Thursday, December 28, 2006

I am in detox

La Bebe and I have entered the stage in our nursing relationship where she can no longer tolerate it when I eat chocolate. She gets pretty bad gas pains and gets constipated whenever I eat it. So no more chocolate for me, at least for a few months.

The two weeks before Christmas were the most stressful I have ever endured and this week after isn't too much of a good trip either. We just have way too much crap for our 1000 sq. ft. home. I'm completely overwhelmed by the clutter (Ask Aimee--it takes a long time for me to get to that place) and have just totally shut down. I an seriously considering entering myself in the Style Network's "Messiest House in America" contest so that professional organizer people will come in and force us to purge 3/4 of our stuff while I am humiliated on national television.

And did I mention I think I need another root canal?

Since I can't self-comfort with chocolate, I guess I'll just have to pray.

O Lord, Have mercy on me! Send me Your Spirit so that I might persevere through this rough patch. Enlighten me that I might remember that there are Your sons and daughters who are truly suffering today and that my grievances are over small inconveniences in life. Help me to remember that I am trebly blessed in every aspect of my life and to be grateful to You who see fit to bless me so abundantly. Help me to remain humble before You who are so great. I ask these things in Jesus Christ my Lord through Mary, His Mother and mine. Amen.

There. That's better. I think I'll go throw some stuff away now. :)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Nothing baby about him anymore

This is not a photo of Primo's mouth, but it could be. He lost his first tooth today. It's been loose for about 2 weeks. I was depressed for about a day when he told me it was loose. The last baby parts of him are going away. He's getting bigger every day. He can do the monkey bars alone. He can read to himself. He can really smack a baseball. He can whistle. Before my DH and I know it, he'll be graduating from college.

So, here's to Primo and his first lost tooth. Here's to the baby he was and the boy he is and to the man he will be someday too soon. God bless you, sweetie. You'll always be my baby.

Posted in orange because it's his favorite color.

Where in the world have I been?

Well, since Penni asked, I have just been crazy busy with my life and haven't had the time to post. I'll recap:

1. Hard drive on the PC at work fried, so no ability to post from there. Still waiting for the software to installed by our Network admin. He's a volunteer who gives a ton of his time to the parish, so I am a little loath to complain. Still, we've had a new hard drive on the PC for 3 weks now...

2. My grandmother had a very successful knee surgery and my mom went to Philly to help her out for a week after the surgery. This might not sound so bad, but you must keep in mind that my mother does a lot for us here at the homestead. During the week, she does laundry for us. watches the kids and cooks our meals, making her indispenable. When she goes away in the summer, it's OK since my work schedule isn't too crazy, but to have her away when we're in the middle of the CCD year, and just before Christmas, well, I am so happy my mommy came home. I was pretty much a wreck when we picked her up. Taking the children to the office with you is no fun-for them or you.

3. Did I mention that I didn't have any shoppping started until December 16? And we had to attend Primo's Christmas concert at school and I had to throw a Christmas party for the CCD teachers?

4. La Bebe is sleeping in our room-the room with the computer. No blogging for me while she's sleeping. No chance for me to blog till she's sleeping. Catch-22.

I wish this catch-up post were as interesting as Tom's. I haven't been at a monastery, though I think I could use a retreat.

Hope you all are doing well. Tell us in the comments. Happy Feast of St. John the Apostle. Hope to post again sooner than last time.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

And this shall be a sign unto you... shall find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.

God bless you and Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Monday, November 27, 2006

What is love?

This is love:

When it's been a rough morning and you're in the car with the whole family taking him to his parents' house from whence he shall go golfing, and you are justthisclose to tears, he puts the Dixie Chicks, whom he cannot stand, on the CD player just because he knows you like it.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Bubba, in the backyard with DH and Primo:

"Roar! I am a big scary dinosaur! I am going to eat... (pregnant pause) ...FOOD!!!!"

DH: "Really? What kind of food?"

Bubba (thinking, then growling): "Yogurt!"

Friday, November 24, 2006

Blesed Miguel Pro

Bl. Miguel Pro is my favorite Blessed. His feast day was yesterday. He was a Jesuit priest during the Mexican Revolution who was martyred. He was sickly his whole life and didn't get to see his family again after his ordination and his life was generally difficult, but he always kept his sense of humor and joy. You can read about him at the link.

When he was executed by firing squad, the government took photos of the entire thing. The idea was to show all of the Catholics what they could expect if they dared to practice their faith. As it generally happens when someone is made a martyr, photos didn't discourage that many people. They inspired many to deeper faith. It was illegal to attend his funeral, but thousands of people lined the streets to pay their respects as his casket went past.

Follow the link to find out more about this wonderful priest.

Day late, but still Thankful

I am profoundly grateful for my family and for my friends and for the privilege Our Lord has given me by calling me His daughter.

I have also decided that the time is now to tell those whom we love just how much they mean to us. Is there an aunt you don't get to see all that often who was extraordinaritly kind to you as a child? Now is the time to tell her that her presence in your life has been of immeasureable value. Track down that coach who helped challenge you and make you who you are today and thank him or her for everything they did for you and your teammates. Shoot them a quick email, or even better, write a quick note. Then offer a prayer to the Lord thanking him for blessing you with that person.

It is time to live without regretting all of the kind words you never shared. None of us knows when those who were so important to us will not be with us any longer.

Peace be with you.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Original Photo Caption: Rob Hoffman / THE SETONIAN - The “remember” words on the Boland Hall Memorial Garden stone are faintly visible through the snow Wednesday, which marked the fifth anniversary of the fatal fire that killed three students. A visitor had left flowers on the memorial.

Some of you may know, if you've been reading a while, that I used to work as an Admissions Counselor at Seton Hall University. I was an employee of the University when the tragic fire killed 3 students and injured others in January 2000. The two young men who were arrested in the case took a plea bargain that will guarantee that they will be in jail for 16 months, possibly as long as 5 years.

The time after the fire was a little weird, as you can imagine. I found out about it when I turned on the news as I was getting ready for work that day. Campus was open to us employees, but we had to show picture ID getting onto campus--our parking passes weren't good enough. They were trying to keep reporters off the campus.

Now I know these TV and newspaper people were just trying to do their jobs, but I was pretty disgusted. There were rumors of them climbing over the iron fence that surrounded the campus, posing as students to get "exclusive interviews," etc.

They were allowed on campus the next day, when we had a special Mass in the chapel for the students. The building that I worked in was right next to the chapel and had to walk past it to get to the parking deck. The chapel was so full that there were people there for Mass who had to stand outside on the steps. And there were TV people everywhere. They were like lice, just throughout the campus, feeding on the sadness and loss that everyone on campus was feeling. I remember making eye contact with some woman from Channel 7 in New York and giving her this disgusted look. Couldn't they let these poor kids mourn their classmates in peace, I thought, Can't they just go away and leave us alone?

Getting back "on the road" for spring recruiting that spring was bittersweet. There were many who offered condolences. Some parents steered their kids away from my table. Others marched their high schoolers right up to us saying, "After what happened there, this will be the safest school in the counrty for you to attend."

Then the Pirates Men's Basketball team went to the Sweet 16 that March. We went to that game in Syracuse and watched as the Pirates were outmatched by Oklahoma. But it's funny how this basketball team's success gave such a lift to the campus. Kids were still "dorming" in a local motel, but the fire in some ways, though it will never go completely away from the school, was pushed back a little further in everyone's minds and we could all think about moving on.

And that's what this plea bargain will allow for many. Knowing that these boys, who made the stupidest mistake of their lives and tried to hide from it, will face some jail time will allow some to move on.

I just can't help but think how differently things would have been for all of us who were involved with Seton Hall that year if they had simply come forward in the days after the fire. If they had the fortitude to come forward and admit their prank had gone horribly astray and asked forgiveness. Would they have even faced jail time if this was truly a horrible accident? How many of us would have felt sorry for these stupid kids? And how much sooner would the healing have begun for the surviving victims and the families of Aaron, John, and Frank if they had stepped up immediately?

