Sunday, March 26, 2006

Wanna see pictures of me with my kids?

My DH has permitted me to post a picture of me with our two kids who have already been born. Here is one of me and Bubba:

and here is me with Primo.

aren't they beautiful?

Friday, March 24, 2006

Catholic Charities adoption brouhaha

I was just over at Higher Plane. Omis has put up a well though-out post on the Catholic Charities adoption thing. My comment was going to be too long, so I decided to post it here.

I agree with the decision Catholic Charities has made because I do believe that kids need to be with a mother and a father. Cardinal Arinze has gone so far as to say that intentionally depriving a child of a mother or a father does violence to that child. This goes doubly true for those children who have special needs. So, should Catholic Charities also start permitting single parent adoptions less often? Probably, to be fair to the child. Catholic Charities' first goal should be placing children with the best families, not just the best ones that happen to be available. This means Catholic Charities and our priests will have to go beating the bushes in parishes appealing to the people in the pews to pray on adopting a child from the foster care system. And I live in NJ, where foster care is pretty screwed up.

Just for the record, my husband and I have seriously considered adopting an older or hard to place child. We were discouraged from doing that right now by friends who have done it because we have small children and some of these kids come with some pretty intense emotional baggage. But really, there are some empty nesters or families with teens who I'm sure would consider it if they were asked to--the idea has probably never occurred to them.

That's how it would happen in our house

Three men were sitting together bragging about how they had told their new wives what their household duties were to be.

The first man had married a woman from Tennessee. He bragged that he had told his wife she was going to do all the dishes and house cleaning. He said it took a couple days; on the third day he came home to a clean house and the dishes were done.

The second man had married a woman from Florida. He bragged that he had given his wife orders that she was to do all the cleaning, dishes and the cooking. On the first day he didn't see any results, but the next day itwas better. By the third day, his house was clean, the dishes were done and he had a huge dinner on the table.

The third man married a girl from New Jersey. He boasted that he told her that her duties were to keep the house clean, dishes washed, lawn mowed, laundry washed and hot meals on the table for every meal. He said the first day he didn't see anything, the second day he didn't see anything but by the third day most of the swelling had gone down and he could see a little out of his left eye just enough to fix himself a bite to eat, load the dishwasher, find a cleaning lady, and telephone a landscaper.

Thanks to my dad for the joke.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

I need a sign...

I've been thinking about this for a while and I've seen this topic on other bloggers' pages.

I have intensely wanted to have a vision from a heavenly someone. Jesus. Mary. A Saint. Anyone on the heaven side. I can recall a few years ago being in a car and thinking how much I would like to have a vision of the Blessed Mother, to have her come to me like she came to Bernadette. Almost as soon as I completed the thought (prayer?) a feeling of great sadness overcame me. I was unworthy of such a gift. I knew it. I had asked for it and I was unworthy of it.

Why am I unworthy? Because I was so prideful that I dared ask for such a gift. Bernadette saw Our Lady because she was the model of humility. Faustina saw Our Lord because she was exceedingly humble. Who am I to suppose I deserve such a gift? This is not something you ask for. It's something given to you.

Our Lord cannot enter the hearts of the proud. There isn't room for Him there. Our humble God, who will not impose His Divine Will on us, requires us to reciprocate that humility.

And why was I asking for a vision anyway? To get attention? So I could feel special? Well, I am a child of God. What should make me more special than that?

Maybe I asked because my faith is weak. If that's the case, these words must haunt me: "Jesus said to [Thomas], 'Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed'" (Jn. 20:29). And I do see Jesus. All the time. In the Eucharist. Sure, it looks like bread and wine. I know it's Him because He told us so (see Jn. 6:22-71; Lk. 22: 19-20; Mk. 14: 22-24; Mt. 26: 26-28).

So, lately, I haven't been praying for a vision. I still sometimes imagine that when I'm alone in the church the corpus on the crucifix comes alive and Jesus talks to me, but I try to put that right out of my head. There is a statue of St. Therese of Lisieux by the back doors of our church whose eyes look right through me (honestly, I try not to look at her, especialy when I'm feeling guilty) and I tell her, "Don't look at me like that, Therese." ;)

Hey, man, I'm just out here trying. That's all I can do.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

for the first time in nearly 80 years

a Giglio man has produced a girl. At least we're 80% sure it's a girl since it's still a little early to tell for sure. We'll have to wait a few more weeks for the final word.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Prayer bleg

My sister-in-law is on strict bedrest in the hospital right now since she went into preterm labor with her twin girls last week. Please pray for her through the intercession of St. Gerard that she can hold out a few more weeks. She's 26 weeks along now. The longer the babies stay inside, the better. She and my brother have been trying for 7 years to have these babies and they've had a couple of miscarriages along the way.

