Friday, December 19, 2008

"Tagged"


Generally, I protest doing these. Mostly because I get way to many of those emails that ask us to fill out the same questions time and time again. Those kind of drive me crazy. Oh well, I guess I was gonna give in eventually. So... I was tagged by my sister Allison. I think she would be a hit as a stand-up comedian. If you don't believe me, you should check out her blog.

Okay, so seven weird facts. Hmmm...

This is tough. Maybe I am just not that random or weird. Or maybe I am and I just haven't realized it yet. Hmmm....

1. I have a horrible habit of giving people too much information. Mostly in the category of toddler motherhood, which includes runny noses and dirty diapers, among other topics. This can be quite nauseating for listening parties. Of course, even when I avoid Hunteresque topics I still talk about snot-cicles and the like, so I guess I am not as limited in my choices of gross chatter as I'd like to believe. Every once in a while (take the other day, for example) someone reminds me of just how disgusting my choice of topic is. Mostly that someone will be someone without kids. I think having a kid has desensitized me to a lot of things regarding bodily functions. Dang, I thought I might be getting better.

2. I have crazy dreams. I suppose this is true of everyone, but I have always had some weird belief that other people have somewhat normal dreams. Tom Cruise makes random appearances. This greatly disturbs me. My dreams are also frequented by vampires. And werewolves. And no, it has NOTHING to do with Twilight, thank you very much. Once my whole family was vampires. That was fun. People I know also make appearances in my dreams in odd contexts. If you want to know if any of my dreams have included you, feel free to ask (See #1). Sometimes, I'll just tell you without you asking. Hopefully you won't mind (again, see #1).

3. I really really like kids. I think it is mostly because being around kids gives me a good excuse to act like one. Oh, and every time I see Cheaper by the Dozen I want to have twelve of them. Really. I'm not kidding.

This is a long list.

4. I really love hot chocolate. I think I could drink it every day. Even in the summer. Even in the Chicago summer. It's just that good. I have a hot cocoa maker. It was voted the most useless gift of the year when it came out. Ha! I find that hilarious. Someday I'll have a kitchen where I have room for my hot cocoa maker to be out year round. Oh, that'll be wonderful.

5. I tend to be fairly gullible. I believe pretty much everything anyone tells me. Until proven otherwise. This can be nice when people are telling the truth and quite horrible when people are lying. I believed in Santa Claus until I was in the 6th grade. Yeah, you read that right.

This is a really really long list.

6. On the flip side, I was quite the little liar as a child. Now, if there was a list for seven weird things about my childhood I could do that in no time at all. That would feel like a short list. I had someone tell me once that I should write a children's book series based on funny stories from my childhood. I think my sister and I could do that together. Then it would be that much funnier. I used to be able to convince school bus drivers to let me get on any bus I wanted, or get off at any stop I wanted without a note. Keep in mind, that this was when I was 5 and 6 years old (as in Kindergarten and 1st grade). I would then wander all over town. I think I must be responsible for at least half of my mother's gray hairs. If you want to know more details about those funny stories, or more funny stories in general from my younger years, just ask (again, see #1).

7. Finally, the last one. Hmmm... I have an obsession with making the bed. Everything else in my house could be clean, or a disaster, but if my bed's not made, my house is a disaster regardless. I feel there is some connection between the state of my bed and my overall state of laziness and/or wellbeing. Kind of like I believe getting a new haircut somehow defines or redefines me. By the way, I got a new one. Haircut, that is. Pictures to come.

Okay, so now I guess I get to torture seven more of you. Oh, what fun! I would tag my sister, but she tagged me. So, I tag:
Erin
Claire
Madelyn
Brenda
Melanie
Candice
Liesl

Friday, November 28, 2008

Prophetic Counsel

This will be a very short post, but this statement from Neal A. Maxwell in 1978 truly struck me as not only incredibly pertinent to current moral and social issues and events in our country, but as a truly powerful reminder of the necessity to take a resolute stand in a world with a shifting moral center.