I can't change those boys' actions, and their parents' apparent attempts to help them cover up their involvement, but I can impress upon my children that it is always better to tell the truth right away and to take responsibility for your mistakes. No one ever gets away with anything. If the law doesn't get you here, you still have to face Judgment. I'd rather have them face a judge here than The Just Judge up there.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Some stuff I've been chewing on for a few weeks.

Sounds appetizing, no?

I was at the doctor's office for my post-partum checkup several weeks ago. Now I have to explain about this doctor. He is super nice (OK and Super Cute) and really looks like an English Professor (little glasses and blond floppy hair included). He's a bit of a philosopher also. He was admiring my baby (really, she is cute) and she smiled at him and he asked me, "Why do you think the first thing a baby does is smile? I mean, why smiling?" I said something like, "Because God knows that by the time a baby is 4-6 weeks old, the mother needs some positive reinforcement to keep her from putting the child out on the street." "OK," he says, "but why a smile?"

So he then asked me how I was doing, and I had to tell him that this was the easiest recovery I have ever had. After 3 C-sections, reason would dictate that this ought to have been the hardest recovery, but it really wasn't. I told him that between all the people (you guys) praying for me, being truly happy with the OB group that he is in (I wasn't crazy about the other group), and the hospital being so great (a much better experince than the previous two births) it was the best birth I've had.

He then spoke about there being a "vibe" about the hospital, a Catholic hospital, and that a lot of people coment how caring a place it is. Now, to me this has a pretty no-brain explanation. It's because it is a Catholic hospital with Jesus ion the premises. The Eucharist is there 24/7. I had someone offer me the sacrament every day. Mass was on the TV in my room every day. Sorry, doc. It's not a "vibe." It's Jesus.


I know that sickness and death entered the world because of sin, but hell cooked up an extra good cold which has socked the Giglio family hard. It may have been the flu. I didn't get off the couch for 2 days. Primo hasn't been to school since Thursday. Bubba has a double ear infection and La Bebe has a runny nose and a cough. Yea, hell hath no fury like this bug.

Dontcha just love Cardinal Arinze?

This from Open Book (The italics are mine)

In his address on Saturday, titled, "Language in the Latin Rite Liturgy: Latin and Vernacular," Arinze said the Roman church used Greek in its early years, but was "Latinized" in the fourth century. "The Roman rite has Latin as its official language," he said. The great religions of the world all "hold on" to their founding languages — Judaism to Hebrew and Aramaic, Islam to Arabic, Hindu to Sanskrit and Buddhism to Pali.

"Is it a small matter," he asked, for priests or bishops from around the world to be able to speak to each other in universal language of the church? Or for "a million students" who gather for World Youth Day every few years "to be able to say parts of the Mass in Latin?"

In an hourlong, often humorous, address that received several standing ovations, Arinze suggested that, in order to give Catholics options, large parishes offer the Mass in Latin at least once a week, and in smaller, rural parishes, at least once a month. (Homilies, he said, should always be in the faithful's native language.) Latin "suits a church that is universal. It has a stability modern languages don't have," he said.

Happy Birthday St. Augustine!

And to me. He turns 1652. I'm just turning 31.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

stained glass window by Frank Schoonover

As much as I complain about being back at work, being the DRE at my parish has been a huge blessing to me and to my family in many ways. Being in this ministry has deepend my faith so much and the Lord has seen fit to bless me with meeting people in our parish whom I would never otherwise interact with.

Especially beautiful to me are the times when the Lord sees fit to use me as an instrument of His Grace by my interactions with parents and students at Sacrament times. The Lord has softened many parents' hearts at the times when their children receive sacraments and it is such a privilege for me to be a small part of their return to the sacraments after a long absence.

Especially rewarding for me was the chance I had last winter of becoming involved with a family in our parish who had adopted 3 brothers (ages 13, 11, and 2) out of our state's foster care system. The elder boys decided that they wanted to become Catholic and their father contacted me about getting them ready to be received into the Church. We met once a week and the depth of their faith impressed me. The older son is wise beyond his years and has a great love for Christ and His Church. The younger son was an 11 year old through and through, but he took our time of preparation very seriously, as seriously as one can expect an 11 year old to do.

All 3 of the boys were baptized today, but the older two, the ones I had the honor to work with, were also Confirmed and received the Eucharist for the first time today. It was a beautiful Mass and I was so proud of them. They truly seemed different when Mass was over. Their parents have done a superb job of instilling in them a love of Christ, and it was obvious how happy they were to finally be able to recieve Our Lord in the Eucharist with their parents.

Please join me in praying for Sean and Xavier (their Confrmation names), and for their little brother Thomas (new Baptismal name) and for their parents and godparents as they celebrate the boys' intiation into Christ's Church. St. Thomas, St. John and St. Francis Xavier please pray for them!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Whisper Down the Lane

"Whisper" Cartoon by Matt Myers of Virginia Wesleyan College, 2002

I decided last year that we would add a little Latin to our curriculum. The 4th graders are learning the Signum Crucis and the Pater Noster and the 5th graders are learning the Gloria Patri and the Ave Maria. I would really have liked to have the kids learn them at a younger age, but I figured they really ought to work on the prayers in English in 1st grade and 2nd grade is First Reconciliation and first Communion, so there is already enough there. Third grade's curriculum focuses on the Apostle's Creed , so they learn that prayer in 3rd grade. 4th and 5th grades didn't have any specific prayers attached to the curriculum, so I put them there. I think it's going well so far.

Why, you may ask, are we teaching the kids their basic formal prayers in Latin? Well, a. Latin is the official language of the Catholic Church and b. Pope Benedict asked all of us to learn these basic Latin prayers so that people from all over the world can gather and pray in the same language (see World Youth Day). Bonus: learning some words in Latin will help them in their secular lives as well, especially in their languages classes (as long as they elect to study a Romance language) and when it comes time to take standardized tests (since so many English words have their roots in Latin or in Romance languages). My hope is that some of the kids who have an affinity for languages will become interested in Latin and learn it so that all of the people who can read and speak this dead language don't die off and then it's a REALLY dead language. (Side note: I think it's shameful that most American diocesan seminaries don't require that the men in formation learn Latin. my$.02)

You should HEAR some of the stuff that's going around the parish about this one. Our pastor got a phone call from someone who wanted to know why the kids had to learn Latin prayers before they could make their First Holy Communion (?!). Only better than that is what my mom heard at the hairdresser's 3 weeks ago. The pastor that hired me retired in June (passing away in July). So, we got a new pastor in July. The rumor around Curl Up and Dye (a real beauty salon name, but not the name of the one mom goes to-isn't that a great name?) is that Fr. Bob is trying to get rid of all of the priests at our parish and that our extremely popular 40 year old parochial vicar is being forced to retire (remember all of the above is UNTRUE-except about Curl Up and Dye being a real salon name. THAT's true).

It's like the gossip spread by the game "Whisper Down the Lane." 2 weeks ago I had Confirmation Parent Meetings and stuff I said there is coming back to me totally twisted up. The person who fell asleep in my meeting is going around repeating the half sentence they heard. And that half sentence taken completely out of the context of the rest of the sentence can be considered pretty inflammatory (RE: candidates' Mass attendance, I said, "It's not like we're going to say, Three misses and you're out." I heard that I said "three misses and you're out." oy vey!)

And all I can do is shake my head and laugh sometimes. People are going to get mad at me no matter what I do in my job. All I can do is my best to work joyfully for the Lord and pray hard.

Just another day at the office

As my URL indicates, I am a DRE (director of religious Education) at my parish. I started this blog intending to write more about work, but it didn't really evolve that way, but that explains the URL.

Anyway, tonight I am going to post about work because I have to admit I'm a little mystified about something and maybe some of you good folks can help me. This post is 100% snark-free. I genuinely can't understand this.

Last year, a few weeks before First Communion, two of our five First Communion Catechists told me the kids weren't going to church and as a result didn't know the responses during Mass. Nor did most of them remember the basic prayers of our faith that they learned in the first grade. So, it being six weeks before First Communion, we instituted a policy where all of the First Communicants would have to go to Mass and have a bulletin signed by the presiding priest each week before First Communion. Parental grumbling happened, but, no big surprise here, the kids really improved overall in their knowledge of what happens at Mass and they could remember their prayers.

