Friday, May 24, 2013

Seven quick takes


Michael is either having a growth spurt or teething or just trying to break my spirit.  That is, he is not sleeping.  Like, at all.  At least that's how it seems.  It's hard to tell.   I just know that he wakes up the moment I start to drift off at night and then the rest of the night is a vague haze of getting kicked in the stomach.

He has never been a good sleeper, but I could swear he used to be better than this.

So I started out the week full of pep and it's been draining out each day.  Today I feel like doing absolutely nothing, alternated with long naps.

Need I say that's not what I've been doing?  But I haven't been productive either.  Mostly just disaster management.


Have I mentioned before that John went and founded the Blue Ridge Young Republicans? Well, he did; and the next thing I knew he was going to various events and conventions several times a week.  I like to tell myself that I am participating in the political process just by letting him go.  It's the closest I get; I have not shown up to a single one of these things -- partly out of despair for the future of the Republican Party, and partly because I would be bored out of my skull.

This weekend he is knocking on doors for Mark Berg's campaign.  I have to say, it rather amazes me how political spirit animates him ... because I wouldn't knock on doors for any amount of money, and he's no less hesitant to confront total strangers than the next guy.  I'm pretty proud of him.


Both kids, by the way, are being very charming lately.  At any rate Marko is.  He was going through a little uncooperative stage where his catchphrases were "I won't!" and "I don't like it!"  But we just held on and suffered through it.  Usually, you know, I don't need to make him cooperate.  "Will you clean up this mess with me?"  "I won't!"  "Fine, I'll do it myself."  (Very often this was enough to get him to do it!  And if not, he's three ... I kind of expect to do the cleaning myself.)  Or, "Please stop banging on the wall."  "I don't want to!"  "Okay, here we go to your room where you may make all the noise you want."

So when one morning he woke up and started saying "I will!" instead, I don't think it was anything we did.  He just started feeling better about life and got back to his normal pleasant self.

Well, one thing that may have helped is that I scaled down the amount of stuff we were doing and made sure he had more unstructured time.  It's not like we were doing a lot, but we were taking a lot of walks to church and the library and having maybe too many playdates.  I don't want to turn us all into agoraphobes, but we are all introverts, so I try to make sure we have one day where we don't go anywhere for every day we go out.


Michael is just developing super fast.  He's thirteen months and very much a toddler.  He spends his days pulling out the dining room chairs, climbing on the table quick as lightning, and then dissolving into a little puddle of woe when you get him down.  Then you look away and he's back up in a flash, dancing on the table.

More and more his babbles are sounding like words.  He's nothing like as verbal as Marko was at this age, but then he gets less attention.  He can say, for sure, ball, eat, water, out, Mama, more, up, down, and kitty.  Now that I think about it, that's kind of a lot of words!  None of them are clear at all though, and I mostly figure them out from context.

Notice he doesn't say nurse.  He used to say "ssss" for nurse, but now he's learned to yank up my shirt or reach his arm down it.  Classy.  When he gets a sight of what he wants his eyes light up and he laughs.  He is so into nursing.  It's his favorite thing to do, a dozen times a day sometimes.  He eats too, but mostly just bites here and there.  Nursing is where it's at for him.

He goes in the potty more often than not.  I keep him in just pants, and he goes through a few pairs a day.  Beats diapers, because he feels uncomfortable right away when he gets them wet.  But I don't leave him naked much anymore because he thinks it's a free-for-all to pee anywhere he wants.


I spotted some pumpkin sprouts today!  Squeee!  To celebrate I made pumpkin scones, from canned pumpkin, because it is cold and windy and rainy today.  It may be May, but it feels like October.  (Which is fine with me.  It was in the nineties this week.)


Lately I keep getting in debates about Catholic doctrine.  It's kind of stupid of me, because debates usually have nothing to do with finding wisdom; they leave me more confused than I started.  Last week I was in one about whether a Catholic can morally support civil marriage licenses for same-sex couples.  I was able to prove that there has never been an infallible statement on the topic from the Magisterium, but then my opponent countered that you couldn't possibly be a good Catholic and only believe the infallible stuff.

Does that seem weird to you?  It did to me.  What do you think?  What things does a Catholic have to believe, and what are we allowed to use our own judgment about?  I know what I learned in theology class, but I'm curious what you all think.


Two interesting links I read this past week.

How Free Markets and Human Ingenuity Can Save the Planet

As a libertarian who is concerned about the environment, I am always looking for solutions to the "tragedy of the commons," the problem of commonly-owned resources (i.e. the environment) being despoiled by people who have a profit motive to get as much out of them as they can.

The solution listed here -- requiring companies to reimburse citizens for the resources they use -- isn't 100% anarchist, but it seems fair enough to me.

Rachel Carson, Mass Murderer?

This one came up as I was researching DDT because ... heck, I can't remember why.  Because I'm a life-long learner, that's why.  Anyway, I've heard the argument in the past that banning DDT has led to millions of malaria deaths.  This article decisively proves that that's not true.  DDT is unsafe for humans, sure, but it isn't actually banned for use in controlling malaria.  The reason it isn't used to control malaria is that mosquitoes have become resistant to it.  So if you care about the spread of malaria, it's not enough to insist on more DDT for everyone.  You actually have to find solutions that work.

You can read more quick takes at Conversion Diary.


Enbrethiliel said...


This is off on a bit of a tangent, but the idea of companies reimbursing people for the use of natural resources reminded me of an article I read recently. It was partly about a jeans factory in China which was polluting a river so badly that the water turned an unnatural blue from the chemicals. The author remarked (and I paraphrase): "We've cleaned up the environment really well in the West, but what does it matter if we're okay with polluting the parts of the world we can't see?"

Of course, if companies were required to pay for the use of national resources, it might no longer be cheaper to make so many things in China, and then production could be brought closer to the local markets again. If people could see firsthand the environmental price we pay for jeans, demand for them might drop. Of course, this is all wishful thinking, but I think you see my point. =)

Sheila said...

Sadly it is very much wishful thinking, but I absolutely agree. We're not just outsourcing the *work* of making jeans, we're outsourcing the pollution, too. It's "cheaper" to ship them halfway across the world and turn rivers blue than it is to find a way to make blue jeans without pollution.

The crazy part is that natural blue dye, while complicated to make, is not expensive. In fact, the woad plant, which makes indigo, is classified as a noxious weed in half the US because it grows and spreads so well! Oftentimes the technology exists for making things without polluting or using up non-renewable resources, but it's cheaper to just trash the planet and make a bigger profit.

See also this meme:

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