Friday, September 27, 2013

Seven Quick Takes, Sept. 27

1. I wrote this piece for Truth and Charity this week. It is about societies attitude on having children and how it is messed up. And I also try to figure out the right attitude to have.

2. We drove the 900 miles to Buffalo, NY this week. It is a long way. Why is our country so big?

3. I think we are going to break two little four year old girls' hearts again when we have to leave Buffalo. But before that we have a big gathering of friends tonight. It is great to be back.

4. For the record, there are seven kids napping in this house right now. There are 2 ten month old babies, 1 eighteen month old, 1 two and a half year old, 1 three year old, and 2 four year olds. S has a magic touch with her kids and niece, and I just got lucky with mine...

5. Old friends are great for getting perspective on life, especially the ones who totally understand everything about my life...

6. My kids both claim to like dogs after living with a fairly tame one for 48 hours. I wonder how the acceptance will pass from dog to dog.

7. These are so short because I am tired and my kids have been going to sleep on their central time zone bedtime and waking up with the eastern time zone sun.

Linking up with Jen.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

When Children Are a "Choice"

Something I have been trying to wrap my head around lately is whether or not the mentality of “planning” to have or not to have children is a good thing. I am fairly certain it is not, but then why is the language so acceptable among Catholics? In the non-Catholic world, family planning is associated with using some sort of contraception, but for us Catholics, since we are morally opposed to contraception, there is what we call Natural Family Planning.

We are caught up in the language of planning families. Are children really something we can plan, or should plan? Some couples spend months and years trying to conceive and others spend the same amount of time preventing conception. Some couples have more children than they think they can handle, some never ever want to have a child. But is it ever really, fully a choice that we can make? We can set up the conditions so that we are more likely to help another human being into existence or we can try not to, but ultimately it is working with the natural order. And the Creator of the natural order is God.

I think that the model to turn to for how we should view having children is Mary, Our Lady. I have discussed before that there are moral times for many couples when having another child may not be prudent for them, but when couples feel called to have children, what is the right feeling, right motive to have? Or when there is the unexpected pregnancy, how should the parents respond? When I think about Mary, she probably never expected to have a child, and then all of a sudden an angel comes to her and announces that she is to be the Mother of God. Her response: “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?(Luke 1:34)” And when the angel explains to her how it will be possible, she immediately declares: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word (Luke 1:38).” Mary’s first response was one of wonder and questioning. I think for new parents, there are a lot of questions about parenting, and whether they can really take care of their children well. But God calls us to this, and Mary is the example for us in how to respond to this call. For a women especially, becoming a mother is an act of acceptance, it is a “yes.”

In the Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem Blessed Pope John Paul II said this about motherhood:
“Motherhood as a human fact and phenomenon, is fully explained on the basis of the truth about the person. Motherhood is linked to the personal structure of the woman and to the personal dimension of the gift: “I have brought a man into being with the help of the Lord” (Gen 4:1). The Creator grants the parents the gift of a child. On the woman’s part, this fact is linked in a special way to “a sincere gift of self”. Mary’s words at the Annunciation – “Let it be to me according to your word” – signify the woman’s readiness for the gift of self and her readiness to accept a new life.” –Mulieris Dignitatem 18
Becoming a mother is a “yes,” an acceptance, and a gift of self. So, what happens when we see children as choices, something we can control? Why is it so easy to fall into a desire to plan families? What is wrong with this attitude?

I was waiting in a hair salon with my four and two year old daughters when I could not help but overhear the conversation between the two other women in the sitting area. One of them had what I guessed to be a five or six year old son getting his hair cut. The two women were discussing having children. The older woman was explaining that her doctor told her she could possibly still have children; the other told her that she would be careful if she were her and explained that she had “gotten her tubes tied” after her third child had been born when she was 31. Since I am in mostly Catholic circles and stay at home with the kids, this is the first time I had heard this stated so publicly in front of strangers. From what I understand, these topics are fairly open among women. (And I should not be entirely surprised since I discuss the details of charting cycles with many of my closer female friends.) But to be so open about never having children again, being against having children, this strikes me as very evil. A child after all, is a human being. A child is to be loved and respected. When a child is a “choice,” what becomes of that child even when the child is “planned” by the parents? There is something very wrong going on in our society when it comes to children. The attitude is very disturbing, and it is not just the attitude about planning when children are born, but also the way children are viewed after they are born.

