Friday, May 29, 2009

Lazy Friday Afternoon

I think this picture says it all

Today is just one of those lazy days

You know, the kind where no ones seems to get around to putting pants on...

What? You gotta problem with that?

I could have started the day out right by, say getting dressed. I was even invited to go swimming this morning with lots of other moms. But somehow, the idea of wrangling a 2 year old and an almost 1 year old (yes he's almost one) in a swimming pool while simultaneously worrying about Corbin's photosensitivity and Hayden's ear tubes seemed, well - like too much work for a Friday or maybe just plain insane.

Why stress on a Friday? Go pantless!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Laughing out Loud

Oh, this post and especially this post, made me laugh out loud tonight - and that's hard to do considering I'm 4 feet away from the babies room and I do NOT want to wake him up.

I think our pastor should try opening up his sermons that way, who doesn't love a good slide across the stage?

Sock Gnome?

You know how people have garden gnomes? Well I think the Zavalas have a Sock Gnome. In fact, I'm completely convinced that there must be a little man who sneaks into our dryer when I'm not looking and steals all of our socks.

I'm not entirely sure what a small gnome would want with 4 different sizes of socks, but that's besides the point. Either way, they are still gone.

While doing a quick search just on gnomes - I have no idea why - I see that gnomes are more benevolent than say, goblins. So I am adjusting my previous hypothesis (see, I am using my 6th grade science skills!) and now am sure it must be a Sock Goblin!! For surely, the stealing of socks cannot be a benevolent act.

Is it Friday yet? I think I need a drink. ;)

My cuties

Water, Water

Yesterday, Hayden and I had an "outside" day. Okay, well really it was only 2 hours during Corbin's morning nap, but it felt like a full day to me! I decided to pull out the water toys and just enjoy the hot weather.

So I went to get the wading pool...I looked in the backyard where I remembered it was last - no, not there. I looked in the garage, thinking maybe Mark put it away, no, no big blue wading pool. I looked in the shed, nope.


Then it dawned on me - it must have blown away in the last storm!! Oh dear. Our wading pool was long gone and I had no idea where it went.

So I called Mark on the phone and begged for him to bring us home a wading pool - since Corbin was down at this point and I'd already told Hayden we were gonna play in the water! And being the super Dad and husband he is, he DID bring us one.

Yay! We had a good time with the wading pool, I didn't even bother with Hayden's swim diaper or shorts. I just let him hop in fully clothed. Whatever.

I worked on cleaning up the backyard while Hayden splished and splashed. Years ago (like over 5) I had bought this little "greenhouse". Basically it was a shelving unit that had a zip up plastic cover. I really never used it. Then one day I tried to close it and the plastic had gotten hot and stuck together, and it ripped when I pulled it apart. So I was like, well there goes the greenhouse and never gave it another thought.

When my parents helped us paint our house, they moved everything to one corner of the yard, and there it sat for the next oh, 4 years.

So yesterday I sat looking at it. This time not from the perspective I previously had - which was if it doesn't serve it's original purpose, it's useless. Lately, I'm more of the "how can I use this" perspective, not wanting to create anymore waste than I have to. The shelves were in perfectly good condition. So I cleaned them up, hosed the whole thing down and brought it back on my porch. I had just repotted my tomato plant that morning and was looking for a place to put it outside. The shelves were a perfect solution!!

It felt so good to have rectified a previous "mistake" and to renew those shelves into something that serves a purpose again - not just trash in my yard. I've been trying to do that with a lot of things, but this is the first one that I really came up with a great idea for.

I finally feel like I'm making an impact on this house. Sometimes it all can feel so overwhelming. I have this idea in my mind how everything should look and be, but the reality of the situation is that I really only have a couple of free hours each day to do anything, and I have a lot of needs that have to be done before the wants. Needs like laundry, dishes, dinner, cleaning. The rest of my time is spent caring for the boys. So it feels good to do something small that can be seen, and that can't be undone (unlike cleaning or laundry which will just need to be done again).

And then those days when I do have a little more time, I'm often tired or just unmotivated. I wish it wasn't like that, but it is. Today I have a feeling little will get done, mostly because I woke up with a headache that doesn't seem like it's going away any time soon.

But yesterday, I cleaned the yard and it felt good.

Then we ate Popsicles, yum. HA!

