Friday, May 25, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday - May 25, 2012

--- 1 ---

I still haven't been paid. As of June 1, it'll be a total of two paychecks that have been withheld. The company keeps asking us to "trust them" and promises they're working on it. I told the president of the company to his face that he hadn't given us any reason to trust him. And yes, I'm looking for another job, but there's not a lot out there. I can't make less than I'm making now (full-time), otherwise we'd just be paying for daycare and there's no point in that. Sigh. Lots of stress around here lately, especially now that our income has been slashed. We JUST paid off all of our credit card debt (for the first time ever) a few weeks ago, but now we've had to use our credit cards just to buy groceries. 
--- 2 ---

I also told the president of the company that they might as well lay me off, because I couldn't continue working -- if I can't pay my daycare, I can't work. Instead of laying me off, he gave me permission to work from home indefinitely until "the situation is resolved." My productivity has tanked -- trying to work 8 full hours while simultaneously caring for four young children is not easy -- but that's their problem, not mine. 
--- 3 ---

I'm mad as hell that we had to pull the kids out of their current (fantastic) daycare. Assuming I do start getting paid again, if their slots have filled we'll have to find another new daycare. I know our providers were devastated as well -- not only will they miss our kids, but we're half their income, and I feel terrible that we weren't able to give them much notice. Gah. It's just a sucky situation all around. 
--- 4 ---

Violet was sick earlier this week (she was whinier than usual during our trip up north, which manifested in a nasty bout of the flu on Tuesday) but is dong much better. Collin came down with what she had yesterday, though. Ugh. On the up side, he seems to be feeling better today. 
--- 5 ---
Here are some shots from our trip up north to watch the eclipse:
Hamming it up while watching the eclipse.
--- 6 ---

Elanor wasn't thrilled with the glasses, but she thought the eclipse itself was cool.

--- 7 ---

The painted desert.

This is where we watched the eclipse, and we visited the park more the next day. Lots of great museums and hiking trails!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Friday, May 18, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday - May 18, 2012

--- 1 ---

Happy (belated) Syttende Mai from this Norwegian gal!

--- 2 ---

Two recent "William-isms": We won a pan of bakalava at the Baking Malcolm Home event. Upon tasting it, William declared that it was "crunchy-licious!"

Whenever he's stalling (for example, at bedtime), he pretends to gasp for breath and says, "Mommy, my breath is out!"

--- 3 ---

I'm not a happy camper today. I was supposed to get paid on the 16th, but as of yet, no paycheck is forthcoming. Upper management claims "funding issues" and keeps making promises that don't pan out. According to state regulations, they have until the 22nd to pay me for the May 1-May 15 pay period or else they're in violation of the law. It's a stressful situation and not too great for our finances.

--- 4 ---

On that note, anyone need an editor/proofreader/document conversion specialist/freelance writer?

--- 5 ---

In happier employment news, Collin was selected to be trained as a backup manager! (Meaning, he'll fill in for managers who have had to call in sick or are on vacation or whatever.) This is BIG, and could possibly be the key to a permanent management position at Apple down the road (which he'll qualify for once he gets his degree). I'm so proud of him!

--- 6 ---

We're going to the Four Corners area this weekend (Sunday-Monday) to see the solar eclipse. Collin brought special glasses and everything, and MIL is coming with us as well. I hope it's not cloudy!

--- 7 ---

I'll end with a (rare) pic of all 4 kids together, taken while they were watching The Sound of Music.

The Sound of Music has become Elanor's favorite movie (which causes me no end of delight, since it's one of my all-time favorites, too). She was singing "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" before bed last night.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Why I Cried on My Way to Work This Morning

This morning, during my commute, I listened to the latest episode of one of my favorite podcasts, Among Women. The featured guest was musician Sarah Hart, and one of the songs played on the podcast moved me to tears. It's called "Child of My Heart," and she wrote it for a friend who had suffered a second-trimester miscarriage. You can listen to the entire song on the podcast.

