Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Food - The Challenge

With Hayden, our biggest struggle next to his hearing/speech has been food allergies. Early on he had a reaction to Soy Formula (violent throwing up after drinking soy formula), Lemon Poppy Seed Bread (hives), Reeses Pieces (hives), and now we've discovered a new one this week - watermelon (hives).

This weekend we went on a little mini-vacation to The Hideaway Ranch & Retreat. It was very fun and HOT! Temperatures spiking above 103 made outside activity difficult. But we had a blast anyway. I'll write about that in another post.

While we were there, some of our friends had brought watermelon to share with us. Hayden dug into a slice and loved it. A little bit later we noticed his face was breaking out in hives, but we didn't know if it was the watermelon (which I actually didn't even consider since he's had it once before), the new chips he'd never tried, or the cow hide on the back of the couch he'd been messing with.

Mark was convinced it was the cow hide, I was thinking it was the new chips. I never really gave the watermelon any thought.

We brought back four leftover slices home with us on Sunday, which I thought would make a great start to lunch for Hayden yesterday. He was LOVING it, and ended up eating almost 3 slices.

He then started saying "Belly, belly" and scratching his belly. I looked at his belly and it was a bit red, but I thought maybe from the scratching. Within 10 minutes he had hives from his mouth, under his chin, on his chest and down to his belly. He had eaten nothing else but watermelon. It was obvious he is allergic to watermelon. Then the light bulb clicked and I realized that on Saturday he had eaten watermelon right before the chips and playing on the couch. It wasn't the cow hide or the chips, it was the watermelon.

Watermelon??!!! Uh, who is allergic to watermelon...it's mostly, well, WATER.

Today was Corbin's 1 year check up (I'll post on that later), and while I was there I mentioned Hayden's food allergies and my desire to get him allergy testing. The doctor wrote up the paperwork right there and sent us across the hall to get his blood drawn. Let me tell you, it was a FIGHT.

I felt so bad, because when we first pulled into the parking lot Hayden recognized it as the doctors office and I had reassured him it was for Corbin and NOT him. My first official LIE to my child. Although, at the time I had NO idea that this was going to happen, but I still feel bad. It took me and 2 nurses to draw his blood. I think we scared every person in the waiting room. There is really no wall or door that blocks sound in the lab, you just walk around a corner and get the blood drawn. So EVERYONE heard his blood curdling screams.

And to top it all off, I think we left his brand new airplane toy there in all the chaos. I had just bought him a little matchbox airplane the night before and surprised him with it at the doctor's office so he would have something to do. He had it for approximately 1 hour and now it's gone.

So not only did his mother lie to him, strange people held him down and stuck him with a needle, but he lost his toy. Poor baby.

I don't think this is going to improve his doctor/patient relationships.

We should get the results in 2 weeks. We go back to the doctor on July 14th.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Saving Money

So I'm slowly learning how to save money here and there in the grocery budget. I think I'm going to start documenting all the things I've learned here. No time like the present so, here's...

Money Saving Food Tip #1:

Make Your Own Popcorn

Ever since Amanda posted on making your own popcorn, I've been hooked - and richer! A bag of popcorn kernels is about a dollar and makes at least 15 big pots of popcorn. Beat that with that microwave crap - which is more expensive, not as good for you, and tastes worse!!

Okay, if you don't eat popcorn, this won't save you a dime, but if you do? Brilliant!! It also only takes 3 minutes to make - the same as in the microwave.

Only downside? You have to shake it while it pops. But maybe that could be a form of exercise?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sick Day

Today I took a sick day.

So what does that mean?

It means I woke up at 7:50am.

I fed Hayden and Corbin breakfast.

I tried to teach Hayden to recognized the numbers 1, 2, and 3. (Unsuccessfully - every number is FIVE!)

I changed diapers and clothes.

I did not get dressed...yet.

I made homemade chicken nuggets which were not eaten.

I wiped snotty noses and suctioned out mucous.

I cleaned up toys in the living room.

I kissed boo boos and played peek-a-boo.

I pulled out old clothes to be donated and picked up tomorrow.

I put the pillows back on the couch for the one millionth time.

I stopped the baby from eating my phone.

I attempted to put Hayden down for a nap - unsuccessfully.

I took out the trash.

I checked the mail.

I wrote a thank you note.

I read some blogs.

I restarted the dryer a few times - maybe this time I'll fold the clothes before they wrinkle again.

I checked email.

I chatted.

I kissed more boo boos.

