December 2004 Archives

Well, hello there!


I know it's been a while. Christmas was too busy and way too joyful to spend time blogging.

Friday we did Peoria, Sunday we did Chicago, but on Saturday we had the entire day to ourselves. We did "midnight" Mass at our parish, came home and opened St. Nicholas' gift to us of red flannel pajamas for all, gifts which we promptly put to their proper use of wearing to sleep. We did morning Mass as well, where I got tagged to do the readings where we showed up.

I've lectored tons of Masses. I've lectored daily Masses, Sunday Masses, huge solemnities, I even once lectored a Mass that was put together entirely for Lech Walesa (yes it was in English, the Newman Center didn't have any Polish Lectionaries handy). But I've never done a solemnity like Christmas, and somehow I was actually nervous. It wasn't all the solemnity of the event, though - having my son in the first pew squealing didn't help much.

I got through somehow, and we went home to open the loot. The rest of the day was very relaxing, and then in the evening we finally got the snowthat Jenny wanted and about which I was fairly ambivalent except that my wife wanted it so I didn't mind so much. We strapped little Matthew into the stroller and went for a walk in the snow, and that was wonderful.

Now we have a short week and it's off to El Paso for the weekend for David and Rosie's wedding. Please keep them in your prayers as they prepare to get sacramentally hitched.

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How cool is this?

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Pro-life Woman Who Battles Infanticide Wins $27M California Lottery

Debi Faris-Cifelli is a one-woman army in the battle against infanticides in California. She helped win passage of the state's Safe Haven law back in 2001 and has worked to help women learn about the provision ever since.

Debi Faris-Cifelli is a one-woman army in the battle against infanticides in California. She helped win passage of the state's Safe Haven law back in 2001 and has worked to help women learn about the provision ever since.

That's where Debi and her Garden of Angels comes in to play.

The Garden is a tiny cemetery in the Los Angeles area where Debi has buried dozens of newborn babies who died after abandonment....

That struggle has ended now that Debi is the winner of $27 million in the California state lottery.
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That's right Matthew did it with almost no fanfare or fussing. I just stuck my finger in and there it was. Perfect timing too, since he is old enough to graduate to more interesting solids. Babies are new miracles every day. [Just in case you don't know, I'm talking about a second tooth:)]

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Social Security reform


is here.

"It's time we gave the American people the chance to make some real money for retirement," Bush said, speaking from the new Office of Social Security and Pari-mutuel Wagering Building. "Some naysayers think the average citizen doesn't know how to handle his own money. When spring training starts next year, it's up to you to prove them wrong."
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"Demigods of Dysfunction"


Here's an excerpt from Home Alone America by Mary Eberstadt - a book that exposes the detrimental effect that absentee-parenting has had, is having and is likely to continue to have on children. The excerpt is lengthy, but well-written and insightful - well worth your time.

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For your enjoyment


Click on the boy to hear what happens when Mama-Lu gets hungry for Baby-back ribs. WARNING: It takes a few seconds to download on slow connections (like ours).


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Bin Laden beware

Leonel Arias, 47, told police he was playing a practical joke by donning the Bin Laden mask, toting his pellet rifle and jumping out to scare drivers on a narrow street in his hometown, Carrizal de Alajuela, about 20 miles north of San Jose.

Arias had startled several drivers that way on Monday afternoon. But when he jumped out in front of taxi driver Juan Pablo Sandoval, the motorist reached for a gun and shot him twice in the stomach. He was hospitalized in stable condition.

"For me and I think for anybody else at a time like that one thinks the worst and so I fired my gun," Sandoval told Channel 7 television.

Full story

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Diversity where it counts

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There's a great article from today's USA Today about Diversity among Bush's cabinet appointments.

"Bush did not go out and say, 'I'm going to create an administration that looks like America,' which is how Clinton led off," says Paul Light, a political scientist at New York University who has studied presidential appointments. "He has just gone about recruiting a diverse Cabinet as an ordinary act. That's remarkable in the sense it sends to future administrations: 'This is just the way we're going to do business.' "

Bush put the best talent into important positions of power without condescending to the minorities they represent about what a "historic event" it was to do so. In this way, he makes it crystal clear that his appointees have eanred their jobs through merit, not through quotas or through white guilt. Few things are more irritating than an executive trumpeting the diversity of his appointments, as if he [or she - see how much I value diversity!] is doing women and minorities some great favor - how condescending. None of that here; just quiet action.

Another noteworthy (though laughable) line is:

Critics also say there's a shortage of diversity on at least one measure: diversity of opinion.

Well, messieurs et mesdames critics, how would that make the Bush Administration different from, say, your typical college campus? Or from the typical editorial staff at major newspapers? Oh, because the administration doesn't agree with your politics? Duly noted.

The article is a good read, though, especially its assessment of the implications of Bush's appointments for the future of minority politics.

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Somewhere in my youth or childhood...

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...I must have done something good. Actually, nothing I could have ever done could make me deserve such a happy, calm, peaceful baby, and truth be known my youth and childhood should have earned me quite a handful. Instead my happy baby stayed happy while teething! This new tooth came through with very little warning. He has been chewing on averything for the last 2 months and drooling buckets for the same amount of time. Since Monday, he has needed lots of attention and has been easily upset. However, he was never unconsolable, never crying for no known reason, never biting me, and never sleeping less. He did nurse less and fight me more, but that's about it. I never expected such an easy tooth. Of course we still have lots of teeth to go, so maybe he will some terrible days later on. For the time being, I am amazed and grateful and ignoring the people who tell me that future children will make up for all of this.

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Whole new ballgame

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Matthew has teeth!!!

Tonight I'll be broiling him a steak to celebrate!

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Making do

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What do you do when the boy is fussy and you have a St. Nicholas Day party to set up for?

Why, let him play with your tin Chicago Cubs shot glass of course!

Don't let my mother see this. She's keeping a running list of complaints to lodge with DCFS in hopes of scooping up our little critter for herself.

Crafty grandma...

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Those New Republic folks


sure do like to brag.

Seventeen years ago Charled Krauthammer argued in their pages in favor of the US pulling out of the UN and letting it sink.

In light of the current sinking of the UN ship, The New Republic put Krauthammer's essay back up, presumably to gloat about its unduring relevance.

It is a great (though lengthy) read.

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Angel in Waters


Know anybody who is expecting?

Take a look at this book and consider purchasing a copy. If you don't want to take my word for it, follow the link above and you can actually read the book for yourself.

Danger: I suspect many expecting mothers might become a wee misty-eyed.

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Mama-Lu's Etsy Shop

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2004 is the previous archive.

January 2005 is the next archive.

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