Monthly Archives: August 2010


Yesterday was my 22 week appointment with the doctor. Everything is going really well. I’ve been having pregnancy side effects, so she gave me some things to try to help relieve them.

Bleeding Gums: I’ve noticed since the beginning of the 2nd trimester, that my gums feel somewhat swollen and bleed every few times that I brush. It’s probably my most annoying symptom now. Apparently an extra boost of vitamin C will help with that – I guess vitamin C helps with wound healing, and technically your gums are a wound. I did not realize that – maybe I missed that day of biology?

Round Ligament Pain: I know this is a pretty common pregnancy complaint. Mine hasn’t been too bad, but you know, when your whole abdomen is stretching, sometimes its going to feel…like your whole abdomen is stretching. She suggested some exercises that could help.

Baby’s heartbeat is strong, strong, strong. She also seems to be heavily favoring the right side of my body. I feel all kinds of kicks and movements from over there!

In other news, I have now gained ten pounds since the beginning of my pregnancy. Herein lies the “oops!” in my title. At my 18 week appointment, I had gained about 2 – 2.5 pounds. Between week 18 and 22, I gained about 8 pounds. Oops!

Apparently it’s supposed to be a bit more g-r-a-d-u-a-l than that. I had been paying so much attention to watching my blood sugar, that I didn’t realize I was gaining weight that fast. By the way, my sugars are really good, and I haven’t had to go on insulin yet! Hooray!

Dr. W walks in and says, “What have you been eating for lunch? Because you gained 8 pounds in a month!”. But she was really nice about it. She asked me some questions about my eating habits, and with a little digging, we (haha — I should know this I’ve been the one eating!) discovered that I may be hitting the full-fat dairy products a b-i-t- too hard. I’ve been hardcore craving things like ice cream, yogurt, mac n cheese, and … you get the picture.

Of course dairy products are good in pregnancy because baby needs calcium, so she didn’t tell me to eat less dairy, but to switch to mostly low-fat options, especially for cheese and ice cream. She seems to think that should help my weight gain become more gradual. I can live with that. As long as I get some full fat ice cream every once in a while.😉

All told, only having gained ten pounds by week 22 seems pretty good. Even with my little Oops! moment.

What has been your most recent oops moment? Have you ever had a pregnancy related one?

7 Quick Takes Friday!

Today’s QT’s are devoted to sharing: links, books, things that I have found recently and think are worth knowing about!

Check out Jen at Conversion Diary for more awesome quick takes!

**** 1 ****

The worst place on earth to be a woman. That’d be the Democratic Republic of Congo, where thousands of women have been raped (some repeatedly) during the “civil war” that’s going on there. To quote one article I recently read about it: “Soldiers use women’s bodies as a battlefield where the goal is to destroy the stability of a village by destroying the bodies and spirits of its women.” It’s disgusting and heartbreaking. And it’s got to stop. But what can we do here in the USA? Well, not much physically. But we can learn more about it (as hard as that is to read about), and maybe try to get connected with groups who are in Congo trying to help.

Lynn Hybels, co-founder of Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois, is supporting an effort called “Ten for Congo“, where you can give a donation of ten dollars to World Relief to continue a program supporting rape victims in DRC to heal and carry on with their lives.

**** 2 ****

Again, I have to share something from Lynn Hybels; this woman is on fire for God! On her blog she has a prayer called, “Dangerous Women Creed“. I’m seriously going to print this out and tape it to my bathroom mirror so I can see it everyday when I am brushing my teeth.

Dangerous Women Creed

Dear God, please make us dangerous women.
May we be women who acknowledge our power to change, and grow, and be radically alive for God.
May we be healers of wounds and righters of wrongs.
May we weep with those who weep and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.
May we cherish children, embrace the elderly, and empower the poor.
May we pray deeply and teach wisely.
May we be strong and gentle leaders.
May we sing songs of joy and talk down fear.
May we never hesitate to let passion push us, conviction compel us, and righteous anger energize us.
May we strike fear into all that is unjust and evil in the world.
May we dismantle abusive systems and silence lies with truth.
May we shine like stars in a darkened generation.
May we overflow with goodness in the name of God and by the power of Jesus.
And in that name and by that power, may we change the world.
Dear God, please make us dangerous women. Amen.

Love it!

**** 3 ****

First Things has a great article today about the (from the sound of it anyway) movie about artificial insemination starring Jennifer Aniston which came out this week. It would seem that most Americans, not just us “religious crazies” find something sad and hollow about a single 40-something woman going to “any means necessary” to have a child when she hears that clock ticking, given the very, very low turnout for this film.

In part she says, “Yet, although artificial reproduction is a life-and-death issue, it is often painted in rosy hues, as a service to women helping make their dreams come true—whether in embryo-donation ads, or in infertility-center ads, or in Celine Dion’s public statements, or in movies like The Switch and The Back-up Plan. The health risks are overlooked, partly out of desire to find a quick solution to infertility, and partly in the name of a philosophy that says a woman should be able to have a family however and whenever she wants.