I carried kids out of my room for the 5th time.

I rescheduled appointments.

I started a grocery list.

I rotated out toys and books from the kid corner.

I thought about doing the dishes.

I started the dishwasher (that was already full of dirty dishes).

I organized the dish towel drawer.

I picked up puffs, and I picked up puffs, and I picked up more puffs.

I told Hayden to get down from the couch, and the fireplace, and the couch, and the fireplace, and the...

I made trees and stars out of play-doh.

I had a good laugh when Hayden came out of the closet in daddy's boots.

I sat with Hayden while he "pretended" to go potty.

I blew my nose...a hundred times.

I washed my hands...a hundred times.

I made ginger tea.

I drank ginger tea.

I gave hugs.

I gave kisses.

I deleted old/bad pics off our hard drive to make room for more.

I folded/hung/put away 10 items of clothing out of the dryer...then I restarted it...

I listened to whining...and more whining...and crying...and I 2 year olds pulling on my pantleg...

I uninstalled software to make more room on our laptop.

I stepped on spoons, toy cars, and broken crackers.

Okay, you get the idea. So what's so different about a sick day than a regular day? Eh, I get a good excuse to whine more.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Telemarketers....oh my

Telemarketers - we all hate them. But at the Zavala house we get only one brand of telemarketer - the good cause donation.

And boy do we get it all:

The paralyzed veterans
The fire department
The families of firemen
The police officers
And the family of police officers
Cancer - all forms and ages
The homeless

I could go on, but your eyes would start bleeding.

And me, I always feel SO bad. I mean, yes I want to support the firemen, or the veterans, or whatever. But, no I don't have money to support ALL the causes that we get called about each week. We must be on some national "they give money to charity" list, because we are called for EVERYTHING.

And so today was another day. But this time instead of saying, yes I'll support with $50 bucks (plus mailing costs) I said no. I said no, because I've already said yes way too many times (to this very charity no less). I said no because I've NO money this month to spend.

And I felt horrible. I said no to the kids with cancer that just want to go on a last vacation before they die. Ugh. How's that to start off your day?

Pillars of Sand

One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand

~Viva la Vida, Coldplay

What are the castles I'm building?

I'll be the first to admit, my small group time usually falls into "social" time, not any kind of spiritual growth.

But now, every time I sit down to enjoy my coffee and dessert, I'm hit over the head with thought provoking, heart changing, life altering truth.

Whoa, what? Look people, I just want to eat my chocolate in peace. I wasn't expecting heart surgery. And yet, there it is. And I had nothing to do with it. Nothing. No fancy study or 10 steps to a better Christian or some new church-wide experiment. Nope.

And, it's not some revolutionary, I'm a new person thing. It's like God is chipping off a tiny piece at a time. I'm getting the feeling this is a slow process - like lifetime slow.

This week - my thoughts swirl around how I put limitations on God. And what does it look like to not limit God? El Shaddai - God Almighty. Almighty - unlimited in power. He can make the impossible possible. He made the rules (of nature) and He can break them as He pleases (and does).

What does it mean to not place limits on God though? Surely one cannot expect that God will offer up a miracle anytime you ask. He also doesn't promise there won't be suffering, in fact He plainly tells us that their WILL be suffering.

Do I limit Him through my own perceptions of who He is? Or what I think He wants for me? Or my doubt that He could even care about or have a plan for one person out of the billions running around on this planet?

Do I make my own life (castles) without any regard to His will? And where does that lead? And where does this path lead? This slow discovery path. Me asking, Him answering.

At least I didn't cry this time.

I've had a lot of castles. And often the walls did "close" on me and those castles crumbled. I'm sure I still do have castles I'm building. Family was a castle of mine. The perfect family. Great husband, kids, home. And then that castle crumbled when we found out about hubby's MS. No longer was our future certain (as if it ever was). My perfect picture was gone, replaced by fear and uncertainty. Will Mark always be able to work? What will his future be? No one knows. He could be fine or ...

I had the castle of the perfect kids. I now know that there are no perfect kids, and certainly no perfect parents. Both of our children have challenged us in ways we never would have expected.

The demolition of each of these castles has brought me slowly down to my knees. Where I'm learning that this life is a wild ride, and I'd like someone who knows what they're doing to drive. And I'll give you a clue - that's NOT me.

So I'm starting to leave my "dreams" and instead follow my "path" - the one created just for me, wherever that goes.

