Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I do declare!

...that St. Joseph, patron saint of fathers, families, and more is the patron saint of this blog. I pray that my natural family planning will become super-natural family planning with his intercession.

Friday, February 23, 2007


I am always happy to see the MSM cover NFP, even if they insist on calling it contraception when it is not. It does not act against conception. It helps a couple to understand their mutual fertility and time relations accordingly.

However, it is even better when there is also another MSM source which shows that the birth control pill has become less effective. Apparently, the smaller dose of hormones required to diminish the hazardous side effects (blood clots, breast cancer, and the like) has caused an increase in the failure rate. I hope to still be teaching NFP when our chart of effectiveness shows that the birth control pill is 98% effective and STM is 99% effective.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Useful co-sleeping tip #2: Get Dad involved.

After Maria upgraded to a toddler bed, she became my responsibility at night. The toddler bed was against my side of the bed so I had the responsibility for enforcing the night-time rules. For a while she was allowed in bed whenever and I put her back in her bed when she fell asleep. Then we moved to a time limit, where she had to stay in her bed (or be put back in her bed) before three a.m. Afterwards she would snuggle up with me until she fell asleep and I put her back in her bed.

Currently she stays in her bed except for a few nights a month so things are pretty loose. Although if she is a squirm-a-saurus, I put her back in her bed pronto. If she is still fussy, I sleep with my hand hanging off my bed and holding her hand.

However, Maria was primarily bottle-fed due to milk supply issues so I have no idea how to handle Amelia's transition. I found this transition to be the most difficult part of cosleeping and the least discussed in the literature. I hope this blog can remedy that situation for others.

The Mommy Sandwich

After checking out the stunning and superb blog Lap of Luxury, I followed a link to Danielle Bean where she had a post on cosleeping.

While her main point is loving and kind, I am interested in pursuing two of her incidental points. For example, she mentions her husband's ability to sleep through the various gyrations of breastfeeding and crawling toddlers. I am overjoyed to find out that I am not alone in the "sleep of the dead" category. I just recently earned a rebuke from Jen for not adjusting the thermostat when she was cold and asked me. But I was in the temperature zone and so tired!

A second incidental point is that her nursing child is "spoiled" because he nurses on and off throughout the night. I think she mentions it mostly in jest, but I have difficulty telling such things in an on-line format. Research indicates that the woman's body is more sensitive to prolactin at night, therefore milk is produced more easily. Also, babies have small stomachs so it is natural that they eat more frequently. Why then this stigma over spoiling a child when physiology seems to dictate this pattern?

I guess I'm one of those "political" people she mentions, since I believe cosleeping should be the norm in the U.S. as it is the norm in so many other countries and cultures. However, maybe I'm just remembering the comfort of those many nights as a child when my parents let me sleep in a sleeping bag on their floor. I think all children deserve that comfort, especially the comfort of a comatose father snoring away.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Do you know the Muffin Man?

Since economizing is an important family trait, I thought I would post on an excellent, economical gift. Our dear friends gave us the Christmas gift of Monthly Muffin deliveries. This has been a most scrumptious gift as well as a reasonably priced one. It also prompted my Mom to offer a "12 Free Dinners" Christmas gift to my Honorary Uncle.

In the hustle and bustle of family life, it's good to remember that charity begets charity and the best gift is your time. When the budget gets tight, consider giving a bit of your time through cooking, baking, babysitting, or tech support. My friends and family have, and I am eternally grateful.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

And so it goes

As I type this, I am watching Prime Time on TV. They are busy about the business of normalizing polygamy. They have already compared "bad" polygamists who have forced marriages and under-age "wives" to "good" polygamists who have willing, legal-age "wives" and volunteer community groups. They moved on to barely concealed disbelief that the teenagers in town have never had sexual relations. They also threw in a bit of disbelief that any woman could be satisfied to stay home with the kids. Of course, chastity and motherhood prove that they are outsiders.

The polygamists are all given a chance to speak their views with the narrator as the representative of normalcy. It would be nice if normal people could host prime time news programs on national television.

