Sunday, August 01, 2010

Kori Unplugged

I have been contemplating the art and the ideal of hospitality lately. It is important to me to have an open heart and an open home and I fear that outwardly, at least, I have neither.

In opening myself to others through electronic media such as Facebook I feel as though I have closed myself off to real life interaction. Although I do not spend an extraordinary amount of time in front of the computer and I do not engage in messaging and texting I have come to believe that even a little may be too much. Often throughout the day I find myself contemplating such deep questions as: Should I change my status update? Would this interest my "friends" on Facebook?
Instead of picking up the phone or writing a letter I rely on the computer to do my talking.

I watched a documentary recently that posited the theory that students today are so fragmented by multitasking and affected by the short sound bytes of information sent out over social media that they are learning LESS even at top notch academic institutions such as Harvard and MIT. I believe it. In the last five years I have lost my ability to focus on one book for any length of time. I have taken to reading easy fiction novels rather than books or articles of any substance. I tried to dismiss this as normal for a mother of young children - I certainly cannot read deep, intellectual material while caring for my children and I am generally quite tired at the end of my day and yet deep in my heart I know that without the years of scanning information online, refreshing my email and now checking status updates I would still have the focus needed to read and understand complex information.

What does all this mean? When taken to its logical conclusion I must conclude that the best course for myself and for my family is to unplug. And yet I do not want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Email is a valid and necessary means of communication in today's world. Facebook is where I find important information about family and friends and share information about our doings as well. Google and Wikipedia are essential tools in navigating real life. To log off completely would be like deciding not to participate in society at all. To be unplugged entirely is the new Amish. Therefore I must set limits. What they are I cannot tell just yet, but I will be giving it much thought in the days and nights to come. Until then, I would expect that you will hear from me less...and that perhaps is a good thing for all of us.

But as always, whether I have said it out loud or not, feel free to stop by. Maybe I have cookies in the oven....although looking at the 10 day forecast (online of course), probably not.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

It pays off

Today the children were playing SO nicely outside and lunchtime was fast approaching. I decided (sefishly, of course) that it would be better to make their sandwiches and have them eat ouside on the deck. So I brought everything out and called them in from the backyard. They were happy to eat outside, but when I saw the state of their hands I went back inside for some wet wipes. As I was coming back out I actually heard them PRAYING! They said their whole morning offering (ha,ha) and grace before meals. ALL BY THEMSELVES. Maybe it's just the mom in me, but that absolutely made my day.

Update: humph. they have been back and forth in and out of the house around four times now. "Mommy, I have to tell you something very very very important." uh-huh.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I feel awful today. I'm tired and sad and sluggish and my muscles ache and I just feel out and out bad. I have a million things I could be doing (including at least making an attempt to be fun with my kids) but my arms and legs feel like they are weighted down with lead and I cannot get up the energy to do anything at all.

I feel like this a lot, but have enough good days that it hides the bad. I'm sure there is some reason for it, but on days I feel like this I cannot muster the energy to figure it out and on days I feel great I don't want to be bothered. I just want to live my life. I have some suspicions as to what it could be: Vit D deficiency, PPD, Dairy or wheat intolerance, Fibromyalgia....but I don't ever seem to follow up and so therefore have done nothing to change my circumstance.

Even here I'm just whining and complaining instead of dealing.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

So many little time to blog!!

I've got so many things rattling around in my head that I've been wanting to blog about that I'm almost paralyzed. So here I am...I have about 20 minutes give or take...WHAT am I going to write about? I'll try to touch on a few things.

First up - The Fourth of July: disapointment abounds. This year I was excited to attend the Needham (MA) Fourth of July Parade for the first time since I was in High School. I wanted to share the experience with my children and my husband and to be reminded about the fun small town setting in which I grew up. Disappointment one: my son didn't want to go. I decided not to make him (although this is a subject I want to explore further later) and just took my two daughters. Disappointment two: few floats and unfortunately (not the parade's fault) we chose a spot that happened to be where all the bands simply marched on beat instead of playing a song. Disappointment three: fellow parade goers are obnoxious and discourteous. That was the biggest thing. On both sides of us were children with snaps. You know, those horrible little things that when you throw them on the ground make a snapping sound. I guess I'm a bit of a curmudgeon as I don't really care for them in the best of circumstances, but I found it completely offensive that these kids were tossing snaps AT THE PEOPLE IN THE PARADE and their parents not only didn't stop them, but encouraged them!! There were a few people on horseback and the kids were trying to throw them so the horse would step on them. Do you find this as offensive as I do?? Seriously, if I'm being a no fun stick in the mud just let me know.