In reality, artificial reproductive technology is no service to women; it’s not the quick and easy way to get pregnant that it’s promised to be, and it brings more hardships to infertile women along the way. Moreover, it doesn’t heal a woman’s infertility at all. As Dr. Anne Meilnik at the Gianna Center, a Catholic health-care center in New York, has said, it’s covering up the health problems that may be causing her infertility—which can and should be treated—by instead making a child with artificial technology.”

It’s very well worth reading. You can do so here.

**** 4 ****

OK, so maybe I’m out of links for right now. Oops.

Our Fuzzi Bunz, which I mentioned in an earlier post this week, arrived last night! I’m in love with these sweet little diapers. They are soft as anything inside and the colors are super cute!

Now we just need a little body to put in them.😉

**** 5 ****

Tomorrow we are going to paint the one wall and one dresser in the baby’s room slated for painting. We’re also going to Babies R Us to finish putting together our registry. It would seem at this point that the registry is going to be more along the lines of “a list we have on hand as we gradually buy what we need”, but it’s all good. With the state of my brain these days, a reminder list is a good thing!

**** 6 ****

Tonight we’re going with another couple to see a one-woman show that our friend Julie wrote! It’s apparently a satire piece about social media and the end of the world. I’m pretty pumped!

Then we’re having date night at this little Italian bistro that seems to actually have its menu structured the way that they do in Italy!

**** 7 ****

That’s all folks! Have a great weekend!

Our Bumper

We had a pro-life bumper magnet. It showed a child with hands folded saying, “Pray to end abortion.” It wasn’t my favorite one, but someone gave it to us and I wanted to use it. Then, one night I was having dinner with some girlfriends at…how shall we say…a somewhat progressive establishment (with killer pulled pork BBQ) and when I came out, the magnet was gone! Yes, that’s right, someone stole it. I was pretty surprised. I mean, I don’t often see pro-choice bumper stickers, but when I do, I am never, ever tempted to steal it and/or vandalize that person’s car. There’s a level beneath which you do not sink; and vandalism of the personal property of others is where it’s at.

Anyway, I knew we’d want to get another pro-life sentiment of some kind to replace it, but I wasn’t seeing any that really encompass how we feel. I don’t like the ones which are overly antagonistic, or brash. I prefer something positive.

Then, finally, last night I was perusing the “Consistent Life” website and came across their collection of bumper stickers. I’m really excited to say I found two that we both really like!

I can’t wait until they arrive, and you can see us coming down the road with these:


Pro-Life Peace Voters Sticker (Bumper)

Have you ever had your car vandalized for a political sentiment? What’s the best bumper sticker you’ve seen lately?

Lead Me

We were driving home the other day, listening to our favorite radio station, K-Love, which is such a positive, uplifting Christian station. Sometimes, they play a lot of the same songs. But I heard one the other day for the first time, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

As women, we’re called to let our husbands be the spiritual leaders of our homes. To trust their judgment, their commitment to us, their faith in our Lord. It’s not always easy for us to trust them, even though we love them. Because one of woman’s core fears is that *no one* not her husband, not even God, will come through for her, so she has to be in charge, so it will be done “right”. On a cultural level, gone are the days of Ozzy, Mr. Brady, and Dick Van Dyke; strong fathers who are central characters on t.v. Given the prevalence of beer-chugging, slovenly, negligent fathers who’d rather watch a ball game or gawk at women then spend time with their families, it makes one even wax nostalgic for Tony of “Who’s the Boss?” fame or Danny Tanner from “Full House”.

What I’m saying is, the images of men we see on t.v. today are not ones that inspire anything even close to confidence. But yet, in our hearts we know (as women) that on some level, we crave and appreciate the leadership of our husbands. To know that we don’t always have to be the strong one, we don’t always have to have everything figured out. That when we’re too stressed or weak to pray for ourselves, he’s got our back. That he loves our soul, not just our body. As women, we need to know that.

The thing is, the world is a scary place for families. Even the best of men, the most dedicated and loving, can get bogged down in the distractions of the world. What I love about this song is that it is a cry, a plea from a wife and children for their father to love them. To lead them. It’s called “Lead Me” by Sanctus Real.

What’s even more beautiful than the plea from his family for leadership, is the father’s own plea at the end. He turns to God, the real source of all of our strength, and asks God to lead him, so that he can lead the ones he loves. It’s a beautiful model of the kind of true humility it takes for us to stand before God, admit we have nothing, and ask him to help us, so we can become what we are called to be.

I love that this song was written based on the experience of the lead singer and his family. You can watch this beautiful video of them talking about what they went through and how God strengthened them!

