Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wondrous Wednesday (4)

In the spirit of gratitude, I’m going to be listing wondrous things happening in my world every week on Wednesday.  I chose to list three things because Wednesday is the third day of the week.  If you are a blogger and want to list what you are grateful for, feel free to do the same on your own blog every week and please be sure to link back to my blog.   If you are not a blogger, feel free to comment here on my blog with your own three wondrous things you are grateful for on Wednesday. 

After having seen footage of some areas in New England and the eastern coast, I am grateful that Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene was so easy on us.  We only lost power for about an hour and there was hardly anything that needed to be cleaned up afterwards, except for a few small twigs and leaves, which hopefully I can help out with tomorrow.  Anyway, the cutest part of waiting for Irene was when power went out and we told our three-year old that we lost power.  We handed her a flashlight for her to be able to see where she was going and she started walking all over the house, going from room to room looking for the power.  She would search one room and say "No, not in here" and then would go on to the next.  How cute is that?  They do take you literally at that age.  So funny!

Another thing that amazes me about our eleven month old who is soon to be one year is that she is in a size five diaper.  The most funny part about that is that her three year old sister who started potty training back in May I think was in size five diapers at almost three.  So I have quite a few overnights and even some pull ups left from Alicia.  Hannah better be in these diapers for a while so I have a chance to use up what I have.  Anyone who lives close by need size four???  Speak now and I'll set some aside for you.  I think we have a lot, have to check.

My hubby and I have been asked to speak in a few weeks about how we use social media as a tool for evangelization.  I don't know I ever really thought that I was evangelizing, but perhaps that is what I am trying to do.  I just feel that I am trying to explain how I came to be more in line with the Catholic Church than I ever thought possible.  Neither my hubby nor I has a large following on our blogs, but what I have noticed is that there is significantly higher interest in controversial subjects than the every day topics I cover.  I do think that any evangelization calls for showing how we live our lives day in and day out by our example, but not being afraid to "discuss" our lives, as ordinary as they are, or to tackle the difficult topics, no matter what our friends and acquaintances may think of us.  In what Blessed John Paul II repeatedly referred to as the "new evangelization," he reminded Catholics of the importance of moving beyond ourselves and bringing Christ and His love to others.  That is what all Catholics should be striving for.  That is what I try to do with my blog.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sweet Caroline, BAH BAH BAH!

Imagine that you have a six year old daughter and you are on vacation in Disneyland with the whole family (she has an older and a younger brother). Her eye is bothering her and you think the jerking movement is probably no big deal. The school nurse had seen something wrong with her vision test just recently and your daughter is scheduled for an appointment when you get home.

A few days later when you get back from Florida, you head to the appointment wondering what this will mean – maybe glasses? Maybe just a patch for a short period of time? But at the appointment you are told that your daughter's eyes are healthy and there is no correctable disease they can find. Odd. So they schedule an MRI two long days later. You are supposed to get results that same afternoon but you can't help but research potential outcomes. Then the day of the MRI arrives and you never leave the hospital because of some devastating news: cancer. She has an inoperable, incurable, plum sized tumor lodged deep within her brain.

This is the news that hubby's cousin's family received about their daughter back in 2007. At the time, we had no children and even now that I have two beautiful daughters of my own, I can't possibly begin to even pretend to understand what they went through and continue to go through to this day. Caroline has a tumor known as a Pediatric Low Grade Astrocytoma (PLGA). It is inoperable and presently incurable. Front line treatment options for PLGAs date back to the mid-1980’s, and remain toxic, invasive and highly ineffective. While significant strides have been made in many forms of childhood cancer, pediatric brain tumors have all but been neglected.

This past year was a difficult one for Caroline and her family. The doctors did end up doing surgery in May of 2010, her dad was flown in from Iraq where he was stationed at the time, and were unable to get all of it, just the “extra” growth of the tumor that had been affecting her vision. Caroline had to relearn how to walk and talk and many other things we all take for granted. She is currently undergoing a trial round of chemo that is unapproved by the FDA. This chemo is a Phase II clinical trail which basically tests investigational drugs to learn whether or not they will be effective, determine dosages and evaluate potential side effects. While the FDA has not approved RAD001, it has been studied and shown to be effective in the treatment of other cancers. RAD001 is an oral regimen, so Caroline will take the drug daily for 12 four week courses (48 weeks). She is currently in round 9.  Poor thing! The last report I've heard is that her her vision and the tumor as shown on an MRI from July of this year are both STABLE! Praise God!

I have donated my hair to Locks of Love twice in Caroline's honor, but this year I am walking the Jimmy Fund Walk on September 18th by her side in her honor, she completes a portion of the walk every year. My fund-raising goal is achievable - $250. Basically either 10 donors at $25 or 25 donors at $10. This is the final push before the walk.  Please consider donating in honor of Caroline. No gift is too small. Whatever you can give is greatly appreciated.

