Friday, September 19, 2014

7 Quick Takes Vol. 6

There was excitement at home this week when I was out and about. A neighborhood cat decided to walk into our house uninvited. Ish managed to get the cat to leave without having to pick him up or use food to lure lure him out. Hearing Liliana and Little Ish recount the tale is just shy of hilarious. It also inspired Lily's request to be face painted as a "tiger tomcat"--she doesn't know that a tom is a boy cat.

The only things that could make this tiger tomcat any cuter are pigtails and glasses.

Sorry for the blurry photo, but I am trying yet gain to figure out shooting in manual.


Well that might explain why the dishwasher was not working so well.  That was a wide mouth mason jar lid...


Atticus has been thoroughly enjoying his ventures into solid food.  He has started to say apple, and this evening when he spotted a tomato at Ish's parents' house he started shrieking "appa! appa!"  He definitely thought it was an apple.

He asked to be the daytime sky. 

Little Ish has been curious about so many things lately.  In the past few weeks he has started to learn to read (at his request, asked about and started to investigate basic addition via word problems, experimented with magnets, tried to figure out telling time on both analog and digital clocks, and so much more.   It's been an intense but exciting few weeks.


Books are kind of popular around here...

Linking up at Conversion Diary

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Friends and Donkeys

One of the things I enjoy as a parent is watching my children form friendships.  I do not know why, but I never expected them to have friendships with other children at such a young age.  Sure, I knew they would play with other kids, but I didn't realize they would have friends that they would care about outside of the time and space of a play date.  My totally strange expectations aside, all three children have formed friendships with both the children and adults in their lives.

On another note,  Donkeys!  Aren't these two donkeys absolutely lovely?  The white one is still less than a year old, and his antics are quite amusing.  His mother is not nearly as silly and is a much gentler creature than  I expected.  

Monday, September 15, 2014

Help Fund a Stork Bus in Delaware

You may have noticed that I don't often use my little corner of the blogosphere to engage in any sort of discussion of hot button issues.  I don't often bring to light things that are important to me because, honestly, I don't want to argue.  Today, however, I am sharing with you a letter from my mother-in-law, who is far more fearless in her activism.  She is hard at work trying to gain funding for  to bring a mobile pregnancy center to Delaware; the need for this Stork Bus is apparent to me as both a Catholic and someone who is trained in birth work, and that is why I  whole-heartedly welcomed her guest post.   Here is what she writes:

Dear Catholics,
           How would you like to participate in a stunt that, if it comes off, will REALLY piss the heck out of the folks who profit from abortion, like Planned Parenthood and their kin?

My name is Rae Stabosz. Some of you know me. Most of you don’t. I would like to interrupt your kitten videos, your reddit snark and your all-purpose interwebs fun and bring you a bold display of naked desperation.
You don’t have to label yourself “pro-life”. Labels can sound like polemic. This is a non-political stunt for anybody who holds to this equal care principle: in an unwanted pregnancy, both the pregnant woman AND her unborn child deserve equal respect and care.

            Here’s the stunt:
Between now and Sunday, November 30 – we internet White Hats will pool our resources and fund a SINGLE mobile pregnancy center equipped with ultrasound!

·       It will be beautifully appointed and staffed by professionals; it will park outside of abortion clinics in Delaware and offer FREE ULTRASOUND, FREE PREGNANCY TESTING and FREE COUNSELING to women in crisis.
·       It will also park at fairs, church festivals, and other happy community events, educating the public to the marvels of ultrasound technology and what it shows of intrauterine development.

·       All we want to build the bus and put it on the road is $120,000 in capital expenses. We will get the operating expenses on our own! (there’s a reason for that).
                You may have heard of Save the Storks, the national organization founded by Joe Baker in 2011. Save the Storks is taking the country by storm. Its mission is “to equip pregnancy centers to more effectively connect with abortion-vulnerable women ... by providing Stork Buses — mobile medical units — so that pregnancy centers can offer free sonograms and pregnancy tests wherever women need them.”

                Two months ago, an eclectic group representing two of the three counties of Delaware founded the Delaware Stork Bus, Inc. Our intention is to carry out the Save the Storks vision in Delaware. We have signed a contract with Joe and Co.  We are ready to rumble. And we want your help.
                We have put together a crowd sourcing campaign on GoFundMe with a goal of $120,000.

 BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT... I can hear you say.

·         “Why should I help you?  Aren’t there other groups in the country trying to get a Stork Bus off the ground?”

·         “I live in Kokomo, Indiana, home of the Kokomo Mantis. Why should I care about little Delaware?”
Fair enough. Here’s where “stunt” part comes in.  I DO live in Delaware, and I DO want to pull out all the stops to get this Stork Bus up and running. I freely admit that it is self-serving.

But if the stunt takes off we could scare the pants off of Planned Parenthood and fund more than just one little Delaware bus!
 “For the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light, “ Jesus tells us in the gospel of Luke.  And isn’t it the truth?

No Stork Bus project has used crowd funding to our knowledge, and we hope to establish a precedent.  The secular world has been a lot quicker to harness the power of crowd sourcing than we have been.  Witness the success of the ALS Bucket challenge. In two weeks’ time it made four million dollars for the ALS Association and its 38 chapters. It did this by harnessing the power of social media and the fun of seeing people (especially celebrities) have buckets of ice dumped on one another.
Yet the ALS Association supports using human embryos for stem cell research, and so Catholics and others were not able to embrace this as readily as some.

$120,000 is just 4800 donors giving $25 each. What if the White Hat blogosphere gives more??
Here is the deal, and it’s a good one:

If we raise more than $120,000 between now and the end of November, we will give 100% of all additional monies collected to the national Save the Storks project!
That’s right! We are not greedy. This is our first fundraiser, and we are targeting our capital expenses only.  We will trust in our fundraising acumen to raise the first three year’s operating expenses on our own. We came up with this stunt not just for Delaware Stork Bus, but for all of us. We want to show the abortion industry that we can get a fully-outfitted Stork Bus on the road in a little more than two-months time. That will have them shaking in their stylish yet affordable boots!

We don’t want this to be a Zero Sum Game.  If YOU give to US, we don’t want you to worry that other Stork Buses will suffer.
Save the Storks gives grant money as part of its mission. So if our little stunt goes anywhere, and we collect any extra we make above our capital goal of $120,000, we will give the rest to Joe and his good people to give in grants as they see fit.

Most of you don’t know me from Eve, even though I’ve been an internet presence since before there was an Internet! (international PLATO system in the late 70’s, anyone?) I have left a 20+ years trail on the Internet.  Look me up and see if I seem trustworthy.
Look our entire Board of Directors up! You’ll find some surprises!

Yes, you will find that we have paid our dues. We are trustworthy.  Children of light: allons-y!  No need to be less sensible than the children of the world!

Rae Stabosz, with the Delaware Stork Bus Board of Directors:

Evelyn Baldwin
Susan Bullock
Nicole Collins
Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich
Ed Taubert
Tim Werbrich

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Problem With Blogging

The problem with blogging is that, at least for me, it does not have any due dates.  I know there are professional bloggers who, much like other journalists, have deadlines, but as an amateur blogger this is not the case.

 Now, there are a couple of reasons that this is problematic.  The first being my Pavlovian response to due dates that was cultivated by 13 years of public schooling.  People who have known me since grade school may laugh as I was notorious for not getting homework in on time, but with the exception of a single 11th grade journalism paper that I made a very calculated decision not to write, I had a fairly good record for handing papers in on time. I consider blog posts, at least the ones that aren’t just cute pictures of my children, to be in the same category as papers  as my writing process for both is very similar.

The second reason has to do with my writing process itself.  A lot of my writing is created and refined before I ever put a pen to paper or open a new word document.  During my school years, I would often to sit down to write papers, even the 10 page ones, the night before and have very little trouble finishing them in time to hand them in.  This is because as soon as I would read the instructions for a paper I would begin to write the paper in my head; by the time I sat down to actually write the paper, I was typing up the product of days and weeks worth of thought.  Under the constraints of deadlines, this writing process works beautifully, but without a deadline to reign me in, I can think and think about how I will write about a topic, but I never get to the sitting down and writing it out part. 

Now that I have realized what the problem is, I am actively trying to get to the writing it out step in my process so that I can share more here than just a handful of pictures every few weeks.  I can’t promise anything brilliant, but hopefully in this space I will start maintaining more of a balance between words and images.

