Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mt. Shasta

Here's a blast from the past. Mark and I visited my grandma a few years back and while we were there we went camping for a few days near beautiful Mt. Shasta. I was about 5 months pregnant with Hayden at the time.

The scenery is gorgeous and we had a great time fishing and hiking.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Posts to Come

So I've been thinking about my 2 1/2 week trip to KY. I think it will be a wonderful break from all things "technical". A lot of reading, relaxing, and coffee drinking are in my future (my parents are big time coffee drinkers).

Plenty of one on one time with the kiddos. Lots of movie renting to be had.

And little or no blog reading, email reading, or just plain blogging.

But thanks to the wonder of schedule posting, I'll leave you with some fun posts to keep you company while I'm away.

Think of my today as I board my 6:45am flight and travel to Nashville with the two kiddos. I hope they are sleepy enough to be "chill" during the flight. I bought lots of toys and some snacks to get us through.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Quiet Hours

It's midnight. Babies and hubby are in bed.

House is quiet accept for the radio, I like that.

I spent a little time straightening up for a couple friends coming in the morning.

I pulled out the tea bags and cleared the table for a little "girl talk" tomorrow.
My gathering of 7, has now dwindled to 3 I think, but that still sounds good - maybe even better.

Community group was good tonight. We're telling our stories. Real honesty about where we came from, and who we are.

I dread my turn. Not because I don't like "presenting" or talking in a group - cause I actually enjoy that - but just because my story is so ugly and unfinished. It's not ugly enough to be "inspirational", but just ugly enough to be, well, ugly. I guess we all have our junk.

Childhood junk. Insecurities. Heartbreaks. Betrayals. Lies. Disappointments. Confusion. Misunderstandings. Imperfect people.

Dredging it all up feels poisonous. I've buried it for my own protection. Some people say it's "healing" to talk about it. I think it embitters me. I remember things best forgotten. My mind has safely tucked away things I just can't handle. But for my group, I can unpack it. I can tell my story if asked. I've moved on from many parts of my story, but I suppose it makes me who I am.

I tried talking to my mom once about some stuff. She trivialized it. Or ignored it. Or defended it. So I packed it away. What's the use of remembering something that will never be validated, never acknowledged. Seems purely painful.

I can't think about these things right now, I'm visiting them next week and it will throw a cloud over the whole visit if I pull out these memories. Must pack it all back up. Stop thinking about it.

It will nice to get away from the computer for 2 weeks. I'm afraid to admit I might have a slight addiction to blogs and facebook. ACK! It will be a good detox for me. I might check in here and there, but hopefully no more than once a day. My parents computers are a lot slower.

I will definitely not be blogging during that time. I wouldn't want to leave any history of pages for them to stumble upon. What a mess that would be. I don't generally talk about family stuff on here, but I've mentioned stuff here and there.

But, I still have 5 days in the blogging world. I'm sure you'll get one or two more posts before I go!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Help! My baby is addicted to tearing up, chewing on, crumpling up paper!!

And my toddler ... he's an enabler. Willing to bring his brother any paper he finds in the house.

It's time for an intervention.

Thing To Do at 3am

So let's say your up at 3am and can't get back to sleep from some killer back pain. Cause it happens. What do you do?

First you...

Stay in bed. Maybe you can sleep through it.

Take all medications available. Maybe you can wait it out. Fast acting right? Should be good in 30 minutes.

Read the next chapter in a book. Luckily, I have the next Twilight installment (Eclipse) and set out to read another chapter., I could not focus past 3 pages. Must get up.

Mess around on Facebook. I'll whine to the world about my hard luck and late night. one is on.

Go back to bed. Might as well hang out in my room on the off chance I fall asleep or pass out or get hit on the head with a falling light fixture - either way I'm out of my misery. Alas, no falling fixtures or sleep to be had.

Catch up on some prayers. I got lots of friends with lots of prayer requests. Shamefully, I don't get to them as much as I should. I've nothing better to do, might as well get to it.

Sometime after that my pain reliever kicked in and the pain was quiet enough to fall asleep.