This post really has no ending, my mind just keeps meditating on that question "how do I limit God" and I think this is something I'll be processing until the next small group. Anyone else have input on this? Or should I just stick to talking about my groceries? HA!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Errands...with 2 kids

For those with more than 2 kids - you're saints or super heroes - it's debatable - feel free to argue about that in the comments.

Somehow, our shopping culture is strictly designed around everyone having ONE child. My biggest fear these days is not - am I going to have any meltdowns? - it's - how am I going to do this with two kids?

My examples:

IKEA: Large superstore which actually tries to cater to families. Yesterday I head there with the boys. I wanted to eat lunch there - I actually worried over the logistics of what that would entail. I think I even dreamed (had nightmares) about it. I think I remember something about flying meatballs...anyway...

Like all stores - their carts only seat one. And I have a 2 year old and a 1 year old (on the 24th that is). They NEED to be buckled in to a cart, not running and crawling around like wild animals. So I bring the stroller - that at least seats two.

Heaven forbid I'd actually want to buy anything though - because there really is NO room for that - unless I balance it on my head.

Getting to the restaurant area was fine surprisingly. We usually have at least one meltdown at the kid train area where they have demos of their wooden train sets, but we passed by with hardly a whine. Now do I dare try to push a very long, difficult to maneuver double stroller through the cafeteria line while simultaneously balancing a tray of hot food on the sun shade? I'm thinking Moms across the world might frown on this - although we've all done it in some form or another. I draw the line at hot foods though...so this significantly impacts my strategy for obtaining food.

Hayden is in stellar form these days, suffering from SEVERE separation anxiety. Luckily I'm with a friend who watches Corbin, while I take Hayden with me into the line. Trying to explain to a 2 year old why we're just waiting in a line and not doing anything, is pointless. He's busy drumming our forks on the floor - yum.

Balancing a tray with one hand while holding on to the back of your 2 year old's shirt, should be an Olympic sport. Not that I'd be good enough to compete or anything.

And that was a "good" visit. I've had worse, so much worse.

Babies R Us: Today we went to get the baby gate of all baby gates. An extra TALL gate with just vertical BARS, not those silly ones with bars going horizontal AND vertical - which any parent of a toddler can tell you they CAN and WILL climb at some point. Mark and I haven't had a full nights sleep in 2 months, since Hayden mastered THAT skill. After last night, I'd had it and decided to install the full prison bars, er tall baby gate. It's also a safety issue to have him running loose in the house at night (that's my PC answer). I'd also like to sleep again - I really liked sleep - it was good.

I think they should name this place "Baby" R Us, cause in no way can you bring multiple "babies" with you. Their carts are built for one. I had Corbin in the the cart, and a titan grip on Hayden's hand so I could precariously balance the EXTRA TALL baby gate on the top of the cart. Which, by the way, makes it interesting to get through the aisles. Hayden eventually figured out what we all do at that age - hanging on to the handles of the cart and putting your feet up underneath is a fun ride!! I just prayed he would not fall off as I kept one hand on his back, although I loved his ingenuity in solving my "shopping with two" dilemma.

Goodwill: Yeah - things are way too close together. I spent most of my time trying to stop Hayden from reaching his little hand out of the stroller and pulling all the clothes of the hangers. When he saw the toy section he had a complete meltdown - we left with a 1.99 wooden car...that the he then threw a fit over when I needed to pay for it. With all these little old ladies watching. I NEVER looked up as I paid and left. Yes, I'm THAT mom. The one who's kid throws a complete fit and STILL buys the toy. You can take away my mom of 2009 nomination (although I think that got revoked January 1st I'm sure). Whatever. It was a long day and there was no way I was going to deal with more tantrums.

Costco: I love his store. Carts built for two kids!!!!!!! If they sold what I needed, I'd never go anywhere else just for that.

Why do I feel like such an outcast with 2 kids? Isn't the average 2.5 kids? I didn't even have that extra half of a kid.

Kids Consignment Store: Yeah, uh I don't even dare bring kids in here. Way too boutique-ish and no way to manuever a stroller. Also, you need TIME to look when you go to these places because things are EVERYWHERE. And it takes me at least 5 passes around the store to find stuff. I call in reinforcements (Mark) to watch the kids while I go in this store. Luckily, it's down the road from his office. Unluckily, their phone lines are down and are only accepting cash. Man, if I was following Dave Ramsey perfectly, I'd be covered. So I send Mark to the ATM. HA!

Four hours later I arrived home - with two exhausted kids, one cranky Mom, and a whole explorer full of purchases (which were mostly diapers - next kid I'm going cloth).

