Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Here's all of us.

The kids are finally asleep. Madeleine got everything she wanted--even the Kit Kittredge movie she forgot to ask Santa for. Dale's first words on his LEGO Swamp Raid set were, "What I always wanted! What I always wanted!" He did insist on getting out the LEGO Harbor set as well as watching Wall-E later. Rachel was agog with the Disney Princess Shimmer Set--seven dolls, including another Sleeping Beauty. Louie loved the squishy trucks, but he's going to need some time for the Bristle Blocks.
We arrived late to Mass because of yesterday's weather--melt, refreeze into tractionless ice. Our very generous neighbor "boy" (he's now 23) pushed us out with his truck. I was reminded of what a gift every Mass is.
I was the last one into the house upon return and I wondered what I smelled when I got into the yard. "Oh, that's our turkey!" If I do say so myself, I outdid myself on it this year and everything was delicious.
It was a merry Christmas.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

I still cry at Feed the World.

You probably didn't need to know that, but there it is.

I think of how long it's been--24 years! How much money has been spent buying food, paying for its transport, employing aid workers to distribute it... Twenty-four years.

I realize famines have happened since the dawn of time--droughts, crop failures. What has happened in the past is, those who could, left. Of those left behind, I expect most died. There wasn't help coming from overseas to sustain them where they were; the famine came to a grim and cruel conclusion when enough had died off.

So here we are, two and a half decades and millions (billions?) of dollars later, thousands of man-hours spent. And it's still going on. The words of Sam Kinison come to mind: "We're making one trip! We're going to where the food is!" Remember Joseph in the Bible? Even that lasted for only seven years.

I wonder why the same areas are experiencing such conditions for so long. It's not politically correct, I know, to wonder why, but again--there it is. I have a theory or two--the wrong people are getting the money, for one--and I realize it's a whole host of contributing factors.

But if you can watch this video, think of your own children not having enough to eat for their whole lives, and not cry--you are made of stone.

Thanks, Maureen.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

I've been wrong before, but not THIS wrong.

I've had more than one individual tell me how much Rachel looks like me. Former neighbors who knew me when, other family, even Diane down there in the green dress.

I said each time, "I don't see it."

Just to check myself, I dug out a picture of myself at that same age.



Holy cow.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Is this it, Daddy?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Merry Christmas!

This was taken at their dance school Christmas shindig. From left: Madeleine, Dale, Santa, Louis, and Rachel.
I thought about waiting until Christmas, but everyone else is sending out cards. Consider this ours.

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Does this meet the standard?

We're doing classical Catholic homeschooling--all that is true, good, and beautiful.

Does Led Zeppelin's Kashmir fall into that category?

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Ah, homonyms...

"Who got you this ring, Mama?"
"Daddy. It's called an 'engagement ring.' It was his way of asking me to marry him."
"What is this gem in it?"
"It's a diamond. Bigger than half a carat--it's five-eighths."
"Carrots are bigger."

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Varied questions

1. How long does it take to thaw a 17.46-pound turkey? Not roast; I'll read the directions for that. I just don't want to be digging the giblet bag out of ice on Christmas Eve.

2. How does one explain "Fear of the Lord" as one of the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit to a seven-year-old?

3. What can a fourth child get for his first birthday that the others haven't gotten?

4. Is it worth it to go to dance class in potentially icy conditions the last time before two weeks off? I'm thinking "no," but will adapt if the ice doesn't materialize.

Thanks, all!

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

A wedding picture--with flowers!

Why am I posting this? Because I can.
Okay, really it's because there's someone planning a wedding and I'm offering (unsolicited but politely heard) advice. She asked what kind of flowers we got for our budget ($300), and this is a relevant shot.

That's Diane, by the way.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

While I have the computer....

Me, Madeleine, and Rachel: A Conversation of Girls.

"Mom, can I play with the Activity Scene?"
"If you can say its name correctly. Nativity."
"Okay, go on."
"Activity scene?"
"Hey, I just live here."
"No, you're on cleanup."
And Louie had poured his soup on the table.

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Another "I have no words" post.

I thought I'd look for a clip from The Three Musketeers at Youtube. I arrive at the page and they have one of dancing storm troopers. It's only about 30 seconds. I watched it and was amused.
Then this one showed up. It's like a train wreck--you just can't look away. It's safe for kids, just not Star Wars fans.

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Christmas backorders

"Mom, why didn't I get the toy I really wanted? That I put on my list before Thanksgiving? Every other kid I know got one!"

"Well, honey... I'm so sorry. Santa left a note about that. It seems it fell off his sled on his long trip. He said that when he gets back to the North Pole and gets everything all straightened out after his busy season, he's going to have the UPS guy bring it."


"It may take a few weeks, but it'll get here."


Madness takes its toll.

My brain is officially mush.
Louie woke up soaked last night--diaper leak, somehow. I got up, changed him, and tried to get him back to sleep. While there were some tender moments of gazing into each other's eyes in the semi-darkness, I think I might have traded them for the hour's worth of sleep I didn't get.

The weather is dreary. Rain, freezing rain, sleet, not really cold enough to snow but too wet to go out even to the back yard. Yuck. Icy mud, what fun.
I can't really take the kids anywhere, either. Louie has pretty much outgrown his infant car seat and the warm winter coat he got doesn't fit under the straps. We have the next size he needs, but it's buried in the shed.

The kids finished school this morning, demonstrating that their enthusiasm doesn't depend on my energy level. One good thing.

So, Gentle Reader, tell me something good. Or funny, or lighthearted. I'm feeling apathetic.

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Monday, December 08, 2008

Okay, I'm finally motivated for this.

I've ranted before about the dumbing down of our public education system. I've wondered in my available moments about school book choices. Here's some concrete examples I can provide.

In eighth grade, my class read Paul Zindel's The Pigman and S. E. Hinton's The Outsiders. [We even watched the movie for the second.] Neither of these contain really objectionable material; they don't even have swearing if I remember right. They kiss--once--in the first; and they do drink beer. The second does have a murder but it is related not witnessed.

Not so bad. But are they literature? Are they worthy of study in school? Aren't there better things out there?

Before I'd gotten there, a class titled something like Horror Literature had read Poe, Blatty's The Exorcist, King's The Dead Zone, Levin's Stepford Wives and Rosemary's Baby, and Amityville Horror. No joke. Someone else I know studied Salinger's Catcher in the Rye in ninth grade. I have a feeling there's somebody I know who might find such an idea... problematic.

Then I read about a school district bowdlerizing Girl, Interrupted for class. Why? Again, I ask: aren't there better things out there that they don't need to tear pages out of to present in class?

Just to make me feel better (and test your memory), what's your nomination for the worst book you had to read in school? Not most boring; the one with the least redeeming value.

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