Friday, February 23, 2007

It's the thought that counts?

Yesterday I was hanging out with Cam and Mark when there was a knock on the door. We opened it to find my Father in Law bearing a gift for me. We couldn't figure out what this was for and so we asked. FIL said it was for my birthday. Now that's sweet and all, but my birthday isn't until September! And they've always given me the gift then. Mark and I were baffled and couldn't figure out how they got the date wrong this year. We wracked our brains trying to figure out who they might have confused my birth date with. And then it hit me because I can remember useless dates like none other. Mark's ex wife has a birthday in February right around this time. Yup, MIL, in a state of sickness, confused my real birthday with the ex's birthday. It's the thought that counts right?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

My Life Monday - Late again

I'm sorry I am late in getting this up. Life has been busy and with a three day weekend, I lose all track of time.

I've had several growing experiences, like most of us. I've talked about some before such as infertility to a degree. Today I want to focus on one as a teenager which shaped much of my religious and personal beliefs and I feel, to a degree, shaped my future.
When a junior in high school, I had two sets of friends. One was my really good LDS friends who shared my same beliefs. The other were good people, but ones who liked to drink and such. I got involved with the second group because my on-again off-again boyfriend of the time liked to party and I wanted to be with him. I felt I was walking the fine line of both groups pretty well.

Although I never drank at parties, I went to drive my friends home safely. And although I was seen at parties, I was sure everybody knew I was still a good girl who lived her religious values.

As time went on, the line between my two lives became blurrier. As a result, I wasn't sure which way to go anymore with my life. I felt I had to make a decision - stay with my friends who were good people, but not living the best lives, or stay with my friends who shared my convictions.

In February of my junior year, something happened which compelled me to make a choice. While out skiing one weekend, a friend of mine was in a skiing accident and lost his life. I had my grandpa die before this, but had never been touched by the death of a peer until this moment. His death made me realize how fragile life can be. I realized I could die at any moment too and I questioned what sort of life, and person, I wanted to be. What kind of legacy did I want to leave behind? What kind of person did I want to be remebered as?

I decided I had to cut it off with my partying friends. While good people, that was not the lifestyle I wanted for myself. No matter how many times I told myself I was being a good friend by driving them home or that it didn't rub off on me, I wasn't being true to myself and what I held dear. I wanted to be known as a person of strong beliefs, who stands up for those beliefs. So I stopped spending time with those friends in order to become the person I wanted to be.

It was a very hard thing to do. My LDS friends welcomed me back with open arms, but there were a lot of shadows of doubt. My old friends couldn't understand my reasoning. And I had a hard time breaking away from the on-again, off-again boyfriend.

It took a year to recover from the choices I made, to recover my image, and the trust of many people. I still miss those old friends and wonder if I handled it in the right way. They were good people, but not the kind of life I wanted to live. I often think of those friends and would like to explain myself to them now when maybe we could see more clearly the reasons.

This experience was growing in that after this, I always chose friends who believed what I did and encouraged me to be a better person. I never again questioned my religious convictions (well, up to the infertility I should say, which questioned them in a different way). It really shaped my future and I believe my life has been forever changed by that decision all those years ago.

Share your link below if you participated, even if it's late. Next week's topic (and I will be on time with it) - Food likes and dislikes. I want to hear about all the strange things you either really love or really hate.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The artist formerly known as Mom

I take great pride in the fact that the first word Camden said was "Ma." It should have been his first word, considering how I drilled it into his tiny baby head. While Dad was naively at work, I was at home saying the word "Momma" over and over again hoping Cam would pick up on it. After all, wasn't it my right to have that be his first word after carrying him in my body for 9 months and for then spending an hour and a half trying to push his huge noggin out? I was well rewarded for all my efforts as "Ma" was his first word, which gradually evolved into "Momma."

It caused no small amount of distress for Mark that Camden didn't say "Dada" for the longest time. Camden would call my parental name again and again, but Daddy was left out in the cold. Feeling sorry for poor Mark, I worked on getting Camden to say "Dada." After a few months, he decided to add that to his vocabulary as well and life was good. Although Camden didn't call us by name often, the fact that he could call both of us by a proper name was a time of rejoicing for us.

