Monday, March 30, 2009
The Feds are working on a plan that could ban organic farms and backyard gardens. Small farms and backyard gardeners could be placed under direct supervision of the federal government under new legislation making its way through Congress.
The sponsors of House Resolution 875, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009, are lurking in the shadows of Congress to quietly pass a bill that levies up to $1 Million in fines to those food ‘rebels’ who dare to use organic fertilizer and not the chemicals and pesticides from companies like Monsanto, etc. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn) introduced the bill in February of 2009. (DeLauro's husband is a consultant for) Monsanto – the world's leading producer of herbicides and genetically engineered seed...
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Mommy Murphy's Law I guess.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Yes, I know I'm only 2.5 weeks post-partum, and perhaps I need that little cushion to support the baby during nursing, but 22 extra pounds on a person who is vertically-challenged makes that person look like Augustus Gloop in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I don't care that I was still wearing maternity pants 6 weeks after having Will, I don't care that I could still only fit in one skirt 8 weeks after having Charlie, I miss my regular clothes and my regular shape (that shape would be flat, not round).
So... yesterday I didn't follow the advice of resting for the first 6 weeks in my favorite (incidentally the only one I have ever read) weight loss book, Outsmarting the Female Fat Cell After Pregnancy,
I went running and my legs loved it. After a mile, however, my abdomen and my chest were not having much fun so I turned around and ran more slowly back home. But it was my first exercise in about 7 months so hopefully before I know it I will be wearing that size 8 pink skirt that I picked up at the consignment shop about 3 weeks before I couldn't zip it up anymore. Maybe it isn't that I dislike being fat so much as I am too cheap to buy a whole new wardrobe. I guess it doesn't matter why I want to lose the weight, be it clothes, my health, or wanting to place in a 5K, just as long as I do something about it.
Monday, March 23, 2009
(just kidding about that washing dishes part, Tim loves a clean sink, but Julia Ellen and I were the only ones awake at 3am)
We all got to the church on time, sent Will back to put on his vestments, and settled everyone into the front two pews of the little stone church. Tim went to park the car and came in a few minutes before Mass was to begin, leaving the Christening gown and bowl in the van for retrieval afterwards.
Then it happened...
Charlie said, "I feel sick," and started vomiting all over himself, Tim, and the pew. This is every parent's worst Mass nightmare, especially since the priest was just about to come up the aisle. Right away we hauled him out and I said to another parishioner who was just walking in, "I need help!" While Tim took the little boys home to clean up, the kind gentleman and I started gathering paper towels, water, and a trash bag to sop up the mess right in the middle of the Prayers at the foot of the Cross. We got it all clean and tossed out the coloring books, cloth diaper, and other items that were not salvageable. I was grateful that my 10 year collection of holy cards missed Charlie's aim.
"Well, obviously we lost our window of opportunity," I explained to Father after Mass, "Tim hasn't gotten back yet." "We can just do the baptism next week, it will be fine," he reassured me. Afterwards in the parish hall he did bless little Julia Ellen, just as Father Corapi (of EWTN fame) did to Maggie when she was 3 days old. (our priest at the time wouldn't baptize her until Tim came home from deployment)
So, I will pack up all the gear: the bowl, the gown, the letter, the thank you note, the board books and holy cards, and fresh coloring books in the tote bag next Sunday morning and we will make sure to add to that stash a barf bag so we don't have to postpone Julia Ellen's welcome into the family of God yet again.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
When they asked for hosts I said they could use club crackers, but they soon found that Nilla Wafers work much better. I can't tell you how many times they received "communion" but that box went from being full to close to empty before the girls came home.
