Friday, February 27, 2009


Have you heard of the "unfortunately..." meme? I got the tip from Charlotte. You do a Google search for the phrase "Unfortunately, (your name here)". Don't forget the quotation marks around the phrase. Here are some of mine:

Unfortunately Andy has a new single coming out.

Unfortunately Andy has to pull out of the Masters Cup Shanghai with an ankle injury.

Unfortunately Andy couldn’t make it to the awards ceremony to pick up his prize as he was en-route from Aberdeen...

Unfortunately, Andy shows signs of having suffered trauma or abuse in his past, and has difficulty meeting new people.

Unfortunately, Andy made a statement, and I don't think it was intentional. He made a joke and it was a misunderstanding.

Unfortunately, Andy has been a little bit unlucky with injuries over the last year. I think the important thing is for him to keep playing.

Unfortunately Andy is also quite ill and his treatment and operation have left him completely broke.

Unfortunately Andy does not offer any solution, other than to bash Keynesian economics (he sounds just like Ronald Reagan in that regard).

Unfortunately, Andy can't seem to change his way of doing things offensively to match Donovan's strengths.

Unfortunately, Andy did not cooperate, so I plunged in and started him on 1/4 tablet of metro once a day on Sunday, Nov 30. So far, no diarrhea...

Unfortunately, Andy doesn't have a lot of friends.

Unfortunately, Andy's camera had problems and some of the photographs were lost.

Unfortunately, Andy's goofy pranks always seem to spoil his chances at romance.

Unfortunately Andy set a MLS record for bouncing around to 6 teams over an 8 year span.

Unfortunately, Andy’s church simply does not have the means to develop much of their own materials.

Unfortunately Andy is not consistently good enough if we aspire to be the best.

Unfortunately Andy and several other drivers had serious tire issues that forced him to pit and he would miss the rest of the session.

Unfortunately, Andy is just Andy. It's funny -- but would you do business with the guy?

Unfortunately, Andy knows nothing about fashion.

Unfortunately, Andy wasn't exactly what you'd call a gear head.

Unfortunately Andy has prevented me from going public with this recipe by claiming that he invented this dish several seasons ago.

Unfortunately, Andy's never actually able to sell any of this coke since he hid it in a box of laundry detergent and his unsuspecting Uncle uses it to wash his clothes.

Unfortunately Andy doesn't have any real goals in life, nor does he have any desires to pack up and make a life for himself so he spends most of the time drinking, smoking, reading webcomics and bumming around.

Unfortunately, Andy was not as good-looking as his photo, which must have been 10 years old.

Unfortunately Andy is not alone in this search and there are other more powerful people who need to keep the lid on this secret accord.

Unfortunately, Andy was not as experienced in reviving corpses as he was building them.

Unfortunately Andy had forgotten to take his anti gravity pill that morning.

Unfortunately, Andy's enthusiasm is not matched by any skill in the hairdressing arts and we all come out looking ginger.

Unfortunately, Andy's toaster didn't win -- the top prize went to a kid who made an outfit for her pet hamster.

Unfortunately, Andy gets dealt a fate worse than death -- high school!

Unfortunately, Andy didn't stick around long enough to graduate and should not be considered an "alumnus" of anything.

A semi-realistic one:
Unfortunately, Andy’s story is an all too common example of problems in dealing with certain types of supersensitive people.

My favorite of many death notices:
Unfortunately, Andy will not see this completed book, having died in a tragic accident.

My favorite line from a movie synopsis - can you guess the movie title?
Unfortunately Andy's birthday is due anytime, an event which pushes the toys' neuroses to the fore.

My favorite of them all:
Unfortunately, Andy’s fun with pogos ended at an early age as no products in the market could support the weight and demands of a grown boy, let alone a man.

Okay, one more favorite. So totally random:
Unfortunately, Andy did not see the toy as an inset puzzle. He only saw one riveting, wonderful piece — the duck. Andy became enamored with the duck.


Hoo, boy, that was entertaining!!! Oh yeah, I revealed my real name. No stalking, you crazy internet people!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gold Star 2

Another opportunity. What's wrong with this picture? (Click to view full-size image.)


