Adventures in Homeschooling in Southern Indiana

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Bleakness of an OB office

I had another blood test today to make sure my hormones are returning to normal.

There's something dismal about visiting your OB after a miscarriage. All the posters and magazines gleefully proclaim how great it is to be preparing for baby.

You're visiting the place where you saw your child jumping around on the ultrasound screen, but now your child is dead, and you're undergoing tests to make sure that he's completely and totally gone from your womb.

You're surrounded by happy expectant couples when all you have to expect is a needle in the arm.

I almost wish I could have these tests done somewhere else-- at my family practice office, maybe, just so I wouldn't have to grieve while I waited.

I didn't feel like getting up this morning to go to the doctor. If I was on my own, I probably would have just canceled and stayed in bed. But I have a husband and kids, which means that I have to LIVE, not wallow in grief. This is a VERY good thing. I don't know how single women cope with this sort loss.... it must be horrible.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Quick Note to Anon- starting the discussion up again

Hey Anon--

First off, I want you to know that I don't really expect to change your mind about abortion-- this is more about letting you see how the other side thinks, I think. Obviously you have strong reasons for your position, and a random discussion on a blog isn't going to drastically alter your underlying philosophy.

BUT I would like to point out that earlier in the discussion you characterized the idea that abortion should not be allowed as a religious belief, and said that religion has no place in politics.

And you've asserted again and again that you believe that life begins at birth, without giving a scientific or philosophical reason why this is so.

So, really, your belief that life begins at birth is ALSO religious in nature, even if it's not the official dogma of a mainstream religion.

While most people's beliefs CAN be explained by philosophy or science, I don't think most people have actually examined the basis for their beliefs-- most voters are voting based on their "religion."

For instance, a lot of people believe we should give more money to public schools. But when you ask them why public education is important, they don't respond with the results of studies or the philosophical reasons why a nation should have a unified educational system available to all.

Abortion is a touchier issue because the divide between pro-and con- is deeper, and the topic is a more emotional one than finance reform or EPA regulations.

But if we limit voting to those who have carefully explored and examined the philosophical and scientific underpinnings of all their beliefs, we'll have a pretty small voting pool. (And who decides what's been properly examined???)

Also, it's not really fair to dismiss a person's beliefs just because they're 'religious' or 'unexamined.' Because many people have a pretty good 'gut' for these things, even when they haven't thought it through all the way.

Of course, not everyone agrees on contentious issues... which is why we vote in the first place, and why we lobby elected officials, and why we all try to change hearts and minds. But the strength of a democracy is that Linus Pauling and that crazy guy on the street corner BOTH get their say, and that no one gets to say who's vote is worth more.

So I would hope that while I can't convince you to accept my positions on when life begins, or whether abortion is good or bad for the mother, I can at least convince you to consider the idea that there is nothing wrong with voting your deeply held beliefs.

And that there's nothing wrong with encouraging your opponents to vote based on THEIR deeply held beliefs. Because that's what Democracy is supposed to be!

Back From Christmas

Well, we're back from our Christmas trip. We met my in-laws at French Lick, IN and spent a week visiting relatives across Southern Indiana.

We also got to go to Midnight Mass at St. Meinrad's monastery--- beautiful, joyful and solemn, except that my 3 year old seems to have a SEVERE reaction to Incense... We'll have to keep that in mind at Easter!

My oldest and youngest slept through the whole thing, but 3YO enjoyed all the non-smokey parts... especially the music. (She should! After all, she's named after the patron saint of liturgical music!)

We had a time zone snafu and got to the monastery WAYYY early, so we walked around, looked at all the art, and spent about 10 minutes in the adoration chapel. (short time, but long for the kids.)

My almost-toddler pointed to the Tabernacle and said "Dat's Jesus!" Clearly he's destined for sainthood. =)

Christmas day was a blur of presents, food, and family. We're now trying to get the kids back on a sleep schedule we can live with. (They get a bit hyper when we travel.)

BTW-- The pope's Christmas Homily was excellent....Check it out!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Two Sick Kids

Two sick kids with fevers and vomiting. I'm so tired I can barely function. I'm coming down with it too, and the coffee is the only thing keeping me going until my husband gets back with some sinus drugs.

If I was pregnant, I'd be dead in the water right now, unable to take ANYTHING.

But I still would rather be pregnant.

Today's reading was the Luke's account of the Annunciation, btw. One of my favorites. Even better in the Latin. I read the readings at home and watched some of Mass on TV-- feverish kids can't go to church-- they might spread their germs and kill someone's grandma!