To read more about her story, including her Make-A-Wish wish to meet the pope, go to  To donate online please go to  Or if you would prefer to write a check, make the check payable to “Jimmy Fund Walk” and email me for my mailing address.  Thank you in advance for whatever you can do.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Seven Quick Takes Friday (10)

Thanks to Jen at for hosting.  Every week Jen always has something in her quick takes that makes me laugh.  Go check out her quick takes if you are bored with mine. ;)

So last week I was walking around a store and there was a woman talking loudly on her cell phone, proudly saying that she found these shorts online that said "Born to Score" across the butt and she just had to get them.  I was thinking, "Really?  This is what you want people to read across your backside?  Talk about classy!"  So I did some research online tonight and saw that there was a picture of a woman with these shorts on the site.  Well, I guess what some people consider funny others consider just plain wrong...  yikes!  I'm guessing this picture on the people of walmart site is what the woman was referring to, but I'm guessing she wasn't REALLY trying to find a pair for herself.  Or was she???

Tuesday morning I awoke to find that my hubby's car had been egged.  Initially I thought, boy do we bring our bad luck with us where ever we go.  I was chuckling to myself as I was cleaning the car, it all just seemed so funny to me.  But then again, I woke up so late - 7:07, exactly 7 minutes past the time I usually would leave for work -  I couldn't believe that this is what I rushed out the door for.  I think I wasn't quite awake.  So I keep smiling and laughing.  I have to say who ever egged the car didn't do a very good job.  They just got the bumper.  Next time, they ought to aim a little higher.  I never did this as a kid, but I have to think that if I were to do such a foolish shenanigan, I'd try to do it better than that.  At one point I thought, hmmm this was the morning after my latest controversial post on the 2-1 pregnancy article in the NY times.  But there were more cars egged that morning than just ours.  Just some teenage silliness before heading back to school perhaps.  I also shouldn't take my own blog post writings so seriously.  There's probably not that many people reading the whole thing anyway.

I can't believe how much my daughter loves dinosaurs.  She went shopping with her nana for her birthday last weekend and came home with another set of dinosaurs, at the time she already had at least 10 that she plays with, well maybe more like 15 or 20.  She really likes to take them outside and play in the rain water and puddles on the picnic table with them.  She also has a great time sending them down the slide.  I never got into calling her a princess because I'm just not that type.  I don't want my daughters to grow up thinking they are princesses and Alicia is definitely NOT falling into that category.  Another thing I find really funny is how her love of dinosaurs has translated into a love of the movie "Land Before Time."  She walks around calling, "Mother! Mother!" like Littlefoot did after his mom was hurt in the big fight scene with SharpTooth.  At least she doesn't get scared during the scarier parts, but for a three year old I am amazed how sensitive she is to whether or not a movie is sad.  She has a sensitive soul, much like her dad.  And me too, well from time to time I can be sensitive anyway. ;)

Had a wonderful ride in the car on Thursday night with the girls.  We had visited their nana for the afternoon and I was singing all kinds of craziness to keep the girls awake on the ride home so that I could give Hannah her last bottle of the night.  We were all singing, screaming and giggling at the top of our lungs the whole 30 minute ride.  SO. MUCH. FUN.  Oh and speaking of Hannah's bottle - we tried milk this week. NO WAY!!!  She is not impressed.  I never had this issue with Alicia: at a year she went right over to milk and a sippy cup.  Hannah is not going to be easy.  I knew she wouldn't be.  I don't think anything is going to be easy with Hannah.  At present, we are doing 1/4 milk to 3/4 formula.  Hoping we can transition within a month or two.  SO done with buying formula.  Hannah transitioned from breastfeeding and breast milk to formula ok so I was hoping this wouldn't be a problem.  Oh well.  Good thing she's so stinkin' cute!

We bubble wrapped part of the piano and the bench in front of it.  Yes, that's right, bubble wrap! The dog at my parent's house has now taken to chewing on the piano legs and bench and scratching up the piano itself.  My husband initially found it silly but then found it to be a good joke.  Below are some pictures of the piano.  I find this hilarious...  hoping the dog isn't silly enough to think eating bubble wrap is a good idea.  Cruelty to animals?  perhaps... but it was my parent's idea!  Or was it mine?  I expressed concern for the dog though, really, I did.  Didn't my hubby do a fabulous job?  Let us know if you are in need of a good piano bubble wrap job.

So amazed by the large families in our parish and LOVE how open to life they are.  Lots of families, most of which home school by the way, with families of 6 plus children, quite a few families with eight and one woman, who is two years YOUNGER than me, who is pregnant with baby #11.  Her post yesterday made me chuckle - her kids have already chosen names.  She likes the girl name, but isn't so sure about the boy name.  A few posts back she posted that the kids wanted her to have triplets this time around!  This made me laugh.  Got to love that they aren't upset that there's going to be another child in the mix.  I bet part of this is so that THEY can run the household when mom and dad go a bit nuts!  Anyway, these families are so inspiring to me.  I started a little too late in life for such a large number of babies...  I suppose you never know what God has in store.  I need to learn to be more open to what God's plan is like they are.  I try to plan WAY too much!  And not just in the number of babies department.