When my mom was pregnant with my younger brother, she was by herself (probably a relief for her!) in a gas station. A man asked her if it was her first. When she replied that this was her fourth child, he told her that she was disgusting to him. Is this how society responds to children? One or two are okay, and if you have more than that you are some uncontrolled animal? Or when people ask parents of large families if they know about birth control, or tell them that they should use it, do they not realize the precious gift that children are? Do they not know how each human being adds to the perfection of the universe?

And for women, who have so many options in modern society, it is difficult to remember that our fulfillment is in giving ourselves to others. When children are considered a choice, society forgets that they belong to God. The idea of accepting many children from God is incomprehensible.  Parents of large families are considered irresponsible, or ignorant about “where babies come from”. But it is the families who are open to God’s plan, that discover that it is never about our plan when it comes to children. Society does not know it, and does not want to tolerate it, but the only thing we are called to say to God when we are presented with a child is “yes.”

Friday, September 20, 2013

Seven Quick Takes--Sept 20

1. Some days a second massive cup of coffee is necessary. Some days it must be made with two packets of hot cocoa powder (as opposed to my usual black). I am not sure why I am so tired, but I am. Plus, my feet are cold. I probably should go put my slippers on.

2. This is the life, let me tell you. At 11:30 AM on a cool Fall morning, we are up, dressed, fed, have been to morning Mass, vacuumed the usable part of the house, the baby took a good nap, and the older girls and I did school, coloring, and played Blokus. Now they are running around outside in jackets and the baby is cheerfully playing on the floor with an empty purple cup. And I might actually write quick takes on a Friday.

3. Saga of the Leaky Pipe Update: Not much to say here, except for the questionable plumbing work done my the previous owner has been replaced with professional work (this was Monday). Our project manager is coming on Monday with carpet and paint samples for me to pick out!!! Does anyone think that light yellow walls with a grayish carpet will look bad? Please say something before I make the choice!! The walls should be done while we are visiting all the awesome people of Buffalo next week.

4. Hot-Cocoa-Coffee is amazing, and a lot less expensive and effort than running out to a coffee shop with three kids.

5. If the kids are still happy when the quick takes are done, I am going to read the Papal interview that everyone is talking about. But there is always quiet time for that, though I am trying to hash out a blog post in my mind so the too goods will be competing for attention.

6. M and I restarted doing something that we should have done months ago. You see, we live one mile from a perpetual adoration chapel. This means that when our kids are all in bed at 8pm, we have no excuse for one of us not to go to the chapel at least once a week. So, we started taking turns again last week. It is really good for us to do and maybe I will be more focused in prayer in general because of it.

7. And for some practice in ethics, I leave you with the Trolley Problem game.

For more quick takes, head over to Jen's Conversion Diary Blog. :)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Baltimore Catechism: Where Have You Been All My Life?!?!?!

Someone decided back in the 70s or something to change the way catechesis was done. That meant that the Baltimore Catechism was no longer used. Though my whole life I have heard it references in homilies, and wished that I, too, had memorized it as a child. When M and I were thinking about what sort of religion instruction to give G this year, we turned to the Baltimore Catechism. The first catechism in the series is the The New Saint Joseph: First Communion Catechism. So, we will spend three years on it, but why not start with something so solid that explains the truths of our faith so well?

To demonstrate the books awesomeness, I share with you a series of pictures from Lesson 7: Jesus Opens Heaven For Us:

 See God the Father with the closed Gates of Heaven.
 Then when Jesus died fire shot out of His and Mary's hearts and burned up the sin which was barring us from Heaven. This is the best illustration EVER!
 Now the gates of Heaven are open! Don't forget about Mary!
Oh yeah, and the Church still is, and always will be, the way Jesus established for us to go to Heaven.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Seven Quick Takes, Sept. 13/14

1. According to my brother, this is a give not a take. On Truth and Charity yesterday I wrote this piece: Eight Great Things About Having Three Kids Four and Under.  It happened to be one of those days where I can see nothing great about it, except maybe the opportunity for heroic virtue. But I still agree with what I said in the post, and I think that more needs to be said about how great it is to have kids, even when it is a constant battle for sanity.

