Tuesday, January 29, 2008

For Love

Ash Wednesday is a week away. Now is the time to determine how our Lenten preparation time will be spent. Before having a child I was always focusing on what I should "give up" for Lent, trying to embrace the idea of loving sacrifice as I withheld chocolate for forty days.

As a mother, everyday is a sacrifice of love. With a few hours of broken-up sleep, a sick baby, tantrums in the grocery store, and the daily demands of home and family, there seem to be constant opportunities to sacrifice with a smile.

While giving up Diet Coke for forty days was certainly difficult as a caffeine-addicted college student, I'm not sure how much it taught me about love. It was sleepless nights, and days pacing the halls with a difficult baby entrusted to my care that finally made me understand the Love of the Father and redemption through suffering. It's hard. The hardest thing you'll ever do. You'll doubt that you even have what it takes to get through, and yet, you would have it no other way. With exhaustion and frustration fading away, love always remains.

God gives us this example of children so we can understand His love for us. Christ's sacrifice for us was a Sacrifice of Love. He asked for His cup to pass, yet, wanting to do the will of God, would have it no other way.

With an older child now with days filled with fun and laughter, I can hardly use Luke as a sacrifice (please don't suggest coffee). However we sacrifice, may we always remember the Great Sacrifice that was done for us. All for Love.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Media Detox

Detox is so hot right now. There's the 21-day liquid detox diet, and you can now buy a foot bath claiming to detoxify your body. I'm not one for carrot juice, and I'm a little scared what about what scary stuff would come out of my feet. However, there is a detox I'm willing to try.

I want to detox from media. Specifically the television. Since college I have watched very little tv, but it seems that the little I watch now could be cut back further. Staying at home much of the day it becomes easy to develop bad habits. Before long I know the time and channel for Good Morning America, Regis and Kelly, The View, Dr. Phil, Jeopardy, and Oprah. I don't watch these everyday, not even close, but after a whirlwind morning it's all too easy to plop down during nap time and turn on the television.

In order to detox from media I need to supplement with something a bit more nourishing. In this case, I'm going to try to read more. I very much enjoy reading, but I've accepted that much of my reading is done to be more of a challenge than something I do for enjoyment. That is, in the past five years I've been reading books just to check them off my list, mostly classics. Gone with the Wind was an incredible book I couldn't put down, but I started it just to see if I could get through it. That goes for a multitude of others from Theology of the Body to War and Peace. That being said, some of these took a couple months to get through. I want to read for fun for a little while.

My first books will be the complete Chronicles of Narnia, which I've never read. Because it's easier to watch tv with a baby around than read a book, I'm sure I'll be working on these for awhile. Who knows, maybe afterwards I'll be ready for Nicholas Sparks. Harry Potter and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants might be calling my name, too.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Useless Information

It's so bittersweet to be back in St. Paul, and to be 'put' for two weeks. Tonight I made dinner for the first time in a long time, and I finally got a chance to catch up on the all the cleaning that's been neglected since Christmas. Working nights at the hospital gave me a few moments on the computer, but with a downside: no email, no facebook, no blogs, not even wikipedia! I did have access to Google though, and found some topics to search during those night hours when my mind was racing from interest and boredom.

I thought I'd share a couple of my googling adventures...

Nicholas Sparks' website. I've never read any of his books, so I don't know why I even visited. There's a FAQ section where one of the questions is "How do you write women so well?" The same question was asked in the movie"As Good as it Gets," but the answer isn't as sweet as Nicholas Sparks'. If I'm offending Nicholas Sparks' fans, I don't mean to. Romance must make me squirmy.

Then, I looked up the Robert Blake trial. Mark asked me the other day if I knew who he was, and I didn't. I had the perfect opportunity to learn. In the words of Maraka the Explorer "Do you know if Robert Blake was innocent?"

Okay, I'll stop now. Last night Mark and I watched seven episodes of "The Office," which must explain my dry attitude today. I better watch Mary Poppins tonight.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


I really should vacuum the rug.
I should unpack four suitcases, change the sheets, do the dishes, and bathe the baby.
Instead, I'm watching Brian Regan on Comedy Central. I love this guy.

Someday I'm going to post something that requires more than a moment's thought. Today's not the day. For the next two weeks we're staying in St. Paul, so I'm hoping the energy I have been expending for packing, unpacking and driving can be spent with family and more blogging opportunities ;).