Bambina? Bambino?

Ultrasound tomorrow. If the young'un isn't camera-shy, we'll find out if the new one is a boy or a girl. I'll keep you posted.

The Dog is back!

"I like to hear that God goes before us because he is the biggest bulletproof vest of all." --Dog

Can I just tell you how much I love Dog the Bounty Hunter? And his wife is so awesome. I can totally see myself as her if we hadn't moved out of Northeast Philadelphia. Big bleached blond hair and all. I watched the season premiere on A&E tonight and as I was watching Dog and Beth fight, I was like, "my husband and i fight like that" (on the rare occasions we fight).

Just thought I'd share. Back to my trailer I go.

Always thought I was a Hobbes kind of gal...

Mostly Calvin

You are 80% Calvin and 20% Hobbes
Your inner Calvin often prevails, but, as in the image below, you have a significant Hobbesian component. I'm going to try to stretch the visual metaphor here: you have a good head on your shoulders, but when you don't use it, your crazy body gets you in trouble? Does that work? Odds are you're impulsive and imaginative, but it's possible you've collected just enough wisdom to hold your most anti-social urges in check. Most of the time. It's a precarious balance, like a boy on one foot with a tiger head.

Link: The Calvin Or Hobbes Test written by gwendolynbooks on Ok Cupid
h/t to Mark


Bubba: I want a hippopotomous for a pet!

DH during nighttime prayers: What Are you guys grateful for?
Bubba: My Book.
Primo tickles Bubba, who is extrememly ticklish.
Bubba: I don't want to be tickled!!!!!
Primo: I'm grateful for ticklish Bubba.
Bubba: It not tickle time! It prayers time!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

I was on retreat this weekend

Well, not the whole weekend. There was a women's cornerstone retreat at my parish Friday night and all day Saturday. I can't say I feel refreshed. I am more drained than anything.

See, folks, I'm toasted. I miss my family. I have seen my kids for about a total of 5 of the last 48 hours. We had an awesome Confirmation retreat at the parish last weekend and then this one where I was a table leader and presenter. And my Mom-mom's 80th birthday party was today and I couldn't go b/c I had committed to this retreat in October. I'm very close to Mom-mom and it stunk not to go and see my aunts, uncles, and cousins. Happy Birthday Mom-mom.

I don't think the problem was the retreat. I think it was me. I haven't really wanted to do this since February. I said I'd be a table leader before I knew what work it entailed. I am simply overextended and didn't really want to be there. And I'm not sure I needed a retreat right now. God and I are getting along pretty well. And I am so burnt out on my parish. Gosh, If I have to be in that church for anything other than Mass....I might just jump out a stained glass window.

Based on what the other women experienced, I would recommend any of the ladies reading this to try a Cornerstone retreat. The other women were deeply moved. I think I wasn't really open to it.

Better perspective in the morning, right?


Sunday Update:

Feeling better, thanks! Happy St. Joseph's Day!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Your NCAA men's basketball update

Pirates lose by 20 points to Wichita State. I don't happen to think they even deserved a bid to the tournament since they were so inconsistent, but it's disappointing that they have to come home so early. Oh well. Which Big East Team to I root for now? I guess Villanova. Though it pains me since their admissions counselors were always so snotty. But they're Catholic and Big East, so I hope they do well.

We will fight fight fight for the blue and white and the glory of Seton Hall!!!! S! H! U! SHU!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Just 5 more minutes....

Yesterday morning was stressful. Made doubly so because I had done it to myself. Once again, pride got me. Someone asked me for help, I agreed, and I got pissy about it (Now I am inconvenienced! I TOLD her I was busy today! I'll bet the baby isn't even sick!). I screamed at my kids. Complained to my husband and mother and secretary, generally injecting a little bit of poison into their days. Finally got to the office and got a phone call from someone who has left me in a very big lurch in the past and I complained about her in a very haughty way. On leaving my house again after lunch I said to my mother, "I have got to get to Mass today. I need Jesus to fix me."