Friday, March 20, 2009
This house is odd in that a dropped sippy cup sounds from the floor below like a bomb going off, and you can hear conversations in the basement guest room from the MB bathroom, but everywhere else sounds are completely obliterated. After Tim left I crawled back into bed and didn't emerge from my warm cocoon until 7:30. A large cup of hot cocoa has perked me up, but I think only another 12 hour sleeping session with a few nursing interruptions will put me to rights.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Usually on Tuesday afternoons after I drop off the big kids at piano practice we swing by the library to restock our coffee table with picture books and my bedside table with more grown-up fare. It was our first time doing this with Julia Ellen in tow so I made sure to give her a good feed before we left the house. Nursing in public while simultaneously trying to corral 3 little ones is not something I am up for yet. I thought briefly about throwing the double stroller in the van, but decided against it. Bad move. Once I pulled into the parking lot I wondered how I was going to walk 50' carrying 2 tote bags and an infant carrier, while also holding two small hands. Somehow we made it inside with no one getting run over and filled our bag full before we emerged back outside. Timmy wanted to run right into the street and while I ran to grab him an older lady asked, "Do you need some help?"
After a pause, I said, "Yes, that would be lovely, my big helpers aren't with me today." As she held Timmy's hand she told me about her 4 year old twins. (I have always thought that moms with multiples have a much, much more difficult job than I ever could.) As I said thank you to her I realized that while I could have managed to get them all to the car by myself, it is sometimes a good thing to accept help. This week we have been the recipients of several meals from fellow homeschooling moms and it has been a real blessing. My children have learned to eat foods they wouldn't ordinarily have on their plates and I have been reminded to welcome charity when it is offered. Yes, the kids could have subsisted on ramen noodles and boxed mac and cheese, but I don't have to be supermommy all the time.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Tim has several times predicted a future Brave New World government (which we seem to be heading towards) in which the computer is the coercive mechanism that makes all US citizens acquiesce our freedoms and liberties. This already happens in the military, if you don't get your dental checkup, vaccinations, or any mandatory paperwork completed then you cannot log on to do your actual job. This could easily transfer to all Americans, requiring people to check in each morning, restrict access of political sites, and allow some faceless bureaucrat to make medical decisions for us with the simple threat of cutting off our internet access.
What are two things I couldn't do without? Food would be the first, I have quite a few food indulgences, including m&ms and Stouffers frozen dinners (for lunch) that would make me cranky if I had to go without them. The other would be homeschooling. (and I'm not alone) Internet access is a luxury, not a necessity, as my relatives who still use a dial telephone and don't have answering machines can attest.
What are 2 things you couldn't live without, no matter the circumstances?
Monday, March 16, 2009
*in tiny print on page 32: must be willing to gain 35 pounds over previous 9 months. As a bonus gift for using our weight loss method you will receive a brand new adorable baby.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
My grandmother must tell me every 6 months how a friend of hers got extra sleep when her child was about 9 months old by crunching up bacon and sprinkling it all over the crib. When the baby woke up he would scoot around eating up the bits. Between the grease splotches, choking hazards, and nitrates why would any rational person think this was a good idea?
Do you every been given any completely off-the-wall parenting advice?
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Some women dress the dolls, wash their hair, take them for walks in strollers and take them shopping.
One woman in the BBC documentary, married and in her 40s, said she wanted a real baby, but was too busy to commit to caring for a real one. A reborn doll satisfies her maternal instincts, she said, without all the carrying on and mess. Reborns, she said, “never grow out of their clothes, never soil them. It's just fabulous. The only difference, of course, is these guys don't move.”
Of course this is very silly, grown women playing with dolls and pretending they are real children. All the wonder and joy of babies is in their being, their expressions, especially newborns- the satisfaction you can see on their faces when they poop, that coy smile when they are utterly content because they have a dry nappie and a full tummy of warm milk. Before I delivered, Mary was carrying around her doll in a car seat every day, but since Sunday, the doll baby has been abandoned in the middle of the hall, replaced with an almost constant mantra, "May I hold Julia Ellen?"
Of course she may kiss her good night and good morning, help change her itsy-bisty outfits, and help give her baths. She needs all this love and attention because she is real, so very real.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
This story is set around 1880-1890 by my best guess and is about a 9 year old orphan girl who at first lives with her emotionally smothering aunt and great aunt. When illness strikes the household, frail timid Elizabeth Ann must be sent away to stay with the Putney cousins in Vermont, whom Elizabeth Ann has always been warned about as "horrid." Instead, she finds a warm, loving home and becomes a more independent and happy child. The day she is sent off on her own to the school in town she begins to understand what learning for learning's sake is all about and the benefits of a small school with only a dozen pupils. When the teacher puts her in books that suit her aptitude, she feels dizzy,
"'Why-why,' said Elizabeth Ann, 'I don't know what I am at all. If I'm second-grade arithmetic and seventh-grade reading and third-grade spelling, what grade am I?'