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Just Sayin'

Maybe it's an "up-north" thing, being that fishing is pretty mainstream, but when someone has a baby and people refer to the child as "a keeper" it drives me nuts. I understand how awkward it can be when everyone and their mom thinks it's appropriate to come up to a mom and make comments about (or touch) a newborn, and responses to those comments can get a little redundant, "Thank you, we think she's cute, too," "Yes, I am breastfeeding," "I actually already had the baby," but there has to be a better response somewhere.

I don't like thinking of new babies as pan-fish. Not there's anything wrong with that.

Baby Signs

For as curious and intelligent Luke appears to be, I can't get him to say a word. He can stack impressive block towers, climb up furniture twice his size, and follow multi-step intrusctions, but he will not use words.

I'm not concerned about this yet. He understands language, and knows what everything is called. He simply has been developing motor skills exclusively without much thought to speech. Beyond "Ba, Da, Na, Ma, and his new sound 'Tsk', he whines and points to get what he wants.

Because of this I've attempted to teach Luke some Baby Sign Language. I've successfully taught him what I've found essential to get through the day: "please, thank you, all done." I'm planning on teaching him more as the need arises.

Signing is a great idea. Here's the problem. The first time your child signs for "please" without being asked, for reinforcement you're likely to give him whatever he's asking for. When they get what they want, they'll quickly sign "please" again. This creates a whole new conflict when they are signing for strawberry twizzlers. Yes, I gave Luke one, and then another. After dinner he signed for them again and got one, and then another.

This is dangerous.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I haven't posted in a week! I have attempted to many times, but I've either been interrupted, or after I've typed a post I realize that it's not worth reading.

I worked all last week--nights, which meant that the daytime hours were a blur of sleeping, chasing after a baby, and getting ready for another night. Not very good blogging material. Add two adult cases of Strep Throat to the mix and it gets pretty ugly.

Nothing exciting to report as of today. I cannot stress enough a point I made in a previous post that when your young son becomes suspiciously quiet that it's safe to assume there's Vaseline all over a) him b) toys, or in this case c) an entire wooden circular staircase. As if those things weren't dangerous enough!

Back in St. Paul I'm looking forward to a relaxing week of reading with Luke on the couch, trips to SuperTarget, and beginning the process of packing up our apartment. Can you believe it? We're almost done!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Not Guilty! A $20 fine for ticket processing beats $92 and a petty misdemeanor on my record. The judge was smirking the whole time while I tried to explain myself. I bet he thinks my tickets was nuts, too.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Little Baby

The last few weeks I've been feeling sorry for myself with how big my little boy is getting. At eighteen months, even though he's an affectionate, good-natured boy, I've been missing his babyness. He doesn't nurse to sleep anymore, doesn't rock, and he prefers to run all over the place instead of being carried. I've been torn that the days of holding him sleeping in my arms are over.

Today we went to Mass a little later than usual, pushing Luke's nap back a few minutes. During Mass, Luke wanted me to hold him, but wanted to be cradled as opposed to upright. I pressed my cheek close to his, gave him little kisses, and he fell asleep. What a treat! I was able to hold my little sleeping baby for the remainder of Mass watching him breathe and have the trust in me that only a small child can have.

I'm trying to treasure these last months of babyhood before having to worry about discipline, defiance, and potty-training. Only God knows how I enjoyed the brief moment this afternoon of total surrender in my arms. I pray that throughout his life I'll get reminders like the one today that he'll always be my little baby.

The Law

Just when we thought we were getting settled back in St. Paul we have to be on our way again. Tonight we'll be driving back up north to make a court appearance for a ticket Mark and I received. Yes, we're criminals.

Last week Mark and I rented cross-country skis for the day, and got Great-Grandma babysit so we could enjoy an hour outdoors skiing a nearby trail. We had a lovely time. The weather was beautiful, the scenery was great, and the whole time we were thinking how silly we were for not having gone out sooner.

As we made our way back to our car we were greeted with some unpleasant news. The MN Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has special Conservation Officers (CO's) to regulate the different outdoor laws. We typically think of them enforcing rules on the lake with people in boats, or snowmobiles, or enforcing fishing licenses, limits, etc. The particular CO waiting at our car asked us about our "ski passes". We had no such thing, and knew nothing of it. We were each issued a $92 ticket for cross-country skiing without a ski pass.

We are guilty, there's no way around that, but $180 for forty-five minutes of skiing outdoors without a pass seems a little steep. We're going to try and lessen the fine at the court tomorrow. It's unfortunate that after living in the area for our whole lives and skiing a trail two miles from owned property that we were ignorant of the law. It's also unfortunate that I was less than charitable with the CO as he wrote our tickets.

