Friday, January 21, 2011

Five Things For Friday, 2nd Edition

1. For the last year I've been dancing with a Modern Dance group and this year I get to perform with them! We have our first performance tomorrow and I am really excited-- and nervous-- about it. Each dancer got to choreograph her own movement and I am really proud of mine. It has been a long time since I've been on stage and it is sort of fun to have butterflies in my stomach again. Wish me luck!

2. This is an interesting article about how some Mormon mommy blogs have a huge followings of single, career oriented, non-religious, childless, feminist, urban 20-30 year-old women readers. I have to admit I was pretty irritated by the author's stereotypes and assumptions about Mormon women. Her article reminded me of Jules Verne description of Mormon women in "Around the World in 80 days" and Mark Twain's description in "Roughing it". It seems like all through our history people have been confused and fascinated by Mormons... and that we've always been hopelessly misunderstood. I hope one day we can dispel all the myths.

3. I think my little girl might have a milk allergy but I'm not sure. I looked up the symptoms and she seems to fit most of them--- she has a constant runny, always has loose stools, throws up often, etc. Has anyone else ever dealt with a child with a milk allergy? How could you tell they had it and how did you manage it? It seems really overwhelming to me but it would be nice if she could start feeling better.

4. I've been re-reading Dante's Inferno. I can't believe that when I read it in college I thought it was dull and slow moving. This time I am devouring it. It would be the coolest thing in the world to do a haunted house that was all based off the levels of Hell Dante describes. You could have the visitors move through them -- each one getting more awful and awful-- and then you could have the angels of redemption at the end. It would be a haunted house with an uplifting message, imagine that. Maybe when my kids are older I might have to undertake this!

5. I have a guest post this week on The Gift of Giving Life blog (the official blog for our book) all about the Relief Society's Legacy of Maternal Care. In my research on early LDS birth practices I found a lot of fascinating history about the Relief Society's involvement in maternal and child health. Here is a little teaser to get to you to go over and read the whole thing.
"In October Conference 1921 Relief Society President Clarissa Williams announced a plan “to establish a maternity home in Salt Lake as a sort of experiment, and later, if this is successful, to extend the work by establishing similar homes in various centers.” She wanted “to encourage motherhood and to make it possible for women in child-birth to have good care at reasonable rates.”

Relief Society Leadership, 1916

...In addition to the “birth centers” and the “maternity chests” Relief Society sisters also participated in a variety of public health events, conferences and campaigns to increase the number of breastfeeding mothers, to educate women on the proper ways to clean baby bottles, hand washing, and proper infant care. In 1924, Johns Wells of the Presiding Bishopric credited the Relief Society for a decreased death rate among LDS children under the age of five—500 lives saved in one year. Historian Thomas G. Alexander also stated that, “Cooperation between the Relief Society and public agencies produced in Utah the greatest reduction in the maternal death and infant mortality rates in the nation. By 1931 Utah ranked with five other states in the lowest group.”
Go here to read the rest.


  1. My great-Grandpa was part of the creation of one of the birth centers in Murray as part of his priesthood responsibilities. He was on the board for a time after the birth center was turned into a hospital. He counted it as a great experience in his life.

    As for the milk allergy, my baby showed some symptoms so we stopped all dairy for a while to see if that what was plaguing him. It cleared it up. We have started to give him dairy again. He rarely has a reaction now. I think he needed to grow up a little before he could metabolize the dairy.

  2. Wow. I just read that article you posted on #2 and I, too, agree about being a little on the irritated side of her assumptions on Mormon women. It was an interesting read and I am with ya on hoping that one day, some day all of these myths will subside.

  3. You should try a dairy fast with your little one, take her Off of dairy completely for at least 72 hours, but if you can go 5-7 days it is more accurate, and check for the symptoms. If things have cleared up then it most likely is a milk allergy. If not, then it is most likely something else. But another big indicator of a milk allergy if exzema, have you noticed any ( no matter how small) patches of dry, red, irritated looking skin? Anyways, good luck!! Food allergies are tough.

