Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Nine In, Nine Out, Now What?

Nine months gestating inside, nine months gestating outside...and now that my baby is nine months old, what does that mean?
Do I stop wearing him? He's certainly heavy enough at 20lbs that I can't carry him as easily as I used to. He loves to crawl and stand, and is trying to walk, so doesn't need me for mobility as much as he used to. But he's still such a baby! I still love to cuddle him and hold him, but he often wiggles and squirms out of my grasp. Of course, when he's tired, or hurt, or scared, he still wants to be with me. Inevitably, when I really need to set him down (to make dinner or go to the bathroom) he desperately wants to be held.
For halloween, we are going as kangaroo and joey...he likes being in my pouch, so might as well play that up, right? After all, it probably won't last much longer.
I guess he's done with his external gestation, but he's not done being my baby.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Houston, We Have a Tooth!

Last night we finally saw S’s first tooth! He’s acted like he was teething since he was about two months old…I was sure that he was going to get teeth early, but no, he’s 9 1/2 months old and has just now finally gotten a tooth. I suspect that others are close behind of course, but who knows! S has been standing unsupported for a couple of weeks now—the last few days he has stood for as much as 30 seconds, and once he was reaching for a chair and moved his foot before sitting back down…walking is in the very near future for this kid. I had honestly begun to wonder if he would walk before he got any teeth!
Of course, this is compared to my sister’s baby, a mere 10 weeks younger than S. He is 7 months, and not crawling yet, but he has 7 teeth! I wouldn’t trade though…apparently his precocious dental achievements have made for rough nights for him (and his parents), so I’ll stick to my gummy baby, thank you!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Me and the Hubby

Since I haven't done it before (and now I've posted a poll about it, and not all of my readers know us in person...)

Here is a picture of me

Here is Hubby (with W--on the way to school)
closer-up pic coming soon, but if you click on the photo itself, it will open a new page with a big version of this photo, and you can see better from there!

For what it's worth, most people tell me that S looks like me...except all my family, who say that he looks like Hubby.

Friday, October 19, 2007

What SIDS has Taught Me

Today my baby is 9 months and 3 days old. This is the age that my sister Amethyst was on the day that she died of SIDS. I realized this about a week ago, and it has helped me remember to treasure all the little moments with my baby. I certainly don't expect anything to happen to him...then again, we never expected anything to happen to Amy.
Some days motherhood can be so frustrating, and yet it is so precious. I need these little reminders to cherish my babies--at all their ages.
So hug your kids, look at your babies (even the big ones), and remember to show them your love--in the way that they need to be loved. (My older son needs me to spend TIME with him, whereas I feel loved through being served, and so I serve him and sometimes forget to just read to him and hug him.)
If Amy had lived, she would be starting college this fall. 18 years we did not get to spend with her...only 9 months to remember. You never know what life will bring, so don't forget to enjoy the here and now.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

W at Play

W was "so tired" that he just had to rest "right now" on the way home from a walk. Yes, he was on the ground when he made the announcement...apparently hanging in the air allows one to rest more efficiently, as he recovered very quickly.

One front tooth gone! (W wiggles, thus the blurring)

Monday, October 15, 2007

S at Play

S keeps busy next to me while I sew...

I swear I only turned around for a minute!

Empty Bellies, Empty Arms

Today, October 15, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. On the one hand, I think it's a bit corney that they make official remembrance days for just about everything...on the other hand, it's a good opportunity to talk about something I feel passionate about.
I believe that miscarriage is a largely unnoticed tragedy. Most miscarriages happen in the earlier parts of pregnancy--before the woman 'shows' and before many people know that she was even expecting. When the baby is lost, there is rarely a body to hold or bid farewell. Even if the mother sees her fetus, those beyond the family do not, and so, the baby is not real to them. As outsiders have no object for grief, they do not grieve...leaving the parents (especially the mother) very very alone. For some reason, our culture does not recognize a miscarriage as a valid loss (as they would with a stillbirth or especially an older child). Even the medical term "spontaneous abortion" is heartless. Our culture does not accept our grief, and so we are left to grieve alone. In silence.
That is wrong.
Statistically, one in four pregnancies results in miscarriage. With earlier and earlier pregnancy detection, that ratio is decreasing. If we could detect pregnancy at the moment of conception, I suspect that actually only about one in four pregnancies makes it past the first 5 weeks of gestation (3 weeks past ovulation). But let us just go with the "one in four" ratio. That means that 1 in 4 women that you pass on the street has suffered a miscarriage. If you have 3 sisters, then one of you probably has (or will) miscarry. If you have 4 members in your book club, playgroup, or carpool, one of you has (or will) miscarry. If you have more than three children, you will probably have a miscarriage. If you have 7 children, you will probably miscarry twice.
I have miscarried at least three times. Three times I reached at least 12 weeks gestation, only to lose my baby. The first time I had a spontaneous micarriage, at home, and held my tiny son's body in my hand. He was only a few inches long, and his tiny hands and perfect little feet could all four fit on my thumbnail together. My husband's wedding ring could have fit around his head like a crown.