And it all was over by 2pm. At which time I put Hayden down, Corbin down an hour later, then took a nap.

What do you have time to get done? Do you have routines? Do you have methods of getting things done with your kids? Cause I rarely have both kids napping, so I have to do things while they are up. Love to hear your ideas.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Blank Day

Today is one of those "blank" days. You know, where you look on your calendar for the day and see's blank. And it just feels so ... good.

One thing about being a mom and staying at home with my kids, is that there are a lot of "appointments" and errands to run. And truth be told, I do have errands to run, but I don't have to do them today.

Today, I could do nothing, or anything, or everything. But I decide. It's 10am, and I decide what I'll do today. Oh how I love that feeling. The world is my oyster, so to speak.

What would you do with a "free" day?

I have a list a mile long of things I'd love to do.

I'd love to bake some fresh bread. The smell of baked bread is so intoxicating.

Going outside sounds wonderful. Especially in the morning when the air still smells cool and dewy. Sitting on the deck with a cup of tea, watching my babies play. Now that's the life.

Cleaning up my kitchen until it sparkled would be great. I love the look of a freshly cleaned kitchen, waiting for its cook.

Or that great feeling of "cleanliness" you get after sweeping and mopping your floor. Smelling the orange citrus of my mop, and see the floor shine as it gets wet. Yeah, that's nice too.

Reading an inspirational book would be great. Not silly drama, but something that really stirs the soul.

I'm trying to embrace the concept of "Never complaining about anything - not even the weather". For those of you who haven't read "Calm my Anxious Heart", I'd highly recommend it. And man, is this hard. Everyone complains about the weather! When it rains, we wish sun. When it's hot, we wish for cold. When cold, we want hot. The weather can just not win.

I read something yesterday that really stuck with me, in a sad way. It was from a stay at home mom who was debating over whether to go back to work (where she said she felt appreciated) or stay at home (where she felt purposeless).

I've got no comment on the work/no work stuff - but purposeless? That's sad to read. Because it can have such a great purpose. Caring for children, instilling values, teaching life's lessons, showing them God and His love, creating an inviting home - all these things seem to have no value in our culture. If you don't get paid to do it, it is deemed worthless, purposeless.

There are purposeful jobs out there, but they aren't all that way. Just because someone tells me "good job" and I finish X, Y, Z project doesn't mean there was a purpose (other than to make the CEO and company more money). At the end of my life, when I looked back, what are the things that mattered? I'm thinking my job wouldn't have been one of them.

That's not to say you can't have purpose at your job, or that working is bad or whatever. I just wouldn't devalue staying at home while looking at the other side saying the grass is greener.

I grew up a day care kid, then a latch key kid - it was hard. It wasn't horrible, and I didn't turn out bad, but it was hard. I'd like to try it differently with my kids, that's all. And I'd like to think that my life is purposeful, even if no one hands me a check at the end of the day.

So on that note, I'm going to enjoy the fact that I'm not in the rat race today. There is no rushing around getting kids ready, no annoying coworkers, no sitting cooped up in my office wishing I was outside - just me, the kids, and the day to enjoy. So yeah the pay is horrible, the hours suck, but the perks - oh man, the perks make it so worth it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Derby Day

I happened to be in Kentucky during the Kentucky Derby. It's hilarious that my family has lived in KY so long, yet never been to a derby. We always just watch it on TV - better view.

This year was no different. Locally, they show all the races before - not just the Derby like they do here. So we got the morning paper and made our selections on who we thought would Win, Place, or Show. I'm the kind of girl who picks a horse by it's name, my Mom looks at odds, jockeys, and then the actual horse when they do the walk down to the gates, my Dad is a bit of both.

My Dad is gifted at picking horses, he won most of the ones he picked - it was crazy! Of course, he "Bet it all" on the Derby horse and lost! Hahaha. My mom did pretty well and came out on top in the end. And my pick em by name approach actually had me winning something most of the time.

While we were watching we started getting jealous that we didn't have our own crazy Derby hats (for those that never watch, it's quite the thing to go to the Derby in some huge, stylish hat), so we made our own.

I think ours were just as elegant as the celebs. HA!

Small World

Today was Hayden's first appointment with the school district to see if he qualifies for their free preschool when he turns 3. I was a bit nervous about the whole thing and not really sure what to expect.