Friday, June 12, 2009

Breaking Through the Wall

How do I come across? Differently in person than through writing (if you know me in RL)? Either way, what's the consensus - I'm interested. What does an objective eye see?

I'll be the first to admit, I have a bit of a wall...ok a rock hard cement exterior that protects me at all times. Sure, I can throw out vulnerability cards like no ones business. Make you quickly seem at ease, that I too, have felt that awkwardness, insecurity, whatever. It helps hide my real insecurities if we're busy talking about yours.

I can tell a funny "look what I did" story that shows a flaw I deem acceptable and tolerable.

But how much am I really revealing? And how much am I hiding behind my wall?

My wall of perceived relaxation - that anything is fine, roll with the punches, I can handle it attitude. My wall of experiences - this is what worked or didn't work for me, try this, you should do this. My wall of shyness - not exposing myself or even abilities I possess for fear of failure (like did you know I've been a pianist for 20 years? and no, don't ask me to play for you). My wall of kids - telling stories about kids or focusing on the kids to avoid focusing on me.

But every now and then, that wall cracks. Just enough for the waters - tears of vulnerability - to seep through. If I'm lucky, I'm alone when it happens. Once in a while, I'm not. This week was one of those not alone weeks.

I'm at our small group, we meet weekly and yeah we talk about God and we "do" life. Sitting at the coziest dining table you could ever dream of, I'm surrounded by my group - for some reason everyone in attendance is about 20 years my senior. My usual comfort zone folks aren't there. Not that I need comfort in this place. There's something special about this place. You can feel it the minute you walk in the door. I couldn't explain it to you in a thousand words or years - it's just an experience.

We open up with a devotional that one of the group members brought. And I had one of those "goosebumps" moments. We get goosebumps when we get cold, but why do we get them when our soul is stirred? That's the only way I can explain it - my soul is stirred. A beautiful view, an enchanting refrain of music, or an uncanny coincidence, the presence of God - they all do it.

The topic was on this verse in Luke 11:9-10:

So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks the door will be opened.

Last week after the kids were in bed and I had some moments alone (generally the minutes before I fall asleep - I know I'm a horrible "Christian") I prayed. I prayed that I wouldn't spend my life just going through the motions of faith. That faith would be real to me. Specifically, that verse was in my mind. I prayed, I'm seeking, I'm knocking, I'm asking.

The popular statement today, is "give your life to God". Let Him direct you, etc. As a mother, at home, mainly serving the needs of others - I couldn't see how this applied to me. What did I have to give? I've no career to hand over. I've no money. Little time left over after taking care of my family. What's my place?

I asked. I asked in a heart achingly kind of way. And, no there was no burning bush moment with the voice of God or angels answering. No prophetic dreams or spirit stirrings. I simply fell asleep.

So as I sat there at the dining room table and heard this very verse spoken and then His answer in James 4:8-10:

Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Wash your hands you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded (hypocrites). Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before God, and He will lift you up.

Humble. (Insert quiet laughing and regretful smile here) How could I be humble if I can't let anyone see my faults? Or my weaknesses?

The moment hit me, and passed without any comment from me. Silence. My wall forbid it. God had answered my prayer and I sat there and said nothing. We went on. Other topics. Finally, the question was posed - something along the lines of - Why are we able to "get" Elohim (the name for God the creator, the name used throughout Genesis and other books about God's works), but not Jehovah (the name God used for himself whenever he was trying to relationally connect with people)? Or in other words, why do we have trouble having a personal relationship with God?

That was it. I felt like laughing and crying and screaming and... Why do I have trouble with my relationship with God?? WHY?

So I said calmly - I think we try to do the "right things" - read from our daily bible reading plan (check), pray for the "needs" in our lives (check), worship (check) - but is any of that really connecting to Him??

And then I cry. I freakin sob. And I can't...stop...it. I feel like a complete idiot with my wall down and I cry. Everyone is staring at me and I cry. I don't even know WHY exactly I'm crying. But there I am, crying.

I'm crying for my humanness (or less PC term, sinfulness). I'm crying because he answered my prayer. I'm crying because I feel worthless. I'm crying because I'm learning that I can't do ANYTHING alone. I'm crying because I've been fighting Him. I'm crying because I can't see Him or be in His presence all...the...time. I'm crying because...I'm crying...and I don't cry.

