Friday, December 26, 2008

Gone to the Dark Side

Although I am still in love with my Ergo baby carrier, I was wanting something a little less heavy duty for just here around the house. Wearing the Ergo at home is kind of like wearing a prom dress to McDonald's.

So...I did it...I crossed to the dark side and bought a sling, something I didn't think I'd ever do.

But...I didn't buy one for some obscene amount of money - I could never justify paying 100 bucks (or more) for a piece of fabric. It went against my inner cheapness, and believe me, I'm cheap! I also just never had a use for it, I honestly didn't want to wear my kid.

I was perusing Etsy (never a good idea if you don't want to instantly spend money on cute adorable goods) when I saw this shop selling slings for $30-35 and custom fit just for YOU!

I ordered it last Friday and got it today, so the turn around was awesome and it fit perfectly. I got the black and white one in case you were wondering. She has a few different styles.

With my first kiddo, I wasn't a sling mom, but now that I have two, Corbin really needs extra time with Mom since Hayden is more demanding. The sling lets me achieve that without sacrificing even more precious time. Now, instead of Corbin chillin' alone in the swing or bouncer, he's hangin' with Mom around the house - and he loves it!

I can cook dinner (to a point), clean, and just do things that require two hands. The hip carry rocks my world, and although the Ergo carrier can be done on the side too, it's just a bit bulky for home use. However, the Ergo is still unbeatable for longer wearing, so I'm never letting it go!

If you're thinking about a sling, I'd definitely recommend checking these out!

Christmas Carnage

It's over.

My kids have way too many toys.

What do I do with it all?

Things they don't need.

We have so much already.

To be free of it all.

To be able to watch him love only a few cherished toys.

To simplify.

To detox from the materialism of it all.

Losing the "desire" and craving for things.

Gaining the desire for "the things of God".

The hate of money.

What have we done to Christmas?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Truly Holy Night

O Holy Night!
The stars are brightly shining, it is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!

O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O'er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

**Image by darkpatator (Flickr)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Trail of Lights

Ok fellow central texans, today's the last day to see the Trail of Lights! We're going tonight if you need a reason to go! HA!

Friday, December 19, 2008

OH!

And Happy Birthday!!! (You know who you are)

Fashion Show!

So when my mom came to visit last month she brought to GIANT bins of clothes with her. Clothes that don't fit her any more or are (as she puts it) too young for her.

I took out everything that I wanted (that fit) and am still left with piles and piles of clothes. Some are really cute. Some look like something my mother would wear.

But here's the deal. Minus dropping this all off to good will, I want to find good homes for all this cute stuff! That's where my local buds come in.

I'm going to post a few pics at a time and if you like (or think you're mom might like them) let me know and I'll drop them off to you (of course you must live around here, haha).

The sizes range from Small-Large and 8-10s. Just to give you an idea, my mom is about 5'5" and was probably around 120-150 lbs when these clothes were getting use. Oh and some of them are brand new!! Tags still on!!

And did I say FREE CLOTHES!! Don't forget your mom or aunt too, cause I know these clothes aren't "the latest" style or what not, but they are really nice brands and well made.

Okay, so here go the pics! I think each day I'll put up about 9 or 10 - but there are tons! If no one wants them, I'm good willing them at the end of each week (as in next Friday) so let me know if you want one!


this sweater is REALLY soft and a "Small" - bah! too little for me

This is size 8
Size 8 pants, but they are stretch. Not really my style, but to each his own!
Size small
Medium
Large
Large
Large
My mom cut the size tag out of this one, but maybe a medium or large?

Less than Perfect

Today Hayden helped me sort clothes before I did laundry. But first, I had to get over my perfectionist ways.

He may not have put the clothes exactly on the pile.
He may not have understood the difference between the "whites to be bleached" pile and the normal "whites".
And he may have wanted to "sort" the already sorted clothes piles.

But the look of satisfaction on his little face after he "helped" was worth the imperfection of the process.

If I can just learn to let go and that he won't do it "exactly" like I show him, I will really be able to enjoy this age.

Ch Ch Ch Changes....

Having kids does things to you...besides changing your ability to sleep.

Is it just me or are all those female things different?

Before you get all freaked out, whatever you're thinking I'm not going there.

I'm just saying, I used to laugh at those women who would say "I can tell when I'm ovulating." I was like, uh ok nutball.

But, now, I too am a nutball...I can totally tell! But not until I had 2 kids, haha. So weird. Sorry, just had to share my conversion to the nutball side.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Woot!


Is it just me, or does my "little" boy suddenly look like a "big" boy?

Where did my chubby toddler go?

Anywho...

Tomorrow is Friday!!

I took a look at my planner for tomorrow and guess what's on there?

....

NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And that's exactly how I like it. I could use a day of just doing my thing at home. No trips, no outings, no plans, absolutely nothing. I think those are some of my favorite days.

And I'm so excited that the hubby has 2 whole weeks off starting this weekend. How awesome is that? It's like a little "mommy" vacation. For 2 weeks, I will not be the sole caretaker for my 2 critters. I hope it's everything I have imagined it to be.

What are you Christmas plans?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Brrrrrrrr....

It's cold outside...(ok it's only 30 degrees, but we're Texans, anything lower than 60 is cold).

Things I'd love to do with this cold day ...