Friday, August 8, 2014

7 Quick Takes Vol. 5

Atticus and I attended the Delaware Big Latch On.  There were 129 babies from 2 weeks to 3years old nursing at the same time.  It was pretty amazing how incredibly silent the room got at the moment they all latched on.  If we are still nursing at this time next year, I plan to attend again.

Atticus has moved out of his cosleeper and his swaddle wrap.  He now crawls in circles in his sleep before he decides to either sprawl  out on his back or snuggle up by my side.  He now taps me on the shoulder or face to wake me up so he can nurse. I never thought I'd see the day that I actually enjoyed cosleeping, but it is here.

Ish brought home fresh basil from the garden at his work and instead of doing the obvious and making pesto, I made basil chocolate chip ice cream.  It is so good and since the kids are weirded out by it, I will get to enjoy more of it.

Little Ish and Lily have been on flights of the imagination all week.  The most often played game is Money Shop, but my favorite to overhear them playing is Christmas Eve.

Atticus had his 6 month well baby  visit (a month late) this week.  He is perfectly healthy and growing well!  Can I take a pause and celebrate 7 months of exclusively breastfeeding not accompanied by a failure to thrive diagnosis?  Woohoo!  Third time is a charm.

I signed up as a consignor for my favorite local consignment sale.  We have been needing to purge some stuff, but I've also given myself a tiny budget to help bolster my inventory as well.  I have a couple months to prepare, but I'm already getting super excited.

I am slowly working through The Right to Write by Julia Cameron.  It's been a pleasant yet challenging experience.  I am hoping it will help me get back into the swing of writing again.  I feel wildly out of practice, and my anxiety surrounding putting my writing out into the world has been crippling for the past couple of years.  Maybe over the next few weeks I'll actually manage to post something with substantial content (not just pictures of my kids being cute).

Linking up over at Conversion Diary!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

My Music Baby

Music.  It is one of those things that seems to resonate with everyone in some way.  I have had the pleasure of watching how music affects each of my children; they all have a clear love for music, but the way Atticus reacts to music is like nothing I have seen in his older siblings.

As young babies neither Little Ish nor Liliana had any strong preferences for specific songs.  I would sing to them or put on recordings for their enjoyment, and although they clearly reacted to the music they did not start to show any preference for one song over another until they were toddlers.  Atticus, on the other hand, has shown preference for specific songs and albums for months now.

The first observation of Atticus's inclinations toward a specific piece of music was several months ago.  Anytime he was fussing during a car ride he would immediately stop as soon as Blue Orchidby the White Stripes would come on.  This preference has become so clear that when Atticus starts fussing Little Ish likes to note that, "Atticus is making a request"; immediately we switch the music to Blue Orchid.   As one might imagine, listening to the same song all the time starts to grate on the nerves a little bit.  Little Ish was delighted a few weeks ago to realize that Atticus calmed almost immediately when I started singing a bit of Rag Doll by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.  It isn't quite the magical cure-all for fuss as Blue Orchid but most of the time it does the trick.  Plus, it's a whole lot easier to sing.

Atticus's strongest reaction to music however is the clear joy that he gets anytime I put on the album Appalachian Mandolin and Dulcimer by Butch Baldassari and David Schnaufer.  He was having a sleepy don't-wanna-have-my diaper-changed kind of meltdown this morning; you know the kind of meltdown that makes you wonder if your ancestors were part banshee?  Well, I walked Little Ish through the steps to start the album playing, and as soon as the first track began to play Atticus stopped mid-scream and giggled. Thankfully Atticus isn't the only one who really likes this album so it may or may not be playing on repeat during not so great days.

I used to think people were crazy when they would indicate that their infant had a preference for a specific song or album, but after observing Atticus, I don't think they are crazy any more.  I also think it is justification for not introducing children to annoying children's music as babies--you might as well help them develop preferences for music that you enjoy too.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Cousins Visit Longwood Gardens

A few weeks ago we took a trip to Longwood Gardens with about half of the kids' cousins.  This is the first time we'd gone with more than one additional friend or family member, and the kids had a blast.  Liliana insisted upon wearing her cape, which quite obviously provided amusement for other garden visitors.  It was neat to see the kids share one of their favorite places with their cousins.  The highlights were definitely the tree houses and the children's garden.

I also learned an interesting [to me] tidbit about photography on the trip; it is way easier to photograph my own children than it is to photograph other people's children.  I am fairly sure it has something to do with being able to anticipate how my children move.