"Make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters, in the months and years ahead, events are likely to require each member to decide whether or not he will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions. President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had 'never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional or political life.' This is hard doctrine, but it is particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ. . . . Your discipleship may see the time when such religious convictions are discounted. . . . This new irreligious imperialism seeks to disallow certain opinions simply because those opinions grow out of religious convictions. Resistance to abortion will be seen as primitive. Concern over the institution of the family will be viewed as un-trendy and unenlightened.... Before the ultimate victory of the forces of righteousness, some skirmishes will be lost. Even in these, however, let us leave a record so that the choices are clear, letting others do as they will in the face of prophetic counsel. There will also be times, happily, when a minor defeat seems probable, but others will step forward, having been rallied to rightness by what we do. We will know the joy, on occasion, of having awakened a slumbering majority of the decent people of all races and creeds which was, till then, unconscious of itself. Jesus said that when the fig trees put forth their leaves, 'summer is nigh.' Thus warned that summer is upon us, let us not then complain of the heat."

Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
"A More Determined Discipleship", Ensign, Feb. 1979 (emphasis mine)
*Thanks to my friend Madelyn for posting this quote on her blog.

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Button Flavor for Everyone

Let me first state this post is not about making a political statement, so please don't get into a political frenzy in the comments. I tend to avoid that on my blog entirely, and if I was going to make some kind of real statement, you'd know it. Really,this is all in good fun and to give you a chuckle. I just think that these Obama buttons are hilarious. For the full spread (and trust me, there are many many more), click here. It's now official, no matter how Obama supporters choose to identify themselves, there is bound to be a button out there for them.

These are some of my favorites:




You can even choose to identify yourself by sign:




And for those whose votes REALLY count:



Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Teaching the Ideal

This is a post that I originally posted in August on another blog that I occasionally write on. I have heard several talks since then that have addressed the same issues. Just this past weekend at my parents' stake conference, Elder Marlin K. Jensen reminded those of us listening about the Savior's example as he taught the ideal. Christ said "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matt. 5:48). Our Savior realizes that the only way we can fulfill this commandment is through our constant acceptance of and reliance on the Atonement in our lives. We are not perfect, but the Savior knew of and set an example regarding the importance of teaching the ideal. Since my original post on this subject, these ideas have continued to be on my mind. I was hoping for a little more discussion and insight on the topic (I learn so much more when other people share their thoughts with me), so I decided that I would post it here as well. So, here goes...


My sister recently pointed me in the direction of a question and answer session at the BYU law school with Sister Julie Beck on March 7, 2008. As a fair warning, the video is pretty long (maybe 40min to an hour), and apparently you can't pause it, so I would make sure you actually have time to sit and watch it. Also, the sound is pretty bad, but if you keep with it until Sister Beck starts talking, you can get used to it; besides, her comments really are worth hearing.

In this session, Julie Beck addresses women in the law school at BYU. So, it should come as no surprise that many of the questions they posed to her had to do with working outside the home, careers, the conflict in some Relief Societies between mothers who have chosen to stay at home and mothers who are working or furthering their education, and the conflict some women feel as they strive to follow personal revelation and come up against judgment and criticism in and out of the home and workplace, whether they choose to stay at home or not.

There was also, perhaps not surprisingly, mention of the talk Sister Beck gave at General Conference in October of 2007, "Mothers Who Know", to which a number of Latter-Day Saint women (and men) reacted defensively. Despite any grumblings some might have initially experienced from that talk, I know in my heart that those words came from the Lord and that any problem I might have with some of those principles is in trying to reconcile the imperfect state of my life with an ideal model. Of course, the problem with this is that no one is perfect, everyone has different circumstances in their lives, and everyone can receive their own personal revelation about these matters from the Lord. Julie Beck knows this - she is not presenting a "cookie cutter model" as my sister points out, along with several other valid points, in her blog post on the subject. Sister Beck addressed this with the law students as well. In the church, we teach the ideal as something to strive for, to remind us of the things in our lives that are most important and then we let the exceptions follow, because there are many exceptions. Life happens. I have a dear friend who strives continually to be at home with her young son, but the current situations of her life prevent her from doing so. In fact, this is the case pretty much anywhere else in the world. Outside of the US, women work. That is part of life. That doesn't mean that those women no longer have the same responsibility to nurture and raise children in Christ. One of the points about this that Sister Beck brings up and is absolutely true is that no one can fulfill the role to have, raise and nurture our own children except for us. We cannot delegate it to someone else.

