30 April 2012

Book Nook

I don't have a children's book for today's post, but am instead posting about a book I'm reading. Some months ago Fr. Robert Barron released a DVD series of his Catholicism Project. Some of the parts were aired on TV, though not all 6 parts. I managed to record 3 of them, and haven't been able to get the other parts. As always, the videos are very well done: beautiful and informative.

On our last library trip, I was poking around in the religion section. I was actually looking for some C. S. Lewis, but then my eye stopped on Fr. Barron's name. As it turns out, there's also a book that is basically derived from the video transcripts! I was excited and so of course picked it up. I've not been disappointed, and I highly recommend the book. You needn't be a theologian to read it, thankfully , since I'm not one. I think Catholics and non-Catholics alike could get a lot from the book: Catholics to be reminded of the beauty of our faith and non-Catholics to learn more about how and what we believe.

22 April 2012

Sunday Snippets - a Catholic Carnival

Happy Third Sunday of Easter! Thank you to RAnn for hosting. It's been a nice week here, and I've been enjoying the thunderstorms and rain of the past day or two. This week I've shared about another children's book and my knitting, as well as a lament about meaningless choices. have a good week, and God bless.

19 April 2012

Crafty Thursday

Well, I'm still plugging away on my sweater.  I think I have about 3 more pattern repeats before the garter stitch edging.  I've decided on just doing cap sleeves instead of long sleeves, as then I can wear it longer.  I can always put a long-sleeved shirt on under it when it gets colder.  Ignore the purple, pink, and red threads.  I'd had the purple one there from when I was trying it on to ensure the ribbed part was long enough; the other threads are holding the sleeve stitches.

Ages ago, I found this wrap skirt.  It never quite fit the way I wanted, but I hung on to it for some reason.  Well, I had the brilliant idea that I'd turn it into a shirt.  I figured it couldn't be too difficult, just use an existing shirt as a template and voila: new shirt.  Well, it would've been that simple, had I used the right shirt as a template.  I made the mistake of using a stretchy shirt for the template, when the skirt material is not stretchy.  So yeah, didn't work out.  However, with just a little more work, it'll make a nice dress for Charlotte, so hopefully I can do that.

And finally, I pulled out some ribbon yarns, just for fun.  I found this black/white/grey/gold sparkly one, and decided to try making a scarf with it.  I wanted it narrower than the pattern, just for my personal preference. I think it's turning out nicely.

17 April 2012

Meaningless Choices

There is, rightly, a push to ensure informed consent for medical choices. There is also, rightly, a push to ensure the full range of choices is available, of course ensuring that such choices are made with all the facts in mind. Various medical associations have released statements affirming that these options should be available. This sounds well and good, until you realise that, in some cases, these statements are meaningless due to various factors.

For example, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) states that a woman should have the option to have a VBAC, and that this may be appropriate even after two Caesarians. This is something for which some have been campaigning, since the Caesarian rate in the US is rather high. However, in practice I'm not sure how much of a choice this actually gives women. ACOG doesn't have the authority to enforce this. Some doctors continue to have a policy of "once a c-section, always a c-section". In smaller towns, there might not be any doctors willing to oversee a VBAC, meaning that the woman doesn't even have the choice of switching doctors, assuming her insurance would allow that anyway. Speaking of insurance, I suspect, though am not certain, that the doctor's malpractice insurance plays a role in the refusal to attend VBACs. I certainly don't think the doctors are just being mean. But in this case, the statement from ACOG doesn't translate into a true choice for all women in the US.

A similar case is found in the case of vaginal birth of frank breech babies. ACOG states that vaginal delivery of a frank breech baby may be appropriate if the doctor is experienced in such births, the risks have been discussed, and it is carefully monitored. The key here is the doctor having experience. Through no fault of their own, many doctors lack experience delivering breech babies, as the standard protocol was to do a caesarian. As more research has been done, it's again been determined that vaginal birth of frank breech babes may be appropriate, but now fewer doctors have the experience to attend such births. Therefore, it is still a meaningless choice for some women (though hopefully not for long since I would think more medical schools would be training doctors for this given the more recent research).

I am in no way criticizing the doctors, nor do I think they are just keeping women from making these choices. In fact, i imagine some doctors wish to accommodate these choices, but cannot due to lack of experience or other factors. These are complex issues, with many factors coming into play. I simply lament that circumstances are such that, while women have the choice for these things in theory, it is not yet practice everywhere.

16 April 2012

Book Nook

As an older child, someone gave us The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka. I remember laughing a lot, enjoying the different take on the fairy tale classic. Today, I pulled the book out to read to my children, who also enjoyed the story. Just remember, there are two sides to every story. ;-)

8 April 2012

Sunday Snippets - a Catholic Carnival

Happy Easter! Alleluia! Thank you, RAnn for hosting, as always. As is appropriate for Holy Week, most of my posts have centered on the Church this week, the one exception being the Book Nook post. I linked to a post about children in Mass, and mused about how my 2-year-old teaches me about God. I rambled a bit about the silence of the past few days, and rejoiced in Easter. May everyone have a blessed start to the Easter season.

