long post. But since I have recently propsed the same request to another blogger (Hands to War, I am speaking of you (and I can't hyperlink on this dang phone so see the sidebar)), I feel it prudent that I honor your request. I just can't promise when.

As soon as I can, I'm going to check out your Catholic Birth Center links. How cool! Although I don't know anyone off the top of my head who would work for free...I do know someone going to another college who may have some classmates interested.

And my spanish (I'm 1/2 Puerto Rican, raised in TX) is not as good as it once was. What is "la gallina"?

Feel free to email me: ta2ems (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Thanks for stopping by!!

Oh, almost forgot. Knitting (crack). I am just an untalented beginner also. It has almost been a year since I started knitting. What got me over my beginner fears was Elizabeth Zimmerman's "Knitting Without Tears" which my very crafty friend over at Giggles and Goofballs (see sidebar, again) bought me as a gift right after she taught me how to knit. Really awesome!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Dear Advent,

I am so sorry. I tried. Really, I did. I tried so hard to get into you and the Joyful Anticipation of Our Lord this year.

I know I did a much better job last year. I put up the Jesse Tree to celebrate Christ's lineage from the beginning of time and actually read the readings with the children. I decorated my house. I dressed my children appropriately in liturgical colors for each Sunday Mass.

I scourged the internet and YouTube for messages to share with my bloggy readers about the wonderful coming of Our Savior. I sung "O Come Emmanuel" so much that my husband asked me to stop. I pondered the Mystery that He is, both in the silent places of my heart and in this public venue with my peers.

Advent, you have been a wonderful companion to me in years past. I have no reason to abandon you. And yet, I have.

It doesn't help that we were *asked not to come to Mass* (twice). Or that I had to learn the hard way that being a Catholic homeschooler does not automatically make someone a decent person.

Not having regular internet access makes those wonderful renditions of Advent music so needed here on this blog a thing of the past.

Having to ask *my mother* for money to bail us out of a financial pinch is the icing on the cake this year. (Not to mention that she also made Christmas real for our kids this year - Thanks Ma!).

Nary is there a Christmas Tree shining it's lights in my home. Those candy canes purchased for decoration and Reindeer-making crafts are still lumped up in a plastic Walmart bag awaiting their shining moment.

No Advent, I have not been joyful or welcoming to you this year. Perhaps if I had embraced your spirit I would rightfully feel more "Christmassy" about now.

Today is Christmas Eve. There is one day left for me to redeem myself with you. I fear you will have to simply be patient and wait for me again next year.

I bid you farewell. Until we meet again...I'll enjoy our last hours together as I find a place to sit at Midnight Mass.

~H.A.M.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Something only a Knitter would notice...

I have seen Disney's "Lady and the Tramp" at least 100 times (probably more) in my life. Lady and the Tramp and Cindella are my favorite Disney flicks.

My Flower recently discovered Cinderella. We have watched it no less than 6 times per day for about a month. She loves her "Cinna-relly".

A few days ago the unthinkable happened - we lost Cinnarelly. We moved every piece of furniture, every toy, every cup, bowl and spoon, tearing the house apart for this movie. Gone.

So I did what any sane parent would do, I cried. Then I picked up "the puppy movie" and introduced her to Lady. She loves her Lady, but covers her eyes at the scary rat.

Seeing this movie now, as a knitter, I notice things in more detail than before. Darling, the "mom", is knitting some baby items. But not only is she shown reclining in a rocker, needles and yarn in hand - she is knitting with DOUBLE POINT NEEDLES.

The first time I saw a sock in progress on a set of DPNs, I told myself, "Now that is why I can't knit. Look at how complicated that is." I never imagined I'd actually *enjoy* working on them or ever understand how they work.

Needless to say, I thought it was rather spiffy the attention to detail in the movie. Pretty neat.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

And now we are doing 4th-trimester abortions....

Investigators tell WSLS the baby’s airway was still blocked. They say the baby was under bedding and had been suffocated by her mother. Investigators say because the mother and baby were still connected by the umbilical cord and placenta, state law does not consider the baby to be a separate life. Therefore, the mother cannot be charged.

“In the state of Virginia as long as the umbilical cord is attached and the placenta is still in the mother, if the baby comes out alive the mother can do whatever she wants to with that baby to kill it.“, says Investigator Tracy Emerson. “She could shoot the baby, stab the baby. As long as it’s still attached to her in some form by umbilical cord or something it’s no crime in the state of Virginia.“

The Campbell County Sheriff’s Office and Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office worked unsuccessfully to get the law changed after another baby died in the county in a similar case. Emerson says they asked two delegates and one state senator to take the issue up in the General Assembly. He says the three lawmakers refused because they felt the issue was too close to the abortion issue.


Um, really guys?!! WTF! Come on....

So now the question remains, what will the pro-death people be doing with this information? Are we now going to be seeing legislation being pushed at the federal level quoting this(these) instances as an argument for killing your already born baby? How completely frakked up is that?

I was also under the impression that the whole point of "partial birth" (but full death) abortion required the child to be killed while the head was still in the mother's vagina was because as soon as the baby's head passes outside the mother's body it is considered to be a legitimately existing person.

Hat tip to Digital Hairshirt.

Monday, December 21, 2009

GO ARMY

The U.S. Army commander in northern Iraq who prohibited pregnancy in his ranks defended his decision Monday, saying his female soldiers are "invaluable" and that he can't afford to lose anyone under his watch at a time when U.S. forces are already drawing down.

Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo insisted that those who violate the new rule would not face court martial, even though his new order lists pregnancy under a section of violations punishable by prosecution. So far, the punishments have been in the form of written letters of reprimand.

But he said the order is critical to the goal of keeping his "combat power together."

"I've got a 22,000-man task force and I need every soldier I've got. We are facing a drawdown and anyone that leaves earlier than the expected 12 months creates a burden on their teammates," Cucolo, head of Multi-National Division-North, told Fox News. "My female soldiers are invaluable -- many of them hold high impact jobs. In general, my troops are few in number and I need them all."

Cucolo told Fox News the new rule applies equally to men. "It's not in step with the warrior ethos," he said. "We have to keep an eye on every soldier and so men who break this rule are subject to the same punishments."

Cucolo's 22,000-person task force includes 1,682 women.

Since the rule was implemented Nov. 4, Cucolo said four women have gotten pregnant, leading to reprimands for seven people -- four women and three men. The fourth male was not identified and so was not punished. All of the violators got a written reprimand, but one of the men had that letter entered into his permanent record because he was married.

"That was adultery," Cucolo said.


Well done, ARMY.

I completely agree with this for no less than three reasons:

1) Women can't do everything a man can do.....and I don't think they should be in combat. If you are going to be in combat, don't get mad when you have to give up certain things, like getting pregnant.

2) WTF are you doing banging your comrades anyway??!! That is not part of "loyalty, duty, and selfless service." That's called, "I can't go a few months, or even a year, without thinking about getting off."

3) I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo had the balls to call out someone for adultery. In our effed-up moral compass kind of world that is a proclamation that needs to be heard. We should question what kind of authenticity and loyalty a man (or woman) will have within battle lines if they are willing to squash the most sacred and simple commitments that remains in our country.

4) There is a standing general order regarding sex among soldiers. The Major General is simply adding a real-life consequence to violating this order, promoting "thoughtful and responsible behavior among...soldiers."

Those liberal left-wingers are probably going to be screaming about this. "You can't tell a woman what she can do." "Who are you to restrict people to when and where they can get pregnant?"

Really, this issue has very little to do with women's lib or freedom. Being in and on the front lines (or close to them) is NOT a time when you should be contemplating your family size or lack their of. And how many of these random acts of sex are happening between married couples that are deployed together anyway? Hmmm? I'm guessing none.