2. We went to our first home school co-op this morning. G had an art class and a gym class. L ran around aimlessly in a gym filled with toys, toddlers, and older home school children. I got to meet and talk with Catholic home schooling moms. It was a lot of fun.

3. I was talking to one of the moms and she asked me about how I am liking life in Minnesota. I gave her a quick rundown of our busy past year and mentioned the basement situation. She told me that the same thing had happened in her basement and it had taken 5 MONTHS for the repairs to be complete. I pray that our timeline ends up being much shorter, but since we have made it to the 2.5 month mark, we must be at least halfway there.

4. Fridays seem like the worst days for me to write blog posts. I wrote the first three takes on Friday, I promise. Even now, Saturday morning I am supposed to be doing something else, like house cleaning I didn't get to this week.

5. Today, Saturday, is the feast of the Triumph of the Cross. I thought about making hot cross buns, but we have no yeast. We do, however, have about a cup of frosting in the refrigerator from our Birthday cake from the Nativity of Mary. Maybe I will make a small batch of drop sugar cookies with the kiddos and put crosses on them.

"Jam for snacks and jam for meals, I know how a jam jar feels..."
6. We finished our yearly jam canning last Saturday. My parents had some blueberries that my aunt had brought back to St. Louis from Michigan that they had frozen for me to take home so that I could make jam with them. The other berries were crushed and waiting in the freezer. We made 4.5 pints of triple berry jam and 2.75 pints of blueberry lime jam. The triple berry is as delicious as it sounds and the blueberry lime is good, but interesting. I think it would be really yummy in the plain crock-pot yoghurt I plan to start tonight.

7. I am having mixed feelings about Autumn arriving. I am pretty sure summer is my favorite time of year, especially since our A/C works, but the cool air yesterday filled me with desires for pumpkin pies, pumpkin breads, apple crisps, pies and cider, hot cocoa on a cool evening, and a good book. Also, potato and leek soup. This morning G dressed herself in a skirt and t shirt and went outside to play. After about 60 seconds she came running in looking for socks, pants, and a jacket. So much effort just to go outside! See, mixed feelings.

And now I am linking up with Jen and the other quick takers.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Eight Great Things About Having Three Kids Four and Under

I am the mother of three girls (so far) aged ten months, 2.5 years, and 4.5 years. When I go places with my three little girls, people say things like, “You’ve got your hands full!” And honestly, I do. But this does not mean that I am not enjoying it. Life is very busy and at the end of most days when the kids are asleep, I scarcely remember what we did in the morning. There are so many negative things on the Internet about having children, how babies are hard to take care of, cost lots of money, and how your life will never be your own again. And while this may the case, I am okay with that.  I have heard from older moms that where I am is the most difficult time in parenting. “The third is the hardest,” they all say. (Though I have heard from moms of larger families, that the first six are the hardest.) Despite the difficulties of having lots of little kids, there are many wonderful things about my life these days.

Here are just eight of the many great things about having three kids aged 4 and under:

1. They are all at home: Once the oldest starts kindergarten or preschool, things change a lot. We are going to home school. In fact I am starting to do what I consider to be real schooling this Fall, where we sit down and “do school” for an hour each morning. I realize that this year is the last year where the expectations of schooling are going to be so low. This is a time to savor, where things are simple and happen at home.

2. They are close: My oldest two never stop playing. They play from the moment they are awake to the moment they fall asleep at night. They are each others’ constant companions and they love it. We give them a break in the afternoon for nap/quiet time, but otherwise they are at a loss without each other. It is beautiful to witness.

3. Quiet evenings at home: I never have to stress about what I am doing on a Friday night. In fact, my husband is thankful to the kids that he can use them as an excuse to stay home every evening if he wishes. Maybe we are homebodies, but I love the quiet 2-3 hours of time with my husband after the kids 8 o’clock bedtime. Someday they will go to bed later, and things will not be the same.

4. Quiet/Nap time: It is a fight most days, but once I get the kids settled into separate rooms for their afternoon quiet/nap time, I have an hour or so to regroup, relax, blog, or make important phone calls. I am wondering how long I will be able to get away with this. Though once the kids are reading on their own, I bet I can make it reading time for the older kids.

