Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Meat pie anyone?

So, today at work**, I accidentally wrote an order wrong. I blame the recent sleep deprivation (Atticus has a little stuffy nose so is waking up all. the. time). Consequently, the Provo Bakery currently has 8 dozen too many pies. Delicious meat pies. You know you want to go buy one. Or a dozen.

I should probably be fired.




** PS. I got a job at a bakery. See what a college degree gets you nowadays? At least I can take home delicious bread.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Treatise on infant sleeping habits

There has been an ongoing discussion in our mother's lounges (and in priesthood meetings, according to Tim) on getting your baby to sleep through the night. It's kind of an obsession, with the BabyWise series making its rounds through the homes of my fellow ward families. Like, if you're in the 85th ward and have NOT read BabyWise or don't adhere to BabyWise, you are practically shunned.

Last week for Enrichment (meeting for women), we had a lecture on getting your baby to sleep through the night. The presenter was a follower of BabyWise, a popular guide to everything parenting. This method advocates parent-centered parenting, in other words, don't let the baby rule the roost. Don't feed on demand, set a routine, etc. They advise that babies are capable of sleeping through the night at 6-8 weeks. What keeps them from doing this are the three dangerous sleep props, which include: nursing to sleep, rocking to sleep, and co-sleeping. Oops. We do all three. And Atticus is definitely not sleeping through the night. He sleeps all night, that's for sure, but he wakes up to nurse 2-3 times still (last night it was once, at 5:30, after being put down at 11-- GO ATTICUS!) According to this presenter and the BabyWise method, I should just stop feeding him at night. Because babies don't NEED to eat at night if they eat during the day and I need to teach him that. So, I'm supposed to just let him cry his pathetic little hungry cries all night.

Yeah, right! If my baby is hungry, I'm going to feed him! Even if he's actually not hungry and doesn't actually need to eat at night, maybe he just needs the comfort of a mama-breast, and I'm definitely not going to deny him comfort either. Some lofty and not-so-reliable research studies have shown that crying through the night leads to emotional disorders, ADHD, etc. later in life. Even if they are not exactly generalizable with large sample sizes or intervening variables, if there is any chance that what I'm doing now at night will be detrimental to his emotional health later, I will sacrifice an hour or so of sleep at night to nurse him back to sleep. They say the crying it out only lasts a maximum of 14 days, but that's two weeks I'd rather not go through. And maybe if he hits the year mark and is still not sleeping at night, or if I get sleep-deprived enough that I can't function during the day, we'll get him out of our bed and try something new. But for now, it's working for us, we love the arrangement, and Atticus seems to be a happy and healthy little guy. (And corollary to previous post on me not sleeping: I started running every day, and am sleeping much, much better. I had gotten out of the habit when I was large and pregnant, and now getting back into shape has done wonders for my sleep).

But... back to the story: After this presenter began bashing on co-sleeping, my lovely neighbor and fellow co-sleeper decided she could sit quietly no longer, and simply began to outline the reasons she loved sleeping with her daughter (now 18 months, and still nursing at night). And I'll tell you, her daughter is the most securely-attached, well-adjusted, and smartest little toddler you will meet. She's very independent and very friendly to everyone. And her parents love co-sleeping. They love having her around. And I see why, because she is really adorable and absolutely hilarious. But when my neighbor started saying this, the presenter started crying. Why? Still do not know that one. Guilt maybe? Nerves, probably. But either way, our Enrichment that night was pretty dramatic. And the conversation on infant sleep, continues in our ward...









How could you not give in to this little guy? Come on...