I walked in, and who did I see? My neighbor!! I knew she worked at the school, but I had no idea what she did exactly. She was the one who watched Hayden while he played. It was so awesome to see her there and it put me at ease immediately.

They had an enormous playroom with just about any toy you could imagine. Cars, trucks, planes, helicopters, imaginary play centers (grocery store, etc), sensory toys, doll houses, you name it. Obviously, Hayden went wild! He loved it. In fact, I had to drag him out kicking and screaming "No Go!"

They joked that all the 2-3 year olds leave that way. HA! They said it gets better when they are 4-5.

This meeting was mostly informational. His actual evaluation is not until October!! And then there will be another meeting with speech therapists, evaluators, and the school district to vote on whether he qualifies. I have a feeling that by October, he will have mostly caught up and therefore not qualify. But we'll see. It was nice to see how great they are with the kids, and any fears or apprehension I had about the program was put to rest.

If he qualifies, that would be great. But if not, that's good to, because it means he's no longer delayed!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Toddler Activity

Hours of fun for any toddler who loves trains...

I drew a railroad with chalk on our porch, gave Hayden a train and let his imagination come alive.

Super Woman No Longer

I've come to realize, I'm no longer a super woman. What do I mean by that? I can no longer go for a run, clean up the house, take a shower, fix my hair, make a delicious breakfast, and dress to the 9s all by 8am. Heck, I can't even write a blog post in one sitting. HA!

I am a super woman no longer, and that's ok.

It's quite a process these days, just to go in the backyard. Both kids need diaper changes first thing in the morning. Hayden gets his 2 bananas and milk, Corbin a bottle.

Hayden wanders by again and I can smell that it's time for another diaper change.

Kids need new clothes for the day. I wrestle with both to accomplish that.

Hayden decides to spread his legos all over the living room floor. Of course these need to be cleaned up (by him) before he can go play outside. I know he'd rather be outside than in, but somehow cleaning up legos takes him 30 minutes and me saying "Clean up your legos and we can go outside" about 100 times.

During all this, I realize that I'll need a cup of coffee to survive this day (which started earlier than usual with the pitter patter of Hayden's little feet and sweet giggles after he'd climbed over his baby gate to come wake up Momma). While Hayden is dragging his feet on cleanup I sneak in a quick cup of coffee. Okay, well half a cup. It gets cold before I get to the last half.

By 10:30 I finally get both kids outside to enjoy the last bits of the cooler morning. Luckily, this week it is slow to get hot and we had plenty of time. Come July, this routine will not work, as it will probably be 90 before I get us all outside.

Sometimes I wonder what the point of all this is. But somehow it feels right. And maybe life is just in the doing. Loving, Helping, Creating, Caring. I think that might be worth more than all the Mt Everest climbs, or worldly success. Something deep down inside me quietly says, yes, it is.

I know that Mark and I decided to have children. But God gave them to us. As many find out, just because you want children, doesn't always mean you get them. And if you are given the blessing, you (I) should never forget what a precious gift the really are. And we are really just caretakers of God's children for a short time.

So let's go enjoy that time.

Hayden at the moment is sitting at his picnic table drumming his fingers waiting for a "snack". I have a sneaking suspicion that he doesn't know what a snack is, as every time I bring him something (apple, pretzels) he smiles and then says "Snack?"

Sunday, May 17, 2009


The new developments with the kiddos?

Corbin is army crawling (i.e. crawling with his arms/elbows and pushing forward with his feet.) He's now mobile!!! And everywhere. He started this about 2 weeks ago at my parents house.

Hayden is now saying 2 word phrases - which is a big milestone we've been waiting for. He even said a 5 word phrase, although mentally it was really 3.

We were pulling out of the garage and he said:

"Bye bye kitties, gotta go." (My parents have cats that live outside but stay in the garage at night.)

Bye-bye and "gotta go" are single words to Hayden, so that's why I call it a 3 word phrase.

So he is regularly saying phrases like:

"Bye bye" person's name
"More" *word
"Drop" *word
"Fall" *word
"Please" *word

The boys are even playing together. Hayden likes to lead Corbin around by dangling a desirable item in front of him and continuously moving it. This way he can get Corbin to go anywhere he wants. Occasionally, I even find both boys playing "cars" or "trains" together. Of course, this is assuming Corbin doesn't touch anything Hayden deems as "his".