5. We can still fit in a sedan, and a minivan has extra seats: This is another thing to savor for now. If God keeps on blessing us with children, there may be a time when a minivan is not enough. But for now, I am happy to drive a “smaller” car.

6. I never have to sit still at Mass: I don’t know about you, but sitting still at Mass has always been difficult. There is always someone to hold om my lap. It is great to be able to get up with a fussy baby and pace around in back or take out the toddler to the restroom. When we first had kids, I was a little annoyed at having to leave the pew so often, but now it adds to my ability to focus on Mass. If I have the rare Mass without kids, I am at a loss for what to do with my hands.

7. The baby is the easy one: When my eldest was born, everything was new. The last newborn I had lived with was my brother who was born when I was three years old. With the third baby, everything comes naturally: feeding, diaper changes, rocking, holding, etc. It is nice to be able to enjoy a baby without worrying if I am doing everything right.

8. All children are gifts from God: Being a parent of three little kids is never easy, and it is often overwhelming. But they are gifts from God. We really do not have control from the beginning over whether we will be able to have kids, and now that I have three I still have to rely on God’s blessing to have any more. God gave them to us to take care of, to love, and to raise to love Him. We cannot “plan” our families the way society wants to tell us we can. So enjoy your family now, as it is, and remember to find joy amidst the craziness of raising little children.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Some of Our Reasons for Homeschooling

Another school year has begun. The kids have all had their first day. This is my fifth fall as a mom, and it has seemed like a very long time since G was born to when she is officially kindergarten age. She will not be until next September. Most kids her age are attending a preschool of some sort a few days a week or even every day. I have been thinking about what it would be like for the family if she went away even twice a week for the morning. There would definitely be a gap in my life. I felt it when I dropped her off to VBS for a week in the summer. It would not feel quite right to have her gone several mornings a week, especially since the afternoons are nap and quiet times. She and her sister would hardly have time to play with each other. We have many other reasons for home schooling, but now that I have disciplined myself to have a schedule of home schooling everyday after morning Mass before I do anything else, I am seeing how great it is for G (4.5) and L (2.5) to spend some structured learning time with me, have a snack, and then have the rest of the morning to play together. It is great. I would not do it any other way.

M and I decided that we wanted to home school any children we might have before we were even engaged. In fact we had a pretty long list of kids names at that point as well. I suppose we are planners. I am learning that when I plan, when I schedule, when the order of life makes sense to me, that is when I am able to best manage the home and keep family life pleasant for all. This semester I am starting to get back into the ordering and planning of family life. I have always had a loose structure, but I am going to get things together in a more ordered way (especially now that the printer ink has been delivered and I can print out my lists and things to put in my "homemaking binder"!) The kids are responding really well to more structure as well. More structure means that they have more free play time as well, and structured time with me helps them feel more confident in play time.

I went to public schools through middle school in a small school district in Webster Groves, a suburb of St. Louis. My parents thought that this school district was particularly good, even better than the closest Catholic school. All of my siblings went there. I had some wonderful friends in elementary school, some great teachers, but I see that my eduction was lacking in a lot of ways. The foundations of memorization, grammar, and the classics were not there. When I went to my all-girls Catholic High School I had to learn how to diagram sentences to catch up. I still am awful when it comes to naming the part of speech (but I can write creatively...). M, on the other hand, went to Catholic schooling from pre-school through his Masters degree. Coming from both backgrounds, we feel that our kids can do better than we did (isn't that the American dream?).

We want our kids to have a classical education, and I think that I can give it to them, even if it means relearning the parts of speech at least three more times. Maybe it will stick one of these times. I am learning to read through phonics for the first time. But this is not about filling in the gaps in my education, it is about giving my children the foundation they need to know truth (which leads them to God).