1. First off, I'd still be in bed curled warmly under my covers. I loved to just stay snuggled on a cold morning when I was a kid.
2. If I could get my critters to enjoy it and stay still I'd have them hop in bed with me too! But, alas, my 2 year old could never snuggle - it requires you not to move.
3. When we finally did wander out of our warm, cozy, beds we'd start breakfast off right with some hot cocoa!!!
4. Then I'd have to throw on White Christmas! And sing a little song...
Snow
It won't be long before we'll all be there with snow
Snow
I want to wash my hands, my face and hair with snow

Snow
I long to clear a path and lift a spade of snow
Snow
Oh, to see a great big man entirely made of snow

Where it's snowing
All winter through
That's where I want to be
Snowball throwing
That's what I'll do
How I'm longing to ski
Through the snow-oh-oh-oh-oh

Those glist'ning houses that seem to be built of snow
Snow
Oh, to see a mountain covered with a quilt of snow

What is Christmas with no snow
No white Christmas with no snow
Snow

I'll soon be there with snow
I'll wash my hair with snow
And with a spade of snow
I'll build a man that's made of snow
I'd love to stay up with you but I recommend a little shuteye
Go to sleep
And dream
Of snow


5. Then there would be a nice HOT shower. I love hot showers when it's super cold.
6. A big bread bowl full of clam chowder or broccoli cheese soup would be next. Nothing like soup on a cold day.
7. I would read a great book - probably a murder mystery in a holiday setting! Puuuurfect.
8. Make a giant pot of hot tea and a friend would unexpectedly drop by! Of course, in this scenario when I answered the door I would be fully dressed (not in my bathrobe, ah hem, and the house would be clean)
9. I would have lots of energy and bake some cookies - the kind you used REAL cookie cutters for!
10. And finally, my hubby would come home early (like at noon...) and we'd play WoW the rest of the day and night!!!! Wooot.

And that's my craziness for the day!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Oh Kids

Nothing like kids to point out your failures.

This weekend while we were putting up our outside decorations, we accidentally broke off on of our reindeer from it's little platform. It's old and rusted, so it just snapped off.

Immediately, Hayden saw what had happened and yelled...UH OH!!! Mark assures him, "I know Hayden, uh oh." while he curses under his breath.

Hayden: UH OH!!! UH OH!!! UH OH!!!

Mark: Yes, I know. I'll fix it.

Hayden: UH OH!! UH OH!!! UH OH!!! (all while trying to "resuscitate the deer and trying all kinds of ways to make it stand up again.)

Mark: It's ok Hayden, I'll fix it, just give me a minute. I know "uh oh".

Me in the background:

YOU KILLED IT!!! RUDOLF'S DEAD!! AGGGGHH.

Hayden: UH OH!! (While following Mark around the yard with the broken off deer stand.)

Me: (Laughing hysterically)

Silence for about 2 minutes.

Me: UH OH!!

Hayden: UH OH!! UH OH!! (while following Mark around the yard)

Mark: !@#$%^*

Friday, December 12, 2008

Breastfeeding: A Journey (Part III)

Friday:

So we're still pumping .5 an ounce - but honestly I can't complain. That is an increase from my minuscule .25. So 100% increase in only 3 days? Maybe that's ok. I just need to be sure to keep on top of my pumping this weekend. I think my 6 hours pumping hiatus today, threw me off.

Monday:

I'm pumping a little less than an ounce. But that's enough to allow me to nurse Corbin early morning then feed him a full 6 ounce bottle of what I've pumped for his first "real" feeding. Not too shabby, since this time last week I wasn't nursing at all and producing next to nothing. Slow results, but there are results.

To help out, I think I'm going to throw in some Mother's Milk tea. I hadn't been drinking it - I've been trying to increase purely by pumping, but who am I kidding? I could use all the help I can get.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Breastfeeding: The Journey (Part II)

So I pumped 12pm, 2pm, and now 4pm. Still not much at all. Like .25 oz not much. So disheartening. I tried to nurse Corbin before I started, he screamed in my face at the injustice of asking him to nurse when I had no milk! That too makes me want to cry.

So I fed him a bottle of formula and sat down to pump. We have community group tonight and it might mess up my pumping schedule. My next pump would be at 6pm, 8pm, 10pm. But group is from 7pm-9pm, we usually get home around 9:30pm or later. So it will be more like 4 hours between pumping instead of 2. Ugh. Even when I try, I still can't get it right.

And tomorrow is Conversational English for 2 hours (9:30-11:30 + drive time).

Okay, well we'll see. 4 hours...and only .5 of an ounce. Sheesh have I got a long way to go.