Sister Beck has mentioned this before in an address to young single adults:

"Some of you women are deciding now whether you should marry and have a family or choose a career. You are bright and qualified, and you have opportunities your grandmothers never dreamed of. The possibilities for earning credentials and making a mark for yourselves on the world stage have never been greater. But I hope you are making your decisions with the blessings of Abraham in mind. Latter-day Saint women should understand that no matter how many other people they enlist to help them with their home and children, they cannot delegate their role as the primary nurturer and teacher of their families. Righteous motherhood will always stretch every reserve they have to meet the needs of their families. As a daughter of God who has made covenants with Him, each of you carries the vital and indispensable female half of the responsibility for fulfilling the Lord’s plan. Each of you has the agency to prayerfully and humbly choose how to approach your career opportunities. Every choice has a consequence. You cannot have everything and do everything. You must choose with eternal priorities in mind. I would hope that you will understand that there are no glamorous careers. Every form of employment has its own innate challenges. Many choices available in the world today compete with eternal goals and responsibilities. Many choices could persuade you to delay or limit the number of children you invite into your family. Many choices could rob you of critical time and energy necessary to adequately care for your spouse, your children, and your responsibilities in the Lord’s kingdom. These decisions are between you and the Lord. He knows the desires of your heart and your unique situation."

So, we teach the ideal. This is very apparent if you think about the other principles we are taught in the church. Take for example, reading your scriptures daily. Now, in a perfect world we would all study intently every day from our scriptures without interruptions in a nice, quiet area of the house where we could pray and ponder on the deep doctrines therein. We would have family scripture study where all the little children sit and listen and participate in heartfelt, spiritual discussion (no matter their age) and everyone feels the spirit and testifies to each other about how wonderful the scriptures are. Well, this is just not reality most of the time! Most children will not thank their parents for continuing to persevere with scripture study until they are much older - when they are young, they just don't generally express those kinds of feelings. "Ah, mom, do we have to? Can't we skip it just for today?" might be closer to a typical response. I have a 17 month old son and the only way I get my scripture study in every day is to do it in the morning (because if I wait I get busy and then I get tired and then I fall asleep in the middle of the second verse I read). Well, my husband leaves for work early and so my scripture study usually consists of reading over breakfast while my little one throws his food on the floor, whines for my attention, or crawls all over me. I would have to say, that I absolutely love when he tries to imitate me by marking my scriptures for me. What a doll! If you have any fantasies about family scripture study, I would invite you to watch this video (this entire collection of documentaries from Fit for the Kingdom is wonderful because it brings the reality of everyday life as a member of the church to the fore while building testimony - none of us are alone in our struggles, even if we feel like we are). So does the reality of scripture study mean we shouldn't strive for the ideal, or the better part? Of course not! We consistently strive for the Spirit to be there in our scripture study because we are taught the ideal and we know of its importance, but that does not negate or belittle the actual experiences we have while studying the scriptures on a regular basis while we have kids running and screaming through the house, or are constantly interrupted.

Okay, so perhaps that seems a little off topic, but the truth of the matter is that we teach the ideal to strengthen us in remembering the things in this life that are of the most worth, that are truly important in the eternal scheme of things. I know that I am doing what the Lord wants me to do by pursuing my PhD. Do I completely understand why? Not really. Do I sometime feel guilty for enjoying myself at school? Sometimes, perhaps, but that is my own weakness, and I get to have faith that the Lord will make a way for me to go to school and to fulfill my responsibilities as a wife and mother. I often realize that it is okay to enjoy myself in my scholarly endeavors. In fact, it makes me better at them! At the same time, I know without a doubt that the absolutely most important thing in my life is my family and I am constantly on guard against the things in my life that pull me away from my husband, child and home. Is my house always clean and optimally inviting to the Spirit of the Lord? Hmm... no, no it is not. But does that mean that I should worry about justifying why my house is not "perfect", cease to consistently strive to make my home a place where the Spirit can dwell, and cease to do the best I can to create a spiritual haven for my family? Of course not. Why is it that we women consistently put down the work that we do in our homes that brings the Spirit, feeds and clothes our children, and makes our homes a place where we can truly and lovingly teach the gospel of Jesus Christ by example to those who are most dear to us?