I say, GO ARMY. I hope more commanders have the moral integrity to stand up for what is right.

Just Because

We need some Joy around here:

What an awesome big brother she has. I am so proud of the man my little boy is growing into.



Lovey says, "Spaghetti is good. But not as good as the mookies!!"



Sheesh. My Flower is SO CUTE!! I can't even stand it! She's started wearing my old ballet costumes around. So precious.


Proud papa and his other baby girl. She still needs prayers folks. Keep 'em coming.



And yes! One good picture of my boys together! I love you guys!


(I hope you enjoyed that, Aunt San.)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Mitt That Was, And Is

So, remember this post. Well here's the offending mitt:

I know, I know. "Really MamaMidwife," you ask, "what's so wrong with that (other than it's missing a thumb)?? It looks nice."

Yeah. I know. It appears that way. But no. It's not. If I didn't rip this puppy back, I would notice all the things I didn't like about it's look and it's fit. That would just not be right, not quaggle as my confirmation baby would tell me. See the 3 rows of ribbing going up the back? I ended up not liking that.

The thumb is in a wonky spot and it's got too much give and room.

On the bright side, I LOVE THIS YARN. I could knit with it forever. I could rip this project out a hundred times and reknit it and be ok with that.

What is it? It's Mountain Colors "Twizzle", which is 85% wool, 15% silk and it is OhSoSoft. Really. (I tried to google you a good link for it, but it's useless. Just look at my pictures). I believe the colorway is "Mystic Lake". I got it on sale for about 15% off at my LYS a while back. I love it. Did I mention I love it?? I have only 2 skeins so I am being very stingy with anything I knit with it coming out perfect.

You recognize this picture?? Yep. There's the Rainbow Hat II in the background. And in the foreground is the mitt cast-on and started again. I took these Friday (12-18) so I actually have quite a bit more done than this.

Here's a shot of my crafty spot in the living room, and my son's Roald Dahl book in the pic. :) I am new to this whole "blogging my knitting" thing, so if I have skipped any details you want to know, just ask and ye shall receive. Love to talk about my crack. Hmm, it doesn't sound so good when you say it like that.



And because I am a REAL dork......here is a picture of my knitting notes. This is where I decided what to do for the new mitt. Really, I am a little geeky with this. This is the 4th page of notes just for this one mitten. When I get it the way I want it maybe I'll have to make an official "pattern". That could be fun.


Knit on, friends.

** Edited to add: Ok, so in that first pic.....what's bothering me also is that I made a nice long cuff, but forgot to make the end of that nice long cuff a little wider than the top - 'cause arms get wider as you go up from the wrist. Make sense?? Hope so.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Hat That Was

Gotta love blogger....these pictures loaded out of order. Please excuse this first photo. Well come back I promise.

Moving on. Here (look down) is the hat. I finished it in just a few days. It is pretty cute. But it is HUGE. Even for my rather large man.
I knit it too big around. I knew that pretty early on and kept on knitting anyway. Oh well. Now I know just how he'd like it.

Here's a close up of the yarn. I really like that it didn't pool. I really like this yarn.


In "action" shot on the man. It "fits" but is very loose. He really wants a beret-type look. Um, no. I am just reducing the number of stitches (or so I think) and knitting it plain (you'll see what I mean in a few seconds).



Action from the side. Pretty right? Or hideous, depending on your tastes.
Ok, now go back to the top picture. (Scroll up, I'll wait.) See in the background of that picture?? That's the "new" hat cast on and knit around. The first hat was 116 stitches around (about 23-24 inches...guy's got a big head). But, knitting stretches. So I put it on his head and bunched it up as tight as he'd like it and the "new" hat is only 84 stitches around. I also went down a couple of needle sizes for the ribbing. That may be overkill, but oh well. If it's too small I'll rip it out again and start over. I used size 5 needles (in case you're wondering) for the first hat. This "new" one is size 3 for the ribbing and size 5 for the stockinette. Plain jane hat = no pattern. Rib for an inch or two then stockinette till the end. 7 evenly spaced decreases at the top. No biggie.
And that stuff in the foreground of the 1st picture.....that will come soon. :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

OCD Knitting

Last week, I knit myself a mitten. It was destined to be a pair. I didn't use a pattern. I decided about 1/2 way up the mitten that the circumference past the wrist was probably too big. And I didn't really think tha thumb placement was good. And I didn't really love the ribbing running up the back of the hand.

I knit the entire mitten anyway.

I made notes for modifications, took some pictures, and FROGGED the whole thing. Yep. (I may have already mentioned this.)

Well my friends, I have done it again. No, I didn't knit the mitten and frog *it* again (although that's not off the table).

I made, and finished, the rainbow hat.

It was too big. Wearable, but big. I toyed with just ripping parts back or adding a tighter headband.

But in the end folks, the OCD brain chemistry I have says, "It must be perfect, or don't bother." So I frogged the whole thing and recast it on tonight. I did get some pictures, but this is a blackberry post - so you'll have to wait.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rainbow Hat

On the knitting front comes some new projects.

If you are a member of ravelry (or even if you aren't - join!! - it's FREE and awesome!!) you can find me under the same username: MamaMidwife.

I have finally started the Rainbow Hat. My husband really, really wants a beanie made out of the Taste the Rainbow yarn (seen in this post). I really thought he was joking. I was wrong.

I started it a few days ago and should have it done today. I promise to post pictures ASAP. A knitting post with no pictures is really no fun.

I also got some really crappy yarn as a gift from a very nice individual. It's a cotton/rayon blend. I am sure she bought it because it looked "pretty". It's awful. It splits and it's squeaky. I hate it.......so I started a shawl-y thing to get rid of it. I think I may gift the item to her. Don't tell.

Knit on.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"I'm not really sure you want to talk to me right now."

This is what the automotive repair man, let's call him Brandon 'cause that's his name, said to me on the phone yesterday. I dropped my van off to have the front tires replaced and the oil changed. The front tires were bald, bald, BALD, I tell you. (I have been having nightmares about the car not stopping and crashing into buildings, other cars, people who shouldn't be in the road, and trees. My husband had one where he was following me in his truck, I had the kids in my car, crashed into a tree, car starts on fire, he gets the kids out, goes back for me, car blows up. Time to get new tires.)

Brandon said to me, "Just the tires and oil, right?" I said, "Why don't you take a look at the brakes while you're up there and then call me and tell me what you see. Just look, ok?"

He looked. And he called. Just before he called, I balanced the checkbook. I had sat down at the kitchen table with a stack of bills, picked which ones were getting paid, and pulled out some envelopes. When I picked up the phone and said, "What's up?" he uttered the phrase above (look to title of post).

Apparently the "weird" noise I was hearing was the fact that my calipers were FROZEN - not like cold frozen.....like rusted to the point where they would not move even when he tried to use a pry-bar to get them to budge. Replace?? Yes, unless I want to risk death every time I try to slow down. We all know about the aforementioned nightmares. No need to induce those again.

So along with my tires came a new pair of calipers and brake pads (and maybe rotors, but I'm not so good with car terminology, so I don't remember what he said about those).

Cha-ching. I said to Brandon, while we were still on the phone, "Well. You just saved me a bunch of time. No need to pay those bills, write out checks, and drive them to the post office." :)

Being the nice guy he is, he actually apologized. I pointed out to him that it's not his fault. It isn't as though he called me and said, "The speakers in your car are really kind of on the puny side. You need to spend $600 and get some good sub-woofers in there."

I do have to say, the new tires ROCK!! I am not slipping and sliding everywhere. I can get up my driveway like a regular car can. I can turn while slowing down.