Many of us out here on the Catholic/Christian blog-o-sphere are the lucky ones. For the most part, we’re not raising families alone. Most of us have loving and supportive husbands who do strive to imitate Christ in their role as husband and father. I think this song serves as a reminder for us, to recognize and appreciate that leadership, and to pray for those families who are struggling more than we are. It also reminds us that even strong marriages have problems, and as long as we turn to Christ in all our problems, they can be surmounted.  “Lead Me” is also a great reminder for our wonderful men, that every day is a chance to lead your family even closer to Christ!

“I’ll show them, I’m willing to fight, and give them the best of my life…”

Updates, Links, and More!

I apologize in advance for the all-over-the-place nature of this post. I wanted to share some cool baby stuff I found, and also just talk about our plans and what’s been going on in the fumbles family.


I’m really very silly. I thought, “Oh we’re going to use cloth diapers, it’ll be easy to get them figured out.” Ha! Not only are there 10,000 varieties of cloth diapers, there is also not one store in Indianapolis which sells them, so we’ll be having to buy them online. I’m not against online shopping, but it would be nice to actually get to feel the diaper before we buy them.

I’ve been investigating our diaper options for a while, and I think I’ve figured out what we’re going to use!

We are going to go with one-size, pocket diapers. We’re buying two brands to try and compare: Fuzzi Bunz and Bum Genius. Fuzzi Bunz seem to be the best option for newborns, as they have a 4th setting, extra-small. So we’ll start with them until she gets to be about 10 lbs. or so, then we’ll use both FB and Bum Genius.

But I’d love to hear from any of you who have used either brand and what you’ve thought of them!


Our nursery plan is in place!  The plan as of now is to get all of the furniture for the room second-hand except for the crib. So far we got a nice changing table/dresser on Craigs List, and we’re going tonight to look at a glider/rocker chair and ottoman, waayyyy cheaper than the prices at Babies R Us. We have a bookshelf from Ikea, and we’ll try to get a small, narrow dresser to put inside her closet for extra space.

The room is a light, sort of buttery yellow. One wall will be painted “One Enchanted Evening” which is a nice light bluish-purple from the Disney paint collection.

Her crib will go against that wall. Then we’ll paint the dressers (hence why we’re buying them cheap!) another Disney paint called “Robes for the Queen”.

I’d also like to get some wooden letters from a craft store to spell out her name (once we decide on one!) and paint them the darker purple as well. I’m hoping to be able to find some curtains in this darker shade as well.

Eventually we’ll get a lamp of some kind, and I found this on sale at Home Depot:

Princess Castle Self-Stick Mini Wall Mural 36-Inch x 40-Inch

It’s a wall applique-sticker type thing. It’s supposedly removable. I thought it would look so cute on one of the walls in her room!

I like the princess theme. I figure it’s sort of baby-ish, but will still be fun for a little girl until she’s a few years old (or older!).

So, even though she’s going to have her own room downstairs, our bedroom is upstairs. I know, I know. Ack. Solution: Pack n Play with bassinette upstairs for the first few months (until she grows out of it) and a changing pad on a dresser for a makeshift changing table. I *know* I’m not going to be running up and down stairs all day and night for feedings and changing. This way, there will be a place for her to sleep and to be changed upstairs and down. Once she grows out of the Pack n Play as a bed, it can be used for all of its lovely other functions, especially for trips to grandma’s!

So what’s her name?

Well, that’s a good question! We have a few front-runners, but we haven’t decided for *sure* yet. We also haven’t decided if we’ll tell people her name before she is born or not.

I like the idea of having two names chosen, and then deciding for sure when we meet her. In other words, I don’t know, ha.

Here’s some of the ones we like:








Do any of you ladies have Costco memberships? I’m interested in one, but is it worth the cost for a small family?


This past Saturday we had a little shindig at our house. It was fun! We had over some friends from church as well as our neighbors, who are really cool (and have a sweet 15 year old daughter — Babysitter??). The one family that came has the two most adorable daughters, one who is 2 and the other who is six weeks old! She was so small and cute; baby feet. Is there anything more adorable than baby feet?

We had bought one of those small fire bowls from Target, and we got to use it for the first time on Saturday. We made a fire and S’mores! I haven’t had s’mores in ages, and they are just so g-o-o-d. The fire bowl was a great investment (especially because it was on sale!) and I can’t wait to use it on fall evenings when it’s nice and cool.

Dry Spells

Thanks for the encouraging words on dry spells! I started a book that I have had for about a year, but haven’t read yet. It’s called Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To. It’s a pretty cheesy title, but the few pages I’ve read so far seem really good!

And of course, I have to end this post with a new bump picture! Here I am yesterday, 20 weeks, 6 days:

Again, sorry for the wanderings, but thanks for reading through!🙂

7 Quick Takes Friday

I think I’m in the throes of a spiritual dry spell. I feel sort of numb to the working of the Spirit. I try to pray, and most days I do spend at least a little bit of time in prayer. But it rarely moves me, and often seems that I’m doing it just to do it. That’s not always a bad thing. But today my quick takes are devoted to the words of people who have it figured out a lot more than this fool of the world does. Maybe it’ll ignite me a little?

