Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Melissa and I were finally able to spend some time together, not necessarily alone, but I guess well enough alone. I tried to plan our "date" during nap time so that the children would be "occupied." And it kinda worked... unfortunately, I was a little bit of a space case from prior incidences that morning. Sophia was "doing ballet" when she stepped on a CandyLand figure and it dug a chunk out of her heel. It is quite hard for this blood-phobic mom to deal with such injuries, but I did it while taking care of her physical and "feelings" pain. (Yes, I know I'm using quotation marks a lot...)
So Melissa arrived, we went to Blockbuster and Publix and when we returned we made a delicious lunch of Tuna Helper (now with extra cheese topping!) with peas, a meal only Melissa and I can appreciate. The kids went down for their nap. This means that Sophia sat in bed coloring, calling me intermittenly, and Oliver passed out on a pile of trains in his bed. (So I let them have toys in their bed! It's my insurance for getting a few moments for myself!)
As far as the movie goes, it was a cute young chick flick. I'll post the usccb review before my own.

Tender, if at times overly sentimental, teen drama about four lifelong friends (Alexis Bledel, Blake Lively, America Ferrera and Amber Tamblyn) who spend their first summer apart, during which they experience life-changing adolescent ordeals, but remain linked by a shared pair of magical denim jeans. Directed by Ken Kwapis from the bestseller by Ann Brashares and with spirited performances by the quartet of young actresses, the film, despite its bubblegum title and breezy Judy Blume veneer, tackles heavy issues like divorce, death and teen sexuality (which may be inappropriate for younger teens) and ultimately imparts a life-affirming message about friendship and family. An implied sexual encounter and sexual innuendo, some mature thematic elements, including one character's loss of virginity, as well as sporadic mildly crude language. A-II -- adults and adolescents. (PG) 2005

My favorite part of the movie was hanging out on the couch and eating cookies with Melissa--- but I don't know if that counts? :) As for the actual movie content, it was entertaining and engaged desires within me that have been dormant for a while... My yearning for Greece has returned. Maybe Ray and I should go back to being "vacation owners" so we can take that cruise to Greece and Turkey... I was also left with some pining for a "normal" adolescence, something Melissa and I could both relate to. The characters seem a bit caricatured with the emo-filmmaker, the jock hottie, the feisty Latina, and the modest waif, but I think their chemistry on screen did a lot to downplay that. All in all, the theme throughout the movie was sisterhood and sharing those parts of life in which we are vulnerable and need that understanding, feminine shoulder to lean on. It caused me to reflect back in gratitude to those times when Melissa was there for me in High School, comforting me after abusive interactions with [name withheld], showing up to my work with a sweet card in hopes of cheering me up, being there for me when my parents got divorced, etc. We had our own smart-white-girls-from-Riverdale-who-can-dance sisterhood. I hope we can see the sequel together.
Here are some photos I found of Melissa and I from freshmen in high school to freshmen in college. :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My liturgical reminder...

In honor of St. Martha's Day, Mary sent me the following quotes in an email this morning:

"Worries go down better with soup than without."
--Yiddish Proverb

"Worry and pessimism is dissatisfaction with the past, distaste for the present, and distrust of the future. It is ingratitude for the blessings of yesterday, indifference to the opportunities of today, and insecurity regarding strength for tomorrow. It is unawareness of the presence of beauty, unconcern for the needs of our fellowman, and unbelief in the promises of old. It is impatience with time, immaturity of thought, and impoliteness to God."
--William Arthur Ward

Happy Saint Martha's Day to all those moms and caretakers out there... Don't forget to spend time at Jesus's feet; it is the better part and will not be taken from you.

Monday, July 28, 2008


As it happened, Sophia was having Senna spend the night and they were cuddled up in their sleeping bags on the floor. I heard Sophia shriek and I inquired. She claimed that a crab was under her bed, (she was laying in reach of her bedskirt.) I did the obligatory look and scan and reassured her that I saw nothing and that she was safe. At best, she was fantasizing as she tends to do and at worst, she saw a bug.
A couple of days later, Sophia pulled her dollhouse above-ground-pool out from under her bed and she brought it to me and said, "Here's the crab!" And lo and behold, there was a crab, dead as can be, but a definitely a beach dwelling creature, (I did some research and found out it was a brown crab--see photo.) I am amazed for one, that it must have stowed away in our things when we left the beach, (there were many wildlife sightings on that trip,) and that my sharp-as-a-tack daughter was right all along. I guess I really shouldn't be surprised by that. She sometimes runs circles around us. And after all those times of telling her there was nothing under her bed... She might doubt me now.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Jesus Washes Peter's Feet by Ford Madox Brown