Got home and was able to pump at 9:45. I got .5 of an ounce. Of course it was almost 4 hours since the last pumping, so I don't think that can be considered an increase. Argh.


~~~~~

It's the next day (Wednesday) and so far I think my pumping has gone from only .25 of an ounce to .5 - so that's a 100% increase right? Still is only half an ounce, but I can deal. Just keeping pumping along...

It's 10pm, just pumped..again...still only .5 of an ounce. But I suppose that's more than I was pumping yesterday.

It would be nice to have 100% increase each day. That would make:

Thursday: 1 oz
Friday: 2 oz
Saturday: 4 oz
Sunday 8 oz

Considering Corbin drinks around 6ounces this would be awesome to produce 8!!! That would give me like 2 oz to store!! Haha, ok I'm dreaming now. To think of having extra would just blow my mind. Right now I just want to feed my baby.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It's Thursday morning and I pumped .5 of an ounce. No increase. Argh!! I was hoping for maybe an ounce. But in positive news I did nurse Corbin back to sleep this morning at 6am. I haven't been doing that lately because of the milk supply. So I at least have something that can comfort him.

It's 3:56pm and I finally pumped 1 whole ounce! So that's a 200% increase from the start. I was beginning to get discouraged, especially when I only pumped a little less than .5 of an ounce at 1:30pm. I think I figured out a combination of settings on my pump that work well. I basically have to start it at one setting, then change it after the let down. Why does this have to be so complicated and why don't my boobs come with instruction manuals?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This morning I woke up slightly engorged - that's new! And I even nursed Corbin his first feeding. Something else that hasn't happened in a while - when I was nursing on one side, the other side started leaking. That seriously hasn't happened to me in a long time. My milk supply must be increasing.

Today I had a lot of fun making cookies with one of my best friends. Our kiddos played and we chatted - it was great. Unfortunately, my pumping took a backseat to that. Pumping with someone there or even with just Hayden running around is hard for me. I have to be completely relaxed and that was not going to happen. So I didn't get to pump until 2pm and only got 1 ounce. We'll see how the next pumping goes. But was encouraged by my successes this morning.

I think I'll end this post here and pick up in a part III edition.

Feel free to ignore these posts if breastfeeding wigs you out. This is just my life right now, so my blog shows it.

Breastfeeding: A Journey

This is a secret look into my biggest struggle. Please don't personalize this post as anything to do with the breastfeeding vs. formula debate. Both my babies have formula fed so I have no issues there. As with ALL of my posts this has nothing to with anyone but myself. I don't need added grief by having someone misunderstand my writing and be upset by it. I debated whether or not to even post this or just keep it in draft form. This post was done on Tuesday.

As I start to write this, I don't know where this journey is going to end. But, I feel like I need to write all this down, maybe someone out there is going through the same thing and could gain something from this.

Breastfeeding has always been work for me. It's never come easy or naturally. Any slight diversion and my milk supply plummets.

My first time at breastfeeding was difficult. Hayden never latched on and nursed before we went home from the birthing center. If he doesn't nurse before we leave, then their policy is to send us home with formula. I felt defeated before I even began. I had struggles once we got home getting my milk started with a baby who couldn't nurse. I eventually resorted to a nipple shield to help him latch. I had family driving me nuts about how much he was eating as well as the typical newborn weight loss. I finally went to a lactation consult who helped us get on the right track and Hayden started nursing well after that.

But I couldn't leave him with anyone. He wouldn't use a bottle and would only nurse. I couldn't sit through an entire church service or go out with my husband. Finally at 6 months I got him to take a bottle. A little formula here and there, and then one day Hayden didn't want to nurse. He wanted the instant gratification of the bottle. It was so stressful and I felt so rejected that I just stopped nursing.

That was my first experience.

Then I had Corbin. Corbin was my champion nurser from day one. Within 10 minutes of being born he had latched on and was nursing. I was so relieved that we didn't have to go through the stress of "teaching" him to nurse. But it took 4 days for my milk to come in and he had a bit of weight loss. With his kidney issues, I didn't want to do anything that might hurt him. So we supplemented with formula. So started the slippery slope to where I am today.

Then I started trying to lose weight - something I think I regret now. Again, a decline in milk. I didn't have enough to feed him fully. I'm not going to starve him, so we did more formula. It started with a bottle each night before bed, and has now turned into a bottle for every feeding, with maybe 4 oz of breast milk thrown in once every other day. That's seriously all I'm producing...2 oz a day.

I could cry.

Not because I so desperately want to breastfeed, but because I know my NOT breastfeeding is affecting his health. Most babies can thrive wonderfully on formula, but Corbin is not one of those babies. He has developed a severe eczema rash that no amount of lotion can clear up. He is constipated and his stools are green and more solid. I know he needs his mother's milk, and I'm not giving it to him.

I wish I could. I would do anything. Or would I? Because, honestly, I haven't been consistent in pumping. I get busy and go 4-5 hours before pumping, I have simply given up having him nurse now that he's used to the bottle.

And that's where I am right now. I wish I knew the end to the story right now.

But here's my journey. I am going to pumping 20 minutes every 2 hours. At present, if I pump every 2 hours, I can get less than .5 oz, probably not even .25 oz. But I'm going to keep going. If I can't get my supply up by this time next Tuesday, I will resign myself that my breastfeeding days are done.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Spoiled Rotten!!

What a great birthday!

I got to go to TWO movies!!! Australia and Four Christmases. Australia was awesome! I really liked it. And Four Christmases was funny, although it seemed like they were trying too hard at times. For both showings I got to go to my favorite movie theater the Alamo Drafthouse. It's my favorite because you can watch movies AND eat real food (not just overpriced popcorn)!!!