The teacher laughed. 'You aren't any grade at all, no matter where you are in school. You're just yourself, aren't you? What difference does it make what grade you're in? And what's the use of your reading little baby things too easy for you just because you don't know your multiplication tables?'"
This is the beauty of homeschooling our children today, tailoring grade levels and subjects to our children's strengths and weaknesses. Our Mary is 9, the same age as Elizabeth Ann, and has the same academic talents by being a very strong reader and having an aversion to learning the times-tables. After we finish Farmer Boy this week we will certainly be reading aloud Understood Betsy, a beautiful story about expanding a child's heart and mind.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Sunday, March 08, 2009
"I did a month in labor and delivery," he said. "It was funny, 'cause a young girl...would come in and say, 'I'm having a baby, I'm having a baby.' You say, 'Yeah, yeah, sit down. I'll have a look.' Then you examine them. They're having a baby? They're not having a baby. They'll have a baby in about 12 hours. But when an Orthodox Jewish woman comes in and says, I'm having a baby,' the red flag goes up. You say, 'What number is this?' They say, 'Eleven.' You say, 'Let's go!' I'm not kidding... When the Orthodox women say they're having a baby, the baby is right there ready to drop out."
Friday, March 06, 2009
Thursday, March 05, 2009
The great benefits of homeschooling are the increased academic rigor, the family closeness, the ability to teach children virtues and morals that are absent from our mass culture. The downside, especially in larger families, is the difficulty in making friends for ourselves and the children. Add in the stress of back-to-back military moves to exotic locales such as North Carolina and DC and I am surprised that I didn't have an emotional cry-fest months ago. When one is stuck inside doing schoolwork and projects for most of the day and then rushing around from one activity and errand to another, it is almost impossible to find an hour to talk to other moms, much less find some you want to have a cup of coffee with.
Living near a big city makes the opportunities more difficult since traffic and parking issues turn the simplest trip into a potential disaster. Maggie's weekly ballet lesson that I thought would be so fun takes 3 hours out of the day- 45 minutes for the instruction, over 2 hours to fight the bumper-to-bumper traffic getting there and back.
While I'm not willing to put the kids on the big yellow bus at 8am so I can have a chai latte from Starbucks with the other mommies at the bus stop (I would still have 3 little ones in tow), I so wish for more opportunities to meet and make friends with other women who share this homeschooling lifestyle.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
My only homeschooling news for the week is that it amazes me how quickly some children can get their schoolwork accomplished when there is 6" of snow on the ground. it also amazes me how much room 5 snowsuits, sets of boots, coats, jackets, hats, and mittens take up. Maybe we should enlarge the plans for the Maine mudroom and include lots of places to hang and dry all this gear.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
The most enthusiastic child by far in saying his prayers before eating is Baby Timmy. He usually (he didn't like getting his picture taken and kept turning around) folds his little hands so daintily and if he somehow decides that he wasn't paying strict attention he calls out, "Ay Ace!" (say Grace!) and I have to repeat it with him.
He hasn't started trying to make the Sign of the Cross, but I'm sure that soon he will begin with the same gorilla chest beating that Charlie used for so long.
Monday, March 02, 2009
Sunday, March 01, 2009
However, there was a note on the front door when we pulled up to the church, "No Confessions today." I got all the little ones in their seats, pulled jackets off before going next door to use the facilities. When I got back into the vestibule Tim said, "They are having confession, hurry and get in line." Luckily I didn't waste any time, he only heard 4 confessions before needing to vest for Mass. While I feel bad for the 10 people behind me that didn't get to go, I feel much more prepared to bring a new child into the world with my soul free from mortal sin. I just hope the baby comes soon or I'm sure I'll have to get back in line next week!