Ugh, how completely embarrassing. I completely lost my wall. And everyone sitting there, all NINE of them saw me. They saw me how God sees me, and I felt naked. And, I was speechless. I had nothing.

I'm glad they had lots of comforting words or it would have been really awkward - for them of course, it was already awkward for me, you know, sitting there in all my craziness.

So for that brief period of time - 45 minutes tops - I was me. No walls, no faking. Just me, and my soul, crying out to God. Of course, I quickly blame hormones. I am on my period, ya know.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Who knows this stuff???!!!

There are some things that really should come with manuals - kids are no exceptions. They are one of the most complicated jobs you'll ever tackle, and yet not one shred of documentation arrives when they enter into your world. And no, I'm not talking about the basic care and feeding of a child.

Somehow there are all these...things...that you only learn after you fail a few times. Today was no exception.

I get a last minute invite to the park this morning which I gladly accept! This is no ordinary park, it has a wonderful water area with sprayers of all different sizes and intensities. Seems like a toddler wonderland to me.

So, being the super mom that I think I am, I bring all the essentials:

Towels - check!
Swim diapers - check!
Snacks - check!
Sunscreen - check! Although I end up leaving this in the car and mooching off my friend
Sippy cups - check!
Puffs for baby - check!
Stroller - check!
Diet coke - check!
Dry clothes - check!

Everything you need for fun in the water right? Uh no.
Apparently, seasoned water park moms know that the most important thing you can bring is not sunscreen, or towels, or even snacks - it's a bucket.

Yes, you read that right - a bucket.
Anyone who's anyone, has a bucket - and maybe even a few toy cars or fish to float in it. Because the water is just NOT the same without a bucket to fill with it.

Oopsh (as Hayden would say).

So the next time you take the kiddos to the water sprayer park, make sure you bring a bucket or you'll be forced to police your toddler from taking every other kids bucket the ENTIRE time and spend most of the morning explaining why they don't have a bucket and how you'll bring one next time...

Cause I just didn't know.


photo credit: longhorndave

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


My new entertainment? The random things my newly speaking 2 year old comes up with:

"Happy Cake" : Sung to the tune of Happy Birthday, this phrase cuts to the chase by combining Happy Birthday, and Birthday Cake!

"Copcorn": Popcorn

"Train fall": Said before pushing the train off the table

"Feetsies Feetsies, where are ju? Tickle, Tickle": Said every morning when he runs into my room, hops on the bed and tears the covers off my feet before tickling me

"Nug nugs, Yuuuuuummmy!": Yummy goes with a lot of Hayden's favorite foods these days

"Shandy? Poo Poo?": We've recently introduced Candy (or Shandy in Hayden-speak) as a reward for potty training. Whenever he's in the mood for Shandy, he throws the potty card and squeaks out one drop for a Smartie (we just give him one, not the whole roll).

"Poo Poo?": Pointing at the freckles on my arms...uh huh. No, not poo poo.

"Shandy?": Picking up a piece of poop that had just fallen from his diaper as I was taking it off so he could "Go Potty". Apparently, Hayden thinks any poop - no matter where it comes from - is worthy of candy. No kid, only the poop that comes directly from your butt and lands in the toilet gets candy, sorry.

"Chair": Really means "sit" and is usually said while patting the ground expecting you to sit down with him.

"Bye Bye Banana": Said to his "Nana" (my grandmother) on the phone. Which is odd, considering he has never said Banana when talking about real bananas and usual says Nana.

"Corby where are ju?": Hayden pretends to look for Corbin, even though he knows exactly where he is.

"Shhhhh...baby sleeping": Also inserts mama or dada sleeping - not that he actually stays quiet or anything, he just likes saying that.

"Ouch": Points out every injury he's ever gotten and wants it to be kissed - even a few "fake" injuries find their way in

"Ooopsh, sorry": Hayden thinks Oops is the most hilarious word in the English language and will crack up anytime you say it. He's also picked it up for his own use.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Early Evening...Shoot Me Now

My least favorite part of the day, is right now...that 5-7pm time period.

It's the period where I wait for Hubby to get home. Generally, around 7pm.

It's the time where I HAVE NO CLUE what to do. Should I start dinner yet?

It's the longest 2 hours of the day...when is he getting hooooome?

I'm anticipating the arrival of "the relief" crew (i.e. my husband), and I'm on pins and needles waiting for him...of course it's never as early as I wish.

The kids are the crankiest. Tantrums flow unendingly, and no one seems to be able to HEAR MY VOICE!! No, stop that. Get down. No you can't have a popsicle for dinner.

