Friday, May 31, 2013


Someone has discovered his thumbs this week. Mom finds it totes adorbs.

Saturday, May 18, 2013


He did it! Nathaniel rolled over for the first time!!

Last night we put him on his blanket on the floor for some tummy time. At first he just laid there, but after a few minutes when Chris and I were chatting, I looked down at him again and exclaimed, "Oh! He's tipping!" And then, whoop! Just like that he was on his back.

Mom and Dad were so proud! Nathaniel himself just looked kind of dazed like, "Whoa. What was that all about?"

We tried putting him back on his tummy to see if we could get the rolling over-nes on camera, but no luck. He was done.

Then this morning, he rolled over three times in front of all my co-workers at a staff meeting. Soooo cool!!

It's official. Being a parent totally rocks my world.

Our little guy is seven weeks old today!

Friday, May 17, 2013

"The older I get, the less judgmental I become."

So in my last post, I discussed that very often, how we parent our children is not a matter of finding the "one true way" to do something. Rather, the Lord expects us to exercise righteous judgment and that there are certainly many ways to accomplish the eternally important work of raising a child.

Following that post, I read a book called "Bottled Up: How the Way We Feed Babies Has Come to Define Motherhood, and Why It Shouldn't." It was such an eye-opening read about the world of breast feeding vs. bottle feeding. My take away from the book, and something that the author seems to plead: we could all stand to be a little less judgmental of other people's parenting choices.

Since becoming a mom, I've been rather dismayed at times to see the overbearing way mothers will pass judgement on other mothers. And I think something that really feeds this problem is the anonymity of the internet. It's rare that I see mom's bash each other in person. Quite the contrary. But take away that face-to-face interaction, and all of a sudden, it becomes fine to not only judge another person's parenting choices, but to often do so in a rather venomous way.

One of my favorite addresses on judging comes from Elder Dallin H. Oaks (a former judge himself). In it he says:
In one of the monthly General Authority fast and testimony meetings, I heard President James E. Faust say, "The older I get, the less judgmental I become." That wise observation gives us a standard to live by in the matter of judgments. We should refrain from anything that seems to be a final judgment of any person—manifesting our determination to leave final judgments to the Lord, who alone has the capacity to judge. 
In the intermediate judgments we must make, we should take care to judge righteously. We should seek the guidance of the Spirit in our decisions. We should limit our judgments to our own stewardships. Whenever possible we should refrain from judging people until we have an adequate knowledge of the facts. So far as possible, we should judge circumstances rather than people. In all our judgments we should apply righteous standards. And, in all of this, we must remember the command to forgive.

So today, I'm asking that we all take a step back, remember that we're all children of the same Father in Heaven, and refrain from unrighteous judgment. We could all stand to be just a little more understanding, a little more loving of each other. Mothering is hard enough, and with loving encouragement, we can all lift each other just a little higher.

Friday, May 10, 2013

“It mattereth not unto me”

In 2007, Elder Bednar gave an address in which he talked about an important pattern from the scriptures. Watch the clip and hear what he says.

clip should play from 19:50 to 21:37

The essential thing was the work they had been called to perform; how they got there was important but was not essential.
If you're a new mom looking for information on any parenting topic, you're sure to find a whole heap of advice out there. Since becoming a new mom myself, I discovered that I'm not a low maintenance kind of mother. If things are going well, and my Nathaniel is content, clean, and well fed, I'm fine. But if something appears to be wrong, I will google the tar out of the subject until I find some useful tools to help me or my baby cope.

It's a wonderful blessing to have so much information at our fingertips, but there's a downside. Parenting is one of those things that people tend to feel really strongly about, and sometimes you find parents who have made it their crusade to rid the world of one "bad" parenting strategy or another. All too often I find myself panicking that I'm going to seriously mess up my kid if I make the wrong decisions. "Don't you know that your child is going to be an emotional train wreck if you read him books about red wagons? The only right way to have an emotionally well-balanced baby is to read him books about blue wagons!" (You know the kind of argument I'm talking about?)

Thankfully, I've found some excellent resources that have taught me that really, when it comes down to it, so many things "mattereth not". Even some seemingly big things.

For example, I've been reading a book called "French Kids Eat Everything". It's a memoir of one woman's experience moving to France and discovering a whole different style of teaching kids how to eat. Like, kids should always eat meals at a specific time and not snack inbetween. This also includes infants being fed on a strict schedule.

In America, we tend to find this shocking. Shouldn't babies be fed whenever they are hungry? Well, it seems that the French don't think so. To them its more important that the baby learn to eat full meals than that their baby never feel hunger. Their approach certainly has its drawbacks (and benefits), but feeding babies on-demand also has its drawbacks (and benefits).

Elder Bednar goes on to teach:
“I, the Lord, am willing, if any among you desire, to ride upon horses, or upon mules, or in chariots, he shall receive this blessing, if he receive it from the hand of the Lord, with a thankful heart in all things.

“These things remain with you to do according to judgment and the directions of the Spirit.

“Behold, the kingdom is yours. And behold, and lo, I am with the faithful always. Even so. Amen” (D&C 62:7–9; italics added).

The principal issues in this episode are not horses, mules, or chariots; rather, they are gratitude, judgment, and faithfulness. Please note the basic elements in this pattern: (1) a thankful heart in all things; (2) act according to judgment and the directions of the Spirit; and (3) the Savior is with the faithful always. Can we begin to sense the direction and assurance, the renewal and strength that can come from following this simple pattern for inspired and righteous judgment?
The real question is not, "Which feeding style is the only true and right way to feed a baby?" The real question in my opinion is, "Which combination of benefits and drawbacks is the one I want for me and my child?"

This second question requires righteous judgement and seeking out the directions of the Spirit. And so we'll need to have a thankful heart (not a panicky one) and we'll need to be faithful so the Savior will be with us.

The essential thing for me as a mom, is to provide for the physical and spiritual needs of my children. How I do that is important, but not essential. And honestly, it brings me real peace to know that in the long run so many decisions about how I raise my children "mattereth not".