Life is good. Even if I did spend the rent money.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Personal Growth

My husband brought home a rubbermaid tub/bin of clothes yesterday from our old house (on the market, but not sold). The clothes inside were mostly mine. They were from many years ago, like when we were first married.

Lots has changed since then.

In the "growth" department I would say, "Yes. I have grown." Physically for "sho". Seriously. Who can wear a size 31x32 pair of jeans after 3 kids?! (If you can, just shut up.) Camp shorts in a size 8. 8!! And shirts in the mediums galore. I don't think I can even put one boob in a medium now. ;)

Watching the kids look at the clothes was fun too. Phrases like, "Mom, why would anyone ever wear leather pants!?" abounded. They were followed closely by, "Hey! I can wear that!" We did give quite a few of the items to the children. Of course, I had to torment myself (really, it was to make everyone laugh, myself included) and attempt to try some of the items on. Be glad we didn't take pictures or you'd have a wet tushy from peeing your pants.

But in the real area of personal growth, I can see that as a moral human being, a Catholic, a Christian, a mom, a wife, and a woman, I have grown a lot.

It is amazing to me the kind of things I found appropriate to wear, in public or private, once upon a time. We found some old tattoo shop shirts in the bin. These were free t-shirts the tattoo shop owner had screen-printed up with his shops logo and usually some kind of other thing on it. I wore them everywhere. He had a great ring of free advertising going on with these things. I would cut the sleeves off mine, cause I have sleeves of tattoos, and the tight t-shirt collar so they would be more comfortable and show off my ink to the fullest.

The two shirts in question were special shirts that were made up for a tattoo show (Yes, there are tattoo shows/conventions all over the place. There are also tattoo magazines, and the photographers usually come to the shows. There's contests, etc., artists, and lots of other stuff.) in the fall of 2005. The said the name of the tattoo shop and "Tattoo Party Crew" on them. They also had a "drawing" (not a photo) of a woman, with a tattoo, on them. Except,.....she was standing, facing away from the viewer, wearing only a pair of thong underwear and high heels. She had a tattoo over her lower back.

Now, I'm not a prude by any means. But this certainly falls into the "inappropriate for my 9 year old son to be staring at" category any day of the week, especially yesterday. My husband had the slight of hand to pull it away before any of the kids saw it. Of course, I'm sure they saw plenty of it in 2005, since they were all around then and I wore it ALL THE TIME.

I guess I am just happy that I can see that shirt for what it really is - a distraction. It's another one of those things out there to distract us from what's really important and to desensitize us to immorality. I know, I know......maybe I'm making a big deal about this. "It's just a shirt." Right? Well, no. It's a lifestyle that I am proud to say I don't buy into any more. I don't think it's ok to walk around with a half-naked chick on my chest (like anyone needs more help seeing where that is). I also don't think it's ok to desensitize my children to nudity/pornography at every turn. Seeing me, their mother, go from the bathroom to the bedroom with no towel is a far cry from seeing a chick who looks like she works on a pole, if you catch my drift.

My point here is, I feel I have experienced some personal growth in the past four years, and I am grateful. It's wonderful to realize that it's ok to change and it's ok to let the past be. I don't have to mourn the life I had before but can look to it as a place where I have been and grown from. Feels good.

Oh, and we crumpled up the shirts and threw them away. Somethings are not even appropriate to give away.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Some Random Facts

Am update post - because you deserve one and my mind needs to declutter.

~~1

The monster child rapist choose to NOT take the plea the DA gave him and see how his luck fares in a jury trial. What an idiot. What is he going to do? Get up there and say, "Well, she never said no." Duh. She's 13. She can't consent even if she wanted to (which she didn't).

~~2

Said daughter above has told us (on her own) that she wants to live with us and not her mother. Score one for us. Now to get it sorted out in court......

~~3

I have recently lost a very close friend and am morning the relationship I thought we had. (See previous post on mean girls). At the first test of our friendship, she dropped me like 3rd period French. Her ability to "not trust me" is because some important people in our homeschool group found out she was being nice to me. Really.

~~4

Crack.

What can I say? I have a LOT of this stuff. I recently organized my crack. I organized it by cost and weight, where and when I bought it, what I plan to do with it, and what it's cut with.

Yes folks, I cannot get any lower.

~~5

Speaking of crack, my husband's sweater is officially half done. I wish I had photos to put up, but I forgot to bring my scandisk with to my friend's house. (Thank you, laurazim, for your wi-fi). I have finished a sleeve and I am over half way up the body. Soon, he will be warm.

~~6

There is so much more crack to play with, my brain is swarming day and knit, I mean night, with projects I want to complete. Right now I have enough yarn for no less than 13 projects, many of which already have names (even though they are just balls or hanks of yarn): Socks for me (wool, cashmere, nylon), socks for a friend (superwash wool), my sweater (malabrigo wool), my mittens and scarf (silky wool yarn, yum!!), hubby sweater (on the needles, cascade 220), fair-isle mittens (alpaca blend), woolies for babies (pants, sweaters, hats), the never-ending shawl (alpaca lace), a mantilla (leftover alpaca lace), bunnies (cute pattern for a toy)......the list goes on.

I also have acquired a pretty good library of crack-related books. I have been checking them out from the public library and then deciding which ones to buy. Not that there is any money for book buying, so I just keep checking them out over and over again. Hee hee.

~~7

We need a cellular modem. Any suggestions? We currently have US Cellular for a provider.

~~8

Do I write a letter to the mean girl, or not? There is a ton of stuff I want to say and clarify, but I don't feel like I owe her the time of day. Email is out of the question (that's how this mess started) and I don't feel like talking to her. Do I really let someone, ONE person, keep me from participating in a group my kids enjoy. I jst know I won't be able to keep up a fake facade (acting like everything is OK) when/if I see her again. I am pretty blunt.

~~9

Speaking of blunt. My husband likes that I am blunt. So do my two close (non-mean) girl friends. What do you think about bluntness? With me, you get what you see. If you want to know how I feel about something, just ask. I won't sugar coat it - don't have time. I won't say something nice just to make you feel good (unless you're my baby girl and you think you look pretty with a yellow sock, a red sock, green pants, and an ugly brown tank top - then I'll lie through my teeth).

~~10

That's all. Oh, I lied. Only one person requested a hand made Pay it Forward gift. That wonderful lady will be receiving a pair of hand knit socks. :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

In which mean girls exist beyond junior high

Yes. That's right. You can be almost 30 (I am almost 30) and still have Mean Girls around every corner.

Recently, this was brought to my attention in a rather unexpected way. I had forgotten all about "girl world". I had lived through all sorts of hard stuff in my personal life, my marriage, my friendships.

But I never thought a group of homeschooling women would be a threat.

I was wrong.

It's been over a week, and I am still bothered enough that I steam through a shower thinking of the things I would like to say to this woman's face if I ever bother to see it again.

Women are mean. In particular, you can think that you have a very close, secure, and loyal friendship only to find out that it is shallow and meaningless at best.

The details are too much to hash out, although I know some of you would be darned interested in hearing them. If I could muster the strength at this point, I would.

I managed to "turn the other cheek" for an entire week before I blew up at the leadership team of this particular homeschool group. And when I say blew up - I mean it. Verbal vomit. I didn't swear, but I think that's just because it's not as much fun to do that through email (which was how they contacted me).

I am not a fan of email for important communications. It's a very passive-aggressive way of communicating that allows people to combine words and tone that would never happen in real life: "We are so sorry if you're offended. We are not singling you out. We love you. By the way, don't come to Mass. Have a wonderful Christmas!!"

Really?! Can we be a little more 5th grade?

Ugh.