It's now starting to hit me that I have two children...haha.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Empty House...Empty Fridge

Despite giving my hubby the bulk of the grocery money over the last few weeks, we came home to a house devoid of food. We did have a few "necessities" I had requested he buy in advance, but nothing much else. The only dinner I could think to throw together was chicken fajitas, rice, and a can of beans I refried.

We had the makings of spaghetti, but not enough noodles and no side or salad.

We had frozen chicken breasts, but no veggies or yummy items to cook it with.

We had milk but no cereal.

And thanks to Amanda's wonderful post on homemade popcorn, we had popcorn.

I made steel cut oats with yogurt, honey, sliced peaches (canned) and nuts for breakfast. It was the only thing we had. It was yummy though. I think I'll eat that this week for breakfast.

Lunch today (before I went shopping) was PB&J sandwich for me, and leftover spaghetti for Mark and Hayden. Apparently, Mark decided to just make a HUGE pot of spaghetti and eat that for a week.

Which made me laugh when he told me because I had planned on making spaghetti tonight for dinner. HA!

So I decided instead to run to HEB (in the rain) to grab some groceries for the week. This week's total: 54.74!! Mark spent around $19 bucks for milk, yogurt, baby food and some other items before we got back.

What's for dinner?

Saturday: Easy Chicken Bake (a new recipe)
Sunday: Whole Roasted Chicken with mash potatoes
Monday: Beans & Rice (and leftover chicken)
Tuesday: Stovies
Wednesday: Left overs
Thursday: Chicken Enchiladas
Friday: BBQ Chicken, green pepper, and artichoke pizza
Saturday: Cook's day off!! Eat out.

Hayden also has a new love of apples. I just have to bite a piece of to get him started and he'll eat the whole apple without cutting it. So I got a bag of organic apples - they were only 2.99 which is not bad at all.

When I picked up Mark's prescription, the cash register spit out a coupon for a FREE bottle of Perrier water!

I think I'll do my homemade mac n cheese this week for some lunches. I'm started to prefer it over store bought. It just has so much more flavor!! I debated whether to buy whole grain pasta this time, but I decided not to - I thought it might turn Hayden off!

And man are sodas getting expensive. $4 for Diet Rite???!! I decided to go with the cheap HEB soda for $2.50.

Other prices that are insane right now - milk! Organic (and the central market version, not the more expensive brand) was $5.39 I think. What??!!! Makes a girl want to go buy a dairy cow, but I have a feeling my neighbors might have objections to that.

It feels good to open the fridge and pantry and actually see FOOD in there and not just empty shelves staring back at me. I tried to use up all our food before we left so it wouldn't go bad, but I think I should have left a "stocking" grocery list for Mark before we got back. HA!

Oh well.

I am glad to be back home and doing my own cooking. I really am getting anal about cooking and choosing my meals, and I didn't necessarily like having someone decide what I ate every night. Nice thing about being the cook, is that YOU decide what to make every day. I basically cook all MY favorite meals (that everyone else happens to like as well) and enjoy each meal!

Oh and my kitchen is 99.999% done. Right now I'm cooking dinner and enjoying having my laptop in my kitchen!

Friday, May 15, 2009

How To Survive in the Airport Jungle

It's inevitable - flying with children. Flying with two young children ... alone ... is just plain crazy.

Here's what I learned:

1. Bring a "helper". If you ask at the ticket counter you can get a special pass for anyone who wants to help you get the kid(s) through security. All they need is their driver's license and they can go through security and down to the gate with you.

Mark helped me on the way there, and they let both of my parents go down with me when flying home.

2. If you have a child that eats non-perishable finger goods (i.e. goldfish, pretzels, puffs) bring lots of them! Get about 4-5 ziplock bags (sandwich size) and fill them with different snacks. When Hayden started to get grumpy, Tada! I'd throw some snacks his way to distract him.

This works best if they are favorite snacks that they haven't eaten recently.

3. Buy some new cheap toys. I scoured HEB for toys before I left. Toys Hayden had never seen before. I got little plastic dinosaurs, a special coloring pad and markers that only colored on the special paper, a chalk board, a toy cell phone, and a tiger/panther set of animals with moveable limbs. All these were very compact toys, easily tucked away in a diaper bag.

