Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween

Okay, so Halloween is tomorrow, but I will not be posting on a Saturday - so Happy Halloween!!!!

This year Mark and I are enjoying Halloween alone without the kiddos. We're heading to San Antonio to watch the Notre Dame game and enjoying all the friends and festivities that go along with that!

Hubby has been working extra hard this week at his new job and I have been feeling lonely without him here.

But last night he walked in the door with this:

It's a Halloween bouquet. Isn't it awesome?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Starting Fresh

It's fitting that it's raining today, since today is the first day of our "new life". The rain is washing away the stress of the last three months and starting us fresh.

I now have the house to myself again. Just me and my boys. Each day during the week is now under my control and is ready to be structured! We've lived in limbo for awhile, just waiting for the next interview or phone call. Trying to stay quiet so Daddy can do a phone interview or work on his resume.

There are definite skills the boys need to work on, so today I'm working on a plan for them.

Heart training: Most behavioral issues boil down to a heart issue, so we've identified the heart issue around the behaviors and are working from that direction.

With Hayden we've identified obedience, defiance, anger, and self-control has his areas of weakness. Obedience, such as coming when called, and listening to directions (like don't run into the street!). Defiance, such as talking back to us (Noooo Mama). Anger, such as hitting or throwing tantrums when angry. And self-control, such as being able to sit still for short periods of time. We are currently working on all of these.

With Corbin, we've begun working on self-control and obedience. Self control, such as sitting still for diaper changes and not fighting, as well as listening when we say "No". Obedience, such as learning to come to us when asked.

Skills training: Obviously, only a small part of my job as a mother is discipline! I mostly should be training them the skills they will need in the future - or even now.

Most of our work with Hayden is on communication and speech development. All of our "conversations" and day are built around teaching him new vocabulary. Today we worked on shapes and colors, as well as weather words (since it's raining). But I have other goals for him as well. We're continuing potty training which we've not been able to concentrate on much yet. As well as independent skills like dressing himself.

With Corbin, we are working on speech and independent play. We are starting our limited "alone" play this week in hopes to reduce a bit of his need for constant holding and interaction. We also are working on sign language and verbal communication. This week all of his toys have been rotated to farm animals, I'm hoping that he will pick up some words or animal sounds.

God Training: All of the other goals are "good", but I think the most important training I'll do is to show them about God and His love!!

With Hayden, we are going through Read Aloud/The Tell-Me Stories. We have Volume 1 as well as the Jesus Parables. Hayden is loving them! These books have wonderful full page pictures with simple, concise stories that are easy to understand, yet don't lose the meaning of the story. My frustration with most bible story books are that they have been either too wordy or they "dumb down" the story SO much that it doesn't even have the message left in it!!!

We are also teaching Hayden the three basic truths from the church curriculum. God made me, God loves me, and Jesus wants to be my friend forever. At this point, if you ask Hayden "Who made you?" he will answer "God!".

Now that Corbin is learning signs, I want to start teaching him simple bible songs that he can do the hand motions with. He really enjoys that. He's still a bit young for the bible stories. Both my kids have never been able to sit still for a story! Hayden just now (at almost three) is interested in listening to stories. Most of my story/book reading with Corbin is him flipping the pages until he get's to the end and running off!

And that's it! I just pick a few needed goals for each child and work hard on those. Yes, there are lots of other things I'd love them to learn or do, but you can only do so much at a time!!

For my own goals, I've set mostly home related ones. I want to be consistent in a daily quiet time - I don't function well without it! As for the home, I am devoting afternoons to general cleaning and house-pickup in order to get ready for Mark's arrival. The mornings will be for activities with the kids and errands. And that's it. With two little ones, I can't have lofty goals at this season in my life. HA!

Cold Rainy Days

Cold, rainy days are for...

  • Doing laundry - is there anything better than nice warm clothes from the dryer?
  • Enjoying a homemade cappuccino - who wants to go out in the rain for one?
  • Watching Dinosaur Train! - or so says Hayden.
  • Catching up on some reading.
  • Soup
  • Cozy socks
  • Naps!
  • Scented candles
  • Relaxing at home
What do you enjoy on cold raining days?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Reader Recommendations!!

So Hayden is finally getting to an age where he will sit and listen to me read stories (of course lots of pictures is still necessary).

As you probably know there are TONS of children's books out there - and a lot of them are just horrible!! They throw in a few pictures and some simple words and call it a children's book.

I'm looking for some recommendations for good children's books!!

Please leave me a comment with a few of your favorites, I'd love to hear your ideas.

Oh and keep in mind that I have 2 boys, so they might not be as interested in fairies or princesses - although Hayden does love Cinderella, but I think it's the mice he likes, HA!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Zavalas Go Camping! (Part 1)

The Zavala family enjoyed an outing to Bastrop State Park in the middle of the week!

While Hayden snoozed in the car, Corbin assisted Daddy in the campsite setup.

Then he got in a little exercise by doing laps around the tent.

Rawr! Time to chase mommy.

Pine needles are yummy.

Come back later for more camping photos!!
We enjoyed our mid-week excursion.
Sadly, (or happily) it will be our last for awhile, because Hubby got a new job!
Isn't he awesome?

