Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Home Again, Home Again

We arrived back in Iowa Monday evening after a weekend in Oklahoma with my parents. It was a great trip!

Josh and I decided we’d get an early start…which meant getting up at 3am on Friday morning and getting on the road by 4:00. It worked! Zack never did go back to sleep, but he did really well in the car (mostly thanks to the portable DVD player…)


Austin also traveled really well. He slept most the trip, which was great. When he was awake, he was pretty well entertained by Zack. That was handy. :)


The big secret for this trip was that we had planned a surprise birthday party for my dad’s 60th birthday. My brother, Jake, did most the leg work (and did a great job!) and somehow we managed to keep Dad COMPLETELY in the dark about the whole thing!

Our job was to keep Dad busy on Saturday morning while Jake and the guests got to the house and set up for the party. So, we all took off for the Oklahoma City Zoo. It was interesting trying to not let anything slip while we were out – especially when Dad wanted to have Jake meet us at the zoo! But it worked out.

Zack kept Grandpa busy on the train…


And Mimi had to get in on the fun, too, of course. :)


Austin was sporting his new hat to keep the sun off, but since it’s a little big, the crazy Oklahoma winds kept blowing it away!


Once we got the ‘ok’ from Jake, we headed back to the house.

Friends and family from several different states made the trip to Oklahoma to celebrate Dad, and it was so much fun! Dad didn’t have a clue when we pulled up to the house. Jake and company managed to “hide” the extra cars and they were all set up inside the garage. Dad opened the garage door and everyone was standing inside waiting…but Dad didn’t look! He didn’t look up until Zack said, “Grandpa, who are all those people?”

All those “people” yelled “Surprise!” as soon as Dad looked up, and he was shocked – to say the least!

We had a great cake, sporting all the names Dad goes by…


Austin enjoyed meeting everyone… and was especially fascinated with “Uncle” Gerald’s beard…


Here’s a little group family shot… Zack is missing because he was down for his nap (and I wasn’t about to wake him up!) From L-R: Me, Josh, Bobbie (my cousin), Jake (holding Austin), Aunt Charlotte, Uncle Norman, Dad, Ashley (Bobbie’s daughter), Mom, Jackie (my cousin), and Asia (Jackie’s daughter).


Then of course we had the “old” Coast Guard guys. It was a mini-reunion for them, as well, so we decided to get some group shots. But being the difficult guys they are, they were reluctant to have their photo taken at first…


Then we got them out of the tree, but still no faces (but truth be told, I really like this one!)


Ah, there they are… The old Coasties :) From L-R: Joe, Dad (Charlie/Spence), Gerald, and Bob.


The party was a great success. After that, we enjoyed a quiet Sunday with Mom, Dad and Jake at the house. Grandpa and Zack had to get outside and ride the “tractor” of course, and run through the pasture, and run races, and any number of other things Zack could think up. Grandpa had him outfitted for the Oklahoma outdoors…


While they were outside, Mimi enjoyed some time with Austin (who was a VERY happy boy for the whole trip!)


Uncle Jake also enjoyed his time with boys…He’s always up to something…


We had such a great time with Mom, Dad and Jake (and all the other friends and family we got to see!) and the time went by way too quickly. We can’t wait to see them all again.

Happy birthday, Daddy. You’re absolutely the best, and I love you so much!


Monday, April 20, 2009

What Goes on in That Mind of Yours?

A thought I often have when it comes to Zackary. Sometimes I'm just amazed at what comes out of his mouth, simply for the fact that I have no idea where it came from. Some of the stuff lately though is a bit too long for the "From the Mouth of Zack" little section I have over on the right, so I thought I'd share a few things here.

A few days ago, we were watching the movie 'Space Jam' (the one with Michael Jordan and the Loony Toon characters). At one point MJ starts playing ball, and Zack got all excited and said, "Mommy! That guy knows how to play basketball just like me!" Apparently Zack has skills I didn't even know about... ;)

I recently called Austin a "Wiggle Worm" because he just doesn't hold still for anything anymore. He wants to go, go, go! Well, Zack heard me call Austin a "Wiggle Worm" and looked at him thoughtfully and said, "Mommy, I think he is a little caterpillar, not a worm."

