Thursday, January 31, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Now, onto loftier matters, I would imagine that all of you have heard by now that the Prophet and President of the LDS church, Gordon B. Hinckley, has been released from his calling here on earth. I have seen many tributes to him among my friends' and family's blogs, but I just want to say I too find it hard to see him go though he had a good run at 97 years. My friend Kerrie emailed me the link to this video tribute this morning. It's simplicity brought a tear to my eye. I will miss the Prophet of my youth, the kind man who always had a smile on his face.
After I got my mom's email message on Sunday, we were talking about church organization and succession in the presidency. We were not in total agreement about how exactly it happens, though we had the same general idea. I found this outline from the LDS newsroom that explains clearly how it works.
27 January 2008The highest-ranking governing body in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the First Presidency, consisting of the president and his two counselors, or advisers. This three-man body supervises the work of the entire Church in all matters of policy, organization and administration.
The second-highest presiding body in Church government is the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. They serve under the direction of the First Presidency and have heavy administrative responsibilities to oversee the orderly progress and development of the Church throughout the world. The First Presidency and Twelve Apostles are regarded by Latter-day Saints as prophets who receive divine revelation and inspiration to guide the Church.
The appointment of a new president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints happens in an orderly way that — remarkably in today’s world — avoids any trace of internal lobbying for position or rank. Viewed by members as a divinely revealed process, it is devoid of electioneering whether behind the scenes or in public.
Moreover, it is not only the structure of Church organization that governs this process. There is also a deeply ingrained tradition in the Church that personal aspiration for leadership at any level is inappropriate. Instead, the emphasis is on personal worthiness and a humble willingness to serve when invited.
When the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints passes away, the following events take place:
1. The First Presidency is automatically dissolved.
2. The two counselors in the First Presidency revert to their places of seniority in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Seniority is determined by the date on which a person was ordained to the Twelve, not by age.
3. The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, now numbering 14 and headed by the senior apostle, assumes Church leadership.
4. The senior apostle presides at a meeting of the Quorum of the Twelve to consider two alternative propositions:
i. Should the First Presidency be reorganized at this time?
ii. Should the Church continue to function with the Quorum of the Twelve presiding?
5. After discussion, a formal motion is made and accepted by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
6. If a motion to reorganize the First Presidency is passed, the Quorum of the Twelve unanimously selects the new president of the Church. The new president chooses two counselors from among the Quorum of the Twelve and the three of them become the new First Presidency. Throughout the history of the Church, the longest-serving apostle has always become the president of the Church when the First Presidency has been reorganized.
7. Following the reorganization of the First Presidency, the apostle who has served the second longest is sustained as the president of the Quorum of the Twelve. The only exception is when the second-longest-serving apostle has also been called into the First Presidency as a counselor, in which case the third-longest-serving apostle becomes acting president of the Twelve.
8. The president of the Quorum of the Twelve, along with the rest of the apostles, sets apart the new president of the Church through a formal laying on of hands.
Since the Church was formally organized on 6 April 1830, there have been 15 presidents, including President Gordon B. Hinckley.
I also found this quote in the Teacher's Sunday School Manual from Lesson 9.
"Before he became President of the Church, Spencer W. Kimball said, “Full provision has been made by our Lord for changes. Today there are fourteen apostles holding the keys in suspension, the twelve and the two counselors to the President, to be brought into use if and when circumstances allow, all ordained to leadership in their turn as they move forward in seniority.
“There have been some eighty apostles so endowed since Joseph Smith, though only eleven have occupied the place of the President of the Church, death having intervened; and since the death of his servants is in the power and control of the Lord, he permits to come to the first place only the one who is destined to take that leadership. Death and life become the controlling factors. Each new apostle in turn is chosen by the Lord and revealed to the then living prophet who ordains him” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1972, p. 29; or Ensign, Jan. 1973, p. 34).
I have a testimony that Jesus Christ is the head of the church and that He has guided the church through his Prophets and Apostles. He knows who can best lead us now and has placed him in the position to succeed President Hinckley. The work rolls on.
Friday, January 25, 2008
I can tell that as he's getting older, his ability to calm himself is better. This past week for naps I've been wrapping (leaving one or both hands out on the off chance he's going to need to suck on them), nursing (if he needs/wants to), rocking, and singing. Then I put him down in his crib (usually with his eyes open). The first day I did that he fussed for about 20 min., was quite for about 10 and ended up falling asleep. Now he fusses for about 5-15 min. and will fall asleep in about 20. His actual crying during naps is pretty minimal, I've had to go in and do a little more rocking once or twice. If he's just fussing, I'm trying to leave him so he can learn to fall asleep on his own. If he's all out crying more than 10-15 min. I can't stand it and I go back and do what I can to help him calm down. This is a huge improvement over what it used to be like. He usually naps about an hour at a time and gets sleepy within 1 - 1 1/2 hours of waking.