The anticipation of Hurricane Irene is at a frenzy in the media.  Oddly enough my sister just this past week introduced Alicia, Hannah, memere, hubby and I to a read along CD/book called "Storm is Coming."  It's pretty cute and made all of us giggle quite a bit.  It's cute because none of the animals understand that the wind, the rain and all the activity outside ACTUALLY IS the storm.  They are expecting some kind of scary monster named STORM to come into the barn and attack them!  Just thought I'd put something cute out there in all this anticipation of the bad weather coming our way in New England!   

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wondrous Wednesdays (3)

In the spirit of gratitude, I’m going to be listing wondrous things happening in my world every week on Wednesday.  I chose to list three things because Wednesday is the third day of the week.  If you are a blogger and want to list what you are grateful for, feel free to do the same on your own blog every week and please be sure to link back to my blog.   If you are not a blogger, feel free to comment here on my blog with your own three wondrous things you are grateful for on Wednesday. 

My 11 month old baby girl can climb up a whole flight of stairs!  She's doing the physical things much earlier than her big sister, partly because we were probably overly cautious, partly because her big sister didn't have another little person showing her how things work.  I'm also amazed at how quickly Hannah can crawl to get into things she shouldn't - ie. banging on a glass door, getting into the dog's food dish and getting into the bathroom if we happen to leave the door open.  Hannah is going to be a fun, mischievous child!

I'm thankful that the news we were waiting for didn't turn out to be bad news.  The morning we received news that we would have to wait to get our answer, I had just heard how sometimes timing isn't what we want, but we have to sometimes be patient and keep relationships strong.  The timing of this message, which was on Catholic radio, was perfect - God sent!  So hopefully this is just a delay in the good news.  I'm praying that it will all happen in God's time.  Just need to hang onto the hope and have faith that things will get better.

I am hoping to make a wondrous veggie lasagna tonight.  I have made it in the past, but I never following an actual recipe so it is always a surprise.  When I see eggplant and zucchini or other veggies I use on sale at the store, I get what I need and get to it.  It never turns out the same, but it usually is quite delicious.  Excited about food, well there's a surprise! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Two-Minus-One Still Equals Murder

Ok, so I took some time before tackling this one, but this article by the NY Times called "The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy" really amazed me and NOT in a good way.  It really just lays out for me how wrong things are in our society.  People are making the best "choices" for themselves, but these choices have serious negative consequences, not just including death to the unborn twin or triplet.  I like that people call these procedures a "reduction" when really these procedures are an abortion, plain and simple.  They merely choose which baby is going to possibly survive, assuming the baby makes it through to term.  I'm sure I'm going to get the "who are you to judge" question at some point.  I have a hard time with this "reduction" being at all ok.  This post is probably going to be sarcastic and at times a bit on the angry side. 

I'm going to put snippets of this article by RUTH PADAWER from the NY Times here in red with my reactions in black. 

here she was, 14 weeks into her pregnancy, choosing to extinguish one of two healthy fetuses, almost as if having half an abortion.
Well, partly.  She is not having "half an abortion," she is having a whole abortion.  Not almost as if.  Sorry, that is what she is doing, having a whole abortion, choosing which life matters more.
"If I had conceived these twins naturally, I wouldn’t have reduced this pregnancy, because you feel like if there’s a natural order, then you don’t want to disturb it. But we created this child in such an artificial manner — in a test tube, choosing an egg donor, having the embryo placed in me — and somehow, making a decision about how many to carry seemed to be just another choice. The pregnancy was all so consumerish to begin with, and this became yet another thing we could control."
She is right, pregnancy and having children, there IS a natural order.  It should REMAIN a natural order.  Interesting that she wouldn't have reduced the twins if this happened naturally.  Is this how people justify it?  Oh, so this is just another choice, another thing we can control.  Lovely.  Playing God?  This irks me beyond belief.  Having a baby is not a right, it is a GIFT.  It is not something that should be done artificially just because it CAN be done artificially.  Yes, it makes having a baby "consumerish."  Sorry, but she said it, not me.  And I agree.  And this is a big part of why the Church sees artificial means of generating life as wrong.
She felt that twins would soak up everything she had to give, leaving nothing for her older children. Even the twins would be robbed, because, at best, she could give each one only half of her attention and, she feared, only half of her love. Jenny desperately wanted another child, but not at the risk of becoming a second-rate parent.
Nothing to give your older children?  Really?  I know that a newborn takes up a lot of your energy, but does she really want her older children thinking they are the center of the universe?  It seems as though people worry about not giving their other children enough attention when a baby is born.  I know when I had my second I was worried about the same thing.  But I'm glad that I have another child.  It means that the oldest doesn't think the world revolves around her.  And the baby learns that sometimes she has to wait too.  This is an important lesson for children, and probably for some adults too.  Here's another set of questions:  Did she give her second child only half her love?  As a parent already, I would think that she knows you love every child totally and completely.  This would make her a second-rate parent?  Perhaps it is her mindset that will make her a second-rate parent.