Well, I promise things should be shaping up here around the new year. I am looking into getting a modem for my laptop from my cell phone company. That should spiff things up and get me back to blogging.

For now......you just get random, when I have time kinda stuff.

Sorry.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Preforated Bowels? Anyone??

Here is an article from Catholic News Agency that follows the story of Abraham Hodari, a baby-killer in Michigan. Now the baby-killers are doing the killing against the mother's consent. Nice.

Here's a few more links about his botched baby-killings and other details.

This is a list of the cases filed against him, with gruesome details - punctured internal organs, babies burned with acid-like substances in abortions only to live and be severely deformed requiring numerous operations, teenagers requiring full hysterectomies after their babies were killed, women dying the same day as their baby-killings were performed.

But remember, abortion is "safe" - because obviously if something is legal that means it's safe.

Why, oh why, does the main stream media not pick up on this?? What favor are they doing to women by not reporting these kinds of things? Where is the real choice when the only choice the liberal, lefty feminists want is THEIR choice - to kill innocent lives and destroy humanity.

** Hat tip to Fr. Longenecker.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's that time again.......


......to take a look at what is going on for and against the Right to Life.

Take this article from Life Site News:

By Kathleen Gilbert

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sr. Patricia Mulcahey, OP, Quinn's Prioress at the Sinsinawa Dominican community, said in an email response to LSN that the nun sees her volunteer activity as "accompanying women who are verbally abused by protestors. Her stance is that if the protestors were not abusive, she would not be there."

Though Sr. Mulcahey claimed that her sisters "support the teachings of the Catholic Church," she declined to comment on Quinn's public protest of Catholic Church teaching.

Joe Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League says Quinn came in contact with his own office in 1982, when she and a group of other pro-aborts picketed his building on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

"She figures it's part of her religion to take these women in and protect them, and get them abortions," said Scheidler of Quinn's recent activity. "Something dreadful has happened to make a Catholic nun become an escort at an abortion clinic - that's the lowest form you can reach, where you escort a woman with a living child in her into a place to have the child killed, and to ruin that woman's soul."

"If I didn't even believe in the humanity of the child - which of course would be crazy - even if I didn't, I would fight abortion for the sake of the women," Scheidler added. "They miss that baby, and they can't get it back. They never can."

To respectfully express concern (See: LSN Guidelines for Effective Communication):

Cardinal Francis George
Office of the Archbishop
Archdiocese of Chicago
PO Box 1979
Chicago, IL. 60690-1979
Phone: 312-534-8230
E-Mail: archbishop@archchicago.org

Sr. Patricia Mulcahey, OP
Prioress - Sinsinawa Dominicans
E-mail:
Spatmul@aol.com
What I do not understand about these Sinsinawa Dominicans is there extreme need to be "feminists" - that is the liberal, lefty version of a feminists.
I wonder if they are in cohorts with the fine ladies over at Holy Wisdom Monestary. These exceptional women "changed" the Our Father to the "Our Mother". Riiiiiiiiiiiiight.
Good thing the Bishop of the diocese in which the "monestary" is located formally separated them from the Church - 'cause that ain't Catholic teaching.
Just like aiding in the sin of abortion ain't Catholic teaching either.

Pay It Forward, Take II

Ok, so maybe some of you feel a little, um, intimidated by having to offer up 3 handmade gifts in the pay it forward. It's ok. I understand.

But please! Not a one of you want something handmade from yours truly?

I offer some ideas. Handmade is, to me, synonymous with "homemade". A handmade gift can be something as simple as a cake (baked and mixed by hand, not necessarily from scratch), some muffins, a card, a Christmas ornament, something sewn, cooked, knit, crocheted, cross-stitched, glued, stapled, drawn......anything.

So please, someone leave a comment. I want to gift it forward. If you don't have a blog, or don't want to post the PIF to your own blog, that's fine.

Or maybe you'd feel less intimidated just doing 1 gift forward. I think that's fine.

I'll still pick 3 of you, or just one if that's all I get. I accept anonymous comments.....so if you don't have a google account just leave me a comment with your email.

Seriously. Or maybe the idea of getting something knit from me scares people. :O

So maybe I'll gift forward something easy and handmade, like food.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pay It Forward

I stumbled upon a "Pay It Forward" over at The Sweet Sheep Blog. I was lucky enough to be one of the participants.

While I have yet to get my handmade gift - I do present the Pay It Forward to you.

Leave a comment on this post. I will pick 3 people. I will make you something (hence "handmade") and send it to you. I am giving myself some time, of course. You will get something from me in the next 365 days. Knowing my preference towards knitting, you can bet your handmade gift will be knit.

The only catch is that YOU have to put a "Pay It Forward" for 3 handmade items on your blog.

And so begins the gifting.

And this is why I don't vaccinate.......

This is very funny, but very true also. This is what they put into your vaccines......



Thanks to Sardonic Catholic Dad.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Old Hurts

Today, of all days, the devil rears his ugly head and puts into my mind the memory of old pains.

On my way to Mass today, listening to the radio, I distinctly could hear my husband uttering ugly truths to me just as he had done almost 3 years ago. As clear as day, I could see him in my mind, sitting on the couch in a therapist's office after spending 3 days away from our home. He sat there, looking completely pitiful, and told me the worst thing I could have ever imagined to hear.

So, what does one do? I have already reconciled these truths. I have already done much recovery, dealt with my OWN issues, hurt, cried, been angry, loved, and forgiven. What do I do when this hurt builds up behind me and takes me by surprise.

I did the only thing I could do - I took it to the Tabernacle. I took it there, and I left it there. (I hope.)

I was not able to participate in Mass as I would have liked. I spent the majority of Mass, save the Eucharist, in the narthex. So after Mass, I let my eldest son watch my younger two, with the help of his God-siblings, and I gathered myself up to go inside and pray.

I prayed hard. I didn't say anything very deep or rehearsed. I didn't even know what to say. I just asked Him to take it away. I asked for Love. I asked for somebody, preferably Him, to love me as I have never been loved. I asked Him to surround me with His infinite Love and fill my heart until it could hold no more.

Take that, Satan!

Knitting All Around

There has been an awful amount of knitting going on here. I will admit, the knitting is mostly due to my need to cope with stress. It is productive as well as relaxing. I feel as though I accomplish something, be it just a mitten, a sock, or even just a few rows or rounds of a rather simple sweater.

First up: Some yarn I dyed a long time ago. I call it "Taste the Rainbow". I dyed it with Kook-Aid and I love the way it looks. My husband tried to convince me to make him a hat out of it. I laughed at him.


This is the progress on my first lace project. I started this in May 2009. I do not like knitting lace. It's too thin a fiber for me to hold on to and I have a hard time distinguishing the different stitches from one another. This is the Swallowtail Shawl by, Evelyn Clark. It is a cute pattern, but lace is just not my thing. I have found renewed interest in finishing this and have been picking it up pretty regularly this month.



This is my progress on the Husband Sweater - so named as it is for The Man. It is the Seamless Hybrid Sweater from Knitting Without Tears, by Elizabeth Zimmermann. She is/was a knitting genious, what with her simple patterns and pithy directions. Love her.

I am enjoying knitting this sweater. But I do feel as though I will be knitting it FOREVER. My husband specified the chest size to match a favorite shirt of his. It is 59 inches around. I cast on 294 stitches. This is knit in the round, which is great. It does get a little boring doing the same stitch over and over again. This is my favorite "car knitting" to and from the ride to church.



And finally: My first pair of socks!! I made these for the boy and they are oh, so soft. He loves them and I loved making them. I love knitting in the round. I love the feel of my DPN's (double-point needles). I love turning the heel. I love shaping the gusset. I just love it all.

Aren't these heels just beautiful?