  4. The article about Mormon blogs--Ruth showed it to me. We were all fascinated by the article but actually enjoyed it and thought the author was trying hard to be fair.

    I had some kind of milk allergy when I was little. Once she stopped breastfeeding me (once she'd figured out the allergy thing)I drank soy milk. I didn't really drink milk until I was 5 or older. I'm not sure it was a true allergy because Mom kept giving me cheese (and Dad kept giving me ice cream) the whole time. I have no problems at all with milk products now. Is it possible to outgrow allergies? But apparently I got much healthier when Mom switched me to soy milk as a baby.

  5. Annette, for the most part I really liked her article too. It was fun to know that moron women's lives are appealing to secular women. I think there were just a few comments she made that rubbed me the wrong way. It was things she said like this...

    ...Mormons are particularly famous for their "put on a happy face" attitude. The church teaches that the Gospel is the only authentic path to true happiness. So if you're a faithful follower, you better be happy, right?

    ...For young Mormon women, who face immense cultural pressure to stay home with children rather than pursue a career...

    ...The bloggers I read may be as happy with their lot as they seem. Or not. While some Mormon women prosper under the cultural norms for wife- and mother-dom, others chafe. Utah is, after all, the state with the highest rate of prescription antidepressant use, a statistic the president of the Utah Psychiatric Association attributes to the pressure among Mormon women to be ideal wives and mothers.

    ...Clearly, life for the Mormon wife is not all crafts and cupcakes. Even if it were, I seriously doubt that crafts and cupcakes are all that much fun when you do them all day, every day."

    I feel like she was trying to be kind but that in the last few paragraphs of her article she had to put a BUT clause in and said some stereotypical things that I thought were unfair to Mormon women.

    Historically the world has always seen Mormon women as oppressed (that is what the Jules Verne and Mark Twain pieces depict). In the same breath she said that homemaking might be good for some women she had to qualify it and put in statistics and stereotypical phrases that-- I felt--construed that homemaking really is drudgery, that a culture that encourages women to stay home must be oppressive and that women can't really be happy like that.

    I honestly enjoyed most of the article but felt irritated by the way she ended. Also, even though I admire and like many of the Mormon bloggers she referenced I don't think it is fair to base ones whole perspective of Mormon women off their blogs. I know that their lives are often not even remotely close to what mine looks like!

    Mormon women's lives are so diverse that I felt she was relegating all of us to the same corner of the blogosphere and it just irritated me a bit... just a little mind you :)

  6. All of my children have had problems with milk, to one degree or another. My youngest is 15 months, still breastfed, and it doesn't bother him if I have milk or cheese. But he can't even have cheese without getting nasty diaper rash. My oldest threw up every time he had milk, when I started giving it to him around 12 months, until after 15 months. My second had severe milk allergy that still bothers her a bit at 7 years old. It is certainly something children can grow out of, but if you suspect your daughter is having a problem with milk, you should take it out of her diet now, as much as possible. Coconut milk is a great substitute, as it is high in fat, which babies need. So Delicious is a brand that's shelf stable or refrigerated.

  7. I had some of the same feelings, but I also have tried to look at it from her perspective -- where she really does see it all as drudgery at some level, and these blogs in a sense keep her challenging that assumption.

    What I do hope is that people don't stop there and find out more about who we are and how we live rather than just look at a few blogs to represent us.

    And in my view, our own people are sometimes the worst at perpetuating myths, so.... ;)

    No more info on what company you are dancing with? ;)

  8. I read that article when it first came out, and I couldn't help but feel sad for her. Here we are, we're happy we're fulfilled, but because it doesn't fit the model she was taught she HAS to reject it. She has to believe we can't possibly be as happy as we seem, because if we are then that means the model she's based her life on is wrong, and that can be a painful and hard truth to recognize.

    Not that our lives are perfect-but they are happier overall and it's because of the gospel.