This Party Ain't Over, Some of Us Just GOT Here!

Contrary to reports you may have heard . . . the blog is not dead. Maybe it's different than it used to be (it is according to Waltzing Matilda). Maybe it's not what teenagers are doing (it's not according to this guy). But, I'm not a teenager, and I'm okay with it if most of my readers aren't either. And I've only been doing this a short time, so I don't know how it used to be, but I think it's pretty great now.

This blog has grown plenty fast, and has great commenters. It seems to me that if a blog has content there will be people there to read and interact. I've met tons of people, made new friends, and had interesting conversations. However it used to be, I like it fine the way it is.

And as for the "blog is dead" guy. Maybe his (ahem) BLOG post in which he says the blog is dead is convincing about the fact that blogs are not the best ways to reach teenagers or promote products. But what in the world does that have to do with us? I'm neither a marketer nor a teenager. Perhaps blogs aren't great for those guys, but for moms and wives and Catholics and homeschoolers, I do think they're great. And I don't see US all up and abandoning blogs for twitter and Instagram. Those platforms just wouldn't work for what I'm doing on this blog.

So, I'm going to play my mom card and say blogs are NOT dead. Why? Because I said so.

And now, various and sundry updates to previous blog posts. I figure y'all are dying to know what ever happened with . . .

The Girl Scouts

I posted a few months ago about why our family participates in the Boy Scouts but not the Girl Scouts.

This week, I shared a status update on Facebook that appeared to show that the Girl Scouts had created a list of Inspiring Women of 2013, that included abortion activists Wendy Davis and Gloria Steinem. I need to clarify that a bit. The Girl Scouts themselves didn't write the list. They shared a Huffington Post list on their Twitter feed, called the women it listed "inspiring," and invited their followers to comment on the choices or add their own suggestions.

I do think it was in poor taste, but the pro-choice sites I saw are spinning it to the point of being misleading. I don't want to do that. The stuff the Girl Scouts are actually doing makes me uncomfortable enough. I don't see any need to embellish it.

Our New BIG Van

I've had a couple of people ask how we've ended up liking our new 12 passenger Nissan NV, after I posted some photos of us with the beast last spring:

In case others have been wondering . . . We ARE happy with it. It is huge, obviously, but still feels like a family car. I don't remember what package we have, but it's leather seats (good in case of barfing, which, yes, has already happened), and the bigger engine (so it drives great, lots of pickup, but NOT fuel efficient). It has family type features like seat heat, a backup camera, a USB port so we can listen to music or books on the iPad, and cup holders that pull out under each row of seats.

The only thing that has been a little odd are the headrests. They are great for comfort and safety, but they go up so high and there are so many of them that you can't see out the back window using the rear view mirror. We ended up taking two of them off from the back row, so now we can see out the back. The windows are low enough that the kids can see out, whether or not they are in a car seat. The door is light enough for my six year old to close it, but too heavy for the four year old. There are a total of five car seat latches, two in each of the front rows and one in the very back row. So, it would work even for the folks in the five-under-six club.

I should admit that we ended up keeping our minivan as well. The husband crunched the numbers and the cost of insuring it was offset by the savings in gas for only using the big van when we are traveling as a whole family. I really don't mind driving the Nissan, but it's almost impossible to park at Trader Joe's in that thing, and the Candy Cane Joe Joe's aren't going to walk here themselves.

Celebrating Baptism Days

I'm not saying that Pope Francis reads this blog. All I'm saying is that I wrote this months ago.

