Identification Please

It is interesting as we go through life we identify ourselves differently. 
        When we were in high school it was "I'm in ASB, I'm in band, I am a football, basketball, baseball player."  By identifying yourself you naturally fell in with a certain group of people.  If you were involved with many things you could move from one group to another and still have something in common with your peers. 
         When you move to college you identify yourself with your major.  The classes of majors are usually grouped close together.  You run into those people over and over again.  Same teachers. etc.  You have stuff to talk about because you all are going through the same thing.
       When you get married you start to identify yourself, in a woman's case, with a new last name.  This new last name and joining the ranks of the married folk can be difficult for young women.  Some older women do not know how to relate to the younger set.  What are they to talk about?  They all have kids.  What are you to talk about?  Many don't have an outside job.  Their kids are their job.  Talk about the men ladies.  Ya'll got one of those. 
       When you get pregnant you identify yourself by how far along you are.  People will open up and share horror stories with you if you are in your third trimester.  Watch out!  Then the child comes and you start to identify yourself by your child's age.  "Oh, I have a 13 month old and a 3 year old."
        As mothers, we naturally identify ourselves by our children.  I have gone through all these stages and found none of them to be surprising or weird.... until PTA.
        Oh, PTA is a different beast my friends and they identify themselves in a whole different way.  At the first PTA meeting we had to stand up and say our names, what committee we were on (I had yet to join one) and what grades our children were in/how many children we had.  Seriously, it is hard enough to keep track of how old my kids are now I have to announce their grade?  I sat there, waiting for my turn, rehearsing what I was going to say.  Oop!  I'm next: "Hi, I'm Rachel Wattson and I am not yet on a committee but I am here to help whoever needs it.  My children are in second grade and kindergarten."  I sit down.  Did you see my first fail?  I forgot to include that I had a third child!  Way to go me.  Anyway, it was over.  I wouldn't have to announce that again and if anyone remembered what I said and saw me with my 15 month old they could figure it out.  Fast forward a month later at the Book Fair I am helping with.  First off, I was not acknowledged by anyone in casual conversation.  Most likely because I did not have the chance to introduce myself when I got there.  The second day I came to help was not as crazy and during a lull I say "By the way, I'm Rachel." 
"Oh, hi, Sandy 5th."  In my head I am thinking excuse me?  Then I realize she is identifying herself by name and her student's grade.  Okayyyyy.  So I guess this is a regular thing then huh?



He's one!  I have come to the conclusion that the more children I have the faster that first year flies past.  It feels like only yesterday that I was nursing him and praying for more than 4 hours of sleep.  So, here is to year number one my little Charlie man!  I love your smile, your laugh, and your budding personality.  Your sweet chubby feet and thighs make me smile.  I love how you walk around the house quacking like a duck and think it will get you out of trouble when you are suppose to be sleeping.  It usually does.  Happy birthday son:)!


Oedipus Complex

Remember learning the greek tragedy in school?  About a king and a queen that have a baby.  An oracle or something tells that in the baby's future it will kill it's father and marry its mother.  So the king and queen do what any parent would do.  Send the baby out to die and to be sure it doesn't go anywhere they nail it's feet together at the ankles.  OUCH.  Long story short: baby found.  Grows up strong, happens to slay the king (his real dad) and marry the queen (his real mom).  I could tell the tragic part of the story, as if this first part isn't tragic enough, but the point is there is now a complex named after this greek character.
The Oedipus Complex is when a son is attracted to his mother.  Every boy goes through it.
 "I am going to marry mommy!"
"Mommy, you are the prettiest girl in the world!"
And so it goes.  Usually kids grow out of this around 6 or 7.  My son Ollie is still in it, pretty bad too.

We were playing the game life tonight and Ollie and I were a team.  The first thing Ollie says is "We are going to get MARRIED!"  He was super excited about it.  We got to the space and got hitched.  After which my 5 year old was as handsy as a horny first date.  He kept kissing me, hugging me, patting my back, and touching me in anyway he could the whole game.  At one point he laid his hand on my knee.  Hey there boy, gettin' fresh.  I must say, by the end of the game I was almost uncomfortable.  I kept telling him to cool it but he kept coming.  This makes me worry about his dating future.

I hope he learns to take no for an answer and he needs to learn that it's only a game not for realziez!  HAhaha!  I love my sweet affectionate boy but I am going to be on Frank's team next time.