I am pretty sure we are going to pick and choose books for each subject and not set ourselves into one curriculum. That is what this last year of just preschool is for us. I am easing in and stumbling looking around, and finding what works for us. For example, I really need books to come with instructions for me as well as my children. It always surprises me when the teacher's manual tells me to say things and G actually responds to it more than whatever instructions I came up with. I suppose I will get more of an instinct for teaching as we go along, but for now I am a total novice. I am more full of conviction that I will home school my children than knowledge of how I am going to pull it off. It will probably happen one day at a time, and I know we will be better for it.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Seven Quick Takes-Friday, Sept. 6

1. It's been a few weeks since I wrote Quick Takes. Last Friday (the normal day for Quick Takes) we were in the middle of our summer visit with my parents in St. Louis. It was a wonderful visit. We did all the normal St. Louis things: St. Louis style pizza, Cardinal's baseball, Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, Toasted Ravioli, etc.

Picture from St. Louis Business Journal
2. It was typical hot St. Louis summer weather, so we threw in a trip to Grant's Farm to make sure we really appreciated the 97°F day. My favorite thing about Grant's Farm was the hospitality of the employees. They did things like take our strollers for us when we got to the tram and gave free samples to the adults of the Bud Light Lime-a-rita.
I promise I do not ever drink Bud Light, but the Lime-a-rita served over ice was pretty good on a hot day with three little girls in tow. I appreciate the offer of a drink to parents out with kids...

3. The baby has reached the age in which car naps last 30 minutes and no longer. This means our 9 hours on the road was with her mostly awake and often not happy about it. Oh well. This, too, shall pass. All of the children are able to content themselves with books and toys in the car. They don't even know that we have a DVD player in the car. I think we will keep it that way, since screens in the car for kids who never use any screens would probably be a recipe for disaster.

4. G (4.5) is finally at the point where she can follow audiobooks. Last trip we did Farmer Boy by Laura Ingals Wilder and this trip we did Little House in the Big Woods. We all enjoyed listening to the stories, and it made me very happy that I do not live in a little house in the big woods of Wisconsin with bears for neighbors. Also, I have time to do things like blog and read novels in the evening instead of constantly working to keep my family fed and clothed. I suppose I should think about that when I feel annoyed about having to shop for clothing... at least I don't have to make it!

5. Saga of the Leaky Pipe Update:  Things are progressing slowly. The did not do much while we were out of town. I think we are still at least a month out from things being completed.

6. We started a scheduled life this week with our pre-school. I am trying to take the advice of every home schooling mom I have heard on the subject of pre-school and to not try to do too much. I am sticking with about an hour a day during the baby's morning nap. I am finding that it might be easier to just include L (2.5) in everything G and I are doing. She likes to be included and if she is doing something different than G, G is completely distracted. I would not be surprised if we combine subjects with them in the future and if L is one of those really early readers.

7. Because of my scheduling, we are done with school around 10 am. This means I have a full two hours before lunch to get things done everyday! I need to get more disciplined with myself and get things done! Such as, taking the baby monitor out to the garage and starting a furniture painting project before it gets too cold around here. I am waiting on the basement to do any sewing things I have in mind.

That's all folks. Head over to Jen for more quick takes!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Cherry on Top of God's Blessings

We began 2013 in the hunt for our first home. Scaling back our original hopes for a large house, we decided we would be happy with a house with three bedrooms, a finished basement space for play (during our long winters), and a study for my professor husband to do his paper writing, grading, and class planning. We also really wanted potential for a fourth bedroom, seeing that we have had three kids in five years and have many more child bearing years ahead. It took us about a month to find what we thought was the right house. Our offer was accepted and we went forward with the inspection, closing, some simple updating, and then finally moving in. With high hopes for a nice quiet summer to enjoy our new house, we set out on a two week vacation.

After a nice visit with friends and family, we drove the ten hours home to find a pipe spurting water, and at least 8 gallons of water sitting on the floor and soaked up the walls on one side of the basement. We were stunned. Thankfully, our plumber was able to come out and make the repair (even though it was 9pm on a Saturday night), while I ran to rent a carpet cleaning machine to extract the water before the store closed. The next morning we reevaluated the situation to discover mold in the still wet walls. We knew we were in over our heads, and decided to make the claim to the insurance company.

That very day, a water mitigation company was sent out and we watched as the ripped up our basement carpet and cut up drywall and haul pieces of our once nice basement out the backdoor into their trucks. To us it was a disaster.