Megan and I saw the 10:25pm showing of Australia cause, well we're Mommies and we've got responsibilities until 8pm or so, HA! We were the ONLY ones in the theater. And I think because the movie was so long we were the last people in the whole building, it was a bit weird at the end when we had 2 or 3 cleanup folks waiting on our movie to end so they could get started. And then all the doors but one were locked when we tried to leave!! I think I got home at 1:30am. That's a late night for me, but I'm so glad I went. I would definitely recommend this movie for those into that genre.

I saw Four Christmases with Jenny at 11:25am so I got to indulge in some Porky's Pepperoni Pizza! Yum. Actually I indulged in all kinds of stuff this week (thanks to my Hubby who kept bring home the treats) and I think I gained 5 lbs!!! Ouch.

The Hubby fulfilled my life long wish of having a charm bracelet! I think originally I was 6 and wanted a charm necklace with cool plastic charms like a unicorn, but since I'm now 28, I think his was more appropriate.

The charms are little baby booties that will be engraved with the boys names and birth dates. He also got me two other charms for Christmas that I need to have put on.

I got the coolest purse from Jenny - it's super cute and I can't wait to use it. It was also stuffed with lots of goodies - including a bath pillow! Something I've been wanting for, oh, 8 years!! We have the most uncomfortable bath tub, so I never take baths, just showers. I used to take baths all the time before this house. Now I can enjoy my baths again! Woohoo!

Lindi brought me a basket FULL of goodies, including the most beautiful colored mugs I've ever seen. They are a gorgeous blue and are so awesome! There were all these teas, a relaxing CD and a yummy hot peppermint cocoa. Wow it was good!!!

I also got a million happy birthday's on facebook!!

There was more, but I think you got the picture - it was a great birthday!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I Never Knew...


We've just now come to understand that for at least the past year...

we've been living with a hearing-impaired child.

The tubes surgery that was done Wednesday opened our eyes to how much Hayden wasn't hearing.

Each day (and it's only been 4 days) we see more and more improvements and changes in Hayden.

1. He started using consonants he'd never used before.
2. He's starting to mimic things that he hears.
3. He's beginning to use more words
4. He's starting to use speech to express his desires, not gestures.
5. He has become extremely sensitive to our reprimands.

#5 Really hit home to us. Whenever we corrected him by saying "No Hayden", we'd always used a loud tone of voice. I'd just assumed all this time he just didn't obey unless I yelled. But now, if we yell when we say no, he gets extremely upset. It's obvious that it sounds much louder to him now and he just wasn't hearing it as well before. Wow.

It was just hard to know. I mean I knew he could hear, he'd passed the simple hearing test. But we just didn't know how well he was hearing. The fluid in his ear was apparently cause quite a bit of hearing loss. Poor baby.

I'm happy that we did the surgery. I was very apprehensive at first since I wasn't sure if the fluid was really affecting his hearing, but I'm so glad we did it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Happy Thursday!

Hayden's really into stacking things lately. Often I'll walk into the kitchen to find things like this. Hmm...ok. Kind of Poltergeist-ish - I'm half expecting to find all of our chairs stacked in odd ways on the table.

Hayden had really been moody this week. We've been "battling" all week. Guess it doesn't help that I'm cranky this week..ah cramps...how I didn't miss them all these months.

Yesterday I put myself in "time-out" on the porch. If I had duct tape lying around you may have had a picture of Hayden taped to the wall today. But, alas, no tape. I believe some might call my toddler "strong-willed". Yeah, that's it, strong-willed...

He's also going through a very frustrating phase of hitting himself whenever he gets frustrated or angry (or both). He hits himself in the head and says "NO!". Argh. Apparently, this is very common in toddlers. But it's still hard to see your kid smacking himself in the head. The more I try to stop him the more he does it. It seems to help if I just ignore the behavior instead of letting it upset me. I think he likes the reaction I give when he does it, so I'm trying not to react.

We've also stopped showing all movies (except for Veggie Tales). He mimics everything he sees on these movies and it comes out in him trying to hit, or getting really wild or throwing things. Veggie Tales seem to avoid showing negative behaviors (even if they are depicted as "bad" he still mimics them because he's too young to follow the storyline) and is less stimulating. At younger ages he just loved the music and sounds of the movies, but now he's "acting" them out and that's just not acceptable.

And I'm only showing movies during breathing treatments or other times I need him "occupied". Mostly, I'm trying to redirect his behavior either by playing outside, room-time, book-time, or an activity. Some weeks he's really difficult to handle and I know this is mostly my fault because we don't have a good routine in place and have been watching way too many movies. I need to work hard to curb his negative behaviors or I will definitely go insane.

Tonight I'm going to the movies with a friend!! We're seeing Australia. I hope it's good. (Don't tell me if it's not!)

I'm just so happy it's almost Friday because this week has been ROUGH.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Small Enough

Oh, great God, be small enough to hear me now. ..

There were times when I was crying from the dark of Daniel's den and I have asked you once or twice if you would part the sea again. But tonight I do not need a fiery pillar in the sky - just wanna know you're gonna hold me if I start to cry.

Oh, great God, be small enough to hear me now...

Oh, great God, be close enough to feel You now. There have been moments when I could not
face Goliath on my own and how could I forget we've marched around our share of Jerichos
but I will not be setting out a fleece for You tonight - just wanna know that everything will be alright.

Oh great god, be close enough to feel You now...

All praise and all the honor be to the god of ancient mysteries. Whose every sign and wonder turn the pages of our history. But tonight my heart is heavy and I cannot keep from whispering this prayer:

"Are You there?"

And I know You could leave writing on the wall that's just for me or send wisdom while i'm sleeping, like in Soloman's sweet dreams. But I don't need the strength of Samson or a chariot in the end - just want to know that You still know how many hairs are on my head.

Oh great God, be small enough to hear me now...

DSC00367

Joys of the Season: Day 2