Here are the Boy's socks on my feet. Maybe I should keep them?


Oh, and today is my birthday. Thought you should know. :) Glad I get to go to Mass on my birthday, even if my husband has to work. :P




Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cuteness? Anyone?

It seems to me that in this drought of blogging I have not given you anything sweet to lay your eyes upon. For your pleasure I bring you this:

Cuteness upon cuteness. He knows he's got my heart. Just look in those eyes. Can you even imagine anything more sweet?

And for my next trick: I present "Cyclops Blue"!
This is what happens when you don't use icing tips on the frosting tubes AND you don't know that the gel stuff runs. Freehanding a Blue's Clues cake is harder than you may think. Admitting that you even made a Cyclops Blue is even humbler.

And this is my baby girl having her candles blown our for her. Isn't she cute? She's three years old now. Too cute. Too old.


And just for fun is my little Lovey, eating his share of Cyclops. Love the frosty blue lips.



Friday, November 13, 2009

An Update....before I forget I promised to update

The outcome in court was not what we hoped for. The judge decided, relying heavily on the GAL, that our daughter should return to school immediately in the same school she was attending before - ya know, where the rapist goes to school.

On the bright side, if you can call it that, he did not hear arguements or makes any decisions regarding placement or custody. We will still have a hearing for that some time in the undisclosed future.

For now, we are back to the status quo. I drive the girls back and forth 45 minutes each way x 2 per day (that's 3 hours folks) to get them to school Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Sounds like fun to me.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Dispensed

Today is a beautiful day. Not just because it's another day He has given us - but truly a beautiful weather day.

My family and I had a nice drive into Mass and even made it ON TIME, despite the interstate road construction.

Our parish priest tends towards the heavy side on the incense, which I like. Today there was enough to set off the fire alarms. This has happened before. I chuckled to myself when it started.

Except, despite the best efforts of those responsible, they couldn't get them to stop. After 10 minutes of blaring alarms, through which the 1st and 2nd readings and the psalm was done, we were dispensed from our holy day of obligation.

As we drive the hour and a half back home I feel a little cheated.

I have nothing prolific to say. I just feel a little off.
(Updates on the court case to come soon...for those of you wondering.)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Yes, I Updated the Side Bar

I have updated blogs, links, etc. on the side bar.

I am sure you also have noticed the addition of a "donate" button over there. As I mentioned in the previous post, lawyers are expensive and we have been on the phone a lot. A LOT.

We do not have a land line and only use cell phones. We have had the same plan for 6 years. It has always been fine. Apparently, those "anytime" minutes get used up really fast when you are on the phone during the day with your lawyer, social workers, police officers, district attorneys, etc. My cell phone bill, which is normally reasonable, was $300 this month. We went over by 200+ minutes (in the daytime) and the charge per minute is outrageous. Not to mention that apparently, if you pay late and they disconnect you for 4 hours, you get charged $25 PER LINE to reconnect......but not until 2 billing periods later. We have more than one line. Ugh.

So, if the Holy Spirit moves you to, please make a donation. 100% of your donation will go to a good cause. No overhead here.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I Have A Blog??

Surely you jest.

This cannot be my blog. Surely not - for there is emphasis on the my. We all know I cannot do that.

Oh, but wait. I am on actual internet. Internet that does not require me to *star* and CAPITALIZE things I want to accentuate.

I thank my dear friend, laurazim, for the use of her PC.

Now......for the important stuff.

I am hopefully going to update my sidebar as soon as I am done with this post. There are many a wonderful, entertaining, informative blog I have added to my bookmarks on the crackberry that I would like to add here.

An update was requested, I believe by fellow blogger linked above in a comment on my last post.

~~Rural living is very special.
  • My gas and electric bill are now separate
  • In fact, I have to order the gas, AND it's propane
  • The people who work at the propane place are rather dense
  • I have a septic system requiring me to call and have our waste pumped away
  • Weird
  • Garbage must be driven in to "town" on Saturdays, they do not pick it up
  • $2 per bag! But "recycle" is free
  • We are now recycling for the first time ever
  • When the wind blows and you live in the middle of nowhere.....will anyone hear you scream?
  • It's nice when you have a cop on hand to escort you into the house in the middle of the night with his 9mm when there are rabid horses stalking you from the neighboring field
  • Wind storms can knock the electricity out for hours at a time in the middle of the night
  • Not so great when your husband needs electricity to run his CPAP machine so he can rest

Other than that all is well.

Ok, maybe not.

~~A devastating tragedy has afflicted our family over the last few months. One of my step-daughters has been the victim of a sexual assault. It has waged a spiritual battle in our family. Not only has it caused much stress for her, but my husband is beside himself with grief, guilt, and sadness.

Trying to deal with the consequences of the circumstances has caused even more hardship in our family. We are fighting tooth and nail to gain primary physical placement of our daughter. Her mother obviously opposes this. We have shared placement of both the girls equally for 7 years. However, with the assault having taken place in the township (less than 3000 people) where her mother lives, and under her mother's care, we have decided she would be physically and emotionally safer under or care and OUT of that school district.

The hardship of having to travel back and forth to the courthouse and lawyer's office with my babies in the car has begun to drive me to the brink of insanity. Not to mention the constant vigil answering the phone calls between the police, lawyer, social workers, counselor, school officials, and her mother. I can't even stand it.

Unfortunately for our daughter, her mother doesn't really see the "problem". Some comments we have gotten from her (and I am not exaggerating or joking here):

"We should just put her on birth control."

"I don't know why you feel so sorry for [her], she wanted this to happen."

"No one will talk about it. They'll be over it soon."

"If you tell the cops it will just cause everyone a lot more trauma."

"Kids will be kids."

Seriously. She's 13. The "offender", as the District Attorney is calling him, is 18. Yep. And her mother sees no problem. Didn't want us to go to the police. Obviously, getting a predator off the streets would be the last thing on our mind. Yeah, especially since my husband, her father, is a COP. That is the last thing we'd do. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Oh, and the fact that we weren't told about it as soon as she (the mother) found out - that doesn't bother us at all. No really, it's totally fine for you to wait 10 days to tell us. And then only tell us because our daughter was "supposed to tell" us, but didn't. Of course you should leave it up to a 13 year old victim of a crime to inform her father of the crime. You shouldn't bother picking up the phone, being the adult, and telling him yourself. Nope. You acted like a completely competent, normal, sane parent.

Oh wait. There's more. When he confessed, which he did do after we took our daughter to the police to tell her story, he also confessed to doing this to no less than 3 other girls. Three. Other. Girls. Age of consent in the state I reside in is 16. This miscreant, this fiend, wasn't in a relationship with any of these girls. Not that status would make the act of his addiction OK - but it would explain more. This creep was preying on young girls that were friends of his little sister. Genius. Or scary. Take your pick.

There are more details than I care to recall. And anyway, this is not the appropriate medium for those details. If you know me, ask me sometime about how eye opening it was to read the police report. I still have not shared it with my husband. He knows we have it, but feels it prudent not to lay his eyes upon it.

This is the real reason I haven't blogged much. Well, that and the stubbornness on my part to take the time to blog from my blackberry.

Anything else (other than my very long rant)?

~~Oh yes. I have been knitting - a sweater and a pair of socks. The former for my husband. The latter for the Boy. Did you know that when you are knitting a circumference of 59" a skein of yarn only makes 4" of height? So even though I've been knitting my butt off, the sweater remains a mere 7" in depth. It will be at least 20" to the armpits, then there are two sleeves, and the yoke/shoulders. I only have 7 skeins of yarn. I'm going to need more yarn. That translates to, "I get to visit the knitting store again soon!" Woot-woot for me!

