"For thus says the Lord: Lo, I will spread prosperity over her like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing torrent. As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms, and fondled in her lap; As a mother comforts her son, so will I comfort you..." Isaiah 66:12-13

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


So I had a doctor's appointment today. Not just any doctor, a specialist. Since, my appointment was at 10:45, I knew that I'd have to leave the house at 10. So the girls and I got up, got dressed, Maria and I ate breakfast and then I fed Amelia. Oh, and I showered somewhere in there, put on Caillou for Maria, filled a sippy cup and packed a diaper bag.

Anyhow, at about 9:40 I'm looking over the paperwork that they sent me, and I realize that it says..."Bring your lab results with you to the appointment. DO NOT rely on the mail or fax." Argh.

I know that I read this before... but I thought that it only said "do not mail". Silly me I thought having the info faxed would be enough... after all they provided the fax number on the form. So not panicking (ok, maybe slightly panicking), I call the number. Busy signal. Wait a minute. Hit redial. Busy signal. Repeat this 6 times. Pack up the girls. Put everything down and try one more time. Argh.

Finally I get through to someone. I'm put on hold while they check for the forms. The nice lady asks when they were supposed to be sent. Argh.

"I dunno? the beginning of March?"

Nice Lady: "ok, then they might be up front, hold on a minute.... Ah, here they are in your file."

Good. At least I don't have to run to pick them up before going to the appointment. But now it's already 10:10. I'm supposed to be dropping Maria off with Pop at 10:15. Argh.

Run for the car... find Maria downstairs in her stroller.

"I riding in 'troller mommy!"

Put Amelia in car. Get Maria out of stroller, put stroller in trunk and Maria in her seat. Drive.

10:24 - drop Maria off with Pop. Drive.

10:40 - arrive at doctor's office. Look at packed waiting room full of grumpy faces. Check in, and overhear a woman on her cell phone saying... "I'm still here, and I had a 9:15 appointment." Argh.

After filling out the HIPPA paperwork, I scan for a place to sit. There are three spots, all next to someone else. I pick the old man in the corner, hoping that he's not allergic to babies. He isn't... he and his wife spend the next 10 minutes making noises and faces a Amelia. She smiles back, coos and put on quite a show. The other people in the waiting room look jealous... they have nothing so interesting to entertain them.

Meanwhile, I sit and calculate how far behind they are....I figure I have about an hour and a half wait ahead of me. Argh.

I then sit and wonder how many people I can offend if I have to breastfeed Amelia in this waiting room. All of them are old and the way we're packed in there is no way I'll be able to go unnoticed. I spend some time worrying about this, then figure... if it comes to that I'll just demand that they let me use one of their rooms. Then I spend time trying to remember who was in the room when I walked in and who has come in since I got here. Looks like about 10 people ahead of me. Argh.

Then I watch the drug reps come in. This provides some entertainment, as they are all dressed alike and carrying large bags. I start to amuse myself by guessing which ones will stay for an audience with the doctor and which ones will decide to leave.

As, I'm near the door, and the reception desk I get to over hear all kinds of privileged information, including the receptionist discussing her medical condition with the drug rep., and the drug rep handing out free medical advice... essentially, "try our drug." Isn't there a saying, "don't trust someone who's trying to sell you something?" (maybe I made it up, but it's sounds true to me."

I also get to hear about the receptionist's father, who because of a freak accident in which he swallowed a chicken bone, now has to have his throat stretched twice a year. (eww...)

Finally, my name is called. Unfortunately it's a false alarm. Argh.

They just want to get my weight before I see the doctor. He will be with me shortly. I wait five more minutes, then call Pop and let him know that I'm going to be late as it is now the time that I said I'd be there to pick Maria up. Five minutes later and the doctor comes to get me.

Amelia is now starting to get fussy. I rock her with one hand while letting the doctor check my blood pressure, pulse, etc... I give him my history... he checks the chart a couple times. Finally, he says, "I agree with your doctor, you have X. I think that you should stay on the medicine. Come back if you doctor feels that you need to see me again. I'll meet you at the front desk."

Huh? That's it? Wait, I have questions...to late he' s already gone. So, in all I waited an hour and 45 minutes for 5 minutes with a doctor, a specialist, who didn't give me a chance to ask any questions, and whose only advice was keep taking the medicine.


Monday, March 26, 2007

What you get... (#2)

...when you come to check on your "sleeping" babe, after you've fixed breakfast for big sister.
...when you try to button up the sleeper after changing a diaper.

...when you try to catch picture of Amelia smiling.

What you get... (#1)

...when you get up from blogging to clean up after breakfast.
...when you feed your two-year old a muffin (yes those are all muffin crumbs from one day).

...when you pop in a video, so that you have time to blog.

...after you're done blogging and ask two year old what she wants to do. ("Go Outside!")