His night time routine needs a little tweaking I think. He's had a bit of trouble going down and I think we might be starting too late. I've started the night soothing around 8 PM (give or take about 20 min.). I do pretty much the same routine as for naps, and maybe that's part of the problem? We've only been giving him baths every 3 days since it's been so cold here and we're all having problems with dry skin (even after using lotion). However, he likes baths for the most part, so maybe I should incorporate it into the nightly routine when it warms up a bit.
Another potential problem is his evening nap after my piano lessons. He's usually pretty tired by the time I'm done with piano (around 5 or 5:30) so I've been putting him down for a nap. He will wake up around 6 or 6:30, but he still shows tired signs by 8. However, after reading Dr. Weissbluth's book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, I think we should try and forgo the 5 pm nap and try to put him down for the night by 6:30pm-7pm. Who knows? Maybe it will be the ticket to happy SleepyLand.
As for the sleeping through the night, I've decided to wait until he's 4 or 5 months before I start doing anything. I can already see improvement in his sleeping, so I won't push him too fast. He's still a little guy. At that point I think I will start completely ignoring certain wakings. If it's only been 2 hours, he shouldn't be too hungry. If it's been 4 or more, I'll go in and feed him. And then by 9 months I will do total extinction of all night feedings and endure the crying then if I need.
Lowdown on me and the methods:
While I know the "family bed" work for some, I just can't see it working for me. First of all, I tried nursing once or twice in bed and it just seemed EXTREMELY awkward. Couldn't get the hang of it and made a big wet mess when we both fell asleep while he was nursing. Plus we only have a queen size bed and that's a little too snug for 3. Moreover, he's a light sleeper and I think it would be our demise. And I won't mention the negative impact it would have on our intimate life! Ok, ok. So I did just mention it.
No cry method
This is where I naturally gravitate. I can't STAND to hear him crying so desperately. I start getting agitated and sometimes even angry. Angry that he's still up crying when I KNOW he's super tired. Angry that Matt's tendency is to let him cry it out for at least 30 min. Angry that I've heard it too much that day. I've tried tuning it out with music or earplugs, but that only works about 15 min. and his crying can last much longer. Constantly comforting is a little draining, but I think I'll keep going this route a little longer. At least mostly. If I've given everything I absolutely can give for a night, I'll set him down and let him cry until he falls asleep or for 30 min. until Matt feels compelled to go check on him, whichever comes first.
Cry and Comfort
This is super hard for me because to be effective, I think the key is not to pick him up during the "comfort" phase. After the 5, 10, 15, 20 or 30 min. interval you've set, go in and talk to him or pat him until he's calm and then leave again. The few times I tried this his cries became more intense and I couldn't handle it. I would go back in and pick him up and start all over again. Plus, Dr. Weissbluth said that for super fussy/colicky babies this is a slow route.
Cry and Ignore
While this may seem a little harsh, I think it will have to be the way we go when we DO decide to help him kick his night waking habit. Make sure he doesn't have a dirty diaper, stay near so he doesn't choke to death on his cries, and stick it out. I may have to recruit Matt for this given my tendency to rush in and save, but he's Dean's parent too and can sacrifice a few nights for the greater good. My sister mentioned that in Weissbluth's studies of 2000+ kids, no babies older than 9 months NEEDED food in the middle of the night. So, that is probably when we'd try that if need be.
Start as you mean to go on?
This is one of the philosophies of the Baby Whisperer, Tracy Hogg. Basically, start from day one on your preferred method so you don't have to correct bad habits you've gotten into later. While this may be good and all for a non-screamer, I don't necessarily think it's the best for super colicky babies. Plus, I don't think it's that big of a deal to break a 9- month-old's habit. True, I haven't tried it, but my sister told me that it really only takes about a week or so when they're that little.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
I think this picture of my Great Grandma will be a great beginning. I love this photo. She just looks so glam. Family History can be beautiful.
It's cool, too, that I have framed paintings done by my great grandma (the one pictured), my grandma, and Matt's great grandma.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Here is his background:
- He doesn't take a pacifier. For some reason he has refused a pacifier ever since we got back from California.
- Recently he's started sucking on his hand, but it doesn't seem to have real soothing power yet.
- He is a light sleeper for the most part. I think he'll benefit from sleeping in his own room so we don't inadvertently wake him.
- I've been putting him down for his day naps in his own room to get him used to that crib.
- He's gone up to 8 hours without waking at night, but that was a rare treat. The last few days he's been waking up every 2 1/2 to 3 hours to eat.
- While it may be partially my fault, he's never really learned how to put himself back to sleep consistently. He'll occasionally fuss himself back to sleep, but more often than not, he gets himself worked up passed that point. Then he's really hungry and wants to eat.
