Thursday, July 28, 2011

Escape Artist

I thought I heard a little squeak coming from the other room. (This isn't the first time that I've walked in on a scene like this.)

Note: That loud sound in the background is the vacuum. We sometimes use it to help him fall asleep if he's having a particularly hard time doing so.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


So, someone has decided that his newfound skills of pulling himself up onto things need to be put to good use multiple times a day. Last Saturday, his adventures landed him a couple of huge bruises on his head. We decided that it was probably a good idea to buy a little extra padding for our shelves, so we ordered some from Amazon and padded the bottom two shelves on our three bookcases in the living room. As you can see in the video, James can reach beyond our babyproofing efforts, so I guess it's back to square one!

Notice the red pillow in the corner below the TV? Yea, it's blocking the Wii and other fun accessories that are oh-so-tempting to James. We have all of our couch pillows strategically placed around the living room in order to block electronics and cords.

I never get tired on videotaping this guy. :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

More Awesome Video of James

James is amazing. Just a few weeks ago he learned how to crawl on his hands and knees instead of doing an army crawl, scooting along on his stomach, and already he is pulling huimself up onto his feet and standing at the edge of the couch. Here is video that I got of him this morning.

Watch on Posterous

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

James' 8 Month Portraits

Here are the portraits that I took of James to show how big and fabulous he is at 8 months old. Many of you may have seen these posted onto Facebook or Google+ already, but I like to make a habit of sharing them on my blog anyway, just in case.

As you can tell, my son is quite handsome and quite silly.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

You Can Never Have Too Much...

So, I was informed that my other videos didn't accurately portray James' super cool crawling skills. (They are basically super cool because he just learned them and, as his mom, I have the right to simply declare them so.) Here is (yet again) another video. Hopefully, this one will not only show off his crawling skills, but his couch climbing (okay, not really, but sort of) skills as well. Mostly, it's just for you to enjoy!

Free the Leash Kids?

So, I've been coming across a handful of blog posts and articles on this particular aspect of parenting:


To leash your kid, or not to leash your kid.

What do you think?

Here's my take on it. Basically, I think it can be good or bad. Mostly, I'm in favor of the leashes.

We've all seen that kid. You know, that one toddler who you would swear channeled the Tasmanian Devil just before running into your shopping cart and knocking packages off of every shelf in the aisle in his attempt to escape his freedom-stifling mother, who, consequently, is chasing after him with two other calm, yet noticably embarrassed, children who are attempting to keep up with her. So where is the harm in a kid leash in this instance? There are obviously those children who will push and test boundaries like they are made out of modeling clay and there isn't much that can be done about it. After all, the more you push, the more they push back. So why not give them a degree of freedom to explore while still maintaining a safe connection with them?

Also, have any of you tried to walk through a crowded mall with your arm over your head for the better part of an hour? How comfortable or tolerable do you think that would be? I'm sure that the tiny arms of our little ones feel it far sooner than we would. Both David and I are pretty tall. Even though James looks like he'll catch up with his dad in height someday, our extra inches will surely mean that he'll have to stretch his little body, or we'll have to stoop ours, just so we can hold onto his hand. The leash would give us all the chance to walk around comfortably without having to worry about losing our child.

Unfortunately, there are those parents who use the kid leash as a method to control or ignore their child. Nothing is quite as heartbreaking as seeing a child mistreated. I've seen parents put their rambuncious children on a leash, only to yank them onto their little butts when they wander off (but obviously not very far off, as they're on a leash). Or there are those parents who put the leash on their kid, attach it to their own wrist and manage to forget that they even brought a child with them. They fail to give them any sort of attention or guidance on how to stay close to mom and dad when in public. But that's not a reflection of how bad it is to put a leash on a child. That is simply bad parenting. And while I don't like to throw out parenting judgements (as we all make honest mistakes with regards to raising our kids), I don't think anyone could disagree that yanking on or ignoring your child is harmful in many ways.