Since, from our point of view, this experiment was such a huge success we made it a year long thing for both the First Communicants and the Confirmation candidates. At first we were going to require that the bulletins get signed, but then our priests pointed out that they would be signing bulletins for half an hour after each Mass since we hve 250 kids who would have to do this. So, early in the year, we required only that the kids turn in a bulletin as proof that they attended Mass.

Here is where I am genuinely mystified: Both times, I heard from a few parents who were very angry and insulted at having to get these bulletins signed. These parents who contacted me are regular churchgoers who said that they didn't feel like they had to prove anything to us as a parish about Mass attendance. I had one mom this past summer say that she wanted to pull her kids out of our religious ed program (that they've been in for 8 years) because she was so insulted. She said that this was a policy that made the parish very unwelcoming to her.

I just don't understand it. I thought that the people who would be the most upset would be those who weren't going to Mass regularly. I wasn't asking that much more of those who were there anyway, just that they stop by and see Father before they went home. I just can't understand how they could have been insulted by this. I hope some of you can explain this to me becuase I really do WANT to understand where they're coming from. The lady who threatened to leave didn't leave, btw, but I haven't spoken to her about it since she emailed me in August while I was on maternity leave and I read her email on All Saints' Day. Another thing, now that I have read her email, should I reply, even though it is more than 2 months later? I'd like to apologize for insulting her, but I'm not sure if I should leave well enough alone in this case.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Monday, October 23, 2006

Request for help and for prayers

First the prayer request: Please pray for Chris, who is experiencing many temptations right now. He said, "When I pray, something bad always happens. I'm done praying."

Now the help:

Any advice on talking to my cousin and aunt, both Catholic, who have become very deeply involved in the New Age movement? Anyone been there?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Finally, the recognition I deserve

Primo, to me after I had the audacity to stir the chocolate into his chocolate milk instead of providing him with the unmixed milk and a spoon:

"Queen of Everything, why are you doing this to me?"

Monday, October 09, 2006

I have commenced

trying to lose the baby fat. From the last two babies.

You know it's bad when the only clothes you can fit into are the maternity clothes!

As I alluded to in this post, I will be posting my weight loss progress (or lack thereof) hoping that reporting to my 5 readers will offer me greater accountability in the whole weight loss journey. I went back to Weight Watchers on September 25. Since then, I have lost 6.8 lbs (and there was much rejoicing hooray). My long-term goal is about 70 lbs., so I'm 10% of the way there. So, the day I get weighed in, I'll post my progress here. I promise only to talk about this once a week. Feel free to skip these posts if you want. I won't mind :)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I guess I asked for it

Yesterday, after an extremely trying first 10 minutes home from school in which there were two bathroom accidents with the boys, one major (can we say "regression?") and one not so bad, I got a few seconds alone and prayed, "Lord, take my frustrations and unite them with your suffering on the cross for the salvation of souls."

Well, if I thought those first ten minutes were bad, they were nothing compared to the next 2 hours. He must really have wanted to save some souls because there was the usual homework frustration, then there was the near fistfight over a game of Cariboo while mommy tried to make dinner then Primo's half hour long temper tantrum because I dared to cut up his linguine!!!!! in which there was pillow throwing (AT me, not BY me), slamming of doors and threats to run away.

When the dust settled, they were sent to bed after dinner and Primo has no TV for a week and no homecoming game at the school where daddy works. Of course, they pick the night when Daddy stayed late at work to play racquetball.

I wish I could say I remained saintly and composed.

So, be careful what you ask God to take. He might just give you the chance to give it to Him.

Monday, October 02, 2006


A song by Bubba, age 3. Composed this afternoon on a pretend harmonica (which is in reality, the watermelon "shaker" maraca-type thing Primo made during letter "W" week in Pre-K last year. How it has survived since April, I have no idea.).

My Friends
Friends Friends
Are cool
Cool Cool
They're wonderful
Wonderful Wonderful
I have a little sister named La Bambina
I have a big brother named Primo
I have a big girl named Mommy
I have a grandmother named Mom mom
I have a dad called Daddy
I have a friend called Brian
He lives in a ranch house.
They're my friends.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

cheap shot(put)

So, last week Bubba dropped a shoput on his finger. Don't ask me why we have a shotput. I had no idea we had one, let alone that it was stored in our laundry room on the floor (?!). I wasn't home at the time; I had taken La Bambina to the pediatrician for a checkup. My mom, who was watching him, felt terrible, but honestly, it could happen to anyone in our family. I mean, we do leave shotputs out in our laundry room. So, when the incident happened, he cried a good bit, but was totally fine when I got home half an hour later. The fingernail turned funny colors and didn't seem to bother him too much until the nail started to pull away. It finally fell off this morning. He asked me to take him to the hospital to get a new fingernail. He was very tough about the whole thing. He's such a strong guy.

Bub started Pre-K yesterday. I was a little afraid he'd cry, but he did very well. he wanted to go back this morning, but he only goes on Tuesdays and thursdays, so he's got to wait till tomorrow. But he's excited, and that's good!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Happy Birthday!

Three years ago today my Bubba entered the world. He was a very docile baby, the complete opposite of his much more intense brother. He was also my largest baby, 10 lbs., 1 ounce. He is my little friend. He is a bit of a mama's boy right now, but he loves to roughhouse (Remember Bubba, we don't tackle at school!) and play ball with Dad and Primo. He is my singer, belting out any Dan Zanes song you ask for, or his favorite, "God Bless America." He loves to tell jokes, then repeat the punchline over and over; after all, it is the funniest part of the joke! He loves his Thomas trains and puzzles and letters and numbers.

Thank you God, for our Bubba. St. Dominic Savio, pray for him!

Monday, September 11, 2006

We are three thousand

I love the poem "We are Seven" by William Wordsworth. I thought about it the other day because my sons were fighting, as brothers who suddenly have a new person vying for their parents' attention are wont to do. I said to them, as I often do: "Be kind to each other. He's the only brother you have on this Earth." (I have had 3 miscarriages, and I know at least one of them was a boy. I'll link to the post if I have the time to search for it.)

See, as Christians, we don't believe that death is the end of the line. The little girl in the poem knew it very well (Didn't Jesus say something about having childlike faith to enter the Kingdom of God?). My sons know that they have siblings in heaven who will be there to meet them. And my daughter will know it too. All of us should be like the girl in the poem.

That's what should make a day like today a little more easy to bear. I live in North Jersey, about 10 miles away from Manhattan, as the crow flies. I didn't know anyone who was killed that day. But I remember that day vividly. My mother and my husband were at work. I was at home with 8 month old Primo, watching "Good Morning America." It was a beautiful day. Would we head to the park later? What would we do today? The local ABC affiliate cut into the broadcast to cover this plane accidentally crashing into the World Trade Center. Then the second plane hit. I remember thinking: "Boy, some air traffic controller really screwed up, eh?" My mom called from work and asked if I was watching the TV and I said yes. She said, "You know we're under attack, don't you?" And then I snapped out of my naivete. duh. Two airplanes don't crash into those buildings by accident. One maybe, but not two.

I had a hard time reaching my husband, who was working west of where we are, nowhere near Manhattan. He was on the treadmill in the fitness center watching it all on the TV. He finally called me, anxious to know how we were. By now, the Pentagon had been attacked. I remember him saying, "If anything else happens, I want you and Primo to come out here. There are a lot of oil refineries in town and I want you guys out of there if something happens." I just wanted him to come home.

September 12th was even worse. The wind changed, it was blowing in from the east. The fires were still going strong in the rubble at Ground Zero and there was a haze in the air here in Linden. And a stench like death that came over with it from Manhattan. And it was eerily quiet. See, we live in the flight path for Newark Airport, so our windows rattle continuously from all the planes that take off every day. And all the flights were grounded. My mother lived in an apartment in Newark, on the 10th floor. She heard planes, but they were fighter jets.

A month later, the Tribute in Light reached into the sky to the east of my home. I still look up in the eastern sky at night and miss its glow.