So we get to the heart of the matter. Whether or not we work outside of our homes, the most important things we do are within those walls (take, for example, the little angel above). Sister Beck is absolutely right when she says that no matter what your choices, there is never enough woman to go around. And she has been there! She is an educated, professional woman too! She has stayed at home and she has worked outside of it. As have many of the women on the General Relief Society Board. Where did I, or anyone else for that matter (perhaps it is just me), ever get the idea that women in the General Presidencies are the perfect homemakers who never work, keep their homes tidy at all times, serve in every possible capacity, are always immediately there for their children, husbands, parents, neighbors, friends, strangers? Where did I get the idea that they are perfect? Hello! None of us are. There is the ideal in the principles we are taught, and then there is how we live our lives to the best of our ability in the face of the experiences that naturally are a part of this mortal existence. As Sister Beck mentioned at the law school, we should take each opportunity into account as it comes along into our lives, prayerfully consider our choices, and choose day to day with our eternal perspective in mind.

Okay, so there is so much more I could say, but I am going to stop there.

**As a side note, I have recently discovered that humming the theme song to Indiana Jones really does make cleaning the bathroom way more fun - don't believe me? You try it and see how long you can go without feeling incredibly adventurous or laughing hysterically! Never underestimate the power of music. :) "Dun da dun dunnnn, dun da dunnnnnn, dun da dun dunnnnnnnnn, dun da dun dun dun! Dun da dun dunnnnnn, dun da dunnnnnnnn, dun da daaaa da da daaaaa da da daaaa da da daaaaaaa dun da dunnnnn."

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Twilight Series




Well, after hearing so much about the Twilight Series, as well as attending a Twilight party without ever having read the books, I decided that I was going to form my own opinion by breaking down to see what everyone is talking about. Besides, a good friend of mine gave me a Twilight visor that she embroidered and that I love wearing. If I'm going to be wearing an item of Twilight publicity, I figure I really should read it first. I should be clear that I had heard wonderful things about the Twilight books, as well as horrible things, as well as opinions that hung out somewhere in the middle, so I felt that the whole reading experience could go in any direction. In the end, there were things I really liked and didn't like, but on the whole I liked the story. For one, it was nice to take a break from the reading to which I am accustomed (being in graduate school) to read something light, quick, and entertaining. Besides, I am a sucker for a love story and I do enjoy a variety of novels for young readers. Most of all, I think that this book appealed to the somewhat twisted fantasies of my Dracula-loving teenage years when I used to think that it would be so cool to fall in love with a vampire (and even cooler to be a vampire and spend eternity with said vampire). Then there's just the idea that everything that we do, no matter our nature/deepest desires, is a choice. That was one thing I really liked about the books. That no matter how much someone may desire (even overwhelmingly) to do something he or she feels is wrong, even when he or she feels that something is an intrinsic part of his or her essential nature, that someone can always choose something different, something better, and the rewards of the better choice long outlast and are far more rewarding than the temporary satisfaction of giving in.

That being said, at times I didn't feel that the writing itself was very good; there were a lot of pretty cheesy moments and some parts of the story kind of dropped off by the end into no man's land. There were also some quite macabre and disturbing parts to the storyline, and some of the story/characters were just downright irritable. Yet, I couldn't put the books down, so there you have it. I actually got very wrapped up in it, feeling like I was there in Forks sharing Bella's experiences. I really liked the fact that Meyer leaves a lot to your imagination, giving you just enough description to get you going on your own mental picture of the events. Plus, the story is very relatable. There were so many times when I thought, "Gee, I've felt exactly like that before," and I feel that to have that effect when you're writing about vampires, werewolves and things that go bump in the night is a pretty good sign that you're doing something right.

The relationship between human and vampire I pondered over a lot because it is pretty messed up and downright unhealthy if you think about it; he wants to kill her, but loves her, she only sees the good in him and wants to be with him forever, despite the whole thing about him wanting to kill her all the time. Still, I was cheering for them to end up together from the beginning. Meyer made immortality just way too desirable. I wouldn't mind being a vampire myself at this point. I mean, who doesn't want to look like a supermodel while also being able to leap over rivers, bound through the forest and have superhuman strength? Of course, the whole blood drinking thing kind of spoils the perks to some extent. So, there you have it. I truly can see why some of the people who really didn't like it feel the way they do, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It was entertaining and Meyer was able to redeem some of the more disappointing aspects of the story by the end.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Considering the name of my blog, I feel it is only appropriate that I include a book once in awhile. Hooray for the first.