I was driving in my car on the way home from errands today when I had a flashback.  I was thinking of when I worked at ColdStone Creamery right next to the Edwards Cinema in San Marcos.  You know, back in the year 2000 when it was a fun place.  People came in, created something great, and when they gave us a tip we sang.
One Saturday night I was working there with six other people, two of those were mormon.  Jeff Burns and Sean Chapman.  Cliff Barnum, a member of our church came up to Sean and said,"I'll give you five bucks if you sing "I am A Child of God.""
I am down the line helping another customer when I hear "TIP!"  That means we are about to sing.  Then I hear Sean start singing this primary song.  Jeff and I join in and we sing the whole first verse as the we continue to work.  The place was packed and here we were just singing away.  We finished the song and two minutes later another lady, one we didn't know, made her way up to the tip jar and put in a dollar "I want to hear that song again," she said.  Once again we sang.  I loved working at ColdStone.


Engineer vs Imagineer

Frank is my literal, unimaginative child.  My sister took him to a playground once and said " Let's pretend the sand is lava!"  Frankie replys "but it's not lava.  It's sand."
"I know," says Heidi "but let's pretend. "
"But it's sand." Frank retorts.
Ollie, on the other hand, is extremely imaginative.  He is always showing me his "animals", making his stuffed animals come to life, and telling me stories.  Did you know Darth Mal is part rhino?  That is why he has horns. 
Last night, I played build a story with the boys.  We start with a character and setting then add a few sentences about what is going on.  I started then tossed the ball to Frank for his turn.  Jack, our character, was on the moon.  Frank says "and he flew home."  He passes the ball to Ollie.  Ollie says " he likes being home and plays with his toys."  Ball to me:  Jack decides he wants to fly again so he builds a rocket.  Ball to Frank:  and flies to outerspace.  Ball to Ollie: And he flies to Mars!  Then he meets an alien!  The alien says to watch out for the captain alien cuz he's mean but all the other aliens are nice.....
As you can see Ollie caught on pretty quick.  The next story we did poor Frank kept ending the story with his turn.  After a few revivals he gave up and didn't I know what to say.  Ollie kept giving his suggestions.  Seeing this happen last night I know Frank will need to exercise his imagination a bit.  I can see both boys as adults.  Ollie will think up crazy things to build and Frank will be able to use concrete materials to build them all.  Thus, my engineer and imagineer.


Living in the moment

Sometimes, as a mother, I worry too much about maintaining my children instead of being with them.  I make sure laundry is clean,  dishes are done, chores are completed, homework is taken care of.  I drive them here, shop for groceries.  Drive them there, shop for groceries.  Pick them up, drop them off, shop for groceries.  Notice a pattern?
I decided awhile ago that I needed to be a little more in the moment with my kids so everyday I try to do something a little out of the ordinary, surprising, or just plain irresponsible.
Yesterday the boys and I listened and danced to Michael Jackson while setting the table.  We may or may not have continued to dance during dinner.
It's the little things like that I know my kids will remember most.  So,  go ahead.  Ignore the laundry and read your kids two or three books tonight at bed time.  Don't forget to do the voices:)


Taking a leap!

I am not one to put myself out there when it comes to my art.  Singing, no problem.  For some reason when I am given a chance to submit a photography piece for something I bow out.  I do this alot!  I have displayed once and was frustrated with the fact that people did not understand what I was trying to communicate.  I did the bridal phrase "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue." with four seperate images.  Though I felt it was obvious not as many people got it as I had hoped.  That isn't the issue though. The big issue is I fear rejection.  I fear people looking at it and saying, "meh, it's ok."  I don't mind my peers constructive criticism.  I mind the girl-next-door not liking it.  I don't know why this is.  You are never going to please everyone.
Well, no more.  I have submitted four art pieces to choose from and one or two might be selected to be show cases sometime in June at a local gallery.  What???  Here is what I sent in.

Sea Ranch Northern California: The North Shore

La Jolla Shores: Alone but not Lonely

San Diego Zoo Hippo Exhibit: Coming up for Air

Kellogg Park: Free
 Even if I don't have a shot in Hades I tried.