Dean has this look. Big serious eyes. No smile. We have to either catch him RIGHT after he fully wakes up or work really hard to get him to smile. This is a variation on the look we often get.
He still cracks me up though. He gets really excited and kicks, but all is done with a straight face. Sorry the video is on it's side. I didn't realize it wouldn't correct itself.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Since I'm pretty good (okay, okay. Scratch that.) Since I'm GREAT at knowing my strengths and weaknesses, today I will break the bragging barrier and go for it. But before I lose you all because of my securities, I'll throw in some of my insecurities as well so you can feel secure that I am just a regular gal. ;)
Securities: I am so smrt. S-M-R-T
- I am a great cook. Growing up my mom taught me how to read a recipe, so I've always been a decent cook, but I have to say that I have grown leaps and bounds in this area in the last 5 years. Cooking at New Haven was probably the best thing I could have done (short of culinary school) to improve my skills. Cooking 2 meals a day, 5 days a week for 25-35 people (all by myself) for 2 1/2 years did the trick.
- I am a great teacher. The majority of my employment has had to do with teaching. I've taught piano since I was in 8th grade. Then there was my China trip where I taught English. And I was a TA most of my college years where I had to explain course concepts. My FAVORITE church calling ever was teaching Relief Society. I also love giving talks in church. As a teacher, I think I do well at assessing where my students are and then work with them at that level.
- I am a great student. I comprehend concepts quickly and I am quite studious. Oddly enough, I've had a reoccurring dream recently where I stop going to one of my classes half way through the semester and end up flunking it. Horrible.
- I am a great wife. Perfect wife? No. Great wife? Yes. Seriously, sometimes I think, "Man he's got it good!" haha.
- I have the potential to be excellent at the piano and music. I'd say I'm already a great piano player, but not nearly as good as I used to be nor as good as I could be if I were to practice more.
- I'm quite the harmonizer. I remember surprising people as a little child (4th grade? younger?) in church choir belting out the alto line correctly. Block and contrapuntal (sight reading in harmony) was the main thing that got me to All-State choir 3 years.
- I remember people, names, and faces quite well.
- While I love a clean house, I have a hard time putting things back or away immediately, so clutter ensues. Paper clutter is my worst because I really do hate filing. I often carry things around and leave them in random places, so I tend to misplace things a lot.
- I totally stink at job interviews. TOTALLY STINK! My mind goes blank. I am not quick at thinking up personal examples for their questions. I am not good at talking myself up (I know! After all those cool things I said about myself earlier you'd think I'd have no trouble! But how many employers really care that I've taught piano lessons since I was in 8th grade, graduated 5th in my HS or that I can make some tasty grub?) The absolute worst answer I ever gave to the question, "why should we hire you over the other candidates?" was "I don't know. I'm sure they're all very qualified too." Are you kidding me?!? Why would I say something so totally dumb? That was one of my first interviews and I made sure I had a better answer after that.
- At the moment I feel very insecure in my ability to respond with appropriate timing rather than rush in and rescue Dean when he's crying. How long is too long? How long is not long enough? Is he going to be an insecure little boy because I am inept at deciphering his cries? WILL HE EVER LEARN HOW TO GO TO SLEEP WITHOUT CRYING UP A STORM????
- I am NOT detail oriented unless I really make myself. Even then, I know I miss things. Matt is super detail oriented. He constantly amazes me with his observational prowess.
- Though I'm a terrific student, I do not retain random information well unless I find it very interesting or very important. I'll keep it in my mind as long as I need it (i.e. until a test), and then it just goes the way of the world. Luckily I pick it up again easily.
- I'm horrible at sending cards. Thank you cards, birthday cards and anniversary cards are sent out next to never. Mother's day and Father's day cards are generally sent on that particular day (therefore arrive late). Christmas cards are the only time I manage to get cards out.
- I definitely don't shave my legs often enough. ESPECIALLY in the winter. That's why one day I'll have laser hair removal. That will be awesome.
I need a hair cut. Oy.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
It was in the First Presidency message and the quote was Pres. Monson quoting Elder Richard L Evans.
"We can't do everything for everyone everywhere, but we can do something for someone somewhere."
Today was our first day playing hooky from church since we were sick. Dean and I have had a bit of a cold all week, but last night was the worst. Dean was up almost every hour coughing and his nose is super congested as well. He can barely breathe when he's eating and has been extra slobbery at night since he has to sleep with his mouth wide open. We're both feeling a little better and I hope that he'll be able to sleep better. And he hates the stupid bulb booger snatcher thing. He screams and screams when I try and use it.