(if you click on the picture you can see it larger)

So tiny, so perfect...and not ours to keep. My subsequent miscarriages, unfortunately, involved D&Cs, so there was no baby to hold, no one to bid adieu, and no closure. Holding my tiny baby was the hardest thing I had ever done...until I had to say goodbye to babies I couldn't even hold.
Miscarriage is overlooked the vast majority of the time, yet it is so common. Following my miscarriage(s), women 'came out of the woodwork' and shared their own miscarriage stories with me. My mother said that the same thing happened to her after she miscarried. Why is it that we do not tell our stories except to other women who miscarry? By doing so, we are promulgating the cycle of silence. Mothers, you who have suffered with empty bellies and empty arms, be silent no longer! Speak up! There is no shame in having miscarried, only in refusing to acknowledge how it changes us.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Right to Know, The Responsibility to Act

Some things shared by apostles in our last LDS General conference

First, Robert D Hales:
Personal revelation is the way we know...God’s purpose and direction for us.

In other words, personal revelation is the ONLY way to know what we are supposed to be doing.

[P]rayer provides a firm foundation for personal revelation. But more is required... [As] the Lord taught Oliver Cowdery: “Behold...you must study it out in your mind.” We pondered our assignment, counseled together, and listened to the voice of the Spirit. When we went back, we prayed and studied further, and then we were prepared to receive revelation.
Revelation comes on the Lord’s timetable, which often means we must move forward in faith, even though we haven’t received all the answers we desire.
As faithful children, youth, parents, teachers, and leaders, we may receive personal revelation more frequently than we realize. The more we receive and acknowledge personal revelation, the more our testimonies grow.

The more you do it, the better you will get at it, and the more will be given to you.

Our responsibility is to seek personal revelations for ourselves and for the responsibilities the Lord has given us.

Seeking this personal guidence is not merely convenient, it is obligatory.

I testify that...the Savior’s words to each of us will be fulfilled: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” While we are commanded not to seek after signs, we are commanded to “seek . . . earnestly the best gifts.” These gifts include the Holy Ghost and personal revelation. That revelation will come “line upon line, precept upon precept,” as the Savior said, and “unto him that receiveth [the Lord] will give more.”

I call upon each of us to seek more and receive more of the Spirit of God.

So go and DO!

And from Richard G Scott
Since truth is the only meaningful foundation upon which we can make wise decisions, how then can one establish what is really true? Increasingly more people are finding that making wise decisions is becoming more and more difficult because of the ultra-interconnected world in which we live. Constantly forced into our consciousness is an incessant barrage of counsel, advice, and promotions. It is done by a bewildering array of media, Internet, and other means. On a given subject we can receive multiple strongly delivered, carefully crafted messages with solutions. But often two of the solutions can be diametrically opposed. No wonder some are confused and are not sure how to make the right decisions.
To further complicate matters, others try to persuade us that our decisions must be socially acceptable and politically correct. Some pondering of that approach will reveal how wrong it is. Since social and political structures differ widely over the world and can dramatically change with time, the folly of using that method to make choices is apparent.
There are two ways to find truth—both useful, provided we follow the laws upon which they are predicated. The first is the scientific method. It can require analysis of data to confirm a theory or, alternatively, establish a valid principle through experimentation. The scientific method is a valuable way of seeking truth. However, it has two limitations. First, we never can be sure we have identified absolute truth, though we often draw nearer and nearer to it. Second, sometimes, no matter how earnestly we apply the method, we can get the wrong answer.

Always consider your sources when seeking truth.

The best way of finding truth is simply to go to the origin of all truth and ask or respond to inspiration.

Not to ask your doctor, or your friend who also has a baby, or your neighbor, or your nosey Aunt Whoozie.

The process of identifying truth sometimes necessitates enormous effort coupled with profound faith in our Father and His glorified Son. God intended that it be so to forge your character. Worthy character will strengthen your capacity to respond obediently to the direction of the Spirit as you make vital decisions. Righteous character is more important than what you own, what you have learned, or what goals you have accomplished. It allows you to be trusted. Righteous character provides the foundation of spiritual strength. It enables you in times of trial and testing to make difficult, extremely important decisions correctly even when they seem overpowering.

We didn't say this would always be easy...only that it was important...and worth it.

