Friday, May 29, 2009

What has this country come to?

A couple in San Diego is being told by the government that they can no longer hold a Bible study in their home because it counts as a "religious assembly" and violates land use laws.

I just can't believe that we've come to the point where our government is trying to seize control of how Americans live their faith. Pathetic. And sad.

Fox News covered the story; you can find it here:,2933,522637,00.html

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Good Friends

Every one of us has certain people in our lives with whom we can be completely ourselves. No need to say certain things or not say certain things; you can let down your guard and just relax without worrying about keeping the conversation going or what's next on the agenda for the day. People who share your values and whose opinions you trust. People to whom you would even entrust your children should - God forbid - something happen to you.

We've been so blessed by a great circle of friends, many of whom are our former roommates from Western, who are examples to us of what it means to live a joyful, faith-filled life and whose goal it is to lead their families closer to Christ.

It was great to spend time with some of these friends this weekend. Now that most of us - except Bryan, who is going to have a whole world full of spiritual children when he's ordained to the priesthood in 2 years - have kids, it was nice to just sit in Jamie & Jessi's back yard watching the kids play in the sunshine and on the slip-n-slide and catch up a bit. I wish I could have stayed longer, and that Tom and Clare could have come down to join us...

To the Oaklands, the Mallahans, and the Mausses (and all our other friends who were not there) - we love you and we are so blessed to have you in our lives.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sleeping -- or not

Some of you know that Clare has never been what you would call a good napper or sleeper. I don't know why -- I've read the books on what you're "supposed" to do to help your baby develop good sleep habits. For some reason or another, Clare just doesn't go down easily and never has.

When she was younger, I wasn't a fan of the "just let her cry it out" method. I don't know, I just couldn't do it. Some of my friends who have been moms for longer or who have 2 or more kids already are probably thinking, "Ok, Carrie. That's great, but it won't last once you have a few kids to juggle and get to bed." Maybe so.

Anyway, she's been doing well going to sleep in her own bed and staying there for most of the night - she usually crawls in to our bed at some point - but getting her to sleep has always been a challenge. We finally weaned her off of having to have someone next to her in order to fall asleep and would just sit in her room and sing lullabies or pray the Rosary until she fell asleep or was sleepy enough that we could sneak out without her noticing. She's good enough - not usually throwing tantrums - but even though she may be lying there quietly sometimes it would take her 45 minutes to fall asleep!

I decided this week that with a new baby arriving in less than 4 months we cannot be doing this every nap time and bed time. I lamented to Tom that the time of day which should be the most relaxing for us all - getting ready for bed - is the time of day which I dread the most. Her little body clock has been completely turned around the past couple of weeks due to a wonderful trip to Idaho to see Kristy graduate (but no schedule, staying in a hotel, late late late bed times, little to no naps really takes a toll on a litte one) and being up late at home for various reasons. Anyway, it's been tough and the bedtime battles finally got to be too much for me, and poor Clare was constantly tired. We had to do something to reverse this.

So we made the decision that Clare has to get a decent bedtime and a good nap - even if that meant that she cried for a while before that happened. She is old enough to tell us if she has a legitimate need (although this has turned in to her making excuses for getting out of bed -- pretending like she's dying of hunger and begging for food even though we've just had dinner and she had a snack before bed, saying that she has an owie on her finger and needs a bandaid, she wants water, insisiting that she has to go #2, her teeth hurt, you-name-it) so I don't worry that I'm neglecting her in some way if I leave her in there by herself.

I knew that she had a particularly strong will but I had NO idea that on Wednesday night she would be screaming, "Mama!!!!" for 1 1/2 hours, interspersed with me putting her back in her room and telling her to go night-night, giving her a kiss, and tucking her back in. What a nightmare. But I was actually able to get through it by reminding myself that she's going to be a much happier and healthier girl by being able to go to sleep and stay that way for a good night's rest. Surprisingly enough, she's really pretty obedient about staying in her room when we've put her there, even though we leave the door cracked open. If I hear little footsteps all I have to say is, "Clare, please go back to your room."

Anyway, I thought that we were really in for a rough go of things while we all adjusted to this new way of getting her to bed. Until last night. I put her in bed, sang a couple of songs, and prayed a Rosary out loud while she arranged and re-arranged all 30 of her stuffed animals/babies that she insists on sleeping with. When I was done with the Rosary she was quiet and lying there talking to her baby, and I told her, "Clare, Mama's going to go do the dishes. You need to stay in your bed and go night-night." Then I left. I expected screaming as soon as I stood up, but nothing happened. It was silent in her room for a whole 15 minutes! Then she started crying for me - but this time it only lasted about 20 minutes and she fell asleep all on her own. And she slept for 11 hours!

I think I may be starting to see the light at the end of this tunnel! When I went to bed I said a prayer of thanksgiving to Christ for giving me the grace I needed to remain patient and loving, to Our Lady for being my recourse, and to Clare's guardian angel (to whom I have addressed MANY prayers lately) and fell asleep myself - for 8 hours without interruption.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Baby Update

Many of you are already followers of the St. Hilaires' blog, but if not, check out their update on John Vianney St. Hilaire's arrival last night at 5:17 PM.

In other news, we went in yesterday for our 20-week ultrasound...By the way, we're 20 weeks pregnant with baby #2 (some of you may not have heard yet)...We got some great pictures of our SON who will, God willing, be born to us on (or near) October 2 -- just a couple weeks after Mary delivers their baby #2, Gabriel Thomas Beuschel! It's been awesome to share our pregnancies so close together, and I'm NOT looking forward to the Beuschels' move to Louisiana this fall.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Prayers Please -- Baby St. Hilaire on the way!