Okay, still with me? Here's my second thing and then I'll stop for today. What ever happened to mandatory family fun?? I believe in my heart of hearts that growing up in a family and taking vacations is all about being carted around to events that you don't think you want to go to and making the best of it. And not only that but coming away with great memories (whether they are memories of a surprisingly good time or a predictably horrible time). When Jack said he didn't want to go to the parade, I let it go. I felt under the circumstances (not everyone was going anyway) it was best to just let him stay home, but I really regret it. Okay, he probably would have hated it and ruined it for the rest of us but that's what family fun is all about, am I right? Again, maybe I'm crazy.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Review: The Death of a Pope

Recently, while on my vacation, I read the novel The Death of a Pope by Piers Paul Read. Set in the time between the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI, it is a suspenseful thriller about a suspected terrorist and the innocent woman who comes to love him. While not what I would consider *great* literature, it is a fantastic book for those who enjoy the likes of James Patterson and who are looking for something better than (blah!) Dan Brown. I found the plot a tiny bit predicatable, but who cares! It's authentically Catholic and kept me up reading until midnight. Who could ask for more from a vacation book! I would have liked a bit more character development, but I'm fairly creative and have enjoyed developing the characters myself, haha! Plus I am still pondering some of the deeper issues raised regarding social justice and the Catholic Church.
So.....I would tell you, if you want something light that will challange some of your assumptions and keep you up in the wee hours of the night, head over to The Catholic Company and get this book!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Review of Magnificat Magazine - May Issue

I was recently privileged enough to be given the opportunity to review books for The Catholic Company. The first review I chose to write was on Magnificat Magazine. For the uninitiated, Magnificat is a monthly publication that contains the Liturgy of the Hours, or the Morning, Evening and Night Prayers of the Church, as well as the Mass readings for every day of the month. It also contains the order of the Mass so it functions as a wonderful missal to take everywhere. In this issue there was also a lovely meditation on the Holy Family based on a piece of artwork.

I absolutely loved the format of the book. It is incredibly easy to use with little need for flipping pages once you find the current day's prayers. It was edifying to see that some of the prayers were in Latin and that there was chant included as well. It is small enough to fit in a purse (or diaper bag) and while the cover is a big flimsy (my own was bent within a week) there are sturdier, permanent covers one can purchase advertised right in the book.

My hope was that as a busy mother of three I would be able to use this as a springboard for a better, more regular prayer life. My husband prays the traditional Divine Office and while I don't always find it convenient, I admire greatly his devotion and the quiet time he takes multiple times a day. Alas, it does not seem to be the prayer for me due to my own failings. I am a perfectionist and find it hard to settle into this kind of routine. If I miss a morning prayer, instead of starting later or just skipping to the next, I am likely to just scrap the whole day.

So while I would very happily purchase Magnificat for anyone interested in praying the Liturgy of the Hours, I am sad to say that I cannot overcome my own difficulty with this type of prayer.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I love it when this happens!

Time and time again I come to a point where I worry about Jack meeting his developmental milestones. He always meets them when I least expect it. I had thought we were past this until his well check for his fourth birthday. The doctor asked if he could draw a person (stick figure) and when I replied, "maybe...he never has but that doesn't mean he can't!" she suggested I have his fine motor skills evaluated.


I declined, but it kept nagging at the back of my mind. You see I was completely covinced that the only reason he hadn't done it was lack of interest. Sort of completely. Well, as time went on, I was less and less convinced. There was no point in asking him to do it. Jack is one of those kids who will eventually do something *unless* you ask him to...then he'll never do it. So we trudged on and I watched him scribble aimlessly for months.

Today we were coloring and he actually asked what he should make. I suggested he draw a picture of mommy. And he was off. Perfectly formed circle. Hair, chin, ears, mouth, legs and feet. Bingo. It wasn't a stick figure, but it was good enough. Then he made a bunch of random dots with a marker and drew a picture connecting all of them. I'd say that's great fine motor skills for his age.

*whew* So once again, I shouldn't have worried. I wonder what it will be next?

They're playing...together!

It's so amazing to me that even early on you can clearly see the relationships that develop among siblings. Helen and Rebecca are experiencing this incredible blossoming of friendship and sisterhood. They laugh, they fight, they's such a foreshadowing of years to come. Helen is still in her babyhood and yet she has become a (sometimes) willing playmate for Rebecca and Jack.
Rebecca is overwhelming for her (okay, Rebecca is overwhelming for ME) but when she manages to keep her enthusiasm down just a bit Helen is happy to play with her.

On a different note...Rebecca's language skills continue to astound me. She is not yet three years old and this is an exchange we just shared:
R: Where is Babi?
Me (not paying attention): Hmmm?
R: Excuse me Mommy, where is my pretend Babi that lives in my dollhouse? I'm looking for her.

okay! I KNOW that Jack was somewhat behind in language development, but there is NO WAY he could have articulated anything close to that when he was that age. Wow. Without having the vocabulary (and the social skills) I would place her verbal language skills at that of a five or even six year old. She rarely uses words incorrectly and with the exception of a few stragglers rarely mispronounces her words (she still calls spagetti, skabetty but I LOVE that and I hope she never loses it! of course I felt that way when Jack called helicopters, helicoplers and he eventually lost that. I still miss it.)
Free Web Site Counter
Online Schools