I awaken multiple times to Mark's repeated snoozing of his alarm - BAH!

So, what I've learned? Long night + pain + reading + drugs + Facebook = Melissa prays more.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Airing Out

Check out my babies "toofers". You may have to click on the picture, but I assure you, they can be seen.

Corbin has refused all proper teething methods, and will only chew on wooden blocks, the tail of his stuffed dog, or random tags or plastic. ACK! We compromised on a wet washcloth with a tag.

Somehow, I think letting my 9 month old chew on plastic bags would be frowned upon in most circles.

I cannot believe he's gotten all these teeth in one week. He's also gotten a lot more vocal. Random grunts, Aaaagh, and dat dat dat are heard all ... day ... long.

We leave for KY in a week, and I'm starting to get nervous. Visions of Hayden running through security and being tackled by airport personnel are invading my mind. Although, from what I've seen today, I find it unlikely they will catch him.

When I announced it was nap time, he scurried out the back door (pantless of course, cause that's just how we roll) and made me chase him around the yard to catch him. This is going to get interesting, if I'm gonna need to do this whenever I want him to do something.

We've instituted the "no special meals" policy for Hayden. In other words, he is served the same dinner that we eat, no special "Nug nugs" or any thing else. In fact, I haven't bought chicken nuggets in 2 weeks. We are still working through it, there have been a few nights where he's not eaten what's been served, but we're holding firm. I'm extremely happy that he's not living on chicken nuggets anymore. Even if we did buy the "good" ones, it's still processed crap.

The weather is gorgeous today, so I have both doors open so I can air out the house. I also get all the great outdoor noises - chimes, birds, okay yes and a truck driving by.

Today Hayden had a reaction to some bread I had bought (it had sesame seeds on it). Since I had planned on serving that bread all week, it looks like I'll have to bake some bread. And soon. Toast is apart of Hayden's breakfast. He gets toast and fruit. It's also frustrating to find yet another allergen. That brings the total to 3 - peanuts, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds. Luckily I had Benadryl on hand for these kinds of situations.

Kitchen is still going. We have tile on the walls now. But still need doors and drawers + a few other things.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday Shopping

Sorry for the lack of posting. Corbin has decided to finally get some teeth, and he's an overachiever so he'd like to get all 4, right now. Two on top have broken through, the bottom two are still coming.

If you have kids with teeth, you know teething is no fun. So last week my primary goal was to survive the day, not blog about it. HA!

Hayden's speech pathologist was here last friday, I told her about the change in hearing loss and she was pleased. She explained that 10 dB loss translated into Hayden might have some articulation problems and may need to sit at the front of the class or pay closer attention to whoever was speaking so he could "tune out" ambient/background noises.

We will probably meet with the school district the end of May. His current program only lasts until his third birthday. After that the school district takes over. They have a meeting with the parents 150 days before their 3rd birthday. Since school is letting out, we'll need to get that meeting done sooner. From here, if he qualifies, he can possibly get preschool classes once he turns three. But it depends on how they think he's developing.

Today is Sunday! So that means grocery shopping. I'm really taking this budget thing to heart and have really started to enjoy saving money and getting deals!! Well, I'm not even "getting deals", I'm just shopping smarter.

This week's total was 77.36. My budget was $80. BUT...this was no typical week. We're throwing a little party for a family birthday on Saturday, so I bought all that we'd need ahead of time. Most of these items were not cheap, and not something we'd typically buy: Pre-seasoned chicken and beef fajitas and sausage links alone were $21. Plus $5 for chips and salsa.

That brings my total down to around $52. AND...I bought a bulk item that will last me for a couple months. A large bottle of olive oil for $15. And a large bottle of vinegar for $1. And a special spice that will last years for $4

So that means there was really $32 of food. EXCEPT...I wanted to make a cake for the birthday, which was another $5.

So now we're looking at $27. YET AGAIN...we're going to a dinner party on Friday where I wanted to bring a special dessert, so that added $6.

Which gives us $21.