The socks will probably be done first. :P

~~Flower is the cutest 3 year old ever. She says super cute things and does super cute things.

She is constantly putting all her "babies" to sleep all over the house. She covers them with whatever is handy: a washcloth, a baby wipe, a clean pair of underwear from the laundry basket. You know, whatever looks like a blanket. Her "babies" can also be whatever's handy: a remote, a hairbrush, her "duke", a shoe.

When she wants to be picked up she says, "I want to pick YOU uppie." I ask, "You want to pick ME uppie?" "Yesh," is her answer. Really.

~~Lovey can walk. And run. He has an opinion. He is sick of his sister beating him up. He has a love for steps and a fear for NOTHING. He has a set of curls across the nape of his neck that I could just eat up.

~~If you do not care to hear of fertility issues GO TO THE NEXT SECTION.

I am fertile again. How do I know this? I got my period. For. Ten. Days. 10. T-E-N. It was looooong.

It wasn't that unpleasant, just never ending.

I had to wash pads 4 times.

Yes, I use cloth menstrual pads. No, it's not gross. Yes, I wash them in my washing machine where all my other laundry is done. No, it doesn't bother me. I've used cloth diapers extensively. They feel better against my skin. They are pretty and soft. They make me feel happy and lovely at a time when most likely I would be feeling icky and run down. Organic bamboo velour - look it up.

~~I have been asked (and I may have said something about this already, so forgive me) to be the Confirmation Sponsor for a dear friend's daughter! It was the daughter's Guardian Angel (she tells me) that thought of me. I guess I never expected that I would ever be considered for such an honor as a Sponsor or a Godparent, etc., being that I am myself a new convert.

It's very cool. I am a little nervous as to my exact role and what things I should be doing for her. For now, I pray. I know I can do that. My sponsor was really awesome about answering questions about the Faith, bringing me little presents at important ceremonies throughout the year leading up to my confirmation, sending me cards here and there in the mail with inspirational messages, etc. I hope I can live up to the call.

~~Lawyers are EXPENSIVE. Really. I wish I could charge $200/hour on the phone and $300/hour in person. Although he is very good. But it would be awful expensive for my children to have a mother if I charged those kind of rates. Can you imagine - "Mom, can I ask you a question?" "I don't know, you got 10 bucks?"

~~Cops don't make a lot of money. It's been a year at this cop's salary and we have finally exhausted our savings. It's down to $5. We are praying for a miracle.

~~I am very much looking forward to Mass tomorrow. All Saint's Day beats out Halloween any day in my book.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Something I've been wondering lately....

How do those who don't knit deal with stress.

Without my yarn and needles, I might just kill someone.

Discuss.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Blackberry Blogging vs Normal Blogging

Normal: have access to a full keyboard and typing speed of 80 words per minute; thumbs responsible for space bar only

Blackberry: must type entire post with thumbs, requiring more brain power and agility than thumbs are comfortable with and thus reducing my wpm speed to 20

Normal: able to view internet in it's entirety - all links, photos, videos available in an "easy to read" format, making sense

Blackberry: links lost in cyberspace, photos upload in minutes rather than seconds (if at all) and all videos become the word "Flash" with techno babble typed after it

Normal: able to link to other bloggers and websites in an aesthetically pleasing way in my posts

Blackberry: must paste the entire link, if I can even figure out how to produce it on this ¤#*!, thus reducing my blogger savvy points to nil

Normal: can produce italics or even bold font to enhance my readers' understanding of my posts and easily distinguish between sarcasm and normal "speech"

Blackberry: browser is truncated and blogger functions with no buttons leaving me to *star* items of interest or CAPITALIZE ENTIRE PHRASES AS THOUGH I AM YELLING to make my point

Normal: can easily add photographs from the internet or my own collection to supplement the viewing experience of this blog

Blackberry: huh?

Normal: can type and edit numerous posts in one kid-free hour at night and set then up to post automatically throughout the week

Blackberry: must painstakingly type slowly and rack my brain to stay committed to each and every post for no less than 1/2 hour and still have no italics, bold face, links, or photos to show for it all the while listening to my kids try and tear each other apart (which is happening right now) causing me to truncate my post(s)

-H

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Blog, Interrupted

"You are not currently connected to any network."

My computer triumphantly tells me this everytime I log on.

Why not just say:

"You're unconnected."
"You have been disconnected from the outside world."
"Don't even think about rejoining society any time soon."
"No one wants to connect with you."

Ok, that last one is a little bit of my own insecurities shining through.

Still.

I am unconnected. I sit and type with my thumbs and it's not the same. I have looked into satellite internet. Expensive. I miss my DSL. Dial up would make me cry and render everything unreachable and obsolete.

Not to mention that aside from missing my blogging, many other extreme, stressful situations require my attention at this time.

If anyone is still reading this, please pray for healing, spiritually and emotionally, for my daughters. And, as always, continued conversion of my husband's heart. (Yes, I realize that wasn't a complete sentence. Yes, I homeschool. Scary, I know.)

-H

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Liturgical abuses.....

....make Baby Jesus cry.

And my friends, he cried a lot today.

Please pray for my local parish. Today was the first Mass I attended here. I am seriously thinking that the hour and a half drive to the Cathedral Parish in the Big City might not be such a hardship after all.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Unfortunate

Me awake in bed at 5:30 am with my kids asleep.....

a phone call to attend a labor....

and my husband just left for work.

Rats.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My New Master Bathroom as described by my friend, CW

The walls and ceiling are painted a hot pink magenta (think Pepto-Bismol on acid). Then it looks like the previous owners passed out some jars of fingernail polish and told the kids to "have at it".

Really.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Testing, Testing

Ok, so we have moved. We have no internet access because I now live in the boonies - way, way out in the boonies.

I am typing this post on my Crackberry (it's really a Blackberry, but it's like a drug, hence the crack). It has taken me a while to figure this thing out and this is my test post, typed with my thumbs on a keyboard no bigger than a bus pass.

I am still living, as Candy has so elequantly put it (although I can't figure out how to link to her on this thing), in Cardboard Stonehedge. It's a little depressing. Still, I hope to grow to love this house and the land.

I still hate bugs, a lot. But it was awesome to see a whole flock (if that's the right term) of turkeys out in the field we own this morning while I nursed my youngest.

Oh, and his birthday is tomorrow. Lovey will be one. He's atill such a baby but growing so much too and almost walking.

:)

Friday, August 14, 2009

I feel CRAZY

We are moving.

In fact today, a huge truck with green and orange lettering parked itself in my driveway and proceeded to eat all of the boxes and furniture in my house.

My neighbors, bless their hearts, were kind enough to come over and help us load the truck. My dear friend, C., has spent the last 3 afternoons, including today, at my house helping me pack through my neurosis.

Candy posted wonderfully about the kind of exhaustion that accompanies moving, although I know not of the kind of move she is doing across the country. I hope she knows that now since she is a midwesterner I may have to stalk her and meet her someday.

I am experiencing that kind of exhaustion, not to mention I FEEL CRAZY.

I hope my husband really loves his job because I AM NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN.

See you on the flip side.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bloggy Break

Just an FYI, in case you don't hear much from me.

My family and I are moving in 2 weeks to a home much closer to my husband's job.

This means more time for him to be with us since he won't have to spend 2 hours each work day driving back and forth to work.

This also means we will be even further out in the boonies.

AND I get to pack. Which I love so, so much. So much in fact that even though we are moving in just 2 weeks, I have not packed a thing.

Of course, if you ask my friend laurazim if we're moving she'll tell you that we're just doing the "un-move". The "un-move" is where you pack up all your stuff and throw out what you don't want. You do this to declutter and make it easier to clean your home. Once your home is clean and clutter free you unpack your stuff and get to enjoy a much happier place.