The procedure, which is usually performed around Week 12 of a pregnancy, involves a fatal injection of potassium chloride into the fetal chest. The dead fetus shrivels over time and remains in the womb until delivery. Some physicians found reduction unnerving, particularly because the procedure is viewed under ultrasound, making it quite visually explicit, which is not the case with abortion.
This procedure is viewed under ultrasound at 12 weeks!  I would think it would be visually explicit!  This is killing, it should be unnerving.  Perhaps they should have all abortions also be done under ultrasound and make that unnerving for the physicians as well.  Here's what happened so far through the 12 weeks of development:   at 5 weeks, the tiny heart begins to divide into chambers and beat and pump blood; at 9 weeks, the baby's heart finishes dividing into four chambers, and the valves start to form, the baby's organs, muscles, and nerves are kicking into gear; at 10 weeks the vital organs — including his kidneys, intestines, brain, and liver — are in place and starting to function;  at 12 weeks, reflexes have developed, fingers will soon begin to open and close, toes will curl, eye muscles will clench, and the mouth will make sucking movements. In fact, if the abdomen is prodded, the baby will squirm in response, nerve cells are multiplying rapidly, and in the baby's brain, synapses are forming furiously. The face looks unquestionably human.  This is what you are reducing.  Yes, the baby will feel it!

Another women who underwent fertility treatments became pregnant with triplets while her husband was overseas and most doctors would not reduce below twins.  She eventually did find a doctor willing to reduce her triplets to a singleton:

"I felt like the pregnancy was a monster, and I just wanted it out, but because we tried for so long, abortion wasn’t an option. My No. 1 priority was to be the best mom I could be, but how was I supposed to juggle two newborns or two screaming infants while my husband was away being shot at? We don’t have family just sitting around waiting to get called to help me with a baby."
Interestingly enough, her mother went with her when she got the reduction.  Perhaps her mother would have found time to help out when she had the twins. Just a thought.  I know not everyone has all the help from family available to them, but there are organizations, churches that provide no or low cost help for people with little means.
Today, her daughter is 2½ years old. Shelby intends to tell her about the reduction someday, to teach her that women have choices, even if they’re sometimes difficult. “I am the mother of a very demanding toddler,” she says. “I can’t imagine this times two, and not ever knowing if I’d have another person here to help me. This is what I can handle. I’m good with this. But that’s all.”
What happens when she tells her daughter, if she ever find the right time to do so?  Will her daughter ask, what about my possible brother or sister, or what if you had killed me, mom?  What kind of emotional problems might this daughter feel after hearing the news?  Is the mom prepared for this?
It’s not only the parents who may feel guilty. Even if parents work hard to conceal it, the child may discover the full story of his or her origins, and we don’t know what feelings of guilt or vulnerability or loss this discovery might summon.
Yes, as I wondered above, the child who is "wanted" may feel horrible guilt over this decision made by their parents.  What then?  What about an angry backlash?

Another woman was horrified to learn that she had twins after visiting friends who had a three year old and infant twins.  Her friends looked exhausted, beaten and overrun.  She had this to say after NOT aborting one of the two babies: 
"Studies report enormous disruption in families with multiples, and higher levels of social isolation, exhaustion and depression in mothers of twins. The incessant demands of caring for two same-aged babies eclipse the needs of other children and the marriage. It certainly did for us. There’s no doubt that life with twins and a third child so close in age has often felt all-consuming and out of control. And yet the thought of not having any one of them is unbearable now, because they are no longer shadowy fetuses but full-fledged human beings whom I love in a huge and aching way."
I think most people who fear they may not be able to handle it would not be able to imagine their lives without that second "fetus."  They are babies.  People need to face this and not just treat a baby as disposable.

A woman and her partner wanted to have a baby, but both women were 45 so they both underwent IVF.  They both had a difficult time conceiving, and then both got pregnant, one woman miscarrying.  The first woman did carry to term a healthy baby boy.  They decided they wanted to have another baby.  So they underwent IVF again, both of them. 
On their son’s first birthday, both women found out they were pregnant, both with twins. The women were tempted to reduce both pregnancies, so each woman would carry one, in part to ensure that even if one miscarried, they would have at least one baby. “But we discovered that the reality of having two pregnant moms when you have a 14-month-old is insane. We’ve both been very ill from the pregnancies, and it’s been hard to give him what he needs. At 14 months, they’re inquisitive and energetic, and it was becoming harder and harder to chase him and get him up and down the slide. There were days I’d be in the bathroom throwing up, she’d be on all fours with him, and then we’d switch. We all think we can conquer the world, but then reality hits you, and you realize you have limitations.” 
This is going to be horribly insensitive, but this is probably why it takes a male and a female to get pregnant.  That way one parent is available to help with the other child/children.  Yes, there are limitations.  Exactly.
I still wonder, Did we choose the right one? — even though I wasn’t the one who chose. That idea, that one’s gone and one’s here, it’s almost like playing God.
Almost? ALMOST?!!?  Really?  I think it IS playing God.
I mean, who are we to choose?
Yes, who ARE you to choose!!??

The woman was asked what would happen if she wound up losing the pregnancy after all. “We’ve talked a lot about it,” she said, after a bit. “I’ve come to realize there’s only so much we can control. There’s a point where you just have to let nature take its course.”
How about if we let nature SET and TAKE its course.