So many people died on that day. But they're not really gone, are they? Still, I couldn't bear to watch the coverage from Ground Zero this morning, with the names of all those who were killed that day being read aloud. I have deliberately stayed away from coverage of that day. To see people jumping out of windows of the WTC, to watch people try to outrun the debris from the collapsing towers, is just a little too much for me. Maybe my faith isn't strong enough. But I know that we are not seven, we are three thousand.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

"We are Seven"

— A simple Child,
That lightly draws its breath,
And feels its life in every limb,
What should it know of death?

I met a little cottage Girl:
She was eight ears old, she said;
Her hair was thick with many a curl
That clustered round her head.

She had a rustic, woodland air,
And she was wildly clad:
Her eyes were fair, and very fair;
— Her beauty made me glad.

"Sisters and brothers, little Maid,
How many may you be?"
"How many? Seven in all," she said
And wondering looked at me.

"And where are they? I pray you tell."
She answered, "Seven are we;"
And two of us at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea.

"Two of us in the churchyard lie,
My sister and my brother;
And, in the church-yard cottage, I
Dwell near them with my mother."

"You say that two at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea,
Yet ye are seven! — I pray you tell,
Sweet Maid, how this may be."

Then did the little Maid reply,
"Seven boys and girls are we;
Two of us in the church-yard lie,
Beneath the church-yard tree."

"You run about, my litle Maid,
Your limbs they are alive;
If two are in the church-yard laid,
Then ye are only five."

"Their graves are green, they may be seen,"
The little Maid replied,
"Twelve steps or more from my mother's door,
And they are side by side.

"My stockings there I often knit,
My kerchief there I hem;
And there upon the ground I sit,
And sing a song to them.

"And often after sunset, Sir,
When it is light and fair,
I may take my little porringer,
And eat my supper there.

"The first that died was sister Jane;
In bed she moaning lay,
Till God released her of her pain;
And then she went away.

"So in the church-yard she was laid;
And, when the grass was dry,
Together round her grave we played,
My brother John and I.

"And when the ground was white with snow
I could run and slide,
My brother John was forced to go,
And he lies by her side."

"How many are you, then," said I,
"If they two are in heaven?"
Quick was the little Maid's reply,
"O Master! we are seven."

"But they are dead; those two are dead!
Their spirits are in heaven!"
'Twas throwing words away; for still
The little Maid would have her will,
And said, "Nay, we are seven!"

— William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850), 1798
Click on photo to go to original page

The day from hell

Dad is sad,
Very very sad.
He had a bad day.
What a day Dad had!

From "Hop on Pop" by Dr. Seuss

I talked to my dad this evening. He started a new job about 3 months ago. He was fired from that job yesterday (My stepmom was laid off at the same time he got this new job back in June). So, now both of them are out of work with my 16 year old stepbrother still at home.

Here's the backstory: After about 20 years with one company, severely underpaid for his Systems Administrator position, he found another Systems Admin. job for a lot more money. After about ayear with that company, he was laid off and was unable to find another IT job for three years. He landed at this other place 3 months ago. There was a 90 day probationary period. He had an evaluation about a month ago and he claims it was a glowing performance review. Dad took a few days off last week to fly to Utah for my godfather's wedding. Yesterday was his first day back after the long weekend. He walked in and was told he was being let go because of job performance issues. He was told his desk would be packed up and sent to him.

So Dad, really mad, went home. Where he realized that he still had a key to the building. So, he called back and told them they'd get their key when he got his stuff. So they said, come back and get your things.

About 5 minutes away from his former employer's office, Dad stoppped at a red light. At which he was rear ended by a school bus. No one was seriously hurt and there were no kids on board. He went to the ER and was released. His car is totally messed up, but driveable.

So pray for my dad that he and my stepmom both find work soon. And that the auto body place will just fix his car since it's paid off and they can't afford a new one since they're both out of work.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

we're home

La Bambina and I are home. She was 9 lbs, 13 oz when she was born on the 30th of August. The delivery went well and, oddly, I've had less pain than with my other 2 C-Sections. Well, with all of you praying for me, maybe that's not so odd ater all.

Bambina nurses well, and she's got her days and nights mixed up a bit. She's much more calm in the hustle and bustle of Casa Giglio than in the relative quiet of the hospital. She's in her co-sleeper bed right now and I think she might actually go to sleep!

Her brothers are really excited to have her home. The trick is going to be keeping them from loving her to death.

What was left of Ernesto rolled thru Jersey yesterday. I was still in the hospital and the power went out in our area because a transformer blew across the street from the hospital. The emergency power came on and very little changed due to the outage. I'm just glad I wasn't in the OR. That might have freaked me out a bit.

For obvious reasons, the blogging will be light. It is nice to be home!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Brought to you by the letters Alpha and Omega

Bubba was looking at the parish bulletin on Sunday. When asked what the name of our parish is (St. John the Apostle), he replied, "St. John made possible."

I'm just saying

Saw this in the Star Ledger yesterday and it cracked me up then. Then I read it on Rocco's page this morning.

Archbishop Myers is a good bishop. His teachings have been very clear. I just think that when names get circulated as to who will replace whom in different dioceses, the frontrunner, the one whose name gets circulated most, is the one who rarely gets it. As you'll recall, the Rome diocese had a bishop opening about a year and a half ago, and no one had picked Cardinal Ratzinger for the job. Yet, there he is....

And the fact that another bishop says that Archbishop Myers is fueling those rumors himself, well, I just think that if that's the case, he's probably NOT going to get the Detroit job.

But, if he doesn't, I certainly hope that we get another good bishop. Bishop Edgar daCunha, one of our Auxiliaries, would be great. He's quite the superstar bridge builder up our way. Everybody loves him and I think he could get a lot done. That's my $.02, in case anyone from Rome is reading. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some housework to do. :)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Oh, it was THAT Epistle again

Today's second reading was the one that I think sends some priests into a panic when it comes up every three years. Ephesians 5: 21-33 (Jerusalem Bible translation):

Give way to one another in obedience to Christ. Wives should regard their husbands as they regard the Lord, since as Christ is head of the Church and saves the whole body, so is a husband the head of his wife; and as the Church submits to Christ, so should wives to their husbands, in everything. Husbands should love their wives, just as Christ loved the Church and sacrificed himself for her to make her body. He made her clean by washing her in water with a form of words, so that when he took her to himself, she would be glorious, with no speck or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and faultless. In the same way, husbands must love their wives as they love their own bodies; for a man to love his wife is to love himself. A man never hates his own body but he feeds it and looks after it; and that is the way Christ treats the Church, because it is his body--and we are its living parts. "For this reason, a man must leave his father and mother, and he be joined to his wife, and the two will become one body." This mystery has many implications; but I am saying it applies to Christ and the Church. To sum up; you too, each one of you, must love his wife as he loves himself; and let every wife respect her husband.

I have to say, I'm curious to find out whose pastors chickened out and had the lector proclaim the shortened version, which omits the whole "Submit to your husbands" thing. But I digress.

I've got to say, I love this reading (Our priest today didn't preach on it, choosing to focus on the Gospel and the Bread of Life discourse). Verse 21 says we must "give way to one another in obedience to Christ." See, St. Paul is coming from the fact that we are charged to love each other with a perfect love, the love that Christ has for us, His Church--a love uncorrupted by sin. In this love, there is no room for using and abusing each other. We are in fact charged to do our best, with the help of God's grace, to live like this always; to always strive for living in perfect love for others and God. We fail at this, of course, being human and tainted by the after effects of original sin. But this does not relieve us of our obligation to strive (and to go to Confession when we fail).

Many people read this as saying St. Paul says that women are to be subservient to their husbands. I don't see anywhere in these verses that says "Woman, you'd better have dinner on the table when I get home from the salt mines and stay barefoot and pregnant, too." These people have obviously turned off their ears after that because St. Paul exhorts husbands to love their wives just as Christ loves the Church, sacrificing Himself for her and her well being (indeed for her very existence). Guys, don't you feel that's a tall order to fill? I mean, all us ladies have to do is let you be in charge. You've got to give your lives for us. I don't mean to be flip, but there is a lot of give and take here.