This has been quite an exhausting day. Today was Hayden's surgery for tubes. It was scheduled for 6am, which meant I needed to be up by 5am. Up, haha. I didn't sleep a wink last night. I was anxious about taking him since I would be going by myself this time (Mark was staying home with Corbin). I knew the whole procedure would be rough and it was. I tossed and turned the whole night, and when I did sleep I had dreams about what would happen the next day. When my alarm finally went off I was relieved that I didn't have to "pretend" to sleep anymore.

I also started my period this morning...joy oh joy. I don't think that counts as my joy today.

Hayden didn't want ANYONE to touch him, poor baby. But they needed to get oxygen saturation levels, temperature, hospital band on, etc. It was a fight. Ugh. Then they carried him off screaming.

Luckily it's a quick surgery, it literally took 5 minutes. It takes longer for him to wake up from anesthesia than the actual procedure. Now I have the joy of figuring out how to get this kid to let me put ear drops in his ears tonight. No, that isn't my joy today either. I'm dreading tonight.

So now I've been reduced to the walking zombie mom, but can still manage a somewhat coherent post!

My joy for today:

My husband

Despite the fact that he was already incredibly late after watching Corbin during Hayden's surgery, he went and got me donuts AND Hayden's drops from the pharmacy. Yay donuts!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Joys of the Season: Day 1


Instead of my usual frantic anticipation of Christmas and all that goes with it, I'm going to attempt to list my thankfulness of all the joys this time of year brings us.

My joy today:

My toddler.

1. There is nothing more wonderful than watching him close his little eyes as he swings with the sun shining on his face. I can remember that same feeling when I was a kid and he brought it all back to me today.


2. I now know why toddlers don't have licenses. Hayden's priorities while driving:

1. Keep foot on pedal
2. Collect as many sticks as possible
3. Steering is optional
4. If more than 2 sticks are found, sticks win over steering any day.
5. A third stick may be placed in the steering wheel for extra storage capacity.



Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him
Psalms 127:3


What are your joys today?

Monday, December 1, 2008

28 Years...

Guess what?

I turn 28 this friday.

In honor of that, here's what an average (and I mean average) gal can do in 28 years (in no particular order since I have mommy fog):

  • Meet the love of my life and marry him
  • Survive high school
  • March in the Notre Dame Marching Band
  • Learn how to play piano, oboe, and saxophone (in that order)
  • Accept the life changing reality of Jesus
  • Experience two beautiful natural, drug-free childbirths
  • Become a Mother
  • Graduate college
  • Stay married for 8 years (and counting)
  • Be apart of the missional core of a new church!
  • Breastfeed two babies through sheer perseverance and mother's milk tea
  • Lived, loved, and laughed with all of my dear friends and family
I'm not a superstar. I have no great accolades next to my name. I've never been one to shine. I'll never be the "cool" one or the "outgoing" one. My blog will never have giant numbers (I believe I did a little dance when google reader said I had 10 followers!) and I will never be famous (then again, I'll never be infamous and that's good too).

I've always fell in the mediocre range, and I think that has been a blessing. I think God knows, that if I had been "special" or talented it would have gone straight to my head and I'd probably be worse for it.

So I've been content to just be one of the children of God. Not his best, brightest, most beautiful, or talented, but glad to be counted as His.

I have some amazing friends and though their numbers are small, their hearts are BIG and that makes up for it. When I have a friend, they are a true friend. I get far more than I give.

It's been a great 28 years and I hope I can keep living, loving, and laughing as long as I'm on this earth.
What do a tractor...( Image by Bob Jagendorf)



And a cow...(Image by JelleS)



Have in common?


According to my son, they both MOOOOOOO!

I blame Disney and Pixar for this confusion. You just had to use tractors as cows for your Cars movie didn't ya?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Rewind

Okay I've started to write this post 3 times now. Just writing it is boring me...I can't imagine anyone cares about the boring details of my holiday. Let's just say my parents came for Thanksgiving, my Mom can be difficult sometimes, babies should really sleep in their own room, Hayden doesn't like taking pictures, I'm sick of someone telling me what my baby needs, and I'm tired.

All I want to do now is play WoW (World of Warcraft for you normal folks), and pig out on leftovers. (I can do that now that our family portraits are done - we did them today and it was hell).

P.S. Our family portraits came out awesome and I spent way too much money on them - but it was worth it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Why Do I Do This To Myself?

PROCRASTINATION

Why????


Parents get here in 11 hours...I'm NOT ready.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Season of Thanksgiving

I am thankful
  • for the freedom to worship my God without persecution
  • for the peace of God that soothes me when times are difficult
  • for my gorgeous, sweet, wonderful, joyful, and loving husband Mark
  • for my two precious children that are sweetly sleeping in their beds
  • for our lovely home that I hope to raise our boys in
  • for the opportunity to stay home with my boys
  • that we can afford to have a bountiful Thanksgiving dinner
  • that my parents will travel 16 hours to visit us
  • for our amazing friends who've made all the difference in our lives
  • that my husband provides for our family every month
  • that today, we are all together and able to enjoy this moment
What are you thankful for today?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Motherhood: A Definition


Position: Mother
Salary: $0
Hours: 6am-9pm, on call 24/7

Requirements:
  • Must be trained in the art of cooking. Knowledge of food preparation, storage, and presentation a must. Will also need to guard stove top, pots and pans, knives, and breakable dishes from the "customer" you are cooking for. No appreciation, thanks, or compliments will be given for efforts.
  • Must have working knowledge of nutrition. Each meal must meet the fruit, vegetable, dairy, meet, grains, vitamin, and mineral requirements for your "customer".
  • Efficient housekeeping techniques are needed. Must be able to vacuum while being followed around; sweep with someone walking through your dirt piles and stealing your broom; clean tubs and toilets without allowing your "customer" to drink unsanitary or poisonous liquids; do laundry while someone clicks the light switch for the dryer off and on; and dusting is optional.
  • General knowledge of childhood development. Including, but not limited to speech, social skills, gross motor, fine motor, and physical development.
  • Medical training preferred. Must memorize medicinal dosing per pound; understand complex medical conditions; administer daily medications; and any other health related needs.