** 1 **

“The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us. When we begin to take the lowest place, to wash the feet of others, to love our brothers and sisters with that burning love, that passion that leads to the cross, then we can truly say, ‘Now I have begun.'” – Dorothy Day

** 2 **

“Mercy transforms us. Once we feel the mercy of God, we can never again withhold mercy from another. From that moment on, we forgive everyone who ever hurt us, and we grant clemency to oppressors and oppressed alike. Mercy leads us away from violence so that we live in peace with everyone. It pushes us to reject war, revenge, the death penalty and nuclear war so that all humanity might dwell in Divine Mercy.

If we truly honor Jesus as the image of Divine Mercy, we will make the connections between the personal call to mercy and the global and political ramifications of divine mercy. We advocate mercy for the people of Iraq and Palestine, for those on death row and the unborn, the hungry and homeless…Our participation in His mercy leads us to renewed gratitude for his kindness to us, the unmerciful.” – John Dear S.J.

** 3 **

“Love planted deeply, and hearts given freely, become what they ought to be.” – Audrey Assad

** 4 **

“If I have understood/She holds high motherhood/Toward all our ghostly good/And plays in grace her part/About man’s beating heart/Laying, like air’s fine flood/The deathdance in his blood;

Yet no part but what will/Be Christ our Savior still./ Of her flesh he took flesh/He does take fresh and fresh,/Though much the mystery how/Not flesh but spirit now/And makes, O Marvellous!/New Nazareths in us/Where she shall yet conceive/Him, morning, noon, and eve;

New Bethlehems, and he born/There, evening, noon, and morn-/Bethlehem or Nazareth,/Men here may draw like breath/More Christ and baffle death; – Gerard Manley Hopkins S.J.

** 5 **

“He is jealous for me/ loves like a hurricane/ I am a tree/ bending beneath the weight of His grace and mercy.”  – David Crowder Band

** 6 **

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are an Easter people, and hallelujah is our song!” – Pope John Paul the Great

** 7 **

And, last but certainly not least:

“Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. – Jesus

Happy weekend everyone!!

Reporting for Duty

Lately, I have been reading some very sad things. Our local paper is doing a series called “Our City, Our Children” and highlighting local problems, mostly relating to educational issues, and also giving people resources for how they can get involved with the children who are being impacted by these issues.

The first one that really caught my attention was the one about children not showing up for school. At least, not on the first day. I have to say, I was pretty surprised.

Apparently there are *massive* numbers of children in Indianapolis (and, it would seem, in just about every urban area of the US) who just *don’t show up* on the first day of school. Or the second. Or the third. Or sometimes until two weeks after school has started.

Now, if we’re talking high school kids, it makes sense that some would fail to show up, because honestly, once a child gets to be a certain age, there’s only so much forcing you can do. But there’s little doubt that if a five year old is showing up two weeks late for Kindergarten, it’s because their parent(s) failed to bring them to school.

Surely these parents must have really good reasons for keeping their child out of school for two weeks, making them miss (1) important rules and procedures for how to interact in the classroom, (2) important social relationships (3) LEARNING, right?

However, as I continued reading this article, I realized that the top three *important* reasons parents listed for failing to get kids to school were: (1) I didn’t know when the first day of school was (2) Kindergarten isn’t that important (!!!!) (3) I don’t agree with the school calendar. Seriously?!?

Now, if listed reasons had been (1) I can’t find transportation for my child (2) I can’t afford school supplies, uniform, etc. I would feel a lot more sympathy for the parents. But what I’m reading above as reasons for *robbing educational opportunities from your child* is because you are too lazy to find out when the first day of school is (1), too ignorant to know how important learning is (2), or a fool who takes out their own disagreements with the school system on their child, who can only lose in this situation.

What really gets me though, is that there has been an intentional campaign on the part of the city to get these kids into school. Between my house and downtown, there are no less than three billboards announcing the first day of school and how to register your children. There have been t.v. commercials, as well as *door to door* personal invitations to parents of IPS kids to get them into school on the first day. And yet, still there are many who will not be there until the first week of school is over. There is no reason for anyone who doesn’t live under a rock in this city to not know when the first day of school is.

The most heartbreaking thing though, is that these children, who are already at such a disadvantage just by *attending* an urban public school, are being held even further behind by their own parents, who should be wanting to do everything they can to make life better for their kids. It baffles the mind.

It might seem like I’m just going off on a ramble here, but stick with me, I have a point. I just didn’t realize this was such a problem! When I taught in Chicago, I was working at a catholic school. Granted, it was a *terrible* catholic school, but compared to the public elementary school two blocks over, where the police came at least once a week, my school was an oasis. The parents of my students had their fair share of problems, to be sure, but I suppose since they were paying tuition, they weren’t going to miss the first day of school — or any other.