Every Kid is Special (three days per year)

And now this week Pope Francis said this during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's square:
"Many of us do not have the slightest memory of the celebration of this Sacrament, obviously, if we were baptized shortly after birth. I have asked this question two or three times here in the Square. Who here knows the date of their Baptism? Raise your hand! Who knows? Few, eh! Very few. It is important! It is important to know what day you were immersed in that current of salvation of Jesus! Permit me to give you a piece of advice. More than an advice, a homework for today: Today at home search for, ask for the date of your Baptism. And thus you may truly know well that beautiful date of your Baptism. Will you do it? I don’t hear enthusiasm. Will you do it? Yes! Because it is to know a happy date! Our Baptism! But the risk is to lose the memory of that which the Lord has done in us, the memory of the gift that we have received. We end up considering it as only an event that happened in the past - and not even by our own will, but that of our parents -, that no longer has any effect in our present. We must awaken the memory of our Baptism. Awaken the memory of Baptism. "

I'm sure he left out the part about the You Are Special Today plate inadvertently.

Cranky Frankie

In a clear case of blog-jinxing myself, I wrote this post a few weeks ago:

Why I Love the Terrible Twos

I stand by the "generally preferring the twos" part. But I must officially rescind the "Frankie being sorted out" part. Little dude is a complete menace again. He shrieks over everything and anything and seems to be having a "hitty" stage. Fortunately for me, the kids he's hitting are mostly my own kids. Not fortunate for them of course. But it's still my preference.

He gets sent to the corner for all instances of shrieking and hitting, and he dutifully goes. I'm feeling very glad that he understood the concept of a timeout before the new baby came, so mostly I don't have to get up to remand him. So that's good.

But it happens a LOT, plus he's awfully sassy.

For instance, this happened a couple of nights ago at dinner . . .
Jim (to me): Frankie needs to finish his tomato before he gets dessert.
Frankie (also to me): Daddy need a go back a work.

He was our King of Epiphany this year, with Betty as his regent (to protect him from usurpers):

So we had macaroni and cheese and applesauce for dinner.

Babies and Blogging and Barfing

The kids have been well this week, which is a relief. I've been a bit under the weather myself, but nothing that kept us from doing school. Lulu is a very pleasant baby and a very good sleeper. But, like all my babies, she only sleeps on me. She loves the Ergo, and her schedule is great for getting through the school day. She sleeps through the whole morning in the carrier, as long as I don't sit down. So, really I shouldn't complain. But watch me do it anyway.

She goes back into the carrier again in the late afternoon and sleeps through cooking and dinner, and then wakes up to be adorable right as all the kids go down, which would normally be my writing time. So we hang out. Or she'll go into a twilight sleep where she'll stay sleeping, but only if she's being nursed or walked.

Good for watching Downton Abbey. Not so good for blogging. I have literally five partially written posts. Oh well, at least I'm going to get these takes done. I hope.

she lets SOME people work!

Fear-Mongering and Pregnancy

I love it when you guys read something and just know I need to see it. Case in point, Danielle had seen this post:

So she knew how I felt about being told I couldn't do stuff while pregnant for not particularly scientific reasons. She sent me these two articles:

Take Back Your Pregnancy


New study shows no harm from moderate drinking in pregnancy, but experts urge caution

The first is EXACTLY the kind of information we deserve to have to be able to make informed decisions about pregnancy. In fact, after reading this, I plan to lay off of queso fresco and deli turkey should I have another pregnancy. Because there is EVIDENCE to support that recommendation. I love her conclusions and how she came to them. Hooray for pregnant WSJ economists, maybe they'll save us from the nonsense.

The second is a perfect example of the nonsense. This woman conducted a study that showed that moderate alcohol consumption by their mothers during pregnancy actually improved outcomes on behavioral and cognitive tests given to children. But instead of giving us this information and letting us make informed decisions, she's basically begging us to ignore her findings and just keep following the standard recommendations. And they couldn't find a single woman willing to admit she had ever had a drink during pregnancy?

I did an interview recently for that same blog about being an introverted mother (the article isn't posted yet). I guess whoever wrote this article didn't see my pregnancy post. Or they just didn't want me to freak out Kathy Lee Gifford and Hoda.

--- bonus ---

Look what Amanda from Planning On It sent me!

It's a printed and laminated and bound version of her lovely Catholic Mom planner, which YOU can print for free and laminate and bind yourself. It's really lovely!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!