That is what we are wearing today... why? Well ... because our high is 85 degrees today!

85 degrees in FEBRUARY! Of course tomorrow's high is only 58 degrees (which is normal for this time of year). Ugghhhhh...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Gold Star Opportunity

A gold star for the first person who can tell me what's wrong with this picture:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Free Form

Just within the last year the boys have decided coloring is cool... well, cool is a little strong...

What they do enjoy is free form coloring... also known as drawing (or if you're Snookie - DRAWLING, it was cute the first time now annoying after the 50 millionth time you remind him there is no L in that word).

After depleting my entire white computer paper stash, along with their own sketch pads (well, they finished those off some time ago), Daddio had a great suggestion about switching over to spiral notebooks. This way all the paper stays in one spot (those dang sketch pads couldn't keep it's paper in there if the world depended on it), and they are easier to keep up with.

So, after Bubba finished his school work today I gave him his first art spiral (gotta love $.80 spirals at the store vs. $5+ sketch pads). The paper is wide rule lined... the charge I gave him went something like this:
"Here you go, you can draw any where on the paper. All I ask is that you write something to go with it, even if it just the name of the animal you drew. It doesn't have to be a whole story, just something easy to help all of us remember what it was you were working on for that page."
Of course he looked at me like I was losing my mind, I mean, aren't all his pictures easily deciphered... ha ha ha ha, I wish that were true!

After a while he comes over to me to ask me the spelling of a word that he is going to use on his paper... it took me a second, but I realized that he had only drawn up the upper portion of the paper (the upper margin)... because that was the only part without lines. He was confused as to why he could only draw little tiny pictures.

Needless to say I re-explained myself in regards to drawing even over the lines, and did a better job with the explanation to Bobcat when it was his turn for a spiral.

Gotta love boys... right?!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Don't. But if you do...

I heard a great analogy on Catholic Answer Live the other day. A caller asked why we opposed "comprehensive" sex education programs, that teach abstinence first, but also stress condoms to prevent disease and teen pregnancy just in case some kids are unable to abstain. Fr. John explained that it was like a teacher telling a student that cheating on exams was not allowed. Just flat wrong, don't ever do it. But, if you are going to cheat, here is a website with all the answers, and be very discreet when you text your friends during class, so that you will at least get a good grade and not have any consequences from your cheating.

Don't cheat, but if you do, here's how you should do it. But don't. We really mean it. Wink, wink.

Don't have extramarital sex. But if you do, at least protect yourself from consequences.

It's the whole idea of consequences that used to keep people from sinning. The more modern society tries to spare us the consequences of sin (and excessive debt), the more people will continue to pursue pleasure first and expect a "bail-out" when the logical and natural and inevitable consequences of their actions catch up with them.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Adding to the family

Have you ever met someone, and boom... LOVE!?

Well, first I should say that we loved him long before we saw him... but upon seeing him... oh, it was just spectacular!

So here he is, on our little blog... we would like to introduce you to the newest member of our family! The sweetest, cutest, softest, most smell-a-rific, brown eyed, brown haired, squishy nosed... oh so wonderful... GODSON! WOOHOO!!!!

Oh, one more picture... the rest of the godsiblings hanging out after the baptism! Our boys refer to Pigeon as their godsister, and LittleMan as their godbrother... the love a big family! What an exciting day for our families!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Road trip!

We're going to see our baby godson this weekend! Lots of driving, and totally worth it!

Please pray for safe travels, and chip in for gas money if you like. (That was a joke.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

blog begging

Okay y'all, I may be stepping on something delicate here, but I've got to ask. I mean this in the nicest possible way, but why are people always begging for money on their blogs? I don't know why this bothers me, but I always get a little annoyed when I see those things, kinda like the never-ending PBS fundraisers. "You're enjoying our programming, now don't you feel guilty???" Ummm.. not really. Run a commercial. Or go off the air. I could care less.

Sometimes these appeals come from unexpected, dire circumstances such as job loss or medical complications. Sometimes someone has died. Well, that's terribly sad, and I always say a quick prayer when requested. But asking for money?... Don't these people have life insurance? I know that I have been very careful to plan for my family's financial security in the event of my early death.