Knowing that so many parents are dropping the ball on something so important, I couldn’t help but think of the help the Church’s wisdom can offer to all parents about what is expected of us when we take on this awesome responsibility. I know that I, as a soon-to-be (thanks be to God!) parent, want to know exactly what God expects of me in relation to this little soul he has trusted us with!

So what are the primary duties of parents?

The primary source I consulted for this part of the post is the Catechism, though the apostolic exhortation of John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, has much valuable information to aid the conversation. Paragraph 2207 of the Catechism begins the portion on duties of the family saying the following:

“The family is the original cell of social life. It is the natural society in which husband and wife are called to give themselves in love and in the gift of life. Authority, stability, and a life of relationships within the family constitute the foundations for freedom, security, and fraternity within society. The family is the community in which, from childhood, one can learn moral values, begin to honor God, and make good use of freedom. Family life is an initiation into life in society.”

Just based on that paragraph, we can surmise a few big duties that parents are called to perform in raising children. (1) Providing authority, stability, and relationships and (2) instilling moral values, honoring God, and making good use of freedom.

What’s really interesting about this, is what comes next. The Catechism then says that the family, “should live in such a way that its members learn to care and take responsibility for the young, the old, the sick, the handicapped, and the poor.” However, if a family cannot do those things, it falls on other people, families, and to some extent, society to help the families provide for their needs. This involves the beautiful Catholic principle of Subsidiarity. Yay for subsidiarity! Subsidiarity basically means that things ought to be done, and decisions ought to be made on the most local level possible. Of course this applies to families too!

Paragraph 2209: “The family must be helped and defended by appropriate social measures. Where families cannot fulfill their responsibilities, other social bodies have the duty of helping them and of supporting the institution of the family. Following the principle of subsidiarity, larger communities should take care not to usurp the family’s prerogatives or interfere in its life.”

Using subsidiarity as a guideline, we (as society) have a duty to families to offer support when needed, but at appropriate levels, taking care not to interfere too deeply in the family’s life.

In regards to the duties of parents specifically, they extend beyond those listed in paragraph 2207.

(1) Provide moral education and spiritual formation of children.

This one is the most important, and we know that because it comes first. Paragraph 2221, “The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute.”29 The right and the duty of parents to educate their children are primordial and inalienable.” Educating one’s children in the moral life and spiritual formation is both a right and a duty. This means no one should be able to interfere with the moral/spiritual education of your children, but, it also means that parents are shirking their responsibility if they expect any school, church, or other person, to teach their children about God, so they don’t have to do it themselves.

(2) Parents are the primary educators of their children.

Paragraph 2223: “Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule. The home is well suited for education in the virtues.”

It’s important to make a distinction here. The Catechism isn’t saying that parents have a duty to homeschool their children. What they mean by “primary educators” becomes more clear at the end of the paragraph. Parents are the primary educators of their children in the “school of virtues”. Of course it’s not practical and should not be expected that every family will want to or be able to homeschool their children. But all parents must operate a “school of the virtues” from their home, in which, through word and deed, their children learn what it means to be a moral person. Think about it from a practical perspective: if you don’t teach your child what true freedom is and what real morals are, someone else (who may, more often than not, not know what either real freedom or morals are) will.

(3) To be a good example to their children.

The Catechism says that parents have “grave responsibility” to give good example to their children.  Some ways to be a good example to our children could include:

– daily prayer/ reading from Scripture

– frequent reception of Sacraments (especially Eucharist and Confession)

– Volunteering time to do the Corporal works of mercy (and explaining what the Corporal works of mercy are to your children! – See Matthew 25).

– Tithing (and explaining why you do so to your children)

I guess for me, I think being a good example is one of the most important ones. I was raised by my grandparents, who are not Catholic. So I did not get spiritual formation at home, but I can tell you, I did get an education in the moral life from seeing what my grandparents did. Their sense of right and wrong was imparted to me more in their actions, than in their words. I’d be willing to bet that the same is true in terms of spiritual formation too.

(4) Learning Solidarity with others.

Parents have a duty to help their children understand the problems and sins that are facing the world, and to avoid the attitudes and actions that propagate those problems, as well as learning how to be in solidarity with others who are suffering because of “degrading influences which threaten human societies” (2224).

(5) Providing for physical and spiritual needs.

Parents are the primary educators of their children, as we know. But parents are also responsible for the physical needs of their children. I think it’s common in our society to see taking care of physical needs to be the most important (and indeed some people might think only) responsibility they have to their children. Of course, the physical well being of children *is* important, because children are vulnerable and often not able to provide for themselves the food, shelter, and care that they need. But it’s important to know that to the Church, and to us as her members, the spiritual needs of children are just as important. We see this all too often in children who are raised in very well to-do homes, with every need met and exceeded, yet who have no concept who God is nor who they truly are either.