Except that I'm not telling her: We really are moving.

I still have to:

Pack
Cancel our phone/internet
Pack
Forward our mail
Pack
Set up new phone/internet
Pack
Change my address with the bank
Pack
Change my address with the utilities
Pack
Set up new utilities
oh, and Pack

It would be nice if there wasn't so much packing to do.

So, I may or may not be posting a bunch between now and the move.

Have no fear.....I'm sure I'll have plenty to say once the move has been completed.

~H

Monday, July 27, 2009

Modern "Art"

Found this on Fr. Longenecker's blog. Here's his take on it.

An article about a piece of "art" that is a bible with some pens next too it. A sign next to a container of pens says: “If you feel you have been excluded from the Bible, please write your way back into it.”

Blasphemy as I have never heard of before.

Please pray that this will end.

I can't even say anything else.

~H

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Invention Lets Pregnant Women Hold Models of Their Unborn Babies - Science News | Science

This amazing article was shared with me via my friend laurazim on the "bookface". I had to share it here. Go read it. I'll wait.

Invention Lets Pregnant Women Hold Models of Their Unborn Babies - Science News Science & Technology Technology News - FOXNews.com

Did you click on the link in the article for the "Full Article"? No? Ok. Here it is. I'll wait again.

Did you check out the pictures? Well, if you missed them, here they are.

Ok, what do you think?

I think we *just might* put a small dent in abortion, God willing, if became standard procedure at your 8-12 week prenatal visit to get a model of your own baby to take home.

I'm just sayin'. Pass it on.

~H

Friday, July 24, 2009

Just what I wanted to hear.....

I have been out of commission for a few days....ok, maybe like a week or more.

I have managed to get mastitis, again. It is so bad that I actually asked my husband to stay home from work and help out with the kids......AND HE SAID YES. Really.

When he called his boss he told him why he was staying home. As in, "I really hate to call in because I LOVE MY JOB (he totally does), but the wife is really sick and needs my help." Blah, blah, blah from his boss (obviously I can't hear him). My husband says, "Well, she's sick. She has mastitis....where her breast is really red and tender and she has a fever and kind of feels like she has the flu." More from the boss that I can't hear. Then my husband says, laughing, "Yes, cows do get mastitis. People do too."

When he gets off the phone, he explains to me that his boss wasn't aware that people could get mastitis. He sends his condolences because he knows it seems to really be bad in the cows and can't imagine what it would be like for me.

Nice.

Even better is on day 2 of antibiotics for said "cow disease" My Lovey, who has had a fever for almost 4 days, is not getting any better. My boss calls to see how I'm doing with the "cow disease". I tell her OK and give her an update on Lovey. She says his behavior and symptoms sound like and ear infection.....fever, not wanting to lay down, not nursing well (probably how I got cow disease), overall crankiness, etc.

So I decide, "Hey, let's try and get him an appointment to see somebody." Yah. It's only 1pm on Friday afternoon. Should be plenty of openings.

Um, not so much.

First clinic I called didn't have anything available. But they could see us tomorrow. No thank you.

The next clinic had a *lovely* (because I've been told if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all) receptionist who said, "We've got two doctors in. Who does he normally see?" Nobody. Do you have an appointment or not? "Well, it has to go through his Primary." He doesn't have one. "Well, I could take a message and have the triage nurse call you back." Look lady, I just need to see someone who can prescribe antibiotics, m'kay????!!!!

Ok, I didn't say that last part, I just hung up.

We decided just to go to the Urgent Care/ER. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

What I found out during that visit was:

A) He's fine
B) I just lost $60 to find that out
C) Apparently, I'm an idiot, because he's going to die from a childhood illness if I continue to not vaccinate him

The doc says, "Why aren't you vaccinating?" We've chosen not to.

"You know that more kids die from childhood illness every year than from vaccinations?!"

You got evidence to prove that? No? Ok, well we have chosen not to vaccinate.

Reminds me of a friend of mine recently who learned at her daughter's 3 year check up that if another child at the playground bites her she'll probably die. (They've done limited vaccinations.)

Really.

There actually sent someone chasing after me when I got sick of them waiting to come back to my room with "Discharge Instructions".

Probably because I'm such an idiot.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wish List

For family far away, or even close by friends or family, I am posting a wish list for the two upcoming birthdays....Lovey turns 1 next month and Flower will be 3.

I like to do Montessori Activities with them, especially Flower. Mostly, I go to the thrift or secondhand store and pick up things and make activities that are similar to the ones I see on different Montessori teacher websites. I have a lot of stuff that I've gotten from there. But still, there are some classic Montessori activities I'd like to have for them that I can't buy at a store around here and can only find online and I can't afford to buy on my own.

For example, I think Flower would love more sensorial activities. She loves to sort and stack things and especially touch them and organize them. I think she would love to have the Pink Tower and/or Brown Stairs. There are a couple of different stores you can get them at online, just click one of these colored links in this post. I know they may seem like just a bunch of blocks, but they are designed to help them with visual discrimination....which Flower has a high sensitivity to already. I think she'll love the "order" without chaos of playing with these two toys.

I also like the Movable Alphabet. I'd like to start her with the D'Nealian letters so that it's not hard for her to make the jump from recognizing and writing manuscript to cursive. Then there's the Number Rods. Again, visual discrimination but this time with a math approach.

For Lovey...I really like the Circle Sorter. It's the easiest puzzle to do because it doesn't matter what direction you turn the circle, it always will fit.

Love the Farm Puzzle for both of them. And this. And the Color Tablets. Flower would love to sort these out. For. Hours.

Both of the websites have the classic Montessori items like the Pink Tower, Brown Stairs, the Number Rods, and the Color Tablets. Those are the real hardships for me to get for them right now and would be my priorities based on what I am seeing as far as readiness to learn right now. Remember, I'm also getting them ready for eventual homeschooling. I'd love to be able to start them out with this stuff.

This is just a "wish list". Being that we have 5 children, we really already have most of your classic 3 and 1 year old boy/girl presents. We have dolls and dress-up stuff, cars and blocks. We have balls and stuffed animals, and toys that make noise (see previous post). We have movies, and books, and toys to ride on. We have so much "stuff", I'd just rather see something that is needed and will be fun for them and useful (even if we have more kids).

Flower does NOT need anymore clothes, no matter how cute they are. She has at least 20 dresses and lots of shirts and pants. I love garage sales. Lovey could get more shorts....but I can garage sale those too 'cause he's just going to get them messy. :)

I realize this is not a normal-type post. But it is important to get this stuff out there, and I know so of you family types are readying this.

We love you and miss you and hope to see you soon.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mowing the Lawn

My husband and I "mow the lawn" occasionally at our house. In the event that we need to keep the subject matter PG, this is terminology we can use without the kids being any the wiser....or other peoples kids if in mixed company.

Not that we talk about mowing the lawn often or with people we don't or do know. We're not perverts. Just every now and then, especially with close friends (mostly my close friends and I talking alone) the subject comes up.

So at our house it's "mowing the lawn". If you're not following, I'm not talking about grass or any outdoor activity (although some people, somewhere, probably do consider this an outdoor activity). When I talk of the "fruits" of our gardening.....I don't mean flowers, even though we call one of our children Flower. I mean kids. You get it now.

Ok.

So, my husband and I decided to mow the lawn. The babies were asleep in our bed, and the big kid was downstairs playing video games. We settled on the babies room. It was empty and convenient.

We learned a few things:

1) We are not as young as we once were.
2) Carpet sucks.
3) We really like the cushioning of our bed.

We also learned why we hate toys that talk. Case in point.