Went to Mass at noon, praying that the Lord would help me get ok again. Did you ever listen to a homily and feel like all of a sudden you're the only one in the church and the homily was written just for you? A homily where you had to get the priest after Mass and say, "Thanks. I needed to hear that today?" Father preached about hitting the "spiritual snooze button," not being quick to respond to God's grace. We all do it: "OK, God, I'll pray in a minute." "I'll forgive them. Just not NOW." "I'll help them in a minute."

Finally, I got it. All morning I failed to respond to grace. How many of those moments passed me by yesterday morning: Keeping my mouth shut when I wanted to complain; stepping up for my friend cheerfully; being more patient with my sons; sparing my husband my stress on top of trying to get out the door to work on time.

Oh, how ugly I had been. Lord, I am not worthy to receive you. Only say the word, and I shall be healed. Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Too good not to share with everyone

Boys, you can skip this one; it's for the ladies. Some of this doesn't apply to me since I wasn't born till '75, but a lot of it rings true.

* You wore a rainbow shirt that was half-sleeves, and the rainbow went up one sleeve, across your chest, and down the other. I had that one in the 80's.
* You made baby chocolate cakes in your Easy Bake Oven and washed them down with snow cones from your Snoopy Snow Cone Machine. yup
* You had that Fisher Price Doctor's Kit with a stethoscope that actually worked.
* You owned a bicycle with a banana seat and a plastic basket with flowers on it.
* You learned to skate with actual skates (not roller blades) that had metal wheels.
* You thought Gopher from Love Boat was cute (admit it!)
* You had nightmares after watching Fantasy Island.
* You had rubber boots for rainy days and Moon boots for snowy days.
* You had either a "bowl cut" or "pixie," not to mention the "Dorothy Hamill" because your Mom was sick of braiding your hair. People sometimes thought you were a boy.
* Your Holly Hobbie sleeping bag was your most prized possession. Didn't have the sleeping bag, but I did have the sheets and bedspread hat i wore out till you could see through them. They "disappeared" one day....
* You wore a poncho, gauchos, and knickers.... and later on came leg every color! I just did the pink leg warmers, but I was taking ballet at the time....
* You begged Santa for the electronic game, Simon.
* You had the Donnie and Marie dolls with those pink and purple satiny shredded outfits.
* You spent hours in your backyard on your metal swing set with the trapeze. The swing set tipped over at least once. It was in my grandparents' backyard. And I don't recall it tipping over.
* You had homemade ribbon barrettes in every imaginable color.
* You had a pair of Doctor Scholl's sandals (the ones with hard sole & the buckle). No, but I really wanted them
* You also had a pair of salt-water sandals. flip flops? Is that what they're talking about?
* You wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder really bad; you wore that Little House on the Prairie-inspired plaid, ruffle shirt with the high neck in at least one school picture; and you despised Nellie Olson.
* You wanted your first kiss to be at a roller rink.
* Your hairstyle was described as having "wings" or "feathers" and you kept it "pretty" with the comb you kept in your back pocket. See my third grade picture in my maroon catholic school uniform
* You know who Strawberry Shortcake is, as well as her friends, Blueberry Muffin and Huckleberry Pie. What about Orange Marmalade? And who can forget their enemy, Purple Pie Man?
* You carried a Muppets lunch box to school and it was metal, not plastic.
* You and your girlfriends would fight over which of the Dukes of Hazzard was your boyfriend. I liked Luke. Bo was too pretty.
* You and two of your best friends would play "Charlies Angels", and whoever was the blonde would automatically be Jill (Farrah Fawcett) and later on, her little sister, Kris (Cheryl Ladd); and whoever was a brunette would have to argue over being either Sabrina (Kate Jackson) or Kelly (Jaclyn Smith).
* Every now and then "It's a Hard Knock Life" from the movie, "Annie" will pop into your brain and you can't stop singing it the whole day.
* YOU had Star Wars action figures, too! Princess Leia on the icy planet of Hoth!
* It was a big event in your household each year when the "Wizard of Oz" would come on TV. Your mom would break out the popcorn and sleeping bags!
* You often asked your Magic-8 ball the question: "Who will I marry, Shaun Cassidy, Leif Garrett, or Rick Springfield?" Rick Springfield all the way. I wish that I was Jessie's Girl
* You completely wore out your Grease, Saturday Night Fever, and Fame soundtrack record album.
* You tried to do lots of arts and crafts, like yarn and Popsicle-stick God's eyes, decoupage, or those weird potholders made on a plastic loom. I made so many pot holders....
* You made Shrinky-Dinks and put iron-on kittens on your t-shirts!
* You used to tape record songs off the radio by holding your portable tape player up to the speaker.
* You couldn't wait to get the free animal poster that came when you ordered books from the Weekly Reader book club. Double score if it was a teddy bear dressed in clothing.
* You learned everything you needed to know about girl issues from Judy Blume books (Are you there God, It's me, Margaret.)
* You thought Olivia Newton John's song "Physical" was about aerobics.
* You wore friendship pins on your tennis shoes, or shoelaces with heart or rainbow designs.
* You wanted to be a Solid Gold dancer. Rick Dees was cute then...
* You had a Big Wheel with a brake on the side, and a Sit-n-Spin.
* You had subscriptions to Dynamite and Tiger Beat. I bought them at 7-11
* You spent all your allowance on smurfs and stickers for your sticker album! Lisa Frank Stickers rule!
* You drowned yourself in Love's Baby Soft - which was the first "real" perfume you ever owned.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I'm on the B-Team