I testify that neither Satan nor any other power can weaken or destroy your growing character. Only you can do that through disobedience.

See there, you are in control here. So long as you follow the revelations you are given, you will continue to receive more revelation. It is only when you wilfully disobey that God witholds additional knowledge.

Understand and apply this vital principle to your life: Your exercise of faith builds character. Fortified character expands your capacity to exercise greater faith. Thus, your confidence in making correct decisions is enhanced. And the strengthening cycle continues. The more your character is fortified, the more enabled you are to exercise the power of faith for yet stronger character.

Anybody feeling inspired? These two apostles spoke back to back (in this order) on Sunday morning last week. It was awesome in the most literal sense of the word.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Throwing Away My Vote?

Hubby and I discussed this at some length during the last presidential election. We were living in a state that always swings the electoral college one way. There really isn't even a point in holding an election there, because everybody knows Utah will go republican. It's beyond frustrating actually. The electoral college is also frustrating to me...but I am not even going to go into all that right now.
What I do want to address is the idea that someone can 'throw away their vote' by voting for the little guy.
Well, here are my thoughts:
I despise the two-party system. Too many Americans think they have to vote for one of the parties because nobody else has a chance. So long as they keep thinking that way, they are right. Additionally, the two-party system has allowed voters to become lazy--many do not even look at the candidates nor their platforms, they just vote by the party that they think they agree with more. Or, at least, the party they disagree with least. Not all candidates are exactly in alignment with their declared party. Many voters don't even know what the parties' official platforms are either--they just fixate on a major issue or two, such as abortion, gun rights, or health care.
Now that we're clear on the problems with the two-party system, the next question is, of course, what can we do about it? Well, we need to get a third party to break in--that seems the logical first step to having a multi-party system, or even a non-party system. If we want a third party to break in, then we're going to have to vote for that third party! Not only that, but we need to try to get many people to vote that way. Now, in a 'swing state' I can see the argument to make sure that your vote goes towards the electoral college decision. However, in a 'one party state' like Utah or Washington, then voting for a third party (like Nader, for example), is not going to affect the electoral college results. On the other hand, voting for the little guy IS making a statement, and if enough people will do it, I believe that it can be the beginning of real change in the rediculous political patterns of this country.
So, is it 'throwing away your vote' to vote for the little guy? Well, it depends what you want to accomplish. If you genuinely believe that your vote for the big guy will make a difference, then vote for him...but if you know that it won't, then why not make a statement about what you really believe?

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Thoughts on Candidates

So, it's hard to keep track of who says what, and with so many candidates out there, each trying to make himself look grand, how do I know who I agree with anyway? I don't know that this is necessarily the pefect answer, but it does go through all the big issues, asks whether I support it or not and how important it is to me, and thus helps me find the candidate who at least seems most like me. What fun! At least it helps narrow the field a little.

I am a 70.37% match with Joseph Biden, D.

the other high hitters:
D Mike Gravel 62.96% (he's from Alaska!)
D Hillary Clinton 62.96% (Oh my gosh, I'm shocked!)
R Ron Paul 59.26%
D Christopher Dodd 59.26%

and the other big names:

D Barak Obama 55.56%
D John Edwards 48.15%
R Rudy Giuliani 48.15%
R Fred Thompson 44.44%
R Mitt Romney 40.74% (only one came in lower...see, toldja I wasn't a fan, even if he is LDS)

You can try it out by clicking on this:

A Few Facts about my Faith

Leaders of my church have recently exhorted us to write up some brief statements about our religion, for the purpose of dispelling myths and informing the curious about our faith. I thought that this would be a good place to do that.

**I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, also referred to as LDS (latter day saints) or Mormons. The term 'saints' refers to believers, just as it did in the new testament.
**We are Christians
**There are over 13 million members worldwide, with about 6million in the USA.
**We believe that Christ's true church was lost from the earth following the martyrdom of the original apostles, and was restored through Joseph Smith in 1830. Joseph's telling of the events is here.
**Joseph Smith was a man, as was Mormon, and both were called to be prophets, just like Abraham or Moses or Noah. Joseph Smith also served as the president of the church, as did Peter in the New Testament.
**We have prophets, apostles, and seventies, as outlined by Christ in the New Testament. They speak to us in conferences twice a year.
**We do not have a paid clergy.
**Women do not have the priesthood, nor do they serve as clergy. Women are involved in leading and serving in other areas of the church. The church does not suppress, repress, or abuse women.
**We hold our weekly worship meetings in chapels, and they are open for anyone to attend. Temples are for worthy members, and are places for meditation and renewing of commitments to God, as well as for ordinances such as marriages. There are currently 136 temples worldwide (you can see about them here).