The Anchoress had a link to a homily on Mary's question of "How can this be?" and how we meet so many things in life with disbelief.

I think, with Paul, I'm still stuck at "How can this be?" This was the first pregnancy where I WASN'T afraid I'd miscarry. After all, the last 3 were easy, so this one would be too.

And sometimes it irks me that an unknowing God gives babies not meant to live more than a few weeks to Moms who would happily raise them forever, and babies who could have lived a full life to Moms who kill them in utero.

But I know it's all about opportunities for grace, in the end. I had a boss once who'd been a teen mother (she was a 20-something mother when I knew her.) She's been alone and scared when she found out about her son, everyone tried to persuade her that an abortion would be best.

When I knew her, she said he was the best thing that had ever happened to her, and that it still bothered her that some people treated this amazing little boy like he'd been some sort of a mistake.

Sometimes, sappy Sunday school posters are right. God doesn't make mistakes. But people can.

(Oh, also at The Anchoress's blog (no link today, sorry, computer issues so I can barely type) she has a great quote from Penn of Penn and Teller. Penn wonders how much you must hate someone, if you really believe there's a possibility for eternal life, but don't let them know about it, for fear of offending.

I see where he's coming from. If you're about to cross a railroad track, and I see a train coming through the fog and don't tell you, aren't I just condemning you to death? Even if you might be offended that I interrupted your walk, isn't it my duty to say "Watch out for the Train!??!?!?!"

Watch out for the Train, folks. I don't want you to get hit.

Anyway, sorry to ramble. Sinuses and insufficient sleep combine in odd ways sometimes...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Courage of a Child

This post at the Anchoress is just amazing. And a good reminder about what Christmas, and Christianity, is all about.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mini Rant about the Barney Video.

George, Laura, what are you doing???

"A Red, White and Blue Holiday?" Which would that be?

"Ooh! It's like Independence Day in December!!!!"

Would it REALLY kill you just to say 'Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah?"

"Have a happy HOLIDAY?" What if I celebrate more than one? Do I only get to be happy on Christmas? Do I have to sulk all day on the Feast of the Holy Family?????

If you try too hard not to favor any group over another, you just end up sounding stupid.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A question

My doctor told me it was better to miscarry naturally and avoid a D&C. She said a D&C increases your risk of fertility problems, placenta previa, ectopic pregnancies and other complication.

Makes sense. After all, you're scraping the Uterus clean.

Now, we're told again and again that abortion does NOT cause any problems. But an abortion is just a D&C on a living baby instead of a dead one.


Maybe OBs are just incompetent.

Because the abortion industry would NEVER lie to women, right?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Another Pet peeve

Sorry to vent so much, but...

Another crazy-making phenomenon :

People asking if I'm "OK."

My child died a week ago.

I'm still in 'labor', passing chunks of placenta.

If I try to do anything other than sit sedately typing and watching TV, I bleed a lot more and have to go back to sitting sedately.

So no, I'm not OK. I'm physically ill, I'm sad, and I can't expect not to be either for a while. But if you ask, I'll tell you I'm fine, because that's what you want to hear and I AM fine for where I am at the moment.

You know, even when everything's great, I'm not overly fond of people. Days like today, I wish they'd all stop talking at me.

Another tough thing

I'm supposed to be treating this like recovery from a term-birth. But after normal childbirth, you're left with a tiny person who wants constant holding, nursing and snuggling. And you have warm, happy hormones that make you want to hold, nurse, and snuggle. So it's much easier to sit around doing nothing.

Instead, I have grief... which makes me antsy.

At least I caught up on "Samantha Who" today. "Chuck" is next.

Why I'm Lucky

1. I actually got to see my child, hold my child, and bury my child. A lot of women don't.

2. I spend all my time around people who understand about babies. So I haven't had to listen to a lot of rude, unfeeling comments.

3. My priest did a wonderful job with the graveside service.

4. I think my bleeding might be slowing down.

5. I have other kids. I used to think this was a heartless thing to say after losing one, because kids aren't interchangeable. But having other kids does make the pain easier to handle, because I have people to hold, people to rock, and people who miss Paul as much as I do around me all day. And I can't imagine how other women bear this ache with empty arms.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Things that currently Irk me.