Obviously I'm no expert, as we haven't reached the stage of being parents to a walking child yet, but we plan on purchasing one of those cute little monkey or puppy dog backpack leashes so that we have one just in case we feel like we need it.

Have you ever used one? What do you think when you see people walking around with their kids on a leash? Do you think it's cruel or perfectly acceptable? Let me know what you think.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Silly Little Boy

James has been learning all sorts of new ways to explore and use his little body. Here's another video of him just playing around.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mr Messy

We get this look a lot...


I was on Twitter one day last week (as I am most days, actually) & someone posted the link to this blog called The premise of the blog is to make people aware of the small, but powerfully hurtful things that they say everyday. These comments can be categorized as racist, sexist or discriminatory in any way based on a person's "classification", if you will.

I probably spent the better part of an hour or more perusing through these posts. A lot of them I found pretty offensive. Some of them sounded like the receiver of the comment was probably overreacting or misunderstanding what the person was actually trying to say. That could just be my take on it, though.

Here are a few of the posts that I thought were particularly sad or cruel...

"No you can’t like him. It’s the most disgusting thing to mix a Black and an Asian!"

A friend, after I told her I liked a guy at my university. She assumed I was completely Asian, but I come from a biracial marriage. I was hurt, confused, and shocked to be told that interracial relationships are offensive to others.

"Hey! You’re uncle died."

At Uni, walking to class. She was referring to Osama bin Laden, because I am Muslim. Made me feel like shyza, I remembered all the abuse I went through after 9-11.

"I don’t know why she even bothers. If I were her, I’d put a gun in my mouth."

My father, when asked by a clinician to describe how he felt about my schizophrenia. I was horrified.

"I feel so shiftless, no good and guilty. I might go wait by the bench."

My mom, in reference to the fact that I’m disabled and was buying food with food stamps at a grocery store.

"I’m proud of the woman you’ve become. I was so afraid you’d be a lesbian when you were growing up."

My father said that to me when I wore a dress. How am I supposed to come out to him now?

Makes me feel scared, unworthy of love.

It's unfortunate to think about how people can be so thoughtless, or just outright offensive, towards others based on what we perceive to be their imperfections.

It brings the scripture Acts 10:34-35 to mind. Peter declares, "... of a truth I perceive that God is no repecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him."

I may be whiter than Wonder bread, but being a woman and being LDS puts me in company with these marginalized individuals. Even though I am confident in both aspects of my life, does that mean that thoughtless remarks aren't going to sting occasionally? Of course not. However, it is up to me what I do with these things in my life. Now, I realize that I will never know what it is like to be Muslim or gay in today's cultural and political climate, and I will never claim to be a voice for all of the oppressed, but there is a degree to which I can relate to some of these prejudices.

I can take in what others say about how weak I am as a woman, or how crazy or close-minded I am as a Mormon, and seeth about how hurtful these comments are, or I can yell and scream and kick down doors until I get my justice. I don't think that either one of those approaches is going to be effective, though.

It's tricky, but I think that there is a fine line that we must balance on in order to protect ourselves from hate while making progress in changing the attitudes that we encouter. How do we do that? I'm not completely sure, but I think that we need to start with recognizing what is in our minds and our hearts. If God is no respecter of persons, what gives me the right to be? I saw an Indian woman, probably mid-20s, walking with an older white guy - most likely a professor - on BYU campus yesterday morning. It made me think of a blog post that I saw on this site, where an Indian woman wrote in about how she was sitting with a friend (who was also Indian) and they heard two guys make rather loud comments about how "Indian women are so ugly". I couldn't help but think that this random woman that I saw has probably encountered comments like that before, but there she was, walking along with a huge smile on her face as she chatted with the gentleman next to her. It was kind of a sobering moment for me.

So, what do you think? How do you think we can help to change hateful attitudes such as these? How do we break hurtful stereotypes? And in a world where behavior like this seems to be more socially acceptable, how do we teach our children that these things are not okay? Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Crawling Around

Here's a little video of James where we captured some of his adorable crawling techniques. He's such a little mover!