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Toxic Waste

I found this column by Archbishop Chaput linked on Feminine-Genius. It's great to hear a bishop speaking out about this problem. I only wish that he would have made mention of the "non-porn" porn that floods into our homes on a daily basis, in sitcoms, commercials and even the news. These subtle (or not so) images which are the Sirens of the modern age, calling to us and beckoning us ever closer to the rocky shores of pornographic addiction. These images act as a gateway, breaking down our sense of propriety, causing us to view as normal and acceptable that which is abnormal and outrageous. They fuel and fan the flames of addiction, making it that much harder for a person to pull himself out of the mire.

I agree with the Archbishop that pornography is "the biggest single environmental crisis we face" and I applaud his courage for speaking out, but I feel that the problem goes even deeper than what he addresses in his column.

Personality Test:

Your Five Factor Personality Profile


You have medium extroversion.
You're not the life of the party, but you do show up for the party.
Sometimes you are full of energy and open to new social experiences.
But you also need to hibernate and enjoy your "down time."


You have medium conscientiousness.
You're generally good at balancing work and play.
When you need to buckle down, you can usually get tasks done.
But you've been known to goof off when you know you can get away with it.


You have high agreeableness.
You are easy to get along with, and you value harmony highly.
Helpful and generous, you are willing to compromise with almost anyone.
You give people the benefit of the doubt and don't mind giving someone a second chance.


You have high neuroticism.
It's easy for you to feel shaken, worried, or depressed.
You often worry, and your worries prevent you from living life fully.
You tend to be emotionally reactive and moody. Your either flying very high or feeling very low.

Openness to experience:

Your openness to new experiences is high.
In life, you tend to be an early adopter of all new things and ideas.
You'll try almost anything interesting, and you're constantly pushing your own limits.
A great connoisseir of art and beauty, you can find the positive side of almost anything.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Vaccine Info

Since Amelia had her first vaccinations yesterday I spent some time looking for info online about ethical alternatives to vaccination created from aborted babies. In the course of my search I found this site, that lists US-approved alternatives for all but the rubella vaccine. It also has a lengthy discussion of what Catholics are morally obligated to do if no alternative vaccine exists.

I found it pretty interesting, though I'm not sure that I agree that rubella is enough of a threat to warrant vaccinating in spite of the lack of a morally acceptable vaccine. Especially since a morally acceptable vaccine does exist in Japan, but just isn't approved here yet. According to this site, they were able to get the vaccine from Japan by just getting their doctor's approval. Of course, they are located in the UK so I don't know how it works here, but maybe if people get together and lobby for it we can get the morally acceptable rubella vaccine approved in the US. Or at least made available with the permission of a doctor.

Pajama Day

I was tired and grumpy and really didn't feel like doing anything today, so I declared a pajama day. However, I decided this after I was already dressed so it was just the girls who stayed in their pj's.

It has been a rough couple of weeks with all of us having colds (Maria's still pretty stuffy), and Amelia receiving her first vaccinations yesterday. Last night was tough, as Amelia's leg got all swollen, red and hot around where she got the shot. She spent about an hour screaming before I could get her to calm down and fall asleep. Later, I was able to get her to take some Tylenol before Jim lulled her to sleep again, but it made for a nasty end to the day.

So today, instead of the usual chaos of trying to get keep the girls occupied while I clean, I just let Maria pick a video and there she sat for an hour watching intently. She selected Winnie the Pooh's ABC's, so really it was an educational DVD. It even has a bonus feature where it shows the letter, gives the sound of the letter, shows how to write both the upper and lower cases, and gives a picture of one word that starts with that letter. You have a choice to do the whole alphabet or just a select certain letters. So again it was educational, really.

I think Maria had fun. She's been bugging me to let her wear her 'jamas all day for weeks. It's really been a struggle to get her dressed in the morning. I think that she was especially pleased that they were her penguin pajamas, as she is very fond of these.

I know that I enjoyed it... I even got a nap of sorts. I had Amelia snuggled on one side of me, and Maria on the other. And for about 10 minutes all was quiet and calm. Then Maria began to squirm, and then sing. I shushed her and told her to be quiet and sleep, it was naptime after all. But she persisted... she tucked her feet under me, then she got up and tried to sleep on my head (not so comfy). Finally, I told her to just go read a book if you're not going to sleep. This actually worked... for a few minutes she was quietly reading a book. Then she began to read, aloud, her version of Green Eggs and Ham.

It went something like this... "that Sam I am, I do not like that Sam I am. I am Sam. I do not like Sam I am. I do not like green eggs and ham." She kept repeating these lines in varying orders until I finally decided to give up and end the non-nap nap.

Ah, well.... even a pajama day is more interesting with kids.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Moving in the Right Direction

Okay, so I'm a little behind in my reading, but I just read
this article from last week's Catholic Standard and Times. I was soo excited to learn that they have moved the tabernacle to it's proper place behind the main altar at Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral (in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia).

The description makes me want to go and see it for myself. Mini-pilgrimage anyone?