I did confirm, however, that you don't yet need to buy a pass to walk outside. With Minnesota being full of Democrats, I'm sure it won't be long before you do.

Friday, January 11, 2008

My View

For all "The View" fans out there, as well as Father Jonathan Morris fans. This should cover a few bases.

Religious discussion is a frequent topic on "The View" and one co-host especially enjoys slight jabs at the Catholic Church from time to time. This week Joy Behar along with Whoopie Goldberg concurred that statues of Saints in Catholic Churches was equivalent to worshipping false idols. Joy went on to state that there are no Saints anymore because mental illness is contained and people no longer hear voices.

Father Jonathan makes some good points in his blog. I watched this particular episode and wanted to calmly explain to the two misinformed co-hosts that a statue in a church is as much worshipping false idols as much as pictures of relatives in your home. This point could be made a thousand ways, but I'll stop there.

Also, there have been many Saints who have not 'heard voices', so Joy's points about there not being Saints because of the advances in mental illness is just false. St. Therese of Lisieux, labeled the "Greatest Saint of Modern Times" never had mystical encounters. A popular new Saint, Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, a doctor, wife, and mother, simply gave her life to her unborn child in a heroic act of faith. No voices in her head caused her actions. She loved God, and and her intense desire to do His will has brought her to Sainthood.

Then there is Padre Pio. Is Joy Behar suggesting that someone like him was simply suffering from mental illness? Here we have a priest who suffered Stigmata, read souls, performed miracles and wrestled with the devil. Today his popularity is unparalleled, and yet, she claims that if he were medicated these mysterious and miraculous occurrences would cease.

Behar is obvioulsy a Freudian, believing that all things religious and spiritual will one day be explained by science. I don't think it's that simple.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


I have to share the excitement about my new contacts. They are continuous-wear, which means I don't have to take them out or put them in every morning. I get to wear them night and day for a month. I've been taking the time for contacts almost 12 years, and freeing up those minutes is giving me one less excuse for not being able to walk out the door until noon.

"Outlook Positive"


There has been a feud going on over at Danielle Bean.

The basis for discussion is parenting styles and which is best. Actually, not even that, it's a discussion over whether a parent is obligated to use Attachment Parenting as a Christian, as it's purported to be the best...by some.

Danielle Bean has blown me away on this one. She has already stated my view. That is, do what's best for your family, and that Saints have been raised well before "Attachment Parenting" was even a part of the vocabulary.

I find it very interesting that people are beginning to pair AP with Christianity. I love the idea of AP, especially for infants, but people believe that it's the only Christian way to parent. I disagree. I think AP is wonderful, and have implemented many of the practices because most of it is instinctual mothering. I would have to argue that using AP for discipline is far from Biblical, and that's why I struggle when people feel so strongly that it's the only acceptable Christian practice. I'm not backing up my 'discipline' statement, but let me know if I should.

To each his own...

Christmas Vacation...

is coming to an end. We've spent the last three weeks at Mark's parents house during Mark's break from school. Now begins the dreaded task of trolling through the house for random items we're bound to leave behind. For some reason I find packing our things from a long stay terribly stressful. Here goes a big day of washing sheets, towels, and packing, packing, packing, packing!

This very well may be our last three week vacation for a long time. In a few shorts months law school will be over. Going through the law school experience, especially from my angle, is truly unique. I remember visiting a law school with Mark before he was enrolled and having discussions with third year students whom I was amazed were so articulate, polished, and remarkably professional even while talking to little 'ole me.

The education in law aside, the transformation of a college student into a "Doctor of Justice" is what I've most observed. In a world where formalities are almost obsolete, it's refreshing to see the professionalism and etiquette taught to and required for lawyers. Mark once told me that the word 'lawyer' meant something along the line of "master of language" and I think that the best description I've heard.

Please keep us in your prayers. This spring will bring a lot of changes for our family. A move from St. Paul is in the works, and so is living with Mark's parents while we house hunt and await the BAR Exam. For someone who doesn't like packing, I'll be doing a lot of it, and for someone like me who's a slave to her routine, I'll have many opportunities for Grace as I'm challenged in new ways to live in the present.

"Trust in the Lord, with all your heart." Proverbs 3:5

Monday, January 7, 2008

Links worth noting

I want to share with you a couple noteworthy articles I've read today.

Here is the first. It seems as though Hillary and Obama are in a competition over who is more devoted to killing unborn babies. What I find disturbing is the obvious likability of Obama. The article points out the endorsement of him by Planned Parenthood, and his 100% pro-abortion voting record. We see droves of young people at his rallies, and I predict he will be the democratic nominee. His charm and youth will undoubtedly capture many undecided voters.

