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Rocco Turns Two!

September 10, 2012

Rocco turned two a few weeks ago. We can’t believe how lucky we are that he is our son. Rocco is hilarious, loving, spunky and adventurous. Our lives are so much more blessed because of this little man.

Here are a few pictures from a small gathering of friends to celebrate his day.

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Summer Travels: Part Two

September 10, 2012

In early August, we went to San Diego for the baptism of our newest Goddaughter, Adeline Polito. We had such a wonderful time with Peter’s side of the family. Here are some pictures from that trip. We unfortunately don’t have any baptism pictures because poor Rocco got sick during the baptism and we were a bit preoccupied.

Summer Travels: Part One

September 10, 2012

This was truly a summer of traveling here in the Polito household, and I have to say that it was quite nice to escape the Texas heat for a spell!

Our first trip was to the Bay Area to visit my family…well, the kids and I went there, while Peter went to Colorado to climb mountains with his brother, sister and some good friends. I will let Peter share his time in Colorado, while I share the Bay Area side.

We stayed with my parents and had so much fun spending time with my siblings, and their kids. Here are just a few snapshots of time! Enjoy!

Portland

June 22, 2012

We recently went to Portland, Oregon to witness the wedding of Michele and Adrian. We got to stay in a bed and breakfast with the whole Polito clan, and it was sooo much fun! Peter ended up leaving early to go on a work trip, but the kids and I got to stay for a few more days! Peter’s mom, Helen, flew home with the kids and I to hang out with us while Peter went to sea.

Here are the pictures from Portland. Enjoy!

Daily Adventures

April 23, 2012

Below are a few pictures from the past week. The kids and I found a new walking trail on the way home from taking Peter to work and we took Peter there this weekend. The trail goes around an artificial lake with lots of turtles, ducks and fish (koi if you can believe it). This will be our morning outing until it gets way too hot to be outside! Enjoy the pics!

Spring in Austin

April 9, 2012

Spring is hopping here in Austin, and we’ve been having such a wonderful time. Here is a quick update from the past couple of months.

Rocco and Maggie are now officially sharing a room. Maggie has been sleeping in a pack and play in the spare bathroom for awhile and she is now in the crib near Rocco in his big boy bed. Bed time is a bit of a challenge for her, but she is getting much better as each day passes! Rocco loves having her in his room, and he is great when she is crying… he just sits there and looks at her, and when he has had enough, he just lays down and falls asleep! He is good!

Rocco is doing really well in his almost 20 month old self. He is still a boy with few words, but we recently had him tested with ECI (Early Childhood Intervention), and he qualified to have some help with communication! We are so excited to have someone come and play with him and help him to express himself with words!

Maggie is 6 1/2 months of fun! She is sitting up (mostly on her own) and she is so close to crawling. She gets up on all fours, she knows what to do with her legs, but her hands/arms don’t realize they are supposed to move too. Once this connection is made, I’m in trouble because she will be fully mobile! She is now eating some solid foods, but the little stinker with her acid reflux… she can’t have solids in the afternoon/evening, so basically she gets food in the morning. She is such a happy kid, and quite attached to me. Poor thing is going to have a challenging time when I go back to work. She will have to get over it pretty quick!

Peter and I are both doing really well. We have had a wonderful Lenten Season, and we are starting to enjoy the Easter season. Peter is plugging along at work and brewing beer when he can. I am still looking for work, while enjoying every second I have with the kids!

Here are some pictures from the past couple of months. We were able to spend the morning with our friends, Dereck and Audrey while they were camping at McKinny Falls, and Rocco loved it! We can’t wait to take the kids camping soon! We also went to the Austin Zoo a few weeks ago, which was great. Rocco loved seeing the animals and riding the train. There are also some pictures here from Easter, including Rocco’s first Easter Egg hunt!

We hope you all enjoy the pictures!

I was angry at you before [Kathleen Sebelius], but now I’m really pissed off!