Friday, February 9, 2007

The Matrix Unrestrained

Since I was fortunate enough to receive a Netflix subscription for Christmas from my best, non-spouse friend in the known universe, I have been watching many more movies than usual. Recently, I watched "The Matrix Reloaded" even though I swore that I wouldn't watch either of the sequels. At the outset of Reloaded, Neo and Trinity are shown in bed together aboard the Nebuchadnezzar. Shortly thereafter, they arrive at the underground city of Zion and the instant they are left alone in an elevator, they begin groping each other. I assumed that these scenes are supposed to indicate that there is a rule against coupling while on the ship. Furthermore, I couldn't help but notice the underlying assumption that the only way anyone could refrain from coupling was the hope of future unrestrained relations. How sadly divergent this is from the experience of marital chastity which I have learned through NFP. Marital chastity is a path of deeper, constant love which does not grasp but patiently waits. Patience is what allows abstinence to be more than a white-knuckled lesson in restraint. Patience is how I show respect for my bride, by treating her as more than an object to be grasped but as a person to be embraced.


One of the BEST things you will ever do for your marriage!

  • NFP is NOT the Rhythm Method
  • NFP works with irregular cycles
  • NFP can help less-fertile couples achieve pregnancy
  • NFP teaches how breastfeeding naturally spaces babies
  • NFP builds better marriages
  • NFP is morally acceptable
  • NFP is inexpensive
  • NFP is safe
  • NFP is healthy
  • NFP is effective
  • NFP puts God in the picture

Have you heard the good news? Natural Family Planning is the Church-approved method of fertility awareness and child spacing, but wait, the news gets better. Your marriage can be stronger, happier, healthier and holier than you ever imagined! You owe it to your marriage to check this out.

All classes will be held at Corpus Christi Parish from 7:00-9:00 pm. A class series consists of four classes, spaced one month apart. The registration fee is $75 per couple. All materials needed to learn the method are provided.

Wednesday Night Schedule

March 21, 2007

April 18,2007

May 16, 2007

June 20, 2007

Saturday, February 3, 2007

PNFPN Convention

As a former board member for the Philadelphia Natural Family Planning Network, I can be completely objective when I say that these conventions are great! The convention is on Saturday, March 3 at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne. They have been our gracious hosts for many years and this year is no different.

Do You Want to Know a Secret?
NFP: Best Kept Secret of the Catholic Church

This year's convention focuses on getting the message out, a particularly difficult task with NFP since the usual parishioners are completely ignorant and the culture is so hostile. Fortunately, we have been able to sign on a speaker who has successfully marketed NFP in Wichita, KS as the Director of the Family Life Office, Judith Leonard. Hopefully, her success will help us to bring the Good News of NFP to the many hurting people in the Archdiocese of Philly.

Register on-line at

Thursday, February 1, 2007

The Amazing Usefulness of Glo-Worm

As my wife and I are practicing the family bed, I thought I would add some practical advice and tips on this topic. We have read many books on the subject and they are all very good at convincing someone to co-sleep with their children. However, there seems to be a dearth of practical tips for dealing with the interesting situations which result.

So, co-sleeping tip #1: Glo-Worm is the most useful children's toy ever.

I keep a Glo-Worm on my bedside table and Jen keeps a glowing Winnie the Pooh on hers. They are very bright and are timed to shut off after ten seconds or so. These make the perfect flashlight when trying to find a missing pillow or sleep mask or to comfort Maria in her toddler bed which is next to our bed.

New Class Series

Since most of our student couples find us by searching the Web, I figure I might as well post our classes here. We have a new class series starting on February 15 at our house. So far, we have one couple signed up and one potential couple. The best part is that this is the second couple that includes someone I already knew. I love networking!

Daddy's gonna get you

So we finally arrived home after a whirlwind evening, and Maria started climbing the stairs ahead of me.

Me: "Daddy's gonna get you."

Maria: "Eeeeeeee!"

Me, as I catch up and touch her: "Daddy got you!"

Maria: "No, daddy not get me anymore."

Me: "Oh, okay Maria. Gotcha."