HA! But yes, I spent $77. I spent $77 and will still be able to throw a nice birthday party with good food. I can still buy bulk items and not break the budget. I can buy special ingredients for desserts and new recipes I'd like to try, and still make it work.

And no, we're not eating bread and water for dinner.

Monday: Ground turkey, potatoes with cole slaw (I had cabbage left over from our soup this week and carrots to use)
Tuesday: Tacos (need to finish off our tomatoes and lettuce) I buy the 3 lbs of turkey in bulk this week to make 3 separate meals.
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Chicken Fried Rice
Friday: Dinner Party
Saturday: Birthday Shindig
Sunday: Pizza (my dough recipe makes 2 pizzas, so I froze half after pizza this past friday) for toppings I'm making ground turkey with taco seasoning and cheddar cheese for a "taco" pizza.

Anywho, I was REALLY pysched that I came in under budget with such pricey items.

Having a budget really lets me splurge for special occasions with out feeling guilty AT ALL.

I love it.

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Good Day

Corbin continues to amazing me. Today he mastered the concept of rolling a ball back and forth between me and him.

Having an "out of the box" thinker like Hayden as a first child, I am continually amazed by the little things Corbin does.

Hayden was not, let's say, a "team" player. He's always done his own thing. If it happened to be what you wanted it was just coincidence. HA! If you rolled a ball to Hayden, he'd grab it and just keep it. Even now, he still grabs and runs off.

To have a child who enjoys "copying" Mamma and playing her games is fun.

Hayden had another ENT appointment today. He cried a little bit for the exam, but did great for the hearing test and ear drum test. Previously, he would scream during the ear drum test and they could never get results.

His hearing has improved from 40 decibels of loss to only 10! For those unfamiliar, levels of up to 15 are normal. Anything higher is hearing loss. 40 is considered mild to moderate hearing loss. So we've made progress!! Yay!

His language is picking up well. No phrases yet, but lots of words. Sometimes we get interesting results:

Pointing at my failed attempt at pumpkin bread:

Poo Poo?

Now pointing at anything he doesn't like or want to eat:

Poo Poo?

Words uttered whenever he wants to divert attention from his brother and get us to change his diaper:

Poo Poo Pee Pee!

Whenever he gets in trouble and wants to get out of trouble quick:

Sorry (while also signing "Sorry")

When eating something he likes:

Mmmm...That's goooood (all one word)

He also thinks that if he says and signs Please he can get whatever it is he wants.

New words include Fries, Track (like train tracks), Nug Nugs (chicken nuggets), Wall-E, and EeeeevAH!

Sunday, April 12, 2009 an Eggshell

1. I got no pictures from today. :( If anyone got any with my kids in them, I'd love to get them.

2. Morning started with a downpour of rain. The egg hunt area was a mud pit and having anything outside seemed impossible.

3. God makes the impossible possible. By the time church was over not only was the sun shining, but ALL of the ground was dry.

4. Today was busy, but good. It began early at 7am with getting the kids changed, dressed, and fed. Then came making over a dozen breakfast tacos for our hardworking church setup crew. They are truly hardworking since we have to set up and tear down our church every week with no building.

5. Ye of little faith. That was me today. It's not going to stop raining. Even if it does stop raining it will be all muddy. I should have just trusted.

6. We had soooooooooooooo many eggs to hide. Wow. Our community groups went above and beyond with the eggs. We had so many, by the end we were just dumping them all over. It ended up being at least an hour job. Wow.

7. Secretly, I had hoped to sit in service since I haven't gotten a full church service in about a month. But I heard it was completely full!! Wow. It must have been, because children's ministry was hopping.

8. We had over 70 kids back in children's. I held babies until my arms ached. I hopped fences and scurried and scrambled to plug in teachers and get this and that. I hope I served my teachers well today.

9. My friend (who I will leave nameless so I don't embarrass her) was a life saver today. Between helping me with the thousands of eggs to serving in children's ministry, she went above and beyond today. I think I would have had a stroke without her. My lifesaver!