First foods

Last week:

Me: Why is there this orange fleck-y type stuff in Atticus's poop?
Tim: Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, I fed him a carrot last night.
Me: Lovely.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Obama a year in

Just thought I'd throw my voice in:

Things in which President Obama has disappointed me:
-Unfilled cabinet posts
-Inconsistent trade policy
-Lack of transparency (I thought this was one of the corners he was going to be able to turn)
-An inability to stop blaming President Bush for all the administrations problems

Fulfilled my expectations:
-Setting a less ideological tone on foreign policy (Even if in practice his policies aren't too different, the tone was the biggest problem)
-A thoughtful and rational approach to the wars in which we are engaged
-A decisive and well-informed response to the financial crises

Exceeded expectations:
-John Huntsman as ambassador to China
-The quality of his existing cabinet
-His pragmatic governing from the center (not completely, but much more than any other political figure would have)

Popular criticisms I don't buy:

-National debt: This is mainly the economy's fault, not Obama's. Tax revenue has plummeted and previously commitments are more expensive than planned (unemployment benefits). Discretionary spending (what the current government has direct control over) is rising at about the same rate as during the Bush years (not to say that that is where I'd like to see them stay).


(Graph from marktaw.com)

-Job creation: The US government is terrible at this. The only way to get more jobs is either to spend more money that we don't have or just to wait until they follow the economy back up, as they usually, but not always, do. The Republican's also suggest cutting taxes which will only contradict all their claims of desiring to lower the budget.
-Dealing with Republicans: Republicans have shifted dramatically to the right. Their fear of the Tea Parties will make them the party of No until they realize that it is killing their party.
-Unfulfilled promises: Name me any president in a century that doesn't have a list of these a mile long.

I expect that President Obama will be able to:
-End the wars in the Middle East responsibly
-Return the US to the role of peace maker in the area and a more realistic role globally
-Move our economy away from fossil fuels to green technology
-Realize that fixing health care means lowering cost, bottom line
-Decrease levels of discrimination in the country (blacks, gays and immigrants)
-Continue to move towards the center

I wish he would, but don't expect him to:
-Cut the defense budget dramatically
-Implement smart taxes (like the gas tax)
-Move the country to socialized medicine (it works people)
-Keep all his promises that he hasn't already broken

Would I still vote for Obama: Yes. The Republican party has no feasible direction right now and there's is no better Democrat to vote for.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Atticus's new trick

Atticus has learned to turn pages. He's also learned to watch the camera when it is taping him. So, while this video shows how cool he is, it doesn't do full justice to his page turning abilities. Come over sometime to see him read undistracted.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Racism

Sometimes I wonder if I'm racist. But most of the time I'm pretty sure I am. I just don't think that I can help but treat people different depending on their race or religion. Hopefully someday I'll be able to treat everyone the same, independent of race. But is that the point? We always hear that we aren't supposed to ignore race, just not to discriminate because of it. I think I'm a very respectful person, and am fairly courteous to everyone I meet. But is that enough. Whenever I read books like Malcolm X or Orientalism I realize that not being racist means fighting back against racism, being proactive. It also means being aware that there is racism to be proactive against.

Of course I know that blacks face racism and I've seen plenty of racism against Latinos. But because of my area of study, I've become acutely aware of the racism against Arabs. The example that always sticks out in my mind was during the last presidential campaign when John Mccain responded to someone in the crowd at one of his rallies who accused Barrack Obama of being a Muslim by saying, "No, he's a good American and a good family man," or something close to that. Since when did those these become incompatible with being a Muslim? I do realize of course, that not all Arabs are Muslims, but enough are that when you stereotype Muslims you stereotype the entire middle east. I also realize that John Mccain is not an exceptionally racist person. But the fact that such a comment could come up in a presidential campaign and no one in the media really said anything about it shows how accepted this racism is.

So I've committed to myself to look out for ways in which I can combat racism (like blogging about it) and look to eliminate any traces of racism in my own life. What do you all think are good ways of doing this?

Happy Birthday Meghan McGrath!

Yesterday, we went to a party. We love parties. Actually, not really, I think we mostly just really, really like seeing our friends. Like Ash Mae, Carl, and Analiesa. And Ellen and Sydney and, of course, Meghan (even though we failed to get a picture with her, she was busy making tea and entertaining her guests). Our little Guy was amazing. He was super mellow the whole time, only briefly crying near the end (around 10 pm) to let us know it was time to go home and get into bed. We were so impressed with his ability to hold his own without a nap and way past his bedtime so late in the evening.









