Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Good End to a Long Week

The Zavala's were hit once again with the dreaded Stomach Bug. Corbin came down with it Wednesday and then Hayden soon after. It was not a pretty sight!
I did more laundry in those 3 days then I have in a month! But we made it through alive, with only one casualty - Corbin's high chair cover.

He had, let's say, an explosive diaper on Thursday - and the cover needed to be washed in water - scalding HOT water, just to make me feel good about it once again.However, the plastic outer coating on the cover didn't agree with me. It melted and shredded, ruining the high chair cover. Now I was left with a perfectly good high chair, with no cover! We covered it with a towel for two days and I started checking out craigslist for new chairs.

Then, I saw this post on making your own cover! I didn't have the same type of chair, but it looked easy enough to do for our chair. So I headed off to Jo-Ann's Fabrics to get some supplies. I was in luck - they had super cute prints (Dogs - Corbin's favorite) on clearance and I had a coupon to get half off the quilted batting I needed. Woohoo!

I spent tonight after the boys went to bed working on it, and 2 1/2 hours later I have a finished product!

Not too shabby for someone who hasn't sewed in over a year and had absolutely no pattern! The only parts in the post I followed were her idea of cutting up the original seat to use for a pattern, making the seat like a slip cover with a piece in the back, and her idea for how to make the hole in the seat. The rest I just made up on the fly.

Originally, I was going to using some cute brown piping, but it turned out to be too small for the thickness I had. I ended up just using it on the back of the chair for the slip cover part. To clean up the edges, I made some trim out of the top fabric for the green seat and I think it came out cute.

It's certainly not perfect - the slip cover was a little large and I had to make some modifications - I sort of pleated the back, hehe. But overall, I'm happy with it. It's definitely a step up from the towel we were using!

This post is part of the Moms' 30-Minute Blog Challenge

Monday, June 21, 2010

Seeking Simplicity Through Contentment

As many of you have read, my theme for the year is Simplify. I've made more progress in the last six months than I ever thought possible, but there will always be room for more simplicity. A big part of simplifying is learning to be content. And in our culture, boy is that hard! Every time you turn around there's another advertisement for something you need to buy and can't live without.

Even in the world of simplification you can take things to excess - just take a trip to The Container Store. I've often been guilty of purchasing tons of organizing equipment, but never actually using that equipment to get organized. It's an easy trap to fall in.

I found I am able to truly embrace simplification when I am also living in contentment. And yet, some days I am content and others I am not! What is so different about those days of contentment?


I wake up with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. Today is one of those days. In my mind, I truly contemplate the "gifts" I am blessed with each day.

I have been blessed with a family - a loving husband, and two children. I admit, I do not show gratitude for this every day. I often am living for self and frustrated with the demands that family puts on me - which in turn allow less "me time". Who started this idea of "me time" anyway? I'm fairly certain there is no "me time" in the bible. There are times of prayer - yes - but I never read about Jesus heading to the day spa to refuel.

Today I have been the happiest I've been in days, and I have done really nothing for myself. I have spent the day serving my family in gratitude. Preparing meals, cleaning our home, bathing children, and being still.

I instituted a "Day of No Yelling". This may not be a problem for many of you, but for others like myself who use yelling to get our point across (with our children and even our husbands sometimes), a day without yelling is really hard. Most of use of yelling is just pure laziness. Why get up and correct and train my child, when I can yell from another room to "Get down and stop that!"? As if that really had any beneficial effect. They may stop (only for a minute) 60% of the time, or more and more frequently, just ignore me and continue their dive bombs from the top of the couch.

I think gentleness and stillness breeds contentment as well. I have tried to remain calm and quiet in the face of wild animals (aka my children), and I have eliminated almost all of the frustration, anxiety, and exhaustion from my morning.

I have guarded my time ruthlessly. During the summer, play dates are as numerous as weeds in my yard (if you've ever seen our yard, you know that we in fact only have weeds, not grass). Everyone is wanting to get out of the house and socialize. And as much as I truly love all my friends, I am drained, not refreshed by large group play dates. I am an introvert and flourish in one on one visits with friends, but quickly become overwhelmed in the multitude of mommies at the park.

We were invited to multiple play dates today, but from the beginning I could see that the pace of the day was going to be relaxed and quiet - and I wanted to keep it that way. There are few things more enjoyable than being at home with my little ones and delighting in simple pleasures. I know that the hustle and bustle of trying to wrangle little ones today was going to lead to short tempers, meltdowns, and chaos - not what my spirit was up for today.

And while I'll miss the company of good friends, my body and soul needed rest - and my mountain of laundry needed to be tackled.

How do you find contentment? What are the simple pleasures you enjoy each day? What are you grateful for today?

**This post is part of the Moms' 30-Minute Blog Challenge

Monday, June 14, 2010

Creative or Criminal?

I have to ask - is this creative or criminal?

Now that Hayden's starting to master the "potty", I graduated him to his first pair of Thomas the Train underwear.

To encourage him, I told him to be sure to use the potty and that Thomas doesn't like to be peed on so he needs to keep dry!

Apparently, Hayden really took this to heart, because during nap time when he couldn't get my attention (I swear he never asked to go potty, although he claims he did), he decided that instead of peeing in his underwear (can't go pee-pee on Thomas!) he would whip it out and pee in his bucket of books...

Uh...okay that's not what I had in mind when I said not to pee in your underwear kid!!

So now I have put a potty chair in his room for these types of, uh, emergencies.

**This post is part of the Moms' 30-Minute Blog Challenge

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Success at Last

Any one who's been reading my blog (or following my FB status) knows the woes of potty training I've been wading through. And I think I may see light at the end of the tunnel! Hayden is taking control of announcing when he needs to go potty, and not relying on me to coax him into the bathroom.

Yay!! This is me doing a victory seriously, I'm dancing.

That does not mean I'm cleaning up any less pee - I think that goes with the territory of boys.

Boys = large amounts of pee on your bathroom floor, toilet seat, shower curtain...

Of course, Hayden does have his limits - "No pee pees on the head momma!" Even though one day he did manage to pee on his own head??? Reflected off the toilet seat? I've no idea.

Corbin on the other hand - he finds the potty very fascinating. Of course, he has re-purposed it as a water fountain - but at least he's interested right? Most days I can find him fishing in there tearing the teenie tineist pieces of toilet paper off and throwing them in the toilet.

Still going strong on the running front - although today was nixed with the morning storm. I'm hardcore, but running in a thunderstorm is a little over the top for me. Sleeping in felt good, haha. I'm hoping tomorrow's rain will hold off until after my run, or I'll have to pull out the 30-day Shred video for exercise - and I don't like that thing!

Okay, it's really I'll just leave you with this (my new favorite song - Jason Gray, More Like Falling In Love):

Give me rules
I will break them
Give me lines
I will cross them
I need more than a truth to believe
I need a truth that lives, moves, and breathes
To sweep me off my feet
It ought to be

More like falling in love
Than something to believe in
More like losing my heart
Than giving my allegiance
Caught up, called out
Come take a look at me now
It's like I'm falling, oh
It's like I'm falling in love

Give me words
I'll misuse them
I'll misplace them
'Cause all religion ever made of me
Was just a sinner with a stone tied to my feet
It never set me free
It's gotta be


...It's like I'm falling in love, love, love
Deeper and deeper
It was love that made
Me a believer
In more than a name, a faith, a creed
Falling in love with Jesus brought the change in me

Monday, June 7, 2010

Developing My Inner Ninja

Little did I know when I had kids I would have reason to develop "special skills". These days, sweeping is a "battle" of epic proportions - I tell you even having crackers in the house makes it dirtier. A two year old is basically a mini tornado that wipes through your house leaving cracker crumbs in his wake.

And sweeping up his mess is made even more challenging by the fact that he has his own broom with which he likes to help me with.

I must be fast like a ninja to beat him to my dirt piles before he either "sweeps" them or runs through them like Godzilla.

Guess I better get back to it...Hayden and Corbin have turned sweeping into sword fighting -which "translated" means, beat the crud out of Corbin with a broom. Mommy to the rescue!

Just another day at the Zavala's.

**This post is part of the Moms' 30-Minute Blog Challenge

Still Going

I'm happy to report my running is still going strong, even if my sports bra is not. Today my boobs finally found an escape route during my run and popped the strap! (I guess duct tape doesn't fix everything...what? Duct tape is a mom's super weapon!) So this evening I will be out finding a new one before my run tomorrow. Any suggestions?

I'm really enjoying my morning runs, they are so awesome! I still don't enjoy getting up, but surprisingly I'm over that in about 10 minutes of waking up. They weather is getting hotter though! It was 77 degrees at 6:30 this morning before I started. Ugh. Nice and muggy too. Oh well, once you start sweating it's kind of all the same though. You're just hot and nasty.

My only drawback is that once I get back I don't necessarily want to get back outside - but the kids need some outdoor time too - and morning really is the best. So I'm going to have to just suck that up and go. I won't lie, some days I'm a little tired! But others I'm ok - I really think it depends on the heat and how I'm doing that day.

So far I've lost 7 lbs in the last 2 weeks - which works for me! Oh I've also totally changed my eating - so no it's not all from exercise. I definitely could use some lbs gone and it feels good.

I've recently tried to replace coffee with teeccino, but haven't found it that appealing...any good recipes that don't involve dairy, I'd love to hear! I'm sure if I could cream and sugar it up, it'd be great but right now it's reminiscent of sludge. So either I'm making it wrong, or I just don't like it. I'm up for suggestions! Otherwise, I'm going to tea!!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Running the Distance

I enjoyed a second day of running and walking in the early morning. Oh and I've been informed it's actually 4 miles, not 2 that I've been doing - so even better!

Hopefully, I can make it 3 days tomorrow. Each day when I'm waking up, I feel 100% certain that I'll need a nap at some point in the day, but after I finish on the trails I'm so energized it doesn't even cross my mind the rest of the day! Again - I need to remember that tomorrow at 6am! It's easy to do something for a couple days, we'll see if I'm in it for the long haul.

Mark and I are going on a vacation alone in about a month! I'm incredibly excited and also motivated to lose a little weight. It would be nice to shed a few lbs before we go. I know I can't do a lot, but any loss is good right? Running 2 miles a day and walking 2 should help a little I hope.

Thursday is our 10 year anniversary! Crazy, huh? I can't believe it myself. We've been married for 10 years...a decade. And what can I say? I still love him like crazy. I've never met anyone else who gets me so completely. I can't think of anyone else I'd rather hang out with. He's my best friend, and so much more.

You hold me without touch.
You keep me without chains.
I never wanted anything so much
than to drown in your love and not feel your rain.
~Gravity, Sara Bareilles