Amateur Catholic B-Team Member/a>

OK. I'm pretty sure that this is a practice all over the country, not limited to our parish, but parents here have been permitted to have non-Catholics serve as "witnesses" to their children's baptisms. They can't be godparents, but they can witness the Baptism. It's a distinction we make, but it's not something the parents really get, as evidenced by the conversation I just had.

Mom wanted to know if her son's "godfather" can be his Confirmation sponsor if he's not Catholic. "No. The role of a sponsor is to model what it is to be a Catholic adult for your son, and he can't do that since he's not Catholic." "But I don't understand. He [the "witness"] was allowed to baptize [emphasis mine] him, why can't he be his sponsor?" Yes. She thinks the guy baptized her kid. "Well, he is considered a witness to your son's baptism, but he didn't baptize him. And the Church doesn't consider him a godfather because he's not Catholic. A godfather's responsibility is to help you raise your son Catholic and since the witness isn't Catholic, he can't help you do that."

Why is it I even have to have this conversation?????

Thinking about it...

wearing a chapel veil (mantilla) to Mass.

See, after the Second Vatican Council, no one actually said it was proper for a woman to participate in the Mass without her head covered. And I think it would help me to remember that this is different than what I do every day. Help me remember to be more reverent. I mean, we are talking about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Jesus is HERE, remember?

Dilemma: I work for the parish where i worship. With about 600 kids in CCD, and since i serve as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, I am fairly recognizable. What I don't want is to cause people to think: "She must think she's holier than me" or"She must be holier than me" or "What is that thing on her head?" I don't want to be a distraction for anyone.

Thing is, here I can't be just "mom in the pew." And I don't want to go to Mass anywhere else. I'm going to ask a priest I trust, but what do you guys think?

I love my job, I love my job, I love my job....

If I say it often enough, maybe i will start to believe it.

By 9:30 a.m., I have:
  • fielded a phone call from the school principal about the condition that classrooms were left in by our students last night and the state of the bathroom described in the post below.
  • written a letter to the teachers in the school apologizing for the insanity of our CCD students last night (in addition to the sink, there were spitballs and mud in the classrooms).
  • written a letter to the CCD parents about the crappy condition of the school last night
  • failed to get a reasonable answer to the question: "Why was the door to the roof left unlocked yesterday afternoon?"

It seems that some of the children who came to CCD last night did so without their brains in tow. They will get to hear me scream at them next week. I'm pretty sure that Barb and Penni will be able to hear me in South Jersey.

i love my job, i love my job, i love my job...

My blood pressure is high right now. Please pray for me.

Monday, March 06, 2006

I hate it when my hall monitors are absent.

So, we had CCD tonight and my Hall monitors were out. And I had:
  • idiot 7th graders stuffing toilet paper into bathrooms sinks trying to flood the place
  • and an idiot 6th grader on the roof.

And the public school kids wonder why they have such a bad reputation. Unbelievable.