I can't find the lyrics online at the moment, but let me assure you - this song will deeply resonate with any woman who has lost a child to miscarriage. 

I'm definitely adding Sarah Hart's music to my iTunes library. She has a rare and wonderful talent, both as a musician and as a songwriter. I loved every single song featured on the podcast.

Friday, May 11, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday - May 11, 2012

--- 1 ---

I'm so happy that the Baking Malcolm Home event is tomorrow. I could REALLY use a couple of hours surrounded by people who aren't insane. (Too much time on FB and Twitter this week. Sigh.)

--- 2 ---

In related Malcolm news, check out this fantastic online auction! I ADORE the Yoda hat. Gabriel would look so cute in it!

--- 3 ---

I've been in a serious funk lately. It all started with Hilary Rosen's comments about stay-at-home-moms. It just renewed my desire to BE a stay-at-home-mom, and I feel very depressed every morning I have to wake up and go to work instead.

--- 4 ---

Collin got his prospective graduation date (9/10/12)! If he can get a job that pays more after he graduates, maybe I can realize my dream. But that's a big "IF" in this economy.

--- 5 ---

I've also taken another step that may help us reach that goal. I don't know if it'll come to fruition, but... well, we'll see what God has in store. I don't want to be too specific at the moment in case the opportunity fizzles. In the meantime, please pray for me?

--- 6 ---

I'm going to try make it to adoration next week. I could use some extra time with Jesus.

--- 7 ---

My mother and Violet, September 2011. I miss my mommy.
Have a happy Mother's Day weekend!

For more Quick Takes, visit Betty Beguiles!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Lies, Damn Lies, and... More Lies.