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Very often, I struggle. I struggle with feelings of desire, envy, wanting.

If I could only have this...

If only this was more or better or bigger...

We have a very nice 3 bedroom home that we've called our own for over 8 years now. In all honesty, I wish it was more.

Even after the kitchen remodel of '09 (which is still going on by the way), our space is still so small. It actually made our meager dining room EVEN smaller. We've got one family room, you might call the living room, but sometimes looks like the playroom.

Hayden has a room, we have a room, and Corbin - well he's living in the "man cave" and sharing space with a pool table and poker chips. Poor baby gets kicked out when company comes over and then we turn that space into a "bed" with our air mattress.

I often find myself thinking...

If we had a bigger house, then I could invite people over more. I could entertain. I could have children's ministry meetings here. We could even do fun events.

But here's the truth that's been recently revealed to me:

God has given me everything I have. What am I doing with what I have?

Why would He give me a bigger house if I'm not even using the one I have right now? If I can't be a good caretaker of what I currently have, why would I ever deserve greater responsibility?

I should be using up every opportunity to share what I've been given with others.

And that's how I am living now.

No, my space is not ideal for hosting 9 children's ministry team members for a lunch and get together, but God gave me this house, and put me in this ministry and I will use what I have for His purposes.

I will never again pass an opportunity for hospitality because of what I don't have.

What I do have is enough.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What's for lunch?

I have a hunch

That Hayden and Corbin....

Really, really love yogurt.

Monday, October 12, 2009

One of those days

Today was just one of those days. Mark was gone half the day (or more than half) interviewing and Hayden deciding napping was for sissies.

So we played lots of trains.

And watched Veggie Tales.

And made yummy butternut squash soup.

And I crocheted a block for a blanket I'm working on.

And I read old posts from one of my favorite blogs to make me feel more inspired to be a mommy.

And then Hayden decided to eat Styrofoam - fortunately he thought it was "yucky" and spit it out...phew.

And then my brand new blender stopped working because I dared to blend cooked, softened squash in it.

But good news...tonight Heroes is on. Which means hubby and I will cuddle on the couch watching our favorite show, while Hayden indulges in Thomas the Train on the laptop.

There may even be popcorn involved...only because Hayden has been asking for

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Margo Moooooo

Say hello to Margo Moo - Hayden's constant companion for at least the next week or so. It's kind of cute that they can make a REALLY LOUD nebulizer look like a cow, but it's still really stinkin loud.

Actually, this is Margo Moo #2. Margo Moo #1 started making really strange noises about a year into use, so I replaced her. Ouch - sorry Margo #1.

Hayden is getting to be such a big boy, that he holds his own mask and everything.

Well...he'll hold it for awhile. Then he demands that "Momma do it". That's usually for the night or morning treatments which take FOREVER - or in reality 30-40 minutes, which seems like forever to a 2 year old.

Today was the first day we all weren't sick with the flu, so we treated ourselves to a lunch at Red Lobster. After we got the bill, I remember why we don't eat at Red Lobster much. I also don't think it's a wise idea to get "All you can eat" shrimp when you have two small children with you. There really just isn't time to eat "all you can eat". Once the fries are gone, it's really time TO GO.

And for those keeping tabs on my "fitness", no I did not get the all you can eat shrimp. But it sure looked good.

I got the worlds smallest serving of pasta with shrimp, and lobster in a white sauce. I loved all 3 shrimps and 2 lobster pieces. And the kids really liked my pasta. Sheesh. Then they tried to charge me 4 extra dollars for that...and I said - I don't think so, recalculate that check dude. If I wanted a 15 dollar meal, I'd have gotten the "all you can eat" shrimp.

Now my babies are down for the night (oh thank you Lord) and I have massive cleaning to do and hopefully a run if hubby comes home early enough. Nothing like a week of sickness to get your house really crazy. I'm almost caught up with the dishes, and would be so happy if I could muster enough energy to get all the goldfish, crackers, and cheerios off the floor.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Night

It's time to celebrate, because Corbin has finally started walking. He's walking from one piece of furniture to another and averaging about 8 steps, so I'm gonna call that walking. 15 months and now he walks.

In other news the whole family is down with what may be the flu. But the flu pales in comparison to last weeks food poisoning - I guess it's all relative.

Anyone who has kids knows about the long nights during sick periods. That's our reality right now. Hayden waking up every 5 minutes (no I'm not exaggerating) and exclaiming "Boogers! Boogers! Aaaaah". To which I softly soothe, "I know, I'm sorry, boogers".

The baby unable to sleep because his nose is stuffy and his primary soothing method is unusable - sucking his fingers to fall asleep. Oh the travesty!

And through all this, all I can do is pray. Pray that I have the strength and patience to get through the night. Setting myself with the expectation that sleep (at least for myself) is probably not going to happen.

And then suddenly, I find myself sleeping next to Hayden after he's finally recovered from the horror of "boogers" and waking up to sneak back to bed. I've made it through another night, and there just might be a few hours of sleep waiting for me.

Even now I hear "Momma, momma" from Hayden's room, time to go soothe.