There is something about changing my baby's cloth diaper in a kitchen smelling of incense and cinnamon tea that just makes life so satisfying.

Swingin'

Atticus discovered swinging a few weeks ago. He's definitely a fan.





Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Year Report

I thought I'd try to better my chances at keeping my New Year's Resolutions if I posted them on the World Wide Web.

This week I:

Read scriptures with my family 5 out of 7 days.
Exercised well 3 out of 7 days and did at least 15 intense minutes 6 days.
Wrote in my journal or on the blog 3 out of 7 days.
Been up before 7 o'clock 5 out of 7 days.

I think there were some other ones, but we'll stick with those for now. Hopefully I can get all of those up to 7 out of 7 or 6 out of 7 for exercise soon, and then I'll move onto some different goals.

Any New Year's resolutions to brag about or moan about? I know this isn't the most original of topics. I promise to post very interesting/controversial/cute Theodore things next week.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Blogging

I have not blogged in a while. Mainly it's because my life is boring, but also, because I'm not really sure about blogging itself. It is an inherently selfish proposition to think that anyone else out there wants to read what I have to say about my life. But is it more selfish to say that if there is anyone out there willing to take the time to read what we post on this blog, as we know there are at least a few people that do, to refuse to take a few minutes out of the day to share life happenings or random thoughts? This transition time from the old semester to the new one, from the old year to the new one has definitley been one of attempting to redefine myself and to reinvent myself. I'm reading a book right now about Fredrick Douglass (did anyone else know that his name had two "ss" be honest) and Abraham Lincoln called Giants. The author says that the number one thing they did to become giants was to redefine themselves. New years is a random time to try to do this, but it seems to be all the rage, so why not?

So this was a pretty rambling post. I promise to be more specific if I continue to blog. Let's end with this? What feelings do you the reader have about blogging? Obviously you are somewhat in support of it if you're here, let us know why? Do you ever worry about it being a waste of time or too selfish? Or is this all silly to think about in the first place?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Nu Skin

Today, I had a job interview at Nu Skin. I didn't really know what they were all about before, but I'm kind of not-hating on it so much as I was. The idea of multi-level marketing kind of sickens me, I don't know why, maybe I just hate businesses? But businesses sell me great things like natural baby products and cloth diapers so you know. Nu Skin seems to be pretty dedicated to all-natural products and selling but not pushing their products. I hated working customer service at the alarm company because it felt so unethical. Telling poor, elderly, Hispanic ladies that they were stuck in a two-year contract with an alarm system they didn't want but signed the contract because a nice, good-looking Mormon boy schmoozed them stole my soul every time I worked. Well, "you signed a contract" was all I could pretty much say to help them. If I get the job (which is a toss-up since there were like 30 people there interviewing), I'll have to sit in a cubicle for six hours answering a phone, but at least I'll be helping people out who actually like the products. I think, at least. Anyone ever work there have any thoughts?

I also have applied at a bakery, the library, and as a substitute teacher. Surely SOMEONE wants to hire me... doesn't a college degree get you anything around here?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Four months

At four months, Atticus likes:

* Standing up, he even holds on to the side of the couch by himself now (as long as we're on hand in case he falls)
* TV, TV, TV (ack!) but especially ballet performances on TV
* Drooling, he soaks through at least 4 or 5 bibs a day
* Watching us dress or eat (he wants to eat. so. bad.)
* The Bumbo, and launching himself out of the Bumbo (did that for the first time today... no more sitting on the table while I cook)
* His bouncey chair, he's getting really good at spinning the toys
* The Sleepy Wrap, he falls asleep so fast in it
* Being held over our heads
* Being out and about
* The library
* Baths with mom
* Sleeping in his car seat next to our bed
* His awesome cloth diaper (see picture below) that matches the pj's mom made for herself, dad, and the neighbors
* Going on runs with dad

Atticus dislikes:

* Pretty much what he disliked last month: being hungry, being tired. He hates the sound the microwave makes
* Looking at himself in the mirror
* Dating violence (see picture below)
* Taking naps longer than half an hour