Elanor at 9w6d.
Also known as an "enemy combatant" according to these loonies.
This is in response to the opinion piece "War rages against women’s reproductive health choices" that appeared in the city of Surprise newspaper this week. I wrote a letter to the editor that debunked the lies told in the second paragraph of the piece only; the 250-word limit did not allow for a more thorough vetting. Thankfully, I have a blog.
Did politicians across the United States declare a war against women's reproductive health choices in 2011 continuing today?
Terrible grammar aside, the answer is no.
These are the facts:
Forget the alleged war on women - war has been declared on truth and honesty, if the following is what passes for "facts" nowadays.
They passed HR 358 that would let hospitals refuse to provide emergency abortion care to a woman, even though she would die without it.
False. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act already requires hospital workers to do whatever is necessary to stabilize the condition of both the mother and her “unborn child” (the wording in the law) in an emergency room.
They passed HR 3 that could force rape survivors who choose abortion to prove to an Internal Revenue Service agent that they were assaulted.
False. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), one of the bill's authors, stated, "The language of H.R. 3 was not intended to change existing law regarding taxpayer funding for abortion in cases of rape, nor is it expected that it would do so."
"They introduced legislation that would force women to have ultrasounds before receiving an abortion."
False. An ultrasound to determine gestational age of an embryo or fetus is standard medical care prior to abortion. The legislation in question merely requires that women be given a choice to view the ultrasound as part of informed consent.
In the five years prior to 2011, there was an average of 1.2 anti-choice bills targeting women in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2011, there were eight.
Ignoring the biased rhetoric (please see my article The Myth that is Anti-Choice), that may be because America is more pro-life than it has ever been before.
Over the past two years, the House of Representatives twice voted to slash federal family planning funds for low-income women [isn't that what Planned Parenthood is for? They're still getting government funds] and moved to prevent women from buying insurance plans that cover abortion.
False. The legislation in question stated that "women would not be able to buy plans that cover abortion using money from President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act." As long as their own money is used, there's no restriction.
Twenty-six states enacted one or more anti-choice measures in 2011—twice as many as in 2010. One of the five new anti-choice laws in Kansas almost forced the state’s three abortion providers to close.
They neglect to mention that the legislation in question "ban[s] sex-selection abortion, uphold[s] the civil rights of the unborn throughout gestation to match their protection in criminal law, and protect[s] the rights of parents to accurate medical information about childbirth."How dare you, Kansas!
South Dakota became the first state to enact a law that forces a woman to undergo an in-person lecture from an anti-choice “crisis pregnancy center” before accessing abortion care. A judge blocked the law; however, the state’s governor is requesting $750,000 in taxpayer funds to defend this law in court.
Nice scare quotes around CPC. How dare women be given accurate information about their options from people actually equipped to help them! Why would you be opposed to women being informed of all their options before making a "choice"?
South Dakota also considered a bill justifying homicide in the case of imminent harm to a fetus. Would this bill legitimize the murder of individuals who provide abortions?
No, it would not, as reading the actual legislation would tell you:
Section 2. That § 22-16-35 be amended to read as follows: 22-16-35. Homicide is justifiable if committed by any person in the lawful defense of such person, or of his or her husband, wife, parent, child, master, mistress, or servant, or the unborn child of any such enumerated person, if there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony, or to do some great personal injury, and imminent danger of such design being.
As the author of the bill stated: "'This simply is to bring consistency to South Dakota statute as it relates to justifiable homicide. [...] If you look at the code, these codes are dealing with illegal acts. Now, abortion is a legal act. So this has got nothing to do with abortion.'"
Arizona’s law that allows churches to refuse to include contraceptive coverage in insurance policies for workers was expanded to provide a similar right to any “religious affiliated employer." That is defined as any company whose articles of incorporation say it is a religiously motivated organization whose beliefs are central to its operating principles. And while the goal is to cover things like Catholic hospitals, others worry it opens the door to any firm making a similar declaration.
The free exercise of religion is a bad thing? Have these people even read the Constitution?
In addition, HB 2036 passed both houses of the legislature and was signed into law by the governor. It outlaws all abortions after 20 weeks because of pain supposedly experienced by fetuses after that time.
"Supposedly" experienced? Why are pro-abortion activists anti-science? Did they not read the testimony of the medical professionals who testified in support of the legislation? And really, all of the pro-abortion activists who testified against the bill stated that "we can't know for sure" if a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks. Isn't it better to err on the side of caution when it comes to torturing the unborn prior to killing them?
Of all the anti-choice legislation enacted by state legislatures, the bill that passed in Virginia created the loudest, most vehement response. This bill required any woman seeking an abortion to undergo a vaginally inserted sonogram probe prior to receiving the abortion. The national outcry caused the bill to be changed.
The bill was changed so that an abdominal ultrasound can be performed instead. Apparently pro-abortion activists are opposed to giving women comprehensive and reliable medical care prior to an abortion. A transvaginal ultrasound is simply the gold standard of care prior to an abortion, because it accurately determines the number, location and age of the unborn child -- factors which, if unknown, can cause potential complications during or after an abortion procedure.
The new Affordable Care Act requires contraception and other preventative women’s health care to be offered free to all U.S. women. The opposition claimed that first amendment rights to religious freedom were at stake.
Indeed, they are.
As a compromise, churches and religious institutions were exempted; however, insurance providers to Catholic hospitals and similar organizations were required to cover the cost of contraception.
It's not a compromise at all, and the definition of "religious institutions" is so narrow as to be farcical. Under their definition, the Eternal World Television Network (an organization whose stated mission is "to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ world wide not just through television but also through short wave radio, AM/FM radio, and the Internet") is NOT a religions institution. Nor is Priests for Life. Nor are private Catholic colleges such as Belmont Abbey. None of these organizations, incidentally, receive government funding.
Since the introduction of the birth control pill in the early 1060s and the legalization of abortion in 1973, women in America give birth to fewer children. Women tend to marry and have children later, increase their educational achievements, and participate more fully in the work force. The economy benefits by their positive health outcomes, lifetime earnings and political participation.
Regarding the falling birthrate, even the New York Times admits this is not a good thing, and it's not benefiting our economy. Further, abortion and contraception are not necessary for a woman to increase educational achievements, etc. Practicing chastity and personal responsibility can enable women to do the same.
Do the legislative enactments noted above result in moving the clock back to a much earlier time when women’s choices were curtailed and involuntary motherhood frequently resulted?
Apparently, these pro-abortion activists are not aware that feminists such as Susan B. Anthony considered abortion to be abhorrent and an affront to women everywhere.