And it's not just those serious circumstances. Why are certain bloggers always asking for free books or other stuff on Amazon? Or soliciting donations for ordinary living expenses, or sometimes for literally no reason at all? Are we supposed to feel guilty for reading and not paying? If you want to be a writer, write a book. Sell articles to magazines. Put more ads on your blog. Or, if you really think you're good, sell subscriptions to your own website. Here's a hint: if people won't pay for it, you're probably not that good at it.

I'm sorry to be harsh, but couldn't they just spend less time blogging and get a real job if they are that hard up? I know you really really want to be a successful writer, or an entrepreneur with a home-based business, and only do what you love and only work for yourself. So would all the rest of us! But I, for one, will continue working for The Man, because it pays well and has good benefits.

My favorite bloggers tend to give away free stuff, not ask for money. My favorite entrepreneurs work hard at home in the evening, when they get home from their real jobs. Then they go full-time when they have developed their businesses enough to support themselves. Again, if you believe in your grand vision and want to take a chance, more power to you. I really do admire your courage. Whether you want to start a clothing line, or consider yourself an aspiring apologist. I hope you do make it.

But I guess I just don't consider blogging to be "earning" it. Please let me know what I am missing here. Am I just a mean person?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Spell check

is in Bobcat's very near future. That kid... he is constantly misspelling words... but by one letter. Take for instance - t - he hardly ever remembers to cross the t, or dot the i even... and trying to make him understand that by not finishing the letter he has in most cases changed the word to something else or to a non-word!

It's the details that seem to really get him. I'm starting to see that 'boyish' nature coming out in him... wanting to finish, and finish quickly whatever the cost! He's so worried about getting done fast... that he forgets that when I make him re-do the work... he's now taken way longer than had he done it right in the first place.

Then there is his attitude recently. Okay, he's 8... and he's the oldest, I do get that... but for that past week non stop... the VERY first thing he does during 'free play time' is steal or hide a toy from one of his brothers (and he knows it's wrong because I hear him scolding the victim not to come and tell me... except I'm in the next room and can hear him and sometimes I even see him doing it). And his bossiness has reached an all time high that has me smoking from the ears! Maybe it is a phase, or something, but dear LORD... PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Grammy's

Most years, Daddio and I watch the Grammy's... mostly to see how out of touch we are to what 'the kids' are listen' to these days. This year was no exception. I was surprised to see the Wiggles there... oh duh... scratch that, turns out that was Coldplay. And the Four Tops, minus three of those Tops, and add in Jamie Fox/NeYo/Smokie... interesting... sort of.

Okay, and I'm sure there are those out there that will burn me for this... but Paul McCartney CAN'T SING... sorry. The man doesn't seem to have a note in him that is IN TUNE! Maybe that is the music theory major in me... but that goes for Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift as well... ACK! Please ladies, when you work on singing LIVE, let's make sure you can actually hit the RIGHT pitch. PAINFUL!

What else? Oh the M.I.A girl... 9 months preggo... not the most attractive way to carry on as a soon to be mother!

Oh, and it really annoys me that they only have the a few categories that they show on TV and a bunch of crappy singing... but they don't show some of the really cool awards... such as all of the Christian music awards. I wish they would show more awards and less CRAP! Seriously should I really be subjected to any more music that has to be muted by the channel due to inappropriate language?

So there you have it, an 'out of touch nearly 30 year old mother of 3's' take on the Grammy's of 2009!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Rubber ducky, you're the one...

Creative Minority Report has a commentary that had me laughing... in the funny and sad way!

Here are a few of my favorite quotes...
Condoms are the liberal ShamWOW! It'll clean up any mess.

Truly, what is it with liberals and condoms? The solution to global warming? Condoms. Solution to HIV? Condoms. Poverty? Condoms. The deficit? Condoms. Solution to abortion? Condoms.
While the notion that condoms are the answer to the whole world and all its problems is ridiculous... they (the liberals) keep hangin' on to the mantra... broken record anyone? In all my years, nearly 30 now, I haven't seen condoms produce anywhere near the 'results' that everyone claims they should.

And as CMR pointed out... we've given away so many of these little fellas that they could build little rubber rafts and paddle their way here! Oh wait, that damn failure rate... that will getcha every time!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The rest of the story...

