A slight change of plans

Collin's work schedule is changing (from a Saturday-Wednesday shift to a Monday-Friday one, woohoo!) so I rescheduled my 20-wk ultrasound for Oct. 9. Even though we're not finding out the gender, I'm excited to see the baby sooner than originally planned!

7 Quick Takes Friday

Thanks, as always, to Jen.

Soon after I got my iPhone, I discovered podcasts. As I have a job that requires several hours of fairly monotonous work, podcasts are a great way to alleviate the tedium and make the day go by a little faster (I've also discovered Pandora, which is wonderful, but that's a topic for another day). I've also started listening to them during my commute. Today, I thought I'd talk about some of my favorite podcasts.

In no particular order:

1. Catholic Answers Live. I've been a fan of this show for several years and have listened to it on the radio or via MP3 download since 2005 or so. It's great to have the day's episodes automatically downloaded to my iPod every night so I can keep up! My favorite apologists are Tim Staples and Jimmy Akin. I especially enjoy episodes where Jimmy and Patrick (the show's host) discuss deep theological issues such as, "Is it morally permissable to utilize zombie labor?"

2. The Daily Breakfast with Fr. Roderick. "The perfect way to start your day, with a 30-minute mix of music, news, movies, tv-series, videogames, history, health tips, inspiration, science fiction and more. Hosted by the Dutch catholic podcasting priest Fr. Roderick." I love his Dutch accent too. :)

3. NPR's Piano Puzzler. Short and sweet. I can often get the tune, and sometimes even the composer!

4. Among Women. This show focuses on Catholic women; each podcast features the life of a saint as well as an interview with a contemporary Catholic woman. I find it very inspirational and very soothing as well. The hostess, Pat Gohn, has a lovely voice.

5. The Catholics Next Door. This weekly podcast is actually an hour out of a three-hour daily show done by husband-and-wife team Greg and Jennifer Willits for The Catholic Channel on satellite radio. It is rare that this podcast does not make me bust a gut laughing. The Willits have five kids, four boys and a brand-new girl, so the show's also chock-full of fun stories about family life and Catholic parenting. Greg is also a kindred spirit as he's a huge Star Wars fan (one of their sons is named Benjamin Kenobi -- how cool is that?). Jennifer reminds me a lot of Laura, one of my good friends in Fargo.

6. NPR's Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me. I just discovered this one recently and it's HILARIOUS. The only drawback is that I have to struggle to stifle my laughter during work.

7. Pregtastic Pregnancy Podcast. By, for, and about pregnant women. I bet you can guess why I like this one!

There are several more I listen to, but I'll have to save those for another entry. Happy Friday!

The dark side to IVF

Cases like this one break my heart. For me, it serves to reinforce the Church's teaching that IVF and other forms of ART that essentially replace conception in the womb are immoral. I'll bet the scientists who invented IVF never foresaw circumstances like this one.

I find comments from secular perspectives that Ms. Savage should have aborted her pregnancy appalling. Why punish an innocent child for wrongdoing when it had no control or responsibility for the circumstances of its conception? Killing the child would have done nothing to bring any good out of this wretched situation.

I am grateful that Ms. Savage chose not to abort. In that respect, she is to be commended. It is a very difficult and, in my view, heroic act to carry a baby in your womb and then give the baby up. She and her husband are in my prayers.

Baby kicks!

I felt the baby kick for the first time last night! I've felt what I suspected were movements for the last week or so, but I was never 100% sure that they were movements and not just indigestion or something. Last night, however, there was a definite *kick*, coming from right where the doctor said the baby was (right below my belly button, on my left side) based on where he found his/her heartbeat. What a great feeling!

I still keep referring to this baby as "her" in my head, although Collin keeps talking about when "he" arrives. I guess between the two of us, we have our bases covered.

7 Quick Takes Friday

Thanks, as always, to Jen.

1. 16w3d today. My appointment went well. Weight, blood pressure, etc. looked good; baby's heartrate was 160. We scheduled the 20-week ultrasound for October 23.

2. We looked at a house last night that we really liked and submitted an offer this morning. However, there are apparently several other offers on the table, so no telling if we'll get it. I guess we'll have to wait and see. My constant prayer during all this homebuying hassle is "God, may Your will be done." I just wish we could know -- I hate living with uncertainty.

3. I'm taking the kids to the Kidsfaire expo this weekend. Lots of fun stuff to do -- I know we'll have a blast.

4. Last Sunday, Elanor said, "Mom, turn off the Wiggles and let's go see Jesus." She has the right idea!

5. We've enrolled Elanor in a church program called "Little Church." Basically she'll go to that while William and I go to Mass. It'll be a relief only having to wrangle one kid. I hope she has a good time.

6. William has started walking a LOT more lately. It's a relief because I was starting to think he'd crawl off to college! He's finally decided that walking isn't half bad.

7. Yarrrrrrrr, me hearties! Shiver me timbers! Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum; a pirate's life for me! Don't forget to celebrate National Talk Like a Pirate Day tomorrow. I may wear my Pirate's of the Caribbean mouse ears in honor of the day. :P

G.K. Chesterton on birth control

Ignatius Insight

My favorite part:

Now a child is the very sign and sacrament of personal freedom. He is a fresh free will added to the wills of the world; he is something that his parents have freely chosen to produce and which they freely agree to protect. They can feel that any amusement he gives (which is often considerable) really comes from him and from them and from nobody else. He has been born without the intervention of any master or lord. He is a creation and a contribution; he is their own creative contribution to creation. He is also a much more beautiful, wonderful, amusing and astonishing thing than any of the stale stories or jingling jazz tunes turned out by the machines. When men no longer feel that he is so, they have lost the appreciation of primary things, and therefore all sense of proportion about the world. People who prefer the mechanical pleasures, to such a miracle, are jaded and enslaved. They are preferring the very dregs of life to the first fountains of life. They are preferring the last, crooked, indirect, borrowed, repeated and exhausted things of our dying Capitalist civilisation, to the reality which is the only rejuvenation of all civilisation. It is they who are hugging the chains of their old slavery; it is the child who is ready for the new world.