Austin's had his brace off a lot more the last few days since he's had his brace time reduced. Zack and I were playing with Austin the other day and he had bare feet. Zack looked at me and said, "Mommy, I love Austin's cute little wiggly toes." Me too, Zacky, me too! :)

A few days ago, we found out that John (Josh's brother who's in the Army serving in Iraq) had a PT (Physical Training) test coming up that he wasn't expecting, and he needed to pass it in order to be up for a promotion he's been working towards. I told Zack we needed to pray for Uncle John, so at nap time the day of John's test, we did. Zack said the following: "Dear Jesus, thank you for this day. Jesus please come down from the clouds and help Uncle John win his racing run. We love you, Jesus. Amen." And just for the record, John passed. :)

I know there are probably more things I could post here, but can't seem to remember everything right now! Either way, I just wanted to share with you all some of these moments that have made me smile, and hope they make you smile, as well. :)

Also, here's a video from yesterday of the boys that I also found quite amusing... Enjoy!

The attack of Austin from Kristy Heilman on Vimeo.

Free at Last, Free at Last!

I'm a little late with the update, but here's the good news: Austin's brace time is now reduced to just nap time and bed time! WOO!

We had a great (albeit short) appointment with Dr. Dietz in Iowa City. Austin's feet are doing so well and Dr. Dietz commended us for being so consistent with the brace, and of course, reiterated the importance of it. He didn't have to tell me twice :) I've seen such amazing improvement in Austin's feet since we started this process. It's absolutely incredible.

So now instead of being in his brace 23 hours a day, with just a 1 hour break, he will only be in the brace if he's taking a nap and when he's sleeping overnight. It's so great to finally be at this point! I know at the beginning of the 3 months for being in the brace 23/7 we weren't sure how we were going to make it through. The time just seemed to be going so slowly and we felt so bad for Austin. But he's been such a trooper and is such an easy-going baby that it really helped this whole process. God is so good and got us through the 3 months without a hitch and now Austin gets the reward of feet that are even more improved. We're feeling VERY blessed, and very thankful.

We're so grateful God led us to the doctors in Iowa City and has carried us through the process thus far. We know He'll get us all to the end and that Austin will have beautiful, perfect feet!

Thank you all so much for your prayers!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It's a Date...

... a play date!

Last week, Miriam came over to hang out with Zacky. I got some pics of the two together and had forgotten to post them! They had so much fun.

They played basketball together...DSCF1749

Drew some pictures...



And of course just spent some quality time together. ;) DSCF1762

They are so cute together. We even ventured out to the bank and the grocery store. (which I've been told was brave.. since I had the two 3 year olds and Austin. I say I was either brave, or crazy. But the errands had to be done!)

Zacky always looks forward to hanging out with Miriam, and frequently tells us Miriam is his "best girl ever."


We can't wait to see Zack and Miriam as ring bearer and flower girl in Jared and Laura's wedding next month - I'm sure MANY pictures will be taken! 

Monday, April 13, 2009

Big boy, The Countdown is on!, and..Happy Easter!

Ok, so my title sounds a lot like a title from the "Today in Iowa" blog (if you don't read it, you should. Pat and Brooke are two of the BEST - though I admit I'm slightly biased.) Alright, moving on...