Baby's tired...just have to stretch him till 7pm.

My solution?

Throw on some good salsa music, maybe some reggae for fun. Get the kids dancing before my head explodes. Stop looking at the clock. Start cooking dinner. Wine? Okay, well I wish - there is no wine in this house...or is there?

What do you do to get past the "witching hour" in your house?

Why Can't Monday Be Funday?!

What is it about Mondays that automatically make them "bad" days?

Why can't they be fun days?! Why do I always feel all droopy and blah each Monday and not excited for another week to begin?

Let me know when you figure that out.

This Monday is about grocery shopping, cleaning up after the weekend, and figuring out what to do with "the 2 year old that wouldn't nap". Instead of struggle with him EVERY afternoon, ALL afternoon, I've decided to let go of nap time. Ugh. I know. Nap time is a wonderful thing cherished by tired mothers all over the world (I think). It now has been reborn into "quiet room time" which doesn't last quite as long as the blissful nap time.

So now we need new things to do that aren't just - let's watch Pixar movies all day.

Hayden's new activity? Piano lessons! No he won't be playing Mozart or Chopin in 2 months, but he can almost find middle C! He's usually about 2 keys off - He always points out E. Maybe I should have started with E, haha. Once we go over where middle C is for a minute, I let him pound away. Then he starts playing his own stuff, humming the notes as he plays them. Or does little scales down the piano (hitting each note and humming it). It's cute.

Last year I bought the toddler busy day book which has hundreds of activities to do with your toddler. I pulled the book out last week, and so for we're 0 for 2. The first activity was to take a tube (I used an older poster tube), tie it too the stairwell or lean against the couch and roll tennis balls or whatever through it. Supposedly this was supposed to be hours of entertainment. Hayden was offended that I had dismantled his "drum" (the poster tube) for use in this activity. He ripped it off the stairwell and ran off with it. So much for that.

The second activity was to make little "garages" for his cars in different colors. I took an old coke box and wrapped it in green construction paper. He initially just wanted to smash the box...uh huh. Since I wasn't about to let 5 minutes (equivalent to a day of someone w/o kids) of my hard work be ruined by Haydenzilla, I pushed him away and showed him how to put his cars in and out. He immediately wanted it to be a tunnel, NOT a garage. Ok...I opened the end of the box and voila! A tunnel. I don't consider this a raging success. The activity was supposed to be colored garages to match up with colored cars. Now it's just a tunnel and we've forgotten all about the color part.

Eh, oh well. I'll be sure to post any successful activities I find. I think the "tunnel" will find it's way to the trash tonight.

I've learned that my grocery shopping is most successful (and easiest on our budget) if I bring cash. For the last week I had just used the debit card, reasoning it was basically the same thing. But there's something about cold, hard cash that makes you want to spend less. Especially if I know that whatever if left over is mine to spend how I like. It's nice to have a little cash to buy the family a treat or get that little something we've wanted but don't really need.

Last week I knew I had X dollars to spend, but since I didn't have it in cash I approximated, and even overspent because "we needed it". I know that if I had been using cash, I wouldn't have done that. It's so easy to overspend when you're just swiping that little card over and over.

Also, I didn't use my calculator when I went shopping last week, and overspent by 20 bucks! I love calculating how much I'm spending, because often I'm under budget which allows me to buy extras. It also shows me that maybe the "special" expensive ingredient I'm buying for one recipe, isn't worth the money, or maybe I don't need that extra junk I threw in the cart.

Today I was back to cash, even though it's annoying to drive to the bank and withdraw it. I under spent by 13 bucks and liked coming out with cash. I've definitely learned that for me, cash is a must. I just don't budget wisely without it.

Does anyone else get "swipe happy" with the debit/credit card, or is it just me?

Well, the house is finally quiet and both kids are down or quiet - time to relax.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

All That I Am

All that I am and all that I have
I offer to you, my beloved,
in joy
in service
in sacred union.

All that I dream and all I desire
I ask from you, my beloved,
in thanksgiving
in anticipation
in celebration.

All that I need and all that is broken
in me I present to you, my beloved,
for your healing
for your nurturing and mending
for your soothing love.

All that I have been and all that I shall be
I bring into your midst, my beloved,
for your blessing
for your clear reflection
for your sacred witness.

All that I am and all that I have
I entrust to your heart, my beloved,
on this sacred day
and tomorrow
and always.

Happy Anniversary Baby!
It's been a wild nine years - can't wait for the rest.