From Lifesite News:

New Octuplets Were Leftover IVF Embryos, Mom Faces Anger for not Aborting
By Kathleen Gilbert

LOS ANGELES, February 3, 2009 ( - According to the grandmother of octuplets born in California last week, rather than allow her leftover frozen embryos to be destroyed, dissected in a laboratory, or frozen indefinitely,
their mother chose to give them a chance at life by implanting them in her womb.
Little did she expect to give birth to eight relatively healthy babies, or to be deluged first by congratulations, then by scorn, as critics questioned her choice not to selectively abort as a single mother of reportedly little means.

Suleman, anonymous at the time, made headlines last Monday when she gave birth to the longest-living set of octuplets on record at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in West Los Angeles. The babies, six boys and two girls, are reported to continue growing in strength. "My family and I are ecstatic about all of their arrivals," said the mother in a statement following the births. The octuplets' grandmother described the babies as "so tiny and so beautiful." Later it was revealed that Suleman, who is divorced and according to her mother unable to have children naturally, had already had six children via previous fertility treatments. Media attention turned sour as headlines changed to challenge the ethics of the situation.

"Suleman's story transformed from a dream to a nightmare," wrote a New York Daily News columnist. The story was called a "freak show," "a tawdry nightmare," and "a seedy story of self-indulgence." Some accused Suleman of giving bith as a means to fame and wealth. "If you want to find a way to be famous and to be, in your mind, a celebrity, there's lots of ways to go about it," says Cooper Lawrence, author of "The Cult of Celebrity." "If you're not a good singer and you can't write
books," said Lawrence, "go have babies."

Some questioned the ethics of allowing Suleman to undergo treatment again after already having six children, which was billed as the climax of an alleged obsession with children. Yet her mother said Suleman had merely implanted the children already conceived as excess products from her previous treatments. "She doesn't have any more (frozen embryos), so it's over now," she said.

Another controversy erupted from ethicists who criticized Suleman's anonymous doctor for implanting eight embryos at a time. However, according to her parents, Suleman was expecting one more child to result from her remaining embryos, which they say numbered far fewer than eight. The eight would have resulted from some of the embryos splitting into twins or triplets.

Typical IVF treatments implant as many as four embryos at a time, with the expectation that some will naturally miscarry or, if they continue to grow, will be killed in a standard procedure known as "selective reduction of pregnancy."

Many criticized the mother for deviating from the norm of IVF treatment by refusing to abort some of the babies despite the risk to her health on top of her apparent money troubles. In an ABC interview, endocrinology expert Dr. Richard Paulson said that so many children at once are a problem to be avoided at all costs. "Patients who conceive octuplets would routinely be offered - even advised - selective reduction," said Paulson. "I have to assume that in this case, the patients decided to try and
carry to viability, and they were lucky, plus they got some really good doctors."

Angela Suleman said that was not an option for Nadya. "What do you suggest she should have done? She refused to have them killed," the grandmother said. "That is a very painful thing." Judge Andrew Napolitano, FOX News' Senior Judicial Analyst, confirmed it was quite possible that the octuplets were an unexpected multiplication of fewer embryos, and praised Nadya for choosing not to abort the unexpected lives.

"Notwithstanding all of the above, the mother has done a positive good by bringing these children into the world," wrote Napolitano yesterday. "Life is superior to non-life. Human souls are eternal. Every human life is of potentially infinite value. The God who gave us life reflects His glory through each one of us."

Not quite sure what to make of this. I couldn't find anything in the document I referred to in my previous post. Not sure whether people who have already created the embryos for IVF should go ahead and use them all to at least give them a chance at life. Using them all doesn't make IVF okay, but is it better than letting some perish? At any rate, I think the rest of the world should mind their own business and leave this family alone now that their curiousity has been satisfied.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


There is a group or program called "Snowflakes" that promotes adoption of frozen embryos (usually left over and abandoned after being created for the purpose of in vitro fertilization). Many pro-life people supporte the idea of embryo adoptions. Embryos are human persons deserving of dignity and therefore a chance to live. But it's not that simple.