1. My baby is dead and buried. (We named him Paul Marie) But my miscarriage isn't done yet.

2. My doctor's definition of "Small chunks of placenta" is not the same as mine. As in, her "small" looks an awful lot like "Fricken Huge" to me.

3. I'm still at risk for hemmorage, but the place we're supposed to go for Christmas is AN HOUR from the nearest functoning ER.

4. People who tell me it's good we buried Paul because it will 'help us grieve.' We buried him because he's a person, and you bury people. It's called respect for the dead.

5. Because Paul was so old, my recovery will be the same as from a full term birth. But we hadn't planned to have me off my feet for a week until.... July.

6. That God's plans and my plans for Paul were not the same.

7. That my 5 year old is afraid to hug me because "she doesn't want any more blood to come out."

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Grieving Kids

My kids' personalities really shine when I watch them deal with tragedy.

First of all, all three of them, even Ben, were angels in the ER. When the nurses switched shifts, the ones who didn't see us come in had no idea we had three bored, antsy kids in the room with us. They were THAT good even though the whole visit took 3 hours, and they were missing the matinee of Bolt because our baby was dead. I have no idea why I've been blessed with such amazing kids.

Now it's really interesting to see how they deal with death and how they deal with grieving parents.

Anne, my almost-5-year-old, didn't want to see Paul when we retrieved his body. I told her that he looked just like one of those plastic pro-life babies you get at the fair. (He did, just a tad smaller....) So she keeps picking one of those up, calling it Paul, and rocking it. When I'm upset, she sits next to me and we work on a jigsaw puzzle together.

Cecilia, who is three, wanted to see the body. She looked, and said "He's really dead. And he's dirty. he needs a bath." (We didn't risk washing him... I want to keep his body whole until the burial) When she sees me cry, she tells me her tummy hurts and the only way to make it better is to color with her. Then she proceeds to tell me EXACTLY which crayon I must use for each piece of the picture. And yes, she's always this hard-headed and bossy.

Ben's too young to understand, but he's really clingy. And when I cry? He puts a duck on my head and gives me a toothy, maniacal laugh until I have to smile at him. Because clowning toddlers are beautiful.

Monday, December 8, 2008

To Anon---

Hi Anon. I've seen your new comment, and I was working on a reply to it when we had the worst weekend of our lives.

I'm sorry. I can't respond to you with reason and logic right now. I'll get back to you when I can, but at this point I don't know how long it will be.

God Bless,


Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Few Hints on Writing to Your Congressman

My husband was writing letters about FOCA this morning. While I was proof-reading them, I realized there are a few things we can do to make our letters more effective:

1. Use short, declarative sentences. Congressmen and their staffs don't have a lot of time. Your point needs to be clear. Besides, these are people who live and breath soundbites and talking points. Do you really think they'll be able to untangle your syntax if you read like an issue of First Things? Try The Mini Page -- it's much closer.

If you give them soundbites and talking points, they'll be able to use them when they argue your position.

2. Before you ask them to help you, flatter them a bit. Come on. Politicians have HUGE egos. Otherwise they wouldn't run for office, and they wouldn't think they could change a political culture that's been corrupt and useless forever. So tell them what you like about them before you ask for help. I mean, if you're smart enough to see how great they are, maybe your ideas are worth considering, right?

3. I was going to have a third point, but kids are in meltdown mode and it's time to get them dressed for church, so that will have to wait. =)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My Take on the Great Turkey Slaughter

My take on the The Great Turkey Slaughter:

No, she’s not dumb.
Yes, she knew what was going on behind her.
Yes, she realized the MSM would have a field day at her expense, because they’ve basically been reduced to Palin-obsessed paparazzi.

She just didn’t care. She’s deliberately rattling them and enjoying it when they have conniptions.

My Evidence? She says:
“Certainly we’ll probably invite criticism for even do this, too. But at least this was fun.”

She KNOWS, people. She’s deliberately making her opponents froth at the mouth. She thinks they’re funny.

It’s not that she’s an idiot. Sara Palin just isn’t obsessed with her image. Kind of refreshing in a politician, I think.

By the way, why is a LOSING vice-presidential candidate pardoning a turkey more newsworthy than Obama, agent of change, reprising the Clinton years in his cabinet selections?

Though I did think it was interesting that her state actually SAVES UP during fat years so that they can avoid budget crunches in the lean years. Fiscal responsibility? Planning ahead and not passing things you can't fund forever? What's up with that?? Where was that during the campaign-- that could have really resonated with the credit crisis.

More and more, I'm convinced McCain wanted to lose.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Questions for Anon....

Sorry to make this a separate post... I can't see the security codes today! Or hear them! (stupid IE!)

Hey anon! You comments have given me a lot to think about. Before I answer your objection, I have a couple of questions though-- just so I can see where you're coming from (and so I can do a better job keeping 'religious' arguments out of this..)

1. You said you believe a person's life begins at birth. Are you referring to life in the biological sense, or life as 'personhood?'

1a. Why do you believe it begins at birth?

2.Do you believe in Human rights? If so, where do they come from? What entitles something/something to human rights?

3. You talked about when a young woman is still a child. What do you think marks the end of childhood? What is the difference between a child's decision and an adults?

Thanks again! It's nice to have a cordial discussion of thoughts with someone who doesn't agree with me-- Gosh... it's been years since I've had that! (Oh Hyde Park, How I miss Ye!) =)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Culture Wars

Based on the Bishop's conference, I think the election may have moved them from cold to hot territory. And it might be a good thing.

For the last 8 years, a lot of us (like me!) have been pretty lukewarm on abortion. I've always opposed it, I pray to end it, I try to donate to my local crisis pregnancy center when I can, but I haven't really bugged my congressmen or anything.

Why? Because I think, at some level, I figured that I didn't need to worry about anything passing, because George Bush would veto it. I think a lot of us were in that position. But when we kept quiet, politicians figured we'd changed our minds or gone away. So now we're faced with incredible acts of hubris like FOCA.

Force Doctors and Nurses to perform abortions, even if it's against their conscience? Force Catholic Hospitals to perform abortions? Do you REALLY think this will fly, Obama/Pelosi/Reid? (I need a new name for the trio... maybe Obresi?)

Because, to me, that sounds a lot like the majority forcing it's religion (abortion as a good thing) on the minority.... and we will fight to make sure it doesn't happen.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Also, one last question...

As a society, do we support Abortion because we genuinely believe that it's the best option for women with an unwanted baby?

Or do we support it because it's easier for US to get rid of the "inconvenience" rather than giving these women the support they would need to give birth to the child AND continue pursuing their dreams?

After all, an abortion (paid for by the woman, from her own savings) is MUCH cheaper than a baby (who would need to be born (on govt. insurance, probably), have a place to live (TANF), eat food (WIC and foodstamps.)

Honestly, America, Women DESERVE better.

What IS a person?

I've been thinking about Anon's comment below some more. (Thanks Anon! :) ) and I'm thinking the question doesn't really even come down to "When does human life begin" but rather, "What is a person?"

How do we decide what a person is? Well, we can decide based on the law. As in "The law defines x as a person, but y as not a person, so it is ok to kill/enslave/exploit y, but not x"

The problem is, when we allow the law to make some humans people, and some not-people, it's pretty arbitrary. (See slavery. And women under the Taliban). So there has to be a universal definition of "Person."

Christianity takes, I think, the broadest possible definition: All human beings. Because God gave them souls. Which is why the Church is against abortion.

Our current society seems to take the definition as "Anyone born. Unless they have a terminal disease, are in a coma, want to die, or are in this country illegally."

Personally, I find the latter definition, and the way that it's ever expanding, really creepy.

But from a non-religious perspective, what makes a person?

Is it Usefullness to society? Not really, since it's wrong to murder crazy old homeless guys on the corner. And we don't go around killing people simply because they use more than they produce.

Is it potential years to live? No, because if a drunk driver kills someone, it doesn't matter if the victim is 16 or 95. He's still killed a PERSON. There don't seem to be degrees of personhood. It's an all or nothing proposition.

Is it memories? No. Because Amnesiacs and Alzheimers patients are still people.

So how DO we define a person? And what's our reason for choosing that specific definition? (And if we define person more narrowly than others, are we doing it for selfish reasons? Like the factory owner who thinks it's ok to pay illegals an unjust wage, or the plantation owner who lives a life of luxury because he can exploit the slaves?)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Weighing rights

I've been thinking a lot about abortion over the last few days, since Obama promised to sign the Freedom of Choice Act as soon as he's elected.

And I've been trying to think of ways to explain the problem to some of my more pro-choice friends and acquaintances without resulting to religion, or even natural law (since some of these people believe in neither.)

So, how about this one? (Please feel free to critique my argument in the comments, if anyone reads this, since I'm trying to build a more convincing case.)

For a moment, assume that abortion has no negative effect on the mother. (I don't believe this, but we'll assume it for the sake of argument.)