Lindsey & Andrew went in last night to the hospital to be induced with a prostaglandin suppository to soften her cervix and then start pitocin this morning if contractions hadn't started on their own. But they did, and she's now dilated to 5 cm and in active labor without the use of pitocin.

Please pray for a healthy delivery for Lindsey and Baby St. Hilaire.

I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Why he's not afraid of the Swine Flu

Excellent article written by Mike Huckabee regarding the Swine Flu. Thanks for sharing, Theresa!

Why I'm Not Afraid of the Swine Flu

Mike Huckabee

This week, we're supposed to be scared to death of coming down with the swine flu, but Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said we shouldn't call it that because it hurts the feeling of the pigs -- just like we're not supposed to use the word "terror" anymore, because it hurts the feelings of the jihadists.

Joe Biden almost single handedly wrecked the airline and mass transit system by telling a national audience none of the public conveyances were safe. Of course, his staff had to issue their daily clarification or apology later. He's giving a new meaning to the phrase: "Say it ain't so, Joe. Say it ain't so!"

I fly on planes about five days a week. I shake lots of hands, lots of hands. I meet lots of people, lots of people. I do wash my hands and use sanitizer frequently, but I'm not in a panic and I'll tell you why:

Before Joe Biden told us to be afraid of the flu, an average of 100 Americans a day died from the regular old flu. That's right, without even the attention the media is giving to this strain, flu was serious, especially to babies, old people, or sick people who already had weak immune systems. Other people lived, but they just didn't feel like they would.

I've watched the Obama administration tell us how much they care about protecting lives from the flu. If they really want to help make children safer, let me make a suggestion: Start doing all you can to move this country to being pro-life.
Almost a million unborn children will die in their mother's womb because of elective abortion this year. These are not sick or unhealthy babies, they're just inconvenient.

And by ending their lives because they represent an economic disruption or a social interference to the mother, we've created a culture in which a human life is expendable because it represents an inconvenience.

It happens a million times a year in the United States. Where's the press conference by the president, or the warnings of the vice president, or the outline of steps to be taken issued by Homeland Security or the secretary of Health and Human Services?
There isn't one, because they all support the notion that it's OK to end the lives of perfectly healthy unborn babies because they are in someone's way.

If you have a child, it's OK to be worried about the swine flu, but most healthy kids can survive most flu viruses. They might not survive the policies of our own government that makes it legal to view them as disposable.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A New Disorder -- Really???

Beware: super-opinionated post below.

I've been meaning to post about this for a while...I was listening to one of my favorite talk radio hosts, Michael Medved, a few weeks ago and he brought up as a topic this article in Newsweek. It's written by a man detailing his experiences with a new emotional disorder: Male Postpartum Depression. "What?!?" I thought when I heard Medved mention the topic. I HAD to listen to the rest of the show to hear what this was all about. For those who may not want to read the article, I'll just paste some pertinent quotes here.

When a child was added to my life, it was as if something enormous and coveted was subtracted in return, and the transaction left me reeling, like someone who'd just gambled away his soul.

Really? Gambled away your soul??? It's so sad that this is how so many people in our society view children.

It seems ridiculous on its face: men don't do the hard work of carrying a pregnancy for nine months. We don't have to bear the pains of labor. We never had an umbilical connection to our children. We just have to hang on tight. But giving my emotions a name, and an explanation, helped me feel less alone and better able to cut myself some slack. Before then, even calling it depression felt like an excuse for weak, pathetic behavior.

From WebMD: Postpartum depression seems to be brought on by the changes in hormone levels that occur after pregnancy. Any woman can get postpartum depression in the months after childbirth, miscarriage, or stillbirth. That's right. Postpartum depression is not just an emotional disorder. It's a hormonal imbalance caused by pregnancy - as in, not something experienced by men. The author of the article is right about one thing: his was an excuse for weak, pathetic behavior. Man up.

But not 48 hours after we returned home with our boy, a truth dawned on me with shocking force: my life was gone. Movies, sleeping, long showers—all gone. We became slaves to this tiny new thing living in our home, and there was no going back.

With attitudes like this regarding children, is it any wonder that the Culture of Death has taken its greatest toll on our children in the form of abortion?

I ceded nearly complete authority to my wife, then blamed both her and my son for my feelings of loss and insignificance. I took on every parental responsibility with sucked-up reluctance on the outside and contempt on the inside. My wife seemed to consider me selfish and irresponsible. She was tired, she'd say, of parenting both of us.

I feel sorry for both this man and his wife. He was being selfish and irresponsible. He concludes the article by saying that he and his wife subsequently divorced - and can you really be surprised? How sad that something that is supposed to strengthen marriages, solidify the bond between husband and wife, bring life and joy to their family, and enable the spouses to rely on each other (and sacrifice for each other and their children) eventually brought about the demise of this man's marriage.

To me, this article demonstrates one of the most damaging by-products of the feminist movement: the de-masculinization of our men. As our women demand more and more to be like men, men subconsciously realize that they no longer have to behave like men. I'm so thankful to have a husband who takes his role as husband and father seriously.

It seems that our society has become completely hedonistic - seeking pleasure as the ultimate good and forgetting that our life here on earth has a greater meaning and that suffering can and should be good and holy and redemptive.

Ok, I'm off my soapbox for now. I'd love to hear what you think.