It’s not an either/or. As parents, it’s a both/and.

This is a tall order. Seriously. Of course, every parent will fail. I mean, Mary and Joseph did a pretty darn good job, but it’s pretty much downhill from them.🙂

I’m not a parent yet (137 days to go!) but I already know that there will be times, probably many times, when I fail to educate our children well, or fail to be a good example. It’s part of what it means to live east of Eden. It’s a fact that we’re never going to get it 100% right.

But I also know as a parent-in-training (PIT?) that having the expectations laid out for me in advance can help me to strive for those things which will teach our daughter about who God is, who she is, and how to live. Through God’s grace, I pray our family will learn those things together.

What do you think of the Church’s words on duties of parents? Which duties seem easiest and most difficult for you to fulfill? How can we help all parents understand their duties to their children?

Must Read!

I am a fan of Mark Shea. He generally writes for National Catholic Reporter, and I basically always like what he writes. But his most recent article at Inside Catholic,  celebrating the birth and life of his granddaughter Lucy, is by far the best thing of his that I have read.


Exactly a year ago today, our oldest son, Luke, and his wife, Tasha, presented to the world the inimitable Lucy Beatrice Shea. (In fairness, Luke couldn’t have done it without Tasha. And, in hasty self-defense, I add that Tasha is a really good sport who enjoys a good laugh about labor and won’t, I am pretty sure, kill me for saying that.)

Born on a Monday, Lucy is properly fair of face, according to the wisdom of the old rhyme. Her round little head, her red hair, her great wide eyes drinking in everything, her adorable button nose, and her great big nearly toothless smile all conspire to light up her pale porcelain complexion with a radiance that is especially visible to delighted grandpas.

Lucy is a little girl of magnificent accomplishments. Her Apgar scores were through the roof, indicating an Ivy League or American Idol future (that is, if she isn’t the first woman on Mars). Also, she does a killer Maggie Simpson impression. Some see a future for her in modeling, but I think she’s too deep and spiritual for such a shallow life.

At her baptism, she was cleansed of original sin, of course. But there wasn’t all that much of it to start with. She loves God as much as a one year old knows how and continues to grow with His help. Indeed, since then, it’s been onward and upward in the whole “growing in grace and stature and in the favor of God and man” department. She goes from glory to glory. For instance, she can wave. She also knows how to say, “Hi!” And she can drop things overboard and say, “Uh oh!” When you dutifully fetch the dropped thing, she drops it again and says, “Uh oh.” This is a game we can play for hours.”


And if hearing him wax poetic about his lovely granddaughter isn’t enough for you to go and read the whole article (and I’m pretty sure if it’s not you might be soulless), here’s another nugget from further down in the article.


“Now the amazing and puzzling thing for me, as a Millennial American, is that none of these skills and abilities are considered “marketable” in our culture, and therefore I have no way of explaining why it is that Lucy should be permitted to sponge off society as she does. Indeed, from a socioeconomic perspective, Lucy is an enormous drain on resources. She takes and takes and gives nothing of practical value in return (although Science may soon find a use for her one consistent product). And experts with whom I have consulted inform me that she will continue to behave this way for nearly 20 years. I suspected as much, since my own kids likewise seem to be taking a very long time to earn the right to live in our production-based culture. One of them is 13 and still has shown no sign of promise as a serious wage earner. All he does is go to school on our dime. And he is but the latest in a pattern: None of our children has so far given back anything like what has been invested in them.

I am told that that some people — right-to-lifers, Catholics, other such backward knuckle-draggers — hold a radically different view of Lucy and other such useless eaters. It turns out that the Church says that a human being like Lucy is “the only creature on earth that God has willed for its own sake,” and that he or she alone is called to share, by knowledge and love, in God’s own life. It was for this end that Lucy was created, and this is the fundamental reason for her dignity.

That stuff about existing, not as the means to an end, but for her own sake, just because it is good that she exists and not because she might someday be a useful cog in an economic system or a powerful player who can shovel other human beings around like concrete . . . that’s a real different way of seeing things from our predominant cultural trends.

And yet it certainly explains a lot. It explains why we love babies sort of like God loves us: not because they do something to earn it, but because love is for persons and God (who is Love) is for us, the creatures in His image and likeness. It explains why we endure a lifetime of loving our babies whatever heartache or tragedy may come, and sometimes go down willingly to the bitter end, like Christ crucified, for the love of our children. Other animals just eat their young if they get too troublesome — surely an efficient use of resources that are a net drain on productivity. But I rather prefer the human way.”


May I be willing to endure heartache or tragedy, or God forbid be crucified, for love of our daughter. I just love this entire article, pro-life in every sense of the world. Please go read the whole thing here!

7 Quick Takes Friday!

Today Quick Takes are hosted by Betty Beguiles, where you can see so many more QT’s!