In that case, abortion is an act that delivers a good to the mother by ending her pregnancy. At the same time, it deprives her child of a good, by ending his life.

Now, if abortion were "fair", the good delivered would equal or exceed the deprived good.

So the good delivered (assuming that without abortion, the mother in question would just continue the pregnancy and give the baby up for adoption), is about 9 months of the mother's life where she doesn't have to deal with the inconveniences and discomforts of pregnancy, plus an avoidance of childbirth( which many women seem to fear unreasonably.)

The baby, on the other hand, is deprived of 60-70 years of life.

Clearly, in this case, the harm to the baby outweighs the good to the mother... so we must be giving the mother's rights a LOT more weight here than the baby's.

You could probably draw a parallel to slavery, where the good to the master (cheap labor that allowed greater agricultural output) did not counterbalance the slaves' loss (many people deprived of liberty for generations). In this case, also, the slave owner's right to a comfortable life was given a lot more weight than the slaves' right to freedom.

So, at this point, my question for pro-choice friends and acquaintances is: What current circumstances justify weighting the abortion equation to give the mother's rights such a high priority over her child's?

Obviously, this is not the entire argument for the pro-life side. For instance, I would argue that the abortion industry as currently formulated also does grave harm to women. Especially since a dog being spayed has, under current law, MORE right to expect competent care and sanitary conditions than a woman at an abortion clinic does.... but we'll put that problem aside for now...

Anyway, if this blog has any readers (I'm not sure it does!) does anyone have a comment on the argument above?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Election Prediction

Totally unscientific, just based on what I've been reading state by state, and a bit of optimism.

McCain/ Palin with 299 Electoral votes.

Yes, I'm predicting McCain will win bigger than Bush in 2004. Why? How can I, when everyone says it's impossible?

I think the pundits have SERIOUSLY underestimated McCains appeal to moderates and the Palin effect.

So, I'll probably be laughably wrong. But if I'm right, you heard it here first!

Friday, October 10, 2008

What do you use to style your hair?

Why, mashed bananas and milk, of course. With a bit of squash for emphasis. And I can assure you, Madame, none of these products were tested on Animals, and they're all biodegradable!

In other words... ewwww. Someone needs a BATH!

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Mortgage crisis and Me.

You know, when we bought this house 5 years ago, everyone assured us we were making a horrible mistake.

The bank, the realtor, even our parents all thought we should stretch, buy the biggest house we could afford, and trust that income/home values would go up enough that the stretch would only be a stretch for a few years.

Instead, we sat down, figured out what we could afford on our then-salary, and bought a small started home on a 5% down 30-year fixed mortgage.

Well, our income did go up, but so did our expenses. But our house, even with mortgage, taxes, insurance and PMI is still super affordable and cheaper than renting would have been.

The starter homes in town have actually appreciated. We're walking distance from everything in a time of high gas prices too. I've been looking at similar homes selling around here. When we move, we'll make a profit. We'll be able to have a better down payment on our next home.

The moral of the story? Remember the OLD, pre-bubble advice? The stuff about not buying more house than you could afford, getting 30 year mortgages and staying for at least 5 years? Well, it turns out that it's still good advice.

And if the economy fails and we can't move for a few more years? Well, we'll be cramped, but we'll survive.

I do think I'd better drastically improve my sewing and mending skills though, just in case...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Nigerian Election Scam

From the Corner at NRO:

In July and August, the head of the Nigeria’s stock
market held a series of pro-Obama fundraisers in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city.
The events attracted local Nigerian business owners. At one event, a table for
eight at one fundraising dinner went for $16,800. Nigerian press reports claimed
sponsors raked in an estimated $900,000. The sponsors said the fundraisers were held to help Nigerians attend the Democratic convention in Denver. But the
Nigerian press expressed skepticism of that claim, and the Nigerian public
anti-fraud commission is now investigating the matter.

My first thought? Totally the set-up for a Nigerian Email Scam. I wonder if they asked Obama for his bank information so they could transfer the funds?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Greta Van Susteren and My Dad

My Dad was on On The Record last night! He did great. The best quote, in my opinion?

"We have to grow our way ot of this problem. We can't tax our way out of this problem."

I can't wait to see that one show up in McCain/ Palin campaign literature.... or at least a Club for Growth Ad.