10. Every kid had overflowing baskets/bags of eggs. So even though we didn't get to hide ALL of them, there was an abundance.

11. Rudy's BBQ was good.

12. Hayden picked up eggs this year, not sticks and rocks. But I missed it. Corbin was exhausted and had passed out in my arms. I had to stick close to the shade and hold my baby. No sunshine for Corbin!

13. Unlike last year where Hayden wouldn't stay out of the Easter Bunny's lap, this year he ran away from him. He pointed out the "Bunny" and smiled at him, but didn't want to get too close.

14. Hayden loved the bouncy houses and survived the other kids. Apparently, they were getting a little wild on the slide and Mark had to "supervise" and control the situation.

15. Kids did NOT want to nap when we got home finally. Grumbling and whining from both. Then suddenly both fell 5pm. Exhausted Mom and Dad decided to take a nap too. We all woke up at 7:30pm. Oops.

16. I still had shopping to do, hit the store at 8:30pm, got back at 10pm and kids are still up!!

17. Almost midnight and although it's been a LONG day, it's also been a miraculous day and that is worth every ounce of effort I put it and shames me for every comment or complaint I may have made about all the work.

Fun With Food

Another successful shopping trip under my belt.

This weeks total: $58.15


Monday: Chicken, rice, and cabbage soup

Tuesday: Meatballs with cream sauce and potatoes (we didn't end up making this last week)

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Chicken, broccoli, and steamed rice and salad

Friday: Homemade chicken BBQ pizza with artichoke hearts and onions

Saturday: Eat dinner out

Sunday: Chicken enchiladas

I was pretty please with the total I spent considering at least half of the items were fresh fruits or vegetables. Strawberries, bananas, grapes, artichoke, broccoli, carrots, celery, tomatoes and lettuce. I even got a few organic items - bread, milk, yogurt, chicken stock, eggs. As well as stocked up the baking goods - sugar. And a few "extras" for Hayden whole wheat goldfish and string cheese.

This total also included food for the kids this week. We're still eating from the bulk baby food jars, so no expense there. Canned fruit in water for Hayden. Formula is still lasting from the last Costco run. I skipped the chicken nuggets for Hayden - I'm trying to "wean" him off these. Real food this week. Hopefully the poor kid doesn't try to hold out for "Nug Nugs" cause we don't have any.

I was pretty pleased with myself last week, we only ate out twice and both were cheap and planned. Wendy's on Thursday when I met up with friends at the mall for a playdate. Saturday the whole family enjoyed the IKEA restaurant. Eating out on Saturday is a nice break that I think I'm going to put into our routine. A woman can only cook so much!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Peekaboo Revisited

So we all know how much Corbin loves Peekaboo, but today was just a moment of mother bliss. While I was feeding Corbin in the high chair, Hayden wandered over, looking for something to do.

All of a sudden an impromptu game of Peekaboo broke out between the brothers.

Hayden would squat down under the high chair tray so Corbin couldn't see him, then POP up! And I would say Peekaboo, while Corbin giggled and did that awesome belly laugh you only get when he's really happy.

Then Hayden would crack up, and start it all over again.

The boys so rarely interact - Hayden's just not interested in a kid that can't walk - that it's so wonderful to see them play together, and without any prompting from me.

In other news, my baby is no longer toothless!! It only too 9 1/2 months, but it's here! Yay Corbin.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Think of Him

Why are you striving these days?

I'm trying to keep it all together. I can fix this. I can make this better. I can survive this. I can be stronger.

Why are you trying to earn grace?

I can't possible deserve it. I need to deserve. It's not fair to be undeserving. I can make you love me. I can do better. I can try harder.

Why are you crying?

I can't fix it. I have no control. I need things to be ok. I need to be free of this pain. I need release.

Let me lift up your face, just don't turn away

Why do I turn away from You? Why do I hide from You?

Why are you looking for love?

I want my fairytale. I need a protector. I need a savior.

Why are you still searching as if I'm not enough?

I look for Him everywhere but in You. I can't see you. I can't feel you. I can't hear you.

To where will you go child?