Moreover, "involuntary motherhood"? Seriously? If you don't want to be a mother, don't have sex. Simple as that. Or, in the case of women who become pregnant due to rape or incest, adoption is an option that does not subject one to "involuntary motherhood". Involuntary pregnancy, perhaps, but that's an issue of justice, in that it's not fair to punish a child for the crimes of its biological father (not to mention that all abortion legislation currently enacted does contain exemptions in the cases of rape and incest, so it's really a red herring).

I am not surprised that pro-abortion activists must turn to lies to garner sympathy, as the facts are not on their side.

Friday, May 4, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday - May 4, 2012

--- 1 ---

Have you checked out the giveaway for Harper at the Ironic Catholic yet? If not, do so!

--- 2 ---

Have you checked out Betty Beguiles' Mother's Day giveaway? If not, do so!

--- 3 ---

Have you checked out the new book Style, Sex, and Substance yet? It's high on my wish list!

--- 4 ---

What about the Smith's iPad Giveaway to benefit sweet Malcolm? Time is running out!

--- 5 ---

If you're in the Phoenix area, don't forget that the Bake Malcolm Home event is next weekend!

--- 6 ---

Here is a Kindle Fire giveaway to benefit sweet Declan!

--- 7 ---

I'm terribly excited that Steven's account has gone from $10 to $55 since I became his Guardian Angel! It's progress! I may have to have a giveaway of my own in a bit to raise more funds...

--- Bonus #8 ---

It's Star Wars Day! May the Fourth be with you!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Catholics for Choice Killed a Strawman

Remember my post about Catholic Butts? One of the smelliest derrieres out there is the oxymoronic Catholics for Choice

A brief summary the essay linked above: contraception isn't abortifacient, because pregnancy doesn't begin until implantation. Therefore, contraception is OK. The end.

She provides no evidence, other than "because the ACOG says so," to support her assertions. What's interesting is this article from the American Journal of OB/GYNs stating that over half of OB-GYNS who responded (57%) believe that life begins at conception. Only 28% believe pregnancy begins at implantation (16% weren't sure, apparently). It seems that ACOG's official stance doesn't necessarily reflect the beliefs of most OB/GYNs! Imagine that.

She makes no mention of when human life begins. If she believes that life begins at implantation, and not conception, there's a wealth of scientific evidence to the contrary.

She also makes the ludicrous claim that she and her husband, both intelligent scientists, had an inordinate amount of difficulty grasping the difference between "user failure rates" and "method failure rates" when comparing NFP to contraception. I'm a woman of average intelligence with an English degree, and I didn't find the concept that difficult to comprehend. Moreover, she provides no evidence to support her claim that the 99% correct use efficacy of NFP is "a lie." (It's not.)

There is also no discussion whatsoever about the moral aspect of contraception, abortifacient or otherwise. I doubt she's ever heard of Theology of the Body. She seems profoundly ignorant of the fact that Catholic Church teaching on contraception does not rest on the premise that hormonal contraception is abortifacient, but rather that contraception of any type violates the integrity and sanctity of the marital act.

In my opinion, this was the most tragic part of the entire essay:
I plan on going to confession and hearing the priest out. And unless he flatly forbids it, I also plan on taking Communion. Because I am morally sure, in my heart, that for me, this is the proper decision.
Truth is not founded upon the feelings in one's heart. Otherwise all manner of evils could be justified (for example, what if a woman feels morally sure, in her heart, that her adulterous affair with her married lover is the proper decision?).

Let's pray that this woman finds a holy and orthodox priest who will guide her to the Church's teachings about a fully informed conscience and the intrinsic moral evil of contraception.