So today was Austin's 4 month checkup. He weighed in at a whopping 16lbs 10oz and measured 26" long. 90th percentile for both height and weight. I wasn't shocked because I know my arms have been aching after carrying him in the carseat lately! Plus, he's just trying to keep up with his brother... ;) He's also doing excellently on all the developmental milestones. Speaking of which, I don't think I posted here about it, but he can now not only roll from front to back (which I did post a video about), but he can also roll from his back onto his tummy. He's not wasting any time! He wants to be moving with Zacky so bad, I think he can hardly stand it sometimes. When he starts moving we're in so much trouble. He's also chewing on anything he can get anywhere near his mouth...This week Austin will also go back to Iowa City for a checkup with our clubfoot doctors. We're counting down the days to that because it should mean that he gets his time in his brace reduced. Right now he's still in it 23 hours a day/7 days a week. I had thought we'd get cut down to 16 hours a day, but it may end up being more like 20 hrs. We'll see. Really any cut down on time will be wonderful. I'll post an update after that appointment to catch everyone up on how his feet are doing. We're looking forward to him having some more foot freedom...

And today is, of course, the day after Easter. We had a great day yesterday. Zacky got all dressed up for church in a new "suit"... He was so cute! He wasn't thrilled with the outfit at first, but it quickly grew on him. We had him try it on the night before and he didn't seem to care for it, but then when Josh went to take it off him he said, "No Daddy! I want to be cool!" So I guess he got over whatever qualms he had about it. Then he was VERY excited to wear it Sunday morning and show everyone his tie.
We had to try to get the boys to sit for a picture together of course since they were "dressed up." Austin actually sat pretty well, and kudos to Zack for not letting him fall over... ;)

Zack also loved his Easter basket and he was so excited this year because he got to have chocolate. He's had dairy, egg and peanut allergies - but recently his allergies to dairy and egg have slacked off, so he's been allowed to try those things. He's been doing really well, so we got him a chocolate cross this year. He loves it, but he DID think it was a "chocolate 'T'".. Oh well!

I suppose that wraps things up for now. Hopefully it won't be as long between posts this time. If any of you get a chance, please pray for our Iowa City appointment on Friday - that everything is progressing well and that Austin will get his brace time reduced.

Blessings to you all! :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Five years later...

So today is a big day for Josh and I - we've now been married five years! It's amazing to me that it's already been five years. Where does the time go anyway?

I so loved our wedding day. It was small and simple and SO beautiful. The weather was perfect and we had the most lovely little chapel in Oklahoma. It was a day I will never forget. We were so excited...
That first year went by so quickly! We actually ended up moving to Des Moines early on in our marriage. It was an amazing adventure because we were sure it was where God was calling us. And we've seen evidence of that every day since we came. We know absolutely that God put us here in Iowa, and we've been blessed ever since we obeyed that prompting we had while house shopping in Tulsa! God is so good!

On our first anniversary, we went on a little vacation to Lake Murray in Oklahoma. Just for a little time away together.
I feel like we still look SO young in that picture! (not that we're old now exactly...) I'm hoping someday soon we'll get to go on vacation together again. We had such fun! (even though our room was not so hot at the Lake...)

Then, of course, in 2006 Zacky came along and we were no longer just the two of us... We were so excited to have Zack!

I was thinking this week though that when we got married, we had talked about waiting four or five years before we had kids... obviously God had another plan, since we have TWO now, instead of well... zero. ;)

Our family has grown, and we don't have as much alone time as maybe we'd like right now, but I know we don't regret any of it. We've had such an amazing five years and I love Josh even more today than I did five years ago. It's amazing how a love can grow, and how it grows even more through the trials we face as a couple, and a family.

Josh, I love you so much and I so look forward to the years ahead we have together. You are the husband I always dreamed of and an amazing father. I adore you. Happy Anniversary, babe.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Splish Splash

Ok, so this is just a bit of a "fun" post. I got some video a couple days ago of Austin in the bathtub because he's just been so funny. He gets so excited and gets his arms and legs going so hard that he splashes the majority of the water in the tub OUT of the tub. I can't even wear my glasses when I give him a bath because I just end up not being able to see out of them. You can also see him squinting and closing his eyes in the video because he's getting so much water in his own face.

So, I got him on video and thought I'd share. (and, of course, I worked diligently to be sure he was "decent" throughout the film...) ;)


Splish Splash - Austin's Takin' a Bath from Kristy Heilman on Vimeo.