I love this painting-- just thought I'd share. When we buy our home, I'm going to have a print framed and placed in our "bathroom." (I'm hoping that we can build our own house and if that's the case, then I would have a "water closet" separate from the bathing area...) Not that you necessarily care to know, it's just an example of what I daydream about during mundane household chores... "yes, I'd have a room for bathing, which would be separate room from the toilet, and a bidet would be cool, and a smaller scaled toilet for toddlers, but that might look funny having three toilets..."
All that aside, I think one of my favorite aspects of this painting is the expression held by Peter. I too am confounded by the beautiful paradox of our Lord being both almighty and the most blessed servant.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Becoming Attached

I finally finished reading this long-held, long-loved book! It has accompanied me on many excursions and most recently to Alligator Point. So it looks well-worn with remnants of beach still securely held in the binding. And speaking of “securely,” I’ll list from the appendix a brief [and simplistic] example of what the three main attachments look like. (I tried discussing this at the pool with Billy and Priscilla which was a little more difficult, so I’ll rely on the writer’s own words…)
Securely Attached: Mother (or primary caregiver) is warm, sensitively attuned, consistent. Quickly responds to baby’s cries. Baby readily explores, using mother as secure base. Cries least of three groups, most compliant with mother, and most easily put down after being held.
Avoidantly Attached: Mother is often emotionally unavailable or rejecting. Dislikes “neediness,” may applaud independence. By end of first year, baby seeks little physical contact with mother, randomly angry with her, unresponsive to being held, but often upset when put down.
Ambivalently Attached: Mother is unpredictable or chaotic. Often attentive but out of synch with baby. Most tuned in to baby’s fear. Baby cries a lot, is clingy and demanding, often angry, upset by small separations, chronically anxious in relation to mother, limited in exploration.
Robert Karen does quite an engaging job of mapping out the history of attachment theory and all the major players and relationships in its development. I am always interested in hearing the unbecoming drama that can happen in academic circles, particularly among psychoanalysts. I wish I could offer a more detailed look into this book, but right now Dan is making waffles in the kitchen and I can tell he’s trying to keep the grasping birdlings at bay.
Why is the question of attachment a pertinent one? Speaking of Bowlby’s, Levy’s, Goldfarb’s, Senn’s, Spitz’s, and Bawkin’s work, “they unanimously found the same symptoms in children who had been deprived of their mothers—the superficial relationships, the poverty of feeling for others, the inaccessibility, the lack of emotional response, the often pointless deceitfulness and theft, and the inability to concentrate in school” (60). I think it’s important to consider that deprivation does not have to just be of a physical nature…
I’ll leave you with a quote from the last chapter of the book, “His [John Bowlby] monumental efforts at theory building were thus mainly in the service of social change. He hoped that the lasting value of attachment theory would “be the light it throws on the conditions most likely to promote healthy personality development. Only when those conditions are clear beyond doubt will parents know what is best for their children and will communities be willing to help them provide it” (440).
If you are interested in reading this book, I’d let you borrow mine, but Dan has called dibs on it, so you’ll have to talk to him.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

it'll be nice to have ice...