  • Must have previous experience in event coordination. Tasks include, but are not limited to designing toddler parties without toy sharing problems, finding locations suitable for 2 year old play, party decor and treat bag coordination, invitations, and scheduling.
  • In depth knowledge of the child psyche. Tasks may include soothing, dealing with tantrums, persuasion techniques, and anger management.
  • Previous experience with personal assisting. Goldfish, and sippy cup must be on your person at all times and ready for retrieval at a moments notice. You will keep records of all doctor and playdate appointments. You will serve each meal of the day and may possibly have to return for more desirable food if deemed necessary.
  • Professional singing training a plus. At any moment you may need to burst out into the Alphabet song or Elmo's La la la la song to calm a situation.
  • Teaching certificate preferred. You will be instructing your "customer" how to roll over, sit up, crawl, walk, talk, eat, behave, patience, kindness, table manners, morals, faith, and anything else deemed necessary to live.
Additional skills or duties:
  • At any time this list may change or be added to without notice or explanation.

Bonuses/Rewards:

  • Immense joy
  • Endless laughs
  • Intense love

Friday, November 21, 2008

7 Quick Takes Friday

I saw this on Conversion Diary and loved the format, so I thought I'd join in on the fun:

--1--

Thanks to the freezing weather we're expecting tonight our camping trip has been canceled. I'm totally bummed about this. This is the second time this year our camping efforts have been thwarted. Two babies + 32 degrees + burn ban (no campfire) = no camping + 36 bucks down the drain.

--2--

I'm having fish sticks for lunch! I had fish sticks for the first time in 15 years last week and I'm hooked. You need to eat some fish sticks too...they are truly addicting.

--3--

Early intervention came by today to do Hayden's evaluation. Hayden scored a 10 on communication. I believe the scale goes to 50 or 60. Obviously, we have some work to do. They are coming back on December 29th with a speech therapist for some further evaluations. The girl was really nice and had an awesome name - Heidi Lovejoy. I feel like I'm in a movie or something. How must life be like to have a name like Heidi Lovejoy! She was super sweet and her name made my day. HA!

--4--

I LOVE gmail's new themes. I have the ocean one rocking right now and it's so peaceful. If you have gmail you MUST try this.

--5--

I wish I had a cool camera so I could take beautiful pics of my kids...or maybe just Photoshop...or more creativity and talent, he he. My old computer had Photoshop on it, but alas, I cannot find the install disk to put it on my new one. I keep submitting my mediocre pics to the Blogging Baby Flickr group, but how can I compete with such stunning shots? When Hayden was a baby I submitted pics all the time and now my interest has been renewed after reading about it again on AndreAnna's blog. I believe one of my fav bloggers {wink} has gotten picked twice this month!! Wow. Of course, she takes amazing photos - I need to get creative!

--6--

I just read on parent dish that I should have started thawing my turkey (that I haven't bought yet) yesterday. I guess I should go buy my turkey today. If the weather holds out we're going to deep fry our turkey this year! Of course, my luck...the forecast is saying rain...hmmm

--7--

Last night I was complaining to my sweet hubby about my incredibly bad luck. (Mostly I was whining about our canceled camping trip). So to "test my luck" he bought me 10 scratch offs. I won 24 bucks which put us 4 dollars ahead. I sarcastically told him - I don't call that luck...I only made 4 bucks!

So what are your 7 quick takes?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Overwhelmed


Today I'm just feeling incredibly overwhelmed. I'm feeling anxious, worried, and tired. I feel like crawling under the covers and sleeping the day away.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Okay, I started this post yesterday...I feel better today. But still. Yesterday I was overwhelmed, and this verse always helps me breathe. Its helped me through all kinds of trials and heartaches in our family, and it helps me again now. Thanks God.

Hayden had his 2 year checkup and as I knew already, his speech is behind. The boy is just not a talker. He says a few things, but all in all, he's just not where he probably should be. So we got referred to the early childhood intervention program here so he could get his speech evaluated. They are coming on Friday.

This kind of bummed me. But what's new? I've learned to expect problems when it comes to my boys (including their Papa). The day we breeze through a doctor's appointment with no worries, I'll probably die of shock.

So today I feel better. Now I just need to clean my house so I can look like a "good" mommy on Friday.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Best Walk Yet


A big "Thank You" to all of our wonderful friends!

You made this our best walk yet.

27 Walkers (including kids)
4 strollers
8 kids
3 of those babies

$990 raised!!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Walking in Support

I was just folding some tissue paper (yes I save tissue paper), when I realized something - I'd totally forgotten to give some love to another walk we're doing tomorrow: the Autism walk. It's also at the Dell Diamond this weekend (10:00 Opening ceremonies, 10:30 walk) and we'll be there!

So if you want to do something that truly makes an impact in your life and others - show up to the walk and support the cause!

Toddler Wars


Today has been a classic "Tough Hayden" day. His shrieking and screaming could drive anyone crazy, including his own mother...

He shrieked at his Aunt's house, he screamed at the restaurant, he yelled all the way home.

So when we got home I could only think of one punishment that would even affect him...to put him down for his nap without "the" blanket.

He'd already had a bazillion timeouts and chastisements and I'd raised my voice...

This punishment hit home.

And as I sat on the couch in all my smugness, listening to the defeat of my toddler, my inner devil was saying "Take that toddler! I win."

And then...after 1 minute...I thought, "You may have won the battle Mom, but you're going to lose the war this way. One upping your two year old in no way proves your superiority or authority. HA!"

So I grabbed that nasty, stained (but washed last night thanks to him barfing on it) blanket and went into his room. His smile was so HUGE I couldn't help but feel like a jackass for keeping it from him. Then I handed him his blanket, he hugged and kissed it...then me.

And I closed the door so he could nap .

Then I heard...him shriek.

I guess we'll have to work on this problem a bit more. It must be Friday because me nerves are shot. Why am I "battling" with a 2 year old anyway? He he he.