Good Job Dad!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Easier Election

Watching the world's reaction to Sarah Palin and her baby, I'm beginning to think we could get by with a one-question ballot this year:

Do you like babies? Check yes or no.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Why I love homeschooling...

When my Kindergartner thinks up a new compound word, wants to know how butterflies hear, teaches herself to write 'doll' or wants to spend time making patterns, she has a teacher who helps her indulge her curiosity rather than telling her to be quiet and go back to her seat!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Palin's Speech

Well I enjoyed it and I think she pulled it off. I DO wish she'd spent more time on policy, less on biography, but such is life....

I also enjoyed the shots of her family... especially Piper holding Trig and (ewwww) smoothing down his hair with spit....

And, at the end, when it looked like Piper had to go to the bathroom (runs over to mom, whispers something to her, Mom and Piper start frantically looking for an escape from stage, mention the problem to John McCain, etc. etc.) I have a feeling that Piper at the inauguration will be a hoot!

Also, my 11 month old likes her.... he pointed and laughed and flirted through the whole speech... can babies sense lactation via DSL?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Palin, Protests and the RNC

I'm afraid I won't be following the convention very closely - we have family coming this weekend, and chores will have to trump politics for a few days.

But I am psyched about the Palin pick. I think it was a smart choice, and I am fascinated by the way it's causing the left to tear themselves apart in an effort to bring her down...

Especially the whole "See, this is why moms shouldn't work!" thing. Truly compelling political theater. I had thought the Dems were guaranteed a big win this year.... now, I'm not so sure. It's almost like they WANT to lose.....

Finally, I wanted to point out this comic..... because it's funny-- and so true!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

OKOK How about this one?

McCain/ Cheney!!!!!

You Don't want to make them mad!

McCain's Veep

So... tommorrow is McCain's 72nd birthday...And he'll have a cake....

Can his veep pop out of it? PLEASE?!?!?! That would be a much cooler way to announce than a text message would!


I'm currently hoping it's Brownback. He's a veep I could actually get excited about.

Something McCain needs to understand: A lot of his pro-life, religious conservative base also has LIBERTARIAN leanings.

And if the Republicans turn out to be LESS pro-life than the libertarians, I'll happily punch the button (pull the lever was SO much better. Bring back the punch card!) for Barr......

I'll even send Barr money... and put a sign in my lawn......

Monday, August 25, 2008

My Dad got linked to from the corner!

Check it out!

Kudlow mentioned him.....=

Maybe THAT will help me convince him that blogs are a useful source for news and information! =)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Obama, Biden, and American Exceptionalism

If God doesn't intervene in American politics, how can we explain Obama's VP pick? It's like the man is trying to lose!

Or maybe, "Pride goes before the fall...."

Friday, August 22, 2008

Jindal and Latin

Check out the schedule below:

Clearly he's a candidate classicists can support!

Could it Be? Dare I hope?

Most of the possible McCain Veep pick domain names are empty, but...

Check out

Could it be? Dare I dream? A PRO-LIFE , Catholic, fiscally conservative, Young, intelligent Veep?????????

Or is it just an evil prank?


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Different Readings make Different Worlds

So over at Verla Kay's writing boards, there's a discussion about the economy-- are we heading for a new depression?

The overwhelming consesus is "Yes! It's all ending!!!"

And I'm confused... because as a National Review Reading, Larry Kudlow following, Barron's and WSJ fan, I hadn't even realized that there was a portion of the population who SERIOUSLY believe that GWB and the Iraq war are bringing about a total collapse of the economic order.

And I realized it's because, since none of us are economists, we all pick our own 'experts,' and trust them.

But since economists can disagree on the data and interpretations, and since none of us (the children's writers) are qualified to do the math ourselves, we can't really have an intelligent argument on the subject. It boils down to "My expert says your expert is wrong"

So, a question to ponder: Today, with blogs/the internet/etc, the public has access to a wider range of experts than ever before. But people tend to pick a few favorites and side with them. So is meaningful political discussion even POSSIBLE anymore? Or has it been reduced to Red Sox v. Yankee stuyle rivalry.

Actually, has meaningful political discussion between polar opposites EVER been possible? I enjoy reading Meghan McArdle and Glen Reynolds. I don't always agree with them, but we have enough common ground that I can consider their ideas and have rational arguments with them. (In my head. Just like I enjoy arguing with Locke and Rousseau. I never said I was normal...)

But I have trouble engaging with people who say "The sky is falling because Bushitler has destroyed the economy." or even "Even though the numbers say things aren't that bad, they're horrible! And they're going to get worse!"