February 27, 2012
by

First, the basics:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  -First Amendment, Bill of Rights, United States Constitution

I’ve spoken to some of you on an individual level about this issue but the more I read and meditate on what is happening the more I am sickened by all of this.  I’m not sure how much you’ve been paying attention to the news about the HHS mandate but here is a brief primer:

In late January the Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary put forth a new mandate requiring that every employer must cover things like contraceptives and abortion inducing drugs.  There is a VERY limited exclusion which is if you are a religious institution that is morally opposed, employ only people of the same religion and only serve people of the same religion.  So if you’re a Catholic church that does nothing and interacts with no one outside your walls, then you’re fine, but if you’re a Catholic church and you have a school or have a sports team or a soup kitchen, or anything else like that, you’re not exempt.  Same goes for Catholic hospitals, universities, Catholic charities, etc.  Then there was the ‘compromise’ that came a few weeks later that said that these types of institutions that are morally opposed to this coverage but not exempt wouldn’t have to pay for the insurance, but the insurance company would have to cover it.  When the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) took a look at this new provision they discovered that it is a nothing more than an accounting gimmic that would do nothing to stop the insurance companies from passing the costs indirectly onto these institutions.

I remind you:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  -First Amendment, Bill of Rights, United States Constitution

Now, for a moment, try and disregard everything I’ve just said.  Forget who this bill goes after and what practices it tries to impose.  And ask yourself:  Should the owner of a Jewish deli be forced to sell but not required to consume bacon?  That the amish should have to buy but never use zippers?  Both of these would be ludicrous!  But is this not what the federal government is telling the Catholic church right now?  What comes next?  That failure to vaccinate your children can result in fines or incarceration?  Buying food from non-government sanctioned entities becomes illegal?  These things are crazy.  If someone told you the government was heading in this direction you’d instantly peg them as a conspiracy theorist.  I know I would.  But shoot man, they’re on their way!

I’ll end my soapbox moment with this:  We may not all believe that the provisions the HHS mandate would force upon all employers are bad things, we may in fact, applaud them.  But at what cost?  Our freedoms are being slowly chipped away and unless we stand up and voice our opinions to our elected officials and, well, get pissed off and loud, we’re going to lose them.  I am all for separation of church and state . . . but with this new mandate, I’m not so sure our federal government is.

And don’t forget:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  -First Amendment, Bill of Rights, United States Constitution

And if you didn’t catch it, the title is definitely a Robin Hood Men in Tights reference.

 

And if you still want to read more, below is an excerpt from a letter from Cardinal Francis George (Chicago) outlining what would happen to Catholic institutions (of which Catholic hospitals make up 12% of the hospitals in the US!!) if this mandate is not overturned:

Cardinal George adds:

What will happen if the HHS regulations are not rescinded? A Catholic institution, so far as I can see right now, will have one of four choices: 1) secularize itself, breaking its connection to the Church, her moral and social teachings and the oversight of its ministry by the local bishop. This is a form of theft. It means the Church will not be permitted to have an institutional voice in public life. 2) Pay exorbitant annual fines to avoid paying for insurance policies that cover abortifacient drugs, artificial contraception and sterilization. This is not economically sustainable. 3) Sell the institution to a non-Catholic group or to a local government. 4) Close down …

Freedom of worship was guaranteed in the Constitution of the former Soviet Union. You could go to church, if you could find one. The church, however, could do nothing except conduct religious rites in places of worship-no schools, religious publications, health care institutions, organized charity, ministry for justice and the works of mercy that flow naturally from a living faith. All of these were co-opted by the government. We fought a long cold war to defeat that vision of society.

The strangest accusation in this manipulated public discussion has the bishops not respecting the separation between church and state. The bishops would love to have the separation between church and state we thought we enjoyed just a few months ago, when we were free to run Catholic institutions in conformity with the demands of the Catholic faith, when the government couldn’t tell us which of our ministries are Catholic and which not, when the law protected rather than crushed conscience. The state is making itself into a church.