I've nowhere to go.

Tell me where will you run?

I run every night, escaping my thoughts through the pounding of the pavement, but there's no place to run to that cures me.

To where will you run?

I run looking for You.

And I'll be by your side, wherever you fall

Are you there?

In the dead of night, whenever you call

Always there?

And please don't fight, these hands that are holding you

I won't let you hold me. I can't. I can't release it all. What if You let go? But I'm just so tired of fighting.

My hands are holding you

Look at these hands and my side
They swallowed the grave on that night
When I drank the world's sin
So I could carry you in
And give you life
I want to give you life

Cause I, I love you
I want you to know that I, I love you
I'll never let you go

Lyrics in italics: By Your Side, Tenth Avenue North
It's a free gift. It's not about laws or being good. It's not about who's right or who's wrong. It's not about "good" and "bad". It's about Him. He loves you. He is love.


Today I deleted over 12,000 emails - and I'm not even close to the outrageous Gmail limit. Even though I had well over 25,000 emails I was still only using about 20% of available space.

I could have archived it all. And I did ... at first.

But there was something freeing about deleting.

First I went through and deleted all the unread emails from various retailers. As I went I started "unsubscribing". Somehow over the course of the 4-5 years, I've amassed quite a collection of retailer spam. Babies R Us AND Toys R Us, Kohls, Macy's, Bath and Body Works, Victoria Secret, Old Navy, BabyFit,, just to name a few. All of which I never read. And if by chance I did read it, I never bought anything. And the thing is...I don't NEED to buy anything. So I unsubscribed.

Next came the forwards. Oh the forwards. Send this to 10 people or you'll die...or get bad luck...or (insert horrible fate here).

Then the chats. Oh a girl like me can chat. Blah Blah Blah. Most go something like this. Hi. Hiya. How ya doin? Good u? Not bad.

Yeah..uh..bye bye chat messages.

Then come the newsletters. Church, "good causes", politics, whatever. DELETE.

Then the big attachments. Emails like, Hey look at my wrinkly newborn, here are pic to prove it. (These were all of Hayden btw). Delete.

Yahoo groups digests...delete.

FlyLady emails I've neglected to read and felt guilty about...delete.

Oh DELETE feels so gooooood. Soon I deleted anything that was "Unread" prior to 2009. I figure if I haven't read it by now, I AM NOT GOING TO. That one was hard, long!

Tell me, how many emails have you "collected" over time? One wouldn't think that something like email would have a "clutter" feel to it. BUT IT DOES. Wow, I feel 10 lbs lighter. I felt like I was drowning in emails. Now I can thoughtfully consider each email. Reply to those I need to and delete the rest.

I have the power!!! DELETE. DELETE. DELETE.

P.S. The gorgeous pic of my baby was not taken by me, but my super duper friend Robyn.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Something Out of Nothing

This is another one of those saving money posts. So if you're not interested in saving money, step away from the computer and go do something expensive, like shopping.

How many of you plan out your meals for the week? I think this is the biggest thing you can do to save money on food - both groceries AND eating out. Granted, I'm horrible at planning meals. It takes thought and time - two things I have low supply on these days.

Yet, when I do sit down and do it. Food possibilities magically open up to me, ones that I would NEVER have come up with say, 15 minutes before dinner.

Let's take this week for instance. I wanted to spend the least amount of money possible on groceries and not eat out this week. Mark and I worked on the budget last night and I got my "number" for the month on what we can spend on groceries and eating out. Before you start thinking we have it together, be aware that we've been going with no budget for months now. This is our first month back "on budget". A kitchen remodel will do that to you...

I love it when Mark just gives me a number. Spend this. It's like a challenge. First, how great of deals can I get? Second, how much can I save? I love having "extra" money left over only because I was a wise shopper that month. But most importantly, I love having a "number" to spend because I never feel guilty about any of my purchases. When we off budget, my mind also nags me - you don't really need that. But when I know I haven't exceeded our money, I am free to get us those little "extras" if there's any left over.