*** 1 ***

Yesterday was the official half-way point of my pregnancy! I am 19.5 weeks, which is half-way for me, since I’ll deliver at 39 weeks. I’m excited. I’m awed. I’m having a hard time believing that someone who started out as two cells on April 13th, is now the size of a banana and kicking me regularly. What’s even more awe-inspiring is that even though she weighs about 8 oz. right now, in another 19.5 weeks, she’ll probably weigh 8 (or more!) pounds. Completely amazing. What a gift.

*** 2  ***

Today was my last day of working at the Library. I’m somewhat sad, but more because I liked the people I worked with, than because I’ll really miss schlepping books for several hours per day. Though I suppose, without the 50+ lb. carts to push and load/unload, I’ll have to find a new way of getting some exercise. Maybe I’ll look into a prenatal yoga class or something like that. Yeah, that sounds plausible.😉

But since I am no longer a part of the work force, I have some plans.

– Blog more than once a week!

– NOT to sleep in, but to get up when Atticus does and to have a *somewhat* scheduled day. It seems that lately I have the most energy for doing housework or projects in the morning/early afternoon, then feel more like resting/reading/blogging in the afternoon. I’ll try to stick with that.

– I am currently on Fall 2008 in my scrapbooking. Yes, I am two years behind. Oops. I want to get my scrapbooking pages from fall 2008 through now done before the baby comes, so then, in another two years, maybe I’ll get to do some more!

– The baby’s room. This will probably be its own post sometime soon, but I have some ideas in mind for making the yellow former office into a little girl’s nursery. We also got a great changing table/dresser on Craigs List for cheap! It’s our goal to buy all the nursery furniture, except the crib, second-hand. we will succeed!

– Crochet: I have a book of baby blanket patterns. I learned to make hats this week! Tonight we are going to Michael’s for baby yarn. I *will* make one blanket and at least three hats for the little lady, and perhaps some gifts for other preggo ladies I know!

*** 3 ***

Atticus and I have been invited to a Baptism! A couple we know from church (and other set of couple friends) has invited us to their daughter’s Baptism. I’m so excited! Neither Atticus, being a convert, nor I, being the first of my IRL friends to have a baby, have ever been to an infant Baptism! It’s going to be great.

I have to ask for those of you with children, what kind of gift is appropriate/good/thoughtful for a Baptism?

*** 4 ***

I read a great article this week on National Catholic Register. Jimmy Akin writes what is a very straight-foward post about the Church’s very clear teaching that it’s not ok to kill innocent people, ever. For any reason. No matter what.

“Because the direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being is intrinsically evil, it is never morally legitimate to target innocent civilians, even in wartime. It does not matter what authority (civilian or military) has recommended or ordered the action—even if he be the American president or the master of the world. It does not matter whether innocent people on your side will die as a result. They are absolutely equal to the innocent on the other side and cannot be preferred.

Furthermore, to threaten to do something intrinsically evil is itself intrinsically evil, and to threaten—by words or deeds—to target civilians is intrinsically evil and cannot be done under any circumstances. You cannot hold innocents as hostages to another goal, however noble or lofty it may be.

These are exactly the same principles that underlie the intrinsic immorality of abortion, euthanasia, and other forms of murder. One cannot justify them, no matter the circumstances or the intention.” Read the whole thing here….

What’s really amazing about this, is that there are people trying to argue with him, and to justify the targeting and killing of innocents (non-combatants) during war. I’m not entirely sure how that happens, other than perhaps the sad tendencies of human nature, being what it is.

I mean, I’m sorry (actually I’m not), but if it’s o.k. to kill innocent people in a war, and that doesn’t violate the moral law, then how can we ever claim that it’s not o.k. to kill innocent children in the womb? Innocent is innocent whether they’re in the womb, or in Iraq.

*** 5 ***

I’m just putting this out here. I’ll probably (hopefully) do a whole post on it at some point, but I am *terrified* of giving birth. The realization that the child which is growing inside me (at what will soon begin to be a rapid pace) is going to at some point have to come out is enough to make me break out into a cold sweat.

It’s not that I don’t want to have a baby, or be a mom, at all. I have a very low tolerance for pain of any kind, and the thought of labor makes me itchy. In fact, I’m so terrified I’m considering asking for a c-section so I don’t have to deal with the pain and potential side effects (epistiotomy, hemorrhoids, etc.)I know I’m probably messed up, but the thought of having surgery is less frightening to me than the thought of pushing this child out.

I think part of my fear is knowing that I have limited options for birth because of my health, and thinking, “wouldn’t it just be easier to have a c-section, since that may end up happening anyway?”

Is anyone else scared of birth?

*** 6 ***

Tomorrow is the feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe. He was a Polish Franciscan who founded the Militia of the Immaculate Virgin Mary. He was very devoted to Mary his whole life, and traveled to Japan with some members of his order to begin a Marian apostolate there. Upon his return to Poland, he was arrested by the Nazis in 1939.