This article is quite disturbing, too. A new (but elderly) priest is dismissed for preaching Catholic Church teaching in a homily. Apparently teaching the Church's stance on contraception and family is not appropriate for Mass. I was left dumbfounded after finishing this article continuing to ask the question "And the problem is..."

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Oh Boy

There are so many mommy blogs out there that take the cake for funny things their kids do. But, today was a hoot.

My little man was playing so nicely in the living room this morning. I sincerely love mornings drinking my coffee, checking the news, email, and blogs, listening to music, and watching Luke at his best time of the day. After a minute of suspicious silence, I glanced over at Luke playing with his new wooden tool set. Horror set as I realized he had been dipping his hammer, screwdriver, nuts and bolts into a vat of vaseline, and subsequently rubbing it all over his face!

I know, what was I doing with vaseline within his reach anyway (and how come those stupid jars are so easy to open?) I'll get to that later. My picturesque morning was soon fading as I began to realize how truly difficult it is to wash vaseline off anything, especially hair, clothes, and toy tools. It's also pretty slippery if you accidentally get some on your wood floors.

Anyone who knows me knows that I typically carry a tub of vaseline with me wherever I go, no joke. But, it has come in handy these few days with Luke, too. I won't get into specifics, but a certain diaper area needs it as a barrier for many rashes and irritations. This brings me to my second story of the day. Because of Luke's little irritation I've been trying to have him go diaperless as often as I can. This, you can imagine, is a total utter disaster, but it must be done. In addition to dodging the hidden spots of vaseline on the floor to avoid falling flat, we are now avoiding other things that have a way of camouflaging themselves on the floor. It's amazing how baby poop looks so much like little trucks when it's all lined up in a row.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Saturday Night

The baby is in bed. I just got back from the store with snacks. Mark's watching Minnesota Gopher basketball, and I'm going to sit down and read "The Strong-Willed Child" by Dobson. Between the chips, diet coke, twizzlers, and Reese's PB cups I think we'll be sufficiently entertained.

Do I feel like I'm too old for my age sometimes? Yes
Do I sometimes wonder what other 23 year old girls do on Saturday night? Yes
Do I want to go out and see Atonement in the theatre before it's gone? Yes

Do I feel content? Yes
Would I change any part of my life? No

It's really a perfect night.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


...is buying jeans and a bra in the same afternoon without a tantrum or tears. Needless to say, I'm very proud of myself.

You have to admit that jean and bra shopping have to be the worst things out there. I'd rather shop for power tools at Fleet Farm all day than be forced to try on numerous ill-fitting garments to find the only one in the store that fits.

I wasn't trying to shop for these things, it just happened. I was out on a shopping trip alone and the opportunity presented itself. Today I'm a happier girl knowing that I have two new things in my closet acquired without pain.

I'll have you know that I'm blushing knowing that I wrote the word "bra" in my blog. I need to grow up already. I'll also note that I'm kicking myself for not buying five of the above-named unmentionables, which would have rid me of a dreaded shopping trip sooner in the future than I'd like. But, if you're like me and have...what's the word....fluctuated...from pregnancy, nursing, not nursing, and have about six different sizes of unmentionables in your drawers (ha ha, a pun), then buying just one might make sense, without really knowing when you'll...fluctuate again.

I'm really blushing now. Wow, I can't believe I'm going to post this.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A Political Piece

I may be jumping on the bandwagon, and admittedly falling into the trap of good propaganda, but with the 2008 election right around the corner, Mike Huckabee has come out of nowhere. I heard of him less than a month ago, wondered where in the world he came from, and have been impressed repeatedly. After Sam Brownback left the game, Mitt Romney was at the top of my list as a breath of fresh air from Giuliani, who I predict isn't far from joining the Hillary ticket. Now Huckabee seems like the "no brainer."

I take the Rush Limbaugh approach to endorsing a politician, as opposed to the Hannity approach [(Vote (for Giuliani) or Die]. So, here are a couple articles that show opposing views of Huckabee. The one from Ann Coulter is negative, which surprised me a bit as I have no idea who is on her list as a better conservative (Ron Paul maybe?), and the positive, which deals with life issues-something Huckabee is vocal about, and what has brought attention to his campaign. Taking Limbaugh's stance, you're smart enough to decide who's best.


If Huckabee gets the nomination, he'll be drilled on immigration, which he's criticized with being soft on, and life issues, which he's remarkably tough on. Let's hope he gets on board with a good immigration reform plan, stays true to his Baptist values and we'll be all set.