Recently, the Vatican came out with a statement (Dignitatis Personae) addressing this and other modern medical/ethical questions. Here is the pertinent excerpt for embryo adoption:

"The proposal that [frozen] embryos could be put at the disposal of infertile couples as a treatment for infertility is not ethically acceptable for the same reasons which make artificial heterologous procreation illicit as well as any form of surrogate motherhood; this practice would also lead to other problems of a medical, psychological and legal nature.

It has also been proposed, solely in order to allow human beings to be born who are otherwise condemned to destruction, that there could be a form of 'prenatal adoption'. This proposal, praiseworthy with regard to the intention of respecting and defending human life, presents however various problems not dissimilar to those mentioned above."

All things considered, it needs to be recognized that the thousands of abandoned embryos represent a situation of injustice which in fact cannot be resolved. Therefore John Paul II made an “appeal to the conscience of the world’s scientific authorities and in particular to doctors, that the production of human embryos be halted, taking into account that there seems to be no morally licit solution regarding the human destiny of the thousands and thousands of ‘frozen’ embryos which are and remain the subjects of essential rights and should therefore be protected by law as human persons”.

When you read closely, it's not really a closed case, is it? Some people much smarter than me seem to believe it may be possible. The question seems to be: Is it a fertility treatment? Or, is it only done out of love of the abandoned child?

My question is this: How could an infertile couple (like us) claim that we were only doing it out of love? But, would it be fair to exclude infertile couples? (I don't know even know if it would work in our case, just making a point.) The Snowflakes website indicates that their purpose is two-fold: life for the babies, and treating infertility. That seems to be a disqualifier from the Catholic perspective.

Looking back in the document, what are those "reasons which make artificial heterologous procreation illicit as well as any form of surrogate motherhood"?:

With regard to the treatment of infertility, new medical techniques must respect three fundamental goods:

  • a) the right to life and to physical integrity of every human being from conception to natural death
  • b) the unity of marriage, which means reciprocal respect for the right within marriage to become a father or mother only together with the other spouse
  • c) the specifically human values of sexuality which require “that the procreation of a human person be brought about as the fruit of the conjugal act specific to the love between spouses”.

It seems to be that points b and c apply to us.

Again, what is the motivation? Should these embryos be punished for the sins of their parents? The damage has already been done, shouldn't they be saved? Our boys were not brought about as "the fruit of the conjugal act specific to the love between spouses". Their birth parents were unmarried. Obviously the Church supports adoption of children in need of families. Such hopeless phrases, "cannot be resolved", and "no morally licit solution"? Isn't that the Church's job??? To resolve moral questions? Surely there will be more on this.

I have struggled with the idea that we as an infertile couple are not as fully united as regular couples who become pregnant and have babies. There's so much talk in the Catholic world about marital love being both unitive and procreative. That's the basic argument against artificial contraception. It's also the basic argument against homosexual activity. A sad and frustrated infertile couple can't help but feel inferior, maybe even cursed.

Point B above makes it more clear. Your womb, whether it works or not, is not for anyone else to use. She shouldn't use a sperm donor if our infertility was male factor. I should not use a donor egg and surrogate mother to become a father without my wife involved. We can only become parents together.

The fact that our children are adopted does not make us any less united in our love as husband and wife. Our sacramental marriage gave us the graces to raise children together, and as far as I know that applies equally to adopted children. But Snowflakes is more than adoption - it's surrogate motherhood, and as such it violates our marriage covenant.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Back at the zoo

I took off last Friday so that we could get out and enjoy the warmer weather. We decided to get annual zoo passes as we haven't been there in over two years. Also, MommaLlama ends up just five minutes away from the zoo when they go for Bubba's allergy shot every other week, so there will be ample opportunity to use them.

It was a beautiful day - sunny and 70 degrees. There's a new penguin exhibit, and four lion cubs. I encourage anyone nearby to go see them before they're grown! It wasn't crowded at all (let's hear it for home schooling!), and all of the animals were very active.

It was also a lot of fun for us to see the boys back at the zoo, older than the last time. They're tall enough to see more things without being picked up, and able to read the signs with the animals' names and interesting facts. Here's what four and a half years looks like: