Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Why there was no christmas card this year...

Here is an explanation in pictures of why the Zavala's didn't send out their photo Christmas card this year:

Merry Christmas from the Zavala's.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Another Day In the Life...

Random thoughts today - I don't think I can manage a coherent post right now, haha.

1. Here's Hayden:

Hayden is doing what Hayden does - play trains. He plays trains probably 75% of the time. What can I say? It's his passion. Unfortunately, his speech therapists/teachers get to deal with the consequence of that - his continual "Thomas" talk. They are working hard on getting him to talk about things other than Thomas. At home, we get all sorts of other conversation, but there, well...I think if Hayden doesn't know what to say or doesn't understand something he just starts listing all the names of the trains - Thomas, Percy, Gordon, etc.

Everyday I have to write down "news" in his notebook for him to talk about. This helps the teachers prompt him. It's a bit like show and tell, but not always showing something, they just tell something that happened the day before. To help Hayden, I usually try to have a prop to help him talk about it. So I've sent his toy dr. kit, a book, a gingerbread man we made, etc.
But having to do that really makes me think about our day - was there anything news worthy? If not, I better do something! So that's helped us to make crafts, play games, etc, just so he can have some news! HA!

2. This is Corbin and Daddy:

They are reading books - but that's a rarity with Corbin - he doesn't like books!! Crazy. He turns the pages really fast and then runs off. All Corbin likes to do is...

3. Dig out all my dishes:
4. A friend had asked for flying tips/advice and suggested it should be a blog post, haha. We are NOT flying anywhere this Christmas, and I am very happy about that. What can I say about flying? I shudder at the thought. That sounds horrible, but this age + 2 kids and me flying alone wasn't pleasant. Here were some of my mistakes/problems and things I've learned:

  • I flew when Hayden was 10 months old. Right before the plane was boarding he had an insane diaper. When I went to the bathroom to change him and laid him down, the poop ran all they way down his back and into his hair. Yuck! Moral of the story: Have an extra set of clothes and lots of wipes.

  • When Hayden was 2 and Corbin 1, I flew by myself with them both. I thought I was smart by downloading a kid's movie on my iPod for Hayden. What was not smart was not checking to see whether my headphones were working - which they weren't. Hayden was only mildly impressed with soundless Happy Feet. Moral of the story: Check that all pieces of your equipment are in working order! Don't rely on, "it should be fine".
  • Southwest no longer does family boarding first - it's in between groups A and B. So DO check in online early, even if you still have to get a boarding pass for a little one flying in your lap. Then you can just board in A with everyone else. There really is NO time between A and B, so you aren't getting any "extra time" by boarding then.
  • You can ask to have your husband/family walk down with you to the gate. I have done this several times when flying alone with kids. Just ask at the ticket counter and they are happy to give your spouse/family passes to get through security.
  • Take advantage of "check at the gate". It makes like so much easier to bring a stroller for those long airport waits, and you can easily check it at the gate.
  • Snacks. I say it again. Snacks. Bring lots of snacks. Individually wrapped. And ones they really like - not the healthy ones you wish they liked. Busy mouths = quiet mouths.
  • Leave your self-consciousness at home. Your kids WILL do something embarassing or noisy, or kid-like - cause, well, they are kids! Who cares what people think? This day is about survival, not pleasing others.
  • When Hayden was 5 months old, I had the luxery of nursing him on the plane. This kept him very happy and quiet. It also lulled him to sleep and he slept most of the flight. For little babies, this is definitely the way to go. Whip it out if you got it!
  • I've flown at all different times, and it's really hit or miss on how they do. I've taken REALLY early flights and had them sleep, and I've also had them NOT sleep. Same with late nights or naptime flights. One thing I have found is morning is better. They are in a better mood in the morning and there is less fussiness. The closer it gets to naptime the worse it is.
  • Be sure to check the list of what you can and can't get through security. They have rules you should be familar with concerning glass, food/drink, etc. You don't want to take the trouble to pack something you will have to throw away!! Plus you'll be missing something you probably needed.
Okay that's it for now. My mind shuts down at the thought of flying with them again.

5. We've been potty training. Ugh. Do I need to say anymore? I may write a whole post just on this experience - if I ever make it through.

6. Yesterday, was another steller example of why I hate potty training and other craziness. I had just taken a shower and gotten ready to go meet a friend, when the phone rings. Talking only for 1 minute - just enough to confirm the time we were meeting, Corbin decides to spill my drink I had absent-mindedly left on the table, next to my dinner, a salad. While I'm cleaning up that mess - which was a HUGE mess, the table is actually a trunk, so my juice leaked through the top and into my stacks of books! - Hayden comes up and says the dreaded words "Poo poo".

Yeah, he's in underwear. Ok, fine. Let's go clean up. I'm cleaning him up when I realize that his socks are wet, which means there's more than poo poo, there's pee pee somewhere too. Hmmm...please don't let it be on the carpet. It's not, thank goodness. A nice puddle on the tile awaiting me to clean up. Hayden is "finishing" on the potty, so while he's in there I go clean and mop the pee spill.

Then I see Hayden walking out and saying "Uh oh". Uh oh? Oh no. Little poop bombs are falling out as he walks towards me. ACK! What are you doing?? Go back to the potty. Luckily those fell on the tile too.

As I'm tackling that disaster, Corbin decides to take every piece of lettuce, carrot, whatever, out of my salad and put them ON the table. There goes my dinner.

I finally get all that cleaned up and then Corbin comes running to me - I think, to give me a hug. No, he takes his booger covered nose, digs it into my pants and wipes not one, not two, but THREE times. And so he displaced the enormous boogers onto my pants...

When Mark got home, I warned him as I walked out the door:

"Watch out for the poop bombs, I may not have gotten them all."

Friday, December 11, 2009

Imperfect Perfection

Every year, I have grand plans for Christmas. Or Christmas decor at least. I imagine I'll have a "theme" or I'll pick certain colors. I imagine I'll do an advent wreath or calendar. I'll have beautifully wrapped, homemade gifts. There will be decorated cookies and delicious smells coming from the kitchen. We'll read about Jesus birth and do family devotionals!

Then I wake up and realize it's December 10th and Christmas is a mere 14 days away. I also remember I have a three year old and a one year old. A husband who just started a new job. And we all have colds. Hmmm...

This Thursday night starts like any other one - with two tired parents. Two sick babies and one sick Mommy, make for a long day. But by evening, we look like we're all on the mend. This Thursday is different from other Thursdays because it's that time of year and the Zavala's don't have their tree up yet, the idea of still not having it up by the second weekend in December seems just, well wrong. It also doesn't fall into my plan of perfection.

Yet, somehow the task of digging out bins and boxes from the garage, sorting through tree limbs, and testing lights don't bring on that warm and fuzzy feeling. I know, what a scrooge right! :P

But it's not that easy. First, we must decide where the tree is going. We've amassed considerable more furniture and toys than previous years. We settle on moving the kids toy shelves/bins and putting the tree in it's usual spot - front and center in our living room. Then we argue - er I mean discuss - about where to relocate the kids stuff.

To get us all in the mood, I throw on How the Grinch Stole Christmas - the classic version of course! This is the first year Hayden has really been old enough to "get" Christmas in any kind of way. And it's the first year he's helped put up the tree. He actually was a very good helper, handing Daddy the branches - with some slight correction of course "No Hayden, not that pile, the other pile". I mean he got to help Daddy AND stand on a "ladder" - what could be better, right?

Corbin was "helping" too. By staying off the ladders and enthralled with the Grinch!

Of course, just those tasks alone (mixed in with the craziness of two little ones, insert lots of "No no"s and pulling kids off ladders and away from electrical sockets) took us most of the night. It was already 8pm before we even started pulling out the lights! And, as usual, most of the light strands weren't working! What is it with lights these days, they don't last more than one season for some reason (hehe that rhymed, ok I digress). Only one strand was even "sort of" working. But Hayden loved it so much he put it on the tree anyway.

And here is our tree (for now anyway), with one defunct light strand and no ornaments. And Hayden thinks it's the best tree in the world! His words were: "It's perfect."

Monday, December 7, 2009

What's Next?

That's been my question lately:

What's next?

We've had a whirlwind of craziness in this house. It seems like every week holds some new crisis to move through. Thankfully, I've been doing the Lord's Table course over this time, and it's been the most life-changing study I've ever done.

The study is for people who are struggling with weight or food issues, but the heart of the study is a renewing of your connection with Christ. It doesn't focus on food, counting anything, or the usual diet nonsense. Instead, it takes you back to where your head and heart should be - with Christ. The truth is that if you are really focused on Christ, it's impossible to be obsessed with anything else. And through deep relationship with Him, you can be freed of sin - food worship.

Food worship. It's a revolutionary idea. Food sin. Ouch. But the more I examined myself, the more I could see this was true. My life has either been obsessed over food or the restriction of it. Counting carbs, calories, fat grams. Thinking about what I would eat for lunch or dinner. Indulging cravings. Seeking pleasure, stress-relief, and emotional response from food.

But the fulfillment of my needs and desires is NOT found in food or any other "outlet" or I wouldn't keep coming back for more.

So here I am, going through this course, and we're hit with crisis after crisis. Hayden is hospitalized, my bio Dad dies, and the most recent findings, masses on my liver. Scary. Yet, through all of this, I was constantly reminded to come back to Him. No, my first reaction was not to pull out my bible and start singing praises like Paul. It was self pity. Yuck. And I'd stew in that pity for a few hours or days, not wanting to go to Him - because I knew He would give me peace. Isn't that nuts? Ha! I didn't want peace. I wanted my sadness, my bitterness. Thankfully, my heart knew that eventually I would have to go to Him. And I did. And He did give me peace.

I was given peace and strength for another hour, another day, and soon the crisis was over and I was ready for a new day.

I can't control what happens in this life, but I can control how I react to it. Will I react with bitterness and self-pity? Or will I go to His feet and accept His peace?

P.S. For those that aren't addicted to Facebook and haven't read the status updates, the masses were benign.