Jesus tells us over and over again that in order to reach heaven, to be with Him for all eternity, we must empty ourselves and be humble as He is humble. Isn't it worth humbling yourself to your husband or for your wife in order to be with Christ forever.

I find it especially appropriate that today's reading falls on the feast of St. Monica. St. Monica was married to a pagan. She was a Christian. He was a drunk and regularly physically and mentally abused her. If you think YOUR mother-in-law was bad, Patricius' mother lived with them and got in on the action, too. They tormented her because of her faith. But she always gave Patricius the love St. Paul says a wife should give to her husband and she always loved and respected her mother-in-law.

Monica is the mother of St. Augustine, who left the Church and followed a couple of heretical sects. Her other son and her daughter also left the Church. We hear mostly about her heroic virtue on behalf of Augustine, because we only know about Monica based on what Augustine wrote about her. She followed him all over the Roman Empire, praying for him and pleading for him to come back to the Church. Doubtlessly, she exerted the same prayer and effort on behalf of her husband, mother-in-law and other children as well. Patricus' mother converted on her deathbed, and so did Patricius. After she begged him, St. Ambrose went to Augustine and eventually the very proud young man came back to the Church and is one of the greatest saints and Doctors of the Church. Augustine became a priest, as did his brother. His sister became a nun.

Monica would probably have been justified in leaving her husband but she didn't. She heeded St. Paul's words and loved her husband and children and mother-in-law with a perfect love. She prayed constantly for their conversion. And by her example of what it is to be a Christian and by the grace of God softening their hearts, they came to see that Monica's meekness was her strength and that Christianity wasn't a religion for the stupid.

So, today, with this Epistle in mind and with it being St. Monica's feast day, pray for those who are married, that they may learn to love perfectly and for those whom you love who have lapsed from the Church that they may return to the Mystical Body of Christ. We all miss them.

Feast of St. Monica

Fresco by Bennozzo Gozzoli from the Chapel of St. Augustine, San Gimignano, Italy.

The day was now approaching when my mother Monica would depart from this life; you know that day, Lord, though we did not. She and I happened to be standing by ourselves at a window that overlooked the garden in the courtyard of the house. At the time we were in Ostia on the Tiber. And so the two of us, all alone, were enjoying a very pleasant conversation, "forgetting the past and pushing on to what is ahead.." We were asking one another in the presence of the Truth - for you are the Truth - what it would be like to share the eternal life enjoyed by the saints, which "eye has not seen, nor ear heard, which has not even entered into the heart of man." We desired with all our hearts to drink from the streams of your heavenly fountain, the fountain of life.

That was the substance of our talk, though not the exact words. But you know, O Lord, that in the course of our conversation that day, the world and its pleasures lost all their attraction for us. My mother said, "Son, as far as I am concerned, nothing in this life now gives me any pleasure. I do not know why I am still here, since I have no further hopes in this world. I did have one reason for wanting to live a little longer: to see you become a Catholic Christian before I died. God has lavished his gifts on me in that respect, for I know that you have even renounced earthly happiness to be his servant. So what am I doing here?"

I do not really remember how I answered her. Shortly, within five days or thereabouts, she fell sick with a fever. Then one day during the course of her illness she became unconscious and for a while she was unaware of her surroundings. My brother and I rushed to her side, but she regained consciousness quickly. She looked at us as we stood there and asked in a puzzled voice: "Where was I?"

We were overwhelmed with grief, but she held her gave steadily upon us, and spoke further: "Here you shall bury your mother." I remained silent as I held back my tears. However, my brother haltingly expressed his hope that she might not die in a strange country but in her own land, since her end would be happier there. When she heard this, her face was filled with anxiety, and she reproached him with a glance because he had entertained such earthly thoughts. Then she looked at me and spoke: "Look what he is saying." Thereupon she said to both of us, "Bury my body wherever you will; let not care of it cause you any concern. One thing only I ask you, that you remember me at the altar of the Lord wherever you may be." Once our mother had expressed this desire as best she could, she fell silent as the pain of her illness increased.

- from the Confessions of Saint Augustine of Hippo

From Catholic Community Forum entry for St. Monica

Friday, August 25, 2006

The other half of my brain is blogging!

My best girl friend from college has just started a blog called The Mother Load!

Aimee and I were both the same major in college and wound up taking most of the same classes and we were both RAs at school too. It was so bad that if one of our professors saw one of us alone on campus, they'd ask, "Where's the other Amy?" (Or Aimee if it was me walking somewhere). One of our English professors thought about writing a book sort of like Virginia Woolf's "Orlando" loosely based on us since we both had the same first name and our maiden names were both men's proper names. I don 't thinkhe ever did that. If he does, I think Dr. Myers will owe us some money ;)

Anyway, go check out The Mother Load. I'm adding my girl's blog to my blogroll.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Still pregnant

Just thought you'd like to know.

Thought I was going to the hospital on Monday night, but I was feeling some pretty heavy Braxton-Hicks (practice) contractions-or was it the taco I ate for dinner-but it all stopped in an hour. But I will be holding the Bambina a week from today. Please pray that Bubba starts sleeping again so I can get at least 1 good night's sleep before the little girl shows up.

Keep up with your novena prayer (see below-Novena to St. Monica)!

Have a great day!

Monday, August 21, 2006

With a tip o' the hat to the Carolina Cannonball

Your results:
You are Superman

Green Lantern
Wonder Woman
The Flash
Iron Man
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.

Click here to take the "Which Superhero are you?" quiz...

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Novena to St. Monica starts today

St. Monica's feast day is August 27. In case you don't know, St. Monica is the mother of St. Augustine. Augustine was the original enfant terrible who famously lapsed from the faith. He credits the intercessory prayers of his mother with bringing him back to the Church. Indeed everything we know about St. Monica was told to us by Augustine.

Today I'm starting a novena for the lapsed members of my family and yours. The prayer I'm posting here is different than the one a few entries below. Whatever prayer you choose will be OK. Pray for the members of your family who have lapsed from the faith.

Novena To Saint Monica

Exemplary Mother of the Great Augustine,
You perseveringly pursued your wayward son
Not with wild threats
But with prayerful cries to heaven.

Intercede for all mothers in our day
So that they may learn
To draw their children to God.

Teach them how to remain
Close to their children,
Even the prodigal sons and daughters
Who have sadly gone astray.

Dear St Monica, troubled wife and mother,
Many sorrows pierced your heart
During your lifetime.
Yet you never despaired or lost faith.
With confidence, persistence and profound faith,
You prayed daily for the conversion
Of your beloved husband, Patricius
And your beloved son, Augustine.

Grant me that same fortitude,
Patience and trust in the Lord.
Intercede for me, dear St. Monica,
That God may favorably hear my plea

(mention your petition here)

And grant me the grace
To accept his will in all things,
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord,
In the unity of the Holy Spirit,
One God forever and ever. Amen.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Stall tactics

"Mom, you forgot to put the baby gate up [in front of their door-ed.] and I saw a flying saucer."

"Well I hope the aliens enjoy their visit. Get back in bed."

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Princess Grace

I asked for prayers here, then wrote a bunch more on top of it so I'm not sure if you all saw it.

My sister-in-law (a cardiac nurse by trade) has been making herself crazy looking at various websites to find out more about Gracie's potential condition and if Grace does have what they're tesing for it's just not good. So please continue to pray for Grace and for my brother Frank and my sister-in-law Coleen. It's even worse for them since my brother is in Navy school in Newport RI and Col is in Phila., PA. He comes back every weekend, but it's not the same.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Always after Daddy leaves

So, DH went to 7 pm Mass tonight. Primo was going to go with him (that would have made 2 Masses in one day for him). Primo had a bathroom emergency right before leaving and so DH went without him so he wouldn't be late for Mass.

When Primo emerged from the bathroom a few minutes later, his hair was really wet. I didn't think much of it until he looked at me head on and there was a river of clear gook over his left eye. "Did you put gel in your hair?" "Yes." It looked like he had put half the tube in his hair. "Shower."

There was hair gel all over the floor and the toilet. He had indeed emptied half of the tube, mostly onto his head. So I had to shower the boy and then clean the bathroom.

Why is it they do this after their father leaves? They don't ever do stuff like this when he's here!