VICTORY IS MINE! (ok just kidding)
Okay AndreAnna rocks!! I recently blogged about battling the dreaded eczema. The exact problem Hayden had - that he was PRESCRIBED steroid creams for. She gave me a recommendation for Bert's Bees Baby Bee Buttermilk Lotion - and it works!!! It friggin works. I'm shocked and amazed and oh my goodness.

This is something Hayden suffered with for months, even with the steroid creams he could only use for 2 weeks at a time and blah blah.

And Corbin's eczema is gone.

THANK YOU!!!

MS Walk Sunday!!

The MS Walk is this Sunday!! Let's all meet at the registration tent before the walk begins! If you haven't picked up your shirt yet, I can bring it Sunday or you can stop by to pick it up. Final shirt price was $9.05

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Toys!!

video

Outside Time

A glimpse at our "outside" time:


video

Getting More Than I Gave

A few years back a good friend got me involved in the Conversational English Program at our church. It's been a blessing to be apart of it, and I am constantly reminded that it's me who is learning as much as them.

Today was our Thanksgiving Lesson. We read about the Pilgrims coming over on the Mayflower and feasting together with the Native Americans that helped them survive that first year.

Once we finished reading the lesson, our students, Tammy and Tinh shared there own journey to America and thanksgiving stories. They told us every thanksgiving they share their stories with their children so they remember what they experienced to get here.

Tammy and Tinh are from Vietnam. After America pulled out of Vietnam, Tammy attempted to leave South Vietnam as a refugee on a small fishing boat. She was seven months pregnant and also had another daughter with her. During the voyage, the boat started taking on water. They were sitting in water up to their necks. They all thought the boat had sunk and that they were going to die. They also lost their compass and the engine broke down, they drifted for a month. As each person died they would throw their bodies into the ocean. At one point Tammy had gotten very ill and was unconscious. The other people wanted to throw her off the boat thinking she was dead. A woman with her convinced them not to.

During her unconscious state, they told her she woke up and told them, "We must stay together. God will protect us if we stay together." Finally, a Philippine fishing boat found them and saved them. Unfortunately for Tammy, by this time her baby had died (in the womb) and her daughter had also passed away.

Tinh stayed in South Vietnam after the US left and was sent to a concentration camp, or what were called "reeducation" camps. He was there for 11 years. He finally got to come over to America after the Reagan administration entered into an agreement with Vietnam to free political prisoners. Tinh was able to come to America in 1993, some prisoners were released as late as 2000. Many had been there since the fall of Saigon in 1975.

To listen to their stories was an honor. Despite our arguments about why we get into wars and conflicts or what our country's policy should be on this or that, listening to their love of America and what America means to them and how thankful they are to have lived through their struggles and found a safe place where they could live, speak, and worship freely - increased my love of our country.

So this month as we give thanks for our many blessings, I'm giving another thanks to this wonderful country we live in and the men and women who fight to protect it and protect those who no one else will.

Mooooooo


Okay people! I just pumped 4 ounces! I know, I know, most of you Moms could probably pump 4 oz out of one breast after nursing 10 babies - but this is not something I could previously do.

At one point I could only pump 1/2 ounce. Half an ounce?!! Ugh.

Now I'm up to 4 ounces. For me, it's a small victory in pumping and production.
I know my difficulties are not over, but it feels good at this very moment to know these boobs CAN make milk.

I'll just keep plugging along...or pumping along...he he he.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How Can I Use This?


This my new question:

How can I use this?

For instance, go look in your pantry right now...I'll wait...

How much of that has been in there over six months? A year? More than that?

With food, I definitely noticed some "hoarding" tendencies. Not like, rotting food and stuff from 1984, but I'd buy things for "one day I'll make..." and then never use it. Or maybe I bought it for a special diet I was doing at the time. Or whatever. Yet there it is on my shelf, neglected. And I paid money for that!

With the economy like it is, I just feel like I should start learning how to use (and use up) what we have. Who knows what the future will be like, and I'd like to be prepared for what might come. Part of that preparation is learning the skill (yes the SKILL) of using what you have. I say it's a skill because it definitely doesn't come easy to me, but if I practice this skill I seem to get better at it.

On the flip side, if I'm not using and don't plan to use it, I need to give it to someone who will. And yes, I said GIVE. Not throw away, and if I can help it, not even goodwill it. There are people in my life right now who have a use for it, why not give it them? Or if you think you might need it later, just let them borrow it!

So in the past month or so I've been trying to use all the food we've "collected". It started with the unexpected moth invasion I talked about a few months ago. After throwing away TONS of food, I felt sick about all the waste. If we hadn't had so much in our pantry, the moths wouldn't have had so much to get into. Now we only have the can goods and other ingredients that we will be using that week, or at least that month. I have a lot more room in my pantry too! HA!

Then I started expanding it to what I usually throw away. Here's an example. I love using the slow cooker to make really juicy and tender chicken. Generally, I throw in some water, chicken broth and let it cook all day. Then I use the chicken for whatever recipe. But what about all that broth? Typically, I'd just pour it down the drain. Last week I looked at it...what could I do with it? It had loads of flavor from the chicken and it seemed a shame to waste it.

Soup! I put the broth in the refrigerator for the next day. Then for dinner the next night, I took the broth, added a bit more water, some potatoes, corn cobs cut in half, sausage, onions, some seasoning, then noodles at the end! It was delicious!!! And I was able to "use up" and "recycle" something I'd previously wasted! Now every time I cook chicken, I know the next night I can throw together some soup. Tonight I'm making chicken noodle soup! (I don't have any more sausage or I'd make that again, it was soooo good).