He Is Risen! Alleluia!

Christ is risen! Alleluia! Happy Easter, everyone! While we didn't make it to the vigil last night, we were there bright and early this morning for a beautiful Mass. The fact that I was at the marriage supper of the Lamb was really pronounced, especially as the organist played the Trumpet Voluntary before Mass. That is the song that was played as I walked down the aisle at my own wedding. And to see everything unveiled, to see my Jesus today after the silence from Good Friday and yesterday. It was amazing. It is amazing. He is risen! Alleluia!

7 April 2012


The Triduum is my favourite time of year. The liturgies are just amazing, and remembering Jesus' passion and resurrection in such a sensory way. . .well, there's no describing how powerful it is. Unfortunately, this year I've been unable to attend any of the Triduum services, for a variety of reasons. I have been there in my heart, though.

one of my favourite hymns, one that has been sung at Compline for much of Lent and Holy Week, is "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence" from the Liturgy of St James. I thoughti'd post the lyrics here, omitting the final verse since it isn't unite Easter yet (how I long to sing the Gloria and Alleluia again!). Anyway, here are the lyrics:

Let all mortal flesh keep silence, And with fear and trembling stand; Ponder nothing earthly minded, For with blessing in His hand, Christ our God to earth descendeth Our full homage to demand.

King of kings, yet born of Mary, As of old on earth He stood, Lord of lords, in human vesture, In the body and the blood; He will give to all the faithful His own self for heavenly food.

Rank on rank the host of heaven Spreads its vanguard on the way, As the Light of light descendeth From the realms of endless day, That the powers of hell may vanish As the darkness clears away.

4 April 2012

I Want To Do It By Myself!

On Monday, I took the children swimming. They love the water, and Charlotte has no fear. She wanted to come off the step, fully into the water with me. So I swept her up and held her so she could "swim" a bit. For a time, she was content with that, but then she started thrashing around demanding that I let go so she could do it by herself. I patiently explained that I couldn't let go, because she isn't good enough at swimming yet, but she didn't want to listen.

Today I went to Confession and Adoration at my parish. After Confession, when I was kneeling before Jesus in the Eucharist, Charlotte's demand to be let go so she could do it herself came back to me. I go to God and confess to Him, I accept His grace and acknowledge that I cannot do it myself, but then at some point, I try to take control again. I am like Charlotte: thrashing around trying to get free and saying I can do it myself, when God is telling me that I can't, that I need His grace so I don't sink. I know that it is only through His grace that I am freed from sin, but it doesn't always stop me from trying to take control. I thank God for giving me this reminder today, and I thank Him for giving His grace through the Sacraments as He does. I cannot thank Him enough.

3 April 2012

Crying Children and the Sacrifice of the Mass

I came across this blog post from a priest and thought it was absolutely wonderful. I'll post an excerpt, but I recommend going to the link and read the whole thing!
It is not uncommon today for parents to feel awkward about bringing young children to Mass. If, when they are in the church, the toddlers or infants begin to fuss and cry, the parents often struggle to quiet their little ones before other parishioners become annoyed. Many parishes now have cry-rooms to segregate these noisy kids from the rest of the Christian community. For me, as a priest, the sound of crying children calls to mind the mystery of the sacrifice of the Mass. Children, crying at church Happily, many parishioners and priests recognize that the sound of young children is the sound of the future of the Church. What a joy it is to hear children at Mass! If the Church is pro-life, how can we possibly be upset by the presence of an infant? And, if any should respond that he would be happy to welcome quiet babies but not noisy ones, I reply that his love is a matter of words only, since quiet babies hardly exist. In any case, we must love the child in our midst, not merely the “perfect” child who exists only in our mind.

2 April 2012

Book Nook

I've really decided you can't go wrong with books by Julia Donaldson. For Charlotte's birthday, she received Tiddler the Story-Telling Fish, by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. Tiddler has a big imagination and tends to tell tall tales. These tales usually get him in trouble, but when he gets lost, the stories lead him home. It's become an instant favorite here. The story and illustrations are great, and there's even a Gruffalo fish! Really, any time you see one of her books, pick it up: you won't be disappointed.

1 April 2012

Sunday Snippets - a Catholic Carnival

It's Palm Sunday! Hosanna! Thank you, RAnn, for hosting the carnival. I started out the week with my standard Book Nook. I'm glad my children love books so much. I also posted the latest knitting and crocheting projects on the Crafty Thursday post. I mused about the dynamics of weaning with older nurslings, and linked to a friend's post on reusable menstrual products. Have a happy Holy Week!