**We believe the Bible to be the word of God so far as it is translated correctly. We also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
**We believe in God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit as three separate beings.
**We do not believe in original sin, nor infant baptism. We believe that we are responsible only for our own sins.
**We baptize by immersion. We believe that baptism is essential for salvation, and thus use our temples to do vicarious baptisms for those who have died without this ordinance.
**We believe in ongoing revelation, both for individuals and (through prophets) for the world.
**We believe that we are "saved by Grace, after all we can do" meaning that repentance and good works must be ongoing, but that we know salvation is a gift, and can only be given, not earned.
**Additional information can be found here in our Articles of Faith.

**We believe that the family is the basic unit of both church and society. We work hard to support and strengthen home and family.
**We believe that a marriage is ordained of God and is between one man and one woman. Polygamy was briefly practiced by some church members in the mid 1800s, but has not been practiced nor church-endorsed since 1890.
**Additional information about our teachings on families can be found here.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


So, S is most definitely in the 'eat everything' stage. The most serious issue on my mind now is, what things do I take away, and what things do I just let him go ahead and chew on?!
Here are a few of the things I've found in his mouth this week:
*the dog's bone (a real bone)
*a rock (his brother keeps interesting things in his room!)
*a broom (yes, a regular 4 ft broom--he knocks it over and goes for the bristles)
So, I take away the doggie bone, shoes, and newspaper...but I confess I just let him keep the rock. He really really wanted it, and it was too big to choke on. He was already chewing on it, so it's not as though taking it away would spare him some germs, you know?
Am I a terrible mother?!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

In Case You Ever Wondered

I solemnly swear that I answered the questions honestly. All of them.

You Are 14% Evil

You are good. So good, that you make evil people squirm.
Just remember, you may need to turn to the dark side to get what you want!

And this is why, when I was 14, and bid a friend farewell with "don't do anything I wouldn't do," she looked me in the eye and said "I don't think I can be that good."

Who knew?!

A Few Films

In the last month I have seen a lot of movies. There are not a lot of entertainment options here, but the library has lots of videos, so that’s what we do here. Rather than writing out full reviews for each of these, I’m just doing the Readers Digest version…

Movies I am glad I saw
I Am Sam rated PG-13 for subject matter and one brief outburst of language. This is one of the most moving films I have ever seen. Sean Penn deserved an oscar for this performance as a mentally challenged father battling to keep custody of his daughter.
Cold Mountain rated R (if unedited) for language, violence, and sex. Based on a book, I imagine the book is fantastic! A civil war story, intriguing and well-told.
The Guardian rated PG-13 for intense scenes and language. About the coast guard rescue divers (in particular off the Alaskan coast); I have no idea if this story has any basis in truth, but it was a good film. It was predictable to some degree, but we still enjoyed it. And for once Kevin Costner didn’t stink.
Dreamgirls rated PG-13 I think. Somehow I had gotten it into my head that this was some sort of ‘documentary’ about The Supremes but that is not the case. I suppose it might be somewhat based on their story (I don’t know their story) but the movie is actually made from a broadway musical! I had no idea! There are not a whole lot of musical films made anymore, and it caught me very much by surprise. It was a great surprise, however, as it was very well done, and Jennifer Hudson ABSOLUTELY deserved her oscar for best supporting actress. It was one of the best performances I’ve seen in years.

Movies that took up hours of my life I will never see again (in other words, utter wastes of time!)
World Trade Center. I know it’s a touchy-feely subject, and it’s based on a true story, and Nicholas Cage is a great actor (really he is) but good grief, the movie is nothing special.
Ultraviolet Oh my poor brain cells. I skipped parts of it, and should have skipped the rest. There is no acting, no characters, not much plot, and a terrible script. There are a couple of scenes with cool cinematography (such as the one where the focus turns from one character to another by focusing in on their sunglasses), but that alone hardly warrants sitting through this travesty.
Memoirs of a Geisha yeah yeah yeah, based on a bestselling book, romantic and whatever…the romance is twisted (as she says, a geisha can never be a wife) and we found it altogether disturbing. I did find the DVD special feature about the hair, makeup and costuming to be fascinating…although they did take a great deal of artistic license on all counts, so it’s not very authentic.

And one which I can’t decide if I liked it or not…Georgia Rule PG-13. It had a lot of language, and dealt with some very harsh content (alcoholism and a girl who had been molested by her stepfather)…on the other hand, it had funny moments, and I think it did a good job of bringing heavy issues into public awareness. It also had some bits of Mormon culture; not disrespectful, but still somewhat amusing when contrasted with the hard lives of the other main characters.

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