The Catholic Church is against abortion in all forms, for obvious reasons - it is killing.  No human life is less valuable due to the circumstances of how or why the life came to be.  Pretty simple really.  The less obvious part of the equation here is that the church stands against any type of artificial means of generating life.  There is a slippery slope here.  The moral relativism that I've spoken of in previous posts is so apparent to me.  We are trying to artificially CREATE something good, not CHOOSE to accept the gift of something good.  There is an absolute truth, especially when it comes to the truth of our sexuality.  We have decided to take the humanity, the dignity of the male and female as persons out of the beauty of the life giving unitive act that points us to the love of God.  Generation of life outside of the unitive act is just mechanics, not the beautiful miracle that a new created life actually is.  IVF and artificial means of having a baby treat a person as a commodity.  This is what the Church sees as wrong.

Even as I say this, I know more than a few couples who struggle with infertility.  It pains me to hear of their struggles.  I hope that they will be able to have children of their own someday.  Whenever I can, I try to point them toward Natural Family Planning.  This is definitely an option that is natural, more cost effective (supposing no major surgery or other intervention is necessary) and searches out the underlying causes of infertility.  It doesn't treat every woman as though her situation is the same as everyone else and we just need to get her pregnant and try to help her stay pregnant.

There is so much in the article that I didn't even touch upon.  But I just don't understand the justification.  I can't see how people view this reduction to singleton as a viable "choice."  Two-Minus-One still equals murder, no matter how you frame the argument...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Seven Quick Takes Friday (9)

Thanks to Jen at for hosting.  Sorry guys, most of this stuff is not so fun or positive this week.  Although #7 is my favorite this week which ends things on a positive note.  Maybe next week will be better...

Last week, my daughter told me she doesn't like going to church.  When I asked her why she said because it is hard for her to wait.  I'm wondering what I can do to make it a little better for her.  I asked about bringing her Veggie Tale stuffed animals, which sounded like it would go over well and may help for now.  We typically only let her bring in certain religious books, but maybe it is time to try some other things.  I don't want her thinking that it's play time and she can just come in and color, but I do want her to enjoy going to church.  Any ideas???  Do you let your young children bring in toys and if so what kind of toys???  Just things that will keep them quiet, or do you go with religious themed toys?  Or how do you engage them in what is going on?  Maybe it is time to sit closer to the front during mass.  Maybe it is time for her to start "Little Church" that they have for preschoolers, but I'm not sure what age they start that.  I guess I will have to call the office to find out.

Shiloh, the dog at my parent's house (my sister's dog), has taken to peeing and pooping all over my parent's house since we've moved in.  She must be having a hard time adjusting to our arrival.  It's probably made a little worse that hubby and I are sleeping in the room she used to sleep in.  She has pooped in front of the door to our room and on the padded mats in the living room/play room where the girls play, peed on the floor in our room, the family room, the computer room...  You can never tell where she will go next.  Have to be sure to always keep an eye out.  UGH!

This past Sunday, my parents were trying to get the glass doors out of their bathroom to make bath time safe for the girls.  We were at a family event for hubby's side and didn't know this was in my parents' plans for the day, otherwise we probably would have tried to help.  Anyway, they managed to get one of the glass doors all the way into the cellar and leaned it up against one of the walls in the basement.  When they went to lift it to put a piece of cardboard underneath, it completely shattered into THOUSANDS of tiny pieces.  It was a REALLY good thing this didn't happen when anyone was in the shower.  Strange thing was that just that past week Hannah started banging on the shower doors and Alicia was happy to join in the fun. The day after this happened, my mother researched online and this is something that will happen randomly with glass shower doors.  I never knew this happened all by itself.  Just a warning for anyone who has glass shower doors to be aware that this can occur and with no real reason.

Some type of horrible stomach bug hit me on Monday night after mass.  I managed to put the girls to bed with help from my mom before all the fun started, but boy, what a horrible night with very little sleep.  I haven't been that sick in a while.  Although I seem to catch these bugs more often these days - must be our little germ factories named Alicia and Hannah.  Knock on wood, they didn't get it and still haven't yet! 

Took the girls for a walk in the jogging stroller on Wednesday night.  There is good news and bad news.  The good news is I may not be quite as out of shape as I thought.  It wasn't nearly as bad as I expected it would be, although I was going at my own pace, which was probably pretty slow.  The bad news - Alicia told me a few times she wasn't comfortable and Hannah is kicking at the canvas part of the stroller like she always does when she is excited and that part is only held together by some sticky tape velcro.  May have to find another side by side stroller/jogger.  But the walk I'm doing is in less than a month!  My mother did pose an interesting question though for the walk - what will I do when Alicia has to go potty as she will most likely have to do while I'm doing the walk?  Hadn't thought of that yet...

So there was an article in the NY Times over the weekend that really disturbed me about people deciding to reduce their twin pregnancies down to a singleton.  Read it here.  I know a few people who have twins or triplets and I don't know they would ever have considered this as an option, even AFTER having gone through it.  I'm guessing that even though unexpected, they love those kids like crazy and their lives are the better for it, even if very hectic or under a tighter budget than they would have been had they had only one.  I can't say all I'd like to here as this is a quick take, but will probably post about this when I have time to go through it and comment on the parts that bother me most.  Reducing twins to a singleton?  I'd love to hear you explain to your child how you killed their sibling because you didn't think you can handle it.  NICE!  This really makes me sick!  I know I don't know how I'd handle twins or triplets, but really?!?