 Not even a month into our new house and it was being ripped apart. We wondered if we should have even bought a house. Were we cut out for this? Was it really God’s plan for us? Looking back at our decision to buy, everything at the time seemed right. We had prayed about buying, and things lined up monetarily. It had all gone so smoothly. We had prayed a novena to St. Joseph to find a good house, and it seemed that God had blessed us with the house we found. Why was this happening? The week we decided to buy the house, this was a reading at Mass:
And I tell you, Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! (Luke 11:9-13)
All of July, we struggled with the stress of basement, wondering if we had made a huge mistake in buying it. As we worked with the company making estimates for the insurance company and in charge of the repairs, we learned that the whole of our basement family room was going to need to be refinished, ceiling, walls, and flooring. The timetable was much longer than we had hoped for initially, but I started to see that the house God had blessed us with was not a scorpion, but it was the egg that we asked for. We had a nice house, but now it is going to be even nicer. The disaster of the leaky pipe, is going to give us a new basement with fresh carpet and the additional fourth bedroom built except for the egress window for safety purposes (which we will take care of in a few years before we use it as a bedroom).

In my life, I know that I have been so abundantly blessed by God, especially when I have taken each decision to Him and asked Him for His blessings. Things rarely progress or end up according to what I planned, but the certainly end up as God planned. He brings the Good out of all situations, and takes care of those who trust in Him. And the disasters, large and small, in our lives teach us what is most important, and that is loving God and each other.

The material blessings are the cherry on top, and from a loving Father who gives us our very existence, they are given and important. Nothing is too small for His notice, and all of our sufferings are an evil. But, He who makes all things new, brings about Good from our sufferings and blesses us further.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Tragic Side of Baseball

The best view we had of the girls' favorite Cardinal: Fredbird.
I made it to my annual St. Louis Cardinal's home game last Wednesday with my dear husband, while my wonderful parents were so kind as to put our three little kids to bed. It was a perfectly St. Louis summer evening with the temperature dropping from a humid 97°F to the upper 80s over the course of the game. We actually did not spend very much on our second date this summer since we had free family sitting, paid $11.20 for our pair of tickets to wherever in the stadium, $11 parking, and $6.75 for nachos. If the stadium had decent beer we probably would have split one of those as well, but there does not seem to be anything resembling good beer at Busch Stadium (at least in the bleachers).

The game began in the worst way possible, from the point of view of the fans of the home team. Take a look for yourself:
Six runs in ten batters, and even the pitcher got an RBI single. Then to rub it in, the bad guys scored three more runs in the second inning.  Who was pitching, you ask? Adam Wainwright. Who seemed to anticipate his every pitch? The Cincinnati Reds. Who crushed him again yesterday? The Reds. 

As we sat in the bleachers, soaking in the heat, humidity, and disappointment at the start of the game, M mentioned something about the tragic nature of baseball. Yes, indeed, there is that tragic element of baseball. And as a Cardinal fan my whole life, the tragedy of failing in baseball has not been very prominent. This game reminded me again, that we can't always win, even the one home game for which I am in town. Maybe I should have expected it in a summer like this one. I have seen some pretty incredible wins in St. Louis, but this time I saw a crushing defeat. 

Baseball is a cruel, but beautiful game, played in the shape of a diamond. Every pitch, every play leads to tragedy for someone. Someone is always on the losing end of things. Though it is most tragic to see a great player or great team fall apart, and that is what we saw on Wednesday night. I think everyone in the ballpark sensed it. From that first single, there was a general feeling of dread, the dread of the awful. It reminded me of the 2000 NLCD, when Rick Ankiel fell apart and could never really pitch again. Wainwright's back to back losses make me wonder if he can overcome this. Maybe, just maybe, a statement like this is not the right attitude for him to have: "The best thing is to throw it away and just realize I’m a very good pitcher and I’ll be ready for the next start. (from” Maybe there is something more serious than one bad night, but maybe it really is just two bad nights with no real explanation. Or maybe the Reds are not being entirely honest in their play.

I am glad I went to the game, even though not many others seemed to, as most of them left by the seventh inning. I enjoyed the halfhearted wave in the middle of the eighth, and the enthusiastic cheering when the Cardinals finally got to third with two outs in the ninth. The comebacks of the past few years came to mind, but they were not to be. The Cardinals and their fans were on the receiving end of baseball tragedy that night.

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