I put the different toys in separate plastic bags and pulled each out as he started to get fussy.

4. Don't participate in the in-flight beverage. You're just asking to get a drink spilled on you or your innocent neighbor.

5. Do look pathetic while waiting for everyone to board - maybe no one will sit with you. Chances are with 1 or more small children no one will anyway. Sitting closer to the back of the plane will most likely ensure this unless the flight is full.

6. You may just have to wait on that dirty diaper. Casually imply that your baby is just farting. There's no way you'll be able to wrangle a toddler while changing a diaper in the airplane bathroom.

7. Laugh off rude passengers. After flight attendant stupidly offers an "aisle" seat next to you and rude old man says - Kids? Oh no...I've raised my kids, try to laugh it off by saying - I wouldn't sit by me either - no worries.

8. Sit close to "grandma" types. They may just offer to trade up their seat to sit with you in hopes of getting some baby time. Which means "free" time for you, er, well distract Hayden time for me.

9. Bring your own baby food. You won't be able to find it at the airport. But they do have diapers. I ended up feeding Corbin a yogurt parfait.

10. You can survive anything for 2 hours. At least that's what I tell myself. Be sure to limit your travel to short intervals. By 1 hour 30 minutes Hayden was about to jump out of his seat. It was all I had to keep him entertained that last 30 minutes.

11. Bring a portable DVD/movie player. I brought my iPod and downloaded Happy Feet before I left. Unfortunately, I didn't check if the headphones were working before I left. If Happy Feet with no sound kept Hayden entertained, think what the full experience could have done!

12. Breathe...just keep breathing.

Photo credit: Ma1974

Home At Last

First, I have to say... I missed you!!! Yeah you. I missed having my random dribble I call a blog to write on and being able to hear back from you even if I'm totally boring that day. I also missed reading all my favorite blogs, although I did sneak in a few here and there.

Have you ever had SO much to write about that you don't know where to begin? And that each topic could easily be it's own post? And you're not really sure anyone cares anyway? Yeah, that's about where I'm at right now.

I have whole rantings on:

  • Airport Security
  • Airports in general
  • Crabby, rude passengers on airplanes
  • Antsy toddlers
  • Bored kids
  • Wiggly babies
  • Small towns
  • Satellite TV
  • Outings with kids
  • Chuck E Cheese
  • Sleeping with your kid
  • Growing/Climbing kids
  • Amazing speech developments
  • Amazing physical developments
  • Coffee
  • Full flights
  • Early mornings
  • Kentucky Derby watching (on TV of course)
  • My own homemade derby hat
Just to name a few....

ACK! Where to begin? How about you tell me what you'd like to hear? Cause I've got lots of stories!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Coming back soooooon!!!

I fly home today!! So I'll have lots of stories coming soon. We get in late tonight so I'll see you all tomorrow.

Love ya!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Did you know that one year it snowed in Corpus Christi TX??!! Yeah, it did, on Christmas eve no less. And I have the pictures to prove it. Me, being from KY and all, was not impressed as everyone else. I was thinking, "It's just snow guys!! Come in already so we can open some gifts!! You don't even have mittens. Sheesh." But the guys were having too much fun. I think we did gifts at like 2pm that day.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Where I'm At

Here's where I am right now. These pics are from my parents home, Thanksgiving 05 I believe.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Notre Dame Campus

Back in '05 Mark and I took our "Domer" pilgrimage back to the homeland...aka Notre Dame. We hadn't been back since Mark graduated, and haven't gotten a chance to go back since.

It's so gorgeous up there and it brought back so many memories.

When I visited the campus for the first time in 1997 I saw a wedding taking place in the chapel (in the background of this pic). I saw the bride and bridesmaid rush into the side door and the ushers helping guests through the front. It was an impacting memory.

This is in the bookstore on campus. When I first came, the bookstore was just a tiny little building in the middle of campus. It grew into a huge "mega" bookstore where you could buy anything and everything ND.

Monday, May 4, 2009


So Pre-kids we used to throw a killer Halloween party. Were you one of the "lucky" ones who attended?

One of these days I'm sure we'll throw another. Maybe when the kids are old enough to go visit Grandma for a week.

This year, we are getting out for Halloween, but we're not hosting anything, we'll be at the ND game in San Antonio. Woot!

Here are some pics from our last party - see yourself anywhere?