This weekend we actually don't have much planned!  Although that being said, we are going to do something just the four of us as a family which is long overdue and visit with hubby's parents, also long overdue.  I'm really glad it should be a fairly relaxing weekend.  Such GREAT news to have no where we have to be (ok other than church), since starting the following weekend we will have something to do at least one day every weekend until late October.  Which will probably end up really meaning until early November.  WOW!!!  November, talk about scary!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wondrous Wednesdays (2)

In the spirit of gratitude, I’m going to be listing wondrous things happening in my world every week on Wednesday.  I chose to list three things because Wednesday is the third day of the week.  If you are a blogger and want to list what you are grateful for, feel free to do the same on your own blog every week and please be sure to link back to my blog.   If you are not a blogger, feel free to comment here on my blog with your own three wondrous things you are grateful for on Wednesday. 
Here goes week #2:
Our 11 month old is starting to use her hands to wave hi and bye, clap, point and give high fives for a few weeks now.  I’m not even sure where this is supposed to happen on the growth chart, but I always find it amazing when the wee ones learn new things.  She’s all smiles every time she does high five.  Her smile is infectious.  Have to love those huge smiles.

Watching my parents with our two daughters has to be the best thing about our recent move.  I’m pretty close to my parents and saw them regularly before moving in to their house and invading their space.  But seeing them enjoy our children, playing with them, hugs and kisses at ninights time, smiles and kisses in the morning before work (for memere sometimes - but pepere leaves WAY too early), it’s been really quite beautiful, even though it has only been a little over two weeks now.  Our girls may not remember this time in their young lives, but I know, for me and for my parents, that this will be quite memorable.

On Monday my three year old wanted to play in the rain while her sister napped.  We put on her rain boots, a coat and hat and outside we went.  She had a great time jumping in the puddles and splashing around.  She certainly brings you back to joy in the simple things.  I had a great time playing with her in the water, holding her hand and walking around in the yard looking for puddles.  Everything to her is a joy and a wonder!  Little kids are great for showing you that whether it is raining or shining, there is always fun to be had!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Waiting Game

I think I've mentioned this before, but I am definitely someone who does not like things to be up in the air.  I have a hard time dealing with the unknown and probably am a bit of a control freak.  Sound familiar?  Well, the past few weeks I had managed to do pretty well dealing with the unknown.  Of course just as I was feeling like I was doing much better, at least in one realm of my life, here we go:  towards the end of last week I was full of anxiety, waiting to hear on some potential good news.  It isn't even MY news, per se.  How can someone else's news fill me with such anticipation?

God seems to want me to learn something here.  I keep reminding myself daily of the phrase, "Let go and let God."  Let's say it again, "Let go and let God."  There are days where I have that trust and believe God will give me and my family what we need.  Then there are days where I spend hours on end, feeling like I am waiting on pins and needles, heart beating a little faster, hoping beyond hope that our dreams will be coming true soon.

I guess I need to know that whatever WE think the plan is, that HE knows what is best for us.  Boy is that waiting game tough though.  The minutes seem to tick by so slowly, hours seem like days.  I jump when my phone buzzes with a text message or it rings, hoping that it is the much anticipated, potential good news.  Still nothing.  Then I start telling myself, "No news is good news."  And then I think, I am tied up in this "news" and it isn't even mine.  Just stop dwelling on it!!!

But even though it isn't mine, I find I'm still trying to muddle through.  Still playing that waiting game.  God has given me many blessings and I know that the future holds still more blessings.  I tend to get ahead of myself sometimes, which is definitely NOT a good thing.  I need to learn to live more in the present, stop trying to plan out the future.  After all, HE is in control, not me.  Hopefully lessons learned today, will be help for the future.  I just get so impatient sometimes.  And I feel like some good news would boost our spirits some.  We could really use that boost!

This weekend at church we celebrated the anniversary of the dedication of the new church that was built eleven years ago. Here is what Fr. G reminded me during his homily: Jesus Christ is our foundation! If He is placed at the center of our lives and we build our lives on Him, then we will be able to face any challenge that comes our way. Prayer and devotion to our Lord is key. If I find myself worrying needlessly, I just need to give it to up to Him.  God knows what is in store, so the waiting game is really all up to Him.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Seven Quick Takes Friday (8)

Thanks to Jen at for hosting.  I think I'm going to struggle this week with finding seven.  But here goes...

Saw the Winnie the Pooh movie with both our girls this week for a break from all the moving / unpacking (STILL UNPACKING!!! UGH!).  It was pretty cute, but the best part was watching my three year old daughter giggle uncontrollably while sitting on her pepere's lap.  Her laugh is contagious and she found the movie really funny.  It's so great to see things through your children's eyes.