For years I have said that The Picture of Dorian Gray is one of my favorite books, but I hadn't read it in about 10 years until this month. Luckily, book group decided they wanted to read it too, which gave me an excellent excuse to sit down and decide why it was that I liked this book so much in the first place. Now there are a number of things that people could point out as reasons not to like it, including the incredibly slow beginning, quite disturbing descriptions of opium dens and some homosexual overtones (Oscar Wilde was gay, so this should, to some extent, come as no surprise), but once I got past the first 40 or so pages, I began to remember why I picked this book as one of my favorites early on. In fact, I could hardly put it down. For book group, this is a great choice because it stimulates so much discussion. For me personally, the mere fact that it gets me thinking about agency, redemption, the plan of salvation, and other important aspects of the gospel of Jesus Christ is enough to make it a great read in my book. I think the thing about the story that is the most poignant for me is how we choose our own destiny, and how the choices that we make ultimately determine our character, so much so that after numerous choices in one direction or another it becomes increasingly more difficult to choose those things which have at that moment become contrary to our very nature. How do we react when confronted with truth about ourselves? Are we defensive? Do we justify our actions? Which voices of influence do we heed? Do we allow ourselves to shrug off our sins? Or do we face them, realizing what we've done and being accountable for our actions? Do we know from what source our redemption comes? And then, of course, one may ask the question, what would my portrait look like? If I could see the state of my own soul before my eyes as clear as day, with my sins etched across my face and hands, what would I see? Alas the very sad thing about this book is how redemption is passed up again and again... but you may just have to read it to find out more than that. I love the scripture given in part by Basil, the artist of the portrait: "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." ~Isaiah 1:18

Monday, August 04, 2008

Fun with Thunder and Lightning


So, this is the storm that just went by. It was pretty intense. I haven't been that concerned about weather since one particular storm on my mission when my companion and I got stuck in the rain in the city with green skies, wind, lightning and rain. We decided it was best to go home for the evening and wait out the storm, but it took us quite a while to get home as moving about in the storm was really difficult. We finally ended up watching more of the lightning from our apartment when we got back and tried in vain to take several pictures. It was the kind of lightning that just reaches all the way across the sky.

Anyway, I mostly just wanted to show the radar and record the moment since it was Hunter's first really nasty storm. I mean we have thunderstorms here all the time and they turn on the tornado sirens occasionally, but this was the first time it actually felt dangerous. They had the tornado sirens on all around us, even in downtown, which rarely happens, and there were apparently tornadoes on the ground west of us heading east. It was a very fast moving storm, so we went downstairs to hang out with our friends the Olivers for a bit while it blew through. The weather changed incredibly fast from pretty peaceful to so windy and rainy you could hardly see the street. The lightning show that this thing put on was unbelievable. It reminded me of being a kid and watching electrical storms through the sliding glass doors at our house in Oklahoma City.

I love watching lightning, so after the major threat passed, we watched from our living room in awe and tried to teach Hunter the signs for lightning and thunder since we had him out of bed anyway. He loved watching the lights and kept saying "Wow!" Wow indeed. Well, it was brief and it has now moved south and east of us and it continues to grow, which I'm sure means that we will be hearing bad news in the morning about what it might have left in its wake. Here is a video of Hunter watching the lightning with mommy after we had come back upstairs. It is mostly dark, except for the lightning, but there is a really amazing lightning strike right in the middle of it, and of course, Hunter is being his cute little self - not scared at all, just taking it all in.

video

Alright, so it is now Tuesday, August 5th, and I decided to post some photos of the storm, which were sent in to the Chicago Tribune from Chicagoland residents.




If you'd like to see some more really good photos that I couldn't import, go to NBC 5 News Chicago. Tornadoes were confirmed in last night's storm, and there was quite a bit of damage. Lots and lots of trees were downed all over the city, including in our neighborhood and water leaked into part of the stairwell of the Oriental Institute, resulting in a good sized hole and lots of water on the main stairway.