Over the past few months, Camden has had a HUGE language explosion in both sign and speaking. And I was thrilled when somewhere along the line he learned to sign Mom and Dad, as well as say those words. But I've noticed over the past few weeks that something got lost. Apparently, Camden decided it was too much effort to call both of his parents by a separate name. Why have two names when one was good enough? It was just too much extra effort to keep two names for such seemingly interchangeable people. And can you guess which name he decided to drop? Yup, the one near and dear to my heart - "Momma."

I'm not sure when it happened, but I've noticed over the past few weeks that he says and signs "Daddy" repeatedly. Yes, he's even upgraded to the word "Daddy" for this. He does it when Mark is at work, when Mark is at home, when we're all together as a family. And at first I thought he was just stuck on Dad, which is ok. But then I realized he was using it to refer to both of us. I come out to pick him up from day care? He signs and yells "Daddy." He comes to see me at work? "Daddy" again. Mark will be at work and Camden will wander around the house shouting "Dad", "Dad", "Dad" until he finds me and then he stops.

Mark's noticed it too. I think he's secretly gloating in it, like I did when Camden first said "Ma," but he pretends to feel badly for me and tries to encourage the use of Mommy. We both try to get Camden to say "Momma" again or to even sign it again, but he just looks at us like we're crazy.

It's getting a little confusing to figure out who Camden wants. Does he want Daddy-Daddy this time around or Mommy-Daddy? He can fall, stand up crying, say "Daddy Daddy" over and over again, but run to me for comfort and reject Mark. We can both be sitting on the couch and Cam will want to play, come up asking for "Daddy", and grab Mark by the hand and reject me. So I'm never quite sure when Mommy-Daddy should come to the rescue, unless of course, Mark is at work. Even then, it could still mean Camden just misses Daddy and really doesn't want me when he's calling Daddy's name.

I hope I get my own name back one day. But until then, you can call me the artist formerly known as "Mom."

Monday, February 12, 2007

My Life Monday - Somebody I love

Maybe I should do something creative for the somebody I love topic, but a cold has set in and my creativity has been sapped. Besides, I love talking about the two big loves of my life - My husband and my son. So what that I've done it before? Today I'll do it in pictures.

This is seriously one of my all time favorite pictures of my boys together. I love the look of tenderness in Mark's eyes and he looks at Cam. I love how much he loves our son. He is an awesome father and husband. I am grateful every day of my life that he is mine.

This just shows the playful nature of my two boys together. Mark will always be the kind willing to lift his child up - either physically for a better look or in so many other ways. He lifts me up to new heights and inspires me to be a better person.

Again, I just love watching Mark with Cam. There is nothing sexier than a good father. And indulging in one of my favorite pastimes of reading. Look at that tender smile!

My two handsome boys! Both so special to me in so many ways. My life would not be complete without them.

I love you both!

Leave your link below and I will check your site out. Next week's topic - A growing experience. Share with us something that helped you grow in your life, whether good or bad.

Monday, February 05, 2007

My Life Monday - Pet Peeves

I'm really looking forward to reading your post today! Pet Peeves can be so funny sometimes. So share and then leave your link below!

#1 - Mispronouncing or misspelling my name. It's Rachelle, pronounced Ra-shell. Not Rachel or Raquel.

#2 - Flyer's and other things left on my car. If you leave it on my car, I can guarantee you are not getting my business.

#3 - Creative spellings for kids or business names. I'm not taking my child to a place called Kiddie Kuts or something else equally ridiculous. And please do not spell a nice name like Emily in this manner - EmmaLeigh.

#4 - Forwarded emails! A simple annoyance, but it drives me crazy, especially if that is all they send. I delete without reading and if that's all a person sends, I block them (like my in laws). If you want to write me a message, great, but please don't just send me one forward after another.

#5 - Lights on when I am trying to sleep. Seriously, I don't sleep well with lights on. Thankfully Mark makes it really dark if he is going to stay up later than me.

#6 - Feeling obligated to answer the phone. I'm not a big phone person. I pick up if I want to talk, otherwise I let the machine get it. Some people get irritated by that because they hear it ringing and I ignore it. I just remind them that just because it rings does not mean I have to answer it.

So those are a few of my pet peeves. Share yours too and leave your link. Next week's topic - Somebody you love. Since it's Valentines next week, highlight somebody you love and care about (doesn't have to be a spouse).