So this month I wanted to start off right. I knew we had lots of food that could be the start of "meal makings". For instance, we have dry rice and beans. A great combo to make Spanish rice and a large pot of beans. That's dinner tonight.

Rice I make by following the cooking directions, but also adding 2 chicken bouillon cubes and a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies. Since I had it all but the diced tomatoes with green chilies, that meal only added on item to the grocery list. About 74 cents.

Beans are just soaked overnight, then cooked a couple hours with cilantro, garlic, onions, and the seasonings of my choice (mostly salt and pepper, haha). We had onions leftover from the bag I bought weeks ago, I bought a LARGE container of garlic cloves awhile back and put it in the freezer, and now all I needed was cilantro. So put cilantro down (only 50 cents by the way).

We are big tortilla eaters in this house, so we still had some corn tortillas left, but I put my special flour ones I like on the grocery list too. Again, 99 cents for 20 tortillas.

Granted, you may not have dry rice or beans in your pantry. But I highly recommend adding it to your list! I can make steamed rice, fried rice, add rice to a casserole dish or soup. Beans can be refried for breakfast tacos or a side with dinner. And both of those items are dirt cheap.

The next meal I got was pure luck. Last week on impulse I had thrown a tortilla soup mix in the cart. We love it. It's cheap for the amount of soup it makes. You add 8 cups of watter to the mix and that's it! I generally like to boil and shred chicken to add to it. It makes the soup stretch further. I always buy the big bag of frozen chicken breasts. Those are around 10 bucks and last us 2 weeks if we don't have folks over for dinner. One chicken breast shredded typically is enough for the soup. The soup mix is a little less than 4 dollars. Which isn't bad since it serves 4. Bake some of your tortillas for chips or buy a bag of tortilla chips. We like the blue corn tortilla chips since they are low in fat, but they are more expensive. It's one of our "luxuries".

Now that I had two meals down that both produce LOTS of leftovers, Wednesday is a freebie. Leftover night. Take your pick between rice and beans or tortilla soup or both! They all go together.

Thursday is an easy meal. Spaghetti!! Most of the time I just make tons of spaghetti and skip the sides. We're happy with that. But if you need variety on your plate, add some zucchini or asparagus. Zucchini is the cheaper route, but we LOVE asparagus and get it at least a few times a month. Zucchini is super easy to make. Just slice up and put in a pan with a small amount of olive oil. Add salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Cook until tender. Yummy!! I usually buy the spaghetti sauce in the jars. I used to buy the cheapest kind (less than a dollar), but lately I've been going the more natural/organic route and get Prego's organic mushroom. It's a little more expensive (2.50 I think), but it's the cheapest organic sauce I've found. Once my tomato plants start producing, I think I'll try my hand at homemade!

We always have spaghetti leftovers, so Friday is a repeat. Plus I NEVER feel like cooking on friday and I know it. So planning a cooked meal that day is just silly. We just rummage around and eat whatever is left from the week.

Saturday is tacos - another cheap and easy meal. I like to use the taco seasoning packs for flavor. Add whatever you love to the tacos. Pico de gallo, lettuce, avocado, whatever.

Sunday is a treat. I love IKEA meatballs, cream sauce, and lingonberry sauce. Yum!! I bought the frozen meatballs, sauce mix and jar of sauce a few weeks ago. It makes about 3 meals in my opinion.

Oatmeal makes cheap breakfasts. If you want a "treat" buy those muffin packets - I had one left in my pantry for apple cinnamon muffins that I might whip up this week. Simple lunches of sandwiches or salads are cheap too. Also, eating the left overs for lunch is a big money saver.

Often if I'm doing a special diet, I'll make Mark the "menu" then pick and choose from it and add my own "diet" foods. Like no sugar, or carbs. Often the few foods I need to add to supplement any dieting aren't expensive if I don't try to make the whole family eat that way. Add a 3 lb ground beef, sausage links, veggies and cheese to the grocery list and you have the makings of low carb food. This also makes the leftovers last longer because I'm not eating as much of the "menu" food.