And this isn't just for food, but all kinds of things. I'm a "craft starter" - i.e. I love to go buy craft projects to do, and I may start the first step, but that's it. Off into a basket or drawer it goes. For like years. These would make wonderful Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, or "just because" gift. Why do we need a reason to give? And wouldn't it be better to use what I already have, instead of adding to the waste of this world? Especially, if all I'm going to buy are the standard bath product gift basket we all seem to fall back on when we don't know what to give?

I LOVE homemade gifts, and what I love MOST about them is that they are NOT perfect. They are made with love and time. Time is more valuable than money - if you haven't figured that out I'd learn it quick. You can "print" money, "earn" money, but no one can create more time. The fact that someone spent their finite "time" to make me something makes me feel special. Of course I accept all gifts - I love me some shower gel. A girl has to keep clean.

Anyway, I just thought I'd share that because it's made a big impact on me. I'll probably post more ways I've learned to "use" things as I get better at this!

NOW GO USE SOMETHING!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Just Another Monday


This week I'm trying something new. Instead of my "whatever goes" routine (i.e. no routine), I'm actually planning out our day and activities. I'm even starting a few new activities for Hayden. "Book time" - where he sits on a blanket and can quietly look at books. "Room time" where he can move around and play, but only in his room. "Free time" - pretty much what he used to get to do all day. And when the weather is good we go outside.

Corbin had his first taste of solids today. We had bit of rice cereal. It went about as well first time feedings go.

Diapers are still hit and miss. The green color is off and on but they are back to normal texture wise.

Nursing is always a struggle of course. Today my chiro also mentioned that Raspberry Leaf Tea can also help with production. I hadn't heard that before. I'd only been recommended Mother's Milk tea. I already drink Raspberry during periods (it's really awesome for that), but now I'll drink it the rest of the month too!

Corbin is beginning to get eczema just like Hayden had around this age. I've been putting Eucerin Aquafor on it which helped a lot with Hayden. Although the facial eczema is more difficult to get a handle on. As babies, they are always touching their face, which irritates the skin further. With eczema behind the knees or on the arms I could always put lotion on it and wrap it in gauze so it could heal. Hayden was eventually prescribed both a topical steroid and non-steroid cream. I'm hoping to avoid that with Corbin, but if I can't get it better this week I'll have to go in.

Hayden has started a cute "new" game. He grabs whoever is closest and makes us all go in the closet under the stairs. Then he closes the door and says "Kna Kna" (Knock, Knock) while knocking. Then he'll open the door to see "who knocked". Fun for him...a little claustrophobic for me, HA!

Tomorrow I'm looking forward to being home all day and not going out at all. I know...I'm a hermit.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Two Years On This Earth

How to have an easy , stress-free, and inexpensive 2 year old's birthday party:

1. Instead of the very expensive bouncy house/inflatable place, have it at the park for free. Springwoods park on Anderson Mill has a miniature pavilion that you don't have to reserve. (They also have a giant pavilion that has a huge deposit if you need space). Decorate with balloons from last year! We found Cars party stuff for 50% off and it's Hayden's favorite!


2. This park has a great toddler play scape - free entertainment! Bring the uncles and grandma to help corral the crazy birthday boy! Thanks Brian, Michael and Mom Z!


3. Make your own cakes! Yummy fat-free chocolate cake.



4. Have super friends and family that get Hayden all kinds of loot!! Hayden opened the first gift (a remote control Mater) and runs off with it. He doesn't get back to presents for twenty minutes.





5. Finally bring Hayden back to continue gift opening. We made it through a couple more before he got distracted by another gift.

6. Make sure your toddler doesn't wander off. Have Uncle Brian keep an eye on him.




7. Have little brother behave like an angel and just chill.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Strrrresss

Stress, stress, and more stress. I'm stressed about

  • Corbin's weird green poop and the doctor's inability to give me an answer about why?
  • Having to wait until Sunday to see if the green poop goes away
  • Possibility of gather a stool sample to test said green stool and having to await the results form that
  • Being able to breastfeed Corbin as long as I want
  • Making sure Corbin is being fed enough between breastfeeding and supplementing
  • That supplementing makes me produce less, but he needs to be supplemented because I don't produce enough
  • The constant worry that Corbin could develop a kidney infection
  • Trying to prevent kidney infection by breastfeeding him the first 7 months (studies have proved that nursing can help prevent infection during those months)
  • Hayden's birthday party tomorrow - we tried to keep is very small, but of course it is slowly growing
  • Needing to make a cake (actually 2 cakes) for the party tomorrow
  • Needing to clean the house before my MIL gets here
  • Hayden's continuing cough and congestions
  • My Mom's upcoming colonoscopy and the possibility of more "bad" polyps
  • How much I suck at pumping
  • Trying to get my house organized and just not having the time to do it
  • My weight
  • Figuring out what to wear everyday and not looking like I'm preggo while still wearing my maternity clothes
  • Getting more unwanted news about Corbin - nothing "serious" but still another thing to think about and add to the list.

How easy was life when I only had to worry about myself? Now, I don't even think about myself that much. It's all about them. I look at Corbin and I just want to cry. My beautiful baby, my Smiler, so snuggly, so sweet, yet the source of so many of my worries and heartbreaks. I don't want a single day of his life to be dark, yet I have no control over that.

These two darling boys are the light of my life and the source of many of my joys. They are blessed gifts from God that have made something out of my nothing.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Zavala Evening

First, I procrastinate making dinner by admiring my new tile square:


Throw some dishes in to soak:


Defrost some ground turkey for Chili tonight.




Oh yeah, plants need water...guess I better do that.



Time to water...





Missing Mr. Zavala...




He may or may not be watching a Disney movie...I'll never tell.


And that's where the camera is set down. Evening race has begun. Make dinner, do dishes, changed lots of diapers, feed Corbin, feed Hayden, go for a walk, change more diapers, put on PJs, do more dishes, give medicines, put critters to bed, and DROP!!


And we get to do it all over again tomorrow!!!