7 Quick Takes Friday

Thanks, as always, to Jen.

1. In exciting homebuying news, the appraisal was completed and the bank contacted our realtor, telling her that they'd have a decision by the end of the month. That's astonishingly fast for a short sale. Good news or bad, at least we'll have a decision and can move on from there. Collin is going to start looking at more houses next week, just in case. Here's hoping!

2. I saw a rainbow on my way home from work. It was nice to see such a strong reminder of hope today.

3. The kids were being cute at the library last week, and I took the opportunity to try and get a picture of them together. This (sadly) is the best of the lot.

4. I attempted a belly shot tonight, at 15w3d. I'm still in that "looks fat and not pregnant" stage -- you know, the annoying one where all your regular jeans are too tight but all your maternity pants are too big. If only I could wear pajama pants 24-7...

5. Collin and I were having a baby-preparedness talk a few nights ago, and I said, "We should have everything ready by February 2. That's 36 weeks." (William was born at 36w3d, so that's my cutoff just in case this one comes early too.) Collin nodded and then said, "Right. So if the baby sees its shadow..." It took me a minute to get it but then I laughed myself silly. I shared the story on a message board, and someone posted the following cartoon in reply:

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6. We watched a really interesting movie last night: Interstella 5555. The entire film is set to an album by a band, beloved of Collin, called Daft Punk. They're doing the Tron 2 music and he's terribly excited. He'd seen clips of this movie before but never the whole thing, so when I discovered it was on Netflix he moved it up to the top of the queue immediately. I was actually pleasantly surprised at how much we all enjoyed it. I think we'll have to add it to our home collection eventually.

7. 09/11/01: We remember.

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image from here

Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.

Mmmmm, pot roast.

This is the recipe that I used today when I made pot roast. It was wonderful so I thought I'd share. It's from the cookbook Fix It and Forget It: Feasting With Your Slow Cooker.

Roast Beef with Ginger Ale

3-lb beef roast
1/2 cup flour
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 envelope dry brown gravy mix
2 cups ginger ale

1. Coat the roast with flour. Reserve any flour that doesn't stick to the roast. Place roast in slow cooker.

2. Combine the dry soup mix, gravy mix, remaining flour, and ginger ale in a bowl. Mix well.

3. Pour sauce over roast.

4. Cover and cook on Low 8-10 hours or until the roast is tender.

Simple, easy, and delicious!

7 Quick Takes Friday

Thanks, as always, to Jen.

1. It's the Friday before a holiday weekend! Woohoo! Collin has to work both Saturday and Sunday, so I need to keep the kids quiet and/or out of the house both days. It's supposed to be a bit cooler this weekend -- only upper 90s -- so I'm hoping we can play outside a good bit. Of course, it's also supposed to rain all weekend. I guess we'll figure out something.

2. Our house is somewhat clean for a change. The house owners' bank called on Tuesday evening (around 6pm) and asked if they could send over an appraiser on Wednesday morning. Legally, they're supposed to give us 48 hours' notice, so Collin said no and managed to reschedule for today at 10am. That works out better since Collin doesn't work today. So we've been cleaning furiously every evening this week -- we even cancelled our date last night -- and our kitchen and living room look really nice. The bedrooms are iffy, but I'm past the point of caring. I'll work on them more this weekend even though it won't matter as much. Now we just need to hope that the appraisal comes in at less than our offer so the bank will look upon the sale more favorably.

3. I did end up buying The Messies Manual: The Procrastinator’s Guide to Good Housekeeping by Sandra Felton, and I have another of her books on hold at the library. I haven't read much yet but I'm hopeful it'll contain some helpful advice. I'm really tired of always having a messy house.

4. I am craving pot roast, so I think I'll make one this weekend. Anyone have any good recipes? I'd prefer a crockpot recipe, but it's not strictly necessary.

5. Mashed potatoes are another craving. Oddly, I craved pot roast and mashed potatoes with William as well, which contradicts my girl vibes.

6. We are more than likely going to my 5-year-old niece's birthday party tonight (her b-day was 8/31) and Elanor is terribly excited. She helped me pick out a birthday card last night and talked about the party all morning as well.

7. I'll close with a quote by G.K. Chesterton: "The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice." - A Defense of Humilities, The Defendant, 1901

She must know something I don't know

This weekend, Elanor was carrying a doll around the house, wrapping it up in a blanket, putting it to sleep in her doll crib, etc. At one point, I asked her, "Is that your baby?"

She replied, "No, this is my baby sister."

14 weeks today!

We went to an introductory Bradley class last night. The instructors (who, as an interesting side note, are both blind) have had 10 homebirths! Their oldest is 33 and their youngest is 9.

We listened to one couple's amazing birth story (and met their adorable 2-month-old, Elias) and chatted for quite a while. We're looking into seeing if I can switch to a midwife and Olga (Bradley instructor) is looking into that for me. The trick is seeing if the hospital will allow the midwife to deliver there. I will probably keep my OB as a backup OB if he is amenable to that.

We're still not sure if we're going to take the classes (Collin is hesitant about the price -- $300 for 8 sessions + 4 optional review sessions), but he was impressed so I'm hoping he'll agree. If nothing else, we made some new friends.

It's also our eighth wedding anniversary today. That's, what, twenty in celebrity marriage years? We're going out for dinner and possibly a movie (sans kids!) on Thursday to celebrate. I am looking forward to many more happy and fruitful years, God willing.

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