Anyway, this week I got out of the grocery store under $30!!!!!! Of course every week won't be that way, but buying in bulk and using what I have left over has been key to me saving us money.

But even if I hadn't had a lot of that on hand, it would only have been around 20-30 more, which is still not bad. And those additional items would have been more than one meal. Like buying a bag of frozen chicken or dry rice.

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Making Progress

We've got a whole sink!! And a dishwasher!! And a garbage disposal!!

Now excuse me, I'm going to go wash my dishes!!

Bragging Rights!!!

Okay, maybe every 9 month can do this, but this is a first for me...

Hayden had left out one of our photo albums in the living room and Corbin happened to be playing near by.

I pulled the album over to show Corbin the pictures - they were all from the first few days of Hayden's life.

Instantly, he took his little index finger and pointed out his momma's face.

Hmm...interesting. Coincidence?

Then I flipped to the next one - it was Mark holding "baby" Hayden. Corbin's little finger now points to Mark's face.

Wow. Well that's cool. Maybe he's just pointing out "people". Since there is only one person (minus the baby) in the pictures.

So then I turn the page to a photo of Mark, his Dad, grandpa, and brothers. Mark is off to the side, not exactly in the middle like in the other photos. Again, Corbin puts his little finger right on Mark's face.

Okay! That's it. My kid is a genius.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A P.S. for the last post....

And just to be clear...


In my not at all biased opinion, they are THE best kids on the planet.

I mean come on...could you resist this?

I think not.

Oh..Melts my Heart!

Zavala boys went on a road trip with Mommy today! We all survived.

I have a sink. I real sink. With water! Okay, well I have half a sink. One side is still not hooked up - they lost some part for the garbage disposal. Too just come home from our road trip to a "perfectly" working sinking, would just be too good to be true. Those kind of things do not happen to the Zavalas. The Zavalas do not win the lottery, scratch offs, or contests. They do not have easy remodel jobs, or even easy pieces of remodel jobs.

They do not survive a hail storm without damage. Our car looks like it was attacked by a sledge hammer and we need a new windshield.

And they don't have worry-free, healthy kids, but they sure are cute!!!

Ah the little things. Just having them is a gift. I remember before they were born I thought about what they would be like. If they would be "advanced" in some way or another. You know, that "proud parent" moment. We were talking with friends a while back and they mentioned how they loved to tell their "proud parent" moments.

For a quick second that hit my heart a little bit. Our children, though precious and wonderful in every way, have yielded several "proud parent" moments, but not the same kind of moments other parents might have. Each new word that Hayden learns is such a triumph to me, but no he certainly doesn't surpass any other two year old verbally, and a 20 month old we know could talk circles around him. Every time Corbin is able to sit I silently cheer for my sweet delicate baby. But no, he was not a "quick to sit" baby. Other babies are proudly displayed standing all by themselves! Babies younger than sweet Corbin. But I'm simply proud that he is here smiling at me at all.

He's performed a feat far greater than the typical first year milestones. He's alive and living with only one kidney! His kidney has grown to the size of an 18 month old's to compensate for the extra work. Wow. Truly amazing.

But no, that's not really something one throws out at the group of moms comparing achievements.

In the past 2 1/2 years, I've learned to become ok with the silence on my end during these types of discussions. In all honesty, I have to admit that it used to hurt, sometimes still does.

Wow, 19 months old and repeats everything you say?
Man, 22 lbs already??
So cute, teaching her funny phrases.
Look at him sit! That's amazing
Oh my he's really strong.
I can't believe she understands most of what you say!!

Does Hayden x, y, z? Or is Corbin x,y, z? not yet, but soon I think!

Oh but what wonderful babies they are! What they might lack in the milestones, they surely make up for in personality!! If only personality was a milestone!! I'd have some real bragging rights then. Giant smiles. Infectious laughs. Great hugs. Great snuggles. Always joyful (ok almost always, Hayden is a 2 year old). Love being tickled. Loves being chased! Miracle babies they are!!

So begone you Mommy braggers. My kids will rock the world someday! They already have rocked mine.