My husband's mother bought this for our Flower for her first Christmas. We were going to throw it out, but we kept it around. She never played with it. It's been almost 3 years.

My Lovey really likes this toy. It says things like, "Green Hand." "Blue Ear." See the picture? You get it. It says it's body parts when you press them. When it's in the "music" mode it plays songs, etc.

When you press it's tummy it says, "Tummy".

So, we're mowing the lawn. On the HARD floor, which really hurts. Trying really hard to be real quiet. Out of nowhere, the little dog says, "Yellow Foot."

I laugh. My husband laughs. We continue.

No one touches the toy. A few minutes later......

Out. Of. Nowhere.

"You're my friend!"

Now let me tell you, I was almost in tears at this point, I was laughing so hard. I also noticed that my lower back was screaming at me to get up.

Still, must go on.

Out of nowhere, the lawn mower stops. I didn't even hear anything and I gave my husband what I'm sure was a "wtf are you doing???" kind of look when again an interruption occurred.

He says, "Yes?"

Wobbs says, "Are you guys in there?"

I think, "Here's your sign."

Hubby says, "Yes."

Wobbs - "Are you OK?"

No dude. We're not ok. Go away.

Hubby says, "Go watch a movie."

Wobbs - "Ok. Just checking on you."

Ugh.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I Did It

I joined Facebook.

I said I wouldn't, but now I have. It's all my husband's fault. And hers.

Must Watch Videos

A dear friend emailed this to me - with hopes I'd post it. But of course.....



Then I watched this and balled my eyes out. Get a Kleenex.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Quick Takes, again

**I am not finding the time to update as I previously promised. So here is one post with all the updates I can muster. Once I'm back on track, hopefully I'll stay that way.**

~~1 ~~

Crash and Burn. Or Burn and Crash.

2 weekends ago, I succumbed to my 9 year old's incessant pleading and took the kids to the pool. It was a pretty hot day. I drenched my two fresh-off-the-boat-from-Ireland pale babies in sunscreen and slathered some on the Wobbs. I put some on my arms, to cover the tattoos, and on my face and neck. I couldn't really reach anywhere else and I wasn't too worried. I am half Puerto-Rican and have only gotten burned twice in my life.

Until that day.

The sun beat down on my back like a broiler melting cheese. I really didn't feel it until we got home and got in the shower. I had a huge, red spot the diameter of a frozen pizza blazing in the middle of my back.

Wobbs laughed. I cried.

To top off the day, I crashed. Literally. I fell over my own foot at a local restaurant and slammed the opposite knee into the ground. As I lay there feeling the pain of my patella shattering into pieces (okay, it didn't shatter, but it sure felt like it) people stepped over me and I heard one person ask if I was ok.

My husband heard someone say, "Who fell?" He looked over and realized it was his wife and came to help me up. I thought it was a little weird that no one else who saw me sprawled across the floor with my face wrenched up like I'd just shoved a lemon into my mouth tried to help.

I still, to the disappointed of my husband and my friends, have not gone in to see a doctor about it. What can I say? I'm stubborn. It hurts but the hassle of taking my kids with me for an appointment for me is just too much to bear right now.

~~2~~

My Lovey only poops once every week. Sometimes a little longer, sometimes a little less. After not having pooped for seven days, he decided to poop while we were at one of Wobbs baseball games.

I had just cleaned the extra changes of clothes out of the diaper bag, to make it lighter, so it was only fitting.

The poop crawled up his back to his shoulders. I had nothing to lay him on. It was a week's worth of poo.

I took a diaper and my teeny-tiny bag of baby wipes with me to the grass. I layed him in the grass and pulled off shoes, then socks, and then pants. I pulled his onsie up over his head. He didn't like the grass on his skin. I picked him up and put him on clean grass since the poo on his back was now on the grass.

I tried not to throw up. I held my breath.

I opened his diaper. I threw it over my shoulder.

I used every wipe I had getting the yellow toothpaste blended with sand mixture off his skin. I put a clean diaper on him and slid his pants back on. I turned around.

The smell of the diaper was so bad that kids were pointing and staring. A swarm of flies (ok, maybe just 3, but they were really big and it sounds better to say "swarm") was hovering over the open dirty diaper and onsie. I saw one of them land AND START LAYING EGGS!! OH NO!! Then another landed. Gross! I hate bugs! And the smell....AH!

I picked up the wipes with a clean wipe and tossed them on top of the diaper-fly-maggot egg-sandwich. The flies now descended upon the onsie so I grabbed the top of it and threw it on the wipes. I repeated to myself, "It's a ten cent onsie from a garage sale. Just throw it away," over and over.

I ran said poo-egg sandwich, complete with onsie, to the nearest trash can. I threw it all away. The trash can was right next to the bleachers. Fortunately, we were sitting in lawn chairs on the other side of the bleachers. Too bad for the spectators by the trash can, who gave me mean looks.

~~3~~

I have a knitting confession to make. If you try and quote me on this, I will deny it all the way home.

I actually like knitting dishcloths and knitting with dishcloth cotton.

It's cheap. You get the satisfaction of finishing something. Dishcloths are useful.

I'm not going to make a habit out of it. I just wanted someone to know that it's not that bad.

~~4~~

As payment for driving the Amish family back and forth to the hospital, I was given 15 lbs. of freshly picked strawberries. I did not ask for payment, nor was I going to say no to strawberries.

I cleaned them, which took forever. I sliced and froze, made jam, and froze whole. It took me 4 days.

By the end I was sick of the strawberries. My hands looked like I had been butchering meat all day. But now my freezer is full and I am happy.

~~5~~

My two babies had the yuckiest, goopiest eyes last week. It started with Lovey. His eyes were all runny and then little green strings started coming out of them. Two days later, Flower got the same thing. It looked like someone had beaten the crap out of them because their eyes were so swollen.

I treated with the best medicine I had, breastmilk. I squirted some in Lovey's eyes twice a day and used a dropper to put some in Flower's. My husband, on Lovey's day 4 and Flower's day 2, reminded me that it's 2009 and I can take the kids to the doctor.

Patience, I told him. Be patient. It won't last more than 5 days and they'll be better.

"Whatever," he said. "If you want them to be sick and go blind because you wouldn't take them in then fine."

Next day, Lovey day 5, Flower day 3: Lovey's eyes are clear. I still put milk in them, kind of like how you finish antibiotics even if you feel better. Flower's got worse before they got better but were clearing by her day 5.

So there. Breastmilk is liquid gold.

~~6~~

God's grace and love are wonderful things. This year, my husband and I made a commitment to God to give His Church a specified amount of money each week. Most of you call this tithing. We prayed about it and choose an amount that was more than we wouldn't miss but wouldn't put us into hardship with our mortgage. Incidentally, we canceled our digital cable to help us pay this amount.

I have been faithful to the amount we choose, even when it has been hard. Last week, I had to write a check for three times the amount we normally give since I had not been present at the last 2 weeks worth of Masses. So I put my big ol' check in the collection basket and prayed for God to do as He intends and bless the givings.

The next day when I went to get the mail there were 3 envelopes waiting for me from the IRS. One was address to me, one to my husband, and one to both of us. Naturally, I opened the one address to my husband first. :)

The IRS wishes to inform us that they believe we have miscalculated our refund.

*gasp*

They believe we qualify for Earned Income Credit.

They will be issuing us a check which we should receive in 2-4 weeks.

*Hurray!*

Are you kidding me??!! I open the other two letters. The one addressed to me is a copy of the one my husband got. The other, addressed to us both - is the CHECK!

Just how much we were short for bills this month.

God multiplies what you give Him. Believe it.

~~~~~

That's all for now. Kids up from naps. Must go.