I got to meet Penni

of martha, martha fame. Penni and Jimbo's cafe is delightful. Frought with drama as most businesses are. Penni is even more delightful and charming in person than she is on her blog, if you can believe it. DH and I were down the shore since our anniversary was this weekend (a last evening alone before the new baby comes and we are never alone again.) and I said to myself, well, Penni is near Atlantic City. Atlantic City is on the ocean. We'll be near the ocean. Let's drive down there for breakfast. And it was totally worth the drive to get there. We're going to have to get together again, Penni. I think Penni, Barb, and me and everyone else in the NY/NJ area should get together. I'd really like to meet Arthur the Angry Twin. Is he as intense in real life as he seems?

About breakfast:The DH and I had wonderful pancakes. Mine with a side of scrapple because i am from Pennsylvania and no one in North Jersey knows how to make it (OK, if you don't know what scrapple is, it's a breakfast, um.....meat which you slice very thin and fry and you don't ask what's in it or you will never eat it again. It's like sausage, only very finely ground with no casing and it has corn meal in it. It's spicy and extra nice with pancakes or eggs.). The DH had Taylor Ham because he's from North Jersey. That's pork roll to the rest of you. If you're near Atlantic City for anything, you should totally go by the Cologne Avenue Cafe. It's got really good food and the prices are quite reasonable.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Tonight I learned

that when red pepper flakes are overheated in oil in the frying pan, the fumes will cause everyone in the house to choke and the chef's nose to burn.

But the Frutti de Mare in puttanesca sauce I made tonight tasted soooo good. It was worth burning my nose for!

Red Hot Links

I have added 4 new pages to my sidebar. I check the blogs daily, and have for several months:

Martha, Martha... by Penni. I love reading Penni's page. She really makes me think. And her comment boxes are very interesting. She's got a great group of readers.

Testosterhome by Rachel Swenson Balducci. You probably know this page, but I had to add it since I check it nearly every day. Rachel has four boys. I love to read their adventures, gives me some idea of what I have to look forward to as Primo and Bubba get older...

Whispers in the Loggia, by Rocco Palmo. Another one I check daily. Rocco always has good scoop. His editorializing (and high opinion of himself) sometimes makes my blood boil, but he's never been wrong in his predictions as long as I have been reading him. And he's a Philly boy, so he can't be bad.

The Cowbell sketch from Saturday Night Live, starring Christopher Walken. I quote from this all the time and no one seems to know what I'm talking about. This is probably the funniest thing that Saturday Night Live has ever done. I just love it. The link takes you to a fan site about Christopher Walken. If you scroll down, you will find another link to the cowbell sketch. there is also "The Continental" sketch which is creepy and hilarious. I wouldn't have thought Christopher Walken could be so funny, but he is hysterical.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

There's something about ashes

For various reasons, I was present for 3 of the 5 opportunities for ashes here at the parish yesterday (Ash Wednesday). First, 8:30 Mass. I was Mommy Helper in Preschool and we took the kids over at the end of Mass to receive ashes (I was told there was "no room" for the Pre-K in Church yesterday to go to Mass. Bunch of crap. The whole class, plus the teacher and me would have taken up one pew.). The Church was very full. Probably like 600 people, but the kids from the parish school were there too, comprising 425 or so of the attendees. Side note: I went home after Primo's school and Bubba looks at me and goes: "What you GOT?!"

3:30, Dispensation of Ashes. No Mass. At least 600 people.

7:00 p.m. Mass. The church was packed, 700 people. Well, it was at least packed at the beginning. See, our celebrant distributed ashes in the middle of Mass, after his homily, and at least 200 people left after recieving ashes.

This leads me to wonder, what is it that people even go to get Ashes if they are not going to Mass on Sunday? Now, anyone who reads this page will know that I am very happy when people come into Church at all. It's always an opportunity for conversion, especially when they aren't here that often. But what is it about those ashes? What is it that makes people who don't normally step a foot into a Church except on Christmas and Easter head out to church in the middle of the week "get ashes?"

I also have to wonder why people will come to Mass to "get ashes" and then leave before the really big deal (the Eucharist)? "Hmmm.....dirt on my head, or the body and blood of Christ? Dirt or Jesus....Jesus or dirt.....I'll just stay for the dirt. If I stay for the Jesus, I'll miss American Idol." I know most Catholics are very poorly catechized, but even ones who know better are leaving Mass early, before the Main Event. I also wonder what possesed the priests to decide that distributing the ashes in the middle of Mass was a good idea. Our guys usually do it after the final blessing. Trying to avoid people receiving the Blessed Sacrament unworthily?

I just wonder...