Friday, January 27, 2012

Five Things for Friday, 30th Edition


Awhile ago Cocoa of Chocolate on My Cranium asked her readers which fictional character they most identified with. I loved the question but didn't have time to respond at the time. So I am going to do it now.

I am most certainly Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables.

Granted I am not an orphan and I don't have red hair, but in many ways our personalities are remarkably similar. In Middle School I even once knocked a boy out with my lunch box when he teased me by making "kissy lips" at me on the school bus. Though I've definitely mellowed out as I've got older I am still an overly dramatic, romantic, ambitious Anne Shirley at heart.

I am curious... what fictional character do you think you are most like?


A few weeks ago I finished the book "The Year My Son and I Were Born" by Kathryn Lynard Soper. It is a memoir about how her heart and life were changed by giving birth to a son with Down Syndrome. I was so touched by her perspective and I especially loved what she said towards the end of her book,

" ... 'Knowing other people are in worse pain doesn't erase your own'... And mine had been terrible. But as the pain faded, I was beginning to see how unnecessary most of it had been. Thomas's diagnosis brought some inherent difficulties, like health concerns and educations issues, but the stuff that really hurt didn't come from Down Syndrome. It came from my reaction to Down Syndrome... How much grief stemmed from my twisted belief that faster meant smarter, smarter meant better, and better meant happier? The bulk of my suffering had been self-inflicted, like when I soaked my bloody toe at Christmas time; the injury called for only a tablespoon of salt, yet I dumped in half a cup. Down Syndrome didn't need to hurt so much. Neither did depression. And for that matter, neither did motherhood.

The irony just about killed me, but I had to smile. Thomas's disability had enabled me to face my own. And his diagnosis which once seemed like a burden, had granted the sweetest relief." (pg. 303)

This is a really wonderful book and has given me so much to think about. If you get a chance to pick it up, it would be well worth your time.


Speaking of good books I thought I'd share my all time favorite parenting book. It is called "The Wonder Weeks" and I think it has done more to help me as a mother than any other book I've read...besides the scriptures. The whole premise of the book is that babies go through mental growths spurts just like they go through physical growth spurts. Usually a few weeks before a baby makes a physical "leap" forward they also make a mental "leap" forward which is characterized by a fussy, clingy, and sleepless baby. This is a time when a baby's whole world is changing and they don't know how to cope with it yet so they cling to what is safe and familiar... mom, milk, being held, dad, etc...

This is kind of hard for adults to understand but just imagine if every few months you gained a new sense, like all of a sudden you could hear twice as far or could smell things a half mile away, it would really change your world and make it kind of a scary place. Those are the types of changes a baby goes through every few months and with which they have to learn how to cope. They are the times your baby needs you the most. The book points out several different leap periods (you can see a chart of them here) when babies make the biggest cognitive developments. The dates are based off the baby's conception date so if your baby was born "early" or "late" then the dates might be off 3-6 weeks.

This book has been so helpful because Abraham has been super fussy lately and doesn't want to nurse. I was starting to get worried about him, thinking that maybe he was sick or hurting, but then I picked up this book and realized he is right in the middle of the "world of patterns" leap and that there were things I could do to help him. Instead of getting frustrated or upset with him I am able to recognize what he is learning and enjoy watching make sense of his strange body and world. It is really helpful and is one that I wish that I'd read before I had Asher, it would have saved me a lot of grief and tears.


Asher has been getting his Book of Mormon characters and his Winnie the Pooh characters mixed up. The other day at the library he was trying to explain to me that he really wanted the movie with Piglet, Tigger, and Nehor.

"You mean Eeyore? " I asked.

"No mom, Nehor."

I didn't realize there was an anti-Christ in the Winnie the Pooh movie. I guess I'll have to pay closer attention in the future! :)


Thank you all so much for your kind comments on my last post. I really appreciate them. Don't worry I haven't hit the depths of despair yet, just a few hard weeks. But things seem to be looking brighter.

I wanted to fit this video into the "Nothing" post, but it just didn't seem to work, so I am posting it here. It is a video about the Hubble space telescope and the furthest into space that man has ever seen. It is really an incredible glimpse into the immensity of God's creations and makes me feel even smaller than than the "Pale Blue Dot" image does. It is mind boggling.

Oh, and you need to read this talk that Steph shared in the comments. It is called "Our Creator's Cosmos" by Elder Neal A. Maxwell and is incredible. Incredible.

Have a wonderful weekend!

If you want to link to your own "Five Things for Friday" post you can use the tool below to add your link. 1) Please link to the URL of your blog post and not your main blog and 2) Please include a link back here.


  1. The link to Elder Maxwell's talk doesn't work. I tried googling the talk to provide you w/ a link that does work, but couldn't find one that worked. The shows there is one on there, but it never loaded and timed out. :(

  2. yes, i can't seem to link to it either, nor find it on! any help would be appreciated as it looks great!

  3. My daughters and I laughed with your similarity to Anne Shirley! Very funny.

    The pdf link to Elder Maxwell's talk worked for me. {{sigh}} I miss Elder Maxwell!

  4. I'm definitely most like Rinn from Forest Born by Shannon Hale (She's LDS). Want to understand shy people a bit more? Read this book.

    Well, now I have two more books to add to my list. :D They sound wonderful.

  5. Ah, I love Anne. :) Those were my favorite books growing up-- I read them over and over. I relate to her a lot as well.
    I love, love, love that talk by Elder Maxwell. It reminded me of a similar lecture he gave back in the 90's for the BYU honors program. What a wonderful way he had of distilling complex truths into simple profound thoughts.
    Oh, and I am going to be giggling about Nehor and his friends in the 100 Acre Wood for the rest of the afternoon. :)

  6. Thanks for the book recommendations! I'm especially interested in that Wonder Weeks one. Sounds good!

    Ah, Nehor. I don't think he'd last very long in the Hundred Acre Wood. I don't think his preaching would have much effect on Pooh except to confuse him.

  7. Holy cow!!! I just want to thank you for including your #3 in your list. It reeeeeally helped me because actually... I could see myself in it. It showed me that those mental growth spurts characterized by fussy clinginess don't end when you leave childhood. They CONTINUE into adulthood. I realized I'm kind of going through one spiritually right now as I'm trying to make big positive changes (uncomfortable ones) in my life and I'm having a hard time coming to terms with it. But at least now I know know why I'm feeling the way I am, which gives me hope that eventually it will get easier..

  8. Michaela,

    I am so glad that you made that connection! You are so right about leaps continuing into adulthood. It helps me so much to remember that my 4 year old still makes them, my husband still makes them and the person who offends me at the grocery store is still making them. I dont have to get frustrated i can just find ways to love them and help them make it into a higher cognitive plane:)

    Best wishes with your current leap, sometimes they are really hard!

  9. I'm so glad you liked that talk. I thought you would. :)

  10. I checked out "The Year My Son and I Were Born" from the library on your recommendation. My younger sister has Down Syndrome, so I'm always intrigued when people write about their experiences. I really enjoyed it--it sucked me and and I couldn't put it down. I think having a healthy 3 month old, with the memories of her birth not too far distant, made this seem more real to me, especially when her son was so young. Thanks for the recommendation!