Maybe, what America needs this election year is one GIANT common core of readings from both sides of the debate-- so we all can have a way to discuss things.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Fast Food Banned!

Okay.... THIS is just ridiculous!

Mc Donald's provides a valuable service to the impecunious mother!

I can feed my whole family at Mickey D's for $4.00 (4 double cheeseburgers and 4 waters). It's not super-healthy, of course, but as a once-in-a-while "eating out" treat, it works.

Try to find a sit-down restaurant where you can eat for a buck....

If the organic-vegan fancy sit down restaurant opens in the ghetto, no one's going to eat there. Why? Because the nutrition/$ ratio is just no good!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Big Red Toe

An actual conversation from Vacation:

P: If you go on the potty, Poppy will take you to the store and buy you a treat! What do you want?

C: A new toe.

P and M: A new toe?????

C: A red toe.

M: How big would this red toe be?

C: This big ( being carried, gestures, so about 5.5 feet tall)

M: Why do you want a big, red, toe? What would you do with it?

C: Ride it. In the water. Fast.

M: (realization dawns) You mean a big, red toe like those guys were washing?

C: (very precisely) Yes!

M: That's called a jet ski, honey. You can't get one of those for using the potty.

C: (whimpers)

P: But if you use the potty, Poppy will get you an ice cream cone!

C: With Ice cream in it?

I'm glad my toddler is so easily distracted.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Vacation conundrum

Should we go to the probably-going-to-be-reverent Mass 30 minutes away at a colossally inconvenient time (8 am or 12 pm) knowing that my dad will complain about it and the kids will probably misbehave? (No guarantee it's reverent, but at least the church has weekly Adoration and the web page mentions the Eucharist, even if the photos on line show a HORRIBLY ugly church that seems caught in the 70s)

Or do we go to the conveniently-timed Mass 5 minutes away that takes place at a Parish that, if it wasn't on and named after one of my favorite saints, I would mistake for Unitarian?

I suppose this could be a "Jesus is still there even if these other people don't act like it" teachable moment.......

Friday, May 30, 2008

I need to learn to keep my mouth shut

Why is it that whenever I discuss abortion with someone who is dogmatically "Pro-choice" I end up with a headache and wanting to cry?

Though I think I've figured out what it all boils down to...

Do you think your children belong to you? Do you think you made them? Or are they these odd, unique creatures whose care is entrusted to you by God?

I look at my son and MARVEL that my husband and I had anything to do with his creation. (My daughters too, of course, but since the fabulous Mr. B is currently absorbed in moving a single cheerio to and from a bowl, he seems more wondrously alien at the moment. :) )

Even in utero, he clearly had his own mind, his own choices (like "Mom's stomach would make a GREAT pillow right now, at three am.. HEY... WHY IS SHE TAKING TUMS???)

So, to me, it seems obvious that I don't actually OWN my kids. I can try to protect them, I can love them, I can raise them.... but I certainly can't sell them... or choose to destroy them... because they are NOT MINE. They are God's......

But if you don't know they belong to God.... if you don't believe they have souls... then pro-lifers are probably just as crazy as those people telling you that carrot juice constitutes murder and greenhouses are prisons for slaves...........

Friday, May 23, 2008

Alice Walker's Daughter


h/t to klo at The Corner

Indoctrination at Story Time

I know it's hard to be objective.....

I know sometimes it's hard for a librarian to hide her views on the current issues facing her society.

I know I'm odd, and that most people around here don't agree with me...

But... Still....

An ENTIRE STORYTIME, complete with crafts, movies and propagandist songs to convince the children to wholeheartedly support......


My husband's family are Case people. They have always been Case people. His grandpa was a Case dealer. WE ARE RED TRACTOR PEOPLE, and the Greenies were making my children feel marginalized!!!


So, which side do you take in the all-important Tractor wars?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Marketer's Dream

The story has everything my 2 1/2 year old wants--

Loving, but distraught parents.

A noble, brave sister.

A cute, helpless baby.

And a PRINCESS. It even has a PRINCESS.

God sure knew what he was doing with that Moses fellow! =)


Friday, May 16, 2008

Tulip Time

A few pictures from Holland, MI last week:

The nice things about Tulips is they make everything look artsy! =)

Monday, May 5, 2008

They Know...

We were visiting friends this weekend, and went to Mass at their Parish.

It's one of those "hide-and-seek" tabernacle churches.