He is called the “Saint of Auschwitz” because he spent nearly two years there before he was killed. He offered his life in exchange for another prisoner, who was father of a large family.

EWTN has a good short article about his life, and in particular, his Marian spirituality.

*** 7 ***

The lovely Michelle gave me an award! So in the spirit of sharing, I’ll be passing on the High Hopes Award, for blogs that always leave me feeling uplifted!

Caitlin at More like Mary, More like Me

Rae at No Wealth But Life

Thanks again Michelle!

Have a great weekend everyone!

7 Quick Takes Friday

head over to Conversion Diary for more quick takes!

** 1 ** I’m delighted that Rebecca asked me to do a guest post in her “can of worms” series on Catholicism and Politics. I was a little hesitant to write it at first because I *hate* politics, but, it was good for me to do the research and thinking to get it written down.

The comments over there have been good and, for the most part, very productive. I’m so glad I participated! Anyway, you should check out the whole series, but of course, start with my post!😉

No, seriously, in case you’ve ever been curious as to my political leanings, now’s your chance to read about it.

Also, each of the other posts have at least ten comments. So far, mine has two. wah-wah. So, at the risk of sounding like I’m making a shame-faced request for people to go over there and leave a comment…I’m asking you all to go over there and leave a comment.:/

** 2 **

It’s Worldwide Breastfeeding Week! Hooray! In honor of this week, the company “Udder Covers” is giving away free breastfeeding covers. (PS. I’m not sure how I feel about the name of the company, but I’ll take a free $35 cover-up!).

You pick the one you like, and during checkout, type “breastfeeding”into the promo box, and all you have to pay is the $10 shipping! Sweet huh?

Many thanks to Elizabeth for posting the link and info!

** 3 **

I’m letting my hick flag fly here, but…. IT”S STATE FAIR TIME!!!

I love, love the Indiana State Fair! This years theme is: Year of the Pigs. Pigs!

Also, the food. Anyone who has been to a state fair knows, the food. Being preggo and therefore *hungry*, I have decided to make a list of what I want to eat when we go, so I don’t miss anything.

roasted corn on the cob

pulled pork BBQ sandwhich

ice cream

elephant ear (this will undoubtedly be shared with Atticus, who also loves the elephant ear).

I love seeing all the animals, the 4-H projects, and people watching all the hicks wearing confederate flag t-shirts and eating deep-fried twinkies. It doesn’t get much better that that folks!

Do you have a local fair? Do you attend? What’s your favorite fair food?

** 4 **

This past Tuesday was our street’s block party! It was a lot of fun!

We got to eat some delicious food, and hang out with our neighbors. We also got to meet some of the other young families on our block, which was really exciting!

There is a couple two houses down from us who has a three month old son, and they are Catholic! There is another couple on our block who is expecting their first child (another boy!) in September. AND, a woman on the other end of the street is expecting her third at the end of January!

It’ll be nice to have some families on our block that will have babies close in age to ours, and maybe even get to do some play groups, or something fun like that!

** 5 **

The other day when we went to the Catholic book store to get some baby books, I also picked up a copy of the Magnificat monthly book. I used it quite frequently in Chicago, to read Mass readings or other reflections while on the bus or train. It’s such a handy little book!

I’ve enjoyed having it this week; I’ve been so very lazy in my prayer life the last month or so. It’s so funny. Before I got pregnant I thought, “Oh my prayer life is just going to be so fruitful if I ever get pregnant again. I mean, God will have answered my prayers, so I’ll want to pray all the time!”.

But you know, it hasn’t been that way, at least not as much as I thought. Of course, I am so thankful for the blessing of our little girl’s life, and God has certainly answered my prayer. I think it’s that way with anything, when we say, “Oh, when THIS happens, then my prayer life will take off.” or “When I _______ (fill in blank here), then I’ll have time to make a deeper connection with God.” Oh, the human condition.

Anyhow, having the Magnificat by my bed in the morning, in my bag throughout the day this week has led to me having more short prayer times (around 15 minutes or so) throughout the day than I was before. I’m very grateful for that, and I think I’m going to get a subscription to it for Atticus and I to share.

** 6 **

In a little less than a month, Notre Dame football season starts!! I’m so excited! We actually got tickets for the season opener (against Purdue, which is the one game we always try to get to) and so we’re going to go up over Labor Day weekend for the tail-gating and the game on Saturday, and then Mass and hopefully a nice long walk on Sunday!

Atticus was still in law school there when we met, and that’s where he became Catholic,  so it always has a lot of great memories for us to go back. Not to mention it’s an amazingly beautiful campus!

Also, I could not resist buying this when I saw it on clearance at TJ Maxx the other day:

I know she won’t be able to wear it until *next* season, but come on folks, it’s just too darn cute! Now we just need to get her a little Colts one, and she’ll be all set.😉

** 7 **

Thats all folks! I hope you have a blessed, happy weekend!

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