New Decade, New Goals, New Blog

Today, I officially enter my thirties. Am I sad at the passing of my twenties? No. If I get nostalgic, I can live vicariously through my husband, who will be in his twenties for another four years. However, I really don't think that I'll need to do that.

Not that I'm rejoicing in my old age, but I feel like I've earned the right to pass out of my twenties. I mean, I spent a solid ten years being in my twenties. Time for a new adventure!

With that said, I've decided to do a few things. First of all, I moved my blog. (This is obvious, as you are here right now.) I like how this site looks, feels and handles my information. Besides, I'm a grown up now. Grown ups can choose to not use Blogger anymore if they want to.

Secondly, I've decided to alter the focus of my blog a bit. My blog has always been a "Mormon Mommy Blog". While there is absolutely nothing wrong with this, I find myself occasionally wanting to write about my take on issues and events, or to offer up some self-reflection. I've noticed that, when I do this on my Mommy Blog, I get little to no feedback. I'm guessing that it's because the people who come to my blog want to read about James and the adventures that we have together. (Don't worry, he'll still make plenty of appearances.) However, I'm not "just a mother". Even though being a mother is the best gig in town, there is a whole lot more to me than that. I was a pretty awesome person before I was a mom and still think that I'm the same awesome person with thoughtful insights and ideas.

I've also decided to make a few goals for myself -- sort of like a What I Want to Accomplish During My Thirties bucketlist. I'm still working on what it will entail, but I'll post more when I decide how I want to go about this.

That's about all I have for now. Stay tuned for more fabulousness.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Moving This Blog...

It's official. I think I've outgrown Blogger.

Not to worry, though. I am still going to continue to blog, but I've found a site that I like a lot better than Blogger.

So, if you want to continue to stay updated on our lives, here is our new blog address:

I will still be leaving this one here so that you can view old posts, pictures and videos, if you like. (And if you've linked to my blog on your blog, you'll want to switch that address, too.)

Here's to a fresh blogging start! :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

James's New Pool

It has been warm here in Utah the last few weeks. So, we got James a little inflatable pool that he can play in. As you can see below, he really enjoys it.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Late Bloomer?

This time, I'm not talking about James. I'm talking about me.

Today, I had a presentation in my Forming Marital Relationships class. It had to be 30 minutes long, professional in nature and on the topic to which I was assigned. I'm pretty sure that I did well. There are only 9 students in this class (including myself), the professor and the TA. When my presentation was finished, I got compliments from most of the students in the class about how much they enjoyed my presentation, which made me feel great. Even the TA told me, as we were walking out of class together, that I was a "natural presenter". Awesome! Now, I'm not trying to brag about my public speaking skills or anything. This experience just made me a little reflective.

On Sunday, I'll be turning 30.

What the...? Where did my 20s go? Who took them? They can't be over already. I guess that this milestone has made me realize that not only do I have a good life, but it took me a little longer than most people to "get there". Not that there is really a place of arrival that one must get to in this life, but I just realized that I did everything much later than it seems most people do things. Here I am, graduating college at 30, even though I started at 18. When my friends were getting married and having babies, I was still single and rockin' the cool friend-aunt role like any awesome single friend would do. I didn't end up getting married until I was 27 and didn't have my first baby until I was 29.

And you know what... I don't regret anything.


Seven or eight years ago, I'm sure that I wouldn't have been able to rock that presentation nearly as well. Not that I would have been bad at it, but I've gained a lot of confidence in myself during those earlier years. Being single during much of my young adult years allowed me to grow as an individual in many ways. I notice that I act far more confident in my classes now than I ever did back in the day. I say more of what's on my mind without the fear of looking silly. I was able to manage a business for 5+ years, which helped me to develop skills, knowledge and even more confidence.

All of these things that I've learned have helped me to be a better wife and mother. I know I'm not perfect now, but I feel better prepared for life, even if it took me a few extra years than everyone else to reach this point.

I just feel very free being able to say that I have no regrets. I have NO regrets. It feels great.