Today is the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We celebrate when Mary, the mother of Jesus, was taken to heaven body and soul at her death.

My mom asked me in the car on the way to Mass this afternoon: "Is that in the Bible?" Well, no, but it doesn't contradict anything in the Bible, either. It's a Tradition handed down to us from the time of the Apostles.

Tradition tells us that after Jesus' death, resurrection and ascension, Mary lived with the Apostle John. He was exiled to the island of Patmos and she went with him there and died in his home. After her death, her body disappeared.

It makes sense that Our Lord would not allow his mother's body to become corrupted in a tomb. Catholics believe in Mary's Immaculate Conception, that she was conceived in her mother's womb without the stain of original sin. The angel calls her "full of grace" when he comes to ask her on God's behalf to be Jesus' mother. This is one verse from Scripture that Catholics use to "back up" the dogma of the Immaculate Conception (The Immaculate Conception and the Assumption are the only two teachings that any pope has declared to be infallibly true and must be accepted by all Catholics). Since Mary was free from sin her whole life (No orginal sin=no concupiscence or tendency toward sin=no sin), she was not forced to endure bodily corruption. Hers is a glorified body, like those who were faithful to God in their lives on earth will get at the Final Judgment.

So, today, let us ask Mary to pray for us that we may be the sort of follower of her Son that she was. That we may answer every call with a clear "Let it be done to me according to Thy Word."

Monday, August 14, 2006


HT to Barb

Lessons to be learned

From this news story:

A. Do not drive yourself to the hospital when you are in labor. EVER.

B. Girls, tell your family you are pregnant. Better they hear it from you than the cops that pulled you and your newborn out of the partially submerged car. Seriously.

Sick kid update

"Renee" (our five year old friend with kidney cancer) is doing quite well. She had her last chemo treatment last week and her hair is growing back in. All of her tests have been coming back clean, so she's so far doing great. Her family is very grateful for all of your prayers.

I'm going to ask you to storm the heavens for my niece, Grace (her real name. See The Girls blog on the sidebar). She and her twin, Lizzie, were born 10 weeks premature back in April. Lizzie's been home for a few weeks but Grace has been in the hospital. She's not able to suck or to swallow. She underwent surgery today to have a feeding tube inserted directly to her stomach. The good folks at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (where she's been transferred) have done a muscle biopsy on her. They are testing her for a metabolic disorder which is keeping her body from breaking down her food into the energy her muscles need to allow her to swallow and to suck. Such a disorder could prove fatal to this little baby. We'll know more in a few weeks when the labs come back.

St. Maria Goretti is one of the patron saints of girls. Let us ask her to intercede for Gracie. Thanks in advance for your prayers.

A friend to meme

Barb tagged me with the Pop Tart Mom Meme. Like Barb, I'm not sure why it's called the Pop Tart Mom meme, though Bubba does enjoy a Strawberry one now and again and I really like the new French Toast flavor myself. Here goes:

3 Things That Scare Me
Car accidents (when I'm in them)
The thought of my husband dying
Losing one of my kids

3 People That Make Me Laugh
My kids
My husband
Those Daily Show and Colbert Report people.

3 Things I Love
The smell of a fire in a fireplace
A little time alone

Things I Hate
Driving in NJ traffic
mice in my house
cough medicine (I will not take it-even if I'm coughing so hard I can't sleep)

3 Things I Don’t Understand
A lot of the rules of basketball and football

3 Things On My Floor
My bag to take to the hospital
DH's old golf shoes
a Mac G3 (not the one I'm using now)

3 Things I’m Doing Right Now
Blogging (obviously)
Avoiding going outside
Praying for my little niece

3 Things I Want to Do Someday
Visit Rome
Take my kids on a trip across the country in an RV (shoot me now!!!)
See Bruce Springsteen in concert

3 Things I Can Do
make a good stir fry
belch on command ( you pick this up when you have 2 brothers and 2 sons)
get up in front of a group and talk

3 Ways to Describe My Personality
oh, I don't know

3 Things I Cannot Do
touch my nose with my tongue
cross my eyes
fly an airplane

3 Things I Think You Should Listen To
The voice of God
Your mom and dad
The noises coming from outside your window

3 Things I Think You Should Never Listen To
The voice of the evil one
The person who says "everyone else is doing it..."

3 Absolute Favorite Foods
Turkey Club Sandwich

3 Things I’d Like to Learn
How to play guitar
More about the Church
what makes teenagers tick

3 Beverages I Drink Regularly
Vintage Wild Cherry seltzer
tea (one cup each morning, 2 sugars and steeped for at least 5 minutes)

3 Shows I Watch
as often as I can:
Project Runway
The Daily Show

I'm not going to tag anyone, but if you want to do it, let me know in comments. :)

Friday, August 11, 2006

Better than average?

My baby ticker above says that my baby weighs "at least 6 pounds" right now. The reality is that right now my baby weighs at least 8 pounds and will probably be another 10 pound turkey when she shows up here. If she really didn't need at least 2 more weeks to cook, I'd be asking you to pray for me to deliver this little munchkin soon. We just grow 'em big. What can I say? This is why I have scheduled C-Sections.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Rest in Peace

Monsignor Richard McGuinness, Pastor Emeritus of St. John the Apostle Church, passed on to eternal life this morning around 4 a.m.. He had been battling cancer privately. Up until last week, he was concelebrating daily Mass and at least one Mass every weekend.

Please remember him and his family and friends in your prayers today. I'll post funeral information when I receive it.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Update: The viewing was scheduled for 4-9 p.m. last night (Thursday), then Friday from 2-7 p.m.; vigil Mass at 7:30 p.m. and the Mass of Resurrection at 10 a.m. Saturday. All events are in St. John's Church.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Feast of St. Dominic

Today is the feast of St. Dominic, founder of the Order of Preachers.

I have been drawn to him lately and I've noticed some Dominican coincidences in my life since I considered joining the Third Order of Preachers (I have discerned that now is not the right time for that, but I do feel that some time in the future would be more appropriate). My husband's confirmation name is Dominic, our parish school is served by Dominican Sisters, I have a great admiration for several saints whom I didn't realize until recently were Dominicans: Thomas Aquinas, Catherine of Siena, Martin dePorres. Given that my line of work is Religious Education, the Dominican charism of preaching seems especially appropriate to me. I'm also praying for him to intercede for me in lining up some more catechists for CCD this year (we need 10 of them).

So offer a prayer for all Dominicans today on their founder's feast, espcially Fra. Lawrence Lew, my favorite Dominican novice.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Archbishop Sheen was right

Icon of St. Monica By Matthew D. Garrett,

He said something to the effect of people don't hate the Church; they hare what they think the Church is.

I was down at my Dad's today for a small birthday party for him: Dad, stepmom, stepbrother, me, DH and the boys. After dinner, my stepmom asked if I was still blogging. I said I was, but with less frequency and about less controversial things (don't tangle with the SSPX unless you're willing to devote the rest of your life to your blog.). Dad then says something to the effect of: "I can't get into something that excludes half the population." I said, somewhat perplexed, "Do you mean of the Church?" "Of the world," he said. He's talking about women's ordination, which I have posted about before, but you can read my take on the Pittsburgh happening two posts down.

I started to defend the Church's teaching, really to educate my lapsed Catholic father (now attending an Episcopal church) what the Church teaches about the priesthood and women, but he wasn't listening. I said, "You're not listening. You can't start this conversation and then not listen to the other side." He pretty much said he wasn't listening. He'd had his mind made up, you see.

It's frustrating to have someone just launch an ad hominem attack on the Church and then not want to debate the article of contention. especially when the attacker is your dad and he knows you love God's Church.

So, I am making Dad and the rest of the lapsed members of my family the subject of a novena to St. Monica, whose feast day is August 27. I'll be starting on August 19. Please pray with me for them and here is the prayer:

Dear St. Monica, troubled wife and mother, many sorrows pierced your heart
during your lifetime. Yet, you never despaired or lost faith. With confidence,
persistence, and profound faith, you prayed daily for the conversion of your
beloved husband, Patricius, and your beloved son, Augustine;
your prayers were answered.