Appointment for my husband's follow up visit to his follow up visit to the ER visit is today.  They had hubby do a 72 hour holter monitor asking him to keep a detailed journal writing in any time he did activity or felt something that wasn't quite normal, in the hopes that they will be able to see what is going on with his heart.  While I'm hoping they see something, I'm also hoping they don't see something.

Heading to the beach this weekend for the first time all summer.  I can't believe it's August and this is the first time we go, but I've been preoccupied with yard sales, downsizing, packing, a birthday party.  Cannot wait to watch Alicia and Hannah play in the sand and water.  Hopefully this won't be the last trip to the beach, but weekends book up pretty quick these days.  I don't think we have plans for next weekend, so maybe two weekends in a row!!

Went to buy an additional adult/child potty seat for my parent's bathroom at Home Depot and Bemis has already changed the design.  The new design looks flimsy.  We just bought the exact same thing less than 4 months ago!  I just hope it is as sturdy as the one we already have.  May actually go to a few more Home Depot's in the area to be sure that there isn't another place selling the "older" version.  I hate these types of exercises in futility. 

Saw my cousin's five week old baby girl Victoria Rose on Thursday.  So cute, tiny and cuddly.  Love those new 'lil babies.  Didn't have the chance to hold her or snap a picture because I was trying to keep track of my two girls, which felt like quite the feat!  Alicia was super clingy and Hannah was the one who was being more independent.  It was an odd switch for them.  Usually it is Hannah who always has to have her mama.  My three year old SOOO needs interaction with other kids her age.  She did great one on one with her friend earlier in the week.  I think large groups of people she doesn't know makes her nervous.  A healthy dose of nerves around strangers is fine by me... just hoping it doesn't become a problem.

Since moving almost two weeks ago, I still haven't managed to do any charting for my fertility.  I've been tracking things mentally, but that definitely isn't accurate enough.  All kinds of things that I forget, including where that pesky three count is so I'm not sure when the next cycle should start.  I think that my chart is still in the nightstand, but now the nightstand is on my husband's side of the bed.  Good way to get him involved again in charting.  His schedule hasn't allowed for it until a few months back and we just never got back to charting together.  No time like the present.

First pre-season Pats game was tonight.  Didn't watch much of it since I was gone most of the afternoon and early evening, leaving me with quite a bit to do tonight to clean up the dishes and get all our baby gear ready for the early morning doctor appointment.   Oooo that reminds me, better go check on the laundry!  I will definitely have to catch the next pre-season game.  Usually I'm very on top of watching the full first pre-season game (my hubby teases me that I cut our first date with short - well we finished dinner at any rate - so that I could go watch the first pre-season Pats game).  I really enjoy football and remember there was a time when I watched the Patriots back in high school where I would just be excited if they got a field goal - "Yay! They actually scored points!"  They were horrible.  Been nice the past decade or so.  Definitely enjoy it more when they win... here's to a great football season ahead!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wondrous Wednesdays (1)

In the spirit of gratitude, I’m going to start listing wondrous things happening in my world every week on Wednesday.  I chose to list three things because Wednesday is the third day of the week.  If you are a blogger and want to list what you are grateful for, feel free to do the same on your own blog every week and please be sure to link back to my blog.   If you are not a blogger, feel free to comment with your own three wondrous things you are grateful for on Wednesday. 

I'm guessing it may take some time for people to start doing this with me, but I'm going to give it a try anyway... 

For me this week:

Feeling pretty blessed for all God has given me in my life: wonderful parents, a caring sister, a loving husband, two beautiful daughters, a great extended family.  God is so good to me!  He provides, He shows the path.  He humbles me any time I have my "plan" because His is so much better than mine ever has been or ever could be.
Our parish priest is undergoing a move of his own to a parish on the seacoast at the end of this month, which in some ways is really great.  His reflections the past few weeks parallels our lives and is helping me to realize that despite our upheaval that I am content, more so than I thought I'd be.  I'm grateful that God has blessed us with such a wonderful priest for the past 18 years (ok, so part of this time I was away from the church) and that, sorry St. K's parisohers, his move is happening so near to ours.  It is a consolation to me and I think he's helping me to see that I am doing alright and am managing to keep things in perspective.  We will miss him for sure but what a true blessing he is and has been!
As difficult as it has been, and as much "stuff" as we kept, this transition was a great time to simplify.  We have what Fr. G would refer to as "downward mobility" which really isn't all that bad.  Who needs upward mobility anyway!?  I think I have quite a ways to go to have truly simplified my life.  There is much more paring down that needs to be done.  Lots of project work ahead for me.  But this first round went pretty well.  We will continue to work on round two while we live with my parents and hopefully will have a round three just before we leave for our own place.  But this has been a good opportunity to look and say, "WOW!  Look at all this stuff!  Let's not do THAT again!"

Monday, August 8, 2011

Dragged by the Nose or Led by the Heart*

So this Sunday I was completely inattentive at Mass.  For some reason Alicia decided to sit near me and she drove me to distraction.  I can't even really recall what it was she was doing.  The few things I do remember is that from the opening song, where she was lying down in the pew, I wanted her to at least SIT.  It was a struggle to say the least.  Holding Hannah with Alicia sitting next to us didn't work well for my participation or mental presence during Mass. 