I've had a love-hate relationship with ice. When I was younger, I craved ice. I would chomp on it like there was no tomorrow. I was warned that it would crack my teeth or that it indicated that I had an iron deficiency. And looking back, remembering how refreshing and delicious it was, I was probably just dehydrated. (I don't ever remember drinking water as a kid...) There was nothing more tempting than the feeling of putting a cube of ice in my mouth and lingering in that moment when the heat of my mouth would cause the cube to crack. Snap. It was mine.
However, after Germany, I saw ice cubes as pieces of extraneous luxury that I could do with out. If my drink came from the fridge and was already cold, then why did I need ice? I especially found it silly given that eventually the ice would begin to melt and water down my sweet lemonade. My interest in the environment went on to proclaim the uselessness of ice in the sphere of drinking... it was good for packing a head suffering from a migraine, but little else. (I also began to worry about my teeth cracking...)
Since then, I have not put forth any effort in the way of ice, since no one can seem to refill ice cube trays except for Billy and it's just one more thing to wash for me. Billy often puts glasses of water in the freezer to get them nice and cold, but unfortunately, most of the time, I don't know it's in there, and I knock it over... which is great if it's been in there for a while and a mess if it hasn't.
Finally tiring of this song and dance, Billy volunteered to install the tubing/piping required for the icemaker in my freezer to work. We worked on it last night and I am grateful for his initiative! Reagan offered some mechanical help and Ray stood around making jokes... :) Sadly, something was up with the Saddle-something or other so we have to replace that flexi-metal tubey thing before we can try again. At least the hard work of moving applicances, drilling holes, and feeding the cooper tube through is done. Soon and very soon, we will have ice. (I've just gotta wash the bucket-tray thing that catches the ice cubes since I've been using it to hold potatoes and onions in the pantry...)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

from the Sydney Morning Herald...

(I found this while reading a rather disappointing article on WYD in the SMH; this one I thought was interesting, as it's a secular paper. I don't think it is the best "theology of the body" synopsis, but at least it's a start!)

Sex and the Vatican city: it can be awesome if you do it right
Sarah Price
July 6, 2008

SINGLE Catholics be warned. Sacred sex is awesome, the pill and condoms put people at risk and sex outside marriage can leave you with diseases you will pass on to your children.

In the official pilgrim guide for Catholic youth attending this month's World Youth Day celebrations, young singles are warned away from sex outside marriage because of a risk of severe consequences.

While extolling the virtues of sex within marriage and insisting the church thinks "sex is great" and "really is awesome" within marital bounds, the guide details a "dumb sex" story about a man who has sex for the first time when he was 18, drunk at a party.

A few celibate years later he falls in love with a virgin. They marry and have a baby but, at the age of three months, the doctor discovers warts growing in the child's throat.

"My wife was examined and warts were found in her vagina," it reads. "I was devastated. Here were the two most precious people in my life and my one-stupid-night-stand had given them something I never wanted."

The information, run over two pages headed "Sacred Sex, The Single Catholic's Guide", is in the 144-page World Youth Day 2008 Pilgrim Guide, a booklet that will go to all registered pilgrims.

Organisers are expecting up to 225,000 international and local pilgrims. Many will be staying in group accommodation at schools or church halls during a week that will culminate in a vigil at which tens of thousands are expected to sleep under the stars at Randwick Racecourse before the papal Mass.

"Society preaches condoms and the pill — it puts you at risk and keeps you isolated," the guide reads. "Yet the only way to fulfilling sexual intimacy is 'saved sex'. Go on - choose the best. You know it makes sense … Saved sex = awesome sex."

Sexual health expert Jill Michelson, operations manager for Marie Stopes International, said: "You need to ensure people have all their options available to them. In this particular story, you're talking about a couple who have contracted genital warts. If they had been doing the appropriate things, like using condoms and having sexual health check-ups, that wouldn't have occurred."

Mrs Michelson said the Catholic community promoted abstinence to singles, however, "in reality, we know that [abstinence] doesn't always occur".

Yesterday a World Youth Day spokesman said the story printed in the guide was from the Australian Catholic Marriage and Family Council and was simply reinforcing their message and "putting some of the facts before" pilgrims.

"The Catholic Church encourages young people to have a high level of self-esteem and respect for their bodies and to treat sexuality as something very special and valuable," he said.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Family Menu

I've had a hard time since, like, For Ever planning meals for my family. My newest plan is to have days assigned for certain ethnic flavors, such as Mediterranean Mondays, (which would include Falafel, Hummus, Lentils,) TexMex Tuesdays, (Burritos, Enchiladas, or Tacos with rice), Thai Thursdays, (Veggies, Tofu, Rice with curry sauce,) and Fish Fridays, (Tuna Melts, Fish Tacos...) FYI: The Church did not just do away with abstaining from meat on Fridays; it simply suggested that you could perform an act of Charity in lieu of eating fish. So I prefer to stick to eating fish in case it's hard for me to be charitable that day or I forget. :)
If someone can help with a theme for Wednesday, I'd be much obliged. I've gotta throw [Italian] pasta in there somehow. I also like making Lo Mein. Any suggestions?