Grant me that same fortitude, patience, and trust in the Lord. Intercede for me,
dear St. Monica, that God may favorably hear my plea for
(mention your petition)
and grant me the grace to accept His Will in all things, through Jesus Christ,
our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Remember, dear St. Monica, the joy that flooded your heart when Augustine, the son of
your prayers and tears, turned his life over to the Lord.

Please present our novena petitions before God in Whose presence you stand. Obtain
for us, if it be His holy Will, the graces we request through your intercessory power,
that we may experience the happiness of answered prayer. Amen.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Morning has Broken

The boys and my DH were watching the Yanks yesterday afternoon. One player made a catch at the warning track.

"Daddy," says Bubba, "the player made a morning crack!"

A morning crack, apparently, is when a player jumps up in the air and catches the ball.

Bubba made lots of morning cracks today at our backyard fence.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


It's one virtue I am in short supply of. I'm the first one to say it. I've blogged about it here before.

There are some women who in the rivers around Pittsburgh yesterday got themselves "ordained." By some female "bishops." They have, by their actions, incurred automatic excommunication. They did it to themselves.
They say that they have the right to become priests. That the heirarchy is keeping them down.

What I think that people who openly dissent from Church teaching in ways such as this are really lacking is not freedom but humility, the very humility Our Lord is such a shining example of in His crucifixion and indeed in His Incarnation.

Folks who relish such open dissent have put themselves before Our Lord and His Bride, the Church (that's you and me, people-WE are the Church).

No good priest would tell you he had the right to be a priest. Indeed, most of them would probably tell you that they felt completely underqualified for such an awesome gift and responsibilty. As a priest friend said at his first Mass, God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

"I have the right to be ordained." That's like saying "I have the right to own a Mercedes." Yeah, like Dr. Z is just going to hand one over to me.

It all boils down to humility. It seems to me that Our Blessed Mother had it in spades. And she was conceived in her mother's womb without sin. Agreed to bear the Christ child with almost no questions asked. Not an apostle. Still glorified as the highest of all saints. That's what we Catholic women should aim for.

I'm not going to sit here at my keyboard and say that all the women who participated in this farce aren't humble. I don't know their souls. That is for God to judge. It seems their actions smack of pride.

All that matters is that they are our sisters in Christ and it is our duty to pray for them and for their re-conversion to the one true faith; the one true Church.

Litany of Humility

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being loved...
From the desire of being extolled ...
From the desire of being honored ...
From the desire of being praised ...
From the desire of being preferred to others...
From the desire of being consulted ...
From the desire of being approved ...
From the fear of being humiliated ...
From the fear of being despised...
From the fear of suffering rebukes ...
From the fear of being calumniated ...
From the fear of being forgotten ...
From the fear of being ridiculed ...
From the fear of being wronged ...
From the fear of being suspected ...

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I ...
That, in the opinion of the world,
may increase and I may decrease ...
That others may be chosen and I set aside ...
That others may be praised and I unnoticed ...
That others may be preferred to me in everything...
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…

Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val
As I was leaving the post office yesterday, planning what I was going to pick up from McDonald's for lunch before heading to work, who should I run into but Roni, my Weight Watchers leader. (dunh dunh dunh!!!!!)

I should tell you that I have always been overweight. Not obese-just chunky. I'm 5'2" and I weighed 180 lbs. when I first went on program, a year or more after Primo's birth. I was tired of being inactive. I was tired of getting out of breath climbing the stairs and then I saw on the news that overweight women have a higher risk of developing breast cancer (family history on my mother's side). So I joined. I was a stay at home mom and I had loads of time to take Primo to the park and to exercise and plan out my meals for the day. Roni had been trying to recruit me to become a WW employee, that's how well I did on the program. I got down to 134 when we concieved Bubba. I wasn't disappointed because we really wanted Bubba, having miscarried twice between him and Primo. And I thought: I did it once, I can do it again.

Well, I had started working for the parish while pregnant with Bubba and had a lot less time to exercise and plan what I ate. I didn't do as well the next 2 times I joined. I was back up at 180 when we conceived Baby Girl (expected at the end of this month). I haven't gained as much weight this time like I did with the boys (I gained 65 lbs with each of them. I'll probably only gain about 45 with this one). And let's be frank, when you are over 200 lbs. when you give birth, 180 feels pretty skinny.

Well, seeing Roni yesterday put my brain into higher gear thinking about what I'm going to stuff my face with after this child is born. It's been on my mind anyway, since it would kind of be nice to be a size 10 again.

But now I'm thinking more in terms of: OK, i'm having a girl this time and I don't want to be a bad example of fitness to her. I don't want her getting all neurotic about her weight and body image because of me. The teen magazines and her peers will contribute enough to that. I want my little girl to be able to look at her mom and say to herself: "She's got it together. I don't have to listen to this crap I'm being fed by my culture. I'm just going to take care of myself."

So, I will head back to Weight Watchers a few weeks after the baby is born. I will lose the weight I've gained since 2003. And you poor people are going to have to read about it. You poor folks are going to have to help me be accountable to myself. I promise that this will not devolve into a diet journal. I may just put something on the sidebar about how I did at every weekly weigh-in. But if my 5 readers are watching, maybe it will help me stay on target when my life gets really busy again.

BTW: I got the Asian Chicken Salad (grilled chicken, tyvm) and a fruit and yogurt parfait for lunch. I decided against the double quarter pounder and fries. Thanks Roni :)

Monday, July 31, 2006

"My name is Amy and I talk to myself."

My husband thinks I have a problem. See, I talk to myself. He thinks I do it a lot. I probably do. I don't even notice it anymore. I have been working on some things lately and he'll be in another room and I'll hear him go, "What?" and I'll say "What?" and he'll say, "Were you talking to me?" and I'll say, "No. I must have been talking to myself."

I think I do it because it helps me to think clearer, to organize my mind as I work on a task. I have already told the people I work with that I talk to myself and to feel free to tune me out; that if I need them to pay attention, I'll say their name.

Any other self-talkers out there who want to come clean? Self-Talkers of the blogosphere UNITE!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Of loaves, fishes, and turkeys

In today's Gospel, we hear about the miracle of the loaves and fishes. You may have heard some talking about this being a "miracle of sharing:" that all of the people who were on the mountain with Jesus had food in their pouches and shared it with each other. As our celebrant at Mass said today, such an interpretation indicates a real lack of faith.

He then went on to share his own loaves and fishes story with all of us, which I will recount here. I recall hearing Father tell this story the last time this Gospel reading came around and it's still pretty awesome (funny...same priest, same Gospel). Father went to college at St. Joseph's in Brooklyn, NY, which is where he heard this story.

Every year, some of the young people went with the chaplain to a The Lord's Ranch in New Mexico, about 20 miles west of El Paso, TX area to work with the very poor people there. The people they worked with would earn a very meager living by going through the local garbage dump to collect whatever they could to resell: scrap metal, clothing, etc.

In Christmas of 1972, the people who worked at the ranch, led by Fr. Rick Thomas, SJ (those darn Jesuits! ;) ) who ran the ranch, decided to offer a holiday meal for the people they worked with. They got enough food for about 160 people. When they announced they were going to have this dinner, over 300 people showed up. The workers were horrified. There was no way what they bought would feed everyone. There would be riots when they ran out of food, they feared.

Fr. Rick gathered everyone in the kitchen and led them in prayer. He recalled the miracle described in the sixth chapter of the Gospel according to St. John and asked the Lord to help the people. He asked God to remember the hungry people gathered there and to remember that some of them would have their faith in the Lord shaken if there was no food for them to eat. He reminded God that it was "the Lord's own good name on the line here" with the 300+ hungry men, women, and children. They ended their prayer and began to serve dinner.

They fed the first 150 and there was still more left over. They fed the next 150 with plenty to spare. It was as if the hams and turkeys grew as they were cut instead of getting smaller. They fed 300 and more people without running out of food. Everyone who came to the ranch that day for dinner left with a full stomach. And they had so much left over that they took the food to two local orphanages and fed more people there. They next went to a local nursing home where they were able to feed all of the resdient and there was still so much food left over. They left everything there at the nursing home at the end of the day. You can find a brief recount of the story within another story about volunteers going to the ranch at this link.