At one point Alicia wanted her crackers and then Hannah had to have some. Alicia started feeding Hannah some and then I did a few, at which point totally without thought, I ate the rest of one of the goldfish that Hannah had because, well, it was crumbling into small pieces.  The second I put it in my mouth I thought, oh no.  I can't go to communion now.  What the...  Having missed mass last week and messing up my chance for communion this week, I was torn because I really wanted to just go up and receive communion like it was no big deal.  But it IS a big deal - this is THE LORD!  So what did I do?  I went up with everyone during communion, when I got to Fr. G I just crossed my hands over my chest for a blessing and went back to my seat.  *sigh* 

So today I thought, what did Fr. G talk about during the homily anyway?!  I couldn't recall the readings at all and knew that I probably only heard one or two words he said during his homily.  Thankfully, our parish puts the homilies online for later listening.  I definitely needed to revisit what happened.  I was really glad I did.  (I should probably go back and check out the readings too!)

The gospel reading was the passage where Peter was walking on the water during a big storm and the second he took his eyes off of Jesus and focused on himself and his surroundings, he started sinking. 

So, our pastor talked a lot about change, stormy times.  Definitely appropriate with what's going on in our lives right now.  And definitely appropriate with what is taken place in his life as a pastor and our collective life as a community.  It amazes me how he always strikes a chord with me and can speak to what's happening in my life.  I will miss that about him. 

I know that right now, I'm purposefully not focusing on myself and my surroundings, my situation.  There is not much good that would come of it.  I am trusting that God has a plan for us.  So, right now we live with my parents.  Sometimes stuff happens that you don't intend.  I don't want to get "caught up in the drama" as Fr. G put it.  I refuse to be led by the nose.  Rather, I want to be led by the heart.  I know that I have love surrounding me.  I know that I need to keep my focus on the Lord.  He will show us a path; we need to trust in Him, not look at ourselves and our situation, panic and lose focus.  He will help us through the storms.  HE has a plan.

Fr. G also mentioned our old church back on Wason Road and likened it to a wooden dinghy with cracks and leaks and our new church to a beautiful luxury liner, although not without it's own problems and storms.  The part that struck me most from his homily:  "It's not the vessel, but it's the wind in the sails - the Holy Spirit.  Not a well charted plan it is trust in the One who leads us."*  This is what is important.  Not the house where we live, not a plan that we chart.  What is important is trusting in God.  This is what gives me hope.

*Fr. Gary Belliveau, 8/7/11

Friday, August 5, 2011

Seven Quick Takes Friday (7)

Thanks to Jen at for hosting.  Hoping to get back to more blogging next week, but this first week after the move has been hectic.

I left our previous house a mess.  Wasn't proud of it, but having packed until 3:30am in the morning the night before our move, I just didn't have the chance.  The day of the move the movers showed up early, my dad showed up later than I expected to pick up the baby, there were three trips to Hudson - two with the movers, and by the time we were finishing up the last trip by ourselves at 7pm, I just wanted to see my babies.  I missed them horribly with all the preparation for moving last week.  I planned on going back to clean, because I felt horrible leaving it the way I had, but I never did. 

My parents' house - also a mess.  The living room has been taken over by toys - I think there are only two more boxes/items in the garage that need to be brought in and found a place.  The girls' bedroom is mostly set up for them.  Furniture in place, just need to hang a few more things on the wall and set up the closet.  Our room is a mess.  Still need to get things for us from the garage and the basement.  Once we are settled in another week or so, maybe then I can start on some other projects.  Projects I have been intending to do for quite a while.

The weekend we moved, our parish priest announced in his homily that he is leaving to go to a new assignment at the Seacoast right after Labor Day.  Gee, just as we move closer to church.  Ok, so, it definitely isn't all about the priest, but he has done so much for the parish that it's difficult to imagine our community without him.  Will probably have another post on this at another time this month.  Really going to miss Fr. G.

The first donation came in for the Jimmy Fund walk this week.  I'm really a bit nervous as there is only a little more than a month to go.  Must! Fundraise! Now!  Getting my letter in the mail is still on my to do list for this coming week.

Jimmy Fund Walk Worry #2: I must do more walking so I can do the Jimmy Fund walk in mid September.  I'm horribly out of shape.  The great thing about having moved in with my parents is that even though my hubby gets home late, we should be able to start taking walks.  We went last night, not for very long, but I'm hoping it will help.  Will also have to start nightly walks with the girls after dinner.  Got to get ready to push that jogging stroller...

Need to start preparing for Hannah's birthday party.  She turns one in just over a month.  How did THAT happen?  Time is flying by way too quickly.  Hoping to get invites in the mail sometime by the end of next week.

Also need to start prepping for teaching Theology of the Body in the fall.  Haven't figured out when we will start teaching, probably sometime in September, so I have to check in with our deacon.  This fall we will be teaching part II, having split the curriculum into two sessions over the spring and fall.  Wow, the fall!!!  It's so crazy to me that the summer is almost gone.  Didn't do nearly enough relaxing...  But it does mean that football and hockey will be starting up again soon.  WOO HOO!!!!