Another first we had while he was in CA was his first trip to the ocean. I had taken him on some walks by the ocean before this, but he was asleep and in his stroller, so I am not counting it. Unfortunately we didn't spend as much time there as I would have liked, but I guess we'll go back in two years, right? By then he'll be much more excited about it I'm sure.
Tonight was the first time he woke up from a nap without
crying. I heard a few movement noises and when I peaked in he flashed me a winning smile. I could get used to that!
I am trying to get Dean used to his crib since he's been sleeping in the pack n' play in our room. The last two days I've put him down for naps in his room to get used to the new set up before I move him in for good. He's done pretty well, and has been completely enamored with the bumper and mobile. There are so many colors and patterns to look at! It was so funny the first time I put him in there. He didn't cry once but stayed up an extra 1/2 hour (even though he was really tired) just looking at everything. It was cracking me up.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
For the long version and more pictures, visit Hollywood Flakes.
The short version is this:
Her father-in-law discovered a cougar making a terrible racket in his garage. He called his sons who lived nearby for back up. They ran the cougar off, unaware if it was legal to kill it. Unfortunately, they later found some of their most beloved animals dead at the cougar's doing. (My niece's favorite cat, Crookshanks and their beloved family horse of 23 years, Fancy...A horse I've ridden a time or two.) The next day they found fresh tracks again and called their cougar hunting neighbor to come help track the cougar down since it had obviously lost its fear of humans and was very dangerous to those who lived in their neighborhood. How dangerous?
Their son Troy (who is my age) went with the hunter to find the cougar. It had ravaged a deer. The hunter sent his two $8000 dogs up a very steep hill to track it. Find him they did. And they had their revenge.
Though Hollywood posted this next bit on her blog, I wanted to share it too since Chelsea is also my niece...It is her dad's account of Chelsea's reaction to her cat being killed. Keep in mind that she waited through 3 rounds of kittens to finally get her beloved orange cat so she could name it Crookshanks after Hermione's cat in Harry Potter.
It was one of those tragic moments when we discovered poor Crookie. He was born 3 years ago on Chelsea's birthday, and has been her best kitty ever since. Those of you who were here for Christmas probably remember her heartfelt song "crookie the orange kitty" sung to the tune of Rudolph.So sad...so sad.
On the way home Chelsea paraphrased her Warriors books (books about tribes of cats living in the forest) to come up with an epitaph. It was something along the lines of "crookshanks lived a more interesting life and died a more heroic death than most cats. Some cats get old and sick, others get run over, but Crookshanks died with fangs bared and claws unsheathed, (maybe protecting the other cats we think?) He now joins Starclan in the great Silver Pelt (the milky way)."
Chelsea wants to make sure crookie is buried in Katalia, which is her imaginary land up by the water tank. I don't know how I am going to dig in the frozen dirt, but I'll have to try. She thinks that now maybe Vladekia and Blue Star (the other two cats) might get along better, because she thinks they were both rivals for Crookshank's attentions. (but we fear they might be dead somewhere...we didn't see them tonight).
A few weeks ago for Speech class, Chelsea had to make a Worry Chart listing the top ten things she worried about. She listed "my cat getting killed or injured"......and that was the only thing she could think of to be worried about. The rest of the chart was left blank.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
My morning walks were quite enjoyable. There was so much color! I loved the variety. Take for instance these houses.
How cool would it be to have a totem pole in your front yard? Somehow I don't think our HOA would appreciate it. Nor would they appreciate a purple or puke green house, a rainbow on our garage, or a triangle storage shed. Too bad. The variety is refreshing.
Yeah. Well, when I was pregnant I totally melted off the bottom of a pot while trying to steam broccoli. Forgot to put water in. Oops. And then I did it again a few weeks after Dean was born. Double oops.
Then today I was trying to get a Crockpot dinner ready, make lunch, and entertain Dean all at the same time. I thought it went pretty well until about an hour later when I heard a weird pop sound.
The cord was partially tucked under the ceramic pot and got melted. It melted a hole in the cord and the metal part of the Crockpot.
I never did things like that B.B. (before baby).
Guess it's time to buy a new Crockpot. I almost feel like the commercial where the men are destroying their houses so they can go shop at a home improvement store (Lowe's? Home Depot?) for replacement items.
Sunday, January 06, 2008
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Friday, January 04, 2008
Weight at birth: 8 lbs. 6 oz.
Weight today: 13 lbs. 10 oz.
Length at birth: 21 3/4 inches
Length today: 24 1/2 inches
He was doing perfectly fine until the mean nurse (she was actually very nice) started shooting him with his vaccine needles. He seems to be sore now with a little fever. The Tylenol seems to be taking the edge off, but he's still even fussier than normal. So sad.
On the flip side, he's really learning to smile and coo so much better. Here are some pictures from a little photo shoot earlier than this week.