I can do that

That is the phrase I use all too often when I see something cute to buy.  I look at it, mull over the components and the skill used to make it and think "I can do that."  Consequently, I do not buy the item and I continue to think about making one.  Sometimes I even go as far as buying the materials for making something and then it just sits there.  I need to join "projects anaynomous".  You know, a group of us would sit around and applaud each other for actually buying something than trying to make it.  I can see it now.
A room full of women and some DIY home improvement guys too.  Sitting in a circle.  Barbara stands.
"I saw these cute curtains in Target today.  Instead of going online to find similar fabric to purchase and sew, only to have it arrive and have no drive to actually complete the project I BOUGHT the curtains."
(Polite applause)
"The best part was, I found a 15% off coupon on my smart phone while I was standing in line for check out!"
(more enthusiastic applause)
"Thank you!  It's been a long road.  It has now been 2 weeks since my last unfinished project.  I feel good."
Now that you have gotten a peek inside my mind allow me to explain.  I love making things, I do!  I love taking on a project and creating a finished project out of raw materials.  I am also coming to realize that with three kids, one of them being a baby under a year, I just don't have time right now.  So, I will put my creative hat on the shelf for a while, avoid pintrest like the plague, and feel good about buying things that I don't have time to make.


Real Canadians

Oliver is my boy with an imagination.  He loves telling stories and playing pretend.  One night he was running around the house in his pjs with a rubber band around his head like a sweat band.  Then he added a cape to this costume.  "I am Oliven the Strong," he proclaimed.
"Oh, hello, Oliven." I replied.
"I am a strong Canadian," he continued.  "Strong canadians wear king rubbers like these." He said as he pointed to the rubber band cutting off the circulation around his forehead.  Oh this kid cracks me up!

Thursday night of last week we had the sister missionaries over for dinner.  Both were new to our ward so we asked the usual questions like: "where are you from, how many brothers and sisters, etc."
One of the sisters happened to be from Canada.
"Ollie," I said "she's a Canadian."
Ollie looked at her unimpressed.  He said"Oh." and nothing more.  Apparently, she was not what Canadians were suppose to look like.  I think he was expecting more of a viking type?

Maybe if the sister had come over dressed like this?------------------>
Then again, maybe not.


Entertain me!

Does anyone else get on their blog and start trolling other peoples blogs looking for something to entertain?  I find myself getting on my blog, which I haven't written on in weeks, going down my list of blogs I follow and looking for something to read.  I almost get annoyed when there is nothing new there.  Curses!  Everyone else has been too busy to write something for my enjoyment.  It doesn't take that long... really.
How funny is it that I depend on others to dish about what is going on in their world when I haven't been writing about mine?  This doesn't mean I am going to change.  Making promises I can't keep is a habit I am trying to break.  I can't promise that I will faithfully write everyday, or even every week.  I can't guarantee that I will document important stages or moments in my children's lives.  I make no promises!  Ha!  It feels amazing to have no accountability.  What I can say is this: taking time to sit down and read what you have to say and show is enjoyable so in the future I will attempt to reciprocate with something enjoyable as well on no regular basis.

Quick family update for you: In January, Frank broke his arm, Ollie got road rash on his face, and Charlie is starting to sleep through the night.  Jesse is in the fire academy and I am trying to keep up with 4 hungry males in the house while getting my photography business rolling again.  Now go take on the day.


Proper Etiquette

This has been a question I have been mulling around for a while and I figure I might as well throw it out there.  In today's world of social networking, constantly being updated on what is going on in others lives how do you go about face to face interaction?  This may seem like a weird question but allow me to give an example or two.
          I was recently at a wedding of a childhood friend.  While there, I met up with many people I hadn't seen (in person) for years but I had seen via facebook just yesterday.  I kind of picked up like we had just talked a week ago and dove into a conversation about how their son was doing etc.  Is that rude?  Do I still have to do the whole: "Oh my gosh, I haven't seen you in like forever!  Please update me on the last eight years!" shpeel?  I would rather give them a hug and say "Hi, nice to see you in person... how did that thing turn out with your daughter?"  Is that wrong?
         Another example of cyber closeness turning into possibly awkward moment.  When I was at the temple I saw a friend of mine and his wife.  His wife, I had never physically met but I have read her blog and commented several times.  I would say we are cyber pals so I didn't feel weird making eye contact and waving hi.  I went over to them and being the person that I am I gave her a hug hello as well as him and chatted a while.  Now, with her in particular, I felt that I could do that but I thought later..."what is appropriate when cyber friends meet?  Is it like a weird first date kind of thing where you don't know wether to shake hands, high five, or hug?  Or, is it a case by case basis?  Hmmm.  What are your thoughts?  BTW, Sheena if you read this: we are totally friends for real now;)


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