My little brother had had a Hawaiian shirt that matched one of my dad's, but he'd outgrown it. So I cut it down for Kieran. The only fiddly part was the collar, really. I used the existing hem and button band and sleeve hem, and even the existing collar, just cut down a bit, but I definitely could've placed the collar better. As long as you aren't too near, it looks great.
13 June 2013
9 June 2013
I hope everyone had a lovely Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, and of the Immaculate Heart. Check out >RAnn's for the full carnival. I've only had one post this week, about NFP, since my life right now seems to consist of doctors appointments for my baby and teaching NFP.
8 June 2013
What comes to mind when you hear the phrase "family planning"? Maybe you think of the WHO definition of it simply being a way to plan the number and spacing of children through contraceptive means or treating infertility. I think most, though, focus on the first part and not the second, and never consider that it might include a woman who is fertile choosing to add to their family either through NFP or just by letting things happen.
Now, of course there are times when a couple might decide that it is best if they postpone having a child for a time, and that certainly can be a part of family planning. My objection is that, for most it seems, family planning denotes avoiding children and nothing else. Even though the WHO includes treating infertility in their definition, the main page on family planning focused on limiting the number of children. The local family planning website didn't mention help with conceiving at all, only stating that they provided pregnancy tests, contraceptives, and counseling. Another health site described a typical visit at their family planning clinic and again only discussed contraceptives along with STD prevention. So whatever the official definition, the connotation is one of preventing conception through contraceptives.
Unfortunately, this mindset then enters the view of NFP. When people ask about NFP or want to learn about it, many do so meaning that they want to know how to avoid conception. Some, of course, recognise that NFP is, at its core, about knowledge of one's reproductive health and potential and learn it for that reason, and some are seeking to conceive and learn for that. Most of the couples who come to me, though, wish to avoid conceiving for a time. As an instructor, I find I have to be careful in how I talk about NFP, too, so I don't focus on that one aspect alone, so pervasive is this view.
I don't know exactly what to do to combat this view and get people to start viewing "family planning" as truly talking about planning one's family. I hope that talking about it and ensuring I use it in this way could help slowly change that view. Sometimes I'm unsure how I feel about "family planning" as a term even then, since it inevitably implies that one should plan a family instead of taking things as they come. That's not to say that planning is bad, for it isn't, but I think we sometimes obsess about planning for everything. There is certainly a time when more rigid planning is needed, but I'm not convinced it should be the default or that it is bad if a couple chooses not to plan as such. In fact, I'd lean towards the default being to do nothing, and then use NFP as needed. (Note: I differentiate between charting in order to know one's cycle for general health reasons and identifying a more accurate EDD and charting to avoid conceiving).
I suppose all I can do is be a witness through my own family, and watch how I talk about it when I'm teaching NFP. And maybe I'm just weird in even thinking about it like this. Even with my complaints I am glad my diocese requires NFP instruction during marriage preparation so couples can perhaps start thinking about this more.
30 May 2013
Knitting has taken a back seat with all the stress of late. Nevertheless, I have managed to start a new project. I decided to make Sprite for Charlotte's Christmas present. I found some Saucy Sport in the stash and thought it would work well. The yellow isn't permanent, as it's a provisional cast-on. That will allow me to knit the skirt down from there. I did slightly change the pattern by waiting until the second pattern repeat to divide for the armholes so the armholes won't be overly large.
26 May 2013
25 May 2013
So I was working in the kitchen and singing to myself (please tell me you do this!), and the song was The Beatles' "Something". I love that song. I've heard and sung it countless times, but this time I started thinking more about the lyrics. Part of the song goes "You're asking me will my love grow/ I don't know, I don't know". This made me think about how love is often treated. (See, you can have deep thoughts from listening to the Fab Four)
My thoughts actually turned to gardening. If you just leave the plant, it might grow, but it might not. Some take more tending than others, but even the ones that will grow untended are likely to have at least some issues with bugs or weeds, and so mightn't grow to their full potential. A good gardener, though, regularly checks on his plants, removing weeds at the first sign, ensuring the soil is optimal for the plant, protecting the plants from insects and adverse weather. In short, a good gardener doesn't leave things to chance, and his beautiful garden is the result of his hard work.
Similarly, love requires tending and not just leaving things to chance. It seems to me that leaving it to chance is a good way for things to fail. A plant might weather a bad storm or freeze without work, but its death is also quite likely. A couple might weather a crisis without working on their relationship, but many couples split when such crises arise. But if both parties commit to working on their relationship, success is much more likely. I would argue that love will definitely grow if both are committed to work on it, so one needn't answer that question "I don't know".
19 May 2013
You may have seen posts about Merida, the main character from Disney's Brave, entering the Disney princess lineup. In doing that, she was redrawn, and looked vastly different. There was an uproar, a petition was circulated, and Disney withdrew the modified image.
Once that was done, I saw someone ask why people were upset about Merida being dressed up and converted from CGI to a hand-drawn image. If indeed it had just been about her dressing nicely, fixing her hair a bit, and such, I doubt anyone would've cared, for surely one's coronation is a good occasion to look one's best. While some disliked her being shown without her bow and quiver, I didn't care about that since it was, in a sense, a coronation portrait. But it appears she isn't really dressed very differently, for it appears to be a hand-drawn rendition of the same dress she normally wears with just some added embellishment to the hem and sleeves. The main changes are to Merida herself, not her dress. She is suddenly slimmer, bustier, has a lower neckline, and a paler complexion. Her expression has changed from one of playfulness to one that is, well, sexy. (To be fair, it seems the other Disney princesses also have a sexier look and the same figure, and I object to that, too).
So why do I object? I object because I don't want my daughter to think she must have that "perfect" (improbable) figure. I object because I want her to know she is beautiful by virtue of being her, the person God made her to be, and not because she happens to fit some preconceived mold.
I also object for my sons. They also see these images, and that can form how they view women. I want them to see the true beauty of everyone that comes from them being who they are.
I have also been asked why I don't just shun Disney. Even if I didn't get any Disney products or go to Disney, it is impossible to avoid them. If you stand in the queue for the tills, you see Disney princess balloons (not to mention all the magazines, but that's another rant). In short, it matters not if I try to shun Disney, because the images are everywhere.
And that is a large part of why I object to changing Merida's image. My children are already bombarded with sexualised images. I try to counter that by ensuring my children see me be comfortable in my far-from-perfect (by societal standards) body and by finding princesses who are also strong characters on their own. Merida was one such princess, and her image reflected that, so why change it?