My four-year-old looked around for a while and then whispered, "Mommy, where did they put God?"

Friday, May 2, 2008

Hallmark + Disease Control = CDC ecards?

So, I was bumming around the CDC home page reading up on measles outbreaks (to see if Mr. B needed his MMR early) and found this disturbing page....

Did you know global warming is a public health issue? Apparently if we don't all switch to ethanol and starve all the children in Africa, we'll all die of Ebola or something.

Actually, come to think of it, starving children DO tend to be parasite and disease ridden... and if they don't starve, they may cross our open borders and infect us all!!!!! OMG! The CDC is so RIGHT on this one! I'm so glad my tax dollars are working to bring us things like this!

On another note, I think the "Please vaccinate your germ-infested, snot-nosed, feces-covered brats so that they don't infect my beautiful, completely disinfected, angelic darlings" cards are a nice touch. They're so subtle and sweet! I'm SURE that they'd TOTALLY get someone to vaccinate their kids. Because these arguments are all about logic........

Well, I've had my daily dose of govt. sponsored surrealism. Now, back to ACTUAL work.....

(BTW-- Didn't the CDC used to have a big morbidity and mortality style map with all the outbreaks on it? THAT'S what the site needs -- interactive epidemic maps and case studies-- not BMI calculators and E-cards. Talk about totally useless. Everyone has BMI calculators and e-cards... I want free access to actual SCIENCE!)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Why kids need the Baltimore Catechism

From a book review in this weekends NY Times:

"20 Something Manifesto” is actually less a manifesto than a breathlessly
optimistic self-help book designed to help its audience peel back the layers of
their “identity onion” and sort out the poles of the “20s triangle”: “Who am I,
what do I want, how do I get what I want?” She talks a lot about the need for
the floundering to feel self-gratitude and spend “quality time” with themselves;
for the lovelorn, she suggests palliative remedies, like sending yourself
flowers and writing yourself a note of appreciation.

I think the Church has something to say about "The 20's Triangle"...... Also, I always found the idea of an "Identity Onion" more helpful than harmful.

Now, A Snoodles Tale , on the other hand, is great.... =)

But I'm pretty sure that "Who I am" is not someone who needs "self-gratitude" and "what I want" is not to send myself flowers. But I'm also a gen Xer, so maybe we don't need the same self affirmation....

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What to do.....

It's 70 degrees outside. And sunny. And my kids are hyper....

Clearly, the day SCREAMS for bubbles and soccer----

The laundry can wait until sunset. =)

Benedict at the Whitehouse

I'm sure more intelligent people will have lots of interesting things to say about this morning's speech.

But there was one bit that struck me as ESPECIALLY relevant to American Home-schoolers....

The preservation of freedom calls for the cultivation of virtue,
self-discipline, sacrifice for the common good and a sense of responsibility
towards the less fortunate. It also demands the courage to engage in civic life
and to bring one's deepest beliefs and values to reasoned public debate. In a
word, freedom is ever new. It is a challenge held out to each generation, and it
must constantly be won over for the cause of good.

This is what we should be aiming for with our kids. And this is what public schools are no longer teaching. I think I'm going to print this out, frame it, and make it my family's homeschooling mission statement.

After all, why write our own lame, shallow one, when the pope has said it so much better! Oh yeah... we want to make saints too.... but what virtues do we need to cultivate in our children then? The same ones! Right!

I'm so glad we've had a run of awesome popes.......

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Why Bad Liturgy Hurts.....

A good article posted over at "Some Have Hats"

I really liked the point in this article about DELIBERATE messing with the Mass versus priests who try to do everything right, but may occasionally flub the words or something.....
But I think the big difference is - priests who are in love with the Eucharist v. priests who could care less.

When a priest really loves the Eucharist, you can tell. You can tell how absorbed he is in the Mass, you can tell by how his face lights up as soon as he enters the church and sees the tabernacle.....

You can tell he knows he is in the presence of his Lord and that he LOVES his Lord passionately.
And the really cool thing is, even kids can tell. They'll still act up from time to time (at least my little ones will) but at least they realize that Jesus is there.

We're really lucky. We go to a parish where our pastor really, really LOVES the Eucharist.
It's too bad that more people don't have that....


All right. I now have a home for all my baby-blogging, Catholic Blogging and Political Blogging.

Why? Because I spend so much time posting comments on my favorite Catholic and Political blogs, I might as well have my own! I'll leave the other blog for Kidlit related things.....