Here's an excerpt from the article:

The Cardinal was clearly moved by the event. In his homily, he told the Cathedral’s parishioners, "Our hearts are filled with joy to celebrate this great event, and once again in a very special way to express our faith in the Real Presence of Jesus in the tabernacle. ...[W]e honor the presence of Christ truly and substantially in the Eucharist which we have enthroned in this beautiful new tabernacle that expresses our holy Catholic faith."

We're so blessed to have this man as our shepherd. Clearly, he has a great love for Jesus in the Eucharist, and desires to cultivate that love in all his flock.

Let's all pray that pastors in the Archdiocese may follow his lead and move Jesus back to the center of our churches.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Pizza night...

Here's some pictures from Friday night's pizza fest. As you can see Maria very much enjoyed helping me make the pizza dough.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Interesting Article

I found the link to this article on Amy Wellborn's Site, Open Book. It's about the differences between public and private schools in developing countries. Surprisingly (or not), the private schools are doing much better job of teaching those countries poor.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Snow Day...

Here's a few pics of Maria playing in the first "nice" snow of the season.
(nice = snow without ice involved)

All work and no play around here - even Maria has to do her share.

More Pics of the Girls

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Lenten reflections...

If you're looking for something to help you make it through Lent, then you should check out this site. This Benedictine-Cistercian monk writes really interesting reflections on the daily and Sunday Mass readings.

Jimmy's Post on the Jesus Tomb

Jimmy Akin has posted his response/debunking of the Jesus tomb movie. Here's the link as promised.

Visual DNA

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Another Grave of Jesus...

this one in LA. Get the story here.

Thanks to Rob for finding finding the site.

How Crunchy Are You?

Take the quiz here, then let me know your score.

I scored 116. Hmm.... looks like I have some work to do.

(I found the quiz link on this blog, Journeys of a Catholic Poster Girl)

Thursday, March 1, 2007

More on the (phony) tomb of Jesus

I was just over at Jimmy Akin's site and found this link in the comments section. Since Jimmy is going to put together a post on the subject soon I'll sit back and wait for it, rather than trying to explain/debunk the 'documentary' myself.

I will say this however, on the site (the only part that I read so far) they claim that their film in no way contradicts Jesus' resurrection or ascension. They use spurious theology to defend themselves, saying for example that if they have found Jesus' physical remains, then it only contradicts a physical ascension, but not a spiritual one. However, Jesus' physical resurrection and ascension are non-negotiable tenets of the Christian faith. Just look at the Nicene Creed, "I believe in... the resurrection of the body." Serious Christians would not be swayed by such "logic", but I worry what effect it will have on those whose faith is not as strong or reasoned.

I can only pray that this "documentary" does not gain enough popularity to draw people away from the faith.

Alphabet and the Alpha and Omega

Recently Maria has been learning her alphabet. She loves the letter W and is very happy to pick it out on the pages of various story books. She also likes M, which she generally calls "upside down W," since I explained M as looking like an upside down W. Last night however she looked and an M and said M leaving me hopeful that my teaching tactics aren't totally wrong.

She likes to sing the Alphabet Song as well. Her version goes something like this: "abcd...xoy...w..xoy...z...now I know...abcd's...sing with me!" One day as she was singing this it struck me..."she knows the beginning and the end of the song! ...the beginning and the end of the alphabet!" This was a principal we learned in one of my psychology classes...people tend to pay more attention to/remember the first and last things in a list (or in a speech or series of events). I know this principal has some fancy name, but I recall it right now. Must be something I learned in the middle of my schooling.

In any case, this human bias towards attending only to the beginning and the ending seems to me to play out in our spiritual lives as well. Even one of our names for God reflects this bias... Alpha and Omega. Not that there is anything wrong with this name for God, for He is the beginning and the end of all things. But some people focus only on these extremes.

Some focus on God as the beginning... as the Great Author of All Creation, who sets the world in motion and then sits back and watches it turn, without becoming involved in the daily lives of the people that He has created. For others the end of all things takes precedence and they end up with a morbid focus on the end times, studying prophecy, building stockpiles, etc. They see God only as the Supreme Judge who will return at the end of time to punish the wicked and reward the good.

But I think that it's important to remember, especially now at the beginning of Lent that God is not just the Alpha and the Omega, but He is also everything in between. He didn't just come down at the beginning to start things up and then leave until the end of time. He is intimately involved in every moment of every day for every person on this earth. All we have to do is tune in to His presence with us.

Lent is the perfect time for us to shift our focus. As we pray and fast and sacrifice, let us keep in mind the God who is with us... the one who walked this earth and calls us to follow Him into the desert to be purified. To once again repent of our sins and come into an ever closer and deeper relationship with Jesus, the one who gave His life so that we might always know His presence. For God is not just the Alpha and Omega, He also Emmanuel, God with us, and He wants us to turn and follow Him once again.