Little miracles really do happen every day. It's just nice to hear every once in a while about a really big one happening. It's some reassurance for us silly little people still here struggling on this earth that the Lord is still working, in through, and among us.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Advice for other pregnant ladies

Here are some hings that I have figured out over the last 3 pregnancies that might be useful for anyone else expecting:

1. Instead of that big bulky body pillow which takes up half your bed and will force your husband to the sofa for a good night's rest, try folding a twin sized comforter twice lengthwise. It still supports you, but it doesn't take up as much room. Plus, on the off chance you ever get cold again, it can be unfolded to cover you up in the middle of the night!

2. Peppermints or lemon candy will ease your morning sickness. Peppermint tea is also really good for overcoming any last trimester overindulgence you may engage in (I can't believe I ate the whole thing...)

3. You MUST drink 2 litres of water every day in order to avoid swollen ankles and feet. Flavored seltzer is getting me through...

4. Likewise, stay away from prepared foods and processed foods during this time, or you're going to need three litres of water a day. They're loaded with salt. Too much salt and not enough water equals swollen face, ankles, fingers, etc.

5. When your fingers get too swollen for your wedding ring to fit right, take it off while you can still get it off and wear it on a chain around your neck. It's better than them cutting the ring off your finger in the ER when your finger starts to turn blue from lack of circulation. If it makes you feel better, get a cheap golden band in a larger size to wear unitl you return to normal.

6. Your Labor and Delivery nurse (or technician) is your best friend. She will be the bad guy for you. Visitors getting annoying? She will kick them out for you citing some medical reason that may or may not exist. She will be with you through most of your labor. The rumors are true. You OB/GYN really does show up just in time to catch the baby.

7. If you have a question call your doctor. They've heard everything. There is no such thing as a stupid question.

I'll add more as I think of them. If any other women have words of wisdom, please add them in the combox.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

RC Mommy announces D-Day

Delivery day, that is. I can't go past August 30, since my good doctor has scheduled my c-section for that date. Of course, if I go into labor before then, they'll take me for an emergency C-Section. Since my other children have had to be pried from the womb, (I have never experienced labor) I seriously doubt that I'll be going into labor early.

Why the sections? Well, I give birth to poultry, not children. Primo was 9 lbs. 6 oz and Bubba was 10 lbs 1 oz. Seeing as I'm only 5' 2" and how OB/GYNs don't like to be sued, I have always had scheduled C's.

Some folks have been asking me: "How are you handling the heat?" since the thermometers toppped 100 last week. Barb, whom I had lunch with week before last, knows just how huge I am and so can imagine how many hundreds of times I've been asked that question. The answer is: I don't leave my air conditioned home or office if I can help it. Seriously. I don't go outside. Today was in the low 80's though, and for the first time in over a week, the AC is not on. It's sort of nice to breathe fresh air. Our neighbor has an outdoor fireplace going full tilt right now and it smells GREAT!

So, say a prayer that the weather here in NJ stays relatively cool and that I make it to August 30. :)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

More from Bubba

Bubba will be three in September. Being a nearly three year old American Boy, Bubba REALLY likes Thomas the Tank Engine. One of his favorite things to play with are the sheds the trains sleep in, which have doors with a rounded top.

Each week when we go to Mass, we sit on the side of the church with the Blessed Mother Altar, ususally just one or two rows back from the front. It is in a shallow alcove, with a rounded top.

Last week, after the homily, Bubba asked, "Does Mary live in that shed?"

Monday, July 10, 2006

Not that you asked...

but here are my 2 cents on these soldiers who raped then murdered a 14 year old girl in Iraq then murdered her family.

Hand them over to the Iraqi government to try.

These men are a disgrace to our nation. They are a disgrace to every man and woman in an American uniform and they certainly do not represent what we as a nation are all about. It makes me angry to think that the men and women who are over there fighting and helping to establish a new government over there are now even further behind than they were before. This crime will cause even more of the locals to turn against the other US soldiers over there and the government we are working so hard to establish over there. This crime puts more American soldiers in danger.

What better way to show that the US is in full supporrt of the newly elected Iraqi government than to give the criminals, who happen to be American citizens, over to their judicial process?

The priest at our 9:00 Mass yesterday spoke about Jesus as a patriot yesterday, since the 4th of July was last Tuesday. He spoke of the word "patriotism" as loyalty and commitment to one's father. Jesus, he said is the first among patriots since He did His Father's will completely and faithfully. Father spoke of us needing to be patriotic to the land of our birth: Heaven. When we are baptized, we become children of God, and Heaven becomes our home. He said we need to remember where we are really from and act accordingly.

These soldiers who have (OK, allegedly) committed these horrible crimes have forgotten to whom they belong. They deserve to face the full consquences of their actions. If this had happened to an American girl and her family, our government would demand that they be turned over to our judicial system. This Iraqi family deserves the same justice.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

RC Mommy- at least two years behind

I think this happens to all of us when our kids are small, but I am woefully behind the times in terms of adult pop culture.

For example, several weeks ago, we rented "Walk the Line" on DVD. Yeah. The Johnny Cash movie that Reese Witherspoon won the Oscar for this year. I wanted to see it in the theatre, but life just sort of happened and I never got there.

I really really enjoyed this movie. Reese was very good, but Joaquin Phoenix was phenomenal. I don't remember who won for best actor last year, and I know I didn't see the movie he won for, but it seems to me that Phoenix's performance was really hard to beat.

I remember reading when the film came out that Roseann Cash, one of Johnny's three daughters was upset about how her mom was portrayed in the film. Vivian, Johnny's first wife, comes off as not being supporetive of his career. The movie isn't really about her, so there's not a great reason to make Vivian sympathetic, but I have to say that if I were home with three little girls and daddy was away for weeks at a time and obviously in love with another woman while married to me, I'd be crabby too. I was very sympathetic to Vivian and I don't think that the film portrayed her too negatively. Any woman married with small children can relate to where she's coming from.

On the literary side, I finally picked up Augusten Burroughs' "Running with Scissors." This memoir came out ages ago, and they're making a movie out of it starring Annette Bening as his mother. I heard about how great it was when it came out two or more years ago, but I never got around to it.

Here's my review. Burroughs is a gifted writer. His life was totally screwed up and I'm amazed he can function after what he lived through. I was shocked by what endured from the ages of 11-17. There are very graphic descriptions of the sexual abuse he endured and that people knew about and no one cared enough to stop.

I'm the kind of person who tends to really internalize what she reads, a lot more than what I do with the TV. For example, after reading "the Lord of the Rings," I started speaking in more complex, more formal sentences. I can't explain it. The books I read, for a day or two, really become a part of me. I had to put "Running With Scissors" down because I became too involved with the "Story." When I was OK enough to pick it back up, I had to read the last chapter before continuing on with the book (I NEVER do that) to make sure Augusten was going to be OK. I realized after I started reading again that the worst of the sexual abuse was over (can there be such a thing?), but other forms of suffering for him were not. I want to read more about his life (he has published 2 sequels to "Running With Scissors"), but I'm not sure if I can take more of that.

So, there are my pop culture reviews, 2 years behind. Catch me in 2008, when I finally rent (and/or read) "The Devil Wears Prada!"

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I love Fr. Z!

OK, So I went back to What Does the Prayer Really Say and Fr. Z's latest post is on today's Gospel reading, where Jesus encounters the demoniacs of Gerasene. Go read the whole thing, but I have to post this snippet here:

Let us not forget that even though Christ is risen and victorious, this world still has its prince. This is the enemy of our soul.

The malice of the fallen angels is so great that they will overcome the agony they experience in the present of the sacred, just for the opportunity to trip us. Enduring the terror of the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament itself, they will attack you at Mass. They will defy the sacraments and sacramentals just for a chance to bring you down a notch, if not entirely.

Be always wary of the enemy.
Do not forget that demonic possession and oppression are REAL phenomena. When you are at Holy Mass, remain always aware of the glory of the sacred mysteries and that you, because of your saving baptism, can be a true and active participant.