Monday, July 07, 2008

The 1978 Revelation on the Priesthood

June 8th, 2008 was the 30th anniversary of the revelation extending the priesthood to every worthy male member of the church. As part of the commemoration, the church showed this video, parts of which were filmed in my ward in Hyde Park, Chicago, IL (If you watch, you'll see Hunter and me in it). Cathy Stokes is featured prominently in the video. She was a member of our ward until she moved to Salt Lake City to work with the church on Family History, and she was the best ward music coordinator/conductor that I have ever seen. She would always have us sing with gusto (all the verses of course)! I looked forward to it every week and it reminded me why we sing the hymns in the first place. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to live where I do, to experience a small part of the infinite diversity among our Heavenly Father's children and to feel the immense amount of love he has for all of us. I am blessed to know and love the saints here in Chicago and to see them enjoying the blessings of the priesthood in their lives. I know that I am infinitely grateful for the blessings the Priesthood has brought into my life. So, without further ado:

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Monkey in the Family

I have gotten so tired of people asking: "So Hunter's walking now?" "Is he walking yet?" "He is walking isn't he?"

No! No, he's not walking! And that is perfectly okay. I rather enjoy not having to chase him all over the place yet (Although, as the title to this post may suggest, I think my days of not having to worry about that may be ending in an unexpected way). Keeping up with his super crawler speed is perfectly alright with me. At first when people started asking, I started to worry that there was something actually wrong, especially since some people followed up my reply with a "Really?! Huh, well, hopefully everything's okay..." (give me a break here - I'm pretty laid back for the most part, but sometimes that nervous first time mother takes over). Then I realized that he really just has no interest in it. He can do it - he's done it essentially on his own already several times (he likes to hold my pant leg or finger, but he's really doing all the work). But, for the most part, he is just content to transport himself around in other ways. For instance, he's what I call a "knee-walker", and the way he looks when he's doing it reminds me of Johnny 5 (I realize I may be dating myself here) or Wall-E in that new Pixar movie.





I mean, look at this photo and tell me you don't see the similarity (granted, those robots have nothing on my cute little man's adorableness!):

He will sit on his knees, just like this all the time, and then, when he wants to go somewhere, he just starts walking along on his knees, just like that. Look ma! No hands! It has to be one of the cutest things I have ever seen. I figured that when he wanted to carry things with him like his milk or the telephone, he would learn to walk, but knee-walking gives him the use of his hands and fulfills his need to carry something and move at the same time. Overall it seems to be a very useful form of transportation for him. Needless to say, I am relieved it is summertime since he had just worn out the knees in the only pair of jeans I had for him, and was working on holes in most of his other pants.

Well, speaking of getting around he also likes to climb... and climb... and climb. I thought this was incredibly fun and exciting when he first learned to get up on the couch and the ottoman all by himself. See, here he is on the couch enjoying his other favorite pastime, talking on the phone (and while we're on the subject, he really does talk by the way - most of the time it sounds like he is saying "hi", "wow" and "pickle" intermixed with goos, gaas and raspberries. His expressions are great too - he looks so serious when he's listening!).

Anyway, as I said before, I thought the climbing was adorable at first. That was until I realized that Hunter really does love to climb - as high as he can go. His amazing flexibility, nimble little body and incredible strength are incredibly useful to him in his climbing endeavors. Sometimes I really do believe that he is made of rubber. Here is one of his new climbing places:


He stood up there for about six or seven minutes before attempting to get up onto the very top of the armchair, which I wasn't about to allow. I mean, the armchair rocks for goodness sake! Does that deter him - hmm... no, no it does not. Well, today being the first day that he actually climbed up on my desk all by himself, I felt I should write about the moment. Not only did he get up on the desk by himself, but he quickly headed for the bookcase on my desk as if he was going to figure out a way to get up that too. This development takes me into a whole new realm of baby proofing. I'm not even quite sure what the next steps should be. Of course, now that he knows he can climb up to high places, that is pretty much all he wants to do. Who needs to walk when you can climb?! I think all those bananas are nourishing my little guy's inner monkey.